A Shower Of Kisses: Rebuild

by Ayanami1167

- o -

Disclaimer

This is a work of purely speculative fiction. It is not intended to infringe on any rights by and of the companies and/or individuals involved in the production of the series upon which it is based. The author of this work has received no financial compensation.

Chronology Note

This story is set during the timeline of the original series of Neon Genesis: Evangelion, shortly after the events of Episode 6. Some events may differ slightly from the series portrayal. The main plot points will remain the same. Some dialogue sequences are taken directly from the series. Some sequences are adapted from an earlier one-shot.

Warning

This story contains adult content, including but not limited to violence, language and explicit sexual situations.

- o -

The Naked Truth

- 1 -

At least this ceiling is familiar, now, thought Shinji Ikari to himself as he lay back on his futon, his SDAT player in its customary position by his side. It feels like almost the only thing in this screwed-up world that is familiar.

The most recent battle against the octahedral 5th Angel, which had been named Ramiel, had taken its toll on the young man, physically and emotionally. Mostly emotionally, he'd have to admit; the brunt of the physical trauma had been borne by his classmate and fellow pilot, Rei Ayanami.

The plan, christened Operation Yashima and cooked up by the ever-optimistic Captain Katsuragi at incredibly short notice, had been ludicrous, but brilliant. Shinji's Unit 01, the test-type of the gigantic biomechanical humanoid known as Evangelion, would take a long-range sniper shot at the Angel from an outlook on top of Mount Futago, using a high-powered positron rifle that had been jerry-rigged to draw power from substations across Japan.

Meanwhile, Rei's Unit 00, the prototype unit, carried a shield ostensibly based on the heat-resistant external hull of the Space Shuttle, and was to hold position nearby. The shield would be used to protect Unit 01 from the Angel's energy beam if anything should go wrong.

Unfortunately - whether by design, or just incredibly bad luck - in the same moment that Unit 01 had taken its shot, Ramiel had discharged its own energy beam, causing both to skew off target. Before the positron rifle had been able to recharge for a second shot, the Angel had fired again in a concentrated, continuous discharge of energy.

It was only Rei's quick action that had saved him - she had interposed her own Eva and its heat shield between Ramiel and Unit 01, gifting him precious seconds until the rifle was ready for firing. The Angel had been neutralised by the second positron discharge, but in protecting Shinji, Unit 00 had sustained heavy damage.

To say nothing of the effect on the pilot.

Shinji balled up his hands into tight fists, remembering how he had ejected from Unit 01 and sprinted desperately to the fallen Unit 00 to release Ayanami from the coffin-like entry plug, which had been superheated by Ramiel's energy beam. He recalled clearly how his hands burned with agony as he opened the emergency hatch, and the mixture of horror, relief and joy he had felt when he found Rei lying in the plug's life-sustaining pool of LCL, exhausted but mercifully uninjured.

If she'd been... He sighed deeply. What if she'd...

An insistent beeping broke him out of his reverie. Pausing the music, he looked around to find the source of the sound. His cell phone. Ayanami was calling.

Rei...

"Uh, h-hello?"

"...Pilot Ikari. Captain Katsuragi asked me to try and make contact with you regarding the harmonics test scheduled for tonight. You are late for our pre-test preparations."

Shinji's eyes widened in surprise and alarm.

Oh, crap, he thought. How long have I been daydreaming?

He cleared his throat and replied. "But... but, Rei, we only just got done fighting that Angel, and it's so late... I'm tired..."

There was a pause at the other end of the line.

"...Ikari, the Evas are the only weapon that's capable of defeating an Angel. We may be called on at any time to pilot them. It is our responsibility to ensure that we are ready."

Shinji looked up at the ceiling and sighed resignedly. He wasn't in the mood to argue.

"Um... okay, I guess that makes sense. Well, I guess I-I'll see you there, then."

"...Understood. Goodbye, Ikari."

"Okay, uh, 'bye, Rei."

Only after hanging up did he notice a long, long list of missed call notifications. Misato.

Oh, no, he thought in panic. I'm gonna be in so much trouble when I get to NERV HQ.

Hurriedly, Shinji pulled on yesterday's clothes, grabbed his NERV ID card from the nightstand and darted out of the room.

- 2 -

As Shinji walked into the inclined elevator leading to the geofront, he saw that Rei had already arrived and was eyeing him with what might have been disapproval.

"Ikari. You're late."

"Oh, hi, Rei. Look, I'm sorry I was so late, it was just... well..."

His voice trailed off as he noticed that Rei was staring at him.

"R-rei, uh, why are you looking at me like that?"

"What do you mean?"

Shinji's cheeks coloured, and he looked away nervously.

"Um, you're... you're kinda staring at me..."

"If my observing you makes you uncomfortable, I will stop."

Shinji's head jerked up. "N-no, I - I didn't mean..."

But Rei had already turned away and was staring out of the observation window.

"Um, never mind."

As the elevator entered the geofront with a shuddering jolt, Shinji looked pensively down at his hands.

I still know so little about her, he thought. So, why do I feel so jumpy around her?

He looked up to see Rei still staring down at the HQ building far below.

She looks... so lost.

Suddenly, the intercom buzzed into life. Rei continued to stand, motionless, by the window, whilst Shinji flinched, startled by this sudden intrusion.

"...Shinji? Rei? You're both late! Get yourselves prepped and get down here on the double! (Goddamnit...)"

With that, the intercom buzzed into silence.

"Uh, Mis-Misato sounds r-really angry, Rei," stuttered Shinji. "We'd better hurry."

"Yes," replied the young woman, nonplussed. "The elevator will be arriving shortly."

- 3 -

Hot water rained down on Shinji's neck and back, relaxing his tense muscles as he distractedly lathered his slim, toned frame, removing any contaminants that might interfere with synchronization between his own body and the simulation plug they were to use in the harmonics test.

Why am I so nervous around her? he wondered to himself. She's just another pilot.

He squeezed a generous amount of shampoo into his palm and began to lather up his short, brown hair.

But... there's something captivating about her... especially when she smiles like she did that night.

A faint smile passed over Shinji's face, to be replaced with a look of concern. He rinsed the foam from his hair and body, flinching involuntarily at a sharp sting in his hand. He looked thoughtfully at his palm, with its patch of angry red from when he had struggled with Unit 00's emergency hatch.

She usually seems so sad. Does she ever feel happy, I wonder?

Suddenly, over the light murmur of the falling water, he became aware of a scraping sound behind him. Shinji whirled around to see Rei, closing the shower stall's sliding partition behind her.

"Wha- R-rei? Y-you're not supposed to be in here! I-"

As she turned to look at him, he remembered that he was naked and looked down at himself.

"Oh..."

Blushing a deep red, he reached down to cover his modesty.

"I'm sorry for disturbing you, Pilot Ikari."

She looked at him without apparent emotion.

"The secondary shower seems to be closed for maintenance, so I came here."

"B-but..."

Shinji belatedly noticed that Rei was already wearing her white plugsuit and interface headset. In spite of his embarrassment, he was unable to ignore how the suit's slick, shiny material clung to her every curve.

"R-rei, you're already in your suit... I'm... I'm not sure i-if you should get water on it... before the tests..."

"Yes. When you came to my room and saw me undressed, it made you uncomfortable."

"Yeah, but-"

"I do not wish to make you feel uncomfortable, Ikari."

"N-no, I know, Rei, b-but... W-well, okay, but you can't shower with clothes on..."

Shinji gulped and spoke hurriedly.

"A-anyway, the whole point of showering b-before a test is, uh, to m-make sure we get a good connection with our flight suits... a-at least that's what Ritsuko said, so... um..."

"Understood," said Rei, nodding in agreement. "Then, I will remove my suit."

"Rei, no! My god, Rei, t-that's not what I... Uh... Look, I-I'll be finished soon, then you can come and shower, ok?"

"That would not be an efficient use of our time. The upcoming test is more important."

"I... I know, but... Well..."

Shinji hesitated, unsure of what to say next. Before he could organise his thoughts, from behind him came the unmistakable fsshhh of a plugsuit being released.

"R-rei?" Shinji looked up in alarm. "Rei, what are you doing?"

As he spoke, Rei slid her now loose plugsuit down over her shoulders, slipped it down her thighs and stepped out to stand, naked, before Shinji. Beads of water danced on her pale skin and rolled down across the curves of her breasts. The tuft of curly hair nestled between her slim but shapely legs was just as blue as the hair on her head.

"Oh, my god, Rei... I'm s-sorry, I didn't mean to look... uh..."

Shinji abruptly noticed his manhood responding of its own volition to the naked girl in front of him. Yelping with embarrassment, he closed his eyes and quickly turned away.

"I'm sorry, Ikari. I am making you uncomfortable again."

Shinji looked nervously over his shoulder at Rei, then with a gulp returned his attention to the tiled wall of the cubicle, trembling.

"Why are you shivering? Are you cold?"

"N-no, i-it's just that..."

His breath caught as he felt Rei's arms wrapping around him from behind.

"R-Rei..."

"I am sharing my body's warmth with you," she breathed.

"B-but, that's not..."

"You are shivering. But you do not feel cold. Your skin is warm."

Shinji felt Rei's breasts pressing against his back, warm and soft. His erection hardened further.

"Rei, i-if someone were to come in here..."

"I locked the door to the shower room behind me."

"W-why would you do that, Rei?"

"Ikari, why were you crying?"

"Huh? W-what do you mean?"

"When you opened my entry plug to save me, you were crying. Why was that?"

"Um... I... I was afraid. I was... scared that I might... l-lose you, Rei..." Shinji's shoulders began to shake, and he began to sniffle softly.

"Ikari?"

To Rei's surprise, Shinji suddenly turned around and wrapped his arms tightly around her, burying his face in her soft, lavender hair, sobbing like his heart would break.

"Ik... Ikari... why-"

In between sobs, Shinji cried, "Rei, please don't say... you have nothing else! Please, just don't say that!"

He started to tremble.

"You have Misato... Ritsuko, my... my father..."

He lifted his head and looked into Rei's eyes through a haze of tears. Impulsively, he leaned in and kissed her once, softly, on her lips. Rei's eyes widened as he quickly looked, blushing crimson, at the floor. She felt a strange sensation in her chest.

This sensation... Rei thought to herself. This is the same feeling I had when l smiled for Shinji. Warm, pleasurable, aching. I don't understand. She addressed Shinji directly.

"Ikari, why did you kiss me?"

"R-rei... I..."

The tip of Shinji's pulsing erection touched Rei's soft, wet skin. She looked down, an expression of surprise on her face.

"Ikari, your..."

Shinji blushed uncontrollably and hastily covered himself with both hands. "D-don't look at that!"

Rei felt the warm sensation in her chest intensify.

"Oh, God, Rei, I-I'm so sorry... I didn't mean..."

Rei seemed puzzled. "What is wrong, Ikari?"

Shinji, turning to the corner of the cubicle, didn't respond. Rei stepped forward, about to speak again, when he interrupted.

"M-maybe I should finish up here, R-Rei. I'm so s-sorry... about this."

Wrapping himself hurriedly in a towel before she could reply, he dashed out and closed the sliding panel behind him, leaving Rei and her discarded suit behind in the steam-filled cubicle.

"...Uh, I-I'll see you in the test chamber, o-okay?" his voice echoed from the adjoining room.

Strange, thought Rei. He's so nervous around me.

She stepped under the shower head and began to wash herself.

Is it normal for people to be embarrassed about nudity?

The hot water splashed down on her pale skin, forming beads that trickled in rivulets down her naked body as she lathered herself. She sighed. The warmth of the shower felt so good.

It felt like he felt.

- 4 -

Meanwhile, in the high-ceilinged control room, Captain Misato Katsuragi, NERV Operations Director, paced back and forth impatiently.

"Damn it, where are those two? The test was supposed to have started by now." She slammed her coffee mug down on the control desk, splashing tiny black droplets into the air. Abruptly, her demeanour softened and she half-turned to address her blonde colleague.

"I hope they're okay, Ritsu."

The labcoated woman, Dr. Ritsuko Akagi, seemed unconcerned by the continued absence of the Eva pilots. Leaning back in her seat, she sipped on her long-cold coffee.

"Don't get yourself into such a state, Misato," she said, lighting another cigarette and taking a deep drag. "It can't be long since they arrived at HQ. They'll be here."

"I know, but..." Misato sighed and slumped into a vacant chair.

"I just worry about Shinji, y'know. He's been through so much. He's in a new town where he barely knows anyone, he's been put in some really frightening situations, and to top it off he's been forced to confront a father who he's not seen for years."

She spun around in her seat to face her colleague.

"It must be so hard on him, Ritsuko."

Dr Akagi sighed deeply.

"Look, I don't like this any more than you do, Misato, but the fact remains that these children are the only ones who can pilot. The Marduk Institute is still searching for suitable candidates, but until more are found, we've no choice but to use our current pilots."

She lit another cigarette and inhaled deeply, blowing out a voluminous cloud of blue-grey smoke.

"I hate to say it, but in this case the ends really do justify the means."

"So we just disregard what they may want and use them for our own purposes, is that how it goes?"

Misato was visibly angry now, dark patches of red blooming on her cheeks.

"That's cold, even for you, Ritsuko."

Ritsuko turned to address the violet-haired woman.

"I know, I must sound like a brute," she said, her tone almost apologetic. "But sometimes we have to make unpleasant choices to ensure our survival. It's like-"

She paused, hearing a noise off to the far side of the control room, and both women turned to see two figures through the open door.

"Where the hell have you two been?" yelled a furious Misato as the two pilots ran into the control room. "The test was supposed to start an hour ago! What if this had been a real emergency?"

She noticed Shinji's flushed face and messy hair, and raised an eyebrow.

"What have you been doing all this time?"

Shinji stepped forward and glanced around nervously, desperately looking for a way out of this situation.

"Well, um... you see... uh..."

"It is my fault, Captain Katsuragi."

Misato glanced, surprised, over Shinji's shoulder.

"One of the shower units was out of order," said Rei, looking downward. "Pilot Ikari was kind enough to allow me to shower first, and..."

She looked at the puzzled Operations Director.

"I think I lost track of the time. I am sorry."

Misato's brow furrowed. She was uncertain, but... Rei was the most honest person she'd met during her time at NERV. This lateness was so unlike her, but surely she wouldn't be untruthful. The Captain was about to speak again when Dr. Akagi interrupted from her chair at the control desk.

"Well... I guess it can't be helped," she said, finishing her cigarette and stubbing it out in the already overflowing ashtray beside her coffee mug. She stood up.

"Pilots, please proceed to the testing area. We will commence the test shortly."

"Oh, r-right," stuttered Shinji. "Um..."

"But next time, try not to be so late," said Ritsuko, a half-smirk on her lips.

"Understood," said Rei, and gave a perfunctory bow. "Captain Katsuragi", she said with a nod, and started walking towards the testing centre before looking back over her shoulder.

"Pilot Ikari, please follow me."

"Huh?..."

Shinji looked after the young woman.

"Okay, I'm coming..."

- 5 -

Misato's voice rang out though the comm circuit. Within the test chamber outside the observation booth, the pilots lay in the simulation plugs, immersed in the warm LCL that aided their synchronization and kept them alive.

"...Shinji? Shinji, your projected sync ratio's dropped by four points during the test. Are you feeling okay?"

Shinji's voice wavered over the intercom.

"...U-um, yes, ma'am... Uh, I mean... I d-don't feel so good..."

Ritsuko's brow furrowed.

"...Shinji, you know by now that synchronization isn't affected by physical factors. Is there some other problem that we should know about?"

"...N-no, ma'am... I-I guess I'm just tired. I'm s-sorry I was so late."

Misato sighed.

"...Shinji, I know this is difficult for you, and we've pushed you pretty hard. Just do your best, okay?"

She switched off the intercom and turned to Ritsuko.

"What do you think might be causing this?"

"I'm... I'm not certain," replied the Doctor.

"Not certain?" Misato grinned. "That's not like you, Ritsu."

The other woman smiled. "Well, there are many factors at play that we can't always adjust for."

"Heh, it sounds like you're making excuses to cover the fact that you don't have a clue what's going on," giggled Misato.

"Oh, grow up, Misato. We're not nineteen any more," snorted Ritsuko.

Before an infuriated Misato could respond with a retort of her own, the Doctor flicked the intercom to active.

"...Rei, Shinji, that's enough for today. Please run through the exit checklist and return when you're done."

"...Understood," came Rei's soft voice.

"...Y-yes, ma'am," came a nervous stammer from Shinji.

As he floated in the warm bath of LCL filling the cockpit of the simulation plug, Shinji cast his mind back to the events of an hour ago. Rei...

In the other cockpit, Rei floated in silence.

- 6 -

"So, do you have any idea about what might have happened?" Misato asked her colleague.

The two of them, having finished uploading the harmonics data to the MAGI for detailed analysis, were seated at a pair of high stools in the HQ's bar-restaurant. At this late hour, the place was deserted aside from the two women.

"I'm still not sure," replied Ritsuko, stirring her drink thoughtfully. "My best guess would be that something happened to Shinji today; something that shook him up enough to affect his concentration."

"I wonder what it could be?" wondered Misato idly. "Oh, thank you," she said, flashing a flirtatious smile to the handsome bartender as he placed a complicated-looking beverage on the bar in front of her.

"Cocktails already?" laughed Ritsuko. "Don't forget, you lucked out on the early shift tomorrow - you should try and keep a clear head."

"Oh, shut up!" Misato giggled. "Besides, I kinda feel like I need this right now."

She sucked long and hard on the straw poking out of the glass, and grimaced.

"Gaaagghhhh."

She inhaled sharply through clenched teeth, and swayed precariously on her bar stool.

"Woah, 'kayy, mayb' not, but I paid for this drink 'n I'll be damned if 'm not g'nna fin'sh it," she slurred, then turned to wink at her colleague.

"Hey, y'wanna join me? Two headsh..." She hiccuped. "...two heads're better th'n one."

"I'd love to," replied the Doctor, shifting her stool backward with a scraping that seemed disproportionately loud in the quiet room. "But I have to justify these test results to the Commanders in the morning, and that's going to be painful enough without a hangover complicating things."

Standing, she smiled at her colleague.

"I'll see you later, Misato."

"Huh, 's already the mornin'. You're no fun 'nymore," said Misato in a mocking sulk, then smiled back. "Yeah, seeya t'morrow, Ritsu."

As her friend walked away, she sucked once more on her straw and winced.

Maybe ordering a cocktail on a work night wasn't the best idea she'd ever had.

- 7 -

Shinji lay back on his futon, staring at the ceiling. In spite of his best efforts to distract himself with music, his mind was racing. Images of Rei, standing naked before him, were forcing themselves into his imagination.

He closed his eyes and desperately tried to think about something else, anything to take his mind off that encounter, but his mind's eye kept returning to her face, her breasts, her legs and the secret that lay between them.

He shuddered as he felt his body once more reacting of its own accord.

I'm so disgusting, he thought, burying his head in his pillow.

- END -

AUTHOR'S NOTE

This is the first chapter of a substantial rewrite to an earlier one-shot piece. Originally my aim was to expand on the former's rushed character development, but whilst I've been writing, the story has taken some turns that I really didn't expect, going from a straight lemon to something a little more... Anyway, I hope you enjoy reading the whole story!

xxx