[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/The_One_I_Love_IS_banner_8978.jpg]]

During a test inside Unit-01, Rei realizes she cares for Shinji... and even though he cares for her, his attention had been shifting towards Asuka. Determined to stop a put to THAT, Rei decides to try to get Shinji's attention back. In turn, her actions force Asuka to her drop her denial act -and her own self-denial-, show her real feelings and pursue Shinji too. And all of sudden, Shinji finds himself being in the middle of a war between the two persons he cares most about... while the war against the Angels keeps waging and his personal traumas keep getting worse.

Written by Alain Gravel/Rakna back in 1999 and described by his author like "A story about how the love of two special girls can change one Ikari Shinji", ''Fanfic/TheOneILoveIs'' is one of the first ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'' classic fanfics. It tries to address the next question seriously: "What might have happened if instead of a deconstruction of the EveryoneCanSeeIt trope, a real LoveTriangle would have developed between the three pilots during the course of the series?". However, unlike other shipping/romance fics, it does not neglect the real events of the series, and makes its better to fit the event fics in the original series. Most of tragedies and mind-screwness happened in the anime show also happened here. However, due to the changes of relationships, the characters react differently to them, and evolve and develop accordingly, leading to Shinji having not only to choose between two girls... but also between saving the world and comndening it.

It can be found on [[http://web.archive.org/web/20120717162230/http://rakna.angelfire.com/toili.htm Rakna/Alain Gravel Rakna's Homepage]] along side-stories written by other authors, fanart and translations to other idioms (it really was SO popular among the fandom back in the day), and [[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/209065/1/The_one_I_love_Is here]], [[http://web.archive.org/web/20050205082412/http://www.geocities.com/nge_toili/ here]] and [[http://www.angelfire.com/co3/kingbobdole/theone00.html here]]. The translations are on [[http://web.archive.org/web/20081203132639/http://www.geocities.com/nge_toili/ his old homepage]], though.

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!! This fanfic provides examples of:
* AbortedArc: A fan began a sequel, setting the first episode between the end of episode 12 and the epilogue. Regrettably, that fan never got around to write more than THAT only episode.
* AndNowForSomeoneCompletelyDifferent: Most of the fic is told from Shinji's point of view, but some scenes in later episodes (and most of the side-stories) narrate events from other characters' point of view to flesh the plot out.
* AnguishedDeclarationOfLove:
** In episode 6:
--> '''Asuka''': "It's okay. I can manage on my own. You be happy with Rei... Shinji... I... I love you..."
** In episode 9:
-->'''Shinji''': "Well, I don't! I don't care! I don't care if you can't pilot those goddamn things again! I love you for who you are, not because you're a pilot!!!"
* ArcWords: "Some truths can hurt if a person is not ready to hear them."
* ArmorPiercingSlap: Asuka delivered one to Shinji in episode 4. To be honest, it was pretty deserved. Misato also delivered him one in episode 11.
* AuthorAppeal: After completing the series, Rakna confessed [[spoiler:Asuka was his favorite character and he had always planned for a Shinji/Asuka ending.]] However he also stated [[spoiler:he started truly liking Rei after writing chapter 3 and he nearly changed his mind.]]
* BattleCouple: Shinji and Asuka.
* BelligerentSexualTension: Shinji and Asuka at the beginning. It mellows down as the same time their relationship develops.
* BerserkButton: Do not even think about hurt or harm Asuka or Rei in some way, shape or form. Shinji… will not be nice to you.
* TheBerserker: Shinji at the FinalBattle.
* BewareTheNiceOnes: Shinji. Rei also counts.
* BreakTheHaughty: Asuka. Although it was more of a breaking over and over and then stomping on the shattered pieces.
* BrotherSisterIncest: After learning about Rei's origins [[spoiler:Shinji states Rei is Rei, and he does not care about them.]]
* CantSpitItOut: Asuka had a very hard time confessing openly her feelings to Shinji. And the fact of Shinji has also a very hard time with this is part of what moves the plot forward.
* CatFight: Rei and Asuka have two of them. They were able to make up after the second, though.
* CharacterDevelopment: Several characters go through it, but mainly the three pilots evolve greatly through the story. Shinji learns to stand up for himself and stopping to run away and give up (WordOfGod stated in one of the author notes it was one of his main goals, since he simply hated what Shinji had become at End of Evangelion). Asuka learns to stop to push people away, to not let her existence was defined by piloting a HumongousMecha (like ''[[Anime/GreatMazinger another certain]]'' HumongousMecha AcePilot / BrokenAce that she is a GenderFlipped {{Expy}} from did) and to open herself up to others. And Rei learns to acknowledge her emotions, show her feelings and developing bonds.
* CharacterizationMarchesOn: Back when the fic was being written, fans debated whether it was or was not Misato the one shot Kaji (shortly after, WordOfGod stated she did not). Rakna was uncertain about how he wanted to handle and he even put up a poll in his site. Finally he decided [[spoiler:leaving it ambiguous.]] Also, it is interesting pondering how Asuka's portrayal could have been affected by one of the extra scenes added in later releases (the one showed she had wept after kissing Shinji because she believed he really was not interested in her since he had not kissed her back and he would not even hold her or touch her) or if he would have added the manga event regarding her stepmother to her backstory, and how it would played out.
* ChickMagnet: Shinji goes from believing nobody cares for him to ask -more than once- why girls are interested in him and what has he done to deserve it. [[http://www.oocities.org/tokyo/teahouse/2236/ The old homepage]] even joked about it, displaying pictures of Asuka, Rei, Misato and Hikari and asking if they were romantically interested in Shinji.
* CoolDownHug: Shinji to Asuka during their fight in chapter 4, Shinji to Misato after Kaji's last phone call, Shinji to Asuka after her MindRape, Asuka to Shinji after [[spoiler:Rei's death...]]
* DeathEqualsRedemption: Averted with [[spoiler:Gendo. Dying did not redeem him. Nor it earned him Yui’s forgiveness.]]
* DespairEventHorizon: Asuka goes through several of them (in episode 6, episode 9 and after [[spoiler:Rei II’s death]]). Shinji almost suffers one after [[spoiler:Kaoru’s death,]] but CharacterDevelopment and a Misato’s lecture avoided it. Unfortunately he suffered another after [[spoiler:seeing the MP Evas chewing the bloody remains of the Unit-02.]]
* TheDeterminator: At the end of episode 11 Misato explained to Shinji why he could not and should not give up. If she would only have that in the original series...
* DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu: Unit-01 [[spoiler:ran the Lance through]] the fusion of [[spoiler:Lilith and Gendo.]]
* DrivenToSuicide: [[spoiler:Asuka.]]
* DudeShesLikeInAComa: At the start of last episode, Shinji softly kisses a comatous Asuka, replacing the disturbing hospital scene of End of Evangelion and its equally disturbing manga counterpart with a CrowningMomentOfHeartWarming.
* EmotionlessGirl: Not so emotionless, after all.
* EveryoneCanSeeIt: Everyone but Shinji, that is. At least before the Rei/Asuka screaming match in episode 2.
* FateWorseThanDeath: [[spoiler:After the failed Third Impact, Gendos finds himself locked in a kind of Limbo, facing an eternity of being alone as he tries to redeem himself. His hope is it lasts time enough for his wife forgiving him and being together again.]]
* FieryRedhead: Asuka is -of couse!- quite hot-tempered. It is even reinforced by the episode 4 title: "Don't play with fire".
* FirstGirlWins: [[spoiler:Averted. Nope. She does not.]]
* ForWantOfANail: Rei realizes she likes Shinji and gives him a chocolate box in Valentine’s Day. That action unleashes a chain of little changes do not alter the series' main plot at the beginning but slowly and eventually they lead to [[spoiler:the salvation of humankind.]]
* FreudianExcuse: Nearly the whole history is narrated from Shinji's point of view, so Gendo is treated like a less than sympathetic figure. One of the sides-stories ([[http://rakna.angelfire.com/toili_gendo.txt Let the World Burn/One Dream at a Time]]) explores his motivations, showing him like a pathetic, broken shell of a man was afraid of people and had fully fallen apart cause his wife's death and was willing to send everything to Hell to find her again.
* GetAHoldOfYourselfMan: Misato to Shinji after [[spoiler:Kaoru’s death.]] It was an epic lecture included a slap worthy of ''[[MobileSuitGundam Bright Noa]]'' himself and avoided Shinji crossed the DespairEventHorizon right then.
* GenderFlip: ''[[spoiler:Kaoru Nagisa.]]''
* HappilyMarried: [[spoiler:Shinji and Asuka.]]
* [[spoiler:HeroesPreferRedheads: Shinji finds himself attracted to Asuka... and at the end, he chooses her.]]
* HatesBeingAlone: The three Children suffered of this in the original material, but it increases cause the events of the fic. Rei no longer wants to be alone, and Shinji and Asuka (who was good pretending otherwise) hate it now. The former tells he was used to it before, but after being in a LoveTriangle he does not want to be alone again. And the latter sobs to Shinji she is sick of being alone during a TheReasonYouSuckSpeech to herself.
* HumongousMecha: The Evas.
* IgnoredEpiphany: Played straight in chapter three, when Shinji is [[spoiler:making out with Rei and suddenly he starts thinking about Asuka, and he is unable to go on.]] If he would have realized what that meant, the story could have ended up right then, but instead of it he complained she was always mucking things up.
** Averted in a later chapter. Shinji suggests Asuka her parents surely care about her. She proceeds to inform him his father does not give a damn about her and her mother is dead. After few seconds it hit him she was just like him.
* LatexSpaceSuit: The plugsuits.
* LoveEpiphany: Shinji has three: when he realizes he has fallen in love with Rei, when he understands he cares for Asuka because he is in love with her, and finally when [[spoiler:he understands it is Asuka the one he loves the most.]]
* LoveMakesYouEvil: Gendo specifically states his hands are blood-stained because he thought it would be the only way to reunite with his wife. And in an alternate ending, [[spoiler:Shinji. Determined to get Asuka back, he is following his father's steps.]]
* MamaBear: Naturally, [[spoiler:Unit-01.]] But not how you would expect. Other than the times [[spoiler:it went berserker]] to protect Shinji, when [[spoiler:Misato]] said she did not want to die because she [[spoiler:was pregnant,]] it activated on its own.
* MindRape: Again, Asuka suffers one at the ''hands'' of Arael.
* MindScrew: Nearly so many as in the original series.
* NoodleIncident: Subverted. After [[spoiler:getting pulled out of Unit-01,]] Shinji asks what happened between Asuka and rei. Misato mentions off-handily a CatFight, but she does not supply details. A side-story, though, narrated what happened between them.
* NotSoDifferent: In the false epilogue we could have seen what Shinji could have become if [[spoiler:Asuka would have never awoken from her coma:]] He would become eerily aloof and driven, and his obsession with saving the woman he loved back would drive him to manipulate everyone around and treating him like tools [[spoiler:in his goal of bringing about the Instrumentality]]. In a nutshell, he would turn into his father. And, like a reader put it, the scariest thing of that alternate epilogue it it ''feels right''.
** Also, Shinji notes several times along the story it is distressing how alike Asuka and he are.
* ObliviousToLove: In first episode, Rei gives Shinji a chocolate heart, much to his surprise. Hikari then tells him Asuka is in love with him, much to his utter amazement and disbelief.
* OutOfCharacter: Although the author tries to -and perhaps succeed in- justify it, Rei is the most ooc character in the series. The remainder characters on the other hand are pretty spot-on.
* ParentalSubstitute: Shinji looks up to Kaji and often goes to him for advice or counseling. And more than once he wondered why could not he be his father.
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Done several times by Asuka to HERSELF as a horrified Shinji sees her –someone who he admired by being braver and more confident than him- tearing herself apart.
* RedOniBlueOni: Asuka and Rei. Their relationship greatly evolves throughout the fanfic. First Asuka detests Rei and Rei ignores her. Later they can not stand each other. Finally, they try to become friends.
* RoaringRampageOfRevenge: After [[spoiler:seeing what the MP Evas had done to Asuka,]] Shinji goes berserker. He practically channelled ''[[Anime/MazingerZ Kouji Kabuto]]'' (mainly the ''ShinMazingerZero'' incarnation) in that instant.
-->'''Shinji''': "Die... die... die... die! Die! Die! You monsters! You killed [[spoiler:Asuka!]] I'll kill you! Kill you! I'LL KILL YOU ALL!"
* {{Robeast}} <=> EldritchAbomination: The Angels.
* RunningGag: Shinji falling on top of women.
* SacredFirstKiss: During their first date Asuka (not entirely) jokingly accuses Shinji of completely ruining her first kiss. He agreed, feeling pretty guilty about it. In all hindsight, [[spoiler:[[ForcefulKiss kissing her forcefully]] as she was teasing him, admitting he had kissed Rei before their date and then yelling it was nothing of her bussiness whom he kissed]] was probably not a good idea.
* ShipSinking: Misato/Kaji after Kaji got [[spoiler:apparently]] murdered. Also, [[spoiler:Shinji/Rei at the end.]]
* ShoutOut: Plenty of them, especially to anime shows (''RanmaOneHalf'', ''Anime/SailorMoon'', ''RurouniKenshin''...) or even fanfic were popular among the fandom back then.
* TheStationsOfTheCanon: It starts halfpoint in the series and it follows the order of battles and main events closely.
* TookALevelInJerkass: Shinji. Several times. You have that time [[spoiler:Asuka tried -clumsily- to seduce him, and he thought she was just trying to screw with Rei, so he slapped her, called her names and treated her like dirt for several days.]] And then you have that another time that he [[spoiler:insulted Rei and made her to cry because she had not told him who was the Fourth Child.]] In his defense, he later admited he had acted wrong and apologized to both girls.
* ThatDidntHappen: When Misato heard Kaji's last message, Shinji tried to reassure her and carry her to her bed (instead of hiding inside his bedroom. [[FridgeBrilliance That scene alone should show you how much he had already changed for that point]]). Unluckily -or unluckily- they tripped and he fell on top of her. [[spoiler:Misato kissed him before both of them fell asleep.]] At the next morning they agree they will not talk about it again.
* TitleDrop: It happens sometimes.
* TriangRelations: The closer is a Type 7, with Shinji loving both Asuka and rei and both girls in love with him.
* {{Tsundere}}: Asuka.
* WhamLine:
-->[[spoiler:'''Misato''':]] "I don't want to die... because... because... I'm... I'm pregnant..."
* {{Zeerust}}: Averted in an unintentional -and ironically funny- way. In a chapter, Misato plays a Dvd for Shinji. Alain told in the author notes he guessed in 2015 there would be more advanced technology than dvd technology, but he didn't feel like making something up. Nearly in 2015, dvds keep being the most widespread information-storing technology.

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