Chapter 22: Two Years Ago, Part 2: First Date

Introduction: I won't even tell you guys how upset I am with the lack of votes to my poll. Maybe it was a mistake to do a poll? Or are all of you (except for 3 of you) are just flat out lazy (or ignorant) or too 'busy'? Maybe I should put this story on hiatus with Chapter 25 or 26 as punishment? I do have two other stories to work on. I'll put some serious thought into it.

And with great reluctance…

Here's the original planned chapter…


Two Years Ago

Saturday, June 8th, 2019

Misato's Apartment

4:29PM

"ARGH!"

Misato tossed her blue dress down onto her futon and face palmed. She had no clue what to wear and Shinji would arrive soon to pick her up at six. Standing in the middle f her bedroom wearing only a pair of black lace lingerie, she grumbled incoherent words to herself.

She took a deep and loud sigh and walked over to her closet for the tenth time in the last hour. She pulled out another outfit, this one was a light blue blouse and black skirt, making a disgusted face, and placed it back on the hanger. Combing through her wardrobe, she scanned for something that would look good on her.

Though she also knew that Shinji didn't care how she looked. He had once told her during his birthday lunch a year ago that no girl at their school compared to her. Of course, he said it in a panic and with a stuttering voice, but nevertheless, she knew it meant he found her attractive despite the age difference.

After that she started feeling different about herself, she couldn't quite pinpoint what it was in the beginning, but she started to cut down on her drinking and partied a little less. She also tried to eat healthier and drink more water and diet sodas. As time progressed she noticed changes in her physical appearance and actually had more energy.

She quickly realized, especially when graduation came closer, that the reason for her sudden change was Shinji and how he looked at her differently than the other girls he knew. She also realized that she was becoming more attracted to him, and it wasn't just a physical one, but she was also attracted to his kindness, sensitivity, genuine desire to make those around him happy, his sense of humor, even if I wasn't always there for all to see. And last, it was his heart, that she thought was bigger than the earth it self. How he loved everyone and treated people right, especially her. However, because of the possibility of being branded a pedophiliac, she held back how she felt about him and waited until he was of legal age.

Now, he was a freshly turned eighteen year old and she could get away with going on a date with him and even kissing him in public. The fact that he asked her out yesterday afternoon gave credibility to her decision to be patient and hope that her Shinji would finally ask her out.

After looking through her closet for another few moments, she smiled broadly at finally finding the outfit she wanted to wear tonight. Pulling it out she looked at it and realized it was dress she hadn't worn in years.

Turning with the dress in both hands, she walked over to her full-length mirror and pressed it to her. She smiled and realized she had picked the right one.

"Alright!" She murmured to herself as she spun around and giggled, she then plopped onto her queen-sized bed and hugged the dress to her body, smiling and humming. Closing her eyes she knew it was perfect and given how Shinji told her over the phone to pick out something nice to wear, she was glad she kept it.

"Just have to find my strapless bra and put some make-up on…" She told herself as she counted down the minutes to her first real date since college.


Shinji's Room

5:01PM

He smiled at himself as looked over his choice of wear for his much anticipated date with the woman of his dreams. He held a red tie in his hand and his belt with the other. He had chosen to wear a white dress shirt, black slacks, while his black blazer was on a hanger in his closet. His black dress shoes were sitting in the shoe rack at the front door.

"Looking sharp, honey." Came a sweet voice from his doorway.

He turned to his right and saw his mom, Yui, standing in the doorway with a towel draped over her shoulder, as usually did when she was cleaning something or cooking. She smiled sweetly at him and nodded her head in approval of his near complete look for the evening.

"Thanks." He told her sheepishly and with a blush. He unfurled his collar and than started to slip his belt on.

She simply smiled in response and watched as he slipped his belt on and then attempted to tie his tie. He struggled and nervously looked at his reflection and saw himself mess up the Windsor knot, half Windsor, Pratt, and the Four In Hand knots and somehow even combined some of them. He again focused his eyes on his Mom who watched with mild amusement.

"Do you need my help?" Yui asked politely.

Shinji sighed and nodded his head in defeat. "Can you?"

Yui smiled and walked up to him holding her hand out for the little red piece of fabric. Shinji handed it to her; grateful he didn't have to ask his Dad for help. He knew he'd probably give out some crazy advice or offer tips on how to reach 'home base'.

Shinji stood straight as his Mom wrapped the tie around his neck in a Windsor knot. After finishing her work, she straightened it out a little and adjusted his collar. She pulled away and smiled.

"Now we need the blazer and your all set." Yui proclaimed.

"It's in the closet." Shinji told her, pointing at where it was located inside.

Yui walked over and took the blazer off the hanger and brought it over. Shinji turned around and Yui helped him slip it on. He turned back around and she helped him straighten it out and make some adjustments. She pulled back one last time and grinned.

"I know that Misato will love how you look." Yui told him.

Shinji turned his head and smiled at his reflection, he certainly looked good, but he wasn't quite sure how handsome he was. Taking a deep breath he thanked his Mom and he walked out with her following behind him.

As Shinji cut through the living room to the shoe rack, he noticed his Dad was calmly reading a scientific journal. He paused and observed him for a moment, unsure of what to say. He decided it was best to at least say something, anything.

"I'm heading out, Dad." Shinji calmly said.

Gendo lifted his head up from the journal and looked at his son and studied him closely. They stared at each other for another few seconds before Yui, standing beside her husband, glared at him. Gendo, knowing she was standing beside him felt small beads of sweat drip down his temple and gulped.

"Looking quite dapper." Gendo said meekly.

Shinji raised an eyebrow and frowned. "Thanks, Dad."

Shinji turned and sat down to put his shoes on. He heard his Dad cough and he looked up at him in the middle of tying them.

"Dad?"

Gendo pulled his collar with two fingers and exhaled. "Shinji… I've never been good… With this sort of thing…"

Shinji looked at his Dad slightly puzzled, but nodded his head to let him continue. He peered over at his Mom who was now crossing her arms and wondering what her husband was going to say to their only child.

"However, I want you…" Gendo lowered his head and stared at the floor. Gendo knew this would be hard, but he never thought it would be this hard. He felt like he was pulling his own teeth and their was an incredible amount of resistance. Realizing it was his own self-doubt as a Father cropping up, he decided to suck it up. He furrowed his brow, then shook himself and looked at his son.

"To have fun and just be yourself." He let out quickly before sighing in relief. Yui was stunned by what he just said and Shinji looked at him like he had two heads.

"Um, thanks…." Shinji said, trying to say something to prevent any awkward moments.

"Your… welcome." Gendo let out slowly, he then stood quickly and wrapped his arms around his son in a tight embrace. Shinji didn't return the embrace very quickly and felt his chin rest on his Dad's shoulder. He looked at his Mom for some type of assistance.

"Now, dear…" Yui said as she pulled Gendo away. "Let him go so he can leave."

"Oh," Gendo said rubbing the back of his head and turning slightly red. "Sorry."

Yui smiled brightly and watched as Shinji picked up the things he needed and headed for the door. Before turning the knob, he turned to face his parents and smiled at them.

"Shinji!" Gendo called out before he opened the door.

"Huh?" Shinji replied.

"I put something in your jacket pocket for later." Gendo told him sheepishly and with a bead of sweat dripping down the side of his face. Yui eyes went slightly open upon hearing what he said.

Shinji reached into his jacket pocket on the left and felt two small packets linked together, he knew right away what it was. He looked up at parents and saw his Mom slightly fuming. He decided it was best to leave now before any possible beatings would ensue.

"Well, um, I'll be home in a few hours." Shinji swallowed and opened the door. "Bye."

"See you, sweety." Yui called out as she watched the door slam shut. After waiting a few brief moments, she turned her head at Gendo and narrowed her eyes at him.

Gendo pursed his lips and more sweat came down his head. "Um, is it just me or did it get suddenly hot?"

Yui stared her husband and breathed hard and fast. "Did you give him what I think you gave him?" She asked in a huff.

Gendo gulped loudly and knew he was in trouble. But he couldn't help himself; he figured his son would need a little help tonight if it came to the ultimate act of love.

"Well…" Gendo began.

Yui rolled her eyes and through her hands up. "What ever will I do with you?" She walked over to the kitchen and decided to start dinner.

Gendo breathed a small sigh of relief. He wasn't going to get smacked tonight.

Hopefully.


Misato's Apartment

45 minutes later…

It didn't take as long for Shinji to arrive like he thought it would. As he exited the elevator and walked out onto the floor where Misato's apartment was, he took a deep breath.

This is it. He thought, and started over down the hall where her apartment was located.

As he walked down the hall, he couldn't help but wonder what she chose to wear tonight. How classy would she look? How much make-up? What fragrance?

These questions ran through his mind as he stood in front of the door. He swallowed some air and stuck his chest in a confident manner. He reached up with his fist and gently knocked on the door.

He waited for about minute, yet it felt like an eternity to him. His ears perked up when he heard a familiar soft voice behind the door. He knew it was Misato.

"Who is it?"

"It's Shinji." He said with a hint of a squeak.

"Shinji-kun!"

He heard the locks turn and the door opened slowly. Shinji then gasped at the sight of Misato.

Misato stood in the doorway and was wearing a dark blue dress with no straps, and she had dark blue heels on as well. Shinji noticed she wasn't wearing her piercings for this date, and she had a small amount of make-up on, her red lips looked redder than usual and she had eye liner and a small amount of eye shadow on as well.

"Um, hi, Misato…." Shinji let out, he knew his voice was squeaky this time and he knew his cheeks were turning red, judging from the warmth he felt in his skin. His heart was beating rapidly and he seriously thought it would burst out like in that Tex Avery cartoon.

Oh my god… He thought looking at who he thought was the most gorgeous woman alive. I always knew that Misa-chan was… …but wow!

Misato tried to smile, but also blushed. "Hi, Shinji… Um…." She nervously said. She motioned for him to come in.

Shinji nodded his head and walked in, the door closing behind him and he turned and watched as Misato continued to look at him.

"Shinji, you look…" She paused before calming herself. She then finally smiled at her date. "Handsome."

Shinji felt his heart beat slow down to a reasonable level. He smiled warmly. "Thank you." He came up to her and reached out to grab her hand and held it gently, thumbing the soft skin. "You look incredibly…. …Gorgeous."

Misato smiled broadly and held the younger man's hand. "Thank you, Shinji-kun."

Pulling apart, Misato then walked to her coffee table and picked up a long and black box. She handed to Shinji who took it and examined it for a second.

"Open it." She said and he did so, he looked inside and saw a pearl necklace. Shinji looked up at her and smiled.

"Can you put it on?" Misato said as she turned around and lifted her purple hair exposing the back of her neck to him.

"Sure." Shinji said; he was stunned he wasn't stuttering or fumbling around like he would in these situations. Then again, this was different than what he had been through in the past. And that was a good thing.

Gently pulling out the pearls, he closed the box and placed it on the table. He then slowly and carefully lifted his arms over her head and over onto her neck. He wrapped the necklace around and fastened the hook.

"All done." Shinji said; still amazed by his near perfect performance so far.

Dropping her hair, she turned and smiled at him. She then picked up small handbag and pulled her camera out. She turned it on and looked at Shinji.

"Picture?" She said cheerfully.

Shinji nodded. "Yep."

Misato quickly placed the camera on a counter and looked at the screen. She made sure it was at the perfect angle and everything was centered. Misato then set it up fro two pictures and then set the timer and quickly ran over to her date.

Misato stood close to Shinji and made quick adjustments to his coat, tie and shirt, before wrapping her arm around his and turning to face the camera. They leaned closer together and smiled.

The camera took their pictures and they pulled apart. Misato lifted the small black camera up and looked at the screen. Shinji walked over and saw the two photos.

"Perfect." He said to her.

Misato nodded her head. "Yeah, I didn't think I was that good at setting things up."

She then walked over and put her camera back in the bag, zippered it and held it in her left hand. She stood up at attention and exhaled.

"Ready." She announced.

"Let's go." Shinji answered.

They both walked out and headed downstairs to her Renault and for their date.

So far everything had been perfect. Both felt nothing could ruin this night.


Downtown Tokyo

An hour later…

Union Square Tokyo was considered one of the nicest and most pleasant restaurants in the city. Many people would often come here to eat from all parts of the world. The food was considered absolutely delicious to many and it was always a lively and enjoyable palace to eat.

After having their car parked by the valet, they walked through the streets, enjoying the night and the atmosphere and each other's company. Misato had her armed wrapped around Shinji's as they shared small talk. They finally entered the restaurant and Shinji greeted the hostess, she quickly recognized the name and escorted them to their table.

Upon climbing the stairs, they sat at their table. The hostess wished them a goodnight and the couple said their thanks as they were handed their menus. Shinji looked outside and saw behind them a large lake and a park that surrounded it. Misato looked and thought it was the perfect setting for them.

They both flipped through the menus and discussed what to get for appetizers and for the entrées. A server approached them took their drink orders, while also filling their wine glasses with water. Misato and Shinji debated what to get and decided upon a light beverage for both them, they told the waiter to make it fruit punch.

They watched as he walked away and couldn't help but giggle at the weird look on his face upon taking their order for fruit punch. They then finished discussing what to get and after deciding, patiently waited for their server to return. Shinji and Misato sat quietly and both were trying to decide what to do next.

Misato looked at Shinji who was taking a quick sip of his water. He looks so handsome and dashing. She thought to herself.

She watched as he adjusted his collar and looked at the room, she could tell by his body language that he was unsure of what to do. I don't blame him though. She took a sip of her water as well.

This is his first real date after all.

Misato coughed lightly and Shinji looked at her. He regarded her for a brief moment.

"Um, is everything alright?" Shinji asked, unsure of what else to ask.

Misato waved him off. "No, no, it's nothing. Just had to cough."

Shinji nodded his head and smiled softly. "I've heard that the food is great here." He knew he had to use some sort of conversation starter.

The purple-haired beauty nodded her head. "Yeah, that's what I've heard too."

Shinji shook his head and then pulled his iPhone out and slid it on. He hit the button for the camera. "I hope the waiter doesn't mind taking our picture."

Misato tilted her head and gave him a warm look. He's so thoughtful about things. She thought to herself as she felt warm and fuzzy inside.

A minute later the waiter returned and placed their drinks in front of them. Before he took their order, Shinji held his phone out and asked for the server to take their picture. He smiled and happily took the phone from him.

Shinji and Misato scooted closer together and they held each other close. The waiter took their picture twice and then suggested they lift their drinks up next. They pulled away and did so, picking their drinks up and holding it in front of them. They both smiled at each other and realized that this picture would tell a story that would last forever.

After all the fun, the waiter took their orders and walked away, leaving the pair alone again. This time, given how comfortable they were now, Shinji and Misato shared small talk and discussed mundane topics from school to college and what they both wanted to do this summer.

Shinji then lifted his glass up and purposed a toast. "To the future. May it be a bright and amazing one for you and for me." Shinji said with sincerity.

Misato nodded her head and smiled. "To the future."

They clinked their small glasses together and sipped their fruit punch. Both agreed that it tasted wonderful. For Misato, it felt good to drink something other than wine, beer or champagne. And for Shinji, it was as close to alcohol as he could get right now.

Misato put her glass. "Hey, Shinji." She said.

"Hm?"

"Let's take one more picture." Misato told him.

"Oh, okay." He replied.

He pulled his phone out and handed it to her. She then took hers out and placed it on the table. After setting up the camera she scooted closer to him again.

"Self-portraits?" Shinji asked.

Misato smiled and shrugged a shoulder. "I'm a girl, we're good at these things."

Shinji simply shook his head and decided to keep the good times rolling.

Fifteen minutes later, their appetizers arrived and they enjoyed the Gyoza and beef skewers. Soon enough their main courses arrived. Both looked in wonderment of the plates of food placed in front of them. Fried rice, okonomiyaki, egg plant, yakisoba and katsudon, it all looked delicious and was presented just like in the pictures in the menu.

Shinji and Misato both smiled and started placing food on their respective plates. As they ate, they wondered how things couldn't get any better. As the dinner progressed, Shinji felt different inside as if his mind and heart were both trying to tell him something.

He quickly realized that he was feeling different about the woman to his left. That it wasn't just a crush anymore; that it was not about a young man's interest in a woman he found to attractive or the raging hormones within. It wasn't about his infatuation with an older woman either. It was something more and he knew that something was growing inside. He just wasn't sure what it was.

Shinji sincerely hoped that Misato was feeling the same thing.

Another hour had passed and the pair had left the restaurant, declining dessert, despite how tempting it was, they walked out. Of course, before they could leave, Shinji and Misato had a small argument as to who should pay and how much. Shinji was insistent that he pay for the dinner as it was his responsibility as a man. However, Misato argued that society had changed and that it was okay for a woman to pay her portion as well.

Eventually, they reached a compromise and Shinji paid for the five plates, while Misato took care of the drinks and appetizers. The younger Ikari also gave their waiter a generous tip.

As they walked down the still active streets, it was a Saturday night after all. Shinji and Misato were close to each other as they walked. Shinji couldn't help but notice the stares they were getting. He knew it was because of Misato and how gorgeous she looked. Yet, he also knew that it was because people could tell that there was a significant age gap between the two.

Shinji shrugged it off as something to not even worry about. To him, Misato looked like she was only 4-5 years older than him and not a 32-year-old woman.

They reached the massive lake that was behind them earlier and walked around the park. Eventually sitting at a bench and talking about random things. Misato talked with Shinji and she couldn't help but pay attention to every word he said. She also realized how different she was starting to feel about him, it wasn't just as friends anymore. She started to realize that she always found him to be a sweetheart and quite possibly the nicest guy she'd ever met.

Misato looked at him and noticed how he had grown into quite a handsome looking, and from a purely aesthetic viewpoint, incredibly sexy in terms of his physical look. He had filled out nicely and carried himself with a confident demeanor now. And he was much more sure of himself than in the past, plus he didn't take Asuka's shit anymore. But besides the natural growth of boy into a man, he was still her Shinji. She felt her heart flutter and wondered if she was falling for him.

"Misato?" Shinji asked, concerned at her quiet behavior.

"Oh," Misato let out, shaking herself from her thoughts. "Sorry, spaced out for a second…"

Shinji smiled warmly and gently grasped her hand. "If your tired…" She noticed the moonlight make his eyes sparkle. "We can go home."

Misato smiled and pushed a lock of her hair back. "Let's sit for another few minutes, if that's okay."

Shinji nodded his head. "Sure."


Misato's Apartment

A half hour later…

After exiting the elevator, Misato still had her arm wrapped around Shinji's. As they approached her door, they both knew that had only a few precious minutes left before they had to say goodnight.

Neither of them wanted too.

"I really, really enjoyed tonight, Shinji-kun." Misato looked at him with a grin.

"I'm really, really happy that you did." Shinji told her.

They shared a small laugh and finally reached her door. Pulling apart, Misato turned and faced her date for the night. They looked at one another and for the first time since her college days, she was unsure of herself as to what to do.

Shinji felt a bead of sweat drip down his brow. This was his first real date and he often wondered how it would end. He was so happy that it was Misato that he went out with, but he wasn't quite sure as to why. Before he had asked her out, he thought about how everything would play out and wondered how the night would end.

Shinji nervously scratched the back of his neck. "Well, I guess this is the end…"

Misato bit her lips and shook her head; a sad look developed on her face. "Yeah, it is…"

"I want to thank you for going with me tonight." Shinji said to her nervously. "I'm happy you were the first girl, er, woman, that ever went out on a date with me…" He pulled his collar a little and tried to cool himself.

Misato smiled softly. "You're welcome and thank you for taking me." She reached out and gripped his wrist and slid her hand down to hold his hand. "The best date I've ever had." She meant every word and she sincerely hoped that Shinji knew it.

Shinji smiled back at her. Not knowing what else to do, he pulled his hand away and wrapped his arms around her in a hug.

Misato returned it in kind and they held each other for a few moments. To the both of them, their bodies blended perfectly together, and for some reason, which neither could explain, felt so right.

Shinji pulled away slightly and then pecked her on the cheek. As he pulled away, he saw Misato blush.

Misato went slightly wide-eyed at the spontaneous kiss from Shinji. As she watched Shinji pull away from her, she noticed him turn red.

"Goodnight." Shinji said quietly.

Misato gently touched her cheek, and looked at him. "Goodnight." She whispered.

"I'll call you tomorrow?" He asked innocently.

Misato nodded her head. "Yeah, that'd be great."

He nodded and started to walk away, however he felt something different inside, a feeling of regret. He wasn't quite sure what it was, as he slowly walked away he heard Misato pull her keys out. For whatever reason, and completely out of character he turned to face her again.

"Misato!" Shinji called out. She looked from opening her door and saw the bemused look on her face.

"Shinji…?"

He swallowed and quickly realized what he was doing. If he didn't ask her this, he would kick himself later, or maybe Asuka would.

"Misato, I…" He hesitated for a second. You know what you want to ask her… He thought. If he asked her now, he knew that this could be the beginning of something special for the both of them. That starting with yesterday and tonight, he and Misato had something special between them. And like Asuka had told him yesterday, he shouldn't miss out on this opportunity.

"Shinji?" Misato walked over to him and gave him a curious look.

He took a few deep breaths. "Misato, I really like you." He told her calmly. "Would you be my girlfriend?"

There, he said it. Misato let out a small gasp and covered her mouth. Did he just ask…? She thought, quickly a new feeling developed within her and she felt her heart warm up in a way she never felt before. He did, of course, he did.

Misato smiled and held his hands with hers. "Shinji…"

Shinji looked up from his shoes, he had dropped his eyes to the floor after asking her the question he never thought he'd ask. "Y-yes?"

"I'd love to be your girlfriend." Misato said sweetly. "Will you be my boyfriend?"

Shinji felt his heart beat fast, but it wasn't a nervous one or in a panic like in the past. Smiling, he held her hands tightly.

"Yes." Shinji said. As they stood, Misato leaned forward and kissed him on the cheek.

"That's for you." Misato whispered. "Goodnight, Shinji-kun."

Shinji smiled and felt warm and gooey inside. "Goodnight, Misa-chan."

They pulled apart and he started to turn towards the elevator. Misato watched him walk away and stop in front of the elevator and waved goodbye to her. Misato waved back and watched as he entered the elevator.

She smiled and touched her chest. For the first time in a long while, she felt like all her struggles and self-induced problems were gone. That this was karma or something else rewarding her.

Upon opening her front door, she paused and smiled, yesterday and tonight were the beginning of something special and she knew it. As she entered her apartment, she knew she would have pleasant dreams.

And a future to look forward too.


The Ikari Apartment

30 minutes later…

Shinji bound through the door and slipped his shoes off. He looked and saw his parents sitting on the couch and watching a show. Yui turned her head first and smiled.

"How was tonight?" She asked.

Shinji smiled. "It was great…" He walked up to the couch and stood next to Gendo, who was focused on the show and had his hands clasped in front of him.

"That's good." She replied and looked at Gendo. "Dear?"

Gendo perked up and looked at Yui and then at his son. He wiped some sweat with a handkerchief. "Um, did you enjoy your dinner?"

"Yep. Thanks for the suggestion, Dad." Shinji told him and patted him on the shoulder.

He then yawned and stretched his arms. "I'm gonna hit the hay." Shinji said. "Goodnight."

"Goodnight." Yui replied, she watched as her son walked to his room.

Yui leaned back on the couch. She sighed with happiness and looked at her husband. "I'm glad everything worked out for him and Misato tonight."

"Hmm." Gendo responded.

About a minute later, Shinji walked out minus his jacket, and tie, his shirt was now untucked. "Oh, Dad," He called out, Gendo looked up and watched as Shinji tossed the two packets onto the table in front of them. "I didn't need these tonight."

Gendo swallowed and looked at the two condom packets. He suddenly felt a small sense of dread. He slowly turned and saw Yui with her arms crossed and her nose flaring.

"Dear…" Yui said with a low growl.

"Um, um, um…" Gendo stammered.

Yui through her arms up and groaned. "Whatever will I do with you?" She then leaned close to him and wrapped an arm around his.

"Uh…" Gendo said nervously.

Yui snuggled close to him. "Don't worry, you." She looked at him with loving eyes. "I'll come up with something that will satisfy both of us."

Gendo exhaled and smiled at her. Maybe it wasn't such a bad idea to buy those condoms after all. And the best part was that he wasn't smacked or admonished for anything.

If anything, he and Yui were going to spend some quality time together before going to sleep.


Next: Sports Festival or Beach Volleyball…. And Shinji, Misato, and someone else hit a resort!

Special Author's Note: Sorry for the long wait, but it was rather frustrating that only THREE PEOPLE voted in my poll. I do hope you enjoyed this new chapter. I know that this one dragged a little, but I couldn't stop writing. I'll try to post another in day or two.

Finally, I might put a new poll together. But I'm not sure yet.