Neon Genesis Evangelion Fan Fiction ❯ Play it Again Shinji ❯ Part 1 ( Chapter 1 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

Play it Again Shinji
By Ret Nuh
Part 1
 
A/N: Standard boiler issue statement- Evangelion and its characters are the property of Gainax and its subsidiaries. I hold no authority over this story and will delete all traces of it if told to by the proper owners.
 
(A/N: Revision. There were no changes made to this fanfic story wise, I just didn't like how long each of the 3 parts were so I broke them up into 7 shorter more readable sections. Plus I did another proofread to it to catch some of the remaining grammatical errors. Along with this I ran my story through a text to speech program to catch even more errors than I usually do. Now after multiple proofreads is this story perfect and free of grammatical errors? Hell no! I royally suck at proof reading but it should be readable now.)
 
(Latest Revision Note: Just felt like re-writing this thing for the hell of it and also to clear up just who is really `in charge'. Big hint since a lot of people seemed to miss it. A certain someone didn't go from weak willed to bad ass, he is just being fed confidence from who really is in charge. In the grand scale of things he still doesn't have any control over the situation.)
 
This is just my comedic take on the overused (but good) redo theme, I hope you like it. And if you didn't I offer my sincerest apologies (not really). But you have to ask yourself, if you didn't like it why in the world did you read it? What are you, some kind of masochist? :-p
 
Writing Key:
“xxxxx” denotes talking and `xxxxx' denotes thinking. And if you didn't know that, you should be ashamed of yourself. It is only like that in every other fanfic you have ever read.
`0^0' denotes a break in the scene and indicates that you should blink your eyes a couple times so they don't get strained.
//////////--^_^--\\\\\\\\\\ Denotes a break in the stanza and suggests that you should get up and stretch.
Truthfully if you people are smart enough to be able to read this you can figure out anything else I do. This isn't a very complicated story so on with the show.
 
Poison Pen message: This story has been complete for several years now, so I don't need your suggestions on how it could be made “cooler”. And before you think that your suggestion is different and somehow better than everyone else's so the above line doesn't apply to you let me make it clear, Yes I mean you. Keep those thoughts to yourself because I don't want to hear them. Grammar suggestions are still welcomed though.
 
*WARNING! Very un-Eva like situations ahead, proceed at your own risk.* (To tell you the truth this story is more like some weird cross between Ah My Goddess and Excel Saga than it is Evangelion.)
 
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During third impact Shinji realized that life was actually precious and the world was not just full of pain and loneliness, but also love and companionship. While his own version of such emotions were generally steeped in perplexity and misunderstandings he nevertheless figured out love and companionship did in fact exist and that he himself had experienced such emotions even if it took till now, and third impact, for him to figure that out. And upon looking back at his life he saw that too many of the people he did actually love and care about had been hurt or killed. This of course was now completely unacceptable to him, so he made a decision. He wanted to prevent all that pain and suffering, as best he could, and be given a second chance at happiness for him and for those he cared about. This time though with the knowledge and wisdom he had gained, and clarity of the mind for a certain two individuals. Basically third impact had kicked his brain into a proper gear and he wanted to fix everything, but he was also asking for a little help in that matter as he knew he couldn't do it alone and didn't exactly know how to do it.
 
Lilith's nature changed greatly upon hearing that revelation and she gave him an almost human look of complete shock. This decision was very much unexpected and not how she believed the situation was to have worked out. She was so confused in fact that she had to look up into the heavens and ask. “Can he do that???”
 
A couple seconds later she looked back at him and asked cautiously “Are you absolutely sure about this? What you are asking is no small matter.”
 
Shinji looked at her a bit perplexed himself as it seemed like a higher power than he was aware of was at work here as well. The term `GOD' to explain his current state of being may have been a gross over statement was what he was left thinking. But that didn't change his opinions on what he wanted to happen any as he summed up all his guts and said in a rather serious tone “I will do whatever it takes to be with those I love and care about again, so yes.” Shinji was also very glad the only person to hear that was himself. He didn't want to think how Misato or Asuka would respond to him saying something like that.
 
Lilith was impressed by the human boy in front of her and began to smile as she said “You shall get your request.” But then she quickly switched from a smile to a glare as she added “But I am warning you. If you let my little Rei get blown up again, I will come off my cross and personally tan your hide.” She then raised her voice even more “DO I MAKE MYSELF PERFECTLY CLEAR?”
 
Obviously there was more to the whole Rei thing now too and Shinji chuckled a little and promised her this time around Rei would be safe and that he would do everything within his power to protect her. Mainly because he could tell this ethereal being in front of him was quite serious about her threat. Whatever Lilith was, it was clear an understanding of emotions existed inside of her. And if that was inside her then maybe, just maybe, the same could be said of Rei.
 
Lilith smiled once again knowing that Rei would be protected from such pain and horrors and an intensely bright light overtook Shinji.
 
`0^0'
 
When Shinji reopened his eyes he was standing by a pay phone, looking down at a picture of a flirty Misato. As he looked up he saw a ghostly image of Rei. But the image was different this time as it was taller with a more filled out body and an older face than the Rei he knew. If anything it was like Rei had grown up and was in her late twenties now. That of course meant the apparition he was seeing was in fact not Rei, but Lilith. Another change from last time was quickly apparent as she didn't disappear. In fact she proceeded to walk towards him this time around and tried to tell him something. A large explosion drowned out her words though.
 
Shinji watched as Lilith threw a dirty look in the direction of Sachiel when the angel appeared in sight. And for a second Sachiel felt an overwhelming urge to shut up, stand still, and not make a sound as it experienced a very powerful and unknown gaze. It was like this gaze was ripping right through its AT field and neutralizing it, almost to the point of completely destroying the angel's protective matrices.
 
Lilith repeated herself. “Like I said before I was so rudely interrupted. Do you mind if I pop in on you every once in a while? It gets really lonely down in terminal dogma all by myself. And despite what everyone thinks I'm not a girl who likes to be all by her lonesome all the time. I've spent too much time doing nothing but silently watching, this time around I wish to be a more involved participant.”
 
Shinji nodded yes, but added to make sure that no one else was around as an ethereal being talking to him might be a hard thing to explain to someone with no knowledge of what was going on. Plus it might give the impression that he was going crazy, and well he was damn good and capable of doing that all on his own so he didn't need the help. He then ducked as two missiles came screaming overhead.
 
Lilith took this as her cue to disappear.
 
A couple seconds later a U.N. aircraft crashed beside Shinji and Sachiel stepped on it, crushing the craft even further. As the explosion came at him Misato's car screeched in front of it to protect him from the blast. And as the purple haired woman yelled at him to get in the car he tried to be cool like those heroes in anime and shot a menacing glare up at Sachiel. That actually backfired on himself as he jumped into the car feeling rather stupid. It just wasn't him.
 
The angel noticed another gaze being directed towards it and this time decided to punish the petulant human who was the source of it, but by the time it reacted the car he wanted to squash was already speeding away so Sachiel returned to its appointed task of stomping around and destroying things. It would get that human one way or another so it didn't really matter.
 
`0^0'
 
Shinji tried very hard to act how he thought he did the first time, as he didn't want to reveal anything to Misato yet, but he sucked at it and wasn't doing a very good job because while he was helping Misato flip her car back over after the N2 blast, Misato couldn't help but notice that for such a young kid Shinji was surprisingly calm about the events happening around him. When she had read the dossier on him that Nerv security had provided her, she expected a more frightened and confused child. But the person beside her in the car now just seemed to be stronger and more in control of himself. And the conversations they had in the car reinforced that thought as he was quite open to her and answered any questions she asked. Even if his answers were in a sort of defeated tone she found herself not believing this boy was really like that. If anything she had a nagging suspicion that he was trying to put her on. Plus he showed he was a real sweetie at heart as he offered to sow up the rips in her dress. She could find herself liking this boy very easily.
 
`0^0'
 
Later while Misato and Shinji were aimlessly wandering around Nerv Shinji was planning out in his head what he was going to do differently this time. And also laughing a little bit to himself over the fact that Misato was completely lost.
 
While taking another ride in the elevator Misato noticed a slight smile come across the boy she picked up face and she was about to start badgering him about it but was interrupted as the elevator door opened and a less than happy Ritsuko entered. When the doors closed Ritsuko started chastising Misato for getting lost at such a crucial time. Misato tried to explain herself but little of what she said satisfied the irritated doctor. Ritsuko then pressed the correct elevator floor and said she would take them where they needed to go herself.
 
At that moment Misato could have sworn she heard what sounded like restrained laughter. She threw a quick glare at Shinji, but was met with a neutral expression. Something was up with this boy even if she couldn't prove it. She then let out an exasperated breath while thinking `Something tells me there is more going on here than I know about.'
 
`0^0'
 
When Misato, Shinji, and Ritsuko finally got to their destination and Shinji was led in front of Unit-01, Shinji looked up at it and smiled inside. That was his mother up there and he knew that now. But when his father started speaking to him he looked up towards him and in a low and challenging tone greeted him.
 
“Hello Father.”
 
Gendo looked down at the boy over the top of his glasses. He was expecting Shinji to be more submissive and scared. But it didn't really matter to him what Shinji was like, he only needed him for one thing and ordered Shinji to get into Unit-01.
 
Shinji only answered with a menacing glare towards him. Inside though he was bolstered by the fact he knew what was going to happen. No way in hell would he even think of doing such a thing if he didn't. His dad still scared the shit out of him.
 
Gendo was not about to be upstaged by his son and returned Shinji's glare with his own patented one. Shinji clearly had his father's skill and everyone around them grew a little mystified as the two strong willed gentleman battled for dominance.
 
Eventually though Gendo got tired of this battle with his disobedient child and ordered for Rei to be put into Unit-01. And when Rei was being pushed out on her stretcher, there was a massive explosion that rocked the whole cage area and part of the ceiling collapsed. The debris was blocked by the giant Eva's hand, surprising almost everyone.
 
Shinji looked up at the giant purple hand and smiled, he then ran over to check on Rei. When he held her to see if she was alright, she smirked at him. Shinji responded with a complete look of shock. Rei then smiled for a brief second, causing Shinji to ask very quietly “W-what's going on? Do you already know?” and then with a suspicious tone “How much do you know?”
 
“Everything” Rei whispered back in a pseudo hurt voice.
 
Shinji looked at her a little bit crossed, but also with some lightheartedness as he replied “When I'm done with Sachiel you, Lil, and me are going to have a little chat.”
 
Rei gave him another little smile and returned to acting injured. Thanks to the chaos of the situation no one noticed their little exchange. Shinji then stood up and agreed to pilot Evangelion Unit-01.
 
`0^0'
 
Once inside Eva-01 Shinji immediately reached out to his mother and released most of his mind to her. He left out a couple embarrassing parts about Asuka that he thought should be private. And thanks to the decision he made earlier a certain soul was able to clearly reach back.
 
On the bridge though the crew was in a crazy panic. According to the readings from the Magi system, Shinji's sync rate was nearly 400%. After about 10 seconds though the number dropped down to a more predictable rate and Ritsuko said that there must have been some feedback at the beginning causing a false reading, but more importantly the Eva was now ready for launch. She looked up at the commander quickly to see if he believed her, because she didn't, but he seemed unfazed by any of this mysteriousness.
 
Misato quickly acted though and gave the order to launch as the angel above them was doing some serious knocking on their doors.
 
`0^0'
 
Inside 01, as it was being prepped for launch
 
“Sorry about that honey, you caught me a little off guard there at first.”
 
“That's okay Mom, I'm just happy I can be with you again” Shinji responded. “But I am glad you were able to hide my sync rate so quickly.”
 
“It won't be a problem anymore so you can relax and let your Mom handle everything. Now let's go take care of that annoyance outside. I really missed my baby and there is so much I need to talk to you about.”
 
Unit-01 was then launched toward the surface.
 
Once they were on the surface they heard Misato yell over the intercom system “Just concentrate on walking.”
 
Shinji took one step and then stumbled, luring Sachiel towards them. When the angel grabbed the Eva by the head, Yui took over and Unit-01 went berserk setting off a large amount of panic and wonder to most observing the situation. The monstrosity they had unleashed was even more fearful than they one they were battling.
 
This time Yui was much more careful and in full control of herself so the first thing she did was snap the hand Sachiel was holding them with and threw the angel into the surrounding hills so no one would get hurt during the battle. In the hills Sachiel quickly raised it's AT field as it saw a beast clad in purple armor and filled with rage streaking towards it. The AT field proved to be an exercise in futility as Yui quickly tore through it and grabbed Sachiel by it's neck. She then stared Sachiel in its eyes and the angel quickly recognized the glare. It was the same as the impudent human that it had failed to kill earlier. Sachiel could tell its impending doom was near and reared up as it decided to self detonate itself in a vain attempt to take the Evangelion with it.
 
The only sound the bridge crew, or anyone else in the area, heard was a horrific CRICK! that sickened them all to their stomachs. It was the raw sound of bones snapping and flesh being ripped apart.
 
In the hills Sachiel's limp head fell back as it's core faded to a dull red. Unit-01 dropped the dead angel's body to the ground and drove its foot into the core, shattering it into microscopic shards. She let out a triumphant roar and stayed in this berserk pose for a long while.
 
This resulted in the bridge crew having a hell of a time trying to get Shinji out of the rouge unit as no commands were being accepted. Ritsuko had knowledge the others didn't and she realized they would have to wait this out until the Evangelion finally released its control over the situation. How long they would have to wait she did not know. What she was watching on the screen and what she was told would happen were not the same thing. Something unknown to her was happening and even worse the Commander didn't look bothered by it. Was he hiding something form her?
 
Yui of course was actually using this time to talk to Shinji. They had a lot to talk about and so much to catch up on. She missed out on too much of her child's life and now that she had the chance to be back in it she wanted to know everything. Plus she wanted to make sure Shinji understood her sacrifice was out of love and a motherly desire to protect him. There really was no other way for her to do it. This was the only card SEELE didn't have and that forced her to play it. It was either merge with the evangelion and have a chance to protect Shinji or be murdered by an overzealous group of dictators intent on destroying the world as everyone knew it.
 
As the long talk continued into the night Shinji started to get very tired and Yui had her child fall asleep in the plug. To Yui it felt like her baby was asleep in her gentle arms again. An enjoyable feeling she reluctantly released as she gave Nerv control of Unit-01 and let them retrieve Shinji from her. If you didn't know any better it almost looked like Unit-01 was crying.
 
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In the middle of the night Shinji was awoken by a light tapping on his shoulder. When he opened his eyes he saw Rei smiling at him.
 
“Where are your bandages?” he asked her. The fact she was there did not surprise him. He almost expected some sort of meeting to happen since it was apparent Rei knew what was going on.
 
She answered while sitting down in a chair beside him “I only have to wear those stupid things when the others are around because Lilith kept me from getting hurt in the first place. But I still need to pretend to be hurt a while longer… it's rather irritating.”
 
The ghostly image of Lilith appeared on the other side of Shinji and blurted out before Shinji could say anything. “Technically you didn't say I couldn't tell anyone, and I only told Rei to make sure she would be safe and because Gendo was being such a jerk to her.”
 
Rei let out a little laugh as she knew Lilith was bending a few rules by telling her stuff.
 
Shinji gave Lilith a little roll of his eyes and told her “Since I was going to tell Rei almost everything anyways, and I agree with your reasons, it's okay. But from now on please don't tell anyone else unless I say it's alright.”
 
Lilith pouted a little bit, mainly because she wanted more people to talk to, but agreed. Rei though looked at Shinji and teased. “Almost everything…….. I take it I am not supposed to know about that little hospital incident with Asuka.”
 
Shinji turned beet red and looked away from the two. And it did take him a good while to get his composer back, but once he did he gave Lilith an evil look “Only one other person is supposed to know about that!”
 
Lilith blushed a little and replied sheepishly “But I was lonely down there and I just couldn't help myself.”
 
Rei on the other hand looked shocked. “Are you really going to tell Asuka about that? She'll kill you.”
 
“Of course I'm going to tell her, I plan on telling her everything” Shinji answered. “The only way we can be together is to be totally honest and open with one another.” Third impact had sort of stressed that to him. Add on to that was the fact he was told this already by his mother earlier. Yui wanted happiness for her child and she knew Asuka was an integral part of that, but how those two related to each other would have to change for them to have a chance.
 
Rei shot back with a shake of her head “Your Funeral.”
 
Shinji just laughed and teased back “You know, if I'm not mistaken, you seem a little different this time around. So why is that?”
 
Rei blushed and had to think for a little bit before answering him. “Third impact taught me I can be my own person and that there is more to life than being a simple pawn. I saw realities where I could be and act like a real girl. So when we became two again and Lilith filled me in, I decided to become someone different. Someone real. I want to be someone I can be happy with.” Rei then shot a little glare at the angel sitting on the other side of the bed from her “Although I wish Lilith would have warned me about some of the side effects of being a real girl.” Lilith understood that glare very easily and just smiled back at her in response.
 
At this point Shinji really wanted to make a `that time of the month' joke. He was always to timid to do something like that before, and it would be funny, but on the other hand he decided he didn't want to have any real injuries so he just shrugged his shoulders while saying “That's a good enough reason for me.”
 
The three of them continued to talk late into the night and into the early morning until it was time for Rei to return to her room before any suspicions were aroused. Well it wasn't all talking as both teased Shinji a good bit over the stare down he had with his father. Neither believed for a second that he was really that brave or cool, he was totally cheating with his knowledge.
 
`0^0'
 
When Shinji woke up the next day he went for a little walk around the facilities to clear his mind and familiarize with the place again. Sadly he found himself all too familiar with the medical ward already. A bit of nasty recollection on his part he surmised. And as he was looking out one of the windows the medical crew rolled past him with Rei on the stretcher covered in bandages.
 
The staff was all pretty busy talking and in their own little worlds so Shinji decided to shoot Rei a little knowing wink. Partly to be friendly and partly to get back at her for all the teasing last night.
 
Rei had to bite her lip to keep from smiling back. Shinji was only being friendly but this was the wrong place and time for that and Rei spent the rest of the day planning a way to get Shinji back for trying to crack her up when she was supposed to be acting all emotionless and in pain. It's not like she had anything better to do. Being a real person really opened her eyes to how boring of a life she used to live. She had spent an inordinate amount of time just sitting alone in one place, floating around in some form of liquid, or following around a nut job as he tried to make his grandiose plans a realization. Those kinds of events just weren't good enough for her anymore as she wanted so much more.
 
`0^0'
 
After Shinji was discharged from the hospital he was walking towards the elevator with Misato. When the doors opened his father was standing before them. Shinji challenged “Hello Father” once again and the two locked into another battle of wills with their eyes until the elevator doors closed. Shinji then shifted back to normal.
 
Misato looked at him and asked “You and your father don't get along very well, do you?”
 
Shinji answered “Not really. He's never really been a part of my life that much.”
 
“I can relate to that” Misato said with a slightly depressed voice as she remembered her own relationship with her father. “So who are you going to live with then?”
 
“I'll be living by myself.”
 
“But you're only 14” Misato said back quickly, not approving of the answer.
 
Shinji sighed “I'm already used to it.”
 
It was at this point that Misato decided she was going to do something about this. And what she was going to do was have him live with her. She remembered how bad it was for her when she was on her own as a kid and no child deserved that. Also she kind of wanted a roommate she could talk to, not just one that answered every question with a wark. After she had made the arrangements with logistics and fended off an irate Ritsuko on the phone, who never believed her in that she wouldn't take advantage of the boy no matter how many promises she made, she left with Shinji for their home. She did feel a little insulted though because of Ritsuko. Like she would actually jump 14 year old bones. I mean what kind of insane situation would even make her think of doing something like that. If anything she saw the kid as something of a little brother she could tease.
 
Along the way Misato stopped at the store to pick up some groceries for dinner as she figured she would need more food now. Then she took Shinji to a cliff overlooking the city. She wanted to show this young man something special. Something she hoped would make him realize that what he was fighting for was important. And as Misato and Shinji watch the city rise Misato told him how special the city was and how it needed to be protected.
 
Shinji answered Misato after she finished explaining herself. “It's not the city that's special, it's the people who make it up.” He'd been waiting for a while to say that. It took him the whole trip up the mountain to think up something that stoic and he really wanted to say it.
 
Misato just stared at the boy intrigued and a bit amazed as she pondered his words. They made her happy. And as they got back in the car to head home Misato could not help but to smile and be impressed with the boy she had been put in charge of.
 
`0^0'
 
When they got to the apartment Shinji stopped before entering. As Misato was explaining the mess and that this was now his home too, he could think only one thing. `Is it physically possible? This place is trashed worse than last time.' And for a completely different reason he wanted to cry. There was going to be no change in this aspect as Misato didn't bring him home to be a roommate, she brought him home to be an indentured servant. Or at least that's how he sort of felt about it as he looked over the massive mess in front of him.
 
Eventually he did step inside and Misato asked him to put away the groceries while she freshened up. When he opened the fridge to do his task he said to himself with a hint of disappointment “Ice….Check. Snacks….Check. And of course fifty gallons of beer….Check. That woman really needs to cut down on her drinking and learn to eat right.”
 
“What was that?” Misato yelled from the bathroom as she heard Shinji mumbling something.
 
“Nothing” Shinji replied “I'll start dinner.”
 
“Good!! I'm starved” Misato yelled back. Having someone who knew how to cook around was a vast improvement in her life. Bringing Shinji in was a good idea after all.
 
 
 
`0^0'
After they had finished dinner and Shinji cleaned up the place a bit, Misato decided the only fair way to split up the household chores was with a good old fashion game of Rock, Paper, Scissors.
 
A little later Shinji was still staring at the chore chart as Misato left the room with a huge smile on her face. He then heard a familiar voice beside him.
 
“That's more chores than last time, you really suck at rock, paper, scissors. Can I tell Misato now?”
 
Shinji sighed while still staring at the chart. “It's a good thing the fate of the world doesn't depend on my rock, paper, scissors skills. We would all be really screwed... And no you can't tell Misato, I haven't decided on when I want to inform her yet and my mom doesn't think it's a good idea to do it right away. But you can tell PenPen if you get him out of the tub. I need to wash off the LCL. I forgot how much I hated being in that stuff.”
 
Lilith disappeared as Misato walked back in. “Were you talking to someone Shinji?”
 
“Just myself” he answered. “I think I'm going to get cleaned up now.”
 
“OK Shinji, you look like you need to relax anyways.”
 
And as Shinji walked towards the bathroom he passed by PenPen and said “Hey PenPen. Now remember you can't tell anyone.”
 
PenPen warked a “Hey Shinji, long time no see” and a “you can trust me” back at Shinji. With the bathroom open Shinji was able to relax and let his mind rest. A couple memories did pop into his head while in the tub and they did frustrate him, but there was nothing he could do about them until a certain “she” showed up.
 
`0^0'
 
Later that night Shinji was lying in his bed listening to his S-dat player. He was planning out what was ahead of him and when and how he should let some of the others know about what was happening when he heard a soft knock on his door.
 
“Shinji, can I come in?” Misato asked as she opened his door slowly. In a gentle voice and with caring eyes she told him “I forgot to tell you something, you did something very brave and very noble yesterday. You should be proud of yourself. Goodnight Shinji, hang in there.”
 
Shinji turned over to look at her and replied “Thank you Misato that really helps me. Goodnight.” And then gave her a small smile. And he was perfectly genuine about it. Shinji understood things so much better know so words like that helped him more than even Misato knew. If he was going to be brave about this whole situation he knew he needed other people to be bolstering him like that, encouragement from others was what would keep him from regressing back to his old ways.
 
Misato couldn't help but smile back again as she shut his door. And as she walked back to her room to go to sleep she started thinking `With a kid like that, we might just stand a chance.'
 
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Shinji was practicing his target shooting while Ritsuko was going over the battery information and an endless amount of other Eva related stuff. Needless to say he was bored out of his skull.
 
One of the problems with coming back with full knowledge, as Shinji was learning, is you have to constantly hear things over again that you were bored hearing the first time. It kind of reminded him of school actually.
 
But he just kept going while drowning out what Ritsuko was saying. Ritsuko on the other hand was a little impressed with the new pilot, he was doing very well and seemed to be up to speed on everything she expected him to be. Which sort of confused her as she never thought he would live up to expectations. But as long as the commander didn't care neither would she.
 
At the end of the session Shinji asked Ritsuko if he could stay in Unit-01 to get a better feel for it and she agreed. It couldn't hurt him and maybe it might make him more comfortable in the plug and improve his synchronization rates.
 
When Maya stopped monitoring him and the two women left him alone to go do some other work, he synced up with his Mom and they discussed his future plans. Yui offered some suggestions of her own and they pretty much decided what they were going to do next. Well `they' as in Yui. Shinji was not good at making grandiose plans and one of the million of reasons he wanted his mom back in his life was that he needed her help if he was going to pull this off.
 
`0^0'
 
The next morning Shinji decided not to wake up Misato and let her sleep in this time. He remembered she had just gotten off night duty so instead he left her a note saying that he was leaving for school. When he got there he saw Rei and took the empty seat next to her like the teacher told him to.
 
Across the room he heard Kensuke talking about the rumor going around the school that the new kid, Shinji, was the pilot of that giant purple Eva. Touji was just sitting there spaced out and thinking of nothing really important while his friend droned on. Other people in the room were listening though and later on during the day Shinji got a message on his computer asking about the rumor. He remembered what had happened last time and had every intention of answering NO, because he didn't want the attention, but when he turned around to look back at the group of girls asking the question he heard a couple clacks on his keyboard. When he turned back around he saw YES already typed and entered on his computer.
 
And in a very quiet voice he heard “That's for trying to crack me up at the hospital.”
 
A second later he was mobbed by the class, and Kensuke was staring him down with investigative eyes. Touji just took a quick look at him and continued on thinking about nothing in particular. While all the attention was on him Shinji looked over and saw a small hidden grin on Rei's face. He realized then that he might just have to be more careful around her. Her new attitude was much more lively than the old one. Rei was not Rei anymore but a real girl, complete with all the attributes of said creature. And considering her DNA sources he should not be underestimating her cunningness or intelligence.
 
`0^0'
 
When school was over Shinji got assaulted again. But this time it was by Kensuke and he was assaulting him with question after question after question. Eventually Touji grabbed Kensuke and held him back for a second.
 
“Sorry new kid, when he gets like that it's hard to stop him.”
 
“That's ok… but thanks for trying.” Shinji said and then introduced himself “By the way the name's Shinji Ikari.” And he held out his hand.
 
Touji shook it and replied “The name's Touji Suzuhara, and the overly-excited one is Kensuke Aida.”
 
Shinji then shook Kensuke's hand and Kensuke responded by launching into another million question rant. Both Touji and Shinji groaned as they wished he would at least lighten up a little. But of course Kensuke didn't and he continued to pepper Shinji with questions.
 
That led to Shinji breaking down and actually answering a couple of them before Rei walked by. “C'mon Shinji, Samshel's here. We've got to get going.”
 
The angel sirens then started blaring and Shinji took off with Rei towards Nerv headquarters. Along the way Rei asked “Any chance those two will stay in the shelter this time?”
 
“Not a one.” Shinji replied.
 
Back at the school both Kensuke and Touji were slack-jawed.
 
“D-did she just speak normally?” Kensuke asked confused.
 
“And she had a smile too” Touji continued dumb founded.
 
But their conversation was interrupted by their class rep who started yelling at them to get to the shelter and to stop just standing there staring at nothing. That snapped the two back to normal, which wasn't a good thing as Kensuke came up with a genius plan to see what was happening.
 
`0^0'
 
When Unit-01 was launched Shinji played along with the angel until he was thrown into the hillside. And exactly like before Kensuke and Touji were huddled together between the Eva's fingers scared shitless. This time though when Touji and Kensuke got into the plug they were greeted with a surge of thoughts and images. Touji was in la-la land as Shinji gave him a hint about who liked him, it was a very mutual like, and when Samshel stuck its whip like tendrils through Unit-01's torso Shinji let Kensuke feel just what it was like to pilot an Eva. Misato then yelled at him to get out of there but the only response she and the rest of the crew got was a horrific CRICK! that once again nauseated them all.
 
`0^0'
 
After Shinji had snapped Samshel's neck and killed the angel he pulled the angel's tendrils out of Unit-01, and continued to kick its core until his power ran out. Inside the plug Kensuke said, still in pain, “Touji if I ever say I want to be an Eva pilot again, punch me really hard in the gut to remind me of how stupid I was.”
 
Touji didn't answer and his eyes were glazed over. Kensuke looked at Shinji strangely for an answer.
 
“I gave him a little hint about Hikari.”
 
Kensuke had to laugh at that. Truthfully he always had a feeling about those two.
 
They then all heard a female voice “Hello boys, I let you in on things so you would be nice to my little Shinji. He needs some friends his own age.”
 
Kensuke bowed politely and replied “We will Mrs. Ikari.”
 
Shinji though complained “Mom, stop calling me little. I'm 14 years old already.”
 
In a very motherly voice Yui responded “I don't care, you will always be my precious little baby.”
 
Kensuke started laughing again while Shinji grumbled “Why does everyone have to tease me.”
 
The answer he got from his mom just made it worse. “Because you just look so cute with those little red embarrassed cheeks of yours.”
 
Shinji whined out loudly “MOM!!!” as now both Touji and Kensuke were laughing at him.
 
`0^0'
 
Three days later Kensuke and Touji were sitting on the roof eating lunch when Rei peeked her head around the door.
 
“Don't worry it's only us up here” Kensuke said.
 
Rei walked over and joined them while saying “Good. You have no idea how annoying it is to play an emotionless wonder all day.” And she started eating lunch with them.
 
During lunch Touji asked her “Where the hell is Shinji? He's been gone for three days now.”
 
“He's still playing up his injuries and skipping school. Actually Lilith, PenPen, and him are probably sitting on the couch watching TV right now.”
 
Touji then grabbed his cell phone and called Shinji up. When he answered the phone he was greeted with “You lazy bum, get your ass to school.”
 
Shinji laughed and said “You're just jealous, and you sound like Hikari.”
 
Touji yelled back “I am not!... and what's the big idea telling me that Hikari liked me before I could do anything about it. It-it's pure hell.”
 
“Consider it pay back for the time you hit me” Shinji quipped and hung up the phone.
 
As Touji sat there with a stunned look on his face and the phone to his ear he uttered out “That twisted little bastard.”
 
Both Kensuke and Rei started chuckling at him.
 
`0^0'
 
The next day Kensuke and Touji went over to his apartment to make sure Shinji came to school. And also maybe get a little peak at the beautifully bosomed goddess, Misato. The two were all eyes as Shinji tried to push them out the door to leave, but as he did he yelled out “I put a note in your coat pocket Misato.”
 
“Okay” Misato yelled back followed by a “YEEAA, that's the way to start the day.”
 
Shinji just shook his head and left for school.
 
`0^0'
 
After school Shinji, Kensuke, and Touji left for a boy's night out. They caught a movie, got something to eat, and then hiked up into the hills to camp out. A while later though while they were talking around a campfire a bunch of Nerv security agents surrounded them. The leader of the group told Shinji to come with him and Kensuke whispered “Déjà vu.”
 
Shinji sighed and told them to wait right there as he would be back in an hour or so and went off with the security team.
 
At Nerv headquarters Shinji was sitting in the holding area when Misato walked up to him. She had a look of both concern and disappointment on her face. But even before she could say anything Shinji got up and took the note out of her coat pocket, which she had completely forgotten about, and handed it to her. Misato read it.
 
-Going out tonight with Kensuke and Touji after school. See you in the morning.
p.s. I have my cell phone in case of an emergency.-
 
Misato's face turned a crimson red and she said in a very embarrassed voice “I'm so sorry Shinji. I kinda thought you might have run away and I was really worried?”
 
“You could have tried calling me on my phone before sicking my dad's goons on me.” Shinji said to her and then asked “Can I go now? The guys are waiting.”
 
Misato looked down at the ground and answered “Yes, and I really am sorry. I guess I just forgot.”
 
Shinji gave her a little smile to know that she was forgiven, but as he walked off he added “You know Misato you should really cut down on your drinking. Then you probably wouldn't forget things so easily.”
 
“Hey!!!… That's none of your business” Misato exclaimed as she very much liked her beer and didn't need that kind of badgering from him too. She then chased him off before he could say anything else. That live in cleaning boy of hers was way too observant in her opinion, he just seemed to know everything.
 
`0^0'
 
While all this was going on Gendo and Ritsuko were talking about reconfiguring Unit-01 to Rei's signature while going down the escalators. Rei in return was mocking them the whole time behind their backs.
 
When Ritsuko turned her head to ask Rei if she could pilot Unit-01, Rei quickly reverted back to her emotionless act and responded with a plain “If pilot Ikari is unable to, I will do as ordered.”
 
“Good” Ritsuko said and turned her head back around.
 
Rei then stuck her tongue out at Ritsuko.
 
Gendo's cell phone rang a second later. After a minute of someone talking to him he hung up. “The situation has been resolved, no changes will be made at this time.”
 
“Understood Commander” Ritsuko answered and then quickly turned her head around as she felt like she was being mocked for some reason.
 
Rei just stared back at her with cold emotionless eyes, but stuck her tongue out at her again once Ritsuko turned her head back around. Rei was having much fun doing things like this. It was like a game to her, see if you can catch me not being the me you think I am.
 
While they continued down the escalator Ritsuko could only think to herself `I really need to cut back on the all-nighters, I could have sworn Rei was just sticking her tongue out at me.'
 
////////////////////--------------------------------^_^---------- ----------------------\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
 
“Unit-00 is out of control”…….”Eject the entry plug”……”Rei, Rei are you alright”
 
Rei woke up in her bed with tears streaming down her cheeks and screaming. Lilith immediately appeared beside her.
 
“Are you alright honey?”
 
Rei took a couple of minutes to settle down and catch her breath. “I… I had a bad dream about when my Eva went out of control.”
 
Lilith put her hands on Rei's head and said softly “I will never let anything like that happen to you again.” And she eased her mind and helped her back to sleep. As Lilith watched over Rei she could feel another presence. Not so much watching her but making sure everything was all right as well. This made Lilith very happy. Rei was as much a part of her as another being and she needed to know that there was someone else who would be around to watch over this special child when she was no longer able to.
 
`0^0'
 
The next day Shinji was at the Samshel site when he saw the burns on his father's hand again and Ritsuko explained the whole sorted story to him.
 
When she was finished Shinji drifted off into thought `Mom is much more forgiving than I am, consider yourself lucky dad. Since she told me to give you a second chance, I will. But if you don't act like a real dad to Rei and myself and a good husband to Mom when this is all over, I don't think Mom will let you be around.' He was snapped out of his thought by Ritsuko.
 
“Hello earth to Shinji, did you hear what I said?” and she repeated herself. “In the future if you decide to finish off the angel in your usual way, please do not destroy the core. You shattered the first one beyond any tangible use, and you kicked this angel's core so badly it is basically useless as well.”
 
Shinji just rolled his eyes at her and left, causing Misato to laugh.
 
“Hey, what I said was serious, so stop laughing” Ritsuko scolded her. “You are supposed to be his guardian so I expect changes.”
 
“Then you're going to be disappointed” Misato said to her. “He's a teenager, and I don't really think he cares too much about your experiments.”
 
“This comes from the Commander himself” Ritsuko responded seriously.
 
Misato replied “Then I can guarantee he won't listen. In case you've been lost in your own private world, he doesn't care for his father very much. So you're just going to have to make due with what he gives you.”
 
Ritsuko responded with a glare and walked off grumbling about the lack of respect she was given until she ran into Maya, who offered to give her a hand on her work.
 
When Misato saw that she yelled across the complex “SUCK-UP.”
 
Both Ritsuko and Maya turned around quickly and glared at her until she slinked away laughing. For as dangerous as a situation the world was in Misato couldn't help but think she was having quite a lot of fun living in it right now.
 
`0^0'
 
Later that week the boys were sitting on the bleachers around the track. Touji was staring up at the girls in the swimming pool when Shinji noticed. With a very smug look on his face he said “What are you looking at Touji? Could it be Hikari?….Are you looking at her big round breasts?….Hikari's silky thighs??…..and Hikari's……..Naughty Bits???” Even though it was definitely a wrong emotion to have, Shinji felt every bit vindicated at this little bit of friendly revenge.
 
Kensuke though started laughing hysterically as Touji turned a bright shade of red.
 
Then they all heard
“Ewww, Suzuhara's looking at us.”
“Gross……..”
“yuck……”
 
Touji quickly turned his head towards the ground as the other two continued to laugh at him. “You're one twisted little bastard, you know that?” Touji grumbled while making a fist.
 
“I think I get that from my father” Shinji replied while still laughing.
 
`0^0'
 
Up in the pool area Hikari was listening to complaints about the perverted trio of boys and told the other girls she would have a talk with those three after class and properly punish them for their rudeness. But as she walked around the pool she heard a very quiet voice say “He was looking at you.”
 
Hikari quickly reacted to that and looked around only to notice Rei sitting there with her head down. She was very surprised for a second, but rethought and realized Rei would never say anything like that. She must have been hearing things. But then the words that were said and what they were implying impacted her and she blushed a little bit as she smiled. If Touji wanted to look at her she had no problems with that. In fact she was kind of wishing he was doing it right now. But as she looked down at the bleachers she saw the three boys had already gotten up and left. She let out a little sigh and went back to her swimming class.
 
`0^0'
 
Later on while Kensuke, Touji and Shinji were running around the track Kensuke asked “Does Lilith pop in on you guys every once in a while too?”
 
“A couple times” Touji answered with Shinji adding “She gets lonely by herself, so she pops in on anyone she can talk too. I even caught her once having a long conversation with PenPen.”
 
“That doesn't make sense” Touji laughed.
 
“That's what I said” Shinji answered “But according to Lilith he's a very good conversationalist, and I have caught Misato talking with him too. All I ever get out of him is some kind of Wark.”
 
As Touji and Shinji discussed the absurd possibility of the ability to have a conversation with PenPen Kensuke's mind drifted to something he had been wondering for a little bit now so he interrupted them with “Does Lilith really look like what Rei will when she grows up?”
 
Both the other boys stopped running and stared at him.
 
“What, I was just wondering?”
 
“Then why don't you go ask her yourself.” Shinji replied looking at him curiously.
 
Kensuke's only response was a slight blush at the thought. Touji and Shinji then started jogging again but both of them had a slight grin on their faces. Both of them were thinking the same thing as the grown up Rei, Lilith, was rather well proportioned and they were wondering when Kensuke was going to make one of his comments about it. Although the fact that he included Rei into that thought did bug Shinji a little bit.
 
`0^0'
 
Later that week Ritsuko came over to Misato's and Shinji's place for dinner, mostly to check up on the two. She wanted to make sure Misato wasn't taking advantage of their precious Eva pilot. Well at least sexually that was. She didn't really care if Misato made him into her personal butler, that was his problem, not hers. Unfortunately just like last time though it was Misato's turn to cook. And after a less than appetizing dinner for all, including a now sick penguin making use of its natural regurgitative abilities, Ritsuko handed Shinji Rei's ID card and asked him to bring it to her. Shinji stared at the card a second longer than he should have as he remembered what had happened last time he tried to do this. A tipsy Misato noticed this and started accosting him about maybe he had a crush on her.
 
Shinji winced a little at this statement and shot back. “Look who's talking. I bet there's someone from your sorted past you still like.”
 
This shut up Misato instantly as there was some truth to it, but Ritsuko smiled and decided to have a little fun with the statement. “You know Misato, he's right.” Ritsuko looked over at Shinji and continued. “She used to be real serious with her old boyfriend Ka…”
 
Misato leapt at Ritsuko and tackled her while she covered her mouth before Ritsuko could finish saying his name. She screamed out “Don't you ever mention that idiots name in front of me!! I don't ever want to see, hear or be reminded of that ass again.”
 
Shinji started laughing at her for many different reasons. Ritsuko though pulled away and kept teasing. “They even skipped a whole week of college to have hot, steamy sex.”
 
Misato went absolutely ballistic at Ritsuko for that, but turned on Shinji when he said sarcastically “If you didn't drink so much, dirty stuff like that wouldn't happen to you.”
 
This set off a vicious cycle of going after one person and then the other as they took turns teasing her. The night finally ended when Misato got too tired to chase the two around and fell onto the couch.
 
Ritsuko though left with one final jab “We will have to do this again real soon sometime, it was fun. But next time make sure it's Shinji's turn to cook. I would rather not have to use a stomach pump on myself in the future.” And she closed the door behind her.
 
As Ritsuko was going home she thought to herself `Shinji is nothing like I expected him to be. Misato may be right to trust him. The question is will any of that trust matter once Gendo's plans take their full affect and the angels get tougher.'
 
After Ritsuko had left Shinji went over and helped Misato to bed. As Misato sat on her bed she pouted “You were mean. Teasing me like that.”
 
“I only tease because I care.” He told her.
 
“Then you must care a whole lot, because you didn't let up all night” Misato pouted again still a bit on the tipsy side.
 
Shinji smiled at her and replied “You're right. I do” as he left her room.
 
Misato sat on her bed for a second longer while she pondered what Shinji said. She liked it so she smiled and then proceeded to pass out.
 
`0^0'
 
Sometime later Shinji was standing outside Rei's apartment door pushing the entrance buzzer button. Ten minutes later he was still pushing the button, even though there was no answer.
 
It took another ten minutes of him pushing the button for Rei to finally stop laughing and say from the other side of the door. “You know Shinji that buzzer doesn't work.”
 
“I don't care, I'm not going to stop pressing it until you come out this time.”
 
Rei came out, fully dressed, and laughed again while Shinji handed her the new ID card. As they were walking towards Nerv for Rei's reactivation test she kidded him “So you didn't want to see me naked again?”
 
Shinji shuddered at the thought and told her “If I knew back then that you were basically my sister, I probably would have puked.” This was a memory he desperately did not want to relive.
 
Rei started laughing at him for that and decided the rest of the walk would be spent teasing him about how he copped a feel from his own sister. Shinji groaned and felt nauseous the whole way.
 
`0^0'
 
As Rei and Shinji were going down the escalator at Nerv Rei became very quiet. She turned and looked at Shinji very seriously, and with some apparent worry. “You remember Ramiel fires at you almost immediately, right?”
 
“Don't worry, Mom and I already planned out our strategy” Shinji told her trying to relieve the girl's fears. But he also added sharply “And don't you dare even think about getting involved. I don't want you getting hurt like last time.”
 
Rei tried to respond as she wanted to protect him too but Shinji just stared at her till she knew he was serious about what he said. It was at that point that Rei realized something. Shinji was as good at using his eyes to stress a point as his father. He may have also got a back bone instilled in him during third impact as well. Not like he was a bad ass or anything like that but more along the lines that he was becoming protective of those he cared about. Losing everyone in his life seemed to have deeply affected Shinji as Rei had pretty much guessed it would have.
 
`0^0'
 
Rei's reactivation test went smoothly and Ritsuko was even surprised as Rei's sync ratio was up a bit. She was curious as to why but she didn't have time to think about it as the Angel alarms started blaring and Ramiel settled right over the top of them.
 
Misato immediately ordered the two Eva's to be prepped and launched ASAP. Ritsuko though delayed that order as she was suspicious and said she wasn't sure Unit-00 was ready so only Unit-01 was sent up for battle by itself.
 
As Shinji was being launched the crew detected high energy readings from the angel and Misato yelled “WATCH OUT SHINJI!!!”
 
Shinji and his mom were ready this time as they immediately jumped out of the way once they got to the surface and ran towards the angel while it was still in a firing pattern aimed at their old spot. When Ramiel stopped so did Unit-01. Inside, most of the crew couldn't figure out what was going on.
 
“What's he doing?” Ritsuko yelled, but Misato understood. She was an advanced student in tactics and had a pretty good idea about what just happened.
 
“I get it. The angel has a set firing pattern and can't change its shot once it has fired. And I also bet that it has to drop its defenses to fire.” She then grabbed the mic and yelled “WAY TO GO SHINJI! Now just wait right there. I will tell you when to strike.”
 
She then ordered the crew to tell her when the angel was powering back up for another shot. When it was she yelled over the intercom system “It's about to fire, so get ready.”
 
A split second before it fired Misato yelled again “NOW!”
 
Unit-01 dodged out of the way of the shot and charged towards Ramiel. The angel stopped firing but it was too late as the giant Eva had already leapt on top of it. Unit-01 then took out its prog knife and started cutting into Ramiel's body, creating a horrish nails on a blackboard sound that could be heard for miles around. When the Eva had cut a hole big enough to fit its hand through it reached in and crushed the angel's core slowly.
 
Ramiel emitted a horrifying high pitched screeching sound, which for the third time, turned the stomachs of the tech crew and anyone else unlucky enough to hear it. Which unfortunately for the citizens of Tokyo-3 was everyone.
 
Ramiel's dead body then fell to the ground and the angel research and recovery team had a third angel to dismantle and experiment with. Well except for the part that they really wanted to study. The core as they would soon find out was completely ruined yet again and the rest of the Angel was basically junk.
 
`0^0'
 
Some days later Shinji and PenPen were eating breakfast when Misato woke up. The first thing she did was grab a beer out of the fridge, crack it open, down it in one gulp and proclaim “YEEAAA!... Now that's the way to start the day.” And then she followed all that up with a big belch.
 
Shinji responded to her usual morning routine with a complaint. “Do you have to do that every morning, it's disgusting.”
 
“Oh you're just too sensitive Shinji” Misato shot back quickly.
 
“Yeah, whatever. Could you at least pick up after yourself once in a while, and maybe cut back on the alcohol. The amount you drink cannot be healthy.”
 
Misato reached over the table and squeezed his cheeks while saying “You're so cute when you act all tough and concerned.”
 
Shinji started to blush when she said that, more because she was wearing a flimsy night shirt and he was able to see way more than he wanted to be able to at this point.
 
Misato noticed his flushed little face and nervousness. She could also see just where his eyes were pointed. She leaned a little closer to give him a tease and then started laughing as she let go of the very uncomfortable boy and headed off to the shower.
 
The urge to get back at Misato for that was great so before he left with Kensuke and Touji for school Shinji left Misato a note asking her politely not to show up at school drunk today as it might cast doubts about whether she was a proper guardian or not.
 
Misato was less than impressed by the note. And when she showed up at school she flashed a V sign and a big smile to all the boys watching her from the windows, but when she saw Shinji she glared at him. Shinji just smiled back.
 
“So what did you tell her that has her mad at you?” Kensuke asked.
 
“I wrote her a note asking her to not show up drunk at her school meeting.”
 
Unfortunately for Shinji he said this too loud as Hikari overheard him. “Shinji Ikari, how dare you do something like that! Out of the kindness of her heart she took you in and that is the way you treat her. You should be ashamed of yourself.”
 
“If you knew her like I did, you wouldn't say that.” Shinji joked.
 
But Hikari wasn't buying it as she grabbed him by the ear and dragged him down the stairs toward the office so he could apologize to her. Misato laughed the whole way through the forced apology. She loved every second of it, served the boy right in her opinion.
 
Back in the classroom Touji was sulking under his breath as he grumbled “I wish she would drag me off like that.”
 
Rei had to use every ounce of her self control to keep from laughing, but Kensuke's laughter and subsequent teasing more than made up for it.
 
`0^0'
 
When Shinji got to Nerv that afternoon he was met by Ritsuko and Misato. And as they were walking through Nerv headquarters Ritsuko told him the edited true story of Second Impact.
 
When she was done Shinji asked very seriously “So how was my father involved?”
 
Ritsuko started coughing and choking on her coffee at the brashness of that question. And the thought of actually answering it, well she didn't even want to think about that. Misato on the other hand was thinking about it and looking over at Ritsuko waiting for an answer as well.
 
When Ritsuko regained her composure she warned the two about asking questions that were better off left unasked and then quickly switched the conversation over to the conference that Misato and she were going to soon.
 
When both of them let her change the conversation, Ritsuko was incredibly thankful for it. But she couldn't help but wonder what caused Shinji to ask that question in the first place. Was it possible he knew more than he should? Things were happening in ways Ritsuko could not predict, she could not shake the feeling that she herself didn't know everything. And also that this boy beside her was more than he appeared to be.
 
`0^0'
 
The next morning Shinji knocked on Misato's door and said “Remember Misato, you have...”
 
Misato interrupted him by coming out fully dressed, cleaned up, and ready. She told him “I'm going to Old-Tokyo on business, I'll be back late. You should eat out tonight.” And then she left.
 
Shinji looked at the closed door for a second and said to the bewildered penguin beside him. “As bad as messy Misato is, I definitely prefer her over the serious one.”
 
PenPen warked in agreement as he shook his penguin head.
 
Shinji then got some breakfast for PenPen and himself and sat down to eat. After he finished he left for school, but quickly got called out of it when the Jet Alone robot went out of control.
 
`0^0'
 
As Misato was explaining her plan to Shinji he offered a few changes that Misato approved of, its not like she actually cared about the Jet Alone robot's finished state, she just didn't want it to blow up. So this time when Unit-01 caught up with the rogue robot the Eva stopped its progress completely with the prog knife by cutting off the robots arms and legs. A stationary target was easier to control than a moving one after all. The military was less than happy at this outcome. The damage Nerv had just caused was in the tens of billion yen. But Misato told them she was in charge and that they had to shut up and live with it. With the robot stopped Shinji safely deposited Misato inside.
 
In Unit-01 Shinji reached out and asked his Mom to create some interference so he could ask something of Lilith. When the com system crashed, much to the annoyance of the tech crew who were now running around trying to get it back up, Lilith's ethereal form appeared beside him and Shinji asked “I know that Misato's in no real danger of explosion because this is just a stupid setup by my father, but I'm worried about the radiation she will be exposed to. Can you protect her?”
 
Lilith smiled and said “You have a very kind hearted and caring son Yui, you should be proud of him.”
 
Lilith dissipated away from Unit-01 and a blue aura surrounded Misato without her noticing it.
 
In Unit-01 Shinji heard his mother say “I really am so proud of you.” And then she let things return to normal.
 
`0^0'
 
Later on Gendo was getting a full report on what had happened. The result was the same and Nerv was given more money as the Jet Alone project was deemed a failure. That is all he cared about.
 
Ritsuko did bring something else up though. “I am a little concerned at just how proficient Shinji is at piloting Unit-01. And I can't explain it, but the computer readings we get from his Evangelion do not match what he is doing in it. Plus we had an unexplainable malfunction and lost contact with him for a short period again. Is it possible he could know more than we think he does?”
 
Gendo looked over the top of his glasses at her with an annoyed expression as he responded “As long as he does what he is told, he is not a concern. What he knows is minimal and it will stay that way.”
 
“Yes sir.” Ritsuko replied a bit on the angry side.
 
Gendo then dismissed the people in his office as he was through talking to them.
 
But as Ritsuko left she warned him “Apples don't fall far from their trees. Remember that Gendo.”
 
Gendo didn't even look at her in response.
 
This bothered Ritsuko and as she walked to the bridge she started thinking `Gendo you should be concerned, loyalties tend to change when better options become available. And ignoring me might turn out to be a more dangerous situation for you than the rest of us.'
 
Inside Gendo's office though he was sitting at his desk. What Ritsuko had said actually registered to him, there were already things happening that he couldn't explain. He was not happy about this. Some of those things could jeopardize his plans so he decided to make a call. One that might help him solve a couple inquires he had about his son.
 
When the other person picked up, Gendo ordered “I want you to keep an eye on my son as well. Inform me of any significant changes or perceived threats.”
 
“That shouldn't be too much of a problem” a sly voice answered. “And as a freebie I will keep tabs on his guardian for you too.”
 
“That will not be necessary” Gendo answered. “Do you have the package?”
 
“I have your package with me now and will deliver it personally.”
 
“Good” Gendo replied and hung up the phone. Soon it wouldn't matter who knew what as his scenario would be unavoidable.
 
`0^0'
 
The next morning Misato was back to her normal self. After she had finished her beer she saw Shinji just sitting there smiling at her.
 
“What?” she said looking at his silly grin.
 
“Even though you're lazy and a slob, I prefer messy Misato to serious Misato. But I really do wish you would cut back a little on your drinking.”
 
Misato was surprised by Shinji's answer, but also a little touched by it. She had shown Shinji her true nature and he accepted it, so she decided that maybe he was right. She had been drinking a lot more than normal lately so she told him “I'll think about it Shinji.”
 
When Shinji left for school, Misato went back to the fridge and grabbed two more beers. She thought for a second and put one of them back in the fridge.
 
 
Chapter 2

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