AUTHOR'S NOTES:

I'mmmm baaaacccckkkk!

Bet you thought I was dead huh? Nope! Still alive and kicking.

First and foremost, I would like to offer an apology to those who have been looking forward to this chapter for awhile now: Once again, I wish I could have finished this sooner. For a long time, 85% of it had been sitting here on my computer, ready to be finished and published, but due to a number of circumstances ... it wasn't.

Once again, I hate people who don't finish their stories, and I try not to be one of them, but you know ... sometimes I can't help it. The reason I've finally picked it up after so long is due to the constant notifications of faves and all that I get from Fanfiction via Email ... after awhile they become hard to ignore.

So THANK YOU to those who have Favorited me or my story; your hard work in pushing that little button has done something after all :P

A FEW NOTES ON THE STORY:

No pre-reader this time. I KNOW for a fact there are most likely glaring errors and mistakes throughout, however I'm gonna try and get the GF to review future work (Yes future work) so its not as terrible. In the meantime, feel free to point any out, and I will endeavor to fix them, which leads me to my next point:

R&R people! Something I like seeing even more than a fave notification? A review notification! :P Keep em coming, and I assure you I read them all. Any suggestions, notes or criticisms will be duly noted.

The story is still in the build up phase at the moment: Story arcs and plot developments will occur in the future. This chapter is primarily building a foundation in which characters can grow and ... well, develop.

On a final note: I will try and continue the story. I feel now I've reached a certain point I can start having a bit more fun with the story rather than just having to set up some of the locations and characters etc. From now on it gets saucay! Keep an eye on the horizon!

P.S. A bit of waff in this one. Don't get too excited now :P

More than anything: I hope you all enjoy! Please let me know if you did; after all, that's what I'm here for.

- Mar


The two teens stepped out into the sunlight, shielding their eyes from the glare as they did.

After lunch, the two had debated about what they would do for the rest of the day. It seemed the resort had just about everything you could think of, so they had trouble deciding at first. Fishing or Diving? Arcade or cinema? Squash or golf? Perhaps just a walk to see the sights and tourist attractions?

Asuka had then remembered the tennis courts she had seen after running away from the pool. Deciding for the both of them, she had dragged Shinji back to the room to change. Now they stood outside the equipment hire with a pair of rackets and some tennis balls.

Choosing a court that was empty, the two of them took their respective places on either side of the net.

The redhead turned to face her opponent.

Being the almighty Asuka Langley Sohryu, she obviously knew how to play, and rather well too. She decided that she would play with her rival for a bit, letting him win some sets, before totally crushing him. That would improve her mood. She would show him that he wasn't the only one who could be a manipulative bastard, remembering the way he had unknowingly screwed with her feelings earlier. Tormenting the poor boy was definitely one of her favourite pastimes and a good way to brighten her mood.

On the other side of the net, Shinji readied himself, trying to hide a smile. 'She expects me to have no hope, but I have a little surprise up my sleeve ... all I have to do is stay cool and keep a clear head, and I should be ok...'

However, he was finding it harder to concentrate than he first thought; Asuka was wearing just about the shortest tennis skirt imaginable, and it was playing with his head. He found it weird she had brought an outfit like this specially for tennis, but after remembering the weight of her carry bag at the airport, he realised Asuka had probably brought a piece of clothing for every situation imaginable.

Attempting to shake himself out of it, he shouted to his roommate.

"You serve first." He threw her the ball, slightly surprised to find it travelling further than he expected. 'At least being an Eva pilot is good for something ...'

"Alright," responded his roommate, holding the ball up high, "First one to win ten sets will be crowned King, but more likely queen, of tennis!"

She gritted her teeth, and under her breath added, "You're going down Third Child."

Pausing only for a moment, she tossed the ball upwards. The throw was so high, Shinji lost sight of it momentarily as it disappeared into the sun; he only regained sight of the ball as it flew past his head at a million miles per hour only a second later.

"Nyaaah!" was all he could cry as the ball ricocheted off the ground next to him and bounced off the back fence.

He looked back at his roommate, not at all shocked to find Asuka's patented smirk flying over the net, just as the ball had.

"One – love, Shinji!" she said in a seductive voice, winking sexily.

Shinji lost his cool for a moment, but in true Asuka fashion, such an act could only be for one reason; a second later, another ball came whizzing past, again almost striking Shinji in the face.

"Damnit!" the boy cried as he realised his mistake, annoyed he had been fooled so easily.

"2 – love!" the girl cried before laughing maniacally.

'Ok time to pull it together,' thought Shinji, getting into a wide stance, spinning the racket in his hands, 'let's show this bitch who the real king or queen of tennis is.'

He could feel the fire of self-assurance igniting inside of him, and realised momentarily that he had never been more confident in his whole life, but now wasn't the time to dwell on that; the redhead had already served the next ball, and it was barrelling straight towards him.

Side stepping quickly thanks to his light and agile frame, he swung the racket hard. There was a loud THOCK as the ball connected and it shot across the court at high speed. Asuka wasn't ready for it and it sailed past her, giving Shinji his first win.

'Haha, I still got it!' Shinji thought joyously, enjoying his brief victory.

'What the hell was that?' Asuka asked herself as she stared at the ball now rolling slowly across the court, 'Probably just beginners luck ...'

Her eyes narrowed as she threw the ball over to Shinji, waiting for his serve.

He threw the ball up high and sent it rocketing across to Asuka, who was once again surprised by the power of his serve. This time however, she anticipated it. Smacking it back even harder, now to the side of the court Shinji wasn't on. He dived, backhanding it just in time.

Just like that, the court had turned into a battlefield. The ball was flying over the net at amazing speeds as both sides fought for supremacy. Sweat began to roll down both teens as they ran back and forth, grunting as they swung their rackets. This was no longer a friendly match between friends; this was a battle for pride.

Three quarters of an hour later, Asuka was now on 9 wins, but only just beating Shinji on 8 wins.

"Since when –"THOCK "-did you-"THOCK "-know how-"THOCK "-to play!" the redhead yelled between swings.

"Just Lucky-"THOCK "-I guess!" the boy cried, grinning as he smacked the ball hard over the net, winning himself another set, making them even with 1 win to go.

"Fuck!" Asuka yelled as she stopped to catch her breath for a second.

"What's the matter?" yelled Shinji, surprising himself at the self-assurance he heard in his own voice, "Ready to admit defeat?"

The redhead's eyes narrowed and Shinji could almost feel the heat from her burning hatred.

"As if! I'm just getting started Third Child," she said, putting her hands on her hips, "but why don't we make this interesting?"

"Another bet?" Shinji inquired, raising an eyebrow. 'Has this girl got a gambling addiction or something?'

"Yep! If I win, you not only shout dinner tonight, but tomorrow night as well!"

"And if I win?"

Asuka smiled. "In the unlikely event of that, I will gladly pay for both nights instead."

Shinji thought about it for a moment, but only for a moment.

"Deal!" he said, grinning as he did, "Get ready!"

"I've been ready my whole life Third Child! Bring it, and don't hold back!" she almost screamed, widening her stance and glaring at her opponent venomously.

Shinji nodded, and lobbed the ball high into the deep, blue sky. There was a moment of silence as it whistled through the air, turning and spiralling upwards, before it plummeted back to Earth, and the war began once more. Shinji swung his racket and walloped the ball with unbelievable strength. She returned it back across the net with equal power, continuing their battle, neither of them refusing to give in.

For the next few minutes they fought ferociously, their rackets turning into extensions of their own hands, neither of them willing to give the other an inch, pushing themselves over the edge.

A small crowd had even gathered around the edge of the court, watching the two teens go at it with wonder and awe. The pilots did not notice however; all that mattered was winning, and nothing else.

Asuka was growing tired, and felt herself losing it.

'What the hell is with him?' her mind screamed as she returned the ball again, 'All of a sudden he's Mr Big Shot! Although, this is a side of him I've never seen before. Assertive, dominant ... NO! Now is not the time to think like that! If this goes on any longer, I'm gonna lose it though! Gotta end it now ...'

As the ball came flying over the net towards her, Asuka decided to try something. She smacked the ball, but much softer than she had done up until now. The ball almost seemed to float through the air compared to the speed it was travelling before, and there was an audible gasp from the crowd.

Shinji realised what was happening and powered forward as the ball just cleared the net and bounced once. He dived, and caught the ball just in time, smacking it as hard as he could over the netting.

Shinji leapt to his feet as quickly as he could, but as the ball flew towards Asuka, the girl's eyes lit up in triumph. She pulled her swing, and the ball flew past her, hitting the fence at the back of the court.

The ball was out. Asuka had won.

"YES!" the redhead cried in victory, pointing a finger at the boy, "DER SIEG IST MEIN! IN YOUR FACE SHINJI! HAHAHA!"

As she jumped up and down, punching the air, the crowd around them applauded, pulling them both out of their stupor. Asuka's celebration stopped momentarily as they both blushed. The crowd finished clapping and moved on, many of them wolf whistling and yelling congratulations to the redhead.

The two teens limped over to the net. Asuka had the biggest smile Shinji had ever seen lighting up her face. She had never been so happy to beat him at anything before.

"Don't feel bad Shinji!" the girl teased as she leant on the net, inadvertently showing the boy some cleavage, "No one can beat the mighty Asuka Langely Sohryu!"

Shinji smiled as he struggled to catch his breath, "Good game Asuka."

"Yeah, good game Baka," she replied.

Shinji held out a hand, and Asuka shook it, surprised for a moment by the strength of his handshake.

"Now! You're gonna tell me how the hell you know how to play tennis so well! You never mentioned this before!" she yelled, pointing a finger at him threateningly.

Shinji chuckled, "At my old school, I joined the tennis club for a bit. The coach said I had a natural talent for it, but I didn't stay for very long thanks to study, Cello practise, and moving to Tokyo-3. I just never got back into it again."

"Well those were some impressive skills you idiot! And to think you're always going on about how you're useless and can't do anything!"

Shinji raised an eyebrow, "Err, you're the one always saying that Asuka."

"Alright, alright! Just take the compliment already!"

"Thanks," responded the boy with another smile.

Asuka looked down at him, surprise filling her voice as she spoke.

"Hey, you're bleeding."

Shinji looked down at himself, noticing his elbows and knees were cut up.

"Ah, I must have done it when I dived for that save."

"Come on," said the redhead, grabbing him by the arm, "let's get you cleaned up."

"Ow! Be careful, that stings!"

"Quit your whinging."


The sun was just beginning to set over the ocean as they entered their room. The bright auburn rays streamed through the venetian blinds, covering the entire suite in a warm glow. The bars of light created strange patterns against the wall, wiggling as the slight breeze from the air conditioning tickled the blinds.

"Sit!" Asuka ordered as she moved off to the other room, "I'll go see if they have any first aid stuff."

"Alright," Shinji responded as he plopped down on the couch, exhaustion overcoming him.

Turning his head to look at the sunset, he pondered about the day's events.

'God its been a long day, and it isn't even over yet.' He sighed. 'Can I live through another 4 days of this?'

Asuka came back into the room holding a stereotypical red box with a white cross on it.

Sitting down heavily beside Shinji on the couch, she opened the box and began pulling items out of it.

Shinji held out his arms, "Thanks Asuka."

"No worries baka. After all, I do feel a little sorry for you."

Dipping a cotton ball in iodine, she dabbed it on his cuts. Shinji gasped as it stung painfully.

"Ow."

"Quit your bitching," Asuka responded, but Shinji could have sworn she became a little more gentle after that.

They sat in silence for 5 minutes as Asuka tended to his wounds, neither of them sure what to say. Eventually, after putting some bandaids on, it was all done.

"Good as new," she said, standing up, "Now let's get ready for dinner."

She made her way over to the doorway, "Dress fancy now!" she jeered, winking as she left the room again.

Shinji looked at the spot she had recently vacated dumbly. 'God, she's planning on picking the most expensive place isn't she?'

Sighing in resolution, he got up and moved to his room slowly. He really was tired, but despite what it was going to cost him, he was looking forward to this dinner. It was almost like ...

Opening the door to his room, Shinji shook his head. 'No, don't be stupid. It's nothing like that and you know it. Asuka just wants free food.'

Despite this, as Shinji got ready for the dinner, he couldn't help feeling a little excited. He had never been on a date before, and he supposed this was what it felt like.

As Shinji made his way back to the lounge room, he pondered which of Asuka's many, many outfits she had chosen.

When he entered the room however, all these thoughts were wiped from his mind. Asuka stood before him wearing a white and black blouse with short shorts, which as Shinji noted mentally, didn't leave too much to the imagination in the leg and chest department.

'Ah. That one.'

It took all of his willpower to try and stay focused and he used looking up at the clock as an excuse to tear his eyes off her. He noticed it was nearly 7 O'clock.

"R-ready to go?" he asked weakly, and Asuka glanced at him with an odd look.

'Looks like my outfit has had the desired effect,' she thought to herself with pride. She loved teasing the boy every chance she got, and dressing up in revealing outfits was something that never failed to please.

"Sure," was her response, waving her arm towards the door, "Ladies first."

Shinji grumbled and lead the way. After they had locked up, the two teens made their way to the elevator.

They had barely pressed the button before the growingly familiar ping of the elevator doors opening met their ears, and they stepped inside, selecting the floor of the restaurant.

As the cables hummed into life, the two teens stood in silence once again. Shinji couldn't help but stare at his companion out of the corner of his eye. He didn't want to annoy Asuka, and he knew it was rude to stare, but the boy couldn't help it; she looked absolutely beautiful after all.

On the other side of the elevator, Asuka couldn't help but bathe in the attention. She knew he was staring at her, and the redhead was enjoying making him uncomfortable.

When the elevator arrived at the appropriate floor, they both stepped out and headed for the restaurant.

Upon arrival, they noted that the establishment seemed more like a glorified bar than a restaurant. The lighting was low and warm, and it seemed to wash over everything, giving the entire room a very homely and familiar feel. The carpet was similar to upstairs, and there didn't seem to be a single bright colour in the entire room; it was nothing but brown and beige, tinged by the green palm plants that were scattered around the place. The room was filled with small tables adorned with a single candle, with a large counter which ran the entire length of one of the walls; Shinji noticed that behind it were many different kinds of booze. Men and women in tailcoats moved briskly among the patrons, taking orders and clearing tables. The atmosphere was great, with the place barely occupied.

The two of them took a seat, and one of the waiters wandered over, holding a metal tray under one arm.

"What can I get the lovely couple this evening?" the young man enquired, a European accent of some kind poking through his discourse.

Shinji immediately went red, and Asuka looked as if the waiter had whacked her over the head with the tray he was carrying.

"We're not together," she said crudely, opening the menu to hide her face.

"Ah, I'll just have an orange juice please," Shinji said, attempting to break the uneasiness that had settled upon their table.

Behind her menu, the redhead snorted, but Shinji ignored her.

"And for the lady?" asked the waiter, the tiniest hint of contempt seeping into his voice.

"Sake," she said, snapping her menu shut, "Thank you."

"No problem," replied the waiter, before moving off into the crowd.

Shinji leaned forward, almost whispering.

"Sake, Asuka? You're underage."

She let off a grin and winked at the boy, "Yeah but they don't know that."

Shinji looked her up and down.

'I don't think anyone would debate the fact she's underage,' he thought, eyeing her revealing dress once more. 'Not with those assets ... then again,' he reminded himself, 'even if they did, she would probably just yell at them until they give her what she wants … same as she does to me.'

Shinji caught himself staring into space, and proceeded to try and focus his attention on something else. Asuka had noticed this though, and she couldn't help but grin.

'What an idiot.'

The waiter showed up with their drinks and left the two of them in peace once again.

"That was a mean game of tennis you played earlier Shinji," Asuka finally said, striking up a conversation to break the silence.

Shinji's attention returned to the redhead, only this time it was to her face.

"Err, thanks. You didn't do half bad yourself," he responded.

"Pfft, half bad? Did the fall screw with your memory as well?" she teased, leaning in closer to assert her authority, "I won, remember?"

Shinji laughed, "That you did. I do have one question though ..." Asuka gave him a thoughtful look as she grabbed her cup.

"When did you get so good at hitting balls?" he asked his voice completely devoid of emotion as he took a sip of juice.

Asuka almost spat out her drink, trying to stifle laughter, and Shinji couldn't hold it back any more either.

"Godamnit Shinji," she said in between coughs, kicking him under the table, "I almost inhaled my drink!"

This only caused him to laugh harder, and Asuka gave him another kick, this time much harder, "Stop laughing!"

Pain brought Shinji back to Earth, and he wiped the tears forming in his eyes, "Playing tennis! I meant playing tennis! Sorry, I couldn't resist."

He felt Asuka's foot connect with his shin once more, and he cried out in pain, smile immediately wiped from his face. "OW, what was that one for?"

"Apologising," she said, "After seeing your performance today, it seems that a spine does in fact exist in that back of yours," the redhead began, pausing only to find words before continuing, "and that it is possible for you to actually grow a pair."

She leant forward, slamming her hands on the table, "I am sick of the apologies, the timidness, the awkward Shinji. I want to see more of the Shinji I saw today, the one that fought back and didn't give in. It will be good for not only piloting the Eva's, but also for a nice change of pace. So from now on," she inched closer, revealing more and more of her cleavage, "every time you run away or apologise, I am going to hurt you. Capiche?"

Shinji stared at her for a moment, his muscles locked up, unable to move, unsure what to do. 'She's acting as if she's doing me a favour… Fine, she wants to see confident Shinji? So be it ... besides, pain does suck.'

"Jawohl!" he said, saluting, causing some odd looks from nearby patrons.

"That's more like it," she concluded, sinking back into her chair and crossing her arms, "I don't know where this confidence is coming from lately, but keep it coming. It's a good change of pace."

Shinji sighed in resolution. When Asuka wants something, she sure doesn't beat around the bush ... but that's how she does things I suppose.

They sat in silence for a bit longer.

'Try some Sake,' Asuke offered out of nowhere, surprising the boy.

"I err …" he fumbled, before looking up at the girl, seeing the look on her face and remembering what he had just promised.

He swallowed, "Ok." He had never tried Sake before.

"That's the spirit!" she cried, pouring him a cup.

"To good health and good times!" she said, holding up her glass.

"To our trip," responded Shinji with a smile, before downing the contents.

Shinji had never felt anything like it; the warm liquid burned his throat on the way down, leaving him gasping and almost choking. It tasted like swallowing paint stripper.

Asuka grinned at his response, pouring another cup.

For the next hour, they drank and ate dinner, enjoying each other's company. There were moments of complete silence, and moments of intense conversation.

At one point they got into a heated argument regarding Misato's drinking habits and why they thought she downs a can or two every morning, causing even more weird looks in their direction, but they didn't notice.

The only thing they noticed throughout dinner was each other.


A couple of hours, and a couple more glasses of Sake later, the two of them decided it would be best to go back to the room. It was getting late and neither of them wanted to miss out on half a day because they were too busy sleeping. Besides, they were both destroyed from all the excitement earlier in the day.

"Come on, we should be going," Shinji said, standing up and stretching.

"Yeah, you're probably right ..." was the redhead's response, before attempting to stand.

"Jeez Asuka, how much did you have?" asked the boy, hiccupping as he did, realising he had a fair few as well.

"Sssh you," she said, holding on to the chair rather tightly.

Shinji sighed, "Come on, I'll help you up to the room."

"Pfft, I don't need your help, pervert." Never the less, she wrapped he arm around his shoulder and he helped her up.

"Don't you try anything just cause I've had a few!" she added as they made their way to the door.

"I won't try anything, I swear," he said, amused that she was even more like Asuka when she was drunk.

The small flight of stairs to the elevator was tricky, but once they were past that, it was smooth sailing.

Shinji called for the elevator and it arrived with its patented ding. Stepping inside, he pushed the button for their floor.

As the two teens stood in the elevator, he realised how close they were. Shinji could smell her perfume, and feel her body heat against him. That dress was still driving him wild, and from where he was, he had a perfect view. As soon as he realised he went bright red, trying to look anywhere but down.

'God this elevator is cursed with awkwardness ... when will it end?'

With that thought, the doors opened and he dragged Asuka into the hall and down to their room. By now she was beginning to fall asleep, and Shinji was having trouble keeping her upright.

"Hold on, only a little further to go."

"Ahhh shaddap!"

He could smell the alcohol on her breath as he unlocked the door, and the warm but distant comfort of a home away from home greeted them as they entered the room. Turning on the light with his spare hand, he navigated Asuka to her room, almost tripping through the hall.

Shinji opened the door with his foot, and gently tried to lower the redhead onto her bed. It all didn't go quite according to plan however, as Asuka did not have much of what one would call balance at this point, due to a combination of alcohol and drowsiness. Instead of sitting down like she had meant to, she fell clumsily on her back, and considering she was using Shinji's arm as a balance point previously, to his horror, he was dragged down with her.

The girl hit the bed and began to laugh at her clumsiness as Shinji fell on top of her, stopping himself with his arms at the last second.

As Asuka regained control of her laughter, a grin crawled across her face as she noticed their predicament.

At this point, Shinji had lost control; he had turned the colour of a ripe tomato and movement had become impossible. He didn't know what to do, or what to think. He was reminded of that moment with Rei he had always tried to block out.

The fact that Asuka was smiling at him, with her hair lightly messed up, pristine blue eyes glinting from the moonlight that streaked through the window, did not help either.

"What's the matter Shinji? You look flustered," she teased, looking him straight in the eye when she said it. He noticed that one of the straps on her dress had slipped off her shoulder, once again attempted to avert his eyes.

"Don't you want to look at me?" enquired Asuka in her drunken state, grabbing Shinji's cheeks and yanking his head back, "Am I ugly?" she asked stupidly, half talking, half laughing as she did so.

Shinji just stared back. His mind had locked up, but his heart was still working. He said the first thing that came out, like he had on several occasions previously.

"O-of course not, you look stunning."

It took a moment for Shinji to realise the full implications of what he had just uttered, and pure fear filled him as Asuka's grin faded.

'Why the fuck do I keep saying things that just pop into my head! I really need to stop doing that!' He reminded himself that he and his brain were going to have a thorough chat later on.

The redhead continued to stare into his eyes with a look of bewilderment, before she finally smiled.

"Is baka Shinji finally *HIC* growing some balls?" she teased again, before giving the boy a playful slap across the cheek.

That slap finally seemed to snap Shinji out of his daze, and he suddenly realised he had control over his arms and legs again. He pushed himself up and off the bed, heading for the door, but Asuka was still gripping onto his arm tightly.

"Shinji..." she almost whispered. The boy's heart skipped a beat upon hearing his name, and he slowly turned to face her.

"Y-yes Asuka?" he enquired nervously, unsure of what would follow. He was surprised to find her with a very serious look on her face. It was as if she wasn't even drunk anymore.

"I know I can be a royal bitch sometimes," she began, never taking her eyes off his, "like today at the pool but –" she hesitated for a moment, biting her lip, "but I had a really good time tonight."

Now it was her turn to look elsewhere as she grinned.

"Was better than doing nothing I suppose."

Shinji couldn't believe it. Who was this girl, and what had she done with Asuka?

'Alcohol definitely does things to you. Now I know why Misato is so screwed up all the time.'

Sighing, he decided to accept the gratitude and get out of there as quickly as possible.

"N-no problem."

"Why so nervous Shinji?" the redhead asked slyly. All of a sudden she smirked, and Shinji knew from previous experiences that pain and agony would soon follow. He attempted to escape, but the redhead was quicker.

She pulled him roughly and he fell onto the bed, before Asuka jumped on top of him, pinning his arms so he couldn't escape.

Her grin became wider, and Shinji was almost dying from fear, however underneath the blanket of terror, he felt warmth inside that he hadn't really felt before. Being in her arms...

"That was real nice you know..." Asuka whispered, and Shinji finally noticed how close they really were.

"W-w-what w-was?" he spluttered, and the girl continued to look at him with a vague look in her eyes.

"Saying I was stunning and everything ..."

Shinji found himself being drawn into her eyes, and the distance closed between the two of them.

'Is this really happening?' thought Shinji as the redhead closed her eyes, 'Is this just a sick dream I'm having? Am I going to wake up with Misato abusing me or something?'

Asuka's lips were inches away now, and Shinji felt her warm breath on his cheek. Her grip was no longer vice like, and was loosening as she inched closer and closer.

Shinji shut his eyes, waiting...

Waiting ...

Still waiting.

Suddenly he heard a sigh and felt hair on his face. He opened his eyes only to find Asuka's head buried in his shoulder. The sound of snoring indicated she had fallen asleep.

Shinji blew her hair out of his face with the corner of his mouth, his heartbeat gradually returning to normal, before cursing the redhead as he realised something.

'Even when she's drunk she's still screwing with me; trying to get a reaction.'

He gently pushed the girl off of him, before getting up off the bed. She instinctively rolled into a ball and began to shiver with the sudden loss of warmth. The boy grabbed the sheets and placed them over her, tucking them in tightly before moving to the door.

Taking one last look at her sleeping form, he smiled.

'She probably won't remember any of this tomorrow ... thank god. As if that elevator wasn't awkward enough ...'

After this little bit of uncomfortableness, being in her arms had still felt nice ... even if she was smashed.

He slowly shut the door and moved off to his room. Getting undressed, he hopped into bed himself. Looking at the alarm clock, he noticed it was almost one in the morning.

'What a strange day,' he thought as his eyelids became heavy, and he began to drift off to sleep.

'And I'll get to do it all again tomorrow ...'

As his mind began to wander and fill with dreams of laughter, short dresses and cheap sake, Shinji had one last thought which made him smile weakly into his pillow.

'Good thing she didn't suspect I let her win that tennis match ... she'd kill me for sure.'


END NOTES:

Will Asuka remember the previous night?

How will Shinji deal with it in the morning?

Will he keep it a secret or say something like a crazy fool?

Will the elevator ever learn to love?

All this and more in the next chapter! Tune in next time for The Trip - Chapter 5: The Beach!

P.S. See how much innuendo you can spot in this chapter! So much ball related humor.