Hey, won't bore u with a buncha rant but this is a VERY interesting story. A little OOC cuz I had a hard time guessing what the real people would do. Also, there is a little limey sequence so beware youngsters. Enjoy! =^.^=

Baby Blue

A sleepy Shinji Ikari lifted up his head to catch a glance at the clock: 8:00.

"WHHHHHAAAAAAAAATTTTT!!!!!" Shinji yelled. "I AM GOING TO BE LATE!!!"

He jumped out of bed and began a vigorous attempt to put his clothes on. Sprinting into the hall he noticed Misato sitting at the table with her head in her cereal, he paused for a moment to remember the comical moment. His books dropped to the floor with a loud crash when he recalled the previous night. The wall suddenly became very interesting as a tear rolled down his pale face.

Slowly, he walked towards Asuka's room, pausing at the door for a minute. He slid open the door and took a step into the dark abyss. Her bed was neatly made, and everything was in its place. He looked again at the empty bed, tears still flowing down his face.

Deciding something deep within his mind, he ran out the door, and down the emergency stairs, making his way into the street. He sprinted all the way to NERV and burst into the door, swiped his ID card and went directly to the hospital. He almost had to strangle the nurse to let him visit her.

When he walked in, Asuka's normally beautiful figure was laying awkwardly on the bed. Her normally flawless face was bloody and bruised. That is when the whole thing came back to him as he paused in the doorway...

Shinji walked a few paces behind Asuka as usual. The sun was getting low in the sky and they were almost home. Asuka took a step out onto the road... Shinji heard a car off in the distance... He looked up curiously; the vehicle was now rounding the corner... heading straight for... "ASUKA" he yelled. It was too late, the car was gaining on her fast and she looked up too late...

The vision stopped, the same place all his dreams the night before had ended. Shinji remained in the doorway for what seemed like eons when he whispered, "Wasn't it a dream?" as if there was still hope that it was. He walked slowly over to the bed and touched the girl. The warmth he felt was real, and was relieved to find that she was alive from the beeping heart monitor in the background. He knelt down next to the hospital bed and put his head in her lap. Normally he would have gotten slapped for such an action, but now was an exception.

The young Ikari sat motionless for a while. Shinji would not tear himself away from her, he had this feeling that he would never see her again. After about an hour, he stood slowly and turned the go out the door. As he stood facing the door, he muttered his last goodbye to her, "Good bye Asuka..." He said almost inaudibly. Then he continued out the door.

The young boy had accepted his fate, silently, but willingly. Everyone that he had loved was destined to a similar fate as Asuka. Shinji walked up through the forest to a hill overlooking Tokyo-3. You could see the entire city from the viewing spot; Shinji climbed skillfully into a nearby tree and laid his body down on a few branches. He wondered if he would ever move from this spot again. NERV would find him in the tree, near death, they would take him to the hospital, but it would be too late. When they got to the hospital he would be dead. It would be that simple.

That moment, something stirred inside Shinji, something that he had never felt before. "I can't give up on her," he said resolutely. "She was my only hope, I can't give up on her now." He climbed back down the tree and made his way down the forest path, back to nerve. He wove his way through the busy streets, dodging aggressive vendors. Just when Shinji had put both of his feet on the curb, he knees collapsed as his mind flashed...

The bright orange car smacked into the girl, and drove off, swerving as it went. Shinji stood frozen with horror, when he realized who the bloody figure laying in the street was. "OH GOD, ASUKA!" he yelled desperately He ran to her side, flinching at the sight of the unconscious figure before him. He flipped out his cell phone and dialed 911 frantically. Then he dialed Misato's number. It seemed Misato's blue sports car was rounding the corner before he even hung up, followed soon by the ambulance. They rushed at Asuka, pushing him away and into the wall; he fought his way out of the crowd of people and looked around for a few moments in confusion. The apartment seemed the best place to go, and through Shinji's confused mind and stumbling steps, he managed to drag himself all the way home...

When Shinji opened his eyes, he found himself in the all-familiar NERV hospital. He heard voices nearby and turned his head to hear.

One of the two was obviously distressed. "He just COLLAPSED in the middle of the road, and I ran over to help him up. He started yelling at me like I was some stranger!"

The other voice responded. "Yes, but did you see anything that CAUSED it?"

There was a tentative pause before the first person replied. "He was walking, when he just collapsed, it was like... he was remembering... he muttered some words"

The other voice interrupted, "Did you hear what he was saying?"

"I heard 'Asuka' a few times... but the rest was unclear"

"I see..." the conversation as nearing an end. "This may be some form of post-traumatic stress disorder... I will have to ask Shinji a few questions."

By then Shinji had remembered collapsing on the street and the vision he had... the memory.

He didn't have any time to think about it before Misato slowly opened the door and turned around to face Shinji.

"Shinji? You awake?" she said in a quiet and weak voice.

"Hai." He said in a hollow voice.

"Is there something you should tell me?" Misato asked, hoping for an answer.

Shinji paused for a while, pondering his answer.

Finally, he whispered, "Why... why all my friends..."

Misato's face fell and she ran to Shinji, trying to cuddle him in her motherly attempt. He pushed her away and turned around to face her. His eyes were unusually dark and blank as Misato peered into them. She had stopped crying and she was just looking at Shinji with a longing expression on her face.

"I am so sorry...sorry this has to happen to you..." she coughed through sobs.

Shinji just stared at Misato intently. "I could have saved her," he said matter-of-factly.

"No you couldn't have! It wasn't your fault Shi-"

"I heard the car coming down the street." He said in a quite voice.

"Oh Shinji..." a tear made it's way down Misato's already soaked cheek. Her mascara was forming dark circles under her eyes and her hair was messy.

Shinji continued to look at the wall with a blank stare, so Misato went outside and carefully closed the door behind her. Shinji was indifferent to her scream that he heard, reverberating throughout the hospital.

"WHY CAN'T YOU JUST GIVE THEM ONE GOOD THING?... JUST ONE IS ALL I ASK! WHY DOES EVERYTHING HAVE TO HAPPEN TO THE CHILDREN, IT'S LIKE ALL THE WORLD'S SUFFERING IS TAKEN OUT ON THEM..."

The voice trailed off, Shinji heard a thump on the wall outside and heard Misato slide onto the floor.

Meanwhile, Shinji's mind was blurred and confused.

Asuka sat on a swing, smiling brightly. Shinji could only stare at her beautiful face for a moment. He was startled out of his trance when she spoke "Shinji, why are you looking at me that way?" she asked. He looked away and quickly apologized. "Shinji, I don't have my shield up anymore, you don't have to apologize." She said, sounding somewhat concerned. "Shield?" questioned a puzzled Ikari. "What shield?" Asuka looked away, reminding Shinji of himself. "The shield that doesn't let me be close to anybody, the shield of pain..." she said sullenly. "Why is your pain gone?" he asked curiously. "I don't know..." she said, with a look of confusion on her face. Shinji's heart probably skipped a few beats as Asuka turned again to look him into the eyes. The sun shone in her bright red hair, and her eyes sparkled. The blue was so deep, he could have swam in them and her hair was streaked with gold. They looked into each other's eyes for a few moments before she began to cry. Shinji was mesmerizes at first, unsure about what to do. Then he decided to take her up in his arms and comfort her. He picked her up with surprising ease and eased her into his lap. Asuka opened her big, azure eyes and stopped crying.

The pair sat there for a moment when Asuka finally spoke. "Shinji...?" He paused for a moment...

Shinji awoke with a start with the sound of yells from a nearby hospital room.

"SHE'S AWAKE!" someone shouted.

"Is she going to live?" someone asked intently.

Shinji got out of his bed stiffly and headed toward the noise, the room's door was open and a crowd of doctors was heading in and out. He peered in and saw a familiar figure shifting in her bed, moaning. She lifted her head to look around "ASUKA!" he almost fell over.

Their eyes met, as if for the first time. In that moment there was a river of understanding that flowed between them. He ran to the side of her bed and hugged her, he hugged her so that she wouldn't leave him again. He hugged her because he needed the warmth, and the presence. He hugged her simply because it was her.

When he finally let go, she was smiling.

"Thank you for helping me Shinji..." She said weakly.

"Thank you for helping me see."

He sat in her room all night, and the whole next day. They talked when Asuka was awake, and Shinji sat and watched her beautiful face when she was sleeping. The healing process was going well, and the doctors were saying Asuka would be out in a week.

::End of the week::

Shinji Ikari helped Asuka out of her hospital bed and carried her in his arms to the car. He lightly put her in the back seat and got in the other side. The Ride back to the apartment was long and quiet. Shinji turned and smiled at Asuka several times, but he didn't want to arouse suspicion from Misato just yet. Misato had been unusually busy lately, it seemed that the never-understanding Gendo Ikari was increasing the workload of the employees, month by month.

That night, Shinji snuck quietly into Asuka's room, careful not to let Misato notice. She smiled at him as he entered and he sat down next to Asuka. Shinji smiled back sweetly and their faces moved closer, he could feel Asuka's warm breath on his face. In a moment, when their lips met, all his worries, doubts, and fears were washed away. Their sprits merged as one, and he suddenly felt very exhilarated. They broke for a second, but their lips met again in an instant.

That night, two children became adults as they became one. One could almost feel the energy penetrating the walls.

Sorry for the cliffhanger! Haha, luckily for you I'll have my next chapter up like in a few minutes.

Ja!