What you are about to read is in no way connected to my previous Fan-Fiction, "In the Case of Asuka Langley Sohryu," which I still recommend you read because, in my opinion, I think it touches upon a certain aspect of the series that people usually don't touch upon: why don't these damn kids just get psychologists to help them with their problems? Well, that not withstanding, I've wanted to find fan-fics where Asuka and Shinji finally confront the horrors of parenthood, and considering just what their parents were like, one having a rather cold and distant father and the other's mother committing suicide in front of her eyes, it left much potential not only to do a great Asuka fan-fic, but also a great Shinji fan-fic as well. Naturally, considering the subject matter, there will be several OCs, but they'll mostly be children.
WARNING: Despite being rated T, there is a very mild, PG-13 level sex scene in the next chapter. This is not a lemon, not a hentai, and the sex will barely count as ecchi. It's more essentially to show the beauty of the human body, and just how two certain characters get into this situation in the first place. If you feel uncomfortable about it, gloss over it. If you're into that sort of stuff, like lemons, I'm sorry, but I want this to reach the general audience.
So, without further adieu…
THE LITTLE ANGEL
BY DA GAMES ELITE
"I mustn't run away, I mustn't run away, I mustn't—"
"Shut up, please."
Usually those were lines spoken by her, telling him to shut up, that he was being annoying, that this stupid habit of his, that fallback on muttering that same mantra to calm his nerves was just immature, irritating, and, once again, stupid. However, for better or worse, the adult known as Shinji Ikari glanced over at the tense individual sitting next to him, a man he had known for over ten years, through the tough times and the bad, a man who was now in both an enviable situation and a pitiful one: Toji Suzuhara.
Years ago, Shinji had watched Toji being ripped apart before his eyes. Well, his Eva being ripped apart, anyway, by Shinji's own Unit-01. That had been almost another life time ago. If you saw Toji know, while you wouldn't think he was in the best of health considering the circumstances, he certainly didn't look like a dismembered devastated wreck. His arms had been replaced with metallic, robotic ones. In the early years following Third Impact, they had looked cartoonish, like something out of a sci-fi film. Just plain metal, unhidden, with long wires and bolts clear to the naked eye. Now, however, thanks to the leaps and bounds of technology, and just the leaps and bounds the world had gone through since Third Impact overall, Toji's mechanical arms, while they occasionally made a buzzing sound every so often due to maybe a loose bolt or a tangled up wire, looked like ordinary appendages, skin, muscle fiber, everything.
However, like Shinji said, none of this kept Toji from looking like a broken down wreck right now. Sweat was billowing down his forehead; his hair was in the air because of him ruffling it, tugging at it, anxiously twisting in spite of himself. His eyes were bloodshot, probably because he hadn't had a good night's sleep in the last few days, once again due to circumstance. This lack of sleep also contributed to the black bags he wore under his eyes, the bags that sacked down, and made him look as though he were twenty years older than what he really was: a man at the age of 26.
He looked, for all intents and purposes, like a damn zombie!
And Shinji could do nothing about it.
"Hey," Shinji mumbled, anxiously wriggling his fingers as he glanced over at Toji, "Do you want me to get you a drink or something? You look like you could use—"
"I'm fine, thanks," Toji replied, staring up at the door he had been staring at, waiting in front of, for the last several hours.
"Are you sure? Listen, she'll be fine, just—"
"Get yourself a drink. You could use it," Toji replied, glancing over at his friend for a moment.
This was true. In spite of himself, Shinji too looked exhausted. Extremely so.
Shinji walked down the hospital ward, away from the bench where Toji and their other long time friend Kensuke sat. As he rose, Shinji noticed that Kensuke was actually sound asleep, leaning against the white, cold wall of the hospital hallway. No doubt his job as a military tactician had long hours and lots of stress, so Shinji thought, out of the three of them, HE'D be the one awake, the most calm. But no, he was currently comatose, asleep against the wall, drooling a little bit. His thick brown hair was pressed between his skull and the wall, his usually pasty skin wasn't any more or less pasty than it usually was, his small, slim frame didn't look nearly as exhausted as Toji's large, muscular frame did.
"I'll be right back. I just need to use the bathroom a little bit," Shinji replied.
"Take your time. I'm sure nothing will happen for at least another half-hour," Toji replied, in that tense, strained voice of his.
It bothered Shinji just to see his friend this upset. He'd known him for years, he reflected as he walked down the hallway to whatever destination he intended at arriving at. He'd known him before and after the nightmare known as Third Impact, just like he'd known Kensuke, Hikari, and—
Where was she, anyway? Where was that German girl? Didn't she realize what her friend was going through right now? What was Shinji saying? Of course she did. She had been the one who had called him last night to tell him to move his ass and arrive at the hospital ASAP. Of course, she had been far harsher with that spitfire tongue of hers, but, in all honesty, Shinji could tell she was worried, concerned, maybe even a little afraid for her friend. This was supposed to be one of the best moments of Toji's life, of Hikari's life, and yet it was proving to be one of the longest, most drawn out periods of stress Shinji had experienced in the last five or six years.
Nothing next to the pain he felt during that nightmarish day, though.
Nothing like the Hell that was Third Impact.
He had to stop reflecting on that day! Third Impact had occurred over a decade ago! It was over, finished! It was a nightmare he was never going to need to relive again, those first three years of utter chaos, the first seven months where he and Asuka remained alone, struggling to survive, wondering if anyone would ever return, the next year seeing civilization struggle to return to normalcy, and, for the rest of the immediate aftermath of Third Impact, watch the nation crumble apart before the remnants of NERV decided to put things in order. The horrors of finding people's starving bodies on the ground in heaps, of seeing people slaughtered in genocide, of being held a prisoner in questioning booths and concentration camps, it was all in the past! All in the damn past!
Finding himself in front of a sink in the blue-tiled bathroom of this hospital, Shinji threw water against his face, rubbing it clean as he realized the absurdity of what he was saying. All in the past? That was just stupid, as Asuka would always say! He knew that those events had affected him on a deeper level, yes, and that he could never change them. The world he lived in now was drastically affected by those days. All he could do now was hope for a better tomorrow, and, with all that had been going on in the last few years, things had been better.
As Shinji left the bathroom, he heard a voice crack as it shouted his name. He glanced over his shoulder, only to see a pair of arms wrap themselves around his face, smothering him in a pair of thick breasts, strangling him, choking the life out of him. He turned blue in a matter of moments, barely able to pull away from that restrictive bear hug only to find, to his utter astonishment, fused of course with utter delight, Misato Katsuragi—er—Misato Hyuga, a woman who had been more a mother to him than even the woman named Yui Ikari, who now was somewhere in the depths of space, perhaps gone forever from Shinji's life.
Shinji didn't like thinking about that. After all, here was Misato! Don't think about the past, the present! Here! Now! Misato!
Somehow, this didn't cheer him up much at all.
"Oh, Shinji! I've missed you so—hey, what's wrong?" Misato asked, finally drawing back from her heart-felt, and in Shinji's case boob felt, greeting, only to notice that the recipient of the hug, or perhaps victim would be the better term, wasn't nearly as happy as she was. "Are you stressed about Hikari? Don't be. She'll be fine. It'll all turn out for the best in the end, so don't worry about a thing."
Shinji, in his flashback, had almost forgotten about the reason he was in this damn, ice cold hospital in the first place. Shaking the cobwebs out of his head, he replied, in a strained voice, "Oh, I'm fine, don't worry."
Misato glanced at him critically, and, for the first time in awhile, Shinji had a good look at the woman who had helped raise him before and after—don't think of it, don't think of it, don't think of it!!! Well, avoiding that thing that would cause him to regress once again into a painful reflection, Misato had aged slightly. Her face had developed slight laugh lines in the ten years past—Damn it! Don't think that way!—that day. Her hair had even developed one or two gray hairs that she seemed to have forgotten, conveniently enough, to dye. Additionally, it looked like her drinking had caught up to her in some degree, as her body now looked slightly puffier than it had last, as though a thin deposit of fat had grown all over her body. Still, to the ordinary person who hadn't known Misato in her heyday, she was quite a knock-out, especially for an older woman.
Shinji never thought he'd call Misato an older woman, ever.
"You know, Shinji, when you say 'I'm fine' that just screams out how damn upset you really are, but I'll let that one slide," Misato replied, a small grin on her lips, "Look, I know how you must feel. I mean, Makoto went through the same thing with me when I had Yumi." Misato rested a hand absentmindedly on her torso, as though she could still feel the fetus kicking inside of her. "And he went through the same thing with Ryouji." She added, on a gentler note.
"Uh, where are your children, anyway? Are they with Makoto?"
"Yeah, I mean, he wanted to come, believe me, but someone needed to watch the kids, and he knew I would probably be better emotional support for you guys, so he sent me." Misato added a little laugh at the end, as though to assure Shinji she was fine and happy that she was arriving to this event alone, but Shinji knew differently.
Still, he didn't bring it up.
"So, uh, do you want to come back with us? We're just sitting there, waiting."
"Okay, that's fine," Misato replied, nodding as the two of them went off to the hospital ward where Toji and Kensuke were. As they walked together, Misato glanced around the hospital, in mild awe, as though the cold interior of this place were something out of Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory. After a few minutes of glancing around at the occasional hanging picture of a flower or of a random historical figure who had done something special in the field of medicine, she asked, "Is this the hospital that Maya's in charge of?"
"Huh? Oh, yeah, she does."
"Oh, that's nice."
"Yeah, it is."
An awkward silence filled the time period following this statement. For a moment, the two individuals simply walked down the hallway, until Shinji asked, curiously, "Does Makoto have any news on whether—"
"We don't know where Ritsuko is yet," Misato replied, frowning slightly. She glanced over at her side, at the ground by her feet. "And we haven't found—haven't found—"
"Uh, Misato, we're here," Shinji said, gesturing toward Toji as he remained huddled on a bench, with Kensuke slowly rousing himself from slumber land. Rubbing the sleep from his eyes, Kensuke Aida glanced up, noticing Misato for the first time.
"Misato! Good morning!" Kensuke stammered, rising to his feet and bowing slightly.
"Kensuke, we're not working right now. You don't need to bow or salute every time I—"
"Just habit, sorry," Kensuke replied, sitting down next to Toji, who now glanced up at Misato, curiously.
"Oh, hey," he replied in an uncharacteristic tone of bland disinterest.
"Stressed out, huh?" Misato asked, curiously.
"Yeah, I guess you can say that," Toji replied, "Hey, Misato?"
"When it happens, you know, does it hurt?"
"Oh, uh, well, about that." Misato blushed deep red as she struggled, no doubt, for a delicate, perhaps productive way to tell Toji that the answer to his question was yes, it was excruciating, painful, unbearable, hurt so damn much she'd rather have a battle axe slammed through her torso. "Well, it's not TOO painful. I mean, they put you on medication and anti-pain pills and—"
The sound of agonized screams filled the air from behind the door.
Misato fell silent.
"Thanks for at least trying," Toji replied, glumly.
It was at that moment that a doctor departed through those doors, and Toji, the anxious man that he is, jumped up, a tense expression on his face, the expression on his face akin to a sinner seeing God, praying for merciful judgment upon him. He lumbered forward, anxiously, as he spoke, slowly, "Is she—is she—is she alright?"
The doctor, a pleasant looking man probably in his thirties, smiled, and nodded. "Your wife is in pristine condition. The delivery went off splendidly. It's a boy."
"A boy?" Toji began to giggle to himself, like a giddy school girl, a laugh that grew louder and louder until he fell to his knees, almost in tears as a broad smile spread across his face. Shinji didn't know what to do. He did the thing he supposed was proper for a moment like that: he approached his friend, and patted his back reassuringly. Toji glanced over his shoulder, a smile on his face. "A boy. Can you believe it? a boy."
"I know," Shinji replied, not sure what to say in a time like this. When it had been Makoto, this situation hadn't been nearly as difficult because he had composed himself pretty well, taking everything in stride.
"If you want to see your wife, we can let you in, but just be careful: she's exhausted. She's been in labor for quite some time. It's a good thing her friend was with us."
"Friend?" Shinji asked, a little confused.
A second individual existed the double doors to the ward. It was strange: Shinji had asked himself why Asuka was nowhere to be found, but not for a second did he realize, in the event of her friend going through one of the greatest and most painful events in her life, that she'd be in the ward with her friend, helping her own, encouraging her to push, to go on harder, to live. Her long scarlet hair ran down her back, if anything more beautiful than she had been when he first met her. Right now, however, she was just as sweaty as Shinji was, maybe even more so. Her yellow sundress was sticking to her skin, her long crimson hair sticking to her forehead, her baby-blue eyes filled with an exhausted joy, a muted euphoria, a weary happiness.
"Normally I'd be upset that the Devil was with my wife, but I'll make an exception for today," Toji replied, jumping up and, to Shinji's disbelief, hugging the girl. Shinji thought, at first, that Asuka might be so tired she wouldn't react with that ordinary spitfire tongue of hers, that energy, that bratty streak that hadn't died in the years since her adolescence.
As Asuka shoved Toji to the floor, she snapped, in a high, strained voice, "Mein Gott! Idiot! Arschloch! Schwein! Ugh!"
"What the hell!?" Toji stammered, pushing himself to his feet, stunned, yet frustrated and furious.
"Don't hug me! Men are just so stupid!" snapped Asuka, "Hugging people who're just standing there. I did this for Hikari, not you."
"You just had to ruin a perfectly good moment," Toji stammered, frustrated.
"Oh, ruin a perfectly good moment? Yeah, right! You think you're stressed out? Imagine how I feel? I had to watch my friend in all that pain! Do you know how much it hurts to give birth? It sucks! You men have no right to just say that you suffered because you had to sit around waiting for us!"
Toji glanced out from the corner of his eyes at Misato, an irate expression on his face. "Nice pain-pills?"
"Well, they worked when I was—"
"Gott in Himmel," sighed Asuka, shaking her head, "If you want to hug someone, hug Hikari. She's in that room, and she sent me out to tell you she wants to see you." Toji glanced down at her, a surprised expression on his face. With a slim smile on her face, she added, "She loves you, you know. A lot. Congratulations." Toji stared at her, still surprised that a demon who had just shoved her to the ground could possibly compliment him immediately after insulting him. Still, the eagerness to see to her wife overrode her curiosity, and he darted past the doctor into the ward.
Asuka sighed, her strong aura of bitchiness deflating as she collapsed on the bench where Toji himself had been sitting. Shinji approached her, surprised to see that Asuka's chest, visible in the sweaty dress, was pulsating dangerously, her heart thumping so hard against her ribs it was visible from a distance. Shinji knew this stress wasn't from Toji hugging her.
"Uh, Asuka?" Shinji asked, still too nervous to actually take a seat next to her. What if she lashed out at him?
"Hey," Asuka replied, her tone wispy, exhausted, but a small smile spreading up her lips. And exhausted smile, "Sit down, please. You're making me tired just looking at you."
Feeling braver, he took a seat by the redhead. "How is she?"
"Hikari? She's fine. She's strong, you know? She'll make a great mother, I think. She was considering names for the boy. She thought maybe Shinji would be nice, after you."
"Yeah, either that or Kensuke. I told her she shouldn't give her child such a terrible name."
"Hey!" Kensuke stammered, only to realize whom he was speaking to, and recoiled, afraid to be beaten by the devil's tongue.
"Are you feeling okay, though?" Shinji asked, tentatively placing a hand on her shoulder, concerned for his safety by making physical contact with the German girl.
"Yeah, I'm fine, just tired," Asuka replied, "When we get home, I need to go straight to bed, you know?"
"Oh, okay," Shinji replied, frowning slightly.
Asuka scratched the skin behind her ear, brushing aside her hair from her eyes, and, finally, placed a hand on her chest.
The engagement ring around her finger was clear to see.
So was that ring's partner on Shinji's finger.