Rei Ayanami was confused, and she did not like the feeling. In the two weeks since her defeat at the hands of Unit 01, she had watched with great interest as Shinji Ikari and Maya Ibuki had grown steadily closer to one another... but her interest also lent itself to an increase in her confusion.
Sequel to Should a Chance be Taken? continuing the story of Shinji and Maya's romance. Completed in August of 2001.
"Maya," Shinji asked, "why do you... like me?"
Maya ducked her head out of the bathroom, blinking as a bit of shampoo dripped into her left eye, "What?" she asked, her tone irritated.
Shinji flushed as he realized that she was naked behind the door, but he pressed forward anyway, "I said why do you like me?"
She wiped her stinging eye, "Can this wait? I'm KIND of in the middle of something."
Shinji brought his hand up to knock on Misato's door, then paused, -What am I doing?- he wondered, -I live here!- he dropped his hand to his side, staring at the door as if he had never seen it before. "Do I, though?" he said softly to himself, "Do I really?"
He lowered his eyes, staring at the floor just in front of the portal. His thoughts where a maelstrom of confusion, -Rei... Maya... home...- he thought, -DO I live here?- he finally settled on the last concern, "Do I really have a home... anymore?" he whispered.
Rei came into the classroom and looked around. It had been several days since she had kissed Shinji, and she had thusfar been unable to find him alone again. He always seemed to have just left, or be on his way somewhere with the Second Child.
Rei was getting annoyed. Not angry, because it took a lot to get her angry... just - annoyed. She was certain that the redhead was somehow... keeping her away from Shinji. But she was unsure how since the reasons always seemed to be legitimate.
"Shinji?" Misato's voice came to him over the com-link, "Are you ok?"
He opened his eyes, regarding her through the LCL, "Yeah... I'm fine..." his voice belied the truth.
He looked to his right to find Rei staring at him on the small screen that read Feed from Unit 00. The last few days had been hard on him. Trying to dodge the First Child had proved more difficult than he'd thought... and she had proved far more determined than he had anticipated.
Of course, during a sync test he had nowhere to go.
Shinji's legs dangled over the abyss, but he felt no fear of falling. The wind ruffled his hair as he thought back to the time when he had stood on the edge, so intent on jumping.
He sighed, "Maybe I should have done it then..." he mused, "sure would have saved me a lot of grief."
He lapsed back into silence for a moment, then he became aware of another presence to his left.
"Nice day, isn't it?" a soft voice said, "Not a cloud in the sky... nice breeze... nearly perfect."
Shinji awoke with a start, blinking in the dim mid-morning light. - Where am I?- he thought, confused, -This isn't my room... or Maya's...- He smiled softly as he realized that after yesterday... Maya's room WAS his room.
His smile turned to a frown as he tried to figure out where exactly he was. He looked down and found Maya asleep at his side, her right arm and leg thrown over him and her head lying on his (numb) arm.
She was smiling softly in her sleep... and judging by the feel of smooth skin against him - she was topless.
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