FRUITY LOOPS, REDUX

CH 5, PT.1

JUDGEMENT

"Why am I always the one dealing with this shit?" Asuka questioned an unkind world, the redhead vaulting over a set of ticket turnstiles as the world around her started to shift and the hues changed from midday to orange- like LCL. "Yep, that's not normal." She noted, feeling more than a little crazy to be talking to herself, but it was the only thing keeping her focused on moving forward rather than the -very real- desire to curl up into a ball and cry.

As she passed a mirror set into the train station wall, she glanced over at herself and noted- with a bit of fright- that her eyes were burning red. "Totally not normal." She remarked, but kept going. Their errant beau was in trouble-

Again.

"Damnit, Shinji."

-IKARI-

"Shit, shit, shit shit- shit-shit-shit-shit-" Asuka was rubbing off on him, he was sure. That, or the situation was really that dire. Granted, Shinji viewed them both as likely being the case. As he hauled ass through the train's empty cars, being chased by a gleaming white figure composed of light, Shinji was at least glad that running away was a good option in this case.

He'd been doing not near enough of it lately, in his opinion.

A crash erupted from behind him, and rather than look, he simply ducked through another door and vaulted himself forward with the aid of assistance-bars. The reverberating sounds of hymns and angelic choir flooding his ears as he finally spied an exit from the train's cars, flinging it open with a grunt- and not bothering to notice when the door slid violently into the train's wall and crushed the exterior as a result- he hurled himself out of the train as another crash resounded behind him. Do not look. Do not look. Do not look. A whole new mantra to repeat, but nonetheless he repeated it like a madman as his shoes slapped against the station's floors. A blur of red vaulted it's way up the steps ahead of him, and for a moment, he feared he'd been circumvented-

"SHINJI!" Asuka's voice resounded, and Shinji thought, nowhere near the first time, she was the most beautiful fucking woman he'd ever seen.

"ASUKA, FUCKING RUN!" Of course, that wasn't going to stop him from doing little more than hooking her arm and dragging her along with his momentum. Sweating bullets and panting, the boy was pushing himself to his limits as it was.

"It's an Angel!" The redhead shouted right next to his ears- well, not quite next to but-

"KNEW THAT!" He didn't want to say he sounded snappy, but he probably did. After all, it hadn't been hard to figure out when his mother had turned into a monstrosity of light and sound and- well-

Tried to kill him. The normal thing Angels did. Shinji was at least used to THAT much.

He crossed the same ticket-turnstiles that Asuka had leapt not very long ago, while she tumbled over them with a grace he would have admired if they weren't running for their very lives in that moment. The fact that those same turnstiles were likely what got trashed when he heard the next crash did nothing but emphasize the point. "THE BETTER QUESTION IS, WHAT'RE WE GONNA DO?"

As they broke out into the sunlight again- or rather, the distorted orange world's sun, rather than the false light of the train station, he threw himself to the side and dragged Asuka in until she was pressed up tight against his body. If this was another situation, he would have congratulated himself for his boldness-

But sadly, this wasn't the kind of "romantic rendezvous" that would have otherwise made this situation more pleasant.

"I think Rei is- hah- already talking with Misato. So, we should just be able to hold out until- hah- either the EVAs get here or-"

Another crash, the wall they were hiding against tumbled and Shinji, mindful of the fact that they were both exhausted, bodily lifted the redhead into his arms and took off in a stilted run.

"S-SHINJI! AT LEAST MARRY ME FIRST!"

"NOW IS NOT THE FUCKING TIME, ASUKA!"

-AYANAMI-

Rei couldn't help but feel this was an inappropriate time for a change in the scope of their conflict. A voice that terribly resembled Shinji's told her in her head, Causality is such a bitch.

For once, she could only agree with that mentality. They'd had rather good control of the situation- ignoring getting their asses handed to them by Israfael (again)- until Lilith, somewhere deep in her soul, had managed to pull what Rei would have otherwise considered an amusing little ploy.

The fact that she'd done it to Shinji, however, made it a lot less funny.

Rei did not, in fact, find it funny at all. In so many words, Rei was -pissed-.

Not that one could tell as she idly wandered her way out of their shared apartment building, clutching a small octahedron in one hand and her handgun in the other.

An upset Rei was not a nice Rei.

-SOHRYU-

Part of her felt more than a little pleased that Shinji had done something spontaneous and- if it were in any other situation- terribly romantic. Asuka was a romantic girl at heart, even if some might have viewed her as anything but, so being bridal carried like this was a fantasy she'd indulged in a few times.

The fact that Shinji was sweating bullets- and smelling fucking amazing, God she was going to bang him so hard after this, she should not be getting turned on while they were running for their lives, maybe they were ALL crazy- and carrying her while he hauled ass in a way she was sure he'd collapse after a few more minutes of it somewhat put a damper on the "romance" of the whole thing.

"SHINJI-" She yelled, and later she'd apologize for his hearing health, but she was also the only of the two of them able to actively look over his shoulder at the advancing figure of light. She wasn't sure what the thing was- beyond being an Angel, of course- but she knew that it raising one of those limbs was a bad sign.

Her thoughts proved warranted as another phantom force crushed the side-walk behind them, knocking debris into the air that shredded into Shinji's back and tore open gashes as she turned her gaze to his face, watching him wince and-

Red had bled all into his once blue eyes as well. Ah hell-

Well, that explained why he hadn't collapsed yet, at least. She couldn't help but feel it wasn't going to do them any favors when they had to actually -explain- what had happened, though. So much for a relatively fun weekend. "Shinji! This is going to sound crazy-"

"ALL OF OUR IDEAS ARE CRAZY! -"

"SHUT THE FUCK UP AND LET'S STAND OUR GROUND AND FIGHT-"

Shinji -actually- looked at her for a moment, the incredulous gaze on his face was- Asuka thought privately- the single funniest thing she'd seen in a long ass time. It was rare for him to give a look like that, like he'd just heard something so wildly stupid that even he couldn't keep his usual facade of polite and resigned broodiness.

She would privately deem it "Shinji: What the Actual Fuck #1".

Nonetheless, she hopped out of his arms in the next instant, coming to a stop with . . . not as much effort as she'd have thought considering she'd leapt from his arms at damn near a dead sprint. She was still worn out as hell from her run, but the chance to recuperate in his arms had done wonders for her burning lungs.

He rounded, having to actively stabilize himself with a palm against the concrete- which cracked, she noticed- as he came back around to stand at her side and face the being of light. "This is legitimately the craziest thing I've ever heard, and I've heard some shit-" He remarked, just as she winced as the being floated within charging distance of the two. Raising a gleaming arm, Asuka closed an eye turned red and raised her own arm in turn-

It sprung into existence, a gleaming orange field that caused her a massive headache in the same breath. But it was better than being splattered by whatever that invisible force was which was brought to bear against what Rei had called "the light of her soul." Howling out from the sudden force of her aching head, she began to miss when the EVA just -did it for her.- Granted, at least this way she had something resembling a defense against the creature.

"Holy shit." Shinji's dumbfounded words were pretty good, too. But-

"SHINJI. PLEASE. HIT. THE DAMN. THING." She grit out between her teeth, hoping that Shinji would understand innately what she meant-

And secretly glad when he jumped forward and, cocking an arm back, crashed through her barrier as if it didn't exist while an orange light enveloped his arm.

It was way more satisfying when the orange light formed into a spiral of euclidean shapes and fired out from her boyfriend's fist- slamming into the being of light and knocking it back about twenty yards, though. Didn't stop her head from feeling like someone was shoving a giant metal rod through her brain, though.

Stooping down unto her knees, holding her aching head- and noting the fact her hands came away from her face with spots of blood on her palms and fingers- she tried to take a deep breath and get her senses back under control while they had a few seconds to breathe.

Another crash resounded and her eyes came up to see the being of light pulling itself forward- well, rather, floating forward, but for some reason Asuka felt like it was -pulling- itself-

Her eyes turned towards Shinji as the boy, wincing as he raised his arm, defended himself from that same unseen force with a barrier of orange. His left arm coming around, already sheathed in another "gauntlet"-like glow. It wasn't smooth, or well-trained, but it was with the same viciousness she always expected of him when he got into that "mood" that she'd long considered one of the hotter parts of his personality.

Hey, violence did it for Asuka, who was going to judge her?

He thrust his fist and the shapes formed again, expanding outwards and crashing into the being of light- this time bashing into a similar orange field. Nonetheless, it still pushed the creature back and gave them both time to regroup and- with both gripping their heads from what she was sure was going to develop rapidly into a migraine- strategize while the creature got back into range for whatever it was doing.

"Shinji- hah- I think-"

"We can't just punch and kick it to death?"

"Nope." Even though she couldn't argue against the appeal. It would be singularly the most cool thing they'd ever done. It was likely also the most dangerous thing, and that was a . . . long list.

"I hope Rei is-"

A thunderbolt crashed along the ground, filling the air with more noise than Asuka's ears would have normally been able to deal with, but both she and Shinji turned.

And stared at the sight of Rei standing, one arm outstretched holding her pistol level, while the other idly toyed with the gauge on her "prototype" of the AT-Field amp.

Well, she thought, the alarms aren't much of an issue now.

The fact her girlfriend looked like a goddess of vengeance right then, though? Yeah. Asuka was going to use that one for "material" -forever-. God, I need to get my fetishes under control.