Disclaimer: I do not own Evangelion

Summary: Misato's feelings on the three main men in her life.

She decides to start with the one who is the most insignificant of the three, comparatively speaking, the shy and retiring Makoto Hyuga.

He shouldn't even have been a consideration when she had delved through the myriads of hapless males that fell at her feet, and who she then dragged down to her level. He was supposed to stay naive and virtuous, find a nice girl, not attach himself to her tainted soul. In another life they could have been content, she the domineering housewife, he the harassed husband, and happy to be so. He was her reminder that things would never be that simple for her. What could have been, if only the world weren't so twisted.

Kaji was next, and the most difficult to define the effect of on her life.

College had been the one time in her life where nothing ailed her. She was speaking again, she had a loyal friend, even if she was lacking any more than one, and a boyfriend who was easy on the eyes, a demon in the sack and who had seemingly fallen for her as hard as she had him. Second impact was a fading memory, and the future looked to be charmed.

Then the trio were split up. Ritsuko immediately hastened to begin further studies in her chosen field, and Kaji didn't even extend the courtesy of having her know that their parting was inevitable, and not her fault. He simply told her to remember the good times, and he left, never to be seen again until he showed up like a bad hangover, escorting that harpy of a second child to Japan. He wanted her again, but she had given her heart away in the meantime, to the one true constant that had never abandoned her, the reliable comfort of a perpetual drunken stupor, where everything was tolerable, and wonderful.

Perhaps she would have succumbed to him again, if she hadn't unwittingly become as unreliable as him, and unwilling to allow herself to be chained down to any promise, or any person.

The third was, of course, Shinji Ikari, the angst ridden third child that came to mean so much to her, for all the wrong reasons. He was a safe target for her easy affections, not knowing how to manipulate or abuse them. He filled the latent maternal instinct that had been strangled in the cradle for her, and she allowed him to form unrealistic expectations. Because there had to be at least one person who saw her uselessness and reluctance to give any more than her body to a man, to give any more of her sense of self that people had mercilessly chipped away at, and taken pieces of and worn down over the years until it was beyond salvage, and still see something in her to admire and aspire to emulate.

And when he was gone too, she didn't mourn him.

There was nothing to be gained for her in connecting those innumerable elusive hearts, because she had given all she was willing to give, and as the glow of the explosion penetrated her closed eyes, she prayed she wouldn't awaken again.

She breathed.