Neon Genesis Evangelion Fan Fiction ❯ Vignette ❯ Chapter 5

[ P - Pre-Teen ]
Joshua Trujillo


"It could be worse, you know..."

Makoto looked up from trudging along at his friend. Aoba smiled a
tight, Kaji-esque smile from beneath his brown locks. He felt Maya
sliding again and shifted her back up on his back as he turned
toward her apartment.

"And how, exactly, could it get worse than it is?" he asked sourly.

He coughed slightly as Maya belched in his ear. Honestly, he didn't
know she could drink as much as she did. The drinking, he could
handle. The carrying her home was, in all regards, something that
he could handle. Her occasional hugs and drunken whispers about
Doctor Akagi in his ear were a little much.

"It could be raining, you know?" Aoba said, "And, at least, that's

Makoto sighed and nodded as best he could. Maya hugged a little
closer and began nibbling on his right ear. He shook his head,
trying to get her to stop and she eventually settled back to her
former, unconscious state. He sighed and shifted her on his back
again. She'd passed out in the bar as they were getting ready to
leave and since Aoba had his equipment...Makoto sighed. Maybe
he should be in a band? Nah. Shigeru didn't get any more chicks
than he did, which was zilch.

"She heavy?"

"Nah," Makoto said, and she wasn't, "It's just a little more up to her

"You two make a cute couple," he smirked, "You know that?"

"Cuuuuute..." Maya snuggled closer causing a blush to rise in his

Makoto cleared his throat and tried to concentrate on walking. The
city rose around the three of them and seemed to whisper things in
the gloom. Aoba whistled an off-tune song before breaking out
with a short bark of a laugh.

"What's so funny?" Makoto asked.

"Funnnnnnny..." Maya gurgled.

"I just had the thought," Aoba said, "I'm a pretty good musician.
But I can't whistle worth a damn."

Makoto smirked at the thought. Maya belched again.

"WORTH a daaaaaaaaamn..."

"Go back to sleep, Maya-chan," Makoto said softly.


"Maya-chan?" Aoba asked.

Makoto opened his mouth, but shut it again. What could he say?

"What can I say? She IS a cute girl, ya' know..."

"MMmyeah," Aoba smirked, "And she's inebriated too...You know
what this means?"

"Yeah, I will not, once again, get any..."

Aoba chuckled as they got to his corner. The dark only seemed
darker for the circle of light that filtered through the insects flying
near the light.

"You sure you can handle getting her up to her apartment?"

Makoto shot his friend a look and nodded slightly.

"Yeah," he said angrily, "She's not heavy or anything and it's not
like this is the first time I've done this-"

"Yeah, I know, you don't have to get defensive..." Aoba held up his
hands, "I was just wondering if you wanted me to wait to walk
home with, that's all..."

Makoto softened and sighed.

"Sorry," he took a breath and adjusted Maya, "I think I'll just need
to think, okay? I mean...I've got a couple things I need to figure

"Okay," Aoba shifted his grip on his guitar case, "Remember
though that we've gotta finish those tests-"

"Yeah, I remember..." Makoto sighed, "For the good of humanity, I

"Gets in the way of getting laid, doesn't it?"


Both men laughed out loud as each walked out of the circle of
light. Makoto sighed again. Ibuki-san's apartment wasn't far off,
maybe another block, but he thought he felt a raindrop back at the
corner. It would be like the weather to rain on him. Humanity. Is
this what they were trying so desperately to save? Drunken nights
soured with the depression of loneliness? All the lonely nightmares
that wander back in when a person is sober? Never to know the
one you love...Misato. He could treat her better than Kaji, but as
much as he wanted to hate Kaji, to *really* hate him...He just
couldn't. He'd come to like the guy and Kaji seemed to actually
know what buttons to push in Misato. Makoto had learned long
ago that no one pushed her buttons without her permission and so
that had to say something about Kaji, didn't it?

Makoto walked up the small set of steps to the front entryway and
pushed the button on the elevator. He'd have to set her down once
they got to her apartment, but he could hold on until then. He
remembered the first time they'd been up to her place. A night of
programming and alcohol with Doctor Akagi and half the rest of
the staff. It was an all night session and just something that Doctor
Akagi had thought up for team bonding. Most of the staff cut out
after three, but he and Ritsuko had stayed on.

The elevator opened and he stepped in. That night was the first
night he realized that perhaps Maya didn't sit on the right side of
the fence. That wasn't the worst news he could ever get, but it
didn't help any. And yet, she'd ended up giving him a kiss as he left
that night and she thanked him for being there. So that confused
him to no end. It was also the night he first met Maya's two cats, a
ruddy calico named Aeris and a black and white mix named Tifa.
He didn't know the game the names came from but knew that
Maya was chock full of weird trivia like that. It was one of her
things. Like Doctor Akagi collecting things with cats on them and
Misato having stock in Yebisu. The elevator doors opened and
Makoto trudged down the hall to apartment 320. He thought for a
moment and turned, setting Maya down against the wall near the

"Maya-chan?" he said softly, "Where's your key?"

Maya opened her eyes, but didn't look at him. A far away look in
her eyes told him that she hadn't been quite asleep, not really
awake, but not really asleep either. She looked up at him with sad
eyes. Eyes that wanted to ask something of him, but Makoto was
either too afraid to ask, or too worried he might say no. She
reached into her pocket and withdrew her keys.

"Hyuuga-san..." she whispered, "You wanna...come in? Maybe a
nightcap or something...?"

"I...Um...Ibuki-san, I think we've both had enough to drink..."

"I'm not really all that drunk," she snorted as she folded her arms
across her chest, "At least, not anymore."

He chuckled softly, a hand behind his head. She unfolded her arms
and looked down at her feet.

"I really-"

"Spend the night," she interrupted.

Makoto tripped up over his own thoughts. What had she just said?

"Do you just say...?"

"Please?" she asked softly.

She looked up at him and his heart melted. She looked so sad and

"I can't stay...Too long..." he replied, not being able to meet her

Makoto took his shoes off, but had to steady Maya as she took hers
off. She giggled slightly and wobbled towards her kitchen table.
She wagged a finger at him and bit her lower lip as she smiled. He
couldn't do this. She was very attractive and, at least tonight, she
was willing, but he knew that it was the alcohol and the loneliness
talking. And that wasn't-

She got tired of waiting on him, so strolled to him and wrapped
him in a deep kiss. All of the want, all of the longing came through
in her kiss, a desire deeper than emotion. He couldn't help but
respond with equal fire for her. His mind roiled in the passion as
they stepped around each other and the rooms until they came to
the bedroom.

"Stay with me, Maki-chan..." she whispered huskily in his ear, "Be
with me...Love me..."

The last struck a cord and Makoto pulled away and looked at her.
She curled her head against his chest and began to cry. Her arms
stretched around his neck and he could feel her tears against him.
He couldn't do any more. He just couldn't. She...

She was his friend...

Maya yelped as he knelt and gathered her up in his arms. She kept
her arms around his neck, nuzzled closer to him and was surprised
as he set her gently into her bed. She hadn't let go, though. Makoto
sighed softly as she drew him into another kiss and he slowly
undid her grasp on him. He pulled back slightly and smiled slightly
as her eyes fluttered closed. She mumbled as sleep took her. He
knelt to her, kissed her forehead and pulled her blanket up to her.
Makoto turned at the door and smiled again.

Makoto closed the door to her apartment softly and turned to the
growing darkness of the night beyond. Or growing morning,
whichever way you preferred to look at it. He stepped out of the
elevator and looked up in the sky as a few drops fell on his head. It
began to rain lightly. Not really even enough to abate the heat. Just
a soft, mist of a rain. He had done the right thing, hadn't he? He
hoped so. He wanted to hold her, to take her and perhaps to forget
what he was doing for one night. But it wasn't right. Maybe if she
were sober, maybe if they were *both* sober, it'd be different.
Then it'd be a matter of choice and who knows...But not tonight.
Sobriety is a good thing. Makoto reached up, rubbed his own head,
chuckling in the darkness. Well, perhaps sobriety is a good thing

He walked under another lamplight and the rains began to come
harder. Wonderful. He sighed and thought about the softness of
Maya's lips. Misato...He stopped at the center of the golden circle
and put a hand on the lamppost to steady himself as he cried. Sure,
what he did was right. But it didn't make him feel any better. He
felt the desperation in Maya as she kissed him and it was only
matched by his own desperation. He wanted to give in. He didn't
want to be the good guy. Sure, Shigeru, eternally the optimist, had
said that he'd eventually find someone. Makoto knew better. He
was a pessimist, and he knew that didn't help any, but it helped
when he'd been rejected. He didn't *want* to be the good guy. He
*wanted* to give in.

He just didn't want to hurt anymore...

Makoto wiped at his eyes and looked around. He chuckled to
himself. No one would be out at this time of night. He continued
on to his own apartment. Home...

He didn't bother to turn on the lights. No point. He did feel like a
hot shower might help, so he stripped off his clothes on his way to
the bathroom. He leaned against the cool tile and turned the hot
water all the way on. He blinked a couple times against the heat on
his back and turned the water off again. Too hot. Ow. He got out
and toweled off his head so he wouldn't drip, walked into the next
room and flopped down on his bed. He didn't feel clean, but that
really hadn't been the purpose either. He just felt tired...

And, for the first time in a long time, no dreams came to him that
night. The alarm clock went off far too early for his tastes and
Makoto slammed it from its place on the nightstand to the floor, it's
new home. He grumbled as it went off again, but couldn't reach it
on the floor. He sighed and woke enough to pick the damned thing
up again. Yup. Time to get up. He could actually sleep for another
hour, but once he was up, he was up and that was all there was to
it. Makoto sighed. He sat on the edge of the bed and huffed.
Emotionally, he'd have to say that he didn't feel any better than he
did last night, but all gets better after a nights' sleep. And the hurt
goes away for a little while and one goes on with life.

Makoto lay back in the bath and sighed, letting the warmth of it
run through him. THAT felt good. Still a little too hot, but this was
the good kind. Breakfast consisted of a couple bagels with cream
cheese. It was a little thing he'd picked up from his mom when she
was alive, more a habit than a taste, but it suited as he'd be able to
get lunch before the tests begin. Makoto put himself together and
stretched a little before heading out. Yeah, definitely better than
the previous night. He froze with his hand on the doorknob.

What would he say to Maya? What *could* he say to her? Nothing
like that had ever happened before and he was a bit dumbstruck.
Well, she said herself that she wasn't all that drunk, even though
she did go to sleep rather quickly. If she wasn't that drunk, then
she'd probably remember most of what happened. Makoto paled.
He remembered. He wished he didn't, but he did. It wasn't that the
feel of her lips were bad or anything, but he didn't know how she'd
react when fully sober. Makoto sighed. No use in belaying the
inevitable. He'd have to face her sooner or later, but perhaps he
could hide out until later became now.

The train ride to NERV central only gave him time to his thoughts.
He hated coming home from drunken nights with his friends. Maya
and Shigeru had wanted him to come out and go for drinks and to
listen to Shigeru with what remained of his band. 'The Survivors'
they called themselves. They were pretty good, no Dory Hale &
The Angels, but hey, who were, right? He'd begun with beer, and
that was okay. Then Maya had challenged him to
'fiveshotsorheave'. And, with some yen riding on it, he couldn't say
no, right? She won. He supposed that was one of the reasons that
he was more sober than she was last night. He shook his head as
the train made it's way into the Geofront. A few minutes later, the
doors opened with a quiet 'bing' and Makoto stepped out.

He made his way to the cafeteria. Normally, Maya takes an early
lunch and snacks until dinner-Uh, not like he noticed or anything.
The realization that he *did* notice made him blush as he looked
over the choices of dried foodstuffs. He punched up some ramen
and waited a few minutes while it fired up. He then looked at his
watch and for the first time in a while, smiled. His favorite show
was on. He walked to the television in the cafeteria and turned it
on. Ech, someone had it on ESPN, and though he never minded
Sportscenter, there was just something about some of the other
shows. He flipped the channel and soon the chant filled the small

"Jerr-rry! Jerr-rry! Jerr-rry!"

The ramen machine went 'ping', announcing the doneness of his
meal and Makoto retired to a happy seat with a hot lunch. It was
the one time of the day that he didn't feel like a loser, and that was
somehow comforting. Jerry had recently died of a chair attack, but
then his show had outlasted most of the others of his ilk and there
was something to be said for that, wasn't there? TV Tokyo had
been showing reruns ever since. Makoto didn't mind, he liked the
older episodes anyway. The people seemed stranger than his later


Makoto coughed and turned in his seat as he slurped up a mouthful
of noodles. It was Misato! And he couldn't help himself but smile
at the sight of her. Her hair shining in the light, her short skirt
showing off enough leg to make any man smile...Makoto shook

"Major..." he coughed once, "Doctor Akagi wanted to run some
simulations for performance on the Magi later...and well...I don't
get cable..."

He smiled again. Misato looked up to the television as a
horrendously fat woman was held back from her ninety-pound
husband by four burly security guards. Apparently, he'd been
sleeping with her sister's dog, or something like that...

"You watch this stuff?"

"Yeah," Makoto smirked, "It makes me feel good about being who
I am."

"Whatever, Hyuuga...Hey, is Ritsuko done with the tests on the

"Um," he looked at his watch, "Should be."

Misato nodded and walked off. Makoto leaned back in his seat and
watched her seat for as long as he could. He sighed. He really
needed to get out more. But then, wasn't that what the problem was
from last night? He was just socially inept, he supposed. He
slurped up the last bit of his noodles as the end of the program
neared and someone knocked on the wall behind him. It was
Misato again.

"Ritsuko's about ready for you," she said, an absent eye on the tv.

"Oh," Makoto finished off his ramen and hurriedly threw it away,
"Thanks Major."

He shook his head as he quickly walked out, trying to steel himself
for what would, most undoubtedly be, the worst day of his life.
The elevator journeyed to the Magi far too quickly for his tastes
and the doors opened. He took up his position on the right hand
side of the central control and entered his password. The tests were
quite rote at that point, but still necessary, like defragging a home
pc. Makoto snuck a glance to his left. Maya busily typed
something and glanced his way. Their eyes met for a fraction of a
second and she swallowed, visibly, as she tried to work. He sighed
and went back to his own-

A tiny mail symbol lit on his screen. It was the intersystem mail
and Makoto took a breath before he opened it.

'I want to talk, okay?' it was from Maya, 'In a little while...'

He glanced at Maya, who was glancing in return. He nodded
slightly and returned to his work. The tests went slowly, but that
was no surprise. Doctor Akagi called a halt after she got her proper
numbers. Makoto stretched in his seat and rubbed at his eyes. It
was no wonder that a growing number of NERV personnel were
taking advantage of the optical plan. Makoto glanced to Maya's
seat and sighed slightly. She was already gone. To where?
Hopefully home, but that wouldn't be his luck. He got up and
walked to the elevator. It was all just so odd a process, that humans
should have to take care of the Magi when, in all reality, the Magi
could probably be organized and programmed to damn well take
care of itself. He supposed that he shouldn't complain...As it DID
give him a job-

A person came up and stood silently next to him. He knew it was
Maya. It HAD to be. It would be the only person that it COULD

"Um, Hyuuga-san," she said, "What you did last night...I-"

"I'm really sorry, it's just that-"

"Please, Hyuuga-san," she turned to him, "Let me get this out
before I can't...Last night, what you did was the right thing to do.
And I-I know that I'll never know how I hurt you and

She bowed low and he tried to wave her off. She came up from her

"Ibuki-san...I just..."

He was speechless. SHE was worried about hurting HIM? Oh

"Makoto, you're a good friend and I know that last night was hard,"
she said softly, "And I guess I'm just real grateful to have a friend
like you..."

She stepped forward as the door opened and gave him a small peck
on the cheek. She stepped back and onto the elevator.

"Thanks," she said as the doors closed between them.