Neon Genesis Evangelion Fan Fiction ❯ Evangelion: Inochi no Ki ❯ The First Move ( Chapter 2 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Dinner had been somewhat of a nice change of pace; Asuka and Shinji had quickly worked out the routine, as this hadn’t been the first time for either of them to be left to their own devices now that they were older; while Asuka’s and Shinji’s fathers were nice and caring, there existed a sense of detachment from both men; Gendo Ikari was imposing at sight; hard stoic face, short dark hair and a beard that seemed to draw out a well defined chin framed by an impossibly tall man with broad shoulders and hard eyes that were always hidden behind glasses seemed to scream 'Irrelevant' silently whenever something menial and superfluous was around him.

Christian Langley wasn’t all that different, yet he wasn’t all the same; where Gendo was stoic, and reserved, Christian seemed to be the epitome of an Aryan man: tall and with blond hair sternly eased back, showing off a widow’s peak, Langley’s whole body and face seemed to have been at a time carved from a slab of Tennessee marble; perfect pink and expertly polished that gave the man an imposing feeling, topped with a frown on his eyes and with his mouth set in a stern line, both of which seemed to be forever etched in his face.

But in the comfort of their respective households, the stern faces and masks gave way to fathers that were loving and worried about their children, even if sometimes Asuka felt Gendo babied Shinji too much, and if Shinji couldn’t help but wonder if Langley could be less enthusiastic about Asuka’s accomplishments.

But all in all, the day started again without a hitch, almost like a rewinding of the day before; Asuka coming in to wake Shinji up, and both leaving their houses while Yui waited for Shinji at the door with a yogurt shake and Gendo stayed at the desk browsing his newspaper, before the two teens exited quickly on their way to school.

“So, how were the college classes?” Shinji asked out of the blue, staring at Asuka who simply shrugged.

“It was different; the university grounds were filled with people who kept staring at me like I was some kind of freak; guess they’ve never seen a 13 year old before.” Asuka said quickly, expertly hiding how she had felt out of place in there, even if she had taken the time to change out of her uniform and used less childish clothes than sundresses and sandals.

“There was this guy who kept staring at me.” The redhead said softly, turning towards Shinji. “He was older, wore a ponytail… offered to help me with some of the classes.”

That made Shinji stop, before he turned to her, giving the redhead a serious look.

“Did he talk to you o-or so–”

“Take it easy dummy.” Asuka said simply. “He was probably weirded out there was a kid in his class.”

“Oh.”

“But he seemed nice.” Asuka said softly to herself, unable to hide a blush on her cheeks which made Shinji frown before looking away, walking in an uncomfortable silence next to Asuka before she turned to look at him, sighing.

“So your dad mentioned something about a new neighbor?” Asuka said after a beat, noticing Shinji’s previous smile had all but died, trying once again to spark a conversation.

“Oh yeah, turns out dad wasn’t out when you came by to have dinner, he was helping her get settled in along with mom.” Shinji said softly, before he shrugged. “But it was nice having dinner with you like that.”

That made Asuka turn to Shinji, giving him a small smile.

“Yeah it was… I uh… I actually wanted to tell you something Shinji.” Asuka said before Shinji turned to her, giving her a questioning glance.

“What is it?”

“I uh… I brought the lunchboxes today, maybe we can eat together and talk at lunch time?”

There was a certain tone in Asuka’s voice, hopeful, guarded but optimistic, and Shinji opened his mouth, almost as if he were going to say something before he closed it and decided not to, as they both entered the school grounds, walking into their room classroom, before Misato breezed in.

Lunch time came by quickly for them; Misato had been going on between Math, which resulted in a collective groan from the whole class and a glare and eyebrow twitch from Hikari Horaki, their newly assigned class representative, to History which wasn’t Shinji’s favorite subject, to Literature, which in itself was a chore for Asuka to Biology, which seemed to elicit mixed reaction from the Ayanami twins, before the school bell rang to everyone’s delight.

“Alright… it’s lunchtime, those of you who will eat outside, exit the room in an orderly fashion.” Misato said as she smiled at everyone and exited herself to go to the teacher’s lounge, before Shinji turned around quickly to Asuka, smiling, ignoring Rei who had stood up from her place with Kei and had walked towards where Shinji and Asuka were chatting with each other.

“What are you smiling about?” Asuka said keeping a straight face which was hard with Shinji’s overanxious but bashful look on his face while Rei was reaching out to him with a tentative hand, before turning around and going back to her seat, making Asuka frown and shrug internally before Shinji spoke again.

“It’s your turn today; you said you brought lunch, didn’t you?” Shinji said smiling, making Asuka giggle more at Shinji’s insistence than at his question; there was a certain boyish charm in the way Shinji asked for things, like a small child begging you for a cookie or a sweet that made it hard for her to keep up the façade of being stern.

“Yeah, I did… mom’s very secret German style lunchbox.” The redhead said winking before she realized something was missing.

“Shoot, I need to go get something to drink.” She said as she got up, exiting the room, leaving Shinji alone.

The boy sighed to himself and looked out the room, seeing Toji and Hikari eating together; Toji’s happy face was clearly an indication that Hikari had managed to combine the two things the boy liked; food and herself.

“I'm glad you like it, but can't you eat more gracefully?” Hikari told the taller boy, chiding him gently as Toji seemed to shovel as much food as he could into his mouth.

“It's my way of showing thanks for having such a great meal!” Toji answered in between mouthfuls and with a big dopey smile that made Hikari’s heart skip a beat as she looked quickly away, blushing before she answered.

“Th-thank you.”

“Shinji?”

“Oh, hi Ayanami.” Shinji’s idle thoughts were interrupted by two blue-haired twins standing in front of him; Kei, smiling down with that perpetual smile she always seemed to have and Rei looking strangely flustered and subdued, behind her sister, fidgeting with the hem of her uniform skirt. “Uh… could I help you?”

“My sister is having a hard time saying it but… She likes you.” Kei chirped as she pushed Rei towards Shinji while the blue-haired girl shook her head and Shinji gasped in surprise, looking from the girl walking away to the one clutching onto him, before Rei spoke in a barely there whisper.

“Could we talk alone?”

Shinji nodded and walked out following Rei while looking back at the lunch box that lay on top of his desk, before Rei walked towards the steps in silence, opening the door to the roof and walking out just as Asuka walked back, missing them by a few minutes, noticing Shinji was nowhere to be found while holding a pair of juice cans on her arms.

“Hey Shin–” the redhead paused as she looked to her sides before turning to Hikari and Toji, noticing how her best friend looked at her with an unreadable expression while Toji snickered. “Where did he go?”

“Maybe he’s off somewhere else.”

Asuka huffed and was about to ask something before something caught her sight; noticing Kei was staring out to one of the doors, making her turn and follow her line of sight before she saw Shinji and Rei.

Before she noticed how close they were standing, how Shinji seemed flustered and smiling that small, shy smile of his.

Before she saw Rei lean in, taking a hold of Shinji’s hands on hers, before they both walked in and Shinji smiled at Asuka, walking straight towards her, never noticing as Asuka stared back at him from her place on the other door of the room, a look of disbelief and anger on her face before a frown crossed her face.

“Oh, right! The lunch you made!” Shinji said oblivious to the redhead’s surpise, hurt look on her face, giving Asuka the same smile he had sported before with Rei, the same shy, faint smile that right now, made Asuka give Shinji a look of disbelief, while the boy happily held out his hand to the redhead. “You're the best, Asuka!”

Asuka looked at Shinji with a mixture of surpise, mild amusement and annoyance, before she slammed the lunch in the boy's midsection, while Toji snickered, watching this, and the bell rang, signaling the end of lunch.

The rest of the school day happened by quickly and tediously, but Shinji noticed that every time he tried to talk with Asuka over the messenger service, she would either answer in a quick one line response, or ignore him altogether, making Shinji frown, but being otherwise unable to ask the volatile redhead what was going on, growing more and more anxious, tense and uneasy as he watched the clock tick away before Misato began to wrap up her class.

“Ok, so… if there aren’t any other questions…” The mauve-haired teacher began as the first tones of the bell began to waft slowly in the air. “Everyone stand… bow… dismissed.”

No sooner had Misato said those words that she fled the room while Hikari began to call on the people who had been assigned with cleanup duty, while Asuka began to put away her books inside her school bag and Shinji walked over to her.

“Hey Asuka, ready to go home?”

“I have to go to my other classes.” Asuka said sharply.

“Oh, uhm… w-well I could walk you to the train station, we both need to take the same trains anyway, no?”

“Don't bother, I can do it on my own.” Asuka said before she grabbed her leather carrier, fling it over her shoulder and walking towards the door, brushing past Shinji and everyone else. “You should spend more time with your girlfriend.”

“Wh-what? What are you saying?” Shinji asked hurriedly walking behind Asuka as she began to make her way outside, followed closely by Rei and Kei.

“Just leave me alone you idiot!” Asuka screamed, finally incensed and turning to Shinji, glaring at him and beyond him, making Rei return the glare with a blank stare while Kei seemed to cower behind her sister. “All of you leave me alone!”

As Asuka marched away, leaving behind a confused Shinji, Rei took the opportunity to walk towards the boy, touching his back, making Shinji turn around.

“Would it be a problem if we go to the park to talk?” Rei asked in her quiet voice, making Shinji turn from her to Asuka, noticing how the redhead kept walking away, slowly growing farther down the distance. Opening and closing his mouth several times before he finally turned to Rei, nodding.

“Alright, le–”

“Ah! Shinji! You’re still here! Good!”

Both Shinji and Rei turned to look at Misato who was walking quickly towards where they both were.

“I need you to come with me for a moment; I… have something I need to tell you.”

Shinji frowned before he looked at Rei apologetically, and gave Asuka’s retreating figure one last frown, before he turned to Misato and nodded.

“Sure, let’s go.”

Chapter 1
Chapter 3
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