Disclaimer: I don't own anything. This is just a mild lime/romance bit I did in my spare time.
Shinji liked showers. Not because he simply disliked bathes, it was more complicated than that.
He wasn't sure why he disliked bathing. He knew that bad memories always found him in the bath.
Maybe it was his inability to swim that made him nervous being submerged in water.
Maybe it was the fact that bathes didn't actually get a person clean.
(I mean, how could someone get clean if they were sitting in a pool of lukewarm water that was a combination of the soap you were trying to clean yourself with, and the filth you were trying to distance yourself from?)
Maybe it was the fact that he had taken a bath before his mother had taken him to her work place the day she had died.
Yes, perhaps that's where all the bad memories came from.
In any event, Shinji didn't like bathes. And the fact that Misato once told him that bathes were used for relaxation, not actually cleaning, didn't help much.
The battle against the Angel had been devastating. But Shinji and the other pilots had emerged victorious.
"And did you see the way I shot that Angel! BANG! Nailed it right in the core!" Asuka stated proudly, pointing her finger like an outstretched gun.
Shinji said nothing as he held his left shoulder. In order for Asuka to hit the Angel's core, she had to shoot through Eva 01, who was holding the Angel so that it couldn't escape while being close enough to it to neutralize it's AT-Field. Because of his high synch rate, Shinji felt the Eva's pain as if he had been shot himself. Had it been any higher he would've sustained more than just bruises.
"Yes, Asuka, you did a really good job, killing the Angel." Misato said with a slight grimace that the girl missed.
"Thank you!" the redhead beamed.
"And If You Ever Pull Such A Reckless Stunt Again, I'll Ground You From Piloting For A Month!" the older woman growled.
"Huh?" the dumbfounded girl asked.
Misato played back the tape of Asuka shooting the Angel, her bullets tearing up Unit 01's shoulder joints in order to get to the Angel's core.
"You're job is to defeat the Angels, not shoot holes in your fellow pilots!" Misato said. "You're lucky the commander isn't here to see this mess."
"All the muscle connections were severed. Armor plating cracked, at the joints, which have to be both replaced and refitted. Hell the whole left arm has to be reattached. The damage is so specific it'll take at least two weeks to repair!" Ritsuko fumed as she went over the list of mutilation. "To say nothing of the pilot himself."
"Why is that a consideration?" Asuka asked as Misato looked over at Shinji, who was absently rubbing his 'shot up' arm.
"Shinji's high synch ratio." Misato said.
"As I'm sure you're aware, the higher the pilots synch ratio to their Eva's the better they are able to control it." Ritsuko explained. "However, the downside to that is that they become so synchronized they actually feel what the Eva feels. As if it were happening to them. Though I still don't know how he managed to pick up the freaking arm and carry it back to the cages. Shinji will be lucky to pilot with just a one-armed Eva, and I would not recommend that. He'll have to be put on back-up until it's all repaired."
"I'm sure he won't complain." Misato said.
"At least he'll stop hogging the spotlight." Asuka said, and then instantly regretted it.
"IS THAT WHY YOU SHOT HIM FULL OF HOLES? SO THAT HE WOULDN'T HAVE TO PILOT? SO YOU'D GET THE SPOTLIGHT? YOU SELFISH, ARROGANT..."
"Hey! Baka-Shinji could have ducked!" she defended.
Somehow, Shinji expected Asuka to pile the blame on him.
"If he had the Angel would have moved and you wouldn't have been able to shoot it! He probably would have gotten shot through the chest. He disabled the Angels' AT-Field so that you could take the freaking shot! The least you can do is say thank you and apologize to him!"
The redhead just groused.
"How's the shoulder Shinji?" Misato asked, realizing she wasn't going to apologize.
"Sore. I... I think I need to go take a shower." the boy answered.
"You should try soaking it in hot water." she suggested.
Shinji balked a little. "I... no. A shower's fine."
"Alright, then, go on. You've got the next two weeks off from piloting, so make the most of it."
Shinji bowed out and left to go to the showers. Asuka was fuming.
"Why do you baby him so much?" the redhead asked.
"Because unlike you, Asuka, Shinji needs compassion, not praise, if he's going to get stronger."
Shinji walked along the hallways, still rubbing his shoulder. It wasn't Asuka's fault, really. She was just in a bad position and he couldn't have moved himself to avoid the barrage if he had known when it was coming. The slightest movement, and the Angel would have been out of position to shoot it.
But Shinji let it go. What's done was done and Asuka had more to deal with from both Misato and Ritsuko now.
He was so wrapped up in his thoughts that he didn't notice the strangely blinking lights that were overhead. They suddenly started flashing wildly, which caught his attention at just the wrong time. Shinji looked up as the light suddenly exploded in a spray of sparks and glass. Fortunately the glass missed his eyes as the light abruptly broke in two and fell down with the cable still attached, catching the light from hitting Shinji, but sending a spray of sparks into both retinas.
"ARGH!!" he shouted as he instinctively dropped to the ground in a panic.
Tears started streaming from his eyes, and from the sound of things there was no one else in the hall to help him. With eyes still shut he slowly got back up to his feet and started inching along the walls. He knew that he wasn't too far from the bathrooms so he made his way there.
He found the door and went inside. His eyes were in such pain that they were obstructing both his eyesight and his mental impression of the locker room.
He managed to get to the shower and started inching his way along the wall. If he could find the knobs then maybe he could wash his eyes out and he would be fine. At least it occupied his mind enough to avoid thinking about the pain. He continued touching the tiled walls, inching around until he found the right knob. He turned it on and felt the spray of the water douse his eyes with liquid healing.
While he continued to let the water wash the small amounts of scarring debris out of his eyes, Rei just watched him in silence.
The blue-haired girl had left before Shinji had in order to take a shower. She had gotten to the locker room and shed her plugsuit before stepping into the stall. She was about to turn the water on when she heard someone else stumble into the shower. Turning around she noticed that it was Pilot Ikari. At first she thought he had mistakenly walked into the girls locker room, and would have said something, until she saw him rubbing his tear-soaked eyes. While this was not wholly unusual to see the shy boy in tears, the fact that he had what looked like scorch marks around his eyes was.
She watched as he carefully walked through the shower room, inching across the wall and feeling the tiles as if looking for the shower knobs. The problem was, the closest ones were the ones she was standing right in front of. She said nothing, not wanting to startle the boy. She knew if she said anything he would most likely panic and try to run out, which would have caused him more harm than the state he was in right now. And considering the fact that he was in the girls locker room right now meant that no one had been outside to help point him in the right direction or offer him aid.
He was doing this on his own. Rei continued to watch him for that reason. Even in this marred state, with the injuries of the last Angel battle and the Second Child's poor marksmanship, he was still struggling to take care of himself.
In a way she thought it admirable that he tried to do this.
She watched him all the way, moving towards her until his arms had found the shower knobs, trapping her body in between his arms. She moved just enough so that she wasn't touching his arms. Didn't want to scare him by revealing there to be another person in the shower with him, which even if it was a male would have made him panic.
Or would it have made him panic more? She wasn't sure.
The water continued to rain down on the boys face, the forceful spray splashing against him and hitting her as well. The spray at first causing her nude body to glisten, then soak as it increased.
She just stared, taking in his soft features as the water washed over him, dripping down his plugsuit covered skin and matting his hair down. He raised his head to face the downpour, a pained look on his face as his eyes continued to hurt. He forced them open and let the water into his eyes, washing away the sparks and minute debris that had invaded his retinas.
This continued for several minutes. Shinji washing out his eyes and Rei just watching him. She just leaned against the wall of the shower, only a couple inches of space between herself and him.
Finally, Shinji had blinked out enough of the sparks to safely open his eyes. He shook his head as he turned off the water, the excess dripping from him in large amounts. He breathed a sigh of relief that at least the pain was dying down. Lowering his head he tried to focus his eye sight... and froze when he found himself staring into a familiar pair of crimson orbs.
"Hey, Wondergirl! You in here?" Asuka's voice cut through the haze of their silence.
Shinji was about ready to panic and scream at the situation he was in, opening his mouth on pure instinct to do so, only to find a pale hand quickly covering his mouth and halting his scream.
"Be quiet and do as I instruct." Rei whispered to Shinji.
He nodded in response, keeping his eyes level with hers.
Rei exited the shower, standing stark naked before the Second Child.
"Hey are you... AAHHH!" Asuka screamed as she quickly turned to look away. "What the hell do you think you're doing? Flashing me?"
"I apologize. I left my towel in my locker." she said as she proceeded to retrieve her towel from her locker that was right across from Asuka's.
The redhead turned away as the dripping wet albino walked over to her locker.
"God, have you no decency?" Asuka asked.
"Do you not find my body interesting?" Rei queried.
"What the hell is that supposed to mean?" she shouted, keeping her eyes closed as she noticed Rei was directly in her mirror's line of sight. I'm not a pervert, I'm not a lesbian, I'm not a pervert, I'm not a lesbian. She kept mentally muttering to herself.
As soon as Asuka had closed her eyes, Rei motioned from Shinji to come out of the shower. She grabbed her towel and moved closer to Asuka. She threw her towel around her shoulders and extended her arms to create a small white wall that Shinji quickly snuck behind and was out of the locker room before Asuka even had a chance to blink open even slightly.
Even wet, Shinji was amazed that the plugsuits didn't squeak.
"Ikari-kun has enjoyed looking at my body." Rei said, causing Shinji to pause and actually look back. He saw Rei give him a light smile, not unlike the one she gave him during the 5th Angel battle.
Asuka, however, had had enough of this, grabbed her towel and with her other hand over her eyes walked from the locker room into the large shower stall.
Rei wrapped her towel around her body and turned to see Shinji still standing in the doorway. She gave him a wink before moving back to her locker.
Yes, Shinji definitely liked showers better.
Hope everyone enjoyed this little one-shot story, which is basically a Shinji/Rei story on how the pair actually got into the shower together. Going through the normal means of doing something like that, by making it a straight romance story where the pair got into the shower on purpose, would have been too difficult. It made more sense to do it accidentally.
However, this does make for a good set-up to a possible lemon in the next chapter.
Depending on how many reviews I get for this one, I'll do a second chapter which is more sensual.