[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/The_One_I_Love_IS_banner_8978.jpg]]
[-[[caption-width-right:350:Choose: Red or Blue? And no, you can not have them both.]]-]
->'' "I'm sorry Asuka. I should have done this a long time ago. But I was afraid. With Rei and you... I no longer felt alone. I thought that if I made a choice, I would lose one of you. I didn't want to lose either of you. So I made you wait. I was so selfish..."''

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 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.

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 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 strives to fit the events of the fic in the canon storyline. Most of tragedies and mind-screwness that 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 condemning it.

It can be found [[http://web.archive.org/web/20120717162230/http://rakna.angelfire.com/toili.htm here]] -together with side-stories, spin-offs and fanart made by other fans-, [[http://fanbards.net/stories/12643 here]] and [[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/209065/1/The_one_I_love_Is here]]. [[http://web.archive.org/web/20081203132639/http://www.geocities.com/nge_toili/ This Rakna/Alain Gravel's old homepage but the links may not work]].

If you are interested in other classic Evangelion fanfics written in that era check the entries for ''Fanfic/HigherLearning'', ''Fanfic/ChildrenOfAnElderGod'' or ''FanFic/NeonGenesisEvangelionR''.

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!! Tropes:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:A-C]]

* 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.
* AllTakeAndNoGive: One of the reasons that [[spoiler:Shinji chose Asuka and not Rei]] was he knew their relationship would become this: she would make him the only goal of her existence, she would make anything for him without asking for anything in return and he would take everything. And it would not be fair to [[spoiler:Rei.]]
* 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!!!"
* ApologisesALot: Shinji has the habit of constantly apologizing, and it gets Asuka mad. However she gets mad because she feels that Shinji doesn't apologize for he feels that he has done something wrong but because he tries to avoid a scolding, and it drives her mad that he is unable to stand up to himself.
* 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 that [[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.]]
* BabiesEverAfter: In the four-years-later epilogue it is revealed that Shinji and Asuka are expecting, and [[spoiler:Misato is raising her and Kaji's son, Ryouji.]]
* BattleCouple: Shinji and Asuka.
* BeautifulDreamer: After her [[spoiler:MindRape]] Shinji and Asuka sleep together. During the night Asuka wakes up due to a [[CatapultNightmare nightmare]] and stares at Shinji for a while, thinking of how beautiful he looks and how much she loves him.
* 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.]]
* CanNotSpitItOut: 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.
* CatapultNightmare: Asuka does this in chapter 9 after a nightmare where she was forced to relive the worst bits of her childhood.
* 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...]]

[[/folder]]

[[folder:D-F]]

* DeathEqualsRedemption: Averted with [[spoiler:Gendo. Dying did not redeem him. Nor it earned him Yui’s forgiveness.]]
* DefrostingIceQueen: Shinji had defrosted both [[{{Tsundere}} Asuka]] and [[EmotionlessGirl Rei]]... and he had no idea that had done so until both got jealous and started fighting over him.
* 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.
* DyeOrDie: After the FinalBattle [[spoiler:Rei]] dyes her hair brown (and wears contact lenses) so nobody knows [[spoiler:she is still alive.]]
* 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.]]
* FirstKiss: In chapter 5 Shinji and Asuka kiss during their first date after Asuka challenged Shinji to kiss her.
* 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.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:G-I]]

* GetAHoldOfYourselfMan: Misato to Shinji after [[spoiler:Kaoru’s death.]] It was an epic lecture included a slap worthy of ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundam Bright Noa]]'' himself and avoided Shinji crossed the DespairEventHorizon right then.
* GenderFlip: ''[[spoiler:Kaoru Nagisa.]]''
* GoodPeopleHaveGoodSex: Shinji [[spoiler:had sex with Rei and later Asuka]] when they needed comforting each other. It is depicted as a tender, heart-warming moment where they tried to care of each other.
* GrewASpine: Shinji forces himself to grow a spine AND keeping it intact to protect [[HeroesWantRedheads Asuka]] and [[BrotherSisterIncest Rei]].
* HappilyMarried: [[spoiler:Shinji and Asuka.]]
* HeroesWantRedheads: Shinji finds himself attracted to Asuka... [[spoiler: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.
* HowTheMightyHaveFallen: Asuka was [[AcePilot the best Eva pilot]], a genius and a [[FieryRedhead beautiful girl]]. She gloated about it because her very fragile self-esteem depended on being the best at all what she did. However throughout the fic she got routinely beaten by her teammates, defeated by the [[{{Robeast}} Angels]] and the guy she loves is uncapable to choose between her and another girl. When she is {{mind Rape}}d, that is the final blow and humilliation and she feels that she is worthless and she has nothing to live for. She even quotes the line verbatim:
-->'''Asuka''': "How the mighty have fallen. Look at me... I'm crying... I hate crying... only a weak person cries. I hate Wonder Girl... she showed everyone how pathetic I was. I hate you... you made me cry, now you can see how disgusting I am. I hate everybody... but most of all... I hate myself..."
* HumongousMecha: The Evas.
* IgnoredEpiphany:
** Played straight in chapter three. Shinji is making out with Rei. Suddenly he starts thinking about Asuka, and he is unable to go on. If he would have realized that it meant he loved Asuka the most, the LoveTriangle could have been resolved right then, but instead of getting a clue he complained about Asuka mucking things up.
** Played straight again one chapter later. Asuka dares Shinji to kiss her because she was bored. Typically clueless, Shinji replies that "You don't kiss a guy because you're bored". Exactly, Shinji. So, ''think'': Why does she want to kiss you?
** Averted in a later chapter. Shinji suggests Asuka her parents surely care about her. She lets him know that his father does not give a damn about her and her mother is dead. After few seconds it hit him that she was just like him.
* InferioritySuperiorityComplex: Shinji used to envy Asuka's boastful arrogance and confidence... and then he saw her berating herself several times and losing her will to live after her MindRape and he realized her confidence was false and she was a very insecure, vulnerable person.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:J-L]]

* LateArrivalSpoiler: This fanfic got finished several years ago and became very popular among the fans, so that if someone starts reading the story for first time it's likely that person already knows beforehand whom Shinji chooses.
* LatexSpaceSuit: The plugsuits.
* LetsWaitAWhile: Subverted. In an early chapter Rei wants to have sex with Shinji but he backs out because [[spoiler:he can not stop to think about Asuka.]] Not wanting to hurt Rei he lies, saying he stopped because he wants to make sure things don't go too fast.
* LoveEpiphany:
** Shinji has three: when he realizes [[spoiler:he has fallen in love with Rei]], when he understands he [[spoiler:cares for Asuka]] because he is in love with her, and finally when he realizes it is [[spoiler:Asuka the one he loves the most.]]
** Rei has hers in the Prologue: during a sync test in Unit 01 she accidentally sees Shinji's memories, realizes he has feelings towards Asuka and herself and gets afraid of losing him to Asuka. Then she realizes she likes him.
** Asuka has hers when she sees Rei giving chocolates to Shinji.
* LoveHurts:
** Shinji had been alone since he was a kid and he was resigned to it. Then he met Asuka and Rei and he fell for them. However [[spoiler:Rei blew herself up to stop Armisael and Asuka ran away and slit her wrists because she thought she had lost him.]] Shinji was alone again [[spoiler:for a while]] and he felt loneliness was unbearable now.
** Asuka fell for Shinji and it hurt her knowing he had feelings not only for her but also for Rei. After her MindRape she felt he was the only thing she had left. Thinking she had lost him too was the final blow to her mental stability. She [[spoiler:ran away and attempted to kill herself.]]
* LoveMakesYouEvil:
** Gendo specifically tells that his hands are blood-stained because he thought it would be the only way to reunite with his wife.
** In an alternate ending [[spoiler:Shinji is so determined to get Asuka back that he is following his father's steps.]]
* LoveRevelationEpiphany: In chapter 1 Rei gave Shinji chocolates. In reaction Asuka got beyond mad, yelled him and slapped him. Then she cried and ran out of the class. And Shinji had absolutely no idea of why. Later Hikari yelled him he was a blind, thick-headed idiot and told him that Asuka loved him. Shinji was shocked because he liked Asuka but he could not believe she was interested in him.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:M-O]]

* 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 it was shown what Shinji might have turned into if [[spoiler:Asuka would have never awoken from her coma:]] He would become eerily cold and driven, and his obsession with saving the woman he loved would lead him to try to bring about Instrumentality, manipulating everyone around him and treating them like tools to achieve that goal. In a nutshell, he would turn into his father. As a reader put told, the scariest thing of that alternate epilogue is it feels right.
** Likewise, Shinji notes several times throughout how alike he and Asuka are, to the point of considering it eerie.
--->''I'd thought once before that she was a lot like me, by pushing people away... but I'd never imagined this. It was distressing to find out how much we really were alike.''
* 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.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:P-R]]

* ParentalSubstitute: Shinji looks up to Kaji and often goes to him for advice or counseling. And more than once he wished that Kaji was his father.
* PregnantBadass: [[spoiler:Misato]] was pregnant during the final part of the Angel War. She still [[spoiler:commanded her troops in battle and shot down an entire squad of soldiers that was about to execute Shinji.]]
* 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.
* RecursiveFanfiction: It had a sequel (called "Que Sera Sera") of a completely different writer. Sadly it got unfinished. It also has several side-stories.
* RedIsHeroic: Asuka wears a red [[LatexSpaceSuit plugsuit]] and rides a red [[HumongousMecha robot]].
* 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.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:S-U]]

* 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.
* ScarsAreForever: The epilogue happens four years after the FinalBattle. Asuka still sports the scars from her last battle.
* ShipSinking: Misato/Kaji after Kaji got [[spoiler:apparently]] murdered. Also, [[spoiler:Shinji/Rei at the end.]]
* ShoutOut: Plenty of them, especially to anime shows (''Manga/RanmaOneHalf'', ''Franchise/SailorMoon'', ''Manga/RurouniKenshin''...) or even fanfic were popular among the fandom back then.
* ShutUpKiss: In episode 5 Shinji does this to Asuka to shut her up after she dares him to kiss her.
* 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.
* TheirFirstTime: [[spoiler:Rei]] has her first time with Shinji when she sees him crestfallen and tries to comfort him. Several months later [[spoiler:Asuka]] is the one is distraught after [[spoiler:her MindRape]] and asks Shinji loving her and making her forget the pain for one night.
* TheyDo: Shinji spent the whole story trying to choose between Asuka and Rei. Finally in the epilogue [[spoiler:he and Asuka got married.]]
* 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.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:V-Z]]

* WhamLine:
-->[[spoiler:'''Misato''':]]''"I don't want to die... because... because... I'm... I'm pregnant..."''
* WhenSheSmiles: After spending several chapters angry and trying to not crying, Shinji asks Asuka out. In answer she smiles, and he thinks she is gorgeous when she smiles sincerely instead of seeming mad, smug or depressed:
-->''She gave me her most beautiful smile, before reverting to her arrogant self. If I had not been seated on my bed, I might have fallen on the floor. For that brief moment, she had really been the most gorgeous person I had ever seen.''
* {{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.

[[/folder]]

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->''"I won't make the same mistake this time. I won't wait for one of you to leave me. I... I had a lot of time to think. About a choice..."''
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