Neon Genesis Evangelion Fan Fiction ❯ Evangelion: Third Genesis ❯ Chapter 33

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Evangelion Third Genesis: Part Thirty-two


The shocked sounding familiar voice came from behind them and Asuka cursed softly. Turning from their walk back to Misato’s apartment Asuka saw three friends, all gazing in disbelief even as Yui looked on with wide eyes.

“You’re all right!” Toji rushed forward as much as his cane would allow, the taller dark haired boy thumping the shaken Shinji’s shoulders.

“Why are you wearing a labcoat over a NERV uniform?” Aida asked, the blonde haired boy’s glasses gleaming as he studied Shinji curiously.

“Give him some room,” Hikari looked at Shinji with some concern, the brown haired girl looking at Shinji’s pale face with concern.

“Help,” Yui mouthed silently as she gave Asuka a desperate look, brown hair falling into her eyes.

“Sorry to surprise you all,” Asuka said quickly, the orange haired pilot helping ease the three of them back. She looked at Rei, “Could you get him some water?”

“Of course,” Rei said gently as the dark blue haired girl took Shinji by the arm and walked Yui away.

“Who are they?” Yui asked softly once they were out of listening range.

“Shinji’s classmates and friends,” Rei answered.

“Nice to know he has friends,” Yui sighed.

“What’s going on with Shinji?” Toji answered with a fierce frown, his expression showing honest concern.

Asuka sighed, “He’s been in a coma for months, guys, and he had a nervous breakdown besides. He’s pretty fragile right now.”

“Sorry,” Aida looked a bit sheepish, looking over to where Rei was standing beside Shinji at a drinking fountain. “He even looks.. odd,” he said, “if I didn’t know better, I’d almost say he was a different person.”
“I guess I hadn’t thought of that,” Toji conceded a bit sheepishly.

“Has he been awake for very long?” Hikari asked, studying Asuka with her unusually perceptive eyes.

Choosing her words carefully Asuka answered, “For a bit. We’re all keeping a close eye on him, until he recovers.”

“How long do we have to pretend to drink water?” Yui asked wryly as she bent over to get another drink.

“Until Asuka convinces them of a cover story for you,” Rei sounded proud as Asuka talked to their friends.

“Lovely,” Yui sighed.

“Are you all right?” Rei asked with gentle concern.

“I forget for hours at a time I’m in Shinji’s body,” Yui said, “and I’m feeling guilty about it now that I know he has such good friends waiting for him.”

“It’s not your fault,” Rei pointed out reasonably.

“Maybe not,” Yui answered firmly, “but I am responsible.”

Asuka waved them over and Yui and Rei returned. “I was just explaining that you were recovering from your nervous breakdown,” Asuka said as they neared.

‘Terrific, now I’ve had a nervous breakdown,’ Yui thought with amusement. Bowing slightly to them she said, “I’m sorry, I’m still trying to come to grips with everything that’s happened lately.”

“Hell, I know how you feel,” Toji said with a surprising degree of gentleness, “take the time you need to recover.”

“We’ll even keep your seat open in class,” Aida chimed in brightly, “maybe I’ll take you camping again.”

“I’d like that,” Yui managed.

“Get better soon,” Hikari gently hugged him. Softly she added so that Asuka could only hear, “I expect you to tell me what’s really going on eventually.”

“Right,” Asuka agreed, noting once again that Hikari was much more perceptive than the two boys were.
“Thank you for the rescue,” Yui said once the three of them were gone.

“No problem,” Asuka smiled wryly. “Sorry about saying you had a nervous breakdown, but we already used the amnesia story for Rei,” she explained.

“Hikari didn’t really buy that story for me, either,” Rei noted with a slight smile.

They continued on and Yui smiled to herself slightly as she saw Rei and Asuka holding hands once again. The two women seemed largely unaware of the small gestures they made to each other, touching, stroking a arm or holding hands like this. It was kind of cute to see.

“We’re home,” Asuka called as they went into the cluttered apartment. She saw Misato’s shoes by the door, as well as a set that she didn’t instantly recognize. ‘Wonder if someone from NERV is here?’ she thought.

“About time,” Misato called back, “we’ve got company.”

“Wonder who?” Rei looked curious as they headed to the kitchen.

“Probably someone we know...,” Asuka started then froze as she recognized their new unarmed combat instructor sitting beside Misato.

Aoba Kinushima looked more amused than anything else as the brown haired woman shared a beer with Misato. She had been working at NERV for awhile but had only recently started as the unarmed combat instructor for Asuka and Rei, part of a program to improve both of their combat skills in Evangelion.

“We were just talking about getting takeout,” Misato informed them.

“Welcome, Kinushima-sensei,” Rei bowed formally.

Aoba laughed, “No need to be so formal, Rei. Hello Asuka.”

“Ma’am,” Asuka’s voice was flat with annoyance. Aoba had quite effectively wiped the floor with her in the last training session, and it had rather annoyed her.

“Nice to see you again,” Yui said. She nodded to Misato, “If you could excuse me?”

“See you later,” Misato nodded.

“She looks rather stressed,” Aoba frowned, “is it because I...?”

Asuka’s sense of fairness won out over her irritation and she explained Yui’s shyness, “I think running into Shinji’s friends may have been a bit much for her to take.”

“Should have phoned a warning they were here earlier,” Misato scowled.

“Not your fault,” Aoba said as she reached over to squeeze her arm comfortingly.

Asuka and Rei exchanged surprised glances. “Well isn’t that interesting,” Asuka murmured.

“I think they look cute,” Rei whispered back.

“And what are you two whispering about?” Misato asked suspiciously.

“Nothing,” Asuka did her best to look innocent.

To be continued...