RAINSTORM

by Gunman

Disclaimer: I do not own NGE or its characters.

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Shinji had never really felt comfortable in the rain. Maybe he thought he'd drown or something. Not being able to swim did leave that lingering doubt in him.

Still, he ran through it, his entire body now soaked as the compressed condensation continued to fall all around him. Not an inch of him could be called dry, and he wondered if he hadn't fallen into a pool on his way home.

He paused suddenly and turned back, the events of the last 12 hours starting to invade his mind.

HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

12 hours ago...

Shinji Ikari opened his eyes and slapped the alarm clock off his side table. He wished he had struck it harder because the damned thing wouldn't stop ringing.

Annoyed, he finally got out of his bed, picked up the clock, and pulled the batteries out. He deposited it into the waste basket and headed to the bathroom. Little point in trying to go back to bed now. His annoyance was still lingering, added to the fact that a certain, more-cranky-than-himself, redhead would be up soon and demanding her breakfast.

Keeping that in mind was more than enough to keep him going. Asuka would not fail to blast him as she say fit with only a few words if she didn't get breakfast ready and soon. He entered the small kitchen and opened a can of fish for PenPen, then began on the human breakfast. He soon heard the familiar sounds of his roommate.

"Hey Baka! Where's my..." she paused as the scent of the bacon and eggs brought her mouth to a halt. "Oh... you're cooking. Good boy." she patronized.

"At least you're not shouting, Asuka." came the groggy voice of Misato as she joined Asuka at the table.

After a Misato-style sigh of contentment at having her first beer, of three, in the morning, the trio sat down to their meals. Shinji and Asuka finished soon and left a disheveled Misato still at the table.

"Bye Misato-chan." Shinji called out as he left with Asuka.

"Buh-bye! Be good you two. Oh! Shinji remember to ask Rei out." Misato replied, adding the last bit slyly. If he wasn't walking on the wall-side of the apartment complex, he probably would have fallen over the railing.

The pair were halfway to school when Asuka finally decided to talk to the boy.

"So what's up with you and Wondergirl?" Asuka asked him, breaking the silence.

"Uh.. What do you mean?" he asked, a bit shaken.

"'What do you mean'? I saw you last night. Going all red when Misato mentioned her name."

"She just asked me if studying with Rei was helping me. And it has. My grades have really improved." he replied.

Asuka couldn't deny that, after seeing his last test, which Misato hung up on the refrigerator like it was a kindergartners finger painting. But Asuka didn't let that stop her.

"Then what was that about you studying Rei?" she asked.

"That was just Misato teasing me and you know it, Asuka."

"Are you saying you wouldn't like to?"

"I…err…no- hey look." Shinji said as he noticed Kensuke, Toji and Hikari.

"You're lucky there's someone more interesting to talk to, baka. But we're not done yet." she said as she moved off.

"Well, I see the claw marks are gone." Toji said to Shinji as the two girls walked off together.

"Told you he'd make a full recovery." Kensuke added to Toji's comment.

The group walked into the school and into Class 2-A. Hikari took her position by the door and then started greeting people as they arrived. Shinji noticed that Rei was already there, staring out the window she sat next to.

Once everyone was assembled, the teacher started his usual rambling's about Second Impact and the implications it had on the world. Shinji just stared at the girl, wondering what she was thinking, or if she was thinking about anything at all.

A message suddenly popped up on his computer.

Jockman: You're staring at her again. You gotta thing for her don't you?

Toji. Shinji thought, but his heart skipped a beat, and he blushed slightly as he replied.

Celloman: No.

Jockman: Just admit it. We've seen you. You're always staring at her.

Before he could reply, the bell rang for lunch, after which they would go to their next lesson. Which was sports. The boys had basketball, and the girl's swimming. He knew he would be hearing a lot from Toji now.

The pair signed off and headed to their next class.

HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

8 hours ago...

Shinji sat next to his friends as the other boys played basketball. He looked over to the girls who were swimming at the pool. His eyes locked on Rei sitting by herself, staring nowhere. No. She was staring back at him. His heartbeat rose, beating madly. Why was she looking at him? He felt a hand on his shoulder.

"She's beautiful isn't she? Ayanami's slender legs, soft and perfect skin, her breasts so--"

"Stop it, Kensuke!" Shinji said as he pushed the military geek away from him. Much too close for comfort for him.

"Dude, come on! It's obvious. You got a thing for her. Why don't you ask her out?" Toji asked him.

"I…err…no. She wouldn't agree…" Shinji replied flustered.

"Ah! So you admit it. You do have a thing for her." Kensuke practically shouted.

"I…no…" Shinji tried to protest, but decided it was a lost cause. He had been caught. Still, he had to wonder if she felt anything for him. He would admit to himself that he did like her. He felt she was special to him for some reason. He glanced back to her. Could she be looking at him?

Up by the pool, Rei sat alone while the other girls swam. She looked down to the basketball court, catching Shinji staring at her. She had noticed him watching her during class, catching his reflection in the window she was looking out of.

She saw him now looking at her. A warm feeling was welling up in her body as Shinji looked at her. A suddenly realization came to her. She wasn't thinking of him as Ikari, or Pilot Ikari, or even as the Third Child. He was Shinji.

But why? Why was she thinking about him like this, and now of all times? Somehow the thought of Shinji looking at her made her happy.

Happy? I am... happy? She thought in surprise to herself.

Rei was confused. A state she was never in. She had questions now and they needed to be answered. Questions that were swirled in darkness, converging around a light that was inside her.

Shinji. He is the light. She thought. He will provide the answers to my query.

And she knew he would. Shinji had never lied to her, or teased her, or had any form of an ulterior motive when he interacted with her.

Yes, she would talk to him this afternoon.

The class ended and Shinji and Rei left with their classes to go change for their remaining lessons

When they arrived in the classroom, Shinji and Rei thought they saw the other steal a glance in their direction.

Why was he/she looking at her/him? Those red/blue eyes staring at him from the pool/court.

Their thoughts were so wrapped up with each other they completely shut out the rote recited speech the teacher always gave.

HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

5 hours ago...

The bell rang, hailing the end of school. The only way Shinji realized that it was over was by the other students who were practically running out of the room. Shinji sighed as he got up to leave, throwing his books into his bag when he realized that he had clean up duty today. He felt a presence behind him and thought that it was either Toji or Asuka. He turned and met a pair of red eyes.

"A-Ayanami? Hi." he said, slightly startled.

"Shinji, will you be coming over to study again?" she asked him in a clear simple tone.

"Uh.. I've got clean up duty today." he said.

"Then will you come to my apartment when you are finished?" she asked him again in a plain voice.

"Of course." he said to her, trying to keep his own nervousness down.

She nodded, and then left. However, something seemed off to the boy. Even though Rei had asked him to come over and study, in her normal tone, he felt that there was something else on her mind. Or maybe it was his own paranoia. He suddenly felt someone poke him in the ribs.

"Seems your getting some action," Toji said with a wink.

"I…err…no…I am not!" he sputtered to his friend who was grinning like a madman.

"Whatever, dude. Good luck with the cleaning." Toji said as he too left the room.

Shinji just shook his head as he proceeded to clean the classroom, Rei still on his mind.

HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Four hours ago...

Shinji stood outside the apartment of his fellow pilot, soaked to the bone by the rain that was coming down at a pretty steady rate. It had struck right after he had gotten done cleaning and Shinji cursed his luck.

Still, he had a promise to keep and nearly ran all the way to Rei's apartment. He shook the water out of his hair as he knocked on Rei's door. The door opened a few moments later, revealing the blue-haired girl standing in the doorway, wearing a long-sleeved shirt that just came down to just above her knees. Whether or not it was intentional, Shinji could see that she wasn't wearing anything else beneath it. That didn't shock Shinji, as he knew from experience that Rei didn't seem to care about her state of dress/undress.

Motioning for him to come in, Shinji entered the apartment, taking off his shoes. He followed Rei to her small bedroom.

"Err…before we get started studying, can I…have a towel to dry myself?" he asked her a bit shakily.

She nodded and fetched him a towel from the bathroom.

"Err…thanks…can…err I use your bathroom to change?" he asked her nervously.

Once inside the bathroom, Shinji began to change into his spare clothes.

He always carried a spare pair of clothes, after the time Asuka had thrown her lunch on him, for a reason he still didn't know, so he figured to just be prepared from now on. Changing out of his wet clothes, he put the dry one's on and entered the room. Rei was sitting on her bed, staring out the window and seemed to just be watching the rain.

"Uh, so, Ayanami, should we get started?" he asked her, trying to ignore the single article of clothing she wore.

"Of course. But first..." Rei said, shifting on the bed to face him. "I want to ask you a question."

"A question? Sure... what is it?" he gulped, staring at the red eyes that stared back at him.

"What is it to be happy, Shinji?" she asked him simply.

The question itself came out of nowhere and struck Shinji hard. Any harder and he would have just slammed hard into the ground. He didn't even realize that Rei had just called him Shinji, not Ikari. He recovered as best he could and looked at her.

"Happy? W-Well…uh…it's when you feel good, like all over your body. You feel... warm and there isn't anything bad that can happen to take it away." he said, trying his best to explain it to her.

She nodded slowly, still sitting on the bed. However, her next question was a little shocking.

"What is it to love?"

This time, Shinji dropped to the floor.

To love? He thought. Why would Ayanami want to know about this? He wondered. Granted it was something that he had on his mind, but he never thought Rei would try to address it himself. Steeling his courage, he rose up off the floor to address the girl.

"Love." he said softly. "It's... well, when I think of love, I think about my mother. I feel warm inside and I feel good. It fills my heart with warmth and a sense of peace." he said to her, just saying the first thing that came to mind.

Shinji had been so wrapped up in his thoughts that he hadn't noticed that Rei had gotten off the bed and was standing right before him. He suddenly realized she was standing face-to-face with him. Her oh-so beautiful angelic face regarded him with red eyes.

She smiled at him. Shinji had given her the answer she had been looking for, explained what she had been feeling. The warmth she felt whenever she thought of him, the warmth she felt now, was back and she could fully appreciate what it was.

"Can you... learn to love?" she asked Shinji in a whisper.

He stared at her, wondering where she was getting these questions.

"Uhh…I supposed so... you have to experience it to know…you..." he tried to answer her, but found himself froze by her gentle staring.

He felt like running away. But why? Because he couldn't be near another person? Around the girl he had feelings for? Was he scared because he didn't want to get hurt?

But in the back of his mind, that old familiar pressure, that seed of doubt, starting to blossom once again.

Was he in love with Rei? Could she love him? He didn't think so, knowing that such things were not meant for someone like him.

Rei considered Shinji's answers. To know, she needed to experience. But who could she experience it with? She had no mother like Shinji had. He had lost his mother when he was four, but he did know what it was to be loved. Perhaps that was the answer.

"Do you... like me Shinji?" she asked him. She wanted to know what it was to be liked and loved.

Shinji looked at her, confusion settling into his thoughts.

Did he like her? Yes he did…he liked being around her, liked talking to her.

"Y-Yes I do like you." he answered her honestly.

"Do you... love me?" she asked softly.

Shinji froze at that question. He did like Rei, but did he love her?

I think I love her…not the way I do when I think of mom, but a similar feeling.

The problem was, could he tell her?

No…he wanted to run away again. It had always been his way of dealing with things. Had always served him well. It had not been beneficial, but it had helped him. Part of him didn't want to run, it wanted him to tell Rei what he really felt. But... No he couldn't do it, he couldn't tell her what he wanted…he wanted to run away.

"R-Rei…it's getting late, I-I think I'd better get home." he told her.

Yes, he was running away again. Why? Because he didn't want her to reject him. But was that the real reason? Yes, but he also needed time to think and running away gave him that time. Later... he would try to work out his feelings... later.

Rei looked at him. He is leaving? Why? Have I done something wrong? She thought. "Very well, Shinji." she said, a feeling of loss entering her.

She realized that she liked being near her, liked being warm. She liked it when he looked at her. Liked the attention. And she knew now why her heart beat faster when he glanced at her.

She watched as Shinji made for the door. He is going. She thought, feeling colder at that.

"I-I hope I h-helped." he asked her, standing in the now open door. Putting his shoes on, he stepped out. "Goodbye, R-Rei." he said as he left that apartment.

Shinji ran into the night, as Rei collapsed to the floor.

HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

He was halfway home when he stopped. He paused and just stood in the pouring rain, his mind in a constant struggle to understand what was wrong.

What is this feeling I'm having? He wondered. What is this pain? What did I do? Did I run too fast? Did I run too hard? Did I...run. That was it. I ran away. Oh, God! I ran away from the girl I like. The girl I...love? Do I love Rei Ayanami? I...god, I'm such a coward. I have to tell her. I owe her that much. But what will she say? Will she reject me? She could. But I left her in such hurry, like I was scared. Why? What am I afraid of? This is Rei we're talking about. She won't get angry like Asuka, she won't hit me for running away. Although she did hit me for insulting father. But he and Rei are close. They are...no. That's not possible. But still. Rei came to me because she wanted to know about love. I didn't answer her.

And then his mantra began to repeat in his head like a pounding drum. I mustn't run away, I mustn't run away, I mustn't run away...

HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

The feeling wouldn't go away. The cold feeling. The feeling of being abandoned. The feeling of being alone. Unloved. Yes, that was the feeling.

Rei was on her knees, on the floor in the middle of her apartment. Her arms were around her body, hugging herself like she was cold. Like she was trying to protect herself from...something. Bubbling emotions kept her from crying out in anguish, mostly because she didn't know what she should be feeling. Trying to sort out raw emotions was like trying to separate soda pop from water. Especially if you had never experienced them before.

It is Shinji who has done this to me. She thought. He has awoken feelings inside me that I do not understand. He has made me feel something that I have not felt in...a very long time. Almost my entire life. And he left before he could tell me how to learn to love. Shinji...

Suddenly, the door to Rei's apartment burst open.

The girl in emotional turmoil looked up calmly to see a boy with brown hair and blue eyes standing before her. His clothes and body were drenched with the downpour of the rain. His breathing was hard and deep as if he had just run a marathon. But it was his eyes that caught her attention. His eyes...they seemed to apologizing, screaming at her for her to forgive him.

"Rei..." he gasped.

"Shinji?"

He moved after she had said his name. Moved towards her as she sat on the floor, dropping his bag as he pulled her to her feet and without any hint or warning, he kissed her.

It was easily the boldest thing Shinji had ever done, and made him blush furiously all the way to the tips of his ears.

For Rei, the warm feeling she had felt before skyrocketed out of control, filling her entire body with a heat that her body couldn't contain. One could just feel the heat radiating off the girl and bouncing off the walls of her small apartment, raising the temperature of the cold room by herself.

Finally, Shinji broke the kiss and just stared into Rei's blood red eyes.

Her lips are so soft. My god, is she blushing?

I feel warm all over. How could I feel so feverish so quickly?

Shinji broke their thoughts.

"I'm sorry I left you, Rei-chan. I was...confused." he said, holding her in his arms.

He didn't notice that his wet clothes were wetting Rei's long sleeved shirt, causing it to cling to her nicely proportioned body, almost making it see-through.

"Why?" she asked, unconcerned with herself being damp.

"Because I didn't know exactly what I was feeling for you. I like you Rei, a lot. And I was scared that you...might not feel the same way about me."

"So, you ran away, to avoid being hurt." she stated.

He looked down, as if silently giving her his answer.

"Yes." he replied.

"I will not hurt you, Shinji-kun. And I will prove it."

"What?"

"Stay with me tonight, Shinji-kun. I wish for you to teach me...how to love."

He blushed hard. "Rei, I can't stay. Misato and Asuka will be worried about me and..." a deafening clap of thunder cut Shinji off in mid-sentence as the power suddenly went out.

"The storm has cut off the power. And the rain is falling harder. It would not be wise to return to your apartment now. Therefore, you must stay." Rei stated.

Shinji nodded. "Alright, Rei. But let me call Misato. Maybe the cell phone still works."

Shinji fished his cell phone out of his bag, the bright face-display on his cell phone made it easy for him to dial the number.

Pip-Pip-Pip. The phone rang. Pip-Pip-Pip.

"Come on Misato, pick up." Shinji grunted in frustration.

He knew that the cell phone receiving towers had their own back-up generators for just such an emergency. He knew because Misato had told him that when she had given him the cell phone.

A full minute passed, and then...

(Hello? Shinji?)

"Yes, Misato it's me."

(Took me awhile to find the phone in this darkness. Where are you? The powers out and it's coming down hard. I hope you're someplace warm and dry right now)

"I'm at Rei's place."

He suddenly regretted saying that.

(REEEEEEEEIIIIIIIIII'S PLACE?) he heard the overly teasing tone over the phone. (You two, all alone, in the dark, during a thunderstorm?)

"Misato, stop teasing!" he said, blushing.

Off to the side, Rei was patiently waiting for Shinji to finish his phone call to the Major and return to her. She noticed, through the flashing of the lightning, that Shinji was still dripping wet.

He will catch cold and become ill. He is currently occupied. I can handle this. She thought as she went up to him and started unbuttoning his shirt.

Naturally this caught Shinji's attention.

"REI! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?"

"I am removing your clothes." she said simply.

"WHAT? WHY ARE YOU TAKING MY CLOTHES OFF?"

On the other end of the phone, Shinji could hear Misato shouting and laughing at the same time. (HEY ASUKA! SHINJI'S GETTING LUCKY!)

Shinji heard that and retaliated. "I Am Not!"

(I thought you said Rei was taking your clothes off.)

"She is, but I'm not...Rei, stop undoing my belt!" he protested as he tried to move away, but Rei had a firm grip on his pants.

(Go Rei Go!)

"Who's Side Are You On?" Shinji shouted into the phone at his guardian.

"Your clothes are wet, Shinji-kun. You will catch a cold if you do not remove them." Rei stated, clear enough for Misato and Asuka to hear.

(Shinji-kun? She's calling you Shinji-kun now?) This time it was Asuka's voice.

"It's not what you think!" Shinji shouted.

(We'll leave you two alone now. See you tomorrow, Shinji-kun! And don't do anything I wouldn't... on second thought, don't do anything, you hear me Shinji? I don't need a pregnant pilot on my hands you got that?)

"MISATO!"

The phone went dead and Rei had gotten Shinji's pants down to his ankles.

"REI!"

"You must take your clothes off if they are to dry. It would not do to catch a cold." Rei said calmly.

"Oh. Oh, alright Rei." Shinji gave in. "But I'll finish this myself, alright?"

"Very well." she said, standing up.

Shinji slowly made his way to the bathroom and hung up his clothes, wrapping a towel around his body and stepping out into the small living space that was both the living room and bedroom.

"Rei?" he called out.

"Over here, Shinji-kun." Rei said through the darkness.

Shinji followed the voice until he came to the bed where Rei was standing. A sudden thunderclap caused Rei to jump into Shinji's arms.

"Rei-chan?" Shinji gasped, his arms instinctively wrapping around her body.

"I...I am afraid of thunder." Rei said.

Shinji responded by wrapping his arms tighter around her. It was too dark to see Rei blush.

Just as I had hoped. He believes I am truly scared of thunder and tries to comfort me with physical contact. He does care. She thought as she fell into his embrace, wrapping her own hands around his naked torso. Her fingers traced the soft, cool skin of his body. Cool from being in those wet clothes she thought. Perhaps I can warm him as he has done for me.

"Shinji-kun?"

"Yes, Rei-chan?"

"I am tired. I want to sleep."

She could feel a tremendous blush overtake him, the heat practically radiating off his body.

"Uh, alright Rei. Do you have a blanket I could use?" he asked.

"For what?" she asked curiously.

"To sleep on the floor."

"You wish to sleep on the floor?" she sounded disappointed.

"Well, no, but there isn't any other place for me to sleep."

"You will share my bed, with me." she insisted.

"What? Rei...I couldn't!"

"I cannot have you sleeping on the floor. You may become ill from the cold floor if not from the wet clothes you were wearing."

"But..."

"Do not argue, Shinji-kun, it is alright."

At this point, Shinji was sweating bullets. All his clothes were wet and damp, and he didn't have any clean underwear at least.

"But, Rei, I..."

"What is wrong, Shinji-kun?"

"I don't...have..." he fought to get the words out, his blush about to give him a fever.

"Have what?"

"I don't have any...clothes to sleep in." he finally managed to say.

"Is that all that is bothering you?"

"Well, YEAH!" he said as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.

"Very well. I will fix that." Rei said as she stepped away from him and removed her long sleeved shirt easily. However, it was dark so he couldn't see what she was doing and the rain and thunder was so loud he couldn't have heard her shirt fall to the ground.

"Rei, what are you doing?" Shinji asked, wondering what she was actually doing.

"I am getting ready for bed."

"Oh." he said, not getting the answer he wanted to hear.

He felt a hand take his own and lead him down to the bed. He slipped under the covers of the bed and brushed against something soft and warm. He froze.

"Uh, Rei-chan?"

"Yes, Shinji-kun?"

"What are you wearing?"

"Nothing."

That answer practically launched Shinji from the bed.

"Why aren't you wearing anything?" he panicked, standing in the center of the dark room.

"You said you did not have anything to wear to sleep in, correct?"

"Uh, yeah." he replied, confused.

"I did not want to be unfair to you, so I chose to sleep without clothing as well."

That caused him to freak.

"REI! I CAN'T DO THIS!"

"Why Shinji-kun?"

"Because it's...improper! I can't sleep with a naked girl!" he protested yet again.

Rei got out of the bed, the cold feeling overtaking her once again. She felt as though she were being abandoned. But this time, she would fight to regain the warmth she had lost.

"PILOT IKARI!" she shouted even over the rain and thunder he heard her.

Shinji's attention was caught, because Rei almost never raised her voice, unless she was in her Eva and they were in a heated battle against the Angels.

"The situation is this:" she said, her voice it's normal tone. "We are both cold. You especially from being caught in the downpour of the rain. The weather outside is causing a significant drop in the temperature both outside and inside. The heater in my apartment is broken. Therefore, since we do not wish to catch a cold which could impair our health, body heat is the only available option we have. Now...Get In This Bed With Me!"

Shinji, having been conditioned to respond to the orders of others, complied and slipped in the bed without argument. Rei got in next and pulled close to him. He was facing the wall so Rei slid up against him, pressing her chest to his back. Something tugged at Rei again.

"Shinji-kun, face me." she said softly.

"I'd...rather not Rei." he said meekly.

"Why?"

"I'd...rather not say." he replied, hiding a deep blush as well as the obvious arousal at being in a bed with a naked girl. A very beautiful girl at that. ARGH! Stop those thoughts! He berated himself.

"Shinji-kun." the girl cooed into his ear, her arms wrapping around his body to hold him, her breasts pressed against his back.

His body temperature was rising and he felt a sharp pain coming from his groin. It was so hard that it hurt him.

"Please, Shinji-kun. Look at me." she whispered again.

His restraint burst and he slowly turned over to look at the blue-haired girl, his hands covering his jutting member. The flash of lightning gave him a glimpse of her red eyes.

"Shinji-kun, do you think I am beautiful?" she asked.

Shinji couldn't lie to her, especially since he was lying with her.

"Yes, Rei-chan. You're very beautiful." he replied, unconsciously aware he had called her 'chan'.

"Am I more attractive than the Second Child?"

Shinji hesitated for a second. But only a second. "Yes, Rei. You're much prettier than Asuka."

And in truth he wasn't lying. It wasn't just the physical, exotic aspect of Rei that made her beautiful. But also her inner-self, her kindness to him, and her unusual caring nature.

"Do you...love me, Shinji-kun?" she asked, shuffling closer to him.

Shinji was full-on nervous, but chose to answer in the only way that would satisfy her.

He leaned forward and kissed her on the lips.

So soft. Rei thought as she savored the kiss.

Shinji's arms forgot about his arousal and snaked around Rei's slender body, pulling her to him, adding more of his mouth to the kiss, yet keeping it just as tender. He didn't force the kiss, but Rei wasn't trying to back away. He realized this when he felt Rei's arms move and wrap around his neck, bringing herself closer to the young pilot. She pulled back, pulling Shinji with her, until he was practically on top of her, still wrapped in each others arms, still connected by their lips.

Shinji's mind was racing at this.

What do you feel for her, Shinji Ikari? Is it love? YES! I love this girl. I love her so much. I never want to leave her. I feel...so warm. So at peace. I'm...happy.

Meanwhile, Rei was going through a similar range of emotions.

So this is what it means to be in love. Love, a feeling I have never felt. A feeling of warmth that fills my entire body. I feel...safe, at peace. Yes, yes I am loved.

It was at this point that Rei felt something poke her in the leg. Her logical mind quickly came to the conclusion of what it was, and she beamed with some pride as she realized that 'it' was acting that way, because of her.

They broke the kiss to gasp for air, a bridge of saliva forming between their lips.

"I love you, Rei Ayanami." Shinji whispered.

"I love you too, Shinji Ikari." Rei whispered back.

They pulled each other close, bare skin rubbing against each other. The warmth surrounding them like a shield. Shinji found his head sandwiched between the pillow and Rei's head, his arms wrapped tightly around her slender form, slim arms wrapped around his neck and head, her flawless smooth legs were felt wrapped around his waist and legs, holding him to her as if she were afraid he would try to escape.

But he wasn't going anywhere. He wasn't going to run away. He was going to stay right here, with the girl he loved, and who loved him back.

Then he felt it. Her heartbeat. Their chests were pressed together so tightly that he could actually feel Rei's heart beat through his skin. What's more, he could feel it beat in tune with his own.

But Rei felt something too.

She felt warm.

HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Rei's eyes fluttered open as the warm feelings of last night washed over her in waves. She shifted a little and noticed that she was lying against someone else.

Shinji-kun. She thought as she sighed contentedly, her head nestled against his shoulder, her arms wrapped around his warm torso. Her left leg was wrapped around his left leg, as she was on his left side. She felt his arms wrapped tightly around her. Holding her to him. Tight and protective. She saw a smile on his face. She liked this.

Memories of last night came back to her and she sighed happily.

I would have enjoyed becoming one with Shinji-kun. But there is no rush. I will have him when he is ready and not before. Yes, for that is what... love is.

She didn't have to think about anything else as the pair slept soundly in each others arms.

HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

It was nearly lunch time as Shinji and Rei made it to school. They had picked up lunch on the way, just a couple bowls of ramen. Shinji had the beef and Rei had vegetarian. When they walked into class, it was Toji and Kensuke who pounced on the hand-holding pair.

"Soooo, where have the lovebirds been?" Kensuke asked with a wide-ass grin.

"Yeah, Shinji, I thought you said you weren't getting any from Ayanami." Toji smirked.

"Shinji-kun, what does 'getting any' mean?" Rei asked as innocently as was possible.

"Shinji-kun?" a shocked Kensuke repeated.

Shinji blushed. "Uh...well it means..." he leaned over to her and whispered in her ear.

Her eyes went wide as soon as he finished. "I see." she said as she turned back to Toji and Kensuke. "Then yes, Shinji is getting some from me." she said bluntly.

Shinji felt incredibly weak as Toji and Kensuke crashed hard to the floor. Rei guided Shinji to his seat and gently placed him in it, kissing him on the cheek before taking her own seat.

Shinji glanced over to see Toji and Kensuke still on the ground, twitching like roaches who had just been sprayed with bug-killer as the students started filing into class.

Well, at least they won't bother me for the rest of the day. Knock on wood. He thought as Asuka entered the classroom, said hello to Hikari and then noticed the still-twitching pair. She walked over to them and actually spoke to them, saying something that looked like 'What the hell happened to you', but Shinji was too far out of reach to hear what they were saying. Then again, he really didn't need to. Well, looks like I'll get half my wish.

His thoughts were confirmed when he saw Asuka turn white, white-pale actually, and storm over to where Shinji was sitting.

"YOU SLEPT WITH WONDERGIRL!" the German firebrand shouted.

"Yes." Rei answered.

Somehow she had gotten up out of her seat without anyone noticing her and was standing on the left side of Shinji's desk, opposite Asuka who was on the right side.

"How could you sleep with Wondergirl! I mean...Misato Told You Not To Get Her Pregnant And What Do You DO? You Go and Get Her Pregnant!"

"I am not pregnant." Rei assured her.

"How the hell would you know? And why isn't Shinji answering?" Asuka glared at the girl.

"Because you would not believe anything he says." Rei exclaimed.

"SHUT UP! AM I TALKING TO YOU, DOLL GIRL?"

Shinji clenched his fist and stood up, getting right in Asuka's face.

"Rei is not a doll! And if you call her that again, girl or not, I'll hit you so hard they'll have to wire your mouth shut!"

Needless to say the whole class was stunned.

Not only from Shinji's outburst, but at who his outburst was directed at. Namely...ASUKA.

On any normal day, Asuka would have enjoyed going off on any of the Three Stooges for making even one joke in her direction. And Shinji would often bear the brunt of those retaliations. But this time Asuka was quick to notice a fierce intensity in his eyes. As if he were about to go Berserk at any second just like his Eva. It was a highly aggressive nature that made Asuka see the Third in a whole new light. One that she liked.

However, Asuka wasn't one to show weakness.

"Well, looks like you finally got a spine. Guess Rei's good for something after all." Asuka grinned as she went to her seat and sat down. Though she would never admit it, she liked this change in the Third Child.

Shinji continued to glare angrily at her, until Rei approached him and gently touched his arm. The second she did, it was as if his anger drained out of him and was replaced by a warm calm feeling. The pair then sat down as the teacher began the lesson.

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And now...

OMAKE!

"How could you sleep with Wondergirl?" Asuka shouted.

"Well, to be honest, neither of us really slept." Shinji replied.

Asuka crashed to the ground as Rei looked on with pride.

HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

OMAKE 2!

Shinji awoke to find himself tied to a metal cross, his wrists bound to the arms by leather straps. He didn't know what had happened.

One minute he was talking to Rei in her apartment about school work, enjoying an offered beverage, the next thing he knows he's tied up and stripped down to his boxers.

Just then, he heard a familiar voice echo through the darkness.

"Good, you are awake. The drug's effect wore off just when I expected it would." the voice said.

Shinji was still groggy, enough to not recognize the voice right away.

"Now tell me, slave, who's your mommy?"

"What?" Shinji asked.

WHACK!

"ARGH!" he cried out as the welt on the left side of his stomach started to go purple.

"You will not say anything else, except what I want to hear. Understood?"

"Who are you?"

WHACK! To the left shoulder blade.

"ARGH!"

"Do you understand?"

"Yes." he whimpered.

"Yes, 'Mistress'! Say it."

"Yes...Mistress."

"Good. Now, since you are unfamiliar with the rules, I will explain them. I will ask you a question. If I like your answer, you will be rewarded. If your answer is not to my liking, I will punish you. Understood?"

Shinji started to recognize the voice, but the pain kept distracting him. "Yes. Mistress."

"Excellent. Now, I will ask you again, who is your mommy?"

"Yui Ikari?"

"WRONG ANSWER!"

WHACK! Right to the front of his stomach.

"ARGH!"

"Since you do not know, I will tell you." the voice said as she walked into the light. She was dressed in a leather dominatrix costume that looked like a one-piece swimsuit, with thigh-high boots, gloves, and what looked like a leather stick in her hands.

She looked drop-dead sexy. More than that, she looked familiar.

"Rei?" he stared in disbelief.

"I am your mother. Do you understand!"

"You..."

"Are. My. Mommy." she repeated.

WHACK! She hit him to emphasis her point.

"ARGH!"

"Now Answer! Who's Your Mommy?" she said, pushing her stick into his ribs.

"You...are." he winced.

"Again." she said, easing up on the stick. "Who's your mommy?"

"You are...my mommy." tears ran down his cheeks.

"Again." she said, in a softer voice.

"You are my mommy." his voice was starting to crack.

"Very good my pet." Rei said as she stepped up and kissed him on the lips. "From now on, you will be my little slave. You will do what I want, when I want, without complaint. Do a good job, and I will reward you. Disobey me, and you will be punished. Understand?"

"Yes, mistress." he said as Rei rubbed her leather-clad body against his.

From the other end of the closed circuit television camera, a trio of women were watching intently.

"Didn't take Rei long to break him, did it?" Misato asked.

"Of course not. He's a housebroken male, after all." Asuka said, shoving popcorn into her mouth by the handfuls.

"So, who's idea was it to have Rei be more assertive?" Ritsuko asked, taking notes.

"Mine. But I didn't tell her to be THIS assertive." Misato said.

"Actually, that was my idea. The costume too. But what's with the 'Who's your mommy' bit?" Asuka asked. "I never gave her that idea."

"So, then where did she get it from?" Misato asked.

Oh, wouldn't you like to know. Ritsuko thought as she rolled her eyes.

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Authors Notes:

Here's my new Shinji/Rei story, something that I felt was both romantic and funny. I especially hope that everyone found the scene in Rei's apartment quite humorous. I enjoyed writing it.

I didn't plan on going into a long, detailed story that spanned several chapters. I could have, but I wanted something fairly simple yet powerful enough to be accepted by my readers. Also, I was having trouble coming up with a good title for it. It's original title was going to be 'Learning to Love' but that kinda sucked, so I changed it to emphasis the scene between Shinji and Rei in the apartment during the storm.

However, this whole story, omake's included, spans about 20 pages on my computer.

So, little more I can say about this story.

Enjoy and review (extensively please)