Disclaimer: Neon Genesis Evangelion is owned by Studio Gainax animation, not me. Should they, or anyone affiliated with them, request it, I will remove all traces of this story from the web. Also note that this story contains graphic depictions of sexual acts between two women. If you are offended by such material, or are under the legal age to view/read it in your state or country, please stop NOW. Thank you.

It's not for Everyone
By Rx7

Shinji Ikari did not look up from the novel he was reading as the door to his apartment shut with a bang. "Rough day wrangling office techs?" he murmured as the apartment's other occupant stormed into the kitchen. Since it was one of his days off, he was dressed casually in a pair of sweats and a plain white tee shirt.

Asuka Langley Souryu shrugged nonchalantly, leaning over the table to snatch a piece of toast off the young man's plate. "Same old," she muttered, taking a bite of the bread and chewing it thoughtfully, "just a few more stupid people than usual today… that's all…"

"I see," Shinji nodded, turning the page and reaching blindly for his drink.

Asuka grabbed it before he could get to it and drained half of the glass in one gulp.

"Hungry?" the brown-haired boy asked, his brow drawing down slightly as he finally looked up from his book.

"Famished," the redhead admitted, offering him a sunny smile. "Make me something?"

Shinji rolled his eyes and laid his book down on the table. "Sure," he sighed, "what do you want?"

"Anything you're willing to make!" Asuka exclaimed happily, "You know I never complain."

"True…" Shinji admitted, "but it'll have to be quick - Yuki is coming over in a bit."

Asuka made a face. "Yuki?" she grumped, "I thought you broke up with her…?"

"Well, kinda," Shinji mumbled, reaching into one of the lower cabinets to grab a pan. "Just thought I'd give it another chance… I really like her, Asuka…"

In the five years they had known one another, Asuka had learned one valuable lesson - don't bother trying to change Shinji's mind. She knew that he would avert his eyes… mumble that she was probably right… and go ahead and do whatever stupid thing it was he was going to do. It was how he made his statement, she supposed. She was quick to tell everyone what she thought, and uncompromising in her principals… he was quiet and soft-spoken, and every bit as uncompromising. In the end, they had the same outlook on life - they just had different ways of reaching their destination.

Which is probably why they got along so well after the Impact.

"You know my standpoint," Asuka said levelly, walking over to where the boy stood and giving him a quick peck on the cheek. "Thanks for the food… I'm gonna go change while it's cooking."

Shinji looked inexplicably awkward, and nodded, avoiding her eyes.

He's got a secret, Asuka thought, turning for the door, Lord, I hope he's not going to propose to that dipstick…

Shaking her head, the former Second Child started for her room, longing to be free of the office attire she was forced to wear for her job. It was a good position, she knew, and one that not many nineteen year olds held, but it was still a pain to get all fancied up in a dress when she wanted nothing more than a pair of jeans and a tank-top.

In the four years since Third Impact, things had been rocky for her - for all of the remaining Children, actually. Many painful truths had been learned after that terrible event, not the least of which was how hard it really was to get by in the real world. Forget the pain of adapting to genetically designed replacement limbs, or the uncertainty of finding yourself in a new city after having yours blasted into the stratosphere by an N^2 mine - try holding down a steady job, or trying to find real romance when everyone knew who you were.

It certainly made for 'interesting times.'

Opening her door, Asuka commented, "Well… at least Yuki's better than that Yurika girl - cute little thing, but dumb as a box of rocks!"

Stepping into her room, she froze.

"Hi, Asuka…"

Sitting on her bed was a woman her age, her hands folded in her lap and a light blush on her freckled face. She was dressed in a summery blue button-down shirt, complimented by a brown skirt that Asuka guessed would hit her just over the knees, if she was standing. Her face was caught between a smile and a look of vague fear - as if she had yet to decide if being there was a good idea or not.

"Hikari…" Asuka whispered, stunned, "it's… been a while…"

Hikari Horaki, Asuka's oldest friend after Shinji, still looked practically the same as when they were in junior high. She still had the same, pretty face, and still wore her brown hair in pigtails - no matter how hard Asuka had tried to dissuade her.

"Sorry," Hikari said nervously, "I made Ikari promise not to say anything… I wanted to surprise you."

"You've succeeded," the redhead said dazedly. "What's it been… two years?"

"About, yeah…" Hikari admitted, "Look, I'm… sorry about that… it's just-"

"You don't have to apologize," Asuka cut in smoothly, closing her door. "I was out of line to insult your boyfriend…" she lowered her voice, grinning faintly as she added, "though I still think he's a boob."

Hikari chuckled weakly, assuring the other girl that all was forgiven.

"So…" Asuka murmured, leaning back against her door, "why are you here?"

"Always right to the point," Hikari replied softly, staring at the floor. For a long moment, she said nothing, then she raised her eyes and whispered, "I broke up with Touji."

"Good," Asuka retorted immediately, "I always said he was bad for you." She folded her arms over her breasts, "So what finally made you dump him? Did he finally get canned from that lame coaching job at the high school, or did you just realize that your bra size and his IQ were equal?"

There was a long, awkward pause. "That's… kinda why I'm here…" Hikari mumbled.

"Come again?"

"Well," the former class rep said carefully. "I heard from Karumi that you were… into girls now." She studied the other girl closely. "Is that true? It is, isn't it?"

"Yes," Asuka said immediately, wondering what the correlation was. "I've never tried to hide it - not since I first figured out that I was that way."

"Isn't it… strange?" Hikari asked uncertainly. "I mean, you used to always talk about how you wanted to be with Kaji, and then after the Impact you and Shinji were so close for a while."

"Yeah, so?"

"So," Hikari insisted, "don't you wonder if it's not the right thing? Or feel bad for Shinji's feelings?"

"I don't make apologies for who I am," Asuka said coolly, "if you have a problem with how I live, then why did you c-"

"I don't," Hikari said quickly, "that's not it."

"Then why are you here?"

"I broke up with Touji," Hikari replied, "But I don't know why I did it."

"You're not making sense," Asuka pointed out.

"I know," Hikari said, letting a deep sigh loose. "But I wanted to ask you how you first realized that you…"

Asuka rolled her eyes as the other woman trailed off. "How did I decide that I was a lesbian?" she offered. When Hikari flinched, nodding hastily, the redhead pursed her lips. "Is that all you're here for?"

Hikari averted her eyes, but did not reply.

"Hmm," Asuka nodded thoughtfully, "so - no… I see."

The former class rep kept her eyes down as the redhead slowly began undressing, removing and throwing her long, red dress carefully over the back of a chair. She closed her eyes after Asuka's bra sailed through her field of vision, landing neatly in a small hamper full of other delicates.

"I don't want to misunderstand," Asuka told her in a low voice, "especially since you seem to be too embarrassed to ask outright, so I'm going to GUESS that you came here to ask how I became the way I am…" She paused to pull on a yellow tee shirt and a pair of cutoff shorts before concluding, "And to see if I'll show you what it's like - am I right?"

Hikari nodded, finding herself too embarrassed to speak in light of Asuka's blunt, straightforward analysis.

"It's not for everyone," Asuka told her flatly. "So I'll tell you what it was like for me the first time, and what it's been like for me since then." She waited for the girl to open her eyes before adding, "I don't know about being with you, Hikari. I really don't think it would be a good idea, honestly, and I really don't see why you would want to just because you broke up with that stooge you liked." She tilted her head to the side in a quizzical pose. "Why DO you want to sleep with me?" she asked bluntly.

"Because I trust you," Hikari whispered. "We used to be so close… and I need to be with someone I trust and respect when I do this, or I won't be able to do it."

"Are you sure you should do it at all?" Asuka snorted, sitting on the bed next to the girl and stretching her back. "Your reasoning seems pretty damn shaky to me, Horaki - so let me feed it back to you, just so you can see how silly you sound, k?" She took a deep breath. "You broke up with your boyfriend, you're confused, you don't know why you couldn't make it work - so you come to your old friend's house, the one you know lives 'an alternate lifestyle' to see if you're the same." She met the other girl's gaze. "Doesn't that sound kinda stupid?"

"Maybe a little," Hikari admitted, "but I'd still like to try… if you're willing." She took a deep breath. "As a personal favor… for an old friend… will you be with me tonight?"

Asuka's lips compressed into a thin line. "You're pushing it, Hikari," she said softly. "I don't like feeling like I'm being guilted into something, and I think your reasons for even being here are stupid." She shrugged slightly. "I'll tell you about my first kiss, though, then you tell me if you think that sounds like a pleasant experience… and we'll go from there. How's that?"

"Alright," Hikari said hesitantly.

The idea that Asuka might not say yes had not actually crossed her mind. Since hearing that the redhead was dating women, Hikari had begun questioning their entire relationship. Had Asuka always been that way? What if she had been fantasizing about her after seeing her naked in the locker room? Her mind whirled with possibilities, and until she told Touji that it was over, she took great pains to avoid the redhead. But since breaking it off with him, all Hikari could think of was finding out if she, herself, was like Asuka.

"I was at a party," Asuka said calmly, "and I'd had a few. It was about seven months since I had broken it off with Shinji, and I still didn't know why I had done that. I was living with him still - hell… I always come back to him, Hikari, no matter what happens I find myself back with Shinji one way or another. Guess it's kinda familiar, ya know? It's… comfortable. So far, neither of us has found anything worth leaving home for, I guess." She leaned back on her bed, throwing one arm behind her head. "Anyway, there weren't any good-looking guys around, so I was on the verge of just calling it a night and going home, when a girl I worked with came over to me. She'd had MORE than a few, and was obviously feeling it."

"Go on," Hikari encouraged, leaning closer as Asuka paused.

The redhead looked unblinkingly into her old friend's eyes. "She kissed me," she said calmly. "She was blasted off her ass and reeked of beer, and she came up to me and muttered, 'You look so lonely, Souryu… here, hold this.'" Asuka rolled her eyes. "I took her beer - mostly because she almost poured it on me when she put it in my hand - and the next thing I knew, she had her arms around my waist and her tongue in my mouth."

"What did you do?" Hikari asked softly.

"I froze," Asuka snorted, "what did you think? I'd never been kissed by a girl - I didn't know what to do - so I just stood there, staring in shock." She shrugged, sitting up and hanging her legs off the edge of the bed. "When she let me go, she just said, 'There - now you don't look so lonely!' took her beer back, and stumbled back to her boyfriend… who looked just as shocked as I felt."

"So did she break up with him?" the other woman asked curiously.

"Ha!" Asuka laughed. "Yeah right. No, she married him about a month later."

"But… why did she kiss you?" Hikari murmured, confused.

"You know something?" the redhead muttered, "I have no idea. I asked her about it at work the next day… pulled her into my office and everything, but she didn't remember any of it - and was really embarrassed by the whole thing. Kept apologizing and begging me not to fire her."

"So how come you started dating girls?" the brown-haired girl blurted, feeling rather lost.

Asuka chuckled. "Don't get it, do you?" she asked, shaking her head. "I got kissed by another woman, Hikari, and I DIDN'T hate it - do you know how I felt? I didn't understand. I liked boys - men - and had never given women more than a passing glance." Her eyes grew far off and hazy. "But I didn't hate it," she repeated softly, "so I had to find out what that meant. I started hanging out with the girls from work more… paying more attention to the way they looked and the way they acted." She stretched again, concluding, "One thing led to another, and one of the girls I hung out with noticed me looking at her one night and approached me. We started talking… and then we started quietly dating… and then…"

Hikari nodded as the other girl trailed off.

"But that's just the beginning," Asuka said quietly. "I don't like hiding who I am - I told you that, and you know me well enough to know it anyway - but that doesn't mean people accept it." She met Hikari's eyes, making sure she was listening. "I've been turned away at restaurants, insulted by strangers on the street - even spat on… just because I was holding hands with another girl. It's not something that people forgive - especially in this day and age, with declining birth rates and paranoia everywhere."

"But… you're happy," Hikari murmured.

"I'm happy because I fight for it," Asuka returned calmly. "Are you willing to do that?"

Hikari drew in a deep breath, looking Asuka square in the eyes as she replied, "How will I know if I don't try?" She waited tensely, having no idea what the redhead would do after hearing her barely veiled challenge.

"I never liked your hair this way," Asuka said finally, reaching out and slipping her fingers into Hikari's hair. "You should let it down. Like this…"

Hikari swallowed, but offered no resistance as the redhead gently pulled the braided rubberbands from her hair, allowing it to cascade over her shoulders. Asuka spent a moment slowly running her fingers through Hikari's hair, arranging it over her shoulders until she was happy with the way it looked.

"There…" she murmured gently, "now close your eyes…"

Hikari did as she was told, trembling slightly as Asuka's fingers gently massaged her scalp.

"Most guys," Asuka whispered, her voice sounding all-encompassing to Hikari's ears, "kiss too hard. That's just my experience, of course, and they weren't always like that. Shinji was always really gentle… like this…"

Hikari felt her heart thumping loudly in her chest as Asuka's breath mingled with her own. She tilted her head back slightly, offering her lips to the other girl with an excited, barely audible whimper.

Asuka kissed her.

Soft. That was the first thought to enter Hikari's mind as Asuka's lips lightly brushed hers. NOTHING like Touji… he was gentle, but he still - he always put his arms around me, and pushed his lips on mine really tight… I always KNEW I was kissing him. She shivered. But this…

It hardly felt like a kiss - or rather, no kiss Hikari had ever felt. It was more like applying lipliner with a brush, just a warm, gentle caress on her mouth, and those fingers - those gently stroking fingers in her hair.

"Shinji always treated me like a goddess…" Asuka breathed, moving slowly down to press her lips against Hikari's throat, "he always knew how to treat me, but these little girls he likes to date… they don't know what they've got. He's the real thing… and they always treat him like garbage…"

"Why…" Hikari shivered as Asuka's tongue tapped lightly against her neck. "Why… didn't you stay with him… mmm…?" she sighed, feeling Asuka's hands gently easing her head back, exposing more of her throat to the redhead's exploring lips "You said you broke up with him before… that girl…"

Asuka kissed her way slowly up to Hikari's earlobe, gently grazing it with her teeth. "It never felt right, Hikari," she whispered, pausing to breath into the other girl's ear, "he touched me… kissed me… made love to me… worshiped me - and he did everything that a man should do to please a woman… but being with him never felt right."

"Why… not…?" Hikari gasped, trembling as Asuka's cheek brushed hers… slowly sliding against her until the redhead's lips were an inch from her own.

"It never felt right," Asuka whispered, giving Hikari another soft kiss, "because I couldn't let go… I couldn't give myself to him - not once in all the time we went out."

The brown-haired girl nodded. "That… makes sense," she breathed, leaning forward slightly to try and earn another kiss.

Asuka, however, pulled back. "Hold still," she murmured, kissing Hikari's chin.

Slowly, the redhead began laying a trail of kisses down the former class representative's throat, resting her hands on the back of Hikari's head as she reached the top of her shirt.

"Asuka," Hikari moaned, shivering as she felt the girl's lips and tongue slowly undoing her top button, "that's… so sexy…"

Asuka looked up, smiling faintly. "Guys use their hands too much," she whispered leaning up to kiss Hikari's chin before moving back down, "and they use them in the wrong places, at the wrong times…"

Hikari hissed in pleasure as she felt another button slip free, and felt Asuka's fingertips running lightly over the back of her neck. "I like that…" she breathed, tentatively raising her hands and putting them on the other girl's shoulders.

Asuka smiled to herself, unfastening a third, then a fourth button.

Hikari let out an involuntary squeak as Asuka blew a gentle, warm breath through the now-open front of her shirt. Her own breathing deepened considerably as she felt the redhead lean further down, gently nuzzling her exposed stomach… and inching her shirt further open in the process. After several moments, she found that her shirt was entirely open in the front - and was even un-tucked - though Asuka's fingers were still stroking her neck.

She was on the verge of voicing her approval of the other girl's skills when she felt Asuka's lips press briefly against her navel.

"A-Asuka!" she gasped, her hands tightening slightly on the redhead's shoulders before relaxing once more.

"Shh…" Asuka whispered, her warm breath tickling Hikari's midsection, "I'll stop if you want…"

"N-no…" Hikari stammered, looking down into her friend's dazzling blue eyes, "I want to keep going… all the way, Asuka - I want to know what it's like…"

Asuka nodded, then rose to a sitting position, embracing Hikari and stroking her back with her palms. "If you change your mind," she whispered softly, "or get scared, or whatever - just tell me, ok? I won't be mad… I won't make you leave… and I won't stop being your friend… ok?"

Simple words. So simple, but so comforting… and such a vivid reminder that Hikari was the one asking for this. It gave the former class representative a feeling of control, which she liked, but it reminded her that no one was forcing her into this - which, in a way, she did not like. It would be easier, come the morning, to say, 'Oh, I was vulnerable and weak - she seduced me!'

Hikari nodded, swallowing as Asuka climbed off the bed and walked over to the door, leaning out. "Hey Shinji?" she heard the redhead say, "I'm just gonna hang out with Hikari and talk for a while, ok? Think Yuki'll be hungry?"

"I didn't start cooking yet," Shinji's voice replied, sounding guilty, "I was waiting to see if Hikari wanted anything…"

"Thanks, Shinji," Asuka said warmly, "but we're ok…"

"Ok… sorry about that…"

Hikari blushed as Asuka assured Shinji once more that all was well, and closed the door… quietly engaging the lock. "Will he… think we're doing what, ummm… we're doing?" she asked awkwardly.

Asuka sat back down on the bed, bracing herself on her palms and leaning back to look up at the ceiling. "I don't think so," she murmured thoughtfully. "I mean - he knows that I like girls… he'd have to be pretty stupid not to have figured that out after seeing me make out with them, but I can't see him thinking of you like that."

Hikari averted her eyes. "No," she whispered, "of course not…"

Asuka turned to face the other girl, frowning slightly.

"W-what is it?" Hikari murmured, blushing as her friend knelt on the bed and folded her arms, studying her.

"Close your eyes again…"

Hikari nodded, wondering what would happen next. Everything, she thought, trembling slightly, everything's going to happen now… and I'm going to let it…

Everything. That is what she decided when she told Touji that it just was not working out. She would have to do everything in her power to find out WHY it had fallen apart, why she had been so cold to him… and most importantly, why she could never bring herself to let go with him.

"Why do you… keep making me close my eyes?" she asked quietly, trembling as she felt Asuka's fingertips on her cheeks. "Do you want to turn off the lights?"

She felt Asuka's breath tickling her cheek as the girl laughed. "No," she chuckled, "it just… makes it feel a little nicer. Accentuates the other senses if you can't see…"

"Then why not turn off the lights?" Hikari asked reasonably, blushing as she realized that she was probably just trying to find an excuse to hide her body.

"Because I want to see you."

"You've seen me," Hikari whispered weakly, keeping her eyes closed, "in the shower at school… when you slept over… when-"

"I wasn't going to sleep with you any of those times," Asuka cut in.

Hikari's breath caught.

"Where do you like to be touched?" Asuka asked gently. "I know what I like… and I know what my girlfriends have liked… but is there anything that you REALLY like?"

Hikari felt her color rising as she whispered, "I… used to really like it when… when Touji…" he voice became a forced squeak, "took me from behind…"

Asuka laughed. "Well," she mused after recovering herself, "I don't have the equipment for that, Miss Horaki… is there anything else you think I should know?"

Hikari swallowed, wishing she could see her friend's face… thankful that she could not. "I… like having my… my breasts touched…" she managed. "I like… having… God, I can't believe I'm saying this - I like to have them caressed… like really soft…"

"Alright…"

The brown-haired girl shivered as she felt Asuka's lips meet hers, not brushing, like before, but pressing softly against her mouth. She parted her lips as she felt Asuka's tongue stroking them, expecting to find her mouth invaded at any second. Instead, though, she found Asuka lightly exploring her lips… as if she was simply familiarizing herself with new terrain.

"W-what do you like…?" she stammered when Asuka finally pulled away.

"You don't have to worry about that," Asuka murmured, slipping her arms around Hikari's waist, "just relax a little… you're all tense…"

Hikari tried to do what she was told but found that her muscles would not cooperate. It was very nice, she decided, the way Asuka touched her… but it was still so foreign. She moaned lightly as the redhead leaned down and kissed the top of her right breast.

"Nice…" she breathed, reaching out blindly and finding Asuka's gloriously soft hair. Slowly, she stroked Asuka's hair, concentrating on her heartbeat to try to calm down.

For several moments, Asuka simply kissed her neck, chin, and the tops of her breasts, massaging the small of her back gently… then, with exquisite slowness, she kissed down the center of Hikari's chest, pausing at the clasp to her bra.

Hikari whimpered slightly as she felt Asuka's tongue run slowly around the clasp of her bra, then slid under it, bracing it against her teeth and unfastening it in less time than it would have taken to remove it with her hands.

"Relax…" Asuka whispered, planting a kiss between Hikari's breasts, "relax… relax…"

Hikari could not quite make herself, though. Her breathing was too erratic, and she felt suddenly too hot. She can see everything, she thought wildly, and I can't see anything… God, the only person that's every seen me naked outside of school is Touji.

Hikari cried out as she felt Asuka's teeth scrape against the inside of her left breast… but she found a moan of anticipation shaking her as she realized Asuka was using her teeth to pull her bra to the side, exposing her pale breast. Her nipple was still soft and supple, but she could feel that beginning to change as Asuka's warm breath washed over it.

Asuka slowly repeated the process with the other cup, leaving Hikari's chest exposed to the warm air in her room. "Don't move…" she whispered.

Hikari nodded, sitting perfectly still as Asuka's arms left her. "Can I open my eyes?" she asked timidly.

"No."

She trembled as she felt Asuka slide around her on the bed and slowly ease her shirt off her shoulders. "Is that a padded bra?" the redhead asked softly. When Hikari nodded, Asuka whispered, "You shouldn't. You should be proud of who you are, Hikari… don't try and be less - or more - than you are…"

Hikari blushed. "It's just a little extra…" she murmured.

Asuka did not reply. Instead, she slipped the bra off of the other woman's body, tossing it carelessly to the side and whispering, "Now…"

Hikari let out a ragged breath as she felt Asuka press up against her back. She could feel the redhead's breasts, still covered by her shirt, pressing into her back as slender arms slid around her waist. Slowly, Asuka caressed her stomach, moving gradually upwards until her fingertips were stroking the undersides of Hikari's breasts.

"As…uka…" she breathed, leaning back into the other girl's embrace, "you can… go faster if… if you want…"

"Why would I want to?" Asuka asked softly, pressing her lips briefly against the side of Hikari's neck. "I like slow, sometimes… slow lets you feel more…"

Hikari was about to reply, but found her words escaping her as Asuka's warm hands slid up to cup her breasts. They sat still for a moment, the redhead gently holding the brunette in a loose, but close embrace. Hikari felt her shoulders loosening as Asuka's palms began to move, lightly circling her breasts.

"N-nice…"

Asuka smiled. "Is this how you like it?" she asked quietly.

"Yes…" Hikari gasped, wishing she had something to do with her hands. She wanted to touch the other girl, to show her how good it felt to be caressed, but the best she could manage was to reach behind herself and rest a hand on Asuka's leg. "That's… perfect, Asuka…"

She bit her lip to stifle a cry as Asuka's lips wrapped around her earlobe, biting down gently.

Slowly… Asuka's left hand slid down from Hikari's breast, moving down over her ribcage and stomach before coming to a rest on her hip. Hikari let her head roll back as she felt Asuka's hand creep a bit lower, grasping the hem of her skirt and starting to slide it up.

I wonder what she'll taste like… Hikari thought deliriously, her stomach quaking as she opened her eyes just a sliver. I wonder if I can make her come… she blushed deeply, more from the thought of performing for the redhead than from the sight of her thigh, then the front of her panties, slowly being brought into view.

"Those are cute," Asuka whispered, pausing to run her tongue over the rim of Hikari's ear, "just plain white panties with a bow… how very… you…"

"I… have some other ones…" Hikari gasped, feeling her face redden even more, "blue… and yellow… and pink… and… and… oh god…"

Her description of her underthings was forgotten as Asuka lightly rested her hand against the front of her panties.

"You're all warm…" Asuka breathed, "do you like this?"

Hikari tried to reply, but all that came out was a strangled whimper.

"Guess that's a yes…"

Hikari turned her head, blindly seeking Asuka's lips… wanting to convey the feelings she could not express verbally.

"Easy," Asuka whispered as Hikari twisted awkwardly in her arms, "you'll hurt yoursel-"

She was cut off as Hikari succeeded in kissing her, turning further to bring one arm up to encircle the redhead's shoulders.

Hikari kissed her friend deeply, trying to put as much passion as she could into it. She wanted to show the other girl how much she enjoyed her light touch, her gently caressing hands. She wanted to show that she was ready now… that Asuka did not HAVE to keep going slowly to keep her from getting scared.

She was ready.

Asuka, however, was not one to be rushed.

Gently breaking the kiss, she turned Hikari around once more, returning her hands to the girl's breasts and gently rubbing them in slow, languid circles. "We don't have to hurry…" she whispered, "so don't."

Hikari nodded, trying not to shake as Asuka's forefingers began to trace the outsides of her areolas. "That feels so nice," she moaned, putting her hands over Asuka's, "sooo… niiice…"

It felt like forever that Asuka gently caressed her, circling her nipples until they became stiff and then cupping her breasts and softly kneading them in her wonderfully warm palms. Hikari was in heaven. She was not lying, or being modest when she said that she liked having her chest touched - it really was her favorite sexual activity. She could not think of a time, however, when Touji had spent as much time as Asuka was spending in simply touching her.

That's just one more way this is different, she thought hazily, and Asuka's hands are so much softer…

She opened her eyes as Asuka's hands stopped moving, simply cupping her breasts with gentle pressure. "Is something wrong?" Hikari whispered, shivering as she felt warm lips on the back of her neck.

"No," Asuka replied quietly. "Stand up for a minute."

Hikari did as she was told, feeling a slight chill as those delicate hands left her warm skin. "Is something wrong?" she asked again, starting to turn towards the bed, where Asuka still sat.

"Don't move," Asuka directed, "I said nothing's wrong, but I think we should probably get this off of you."

Hikari shivered as she felt Asuka's hands make contact with her sides, slowly making indiscriminate patterns on her skin for a moment before moving down to rest on her hips. She could feel her teeth chattering as Asuka slowly tugged downward, easing her skirt off of her body and down to the floor with a simple, sustained pull.

"Are you cold," Asuka whispered behind her, "or scared?"

Hikari's mouth worked, but she could not force a reply out of it, nor was she honestly sure what her reply would have been. In all honesty, she WAS a bit scared. This was all new to her, and new experiences are often frightening… but she knew that she would not find the answers she was seeking if she was not brave and steady.

Quietly, Asuka slid off the bed, stepping around into Hikari's line of sight. Their eyes locked as the redhead slowly lowered herself to her knees. "You're sure?" she murmured, reaching out and resting her hands on Hikari's waist.

Hikari nodded.

"Alright."

Asuka never looked away as she grasped the top of the other girl's panties and slowly began drawing them down.

It felt endless to Hikari, as if her legs were suddenly a thousand miles long and Asuka was sliding her panties over them at a snail's pace. God, she thought deliriously, I think I'm going crazy…

Was it ever like this with Touji, she wondered? Certainly, it was nice with him, and he never lacked in passion, but was he ever slow like this? No… not that she could recall, but when her panties were finally off, and Asuka was guiding her to sit back on the bed, she knew one thing - it was DEFINITELY not a BAD experience, so far.

"Oooo…" she whispered, wetting her lips as Asuka ran the backs of her fingertips over her thighs. "I'm ready, Asuka… I'm ready…"

Asuka looked up into Hikari's eyes. "I can still stop if you want," she pointed out quietly, still stroking the other girl's long legs, "it's not too late…"

"Wh-why would I want to stop…?" Hikari panted, "It feels good…"

"It won't change you…"

"What…?"

Asuka shook her head, her tone sad as she softly asked, "Are you sure that this is what you want, Hikari…?"

Hikari met Asuka's deep blue gaze, her passion-addled mind unable to comprehend why the redhead had stopped touching her, why she was asking these deep, unimportant questions. With one, shaking hand, she reached out and touched Asuka's head, closing her eyes and urging the girl forward.

Asuka sighed… giving the former class rep what she wanted.

"ASUKA!"

Hikari bit her lip to contain another scream as the redhead ran her tongue slowly across her other thigh, her palms settling in on her hips and pulling her closer to the edge of the bed. Now, she thought incoherently, now I'll know if it was me… now I'll know if I'm what caused us to fall apart…

She was shaking all over, her mind picturing how it would look if anyone came in. She could see herself, naked and shivering, with her legs spread apart and another girl - her former best friend, no less - kneeling between them and slowly licking her way up towards her sex.

It was an image powerful enough to make her want to scream again.

She tensed as Asuka's hands slid under her rear, cupping her bottom firmly (holding me, she thought, she's holding me), and the redhead pressed her lips against her pelvis. Moaning, she coaxed the girl to move lower… to finish what she'd started and let Hikari know, for sure, if she was what she thought she was.

"Ooooooo…"

Asuka closed her eyes as she slowly ran her tongue over Hikari's outer lips, gently tasting the former class rep, getting a feel for what areas were most sensitive before she threw herself into her work. After several, long minutes of exploring, she decided that she had learned all that she needed to know… and began to make love to her friend in earnest.

"Oh GOD!" Hikari shrieked, unable to contain herself as Asuka pulled her to the very edge of the bed, pushed her legs a bit further apart, and began stroking her tongue expertly over her hot, wet skin. "As…uka…" she gasped, running her hands through the girl's hair, "G…God… that's so good!"

Asuka frowned slightly, concentrating on the task before her. With one hand, she lifted Hikari's left leg and placed it on her shoulder, allowing her unobstructed access, and pressed herself in closer, delving her tongue into Hikari's musky, damp folds.

Hikari felt her muscles contracting, first in random spasms, then in slow waves, rolling over her body as Asuka continued to slide her tongue over her. Her stomach clenched as she felt two of Asuka's slender fingers dip into her, gently exploring her inside as the redhead's wonderfully skilled tongue roamed over her outside.

"G…good…" she managed, feeling her trembling increase in pace, "Asuka… just a bit… harder… yessss…"

Asuka increased her pace slightly, her fingers stroking easily in and out of the other girl's increasingly wet opening. She could feel her getting close to the edge, and shifted her focus to Hikari's clitoris, first lapping at it with long, controlled strokes, then drawing it carefully into her mouth and suckling it.

"GOD!"

Hikari's entire body went rigid as she climaxed, all of her senses buzzing with pleasure as Asuka gently shoved her over the brink.

But it was not the end, as it generally was with Touji at that point - not by a long shot. Asuka continued to explore her, easing her back onto the bed and opening her legs further, while at the same time picking up the pace.

The combination of exposure and increased sensation drove Hikari wild. She knew that her body was wide open, every inch of her unveiled to the redhead's gorgeous sapphire eyes. It was so intimate, to be that… available. She realized, dizzily, that her legs had never been so far apart… that she had never had so many lights burning all around her when she was made love to… and that her womanhood had never been plainly visible.

And yet, she was not scared. She trusted Asuka… more than she had even imagined, she trusted that she would come to no harm at the redhead's hands.

"Unhh…" she gasped, feeling sweat breaking out all over her body as she came again.

Asuka pulled away briefly, continuing to use her fingers. "Should I st-"

"Don't STOP!" Hikari cried, trying to pull Asuka back to her super-heated flesh, "P-please… God, I'm going to come again, don't stop!"

She could not hear Asuka's soft sigh… or anything else after Asuka returned to her task. All of her senses washed out as she rose again, born up on the tide of desire the redhead so easily roused in her womb. She shook all over as her third climax approached.

Need… to tell her… how good… she thought brokenly, wondering if it was sweat on her cheeks, or tears.

As her third orgasm arrived, she arched her back, letting go of the only words she knew for such ecstasy.

"I love you!!"

Asuka slowed her pace as the other girl's third climax faded away.

Hikari moaned softly as the redhead continued to caress her, moving slowly and carefully over her too-sensitive skin. It was a conundrum. She wanted to ask the other girl to stop, because she was feeling worn out and drained… but Asuka was being so gentle - so tender - that she wished it could go on forever. Slowly, Asuka eased Hikari's legs back down, continuing to minister to her soft, wet skin.

Finally, Asuka pulled back. "Don't move," she said quietly as Hikari tried to sit up.

Obediently, the former class rep lay still, her lungs burning as she drew in deep breaths of air. "What are you… doing…?" she panted as Asuka rose to her feet and headed towards the door.

"Going to bed, stupid," Asuka retorted lightly, pausing to pull off her shirt and wipe her mouth with it.

Hikari stared at the redhead's bare back, trying to decide if she found it sexy or not. She's in great shape, she thought tiredly, her eyes tracing Asuka's gracefully curved spine, and she is soooo…good… Her eyes shifted to take in the profile of Asuka's breasts as the girl knelt and picked up another tee shirt. "You're pretty…" she whispered suddenly, hoping this was the right thing to say.

Asuka straightened, reaching out and swatting the light switch. "Thanks…" she murmured in the dark, "now go to sleep…"

Hikari tried to sit up again, but felt Asuka slowly pushing her back down. She allowed the redhead to ease her onto her back and take a position at her side, with one arm up over her head, and the other resting on Hikari's stomach - like a clock at 12:15. She moaned softly as Asuka ran her palm over her sweat-slick stomach, then leaned forward and kissed her softly on the lips, pulling the sheet up to cover them both.

"Goodnight."

"Night…" Hikari murmured, wondering what the redhead was thinking, but knowing that she would not say if she was asked.

Hope it's… nice… she thought dreamily.

Less than a minute later, she was asleep.

**

Hikari came to consciousness slowly, aware of light streaming through the window, the smell of cooking sausage, and the lack of warmth at her side. Blearily, she sat up, groaning softly as her muscles protested the action, and looked around the room. It was exactly the same as it was the night before, she decided. Nothing was surrounded with glowing light, nothing seemed in sharper focus, nothing was angelically beautiful and serene.

It was just a bedroom, and she was just Hikari.

"Asuka?" she murmured, swinging her feet over the edge of the bed and rising unsteadily to a standing position. She wrapped the sheet around herself, casting about for her clothes, but finding them absent. She was just about to head to the door and peek out, when it opened and Asuka stepped in, closing it behind herself.

"You're up," the redhead remarked calmly, reaching up to clip an earring to her left earlobe, "Good, I was afraid I'd have to wake you before I went to work."

Hikari looked the other girl over. She was wearing a tan dress with a black turtleneck under it, a pair of tan high-heels, and black stockings. A white cross hung from a leather strap around her neck, resting between her breasts like a comfortably reclining sunbather.

"Ummm, yeah," she replied finally, shaking herself and looking up into Asuka's placid blue eyes. "I can't find my clothes," she blurted lamely.

"They're in the dryer," Asuka answered crisply, walking past Hikari to her dressing table and grabbing a set of keys. "Probably won't be done for a while," she told the other girl, starting for the door, "so you can wear some of my stuff - we're about the same size, but you'll have to skip the bra. I'll send your stuff over later, I think I've still got your addre-"

"Asuka," Hikari cut in, confused. "Why are you doing this?"

Asuka paused. "Doing what?" she asked, looking over her shoulder.

Hikari wet her lips uncertainly. "Being so cold," she said quietly, "I mean… after last night, and everything, you're just… I don't understand…"

"What were you expecting?" Asuka returned softly.

"I… don't know," Hikari admitted. "But I thought…"

When she trailed off, Asuka turned back to face her fully. "A little cuddling?" she asked bluntly. "A kiss to see you off and a promise that we'll stay in touch this time, hmm?"

"Why are you being mean?" Hikari asked awkwardly.

"Tell me what you thought would happen," Asuka pressed quietly, meeting the other girl's confused stare. "You said you wanted to know what it was like to be with a woman," she pointed out, "and I showed you." She lowered her voice. "Were you expecting that I would tell you I loved you too?" she asked, "Maybe offer to move in with you and be your lover?"

"I don't know," Hikari replied miserably. "But I didn't think… I mean… I thought you would be nice to me…"

Asuka's expression softened, and she fetched a deep, sad sigh. "Hikari," she said quietly, "I'm not trying to be mean, but you have to understand, I'm not in a position to be your lover, or to help you find out who you are." She averted her eyes. "I showed you what it's like," she whispered, "but it was only because we're friends, and I wanted to help." She pursed her lips, looking back up into Hikari's eyes. "But that doesn't mean we're more than that."

"So you took pity on me?" Hikari asked, her lip trembling, "Is that what it comes down to? You felt sorry for me?"

"Oh don't play the victim," Asuka murmured. "You came here and begged me to sleep with you - so you could see if there was something 'wrong' with you, am I right?" When Hikari blushed and looked away, Asuka nodded. "So who's being unreasonable here?"

"I…" Hikari swallowed, forcing some strength into her voice. "You're right," she admitted, "I DID want to see if there was something different about me. I wanted to see if I was the reason it never worked out with Touji, or any of the other boys I tried to go out with - is that so wrong? To want to find yourself?"

"Not at all," Asuka said firmly, "But don't try and make it more than it is, Hikari." She lowered her voice, "And for God's sake, don't scream, 'I love you,' just because you think it's what people want to hear - that's the fastest, surest way to get used and manipulated."

Hikari turned a brilliant shade of crimson.

"I guess it's partially my fault," Asuka said levelly. "I should have kept asking until you knew for sure what you wanted." She averted her eyes, lowering her voice as she concluded, "I should have kept asking until you realized that you didn't know WHAT you wanted…"

"Asuka," Hikari whispered, "I don't… regret what we did…"

Asuka frowned, but said nothing.

After a moment of quiet, Hikari cleared her throat. "Well," she murmured, pulling the sheet a little tighter around her body, "no matter what you think about me not knowing what I want… thank you for showing me what it's like." She offered the redhead a timid smile, blushing as she added, "For what it's worth… I really enjoyed, ummm, being with you."

Asuka nodded briefly. "I'm glad you liked it," she said honestly, straightening her shirt and turning for the door again. "Take care of yourself, Horaki."

"You too."

Hikari felt that she should say something more before the other woman left, but could not find the words. Silently, she dressed herself in a pair of Asuka's panties, jeans, and one of her sweatshirts. What next, she wondered - that was what she needed to decide. The previous night was certainly not something she would ever forget, even if she wanted too, but was being with Asuka better… or was it just different? Casting her eyes around the redhead's immaculate room, she sighed. There were no answers for her there. Best to be on her way, back to some place she could think straight, figure things out.

Opening the door, she was greeted by the strong smell of cooking sausage and eggs. Following her nose, she found herself in the apartment's large kitchen, watching Shinji as he cooked.

Looks like you weren't alone last night, either, she thought, noting a dark spot on the young man's neck. I'll bet you know what you want, though.

Shinji looked up from the skillet on the stove and offered Hikari a smile. "Want something to eat?" he offered quietly.

"No thanks," Hikari replied, "I'm just gonna get going. See you, Ikari."

As she stepped past him, Shinji whispered, "Did she let you look at her?"

Hikari froze. "What?"

The brown-haired boy continued to look down at the skillet, but his cheeks were deeply red as he murmured, "I'm sorry for asking such a personal question… but I'd really like to know…"

Hikari considered this for a moment. She did not have to ask how the young man knew what happened the previous night - her throat was still a touch sore from the shouting - but she was reluctant to reveal details of her encounter. She never considered herself a 'kiss and tell' kind of girl. Ultimately, however, her curiosity won out. Shinji must know a great deal about the redhead, considering that he had been her lover at one time, and that he was living with her.

"No, Shinji," she replied slowly, impulsively adding, "did she let you?"

Shinji glanced at her from the corner of his eyes, assessing her for a moment before shrugging. "Yeah," he answered, stirring the sausages, "but not the first time."

Hikari folded her arms and leaned against the kitchen wall. "What does that mean, Shinji?" she asked plainly, "You know what we did… you know she didn't let me see her… does that mean she's done with me? Or that I'm not good enough for her?"

The idea that she might not be good enough felt closest to the truth, but at the same time it was confusing as hell. Why should she care? She was not even sure that she would want to live her life for another woman. Certainly she had enjoyed the sexual contact and closeness Asuka showed her, but was she ready to say, conclusively, that she wanted that lifestyle?

Sex and love, she knew, were two separate things.

"Don't be upset with her," Shinji replied hesitantly, "ok? Asuka doesn't let anyone close to her, Hikari… it doesn't mean that she doesn't care, it's just that she doesn't know how." He sighed, turning the burner on the stove off and leaning against the oven door, folding his arms to mirror Hikari's pose. "Asuka lives visually," he explained carefully, trying his best to convey his thoughts concisely. "Things she can see are almost more important than things she can touch, does that make sense? Anyone can touch you in the dark… but true lovers do it with the lights on - that way they can feel that what they're doing is with the person they're with and not some anonymous stranger." He scrubbed a hand through his hair. "God, I don't think I'm explaining this very well…" he muttered. "But if she can see you, and you can't see her, I think it lets her be more uninhibited, you know? If no one could see, then it would just be anonymous, but since she has that little bit of extra control, it makes her somehow feel more connected, does that make sense? The first time, I thought maybe it was something to do with her new arm and eye, but that's-"

"Who's that?"

Hikari looked over Shinji's shoulder as a girl fully a head shorter than her stepped into the kitchen, wearing one of Shinji's white shirts… and nothing else. She stared as the girl walked straight up to the boy and took a kiss from him, pulling his lips to hers possessively and watching Hikari from the corner of her eyes.

"Ummm, this is Hikari," Shinji said awkwardly as the girl practically wrapped herself around his side. "Hikari, this is Yuki… she's my girlfriend."

Hikari nodded, noting that Yuki's hair was a subtle red, and that her eyes were just a shade lighter blue than Shinji's. Inclining her head slightly to the girl, Hikari spoke the first words that she thought, instantly regretting it.

"On or off, Shinji?"

Shinji looked as if he had been punched.

"I'm sorry," Hikari said quickly, flushing as she turned for the door. "See ya."

"Hikari?"

Looking back over her shoulder, the former class rep frowned. "Yeah?"

Shinji's arm was wrapped around Yuki's shoulder, but his eyes were cast downward, his entire body posture hinting at shame and apology.

"Off."

Hikari blushed. "Yeah," she whispered. "Bye, Shinji."

"What was that about?" she heard Yuki asking as she opened the door and stepped out.

"Just an old friend," was Shinji's murmured reply, "reminding me of something…"

The rest of the conversation was lost as Hikari slowly, quietly, closed the door.

The End