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

Tokyo-3 Afterlife

Part 52387

If You Show me Yours, I'll Show you a Restraining Order

By Random1377

Asuka wanted to grind her teeth. She wanted to slap her forehead. She wanted to pound her head on a wall. More than any of these, however, she wanted to slap the taste out of Misato's mouth. "Oh my GOD are you stupid!" she screeched, no longer caring that the living woman couldn't hear her (though taking some small satisfaction from hearing Ritsuko the dog whine in fear) and walking around her former guardian like a miniature tornado. "He was right there—right there! And you let him slip through your fingers."

She rounded on the one person that could see her.

"And you," she seethed. "Since when does 'quiet and reserved' translate into 'slutty lush'? huh?"

"I dislike that term," Rei informed her, her eyes still focusing on the street that the car carrying Shinji had disappeared down. "Should we hire a taxi to ch-"

"What is this, a spy movie?" Asuka shouted. "They're long gone, dumbass! We missed our chance!"

"Maybe they went to their clubhouse."

Asuka whirled around to find Misato looking thoughtful (complete with thoughtful forefinger on thoughtful chin and thoughtfully folded arms). "Hey, Wondergirl," the redhead muttered, "have Frau Droonkensloben here repeat herself, would'ja?"

Rei did as she was asked, and Misato—still looking thoughtful, a feat which impressed Asuka, since she was sure that Misato had stopped thinking some days prior—said, "They DO have that clubhouse on the edge of town. They always invited Aoba and Hyuga down there, but never me—not that I wanted to of course, but it would have been nice to at least have the nod, you know?"

"They probably didn't want you to drink all their beer," Asuka muttered. "And no one thought to, oh, I don't know—check there first?!"

"Would you like me to relay that question to the Major?"

Asuka rolled her eyes. "No, not really," she admitted, "it was mostly rhetorical. You CAN ask her if she actually knows where the place IS before we get all hopeful… or, you know, before I get hopeful, since she's… stupid."

Before Rei could relay the message (in its entirety), Misato pulled out her phone. "Good thing I wrote down the address," she said sagely. "Not because I was going to crash the place, or anything like that, but for… well, reasons."

"Ugh," Asuka groaned, "THIS is the woman they made head of operations?"

Rei shrugged. "Would now be an appropriate time for a double meaning comment wherein we compare the Major to a female dog for comedic effect?"

Slipping the dog's leash so she could run free, Asuka tiredly sighed, "Don't you think she's suffered enough? And no, I'm not talking about Misato. Now let's go rescue everyone's favorite dumbass!"

"You mean…" Rei trailed off, realizing that there were far too many possible interpretations, and simply nodded.


( 0 0 0 )

Looking out the window as the city passed by, Asuka could almost believe things were normal. Everything outside was nice and peaceful and orderly, giving no hint that the greatest Evangelion pilot of them all was dead and riding along the streets of Tokyo-3 in a yellow cab with a freak.

And Rei.

"This sucks," she grumbled, resting her ethereal chin on her insubstantial fist and wondering how many more synonyms she could come up with for non-corporeal.

Rei, as usual, was unfazed. "Being deceased does seem somewhat inconvenient," she conceded. "Perhaps there is some kind of upside to all of this?"

Shooting her a dark glare (and wishing she could ACTUALLY shoot her) Asuka said, "Such as?"

Thoughtfully, Rei said, "You do not have to eat, nor sleep, nor bathe. You are free of all of those societal requirements."

"Yeah?" Asuka countered, "Well I'd kill for a double bacon cheeseburger, a shower, and a nap—hold the protoplasm." Resting her head against the back of the seat, she said, "I tried, you know—to eat."

Mildly curious, or rather, knowing that mild curiosity was expected, Rei said, "Oh?"

"Yeah," Asuka grinned. "Scared the hell out of the hot dog guy."

"I dislike eating meat," Rei observed, her eyes taking on a far-off quality as she was caught up in an unpleasant memory. "Truly."

Interested, Asuka leaned forward and said, "Is it because you sympathize with the animal? Or because you hate the idea of taking life away from an innocent, harmless creature?"

She waited, holding her essence-less breath as she waited for the First Child to dispense some sort of pearl of wisdom about the existential truth of man's place in the universe and His relation to, and misuse of, the creatures sharing the planet with Him.

Rei lowered her eyes, lost in thought for a moment. Slowly, and with great reluctance, she surrendered her secret: "No, it just gets stuck between my teeth and takes me forever to get out—I taste it for hours afterward." Shuddering, she turned to look back out the window. "So gross."

From the front seat, Misato mumbled, "Damn kid's talking to herself. What am I going to tell the Commander? She's nuts? She's his favorite! Now she's gone off the deep end. You can't trust people who talk to themselves. They're unstable. Just cracked. Poor kid."

The cabbie, a wise man in his own right, kept his lips tightly closed, and his eyes firmly focused on the road… but in the back of his mind, he promised himself that this was going to be his last week driving cab.

( 0 0 0 )

The hideout, they found, wasn't really hidden, seeing as it had a rather large neon sign in the front proudly proclaiming, 'Starsky's Hutch,' to all passersby.

"Someone's comfortable with himself," Asuka muttered as the trio inched surreptitiously around the side of the building. "They're American, right? Not Greek?"

"I do not get the reference," Rei admitted, "though from what I understand, they do occasionally enjoy a rousing bout of wrestling in the common room. The others have complained about the leftover oil afterward."

Asuka (who had no chain to yank, ethereal or otherwise) simply rolled her eyes. "Yeah," she muttered, "that's not a stereotype or anything."

"You are the one who asked if they were Greek."


"Shh," Misato hissed, making more noise than Rei as she held up one hand. "Let's go for the back door."

After a moment of silence, Asuka shook her head and said, "Nope, too easy."

Letting the obvious joke go unspoken, the group slipped in from behind – oh my god, it really IS just too damn easy! – and tried to get the drop on the depraved Americans.

"Hey," Asuka whispered before realizing she didn't have to, "look over there. That looks like a torture dungeon, doesn't it?"

Glancing over, Rei saw a small alcove with One Direction posters and mojito glasses side by side with faux calfskin couches and end tables with retro wrought-iron sculptures on them. Shuddering, she said, "Yes… yes it does."

Everywhere Asuka looked, there were signs of depravity. Iron manacles, whips, racks for breaking the insolent, issues of InTouch magazine… it was beyond her worst nightmares. "Oh Shinji," she lamented, skirting delicately around a platter of cucumber sandwiches, "what have those monsters been putting you through?"

"Look," Misato said, "there's a back room. Probably another decadent pit of sin and inequity, where lost souls cry out in pain and terror, only to be ignored by the very god they're beseeching."

Glancing at the closed door, Asuka muttered, "Like your bedroom?"

"We should proceed cautiously," Rei advised, ignoring Asuka's demands to pass along her quip. "We cannot be sure that the American pigs won't do something even more depraved to Ikari should we-"

"That's as far as you go, scumbags!"

Everyone froze as the kidnappers burst through the door with Shinji held between them. The whiter of the two (no racism here, he just happened to be whiter, ok?) held a gun to Shinji's sniveling, snot-nosed head… the back of it, just to be clear. No one likes snot on their gun.

Misato held up her hands, revealing that she was unarmed. "Easy there, son," she said soothingly, "just because you've embraced an alternate lifestyle doesn't mean we're judging you. What are your demands?"

"I am not gay!" Hutch shouted, his gun hand shaking and his nostrils flaring as he glared defiantly into Misato's eyes. "God, what is this world coming to? It's getting so having one of the guys over for a few glasses of white wine gets you labeled!" Wiping angrily at his bloody nose, he continued to rant, "So what if I only have a loveseat and no couch? So what if I prefer candles to lamps? Does that make me gay? No! So what if I like bonbons? So what if I give a guy a backrub every now and then while we're watching reruns of Will and Grace – none of that makes me gay!"

There was a very long, very deep silence as everyone in the room simply stared at the enraged ex-enforcer.

"Alright," Misato said finally, "all of that aside, what is it that you want?"

"Money!" Starsky said, giving his partner a sidelong glance. "Lots of money!"

Misato glanced at Rei. "Well," she said pragmatically, "I guess it's better than them asking for a change in government policy, or protection of endangered wetlands, or something completely unreasonable." Turning to the kidnappers, she said, "Alright, Mister Cliché—how much money will it take to get my nubile jailbait back alive and relatively unsullied?"

Puffing his chest up with the importance of someone about to make a sweeping, grand declaration, Hutch declared, "Five million! Not a penny less!"

Misato stared blankly at him for a moment, as if trying to ascertain his determination. "Five million?" she echoed. "FIVE million…? Are you serious?"

"You'll pay!" Hutch threatened, pushing his gun against the back of Shinji's head. "Or your Children here will get it!"

There was another silence – or rather, a near-silence, as Misato was covering her mouth in a poor attempt to hide a derisive grin.

"It's not funny!" Starsky growled, deciding that he had been silent for too long. "Don't test our resolve, woman!"

Misato held her sides and desperately shook her head as the man's voice broke. "N-no," she gasped, "it's not funny, it's serious business – I know, I really do, it's just…"

"Just what?" Hutch demanded, once again thrusting his weapon menacingly against the Third Child and making the readers VERY uncomfortable as they were reminded rather clumsily of the multiple possible entendres of that sentence… or rather, the only possible entendre available… which was rather obvious and super forced.

Wiping at her eyes, Misato got a hold of herself. "It's just – do you have any idea how much it costs to maintain an Evangelion Unit? Like, forget the parts and crap, can you even get your head around the annual saleries required to keep the kind of staff on hand with the knowledge to repair a 50 story tall mecha?" Glancing from one of the dumbfounded men to the other, Misato straightened her back. "That kind of money," she informed them blithely, "wouldn't fix a knuckle." Ignoring their dropping jaws, she coolly reached into her jacket pocket and pulled out a wad of money. "Here... you fellas want big bills or small?"

As Misato started to count, Asuka turned to Rei. "She should make them pay us," she murmured. "Did you see what they put him in to try to disguise him?"

Unable to bear the sight of the boy she once respected nearly spilling out of the ill-fitting Glee tee shirt even a moment longer, Rei turned away, wiping angrily at her streaming eyes as she whispered, "The horror… the horror…!"

( 0 0 0 )

Some time later, the two female pilots made their way toward the train station to go home, their heads outlined in what could only be described as halos from the burnished glory of the setting sun.

Or something like that.

"Well I suppose that resolves everything," Rei said approvingly. "Shinji is home, the major is with him, and Hutch and Starsky have agreed to leave the country. All is as it should be."

Casting her an incredulous look, Asuka screamed, "Nothing's resolved! The bad guys walked away with 5 million in cold, hard cash. Shinji's still a sniveling idiot, Misato's still a drunk, and I'm still dead! How is anything resolved?"

"Would you rather be in the afterlife?" Rei enquired. "It is my understanding that wandering spirits have unfinished business that prevents them from ascending to the celestial world. You yourself admitted to me that you have no obligations, yet you are still here with me." She glanced up at the traffic light—ironically the one Asuka was waiting for when she was killed—and quietly concluded, "We would not have found Shinji without you, so all of NERV owes you a debt of gratitude. I think that I, myself, would like…"

Rei trailed off as she realized that Asuka was no longer at her side.

Looking around, she spotted the redhead's amorphous shape staring into a storefront with a look of supreme concentration. "What are you looking at?" the First inquired, following Asuka's gaze.

"Incredible," Asuka whispered reverentially. "Simply incredible."

The two Children looked at one another as Asuka pointed into the window, and Rei prepared herself to hear a melancholic tirade on a life ended too soon or perhaps a soliloquy on unfinished business and wishes to, well, finish it.

Instead, Asuka said, "Can you believe they would put that in a window? I mean, can you imagine wearing something like that? It's like dental floss! You might as well just come to bed naked!"

Rei glanced at the item Asuka was pointing to. She tilted her head to one side, then the other, taking in every detail before proclaiming, "I believe that… is dental floss."

She stiffened as an ethereal hand flipped up her skirt, putting her underwear on display for several passersby.

"Yours are boring," Asuka informed her dryly. "Maybe we'll get you a pair of these once I'm, ya know, not dead."

"You… believe you will return to life, then?"

Asuka planted her hands on her hips. "What are you, stupid?" she snorted derisively. "The way I figure it, if there was no way to come back, I'd be in heaven by now!"

Based on the fact that the redhead had just showed her panties to a street full of people, Rei questioned this conclusion.

"I'll find a way—believe it!"

Rei slowly nodded, ignoring the lame crossover attempt and fervently hoping Kishimoto-sensei had a better sense of humor than the weak ending to his long-running series hinted at. "Yes," she said, nervously re-reading the disclaimer as they walked, "I believe you…"

Lacing her hands behind her head, Asuka said, "I'm bored, Wondergirl. Let's find something to do."

With no reason to say no, Rei followed the incorporeal redhead down the street, wondering idly if this meant that they were friends.

"Hmm," she hummed to herself, "probably not."

Even dead (or rather, undead) Asuka was still Asuka, and Rei was still Rei.

War… war never cha-no, wait. Some things… some things even death could not change.

The end

I know I kept you all waiting for a long time for this chapter, but eh, that's the way it goes. I'm stopping the story here because, well, I don't have any ideas for continuing it. The first couple chapters came easy, but the last felt like work.

Humor fiction should never feel like work. If it does, you're doing it wrong.

If I have any other ideas, I'll drop by and give everyone's favorite life-deprived fireball another visit.

In the meantime – Hawker_748 pre-read this installment, and promised me he's getting back to writing, too! Ok, he didn't actually promise anything of the sort. I just figured if I threw that in there, he'd feel obligated to get back in the saddle. Here's hoping!