This very well might be the last chapter. Don't know yet if I'll need to split it in two or not, but from my view point at the start this is it. I hate long/drawn out endings and stories that just keep going when I feel they don't need to be. What We went on for far to long…Gift was right about perfect. This was a little idea I had in my head for a long time, so we'll see
Chapter – 6 Understanding is Bravo
Watching the monitor showing the Geo-Front, Misato bit her lower lip hard. Three days' worth of preparing, that was all the time fate had given them. The attack was coming sometime in the next twelve hours, and if they failed well at least humanity wasn't doomed. The vexed woman slapped her forehead as Unit-03 fell on its face again.
Turning on the comm. "Shinji-kun, pull Suzuhara-kun back up and try and…try and fix the hole he just made," her displeasure was quite obvious. After several days of watching the pilot of Unit-03 still fail to keep his balance, Misato felt Shinji deserved even more credit. "If we had that other boy when the first angel attacked we'd all be dead right now," Misato was nice enough to not broadcast that outside of the command box.
"That boy was not expected to pilot beyond his initial sortie," Gendo pushed his glasses up. Handing out additional clips of ammunition to the skeleton crew, Gendo was making the rounds. Holding his still damaged hand out for all to see, "Seele wanted to test the Dummy plug, at the time we created the scenario I thought it best. The Third Child wouldn't be able to fight his comrades, so present a scenario where he had to and would fail. This event however was to take place later, but the time table was disrupted," Gendo handed Maharu a firearm.
Sliding the magazine into the grip, Misato loaded the chamber while pointing the barrel at the commander. "You were going to make your son attack and possibly kill his friend?" she could hardly believe it. A lot of facts were coming to light about her place of work, most of them horrifying, even more regarding her boss. Holstering her sidearm she turned to Maharu, "Room on your planet for me?"
Holding the offered weapon with her thumb and forefinger, Maharu was disgusted by it. Dropping it on the desk, "As much as I love Seiren, I think Danna-sama and we are going to stay here. After we clean this place up it might just be livable." Turning back to her work, beads of sweat dribbling down her face, she and her compatriot feverously worked on their stations. Drawling out, "And…done! Just wish we had more time to test and to make more crystals."
Reading the displays from behind Ritsuko and Maharu's backs, Misato chewed on her thumb nail. It was good, but Misato wanted impervious. Her family was on the line here, and nothing short of perfection would make her rest easy. "Well if we had more time we'd do it, but that is the one thing we don't have," she patted Maharu's shoulder. Pointing at the layout, "So you got the two lynch points like I asked right? All attacking forces will have to pass through those two points."
"I have to give you credit, Katsuragi, it is quite devious," Ritsuko deemed Misato smile worthy. Leaning back in her chair, Ritsuko pulled out a joint and popped it into her mouth. Lighting up without a care in the world, "You get them to see each other after breaking in. If they fire they hurt themselves, and they are effectively blocked from getting in via our standard entryways."
But they could take the vents, they could find the generators and blow up the water crystals. So many variables that Misato hated. However they had to do it, they were going to broadcast the attack over public channels and force the attack be halted. So they had to be attacked to draw Seele into the open and vulnerable. Of if things got bad they could just portal out of the base, but the pilots weren't so safe.
"So much is left to chance though. What if they hack the MAGI so we can't get our signal out? What if we can't get them to call off the assault…" Misato vented. Dragging her fingers through her hair, clawing into her scalp, the tension was getting the better of her. "We never got to test those defense systems you put on Unit-01 and Unit-02. They could fail, or backfire or…" Misato stopped when she saw Maharu's shoulders slump and the woman head dipped down.
Quickly getting out of her seat, Maharu kept her face pointed away from everybody. "I'm going to go check on my sister and her little girlfriend," the woman's voice sounded close to breaking. Bowling Makoto over as she passed the man, Maharu didn't even acknowledge the event.
"What was her problem?" Makoto asked rubbing the back of his head. Taking the still warm seat, "I mean I like being hit with a woman's assets as much as the next man, but then being stepped on isn't my thing." He blushed having said a little too much, but he did start working without hesitation.
Maya, a strange surreal smile on her face, just waved in her seat. "Her problem is Katsuragi reminding everybody about our selfishness. We have an escape, but Ikari-kun and Soryu-kun will be left behind to deal with those monsters," Maya giggled a little but her eyes were rimmed red.
It wasn't that Misato wanted to make everybody feel like shit, it just sort of happened. Hell, Misato didn't even mind Maya was using one of Maharu's prototype devices. At this point, Misato was tempted to ask if she could borrow it to help keep her from stewing in her own funk. Something had to be done to brighten the atmosphere or things would just get worse. It just so happened, Asuka provided a nice little story this morning, not verified, but it should do the duty.
As Misato tried to find a good way of changing the topic, Ritsuko was filling in the few brave men and women that were on the bridge. "According to Kaji's report this morning, we can expect the JSSDF attack to be sometime before eight pm. We cannot go live with this data or they'd deny it and we'd lose face. The plan is to let them attack, we broadcast our security footage, and expose the duplicity. The government will have no choice but to back down due to their lack of evidence," she flipped through several pages of document.
Picking up where Ritsuko stalled, Kaji spit out the last of his own joint, "Due to Ikari-san's new gate technology we have nearly perfect defenses. They likely won't get past the two junction points to the bridge, but if they do we will escape via a portal a secure location." Kaji turned to Misato and half smiled, it was time for the hard part, "But the ground forces aren't they only problem. A series of mass production Evangelions will be part of the assault force. They have weapons that can easily disable our units, those without the gate technology. Sadly due to time constraints only two units are suited with them."
Willing up her best façade of calm, Misato stood proudly and confidently before her twenty men and women. "Unit-01 and Unit-02 are our primary defense against this threat. They have proven to be the best pilots with the best track records," Misato wasn't happy about that. Damn her for forcing children to keep her safe. "In an affect to keep the JSSDF from knowing we know of the incoming attack we have, as you see, one of our primary units at all times training our newest recruit," Touji took that moment to fall hard and shake the facility.
Wrapping a comforting arm around Misato's waist, Kaji pulled his rekindled flame against him. "We are, again, safe from the assault forces assuming they don't have a way to counter the water gem technology. As Maharu is the expert, that is nearly an impossibility. So, keep firm, keep strong, and after this day we will be able to live free. The commander has insured us a way to permanently end the angel threat. We win today, and its smooth sailing!" he thrust his fist into the air to the adulation and cheers of the crew.
Leading her rather animated paramour towards the rest of the senior staff, Misato lightly punched the man in the side. "You love giving speeches don't you super spy?" she teased. His duplicity had hurt, not because of the reasons but his lying to her. After a nice long talk, after waking up from seeing her boy servicing his wife, Misato got her answers from Kaji. Over a nice long drinking session they came to terms, and well…Misato took the last few nights sleeping at Kaji's.
"Going to tell them about how Shinji got that shiner? Bet that would lighten the mood," Kaji play rubbed his side. He down right hissed after Misato hit him in earnest in the stomach, "Ouch, babe, was that necessary?"
No it wasn't necessary, but Misato had to remind Kaji to know his place. At Nerv, Misato was in charge for now. The commander and sub-commander were not part of this defense plan due to the revelations of what was in Nerv's basement. "Gather round everybody, I've got a little story for all of you," she waved the assembled staff closer. "I'm sure you all noticed the little black eye Shinji had going this morning right?" she pointed at Shinji's monitor and more precisely the bruised left eye.
Well into her third happy stick, Ritsuko was well into her relaxation mode, "Why do I get the feeling sleeping beauty down in medical has something to do with this?" Ritsuko had earlier voiced her agitation of having her lab being made into sleeping quarters for the off duty pilot. With Shinji on patrol, Asuka was napping in Ritsuko's lab much to her chagrin. "Or did you see something again that didn't suit your liking?" Ritsuko chuckled.
Ok, so telling Ritsuko about the fainting spell at the hotel was a bad idea, Misato knew that now. Is it wrong for a parent to get upset over seeing her boy in the buff with his wife, or seeing said wife sitting facing her spread open with her boy in…Misato's face started to glow red. "Quiet you!" she pointed a curled and angry finger at Ritsuko for forcing that memory back.
After several deep breaths, Misato got her mind out of the gutter and back on the task at hand, teasing Shinji her all-time favorite thing. "Now this is all speculative you see, but if ANYTHING Asuka has told me this morning is true, you'll never believe this," hell she wouldn't have believed it if she hadn't seen the events in the hotel. Her little man…well not so little it turned out now…really was something of a ladies man.
"Apparently, Asuka socked Shinji-kun in the face after walking in on Maharu, Miharu, and get this…Ayanami in his room. Now that's not the odd part, seems my lil man and his lady friends were not quite clothed," she didn't like the overly attentive look Makoto had on his face. "Now, this part I'm not so sure of, but Asuka swears Ayanami was just sitting on a chair with a notebook jotting things down yet still in the buff," why Misato had no idea and hadn't had the chance to ask.
Well the senior staff went up laughing. None of them believed it, Ritsuko might have, but it was a funny image. Rei was odd, they knew that, but to be taking notes? Why would such a thing happen? Asuka was just being Asuka and slandering people.
"I want to insure when I am involved that I am prepared to fully appreciate the encounter, and to perform to standards. My superiors have high standards," Rei quipped from Behind Misato. Sitting down next to Maya, Rei pulled out a notebook and started reading. "It was very informative," she found all of them gaping at her. "Would you like a copy?" she handed Maya the notebook. Maya read a little, nosebleed, and ran out of the room.
The explosion from up above the base sent Rei careening towards the wall. Bracing herself with her arms, the designated First Child's head took only a light blow. She blamed her lack of focus for the accident. Walking as fast as she could, running would only equate in further self injury, Rei had a single all consuming purpose. Get Asuka, get the Second Child to her unit, and if necessary throw her into the plug. If Asuka resisted apply pressure, Rei didn't know if she wanted resistance or not.
Another large tremor sent her tittering forward, but thanks to the door to the doctors lab, Rei was able to stabilize herself. Opening the door, more like ripping it off its hinges, Rei turned the light on to find Asuka still sleeping. Goody, it was as Misato said, Asuka could sleep through a train wreck. "Wake up, Second, the assault is upon us," Rei commanded in her standard docile tone.
When Asuka didn't so much as budge or react to the faint call, Rei upped the ante. A nice hard slap to the face and firmer, "Wake up Second!" A faint sense of disappointment churned in Rei when Asuka actually woke after the little love tap. She had hoped to increase the dosage, perhaps to the level her target administered this morning. "You are needed to assist Unit-01 now," Rei gripped Asuka's cheeks painfully.
It was odd, until recently Rei wouldn't have cared about such things as who was piloting and who was risking their lives. Had the order been hers, Rei would have been up there fighting. But, sadly, her tour of duty hadn't been as stellar as Asuka or Shinji's, which left her to wait. And quite to her astonishment, Rei wanted not only to live but to live with Shinji and Miharu…Maharu was still an unknown quantity.
Batting Rei's hand away, Asuka shoved the girl with one arm. "Get away from me freak! I'm tired and I don't need your perverted ass touching me!" Asuka grumpily sat up. Gingerly touching her cheek where Rei had so lovingly smacked her, "Couldn't you have shaken me or I don't know yelled?"
Dropping Asuka's plug suit on the girl's lap, Rei's eyebrow twitched. "I was unaware that you were told the nature of my creation. I shall refrain from contacting your body if you hasten your actions," Rei's lip trembled. She now knew what the commander meant when she could be replaced. Miharu, Maharu, Misato, and Shinji had all been with her when Ritsuko showed off the tank, that was two days ago.
Ripping off the plastic packaging to her suit, Asuka unfolded it, "Little privacy, or is her lesbian highness going to watch and drool over me? And what the hell are you talking about 'your creation'?" Sighing hard as Rei turned around to face away from her, Asuka started to disrobe. "That idiot can hold off against those stupid things, he'll be fine," she at least sounded like she wanted to believe it.
Smiling softly, Rei tugged at the front of her shirt. While she had felt sure she'd be cast aside, shunned, or even hated by those her heart not clung to, Rei was mistaken. They had accepted her regardless of her true origin. Shinji said it didn't matter and hugged her…Rei's heart soured at that little touch. Curious how sudden emotions could shift and how she felt loved by those three. Miharu had helped her to understand her feelings for Shinji. And after watching and taking notes on how to express it physically…well that got Rei's stomach a little queasy but a good queasy.
"I am a clone, a hybrid to be more precise," Rei said confidently…well as confidently as monotone came out. "The late Naoko Akagi created several human/angel hybrids, I am one of them," Rei turned to find Asuka stuffing her legs into the suit. Finding it almost humorous how the haughty Second Child was blushing and covering herself up, Rei rolled her eyes. Plainly, "You have nothing I haven't seen, nor anything I desire."
Leaning into the arms of her suit, Asuka avoided eye contact with the self-confessed clone. "S-sorry…didn't mean it like that, hell I didn't know. Meant you're a freak for wanting to or if you already had sex with that idiot," Asuka pressurized her suit. Standing up and kicking her toes deeper into the body molding attire, Asuka tossed her hair over her shoulder. "And are you saying I'm not good enough for you too then? Just like the great Shinji? Guy has two fuck-rags and now he got another? Well I for one will not bend over and let him…" Asuka's head rebounded hard as Rei's decidedly stronger slap resounded in the small room.
Her arm left extended, Rei's brow was hardened, her jaw set…Shinji would have said the girl looked furious. "No, the current you is not good enough for me, or anybody. Ik-Shinji-kun cares for me as a person before a body, as he cares for Miharu," Rei slowly took a step back. Unsure if Asuka would retaliate with physical force, the girl was ready to act. Hell if Asuka didn't move fast, Rei would pilot Unit-02 instead. Standing straight and tall she added, "You know your words are false about him. Deceit to yourself and to him, but you hurt only yourself. No go, or I will go in your stead."
The one eye open, the left covered by her hand, bore down on Ayanami with hate so rabid it was near insane. "Going from a doll one day to a defensive bitch in heat the next, Shinji knows how to pick um," she slurred. Spitting out a little blood continued, "Don't worry, I'll save him. But not for you or those damn alien thieves…Going to save him for myself." Asuka brushed past Rei and headed into the hall. "And you're right, I was lying to myself. Jealous, angry, and hateful…but directed at the wrong person," Asuka clenched her fist, mumbled something under her breath and ran off.
"You are forgiven," Rei watched as Asuka ran at a reckless pace down the hall. Guess she wasn't going to have to pilot after all, a shame. It would have been something to pilot along side the one that opened her eyes to humanity. Time would give her options to grown and understand what she was truly feeling. Heading back to the command bridge, and her eventual co-wives, Rei cringed at every thunderous explosion and vibration of the base.
The PA system kicked on, Misato was broadcasting, "Stand down and surrender. You have no chance of penetrating our defenses. If wanted we can teleport you to the bottom of the Mariana Trench or even the surface of the sun. Your attack is unwarranted and based on deceitful information. Do not force us to take drastic action."
Moving at a faster pace, Rei felt the odd need to be with Miharu. That odd girl was much like Shinji, but since she couldn't have him Rei would take her. Contentment, warmth, and acceptance were what the two offered, and Rei had never expected in her life. The commanders order, his self proclaimed last orders to her the day before, ran clear and true in her mind…seek happiness. What her true happiness was, Rei was still to shellshocked to know, but those two, perhaps three if Maharu was like them, was where she'd find it.
"First Child reporting, Second Child woken and briefed," Rei announced the instant she stepped onto the bridge several minutes after the announcement. Another new thing hit her, fear, as she saw the open escape water gate bathing the bridge in a blue glow. Walking to the trembling and teary eyes Miharu, Rei turned to Misato, "Problems?" Was Shinji hurt? Had the base been infiltrated? Emotions were equally painful as they were wonderful at this moment.
Taking the place of Misato, Maharu gently hugged Rei. "Well that firebrand just got to her launching board so she'll be up to help Danna-sama soon. But we have to leave," Maharu informed slowly. Spinning Rei around, Maharu ushered her into the arms of her sister. "Those foolish men opened fire on each other thinking the linked doors were a ruse. Several were hurt, none killed, but one threw a grenade. It destroyed the water crystals. We're not safe here," Maharu stroked Miharu's hair.
"Shin-chan is going to be alone up there," Miharu sniffed hard. "We won't know what happened until…until…" the girl broke down into the sniffles. Clinging to the closest thing she could, Miharu lifted Rei off the ground as she sought relief.
Trust, it all boiled down to trust didn't it. "Shinji will not fail, Miharu, he knows we would not allow it," Rei informed the woman thrashing her about like a rag doll. Shinji…and even Soryu had to live through this. Now that Rei knew the truth about herself, and was given a free lease on life…Shinji would have to hide in the deepest parts of the afterlife to avoid her now. But as much as she wanted to say such things, "M-Mi-Miharu…I'm getting…di…izzy."
"Time is up, Mi-chan, you're making Ayanami-chan sick," Maharu tried her best to stop the thrashing. When that failed, Maharu simply lifted both Rei and Miharu into her arms and walked towards the escape gate. "We'll be right behind you, after we destroy their little game. Their computers aren't a match for my new OS, and we'll have this publicized in minutes and be right behind you," Maharu kissed her fingers and touched it to both Rei and Miharu's forehead.
A sense of vertigo overwhelmed Rei as she was suddenly dropped. One moment she was on the bridge, the next she was on a beach, the moon softly glowing overhead. "Your sister is a very strong woman," and she didn't mean physically. The wetness on her forehead felt reassuring, and gazing into the one-way gate, Rei watched as they worked feverishly.
"Onee-chan and Shin-chan can do anything, they'll come with us…won't they?" Miharu asked as she was helped off the sand by Maya.
For a moment, Rei stopped to think. Could they do anything? Well Shinji managed to do many odd things, making her feel being one of the biggest. "Yes, I believe they will," Rei turned away from the gate and watched the moon. It was easier on the nerves that way. But once they got this over, Rei was going to insist she get a turn…Maharu said sex was a great way to relieve stress and Rei was very stressed now.
Tugging on the stirrups, Asuka tried to will the launch platform to move faster. It didn't work, but it helped her aggression regardless. Misato had officially stated that Shinji and she were on their own now, the base had been infiltrated. Good, great exactly what she wanted! It was her time to shine, time for Shinji and her to show the rest of Nerv what they could do! Let the little toy soldiers wander through an empty base and get exposed for the mindless kill-bots they were, she had monsters to fight.
"Shinji if you're already dead up there I'm going to be very pissed," Asuka roared. The light above her was growing and growing, the surface was near! So many things she wanted to say to that damn boy, and what better place than in a field of carnage. "And three, two…one!" she triumphantly cheered. Bang, fling, and off into the air Asuka went souring as the left jettisoned her into the air.
Surveying the carnage, Asuka was pleased that that source of equal pleasure and pain had yet to be taken down. Surrounded by five ugly white monsters as he was, Shinji had yet to be taken down. Angling her decent, Asuka crashed into one of the units about to club Shinji from behind with an odd double edged weapon. Smashing the things flapping head into a sea of red mush, she rolled and leapt to her feet.
Popping up in Asuka's view screen, a rather animated Shinji Ikari half grinned/grimaced teased, "Bout time you showed up." His head bounced about as his Unit deflected a blow with his AT-Field, but the unit didn't fall. "Thought I was going to have to do this as punishment for that little intrusion," he actually joked. Pushing forward with his field, Shinji toppled another unit to the ground and stabbed through its neck with his knife.
Two down already, this wasn't going to be any fun, Asuka wanted to release her pent up emotions. "Seems like you have it all taken care of already, but it would serve you right for defiling my apartment," Asuka gritted her teeth. Charging at one of the monstrosities legs, she dove at it and connected solidly. The force of the hit and landing caused her to bit her inner cheek filling her mouth with a tasty mix of LCL and copper. Getting back up, and stomping the things throat, "I'm ready to hear your apology now for flashing me your man meat."
Pouncing on Asuka, Shinji knocked her to the ground and out of the way of an attack from one of the downed units. "They regenerate all damage we do to them, don't know how to bring them down," he cringed. With Unit-01 laying on top of Unit-02, Shinji was the proud recipient of a flat end blow to the back. "For some reason they aren't trying to destroy Unit-01, just knock me out. You however," he drew his thumb across his throat.
Pushing Unit-01 off her proud and valiant mount, Asuka willed Unit-02 to roll back and lash out with a mighty double footed kick. Tore the bastards head free, but it still stood. "Well that makes things interesting and more fun. I wanted a fight and we can keep the last one around for me to toy with," she licked her lips. Lunging at the fumbling beast, she tore its double bladed weapon from its hands. "Things are slow aren't they, expected more from it," but Kaji did say they weren't fully tested yet. More fun for them.
Standing with his back to Asuka, Shinji repelled an attack with his blade. "Interesting is one word, but I'd call it annoying. Interesting is finding out your wife has a thing for a girl you used to think about," Shinji stabbed violently at the recovered fifth unit. "Interesting is finding out that the girl you had a massive crush on, didn't hate you as much as she lead on, but only after you're married," he grabbed the things arm and buried his knife in the joint.
Closing her eyes, Asuka took a mighty deep breath. So this was how it was going to be, not how she expected the talk to go. But hell, if they died here at least it would be without regrets. "I call that you being a chicken-dork. And me being a damn prissy bitch, but that's life," she swung the heavy blade. It struck home just above one of the things waists and cut it free of its legs. Seeing something interesting, a shiny red ball, Asuka got an idea. "So how was Ayanami, pervert, you claimed her already didn't you?" she dove out of range of one of the bastards' attacks and away from the test.
Spinning around, the momentum nearly sending him tripping over his cord, Shinji yanked out his blade. His current prey's arm fell off, as intended, "I'm just as shocked about this Ayanami business as you are. Do you think I expected Miharu to be so taken by her?" His attention diverted, Unit-01 took a heavy smack to the head sending him to the ground.
"If you can't talk and fight, then don't talk, stupid," Asuka found the time to laugh. Stupid Shinji needed to be looked after all the time. To soft, to caring, and to accommodating summed up she learned she adored about him. But those things didn't make for a good fighter. Flipping the switch on her emergency shoulder needles, the girl lanced a freaks head. "Going to try something, they have cores just above the belly button," she gave a flying jump and downward slash hitting her pulsating red target.
The monstrosity that was the third mass production Evangelion went silent. No explosion, no death call, the unit simple stopped.
Getting back to her feet, Asuka thumbed her nose at the four other units. "Not so tough now that we can kill you, are ya," she taunted. With the cords still attached, it was only their own stamina she had to worry about. "Cores, Shinji, think of them like angels. Crush the core and gugh," Asuka felt a blow from the side sending her down again, Shinji's shrill yell echoing in her ears.
Bellowing like the beast from hell Unit-01 embolden, Shinji let out, "NO!" His act of tossing Asuka had effectively saved her from a lance to the back of the head. Unit-01 fell to the ground and went still.
Her hands jerked away from the controls for a moment, as realization dawned on her. Shinji saved her again, just like at the volcano. "Shinji say something," she croaked out. Stillness greeted her. "No…No…NO!" not like this! Propelling herself into the air, Asuka got a birds eye view of the fuckers moments away from a very bad day. Unit-01 was down, unmoving, but she couldn't see anything necessarily wrong with it. How the damn weapons turned into a lance, Asuka didn't give two shits about.
"You did NOT kill him, he CAN'T be dead! I will not tell…tell them that I fucked up and got him killed!" Asuka landed hard on a beasts head. Cleaving downward through its soft tissue, Asuka grabbed its core and pulled it out. Smashing it in her fist, "NEXT!" A Valkyrie in red moving through the field, Asuka punched through another Eva and crushed the core inside its chest.
His smiling face, his countless apologies, his helping her, his being their for her, and a plethora of other memories flooded her brain. Each positive memory countered with one of her belittling, ridiculing, or just outright hurting him. Rage…rage and bloodlust filled the gap in her heart where he had filled.
Picking up one of the fallen mech's blades, Asuka chucked it at one of the retreating unit's. "Run! It's more fun to hunt than to just kill you!" she seethed. Her mind was under assault by her own pride. Hadn't she told him to take this shit seriously, and she was the one he had to save. "YOU DID NOT KILL HIM! HE CAN'T BE DEAD!" Asuka bellowed. Diving atop the last of her foes, Asuka literally clawed her way through its chest and smashed her unit's head against it.
It fell silent, but she wasn't done yet. Clawing, tearing, punching, kicking, and countless blows she rained down upon the damn thing. "He's not dead…he can't be…not now that I…I have to apologize! Say…just once to his face…say that I loved him," she tore the bastards head free.
Grabbing Asuka's semi-psychotic beast, Shinji forced her to stop. "ASUKA! Asuka stop! The water gem overloaded when I teleported the lance away. Shut Unit-01 down and I had to reboot," Shinji tried to calm her down. In the end he had to force Unit-02 to the ground and pin it. "Asuka, I'm alright! The lance was teleported to space. Had you not been avoiding me you'd have had the briefing!" he finally got through to her.
If Shinji had been physically in front of her Asuka didn't know if she'd hug, kiss, or had killed him. "You were playing possum I bet, listening to me and making me do all the hard work," she had lost all her bluff. His accursed blushing face told her enough, he heard her confession. "So…what now?" she asked as Unit-01 pulled her up.
"Next, we talk to Maharu. The man has no rights in a wedding on Seiren," Shinji shrugged as the pair headed to the closest lifts.
"No rights huh? Maybe that planet is alright after all," Asuka did not have a picture book happy ending in mind though. She had hated and spurned both of the women from Seiren from day one. Why would they take pity on a foolish child of a little girl? "I need a bath," she moaned as they descended back into Nerv.
Misato's voiced chimed over their links, "Stand down, the JSSDF has been ordered to stand down. We've won."
Swirling her glass of wine around, Maharu sauntered around the party. With the bulk of Nerv invited, it only served to have it on the bridge. Most of them she didn't know, let alone care too much about, but they didn't even notice her for the most part. Two weeks of scandal, arrests, and revelations left not only most of the employees but the planet is shock. If she heard her government had a secret sect of mad-men planning global genocide she'd be shocked as well.
Draping her arm down the man's side, and leaning heavily against his back, Maharu felt like giving Makoto a little start. "And how are you three doing this fine-fine evening?" she battered her eyelashes at Maya and Shigeru. Why the trio came in their work uniforms, Maharu could only guess, but who was she to criticize. Pinching Makoto's cheek, "Shouldn't you be flirting with the singles over there?" she intoned with her glass.
Covering her mouth with the hand holding her drink, Maya tittered. "Maharu-san, I for one am doing great. Still shocked at it all though. I mean who knew we had not one but two angels on base for so long," she reclined. Sipping back on her drink she just shook her head. A trifle morose, "And that Ikari had been…up until the end anyway…"
Clicking her tongue and waggling her finger, Maharu corrected, "Don't say the Ikari name like it's a plague now. I'm an Ikari after all and I think I more than make up for Danna-sama's father, not to mention Miharu-chan." But she had to admit her beloved did take his father's arrest hard. The man was going to get off easier for changing sides and helping in the end, but the man was going away for some time.
Trembling ever so slightly, a very thin trickle of blood down his nose, Makoto clenched his glass so tightly his knuckles popped. Stammering, "M-Maharu-san is right, she MORE than makes up for what the former commander did. And he did cut a bit piece of his hand off to get rid of that other angel." The man eyed Shigeru and the aforementioned troupe of women behind Maya gossiping.
Pushing Makoto out of his seat and towards her intended goal, Maharu quickly stole his seat. "Go now, shoo-shoo," she waved her hand, "the lovely and single women await." Maharu could tell Maya wasn't on the field just by looking at the petit woman leaving no single women for the ball of repression to attach too. Personally Maharu didn't have a problem with the man, but she could do without the ego boost and non-Shinji hormones for the night. Once the man timidly wandered off she apologized, "Sorry, nice guy but little on the over anxious side for me."
Having a beer rather than wine, Shigeru rang the glass like a bell, "No harm no foul, and Mako-chan can be a little hard up at times." He knocked back his drink, setting it down between his legs he pulled up his plate of food. Taking a healthy bite, "Man if I knew Shinji was such a good cook I'd have paid him to bring me lunches."
Looking at Shigeru's plate, Maya's eyebrows scrunched up and she stuck her tongue out. "Looks nasty if you ask me. I don't think I'd be able to eat your uh…planets food," Maya said diplomatically. Spying the pilots plus Miharu off on there own, Maya tilted her glass at them, "How is Shinji-kun taking everything? Not everyday you hear your father is being arrested for crimes against humanity."
A surge of pride welled up deep in Maharu's stomach. "He's doing great, he has us to support him if needed. But I think he and his father parted ways some time before the incident," she sipped her drink. Whenever she thought that man couldn't surprise her again, Shinji just went and made her love him more. He was more concerned about Miharu and her than the man who abandoned him. Her face soured slightly, "As for the man himself, well he did come around at the end. I'm afraid of what would have happened had we not stolen that lad from you."
Maya and Shigeru paled and Shigeru put his food back down. "Well I'm not hungry anymore," the air guitarist confessed. "Don't like thinking just how bad things would have been had it not been for you. We might not be in the clear from the angels like Gendo said, but you did at least save us from a big enemy we didn't know of," he shuddered and rubbed at his legs.
Tugging on her collar, Maya shifted away from Shigeru nervously. "Anyway, Maharu-san, what is next for…all of you?" Maya's expression was a curious mix of uncertainty and worry. Trying to force a more natural tone, "And did I hear something about Soryu?"
Ah yes…that unruly, ungrateful, and beast of a girl, Maharu didn't know fully what to make of her. Getting out of her chair, "Well the paperwork to start our own corporation is well underway. If you two need work, we are in need of computer techs. I suspect to be quite wealthy by years end. I've been house hunted with Danna-sama and Rei-chan last few days too." Walking past the two, Maharu patted Maya's shoulder, "Oh and Maya-chan, why don't you take that gift I left you over to Akagi's place. Bet you two will get a big kick out of it."
Leaving a flustered Maya to explain things to her unknowing male compatriot, Maharu could just feel the mirth around her. So much had changed in those around her, and she felt no small sense of contributing to it. This world was going to change, by Shinji and her hands. Miharu would be the poster girl (maybe Rei could help to, she was a cutie pie), but it was going to be them that made the fortune. But damn, Shinji did have his hands full with that other girl.
Asuka…Maharu didn't know fully what to make of her, suspected only Shinji really did. Unlike Ayanami who Maharu could see as a perfect compatriot for Miharu, Asuka was a mixed bag. Shinji saw something in her, that much was obvious, but was it worth increased the lot by one? Prideful, arrogant, and far too much like herself. But it would be fun to train that firebrand. If Miharu had a girlfriend, why couldn't she too? Initially she had thought of asking Shinji for Ritsuko to join as her girlfriend…but Maya might take offense.
"Maharu-san!" Kaji called out waving towards the woman. "Come over and chat a bit," the man had one hand around Misato's waist and another holding a plate of cake. The small band of unknown employees dispersed as the man continued to wave his food about randomly. "You can talk to them all you want after you move out, just a few minutes," he continued to pester.
Likely the engaged couple wanted to know Asuka's fate, Maharu bit her lip lightly. "And how are the Katsuragi's doing tonight?" she openly mocked the male. The more time she spent on earth the more she understood the simple joys of her home planet. Leaning in and pinching Misato's cheek, "Best take care of this one or I'll claim her as my own. Some of my upcoming products would easily sway her physically towards me." Oh how she loved Misato, more kindred spirit and less lust she reminded.
Batting Maharu's hand away, Misato snuggled up closer to Kaji. "See I told you my last name sounds better," she joined right in on the attack. "And if what Ritsuko said was true, you might just have a point about that too. So what are you going to offer me to stay, Kaji?" Misato spun and asked very demanding.
Suddenly at a loss for words at the two pronged attack, Kaji pulled his arm back and stepped back. "Wh-what? Misa-chan what are you…" then he snorted and stomped his foot. A jolly smile on his face Kaji belted out a solid laugh, "You two almost gave me a heart attack. Don't know how Shinji-kun puts up with you two…one of you is bad but two? Boy has to have the mind of a Buddhist monk."
"At times he does, but I remember two people walking in on us when he was quite the opposite," Maharu wasn't above teasing Misato either. A strange cultural gap existed, but Maharu had endless fun exploiting it. What was perfectly acceptable on Seiren was faint worthy here…maybe she'd film a few things as gifts for the budding couple. Her own memory causing a slight blush, Danna-sama did make her feel cherished, "His prowess aside, you two give my offer any consideration?"
Stepping close to Kaji, a firm and disapproving scowl marring her features, Misato didn't appear to like being reminded of her boys deflowering. "Us working for Shinji-kun and you, don't know about that. It would be odd to be taking orders from my…my ex-ward," Misato's eyes gleamed over. "But for the money you're offering we'd be dumb not too. But putting Kaji in charge of security? Sure that's a good idea?" she ribbed her man.
Talking over Kaji's rebuttal, Maharu tried to ease Misato's tension, "Not like he's going to order you to work in a bunny outfit, that's Miharu's job." Spinning on her heels, she spied her sister talking happily with her friends and husband…and stuffing her face with far to much food as usual. But back to business, "As for your qualifications, you ran a very large military organization, I think a few businesses would be right up your alley."
"Katsurag-san! Ryoji-san! Over here!" a group of mid-level technicians called from across the deck.
"Well time to go mingle I guess," Kaji shrugged. "And she is right, Misato, you could easily do it. And this way you can keep an eye on him and not feel like a stalker," said the man that knew his girlfriend very well. Leading the nodding Misato towards the men, "Oh and any word on Asuka? Misa-chan and I'd like to know if we can…you know…without having to worry about her walking in to skin me alive."
Not willing to give the man the satisfaction yet, Maharu just held up her hands and shrugged. "Don't know yet. That girl can be a pill, but I don't know if I want Danna-sama to take it," she joked. Heading towards her family, Maharu could see a tie binding the three damaged children. With the info on all three released, Maharu knew more than she ever wanted about Asuka and Rei. Just like Shinji, they had horrible experiences in the past yet lived through it. They formed a bond, different than the one Shinji shared with Miharu and herself, the bond of similar experiences on the battlefield and not.
She'd let Asuka suffer a bit more, for putting Miharu through some pain, and if the girl still wanted…well maybe. No promises yet at least. It could be fun though, to have that prideful girl bent under her will…oh so very fun.
Walking through the spacious, and empty, office space that he had just purchased, Shinji felt something akin to pride. A life without being a pilot, of being able to support a family, and just being his own person made him feel good. While it was still being looked into, he was starting to believe the two beings warped to the sun might have been the cause of the angel attacks. Now, a month and a half since the battle against those white monsters, he was looking towards a future he thought he'd not have had.
Prancing about the open and very chilled (great A/C it seemed) room, Miharu marveled at everything she saw. "We really own this place? It's so close to the house too," she was bubbly as ever. Dragging Rei around, the pink ball of positive was never slowed. Pointing at one of the smaller rooms without windows, "And we'll be taking the pictures here?"
"Only if you want to, Miharu-chan, and only with somebody you know with you," Shinji was firm about that. Miharu was so trusting and open to things, well Shinji and Maharu feared the girl would be taken advantage of. What he would have liked was a small kitchenette so he could make food for his employees, but such was unfortunately not possible. A boss cooking for employees might seem odd, but when most of them were family or close enough to it, Shinji didn't care.
Examining some of the fixtures, the walls were typical office of gunmetal grey, white tiled ceiling, and cheap carpet, Rei analyzed everything. "I will insure no harm comes to Miharu, physical or psychological," Rei's stern tone echoed throughout the rooms. Her stoic poise was countered almost instantly when Miharu sucker-hugged her, "Mi-Miharu, what are…why are…" Rei's eyes went wide as Miharu lifted her off the ground and spun her around like a doll.
That was something Shinji would never get bored of. Miharu's fixation with Rei was adorable and good for both of them. From time to time Shinji felt a little jealous of Miharu's doting on Rei, but if he ever showed even the tiniest amount of it…well both Miharu and Rei showed that he was equally as special. Pinching his nose as the memory of two days ago replayed in his mind as they both teens did just that, Shinji headed to the manager offices.
Laying on the ground, gazing up at the tiles, Maharu held her hand out expectantly. Grabbing Shinji and dragging him to the thin carpet, she made her husband lay beside her. "I could get to like this room. Smaller than I would have wanted, but I don't need much. Katsuragi will need more space for all the paperwork," Maharu dictated. Intertwining her fingers with Shinji's, "It's really happening. I thought, thought I'd just live a boring life, do the same engineering work, and die alone. I prayed Miharu would get somebody, but this…"
Her silence was profound, but Shinji understood it. He had long ago realized Maharu was much like him inside, but more like Asuka outside. Her hard was firm yet held a softness, he felt it tense as he spoke, "But this is more than I ever expected from life. I keep expecting to wake up and find myself back in the plug waiting for death." Every morning that didn't happen was a blessing. "Miharu and Rei like this place too, any word from…" Shinji's expression was drowned out by an explosive yell.
"Have you no shame, baka! You're not going to soil this place day one are you?" Asuka debased as she entered Maharu's office. Crossing her arms and stomping her foot, her haughty manner was not tempered at all. Scoffing, "Take my eyes off you for one minute and you've already got Maharu-c-chan on the ground? Insatiable, pervert, jerk!"
Sitting up, Maharu's knee popped up and she put her hand on it. Leaning forward exasperated, "Asuka, we talked about this didn't we? The Tsundere act got dropped when you moved into the house. You're still on a provisional basis young lady." Grumbling under her breath, the bombshell reluctantly got to her feet. Helping Shinji up, "And Danna-sama won't soil my office by doing the one thing I got an office for. I can work anywhere, this is just the away from home love nest."
Was she joking, teasing Asuka, or serious Shinji wouldn't have bet to save his life. "A-Asuka I just got in here, Maharu-chan was relaxing on the floor. No reason to get so animated," he tried to calm her down. What Maharu was thinking with Asuka, Shinji hadn't the brain capacity to fathom. All he knew was two days ago, luggage in hand Asuka showed up on their doorstep. She had visited nearly every other day, but the bags meant she was there to stay if she passed Maharu's tests. With the way his life was going, Shinji didn't know if he could survive Asuka on top of everything else.
Butting Maharu away, Asuka comically avoided looking at her superior, as she approached her boss. "Can't believe I'm going to be a model…I've a damn degree you know, can't you think of a better job for me?" she shook her fist at the man. "Ibuki and Akagi are downstairs examining the room for their computers, that lawyer of yours is all kissy face with that nerd of a tech guy in the break area," Makoto finally got a girlfriend. "And Misato and Kaji are locked in his office…I won't even bother to tell you what they are doing," her bashful stance told far more than enough.
Gripping Asuka's well-proportioned figure for a teen, and groped her effectively stopping the German's tirade. "They feel bigger with cloths on, you wearing a padded bra," Maharu continued her sexual harassment. Blowing into Asuka's ear, the girl going weak in the knees, "And you'll be a model with my sister and her sister-wife until you finish school. After that you can take on more important work." Releasing her hold on the girl, Asuka fell to her knees, eyes closed and breathing in large puffs. Extending her hand, "Danna-sama?"
Giving Asuka a wide berth, Shinji followed Maharu out of the small room. He wouldn't lie, wouldn't say it aloud either, but watching Maharu and Asuka interact was very mentally stimulating. When he looked close enough he could see a hint of Miharu and Rei's relationship between his darker red-haired companions. Might have just been an illusion, or hopeful wishing since he wanted Asuka happy, but he thought Maharu was starting to really accept her. Or Maharu was just sadistic and wanted to torture Asuka for the girl's earlier transgressions, Shinji was of course hoping for the former.
Finding Miharu and Maharu at the window, Shinji walked into the space they left open between them. Glancing over Miharu's shoulder, "What happened to Rei?" It felt odd to not call the girl Ayanami anymore, but the name didn't really fit. The plan was a trip to Seiren for the formal nuptials after the business got started. A flash of insight, or healthy imagination, lead the boy's heart to start pumping, "You two didn't…"
"Rei-chan said she wanted to get ready for the interviews," Miharu innocently destroyed Shinji's mental picture. Nibbling on a piece of bread, the girl pressed her head to the window and gasped, "They're so many of them!" Her crumbs painted the window with her enthusiasm as she pointed at the growing crowd. Her lower lip puffed out suddenly, "This won't make us late for lunch will it?"
Having the want no need to, Shinji grabbing Miharu and hugged her fiercely. "Mi-chan you don't have to worry, I packed us lunches today," he felt as light as a feather. As he held her, Shinji felt Maharu's hand on his back. So odd yet so right he felt with them. They were three pieces of a puzzle that linked together perfectly. His ditzy yet smart adorable Miharu and his sexy and genius Maharu, he'd do anything for them. Did it matter that Miharu had a black hole in her stomach and Maharu had bouts of self-doubt and depression? Hell no!
With Miharu smiling and tittering in his arms, Shinji took a gander out the window and realized why she was so stunned. A small army of scientists, computer programmers, chefs, and that was just today were lined up. Maharu's use of Seiren's technology was going to revolutionize the planet, make them rich, and everybody wanted a hand in it. Water gems, computer OS, odd culinary cuisine, women's 'back massagers', and those simple pink smokes were just the start.
A pronounced state of peace drifted over him, he knew serenity, he knew joy, and he knew love. "I…don't say it nearly enough, but I love you two," he was getting much better at saying it. They were the best things to happen to him, and as Miharu lifted him into the air…then sent Miharu and him flying when she sneezed, he knew she felt the same. Grabbing Maharu, Shinji shielded her from the wall, thankfully not damaged, he saw in her eyes all the proof he needed that she felt the same. An odd family, him and his two wives…and their sister-wives, but the world was their oyster now.
Come what may, they were prepared to defend what they had, either with Eva, sharp wit, or ability to create pink explosions. They would not be separated, they would not doubt each other, and they would conquer.
The end…part I
…GAAAAAH! I like how this ended but I want more! I won't start writing part 2 now, I I've finally got my ideas set for the next two stories I'm going to write. But I will come back and write a second part of this more one the light hearted Girl's Bravo comedy end and less the world-ending disaster part of Eva…
Thanks for reading and I hope you can stand waiting a while for part 2