shin slurpee evangelion
slurpee 0:3--

      Rei Ayanami sank yet another hole-in-one.
      Touji set down his own golf ball, aimed his putter, swung, and drove the ball clear into a sand trap. "Man! I hate miniature golf. As if golf itself isn't un-sport-ish enough, they have to make it smaller and give us these lousy clubs. And it doesn't help that Ayanami here is pounding my butt into the ground with her putter."
      "I'm sorry," she said.
      "Lighten up," Kensuke, sipping on a root beer, told Touji. "The purpose of a school trip like this is to relax and have fun. Just enjoy the game."
      "Fat chance," Touji said. "I enjoy this the way trout enjoy fishing."
      Shinji glanced quickly at Asuka, who was two holes ahead with another group. "I'm having fun." He putted. "Sort of."
      "That is one bad putt," Kensuke commented. "My turn."
      Touji angrily marked Rei's score.

Shin Slurpee Evangelion
SLURPEE 0:3 - Destination Moon

      "Activate," Gendo Ikari commanded. NERV staff began watching monitors, tapping at keyboards, and preparing activation sequences.
      Ritsuko monitored the main display unit at the front of Central Dogma. "Connect the main power supply and circuits." A quiet hum filled the room. In the Eva holding pen, though it remained motionless, Unit-03 seemed slightly
      Maya Ibuki looked up from her position at a smaller computer console. "Main power supply is connected. Initiating activation system." She paused, studying her computer, then announced, "Voltage has reached the critical point."
      Ritsuko nodded. "Start the second phase of the activation system," she ordered.
      "Check." Shigeru Aoba typed in a series of commands. "The pilot has begun synchronizing."
      "Start system phase II."
      "Check again." Shigeru looked up at the main display, smiling as Eva-03's neurons engaged onscreen. "Synapses are inserted. Junction started." The neurons continued to activate.
      "Pulses transmitted," Maya announced.
      "All circuits are functional."
      "The initial contact is optimal. Nerve links are fully active up to 2500."
      "The entire Eva is recieving power," Shigeru said, checking a series of output screens. "Shall we engage the last phase?"
      Ritsuko nodded. "Arrange for the third connection."
      Maya inhaled deeply, recalling the incident when Rei first attempted synchronization. "Up to 2580 satisfied. Countdown until absolute borderline, 0.9, 0.7, 0.5, 0.2..." --for an infinitely long second, the signal wavered just below the borderline-- "...absolute borderline has been passed!" One could actually hear the tension in the room drop, as all exhaled the collective breath they'd been holding.
      "Signal accepted. The Fourth Child has synchronized completely with the Eva."
      "Synch ratio holding at 30.7%," Maya reported. "Harmonics stable."
      "Good job, everyone," Ritsuko told the room. The Fourth Child, inside his entry plug, smiled.

      "Excuse me," said the woman at the snack bar to Touji Suzuhara, "but you're supposed to return your club when you finish. Not smash it repeatedly against a rock."
      Touji glowered, gave the already-bent putter one final whop, and set it up against the club rack. "Golf sucks, anyway," he said. "And what good is it if you can't channel your agressions into your equipment?"
      "Maybe you should channel your agressions into improving," said the snack bar lady.
      "At this stupid sport? No way."
      "I bet you're gonna have to pay for that," Kensuke told him, pointing at the club.
      Touji raised a clenched fist. "Want me to vent my anger on you? A bit of putter mayhem?" Kensuke backed off, shaking his head. "Didn't think so. ...Hey, where'd Shinji go?"
      "So she bought me a slurpee, which was fun," Shinji, sitting on a picnic table, told Ruri. "And then, the next day, it turned out that our new trainer was some kind of karate rapper!"
      "Now there's a weird combination." Ruri bit into her pizza slice. "How'd it go?"
      "Something like, 'kick, punch, it's all in the mind, if you wanna test me,' um...I forget. We had to repeat after him."
      "No," Ruri said, laughing. "I mean, how did training go?"
      "It hurt." Shinji recalled the strenuous exercises Chop Chop Master Onion had put them through.
      "Bummer...say, how do you feel about Asuka?"
      Shinji was obviously taken off guard. "I...w-well, um. think she's great!" he declared decisively after his initial mental stumbling.
      "Thought so. You should be nice to her, then. Considering that you're both pilots, you don't spend much time with her."
      "I try!" Shinji protested.
      "Then how come you're not talking to her now, hmm?" Ruri poked him in the nose. "You should challenge her to a golf game or something. Right now! Go on!"

      "Say, Asuka," Shinji said, interrupting an intellectual discussion of who was dating whom. Four pairs of eyes, one a clear blue, three really dark brown, focused on him. "Uh," crap crap crap, what was I gonna say, "You golf well!"
      "Well, duh," Asuka replied superciliously. "It takes focus, concentration, and a steady arm! My Eva training perfects all of that. And plus, there's just natural ability."
      "Yeah. What was your score?"
      Asuka's confident smirk was an odd contrast to Shinji's complacent smile. "Two under par," she said, restraining the pride in her voice just enough to indicate she was trying to restrain it. Her friends gave affirming exclamations of surprise.
      "That's really good." Rei had scored lower. "Um...go a round against me?"
      "You? Come on, do you want your ego crushed or what? I'll win by a mile."
      "It's all right with me. Are we going to golf?"
      Asuka considered it. "All right, you've got yourself a deal. No backing out now, Shinji!"
      The Fourth Child, hands full with bags, boxes of anime tapes, and his Playstation, fumbled with the keys to his new apartment building.

      As it was, Shinji lost. But he didn't care. Because, after figuring the scores:
      "Wow. Asuka, you beat me by five points. You're better than I thought!"
      Asuka looked at him strangely, as if analyzing his motives. "You keep saying that. Are you serious, do you mean that?"
      "Well, yeah," he said. He uneasily scanned the miniature golf course, the picnic tables, the arcade/snack bar.
      "Shinji," Asuka responded, "you're a nice guy, you know?"
      Shinji's eyes focused on her. He grinned.

      Everyone had seen the new student. Even now, they saw him sitting on the left side of the room, waiting for class to begin. As he sat, they talked about various things, but mostly him. "Do you think he's cute?" Asuka asked Hikari.
      Hikari shrugged. "Somewhat, but there are cuter boys in this class already."
      "I bet he's just as much a pervert as they are, you know."
      "I resent that!" Touji replied, sticking his head into the conversation. "How do you figure I'm perverted?"
      "You--" Asuka began, but she was cut off by the bell. The teacher spoke.
      "Good morning, class. We have a new student here today, David Bever. He comes from the state of Ohio in America. Now, you do speak Japanese, David?"
      "Hai, some."
      "And how do you like Japan so far?"
      "I don't know; I only arrived yesterday afternoon. But I've enjoyed what I've seen."
      The teacher nodded. "Well, I hope you enjoy it here. Quiet, class!" The class had begun whispering loudly, once again about the newcomer. "Let's begin the day's lessons with some algebra. Who recalls the definition of a function?"

      David Bever was eating his lunch of leftover sausage pizza, engaged in reading The Communist Manifesto, when a shadow fell over his book. "Hello?" he asked, turning his gaze upward.
      "I'm Asuka!" said a smiling, attractive, red-haired girl standing in front of him. "Asuka Langley Soryu! I'm the pilot of Eva-02." David immediately decided that this girl was much too effusive. "You're David Bever, the Fourth Child, right?"
      "Well, I'm sure not John Locke," David said.
      The girl frowned. "Very funny. What're you reading there...The Communist Manifesto. Are you a communist or something?"
      "Yes, I'm a militant Marxist and I'm plotting the overthrow of capitalism. The revolution will live on, you know."
      Asuka looked at him strangely. "You are a very sarcastic boy. I'll leave you to your devious little plots now."
      "Da, comrade!" David called after her, slightly smiling, as she left. She shot a hostile glance at him. Just what I need, a commie Touji Suzuhara.

      "Ayanami, wait up!" a voice called. Rei turned her head to observe the owner of the voice. It was Shinji.
      "Hi," he said, catching up alongside her. She nodded in reply. "Did you like the miniature golfing thing yesterday?"
      "Yes, I did. I believe I enjoy golf."
      "...believe? You mean, you've never touched a golf club before?"
      Rei pondered the inquiry. "No. I have not."
      "Yes. It was my first time."
      Shinji was impressed, yet incredulous. "That...that's unbelievable! You finished five under par! Nobody does that well on their first time." He reached a conclusion. "You're a natural, Rei."
      "I have never possesed an inherent talent in anything but Eva piloting," Rei observed quietly. She paused. "It is a different feeling."
      "Incredible...say, have you met the Fourth Child yet?" Shinji changed the subject.
      "David Bever? I have not."
      "Me neither. I guess we'll get to see him in training today."
      Both Children continued to walk, now in silence, until they parted ways and Shinji said goodbye to his companion. Nonetheless, the silence was much more comfortable than are most conversations. Most notably conversations during Rei and Shinji, though not the one they just had.

      The sound of a bio-mechanical robot the size of a skyscraper crashing against skyscraper is quite a sound to experience.
      And I don't use the term "experience" lightly. This is a sound so loud that one can feel one's eardrums reverberating in one's inner ear, threatening to penetrate through the ear canal and turn one's brain to petroleum jelly with pure sensory overload. It is a sound the decibel level of which one would not want to know, unless one's mind was unstable or perhaps turned to petroleum jelly. Accompanied by a tremendous shaking feeling, potentially an intense pain, and everything going swimmy before one's eyes, it is not a particularly desirable experience.
      This was precisely the sort of thing Shinji Ikari was experiencing at the moment, and it was precisely the sort of thing that caused him to really despise defeating Angels in his Evangelion robot.
      Our fearless hero screamed for a few seconds, until a searing, burning pain shot through his upper body, increasing the decibel level of his scream to darn near that of his building-smashing mecha. The paint on the Eva began melting off.
      "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA--" shrieked Shinji, suddenly sitting up, his sheets sopping with sweat and alliteration. "--aaaaaaah. Ah. Oh man. Oh man oh man oh man." Shifting from his sheets, he slowly stood, suddenly not so sleepy. "" He shuffled silently in sleepwear across his room.
      He felt very alone, unsteady, and shaken, which is probably why he felt his pulse. It throbbed like a machine gun in his wrist. He walked into the hall.
      Standing outside Asuka's room, he felt a need to reach out and make sure that everything was still there. He considered waking her up, but decided against it. "She'd be mad," he whispered to himself.
      Shinji steadied his own nerves, slipped back into bed, and slept again.

      "What do you think?" Fuyutsuki asked his superior. Commander Ikari put down his roast beef sandwich on pumpernickel and looked at the display screen. It showed a small, red orb hovering over the sea, off the coast of Japan.
      "You know as well as I what I think," he replied.
      "An Angel." Fuyutsuki finished the thought.
      "Definitely. ...Those things just keep coming. It's beginning to get on my nerves." Gendo took an irritated bite of his roast beef sandwich on pumpernickel. "Oh wewl. Notuhfy th' Eva pilots 'nd reddy th'm for combhat." He turned on the intercom. "Atdenshn alw NERV st--*swallow* ahem. Attention all NERV staff, report to first alert stations. The Twelfth Angel has been sighted."
      A descending elevator, containing Asuka and Rei, slowly...well, descended...toward NERV central. Rei, standing by the doors, was quiet, as was to be expected. Asuka, leaning against one wall, didn't talk either, which was to be expected given the fact that Rei was nearby. It was silent.
      The silence continued.
      It continued to continue.
      It was an incredibly, mind-blowingly, awe-inspiringly long silence, and it kept right on continuing for about twenty floors. Actually, come to think of it, it wasn't completely silent; a soft piano piece floated through the elevator. It was finally this music that caused the silence to stop continuing.

      "It's Rei's theme," Jackson Ferrell told his readers.

      "Man, this elevator music is annoying! They ought to play something cool in here, like Rammstein or Five Iron Frenzy. It's dull enough as is. Don't you just hate the music?" Asuka disgustedly asked Rei.
      "I do not mind it."
      "Hmph. You wouldn't. You're such a doll, can't even form your own opinions about music. I bet you wouldn't even have the guts to protest if you hated this stuff."
      "Elevator music is not of consequence," Rei replied evenly. "It does not matter."
      Asuka stared disdainfully at Rei's back. "Don't you have a single original idea at all? Why're you so ambivalent about everything?"
      The silence returned briefly, continuing again for a few seconds, before Rei gave her response. "I have opinions. I have just formed the opinion that your opinions pertain to things of no consequence."
      "Shut up!" Asuka yelled. The doors opened. "I don't care what you think, doll, I'm getting that worthless music changed!"

      "Your name is David, right?"
      "That's right. And your name?"
      "I'm Shinji. Shinji Ikari."
      "Well, hi, Shinji."
      "You know, I bet the inventor of the rack designed these plugsuits. Talk about sadism."
      " get used to it, I guess."
      "They say wearing these helps you synchronize. How can I think about that when my sole thought is my physical discomfort?"
      "Actually, fighting Angels kind of helps."
      "I see. So the prospect of impending death causes you to ignore non-essential details like tight plugsuits?" Shinji, fully plugsuited, pulled back the changing curtain and left for his plug. He was followed by David, who continued talking. "I can see why there are only four Children."

      "All pilots have synchronized," Maya Ibuki noted. "All ratios are as expected." On the main screen, the four pilots were displayed along with individual pilot data. Shinji kept his eyes closed, recalling Onion-sensei's training. Rei's expression almost wasn't one, save a small nuance of determination in her eyes. Asuka looked eager. David Bever, seeming angry, jerked at his plugsuit's collar.
      "Restraints removed from Evas. Launch preparation procedure is complete." Hyuuga looked up from a computer console.
      "Visual display of the Angel, please." Gendo stood at his command position, holding a sack containing one roast beef sandwich on pumpernickel. Onscreen, the same red dot hovered over the same Pacific Ocean in the same place.
      "Very well, then. We will attempt a long-range attack. All pilots are to equip their Evas with anti-Angel rocket launchers. Eva launching will commence on your mark, Major Katsuragi."
      "Is everyone set?" Misato asked.
      "Yes," Shinji said.
      "Yes," Rei said.
      "Roger!" Asuka said.
      "More or less," David said.
      Everyone spoke simultaneously, so Misato simply assumed that they were prepared. "Okay. Evas LAUNCH!"
      It was David's first time going zero-to-sixty vertically in less than a second, so he screamed a lot.

      After grabbing their assault weapons and blitzing across the city, the Evas met on the shore, spreading out to around an arm length apart. Hovering a bit above Eva-eye-level over the sea was a small red dot. "There it is," David, master of the obvious, noted.
      "I intend to fix that." Asuka kneeled and targeted. "Sniper mode engaged. Zooming...locked on!" The rocket launcher fired three shells, which trailed out some thousand meters toward their target. "Eat lead!"
      The first shell sailed over the Angel, sinking into the water. The second, falling a bit short and exploding, created some wicked cool waves for the surfers who would have been on the beach if there weren't an Angel out. The third rocket penetrated the AT field and hit the Angel.
      "You can kiss that one goodbye," Asuka said cheerfully.
      In Central Dogma, Maya announced the continuing presence of a blue signal.
      The smoke cleared. The red orb thing was still there. Either that, or there was a speck of lint on everyone's viewscreen in the same place that the Angel had just been. And that speck had the ability to emit an Angelic frequency.
      "It's not over yet," Shinji said. He kneeled to target, but then the red dot launched itself toward the shore.
      Down in NERV, Hyuuga frantically shouted, "Massive energy buildup detected in the Angel! Target's speed is 86 KPH...and climbing!"
      "Take it out!" Misato shouted. "Stop firing at two hundred meters and prepare for close combat!"
      The pilots had already obliged and were bombarding their target with rockets. It approached further and faster, eventually passing the 200-meter mark. Few rockets made contact, seeing as how the object's speed was now greater than that of a rocket anyway. The speeding Angel stopped on a dime, almost right next to Eva-02, which began trying to kick it away. Progressive knives drawn, the massive mechas stood poised to attack the Angel.
      Shinji's dream was trying to make itself remembered. Shinji was trying to suppress it. Now's not the time for that! He rushed toward the red sphere, slightly darker than its Unit 02 backdrop, and stabbed at it with his weapon. The knife wouldn't penetrate, so Shinji forced it even harder against the Angel's AT field.
      "Energy buildup is still present!" Hyuuga told his superiors. "The energy level's enough to decimate a tank!"
      "Then we've got to take it out fast," Misato concluded. "David, Rei, get in there!"
      It was a good thing that the two weren't in there, because the Angel suddenly released its gathered energy. A focused blast of fire emerged, hitting the immediate threat of Eva-01, which flew back, purple and green against a blue sky, and crashed into a supply skyscraper.
      Shinji felt a tremendous shaking feeling and an intense pain. Everything went swimmy before his eyes. His plugsuit nearly went swimmy, too. NOOOOO!!!!!!!!
      Through his unfocused vision, he could see a giant sphere of flame surrounding the Angel...and Eva-02. "AAAASUKAAAA!! AAAAAA-SUKKKKAAAAAA!!" Something snapped, and Shinji picked up his rocket launcher. Instantaneously, his vision was clearer than it had ever been.
      "$&^%, that guy's angry," noted David Bever, master of the obvious. Rockets exploded at the perimeter of the fire field.
      "Retreat!" Misato commanded. "Asuka, get out now!"
      Units 00 and 03 ran around the cloud of flame, leaving quickly, but Shinji stayed in place. He silently fired rocket after rocket into the inferno, an intensely furious glare on his face, until a crimson and scorched bio-robot stumbled out, collapsing. He then stopped firing, put down his weapon, and dragged his fallen companion far from the flaming Angel.

      In one of the holding pens, Ritsuko examined the damage dealt to Eva-02. The captain of her analysis crew hopped off the Eva's left shoulder and walked over to her.
      "Damage analysis complete," he informed her. "Armor plating is completely unsalvageable...the stuff's melted beyond repair. Once we remove it and the Eva's scar tissue, we should be able to begin regeneration."
      Doctor Akagi nodded. "Do you have specifications for the replacement armor?"
      "Not yet. We have data for Unit-02, and we're working on 01. From these we can calculate the specs and get the necessary parts."
      "That's good. Back to work, then." She returned her attention to her clipboard, and the crew captain returned to the left shoulder. From there he called orders to the other crew members.
      "We're going to move on to 01 now, except for Itoi's subcrew. They'll be working on the specifications for replacement armor. Let's get going!"

      Misato was watching Hyuuga monitor the Angel. "It's using focused flame bursts to melt NERV's defensive shielding," he observed. "Levels one through three are already penetrated."
      "Rather like the Fifth Angel, ne?" Misato remembered how that attack had been thwarted. On the other hand, NERV couldn't afford to power out all of Tokyo again, and the sniper attack might not work another time. The Twelfth Angel had shown it could explode conventional projectiles with the heat-wave thing, and close combat was definitely out. "How can we penetrate that infernal fire field?"
      Hyuuga shrugged. "I don't know. By my calculations, we've got around half a day before it breaks through the final defense level. I could go for a's so hot in here. Gonna take a quick break."
      "Try to think of something while you're getting your soda." Misato sat down as Hyuuga left. "There has to be a solution here. There always is..."

      In her hospital room, Asuka was singing.
      "Thank you for the card, with the cartoon nurse, but you see there's nothing wrong with me. You think, 'That's what you think, that's what they all say,' before I blow you away! By rocket to the moon; by airplane to the rocket, by taxi to the airport, by front door to the taxi; by throwing back the blanket," --she threw back the blanket on her hospital bed-- "hanging down the leg--ow!!! OW!" After dropping her leg down, she cringed in pain.
      She pulled it back under the covers and pulled the covers back up.

      About half an hour later in a conference room, Subcommander Fuyutsuki and Major Katsuragi sat around a table, discussing financial problems.
      "," Misato concluded, "the damage to Unit 02 is so intense that our budget won't cover it. In addition there's the cost of repairing Unit 01, and the defensive shielding, and any further damage the Evas incur. To summarize, we're financially screwed."
      Fuyutsuki had a suggestion. "Instead of focusing on what we can't do, let's see what we can. Without further work on Unit 02, can repairs to 01 be afforded?"
      "Yes," replied Misato, quickly scanning her papers.
      "And how long will that take?"
      "Two or three hours should get it."
      "Good...we'll have three Evas ready for combat, with at least eight hours left. Shinji is in piloting condition, right?"
      "Yeah, I think so. He kept telling us to put the plug back in, when we extracted it, and he seemed angry. But physically, I think he's all right; they checked him over in the med lab, and everything looked fine. But as for Asuka..."
      "Asuka, I take it, is in as bad condition as her Eva?"
      "She has some serious burns. I think she'd be as angry as Shinji, if she weren't so badly wounded. Ritsuko had her hospitalized."
      Fuyutsuki nodded. "I suppose she'll be unable to fight this Angel anymore. Now, do you have a plan for defeating the Angel?"
      "I've got a vague idea, but it needs work. Could you give me a hand?"

      Rei, in the meantime, was in the Training Gym. Though Chop Chop Master Onion was not present, his signature rap music filled the room as the First Child trained herself. With precision and fluidity, she executed each move almost flawlessly.
      "...Kick punch block. ...Duck pose jump."
      The commands became more difficult with each passing measure of music.
      "...Duck block punch. ...Chop chop jump. ...Jump kick chop pose. ...Kick kick block punch."
      Rei's technique seemed to improve with the increasing complexity of the commands. Finally, she finished with a rapid 8-hit string of attacks. "...kickchopduckpunchkick. Aahh...hooo." Turning off the tape, she inhaled deeply, exhausted.
      "Not half bad," said David Bever, from the doorway. He walked over to the mat Rei had stood on. She was now sitting on it, quite literally taking a breather.
      "Is this part of Eva pilot training?" he asked.
      "Somewhat. not neccessary to...train at this time. But I can...better fulfill my purpose...if I train now."
      "Dedicated," David Bever, master of the obvious, noted. "Don't you have other things you could do, though?"
      "I would rather...rather do this. It is...what I"
      "Well, whatever floats your boat. I'm going to kick back in Lounge 3B, if you'd like to join me. See ya later, Rei."
      "Goodbye, David." Rei continued resting until her breathing became slow and regular again, then rewound the tape and continued training. "Kick punch. ...Chop block." Her workout didn't stop until a voice through the loudspeaker told the pilots to report to their entry plugs. She then left, turning off the tape.

      "LAUNCH!" commanded Misato, for the second time that day. Three Evas rushed toward the surface. David didn't scream this time; he merely clenched his teeth and tried to keep his face from coming off.
      At the end of their launch rails, the Evas halted. Shinji kneeled down, picking up a long piece of nozzled tubing protruding from the pavement, and aimed it ahead. Rei readied a gun. David pulled his prog-knife from its shoulder compartment and hit a button on it.
      The blade extended to over twice its length. Unit 03 now held a progressive katana. Just like Bushido Blade's POV mode, but in a giant robot. ALL RIGHT!
      "The target is approaching!" Misato yelled through the comm system. "Get ready!"
      The red spot appeared on the horizon, rapidly nearing the pilots. Shinji aimed his tubing, pulled back on a lever at the tip, and held the makeshift weapon steady. A high-powered stream of water hit the Angel, stopping it in its tracks and effectively preventing the fire field from forming. Shinji gritted his teeth, keeping the water blast focused on its target.
      "Rei! Your turn!" Misato commanded.
      Rei targeted and fired her autolaser at the red spot. The blasts, unhindered by any sort of flame blast, connected. Visible holes appeared in the Angel's small, close AT field.
      "Keep firing, Rei! David, finish it!"
      David grinned inside his entry plug. Eva-03 held its katana in both hands, dashing alongside the stream of water. When it reached the Angel, it slashed and charged, cleaving through the AT field. As David halted, some fifty meters behind his adversary, two evenly cut red semicircles fell to the pavement at his back. They exploded.
      Misato, about four thousand feet down and a bit to the right, was exchanging high fives with everyone in Central Dogma. "Yeah! We did it! I told you my plan would work!" She gave Fuyutsuki a hug, then danced around ecstatically with Maya for a few seconds. "How about that giant fire hose? Yahoo! Beers on me! Come on, let's go hit a bar!"
      "After we return the Evas to their launch bays, Major," Commander Ikari reminded her. He flipped on the comm system. "Hello, med lab? Please get me some aspirin..."

      Rei, taking the elevator to the surface, heard very faint music through the audio system.
      "Got a peaceful feeling, I don't want to fight no more," sang Reese Roper. "Got a peaceful feeling, I don't care if we're punk or SKA or hardcore. Enough for you, it's sad but true, you can call us names 'til your face turns blue. Our assurance comes from God, it's nothing new; we'll never care 'cause we're never cool enough for you!"
      "That is true," Rei noted. She preferred the old music.

      "Asuka?" Shinji asked, cautiously opening the door to the hospital room. "Are you awake?"
      "Sure wish I weren't." Shinji took this as an invitation to come in and walked across the room to the hospital bed. Asuka lay on it, her hair spread out across the pillow, one hand limply hanging on the bedrail. "How did fighting the Angel go? I suppose you were the hero again, super Shinji."
      Shinji scratched his head nervously. "A-actually, it was David who finished it. I just held the fire hose."
      "Fire hose!" Asuka laughed, which caused her chest to hurt. "Ow!"
      "Are you all right?" Shinji asked, putting his hands on the bedrail.
      "No. Don't make me laugh again, it hurts. Ow...that Angel did a real number on my Eva. I hate it!"
      "It's dead now, you don't have to worry."
      "That's the worst part of it." Asuka's face showed anger and disappointment as her hand tightly clutched the bedrail. Shinji's hand was tightening its grip as well. "Now I can't take revenge on it. That thing hurt me, and I want to make it hurt back! I hate it! I hate this!"
      She sighed. "I really hate this. I keep getting beat up by these Angels, over and over. The last one got me hospitalized, and this one I didn't even get to kill. It really hurts to be if you'd know, super Shinji."
      "I do know." Shinji swallowed. "It hurts to pilot my Eva, even when I win. L-like today, it hurt me...when that thing burned you!" Shinji wasn't quite crying. "I don't want y-you hurt, 'cos that hurts me too! I...I c-care!"
      Nice guy, even if he is a stupid wimp, Asuka thought. "You care?"
      Nobody spoke as Asuka contemplated this. "And when you kissed me. You weren't nuts were just caring...right?"
      "*sniff* yeah. I guess." Shinji did something almost as reckless. "Um...w-would you like to, well, have lunch with me or, or something when you get better?"
      "A date, you mean?" Shinji nodded, shrugged, sniffled, and nodded again.
      Is it better to be a nice guy, or a strong guy? Asuka asked herself. She examined Shinji's small frame, his hands clutched on the bedrail, his face, mouth, nose, thin trail of water along his nose, his eyes...
      His eyes. They were saying, "I don't care if you don't care, but I still care." Something like that. Asuka closed her own eyes. Nice guy.
      "All right. Once I'm better, I'll go out with you. But I want to rest now."
      "I-I'll let you do that, then. Bye, Asuka," Shinji said, leaving.
      In the elevator, he shouted, jumped for joy, and sang along with Reese Roper. "Beautiful DAY! Wonderful FEE-LING! I feel like SING-ing..."

      "He's what?" Touji screamed into the phone. On the other end, Kensuke flinched.
      "Just what I said, man. He got himself a date with Asuka! As soon as she's out of the hospital! And it's not second-hand info, either; he just called me a few minutes ago!"
      Touji frowned. "Well. I'm not sure whether to be happy for him or put on black and mourn."
      "You always wear black."
      "You know what I mean! I mean that I'm glad he had the guts to ask someone out, but why couldn't it be someone we both don't hate with a passion? He talks to Ruri a lot; why not her? Or even Rei!"
      The thought of going out with Rei struck Kensuke as weird. "That would be dull! Come on, a date with Rei? You might as well go see a movie alone!"
      "It wouldn't be my loss. In this case, it is, since Shinji and Asuka may hit it off great and start hanging around each other. Not to sound insensitive, but I hope that doesn't happen."
      "I hate to rain on your parade, Touji, but he seemed really happy..."
      "Aghh! First miniature golf, now this!"

      Gendo microwaved and ate the leftovers of his roast beef sandwich on pumpernickel.

      Jackson Ferrell turned on his midi of "Fly Me to the Moon," stood up from his computer, and began to speak, as usual.
      "Well, that's SLURPEE 0:3 for ya. These things are fun to write, and I hope everyone else is having a blast reading them, too. Oh, and sorry there wasn't any 'Yan Can Cook' in this one.
      "Okay," he continued, "I forgot to thank all the bands involved for their songs. Five Iron Frenzy did 'Cool Enough For You' and 'A Flowery Song.' 'Destination Moon' is by They Might Be Giants, and the rap about karate is by...gee, I don't know. But a Special Thanks to all these bands.
      "And now, a preview of next episode! Actually, there won't be much action in ep 4, to make up for the superfluity of big robot combat nonsense in this one. Instead, we'll get to see Shinji's date with Asuka, and also the NERV New Year's Eve Party! Romance, comedy, utter nonsense, Five Iron Frenzy, and limbo await next time, in Shin Slurpee Evangelion 0:4 - It's A Big, Big House!
      "Well, that's all for now. So long, and thanks for reading this," Jackson said, waving. The midi finished. He turned it off and went to go have a Dove Bar (tm).

Copyright reserved 1999 Jackson Ferrell []

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

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