Part 22: Issues of Conductivity Part 2

-

Airi was busy punching keys in the abandoned sub-node. Her talk with agent Kaji had proved to be a very great help. It had also made it clear to her that he was working for more than one master. The actress knew she would have to factor that into her plans. A double agent is dangerous, but he might be more than a double agent. Mused the actress. Still, if he's serving more than one master, then it will make it easier to subvert him as necessary. And so far, his information has been completely accurate. On the screen, Airi read report after report about the death of Yui Ikari, the birth of NERV and the complex operational agreement in place with the Japanese government, the United Nations and a collective of special interest groups. Most of the reports had been heavily censored, but - with what Kaji had hinted at and said - she was able to see a pattern in the editing. Still, for all this, I need to go find a good microfiche archive to verify this information. And I still want to know what happened to Yui.

-

Gendo sat at his deck, reviewing the report from Section 2 on the `debriefing' of the two captured terrorists. Behind his shoulder, Fuyutsuki stood as he always did. Also awaiting his review was another report from his traitorous pawn, Kaji. Finished with the first report, he closed the file. "It is as I thought." He said simply.

"Yes. Do we tell Katsuragi?" asked Fuyutsuki. With this level of involvement from Rome, we better.

"No. She does not need to know at this time. Also, quietly cut back on the coverage of the Pilots." Ordered Gendo. Fuyutsuki blinked.

"What?" he asked, sure he had heard wrong. "You want to reduce coverage on the Pilots? Even though the danger has not been eliminated?"

"Yes." Said Gendo.

"Isn't that risky?" asked the Vice Commander. Gendo perused the second file.

"It is a calculated risk." He noted absently. So, Seele is seeking to find out what I am really doing here. This can be used to buy me some room from those old fools. "What are our two visitors doing lately, old friend?" he asked his second-in-command.

"I'll assume you mean Komiyama and Inoue. Komiyama is spending a good chunk of her time in headquarters, making friends and running errands for Katsuragi, Akagi and myself. She seems to be adapting well to her new…situation. Inoue is adapting well to school life, and seems to have developed a close relationship with the pilots and several of our class 1 Pilot candidates in 707." Reported the old man.

"And Ryuzoj?" prompted Gendo.

"From all reports, he follows agent Kaji around like a puppy. He also spends a lot of time pursuing Komiyama and drinking beer. Other than that, he's doing nothing." Reported Fuyutsuki. Unless you count acting like a little hoodlum.

"As expected, then." Mused Gendo. He noticed a reminder on his screen. "I need you to deal with the upcoming city council elections for me, old friend. I have other commitments that day." He said, indicating his screen.

"It's that time already?" wondered Fuyutsuki. Where does the time go?

"Yes. It's a week away. See to it that things go as planned." Ordered Gendo. Without another word, the old professor departed the office of Satan.

-

Rit-chan and her two friends rode the elevator down to the lobby. The three were once more heading for a night on the town. Reaching the elevator, they exited and stepped over to the regular elevators, heading for the room of their charges. Rit-chan had been insistent that they check on the four girls, and Aki and Hi-chan had been unwilling to risk interrupting her better-than-lately mood, so they went with her. Knocking on the door, the three waited.

After about three minutes, the door cracked open and Rit-chan saw Tomo's eye. "It's us. Can we come in?" she asked nicely. Tomo nodded, then closed the door. Hikari heard the chain lock being unlatched. When the door opened, the three stepped into the room. Closing the door being the three, Tomo stepped past them. Aki's eyes narrowed a bit when she noted that Tomo was naked. Rit-chan didn't even bat an eye. Hikari felt herself blush a bit as she stepped around the corner and found herself staring at a naked Kensuke, who was busy with a mouthful of Shiori's pussy. Behind her, Aki nodded to herself, a slight smirk on her face. Even as Hikari's mouth opened to blast the otaku's behavior as being hentai, she felt a hand close over it. Turning to follow the arm attached to the hand back to it's owner, she saw it was Rit-chan's hand. With even pressure, the elf hunter drew Hikari back to her side, Aki surreptitiously stepping in front of the other girl. Tomo sat down on one of the beds and picked up a hand of cards. Touji and Reiko were sitting on the bed, also naked. Hikari peeked around Aki's side and her curious gaze slid to Touji's package. For some reason, she felt relieved that it was smaller than Shinji's. Why she felt that way, she couldn't understand. "Keiko?" asked Rit-chan softly of Tomo. The ringleader tossed her head to the second bed, where a lump could be seen.

"Passed out about lunch time. I figured we'd let her sleep it off." Said the other girl.

"She must sleep deeply to sleep though this kind of party." Mused Aki, grinning.

"Half a bottle of vodka and a few shots of bourbon will do that." Noted Reiko. "What are you three doing here? Not like you to go slumming or anything."

"Enough already, Reiko." Said Tomo.

"We came by to see if you wanted to go check out a club with us." Said Aki calmly. "Rumor has it that this is a special club."

"Oh? Special how?" asked Reiko, looking up from her cards.

"It's a techno club. Supposed to have really good sounds and a hot, young crowd. Also, it's of a decidedly…liberal nature." Answered Aki.

"What's that mean?" asked Touji. Rit-chan glanced at Tomo.

"It means that there will be some really…odd things to see there, Touji." Said the other girl, tossing her cards to the bed sheets as she stood. "I've only been to one of those once. It was with Naoko and a friend of hers."

"Naoko?" asked Touji, his tone interested. "Is this kind of club her preferred club?"

"Yeah, you could say that." Agreed Tomo reticently. She looked over at her three guests. "Why the three of you would go to one is a wonder, though. Not the kind of scene you find in most clubs." She noted.

"We've been to some heavy clubs before." Protested Hikari.

"Not like these clubs, girl." Said Reiko. She too stood, tossing her cards to the bed. She studied the three. "You all drink? Maybe do some recreational drugs? How about have sex with the guy - or girl - you're dancing with?" The girl shook her head. "I don't think you three would have any fun there."

"It's not a rave, guys." Said Aki. "It's a techno club with an anything-goes party rep. And yes, I've been to a rave as well as the kind of club you're talking about."

"Aki!" gasped Hikari. Aki shrugged.

"I never claimed I was a saint, Hi-chan." She grinned. "How about you, Rit-chan."

"I've been to places you can't imagine, guys. A little human clubbing can't be anything but relaxing. You in, Tomo?" asked the older girl.

"Someone needs to stay with Keiko." Said the other girl.

"I don't need a fucking babysitter, Tomo." Came a weak voice from the other bed. "I need some fucking aspirin and a goddamn drink." Keiko struggled upright, holding her head. "Give me a minute to get ready. I'm in for some clubbing." Tomo and Rit-chan touched each other's eyes briefly.

The group left forty minutes later, Keiko having put a few dozen aspirins down with a shot of beer and the others getting dressed as the still-drunk girl worked on getting her head together.

-

Morning found Rit-chan dozing lightly against Hikari, with Aki warm against her back. Hikari awoke to find her nipples stiff, and her lower lips suspiciously moist. Guess I can't put it off much longer. Thought the brown-haired girl as she carefully got out of bed and moved to the bathroom. She smiled, seeing Rit-chan in bed with them. Finally. Nearly six hours of clubbing and she sleeps the night through. Hikari silently slid the door closed before stepping over to the toilet. Sitting down, she tentatively touched her lower lips, feeling a tingle as she did so. She also felt herself grow wetter. Sighing, she began to softly stroke herself, feeling her hand rapidly grow wet. Spreading her legs a bit more for better access, she felt her clit become rigid. This feels good, but not nearly as good as Shinji felt. Hikari felt a tingle run from her groin to her head at that thought. Mentally fixing a picture of Shinji in her head, she closed her eyes and swiftly left this world.

In the bed, Aki shifted and groaned as she opened her eyes. Her eyes focused and the first thing she saw was Rit-chan's bare back. The tall girl smiled. Victory! She mentally exalted. I thought she'd never get tired. Six freaking hours dancing and clubbing! Shit, I was dead tired and she was still as calm and cool as a cucumber. Doesn't matter though; she slept the night through. Well, what was left of it anyway. The tall girl stifled a yawn.

"Morning, Aki-chan." Said Ritsuko softly. The model flinched.

"Morning, Rit-chan. Sleep good?" she asked.

"Yeah. I was a bit more tired than I thought." Admitted the older girl.

"Where's Hi-chan?" asked the hopeful model.

"Bathroom." Said Rit-chan. Rolling over so she was on her back, the older girl stretched. Aki studied her.

She's in great shape. Noted the tall girl. And her body is well-proportioned. Still, I never noticed those scars before. Wonder where she got them?

"Why are you staring at my chest, Aki?" asked Rit-chan, her voice curious, but not concerned in the least.

"Probably because I'm horny." Shrugged the other girl.

"Well, don't let me keep you from relief, Aki-chan." Said Rit-chan, her lips quirking into a half-smirk. "I bet you wouldn't be the only one."

"So, you're horny too?" shot back Aki, leaning over Rit-chan with a leer on her face. "What do you say we help each other out?" Rit-chan had no reaction to that other than a slight eye roll.

"You can't spook me, Aki." She said. Aki studied her.

"Ever think I might not be kidding, Rit-chan?" asked the tall girl.

"You're not a lesbian, Aki." Said Ritsuko confidently. Aki put her hand on Rit-chan's breast and stroked her nipple. Rit-chan glanced at her chest, then back to Aki's eyes.

"I could be bi, you know." Noted Aki, her eyes intent on Rit-chan's eyes.

"Yes, that is possible." Allowed Rit-chan, reaching down and gently pulling Aki's hand off her breast, ignoring her achingly-hard nipples. "But you're not." She said.

"How do you know?" asked Aki.

"Because you never did this before, and you always gravitate to men, not women, when you're drinking. Also, I know that you think that some sexual pleasure will help me relax." Said the older girl. Aki said nothing. "Don't get me wrong, Aki, I appreciate the thought, and I am honored that you would compromise yourself like that for me, but it's not necessary." Rit-chan paused studying her friend.

"Are you a virgin, Rit-chan?" asked Aki, sighing.

"What does that have to do with anything?" asked Rit-chan calmly. I guess getting sucked into a fantasy world makes one hard to rattle. She thought, realizing that she wasn't the least bit uncomfortable with this whole situation.

"Whenever I'm stressed out or cranky, I either get laid or masturbate. After an orgasm or two, I feel much better and so relaxed. I think that an orgasm is what you need right now with the stress you're under. If you're not a virgin, then I could just find a handsome man with good manners and let him help you. If you're a virgin, then it's going to have to be a little finger play. Unless you want some oral assistance?" she asked, raising an eyebrow.

"Why, Aki Wakirihara!" gasped Rit-chan in mock shock. "Are you offering to eat me out?"

"If it will take some of this stress off you, then, well, yes." Said Aki, staring at Ritsuko evenly. Rit-chan studied her friend intently for several seconds, then began to laugh. "I wasn't kidding." Said Aki seriously. Ritsuko managed to get her laughing fit under control.

"I know. It's just that I was wondering where you might have gotten the impression that you were that good at rug munching." Giggled Rit-chan. Aki shrugged.

"I've done some experimenting." She said casually. Taking a breath, she slowly released it, then bent over and kissed Rit-chan like she had that night in the hot tub. Rit-chan accepted the kiss for a moment, then gently broke it. "So, how do you want the help? Manual or oral?" pressed the girl, her hand sliding down to Rit-chan's waist.

"Neither, Aki-chan." Said Rit-chan, sitting up in bed. "I can take care of this myself, you know." She pointed out.

"Maybe. But I want to make sure you do. If not, I bet you won't do it at all." Said Aki, her tone knowing.

"She's right, you know." Came Hikari's voice from the bathroom door.

"Double teaming me, are you?" said Rit-chan, seeing Hikari make her way to the bed.

"If you like a little three-some." Agreed Aki. "What do you say, Hi-chan? Up to helping Rit-chan with her stress?"

Her cheeks blushed red, but Hikari nodded decisively. "Anything to help." She agreed. Rit-chan shook her head.

"You two are a couple of nymphos, you know that?" she said, easily moving off the bed and into the bathroom.

"Nah. We just like to see our friends happy." Came Aki's reply.

-

Asuka made her way into the kitchen from her room, glad to be back in the Zoo if for no other reason than that Shinji had use of a good kitchen and better ingredients. As was her new morning routine, she had slipped into Shinji's room for a little Shinji time. For the first time in a long time, the two had just cuddled a bit. Strangely, Asuka felt nearly as good from just hugging herself to him as she did when they fucked their brains out or when Shinji sent her to heaven with his fingers and tongue. Of course, the best is when we fuck our brains out. Thought Asuka gleefully. Entering the kitchen, she smelled food. Pancakes and bacon to be exact.

"Good morning, Baka." She said sweetly. "Breakfast ready?"

"Couple more minutes, Asuka." Answered Shinji. Asuka sat down and waited. True to his word, he began dishing up her breakfast a few minutes later. In addition to the pancakes and bacon, he had scrambled eggs and hash browns.

"That smells wonderful, Shinji." Came Airi's smooth and sophisticated voice from beyond Asuka's chair. Entering the kitchen, the older actress sat gracefully and nodded her thanks as Shinji began to pile a plate with food for her. "I must say that I am constantly surprised at your abilities with western food, Shinji." Smiled the actress after a bite of her pancakes. "I've gotten used to American-style breakfasts, but so few Japanese can make the dishes come out right."

"I just seem to be lucky that way." Shrugged Shinji. "Good thing too, because Asuka likes this kind of food in the mornings."

"Better than that rice and soup you Japanese tend to favor." Sniffed Asuka disdainfully. Shinji professionally let that bait go right by him without comment. Asuka smirked at him, but it was different lately than it had been before. Since she had started to come visit him each morning, her attacks seemed to be losing their venomous edge. Airi sipped from the coffee cup Shinji handed her, seeing the signs that the two pilots were getting closer to each other. Mi-chan seems to be correct in regards to the difference in Shinji now that he has become involved with a girl. He's much more stable now, and more confident. As she finished that thought, she heard movement from the room she shared with the unique woman who was the Children's guardian and commanding officer.

Misato worked her way around the corner and into the kitchen, eyes mostly closed and yawning a bit. Her tight tank top tee-shirt and barely-there shorts were in their usual state of not-exactly-on, the shorts unbuttoned and unzipped, revealing just a bit of her trimmed pubic hair. "Mornin." Mumbled the Operations Director, or something that might have been meant to be that. Silently Shinji handed her a beer.

"Good morning, Misato." He said after she had drained the beer in one pull. "Going into work today?" he asked her civilly. Misato shook her head.

"Commander Ikari is off to some big meeting somewhere, Vice Commander Fuyutsuki is out of the office for the day, and Ritsu is doing maintenance on Eva 0. No point in going in. Besides, I've just spent the last two days there." Answered the deep purple haired woman, plopping into a seat opposite Airi. A moment later, Shinji had a plate in front of her and she fell to eating. As she was putting the food away like a ravenous beast, the second refridge opened and Pen Pen stepped out, making for the beer refridge. "Hey! Good morning, Pen Pen!" called Misato happily to her longest-running roommate. The avian stopped, cocking his head at her for a moment before giving her a single wark! And turning back to the task of raiding her beer supply. "What's his problem?" muttered Misato to Shinji, who stepped aside as Pen Pen carried a six-pack back to his home. "And why the hell is he stealing my beer?!"

"I think he feels insulted that we all disappeared for a few days and didn't leave him any food." Suggested Shinji diplomatically. Misato grumbled a bit as she thought about it.

"You're probably right, Shin-chan." She sighed. "Make it up to him for me, will you?" she asked him, smiling at him teasingly. Shinji sighed.

"Already working on it, Misato." He said. "But it might take a while. He was pretty upset about the whole thing."

"Yeah, yeah. But that still doesn't give him the right to steal my beer!" yelled Misato.

"Misato, he's always stolen your beer." Pointed out Asuka. "He's as much an alcoholic as you are." She added under her breath. Misato blinked a time or two.

"He has?" she asked, looking to Shinji for confirmation.

"Yes, Misato, he has." Confirmed Shinji, feeling a sweat drop form on the back of his head.

"So that's the reason I keep running out of beer before I should!" she crowed. "Pen Pen! You owe me two cases of beer, you little thief!" she yelled at his refridge, throwing her empty can of beer at his house, making a dull clang! As it hit. From inside the small home, a muffled wark! Wark! Could be heard. Loose translation: Suck my nuts, bitch! I stole them fair and square from the Temple! Prolonged, long-term exposure to Misato had not only caused his conversion to the Church of Alcohol, but had also resulted in his tendency to swear like a drunken pirate. Sitting back in her chair, Misato took the cup of coffee Shinji offered her, still shooting dark looks at Pen Pen's fortified door. "So, what are you going to do today?" she asked her two charges. Jus then, there was a knock on the door.

"Bet you it's Wondergirl come to glom onto Shinji." Muttered Asuka, savagely stabbing a bit of left-over egg. Why do I even care? It's not like he means anything to me other than a good time in bed. Just to make sure I can please Kaji, of course! She reminded herself. Speaking of that… her mind turned to other matters, Asuka rose from the table and made for her room, where a cell phone with Kaji's number in it lay on her dresser. I wonder what he's doing today? Maybe I can get him to spend the day with me. Thought the German girl, closing the door to her room behind her, her hand closing on the phone.

-

In an office in Tokyo 2, four men sat discussing an important issue. It had been a top priority for more than a year now, and they were just now getting some leverage to give them an opening. "How is the operation going, Kadowa?" asked the man behind the large desk. Well, truthfully, it was only large to him; if it were placed on top of Gendo's desk, it would be slightly smaller than Gendo's desktop calendar.

"Significant progress has been made. Our agent has successfully infiltrated NERV HQ and has managed to place the devices. We can begin the second stage of the exercise within a few days." Reported a non-descript man in a plain, somewhat cheap suit. In any place where office workers went, he would be lost in the crowd.

"I'm not sure I share your optimism, Kadowa." Disagreed the man sitting down from him before the desk. "Our agent is - at best! - unreliable; and at worst a NERV intelligence plant." He said. Turning to the man behind the desk, he addressed his next comment to him directly. "Sir, I once more ask for permission to stage a raid on NERV HQ. I can have a crack team of my men ready within the hour, and…"

"I have already told you, General Shitoe, that direct action is impossible unless the UN sanctions it under an Article 807." Replied the man behind the desk, somewhat testily.

"Not if we call it an act of domestic security, sir!" protested the man. "UN charter gives member nations the right to protect their citizens from internal terrorist threats and to take action against any group possessing or believed to possess weapons of mass indiscriminate destruction! Clearly, these Eva platforms are just such a weapon! You toured the devastation that that purple monstrosity wreaked when it crippled the Jet Alone project! We can go in and…"

"General!" shouted the man, interrupting the ever-more excited speech of the second man.

"Sir." Said the General, breaking off his rant.

"I know how heavily you were invested in the development of Jet Alone, and I know that you were offered a job as senior Vice President of the company if Jet Alone succeeded the Eva units. But," he paused, fixing the man with a cold stare. "you will not make any attempt at direct action on NERV without my express, personal go-ahead. Is that understood?"

"Yes, sir. It is." Gritted the man, sitting back down. The third person in front of the desk remained silent.

"Well?" asked the man in the expensive, hand-stitched high-backed executive chair. "Nothing to say, Maehira?" he asked the third person of his action team. A head-shake gave him his answer. Silence reigned for several moments. A decision was made. "We'll try your way first, Kadowa." Said the man in charge. "Five days from now, activate the three sleeper agents and have them initiate the plan. I expect a full report by 9 am the day after, understood?" said the man.

"Completely, sir. We should have great success." Answered Kadowa.

"That'd be a refreshing change." Muttered the General.

"This meeting is adjourned. We'll meet here again after lunch, six days from today to discuss our options. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have business to attend to." The three rose and departed, leaving the man alone in his office. Several minutes passed before he made any move. Finally he stood, turned to the window behind him and stood staring at the setting sun, deep in thought. He was still lost in thought when his personal secretary quietly opened the door and peeked in.

"Sir?" she said. Getting no response, she entered the office and approached his desk. "Sir?"

Startled from his thoughts, the man turned to face her. "Yes? What is it?"

"The meeting with Prime Minister and the Cabinet is about to begin, sir. You should be on your way by now." Said the secretary.

"Yes, you're right. It would look bad if the Minister of the Interior were to be late." Mused the man, exiting the office, his secretary two steps behind him, his briefcase in her hands.

-

"Miss?" came the voice of the librarian. "we're about to close for the day, miss." She said to the dark-haired woman with a razor cut who had spent the better part of the day in the microfiche archives.

"Oh! My apologies." Said the woman, looking up from her screen. "I seem to have completely lost track of time. With my deadline so close, I keep forgetting to watch the clock."

"I remember those days, myself." Said the librarian, leaning against an unoccupied microfiche machine. "Post-graduate work is always so time-consuming. When did you say your dissertation was due?" she asked the woman.

"Next week. And I still have to come up with a bridging piece to link my two key resource pools. The panel is known for being sticklers for details." Replied the woman, her tone friendly.

"So, is that why you came down here to this war-zone from Tokyo 2? For fresh, unfamiliar sources?" asked the librarian, her tone merry.

"So, you noticed, then." Smiled the other woman wryly. "Yes, I'm hoping that by branching away from the usual sources that I can fudge the reference lists in my favor."

"It's a good trick. I used the same one myself when I got my doctorate in literature." Smiled the librarian. Even after all this time, I've still got it! she gloated. She considered the younger woman before her. "I must say, most students these days don't think to do something like that; even graduate students. How old are you, if you don't mind my asking?" queried the librarian.

"Not at all." Smiled the woman. "I'm 26."

"And you're already bucking for a doctorate in Modern Journalism?" gaped the librarian. "Don't you miss having a life while you're young?"

"Oh, it's ok, really. I was always an overachiever anyway." Laughed the woman. "Besides, I promised myself that I would get my doctorate before my next birthday, so I have to concentrate on my goal."

"That sounds familiar to me, too. Mother and Father always wanted me married by my 20th birthday and a grandchild for them by my 21st, but I chose other pursuits. Of course, that was before Second Impact." She noted.

"Regrets?" surmised the other woman.

"Nothing I can't live with." Shrugged the librarian. "Tell you what, the library closes in fifteen minutes, but I'll be here another hour or two, doing some filing and checking the shelves. After that, I have a tutoring appointment with some Literature majors from the local high school. That's another hour. If you don't mind being locked in here, I can let you stay until I leave. Deal?" smiled the librarian.

"Yes, thank you." Smiled the woman. Pushing herself upright, the librarian moved out of the microfiche archives, pausing at the door to add "Good luck on your research, miss Komiyama."

"Thanks! I'll need it!" called back Airi cheerfully. After the door to the archives closed, she turned back to the screen, and the newspaper headlines it showed. Splashed across the front page of the Tokyo Times, October 2005 edition, was a very attention-grabbing headline: Doctor Ikari Yui Murdered by Husband? Airi had been reading the article before she was interrupted by the librarian. Page by picture, newspaper by magazine, yearbook by public records, Airi had spent her day tracking down the kingpin of the Eva project: it's founder, creator and mother, Doctor Yui Ikari. In the search, she had constantly hit records that were missing, changed or wrong, and that wasn't counting the blank periods in Yui's life. "You made a lot of enemies in your youth, Gendo." Murmured Airi, practically feeling the venom the journalists had for Gendo Ikari back in the pre-NERV days, when he had been a research assistant and husband to the most talented genius on the planet in a small think-tank called Gehirn.

Airi sighed. Still, for all of this, there is too much yet hidden. She mused. Let's review. Yui graduates from Tokyo University the youngest doctorate-holder in the school's history, she lectures for a bit, vanishes with her three closest confidantes, resurfaces in Germany as a founding member of Gehirn with the ever-lovable Gendo now her husband, she gives birth to Shinji - cute baby, I have to say - less than a year after Second Impact, vanishes from sight for four years, then surfaces long enough to be killed in a so-called `research experiment accident', leaving Gendo in control of Gehirn. Shinji vanishes within a week of her death, location and reason unknown until he reappears here in Tokyo 3 in time to fight an Angel in Unit 1. For nearly a year, the headlines slow-grill Gendo as a murderer, with plenty of bodies piling up due to accidents. A new organization called NERV is born, swallows Gehirn, and the press goes silent within a week. As if nothing ever happened. God, this is making my head hurt! Airi closed her eyes for a moment, carefully putting pieces together again. Opening her eyes, she shifted files and continued her search. One thing is more than obvious, though. Thought the actress. Earlier that day, she had gotten a hold of a picture of Yui Ikari when she was sixteen. It was a head and shoulder picture taken of her when she won some prestigious award for academic excellence. Rei Ayanami could be her daughter. Hell, even her clone, by the way they look so much alike in the face and eyes. Well, except for the color, of course.

-

"Club or movies?" asked Aki, stretching as they exited the lecture hall after their shortened school lecture. Hikari and Rit-chan were beside her as they headed down the hall.

"I don't think I've recovered from the last club yet, Aki-chan." Moaned Hikari, feeling sore in her legs and hips from all the dancing. "And I don't know of too many more clubs anyway."

"Yeah. Any good movies you guys want to see then?" asked the tall girl. Once more, they were dressed in bikinis-as-underwear, with shorts and over shirts on over their bathing suits. "How about it, Rit-chan? Any ideas?"

"I haven't even been to a movie in more than a year. Let alone any I might have been looking for before my little trip." Demurred Rit-chan.

"You know, this is making me very curious; what with the way you keep dancing around your past." Noted Aki, giving her friend a thoughtful look.

"I've told you as much as I can, Aki-chan. Please don't get any more involved." Said Rit-chan softly. Aki sighed.

"Yeah, yeah. I promised I'd leave it where its at, and I will. But damn, that must be some story, judging from what you did tell us about you."

"Hikari, you have any preference in movies?" asked Rit-chan changing the topic as subtly as Asuka showed her interest in Kaji.

"Well, there was that one that was supposed to come out last week from Camhouse." Said the inchou. "You know, Aki, the one set in the wild west, with Cashton and Montebache?"

"Who?" asked Rit-chan, not recognizing the names.

"What do you mean, `who'?!" came an agitated voice from behind them. The three spun to see Kensuke and Touji less than two feet from them, both wearing shocked expressions. "Inoue, they're only the biggest names in the entertainment world! Camhouse started directing five years ago, and all but one of his pictures has gone to the Awards and gotten tons of honors. Cashton is the highest-paid actor in history, with two Oscars and a wall full of Academy Awards for his acting in action movies, dramas, comedies and mysteries. Montebache is the third-highest paid actress in the world, and she is so hot!!!" Kensuke's eyes filled with tears at the thought of the celluloid idol, Touji smiling stupidly as well.

"While I don't necessarily share their fanaticism, I can tell you that Cashton is a certified heart-throb." Offered Aki, grinning.

"Are you talking about that movie that just came out? The one that Camhouse directed?" interjected the familiar voice of Tomo. "What was it titled again? The Condensation of the Canyon or something?"

"It's called Mist Valley, and yes, we were discussing going to see it, as we're running out of clubs." Said Aki. "Tagging along with dumb and dumber here?" she asked, indicating the two stooges.

"Wasn't that an old movie?" asked Kensuke, frowning.

"Dumbass." Snorted Touji. "She's insulting us again. Moron."

"So," interrupted Aki, cutting through the conversation between Kensuke and Touji, "are you and Shiori going to be babysitting these two brain donors?"

"I'll have to ask, but I think I'm going. Shiori had some things she wanted to take care of, but there's always Reiko and Keiko." Answered Tomo. "You have a theater in mind?"

"Heard about one showing a late-late showing down the strip a bit." Grinned Aki.

"Sometime, you're going to have to tell me the secrete of how you keep hearing things when you're never near anyone." Said Hikari to her tall friend.

"Maybe if you get me drunk…" began Aki.

"Not today, Aki-chan." Interjected Rit-chan.

"Hey, you said you weren't my mother or some sort of temperance freak, so why are you busting my ass about a little drink?" complained Aki to Ritsuko.

"Because I have to share a bed with you, and I worry for my honor." Retorted Rit-chan easily. "A drunk nympho like you might take indecent liberties with an innocent, helpless girl like me."

"Innocent?!?!" gaped Hikari, stunned by Rit-chan's serious tone.

"Helpless?!?!" aped Aki. "You sleep with your gun in your hand! What kind of psycho would dare to touch you knowing that you're only a finger-pull away from shooting them?!"

"The two psychos in front of me." Smiled Rit-chan. "Or need I remind you of this morning's conversation?" Hikari felt herself blush as she remembered her offer to `help' Rit-chan relax.

"Ah, no, that won't be necessary." Declined the girl.

"What happened this morning?" asked Touji and Kensuke intently.

"None of your business!" snapped Hikari in her best inchou voice. Tomo was looking at the three with a thoughtful expression on her face.

"Hey, I'm going to go find the others and ask if they want to come with us. Hang out near here while I'm gone, ok?" she said to Rit-chan.

"Done." Said Rit-chan, making a small motion with her hand. Tomo moved off in search of her friends and the five remaining school kids moved to the lobby, finding some empty seats in the sitting area. Just as she was getting comfortable, Rit-chan's cell phone rang. Seeing the identity of the calling party, she all but jumped to her feet and dashed out of hearing range, her phone to her ear.

"Wonder what that was about?" said Kensuke, dying to hear what she was discussing. The way she kept her eye on the group warned him not to move closer to her. Whatever she was hearing was really pulling a lot of her mental resources, though, her face getting more and more serious as the call went on.

"I hope it's not about the Pilots." Said Hikari softly to Aki. Before the taller girl could answer, Hikari's cell phone chimed for her attention. Pulling it out, she glanced at the screen. "Guess not." She said, picking up the call. "Hi, Asuka."

Four minutes later, Rit-chan returned and sat down, her face blank. Hikari was still talking to Asuka, who was apparently either very angry about something or very happy, judging from the difficulty Hikari was having in getting more than a few words in at a time. Eventually, Hikari managed to end the call, telling Asuka that they'd talk more about it when she got back the day after tomorrow. "So, how was your call?" said the brown-haired girl to the red-head.

"Informative." Said Rit-chan simply. "Asuka-chan and the others ok?"

"Yeah, I guess. Asuka is…" she trailed off, noting the presence of the two stooges. "well, Asuka." She finished. I'll tell Rit-chan about it tonight, after we're alone. "Who was it that called you?"

"Airi." Said Rit-chan simply.

"Sure it wasn't Shinji?" teased Aki. "The way you lit up and ran off to have some privacy, I was sure it was that hottie calling for some phone sex."

"He wouldn't need a phone for that." Mused Hikari slyly.

"Mmm. You're right." Agreed Aki, her tone throaty and naughty. "With Asuka and Rei so close to hand, not to mention that Misato woman the boys are always drooling over."

"Sohryu?" cried Touji, incensed by the very notion. "She's the Devil! She'd kill him if he so much as looked at her chest! The bitch has got to be a man-hater!"

"And Ayanami is colder than liquid nitrogen! She'd freeze his dick off if he had sex with her!" seconded Kensuke.

"How do you know Ayanami is cold?" asked Rit-chan, her tone conversational. "Have you ever slept with her?"

"N…no. But last year, this guy I know scored with her in the equipment shed during a rain break from PE, and he said she was as frigid as a penguin's ass." Defended the four-eyed freak.

"That doesn't sound at all likely. Rei-chan isn't what you'd call a easy girl." Noted Hikari suspiciously. "And she was never away from the group at all; at least, as far as I can remember."

"It's true!" protested Kensuke. "He said that he told her that the teacher had asked him to give her a physical examination, and she just said `yes' and did what he told her to do."

"He's telling the truth, guys." Said Touji, supporting Kensuke's tale. "I heard him bragging in the shower after it happened. You know how she is about orders from authority figures. Hikari, you were there when Red Devil introduced herself! Remember what she said when Red said they should be friends?"

"'I will do it if I am ordered to do so', wasn't it?" frowned Hikari. Maybe she would fall for that line. She can be a bit literal.

"Exactly!" exclaimed Kensuke, exonerated. "See! I was right!"

"I don't know." Disagreed Rit-chan. "Something is fishy here. If it were that easy to `score' with her, then all the boys would be lined up to do just that, and they aren't. Why not?"

"Well, he said she was as cold as a corpse, that's why." Answered Touji as if it should be obvious.

"Not good enough to keep a bunch of hormone-crazed teenage boys off her bones." Retorted Aki.

"Well, there were a few that tried it, and they all said she did exactly what they told her to once they told her a teacher had ordered them to do it. And they all said that she was even colder than before." Added Touji.

"Yeah, that one guy said his dick had caught a cold from her." Chuckled Kensuke.

"After that, everyone pretty much ignored her." Mused Touji.

"Who ignored who after what?" asked Reiko, coming up behind the two boys, Tomo by her side. Kensuke quickly recapped the conversation for her and Tomo.

"You know, I heard that rumor too." Said Reiko thoughtfully. "Zshu in class 3-C even saw Ayanami go into the equipment room with a boy on two different occasions." She shrugged. "I think it must be true. Still, she's hot enough, if you can overlook her attitude."

Rit-chan was remembering her conversation with Shinji, especially the part about rather or not Rei was `experienced' or not. For some reason, the thought that a bunch of guys had abused Rei's trust bothered her. Silently, she plucked her cell phone, scrolled through the phone list, then hit the send button, putting her phone to her ear. With the others more or less occupied with the talk about the gossip around the Pilots, she hoped that she wouldn't be interrupted. On the third ring, she heard the other phone pick up.

"Hai." Was all the greeting she got.

"Rei-chan." Said Rit-chan softly, "It's me."

"Yes, it is, Rit-chan." Agreed Rei quietly.

"I wanted to ask you something. It's kind of personal." Warned Rit-chan.

"Understood." Said Rei simply.

"Have you heard the gossip about you and some boys doing some things in the equipment room last year?" asked the elf hunter.

"I have." Replied Rei.

"Is it true?" asked Rit-chan, her voice a whisper.

"It is." Came Rei's immediate response.

"I see." Replied Rit-chan, a bit surprised.

"Why do you ask?" enquired Rei. "Is there a problem?"

"Oh, no, no problem. I had just thought that he was your first." Replied Rit-chan, noting the attention of her group was shifting to her.

"My first?" wondered Rei. A moment of silence, then she came to the obvious conclusion. "You are referring to sexual intercourse, are you not?"

"Yes. That." Confirmed Rit-chan.

"Shinji-chan was the first man to have sexual intercourse with me." Replied Rei.

"But you said the rumors were true." Noted Rit-chan, now a bit puzzled.

"Yes. They are. I did go into the equipment room with several boys. Each of them informed me that the teacher had asked them to examine me physically, and that I should get undressed." Said the First Child as dispassionately as if she were discussing the weather.

"And?" prompted Rit-chan, now curious. She wouldn't lie about Shin being her first, so what happened with the other boys?

"I informed them that they lacked the proper equipment to physically examine me, and departed." Replied Rei. Rit-chan burst out laughing. "Was that an incorrect response, Rit-chan?" asked a puzzled Rei.

"No! It was the perfect reply, Rei-chan!" chortled Rit-chan. "Even better than sucker punching them in the nuts! No wonder they said you were frigid!" She laughed madly.

"I…do not understand." Admitted Rei.

"Don't worry! I'll explain it all when I get back! Thanks, Rei-chan."

"It is no problem, Rit-chan." Assured the teen. Another thought occurred to the elf hunter.

"I…wasn't interrupting anything by calling, was I?" she asked hesitantly.

"No. I was resting when you called." Came her answer.

"Ok. Well, I have to go now, so I'll talk to you later. Take care until then!" said Rit-chan.

"Yes. I will do so." Said Rei, ending the call.

"Good news, I take it?" said Hikari, noting the happy glint in Rit-chan's eyes.

"Oh, my, yes." Agreed Rit-chan. She turned to her audience. "Sorry to tell you all, but the rumor is false. Rei-chan did go into the room, but when the boys told her they were going to `examine' her, she told them that they lacked the proper equipment to do so and left." She purred.

"Ouch! Brutal." Said Tomo admiringly.

"Talk about lead pipe cruelty." Agreed Reiko.

"That alone warrants her title of Ice Goddess." Noted Hikari, smirking.

-

In her run-down apartment, Rei Ayanami, First Child, designated pilot of Unit 0, called the Ice Goddess, set her cell phone back on her small beside table and leaned back in bed, feeling Shinji's arms close around her. Humming in pleasure, she nestled closer to her lover, one hand slipping down to touch his manhood gently, looking for signs of life. She and her lover had spent the bulk of the day in her apartment, making love and just cuddling. If the others knew about them, they wouldn't call her frigid or an Ice Goddess. Rei was very warm and loving; to those who loved her, at least. She had no use for anyone else.

"Was that Rit-chan?" asked Shinji, his hands cupping her firm breasts comfortably.

"Yes. She asked about the rumors from last year." Replied Rei calmly.

"Rumors?" asked Shinji.

"Yes. Last year, some boys started the rumor that I was sexually relieving them in the equipment room at school, but was `frigid', whatever that means. Rit-chan seemed bothered by the rumor, so she called to ask me if it was true." Rei was very concise in her answer.

"Oh." Said Shinji, feeling upset and sad, his emotions in chaos as he considered the possibilities of such an act. Silently, Rei watched him.

"Do you wish to know if they were true, love?" she asked him. There are so many secrets between us. This is not even an issue. But I will reveal all my secrets to you. You and you alone.

"You said they were true." Said Shinji, feeling an odd, unpleasant twisting sensation in his chest. Why do I feel this way? Even if she wasn't a virgin, I still love her!

"I was not entirely sure if you were awake enough to hear us." Said Rei softly. Turning to face him, she drew him to her, fixing his eyes with hers. "I did not allow them to touch me, Shinji. You are the first man I have had sex with." Shinji's eyes widened a bit at that news, and the turmoil in his heart ceased. Smiling at her, he leaned forward and kissed her, feeling her melt against him.

Against her belly, she felt his member stiffen as they kissed. Reaching down, she sped the process along with gentle stokes and caresses. In fairly short order, the two broke their kiss, and Rei pulled Shinji on top of her, locking her legs around his hips as she guided him into her with one hand, the other holding herself open for him. As he entered her, she moaned in ecstasy, feeling him once more push into her, two becoming one. As the two built toward orgasm, Shinji had one thing he wanted to know.

"R…Rei, why did…you buy this…bed?" he managed, trying to prolong their union.

"I wished more room for us." Panted Rei, nearing orgasm.

"Well…we have…plenty of…room…for us now!" he gasped, only a few seconds away from reaching orgasm again.

"Yes. Us, and the others as well." Hissed Rei, feeling herself contract on her lover's penis, beginning her orgasm. The mention of `others' in the bed was all it took for Shinji to hit his own orgasm, pumping his seed into her welcoming insides.

-

Asuka studied herself in the mirror in the ladies' room, minutely critiquing her appearance. Staring back at her was a young, energetic girl in a tight, short tee-shirt and denim skirt, sneakers and ankle socks. Her hair was held back by her ever-present A10 neural interface units and her bright, clear blue eyes sparkled. As always, she sported a cocky smile on her lips, which were subtly coated with a faintly tinted lip gloss. Hopefully, I'll be getting cock soon enough! She punned to herself. Just a bit more adjustment here and there first, though.

Her thin denim skirt came to mid-thigh, and had three hidden buttons on each side that could be undone to show greater amounts of leg. Over the course of the last six hours, she had unfastened the bottom two, tucking the waistband of the skirt inside itself to shorten the skirt another half inch or so. Now, her hands swiftly unbuttoned the last hidden button, leaving her legs exposed to the middle of her hip when she sat or walked. She frowned as she twisted and turned to make sure her panties weren't visible. Satisfied that her tiny panties weren't in immediate view, she turned her attention to the next adjustment.

Her shirt had started out the day overhanging her skirt waistband by about a finger width, but it too had been slowly inching up. Right now, it left her bellybutton bare if she raised her arms more than half-way. With a little careful work, she adjusted it to ride just above her bellybutton, which meant that if she raised her arms, the bottoms of her breasts would be visible. The top had been getting lower as the bottom got shorter, too, now giving a good view of her cleavage. Attention to detail is important. Thought Asuka, raising her arms all the way and studying her reflection, noting the way that the flimsy, lacy, nearly-see-through bra teased the eyes. Her other self smiled back at her as she determined that the look was good. One more adjustment to go! She gleefully thought, carefully rubbing her nipples so they hardened and made themselves seen. Reaching into her small purse, she slipped out a bottle of perfume and carefully touched the glass applicator stick to her throat. Too bad Misato doesn't know that I borrowed her lavender perfume. Too bad for her, that is! Thought the teen, remembering how Kaji had always talked about how wild that perfume made him. Tucking the perfume bottle back in to her purse, she confidently tossed her hair as she headed for the door.

Stepping outside, she immediately spotted Kaji leaning casually against the wall a bit down from the door to the women's restroom. Taking a quick breath, she headed for him. "Sorry to keep you waiting, Kaji." She said sweetly, tucking her arm through his. "Were you waiting long?" she asked.

"No, not at all. Truthfully, Asuka, you're much faster in there than most women I know." He smiled down at her.

"Thank you, Kaji! I was worried that I was keeping you waiting too long." She said, concentrating on keeping her tone sweet, yet mature. All day, she had been on her best behavior, and it was slowly paying dividends. Kaji had been getting more relaxed around her. Of course, her making a deal with the waiter when they had lunch had helped, too. His drink had been stronger than usual, though not enough to make him sloppy or sleepy. Just enough to ease his inhibitions. Gloated Asuka, noting his attention to her erect nipples. I believe that I was going about getting him in the wrong manner. Being more mature and seemingly less infatuated is making him relax more than he thinks. Instead of all but throwing myself at him, I'm simply being…available. Now that he thinks he is in control, he's a lot more open with me. Noted the girl. Her genius-level IQ was not a fluke, after all.

"So, where to next, Asuka?" asked Kaji, his tone smooth and confident. All day, he had been going here and there with her. Shopping a bit, lunch, the park, some sight seeing; not a bad way to kill a day off.

"I was thinking of seeing a movie. Are there any showing that interest you?" she asked in reply. Preferably in some dark, deserted theater!

"Truthfully, I haven't had the time to even think about movies lately, so I don't even know what's showing." He said as they walked toward his car.

"Well, I have heard that Mist Valley is good." Offered Asuka. "Is that ok with you? It's more or less a western, but it has a lot of other things in there as well, if you don't like westerns."

"Honestly, Asuka, I should tell you I have a bit of a thing for classic formula westerns." Smiled Kaji.

"Really?" said Asuka. She had never seen anything that would lead her to believe that her dreamboat was into westerns.

"Indeed. It's kind of hard to explain, but the whole one-man-against-all-comers is appealing to me." Shrugged the spy. Glancing down, he realized that his vantage point let him see down her shirt. He wanted to feel bad about it, but her bra was so thin and lacy that it was almost like she wasn't wearing one. As he gazed at her exposed cleavage, his dick grew stiffer. For the last two or three hours, it had been in a constant state of semi-arousal.

From under her lashes, Asuka noted his attention on her breasts. Her gaze fell to his groin, where she noted the slight swelling. Like what you see, Kaji-chan? She thought to herself. Well, you haven't seen anything yet! Reaching his convertible sports coupe, Kaji opened her door for her, covertly watching as she gracefully eased into the passenger seat. His dick went fully erect when he saw her skirt flash a bit of her minimal panties to him. Asuka seemed to be oblivious to her state. Kaji closed her door and walked behind the car to sit in the driver's seat. Once settled, he cranked the car and prepared to pull out into traffic. As he glanced at her, he realized that her skirt was open to the crest of her hip, and the hem couldn't be more than a half inch below her panty-clad pussy. Forcing his eyes up, he was just in time to see her twist around to check behind them, her shirt twisting to allow him a generous view of her barely-clad breast. His dick twitched.

-

This is a good movie. Thought Rit-chan, watching the screen intently as she absently munched on popcorn. Still, the lead actress seems a bit out of her league. Airi'd do a much better job of it than her. Beside her, Hikari was munching popcorn and watching the screen as well. On her other side, her other minder was occupied with strawberry pocky and watching the movie. On Hikari's far side, Reiko and Kensuke were sucking face regularly and on Aki's far side, Shiori and Touji were doing a bit more, the girl's hand moving steadily at his groin, his hand disappearing under her skirt, her legs spread as wide as possible in the seats. Rit-chan ignored the two couple as much as possible. From beside her, she heard a short rattle, then a sigh. "Here. Have some of mine, Hi-chan." Whispered the older girl, tilting her popcorn tub toward her friend.

"Thanks, Rit-chan." Replied Hikari, her fingers brushing over Ritsuko's as she felt for the popcorn, her eyes fixed to the screen. Rit-chan tossed another couple of pops into her mouth, the action on the screen slowly building.

"EEK!" screeched Hikari, along with about half of the attending audience. "That was gross!" complained the inchou, shuddering. She had instinctively latched onto Rit-chan's arm, Aki mimicking her on the other side.

"But a realistic example of close-quarter battle tactics and their results." Countered Rit-chan calmly. Slowly, Hikari relaxed a bit. Still, her grip on Rit-chan's arm remained. "You don't like horror movies, either, do you?" guessed Rit-chan, speaking in a whisper. Hikari shook her head.

"No. I can't stand them." She whispered back. "Can you?"

"They don't bother me. Most of them are laughable, with the plot holes and overly-emotional characters portrayed." Said the elf hunter. "Most of them are just blood and gore fests."

"Yeah, but guys love them because it makes the girls stay close to them." Came Aki's soft contribution.

"Dating tactics for the unimaginative." Sniffed Rit-chan dismissively, keeping her attention on the screen. This really is a good movie. Maybe I should take Shinji to see it when I get back. As she thought that, she felt a thrill run from her head to her groin, which grew warm. Mmm. I think that's a definite `yes'. She thought languidly, feeling herself growing warmer and wetter as she thought of the male pilot.

-

Asuka was mentally turning somersaults as she closed her arms around Kaji's neck, her lips locked to his, her ass sitting across his lap. Under her left asscheek, she could feel his dick pulse. The two were in a nearly-deserted theater, and the movie had proved to be the perfect excuse for her to jump on his lap. That had happened about ten minutes ago, and now they were making out. The German girl slowly slid her hands along his neck and cheeks, urging him to do likewise. Slowly, hesitantly, his hands slid down from her shoulders, along her arms to her sides. Encountering her warm, bare flesh, they froze. Asuka deepened the kiss, her tongue slipping into his mouth. Come on, you can do whatever you like. She mentally urged him. Gradually, his hands worked their way back up her sides, slipping under her tee-shirt and around her breasts. Gently kneading them, he coaxed a soft moan from her. Slowly, he twisted her around so she was sitting in his lap, facing the screen. Asuka frowned a bit as she was forced to break the kiss. Her discontent was short-lived as she realized an advantage to her new position. Slowly, she eased her legs open, tucking her feet behind his calves, pressing back into his chest gently as she felt his hands slowly slip out from under her shirt. Please, please, please be heading where I think you're heading. She begged him silently.

His hands sedately worked their way down her body, crossing her belly button, then separating to rest on each hip crest. Asuka waited, feeling him pulsing against her ass. When he had turned her to face the screen, she had twisted her hip so her skirt had bunched up, leaving his pants-covered organ pressing against her bare bottom. She waited another dozen heartbeats, then realized that he was stopped there. Ok, time for some encouragement. She thought to herself, turning her head and leaning back to whisper to him. "This can't be comfortable for you, Kaji." She said, her voice husky and thick with arousal. "Let me help you get comfortable." Her hands slid down his arms, then between her legs and to his zipper, Asuka rising herself a bit so she could pull the zipper down. She felt the tip of his member burst through the opened zipper, confined only by the thin material of his underwear. Asuka twisted her fingers around to fish the offending garment off to one side. Her effort was rewarded by the feeling of his soft, hot member pressing into the juncture of her thighs.

Suddenly, as if realizing what was happening, Kaji sucked in a breath and grabbed for Asuka's hands, which were intent on freeing his hard dick from its last prison. Possessing excellent reflexes was a pre-requisite for piloting an Eva, and Asuka had exceptional psychomotor readings. Before Kaji's hand could reach her hands, she had grabbed his hands and pressed them to her damp groin. Holding them there with one hand, she snaked her other back down and resumed her efforts to free his dick. As her hand encountered the cloth-covered erection, she felt some slick dampness. Precum already? I better hurry. Thought Asuka, hooking her hands into the top of his briefs and tugging them down, his penis springing free and smearing her with some slick juice as it centered itself between her thighs. Asuka smiled, rubbing his penis a little as she began to slowly grind herself against him. Releasing his hands, Asuka pushed her panties to the side and touched her bare sex, feeling how wet she was. Satisfied that she was wet enough, the Second Child guided the tip of her crush's member to her wet lower lips. A few moments later, her smile died, replaced by a frown. This could be a problem. Thought the girl.

-

It's one a.m. Do you know where your drunk little slut friends are? Thought Tomo to herself as she checked the stalls in the women's restroom for signs of Keiko. She had sat beside the still-very-drunk girl during the movie, enduring her commentary on the film, her throwing of assorted snack items at the screen and a few of the other patrons as well as her on-again, off-again groping of her body. Not like I'm not used to that from Naoko and Tsu. Thought the girl, smirking a bit. And it feels pretty good, too.

"No luck?" came a voice from behind her as she pushed open the door to the last stall. Snapping her head to the doorway, she saw Rit-chan there.

"Ritsuko. No, no sign of her." Said the ringleader of the swingers. "Were you watching her, too?" she asked, walking toward the taller elf hunter.

Rit-chan nodded. "Kind of hard to miss her tonight." She said diplomatically. "How are her motor skills?" asked the older teen.

"She can walk, if that's what you mean. Probably not too far, though; she's royally plastered." Answered the younger girl. A thought occurred to her. "How did you get away from Wakirihara and Horaki?" she wondered.

"Stepped over the back of the seat." Shrugged the huntress. "Movie was about a minute from the credits anyway, and I had to pee." Stepping into a stall, she swiftly tended to business. Before she got out, Hikari, Aki and Reiko came in, swiftly entering stalls and emptying their bladders. Finished, Rit-chan stepped out and to the sink, activating the faucet and washing her hands. "Well, I feel better now." She smiled. "Let's find Keiko and get back to the hotel before something bad happens to her."

"Does that mean that you have a plan?" asked Tomo, suspicious.

"Not the first time I've had to track down a drunk girl." Deflected Rit-chan. Raising her voice a bit, she directed it toward Hikari and Aki. "Guys, Tomo and I are going to go look into a small matter. Link up with the Brothers Hentai and make for the hotel. We'll be along shortly."

"Hey! We'll come too!" protested Hikari from behind the door of her stall.

"It's ok, Hi-chan. Besides, you need to be back there to cover for Tomo's group if any of the inchous get nosey." Declined Rit-chan.

"You're dead set on this?" queried Aki, her toilet flushing, and a moment later, she opened the door to her stall, stepping to the sink beside Rit-chan. Rit-chan nodded to her tall friend. "Hi-chan, her minds made up. No point arguing it with her." Said the teen to her shorter friend as Rit-chan and Tomo exited the bathroom.

"But…!" began Hikari, flushing her toilet and exiting the stall. Aki shook her head.

"Maybe some hunting is what she needs right now. Besides, she has a point about covering our asses in case some little shit comes nosing around." Said the tall girl. Her lips quirked into a smile. "Besides, I feel like a soak in the hot tub after the movie. You in?" she asked softly, tapping Hikari's nose with a fingertip. The class rep smiled.

"Sure." She smiled back. As the group formed up and headed back, they looked for signs of Tomo or Rit-chan, but the two had seemingly vanished.

-

Ritsuko and Tomo had asked the concession stand worker if he had seen a girl that matched Keiko's description, and he had said that one wandered in about fifteen minutes ago, entered the bathroom, then wandered back into the theater. Since it just looked like a bathroom break to him, he hadn't given it another thought. Rit-chan asked if he had seen anyone else around the same time. After some thought, the kid shook his head. Rit-chan frowned. Reaching into her shirt pocket, she had slipped out a mid-range note and set it on the counter, tapping it with a finger as she asked if he was sure that no one else had been around in that time range. Eyeing the bill, he had said that the only ones that had been down near then was the projection crew, two school friends of his, for a short smoke break. A flick of the weapons otaku's slim finger had sent the bill over to him, and when he looked up, she and Tomo were gone.

Walking down the hallway that fed the theaters, Tomo watched Ritsuko's intent stride. Coming to a small, unmarked door, the elf hunter experimentally tried the doorknob. Finding it locked, she reached into her short's front cargo pocket and withdrew a small, slim knife. Her front pocket yielded a small pocket light, which she turned on in the dim hall and held in her mouth as she worked the knife blade into the small gap between door and frame, right beside the latch plate.

"What are you doing, Ritsuko?" asked Tomo softly, her tone a bit nervous. "You can't pick a lock with a knife!"

With a soft grunt, Rit-chan pulled on the door, twisting the knife a bit, and the door popped open. Taking the flashlight out of her mouth, Rit-chan turned to Tomo. "Sorry, what was that?" she asked innocently.

"Teach me that trick?" asked Tomo hopefully.

"We'll see. First things first, though." Said Rit-chan, slipping her felonious gear back into her pockets and examine the steep steps behind the door. "Come on. We need to talk to the projection team." She said, motioning Tomo through the door. As the other girl stepped past her, she scanned the wide, softly-lit hall for anyone watching before closing the door behind her and following Tomo up the steep steps.

The steps went straight up, then took a turn to the right, and went up some more. Reaching the second story, the two found another hallway, this one with doors along it at regular intervals, one for each of the dozen screens. Shaking her head, Rit-chan glanced at Tomo. "We have to check each one." She said, stepping to the first door and trying the handle, finding it unlocked. Swiftly, she scanned the room and found it to be empty except for the movie projector - humming away at 1200 frames a second of 70 mm film - and the sound processing unit, rendering the 14 channel UTHX II Pro-standard three dimensional sound. "Hmm. Good equipment here." Mused the teen, closing the door and heading for the next one.

Seven doors later, Tomo opened the projection booth door and froze. From over her shoulder, Rit-chan saw why. Sitting beside the whirring projector, a boy about their age was moaning, eyes closed, as Keiko sucked his dick like there was no tomorrow. His hands were tangled in her hair, and he was urging her to take him deeper and deeper. Kneeling on her knees, Keiko's skirt and panties were at her ankles, and a second boy was busy thrusting into her from behind. "Keiko!" cried Tomo, her tone angry and worried. Both boys froze at her outburst. Keiko, however, kept sucking and pushing her hips back, ignoring the interruption. "What are you doing, Keiko?!" demanded Tomo, feeling Rit-chan firmly push her through the door, stepping in right behind her and closing the door.

"What are you two doing up here?!" exclaimed the boy doing her doggie-style. "This is off limits to…"

With a wet slurp, Keiko let the seated boy's dick slip out of her mouth. "What? Did you want some too, Tomo-chan?" she asked her friend, blinking stupidly before licking the boy's penis. "Plenty to go around." She said, burying the somewhat wilted dick back in her mouth.

"Ok, boys. Party's over." Said Rit-chan, her tone commanding and dangerous. "Get your brains out of her and back into your pants. Keiko, put your clothes back on and let's get back." Keiko once more let the penis slip out of her mouth, a thick strand of saliva trailing from her mouth to the object of her oral attention.

"Fuck you, Inoue! You're not my mom!" she snarled, looking back over her shoulder.

"True. But I am your parole officer, so do as I say." Said Rit-chan, her eyes on Keiko's.

"Hey, the girl wants to stay." Said the boy who had been doing her from behind. "So take a hike and I won't call the cops." He smirked at her. Stepping to the side of Tomo, Ritsuko pushed her over shirt back and drew her USP, taking a firm, two-handed grip on it and centering her sights on the boy's forehead.

"Do as I say and maybe I won't have to hide your bodies in the dumpster." Replied the teen, tightening her finger on the trigger.

"You're bluffing. That's probably not even a real…HOLY SHIT!!" yelled the boy as a single gunshot shook the room, the bullet hitting the thickly-soundproofed wall not an inch from his ear. "GODDAMNED PSYCHO!!" he screamed, his dick spasming and hitting Keiko in the face with a stream of urine.

"That was your only warning, fuck nuts." Said Rit-chan, her voice still calm and cool. "Take off your shirt and give it to Keiko." Said Rit-chan, staring at the two over her sights. Shaking uncontrollably, the boy did so. "You, stand over there with your buddy." Directed the teen to the one who had been behind Keiko. Awkwardly, he did so, struggling a bit because his pants were around his ankles. "Tomo, get her ready to go." Said Rit-chan in that same soft, confident voice. Silently, Tomo stepped to her friend's side and wiped off her face and hair with the guy's shirt.

"Do you think you can get away with this?" asked one of the boys, his voice a bit unsteady.

"Of course." Replied Rit-chan immediately. "I work for NERV, and I have no problem with killing anyone who interferes with my mission." She said. "And if you choose to mention this to anyone, then I will kill you and everyone who you talk to about this. Since you are not the brightest people I have ever seen, I will point out one more thing." She added, seeing Tomo helping Keiko pull her panties up. "If you choose to talk, it will implicate you as well in unsavory acts, which will publicly humiliate you while you wait to die. Choose carefully." She said, seeing Tomo drape Keiko's arm over her shoulder. Motioning to the door, she reached back and opened it, Tomo leading their drunk charge through it. Rit-chan eyed the two once more, then swiftly stepped out of the room, closed the door and swiftly walked backward down the hall, her USP up and settled on the door. If they peek out, I'll kill them. She decided. Reaching the steps, she knelt and waited, counting the steps from her two friends. When they were nearly at the door, she smoothly turned, holstering her gun as she did so, and ran down the steps three at a time, reaching past a startled Tomo to open the door for the three.

"Not that way." She said, seeing Tomo turn for the lobby. "Second theater to the right. Move." She said urgently, leading the way, her stride just short of running. Tomo was in no mood to question her after seeing how trigger happy she was. In short order, the three were in the darkened theater. Tugging on Tomo's free hand, Rit-chan lead them to the side and down along the wall to the secondary exit. Pausing for a moment, she did something to the door before opening it and slipping out with the other two. Outside the door, there was a short corridor, leading to another steel door. Rit-chan got on the other side of Keiko and drew the drunk teen's other arm over her shoulder. "Let's go, go, go!" she said, her voice low but urgent. Almost running, the trio got to the door and paused as Rit-chan eyed it. "Thought so. Hold one." She barked, grabbing her knife out of her pocket and popping off a small metal cover before severing a blue and green wire. Returning the knife to her pocket, she hit the crash bar and the three were free into the warm, damp night air.

-

"Are you all right, Keiko?" asked Tomo of her friend. She and her unsteady friend were standing knee deep in the ocean, Keiko bent over, covered in sea water and splashing more on her face. On the beach, Rit-chan watched them. "Keiko?" asked Tomo softly.

"Don't feel so good." Muttered the girl, splashing more water on her face. "Stupid fuck pissed on me."

"Be glad that that's all he did, Keiko." Said Tomo, frowning at her friend. "What were you thinking fucking two strangers like that, anyway?"

"Oh, shut up, Tomo." Groaned the other girl. "What's the worst that could happen? I get pregnant?"

"No. The worst is you end up dead or with some disease." Came Rit-chan's voice from just behind them. She had silently walked out to them. "Let's get you some fresh water to finish up." Said the girl.

"Aren't you so helpful." Mumbled the drunk girl. Rit-chan ignored her.

"You done here?" asked Rit-chan of Tomo.

"Yeah. It's mostly cleaned off." Said the other girl.

"I have to say, you handled that well. Most girls get all freaked out when they get puked on; especially by a friend." Noted Rit-chan.

"Ever hear the expression `a true friend is someone who holds your hair while you throw up'? Well, me and Keiko are true friends. This time was just a bit messy, that's all." Shrugged Tomo. After they were a block away from the theater, Keiko had began to make some strange noises. Tossing her head, Rit-chan had lead them to a pair of trash cans, lifted the lid and held Keiko stead over the can. After a few twitches, she looked over to Tomo.

"Stick your finger down her throat, Tomo." She said, holding the other girl's mouth open.

"You mean…?" began Tomo.

"Yes. She drank too much and the sooner we deal with this, the better for us all. Do it." Said the girl. Tomo sighed and pushed a finger down Keiko's throat, nearly instantly being rewarded with a puking friend. Her hand and wrist soaked, Tomo cursed and stepped over to a small patch of grass to wipe the slimy, stinking mixture off her hand.

Twenty minutes later, the pair decided that she was done, and they moved for the hotel. About a block away, Keiko had surprised them with one final shot, getting the bulk of it on herself and Tomo. It was then that Rit-chan pushed them into the ocean. Now, having scrubbed their clothes and skin as clean as they could, they were ready for a wash in clean water. Ritsuko had located a beach shower that was open, and the two swiftly soaked themselves again, washing off the salt and sand. With that done, the two rang out their clothes and got dressed again before heading for the hotel.

"Ritsuko? Mind if I ask you something?" said Tomo as they started up the steps to the hotel.

"Fine with me, but I might not answer." Said Rit-chan.

"What do you do at NERV?" asked the girl. Rit-chan was silent for a moment.

"As little as possible." She said at last. "Mostly, I just support my friends."

"You mean the Pilots?" pressed Tomo. Rit-chan shook her head.

"I mean just what I said, Tomo: I support my friends."

-

"Hey, look who showed up." Called Aki, seeing Rit-chan enter the suite. She and Hikari were in the hot tub, relaxing. "Come join us!" offered the girl.

"Water's perfect, Rit-chan!" added Hikari.

"Sounds good." Said the teen, stripping off her outer clothes, leaving her in her bikini, her USP in hand. Setting her gun within easy reach, she eased herself into the warm, bubbling water. "Oh, that does feel good." She said contentedly as she leaned back in her seat.

"Everything go ok with Tomo?" asked Aki.

"Mmm. Mission was a complete success." Murmured the girl. "Got everyone tucked in and resting."

"Hey, want a drink?" said Hikari, shaking an empty bottle of soda.

"Water for me." Said Rit-chan.

"Give me another soda and some fruit juice." Said Aki. Hikari stood and walked off to get the drinks. Rit-chan lay there with her eyes closed. Feeling someone take her arm and pull her to them, she opened her eyes to see Aki was sitting facing her, pulling her to herself.

"Trying to seduce me again?" asked the elf hunter, smiling a bit. Aki pulled her friend to herself and began to kneed her shoulders.

"Not unless you want me to. You look a bit tense, that's all." Said the teen, working her way back and forth over Rit-chan shoulders. It did feel good, and Rit-chan soon had her eyes closed again. She heard some noise as Hikari set their drinks down next to the hot tub.

"Here you go." She said happily. A moment later, Rit-chan heard her dive into the pool, and maybe four minutes later, she returned to the hot tub.

"Give me a hand with this?" asked Aki.

"Sure." Chirped Hikari, settling at her side. Another pair of hands joined Aki's on her shoulders. Now with another set of hands to help her, Aki moved down Rit-chan's back to her shoulder blade area. Rit-chan had to admit that it felt good. Aki untied Rit-chan's top and let it float free before tossing it to the side of the tub.

"Perv." Giggled Rit-chan to Aki. Reaching over to the side, she felt for the familiar feel of her bottled water. Finding one, she pulled it in and cracked open the top, taking a long pull. Before too long, she was drifting in that half-asleep, half-awake state. Aki had moved to her lower back and Hikari was working on her belly. As the two reached her bellybutton, Aki skillfully slipped her bottoms off, adding them to the top that was lying next to the drinks. Without pause, the two moved on down her hips and legs.

"Rit-chan? You awake?" came Hikari's voice.

"Mmm. Sorta." Said the red-head.

"Lay back on this towel, ok?" said the inchou, helping her up out of the water and onto a towel that was laid out on deck next to the lip of the sunken hot tub. Without much fuss, she laid back, feeling Aki and Hikari take a leg each and work their way down from mid-thigh to her feet. "You've got gorgeous legs, Rit-chan." Noted Aki.

"Thanks." Murmured Rit-chan, feeling very relaxed. "Who's next?" she asked her friends, taking a deep breath and sitting up.

"We're good." Smiled Aki.

"This is for you, Rit-chan." Added Hikari, also smiling. "For taking care of us and all."

"Well, thank you." Said Rit-chan. "But who's next?" she repeated.

"We said…" began Aki.

"I know what you said, Aki-chan." Said Rit-chan. "But I know what you two are really up to." She added, grinning at them.

"What do you mean?" asked Hikari innocently.

"Did you really think that I wouldn't notice you stripping me naked and groping me after you two tried to rape me this morning?" she grinned.

"We never did that!" cried Hikari, blushing.

"Sure, whatever." Sniffed Rit-chan. "But if you never did that, then why am I sitting here naked?" she asked.

"Ok, you got us. So why are you so insistent on one of us going next?" asked Aki.

"I don't know. Maybe I just want to grope you two as well." Replied Rit-chan, her tone innocent and her eyes artfully gazing off into space. "Or maybe I'm too self conscious to be the only one naked." She added. Aki laughed.

"Sorry to disappoint you, but you're not." She said.

"Not what?" asked Rit-chan. Aki stood.

"Not the only one naked, Rit-chan." Said the girl, standing naked in the center of the hot tub. A wet splat drew her attention. Hikari was standing as well, having just slipped off her own bikini, which she had tossed to the deck next to Rit-chan's discarded suit. The inchou was blushing just a bit, but her hands stayed at her side. Rit-chan rolled her eyes.

"God, you two are certifiable, you know that?" she said, smiling. Her hand covered her mouth as she yawned. "I'm going to call it a night, guys." She said, standing and retrieving her USP. Hearing splashing behind her, she saw her two friends were out of the hot tub as well, Aki grabbing the drinks, and Hikari grabbing her and Rit-chan's bikinis before they followed her into the bedroom. A swift shower later, and Rit-chan was in the silk-sheeted bed, Hikari cuddled up to one side, Aki spooning her from the other. It was barely a minute from the time they were situated to the time they were asleep.

-

Asuka yawned and opened her eyes, frowning as she realized that she wasn't in her bed. Where the hell am I? She wondered. Glancing around, she realized where she was. Shin-chan's room. What am I…oh. That's right. Kaji and I…ugh. Sitting up, she glanced at the floor next to his narrow bed. There on the floor was her shirt, bra, skirt and panties. The German girl scowled as she saw the dried semen on the front of her panties and skirt. "That wasn't the way I imagined it would be." She muttered, brushing back her hair with her hand. Her groin felt very wet, and when she touched her swollen lips, she wasn't surprised to find herself soaked with mixed cum. A smile spread over her face. "Well, Baka certainly didn't fail to please." She whispered, feeling an odd sensation from her chest.

A knock came from the door. Grabbing the sheet, she covered her chest as the door eased open. "Are you awake, Asuka?" came a woman's voice. Airi. Thought the girl.

"Yeah. Need something, Airi?" asked Asuka. The dark-haired actress stuck her head inside the room.

"No, not really. Shinji just asked me to see if you were ready for breakfast." Said the actress.

"Did he tell you I was in his room?" she asked, scowling.

"No. I knew you were in here since you got back last night." Said Airi, a smile on her face.

"You…knew?" asked Asuka. If she knows, then Misato must as well! Shit!

"Yes. But don't worry about Misato. She got called in about ten minutes before you got back, and I told her you were sleeping when she got back this morning. Right now, she's asleep in our room. Hungry?" smiled the older woman.

Asuka's stomach growled. Seeing Airi's smile, Asuka smirked. "Yeah. But I need to hit the bathroom first. I'll be out in a bit." She said, standing and taking the sheet with her. Airi pulled her head back out of the room.

"I'll tell Shin-chan." She said softly. Asuka heard her soft footsteps head down the hall. Letting the sheet drop, the Second Child stretched, then headed for the bathroom.

In the kitchen, Airi stepped behind Shinji and draped her arms around his shoulders. "Airi?" asked Shinji, tensing a bit.

"Asuka will be here as soon she cleans up a bit." Said the older girl. Her arms remained around his shoulders.

"Oh. Ok." Said Shinji, tending to the food. "Is there…anything else?" he asked. Airi smiled at him.

"No. Not really. Does this bother you?" she asked, hugging him a bit.

"Not exactly." Said the young man. "But…don't you have a…someone better?" he said.

"Please tell me you're not thinking that Junpei and I are involved." Laughed Airi. "And what do you mean by better?"

"There's nothing special about me. All I can do is Pilot an Eva. Other than that, I'm just…normal." Said Shinji.

"That's not what I hear, Shin-chan." Said Airi, her tone teasing.

"What do you mean? What do you hear?" asked Shinji.

"I keep hearing about how special you are, Shinji. You are anything but normal." Smiled Airi. Shinji gasped as she pressed her lips to his cheek for a moment. "Well, thanks for breakfast, Shinji. I have to go now." She said, heading for the door. Secrets are waiting, after all, and I need to have something to tell my Rit-chan when she gets back.

"Have a good day." Called Shinji. Just then, Asuka walked into the kitchen, her oversized shirt on.

"What's for breakfast, Baka?" she said, sitting in her normal chair. Shinji silently dished up her food, setting it down in front of her before pouring her drink. "Thanks, Baka." Said the German girl, digging in.

"So, did your date with Kaji go good?" asked Shinji, sitting down across from his fiery lover.

-

Hikari awoke, feeling a familiar sensation in her lower belly. Well, I should have expected this, I guess. She thought, starting to move out of the bed. When she realized that she couldn't move, she took a closer look and found that Rit-chan was latched on to her, holding her like she held her teddy bear, the older girl's face tucked into her modest chest. At least she slept through the night with us. Thought the inchou. But I need to get to the bathroom. Slowly, she began to peel Rit-chan off her. Halfway to freedom, the gray-green eyes of the other girl opened. "Uh, morning, Rit-chan." Said the brown-eyed girl. Rit-chan blinked at her, noticing that she was resting her face against her friend's compact chest.

"Morning, Hi-chan. Sorry about that." She said, her eyes touching Hikari's breasts.

Hikari smiled at her. "It's nothing. I'm just glad you're sleeping the nights through with us, Rit-chan." She said. "Even if you are molesting me." She added with a giggle.

"Can't help it; you're so cute I just have to have you." Smiled Rit-chan, feeling Aki shift against her. Hikari got out of the bed and started for the bathroom, but paused to ask her friend one more question.

"Hey, Rit-chan, where did you put the pads?" she asked.

"They're sitting on the corner of the countertop, by the first sink. Starting?" she asked.

"Feels like it." Nodded Hikari. "Early, too, damn it." She stepped into the bathroom, looking for the box of pads. Looks like I'll have to wait to give Shin-chan his gift. She thought, gathering the necessary items before stepping to the toilet. Hikari decided that she would go ahead and shower before she got dressed for the last full day they would be in Okinawa.

Hearing the shower start, Rit-chan stretched a bit, feeling her nipples stiffen. I really am horny if having Aki spooned with me is making me hot. She thought. Suddenly, she felt a hand slide along her side and down to her groin as another wormed its way under her side and across her chest, cupping her opposite breast gently. "Aki. What are you doing?" asked Rit-chan.

"Molesting you." Replied the taller girl. "You certainly seemed to want some relief last night."

"What do you mean?" asked Rit-chan.

"I got up at about five past five this morning, and you were kissing Hi-chan's tits and humping her hip like a bitch in heat. You were mumbling something that sounded like `Shin-chan', but it was too hard to make out." Explained Aki. "You, my dear, are very horny." Said the tall girl, her fingers gently pressing against the huntress's labia.

"You're lying." Said Rit-chan.

"Ask Hikari. She was awake when I got back from the bathroom, but wasn't doing anything to disturb you. She seemed fine with the situation." Countered the younger girl. "And then there is this." She added, bringing her hand up from Rit-chan's nether region. It was slick with fluid. Aki slowly spread her fingers, the coating of juice making ropes between her spreading fingers. "You're soaked down there, from your pussy to mid-thigh."

"Shit." Muttered Rit-chan, rubbing her forehead with her hand. "I better go apologize to Hi-chan. Her comments this morning make a lot more sense now, though." Rit-chan started to move forward, but Aki wasn't releasing her.

"I told you, she's fine with it. A little unsure about why she's ok with it, but ok with it nonetheless." Assured Aki.

"How would you know? I'm a pretty light sleeper, and any talking would have woke me up." Disagreed the older girl.

"We talked about this last night while you were out doing whatever you were doing with Tomo. Hi-chan is not as innocent as I thought. That, or her sister is a freak." Grinned Aki. She turned serious. "Do you not trust us? Is that the problem?"

"What do you mean?" asked Rit-chan, puzzled.

"You masturbate, right? So why haven't you done so before things got this bad? Is it because you don't trust us to keep it quiet?" asked Aki. "You know that Hi-chan does, and I suspect you know that I do as well. So why the self-imposed abstinence?"

"It's not something that I usually do in front of an audience, you know?" explained Rit-chan, sweat dropping a bit. "And since the…incident with Celsia, well, I've been extremely careful of when I can indulge in that…activity. It's become habit, I guess." And I was hoping that I could hold out until I got back. Heh. I was thinking of jumping Shinji's bones; if he was interested, of course!

Aki was silent for a bit, her hand resting over the other girl's semi-aroused sex, her fingers making minute motions. Eventually, she spoke. "Rit-chan, I'm going to do something that I usually don't do." She said.

"Back to offering assistance again?" guessed Rit-chan.

"No, oddly enough. I'm going to go get a shower with Hi-chan, and I'm going to make sure that we give you a good half-hour of total privacy." Said the girl. "I'm begging you, Rit-chan: get some relief. Please. You're wound too tight right now." Aki's tone was serious. "Unless you want some…help?" her tone was a little more humorous than before.

"Tempting, but I think I can handle it." Declined Ritsuko. Aki patted her hip, withdrawing her arms.

"That's a good girl, Rit-chan!" she cheered. Standing and stretching a bit, she had one more thing to say before she headed for the bathroom. "By the way, I'll be able to tell if you don't, so no cheating!"

"Sure you don't want to supervise and advise?" replied Rit-chan tartly. Aki giggled.

"Thought you'd never ask, Rit-chan!" Rit-chan grabbed a pillow and threw it at Aki, who ducked, avoiding most of the projectile.

"Get out of here, Wakirihara!" mock-threatened Rit-chan. Still giggling, the tall girl skipped to the bathroom, closing the door. Just before it latched closed, she had one parting shot.

"Good luck!" she sniped, closing the door before Rit-chan could answer. Sighing, Rit-chan lay back on her back in bed, thinking about what she should do. It's been a while since I did it. Let's see. The last time I masturbated was the night after the celebratory party we held when we got the last spell fragment. Has it been that long? Touching her wet groin, she felt an electric thrill run up her spine. I have to admit, I have been tense of late, and it always calms me down. And for the first time in more than a year, there's no need to worry about Airi, Celsia, or - worst of all! - Junpei interrupting me. Beginning to stroke herself, she couldn't help but smile as she remembered her last year with her odd group of forced adventurers. Airi knows about me doing this, and it's not like she hasn't accidentally seen me doing it a time or ten. Celsia, too, for that matter. I should write a book called `1001 Things You Never Knew About Elves - and Probably Didn't Want To Know', beginning with the fact that they can mentally control their sexual desire. Damned lucky bitch! If Celsia doesn't want to get horny, then she doesn't. And elves don't have periods, either! Feeling herself beginning to climb toward an orgasm, she let that line of though go, in favor of remembering certain things more likely to excite her. Her peek at Shinji naked was one of them. He is nicely equipped, and he's got a nice personality. Rei-chan says that he is incredible in bed, too. She felt her excitement triple at that thought. Increasing her tempo, she was soon on the brink of a good, hard orgasm. A final moment of stimulation, and she was over the edge, moaning as she felt herself slowly return to earth from somewhere near Venus's orbit. That's it! She decided as she descended. When I get back, I'm going to start looking for a chance to sleep with Shinji! Closing her eyes, she contentedly waited for her body to regain enough strength to stand.

In the bathroom, Aki and Hikari were crouched by the door, which was cracked just a bit to give them a sliver of view of the bed. As Rit-chan moaned and went limp, the two glanced at each other and smiled before returning to the still-running shower.

-

Misato woke up about one in the afternoon. Sleepily rolling out of her bed, she yawned and headed for the bathroom. When she finished in there, she headed for the kitchen, seeking signs of her roommates and Pilots. No one was home except Pen Pen, who was laying on the floor, watching TV. It was a documentary on arctic wildlife, and was currently showing penguins. Misato fished out a beer, and was fixing to crack the seal and drain it when a thought came to her. A second beer was retrieved and she padded out to the living room, flopping down next to Pen Pen, setting the second beer in front of him. Her long-term avian roommate looked over and up at her. "Wark?" he said, his head tilted a little.

"It's an apology for not leaving you any food, ok?" said Misato, not realizing in the least that talking to a penguin would be considered odd by anyone who wasn't roommates with her.

"Wark." Replied Pen Pen, expertly cupping the beer can in one flipper, his bio-engineered claws on the opposite flipper popping the tab. Misato one-handed hers as well. Smiling at her short, dark and feathered drinking partner, she reached down to tap cans with him.

"Down the hatch, Pen Pen." She said, draining her can in one pull, as usual. Pen Pen was only a second or two behind her, though. Experience had made him nearly her match in beer draining, and if he had had opposable thumbs, then he might have been even better at her by now. "Ah!" exclaimed Misato happily.

"Wark!" agreed Pen Pen, the two tossing their empty cans over near the trash can. Both missed. Oh well, Shinji would doubtlessly clean it up when he got back from wherever he and Asuka had gone. Misato smiled at Pen Pen fondly.

"So? We friends again, Pen Pen?" asked the Captain.

"Wark." Shrugged Pen Pen, patting her bare thigh with a flipper before turning back to watch the TV again. Misato giggled and stood, deciding that she would take a leisurely soak in the tub.

With the High Priestess of Alcohol gone to worship in her chapel, Pen Pen was able to watch his porno in peace again. On the screen, a male penguin danced with a female penguin in the mating dance. Pen Pen flopped over to his other side. "Wark! Wark." He commanded the two on screen. Translation: I'm not watching this for the amateur production of River Dance! Get on with the fucking! Pen Pen was a male, after all, and therefore had a special place in his avian heart for porno, but unlike his human counterparts, he was honest enough to admit that he watched porno for the fucking, not the so-called `story'. He also had told Misato that he subscribed to Penguine Monthly for the naked chicks, not the articles. Still, Misato had been understanding and ordered the subscription for him, even picking up the tab. Of course, she had been roaring drunk at the time…

-

"Shinji. I didn't expect to find you here." Came a voice from behind the younger Ikari. Spinning to see who had spoken, he found it to be Vice Commander Fuyutsuki.

"Oh! Vice Commander Fuyutsuki! I was just…visiting miss Celsia, and I happened to stop by here because Asuka and Rei wanted to." He said, uncomfortable in the old teacher's presence. The two were standing in front of the elevated catwalk by the Eva units. Asuka had suggested that they go to the shooting range, and they had. Rei had located the two as they left the apartment, and joined them, with only minimal bitching from Asuka. While they were cleaning and putting away their guns, Asuka had heard that Akagi had been `tinkering with my Unit 2!' and had immediately stormed off to see what injustice had been inflicted on her crimson unit by Doc Mengele. Rei and he had silently finished off the weapons care and then wandered after her. When they had arrived, Asuka had been shouting at a hapless tech who was uploading new software into Unit 2 via a MAGI-linked console. Getting no satisfaction from the tech, Asuka had stormed off to find and berate Doctor Akagi.

Rei had stood silently next to Shinji, looking at the Evas, for nearly a half hour before she was paged to report to Akagi's office. Shinji had started to accompany her, but she had requested that he not go, as it was possible that Commander Ikari would be there. He had agreed, not wishing to have to see his father. Rei had promised to return to him as swiftly as possible. Now, here he was, talking to the Vice Commander.

"So, how are you and the elf getting along?" asked the old man.

"Pretty well I guess. She wanted to go see the forest in the Geofront, though. Something about it being therapeutic for elves." Said Shinji. Pausing, he decided to risk a request. "Um, is there any way that she could be allowed to go into the trees, sir?" he asked hesitantly. "It's not like she'd be free or anything; it's still in the Geofront."

"Elves are supposed to have magical abilities, Shinji. She might use them if she got into her natural environment." Parried the old man, wanting to see how far Shinji would carry this.

"If she had access to magic, don't you think she'd have used it by now?" replied the boy. His chest felt a bit tight, and he was very uncomfortable; standing up for himself or others was not something he was used to doing.

"There is some merit to that argument." Allowed Fuyutsuki.

"So, you'll let her go outside then?" asked Shinji, unwilling to believe that it would be that simple to get Celsia into the trees.

"I can't make that choice, Shinji. But I will mention it to the Commander." Said the old man. He glanced at his watch. "Well, I have to take care of some business, Shinji. It was nice talking to you." With that said, the old man moved off toward his office area, leaving Shinji standing by the rail in front of his Unit, Unit 1.

-

The morning lectures had been a series of small tests on the materials the teachers had lectured on, and when that was done, the teachers had informed them that they were free to spend their last half-day as they saw fit, but that they had to be ready to catch their flight back to Tokyo 3 by ten the next morning. The cheering from the students was nigh deafening. Lunch was chaotic to say the least, and the students swiftly disappeared to find last-minute souvenirs, sight see and get pictures taken. The teachers had also mostly disappeared, leaving a skeleton crew to supervise the students. Rit-chan had seen the principal talking with the two who were to remain, and made her way over to him. Once the two teachers were gone, she had quietly thanked him for his considerate decision. The man had just nodded to her and moved off.

Knowing that the teachers would be in the bars, karaoke rooms and whorehouses until early the next morning, Rit-chan had gathered her group together and worked out a plan of action for the last half day. Sunbathing, swimming in the ocean and shopping topped the list, and Rit-chan had told her project group that she would be hosting a card game that night after supper at her place, to be invitation-only, no more than one guest each. Aki and Hikari had immediately decided who they would ask to come up, and the six swingers had been busily negotiating to get the ones they wanted up. Once the nine guests were decided, the group had split off to invite them. All the invited people agreed, and were told to bring their money when they reported to the receptionist after supper. The rest of the day flew by.

That evening, the three girls did a little clean up and made some preparations for their little get-together. Having decided that they should host the majority of the festivities on the patio, the three had acquired more chairs and a couple of folding tables from the ever-helpful hotel staff, and set up four additional card tables, not counting the main deck table. They also secured their personal bags in the master bedroom, making sure that no one would be disturbing their things. With the preparations complete, the three sat down on the couch and ordered some snacks from room service, watching TV as they waited. Rit-chan picked up her cell phone and checked in with Airi, Misato, Rei, Shinji and Asuka. Her check-in was fairly short, mostly just a case of wanting to make sure the others were well; the call to Airi was the longest of the lot, running nearly ten minutes.

The sun had been set for nearly an hour when the first batch of arrivals had checked in at the desk and been sent up to her lair. Naturally, it was the project group. Touji and Kensuke were prepared this time, wearing swimming trunks and tee-shirts, while Tomo and her other wild women wore varying degrees of nothing. Reiko's suit was particularly flimsy, being in fact not a swimsuit, but a G-string and tee-shirt. Keiko was still looking a bit off, but headed straight for the alcohol and started off early with a shot of liquor. Tomo warned her about not getting carried away, and she had sarcastically promised to be a good girl. Rit-chan exchanged looks with Tomo, knowing that one or the other would have to be keeping an eye on her. Shiori grabbed a fruit juice, dropped her shirt on the couch with her money clip, and headed right for the hot tub, her one-piece suit covering a little less than Tomo's French-cut bikini. That, of course, drew Kensuke along like a magnet.

The next few trickled in, finding their way to the patio after selecting some drinks and snacks. It was less than a half hour before all nineteen were assembled. While they were spread out over the pool, hot tub, golf green and tables, they were all waiting for Rit-chan to kick it off. When she had things the way she wanted them, she whistled to get everyone's attention, then spoke into the not-quite-perfect silence. "Evening. As this is our last night here on Okinawa, I thought we'd have a little fun. I'm new here, but my friends aren't. I trust they chose well when they invited you all. Make yourselves at home here and enjoy yourselves. Who wants to play some poker?" she smiled, hearing several enthusiastic cheers. "Good. How about we make this a little more interesting, then?" she asked. Hearing some conversation, she smiled again. "You will note that I asked you to bring your money. Well, here's what we're going to do: we're going to have a miniature poker championship. Each of us will put up 2500 yen for stakes, get into groups of four and play until we either win, or get bankrupted. When there is one winner at each table, the winners go after each other. Last one left gets all the stakes. Who's in?"

Amid the yells and the scramble to grab 2500 yen each, Hikari frowned. "Um, Rit-chan?" she said softly to Ritsuko. Rit-chan smiled at her.

"Yes?" she replied.

"We don't have enough people to make four-person groups. We need…" she began.

"Two more, right?" laughed Rit-chan. "I already took care of that. The last two should be arriving shortly."

"Who are they?" asked Aki.

"It's a surprise." Giggled Rit-chan. "But I promise, it won't be something you're likely to forget."

"Oh, am I ever curious now." Said Aki as the guests began to come back from the living room, bills in their hands.

"Ok, everyone hand in your stakes to Hikari here and take your chips. Doesn't matter which table you start at, your goal is the same: be the last one left. When you have your chips, grab a seat." Swiftly Hikari took bills and handed out pre-counted plastic chips, courtesy of the hotel staff, as were the ten brand-new decks of playing cards. In short order, the tables were full, except for two places at the main table. As the others were softly talking to each other, the suite's phone rang, and Rit-chan authorized another group to come up. Most of the people went dead silent as Hashimi and Higano arrived together. Tomo and her group began to mutter angrily about that, but shut up when Rit-chan sent them a steady, serious look. Directing them to their tables, she tucked their stakes into the pile that sat on the counter in the kitchenette area, in full view of everyone. It was understood that no one would be touching it without permission or they would be shot by Rit-chan. Rit-chan dropped into her seat beside Aki. "Well, let's get on with the slaughter!" she called, nodding to Aki, who had the deck of cards in her hands, having been shuffling and flexing them in preparation for playing.

-

Kaji watched the note burn down to less than ash, flushed the toilet and stepped out of the bathroom at the restaurant that he and his current date were patronizing. His current companion was a mid-level tech in the Project E research labs, and while not in the same class as Misato or Asuka, she was nice enough looking. And after a bottle of wine and some sweet talking, was proving to be of great value in his pursuit of the so-called truth of Project E. And she had a nice body, too. Thought the spy, smiling at the thought. He felt a chill as he suddenly remembered what had happened with Asuka the night before. Goddamn, how stupid could I be?! If she doesn't tell Misato, I might not be shot by her, but then there is the Section 2 report that will eventually find it's way to Gendo. Shit. Talk about fucking up. Oh well. I knew this would be dangerous. With his acceptance of his fate, he pushed his worries to the back of his mind, and resumed his work on the tech, his overview of the Project coming together more and more. By the end of the second bottle of wine, the tech was naked in her bed, with Kaji adding another notch to his bedpost; and hers as well.

-

Hikari had made it nearly an hour and half before being bankrupted while making a risky move to secure her dwindling chips. Still, she was proud of the fact that she had made it that long; she wasn't much of a card player. Besides, she had to attend to some personal business in the bathroom anyway. When she came out, she settled on the couch with some of the ever-growing number of bankrupted teens, watching TV while the others swam or soaked in the tub. As the night wore on, the drinking had picked up a bit, but the only ones drunk were Keiko, Kensuke, Higano and Reiko; though most of the guests were mildly to moderately buzzed.

When she had been picked off by Aki, the bombed Keiko had stood, downed the last of her gin and juice, and made for the pool, trailing clothes as she did so. When she dove/tripped into the water, she was topless, which caused some talk, but not much; after all, most of those in attendance were friends with her anyway. Less than fifteen minutes later, Tomo was wiped out by Rit-chan and went to check up on her friend, who was kind of doggy-paddling around the pool, singing bits of songs as she did so. Tomo dove in, her bikini sleek in the patio lights. Five minutes later, Kensuke was gone by Touji's hand, and two hands later, Touji was gone by Hashimi's doing. The two went to join their fellow sexaholics in the pool. Within minutes, they were chicken fighting in the pool, with Tomo on Touji's shoulders, and Keiko on Kensuke's. Rit-chan ignored them, even when a soaked bikini bottom sailed past, splashing water on her cards. A few more joined the party in the pool.

Inside, the group who was with Hikari had discovered that there was a karaoke function built into the entertainment center, and after a few moments of experimentation, they were going at it, belting out a mix of new and old tunes. Hikari had decided to be daring and try a fruit mixer, knowing that she should be able to handle one just fine. As the group cycled through the ones inside, the ones outside came and went, taking turns at singing as the party hit a comfortable stride. On the poker front, it was getting serious, with Rit-chan, Aki, a senior boy named Juseki and Shiori. A bad call by Shiori wiped her out, and she went for a dip in the hot tub. Aki and Juseki went to work on each other, while Rit-chan rested, making only insignificant wagers as she simply went with the current. It took a full hour, but Aki's luck finally ran out. Rising, she patted Rit-chan's shoulder and moved off to the bathroom. Juseki moved so he was directly opposite Rit-chan. "And then there was two." He grinned.

Rit-chan smiled at him, her eyes dangerous. "But soon I will be alone, and you will be gone, boy." She said sweetly. Reaching over to him, she pulled the current deck of cards out of his hands, tossing them to the ground and retrieved a fresh, sealed deck. "Let's get it on." She said, cracking the plastic seal and beginning to shuffle the cards. Juseki nodded to her.

"Oh, let's Inoue." He agreed. Rit-chan smiled to herself. He's good, but nothing compared to Airi. Thank god I had time to play with her for a while; if not, he might have been able to beat me. But, thanks to Aki-chan's sacrifice, I know his methods and mannerisms. I own his ass now.

-

"That was a delicious meal, Shinji." Said Rei softly, watching as he swiftly cleared the table.

"Thanks, Rei!" he smiled at her.

"Yeah, not too bad, Baka." Agreed Asuka, having put down the bulk of the food by herself. Misato and Airi had eaten a lot less than the three Children, though still more than one would believe by their figures.

"You should be a chef, Shinji." Said Airi, wiping her mouth with her napkin before tossing it into the trashcan in a perfect fade-away shot.

"He's good enough for that already." Agreed Misato happily, a beer in her hand. "But he has other things to do right now."

"True." Murmured Airi. Something occurred to her, an idea that had come to her in her research of Shinji's mother, the nearly-mythological Yui Ikari. "Hey, Shinji?" she asked the young man.

"Yes, Airi?" he replied, still washing dishes. Rei silently rose from her seat and stepped to his side, taking the dishes that he had cleaned and drying them with the dish towel. With a short growl, Asuka rose and also joined him at the sink, scraping the leftovers off before handing the plates to Shinji to wash. Misato hid a giggle with her beer.

"I noticed that you had a cello case in your room. Do you play?" asked the actress. Shinji paused for a moment. Resuming his task, he spoke over his shoulder to the actress.

"A little, but I'm not very good. I don't have much skill with it." He said.

"How long have you been practicing it?" asked Airi. Actually, I know you started when you were eight, at the insistence of your tutor.

"About six years now, I guess." Answered Shinji.

"Six year? And you still can't play? Baka! Not even you can be that untalented." Scoffed Asuka.

"Oh? And what do you play, Asuka?" interjected Misato. You were taking violin, piano and flute when I was last in Germany. Did you stick with it?

"Ha! I play violin, flute and the piano!" said the German girl. "While I was in college, I was in the symphony and we did a concert of Bach, Mozart and Beethoven for the Chancellor of Germany and the cabinet of the Classical Conservatoire in Berlin!" The girl was very proud of that, obviously. "Did I mention that I was First String?"

"You have now." Muttered Misato.

"Do you play an instrument, Rei?" asked Airi, curious if the strange girl with no records had anything so normal as musical experience.

"Wondergirl?! You have to be kidding, Airi!" sniped Asuka. "She wouldn't do that unless she was ordered to!"

"I play the violin as well, Asuka." Said Rei softly. "In addition to the cello and piano."

"What?!?" cried Asuka and Misato in unison. Asuka recovered first, her face getting a little red.

"Oh? Is that a fact, Wondergirl?" she taunted. "Well, we'll soon see about that!" And the German devil stomped off to her room, from which sounds of rooting around was heard, followed by some cursing in Deutch and Japanese, followed by a cry of triumph. In short order, Asuka had returned, a small case in her hands, adorned with stickers of several German cities. Setting the case down on the table, she snapped open the locks, revealing a finely-crafted violin.

"You know, that demented look in her eyes and the way she carried that violin case in here made her look like a classic gangster from those old crime movies." Noted Misato to Airi.

"If that were Rit-chan's case, it would have held a Tommy gun." Chuckled the actress. By this time, the Second Child had the violin out and was tuning it up. Satisfied, she handed the small stringed instrument to Rei.

"Well?" she said. "Play something." Silently, Rei accepted the instrument, settling it professionally on her arm.

"What do you wish me to play?" she asked calmly.

"Oh, let's start simple. Play me something from Mozart" smirked the red-head. Rei nodded and proceeded to wipe the smile off Asuka's face with a perfectly done 4th movement of Eine Kleine Nachtmusik. Lowering the violin, she looked at Asuka.

"You did say `simple', did you not?" she asked innocently. Asuka held out her hand, and Rei passed her the violin.

"I've got your `simple' right here, bitch." She snarled, settling her instrument on her arm.

-

Rit-chan smiled, raising her glass of soda to acknowledge the toast from Aki, her other hand holding the stack of stakes. About half the kids were in the pool, not a few of them naked or near-naked. When did I start to think of 14 year-olds as `kids'? wondered Ritsuko to herself. Hell, I'm only two years older than them, but the seem so…childlike. Could it be that my adventures with Airi and company have made me more cynical? Her musing took another turn. Come to think of it, the pilots aren't like this either. Asuka has graduated college already, Rei-chan is god-knows what, and Shinji seems so…tired. What is it about this place that wrecks them out so young? Maybe Airi will have some answers. Just then, Aki appeared beside her, towel over her shoulders and soaking wet in her bikini. "Hey, Aki-chan." Said Rit-chan, smiling. "Been swimming with the skinny dippers?"

"Some." Shrugged Aki. "Come on, let's get you wet." She said, tugging on Rit-chan's hand. Rit-chan maintained her place.

"Not right now, Aki-chan. I was going to make a call." Declined Rit-chan.

Aki nodded. "Say `hi' to them for me, Rit-chan." She said, moving off in search of Hikari. Rit-chan stepped over past the golf green, pulling her cell phone off her belt as she did so. As she reached the farthest point she could on the rooftop patio, she held the phone to her ear, wondering if Misato and company were still awake.

-

Airi and Misato were clapping as Asuka lowered the violin. "You are very good, Asuka." Said Airi, her admiration showing in her voice. Asuka preened in the spotlight. The only downside for her was that she had to share the spotlight with Rei, who, she grudgingly acknowledged, was nearly her match with the violin. Both girls had been engaged in a one-up contest, picking more and more difficult pieces as they went. Shinji had silently listened, watching the two play with an awed expression.

"Of course I'm good; I was chosen for First String, after all!" quoth the German pilot. "Hey, Baka! Grab that cello and show us what you know." She ordered, setting her violin down and rooting in the refridge for a soda.

"I'd rather not, Asuka." Said Shinji, his tone uncomfortable. "I'm not as good as you and Rei-chan." He explained, missing the fact that he had called her Rei-chan instead of Rei.

"You've been playing for eight years, right?" demanded the girl, popping the top on her soda. "How bad can you be?!"

"I just don't have the knack." He shrugged.

"We'll be the judge of that, Baka!" snapped the Second Child. "Cello. Now!" she roared.

"I wish to hear you play, as well, Shinji." Said Rei softly. Shinji sighed.

"Don't say I didn't warn you." He muttered, moving off to his room and returning a few minutes later with his cello and some paper under his arm. Pulling a chair from the kitchen to the living room, he set up and after about five minutes of fiddling with the arrangement and tuning it, Asuka decided for him that he was ready.

"Play already, Baka." She ordered, flopping down beside Misato on the couch. Rei was seated next to Airi, the four a close fit on the couch, which was meant for only three. Shinji flipped through some pages of sheet music, trying to decide. "I only know a few songs." He apologized. "Sorry."

"Pick something and play." Repeated Asuka, sounding peeved. Shinji stopped his shuffling and cast about for a place to put his sheet music where he could see it clearly.

"I will hold the sheets for you, Shinji." Said Rei, taking them and holding them out at the proper height and angle for him.

"Thanks, Rei-chan." He said, setting bow to string. The first few notes were shaky, and the tempo was a bit off, but as he moved through the piece, he got surer and smoother, and by the end, it was almost as good as Asuka and Rei's violin pieces. Reaching the last note, he drew it out smoothly, cutting it cleanly as he damped the last cord with the back of the bow. Silence greeted him. All four were staring at him. "I told you I wasn't good." He muttered, looking down at the floor.

"Good? Shinji, that's Bach's Partita Number III, 3rd move! That piece took our cellist two weeks to get perfect, and you did it on the first pass! Good my ass! You're excellent!" exclaimed Asuka, clapping.

"She's right, you know. That was an excellent performance of a difficult piece of music." Seconded Airi.

"I cheated to pass music class in school, but I know that sounded better than all the stuff we had to listen to." Smiled Misato. "How about you play it again?"

"Al…alright." Agreed Shinji. They…liked it. He thought in wonder, beginning the piece over again. Halfway through the piece, he glanced at his music holder, and saw her smiling a soft smile at him, her eyes warm on his. Reassured, he concentrated on making the music play as smoothly as he could. Once more, he finished to silence.

"Amazing." Said Airi. The other three just watched him in awe. Suddenly, Asuka lunged over and grabbed the sheet music from Rei's hand, sitting back against Misato as Rei's head snapped in her direction, the red eyes locking onto her.

"What else do you have here, Shinji?" she asked aloud, slowly shuffling through the sheet music. "Good stuff here. Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Schubert…good selection; naturally, they're German." She grinned at him. Looking back at the papers, she came across one that was handwritten. Frowning, she studied the unmarked sheet, trying to get a feel for the music. It was very different from the classical music, but it seemed that it would sound somewhat similar. Looking the sheet over, she found that another sheet was behind it, with some more music in a different color ink and in a less precise hand. Holding the sheet up, she asked Shinji about it. "What's this, Baka?" she asked.

"That? It was folded into the strings of the cello when I got it. It was something that was left by mother; this was her cello. It wasn't complete, so I tried to complete it for a while, but it just never sounded right, you know?" he explained, motioning to the second set of markings. "I meant to throw it away, but haven't." he said. "Too much happening lately." He muttered under his breath.

"Yui wrote that?" asked Airi, her ears coming alert at the mention of Shinji's mother.

"That's what I was told." Confirmed Shinji. "Sensei told me that the cello had been sent to him by fa…the Commander with directions to instruct me on how to play." The boy's tone went dark when the topic of his father came up.

"So he put this in the strings?" asked Airi, her tone skeptical. Not like the fucking asshole to leave him anything that might be a comfort to him. Shinji shook his head.

"Sensei told me that he just had it mailed from a storage facility to me. He never even bothered to handle it personally." Shinji's eyes went dark, and his lips compressed into a thin, hard line. "See? Mother's name is still on it." He said, turning the cello around to reveal a small brass plaque securely screwed to the back of the sound box. On it was engraved Yui Ikari, followed by a short set of numbers. Silence fell, each person deep in thought at that. The silence was broken by a certain red-head.

"Shinji-chan, play this piece with me." She said, handing him a sheet of music before rising to get her violin. Shinji looked it over.

"Um, we should have two violins for this one." He noted.

"Well, sorry, but we only have one." Returned Asuka crisply, kneeling next to him as she settled her instrument. "Hold this, Wondergirl." Said the pilot of Unit 2 to her fellow Eva pilot. Rei did as asked without comment. Anything to hear him play again. Thought the red-eyed girl. "You play and I'll match up to you, got it?" directed Asuka. "Ready? Let's begin." She said. Shinji's bow slid across his strings, Asuka's smaller instrument joining in a moment later.

Halfway through the piece, Airi felt her NERV-issue cell phone vibrate, and silently pulled it out, seeing that it was Rit-chan once more. Putting the phone to her ear, she softly answered. From the sound of things, Rit-chan was at a party, but she didn't sound like she was the life of said party. Airi could tell she just wanted to hear her voice for a bit. Abruptly, she had an idea. "Rit-chan, listen to this." She murmured, holding the phone out toward where Asuka and Shinji were concentrating on the somewhat difficult piece.

-

"Hey, what made Rit-chan so damned happy?" whispered Aki to Hikari. The tall girl had her third mixed cooler in hand, feeling comfortably relaxed as she sipped her icy drink. Hikari had a simple frozen drink in her hand, determined that one cooler was all she would drink. Apparently, Rit-chan wasn't going to be drinking at all, as she had only had soda and fruit juice the whole night. Everyone else was not so discriminating, and most of them were passing from buzzed to bombed as the night wore on.

Looking out at the solitary figure standing at the corner of the rooftop, Hikari could see the other girl's smile, her cell phone held to her ear, her eyes closed. "Don't know, but I bet it's whatever she's hearing from the other end of that line." Guessed the inchou. Just then, the current contestant was finally booed off the `stage' (which was more a frame of mind than an actual stage), leaving the mike empty for a moment. "Hey, want to try that duet song now?" she asked her tall friend, motioning to the mike.

Aki downed the last of her cooler. "Sure. I think I'm loosened up enough now to embarrass myself like this." She grinned, standing and helping her shorter friend up. The two swiftly liberated the mike from a guy who was doing a very poor imitation of a comedian, sending him crashing into the overflowing couch as Hikari sought the correct song in the machine's library. Once it was selected and qued up, she joined Aki at the microphone, facing the small group of teens who were inside. As the song began to play, she did an informal headcount, realizing that perhaps a half dozen were absent, Tomo, Touji, Shiori and Kensuke among them. Glancing outside, she saw that there were a few in the hot tub, a few in the pool, and the remainder at the table, playing cards. A nudge from Aki brought her back to her current activity, barely in time for the opening chorus.

-

"Bravo!" roared Airi, standing as Shinji and Asuka rested their instruments. Misato and Rei joined her as she applauded the two. Asuka smirked and bowed, as if this were the natural reaction to anything she did. Shinji just blushed a bit and looked at the floor for a bit. Unwillingly, his eyes traveled up to meet Rei's warm eyes. Seeing his attention on her, she smiled a small, hidden smile and gave a barely-perceived nod to him.

"Not too bad, Baka." Smirked Asuka, looking down to where Shinji sat. At her words, he had looked away from his first lover to his newest lover, seeing a strange look of satisfaction in her eyes. "I'd say you have some talent." She said, tossing her hair back over her shoulder.

"Thank you, Asuka." He smiled at her. Asuka felt her heart skip a beat. Mien Gott, if he keeps looking at me like that, I'll soak my panties. Quick, Asuka, change the scene!

"You're welcome, Shinji-chan." She said, not noticing the change in title for her Baka. "But I can still whip your ass at Wire Cage Rumble VII!" she announced pugnaciously. Unexpectedly, Shinji didn't crumble.

"Hey! I've beaten you at that before!" he protested.

"Ha! You won once, Third! Anyone can get lucky once, Baka!" retorted Asuka.

"Well, I tied you three times!" countered Shinji, standing and moving his cello back into his room.

"A tie is not winning, Shin-chan." Called Asuka mockingly as she tucked her violin back into her case, snapping the lock closed. "If you're so hot, then I challenge you to a tournament, Third Child!"

"You're on, Asuka! Winner fights Rei-chan!" shot back Shinji re-emerging from his room. Asuka gave a snort of laughter.

"Might just as well say that I'll be fighting Wondergirl next, Shinji." She said sweetly, dropping to her knees in front of the TV and console setup, setting up the game as Shinji settled next to her. Handing him his controller, she turned to smile at him once more. "Any famous last words?" she taunted.

"Um…I regret that I have but three lives to give for my pride?" he hazard. Misato chuckled.

"Not too bad, Shinji." Said the Captain, raising her beer can in a toast. "Not too bad at all."

"Shut up and fight, dead boy!" howled Asuka, baring her teeth at him as she selected her favorite character. Sighing, Shinji selected his best character and mentally prepared himself for a pounding; it was obvious that Asuka was spoiling for a fight tonight.

-

Rit-chan bowed, handing the mic off to someone else, and worked her way to the kitchen area, retrieving another round of water. Cracking the top, she surveyed the group. Of the original 20 people, about half remained, not counting her two. Keiko was passed out on a deck chair by the pool, naked. Tomo and Touji had been getting more and more friendly as the evening wore on, and were currently making out on the golf green while Reiko and Shiori were decorating the unconscious form of Kensuke with a Sharpie permanent marker that Rit-chan had helpfully supplied. It had been a party highlight when Kensuke had streaked around the pool five times with burning toilet paper trailing from his asscheeks. Needless to say, it had been a dare from Reiko, who had promised him that if he made it five times around the pool with the paper held in his crack, she'd give him a double blowjob with Shiori. His ass would be sporting some blisters in a place or two, but he had made it five laps, and Reiko and Shiori had upheld their end of things, Kensuke giggling like an idiot as they double-teamed him. Of course, he had shot off early, then passed out, the heavily-loaded drinks Shiori had been pushing on him finally catching up to him.

Not hearing a fresh singer start to belt out a song, she checked the karaoke machine and saw that Aki had switched functions to the movie channels as three or four more stood and staggered for the door, waving to her as they went. Rit-chan nodded back, making sure they made it to the elevator. After some debate, the group found a movie they all could watch, and settled into the couch and chairs, sometimes double-stacked, but comfortable. Hikari was sitting on Aki's lap, sipping her drink. From the breakfast bar, Rit-chan smiled and shook her head when Aki turned her head and made a `come join us?' motion. As the group became settled, she saw that several of the guests were forming impromptu couples, kissing and cuddling. Ah, the wonders of alcohol. She thought, spotting Hashimi and Higano at the end of the couch. Hashimi was sitting against the end of the couch, with Higano massaging her feet and calves, Hashimi's hand resting on his back in a proprietary manner. Rit-chan glanced at the clock. Half past one am. Time to check the others. She thought to herself, slipping out of the living room and onto the patio.

Keiko was making cute little sounds as she slept on in alcohol-induced slumber, a hand having worked its way down to her groin, where it was making some feeble movements. On the grass, Tomo was kneeling in front of Touji, who was vigorously thrusting into her from behind as she panted and moaned. Shaking her head, Ritsuko moved on to Reiko and Shiori, who had finished their decoration of Kensuke's corpse, and were currently cuddled up side-by-side on a lounge chair, whispering to each other in a serious tone. Rit-chan's sharp hearing caught the word `baby' a time or two, and she deduced that Shiori was confiding in her friend and asking her for some ideas on what she should do. Rit-chan's attention was diverted as she stepped on something cool, wet and soft. Glancing down, she saw a bikini bottom under her foot. Stepping back, she scanned the area near the pool, seeing a mix of tops and bottoms, as well as tossed-off outer clothes. At least seven girls were going topless and three were going bare-bottomed from the cast-off bikini parts. Inoue moved on around to the table where the three people sat playing cards.

Approaching the table, she noted that the three were tanked and barely able to sit upright. Deciding that she better get them gone before they passed out, she stepped up and announced that it was time for them to go to their rooms, and efficiently rounded them up and got them to the elevator. Returning to the suite, she checked on the inside group, seeing that they were watching the movie in silence, except for the soft sounds of kissing and petting. She also saw that Hikari was absently holding Aki's hand, her arm draped around her friend's shoulders. Hiding a smirk, the older teen moved to the bedroom, making sure that no one had decided to turn it into a porn set yet, and retrieved a spare throw blanket from the foot of the bed before slipping back to the patio, where she covered Keiko's sleeping form. Glancing at the golf green, she saw that Touji and Tomo had been joined by Shiori and Reiko, Reiko riding the young man as Tomo and Shiori lazily made out with him and each other. Rit-chan returned to her perch by the breakfast bar.

-

Misato and Airi had turned in more than an hour before, and Asuka was currently yawning as she watched Rei and Shinji play an adventure game. Personally, she found the adventure games boring, as they had too little fighting for her, but Shinji and Rei obviously had no issues with them. Right now, the two were working their way through a deep forest maze, occasionally running into different beasts and traps. Watching the two, she was struck by how easily they supported each other and synchronized their attacks and defenses. Of course, those two synched perfectly when we were training for the second try at the seventh angel. Thought the red-head, frowning as she remembered the whole scene with her, Rei and Shinji on the training mats. Why did Shinji want to partner with me so badly? She asked herself; it wasn't the first time she had wondered about that by far. He and Wondergirl synch so easily with each other, why bother to put up with me? Before she could think about it, she spoke. "Hey, Shinji." She said.

"Yeah, Asuka?" he said, concentrating on the game.

"Why did you choose to stick it out with me when we were synch training for the seventh instead of just going with Wondergirl?" asked Asuka. Shinji frowned, pondering the question. Seeing his character pause, Rei hit the button on her controller that paused the game, silently watching her lover consider the question. It is unlike Asuka to as such a question. She thought to herself.

"Because it had to be you." Said Shinji at last.

"Vas?" asked Asuka in German. "What do you mean?"

"It just…felt right…when you and I were synching. It's not something I can explain." He shrugged, looking at his fiery lover. "It feels different when I'm synched with you than when I'm synched with Rei-chan."

"Oh." Said Asuka. It does make some sense; after all, it felt…right when we were in synch, like I wasn't alone anymore. Thought the German girl.

"Why the curiosity, Asuka?" asked Shinji. Rei considered her, her eyes penetrating into her fellow pilot's soul, assessing what she saw there.

"No reason." Shrugged Asuka. Yawning, she stood up from the couch. "I'm going to bed." She announced, heading for her room. "I'll see you later, Baka." She said, shooting him a grin before passing into the hall. The two remaining pilots heard a door close, followed shortly by the sounds of the sink running. Shinji turned to look at Rei.

"Do you want to continue, or call it a night?" he asked her.

"I wish to be intimate with you, if you will allow me." Said Rei, setting the controller down and moving to Shinji before kissing him deeply. It wasn't necessary for him to tell her his answer; his body spoke for him.

-

In his secluded hole-in-the-wall office in NERV's bowels, Kaji had his laptop booted up and interfaced with the MAGI net, studying some schematics of the internal power routing and control. Since he was a spy, it wasn't odd for him to keep irregular hours, or for him to be viewing restricted information. Still, he took no chanced and used a stolen log-in for the MAGI sessions, a trick another of his fellow Seele agents had passed to him through channels. And in so doing, let me know that there are at least three other Seele plants in here, to go along with the seven GOJ plants, ten UN plants and god only knows how many other agents in this place. Thought the spy to himself. Of the agents he knew about, he had unraveled the identities of all but two of Seele's plants. One he was convinced was a sleeper agent, probably on the bridge crew, and the other was definitely in the tech division, most likely on Ritsu's staff. The possibility existed that the charmingly cute Ibuki was both agents, as she fit both profiles perfectly. And as Ritsu's right hand woman, she would have access to all the secrets in both the bridge and the tech sides. It wouldn't be the first time that one agent had two codenames.

But, that can wait a bit. First, I have to determine how they're going to take out the power supply. Frowning, Kaji considered the screen of information before him. Three separate, redundant, isolated power supply grids, all set to cover each other and prioritized for the MAGI, then the Eva cages, then the bridge, then the life support. To get all three to fail at the same time will require quite a bit of elbow grease, as they used to say. Fishing a cigarette out of his shirt pocket, he lit it, sucking in a lungful and slowly exhaling it. Let's see, if it were me, how would I go about severing the separate grids? Narrowing his eyes, he studied the diagrams again. Two hours later, he thought he had it figured out. An hour after that, and he had worked out a set of plans, contingencies, and emergency options for the upcoming probe. Most importantly, I must have an iron-clad alibi for the time when this all goes down, or Gendo will probably just shoot me as a precautionary measure. He sure as hell doesn't trust me, and I've been getting hints that he knows I'm serving more than one master. Still, as long as he finds me useful to his plans, I'm safe enough. As the clock on his screen turned to five am, Kaji logged off and stretched, retrieving his jacket and heading for home, taking the time to make sure that his Walther PPK was tucked securely into his chamois hide-away holster just behind the buckle to his pants, in addition to the NERV-issue USP he carried in a pancake holster. Killing the single light bulb in his office, he yawned and headed for the car-train, and the apartment he currently called home. Wonder if Junpei is up yet? He thought.

-

Rit-chan awoke to find that she was in her bed, with Aki spooned to her back and Hikari face-to-face with her, the brown-haired inchou's face resting against her throat. Rit-chan found that she had her arms around the girl as if she were a teddy bear. Once more, as was their habit, the three were nude. Carefully, gently, Rit-chan worked her way free and headed for the bathroom. After her stop at the toilet, she moved to the shower and started the water, already planning her day, knowing that the school was scheduled to fly out of Okinawa for Tokyo 3 on the 12:20 pm flight. Ducking her head under the spray, she paused, one hand on the tiled back wall, letting the warm water cascade over her form.

"Mind if I join you?" came a voice from the shower's thick, large glass door. Rit-chan glanced over to see a naked Tomo at the door. With a wave of her hand, she invited the other girl in. Tomo entered and crossed to where the water gushed from three showerheads and four jets. Stepping into the flow, she began to scrub herself clean. "Sleep well?" she asked Rit-chan.

"Of course. You and Touji fell asleep on the golf green. Did you stay there all night?" replied Rit-chan.

"Most of it. About three am, we woke up and moved to the lounge chairs. Kensuke woke up enough to take a piss off the side of the roof, giggling like a little bitch. God, what a freak." Groused Tomo.

"Speaking of those two, they better not come in here while I'm here or I will kill them, understood?" cautioned Rit-chan.

"Don't worry; Touji-chan was busy with Shiori when I came in here, and Keiko is still passed out. Reiko was sleeping next to Aida, so I bet he'll be busy when he comes to again." Reported Tomo. Rit-chan lathered herself up with her body shampoo. "Um, Rit-chan?" asked the other girl.

"Yes?" answered the older girl.

"I…well, thanks." She said.

"No problem." Replied Rit-chan, handing the other girl a bottle of hotel shampoo. As Tomo washed her hair, Rit-chan heard movement from her bed, and a moment later, Aki entered the bathroom, yawning. When she saw Rit-chan and Tomo in the glass-enclosed shower, she paused, frowning.

"Tomo?" she said, sounding a bit puzzled.

"Oh, good morning, Aki-chan." Said Rit-chan calmly. Aki touched her head.

"Good for you, maybe, Rit-chan. My head hurts." Complained Aki.

"I've got you covered, Aki-chan. Look on the edge of the countertop, near the sink." Replied Rit-chan. Aki did so and smiled when she saw three packs of aspirin.

"Bless you, Saint Ritsuko Inoue." Smiled the girl, downing the six tablets.

"I'm no saint, Aki-chan, and have no aspirations to become one." Denied Rit-chan. "How's Hi-chan?"

"Dozing, but she should be up and running within a few minutes." Aki said, finishing with her pit stop. "Can I join you two?" she asked, settling a towel next to Rit-chan's towel.

"Come on in. I'm nearly finished anyway." Said Rit-chan. Aki stepped in and stood under a showerhead. Tomo was busy with hygienic matters, cleaning herself from her night of sex, fucking and coiterous. Finished, Rit-chan moved out into the bathroom and began to dry herself off. As she was working her way down her legs, Hikari entered the bathroom.

"Busy place this morning." She said, spotting Aki and Tomo in the shower.

"Yeah. Sleep good?" said Rit-chan, winding the towel around her head to help her hair dry.

"Mmm. Yeah, I did. Thanks, Rit-chan." Said the inchou softly.

"You make a good teddy bear." Smiled Rit-chan, touching Hikari's shoulder as she moved past her, headed for the bedroom. "I'll get breakfast lined up, guys." She said as she cleared the door.

-

Shinji opened his eyes to find that he was immobilized. Looking around showed him that a certain blue-haired girl was glommed onto his right side, and a certain red-haired girl was glommed onto his left side. Both girls had their arms around him in a very possessive manner. Shinji sighed, content with the comfort he got from having both his lovers near him. "Good morning, Shin-chan." Came a soft, quiet voice.

"Morning, Rei-chan." He said, looking over to her. Rei-chan leaned over to him and fastened her lips to his. For nearly a minute, the two were busy with each other's lips and mouths. Finally, Rei broke the kiss. She and Shinji had spent nearly an hour last night petting and having sex. Rei could still feel his seed in her, and it made her very happy.

"I see that Asuka joined us after all." Noted Rei, considering the still-sleeping Second Child.

"Yeah, I guess she did. I was pretty wiped out after we…did it." Said Shinji softly. "I didn't even know she was in here until I woke up this morning."

"She arrived about three hours ago, and claimed your opposite side." Reported Rei. "She apparently needs you."

"I'm not sure I can satisfy her this morning." Grinned Shinji. "You took a lot of my energy last night." He whispered to his first lover.

"I believe that you will find the energy to satisfy her, Shinji." Smiled Rei. "I will excuse myself to the bathroom while you see if she is in need of your comfort." The girl began to move.

"Um, Rei-chan?" said Shinji.

"Yes, love?" replied Rei, pausing.

"Do you…have to go?" he said.

"Asuka is not yet ready to accept that you love us both, and she tends to be violent when provoked, so I simply wish to make things as easy on you and her as possible. If you wish me to stay, however, then I will do so." She said, studying his eyes.

After considering Rei's words, Shinji reluctantly had to agree. "It's probably the smart thing to do, Rei-chan." He said softly. Without comment, Rei rose and moved for the door. "Thanks, Rei-chan." Whispered Shinji. His blue-haired love paused at the door, looking over her shoulder at him.

"I desire your happiness, Shin-chan." She said softly, exiting the door as she finished. No more than two minutes had gone by before Asuka began to shift and awaken.

-

"HOLY FUCKING HELL!!" screamed a voice in the quiet of the morning. Rit-chan didn't even look up from her perusal of the morning paper. Aki and Hikari bolted into the living room from the bedroom, more or less dressed.

"What the fuck was that?!" demanded Aki, her tone tense.

"Aida woke up." Said Rit-chan calmly. She reached over and took a grip on her glass of orange juice, sipping it delicately. "Breakfast will be arriving soon." She noted, glancing at her two friends. "You might want to finish dressing." She noted. Aki glanced at her bare chest and panties, then to Hikari's topless form.

"Yeah, guess we better. Oh shit, here comes the stooges." She said, swiftly ducking back into the bedroom, pulling Hikari along before shutting the door. Rit-chan set the paper down and turned away from the breakfast bar to face the door to the patio. Just as the frantic and panicky Kensuke Aida clawed it open, Rit-chan stood and stepped in front of the bedroom door. Kensuke dashed toward her, oblivious to his nakedness. When he tried to dodge past Rit-chan, the elf hunter close-lined him in the collarbone, knocking him to the floor.

"Good morning, Aida. Is there something you wanted?" she asked, her tone level but cold.

"Gotta shower!" he managed, climbing back to his feet. "Gotta get this off!" He reached for the door again, and Rit-chan grabbed his wrist, turning it and stepping behind him as she arm-tossed him back to the floor.

"My friends are changing in there, and if you disturb them again, I will kill you, got it, Aida?" she said forcefully.

"But…!" he began.

"That is permanent marker, brain donor." Continued Rit-chan. "The only way to get it off is to tear the skin it's on off. No amount of showering will change it. Relax, already. It will fade as time goes by and the skin cells regenerate themselves, so in a while, you'll be back to being a pale, geeky hentai freak."

"I will?" gaped Kensuke at her from where he lay stunned on the floor. "How long?" he asked.

"Shouldn't be too long; maybe three months." Said Rit-chan, examining the marking with a keen eye. "Yes, I think they will be gone sometime in the third month." She certified her first assessment.

"Three…months?!" squealed Kensuke.

"Yes. Three months." Confirmed Rit-chan. "Now, would you get your naked, stinking carcass off my floor and away from my bedroom?" she said civilly. From the doorway to the patio, she heard Reiko begin to snicker. Before long, Shiori joined her, and once Touji got a good look at Kensuke's `decorations', he burst out laughing. Kensuke's head snapped toward his friend, his face getting red.

"Touji!" he yelled. Springing to his feet, he bolted for the door and Touji. "I'm gonna kill you for this!" he howled, charging after his friend as the two girls who had done it simply stepped back and let him by. Touji, protesting his innocence, led his shorter friend on a merry chase all over the patio area before simply grabbing Kensuke and tossing him into the pool. The taller athlete had not managed to put on his swim trunks yet, so the two had been playing tag in the buff. When Shiori looked back at Rit-chan, she saw that the older girl had Kensuke's camera to her eye, filming the two.

"When did…" began Shiori.

"Last night, while you and Reiko were playing hide-the-sausage with him." Answered Rit-chan. "I borrowed this and checked his footage. He had some objectionable material, so I confiscated it. This disc will be for my personal blackmail usage." She smiled. Touji and Kensuke were giving her plenty of ammunition for her blackmail scheme as they tussled in the pool. Eventually, the two calmed down and got out, searching for their swim trunks. Rit-chan stopped the recording, ejected the disc and tucked the small disc into her pocket before tossing Kensuke's camera onto the chair by the couch. Glancing at Shiori and Reiko, she noted they looked a little green at the gills. "Here. Take these, then get a warm shower." She directed, pointing to a small pile of pills.

"Aspirin?" asked Shiori, stepping inside, Reiko a step behind.

"Among other things. There are a couple of multi-vitamins in there, as well as a B-complex. The B-complex goes under the tongue, the rest get swallowed. You should feel better by the time we hit the airport." Explained Rit-chan. Thanks, Misato. She mentally added. The two girls swallowed and tucked as directed, then headed for the bedroom. Just as they were about to open the door, Aki opened it from inside the bedroom, stepping aside so the two could enter before exiting the room with Hikari and Tomo in tow.

"Morning, everyone." Said Rit-chan, sitting back down at the breakfast bar and picking up her paper.

"Breakfast here yet?" asked Hikari. Just then, there was a knock at the door.

"Should be it." Said Rit-chan, rising again and crossing to the door. Opening it a crack, she confirmed that it was the breakfast she had ordered, opening the door to allow the hotel employee into the suite. Swiftly, the breakfast was laid out and the server swiftly disappeared. Rit-chan considered the spread before her.

"Hungry, Rit-chan?" asked Hikari archly. Mounds of eggs, rice, toast, sausage, grits, potatoes, bacon, biscuits, croissants, fruit wedges, bagels, miso soup and grilled fish covered the bar. The elf hunter dished up a plate and set to eating.

"I'm not planning on eating airline food, so I plan to get a good breakfast. You should too, Hi-chan. Especially the ones with high iron in them." She said, obliquely referencing Hikari's need for foods that would help her replace the blood she was losing on her period.

"I am hungry." Agreed Hikari, taking a plate and digging in. Aki was only a step behind her, and Tomo followed the tall girl's lead. As Rit-chan was pouring her friends glasses of orange juice, milk and coffee, the two boys came in from the patio, still mostly wet.

"Hey! Breakfast!" exclaimed Touji gleefully, stepping behind Tomo and grabbing a plate. Kensuke reached out for some toast, almost touching Aki's bare arm.

"Touch me with that rat paw and lose it, Aida." Said the tall girl warningly.

"It's just pool water, Wakirihara. Stop being so uptight." Sulked Aida.

"What did I tell you about bothering my friends, Aida?" reminded Rit-chan. "You two need a shower, and bad! I'll let you eat here, but then, it's off to your room to shower and pack."

"Yes, Mommy." Said Touji insolently.

"Call me that again and I might do something violent." Said Rit-chan as she tossed a butter knife at Touji's foot, making the boy leap for his life.

"Might?!" he gasped. "You just threw a fucking knife at me!"

"If you call me that again, I'll use my sheath knife and aim for something more vital." Explained Rit-chan. "Now shut up and eat."

If there was one thing that Touji could do, it was put away the food. Three whole plates were packed away in the time it took the others to finish one full plate. "Christ, got a tapeworm in there?" asked Reiko as Touji went for more eggs and potatoes with a fourth helping of bacon.

"I can see why Asuka calls him `the stomach'." Noted Hikari.

"Ugh! Don't mention Red Devil while I'm eating!" protested Touji. "I'll lose my appetite!"

"Yeah, whatever." Snorted Kensuke. "You don't seem too sick when you see pictures of her naked."

"And what pictures would those be?" asked Rit-chan, turning to stare at Kensuke as Touji smacked him on the back of the head.

"Uh, it was just some old ones!" ad libbed Kensuke desperately. "From…before you got here! Honest!"

"In that case, we'll have to adjust the royalties accordingly." Replied Rit-chan silkily.

"What?!" whined Kesuke.

"Unless they were taken after we told you not to take any more pictures of us in the locker room?" prompted Ritsuko urbanely. "If that's the case, then Asuka will have to be notified that you have broken the contract."

"Smooth, `suke!" hissed Touji.

"Oh, god." Moaned Kensuke.

"What contract?" wondered Tomo aloud.

-

Shinji was clearing the table of the wreckage of breakfast as Asuka sat in her chair, humming softly as she watched Shinji work. In the living room, Rei sat silently staring at Pen Pen, neither of them blinking. "That was a good breakfast, Baka." Said Asuka happily. And an even better orgasm this morning! She added silently. I had half expected Wondergirl to be in his room with him, but she wasn't there when I woke up. Good thing too; I needed Shinji! Unexpectedly, she didn't immediately correct herself about him being simply a training tool.

"Thanks, Asuka-chan." Smiled Shinji. He didn't even notice the addition of the -chan to her name. From the living room came a wark! It sounded frustrated. "I told you, Pen Pen, that you'd lose." Chuckled Shinji.

"What?" asked Asuka.

"Pen Pen and Rei-chan are having a staring contest." Explained Shinji. "While you were showering, they got involved in a staring contest. So far, Rei's won every round."

"Figures." Muttered Asuka. About then, the door to Misato's room slid open and Misato made her appearance. The two pilots watched their guardian shuffle to the fridge and pull out a beer, crack the top and drain it in silence.

"Ah! Good morning, Children." She chirped, tossing the empty can at the trash can. It missed of course, but Shinji just leaned over and picked it up, tossing it into the trash.

"Good morning, Misato." Said the Third Child.

"Starting a bit late, aren't you, Misato?" said Asuka snippily. "You usually have most of a six-pack put down by now."

Misato frowned at her Second Child. "Oh, is that a fact?" she replied. Asuka just smiled at her sweetly. Misato frowned for a bit, then her lips curved into a smile of her own. "So, have you two finished your homework?" she asked innocently.

"Homework?" replied Asuka. "What are you talking about?"

"I told you that your grades are poor, and you have to pick them up, didn't I?" replied Misato. "Well, tomorrow is your first day back in the new quarter, and you have that make-up work to turn in. All done, I presume?" quoth the Operations Director. Shinji winced. Forgot about that with all that's been going on. He thought.

"It'll be done by tomorrow, Misato." Replied Asuka confidently. "After all, I am a college graduate." She purred.

"Yes, you are. And for someone with a degree to get such poor grades is pathetic." Returned Misato.

"Pathetic?" echoed Asuka, her tone very dangerous. "I'd say that `pathetic' is a word better suited to a guardian who spends her days drunk and wastes the time of her best pilot with inconsequential schooling instead of being prepared for an Angel attack."

"Is that so? Well, miss Sohryu, since you're so talented, I'll presume that you'll make a hundred on the makeup work." Stated Misato.

"Why bother? It's not like I need this crap for anything." Retorted Asuka, sitting back in her chair.

"How about if you don't make a hundred, then you're Piloting status will be suspended." Said Misato, her tone serious.

"Fine by me. But remember, when the Angels get past Baka and Wondergirl to initiate Third Impact, it's all because you wasted the talents of your best pilot and Eva on meaningless attempts to create a `regular' life for her." Snapped Asuka.

"Asuka." Said Shinji quietly. This was going good, Asuka. Please, don't ruin it now. He silently begged.

"Fine, fine." Said Asuka dismissively to Shinji. "A hundred it is, then." She sniffed. Misato stared at her two charges intently.

"I hate to interrupt this family moment, but aren't you running behind schedule?" came Airi's voice from the head of the doorway. Misato blinked.

"Fuck!" She growled, nearly jogging toward the bathroom. "I've got to get ready." She said as the door closed. Airi entered the kitchen, and Shinji fixed a plate for her from the pans on the stove. Airi sat at the table and nodded her thanks.

"Um, Asuka, about that make-up assignment." Began Shinji.

"No problem, Baka-chan!" smiled Asuka, sitting up and staring into Shinji's eyes intently. "I've got a plan." She purred. Shinji found it a bit difficult to swallow with her giving him that look.

-

Rit-chan took one more long look around her suite, making sure that nothing was left behind. Satisfied, she closed the door, seeing her two friends waiting for her by the elevator to the lobby. Smiling at them, she joined them, the doors closing behind them as Hikari pressed the button for the lobby. "Sure you aren't going to miss that place?" asked Aki.

"It was nice." Shrugged Rit-chan. "But it wasn't home." She added. I can't wait to get back with Airi. Or the pilots and Misato, come to think of it. She silently thought. The three were silent until the elevator reached the lobby. The doors slid open to a scene of chaos. Students and teachers milled around, checking their luggage and group assignments, talking, laughing and wringing the last bit of fun they could from the trip to Okinawa. Skillfully, Rit-chan maneuvered to the main desk. Slapping her keycard down, she smiled at the receptionist. "Checking out." She chirped.

"Ah. It has been an honor to host you, miss Inoue." Said the man, swiping the card off the desktop. "We wish you a safe trip back to Tokyo 3 and hope you will come again." He said, bowing.

"Thanks." Smiled the teen. "I would like for you to do me one more favor, though." She added.

"Of course, Miss Inoue." Said the man. Rit-chan tossed three small rolls of bills on to the desk.

"I kind of left a mess up there, and I want the cleaning staff to get this as my apology. Can you see to that for me?" she asked.

"It will be no problem, miss." Assured the man, the three rolls disappearing smoothly.

"Well, that's that!" said Ritsuko. "Bye bye!" With a wave, the teen disappeared into the group of students and teachers, seeking her friends.

-

Asuka, Rei and Shinji were taking the afternoon to do some last-minute errands, having completed the make-up homework only minutes before. Asuka's plan had been brilliant. Shinji read the questions, and Asuka answered them. With a college degree, it wasn't too tough for her. As she had pointed out, the problem with her grades here were her difficulties with kanji. Shinji could read kanji just fine, but lacked Asuka's advanced education. With the two covering each other's weak areas, the homework was no big matter. Rei had silently watched the two as they roared through the assigned workload. Rei, it turned out, had a perfect score in school. Asuka had muttered about Rei's `lip service grades', but the blue headed girl had ignored her.

With the homework done, Shinji had noted that he should make some special dishes for their returning friends. Immediately, Asuka had determined that the only solution was to go shopping for supplies. Of course, she was not speaking of just food. So, the trio had hit a couple of clothing stores, some shoe stores, a lingerie shop (much to Shinji's delight) and a music store, where Asuka crusaded for `real' music.

-

Relaxing in her first-class seat, Rit-chan watched the clouds slip by below them. With her were Hikari and Aki, who were currently talking softly with each other. The boarding of the plane had been a repeat of her initial boarding. Once all the others were securely seated, she had simply walked up to the plane, flashed her NERV card and taken a seat in first class. When the flight attendant had started to say something, Rit-chan had just referred her to NERV central command. There had been no more questions after that.

Nor were there any problems from the airport police when she walked through the metal detectors, which of course went off. When they asked her if she had any metal on her, she had just given them an are-you-retarded look and held up her NERV card. Her pack was another issue, as the airport police wanted to search it for weapons. Ritsuko had refused, telling them that they weren't cleared for that, and that if they wanted to search her or her belonging, they would have to get authorization from Commander Ikari at NERV HQ. Of course, the rent-a-cops had felt that this was an affront to their authority, and tried to force her to hand over her bag. One broken arm and two concussions later, they decided that maybe they should regroup and get some reinforcements. Before they could get too carried away, a group of dark-suited men had run up and held a very urgent whispered conversation with the remaining airport security personnel, who had gone from angry, to shocked, to scared as the men huddled. Rit-chan, meanwhile, had stood there smirking, her cell phone in her left hand, her right hand on her hip, not far from her USP's grip. The rent-a-goons had slunk away to tend to their three wounded, and the suited men had approached Ritsuko, bowing and apologizing for the misunderstanding. Rit-chan had given them a short nod and moved to the concourse, ignoring the looks from the few students who had been privileged to see her in action.

Now, she relaxed, almost feeling herself approach Tokyo 3, and more importantly, Airi, Celsia, Mike, the Pilots, Misato and Junpei. That's about the right priority order, too. Mused the girl. From her left hip, she felt a buzz. Removing her cell phone, she glanced at the screen, then hit the button, connecting the call.

-

Standing by a large ventilation fan, Kaji casually puffed on a cigarette, waiting for his contact. This is the second time that the Ministry has wanted to live-contact me in two months. Not a good sign. If they get sloppy or scared, then it's my ass hung out to dry in the sun. thought the spy. And even worse, Seele hasn't even given me so much as their usual `we're watching you' crap in nearly as long. I'm beginning to think that they are devaluing me! Even though he wasn't a particularly seasoned espionage agent, he knew what happened to `devalued' agents. It was just one step short of what happened to disavowed agents. When an agent got disavowed, that agent had an average life span measured in days. A devalued agent's life-span varied because it was a matter of when the powers who had been employing the agent needed an expendable decoy.

Spitting out the burn-out butt of his cigarette, he fished for another. Finding his current pack to be empty, he sighed and tossed it into the corner of the narrow passage. Absently, he fiddled with his lighter. Minutes passed. If the contact hasn't show in five minutes, I'm gone. He decided. No more than a heartbeat later, he heard a soft footfall. Glancing down the passage, he saw a shadow move. His hand slipped to his USP, his eyes on the shadow. Steadily, the shadow resolved into a person. It was a person Kaji had come to know well. "You?!" he gasped.

-

Last to board, first to exit. Life is good. Thought Rit-chan as she stepped out of the plane and into the connecting tube. A glance back showed her that Hikari was behind her, with Aki bringing up the rear. Lengthening her stride a bit, Rit-chan swiftly cleared the tube and was onto the concourse, her eyes scanning the gate area. A flash of red caught her attention, and she spotted the familiar form of Asuka, who stood beside Shinji and Rei, with Misato and Airi behind the three teens. With a happy cry, Rit-chan sprinted to her friends.

Airi found herself with an armful of Rit-chan as the teen wrapped her arms around her closest teammate. "Welcome back, Rit-chan." Murmured Airi to her younger companion.

"God, it's good to be back." Said Rit-chan in response, her tone thick with emotion. After a few moments, Rit-chan eased back from Airi, who shared a smile with her. "Hey, guys! You all ok?" she asked the three pilots.

"Of course!" replied Asuka cockily. "We're the Eva Pilots, remember?"

"Not like anyone will forget that with you around." Came Hikari voice, her tone teasing.

"Hi-chan!" exclaimed Asuka, smiling at her friend. "What did you bring me?" she asked.

"Ah. I knew there was a reason you met us at the airport." Mused Aki. "You're souvenir hunting, aren't you?" the tall girl accused.

"Well, we had to miss the trip, so it's not like we're not entitled to a few cheesy trinkets, right?" replied Asuka haughtily. Beside them, Rit-chan reached out and put her hand on Shinji's shoulder. When the male pilot looked over at her, she smiled.

"Have a good break?" she asked softly, not disturbing the conversation of Asuka and her two friends.

"It was…different." Said the boy, giving her a weak smile.

"Oh? How so?" asked Rit-chan curiously.

"Um, I'd rather not say right now." He evaded. Rit-chan smiled.

"Fair enough. How about you and I go to a movie next weekend, and we can swap stories then. Deal?" she asked.

"Sure." Smiled Shinji.

"Shinji!" came a bellowing call. Glancing away from Rit-chan's warm gray-green eyes, Shinji spotted Touji and Kensuke struggling toward him. Both seemed really keyed up. Finally, they reached his group. Misato had moved so she was right behind him, her hands on his shoulders, almost absently easing him back so he leaned against her. "Man, you missed a totally bitching trip, Shin!" gloated Touji.

"You're not gonna believe what happened on the trip!" seconded Kensuke. "I have some movies and pictures you're gonna freak over!"

"Um, that's nice, I guess." Said Shinji, his tone a little vague. Kensuke blinked at him.

"Nice? Is that all you have to say? What's wrong with you, anyway? Red Devil get…OW!" he cried as Asuka's hand met his face.

"Stooge no hentai baka!" barked Asuka before turning her back on him and resuming her conversation with Aki and Hikari.

"God, what a bitch." Muttered Kensuke, standing from where he had fallen to at Asuka's sneak attack. "Gotta be some kinda freak!"

"She's not the one with marker on her face, now is she?" said Shinji, his tone a little angry. "And don't call her Red Devil, ok?" he added.

"What's the matter with you, Shinji?" asked Touji. "Since when do you take up for the girl who always hits you and yells at you and calls you a pervert?"

"What concern of yours is that?" came Rei's quiet voice. "Shinji's choices are his, not yours."

"Ayanami too?" wondered the two boys to each other. "Well, anyway, come over to my house sometime this week and I'll show you the footage from the trip, deal?" pressed Kensuke.

"I'll try to make it." Demurred Shinji. The group was interrupted by Hikari's voice.

"YOU WHAT!?" she screamed, aghast at whatever Asuka had whispered to her.

-

In a cold, dark room, three black monoliths appeared, bearing the numbers 1, 3 and 5. Seele was having an abbreviated meeting this time, as there were some special matters to discuss. A moment passed, then the icon for Seele 1, Chairman Kiel, spoke. "The first sleeper agent has been activated?" he asked.

"Correct. The first sleeper agent has been activated and initiated contact with Agent Ryouji. It is my belief that the Ministry will seek to confirm some of the information we have provided them by means of sabotage of the electrical systems at NERV HQ." Answered Seele 5.

"I have taken the steps necessary to ensure that they will not succeed in this action." Added Seele 3.

"No. Allow them to execute their plans." Overrode Seele 1.

"What?" came Seele 5's voice. "You can't be serious." The icon added.

"I am." Replied Seele 1, his voice hard and even.

"Why would you risk such a thing?" demanded Seele 5. "What if an Angel attacks when they power is out?"

"Then Ikari will deal with it." Responded Seele 1. "It is, after all, what NERV exists for."

"Then why let them sabotage NERV at all?" asked Seele 3.

"First, it will remind Ikari that his is not unreachable. Secondly, they will have to have some means of executing the attack, and that means that we can learn more of their structure from seeing who does what in the attack. And finally, we can turn this to our advantage by taking the opportunity to make some additions to the MAGI and clone systems." Was the reply.

"That's risky." Noted Seele 3. "The MAGI have never been user-friendly, and the clone project is one of the most heavily guarded programs under Ikari's control."

"Nothing worth doing is ever easy." Reminded Seele 1. "And becoming gods is even less easy."

-

Supper that night at the Katsuragi Zoo was indeed special, as Shinji had been cooking for nearly an hour after the group returned from the airport. With Airi and Misato both driving their cars, the group had split into two groups, with Asuka, Rit-chan and Rei riding with Airi, and Shinji riding The Chair with Misato. Rei had planned to ride with Shinji in Misato's car, but Asuka had overridden her, telling her that Shinji was more likely to survive than her, given his prolonged expose to her deadly driving habits. Settling behind the wheel, Misato had smiled over at Shinji as he checked and re-checked his belts. "Like the first day we met. Right, Shin-chan?" smiled the woman, touching his shoulder.

"Hopefully without the Angel attack and the N2 explosion." Retorted Shinji, giving her a wan smile in return. Seeing Airi's sedan pull away, Misato cranked her car and revved the motor a bit.

"Oh, I though the explosion was kind of fun, myself." She smiled at her charge.

"What?" asked Shinji, not seeing how Misato could have enjoyed the explosion that had flipped her car like a pancake.

"You mean you didn't like it when I did this?" asked Misato innocently before lunging over and throwing herself over him, crushing him into her body tightly. Shinji had to admit that he did like her being so close to him. She smells like lavender. He thought, feeling her well-endowed chest pressing into his side. Shortly, Misato let him up. "You did like it, right?" she teased.

"Ye…yeah. That was ok." He managed. Misato giggled.

"Maybe we can do that again sometime." She said in a sexy whisper, her lips touching his cheek before she sat back and gunned the motor, her car burning away from the parking spot. "But right now, I'm hungry. What's for supper, Shin?"

-

For the next few days, things were back to normal for the residents of the Zoo; well, normal for them, anyway. Shinji woke up with Asuka most mornings, Rei stealthily spent most of her waking hours around him, seemingly finding amusement in the constant game of `find some place where we haven't been intimate yet'. Rit-chan and Hikari spent most of their time with the three pilots, and Tomo and her group had been decidedly less venomous, with the exception of Keiko, who was plainly furious at Asuka for some reason. Rit-chan had spoken with Tomo, who had assured her that the girl wouldn't do anything to threaten the well-being of the Pilots. Still, Keiko was placed under the `needs to be watched' column in Rit-chan's book. Her constant association with Kodo and Shodo were proof that the girl was not giving up on harming her friends.

Kodo and Shodo were back at school the day after the trip to Okinawa ended, and that presented some issues for the group. Tomo and Shodo were pretty much through as a couple, and for some reason, Shodoki blamed the Pilots and their friends. Since his and his buddy's run-in with NERV, he and Kodo were suspended from playing on the school sports teams, but were still required to attend all practice sessions. Touji found that the two were not upset with him, or at least they didn't show it. Since Keiko had more or less assumed Tomo's place in their beds, they didn't really care one way or the other.

Half way through the week, Rit-chan had spoken with Shiori in the girls' locker room after everyone had left, and Shiori had told her that she was going to see a doctor that evening about her pregnancy. A few professional questions revealed that she had not chosen to tell her father anything about the situation, and her step-mom couldn't care less. With the situation being what it was, she had decided not to go to her family doctor. Rit-chan made sure the monetary aspect was taken care of, then asked about the girl's plans beyond the visit. Shiori had quietly said that the doctor's examination would determine that. If the fetus was healthy and in good shape, she would ask about paternity tests to determine the father. If not, she would ask about her options. The younger girl also volunteered that Reiko would be going with her to see the doctor, and they would both be tested for any STDs or damage. Rit-chan nodded, and told her that she would be around if she needed someone to talk to.

Tomo had skipped school that day for a `medical reason', and Reiko had told her when asked that she had gone for some tests at the family's doctor. Rit-chan learned something new that day: the family doctors of nearly all the students were employees of NERV. A simple question gave her the answer to that oddity, as all the students at the school were employees or depends of employees of NERV. Rit-chan decided then and there that she and Airi would feel the need for a walk again that night.

The next morning, Misato informed the two pilots that they were to go from school to NERV HQ for another synch test and checkup. Both had complained, but answered in the affirmative. Rit-chan volunteered to tag along, but Airi said she would be doing some shopping until about supper time that evening. Misato turned in for a few hours sleep as the other residents departed for school and `shopping'. As the teens attended another day of wasted lectures, Airi made her way to a small café and sat down with a cup of coffee, waiting for her date to arrive. Finally, her companion showed, only a half hour late.

-

On the outskirts of Tokyo 3, opposite where the Zoo was nestled, sat a small, unassuming brick and wood church, the cross atop it's modest steeple almost hidden behind a large tree. The front gate and doors were always open and unlocked, inviting the few faithful to come and worship their god; that god being the Church, not the deity. In the late morning sun, a lone figure slowly walked into the gate, then the building, pausing to splash some holy water on themselves and to genuflect to the cross behind the pulpit. Off to one side of the small set of pews were the traditional pair of confessional booths. Silently, the figure stepped into the booth, sliding the curtain closed behind them. After a moment of silence, the figure spoke in a soft, low voice. "Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned." Said the visitor.

From the other side of the booth, a second voice answered the first. "God forgives all those who seek absolution, my child. What are the sins you have committed since your last confession?"

"I have failed to slay the minions of Satan, Father, and many of my brothers have been killed in the attempt." Said the visitor.

"That is a grievous sin indeed, my child." Noted the priest. "While God may forgive you, the Church is not so lenient." Startled, the visitor jerked back toward the curtain, but a soft whuthump! Was heard, and the figure flinched, slowly crumpling to the floor of the confessional, a small, neat hole in the screen separating the two compartments. A moment later, the priest stepped over to the corpse, grabbing it under the arms and dragging it to a side door that led to the basement and a waiting coffin. Once the corpse was sealed in, the priest moved the coffin to a small hoist and raised it to the ground level, where two gravediggers waited to commit it to the soil in the small cemetery behind the church.

With that done, the priest crossed to a small table and withdrew a device that looked much like a cordless phone. Punching in some numbers, he waited. After a few seconds, he was connected. "Five three Barabas. The water has been blessed and communion has been taken." Said the man of the cloth.

"Peace be upon you, child." Came the voice from the other end of the line. "Your sins are forgiven."

"Thank you, sir." Said the priest.

"A new task has been handed down from God, my son." Continued the other party.

"I await the command of God most Holy, and his mother, the Church." Came the pious reply. The new commands came, and the priest silently committed the orders to memory. "May the strength of the Church protect the faithful." Said the priest when the last of the instructions had been given.

"Go with God, my son, and smite his enemies with the strength of the Most Holy Church." The line went dead. Returning the unit to its home, the priest sighed. This time, it might just work. He mused to himself. Now, the first step will be to find or make some new knights. Then, I need to find a Judas in the ranks of the heretics. With his mind full of plans, the priest made his way back up to the sanctuary, to find that a couple of old women and some middle-aged men had come in for confessional. Damn it. Thought the priest irritably. I have God's work to do, and these sheep want to have their hands held! Well, the Church will be most harsh today, fools. Hiding a smile, the priest entered the confessional, almost tingling with delight in anticipation of heaping mountains of penalties on these foolish sinners.