Neon Genesis Evangelion is the property of GAINAX. Also now and then I make a reference to a name brand product, I don't have any affiliation with them. Please don't sue me. I have nothing for you to take; you can only hope to make my life even more miserable. Please just think of it as a plug for your product.

A Glass of Wine (Chapter 1)

Asuka Langley Soryu, arguably the prettiest girl in her class. A bit tall for her age and filling out nicely. She is still a little skinny for her frame though. She can bench press more weight than most boys her size. Much to the chagrin of her peers, either male or female, it is obvious that she works out.

Make no mistake she can devour a full bag of chips in one setting while watching TV but the next day in the gym she will punish her self mercilessly to make amends. For this young woman excellence is not a goal, it's a way of life. Piloting her Eva unit two is the only real purpose in her life. She takes it very seriously. She is fourteen years old and was trained from a young age to be an evangelion pilot. She is also only the second of four children to be chosen thus far.

She is also an expert at hand-to-hand combat. And with a four-year collage degree under her belt, she is also a prodigy. A very attractive prodigy at that, she looks great in a form fitting plug suite and knows it.

Earlier she has changed out of her school uniform, now wearing black shorts and blue top with red trim on the collier, its neck line plunged deep, ending with a large zipper pull decoration, it screamed, 'pay attention to me'.

Now she sat at the kitchen table of the apartment. She presently was occupying her time by amusing herself with a slender tube. Less than a quarter inch in diameter, a little more than three inches long. It was filled with tobacco and at one end there was a filter. She toyed with the nicotine delivery device. Regarding it with just a bit of fascination. She also understood the implication of lighting it. And there was just a little bit of excitement at thought doing just that.

Being an adult, being grown up, it is what she craved. Smoking a cigarette was an intoxicating thought. Yet she lingered not quite sure that she wanted to give up her virginity on this subject. She knew that Misato smoked after 'doing it.' That's how she had found this pack of cigarettes or so she thought at least. Misato had been careless just once. Leaving the pack setting out.

She tried with all her might to act like an adult all her life 'Just what is being grown up really all about?' she wondered. On the one hand all boys are perverts, that's a given. Somewhere in the recesses of her consensus that had been ingrained. But yet, women liked to have sex; she knew for a fact. Misato enjoyed life, especially that part. 'Seems kind of degusting though' she thought to herself. Why let a boy put his…'thing' in there? Does it really feel that good? It just doesn't seem right, kind of dirty really. But there wouldn't be any babies if it didn't happen.

Major Misato Katsuragi came in to the kitchen and went to the refrigerator. She is a very pretty young woman with an hourglass figure and long flowing purple hair. Her title is Combat Operations Director of NERV, Toyko-3 Division. She has to make life and death decisions on a massive scale. But her true concern is the pilots that have been placed in her care. And depending on how you look at it, she's too young or too old for this kind of job. She is an eyewitness to the horror of second impact and has the scar on her chest to prove it.

She has just returned home from work and went strait for a YEBISU. "Hi Asuka" She said casually.

"Um hi" Auska acknowledged absently.

Misato was leaning back against the refrigerator door and with practiced skill opened her beverage of choice; beer. Then chugged the entire contents of the can, finishing with an obnoxious burp. In her off time she indulged in acting like a collage student. This was not unusual, but the interesting thing was that in that space of time she had analyzed that Asuka didn't want to smoke the cigarette and something else was bothering her. She needed to find out what it was that caused her sync ratio to fall.

"I'm glad I'm not your liver" Asuka teased with out looking up.

"Sagely advice from some one holding a cigarette" Misato retorted.

Asuka chuckled "I don't really want it."

Hitting on an idea Misato opened the refrigerator and retrieved a bottle of merlot setting it on the table. Then went to the cupboard gathered two wine glasses and began rummaged for the corkscrew. "Upper left drawer." Asuka said understanding that she was about to be interrogated.

"I'm not sure that I'm comfortable with you knowing where it is so quickly" Misato said evenly.

"I'm full of surprises." Asuka countered teasingly.

"Actually if you do smoke it I'm hoping that you hate it enough not to start" Misato said earnestly.

"Haven't decided yet, " Auska said casually.

The cork escaped the bottle's grasp with an audible POP. Misato filled both glasses and, with a gentle hand, scooted one toward Asuka. "Trade ya one bad habit for another," Misato enticed with a smile.

Asuka also smiled and sipped. She was feeling mischievous. Misato took a cigarette out of the pack and lit it. She took a drag and let it out casually. Asuka placed the cigarette in her mouth. Misato flicked the butane lighter to life offering her a light. Asuka leaned forward and accepted it. Taking a few puffs with out inhaling. Then grimaced and crushed it out in the ashtray.

"Yuck! How can you stand those things?" Asuka said, quickly taking gulp of wine to get the taste out of her mouth.

'Pew that was a close one.' Misato thought to her self. She had known that telling Asuka not to smoke would have only caused her to do it out of spite. By allowing her to make her own decision she had given Asuka control, this usually worked with her. Still it had been a calculated risk.

"I'm glad you don't like it." She said simply extinguishing hers as well.

They both drank their wine quietly for a while finishing most of it before Asuka finally spoke.

"So the plan is to get me drunk and have me spill my guts?" She questioned.

"Not drunk," Misato defended, "just a little buzz to make it easier for you to talk to me about what's bothering you. Besides," Misato added with a smile, "it's a tradition in Japan to share a glass of spirits between friends."+

Asuka finished the glass and motioned for a refill, she was, beginning to get a warm feeling. "Is Kaji really gone?" Asuka's face saddened a bit at the thought he was dead. The last time she had seen him he had rejected her advances, again.

Misato took a long drink and composed her thoughts before she answered. "Yes I believe he is, the report wasn't conclusive, but…." Misato trailed off. Sensing that she may have hit upon the subject that was really bothering Asuka she continued. "Asuka, Kaji Ryoji did care about you and he respected you. Don't mistake not taking advantage of you for rejection. He was twice your age and he wanted you to have the chance to grow up, to find happiness on your own. I…hope some day you will understand that." Misato waited to see if she had hit the mark.

"I suppose your right." Finally came Asuka's strained admission.

"Aren't there any boys in your class that interest you?" Misato offered.

"Their all losers and perverts!" Asuka exclaimed bitterly.

"What about Shinji then?" Misato pressed on softly.

If it were not for the effects of the wine Asuka would have gone on a rant. She has an irrational dislike of boys ingrained from childhood. Asuka's voice dropped a bit. "Shinji doesn't like me" she said flatly.

Misato's eyes locked on Asuka's with laser focus. "Are you sure about that?" She asked honestly.

"He doesn't pay attention to me! He doesn't hold me!" Asuka's anger was building. Misato nodded to the wine glass and Asuka caught her composer taking a serious gulp. "Satisfied?" Asuka said weakly.

"Not yet…sorry we still have a ways to go." Misato's smile was meant to reassure.

"He's a wimp. I want a real man," Asuka pouted.

"That, wimp, dove into a volcano without D type equipment to save your life, Asuka" Misato countered flatly. Misato sighed and refilled both of there glasses draining the bottle. "Asuka if you don't swallow some of that pride of yours you'll never meet some one you want to be with. Your lonely plain and simple." Misato said quietly.

Asuka took a long reassuring drink thinking, then spoke. "I guess I've never thought of it that way." Asuka said solemnly and began to toy with the rim of her glass. She hated to admit weakness.

"You two could learn a lot from each other, Asuka."

"Shinji runs away from feelings he doesn't understand."

"You push people away for the same reason. If you two help each other deal with your fears and feelings you could build a friendship that can last a lifetime. You two may not fall in love, but you'll still have each other to lean on when you've been hurt. That's very important to remember." Misato took another sip and continued. "You know when he rescued you he didn't wait for an order to do it. When he realized that your lines had been cut he just jumped in with out any thought of his own safety. He was willing to die with you if he couldn't save you, it was all or nothing. those are not actions of a wimp. Shinji Ikari is a real man as far as I'm concerned." Misato concluded softy.

As Misato took another drink of her wine Asuka continued to trace circles around the rim of her glass with her index finger thinking.

She remembered the sick feeling in the pit of her stomach when she realized she would loose her life. She was sinking in magma to her death. It would have been painless, in molten lava her entry plug would have imploded and her body would have vaporized instantly. But she knew she was going to die, in the moments before Shinji seized her Eva and pulled it to the surface she understood the true meaning of helpless fear.

"I never really thanked him for that." Asuka finally said sadly ashamed.

"Maybe now is the right time," Misato said softly. "There's another bottle in there… You could share it with your friend." Misato offered helpfully. The purple-haired guardian got up and went to the refrigerator. She returned, the second bottle in tow, and set the long-necked container on the table along with an empty glass. Misato walked around Asuka and, as Asuka sat in the chair, lightly wrapped her arms around her from behind in a loving hug. "Its easier to push people away than it is to draw them near," she said. "If you take it slow you won't scare each other off." Misato said giving her a little nuzzle. "I have to finish a financial report before I go to bed, so good night," Misato said wearily. Then stopping at the fridge to get a couple beers, she headed to her room to finish her long day.

Asuka looked quietly at the bottle of wine considering Misato's advice. Then she got up and opened it, gathered up the two glasses and padded into the living room where Shinji was channel surfing. Asuka set every thing down on the low table. Then filled Shinji's glass and added more to hers. She turned to hand him the glass as he muted the TV. Neither of them had spoken yet.

"Um.Thanks" He managed studying her face closely. 'She's not angry' he thought, 'but that expression, sadness, hurt maybe.' Shinji was not good at figuring out girls, this one especially; she has layers like an onion and they can be unpleasant to unwrap.

Asuka took a long sip buying her some time. Shinji did the same out of self-preservation. "Shinji,. thanks for saving me at Mt. Asama. I shouldn't have waited so long to say this." She said quietly breaking the silence.

"It wasn't a big deal really, you were close to the surface, all I had to do was grab you before you sank too deep and you killed the angle." Shinji replied sheepishly.

"Shinji?" Just above a whisper.

"Hum." He answered in an equal tone.

"Will you hold me for a little while?" She had raised her voice a little to be certain that he heard the question and she looked him in the eye to let him know she was serious. After recovering from the initial shock of the request he finished his glass and set it aside.

This just wasn't Asuka, but if she needed him to hold her badly enough to swallow her pride to ask, he would. Unable to actually speak he simply nodded holding his arms open inviting her to join him.

Asuka took a deep drink and a deep breath then set her own glass on the table. Slowly she turned around and positioned herself in his lap allowing him to wrap his arms around her waist. Little by little Shinji felt her relax and as she did so did he. She placed her hands on his more for reassurance that they wouldn't roam than need for contact.

"Lean back." He whispered. Slowly she complied, resting her back on his chest. He moved his head forward lightly resting his chin on her shoulder. She tensed slightly at the intimacy then relaxed again when he made no further move.

From this new angle he had an embarrassing view of her cleavage and decided to focus his eyes on her toes instead. They were just as enticing though, she is a beautiful woman, but he was able to maintain self-control this way.

They embraced like this for at least an hour enjoying the warmth of each other's company with out a word between them they were not necessary. Neither had noticed that Misato was quietly observing them with a gentle smile on her face. Maybe there's hope for those two yet she thought to her self, as she returned to her room with a fresh beer and a financial report from hell.



With the help of Babel Matrix I finally managed to patch up the formatting problems with this chapter. Chapter 2 is not a carbon copy of this one. I kept most of the changes that Babel Matrix in it.

Thanks for reading and leave lots of reviews. Don't be afraid to point out my mistakes, it doesn't hurt my feelings. I try to learn from my mistakes and honest criticism helps me do that.

DC ( AKA 94saturn)