Disclaimer: Have I gone too far? Who am I to know? Don't you hate people who answer questions with questions? This is really long. Longer than the story itself. It's also really stupid at times, and in places unnecessarily "mature" (read: raunchy). In fact, there are parts of this chapter that I know deserve the M rating, but I don't want to raise the whole rating of the story for just a few bits and pieces, and the M rated stuff is almost all appropriately labeled with the title "So Messed Up". Therefore, I shall willingly ignore the rules for now. However, if anybody complains about the rating, then I'll remove the chapter from the story and enter it as it's own story.

Sounds reasonable enough, right? The only other question you should be wondering now is as follows: "Is this stupid mass of text worth reading?" I'll leave that up to you to decied.

Warning!: This story hasn't been edited or pre-read.

AN: While other writers where spending their time working on significant stories and improving themselves as authors, I was writing this. You can thank me later.

Butterfluff: Extreme Omake Edition!

Therapy - Intro

Sayuri cast several sideways glances at Shinji as he sat next to his guardian. Most of these glances failed to capture the boy's attention. He continued to sit stiffly as he stared down at the blue-carpeted floor. Misato sat by his side pretending to read a magazine while simultaneously staring at her charge from the corners of her eyes. Only once did Shinji's face turn in her direction and his response was less than encouraging. He looked rather shocked to see her looking in his direction. When he recovered from this shock he gave an extremely weak smile and returned his gaze to the floor. Sayuri sighed and her father squeezed her hand.

"I don't want to be here Daddy."

At least his smile was a bit more comforting.

"I know honey, but it's important. There's some things that all of us need to work out."

"I know," said Sayuri. For several moments she was silent. She used her free hand to pull at her hair. "I don't know why we can't handle this ourselves."

Sayuri felt like a little girl as her father rubbed his thumb across her knuckles. Though she appreciated the gesture, it wasn't comforting in the least.

"Everyone needs help sometimes."

To this Sayuri had no response. After a while she allowed her head to lower weakly onto his shoulder. Helplessness was not something she was used to. Neither was seeking aid from others. It would have been nice to be able to distract herself from these feelings. She had tried a magazine earlier, but quickly lost interest. The reality of the situation was too prevalent to ignore. And though it was nice to have her father there for support, she wished he would let her sit by Shinji.

A man in a tan Nerv uniform walked into the lobby with a look of deep thought on his face. Though his stride was steady and purposeful, his head was tilted slightly downward. Sayuri saw the unfocussed look in his eyes as he walked past the waiting area and toward the exit. When he reached the double doors he paused for several long agonizing seconds. Sayuri watched as his hand twitched at his side, undecided in its motion to grab the door handle. Finally, the man's inaction came to an end. He nodded his head three times and finally gained the courage to walk out the door.

"Major Katsuragi and guests," said the secretary at her desk. "Dr. Takeda will see you now."

Dear John Letters – part 1

Hey there Butterfluff,

First of all I just want you to know that this isn't easy for me to do. This isn't something I planned on, or anything I ever wanted. I never wanted to say goodbye. I never wanted to leave.

And it isn't anyone's fault either. For the longest time I thought… I just assumed it was me. That it was something I wasn't doing that made you so distant. That I wasn't pretty enough. Or I didn't do enough to take care of you. That I came on too strong and drove you away. That I wasn't being clear enough. That somehow, beyond all reason, you still had it in your head that I didn't want you around. That maybe I just… I don't know… talked too much.

So I apologize for those last few weeks. I thought that maybe if I changed for you, you would get the hint. That you would maybe want to be around me too. I pushed you harder. I made you say things you didn't mean. I accused you of things I knew you didn't do, just hear you deny them. I wanted so badly to hear you say the right things. To watch you do the small tasks that you knew were required of you.

And I think that's why I held on so long. I saw that you were willing to try for me. When I watched you work to keep us going it was the happiest I'd ever been. I thought it meant something. It didn't matter to me why you were doing it. All that mattered was that you tried.

But I was wrong. You only did these things because I made it so easy for you… I made it so painfully obvious that you would have been a fool not to. I deluded myself into believing that you did them for me… that you did them because you cared. And I was so stupid. I approached the whole thing like one of those movies. I thought to myself, If only I could make him see me. Then everything would work its way out from there. I kept expecting some magical event or intimate moment that would bring us closer. Something that would make you see what a wonderful love we could have. But there's a reason these things happen in movies. Try as I might, I can't make you love me Shinji. I can't make you want me as much as I want you.

And I know you tried. I know you wanted to care about me. You really did. But when she got here, that's when I finally got it. I saw the way you looked at her. And even though it took me this long to accept it, I can finally admit that it's the exact same way you look at me. But understand something… this isn't about Asuka or any other girl. Because if that was your problem, I think I could live with it. I could live with knowing that there's another girl out there who would better fit your needs. If I thought you and Asuka would be happy together, I would have gladly stepped out of the way months ago. I would have arranged the whole thing, paid for your first date, and – well at the very least I would have been happy for you.

But that's not it at all. You're not looking for a girl who will love you Shinji. Don't kid yourself any longer. You're looking for anyone… anything that will make you forget how much you can't stand yourself. I'll never understand it Shinji. I'll never understand how you could possibly hate yourself so much. Maybe it has something to do with your father… I think that's at least the cause. But it's more than that, isn't it? It's something fundamentally wrong with you, something that only you can understand.

I want to help you Shinji. If I thought that by sticking around and playing girlfriend I could make you better then I would. Even if you didn't feel the same, I'd have been there for you. But as things stand… I'm just enabling you. As long as I'm with you, you'll never be really happy. I'm sure of it.

Shinji… I'd like to think we're friends. Let's try and stay friends. If you need anything, you've still got my number. I'm not going to change it. And I know some people say "if you need anything just call" but you can tell that they really don't want you to. But Shinji… if you ask me to, there's nothing I wouldn't do for you. If you get lonely and need to talk, I'm here. If you ever just need someone there, if only for a little while… well I'll be there. If you need to move furniture… call Toji .

I want so many great things for you Shinji. I want you to be happy. I want you to be successful, to do something you love, to have people so close to you that you can't imagine living without them. I just wish you… I wish you the best. And there will always be a part of me that will wish I was a part of you. There's always going to be that little voice in my head that wants to see your face everyday. I'll always dream of waking up next to you, and dream of a home together and having your kids. And still, even now I can't believe that I'll never see you again. I think, and I know how stupid it sounds, but I think that one day when you've gotten pass all of this, maybe… just maybe you'll come and find me and we can be together again.

I just… I don't know. I feel like such an idiot. I wish… I just wish that it wasn't so easy for you to let me go.

You will always have my heart,


Therapy – Semi-realistic Version

The smile plastered on Dr. Takeda's face was soft, yet persistent. It was a calculated smile; not overpowering in its delivery, yet impossible ignorable. There was no getting around the fact that this man was bearing his teeth at you. You could not mistake the expression for arrogance, or condescension. It radiated a genuine feeling that genuinely said, "I am here for you".

It hit everyone like a ton of bricks.

"First of all," he said, being careful so show just as much teeth with each word. "I want you all to be comfortable here. This is a confidential environment. As such, it's important that we all agree that what is said here, stays here. I think we can all agree that it's okay to discuss what happens here privately amongst each other, but as far as other people are concerned, nothing should be shared without the explicit permission of everyone else involved. Agreed?"

A nod was received from all parties present, followed directly by a short and uncomfortable silence. They all sat in a semi-circle opposite the doctor. Parental figures on the ends and screwed up kids in the middle. Misato's fingernails tapped against the side of her chair. Sayuri's dad put lots of effort into maintaining a soft yet firm expression. Shinji searched for the point of repetition in the tiles on the floor and Sayuri watched him.

"First we should start off with some basic introductions. When working in group therapy it's important to have a basic understanding of your fellow participants. Things will be said here that may not normally be said in regular conversation, and it's important that we are all familiar and comfortable saying these things. So we're going to go around the circle and each give out some basic information about ourselves. I'll go first."

The doctor paused and took a short, clearly planned breath.

"My name is Dr. Masashi Takeda. I'm 47 years old. I enjoy reading mystery novels and playing amateurish tennis matches with my wife and sons. My goals for this group therapy session are to better understand the rest of the group and to guide each of you to the fulfillment of your goals to the best of my ability."

His head made a slow sweep across the room as he individually met each of their eyes (excluding Shinji, who had long since discovered the mysteries of the tiled floor, yet still found it extraordinarily fascinating). This man was clearly on top of his trust gaining game.

"Now we'll just go around the circle and each introduce ourselves."

For a moment no one seemed to want to talk. But after some hesitation Misato, who was probably sitting closest to the doctor spoke up.

"My name is Misato Katsuragi. I'm 29 years old and I enjoy watching television, board games, and dancing. I'm here because I want to learn how to best take care of Shinji and do what's best for both children in this difficult situation."

"Those are both very good goals," said Dr. Takeda. "Now who's next?"

Shinji looked up from the floor just long enough to notice that everyone was looking at him. He then tilted his head back down and began to speak in a low mumble.

"Shinji Ikari. I'm 14. I like to… play the cello, I guess. I guess I don't really know why I'm here… not that I'm complaining or anything. I just don't know what I'm supposed to do."

The doctor gave an understanding nod. "It's okay to be a little confused," he said. "The point of this group is to work through these difficult and sometimes confusing situations together so that we may all come to an understanding."

After a small non-verbal argument the remaining two came to a semi-mutual agreement upon who would go next.

"My name is Sayuri's Dad… but my friends call me Dad for short. I'm 35 years old and I like to golf and bowl in the rare occasion that I have free time. I suppose my goal for this group would be to better understand my daughter, and to understand what led her to act and feel this way. I'd like to be able to remedy this situation in any way possible."

An exhaled breath and clenched jaw later…

"My name is Sayuri. I also like to read and I've always enjoyed miniature golf…" her face lit up in embarrassment as she turned toward Shinji. "Sorry… Anyways. Like Shinji I don't really know why I'm here. I'm not sure why the four of us can't just talk it out amongst ourselves. But if I have to pick a goal, then it would be to find out why it's so wrong for me to love somebody."

"Sayuri!" said Sayrui's dad looking first at his daughter's defiant face, then to the nodding head of Dr. Takeda.

"Well I think we have our opening topic then, don't we?" said the doctor looking mildly bemused. "Sayuri, Do you really feel that that's why we're all here?"

The tone of his voice was less than amusing to the girl. She leaned back in her chair and crossed her arms before saying "That's what it feels like anyways. Why else would we all be here then. Since no one seems to want to come out and accuse me of insanity, there doesn't seem to be any other reason does there?"

No one saw Shinji wince.

"Hmm," said the doctor, making sure that no one could mistake his actions for anything but contemplation. "I think Sayuri poses a good point here. One that we should all consider. We've all stated our goals coming into the session, but none of us has clearly identified the underlying problems. Would anyone like to give their own personal perspectives as to what they find troublesome within your various relationships?"

"I guess I'll take this one," said Sayuri's Dad, when no one rose to the challenge. "I just don't understand why my daughter, who I've never had any problems with till now, is suddenly so attached to this boy."

"Umhhmm," said Dr. Takeda.

"It feels like just yesterday she barely even knew the difference between male and female, and now… well she's following this kid around… looking in people's houses… and it's just… it's not how I raised her. It's not natural for a girl to go-"

"I'm going to have to cut you off right there." Everyone turned their attention toward the doctor. "I'm sorry I didn't mention this before, but I'd like you all to use feeling words when speaking about subjective maters. Instead of saying 'this is wrong', in group therapy it's preferable to say something such as, 'I feel this is wrong', 'I think this is wrong', or 'I don't like it.' That way we take everyone's individual opinions into consideration. Agreed?"

He looked around the room to survey their approval. Everyone nodded, including Sayuri's dad. Though he looked like he'd swallowed something large before he did so. The doctor encouraged him to continue.

"well… I feel that it's not right or natural for a girl to be so attached to someone they've barely even met. And I'm just trying to understand…" his voice caught before he added. "What's wrong with my little girl?"

"Dad… It's not… Daddy I…"

The number of dry eyes in the room decreased quickly. Dr. Takeda passed around a box of tissues. After a brief wiping of eyes and noses, order was restored.

"I don't know why I like him so much," said Sayuri, her voice notably strained. "And I tried not to care so much but I just wanted to know. I had to know what he's really like. And I bet if you got to know Shinji you'd like him too."

Dad, just shook his head.

"This isn't about him. Shinji didn't do anything to make you act this way… he didn't even know about you. And I want you to know I'm not mad or even disappointed about anything. I'm just worried about you Honey. I don't understand."

"Very good." The doctor seemed practically delighted by these turn of events. It was easy to see his enthusiasm behind his barely contained smile. "Now we're getting somewhere. I think we can all agree that Sayuri has some very strong feelings for Shinji. And Mr. Dad is worried about her well being. But I want to leave this topic for now and come back to it later in the session if that's okay with everyone." He left a pause in which no objections were stated. "Okay, then I want to move onto something that Dad had mentioned briefly. You said that Shinji had nothing to do with Sayuri's behavior, which to a certain extent is true. We're each responsible for our own actions. However, I think it would be helpful to understand how Shinji is feeling about this whole salutation."

"Me?" asked Shinji feeling rather apprehensive. "I… I don't know."

The doctor wrote a small note on his clipboard. Yet it was Misato who spoke.

"You've got to feel something, don't you?"

"I do?"

"Of course you do!" said Misato as if it was the most obvious thing in the world. In fact, it might have been. Still Shinji wasn't sold.

"Maybe the question is too general," offered Dr. Takeda. "How about this: What are your feelings toward Sayuri?"

Shinji audibly gulped. If someone had turned off the lights at that exact moment his cheeks would have been glowing.

"You don't have to answer if it makes you uncomfortable, but it would be really helpful to the group if you would."

Shinji's brain translated that to 'you don't have to answer, but actually you really do.'

"I… like Sayuri. I think she's a very nice person. She's always been very nice to me since I've met her and I guess… well it's nice to have someone who wants to be around me…. And…"

He started drawing blanks about then. He mentally berated himself for using the word 'nice' too much, and watched in horror as Dr. Takeda made another accusing note on his notepad.

"So you appreciate Sayuri as a person."

"… yes," said Shinji after some hesitation.

"But how do you feel about her invasion of your privacy… or do you even feel that she invaded your privacy?"

"Well…" he took a second to gather his thoughts. "I've been thinking about it for a while and… I'm sorry… but I don't really know. It's just… no one's ever went out of their way for me like that. It's sorta… I mean… nice? No that's the wrong word… but I guess… I'm just not used to anybody being so… Sorry, but what are you writing down?"

"Oh don't mind me." The doctor smiled dismissively. "Just recording some of what you say so I can remember for future sessions." At Shinji's skeptical glance he held up the clipboard for all to view. "See?" Shinji was relieved to see that it only held certain quotes from what he said, and not the words 'Must Be Committed!' in bright red ink. With mild encouragement he continued.

"Well… I guess what I want to know is why? You know? I don't think… well I mean… I'm nothing special. I pilot… but I'm not even really good at it. I don't know what I'm doing. I'm not a good student either… and I'm not… I'm not the nicest person I know… I'm no good for anything… so why me?"

Misato sat bolt right in her chair. Her fingers ceased their tapping dance.

"Can I say something?"

"Go right ahead."

"I feel very sad that after all this time Shinji doesn't believe enough in his own self worth to think that someone else could care about him. And I want to point out that the only reason all of us are here, is because some of us care about him very much, whatever their reasoning may be."

Dr. Takeda nodded. "A valid point Major Katsuragi. It's important for all of us to remember that our perceptions of ourselves are not necessarily the perceptions of others. And while there's nothing wrong at all with a person having insecurities, that person owes it to themselves to recognize that not all things they believe to be fact, are in fact true."

Both Sayuri and Misato nodded, though neither took notice of the other. Sayuri's Dad appeared unreasonable, and Shinji looked faintly embarrassed. The doctor pressed on.

"But now that Misato has addressed her opinions on Shinji's self-esteem, I think we should revisit an important question that he brought up. Sayuri," he turned his head to directly engage the girl, "would you mind telling us why it is you've chosen Shinji as the object of your affection?"

The shift in attention was almost instantaneous. Sayuri found herself wanting to shrink away from the gazing eyes all around the circle. This wasn't exactly a question she was prepared to answer… much less in front of her father and Ms. Katsuragi, and barely even in front of Shinji. She felt words attempting to form on her lips, but nothing seemed to appropriately fit the tone of the conversation. She felt horror at the thought of saying "I think he's neat" in front of her father. But the longer she waited, the more she realized how awkward the silence was becoming, and how the slight movements of her mouth probably made her look like a drowning fish. In a sudden flash of annoyance, she wondered why Dr. Takeda hadn't told her that she didn't have to answer if she didn't want to. Apparently this question was mandatory.

"I…" she finally said. The effort of this utterance was more draining than expected. "I don't really know."

A small sigh escaped her lips. At least now it was over. The doctor, intent on creating a comforting environment, surely wouldn't peruse the issue.

"I'm sorry, could you repeat that for us. I don't think anyone heard you."

Son of a…

She took a deep breath and prepared to repeat herself.

Then she said in a slightly louder voice, "The first time I saw him he had a horrible bruise on his face. And I don't mean just like saw him, but actually watched him. The bruise was fresh and coloring to the point of purple. He'd been socked pretty hard I heard later on in the day when I asked a classmate about it. And I felt just… I felt really really bad about it, and I don't know why. I mean… when I heard the whole story… it just seemed so unfair. When somebody does something courageous like he did, and then… then they get that for a reward. It really… it just pisses me off. And so, I wanted to do something then and there, I wanted to let him know 'hey we aren't all bad people like that' but I knew I couldn't because I had no reason to approach him and honestly I was just very afraid. So I sat back, and I watched him. And I saw that he didn't cry about it, or complain to a teacher or the class rep or say anything at all. He took his suffering in quiet abjection, trying to draw as little attention as possible, but in doing so drawing even more. And I watched him as a few days went by and people continued to talk about the pilot and the guy who beat the pilot up the way that they talked about having left-over sushi for lunch, or a substitute teacher, and I just couldn't wrap my mind around it. I saw the way he just took it trying to seem oblivious, smiling weakly for other people's sakes, just trying to get along by himself. I thought it was sad… and maybe a little bit pathetic."

"And I don't know… I just kept on watching him. I picked up on the little things he did. The little tells he had that seemed to scream 'no World, everything is not okay!' And I started to wonder how everyone else was missing this. How all these people obsessed with any little detail concerning the pilots, could possibly miss this treasure trove of information right in front of them… and then it dawned on me while watching him do clean up duty through the classroom window. Nobody even cared. Not one of his self-proclaimed fans and admirers really gave a crap what happened to him. But at the same moment that I realized this I realized something else… well maybe I just decided it… I don't know. But what I realized was that I did. I did care."

"So I watched him… and I tried to figure out someway I could help him see the other people around him… some way I could help him connect. I even went so far as to talk to Ayanami, who wasn't much help at all. The only thing she pointed out to me was that my interest in the matter was unusual, something that… at the time I hadn't quite realized for myself. But, instead of realizing my mistake in becoming too actively involved in something that really wasn't any of my business, I instead pressed harder to find a way to break this cycle… this cycle of loneliness that seemed to exist in his life."

"I started following him everywhere. I scared myself, the way I did it without even noticing sometimes. It surprised me right from the beginning, that all this creeping around came so natural to me and that my interest in him didn't waver. I wanted to help him so much it hurt. I still want that… and maybe now I'm starting to understand why. Because despite all my observations and sneaking around trying to find some way… any way to improve his life, I couldn't once think of a way to present myself to him. I couldn't bring myself to be that person who would help him… I couldn't bridge the same gap for him that I'd been trying to bridge myself."

"We're really the same… only I'm much better at hiding it. I can talk to these people, look them in the eyes and tell them I'm their friends. And still… I don't feel any connection… I never feel like I belong. Sure I've got Daddy… but when he's gone I just feel… I feel so alone. And maybe… sometimes I worry… I'm really afraid that… maybe I don't love Shinji because of who he is. That maybe… maybe I just say I love him because I'm so afraid of this incredible loneliness that I feel myself."

Sayuri was crying softly. Only scarce tears leaving her eyes. Her father's arm was around her, rubbing her shoulders and her back. When she dared to take a look at Shinji and Misato, the somber expressions of pity on her face made her want to cry harder and she found herself burying her face in her father's chest. She could hear him saying "Shhhh, it's going to be okay" and was pretty sure that the doctor was saying something. And then, she realized how stupid and vulnerable she must look, so she abruptly pulled herself away from Sayuri's Dad's parental embrace. She wiped at her eyes with a furious abandon hoping futilely to squash all remnants of tears. At tap on the shoulder made her jump and stop.

Dr. Takeda held out a tissue which she took hold of with a shaking hand.

"Well… it looks like our time is just about up. I think we've made some very good progress today, and I hope you all continue to attend the sessions. Sayuri, if you'd like we can discuss this more in a private session later in the week."

Sayuri used the tissue to wipe at her eyes. All she could do was nod her head.

Dear John Letters – part II

Shinji Ikari,

Before I met you, I thought I understood the meaning of words like love and hate, but clearly I was wrong. These past few years I've felt things that I didn't believe it was possible for anyone to feel. You're probably wondering why I'm just getting in contact with you now. Don't think for a second this is me crawling back to you. Don't entertain the thought that I'd ever bring myself so low again.

I used to stay up nights imagining you feeling horribly miserable knowing that I'd left you. I had dreams of you tracking me down or calling me up, just to ask why I left without a word. But those were just fantasies, I realize now. Forget the silly notion of you finding me and confessing your love, saying you couldn't live without me. That was quite possibly the stupidest dream I'd ever dared to have. But Shinji… I can never forgive you, not after any period of time, or under any circumstances, for not even calling me once. Not a missed call on the phone… not a single voicemail or text message… nothing.

And I want you to know that it KILLED me, Shinji. Because I really, truly thought that you might care. I let you in so far and showed you everything. I was stupid enough to ignore the letter from that crazy girl from your past. I ignored the signs that pointed to the contrary and clung onto you, regardless.

And when the clinging didn't work, I tried (and this is what really pisses me off) I tried to CHANGE for you. I tried being nicer. I went out of my way to do things for you. I even made you Butterfluff. And I hate to cook. I put up with your dumb friends… but you don't even like your friends that much. And… I debased myself Shinji… I put-out for you. And you knew what that meant to me… you knew.

But after all that… I realized that that little psycho girl was right. You couldn't love me Shinji. I could love you all I wanted… but all you could do is be there and try to be semi-responsive. God forbid you take anything but the basest of actions. Far be it for Shinji Ikiari to take any sort of initiative. The world would surely end, if you had showed one ounce of interest. And even after realizing this… I hung onto the dream.

I tortured myself for 6 long months. Thinking about you. Wanting you. Loving you. Crying over you. And in all that time, you couldn't even be bothered to send a word of contact my way. Not even bothering to say "Screw you, I've found somebody else". And I wonder… did you even take a second out of your pointless life to even think about me?

I hate you Shinji Ikari. I hate you with every fiber of my being. I don't wish you death. I want you to live on in your own tortured life forever. I want you to burn inside each and every day knowing that you're not a real person. That you'll never be complete. I want you to suffer with each and every breath, knowing that I will never forget you and that I will never stop hurting over you, because I will never stop loving you.

You haven't gotten rid of me. You will hear from me again, and again and again, until the day that one of us dies. And you will not forget for a single solitary moment, the irrevocable pain that you've caused me.

Loving you always,


So Messed Up – Part I

For the first time in his young adolescent life, Shinji woke up feeling warm and content. This strange feeling of warmth emanating from his surroundings made him delay the opening of his eyes for several precious seconds. It just felt good to be awake and alive and so comfortably surrounded. He could have stayed there forever. As he attempted to yawn, it was only the odd obstruction of his arms that finally forced him to open his eyes.

"Good morning," whispered Sayuri quietly. Her face so unnaturally close to his. Her arms around his back, their legs tangled in an ungainly mess. Eyes as big as saucers, hair greatly disheveled, gentle bosom nestled against his chest, naked as the day of birth.

Wrong Wrong Wrong!

Try to push her away, arms still restricted, sirens blaring in his head. Stalker! They screamed, Stalker! Confessions in the park, crying on a bench, a cloth stuffed to his face… chloroform or ether… tried to fight, but feeling sleepy… hands guiding his body to rest…

But he was sleepy no longer.

"Oh my freakin-!"

Her lips met his and pushed and pushed. Nowhere left to withdraw. Pinned against the bed and wall, wrists and ankles burning from pull on restraints. Make her stop! Make her stop!

A barely muffled scream.

Her hand was fast against his cheek, and his voice stopped with the resounding smack. His fight was gone as quick as it came. His moans stifled by her makeshift gag. "Sssshhhh!" she said urgently a finger to her lips. "Ssshhhhh!" A gentle hand went through his hair then cupped his already reddening cheek. He had time to observe the remorse in her expression before the knock on the door startled them both.

"Are you alright in there?" called a man. Shinji tried to whimper louder.

"Everything's okay Daddy," said Sayuri, but her voice was calm and collected. Her voice was a lie.

"Are you sure, I heard a lot of noise."

"I just fell," said Sayuri's lying voice. "Lost my footing."

Shinji whimpered through the gag.

"What's that noise?"

"Just the TV."

"Are you sure… it sounds like you're hurt in there."

"Daddy, I'm fine."

Whimpers of greater intensity. Sayuri pressed both hands against his already gagged mouth.

"I'm coming in." The doorknob visibly turned.

"I'm not dressed!" shouted Sayuri. The first true sentence spoken.

Shinji whished he could whimper louder.

"Well, if you're sure you're alright…"

"I'm sure, Dad."

"Alright… then. Get dressed and come have breakfast with me."

Footsteps could be heard of the man finally leaving. Then a pause.

"And turn off that TV."

Her somber stare penetrated him.

"I will Daddy."

Therapy – Unrealistically Bad Version

It never ends it never ends it never ends it never-

"My name is Misato Katsuragi. I'm 21 years young, and I love to party!"

-nds it never ends, why won't the parties ever end?

"I love to stay up past the sun drinking beer and margaritas, dancing till the cops come. And the only reason I'm here is because I want to know why Shinji's such a downer. Also Tokyo-3 football rules!"

235, 236, 247… No, no that's wrong that's wrong that's wrong.

"I'm looking for a guy who can keep up with my pace. A man who knows how to rock it on the dance floor and in the bedroom. And I don't have anything against Shinji or anything, but man… what a snooze fest. He moves like a salted slug, and kisses with as much enthusiasm as my pillow. No I take that back… my pillow's not afraid of tongue. Anyways, I practically throw myself at the guy and nothing. And I'm not even talking about foreplay… I think little Shinji is dead…"

Just a kid you slut a kid why can't it go why can't you go I need to-… no just wait just- 46, 47 48 49… it'll all be better in a matter of time.

"You do know that sleeping with a minor is illegal."

"What's the dealia with pedophilia anyways?"

52, 52, 53… wait… no no no go back… 52 53 54 55 56 57

"Ummhmm… we have medication for that."

61, 62, 63,… the pattern will repeat. The drugs don't work, this life must hurt, and all ends in defeat.

"For pedophilia? Or for little Shinji?"

"Both. But we'll talk about this later. Could the rest of you please keep your introductions shorter. I've gotta get out of here in enough time to meet my mistress and get back home before my wife gets there."

"Woohoo! Get some, Dr. Takeda!"

"Yes… yes… Shinji, you're next."

"I'm going to… when I get done… I'm going to…"

87 89 90 92… no no no no no! 91 92…

"Yes, we have Medication for that… moving on. Sayuri."

"I'm Sayuri. I'm 14 years old, and I like to do whatever my darling Shinji wants to do. I guess I'm here because I want to find out why it's so wrong to want to spend every waking moment being around Shinji. I mean, I know it's wrong if you don't love them… but I love Shinji more than anybody else ever could. And yeah… I admit maybe it's a bit wrong to sleep in his room without his consent, but I think throwing me in jail was overreacting a bit. Even if there was a restraining order. The point is… when you love somebody, it's okay to want to be around them. And it's okay to touch them in personal places while in public, or while alone because… well that's just what love is, isn't it?"

Don'tTOUCHmeDon'tTOUCHmeDon'tTOUCHmeDon'tTOUCHmeDon'tTOUCHmeDon'tTOUCHmeDon'tTOUCHmeDon'tTOUCHmeDon'tTOUCHmeDon'tTOUCHmeDon'tTOUCHmeDon'tTOUCHme! – but soon… soon-

"-I will… when I'm done I'm going to… but there's so many to … 112 112 111… NONONO!-"

"Yes, love is exactly like that… Moving on."

"I'm Sayuri's Dad! And what I'd like to know, is what this man whore has done to bewitch my sweet beloved little girl!"

"I'll have to ask you to lower your voice and control your temper, Dad."

"You don't get to call me Dad. You don't know me! You don't know what I've been through, trying to keep my sweet little daughter away from this… this conniving tramp!"

"Hey! You're the tramp!"

"He doesn't mean you Misato."

"Sorry, reflex…"

"Don't apologize just yet. He had to learn it from somewhere, didn't he?"

-but just a kid… I don't need it… I don't deserve it… it's them it's them it's them! 158…

"Now that's where I draw the line. You can insult Shinji all you want, but when you start to insult me…"

"Put your earrings back on you whore… you don't want none of this."

"Misato, Sayrui's Dad! Please there will be no violence in my office!"

"I'm going to… 185 186 187… when I get there…"

"Please Daddy… Don't fight with my mother in law! What will your grandkids think?"

"You're not marrying that boy!"

"Everyone quiet down, right now! I don't get paid enough for this!"

"You wouldn't want to marry him anyways… about as exciting as a sack of potatoes."

"Take it back! He's the best thing since sliced Bread!"

202 203 240… nono-nevermind go go go 241 242 243… cause when I'm done… I'm goi-

"-ing to… Going to k-"

"Keep your kid away from my daughter, or I'll make sure both of you stay away for good."

"If you harm him daddy… I'll kill you!"

"I just want to have a good time!"

"That's it! Prozac for everyone!"

"But daddy, I love him!"

"Don'tTOUCHmeDon'tTOUCHmeDon'tTOUCHme! – 259, 111, 32, 36, 59, 59!"

"You seem to have done a fine job parenting yourself… look at her! She wants him more than I do!"

"You even mention my daughter in the same sentence as him again and it'll be your teeth flying out of your mouth."

"Prozac for you! Prozac for you! Prozac for you! And a double dosage for you!"

"Ah, my eye! That pill hit my eye!"

"I'm going to… I'm going to!"

"I'm sure that's not the only pill to hit, those eyes… if you know what I mean."

"No one knows what that means!"

"292, 957, 638!"

"Yeah well what I'm implying is that your daughter butterfluffed Shinji's brains right out of his sk-… wait… why is his hand down his pants?"

"yeah what's the deal with that?"

"Prozac for everyone!"

"300 tiles! I'm GOING TO KILL YOU ALL!"


bang ! bang! bang! bang!

"But Shinji…" cough Cough "I love you!"


Breathe in breathe out Breathe in breathe out Breathe in breathe out Breathe in breathe out Breathe in breathe out Breathe in breathe out Breathe in breathe out Breathe in breathe out Breathe in breathe out Breathe in breathe out Breathe in breathe out Breathe in breathe out Breathe in breathe out Breathe in breathe out Breathe in breathe out Breathe in breathe out Breathe in breathe out Breathe in breathe out Breathe in breathe out Breathe in breathe out Breathe in breathe out Breathe in breathe out Breathe in breathe out Breathe in breathe out Breathe in breathe out Breathe in breathe out Breathe in breathe out Breathe in breathe out Breathe in breathe out Breathe in breathe out Breathe in breathe out Breathe in breathe out Breathe in breathe out Breathe in breathe out Breathe in breathe out Breathe in breathe out Breathe in breathe out Breathe in breathe out Breathe in breathe out Breathe in breathe out

knock Knock

Breathe in breathe out Breathe in breathe out Breathe in breathe out Breathe in breathe out Breathe in breathe out Breathe in breathe out Breathe in breathe out Breathe in breathe out Breathe in breathe out Breathe in breathe out Breathe in breathe out Breathe in breathe out Breathe in breathe o-

knock knock

Breathe in breathe out Breathe in breathe out Breathe in breathe out Breathe in breathe out Breathe in breathe out Breathe in breathe out


"I heard a noise so I just wanted to make sure everything is… Oh MY GOD!"


Breathe in breathe out Breathe in breathe out Breathe in breathe out Breathe in breathe out Breathe in breathe out Breathe in breathe out Breathe in breathe out Breathe in breathe out Breathe in breathe out Breathe in breathe out Breathe in breathe out Breathe in breathe out Breathe in breathe out Breathe in breathe out Breathe in breathe out Breathe in breathe out Breathe in breat-

"Do it."


The New Black

So like, Shinji like was totally relaxing in his room after a long day, ya know? Like he was listening to music on his STDP, or like whatever, and it was all really chill and stuff. But then he got all tired and was like "I'm going to get dressed for bed now"

So then he goes to his dresser and pulls out his PJ, which are just a pair of shorts and a T-shirt… a real snooze fest for fashion. And he strips down to his underwear, right? And it's all so boring and not even really worthy of narration because who really cares about some lame 14-year-old boy taking off his trousers?

But then, Shinji goes and starts to put on his shorts. And he puts one leg in and he hears a voice.

"Oh yeah…" says the voice… and it creeps the heck out of Shinji. And he's so freaking creeped out that he looks around the room like crazy with his one leg in the shorts and his other leg still not in the shorts. And after a while he doesn't see anything in the room, so he just figures it was his imagination and goes back to putting on the shorts. So like, slowly and I guess you could say "hesitantly" he goes and puts his other leg in the shorts and he draws them up to his waist…

But you know, that creapy voice has to kick in again… and this time it says "That's right, nice and slow baby…" And Shinji is really really freaked out then… because it sounded not a little bit sexual, and even though it was clearly a girl's voice, it was just plain weird to hear it.

So he's finally got his shorts on and feeling extremely self conscious he quickly pulls his shirt over his head and calls out, "a-alright… wh-who's th-there!" and he actually stutters like that because he's a chicken wus.

So then the girl who we all know is Sayuri by now says, "What's the rush sexy… we've got all night."

So then Shinji is finally smart enough to look out of his opened window and see the girl sitting there on a tree branch staring at him through her Hello Kitty binoculars.

"Sayuri what are you doing out there?"

"Just enjoying the show." Said the girl as she continues to like completely stare at his flat, non-muscular abs.

"I thought I asked you not to watch me dress!" Shinji hissed. He was hissing so that no one would hear him and come investigate, and find a girl staring at him with freakin' Hello Kitty binoculars through his open bedroom window… for obvious reasons.

"Nope," says the stalker with a smile. "You said I couldn't watch you UN-dress. You said nothing about dressing."

"I, er… well… I… Then please don't watch me Dress anymore!"

"No deal, you sexy sexy boy."

And of course Shinji like has no clue what to do when a girl is calling him sexy, because I mean… come on, it's not like he's used to it. And really general consensus would totally disprove his status as a sex god… unless you're talking to fan girls or something, which would be a total breach of the fourth wall… and who wants to do that?

But I digress… mostly because I like saying the phrase "But I digress" because cool people say it in movies.

But anyways, Sayuri took the time granted by his shocked silence to crawl into his window from the tree, using his weak boyish shoulders to support herself as her feet landed on his bedroom floor, and it took Shinji several long moments to notice that a girl was like totally in his room. And you'd think he'd be all like "Score!" but instead he was all like, "I'm a loser and I'm clearly not okay with this because I'm about as cool as a pet rock".

So Shinji said, "Didn't Doctor Takeda say that you should stop invading my privacy."

But Sayuri said, "And miss seeing that sexy body?"

But it occurred to me just then that she was saying the word sexy so much that it was beginning to lose any shock value that it initially had. So as Microsoft Word is my witness, the word sexy will never again be used in the confines of this omake.

So then Sayuri takes a step toward Shinji and she's got this look on her face like, "I'm going to eat you alive, you sexy boy". And yeah… I lied.

So to change the subject, because he's so lame and uncomfortable, Shinji says, "So this is how you've been spying on me all this time… looking at me from a tree?"

Sayuri says "yeah" and then she takes another step forward.

"I didn't even know that tree was there," said Shinji.

And Sayuri said, "There's a tree outside every window of your apartment." And then she took another step forward. But to like save time, lets just assume that every time Sayuri talks she takes a step forward, because I really don't want to type that out every time she has dialogue… also let's assume that Shinji stutters everything he says, because that's conventional, I guess.

"Really?" stuttered Shinji. "That's very…"

"Fortunate? Convenient?"

"… Unlikely."

Which when you think about it, he's completely right.

"Yeah, I guess," said Sayuri, but she sounds all distracted like she's really thinking about jumping his bones instead of the conversation at hand.

"And you always stalk me wearing that bright pink jumpsuit and using those Hello Kitty binoculars?"

He said that cause she was wearing a bright pink jumpsuit… duh.


"And nobody has seen you climbing these trees?"

"Nobody who cared."

"That's pretty…"



"Right," said Sayuri with her hungry eyes.

"Yeah… but what about section 2?"

"What about them?"

"Didn't they try to stop you?"

"The first time they did… but then they just asked me to file reports on you for them, since it was really convenient."

"I can't tell you how incredibly improbable that is," said Shinji, shaking his head in disbelief and stuttering each and every word in the sentence.

Sayuri said, "Yup," But at this point she had taken so many steps forward that the two of them had pretty much collided into each other and like, conveniently landed on the bed. An action that neither of them were willing to account for through their dialogue.

"But none of that makes sense. There's no way that you should be able to get away with spying on me… I mean… I uh…. Oh screw it! I give up… you are officially the cutest stalker ever!"

And then they like totally "did it".

And by "it" I mean they made out. And by made out, I mean they kissed a lot. With like tongue and stuff…. And they also felt each other up a bit… but they didn't go too far because they're like totally just kids, and they're both pretty classy and respectful and stuff.

And like, the end.

So Messed Up – Part II

"I'm so sorry, Baby, I'm so sorry!"

Sayuri held his head against her breasts as the two of them quietly cried. The gag rested beside his head, no longer necessary for his cooperation. Shinji had gained a perspective on his situation. A perspective that would forever be represented by the gun she had pulled from her pillowcase.

She had asked him very nicely to behave. She assured him that she would never ever hurt him. Not in a million years. I would rather shoot myself, Sayuri said, and her voice did not lie. But if someone found out about this… about them… she'd have to take action to protect them. She loved her daddy very much… but she loved him so much more.

And just like that, Shinji whimpered no more.

"I love you," she whispered in his ear as she lightly traced his wounded cheek. "And I never ever want to have to hurt you again. Never."

"Why?" asked Shinji still in tears, but Sayuri gave him a soothing "shush".

"Everything will make sense in time… I didn't want to do it this way… but sweetie, you didn't give me a choice."

She slowly rose from the bed, pooling the covers at Shinji's ankles and exposing both of their nudity. Shinji, horrorstricken, could not bring himself to look away from her face.

"I have to go eat now, or Daddy will suspect something. But don't worry… I'll be back. I'll bring you some food… and some ice for your cheek… and anything you want. Do you want anything?"

"Why?" asked Shinji, stifling a sob.

Sayuri pulled the covers up to his chin. She took extra effort to tuck him in, wrapping his body fully in the blanket, save for his arms, which were still fastened awkwardly above his head. When she was done with the task of tucking him in, she lovingly placed a wet kiss on his forehead.

Shinji watched with muted interest, as she dressed herself in silence. She made no effort to turn away from him, instead opting to stare into his eyes. Fully clothed, she turned around and walked towards the door and opened it just a crack. She paused shortly to whisper, "I love you" before slipping through the opening.

He was finally left to his thoughts.

The gun was roughly three inches from his head. The gag, about 4. He looked up and saw his wrists fastened to the headboard by several thin (but well knotted) ropes and bungee cords. The covers were obstructing his view of his feet, but he could feel similar restraints applied there. He wasted several long moments struggling against his binds in vain, taking special care to be very very quiet. Naturally he didn't want Sayuri to hear him. He didn't want to think about what would happen if her dad heard him instead. But when the pull of the ropes didn't lessen at all, Shinji couldn't stop himself from weeping again.

He buried his head into the bed as best he could, to stifle the sounds. He felt the hot tears pouring from his eyes. He repeatedly whispered into the sheets, "Why? Why? Why?"

And Sayuri stroked his hair and said, "Ssshhh, it's okay."

He hadn't heard her re-enter the room, or even notice as she sat upon the bed. But when her hand began to stroke his hair his tears came to an abrupt end. His body stiffened to uncomfortable degrees.

"I'm Sorry," said Sayuri. Her voice was calm and full of sadness. "I hate to see you like this. Your pain is my pain."

"Why?" asked Shinji, his voice muffled by the sheets his head took refuge in.

"Because you're hurting and I love you."

Shinji felt awkward lying in the wetness of his own tears.

"I see you everyday… you hurt because of others. They speak and say friendly words, and pitifully pretend to care about you. Meaningless words from countless people. But when you try to get close… when you so desperately need to make a connection, where are they? They're gone. They've left you to your pain and misery. And I'm so tired of it… I hate it!"

Shinji winced. It was the first time he had heard her yell. He could reasonably assume that her father was out of the house. She placed a hand on his non-swollen cheek, and he winced again.

"But here with me… you never have to be alone again. We can be together forever in here… our own little world. I'll never hurt you. I'll never leave you. I will do any and everything to make you happy, to see you smile."

Shinji didn't have to think very long before saying, "Then let me go."

He was spared the pain of seeing Sayuri's heart-breaking frown.

"That's the one thing I can't do. And I know… I know what you're thinking. Who am I to hold you here? What right do I have to keep you against your will? And I know you want to leave, and go home right away. You're scared, and afraid of what I'm doing. I know you're afraid of us."

Shinji was spared the pain of seeing her heartwarming smile.

"But the moment I saw you there, curled up next to me, our bodies touching freely, I knew… I knew you could love me."

Shinji felt like he was going to throw up.

"You see Shinji I'm willing to be everything for you. I can take care of you like the mother you never had. I can be your best friend in the world. And no one will ever love you like I do… they simply can't. It's not possible to feel anything greater than what I feel for you now."

She let her hand trail down his back until it rested right above his buttocks.

"And I know you weren't awake for it…" she said in a strangely deep voice. Shinji gasped when her hand went even lower… and squeezed. "But your body loves me too."

"You… you didn't… you couldn't… you…"

"It's okay Shinji. You don't feel the same way yet. And if I let you go now, you might never come to your senses."

Abruptly she began to kiss and suck around his neck.

"Sayuri… don't…"

She didn't head his words.

"All I'm asking for is time."

Her one hand never left his bottom, but now her other hand came into play.

"Give me one month, and I'll make sure you love me."

With minimal effort she was able to flip him onto his backside.

"Please…" Shinji begged.

Sayuri said, "You're ready."

Dear John Letters – Part III


During the course of our cohabitation I found two letters under your pillow. One addressed from Asuka, the former second child, and another addressed from a Ms. Sayuri who I am aware you have held previous relationships with in the past.

These letters speak of an emotional distancing of which I can empathize. It is hard for some to open their hearts to others even when their hearts are so obviously open to you. But your clinging onto these letters shows a certain… attachment, which I feel lacking in our current relationship. This… attachment to others from your romantic past leaves me feeling… discomfort.

I am not so insecure in our relationship to believe that no level of connection is present. We share much with each other, including the everyday chores and the physical emotional support that comes with a relationship of this variety. Living with you these few months has been more than mere comfort and convenience to me. I cherish our closeness, and know that on some level you appreciate it as well.

But I also see this detachment that the letters speak of. The uncertainty in our closeness that is no longer do to beginning awkwardness and confusion. You reach for me hesitantly, as if at any moment I would smack your hand. It is as if you are waiting for permission to give yourself to me. But this permission that you seek is something that you already have.

When I come home this evening, I want to see you there. I want to kiss your lips and touch your face and take you to bed. And when I reach under your pillow tonight, I ask that this be the only letter I find.

With longing for you I write,


So Messed Up – Part III

Over the course of two weeks the ceiling had grown extremely familiar. He spent the majority of his days staring up at the balloons in the netting (he ceased to question it long ago). The bed was too low for him to look out the window, and he was only able to watch TV when the monster was there, for fear of her father coming home an investigating. She kept her door locked, but the man did have the master key. And if she was ever to come home and find him missing… she had begun to carry her gun with her at all times.

When the monster was in the room with him, he tried not to look at her as much as possible. It was hard sometimes, since she seemed not to understand the concept of personal space. She was almost always in some sort of physical contact with him, whether it simply be a hand resting on him, or her covering his form with her whole body. But laying on his back, he was often able to look past her head to that comforting ceiling.

Sometimes he tried to look at his surroundings. Noting the lack of posters and pictures around the room. He'd twist his head awkwardly to view his binds. And he'd look at the pink covers covering his body. Sayuri often left a little trinket of hers next to him on the bed when she was gone, like an earring she had recently worn or a scrunchy.

One thing she did not leave on the bed was her gun.

Several times she drugged him and (presumably) removed his bounds and flipped him on his stomach. He never asked her about it, but she had told him it was to prevent bedsores. These rare shifts in perspective never lasted very long. After about half a day she would flip him back over and whisper in his ear, "I like this side better" before starting to touch him again.

He tried to keep himself from responding to her touches, but it was really a losing battle. He was so lonely during the days, that in a sick way her attention was almost wanted. She would fondle him below and kiss his torso and tell him she loved him, and he'd forget she was a monster. He'd look up at the balloons in the netting and see the purple and blue colors and think about Misato and Rei. Imagining that they were making him feel these feelings, and that that was perfectly normal and okay. And all the while she'd whisper to him in a consistent crescendo "I love you, I love you, I love you!" with each rocking motion.

The monster had become his life. When she was gone, he wished she were there. When she was there, he wished she were gone. He was completely disgusted by what she'd turned him into, yet undeniably dependant upon her.

She fed him. She clothed him… sometimes. She was his only companion in the world. She loved him and touched him. Made him feel beautiful and appreciated, and guilty and abused all at the same time. When she had a bad day she would talk to him about it, because she trusted and confided in him, and she was grateful that he wasn't one of those people who interrupted while she spoke, or gave advice that wasn't asked for. She didn't care that he barely said a word to her.

One time he had called her Misato during sex. She slapped him, then held him and cried for hours.

When he referred to her as "the devil" she laughed at the hilarity of his joke.

He could almost see her heart break on the one day when he had begged her not leave him and had cried for fear of being alone. She decided to skip school that day, and Shinji instantly regretted his weakness, as he spent the rest of the day trying and failing not to get an erection, and crying when she forced herself upon him and rode him to completion.

Sayuri was more than thrilled that Shinji needed her to be around. She held no delusions of him wanting her to be around, even going so far as to tell him this. "You need me," she'd say aloud when her father wasn't home. And when he was home she'd whisper it in his ear as she lay next to him and watch as the dread stole over his face as this realization sunk in. And she'd say it again and watch as he cried. Then she'd say it again and again and again as she tried to sooth him by stroking his hair and as she lay next to him on his side. She wiped away his tears with her hands, careful to get each and every falling tear from his eyes as she whispered the same words over and over again, until finally the tears subsided. And then she'd continue to say it and watch as the anguish in his features gave way to something weary and tired. And her whispers would not cease until she saw this weariness not exactly disappear, but become fortified with the inevitable truth that is acceptance. But when this acceptance came she did not stop.

"You need me," she'd say and it was not a taunt, nor was it a cruel thing by intention. She'd say it over and over again until it became less of a statement and less of a fact and more of a noise. Where the words blended together in a heap of sound "younee dme" "you ne me" "Yo eed ie", Shinji took comfort in the repetition. Knowing that something in his life was continuous and that this one constant factor… this one single solitary person would be there forever. Time itself could and would end, but this living thing… this mantra, it would not cease or stop.

His eyes became heavy with the need for sleep and the light buzzing in his ear did nothing to make that stop. And when his lids were closed for several solitary moments the world he knew was forever shattered.

With no noticeable shift in tone or tempo Sayuri said, "You love me."

The Writer's Court – Part I

"All rise for the semi-honorable Judge Gendo," said Misato the bailiff.

We all rose as Gendo entered the courtroom from the swinging door leading to the judges' office. His robe fluttered around his ankles as he ascended the steps. With a sense of purpose on his face (not fully hidden by his hideously huge sunglasses) the judge made a show of taking his seat. When he was finally sitting, the bailiff allowed the rest of us to do the same.

"This is the trial of the Evangelion Character Union v. Fresh C," he said. "The ECU is suing Mr. C for character neglect and improper/unnecessary use of an Author Created Character as dictated by international fan fiction law by amendment 14 of the Character Usage Charter. This court is now in session. Would the plaintive please make his opening statements?"

"Thank you, your honor," said Kensuke Aiada (or however you spell his name) as he pushed his glasses up his nose. He cleared his throat and turned to face the audience. "Back in 1997 the ECU was established as a means of helping frequently replaced or misused characters get the spotlight they truly deserve within fan fiction. I myself suffered from rampant type casting as a 'helpless nerd' and many times found myself needlessly replaced by another character when I could have easily filled the role necessary. I remember my own feelings of hurt and dismay when instead of being cast as Shinji's friend and confident after Toji's untimely death, I was shunted out of a story completely only to be replaced by a depthless ACC who didn't even have a Japanese name. And at the time, I'll admit even I thought it was only a minor setback. But as time wore on I found myself being written into fewer and fewer fan fics, to the point where I was homeless in a preverbal fiction gutter. I'll never forget the day I lost my job to 'Tony Smith' the American ace pilot who easily wooed all the women and killed most angels with a single Flaming Prog-Sword slash."

There were many sympathetic faces among the jury.

"That's why I joined the ECU, to stop such injustice. I'm here today to prove to you all, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that my client, Mana Kirishima, was wrongfully misplaced in the story 'Butterfluff' written by the defendant. I will show you that my client could have easily filled Miss Sayuri's place, and that the author Fresh C has abused his authorial powers, not to further the plot of his story, but because he is a bigot who hates cute girls."

The young nerdish looking boy was the ECU's top attorney. He had the ability to quote every line of IFF law by heart, and stir up severe sympathy in judges and juries alike, simply by being such a helpless nerd. Nobody exactly liked Kensuke… that was for sure. But everyone familiar with the courts system had a healthy respect for the guy, myself included. Had I not had such a high-class lawyer myself, I would have likely been shaking. But my lawyer was top notch. The best of the best. I was representing myself.

"Mr. C," said Gendo. I could only assume he was looking at me behind those darkened lenses. "Please make your opening statements."

"Thank you, your honor," I said exactly as I'd seen done on many judicial television shows. Then in a smooth display I added, "And might I say those hideous sun glasses look lovely on you today."

Gendo merely grunted at the complement. There's never any harm in buttering up the judges. But now I turned my attention toward the jury to give my opening speech. The jury was filled almost completely with Evangelion characters… so I knew I had better make this good.

"Four score and seven years ago…" I began. Then I cracked a smile and said, "Just kidding." Nobody laughed. I'm sure they were just holding it in to follow proper court etiquette… yeah. "Ahem… well… anyways, as you all can clearly see, I'm up here defending myself today. And no I'm not doing it because I don't trust Hikari to fairly represent me, nor am I doing it because I'm clearly the best lawyer who ever existed ever (even if both those things are true). I am defending myself because I believe… uh… beyond a shadow of a doubt… that I have treated, and will always treat, each and every Evangelion character with the proper respect due them. I will prove to you today… also beyond a shadow of a doubt… that Miss Sayuri is a well fleshed out original character who is worthy of being present in the Evangelion universe, and that she is the best suited character for the lead female role within the epically awesome story, 'Butterfluff'."

A lot of people yawned… tough crowd.

Gendo grunted. "Mr. Aiada please call your first witness to the stand."

"Your honor, I call Miss Asuka Langley Shoryu to the stand."

Asuka rose from her place in the audience and made her way to the witness stand. She walked with a certain undeniable sway that looked very much wrong on a 15-year-old girl but at the same time, oh-so-right, if you catch my drift. Many men present found themselves willfully adverting their eyes from the spectacle… myself included. I did not turn my attention toward her direction again, until I heard the rustling noises of her adjusting her skirt as she sat down. At least while not moving she managed to look like a normal cute 15-year-old girl… and not jail bait.

"Now Miss Shoryu," said Kensuke adjusting his glasses again. "I've called you up here to answer several questions regarding your working relationship with Fresh C. Will you do your best to answer them all honestly."

"I will," said the girl.

"Thank you. Now Miss Shoryu, you have worked many times with the defendant in the past, have you not?"

"I have," said the girl sounding mercifully neutral.

"And would you say that Mr. C has been true to your character throughout his works of fiction."

"Ha!" said Asuka. "As if a man like him could possibly comprehend me. Though I can't say he didn't try."

"Hmm… So would you say that Fresh C was fair in his attempts to portray your character?"

"Hell no!" I was struggling to take that in stride. How could one of my favorite characters turn on me like that?

"Could you elaborate?"

"I sure can. In every single story of his, that man either made me angry and unreasonable, or made me insane."

"Objection!" I cried.

Gendo lowered his glasses and gave me a stern glance from overtop the lenses. "On what grounds?" he asked, clearly not amused.

"Well… er… I'm not exactly sure, your honor. I just always wanted to say that."

"Overruled. Disrupt my court again Mr. C, and I'll hold you in contempt."

I shuddered at his tone while simultaneously hiding a small smile. It was everything I'd dreamed it'd be.

"Ahem," ahemed Kensuke. "As you were saying Ms. Shoryu… Mr. C portrayed you as, and I quote 'angry and unreasonable, or insane'. Is that so."

"Yes," said Asuka with a bit of bite. "That is what I said after all."

"Indeed." Kensuke seemed unfazed. "And how would you say Mr. C has portrayed other cute girls throughout his writing career?"

"Dismally," replied the cute girl. "You should see his portrayal of Hikari. Made her as emotionally nutty as a fruitcake in almost every prominent role she's had. I still can't read 'vicarious' all the way through… and it's barely 1000 words long."

"I see," said Kensuke as he paced the room chin in hand. "Based on your knowledge Mr. C's works, how would you describe his general views regarding cute girls?"

"His perception of cute girls, is about as screwed up as they come."

"Mmmhmm," said Kensuke pensively. "And would you say that the defendant hates cute girls?"

"Objection!" I cried again. At Gendo's near murderous look I added, "He's leading the witness, your honor."

Gendo sighed. "Sustained. Rephrase the question, council."

Kensuke gave his winning nerd smile. "That won't be necessary your honor. I have no further questions for the witness."

"Would the defense like to cross-examine?"

I pondered it for a moment. Nothing good could come from antagonizing this beast in cute girl's clothing. "No, your honor."

"You may take your seat, Ms. Shoryu."

"Thank you," said the girl as she stepped down from the stand and several pairs of eyes were once again adverted.

Kensuke wasted no time in calling his next witness. The courtroom collectively murmured their surprise as Mana Kirishima was called to the stand. She walked with an air of formality that you would expect from military personnel. In fact she was dressed down in military uniform from her head to toe, something that looked very unnatural on a girl of her age. Her presence drew all the attention that Asuka's had, only without the shame. After taking the stand she glanced out over the crowd unflinchingly. Her gaze seemed to penetrate everyone in the room before stopping on me. I knew my innocence was absolute, yet something stirred within me as I saw her strong, yet clearly hurt expression. It felt like nothing short of an accusation.

"Miss Kirishima," began my loathsome opposing council. "You are aware of normal court procedures, are you not?"

"I am," answered Mana in a voice much softer than I had expected.

"Good, good. Then I'll ask you a few questions regarding the case, and you can answer to the best of your abilities."

Mana nodded in response.

"How long have you held membership in the Evangelion Character Union?"

"I officially joined the ECU in December 1998."

"And as a member of the ECU you are granted protection from wrongful neglect/replacement within all fan fiction written in all nations subject to International Fan Fiction Law."

"That is correct, sir."

Kensuke reached beneath his desk and produced a thick tome book that I had never laid eyes on before. His weak boyish muscles strained from the effort as he carried the book up to witness stand and opened it to a pre-marked page.

"This book is the Character Usage Charter that outlines the proper usage of characters of whom is not the intellectual property of the author. Being a member of the ECU, you're familiar with this book. Am I correct in that assumption."

"You are correct, sir."

Kensuke pointed to a particular paragraph in the book and said, "Could you please read this passage for the court to hear."

"Character Usage Charter, amendment 14. It is unlawful for an author under any circumstances to replace a canon character protected by a sanctioned IFF character union with a character of the authors own creation without the protected character's consent or undeniable necessity marked by an inability to properly align said character within a pre-determined plot. If there is any reasonably conceivable way for the protected character to fill a role within a story, then the protected character (or another protected character of similar traits) should be used in place of an author created character. The only time when the usage of an author created character is lawful within the confines of a fan fiction story is in the absence of a protected canonical character of similar function and personality."

"So the law protects any character union member from being replaced by an ACC when said character can be reasonably molded to fit the given role," mused Kensuke aloud. He seemed almost to be talking to himself, but of course it was all for the jury's benefit. "For Mr. C's use of the ACC Sayuri to have been legal, it must be true that Sayuri must hold some character trait that is both lacking in Miss Kirishima here and is integral to the plot of the story Butterfluff. Did I interpret that correctly Ms. Kirishima?"

Several people chuckled as Mana responded confirmative. She spoke evenly, but there was a hint of a smile at the edge of her lips. Kensuke was playing the audience like a flute.

"From my reading of the story Butterfluff, Sayuri has 4 main character traits: She's talkative, intelligent, cute, and she has a penchant for sneaking around and spying on people. Out of those four characteristics only the last 3 are integral to the plot. To shed some light on the nature of my client's exclusion from the story I will ask 3 questions. Ms. Kirishima, are you an intelligent character?"

Mana paused for several seconds as if thinking this over. She opened her mouth to speak once but closed it almost as quickly. It seemed as if she was hesitant to comment upon herself, for fear of bragging. Despite myself, I couldn't help but find it really cute.

"I suppose," said the girl with more than a little hesitation. "I received top marks in the military academy with high recommendations from all my instructors."

"I would certainly classify that as intelligent," said Kensuke with a knowing smirk. "And your hesitance in answering the question was nothing short of cute, don't you think?"

Mana notably blushed.

"I wouldn't really know," she replied, obviously embarrassed. She continued to sit perfectly straight, but there was a slight tapping of her fingers.

"That's alright, Ms. Kirishima. Modesty is a respectable quality." I felt that there was more than a little bit of bar pick-up line in that statement. "Now for the last question: What was your canonical occupation?"

At the mentioning of her job, Mana seemed to regain complete composure.

"I was an elite trained pilot for the Triton program with orders to observe and interact with members of the third branch of NERV in order to uncover confidential information regarding the AT field and general operation parameters of the Evangelion fighting unit. My particular subject of focus was NERV pilot Shinji Ikari."

"Mmmhhmmmm," said Kensuke annoyingly. At least it was annoying to me. "That's quite a lengthy job description, Ms. Kirishima. Would it be easier to summarize your occupation as simply a spy?"

Mana seemed vaguely perturbed at this statement.

"That definition is a little oversimplified, but I suppose it works."

"Good, good. So then it would be safe to assume that your characteristics (intelligence, cuteness, and a penchant for spying on others) are quite similar to the core characteristics of Mr. C's ACC Sayuri?"

"I think that is a very safe assumption."

The smugness of Kensuke's smile was nothing short of disgusting.

"Thank you for your cooperation, Ms. Kirishima. I have no further questions."

Gendo turned his crocodile head my way and asked, "Would you care to cross-examine?"

I stood bravely from my seat. "Yes your honor, I would."

"Ms. Kirishima," I began to cross-examine awesomely, "You said yourself that the Character Usage Charter protects (and I quote) 'a canon character protected by a sanctioned IFF character union' Did you not?"

"Yes I did, sir."

"And Ms. Kirishima… if that is your real name… are you a canonical character?"

The audience let out a mild collective gasp.

"I… what type of question is that?" asked Mana.

"Answer the question," came the voice of Gendo from the judges bench. His support was both welcome and unexpected.

"Well… Girlfriend of Steel was produced by Gainax studios…"

"Mmmmhmmm," I said speculatively. I was nowhere near as annoying as Kensuke when I did it. "Are you aware that dictionaryDotCom (the most bestest and most completest dictionary in the world) defines canon as 'The works of an author that have been accepted as authentic'?"

"No," said Mana not quite meeting my eyes. "I was not aware of that."

I did not skip a beat. "Then did you know that only 65 of all Evangelion fans, past or present, are aware of your existence?"

Mana frowned.

"No sir, I was not aware."

"Then I suppose you didn't know that only 45 of Evangelion fans know what game you are from, and of that 45 only a scant 2 have ever seen the cover of (much less played) the game Girlfriend of Steel."

"No sir… I did not know that."

"That seems somewhat sketchy grounds for canon to me. If less than 5 of the fans have ever played the only media in which you appear, it seems highly unlikely that they could accept the game as an 'authentic work of the author'… isn't that right Ms. Kirishima?"

"… I wouldn't know sir…"

I smiled victoriously. "No further questions, your honor."

"Ms. Kirishima, you may step down." Said Gendo just as moved by my triumphant turnaround as he was by Kensuke's fluke of a good start. (read: not impressed at all.) "Do you have any more witnesses, Mr. Aida?"

"I do not, your honor. The defense rests."

"Good," said Gendo clearly pleased by the speed at which the proceedings were being conducted. "Then we'll have a short recess before allowing Mr. C to present his defense."

Gendo banged the gavel and the court was adjourned. I watched as everyone slowly filed out of the courtroom one by one. For a moment I locked eyes with Kensuke, who's only response was to spare me a phony calculated smile, which I did not return. Mana also brushed by me on the way to the exit, but her eyes did not reach my face.

When everyone had finally left the room. I crept up to the judge's bench and sat myself in Gendo's former seat. Then I took the gavel in my hand and banged it several obnoxiously loud times while simultaneously yelling, "Order in the court! There will be order in this court!"

The bailiff yelled, "What the hell is going on?"

I ran out of the room before she could see me.

I always wanted to do that.

So Messed Up – Part IV

Shinji had lost his balance.

Not his physical balance. He was lying down on the bed… he was always on the bed. But he could feel the shift inside his head. For once in his life he did not have a single clue as to what he was going to do next. Like not even a hint or a guess.

He had laughed for 3 hours straight. Staring at his hand and wiggling his arm around. He laughed hysterically. With much effort and minor pain he had even managed to shift his body to view the human thing on the floor. But he'd only tried to do that once. And when he'd seen the thing he hit himself in the chest repeatedly with his free hand… all the while laughing. He named the balloons by number and color. Misato 1 was the closest he could see. Rei 23 the farthest. He had named the net Sayuri. It held the others captive. Misato balloons were naturally purple, whereas Rei balloons were obviously blue. There was dried red on his arm and hand.

The human thing on the floor was a recent development. In more than one way it was responsible for his lack of balance. But things went back further than that.

When Sayuri, whom he loved deeply, missed 5 consecutive days of school someone was bound to notice. He remembered thinking this by the 3rd day, and Sayuri herself had even told him this. He could not forget anything that Sayuri had ever said.

The mixed up thing about it was that Hikari was only delivering papers. Homework and assignments. Notes from the teacher. Maybe give a little stern talking to at most. It was nothing investigative. It was something of an innocent nature, but more than innocent. Responsible.

And Sayuri had thrown on her robe (which Shinji had inadvertently bought her out of the money originally held in his wallet) and answered the door. She had coughed real loud and hacked up disgusting fluids. Speaking kindly, yet hoarsely, to Hikari about how sorry she was that she missed school. And Shinji didn't know what to think because again he could tell that her voice lied. And no one else ever seemed to notice but him when the voice lied to them, and it briefly made him wonder whether he could tell if/when the voice lied to him, but dismissed the idea as something that could never happen. Not just improbable, but an impossibility. Because Sayuri had told him that she loved him and that she would never lie to him. And since Sayuri never lied to him, he could believe her when she said that she would never lie to him.

But what really caught Shinji's mind and attention was the great imposition by the class representative when she offered to enter the abode and make a special soup. And Shinji noted how Sayuri politely refused at first, but then accepted gracefully at her insistence. And his heart swelled at her sweetness. At allowing this stranger a brief glimpse into their lives. Their slice of heaven on Earth. Shinji loved Sayuri all the more for her great generosity. And he was not at all afraid of the being caught and the finding out, and the unspoken consequences because his love was not based on shaky ground… his love was based on trust.

It's interesting to note that the love between Shinji and Sayuri (and make no mistake there was great and entirely mutual love to be found) was as stated before based purely on trust. His love for Sayuri allowed Shinji to let her know of his desire to stay with her forever, despite the lack of completion of the 1 month waiting period. And his trust was so great that he did not even think to argue when she told him that it would be better for him if she continued to keep him tied up tightly until that period had elapsed. He knew that she knew what was best.

So when she invited Hikari into the house (however hesitantly) Shinji did not question her decision. And he listened as they talked. Their voices muffled by the door to the point of a poor whisper, where he could catch each word with careful attention and slight strain of hearing. Hikari spoke of school as she cooked and told Sayuri in girlish whispers of all the things she had missed, and he could see in his mind Sayuri smiling at her despite the effort caused by maintaining the appearance of sickness and listening to the chatter with rapt polite interest. And he could see her brushing off the question regarding the uneaten plate of food at the table that would have served as his dinner had Sayuri not suddenly become completely overwhelmed with the desire to be with him (despite the fact that he was only in the other room and she had only been cooking for a half hour) and she had left the food on the table and rushed to the bed room where she threw the covers off of him and nearly ripped off her robe before pouncing on him and coercing him (because after all this time he shamefully still needed to be coerced) into making love to her. And though Sayuri admitted it was odd to have a full untouched plate of food sitting at the kitchen table, she attributed it to her sour stomach and resulting lack of appetite, stating that she hadn't exactly felt in the mood for eating, but that she thought she would feel a lot better with something liquid like the soup.

This was the scary highlight of the conversation. The only moment that brought on the fear of the unspeakable consequences. The rest of the conversation went remarkably well. The two chatted like old friends, which it occurred to Shinji just then that they very well might have been (old friends that is). And Shinji was happy that Sayuri was able to get along so well with this other person who had snuck briefly into their lives in the absence of the Daddy… who had been gone for about 4 days, but Shinji had never allowed his mind to question exactly why. And they talked for a long long time it seemed to Shinji, and he began to almost ache with the missing of Sayuri… the horrible disgusting Needing of her.

Which they had had a very short and passionate conversation discussing the Needing, in which they both decided that it was the worst possible feeling in the world. And that they both felt it so awfully bad and in such a hard way that to be separated from the other was like a sort of agony. Like a death in living so horrible that the only comparison great enough to describe it would be this horrific needing itself.

So he was not surprised when he could hear it in her voice (Sayuri's) this terrible desperation of needing to get back to her room and to see him. And even through the muffled low tones of their voices he could feel the girl desperately trying to bring this encounter (which had probably lasted about 2 hours by then) to an end.

But Hikari was not blind to this distress either, and flat out refused to leave her friend in a state such as this, saying that she would not leave until Sayuri's father came home. To which Sayuri replied that her father would not be coming home and Shinji winced badly at first, but then miraculously completely forgot about this statement. And when Sayuri tried patiently to convince Hikari that she really wasn't feeling all that bad, Hikari cited her obvious distress (which she was unaware of her role in facilitating) as proof of the contrary. As it was clearly evident that Sayuri was certainly not well.

But finally Sayuri consented to the fact that she was not feeling well and that she thought a bath would help. Because she had heard from somewhere that a bath is a cleansing of all the bad things from the day, and that statement had made Shinji wonder just how long Sayuri had been with him. But Hikari had agreed, hook line and sinker and had annoyingly offered to run the bath for Sayuri herself despite numerous protests. And an awkward argument passed between the two of them before Sayuri finally relented and allowed Hikari to "see herself out."

And then Shinji heard the closing of the front door and sighed in great relief because he knew it wouldn't be long before Sayuri came back to him and made everything bearable again. Then he heard the footsteps and the opening of the door and he sighed audibly in relief…

Until he looked at the door and saw Sayuri standing there not in her robe dripping wet from having not even toweling off from fear that said action would cause her to be away from him for any moment longer, but Sayuri was wearing her school robe. And Sayuri's hair (also not dripping wet) was tied in two identical ponytails symmetrically hanging on the sides of her hair as her hand was tightly clamped over her mouth located on her lightly freckled face.

And he watched as she breathed heavily in and out slowly and said, "Oh my god", so quietly that he almost didn't hear her. And he watched as she rushed toward him saying over and over again "Oh my God, Shinji, Oh my god".

And Shinji's mind went completely and utterly blank, as she rushed over to him and asked him if he was alright. And he didn't even manage to move at all until she began to untie the binds on his right hand. Even then all he could think to say was "Don't!"

But Hikari persisted. And she said it would all be okay and that she would get him out of here as soon as possible. And when the knot around his wrist proved harder to remove than she originally thought, she paused for just a second to dial 911 on her cell phone. And she spoke hurriedly to operator repeating the address several times before placing the phone aside in a strange inexplicable panic, and returning to releasing Shinji's binds despite the operators plentiful remarks telling her to leave the vicinity as soon as possible.

"I'm not going to leave him" she had said before tossing the phone. And then she had turned to Shinji and said, "I'm not going to leave you." Then she returned to losing his restraints and Shinji begged her to stop almost incoherently.

And he remembered her finally getting his right arm loose and beginning to work on the other one before he heard the impossibly large bang and Hikari began to hug him. And he thought remarkably how completely ununique this hug felt. Like how the weight of having Hikari on him did not differ from the weight he regularly felt (and ultimately needed) from Sayuri.

But any joy he received from the hug was completely destroyed by the sound of Sayuri weeping in anguish. She was crying so hard that her breath hitched with each and every sob, and Shinji couldn't help but think that it was completely his fault. That enjoying this hug as much as he enjoyed her hugs was the cause of her pain. And he felt incredibly horrible because it wasn't Hikari that he needed. Sayuri had told him countless times that he needed her. And it wasn't Hikari that he loved. Because he was helplessly in love with her.

So he said "I'm sorry, Sayuri. I love you. I'm sorry!" and he didn't know why, but he was screaming it. And he tried as hard as he could to push Hikari off of him, but his arm was very weak, and she seemed very heavy. And it wasn't until Sayuri, still in hysterics, had rushed over to pull the girl off of him that he became free. And then he saw the red on his hand and he stopped yelling and apologizing. He didn't say a thing.

But Sayuri rushed over to him and she clung to him the way she always did. But for some reason it did not ease Shinji's Need. The Need was a thing totally separate from the girl on top of him holding onto him as if her very life depended on it as she said between sobs, "I sob… I did sob… I did a bad thing." And Shinji had no desire at all to bring his free arm around her back and stroke her hair the way she had done for him countless times when he was distressed. But instead left his arm in it's old position at the head of the bed because he had no idea what else to do with it. And he listened with alarming disinterest as she continued to cry and sob.

But when she was finally under some semblance of control she said to him, eyes as serious as he'd ever seen them, "Make it go away."

And she started to touch him like she always did. She used her hands to touch his face and kissed his warm responselesslips and rubbed her breasts against his chest. And she said, "Shinji, make it go away." And her hand descended lower and he could feel her touching him there, as she looked into his eyes. Somehow, he took note, she had never exactly stopped crying because he could see the tears still leaking from her eyes, and a part of him really wanted to feel something when she said louder, "Make it go away."

And she stroked him vigorously and kissed him desperately and pressed her body hard against his all to no response. Not even a purely physical one. And she cried harder and screamed loudly, "Make it go away!"

Then Shinji finally said, "You really did it."

And that's when Sayuri ran from the room shielding her face from view, crying just as hard as in the beginning. A few moments passed as he listened to her weeping and loud footsteps as she fled the room. A few more moments and he heard the sound of a running shower.

And that's when Shinji dared to look at the human thing on the floor and began to beat himself in the chest and laugh. And then when he saw the gun sitting on the bed next to him he laughed harder, needed to hold his sides with his one free hand. And then he thought to name the balloons on the ceiling and almost got the courage to look at the human thing again but failed.

Instead his attention was drawn once again to the gun. Suddenly he didn't feel like laughing anymore. He picked up the gun and held it in his hand, completely taken off guard by its unnatural weight. Looking down the barrel was like looking through his life and he wondered if that was such a bad thing. He opened his mouth and almost inserted the gun within, but then suddenly withdrew it and began to laugh again. And he felt his mouth building up with excess saliva that clearly shouldn't have been there, so he spit it out of his mouth off the side of the bed taking extra care not to hit the spot where Sayuri had left the human thing.

His attention was once again drawn to the gun which he still held in hand. Though it took some effort in his weakened state, he held the gun out at arms length with the barrel pointing toward the open door. Time passed.

And then she came.

"So you're going to shoot me Shinji?"

But Shinji kept quiet. She was standing nude in the doorway.

"We had a good run baby…. Didn't we have a good run?"

She took a step forward. Shinji politely asked her to stay back.

"I tried to wash it off you know. I scrubbed myself raw… the water was scolding… but I'm not clean."

She took two more steps.

"Stay back!"

But Sayuri didn't head him.

"Shinji," she said, hurt evident in her voice. "I'm not going to stop you sweetie. If it's your hand that's shooting, I'm not worthy of the bullet."

She crossed the rest of the distance to the bed without hesitation, though taking special care to avoid the human thing. With a dutiful purpose she set to untying the bounds on his remaining wrist bounds and his two ankle ones. Shinji kept the gun on her the whole time.

"Could you sit up Shinji? I want you to hold me."

But of course, Shinji did not move. Sayuri grabbed both of his wrists and pulled him upright with minimal effort. The boy did not resist. Though it did take a bit more effort to scoot him towards the headboard so that his back was leaning against it. This task accomplished Sayuri sat herself in his lap. She wrapped his left arm around her waist and drew the other one across her chest, taking special care to point the gun in that hand toward her head.

"You know…" she said staring off out the window. "I always knew that it had to end. Because I loved too hard and I cared too much. I told myself that I was just doing this for you… that I was trying to help you… but I think now that that was just a lie. Because I knew… I knew that I would die without you. I knew that if I didn't have you in my life, that it would all come to a horrible end. And I knew… that if I did this… what was necessary to have you… that it would end anyways."

Sayuri sighed.

"There was never anyway for me to get out of this alive. I knew it was only a matter of time before NERV found me, or the police… and then it would be over. Either they'd kill me trying to take you back… or they'd take you away and I'd die inside. And I knew this would happen… I knew I could do something like this and I was so so afraid. Not of the killing and not of the dying. I was afraid of you…"

She used her hands to stroke his arms.

"I was afraid that by doing what was necessary, by following the only path I could, I would lose something much greater than my life. I would lose all respect from you."

And then she chuckled a mirthless ugly laugh. Sirens sounded in the background.

"But now… now you hate me. You want me dead… don't try and argue, because I can see it in your eyes. You weren't pointing that gun for your protection. You're doing it for my demise. And I have to say… it breaks my heart. I'm hurting right now in this very moment more than you could ever possibly imagine. But I'm not going to stop you… I'm not even going to try."

The sirens grew louder.

"If you want to kill me Shinji, I don't care. If it'll make you feel even a little bit better… well then I'm happy for you. You can put a bullet in my head, if that's what you really want… because Baby… I'm already dead."

The sound of heavy footsteps came almost from nowhere. They grew increasingly louder until they suddenly stopped. Someone said, "We have a civilian down!"

A woman said, "Shinji, don't do it!"

Though he didn't turn to look, Shinji recognized instantly that it was Misato.

He said, "I don't need her anymore. I don't need anyone."

Misato said, "It's not worth it."

"It's okay," said Sayuri.

"Why'd you make me?" asked Shinji. "Why'd you make me love you?"

Misato said, "You're safe now… just put the gun down."

Sayuri said, "Do it."

Shinji looked up toward the ceiling, hot tears streaking down his cheeks. He saw Misato 1 through his blurry vision and smiled.

Sayuri asked, "When I'm gone, will you join me? I can tell you want to come too."

Misato said something he couldn't hear. Shinji's light crying gave way to sobs.

"There's no heaven for you and me," said Sayuri. "This was our heaven… right here."

Shinji's grip around her waist tighter considerably.

"But the two of us can be together forever, if only in torment… if only in hell."

"I can't… I…"

"You don't hate me do you?" asked Sayuri. "You can't know how happy it makes me to know that you don't."

"Shinji let go of the gun. Let's go home Shinji… everyone's waiting for you. Pen-Pen, Ritsuko, Rei… even your father. Come on Shinji… let's go home."

"Why'd you…. Why?"

"She's right Shinji… take us home."

Shinji held her even tighter.


"What is it Shinji? Talk to me"

Shinji was silent. When Misato spoke again, her tone was just shy of desperate.

"Look at me Shinji. I'm here for you. I'm listening."

Shinji's head barely turned, but his gaze shifted just enough for his guardian's image to graze the edges of his vision. When Misato looked into his dead emotionless eye, her breath audibly hitched.

"…I'm sorry."




The balloons fell from the ceiling.

Writer's Court - Part II

After grabbing a bite to eat at the local McDonalds (ba da ba da daaaa! I'm lovin' it!), I headed back to the courtroom only to find that I was the last one there. I wasn't late yet seeing as I still had 30 seconds before the end of the recess Gendo had so graciously allowed us. I used these extra 30 seconds to make a flashy entrance, complete with gangster stroll and pimp walk. After my strenuous walk was over (pimpin' ain't easy) I did not hesitate to call my first witness to the stand. She was none other than the character in question, Miss Sayuri .

When Sayuri took the stand her walk was that of a normal girl of her age, only worth describing because I had previously described the walks of all the other girls who took the stand. She took her seat at the witness stand with an air of purpose and stared out at the audience dutifully with her mousy but cute little face.

"Good evening Miss ," I greeted her with all the courteously due to a wonderful creation such as herself.

"Please Fresh," she said with a light smirk. "Call me Sayuri."

"Sure." We were too close for formalities after all. "I hope you don't mind me dragging you out here to answer a few questions do you?"

"Anything for you, Freshy."

"You're making me blush," I said in a masculine way.

"And you're both making me nauseous, council," said Gendo from his seat of judgment. "Get on with it."

"Right," I said. "Let's get down to business, shall we? Sayuri, where were you on the night of the day when the crime occurred?"

You should have seen her face. She was so confused, it was priceless. But since this was a real live legal court proceeding I had to shed light on the situation.

"I'm just kidding."

Everyone laughed… or at least Sayuri and I laughed really hard. I was too busy laughing to tell.

"No, no, but seriously…" I said after my chuckles calmed down. "Lets start off with an easy one. What are your feelings toward Shinji Ikari?"

"That is easy," replied the girl. "I love him."

"Awww," I said manly like. "And why do you love him?"

Sayuri sighed heavily. "Do you really want me to gush all that out again… it'd be like the second time today and I'm getting sick and tired of long rambling rants about various situations and random details that drove me to stalk and love the guy… it gets old, ya know?"

"Understood." I said understandingly. "I suppose I do make you gush a lot. Let me rephrase. Do you have any professional reason to seek out Shinji's attention?"

"No Fresh, I do not."

"Would you say that a relationship sought after without the motive of professional gain is more pure and therefore more 'WAFFY' than a relationship that is?"

"Objection, he's leading the witness."


"I withdraw the question," I said with a smile. I had Kensuke right where I wanted him. "What would you think of someone who's intentions for seeking out a relationship with Shinji were of a professional nature?"

The almost angry scowl on Sayuri's face was nothing short of genuine.

"I wouldn't think very much of that person at all."

"Thank you Sayuri, I have no further questions for you. You were just lovely up there."

Sayuri's mood visibly brightened.

"Well it's always a pleasure talking to you Fresh. I don't know why we don't do this more often."

"If only I weren't so busy with my awesome personal life we could-"

I was interrupted by the sound of a gavel. It appeared that Gendo was beyond annoyed.

"This is a courtroom, not the office water cooler," he barked in his evil Gendo voice. "Mr. C if you have no further questions, please take your seat."

I took my seat and was surprised when Kensuke declined to cross-examine. Clearly I'd done an amazing job.

"Do you have anymore witnesses?" asked Gendo.

"Yes… I call Fresh C to the stand!"

Everyone was shocked. How could a person call themselves to the stand, they all asked? But this was a decision I'd made long ago. The people needed to hear the truth from my own mouth. The needed to know.

"I object," cried Kensuke. "How is he going to question himself?"

Gendo grunted in amusement. "I'm going to allow it. There's nothing in The Great Book of Judgemanly things that prohibits a defense attorney from being his own witness. Council, please take the stand."

And I did… take the stand that is.

"Mr. C… "

But I interrupted myself.

"Please address me by my full name, Fresh Richard Bartholomew C the Third."

"How about I call you, Fresh C, for short?" I compromised.

My only response was to shrug.

"Now Fresh C… how long have you been an author?"

"Since November 2005… if you believe my profile."

"I don't." I replied honestly. "And in all your years of authoring… have you or have you not been the best fan fiction author ever?"

"Well…" I was apprehensive to answer the question. I didn't want to seem big headed. "I suppose that depends on how you define 'the best'. If you mean the author with the most readers and reviews… then I have to say I certainly am not your man. But if by 'best' you mean the author with the greatest quality of story telling, the most realistic characters, and the most detailed and entertaining plots that you'll ever see, then yes, I suppose I am the best fan fiction writer ever."

"So you would consider yourself an expert in fan fiction writing, would you not?"

I shrugged. "Many of my underlings do address me as such."

"Then as a fan fiction writing expert, how big of an impact on your story do you think the usage of the original character Sayuri over Mana Kirishima had?"

"The impact was monumental." I exclaimed.

"How so, Fresh C?"

"I'm glad you asked, Fresh C. You see, when I imagined the story Butterfluff inside of the imagination station located in my big idea brain, I felt that there were two important aspects to the story. 1) That WAFFines must be maintained, 2) that important information would be slowly leaked, 3) that the leading female character's true role has the potential to be surprising."

I paused to let this information sink in.

"In all honesty, I briefly considered Mana for the part, but discarded the idea almost instantly. Mana's desire to be with Shinji is not pure enough to win a WAFF contest and some people are already aware that she is a spy, therefore it wouldn't be surprising at all that the girl would spy on him. Choosing Mana as the main character would have ruined any pretence of surprise that a reader would have in reading the story, thus making it a mere 23.8 percent of what it is now."

"Staggering statistics," I agreed.

"And even though 23.8 percent of anything I wrote is probably head and shoulders above the competition, I refuse to write anything but my best."

"So," I asked myself. "Do you believe that the character Sayuri is integral to the story 'Butterfluff'?"

"Not only that," I answered myself. "She's also a really important part of the story."

"Indeed." I agreed. "And as the Character Usage Charter clearly states, it is lawful to use an original character when the use of that character is integral to the plot of a story."

"That's right," I said.

"I have no further questions for myself, Your Honor."

Gendo (and everyone else in the courtroom) just stared at me. In fact, they all stared at me for a very long time. I realized that I was probably even more awesome than I originally imagined because their collective stares lasted for about 5 minutes before anyone was able to speak again. They were awestruck.

"God in heaven…" muttered Gendo quietly. Then he cleared his throat. "Mr. Aida… do you dare to cross-examine?"

Kensuke seemed only mildly frazzled by my awesomeness.

"I do," he replied with a wavering smile in place.

"God help your soul, he's your witness."

"Thank you, your honor," Kensuke replied. "I'll try to make this as brief as possible…for all of our sakes."

He cleared his throat.

"Mr. C…"

"That's Fresh Richard Bartholomew C the Third to you!"

Kensuke sighed. "Fresh C, then…" I still had him where I wanted him. "By a weekly average, how much free time do you have."

"Hmm." I'd never really given the question much consideration. "Well seeing as it's summer time and I'm currently… ahem… between jobs, I'd have to say about…. Oh… 168 hours a week."

"Mmmhhmmm," said Kensuke rubbing his stubble-less chin. "That's quite a bit of free time, don't you think?"

"Of course it is. Petty things such as schedules, appointments, and minor responsibilities cannot restrict a true artist. We must be free for all hours of the day to breath the fresh air of creation."

"So you spend 168 hours of your week writing fan fiction?"

I laughed. "As much as you spend 168 hours of your week being a lawyer. As a philosopher or somebody important may have said, 'We are our professions all hours of the day.' I think it was Chopin."

"Chopin was a composer… and you're pronouncing his name wrong."

I chuckled at his stupidity. "Perhaps you need to read more, my friend."

Kensuke shrugged. "Perhaps you are right. I myself have not spent a great deal of my free time reading philosophy. I'm more interested in the history of warfare. Just last weekend I took a lady friend of mine to an antique gun show. How did you spend your last weekend, Fresh C?"

"I spent my weekend laboring on this massive omake, perfecting it to be the gem it is today."

"A worthy cause, Fresh C," said Kensuke, though I sincerely doubted his sincerity. "And how did you spend the weekend before that?"

"Well… I also spent that weekend working on this omake."

"And the weekend before that?"

"The same."

"How about the weekend before that one?"

"I don't remember okay!" I was starting to loathe this line of questioning. "What is your point anyways?"

"Oh, I have no point really. I just find it somewhat odd that a handsome man like you would find himself consistently alone on a Saturday night."

"Objection," I cried. "What relevance does this have to the case?"

"I'll allow it for now," said Gendo stoically. "You had better be going somewhere, Council."

"Then I'll cut to the chase." Said Kensuke smoothly. "When was the last time you've been alone in the company of a cute girl?"

"Why just last night," I answered truthfully.

"Your mother doesn't count."

"oh… Well… I really… I don't remember… cause I've been with so many cute girls the details tend to slip my mind."

"And since you've been home for the summer how many times have you gone out in the company of friends who are male?"

Finally an easy question. "About 13, give or take a few."

"Interesting…" Kensuke mused. "So you're a devoted writer, who loves cute girls, yet doesn't have the time to spend with them because of your work… however you always make time for the boys… Very interesting."

"Just what are you implying anyways!"

"I'm not implying anything. I'm outright asking. Fresh C, does your mother know you're gay?"

"NO!" I yelled before realizing my mistake. "I mean yes!… I mean… I object, I OBJECT, I OBJECT!"

"Sustained," said Gendo.

I wanted to punch that smirk off of Kensuke's face when he said, "No further questions, Your Honor."

After our closing statements we waited patiently for the verdict. I wrote death threats on pieces of paper and threw them at Kensuke. It was a pleasing thing to watch his face sour as he read them.

Mana seemed calm and collected… almost like a complete non-character. It was like she had no base-characterization whatsoever, aside from being cute and being in the military. It was sort of sad when I thought about it. I decided then and there that no matter what happened I wouldn't hold the verdict against Mana. She really was a sad little girl.

Finally the Jury entered the courtroom.

"Jury," said Gendo from his high seat. "What is your verdict."

Kozo Futyutski (or however you spell his last name) the Forman began to speak.

"This was a difficult case to be sure, as neither side did a very good job of sticking with to the base issues. Mr. C did shed light on the fact that Mana's role as a cannon character is sketchy at best. However, she is represented by the Evangelion Character Union, thus protecting her under the Character Usage Character. On the other hand, Mr. Aida did prove beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Mr. C is a closet homosexual-"


"But that has no bearings upon this case whatsoever, and frankly it's insulting to homosexuals to even consider that it would. Ultimately the deciding factor of this case comes down to whether or not the character Sayuri brought something to the plot that was integral AND unique only to her character. While it is true that she possesses certain qualities that do make her unique, it would only require minor altercations to the plot of the story for Mana to have occupied her role. While it would not have been the exact same story, we believe that an author who claims to be as talented as Mr. C says he is, should be able to devise a way for such a story to pack the same punch. Therefore we of the Jury rule in favor of the plaintive."

"What!" I cried in outrage. "I'll kill you! I'll kill you all!"

"Mr. C I will hold you in contempt of court!" yelled Gendo.

Then I looked directly at Mana and said, "You're dead to me."

Gendo banged the gavel. "Fresh C, as punishment for your violation of the Character Usage Charter and as an act of reparation toward Ms. Kirishima, you are hereby required to include Mana Kirishima in each and every scene of the rest of this Omake."

"That's an outrage!" I yelled.

"Court is adjourned."

I tried to express my dislike of the turn of the events, but no one seemed to be paying me any attention. So instead I turned my energies toward more constructive things.

I began to plot my awesome plan of revenge…

Dear John Letters – Finale


I am writing this letter to you not out of anger, regret, or longing, but out of fear and concern. On the surface you seem to be a very nice guy, if maybe a little withdrawn and sad. That's why I initially took an interest in you… I suppose that's why they all did. We were having a great time these past few weeks, and everything was going fine until you invited me to your apartment that night. Normally I wouldn't have gone over a man's house so soon after we began dating, but I've known you for what seems like forever, and I still believe that you're a very respectable guy.

This is hard for me to say… even in a letter, but let me cut to the chase.

The reason I left so quickly that night and have avoided speaking to you until now was that I found your collection of letters from old girlfriends under your pillow. In fact, there was no way for me not to. You had conveniently misplaced your reading glasses and asked me to retrieve them for you from your bed. You left the letters haphazardly stacked, and sticking out from underneath the pillow. It's as if you wanted me to find them.

I knew something was very wrong then, because what type of man would deliberately leave a stack of break-up letters lying out in the open for his new girlfriend to find? And honestly, who would store a stack of un-enveloped letters beneath a pillow? It'll only mess up the letters and get them all crinkly. And I bet it makes a lot of unnecessary noise as you sleep. It's just not a good storage place at all.

But the shock I received from realizing what type of letters these were and what improbable place they were stored in was nothing compared to my surprise when reading the letters.

They were all addressed from girls in our 7th grade class. There was 1 from Sayuri, a few from Yuki, 3 from Rei, several from Asuka, and even 1 from that crazy Mana girl who nobody liked and everyone thought was really stupid and assumed would grow up to only gain passing fame by being forced into stories by winning frivolous law suits but who's inherent insulting of does not violate any IFF laws so it's clearly okay to say that she's like the stupidest girl ever and that she should have lost the case and Fresh C isn't gay.

And I have to say this Shinji… it's sorta sick. Do you have some sort of obsession with the girls from classroom 2-A? Are you trying to earn our collective rejection and document it through these letters? It's the sort of thing that a mentally unstable person would do… and I really think you should give that some thought.

What concerns me more is that the subject matter of these letters are all strikingly the same. Each letter focuses on your inability to obtain true intimacy and the woman's inability to stop loving you. Also, each letter after the one written by Sayuri (which I assume is the first) makes a reference to the other letters that you've kept collected under your pillow. All 3 of Rei's letters practically begged you to move the letters to a different location… a request which I think is more than reasonable considering she never asked you to throw them out completely. It's not that hard to move a stack of letters…

But honestly… I just don't get it. Is it supposed to be deep and meaningful that you can't truly ever love yourself or a woman? Do you have some sort of ritual aphrodisiac that only attracts girls from 2-A? Why can't these women stop loving you? I mean, you're cute… but not that cute. And you're sweet… but not that sweet. I know a lot of girls like a fixer-upper… but you are clearly a train wreck.

The bottom line is that you need help. Whatever your reason for dating these women and storing these letters, it is clearly a sign of some sort of inner turmoil that cannot be fixed through regular interaction. I think you should seriously consider seeking out professional help. I recommend you contact Dr. Takeda, the former NERV psychiatrist I briefly spoke to who helped me sort out a lot of my post third impact issues. His rates are a bit high, but he is unrealistically good at helping patients through their problems. I've left his number attached below.

I'll ask you again for emphasis. Please get help Shinji. If not for yourself, then do it for all the girls who are still so hopelessly in love with you.

Wishing you good luck with your psychosis,

-Hikari Horaki

P.S. – Fresh C is not a homosexual

Therapy – Unrealistically Good Version

"My name is Misato Katsuragi and I'm 29 years old. I like long walks along the beach, roasting 'mellos by the fireside, reading good books till midnight, drinking pina coladas and getting caught in the rain. I think that there just isn't enough love in this world, so it's my job to spread it. I'm looking for a man who knows how to have fun, even if sometimes it's at his own expense. A man who is caring and sensitive, yet not afraid to be assertive and/or rich. I'm here today because I've seen that sort of love in these two children, and I'd just like to celebrate the two of them finally finding each other!"

Applause filled the room.

"Very good Misato," said Dr. Takeda. "I know this is only the first minute of our first session, but I think we've made great progress already."

"Can I say something?" asked Sayuri's Dad.

"Sure," replied the doctor. "You can say something Sayuri's Dad."

"Well, I just want to sympathize with Ms. Katsuragi's sentiments."

"To you it's Misato."

"Okay," said Sayuri's Dad with a light smile. "Misato… I just want you to know that I understand how hard it is being a single parent. You love your child to death, but it gets lonely sometimes. And seeing them find someone to love only reminds you how alone you already are. After my wife, Sayuri's Mom, died I thought that I would never love again. But then… I came here. And I met you."

A unified gasp of surprise filled the room.

"I too enjoy walks along the beach, and the roasting of marshmallows by the fireside. I love reading good books, but haven't had the opportunity lately do to the increasingly difficult workload I've suffered under recently due to a promotion at my job, which has lined my pockets chalk full of dough. I've always enjoyed getting caught in unsuspected downpours. Surprises are the spice of life, as my dear sweet dead mother always said. And though I'm not a huge fan of Pina Coladas, being a Hurricane man myself, I'd be willing to try them, if only you'd allow me the pleasure of accompanying you."

"Awww," said Sayuri. Shinji just smiled in anticipation. But Misato's breath was taken away when Sayuri's Dad got down on one knee.

"So Misato… what do you say?"

"Are you asking me to… to marry you?" Asked Misato, one hand clutching her heaving chest. This was all so sudden.

Sayuri's Dad laughed. "Well I was just going to ask you out on a date… but now that you mention it... How about it? Will you do me the honor of being Mrs. Misato Sayuri's Dad?"

Silence reigned throughout the room. Everyone waited in hushed anticipation for Misato's answer. Her breath still erratic from the sheer surprise of it all, and her face formed in a wide shocked "O". After a moment of silence they realized that they had their answer. Sayuri's Dad, rose from his kneeling spot on the floor, rejection evident in all his features.

"Well… that's okay," he said. "I thought we had something special here… but I guess I was the only one who felt that w-"

But he stopped as two arms found there way around his neck and kisses were sprinkled across his face.

"Yes!" cried Misato between frantic kisses to his jaw and cheek. "Yes, a thousand times yes!"

Everyone "Awwed" again. Dr. Takeda discretely wiped tears from his eyes.

"Congratulations!" cried the doctor. "Congratulations! Now let's get down to business shall we. As happy as we all are for the two of you, we're here to discuss a different budding relationship."

Misato and Sayuri's Dad both blushed.

"We're sorry," one or both of them said. Their souls were so well in sync that it was nearly impossible to tell. "This is a day for the children. We didn't mean to steal your limelight… it's just that love waits for no one."

"It's okay Misato," said Shinji knowingly. "It's sorta the same way that love found us."

"ummmhmmm…" Said Dr. Takeda, eyes all aglow. "And how are you feeling about your newfound relationship with Sayuri."

"Well," said Shinji. "I admit that I was a little intimidated at first. I mean… a girl who I had never met coming up to me, scamming me with a cell-phone trick, begging me to spend the day with her, then confessing to being a stalker and saying that she loved me. Well… it was a bit overwhelming naturally."

Sayuri hit him playfully on the arm. "You know you loved it, honey."

Everyone chuckled a bit.

"Well she's right," said Shinji chuckling along. "I never thought it would be possible to love anyone as much as I love my Little Sweetie Cakes Magoo."

"Not in public!" cried Sayuri obviously embarrassed.

"Oh you are all just too cute!" Dr. Takeda exclaimed. He looked around the room appraising each individuals progress. "In the last five minutes I've watched you all grow from lonely dissatisfied individuals, into fully functioning and loveable human-beings. I'm proud of you all. Sayuri… I'm glad you've come to grips with your all-encompassing desire to be near Shinji. It's a wonderful thing that you value his presence above everything else. I hope you hold onto him forever. It's not unhealthy or unstable at all."

"Thank you Doctor."

He turned next to Shinji.

"And you Shinji. Through your acceptance of her love (and surrendering of your privacy and free will) you've gained a new level of understanding and enjoyment in your life. I hope that you'll never return to the uncertainty that comes with not being completely and utterly loved."

"I wish the same for you."

"Misato… what can I say about you Misato? I've seen you blossom from a lonely yet completely competent parental figure, into a beautiful young woman who's finally giving love a chance. I wish you and your husband the best."

Misato merely blushed.

The doctor then turned to Mana Kirishima… but since she had made no progress at all and was still as big of a ball-busting, man-hating, idiot as ever, he just pretended like she didn't exist.

"And you… Sayuri's Dad… you lucky man. Not only do you have the love of two beautiful women, but now you've got a son-in-law to love and cherish as well. I can't say I've ever been more envious of another man."

"Thank you so much Doctor, for all your help!"

"No thank you all. Knowing you has truly enriched my life. But now my work here is done. Live long, love hard, and be happy."

And with no further words, his life's goals accomplished, Dr. Takeda opened up his golden umbrella and ascended to the ceiling of the office. The room let out a collective gasp when his crashing seemed eminent, but it was all for naught. The flying umbrella, powered by Duracell batteries and the awesome power of love, easily broke past the tile of the ceiling and straight through the roof of the building.

"We'll never forget you Doctor!" cried our favorite loving family.

Mana said, "Deeeerrrrr… spit butt!"

And though their words never reached his ears, the doctor smiled deep down in his heart as his magical battery-powered golden love umbrella gently flew him away.

So Messed up – Finale










Shinji heard many voices saying many things.





He had given up on the death of Sayuri by the third bang.








The gun was now pointed at his temple.




The people were still talking.





They took away the gun.

He continued to pull the trigger.

By the time Shinji realized that his index finger was still squeezing the trigger of an imaginary gun, he was wearing a party hat and had already been dragged into the kitchen. They had talked to him a lot and he heard all of it, despite the fact that very little information went through. He decided that he'd decipher most of it when he could feel feelings again.

They sung a song around the cake and told him to blow out the candles. He had no idea why they would ask this, but he complied. A girl with short brown hair kissed him passionately, then said "Happy Birthday!" She had previously identified herself as Mana Kirishima, and she seemed completely unaware of the hateful stare that Sayuri was throwing her.

The person he vaguely recognized as Zombie Hikari, had grabbed his right hand in a comforting gesture. She said nothing as his index finger continued to spasm.

"… So you see, it was all Mana's idea." said the popular reality TV host, Fresh C. "She was spying on you for her job and she realized what everyone around you was thinking: this guy needs something to spice up his life."

Shinji could not picture anyone thinking this about his life, but he let the man continue.

"That's why she signed you up for the show, 'Screwed up fake out!' It's a reality TV show that turns boring people's lives into something exciting and usually disturbing."

"I thought it would be a great idea for your birthday," said Mana cheerfully. "You know how you're never surprised by anything we do for you… well surprise!"

Shinji did not know how he was never surprised by anything they did for him. When he didn't speak, they took it as a sign of confusion.

"You see Shinji," said Misato. "The whole thing was completely fake. I didn't mount a recovery mission to save you, because I knew where you were the whole time."

Hikari squeezed Shinji's hand drawing his attention. "And I clearly wasn't dead." She pointed to a red stain on her shirt. "It's food dye and flour mixed with water."

"And I didn't strangely disappear," said Sayuri's dad.

"And I've been here at NERV Japan the whole time, fighting all the angles that have attacked the city while you were on this sick little excursion," said Asuka. "I also baked that cake for you." Then she leaned down and whispered in his ear. "Personally I'd kill the lot of them for what they did to you."

Shinji's mind was a bit too numb to register that as a god idea.

"And I didn't kidnap you, force you to live 3 weeks on a twin-sized mattress where I was your only source of human contact, and you were forced to urinate and defecate into plastic bags. I also didn't rape you daily while simultaneously attacking your already fragile mind with psychological warfare designed to make you not only physically, but also mentally dependant upon my constant presence in your life, to the point where the thought of living without me was inconceivable, and the need you had for me was so great that mere hours without me beside you left you feeling extremely anxious and out of sorts."

Sayuri smiled sweetly at him.

"All of that was fake," she said. As an afterthought she added, "I haven't had my period this month."

Everyone congratulated her.

There was this buzzing in Shinji's ears that no one else seemed to hear. He was very close to mentioning this to someone, but figured that it was also fake and orchestrated by the others for their own sick amusement.

As he squeezed his index finger repeatedly against Hikiari's hand, he imagined each of their faces. Misato, Asuka, Fresh C, and especially Mana. He even imagined his own face. But when he pictured Sayuri, he suddenly found himself unable to squeeze the trigger. He could not hate her… even though he tried. It was a rather irritating thing.

Someone began to cut up the cake and divvy out the pieces. Zombie Hikari took her hand out of his and replaced it with a fork. He imagined what it'd feel like to gouge her eyes out.

There was more conversation, most of which was directed at him. He listened and heard everything. He understood, considerably less of it. The others began to notice that he wasn't talking. He took a bite of his cake. They all looked very guilty.

"Aren't you going to say anything?" asked Mana. "We did this all for you."

"Yeah, it was a lot of work," said Hikari.

"Don't be such a poor sport," Misato chimed in.

"We only did it because we love you," said Sayuri.

Shinji was silent for several long seconds. He made a rather pathetic effort to look up into their eyes. For a long while he couldn't picture looking at any of them without their deaths immediately following.

Finally, he just gave up. He looked into Asuka's eyes and said, "This is really good cake."

Acknowledgements: I'd like to thank Himonky and Eric Blair for helping me with the general plot of "The new Black". Couldn't have done it without them. I'd also like to thank Harvey Birdman Attorney at Law and my own personal perversion for providing the plot of "So Messed Up". (You know that one episode where he goes to jail and then later finds out the whole trial and jail time was a front so that they could give him a surprise birthday party).

Thank you for all your contributions… may you all equally share the blame.

AN: I know I spent a lot of time on this story… I'm just not sure how much time. I know I should be ashamed… I'm just not sure how ashamed. I'd like to think I've written a masterpiece of pointlessness, but there's no evidence here to support that. Instead I'll take comfort in knowing these three things: 1) Somebody laughed at some point reading this story. 2) At some point in the story somebody said, "Okay this is just TOO stupid" and stopped reading. 3) Someone was dumb enough to finish the whole thing… and that person actually liked it.

Assuming that you've read a decent portion of this story, you probably have some questions. Here are the answers:

Once or twice, but I was never diagnosed as certifiably crazy. Yes, I probably am certifiably crazy.

No… okay maybe a little narcissistic.

No, but don't tell my friends, they'd laugh.

No, not really. Seriously, I'm not! I don't care how many unexplained things that it explains! Just drop it okay…

Of course I don't hate her, though I never have played the games. She's about as cannon as Jar Jar Binks.

Nope, he'd make a crappy lawyer.

23,236 including author's notes.

I said drop it!