Fan Fic: The Second Try

Written and illustrated by Jimmy Wolk.
Sometimes, destiny offers people another chance. Sometimes just to undo small mistakes. Sometimes even to avert the end of the world. But sometimes, the price for another chance is higher than anyone could guess...

After Third Impact, Shinji and Asuka are the only humans left in the whole world, and they must carry on with only each other. And against all odds, they do, overcoming their own psychoses and insecurities and becoming better humans through it. Then one morning, they both wake up to find that mankind has returned, they are in their younger bodies and living in Misato's apartment again, and only they have any memories of what has happened, and what is happening again, the little world they built for themselves destroyed.

And now they have to go through their most trying ordeals once more in the EVAs, and try to change history, while simultaneously deflecting suspicions of their changes, and coping with the loss of their old life.

The realm of Eva fics has numerous Post-Third Impact and Peggy Sue stories of varying quality. The Second Try (found here, here and here -note: you can find the complete version of chapter 4 in the last link-) has both plotlines, but ya know what? It works. The story has Asuka and Shinji change vastly from how they were in the series, but in small ways, so that Shinji is still Shinji and not Chuck Norris or The Chessmaster, and Asuka is still Asuka and not Belldandy or Ty Lee, and the reasons for these changes are organic and make sense in context for the characters.

The Author has since begun a sequel webmanga called Aki-chan's Life. It picks up right where the story leaves off. (Or rather, a week or two before the story actually ends.) Another fic of his, The Ikaris, now has his own page.


  • Absurdly Youthful Parents: It's never clarified just how old Asuka and Shinji were when Aki was born as they had lost track of time since the Third Impact and only really started counting again after her birth. However, Shinji speculates that a year-and-a-half to two years passed before that, which would have put their age somewhere around 15 to 16. During Asuka's pregnancy, Shinji even worries a bit that her young age might cause complications.
    • Taken even further when they reunite with Aki in the last chapter : while Aki is still 4, Shinji and Asuka were returned into the bodies they had at 14, bringing the (physical) age gap between parents and daughter down to ten years. Shinji lampshades it in the epilogue when he mentions that their unusual family situation is likely to bring some awkward questions and formalities.
  • Adam and Eve Plot: Asuka and Shinji discuss this during one of the "flashback" chapters.
  • Adult Fear: Plays a large role in Asuka's and Shinji's Character Development. This was also the primary focus of Arael's attack on Asuka, showing her Aki dead because she and Shinji weren't there.
  • After the End: All named chapters before "repeat" are set here.
  • Always Save the Girl: Aside that all what Gendo did was because he missed his woman and he was perfectly willing turning the whole humankind into primordial soup only to see her again... and aside that Shinji lost his will to fight when he saw Asuka was dead, although that meant the end of the world... he almost caused the Third Impact again when he thought Asuka had been killed because he could not stand losing her. Deconstructed because later he realized he really would have lost everything if he would have done so.
    Yui: Is it okay now?
    Shinji: Yeah. She's fine. That's all that matters to me.
  • Anachronic Order: The story alternates its chapters between the Peggy Sue and Post-Third Impact storylines. Meanwhile the last chapter takes place in the same timeframe as the previous chapter but from a different point of view.
  • And I Must Scream: Gendo's fate. He falls into a coma. Later he becomes kind of aware, but his whole body is completely paralyzed and he can't communicate with anybody. He wonders if this is his punishment, since he can't even kill himself to try and see Yui again.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: The start of the last chapter "end" shows the events of the last day from Rei's viewpoint.
  • Anti-Hero: AVERTED. Shinji and Asuka may be this in the "After the End" chapters, but in the "repeat" chapters they're straight up heroes They really don't have any reason to pilot the EVAs anymore. They lost everything the first time around, they had dealt with their issues and regrets a long time ago, and now they've lost their daughter. They don't have any attachments to the world, nor anything to gain from saving it. But they choose to fight anyways, just to give the world another chance.
  • The Apocalypse Brings Out the Best in People: Both Shinji and Asuka become much more confident and capable people after Third Impact.
  • Apologises a Lot: At the beginning of the story Asuka still got angry cause Shinji's constant apologies (and Shinji mentions that he knows how much she hated his excuses). After several years of relationship and marriage, though, she joked about it.
  • Armor-Piercing Slap: Being Happily Married to Asuka doesn't prevent Shinji from finding himself on the receiving end of several of those:
    • Once after accusing Asuka of lying about her love for him to break her out of the hunger strike she started after discovering her pregnancy. Given how those words were hurtful for both of them, he felt he totally deserved it.
    • Asuka gives him "the first one in years that had been anything but playful" when he blocks her from entering Aki's room while she's sick with measles to prevent her from getting contaminated. For once however, he doesn't back off and even tells her he's ready to take more.
    • In the post-time travel chapters, Shinji gets slapped by Asuka twice as he's waking up in the hospital for having her worried. The first time after the fight with the 12th, the second after his month-long stay in Unit-01. Each time is immediately followed by a kiss.
    • Another well-deserved (and expected) one Shinji gets occurs after he gets back to Asuka after leaving her worrying for several hours before the JSSDF attack, breaking curfew to go back to their apartment to pick up the engagement ring he intended to give her before their last battle.
  • The Atoner: Shinji and Asuka avert this, surprisingly. It becomes more apparent as the story goes on that they've largely come to terms with their failings, and they're not motivated by regret and/or guilt.
  • Babies Ever After: Misato is revealed to be preggers with Kaji's baby in the epilogue.
  • Babies Make Everything Better: Aki Ikari. Note that this trope is shown in a much more realistic light. The pregnancy initially put a huge strain on Shinji's and Asuka's relationship (Asuka never wanted a child due to her fears of being replaced; Shinji was scared out of his wits due to his own issues with his father), and both had to do some serious soul searching to get to the point where they were emotionally prepared to be parents. Even after the birth, they had to work hard, make mistakes, and deal with situations they were not prepared for.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Shinji and Asuka fighting together against the army (Asuka fought while Shinji protected her back) and the Mass-Production EVAs.
  • Badass Bookworm: Both Asuka and Shinji have to become this in order to survive the post-Third Impact world, since they're the only humans left on the planet.
  • Bandage Babe: In chapter 2 "Survive", set after Third Impact, Asuka's nearly whole body is wrapped in bandages -and her eye covered by a patch- for a good portion of the chapter, and Shinji can not help to feel a greater-than-usual urge to protect her and help her.
  • Battle Couple: Shinji and Asuka, even more than in the original series now they are serious about fighting and want to support and help each other. It even is noted by Kaworu.
    • In second-to-last episode:
    Asuka (to Shinji): I'll handle them. These guys aren't the real problem after all. Just take care of my cable, okay?
    Shinji (smiling weakly and nodding): Of course.
    • And later in the same episode:
    General: Concentrate all fire on that power cable!
    Comm-Officer: It's no use, Sir! Purple's guarding it!
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Shinji and Asuka are brought back because they just happened to make an off-handed wish for Aki to have friends. Needless to say, Shinji doesn't take this excuse very well.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Played with. Living on their own had helped Shinji and Asuka grow past this point, but after getting thrown back in time, they try enacting this trope to avoid arousing suspicion. The key word there is "try".
  • Berserk Button: Taunt Asuka with her daughter's name or threaten to harm Shinji in front of her. Come on! I dare you! When Gendo tried this, he was a tad bit surprised when she lunged at him and nearly got her hands around his neck.
    • Likewise, Shinji doesn't take too kindly towards anyone who tries/threatens to harm Asuka. While he's pretty good at keeping his cool, some MP-EVAs found out the hard way what happens if this button gets pressed too hard. Stupid bastards never saw it coming.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Once again, Shinji. More so than in the original timeline as he's no longer plagued by crippling insecurities. Exemplified in his rematch with the 13th angel. He keeps calm during the fight, retains control of his EVA when Gendo tries to activate the Dummy Plug, and after Rei safely extracts the Entry plug from Unit 03, proceeds to use his prog knife to literally rip it apart before destroying it with repeated stabs in the core.
  • Big Good: Kaworu of all people. What pushes him into this territory is that not only did he make so that Third Impact was averted, he made it so that Aki could grow up normally with her parents. He's still a bit of a dick but saving all 3 billion people on earth allows you to be.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Asuka and Aki speak a lot of German, including several children's songs. Which makes sense, since both the characters and the author are German.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: Kaworu. He finds humans thinking and emotions -such like fear- alien and disconcerting, and people also finds him weird and even unsettling. Asuka defined the mere fact of meeting and talking to him like "unsettling". Maya found her utter unguardedness disturbing and somewhat eerie. Toji wondered if he was homosexual, but Kaworu had no idea of what he meant when when Toji asked politely. He also told to Shinji life and death are as unimportant to him as are time and space.
  • Brain Bleach: In chapter 3, Misato gets up to her old tricks and asks Shinji, Asuka, and Rei if they went for a threesome in the bushes during their hike. Asuka promptly screams that she needs a shower to get those disgusting images out of her head. It probably wasn't an act either.
  • Brother-Sister Incest: Discussed but ultimately averted.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Shinji finally snaps at Gendo during The Final.
    • He partially snapped in Repeat, too:
    Shinji: You know, I thought I might be able to understand you better by now. But actually I understand you even less than before. How... How can anyone really want to send his own child away?
    Gendo: I have no reason to explain myself if you are already aware that you cannot understand.
    Shinji: No, maybe not. You'd just blame everything on the pain of losing her anyway. Do you really think you're the only one who ever felt like that? You're not the only one who lost a loved one! (...) But unlike most, you didn't hold dear what was left of her. Instead of using it to remember the love she gave, you just saw it as reminder of her loss. So you just threw it all away, because the very existence hurt you.
    • And don't forget how he eventually compels him to let him pilot Unit-01 against the 14th Angel when it becomes obvious that the Dummy Plug won't work, no matter how hard they try.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: A humorous subversion. Hikari goads Asuka into confessing her feelings for Shinji, believing she is unable to. The audience, however, knows that Asuka had gotten WAY past that step several years ago (or, depending on the point of view, several years later... Time travel is migraine-inducing).
    • Played in an interesting manner in "Love": after an argument in which Asuka told Shinji that he would be unable to notice if someone had feelings for him but was unable to express them, the two have a bit of pillow talk where Asuka timidly points out that she was talking about herself, to which Shinji answers that he understood and has the same feelings for her. Yet, in spite of having finally spit it out, they both tiptoe around each other for the next few days, afraid of making the next move, until Asuka eventually gets fed up with it and decides to tackle the issue, leading to the First Kiss of their relationship.
  • Can't Live with Them, Can't Live without Them: Shinji and Asuka. This was apparent in the series to everybody except them, but in the fanfic they became aware of the fact during the After the End chapters (and Asuka is particularly hit hard by it). When one of them is missing, the another gets worried and upset. When they are neither talking to each other nor sleeping together because of a fight, they miss each other. And both are terrified of the possibility of breaking up and going separate ways after a dispute.
  • Cassandra Truth: When Gendo confronts Shinji about his conversation with Asuka during the attack by the 15th Angel, Shinji tells him exactly what's going on. Gendo promptly dismisses his son's warnings as the ravings of a mad child...which is then revealed to have been a ploy by Gendo. He believed what he heard, all right, and it sent him into deep despair over never seeing Yui again.
  • Character Development: Some of the best development for Shinji and Asuka in all of fan fiction takes place during the Post-Third Impact chapters.
    • The real brilliance of the fic comes from watching them switch back and forth from their old selves to their post TI-selves. It really makes it clear to the reader how much they've grown.
  • Character Tics: The nervous tic that Shinji displayed in the series, the clenching/relaxing of his left hand, shows up again just before the battle with the 12th angel. However, in another example of character growth, Shinji actually notices this and makes himself stop (and also mentally lampshades how "old habits are hard to break".)
  • The Chessmaster: Averted. Shinji and Asuka are not Gendo Ikari.
    • Though they do have some small successes here and there, such as playing matchmaker for Toji and Hikari.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The "Anonymous" letter that Shinji slips into Misato's jacket during chapter 3. Misato finds it during the aftermath of the battle with the 14th angel, and leads to her learning of Shinji and Asuka's secret.
  • Children Are Innocent: So innocent that they can convince Asuka to save the world and keep Rei from destroying it.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Asuka was one in the original series (part of her animosity towards Rei was due to her misconception that Shinji liked Rei instead of her). Her jealousy had mellowed due to her feeling more confident about herself and their relationship; however, she makes no attempt to hide her hostility towards Kaworu and makes it clear that she wants him nowhere near her husband.
    • There may have been a little jealousy there, but she was more worried that Shinji would get hurt again.
    • In chapter 10, it's pointed out that the only reason she hasn't felt jealousy in years is because she had no one but her daughter to "compete" with for Shinji's affection.
  • Convenient Coma: Gendo falls into one after his suicide attempt. It's mostly convenient for Shinji, as he uses the opportunity to explain what happened at the end of the story, but it ends with the possibility he may never recover.
  • Cool Down Hug: Just so many... Usually Shinji is the one who does the embracing. It's somewhat funny that the timid little introvert became the more emotionally stable of the two.
    • The FIRST scene -that spawned the whole fic- consisted of Shinji embracing Asuka to cheer her up.
    • Shinji hugging Asuka in "Love" after their Freak Out.
    • Shinji hugging Asuka several times in "Repeat" because she was feeling awful.
    • Shinji sitting down with Asuka and embracing her after her Mind Rape (and Asuka stating who knows how much could have changed if he would have done that the first time).
  • Cosy Catastrophe: Zig-Zagged. After TI, Shinji and Asuka take up residence in a subsistence farm that came out of the event mostly intact. The place was (is? will be?) a nice find; largely self supportive with solar panels and batteries, a generator, rainwater collection system, usable garden, room for livestock, furnished living quarters, a fully stocked repair shed, and a working truck with the added bonus of being close to several city ruins ripe for scavenging. However, they had to work really hard to make it work.
  • Cruel to Be Kind: In chapter six Asuka is angry and depressed and she stubbornly refuses eating due to her pregnancy. Shinji does not know what else to do to reason with her so he resorts to hurt her:
    Shinji: Why did you lie?
    Asuka: What?
    Shinji: When it became apparent that we'd be the only ones left, I was glad that at least you were here with me. Not because I was with somebody, but because I was with you. And I believed you, when you said that you would feel the same way about me. But that was just a lie, wasn't it? It never mattered to you that it was me. You just didn't want to be alone; anybody would... (Asuka slaps him)
    Asuka: How... how dare you...?
    Shinji: If you really love me, why are you trying to take away what I love more than anything else?
    Asuka: So you already love it mo...
    Shinji: I'm talking about you! Can't you see that it will kill you if you go on like this? Didn't you say you never wanted to give up life again?
    Asuka: I- I did... didn't want... I...
    Shinji: So, do you really want to leave me here by myself... or are you going to eat something?
    Asuka (giving in): This isn't fair...
    Shinji: No. No, it's not...
  • Curse Cut Short: In the last episode, a police officer begins saying "Ah... shi-", and then he catches himself when he realizes there is a little kid in the room.
  • Curtain Fic: It's debatable how much "finding food and shelter" and "maintaining the homestead's defenses" can be considered normal chores, but the post-Third Impact chapters do qualify, in a weird post-apocalyptic sort of way.
  • Cuteness Overload: Rei, of all people, is hit by this. Meeting and being befriended by Aki is what finally convinces her to ditch Gendo's plan. Although, in the following webcomic, Aki causes this in pretty much everyone.
  • Damned by Faint Praise: Rei resorts to this to critique a drawing of her. It works because the artist is only three.
  • Dead Guy Junior: Discussed but ultimately averted. Shinji and Asuka don't want their child to have to try to live under the shadow of someone they're named after.
  • Death by Childbirth: The author leads the audience into thinking that Asuka died giving birth to Aki, even though it's a Foregone Conclusion that she survives.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Narrowly averted twice. Once during the rematch with Arael, and the second when Shinji thinks Asuka's dead, almost starting Third Impact again.
    • Played straight with Gendo who crosses it after he realizes Rei isn't going to help him. He promptly decides to commit suicide.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Chapter 11. Yep, Asuka just punched Kaworu in the gut.
    • Better yet, in the same chapter she gets the drop on him after he takes control of EVA-02 and uses it to tear apart NERV to get to Lilth. Unbeknownst to him, she hid herself inside Unit-02, and overrides his control right as Shinji makes his appearance in EVA-01. Kaworu is so surprised at this that he actually drops his usual smile for a look of pure shock.
  • Didn't See That Coming: SEELE's reaction to Toji appearing by piloting Jet Alone and the death of the first MP-EVA. Their following argument gets so heated that they don't even notice that someone is missing.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Aki Ikari.
  • Dramatic Irony: As trying to play her old role in "Repeat", Asuka realizes that her claims of being a grownup, her attempts to seem it and her demands to be treated like such not only proved that she was still a child but also made her seeming even more childish. Sadly, she has to keep the masquerade instead of behaving like the adult she is now.
  • Driven to Suicide:
    • When Gendo arrives in Terminal Dogma and finds that Rei isn't there he tries to kill himself in a last ditch attempt to be with Yui again. It doesn't work.
    • The epilogue reveals that two SEELE members also tried to do it to escape arrest after their group was publicly exposed by Kaji. One succeeded, the other didn't.
  • Drives Like Crazy:
    • During the After the End chapters Asuka insisted on driving a car in spite of having absolutely no idea. She nearly crashed the car several times.
    • Misato's bad driving got mentioned in the sequel.
  • Dude, She's Like, in a Coma!: After the defeat of the Seventeeth Angel, Shinji visits a sleeping Asuka in the hospital, and unlike what he did in the original timeline, he kisses her. Asuka wakes up during the kiss and jokingly tells maybe he should have tried that the last time instead.
    • Also happens in chapter 6, after Asuka gave birth to Aki and passed out from the stress of the delivery (she and the audience were led to believe — wrongly — that she was dying). Shinji kisses her just before she wakes up, surprised to be still alive, and he even cracks a joke about it.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: Kaworu spends his final moments explaining to a depressed Shinji in great detail how he really did Set Right What Once Went Wrong, revealing that his daughter is still alive, and giving Shinji encouragement that he, his wife, and their friends would be able to save the world, while at the same time implying that he was behind the whole Peggy Sue part of the plot in the first place and did it just to help give Aki a normal life. Damn, way to be a hero, man.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Well, yeah. After the End, Shinji and Asuka had to fend for themselves in an empty world and lean on each other to heal their deep-rooted emotional wounds. It took them a great deal of effort, but they eventually managed to build themselves a nice and functional household (both in terms of living conditions and emotional bonds) and even to successfully raise a daughter, allowing them to live happy together at last. Then they were unexpectedly brought back six years in the past before all went From Bad to Worse, having to cope with the additional trauma of losing their daughter in the process, had to pretend to the world that everything was normal about them (which forbade them any public display of affection or mourning) while subtly working to prevent The End of the World as We Know It. They sometimes stumble and suffer many a heartache along the way, but the final result is that...
  • The End of the World as We Know It: After the Third Impact Shinji and Asuka are the only people left on Earth: Humanity has been wiped out, human cities are in ruins, the world has became a wasteland and wildlife is getting out of control.
    Shinji: It wasn't a threat! You will die! Everyone will die! You're right; I've seen it! I've seen the end of the world! Just because of that selfish plan of yours!
  • Everyone Can See It: Humorously inverted this time around. The rest of this cast assume this is the case with Asuka and Shinji. However, no one has any idea that, not only are they a couple, but they have been married for over 5 years, and raised a child together.
  • Everything's Better with Monkeys: No. No they are not.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Asuka cuts her hair to shoulder length at some point during the post-TI chapters because a baby Aki kept pulling on it.
  • Faking the Dead: Kaji, after being warned about his impending termination by the letter Shinji gave him. A bulletproof vest, some blood packs and a bit of Playing Possum allow him to live through his encounter with the hitman sent after him. He's even helped by the incompetence of his would-be killer who walks away without checking his body.
  • Falling into the Cockpit: In chapter 2, Asuka wants to drive a car for the first time. Shinji thinks it is not a good idea, but she argues if she is able to drive a Humongous Mecha, she is able to drive a car. Shortly after, she finds out that... nope. She is not.
  • Fiery Redhead: Asuka mellows out considerably in the post-TI chapters, but still retains this as part of her personality.
  • First Episode Spoiler: Shinji and Asuka are a couple; and they have traveled back in time.
  • First Kiss: In Repeat, Shinji and Asuka redo his first kiss' scene, with their positions flipped (this time it is Shinji who does the goading and who pinches Asuka's nose). Right like many other moments of their relationship led to horrible misunderstandings and mutual heartache in the original timeline, they turn it into a heartwarming moment.
    • After they have both confessed their mutual feelings of love in chapter 4, yet shied away from each other for a few days afterwards, Asuka is the first to call out on the ridiculousness of their situation and to drag Shinji into a kiss. She decides it to be their first real kiss, conveniently considering that the peck Shinji gave her while she was sick and the aforementioned kissing disaster do not count as the both of them didn't get to enjoy it back then.
  • Foregone Conclusion: A minor one at the end of chapter 6, the author makes it seem like Asuka has died from the strain of childbirth...about 4 years before she and Shinji get thrown back in time. She, of course, turns out to be fine a paragraph later.
    • Played straight in the otherwise heartwarming Chapter 8. Despite the happy times that Shinji and Asuka spent with their daughter, the audience already knows that Aki was erased from existence when the time line was rewound. This chapter (and chapter 6) also hints at another one that combines with Adult Fear. They're still the only people left on the planet, even after several years. Little Aki will grow up without any friends; and, what will happen to her once her parents are gone? Their happiness will not last forever, nor does the future look bright.
      • These are then averted (subverted?) when it turns out that Aki had been sent into the past as well, appearing a few days after Kaworu's death. Tears are shed as she's reunited with her parents, Aki has been given a chance to live a normal life, and they all finally earn their happy ending.
  • Future Badass: Both Shinji and Asuka retain their combat experience, and given how they've lost most of their mental issues, are infinitely better at piloting.
  • Gardening-Variety Weapon: Gardening tools are used to fend off wild animals once or twice in the After the End chapters.
  • Gilligan Cut: From "I'm sure, as long as we ( Aki and Asuka) have each other, there's nothing that could hurt us." to "Ah! Aki, you're hurting Mama!"
  • Go Through Me: In an uncharacteristic display of protectiveness, Rei stands her ground against a JSSDF patrol to allow Aki to run and hide.
    Rei (angrily): I WILL NOT ALLOW YOU TO HARM HER!
  • Good Parents: Against all odds, Shinji and Asuka become this, and they both lampshade it repeatedly.
  • Happily Married: Shinji and Asuka Ikari, though they don't tell anyone about their status.
  • Hates Being Alone: This was a big part of their personalities in the original series: they hated being hurt by other people but they also hated loneliness. At the same time, it was one of the hindrances to their relationship. Now they have finally got over their fear to each other, their fear to loneliness has intensified, and spending any lapse of time not knowing what has happened to each other drives them crazy.
  • Held Gaze: Shinji and Asuka did it several times, such like in "repeat" before kissing.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Shinji very much wants his redhead, gorgeous, Tsundere wife.
  • Hidden Depths: Rei is apparently quite the artist.
  • Hollywood Genetics: Lampshaded by the author in the notes for chapter 6. He says that it's "almost blasphemy that he didn't make Aki a chibi-Asuka".
  • I Miss Mom: This was a key part of the personalities of Asuka and Shinji in the original timeline, and the irony was they did not know they were closer to them than ever when they rode their robots. Now they know it, but unfortunately they can not make the most of it since if their synch rates rocketed up it would draw suspicion. Of course, in the final chapter, Aki misses both of her parents (especially her mother) until she meets them again.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: All odd-numbered chapters are numbered from 12th to 17th to represent the Angel fought, while even-numbered chapters are named with a single verb based on its major theme.
  • In Mysterious Ways: When Shinji complains that he and Asuka have failed to change the past, Kaworu points out that even the small changes they've made have improved the outcome, resulting in Toji playing a critical role in fighting back the MP-EVAs. It also seems likely Kaworu guided Rei and Aki into meeting, which was the catalyst for Rei refusing her role in Third Impact.
  • Innocent Innuendo: Happens several times in the narration.
    • In chapter 3, Rei participates for the first time to a physical activity with Shinji and Asuka that leaves the three of them sweating (they're on a hiking trip).
    • In chapter 4, we get to see Shinji, some time after starting his relationship with Asuka, nervously facing her, wondering why he agreed to do it with her so early (Asuka is making him pass a test to check his progress in his medicine studies).
    • In chapter 6, one scene opens on Asuka moaning in delight and begging Shinji not to stop, even for changing positions ( Shinji is massaging her feet which are sore from her pregnancy).
  • Insult of Endearment: Asuka still calls Shinji "baka" often enough that the term has almost become a pet name. To the point that when Aki says her first words, it's the second thing she utters after "Mama" (to Shinji's dismay and Asuka's amusement). It's also the only thing she can come up with when asked for her father's name by a police officer.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Aki and Rei.
  • In Medias Res: A lot happens after that last scene of End of Evangelion, but that gets revealed later on. The story starts within a couple days of the battle of the Twelfth Angel.
  • Ironic Echo: "Do not ask questions you don't really want to hear the answer to."
  • Jerkass Façade: In the original timeline Asuka donned one to prevent people from getting emotionally closer to her. After the Third Impact she gradually got over the need to do so, but back in the past she is forced to reapply it to avoid suspicion. However she finds very hard and distressing -even childish- to play her old role.
  • Just Toying with Her: When the MP-EVAs show themselves to be tougher to bring down than expected, it dawns to Asuka that this is most likely the reason why she seemed to slaughter them so easily the first time around. Although Shinji expresses doubts about it, this realization only serves to further fuel her Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
  • Karmic Death: Chairman Keel of SEELE. Most evil man in the series. Has been manipulating things behind the scenes probably since he was a young man. Cooked up Second Impact and the plan for his version of Third Impact to essentially escape death, which he's afraid of. Dies of a heart attack off-screen when the MP-EVAs start dropping for real.
  • Kid from the Future: Aki gets sent back in time about a day before SEELE launches their attack on NERV. Her parents were already aware of her existence, having been sent back in time themselves.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: People that started to read the fic after its completion most likely have got spoiled that Shinji and Asuka had a daughter in the future.
  • Law of Inverse Fertility: Played both straight and averted. Asuka didn't want to have a baby, even to the point where she was starving herself in a misguided attempt to induce a miscarriage (which, Shinji later noted, put her in more danger than the baby). However, once she sees the first ultrasound that changes. The aversion comes with Aki being born alive and healthy.
  • Like an Old Married Couple: -Hilariously- inverted. After being told the secret, Misato mutters Shinji and Asuka used to bicker Like an Old Married Couple before, but now that they ARE one, they act like new-found lovebirds. Shinji and Asuka explain that is -partially- because they are hormone-driven teenagers again... without Belligerent Sexual Tension separating them.
    • The "Hey, look, the newlyweds are fighting!" line from Toji is revisited, and Shinji and Asuka both try hard to act like they did the first time, except Toji notices that the two of them are having a hard time containing their laughter.
  • Little "No": Asuka to Shinji in "love": "HATE ME! LEAVE ME! KILL ME!". Shinji's answer? "No..."
  • Living Emotional Crutch: Shinji and Asuka are this for each other. It becomes especially obvious in chapter 5.
  • Longing Look: Played tragically. They can't let anyone knows they are together, so in public they can't support at each other physically -not matter how depressed or glum one of them is-, and they have to resort to throw stealth, longing glances at each other.
  • Love Makes You Evil: Gendo is the obvious example, but... Shinji caused Third Impact because Asuka rejected him ("No one loves me, so everyone must die"). In the altered timeline, he almost caused the Third Impact again because he believed Asuka was dead.
    Yui: Is it okay now?
    Shinji: Yeah. She's fine. That's all that matters to me.
  • Mama Bear: Asuka is fiercely protective of her post-Third-Impact family (both Aki and Shinji), to the point that, in "The Final", she made an attempt to strangle Gendo when he tried to interrogate her about them (and she came damn near close to succeeding; Gendo even seemed to be a bit unnerved). She also threatened Kaworu to stay away from Shinji, knowing full well what he was.
  • The Matchmaker:
    • Shinji and Asuka act as this for Hikari and Toji.
    • Hikari thinks she's acting as this for Asuka and Shinji, which they (and the audience) find hilariously ironic.
    Asuka: ...with the way she's acting I'm not even sure if she really understands that it's not just some teenage crush.
    Shinji: Well, she still is a rather normal teenager after all.
  • Meaningful Echo: "Smile when you're happy, cry when you're sad..."
  • Mind Rape: Asuka once again suffers this at the hands of the 15th angel, but this time it's even worse.
  • Mercy Kill: After the 16th Angel, Shinji and Misato stop Ritsuko from activating the control that destroys the soulless Rei clones in the Dummy Plug system, so Rei does it herself.
    Rei: These are not human beings. Their official purpose is to serve as core for the Dummy Plug system, but even that is only secondary. As Dr Akagi explained, they are mere vessels to hold my soul. That was the only reason they were created for, just like the body I possess now and the ones before. Without a soul, they can not become aware of their feelings. They notice the feel of the warm LCL around them, of this glass holding them; they can see us, the world outside of theirs. But... it does not matter to them. All they are doing is existing, blissfully unaware of everything. They cannot understand the difference between pain and joy. They do not know the vast variety of human emotions. They do not feel hope or fear for the future. I always wondered whether to pity or to envy them. (pushes the button)
    Shinji: Rei... What have you done?
    Rei: I have... set them free...
  • Mind Screw: In the author's own words, it wouldn't be Evangelion without it. This includes a bizarre and slightly disturbing rehash of the Gainax Ending of Neon Genesis Evangelion in chapter four, "love."
    • Another minor one occurs in "end" with Shinji wondering how Aki made it back from the future. However as Asuka puts it: "Tell you what, Shinji," a wide grin sprawled over her face while they walked up the stairs. "I don't give a damn. She's back and that's all that matters to me."
  • Mistaken for Gay: Kaworu by Toji (see Not That There's Anything Wrong with That below). Kaworu is genuinely clueless about what Toji was implying but finds his reaction "very interesting" nonetheless.
  • Moe Couplet: Rei and Aki
  • Must Not Die a Virgin: Shinji and Asuka have their "second first time" in NERV's locker rooms, the night before their final battle against the JSSDF and SEELE's MP-EVAs.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Shinji and Asuka are at a lake with Asuka swimming in it. Trying to get Shinji to swim (he admits he can't) she pretends to drown, making him panic and jump in to save her. She takes a look at his face and realizes that she scared him shitless and, for a brief instant, made him think he was going to watch her die and be the last human alive in a post-Third Impact world.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: In "love" Shinji blatantly admits it is his fault half of humanity is gone. Later, Asuka and he admit in one conversation they had been part of the trouble in the original timeline just so much like everything else.
  • No Export for You: In an incredibly rare aversion for fanfiction, this story is available to read in several other languages, which right now include German, Spanish, Polish, and French. A Chinese translation is also in progress.
  • Not What It Looks Like: After the events of the 14th, Misato catches Shinji and Asuka during a moment of passion. Of course, it's exactly what it looks like, but Shinji tries to invoke this trope anyways. He need not have worried, however, as Misato was in the know by that point.
  • No Periods, Period: Averted. Asuka's monthly cycle is brought up once or twice in the story. Her lack of periods is how she figured out she was pregnant.
  • Not So Different: At the last scene, Shinji admits he finally understands his father a bit, since when he thought Asuka was dead he almost started the Instrumentality right on the spot. And he would have done if Asuka would have not reached him in time.
    • Kaworu taunts Asuka stating maybe she knows him better than she admits.
  • Not That There's Anything Wrong with That: Toji invokes the trope when he -very awkwardly- tries to ask Kaworu if he is gay:
    Toji: Hey, you know... the way you're moving and talking... and that smiling... you're not... I mean not that I'd have anything against it... but still...
    Kaworu: I am afraid I do not know what you are referring to.
    Toji: Yeah, sure, never mind.
  • Oblivious to Love: Subverted. Everyone think Shinji and Asuka are oblivious to each other's feelings... but in reality they not only are well-aware but also they got married before returning to the past. But since they don't want anybody finds out they are time-travellers, they pretend they are blind to each other's feelings.
  • Oh, Crap: From the audience when they learn that Gendo and Fuyutsuki learn something they shouldn't have after the Arael fight.
  • Older and Wiser Than They Look: Shinji and Asuka, after they return to the past, are mentally in their early 20's. However, they have the emotional maturity of a person at least 10 years older than that.
  • One Steve Limit: See Dead Guy Junior above.
  • Other Me Annoys Me / Future Me Scares Me / I Hate Past Me: All three of them are discussed in "repeat". Asuka thinks her younger self would hate her for forsaking all what she had lived for since she was four. Shinji disagrees, stating she is being too hard on herself, and off-handily mutters his younger self would surely be shocked at him.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: A rather important plot point revolves around Shinji and Asuka trying to act like their old selves so as to not arouse suspicion. However, they are not the most convincing actors and most of their friends note that they are acting odd (Asuka is bad at hiding her emotions, while Shinji sometimes forgets to stay in character). Rei pretty much spells it out in chapter 3 in a conversation with Toji.
    Rei: [Shinji] is acting different lately. Soryu as well. Both have improved their social skills. Ikari is not as timid in the presence of other people. Soryu's aggressiveness has calmed down enough to accept the presence of people she had declared to hate, including myself. However, most of the time, they are trying to convince everyone that these changes are not existent. They also seem to possess a greater knowledge than before.
    • The only reason they manage to keep the facade up is because no one would suspect that they were actually a couple, much less the other absurdities of their story (you know, with the whole End of the world and time travel bit)
  • Panicky Expectant Father: Shinji displays this in "bear", especially in his last pregnancy log where he expresses his worries and doubts about having to take care of the delivery by himself despite learning all he could on the subject, and when he rushes Asuka to the hospital when her contractions begin. During the delivery proper however, he does his best to keep his panic in check and take care of both mother and baby.
  • Papa Wolf: Shinji, like Asuka above, is very protective of his post-Third-Impact family, though he keeps his cool better than Asuka...most of the time.
  • Peggy Sue: Deconstructed when it turns out that Shinji and Asuka had a child who was erased from existence. Reconstructed when Kaworu, who was behind the whole plot, took her at the same time he pulled Shinji and Asuka. He just made it so she appeared after it was all over.
  • Please Don't Leave Me: Inverted and after played straight in chapter 4. Asuka does not want to be alone, but she feels that she needs to push Shinji away so she yells at him: "HATE ME! LEAVE ME! KILL ME!". When he refuses her resolution crumbles down, she hugs him and asks him if he promises not leaving her.
  • Quit Your Whining: Asuka preemptively snaps Shinji out of his breakdown in chapter 2, telling him to get a grip so they can focus on their survival.
    • After the fight with the 16th Angel, when Misato tries to comfort a distraught Shinji who's blaming himself for being unable to prevent the death of Rei, she gets rudely interrupted by Asuka. At first she mistakes it for a display of No Sympathy she had been used to from the old Asuka, until she hears her berating him for writing Rei off so hastily. Asuka then argues that the new Rei may still be the same as the one they know. She's right.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Asuka and Shinji were like this in the original series, but their relationship becomes a mellow version of this trope in the post-Third-Impact chapters.
  • Relationship-Salvaging Disaster: Shinji and Asuka had spent the entire show unable to admit to themselves and each other their feelings. Their relationship got worse and as a result of it they were unable to prevent the demise of everyone in the world but them. The end of the world forced them to carry with only each other, living and working together. In the process they not only matured but also learnt to open up to each other and got together and eventually married.
  • Relationship Upgrade: Given the mind-numbing complexities of time-travel, we see Shinji and Asuka like a couple BEFORE we see the upgrade. It happens in chapter 4, "love". After a heated Kaworu-related argument, Asuka finally musters the courage to confess her feelings to Shinji. Naturally he tells her that reciprocates.
  • Ret Gone: One of the things Asuka and Shinji have to deal with is coping with the loss of their old life. Which includes the loss of their daughter. Until it turns out that she was sent back in time as well, just to a later date.
  • The Reveal: See Wham Line.
  • Saying Too Much: An interesting version. In Chapter 5, after the battle with the 14th angel, Misato finds (a little too late) an "anonymous" note from Shinji, meant to warn her about EVA-03 being possessed by the 13th angel... That he had written out by hand. She, of course, recognizes his handwriting, and a quick peek at his schoolwork confirms that he wrote it. She then remembers his and Asuka's odd behavior, and realizes that Asuka may know something about the letter. When she confronts Asuka, who is extremely distraught at the time (for very good reasons), Asuka breaks down and lets the facade drop.
  • Scary Flashlight Face: Asuka makes one to have a laugh at Shinji's expense during the hospital generator scene of "survive".
  • Shout-Out: Toji dismisses his suspicions over Shinji and Asuka's odd behavior with the claim that "they would have to be totally drunk before they would start to like each other", most likely a nod from Jimmy Wolk to his other fic, The Ikaris.
  • Sleep Cute: Quite a few times in chapter 4. Aki as well in chapter 8, where she prevents her father from even getting up by sleeping on top of his chest.
  • So Proud of You: Gendo's final thought toward Shinji having achieved happiness, upon which the story ends.
  • The Stations of the Canon: It starts right before the attack of the Twelveth Messenger, and it follows the order of the Angel battles, changing events in-between. The major changes start after the battle against Zeruel.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: In chapter one:
    Misato: You're worried?
    Asuka: Worried? Ha! Why should I be? It was his own fault that he's trapped in there!
    Misato: I haven't even mentioned Shinji...
    • It is made funnier because Misato thought Asuka was in denial. Asuka was not, but she needed everyone to think she was.
  • Sweet and Sour Grapes: Shinji and Asuka were very bitter about coming back in time due to losing Aki in the process, even though it meant another chance to save the world and their friends. They eventually learned to accept the loss and move forward. After the final battle they're reunited with Aki.
  • Talking to the Dead: Shinji and Asuka do this in After-TI chapters. Although instead of a grave, they go to the LCL sea.
  • Taking You with Me: Like in canon, Rei attempts to do this when the 16th Angel is fusing with her... only for the Angel to reveal that he had discovered her intent in Asuka's mind when he briefly tried to unify with her as well and has reacted accordingly by disabling Unit-00's self-destruct mechanism. As a last resort, Rei uses a watered-down version of the forbidden union of Adam and Lilith to merge with her EVA, triggering a mini-Impact which causes as much damage to Tokyo-3 as the original self-destruction.
  • Tears of Joy: Shed by Asuka at the end of the last chapter when she got reunited with her and Shinji's daughter.
    "Smile when you're happy, cry when you're sad...and do both when you're happier than you've ever been in your life."
  • Technical Virgin:
    • A literal example. In "The Final" Asuka points out that it is technically her first time due to Mental Time Travel.
    • In an earlier chapter she jokingly suggested Shinji he started thinking of ways to make up for their former first time.
  • Tempting Fate: Asuka hangs a lampshade on how it's bad luck to propose before the final battle. She even compares it to Retirony.
  • Thanks for the Mammary: In "love", after Asuka and Shinji have been sharing a bed for a while, she wakes up to find his hand on her chest (he's still fast asleep). It's a sign of their developing relationship that she isn't that bothered by it (a fact that she finds strange herself), but she still removes it before he wakes up.
  • The Three Faces of Eve:
    • Asuka is the wife in more ways than one: She is wise, dependable and supportive. She is the one makes plans and devises strategies and Shinji usually depends on her for everything.
    • Misato is the seductress, often acting flirty towards Shinji (although she toned it down when she learnt that Shinji and Asuka were secretly married
    • Rei is the child: she is innocent, inmature, insecure and socially ignorant.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: Exploited by Kaworu to make sure that Aki is reunited with her parents.
  • Trespassing to Talk: In chapter 9, school janitor Hisao Yamaki is coming home after work, only to discover Kaji sitting in the darkness of his living room to inquire about some sensitive data. Said data being the reason why Yamaki has been into hiding for the past fifteen years, this visit is quite the unpleasant surprise for him.
  • Troubled Fetal Position: This is how Rei found Aki in the last episode.
  • Turn Out Like His Father: Shinji was frightened of becoming a father, among other reasons, because he was afraid of him turning out to be like his father and hurting his child like Gendo had hurt him.
  • Unfinished, Untested, Used Anyway: In the original timeline, Gendo tried to invoke this trope with the Dummy Plug system, and it worked (temporarily). In the fanfic, his attempt fails because his son knew how to go about pulling the plug on it.
  • Villainous Breakdown: The fall of the first MP-EVA during the final battle marks the shift of SEELE from the Omniscient Council of Vagueness they were in-show to a Not-So-Omniscient Council of Bickering over the ruin of their plans for Instrumentality and the potential ways to try to salvage them. The unnoticed fatal Villainous BSOD their chairman suffered while they were arguing doesn't help to clear the air.
  • Violently Protective Girlfriend: Violently Protective Wife, in fact. Although she has mellowed down since she was a teen, she channels and unleashes all of her remainder fury against whoever threatens with harming Shinji. Zeruel, Kaworu and even Gendo found out the hard way.
  • WAFF: Ironically, a lot of After the End chapters can get like this, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it's the opposite, it's a good thing. A very, VERY good thing.
  • Walking Spoiler: Anything that involves a little girl named Aki Ikari, the daughter of Shinji and Asuka.
  • Wham Line: The end of chapter 5.
    Shinji: We had a child.
    • Another smaller one occurs in the middle of chapter 3, marking the first divergence unplanned by Shinji and Asuka, when Hikari, out of concern for Toji, asks him about his absence at lunch, leading him to tell her about him being chosen as Fourth Children.
    Toji: I... I... I managed to get a better medical treatment for my sister.
    Hikari: But- That's great! What did you do for that?
    Toji: Nothing much. Just sold my soul...
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: After Lilith is destroyed and Gendo shoots himself in the head, it's never revealed what happened with ADAM being implanted in his hand. However, when he semi-wakes up from a coma during the last chapter, he notes that he can't feel his right arm. Hmmm...
  • What You Are in the Dark: Nobody knew that Shinji and Asuka were time-travelers. They could have let everything happening again, not trying changing anything, or quit piloting to spare themselves their worst ordeals, reasoning that Third Impact would happen no matter what (sure, they might have been separated and sent with their relatives, but TI would reunite them again)... and nobody would ever know that they had left the world dying. Still they chose fighting and trying to save the world.
  • Willfully Weak: As mentioned above, Shinji and Asuka suppress their sync ratios during tests in order to keep up appearances. Though this causes odd fluctuations in their ratios that do not go unnoticed.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: One of the soldiers Rei encounters specifically chose perimeter patrols because he thought he wouldn't encounter and have to kill one of the teenaged pilots. Aki, being included in the kill order due to simply being near Rei, ups the ante. He repeatedly refuses to shoot her, even after being threatened to be court-martialed by his superior, and when the latter decides to do it himself, he finally opens fire... on him. He unfortunately isn't fast enough to eliminate his remaining squad mate before suffering the same fate.

Smile when you're happy. Cry when you're sad,[...] And do both when you're happier than you've ever been.