by Gunman

Disclaimer: Don't own anything, spent the money on candy.


It was early morning in the Katsuragi/Ikari/Sohryu apartment and one Shinji Ikari, 16-year old pilot of the Evangelion robots, was busy preparing a very special meal.

"Mornin' Shinji-kun!" Misato Katsuragi said as she sauntered into the kitchen and went straight for the table, where her precious beer was waiting. She paused as she noticed the beer in a glass with a red rose in it, and a, in her opinion, fabulous breakfast composed of French Toast, sausage and eggs sunny side up. "Uh... what's all this Shinji-kun?" the woman asked.

"It's Valentine's Day, Misato." the boy answered.

Misato looked over at the calender and gasped.

"So it is." she said as she looked at her plate. "What? No chocolates?"

"That's for desert." he smiled.

After several minutes of eating, in which PenPen was happily munching on his fully cooked salmon, Misato turned to the boy.

"So... what are your plans for today? You don't have tests or anything for NERV." the woman said as she chomped on her toast.

"I was hoping you'd call the school and tell them I wouldn't be coming in today."

"Oh? Hoping to avoid all those fan-letters those girls keep sending you?" Misato teased.

"What fan-letters?" he asked seriously.

Misato winced as she realized Shinji never did get any real mail from anyone.


"That's my line!" he teased back. "And I just need time to prepare a special Valentines dinner for Asuka." Shinji said as he continued to cook the redhead's breakfast.

Misato perked up at that. "Oh? Is my little Shinji finally going to propose?"

"MISATO!" the boy blushed heavily.

"Oh, that look is just priceless." she laughed.

"Stop teasing me or you won't get your Valentine's gift."

"OH NO! Anything but that!" she cried playfully, holding her hand over her forehead and waving her other hand at him.

However, the ears of one Asuka Langley Sohryu were listening to this.

Shinji's making me a special Valentine's dinner? And he's taking the whole day off to do it? She thought. I knew it! He's finally going to confess his feelings to me!

With that thought in mind, Asuka finished getting dressed and came out to enjoy her European breakfast.


Asuka had enjoyed a wonderful breakfast. She was pleased that she had insisted that Shinji learn how to cook European meals instead of just Japanese. The boy was becoming quite proficient at cooking French, German, and Italian meals, which to Asuka meant FAR more variety in terms of nourishment.

Currently the German redhead found herself walking to school to inform Hikari of Shinji's absence today. And the reason behind it.

I wonder what kind of meal Shinji is going to make for me? Probably something romantic, like an Italian dish. Spaghetti probably. Not a lot of romantic German meals. She mentally huffed. Hmm. Wonder what I should wear? Since it's Valentine's Day, probably something red. Oh! Red Wine to go with the spaghetti! Wait... Misato may not go for that. She'll probably insist on milk for 'Little Asuka-chan'. She grumbled, but decided to go back to her original happy thoughts regarding Shinji. I wonder why it took Shinji so long to admit his feelings for me?

Asuka walked into the school building and met Hikari as she reached her class.

"Asuka! Happy Valentines Day." the pigtailed girl said.

"Yeah, like I couldn't tell." the redhead said as she dumped another batch of letters into the trash can and she had just gotten to her first class.

"Where's Shinji?" the class rep asked.

"Oh! He won't be coming today."

"Really? Why?"

"He's at home... preparing me a romantic Valentine's Dinner!" she said with emphasis on the last two words.

"Oh, Asuka! Congratulations!" she cheered.

"Thanks. I knew the baka couldn't resist me forever."

And you still call him baka. She mused.

"At least he's going about it in the right way. Romantic dinner, home-cooked, wine, roses, the whole bit." she smiled.

"Aren't you still a little young for wine, Asuka?"

"I'm sixteen Hikari. Besides, if I'm old enough to pilot a 40 meter robot, I can handle a little wine." she argued.

Hikari let the matter drop as more students arrived.


It was almost seven o'clock when Asuka got back to the apartment. It had been a NERV-racking day what with all of Unit 02's special tests that required Asuka be there as well. With the girl returned to the somewhat humble abode, she was greeted to an empty apartment.

"Shinji! Misato! I'm home!" she called out.

When she didn't hear a reply she stepped into the living room and noticed that the furniture had been moved. She saw a small table set up for two people, with plates, wine glasses, silverware, two tall candles and a small vase with a red rose in the middle of the candles.

Well done, baka. She smiled and stepped into the kitchen.

She noticed that the oven was on and there was a note on the kitchen table. Addressed to her.

"Hmm. What's this?" she said as she picked up the note. "(Dear Asuka. Dinner is in the oven and will be fully cooked by 7:30. Needed to run out to pick up a few things for the dinner. Dress nice. Shinji) Dress nice? Alright, Shinji-kun." she smiled.


After a soothing bath and a shampoo rinse with a new scent she bought last week, Asuka went to her room and took her time to dress.

Her choice of outfits was a little red strapless nearly skin-tight number that was low cut just a few inches above the knees, and exposed a fair amount of her cleavage. She had chosen it some months ago for when she would finally go out on a date with Kaji.

The intent to wear it soon for the unshaven man.

She sighed, realizing that it was now going to impress another man's heart. She decided to forgo her neural clips and put the finishing touches on herself with lipstick, lite eyeshadow and a little blush. She smiled as she admired herself in the mirror.

Her long bright red hair was neatly brushed behind her back; her creamy flawless skin shown out on her angelic face, her slender neck, her well-toned arms and her long dancers-like legs; she finally had a D-cup sized bust that she was more than proud of; her body had developed curves and bends in all the right places; and the last two years had given the girl at least an extra six inches in height, making her even more stunning than before.

"Asuka!" she heard Shinji call to her from the other side of her door.

"Yes?" she called back.

"Dinner's ready whenever you are." he said.

"Be right out!" she called, then turned back to the full-length mirror. Bless me father, for I have sinned! She smiled devilishly as she air-kissed the mirror, winking as she did.


Asuka stepped out of her room and walked towards the living room, following the wonderful smell of dinner waiting for her. When she stepped out of the room, she saw Shinji dressed in a tuxedo with a small napkin on his upheld arm.

"Shinji-kun." she gasped, noticing how nice he looked in his suit, but wondering why he had a small napkin hanging on his arm.

"Whoa! Asuka, you look beautiful." he gasped when he saw the lovely young woman before him.

She blushed slightly, which only made her more beautiful to him.

He escorted the girl to the table, pulled her chair out and sat her down.

"Your appetizers are already set out." Shinji said, indicating a small basket of bread sticks. He lit the candles on the table and then went over to adjust the lighting to a soft glow. "Please enjoy. I'll have your meal brought to you in a few minute's as soon as your dinner date arrives." he said as he walked back into the kitchen.

The second he had said that, Asuka felt her heart drop.

My dinner date? But isn't Shinji... I thought that he... then who is he talking about? She wondered.

The door bell rang.

Shinji answered it.

"Ah! Mr Ryoji. Please come in." Shinji said to the man.

"How did I let you talk me into this, Shinji?" Kaji asked as he stepped through the doorway. He had a box of chocolates in one hand and a bouquet of flowers in the other.

"It's for a good cause, Kaji." Shinji whispered to the man and then lead him out to the living room. "Ms. Sohryu, your dinner date has arrived." he called as the pair rounded the corner.

"Kaji!" the girl gasped as she saw the grown man wearing a dark blue suit with a white shirt and red tie... and clean shaven face. He shaved!

"Asuka. You look beautiful tonight." the man said sincerely.

"Uh... thank you." she blushed lightly.

"Mr Ryoji." Shinji said as he lead the man to his seat across from Asuka, but not before he presented the flowers and chocolates to the girl.

She thanked him sweetly, but Kaji got the feeling that something was off. She almost seemed disappointed to see him.

As Kaji sat down on the other side of the table, Asuka pulled Shinji down so that only she and him could hear their conversation.

"Shinji, what's going on here?" Asuka whispered to the boy.

"Kaji's your Valentine's dinner date and I'm your waiter." Shinji summed up.

Asuka is a little confused, and disappointed, but decided to go along with it for now.

Shinji poured the wine into the two glasses and had already made sure the musical selection was just right. He then went back into the kitchen in order to retrieve the meal he had prepared for the pair.

He was glad that he had already delivered his other Valentines gifts to the other women in his life earlier that day.

A chocolate-laden lunch of curry and rice for Misato. (How she could eat that stuff and not have it go right to her hips was a wonder to most people who knew her) A stuffed cat doll with a pink heart on it's belly for Ritsuko. A computer poem for Maya. An arranged date with Toji for Hikari. And a framed picture of himself, Asuka, Misato, PenPen and Rei for Rei at her new apartment.

This left him at the disposal of Asuka for her special Valentines dinner.

For the rest of the evening Kaji dazzled the young redhead with as much stimulating conversation and compliments as he could muster, Asuka doing her best to bask in the attention the freshly shaven man rarely showed her. Shinji stayed out of sight as much as he could.

However, Kaji was a better judge of character than most people would suspect him of being. He knew that Asuka was putting on a front for his sake, and maybe Shinji's as well. And what's more, he knew why.

It was nearly 10:00 when Kaji and Asuka had finished with dinner, even enjoying a couple of slow romantic dances.

What's wrong with me? I finally have Kaji all to myself, on Valentines Day, and... I don't want him! Asuka mentally gasped as the pair danced the last dance.

"You really are light on your feet Asuka." Kaji flashed his killer smile at the girl.

"Thank you Kaji-san." she smiled. "Excuse me, I have to use the powder room."

As she left his side, Kaji couldn't help but notice the usage of '-san' to his name. Normally Asuka would have called him 'Kaji-kun' or something similar, and he sighed in his own frustration. Back in the day, Kaji would never have been willing to spend so much time with Asuka in such a romantic fashion, his attempts to get back with Misato his original goal. And it wasn't like Asuka hadn't become a beautiful and desirable woman. Hell, another year or two and she'd outstrip Misato for the 'Sexiest Woman In Tokyo-3' title.

But as he thought back to tonight's dinner date, he realized that it wasn't him she wanted to be with. Once before, maybe, but now... no, he'd kept Asuka at a distance for so long that he was sure her feelings for him had dwindled down to little more than a strong friendship.

She finally gets over me, and then Shinji drops this in her lap. Oh, boy! Kaji mused as Shinji came back into the living room.

"Is everything alright, Kaji?" the boy asked.

"I think so, Shinji." the man replied.

"Is something wrong?"

"Oh... you could say that."

"Huh? What? Was there something wrong with dinner? The music not right? Was the wine..."

"Shinji, everything was perfect!" Kaji interrupted. "It's just... I don't think Asuka enjoyed being with me, that's all."

"What? But that's impossible! She loves you!"

"Once, maybe. But after tonight..."

"I don't understand."

"Obviously." he smirked. "Let's just say... I'm pretty good at determining a person's mood and all. And Asuka was putting on a front the entire time."

"But why?"

"I think she was expecting to share tonight with someone else." he said, giving Shinji a noticeable glance.

It took the boy a few seconds to comprehend what he meant.

"ME?!!!" he gasped.

Kaji nodded.

"But... why? I mean... she's been in love with you ever since I can remember. Ever since I met both of you on the 'Over The Rainbow'. She doesn't even like me."

"Oh? How can you be so sure of that?"

"She insults me, demeans me, hits me, calls me 'baka' everyday, makes me do her choirs, cook her food, clean her room and clothes..."

"And yet you do so everyday without a stitch of complaining and go out of your way to prepare such a wonderful romantic dinner for her. Complete with the man she's been crushing on for years." he replied.

"I just thought... I just wanted her to be happy, Kaji." he stated.

"So that maybe she'd notice? Or leave you alone?"

Shinji couldn't answer that.

"Do you love her Shinji?" the man decided to be more straightforward.

Shinji's mouth was open before he could form the words. "...yes. I do. But she doesn't even like me."

"How do you know that?"

"Because if she did, she would have been nicer to me at some point." he answered. "I mean... she's never even said thank you for anything I've done for her... like it was just expected of me that I do all those things for her. She didn't even thank me for complimenting her on how beautiful she looked tonight."

"Hmm." Kaji mused. "Look, Shinji. I know Asuka as well as anyone. And to put it simply, she likes strong guys. You have to be forward with her as best you can, be assertive but don't force yourself upon her, prove to be her equal while giving her the chance to know you."

"But Kaji... I'm not strong. I've never been strong."

"Oh? Say's the mighty 'Killer of Angels'?" he teased. "You who have been beaten, blasted and blown up more than any other Eva pilot. You who endured every psychological trauma that could be inflicted upon him by every human being around from his friends to his father. You who survived Third Impact and rebuilt the world into this paradise of what the world once was after Second Impact and, if I'm not mistaken, brought me back from the dead as well."

"You... you just got lucky. You hadn't been dead that long. Not like my mother."

Kaji smiled gently as he put a hand on Shinji's shoulder. "And what exactly do you want out of a relationship, Shinji?"

Shinji bowed his head, but answered right away. "I want a mutual relationship. I want someone to be kind to me, and someone I can care for, take care of. Asuka deserves someone strong, and I'm not. I just..."

"But you are strong, Shinji. Didn't I just give you several reasons why?"

"But I wasn't fighting for myself, Kaji. I wasn't fighting to prove anything. I was fighting so that others would be safe. I've never cared what happened to me, I just..."

"Shinji!" he said, momentarily interrupting the young man.

"I can't pretend to be something I'm not, Kaji!" he snapped.

"And no one's asking you to! But sometimes you can be better than you think you are capable of becoming."

Shinji pondered that for a second. "I'll think about that, Kaji. Thanks." he said as the man nodded. "And thanks again for doing this."

"Hey, I enjoyed spending Valentine's Day with a beautiful young woman. I just wish I wasn't going home alone." he grinned as he pulled a pack of cigarette's out of his jacket pocket and headed out. "Thanks again Shinji."

"Thank you, Kaji." he replied as he escorted the cleanly shaven man out.

Once Kaji was gone Shinji went back into the apartment to start the clean-up. He didn't notice that a certain redheaded girl had been listening in this entire time.

Asuka eventually came out of her room, still dressed in her red dress. Only now she had forgone her matching red shoes, walking around the living room in her stockings.

"So, did you enjoy your Valentine's dinner?" Shinji asked.

"Yeah, it was great. And you got Kaji to be my dinner date... thank you, Shinji-kun." she said with a soft smile.

"You're welcome, Asu... what did you say?"

"I said 'Thank you, Shinji-kun'. I know I don't say it enough, what with everything we've been through and all, and I..." she started to say, only to fall off into nothing.

Shinji said nothing, just continuing to stare at the seemingly fragile young woman before him. The pregnant silence was slowly becoming unbearable as the pair continued to just stand in the middle of the living room.

It was then that Shinji got a rather bold idea. He reached over to press the 'Play' button on the CD player, thankful it was within reach.

The romantic music swept through the room, catching Asuka's attention as she looked at Shinji.

"Since Valentine's Day isn't over yet... would you mind if I asked for a dance?" Shinji asked.

Asuka had a subtle smile on her face as she closed the distance and accepted his hand.

The pair held each other closely as they slowly danced in voiceless silence.

It was almost midnight when Asuka's voice caught Shinji's attention. "Do you love me, Shinji-kun?"

He looked into her eyes, unable to find any way around her. "...yes. I do."

"Why didn't you ever tell me?" she asked.

"Because I know how you like strong guys, Asuka. And I... I'm not strong."

"No... but you are kind." she said as she rested her head against his shoulder, burying her face in his chest.

Her hands gently trailed down his chest, feeling his well-toned muscles through his dress shirt.

His hands softly dragged down her back, feeling the firm tone of her body through her silk dress.

The pair continued to dance slowly, holding each other close as the music carried them past midnight into the next day. Even when it stopped, they continued to hold each other close.

Their eyes met as the silence of the apartment surrounded them.

Come on, Shinji. Read my mind. Asuka thought as she stared at him.

Does she want this? Do I? Shinji thought as his body moved on it's own. Yes.

His lips pressed against hers, softly at first, then sped up with more passion. His arms trailed down the sides of her body, tracing the edges of her stomach and down to her hips, grasping them firmly. A move that he would normally never have done. Her own hands reached up to brush his chest, holding the sides of his face to keep him in place.

While Asuka's lips worked the front of her face, the back of her mind cursed herself that this wasn't the kiss she and Shinji shared two years ago.

Shinji's own thoughts were along similar lines as he pushed the redheaded girl up against the nearest wall of the apartment, his tongue darting into her mouth to clash with her own.

"Mmm! Hmm!" Asuka moaned fiercely as her arms wrapped around his neck, pulling him in tightly as Shinji's own hands grabbed underneath her legs and brought them up around his waist. Asuka's ankles locked behind Shinji as he moved his hands up against her back, his lips breaking from her lips and coming down against her neck. "Ah! Shinji! Shinji, wait!"

"Asuka?" he asked with ragged breath.

"Not here." she said, her hot breath washing over his mouth. "My room."

Shinji nodded and pulled Asuka from the wall, carrying her effortlessly to her bedroom.


Shinji's eyes blinked open, finding them staring at a mass of wavy and unkempt red hair. The girl, now woman, that was resting on top of him shifted her body, bare skin rubbing against his and causing him to fully awaken.

"Good morning, baka-kun." she said sweetly.

"Good morning, Asu-chan." he replied to her, gently nuzzling her nose with his. "How are you?"

"I feel..." Sigh. "I feel really good, Shinji. You were amazing last night."

"I'm glad you feel good." he said, his hand gently caressing the soft skin of her shoulder.

"Are you, Shinji?"

"Yes. I am."



"Why do you love me? I mean... I've hurt you, insulted you, belittled you, never once thanked you for everything you do for me?"

Shinji pressed his forehead against hers. "I just want you to be happy Asuka. I just... didn't think you'd be happy with me."

"That's why you set up that dinner with Kaji for me."

"Yes. Because I thought you were still in love with him."

"I was. Not anymore. I...I'm sorry, Shinji-kun. I'm so sorry!" she cried.

Shinji hugged the girl tightly to him as she cried into his chest.

"Shhh. It's alright, Asuka."

"No! It's not alright!" she snapped, staring at him with teary eyes. "You've been kinder to me than I deserve... and it's taken me so long to realize the obvious!"


"It's not strength I want in a man... it's kindness."

He remained silent as she continued to talk.

"I heard you and Kaji talking last night." she said, noting his surprised-shocked expression. "You've always been strong when other people were in trouble. But the war is over. We're still on-call if we're needed, but we haven't had to fight any monsters or anything for the last two years and... I've been a fool trying to keep being strong. And last night I realized... I don't need strength."

"What do you need, Asuka?"

She looked at him. "I need kindness, Shinji-kun. I need love! I need someone to care for me, to be there for me."

Shinji just stared at the girl, shocked that she would say that. It was so simple a thing, something that Asuka had never said before.

"But Asuka... you've always been strong. You've never needed anyone else. I've always envied those things about you."

"I'm tired of being strong, Shinji-kun." she said. "I'm tired of being Asuka the soldier, Asuka the Eva pilot. I just want to be Asuka... the girl."

Shinji leaned in and kissed her forehead softly. "Then let me do that for you Asuka. Let me care for you, let me be there for you, and love you, as best I can."

A warm smile spread across her lips, making her seem, to Shinji, more beautiful than before. "No one could do it better, Shinji-kun."


Author's Notes:

Here's my Valentines Day story. The last one I wrote involved Shinji and Rei, so this time I thought I'd write one up with Shinji and Asuka.

It may not be quite the quality that many of my other stories are, but I think it's not bad considering how quick I managed to write it.

I am also working to update my other stories, but I wanted to get this uploaded for Valentines.

And as always, read and review.