THE INFALLIBLE IKARI

by Gunman

Disclaimer: own nothing. Big surprise.

Author's Notes: The word 'infallible' is another word for dependable or reliable. That is the most crucial aspect of this story. I chose the word because Infallible and Ikari are both 'I' starting words.

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It was a typical day in NERV.

Misato was filling out reports, which she hated.

Ritsuko was 'arguing' with the Magi over the Angel data.

Fuyutsuki was attending another city council meeting on Gendo's behalf.

Rei was doing a training simulation in her Eva.

Most of the tech-staff were trying to rebuild the Angel-damaged Evangelions.

Shinji was lying in a hospital bed.

And Ryoji Kaji... he was trying to get a cup of coffee out of one of the machines.

Jeez! Is Ikari so cheap that he can't even keep his employees happy with a little caffeine? He thought as his ears suddenly caught the sound of a pair of stomping shoes he knew very well. Uh-oh, here comes Asuka. She's probably going to start flirting with me like crazy. Kaji thought as he saw the image of the German redhead approach him. Keeping himself civil, he put on his best smile for the girl. "Hello, Asuka. How have you..."

KICK!

"OUCH!! Asuka, what's wrong with you? Why did you do that?" he cried out as he held his shin.

"Because you're an insensitive jerk that I can't depend on anymore!" Asuka spat.

Naturally this had Kaji confused as he had failed to notice her expression. "What are you..."

"I called you Kaji! Last night, more than a dozen times, and you didn't pick up! Didn't answer me or call back! It was an emergency!" she shouted.

I'm sure. Probably just another ruse to make me rush to the rescue so she can swoon over me. He thought, knowing full well her obvious infatuation with him.

"I could have been raped or worse and Shinji could have died if..."

That got Kaji's attention. "Shinji? What's he got to do with this?"

"He saved me!" she cried out. "I was attacked on the street and he actually came to help me! And I only had to call him once!" she cried as she kicked him again.

"Asuka, stop that!" he cried, holding his other shin now.

"All the times I trusted you, replied on you, so sure that you'd be there when I really needed it! And it was all a shame, a lie! You never really cared about me!"

"Asuka that's not..."

KICK!

"Dammit Asuka!" he cried out, letting his hand fly.

SLAP!

Kaji and Asuka froze. The man from what he had just done on reflex, the girl from the realization that she had been right.

"Shinji never would have hit me. Never!" the redhead sobbed as she turned and ran down the dark hallway.

"Asuka..." Kaji cried out, but too late. "What was that all about?"

"You don't know?" Familiar voice said from behind him.

"Misato!" he gasped as he turned to the woman with a smile.

"Where the hell were you Kaji?" Misato asked.

"Oh, not you too!" he groaned.

"I'm serious! Asuka called you at least a dozen times last night and you didn't answer. Why?"

At this point Kaji couldn't tell them he had left his phone at his apartment while he was snooping around NERV looking for evidence to expose Gendo's plans. Couldn't risk having his cellphone on him when he was sneaking around the top secret organization.

"I was on a date." he lied.

"And you turned your phone off?"

"That's right."

"That's stupid! You work for NERV Kaji! What if someone needed to get a hold of you, like for something important!" she said as she stepped past the man to where Asuka had run off.

"Misato, calm down and tell me what happened." he said.

The woman huffed and turned around to face him.

"It started last night. Asuka was on another blind date for her friend Hikari and..."

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(FLASHBACK)

Asuka's blind date for Hikari hadn't been the highlight of her life, but this is what friends did for each other. However, after Asuka and her dishwater-dull date stepped out of the restaurant, they are met by a group of older boys from another school looking for a good time, and find Asuka.

Her date had actually tried to act all macho and take on the boys himself, only to get beat up for his trouble. Asuka knew he was an idiot, but showing off like that was beyond moronic.

While Asuka could normally handle herself in a fight, there was something about this situation she just didn't like. Maybe it was because she could tell that these guys weren't your average thugs. They were more like brawlers and the like, or maybe it was because there were about eight to nine of them and it was obvious what they wanted from her.

Asuka wisely chose to run away from them, but pulled her cellphone out of her purse and called up the one person she felt she could always depend on.

Ryoji Kaji.

Within the span of an hour Asuka had called and left a dozen urgent messages on his answering service, at the same time running and hiding all over the city from the boys. But Asuka was fairly noticeable if nothing else so hiding in a crowd was hard. For some reason it didn't occur to her to even try to go home. Or maybe she thought that Kaji would arrive and save her.

After her fifteenth call Asuka relented and decided to call someone else.

She thought herself rather desperate, as she actually called Shinji.

(Katsuragi/Sohryu/Ikari residence) Shinji said over the phone, which made Asuka grin a little as he put himself after her name, even though he had lived there longer.

"Shinji, it's me, Asuka! I'm in some trouble here!" she shouted.

(What's wrong?)

"I've been chased by a group of boys for the last hour. I can't get a hold of Kaji, and I don't know where the hell Section 2 is!"

(Alright, where are you?)

"Near some Chinese restaurant on 7th street." she said, noticing the area she was in.

(I know where that is! Just hang on, Asuka, I'll be right there.) He said and then hung up the phone.

Shinji's coming for me? Just like that? She wondered as she ducked behind the dumpster.

Ten minutes later found Shinji running through the alleyway looking for Asuka.

"Asuka! Asuka are you here?"

"Shinji!" she said as she emerged from the shadows and touched his shoulder.

"AH!" he gasped as touched him. "Asuka! Are you alright?" he said, slowing his breathing down.

"I'm fine, but where..."

"I think she went down here!" the pair heard a strange voice call out.

"The boys who were chasing you?" he asked as Asuka nodded.

Shinji looked around and pulled her down the alleyway.

"Here, get in!" Shinji said as he stopped in front of a large dumpster.

"What? I'm not..."

"Don't argue with me, Asuka. Just get in!" he cried as he quickly scooped the girl up in his arms and tossed her into the dumpster.

"But Shinji, what about you..." Asuka cried as she tried to get out.

"Don't worry. They're not looking for me. I'll be alright!" he said as he shoved her into the dumpster and closed the lid.

Chinese noodles. Great. At least it's not Sweet and Sour Pork. That stuff takes forever to come out of silk.

Seconds later she hears a conversation outside the dumpster.

"Hey, kid."

"Huh?"

"Where's the girl?"

"What girl?"

PUNCH!

"A redhead in a blue dress. Where is she?"

PUNCH!

"Alright. Alright. (Cough) She went down the alleyway, that way."

Asuka heard the sound of several feet running past, then several seconds later the dumpster opened up.

"Asuka, come on." Shinji weakly said as the redhead climbed out.

It was then she noticed his face.

"Are you alright?" she asked, eyeing his bruise.

"It's nothing. Those guys are lightweights compared to you." he laughed.

Asuka almost felt her heart drop when he said that. More from the fact she had hurt the one person who had come to help her. Yet he still came, and had been injured doing so.

"Hey! It's a dead end!" a voice called from the alleyway.

"Time to go!" Shinji said as he grabbed Asuka's hand and raced down the alleyway.

However, the boys were quicker than them and the running pair saw them gaining on them.

"Keep running!" Shinji shouted as he pushed Asuka ahead, the girl feeling him fall behind her.

Asuka reached the end of the alleyway and turned around to see Shinji throw himself at the boys. He was little more than a stumbling block, but they took to beating the crap out of him.

However, before Asuka could race to help him, a pair of black sedan's pulled up.

"About time you guys got here!" Asuka grumbled as the Section 2 agents quickly took to beating up the group of boys while Asuka raced to Shinji's brutalized body.

Once the ambulance arrived to take care of Shinji, Asuka called up Misato to tell her what had happened.

(END FLASHBACK)

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"I didn't... I'm sorry Misato, I didn't know, I..." Kaji started to say, truly sorry after hearing that Shinji was currently still unconscious from last night.

"Where were you Kaji? And don't give me that 'I was on a date' crap, because it's just unbelievably lame." Misato spat.

"What? You don't believe I could get a date?" he tried to tease.

"Don't you dare change the subject, Kaji!" Misato spat again as the man's cellphone rang.

This time he answered it, and wished he hadn't.

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"Mr Ryoji, it's come to our attention that you were contacted several times by the Second Child last night, and you failed to respond." Gendo Ikari said as the unshaven man stood in the large dark office of the commander of NERV.

"Well, you see sir..."

"Is this true?"

"Well, yes. But at first I thought it was just Asuka's crush on me and..."

"Regardless of the girls infatuation, this was one of those moments where her life was actually in danger. And then there is this." Gendo said as the monitor behind him played the security feed of Kaji slapping Asuka.

It was not exactly Kaji at his best.

"In light of these incidents, and your numerous suspicious activities in and around the Geofront, we have no choice but to terminate your employment here at NERV." Sub-commander Fuyutsuki said.

"What?" he gasped.

Ordinarily termination from Gendo meant using a bullet.

"There is a Section 2 detail waiting for you, with your belongings packed in your car. They will escort you to the city limits." the grim commander said.

"You're... firing me?"

"As I said, we have numerous suspicions, but no proof of any illegal activities. And as your unreliability has been proven, NERV is hence forced to simply terminate your stay here. If you return again, you will be... dealt with." he said darkly.

Kaji was shocked. He was being fired. Just fired.

While this was surprising in of itself, it also meant that he would be unable to carry out his mission for the UN and SEELE.

He'd be alive, but his goal was shot.

And all because he hadn't been sensitive to Asuka's feelings and needs.

In the past Asuka had demanded so much attention from him, and he had played it off as nothing but a school-girl crush. Her hormones acting up. Or was it something more?

She acted like a love-sick school girl so he never really took her serious. But now, after hearing that she actually had needed him, really seriously needed him, and he hadn't been there for her, he felt like a heel.

The man nodded and turned to leave the large office.

"Aren't we being just a little bit generous with him, Ikari?" Fuyutsuki asked once the man had gone.

"I don't think so. We know SEELE and the UN sent him to spy on us, but we couldn't confirm it, nor send him away without just cause. This little incident was most convenient for us. He will be both humiliated and possibly executed by SEELE for failure on his part. At any rate it is out of our hands. And if he ever does return, he'll be signing his own death warrant."

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Asuka ran all the way to Shinji's hospital room after seeing Kaji.

When she arrived she saw him just lying in the bed, an IV hooked up to his right arm, his face and body bandaged, but not so much that she couldn't see his face, she wept. She slid her shoes off and crawled into the bed, snuggling against Shinji's left side.

He came for me. Only had to call him once and he came for me. Asuka thought as she hugged the boy gently. He risked his life for me, took so many beatings... for me. She thought as a tear rolled down her cheek.

She realized now that her affection for Kaji was only a crush. That he really didn't care about her like she wanted him too.

But Shinji... he did care.

She could rely on him to be there for her, to help and protect her. To be strong and selfless when it counted. She knew full well that she could depend on him, and now it was time for her to show him that he could depend on her.

She reached up and gently kissed his cheek. She saw his lips upturn into a small smile, yet he didn't wake up. That made Asuka smile a little herself. She continued to watch him for several minutes before she fell into slumber, hugging the boy tightly.

Outside the room, a certain purple-haired woman just watched and smiled at the tender scene.

Take good care of him, Asuka. You're never gonna find a more dependable man than Shinji. Misato thought, vaguely wondering what Kaji had been called to Gendo's office for.

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Author's Notes:

Hope everyone enjoyed this little story.

To me, Shinji had always seemed the dependable and reliable type. But Asuka never saw him as that, so I decided to write up a story where Shinji proved to be dependable to the redhead. However, since Asuka only felt she could trust Kaji, I needed a way to have Asuka shift her opinion of the unshaven man to the blue-eyed boy, making it seem as if she couldn't count on Kaji to be there for her. And since Kaji never really seemed to care too much about Asuka, his focus more on Misato and his job of exposing NERV's secrets, it wasn't hard to play this up.

And please check out my other stories, some of which are in the 'Rated M' section.

And now, OMAKE!

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OMAKE 1

Asuka in the dumpster...

"Oh you can't be serious! What is this?" she asked as she smelt her hands. "Sweet and sour pork sauce? Soy sauce? Wasabi mustard?" she groaned. "God, these stains will take forever to get out. Then again, I guess it could have been worse. It could have been an American restaurant grease dumpster. I'd never get those stains out." she shuddered at that image. "Hell, I'd probably drown."

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OMAKE 2

"Hello, Asuka. How have you..."

KICK!

"OUCH!! Oh, jeez Asuka!" Kaji cried out as he doubled over onto the floor, clutching his crotch.

"That's for not returning my phone calls, you insensitive jerk!" Asuka spat as she kicked the man in the groin once again.

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OMAKE 3

"Where were you Kaji? And don't give me that 'I was on a date' crap, because it's just unbelievably lame." Misato spat.

"What? You don't believe I could get a date?" he tried to tease.

"Only with some incredibly desperate woman who didn't know what you were about."

"Does that include you?"

Misato grimaced as she moved up to Kaji and connected her knee with his groin.

"OWWwwwww!" he groaned as he tumbled to the ground, which was followed by several more 'stomps' on his groin by the woman's shoe.

"I guess now you'll have to impress all those women with just your sparkling personality." Misato said as she walked off.