Disclaimer:  I don't own Evangelion, but Gainax does.  Please Anno-sempai; don't hurt me, physically or financially... I have no control over this.  The voices in my head tell me to do this.

'……'- thoughts       "……" - spoken

More Than Meets The Eye

By WAFFaddict

Chapter 1

Solitude

In the Katsuragi household, there were few nights in which peace and quiet reigned, but alas this was one of those rare nights.  The only noise radiating through the whole apartment is compliments of the television.  The television was perfect company for the only current occupant of the apartment, a solitary young lad by the name of Shinji Ikari, also known as the Third Child.  His deep blue eyes, witnesses to horrors most men would never hope to experience, eagerly watch the images on the screen.  Yet these same eyes weren't filled with rage and hatred, but pain.  These were the eyes of a kind and gentle soul who had been forced into almost unimaginable situations.   His ears were being spoiled in the luxurious absence of a certain angry redhead frequent screaming rants or the blaring of constant Angel alarms.   Tonight was Shinji's night.  No angels, no Asuka, no teasing from Misato, just peace and quiet.

'This is truly my lucky day.  I don't believe that its gets better than this'  

As he nestled himself deep into Misato's sofa and rested his head on a nice, soft pillow, he propped his feet on the table as a smile began to form on his face.  The house was clean, he didn't have homework, there weren't any planned synch test, and dinner was ready and just waiting to be eaten.  Free time was something of a luxury.  It seemed that whenever he had free time to himself, he ended up having to report to Nerv for a test or to battle an Angel.  And if it wasn't Nerv, then he had to accompany Misato or Asuka somewhere, always against his will. Of course, then the rest of the times, he visited the arcade with Touji and Kensuke.  Their combined constant nagging about having fun, finally wore down his resolve.  The arcade was fun and he enjoyed hanging out with his friends.  Why they loved the arcade so much didn't make sense to him.  Of course there were lots of things that didn't make sense to him.  He could never figure out why women love shopping so much.  Why did Misato have conversations with Pen-pen as if she understood what he was saying?  All of these were things that he could think about if he had free time to himself.  Since Asuka's arrival, the only time he was ever alone was in Evangelion Unit 01 and when he shut himself in his room.  Being alone was something he had gotten accustomed to before he came to Tokyo-3. Now he finally was able to enjoy his time at home. 

'My home.'

Although he would never admit this, it felt good to say that despite some of unpleasant things that accompanied it, namely the berating from one, Asuka Langley Sohryu.  Of course this also included the daily teasing of one, Misato Katsuragi. All from different backgrounds, yet all so similar.  It was strange how they managed to co-exist under one roof.  It was almost like they were a family; a slightly dysfunctional family, but a family nonetheless. 

 'A real family….My only family.'

Family, something most people take for granted.  This was something that had been taking away from him at an early age.  Something he had given up on ever having again.  Something he craved yet would never get to experience.  All thanks to Gendou Ikari, his father only in a biological sense. Yet because of his father he had was there, a place he might never wanted to leave.  Unless….

'No, I won't get down, thinking about ifs and maybes.   I've got the house to myself and I'm going to enjoy it.'

He began to think back to exactly how he was able to achieve this.  Misato, a master tactician, probably couldn't have planned this out more perfect.  Earlier that day as he was returning from school, his cell phone began to ring.  He immediately turned around and began to monotonous journey to Nerv Headquarters.  The door to Misato's apartment was so close, only within an arm's length.   Normally when his cell phone rang, the Angel alarms would soon sound within the following moments.  He didn't see a reason to answer his cell phone when he already knew what was going to happen.

'Maybe Ayanami's rubbing off on me…..Don't think, just obey."

No alarm sounded, but his phone was still ringing.  As he answered it, the person on the other end was not what he was expecting.  Normally the voice belonged to a robotic-like voice, telling him to come immediately to Nerv. 

"Hello, Shinji…"

"Ummm…yes….who is this?"

"It's Ritsuko, where are you now 

'Why did Ritsuko call him? 

"Um…I'm at home sort of …but I thought this call was about an angel so I've started heading to Nerv."

"There's no need for that Shinji, I was just wondering if you had seen Misato.  Her annual physical is today"

Shinji silently sighed and began to make his journey back home.

"Now that you mention it, I didn't see her car here."

"Hmmm….today's her day off and she won't answer her phone"

"Knowing Misato, she probably left it on the kitchen table again."

"Hold on, Shinji, I getting a report from Section 2.  Maybe they know her whereabouts."

Shinji rode the elevator and slowly made his way to the apartment.  As he opened the door something bumped into his leg.  Well more like crashed into his leg. At his feet stood the one individual who understood how insane this household and continued to live there, Pen-Pen.  The warm water penguin had been living there long before Shinji had even arrived in Tokyo 3.  Shinji could only stare at the fowl as he pecked his leg.

'Pen-pen, he's probably hungry'

"Didn't Misato feed you today?"

The bird gave its usual look and Shinji proceeded into the kitchen.  He glanced into Pen-pen's bowl and looked back at him

"I see. I guess she did try to feed you or poison you, however you want to take."

As he began to rummage for some edible food for Pen-Pen, he glanced behind him and sure enough Misato had left her phone on the kitchen table.

"Shinji, hello."

"Um…yeah"

Shinji had all but forgotten about his current conversation with Ritsuko.

"Section 2 said that they didn't see Misato leave the apartment.  The only activities they reported was that Kaji came and got her car.'

"Um…Ritsuko, her phone is sitting on the table, but she's not here."

"Where could she be hiding?  Kaji is here, so she can't be with him…oh my god."

"You're thinking that she's at Nerv. Yep, that sounds like something Misato would do."

"Alright, bye Shinji"

"Bye"

'Damn that Misato'

Ritsuko had been looking for Misato all day, but apparently the plum-haired vixen had been skillfully avoiding her.  It was time for the annual physical that Misato seemed to dread every year. Ritsuko began to wonder.

'Why am I always reminding Misato about her physical?'

A single vision became visible, that one indefinable that appears on Misato's face.  It was the same look she gave when every Kaji was brought up in conversation or surprises her.  It was the same look Shinji had on his face whenever Misato would tease him.

'Teasing Misato is fun.  I think I see why she is always teasing Shinji.'

Ritsuko had tried to trick Misato into coming in, but apparently she had learned about this ploy from Makoto.  Ritsuko assumed that Misato would just stay at home and claim she forgot.  Ritsuko eagerly bestowed a fitting punishment upon Makoto.  Not that anyone really thought of it as punishment, but Ritsuko saw it as killing a flock of birds with one stone.  Maya, much like Makoto, was an introverted person who didn't appear to have much of a life outside of Nerv.  From their psychiatric reports, Ritsuko assumed they were always to shy to ask someone out and so Ritsuko decided that she would have Matoko sweep Maya off her feet and whisk her away on the most romantic and luxurious, paid for by Nerv of course, date that anyone had ever seen. Of course, Makoto could refuse, unless he wanted to keep his job.  Fuyutsuki had already given the ok.

'At least Gendou is out of town.'

Ritsuko chuckled at herself as she began preparing for Makoto and Maya's date

"All right, now what to do?"

Pen-Pen was eating so he was taken care of. Shinji began prepare himself a snack, but before he could sit down and enjoy it, Misato's phone began to ring.  Shinji looked at the identity of the caller before he answered.  Misato's office.

"Hey Shinji"

"How did you know it was me."

"Well for one, Asuka would have probably ignored it, but if she did pick it up she would have started screaming before I had a chance to talk."

"Oh."

"How did you get Nerv, Ritsuko's been looking for you and even Section 2 didn't know where you were."

"Well, it's a long story Shinji"

Misato began to explain about how after learning that the physician had already left, she had made her way out of hiding and rushed to Nerv.  She had used Kaji as a decoy to avoid detection from Section 2. The reason she decided to head to Nerv was that apparently Maya and Makoto were the hottest couple to hit Nerv even though they hadn't even been on a date before.  For some reason, she said that she just couldn't miss being there for that .

"Can you do me a favor, Shinji?"

"Sure"

"Why don't you and Asuka eat out tonight or you can cook if you want.  I want be back until later, so feed Pen-pen for me"

"Ok"

"Thanks Shinji, bye"

"Bye"

As Shinji was on his way to put Misato's phone in her room, he noticed the answering machine was blinking, two message.  They were both from Asuka.  As the message began to play, he entered the mess that was Misato's room and placed the phone on her dresser.  He headed back into the living room and plopped down on the couch to watch television.  The first message from Asuka told him that she had rushed out to go meet up with Hikari.  She told Shinji she would be back home around 9'o clock, so dinner had better be done.  The second message was Asuka's usual ranting warning Shinji not to do anything pervert to her stuff while she was gone.

'I guess that would explain why Asuka wasn't home as usual.  If she had been, she would have make a big deal about going somewhere with Hikari and then she'd leave or so she wanted me to think, but then the door would get flung open and she'd call me a "boring idiot" before finally leaving for real.' 

"She's probably going on a date, poor guy.  I, at least hope that she finishes this date and doesn't just leave in the middle."

Shinji realized that he had muttered this to himself.  He didn't know why he didn't talk out loud, it wasn't like anyone else was there save for Pen-pen, who wouldn't talk, so he just shrugged it off a force of habit.  Pen-pen on the other hand made his way out of his refrigerator and plopped down on the couch beside Shinji.  Apparently he had been waiting for a chance such as this to watch their favorite programs in peace. 

'Usually I'm interrupted by the loud and lazy one, who was always yelling at the nice one with good food.  The other one, the drunken lazy one usually just sat around drinking which was good because she didn't get in the way and keep the beer stocked. On the flip side, she also drunk a lot of that beer and she would forget to feed me.  The forgetting to feed part might have been good in itself because most of what the drunken lazy one cooked was terrible, thank god for the nice one.' 

The time had past faster than Shinji thought and as the saying goes time flies when you're having fun.  For Shinji, time away from the bickering of Asuka and the teasing of Misato was fun.  Suddenly something in his head went off.

'Misato's busy at Nerv and she said she wouldn't back till around 12 o'clock. Asuka, well she won't be back till....'

He looked down at his watch.  It was exactly 8:58 pm.  Shinji couldn't believe it. He had been watching to television with Pen-pen for almost 5 hours

"Oh...crap...she'll be back any minute" he screamed as he ran around frantically. 

It would be another 3 minutes before he realized that he had no reason to be this frantic.  It wasn't like he did something that he shouldn't, he was just watching television.  In fact, the shows that he had been watching were most interesting. One was an anime about some guy who couldn't get into college so he ended up replacing his grandmother as an apartment manager at an all-girls dorm. 

'Asuka sort of reminds me of a mix of that Naru girl and the kendo girl.' 

The other was one was about a two kids who got send to a parallel world and pilot giant robots in a war against other robots. 

'I definitely saw Asuka in that one girl that were two of...I think her name was Mitsuki.  Now that I think about it, I was never really into anime scene, at least not until Makoto let me watch some as I sat in the entry plug.' 

Shinji could still recall Ritsuko and Misato screaming at Makoto and how Asuka tried to strangle him when she found out that the test had to be done again to see if the result had been affected. As Shinji returned to his inclined position, he switched off the television and began staring at the ceiling, apparently one of his favorite hobbies since he first arrived in Tokyo-3

The silence of the Katsuragi residence was soon shattered, broken, crushed, battered, and then politely tossed aside.

"Why......bastard....pervert...Shinji....idiot....."

Pen-pen decided drastic measures needed to be taken, so he took cover in his chilly lair.

Shinji couldn't make out exactly what was said, but by the loud stomping and shouting it sounded like war was declared.

'I guess that Asuka's back from her date and by the sound of it, I don't think it went to well. This means she's going to take her frustrations out on me, of course.'  He attempted to make a run for his room.  If he had make it to his room, he could have could have used Escape Technique # 23, which involved turning off all the lights, jumping into the bed and pretending to be in a deep sleep.  But time was short and since the lights were already off, he decided he would just sit on the couch in the dark, hoping Asuka's war path would lead her straight past him into her room. O ye of little faith.....are sometimes right.

Author's note:

Alright, well here's the newly revised version.  I didn't change much, just correct some errors and filled in some holes.  I hope you enjoyed this as much as I enjoyed writing it.

I'm also looking for pre-readers, but no one listens to me.  No one reads the author's notes anyway….oh well.