Neon Genesis Evangelion Fan Fiction ❯ Sausages, It was a Tuesday ❯ Chapter 2 ( Chapter 2 )
[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Sausages, It was a Tuesday
By Lord Raa
Disclaim-me-do: Thou shall not cuss the Twin
Asuka sat on her bed in her room, mulling over what had happened to her fellow pilot. She had not meant to deck Shinji, but it was one of those “heat of the moment” situations.
`It's not like I actually enjoy beating the shit out of the Stooges,' she thought. `Well maybe Monkey Boy and Four Eyes when they're being extra stupid or perverted.'
A knock on her door roused her from her ruminating.
“Asuka?” Misato asked through the locked door.
“Yeah, what is it?” Asuka returned, not wanting to deal with her guardian.
“I've just come back from the hospital. I've got some bad news for you,” Misato answered. “Let me in, Asuka, I don't like talking through doors.”
Asuka opened her door and let the purple haired woman in to her private sanctuary.
“What is it?” the redhead demanded when she sat back down on her bed.
“You're going to have to pick up some of the slack with the chores,” Misato started, “Shinji's moving in with Ritsuko.”
Asuka blinked. “What? Why?”
“Because you smacked him to the floor,” Misato answered.
“It's not my fault he's got a glass jaw!”
“I know that,” the Misato shot back. She sighed before continuing, “I meant that you shouldn't have hit him just because you think he stole some of your thunder or was playing the martyr. I take it you know that he's not had pleasant experiences piloting Unit-01?”
Asuka looked at Misato as if she was not the sharpest tool in the shed. “What, like the time he fouled up the last Angel battle?”
“No,” Misato shook her head, “like the fact he's been hospitalised several times. The fact that he injured a little girl the first time he piloted Unit-01, or perhaps the fact that he nearly killed his friends when they snuck out to see a battle.”
“It serves those two idiots right,” Asuka huffed.
“And the little girl?” Misato asked through gritted teeth.
Asuka's eyes widened when she realised what she said. “Sorry.”
“That's good, I told them that you were,” Misato nodded in acceptance of the apology. “He's got the day off school, but you haven't. Get going before you miss the rest of the morning.”
Asuka grumbled as she gathered her school things and left for the most pointless of her regularly scheduled activities.
As he gathered his few possessions for his move, Shinji was pondering the change in Ritsuko's behaviour. Before yesterday, she had barely talked to him outside of work. But today, she had agreed to allow him to stay with her in her apartment.
The apartment in question was slightly smaller than Misato's, but was far more organised, with the exception of a computer desk in the corner. Shinji assumed that it was where Ritsuko did the work she brought home with her.
Sighing, he placed his suitcase on his bed and began to unpack.
A know on his door startled him.
“Sorry to disturb you, Shinji,” Ritsuko said, standing in the doorway, “but I've got the kettle on. Would you like something to drink?”
“Some tea please,” Shinji answered. “If it's not a bother.”
“I think I can manage tea. Unlike Misato, I do have some homemaking skills” Ritsuko whispered conspiratorially.
Shinji snickered, before catching what he was doing. “It's not nice to poke fun at people. Even if Misato does keep trying to get me to make her ramen with beer.”
Ritsuko laughed at the anecdote and Shinji's attempt to keep a straight face. “Come into the kitchen when you're ready, Shinji-kun.”
The Commander of NERV was in his office, reading the report that informed him that his chief scientist had decided to take in his son.
“It seems that the Third Child is useless without his Eva,” the bearded man noted to his mentor.
“The boy prefers to avoid conflict,” Kozo commented. “Was this part of your plan?”
“Yes,” Gendo ominously replied. `But why would Dr. Akagi want to take in the Third Child?'
Shinji was enjoying the tea that Ritsuko had made for them. It wasn't a particularly fancy brand of green tea, but it didn't taste of earth like Asuka's or like dishwater like Misato's.
“So then Shinji, are you all unpacked?”
“Just about,” Shinji replied in a tone that was considered happy, for him, anyway. “I need a place for my cello.”
“How often do you play it?” Ritsuko asked, a place already presenting itself to her.
“Not as often as I'd like,” Shinji replied sadly.
“Well, since you won't have to play manservant to two other people, you should be able to get more practice in,” Ritsuko replied. She put her cup down when she saw that Shinji's expression didn't seem to change. “I didn't mean that you only have to look after me, Shinji. As you can see, I'm not a slob like Misato.”
Shinji nodded, his eyes scanning the apartment.
“I'm just trying to help you relax Shinji,” Ritsuko reassured the pilot. “Your personality type is susceptible to stress.”
`Not that piloting Eva for that bastard's plans helps,' the blonde dryly noted.
At school, Asuka's late arrival was noted, but went unpunished. The lack of Shinji made Touji and Kensuke start a furious instant message conversation that ended up blaming the German pilot for their friend's absence.
At recess, the class rep walked up to the redheaded latecomer.
“Is everything alright with you and Ikari-kun?”
“What? Oh him? Yeah, everything's fine. Why?”
“Well you were late and he's not here,” Hikari answered. “Was he injured at NERV?”
“No, but he won't be in today,” Asuka said looking away; she didn't trust her face not to reveal any trace of guilt to her best friend.
At NERV headquarters, Misato was summoned to Gendo's office.
“Commander?” she asked, hoping that he wouldn't ask too many questions about the night before.
“Captain Katsuragi, I am sure that you're aware that Dr. Akagi has decided to take over guardianship of the Third Child. I want you to take a look at the situation and report back to me.”
“Because I want to know why she would do that.”
“I understand, sir, but why are you asking me to do it?” Misato asked.
“Because you have experience in dealing Dr. Akagi, and you will know if she is hiding something,” Gendo replied. “I'll expect your verbal report by 5pm. Dismissed.”
“Would you like to see the view, Shinji?” Ritsuko asked her new roommate.
As the pair walked to the French window, a sleek black cat jumped down from the railing to greet Ritsuko.
“Ah hello there, Penny-chan,” Ritsuko bent down as she greeted one of her feline roommates.
“Penny-chan?” Shinji asked. “Why that name?”
“Because Penny-chan here,” Ritsuko started as she scratched the ears of her black cat, “is my first all black cat.”
Shinji continued to look puzzled. “And?”
“Well the name seemed appropriate when you consider that the first postage stamp 175 years ago was called the Penny Black,” Ritsuko explained.
“How do you know that?” Shinji asked.
Ritsuko looked at Shinji with a concerned look on her face for a moment. “What do they teach you in history?
“Nothing much really,” Shinji admitted. “History at school seems to be mainly the sensei droning on about how the world was much different.”
“I take it that you know about the Industrial Revolution and where it started?”
“Not really. I know that in the 19th century we started to have trains. I never really paid it that much attention,” Shinji confessed.
“Well, you know postage stamps?” Ritsuko asked.
“Well, the postage stamp was invented in Britain during the industrial revolution. The first one was called the Penny Black, because of its colour and price,” Ritsuko explained.
“Oh,” Shinji looked impressed by the blonde's knowledge. “How do you know this?”
“Well, my father's hobby was stamp collecting. I asked about the first one and he told me about it,” Ritsuko smiled at the memory.
“My father never did anything like that with me,” Shinji said sadly. “Not even when Mother was still alive.”
Ritsuko could see a mixture of anger and sadness play across Shinji's face. `Perhaps I can use this to get back at his father.'
The black cat meowed, indicating its hunger.
“Let's get you fed, shall we, Penny-chan?” Shinji smiled at the cat when it rubbed up against his leg.
It was lunch time when Misato followed her orders to pay Shinji a visit in his new surroundings. She kept trying to tell herself that she didn't want to see the sensitive pilot hurt, having quickly grown attached to the quiet boy. She did acknowledge that the blonde scientist was to be the subject of a few rumours at NERV when it came to relationships.
Most of them were relating to her assistant, Maya Ibuki, some were laughable, like the one that said she was sleeping with the Commander, but still, the purple haired woman cared for the young man that managed to get her hovel into a decent condition and provided her with regular hot meals.
Perhaps that was why a nagging voice in the back of her head was suggesting that her motives were not entirely altruistic.
After a short and mildly dangerous drive from NERV to Ritsuko's apartment building, Misato knocked on the door.
When door failed to open after ninety seconds, Misato began to fret for Shinji's wellbeing. She pulled out her sidearm and clicked the safety to off.
“Ritsuko, you had better not be doing anything bad to Shinji,” the Tactical Officer warned through the wooden door.
Moments before she decided to kick the door in, Misato was greeted by the sight of Shinji in an apron.
“Oh, you're clothed?”
“You sound disappointed, Misato,” a voice called out from behind Shinji.
“Yes, Misato. Now what's so important that you come here in the middle of the day, ready for a gunfight?”
“I just thought that I'd pay my two best friends in Tolyo-3 a visit, that's all,” Misato lied.
“Shinji, would you mind making some tea for us?” Ritsuko asked the pilot.
Shinji agreed and left for the kitchen.
“Misato, the fact that you nearly burst through my door suggests that you're lying to me. Care to try the truth?” Ritsuko asked as she took a seat.
“Alright, I was asked to find out why you'd want to take Shinji in,” Misato confessed. “You never considered it before.”
Ritsuko sighed. “Well done, Misato, you've managed to make me out to be a pervert.”
“Sorry,” Misato replied sheepishly. “So you weren't planning on tying him to the bed and covering him in chocolate body paint?”
Ritsuko was not amused by her friend's suggestion or the grin it came out of. “The thought never entered my head.”
“I bet it has now, though,” Misato laughed.
“What has?” Shinji asked innocently as he returned with the tea.
“Don't worry about her, Shinji-kun, you know what a dirty mind Misato has,” Ritsuko waved the pilot's concerns off.
Shinji shrugged as he sat down.
“So how are you settling in, Shinji?” Misato asked, trying to let her friend's barb slide.
“I'm all unpacked, Misato-san,” the young Ikari answered as he poured tea into the cups.
“That's good,” Misato said as she accepted her cup. “I take it you'll be back in school tomorrow?”
“Yes,” Shinji nodded.
“Hmm, nice tea, Shinji. Can I see your room?”
“What? Why?” Ritsuko demanded.
“I told you already, Ritsuko. Or shall I tell the Commander that you're keeping secrets from me?” Misato gambled. “Perhaps you make him wear kinky garments after dark? You know, short leather pants with holes on the butt and nothing else, that sort of thing.”
Shinji's face threatened to explode from the pressure of the all the blood in his cheeks.
“It sounds like you're the one Shinji should be protected from,” Ritsuko countered. “Don't worry, Shinji, I put a lock on your door.”
Shinji was more than a little bewildered by just how the conversation had managed to go down such a sordid path.
“Fine,” Ritsuko sighed. “Let's go into Shinji's room and we'll show you just how normal it is.”
To be continued…
This chapter was pre-read by Chi Vayne and written in less time than the last one.
It shows, doesn't it?
Anyway, questions that have come up:
1) This is set between the 7th and 8th Angels.
2) I'm keeping what Gendo said to Ritsuko secret for another chapter or three.
3) I'm not trying to bash Asuka. I will give her a chance to redeem herself/take the glory in laterer chapters.
4) The section about Ritsuko's father is a complete fabrication, but what are you going to do about me making up a history for a fictional character that never has any facts revealed?
And they never said what her cats were called, either.
Bonus points go to Freak-Productions for guessing the source of the title.
Until laterer comes, folks.