"What." Asuka stared at the needy-looking thing that was wrapped around Kaworu. The resemblance to the doll wasn't making her any happier with it, but at least it had the sense to pull back a bit and lower its eyes, intimidated by Asuka and showing submission in a dumb animal/Kaworuish kind of way?

"If family is supposed to not hurt each other, and if family being killed is bad, so…" Kaworu blinked at her, clearly wondering if his idea wasn't as clever as he'd thought it was since Asuka didn't seem to approve. "Arael isn't my sister. I hated Arael since she hurt you. But Armisael didn't hurt anyone, she was just lonely and wanted Rei… No, not Rei, Lilith's soul in Rei to be one with her. I told her that instrumentality was stupid and family was much better."

What Asuka wanted to say was no. Who gave him permission to bring other angels home with him? Asuka could only take so much stupid per day, and living with Shinji was already way too much. But Kaworu was family, and he was looking at her hopefully like he thought she was a nice person or something, and somehow she didn't have it in her to disappoint him. Because she was the great Asuka Langley Sohryu, after all, so she could do anything. Even put up with angels who were basically big babies.

She absolutely refused to even consider feeling bad about the others she'd killed. They were trying to kill her and destroy the world, she'd killed them, end of story. "Well, it's not like they have any right to complain about leaving this one alive, if they were already using that doll angel as a pilot and you were going to be one. So much for 'the angels are enemies of humanity and we need to destroy them all,' if they were keeping that doll around and she was kissing the ground that pervert commander's feet walked all over when he wasn't walking all over her and Shinji. So that's where Shinji gets it from."

Kaworu threw Armisael onto the Eva's shoulder next to Asuka before landing himself so she could whack him and say, "Don't throw people! Even if they can land on their feet, it's just rude!"

The boy ducked his head apologetically as Armisael wrapped her arms around him again, now that he was in range, and nuzzled at his face, looking upset that he was ignoring her even for a moment. Kaworu nuzzled her back and patted her on the head and for crying out loud, this was going to be like having a litter of puppies. Cute, but making messes everywhere. She'd have to be stern and train them properly before her teeth rotted.

"Alright. Well, if the Commander was using an angel, he wouldn't want that to get out, and NERV Germany was training you using my simulations, weren't they?" Kaworu answered Asuka's question with a nod. "So they knew that we had angels on our side too and weren't telling anyone. Is this what Kaji…" What Kaji was trying to find. What got him killed.

Kaworu frowned to himself as she talked: darkness appeared under him and he fell into it after pulling Armisael off him. He came back out carrying Rei. "You were lonely too," he told her. "If that bastard Shinji won't hold your hand, then I'll hold it. This feeling… You don't have any family, except for bastards like Shinji and Keels because of where your genes are from. But the two of us are the same, you're like me, so that's kind of like family, yes? I'm not like a Lilim who watches people hurting and doesn't care. You're hurting just like me and my sisters."

That was when Asuka whapped him, but lightly. "Speak for yourself and that other angel. Who said you could invite the angel doll?! Well," she said, calming down, "this will be proof that NERV was using angels all along and they didn't cause any trouble or turn on anyone. This one is too damn obedient."

Armisael was already wrapped around Rei now, saying, "Your feelings are dark and disgusting," with a jarringly cheerful voice and happy expression on her face. "Mother is right: I shouldn't be one with you, but being with Mother will make you less dark and disgusting, so we can be together and you won't be lonely."

"So it can talk," Asuka noted. She could have said, 'wait, the doll even has feelings?' but if Kaworu thought Rei was like him, then that would seem like a stupid question, when Kaworu had way too many feelings and she didn't want him crying again.

Shinji moved his Eva under them, carefully lifting up his other arm. "Rei, are you…" still yourself, "Okay?"

Rei said nothing: Asuka could almost hear the dotdotdots. "What, don't know what to say without the Commander telling you what to think?" she asked her.

"She wants to hold Shinji's hand and thinks he won't hold her hand anymore if he knows that she's an angel and was made with his mother's DNA," Kaworu told her. "I saw her feelings through Armisael."

"Wait, so the doll is Shinji's sister?" Asuka stared at her, and then at the Eva. "That explains so much!"

"Wha… What?" Shinji exclaimed.

"She was made with the DNA of the Lilim Julia Keel, who called herself Yui Ikari when she came here to meet the King of the Lilim and create her own scenario where she would be the only one to become a god, by killing everyone else," Kaworu explained as though he was talking about perfectly normal stuff instead of something monstrous. "So that's where you get it from, even though the old men say that all Lilim are bastards." Kaworu frowned. "You aren't even going to thank me for keeping the self-destruct from working. Your old man is trying to destroy the evidence, and you and my sister along with it. This Eva's self-destruct will just kill you and people nearby, not the Eva itself since that Lilim's soul is in it."

"…Since I don't think you could make up something like that," Asuka said, "Get him out of there."


"We might as well use him as another witness too, and this way they're out of pilots." The trouble was how they were going to fly over to the UN or a TV station or something without this conspiracy closing it down before they got there, saying that they were the evil ones. "You two are the last angels, right? There aren't any more coming to attack NERV?"

"No, we're not the last angels. You Lilim are the last angels," Kaworu told her as he popped out of the darkness again and deposited Shinji on the Eva's shoulder, once again looking puzzled that someone as smart as Asuka didn't already know this.

"Right," she said, folding her arms. "If this conspiracy is out to cause Third Impact themselves, then you definitely aren't allowed to die. Especially if they have several Evas, and tech they haven't shared with NERV," based on what Kaworu said before. "Unit 00's useless once it runs out of power, and they won't let me have mine if I'm trying to stop them…"

"Rei can power Unit 00 herself," Kaworu said. "And I could steal Unit 02 for you, although I don't know what you want with that woman and her Eva. I'm a lot more powerful and better and I won't let you get hurt the way she did."

"Alright… You're not going to cause Third Impact," she said, pointing to Kaworu, "but what about you two?" she asked the other two angels.

Shinji looked shocked that Asuka would even ask Rei that.

Armisael, who still looked just like Rei said, "I just want to be with my Mother. Mother said that I shouldn't cause Third Impact and that if I didn't she'd give me lots of hugs, so I'm not going to let the Lilim cause it when it's still my turn!" They'd be stealing her place in line!

"That just leaves you," Asuka told Rei. "What, did the Commander order you to let him use you to cause Third Impact."

Rei looked down at her feet.

"Rei… Don't say things like that, Asuka!" Shinji glared at her, then back at the angel doll. "Rei, tell her that she's wrong!"

"…The commander had me made so that he could use me to get back Yui Ikari."

"So what do you want?" Asuka demanded of her.

Rei continued to look down at her feet.

"What is it?" Asuka didn't have time for this, and would have whacked her if Kaworu, Shinji and Armisael weren't all in the way. "Kaworu wanted a sister, and you've already got a brother. Armisael wants a mother and hugs, and I guess Kaworu wants hugs too… What, are you doing all that for that bastard so he'll hug you and act like he cares? Get real! What do you want, in exchange for not destroying the world?"

"…I would like Shinji to hold my hand again," the doll angel said, and blushed.

"Sold!" Asuka said, before anyone could say anything stupid. "Kaworu, smush them together for me." This meant that Rei would be the one to have to deal with Shinji's stupid (Shinji was the doll's brother: that explained so damn much), so he could deal with her. That way, Asuka would only have to put up with Kaworu and the Rei-looking angel.

"Hey, don't…" Shinji said, trying to push away Kaworu when Kaworu tried to put his arms around Shinji so he could pick him up and put him down next to Rei.

"You be quiet!" Asuka told him. "You're the one who doesn't want to pilot the Eva, right? And she's your sister! So what if she's an angel? You don't want to kill your own flesh and blood, do you? Your creepy bastard of a father doesn't count, so shut your stupid mouth and hug your sister!"

The Second Child reviewed her troops… well, they were more like a circus troupe. A bunch of freaks and clowns, all the scarier because they weren't joking, they just were that stupid.

Why was Kaji the one who had to die? Like the one person in Tokyo-3 capable of going five minutes without saying something stupid? It didn't hurt that he was hot, too. There was the Commander, but he was fucking creepy, "Did he keep you naked and stare at you the way Kaworu's old men did?" Asuka didn't really want to know, but she was already certain of the answer and this should make Shinji stop being difficult.

Yep, there went Rei's eyes, looking down at her clasped hands awkwardly and there went Shinji, eyes widening and urge to kill his bastard father rising.

Armisael just looked confused and pushed herself up against Shinji, trying to get past him on the Eva's shoulder to reach Kaworu for hugs.

Asuka would have asked what the angel meant by calling Kaworu her mommy or something (if that was even what she meant) except by judging how hard it was to get understandable explanations out of Kaworu, that would take too damn long and they had stuff to do.

"Hug me?" the angel asked, pouting at Shinji when he tried to look past her at Rei.

"If you let me pick you up then that wouldn't be happening," Kaworu said. "You're so selfish and don't care about anyone but yourself… I bet you only held Rei's hand because there was something you wanted, or you sensed that she was your sister since family is the only reason Lilim are ever nice to people." Hmph.


"Yes, sister?" Kaworu perked up, happy that Asuka was saying his name.

"If you don't have anything intelligent to say, then don't say anything at all." Well, yes, Shinji would have been after something when he held Rei's hand, but Asuka didn't want to have that conversation with Kaworu. She vaguely remembered dodging the 'why breasts?' conversation, and that was bad enough. Hell, Asuka wanted to know why periods and who she had to beat up as revenge for this bullshit.

Well there was Lilith… which meant Rei?

That was it: if Rei didn't have to put up with this, Asuka owed her some punches to the gut on behalf of all human, non-creepy-doll womankind.

For sucking up to the perverted commander, too.

"Put us all down on the ground," she told Kaworu, "while I figure out what to do next." Oh, idea, "Carry Shinji and Rei down at the same time," otherwise Shinji would freak about human contact and as much as Asuka wanted an excuse to destroy the doll, having to kill her because Shinji was too cowardly to hold up his end of the bargain was just stupid.

Kaworu and Armisael's cuddling and petting had a lot more contact than Asuka was used to seeing, but there was just something about the way the two of them radiated cluelessness that made it absolutely innocent, like snuggling puppies. If Kaworu hadn't known about not going into the girl's bathroom, then no wonder he didn't have any awareness of what 'inappropriate touching' was. Those perverted old men probably hadn't wanted him to know how wrong it was that they were staring at him.

Shinji and Rei were just holding hands, but there was a blush on Shinji's face that got worse whenever he glanced over at Kaworu petting Armisael.

Hopeless. Absolutely hopeless. All of them.

(But that just meant that it would take someone perfect and smart and brilliant to save all their asses, a task fit for the Great Asuka Langley Sohryu, one that would prove she was the Great Asuka Langley Sohryu, not a worthless crying broken little girl who needed to be saved and had no one to save her unless she could keep these idiots alive…)

Well, what was life without a challenge?