Evangelion: Only In Your Eyes Am I Worthy

Author's Note: This fic splits off from the series on episode 9, the one where Shinji and Asuka had to sync their movements to defeat the seventh angel. The main difference is of course, that Asuka isn't the one given the chance to sync with Shinji. wink But, the story itself starts later on with the battle against the 16th angel, the one that Rei self-destructed to kill. Oh yeah, and the story will contain naughty language, situations, violence, and lemony goodness. On with the fic, assuming anyone is still reading this.

Required Disclaimer: Still no own. Still no money. Too evil for a conscience. I think I might just have some jelly donuts around here now, however… Enjoy and ponder on the glory of GAINAX! And stuff.

Chapter 1: For Life is Most Precious

"Ayanami!" Shinji screamed, ignoring the pain he felt from the angel's attempts at corrupting his Eva unit and his AT field. His eyes widened in fear as he saw veiny projections form on his hand and start traveling up his arm. He could almost hear a childish laughter in his mind, but beyond than that, it felt like… Rei.

"Pilot Ayanami, you must eject!" Major Katsuragi commanded, watching helplessly as the force-ejection signals from the control room were rejected over and over again.

Rei sighed softly as a sense of peace settled over her. She could feel her soul attempting to merge with the third child's, but she could not allow it no matter how tempting it was. The consequences were too dire. She knew what she had to do. "I cannot. I must stay to maintain my AT field." Rei stated simply as she reversed it to contain the angel. This caused the angel to be forcefully withdrawn from Unit 01 into her Eva, where it all bunched together in a ball, strangely making her Eva look like it was very pregnant. The first child was reaching for her self-destruct switch but she paused as Shinji pleaded with her.

"Ayanami… Rei-san. Please, I'll find a way to destroy this angel. Don't leave me." The third child couldn't believe he had the courage to speak those last three words, but ever since they had synchronized to destroy the 7 th angel, Israfel, he felt a bond with her that terrified him to be without.

Rei stared at the comm. window that displayed Shinji's face for several moments, but she had nearly lost control of her Eva so she had to act. "Gomen nasai, Shinji-kun. Sayonara. (I am very sorry, Shinji. Goodbye.)" She activated the self-destruct device and closed her eyes, awaiting the white emptiness of death to wash over her.

Shinji reacted on instinct, rushing forward and focusing his AT field around Unit 00's entry plug, effectively shielding it from the majority of the blast as the Eva exploded and destroyed the 16 th angel. Unit 01 fell as a result of the blast, but the blue-eyed boy desperately maintained his AT field around Rei's plug as it fell to the ground.

After recovering from the shock of the blast and the fall, the third child ejected his plug and burst out of it in a fountain of LCL fluid and ran to the fallen plug unit, gasping for breath and praying that his fellow pilot was unharmed. He grasped the hatch's locking wheel and turned it, ignoring the intense heat that was starting to burn his hands through his plug suit gloves. He huffed his breath in and out in effort and was finally able to pull the hatch open. A flood of burning hot LCL fluid burst out of the pressurized entry plug revealing a barely conscious Rei Ayanami. "Ayanami! You're alive!" Shinji cried, leaning into the plug to pull Rei out. He held her close and sobbed onto her shoulder as an ambulance pulled up next to them.

"Ikari? I'm... alive." Rei said with disbelief evident in her voice. She gave him the faintest of smiles before she passed out. A moment later she was pulled out of Shinji's arms and onto a gurney for transport to the NERV medical facilities. Shinji jumped into the ambulance and maintained his hold on Rei's hand despite the protests of the medics but they just sighed and ended up working around him.

"Hang in there, Ayanami. Please!" Shinji pleaded. After the medics had wiped off the LCL, they found numerous cuts and gashes along her body and determined that she likely had several fractures as well. The blue-eyed boy started freaking out because fresh blood was pouring out of a wound above her right eye, which dripped down her face and up into her hair. He pressed a bandage to the wound at one of the medic's insistence, as they figured as long as he was standing there in the way he might as well help out.

The third child cried silently as he stared at the girl, wishing her red eyes would open and that she would tell him she would be all right. Before he knew it they were at the hospital and the doctors almost literally threw him out of the trauma examination room. So he started pacing up and down the halls, wringing his hands nervously behind his back.

Misato ran down the hall towards him and grabbed him in an embrace when she saw how traumatized he was. "Shinji-kun, are you all right?"

Shinji nodded absently and jerked his head towards the exam room. "Ayanami is in there. She looked pretty banged up but I think she'll survive. I hope…"

The major frowned and pushed the boy down so he was sitting. "Calm down. You're not doing anyone any by good acting like this. Pilot Ayanami will be fine. She's been through worse. She's of little concern now since her Eva unit has been destroyed. Asuka is too psychologically unbalanced to effectively pilot her Eva, so that means you're the only one left, Shinji. When the next angel arrives to attack, you're the only hope we have. You must stay focused!"

Shinji shook his head and began to rock back and forth, bringing his legs up to his chest and wrapping his arms around them. "I don't want to talk about that while Rei-san is fighting for her life in there!" He paused for a few moments and frowned nervously. "I mean… Ayanami."

Misato sighed and sat down next to Unit 01's pilot and wrapped her arm around him in a one-armed embrace, pulling him towards her as she started making soothing noises to calm him down. "Everything will be all right. Ayanami will be as good as new soon enough. Don't you worry about it, Shinji-kun. Try to remain brave for her , ok?"

Shinji frowned but nodded. "I… I understand, Misato-san." His eyes remained focused on the examination room where the first child was being treated, watching as various medical staff rushed in and out of the room.

Major Katsuragi smiled. "Good, Shinji-kun. That's good." She tenderly stroked his shoulder as she worried over the mental states of the pilots, wondering if they had done the right thing by sacrificing the physical and mental health of these children, and in at least one case, their lives, for the 'good of mankind'. She hated the angels and wanted revenge on them for the Second Impact, but she wondered if the price was simply too high.

They both waited in silence for nearly an hour, seeing Rei wheeled out and into the radiology area and then back a little while later. Soon, the attending physician came out. "You are the pilot's superior officer, is that correct?" The doctor asked, a middle-aged man with a faint African accent of some type.

"That's right. What is Pilot Ayanami's condition, doctor?" Misato asked, laying a gentle hand on Shinji's shoulder to help keep him calm.

"She suffered numerous bruises and gashes. She fractured her left forearm as well as several ribs. She also has a minor concussion. All in all, it could have been a lot worse. There's still a good chance that she has internal bleeding and might require surgery, so we'll be monitoring her. She'll need some time to heal, but I expect a full recovery. She might also require physical therapy, but that will be determined after her injuries begin to heal." The doctor informed them, trying to keep his explanation in terms they would understand.

"Is she awake?" Shinji inquired in a soft scared tone.

"She's semi-conscious. She's not…" He trailed off as the boy jumped up and tried to run past him into Rei's examination room. The doctor grabbed the boy by his shoulders to try to settle him down. "Now hold on a second there, I didn't say you could go in there!"

"Let me go!" The dark-haired boy screamed, shrugging off the doctor's hands. He ran into the trauma room, despite the protests of both the doctor and major. He sat down in the chair next to the exam table and held Rei's right hand. "Ayanami? I'm so sorry you got hurt." He lowered his head as tears fell from his eyes, several of which landed on the blue-haired girl's hand.

Her eyes fluttered and she opened them to look at the third child. "Ikari-kun?" She asked softly.

Shinji met her gaze in a snap, his expression a mix of sorrow and hope. "Ayanami." He greeted softly with a nod and doing his best to give her a reassuring smile.

Rei gazed up at the ceiling, no emotion crossing her face. "I survived?" She inquired as if she didn't believe it.

"You survived." Shinji agreed as he looked down at the girl with more adoration in his eyes than he realized.

"You?" She queried, turning red eyes to regard him.

Unit 01's pilot blinked in surprise. He wasn't sure if she was asking him if he had saved her life or if he had survived. The first choice seemed more likely so he decided to answer that one. "Yes, Ayanami. I managed to shield your entry plug somewhat with my AT field when your Eva blew up. You're going to be ok."

The blue-haired girl returned her gaze to the off white ceiling above her. 'That wasn't what I asked you.' She thought to herself, but decided to drop the subject. "Commander Ikari?" She inquired in an emotionless near-whisper.

Shinji winced at the mention of his father, an expression that Rei saw but chose not to comment on. "I'm sure he'll be here soon, Ayanami."

Rei blinked a few times and was silent. After several minutes, she seemed to notice his hand holding hers. She looked at it silently then into his dark blue eyes. "Ikari-kun, you may call me by my personal name."

Shinji couldn't help but smile at her, even though no expression crossed her face. "Hai, Aya… eh… Rei-san. But please, call Shinji."

Rei's eyes fluttered shut as she drifted off to sleep. Shinji watched over her, even though the sounds of the heart monitor made him nervous. He blinked in weary surprise as he felt a presence enter the room and he looked up to see that Commander Ikari had just entered and was staring at Rei as if he didn't dare believe that she had survived, surprise and hope leaking through his normally stoic countenance.

"Hello… father." Shinji greeted softly in a tone of fatigued bitterness.