Disclaimer: I do not own NGE or the characters within. There, it's said.
True, that seemed to be the general disposition of the Second Child, but this had to do with what happened in school. Today they had gotten a substitute teacher who asked them to do a report on, of all things, mythological creatures. It certainly was different and captured many of the student's attentions. Even Ayanami Rei turned away from the window to listen in on the project. But for Asuka, it was just plain silly.'What am I, a child?'
For a girl who graduated from college, this felt like a blow to her pride at having to take on an assignment she felt was for kids in junior high school. But by the same token, it was different than having to hear their previous instructor's lectors on Second Impact (none of which were true and all of which were boring). And also, the length of the report wasn't specified, so that meant it could be as long or as short as each student wanted. Still, Asuka simply didn't like this project. It was like she was working backwards, going a grade lower each time.
"So Ikari, what are you planning on writing about?"
And to make her day worse, much of the class actually liked this project. 'Well, I guess they would. They're idiots anyway. Especially Shinji.' The boy in question was currently grouped with his two classmates, Touji and Kensuke, as they were exiting the school.
"I…I'm not sure." Shinji replied to Kensuke's question. "I've never thought something like this would come up."
"No one did, baka." Asuka snapped. "That's why this whole thing is stupid to begin with."
Touji waved a hand at her. "Ignore her, Shinji. She's just upset because she doesn't have anything to write about."
That remark of course, set her off. "Are you kidding me? I can write a better report in my sleep than you two can put together."
Kensuke quickly intervened before things went out of control (as is the case between the two) "Anyway, how about we head to my house and get a head start."
However, Asuka wasn't easily deterred. "Ha! Told you. All three of you need to be together to have a complete brain."
"Actually, I was going to visit that new library today and start there." said Shinji.
"Hmph." Asuka shook her head in mild distaste. "Just when I think you couldn't be more of a dork, baka." She swept her hair back and moved ahead of them. "Just make sure to have my dinner ready when I come back." She turned slightly to glare. "It would be in your best interest to remember that, Third."
The threat was not lost on any of them, especially Shinji. "Y-yes, Asuka."
Later that day, Shinji entered into the new library building. It was a few blocks away from the school, so walking there was no problem. He was just glad to be away from Asuka for awhile. The German girl was a bother he didn't need. It was bad enough saving the world from Angels, but when one of your teammates treated you like you were nothing, it tended to become a little much.
No matter how attractive and beautiful she was…
With a sigh, Shinji relinquished such thoughts and looked around. The designers of the place tried to give it look old-fashioned look, so the hall he walked through was lined with polished wood and stained glass. There were various seating areas and tables and also a section for computer use. The people there were few in number (a bonus for Shinji) so Shinji had no problem finding a lonely area to sit. No sooner after he placed his books in front of him when a familiar voice whispered behind him.
"Fancy meeting you here, Shinji."
Shinji whirled instantly in surprise to see usually unshaven man standing just beside him.
Remembering that he was in a library, Shinji quickly muttered an apology and looked back at the man, who had begun to take a seat next to him.
"I never thought you would come here." the boy said, in whispered tones this time.
Kaji simply shrugged. "Me neither. I was just walking about and I saw this place. I figured; why not stop in for a visit." In truth, it was one of the few places in Tokyo-3 not monitored or owned by Nerv, and he felt quite safe from his 'job' there. Wanting to change the subject away from him, the man smiled. "So what brings you here?"
"I have a report to work on. I had wanted to visit this place."
Kaji chuckled lightly, causing Shinji to give him a questioning look. Bringing his hand to his chin, he replied to the unspoken question.
"It's just…You seem like the type. Quiet, intelligent, thoughtful. A library seems to suit you."
"T-thanks." Shinji replied unsteadily. He still wasn't used to taking compliments from other and wound up sulking his head a bit. "Asuka doesn't seem to think so though."
"Ah, well. She's had more than enough books to read over and over in college." He chuckled again, this time loud enough to cause the librarian to shush him. Stifling his laughter. "She'll probably pull her hair out if she's surrounded by them again. So what's your report on?"
And that's when it started…
"I'm home. Baka, where's my dinner?"
Asuka stormed into the quiet house after a day with Hikari. The smell of food was immediate, so her question was already answered. Nevertheless, the reply from Shinji rang out in return.
"It better have." She moved to her room and plopped her things onto the bed. Coming out, she soon noticed the absence of the apartment third occupant. That being because her room door was slightly ajar and no lingerie were scattered on the floor. "Where Misato?"
"She said she wouldn't be back until late." the boy answered, bringing the food out onto the table. "Something about a late shift."
The fiery-haired girl came to the table and in front of her plate. "Good. One less problem to deal with."
Shinji let out a light sigh as re went back in the kitchen area to grab his own food, while Asuka dug into her meal. If it was one of the things she liked… no scratch that, tolerated about Shinji was that he could at least make a decent meal. Shinji soon joined her at the table, but it appeared that he was…apprehensive about something. He was hesitant to eat and simply watched Asuka. Asuka noticed his glance and was about to retort when he spoke first.
"So…have you decided on what your report is going to be on?"
Asuka frowned. Hikari had been going on about the report too. She said that hers was going to be about mermaids. Asuka didn't say anything to hurt her friend's feelings, but that didn't stop her from getting irritated by it.
"Lousy topic to start with, Third." she said without looking up.
Shinji shrugged. "Maybe, but it is a start."
"That's for me to know and for you to find out." she retorted.
"Oh." At that point, Asuka figure that he would have returned to being quiet, as he had always done. But to her surprise, he spoke further. "Well, I'm sure it will be great, whatever it is."
She blinked. Praise from Shinji? That was…different. Not totally unusual, but it was strange coming from him. However, this reflective thinking only lasted as long as the silence, which was for only two seconds. And then she spoke in answer.
"Of course it will. It's coming from me, isn't it?"
His answer provoked her to look up from her meal. It was then that see noticed that he was looking at her. Not totally blatant, but his gaze was on her presence. She returned the expression with a glare.
"Something wrong with your eyes?"
"Then I suggest you point them in another direction." she growled. "Who knows what hentai fantasies your perverted little mind comes up with."
"Hentai, no. Just fantasizing."
That was a complete shock to her. Her eyes widened at the comment. "What did you say?"
"You little hentai!" she screeched, slamming her hands down on the table and rising up over in anger. "I knew it! All along, you are nothing more than a sick little creep!"
Shinji seemed to be shaking, fearful of the German girl's wrath. But he somehow managed to keep his voice calm. "I said it wasn't hentai. But I do wonder sometimes if that's what you're thinking, since you keep bringing it up."
"What was that! How dare…!"
"I was fantasizing about a kiss."
Her anger left her instantly. "Huh?"
"I have never had a real kiss before."
"Wha…But…" At this point, she didn't know whether to be shocked or insulted. Or even…hurt…?
"I just wanted to know what one felt like."
Asuka simply looked at him, still unsure of what to say or do. And in such a case, her pride would kick in and be quickly followed by anger, though fortunately for Shinji, it was mild.
"You are a dirty little hentai, aren't you?" she spat. "I can't believe I share the same house with you."
Shinji rose up from his seat, oblivious to Asuka and began to turn away. But before he did, a single word escaped his lips.
"What was that, baka?" the girl raged.
Shinji kept his eyes down and simply turned toward his room. "Nothing. Goodnight, Asuka."
Again, typical of the Second Child, but her reason for it this time was different. It had been two days since that encounter and it was still swirling in Asuka's mind. 'He never had a real kiss before?' That was outrageous, and to her, false. They had shared a kiss. True, she had pinched his nose shut, but still…
Her eyes lifted up from her seat. The teacher was having them bring it up one by one so that he could read over it himself. For the longer reports, he would skim over it, taking in the key points of interest and then grade it and hand it back. But not before announcing to the class what the creature was. Rei had already gone up and the teacher announced that hers was on the mermaid. Shinji was nervous as he handed in the paper and the teacher read it over, a pleased expression coming over his face upon completion.
"Very impressive work, Ikari. Unicorns are always top-notch in my book."
Unicorns... So that's what he wrote about. To her, that seemed a little odd for him to write. She would have figured that he would have written something like his friends, on dragons or chimeras or something of the violent sort. But then again, it was Shinji she was talking about. Still, why unicorns? Asuka awaited her name to be called. This would be the teacher's last day in the class and she wanted to hand her report in and get this silliness over with. Still, her report was…pretty enjoyable to write. Even the creature she chosen, the phoenix, that was something she had to admit, she had gotten in to.
Come to think of it, that was what he muttered before leaving that night. She was too steamed to notice or realize, but that was what he had said to her. Was he calling her…a unicorn? Why? What did that mean if he did? She fumed again. This was getting on her nerves and she saw only one way to get around it. She had to find out the truth. But Shinji would never openly tell her. He was too much of a wimp to do so in her eyes. So let's go to the source instead.
It didn't take much for Asuka to get her hands on the report. After they had returned home, Shinji realized that they was running low on food and he had to go shopping for some as well as other supplies (Part in because of Asuka's threatening of him to have dinner made). With Misato late at work again, that left her home alone. A minute after Shinji had left, Asuka made her way into his room and into his bag. Shinji was a total neat freak so it didn't take her long to find the paper. As she pulled it out, she began to feel a bit foolish. All of this just to find out what Shinji, a stuttering idiot, may or may not have been taking about… Right now, this just seemed ridiculous. It must have been this silly report. It's making her crazy. Still, she started on this and there was no turning back now. Besides, it probably won't take her long to read. It was probably something stupid about how unicorns were pretty and whatever jumbled stuff she had heard about them. Taking the paper in her hands, she began to read…
- - - - - - - - - -
One of the most popular and most beautiful creatures of myth, the unicorn is described as a horse-like creature with a single
horn protruding from its head and pure white. Although they come in other shapes and colors, they at least fit the description of
a horse with a horn.
- - - - - - - - - -
Asuka snorted lightly. So far, it wasn't anything she didn't know. As far as she was concerned, this was a basic report. Nothing as to why he said it or how it could be related to that night. She was about to just stop altogether and put it back when she looked at a latter portion that caught her eye.
- - - - - - - - - -
Because of their beauty and the magical power within their horns, hunters would often try to catch the creature. But many won't
even catch a glimpse of the unicorn and would have no choice but to give up. Those who sought the unicorn were never able to
capture it, many who spend their entire lives, and thus are used by people as a symbol for pursuits or desires that were
- - - - - - - - - -
This line is what gained her attention. She didn't understand why, but this part stuck in her mind. Perhaps because that part seemed…personal. As though Shinji was referring to himself. But what would he deem unattainable? It wasn't like he wanted anything that way.
"I have never had a real kiss before… I just wanted to know what one felt like."
Oh my… It can't… The events of that night came right up to her face and she felt completely stunned. Now she realized why she was so bothered with him now. But now what? What did it mean? He must have to have been trying to trick me. Shutting her eyes, she resolved to put the thought out of her mind. She was just getting paranoid with all of this. Besides, even if he was being honest, it wasn't like he had tried…
Then it hit her again. Like a brick wall this time…
He had tried…
She was too heated to notice that throughout the entire conversation they had, he had not backed off shyly like he normally did. In fact, he had actually managed to keep eye contact with her, another feat for the Third Child. Even at the end; it was almost like he was trying to...goad her into it. He knew her well, but apparently, not well enough. But that's how it was with Asuka. When faced with a choice, it was more than likely that she would choose the angry one. But the fact that he tried to hold his ground meant that he was hoping for…something else.
Did he…want to kiss me?
If he had told her that on the outside, she would have laughed it off, saying of course he did and that he was a pervert for saying so. But this was something she discovered within and thus, not so easily swayed. Scanning the report again, she began to truly see what he had meant with that one word.
Unicorn… Unattainable desire…'Do you…really feel that way about me?'
She wanted to dismiss it, simply retreat back into behind her wall and forget the whole thing. But such honesty could not be denied and she would simply be foolish for attempting to do so. He wanted a real kiss. And he wanted it from her.
And she shot him down…
Shinji walked in the house, groceries latched in his hands. There was no response to his greeting, so he figured that Asuka had either left or was simply in the bathroom or her room. Either way, he had dinner to make. Closing the door, Shinji trudged into the kitchen to put the food away. But as he entered the area, he found Asuka sitting in there, looking down at a sheet of paper before her and leaning her head in one of her hands. Upon glancing, Shinji immediately recognized it.
"Is this what you meant?"
Shinji blinked at Asuka's snap question. Right now he was just wondering what she was doing with the report, which curiously, she hadn't turned away from yet.
"What do you mean?"
"Don't play dumb with me." she replied. "That night, you said unicorn. And then you hand in a report that was based on them. You didn't think I would put two and two together?"
Shinji could feel himself struggling, trying not to squirm. "Asuka…"
"Am I unattainable to you, Shinji? Is that what you meant?"
Shinji was surprised yet again, not just by the question or even the fact that she deduced it from his report. But it was how she said it. The usual temper and arrogance that was in her voice was absent, leaving only what Shinji could describe as…gentle. A part of him tensed further from this but another part of him seemed to relax, despite that. Enough for him to quietly answer her question.
"I like you, Asuka." he replied honestly. "But I think we are too different for anything to happen between us."
"That didn't stop you from trying." she retorted after a moment.
She shook her head with a sigh. "I know I call you baka, but you're not stupid. You practically tried to goad me into kissing you that night."
Shinji simply froze solid. He wasn't even aware that he was doing it that night. He had planned to go slow and just start a conversation with her. But his wording had been suggestive and even though she was riled up to notice at the time, he remembered it well afterward and almost lost it. He had hoped that Asuka would be too mad and just forget the whole thing, but apparently, he was wrong.
Asuka continued speaking, her voice still gentle. "If you thought I was unattainable, then why the change? Why try?"
"Because…" Shinji was still at a loss for words. He felt like a deer in headlights and the vehicle was just waiting there. Under that circumstance, the animal would make a run for it. Shinji felt like running too, only…he didn't. His old mantra began to repeat over and over in his head. 'I mustn't run away. I mustn't run away…' And ultimately, he was able to answer, the same answer Kaji gave him when he chose the unicorn for his report.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
"Unicorn, huh? Nice choice. Kind of like how Katsuragi is to me."
"What do you mean by that?"
"Well, unicorns were considered nearly impossible to catch. So it's also a term for when people chase after something that is nearly impossible for them to have."
"Why would they chase after it then?"
"If it were easy, then what would be the point of trying? Sometimes the hardest things in life are the things that are the most rewarding, Shinji. Hey, you could probably use that in your report."
"Yeah… Use it…"
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
"Sometimes the hardest things in life are the things that are the most rewarding."
Now it was Asuka's turn to blink, although briefly. She slowly turned to Shinji and a glint hit her eyes. "If that's the case, Third, then I'm going to make it easy for you. I'm going to let you kiss me."
Obviously not what Shinji expected. "W-What!"
Placing her arm down, the German girl turned her seat slightly to face him better. "You said that you haven't had a real kiss before, so I'm going to let you have one. That is, if you've got the spine for it."
Shinji was now upset by that remark and boldly stated. "I can."
"Then prove it." Asuka stood up from her seat and moved right up to Shinji until they were a few meters apart. She then lent out her hands and grabbed his. Shinji was about to react, but she simply opened his palm and placed her own arm in it. "I'll even let you hold my hands so I don't pinch your nose shut. Just don't tickle me so much."
"Asuka…" He was at a complete loss in this, not understanding why all of this was happening. 'I guess I asked for it.' "Are you sure?"
Asuka simply glared back. "Are you?" When he said nothing, she leaned in close and closed her eyes. "Go ahead."
Shinji was in a limbo of sorts. The girl in front of him had put him through the ringer ever since they had met. She had teased, taunted, jeered and yelled at him at every given opportunity. This could very easily be a trick on her part and by following his baser instincts, he could be setting himself up for one heck of a fall. But her words, her attitude, the scent of jasmine, her lovely face…they were compelling him, drawing him in. Was this a trick, or was she really being sincere?'I mustn't run away…'
With his old mantra whispering in his mind, Shinji moved in close and lightly planted his lips onto hers. He was still cautious, but that ended two seconds afterward when he began to get into it. Asuka's lips were so…soft…and…wow… This was far different than last time. Last time, it was a dare and he didn't get a chance to get into it because of her act. But this time was different. But what Shinji had yet to notice was why it was different, for in the two seconds after he dropped his caution, she had started….kissing him back.
'Finally', Asuka thought as Shinji kissed her. She thought for a good while that he really wouldn't do it. But the moment right now proved her otherwise. She was satisfied with the fact that she learned what Shinji had meant before as well as proud of herself for knowing Shinji this well. But there was something that she didn't expect.Whoa…
It soon shocked her when she realized that not only was he still kissing her; but now she was beginning to kiss him back. Asuka immediately felt the warmth and gentleness of his kiss and was gradually giving in to it. It was apparent that she had underestimated the Third Child as she felt herself giving more and more to him. Her internal defenses wanted to kick in, but they were all blocked off by this one kiss, which by the way, was now growing more intense.Whoa…!
Asuka suddenly broke away, nearly in shock as she sought to catch her breath. That was obviously too much for the German girl as she was trembling somewhat and gripping the edge of the table. Shinji Ikari, the spineless wimp, had just kissed the hell out of her and she wasn't ready for it. Shinji meanwhile was also shocked, but only by the fact that Asuka had broken away like that. Did he do something wrong? Was she angry?
Asuka worked to compose herself, still not believing that this boy had kissed her in such a way that was only described in romance novels and similar writings.
"H-how did you do that?
Seeing this, she realized that Shinji had no idea what she meant. How could he not know? She was nearly scared out of it and he acted as though nothing happened. No, not nothing. She could see the worry in his eyes, knowing that he felt like he did something wrong. He must have thought about this…a lot.
"You…must really like me." Shame began to fill her suddenly and she partly turned away. "Even after all the crap I put you through."
"I understand you. You just don't want to be hurt." His head lowered. "It's the same with me, only I…hide away."
Asuka looked up at him. "Not this time though."
"Not this time."
"It seems…." Asuka started, not believing what she was about to say, but saying it anyway. "That you're not the spineless wimp I say you are."
Not knowing what to say, Shinji simply became quiet. But Asuka lifted her hand to his chin and lifted up his head, so that they were in eye contact.
"So I owe you two things. First, I owe you an apology."
"You don't have to…"
But Asuka was not deterred and just went on, cutting him off in the process. "I'm sorry for the way I've been treating you all this time. You didn't deserve it and I apologize."
"It's okay, really." he reassured her. He knew it must have been really hard for her to say something like that, considering her pride. And though it was difficult, she didn't seem to have trouble forming the words. That, he guess, was Asuka for him. Even when admitting a mistake, she was too brave to let it seem to harm her. It was that bravery that he liked about her.
"And two. I owe you…" She put her arms around Shinji's neck, causing him to instantly turn red. With a smile, she closed the distance and whispered.
With that said, she now placed a kiss on him, returning the affection he had shown her and succeeding. Shinji was engulfed in the sweetness of her lips as he felt himself practically leave his own body. But all too soon again, the kiss was broken, but Asuka continued to hold him.
"How does it feel to capture a unicorn, baka?"
AN: This is my first true Asuka/Shinji fanfic and it took me some time to think about what setting to use. Judging from my current works, I favor Rei/Shinji pairings. But that doesn't mean I don't enjoy a good A/S pairing too. So here's me giving it a shot. Is it good? Bad? OOC? (I'm sure it is). Let me know. Ja ne!