Disclaimer: I don't own Neon Genesis: Evangelion or All Purpose Cultural Catgirl Nuku Nuku.

Something out of character happens this chapter. Now I think I can get away with it because this is a comedy (Gendou's already on crack), but it still left a bad taste in my mouth. Let me know what you think.


All Purpose Cultural Catgirl Rei-Rei

By Crimson Arrow

Chapter Five

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"Um... A-Ayanami-san, was it? Could you not... d-do t-that... p-please?"

Argh. What was that! I have to be more assertive… and I really do have a whiny voice...

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"I have to do this, husband. The commander ordered me so."

"T-There you go again about your commander! Is he your husband or am I!"

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Anyone else would find Shinji's 'pouting' laughable, but Rei was unaccustomed to such behaviour. In fact, the spell had already fallen upon her and was weaving away her conviction. The seeds of doubt had been sown and her reply was laced with some reservations.

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"…You are my husband."

"Oh, really? Then why aren't you listening to me? Shouldn't a wife trust her husband, more than any other man?"

Hey, this isn't that hard at all… being selfish is really easy! Just 'me, me, me!'

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Whipping his head up and to the side with his nose up, Shinji was doing a remarkable job of acting. To finish it off, he pushed his lips out and made a sulky 'hmph' every now and again. If only his father could see him now - how proud he would be of his son's manipulation techniques. 'Winning is all that matters in this world' was his motto, and 'the end justifies the means for any victory - no matter how many lawsuits or bribes it costs.' Yes, acting like a whiny girl upped Shinji a good couple of notches on Gendou's charts.

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Sneaking a glance at Rei out of the corner of his eye, Shinji almost grinned maliciously. Rei appeared to be fumbling for an answer, and she slowly spoke it once she had come to it logically.

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"…True. A wife should obey her husband. But your judgement has been impaired by your mother."

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Whipping his head back to face her with a furious glare that would frighten any whipped husba- er, wife, Shinji was the enraged spouse incarnate. He bared his gritted teeth and made his eyes flare with unadulterated fury. It was a testament to Rei's self-control that she only looked like a wide-eyed doe.

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"Impaired! Who told you that? It's nonsense!"

"The… the commander did."

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Rei almost stuttered. She never stuttered. Always composed, collected, and completely logical; that was how she knew herself to be. How she was trained to be. But nothing had ever trained her for such a… unique scenario.

The commander and his assistants, Akagi-sensei and Ibuki-san, had taught her everything from survival skills, numerous forms of armed and unarmed combat, the operation of various vehicles and devices, illegal interrogation methods, where her future husband's squeal-points were; she was supposed be ready for anything.

The conflicting emotions within Rei were tugging at her loyalties, and the sides shifted again when Shinji's eyes seemed to soften coyly and his mouth made a lazy smile.

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"Oh, so your precious commander told you. Well, then it must be true if your commander told you. Even if there's nothing but his word to go on, there's no way your commander could be wrong."

"…"

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Shinji took her silence as the signal to begin the end of this bizarre dispute. Not unlike Rei, he cast an unreadable expression on his face. His lips formed a flat line. His eyes were neither angry, sad, nor happy. His cold voice froze her.

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"Ayanami-san, I'm only going to ask this once... stop obeying my father. Promise me you won't be his doll anymore. Because if you don't…."

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Keep his face chillingly still, Shinji played his trump card with absolute seriousness.

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"If you don't… I'll never speak to you again. I'll hate you."

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'…I'll hate you…I'll hate you… I'll hate you… I'll hate you… I'll hate you…'

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His words rung again and again in the hollows of her mind. Their callousness pierced her like an icicle. Slowly it melted, each drop of torture soaking in until it reached the deepest confines of her subconscious.

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He would hate her. Rei suddenly felt sick.

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She couldn't let this happen. He wasn't supposed to hate her. That wasn't her purpose. If he hated her, she had no purpose. She would fail and become nothing. Her existence would be voided.

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No… I cannot let that happen. I must fulfil my purpose. I must.

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Gradually, Rei softened her grip on Shinji's arms. Finger by finger slipped away, brushing against his skin, until Rei sat upright on her knees. Sitting up himself, Shinji breathed out a tiny sigh of relief and discreetly re-buckled his belt. A patch of flattened grass between them showed where they had lain together for so long.

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"I… I promise. I will not be your father's doll… any longer."

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Rei had cast her eyes downwards towards her lap, where her pale hands rested on top of one another. She had bowed her head, and Shinji found he could not meet her eyes. It was a stance of submission, he realised.

Before he could panic about whether he had gone too far or not, Rei looked up. At once their eyes locked, neither able to turn away due to some invisible force. Later, Shinji would decide that for him, that invisible force was fear. Those ruby eyes, the way they looked at him - it frightened him. But they weren't arched in anger nor steeled with her cool aloofness; Shinji could only come up with one word to describe them.

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Devotion. Like the eyes of a zealot…

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What happened next was shocking.

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"…And I promise that I will obey only you, Shinji Ikari. Until you wish otherwise, I promise to be yours forever."

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Now it was Shinji's turn to be stopped dead in his tracks. This was more unexpected than when his father tried to pass off as his mother – and that was shocking. Shinji couldn't look at his mother in the same way for weeks.

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'…Forever… forever… forever… forever… forever…' My God… I could do whatever I wanted with her.

"Meow!"

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Fortunately for Shinji, a little white kitten decided to appear at that very moment.

At some stage it had gotten onto Rei's lap and had begun nuzzling against her quite happily. The fury, purring feline didn't seem to be causing Rei any discomfort, but after only spending a short time with her, Shinji was willing to bet this was a new and confusing experience for her.

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"Oh, kitten-san… she must have followed us here. I think she likes you." Shinji smiled.

"Likes me… like I like you?" Rei cocked her head to one side.

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"Er, no... not like that. Why don't you try petting her?"

"…pet her… …!"

"Purrrrr…"

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Startled, Rei pulled her hand back at first, but timidly moved her hand forward again and gently caressed the elated creature. Simply by stroking it with her fingers over and over, Rei could extract such a blissful noise from this tiny animal. It was odd for her to say the least, and even odder that she could not stop. Whatever feeling her touch gave it, Rei was feeling a little of it too.

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"See? She likes it when you pet her." Shinji told Rei. "She's really taken with you."

"It's strange… but, doing this… it feels… nice."

"…Puuurrrrr…"

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Seeing the kitten and Rei together made something click inside Shinji's head. Neither had had a choice in their paths, but for some reason they had both landed in his care. He didn't ask for the responsibility, but seeing them like that, he wasn't about to fail it. He would look after them.

Standing up and brushing his pants off, Shinji extended an open hand to Rei.

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"Come on… let's go back," was all he said.

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Rei stopped her stroking and for a few seconds gazed at Shinji with her serene eyes before she grasped his warm hand and let herself be pulled up. The white kitten jumped off her lap at the last moment.

Standing now, Rei would not let go of his hand. Did she fear he would leave her? Shinji decided to let her have her way, and squeezed back.

Under the moonlight in the swaying grass, the couple stood together hand in hand. Was it the start of something beautiful? The journey had just begun.

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"Well, then… let's go, Ayanami-san."

"Rei."

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"What?"

"Call me, Rei."

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"R-Right. Let's go… Rei."

"Good husband."

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Shinji suddenly felt the full weight of the journey when Rei began petting him on the head.

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"…I don't purr, Rei."


Reviews are appreciated. Don't hold your breath for chapter six, it's finished when it's finished.

Many thanks go out to Lone Wulffe, EvaontheRocks, and Wanderer (oh dear, you didn't get the end of this one, did you EvaontheRocks? Whoops.)