Part 33: Making Friends and Influencing People

"Rise. Bow. Dismissed." Intoned Tomo as classes ended for the day. The few remaining people began to depart, except for those with class chores to do. Today it was Rit-chan and Rei on chores, Tomo staying to turn in her reports and get set up for the next day, and Kensuke staying to do bulletin duty. Asuka and Hikari had swiftly departed for NERV, with Rei and Rit-chan planning to join them when they were done at the school. Kensuke was organizing the last of the bulletins, preparing to go deliver them to the students who were still enrolled, but not attending classes. Before he left, he paused and looked at Rei for a long minute as she finished cleaning the board and watering the plants.

"Yes, Aida?" she said without turning to look at him. He flinched.

"I was wondering how Touji is doing." He said quietly.

"There is nothing to know, Aida." Said Rit-chan as Rei studied the boy intently.

"Come on!" he protested. "I hacked into the NERV medical wing, and I know that he's in there somewhere! Is he going to be all right?"

"That is unknown at this time." Said Rei.

"Don't you have somewhere to be?" came Tomo's voice from the doorway. Kensuke turned to look at her.

"Uh, yeah, I was just going." He said, seeing her scowl. As he neared the door, Shiori poked her head in.

"Oh, hey, Kensuke." She said to the boy, who immediately brightened. "Just who I was looking for."

"Really?!" exclaimed Kensuke. "What's up Shi-chan?"

"I see you have bulletin duty. Can I walk with you?" she asked, her tone innocent.

"Of course you can." Said Kensuke.

"Good. We need to talk about some things." Said Shiori, taking his arm and leading him out.

"We can talk about anything you want to, Shi-chan." Agreed Kensuke easily. Tomo watched them go. From the windows of the classroom, Rit-chan watched them exit the gates of the school grounds. Kensuke was all but skipping in excitement.

"He has no clue, does he?" she said to Tomo. The new Inchou shook her head.

"Not a one." She agreed. "Shiori is going to break it to him tonight. Gently." She added.

"It's going to be rough no matter how gently she breaks it to him." Noted Rit-chan.

"True. But she'll wait until they're alone before she drops the bombs." Murmured Tomo.

"Bombs? Plural?" questioned Rit-chan. Tomo nodded.

"Yes. Shiori is going to tell him that she's pregnant, that the businessman she has been seeing has asked her to be his mistress in New Kobe, and that she's dropping out of school next week." Counted Tomo.

"Is she going to tell him that the father of her child is Shodo?" wondered Rei softly. Tomo blinked at her.

"How did you know that?" she asked the First Child.

"When you listen instead of talk, you learn much." Said Rei. Tomo's eyes narrowed a bit at that comment.

"So Shiori is going to be a kept woman?" asked Rit-chan, distracting Tomo. The party girl nodded.

"Yeah. The business man is going to set her up in an apartment, open an account at the local bank for her and provide her with sufficient funds to live comfortably."

"And the issue of the baby?" wondered Rit-chan. Tomo smiled at her.

"You know, it's so fortunate that I can't believe it. The man's wife is barren, and has always wanted a kid. When Shiori told him she was pregnant, he went home and asked his wife if she still wanted a child. Well, long story short, she was the one that suggested that he take her as a mistress and set her up in New Kobe. When she has the kid, the wife will adopt it and it will become their kid. Since they live and work primarily in Osaka, Shiori will be more or less free to do as she pleases." Explained the dark-haired girl.

"You know, the way these usually play out is that once the kid is adopted, the girl gets dumped." Suggested Rit-chan. Tomo shook her head.

"No. Shiori and I thought of that, and made it a condition that they set up the account at the bank with the income guaranteed through his business. Even if they try to dump her, she has guaranteed income. And she's going to be careful about spending it, too."

"Still,…" began Rit-chan.

"And the wife always wanted several children." Added Tomo. "Shiori is sort of leaning toward having more for her."

"An acceptable solution." Approved Rei.

"For everyone but Kensuke." Qualified Tomo.

"That's his problem." Replied Rit-chan.

-

"I'm home." Announced Hikari, entering the house she and her family shared. Seeing boxes in the living room, she made her way upstairs. More boxes were in the hallway and bedrooms. In Nozumi's room, she found Kodama packing her youngest sister's clothes into a box. "What's going on, Kodama?" she asked, worried.

"We're moving is what's going on." Said Kodama. "Monday morning, the truck will arrive to move us to our new home in Edo."

"But…but dad's job! And my piloting! And school!" protested Hikari falling to the floor next to Kodama.

"Yeah, about that." Began Kodama, stopping what she was doing and taking her sister's hands in hers. "Look, NERV issued an order for all class three employees to be moves out of Tokyo 3, along with their families. The order is going into effect Monday. Dad drew an assignment in a support facility in Edo, and there is a school with openings for Nozumi. In fact, her entire class has been relocated; most of her friends are going with her to the new school."

"But, what about you and Tokyo U?" asked Hikari, a bit panicked.

"Still attending, but I'm going to have to get a room in the girl's dorm." She smiled at her sister. "Only class 2 and above are allowed in Tokyo 3 come Monday."

"I…I'm going to be alone here?" asked Hikari, feeling her eyes tear up. Kodama hugged her.

"Well, I was going to ask you if you could stay with the other pilots. This house is going to be closed and locked by NERV, and since you're a pilot now, you will need to be close to the others so you can get to NERV fast when the next Angel attacks." Said her sister.

"I…guess I can stay with Rei. She has room at her place." Said Hikari, her tone unstable. "When is `Zumi-chan leaving for the new school?" Kodama hugged her tighter.

"She and dad left this morning, kiddo." Said Kodama softly. "They're looking for an apartment for us right now, and getting the transfer taken care of. I've got a friend at Tokyo U getting my room ready right now. Once I get the stuff packed and loaded, I'm heading out."

"Weren't even going to say `good bye'?" sobbed Hikari, clutching Kodama's shoulders.

"Hey!" said Kodama softly, "We were going to see you before we left, but with the suddenness of the orders, and with so little time, dad decided that we shouldn't risk interrupting your training. Since I would be here, I volunteered to break the news to you. Sorry it was so rough." Hikari didn't say anything, simply crying against her older sister's shoulder. After about a half hour or so of comforting her sister, Kodama felt Hikari's tears slow, then stop. Pulling her face back from the now-wet chest of her big sister, Hikari sniffled a time or two, then stood and walked to the bathroom to wash her face. When she came out, she was her calm, collected self again.

"What do you want for supper, Kodama?" she asked her sister.

"Whatever you make is fine; you know that." Said Kodama. Hikari nodded.

"Supper will be ready in about an hour." She said, turning for the stairs. "We've got a lot to do before Monday."

-

Shinji opened his eyes. "Familiar ceiling, unfortunately." He murmured. The ceiling of a NERV hospital room had become an all-too-familiar ceiling for the pilot. He sat up, and in so doing, realized that he was once more naked, though it was bothering him less and less as it happened more and more. He also realized that a certain dark-haired woman was dozing in a chair that was tucked into the side of his bed. Shinji felt his smile and his mood soar. Reaching out, he carefully brushed back some of the hair covering Misato's face. The Major stirred.

"Mmm. Another." She mumbled. Shinji chuckled softly at that. Must be dreaming of beer again. He thought. In point of fact, she was not dreaming of beer. She was dreaming of something a lot more satisfying than beer. Misato was dreaming of white-hot sex with a certain male. "Yes. Like that." She mumbled, shifting a bit in the chair. Shinji blinked. Or not. He corrected himself. Reaching out, he put his hand to her cheek.

"Misato." He said. Misato stirred a bit. Shinji spoke a bit louder. "Misato." Her eyes fluttered. "Mi-chan, wake up." He said, leaning closer to her. That did the trick. Misato's eyes snapped open, immediately seeing her Shinji sitting up in bed and smiling at her. Instinct took command of her body, and she surged up from the chair, her arms and hands securing Shinji as her lips sealed to him. Her momentum carried them both back onto the bed, Misato's lips never leaving his. After they landed, Misato's tounge managed to work it's way into Shinji's mouth, though to tell the truth, he didn't really have any plans to stop it. Wrapping his hands around her chest, he simply enjoyed her kiss.

After a few moments of fierce tounge wrestling, Misato broke the kiss and pulled back, tears falling from her eyes. "Shinji." She croaked hoarsely. "Shinji." She repeated, pulling him to her chest. Shinji didn't try to resist. For several minutes, she held him like she was afraid he would vanish. As she held him, he stroked her back soothingly. Eventually, she eased her grip a bit, and Shinji pulled back from her enough to see her face.

"Hi, Misato." He said, offering her a smile. Misato returned the smile, her tears drying.

"God, Shinji! I thought you had left me." She said, her voice still rough and unsteady.

"I promised that I wouldn't run any more, remember?" he asked her. She eased back a bit, and Shinji critically eyed her outfit. "Besides, if I weren't there, you'd have to run around naked because you wouldn't have any clean clothes." He said, taking in her outfit.

"Do you want me to run around naked?" she asked him, her tone rapidly returning to normal. "I'll do it if you ask me to." She added, her tone almost eager.

"Maybe later, Misato." He said, his tone calm. Goddamn it, I know you would, Mi-chan!

Misato leered at him, grabbing her tight top and swiftly pulling it up to her collarbone, leaving her breasts barely concealed in a gauzy lace bra. "Are you sure?" she teased him. Shinji's eyes went to her impressive attributes, but ended up on the scar that marred her excellent skin across her chest. He noticed that her nipples were rock hard, and that observation made a part of him turn to steel. He tried to conceal the boner without drawing any attention to it.

"Yes, I'm sure, Mi-chan." He said, subtly shifting a bit in the bed. Misato pouted and slowly pulled her shirt back down.

"Promise?" she begged sullenly.

"Yeah, sure." He said. Misato settled back into the chair. As she did so, she knew that her panties were soaked with her arousal, the results of her dreams. God, it's taking everything I have not to jump into his bed and fuck him brainless! She thought, stunned at her intense desire for him.

"Can I ask you something else, Mi-chan?" Shinji interrupted her mental battle. If I don't get my mind off her nipples, I might do something we'll regret, like asking her if she would like to join me in here!

"Wha…oh, of course." Said Misato, blinking a time or two.

"How long have I been…away, and what's going on?" he asked, his eyes on her eyes.

"You've been…gone for thirty five days, Shinji." Said Misato softly. "While you were…gone, Hikari was named the Sixth child and assigned Unit 4. She's been training now for almost a month. Asuka and Rei are fine, and their units are repaired."

"Was his funeral nice?" asked Shinji, his tone dark and depressed.

"Funeral? Who are you…?" began Misato, before suddenly understanding. "Oh! That's right! No one told you! Touji survived the attack!" Shinji's face lit up, and he lunged over toward Misato, eyes bright.

"He made it? I didn't kill him?!" he asked, face to face with the Major.

"No, you didn't. He had a lot of injuries, and has been in a coma for a while, but he's healing. He might wake up any time now." Confirmed Misato. Thanks to Asuka's little side trip, I can ease his mind about that.

"Thank god for that." Breathed Shinji, easing back into the bed a bit. "How are Asuka, Rei and the rest?" he asked her next.

"Good. Well, as good as can be expected. For the last few weeks, Asuka and Rei have been training Hikari almost like a Marine recruit. She's already had far more training than you, in fact." Giggled Misato. She leaned in closer to him, stopping when her nose touched his. "Jealous?" she breathed sexily. Shinji's dick got harder.

"Shinji-kun. You are awake." Came Rei's even voice. "It is my shift, Major." Added Rei. Misato reluctantly sat back, sighing as she did.

"Yeah, yeah. I have those reports to do anyway." She complained. Her eyes opened wider. "Reports! Shinji, we need…" she began hurriedly.

"I will administer the test, Major." Interrupted Rei, holding up one of the sealed folders.

"Ok, ok." Sighed Misato, defeated; for now, anyway. Rising, she gave Shinji another long glance. "I'll be back before too long, Shinji." She said, touching his cheek. With that, the Major was gone, leaving Shinji in Rei's care. When the door closed behind Misato, Rei punched in a lock command and was in Shinji's arms before the door had beeped it's confirmation. Shinji was very busy with an armload of Rei as the girl desperately kissed and caressed him.

Shinji finally got her calmed down about five minutes later. Rei was still playing tonsil tag with him, her hands still roving over his body in between removing her own clothes. Shinji assisted her in this, and soon she was straddling his hips, one hand spreading her lower lips as she lowered herself onto his rampant erection, moaning as she felt him enter her. Shinji grunted as he felt her tightness. Damn, she's tighter than I thought possible! It felt better than heaven to him. Once she had managed to fully impale herself, she shifted so she was laying on him and began to clench her inner muscles, as she had been practicing doing since she had read about the technique. Even as she used her new skills on her lover, her lips never left his. For the next several minutes, the two were one with the only goal their union. Rei's new skills meant trouble for Shinji, though, and he found he wasn't able to last as long as he thought he should.

His attempt to warn Rei that he was coming was unsuccessful due to her unyielding lip lock. Still, she felt his member spasm, and ground herself to him as tightly as she could, feeling the first of several spurts of his semen in her hot sex. Holding still, his tip mated to her cervix, she succumbed to multiple orgasms as she felt his cum enter her uterus. Dropping to his chest, she locked her arms and legs around him, panting against his neck. Shinji closed his arms around her and drifted off to sleep in spite of himself.

-

Asuka ran down the passageways of NERV, Rit-chan right with her. The two had been at the apartment when Misato called and told them Shinji was awake. Asuka and Rit-chan were out the door before the call ended. Now, they were almost there. Three more corners! Thought Asuka as she slid around another corner, knocking an unsuspecting nurse over. "Coming through!" she called over her shoulder as Rit-chan cleared the downed nurse in a hurdle jump.

"Sorry!" called Rit-chan as the two dug around the next corner. Come on, be all right! Rit-chan thought to the male pilot. Last corner, and the two skidded to a stop in front of the door to his room. Asuka slapped the handle and the door clicked open. Bursting into the room, the two red-heads saw Rei sitting beside the bed, with Shinji sitting up in bed.

"Hi, guys." Said Shinji, smiling. "You're looking as good as ever, Asuka, Rit-chan." Asuka and Rit-chan stood still for a moment, before they both rushed him and hugged him. After a moment of hugging him, Asuka leaned back and smacked him on the head, though it had no where near as much force as she usually had.

"Baka!" she snapped at him. "What were you doing getting absorbed by that screwy test type?!"

"Well, I was just focused on killing the enemy, then the power failed. Next thing I knew…well, here I am." He said. I need to find a way to see which side they will choose before I tell them the truth about mom and Unit 1.

"Well, now that you're back, come make me supper!" ordered Asuka. Her bitchy tone would have been more convincing if she hadn't still been clinging to him. Rit-chan leaned in and kissed him on the lips briefly. Asuka scowled.

"Glad you made it back, Shin." Said Rit-chan. I don't think that fingering myself would have made it any longer!

"It's good to be home." Said Shinji, his tone serious. Rei hid a smile as she monitored the situation from her chair. Deep in her belly, she relished the feel of her lover's sperm deep inside her. The others will wish to be one with him as well. She thought to herself. "Um, has anyone seen Misato or Hikari recently?" he asked.

"Hikari is on her way. I called her as we rode the train here." Said Asuka. "As for the booze hound, who knows?"

"Aw, you say the sweetest thing, A-chan!" came the falsely sweet tone of Misato from the doorway. The group turned to look at their boss.

"It's only the truth, Misato." Defended Asuka airily. "So, how about we blow this Popsicle stand and go home?" she suggested.

"Well, there's one more thing to do." Sighed Misato. She came to the foot of the bed and tossed a pair of pants and shirt to Shinji. "You have to go see the Commander, Shinji." She said softly. "I'm sorry." She added.

"No. It's fine, Misato. I have some things to discuss with Rokubungi." Came Shinji's uncharacteristically clipped answer. Even more unlike him was the scowl and glare his face had at the mention of the commander. Tossing back the sheets, he slipped out of bed and into the clothes, giving the ladies a much-appreciated show. With the pants and shirt on, he strode toward the door. The four girls had one thought as he marched through the door and toward the commander's office. God, he walks just like Unit 1 now!

-

Airi smirked as she and Celsia moved through the woods outside the HQ of NERV. She had gotten to the room just in time to see Shinji stride off to confront the Commander. From his posture, she knew that he wasn't going to meekly listen to anything the man had to say. Something changed inside him while he was in there. Something good. She thought. After some quick planning with Misato and the pilots, they moved to the base of the lift that ran to the offices of Gendo and Kouzo. Hikari joined them there, looking a bit distracted. It was maybe a half hour later when Shinji came down the lift, accompanied by two large Section 2 guards and with Ritsu and Maya accompanying him.

"Well?" asked Misato of her friend.

"Shinji is off the piloting roster until further notice, which isn't that big of a deal considering that Unit 1 is in cryostasis right now. The Commander also mandated that he be under observation until cleared of possible mental contamination." Said Ritsu.

"So, he gets to sit around while we fight? So what! Let's go home, Baka, I'm hungry." Barked Asuka.

"Due to the possibility of contamination, he is being relocated." Interrupted Ritsu.

"So, he's being kept here? At headquarters?" guessed Rit-chan. Ritsu shook her head.

"No. If he is contaminated, we don't want him near Unit 1 or the First Angel. He's been assigned to new guardian until further notice." Disagreed Ritsu.

"What?" came Misato's dangerously soft voice. "Who is it, Ritsu?"

"I…ah, sort of…got volunteered." Came Maya's hesitant voice. She was standing a bit behind Shinji, as if to shield herself from Misato's rage. "It's not permanent, or anything." She said, trying to assuage the Major's anger.

"How long, Ritsu?" gritted Misato, the four girls with her looking even less friendly.

"Few weeks, more or less." Shrugged Ritsu. Misato was muttering darkly under her breath. "Don't, Misa." Said Ritsu, touching her friend's shoulder. "It's not worth it." She whispered to the Major.

"It's ok, Misato. I'm not contaminated, and I will be back home before you know it. Besides, I can still see you guys at school." Said Shinji.

"Hey, you're right!" said Hikari, sounding a lot happier. And there are plenty of places to welcome you back at school, too! Hikari, Rit-chan and Asuka had identical, somewhat unsettling smiles on their faces. Rei was as blank as ever, but she was already planning her way to Shinji's bed.

"Fine." Snapped Misato, her tone still angry. "Let's get this done." She said. Within minutes, the group was headed home, though for Shinji and Hikari, it was a new home.

-

Rei unlocked her door and stepped aside so Hikari could enter. "This will be our home." Said Rei simply. Hikari slipped off her shoes and entered the apartment, noting the similarities with Misato's place. Turning to Rei, she gave her a small formal bow.

"Thank you for your hospitality, Rei-chan." She said. Rei nodded back.

"There is not need to thank me, Hikari." Said the First. Stepping past the girl and her small bag of clothes, she motioned to the hallway. "You know where the bedroom is." She said. "Make yourself at home." Hikari nodded and moved down to the master bedroom. It was just as it had been the first time she had seen it, except that the bed was unmade. The USP and magazines were still there, and Hikari fished her own out and set it next to Rei's. One of the first things she had done after getting her Pilot's status was to go to the armory and officially draw a sidearm, magazines and ammo. Setting her small bag down on the foot of the bed, she exited the room and headed for the kitchen, noticing that Rei was on her cell phone. As Hikari approached, she ended the call and turned to face Hikari. "What do you want for supper, Rei?" asked Hikari with a smile.

"I have no preference, Hikari, as long as it does not contain meat." She said softly. Hikari smiled.

"No problem. I'm going to see what we can do with what you have." She said, entering the kitchen and noticing the brand-new and hardly used pots and pans. Rummaging around, she swiftly pulled together a menu and began preparing the food.

"I am going to take a bath, Hikari." Said Rei as she disappeared down the hall.

"Ok! Supper will be in about forty five minutes!" she called back. Humming, she moved on the preparations for the side dish.

-

"I haven't had a change to clean up, so it might be a little messy." Apologized Maya as she and Shinji moved up the stairs to her fourth floor apartment. With the amount of time she spent at NERV, she hardly ever had time to do any cooking or cleaning or laundry. Shinji just smiled at her.

"It's no problem, Maya." He assured her. "There is no way that you can be anywhere near as bad as Misato was." He said reassuringly.

"So, it's true?" asked Maya. "I mean, I keep hearing stories, but can anyone be that bad?"

"You would not believe how her place looked when I first got there. Even roaches wouldn't enter that place." He chuckled. Maya swiped her keycard and the door slid open, the light coming on. Shinji surveyed the visible area of the apartment. There were some odd bits of clothing laying around, and a couple of piles of paper here and there, but it was infinitely better than Misato's had been when he first saw it. "Looks fine to me." He smiled at Maya. The tech breathed a sigh of relief and entered the apartment, with Shinji just behind her.

Maya set her purse down the moved toward the bedrooms, motion to the different areas as she went. Reaching the spare bedroom, she flipped on the light and groaned. The room was almost buried under a collection of boxes, computer parts, clothes and leftover pieces of furniture. "Oh god, I forgot how messy this room is!" she exclaimed. Shinji peeked in.

"It's not too bad. For tonight, I'll just crash on the couch, and we can get this done tomorrow." He offered. "For now, I'm hungry. Mind if I cook supper?" he asked.

"I don't know what's in the kitchen, but you're welcome to use anything you find." Said Maya. "I'm going to change clothes, ok?" she said, stepping into her room and closing the door. Shinji acknowledged her and moved back to the kitchen. While not as neat as his kitchen at the Zoo, he was satisfied that she kept the basics done. After a few minutes exploring, he had worked out a workable menu and begun to prepare it.

"Mmm. Smells good." Said Maya, entering the kitchen. The young tech was dressed in a loose tee-shirt and probably shorts, though the hem of the tee-shirt made telling that nearly impossible. Shinji turned to smile at her.

"Just some rice and chicken with sautéed onions and peppers." He shrugged. "Nothing fancy."

"Fancier than what I've had in a long time." Replied Maya. Shinji smiled, but kept his attention on the food. For the next half hour or so, Maya just watched him cook and prepare, amazed at his calm competency. No wonder Misato was so upset that he was going to be here with me instead of with her! I'm going to get fat if he stays here too long.

Dinner was good and both cleaned their plates. With dinner consumes, Maya stretched her arms over her head as Shinji took the plates and began to clean them and the pans from his earlier work. "I can give you a hand with those." Offered the young woman. Shinji smiled at her.

"That's ok, I have it under control." He said. "Go ahead and relax." He said, turning back to the task at hand. Maya considered that.

"Well, if you're sure, I'm going to go get a bath." She said, standing from the table.

"Have a good one." Said Shinji without turning around.

-

"Dinner's ready, Rei!" called Hikari, her call force of habit from years with her sisters.

"I am here." Said Rei softly. Hikari turned and nearly dropped her plate as she saw Rei was sitting at the table with only a towel over her shoulders, her hair still dripping a bit. "Is something wrong, Hikari?" asked Rei evenly.

"No! I was just…do you always do that?" asked Hikari of Rei.

"Do what?" asked Rei in reply.

"Go around naked." Said Hikari.

"When I am in my house, yes. I find it more comfortable." Said Rei calmly.

"Oh. I see." Said Hikari, setting the plate down in front of Rei. That's right, she sleeps naked too! Since her trip to Okinawa, she was less concerned about that. And Rei had a point. It was her house, and she could do as she pleased. Rei was silently eating her meal. Hikari sat down opposite her and began to eat as well. In short order, she was done. Rising, she began to do the dishes, but Rei stopped her, telling her she would do the dishes and she should enjoy a relaxing bath before bed. Hikari agreed and was soon in the bathroom, soaking in Rei's tub. It was, she had to admit, relaxing as hell.

-

Maya wrapped a towel around herself and opened the door to her bathroom. Stepping into the hall, she noticed that the lights were off in the kitchen area. Moving down the hall, she saw that Shinji was laying on the couch, eyes closed. "Shinji?" she whispered to him.

"Mmm?" came the reply.

"Don't you want a blanket or something?" she asked him, a little concerned at his casual nobility in taking the couch.

"I'm ok, Maya." He said. "It's plenty warm, and this couch is ok." He said. Maya entertained a thought for a moment. Biting her tounge for a moment, she decided to risk it.

"You…um, if you want…can sleep in my bed." She said, feeling herself blush.

"Thanks, but I'm ok." Said Shinji, shifting a bit. Maya almost sighed, but found herself disappointed.

"Well, if you're sure." She said dubiously. "If you change your mind, well…" she let it trail off.

"Sleep well, Maya." Said Shinji, smiling. Maya went to her room and pulled off her towel before slipping into her pajamas that consisted of a silk top and loose fitting silk panties and climbing into bed. She dozed lightly, but kept waking up as the couch groaned and creaked as Shinji tossed and turned, trying to get comfortable. Finally, a few hours later, Maya got up and made her way to the living room.

"Shinji." She said firmly.

"Yeah, Maya?" asked Shinji.

"Come with me." Said Maya, taking his hand in hers and pulling him up. Ignoring his weak protests, she pulled him into her room. "Get in." she said, motioning him to the bed.

"I don't have any pajamas, you know." He observed. Maya blinked.

"Then just pretend." She said at last. "I won't have you tossing and turning all night." She stated. "Just take off the pants and shirt and get in." she said. She thought she heard him chuckle. "What was that?" she asked firmly.

"Nothing, Maya. Just remember that you asked me to." He said. She heard the zipper of his pants slide down and a few moments later, he was in the bed. Since she hadn't turned on any lights, she had only a faint view of him from ambient outside light sources. Climbing in next to him, she settled down to sleep. Her bed was a double, and they were fairly close to each other. Turning over, she felt her hand land on his hip. She blinked. Is he naked? She wondered. I thought he had on boxers. She carefully ran her fingers along his hip.

"I didn't have anything on under those pants, Maya." Came Shinji's voice. "Misato neglected to grab me my boxers." He added. Maya felt her face go warm.

"O…ok. Goodnight." Said Maya. In spite of her mind yelling contradictory things to her, she fell asleep fairly swiftly.

-

Hikari awoke to find herself staring at Rei's throat, her skin warm against Hikari's face. Below her chin, she felt one of Ayanami's breasts tucked to her throat. As awareness returned to her, she became aware that she was being held to Rei by the powerful arms of the First, and she was as naked as she had been waking up with Rit-chan and Aki in Okinawa. "Good morning." Came the voice of the First.

"G…good morning, Rei-chan." Said Hikari. Rei made no move to release her. "Um, why are…" she began.

"You were having a bad dream last night. So I embraced you, and it calmed you down." Said Rei as if it were the most natural thing. "You are comfortable to hold." She added. Though I would rather be holding Shinji. Hikari yawned.

"Um, thanks, Rei-chan." She said.

"You are welcome." Was her reply. Hikari moved back a bit and Rei released her.

"I'm going to get started on our lunches, ok?" she said. Rei rose as well.

"Very well." She said, reaching for her school uniform. Hikari paused and reached for her bag, pulling out a fresh pair of panties and a bra. Slipping into them, she reached for her uniform. Rei was tying the bow on her uniform. "Are you sure you wish to wear underwear?" asked Rei casually. Hikari froze for a second.

"Of course, I…" she began.

"Shinji will be there." Reminded Rei. "There will not be time for a prolonged period of undressing if you wish to be one with him." She added. Hikari blushed a bit. Rei studied her calmly. "I believe you would benefit from sexual intercourse with him. I did." She said, heading to the bathroom. Hikari frowned before coming to a decision and reaching under her skirt to slip her own panties off, her bra joining it swiftly. For some reason, the knowledge that she would be going bare under her uniform was a turn-on to her.

-

Maya moaned a bit as she stirred. Opening her eyes, she saw that light was just beginning to illuminate the thin curtains over her windows. Sitting up, she rubbed her eyes and stretched her arms before getting out of bed. Sniffing the air, she caught scent of a delightful scent: breakfast with coffee. Who…? Oh, yeah! Shinji! The thought of her new charge also reminded her that she had all but dragged him to her bed last night. Maya blushed a bit. Touching her panties, she was relieved that she didn't seem to have taken advantage of him last night; or he of her either. Maya pulled on her over shirt and moved toward the source of the mouthwatering smells.

Shinji was at the stove, stirring a pot and humming to himself. Dressed in the pants from the night before, he had left the shirt off, but was wearing her frilly pink apron, which did more than clash with his pants. Maya couldn't help but giggle at the sight. Shinji jerked in surprise at her giggle and turned to look at her. Maya was leaning against the door frame, hand over her mouth, trying to get herself under control. "Good morning, Maya." Said Shinji, his tone a bit rueful.

"Morning, Shinji." Managed the tech, finally able to get herself under control. "That's…quite a fashion statement." She said, choking back a laugh. Shinji frowned at his ensemble.

"Well, I didn't have much to work with." He said, frowning at the apron. Maya giggled again.

"It might have been cuter if you were wearing just the apron." She said, her tone wickedly teasing. Shinji sighed.

"You know, you and Mi-chan have a lot in common, Maya." He observed. "Still, if you really want me to…" he began, grinning at her as he reached for the front of his pants. Maya's cheeks went red.

"No! No, that's fine, just the way you are." She said hastily. Shinji grinned at her. "You haven't got room to talk about me being like Misato, Shinji; you act just like her!" accused Maya. Shinji shrugged.

"What do you expect when you put an impressionable young man like me in her house?" he asked innocently. "Remember, I'm the victim here." He said solemnly. Maya raised an eyebrow.

"I'll try to remember that." She said dryly. Shinji smiled at her.

"Breakfast is ready." He said, dishing up a bowl for her. Maya sat as Shinji put her food in front of her.

"Thanks, Shinji. I have to be in early today, and it's going to be a long day, too." She said, digging into the food. From her bedroom, a chirping sound came. Shinji recognized the sounds of her cell phone. Putting a hand on her shoulder as she started to get up, he eased her back down.

"Finish eating; I'll get you phone for you." He said, heading for the bedroom. Maya sat back down and went back to her breakfast. Shinji reappeared a few moments later with her cell phone. Maya too it and retrieved the message she had gotten.

"Shinji, Asuka is going to be bringing you some clothes, as well as your book bag at school. You are to return here as soon as school lets out. Damn. Better find that spare keycard. For the time being, you are to be either here or at school at any given time. Got it?" said Maya, scrolling down the message. Shinji nodded. "Well, they've eased my workload a bit, so I should be home about an hour after you get back from school." Shinji nodded once more. Maya set her phone down and finished off her breakfast. "Thanks for the wonderful breakfast." She said to Shinji before getting up and heading for the bathroom. "Gotta get ready for work." She called back over her shoulder. Shinji took her dishes and began to clean up from breakfast. Glancing at her clock, he estimated that he had just enough time to finish the dishes, put on his shirt and head to school to meet the girls.

-

Shinji entered the classroom five minutes late, but the sensei didn't seem to notice, droning on about the same old shit he always lectured about. Tomo sent him a look, but he didn't notice. Rei, Asuka, Rit-chan and Hikari noticed him, and for a split second, it looked like they were going to pounce on him, but instead, they shifted back into their seats. Shinji took his seat and booted up the laptop. Four chat invitations were waiting for him. For the rest of class, he was busy with his keyboard.

The bell for lunch rang, and before the sound had died down, the four girls were at his desk. Shinji had a few questions for them. "Hey, where is everyone?" he asked.

"You're looking at it." Said Hikari softly.

"Two days ago, there was an evacuation of all no-critical personnel from Tokyo 3. We are all that is left." Explained Rit-chan, indicating the dozen or so students in class that day. Shinji glanced around.

"Where's Kensuke?" he asked.

"Aida is in the infirmary." Said Rei softly.

"Why?" was Shinji's question.

"He grabbed my ass!" snapped Asuka angrily. "Perverted stooge."

"I don't think he meant to do that, Asuka." Opinioned Rit-chan. "He did slip on the steps, you know."

Asuka was having none of that. "Like hell he did! He deliberately grabbed my ass!"

"Whatever. You gave him a mild concussion, you know." Said Hikari.

"He should be glad I didn't shoot him!" sniffed Asuka disdainfully. "Oh, yeah, here are your things, Shinji." Said the German, setting his school bag and a small duffle on his desk. "You didn't have a lot of clothes." She said, frowning.

"Never had much use for more than a few outfits." Murmured Shinji.

"So, how was your first night at Maya's place?" asked Rit-chan. Shinji shrugged.

"Fine." He said. "Speaking of that, the Goatfucker detailed some new restrictions on me." He said, glowering at the thought.

"What are the restrictions?" asked Rei softly.

"Well, I'm not supposed to be anywhere but here or at Maya's place, I can't be in the Geofront without permission or in the case of an Angel attack and I can't hang out with you all for fear of contaminating you all." He snorted at the last part. "Yeah, like that's going to happen." He added.

"That's stupid." Said Asuka. "Why would we be infected by spending time with you?"

"I don't plan on obeying him, Asuka." Said Shinji simply, touching her hand. "This is just a test to see what he can and can't get away with."

"They why not come home?" asked Hikari.

"I chose to go with Maya to give me more room to work. And it gave me some bargaining clout." He added. Asuka and the others were looking at him blankly.

"Come on, it's time to eat." Said Rit-chan suddenly. "Let's get going." She said, making eye contact with each of them. The message was clear: the glen and answers were what was being discussed. Silently, they all got up and disappeared.

-

Hikari glanced both ways before dashing across the hallway to a small auxiliary room, pulling out a key and unlocking the door before pulling Shinji in with her, closing and locking the door behind her. They were supposed to be delivering some papers to the teacher's room, but Hikari had handed the job off, so they had some free time. Shinji suspected that she had chosen him as her partner for a reason. Indeed she had. As soon as the door was locked, she pressed herself to him, kissing him like there was no tomorrow. Shinji got his hands around her waist and hugged her to him.

The room was small, maybe ten feet by fifteen, and had piles of boxes everywhere. Hikari worked them back to the rear and around a corner of boxes before she let up on the kissing. "Shinji." She breathed, resting her head against his chest. "I thought you were gone for good." She said.

"No. I couldn't just leave you all." He said, touching her cheek with his fingertips. Hikari titled her head up and kissed him again. Shinji returned the kiss, his hands sliding over her sides. Hikari pulled her tounge out of his mouth and leaned back to smiled at him. Silently, she guided his hands down her hips to her thighs, then back up. Shinji's dick went hard as steel when his hands touched her hot, wet sex. Hikari noticed the erection and reached for his pants, swiftly getting them out of the way. As she freed his dick, she began to stroke it with her soft, warm hands. Shinji returned the attentions on her sex, and within a minute, she was wet enough that her fluid was beginning to seep down her legs. Hikari had had enough foreplay, and brought her hips to Shinji's pushing his member between her legs. To her surprise, Shinji eased her back.

"What's wrong, Shinji?" panted Hikari.

"Nothing. It's just there's a better way to do this standing up." He smiled, remembering the lesson Rit-chan had taught him in the supply room. Hikari blinked as he turned her around and leaned her forward a bit before pulling her skirt up. Nudging her feet wider, he got in position and pressed himself against her slippery lips. Hikari moaned happily and twitched her hips. Taking this as her signal that she was ready, he pushed forward steadily and evenly, his tip sinking into her tight passage, Hikari moaning sensually as he entered her. Before long, she didn't care about anything but the building heat between her legs.

-

Asuka bit her finger to keep from screaming in pleasure as she leaned back against the wall in the infirmary, her PE shorts around her left ankle and her legs spread wide. Between her legs, Shinji knelt, his face buried in her groin, tounge busy. Asuka was panting and about to come. With great effort, she managed to push Shinji's head back, her legs trembling. "Baka." She panted. "There are beds right there." She said, moving toward the nearest one, one hand holding his as the other one pulled her top off. A sharp tug tore her bra off and she lay back on the bed, pulling her lover with her.

As he settled between her legs, Asuka locked her legs around his hips and pulled him to her for a kiss. Ignoring his warning about her cum on his lips, she kissed him deeply, feeling him shift to bring his dick into position. She smiled, breaking the kiss to run her tounge across his lips, tasting herself on his lips. "Enough foreplay, Shinji." She husked. "Fuck me now." Shinji had no reason to protest her request. His member sank into her soaked passage, Asuka hissing in pleasure as she was joined with him in the most intimate way.

In the bed at the far end of the room, behind a closed privacy curtain, one Kensuke Aida, still somewhat concussed, blinked and shook his throbbing head. His efforts to dispel the impact-derived hallucination failed; he still heard Asuka begging Shinji to fuck her brains out. The sheer impossibility of that made him feel faint. Moments before succumbing to the darkness, he managed to press the record button on his ever-present camera.

-

Rei gave Rit-chan one more look before exiting the classroom. Rit-chan winked at her. Reika was washing the blackboard and Hikari was on bulletin duty; though with the number of transfers, there were only five to be delivered. Still, Asuka had volunteered to accompany her, the temperamental German in high spirits, as was the Sixth child. Both girls had told Shinji they would see him tomorrow before departing to deliver the bulletins before shopping. Rei had initially been assigned to planning assistance, but had told Tomo that she was to report to NERV within the hour, at which point Rit-chan had volunteered to take over the chore. Tomo's suspicions had been aroused, but she had no real cause or reason to care, so she just shrugged and went back to filing her reports and reviewing the notes the teachers had left for the Inchous. Hikari had taught her the job well.

With a predatory smile on her face, Rit-chan followed Shinji toward the teachers' office, a plan already in her head. After they checked in on the teachers, the two had moved to the small office and began to do the minimal amount of paperwork. Within five minutes, however, the door was closed and locked, Rit-chan was sitting on the counter and Shinji was being greeted by the third girl that day. Rit-chan had noticed that he had satisfied Asuka and Hikari already, and was a bit worried about his being able to finish her off that day, so she decided that if he had any issues with getting it up, she would back off and try again tomorrow.

To her immense delight, he was showing no signs of trouble getting it up. Indeed, he seemed more aroused than the last time she had been with him. Rit-chan sighed softly as Shinji sucked, licked and caressed her nipples and breasts with his mouth and one hand, the other hand busy at her groin. Holy shit, I've missed this!! She thought deliriously as she felt her first orgasm wash through her. She had only been able to get mediocre ones during the last month. Let's face it, fingers are no substitute for a real lover! She thought, giggling. Shinji looked up at her, his eyes questioning her, but his mouth staying busy at her chest. Shaking her head, she hugged his head to her breasts, moaning as she felt his tounge circling her erect nipples. "Shin-kun, you can do more than finger me, you know." She panted, feeling wonderful waves of pure pleasure from her pussy as he carefully worked on her with a couple of fingers and a thumb for her clit. Shinji eased back from her chest, hips lips releasing her nipple with a wet pop!

"Just making sure you enjoy yourself." He said, pushing a bit deeper into her sheath, searching for and finding the odd point inside her wet pussy that felt a bit different from the rest of her sensuous passage. With his target found, he carefully rubbed and caressed it. Rit-chan began to quiver and her whole body shook. Grabbing his head, she bent her lips to his and sucked face with him as another major orgasm rolled through her. Once she could speak again, she pushed him back enough to slip off the table, pulling his hand away from her groin long enough to tug her panties down before she attacked his pants, freeing his member only to imprison it within her greedy inner passage. For the next half hour, the two were oblivious to anything but each other.

-

Shinji swiped the card though the lock of Maya's apartment and entered, tossing his school bag and duffle bag to the couch before stretching, yawning as he did. School had been very tiring that day, yet he wasn't really tired. Taking a deep breath, he glanced at the clock. Maya should be home in about an hour. Frowning a bit, he went into the kitchen and began preparing food. While that project proceeded, he moved into the rest of the apartment, cleaning up, organizing and doing odd chores. Long practice at Misato's disaster zone had made him fast, efficient and meticulous.

After setting the food aside to keep warm, Shinji entered the bathroom and surveyed the situation. While neater than Misato's had been when he first got there, he decided that a little tidying wouldn't be wasted on the place. Before he knew it, he had scrubbed the toilet, washed the sinks and countertops, organized her beauty supplies, hygiene supplies and bath supplies, cleaned the mirror, taken out the trash and was elbow deep in scrubbing the tub when he heard the door open. "Shinji, I'm back!" called Maya. "That smells great!" she added, stepping into the living room and freezing.

"I'm in the bathroom, Maya." Called Shinji, continuing to scrub away. The tub was almost done, and there was no point in stopping now. He didn't hear an answer. "Maya? You alright out there?" he called. He heard some movement, and turned to watch the door. Unconsciously, he gripped the scrub pad harder and turned to get a good launch pad if he needed to sprint to the door. He was relieved when Maya poked her head around the doorframe.

"Shinji, did you clean this place all day instead of going to school?" she asked, a bit dazed.

"No. I went to school." He said. As if I'd miss being with the girls! "I just had a bit of time to do some small jobs as the food cooked. I'll be done in a few minutes, if you want to change before supper." He said, turning back to the tub and coving the last bit with cleaner before applying the scrubber.

"Ok." Said Maya, moving into her bedroom. Ten minutes later, he was done, the tub was clean enough to eat off of and Shinji was serving a tee-shirt-clad Maya a basic but filling meal of steamed rice with sweet and sour baked pork cutlets. The side dish was eggs and small buns. Maya dug in happily. "I could really get used to this, Shinji." She smiled at him. Shinji smiled back.

"I'm not too bad at cooking, I suppose. I learned a long time ago." He said easily. Maya hummed agreement as she consumed more of her meal. "Still, I really should do some grocery shopping." He said thoughtfully. "There aren't a lot of things I can make with what you have right now." Maya perked up.

"We could go shopping as soon as we finish, if you're up for it." She offered. Her tone sounded hopeful. Shinji decided that he could use the exercise.

"Sure. It shouldn't take us long to get what we need." He said.

-

"You didn't cook this, right?" challenged Asuka, looking at the plate in front of her. Misato sat diagonal from her, a beer in her hand. Beside her, Rit-chan studied her plate as well. Beside Misato, Airi sat with a wine glass in front of her. In addition to the beer, the refridge now had a couple of bottles of Airi's preferred vintage. Rit-chan and Asuka stuck to soda.

"Asuka, you know I can cook some dishes." Protested Misato. She had been irritable since the announcement that her cook, housekeeper and resident hunk would be at Maya for a bit.

"Yeah, as long as it's not food, you do fine." Said Asuka sarcastically. "But that's neither here nor there. I asked if you cooked this." Repeated Asuka.

"Well, it just so happens that this is delivered." Said Misato sullenly, taking a pull from her beer. "Ai-chan picked it up on the way home."

"Really? Let's eat, Rit-chan!" said Asuka happily, digging into the large chunk of steaming lasagna on her plate. Next to it were a pair of garlic bread sticks, and in a bowl in the center of the table was a Italian salad with vinaigrette dressing.

"You know, this tastes like that stuff at that restaurant Shinji and I went to that time." Noted Rit-chan, catching but ignoring the jerk from her side. Asuka had clearly not known of their date. Rit-chan planned to let her know eventually.

"You went to the one out by the southern line? That little one in the second floor?" asked Airi. Rit-chan nodded.

"The pasta there is killer." Smiled Rit-chan, remembering the excellent food, but more importantly the sexy man she had been with.

"Kaji pointed this one out to me as a good Italian restaurant." Replied Airi, noting the grimace on Misato's face at the mention of her ex-boyfriend.

"Hope you took a shower after talking with that sleazy womanizer." Muttered Misato before draining her beer and grabbing another. Airi declined to answer.

-

Shinji smiled as he listened to the radio in Maya's car, the two of them in her compact car, driving to his preferred grocery store. Maya had gone to change into street clothes after dinner, and emerged in snug jeans, a close-fitting tee-shirt and carrying a pair of sneakers. Minutes later, they were driving toward his store. Shinji listened to the pop music Maya had been listening to and studied the bridge bunny. She's cuter when she isn't in her uniform. He thought. I wonder how she would look in a nice dress? His thoughts were interrupted by Maya asking him which way she needed to go. Shinji pointed and young tech made the appropriate turns. Before long, they were entering the store.

Maya walked beside Shinji as the two made their way though the store. Shinji had quite obviously been here before, as several of the employees in the various departments greeted him by name. Odd, they seem to have no clue that he is a pilot. She noted. Right now, the Third was considering the difficult choice of mackerel, tuna or octopus to go with one of the dishes he was assembling the ingredients for. The man behind the counter in the meat section was debating the virtues of each meat with him.

"You may have a point about the octopus being difficult to season properly, but tuna is so common it's boring." Said Shinji, shaking his head. "And the price of your tuna seems…high." He baited.

"You're imagining things, Shin my man." Said the older man jovially. "Besides, even if you weren't delusional, my tuna is the best in all of Japan; ask anyone!"

"I'm thinking that mackerel will be the winner." Smiled Shinji, his eyes mischievous.

"Don't be hasty, young man." Said the butcher. "Perhaps you should ask your girlfriend what she wants." He suggested.

"I'm not his…" began Maya.

"Well, how about it, Maya?" asked Shinji, his smile somehow innocent, though his eyes were doing a fairly good imitation of Asuka in her plotting mode.

"Um, well, I guess the mackerel is fine." She said, wondering what Shinji was up to. Shinji turned to look at the man, one eyebrow raised a bit. The man sighed gustily.

"Fine, fine. How about I sell you one fish of each at the price of the mackerel. But only this once!" he admonished. Shinji nodded.

"If you insist, you shameless thief." He said amicably. With practiced ease, the man swiped the two fish up out of the ice, lopped off their heads, gutted, scaled and rinsed them before he wrapped them in thick waxed paper, sealing them with tape. Beaconing the young man over, the older man handed him the fish, whispering conspiratorially to him.

"She's a real looker, Shin." He said softly. "Cute in the kind of low-maintenance way, you know?" Shinji considered Maya, who was idly perusing some ground beef.

"Yeah. I know." He agreed. Maya is very cute like this. He had to agree.

"Hey, Shin, let me tell you this: girls like her are wild cats in the sack; believe me, I speak from experience." He said, grinning at the young man.

"Wouldn't know." Shrugged Shinji, tucking the fish into his basket. "She's one of my commanding officers." He said, his tone evilly happy.

"Wha…? Why, you little chiseler! Just you wait till next time! I'll skin you and hang you tanned hide over my counter!" he threatened. Shinji shrugged again.

"Promises, promises. See you soon, Bunta." He said, waving as he turned away.

"Psst! Shin." Hissed the man. Shinji turned to look at the man. "You never did tell any of us what you do in NERV." He said softly, eyes on Shinji.

"I thought you knew." Blinked Shinji stupidly. "I'm a cook."

-

Rei emerged from the bathroom, towel over her shoulders as she usually did. "Rei-chan, dinner is served!" called Hikari from the kitchen. Rei turned and made her way to the kitchen, where her new room mate was smiling as she dished up dinner. Red eyes surveyed the feast. Stir fry vegetable chow mien on steamed rice, egg rolls with pepper and cabbage cores, small fig dumplings and a tall pitcher of tea greeted the First Child's gaze. She gracefully slipped into her seat, her hair dripping on her towel, once more over her shoulders. Hikari sat down opposite her, dressed in a tee-shirt and loose-fitting silk shorts. Rei silently dished up her food and took a bite of one of the egg rolls. "This is delicious." She stated.

"Thanks. That's my first attempt at a recipe that I read in one of Kodama's magazines. I didn't know if it turned out right or not." Hikari took a bite of her fried chicken and chow mien meal. "Oh! I forgot to ask if you liked hot foods." She said, suddenly remembering that she had never asked if Rei could eat hot peppers without trouble. "Sorry. Should have asked first, I guess." She apologized sheepishly.

"I do not have any difficulties with any food except for meat." Said Rei simply, biting into another egg roll. Hikari smiled.

"Good. Care to try this horseradish sauce, then?" she asked, indicating a small bowl of dark, thick sauce. Rei dipped the uneaten half of her egg roll into the sauce, then popped the morsel into her mouth. Chewing, she showed no reaction to the food.

"It is pleasantly warm." Said Rei at last, swallowing before digging into her vegetable chow mien. Hikari looked a bit disappointed.

"Pleasantly warm? Rei, those egg rolls are made with Thai peppers, Hunan peppers and salted, boiled cabbage. The sauce is heavy on horseradish and diced jalapeno peppers, and all you say is it's `pleasantly warm'?"

"Do you not find it so?" asked Rei, taking another bite of her main course.

"Truthfully, I find it a bit hotter than I like it." Said Hikari, dipping a small bit of her egg roll in the sauce and biting off a large chunk of the roll to compensate for the sauce. Once she had swallowed that, she reached for her glass of tea.

"If that is so, then you should either not consume it, or drink milk instead of tea." Noted Rei, dipping another roll in the sauce and biting into it. Before Hikari could answer, there was a knock on the door. Rei turned to look at the door.

"Rei, are you…?" began Hikari.

"No. I am not expecting anyone." She said, rising from her seat. Hikari jumped up and dashed into the bedroom, snatching her USP and a backup magazine before sprinting back to the living room, pressing herself to the wall next to the corner that entered the hallway. Rei reached the door as Hikari thumbed the hammer back on her pistol. Breathe, relax, concentrate. Breathe, relax, concentrate. She mentally chanted to herself as she waited for some sign that someone unfriendly was outside the door. If I hear Rei call or if there's a struggle, I'll pivot into the hallway, use the wall to stabilize and engage the targets over Rei-chan's head. If they duck back to cover, I'll empty the magazine, pull back and reload as I move into the kitchen. When they come around the corner, I'll shoot right to left before moving for the bedroom. If all that shooting doesn't bring Asuka, Rit-chan and Misato running, nothing will! With her plans made, she concentrated on listening.

The door slid open. Hikari tensed herself, prepared to lunge around the corner, her finger easing onto the trigger. "It's for you." Said Rei softly, moving past her. Hikari blinked, completely thrown off balance by the calm comment from her roomie. She unconsciously engaged the decocker, letting her gun return to rest. Stepping around the corner, she saw a somewhat surprised Kodama standing stunned in the hallway outside her new residence.

"Kodama!" cried Hikari, grabbing her big sister into a hug as she tugged her into the apartment, the door closing behind her. "What are you doing here? I thought you were living in Tokyo 2 now!" squealed Hikari, her gun forgotten as she hugged her sister excitedly.

"Well, I came to check up on you, kiddo." Said Kodama, shaking off her surprise. "After all, it's not like we don't worry about you, you know." The oldest Horaki girl touched her middle sister's cheek fondly. "How are you doing? You look good." She said warmly.

"Yeah, I'm doing ok." Smiled Hikari. She suddenly realized something. "Oh, yeah! Shinji's back!" she gloated. Kodama smiled in return.

"So, your no longer on your little diet, then." Sniped the older sister. Hikari looked baffled.

"Diet?" she asked blankly.

"Yes. You were on a man meat diet before, as I recall." Teased Kodama. Hikari felt her cheeks turn red.

"Kodama!" she hissed. Her older sister just hugged her. The two flinched as Rei's soft, sure voice interrupted their embrace.

"There is plenty of food for you, miss Horaki." Both sisters turned to see Rei standing a few feet from them, still naked save for her towel over her shoulders. Hikari blushed more.

"Rei-chan! Put on some clothes!" she half-ordered, half-begged.

"Why?" asked Rei calmly. Before Hikari could answer, Kodama bowed to Rei.

"Hi. I'm Hi-chan's older sister, Kodama. I gather that you are Rei Ayanami. Right?" she asked easily.

"You are correct." Said Rei.

"It's a pleasure to meet you, Rei." Smiled Kodama. "I hope my little sister isn't too much trouble."

"Hikari is no trouble." Replied Rei. "She is my roommate, teammate and friend."

"I see." Murmured Kodama, sizing the strange girl up. "Thanks for taking care of her."

"Hikari is able to care for herself." Noted Rei. She turned to Hikari. "I am going to bed now, Hikari. If your sister wishes to stay the night, there is plenty of room and I have no objections to that."

"Oh, ok, Rei." Said Hikari. As the First turned toward the bedroom, Hikari remembered the gun and magazine in her hand. "Rei-chan! Can you take this with you?" she called, motioning to the gun and magazine. Rei turned back to her, took the gun and magazine silently and proceeded to walk down the hall. The bedroom door remained open as she entered the dark room, not bothering with lights.

"She's a strange one." Noted Kodama.

"Sorry about that; Rei-chan's just very…reserved." Defended Hikari. "She's really a good friend, though." Hikari grimaced before adding a qualifier. "Her odd habits not withstanding."

"Like walking around naked?" leered Kodama. "Or answering the door naked?"

"Um, something like that." Admitted the middle sister. Turning to the kitchen, she motioned her sister to enter. "Are you hungry?" she asked.

"A week without your cooking? Are you nuts? Of course I'm hungry!" said Kodama, taking a seat at the table and grabbing a plate. Hikari sat next to her and dished up some food. Kodama began to eat.

"So, how are `Zumi-chan and dad doing?" she asked.

"Good. The brat still complains that no one makes breakfast like her Big Sister Hi-chan, but she's eager to go to school each day. She managed to retain the title of Inchou, by the way. I talked to them last night. She was having some of her friends over, and dad was having to play host." Kodama snickered evilly.

"Poor dad." Giggled Hikari. "He always seemed so lost when he had to host any of our sleep-overs." Kodama hummed her agreement, her mouth full of food. The two shared small talk as Kodama finished off her food. Taking a glass of tea, she and Hikari retired to the couch in the living room. Kodama sipped her tea before setting it on the coffee table. Turning to her sister, she studied he face.

"Enough about us; we're fine. I want to know about how you are doing."

-

"I can't believe that he thought we were a couple!" giggled Maya as she and Shinji loaded the newly-acquired foodstuffs into her car. She had been a bit embarrassed when the butcher suggested that she was his girlfriend, but found herself also more than a bit wistful. Shinji was definitely boyfriend material, she realized. If only I weren't so much older than him. She thought. Nine years never seemed so big a difference before.

"He was just trying to get the better of me; that's all." Explained Shinji. "He tries to out-bargain me, and I try to out-bargain him. So far, I'm in the lead." He chuckled. "He didn't really think that you were my girlfriend, Maya. He knows that you would be dating someone better." Shinji clicked his seatbelt as Maya settled behind the wheel and turned the key.

"A girl could do worse than dating one of the saviors of humanity." Pointed out Maya. "Besides, you're more a man than most of the guys I know." She added, suspecting that none of the self-proclaimed `hunks of manliness' could cook or clean as well as Shinji. And she knew for a fact that none of them were better at understanding the emotional state of girl. Shinji had major skills in the emotional aspect of a situation, whereas most guys couldn't understand why a girl acted like she did, let alone what he needed to do to help her. Shinji is incredibly accessible - emotion wise. Reflected Maya as she shifted the car into drive and headed for her apartment.

"You're just saying that because I cook you food." Said Shinji, a smile on his face. Maya shrugged.

"Maybe. A girl has to eat, after all." She smiled back at him. He's a lot cuter when he smiles.

The rest of the ride back was filled with meaningless small talk, interrupted by some occasional serious topics. Once they were back, Shinji carried the groceries up and put them up while Maya visited the bathroom. With the groceries put up, he planned out the next day's meals, as well as making a note to prepare one of Asuka's favorite bento meals for her. Wandering into the living room, he sat down on the couch and flipped on the TV. Absently, he flipped channels, finding nothing worth watching. His eyes fell to the DVD player below the television. Curious, he got up and moved closer to look at the titles neatly stored near the machine. His eyes got a bit bigger as he noticed the titles.

"Oh. I see you've found out my secret." Came Maya's voice from behind him. Shinji flinched.

"Sorry, I shouldn't have pried." He said, turning to see the young tech dressed in a tee-shirt and shorts, not unlike Asuka and Misato wore. Maya settled on the couch.

"No, it's fine." She waved away the apology. Shinji started to stand. "Hey, do you…want to watch a movie with me?" she asked, a bit tentatively. Shinji considered it for a moment, then nodded.

"Sure. Any one in particular?" he asked. Maya smiled.

"Pick one. They're all my favorites." Shinji did as asked, selecting one and putting it in the tray before taking a seat next to Maya on her couch. Maya tucked her legs under her and leaned back, stretching her arms a bit. An idea hit Shinji as he watched her get comfortable. He slipped to his feet and stepped into the kitchen.

"Hold the movie for a minute, will you?" he asked his new room mate.

"Sure. What are you up to in there?" asked Maya, leaning back and turning her head to catch a glimpse of him moving around in the kitchen.

"Just taking care of a few necessities." He replied. "Just give a me few minutes." Maya straighten a bit and toyed with the remote while she waited. Less than five minutes later, Shinji resumed his seat beside her. "What's a movie without popcorn and drinks?" he asked with a smile. In one hand was the largest bowl she owned, filled with hot popcorn. His other hand carefully held two glasses of soda. "I didn't know what you liked to drink with popcorn, so I went with the safe choice and got you a soda. If you want something else, let me know." He said, setting the two drinks on the coffee table. Maya noticed each had a straw. She laughed.

"Perfect, Shinji." She said, starting the movie. Shinji snuggled back into the couch, settling the bowl between them. As the picture started, Maya and Shinji began to snack on the popcorn. When the movie was half over, the bowl was in Maya's lap, with Shinji's arm around her shoulders. By the time that the movie ended, the bowl was empty, laying on the floor along with one of the empty glasses. Shinji was sitting sideways on the couch, with Maya comfortably snuggled into his chest. The young woman was all but asleep, Shinji's arm along her side, his hand on her hip. Shinji took the remote and shut down the entertainment center. The sudden silence brought Maya around a bit. Sitting up a bit, she yawned. Shinji took the opportunity to get up and help her up as well.

"I think it's about bed time." He said, wrapping an arm around her slender waist as he helped her to the bedroom. Maya yawned again.

"I think you're right." She mumbled. Entering the room, she tugged her shirt off and dropped it onto the foot of the bed. Shinji noticed that she wasn't wearing anything under her shirt. His dick stirred. Maya slipped her shorts off, revealing a pair of thong panties. Shinji turned toward the couch.

"Well, I'll see you in the morning." He said, exiting the room.

"Hey. You're still in here until we can get the other room up, ok?" protested Maya. Shinji turned to see her pulling back the comforter and sheets. She was still in her panties.

"Are you sure you're ok with that?" he asked her. Maya nodded a bit sleepily.

"Yeah. Now get in." she said. Shinji really didn't want to argue, so he simply slipped off his clothes, leaving himself in his boxers. Easing into the bed, he found that Maya was waiting for him. "Can't sleep if you're going to be falling off the bed." She mumbled, putting her arms around him and pulling him into her embrace. "Get comfortable." She added, situating her body against his. Shinji would have found it easier to get comfortable if his dick wasn't hard as a rock due to the cute young woman holding him close. Still, he managed to get to sleep.

-

Airi glanced at the sleeping form of Kaji and straightened her clothes before leaving his office. In her hand was the access card for Heaven's Door. I've had to do worse to get a chance. she told herself as she made her way toward the elevator. And at least he comes fast and sleeps afterwards. She added. Entering the code, she rode the elevator down. With what she had learned over the last month, she felt she had the right pieces to try to access the next set of doors. When the elevator came to a stop, she peeked out before making her way down the dark, stark hallway. From ahead, she heard faint sounds.

This could be ugly. She thought, knowing that there was no place to hide down here. If it's Section 2, I'm gonna be in big trouble. Still, with no place to go, she continued down the hallway, making sure her steps were silent. Yet another unforeseen use for dance lessons. Ahead of her, she heard the massive door open. She quickened her steps. Reaching the door as it began to close, she caught sight of two people moving purposefully toward the smaller door across the massive room. Good chance here. She thought, sprinting thought the door and diving to the side, next to the huge pool of LCL. The two people kept walking, entering the door at the far end. Airi got up and jogged after them.

Due to the size of the room, she would have to open the small door herself. Reaching it, she put her ear to it and listened. Not hearing anything, she counted to ten, then unlocked the door with the stolen card and combination. The door slid open. After a swift peek around the corner, she made her way deeper into the puzzle. Ahead of her, she heard two voices. Airi froze, recognizing both voices. Well, well, well. Commander Ikari and Doctor Akagi. Looks like I hit the jackpot.

-

Kodama opened her eyes to see a strange ceiling over her. Wha…? She thought before her mind came all the way awake and recalled why the ceiling looked unfamiliar. Turning to her side, she saw the brown hair of her younger sister nestled into her chest. Half on, half off her, Hikari was clinging to her like she hadn't since she was six. Kodama gently squeezed her, smiling a little at her sleeping sister. Fiercely devoted to her sisters, and comfortable in the roll of make-do mother, Kodama felt better knowing that the sister in the most danger was at least able to sleep. Her reverie was interrupted by a soft voice.

"Good morning." Kodama flinched as she searched for the voice. Her eyes found the pale form of the First Child standing at the foot of the bed. Rei. That's right. She reminded herself. Rei had a towel in her hands, and was apparently just finishing up drying her hair.

"Uh, good morning, Rei." She said. Hikari stirred a bit. Dropping the towel over the back of the chair at her desk, Rei opened the wardrobe and picked out a pair of small panties, slipping them on before reaching for her school uniform. Kodama watched silently.

"I will prepare breakfast if you wish to remain with Hikari for a bit longer." Said Rei softly, tying her neck bow swiftly. Turning to where Kodama and Hikari were still snuggled together, she considered them. "There is no need to disturb Hikari's rest; I will prepare breakfast." She decided. Silently, she exited the room.

"Weird girl." Muttered Kodama. Hikari shifted a bit against her. The oldest sister realized that Hikari had managed to shed her panties during the night. Strange, I don't recall her being that restless a sleeper. Frowned Kodama. Her puzzle was answered a few heartbeats later.

"Mmm, Shin-kun, like that…" mumbled the mostly-asleep Horaki. Kodama giggled. Oh, that's going to cost you, my dear Hi-chan! She thought, her mind busy with plans to tease her younger sister mercilessly.

-

Asuka sighed and got out of bed, tugging her shorts off and grabbing her towel. As she passed Misato's room on her way to the shower, she heard Misato's signature breathing and knew that the Major was out for at least another hour. Reaching for the bathroom door, she blinked in surprise as it opened in front of her. "Oh, good morning, Asuka." Said Airi calmly, drying her hair with her towel. The bathroom was hazy with steam.

"Morning, Airi." Said Asuka, stepping back as Airi exited the bathroom. As she passed, Asuka's sharp eyes noted a mark on the actress's neck. "That's not a hickie, is it?" she asked the woman. Airi touched the small mark.

"I don't think so, Asuka." She said, her tone contemplative.

"You don't think so? What, you mean you don't know?" challenged Asuka, tossing her head. Her towel was gripped in her left hand and her small basket of bath products was in her right hand. Other than that, she was naked. It had become a habit during the last month that the women treated the apartment like a locker room, rarely wearing anything when coming or going from the shower. Misato, in Shinji's absence, had begun to fall back into her habit of shedding clothes as she moved through the apartment, and lately was making it to completely naked by the time she hit the door to her room. Months and months of Shinji's influence had had an effect, however: she went back through and collected her discarded items of clothing and dumped them into the laundry basket now, instead of leaving them laying around.

"I can't recall anything that might have resulted in a hickie, no." replied Airi. Asuka just shook her head and entered the bathroom. Airi let her towel drop over her shoulders. Damn, she very observant; at least, when it comes to anything that doesn't involve her being honest with her feelings. She thought, sliding the door open and entering the room she shared with Misato. Eyeing the recumbent form of the Children's boss, she figured that Misato would be on afternoon duty that day, which was a good thing. She hadn't slept all night, and was tired. But now, I'm ready to start making some moves. She thought, smiling as she eased into the bed. As she settled, Misato restlessly turned over, almost smacking Airi with her arm.

"Shin-chan…" she slurred.

-

Maya awoke to a delicious feeling of warmth, closeness and comfort. Opening her eyes, she found that she was resting her head on Shinji's chest, one arm around him, her legs intertwined with his and her entire body pressed tightly to him. She also felt a feather-lite, slow, soft touch making aimless patterns on her bare back. She realized after a second that it was Shinji's hand. The Third was situated on his back, one arm under her head, bent inward so he could stroke her. Maya had never felt so good before. Slowly, she moved her head to look at Shinji's face. Seeing him, she blinked.

The pilot of Unit 1 was staring at the ceiling, his face troubled and a bit disappointed. His mind was clearly far away. I wonder what he is thinking about? Thought Maya to herself, He seems sad. She watched him for several minutes. The whole time, his fingers never stopped caressing her bare back. Maya realized that she was unconsciously moving her hands over his chest as her body undulated slowly against his. Shinji didn't seem to notice. The female bridge bunny felt a tingling in her groin and realized that she was getting turned on by the close, relaxing caresses of the young man. God, Maya! You're acting like a slut! Her mind screamed at her. So?! This feels great! Argued another part of her. He's a kid, damn it! Yelled back the first part. He's legal! Besides, he would never take advantage of me! Shot back the other part of her. Of course not! It's you that's in danger of taking advantage of him! Was the reply.

Both voices were silenced when Shinji's hand came to rest on her waist, just above her hip bone. Maya, eyes closed, let her hand stop running over his chest and waited. Slowly, Shinji tightened his arm, drawing her closer to him. A hug? Maybe he just wants to be hugged. She thought, carefully easing her body closer to him, which resulted in her chest coming to rest on his chest, her head now resting next to his. The new position gave her a chance to get her other arm around him. Shinji blinked. "Maya?" he gasped. Busted. Damn it. Thought Maya, opening her eyes and leaning back a bit to look into his eyes. "Sorry, I was lost in thought." He said quietly, a bit of a blush on his cheeks as he removed his hand from her waist. Maya made a snap decision.

"It's ok, Shinji. I don't mind." She said softly, not moving off him. "To tell the truth, that felt really good!" she smiled. She approved of the change in his demeanor at her confession. That's more like it. She thought, seeing him give her a faint smile back.

"Same here." He said, his voice a bit tense. Maya glanced at her clock. Plenty of time yet. She thought.

"You…don't have to stop; if you don't want to, I mean." She said softly, resuming her caress of his chest.

"Is that…really ok with you?" he asked her. She looked into his eyes as she nodded.

"Yeah, just don't get too carried away." She cautioned him. Hope I don't get too carried away! She mentally qualified. Shinji's hands came to her waist and slowly, hesitantly resumed their gently gasp on her waist. Maya hummed in satisfaction, laying her head back down, her cheek to his. Shinji took a deep breath of her scent. She smells good. Like jasmine and vanilla. His dick stirred and began to harden. Shit! Down, boy! He mentally commanded. His dick slowed it's transformation, but didn't halt it.

"Maya?" he said softly. She hummed in reply. "Um, just…let me know…when it's…and I'll…stop. Ok?" he said, his hands moving slowly over her back, almost massaging her as they went. Maya felt his member grow harder, and was mentally fighting herself. Finally, she reached her decision.

"Ok, Shinji." She said, touching her lips to his neck.

-

"Morning, Rit-chan." Said Asuka, turning from the stove, pan in hand. In the pan, several lengths of sausage were sizzling along with two sloppy omelets. "Breakfast isn't much, but it's ready." She slipped one omelet and half the sausage links onto a plate and set it in front of Rit-chan. The rest went onto her plate. Turning around to put the pan back on the stove, she grabbed the fresh toast and tossed them onto Rit-chan's plate, starting another batch.

Rit-chan considered the plate before her. The omelet was large, at least a two-egg omelet, and had vegetables of various persuasions in it. Taking her fork in hand, she dug in. Chewing the omelet, she noted that it was slightly underdone in the middle and over-done on the outside, but only slightly. The sausage was brown and crispy. "You put the left over stir fry veggies in here, didn't you?" she asked Asuka, taking up a slice of toast and smearing it in butter.

Asuka nodded. "Yep. I was in a hurry, and thought it wouldn't be too bad." She agreed. "You ok with it?" she asked.

Rit-chan nodded, biting into the toast. Once she had swallowed, she spoke. "Not too bad, actually. The soy sauce is new, too." Asuka shrugged.

"Cooking is Shinji's job." She said. Rit-chan declined to comment. After a few minutes of silent munching, Asuka had a question for Rit-chan. "So, where did you and Baka go on your date?"

-

Hikari hummed as she finished the bentos for herself, Rei, Asuka, Rit-chan and Shinji. She and Shinji would be sharing a bento; a thought that made her pussy tingle. Sitting at the table, Kodama watched her sister work in the kitchen. The morning had been interesting. Any doubt that she may have had about Shinji being a good choice for her sister's first lover was definitely gone now. When she and Hikari got out of bed to go to the breakfast that Rei had prepared, she had noticed that Hikari was all but glowing, her nipples so hard they looked like they were made of steel. When asked if she had been dreaming of Shinji, Hikari had blushed and told her to shut up, a sure sign that she had been dreaming of the pilot. Kodama decided to postpone her teasing of the girl; if she was happy, that was all that mattered.

"We should depart now to be on time." Said Rei softly from behind Kodama. Hikari tucked the bentos into her school bag. Turning away from the counter, she nodded to Rei.

"Ready to go, Rei-chan." She said. Just then, there was a knock on the door. "Sounds like Asuka and Rit-chan are ready as well." She said. Both girls headed for the door. Hikari stopped to hug her sister tight for a moment. "Thanks for coming by, Kodama." She said softly.

"Hey, what's a sister for?" returned Kodama. Releasing her, Hikari touched her sister's cheek.

"You're welcome to stay as long as you like. There's a towel on the counter in the bathroom, and you can use my stuff. If you leave, the door will lock behind you, so don't step out unless you are ready to go. We'll be back this afternoon. Will you…be here?" she asked.

"Sorry, kiddo." Said Kodama apologetically. "I've got afternoon lectures at the university and have to go see `Zumi-chan tomorrow night. But I will visit again." She added. Hikari nodded.

"I understand. Take care, sis." She said. With a final look, she and Rei departed the apartment, meeting up with Asuka and Rit-chan as they headed for the elevator.

-

Misato sipped her coffee as she read her reports and reviewed the notes from the various divisions. In front of her, the bridge crew were doing their daily routine. Seated in the middle, Maya was humming a bit as she swiftly ran through her checklists. Misato scowled. "You're disgustingly happy this morning, Maya." She said, stopping just behind the young lieutenant. Maya turned to look at her.

"Really? I must have slept well them." She said, fighting a blush. Misato smiled a dangerous smile and leaned closer to her.

"Slept with my Shin-chan, did you?" she purred in Maya's ear. Maya's cheeks went red.

"I…no! I'd never…!" she sputtered. She can't know, can she?!

"Don't lie to me, Maya-chan. You've been thinking of it, haven't you?" whispered Misato evilly.

"No! I…don't think of him…" she began.

"It's ok, Maya-chan. I can understand your attraction to him. Does living with him make you hot?" she pressed.

"It's obvious that living with him makes you hot, Mi-chan." Came Akagi's voice. "God, you're such a slut sometimes." Misato's eyes flashed and she spun to face her old friend.

"You've got some nerve calling me a slut, Ritsu!" she hissed. "Let's not forget that I roomed with you during our college years." She added ominously.

"This is the bridge; not a beer hall, ladies." Came the Vice Commander's voice from the Perch. "Save your gossip for later, please."

"Yes, sir." Said both women evenly.

"Carry on." Directed Fuyutsuki. Akagi turned to Misato.

"You're cranky this morning, Mi-chan." She noted. "Missing him that much?"

"Yes." Said Misato truculently. "Why are you dragging your feet with clearing his return to his home?"

"I'm not dragging my feet, Mi-chan." Disagreed Akagi. "I'm following the guidelines for determining mental contamination."

"You and I both know he isn't contaminated." Pressed Misato. "So why can't he come home?"

"Firstly, because we haven't completed the isolation period. But there is the issue of his…disagreement with the Commander." Ritsu let that soak in for a bit, then continued. "It's really not that big of a deal, though. Unit 1 isn't ready yet, and until it is, he has nothing to do here anyway." Misato glared at her.

"Yeah, I suppose you have a point." Said the major. Dancing to the Commander's tune, I see. Fucking traitor!

-

Misato eyed the readouts. "Excellent work, everyone." She said. "Hit the showers; we're done for today." She said.

"It's about time!" snapped Asuka, hitting the controls to eject her from the Eva. "I've got places to be, Misato!" she huffed. Misato ignored her. Hikari and Rei silently ejected and walked to the locker room, where Asuka was already in the shower. Her torn plug suit was laying in the middle of the floor, and LCL-tinged footprints lead to the shower. Hikari shook her head and began to undress, joining Rei in the shower as Asuka rinsed off and jogged out. "See you later, Hi-chan, Wondergirl." She called back. Less then two minutes later, the door cycled.

"She's in a rush tonight." Observed Hikari. Rei smiled a secret smile.

"Indeed." Said the First softly.

"You know what she's on about?" asked the Sixth. Rei nodded.

"She has a date." Said Rei quietly.

"With that Kaji guy? Eww." Said Hikari. Her feelings about the spy had changed since she had started to sleep with Shinji. With a reference point, he no longer looked so perfect.

"No. Shinji is her date for tonight." Said Rei softly. Hikari sighed.

Lucky bitch! both she and Rei thought in perfect synch.

-

Shinji smiled as he exited the restaurant with Asuka on his arm. She was dressed in a short skirt and snug top, much like she had been dressed for her last date. Shinji noticed that she wasn't wearing hose this time. Several times he had smelled a lavender scent from her, and he loved it. Oddly enough, she had been on unusually good behavior tonight. Shinji reveled in her strange demeanor, but couldn't seem to worry about what might be going on with her. With full stomachs, the two were off to their next destination.

Arriving at the theater, Asuka pointed to the showing she wanted, and Shinji slapped some money on the counter, taking the two tickets. Entering the theater, the two blinked to see it empty. "Guess the evacuation got more people than we thought." Muttered Shinji.

"Who cares? Better this way." Opinioned Asuka, selecting a pair of seats in the middle of the theater. Getting comfortable, the two pilots watched the random commercials and previews on the screen. Asuka suddenly stood. "Forgot the snacks and drinks, Baka." She said, moving toward the exit.

"I'll get them, A-chan." He offered, starting to rise. Asuka pushed him back down.

"I'll do it, Baka. You'd just get the stuff I don't like. Be back in a minute." She said. In moments, she was gone. Shinji considered her words and actions. She's being nice - like I always wanted her to be. Still, it's a bit unsettling. He reflected.

Asuka stepped out of the theater and ducked into the bathroom. After checking that it was empty, she carefully considered her appearance in the mirror. A young, highly attractive girl in a sleek outfit looked back. Asuka reached into her small purse and withdrew a tube of lipstick, which she carefully applied. It was an understated shade of pale red, almost a rose color, but it made her much more inviting. Tucking the lipstick back into her small purse, she noticed that her USP was still tucked just inside the bag, ready in case more of those freaks came after her. Asuka checked her hair again, as well as her outfit. Her erect nipples peeked back through the thin material of her top. The German girl smiled. "Ready." She pronounced, exiting the bathroom and making her way to the concession stand, where she loaded up on snacks, popcorn and drinks before heading back to the theater and her date.

-

Around the small church on the outskirts of town, several cars drifted to a stop. After a wait of about a quarter hour, two vans pulled up, running silently and without lights. Out of the cars, men in dark suits appeared and walked purposefully to several pre-determined points, where they stopped and began their vigils. Four minutes later, the two vans opened up and six men got out of each van, all heavily armed and dressed in black tactical clothes, balaclavas covering their faces. The lead men of each stick carried shotguns with the first two shells breaching charges, the rest heavy buckshot. Behind them, two men with submachine guns were ready, then came a man with a pair of handguns and several demolition charges. Fifth man in each group was armed with an assault rifle with a grenade launcher under the barrel, and the final man in each group carried a belt-fed machinegun slung under their arms.

When the two sticks were lined up, a man stepped from the first car to arrive and scanned the area, listening to a small ear-piece radio. Several seconds later, he motioned to the lead men in each stick and chopped his arm, signaling the attack. Silently, the two groups moved up to the front doors of the church and stacked next to them. One final equipment check and the last person in line squeezed the shoulder of the man in front of him, who squeezed the shoulder of the man in front of him, who did the same to the one in front of him, right up to the lead man. Reaching out, the point man slowly turned the door latch. When it didn't open, he stepped in front of the left hand door as the other shotgun armed man did the same to the right hand door. Bringing up the shotguns, the two men simultaneously blew out the hinges on each side, then kicked the center of the doors as hard as they could. The two large doors crashed inward with a crackle of dry wood. Before the doors had ceased to move, the men were streaming forward, guns up.

-

Asuka pulled back from the kiss, a thin trail of saliva connecting her to Shinji. The two had started to make out half way through the movie and had moved to a small, secluded park bench to continue. Right now, Asuka was sitting astride Shinji, her top pushed up, exposing her breasts to the somewhat cooler night air - and Shinji's attentions, while her skirt was rumpled up around her waist, her panties soaked with her arousal. Shinji's shirt was loose and Asuka's hands were busy on his chest. Looking at Shinji with lust-clouded eyes, Asuka spoke. "Ever done it on a park bench?" she asked. Shinji shook his head.

"Have you?" he asked her, capturing her nipples and skillfully caressing them, rolling them between his fingers, lightly pinching them and giving them gentle tugs. The stimulation made her shiver.

"Of course not, Baka." She moaned, her hands moving to his belt. "You were my first, remember?" Shinji nodded. Asuka impatiently unbuckled his belts, then unfastened his trousers and unzipped him, snaking her hand inside to secure her prize. Mien Gott, he feels so good! thought the Second. She worked at bringing him completely out of his clothes. "Well?" she panted as Shinji kept playing with her tits. "Are you going to get rid of my panties or not?!" She stroked his hardness as she talked, feeling it pulse in his hands.

"If you insist." Smiled Shinji, reaching down to get a good grip on her panties. A sudden, sharp jerk tore them off her hips. Asuka gasped. His assertiveness had caused a spike of arousal to flood through her system.

"Yyeess." She purred. Shinji still held her panties in his hand. Asuka took a hand off his member and grabbed the panties, tossing them over the back of the bench onto the grass. "Don't need them anymore." She added, shifting her hips forward a bit, tucking her legs farther to the side. "Fuck me, Shin-kun. Please." She panted, feeling his tip press into her sopping wet pussy.

"Here?" asked Shinji, a bit surprised.

"Of course, Baka." Husked Asuka, his member pressing against her entrance. Shinji began to push forward, eliciting a moan from Asuka. Grabbing her hips, he prepared to push farther into her. Asuka sealed her lips to his as she felt him push deeper into her sex. It took Shinji about ten strokes to fully enter her. Both teens moaned as they developed a rhythm. Shinji was a bit irritated that the position didn't give him as great a depth in her as he would have preferred, and he couldn't get position correctly to really stimulate her inner parts like he knew she loved. For her part, Asuka found the idea of public sex exciting, but the position inferior to her normal positions with Shinji. Still, they had no desire to stop just then. Out of the corner of his eye, Shinji saw a figure approaching them. Pushing Asuka back, he whispered to her.

"Someone's coming this way!" Asuka looked in the same direction he was, and gave a little eep! Before jumping off Shinji's lap and vaulting over the back of the bench.

"Come on, Baka!" She hissed as she sprinted for the bushes farther back in the park. Shinji grabbed his pant's waistband and followed her lead, jumping over the bench back and following her into the bushes. Asuka crouched behind a bush, and Shinji crouched behind her, leaning over her back. Asuka felt his still-erect member poking her asscheeks. Verdamt! I'm still horny as hell! Shinji shifted a bit, and she got an idea. Leaning forward, she spread her legs wider as she pushed her skirt back up around her waist and got her hips lined up. Satisfied with the position, she reached between her legs and grabbed Shinji's slippery member, tugging on it and guiding it into her sheath. Shinji got the idea swiftly and drove his full length into her warmed-up sex. Asuka had to bite a knuckle to keep from screaming in ecstasy. Much better! She exalted, feeling his member reaching deeper into her and teasing her just the way she liked it. Shinji was panting a bit as he vigorously humped her. "Quiet or they'll hear us." Panted Asuka as quietly as possible.

From her low angle, she saw the person was walking a dog. The small dog was roaming to and fro with his nose busy. As he neared the bench, the dog began to show signs of excitement as he eagerly sniffed all over before moving out onto the grass. The owner let the dog move out a ways. Shinji was watching from his vantage point behind and a bit above Asuka's hips. Wonder what the dog's looking for? Thought both children together. Their question was answered a few moments later when the dog grabbed something in his mouth and trotted back to his master. My/A-chan's panties! Was the synchronized thought from both Children. Shinji's pace picked up as Asuka began to tremble in pre-orgasm anticipation.

The dog's owner took the bit of soaked cloth and studied it for a bit before jerking in surprise and looking around. Failing to spot the two deeper in the bushes, he tugged the dog along the walk. Asuka and Shinji reached climax a few moments later, silently panting as they came at the same time. It was several minutes later before either moved. Asuka straightened up and rolled over so she was on her back. Shinji leaned forward and kissed her, Asuka's arms grabbing him and holding him to her.

"That…was…incredible." Panted Asuka. Shinji nodded.

"You're awesome, A-chan." He said. "Even if you are a hentai." Asuka weakly punched his shoulder.

"I'm not a hentai, Baka! You took advantage of me!"

"Says the nympho who tosses her panties onto the grass." Chuckled Shinji.

"Well, if you don't like me, then I guess I'll just find someone else." Sulked Asuka, though her hands never left his chest.

"I love you just the way you are, A-chan." Mollified Shinji.

"Ha! I knew you couldn't resist my sex, Baka." She crowed. "You're a perverted Baka, after all."

"Maybe I am. But that guy kept your torn panties." Deflected Shinji.

"Eww! Some pervert who gets off on strangers underwear! You Japanese are so fucking weird!" she complained. Shinji just shrugged. Both teens felt themselves recovering from their encounter. Five minutes later, Asuka spoke again. "Um, would you…like a…" she trailed off.

"Like a what, A-chan?" wondered Shinji.

"Would you like a blowjob?" she asked. Shinji blinked. Asuka is offering a blowjob? He reached up and stroked her cheek.

"Only if you want to give me one, A-chan." He said. Asuka didn't say anything for a bit, then nodded. Pushing Shinji up, she laid him back on the grass and moved her head down to his member, which was still partially erect and covered in the combined cum of the two lovers. Asuka hesitated for a moment, then took a small experimental lick. Not as bad as I thought it would be. She decided, taking another lick. Hell, it beats the shit out of Misato's cooking. Her lips closed around the tip of his member as Shinji's hands found her shoulders.

-

"Sir, we got all of them except for two, who managed to get away through the grave yard. One of them was hit, but he didn't go down. We think that they'll try to get out of Toyo 3 as fast as possible." Reported the leader of the assault team. The head of Section 2 nodded as he surveyed the bullet-riddled sanctuary, priest's office and the entrance to the lower areas. He made his way down the narrow stone steps into the basement of the church, stepping over the body of a woman who was all but cut in half from the machinegun fire. In her hands was an unexploded grenade. One of his men pried the device out of her dead fingers. In the office, there were two dead men, one the victim of shotgun shells, the other shredded by a 40mm micro fuse grenade from the launchers under the assault rifles. At the foot of the stairs, another body was slumped back against a wall, six holes in his chest from an MP5 burst.

Moving into the first room, he found it empty, a single bed the only furniture in it. Satisfied, he moved into the next room, which was like the first. The third room was larger and had several caskets in it. His men had simply strafed the caskets with the machineguns to make sure that no one was in them. Now, they were going back and checking them individually. A small table at the far end was covered in the blood and viscera of another woman, this one still alive, though she had been hit in the hips with a load of buckshot, a round of rifle fire had scrambled her right shoulder and her left arm was gone at the elbow. One of the men was applying a tourniquet as another injected her with stabilizing agent. Seeing his interest, his assault leader spoke up.

"She might make it. If so, she can give us more detailed info. We're going to pack her back to NERV with us." He said.

"Be careful; she looks like a suicide risk." Agreed the commander. The woman was trying to say something, but was having a hard time speaking. "Save it for the interrogation, bitch." Said the head of Section 2. Looking around, he had another command. "Begin setting the charges, men." He ordered. The two men with the demo packs began to rig them up to destroy the church. Seeing another pair of men dumping every piece of paper and gear into large rucksacks, he nodded. "Set the fuses for four minutes."

-

Shinji opened the door to Maya's apartment a few hours before dawn. Easing inside, he cautiously looked around for his dark-haired roomie. Not seeing her, he checked the table and found a note. Reading it, he smiled. Got lucky; she was working all night. He placed the note in the trash and headed to the bathroom. After a quick shower, he climbed into her bed and fell asleep nearly instantly. He was fast asleep when Maya got home about a hour after he got back. Maya tiredly stripped and climbed into bed, snuggling up to Shinji as she fell asleep.

-

Akagi grunted as Gendo pushed himself deeper into her ass. It had started out with a blowjob, then progressed to sex, and now he was doing her ass. Akagi hadn't managed to reach orgasm before he had pulled out of her pussy and speared her ass. Now, she was in pain as she tried to relax her anus enough to allow her a painless fucking. Goddamn it, how am I supposed to get off like this?! She mentally complained, feeling her so-called lover thrust faster; a sure sign he was about to blow. Desperate for some pleasure, she reached under herself and began to feverishly rub her clit as she pushed three fingers into herself. As she felt the first stirring of pleasure, Gendo grunted and shoved as deeply into her as possible, blowing his load into her ass. Damn it all! Not again! Despaired Akagi as she felt the last spurt from the Commander's prick fill her intestines.

Satisfied, Gendo pulled his dick out of her ass and wiped himself off on her lab coat. Slowly, a frustrated Ritsu straightened from where she had been bent over her desk and felt his cum beginning to seep out of her spasming ass. Turning to face him, she felt her nipples go from semi-erect to soft. Her top was on the floor, as were her panties and skirt. Her lab coat had been over the back of her chair, but was now on the floor as Gendo finished wiping his dick off. Realizing that he was about to leave, she tried to get him to stay. "Gendo, do you want to talk about…?" she began.

"No." said Gendo flatly.

"Well, would you…?" she tried again.

"I have things to do, doctor." He said impassively.

"I just wanted…" she made a final attempt.

"What is it?" demanded the Commander. "Unless you want more?" he said, his tone suggestive. Akagi wanted to sob, but instead she simply nodded. Gendo stepped in front of her and pushed to her to her knees before pushing his nearly-flaccid member into her mouth. Akagi forced herself not to think about anything as she began to suck him hard again. As his member began to swell in her mouth, she had one thought. At least he stayed here with me.

-

Hikari opened her eyes and looked around. No sign of Asuka or Rei. She noted. Carefully, she searched for a suitable hiding spot. With her decision made, her unit sprinted from her current location to her new hiding place a few dozen blocks away. Once more, she scanned the area. Ok, so far, so good. One more power feed swap and I can reach the prototype particle acceleration cannon. Once more, she looked around, her unit's silver head snaking back and forth as she searched for sings of Asuka's crimson Unit 2 or Rei's blue and white cyclopean unit. Not seeing anything, she crouched and got ready to move. Now or never! She thought, her unit dashing for her next goal: the power feed building a mile away.

A flash of red out of the corner of her eye was all the warning she had of Asuka's attack. Still, the German had trained her good, and she dove aside, rolling as she went. Asuka's prog axe halved a building instead of her unit. "Shiest! Sie sind ein schnell ein, nicht wahr?" taunted Asuka over the comm. lines. Unit 2 tugged it's axe free and turned to go after the silver and teal unit 4. Hikari was on her feet, looking for a way out. Think fast, Hikari! She mentally commanded herself.

"Learned from the best, Asuka." Replied Hikari tensely. Gotta get out of here, gotta get to that cannon! An idea struck Hikari. Asuka smiled as Hikari's unit reached up to it's left shoulder pylon and pulled it's prog knife, the weapon coming alive. Taking a solid stance, Hikari beckoned Asuka in. "Well, come get some, red!" she called bravely. Asuka giggled.

"My pleasure, Hi-chan." She purred, her axe coming back as she charged. Instead of standing to fight, Hikari threw her prog knife at Asuka. Caught off guard, Asuka's reflexes betrayed her, her unit dodging and therefore losing sight of Hikari's gleaming unit. Spinning back to face Hikari, she found the other unit gone. Asuka grinned. "Not too bad, Hi-chan." She murmured, smiling. She began to move in the direction that Hikari had been going, looking for her friend. "But not good enough."

Hikari dumped her power feed a good five seconds early, her batteries coming online to make up the difference. With only sixty seconds of activation at this level of exertion, she felt it was better to run some battery life down rather than be caught with her guard down; she had no illusions that Asuka wasn't hot for blood. Cheap trick, but it worked. She thought, crouching and grabbing her new feed, making the connection much quicker than she had before. Now, to get that cannon before Asuka catches up. Not for the first time, she wondered if her unit was actually faster than Asuka's unit.

Power feed in place, she straightened and glanced around. With no sign of Asuka's unit, she began to run for the building that held the energy cannon. If I can get that cannon, I might be able to win. She thought. With the power and range of that particle cannon, I can hit Asuka before she gets in close. Rei isn't found of close quarter battle like Asuka, so I don't really have to worry about her charging me, but she is uncannily good at marksmanship. If she has the missing sniper rifle, I'm fucked. She thought. Shaking her head, she forced herself to concentrate on one thing at a time. First, I have to live long enough to reach that cannon.

Asuka caught a glimpse of silver and reacquired her quarry. "Going for the artillery, are you?" she mused to herself. "Good choice; it's probably your best chance to survive." Her blood-red unit changed course to intercept her friend's unit. A stray thought crossed her mind: I wonder what Shinji would have gone for in this sim? She pushed the thought aside. Shinji wasn't there, but Hikari was. And Wondergirl, too. Still haven't caught sight of her. That last thought worried Asuka for some reason.

Hikari caught a flash of red to her right and saw Asuka's unit closing in on her. Looking ahead, she saw the arms building that housed the particle cannon. Hikari willed her unit to top speed. I can make it! I will make it! Her unit increased speed. Asuka adjusted her intercept angle to compensate for the speed increase. "I'm coming for you, Hi-chan!" came Asuka's maniacal voice. Hikari's unit hit the release for the arms building.

"Let me roll out the welcome wagon." muttered Hikari as the exterior of the building slid down to reveal it's contents. Got it! Crowed Hikari as she reached for the cannon. Suddenly, everything went dark, her unit dead in the water. "What the fuck?!" she yelled, baffled. Just then, large red letters appeared in place of the exterior view. Hikari, reading them, groaned. "Damn it, I was so close this time!" The screens read: Unit 4 Incapacitated Due to Complete Loss of Head Unit.

Asuka's unit slid behind an anti-angel mine building. "Das, das Puppe fickt, wurde aus nur wating für uns gelagert zu versuchen, jene Kanone zu erhalten!" she snarled in German. She had been closing the distance to Hikari, and was certain that she could finish Hikari before she could get the cannon free, but just before she touched the cannon, the head of her unit had exploded from a single perfectly-placed high-power round from Rei's preferred weapon: the Eva Sniper Rifle, firing a hybrid propellant 180 mm round at six miles a second. If it weren't for the AT Fields, that rifle could fuck up any angel's day, not to mention an Eva with it's AT Field down. Asuka considered her position. Well, if she has her preferred toy, the only way I'm gonna get her is with the cannon. Of course, she knows that, so she's tucked in somewhere, waiting for me with that big assed rifle. Aargh! I hate it when this happens!

Rei, snuggled into her concealed position between and behind some of the skyscrapers on the southern edge of Tokyo 3 patiently waited for Asuka to make her move. Hikari's headless unit lay slumped at the base of the arms building. Sorry to have to do that, Hikari, but the purpose of training is to keep you alive in combat. She thought to her roomie. Asuka still hasn't spotted my position, so I can remain here for a bit longer. She will not be able to resist attacking for very long; she is impatient and rash. Thought the blue haired girl. Her sights were on the building Asuka was behind. Patience was something that Rei had plenty of.

Hikari's visual feeds were back, but she was unable to do anything with her unit since it was `dead'. In a corner of her screen, Misato had kindly provided her with an overhead view of the positions of the two remaining Eva units. She had congratulated Hikari on her near-success and told her watch the way the battle played out. Not unlike a video game. Thought the Sixth. Her comms were down as well, so she couldn't give away any info to either girl. Minutes passed with Asuka tucked behind her building, and Rei waiting patiently for her to make a move.

Asuka eased her unit into a crouch behind the building and considered her situation. Ok, I know Wondergirl's somewhere to the south of me, judging by the angle of the shot and the fact that I haven't been hit yet. So, logically, I just need to ease back and circle around her to catch her from the side. Hmm. Easier said than done. Her bright blue eyes surveyed the buildings as she brought up a detailed map of Tokyo 3 in it's current configuration. Her eyes narrowed. I'm betting that she's behind those tall buildings; it's where I would be if I were staking out the cannon. Her brow wrinkled in concentration as she tried to find a way to crawl her Eva out of the trap without Rei seeing her. It was another minute and half before she smiled.

Watching the sim play out on the main view screen in front of the bridge, Misato smiled. "Atta girl, Asuka. Good move!" she rooted for the Second. Hyuga and Aoba were manning the bridge, and the pilots were in the sim bodies. Maya was off today, and Akagi was busy with a project in the Pribnow box, so she had simply routed the interface and data lines to the main bridge. Beside Misato, Rit-chan stood watching.

"She still hasn't gotten away from Rei, though." Noted the elf hunter. "Rei-chan is in a good position, with her flanks protected by those buildings, while any approach by Asuka will be seen in time for her to neutralize Unit 2. She's going to have to find a way to get Rei-chan out of her nest."

"True, but she first has to get out of that murder hole." Returned Misato. Eva unit 2 was crawling her way free of her adversary's line of fire. "She must hate crawling like that." Chuckled Misato. She opened a line to Unit 2. "Playing in the dirt, Asuka?" she asked insolently.

"Fuck off, Misato, I'm busy." Snapped back Asuka. Misato giggled.

"Making a mud pie?" she taunted. "Rei's gonna bury you there, you know."

"Think so, Misato?" said Asuka, her voice hard. "I'll bring you Wondergirl's head back for supper."

"Tall talk for a girl crawling away from her enemy with her tail between her legs." Needled Misato. Asuka's face went red.

"Ich werde Sie, Sie Biersodden schlampe ficken!" spat Asuka.

"Sie zuerst, kleines Mädchen." Replied Misato sweetly. Asuka terminated the comm. line.

"Was that necessary, Misato?" asked Rit-chan. "You're trying to get her killed, you know that, right?"

Misato nodded. "Better she learn to control that temper in a sim than on the battlefield." Pointed out Misato. Rit-chan nodded.

"Sie haben einen Punkt, Major." She said softly. Misato blinked. I didn't know she spoke German!

Rei watched the building calmly. She should have moved by now. thought the First. She shifted her scope's focus to the power feed. It was slowly disappearing. Ah. She is moving. Rei steadied her sight picture and squeezed off a round. The cable feeding Unit 2 was severed.

"She's fucked now." Said Misato, sighing.

Asuka swore as her power feed was severed, and her sixty second clock appeared in the bottom right of her screen. "Fine. Be that way." She said, ejecting the remnants of the power feed and spinning her Unit on it's belly to face the exposed cannon. "Better to die on my feet." She muttered, her unit surging up into a sprint for the cannon.

Rei caught sight of the unit as it reared up and ran flat out for the cannon. Her first shot clipped the pylon on Asuka's right shoulder, but failed to stop the Unit. Rei tipped off another round, but it was a fraction of second early, and the shot went in front of Asuka's unit. Another round, and Asuka's unit lost it's left arm at the bicep. She will make it to the cannon. Noted Rei, shifting her rifle for a final shot. If she missed, she would have to reload, and it would give Asuka time to reach her. When she goes for the shot, I will take her. Resolved Rei.

Asuka felt her left arm go dead, and knew she was down an arm. Still, she was able to win if she could only reach the cannon. I'll just level the entire cluster of buildings on top of her and then move in to finish her off with my axe! She decided. Besides, she should be about out of ammo. Reloading the Sniper Rifle was relatively slow, and Asuka was sure she could reach Rei before the doll had a chance to reload. But, first things first: the cannon. Throwing her unit forward into a snatch-and-go roll, she snagged the cannon and came up in a crouch, the cannon held in her right hand, braced against the ground, barrel pointed at the buildings. "Die, First!" she screamed, holding back the trigger.

Rei's scope settled on the head of Asuka's unit as it completed the roll, the crosshairs dead center between the four eyes. She saw the barrel of the cannon discharge the first of several rounds. She touched the trigger of her own unit's rifle as the round of accelerated particle beam cannon fire tore through the closest skyscraper just above her unit's head. Her last round tore the head off Unit 2, but the cannon kept firing, and Rei saw the building's falling on her. So, it was a suicide attack, then? She wondered as the buildings began to crush her unit. Then, everything went dark. A moment later, she was looking at her entry plug's interior.

"Well, that was unexpected, guys. We're done here for now; report to the briefing room for review." Said Misato over the comm. lines. The pilots were ejected from the sim bodies and climbed out of their LCL-filled cylinders and headed for the briefing room.

-

Maya woke to find herself alone in the bed. The smell of food, however, brought her to the kitchen. Shinji was at the stove, tending to a pot, a pan and checking the oven. Maya covered her mouth as she yawned. "Morning, Shinji." She said.

"Don't you mean, `afternoon'?" he asked, turning to smile at her.

Maya blinked. "Afternoon?" she asked stupidly. Shinji nodded.

"I got back from school about a half hour ago, Maya. I saw you were still asleep, so I decided to cook you something special for dinner." He explained. Maya blinked.

"Um, thanks." She said. Shinji smiled at her again.

"It's nothing. Still, it's going to be about a half hour to an hour before it's ready. If you want to take a shower or whatever, you've got time." He pointed out. "Or you can sit and watch me like Misato does in these situations." He laughed.

"I'll grab a shower." Decided the bridge bunny. Turning away from her kitchen, she made her way to the bathroom. Flipping on the light, she looked at herself in the mirror. Her hair was a bit messed up, and she had some minor pressure marks from where she had tucked her hands under her pillow. But that wasn't what she noticed first. No, the first thing she noticed was that she was wearing panties and nothing else. Her cheeks turned red. Oh my god, I was standing there practically naked, and he didn't even say anything! She looked at herself in the mirror again. Her nipples were hard as rocks and her pussy felt warm. Am I getting turned on by that? I am! Her cheeks got a bit warmer. Still, it's not like I should be shy after what we did the other night. Memories of that flooded back to her and she moaned at the memory of the orgasms she had had. If he can do that with just his fingers and tounge, then what can he do with his penis? She wondered. Shaking her head, she slipped off her panties and turned on the shower.

Maya finished her shower about five minutes before Shinji pronounced supper ready and had slipped into her room to grab some clothes. Considering the situation, she debated between a shirt-and-shorts outfit like she had worn before, a skirt and top and simply wearing a pair of panties like she had before her shower. I have gotten used to simply dumping my work clothes and running around in my panties and bra. she mused. And he certainly doesn't seem to mind nearly-nude girls around him. May I should… Maya sighed and grabbed a loose tee shirt, slipping it over her head. Reaching for a pair of shorts, she paused. Let's face it, Maya, you're a chicken! Her inner voice taunted her. You've already pranced around in your panties once, so why the shirt? Afraid he won't like you anymore? The young Lieutenant frowned. Putting the shorts back, she grabbed a pair of her white cotton panties. Once more, her inner voice had some comments. So, going for the dowdy older woman look? He seemed to like your thong panties a lot. Why not wear that pair you bought a year ago and haven't worn since? Unwillingly, Maya's hands reached into the back of her underwear drawer and picked up a small patch of silk and cotton. Unfolding the small pair of panties, she felt herself begin to smile. Slipping them on, she made sure they were sitting properly before exiting her bedroom.

"I was wondering if you were hungry or not." Said Shinji as Maya entered the kitchen and sat down to eat. Shinji dished up a plate and set it in front of her before sitting opposite her and digging into his own dish.

"Oh, I was just enjoying a good soak." Said Maya innocently. She hummed happily at the taste of her dish. "Man, you should be a chef, Shinji-kun." She said enthusiastically. Shinji smiled.

"Maybe I will be after it's said and done." He said. "So, what do you want to do with the rest of your day off?" he asked. Maya felt her cheeks color a bit.

"I was thinking that we could watch another movie. If you want to, of course." She hastily added. Shinji nodded.

"Sure. The last one was pretty good." He said.

"Good!" said Maya, relived and excited. She and Shinji finished the meal with small talk and Shinji once more took care of the dishes, telling her to pick a movie. Maya reluctantly agreed and moved to the living room, scanning her movie collection. Her eyes settle on one movie. This should do perfectly. She thought, putting the disc in the player. With everything ready, she settled back on the couch and waited. Within a few minutes, Shinji emerged from the kitchen and settled beside her on the couch. Once more, the popcorn bowl was on the table, along with two glasses of soda.

"Ready when you are, Maya." Said Shinji. Maya pressed play and settled back, closer to Shinji than before. A little apprehensively, she waited. About ten minutes into the movie, she felt Shinji's arm come to rest over her shoulders. She almost sighed in relief, letting herself slowly lean over toward him. Half an hour later, she was laying across his lap, her head resting against his shoulder, her hips resting between his legs. Shinji had his arms around her, and was once more lightly caressing her sides, back and stomach. Maya was stroking his chest and had managed to get his shirt open and his undershirt un-tucked, giving her access to his chest. Her groin tingled.

On the screen, a really good love scene was coming up. Maya slowly worked her way closer to Shinji, and when the action on screen got started, she carefully turned her head and kissed Shinji on the mouth. Since she didn't know how he would react, she was hesitant to get too aggressive. Shinji moved one hand from her waist to her head. With his hand steadying her head, he deepened the kiss, his tounge slipping between her lips. With an almost inaudible sigh, Maya deepened the kiss as well. For several minutes, the two were busy making out. Eventually, Shinji eased back, breaking the deep kiss. Maya was panting lightly. Shinji stared into her eyes for long moment, then gently pushed her farther forward. Maya, concerned that he was wanting to break off the petting, began to say something, but he just touched a finger to her lips. Maya was silent as the Third leaned forward and wigged free of his shirt, then pulled his undershirt off before twisting around so he was laying on the couch, his hands prompting Maya to resituate herself so she was laying on top of him. Once she was settled, Shinji resumed the kiss.

Maya enjoyed the sensations of tounge-wrestling Shinji, and the new position was more comfortable for them both. Shinji's hands were roaming over her back and sides, but stopped just short of her ass and never more than brushed the sides of her breasts. He also didn't attempt to go under the thin tee-shirt that covered her to her upper thighs. Maya realized that Shinji would not try to do something that she didn't indicate was ok with her. Reluctantly, she broke the kiss and pushed herself upright with her arms. Shinji watched her. "Here. Let's make this even." She said, taking the hem of her shirt and pulling it off. Bare now except for her panties, Maya watched Shinji closely.

Shinji studied her B-cup chest intently. Roughly the same size as Rei, Maya's breasts were slightly more conical, and her nipples were large and puffy. Her nipples were also achingly erect. Shinji's eyes slid up to Maya's face, which was sporting a blush, he eyes questioning. Seeing his look, Maya managed a small nod. Slowly, Shinji raised his hands and caressed her breasts. Small shockwaves of pleasure radiated out from her nipples as he gently, meticulously manipulated her breasts. Moaning softly, Maya leaned her head back. "Mmmm. That feels good, Shinji." She said.

"You feel good, Maya-chan." He replied, his voice rough. Under her hips, which were straddling his, she felt his member grow hard. "Maya-chan, can I?" he asked her. Maya blinked. Already? Well, I guess I'm ready enough. she thought. She nodded. Shinji straightened and laid them back the other way on the couch, now above Maya, laying between her spread legs. Maya brought her legs a bit higher up to give him better access. I guess he doesn't want to wait long enough to remove my panties. Good thing they're loose enough to push aside. She thought. Feeling Shinji moving up her body a bit, she reached her arms under their joined bodies and pushed and tugged her panties aside to give him an unobstructed shot into her. As she did this, she realized that his pants were still on. Shinji's lips were on her own lips, kissing her again as his hands kneaded her modest breasts.

Unwilling to break the kiss, she twisted her hands so she could unfasten his pants. It was a bit of a chore, but she got his belt undone, then unbuttoned his pants and unzipped them. As Maya worked his zipper down, she got her first feel of his erection as it pushed free of his pants. Though still covered by his boxers, Maya was amazed at the size of it. She pushed his pants down a bit more and got her hands on his tool. Shinji moaned as she felt it with her hands. Maya felt her pussy tingle with excitement. Reaching the tip of his manhood, she felt a small bit of warm dampness. The short-haired tech hooked a finger into his boxers and tugged them down, using her other hand to keep them from snagging on his dick. With his dick free, she wigged her hips and got his tip settled into her vaginal lips.

To Maya's surprise, Shinji eased back instead of pushing into her. As he did so, he softly broke the kiss. Maya blinked, aroused and horny, but confused. Didn't he ask if he could fuck me? Why is he…? She wondered. Her mental puzzle was solved by Shinji before it could be debated any more. "Maya-chan, I wanted to try something." He panted. Maya dumbly nodded. Shinji smiled at her and kissed her once more on the lips before easing himself down to her chest, where he attacked her nipples, which were hard enough to cut glass. Maya moaned as he began to lavish attention on them. Oh, god! I'm gonna cum! She thought, nearly incoherent as Shinji concentrated on her nipples. It was a first for Maya, who had never come from having her nipples worshipped like Shinji was doing. She felt her lower lips grow wet as her first orgasm washed over her. It wasn't a large one, but it was better than any she had had in longer than she could remember.

Maya was not what one would consider `experienced' by the standard of Akagi or Misato. Hell, she wasn't `experienced' by the standard of Asuka or Rei, given their new hobby. She had had sex for the first time on the night she graduated from high school, and it was more a case of her feeling like she owed it to her boyfriend than because she wanted it. At a party after the ceremony, she was going to tell him that she was going to enter an intern program with an obscure UN outfit called NERV in one week, because they were rumored to have cutting-edge computer tech. With a few beers under her belt and considerably more under his, he had begun to press her for sex. With a constant reminder of how he had waited for her, and with so many other couples moving into the bedrooms, she had finally agreed, figuring that it would be a celebration of her adult life.

Remembering that episode, Maya felt herself shiver a bit. While not a bad first time, it was not much of a celebration, either. After a few minutes of making out, he had begun to undress her, and soon they were ready to do it. The first sign of trouble was that his idea of foreplay was a couple of uncomfortably-hard squeezes of her breasts, a rub of her ass and a finger pushed into her virgin passage. Maya had not found that all that stimulating, but thought it was only because she had never had sex before. When he crawled on top of her, she had asked him about a condom. Muttering, he had moved off the bed to grab his pants, fished around in his pocket and extracted his wallet. Another moment or two and he withdrew a thin foil pack. Sitting on the edge of the bed, he opened the pack and started to put it on, but it tore. Tossing it aside, he had told her that he would pull out before he came. Maya had accepted that. Settled again, he had spent a few moments prodding her groin, searching for the right angle. Not knowing that he wasn't doing that on purpose, Maya figured it was a form of foreplay.

When he did find the passage, he had pushed in with a few hard thrusts, breaking her hymen and causing her some not-inconsequential pain. While he tried to choke her with his tounge, he had kept thrusting, and Maya began to feel some pleasure after a bit, though her entire groin hurt. Once more, when he began to thrust hard and groan, she thought it was nothing more than him trying to help her cum, but suddenly, she felt a hot, wet, spurting sensation in her tender pussy and he sighed happily as he lay on top of her. "God, you're a good lay, Maya." He said before falling asleep. Maya had managed to push him off her and gone to the bathroom. Checking herself over, she had seen the small amount of blood and his semen oozing out of her swollen sex. She had been terrified. Grabbing her clothes, she had ran home and taken a hot shower as she tried to get his cum out of herself. It had been a tense two weeks before her period started. She never did tell him about her internship and didn't see him again, either.

Maya smiled happily as she felt Shinji work his way down to her belly with his fingertips and tounge. He's not going to do what I think he is, is he? Guys never want to do that! Her second boyfriend was the one that told her that. And he practiced what he preached, too. Maya found herself giving blowjobs almost three times a week, but he never went down on her. Talking to some of her female friends, she had learned that guys either didn't do it at all, or did it so badly that it was a waste of time. Maya had silently decided that if that was the way it was, then she would go along with it. So, she had gotten pretty good at blowjobs, while she had never had a guy eat her out before. Eating her out wasn't the only thing he hadn't done for her. The dozen or so times she had had sex with him had only resulted in three orgasms for her. Maya had broken off the relationship after two months. Later that day, she had seen him with a new student. Shrugging it off, she had thrown herself into her work. Her work kept her from having the time or energy to seek out a new boyfriend. So, other than a couple of self-induced orgasms a month, she had gotten little pleasure from her sex.

Maya hissed in surprised pleasure as Shinji finally reached her crooked panties. For the first minute or so, he simply stroked, rubbed and caressed her through the silk. Then, he began to kiss her on and below her bellybutton, going to the tops of her thighs before moving back up. Maya moaned, panted and occasionally gave off a yelp of surprised pleasure as he worked on her. Finally, after what felt like an eternity, he began to pull her panties off. Eagerly, she raised her hips to help him. Once her panties were off her, she settled back down and waited for him to resume his activities. She jerked in surprise when she felt his lips at the top of her slit, his fingers gently brushing her barely-tended bush aside. "S…Shinji!" she gasped. He looked up to study her face. His eyes are so intent! Marveled Maya as he turned back to his current project. Maya felt his tounge slip into her wet entrance, but then had no real ability to think for the next half hour.

-

Asuka showered next to Rei and Hikari as she contemplated the next day. The three had gone over a debriefing and analysis of their sims that had taken nearly an hour. Finally, Misato had told them to get cleaned up and ready for home. The three pilots had gratefully made a beeline for the locker room. Now, Asuka was considering what to do tomorrow. No school, so no Shinji, I suppose. Hey! If I can find out where Maya lives, I can get me some Shinji time! She thought, smiling a very hentai smile. Once a day is barely enough, after all. She rationalized to herself.

"So, what are you doing tomorrow?" asked Hikari. "I was thinking that we could go check out that shop to see if they have anything new in." she suggested.

"What?" asked Asuka, her mental process shaken. "Oh, yeah. Let's do that. But I have to check on something first, ok?" she said, ducking under the spray to wash her shampoo off.

"Check on something? What do you have to check on?" wondered Hikari. Silently, Rei considered the remarks and came to a conclusion. Hiding a faint smile, she felt that it would be more fun to let Asuka discover the situation herself. Besides, when Asuka was with Shinji, it limited her actions to a degree. This will be much easier when she accepts her feelings. Mused Rei, shutting off her shower and making for the lockers.

"I just need to talk to someone for a minute." Deflected Asuka, finishing her rinse and stepping out of her shower. "Hey!" she said, remembering something else. "What are you cooking tonight?" she asked eagerly. Hikari laughed as she finished her own rinse.

"Steak and grilled vegetables with rice and seasoned tofu." She answered. "Misato threatening to cook tonight at your place?" she guessed. Asuka snorted derisively.

"If you can call what she does cooking! I swear, the next angel that comes here is going to get force-fed some of Misato's Instant Bowl-O-Noodle Death! Maybe once she sees that her soi-disant `cooking'," here Asuka paused to make the quotation marks with her fingers, "really can kill angels, she'll tell that bleach bitch to return my Shinji to me!" Hikari giggled. "What's so funny?" carped Asuka.

"Did you tattoo your name on Shinji's ass, Asuka?" asked Hikari innocently. Asuka blinked.

"Tattoo…? What are you talking about, Hikari?" she asked, lost.

"You just called him `your' Shinji. I figured that you would have tattoo your mark on him, seeing as you feel that way about him." Teased Hikari. Asuka's face went red, then pale, then red as Hikari talked.

"Why would I want to claim Shinji the Hero?!" she ranted, waving a fist. "I want him back because he's a house-broken male who cooks and cleans for me and the drunkard I'm forced to live with! Nothing more!" Hikari raised her hands in a defensive manner.

"Take it easy, Asuka." She said mildly. "I was just asking."

"Well, now you know." Sniffed Asuka.

"So, it's ok if I date him, then? Seeing as you don't want him." She asked, her tone neutral. Asuka growled as Hikari walked out, towel over her shoulders.

"Ich werde von Fickenkomikern heute abend umgeben." She muttered angrily.

-

Shinji watched as Maya's breathing returned to normal. The sexy tech had been sprawled out on the couch, her mind on vacation from the multiple orgasm he had inflicted on her a half hour ago. Smiling, he watched her open her eyes. "So, you liked that alright?" he asked her, struggling a bit to keep his voice even. Maya gave a short huff of an answer.

"God, Shinji-kun, you're fucking incredible!" she panted. She began to sit up a bit. "Have you been practicing that or something?" she asked, her tone a bit suspicious. Shinji smiled at her.

"Not really, Maya-chan. I just watched to see what you seemed to like, and did that." He said modestly. Maya smiled a urchin smile. Leaning forward, she kissed him before he could warn her about her juice being on his lips. Maya tasted her own cum on his lips and tounge, but ignored it. Finally breaking the kiss, she smiled at him as she slipped off the couch.

"Well, it's my turn now, Shin." She said, her tone a bit husky from her arousal. As she knelt in front of him and tugged him toward the edge of the couch, she felt her pussy begin to leak a bit. I've never been this wet! She marveled. Is this what sex is supposed to be like? Once he was settled to her liking, she smiled up at him. Keeping her eyes on his, she gently engulfed the tip of his dick, which was still achingly erect. Shinji shivered in response. Maya giggled. Taking her lips off his tip for a moment, she spoke. "Hope you like this as much as I liked what you did to me." Shinji touched her cheek gently.

"You don't have to do this, Maya, if you don't want to." He said, his tone serious. "You don't owe me for earlier." Maya smiled against and ran her tounge over his sensitive tip.

"It's fine, Shinji. I want to do this!" she said reassuringly. And much more! God, he's unbelievable! Any other man would have been all over me after eating me out, and here he is, telling me he doesn't expect me to have to reciprocate! Maya worked his dick into her mouth. Been a while since I did this; hope I can get him all in. She steadily worked his rod deeper into her mouth, saliva running down his shaft from her prodigious drool as she eased him deeper each time. Her last boyfriend had been about Shinji's length, but his dick was slimmer than Shinji's, and Maya had been able to get his dick all the way into her mouth. With Shinji's extra thickness, she wasn't sure she could get him all in. Wet slurping sounds filled her apartment as she worked on it. With nearly two thirds of his dick in her mouth, she began to fear that she couldn't fit it in; he was already in her throat, and his large tip was cutting off her air as she tried to get the last third or so in. Finding it impossible to suppress her gag reflex enough, she became aware of Shinji's hands on her head, holding her over her ears, fingers in her hair. He was steadily pressing her head back as she tried to get him deeper.

"Maya-chan, I don't think you should try to go deeper." He panted, his voice uneven from the pleasure his dick was transmitting to his brain. "You sound like you're choking to death." He added. Maya hummed in agreement, admitting defeat. Damn. Maybe next time. She conceded, bobbing her head on his dick as she lavished her oral attentions on him. His hands slipped to her shoulders, where they gently kneaded for a bit before easing down to her erect nipples, which were firmly rubbed and tugged, causing her to have another small orgasm. She began to swirl her head and tickle his tip with her limber tounge. A violent tremor went through his dick. "Maya-chan, I'm gonna…!" he began, his tone a bit desperate. Maya sucked his twitching dick and was rewarded by a mouthful of his cum. Maya locked her lips to his pulsing dick and tried to control her breathing so she could swallow his cum. Never liked this part. She thought in a small corner. She had started to swallow at the insistence of her former boyfriend, but had always had the overpowering urge to use mouthwash as soon as she finished swallowing. She tasted Shinji's seed. Hmm. He tastes a lot better than I remember. She thought, letting more of Shinji's cum pool on her tounge. Kind of salty, but good. She decided, gulping her mouthful. Shinji had another spurt before he began to slowly soften. Maya sucked a bit more, then released his semi-erect dick with a soft pop!

"That was…thanks, Maya-chan." He said, his tone clearly sincere. Maya moved forward and climbed back on to the couch beside him, slipping her arms around him. Shinji returned her embrace, his lips touching her throat. The young woman smiled.

"I'm glad you liked it." She said. Shinji shifted and a moment later, she felt his lips on her lips. Like she had done, he didn't let her try to evade the kiss. Shinji slipped his tounge into her mouth and caressed her tounge. Maya purred. Eventually she broke the kiss. "Let's continue this in bed, shall we?" she asked, smiling. Shinji nodded, smiling as well. Climbing to her feet, she took his hand in hers and led him to the bedroom.

-

Asuka fumed as she savagely chewed her steak. Across from her, Hikari just smiled at her antics. All the way back to the apartment building, she had been muttering in German and growling and snarling like a rabid dog. She had been that way since she had gotten back from talking to whoever she went to see. Beside Hikari, Rei ate her vegetables with rice and tofu in silence. Asuka kept letting her gaze linger on Rei. Finally, the Second slammed her hand down on the table. "You knew, didn't you, Wondergirl?" she accused, her tone infuriated. The crimson eyes of the First locked into her ice blue eyes.

"Knew what, Asuka?" asked Rei softly, biting into another thick slice of grilled zucchini.

"Don't give me that shit, Wondergirl!" snapped Asuka. "You know damn well what I'm talking about!" Rei said nothing. With a mental sigh, Hikari played peace keeper.

"Well, I don't know what you're talking about. Care to enlighten me?" suggested Hikari. Asuka glowered at Rei as she spoke.

"They won't tell me where Maya lives." She muttered. "Suddenly, it's classified! If I had asked a week ago, they would have given me a map! Now, it's all `can't tell you that, Pilot Sohryu. Commander's orders.' Argh! It's enough to make me want to stomp on their houses next time I'm in my Eva Unit 2!" Asuka's eyes almost shone with her rage.

"So you wanted to go check up on Shinji." Stated Hikari, her mind having divined the real reason Asuka would want to know where the tech lived. Asuka blinked, her anger being displaced with caution as her senses told her she was in a trap.

"Don't make it sound like I was going to see him for no reason, Hikari." She said, her tone carefully unconcerned. "He has some cake mix somewhere, and I wanted to try cooking a cake." She explained. Rei silently handed her her cell phone. "What's this for?" asked Asuka.

"To call him and ask where the cake mix is. It is the most efficient way to obtain the answer." Stated Rei calmly. Asuka gritted her teeth.

"Unless there were other reasons for visiting him?" suggested Hikari, her tone knowing.

"Fine. I wanted to make sure he was doing the cooking, cleaning and laundry there. Can't have him out of practice when he gets back." Muttered Asuka, crossing her arms over her chest. God damn it all! A knock on the door saved her from further humiliation.

-

Maya was humming to herself as she typed away at her MAGI terminal. Across the room from her, Akagi was glowering at her reports angrily. The short-haired tech was nearly bubbly this morning, and it was pissing off Akagi, who was still finding it difficult to sit comfortably. Akagi's irritated thoughts were interrupted by Maya's voice. "All done, Sempai!" sang out the woman.

"Run it through the MAGI." Said Akagi, her tone crisp and a bit distant. Maya nodded.

"Running it now, Sempai." She confirmed. Akagi felt an impulse to choke her assistant rise in her head at the gross contentment she heard in the Lieutenant's voice. "MAGI confirm no errors. We can run this with the next simulation, Sempai." Interrupted Maya.

"Lucky us." Snapped Akagi sardonically. "Well, that's all for you for now. Dismissed."

"Ma'am?" blinked a confused Ibuki.

"Dismissed, Lieutenant." Repeated Akagi, standing. Maya frowned, wondering what was up with her boss, but saluted anyway.

"Yes, ma'am." She acknowledged, moving to the door. Looking back, she saw Akagi fishing for her lighter, a cigarette in her lips, another lit one in her hand. Maya shook her head as she made her way to the bridge from the lab. Maybe she needs a day off and a good meal. Thought the woman. Speaking of that, wonder what Shinji's making me tonight? Ibuki giggled in anticipation as she nearly skipped onto the bridge. Misato looked up from where she was reviewing a report from the maintenance sections.

"Good morning, Major!" chirped the younger woman, saluting her superior officer.

"What's so good fucking about it, Lieutenant?" growled Misato, taking a sip of semi-cold coffee. Maya swallowed with a bit of trouble.

"I just meant it's good to see you, Major." She explained, a bit shakily. Misato grunted, her attention back on her report. Maya slipped into her seat between Aoba and Hyuga. Both gave her sympathetic looks; Misato had been as charming as a sun burnt rattle snake lately. Proceeding to her next project, Maya began to enter information into her station's MAGI link. As she typed, her mind hit upon an idea. I know now why Misato is so adamant about Shinji living with her. She's probably stressed out because no one is there to cook her a good meal or do her laundry. I'm going to ask Shinji tonight to cook her an extra-nice bento for tomorrow! Smiling, she paused in her data entry to jot down a reminder for later that night. A half hour later, Misato had gone to yell at the maintenance section about the lack of TLC for Unit 1 and Aoba and Hyuga were shooting worried glances at Maya, who was smiling broadly as she hummed a pop tune, her fingers flying over her keys at a rate the two male bridge bunnies had never seen from her before.

-

Asuka sighed and dropped the dress she had been looking at back onto the hanger. Beside her, Hikari glanced at her. Behind the two, Rei and Rit-chan were browsing some newly-arrived tops. "Can't find anything interesting, Asuka?" asked the Second's best friend.

"No, nothing." Answered Asuka. "Ready to go?" she asked her three friends. Rei glanced at her, having seen nothing that she thought Shinji would enjoy removing from her. Rit-chan had been toying with a nice skirt, but couldn't find a good top to go with it, so she placed the skirt back on the rack.

"Let's motor." She agreed. Hikari nodded. The four girls moved out of the shop and deeper into the scarcely-peopled mall. They had parted ways with Shinji an hour before, and with Misato and Airi in NERV, they had decided to kill some time here before going in for their evening training session with Hikari. Tonight would be the third time Hikari was running her unit in real life. The schedule called for movement and combat drills in the hills outside Tokyo 3 proper, and Hikari was actually looking forward to the drill. Asuka and Rei had volunteered to drill her, and Misato had agreed, over riding Doctor Akagi's objections in her role as Operations Director. Asuka was looking forward to rubbing Akagi's nose in her defeat.

Asuka blinked as she realized that Rit-chan had drifted to a stop in front of a lingerie store. The elf hunter was staring at a panty-and-bra set in pale blue, her expression thoughtful. Asuka tapped Hikari's arm, the former inchou stopping as well. Rei had already stopped next to Rit-chan. "Thinking of getting something here, Rit-chan?" asked Asuka.

"Hmm. That's a nice set." Agreed Hikari. Rit-chan blinked, then smiled at Hikari.

"Well, we do still have to get you the right kind of panties for that gray outfit." She said slyly, taking Hikari's hand and pulling the Sixth into the shop. Rei glanced at Asuka, whose eyes met hers for an instant. Both pilots entered the shop side by side.

-

In a patch of bushes in a small park on the edge of Tokyo 3, a priest was administering final rights to his fallen Paladin. Finished, the Father rose to a crouch. "Go with God, my son." He intoned. "You fought for God and Church as a knight of the Order, my brother. All will remember the deeds of Paladin Anthony against the heretics." With a final cross gesture, the priest took the gun and ammo he had taken off the fallen Paladin. Glancing around, he made sure the guns and ammo were securely concealed on his personage before he moved off, leaving the corpse of his last Paladin behind.

Though the last of my knights has fallen, there is still the Lord's work to be done here. He thought grimly. Even though the Arch Diocese of the Order called us off, I can not let the deaths of my knights go unanswered. I didn't leave any of my fallen soldiers on the field, and I won't start now! Moving into the city, he knew what he had to do. He would kill as many of the spawns of Satan called `Pilots' as he could before dying.

-

"I'm home, Shinji!" called out Maya as she entered her apartment. Slipping off her shoes, she began to unfasten her uniform top as she entered the living room. From the kitchen, she smelled the mouth-watering scent of food.

"Welcome back, Maya-chan!" called Shinji from where he stood at the range. Once more, her pink frilly apron adorned his chest. He was still in his school uniform of dark slacks and a white shirt, but his feet were bare. Maya altered course to bring herself up behind her, her arms closing around him as she hugged him to herself. Shinji smiled and turned his head to kiss her lips briefly. "Careful, you might get burned." He cautioned, motioning to the skillet with his cooking utensil. Breaded fish strips were sizzling in the pan, with little specks of hot oil popping out of the pan. Maya reluctantly released him and stepped back. Her uniform top was unfastened, revealing her lacy bra. Shinji found himself staring at her chest. Maya noticed and giggled.

"Like what you see, Shinji-kun?" she asked, shrugging the uniform top off, giving him an unobstructed view of her chest, her nipples pushing against the lace of the bra cups. "Want to come help me get undressed?" she asked him, her tone teasing.

"Much as I'd love to, Maya-chan, I don't want to let the food burn." He smiled at her. "And if I were to go help you get undressed, it would burn for sure."

"Aww, you're no fun!" mock-pouted Maya, turning for her room. "Be back soon!"

"I'll be looking forward to it, Maya-chan!" he called after her. In her room, she tossed her uniform to the foot of her bed and swiftly wiggled herself out of her skirt and hose before reaching behind herself to unfasten her bra, tossing it to her hamper before her hand fell to her house shirt. Before her hand reached it, she paused, thinking. Smiling, she turned and returned to the kitchen, once more wearing just her panties. Shinji should like that! She thought, her sex growing warm and wet at the thought.

-

Hikari was blushing as she studied the garments the two red-heads had pushed into her hands. "I don't even know how this stuff goes on!" she protested in a whisper. Other than a single sales lady, the shop was deserted, but still, she didn't like to advertise her lack of experience.

Asuka giggled. "You mean you don't know how to wear panties?" she teased mercilessly.

"Not those, Asuka, and you know it!" hissed Hikari. "I'm talking about this…bra, I guess, and the garter belt!"

"It's a bra, all right." Confirmed Rit-chan as Asuka giggled wickedly. "Think of it as the same as a strapless bikini top. As for the garter belt, it's fairly simple. The belt goes on first, then the stockings, which are fastened to the belt, then you put on the panties over the stockings and belt. Simple."

"You sound like you've worn this stuff before." Noted Hikari, looking over the small collection of cloth in her hands.

"Yeah, a few times." Shrugged the elf hunter. "I don't usually wear stockings, but they go really good with a tight evening gown."

"Enough stalling!" declared Asuka, pushing Hikari toward the waiting changing room. "Get in there and change." She ordered.

"Change into what, Asuka?" asked Hikari innocently.

"Smart ass." Replied Asuka as Hikari closed the curtain. While she waited, Rit-chan was perusing a selection of high-hipped and low-topped teddies with fine lace and silk bodies. Idly, she noted the different colors and blinked as a realization hit her. Looking closer, she smiled.

"Hey, Asuka! Rei-chan!" she called to her friends, who wandered over. "I've got an idea. If you're game, that is." She said, her tone challenging.

-

Shinji finished off his special bento for Misato, tucking a note under the lid before sealing the bento. Setting it beside the bento for Maya, he glanced at the clock on the microwave and tucked back into the bedroom to grab his book bag from the foot of the bed. He smiled as he saw that Maya was still asleep. The sheets tossed off her from her hips up, giving him an enticing view of her naked form. Laying on her side, she had a pillow clasped in her arms, which Shinji had substituted for himself earlier that morning. Silently, he pulled the sheet up to cover her resting form, a small grin on his face. Once she was covered again, he leaned down and kissed her cheek before grabbing his bag and heading out. As he passed the laundry room, he noted that it was time to do laundry that night.

Riding down to the entrance in the elevator, Shinji reviewed his day. He would be very glad to see the girls again, of course, but he needed to make sure that his note made it to Misato. He had never tried to be sneaky or devious before, and wasn't really sure if he had the talent. Unlike HIM, I value my friends too much to lie to them. He thought. Forcefully, he pushed the thought of the Commander away from his mind. Still, mom gave me some good ideas, and as soon as I know who Asuka-chan and Rei-chan and Hi-chan will side with, the better it will be; I'm sure that Asuka and Rei can think of a better way to do this! Glancing around, he made his way out of the lobby and toward the train station for the fairly short trip to the station near the school. He would meet the four girls there and they would cover the last mile or so to the school on foot. Shinji's smile turned into a grin. The mental picture of Rit-chan brought another idea to him. Maybe that would be the best solution. He thought to himself, reaching the station at a jog and boarding the train as the doors slid shut.

Shinji glanced around and saw that he was the only person in the car, though he could see a couple in the next car, and the car before him looked like it had a couple of people in it. Shrugging, he took a seat next to the door, slinging his bag between his feet and rummaging around in it. His eyes caught sight of the black polymer and blued steel USP tucked into his bag. Since he had been placed on suspension, he hadn't been able to get his own gun out of his locker, but when Asuka had brought him his bag, he had found that there was another USP in it, along with two of the fifteen-round magazines, all loaded with Misato's custom-spec hollow point ammo. When he had thanked Asuka, she had frowned and said his gun was still in his locker at NERV, but that she would get it. He hadn't bothered to ask her how she knew his combination.

Rei had quietly informed him that his gun was not one she had tucked into the bag, as she had been unable to get one in time. She had not offered any thoughts on who might have done it, and he hadn't bothered to ask because he wanted to see who had done it. Rei had distracted him that day by pulling him into a vacant classroom and fucking his brains out. Not that he had minded in the least.

Hikari had told him that she had only been allowed to draw a gun for herself because of Misato's personal orders to the magazine staff. He had asked her if she carried it with her and had received an emphatic nod. Since the incident with the drive-by months before, she had vowed not to be caught without the means to defend herself, and since she had all that training with Rit-chan for the paintball challenge, she saw no need to go unarmed. Still, she didn't like to advertise. Not surprisingly, none of the Children liked to advertise that they were packing heat.

Of course, that left only Rit-chan. When he had thanked her for re-arming him, she had smiled, kissed him and told him that she appreciated the thought, but she hadn't had a gun to spare for him. Shinji frowned and told her about the gun. Rit-chan glanced at the serial number and shook her head, rattling off the serial number of her own non-NERV USP. She had added that it wasn't Misato's gun, as she had memorized the serial number for that one as well as the guns that Asuka, Rei and Hikari had. Shinji asked about his and she smiled, telling him that she knew that as well. With the topic covered, Rit-chan had had other things she wanted to do, and Shinji found he was more interested in helping her with her other activities than in pursuing the gun issue.

Still, I don't know who might have done that. Misato didn't have enough lead time to get that gun in there, did she? He wondered. His fingers caressed the cool plastic and metal before pulling out a small notebook. Turning pages, he reviewed the material for the test for today in English. For the rest of his ride, he was concentrating on verb tenses and supporting adverb rules. He was pulled from his review by the train jolting as it stopped at his station. Dropping the book into his bag, he slug his book bag over his shoulder and exited the train, seeing two redheaded girls bracketing a blue-haired girl and a brunette girl with twin pig tails. All four were smiling at him, though Rei's smile would be missed by someone who didn't know her as well as Shinji did. Grinning broadly, he jogged to them and the girls surrounded him as usual, the group heading for school.

-

"Good morning, Major!" called Maya as she entered the bridge. Misato looked up from her handful of paper. Ugh! She's all bright-eyed and bushy tailed again!

"How would you know what kind of day it is?" she growled. Maya saluted her and pulled her hand out from behind her back. She held the bento she had been hiding out to Misato.

"Because Shinji made this for you, Ma'am." Said the Lieutenant, smiling sweetly. Misato's eyes lit up. Snatching the bento from the young tech, she held it carefully; possessively too. Her hands caressed the bento as if it were a long-lost lover.

"Shinji made this? For me?" she asked, her eyes on the bento. Maya nodded.

"Yes, ma'am." Confirmed the brown-haired girl.

"Oh, thank you, Maya!" squealed the Major, her paperwork forgotten. Maya might have sweat dropped at her antics, but then, she had tasted Shinji's food. Maya Ibuki could understand the delight of her commanding officer.

"No problem, Major." Said Maya, taking her seat at her station and logging in. Misato hugged the bento to her chest as she nearly danced off the bridge, doubtlessly bound for her office. Hyuga and Aoba watched her go, stunned at her mercurial mood swings. As the door closed, Aoba turned to Maya, who was typing away again.

"Damn, Maya, if all we had to do was give her a bento, we'd of done it days ago!" he said, his tone a bit irked. Maya smiled.

"It only works if it's a bento made by Shinji." She explained, smiling. Hyuga was silent, one thought in his mind.

That's one damn lucky bento!

-

Asuka sat poolside with Hikari as Rei and Rit-chan swam casual laps. Behind them, the teacher twirled her whistle and idly watched the four girls swimming laps as the rest of the class sat poolside. With the draw-down in Tokyo 3, there were only a dozen girls it the class, and less than fifty in the whole school left now. Doing any kind of drills was damn near pointless, as there was no real way to create any kind of real competition. Rei was the best, and everyone knew it, though they also knew that Asuka would bitterly contend that known and accepted fact. Still, any heats the instructor would set up would end predictably with Ayanami in the lead, Asuka just behind her and either Hikari or Aki in the third place. Though she hadn't been there long, the teacher suspected that the new girl, Ritsuko Inoue would prove to be a consistent third or fourth place finisher. Though a strong swimmer with excellent technical skills, the older red-head didn't seem to be interested in putting as much effort into the swimming heats as Rei and Asuka routinely did. Of course, Asuka would put any amount of effort into beating Rei.

With the situation as it was, the woman teaching the girl's PE class had decided that it would be just as good to let the girls goof off. So, she twirled her whistle and watched the girl take leisurely laps or just sit pool side with occasional dips into the pool. Right now, the pool resembled a gossip party. Finishing her fifteenth lap, Rit-chan lithely pulled herself out of the pool and landed next to Asuka. Rei, surfacing for the first time in two laps, took a deep breath as she landed next to Hikari. Rit-chan tossed her head to get her soaked bangs out of her face. "Anyone want to do some diving?" she asked the two who had yet to do more than a single lap. Asuka glanced at the fiberglass diving board over the deep end.

"Sure, why not?" she said, climbing to her feet and moving toward the board. "Coming, Hikari?" she asked the brown-haired girl. Hikari rose.

"Yeah. Guess I should work on my inward one and a half. Can't seem to get it right." Muttered the girl. Asuka smiled.

"It's just a matter of timing, Hikari. Watch." Said the German girl swarming up the short ladder to the 3 meter board and confidently moving out onto the board. Turning to face Hikari, she smiled. "Like this." She pronounced, bouncing once, then tucking inward and rotating as she dropped into the water in a clean, near-perfect dive. Hikari waited for Asuka to surface. "Now you do it." Commanded the Second.

"Yeah, right." Murmured the Sixth, taking position on the board. After a deep breath, she bounced once and tucked inside, dropping into the water after five hundred and forty degrees of rotation. Her body was at about a ten degree tilt, though. Rit-chan watched it in silence. When Hikari surfaced, Rit-chan spoke.

"You're doing it fine, you're just not getting enough altitude on the jump. Either jump harder or spin slower." She explained. "Here, I'll do it once each way. You need to go this high for your current speed." Said the elf hunter, taking a single bounding step, flying upward and tucking backward as she soared, spearing a perfect entry. Surfacing, she swiftly moved back to the board. The rest of the class watched silently as she moved onto the board. "If you don't want more height, turn either faster or slower, though slower is easier to do." Once more, she leapt and twisted inside, her spin significantly slower than before, once more sticking a vertical entry. Her head broke surface next to Hikari. "I'd recommend more height, myself." She finished. Hikari nodded.

"Ok." She said, pulling herself out of the pool. Up on the board, Rei considered her options. I believe I can do a two and a half reverse if I jump hard. She mused. Very well. I will do so. Decision made, she jumped once, came down on the board, rebounded and soared upward and outward, turning her body on three axis's as she went, before tucking into a ball to stabilize her entry. She slipped into the water with barely a ripple. Asuka grimaced.

"God, I hate her." She muttered.

-

Shinji was playing volleyball in the gym and was finding himself bored to death. With less than a dozen boys in his class, the class only occupied two of the six volleyball courts in the gym. Right now, Shinji and Kensuke were playing against two of their fellow classmates. Shinji was at the back, Kensuke was at the front, and they were doing ok, if not great. Wish Touji were here. Thought Shinji, intercepting the ball and sending it up to Kensuke, who faked a setup so he could side spike the ball. The simple ruse worked and the defender was out of position, allowing the ball to hit the deck. Shinji wiped his brow with his hand and glanced at the doors to the gym, wishing he were at the pool with the girls. The teacher blew his whistle. "All right, that's enough of that." Yelled the teacher. "Now, get in a circle around the center court." Directed the man.

"Practicing circle jerking again, coach?" came the voice of one of his classmates.

"You need all the practice you can get, Tsutseo! Rosy and her sisters are tired of your inept attempts to get them off!" yelled back the coach. Several of the boys snickered at that.

"So, we're going to study Ikari's technique?" returned Tsutseo. "After all, he's the hopeless virgin here!"

"Hey! Shut up, Tsutseo!" yelled Kensuke. "At least he fights angels! Other than beating your meat, what can you claim to do?"

"Pipe down!" roared the coach. "We're going to practice passing. Each person will set the ball up for a pass, then run around to the other side of the net and do it again! Go!" His whistle blew and the boys began circling the net, the ball going back and forth. Shinji just wished the class would hurry up and end.

Eventually, it did. Stripping off his sweaty clothes, Shinji grabbed his towel and headed for the shower. Kensuke came up beside him. "Hey, Shin-man." He said. "You got to start defending yourself when some one attacks you like that." He said, meaning the incident with Tsutseo. Shinji shrugged, hanging his towel over a hook and turning on the water.

"Like I care what he says." Said Shinji, his tone unconcerned.

"How can you say that?! He's making you into a laughing stock! You'll never get a girl like that!" protested Kensuke, starting his own shower. Shinji just grunted. If you only had some clue what you were talking about… thought the pilot.

-

Misato gleefully set the bottle of ice-cold water on her desk, getting out the Shinji-made bento and cracking the top. Taking a deep breath of the delicious smells, Misato nodded to herself. "Definitely my Shinji's doing." She mused, setting the bento top aside. Inside was rice, eggs, braised chicken, beans with bits of bacon in them, and a small sweet roll. Misato's mouth watered as she dug in. "Oh, that's more like it." She moaned. Anyone listening might think she was having sex in there. Happily, Misato devoured the meal, loving each bite. Once the bento was empty, she sat back in her chair, sipping her water. Damn, I want my Shinji back! She thought.

Reaching over, she took the lid and moved to put it back on the bento, but it slipped out of her grasp, bouncing off her desk and coming to rest on the floor of her office. Sighing, Misato reached down and retrieved the lid. As she lifted it, she caught sight of a bit of white paper. Frowning, she detached the small envelope and cracked it open. Misato immediately recognized Shinji's handwriting. The Major read the brief letter, her face troubled as she did so. Sipping from her bottle of water, she read the note once more. With that done, she fished around in her top drawer, eventually removing a lighter. Flicking the lighter to life, she set fire to the note, carefully burning it down to ash. With that done, she deposited the ash into her trash can and put the top back on her bento. Gotta give this back to Maya.

-

Hikari, Rei, Asuka and Rit-chan waved to Shinji as he boarded the train late that evening. After school, the group had spent a couple of hours in a park, mostly just being close to each other. But, there were Eva training sessions to attend to, and Rit-chan was wanting to talk to Celsia, so the group reluctantly broke up. Shinji rode the train back to Maya's place, his mind trying to come up with different plans for each possible outcome from his note. Eventually, he sighed and pushed the matter to the back of his mind.

At Maya's place, he opened the door and entered the apartment, noticing that Maya's shoes weren't at the door, so she probably wasn't home. His guess proved to be correct, and the boy dumped his book bag at the foot of the bed and moved into the laundry room. "Might as well get this started." He said aloud, grabbing the basket and beginning to sort the laundry. After months of doing this at the Zoo, he was very fast. As he tossed the last pair of panties into the proper pile, he considered the groups. Maya-chan wears more hand-wash than Misato and Asuka. He realized. Tossing the machine wash into the small washer, he took the hand wash silk into the bathroom and began to scrub them clean, then rinsed them and began to hang them on the small ring line. He made a note to get her a larger ring line, as she was needing more space than her current ring line provided.

Changing the load over, he tossed the wet clothes into the small dryer above the washer, setting the timer before heading into the kitchen. After deciding on the menu, Shinji began to prepare the dishes. About half way to done, he heard the dryer stop, washing his hands and moving back to the wash room, taking the dry clothes out and transferring the clean clothes from the wash machine to the dryer, putting the last group of dirty clothes into the washer before taking the first load of clean clothes into the bedroom to be folded, hung or pressed. Once that was done, he went back to check on the food.

Maya arrived back as he was removing the last load of clothes. "Hi, Shinji!" called Maya, seeing him exiting the washroom with an armload of her underwear. "You didn't have to do the laundry, you know." She said, following him to the bedroom, where he dumped the clothes onto the bed before beginning to sort and fold them. Maya swiftly slipped out of her uniform and began to help him. Shinji was folding a pair of her panties, and Maya watched as he folded them just like she usually folded them. "Where did you learn how to fold panties that way, Shinji?" asked the tech.

"What? Oh, that. I just saw how you folded the ones in your panty drawer and copied the fold." He shrugged. Maya giggled.

"Rummaging in my panty drawer, Shinji?" she teased him.

"No, not really." Smiled Shinji in reply. "I prefer seeing them on you rather than laying in a drawer."

"So you don't like them laying crumpled by the side of the bed?" questioned Maya. Shinji's smile turned to a grin.

"Now that you mention it…" he replied innocently. Maya gave a sharp eep! Of pleasant surprise as Shinji pulled her into an embrace, both of them falling onto the bed. Maya's lips locked to his as she moaned in pleasure, laying on top of him, her bra and panties her only clothes. Shinji deepened the kiss a bit, and for the next several moments, they were busy. Finally, Maya pulled back a bit and smiled at him.

"Hey, Shinji," she said, touching his cheek. "Do you want to go out tomorrow night? On the town, I mean. We could go to a restaurant, then a movie or a club. You know, get out of the house for a bit." She added.

"Sure. Any particular place you had in mind?" asked Shinji, sitting up and hugging her. Maya blushed a bit at the question.

"Maybe." She hedged. I don't know if I can really go to that club I heard about! I've never been much of one for that kind of scene, but then… she pushed the thought aside. I can certainly go to dinner with him! And if I chicken out on the club, then we can just catch a movie. Or come home and make out! The last thought made her blush a bit more. Shinji kissed her once more, then gently pushed her back and off of him.

"Don't want dinner to burn, and there are still these clothes to be folded." He reminded her. Maya got up and grabbed a bra, swiftly folding it and reaching for another.

"You're right. What's for dinner?"

-

Rit-chan and Celsia moved through the trees in the extensive forest around the black pyramid. Once they were sure they were out of surveillance range, Rit-chan sat down on a fallen tree trunk and motioned to Celsia, who settled next to her. "So, Airi tells me you've had a breakthrough in our project?" she said softly.

Celsia nodded. "Yes. When the next Angel attacks, I will hopefully be able to create a spell that will allow me to create a casting circle within mere minutes instead of weeks." She paused, then continued. "Also, I should have a pretty good chance of retracing our route, but I'll need some time to cast the particulars of that spell."

"I see." Murmured Rit-chan. Lately, she had been having second thoughts on leaving her new friends to their fate. I never did like leaving those I love to face things alone. Her friendship with Yuki was proof of that. She felt her heart tremor at the memory of her friends in her Tokyo. God damn it, this is a hell of time to be sentimental! "So, all we need to do to get out of here is meet up while an angel attacks, cast the spell and flee." She said quietly. Celsia blinked at her tone.

"Gods, Rit-chan, you make it sound like we're abandoning someone we swore to stand with!" she said, her tone peeved. "All we're doing is getting out of this hell hole before we all die!" Rit-chan was silent. Celsia frowned as she considered the possible reasons for Rit-chan's reluctance to depart. "It's him, isn't it?" she guessed.

Rit-chan nodded. "Yeah, but not just him." She acknowledged. "They're all holding on by a very thin margin." A sigh escaped the teen. "I've never been able to turn my back on a friend, Celsia. Never."

It was the elf's turn to sigh. "I'm not surprised, Rit-chan." Said the creature. "If you were the kind to do that, I wouldn't be here right now." Rit-chan was silent on that issue. Celsia turned her thoughts inward for a while. Finally, she broke the silence that had fallen over the two. "So, where does that leave us, Rit-chan?"

"I've got no idea, Celsia."

-

Akagi stood before Gendo, clipboard in hand. "Well, that just leaves Unit 1's status to discuss." She said, flipping through the pages. "The unit has been re-armored, and seems to be back to normal. The only way to know for sure is to have Shinji synch with it." She watched Gendo closely for any sign of reaction. There was none.

"No. The Third is still under suspension." He said flatly. "Assign pilot Sohryu to synch with the unit tonight."

"Asuka? We've never even tried it, and all our tests indicate that Unit 1 will not…" began Akagi.

"Pilot Sohryu has the best chance to synch with it." Interrupted Gendo. "Since the unit has refused Rei and the dummy plug repeatedly in the last few months, it is unwise to have Rei attempt to synch with Unit 1."

"What about Hikari? She could do it, and Unit 1 has no previous history with her, so it should be a clean start." Pointed out Akagi. Protecting your precious toy, Gendo?

"She lacks both the skills and strength of pilot Sohryu." Retorted Gendo. "Do as you have been told, Doctor." Ordered the man. Akagi felt the urge to grit her teeth.

"Yes, sir." Said the woman, turning to leave.

-

"I'm what?!" demanded Asuka, her tone incredulous and irritated. "Why should I have to try to synch with Baka's defective unit?" she pouted. She had just finished her latest series of tests, and was feeling irritable.

"Because that is Commander Ikari's orders, Asuka." Came the reply. "Unless you think you can't do it?" prompted the doctor, one eyebrow raised.

"Ha! I'll show you what can and can't be done." Snarled Asuka, spinning and marching toward the access lift. Hikari blinked at her departing friend, then Rei. The First stood silent and calm.

"Um, what should we do, Rei?" asked Hikari.

"We can only hope Unit 1 is in a good mood." Said Rei softly. She remembered all too clearly the immense pain and pressure the unit had put her under the last time she had tried to synch with it. She wants her Shinji, and is ill-humored if he is not the one to join with her. Hikari watched her friend climb into the entry plug.

"Ready for insertion." Came Asuka's voice over the speakers. Her tense tone betrayed her nervousness. The silver-white cylinder slid home, the massive armor cover locking into place. The attention of the techs and idle pilots turned to the video monitor and the graphs, which began to come alive. On screen, Asuka sat unnaturally still and stiffly in Shinji's seat. Her brow was furrowed and she was barely breathing. The unit approached borderline. "Ah!" gasped Asuka, grabbing her head. "Stop that, damn you." She groaned.

"What's wrong, Asuka?!" demanded Misato.

"Nothing." Snapped Asuka, her other hand now grabbing her head. "This unit's just not as refined as my Unit 2." She added, her reasoning weak. Misato decided to end the test.

"Pull the plug, Ritsu." She ordered, her tone hard.

"The test isn't complete, Misato." Said Akagi dispassionately. Misato rounded on her friend, her eyes ablaze.

"It is now, Ritsu! We're not risking a pilot for your entertainment!" she yelled.

"We have to know if we have a pilot for Unit 1 or not." Defended Akagi. Subtly, she eased back from Misato. God, I've never seen her like this before!

"Unit 1 has a pilot, Doctor." Snarled the Major. "And that pilot is Shinji!"

"Sempai! You better see this!" screamed Maya from her monitoring station. Both women sprinted to her station. "Synchrograph is cycling from normal to abnormal, but the ratio isn't changing!"

"Impossible! Run a system check!" ordered Ritsu.

"I already have, Sempai! All systems report normal!" reported Maya tensely.

"Abort test! Asuka! Break off the synch!" ordered Misato. On the video screen, Asuka was sitting frozen in the plug, eyes wide, her hands now floating limply by her head. Misato hit the emergency power shutoff, but nothing changed except for the clock starting. Rei's eyes widened imperceptibly when she saw that the batteries showed that twelve minutes remained of activation time. "ASUKA!!" yelled Misato again, her tone desperate. "Asuka! Break off! Abort! Abort!"

"Major! Synch at one hundred ten percent, full waveform immersion!" yelled Hyuga.

"Kill that linkage, Lieutenant!" thundered Misato. "That's an order!" Hyuga pulled a key from around his neck and inserted it into a small key lock on his station. At the other end of the row, Aoba did likewise. A single glance at Misato's face told him the order had damn well better be done immediately or sooner.

"Kill MAGI I/O bus link on my mark." Directed Hyuga. "Three. Two. One." Suddenly, all the graphs went dead. Hyuga and Aoba looked at each other's keys. Both were still in the start position. Maya was furiously typing away at her station.

"Ma'am, Unit 1 has shut down and is rejecting all attempts to interface with it! Plug is ejecting now." She reported.

"Asuka! Asuka, are you all right?!" demanded Misato.

"Ugh! Quit yelling, Misato! I've got a migraine!" snapped back the Second.

"What happened in there, Asuka?" asked Hikari. Asuka pulled herself out of the plug, LCL dripping from her body. Walking back toward her friends, she rubbed her temples.

"Baka's unit bit off more than it could fucking chew!" purred the Second.

-

Shinji glanced at the clock. She's late. He noted. Sitting on the couch, he was waiting for Maya to come back home before their date. The thought brought a smile to his face. God, a couple of months ago, I couldn't get a date to save my life, and now I've been on three dates with three different girls and I'm betting that I'll be going out on a lot of dates from here on out. He relished the warm feeling of happiness that thought gave him. On his belt, his NERV cell phone range.

Plucking the phone from his belt, he glanced at the screen and saw a welcome name there. Pressing the button to pick up the call, he felt himself grinning as he answered it. "Hey, Rei-chan!" he said. "What's going on?"

"Shinji-kun. I am at NERV, along with Asuka and Hikari. The Commander ordered Asuka to synch with your unit." She said softly.

"What?!" barked Shinji, his mood instantly going from happy to mad. "I am Unit 1's pilot. Why did the fucker order A-chan to try to synch with her?" he demanded.

"I caution you that this conversation may be monitored." Stated Rei softly. Shinji immediately understood her meaning. Like so much else lately, I just know what she's thinking.

"Right, Rei-chan." He said, calmer now. "How is Asuka?" he asked.

"She is fine except for a migraine." Stated Rei. "She has been undergoing a battery of tests to determine if anything that Unit 1 did has had an adverse effect on her."

"Rei-chan." Said Shinji levelly. "If necessary, please remind Rokubungi that any pain or discomfort Asuka feels will be returned to him a thousand fold." Dead silence was his answer. For several moments, there was no sign that Rei was on the other end of the line. Then, just as Shinji was about to ask her if she was still there, she answered.

"Hai. I will do what you have asked of me." With that said, the line went dead.

-

Asuka was still muttering in German as she entered the Zoo and made her way to her room, where she swiftly pulled her sleeping shirt on before returning to the kitchen. Hikari was at the range, with several foodstuffs set aside for the meal. Rit-chan was in the living room with Rei, and Misato was still at NERV. Hikari had volunteered to cook the meal for them all that evening, since Asuka was still suffering from her Eva-induced migraine. The heavy dosage of painkiller that Akagi had given her had taken the edge off her pain, but she was still in moderate discomfort.

"Feeling any better, Asuka?" asked Hikari, her tone sympathetic. Asuka shrugged.

"A little. Man, that Unit of Baka's packs one hell of a punch!" groused the German girl. Still, something felt…comfortable about it. She watched Hikari preparing a meal with the kind of speed and skill that she had only ever seen Shinji operate with. The thought of her Baka eased her pain some. "Wonder what Shinji-kun's doing?" she mused.

"Don't know. Maya hadn't left when we left, so probably nothing right now." Offered Hikari. Asuka blinked as she realized that she had spoken aloud.

"We could always call and ask." Suggested Rit-chan from the living room. Asuka frowned.

"No, better not. He'd just worry." She said. Seeing a smirk on Hikari lips, she hastily amended her reply. "I mean, if we called him, he'd think that we missed him or couldn't fight the Angels without Shinji the Hero there!"

"Whatever." Said Hikari dismissively.

-

Maya yawned as she entered her apartment. God damn it all! It's too late to do anything tonight! She mentally cursed. Slipping off her shoes, she glanced at the door to make sure it closed before moving deeper into her residence. Stepping into the living room, she saw Shinji rise from the couch. Her temporary roomie and charge crossed to her and took her purse from her, setting it aside. "Welcome home, Maya-chan." He said softly.

"Sorry, Shinji, but it's too late to go tonight." She said apologetically. Shinji nodded.

"Yeah, I heard. Are you hungry? I have some food ready if you are." He offered, motioning to the kitchen. The single bulb in the range cover was on, illuminating the three covered dishes on the table. Maya felt her stomach rumble a bit.

"Let me just get changed first." She said, already unbuttoning her uniform top. Shinji's hands moved to her skirt and unzipped it, easing it and her stockings down. Maya giggled a bit. Shinji shook his head a little as he removed the skirt and stocking from her feet. Taking her jacket, he made his way toward the bedroom.

"You sounded pretty hungry, so I thought I'd give you a hand getting comfortable." He explained. Maya reached back and unfastened her bra, tossing it to him as he exited the bedroom.

"Forgot this, Shinji." She said, her tone light and a little naughty. Shinji deftly caught the bra and dropped it into the laundry basket in her small washroom before joining her at the table. Maya was already digging into the food. Shinji settled across from her. Looking up, she noticed that he had retrieved a glass of milk from the refridge before sitting down. "Thanks." She said, sipping the cold milk. "You can sit next to me, you know." She observed.

Shinji chuckled at that. "But the view is nicer over here." He teased. Maya blushed a bit as she realized that he was talking about her bare chest.

"Pervert." She said, smiling. Shinji shrugged.

"I'm just enjoying a personal favor from a beautiful woman."

-

As Maya finished off her food, Shinji excused himself to the bathroom for a bit, returning a few minutes later to start on the dishes. As he did so, he told Maya that he had started her a nice warm bath. Touched by his care of her, she had hugged him and given him a kiss before heading to the bathroom. "You can…join me; if you want." She suggested just before closing the door to the bathroom. Shinji began to rinse the dishes.

In the bathroom, Maya skinned out of her panties and dipped a hand into the filling tub, finding the temperature to be nearly perfect for her. Taking a few minutes to let the tub finish filling, Maya studied herself in the mirror. Critically examining herself, she liked what she saw. Maya, you're looking good! She cheered herself on. Turning on the tap, she quickly brushed her teeth before carefully climbing into the tub. A sigh of contentment escaped her lips as she rested her head against a folded towel that Shinji had helpfully set against the rim of her tub. Running her hands along her legs, she frowned as she felt a little bit of stubble.

"Shinji?" she called.

"Yes, Maya-chan?" answered the young man a moment later.

"Can you bring me my bath stuff, please?" she called back.

"It should be sitting on the edge of the counter, Maya-chan." He replied. Looking to the end of the counter, she spotted the small basket of bath supplies. He's so sweet I could eat him up! Thought the tech. Stepping out of the tub, she retrieved the shaving gel and her razor in preparation for ridding herself of unwanted hairs. Damn, I just remembered why I haven't done this sooner! I forgot to get new blades! Remembered the tech. She glanced at the razor to see a brand-new razor head on her razor. Her brow furrowed a bit. Did he…?

"Hey, Shinji!" she called again.

"Yeah, Maya?" was her immediate answer.

"Did you do some shopping recently?" she asked.

"Just a quick stop on the way home the other day. Why? Are we out of something?" he wondered. Maya smiled as she felt her pussy tingle.

"No. Just noticed the new razor, that's all." She answered.

"Oh, that. I noticed that it was needing to be replaced, so I got some while I was out. Misato tends to forget to do things like that, so I picked up the habit of keeping tabs on that kind of thing. Sorry if you're mad about it." He offered. Miss Ibuki was definitely not mad.

"No, Shin," she laughed, "it's fine!" she called. Definitely boyfriend material, Maya! I've never even heard of man that considerate! Maybe I should ask him to…No! He's got Misato all over him, not to mention the way that Asuka and Rei act around him! Still…oh, get real, Maya Ibuki! You have no chance in hell of beating Misato's figure with your chest and hips, even if you could beat out the other pilots! So, just enjoy him while you have him! Ouch! Her mental war was vanquished by a stinging sensation from her calf. Her attention back on her current task, she saw a single drop of crimson blood on the back of her calf, the result of her lack of attention coupled with the new razor head. "Shit." She winced. It had been a while since she cut herself shaving. "Um, Shinji, can you bring me a band aid?" she asked.

"A band aid? Is everything ok in there?" was his concerned reply.

"Just nicked myself." Replied Maya, a bit sheepishly. "You can bring me one of the band aids from the box on the corner of the dresser, though." She added.

"Got it." Said Shinji, passing the closed bathroom door. Maya thought of something.

"And grab the small scissors from the center drawer, too, Shinji!" she added.

"Will do." Confirmed Shinji. Maya sat and waited, her fingertip pressed to the small nick. A few moments later, the door opened a bit and Shinji passed the two items into the bathroom. "Here they are, Maya-chan." He said, still outside the door.

"Can you bring them in with you, please?" asked Maya, smiling. Shinji did as he was asked, getting an eyeful of Maya's naked form as she saw on the edge of the tub. Shinji forced his eyes to her face. She was smiling. "Will you help me with something?" she asked, a hint of color on her cheeks.

"Um, sure." Agreed Shinji. Maya smiled a bit more.

"I seem to be a bit clumsy tonight." She explained. "So, I was wondering if you can help me with this." She motioned to her legs. Shinji felt his pulse pick up a bit. Had this been before the arrival of Rit-chan and company, he would have run away in a panic at the sight of a naked woman asking him to help her shave her legs, but that was then, and this was now.

"I've never done that before." He cautioned her. Maya just kept smiling.

"It's not hard." She assured him. "You just cover the skin with the gel, then run the razor over it. Think of this as practice for when you shave." She added, a touch of humor in her voice. "Unless you plan to grow a beard too?" she added. Shinji's eyes went hard and mean.

"Never." He said, his tone empty and dark. "That's his little fetish!" he all but snarled. Maya blinked at his raw hatred. Shit! Good thinking, Maya! Just call him his father's son next time! Stupid, stupid, stupid! The tech silently berated herself.

"God, I'm so sorry I said that, Shinji!" she cried. "I didn't mean to suggest…!"

"I know, Maya-chan." Said Shinji softly, his head bowed a bit. He lifted his face to hers, noting her distress. Crossing to her, he knelt and reached for the gel. Squirting a bit onto his hand, he gently began to lather her leg up. "I shouldn't take it out on you. I'm sorry about that." He carefully covered her skin in the foam. Reaching over, he took the razor and glanced at her. "Let's just forget it, ok Maya-chan?" he suggested. Maya nodded silently. "Anything I need to know before we begin?" he asked her, a bit of humor in his voice.

"You already know all you need to know, Shinji." Said Maya. I know you'll be gentle. Shinji brought the head of the razor to her leg and began.

-

Asuka tossed and turned in her sleep, her dreams troubled. Beside her, Rit-chan was aware of her restless sleep. Finally, she sat up and touched Asuka's shoulder, waking the other girl. Blinking a time or two, she managed to focus on Rit-chan's dark silhouette once her eyes adjusted to the dark. "Rit-chan?" mumbled the girl. "What is it?"

"I was planning to ask you that, Asuka." Replied Rit-chan. "You've been tossing and turning ever since you went to bed. Bad dreams?" she guessed.

"I…no, no really." Denied Asuka. Rit-chan obviously didn't buy it.

"Want to talk about it?" asked the older girl softly.

"No." came the immediate reply. Asuka moved off her bed. "Sorry to keep you awake, Rit-chan. I'll sleep in Baka's room." Said the girl, exiting her room and closing the door on Rit-chan's reply. The Second stepped silently to Shinji's room, her fingers running briefly over the small, heart-shaped label that Misato had put there long before she arrived. Shinji's suite would be a lot lovelier if Shinji were in it! She thought irritably. Stepping into his room, she closed the door and made her way to his bed. Stripping off her sleeping shirt, she lay down in his bed naked and snuggled up to his pillow. I can smell his scent. She thought happily, smiling. Maybe now I can sleep good. Closing her eyes, she found her head full of dreams of Shinji. Within five minutes, she was asleep.

Rit-chan was laying on her back in Asuka's bed, the sheets at her waist, hands under her head, staring at the ceiling. The elf hunter was thinking. Her thoughts were interrupted by the soft sound of Asuka's door opening. Glancing at the door, her right hand subconsciously slipped under her pillow and grasped her trusty USP. "Rit-chan, are you awake?" came Airi's soft whisper. Rit-chan released the gun and shifted a bit to allow Airi a comfortable place to sit.

"Yeah. Come on in." whispered the teen. Airi entered and slid the door shut behind her, crossing to Asuka's bed and sitting on the edge of it. Rit-chan felt Airi's hand on her cheek.

"You ok in here, Rit-chan?" asked the actress softly. Rit-chan nodded. "So, what's up with Asuka?" asked the older woman. Rit-chan exhaled forcefully.

"Bad dreams." Said the girl. "But she won't talk about it. She's in Shinji's room right now." Answered the elf hunting teen. "I think she'll be in there all night."

"I know. I was in the bathroom when she went in there." Murmured Airi. Rit-chan frowned. Reaching out, she ran her hand along Airi's arm to her shoulder, then down her side. Her sensitive fingers told her the story.

"When did you get back?" asked Rit-chan softly. Airi smiled a bit wryly. Should have expected this; she's sharp as a razor.

"About a half hour ago." Said Airi. "I heard Asuka tossing and turning, and figured I wouldn't disturb anyone if I got ready for bed in the bathroom." Rit-chan hummed.

"I'm still not at ease with this, you know." She pointed out. Airi's finger shifted from her cheek to her lips.

"I know. Trust me?" she asked. Rit-chan nodded silently. Rit-chan's hand came to rest on Airi's shoulder, giving it a soft, reassuring squeeze. Neither spoke for a long bit.

"How's Misato?" asked the teen at last.

"Sleeping in her office at NERV." Said Airi. "I checked on her before I came home."

"I see." Said Rit-chan. Airi studied the girl in the small amount of light she had to work with. The actress made a decision, and lay down next to Rit-chan, who was caught off guard. Arms snaked around her and pulled her to Airi, whose lips touched her cheek before settling against her ear.

"I have things to show you. Soon." Sub vocalized the actress. Rit-chan nodded. Turning on her side, she wrapped an arm around Airi's waist as she settled in closer to the actress. Airi settled herself a bit next to her closest teammate. After a few seconds, Airi felt Rit-chan's hand move down from her waist to hips, slipped down between their bodies and tugged on the sheet and cover. Airi smiled and wiggled around so she could slip under the covers with Rit-chan. Once they were both tucked into Asuka's bed, Rit-chan's hand returned to Airi's silk-covered waist. Airi gently stroked Rit-chan's smooth back. Content with each other's closeness, both drifted off to sleep.

-

Shinji was tending to breakfast when Maya entered the kitchen. Stepping up to him, she hugged him and gave him a kiss; it was her standard greeting now. Shinji returned the kiss and smiled as she settled at the table. Within a few minutes, he had served her breakfast and taken a seat across from her. Breakfast was silent and happy.

With breakfast done, Shinji efficiently cleared the table, did the dishes and gave the entire kitchen a once-over before heading for the bedroom to get into his school clothes. On the kitchen table was another bento for his Mi-chan. There was also a paper bag full of chocolate for the girls.

Entering the bedroom, Shinji saw Maya looking through her drawer of underwear. Hearing Shinji behind her, she turned to smile at him. "There you are, Shinji." Said the tech happily. "Tell me which one you like better." She directed, pulling out a couple of pairs of panties. Turning to face him, she slipped on the first pair and settled them before slowly doing a circle, giving him a good view of them.

"Those are nice." Said Shinji, feeling his dick stir. Maya giggled and slipped off the first pair, noticing Shinji's boxers beginning to tent. Retrieving the second pair, she slipped them on and made sure they were settled correctly before once more doing a slow circle. Completing her turn, she smiled at Shinji.

"Well?" she asked, her tone innocently light. Her eyes noted the straining erection he had.

"They're both nice." Said Shinji.

"Which one do you want me to wear the most?" pressed Maya. Shinji felt his dick throbbing. Well, let's play then, Maya-chan. He decided.

"I like the third choice best." He said cryptically. His smile was a bit wicked. Maya frowned.

"What third choice?" she asked him.

"I like what you were wearing when I saw you this morning." He explained, grinning. Maya felt her cheeks growing warm. He can't mean what I think he means! I couldn't do that…!

"You mean you…when I was naked?" she asked, a bit tentatively. Shinji nodded.

"That outfit has my vote, Maya-chan." He confirmed.

"Shinji! I can't…it's NERV! What would…!" she trailed off. Who would know? Just me and Shinji would know, and Shinji's not allowed at NERV right now. Could I get away with it? Her thoughts were cut off by Shinji hugging her. Maya blinked and hugged him back, her lips seeking his. Finding his lips, her tounge swiftly invaded his mouth, eager to dance with his tounge. Maya ground herself against him, feeling his hard member pressing against her upper thighs and groin. Reluctantly, Shinji broke the kiss.

"I was kidding, Maya-chan." He said, his voice a bit rough with desire. "You would probably be too uncomfortable like that. The pair you are wearing are perfect." He said, hands gently kneading her shoulders. Maya leaned in, kissing him again. After a minute, she gently broke the lip lock and gave him a sultry smile.

"Speaking of comfortable." She said, fingers sliding down his chest to his tented shorts. "You can't be comfortable with that." She said, softly stroking his erection. Shinji moaned as she petted him. "Can I help you with this?" she asked. Just then, her clock beeped. Shinji wasn't the only one to groan at the interruption.

"I think we're both late, Maya-chan." He said. "I don't want to get you in trouble with Mi-chan." He said. Maya glanced at the clock.

"I think we can squeeze in a quick fix." She protested, knowing that she would be late if they did, but unwilling to let it go without a try. Twisting her wrist, she managed to get her hand inside his shorts, where she could caress his erection directly. Looking into his eyes, she spoke. "I don't care if I'm late, Shinji." She said softly, touching her lips to his. "This is more important." She said, giving a gentle tug on his member. "It won't take long." She added. His body trembled at her caress.

"Maya-chan," panted the young man. "I hate to be rushed." He said, barely in control of himself. "It's hard to do it right if you're watching a clock." Another gasp escaped his mouth as she added another hand on his dick, having tugged his boxers down so she could get better access to him. "Besides, we'd still have to clean up afterwards, and that would make us really late." He pointed out. Maya rubbed his sensitive tip with her palm as her other hand tickled his balls. A slick, warm sensation on her palm told her that he was beginning to leak pre-cum.

Maya decided to go for broke and dropped to her knees, inhaling the tip of his dick and swirling her tounge over his glans. Shinji moaned as his hands came to the sides of her head, his fingers combing through her short hair as she began to move her head back and forth on his length. Shinji felt himself racing toward climax as Maya got more and more into her blowjob. Just as he decided to stop resisting and just enjoy it, her NERV cell phone rang.

-

Rit-chan was breaking some eggs into the skillet when Airi entered the kitchen. Glancing at the older woman, Rit-chan poured her a cup of coffee and handed it to her. "Good morning, Rit-chan." Said Airi, sipping the coffee. "Sleep well?" she asked.

Rit-chan nodded. Stepping over to Airi, she briefly hugged the actress. "Thanks, Airi." She said softly.

"Any time, Rit-chan." Replied the actress, squeezing the teen's shoulder. Rit-chan smiled and went back to scrambling the eggs. It had been a good morning. Waking up snuggled into Airi's chest had been nice. It was hardly a new thing to wake up with the other woman, as a year of hunting elves had put them in situations beyond belief. Whenever there were scarce accommodations or inclement weather, the two invariably ended up snuggled together as neither would cuddle with Junpei. With Celsia in her dog form for the vast majority of their hunt, it left Junpei to tough out the cold by himself. Time had made the two women very comfortable with each other.

"Mmm. Breakfast?" came the sleepy voice of Asuka. She stood in the doorway to the kitchen, her sleeping shirt in hand, eyes barely open, completely naked. Rit-chan hid a grin.

"Eggs, sausage, hash browns." She said instead of the barbed remark that sprang to mind. Asuka yawned behind her hand. "You have just enough time to wash your face and throw on some clothes." Added Rit-chan. "We're behind schedule, as usual."

Asuka, still yawning, nodded. "Klänge gut." She said, moving off toward the bathroom. Turning back to the stove, the older teen perused the developing breakfast.

"Hungry, Airi?" she asked.

"Yes." Nodded the actress.

"Double the normal sound good to you?" asked Rit-chan, turning to shoot a smile to the older woman.

"Are you trying to make me fat, Rit-chan?" teased back Airi. Rit-chan giggled.

"Not really; you're cuddly as you are." Shot back the teen. Airi laughed.

"So, you are just interested in me for my body. Oh, the shame of it all!" mocked the actress.

"Yeah, whatever, Airi." Scoffed Rit-chan. Her tone turned serious. "Still, there are those that are just interested in your body." She said softly.

"I thought we discussed this." Murmured Airi, hearing Asuka leave the bathroom and enter her bedroom.

"We did, and I've got your back, but I'm still uncomfortable with the whole thing."

"It will be worth it, Rit-chan." Said Airi softly. "You have my word on that."

-

Misato opened her eyes and blinked. Wha…? Oh, right. Fell asleep in my office. Fuck, that's getting to be a bad habit. Sitting up, she felt something slide off her. Looking over, she saw that someone had put a blanket over her sleeping form. Must have been Hyuga. Thought Misato. Standing, she stretched. A glance at the clock showed her that she was supposed to finish her shift in two hours. Night shift is a waste of my time. She silently bitched.

A small box sitting on her desk caught her attention. Stepping over to her desk, she saw a fresh bento. Her mouth watered. Could it be from Shinji?! She wondered, carefully opening the box. One look was all it took for her to know it was from her Shinji. A very happy Misato dropped into her chair as she grabbed the chopsticks and prepared to dig in. She froze as she remembered the last bento she had gotten from him. Carefully, she checked the lid. There was no note. Misato frowned a bit, then closed the bento before making for the door.

Entering the bridge, she spotted both Hyuga and Aoba at their stations, but no Maya. A bento from Shinji means Maya is here. She thought. "Hyuga, where's Maya?" she asked her pet bridge bunny. Hyuga blinked at her.

"Um, she was here a minute ago, Major." He offered. "You see where she went?" he asked his fellow operator.

"I think she said something about hitting the head." Offered Aoba. Misato turned to leave, but paused.

"Thanks, Hyuga." She said, thinking of the blanket.

"Wha…? Oh, sure, no problem." He said, giving her a smile. Misato winked at him and headed for the ladies room. Might as well get cleaned up a bit while I'm at it. Thought the Major, entering the women's bathroom a few moments later. Glancing down the row of stalls, she saw one that was closed.

"That you, Maya?" she asked, turning on a sink. She heard a squeak of surprise from the stall.

"Ye…yes, Misato." Answered the tech. "Good morning." She added. Misato frowned. Does she sound a bit out of breath?

"And good morning to you." Replied Misato. "Thanks for the bento, by the way." She added. "Be sure to give Shinji an extra nice thank you from me. He's a life-saver."

"Uh, yes, he is." Replied Maya from the stall. Misato smirked at her reflection.

"So, enjoying his company, Maya?" she purred.

"He's a great cook, and my apartment has never been cleaner." Offered the unseen Maya.

"That's nice, but I wasn't talking about that." Taunted Misato. "He's really cute, isn't he?"

"I…guess so, Misato." Came her reply. In the stall, Maya was scarlet from her blush. Does she know?!

"I bet he makes you horny as hell, the way he pampers women. Have you been making out with him?" she pressed.

"Misato!!" cried Maya. Misato giggled.

"Oh, so that's how it is!" she said. "Well, your loss! See you later, Maya!" and Misato was out the door. Maya waited several seconds before exhaling gustily. Once more alone, she finished removing her stockings and stepped out of her panties. Setting them aside, she began to replace her stockings. As she got them settled, she looked over at her panties.

"Won't know until I try." She muttered. Grabbing her panties, she hastily stuffed them into her uniform pocket and stepped across to the sink.

-

"Very good, Maki-chan!" cheered the nurse in the physical rehabilitation section of the NERV hospital in the Geofront. In front of her, her only patient had just made a complete pass on the walking bars without having to use them. The eight year old Suzahara girl laughed happily. "You're making incredibly good progress." Added the nurse. Maki smiled a brilliant smile.

"Thank you, Kobunoshi-san." Said the girl politely.

"You're very welcome, Maki-chan. Want to go get some ice cream to celebrate?" asked the nurse. Maki nodded excitedly.

"Yes!" she exclaimed. Seeing the nurse turn to her wheelchair, Maki frowned. "I can walk there, Kobunoshi-san." She insisted. "It's not that far."

"You have hardly begun to regain full use of you legs, Maki-chan." Cautioned the nurse. "Best not to push yourself too far."

"I can't get better if I don't keep at it, though, Kobunoshi-san." Countered the young girl. The nurse sighed. God, she's a stubborn one!

"Ok. But if you start to get tired, you have to promise me you will tell me and sit down while I get your chair, deal?" offered the nurse. Maki considered it for a moment.

"Deal." She smiled. The nurse watched as the girl determinedly made her way to the door to the rehab room. Falling in beside her patient, she watched her closely for any signs of trouble from the still-recovering girl. Maki Suzahara showed no signs of letting anything keep her from marching to the café for the promised ice cream.

With the cafeteria nearly deserted, the two swiftly obtained the ice cream and settled in at a small table. Maki thoroughly enjoyed her ice cream, finishing hers a good ten minutes before her nurse. The older girl studied her young patient and noticed that Maki looked a bit depressed. "Maki-chan, is everything all right? You're not in pain, are you?" she asked.

"What? Oh, no. I feel fine." Said Maki, sighing.

"So why the sigh?" pressed the nurse.

"I haven't seen Big Brother in a long time, or Shinji-sama." Confessed the girl. "Big Brother said he was going to help Shinji-sama fight the angels, and that NERV would make me better, but I haven't seen him since." Maki was silent for a moment.

"I'm sure your big brother is very busy helping Pilot Ikari and the others." Soothed the nurse. "But even if he can't come see you as often as he used to, I'm sure he still loves you very much and would want you to keep getting better so when he can come see you, you two can go to the park together." Assuming that the poor bastard ever wakes up. Or can move at all. Nurse Kobunoshi had gossiped with her fellow nurses enough to know that her patient's older brother had been written off as dead by the higher ups. Her reverie was interrupted by a happy laugh from Maki.

"I know!" squealed the girl, "Miss Katsuragi-san can help me! She's their boss, you know!" confided the girl. "She told me that I could come see her, and she knows where Big Brother and Shinji-sama are!" The girl was almost bouncing in her seat in excitement. "Let's go see Miss Katsuragi, Kobunoshi-san!" Her nurse has a smile plastered to her face, but her thoughts were not so tickled.

"Um, I think we better save that for a little later, Maki-chan." Suggested the woman. "You've used a lot of energy today, and you need to rest so you can finish healing." Of all the fucking shit…! Why didn't her file tell me that she knew the Major and the pilots?! God only knows what will happen if she sees her brother in his current state! Not to mention the hero-worship she heaps on Shinji! All she ever calls him is `Shinji-sama' like she's some vassal to a samurai! I need a drink!

"Come on, Kobunoshi-san!" said Maki impatiently, standing and tugging on the sleeve of her nurse's uniform top. "Miss Katsuragi should be easy to find! She's important to Shinji-sama!"

"Now Maki-chan," began the nurse when Maki's attention was diverted by the arrival of a familiar face.

"Hikari-san!" crowed the girl as Hikari entered the cafeteria, followed by the ever-impassive Rei. "Ayanami-san! Over here!" yelled the girl, waving her arms. Both of the pilots turned to see her, Hikari breaking into a huge, warm smile.

"Maki-chan!" exclaimed Hikari, running over to Maki and hugging her carefully. "God, you're already up and around!" Rei silently followed her roommate over to the two, her eyes sliding across the nurse, her gaze assessive.

"I told big brother that I would be fine!" bragged Maki, holding on to Hikari. "See, Ayanami-san?" she said, "I can walk again! Won't Shinji-sama be happy about that?!"

"Shinji will be greatly relieved, Maki." Agreed Rei.

"Can I see Shinji-sama and Big Brother, Ayanami-san? Please?" begged the girl. Rei considered the younger Suzahara.

"Um, Maki-chan," began Hikari, her tone reluctant. Maki turned to study Hikari's face. "Touji…well…" she began. Maki frowned.

"Something bad happened to Big Brother." She said softly, her eyes downcast. Hikari drew the girl a bit closer.

"Yes, I'm afraid it did, Maki." Said Hikari.

"Is he…dead?" asked Maki, tears forming in her eyes.

"No! He's still alive." Assured Hikari swiftly. At least, sort of.

"Did the Angels hurt him?" asked the girl, burying her face in Hikari's modest chest. Hikari opened her mouth, but stopped short of answering, not knowing how to answer that one. Fortunately, another stepped in.

"Yes. The Angels hurt former Pilot Suzahara very badly." Said Rei in her normal dead tone. A small sniffle came from the girl clinging to Hikari's shirt.

"Rei!" hissed Hikari softly.

"Is…big brother done fighting the angels now?" came Maki's muffled voice. The two pilots were silent for a few moments.

"Yes. Yes, he is, Maki-chan."

"Can I see him?" asked the girl softly, looking up into Hikari's warm brown eyes. Hikari glanced at Rei, her eyes questioning. Rei considered it for a moment. Before the First could announce her decision, the PA came to life.

"PTS detail to second intensive care wing room 717 stat! Repeat: PTS detail to second intensive care wing room 717 stat!" Rei glanced at Hikari.

"What's a PTS…?" began the Sixth. Rei interrupted her.

"It would appear that Touji has awaked." Said Rei.

-

Shinji was reading a manga that he had picked up on the way back from school when his cell phone rang. Snatching the phone off his belt, the Third checked the screen, seeing it was once more his Rei-chan. "Hey, Rei-chan!" he said, connecting the call. "Where are you?"

"At NERV." Came her reply. Shinji frowned. She sounds…excited. "Shinji, Maki Suzahara is walking." Said Rei, her tone oddly happy.

"Really?!" blurted Shinji "That's great!"

"There is more." Came Rei's voice.

"More? Like what?" asked Shinji, a broad grin plastered on his face.

"Touji has regained consciousness." Shinji felt a large weight roll off his shoulders.

"Thank god." He breathed. "Is he…?" he began.

"They are determining that even now." Answered Rei. In the background, he heard some people talking. "I will call you back at a later time, Shinji." Breathed Rei before the line went dead. Shinji fell back onto Maya's couch. They're both all right! He exalted. And from what the girls said, Touji won't be piloting any more, so he should be safe now. A few minutes passed before Shinji stood and moved toward the kitchen. Tonight calls for a celebration! And since I bet Maya-chan will be late, I'll just use the extra time to make feast she won't forget!

-

"Report." Came Gendo's voice over the phone. Ritsu reviewed her notes.

"The Fourth is awake, and there is no sign of mental contamination. Testing indicates that he has no memory of the incident at all." Came her answer. "His physical injuries are severe, but he should…"

"Is there any chance he might be able to pilot again?" asked Gendo. Akagi grimaced. Not too insensitive, are we?

"The MAGI all agree that he will not be able to pilot again. And since we put Horaki into Unit 4, there aren't any Evas available." Came the answer.

"I see." Said Gendo. A few moments passed. "Former Fourth Child Suzahara is discharged from NERV effective immediately. Transfer him to a hospital in Tokyo 2 or elsewhere. Terminate his pass and censor his medical files." Directed Gendo. "Additionally, he is to be purged from personnel records, and his destination is not to be disclosed to anyone, with emphasis on the Pilots."

"One more disappearing act coming up." Muttered Akagi.

"Excuse me, Doctor?" came Gendo's soft voice.

"And his sister?" asked Akagi in a normal voice.

"She is to be transferred as well." Said Gendo before closing the call. Sitting back in her chair in her office, Akagi fished up a cigarette and fired it up before logging onto the MAGI and beginning the necessary alterations to the files. Once that was done, she closed the link and punched in a number. Once the call connected, she spoke briefly with the other party, then terminated the call. Once more, she leaned back in her large chair. "Poor bastard." She muttered. Doctor Akagi had no idea that her activities had been noticed by two separate parties.

-

Touji Suzahara had healed a good amount in the month and a half since he had been injured. With the amount of medical expertise NERV had, it was not hard to tend to his physical wounds. Already, his body was as healed as if he had been in a hospital for three months. Other than the numerous dark purple scars all over his body and missing limbs, he was almost back to normal. Since he had awakened a few hours ago, he had been in and out of consciousness. Now, he was coming back around again.

"Suzahara." Came a soft, quiet voice from his bedside. Touji focused and turned his head to the side. Dimly, he perceived a form standing next to his bed. With all the lights off except for the reduced number of medical machines attached to him, he couldn't tell who it was.

"Who's there?" he asked, his voice a bit rough. The person didn't bother to answer him.

"Your contract with NERV is terminated, and you will be transferred out of the war zone within twelve hours." Said the person. Touji picked up some more details from the short speech. It's a girl. "You sister is going to be transferred as well. She is walking now, and will regain complete function in a matter of weeks. Does this satisfy your conditions for piloting?" enquired the girl. Touji blinked. Sounds a lot like Ayanami!

"Ayanami?" he asked.

"Yes." Said the girl. Touji tried to move his right arm, but got nothing.

"Why…?" he began.

"You have lost your right arm and leg, as well as sustained a lot of physical damage. Though most of it is healed, you will be left with reduced capabilities in some fields." Explained Rei. Touji felt a lump in his throat. Lost my arm and leg? How can I play sports like that? He flinched as he felt a cool hand touch his chest. He froze.

"Ayanami?" he asked stupidly. Rei said nothing. For several seconds, neither moved. Then, Touji spoke again. "What about…Shinji?" he asked.

"Alive, safe and well. We will continue the fight." Stated Rei.

"Will I see him before I leave?" asked Touji. Rei shook her head.

"No." she answered.

"Do me a favor, Ayanami." Said Touji, turning to look at her dim form. "Tell him this wasn't his fault."

"I will do so." Agreed Rei. Touji managed to get his left hand over to her hand and grab it with surprising strength.

"Make him understand that, Ayanami." He repeated.

"Yes." Several seconds passed. Touji took a deep breath and slowly exhaled it.

"I…want to see." He said. Rei said nothing. "I want to see…how bad it is." He repeated. "Help me, please." He whispered.

"Very well." Said Rei, freeing her hand and pulled the sheet off him. Reaching back, she carefully helped him to sit up so he could see himself. With his eyes better adjusted, he could see the missing leg, and his missing arm. Several wide, knotty marks would prove to be scars, he knew. He also realized that he was naked in front of the Ice Goddess, his dick at half mast. The realization made his dick stand taller. Turning to look at Rei, he saw that she seemed to have no reaction to his state. Guess I lucked out. He thought. It was premature.

"You are sexually aroused." Noted Rei. Touji coughed a bit.

"Um, yeah." He said. Rei said nothing. Touji tried again. "It'll go down again; sooner or later." He said.

Rei was silent for a few moments. "It is uncomfortable, is it not?" she asked. Touji felt himself grow a bit warmer.

"Well, you kind of get used to it." He deflected. "It's no big deal, I guess." He added. Unless you want to help me get it down.

"I see." Mused Rei softly. "Then, I will take this opportunity to thank you for your sacrifice." She said quietly. Touji gaped at her words.

"Wha…?" he managed before her lips touched his. For several seconds, Rei was motionless, her lips pressed to his. Just as Touji began to react to her kiss by trying to deepen it, she pulled back, unwilling to allow any tounge-dancing. Touji was left blinking at her as she laid him back down. "Thank you, former Pilot Suzahara." She said, turning away from him. "You should try to forget your experiences in Unit 3. That part of your life is over." The door closed behind her slim form.

-

"Misato-san!" came an excited call from behind the Major as she walked toward the medical ward. Frowning a bit, Misato turned to see a young girl making her way toward her, a huge smile on her face. After a moment of mental photo reviewing, she smiled back.

"Good morning, Maki Suzahara!" she said as the girl got closer. "It's good to see you up and around again."

"Yeah! I'm better now, thanks to big brother!" laughed Maki. "Is Shinji-sama here? I want to talk to him and tell him about everything!" Misato's smile stayed frozen in place.

"Um, he's at school right now, Maki." Said Misato. Maki frowned a bit.

"Oh. Will he come see me when he gets out?" she asked, smiling again. Misato thought about the note she had gotten from Akagi that morning.

"I'm sure he'll try, Maki-chan, but I don't know it he can make it or not." Said Misato. It's not a lie, since Shin would do anything to see her, especially if it pissed off the Commander!

"I'll wait for him!" assured Maki. Misato sighed.

"Maki-chan, you and Touji are being transferred out of Tokyo 3 this afternoon." Said Misato softly. Maki frowned.

"Why?" she pouted. "Shinji-sama and the other pilots are staying, so why can't I? Besides," she added, her frown deepening, "big brother is still not better." Misato wondered how to get herself out of this conversation.

"It's because of that that you are being sent where you can get better." She said, hoping she bought it. "Besides, Shinji would feel a lot better if he knew you were safely out of harms way." She added. Maki considered it.

"I guess." She allowed. "Where are we being sent?" asked Maki.

"I don't know, Maki-chan, but I'm sure it's safe and that you can help Touji get better there." Replied Misato. There is no record anywhere about where the Fourth is going. She knelt down and looked into Maki's eyes. "Maki-chan, your brother is badly hurt. He's going to be depending on you to take care of him while he gets better. Can you do that? For Shinji?" Maki's face settled into a determined expression.

"Yes! I can take care of big brother for Shinji-sama!" said the girl, her voice full of determination. Misato smiled at the girl.

"I know that Shinji will appreciate you taking care of his best friend, Maki-chan!" she approved. Maki smiled and giggled.

"Can Shinji come visit us?" she asked. Misato took the safe route.

"Well, not until the Angels are gone, at any rate." She said. Looking over the girl's head, she saw her nurse approaching. "Well, here comes your nurse, Maki-chan. You need to get ready to go with your brother, so be a good girl, ok?" said Misato, touching Maki's shoulder.

"Yes, miss Katsuragi-san!" chorused the girl. Misato straightened in preparation to continue her journey, but Maki had one more thing to say to her. "Miss Katsuragi-san?" she said, her tone quiet. "Can you tell Shinji-sama that I really want to see him before we go? Please?" she begged. Misato considered it.

"I'll do what I can, Maki-chan, but no promises, ok?"

-

Shinji sat at his desk at school, idly typing meaningless garbage on his laptop. His IM program was on, but nothing was really happening, so he had taken to typing anything that came into his head. Just then, the messaging program chirped, and he saw that IceGoddess wanted a word with him. Clicking the box, he got a simple message.

`Sixteen hundred hours, northern line, gate four.' Hmm. She's being cryptic. He typed in a message and sent it to Rei. A moment later, her reply came back. Shinji blinked, then closed his eyes. A moment later, he opened them and nodded to himself. I've got an appointment this afternoon.

-

Maya had evening duty that night, so she had slept in. When Shinji had left for school, she had still been asleep, so he had just kissed her on her cheek and slipped out. Now, it was a little past three, and she was up and digging into some left-overs from last night. Happily munching, she reflected that it was good to have a Shinji in her house. Finishing her breakfast, she put the empty containers in the sink and stretched. "Shower time." She said to no one, moving toward the bathroom.

As she stepped out of the kitchen, she heard the door unlock. Maya frowned. Shinji shouldn't be home yet. She thought. The door closed, and she heard someone step into the hall. "Shinji? That you?" she called.

"Yeah, Maya-chan." Came the reply. Shinji rounded the corner and set his book bag down.

"You're home early, Shinji." Said Maya, looking him over for signs of a fight or illness.

"Yeah, I'm ditching this afternoon. I've got an important appointment, and I can't miss it." Said Shinji. He eyed her, smiling as he did so. Maya was still in her sleeping outfit, which lately was panties or less, depending. Right now, the young tech was in some loose silk panties and nothing else. "Maya-chan, I could use a favor." He said.

"All you have to do is ask, Shinji." Said Maya, stepping over to him and pulling him to her, her lips coming to his. Shinji hugged and kissed her back for several seconds before easing back.

"Not that kind of favor, Maya-chan." He chuckled. Maya pouted. "Seriously, can you drive me to the north line by four o'clock?" Maya glanced at the clock.

"No problem. Let me grab some clothes." She said. She felt his eyes on her as she walked to her bedroom. Her smile was more of a leer. Grabbing a shirt, she pulled it on before grabbing a pair of blue jeans and wiggling into them. With that done, she ran a hand through her hair and grabbed her purse and a pair of sandals before exiting the room to find Shinji with his book bag over his shoulder. He smiled at her outfit.

"You look good, Maya-chan." He said. Maya smiled back at him.

"Thanks, Shinji." She said. "Ready to go?" Shinji nodded.

They arrived at the station with eight minutes to spare. As Maya pulled into a spot in front of the station, she glanced at Shinji, who was unbuckling his seatbelt. "So, what are we doing here, Shinji?" asked the dark-haired woman. Shinji paused.

"I have to take care of something, Maya-chan." He said, his tone serious. "You don't have to come with me, you know." He added. Maya unbuckled her seatbelt.

"Do you not want me to come with you?" she asked him, staring into his eyes.

"It's not that, Maya." He said, sighing. "It's just…I should have done this a long time ago, but didn't, and now I'm not looking forward to it, but can't procrastinate any more. Does that make any sense to you, Maya-chan?" he wondered. Maya nodded once.

"Yes, it does, Shinji. Want me to go with you?" she asked again. Shinji considered it for a minute.

"I'd like it if you did, but you might get in trouble with NERV if you do." He said quietly. "They can't really do anything to me because I'm Unit 1's only pilot, but you…" he trailed off. Maya considered that warning. As a tech, she could be replaced. Still, she was the second best with the MAGI system and the only one that had any hope of filling in for Akagi. Still, will that be enough if the shit hits the fan because of whatever Shinji is going to do? Shinji's voice interrupted her thoughts. "I don't want to put you in a situation where you suffer for my actions, Maya." He said quietly, touching her shoulder gently. Fuck it. Thought Maya, feeling a warm sensation at his caring. You only live once, and I know full well that Major Katsuragi would go with him. She tugged her door latch and stepped out of her car.

"Let's go, Shinji." She said, smiling at him. Returning her smile, Shinji climbed out of her car and led the way into the station. Maya fell in beside him, wondering what he was doing here. Entering the station, he moved to the departure platform and started to look around. With Tokyo 3 all but deserted, there was no one in sight at the moment. Pulling his phone off his belt, Shinji checked something before looking at the station clock.

"Where are they?" he muttered. Maya heard the train approach.

"Better hurry if they're going on this train." She observed. Just then, Shinji turned his head sharply to the far entrance, where a group of people were entering the departure area. Maya studied the group. Hmm. There's a nurse, a patient in a wheel chair, a little girl and three goons. What would Shinji want with them? Shinji took a deep breath and moved purposefully toward the group. Maya hurried to catch up. She noticed that his hand rested on his book bag's flap. As they got closer, she gasped. "That's…!" she began.

"Now you know, Maya-chan." Said Shinji softly. Suddenly, the girl squealed and ran toward Shinji.

"Shinji-sama! Shinji-sama!" she chanted, giggling as she came to a stop in front of him. "You came to see me after all, Shinji-sama! Miss Katsuragi-san kept her word!" the girl happily exclaimed.

"Maki-chan, I'm glad to see you up and around again." Said Shinji, his voice thick with emotion and unsteady. "Are you feeling ok? I mean, you don't have any more pain, do you?" The girl giggled some more.

"Nope! Thanks to big brother, I'm all better!" she assured him, doing a slightly unstable pirouette for emphasis. "And I'm gonna get even better with each day!" she said proudly. For the first time, she noticed Maya. "Who's this, Shinji-sama? Is she a pilot like Asuka-san and Rei-san?" she asked, her tone eager.

"No, this is Maya-chan." Chuckled Shinji. "She's my…"

"Girlfriend?" guessed Maki, studying the older tech carefully. "She's pretty, Shinji-sama." Announced the girl. Maya felt herself blush a little. Shinji shook his head.

"I was going to say she is one of the people that help us in the fights, kind of like Misato does, but in a different way." He explained. "She is pretty, though." One of the goons approached them. Shinji glanced at the approaching man. I don't think he's Section 2, but still…he slipped his hand under the edge of his book bag, his finger tips resting on his USP.

"Sir, the train will be leaving soon and we have to get the subjects aboard." Said the man coldly. Maki pouted.

"Aww! I want to talk to Shinji-sama!" she announced. Shinji straightened and stared the man in the eyes.

"Are you with Section 2?" he asked, his tone flat and unfriendly. The man blinked.

"No. I'm with Section 5. Why?"

"Then you know full well who I am. The train will fucking keep!" he hissed.

"Pilot, we have orders…" began the man, his tone tight and angry; no doubt at the way that Shinji talked to him. Shinji settled a glare on him that would have made Gendo envious.

"Whatever your fucking orders are is your business, agent." He spat. "My business is saying goodbye to my friends. If you have a problem with that, tough shit!"

"Shinji! Maki-chan can hear you!" reminded Maya in a soft but urgent tone. Shinji abruptly recalled that an eight year old girl was standing right in front of him.

"Oh crap!" he muttered. "Maki-chan, I'm sorry about that." He said, only to hear Maki giggle.

"You sound like big brother when you talk like that, Shinji-sama!" giggled the girl.

"Ouch?" offered Maya, smiling at Shinji. The Third Child shook his head.

"I'll take that one, Maya." He said. Turning his head to Maki, he smiled again. "Is Touji awake?" he asked her.

"Uh-huh!" nodded Maki. "Come on, I'll take you to him." She said, grabbing his hand and pulling him past the Section 5 agent, who was still grimacing. Maya stepped past him, glancing at him. As an officer, she technically outranked him.

"Lieutenant Ibuki," began the man. Maya stopped and turned to him.

"I will take care of this, agent. You can return to your post." Said Maya calmly. She had never tried pulling rank, and hoped this would be easy.

"Ma'am, there were orders that Pilot Ikari not be allowed to see them." Stated the man stiffly. "I'll have to report this to Command." He noted. Maya's eyes narrowed a bit. Unbidden, Shinji's warning came back to her. She pushed it aside.

"Do what you feel you must, Agent. I will be filing my own report with Major Katsuragi. Dismissed." She said, trying to sound like her sempai, Doctor Akagi. She must have done ok, because the man pressed his lips together and gave her a stiff salute. Maya tossed one back to him; she hadn't done any saluting in a while, and her salute resembled Misato's more-wave-than-salute. Still, it ended the conversation. The man turned on his heel and motioned for his men to depart. God, I hope I can smother that report before Commander Ikari gets it. Oh well; Shinji-kun warned me about coming with him. Maya hurried over to where Shinji and Maki were standing next to a wheel-chair-bound Touji.

"Look, Shin man, this isn't your fault." Touji was saying. Shinji had a grim look on his face. "I lost control, and this is the result." He said.

"Touji, it was Unit 1 that put you in that wheelchair, and I was piloting her. How do you figure this isn't my fault?" he demanded. Touji snorted.

"Because you were doing what had to be done, Shinji, that's how I figure it." He said flatly. "It was me or the world, Shin, and you did what I can only hope I had the balls to do if the situation were reversed. Forget about it, man." He urged Shinji.

"Kind of hard to forget about maiming your friends, Touji." Said Shinji darkly. Touji sighed.

"Man, if you keep doing that, I'm gonna knock your block off!" he threatened. Shinji shrugged.

"Wouldn't be the first time, Touji."

Touji laughed at that. "Yeah, keep bringing that up, why don't cha?" He turned serious. "Listen, Shinji." He said intently. "You need to let this go, man. If you keep worrying about this, some Angel is gonna kill your ass. I'm alive, and that's good enough for me. Besides," he said, glancing at his kid sister. "I piloted to get Maki taken care of. She's back the way she should be, so forget about blaming yourself for this. Ayanami and Red Devil will need all the help they can get, so go be the lead Angel killer for us all, huh?" He shifted in his chair, and Maki was quick to scold him about it.

"Big brother!" she cried, her tone outraged. "You're not supposed to try moving yet!" she commanded. Touji sighed again.

"Great." He said to Shinji, "Instead of a cute nurse in a short skirt, I get my kid sister with a whip." He complained. Shinji smiled at him.

"Hey, all that time you spent on her, and now she can repay you." He said. Maki nodded emphatically. "You're in good hands, Touji." He said quietly. Touji smiled at his kid sister.

"The best." He agreed. Maki smiled at her big brother.

"I'll take good care of him, Shinji-sama! Promise!" she assured her idol.

"I know you will, Maki-chan." Agreed Shinji. The last call for boarding came. Shinji glanced at the train and steeled himself. Reaching out, he took Touji's hand in his, shaking it.

"Take care, Touji." He said as the nurse began to wheel him toward the train, Maki by his side. He noticed that Maki's bag had the three plushy Eva Units he and the others had given her after the paintball game tied to the outside where she could get them easily. She still has them. He marveled. Another thought occurred to him. "Hey! Touji!" he called. Touji turned a bit toward him. "Don't call her that!" he reminded his friend.

-

"You're quiet, Shinji." Observed Maya as the two drove back to her place. The two had left as soon as the train pulled out of the station, as Maya still had to get ready for her shift at NERV. "Do you want to talk about it?" she asked.

"Not really." Said Shinji. "There isn't much to talk about." He paused. "Still, Maki-chan seems to be doing good."

Maya smiled to herself. "If she were a few years older, she'd be a threat." Noted the tech. Shinji frowned.

"What are you talking about, Maya-chan?" he asked, lost. Maya smiled at him.

"I mean, she's got a crush on you, Shinji-sama!" laughed the tech. "If she weren't so young, she'd be doing everything she could to be your girlfriend!"

"You're wrong, Maya." Said Shinji, his tone serious. "She has a crush on Shinji the Hero, Pilot of Unit 1 and Savior of Mankind, not on Shinji Ikari."

"They're both you, Shinji." Noted Maya, wondering where he was going with this. Shinji shook his head.

"No, they're not both me." He explained. "I'm just Shinji. There's nothing special about me. She's infatuated with someone else."

"Is that wrong?" asked Maya. "Should she not see you as her hero?"

"I guess not." Shrugged Shinji. "But there's a problem with her falling for Shinji the Hero." He added.

"What problem is that?" pressed Maya. Shinji turned to look her in the eyes.

"Shinji the Hero doesn't exist." He said evenly.

-

Rei slipped into her small `office' deep within NERV's bowels. Years ago, Commander Ikari had provided this space for her use in training and fighting Angels. In the small eight by eight foot room was a MAGI terminal and a chair. The walls were bare concrete as were the ceiling and floor. Still, it was all she needed for her uses. Sitting in the simple office chair, she activated her MAGI terminal and logged on through a back door, ensuring that she was invisible to all but Akagi, and only of the doctor were specifically looking for her. And if push came to shove, Rei was reasonably sure that she could evade the doctor. Still, she doubted that it would be necessary for this task.

With swift keystrokes, she accessed Section 5's data systems and searched their reports for any mention of her Shinji. Within seconds, she had found and destroyed three reports from the three agents. Contingency plan in place, she moved to Section 2's node and began to systematically search out anything that she felt she should know to protect her Shinji. As she was scanning though the report archive, she came across a report on the activities of the Second several months ago. Rei read the entire report, then destroyed it before moving on the cross-referenced files and destroying them, too. With that done, she moved into the Vice Commander's node and checked his logs for anything of value. Satisfied, she logged off and sat back, considering her new information and planning.

The actions of Asuka worried her, because it might hurt Shinji if the wrong people came to know about it. It also bothered her that Asuka was risking the developing relationship with Shinji for seemingly-random sexual encounters. The fact that she had intercourse with Agent Kaji is not surprising, as she spent a long period of time convincing herself that he wished to have a relationship with her. She mused. However, she also allowed herself to have intercourse with someone she didn't even know. This is…troublesome. Rei began to plan out measures to protect Shinji from any fall out if Asuka's escapades came to light or if she left him. Twenty minutes later, she exited her tiny cubical, having planned out several scenarios where she could prevent any harm coming to Shinji as a result of Asuka's activities. She also realized that she needed more expert advise. So, she was going to see what an expert on sexual relationships had to say on the matter.

-

Maya straightened her uniform and made sure she was ready for her evening shift. Seeing nothing out of place, she glanced at the clock and headed for the door. As she passed the kitchen, she saw Shinji closing a bento for her. "Here, it's your supper." He said softly, handing her the bento. Maya set the bento on the table and put her hands on Shinji's shoulders.

"Shinji, are you going to be ok?" she asked. "I know you can't be feeling too good, seeing what went down this afternoon." Shinji looked in her eyes and nodded.

"Yeah, I'm going to be ok, Maya-chan." He said. Maya drew him into a hug. His arms closed around her back and waist as he returned the hug. After a few moments, she eased back and pressed her lips to his, her tounge getting into the act almost immediately. For almost a minute, they kissed before Maya reluctantly broke off the embrace.

"Well, I'll be home early tomorrow morning, Shinji." She said, taking the bento and snagging her purse as she stepped out of the kitchen. "See you then?" she asked, giving him one final look before heading for the door.

"I'll be here." Said Shinji. Hearing the door close, he put up the last of the food and moved to the couch, grabbing the remote and flipping the TV on. Channel surfing proved to be too boring, so he killed the television and stared out the window. Ten minutes later, he got up and moved toward the laundry room. Maybe doing some chores would help him relax and get his mind off of Touji's situation.

He was elbows-deep in panties when he heard a knock on the door of Maya's apartment. Frowning, he rinsed off his arms and grabbed his USP as he made his way to the door. Approaching the door, he settled his finger onto the trigger guard as Rit-chan had instructed him. Glancing out the peephole, he smiled and hit the button to open the door. "Hey, what are you doing here?" he asked, stepping back so the visitor could enter.

"I was in the area and thought I should come by and see how you were making out." Said Airi, smiling at him.

-

Hikari was humming as she did the dishes, having just finished a nice warm bath after her evening tests and practice at NERV. Right now, Rei was kneeling on the floor with her USP stripped down for cleaning on her lap. The First was once more wearing damp hair and nothing else. Hikari was absently listening to the periodical click, snap and clang as Rei cleaned and reassembled her USP. Finished with her weapons care, Rei efficiently gathered her small cleaning kit and moved into the bedroom to deposit the cleaned gun on her nightstand. Hikari made a note to service her USP as well. As she was putting the last dish into the drying rack, she heard a knock at her door. Drying her hands on the apron she had gotten a few days before, she untied it and set it over the back of a chair before heading for the door.

Glancing out the peephole, she hit the button to open the door. "Hey, guys!" she said as Asuka and Rit-chan entered the apartment, both in oversize tee-shirts and shorts. Hikari smiled as she noticed two bulges on their hips. Carrying the USPs had become second nature to them all since the attempt on the three months ago. "What brings you over here?" she asked as the door closed and locked behind them. Asuka glanced at her.

"This." Said the Second, holding up a pack of cards. "You gonna put on some clothes or what, Hikari?" she added. Hikari glanced at herself and realized that she was wearing panties and nothing else. Living with Rei makes it so easy to forget things like clothes. She noted, coloring a bit. "I swear, I wonder about you and Wondergirl sometimes, the way you're always prancing around naked in here." Sniped Asuka.

"We do not prance, Asuka." Came Rei's calm voice. Hikari saw Rei emerge from the bedroom, still naked. "And it is our house. What concern of yours is it if we choose to be comfortable?"

"Besides, Asuka, we treat the Zoo like a locker room, don't we?" defended Rit-chan. "Bet Shinji will love that when he gets back!" she said suggestively.

"Of course he will, the pervert." Sniffed Asuka. Still her groin felt warm at the mention of Shinji returning to the Zoo and seeing her naked. "But enough about that!" she commanded. "We're here to play some cards."

"What for?" asked Rei.

"Because I'm bored, there's nothing on TV and Pen Pen is trying to cop a feel!" snapped Asuka. Rit-chan glanced at Hikari and gave her a tiny head shake. Hikari understood and simply nodded.

"I'll grab a shirt, Asuka, if it bothers you. Want to play in the kitchen or in the living room?" she asked.

"Living room." Decided Asuka. "And if it doesn't bother you, it doesn't bother me; we shower in gym and NERV together, after all." Asuka and Rit-chan settled by the coffee table. "You're playing too, Wondergirl." She commanded. Rei couldn't care less if she did or didn't, so she humored the Second.

"Very well." She said, sinking to her knees in front of the table. Hikari hesitated, then also joined them at the table, discarding the shirt suggestion. Asuka took the cards out of the package and shuffled them a few times. "What are the stakes to be, Asuka?" asked Rei.

"None for now." Said Asuka, beginning to deal the cards. "Just something to burn some time." Swiftly, the cards were dealt and she put the deck in the center of the table. "Standard poker." She announced, looking at her cards.

-

Airi and Shinji were walking though a park not too far from Maya's place. The actress had spent a half hour or so talking with Shinji of small things, then suggested a stroll in the moonlight. Shinji had agreed and here they were, walking in the park like a couple. Shinji had let Airi do most of the talking until then. It had surprised him that she knew all about Touji and his sister. Still, she's always seemed to know what's going on with everything. Mused Shinji. He felt Airi take his arm. "Want to sit there for a bit?" she asked him, motioning to a bench.

"Sure. Whatever you want, Airi." Said Shinji. The two eased onto the bench, Airi settling right up against him. Shinji didn't mind. For several seconds, she was silent. Finally, she spoke.

"Shinji, I think we can help each other." She said softly. Shinji turned to study her, but couldn't read her at all. Not surprising. Airi leaned closer to him, her nose touching his briefly. "You want to get him back for all he's done, right?" Shinji looked into her eyes.

"In the worst way." He murmured.

-

Asuka and her crew had started playing Suites about an hour ago. At Hikari's suggestion, they had started using pens, pencils and markers for chips, with pencils being one dollar, pens being five and markers being ten. It was the one thing that they had in sufficient numbers in the apartment for such usage. Asuka made a note to get something closer to chips before they did this again. What they were playing now was a variant that Rit-chan had explained to them as something she and her friends had cooked up. Each player got five cards, and could draw a card for each on they discarded. The discarded cards were put face-down to keep from giving anyone a clue what was being discarded. The player with the highest sequential suite won. There was a twist, though. Only number cards were regular; the royals were wild, but only within their own suites. Aces were dead cards. So, if a player had a five, six, eight, nine and Queen in diamond, the Queen became a seven.

Once someone thought they had a winning hand, they called. Nasty side effect of the face-down discard was that often, a winning hand was measured in three card groups. It was a simple, but effective way to overcome a player with a really good game face. Like Rei, who had been wiping the deck with them all since the start. Now, it was more even, as a good game face was of limited use. The other three were slowly regaining some of the collection of writing instruments that had been in front of Rei. Asuka was working on a perfect run of clubs, with a six, seven, eight and ten of clubs in hand, and a queen diamond. Discarding the queen, she drew the top card, hoping for a club royal. Instead, it was the two of spades. She grimaced. "This sucks." She muttered.

Rit-chan smiled knowingly at her. "Really cuts into the card sharks though, doesn't it?" she leered. "Yuki is a terror at this. She has this nasty tendency drop four card groups with disconcerting regularity. We never did figure out how she does it, either; she's a lost cause at regular poker." Her own hand was coming along nicely with a string of hearts that could make a five shot run with either a royal or the six of hearts. Rit-chan glanced at the others. "Raise you a pencil." She said, rolling a pencil to the center of the table.

"Call." Said Rei softly, laying her hand down. All three girls groaned. Rei had the nine, ten, jack, queen and king of spades. Asuka growled.

"Who's up for some blackjack?" she asked.

"We don't have enough decks for a shoe, Asuka." Noted Rit-chan. And besides, I learned the MIT Blackjack Team's play strategy.

"True." Allowed Asuka. Guess I'll spring that counting trick next time.

"So, what now?" asked Hikari, stretching. "Want something to drink, guys?" she asked, standing and heading for the kitchen. Everyone called out their orders, and Hikari began to assemble them. Rei spoke up.

"I have obtained a new game. Would you like to try it?" she asked the group at large.

"A fighting game?" asked Asuka eagerly.

"I believe it is a training simulation for driving." Returned Rei, standing and moving to her entertainment system, where she loaded the game and pulled the controllers to the table. Asuka watched the game come up. It was a driving game. The German smiled.

"I'll give it a try, Wondergirl." Purred the Pilot. Selecting her car, she tore through the first course with passionate abandon. Watching her curse and swear at the pedestrians and other cars alike, Rit-chan took her drink from Hikari and smiled at Rei.

"You're right, Rei-chan." Said the Elf hunter. "This has to be the program that Misato learned to drive with."

-

Shinji had been in bed for two hours when Maya quietly entered her house. He was staring at the ceiling, though, fully awake as his temporary guardian entered the bedroom and stripped off her clothes. "Welcome home, Maya-chan." He said softly, getting a startled `eep!' from her. Maya exhaled and finished taking off the last of her uniform before yawning and padding to her bed. Shinji held the covers open for her as she laid down next to him.

"What are you doing still awake?" asked Maya.

"Just thinking." Said Shinji. Maya was silent for a bit, then turned on her side and pulled Shinji to her. Silently, she kissed him, slipping her tounge into his mouth, his tounge eagerly caressing her own. Responding to her actions, Shinji eased his arms around her and drew her closer to him. With a soft moan, she pressed herself to him full length. One of her hands trailed to his hip, finding his boxers gone. Eagerly, she dove down to caress his semi-aroused member, swiftly bringing it to full hardness as she felt his hands slide down her waist to her hips, then to her wet pussy as she hooked a leg over his legs, giving him room to caress her pussy. With consummate skill, Shinji stimulated her sex, which swiftly grew damp, then wet. Meanwhile, Maya had been caressing his throbbing erection as she tried to reach his tonsils with her oral member. His free hand was splitting it's time and attention between her rock-hard nipples and supple breasts.

Maya felt her first orgasm of the evening roll though her and moaned into Shinji's mouth. Shinji gently pinched her nipple as he slowed his stroking fingers, buried to the knuckle in her wet groin. Breaking the kiss, Maya lay her head back and panted. The Pilot took advantage of her rest to wrap his lips around her free nipple and began to suck on it, carefully nipping it with his teeth occasionally. Maya felt a small series of mini-orgasms flow through her. Enough foreplay. She thought, taking his wrists in her hands and easing them off and out of herself. Shinji glanced at her as his fingers slipped out of her drenched sex. Maya smiled back, laying on her back and pulling him on top of her. "Let's move on, ok, Shinji?" she said, settling him between her legs, his tip coming to rest at her entrance.

"Are you sure, Maya-chan?" asked Shinji. They had had oral sex and done a ton of heavy petting, but other than a couple of times of outside-the-sheath humping, they hadn't sex. Shinji had been holding back because he was concerned that Maya might not want that, and Maya had been holding back because she didn't want to see like she was taking advantage of him. Right now, having been at the station with him, she knew that she wasn't taking advantage of him. Maya twitched her hips against him, her actions pushing his wide, warm tip into her a bit deeper. Shinji shivered with desire.

"Yes, Shinji." Said Maya softly, touching his cheek. "I think we are both in need of this." God, talk about sounding like a slut! One part of her mind taunted her. She kicked that part in the head; with a pair of spiked boots. Shinji eased forward, his eyes studying her eyes intently, though for what she wasn't sure. Bullshit. He's watching for any sign that you aren't with this one hundred percent. Disagreed her analytical side. The twenty three year old tech brought her knees up a bit more, giving him better access. "I want this, Shinji." She said, feeling his tip pushing deeper into her passage. "And I think you do as well." She added, moaning as his tip completely entered her. Shinji sighed as he felt her tight, slick sheath contract around his sensitive tip. Leaning forward, he pressed his lips to her lips, both tongues swiftly getting into the act.

She's different from A-chan, Rei-chan, Hikari and Rit-chan. Marveled Shinji as he steadily worked his member deeper into the tech's sex. Touji and the boys always said they were all the same, but they aren't. Even if they have the same parts, they are entirely different! How could anyone think that one woman was the same as any other woman?! His next stroke pressed his tip into her cervix. A soft, aroused moan escaped her throat as he pulled back a bit before pushing forward again, his hips not yet seated against her hips. Maya broke off the kiss and bit his shoulder as she clawed at his back, her fingers leaving some scrapes that Shinji didn't feel. Her pussy spasmed as she suffered a massive orgasm from the sensation of Shinji's dick pressing against her cervix. Moaning, gasping and panting, Maya Ibuki clung to him as he continued to slowly stroke himself in her vagina.

Maya was feeling sensations she had never felt before. Holy shit! I thought I had cum before, but I was wrong! Dully, she was aware of Shinji still steadily pushing into her, even as she felt herself floating from a powerful multiple orgasm. Struggling, she managed to gain some semblance of speech. "Shin," she panted, her lips teasing his. "Don't stop," a moan interrupted her speech as her lover pushed a bit deeper. "Cum in me, Shin." She panted, locking her legs around him. Shinji was all too happy to grant her request.

-

Kaji moved swiftly though the passage toward Heaven's Door. In his hand was the access card and in his mind was a new set of codes to try to crack the last few rooms. He had been stopped before when he was here with Airi, but he was certain that the new codes - provided to him by one of his employers - would get him in. Stopping in front of the door to the room with the Angel crucified to the massive cross, he raised the card, preparing to swipe it. The soft, but distinct click! Of a hammer being cocked froze him in place. His nose caught a scent of lavender.

"Working late, Misato?" he guessed.

"So it would seem." Came Misato's hard voice. "Tell me, is this your real job, or just a side-line?" she asked, her gun pressed to the back of his skull.

"What do you mean?" parried Kaji, feeling himself begin to sweat.

"I did some checking, Kaji." Said Misato flatly. "Ever since you so conveniently showed up with Asuka, I've had my doubts about your reasons for being here. So, I called in some favors." She paused. Kaji was silent, hands partially raised. "I found out that there is at least two Agent Ryoga Kajis." Continued Misato, her attention never leaving him. "The first one works for NERV Special Inspections division, while the other one is employed by the JMI." A sharp prod with her gun's barrel preceded her next question. "Which one is the real one, Kaji?" she demanded.

"They're both real." He answered. Thank god that's all she found out! "So, should I be expecting a troop of Section 2 axe men about now?" he asked her carefully. Misato was silent for a moment. Thought not.

"No. This time, I'll let it pass; as a favor to an old friend." She said softly, her thumb on the decocker of her pistol. "But listen to me, Kaji." She said intently. "This is the advice of that old friend: quit one or the other job before it gets you killed."

"I can't do that, Misa-chan." Replied Kaji regretfully. "At least, not yet. I'm so close to the truth, I couldn't walk away now even if I wanted to."

"Kaji, you have…" began Misato.

"Let me show you some of that truth, Misa-chan, before you make any choices." Said Kaji, swiping the card and hitting the code sequence. Misato watched the doors open, revealing the LCL lake and the giant white form on the cross.

"No. It can't be." Whispered Misato, seeing in her mind the brief glimpse of the Angel in Antarctica as her capsule closed around her. This thing looked nearly identical to the first. "What is…by why…how could…?" she thought, dazed. Kaji slowly turned to look at her.

"You see now, Misato?" he asked her. "You don't know NERV at all."

-

Hikari was laying beside Rei in their bed as they waited for sleep to catch up to them. The First and Sixth had seen Rit-chan and Asuka back to their apartment about a half hour ago, and had climbed into bed ten minutes ago. Rei lay on her side, facing Hikari, eyes open. Hikari was laying on her back, staring at the ceiling. Hikari sighed. "What is wrong, Hikari?" came Rei's soft voice.

"I…miss Shinji." Said Hikari quietly.

"As do I." Agreed Rei. "He will return to us soon, Hikari." Promised Rei.

"I can't wait." Agreed the Sixth, feeling her pussy tingle. For several moments, neither spoke. Finally, Hikari spoke again, turning her head to look at Rei. "Hey, Rei, can I ask you something?" she asked.

"Yes." Replied Rei. Hikari considered what she was wanting to say.

"Have you…thought about…new things to try? With Shinji, I mean." She qualified.

"What do you mean?" asked Rei. Hikari felt herself blush.

"I…it's nothing, Rei." Said Hikari, chickening out. "Forget it." Rei studied her roommate.

"You wish to try something sexually new with Shinji." Stated Rei. Hikari felt herself grow warmer.

"Just forget I said anything, Rei." She begged. The First was unlike to do that.

"What was it you were considering trying?" asked Rei calmly. Hikari debated what to say and how.

"It's nothing." She said a moment later. "Just something that crossed my mind."

"What crossed your mind?" asked Rei. Hikari groaned to herself as she realized that Rei wouldn't let it go.

"Have you…ever wondered what it would be like to…you know, share him?" muttered Hikari, blushing badly.

"Yes." Replied Rei as if it were no more an issue than asking what time it was. "I am to understand that you wish to have a `threesome' with him?" she asked for confirmation. Hikari nodded. "Who would you like to have this with in addition to Shinji?" asked Rei. She had a fairly good idea already. Hikari was silent. "I see." Said Rei softly. She reached out and touched Hikari's bare stomach, making Hikari shiver a bit. "I will ask Shinji when I see him." She said.

"D…don't misunderstand, Rei." Gulped Hikari uneasily, "I'm not a lesbian or anything! I just heard some things, that's all." She finished lamely. "Besides, he might not want to." Rei smiled a secret smile.

"I do not believe that that will be an issue." She said softly. A moment later, she had another question for her somewhat uncomfortable bedmate. "Why did you wish to initiate this with me? Asuka is your best friend, after all, and Rit-chan is adventurous. Would they not be adequate choices?"

"It's because you're so…steady." Struggled Hikari, trying to figure out how to say what she was thinking. "Asuka would be…temperamental about the whole thing, and Rit-chan…well, I can't keep up with her looks; not that I'm saying I can keep up with you!" she swiftly added. Rei watched her, her face expressionless. "You were the one that suggested that I fu…sleep with him, so I thought you'd be the best choice."

Unsure how to answer that, Rei simply nodded. "I see." She said. Reaching out, she lightly smacked Hikari on the head with two fingers.

"Ow!" complained Hikari. "What was that for, Rei?!" she demanded, rubbing the place Rei had smacked her.

"I have observed Rit-chan doing that to you when you talked about your body. She explained to me what she was doing, and asked for my help. So, I am helping her." Explained Rei.

"By beating up on me?!" wondered Hikari.

"There is nothing wrong with your body." Stated Rei. "Shinji has great affection for you as you are. There is no need to compare yourself to others." Reaching out, Rei pulled Hikari to herself.