Chapter 12

And here's Chapter 12!

[Cricket chirps

I know you guys are out there...Fine, don't reply, just leave me to rot in author hell[sniff. Just kidding, I know you all love reading this stuff. A note, because I use Google to translate my German, it will be both crude and sometimes wrong. If you spot any mistakes me and my beta missed, let us know, and don't give us crap about 'doing it wrong' or 'your German sucks', just let us know if there's a mistake. Thank you

Disclaimer: I do not own NGE, Gainax does. I do own all original characters, and if they bear any resemblence to real people or fictional characters in other stories it is merely coincidental

Preread by YouarenotasrandomasI

Now, on with the show!

Misato looked up as Hikari entered the room the girls all shared, "Hey Hikari, how are things for our favorite lovebirds?"

Seeing the confused look on her face, the older woman pointed out the window. Following her finger, the brunette found that they could easily see both Shinji and Asuka sitting in the park where she last left them.

"Oh," Hikari said, "I left them there, 'cause I figured they might need some alone time to confess their feelings for one another"

Chuckling, Misato told her, "You've got a devious little mind Hikari. I like this plan"

Looking around, the brunette heard discussions going on in the boys' room next door. It was then that she thought up of yet another brilliant plan.

"Misato-san," she said, "I think you might like this next plan"


The older woman leaned in to hear what Hikari had planned. She smirked and giggled at a few points as the girl whispered her plan. When the brunette finished, Misato put in her two cents and made a few good suggestions.

After a fit of giggling, Hikari looked out the window and saw that Shinji and Asuka were walking back to the hotel. They were holding hands and he was helping carry her stuff.

"This might be easier than we planned," Misato said with a mischievous grin


"Was it something I did?" Shinji asked in response to the statement that he was a problem to Asuka

Shaking her head, the red-head placed a hand on his arm and told him, "No, it's nothing like that"

"Then what is it?"

"I think I like you more than just as friends," she replied in a low and nervous tone, "You're different than any other guy I've met"

Shinji stayed quiet and listened as Asuka continued to talk, "The others only saw me for my outward appearance, lusting over the physical. I've never seen you even glance at me like that"

"Very few people has ever tried to get to know me better, your one of those few who was my friend"

Nodding his head, Shinji encouraged her to go on. Taking a deep breath, Asuka continued in a more confident tone

"And now we're both feeling something more for each other, and I'm just worried that it might tear up our friendship if it messes up," she said, looking away a little, "I don't have that many friends and you're one of my best"

Smiling, Shinji replied, "Well, you're my best friend, too. If you prefer it to stay that way, it's fine by me"

"That's the thing," she interjected, "I want to be more than just friends"

Losing the smile, to which Asuka instantly missed, though she would not admit it, Shinji asked, "What's the real problem then?"

Sighing, the Asuka took a few moments to compose her thoughts and then said bluntly, "If there is another girl, a girlfriend, I'm afraid you'll leave me. Like my parents"

Hearing that, Shinji remembered that this was a topic that Asuka didn't like to talk about. He recalled how vehemently she told him to never ask her about it. This time, the boy felt that he should push her for some information, but he should be careful not to push too hard.

"What happened to your parents?" Shinji asked gently

Biting her lower lip, Asuka didn't answer right away. Putting his hand on hers, the boy patiently waited until the girl was comfortable enough to talk

"My mother," she said haltingly, "she was a nice and kind woman. She would take me out for walks through the park, and push me on the swings"

Gulping, she told him, "It happened when I was four. She suddenly fell ill, and had to be hospitalized. The doctors didn't know what was wrong, and she just kept getting worse day after day"

A few tears appeared in her eyes as she remembered that day. She felt something wipe the tears that spilled onto her cheeks and looked up. Shinji was gently wiping away the tears that were spilling, a look of compassion on his face. Smiling at him a little, she shook her head and wrapped up her story as quickly as possible

"Anyway, my mother passed away," she said, covering her sniffles, "And my dad just abandoned me with my aunts and uncles"

"I never realized it was so bad," he said, "It must have been hard, losing your parents"

There was a moment of silence before Shinji got to his feet. Looking up in surprise, Asuka stared at his outstretched hand and then to him. He had a smile and a compassionate glint to his eyes.

"I'll make you a promise," he declared, "I swear to never leave your side, no matter what happens, I will be with you whether as a friend of something more"

Heart fluttering, Asuka was shocked to hear Shinji make such a drastic promise. At the same time, she felt really warm inside as he made that promise.

"Do you have any ideas of the implications that promise means?" Asuka asked him, a light teasing tone in her tone

Sensing her lift in mood, he replied, "Aside from marriage? No"

Surprised at his sharp perception, the girl asked, "When did you get so sharp?"

Bashfully, Shinji scratched the back of his head as he told her that he heard about it after reading a book. After hearing such an absurd statement, the German girl could not help but laugh. The tension completely broken apart, the two began to walk back to the hotel, neither realizing that they had grabbed hold of the other's hand.

Across the park, hidden beneath the shadows of the trees, a pair of figures stood as they watched the couple walking away. Sighing, the male figure shook his head as he took his sunglasses off to rub his eyes

"That was really sweet of him," he said, putting his sunglasses back on

A smirk on her face, the female figure teased, "Are you crying? I knew you were a sucker for those kinds of semantics"

Shaking his head, the boy walked away, followed closely by the girl. They went a little way away until they met up with another figure. Unlike the other two, he had silvery hair. He was a head taller than the other two and had an eye-patch over his right eye. He wore sunglasses like the other two

Running a hand through his hair, the new person asked, "How much longer is this going to take? I'm itching for some action"

The shorter boy replied, "Captain One-Eye, how many times do I have to tell you, we need to be patient"

"And how many times do I have to tell you, stop calling me that?" the silver-haired boy said irritably, "I hate waiting, and all we're doing is watching some stupid soap opera"

The first boy and the girl sighed at his impatience. In truth, they too wanted to move, but the circumstances required a certain subtle flair that the other boy was too temperamental for.

"Relax," the girl said, "As soon as we can get him by himself, we can take action. All we need is a little patience"

Growling, the tall boy retorted, "How long do we even have? We know they're only here on vacation, we don't know when they'll leave"

"Don't worry," the other boy replied, "When have we ever failed in our missions?"

Snorting, the taller boy said in a mocking tone, "Now that you mention it, there was that one mission. And it involved him too. Not only did it fail, but I lost my eye because of it"

"It wasn't as if you were that good looking to begin with," the shorter one said in jest, "If anything, you look better. And speaking of looks, why haven't you dyed your hair like us? You stand out way too much as you are now"

"Shut it," the tall boy said angrily, "Before I shut it for you"

Before the argument got out of control, the girl interrupted them, "Stop your testosterone competition and get your heads back into the game. We still have to finish this before the higher ups catch on to us"

Sighing, the shorter boy said, "She's got a point, at most we'd have two to three days left. So we might have to rush, but we still have tomorrow and the day after"

Smirking, the silver-haired boy added, "Good, so then we can move soon"

At the hotel, the group was having dinner as they discussed what they would do the next day.

"I'm thinking we should take a break," Misato suggested, "Relax at the beach again"

"Sounds good," Touji replied, thinking about Hikari in her bathing suit, "I guess we've been doing a lot since we got here"

"What are you talking about," Asuka retorted, "We've been here three days, and one was spent indoors because of a stupid storm"

Chuckling, Hikari told her, "Gomen Asuka, but not all of us are as full of energy as you"

Frowning, the German girl asked, "Are all you Dummköpfe just going to be lying around all day at the beach?"

Waving her hand, Misato tried to calm the girl down, "Easy Asuka-chan, you don't have to join us you know. You can go out and do something while we're all lazing about at the beach"

"But it's so boring by myself," she said in a whiny tone

"I'll go with you," Shinji suggested

Both Hikari and Misato shared hidden smiles as their plan was beginning to take place.

"I heard that there are a couple of special places for dates," Misato teased, "Maybe the two of you should visit a few of them"

Oddly, the German girl didn't argue, she did flush a little as she thought about it. The older woman smirked as she watched the girl think it through.

I see that your little talk with Shinji changed something, Misato thought; I wonder what you'll do now?

In an effort to maintain her outward appearance, Asuka said, "There's a lot to do out here, so I might not get to do everything," although the look on her face said she was interested

"Whatever," Kensuke said in a bored tone, "I'm up for a day at the beach. A tan might make the chicks dig me"

Snorting so hard that she choked, Asuka gasped as she said, "Nothing could ever make you attractive to the girls; just live with the fact you'll be alone your whole life"

While Shinji was rubbing her back to help her regain her breath, Hikari admonished her, "Come on Asuka, be nice"

Kensuke only grumbled about how he'd prove her wrong someday. Misato chuckled as she watched the group of friends joking with one another.

"Alright," she said, quelling all conversation, "So I guess the plan for tomorrow is that while Shinji and Asuka are out on their date, the rest of us will be at the beach"

Both teens flushed while the others had a laugh at their expense. They were both very glad when the conversation turned to other topics.

The next day

The others had left early to spend time at the beach, so Asuka and Shinji found themselves alone in their respective rooms that morning. Despite how she might have acted the evening before, the red-head was glad for the chance to be alone with Shinji for the day. Today, she would find out if the feelings they had for one another were meant to be

Looking through her luggage, Asuka found something that would fit the occasion. She pulled out her yellow sundress, the same one she wore when Shinji fell into their lives.

"Ano, Asuka," Shinji called out from the other room, "are you ready yet?"

"In a moment," she called back, stripping out of her pajamas and slipping on her sundress. She was quick about it, because she didn't want to waste too much time

Just as Shinji was about to knock on the door again, it opened and Asuka walked out. He grinned as he recognized the dress.

"Well, what are we waiting for," the red-head said, grabbing his arm, "Let's get going"

After grabbing a quick breakfast in the hotel's dining hall, the couple left and walked side by side through the city. Neither of them noticed that they were being followed.

The first thing that the pair went to was a very beautiful park. There was a pond in the middle filled with koi fish that people could feed as they crossed the bridge. Shinji and Asuka stopped in the middle of the bridge as they crossed to look at the brightly colored fish

"Here," Shinji passed a bag of leftover toast they took with them when they left the hotel for breakfast. There was a single piece of toast, but plenty of crumbs that they could give to the fish

Asuka took a small handful and tossed in into the pond. The two teens smiled and had a little laugh watching the fish scramble to get the food before any other fish could. Behind them, they could hear a camera click, and decided to move so whoever was taking the picture could have more room.

They moved to another section of the park, where they found an ice-cream vendor. Shinji ordered a strawberry scoop for Asuka and a chocolate for himself. As they turned to walk away, they heard the vendor shout in dismay. Turning, they saw that the brakes had failed on the cart and was careening out of control down the hill. They didn't see what happened next, but they did hear someone shouting as the cart hit them.

"Wow," Asuka said, "That's unlucky"

Leaving the vendor to sort out his troubles, the couple walked out of the park, enjoying their frozen treats.

"Hey look," the German girl said, "an arcade, let's go"

Inside the darkened building, there was a wide variety of games to choose from. The first game they went to was the dance simulator.

"It's a song for two," Shinji noted, as Asuka got onto one of the platforms, "I'm not sure if I can dance all that well"

"Come on," she said, holding her hand out, "It's pretty simple, just step on the arrow just as it approaches the top"

After being pulled up, Shinji had a moment to adjust himself before the game started. Despite a few fumbles in the beginning of the game, he was able to keep pace with the song, earning a decent score.

"You see," Asuka said proudly, "It's pretty simple. Now let's go do a harder song"

They danced for over an hour, easily claiming the high scores. They would have gone on longer, except they were running out of tokens, and they were feeling hungry

After a loud grumble from his stomach, Asuka said with a tease, "Let's go get something to tame that hungry beast"

"More like beasts," Shinji teased back as the German's stomach began to rumble even louder, "I hope it's still in its cage"

Flushing in embarrassment, the red-faced red head chased after the laughing boy, accidentally knocking into a few people. They then bumped into one person, causing a domino effect, in which people began to fall over, knocking someone else. With a cartoon sound, they all fell and landed in a heap.

Sweating, Asuka grabbed Shinji's arm, "Come on, let's go and get lunch"

"But what about those people?"

"Just come on," the red-head said desperately, dragging him behind her.

They ran quite a distance before Asuka finally slowed. As the two took the moment to catch their breaths, she noticed that she was still holding Shinji's hand. Embarrassed, the red-head made to let go when she felt his grip tighten lightly. Looking up, she met Shinji's smiling face

"Let's go get some lunch," he said, "All that running didn't exactly help"

Both of their stomachs rumbled simultaneously, causing them to laugh at one another. They then continued walking, looking for a place to eat. All the while they still held hands as they eventually came to a little café, and stopped to have lunch there

"Hello there," the receptionist greeted, "A table for our cute couple?"

They both blushed as they nodded. The receptionist gave a chuckle as he led them to a window seat. After giving them their menus, he told them that someone would be with them momentarily. After they had placed their orders, Asuka asked what they should do next

"Well," Shinji began, "we could always try the cliffs by the beach. I heard they have a great view, especially on clear days like today"

"That sounds good," the red-head admitted, "Well go have a look after lunch"

After finishing lunch, the two made to get up. As they did so, Asuka accidentally bumped into a waitress who was carrying a tray of soft drinks. The woman fell, dropping the tray and spilling the drinks everywhere. The manager accepted the two teens apologies after they and the waitress had explained the situation.

"Alright," the manager said with a wry grin, "it was an accident, so there's no use crying over spilt m-, er, soda"

After bowing furiously and thanking him for not making them pay for the spilt drinks, the couple left. Feeling a good deal of relief at not being in trouble, the two walked for a little bit before heading to the cliffs Shinji mentioned.

Breathing in deeply, Asuka said with a smile, "Today has been great, don't you think Shinji?"

Smiling back at her, he replied, "Of course it has, especially since I'm with you"

Flushing at his statement, she responded, "Well I figure that today wouldn't have been nearly as good if I was alone"

Smiling, Shinji took hold of her hand. They shared another smile as they continued to walk through the town. Once they reached the shore, they continued along the coast, talking in German so that they could have some privacy

"Ich dachte, heute für uns recht glücklich war," (I was thinking that today was pretty lucky for us) Asuka stated

"Wirklich? Warum?" (Really? Why?) Shinji asked in reply

Ticking off her fingers, the red-head listed, "Es gab das Ereignis mit der Eiscremekarre, der Fall des Arcade und das Getränkereignis," (There was the incident with the ice cream cart, the arcade incident, and the drinks incident)

Shinji thought about it and realized that she was right, "Du bist rechte und alle jene Ereignisse, die wir nie in der Mühe für erhielten" (You're right, and all those incidents we never got in trouble for)

Shrugging, Asuka said, "Gut solange es nicht uns geschieht, schätze ich, daß es nicht ein Problem sein sollte" (Well, as long as it doesn't happen to us, I guess it shouldn't be a problem)

They stopped to look out over the horizon, the view quite spectacular. The conversations varied as the two walked along the cliff paths, stopping once in a while to observe a specific spot. By the time they reached the end of the path, a good amount of time had passed. The sun was low, creating a wonder of reds, oranges, and yellows in the sky that was mirrored by the ocean below.

Breathing in the crisp sea air, Asuka said, "This is beautiful. I wish we could stay to see the sun set, but if we did we'd be back at the hotel really late"

Nodding, Shinji said, "We'll stay for a bit, if we get in trouble blame it on me, since it was my suggestion we come out here"

Smiling, Asuka replied, "That's sweet of you"

Wrapping an arm around his waist, she leaned against him as they watched the sunset. Although he was surprised, in no time he had his own arm wrapped around her, relishing in the warmth the two shared.

Asuka looked at Shinji through the corner of her eye. He stared out at the sunset, a small smile of content on his face. Heart beating, the red-head decided to take the initiative. Tugging gently on his sleeve, she drew his attention.

"Shinji," she said quietly, her face a little flushed, "There's something I want to tell you, although you already know it"

Shinji knew where this was going, but stayed quiet while she continued, "Despite everything that might happen, I feel as if I can say this without any regret. Shinji, I love you"

Her face was a bright red as she looked away in embarrassment. A hand on her chin made her look up into Shinji's eyes as he smiled at her.

"I feel as if I can say this too," he said, "I love you Asuka"

Her heart beating loudly, the German girl wrapped her arms around his neck, hugging him closely. She sighed as she felt his arms wrap around her waist and hug her back. Holding him, she felt the same calm and happiness as the last time he held her.

After some time, she asked, "Do you want to kiss?"

Gulping a little, Shinji pulled back to look at her face, shyly looking at him. Giving his best smile, he leaned down and gently kissed her on the lips

The feeling of his lips on hers was divine. The first accidental kiss had felt nice, but this time they were sharing their feelings for one another through this kiss.

This beats my first kiss by a thousand, she thought, deepening the kiss

When they both separated for air, Asuka looked into his eyes to see that they seemed different. The love was still there, but he had an odd look

"Shinji-kun, are you alright?"

"Of course I am," Shinji replied in a slightly cocky tone, "Why do you ask Mana?"

CLIFFHANGER!!! We have a third stranger, and Mana makes a cameo. Who knows what will happen next? Oh wait, I do. It's a pretty cool story too, you see Shinji...Wait, I'm not going to tell you guys. At least, not yet. Reviews are welcome, so please send me something or other and I will get back as soon as possible with the next chapter. Until then: