Disclaimer: I don't own EVA. If the owners say to, I'll take this story offline. Thanks.

Tokyo-3 Afterlife

Part 1 of… some?

Death and Jellyfish

By Random1377

At exactly three-fifteen on a bright, sunny afternoon, Asuka Langley Souryu was hit by a semi truck on her way home from school and killed instantly.

On a scale of one to ten, with one being pleasant and ten being the worst thing that had ever happened to her, Asuka rated this event at about an eight point five.

"You've gotta be kidding me," she groused as she stared down at her broken body, "that was my favorite shirt!"

She couldn't say much for the funeral, either. Hikari, predictably, sobbed like a baby… as did Shinji, but everyone else maintained grim stoicism, keeping themselves to discrete eye-dabbing – for Misato and Maya – and dull-eyed stares – for Ritsuko and the rest of the bridge crew… though Asuka had the annoying impression that the good doctor was thinking about something else.

"Stupid cow," Asuka muttered, folding her ethereal arms and leaning up against a tree, "can't even be bothered to look sad that I'm gone – and where the hell is Wondergirl? What, since she wasn't ordered to be here… oh forget it. She's probably with the Commander. Shisse… your best pilot dies and you don't even go to the funeral."

Feeling bored, she pushed away from the tree, idly trailing after Ritsuko as the woman left the funeral.

"Time to touch up your roots," she said as loudly as she could… which was to say, only she could hear it.

So far, though she had tried with everyone she came across at first, no one could hear a word she was saying, and finally, she just gave up, wandering from place to place with nothing else to do.

It was kind of liberating, she supposed as she passed effortlessly through the passenger door of Ritsuko's. No one could give her a hard time, no one could tell her what to do, and no one could ever say that she was slacking off in her Kanji studies again, that was for damn sure.

Then again, no one could praise her, either – a revelation that really pissed the ghost off to no end.

"You drive like a dead person," she told the oblivious doctor as they cruised slowly through the city, "no, wait, I take that back – you drive slower than a dead person! I'll bet I could go faster, and I don't even have a body!"

Since her untimely demise, Asuka had found that if she concentrated, she could make things happen in the real world. It had been fun at first, especially when Shinji screamed like a little girl and ran to his room when she'd pinched his butt while he was cooking, but she soon grew bored with it, especially after finding that it took a lot of 'energy' or whatever she had now, and made her feel sleepy.

An annoying situation, considering that she could not technically sleep, she simply lounged around feeling gloomy until whatever internal battery she now had reset itself.

So far, she had avoided thinking about what might happen if the battery ran dry.

"Are we there yet?" she asked blandly, resisting a rather sudden urge to poke the good doctor in the left breast. "I'm hungry! I've gotta potty! I want daaaaaddy!"

Asuka chuckled to herself as she ran through the driving clichés she had seen in movies, but her humor was short-lived.

What good was annoying someone if they couldn't hear you?

"I really DON'T have to potty," she said matter-of-factly, knowing that she was not being heard, but liking to speak anyone – if for no other reason than to know she still could. "Don't have to use the bathroom, don't have to eat, no PMS… well, I hope, I've still got a week until I'd normally start… being dead's not half bad, except I'm BORED OUT OF MY DAMN SKULL!"

Disgusted by her latest attempt (high volume) to get Ritsuko's attention, Asuka simply stared out the window.

"Where are we going, anyway?" she muttered. "You live on the other side of town, don't you?"

She was answered several minutes later as the doctor pulled up in front of an unfamiliar house, tucking her purse under the passenger side seat – and passing it through Asuka's calves – before checking her hair in the rearview.

"Hot date?" Asuka muttered, not allowing herself to believe it. "Well, I'll just wait here, I guess… got nothing better to do…"

Waiting, she quickly found, was far more boring than curiosity. After twenty minutes or so, she started to wonder who, exactly, the chilly blonde might be seeing. One of the techs, perhaps?

Miss Ibuki?

Asuka chuckled at this thought.

"Been listening to too many rumors."

With a hefty sigh, she oozed out of the car and started up the walk towards the house.

"White picket fence?" she muttered, shaking her head with wonder, "Please… drag yourself into the SIXTIES for God's sake!"

Letting herself in, Asuka cast around for the doctor. She figured that if anything… gross was taking place, she had allowed more than enough time for it to be over. She spotted Ritsuko's sensible shoes immediately, placed carefully side by side next to a pair of men's dress shoes.

Just to be a bitch, she reached out and nudged one of the shoes off-center.

"Damn obsessive-compulsive hag," she grumbled, wandering through the small, sparsely furnished house and trying to figure out who might live there. "No pictures on the walls," she noted absently, "not a speck of dust… wow, it's like Shinji's room, only bigger."

Such a shame she did not lock onto this thought.

Humming tunelessly, Asuka came to a closed door. "Bathroom?" she wondered aloud. "No, that's over there… hmm… study?"

Shrugging to herself, Asuka pressed her face against, then through the door.

"Oh my GOD!"

…it was, of course, the bedroom.

"EEWWW!" Asuka shrieked, yanking her head back with a violent jerk and shaking it to try to clear the vile image of the Commander's bare backside from her mind. "My eyes, my eyes!" She felt like she needed to brush, scrunching her eyes closed in a vain attempt to find another thought… but no matter how she tried, she could not clear it from her head.

"Oh man," she groaned, putting both hands over her stomach, "that is just WRONG!"

( 0 0 0 )

Halfway across town, between the time Asuka was wishing she still had the ability to throw up and deciding that even if she had not been dead she would never ever want to have sex if it was that… oily, Shinji was moping.

He was quite good at it, actually, having spent much of his childhood practicing.

Heaving a great sigh, he flopped over onto his stomach, shifting around for a few moments before flipping onto his back. He was doing his best to feel bad for Asuka… but somehow (being who he was) he just ended up feeling sorry for himself.

"Sorry," he apologized to the ceiling, imagining that Asuka was in Heaven frowning down on him, "I'm doing my best."

Finding no solace in misery, he dragged himself out of bed and made his way into the kitchen.

"Misato?" he mumbled, not even raising his eyes, "I can't cry… why won't the tears-"

"Kampai!"

Shinji blinked, finally lifting his head and finding his guardian peeking out from behind a rather sizable stack of beer cans.

"Wow," he said softly, "you're smashed, aren't you?"

Misato smiled drunkenly. "Shinji m'boy," she replied, "I am three sails to the wind."

There was a long, poignant silence.

"…what does that mean, exactly?"

"Hell if I know," Misato shrugged, lifting her beer to take another long pull, "just heard it in a movie once – means you're," she gestured Shinji closer, dropping her voice to a mock-whisper to concluded, "T-A-N-K-D."

Frowning slightly, Shinji murmured, "I think you forgot a letter."

"Don't correct your elders!" Misato said sternly, slamming her beer can on the table and sloshing some of it onto the back of her hand. "You just be thankful I'm in a good mood, young man, or I'd point out everything you've done wrong… and believe me, that could take some time."

Shinji shook his head as his inebriated superior began licking the spilled beer off the back of her hand. Had he been an older boy – or one with normal hormones – he might have found the sight sexy… but all he could think was: That is so unhygienic…

"So what were you saying about sobbing like a little girl?"

"Er, that's not what I said," Shinji corrected, "I was just saying-"

"Beer?"

"Umm… no thanks, I-"

"Scotch?"

"No, I-"

"Rum?"

"No, really, I-"

"Bourbon?"

"Misato, I-"

"Vodka? Gin and Tonic? All the above?"

Shinji opened his mouth.

"Sex on the beach?"

Shinji closed his mouth.

He had heard of this drink – peach schnapps and other sugary alcohols, if he remembered correctly. Leave it to Misato to bring up a drink with a name that could be taken two ways. Oh well, he thought tiredly, anything to take my mind off how miserable I am… or should be.

"…ok."

"Great," Misato said, getting unsteadily to her feet, "and when we're done, I'll get you a drink!"

Shinji blinked as she grabbed his hand and pulled him toward the bedroom.

He wondered if he should point out that this was the way to neither the liquor store OR the beach, but he decided it would be wasted breath.

…after all, as sloshed as Misato was, Shinji very much doubted she would be able to get her clothes off, much less convince any body parts to interact the way they were supposed to. This notion was confirmed as the purple-haired woman spent several fruitless minutes searching for a doorknob on her sliding door while grumbling that someone must have stolen it.

Shinji just sighed.

( 0 0 0 )

After trying unsuccessfully to hurl, Asuka finally gave up and wandered down the street, feeling too grossed out to stay in the Commander's house or wait for the slutty Doctor Akagi to come back out.

Who knew how long what they were doing would take.

"Some questions are best left unanswered," the redhead muttered disgustedly. "Truly… that can't be good for her hips…"

Another advantage to being undead, she supposed, was that her feet did not get tired after walking for a long time. As a result, she found herself in downtown Tokyo-3 without so much as a twinge in her calves or a drop of sweat on her brow.

Not that she COULD sweat, but anyway…

"Guess I'll do some window shopping," she mused, still stopping for the red light in spite of the fact that the cars on the road would pass right through her.

Old habits and all that.

She glowered, however, as she caught sight of the First Child waiting on the other side of the street. "Great," she mumbled, "and here I thought I was going to be able to avoid her indefinitely."

The light turned green and the living Child started across, passing the deceased one with a minute nod and a softly whispered, "Souryu."

Asuka sniffed. "Wondergirl," she returned stiffly, lifting her chin and marching past the blue haired girl as she continued towards the shopping districts. "Honestly," she said angrily, "someone should teach that-"

There was a sound in Asuka's mind like a dozen cars screeching to a halt – ironic, considering that there was an accident two streets over at that exact moment – and whirled around.

"HEY!"

Rei was already halfway down the street by the time Asuka caught up to her, trying vainly to grab the First's arm before finally realizing that if the girl COULD hear her, she should probably say something.

"Stop!"

To her continued amazement, Rei did as she was told, coming to a stop and turning to face Asuka with a look of stressed patience.

"Yes?"

"Y-you can see me?" Asuka said hesitantly.

Rei nodded. "Yes."

When Asuka, still in a state of shock, said nothing more, the First turned away and continued down the street.

Asuka caught her a block later, running around to stand in front of the other girl to block her way.

Not that she really could, but again, she was still used to having a body.

"I don't believe it," Asuka said as Rei came to a halt once more. "You really can see me!"

Rei, on the other hand, did not look as impressed. "Yes," she said for the third time. "Excuse me."

As she stepped around the redhead, Asuka cried, "Hey, wait!"

"Yes?"

"Er… how come you can see me when no one else can?" Asuka blurted. "And why aren't you creeped out? I'm a GHOST!"

Rei simply shrugged.

"Oh this is great," Asuka said with some relief, "at least SOMEONE can see me. Hey, what do I look like?"

Considering her for a moment, Rei finally said, "You look…"

"Yeah?" Asuka said eagerly.

"…like a jellyfish."

Asuka's smile vanished.

"What?"

"A jellyfish," Rei repeated, not noticing that the Second's hands had become fists, and her brows were drawing down into a dark scowl, "you are… hazy and transparent, and your arms and legs seem thinner than usual, causing you to resemble… a jellyfish. Also," she continued thoughtfully, "your skirt reminds me of the dome-shaped part of the jellyfish – I believe it is called the bell – though the tentacles-"

"Alright," Asuka exploded, "I get it!"

Rei fell silent.

Wishing she could stomp her foot, Asuka said, "Where are you going?"

"Nowhere," Rei replied evenly, "I am simply walking."

"Why?"

"I had nothing else to do."

"…you're weird."

"Excuse me."

Once again, Rei stepped around the other girl and started to leave.

"I'm going with you!"

"Pardon?"

"I said I'm going with you," Asuka repeated, falling in step next to the First Child, "if you can see me and hear me, you can tell people I'm still around."

Slowly, Rei murmured, "Don't you think that might… alarm them, Souryu?"

"Why would it?" the redhead demanded, "Everyone would be glad that I'm still here!"

Rei did not affirm this, which annoyed Asuka quite a bit, but instead she made another salient observation.

"Do you feel that they would believe me…?"

"Of… of course," Asuka said slowly, "I can… push things around a little – I can prove I'm here."

Again, Rei had a counterpoint.

"And once they know you are here… how do you believe they will react? You are…" she seemed to be choosing her words, "non-corporeal now – a ghost, in your words. What is the common practice when dealing with restless spirits?"

Asuka turned slightly green as the single word response came easily to her mind.

"Exorcism."

"Indeed."

"Well… I'm still going with you," Asuka said defiantly, "you suck at talking to people, but I'm not going to roam the whole damn city looking for someone else that can hear me."

"Mm."

And so they started off down the street – the key to Instrumentality walking side by side with Tokyo-3's newest living-impaired teen… an odder couple, the world had never seen.

Continued…?

Author's Notes: note, note, note, note. There – notes by the author. What, did you expect something serious after that?

Pre-readers? Not here.

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