Disclaimer
The series, Neon Genesis Evangelion, from which this work of fiction is based, is owned by GAINAX. Characters presented in this document that come directly from the series are also owned by GAINAX. All original characters are owned by me.

Evangelion: Primum Revelation
Chapter 1: The Jacket
Written by T.S. a.k.a. "Kain Tempest"

The lights were out in the store, but the door was unlocked and the young man entered. The strange feeling of emptiness filled the space and it made the man uneasy, it was far too unnatural. The sound of the door opening behind him and a strained coughing made him turn towards his companion. Sweat was beading on her forehead and she was wiping a bit of drool off of her chin. He looked to her with concern.

"Are you alright?" He asked. She simply glared at him with her one good eye, a blue gas flame of anger veiled in red tresses.

"I'm fine. The food was rotten... That's all." She stepped forward and stumbled in. He approached her and put his hand on her shoulder, she stiffened, and was about to pull away, put the strain from vomiting had sapped her energy. He frowned, looking at her paling face and the stained gauze wrapped around her arm, head, and over her left eye.

"Maybe you should sit down."

"I said I'm fine." She grated. She tried to pull away from him and losing her footing, fell forward with a cry. He caught her before her head touched the floor.

"Asuka, please you need to rest. You're very sick. I don't want you to die. I don't want to be left alone here. Not now." The girl named Asuka pushed herself up and rolled over onto her back to look up at the boy who still had his arms around her. For a long time she just stared at his dark brown hair and blue eyes. It always made her wonder how he could have blue eyes, but also be Japanese. However, another wave of nausea caused her to loose concentration on forming a query.

"Let me go. I'm gonna throw up." The boy immediately did so and helped Asuka onto her side as she began to make dry heaves. He winced as he heard her straining gags and finalizing sound as she spat only a small bit of bile onto the floor. She then curled up into the fetal position, shivering in her skintight red suit. He knelt down to touch her, to feel her face for a fever.

"Don't touch me!" Asuka's cry sounded more like a wail that immediately dissolved in a round of hacking coughs. His hand hovered above her, twitching as he tried to decide what to do. He opted to leave her be. Looking down at Asuka his face contorted into a mask of worry again and he unbuttoned his shirt and laid it over her shoulders like meager blanket.

"Shinji? What're you doing?" Asuka whispered. But even as she asked, she could feel herself almost dive into the warmth of the shirt. Even thought stunk of the ocean, it was warm.

"You stay here, I'm going to try and find something to make you feel better." Shinji turned away to look out at the darkened store. "I'll be back soon." He tried to sound confident, but there was a hint of uncertainty in his voice as he wandered away, straining to hear Asuka's ragged breathing amidst the squeak of his sneakers on the floor. Immediately Shinji started hunting through the grocery section, but in a store this was usually limited to junk food and instant food, something they didn't have the luxury of making.

A lonely box of instant curry sat on the shelf and it brought back memories of Misato. A small smile played upon his face as he began to recall the good days at Tokyo-3. It bothered him to take on so many changes and responsibilities, but Misato was very welcoming, almost a kid herself it would seem. Even though she was about thirty. Or would have been... Shinji bit down on his lower lip, trying to force the tears away. The blood in her mouth when she kissed him, he knew she wasn't going to make it. He shook the emotion away and replaced it was anger, slapping the box away and watching it slid across the floor and down another aisle.

Beginning his search again, he found a six-pack of canned mineral water. It wasn't the elixir of life but it likely wouldn't upset her stomach as much as food did. Shinji mentally kicked himself for trying to force Asuka to eat, even when he knew she was sick. But they needed to eat, they had gone a whole day without food and Shinji was worried that eating wild plants could have made them both sick- Or in Asuka's case, sicker than she already was. But even then, water alone wasn't going to fix things.

Wandering around some more, Shinji's face lit up as he spotted the grinding bowl symbol of a pharmacy. He ran for it, minding not to drop the water. Putting the mineral water onto the counter, Shinji looked over, for no other reason that to see if anyone was there. He didn't understand why, after all, as far as he knew he and Asuka were the only people left alive. A sweater and a lab coat were laid down on the floor, amidst a puddle of golden liquid. He took a sharp intake of breath, even though it was only LCL, the effect would probably have been similar to finding a dead body. However, deep inside, he would have preferred to find a body so that there would have been at least some evidence that this place had once been occupied, the LCL provided no such comfort.

Shinji clamored over the counter and as gingerly as possible, stepped down onto the other side and into the pool of LCL. As he was bringing himself down, his foot lost traction with the floor and the boy clawed at the counter to try and get a grip, only to slam his chin against the counter and fall backwards, taking a small stack of documents with him. He sat up rubbing his chin and grimacing in coming into contact with the greasy LCL, having it cover his naked back and pants wasn't a very enjoyable experience. Out of curiously, he picked up a small bit with his finger gave it a sniff, reeling back in disgust as he realized it did indeed smell like blood. One more moment of the smell and Shinji would be vomiting too.

Getting a firm grip onto the counter, Shinji pulled himself up and managed to keep his balance on the slick surface. Picking his way, he got out of the puddle and looked back at the mess of ruined papers, many lying in the LCL.

"I'm sorry." Shinji whispered dryly to the air, as if the soul of the pharmacist was standing above the puddle. Shinji looked away and towards the shelves of bottles and jugs. It only took a couple of minutes before Shinji realized he didn't understand any of the labels on the containers. Mostly the technical names, he didn't have any understanding of medicine, nor did he have the time to look for some kind of record as to what each drug could do. He began to understand why everyone made such a big deal about non-prescription drugs. Shinji climbed over the counter again and took one more glance at the puddle of LCL before picking up his water and started to look at the numerous products on the other shelves for what he was looking for. Soon Shinji grew impatient and started grabbing things at random that dealt with what he was looking for. Arms full, Shinji realized that he could have had a use for a basket. Sighing, he turned and started making his way back to Asuka.

Coming next to her, Shinji knelt down and put the items he had picked out to one side, he then looked to his companion and lightly shook her shoulder. Asuka jolted awake and then relaxed with a groan.

"Why'd you have to wake me? I was finally asleep." She whined softly.

"I'm sorry." Asuka snorted and Shinji paused for a moment. "I found some medicine, it might make you feel better."

"If it tastes bad, I swear I'll kill you." She murmured as she pushed herself up to sitting position. Shinji helped her up and then cracked open one bottle. He quickly scanned the directions and handed the bottle to Asuka.

"Take two tablets; they should help settle your stomach." Asuka looked blankly down at the bottle in her hands and shook out the amount. She glanced up as she heard Shinji crack open one of the cans of mineral water and handed it to her. Taking a sip, she popped the pills and swallowed, taking a gasp as she chase the tablets with a drink of water. She started coughing again and shivered. Shinji stood up.

"Where are you going?"

"To get some blankets, you look like you're freezing." Again Shinji wandered away for a few minutes before returning with some towels and a large plastic bag with a comforter in it. By this time Asuka had opened the cough syrup and taken a couple of swigs and finished the water. Although she still looked like Hell, she seemed more relaxed now at least.

"We should get going soon." Asuka stated. Shinji glanced at the clock suspended over the front door. It was seven o'clock in the evening. He shook his head.

"It's going to be dark soon. We'll be safer in here."

"Safe from what?" Shinji paused, thinking of an answer.

"I don't know, but I think we'd be better off inside than out." A weak yet crooked smile played on Asuka's face.

"Are you afraid of the dark?"

"What? No! Of course not!" Asuka sighed, her need to fluster the boy quickly fading. She looked out the glass of the door and the slowly fading light of the day. While Asuka drifted into her silent, moodier self, Shinji picked up one the towels and began drying off the yellow gunk. Asuka noticed it in the corner of her eye and glanced up to see what it was up to.

"What the Hell did you slip in?"

"It's LCL... I think. There's a puddle of it behind the counter." Asuka stuck her tongue out in disgust. He noticed. "Sorry." Again she just glared at him for a second. Sighing she laid herself down on her back and stared up and the ceiling. The pills were beginning to kick in and her stomach was beginning to settle, after at least two days she finally had some relief.

Asuka wiped her forehead with her right arm, and paused to look at the bandaged appendage. Raising her arm and opening her palm to the ceiling, she moved her fingers, noticing that she was having difficult moving her middle and ring fingers, somehow becoming semi-paralyzed. She recalled removing some of the bandaging the day before to finder a deep red scar running from the middle of the hand, between the two fingers, to her elbow. For the sake of vanity, she hoped the redness would fade. She began to try and remember why it was that her arm was so sore and her left eye hurt so much when she was greeted with another round of hacking coughs.

"Damn this cough." Asuka growled as she laid her head back down on the tile floor. Inwardly every time she coughed she could feel nerves in her back prickle and causing the skin of her back to burn. Not to mention the fact that beyond the vomiting, the coughing fits were sapping her of her energy. She glanced at Shinji as the boy finished cleaning off the rest of the LCL and threw the soiled towel aside. She took the moment to study him, particularly his naked back. There weren't many times that Asuka hadn't seen something around Shinji's shoulders and waist, and inwardly she was glad that was the case. However, she seemed to find his upper body intriguing at the moment. Watching how the skin, bones, and muscles, working together in an orchestrated fashion.

"Lift your head." Asuka's train of though disappeared as she looked up at Shinji quizzically.

"What?"

"Lift your head." Asuka complied and Shinji slid a folded towel under her head as a pillow. He then turned away to work the comforter out of its packaging and spread it over the redheaded girl. "The medicine should also help you sleep."

Asuka slowly nodded. She closed her eyes and sighed, feeling her body give way to sleep again.

Shinji smiled softly at the sleeping form, though deep down he knew that he would have the same attachment if he had woken up with anyone else on that sandy white beach. It seemed more like a mechanism for survival. He snapped out of his reliquary as Asuka broke into another fit of coughing and laid she back down with a frustrated grunt.

"Are you-"

"Yes... Fine. Stop asking me dammit... Just give me some more water." Although hesitant, Shinji did so and cracked open another can of mineral water and handed it to her. She took one swallow and winced as a small wave of nausea struck her again. "Worst feeling in the world. I can't even get any sleep with this damn cough. That cough syrup is useless." Shinji looked away and picked up a small jar behind the cans of water.

"What the Hell is that?"

"It's a vapor salve."

"It better be more useful than that syrup." Asuka sat up and snatched the jar from Shinji to read the directions. She muttered a curse in German as she realized that the directions were also written in Japanese kanji. "Dammit, I can't read this!" Asuka threw the jar back at Shinji. He quickly looked over the directions.

"Rub directly onto skin of back and upper chest." Shinji translated.

"It doesn't say that!" Asuka cried. "You just saying that so that you can take a peep, you God damned pervert."

"Stop calling me that! I'm trying to make you feel better, not get into your pants. You think I'd want to do something like that to you?" Asuka's face was a torrent of mixed emotions as she immediately detected numerous levels to the boy's outburst. She looked away to consider her response. After a few moments she once again snatched the jar away from Shinji, reaching behind her to start taking off the plug suit. She glanced sidelong at Shinji.

"Show some dignity, pervert!" Shinji turned, sitting with his back to Asuka. Although she would have preferred for him to be on the other side of the city, she decided she would just have to make due. Depressurizing the plug suit, she unzipped the back and shrugged off the top of the suit, exposing her bare back to the cool air. She quickly took the single arm of the plug suit and wrapped it tightly around her waist like a belt to ensure the rest of the suit didn't slip off. Again she checked to ensure that Shinji wasn't looking her way. "If you peek, I'll kill you."

Unscrewing the cap, Asuka spread some of the stuff across her collar, taking a sharp intake of breath at how cool the substance was. She continued to rub a little more on her chest and breathing in the vapors from the salve before she started on her back. She scooped up some of the stuff and reached, only to get it on her lower back. She struggled a bit, having put the jar down to try and reach, but with no such luck. Growling in frustration, she pulled the comforter over her chest and glanced at the idle boy.

"Shinji!"

"What?"

"Turn around I need your help." She saw Shinji hiccup in surprise.

"Are you... Decent?"

"What the Hell is that supposed to mean? Just turn around and help me put this salve on my back!"

"Are you sure?"

"Yes, dammit, now stop screwing around!" Shinji slowly turned his head, beet red as Asuka stared at him incredulously. Not only was he boring, and slow, he was so damn shy about even just seeing her back. And at the same time she was always the one running around with only a towel on and this bothered him? She nodded to her back. "Hurry up."

Shinji crawled over and picked up the salve jar and hesitantly, started spreading the cream across Asuka's back. As the minutes passed, Shinji started becoming more confident about rubbing the stuff on the girl's back, but the silence seemed far too awkward. His face still a little flushed he stole glanced at the back of Asuka's head and the wonderful length of crimson hair she had.

"Okay, Shinji. That's enough. You can turn away again." Shinji blinked away his daydream and returned to where he was before Asuka asked for his help. Asuka glanced down at the white cloth lying beside her. The meager blanket was originally Shinji's shirt. She picked it up.

"Do you want you shirt back?" Asuka asked in a quiet tone.

"No it's fine." Their brief conversation seemed distant. They never really ever had anything to talk about and dialogue between the two of them, if not an argument or a shouting match, seemed far too alien. In fact, the last time they had really talked, Asuka had gotten flustered and was halfway to punching Shinji's teeth in. Asuka lingered on the thought of the call she had gotten from Germany. While lost in thought, she pulled on Shinji's shirt and buttoned it up. It felt much cooler and much more comfortable around her shoulders that the plug suit had been.

"There. Finished." Asuka announced. Shinji waited. Not really caring, Asuka laid herself back down for what seemed like the umpteenth time and looked at the ceiling.

"Are you decent?" Shinji asked.

"Yes. That's what I said, you idiot." Shinji got up, his back still to Asuka as he started walking away and back into the store. "Wait, where are you going?"

"Since we might as well get some rest, I was going to get a blanket so I could sleep."

"Why don't you sleep next to me? You can keep me warm." Asuka rolled over onto her side and propped her head up, a coy grin on her face. Shinji turned around and glared at her.

"Would you stop teasing me like that, Asuka?" Asuka's face played the game of innocence.

"What do you mean teasing? I was just making a fair offer. It's in my nature."

"Stop it."

"And why don't you stop apologizing for everything? That's just as pathetic." Asuka snapped back.

"Sorry."

"There you go again! Dammit your hardwired to saying that damned phrase. It's not your damn fault that we're-" Asuka froze both from the distant and strange stare Shinji gave her and the cold realization as she recalled something that she never even thought she knew. "But... It was your fault. You wanted us all to die, but then you- God, what the Hell am I saying? How could I know this?"

"Because we did... We did die Asuka. And it was all because of me. When I saw the EVAs carrying Unit-02 into the air. I knew, that everyone I cared for was gone. I- I didn't-"

"Care... You didn't care. This is too creepy! God knows what you know about me!" Shinji shook his head.

"I can barely remember anything now. It was like dream." Shinji sat down to think. Asuka was already deep in thought, trying to put together the jumbled memories of what had happened.

"All I can remember beyond what you did, is being torn apart by the EVA series. I couldn't believe it. I finally managed to start winning, I finally understood how the EVAs worked, and then I died." The expression of contemplation quickly melted away to be recast in her common look of anger. "You let me die." Shinji blinked in astonishment.

"Wait! I never wanted you to die!"

"Then why didn't you help me?"

"Because... The EVA... Unit-01's cage was in cryostasis." Shinji's voice became panicked.

"Bullshit! There had to have been a way to get inside the cage. If the Invincible Shinji can kill any Angel to have come down on Tokyo-3, some ice shouldn't have gotten in the way!"

"Stop calling me that! What does killing something using an EVA have anything to do with me doing the impossible. I'm still human for God's sake!"

"There you are acting all modest again! What's the matter, you lose your nerve when that doll blew herself up?"
"D-doll?"

"You are an idiot! I'm talking about Wonder Girl stupid!" Shinji glared Asuka. Old hostilities were boiling up inside her, and the frustration inside him.

"But she didn't die. They rescued her from the plug... But she... She couldn't remember anything."

"Great, so Wonder Girl got amnesia. That would explain why she never came back with you. Did it Shinji? Your twisted little doll didn't remember you so you just tossed her away. Not worth the effort the second time around, huh?" Shinji bunched up his fists, he wanted to punch the redheaded bitch in the face and be done with it. Asuka continued to berate the boy for all sorts of accusations. From being a pathetic pervert, to a chauvinistic pig, an over-achieving loser, and many other arguments to just state that Shinji was below the acceptable minimums of being human.

"Shut up! Shut the Hell up!" Shinji cried. The anguish in his voice didn't kill the fire, only turned it into dripping disgust.

"Is that all you have to say?"

"Shut up!"

"Hell, when your doll didn't show up, you thought you'd be better off without me. That's why you tried to kill me on the beach."

"You always got pissed off at me no matter what I did. I was sick of it!"

"You wanted to shut me up!"

"No! I... I..." It was all falling apart now. Shinji had thought for only a second that he actually earned Asuka's trust. But it seemed all gone. Asuka's anger had risen up like a storm and caught him off guard. Shinji didn't know what to do. The girl's hollering drowned out his thought. Finally, all of his defenses felt as though they were worn down to the bone. Shinji reverted into a state where he could be safe. Snapping his eyes shut and slapping his hands over his ears, he started screaming for silence, pushing away everything.

Asuka finally went quiet, but only for a moment as she got up to stand and look down at the pathetic little boy that she once thought was finally growing up. However, this was proof that he would never change. He would be the same dumb kid she met on that super carrier so many months before. He would never change.

"To Hell with you." Asuka hissed, turning away and walking out the door of the department store and into the dying light of the day. She didn't care where she ended up so long as she was away from the Pathetic Shinji. Asuka walked and didn't look back.


By the time Asuka had reached the empty city's harbor. The sky was seated in violet twilight telling her plenty of time had elapsed since she had begun her walk. Stopping at the pier, Asuka looked out at the ocean and the rising darkness from the horizon. A breeze touched her face. She took a deep breath. Her nausea seemed to have passed to her relief.

The deafening silence however seemed to put her out of place. Despite being at a city harbor, there were no lights, no sounds of birds settling for the night, or the final call of a freighter entering or leaving port. The place was dead. No light. Only darkness. Asuka could remember Wonder Girl had something to say about it... Although she didn't want to admit it, that was probably one of the few times that she, Shinji, and the First Child ever managed to defeat an Angel together. It always filled her with such anxiety when it was actually Shinji who got the glory, who was recognized as being the hero of Tokyo-3. Here she was, having spent her entire life building up to being able to fight the Angels and she was upstaged by a nobody who just so happened to have a talent for synchronizing with an Evangelion. What made it the most painful however, was realizing that although he was seen as a hero, in truth he acted like a weakling.

Asuka sat down on the pier and looked down at the rouge shaded water. The legacy of the end of the world. Looking out at the horizon, she began remembering the blackened battlefield. What was left of her battle with the Evangelion series. It was odd how she felt the satisfaction of seeing them standing all over the land, crucified, as if it were their final punishment for defeating her. Her train of thought landed upon the shattered visage of the First Child. An enormous porcelain face with a ruby eye staring with a cadaver's conviction. It sent shivers down her spine and immediately she pushed the image from her mind, of the dead island and back to something less troubling. Asuka cast her eyes down and away from the horizon, finalizing that notion.

Something stood out in the scarlet water and Asuka blinked quizzically, squinted, but couldn't make out what it was. Curiosity and imagination stirred up questions and possible answers for the solid, dark form in the water. It didn't look like a person; it had almost no form, simply a large square of darkness in the ocean. Lying down on her stomach and hanging over the pier, Asuka reached out a hand to grab the thing. Her fingers barely touched the surface of the rippling water. Not to be outdone in such fashion, Asuka grunted, pulling more of herself over the ledge to increase her reach. Again, not close enough and again she pulled herself farther over.

Her fingers got a grip on the dark thing, feeling the soft solidity of it. It felt rather light and she pulled it up to the surface. However, as soon as a large amount of it was out of the water, the buoyancy it was providing was lost and the waterlogged item regained its original weight. Asuka only managed an abrupt cry as she lost her balance and plunged into the ocean. Submerged, the light of the surface gave way to darkness, the red water having absorbed the light. The water was warm, and felt safe and quiet. Like a mother's womb, or an entry plug. Memories of Unit-02 and her encounter with the soul of her mother, locked away deep inside the monstrous creation came flooding forward. She then remembered the EVA series and her death. The sensation of being torn apart and drowning in the thickening LCL returned. The icy talons of fear snatched Asuka's heart.

Asuka's mind, sensing distress and fear overtake it, cried out for her to struggle. Her muscles reacted, fingers curving inward and arms swinging and legs kicking, clawing for the surface for air. Again more memories flashed into her mind.

Asuka could recall when the coolant pipes for her EVA, when she was sent to capture the Ninth Angel, snapped and she began to fall down into the core of the earth, a bottomless abyss of pressure and heat. If she wasn't crushed by the pressure, boiled by the heat, she would have drowned when the LCL thickened. Then she recalled devil-like visage of her savior, Unit-01... Shinji. He wasn't here to help her now. But then again, she didn't need him.

Her left hand found something solid and hard, and not caring what it was, Asuka clung to it with all the strength in her body and pulled herself upward. She had become disoriented in the water, being able to see nothing, but opted just to move, hoping that what air she had in her lungs would have bring her to the surface thanks to buoyancy. Her face broke the surface and she gulped down mouthfuls of air and opened her eyes, staring up at rivers of stars above.

The ocean waves seemed to have ceased. Just the stars shining into her eyes and warm water around her. Taking breaths of cool air as she was brought out into the chill of the night from the frightening comfort of the sea. This sensation, it felt familiar. She looked up at the river of stars, veins of the distant lights managing around the clouds that sat above. So peaceful So comfortable. So natural.

"Is this...? Is this what it's like to be born?" Asuka whispered to the sky. Asuka's eyes left the half-lidded gaze to one of determination as she refocused upon the old wooden post sitting the water. Her anchor. She looked around; orienting herself and seeing that she had been swept out away from the harbor, but only a small distance.

Asuka swam back to the pier and pulled herself out of the water and threw down the item she had gotten her there in the first place. Not heeding the chill of the air on her wet clothes and skin, she stood over it and picked it up to examine it. Shaking it out, she realized it was a red jacket. She focused on the silver tag pinned onto the collar of the jacket. The ranking of a major in NERV... Misato?

The last she heard of Misato was when she was telling her to take on the Eva series until Shinji arrived. Misato was a poor example of a guardian for her and Shinji. Being a heavy drinker and constantly going in and out of her relationship with Kaji. She simply lost herself in her thoughts, until finally one sobering thought confirmed and could easily answer the questions.

They were all gone. Not dead. Nor far away. They were simply and truly gone. They would never come back again, what was here now was all that was left. Asuka raised her eyes to look at the black skyline of the city. It was just her on this pier, alone. She remembered her promise when she was but a child. That she would live alone, that she didn't need anyone. But now, looking out at this brave new world. At what she had hoped for, it seemed so wrong. She should be happy that she was alone. Misato, Wonder Girl, the Three Stooges... Shinji... He was the only one left. Was this why she felt so uneasy about this world? That she was now on the knife's edge of what she wanted. But then what reason did that give her to live? She was lost.

Asuka had forgotten what it felt like to cry. She had no more tears to shed ever since she had made that promise when she was but a little girl. But the anguish, the sheer emotion just welled up in her. The confusion of not getting what she wanted, of not even knowing what she wanted. What she wanted seemed only like a paradox. One that was slowly taking her apart. Her mind was torn asunder by the Fifteenth Angel, and her body by the Eva Series. Was this the death of her soul?

Asuka's knees buckled and she fell. She buried her face into the soaking wet fabric of Misato's jacket. Asuka could feel the hot tears against her face as she wept. It felt good to cry, to have no one watching, to get all of the agony off of her chest. All the pain and the heartache in one wave of tears, if only for a moment.

"Asuka!" The red head's breath caught in her throat as she heard someone calling her name. She looked up from the jacket, towards the city. She heard the voice call out to her again and she stood up and looked around, taking one last sniffle to end the crying fit. She then spotted the boy up ahead, in a black T-shirt and slacks, the boy from the department store, she could barely see his form in the dimming light, but she didn't call out to him, only approached him.

When Shinji finally saw Asuka, his face light up and he ran towards her. Asuka was soaked, which helped to camouflage the tears she had shed.

"What took you so long?" Shinji responded with a sigh.

"I see you don't want to see me."

"Why? Should I be? What are looking at?" Asuka snapped, noticing Shinji looked directly at her chest. She then remembered she was wearing a wet shirt with nothing underneath. She cried out brought the jacket against her front. "What the Hell is the matter with you, pervert? You don't have to look!"

"S-sorry." Shinji looked away and immediately, Asuka pulled on the jacket and zipped it up. She threw here hair out from out of the collar and turned back to face Shinji. The boy looked back and noticed the jacket and blinked as he recognized it. "W-where did you get that?"

"From the ocean. It was just floating there and so a decided to pick it up."

"But that's Ms. Misato's-"

"That doesn't matter. So what if Misato's ghost haunts me for the rest of my days. At least it means I don't have to talk to you all the time." Shinji's face slackened into one of his pathetic little expressions as he turned away.

"Alright, sorry to bother you."

"What the Hell does that mean?" Asuka cried. Shinji stopped and looked around. "You came out all the way here just to check on me. The nerve! God, I should have expected you to follow me around like a dog, checking on me just to make sure I'm still around-"

"You seem to be feeling better." Shinji murmured. He started walking away.

"What was that? Hey! Don't walk away from me you idiot! I'm not finished yelling at you yet!" Asuka was a few paces in her pursuit of Shinji when the street lamps suddenly flashed on. She and Shinji froze and looked around. Asuka blinked, although the light wasn't very strong, it still stung at her adjusted eyes. The city's generators were starting up automatically and turning on the streetlights. Shinji looked up at them in surprise, but even he was aware that this really meant nothing.

"We might as well go back to the store and get some sleep." She paused. "You do remember where the store is right."

"Um... Not really." Only God knew how much of this she could take before she dashed the kids brains on a rock.

"But I remember seeing a furniture store on the way here."

"Well then, let's stop screwing around and get going!"

Shinji nodded and led the way.


Sitting on the bed in the darkness, the faint light coming from a candle, Asuka snuggled deeper into the heavy blanket. She had finally caught a chill and once more things felt unpleasant. She was no longer sick, which was something she was definitely grateful for, but at this rate, she could easily catch a cold. Wouldn't you know it that she would be continuously sick the first few days she's been here.

"Are you alright?" Shinji asked from behind the wall of changing screens, a makeshift barrier Asuka set up between the two beds in order to keep her privacy.

"I'm fine. You can stop asking."

"Sorry." Asuka wanted to yell at him. This was the first time she had been ill for a long while and since she and the boy were practically shackled together, he was constantly checking up on her. For almost 48 hours straight, he had been apologizing, but she knew if she complained, he would only continue to apologize.

Asuka lifted her bandaged right hand from beneath the folds of the blanket. The bandaging was wrecked and she slowly unraveled it. She grimaced at the grotesque scar on her arm again. The wound was closed, but it was still not a pleasant thing to look at.

After removing the arm bandage, she took of the rest, removing the one wrapped around her head and the pad from her eye. She blinked. Her left eye was unfocused and with just that eye alone, everything had a haze to it. She felt her forehead and couldn't feel anything abnormal. With her luck however, half of her forehead could have been skinned to the bone. She dropped the bandages off the bad and returned to the depths of the blanket.

Misato's jacket and Shinji's shirt hung on the foot of the bed, and she looked at them thoughtfully for a couple of moments. No significant thoughts boiled to the surface. They were just something to look her. She was sleepy. That was the only explanation.

"Shinji?" Asuka whispered. Shinji grunted, as if awoken.

"Yeah?"

"Why did you look for me?" There was a pause, Shinji didn't respond, considering the question.

"You were sick. I was worried about you and I didn't want you to get worse."

"That's not a very good excuse."

"Sorry."

"Idiot." There were few times that she actually said those words in a soft fashion. "Guten nacht, Shinji."

"Um... Good night." Shinji copped out, it was no use trying to say it, he would just mess it up. Asuka sighed and picked up the candle. She blew it out. Giving way to darkness.

"Good night, then."

To Be Continued...

Author's Note
I admit that having Asuka start crying was a bit out of character, but I felt that the situation she realized she was in was agitating enough, plus Human Instrumentality may have had enough of effect to change her personality just a little. E-mail me if you still have a problem.