This is a second attempt at a one-shot, full of OOCness, and never-ending out-of-character responses. Screwing with the minds of the Eva pilots is always fun, huh?

Anyway, it's another songfic to help me organize my thoughts. In fact, using songs within my stories always helps me arrange the layout and exactly what I'm going to write about, according to the plotline. That way, the story writes itself, or the song writes the story, whatever you want to call it, and I'm not always stuck on writer's block mode, which is usually the case for my mostly low intelligence.

But, here's the story. Curse me after it, if you want, but just read it if you have time to spare. Also note that I might have made Kyoko Sohryu, Asuka's mother, too OOC, but I felt the story write itself, not me. You can complain, though, if you wish, and I'll maybe find some solution to correct it in my distant free time.

Disclaimer: Oh! Almost forgot the disclaimer! Can't ever forget that now, can we? I do not own Neon Genesis Evangelion nor do I own the song "When She Loved Me" by Sarah McLaughlin

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I Was Once Loved

The sky was pouring sleets of rain all over the glass windows and soaked the entire roof of the building. The storm raged on its powerful thunderbolts and lightning in the distance, but the tears being shed from a redhead's eyes never ceased to drip unto her pillow. Her subconscious was being flooded with so many images at once that the nightmare that was supposed to be one of a bad dream turned into something far worse...a reality...yet a vision...

Asuka saw heard her mother's voice in the background along with several other doctors as the backdrone. The woman was talking to Asuka's father, telling him how impossible it was to deal with 'that child'. "I just don't know what to do with her," she explained to the man.

"Well this could have something to do with the accident," Asuka's father spoke in a heavy German accent, apparently fluent in German more than anything else.

Asuka could hear her mother sigh and was soon given a full image of her mother having a conversation with her spouse. "I just don't know how to deal with that child. I've tried everything, and she's still so stubborn. She won't even listen to me anymore."

The young man groaned at her in frustration of her intolerable behavior, pretending to find some way of the situation when there was no solution for what she did. "Perhaps you haven't been taking care of her properly. After all, you do spend most of your time on your work and not your own daughter."

When somebody loved me
Everything was beautiful
Every hour we spent together lives within my heart

Asuka noticed her mother was shaking, but still trying to defend her position. "But that child is impossible! If you try talking to her, she won't listen! Do you have any what it's like to have a child who won't listen to what you say no matter what you do? It's irritating!"

The male waved a finger at her. "Maybe you don't deserve to be her mother. After all," he began, repeating himself, "whenever she needed you most, you were always gone off researching and doing your own work. And don't forget the accident that occurred here recently."

Kyoko Zeppelin Sohryu fumed, which was to be the same unfortunate trait of intense fiery passed down to her daughter when the girl grew older. "But that was the machine's fault! It nearly took my soul away, that piece of shit! I don't see why I work here anyway."

Asuka's father, who was tall and broadly muscled, not skinny or lanky of the sort, grabbed a clipboard from his jacket and yanked a pen out of a doctor's hand. "Well let's see," he said, glancing over the schedule time-tables. "The next test with the robot is to be done within the next two weeks. You can choose a date here if you'd like."

"Why should I? I have more interesting things to work on..." she trailed off as the young man sharply cut her off.

"Because you're the one who volunteered to be its pilot, and you promised that it would be good for our daughter, so you can't back out now. Besides, once this test turns out successful, we'll be assigning the robot to your care. You'll be in charge of it from then on."

Asuka was confused by what the young man meant as a robot, and an accident occurring where doctors were present? Much didn't seem to make sense to her as she read recently of an account in which one of the Eva pilot's mothers lost their life by simply becoming a test piloting and getting herself absorbed. But the question, in its entirety, was exactly who the person who lost their mother was. And couldn't it be that, in some ironic way, the two could relate to one another something they had in common: the deaths of their mothers?

The man Asuka labeled as her "Papa" pointed to the dates on the calendar written on the paper. "You can choose any of these dates, but be sure to choose one," he remarked, handing her the clipboard and pen to write on the paper.

Though a frown etched her features into a nasty grimace, the woman signed the paper and chose to the correct date for the test. She knew she had to be a test pilot, but for the sake of what? Her daughter certainly wasn't cooperating, and the fate of mankind looked bleak in the near-future of ten years later, possibly to be destroyed in the impending Third Impact from the Angels' joining with Adam or Lilith. The woman didn't know the full truth behind what caused Second Impact, but had an idea of what could and would cause the next Impact.

She would do this anyway, as much as she didn't want to, for she would never back down on something she already started. Her pride was intact after all, and she would never allow it to be fractured or destroyed by any means, not even this brawny man in front of her who served as her so-called husband. What is he talking about? He says I haven't been here for Asuka, but he has certainly not been here for me whenever I needed him! Some husband he is!

She shook away the nasty, grotesque thoughts of her spouse and continued to fill in the blanks of the document. What the two did not notice, however, was a young 14-year old redheaded girl staring from the corner, but drifting in the air, at them. For some reason, she could feel herself reading into her mother's thoughts, as much as it was an apparitional dream itself. She was to the most surprised when her mother's musings echoed through her head constantly over and over again.

He was never there for me, that bastard… her mother resounded.

What is she talking about? Asuka thought, as she didn't know the answer to the question either. Momma was never here for me! Papa is right! Mamma hates me! But I don't need her because I'll live for myself and by myself! However, she felt herself and that long-ago dream drifting further and further away from her true reality, the real Asuka within, a broken and harmless child only in need of just a friend, emerging from the tempest of emotions.

Asuka then shed another tear, both in her torn reality and broken self…never ceasing drips of moisture pouring down her face as much as she attempted to curb the effect. The sadness overwhelmed her in both mind and spirit, even though when she awoke she would not feel the same effects as before, therefore, there would be no aftermath other than the tear-stained cheeks and her endeavors to wash her face in the sink.

And when she was sad
I was there to dry her tears
And when she was happy
So was I
When she loved me

Asuka then found her surroundings change and in an environment between different scientists, and, once again, what was possibly her father speaking. But this time the man's voice was so drained that she couldn't tell from before to now. The image was much blurrier than before as she couldn't make out his silhouette amongst all the other doctors, but specifically, one nurse.

She could see, however, the glasses framing his eyes in a disturbing visage. "So it became true," the man began, rubbing his index fingers. "What a fate the woman endured! The proponent herself was the guinea pig."

Another man, not her father but conversing with him, shuffled through the reports. "And there was the mental breakdown, of course. Wasn't that the result of the contact? I mean, the thing's spirit invaded her mind, so it could have possibly taken away her virtual awareness."

Her "father" twiddled a pen between his fingers. "It could have been the case. But how cruel it is," he raised his voice, "that she committed suicide leaving such a young girl behind." He seemed to disapprove of the idea of "her" suicide, and so did Asuka, more so than anyone, but it was the woman's decision, which was far within her initial control, to put an end to her existence, not these people.

The other man gestured quickly. "Ah, perhaps that's not the only one cause."

Asuka's father looked bewildered by this statement. "What do you mean? Didn't her brain function improperly as the result of the test?"

The man nodded, but then shook his head to the side slowly. "Yes, but you can't forget that the tension between her and her daughter had been building up somewhat lately. The child's mother was rather annoyed when her daughter ceased to subordinate with the cause and not listen to her mother. It's not the child's fault she's so stubborn. Just that the mother had not been caring for her daughter like a loving parent should."

Asuka's father agreed with the fact that this had been the reason he left the woman in the first place. "After all, she was assigned to the woman's supervision ever since the child was born. She knew that it would require more than just focusing on two things at a time, but she neglected the thought of her daughter coming before her work…"

"And she placed her job on more important matters above the love and care for her own daughter," the man said, deciding to complete the sentence for him. "Humans are such pathetic, fallible creatures who have no sense of self-worth at all, not even for their own species."

"They don't even respect their own kind," budded in Asuka's father.

"I wouldn't be surprised that by 2015 or so, mankind is obliterated in the Third Impact not just by the Angels, but by the selfishness of their own race themselves," proclaimed the man doctor, hands full and eyes reading on Asuka's mother's report, taking quick glances at the clipboard.

"Me too," agreed her father. Asuka couldn't believe this was happening, first she found out her mother wanted her to die with her, but now this? Kyoko wished for death in a way that Asuka soon came to dread and loathe more than anything besides her own self secretly. The sight horrified the young girl, and taunted her with images even to this day, and the next thing that happens is that her mother truly hated her? Asuka concluded, from what these young men of her past declared, the same thing, that her mother truly did not love her and only focused on her work instead of spending quality time with her daughter.

Another tear fell from Asuka's eye, though she wiped it away viciously, a flood of images after seeing her mother hanging from the ceiling burning and raging her mind like a flame. Asuka's eyes burned from the tears welling and swelling her eyes with puffiness, but the girl still refused to shed any single tear, even in her own dreams. She could not announce to even herself the intolerable weakness played furtively inside her heart, only for her to know…and deny…

The next scene, which was one Asuka dreaded and feared almost the most of everything that could have and did happen in her life, was shifted into from the previous one with the discussion. Asuka could see this one in plain, full vision and eyeshot of a distance time, the picture clear, but the tears blurring her eyes into bloodshot.

There, on the bed laid her mother, clutching a doll to her chest, and speaking to it as if it were her real daughter. "Asuka darling, Momma cooked your favorite for you." Her voice was mechanically ghostly and surreally ethereal, almost as if some celestial being entered the hospital room. The short-haired redhead pointed to the "girl" standing in the window, her true child. "If you don't eat it, that girl over there will laugh at you," it seemed as if she almost cackled, mocking her daughter to the child's surprise, though that frowned remained plastered on her face.

Through the summer and the fall
We had each other, that was all
Just she and I together
Like it was meant to be

"No!" Asuka shouted, clutching her head and trying to shake the memories away. "Don't show me this! I wanted to forget this along time ago!" Her emotional walls were rapidly breaking down and barely any partition separating her heart from others stood proudly and tall once more.

In the distance, Asuka could make out a few figures through her hovering in the air invisibly to the people of the past. One was a woman, a female doctor who grasped another clipboard to her chest, but as frowning deeply at Asuka's mother's attitude. The other, Asuka's father once again, was conversing with this particular female, who just so happened to be his eventual newly-wedded wife, or, rather, Asuka's new stepmother.

"She's like that every day," the female doctor began, looking through the window and at the girl with her face pressed against the glass. "She talks to that doll just as if it were her real daughter."

"She could feel the responsibility in her own way," the father added. "Look at how she acted before all this happened. I mean, the woman devoted all of her time in her research with no room in her schedule to take care of her daughter."

The doctor shook her head, talking in a quiet voice. "Ah, I sympathize with your grief," she concurred.

Asuka was wondering who all these people were and why they were appearing in her dreams now and not before. "But, in that sense, they are like a doll mother and a doll daughter paralleled to one another. And maybe there is very little difference between humans and dolls."

"Dolls are made by humans from their own image, but just a copy of their own shape and form," she explained more on the subject. "Not anything real or factual, that is. And if God really exists, then maybe we are just a bunch of dolls to him."

Asuka's father looked up at the ceiling and glanced back down. "Hmm…from what you just said, I cannot believe you are still a doctor of medicine," he rationalized.

"In a social perspective, yes. However, I'm still a human being first, then a woman and a doctor. People are more important than dolls, for they aren't inanimate and they need to be respected," she shared, though the thoughts on this conversation were becoming more and more complex and detailed.

However Asuka's father carried on. "Ah yes, human beings, once again such lowly creatures. They think so low of themselves that they'd rather kill each other than strive for innocence. But I do agree with your ideas on the subject. The woman shouldn't have even devoted most of her time to research."

"Then all this might have not happened, you suppose?" the woman added for him.

He looked her in the eyes. "Well, yes…but…" Asuka wanted to know what her father had to say…to see if he was really more caring than she thought…

However, he was interrupted by the announcement on the PA system from one of the lieutenants working at this Gehirn facility. "Medical staff meeting for the E incident will be held on time. All personnel in charge are to come to the second meeting room immediately. I repeat, all personnel in charge of this are to come to the second meeting room immediately."

Project E? What the hell… Asuka's thoughts were cut off, however, when the surroundings abruptly transformed into the most despised of them all: her mother's suicidal attempt and success. "What the…?" But then, what she saw in front of her eyes, to her own horror, never ceased to terrorize her much more than it had done so back then…

She saw herself as a young child, around the age of four or five, running gleefully down the metal pathway and to wherever her mother was resting. "Look, Momma! Look at me! I'm an elite pilot now, and I'm not lonely anymore!" the chibi version of Asuka cried out. "I have lots of friends now and no one hates me anymore! Looky, looky!"

Asuka, her older self, sniffed as she remembered swiftly what happened then. And then I opened the door…she predicted, almost as if this scene had played through her head one too many times. She nearly sobbed as she recounted on the outcome, her screams echoing through the hallway and carrying on for quite some distance. "I have to keep it a secret, but I'll only tell you, Momma! Looky, looky! Look at me, Momma!" she yelled once again, beginning to turn the knob on the door. "Look at me!"

She was… her thoughts began in synchronization of the scene that began to take hold in front of her eyes for the millionth time in her life. "Look at…" The chibi version, though, was brought to a halt in her tracks suddenly by the traumatic sight waiting for her.


And when she was lonely
I was there to comfort her
And I knew that she loved me

No! Don't show me this, please! I don't wanna see this again! But then the door opened… and… a figure…drooping with a long loop of rope wrapped around her neck…causing rope marks and burns…and…instant suffocation…instant death…A scream through the air cut like a knife through a wound…her heart was broken and life changed forever by this…

"…M-Mamma…?" the young child barely stuttered. Though the young girl still had a brain in need for years of development in order for sheer intelligence to take hold, little Asuka still knew what methods people tried for suicidal attempts…and this had been…one of the most disturbing to her…The child was brilliant, though her youth far outweighed her intellectual appearance, she could still be traumatized by this same event over and over again…

It would never leave the depths of her mind as she grew up, growing more emotionally and physically, becoming more aware of her true feelings as repressed as they usually were…And to this day…older Asuka couldn't even conceal her screaming into inconspicuousness…the ordeal had done that much damage to her subconscious and soul…unfortunately…

Asuka grasped her head in pain again, trying to force out the inner demons and memories from tormenting her once again. "No! I don't want to remember this! No, no, no! Stop this please!" she said as she fell on her knees sobbing loudly, clasping her hands around her ears to avoid what her mother had to say next…

"Die…Die with me, Asuka…Die with me…" a ghostly voice spoke…

"No! Stop it! Stop it! Don't force me to do this! I don't wanna die…" Asuka said, as she collapsed down sobbing into a heap, tears flowing freely down her face. "…please…I don't wanna die now…I don't wanna die…I don't wanna die!" Her screams ricocheted through the reality world as well as her internal dreaming self…


So the years went by
I stayed the same
But she began to drift away
I was left alone
Still I waited for the day
When she'd say I will always love you

Awful…appalling memories of what her mother said about her long ago…playing through her head like a broken, but continuous record through her head…

"I can quit being her mother anytime I wish…However, you cannot stop being her father…"

"No, Momma! Don't stop being my mother! I'll be good, I promise!" Asuka's screams to have her mother back.

"But your daddy hates your mother, dear. He doesn't need your mother, and he doesn't want you either…So let's die together, Asuka…Die with me…" Refrains from a haunting epitaph and its nightmarish verses harmonizing menacingly in Asuka's mind…lining up perfectly together…

Asuka fiercely shook her head. "No…I don't want this! Leave me alone!" she screamed clutching her head in pain, shoulder suddenly jerking away from her body and arm falling to pieces…body collapsing in a heap of flames scorching her body to the bone…


Lonely and forgotten,
I'd never thought she'd look my way
And she smiled at me and held me

Just like she used to do
Like she loved me
When she loved me

In the actual reality inside Asuka's room, a dark silhouette loomed its shadow over Asuka's crying form. A hand from the figure was placed on the girl's shoulders and shaking her viciously, to take her out of the aberrant dream, or nightmare, in this case. The source of the nightmare's apogee had to have been a terrible vision placed within her subconscious, in its menacing way, wishing to expel the very presence that keeps it sane. Asuka would not stop screaming, nor would the boy's next to her yells cease to quicken.

The trees in the night whished back and forth with an oncoming storm, the wind speeds picking up to several miles an hour. "Asuka!" a boy shouted, trying to calm the wind and this girl's nerves, which was not happening. The wind grew more powerful along with the storm rapidly approaching from the south, thunderbolts already appearing in the sky. The storm during the girl's nightmare had ended a few minutes ago, through the mind of torment, only to begin a little while later.

Shinji couldn't stop shaking Asuka to awaken, as his concern for heightened to a greater culmination above all else, coming before all other matters at hand. The tears that had just started drenching her face in a wet blanket dripped onto the boy's hands, clinging as if never wanting to let go. In the physical world, the girl's disquieted sobs were coming out as frenetic gasps growing louder in magnitude and volume, screaming her heart out to the world the only word that truly ever brought terror and remorse to her soul.

"Mama!" she screamed, bursting up from the bed, eyes shooting open.

As if by either some mechanical instinct or of the compromising situation they were in, Shinji's arms wrapped tightly around Asuka's shoulders to keep her from falling back down and slamming her head too hard into the pillows. He held her in the embrace for a second until Asuka suddenly became aware of where she was again, in her room…and…in Shinji's arms?

"Asuka, don't worry now. I'm right here," Shinji responded, not realizing how late it was to avoid or dodge Asuka's expected fist.

However, not fully conscious and awake, Asuka took advantage of the scene in front of her, not bothering to conceal her inner self with the biting arrogance. Instead, the girl trembled and sobbed loudly in Shinji's arms, now sitting up on the bed. "Mama, don't leave me! I'll be good, I promise!"

But inside her traumatized mind, her mother had…other plans to torment her daughter. Like a broken refrain, "But you daddy doesn't need me, and he doesn't want you either…" accompanied by Asuka's increasingly louder sobs and cries to make the pain disappear, her mother responds harshly and dully.

Shinji, now kneeled next to Asuka's bed, clutched the girl tighter to his chest, her arms beginning to wrap around him, seeking shelter and safety from anyone around her, even Shinji. "…Why…?" Asuka pleaded quietly. "…Why! Am I not good enough for everyone! Am I that pathetic that you don't even love me anymore!"

Shinji blinked. "…Tell me, am I that worthless?" Asuka somberly finished, tears soaking into the boy's button-up shirt.

The pervasive omnipotence of the surrounding voices in her mind all spoke the same hauntingly dull tone to Asuka, completely filling her with the dreading sense of sheer terror and bloody horror. The sounds picked up their volume and screamed their bellows in her head and ears, causing her brain to pound heavily and a headache to formulate into the rising pain. Asuka grasped her head with both hands, shaking it fervently back and forth to rid of the monsters.

But they seemed to have other plans as her migraine intensified, redoubling their efforts to kill her mind completely or make it collapse in on itself from the mental exhaustion. Her hold on her head tightened as Shinji's hold on her body constricted into a firmer grasp. Shinji decided to say something. "I don't think so, Asuka," he whispered into her ear, holding her tightly.

Asuka heard the almost silent whisper to her ears from the gentle epitome serving as her rock to lean on for the moment. Her head sparked up and her hands fell from her head back down to her side, coming to meet at the sight of Shinji's neck. Her eyes peered open slightly, but her vision was blurred and marred by the very fact of tears mingling with salt within them, even though she could make out the sharp distinctions of the boy's outline in the dark.

The answer to her question had come not in the form of an apparitional nightmare, but in the materialization of an important, meaningful essence coming to guard her from the bad memories and leading her to safety. The form of a shelter-some tower to take refuge…a newly founded bastion in the heart of another person…a real man who she can now call home…

And with one whisper to break the coming comfort in the silence, Asuka replied softly, "…S-Shinji…?" She didn't know exactly what his purpose or intent was in coming to her room without specified permission, but she couldn't care at the moment as she needed this time to feel safe and sheltered, if only for a few minutes.

She had awoken from her dream back to a similar harsh reality being flooded with a new sense of comfort and ease, a feeling long-forgotten and longed for many years. He responded by not breaking away and retreating to the safety of his room from her wrath, but concentrating on soothing this girl's heart with lent support to rebuild her strength. "..Don't worry. It's alright now. I'm here," he whispered softly into her hair.

The girl knew that relying on others for help was a standard that always more than unrealized in her book. She would toss away any offer of assistance out the window for the despised feeling of pitiable pity and compassion would appear to categorize her as a weak being, something she was affirmatively not. Asuka would never admit to any feeling of loneliness or acceptance of pity, but now wasn't the time for those rejections; she needed someone now and more than ever. And Shinji here was the only one who could accomplish such a feat full of turbulence.

Asuka, for the first time in nearly twelve years, smiled brightly with tears cascading down her face in droplets flooding her vision. She closed her eyes, soaking in all of the warmth the boy emanated from his aura and simply presence of being there with her, even vigilant scrutiny was better than loneliness.

Minutes later, the two broke slightly from their previous embrace to stare one another deeply in the eyes. Shinji, surprisingly whose gaze had not faltered the whole time, stared back into those sky blue pools resembling the azure sky filled with white clouds on a beautiful summer morning. His warm smile never ceased to impress the look of confusion on Asuka's face as she spoke aloud to him. "S-Shinji…?" she faltered, her smile disappearing. "W-Why me…?"

Again, it was Shinji's turn to be confounded, but his smile never disappeared, stunning Asuka. "What do you mean 'why you'?" he replied. "What are you talking about?"

"I-I mean…w-why do you think that…" she couldn't finish as the nightmare was starting to reconstruct itself in mind-tearing horror.

He finished for her, seeing as how her stuttering was becoming even more apparent. "…you're not worthless?" Asuka nodded. "Asuka, I don't know why you'd say such a thing, but…" he stopped for a second, gathering his thoughts. "You could never be worthless, not in a million years. You're too valuable to be worthless."

Asuka wasn't acting herself, but instead as the little girl that had been blocked from ever being seen from anyone. "…B-But why…? I mean, I've…been so mean to you in the past and…" Tears started re-gathering in the corner of her eyes. "…you have to hate me, I know it!"

Shinji knew that morning was going to be entirely different from what it was now, but he knew he had to take the risk if he was ever going to sleep tonight and the girl to rest in peace for at least this night. For now, though, he decided to assist her in every way he was able to. "Why would you think that?" he gasped, shocked that Asuka would even say such a thing.

"W-Well, I…thought that since…I've been such a bitch ever since we met…" she spoke, tears dribbling her cheeks, "…you had every right to despise me…I wouldn't blame you if you do still…"

"I never thought of you in such a way. In fact, you were always the stronger one lending me help when I needed it, even though you didn't know it. I'm just a wimp, but your…determination is what keeps me going on at times…when I'm feeling down…" he said quietly in the light embrace.

She shook her head. "…No…I'm sorry…I…" she still couldn't cohere full phrases without breaking each one off at a time. "…y-you were never the wimp…" Shinji glanced at her. "…I was... the stupid one…" She started speaking faster, words becoming jumbled into longer phrases at a quick speed.

"I was always the idiot, pushing others away when all they wanted was to help me out! I never showed them that I cared while they sat around and showed their love for me! I was sitting blindly groping in the dark, running away from reality and not the other way around! Now everyone's so far away I can't even tell anymore…it's all my fault! They have every right to hate me! They should hate me! I'm disgusting…terrible!" She leaned over, trying to cry again in his shoulder, but Shinji stopped her.

The last sentence concluded itself with tears drenching Shinji's shirt, though he could care less about the condition of his clothing. Instead, he acted on the contrary, tilting Asuka's chin up slightly so her eyes would meet his. Sadness and a longing for something lost so long ago never escaped the center of her eyes. He whispered lovingly, "Look, I never said that you were worthless. I don't know why you think you're…terrible…as you have said."

Asuka looked as she was going to interrupt, but Shinji continued. "Let me finish. I know you're personality is a bit sketchy at times, but I understand that. You have a reason for doing the things you do, and they don't bother me one bit. It was just your childhood that screwed you up, the same happened to me. But let me tell you something." He leaned in closer to her ear. "I never said I hated you."

She started to cry again. "M-Mama…she h-hated me, so much…I thought everyone felt the same way…I…" she stifled a sob.

Shinji grasped her tighter slightly. "Well," he began, whispering, "I don't feel the same everyone else does. I'm not the same as them, Asuka." Asuka looked up with tears in her eyes. "And besides, I don't think everyone hates you like you said they do."

"…I-I…" Asuka didn't know what to say at the moment, very taken aback by the rare compliment in true sincerity one had just awarded her.

"S-Shhh…" Shinji said softly, pulling her back into an embrace. "It's gonna be okay now…I'm here for you…" He was stroking her hair gently and rubbing her back with the other hand that wasn't in use beforehand. He continued to comfort her softly when he heard a door to the apartment being opened by the third, higher-ranking roommate in the makeshift family. Misato stepped in and nested her shoes near the welcome pad by the entryway.

The woman headed to Asuka's room to check on her younger charges, and was shocked to see Shinji there cradling Asuka in his arms, she crying in his chest. Never in a million years did the drunkard even cohere a single thought of these two magnets coming together in a uniting of strength and love. Magnets, or as the saying goes, "Opposites attract", so it wasn't two surprising that these two opposing humans could be joined together.

What did make it outlandish, however, was the fact that just a few months ago, or minutes, counting on if you were the two standing there or someone in the doorway, these two were biting at each other's nails and pulling each other's hair in a fury battle for domination and of competition. But if you were someone who had not known these people for too long or at all, you would have thought that just by seeing them together what they did in the past complete and utter mystery to you or you didn't know they shared a spot in some uncommon quarrels.

You couldn't even tell they had ever fought by just seeing their peaceful looks on their faces, both content on holding each other together for a long time in a bond. Shinji saw Misato staring at them in wide-eyed shock through the doorway, motioning to her with his hand that nothing was going on between them and that Asuka was just having a bad nightmare. "She had a nightmare, Misato. I was just helping her get through until she goes back to sleep."

Misato's look of surprise disappeared. "Oh alright, as long as I don't see you two doing anything funny," she replied, giving them both a wink and making Shinji blush. "I'm going to go to sleep now so don't bother me." With that, she left the room for her own bed.

A few minutes later, Shinji broke the embrace by staring into Asuka's sky blue orbs. "…Shinji…?" Asuka said, feeling the gentle touch of Shinji's stroke of her face with his thumb. A stray tear escaped the corner of her eye as he swiped it away, landing into its very own minute puddle.

He spoke warmly, "Are you okay now, Asuka? Because I can leave if you want…" But he was interrupted by Asuka's plea as he lightened the embrace some more.

Asuka quickly reached for his hand and clutched it firmly in her hands. "No…please, don't leave me…I don't wanna be alone tonight…." she responded by placing his hand back on her shoulder. She placed her hands around his waist while gazing slightly up at him in the eyes.

"What do you mean? You're never alone because I'm always here…" He then saw the look on her face and immediately knew what she was implicating. "A-Are you serious! I-I mean, I've never slept in a girl's room before…"

She cut him off, giggling. "It's not like we'll do anything, idiot," she replied, chuckling quietly at his response. "I just don't want to be alone tonight, that's all…Unless you didn't want to…" She shifted her gaze down to the floor. "I can sleep alone, if you want…"

He smiled at the endearment that would normally be considered an insult to the most oppressive kind at verbal conflict or conduct. "No! It's fine, really! It's just that…I didn't think you'd ever allow me to sleep with you, especially in your bed…a boy and a girl…"

"Thinking perverted thoughts again?" He blushed. She poked him playfully and lightly in the arm. "Just messing with you, dummkopf. I know you're better than to just blindly rape an innocent girl without knowing it's wrong. You're not like the rest of them, you know."

"I'm not?" She nodded. "I guess I can take that as a compliment, thank you."

She shrugged while still in the slight embrace. "We have school tomorrow and I need some sleep," she said while yawning deeply. "I haven't very well, lately. A woman needs her beauty sleep in order to maintain her health. And we need to keep our figures in check, too."

He rolled his eyes and accidentally stumbled back from losing his balance. Asuka dived for him, trying to catch him from the fall, but he landed back onto a moderately hard surface of the bed, probably the post. "Are you okay!" Asuka shouted, noticing how Shinji slightly banged his head on the wooden part.

"I'm fine, in fact, never been better. Just hit my head kinda hard, but nothing else." Asuka sighed and, too, released all further tension in her body, allowing herself to relax and land on top of Shinji's body. She pulled herself back up to four limbs and climbed up slightly on his form, finally resting her head on his chest.

Shinji was a bit hesitant at first, but calmed down after five seconds and his arms came to tentatively encircle Asuka's waist. The girl above him held him with her arms around his torso, clutching him tightly and never letting go to ensure that he won't disappear. "This is sort of strange…I've never done this with anyone before…" Shinji commented, feeling Asuka's arms move to his chest.

Her head rose in sudden of the random statement. "What do you mean? Surely your mother use to do this back when you were little…?"

At this point, Asuka stared into his eyes, noticing the moisture swelling up in their pools. He closed them, trying to keep the memories from resurfacing. "My mother…I never knew who she was…after Father threw away the photos we had of her…" Anger started to pick up pitch in his voice and was becoming more apparent as the tears nearly spilled from his eyes.

"You mean that bastard dumped them in the garbage?"

He nodded, solemnly. Tears were starting to rush to his eyes as he held them back, choking on the words flying out of his mouth accelerating faster. "I-In fact, he even burned most of the things my mother had…including the family album and…one of her most precious treasures…" The tears had gathered too much to the point where even repressing them was futile as a single tear stroked down his cheek.

Asuka was shocked. "He got rid of everything? There wasn't even an ounce of something she owned left?" He shook his head, tears starting to fall down his cheeks as he closed his eyes. Asuka didn't know what to do at this point, but quickly thought back to what Shinji did for earlier and decided to act upon the same instinct he had when comforting her.

Shinji started to cry softly while swiftly avoiding Asuka's gaze. The silent tears turned into sobs, but he did not wish to cry in front of Asuka, fearing that should she revert back to her previous self, she would laugh at him or mock him in some scornful gesture.

However, the impending slap or inevitable cackle never did come as his senses caught the serene heartfelt touch of someone caressing his cheek gently. He audaciously looked up and saw that Asuka's right hand had come to rest on the side of his face. Her fingers spread to wipe away some of the stray tears that had been the impact from his lamenting of his mother and weeping at the lack of affection from his bastard son-of-a-bitch of a father. "I'm sorry that I brought it up…"

Still crying, Shinji shook his head. "No, it's not your fault. Just that Father always ignored me when I was younger…" His face squinted. "He didn't even care for me…he abandoned me! All I ever asked for was his love and he would never give that to me! He hated me, dammit!" His brow furrowed into anger and sorrow.

Asuka embraced him tightly, offering him some of the same strength he had lent to her just a few minutes ago. "I shouldn't have brought it up. I didn't mean to make you upset. I shouldn't have asked the question."

He wiped his eyes. "No, I'm the one who answered and asked it, so don't go blaming yourself." He was just recovering from the momentary lapse of sulking and decided on getting some sleep for now. "Besides, you're right, we need our sleep. And don't forget, a man needs it too, not just a female."

She lightly punched him in the arm, laughing a little. "Let's just get some sleep and we'll worry about it in the morning," she smiled warmly before leaning downward to place a peck on his lips. But that peck turned into a long, tender kiss as the too melted into one another in harmony at finding something in their lives worthwhile. Shinji, all the while, was stunned that Asuka was even kissing him, but melted into the kiss as he kissed her back. Embers of warmth embarked at their hearts in an explosion of hot, burning pathos for one another, never given to them from anyone but themselves and each other.

The fires sparked and the lights at dark glistened in the sky, singing the song of newfound love and tender affection to the younglings. And that flame was never extinguished, not even when a near silent murmur, a quiet whisper from the heart of the flame, proclaimed its gratitude from the voice of the redhead. "Thank you..." Asuka thanked, as the two broke almost a minute later of drinking from each other's lips, "for helping me, Shinji. I don't think I would have known what to do if you hadn't come here to help me…"

He rubbed her back. "…to hold me…and to comfort me. I never knew I needed someone this much…"

She continued. "When somebody loved me…everything was happy…and I thought I would find solace in that hour that I was loved…but it went away, to be replaced by something much better…and for that, Shinji, I thank you…" She collided into him again by soaking in the warmth of his embrace and diving into the pleasant taste his lips offered to quench her hunger that raged on…

She needed to see him and to love him…to be loved…so that everything would be beautiful again…just as it once was and was again…Only this time it would never be taken away by someone committing suicide or a death of a member in the family…This time…it would be the beauty of love…on and on…that would sustain the life within their hearts.

When somebody loved me
Everything was beautiful
Every hour we spent together lives within my heart
When she loved me

Fin-

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Ah, now that that's over with! I need to get some rest from this tiring week! I'm so glad it's Spring Break and I can sleep as long as I need to without getting up too damn early in the morning where my eyes won't even open. I'll definitely be in bed for like 15 hrs. tomorrow. Oh well, what do you expect from a week full of difficult exams? Plus I was absent Friday, so that didn't help. Anyway, review this story if you want to, call it crap, I don't mind as long as I get some reviews. Anyway, that's all the rambling from me for now until I post something more.