I was brain dead for a few days. Having to redraft about thirty-some pictures in AutoCAD isn't fun. Now I just have to figure out exactly what happened in the last chapter so I can write this one. I expect maybe two more chapters after this. Well, one more chapter and an epilogue. That's of you're unlucky. If you're lucky, I'll dish out another five chapters along with an epilogue. If God is on my side, I would stretch this to ten more high quality chapters and an epilogue, but I just don't see that.

Just for the record, I do have a copy of the bible. I think. Well, I'm atheist and I never made it past halfway before skipping to Revelation. Is there an online copy of the bible somewhere? And the quoting and interpretation of the bible is merely an example of the two children searching for reason.

Recrudesce of Evangelion

Chapter 9: Awakening of Faith

Asuka Langley Soryu never liked getting up early, another reason why she hated school so much. However, with the rest of humanity swimming in the LCL ocean, there was no school and she could sleep as late as she wanted. Well, as long as Shinji was willing to let her use him as a pillow. Shinji stirred, waking Asuka up. She doubted he had done it intentionally but apparently he was waking up too. But she still wanted to just lie there so she kept her eyes closed and stayed cuddled up with Shinji.

"Asuka."

She remained silent, not wanting to reply.

"Asuka, we have to get up."

This new arrangement had been at the insistence of Asuka. As both of them had a disability that required the other to look after them, she had pointed out that getting up from two different rooms would be a hassle. Never one to take no for an answer, Asuka got what she wanted.

"Come on Asuka. I know you're awake."

"Don't want to get up," Asuka murmured, "Too comfortable."

Her head was currently resting under Shinji's chin and her arm was lying across his chest. Shinji couldn't help but smile but there was work to be done today. He gently pushed Asuka off of him and sat up.

"Come on Asuka, get up. It's not like you can sleep the whole day away."

Asuka opened her eyes and looked at Shinji.

"And why not?" she asked, "It's not like we have anywhere to go."

"We're short on food, remember?"

Asuka moaned. "This sucks."

Shinji chuckled and swung his legs off the bed. He felt Asuka's wheelchair and pulled it over to her. She then got on with his help and he pushed her out to the bathroom. She prepared his toothbrush and the two brushed their teeth. After that Asuka made breakfast again and once they'd eaten and cleaned the dishes they went outside to the store again.

What was amazing was that the power was still running after two weeks. The refrigerators all worked and so the frozen food hadn't gone bad yet. Asuka made the selections though Shinji pressed her to make sure they got some healthy stuff too. They left the grocery store and went back home. Again Asuka made sandwiches as they prepared to go to the satellite relay again. There was still work to be done.

"Shinji, what if we can't free humanity?" Asuka asked.

"Then we live out our life alone," Shinji replied, "But we'll be together so we'll be okay."

Asuka nodded though she was a bit unsure. There were times when she felt it was her greatest wish to be with Shinji forever without anyone in the way. Other times she longed to see other faces, familiar faces of the people she knew but were now gone.

"I wish I could see Misato again," Asuka said, "God what am I saying? I actually miss her."

"One would hope so," said Shinji, "She did do her best to take care of us."

Asuka smiled at him. "Yeah. Though it was pretty much chaos here with all three of us."

She finished the sandwiches and packed them.

Another day of work was ahead, Asuka thought tiredly. Why couldn't we just spend one day relaxing?

That thought had been running through her head for a week now. Not that she didn't mind spending time with Shinji, on the contrary, if he wasn't here she'd have probably done stupid by now. But she wanted to spend some quality time with him, not just at work.

"Hey Asuka," Shinji suddenly said, "Tomorrow, let's go to the beach. Okay?"

"The beach? Why?"

"To just relax. I'm tired and I just want a chance to relax."

Asuka's smile grew wider. "That's the first intelligent thing you've said today baka."

Shinji laughed and the two went out. He pushed her all the way to the relay again, this time without resting. All this exercise was helping him tone his body. Asuka hooked up their laptop to the network and they started downloading more information. Now they were going after information specifically regarding Third Impact.

"What was the objective?" Shinji asked again, "To unite the souls yes but into what?"

"I'm looking," Asuka said, "It's not like I can pull information in a whim."

"If anyone could, it'd be you," Shinji joked.

Asuka continued typing for a few more seconds before raising an eyebrow.

"You know, you just might be right."

"What? You found something?"

"Oh yeah. The eighteenth Angel. Humanis."

"And what exactly is Humanis?" Shinji asked.

"The Angel of Life," said Asuka, "Apparently all of the Angels represented something. The Human Instrumentality Project was to recreate Humanis."

"What was the point of it?" Shinji asked, "Humanity was fine just the way it was."

"Apparently whoever set this up believed that humanity was at the end of its evolutionary journey. The Project was supposed to artificially induce one last evolutionary phase and turn us all back into Humanis."

"Well that didn't exactly work out," said Shinji.

Asuka nodded. "No it didn't. Us being here proves it. Humanity has to be completely joined and not one single soul can be free if Humanis is to be created."

"What happens if there are free souls?" Shinji asked.

"Then everything falls apart. Which works for us."

He had to agree with that. Being with Asuka was something he loved, but it would be nice to see the other people he cared for.

"So, we know everyone will come back. But how long will it take?" Asuka asked.

"We'll see."

Asuka stuck out her tongue at Shinji but then realized how foolish that had been. He couldn't see her do it.

"Since we have nothing else to do today, why don't we go home and relax?" Shinji suggested.

"Definitely. But what can we do? You're blind."

"Want to read to me?" Shinji asked.

"Sure. Let's go."

The two ate their lunches and then returned to the apartment. From there Asuka tried to find something worth reading.

"It wasn't like we had that much stuff," she said, "Most of my things are in German and I doubt I could translate that well."

"What about the bible?" Shinji suggested.

Asuka thought about it. "Do we have one?"

"I don't think so. That was probably another thing from the scenario."

"Where can we get a Japanese bible?" Asuka asked.

"Know any churches that still stand?"

Asuka shrugged. She logged onto the internet and searched for churches in Tokyo 3. A few popped up to her surprise and she found one that was outside the blast radius of Unit 00 and should still be standing. That place would have a bible providing the pastor hadn't taken everything when he left. No civilians were supposed to have remained even close to Tokyo 3.

"Found a place and I have a map. Let's go."

The two left the apartment again, looking fondly at the beer pyramid as they passed it, and walked to the church. When they went inside, it was actually in pretty good order. Shinji pushed Asuka around until they found a bible in Japanese.

"Where should I start?" Asuka asked.

The two had decided to start reading it here as neither was ready for the walk back yet.

"How about Genesis?" Shinji replied.

Asuka flipped open to Genesis and started reading.

" 'In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was empty, a formless mass cloaked in darkness. And the Spirit of God was hovering over its surface. Then God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. And God saw that it was good. Then he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light "day" and the darkness "night." Together these made up one day.' "

"The creation of Earth," said Shinji, "Interesting how they define it."

"Perhaps," said Asuka, "though I don't see why it should hold so much interest for you."

"You might say I like hearing about the creation of life instead of its destruction," Shinji said sheepishly.

Asuka shrugged but understood her roommate. She continued reading.

" 'And God said, "Let there be space between the waters, to separate water from water," And so it was. God made this space to separate the waters above from the waters below. And God called the space "sky." This happened on the second day.'

" 'And God said, "Let the waters beneath the sky be gathered into one place so dry ground may appear." And so it was. God named the dry ground "land and the water "seas." And God saw that it was good. Then God said, "Let the land burst forth with every sort of grass and seed-bearing plant. And let there be trees that grow which they came." And so it was. The land was filled with seed-bearing plants and trees, and their seeds produced plants and trees of like kind. And God saw that it was good. This all happened on the third day.'

"So what do you think about that?" Asuka asked, pausing for a second.

"For some reason that doesn't seem right," said Shinji, "I know the story itself is scientifically impossible unless a day isn't what it seems to be. But again, it raises the question. Why were these text written?"

"I don't know," said Asuka, "They were probably hallucinating and just wrote that stuff down to try to become important."

"You always have such a negative opinion on things," Shinji said to her.

"And maybe you should be a priest," Asuka shot back.

That drew a thoughtful look.

"In a way, that would be endlessly ironic," Shinji finally said, "The man that spent so much time killing Angels preaching the word of God."

"Oh no you don't," said Asuka, "I do not want you to become a pastor. And besides, you're blind. How will you read from the bible?"

"I only said that was ironic," said Shinji, "I never said I would become a pastor. Besides, that is not something I consider my duty to do."

"And what is your duty?" Asuka asked.

"Why, to be with you."

Asuka giggled and shook her head.

"You're being way too full of yourself," she said, "And I like it."

Asuka looked back at the bible and continued reading.

" 'And God said, "Let bright lights appear in the sky to separate the day and the night. They will be signs to mark off the seasons, the days, and the years. Let their light shine down upon the earth." And so it was. For God made two great lights, the sun and the moon, to shine down upon the earth. The greater one, the sun, presides during the day; the lesser one, the moon, presides through the night. He also made the stars. God set these lights in the heavens to light the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. This all happened on the fourth day.'

"I have to give Moses credit," Asuka suddenly said, "He certainly had a way with words."

"I guess that's why the bible is considered a lasting piece of literature," said Shinji.

"Nothing lasts if you don't remember it," Asuka replied, "Do you think people will remember us once we die?"

"All that is important is that we remember ourselves and each other," said Shinji, "That's all we can expect."

"Perhaps," said Asuka, "But I want to be remembered even after the next generation. What we've done is ensure that humanity survives as individuals. Don't you think we deserve some remembrance for that?"

"Why do you care so much about being remembered?" Shinji asked, "Who cares what others think of us as long as we have confidence in what we are?"

"What, cripples?"

"No. Lovers."

Asuka couldn't believe what Shinji had said. Since when had he become so bold? She shook her head.

"And what do you mean by that?" she questioned.

"Simply that we love each other," said Shinji, "Nothing more, nothing less."

"Oh. And I thought you meant something perverted."

Shinji smiled. "Wouldn't you like that?"

Asuka whacked him on the head.

"Get those thoughts out of your head immediately," she ordered.

"Yes ma'am," said Shinji, "Think you're ready for the trip back?"

"Yeah. I'll hang onto this bible as you're doing all the grunt work."

"That's what you said I was good for," Shinji reminded her, "Remember 9th Angel?"

"Well what else were we supposed to do?" Asuka asked, "You shouldn't expect women to do manual labor. Besides, we had you."

"Yeah," Shinji mumbled, "The things I put up with for you."

"Oh come now Shinji, you don't really mean that."

"I mean it only as so far as what I have to do to see you smile," said Shinji.

"Now that's what I like about you Third Child," Asuka replied.

The trip back to the apartment took a while but they got back in time for dinner. Asuka wiped up something following Shinji's instructions and they both enjoyed a delicious dinner. Then it was a bit more reading from the bible and to bed they went.

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

The alarm was somehow still working and woke up Asuka with a vengeance. Of course, the Second Child retaliated with a vengeance. The clock was whacked across the room and crashed into Shinji's door. It fell to the floor, the back popping off and the gears inside coming loose. The sounds these produced was not lost to Shinji Ikari.

"Asuka, that's the fifth time," he said.

"So? This wouldn't keep happening if you didn't reset the alarm every time."

"You set it for ten," Shinji replied, "I merely set it three hours earlier than what you set."

"So if I set seven you would still set it three hours earlier?" Asuka asked.

"Yes."

"You don't trust me on this?" Asuka asked, making her voice as seductive as possible.

"Of course not. If you had your way, you'd sleep forever."

Asuka frowned. Normally that tone would be making Shinji blush uncontrollably and stutter to the ends of the earth. He really had changed. Or, that scenario had changed him.

"Let's get up," Shinji said softly.

Reluctantly Asuka allowed Shinji to get her out of bed and put her in the wheelchair. It was another routine morning as she made breakfast, they ate, and then cleaned up. However, after making lunch, the routine broke. The two didn't go to the satellite relay. Instead they headed towards the beach.

"I can't even remember the last time I was at the beach," Asuka said.

"The last time I was at a beach was when I was looking over the lake Rei had made," Shinji said sadly, "though I don't even really remember it. How odd."

"Maybe you were spacing out," Asuka suggested.

"Probably. All I really remember about it was that the waters felt so calm. But of course I still can't swim."

"We'll fix that someday," said Asuka, "If humanity does return, we'll do it later. If humanity doesn't, we'll do it soon."

"Okay. Asuka, can you trust me on something?" Shinji asked.

"Of course."

"Humanity will return. It might be after we die, but humanity will come back."

"I believe you," Asuka said immediately.

Shinji smiled as they came to a halt. The LCL ocean was still a sight to behold though what it meant might chill the blood of many people. Asuka laid out a blanket and Shinji helped her down. He then sat down himself while Asuka took out the sandwiches. The two enjoyed their lunch and then Shinji laid down. Asuka moved over and used his chest as a pillow.

"The breeze is really nice," she said.

"Of course," said Shinji, "though you are blocking it."

Asuka chuckled and rolled over to face him. She pecked him on the cheek before settling down by his side.

"We should do this more often," she said.

"Maybe we'll get the chance to," said Shinji, "How about we come back tomorrow?"

"No work?"

"I don't think there's anything else we can do," said Shinji, "We have all the information we'll need to take down any organization that was part of the attempted Third Impact. Now, let's just rest and wait."

"Sounds good to me," Asuka said.

The couple laid there, Asuka completely unaware of why Shinji really wanted to come here. However, it would turn out to be a very pleasant surprise for her.

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

A body slowly formed in the warm LCL. Pieces came together, the liquid turning into solid and gathered. At first all there was was a body without any structure. It looked like jelly and rubber. Then the form solidified and shape was given to it. Legs and arms formed, along with the head. Brown hair reappeared, covering the head. Breasts grew out a little and the body was swept towards the beach. The first human had returned.

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

Shinji was still blind so he wasn't looking out at the ocean. At the moment he was just serving as the pillow for Asuka, which wasn't too bad actually. Suddenly Asuka shoot up and the pressure on his chest was gone.

"What's wrong?" Shinji asked.

"A body just got washed up onto the shore. Shinji, I think you're right, humanity is really returning. Come on!"

Shinji got up and helped Asuka back onto the wheelchair. He then followed her directions and pushed her to near the body. It was he who had to pull the person onto dry land completely, though that proved a little tricky with being blind and all.

"Oh my god, Shinji, it's Hikari! And she's naked! Quick, cover your eyes you pervert!"

"What!"

"Oh, yeah. Sorry."

"What do we do?" Shinji asked, ignoring Asuka's mistake.

"I doubt she would want you to carry her around naked," said Asuka, "Go get the blanket and wrap her in it. Then we'll figure something out."

Shinji followed her instructions and she was laid on Asuka's lap as there was no other way to carry her. Asuka held Hikari up in a sitting position and they started back. Then Asuka had a thought.

"Hey Shinji, what if more people come back?" she asked.

"I think Hikari's the only one for today," Shinji said with a smile.

"What? How do you know?"

"I'm not sure, but before Hikari appeared I kept sensing something. Now, she's back and I don't sense it anymore. Maybe it's just because I'm blind."

"Oh. Hey, do you think someone will come back tomorrow."

"I don't know," said Shinji, "Maybe, maybe not."

Asuka didn't buy it but said nothing.

"Is there anything else we can do?" Asuka asked.

"Not now. Let's just get Hikari home and let her rest."

The three got back to the apartment and Hikari was laid on the sofa. The two got a blanket and covered her with it. From there, Shinji simply sat there while Asuka started reading to him from Genesis again. She was halfway through when Hikari finally awoke.

"Oh, my head."

Asuka closed the book and put it down. She looked at Hikari as she stirred, waiting for her to notice her and Shinji. This she did very quickly.

"Asuka? Ikari? What are you two doing here? Where is here anyways?"

"This is our apartment," Asuka answered, "We found you on the beach."

Hikari blinked and shook her head, not sure she understood. Then she noticed her state of undress.

"Ah! Asuka, where are my clothes!"

"You didn't have any on," said Asuka, "Here, these are some of mine. You'll have to borrow them for now."

"Oh my god," Hikari said, her face growing red. She looked over at Shinji who was still wearing the sunglasses.

"Oh don't worry about that," Asuka said, following Hikari's glance. "Shinji didn't see anything."

"What do you mean he didn't see anything!" Hikari screamed, "He had to have helped you carry me back!"

"In a way he did but he didn't really touch anywhere inappropriate," Asuka assured her, "He just pulled you out of the water and after that I wrapped you in a blanket. And besides, he can't see anything."

"Uh, what?"

"He's blind," Asuka informed her.

"What? How did that happen? Was it a fight with an Angel?"

Asuka flinched noticeably as Hikari turned her head to look at her.

"What? What did I say?"

Shinji placed a hand on Asuka's shoulder reassuringly.

"It wasn't a fight against an Angel," Shinji answered, "It's just the price I paid to come back to the real world."

"Oh. Wait, what?"

"You know all that talk about stopping the Angels?" Asuka asked her friend, "Well, the reason we wanted to stop them was because of something called Third Impact, which would have wiped out humanity."

"But it turns out that the people who controlled EVA wanted to initiate their own Third Impact," Shinji continued, "Asuka and I broke away from it and now you have too. Soon the rest of humanity will return."

"From what?"

"Well, I don't know if you'll believe this," said Asuka, "but Third Impact was meant to merge all of humanity's souls. Shinji and I broke away first and now you're here."

"But, why?"

"Don't try to think about it too much," Shinji advised her, "Just trust us on this."

"Okay, I guess. Hey, Asuka, why are you on a wheelchair?"

"Oh, uh, well, let's just say I also had to pay a price to get back."

"What! You can't walk? What about me? Did I also have to pay a price?"

As Hikari twisted around trying to see if she was injured in some way the blanket fell off her, revealing her body.

"Eek!"

"Something wrong?" Shinji asked.

"Yes! Turn her eyes!"

Shinji chuckled but did so. It was then that Hikari remembered the Third Child's condition.

"Oh I'm sorry Ikari, I forgot."

"It's okay. I suggest you put on those clothes Asuka brought out."

Hikari quickly grabbed the underwear and school uniform that Asuka had. She put them on and felt a bit more comfortable around the two pilots.

"So what do we do now?" she asked.

"We prepare dinner," Asuka said, "Shinji can't cook because he's blind so we get the job."

Shinji stood up and got behind Asuka.

"But I still have to get you to the kitchen."

Asuka smiled and patted Shinji on the cheek as she was pushed there. Hikari followed them and the two girls went to work while Shinji stood to the side.

"This is actually a nice place," said Hikari.

"Yeah. A lot of the apartments are smaller in Japan," Asuka replied, "Hand me those carrots, will you?"

"Here. No meat?"

"Not really," said Asuka, "After all that fighting and being dunked in LCL, I prefer not to have the taste of blood in my mouth again."

"Oh. I can understand that. So, the two of you are a couple now?"

Asuka blushed but nodded. Hikari smiled at her friend.

"That's pretty sweet. A lot of people in our class always thought the two of you were going out even if you guys fought all the time."

Thinking about the class, Hikari slowed down and finally stopped what she was doing. Asuka looked at her friend but it was Shinji that spoke.

"Is something wrong?" he asked.

"I was just thinking about Toji," Hikari admitted.

"Don't worry," said Shinji, "I'm sure he'll be back."

"Do you really think so?" Hikari asked, turning so she could look at Shinji.

He nodded. "Yeah. And how knows? Maybe he'll be the next person."

Hikari brightened and smiled her thanks. Then, realizing Shinji couldn't see her, she said it.

"Thank you Ikari."

"You're welcome, Horaki."

"Be careful Shinji," Asuka teased, "Or else your girlfriend here might start thinking you're cheating."

"Asuka! How could you say that!" Hikari demanded, not realizing her friend was just joking. "Shinji here is a very kind-hearted person and would never leave you."

"So you know of his qualities do you?" Asuka said, turning her attention to Hikari. "Yeah I know too. Silly, I was just teasing."

Hikari shook her head. She should have known by now when Asuka teased and when she was serious. Dinner was finished a few minutes later and consisted of soup, some bread, and salad.

"You can sleep in my room," said Asuka, "I'm sleeping with Shinji right now anyways."

"What!"

"Hey, nothing is happening," Asuka assured her, "Besides, we kind of need each other in close proximity. I'm Shinji's eyes and he's my legs."

"That's kinda sweet," Hikari said after she thought about it.

"It was baka's idea to begin with."

"Really?"

"Well, the sleeping part was Asuka's," Shinji said, "I came up with the idea of being her legs though."

"Doesn't surprise me," said Hikari, "You can be a very gentle person when you want to be."

"Don't push it," Asuka warned.

Hikari smiled. "Why Asuka, I would never dream on cutting in on your action."

Asuka choked on the soup as Shinji burst out into laughter.

"You did ask for it," Shinji said to his girlfriend.

"Yeah yeah, be quiet."

Dinner was more lively today as there was another voice at the table. Shinji and Asuka both realized how much they missed their friends and both hoped that tomorrow someone else would come back.

End of Chapter 9

This is actually one of the shorter chapters. Anyways, I realized this fact. I will not be able to finish Adaptation until I finish Recrudesce so at the very best they will finish simultaneously. Currently I'm out of ideas for this story so I might work on Adaptation. But as some of you know, I have like half a dozen fics running.

Z98