Authors note: I've been browsing through for some time. Never thought I would actually write one of my own, but I guess that just goes to show how motivational these stories are. I'd just like to make a few acknowledgments before we get on with the show. First thanks to everyone who writes out there. I know just how hard it is to get this stuff written sometimes. I'd also like to thank Ayanami-chan for her wonderful website "The Tales of Apartment 402". I would never have found half the Shinji/Rei fics out there without her help.

Disclaimer- I don't own Evangelion or any of its characters. If I did you'd see a lot more Eva sized footprints around here.

Ok, that should do it for now.

"Speaking"

'Thinking'

Through the Mind of One

by: brindani

Chapter 1

Shinji closed his eyes screaming in fright as the 5th angel's particle beam blazed towards him. When nothing happened, he reopened his eyes to find a stoic Unit 00, shield in hand, straining to stop the enormous flow of energy. Shinji shifted his attention to the gun before him, desperately willing it to hurry as he knew Rei's shield wouldn't last much longer leaving her totally defenseless before the angel's onslaught. Finally, a small click indicated all adjustments had been made and he pulled the trigger.

Shinji barely took note of the angel as its bulky form slowly tumbled to the city below. The sole focus of his attention lay on Unit 00's semi-melted form. Unit 01 dashed to the other Eva, ripping Rei's plug out, which melted its own armor plated hands, and force ejecting his plug. He franticly climbed down to the still sizzling capsule. When he grabbing the manual release bars his hands instantly began to burned. He cried out in agony, but did not let go. The bars turned painfully slow, but inch by inch, it started to move. The hatch abruptly snapped open with an audible pop. Instantly, Shinji jumped in to check on Rei.

His eyes quickly clouded as he watched Rei's shifting form as she started to regain consciousness. He smiled as her crimson eyes settled on him. He realized he must look very foolish with the torrent of tears he shed. It didn't matter. They showed both his relief and joy that she was alive and safe.

"What is wrong?" Rei asked looking puzzled

When Shinji didn't answer amidst his continuous soft sobs Rei shifted her head to the side in confusion "I am sorry, I do not know how to act or feel in a situation like this."

Shinji shifted his face up revealing his tear stained gentle eyes "Why don't you just try smiling?" His soft reply stunned the girl for several seconds until she saw it; the commander's soft caring smile. The smile before her was the same. With this realization, a soft smile of her own formed. To Shinji, it was as if a small burst of emotion coursed through him at the beauty now revealed.

A large noise jerked Shinji up in his bed. He stared blankly around the room wondering where both the plug and Rei had gone. When he became slightly more orientated, he realized it all had been a dream. He also discovered the culprit for his rude awakening: the alarm clock. Despite his obvious state of semi-awareness, the alarm continued to defiantly blare. His hands fumbled laboriously for the off switch nearly knocking it from its perch beside him. With one last stab he managed to silence the obnoxious contraption. Immediately his eyelids drifted down as a large yawn escaped.

'What an odd dream. That happened so long ago. Only a month ago, I immerged from Unit 01 after being absorbed.' He shuddered as vivid details came unbidden to his mind concerning the14th angel's defeat and his long confinement thereafter. The slight tingling feeling that occasionally enveloped him since then didn't help much either.

Asuka's shrill voice shattered his contemplation, "SHINJI!! Where is my breakfast!?"

The threatening yell brought him back to his senses as he realized he had been pondering for well over fifteen minutes.

"Just…just a second." He called as he struggled to pull one leg through a spare pair of pants up over his boxers.

Asuka didn't give him the chance as she barged through his door to berate him directly. He stood startled for a second at her abrupt appearance. When he noticed her face turn crimson he realized that his last task had not quite been completed. His realization came far too late as a swift resounding slap sent him sprawling back onto his bed.

Shinji gently cradled his jaw as his mind struggled to form coherent thought once more. 'thus begins another delightful day.' was his last thought before hesitantly standing, with a small wince, to prepare for school.

(School)

"Hey Shinji, what happened to you man?" Touji, carrying his school bag absentmindedly behind his back with one hand, called with a worried expression when he noticed the now bright red mark firmly indented on the left side of Shinji's face. Shinji managed to crack open one eye, as he sat his head up on his desk, to peer up at one of the few people he called friend.

"...Asuka walked in on me while I was changing and decided that my perversion deserved punishment."

Touji shook his head in distaste.

"She walks in on you changing and suddenly it's your fault? What kind of reason is that?"

Kensuke, trailing just behind Touji, flinched when Shinji came into view. "Since when did the devil incarnate ever need a reason?"

His remark had the desired effect by forcing a slight chuckle out of Touji and it even elicited a small, if weak, smile from Shinji.

Meanwhile, Asuka noticed two of the three stooges frowning at her recent handy work. On a whim, she decided to make sure they got it straight about just who's fault it was. Majestically, she strolled over with her head held high and a small sneer spread across her features stopping short by several feet behind the trio.

"What are you idiots talking about?" she asked in a forceful manner

Touji, not seen her approach, was slightly agitated by her apparent lack of remorse for her rather cruel gesture. "None of your business, devil."

The annoyance she felt quickly evolved to the beginnings of a simmering anger as she shot Touji a withering gaze.

Touji didn't give her the chance to reply as his irritation became compounded by her most recent offence.

"Why the hell do you have to pick on Shinji? He's never done anything to you. Why don't you just leave him alone?"

Hikari, seeing eminent trouble brewing, stood to intervene, but was too late as Asuka's hand lashed out with the loud slap that was quickly becoming her trademark of the day. Everyone had fully expected this after Touji's little triad. What they weren't expecting was when Touji didn't hesitate to slap her right back just as hard knocking her smaller frame back into several desks. Asuka, still sprawling on the ground, slowly turned her head unleashing a murderous gaze at the boy. She sat herself up into a crouching position trembling with fury. Suddenly, she pushed off her toes. Practically no one saw her blurred form as she darted forward fully intending a fierce strike to the gut. That would show the insolent twerp just who he was dealing with. The punch never landed as Touji's hand whipped up at the last millisecond, easily stopping her forward momentum.

Touji deliberately brought his face mere inches from Asuka's before whispering so that only she could hear. "I don't like fighting girls, but I will if you continue." his voice was silent and calm, holding only the dire promise implied.

Asuka's already severely shaking frame became fiercer as she took several steps back, after he released her. Several seconds later, she turned with growl of frustration. Shoving several unlucky spectators away, she stormed out of the classroom, releasing a scream at the top of her lungs once she made it past the door.

When Asuka's voice began to dim into the background, everyone's attention became riveted onto Touji. Most were not quite sure whether they should scold the boy for treating a girl that way or congratulate him for finally doing what they all had only dreamed of. Touji ignored the attention as he smoothly sat down in his seat, quietly awaiting the beginning of class. Shinji found himself chocked up. Someone had stood up for him. It was the first time in his life that anyone had.

After blinking several times, Kensuke slid his own gaze from the door Asuka had just exited back towards Touji. It took a little while, but he managed to blurt out the question he was dieing to ask.

"How did you do that?"

Kensuke, the notorious hacker no one knew him to be, had managed to extract several pieces of training footage featuring the second child immersed in high level combat against several master martial artists and doing an excellent job of giving them a run for their money. He knew that Touji had fought quite a few brawls in his time, but he couldn't see him managing anything like what just happened.

Touji took his eyes off the ceiling focusing them silently on Kensuke. His face became rather apprehensive about the quiet question. Glancing once at Shinji, who was also looking at him with deep interest, he sighed returning his eyes to ceiling before starting.

"Do you remember my Evangelion's activation test?" Kensuke nodded while Shinji shivered slightly. "Well, the angel wasn't trying to gain a captive." This drew Shinji's attention as that was exactly what they told him during his debriefing. "No, it couldn't activate the Eva without a pilot." Touji's eyes started to go distant as he recalled those disturbing memories "My mind was so confused at the time that the angel easily gained control. It…it forced me to command the Eva according to its will. It was horrid, I cried in despair while commanding the Eva to attack." Touji lightly shook his head trying to rid himself of the haunting visions. "Anyway, when the dummy plug was activated I was introduced to a whole new level of pain. My flesh felt like it was being clawed out piece by piece. When I managed to look up through the pain I saw Unit 01's murderous grin as it clutched my plug, about to smash it. I felt almost grateful, I deserved to die after what I had done, angel or not. When the cracks developed inside the plug I knew my time was short. I didn't know why it stopped until I later heard that the commander deactivated the system. I can't help but think that if he hadn't I would have been hospitalized or more likely killed."

Shinji tried to hold back tears as that rather disturbing memory surfaced for him as well. Touji closed his eyes before continuing. "When I got out of quarantine I decided I didn't want that confused feeling, the one the angel used to control me. So I started to do anything that seemed to help focus my mind, karate, taekwondo, even yoga." Touji paused briefly to knock Kensuke lightly across the head when he began to chuckle at that last admission. "Stop laughing. After that I put most of my extra time into training. When Asuka attacked I could feel her strength, but she wasn't focused so she couldn't use it properly. This made it rather easy to block her punch."

Both Kensuke and Shinji sat quietly thinking on Touji's words. Only minutes later the teacher came in.

(later)

With the notable exception of Asuka's absence, the day continued on as normal. That meant suffering through the typical boring lessons. Everyone nearly cheered out loud when lunch time finally arrived albeit slightly groggily from having just woken up.

Shinji was taking out his modest lunch of a turkey sandwich, banana, and small carton of milk when he happened to glance in Rei's direction. It took him several seconds to realize she was eating two plain pieces of bread with no other food evident.

Shinji couldn't help himself as he swiftly walked over to her.

"Is…is that all your going to eat today, Rei?" Shinji was amazed that he only stuttered a little.

Rei casually turned her typical dispassionate gaze towards him. Two red orbs bored into him for several nerve-racking seconds before she replied.

"Yes, this is adequate for my mid-day sustenance requirements." Having finished, she stoically returned to her modest meal.

Shinji was momentarily confused. His dream last night posed as a vivid reminder that this girl was capable of emotion, even if she didn't show it often. Yet, she dismissed him as methodically as a robot when he was only trying to show concern.

Shinji's face took up a hint of determination before he continued.

"If you like, you could have my sandwich." He gingerly held out the turkey breast sandwich with light mayo, lettuce, and several fresh slices of tomato.

Rei returned her gaze to him only a moment before narrowing her eyes.

"I dislike eating meat."

His face now felt as red as the tomato slices and just as cut down. The urge to let the matter drop welled up in him, but, for some reason, something in him refused to be discouraged in one of his few attempts at kindness. He marched back to his desk and grabbed the large ham submarine sandwich that Touji was staring sadly at.

'It was really nice of Sis to make me lunch, but why can't she understand what goes into making a real sandwich, meat.' Touji's despairing thoughts where interrupted with his sandwich's abrupt disappearance.

Touji blinked several times in confusion before glancing up to see where it went, he found Shinji opening both his sub and Shinji's own sandwich, depositing all of the small chunks of turkey straight onto Touji's before handing it back. Leaving a now smiling Touji, Shinji quietly walked back to Rei's desk offering the sandwich once more.

Rei sat with one eyebrow slightly raised at the spectacle the boy had gone through before tentatively taking the proffered sandwich.

Her cheeks turned a light pink before she could reply

"Thank you."

Only one person really noticed the almost imperceivable smile that seemed to unconsciously grace her features. For Shinji, that smile was most definitely worth a measly sandwich.

Neither had the chance to reflect too much on the occurrence as the angel alarms began to blare.

End Chapter 1

Post-authors notes: There's the beginning. If you liked it review so I can know which parts are good. If you didn't like it review so I can know what parts need to be revised (constructive criticism only, please). If you really didn't care, well, ah review anyway.