~As always, I only own the plot. I don't own the series or characters so don't sue me.

This fic is dedicated to my one and only beloved Shin-man. Happy Valentine's darling. I hope you enjoy it, even though I'm not nearly as well versed with this fandom as you are. Love you!

Misato's Mystery Valentine

Walking to the door of her apartment, the purple haired captain rubbed her tired shoulders alternately. As the front door slid open relatively quietly, the tired woman entered her home, immediately kicking her now uncomfortable shoes off in the entryway. "I'm home!" she called out, wondering if her two charges were home or if they were elsewhere that cold February night.

"Welcome back!" she heard called from the kitchen. The woman instantly recognized the voice as her young male charge.

Tiredly, she moved toward the kitchen in order to get to her bedroom so she could change out of her stuffy uniform. As she passed through the kitchen, she noticed the lack of plates and utensils on the table. She knew she was late, but was she so late that she had missed out on dinner? Her brown eyes caught sight of the raven haired teen standing in front of the stove, cooking something. At least he was sweet enough to wait until she arrived home to make her some food. With a slight smile on her rosy lips, she headed to her bedroom to change.

"You're awfully late," the boy called to her.

"I know," she replied as she stripped down to her under garments, sighing happily as she removed her uncomfortable bra. "Ritsuko needed my help with one of the repairs on Unit 01."

"So it was my fault you were late?"

"Nah, some idiot didn't do their job right and we had to stay and fix it, that's all." Slipping into her usual yellow tank and incredibly short denim shorts she wondered momentarily if the boy would blame himself for the world ending. The thought was instantly shoved aside as she entered the kitchen and realized the teen was not cooking dinner for her. "Shinji, what are you doing?" she questioned curiously.

"Hmm?" The pilot turned his head to look at the captain a bit confused. "I'm making chocolate."

A single brow rose on the woman's forehead at this. "For what?"

"Valentine's day is tomorrow." The room fell oddly silent for a moment before the busty woman erupted into a fit of laughter. Shinji felt his cheeks grow warm at this and tried to ignore it as he snapped lightly at the overjoyed woman. "I don't see what's so funny about making chocolate for your friends."

"It's not the act," she guffawed. "It's the fact that YOU are doing it Shinji." Shinji was beyond confused at this point. That much was obvious in his crystal blue orbs. Finally, the captain calmed down from her laughter to properly explain her outburst. "You do realize Valentine's day is a holiday where girls make chocolate for that special someone." She leaned closer to the teen, a coy smile in place as she looked him up and down. "Last I checked, you don't have the right equipment to be a girl."

The raven haired teen's light up a bright crimson at this as he sputtered indignantly. "S-so! P-plenty of g-guys m-m-make chocolates fo-for g-girls nowad-days!" He stopped momentarily so that he could turn away from the woman, her bust a bit too close to his personal space. "Besides, in America it's the guy who gets the chocolate for the girl."

"American's are weird anyway," she replied with a wave of her hand as she moved to sit at the table to continue teasing her charge. "So who are you gonna give that chocolate to? Rei or Asuka?"

"Both," the boy mumbled as he returned to making the chocolate for his friends.

The woman's coy smile instantly returned. "Oh~ Can't decide which one you like best?"

"Mi-misato!" Shinji blurted out as his bright red face turned to attempt a glare, but failed miserably. "They're my friends! I said I was giving chocolate to all my friends!"

"Uh huh," she responded placing her chin in her hand, gaze never leaving that of the teen, as she decided to let it go for now. "So, where's my dinner?"

"Ah, I'm sorry," he apologized quickly as he moved to examine the fridge for something quick to make. "I assumed you were out getting drunk somewhere instead of actually working late. I'll get you something-"

"Don't worry about it," Misato replied quickly cutting the boy off. "I can make myself some instant ramen. You got your hands full making Valentine's chocolate."

"Thanks," he mumbled as he turned back to making his sugary confections.

Misato moved to collect a cup of the instant noodles from the pantry before moving to add water to their hot water maker. As she waited for the water inside the plastic tank to heat up, she watched the teen as he precariously shaped the chocolate mixture into round balls. Ah, so he was making truffles. The typical homemade sweet given out on Valentine's day. At least that much was still the same since her childhood. Before she could look away, Shinji looked up at caught her staring. Blue and brown connected in an intense gaze before Shinji looked away, a light blush dusting his cheeks. This did not go unnoticed by the purple haired captain.

"Are you making me chocolates too?" she questioned, her coy smile in place and she poked the boy's cheek teasingly.

"Aren't you worried about your figure?" he teased right back.

The slight change caught the woman off guard, if only momentarily. "Indulging a little never hurt anyone."

"You don't have that kind of restraint to only 'indulge a little'."

"Why Shinji," Misato cried, feigning heartbreak in her voice. "I'm hurt."

The teen rolled his eyes before the woman chuckled and turned to collect her now hot water for her instant ramen. Pouring the water into the cup, she waited the necessary amount of time before diving in to eat the lackluster noodles. She continued to watch as her charge rolled the chocolate into balls before placing them into small colored boxes. If she had to guess the red-orange box was for Asuka, the light blue box for Rei, and the two brown boxes were for those male friends of his. What were their names? Well, it wasn't important anyway.

Humph, only four boxes, she pouted to herself. Guess I'm not getting any chocolate. A little upset, she tossed the empty cup and disposable chopsticks into the trash before heading to her room, missing the Eva pilot's slight smile as she left the room.

The following day, Misato sat and ate the wonderful lunch Shinji had prepared, noticing the red dyed white rice that was shaped into a heart. Although it made her smile, she was still a bit upset that she wasn't important enough to the boy to earn any Valentine's chocolates. Hell, he had apparently stopped by headquarters before she got there and had given chocolates to both Ritsuko and Kaji. That bastard Kaji was teasing her about it endlessly, saying something along the lines of the teen being far more devoted to a man than some obnoxious woman.

Needless to say, she was enjoying her lunch alone in an attempt to avoid the gloating jerk. After she had devoured her lunch, she returned to her desk only to find a simple envelope addressed to her. Gently picking up the small white envelope, she flipped it over only to see a small red heart sticker holding the item closed. Looking back at the front again, she frowned a bit before flipping it back over to open it. Inside was a plain folded piece of paper. Removing the paper she unfolded it and red the short message inside.

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
Sugar is sweet,
But I love you.

Misato couldn't resist the instant laughter that erupted from reading such a cheesy love letter. After she had managed to control her outburst, ignoring the many stares she received from fellow workers as a result, she was left with the task of finding out who had left the message. Turning the envelope over another, much smaller, piece of paper fell out. The paper simple stated, 'See Ritsuko'. So the captain did just that. Hurrying toward the lunch room, she managed to catch the blonde just as she was preparing to head back to her work space.

"Ritsuko!" she called out, panting slightly. "I received a note on my desk and it said to see you."

"Oh yes, that note." The woman reached into her pocket and produced a small golden key. "Take this to the men's locker room. You should be able to tell which locker it belongs to once you get there."

"I'm confused," the purple haired captain stated as she hesitantly took the key. "Why do I need to go to the men's locker room? Did you give me that cheesy message?"

Ritsuko merely smiled and shook her head. "I can't say much, but you will find out what you need to know in the locker room."

"Couldn't you just give me a little hint?"

The blonde's smile widened slightly before she moved past the captain and exited the lunch room. Sighing, Misato examined the gold key momentarily before dragging her feet to the men's locker room. She cautiously peered inside to see if there was anyone changing. Luckily for her, it was completely empty and looked like it had been for a few hours now. Letting out the breath she hadn't realized she was holding, the Nerv employee entered the locker room and scanned the many lockers hoping to find some sort of clue as to which one the key belonged to.

Brown eyes stopped at a locker that possessed the same heart as the message she had found on her desk. However, the red heart was beside a name she highly loathed. She moved to insert the key into the locker and audibly groaned when the key turned effortlessly. Foot steps behind her caused her to stop, her head lowering slightly.

"Don't tell me," she mumbled.

"You must be incredibly jealous that Shinji gave me chocolate and not you if you're coming to my locker to attempt to steal them, Katsuragi."

Misato could feel her teeth grinding together as she turned to face the man she had been trying to avoid all day. "Please tell me you didn't write that message Kaji."

"I dunno," he replied with a creepy smile. "Perhaps you should do as Ritsuko instructed."

Biting her tongue to prevent the lashing it died to give the scruffy brunet, Misato turned back to face the locker, turning the key the rest of the way. The locker opened with an audible click. Inside, was a black dress bag with a small envelope attached. Reaching inside, she pulled the dress bag out and removed the attached letter to better examine it. It possessed the same handwriting as the first letter and had a matching heart sticker as well. Shifting the bag to her wrist, she opened the envelope to read the letter.

My dearest purple haired angel,
Please wear the dress in the bag and be at Leonardo's at 1900 hours.

A bit dumbfounded, she gazed inside the bag, her jaw dropping in shock at the garment tucked inside. "You-"

Before she could get another word out, she was cut off. "It wasn't me Katsuragi, I assure you."

"But you're obviously in on it," she growled, a dark glare in place. "Tell me who it is."

"You wouldn't believe me even if I told you," Kaji laughed.

The captain huffed before storming past the brunet. She would get to the bottom of this little admirer even if it was the last thing she managed to do. As much as she didn't like the idea of glitzing up, she would have to do it in order to get another hint of some kind.

So here she stood, all dolled up and waiting outside Leonardo's shortly before the meeting time. Her long purple hair was pulled into a tight neat bun, her bangs and some side locks framing her face nicely. Matching diamond earrings and necklace accentuated her ears and neck, making her look far more sophisticated than her usual personality. Hugging her every curve tightly, a bit uncomfortably when asked, Misato wore the beautiful red cocktail dress that was given to her earlier that day. It was a halter top with the dip running down to her navel, a thin line of diamonds holding the two parts together to keep her bust from falling out. The dress stopped about the same spot her favorite denim shorts did, making her a bit conscious about the length as she kept fussing with the dress by pulling on the hem trying to make it reach lower. The red satin stilettos completed her look, by making her even more uncomfortable. Sure the captain was used to heels, but these were a tad ridiculous.

Gazing around the somewhat busy street, Misato looked for any signs of someone approaching her. When none came, she sucked it up and went inside the luxurious restaurant.

"Excuse me," she said as she awkwardly peered around the restaurant. "You wouldn't happen to know the time would you?"

"Ah yes," the hostess replied. "It's almost 7:20." Misato sighed heavily at this. "Is there something wrong?"

"Not much, just that I was told to be here and I've been waiting for the past thirty minutes with no signs as to why I'm waiting here."

"You wouldn't happen to be Miss Katsuragi would you?"

"Yes," the purple haired captain replied hesitantly. "How do you know that?"

The hostess merely grabbed a menu before smiling back at her. "Right this way ma'am."

Confused, Misato followed the hostess to the very back of the restaurant to a somewhat secluded booth. There was already someone in the booth, but their face was blocked by a menu. When the pair reached the designated table, the hostess asked the captain what she wished to drink. Misato replied with water before sitting at the table, the other occupant still holding onto the menu tightly. She tried to peer around to find out the owner behind the menu, but was unable to see any distinguishing features.

"Um, excuse me," Misato tried softly. She noticed their grip on the menu tightened. Obviously they had heard her. Perhaps they were nervous? "Are you the one who invited me here?" She waited patiently for a response, but as time dragged on she could feel her patience dissipating. "It would be nice if I could see your face." Feminine tactics usually worked, but not in this case. Their grip tightened on the menu, but other than that, there was no change.

"Listen," she growled out. "I asked you a question and I expect an answer. Are you the one who sent me that letter and this dress?" Her eyebrow ticked as there was no response. "Stop hiding behind that menu and answer me dammit!" she swore as the captain reached forward and snatched the menu out of her silent companion s hands.

"Please don't kill me!"

Brown eyes widened as they fell upon a familiar head of raven. "Shinji?!" she cried out as she slammed her hands on the table. "You're behind this?!"

"No! No not at all! I don't even know what's going on!" the teen cried out as he waved his hands in front of himself.

Leaning back, the purple haired woman crossed her arms over her chest. The two took in the other's appearance. Shinji blushing heavily at Misato's revealing dress and Misato smiling at how nice the teen cleaned up. It was a simple long-sleeved navy button up with a black tie. She assumed he was wearing black dress pants, but was unable to see under the table.

Taking the glass of water offered by the waiter, Misato took a sip before smirking at the boy. "You look nice."

"Thank you," he replied. "Y-you l-l-look n-nice t-too."

Her smirk morphed into a smile. "So let me see if I understand this correctly." The captain paused as she sat up a bit straighter in the booth, her arms crossing across her chest once more. "You are not the one who sent me on that brief scavenger hunt at Nerv headquarters." Shinji shook his head in the negative to confirm her statement. "You have absolutely no idea what is currently going on." He shook his head once more. "Okay then, who sent you here?"

The teen shrugged. "There was a package back at the apartment with an enclosed note from an admirer requesting my attendance here at 1900 hours."

"I see," Misato nodded. "Well Shinji, it seems as if we were both set up." Sighing, she reached across the table and firmly grasped the Eva pilot's wrist causing him to blush lightly. "It's a bit stuffy in here. What say you and me ditch this place and get some nice greasy food elsewhere?"

"Yeah," the teen numbly replied. "I'd like that a lot."

Tightening her hold on the boy's wrist slightly, Misato then hurriedly dragged him out of the restaurant, where the stopped momentarily for Misato to remove her uncomfortable stilettos. Slinging the painful shoes over her shoulder, she proceeded to walk barefoot down the sidewalk with Shinji falling in sync next to her. Brown eyes shifted down and to her side to gaze softly at her charge. He did really look adorable all dressed up.

"Um, Mi-misato," the nervous boy started as he seemingly dug around in his pocket for something.

"What is it Shinji?"

The pair stopped walking as he finally produced the item he was looking for. A small deep red box with a red fabric rose attached to the top with beautiful black satin ribbon wrapped around it holding it closed.

"I uh wanted to give this to you." Shinji looked away as he offered the small box to the older woman. "I hope y-you like it."

Misato smiled softly as she collected the beautiful box from the teen before carefully opening it. Inside sat several little chocolate hearts. She glanced slightly confused at her charge. "I thought you made everyone truffles."

"I did," he replied as he turned to look at her. "But after you went to bed last night I made your chocolates. They're bourbon chocolates so I had to make them separately from the truffles. I didn't want the alcohol to mix in with the truffles and ruin them after all that hard work."

The busty woman couldn't stop the wide smile from spreading nor could she stop herself from leaning forward a placing a chaste kiss on the boy's cheek to show her appreciation. "Thank you Shinji." She basked in the bright red blush she caused as the boy sputtered. Chuckling lightly, she offered a piece to raven haired pilot.

"Oh I couldn't," he declined. "As I said they're bourbon. I'm not old enough to have alcohol yet."

"Come on," Misato pressed as they fell into step once more. "I won't tell anyone if you get a little drunk."

"Mi-mi-misato!" Shinji protested as her car finally came into sight.

"Don't be such a baby!"

She continued to tease him even after they hopped into the car and drove off to the nearest fast food place to order their greasy dinner. After all, what did they care if they ruined their clothes? It's not like they paid for the expensive outfits. Speaking of which...

Back at Nerv headquarters a certain blonde and brunet were just leaving the large base.

"Do you think they took advantage of my wonderful gift?" Ritsuko questioned.

"Probably not," Kaji replied. "Knowing those two, they're most likely still oblivious to their own feelings." The two chuckled before getting into their respective cars. "Say you wouldn't happen to be interested in some free dinner, say at the usual place?"

"Good night Kaji," the blonde smiled as she closed her door and drove off.

The brunet merely smiled and shook his head before following suit.

(A/N: Happy Valentine's Day to all my loyal readers. Even if you have no one to spend it with, never fear, just means more chocolate for you.)