The idea came from a pic I found over the net thanks to a very helpful fan of Adaptation. I have no idea who drew the picture, but it was a damn good job! It's called Reprise of Evangelion and I hope Gainax hires whoever made that if they haven't already. By the way, I have never prepared or eaten Ramen, so don't expect me to know how to do it. Oh, anyone else notice that new design for Review next to the titles?

Recrudesce of Evangelion

Prologue: Asuka

Shinji fell back, finally realizing what he had been doing. The young boy backed away on all four, his hands sinking into the sand. Finally he stopped and looked at the form that was before him. Asuka Langley Soryu, the Second Child and his roommate was lying on the beach in front of him, in her plugsuit and covered partially with bandages. Shinji got back up onto his feet, his entire body trembling at the realization of what he had nearly done. His hands shook the most, the same hands that had nearly choked the life out of Asuka. Shinji walked forward again, ignoring the sand that had somehow made their way into his shoes. He fell to his knees at Asuka's side, not sure what he was supposed to do.

"Asuka."

The girl beside him blinked a few times, her one uncovered blue eye pale and slightly blank. Suddenly it came back into focus, but she still made no response towards the young Ikari. Asuka merely laid there, unmoving. Her mind on the other hand was racing. Memories of what had happened flooded her mind, showing her the battles she had fought, ones she had lost and ones she had won. But in the end, she still lost. Asuka closed her eyes, too tired to continue to think.

Shinji started crying, tears flowing out of his eyes as he looked at Asuka's still form. She looked so peaceful and carefree sleeping there. He wiped the tears out of his eyes and tried to stop them completely. This wasn't the time for mourning. That would come later. The one thing he did remember from all that had happened was that he wanted to live. No matter what, he would live, and Asuka would too. Shinji ran his hand down Asuka's cheek, admiring the beauty that slept before him. He managed a weak smile, but at least it was a smile. Carefully the young Ikari looped his arms under Asuka and picked her up. The German girl was lighter than he had expected, which was actually rather fortunate. He held her close to make sure there was no danger of dropping her before he stood up straight. Taking one last look at the massive head that still floated in the orange sea, Shinji started walking.

Shinji avoided going over the dunes and simply went around them. He quickly came off the beach, a trail of footprints in the sand left behind him. They were a little ways from the district where their apartment lay, so Shinji hoped he wouldn't be too tired before getting there. He also hoped that the apartment was still there. There was a surprising amount of grass growing in area considering how much fighting had taken place. Shinji took some time to absorb what he was seeing all around him as he walked. He didn't feel anything in his legs, which was probably a good thing. He continued to carry Asuka for what seemed to be an eternity until he found roads. The asphalt was like a sign of civilization and Shinji was glad to see it. He followed the road until finally the two of them were in sight of what remained of Tokyo 3. Shinji felt exhausted, having carried Asuka so far. He still didn't feel much in his legs, but his arms were burning and he needed to rest soon.

Shinji entered the city with Asuka in his arms and walked quickly to the apartment complex. To his great relief it was still standing and the elevator worked too. He was soon on their floor and walked to the door. Laying Asuka down carefully, Shinji fumbled around in his pockets. Luck must have been with him for his keycard was in his pant's back pocket. He slid the card through the reader and the door opened. Shinji picked Asuka up again and carried her inside. He laid her down in the couch and got a blanket from her room. He covered her with it to keep her from getting cold before sitting down on the other sofa. Taking deep breaths, Shinji tried to get a gripe of what had happened. Third Impact had happened despite everything he, Asuka, and Rei had done to try to prevent it. No, Rei did something else.

Memories of a giant Rei appeared in his head, and he realized that the massive head that was in water looked very much like Rei. So what had she done? Knowing the truth hurt, so Shinji didn't try too hard to understand anything. He looked around the apartment to see what was still running. All of the clocks kept flashing 12:00, so that meant something had fried power momentarily. But at least power did run through this place. Shinji walked into the kitchen and turned on the water. Both hot and cold water was still running, so that was a miracle. He opened the fridge and found lots of ready to eat food and beer. The sight of the beer reminded Shinji of what happened to Misato. His eyes became glossy for a few seconds and he returned back to consciousness. He was gasping for breath and closed the refrigerator. Shinji walked back to the living room and collapsed on the sofa. His fatigue finally hit him, nearly knocking him out. Shinji got comfortable and closed his eyes, welcoming the darkness that came with them.

"Baka!"

Shinji's eyes snapped open and turned his head around. Asuka was looking at him fiercely from where he had deposited her on the couch.

"Finally you're awake!" she said, "What the hell is going on!"

Shinji yawned and stretched before even attempting to answer.

"Third Impact," he said simply.

Asuka's eyes narrowed as if she didn't believe him.

"Then why the hell are we here?" Asuka demanded.

"I don't know. Why are we here?"

Asuka growled. "Of all the people I have to end up with, why did it have to be you! Damn it! Where's everyone else!"

"They're all gone," Shinji replied, "Everyone we ever knew is dead. We're the last two humans alive."

"Oh this is just great. Why do I have you be with you? It's not like you're good for anything. I mean, why couldn't someone stronger survived instead of a weakling like you?"

Shinji simply ignored her insults, seeing no reason to care what she said. Besides, wasn't this the same Asuka that had abused him so much before? But he had tried to kill her. Well, he had brought her back here. Without him, she would probably still be lying down at the beach.

"Are you listening to me!" Asuka screamed.

She tried to move but screamed out, pain shooting throughout her entire body.

"Asuka!" Shinji said, rushing to her side. "Are you okay?"

"Do I look okay?" Asuka snapped.

Shinji removed the blanket and found blood was seeping through the bandages.

"Here, let me help you."

"I don't need your help," Asuka said defiantly but did nothing to stop him.

Before doing anything, Shinji got a pair of scissors from his room and a lot of bandages and wrappings from the aid kit Misato had. There were also a few towels from the bathroom and a small bucket of warm water. It took about five minutes to get all of it, but Shinji didn't want to be missing anything while he examined Asuka. He came back into the living room to find Asuka looking directly at him. She quickly turned away, but Shinji had already seen her. The young boy then slowly proceeded and cut the wrapping around Asuka's arm. He slowly uncoiled it and once it was completely off revealed a completely healed arm.

"There's nothing wrong," he said.

Asuka peered down and gasped. The bandages were still bloody, but there was no sign of a wound.

"Is it internal?" Shinji wondered.

"Well if it's internal there's nothing you can do about it so stop whatever you're doing!" Asuka continued on stubbornly.

Shinji again ignored her and dampened one of the towels. He then placed it on Asuka's arm, causing her to wince.

"Too hot?" he asked.

"No! My arm just really hurts when you touched it!"

"Sorry."

Asuka growled inwardly, but said nothing. He then carefully removed the bandage covering Asuka's eye, not using the scissor as he didn't want to accidentally poke her eye out. With that done Shinji looked into Asuka's eye.

"It looks fine," he said.

Asuka blinked, not feeling any pain in or around her eyes. But when she started to try to look around without turning her head, the eye that had been bandaged suddenly started hurting. She closed her eyes tightly, barely able to keep from screaming.

"Asuka, are you okay?"

"Stop asking me that!" Asuka snapped, "Do I look okay to you?"

"Sorry."

Asuka kept her mouth shut and refrained from shouting at Shinji. That boy could be so dense sometimes! She did her best to keep quiet as Shinji used the warm dampened towel to wipe her face. At times Asuka bit her lip, trying to stay silent, and to her annoyance Shinji noticed. He had tried to apologize but Asuka quickly silenced him. She wasn't in the mood for hearing more apologies. Shinji wrapped Asuka's arm and leg in the towels to keep them comfortable. There wasn't much he could do for her eye so he simply laid a warm towel over it.

"Are you hungry?" Shinji asked.

"Of course I am. Do we actually have any real food?"

"Just some ramen at the moment," Shinji replied, "I'll be getting some more later. I'll warm it up."

Shinji left Asuka on the couch and walked back into the kitchen. He got out some ramen and put them in the microwave. It might not be the best tasting, but at least it was food. Shinji waited for a few minutes before he heard the beep and took out the stuff. He poured water in and brought the two cup-like containers to the living room with chopsticks for him and a fork for Asuka. He placed them on the table and was about to help Asuka get closer to the table when she slid down the couch and sat on the ground. The girl simply would not give in. She took the fork with her left hand as it was still too painful to utilize her right.

Shinji kept an eye on Asuka as he didn't want the redhead to get herself killed just trying to eat. He was also hungry so quickly devoured his meal. Asuka was only halfway done with hers when Shinji got up to throw his container away. He returned and waited patiently as Asuka finished eating. Despite her protests, Shinji took care of the garbage for her. After washing his hands he got his keycard and started towards the door.

"I'm going out to get some more food," he said.

Asuka was about to say something when she suddenly shut her mouth tight. Shinji didn't see her nearly speak so he left the apartment without another word. He descended to the ground floor using the elevator, glad that electricity still ran through this city. But for how long? And they also had to consider the water supply. There was a lot to worry about and Shinji didn't know how long it was before thing started falling apart. For now there was a more immediate problem, like Asuka's wounds.

Shinji looked around the area and realized that one of the entrances to NERV was close by. The NERV infirmary should have some supplies he could use. He started walking towards the entrance when suddenly he froze. Memories of all the blood and the bodies down in the installation surfaced. Did he have the courage to go down there and search through all the carnage?

The young man decided right then and there that he had to go down there for Asuka. She was the only other human left as far as he knew and he wasn't about to let her down. No matter how much she abused him, she still needed him now and that's what counted. But what about later on? Time for that later. They had all the time in the world.

Shinji made his way to the entrance and walked down to the elevator. It plummeted deep within the Earth to NERV headquarters. It was a miracle the thing still worked after all the fighting. When the doors opened, Shinji had expected to see bodies piled up all over the floor. That couldn't be further from the truth. There was no sign of blood, bodies, or any sign of fighting. Bullet marks that should be there were gone, flame marks were missing, and the corridor looked just like it was when Shinji first came here. He stepped out of the elevator just before it closed and started walking.

The infirmary wasn't too hard to find as Shinji remembered where it was from multiple visits. Those memories weren't always pleasant. He found bandages, wrappings and morphine pills in some of the containers in storage, but what looked like it would really be of use was a wheelchair. It was one you had to push, but he could do that for Asuka until she healed. He piled the stuff onto the wheelchair after he had unfolded it and wheeled it out. Shinji then went to the cafeteria and found a lot of canned food. This would have to do until tomorrow. He collected a dozen or so and put them in a bag which was promptly put onto the wheelchair. He then headed back for the surface.

Shinji blinked for a few seconds as his eyes adjusted to the sunlight. He returned to the apartment and walked in.

"What took you so long!" Asuka demanded.

Shinji looked at the clock to see what time it was.

"I've only been gone for half an hour," he said.

"Well next time make it fifteen minutes!"

Shinji wasn't sure why Asuka was so mad at him. It wasn't like she enjoyed his company that much. According to past experience, she should have been glad Shinji had been gone for a while. Unless she just needed something to bitch about, which was nothing new.

For Asuka's part, she was also unsure why she had wanted Shinji to get back sooner. It wasn't like she ever had wanted him around before. She slumped back down onto the couch and pouted. Shinji sighed, not knowing how to reach out to Asuka at times like this. He rolled the wheelchair into the living room, catching Asuka's attention.

"What is that doing here?" she snapped.

"To help you get around," Shinji informed her, "You can't really walk so I got this to help you."

"I don't need help."

Shinji hadn't exactly had a good day and right now he was at the limits of his patience. In reality, Asuka had started wearing it down when she first moved in. At times Shinji liked Asuka, but right now it was plain annoying. If she kept it up, it was likely he would snap then and there. Fortunately for Asuka, she didn't. She simply turned her head away and stayed quiet. Shinji went through the supplies he gathered and put all of the canned stuff in the cabinets. He would have to empty the fridge of all the beer but couldn't right now. It was like throwing away memories of Misato.

Shinji stood in the kitchen for a few minutes, unsure of what to do. Boredom was already starting to surface, though in reality he still needed to make sure they would keep getting running water. He walked out to the balcony and saw the figures that were the MP EVAs. They'd have to do something about those too. There was no way he was going to feel comfortable looking at those monstrosities. They had nearly killed Asuka and apparently were an important part of Third Impact. The details were vague as Shinji hadn't really been paying attention to Misato, but he knew they were dangerous. Maybe there would be a way to get rid of them later.

The young man let out a sigh and leaned against the balcony railing. Just then he heard Asuka screaming for him.

"Shinji! Get back in here!"

He turned and walked back into the living room. Asuka had managed to get into the wheelchair though her face betrayed some signs of pain.

"Take me out to the balcony," she ordered.

Shinji moved behind her and pushed her to the balcony. Asuka didn't seem to be bothered by the dead MP EVAs. She simply looked out into the lake and what was left of Tokyo 3. The head that had been there before seemed to have disappeared. That was certainly a good thing. A small smile appeared on her face as she let the wind blow on her face. It felt a lot better out here in the open air than inside the stuffy apartment.

"Shinji, we should let the air circulate through the apartment for a while," Asuka said.

Shinji didn't argue. It was a good idea and he didn't want Asuka to get mad at him. She needed his help and right now Shinji didn't want her to push him away. The two simply stayed on the balcony, Asuka in her wheelchair and Shinji standing at her side. If there had been anyone left in the world to see them they might have thought the two were a couple. Or at least the two cared for each other. Finally Asuka grew tired and Shinji pushed her back into the apartment. She then had him push her into the bathroom and help her into the tub, still wearing her plugsuit. After getting some clothes for her, Shinji left Asuka to her own devices. It would be tricky, but she should be able to take a bath.

Asuka had some trouble getting washed. She turned on warm water and let it fill the tub, but after that it got tricky. She had gotten out of her plugsuit and thrown it onto the bathroom floor, not an easy task, and right now she was simply trying to relax. There wasn't anything she could do for her hair tonight so she ignored it. She used the soup and got herself clean before draining the tub. Now it got really tricky. Asuka still had trouble standing and a slippery tub made matters worse. She nearly fell several times, having trouble keeping her balance. Her right arm was also basically useless so she couldn't use it to support herself. Fortunately she didn't hurt herself and got onto the wheelchair. She dried herself off and changed into her clothes before calling for Shinji.

For his part, Shinji had been trying to read in the living room. However, he had been worried about how Asuka would manage in there so he didn't get much done. When she called, it was almost a relief. Shinji opened the bathroom door and encountered a mist wall. He blinked and tried to see through it, finding Asuka waiting for him by the tub already dressed and in her wheelchair. He got in and pushed her out to her room. After helping her into bed, Shinji left the room and closed the door.

"Goodnight Asuka," Shinji muttered after he closed the door. Now he needed a bath and sleep.

Asuka slipped off into a dream almost immediately. She found herself walking down a hallway bathed in light. It looked much like one of the cathedrals she had visited in the Vatican, with the many pictures on the windows. These windows were far larger and the images more realistic than what Asuka had ever seen before. She spun around, trying to take in all that was before her. There were no seats like in a church but there were figures gathered all around her. They wore white cloaks and kept their hoods up, hiding their faces and features. Asuka couldn't even tell if they were men or women. She started walking down the hallway, staying in the center and not running into any of the robed people on the sides. Finally the young woman came to a set of doors.

The doors before her were of a glass-like material. They were translucent but refracted the light that came in and out, creating a glow within the doors. Asuka placed a hand on the door and to her surprise they opened. She walked in and her eyes fell upon a staff held up horizontally by two small pillars. The staff was as tall as Asuka herself and had two blades coming out at the ends. This was a weapon, though Asuka didn't know what it was for. Was it symbolic, or was it for killing? She walked up to it and tried to pick it up. When her hand touched the cold metal pain shot through it and she was thrown across the room into a wall. She grunted, feeling the burning sensation in her hand and the pain from her back. She gripped her hand and looked at it. There was no sign of burns but that didn't mean a thing.

Asuka got back up and was startled to see another robed figure appear in front of the staff. The robe, instead of being pure white, had a silver glow to it. The being turned its head towards Asuka, though it was still hidden by the hood.

"You are not the one."

Asuka could clearly hear the voice now. It had a feminine touch to it, so that meant some of the people here were women. Or were all of them women?

"Who are you?" Asuka asked.

"I am the Guardian. You are not the one."

Asuka suddenly felt herself flung out of the chamber and out of wherever the place was. Her eyes snapped up and she shot out of her bed, regretting it immediately. Her arm started hurting like hell and she nursed it as best as she could. Whatever that dream was, it had been intense and Asuka wasn't sure she wanted to relive it again. Asuka looked at the clock and found it was still working. It was seven-thirty in the morning. Where was Shinji?

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Shinji had fallen asleep the moment he pulled the covers over his body. Unfortunately, he had found himself in a massive cavern that seemed to stretch on forever. Much of the cavern floor was covered with what looked like a lake of lava and fire. The platforms that people could use to walk across hovered over the lake and were completely black. There were no guard rails of any sort so Shinji had to be careful if he didn't want to be burnt to a crisp. He started walking down the platform and crossed a bridge onto another one. There were branching platforms that seemed to lead to other places but Shinji ignored them.

He kept on the main path and did his best to ignore the fires that raged around him. For some reason he felt no heat coming from beneath or around him. Finally he came upon an arched doorway. The doorway seemed to lead to nothing as there was a wall behind it. As Shinji walked closer, red energy started flowing through the doorway and a red portal appeared. Studying it, Shinji didn't feel anything wrong. But then again, should this place even exist? He stepped through the portal.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

"Shinji!"

Shinji snapped awake and fell off his bed. He scrambled around before realizing where he was.

"Shinji!"

"Coming Asuka!" he replied, getting up and putting the sheets back on his bed.

Shinji left his room and walked into Asuka's, finding her already in her wheelchair. He pushed her out to the dining room and started to prepare breakfast. It wasn't fancy, just toast and some eggs. After the two had finished eating Shinji started to get ready to go out.

"Where are you going?" Asuka demanded.

"To take a look around," Shinji replied, "There has to be some more food around, and maybe some more supplies."

"Not without me."

"But-"

"Don't but me! I'm going!"

"Then, shouldn't you put on something else?"

Asuka realized that the clothes she was wearing probably weren't suited for going out. She looked at Shinji and he got the message. Asuka was pushed back to her room and Shinji helped her put on a sweater and a skirt, though he was lucky not to have his eye popped.

The two left the apartment and walked around with Shinji pushing Asuka around. The redhead made no effort to help, obviously enjoying the treatment she was getting. Shinji looked around and realized that what remained of the city was actually a lot. The downtown districts had been mostly destroyed, but there were many other places that had a lot of stuff. Asuka had apparently fallen in love with some dress in a store and had demanded Shinji get it for her, but he had refused and pushed her right along. That had resulted in her cursing him in German and Japanese for the next ten minutes. Not like that was anything new, but Asuka didn't persist. Shinji was actually glad for that.

They went around the stores and gathered more food before returning to the apartment. It was still some time before lunch so Shinji went to take a nap. Maybe he would have that dream again.

End of Prologue

I've been having some trouble focusing on my other fics so I decided to write this one to get back into the practice. Adaptation will still run, but Project: Omega is effectively dead right now. If I ever update it, it'll be a miracle.

I've done many strange things regarding Shinji, making him Messiah, making him Adam. But I rarely involve Asuka directly in those mystical things. Well, I think it's time. Now I just have to install that Firestorm Generator to make sure no angry fans can try and kill me.

Z98