Disclaimer: Neon Genesis Evangelion and all its characters belong to GAINAX. I make no profit from this.
Notes: I may be taking liberties with what Rei can and can't do, but somehow I doubt it.
Summary: Asuka thinks Shinji and Rei are having sex at school. They aren't. They're just sleeping together, or one of them is, at least.
A Neon Genesis Evangelion Oneshot by
Nate Grey (xman0123-at-aol-dot-com)
There were, of course, many reasons why the representative of Classroom 2-A might be staying after school. No one would ever bother to question that, and Hikari was all too grateful for that fact. For had she been asked this day, she would've been forced to come up with a very convincing lie.
Hikari had justified this little mission in her mind, however, and despite how uncomfortable she was with lying, she was determined to get it over with so she could go home. Not that there was anything specifically pleasant awaiting her there that she wanted to get to soon. Asuka was waiting there, no doubt still with a slightly maniacal look in her eyes, for the results of Hikari's little venture. Assuming the redhead hadn't scared Nozomi so badly that she'd refused to open the door, anyway. Certainly Asuka had scared Hikari into backtracking to school, but there was a supposedly good reason for it.
If Asuka's hunch was right (and Hikari really doubted it was), Ikari Shinji and Ayanami Rei were having sex.
Now, normally, even if this were true, Hikari would largely consider it none of her business. But Asuka was certain that they were having sex on the school grounds, which of course WAS Hikari's business. After all, if anyone should happen to catch them at it, the blame would inevitably fall on Hikari for not having dealt with the problem sooner.
Anyway, Hikari was pretty sure that it wasn't true. Shinji was kind of cute, in a wishy-washy sort of way, but the idea of him having sex at all was a little difficult to fathom. And this was before you even factored in Rei, who had all the personality of a dead pet rock. In other words, Hikari was almost positive that there was no way those two would be having sex with anyone, much less with each other.
It was still worth checking out, though. This was the third week in a row that Shinji and Rei had drawn clean-up duty together, strangely enough. Hikari wouldn't have noticed at all if Asuka hadn't pointed it out to her. Although, why Asuka was so interested in what two people she reportedly hated were doing had been a rather amusing discussion.
It had all boiled down to Shinji and Rei being at least partially responsible for the protection of mankind, so no one could risk Rei suddenly getting pregnant, or Shinji losing the will to fight because Rei wouldn't return his phone calls (never mind that Rei only used her phone for NERV business, and Shinji never called anyone anymore).
Why Asuka simply couldn't come out and say she was insanely jealous of her fellow EVA pilots (emphasis on the 'insane' part), Hikari would never know. Probably it had something to do with the way Hikari had trouble confessing her own feelings for a certain thickheaded jock. There was a big difference in her mind, though. Hikari had caught herself staring at Touji several times during class, but she had never actually gone out of her way to stalk him. Normally, the word 'stalk' wouldn't have been applicable, but Hikari had a feeling this would not be the last time she'd have to spy on Shinji and Rei, if Asuka's determination was any indicator.
Again, not that Hikari was really concerned about seeing anything important. Shinji and Rei were very private people, and they probably had to be as NERV personnel. If they were really going to do something so intimate, there were many much more convenient places with less risk of getting caught. It was a pretty well known fact that Rei lived alone, so why not just go to her apartment?
Perhaps because Hikari had already convinced herself that she would see nothing out of the ordinary, what awaited her in Classroom 2-A would surprise her all the more. While it was certainly nothing as scandalous as what Asuka had suggested, it was still something that no one else was meant to see. Of that, Hikari would be certain afterwards.
So it was with very low expectations that she quietly peeked into her nearly deserted classroom. It was only about an hour or so after school had let out, and even the most thorough student cleaners would at least be wrapping up the task by now.
It did not surprise Hikari at all to find that Shinji and Rei had apparently long since finished cleaning the classroom. Shinji no doubt got plenty of practice at home, and Rei supposedly learned new things very quickly, so by now she would be at least as skilled as Shinji.
It did, however, surprise Hikari to learn that even though Shinji and Rei had finished cleaning, they hadn't bothered to leave yet. And if she were asked to guess why that was, Hikari would have to reply that they seemed to want to get a head start on that night's homework.
That's what it looked like, anyway; although the seating arrangement was a bit... odd.
Rei was seated at her desk, staring straight at her laptop as she typed in her answers. As usual, she didn't seem to need to blink all that often.
Shinji was sitting right next to her... sort of. He was actually seated on the floor, but directly next to Rei's desk, close enough where he could easily lean back a bit and have his head resting on Rei's thigh. This was horribly unlikely, though. From what Hikari had seen, the most physical contact Shinji had ever had with Rei was placing his hand on her shoulder, and even that had only happened once. At the time, Rei hadn't welcomed or rejected the contact. So either Shinji must have thought it bothered her, or he was just too shy to do so a second time. That begged the question: if touching was such a big issue for them, why the close proximity?
Hikari didn't have to wait long for an answer.
Shinji was focused on his own laptop, so he didn't notice when Rei silently closed hers and slipped it into her schoolbag. It was at this point that Rei began to stare at the top of Shinji's head, as if it were the most interesting thing she had ever laid eyes on. Hikari was amazed he couldn't feel her eyes on him; Shinji never concentrated all that hard on schoolwork, and at the very least, he should've thrown one of his usual nervous glances over his shoulder at Rei. Weeks of living with Asuka had either made him paranoid, or keenly aware of when something was happening behind him. But for some reason, Rei had managed to easily slip past whatever senses Shinji had developed.
It suddenly struck Hikari that Shinji would have to be extremely relaxed for that to be possible, or unconscious. And she could clearly see that he was awake.
Without warning, Rei's right hand moved from her lap and lowered until it was about an inch from Shinji's head. Her hand hovered there for a moment, though not uncertainly, before finally coming to rest in Shinji's hair.
At once, Shinji's eyes drifted shut, and he did lean back as his whole body went limp. He looked for all the world to have fallen asleep on his own, except that Rei was staring at him so intently that Hikari had to assume she had done something to him.
Strangely, Hikari's mind never even entertained the possibility that Rei might have harmed Shinji. There was nothing like malice in her expression; the only thing Hikari could see in Rei's face at all was perhaps curiosity. She kept her hand in Shinji's hair, not moving it in the slightest as she watched him sleep peacefully.
After a few minutes of this, Hikari slowly retreated back into the hallway, her mind full of questions. How could Asuka have possibly mistaken what was going on in the classroom for a sexual encounter? Did Shinji realize what Rei was doing to him, that is, if she was doing anything to him at all? And did Hikari really have any right to tell Asuka what she'd seen? If she had really been worried about what she'd seen, Hikari would be more likely to contact Major Katsuragi instead. But doing that now seemed like a waste of the woman's time.
Hikari counted off thirty or so minutes on her watch before she finally heard something from the classroom.
"Ikari," Rei was saying in that soft voice of hers, "we should go."
"Huh? Oh... did I fall asleep again?" Shinji murmured, still sounding a bit groggy. "Sorry, Ayanami. I must be tired or something..."
"I do not mind. It is probably for the best that you fell asleep now, instead of a time when your full attention was needed."
"Good point. You, um, ready to go?"
Hikari quickly darted around the corner as she heard them walking towards the classroom door. She waited until they had gotten further down the hall before risking a peek. Shinji and Rei were walking side by side in silence, not touching at all. Hikari carefully followed them all the way to the front gate, where, strangely, Rei indicated that she was going in the opposite direction as Shinji. Though they didn't always leave school together, they had done so enough that Hikari was sure that they lived in the same direction. Rei must've had somewhere else to go. So much for Asuka's theory.
"You should try to get more sleep, Ikari," Rei advised. "I am concerned for your health."
"Oh... thank you, Ayanami," Shinji said, flushing a bit. "I'll try."
Once the two Children had gone their separate ways, Hikari sighed, wondering what she was going to tell Asuka. Would she even believe the truth?
Even though Hikari waited several minutes before leaving, she had only taken a few steps past the gate when Rei's calm voice spoke behind her.
Hikari froze and slowly turned around. "A-Ayanami. Hi..."
Rei stared at her blankly. "Did Pilot Sohryu ask you to observe us?"
"What makes you think that?" Hikari asked, trying not to sound too nervous.
"You have never shown such an obvious disregard for privacy until now. I assume that Pilot Sohryu manipulated you into doing so."
"I... I just wanted to be sure... that Shinji was..." Hikari trailed off lamely, unable to think of a suitable answer.
"You may rest assured that Ikari will be taken care of. You may also share that information with Pilot Sohryu, if you are so inclined."
"I-I'm sorry!" Hikari blurted out, guilt written all over her face. "I didn't mean to-!"
"There is nothing to apologize for," Rei interrupted. "No harm has been done."
Hikari stared at her, wondering if she'd heard Rei right. "You mean... you're not angry that I was watching you?" she asked hesitantly.
For several seconds, Rei said nothing. Then she turned away slightly, staring across the street at nothing in particular. "What did you see?"
This question actually stumped Hikari for a moment. "Well, um... you hypnotized Shinji, or something... made him fall asleep. I think."
Rei still didn't look at her. "And do you believe this was harmful to him in any way?"
"No... actually, Shinji seems pretty restless most of the time, so you probably..." Hikari trailed off, her eyes widening in realization. "You were helping him!" she cried.
For some reason, Rei said nothing to confirm or deny Hikari's claim. Maybe she just liked being that mysterious. "You may tell Pilot Sohryu what you saw, though I would advise against it. I suspect she is at least partially responsible for Ikari's sleeping difficulties already." With that, Rei merely walked off, leaving Hikari alone with her thoughts.
"They were just talking?" Asuka asked in disbelief.
"That's what I said," Hikari repeated, methodically untying her pigtails. "Nothing happened."
"So what did they talk about?" Asuka demanded.
"Shinji's having trouble sleeping. He didn't say why. And you know Rei."
Asuka grunted and sat down on Hikari's bed. "She didn't say much of anything."
"Right. So it looks like you were wrong about them."
"THIS time," Asuka corrected. "They could just as easily try to get away with something tomorrow, or the next time they have clean-up duty together."
Hikari sighed loudly. "Asuka, you live with Shinji. You know he comes home every night, and Major Katsuragi would know where he was if he was ever late. There's no way he could be doing something without one or both of you knowing. Just let it go already."
"But he's got the perfect cover!" Asuka insisted. "He stays after school to supposedly clean the classroom, gets done early, and then plays with his little doll for as long as he can get away with!"
"And you're not jealous," Hikari added dubiously.
"Of course not!"
"Then why do you care so much?"
"We've been over this, Hikari!" Asuka groaned, rolling her eyes. "Fate of mankind! Life ending as we know it!"
"Asuka, I'm your best friend," Hikari murmured. "We both know you don't care about any of that. All you really care about is you, and what's yours. And the only things on that list are Unit 02, me, and to a lesser extent, Shinji. Don't try to deny it. The only reason you're so upset is that Shinji's been spending more time with someone else, someone you really don't like for whatever reason. Honestly, I don't really blame him. If I had to choose between spending time with someone who was constantly telling me how worthless I am, and someone who just listened and didn't judge me, I know who I'd choose."
"So why don't you go be Wonder Girl's best friend?" Asuka sneered.
"Obviously, we'd never have anything to talk about. But I'm not telling you this to make you angry. I'm doing it so you can do something about it. If you want Shinji back, show him that you want him back. Show him you care about how he spends his time. Show him you care that he's not with you. Show him that you care, period."
"And why should I do any of that?"
Hikari shook her head. "Asuka, I barely say more to Shinji than hello and goodbye, and Rei probably doesn't say anything at all. Haven't you noticed he's more comfortable around us than he is with you? If you want him to notice you, it's not him that has to change, it's YOU. You're the one that wants him to like you, remember?"
"W-What?! I do not! Where'd you get a crazy idea like that from?!"
Sighing, Hikari tuned Asuka out as the redhead continued to rant. Part of her recognized that as Asuka's best friend, she was required to stay and at least pretend to listen. But another part of her desperately wanted to call Rei and ask if she could put noisy people to sleep, too...
This was collecting dust since March 2006, so I polished it a bit, slapped an ending on it, and tossed it up.
I forget where the original idea for this came from. I'm almost certain it had something to do with Rei being able to manipulate AT fields, but it's been so long that I've forgotten.