part two
      Through the impenetrable barrier of window blinds, a single bead of sunlight managed to escape, and shone on Shinji's face.
      Shinji stirred from his slumber and sat up in bed, then looked toward Rei who was still asleep.
      He glanced at the small clock on the night table between their beds, and noticed it was time to get up anyway.
      No rest for the weary...
      Shinji slid his legs over the edge of the bed and yawned loudly.
      "Com'on, Rei. It's time to get up."
      Rei responded with a grumble. Standing up, he walked over to her bed, and proceeded to shake her shoulders.
      "Wake up, Rei. We've got to get ready for school."
      She turned onto her back, and looked at him sleepily.
      "Do we have to?"
      Shinji rolled his eyes as he made his way over to the closet.
      "Yes, we do. Even if we can't remember anything, we still have to go to school... Unfortunately..."
      The closet door opened, and he found several boys and girls school uniforms that Ichiro had bought for them. He took two uniforms, and tossed one onto Rei's bed.
      "I'll take the bathroom first."
      Rei finally sat up at his statement, "Hey! Why can't I go first? I need more time than you do!"
      "Exactly," replied Shinji as he grabbed his toiletries, and opened the door, "That's why I'm going first. I'd like to be able to take a shower today."
      He smiled to Rei, as he closed the door, narrowly evading the pillow she had tossed at him.


      Stupid door lock... Couldn't they have made it a bit easier to use?
      He grumbled as he stepped into the shower, and turned on the water.
      The warm water traveled down Shinji's body in miniature waterfalls and coalesced into a small lake at his feet. The lake swiftly disappeared into the abyss that was the shower drain, and whisked the water to some unknown, mysterious place.
      As he lathered himself, various thoughts floated through his mind, occasionally bumping into each other like small pieces of driftwood on a swift flowing river.
      He wondered what school was like. Technically, he had gone to school for his whole life, and he could remember what he learned, but other than that he had no idea what it was like. He may as well be a kindergartner going to preschool for the first time.
      What kind of student had he been? A grade A genius or the school flunky? Was he popular, or an outcast?
      All these questions beckoned to the answered, and all he could come up with was a blank.
      As he drenched his head in the stream of water, another thought broke through the mists of his mind. This day should prove to be both interesting and terrifying at the same time.
      Shinji wasn't so sure if he wanted to go through with it, though.
      Then again, what choice did he have?
      His concentration was broken when he heard the shower partition open.
      Removing his head from the shower stream, he was greeted by a sight that he never thought he would see: A totally naked Asuka.
      Imprinted on her face, an expression of both shock and surprise. However, in a matter of seconds that expression transformed into one of anger.
      Both of Asuka's hands formed into fists, her arms locked to either side of her as she raised her voice.
      Normally, the sight of a beautiful, naked girl would deprive him of whatever mental faculties that he possessed, but for some reason, that statement snapped him out of his stupor.
      After he regained some modicum of brain power, Shinji pointed a finger at Asuka, his voice raised in accusation, "What am I doing? You're the one who walked in on me!"
      The red head didn't skip a beat, as she countered, "If you would've locked the door, then I wouldn't have come in!"
      Ouch, score 1 Asuka.
      "Well if you weren't deaf and blind, you would have heard the water already running, and my clothes in a neat pile outside the shower!"
      That was one for him.
      Asuka gritted her teeth and began to yell at him.
      "You pervert! You left it unlocked on purpose, just so you could see me naked!"
      "No, I didn't! I just couldn't figure out the stupid lock, so I left it unlocked hoping that people would be smart enough to figure out that someone was in here!"
      "Oh, so now you're calling me stupid?"
      Shinji smiled, his voice filled with sarcasm, "Of course, because if I called you a bitch it wouldn't be nice."
      That did it.
      Asuka's eyes widened, and she screamed as she pounced on Shinji.
      "You baka!"
      Shinji was caught off guard as Asuka literally jumped into the shower smacking and hitting him, pushing both of them into the water.
      He lifted his arms to defend himself from the onslaught of the red-haired valkrie, unfortunately the water that flowed blinded him.
      "Hey! Stop! Ow!"
      Finally, Shinji reached out at what he thought were Asuka's arms, and grabbed.
      Asuka immediately stopped.
      That was weird. Her arms felt really soft, and as he moved out of the water a voice in the back of his mind tried to make itself heard, although it was still muffled by the thick layers of confusion blocking his mind. And as he moved forward, Asuka moved backward.
      Why was she so quiet all of a sudden? That big mouth of hers just wouldn't stop before...
      Shinji's thought was interrupted when regained his sight, and saw what he was really holding onto.
      It was right then the voice punched through the confusion and cried out urgently in his mind trying to prevent something horrible from occurring.
      However, it was too little, too late.
      Shinji's hands were both firmly attached to Asuka's breasts, and she had a look of outrage etched on her face, as she stared at Shinji's hands.
      He could almost hear the voice sigh in resignation when it realized that it had failed to prevent the catastrophe.
      Unfortunately for him, the worst had yet to pass.
      "Umm. What are you two doing?"
      Both whipped their heads toward the new voice, and saw that said voice belonged to Rei, who stood at the door with her arms at her sides.
      Shinji immediately let go of Asuka's assets, and jumped behind the shower partition.
      Asuka realized that she was totally nude, and grabbed a towel off a nearby rack, covering herself.
      "We're not doing anything!" retorted Asuka, her red face betraying her utter embarrassment.
      Rei crossed her arms, and a mischievous smile played across her lips, "Ah, I see. So then why were you showering together?"
      "We weren't showering together!"
      "Yeah! Asuka walked in on me!"
      Asuka gave Shinji a look that would have sent Cerebus running away in terror.
      He hoped Rei would take some mercy and stop her inquisition into the matter.
      Of course, that would have been asking for too much.
      "Oh, so that was when you grabbed Asuka's breasts?"
      Once again, the mouth proved faster that the brain as he replied.
      "Yes! I mean, no!"
      Uh, oh...
      Asuka's fist connected with Shinji's cheek and caused him to fall on his ass. His hand rubbed the now sensitive area.
      Asuka then stormed out of the bathroom, with only a towel that loosely covered her.
      Shinji looked at Rei who chuckled as she began to walk away from the bathroom.
      "Hurry up, Shin-chan. I need to take a shower, too."
      Before he could totally regain his bearings, he heard Rei's voice once more, an amused tone to it, "Oh, and don't forget to push the small button that's beside the knob."
      Shinji stood, and did the only thing he could do.
      He locked the door.


      "Ittarasshai! Have a good first day at school Rei, and Shinji!"
      "We will!"
      Shinji watched Asuka call into the house, and close the door behind her. She then took a moment to glare at him, causing a shiver to go down his spine. Asuka then broke the glare, and took the lead.
      "Follow me, you two."
      She walked briskly, and totally ignored Rei and Shinji, although, they did manage to keep up.
      As they walked, Shinji couldn't help but think of the morning's events as he looked at Asuka.
      Why does she have to be so cute, and yet be such a total pain in the...
      "Hey, Shin-chan?"
      Speaking of pains in the ass...
      "Yes?" he whispered back to Rei.
      "Shouldn't you have asked her out before trying to put the moves on her?"
      Shinji widened his eyes at Rei's question, and struggled to reply, his voice wavering.
      "I... I wasn't putting the moves on her!"
      "Sure you weren't. You just wanted to get to know her better, right?"
      He could see out of the corner of his eye Rei's sly smile.
      She just wouldn't leave it alone, would she?
      "Gimme a break, Rei. It was just an accident, ok?"
      "Then why are you blushing?"
      Indeed, he felt that his face had flushed. This was so embarrassing! Why did Rei take so much glee in tormenting him?
      "Next thing I know, you'll be grabbing her butt."
      Before Shinji could reply to her comment, Rei grabbed his hand and planted it on Asuka's behind.
      Asuka yelped, and turned around quickly to face him.
      Shinji's face went white when he saw her face.
      And as Asuka's schoolbag connected with his head, he heard her yell, "You pervert! Don't you dare grab my ass!"
      On the street, he sat up, and gingerly touched the side of his head.
      Damn that hurt.
      He looked up to see a totally livid Asuka, who ranted to the both of them.
      "I've never been so embarrassed in my life! If you two hadn't come to our house, none of this would have ever happened! I can't stand the sight of either of you!"
      Shinji couldn't believe what she just said. He felt his heart sink, the emotion threatening to overwhelm him. His mind began to formulate a reply, recovering from the emotional backlash he felt from Asuka's outburst, only to be beaten to the punch by Rei.
      "What's that supposed to mean?"
      "It means that I wish both of you never came to live with us!"
      As he stood, Shinji noticed the smile Rei had before had been replaced with an aura of anger. He wisely decided that it was in his best interests to stay quiet for now.
      "Do you think that we wanted to go live with you? I'd rather be living with my parents then deal with your crap!"
      The anger flashed in Rei's eyes, like twin crimson fires burning in a field of snow, threatening to melt everything in sight.
      Asuka replied to Rei's anger, her own sapphire eyes glinting with every word.
      "My crap!? You're not the one who's being molested by an oversexed pervert!"
      Before Rei replied, Shinji stepped between the two girls and interrupted them. Eye to eye with Rei, he hoped to stop the argument when he mentioned something that they seem to have forgotten: School.
      "Will you two stop it! We're going to be late to school! Even if this day has not been too spectacular for all of us, I'd like to avoid being late for my first day of classes!"
      Both girls stared at Shinji, astonishment in their faces at the rather strong explosion from him.
      Asuka recovered first, and turned around in a huff.
      "Hmph. Let's go, I don't want to be late because of you two."
      Rei gritted her teeth as she fell in after Asuka, with Shinji close behind.
      Shinji sighed and gently shook his head.
      It was going to be a long and painful day...


      This had to be punishment...
      It was the only explanation Shinji could think of.
      How else can he explain the two girls who argued in front of him?
      Rei and Asuka broke back into argument as they entered the train station.
      At least he was successful in his attempt to tune out their conversation. Unfortunately, the occasional word or two slipped by his mental barrier.
      Of course, Asuka was the first to break through, shortly followed by Rei's response.
      Shinji rolled his eyes, and looked ahead at the empty platform in front of him. Like a Zen master, the argument faded into silence as he concentrated on the emptiness that lay ahead of him. Suprisingly, the only sounds Shinji perceived was his breathing and heartbeat.
      A train passed near the platform, and quickly disappeared. What Shinji saw next caused him to catch his breath.
      On the empty platform stood a woman, where no one was before the train passed.
      She wore some kind of red and black uniform. Shinji also noticed she was injured, as evidenced by the trail of blood, which traced the outline of her face.
      Her black hair was matted, partially bloodied from a wound on her forehead, and almost concealing her purple highlights. But, what caught Shinji's attention were her eyes. Within those brown eyes, he saw a deep fear, as if something had tried to take her very soul away from her.
      In the eerie silence which surrounded him, Shinji heard her speak, desperation evident in her soft voice.
      "Help us... We need you..."
      Another train slowed in front of him, and blocked his view of the woman.
      Who was she? What did she mean?
      Asuka smacked the back of his head and interrupted Shinji's thoughts.
      "Com'on baka, we'll miss our train."
      He gave Asuka an annoyed glance. Suddenly, Rei repeated the same action on the back of Asuka's head, in retaliation.
      "Hey! What was that for?"
      "You shouldn't ask," Rei replied as she embarked in the train.
      Asuka rubbed the back of her head, as she walked into the train. Shinji followed the two girls, and silently pondered the vision he had experienced.
      Why did he see her at all?
      Maybe he would never know...


"I would like you to welcome our two new students, Rei and Shinji Takagi."
      Rei smiled and waved at the class as the teacher introduced them.
      "They've been transferred from a school in Osaka, and will be finishing the year here. Please give them whatever help you can so that they can get caught up."
      The teacher, an older gentleman, smiled at both of them, "Go ahead, and take an empty seat."
      Rei nodded, and chose a seat beside one of the large windows facing outside. Shinji sat toward the middle of the class. As she sat, Rei took note of Asuka's foul expression. Asuka narrowed her eyes when Rei smiled at her.
      She was so easy to annoy.
      Rei turned her attention away from the ornery red head, and looked forward as the teacher began his lecture.


      It seemed to drag on forever...
      Endless reiterations of history, math, and English...
      Rei paid attention to most of it, however, she finally decided to take a small break.
      She stopped listening to the lecture, and looked around the classroom at the various people there. It was at this time that she noticed a young man who sat in front of her to her immediate right. His brown hair seemed totally out of place in an ocean of homogenous black hair. Not only that, his skin was a lighter shade than those around him as well.
      As Rei continued to stare at the back of his head, many questions flitted about her mind. The most prominent ones were what did his face look like, and what color were his eyes.
      Emerald green.
      The answer came from the portion of her mind responsible for empirical observation. Normally, she did not receive answers that quickly, however, since he had turned around to look right at her...
      Turned around?
      The cognitive portion of her brain dropkicked her out of the day dream state that she was in. Rei took full notice that the guy wasn't Japanese at all.
      A foreigner perhaps?
      Another kick from the recesses of her mind reminded her that she was still staring at him. It also informed her that he was doing the same.
      His eyes were so green... What a nice shade...
      She broke contact with his eyes when she quickly turned to look out the window.
      Out of the corner of her eye, she noticed that he still looked at her. Moments later, he turned back to the lecture.
      Rei felt her face had turned a little red. Why did she just ogle that guy? She almost was as bad as Shinji.
      This must have been what he felt last night...


      Lunch could not have come quicker for Shinji. If he had to hear another word of another boring lecture, he would scream.
      He sat down on a bench outside, opened his bento box, and prepared to consume the delicacy Masami prepared for him.
      "Hi, Shin-chan!"
      Yay, an interruption...
      Shinji looked up to see Rei's smile.
      "Can I join you?"
      He shrugged, "Sure."
      She sat beside him on the bench, and opened her own bento box.
      "Wow! This looks good."
      "Yeah, she really went out of her way. Maybe we should thank her?"
      Rei nodded as she bit into a steamed carrot, "Yup that's a great idea, Shin-chan."
      As Shinji ate a piece of chicken, he noticed the foreigner as he walked in the distance toward a large tree. He sat under the tree, and began to eat his own lunch.
      An evil thought came to Shinji's mind.
      Time for revenge.
      "Say, Rei-chan. Isn't that the guy you were staring at earlier?"
      Rei almost choked on a bit of celery. She hit her chest to help the wayward vegetable down, and looked at Shinji, surprised.
      "Wh... What are you talking about?"
      "Oh com'on, sis. I saw you stare at him for a full three minutes, and that was before he turned around."
      Her eyes widened at his remark.
      This was great! He couldn't think of a better way to get back at her for embarrassing him last night, and this morning.
      "I... Uh... Was staring?"
      "Uh, huh. I swear you guys held that gaze for a while. So, what I want to know is when you're going to make your move?"
      Rei's face turned several shades of red.
      "What! Don't say that! I don't even know his name!"
      She stopped speaking when she realized that people were looking in their direction.
      Shinji smiled widely.
      Rei looked thoroughly embarrassed as she stood.
      "I... I'm finished eating. I'll see you later, Shinji."
      She then left, just as he started to laugh.
      Hah! I got her!
      Shinji continued to laugh until he brought his laughter under control. When he did, he saw Asuka with some friends as they ate lunch.
      She smiled and laughed as he observed her from his vantage point on the bench.
      She was so beautiful...
      As he looked at her, the events that transpired in the morning replayed in his mind. He frowned as he remembered when she hit him. She didn't need to do that. Although, he did grab her where he shouldn't have... But, it was her fault! If she would have checked before she walked into the shower, then none of it could have happened. Then again, if he had locked the door, she would not have been able to come in.
      A total misunderstanding on both their parts.
      What could he do to help rectify the situation?
      The answer was quick in coming: Apologize.
      It would definitely be a step in the right direction. When he came out of thought, Asuka's friends were nowhere to be found.
      What a perfect opportunity, time to take advantage of it!
      Shinji stood and walked over to her. Asuka continued to eat, her back against a wall. In moments, he bridged the distance between them, and sat beside her.
      Asuka looked at him incredulously, "What do you want, pervert?"
      He ignored her quip since he was on a mission of diplomacy.
      "I just wanted to... Uh... Say something."
      "And that is?"
      Shinji felt extremely nervous as he looked at the beauty that sat in front of him. The words were caught in his throat.
      "That... That I'm sorry about this morning... I guess I should have been more careful with the lock."
      After he finished, Shinji noticed she looked at him with a strange expression on her face, her mouth slightly open in speechless surprise. She definitely did not seem to expect what he just said.
      Even when she was this way, she captivated him. Unfortunately the pleasant sight he beheld was not meant to be, as she recovered from his apology.
      Asuka hmphed, crossed her arms, and lifted her nose in the air, "Yes, you should have been more careful. Don't let it happen again."
      That was it.
      "What the hell is that supposed to mean? It was partly your fault, too!"
      "Really? Then why are you apologizing, hmm? You don't see me apologizing because it wasn't my fault, pervert."
      "I can't believe you!"
      Shinji stood up, and glared at her.
      "Fine, Asuka. You believe what you want."
      He stormed off.
      What a little bitch! She still blamed him for the entire thing instead of apologizing for what she did! He shouldn't have wasted his time...


      Nearby, a girl watched the events that transpired between one of the new students, and Asuka.
      She noticed that Asuka upset him somehow, and he stormed off to parts unknown.
      Maybe, I could follow him... Maybe even try to make him feel better...
      She took a step forward, but stopped in her tracks.
      What if he did not like her? What if he would reject her outright?
      She couldn't handle that... She will have to talk to him another way.
      And she knew exactly how, but she needed to find out a little more about him.
      With a new sense of determination, she walked away.


      Shinji stopped at the top of a hill; his angry thoughts left him as he looked around at his surroundings. Toward the bottom of the hill was the school soccer field, and track. For a few minutes, he looked at the field, and cleared his mind of the argument with Asuka.
      A strong wind blew, and caused him to close his eyes. He also raised his hands to protect his face. When the wind died down, he opened his eyes, and gasped.
      In the middle of the field stood the same woman he saw on the train platform. Once again, she was looking at him, her brown eyes had a vacant look to them.
      As all sound dwindled around him, Shinji heard her desperate voice call out to him. Even though she whispered, it carried the entire distance between them as if she stood in front of him.
      "Shinji... Where are you? We need you..."
      He opened his mouth to reply, however, another gust of wind blew leaves onto his face. After a couple of seconds, he removed the leaves from his face and looked back to the field.
      She was gone, again.
      Shinji continued to stare at the location where she had been, and did not move for a while. His lips parted a little, and he whispered so softly that his words were lost upon the gentle breeze still present.
      "What's going on?"

[Author's Notes]

Whoa! Things are starting to heat up! New mysteries unveiled, more questions, and even less answers... Don't worry, dear readers, you will find out what in the world is going on as you, of course, read more of Elsewhere. Coming not too long from now.

[Special Thanks]

I'd like to thank the following people for helping me prepare this story for distribution:

Erin Ellis (proprietor of 'Otaku Kaku'): For all of her help with Part 1 and Part 2. She provided some much needed grammar checking.

David Smith: Also provided some of the initial "Oh My God, look at that error!" help for Part 2.

Alain Gravel (Author of The One I Love Is...) : Helped by being both a great sound board to bounce ideas off of, and as an inspiration with his excellent fanfic. You got to read it guys! Tell him I sent you!

Richard Van Cleave: Was my sanity check for most of my ideas, and helped me get the ideas for Elsewhere put together.

And thanks to all of you who sent in E-mail with your comments and suggestions! I appreciate them all, and they've helped me give the energy to continue writing this series. I'm so very happy you've enjoyed it!

Copyright reserved 1999 R. Alexander Spoerer [iczer2@generalagents.com]

Disclaimer: Neon Genesis Evangelion © GAINAX/ProjectEva•TX•NAS. No infringement is intended.

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