Neon Genesis Evangelion Fan Fiction ❯ Vignette ❯ Chapter 2

[ P - Pre-Teen ]
Joshua Trujillo


The rain began shortly after I said goodbye to the Second Child
and Ikari-kun. Weather patterns were just right and the prevailing
winds from the lake made for a series of long, slow rainstorms.
There are puddles even as I walk. There have been puddles for
days. Gatherings of water in the imperfect earth. Water that gives
life. Water that is life. The city sleeps around me, for it is late. Far
later than is normally allowed, but Dr. Akagi thought more tests
were necessary and even Ibuki-san, her assistant, was dismissed
for the night. Ikari-kun asked if I wanted to walk home with he and
the Second Child. I did not say no.

The Second Child did not speak often as we walked. When she did
speak, it was to admonish Ikari-kun for the rain and to call him an
idiot. I do not understand the second child. Ikari-kun only needs a
good tutor to restore his grades; otherwise, there is no difference in
intelligence between them. He had forgotten the umbrellas though.

I knew of a faster was back to the apartment in which I live and
left the Second Child and Ikari-kun that I might make it back there
before the rains came. I was unsuccessful. Looking at my feet, I
notice that someone has pushed the rest of the mail through the slot
in the door and into the front foyer. They're getting wet where they
are. I leave them there. There is nothing of importance in the
growing paper stack though. Commander Ikari told me they were
not important and he is not wrong.

I undress and step into the shower in the bathroom. There is a furo,
but I do not use it. I have not told Commander Ikari that I prefer
the shower. I expressed a preference before and he informed me
that my preferences are irrelevant. Since he told me directly, I must
assume he is correct. I still...prefer...showers. The heat of the water
and the way it comes down across my body like rain
is...pleasurable. It is not hot in the way of the weather outside. That
heat is oppressive to the senses and gives me a headache. The
shower relaxes me. I turn off the water and step out, wrapping the
towel around my shoulders as I walk into the other room of the
apartment. The conditioning of the apartment chills my unclothed
skin and I shiver reflexively.

I pick up my clothes for the following day and lay them on the
chair. They will be needed to go to Terminal Dogma tomorrow. I
shall see my sisters tomorrow and that brings a pleasurable feeling.
They ask me so many things that I do not understand. Questions
that I do not remember having asked those that came before.
Perhaps it is a flaw in my memory. Some of them want to
understand emotions. I do not understand emotions, but I know I
have them. When Commander Ikari speaks to me, it fills me with
happiness. Lately, I have begun to feel this way when talking with
Ikari-kun and yet-

Ikari-kun. Ikari Shinji. The First Child. I have given him an
appellation different than that of his father. When did I do this?
Why did I do this? Perhaps that is so I can tell them apart in my
own mind and yet...I have no memory of consciously doing this
separation. I see that my memory is more faulty than I originally
thought. I will speak with Dr. Akagi concerning it tomorrow before
my trip to Terminal Dogma. Perhaps it is just due to the fact that I
am tired. It has been a long time since I slept and Dr. Akagi told
me that sleep is necessary for humans to function properly.

"So I shall sleep."

I normally fall to sleep quickly and dreamlessly. Only the thoughts
of my sisters permeate the darkness behind my eyes. They are
somewhat unending. They have thoughts of rain. Of sunshine
across the golden fields of sunflowers, shining like the flickers of a
candle. They wonder at the taste of blood. The LCL solution that
we use in Evangelion tastes like blood. It is the same solution in
which they live. They wonder how I know it tastes like blood.
They also wonder at the air. It seems, from their perspective, that
there is no fluid on the other side of the tank wall. That is true.
Then, how do you live? I breathe air. What is air? I tell them, they
do not understand. Does air taste like LCL? Air has no taste on it's
own. What is no taste like? I cannot explain that. What does Shinji
taste like? I do not know. I wake.

It is morning. The sun shines through the small openings in the
curtains. It is a bright day. I pull back the curtains and squint as the
light hurts my eyes. The warmth of the sun feels good. Like

I rise and take another shower. I take care to wash thoroughly since
part of the tests today will be an examination. The water feels
good. I dry myself afterward and dress. I leave the place in which I
live and make my way toward the Geofront. I meet Ikari-kun along
the way. The Second Child has gone ahead, as she was impatient to
get the tests done early. Ikari-kun smiled at me and I find it more
difficult to meet his gaze. We walk to the Geofront.

It is a quiet walk, resounding only with our footsteps on the paved
ground. Some cicadas that have survived the storms have come out
and are busily chirping in the trees. Something is different about
Ikari-kun. There is something *about* him today that was different
than yesterday. Truly, I must have Dr. Akagi check my memory.
That is it. He smells differently. I wonder at this because I don't
ever remember him smelling this way before. It is a pleasurable
smell. Not too strong as to be overwhelming. If I did not know
him, I most likely would not have smelled it. It is not a scent that is
normally worn by men. The smell that Kaji-san wears can
definitely be overwhelming at times, but the scent of Ikari-kun is
not feminine. At least, it is not feminine as Ikari-kun is wearing it.
We stop at the long elevator, which takes us to the Geofront. I turn
to him and he seems surprised by this.

"You," I say.

"H-How do you mean," he is visibly beginning to sweat.

"You smell differently."

"Yeah," he chuckles nervously, a hand at the back of his head,
"Misato wanted me to try out some cologne. This was the only one
that I liked."

"I..." I pause, " it."

"You do?" his eyes were wide, "Good. I'm glad you like it."

I cannot meet his gaze again. Perhaps I should ask for a more
complete physical...He is still standing, looking at me. The elevator
stops. I turn quickly and kiss him on his lips. The doors open and I
walk out. I feel warm. I feel warm like the way a shower heats me,
but on the inside. I do not understand why I did what I just did, but
I found it...pleasurable. I take my physical from Dr. Akagi and she
asks me if I'm feeling ill. I reply no and she wonders at my
increased heart rate, metabolism and open capillary response. I
have no reason for it.

After the exam, she did some memory tests and I am puzzled to
find that my memory, at least short term, is perfect. I gather my
clothes and get dressed. I do not wonder at this as I realize that
there is a great deal of the Geofront and headquarters to go through
to get to Terminal Dogma. I do not understand what the Second
Child calls modesty, but Commander Ikari has asked me to respect
his wishes in this matter. And, of course, I will. There is another
long elevator ride to Terminal Dogma. I enter through the normal
passages and get undressed. It takes a second for me to get used to
the LCL tank and the closed in feeling. Dr. Akagi says that it might
be a slight case of claustrophobia. The connections are made and I
am once again joined with my sisters. Again the questions come.

This time, I have an answer.