Simulation on, for the young Eva pilots testing them, on Angel attacks and protecting Tokyo Japan from any danger that comes across the city. Shinji, Rei, and Asuka kept a firm steady hand on the objective ahead trying to keep their cool.
Shinji took a couple deep breaths before moving ahead ignoring Asuka constant babbling, while Rei remained silent and focused. Patrolling the wide open fields in different directions, it was only a matter of time before the enemy could strike.
Out of the blue, Bardiel, the Thirteenth angel, appeared out of the shades. It mimicked the Eva's every move and countered back with his attack. Off course, Asuka wouldn't let up with a fight as she persisted. Shinji and Rei fired multiple shots at beast.
Asuka caught Bardiel from behind using Shinji and Rei as a distraction. All three pilots impaled the angel in the chest with their combat knives, therefore defeated the angel. After a few flashes, the simulation had ended.
"Test compete, congratulations Eva pilots, you passed the test." Ritsuko complemented.
"We did a good job today, I wish I could say the same about Shinji. You were still slow." Asuka replied once again criticizing Shinji.
All three Eva pilots showered, washing the nervous sweat from their bodies, and then changed into their street clothes. It was another day's work for them. Even if it wasn't real angel attack, the simulation made it very realistic. The pilots have now reached maturity at the two years passed; their growth may have changed, but not their personality's traits, only slightly.
"I better get out of here; just your presence alone is contagious." Asuka said straighten her dress. Shinji walked passed Asuka insult as it was nothing more but dust of wind. That only made her scowl further, "Hey stupid are you even listening?"
"Yes Asuka, I heard you the first time." Shinji continued to walk. "So what else is new?"
Asuka raise a perfect eyebrow at Shinji's response, surprised at the fact he wasn't bothered a bit by her combats. He didn't even get defensive. "Whatever Shinji, don't forget our lunches tomorrow."
Responding Shinji waved his hand, while continuing to walk.
Driving from the headquarters in Misato's car, Shinji stared at the peaceful scenery of Japan. But with the continuing angel battle, he didn't know if there would ever stay the same. Misato put her hand on his shoulder and asked, "You okay tough guy? It's okay to get defensive once in a while."
"I'm not bothered by Asuka at all Misato." Shinji replied. "I'm just wondering, will it always be like this? Even after these years, we're nowhere even close to defeating the angels completely."
Misato stared at Shinji for a second knowing that was not the case. She not only admired his growth, but also his personality, no longer was he the shy, timid, and mentally disturbed boy as last time. He became more aware, competent, somewhat optimistic, determined and pretty mature for his age. Even his hair was had grown to his neck and was the same height as Misato as well as deeper voice.
Changing gears, "So Shinji, are you going to cook your curry surprise for me tonight if I get the ingredients."
Now his mind of the Angels had disappeared, "Um okay, I will."
"And don't skip out on the species, which is what gives it its flavor."
"Sure Misato whatever you say, just as long as you ease up on your drinking weather its inside or out." He reminded. "I wouldn't want you throwing up on me like you did last time."
"That was an accident and besides I said I was sorry."
"Ritsuko said you drunk yourself silly until you passed out at the bar and she had to drive you home. You were even talking in your sleep about missing Kaji."
That only made Misato blush further, she never thought that anyone, not even Shinji would get on her embarrassing side. Not wanting to deny it further, she gave Shinji was jab on the shoulder to hide her awkward moment. "I see your body isn't the only thing that's grown, but your altitude as well. It seems like that year of psych consoling really did the trick."
"You really think so?" he asked shyly. I'm sorry about that if I ever came off as annoying sometime with your lectures."
Misato winked, "Oh don't be, I'm pretty dependent on it."
They continued their conversation through the high amount of traffic on the road. Now after the two years Shinji and Misato began to talk more despite living under the same roof. Still being close as they are, they always took care of each other like a family and so on. It was once again just the two of them, since Asuka had moved out, because she could not stand the sight of living with pervert like Shinji.
"Yee-haw, that's the stuff. I've been waiting of." Misato drunk herself silly with her typical beer in can.
Once again, what was wrong with caffeine or juice? But nope, not to Misato, beer was her only beverage. With every cug, Shinji sighed in hopelessness over her usual behavior. After the last sauce, Shinji served Misato her plate of rice and curry even giving some to Pen-Pen, Misato pet penguin.
She was right nonetheless. He did feel himself change a great deal. Two years ago, Misato recommended a psychiatrist to Shinji (to his reluctant) to help him on the battlefield and myself. Even if he didn't want to do it, he accepted it all the way, so her money won't be wasted.
And after session-by-session of treatment, he became calmer and more relax, then last time. And he doesn't even let his father get the best of him now. He remembered each session with Dr. Alkaido, Shinji's personal female counselor, at Tokyo's Mental Ward.
With her years of experience, she dived into the deep dept. of Shinji's young mind through hours of hypnosis. There were even parts of his mind that even made her jaw drop considerably, because how he really was inside his complex mind. Even she reached her limited on how much time she had with him, which made her get out of the room sometime.
Through meditation and stress inducing exercises, she was able to gain his confidents up if only by little and even have mental breakdown. This caused him to open up to her by with ease and realize he can't always guilt himself. It lasted for almost a year in half.
Back to reality, Misato had just finished up her plate and left the dishes in Shinji's hands. She tossed Shinji her t-shirt on his head. "I'm going to jump in the shower Shinji, be sure to bring some clean bras and panties out of the dryer. And another beer, if you please."
Shinji rolled his eyes at the sudden request, but accepted nonetheless. No longer did he ever get flushed doing women's laundry after living with two girls. Asuka would have bashed Shinji painfully if he'd ever touch her clothes much less her underwear, but Misato didn't mind one bit. "Fine, Misato."
Shinji became more of the handy man around the small apartment, always cleaning up the messes Misato had made. It usually consisted of junk food, dirty clothes and empty beer cans.
"Good morning Shinji!" two of Shinji's friends greeted at the front door Toji and Kensuke. Off course, they only come to greet Misato more jealous that Shinji and her were still living together after two years.
"I'm going now Misato." He says.
"Have a good day at school Shinji-dear. And don't forget to come straight home after school."
"Shinji-dear?" Toji and Kensuke inquired looking at Shinji with suspicious eyes.
"It's just something she calls me, no matter I much I tell her to stop. But I'm used to it right about now, no big deal." Shinji explained to avoid any misunderstandings or further jealously.
Now in high school, things were more abnormal. Shinji, Rei and Asuka were now high school sophomores. While Asuka still stood out for being the most popular foreign girl at school, Shinji and Rei had remained in the shadows as they were still the people that were passed by.
"Thank you Shinji, your usefulness is greatly appreciated." Asuka said accepting her box lunch from Shinji.
"You're welcome Asuka." Shinji replied feeling both appreciative and insulted at the same time, but he'll take what he can get.
After an hour of lectures, Shinji stood on the school roof staring at the sun quietly holding an ice coffee. He was not yet used to be in large crowds, so upstairs was his only hangout spot, just to get away from it all. Asuka ranting, boys praising the new pretty girls, quiet and awkward students, were all still distractions to him. And his psychiatrist did recommend being in quiet environment.
"Hey Shinji you want to hang out?" Toji inquired for the first time. "There's this new karaoke place that opened up downtown. Kensuke and I are heading there for a couple of tracks and some grub."
Shinji looked at them for a while, feeling shocked and honored. Then again he had nothing better to do, while Misato worked, so he accepted with nod. And he was sure Misato wouldn't mind being out late, he couldn't let a chance like this go by. Being a teen, he now made his own decisions.
"So Shinji, how does it feel now?" Kensuke asked.
"You know what I mean, you and Misato living alone together, and Asuka out of the house."
"It's still the same as ever Kensuke. Just two simple roommates living together, she takes care of one thing I take care of the other things same-old-same-old. What's the big deal?"
"Oh nothing, I'm just wondering."
"So are we going to sing our mouths off our what?" Toji remained with the book of tracks and the microphone in his hand.
"Then let's party to our high school year." Kensuke cheered. "And you're going to sing too Shinji, even if you're not a strong singer."
Shinji arrived home 9:00 pm, hopefully Misato was sleep at this time, so he snuck inside quietly. However, she caught him reaching his room drinking her beer in her nightgown. "Nice night to be out late isn't it?"
"Hey Misato." Shinji greeted nervously.
"I specifically said to come straight home. Where were you?"
Feeling like he did nothing wrong, he answered bluntly, "I was hanging out with my friends, they offered me to join them at party and I did."
"And that's a reason to neglect your duties? They offer you something and you go with it?"
"Hey like you, I have social life aside from being Eva pilot."
She sighed conceding to Shinji response. "I suppose your right. I already kept you from your school field trips; I can't keep you in cage forever. After all you are growing up."
"Are you mad?"
"Not as much as I should be, just remember to call when you're going to be out late, okay." Misato tapped his upper lip. He went red with Misato so close to him with half of her breast exposed and no bra. It sent a sudden shiver in his heart. "Yes ma'am, good night." He left Misato's side quickly.
Staying behind his door, Shinji placed his hand over his heart and asked himself, "What did I feel just now?"