Alcohol: The Cause and Solution of Life's Problems
By Lord Raa
Disclaim-me-do: There are many ways to fix a wagon, son.
"M-misato-san?" Shinji asked with a hope filled voice.
"Shin-chan, I…" the purple haired woman sighed. "I'm not the goddess you think I am. I'm a dirty, filthy woman. If I wasn't, I'd be married by now, wouldn't I?"
"No," the young Ikari protested. "I don't believe that for a second. You're a good person, it's just that you don't know how to take care of a house."
"Yeah, I should get a maid rather than a teenaged boy to look after me," the beer drinker replied. "You're making a terrible mistake in putting me on that pedestal, Shinji. I'm filth! I let Kaji go 'ass-to-mouth'. You know what that means? I sucked him off after letting him fuck me in the ass. Several times and not just in the heat of the moment.
"Just how is that how a 'goddess' behaves?"
"…" Ritsuko rubbed her forehead. "You can't make things easy, can you Misato?"
"He deserves to know the truth! I'm not the letting him blindly worship someone who doesn't deserve it!" Misato shot back.
Shinji's blush had subsided sufficiently to let him think about what Asuka had said the other day about behavioural psychology. "People's behaviour is affected by their environment and upbringing. There's usually a reason for people behaving like jerks or sluts. But as for you, you're just an idiot."
"I don't care."
"What? You don't care? You don't care that I'm a filthy whore?!" the captain demanded.
"Stop saying that! It's not true! I'll hit the next person that insults you like that!" the Third Child declared, even though he knew that there was a very good chance that he'd be the one that ended up hurt.
"You stop defending me like I'm some sort of deity!" the purple haired woman shouted back. "Damnit, can't you get it through your thick skull that I'm not the woman you think I am? Are you the baka Asuka says you are?"
"Yes I am!" Shinji said in an uncharacteristically loud tone of voice. He backed off when he realised just how loud and aggressive he was getting. "I-I'm sorry."
"Misato, I know you want to be sure what Shinji-kun feels about you, but please, did you really have to go and say all that?" Ritsuko sighed. "Shinji, stay where you are."
The pilot stopped in his tracks. "Yes, Dr. Akagi."
"Sit down and get comfortable because we're not moving until this is sorted out," the faux blonde instructed. "Good. Now then, first off: Shinji, Misato is most definitely not the goddess you think she is. But she's not the scum she says she is. Secondly: Misato, Shinji isn't as pure and innocent as you think he is."
"No, I'm not good enough for you Misato-s-," Shinji started
"Stop that!" Misato ordered. "You're making Pen-pen cry with your poisonous lies! You're frightened every time you pilot Eva, that's understandable, but every time you do it, you save countless lives. Not exactly the actions of a perverted coward, is it?"
"She's got a good point, Shinji-kun," the scientist added dryly before she lit up a cigarette. "I have a pretty good idea of what you're going through when you pilot Unit-01. It's not a walk in the park."
The pilot, feeling uncomfortable with the attention, looked down at his feet.
"And no, Misato, Shinji is not disgusted with you. He's just shy. Are the pair of you done with your self-loathing, or is there more?"
"Sorry," the pair on the couch mumbled softly.
"Alright then," Ritsuko smiled as she took a drag on her tobacco. "Is this close to being sorted? I'm tired thanks to a certain someone calling me up at 5.30 this morning."
"Hey, it was an emergency," Misato protested.
"Sorry to bother you, Dr. Akagi," Shinji said in his usual soft voice. "I didn't want to make a fuss."
"You know, this is most bizarre argument I've seen a couple have," the smoker smiled good naturedly. "I mean, it's probably the first time people have rowed that they're not good enough for their partner."
"But…" the drunkard tried to argue again.
"Misato, I know you well enough to know that while you're not exactly a chaste maiden, you don't sleep with anything with a penis and a pulse." Working a crick out of her neck, Ritsuko turned to Shinji. "What can I do to convince you that you ARE good enough for each other?"
"Come on, Shinji-kun, all this self-loathing and depression is beginning to make me angry. I don't care what you do, just get over yourself and show Misato how much you care about her."
"Ok," the pilot said in a barely audible voice. "Misato-san, what can I do that would make you happy? I'd do anything and I mean ANYTHING for you."
Misato rubbed the back of her head in embarrassment. "I suppose that you could hold me while I sleep."
"Yay, we've come to a solution. Now, I'm running on coffee and adrenaline, so let's all turn in. I don't care if you have sex in every position in the Kama Sutra, just let me get some sleep, ok?" the scientist smiled.
Shinji blushed as he noticed that Misato hadn't put her laundered undergarments away. Considering the fact that he washed them, it shouldn't have been that big of a deal to see Misato's skimpy black panties on top of the laundry basket.
Still, Shinji considered himself something of a gentleman and said nothing as he desperately tried to find something else to focus his attention on.
"Come on Shin-chan, let's get to bed," the semi-naked purple haired woman said. "You're not going to sleep wearing your clothes, are you?"
"Sorry, Misato-san," the pilot mumbled. He shed his white button-up shirt and black school trousers to reveal a plain white t-shirt and a pair of black boxer shorts.
"Hold me, Shin-chan," Misato said as she climbed into bed. "You said you would."
Shinji gulped nervously, but seated himself next to Misato.
The beer drinker positioned herself so she could rest her head on Shinji's chest.
"I can feel your heart beating, Shin-chan," she whispered.
"S-sorry, Misato-san," the young Ikari mumbled with a heavy blush. He placed his arms around Misato. It was a little uncomfortable for him, but he dealt with the woman's larger frame pressing him into the mattress.
"It's ok, I find it comforting," Misato said as she fell asleep on her human pillow.
The bleeping alarm woke up Shinji rather than its owner, Misato. Struggling, the pilot managed to stop the incessant noise.
"Why can't I move… oh, I'm in Misato-san's bed…Wait a minute, I'm in Misato-san's bed!?!"
"Shush," the captain mumbled.
'Oh shit oh shit oh shit oh shit!' Shinji panicked. 'I can feel Misato-san's boobs! Think unsexy thoughts! Think unsexy thoughts! Think about piloting Eva, its pain and how I don't like it…'
That seemed to work for the young Ikari, at least up until the point he realised that he kind of liked it when Misato ordered him about….
"No, Shin-chan, I'm not in the mood…" Misato mumbled into her human pillow.
Her unexpected speech revealed to Shinji what was disturbing the near-comatose woman on top of him.
"Crap, when Misato finds out about this, I'm a dead man…maybe I can sneak out of here…" When tried to leave, Misato stirred again.
"No, don't leave me again, Daddy! I'm trying to be a good girl!"
"Shin-chan?" the purple haired woman asked as she looked up from her adolescent pillow. "What are you doing here?"
"Y-you asked me to hold you while you slept, Misato-san," Shinji answered with a blush.
"I did? Oh yeah, I did. Sorry about that, Shin-chan, I had a nice dream that sort of turned nasty," the voluptuous captain said with an audible unpleasant aftertaste.
"Did you want me to make some breakfast?" the pilot asked, hoping to change the subject.
"Yeah, I'd like that, Shin-chan. Argh!" yelped Misato. "My neck! It hurts!"
"Stay there, I'll get Dr. Akagi!" Shinji said as he slipped from underneath the distressed woman.
"She's not a medical doctor, you know!"
"Shinji, it's just a muscular pain between the neck and the shoulder blade. I get it when I sleep at a funny angle. You don't make a very good pillow, you know," Misato teased.
"I'm sor-" the pilot started until he realised that it was just a bout of teasing. "Here, let me help you."
After the teenager moved his roommate into a better position, he began to give the voluptuous woman a gentle neck rub. The tender ministrations soon elicited a soft moan of pleasure from the captain.
"Mmm, Shin-chan, that feels good."
Shinji smiled as he felt that there was something extra that he could do to make Misato happy.
After five minutes of massaging, Misato decided that a quid pro quo was needed.
"Shin-chan, I want to give you something as a thank you for this, but there's not much I'm good at or can offer you. I'm a shitty cook and I've not got money to buy you anything nice," the beer drinker snorted softly. "In fact, there's really only one thing that I can offer you, but I wouldn't be offended if you said 'no' – especially after what I told you last night."
"M-misato-san! You don't have to do anything like that for me," Shinji insisted with an atomic blush. "Just making you happy is enough for me."
"But paying you back for this would make me feel better, Shinji," Misato countered. "Please, otherwise I'd be taking advantage of you again."
"This is fine, Misato-san," the young man said as he wrapped his arms around the purple haired woman's waist and pressed his cheek against her tank-top clad back.
There was a knock on the bedroom door.
"Misato, Shinji, breakfast's going to be ready soon, so stop being a pair of perverts and wash up before you sit at the table," Asuka instructed.
At the breakfast table, Asuka noticed that Misato was in a good mood. It took a few moments, but she also noticed that the drunkard wasn't actually drinking beer as part of her balanced breakfast.
"What's up with you?"
"Shinji's been good to me, that's all."
"So if I flirted with him, showed him too much skin and generally acted like a prick tease, I'd have me a slave?" asked the redhead. She considered that for a moment. "No, I think I'll hold out for a real man, rather than settle for less. Sorry, Shinji, but you're just a boring boy."
"Have you ever considered that some people like the quiet life?" Ritsuko asked from behind her cup of coffee. "It's not like Shinji-kun's never had any excitement at all, now is it?"
"It's one thing wanting a quiet life, it's another to not be able to hold an interesting conversation," Asuka replied.
"Have you tried talking about something Shinji-kun likes?" the bottle blonde asked. "I mean, what do you really know about him?"
"…" the Second Child paused. 'This is part of her test…' "So then, Shinji, what sort of thing do you like?"
The young Ikari blinked. "Err, I like playing the cello."
"That's it? So it's basically classical music that you can hold a conversation about?"
"I know I'm not very exciting, but I'm more comfortable being that way," Shinji answered before turning his attention back to his meal.
"You know, all this talk about boys, girls, men and women makes me wonder why you think that Kaji is interested in you," Ritsuko said with a hint of a smile.
"…You're joking, right?" the redhead asked in a tone of forced calmness.
"No, I was wondering that, too," Misato smirked. "I mean, I know why you're interested in an older man – with one notable exception, the boys your age aren't exactly great catches. But I don't see why Kaji would want you, a mere slip of a girl, when there's single women like Ritsuko about."
"Because I'm not a Christmas Cake," Asuka replied with a smirk.
The ambient noise dropped to nothing as the Second Child became the centre of attention.
"I'm sorry, did you just call me a Christmas Cake?" Dr. Akagi asked with a twitching eye. "Because if you did, you're in for a world of hurt."
"Hehehe," the redhead chuckled nervously.
"Asuka, you shouldn't be so mean to everyone," Shinji chided. He flinched when his fellow pilot glared at him.
"Oh, so I should be a suck-up like you?"
Misato jumped into the argument to help out the young man to her right. "Actually, I like the way Shin-chan is nice and kind to everyone. It makes a nice change from manwhores and selfish assholes."
Ritsuko realised the truth in her friend's statement, but chose to formulate a suitable vengeance to enact on Asuka instead of verbally agreeing. 'Yes, I think that it's time for a thorough physical examination. With the appropriate level of documentation of the procedure and my results. Maybe I should get Shinji to help me out? The look on her face would be priceless…'
"Well, then, since that's all sorted," the bottle blonde said with a forced sweetness that Shinji missed, "I think that it's time for us to get ready for work."
Asuka didn't like the scientist's tone, but said nothing, knowing full well that it wouldn't be the first time that the pair of old hags tried to embarrass her in front of Shinji. Or even worse – Kaji!
At NERV, Misato was thinking about what she did with Shinji that morning. Sure, it was nice that he was nice to her, but she still felt that she needed to repay him in kind. Resolving to do something about it, she left her pile of paperwork to talk with Ritsuko.
Knocking on the bottle-blonde's office door, the voluptuous captain entered without waiting for an answer.
"It's a good thing I don't use this office to change, Misato."
"Sorry, but I need to talk to you," the purple haired lovely said with an apologetic look on her face.
Gesturing to an empty seat, Ritsuko asked her friend if she wanted a cup of coffee.
"Sure thing, Ritsuko, you always made good coffee."
"That's because my taste-buds are in better condition than yours, Misato. Now then, what was it that's so important that you have to barge in?"
"Well," Misato looked around hesitantly. "I want to do something for Shin-chan."
"Not this again, Misato," the scientist shook her head. "I already told you, do whatever you think is right. If you want to sleep with him, then do it. If you want to find someone else to be his girlfriend, then do that."
Ritsuko sighed loudly as she reached for her tobacco. "For fuck's sake, Misato, you're getting as bad as Shinji-kun. I thought this was sorted out last night. You both like each other and you both want to care for each other, so what's the problem?"
The beer drinker sighed. "Never mind, it's just me being silly."
The bottle-blonde stopped her friend from leaving the office and locked the door. "What is it, Misato? I know you're not normally like this about a guy, so what gives?"
"Shin-chan's the first guy in a long time who hasn't seen me as just a sex object."
"Well, what can I do to make him happy? All I can do is drive fast, drink vast amounts of booze and show a guy a good time in bed. So what can I do as a 'thank you' for the fourteen year old boy that's risking his life to save the world?" Misato asked, her exasperation getting the better of her.
"Fourteen is the national age of consent, Misato. If he wants to sleep with you, and you with him, no-one will have you arrested."
"That's my point, Ritsuko!" the Captain hissed. "Shinji doesn't expect me to spread my legs, he doesn't want to 'sully' me like that."
"Ok then, you don't want to have sex with Shinji-kun. That's ok, Misato, it means that you're not as predatory as I thought," Ritsuko smiled.
"Thanks," Misato deadpanned. "So now what? I mean, yeah, I could sleep with him, but I don't want to hurt him."
"We're going round in circles, Misato. You want to help him, he wants to help you. As he sees it, the best way for him to help you is to take care of you and you think that the only way you have to help him is to have sex with him. Wow, I'm sure that it's going to be a real chore sleeping with someone who wants to do everything he can to make you happy," the scientist replied sarcastically.
"You make it sound like you're jealous, Ritsuko."
Ritsuko threw her hands up in the air in anger. "I am. In fact, fuck it – if you don't want Shinji that way, I'll take him off your hands."
"But you said that…"
"I'm a compulsive liar, Misato," the bottle-blonde replied. "I was just testing your resolve when it comes to young men who dress in tight, vinyl suits. Mmm, vinyl-clad Shinji-kun."
"Stop that, it's not funny," Misato growled.
"Neither is your messing about like this. If you want him, take him. Make him yours. If you don't, you could find him someone who does want him like that. I don't care," Ritsuko scolded. "Just make your decision and stick with it. Now, get out, I've got work to do."
Shinji sat by himself in the NERV cafeteria. There was nothing unusual about this, but Kaji decided to say hello to the young pilot.
"What's up, Shinji? You don't normally spend much time in here when you're not eating."
Shinji looked up at the unshaven man. "Hi, Kaji-san. I was just thinking about Misato-san."
"So you've finally noticed that Misato-chan's a beautiful woman, eh? Well, good for you, Shinji-kun," the long haired letch said with a smirk. Inwardly, though, Kaji was concerned that the young man sitting before him might interfere with his plan to hook up with Misato.
"That's part of it," the pilot blushed. "She's determined to do something nice for me, but she thinks that she's only got one option. I was trying to think of something else that she could do."
Kaji nodded in understanding. 'So Misa-chan is thinking that she needs to repay Shinji-kun, eh? I wonder what she had in mind… Takes me back to when she apologised for dinging my car in college.'
The unscrupulous man smiled when he recalled what his girlfriend did for him. "So very saucy…" he muttered good naturedly.
He coughed when Shinji asked him if everything was alright. "Yes, everything's fine, Shinji-kun."
"Ah, there you are, Shinji," Misato called out from across the room. "I've been looking for you."
"Oh. Hi, Kaji. What do you want?" the purple haired woman asked with a hint of suspicion.
"Why does everyone assume that I want something?" Kaji asked, feeling slightly hurt.
"Because you usually do. Now, since on this rare occasion you don't actually want anything, I need to speak with Shinji in private," Misato said with a forced smile.
Rolling his eyes, the long haired man left his ex-girlfriend in peace.
"What did you want to talk to me about, Misato-san?" Shinji asked looking up from his seat.
There was an awkward silence before the woman in question slid into the seat next to him and smiled.
"Why do you have to do this to me, Shin-chan?"
The young Ikari looked down sadly. "I'm, sorry, Misato-san."
"This is why it's not working out," Misato said as realisation dawned on her.
"Why what's not working out, Misato-san?" Shinji asked, confusion written on his face.
"Us. I mean, you're too nice and passive and if I take the initiative then I feel like, like a rapist," the beer drinker sighed sadly. "Now I know why Asuka gets frustrated with you."
"I'm sorry," the pilot said reflexively.
"That's what we're talking about, Shinji," Misato said, pointing a finger her roommate. "I know you're a nice guy, and I really appreciate it, but could you be just a teensy bit more proactive when it comes to our relationship?"
"But nothing, Shinji. You have to break out of your shell, otherwise we're not going to get anywhere with this. It'll be just you and me being roommates who occasionally do nice things for each other," the Captain explained. "I don't know about you, but I want more than that."
"I-I-I do too, Misato-san," Shinji stammered in reply. "B-but the thing is that, well, I don't know what to do to make you happy and I'm not used to taking charge or being forceful."
Misato pondered this latest revelation. 'But he is good at following orders... so perhaps I should order him to take charge? No, I can't see that ending well. Maybe if I ordered him to tell me what he likes in a girl?'
Clicking her fingers, she turned to the young man sitting next to her. "Ok, Shin-chan, consider this a direct order. I want you to tell me what you find attractive in a girl. Don't tell me just yet, I need you to think long and hard about this because it's very important and it will affect our relationship, ok?"
"Ok, Misato-san. D-do you want me to write this down?"
"Yes. When you've done that, and you have to be very sure it's what you want, otherwise you could be in for a big surprise, hand it to me. Don't let anyone other that Ritsuko see it, ok?" the Captain instructed.
"Yes, Misato-san," Shinji nodded.
"Good, now get going, you've got a sync test."
During his post sync test shower, Shinji was pondering what to put as preferred qualities for a potential girlfriend.
"I suppose that I want someone who isn't loud like Asuka, or Misato when she's been drinking. Rei's nice like that.'
Rinsing off his shampoo lather, the pilot thought more about what he found attractive in women. 'Maybe if Misato knew someone who would appreciate me for being me… I know I'm not much, but if she could find me someone who doesn't expect me to be heroic or anything that would be nice. Not like the girls at school, they make me feel uncomfortable the way they insist on telling everyone they know what I do.'
Switching off the water, Shinji realised what it was that he wanted in a girlfriend.
"I want someone like Rei."
To be continued…
Well, what can I say? I thought that it was time for a suitably evil ending.
This was pre-read by Chi Vayne and previewed on Hawk's lovely forum.
Until laterer comes, readers.