THE SECOND KAORU
by Gunman

Disclaimer: I do not own Evangelion or Ai Yori Aoshi or their characters.

Summary: When Shinji runs away from Tokyo-3 he ends up in a temple where a magic spirit turns him into a double of a young man named Kaoru Hanabishi. This causes problems for several people, especially when he encounters the real Kaoru and his half-dozen girlfriends.

Authors Notes: It Is Important To Note That The Start Of This Story Has Shinji Looking Like Kaoru Hanabishi, Not Shinji Ikari! It Is Difficult To Explain The Differences Without A Picture, So Just Go With Me On This!

Another response to Invincible Shinji's Romance Fanfic Challenge.

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Chapter 1
Look-a-like

It was early morning as Shinji Ikari woke up and rubbed the sleep out of his eyes. He had been traveling, more like running for two days and he had finally stopped and settled down into the small wishing shrine that was well-hidden behind the bamboo and trees of the surrounding forests.

It was really silly of me. He thought as he stretched his muscles. Making a wish like that. Even though I wanted it more than anything.

However, as he walked out from behind the shrine, the first thing on his mind being to get some breakfast, he froze when he noticed a young couple standing by the shrine. Staring at him.

Oh god! I hope they don't recognize me. Shinji thought. I'm not that well known... unless NERV put out a bunch of wanted posters for me. He thought as he turned around and started walking away from the shrine.

He didn't notice that the two people were walking after him, actually speeding up, until he came into the clearing and a rather beautiful and upset looking woman was rushing up towards him.

"KAORU-DONO! WHERE'S AOI-SAMA? SHE WAS SUPPOSED TO BE WITH YOU!" the woman shouted.

"Uh... are you talking to me?" Shinji gasped as the woman grabbed his collar and shook him.

"THIS IS NO TIME FOR JOKES WHERE IS..."

"Miyabi-san?" a voice behind Shinji called out, stopping the angry woman from shaking Shinji.

Both Shinji and the woman looked back to see the young man and woman from the shrine staring at both himself and the woman.

The woman, however, looked incredibly pale as she stared at Shinji and then back to the young man who was standing next to an attractive young woman in a kimono.

"Wha... what is going on here? Why are there two of you?" the woman who still had Shinji in a tight grip asked.

"Two of whom?" Shinji asked, now trying to get away from the obviously confused woman.

However, Miyabi hung on tightly to Shinji, even as the young man and the woman in the kimono approached them quickly to avoid an incident.

"What is going on here? Who is this boy?" the woman, named Miyabi Kagurazaki, asked.

"I don't know. We were following him to ask him that question ourselves." the girl in the kimono, who was named Aoi Sakuraba, stated.

"Uh, I'm really sorry about this. But... who are you?" the young man asked.

"Uh... why do you want to know?" Shinji asked, slightly nervous that he was going to be recognized.

"Because... you look like me." the young man, who identified himself as Kaoru Hanabishi, said.

"I... what?" Shinji gasped.

Seeing a parked car near where they had ended up, Kaoru brought Shinji over to the car and had him stare into the glass window of the car.

Shinji stared at his reflection... and realized that it wasn't his. Staring back at him from the window wasn't the normal 14-year old, brown-haired, blue-eyed boy he'd come to know. Instead, he was presented with the face of a 17-year old, brown-haired, brown-eyed boy... who was standing right next to him.

"Wha... I... I don't... how did... when did..." Shinji gasped as he looked around, at his reflection and then at his double... and then fainted.

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(Two hours later)

"There's nothing else you can tell us?" Aoi asked as Shinji sipped his tea at the nearby tea-stand.

"No. There isn't." Shinji said as he hung his head down, almost in shame.

"But that's impossible!" Miyabi snapped. "Unless you had some kind of advanced surgery, there is no way you could look like Kaoru-dono overnight!"

"Miyabi!" Kaoru hissed, trying to calm her down.

"No! This makes no sense!" Miyabi snapped again. "You don't go from being a 14-year old boy to being a 20-year old guy, overnight, as well as changing physical form as well!"

"Miyabi-san!" Aoi said.

"This isn't some weird cartoon where people change their physical appearance by either magic, a curse, or some kind of crazy wish! This isn't like Ranma ½, or Tenjho Tenge, or even Pretty Face!"

"Uh... you do know that in 'Pretty Face' they used cosmetic surgery that took about a year, right?" Kaoru said sheepishly.

It was at hearing this, that a look of realization hit Shinji. Aoi noticed this, however.

"Shinji-san? Do you remember something?" Aoi asked.

"Uh... it's... nothing important." Shinji stuttered, trying not to believe what he was thinking.

"Everything is important!" Miyabi snapped.

"I... I made a wish." he said.

The trio looked at him with some confusion.

"You... what?"

"At the shrine. I... made a wish, before I fell asleep. I wished to be someone else." Shinji said.

"Someone else?" Kaoru asked.

"Who did you wish to be?" Aoi asked.

"Someone who was... loved." he said sadly.

Kaoru and Aoi looked at him in shock. Miyabi looked at him, irritated, as if he was making fun of them all. Especially for her suggestion about magic.

"I'm sorry! I didn't think it was real! I didn't want to be someone else!" Shinji said in a panic.

"But you just said..." Kaoru started to say.

"I mean I didn't want to be you!" Shinji quickly declared.

"What?" Kaoru gasped, a little taken back.

"Sorry. That didn't come out right." he said sheepishly.

"No, no, I get what you're saying." Kaoru replied.

While the trio were talking, Miyabi looked over at the boy, then thought back to the temple and the prayer plagues, before turning back to the boy.

It can't be! She gasped. He wanted to be someone who was loved, wished for it, though he didn't believe it, and became Kaoru-dono. She thought, remembering back to what Aoi said about her and Kaoru going to the small, hidden shrine where her wish-plaque from years ago still hung. Aoi-sama loved him, even then, and Kaoru-dono cares deeply for Aoi-sama. Whatever did this to Shinji-san must have used Kaoru-dono as a basis for the transformation.

Of course, the logical part of her, which was most of her being, couldn't accept that.

THIS IS RIDICULOUS! Am I Actually Entertaining The Possibility That... Some Temple Spirit... Heard Shinji-san's Wish And Turned Him Into A Carbon Copy Of Kaoru-dono? She thought. The only way that could be possible... is if Shinji actually had some kind of connection to the spirit world in order for such a spirit to have heard him. And from the look of him... he doesn't. Hmm. Maybe not the spirit world, per say... but... something else?

Then another part of her had a thought.

Still... I have to be sure. She thought as an idea formed in her mind.

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(Police Station)

"So... what are we doing here again?" Shinji asked as the police officer pressed his fingers into the ink pad and then on the paper.

"We're getting you and Kaoru-dono finger-printed to ascertain your real identity." Miyabi said.

"But then why am I getting finger-printed as well?" Kaoru asked as another officer pressed his inked fingers down onto the paper.

"Just a hunch I want to investigate." the woman said.

A half hour later, the results came back.

"Well?" Miyabi asked the officer who was holding the fingerprint report.

"Well... I'm not sure how to tell you this." the officer said.

"What is it?" she asked.

"Well... their fingerprints are the same."

"WHAT?" Shinji, Kaoru and Aoi gasped in unison.

"The same? Are you sure?" Miyabi asked.

"We ran the check three times against both prints to be sure, and except for the right thumb, their prints are perfectly identical."

"Perfectly iden-wait! You said the right thumb?" Miyabi asked

"Yes. For some reason, the thumb on both their right hands are completely different." the officer said causing the boys to stare at their respective fingers.

"And what did that print reveal?" Miyabi asked, hoping for a final resolution to all this.

"Well, there's a vague match to a baby certificate issued in the name of Shinji Ikari, in 2001." the officer said.

"Vague match?" Aoi asked.

"The computer was able to match up eight out of thirteen points from both prints that identified your boy as Shinji Ikari. But only the right thumb, which is... really, really weird." the officer said.

"To say the least." Kaoru said.

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After Miyabi had taken care of the details at the station, and asked them not to reveal this to anyone as of yet, even with Shinji's identity confirmed, the group had another problem.

Namely, what to do with him.

"We have to send him home." Miyabi said.

"We can't!" Aoi said.

"Aoi-chan's right, Miyabi-san." Kaoru said. "I mean... he ran away because he wasn't happy there. We can't send him back!"

"Just because he wasn't happy doesn't mean it's our place to help him." Miyabi argued.

"Why not? He looks like me." Kaoru said.

"Besides, he can't go back!" Aoi said.

"Why not?" Miyabi asked.

"Because he's not Shinji Ikari anymore." Kaoru said simply. "He doesn't look like Shinji Ikari, he looks like me! I mean... that right thumbprint is the only proof that he is Shinji, and... well, that's an involved process in of itself."

Miyabi wasn't about to argue with that. The evidence she had seen herself. Still, she was adamant about actually helping the young man any more than needed.

"I still say he should learn to face his problems and return to..." Miyabi started to say.

"He can't face this problem, because he doesn't have his own face." Kaoru said.

Miyabi sweat dropped as she stared at the young man.

"I can't believe you said that." Miyabi said to Kaoru.

Kaoru had an embarrassed smirk on his face at what he had said. "Neither can I, but... it's true."

Miyabi rolled her eyes and stared at the pair. The boy in question standing off to the side.

"So... what?" Miyabi asked.

Kaoru and Aoi looked at each other and smiled. Miyabi felt a small chill go up her spine as they smiled, like that, to each other, and then back to her.

"Oh no! No! No, no, no, no, no!" she started protesting.

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Three hours later, the quartet had returned to the Sakuraba Summer Mansion where they were all staying. When they walked in the front door, the expressions on both Tina Foster and Taeko Minazuki were comical to say the least.

"KAORU, YOU'VE RETU-" Tina shouted, then paused when she realized there was not one, but two Kaoru's. "Uh... Tae-chan?" the blond girl asked.

"Yes, Tina-senpai?" the redheaded, and equally stunned, maid asked.

"Do I... do I need glasses?" Tina asked, her head shooting back and forth between the two Kaoru's.

"I think I might need a new prescription." she said as she removed her own glasses to examine them.

Standing in the entranceway of the mansion leading to the front door, stood two handsome young men, both with the same face, same height, same hair, same eyes.

To Miyabi, their expressions were well worth the aggravation she would suffer later for this.

"Uh... guys? What's going on here?" Tina asked.

"It's a long story." Aoi said.

After hearing the story, the pair's feelings were mixed.

Tina was somewhat spooked at the possibility that some kind of spirit had turned a 14-year old boy into a nearly 20-year old young man. Taeko on the other hand was thrilled at meeting someone who had had contact with the spirit world.

"So, uh... what are we going to do with him? What are we going to call him? I mean... this isn't like something we can keep a secret, you know?" Tina asked.

"Well... if anyone asks... he can be my cousin." Kaoru said.

"So, we're still gonna call him 'Shinji Ikari'?" Miyabi asked. "I just want to know so that I don't get the two of you confused." she said, realizing the simple problem of that statement. "Which is very difficult to say the least."

"Yes. He can still be Shinji Ikari." Kaoru said. "Right, Shinji?"

Shinji smiled as his twin said that. And twin was exactly what he was, in fact.

With that issue safely taken care of, Miyabi settled back in her chair, drinking her tea, and watched as the group interacted with Shinji. But also how Tina and Taeko react towards Shinji.

I see. It wasn't just Aoi-sama who cares for Kaoru-dono. Tina-san and Taeko-san seem to have at least some kind of affection for Kaoru-dono. She thought. Then another thought occurred to her. Why didn't I notice this before? I've been so preoccupied with Aoi-sama's care, running this house, and making sure Kaoru-dono doesn't bring scandal to the Sakuraba family... I've failed to notice how Tina-san and Taeko-san have been looking to Kaoru-dono for attention. Hmm. I wonder how this bodes for Shinji-san?

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Authors Notes:

Yes, I know there is something wrong with me, and yes I accept that. Despite my earlier reservations of trying to get a more detailed story going for these ideas, and the fact that I am adding more stories to my plate, I wanted these stories to be uploaded on this date, so please do not judge me harshly. It's just the kind of person I am. Hopefully I will get these stories updated, when I have updated my other stories more.