Disclaimer- Author: "No, itīs not mine. And this *sniff* mean guys at gainax said *sniff* I canīt get it." Author runs away, crying.
Jimmy Wolk watchīs him ashamed. "Damn, why does he always pick me as his avatar..."

The 2nd try

Chapter 1: The 12th

Shinji Ikari just reached a new sync-ratio record.

And as Rei Ayanami suspected, the former holder of this record, also known as Asuka Langley Soryu, wasnīt very pleased with this. So she didnīt pay much attention to the rants of the Second Children and finished dressing up. When she was done, she silently went for the door of the female pilots changing room, whispered a "Sayonara", and left.

With the First Children gone, Asuka, who was just before holding herself, almost 'dancing' in front of her locker, mocking about the 'great, unbeatable Shinji', released the feelings that tensed up the last hours in a powerful...


She didnīt know how long she could play this charade while thinking of all that happened... and will happen.
Lost in her thoughts, she failed to notice someone coming in, sneaking up to her and suddenly embracing her from behind, encircling his arms around hers.
With that she tensed up, even though, or maybe just because she knew exactly who the stranger was.

"Hey", the intruder whispered and gave her a small peck on the cheek. "Youīre alright? Youīre kinda..."

"Shinji, what the heck are you doing here?", she fizzed nervously, not turning around.

"Wha- what do you mean?", the surprised Third Children uttered dumbfounded. "I just wanted to se..."

"What if someone sees us like this?"

"Rei has already left and I doubt she had seen me", he assured, now more confident. "Besides, who would dare to enter the domain of the great Asuka Langley I..." He halted, as they both tensed at his mistake. "...Soryu while sheīs changing."

"Baka, this is NERV weīre talking about. You know, they have security cams everywhere."

"In the girls locker room?"

"I wouldnīt be surprised. I bet these old perverts are ogling the screens every time weīre getting dressed."

"I think youīre getting paranoid", he chuckled a bit before leaning forward again. "But I admit they can be kinda persisting. So?"

"So, to keep up our cover, I guess you give me no choice, but to respond to this situation like I would have back then..."

Shinji gulped. "You... you donīt mean..."

Now Asuka turned her face around, showing a mischievous grin.

"YOU BAKA HENTAI!!", she screamed in rage, sending him backwards in surprise of the sudden outburst. Due to this, he tripped over the bench, sending him on the floor. However, Asuka didnīt stop her assault. "HOW DARE YOU??!", she kicked him, even though not too hard. "SNEAKING IN MY LOCKER ROOM!!" She pulled him up and pinched him against the door. "TRYING TO RAPE A HELPLESS, LITTLE GIRL, HU??!!" She raised her fist to strike. Shinji flinched, shut his eyes and prepared for the blow...

...that didnīt came.

He forced one eye open, to see her grinning again.

"At least, wait till we get home", she whispered, gave him a small kiss and left.

Shinji slumped down, sighting.

"Five years and she still manages to scare me like that..."


After the latest sync-tests, most of the staff was already gone, the happy ones heading for home, the not so happy ones working elsewhere on their nightshift in the NERV HQ. Only two were still working on the results of the tests. Well, actually only one. Major Misato Katsuragi just watched, while Dr. Ritsuko Akagi was working.

"So, anything new yet?", Misato asked bored, leaning against the wall, sipping on her now tepid coffee. 'Need a beer soon...', she grimaced.

"Besides Shinjiīs surpassing of Asukaīs ratio? No", Ritsuko answered plainly, while looking through some printouts. "Nothing that would explain that boost five days ago."

"I donīt understand, why youīre making such a fuzz about it anyway. I mean, something similar had happened while they were fighting the 6th."

The head of Project-E gave the Major a glare that seemed to say: 'Iīm the one with the lab coat, you want to tell ME something?'
"That was something totally different. They have been in a stress situation, due to the battle, and as far as we can tell they synchronized with EVA-02 AND each other for a few seconds which caused a temporally boost of their sync-ratio. This time however, they have been separated in their EVAs and were under usual test-conditions."

Misato still couldnīt see the point. "So?"

Ritsuko sighed. "So, it shouldnīt have happened. And even if they managed to raise their ratios like that so suddenly, that immediate dropping wouldnīt make sense. Itīs as if it had been suppressed at once."

Misato blinked. "Suppressed? By the pilots?"

"Or the EVAs", Ritsuko added quietly.

'Still hiding secrets from me, huh, Ritsuko?', the Major glanced to her old friend but decided to drop the conversation. Instead she took a look at the watch.

She panicked.

"Wah! Itīs that late already? Shit! Iīve got to get home!"

"Oh. Iīve thought, Kaji would pick you up from here", the other woman grinned.

Misato stopped in her tracks. "How do you...?"

"Or do you want to dress up for your 'date'? I thought it wasnīt serious?", she continued to tease, seeing her old friend paling.

"Eh... No, itīs not! The..the children, yeah. They... donīt know yet. Iīve... forgot to tell them..." 'Lets hope she doesnīt know that they have heard Kajiīs call...'

"Oh? Why donīt you just phone them?"

"Uhm.. our phone is broken?"

"They have cell phones, you know?"

"I... eh...", she trailed off, obvious caught. "You know, I hate you Ritsuko!", she muttered and went out.


She almost ran straight into someone. A fuming someone.

"Asuka, what are you still doing here?", she asked.

" 'What I am doing here?' Iīm waiting for YOU to drive me home!"

"Why havenīt you gone with Shinji?"

Wrong answer! The Second Children just gave her guardian a good olī 'Glare of Death' clenching her fists in fury.

'Ah right, Shinji beat her - she donīt like being beaten. Better not use the 'S-Word' for a while', Misato thought, not knowing whether to be angry or to laugh at the behavior of the redhead. But remembering the time, she decided to do neither.
"Alright, alright, come on. Lets get out of here."


"Weīre home!", Misato said as they entered the apartment.

"Welcome home!", Shinjiīs voice greeted back.

It had been a quiet ride home. Misato hadnīt wanted to risk an argument so she stayed silent and Asuka merely muttered something under her breath now and then.

"Stupid Third"

Just like now. EVA-02s pilot kicked her shoes off and rushed inside while her guardian advanced to her room to get changed - nothing too special of course.
It didnīt take long until the first shouting reached  the Majors ears.


"Huh? What do you mean, Asuka?"

"What do I mean? HOW STUPID ARE YOU?
Did you think, the great, undefeatable Shinji doesnīt need to do such lower work, after beating my synch record?"

"I..Iīm sorry..."

"AHH, there he goes again!"

Misato rolled her eyes. 'These two will never change...'

Since she was finished changing, she decided to intervene, before someone (or better said, Shinji) got seriously hurt.

"Listen...", she opened the door to her room. She trailed off.

'For a second, I would have sworn, they had just smiled at each other.'

"Arenīt you done yet?"

"Iīm sorry, it takes some time to cook, you know?"


'Nah, must have been my imagination...'

Asuka switched her target as soon as she noticed her guardian, giving her a disgusted look. "Not only youīre going out with Kaji, youīre going like THIS?"

"Huh?" Misato looked at herself. She wasnīt wearing anything too revealing, just a plain, dark blue dress. It was getting tight, though. "Ha, youīre only jealous, that Kaji didnīt ask you out. Shinji, what do you think?"

When he looked up from his cooking, she posed a little in front of him. He quickly returned to his work, blushing.

"I... I think, you look fine, Misato", he stammered.

"Figures. Hentai!", Asuka mumbled.

By now, Shinji had finished his cooking and began filling the dishes, when the door bell rang.

"KAJI!" Asuka bolted up and stormed of to the door.

"Wasnīt she SO hungry, just a minute ago", Shinji and Misato sweat dropped, before following their roommate.

"Hello, Kaji!"

"Ah, hello, Asuka", the unshaved agent greeted the enthusiastic teen, that was already clutching his arm. "Hi, Shinji. Hello, Katsuragi." He showed his trademarked heartbreaker smile. "Youīre ready?"

"Oh, ye..."

"Say, Kaji, do you really want to go with her? I would make a much better company than her..."

"Eh, another time, okay Asuka?"


"We better get going", Misato interrupted, saving Kaji from this obviously awkward situation.

"Yeah, right. Just leave me alone with HIM...", the redhead scolded, while Misato pushed Kaji back through the door.

"You two better behave. And donīt do anything, I would do!", she teased, waving good bye.

"Yuck! I wouldnīt do something like that, with such a baka hentai, even if he was the last man on earth!", Asuka grimaced, while Shinji seemed to ignoring that comment.

"Whatever! Bye!"

As soon as the door closed, the Third and Second Children flung at each other, sharing a passionate, seemingly endless kiss. While doing so, they slowly retreated to the living room and let themselves fall on the floor. None of them could remember if it lasted minutes or hours, when they finally broke it, panting heavily.

"Iīve... missed... you", Shinji gasped.

"Iīve missed... you, too", Asuka answered, still caressing his neck. "We hadnīt time for us since... well, THE kiss..."

He chuckled at that memory. "Well, you didnīt seem to enthusiastic when I came for you, today...", he tried to sound offended.

Asukaīs only response was a light giggle. But her smile faded soon, when she remembered what she had thought of, before he surprised her in the locker room.

Shinji noticed that, of course. "So, will you tell me now, whatīs on your mind?", he asked concerned. "Iīm supposed to be the depressed one, remember?"

She averted his gaze. "Baka, you know exactly, whatīs on my mind", she said quietly.

Shinji sighed and nodded slowly. He leaned closer and gently lifted her face back, so their eyes met again. "Hey, you know, I miss h..."

"Itīs not just that", she clasped him tightly. "I was... I was thinking about tomorrow. It will be our first since then. And it just has to be this one."

"Shh", he tried to soothe her. "It will be alright, just like last time."

"The heck it was!", she pulled back a bit. "Youīve barley came out alive." He could see some tears dwelling up in her eyes. "And now youīre going to do it again, just like that."

"Asuka", he brushed a few strains of hair out of her face. "We have already talked about this. There is just this way. The only other idea theyīve came up, was to drop almost 1000 N2-Mines on it. Not to mention, the chance of success was minimal."

"I know. I know...",she leaned her head against his chest. "But what if it doesnīt work? What if you..."

He silenced her with another kiss. "Then, we should make the best of the few hours, we have left for ourselves."

These were the last words that were said for the next hours, while the to pilots shared their closeness and their kisses, forgetting EVAs and Angels, forgetting NERV and school, forgetting friends and foes, forgetting guardians and pets, forgetting the past and the future, forgetting meals, chilled long ago...


"...nothing further. Approach carefully, observe its reaction, and, if possible, lead it outside the urban area.", Misatoīs voice droned through the com.

Thinking of the sphere-like Angel waiting in the city, Shinji tried to relax in his EVA. 'It has been a while...'

"Alright, alright, Misato. I think Shinji should go ahead!"

He smiled, hearing Asukaīs voice. Even though they didnīt remember their exact conversations, they have managed to keep the essence of them, till now.

"You know, thatīs a job for the man with the highest sync ratio and all", she continued slightly menacing after a short pause.

'Shit! Forget to play my part!'

"Eh, I donīt think, Shinji should..."

"Itīs alright Misato! Iīll do it!", he blurted.

A collective "Huh?" went through the com.

"Iīll show you, how to do this, Asuka!"

"Wha- What was that??"

"Ehm, Shinji...", the Major tried to interrupt.

"Misato, havenīt you said yourself: 'You are number one!'?", he gave an assuring thumps-up to the camera.


"No buts! As Asuka  said: Thatīs a job for the one with the highest ratio!"

"Men!" Asuka muttered, "Unit-02, providing back-up!"

"Unit-00, providing back-up as well", Rei confirmed.


"Are you there, yet?" Shinji asked. EVA-01 hide behind a building, watching the Angel around the corner.

"Not yet", came Reis plain response.

"You know an EVA canīt move that fast!", Asuka scolded. "Damn!"

'Her cable must be stuck by now...'

He noticed his hand clenching and unclenching.

'Seems like old habits are hard to break.'

He took a deep breath.


He wielded his EVA around, took aim and shot at the Angel...

...which vanished...


Hearing Shinjis screams for help, while his EVA was sucked in the shadow, Asuka struggled hard to maintain her calm.

'Relax! He knows what heīs doing', she told herself.

"Asuka, Rei! Rescue Unit-01! Hurry!", came Misatos order, finally. EVA-02 rushed forward, watching the ground carfully.

"Asuka, watch out!", Ritsuko warned, but she already leaped up as soon as she saw the ground blacken, climbing on the next building.

'You better come back!', she thought, watching the city dissapear in the shadow. 'Or Iīll come in and drag you out!'

"Asuka, Rei, withdraw..."


"Now itīs just us two, Leliel!", Shinji grinned at the white space in front of him.

Gripping the controls, he prepared to fight his way out. He forced the EVAs fist forward, trying to hit the Angels surface, grasping it and rip it apart. But it just went through an empty space.


He brought up his AT-Field, hoping for an effect on the 12th. Nothing.


He immedatly switched to life-support mode, but having used so much energy, he knew he hadnīt even 10 hours left.

"Damn it, mother, how did you do it? Come on! Youīve done it last time! Do I really have to die, before you can help me?"

As he expected, he got no answer...


On the provisional look-out post NERV put up outside Tokyo-3, Asuka stood silently near Misato, who was watching the city, while discussing the situation with Hyuga and Aoba. She did her best to resist the urge to watch over there herself. As she knew, she was actually supposed to mock about Shinji by now, but she just didnīt feel like it. It was obvious that his plan hasnīt worked.

'And now he hasnīt as much time left. Damn it, baka! Iīve told you, itīs too dangerous!'

"...supposed to set us under pressure", Major Katsuragi finished, lowering her binoculars, when she noticed the Second Children staring at her own feet. "Asuka?"

Said one tensed as she was suddenly adressed. "Hm?"

"Youīre worried?", her guardian asked, suprisingly serious.

Asuka, however, tried her best to snap back to her role. "Worried? Ha! Why should I be? It was his own fault that heīs trapped in there!"

"I havenīt even mentioned Shinji...", she gave a tired smile, before frowning again. "Yes, it is his own fault, since he acted without permission. And Iīll have a word with him, as soon as he gets back..."


Shinji looked at the watch as the last minutes passed by. He could barely keep his eyes open, his sight dimming, due to the missing purification of the LCL, and the persisting smell of blood filled his nose.

"So this is it, eh? Iīve really thought, I could finish it off easily, this time. And instead, Iīm the one, who is going to die. Iīm sorry, Asuka, for not keeping my promise..."

His watch reached the last zero.

But he smiled.

He could feel her again.

"Mother...", he whispered. "Are you helping me now?"

Dispite seeing or hearing her, he could feel her affirmation.

"Thank you..."


"...dropping 992 N2-mines within 1/1000 second, while using the AT-Fields of the two remaining EVAs..."

"MAJOR!", Hyugas voice interrupted Ritsukos briefing. "Somethingīs happening with the Angel!"

Everyone bolted up, rushing to the monitors. What they saw, shocked most of them. Two hands, obviously EVA-01s, teared the now blackened sphere in two. Blood spraied the surroundings, as the giant crushed the remains of the 12th. The growls of the berserk unit send shivers through the spines of the hole NERV staff, even being a few miles away. Only one failed to hide a smile.

'About time, baka!'


"Shinji! Shinji? Shinji!", he heard Misato calling. He squirted his eyes, to adjust the change of brightness, as the plug was opened. He felt her embracing him immedatly.

"Itīs okay...Misato... I`m fine...", he said tired.

"Didnīt you say, you would have a word with him"

As he moved his head to the entrance, he saw Asuka smiling at him. Weakly, he smiled back, before passing out.


Slowly, he opened his eyes. He found himself back in hospital.

'Itīs really been a while...', he grimaced.

Rei, who was sitting by his bed, noticed his awakening.

"You can rest for today. We will handle everything for you", she said, while standing up.

"Thank you, Rei. But I that wonīt be nessecary."


"Yeah, Iīm fine."

"Well, thatīs good for you."

As she left, Shinji hardly surpressed a laughter, as he saw Asuka jerking away from the door.

However, once Rei was out of sight, she entered Shinjis room.

"And whatīs so funny, Third?"

"You know, you didnīt need to do that."

"I was just maintaining my role."

"You just canīt help, but to eavesdrop, canīt you?"

She glared at him and came closer. Without any warning, she slapped him.


"That was for making me worry!"

Then she gently touched his face, pulled him closer an gave him a deep, desperate kiss.

"And that was for comming back alive."

"Hmph. You were afraid of cameras in the girls locker room and then youīre kissing me like that in a room that is surly watched", he teased, but she just pointed up. Following her direction he saw the remains of the security-cam, hanging shattered from the ceiling.

"They will notice that, you know."

"Not yet", she paused. "So, I guess it didnīt work like you intended, huh?"

"Weeell, not exactly...", he sighed. "Iīm sorry, worrying you."

"Shh. Itīs okay now. Werenīt you afraid in there?"

"A bit, yes. But deep inside, I knew, mother wouldnīt let me die." He hold her tighter.
"Iīm actually more afraid of the next one..."


A/N: First of all: Yeah, I know, fics like this has been done before, but I think Iīve planned a few twists and turns, that will make this one at least a bit unique (If you havenīt figured out yet, what kind of fic this is, well, Iīm not gonna tell you ^^).
And ainīt I evil? Leaving you with a bunch of questions and Iīm not going to answer some of them before chapter 11 (of 13)!
I may add, despite working on several fics at once, I will focus on this one, so I hope it wonīt share the same sad fate of discontinuation as many fics out there...
For questions regarding my style, read my authors notes for "An Happier World".
So, what will happen in Chapter 3? Will the Angel take over EVA-03? Will Toji get out in one pice? Will he even survive? Or maybe he wonīt even be chosen as Fourth Children? And why am I talking about Chapter 3? Well, youīll see...