Disclaimer: Really, for this one I'm only doing it the once and that's it. I don't own NGE or any directly related characters (or does the disclaimer clause reach this far? even so, I don't take credit for how things got screwed up; only for how I WILL screw them up). Mwa ha.
NGE: Asuka and Stupid Shinji Save the World
What Fails to Kill You Makes You Weird. Period.
Cicadas. She can hear cicadas outside, in the drop-shaft, in the stairwell, in the hallway, in this room.
Useless creatures. How annoying. How was it, that even through Second and Third Impact, even with the fall of mankind and all the Angels stomping around for the last few years, freaking bugs lasted longer than all more advanced species? That's what Sohryu Asuka Langley wants to know, among other things. Things such as when her next bath would be, if she would live long enough to see such a thing come to pass, who would be bathing her corpse/would she come back to haunt his or her everyday life, and whether or not she would kill stupid Shinji for leaving her alone again with no warning.
Sure there was the part where Hikari, Suzuhara, Aida and Maya had still been around the camp at the time that she woke up to keep her from completely freaking out, but that was besides the point. Asuka was angry. Things got hurt when Asuka was angry. Some of these things inanimate and undeserving of such abuse, as well as not normally malleable to such extent by human hands, but her main target was certainly not lifeless. Yet. Nor was he undeserving.
"What the hell do you think you're doing?" She has to ask first. Out of curiosity, 'boredom', fear for her own sanity or just to foreshadow the beatdown he was about to get, take your pick. The fact that she was a little out of breath meant nothing when it came to abusing the idiot that ended all life on the planet.
"I'm saving the human race and being a badass. What does it look like I'm doing?" Now, normally, you'd be right; no, Ikari Shinji isn't the kind of guy to say something like this(unless drunk). Then again, normally Ikari Shinji is walking home/to Misato's apartment at this time of day (to 'not' get drunk), and not waist-deep in wires and papers and other things that might have been computers and glass at one point, in the pit that used to be Terminal Dogma, nor is he normally one of the last remaining people in the world, with only her and a small selection of friends for company (and totally sober with no hint of refrigerated alcohol in site).
And to be perfectly clear, he looked like he was trying to do a Doc Brown impression. Badly.
Asuka tilts her head to the side, hands on her hips, weight shifted to one leg and vengeance temporarily delayed in favor of actually figuring out what the hell was going on. "Then what was that last week?"
"I've thought about what Maya said since then and she's right, that probably would have lead to inbreeding, eventually. But this isn't 'that'. I wasn't trying to be badass back then, and you made it clear that 'that' is a bad idea, especially when it involves you, so I won't mention it again. To you."
"Eh… to tell you the truth, I don't really mind. Just, you know, not out in the open. You feel me, stupid?"
"I've thought about what you just said, thus I will make a point to mention it as much as I can once my plan works. For now though…" He turns around and trails off, just staring at her wide-eyed for a few seconds before wiping his nose and clearing his throat. "F_ing sweet. That's good to know."
"Damn straight. Now, what are you doing?" She sits on the stairs, crossing her legs with her hands on her knees. He appreciates the view in his new way; silent and staring. Maybe drooling a little. "Pervert."
"I'm makin' a time machine. I mean, looking for one... wait, no, making one. Yes," he says, turning back to the wires.
"... Uh-huh. What's that, and why are you making one?"
"Well, it's supposed to be, like the ultimate power or something. Lets people go back or forward in time to some event they want to change. Has a lot of confusing BS about 'silent annihilation,' changing the timeline, and tends to become completely useless when people f_ with it."
"Sounds like something a nerd would come up with."
"True, but remember; until recently we were part of an underground organization that existed to destroy the messengers of God with giant war machines."
"These messengers of God were called 'Angels', and were usually big, with only one weak spot, lasers or tentacles, the ability to regenerate and a tendency to let out a lot of red stuff we called 'LCL' when they died. Which was usually after a large amount of property-damage."
"The machines we used to fight these 'Angels' all -required- eating somebody's soul to even work, and in theory, anybody who piloted one successfully had to be under 18 and have suffered severe mental trauma as a child."
"I repeat, 'successfully'. Like, in the long run."
"Meh, probably better off."
"Yeah. Oh, and I had a 'sister' who had the personality of a robot half the time, clones for just in case she ever died, and somewhere after you came in the picture, started to 'like' like me and develop a case of slight split-personality disorder. Up until the point where she fused with the huge seven-eyed Angel we 'happened' to keep in our basement, thus destroying all life on Earth."
"You've got a point there."
"I know, right?" Asuka taps her chin, wondering just where they got sidetracked.
"So, this... time machine thing... it's like a..."
"... I got nothin'."
"Yeah, me neither."
"Who told you what you know about it?"
"Ayanami, Maya, Hyuga, Pen-Pen, Ritsuko, Kirishima... uh, Dad-"
"Waitwaitwait... did you say Pen-Pen? He could talk? When was this?"
"Trust me, you don't want to know," he replies with a crooked grin, counting down in his head. San, nii, ich-
"Gendo. You know, I'm surprised you hadn't heard about it."
"Do I look Asian to you?"
"Would you be offended if I offered 'Nazi'?"
"Touche. On the other hand, I have yet to see anyone around here that actually looks Japanese."
"Too late now, everyone else is dead. Besides, the time machine was apparently a vaguely Western idea… and everyone else is dead."
"That why you're makin' a time thing?"
"Just 'cause I can. I realized a lot of things about the people I hang around when I was about to die-"
"That one last time before I came back and choked you. Sorry 'bout that last part, again."
"So long as you don't do it again without my consent, no problem. Carry on."
"So, I realized a lot of things, and one of those things was about my father and me. I realized that we never had much of a relationship beyond 'point', 'grunt', 'nod', 'BETRAYAL' and random almost heart-to-hearts."
"I thought that's all males like you needed?" Shinji shrugs. "Wait, Gendo has a heart?"
"I see that you are surprised. Just like I was. Just like everyone at NERV was. Every time he decided to even bother acting like he did. It got old after a while. But yeah, apparently he does, uh, did." Asuka taps the palm of her open hand with her still-bandaged fist.
"Ah, so you realized that your social awkwardness and insecurity were inherent, which kept you and your father from bonding like other males, which in turn crippled your ability to connect with other people. Even though those other people eventually bonded with you anyway, you now know that if things had been different between the two of you in the first place, you probably wouldn't have gone insane and decided to kill everyone before changing your mind and getting us stuck in this situation...?"
"Uh, no, I realized that my dad was probably more of a prick than I originally thought, and the 'me' of back then probably benefited from not knowing him any better, even though that might have lead to a better understanding of him. Still, that kind of situation probably would have ended with me or someone I know attempting to kill him and the SEELE organization to save the world. Which, in turn might have started a different version of the Apocalypse, admittedly."
"Where'd you get all that 'bonding' stuff from?"
"I don't know, shopping with Kaji and the favorite?"
"What?" He looks up, hearing the off tone in her voice.
"Horaki's third class representative campaign?" She's scratching her head, a weird look in her eyes. He grabs a nearby screwdriver.
"Extended lack of a home-cooked meal?" Stands, paces, dancing around anything that got in her way. He lets go of the screwdriver and instead grabs a handle sticking out of a nearby box.
"Could be that one, not that we can do anything about it at this time. Deep breaths, Asuka. You're about to hyperventilate and I don't have a paper bag. Or a camera. Or-"
"Shut up!" Yelling. He was finally worried enough to stand up and fidget, one hand carefully held (hidden) behind his back.
"That's better… slower deep breaths."
"I'll f_ing bite you." Teeth.
"Is it really smart to say that kind of thing to an obvious masochist and pervert?"
"I-! A what now?" All signs of irritation halt. Panic-attack diverted. Fades… gone. Confusion.
"Nothing," he says. "So, you wanted to know why, right?"
"Why what?" She raises an eyebrow as she steps closer, and not for the first time he wonders why her left eye is red now. Brushing off the thought, he decides that it is now safe to sit down again, kneeling slowly but tightening his grip on the mallet.
"Why I'm making a time machine?"
"Oh. That. Well, I figured that you aren't gonna tell me or the others now, so I'll just find out with them, later, after it's too late to do anything to stop you. Right?" She plops back down on the stairs. He gives her a look, lets go of the hammer, and thinks 'Just when did she figure that out…?'
However, he does not say this out loud.
"… That plan sucks."
"What was that, Third?"
"Did I say that out loud? I said 'it should be ready in a few days'." He turns back to his work.
"… That's not what it sounded like you said, but whatever. Wait, so you found it then?"
"Maybe I've been alone for half my life and don't plan on living in this world in this goddamn sticky plug suit a second longer than I have to?"
"You could always go nude like you did that one time last week."
"And you could have helped me kill the Eva Series so I could kick ass and help save the world, but see what happened."
"Point. In my defense, I thought you could handle them yourself. And you probably would have kicked my ass too while you were out there."
"Besides, that would be too cold. I mean, naked, all day, every day?"
"Your alternative is a skin-tight suit that could be mistaken for fetish-wear, one that you can't clean with water (or fire) for the moment so it always smells like blood and waffles."
"Point. So, you'll let me know when it's done?"
"I'll let you know when it's done," he waves over his shoulder.
"Hnnn, I can't wait! Is it okay if I let everyone else know?" He grunts like a true member of the monkey species. She takes it as a 'whatever'. Asuka moans, gets up and stretches, disregarding the fact that there was no way she was sitting still for near long enough to need to stretch, and simply indulging in the stretchy goodness of life. Yes, life was good. And stretchy. And bendy. With accented curves-
She imagines what she'll do first, if stupid Shinji's… thing actually works. Take a bath? Oh Gott, hot, clean water! She sighs, making a serious effort not to rub her hands over herself.
Ooh, wait, eat her weight in food! Before now, before things had gotten this bad, she wouldn't have considered it anything but a slight desire, but… food! She lets her fingertips rub her stomach as she turns to leave the room.
"It's finished!" Asuka whirls on her feet, jaw dropping and eyebrow raising as bolts of electricity swarm in the area around Shinji. "It's more beautiful than I thought it would be…"
The first thing the girl thinks in not 'HELL YES' at the idea of doing whatever this time-machine thing was supposed to do. It wasn't even confusion about 'wait, just what does this thing do again,' or 'that doesn't look safe.'
"I thought you said 'in a few days,' Third?" She slowly walks over to him, rubbing her eyes and blinking hard.
"Well, apparently when there's no more need for character development in a situation like ours, time moves by really really fast. Or shit just gets done faster, I don't know. Think it was an accident, really."
"Isn't that breaking the third wall?"
"Whating the what now?"
"Breaking the... hey. Is that... is that supposed to be, uh, spinning like that?" She didn't know what to call it. She didn't even know what it looked like, and that only turned her excitement, little by little, into apprehension.
"I don't think -that- is supposed to be doing anything. I don't even know where that came from. Coincidence?" With that Shinji poked at the fist-sized tear in the middle of the air, and was promptly sucked into-
"Hey! Wait a-" Half a second before his hand reaches the blackness, she grabs him by the shoulder, unable to see what he's looking a-
Silence, but for the sounds of cicadas mating. Thus, Shinji and Asuka go on their first 'trip' through the timestream.
And thus, the screwing of the world began.