Part 7
THE CHILD OF LOVE...
by Axel Terizaki <aterizak@club-internet.fr> ICQ # 34301980
ASUKA's Notebook First Gateway <http://perso.club-internet.fr/aterizak>
                Second Gateway <http://perso.wanadoo.fr/borisd)

Retooled by Dave Watson <aj153@freenet.carleton.ca>, 1999 5 12.

-=SEVENTH MONTH=-

Background:
There is now a crisis in Tokyo-3.  Major Misato Katsuragi is now aware
of Commander Gendo Ikari's dark plans, which seem to be part of the
Instrumentality Project.  However, she can't find the strength to face
the present situation while Shinji and Asuka, her two roomates, seem to
live in a perfect romance in their own world, unaware that Asuka's life
is in grave danger...

What is Misato going to do?  Will she tell Shinji what's going on?  How
will Shinji react when he hears this?  And Asuka?  She's concerned, too.  
What will she do?  Who's gonna win in the 'The One I Love Is...' fan
fiction?  Asuka Langley Sohryu or Sohryu Asuka Langley? ;-)

---
CAPTION: THE SEVENTH MONTH
CAPTION 2: I am not worthy.
---

AXL's Game Center, Tokyo-3.  Asuka, Shinji, Toji, Kensuke, Rei and
Hikari are in front of the entrance door.

Shinji : "Are you feeling okay, Asuka?"

Asuka, taking his arm : "Yeah...I think."

Shinji : "You aren't going to get sick today?  You sure?"

Asuka (annoyed) : "I just said I was okay!  Are you deaf?"

Shinji : "No, it's just that I'm worried about you.  You've been sick
so often lately..."

Asuka : "I don't know why I'm like this..."

Hikari : "That's strange.  Usually, this only occurs during the first
few months..."

Asuka : "I did feel sick during my first few months, you know.  But
it's so frequent these days..."

Kensuke : "Well, how about going in?  I wanna try this new game!"

Toji : "He's right!  Let's play!"

---

Everyone enters AXL's Game Center.  As usual now, Guillaume welcomes
them.

Guillaume : "Bonjour, Asuka.  Tu as amené tous tes amis?"
[Hello, Asuka.  You brought all your friends?"

Asuka : "Oui."
[Yes.]

Guillaume : "Comment vas-tu?"
[How are you?]

Asuka : "Errr...tres...bien."
[Errr...fine.]

Guillaume (smiling) : "Hmmmmm...tu as bien travaille."
[Hmmmm...You've been working hard.]

Asuka : "C'est dur.  Je fais beaucoup errr....d'efforts.  Je remercie
vous."
[It's hard.  I'm making many, errr...efforts.  I you thank (I thank
you).]

Guillaume (applauding) : "Not bad!  Except for the thanks.  It's 'je
vous remercie'.  You just got the words the wrong way."

Asuka (cursing) : "...Damn!  I'll never get it right!"

Guillaume : "You'll get better at it, don't worry."

He turns his head towards the others.

Guillaume : "I guess you've all came here to see our new game?"

Kensuke : "Yes sir!"

Guillaume : "Well..." (shouting at someone behind him:) "GORDON!!!  
Come here!!!"

Gordon (from a short distance away) : "Yeeees!!!  I'm comin'!"

A blond man just as tall as Guillaume appears from behind him.

Guillaume : "Will you explain to our guests what that new game is?"

Gordon : "Of course.  Just step this way..."

He points at a big arcade machine at the center of the room with six
screens and six control pads around them.

Gordon : "...'CAPCOM vs. SNK 2010 : Next Generation'!"

Everyone : "Woooah...."

Gordon : "78 fighters, 1220 special moves to perform, 43 scenes, 129
mega hit combos, 23 fatal combos and the rare but almighty 3 Supreme
Combos!"

Guillaume taps on Gordon's shoulder.

Guillaume : "Gordon...?"

Gordon : "Yes?"

Guillaume : "How much did this game cost?"

Gordon approaches Guillaume and tells him something softly in his ear.
Guillaume's eyes widened...

Guillaume (worried) : "Who decided to buy this game?"

Gordon : "Mygard wanted that game at any cost.  You know perfectly well
how burdensome his tastes are."

Guillaume : "Oh gosh...he probably wanted to get revenge for the Obon
Festival afternoon...!"

Gordon : "I dunno."

Guillaume (to the children) : "Well, as usual, I'll let you take first
crack at it.  Have fun!"

He then leaves with Gordon via the elevator.

Shinji : "Pfff...why are you suddenly speaking French...?"

Asuka : "Idiot!  I just want to give my daughter a good education!"

Shinji : "So you think that speaking French might help?"

Asuka (humphing) : "You don't understand anything!"

Everyone (except Rei, who remains silent) laughs at the couple.

Asuka : "SHUT UP, YOU FOOLS!!!"

Everyone then stops laughing, visibly frightened of something.

Hikari (trying desperately to relax the atmosphere) : "Well, how about a
little game?"

Asuka : "Okay!  Let's sit down and play!  And may the best fighter win!"

Shinji sees that Rei isn't doing anything.

Shinji : "Ayanami?"

Rei : "Yes?"

Shinji : "Why aren't you sitting down?  Don't you want to play with us?"

Rei : "Playing is futile.  It's just an attempt to escape reality."

Shinji : "Well...it may be fun!  Why not give it a try?  I'd be happy if
you'd play with us."

Rei (looking up at him) : "It would make you happier if I played with you,
Ikari-kun?"

Shinji : "Y-yes."

Rei : "Well, then, I'll play this game with you."

Asuka is fuming, seeing that Shinji's paying more atention to Rei than to
her...

Rei : "What are the rules...?"

Shinji (surprised) : "Ah...never played that kind of game before?"

Rei : "Should I have?"

Shinji : "Well, don't worry.  It's very easy, just look at me..."

---

A dark room,like the one used by SEELE for meetings.  In fact, it IS the
SEELE meeting room, at an unknown location.  Ikari Gendo is at his desk,
hands under his nose.

SEELE 02 : "Ikari, we know everything.  Don't try to escape us this time."

SEELE 05 : "Don't play the fool any longer."

SEELE 04 : "Your silly project is now over."

Gendo : "I don't hide anything from you."

SEELE 03 : "Still trying to lie?"

Keel : "Listen carefully, Ikari.  We know about the 'G-Child' Project.
We also know that you intentionally modified Unit 02's water of life
eight months ago."

Gendo : "These informations are falsified.  MAGI hasn't reported any-
thing."

SEELE 04 : "Of course, hiding facts is one of your favorite activities."

SEELE 03 : "Be careful, Ikari.  Our patience is now limited."

Gendo : "The Human Complementation Project will be completed soon.  
It's just a matter of time."

SEELE 01 : "Don't try to overtake the committee.  You'd regret it."

Gendo : "It's not in my intentions."

Keel : "We'll see sooner than you expect.  Watch your back, Ikari.  
This meeting is adjourned."

This said, each SEELE symbol disappears.  Gendo just sits there.  He
phones Fuyutsuki.

Gendo : "Fuyutsuki.  'Megrael' is coming."

Fuyutsuki : "Yes.  Our satellites have already detected it from the
stratosphere."

Gendo : "Very good, old friend..."

Fuyutsuki : "What was the committee's reaction to your 'manipulation'?"

Gendo : "These old men are suspecting me of doing something behind
their backs.  They are more shrewd than I thought."

Fuyutsuki : "But you said that this project was 100% planned, right?"

Gendo : "There was only one mistake from my part.  I won't do that
twice."

Fuyutsuki : "You mean...your son?"

Gendo : "Yes.  I didn't think that the Second Child would use the Third
to 'satisfy' her boosted hormones...this was a big mistake, and may
result in complications."

Fuyutsuki : "I see..."

Gendo : "Is there anything else to report?"

Fuyutsuki : "Except for the Angel attack, and Katsuragi obviously
knowing some things about the project, everything seems normal."

Gendo : "Katsuragi?"

Fuyutsuki : "She is very 'upset' by the news, in fact."

Gendo : "I see...arrest Dr. Akagi when the Angel is completly neutral-
ized."

Fuyutsuki (surprised) : "Arrest her?  Why?"

Gendo : "She revealed classified information to someone external to the
project.  Lock her away as soon as possible."

Fuyutsuki : "I'm really not sure you're doing the right thing, Ikari."

*click*

Fuyutsuki : "Well..."

---

Asuka : "Wondergirl!  You're dead!"

Our crew are sitting in an empty AXL's Game Center, around a giant
console, each looking at their screen.

Rei : "This is rather easy."

Asuka (fuming) : "Hmph...you'll see how unbeatable I am when I want to
be!"

Kensuke : "Hey girls, why not come and fight with us?"

We can see on Asuka's screen a three-dimensional representation of an
arena in which fighters are battling against each other.  Asuka and Rei
are in a corner, trying to fight each other with super combos.  The rest
of the group was in the center, happily punching and kicking everyone
else.

Asuka : "When I've finished with her, I'll come and beat you, okay?!"

Kensuke : "Oh, don't get too upset..."

Suddenly, someone knocks at the glass door (which was obviously locked
to prevent anyone from entering the Game Center while the kids were
there).  It's Misato, with an angry look in her eyes.  The kids don't
notice her.  The sounds from the game are drowning her out.  Guillaume,
who was passing by, sees her and goes to see what's wrong with her.

Guillaume (to Misato, throughout the glass door) : "It's closed, miss.  
Please come back later."

Misato : "I need to talk to these children!  Please open up!"

She takes her NERV ID card out of her jacket and shows it to Guillaume.

Misato : "Open up, now!"

Guillaume : "Oh, sorry, 'Major'."

He unlocks the door.  Misato walks in.

Guillaume : "So, you're the famous Major Katsuragi.  Pleased to meet
you, ma'am.  My name's Guillaume, and-"

Misato (interrupting him) : "Sorry, I've got no time to talk now."  
(to the Children:) "Hi, Children!  This is your beloved Major of
Tactical Operations.  We've got an emergency, right here and now!  Come
on, hurry up!"

This doesn't pull Asuka, Shinji and Rei away from their game (for once,
Rei is actually interested in something...).

Misato (softly): "Ahem..." (shouting) "THERE'S AN *ANGEL ATTACK*!!!"

Asuka : "Huh?  Misato?"

Shinji (turning his head towards Misato) : "W-what is it, Misato-san?"

Rei is now listening carefully.

Misato (panting) : "There...there's...an...angel attack...pufff..."

Everyone : "WHAT!!!?"

Asuka : "You should have warned us earlier!"

Toji : "But we don't hear the sirens yet!"

And, as if by pure coincidence, the sirens blare.

Misato : "Now, there they are!  Come on!  Kensuke, Toji and Hikari,
hurry to the nearest shelter.  I'm taking the three EVA pilots with me."

Kensuke : "Well, two, in fact..."

And with that, Asuka hits him on the back of his head, causing him to
fall to the floor.

Asuka : "Dumkopf!  I'll show you--"

Misato (interrupting her) : "Shhh, come on, or Ritsuko will kill me...!"

They run from the Game Center.

---

In Misato's car.  Rei is in the front seat while Shinji and Asuka are in
the back, doing...well, they're in the back.

Misato (on the phone) : "Yeah, Ritsuko.  They're with me now.  Prepare a
transport at gateway #7.  I'll be there in a minute."

Ritsuko : "Okay."

Misato : "What's the situation?"

Ritsuko : "Nothing that you don't already know...we'll see that later."

Misato : "Well..."

Misato hangs up the receiver.

Misato : "Asuka, are you okay?"

Asuka : "Of course I am!  Why do you all want to know if I'm okay or
not?!"

Misato : "Because we all care about you..." (to herself:) "Damn, I
shouldn't show how much I'm worried about her.  Don't want her to get
suspicious."

In the back seat, Asuka put her hand on top of Shinji's.

Asuka (softly, to Shinji) : "Do you remember our promise?"

Shinji (nodding softly, to Asuka) : "Yes...I know what I have to do.  
I will protect you, Asuka."

Asuka : "Humph...if only I weren't pregnant, I could come into battle,
and kick that Angel's ass!!!  I miss my Unit 02!"

Misato : "Don't worry about the show.  You'll be with me in the Control
Room, okay?  From there, you'll have a good view of the battle."

Asuka : "Ah, good!"

Shinji : "Asuka...?"

Asuka looks him right in the eyes with that cute look on her face.

Asuka : "Yes...?"

Shinji : "I love you."

Asuka (whispering) : "Shinji...kiss me, now."

Shinji (whispering) : "But Misato and Rei are here..."

Asuka (whispering) : "I don't care.  Besides, Misato is busy driving
and Rei never sees anything...come on, kiss me, please..."

With that, he leans over her and kisses her hard on the lips.  They
are soon locked in a tight embrace.  Rei sees this in the car's rear-
view mirror, but doesn't care to look back.  Misato sees them as well,
and can't help grimacing as pain tears her heart in half...

---

NERV's Control Room.  Ritsuko is talking with Misato.  She takes a quick
glance at Asuka's stomach before telling Misato more about the Angel.

Ritsuko : "It seems that this Angel is keeping a stationary position
above us.  I don't know what its intentions are, but we just can't let
it stay there like that!"

Misato : "I understand.  Give me a display of the target!"

Makoto : "Right now, Major."

MAGI displays the Angel stationed above Tokyo-3 on the screen.  It looks
like an Evangelion unit with wings.  The likeness is unmistakable.

Asuka : "An...Eva?"

Shigeru : "Blue pattern confirmed."

Maya : "AT Field detected.  The target is still stationary."

Misato : "Okay guys, beginning of the tactical operations.  Asuka?"

Asuka : "W-what?  What is it, Misato?"

Misato (smiling) : "Give this operation a name, will you?"

Asuka : "Me?  Give this operation a name?  You're crazy!  You're the
Major here, aren't you?"

Misato : "Hey, you must participate a little in this, right?"

Asuka : "Well, I really don't know...hmm...Operation 'Angel Override'?"
(more animated:) "Whaddaya think of that?!  Cool, isn't it?"

Misato : "Okay!  Beginning of Operation Angel Override.  Everyone on
Level 1 Battle Status!"

A few minutes (and some defensive preparations) later, everyone is ready
for the attack.

Maya : "Angel still stationary!"

Misato : "He won't move until we do something...report on the EVAs!"

Shigeru : "Everything is okay.  Ready for launch."

Misato : "Well...Shinji, Rei.  Can you hear me?"

Two displays pop up on the screen.

Rei & Shinji : "Hai!"

Misato : "Asuka and I are going to lead this operation..."

>From inside Unit 01, Shinji can hear a loud  "WHAAAAAAAAAAAATTTT!!!?"
coming from Asuka's mouth...

Asuka : "Misato!  You've been drinking too much!  I'm a *pilot*!  Not a
strategist!"

Misato (chuckling) : "You're trying to tell me that you're *not capable*
of thinking about a strategy to adopt?"

Asuka (reluctantly) : "Hmmmph...okay, okay..."

Ritsuko (to herself) : "This is insane..."

Misato (turning her head towards Fuyutsuki) : "Are there any objections?"

Fuyutsuki : "Of course not.  Proceed with the attack."

Misato (putting a hand on Asuka's shoulder) : "Asuka, say the magic
word!"

Asuka : "Well, you asked for it...!  Shinji, Wondergirl!  Launch!!!"

The two EVAs are then launched to the surface.

Asuka, chuckling : "Hahaha!  I'm sooooo good at this!"

---

Minutes later, Unit 00 and 01 are each hiding behind a building,  
waiting for a good moment to lead an attack.

Misato : "Report!"

Shigeru : "Target still stationary, Major!"

Misato : "Well...Rei, Shinji.  Advance with caution."

Asuka : "Why not rush towards that damn Angel?!"

Misato : "Do you know the meaning of the word 'caution'?"

Asuka : "Owww... That's boring!  This attack needs some action!  If only
I were there..."

As ordered, Shinji and Rei step slowly towards the Angel.

Maya : "Energy concentration from the target!"

Misato : "Rei, Shinji!  Move back!"

The two of them step back as a rather big beam of yellow light strikes
the ground.

Asuka : "Baka Shinji!  Scatter!"

Misato : "Shinji, raise your A.T. Field and try to disable the Angel's
own!"

Shinji tries to approach the Angel while the yellow light beams hammer the
ground around him.

Ritsuko (looking over Maya's shoulder) : "The Angel seems to concentrate
its fire on Unit 01.  It's shooting a beam of light of unknown nature at
regular intervals ..."

Asuka : "What can we do?"

Ritsuko : "Destroy the target."

Outside, Shinji is raising his A.T. Field.  This seems to keep the light
beams from reaching his EVA, but doesn't do anything else.

Misato : "It seems that his A.T. Field stops the beam..."

Ritsuko : "It's too early to say that..."

Shinji (from his EVA) : "...This is hard!"

Asuka : "Come on, Shin-chan!  You're strong!  You can do it!"

Shinji (looking at Asuka, smiling) : "You're right, Asuka...ARRRRRGGHHH!"

Maya : "No!  Unit 01's A.T. Field is growing weaker!  He won't hold off
the beam much longer!"

Asuka : "SHINJI!!!  Move out, you fool!!!"

Too late.  Unit 01 catches the beam right in the torso.

Shinji : "UGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!"

The EVA falls on the ground.

Asuka : "Shinji!!!"

Rei : "Ikari-kun...!"

Misato : "How's the pilot?"

Makoto : "Reactions quite weak.  Pulse not available!  All systems have
been shut down from inside the plug!  We can't read anything!"

Misato : "Send Recovery Teams A and B.  Eject the plug!"

Asuka : "..."

Shigeru : "Ejection successful!"

Misato : "Rei!  Go and get Shinji's entry plug!  Bring it to the 37th
tunnel!"

Rei : "Hai."

Asuka : "Wondergirl!  Move faster!!!  DO SOMETHING, DAMMIT!!!!!!!"

Misato : "Calm down, Asuka!"

Asuka : "I'M CALM!!!  THAT'S OBVIOUS, ISN'T IT!!?"

Maya : "Sempai...look at this."

Ritsuko (leaning over the console) : "What?  The Angel suffered some
structural damage?  Something got through its A.T. Field?!"

Maya : "But it was minimal..."

Asuka (to Misato) : "...sorry, Misato..."

Misato : "Shhh, don't worry.  I understand how you feel..."

Asuka (surprised) : "You...you do?"

Misato : "Hmmm...it's nothing, really.  Just follow your feelings,
Asuka."

Asuka : "Okay...I...I apologize."

Misato : "So, what's the situation, Ritsuko?"

Ritsuko : "The Angel sustained some minimal structural damage, even to
its A.T. Field.  That's unbelievable..."

Asuka : "I KNOW!!!"

Everyone is stunned by Asuka's sudden exclamation.

Asuka : "That's it!  I know how to kill this bastard!  I saw that in a
video game!  All we have to do is to get a giant mirror!"

Makoto (to Shigeru) : "What a ridiculous idea..."

Shigeru (to Makoto) : "Perhaps she wants a mirror in order to make up
her face again?"

The whole control room bursts out laughing.

Asuka (to the room, through the speakers) : "SHUT UP!!!!"

And, almost instantaneously, the control room goes silent.

Misato : "Asuka, what's your idea?"

Asuka : "Hmmm...why not...reflect its fire?"

Ritsuko : "...Of course!  She's right!  Since it's a beam of *light,* it
can be reflected!  All that we have to do is to send part of the beam
back directly towards the Angel!"

Misato : "Yes, it might just work.  Don't we have anything like that
someplace here?"

Ritsuko : "Hmmm...I don't think so..."

Asuka : "Hey!"

Misato : "What now?"

Asuka : "Correct me if I'm wrong, but there are solar panels in the
GeoFront, right?"

Misato : "Yes!"

Ritsuko : "Major!  These solar panels are really expansive!  We'll need
a lot of money to rebuild them if Rei fails!  And running with only two
independant generators is not really advisable..."

Misato : "But that's the only thing we can use!"

Ritsuko : "Well...you're right, but...okay.  I approve."

Misato (to Rei) : "Rei!  We're sending you two solar panels!  Try to
avoid enemy fire while they arrive, okay?  Use them as mirrors to reflect
the beam back towards the target!  And be careful!"

Rei : "Acknowledged."

Asuka : "AND QUICKLY!!!"

Misato : "Asuka..."

Asuka : "Oops...yes, I'm calm...I'm calm..."

Some minutes later, a pair of solar panels, like shields, pop out of a
building.  Rei quickly takes them and places herself in front of the
beam just before raising her 'shields'.  It perfectly reflects the beam.  
The Angel seems to be swallowed up by its own light and disappears with-
out leaving any trace.

Makoto : "Angel...neutralized."

Shigeru : "MAGI can't find any sign of the enemy anymore.  It completely
vanished."

Asuka (voice trailing off) : "Where's...where's the recovery team...?"

Maya : "They've retrieved the Entry Plug and are transferring the pilot
to a hospital room in section 4."

Misato : "Okay...we..."

Before Misato can finish her sentence, four NERV Security Officers arrive,
take Ritsuko's arms and handcuff her.

Ritsuko : "What the...?"

Fuyutsuki (from above) : "Dr. Akagi, you're under arrest for disclosing
top secret information.  Lead her to her cell."

Misato : "Vice-commander!  What is this all about!?  Who decided this?"

Instead of answering, he leaves the room via an elevator.

Ritsuko (being taken out of the Control Room) : "Misato!  Trust me, I..."

She can't finish her sentence.  One of the guards clamps a hand over her
mouth as she is led away.

Misato (to herself) : "That rotten bastard!  He needed her to kill that
Angel, and now, he puts her in a cell when she's useless to him...how kind
of him..."

Asuka : "What's going on, Misato?  Why is Dr. Akagi--?"

Misato (quietly) : "That...we'll talk about it later, Asuka..."

---

Shinji's mind.  A dark void.

Shinji : "Am I...dead?"

Little voice : "No.  You're not."

Shinji : "Who's there...?  Mother?"

The little voice laughs.

Little voice : "I'm someone close to you.  You are...part of me.  
Otosan."

Shinji : "Fa...father?  I'm your...father?  Teri?  Is that you?"

Teri : "Yes.  I am."

Shinji : "What is all this?  Where are we?"

Teri : "This is your mind.  This is your dream. I can travel from dream
to dream.  It's one of my skills."

Shinji : "What do you mean?"

Teri : "This isn't important now, otosan.  Mom and I are in danger.  
Mom always told me that grandpa was evil, but..."

Shinji : "..."

Teri : "...he's trying to kill her.  And me."

Shinji : "W-what did you just say?"

Teri : "Please, otosan.  Mom needs you...and so do I.  Both of us need
you, to protect us."

Shinji : "...I don't know..."

Teri (angry) : "You MUST make a decision, otosan!  If you don't do any-
thing now, we'll die...we'll all die!"

Shinji : "What am I supposed to do?!  Where's the problem?  What does
father have to do with you and Asuka!?"

Teri : "If you don't do anything...I'll be his toy...just like Aunt
Ayanami..."

[Author's note:  "Heh heh, sorry, Eel (HERZ).  It's just that I don't
know what Teri could possibly call Rei, except for "Aunt."--Axel.]

Shinji : "...Aunt?"

Teri : "Enough said...come on, otosan.  Give me your hand.  I'll bring
you back to the real world."

Shinji complies.  When he takes his little girl's hand, a warm feeling
spreads all over his body...he then wakes up in a hospital room.

---

Back in the real world.  Shinji is looking at the ceiling.

Shinji, softly : "What is..."

He feels a warmth on his right hand, just like when he took his daugh-
ter's hand seconds earlier in his mind world.  He turns his head to the
right, and sees a mass of red hair all over his arm.  Asuka is sleeping,
visibly exhausted, her face resting on his right hand.  Shinji then
realizes that Asuka's soft breathing is tickling his arm, but he doesn't
care.  Being alive with Asuka next to him is enough to make him happy.  
Well, sort of.  He looks around the room and sees that there's a plate
with some food on it on the table nearby.  It was for Asuka, but it
seems that she didn't take anything from it.  Seconds later, Asuka wakes
up, too.

Asuka : "Hmmm...Shin-chan...you're awake...guten morgen..."

Still, Shinji doesn't answer.  Asuka rubs her eyes in order to clear her
view.  She then leans over him and gives him a long, passionate kiss.  
Seconds later however, Shinji breaks off the kiss.

Asuka : "W-what's wrong...?  I'm here waiting for you and that's how you
thank me?"

Shinji : "Asuka...please forgive me..." (turning his face away from her:)
"I couldn't...protect you."

Asuka is stunned by this.

Asuka (with a comforting look on her face) : "Tsss, it's over now...
don't wor-"

Shinji, interrupting her : "I'm not fit to be your boyfriend if I can't
assure your safety!  And therefore...I'm not fit to be Teri's father.  
So, please Asuka, leave this room..."

Shinji feels his bed start to shake violently.  It's Asuka.

Asuka : "You...you JERK!!!  I can't believe it!  You can't...you can't
be serious!"

Her voice trails off.

Asuka : "Y...you just can't!  After ALL the things we did together!  
All those beautiful moments!  You're just like all the other boys after
all!  Try to take advantage of me, and when...Damn!  This can't be!"

Shinji : "Hate me if you must, but I'm afraid that..."

He didn't realize how fast Asuka could run to the other side of a bed.  
She looked furious...even more than usual, if it could be possible.  She
looks him right in the eyes and slaps him, the sound of which resonates
through the room like a gunshot.  It was the second time in his life that
Shinji had been slapped by Asuka.  The first time was on the aircraft
carrier.  He looks up at her seconds later, and sees that she has tears
in her eyes.

Asuka (whispering) : "Bastard..."

She then nearly tears the door open and stomps out of the room and down
the hall, almost running into Misato, who was passing by.  Misato
recovers quickly and wonders what just happened.  She then decides to go
visit Shinji, as she had intended to do at first.  She looks back at
where Asuka has just disappeared, and then walks into Shinji's room.

Misato (shutting the door behind her) : "So, Shinji-kun, how are..."

She stops herself when she sees the angry red mark on his cheek.

Misato : "Uh oh...it seems that I came at a *bad* moment."

Shinji (sadly) : "It's nothing, Misato-san.  I'm just a weak little
boy."

Misato (puzzled) : "Hey, what makes you say that?  Are you okay?"

Shinji : "I think...I am not worthy."

Misato : "Not...what?  What happened to Asuka?  She was crying when she
ran into me!  What have you done now!?"

Shinji : "You see?  You're angry at me, too...you're so distant from us
these days, Misato-san..."

Misato : "No...that's not what I wanted to say...really, Shinji."

Shinji : "I can't be Teri's father...I'm too weak!!!"

Misato : "What the..."

Shinji : "Please leave, Misato-san...I'm ok...well, sort of...but I
want to be alone.  Now."

Misato (leaving the room) : "Well, okay, If you say so.  Take your time,
Shinji-kun...but remember that there are a woman and a little girl who
still need you.  And please note that Asuka waited for you a long time...
you slept there for two days, you know.  Well, anyways, we'll talk about
this later, okay?"

Shinji : "O...okay..."

She shuts the door, slumps against the wall of the corridor and puts a
hand over her eyes.

Misato (to herself) : "Damn!  This is getting worse and worse!  Now, if
Shinji has doubts about himself...well...I'd better go, or I'll miss my
rendezvous with Kaji..."

Back inside the room...

Shinji (to himself) : "Asuka...I'm..."

---

Misato's car, somewhere in Tokyo-3.  Misato and Kaji are inside.

Misato : "Well, I'm listening...what have you found?"

Kaji : "Being a spy isn't that easy, you know...but it was worth the
risk!  Look at this."

He hands some papers to Misato.

Misato (taking a look at the papers) : "What is this?"

Kaji : "LCL Analysis from Unit 02 in July 2016..."

Misato : "One month before Asuka and Shinji..."

Kaji : "Yes.  Just before they had sex..."

Misato : "What are those red dots everywhere in this picture?"

Kaji : "According to Ritsuko's reports...those are hormone boosters.  
Sexual stimulants, if you prefer."

Misato : "...W-what?  You mean Commander Ikari...was planning this before
the beginning of Asuka's pregnancy?"

Kaji : "Yes.  And Ritsuko possibly knew everything from the beginning,
too."

Misato : "As I thought.  Then it's probably a good thing that she's in
jail now--"

Misato catches herself and thinks about what she just said.

Misato : "What am I saying?  Poor Ritsuko...she wanted to warn me..."

Kaji : "Or the reports she saw may have been tampered with...It's one of
Ikari's specialties, you know..."

Misato : "So, let me see if I have this right : Ikari used sexual
stimulants on Asuka in order to make it easier for her to become preg-
nant and 'create' a life form capable of using the Evangelions more
effectively.  But, since this life form's constitution is still unknown,
it will kill Asuka during childbirth.  Am I right?"

Kaji : "It *MAY* kill her.  We could ask MAGI, but without Ritsuko now,
it'll be harder to find out.  As for the rest, I'm afraid so."

Misato : "I could ask Maya, couldn't I?  Do you have any information
about how Asuka and Teri can be saved, by any chance?"

Kaji : "Unless a miracle occurs, I think the best thing to do is to pray
really hard..."

Misato : "Goddamnit, Kaji!  Ikari's going too far!  I knew he wasn't a
saint at all, but there...Kaji, I beg you.  We *must* stop him!"

Kaji nods, then looks at the ceiling of the car.

Kaji : "I've never been a saint, either, you know.  However, because
this is all about Asuka and Shinji, I feel that I have to do something,
too.  Really."

Misato : "Thanks...in the end, you're not so..."

Kaji (seeing that Misato is hesitating) : "Not so what?"

Misato : "Never mind.  Any news about the committee?"

Kaji : "From what I've heard, they are against Ikari's project, but that
doesn't mean that all these old men are with us.  Quite the contrary, in
fact."

Misato : "I see.  Still plotting something, right?"

Kaji : "It seems so."

Misato : "The problem is...what is the real motive behind Ikari's plans?"

Kaji : "I don't know, either..."

Misato : "Ritsuko told me that it was in order to prevent SEELE from
entering Terminal Dogma..."

Kaji : "This makes no sense at all.  I mean, how could a newborn child
use an Evangelion Unit?  And besides, the committee seemed to be very
hurried...no, he couldn't..."

Misato : "What...?"

Kaji : "He couldn't possibly trigger the childbirth to happen prematurely
if anything happens, could he?"

Misato : "Does that mean that he *could* kill Asuka if he wanted to?  My
god!"

Kaji : "Hey, don't fear the worst.  It's only a hypothesis.  Ikari may
be a madman, but he's not stupid.  If things are going to get too hot
for him, he'll surely have more than one arrow in his quiver."

Misato : "He could have planned it all...for all those months..."

Kaji : "His scenarios are always perfect.  He never leaves anything to
chance."

Misato : "Do you know where he is now...?"

Kaji : "My sources on this point are quite blurred.  Either the South
Pole or Germany..."

Misato : "Too far away...we'll have to wait until he comes back..."

Kaji : "So, what are your plans?"

Misato : "I don't know...I'm really overwhelmed by all these events."

Kaji : "Have you told them?"

Misato : "N...no...I'm afraid...of their reactions.  They're only teens,
after all, let's not forget that.  I don't want to hurt them, especially
when they're happy like that.  I saw them kissing in my car before that
Angel attack.  It was...it was so sad to see them caring that much for
each other while knowing that one of them will die, and...dammit!  I
don't know what to do!  I'm so powerless!  That fucking commander!!!  
They're so young and he's destroying their hopes!"

She's on the verge of crying.

Kaji : "Hey hey, calm down...I have good contacts with expert bio-
scientists.  Maybe they can help us."

Misato (wiping her eyes, sniffling) : "Isn't it too late?"

Kaji : "Maybe, but we have to give it a try..."

Misato : "This is our last ray of hope.  Okay then, where is your
contact?"

Kaji : "Let's go to the Research Lab in Osaka-2."

Misato : "It's a little far away...I hope Shinji and Asuka won't do
anything stupid...I'll phone their friends and ask them to go get our
two lovebirds." (to herself:) "Okay, Ikari.  Here we come.  Better
prepare yourself, bastard!"

And with that, she starts her car and rushes out of Tokyo-3.

---

TO BE CONTINUED...

Don't miss the next episode : "You Are Not Alone"

Author's notes:
The last scenes were very heartbreaking, don't you think?  You *really*
want to know more, right?

Sorry that this came out so late.  I wanted to release it one week ago,
but I was organizing the real AXL's Game Center, and I had to prepare
many things...in other words, I was very busy and couldn't write! :-(

I hope that, with the revelations about Gendo's plans, you will have a
better opinion of Asuka.  Did you REALLY think that she really wanted to
do that with Shinji from the begnning?  Maybe, maybe not... (I'm gonna
kill the guy in the back who says that I'm asking too many questions
without giving any answers, like in the original "Evangelion" series.
:-) )

At the end of this series, I'm gonna open up a little forum on my website,
so, if you have any questions about the plot or some details, keep them
and I'll answer all of them on my website, OK?  Maybe during an ICQ Chat,
I dunno...

As usual, any comments, critics, remarks or ideas are welcome!

The one who won my special thanks for this month is Shinji Ikari, the
10 O'Clock Assassin [give him a hand] for his short but cool side story
about the CAPCOM vs. SNK 2010 game.  Thank you!

(oh and CAPCOM is copyright of Capcom and SNK is copyright of SNK...am I
right ? :-) )

Second special thanks to EBJ for all the spell-checking and grammar
corrections.

Also, thanks to my pre-readers : Alain Gravel (a.k.a Rakna), Al-l-Bus,
Borderline Case, EBJ, Eva_Pilot00, Greg Thomas, Jon Byram, Readiosys
Fisher, Shinji Ikari the 10 O'Clock Assassin (him again!), Sudhoda'ya
and SushiBoy.

Thanks to you all!!!

See ya soon,
Axel Terizaki

---
CAPTION: OMAKE (Extra)
CAPTION 2: For my beloved readers.
CAPTION 3: A hard moment in an author's life...
CAPTION 4: In fact, it's only an author's rambling...
CAPTION 4: OK, OK, no more captions...

Asuka : "AXEEEEELLL!!!!"

Axel : "Oh, no!  What is it NOW?"

Asuka : "Baka!  Have you looked at my notebook?!"

Axel : "What's the problem?"

Asuka : "'What's the problem'... IT'S A TOTAL MESS!!!!"

Axel : "Hey!  I have to write this fanfic!  And I've got schoolwork to
do!!!  And the next AXL's Game Center is in ONE week!  I've got OTHER
things to do!!!"

Asuka : "Humph, I hope you'll finish the English part because I'm tired
of looking at French words littering my notebook!  I want people who
can't speak French to check it out!"

Axel : "Well, gimme a few weeks, OK?"

Asuka : "NO!  I can't wait!  I'm gonna kill you!  For sure this time!"

Axel : "Uh oh..." (to himself:) "Must be that time of the month.  I'd
better stay away from her..."

Teri appears.

Teri : "Okasan!"

Asuka : "Teri-chan!  Hmmm, come here, Teri-chan..."

She takes her daughter in her arms and hugs her.

Asuka : "What do you want, Teri-chan?"

Teri : "Axel-sama said that it was probably that time of the month.  
What does that mean, okasan?"

Axel (slapping his forehead, to himself) : "Oh God!  I knew I shouldn't
have given Teri the ability to read minds!"

Asuka frowns and puts Teri back down.

Asuka (with a soft voice) : "Axel?"

Axel : "Y-yes...?  Errr...hmmm..."

Asuka (cracking her fingers, to Teri) : "Teri-chan?"

Teri : "Yes, okasan?"

Asuka : "Go see your father.  What going to happen next is not for
young eyes."

Teri : "Oh...I see.  Axel-sama must have said something baka again."

Asuka : "Yes, he has.  Now, go, Teri-chan."

Teri : "Ok, okasan!  Farewell, Axel-sama!  I'll miss you very much!"

She leaves the room, laughing.

Asuka : "Now...let's get on with it!"

She approaches Axel, who is beginning to cower in fear.

Axel (grinning) : "Oh, come on, Asuka...I was just joking...no, don't do
what I think you will do..."

Asuka (frowning) : "Oh yes, I'm gonna do what you think I'm gonna do..."

She cocks her arm back as if to slap him, but then stops at the last
moment and rubs his cheek when her hand reaches it.

Asuka (smiling) : "You're not worth a slap from me, baka-chan...!"

Axel : "Whew..."

Instead, she kicks him hard in the groin...

Axel : "Ouuuuuuuchhhhhh...."

Poor Axel falls on the ground, in great pain.  Asuka turns around and
leaves the room.

Asuka (winking back at him) : "You deserved *that* instead, baka Axel!"

--===---

E-mail me if you can make any sense out of that... :-)