"No, no, Pen-Pen," Shinji tried to shoo the bird away. "I'm busy right now."

The penguin, undeterred, attempted to intervene in Shinji's preparations. Things were not happening properly, and appropriateness was something that the semi-intelligent warm-water bird felt rather strongly about with regards to the apartment. While he often allowed the more silly exploits to go unremarked upon, it was out of a deference to the young man. This, when all was calculated, was not something for the young man, it was by his own statements for the loud, abrasive, young woman whose only goal seemed to be to harm everyone, including herself.

The tool he was working with slipped, biting his thumb, and Shinji yelped in pain, "Gah…see?" He displayed the hurt digit, "If you keep harassing me I'm not going to finish in time. Asuka's going to be home soon, and I need this to be perfect. I'm only going to get the one chance at this."

Pen2 tried, in his own language, to explain that nothing the other one had done warranted such efforts from him. She was not the life-mate type, certainly would not watch the nestlings, definitely not worth risking what it appeared he was risking, and all in all far inferior to that other young woman that came by from time to time. While that one had yet to say anything, he was quite certain that if Shinji made an effort she would be most receptive to sharing fish.

"…You're right!" Shinji snapped his fingers and grabbed the stool he'd borrowed from the kitchen, "I should set this here, instead." He moved a few items around, stepping back and taking in the view from the entryway. A few trips back and forth had everything easily visible, the effect of display was, as always, extremely important in the presentation of a gift. "Thank you, Pen-Pen. Now, I have to get this set up." Setting back to work on the main attraction, he managed to make short work of it.

Once more, using his flippers this time to help elaborate visually, Pen2 walked through the long list of reasons that this was, at best, a massive waste of effort. Even offering to help create a chance for him to shift his sights to the young woman he mentioned before. Or perhaps the one with the odd plumage, it was charming even if it was that abnormal hue. Either would not require the extremes he was currently moving towards. The dangers involved were obvious even to the non-human member of the apartment, there was little else that such a setup could be used to accomplish save the one obvious thing.

"Ok!" Shinji stood smiling, looking around proudly at his work. "I think I got it."

Pen2 rapidly shook his head back and forth, strenuously objecting.

"What?" He blinked, trying to figure out what could possibly be…. "The card!" The latest pilot dashed back to his room, grabbing the small folded paper from his desk, "I guess she's right, I really am an idiot. Thanks, Pen-Pen, how many times tonight have you helped me with this? Bah, I'm helpless. You think she'll like it? I think she'll like it. She asked for it, but I think she may have been just 'pie-in-the-sky' wishing." Setting the card into place where it would be seen, and was unlikely to be hit by anything in the event things went poorly, he nodded and climbed atop the stool, "Ok, here we go. One last," a separate thought seemed to assert itself momentarily in his mind, his eyes losing focus before he shook his head and repeated himself, "one last step, and then it's…it's all done."

The room swiftly fell quiet save for the gentle creaking of wood, the bird simply not strong enough or eloquent enough to change the course of events. He had tried. What happened next, he would at least have that solace. Unable to bear witness to what followed, he quietly shuffled back to his refrigerator. Nabbing a pair of six-packs before he closed the door, he cast one last look with his emerald-ringed eyes at the young man. A soft wark wished him the speed of his ancestors.

A short time later, the door to the apartment opened, Asuka facing away towards the elevator, "Come on Misato, who knows what acts of perversion the spore has been up to while we wasted time with the fake blonde." Tapping her foot as her guardian seemed to struggle finding something she had perhaps left in her car, she gave into the impatience and whimsy that fed her life and turned to walk into the apartment alone.

She paused, taking in the sight. Slowly, an incredulous smile creased her lips. A single chuckle. Then another. Slowly, gaining speed, they transformed into giggles, then laughter. He had done it. For once in his Gottverdammt life, he had listened to her. Clapping her hands to her mouth, she fell to her knees and let the tableau wash over her as confused tears welled in her eyes. It was perfect. It was everything she had described, and more. It was as if he had reached into her mind and pulled her memories out to show an artist's reflection of them back to her in all their vivid glory.

Misato frowned, deciding she could hunt for the S-Dat tape Asuka had stolen from Shinji after their earlier blow-up after she'd sent them both to bed. Walking over to the entrance, she kept her eyes on the redheaded irritant, wondering what could possibly prompt such…odd sounds from the mercurial Second Child. Tracing her line of sight, the nominal adult of the Katsuragi-Soryu-Ikari domicile's eyes widened, her jaw loosening and plummeting open.

The sounds that followed proved his efforts worthwhile. It was everything Shinji would have hoped it would be.