Disclaimer: Evangelion and X-Men are not mine. However, this is the story I have come up with. So there's that.
Author's Note: No excuses, no explanations. Seriously, I just can't explain, or promise better behavior. Am trying a new experiment in discipline and focus, though. See, all this time, part of my problem has been my inability to focus on one story over another, to the point that I can't work on any of them. I'm also terribly easy distracted. But hey, let's see what happens, shall we?
*Thunk* Shinji closed the car door behind him, looking up at the apartment building they'd arrived at.
"Think you can help me with these?" asked Misato. Shinji turned around, and she gestured to several bags she'd picked up on the way. He nodded and grabbed them. Smiling, she led him inside and upstairs. "All of your stuff should be here already."
"That fast?" asked Shinji. She led him to a door. Upon inserting her key, she paused.
"Um," she said, "just so you're forewarned, I just moved here myself. So the place is a bit of a mess." She smiled and opened the door. Shinji stepped inside, and as she turned the light on he very nearly dropped the groceries he was carrying.
'A little messy?' he thought, looking at the cluttered table in the eating area, the piles of junk in the living room, and the sink full of unwashed dishes. "Sh-should I just put these away then?" he asked. Misato nodded.
Upon entering the kitchen proper, Shinji was faced with a dilemma. There were two fridges. He tried the first, only to make another shocking discovery.
'It's filled to the brim with beer,' he thought, grimacing. 'What does she do in her spare time? And where am I supposed to put this food?' He looked to the other fridge. As he was about to open it, Misato spoke.
"I wouldn't," she said. "He generally doesn't want to be disturbed."
"What are you-" Shinji's voice trailed off as he heard the fridge door slide open. What he saw next finally did make him drop what he was carrying. A penguin, an actual penguin, was standing there. It looked at Shinji for a moment, grabbed a towel that was hanging in the fridge, and darted past him. It went to what Shinji saw was the bathroom, which already had a hot bath running. The bird jumped in, looking quite pleased with itself.
"I... uh... what?" Shinji looked to the woman for an explanation.
"Isn't he cute?" she asked. "He's a new breed of hot-spring penguin. I named him Pen-Pen!" Shinji was at an absolute loss for words. Sure, fighting aliens in a giant robot was strange, but this?
After finally finding a place to set the groceries, they sat down for dinner. Shinji was just beginning a not-so-positive appraisal of the available food (so far, all frozen tv-dinners) when Misato caught his attention.
"Say," she said, a curious tone creeping into her voice. "Now that we're roommates, there's something I think we need to do." She leaned in close to Shinji, who edged away slightly. Suddenly, her face changed dramatically from smiling to a scowl. "ROCK, PAPER, SCISSORS, GO!"
"GAH!" exclaimed Shinji. Misato's hand went into the scissors position, while Shinji, who was completely caught off guard, did nothing. Misato chuckled and pulled out a chart she'd been hiding. "So that'll be you on breakfast duty Monday mornings."
"What are you-" Shinji didn't have time to finish his question before she started again. He quickly determined that this was how she was dividing the chores. After three more lost rounds, Shinji was irritated. 'If she's going to cheat, I should at least level the playing field,' he thought.
"Claws!" Shinji finished, unsheathing his with the same tearing noise as before. "Top that!" Far from making Misato want to stop and divide chores fairly, she smirked.
"Oooooh boy, kid," she said. "So, you wanna play that game?"
"Sure," he said, smirking back.
"Then rock, paper..." She trailed off. To Shinji's shock, her eyes started clouding, becoming pure white, and even glowing slightly. He heard the wind pick up outside, and moments later heard the low rumble of thunder. "Storm." Lightning flashed outside, thunder booming immediately after, causing Shinji to jump. He looked form the window to her.
"That-that was all you?" he asked. "Today, with the fog, and the storm now that was... wait, you're a mutant?" Misato smiled.
"Yep!" she answered happily. Her eyes unclouded, and the wind outside died down. "Didn't think you were the only one, did you?"
"Well no, but, I mean... wait, are there others working at NERV?" he asked.
"Mmhmm," said Misato. "There most definitely are. In fact, there are plenty who live here in Tokyo-3 as well. You'll find it a lot friendlier towards mutants than where you're from." She said this with a small pang of sadness. She'd done some research into where Shinji had been living before. She knew that the rural areas were far less accepting of Mutant-kind.
"Well that's a relief, I guess," he said. He sheathed his claws. "So, do you wanna try doing this fairly?"
"Oh, fine," said Misato. "But I warn you, I'm really good at ROCK, PAPER, SCISSORS!"
After they had eaten, Shinji began clearing up the kitchen table. He had gotten kitchen duty on Sunday nights according to the chore chart, which, despite his best efforts, was still divided 70-30 in Misato's favor. Surprisingly, it didn't take him as long as he'd thought to get the kitchen looking acceptable again, after which he joined Misato in the living room.
They didn't speak for a few minutes, Shinji lost in his own thoughts, as she herself was. The boy was thinking about how much his life had changed as of yesterday, and the woman of how admirably he'd performed despite his inexperience.
"So," Shinji said eventually, breaking the silence. "There are other mutants in the city?" Misato nodded. "And I'll be starting school tomorrow, right?" She nodded again. "Do you think... there'll be any in my class?"
"I think so," said Misato. "I... well, I can almost guarantee it."
"Does that girl go to school?" he asked. "The one at NERV?"
"Rei?" asked Misato. "Yes, she does."
"Is she one too?" he asked. Misato just looked at him for a few moments.
"Hoping to better fit in here?" she asked. Shinji looked down, a slight frown on his face.
"Hoping not to be hunted," he answered.
Beyond wishing Shinji goodnight, they spent the rest of the evening in silence.
The next day, Shinji sat in his new desk at his first day at a new school. The teacher was giving a history lesson, describing the events that had led to the world as it was today. But Shinji wasn't listening. He'd heard this all before: oceans rising, ice caps melting, disease, mass panic, death. What he was really listening to were the small, whispered conversations. They didn't have any idea he could hear them, but he could.
"You know that new boy?" asked one girl to another.
"Yeah," she said. "What about him."
"They say he's the pilot of that robot from last night!" the first girl whispered.
"No Way!" exclaimed the second girl, loud enough for the whole class to hear. She blushed as everyone looked at her. Shinji lazily glanced over at her, but his eyes were soon drawn to the far end of the class. There was the girl, Rei, sitting by the window.
His eyes widened upon seeing her. She hardly looked injured at all! In fact, the only visible signs of injury were an eye-patch and a support sling. If he didn't know better, he'd say she'd be perfectly healthy within a few days.
'Did she just look worse than she was,' thought Shinji, 'or can she heal too?' He didn't have much time to dwell on the possibilities, though, as it was soon lunch time. He'd not even gotten his food out before the other students surrounded his desk.
"Is it true?" asked the girl from earlier.
"Are you really the pilot?" asked the second.
"Um... yeah," said Shinji, hesitantly.
"That is so cool!" exclaimed a kid wearing red glasses. "What was it like?"
"It was kinda weird," answered Shinji.
"Does it have a special attack or something?" asked another girl. Shinji almost did a double-take. The girl's eyes were black with red irises.
"Um... special attack? I don't think so. I mean, it had claws, but-"
"Is that what you used to beat that monster?" asked the first girl.
"What was it anyway?" asked the kid with glasses. "Is it some other country's secret weapon?" Shinji frowned.
"I don't actually know," he answered. "In fact, no one seemed to know, really. They called it an Angel, but I dunno what it was or where it's from."
"So you really dunno anything, do ya'?" came a voice from the doorway. Shinji looked to see a kid with reddish-brown hair standing there, leaning against the doorway with his arms crossed.
"Suzuhara!" exclaimed the black eyed girl, looking towards him. "There you are! You have been absent every single day for-"
"The past week, yeah," said the boy. "Sorry class rep, musta slipped my mind." He looked pointedly at Shinji. "You, new kid."
"What?" asked Shinji.
*WHAM!* Shinji was on the ground before he quite knew what happened. He looked up at the person who'd put him there.
"Sorry, newcomer," said Suzuhara, cracking his knuckles. "But I need you to understand somethin'." He walked over and grabbed Shinji by the shirt, hauling him up.
"And what would that be?" asked Shinji.
"My sister got hurt in that fight," said Suzuhara. "And you know what caused that?" Shinji said nothing, which seemed to provoke the other boy further. "You, ya idiot!" He pushed Shinji back to the ground.
"Toji!" exclaimed a voice behind them. "You can't just go around decking important pilots like that!"
"Stay outta this Kensuke," said Toji, looking back to see the kid with the red glasses. "This's got nothin' to do with you." He turned back to Shinji. "My sister got trapped under rubble all because you started crashin' around. You're lucky as hell she wasn't hurt worse, but what if she ends up with a permanent injury, or a scar, huh?"
"... I'm sorry," said Shinji, getting up. "It's obviously not like I meant for that to happen. It was an accident."
"...Sorry? SORRY!? IS THAT ALL YOU GOTTA SAY?!" Toji lunged at him, but Kensuke held him back.
"Dude!" cried Kensuke. "Calm down!"
"What more do you want from me?" asked Shinji. "Want me to kneel and beg for forgiveness?" At those words, Toji freed himself from Kensuke, and took another swing at Shinji, sending him down to the ground once more.
"You wanna go, tough guy?" asked Toji. "Come on, then. On yer feet!"
"I have a question," said Shinji, seeming to ignore Toji's threat. "Don't you get tired, being so angry all the time? Take it from me, I know it isn't easy." Toji's eye twitched.
"You friggan punk, THAT'S IT!" he roared. He charged forward, and to Shinji's surprise, metal plates began appearing on his fists. Before Shinji could get up and get his claws out, though, another voice called out.
"What Is Going On Here?" demanded the class rep, stepping towards the three. Toji stopped in his tracks, glaring back and forth from the girl to his target.
"Nothin'," he said, the metal plates receding back into his skin. He looked at Shinji. "Take some advice yourself, kid. Next time you get in a fight, watch where you put your friggan feet." He stormed off, Kensuke close behind, though he did look back long enough to offer Shinji an apologetic smile.
"I'm sorry about that," said the class rep, offering a hand to help Shinji up. "Toji can get a bit emotional sometimes, especially concerning his little sister." Shinji took her hand and let himself be helped up. "We weren't properly introduced. I'm Hikari Horaki."
"Shinji Ikari," he said. He saw that she was looking at something on his face, and then noticed her eyes widen. Seeing that he'd caught her staring, she explained.
"Sorry," she said. "But I couldn't help noticing. Suzuhara left a bruise on your cheek, and it just kind of, well, disappeared. Is that your mutation?" Shinji wasn't sure how to answer that. No one had ever been so open about asking anything like that. Sensing she'd erred, the class rep apologized again. "I forget that not everyone is from around here. We can talk about being a mutant pretty freely at school."
"Sorry," said Shinji. "I'm not quite used to the idea. That is one of my mutations, though. I heal really fast, pretty much no matter what happens to me. But, is, um, is anyone else in class a mutant?" Hikari smiled.
"Yep," she said. "You're among friends, here. Everyone in our class is a mutant." Shinji's eyes widened. "And-" She was cut off by the ringing of the school bell. "Oh, we need to get back to class. Let's go!"
"Be there in a sec," said Shinji as she ran off. He stood for a moment, looking down at the sidewalk. A whole class full of mutants. Surely that had to be worth something. As he turned around and headed back inside, he didn't notice that he was being watched.
Up in her seat near the window, Rei followed his movement with her good eye. She had seen the altercation between Shinji and Toji. She blinked. She was looking forward to the LCL working it's way out of her system. Moments later, she watched as Shinji walked into the classroom, looking as if nothing had happened.
'So,' she thought, 'his healing factor does not seem to have been hampered by the LCL. He is fortunate.' She turned her attention back out through the window. She was now oblivious to the fact that Shinji was staring at her.
Seeing her in her current state, and having already been attacked by one of the people he'd fought to protect, Shinji had to wonder. Mutant-filled class or no, was it really all worth it?
While I'm not promising anything in the strictest sense, I will say that as of last week I now own all of the Evangelion manga, and that maybe it's given me a bit of a push. Maybe. Also, I invite you all to throw out your guesses as to who's who. You already know Misato is Storm, and that Shinji is Wolverine. It should also be clear who Toji is. Heads up, by the way, most of these kids have more than one set of powers, but if you get at least part of it right, good job.
See you later!