Title: Neon Genesis Evangelion (The 2nd Season): Forever Intertwined

Author/Writer: Malkin Rivera

Words from the Author:

It's good to be back! After writing the 2nd Branch of NERV Story, I was really motivated to write my next Fan-fiction for Evangelion. As a result, I'm going to start on it, but it may take me a while before I get into the swing of things. Now, I'm going to give you a quick summary of what my idea is for this story/series. (I still like the idea of calling it a series) My series takes place after the 3rd Impact and the story will obviously start right where the End of Evangelion had left off. I will be taking ideas from other sources when writing the episodes, but I will be mostly using my ideas. Most of what I will be using from another source aside myself is from Hideaki Anno, who is obviously the creator of Evangelion and I will always give him credit because he did make the series and the movies. I really hope that you guys enjoy it as much as the 2nd Branch Story and if you didn't read the 2nd Branch story then that's alright... For now. This here is a Fan-fiction and I do not claim owning Neon Genesis Evangelion at all because that would be disrespecting the great Anno.

Episode 1: Starting Over From Near Destruction

The scene starts with Shinji still on top of Asuka as he continues crying. Asuka currently has her right hand, which is the limb that's heavily bandaged, on his left cheek. Everything around them has been destroyed and, right behind Shinji, is the lake of blood that was created from the cutting of the giant Rei's head with half of the face continually shown on the bloody lake's surface as the small cross that Misato had given Shinji is nailed to a piece of wood sticking out from the ground nearby. Disturbingly enough, it appears like the giant head is staring directly at Shinji with a creepy expression.

At that exact moment, a giant splash reverberates and it appears that Eva Unit 01 has crashed into the bloody lake, still in a fossilized-like state. Then, it slowly sinks to the bottom of the blood-filled lake as Shinji and Asuka don't react to the noise.

Shinji keeps crying, having his head down with his eyes closed, as he thinks, "What the hell am I doing?! I chose to come back, but like an idiot, I'm trying to kill Asuka! What the hell's wrong with me?!"

Asuka looks at Shinji with an emotionless expression and utters in a bland tone, "I feel sick, Idiot. And you sitting on me isn't helping."

Shinji instantly opens his eyes while quite surprised, gazes up at Asuka and suddenly smiles amidst faintly uttering, "I'm sorry." He gets off Asuka and sits to her left. Afterwards, the 3rd Child sets his sights toward the bloody lake as the giant Rei head is gradually submerging within the lake and then thinks with a smirk, "That was so typical of her. She had to make a comment like that for me to finally snap out of it." Shinji chuckles while closing his eyes.

Asuka turns her head to focus on him with a hint of irritation due to Shinji's sudden laughter. "What's so funny?" The red-head slowly sits up while staring at Shinji and speaks with annoyance in her voice. "I said I don't feel good and all you do is laugh! What the hell, you idiot?!"

Shinji throws his head back, laughing during his following thought process. "This is one of the reasons why I came back! How could I have possibly had imagine my life without her insulting me like this?!"

Asuka gets even more irritated because of Shinji laughing again as she glares at him until realizing that her left eye is covered and touches it with her right hand with confusion brimming. "How the hell is my eye bandaged?!" She then puts her hand down while viewing it and makes a dumbfounded expression. "And my right hand too!"

Shinji stops his laughter and demonstrates a concerned conduct while steering his head toward her to rebuttal. "I don't know. You were like that when I came back."

Asuka concentrates her vision toward Shinji with confusion still noted on her face. "When you came back?"

Shinji plainly nods before directing his attention towards the bloody lake as he curls up into a ball, lying his head on his arms. "Yeah. I came back... Because I want to stay here with everyone. Even though I've been through a lot of pain, I'm willing to go through more to keep what's important to me."

Asuka's baffled as she doesn't veer her sight away from him. The red then gets very annoyed while looking at their surroundings. "But there's no one else left." She looks at Shinji again with an upset expression. "Thanks to you, there's no one left!" Asuka shakes her head while closing her eyes prior to returning her attention to him. "No! Because of US, there's no one left! We failed, Shinji!" She places her right hand onto her chest and adds via a distraught tone, "I lost to those damn Evas after I worked so hard to beat them!" Asuka then points at the 3rd Child with her right hand while delivering an intense glare. "And all you did was just come back after letting everything get destroyed!" The German dame puts her hand down, leaning towards Shinji with her expression matching the method of her speech. "We let everyone down and now we're the only ones alive!"

Rei slowly walks up from behind them out of nowhere, wearing her school uniform, while saying with a bland tone, "That is not true."

Asuka's startled from hearing Rei's voice and snaps her attention to the girl with a shocked behavior. "First! You're alive!"

Shinji sets his focus upon Rei as he's surprised to see her and quickly gets up while navigating himself towards the teen. "But, how are you alive?! I thought you were gone like everyone else?!"

A light smile forms onto Rei while locking eyes with Shinji. "Do you not remember, Ikari? You made a choice. It was based on your desire to be with everyone. What would have been the point if you and Soryu were the lone pair to return?"

Both Shinji and Asuka glance at each other while amazed by what Rei said. They then both revert their attention to Rei while talking simultaneously. "That means...!"

Rei nods, persisting her smile, prior to turning around and calmly states, "They will be waiting for us at Central Dogma. We should not keep them waiting for too long."

Asuka quickly gets up as she stands next to Shinji while displaying some skepticism. "Are you sure?!"

Rei nods her head again in response without reverting her attention to Asuka.

Asuka hurriedly gazes at Shinji once again while containing an upbeat grin. "Then let's go!" The red-head looks forward and promptly starts running towards the direction of the NERV facility.

Shinji watches Asuka sprinting as he walks up next to Rei with an amazed expression. "I can't believe it...!"

Rei mounts her focus upon Shinji with a content smirk. "It is true, Ikari. You saved everyone. Now let us go be with them." The young female shifts her vision to aim forward and starts to run as well.

Shinji continues to be amazed for a moment, but suddenly smiles and mutters, "Alright." He then follows his companions while yelling out, "Wait up!"

The three children continue on their way towards NERV while at the same time, in Central Dogma, the personnel are lying on the floor at first with each awakening one by one and slowly rising to their feet. Meanwhile, at a lower level, Misato regains consciousness, stands up and checks out her surroundings with disbelief due to her discovering that she's alive, let alone that her injuries have miraculously healed. Soon after, the purple-haired adult recalls the circumstance she previously was in and rushes off to Central Dogma, hoping everyone else is alright.

Concurrently, Gendo and Ritsuko have also woken up while still residing in the room that once held Lilith. The Commander's poised upright as he's looking around with a serious attitude until placing his gaze onto the giant cross that Lilith used to be pinned against and comments in a disappointed tone, "It seems though my efforts have failed. I couldn't be with my Yui again, even after everything I was willing to sacrifice." He gazes down at the floor. "Perhaps it's for the best I take this as a sign to quit being with Yui, and become a better father."

Ritsuko laughs amidst pointing the gun that's in her right hand at Gendo as she exhibits determination. "As if that could ever happen! How could you expect anyone to believe you could care for someone other than yourself and your selfish desires?!"

Gendo looks at Ritsuko with no real emotion while commandeering himself to face her. "Because I had made a promise to Yui." The man briefly pauses while peering up towards the ceiling. "And I plan on finally keeping that promise." He then directs his attention to Ritsuko with a slightly apologetic expression. "For what it's worth, I'm sorry."

Ritsuko's surprised by Gendo's apology, pulling back a bit, until getting very irritated while the hand that's holding the gun shakes as she thinks, "This man makes me sick! I should just shoot him! That's what I wanted for so long after he tossed me aside! But..." She then abruptly drops the gun and turns around with anger filling her person and harshly remarks while currently not witnessing Gendo's presence, "Just be sure you don't screw up again, Commander!" Ritsuko starts walking away while adding, "Because next time I won't be so nice! I'm doing this only for Shinji's happiness!"

Gendo observes Ritsuko leave for a moment. After a few seconds pass, he turns toward the giant cross while mumbling to himself in a low volume, "I'll be sure to keep that in mind." Gendo smirks, rotates himself in the same manner as Ritsuko and starts to walk away from the giant cross.

They both head towards Central Dogma while not saying another word to each other. Simultaneously, the children have made it inside the NERV facility and are about to reach Central Dogma as well until running into Misato.

Asuka sees Misato first and yells out of joy, "Misato!"

Shinji joins with glee noted. "Misato! You're okay!"

Misato confronts them as she's quite bewildered. Not long after, the damsel smiles as her eyes begin to water and dashes towards the children while spreading out her arms accordingly so she could hug them. "Asuka! Shinji!"

In response, both Shinji and Asuka enter into Misato's embrace and return the hug she implemented while trying not to cry from the delight they are feeling. Concurrently, Misato sustains her embrace onto the two of them while trying to hold back her tears as she's peering at the duo. "I'm so glad that you guys are fine!"

Rei stands behind her fellow pilots while watching their reunion with Misato and thinks, "It must be nice to have someone who cares so much and to be able to be that close." She becomes moderately sad while lowering her head.

Misato's grinning at first until noticing Rei's posture as worry surfaces while letting go of Asuka and Shinji. "Rei?"

Rei swiftly looks up with curiosity rising inside her. "Yes, Colonel Katsuragi?"

Shinji and Asuka both back away from Misato to set their vision upon Rei with a bit of curiosity showing.

Misato giggles while motioning Rei to travel towards her with her left hand. "You don't have to act like an outcast. Now, come over here. I'm glad that you're alright too." She smirks at Rei while closing her eyes.

Rei's surprised by Misato's words as she takes a step back, looks down at the floor and asks in a hesitant way while blushing a little. "R-Really...?"

Asuka gets a tad annoyed, placing her right hand on her hip. "If Misato says it, then it's true!" She directs her other hand at Rei while motioning her to come as she utters with a commanding voice, "Now don't make me drag you over here because it's obvious that Misato wants to give you a hug!" Asuka then puts her hand down that she was pointing with while continuing to be fairly agitated.

Rei emanates an awestruck demeanor while depicting Asuka before slightly smiling as she slowly walks up to Misato and makes a nervous expression.

Misato just watches Rei, still smiling, prior to slowly extending her arms out and hugs the teenager with her eyes shut.

That causes Rei to blush again as she has a stunned expression while mentally processing, "This is what a hug feels like." The blue-haired girl steadily moves her arms and wraps them around Misato's waist to hug her. Once she does, Rei smirks while closing her eyes and thinks, "It feels warm."

Shinji witnesses what's transpiring while thinking with his smile, "I definitely made the right choice." His conduct suddenly alters as he steers his attention towards the right side and keeps his thoughts going while having an emotionless expression. "If I had chosen to live in a world that I could control everything, nothing would've been real."

Asuka's smiling as she's watching Rei and Misato hug each other. The blue-eyed chick then registers Shinji's behavior and becomes a bit concerned as her head is turned while mentally commenting, "He hasn't changed. He's still that spineless idiot, who I've come to..." Asuka blushes before finishing that thought and rapidly shakes her head with her eyes shut. She soon stops while determination takes shape and yells out as she administers her gaze onto Shinji again. "Hey, idiot! What's with the face?!"

Shinji quickly makes eye contact with Asuka while substantially caught off guard.

Both Misato and Rei focus on Asuka as well while letting go of each other and have a surprised expression.

Asuka solemnly glares at Shinji as she puts both of her hands on her hips. "Well whatever is bothering you, get over it! You just saved the world for Christ's sake, so stop being so depressing all the time!"

After hearing Asuka's statement, Shinji continues being quite surprised until slightly grinning at her while wholeheartedly replying. "You're right, Asuka. Thank you."

Asuka confidently smiles and nods. "Of course I'm right! Did you forget who I am?!"

Shinji chuckles as he shakes his head. "Never. I would never forget who you are, Asuka."

Misato giggles while taking a step forward. "Now that we have been reunited and expressed our happiness, I think it's time for us to go check on everyone else, don't you think?"

All three children look at her and nod in agreement.

Misato smirks as she nods too and declares with a lot of enthusiasm amidst doing a fist-pump with her right hand, "Let's go then!"

The quartet promptly journey towards Central Dogma, eventually getting there. Once they do, Maya, Hyuga and Aoba are immediately viewed standing together at Maya's post. In the Sub-Commander's case, Fuyutsuki is stationed where he and Gendo are always at during an angel attack.

Maya sees Misato and the pilots prior to yelling out of joy as she rushes to them. "You're all alright! I'm so relieved!"

Asuka nods with confidence. "Of course! You didn't think that I would let it end like that!"

Rei retorts to Asuka's boasting with a bland tone as she's looking away from her. "But it was Shinji who saved everyone."

Asuka becomes quite aggravated and issues an intense glare at Rei. "Yeah, but he didn't have to fight against NINE Evas! And I was owning those bastards until they cheated!"

Rei rests her concentration toward Asuka while retaining her demeanor from before. "That sounds like an excuse, Soryu."

Asuka gets even more annoyed and shouts while closing her good eye as she clenches her hands. "At least I did something!" A solemn look establishes itself on the 2nd Child while aiming her left hand at Rei. "What did you do?!"

Rei rebuttals bluntly, "I helped Ikari return."

Asuka's irritation appears yet again while pointing her finger down and thinks, "Damn... Did I just lose that argument?"

Shinji abruptly walks toward Asuka, having an apologetic expression, as he's looking at her. "I'm sorry, Asuka."

Asuka locks her vision upon Shinji with astonishment briefly shown before getting very annoyed and gives him a fierce glare as she asks, "Why are you apologizing again?!"

Shinji looks down at the floor while making a sad expression. "If I wasn't so pathetic, I would've figured out a way to get out there sooner and prevented what happened to you."

Asuka continues to be a bit irritated prior to sighing and pushes his right shoulder with her left hand, which easily obtains Shinji's concentration while somewhat surprised. The German character then says with a sincere smile, "Don't worry about it, Stupid Shinji. You can't change the past, so let's get over it and move on."

Shinji gawks at Asuka, however, ultimately nods with joy emitted. "Okay."

At the same time, Misato's smiling while watching the pilots until discerning out of the corner of her left eye that Ritsuko and Gendo have recently arrived. This results in her releasing a content outburst after turning to look directly at the doctor. "Ritsuko!"

Maya hurriedly navigates herself toward Ritsuko as she's dumbfounded to depict her and thinks with a light grin while tears start to accumulate under her eyes, "Thank goodness she's alright. I'm so happy."

Ritsuko witnesses Misato and smiles as she detains her walking before calmly replying. "It's good to see that you're alright, Katsuragi."

Misato rushes to Ritsuko and grabs onto Ritsuko's hands to show how happy she is. "Same here! I was actually wondering where you were, but that doesn't matter anymore because you're obviously alright!" She smirks for a moment, but then notices Gendo as this causes her to instantly become quite nervous while relinquishing her grasp of Ritsuko's hands. "Commander! You're alright as well!" Misato salutes him with her right hand while trying to appear professional.

Gendo smirks at Misato. "There's no need for that. Presently, being formal is not that important." He deviates his sight to Asuka with seriousness taking over. "What's important is that we have the 2nd Child checked on. Those wounds may be bandaged, however, they could still have permanent effects." He shifts his focus toward Ritsuko to let her know that she needs to assist Asuka.

Ritsuko acknowledges Gendo's action, nods in response while portraying a nonchalant composition and looks at Asuka with a smile. "Come along." She then turns around and starts to walk away from the others.

As Ritsuko does that, Asuka also nods while smiling and starts to follow Ritsuko.

Shinji suddenly stops right in front of Asuka with nervousness exhibited and focuses at the floor.

Confusion instantly demonstrates itself upon Asuak's expression due to Shinji standing in her pathway while putting her left hand on her hip as she inquires with curiosity included to her voice, "What is it, Shinji?"

Shinji hesitates for a moment and soon looks up at Asuka while continuing to be a tad nervous. "Is it alright that I go with you?"

Asuka's surprised by Shinji's unexpected request while blushing a little bit. She then looks away while trying to regain her composure and shouts with an exasperated tone, "Do what you want!" Asuka marches right passed Shinji while trying to catch up to Ritsuko.

Shinji turns around to watch Asuka walk away and has a faint grin as he follows her.

Misato cocks her left eyebrow as she thinks while slightly bewildered, "That's a first. I would've never thought Shinji would have been so bold to show he wants to accompany Asuka for her sake." The Colonel cheerfully smiles. "I guess Shinji wants Asuka to see how much he cares. I think that it would be for the best Asuka realizes that there's actually someone who does."

Fuyutsuki watches on from the same spot with a grin. Then, the phone that's connected to that area suddenly rings, which causes the elderly individual to look at it with a hint of worry, as he thinks, "Who could that possibly be?" He answers the phone and places it on his right ear while holding it via his right hand and calmly states, "Fuyutsuki."

Kaji's voice comes through while having a content tone. "It's good to hear that you're alive. That must mean Instrumentality failed."

Fuyutsuki's eyes widen from surprise as he's peering at the floor and says in a whisper, "This couldn't be...!"

Kaji laughs amidst standing in the room he was killed in and is holding his cellular to his left ear with his shoulder. "It is. I'm back."

Fuyutsuki's overcome with disbelief while gazing towards the ceiling, unable to control his volume when saying, "But how?! You're suppose to be dead!"

Due to Fuyutsuki's outburst being quite loud, Misato overhears it and looks at him with concern.

Kaji smiles while leaning up against the wall with a big fan on it and holds his cellular with his left hand. "The only thing I can come up with is that I was brought back by whoever had control during the 3rd Impact. Or at least that person gave me the option to return." He pauses for a moment as he views his right hand while slowly opening it and closing it . Kaji then ceases while putting his limb down and questions with curiosity showing on his face, "By the way, is Misato there?"

Fuyutsuki focuses towards Misato, who's still staring at him with curiosity, and rebuttals in a blunt manner, "Yes. Obviously, you want to let her know that you're back."

Kaji keeps on smiling while switching his attention toward the ceiling. "I'd really appreciate that, if you don't mind."

Fuyutsuki nods to himself. "Alright." The Sub-Commander moves the phone away from his ear and, with his left hand, motions Misato to advance toward him. "There's someone who would like to talk to you, Colonel."

That causes Misato to be a tad confused as she commences walking to Fuyutsuki and takes the phone from him when she reaches the man. After Fuyutsuki gives her the phone, he goes pass her and travels toward Gendo while making a vaguely serious conduct. Once he reaches Gendo, Fuyutsuki stands next to him and whispers as he's observing Misato, "You would never guess who's on the phone."

Gendo portrays a solemn attitude while looking at Fuyutsuki out of the corner of his left eye. "Is that so?"

Misato holds up the phone to her right ear with minor confusion exhibited at who could want to talk to her. "Katsuragi here."

Kaji chuckles to himself. "I never thought I would hear your beautiful voice again."

Misato's in shock as she slowly drops the phone while attentive of what's in front of her and thinks with disbelief brimming, "No way! It couldn't be him!"

Kaji's voice comes from the phone while sounding a bit concerned. "Misato! Hey, Misato! Are you still there?! I heard a thump!"

Misato starts to panic, trying to pick up the phone, and places it upon her left ear while hyperventilating a tad. "Is it really you?!"

Kaji replies with a caring tone. "Yes, Misato. It's me."

Misato tries to prevent the urge to cry while covering her mouth with her right hand as she thinks, "Oh my God! He's back! I can't believe it" She then shuts her eyes while still thinking to herself. "I don't know how, but thank God he's back!"

Kaji looks down at the floor. "Misato. I'll be there as soon as possible. There's a lot I want to talk to you about. A bunch of things I want to tell you to be precise."

Misato lowers her hand and smiles as she opens her eyes while saying with sincerity, "I look forward to it."

Rei observes Misato with no real emotion displayed as she thinks, "If I'm correct, due to Ikari's desire to be with everyone and to remain in this world, people who had even died before the 3rd Impact have returned. However, that depends on how much time has passed since their death." She temporarily pauses while setting her eyes towards the opposite direction and thinks, "Unfortunately, some unwanted people are included in that."

Concurrently, Maya's staring at her computer while very surprised and yells out, "This is unbelievable! The JSSDF are alive as well, but it seems like they're retreating!"

Aoba swiftly walks up to Maya and looks at her with an expression of disbelief. "But why would they just leave?! If they wanted to, they could attack us and finish us off!"

Fuyutsuki glimpses at Maya and Aoba for a moment before concentrating on Gendo while crossing his arms. "What do you think, Ikari?"

Gendo glances at Fuyutsuki while quite serious. "I have a good idea who could be behind this. After all, if we're back, it should also apply to them. They didn't achieve their goal entirely."

The focus promptly changes and we now see that SEELE has returned too with Chairmen Keel standing ahead of a desk while surrounded by the 11 black Monoliths that says "Sound Only". These Monoliths obviously represent that every member of SEELE are alive. All members are currently in the same dark room they have been when confronting Gendo with Fuyutsuki normally at his side prior to the 3rd Impact, and this is the same room they were residing during the 3rd Impact.

Keel has an emotionless demeanor as he analyzes his body and thinks, "I'm a full-fledged human again..." He then peers at his fellow members with his hands behind his back. "I have notified the Governor of Japan that NERV is no longer a threat, and to have the JSSDF pull out from there."

SEELE 03 immediately inquires with a stern tone, "Are you sure that was wise?"

SEELE 08 adds in a stern tone as well, "He's right. Wouldn't it be better to have the JSSDF finish them off?"

Keel shakes his head. "No." The visor-wearing gentleman starts to pace back and forth while maintaining his hands behind his back. "Without them, it would be nearly impossible to try Instrumentality again. We will need them while, at the same time, we'll be using our ace in the hole."

SEELE 06 calmly states, "If you think that's the only choice, then we have to do it."

SEELE 02 joins into the conversation while sounding a bit annoyed. "But I hate the thought of having to rely on our ace."

Keel halts his pacing and turns to SEELE 02 thanks to his monolith being towards the left of Keel. "Well fortunately, I found out that an old friend of ours is back as wll. He's on his way to the 4th Branch as we speak." He smirks while viewing the other members. "Also, we still have a few tricks up our sleeves, however first, we must leave this facility and leave nothing here to give them any hints to where we're going."

SEELE 12 promptly asks with concern, "So does that signify that we will be departing from Japan?"

Keel turns his head towards the left to look at SEELE 12 from behind him and nods. "Of course. Ikari most likely knows that we're still alive. It would be too much of a risk to remain here when he already knows our current location."

SEELE 09 says with an arrogant tone, "It doesn't matter that much that we have to leave. Either way, we will get everything together and make our move soon."

Keel nods in agreement while paying attention to SEELE 09, who's to his right. "That's exactly what we will do."

SEELE 05 hastily questions in a worried manner, "By the way, will we be using our ace right from the beginning or for the end?"

Keel shows indifference while looking up at the ceiling. "Don't fret about it. I'll handle everything involving our ace." He then smirks.

With that said, the focus switches to Asuka , who's being examined by Ritsuko as Shinji is waiting out in the hallway while sitting on a bench. The red-head's going through a complete body check up to verify if there are any other injuries as she's totally naked, sitting down on the clinic's bed and is shielding her breasts with her left arm while crossing her legs. In addition, her right arm has new bandages on and so does her left eye.

Ritsuko looks at Asuka with a grin while holding up a clipboard and a pen. "Why are you covering up?"

Asuka gives Ritsuko an irritated expression. "Because that pervert is outside and he could peep in here at any moment!"

Ritsuko laughs while shutting her eyes and says happily, "Well it's good that the ordeal you went through hasn't changed you."

Asuka frowns, gazing towards the left out of the corner of her eyes. "True, but everything I did was pointless. I wanted to beat those bastards, and yet, I failed once again as a pilot."

Ritsuko alters her behavior because of what she recently heard as she opens her eyes with sadness resonating. "I comprehend that you went through hell, however if it wasn't for all your effort, we would've been defeated much faster and Shinji probably wouldn't have succeeded to do anything."

Asuka scoffs and mounts her sight toward Ritsuko again. "Sure. Now that I think about it, Shinji had done something disgusting while I was in a coma. I should still be mad at him."

Ritsuko makes a confused expression while putting the hand that's holding the pen, which is the left hand, on her hip. "How would you know that if you were in a coma?"

A hint of sadness envelopes Asuka. "I saw a vision of it during 3rd Impact." She laughs lightly and drops her head. "But I'm actually over it. After what I went through, something like that simply confirms that he likes my body, that's all." She giggles.

Ritsuko's confusion persists as she thinks, "What the hell exactly happened between those two?! I never thought Asuka would forgive Shinji for something that he did, especially if she even says that it was disgusting!"

At the same time, Shinji's revealed to be standing behind the clinic's door, possessing his right ear against the door, while currently crying softly to himself with his eyes closed as he's thinking, "Thank you, Asuka!" He clenches his right fist amidst placing it on the door and whispers to himself, "I'll be sure to make it up to you."

Asuka looks up at Ritsuko with curiosity radiating. "So how am I?"

Ritsuko views the table prior to perching the clipboard and pen onto it. She then looks at Asuka with an assuring smirk. "You're fine. You'll have to keep the bandages on for about a month since you did receive physical damage from the high sync ratio with your Eva."

Asuka sighs out of relief as she tilts her head upward and shouts joyfully, "Thank goodness!" The teen stands up while containing her good eye shut as she persists covering herself. Afterwards, Asuka opens her eye and steers herself clockwise. "Now I can put on some clothes before that pervert decides to peep."

Ritsuko giggles. "You mean gown. I was notified while you were taking your plugsuit off that your clothes that were in the locker room were destroyed. You can thank the JSSDF for that."

Asuka's immediately baffled while turning to Ritsuko once more. "Mein Gott! You can't be serious?! I don't want to wear a freaking gown!"

Ritsuko releases another giggle. "It's either that or you go home naked."

Asuka commandeers herself away from Ritsuko with irritation taking over. "Gown it is!" She briefly pauses while peering at the ceiling and then utters with intrigue, "Hey, where am I, Shinji and Misato going to live? I doubt any place in Tokyo-03 is intact."

Ritsuko calmly answers Asuka without hesitation. "Don't worry about that. There are actually a lot of housings in the Geofront for NERV Personnel. It's actually in the lower levels, so I doubt they are destroyed or were even affected."

Asuka navigates her head to look at Ritsuko one more time. "I guess we'll be living there from now on, huh?"

Ritsuko shrugs while smiling. "Perhaps. We'll have to hear what the Commander has to say about that."

Asuka also shrugs as she turns her head onward and walks to the closet that has the gown. "Alright."

Shinji moves his ear away from the door and leans against it while observing the floor as he spaces out. "I guess in a way, we will be starting over." He looks up at the ceiling. "There's no helping it." Shinji smirks. "This will be my second chance. I better not waste it."

The scene changes back to focus on a conversation between Misato, Gendo, Fuyutsuki and everyone else who's presently in Central Dogma.

Misato's mildly concerned while having her eyes on Gendo. "So what are we going to do? Right now, Tokyo-03 is in a vulnerable state. We should make the plans to repair the city and the Geofront as quick as we can."

Gendo sternly nods at Misato. "You are correct, Colonel. But first, Fuyutsuki and I will go see the Governor of Japan to talk about our current situation." He looks at Fuyutsuki. "Hopefully, they don't abandon us similar to Old Tokyo." Gendo instills his focus toward Maya, Hyuga and Aoba. "You all will notify Tokyo-02 that everyone over here is well and that it's safe to return to help with reconstruction."

Maya demonstrates uncertainty as she directs her gaze toward Gendo. "Tokyo-02? Who's in Tokyo-02?"

Misato calmly looks at Maya while folding her arms across her midsection. "I'm not surprised that you didn't know. The thing is that when the civilians left Tokyo-03, they were told to go to Tokyo-02 so they would possess a moderately safe place to stay for a short period of time." The jacket-wearing woman glances towards the ceiling while pensively thinking, "Huh, I can contact the Horoki family and get Pen-Pen back." She smiles to herself.

Hyuga looks at Gendo with concern showing. "How have they been living there, Commander? I thought the power supply to Tokyo-02 was disconnected."

Gendo veers his attention to Hyuga. "Indeed, it was disconnected. We had it reconnected for them to live there, although it's only temporary thanks to Tokyo-02 supplies being low. This is why you all must to notify them to return because with some of their help, and hopefully the help from the government, we can rebuild Tokyo-03." He then looks at everyone. "Once reconstruction of the city is finished, we will also rebuild the Evas."

Due to him saying that last part, everyone in Central Dogma gasp out of astonishment.

Misato takes a step towards Gendo as she uncrossed her arms. "What?! But why would we need to rebuild the Evas?!"

Gendo looks at Misato. "Because SEELE is alive as well."

That answer from Gendo causes Misato to be in shock for a moment while maneuvering backwards a little.

Hyuga depicts Misato's reaction and asks with a curious tone while continuing to be quite concerned, "Who's SEELE?"

Misato becomes very irritated as she's clenching her fists and says with a serious tone, "They're the ones who are responsible for this."

Hyuga softly gasps after hearing what Misato had just said while being stunned.

Misato continues to speak with nothing changing from her conduct. "They most likely were pulling the strings of the JSSDF to attack us. They are the ones to blame for all of this."

Fuyutsuki solemnly aims his attention at Misato. "This is why myself and Commander Ikari will talk to the Governor. We need to make him understand that SEELE was manipulating the entire government and the JSSDF to create 3rd Impact." He momentarily grows silent while sighing. "Pray that he will give us the time of day and believe us."

Gendo confidently gazes at Fuyutsuki. "He will. Once I tell him everything, he AND the government will not want anything to do with SEELE ever again." The Commander suddenly becomes worried while looking away from Fuyutsuki by turning his head towards the left. "Although, we need to find out what happened to Unit 01, so we can get it running."

Misato makes an expression of realization. "Oh, that's right. I forgot to tell you that Unit 01 is in the lake that's full of blood." She promptly composes herself. "The children told me it had crashed in there when we were reunited, but that it's in a sort of fossilized state." Misato gets a bit worried as she says that last part.

Gendo looks at Misato with a hint of bewilderment showing for a brief second until seriousness quickly arises again as he nods. "At least we still have it. As soon as we get the help of the Government, we will work on restoring Unit 01."

Following that, Ritsuko, Shinji and Asuka walk in with the two pilots immediately going toward Misato while Ritsuko positions herself beside Maya, who's still at her post.

Misato looks at Asuka with concern. "What did Ritsuko say about your injuries?"

Asuka smiles while pointing at herself with her left thumb with confidence brimming. "That I'll be alright after I let my wounds heal for a month!" The red-head yells out happily while extending out her left arm towards the area it pertains to with her hand open to make a pose. "You see! Nothing can stop me!"

As a result of hearing how proudly Asuka said that, everyone else laughs while watching pn.

Misato grins, but eventually demonstrates curiosity mixed with concern when she notices Shinji and asks him, "How about you?"

Shinji gives her a light smirk while seeming a bit nervous. "Well... Dr. Akagi didn't check me, but it's because there's nothing physically wrong with me."

Misato portrays irritation and concentrates on Ritsuko. "But what about something mental?! Why didn't you examine if he's fine mentally?!"

Ritsuko shows a small sum of annoyance due to Misato's outburst. "Because it doesn't seem like he has any mental issues. Anyway, if there are some problems with Shinji's mentality later on, he can come and see me." The doctor turns her attention to Shinji with a faint smile. "Right, Shinji?"

Shinji smiles at her and nods while being a little confident.

Gendo lackadaisically directs his sight to Shinji and thinks, "I'm really sorry for putting you through so much, Shinji." He suddenly makes an expression out of realization and then calmly looks at Misato while saying to her, "You can take the pilots to one of the apartments we have in the lower level, Colonel."

Misato sharply nods at Gendo as she smiles. "That's what I was planning on doing soon." The female adult looks at Shinji and Asuka while saying to Gendo, "They're obviously tired."

Rei's filled by uncertainty as she watches the trio.

Gendo notices Rei's demeanor and smirks. "Rei. You'll be going with them." Him saying that causes the children to look at the Commander while greatly surprised as he specifically views Misato shortly after and is quite serious. "If that is alright with you, Colonel."

Misato smiles again upon listening to Gendo's words. "That's fine by me." She then looks at Asuka and Shinji while saying with slightly curiosity in her voice, "You guys are okay with that, right?"

Shinji and Asuka shake a look with each other while continually surprised before reverting their focus to Misato as they firmly nod amidst smiling.

Rei's astonishment increases as she sees her companions response and then looks back at Gendo while somewhat concerned. "Are you sure?"

Gendo instantly delivers a nod. "Yes. You all will live in the biggest apartment that we have and once Mr. Kaji returns, he'll obviously join you."

Everyone except Misato and Fuyutsuki abruptly gasp from shock

Asuka quickly turns to Misato and screams out in disbelief. "KAJI'S ALIVE?!"

Misato looks at Asuka with a smile and nods while trying not to cry from joy. "Yes. He's back."

Asuka screams out of delight while holding back tears as well.

Meanwhile, Shinji continues to be surprised as he witnesses Misato and Asuka's attitude.

Rei promptly situates herself in front of Shinji to give him a warm smile while calmly informing the 3rd Child, "It's because of your desire to return to be with everyone that he's back as well."

Shinji's amazed by what Rei said. "Really?!"

Misato unprecedentedly runs up to Shinji and hugs him. She holds him tightly as a few tears go down her face while whispering, "Thank you, Shinji. Thank you for bringing him back."

Shinji's stunned for a moment, but soon grins and replies in a low volume, "You're welcome, Misato."

Asuka exhibits a minuscule amount of wariness as she watches Shinja and Misato while thinking, "So Misato missed Kaji just as much as I did." She temporarily pauses while attentive of the floor and keeps her thought process going. "No... I'm wrong. She missed him even more because she truly loves him. What I have for Kaji is an immature crush that I thought was love, but..." Asuka begins staring at Misato while grinning. "She truly loves him with all her heart."

That special moment steadily ends with Misato and the children all journeying to the apartment that they were issued. Once they get there, they don't even think about doing anything but change their clothes and go to bed. Even without contemplating about taking a shower or even eating since they are all so exhausted. The quartet will leave any thoughts of making the apartment officially their home for tomorrow and hopefully they will see their friends and Kaji very soon. At the same time, Gendo and Fuyutsuki make their plan to go see the Governor as the day that they thought would never end, let alone end happily, indeed did conclude on a bit of a happy note.

To Be Continued...

Ending Statement:

I know! This episode ended up being REALLY long while it took me three days to finally finish it. I had to fit in a whole bunch of explanation and bring people back so that's why it's this long. In the next episode, I'll bring the last bit of important characters back from the NGE series and verify where I will be going from there. No real action will occur until the Evas are rebuilt and I get some drama/romance through, so please bear with me for the next few episodes. But I will promise that it will not take me more than the 5th episode for me to have some action happen, so seriously, PLEASE BEAR WITH ME!

That's it. Talk to you all later.