Everything about Shinji except his voice said, If you say so.
Three months before the Third Angel reached Tokyo-3 Shinji Ikari signed up for martial arts classes, Asuka Langley Soryu walked into an Internet cafe in Berlin, accessed an anonymous remailer service and sent a long and detailed message to Kaji Ryouji telling him several things he wasn't previously aware of, and Rei Ayanami slapped Commander Ikari hard enough to knock his glasses off. Events had ceased to proceed according to the Scenario and they were about to get real weird.
After Third Impact the three Children are sent back in time. Shinji analyzes his chances of outmanoeuvring his father and SEELE and preventing a Third Impact, estimates they are zero, and decides he will try anyway since he has nothing left to lose (and at the very least he can be a better friend). Asuka decides that since the universe has reset itself she can try another brand of craziness since her former coping method has proved being less than ideal. And Rei plots.
Three months later Shinji arrives on Tokyo-3 and after watching Rei piloting Unit 00 and slaughtering Sachiel and finding out Asuka is already there he realizes the timeline has already gone off the rails.
As the three pilots discuss their situation, make plans and bond, they find out they are not the only time-travellers and they like spending time together.
Doing It Right This Time by Jake (author of The Next Frontier) is a Neon Genesis Evangelion Peggy Sue fanfic inspired by Advice and Trust and full of comedy, drama, romance, snark and the "Israfel Special". It can be found in the Sufficient Velocity forums in this thread, on SpaceBattles or AO3. The Archive of Our Own version is not up-to date with the forum versions, although it fixes various typos and other minor errors pointed out on the forums and the Sufficient Velocity version is where most of the short excerpts from forthcoming updates get posted as it's the most active thread. A rough first draft can be read here.
To read other Evangelion Peggy Sue fanfiction go to The Second Try, Once More with Feeling, Higher Learning, RE-TAKE or NGE Mitigation. Check Advice and Trust, The Child of Love, Evangelion 303, The Ikaris, Nobody Dies, The One I Love Is, or Mobile Fighter Evangelion to see other AU Eva fics. Check A Crown of Stars, HERZ, Neon Genesis Evangelion R, Scar Tissue, Walking in the Shadow of Dreams and Neon Genesis Evangelion: Genocide to see other Eva continuation fics. Go to Children of an Elder God, Gods Angels And Kings, Last Child of Krypton, Shinji And Warhammer 40 K, Superwomen of Eva 2: Lone Heir of Krypton and Thousand Shinji if you are interested in crossovers.
- A Mech by Any Other Name: The Evangelions, as well known as "the secret anti-kaiju weapon that will work."
- Abusive Parents: Besides the usual culprits (Gendo abandoned Shinji and ordered Rei to live in a dump and be heavily sedated, Asuka's father threw her aside after getting married to his lover ) Naoko Akagi is worse than she was in canon due to the changes done to Rei's background; She used her own DNA as the "mother" source for Rei's creation as a high-tech Baby Trap, and when that failed she subjected her to non-stop emotional abuse and ultimately strangled her to death.
- Ace Pilot: Asuka travels to Tokyo-3 early to help with Shinji and Rei's training. When Shinji asks if she is right with them getting kills while she remains benched, Asuka replies she is rationalizing that it will be thanks to her training. Shinji replies it is not a rationalization because she was the best pilot and he was just lucky.
- Age-Appropriate Angst: Shinji has the occasional moment when he comes off as a bit of an Emo Teen... But of course, in addition to the fact he has plenty of past experiences he has every right to angst about, he is fourteen. He's allowed to be a bit melodramatic.
- Alcohol-Induced Idiocy: Not even professional Chessmaster Gendo Ikari is immune to this trope, as we learn at the end of Chapter 4.
- All According to Plan: When Rei gets informed about Shinji's arrival to Tokyo-3 she is glad because all is going according her plan.Rei: And all proceeds according to the Scenario.
- All for Nothing: When Rei meets Gendo for first time after travelling to the past she slaps him and informs him all of his planning was for nothing because he would fail. Gendo was pretty... shaken afterwards.
- Ambiguous Disorder: Asuka on Kensuke, after he makes a rather tactless remark:Not sure if on the autistic spectrum, or just being a jerk.
- Not that these possibilities are in any way mutually exclusive, of course...
- And This Is for...: After slapping Gendo, Rei says:Rei: [coldly] That [...] was for Shinji.
- Apologises a Lot: Shinji's automatic impulse to apologise for anything drove Asuka mad the first around, so she tries to break his habit early on:Asuka: And if you promise to try not to be a wet blanket who apologises for his very existence, I promise I'll try to use less tsun and more dere this time, because I want to be a better friend too.
- Arbitrary Skepticism: Averted. Time Travel? Shinji finds it perfectly believable. After all what has happened to him, why not?He didn't see any point in wondering whether or not this was real; considering he'd been at least partly responsible for shattering the very fabric of reality and/or turning the entire human race -less himself, a two hundred-foot naked copy of his sister(?) and Asuka into LCL to experience some rather nebulous transhumanist paradise, skepticism about mere mental time travel seemed rather silly.
- Archnemesis Dad: Subverted. After returning to the past, Shinji thought he would have to find some way to stop his father's plans. When he and Asuka arrived at Tokyo-3, though, it turned out that Rei had confronted Gendo and revealed that they were time-travellers and his plans would fail, not matter what. Ergo, Gendo lost his motivation to oppose to them.
- Armor-Piercing Question:
Shinji: Is there a reason I'm piloting the [Evangelion] that ate Mother?
- Shinji tried to hit his father with one of these when he met him (unfortunately, it doesn't have the effect he was hoping for, since Rei stole his thunder a bit.):
"Shinji, do you actually want to die or do you just not know what else to do?"
- A couple of chapters later, Misato uses one to snap Shinji out of a minor Heroic BSoD:
- Armor-Piercing Slap: Delivered by Rei to Gendo. It was strong enough to send Gendo sprawling and knock his glasses off his face.
- Ascended Fanboy: After returning to the past together with the remaining time-travellers Kensuke, who in the original timeline was obsessed with becoming a Humongous Mecha pilot, becomes an Evangelion pilot.
- Attention Whore: Asuka still likes when people pay attention to her:Asuka: What can I say? I'm a born show-off.
- Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: When Shinji and Asuka visit Rei's apartment for first time after their return and she tells them what her life was like, the three children hug each other reassuringly.
- Axes at School: Asuka obtained three handguns for Shinji, Rei and herself. They carried them everywhere, including school, hidden in their outfits or handbags. Their guardian Misato did like not it, but Asuka argued that they needed extra protection, and if they could be trusted with a giant robot then they could be trusted with a gun.
- The Baby Trap: In this story Naoko was supposed to use Gendo's wife Yui's eggs to create Rei. Instead of it she used her own eggs. Ritsuko thinks her mother was trying to baby-trap Gendo, but Gendo doubts Naoko swapped her genetic material with Yui's because she was trying to make him committed to her.Look! Read the results. They still had Mom's DNA profile in the records. She must've had an egg left over from the MAGI, and... Oh, fucking hell. She was sleeping with him. She must have been. Why else would she do this? She was trying to baby trap Gendo.
- The Bait: Shinji decides to be the bait when he and Rei fight Shamshel.
- Battle Couple: After returning to the past Shinji, Asuka and Rei agreed to share each other. Whenever any of them are fighting together they are acting as a battle couple. In their first engagements, Shinji and Rei took Shamshel down and Asuka and Rei blew Ramiel to smithereens.
- Beneath the Mask: Asuka was a lonely, frightened, vulnerable girl that fabricated a mask of harshness and arrogance to push everyone away so that no one hurt her. After the canon events she has realized it was very counterproductive, so she has dropped it. She is still bold and daring but she no longer tries to look mean.
- Benevolent Boss: Gendo becomes one after being told that his plans would fail.
- The Berserker: Shinji's fighting "style" can be summed up in raw, thoughtless violence with no regard for his own safety.
- Beta Couple: Hikari and Touji. Shinji, Asuka and Rei run into them for first time when they were about to go out. It turns out that they had got together after Touji got maimed during the war and had been dating for a while before the world ended and they were sent back to the past, too.
- Beware the Quiet Ones: Rei was calm, reserved and little communicative. Then she got sent to the past, and she was feeling suitably angry. She slapped Gendo to pay him back for mistreating Shinji and several months later tore an Eldritch Abomination apart to vent her anger.
- Bi the Way: Averted; Asuka is anything but matter-of-fact about it when she is forced to confront the fact she's bi.
- Big Brother Mentor: Ritsuko becomes this to Rei after discovering Rei is a clone of her mother.
- Big Ego, Hidden Depths: After returning to the past, Shinji and Rei know that Asuka's bragging is a front to cover deep-seated issues and insecurities, so they try not to set her off (and she tries to be calmer and more open).
- Blackmail: Rei blackmails Chihiro and her friend to force them to stop bothering her:Rei: If you two continue along this path, me telling the whole class what you sound like during orgasm will be the *second*-worst thing to happen to you today, because I will start dropping hints about how poorly soundproofed the bathroom stalls are.
Chihiro: You wouldn't dare.
Rei: Are you sure enough of that to risk it? I am not asking a lot, Tanaka; all I want you to do is to stop mocking me.
Chihiro: Fine. You win. I'll just have to content myself with watching you and the gaijin fight over Shinji instead.
- Blood Knight:
- Although Asuka is trying to change her behaviour, she is still eager to fight the enemy as a way to stand out.
- Rei, too. After returning to the past she has decided that resorting to extreme violence to deal with the enemy is a perfectly acceptable therapy. When she sorties for first time she decides against using weapons because bludgeoning the giant alien with her Eva's bare fists would feel more satisfactory.
- Bored with Insanity: Asuka had gone through huge emotional and psychological trauma during the original timeline (her mother's madness and death; her father's adultery and abandonment; people using her like a doll; her surrogate family and friends hurting her, betraying her or leaving her; constant beatings, humiliations and even a Mind Rape at the "hands" of alien monsters; the boy she liked treating her as masturbation fodder after spending months clueless to her hints; getting chopped into pieces and eaten alive...) and it had rendered her mad and unstable. Even though she survived the end of the world, she was so broken she decided to kill herself. Then she got sent to the past. She was so thrilled with having a second chance she decided to forget about her mental issues and start from scratch. In an outdated version of a scene of the second chapter She blatantly says she got bored of being crazy.Asuka: Oh mein gott you remember!
Hikari: I was so scared you wouldn't, [...] Or worse, you would and you'd be so broken I couldn't reach you...
Asuka: Who, me? Yeah, right, like I could stay crazy forever without getting bored of it. Oh, it's so good to see you again!
- Bound and Gagged: In the first draft, Rei covered Kaji's helping her get out by leaving him tied up in a closet to make it look like she'd broken out.
- Brain Bleach: When the cast discovers Kaworu has also returned
gender-swapped, Asuka casually states -after the initial shock-:Asuka: Although it was sweet of you to think of a gift like that for the two of us." [long, awkward silence] What? He always enjoys the show when Rei and I-
Gendo and Ritsuko: Too much information!
[another long, awkward silence]
Ritsuko: I think that's the first thing we've agreed on since I found out you did my mom.
- Bratty Half-Pint: Sakura Suzuhara is tiny, cranky, demanding and constantly follows her big brother around. The "Don't like being called 'a kid'" came when Asuka did do right that.
- Break the Cutie: Meek, soft-spoken Shinji had been so thoroughly broken by the Angel War that after surviving the world ending he decided to kill himself. He got sent to the past instead, and although he is trying to change things for better he is very fatalistic about his chances.
- Break the Haughty: Brash, bold, prideful Asuka got her heart broken, her pride shattered, her mind raped and her body chopped into pieces and devoured before the beginning of the history. She became suicidal before AND after dying and being reborn, but now the universe has got a makeover she has decided to turn over a new leaf, too.
- Break Them by Talking: Rei broke Gendo by telling him all of his plotting, scheming and manipulating would amount to nothing, and he would fail.Shinji: How much did you actually tell my father, anyway?
Rei: Few details. Only that everything he had worked towards and everything he had put myself and his only son through had been for nothing, and that he would die alone and unmourned, rejected by the only person he had ever truly loved.
- Bring My Red Jacket: In the original timeline, Asuka's battles were the bloodiest ones, and her death was the most gruesome.
- Broken Ace: Shinji, Asuka and Rei count like this (specially Asuka who is the best and most rigurously trained pilot and was out of college when she was thirteen), since each one of them is an one-person army with ample experience piloting giant robots and killing giant space monsters... and all are hugely traumatized. Getting orphaned when they were barely four, getting abandoned and/or abused by their fathers and dying during the end of the world are only some of their traumatic experiences.
- Broken Bird: Asuka and Rei. Their reaction to a decade of abuse and mental trauma culminating with their deaths is striving to become more badass. Shinji as well, for that matter, in his own way.
- Broken Hero: After everything they've gone through — which includes the end of the world — Shinji, Asuka and Rei are ironically more cheerful and less gloomy than their past selves.
- BrotherSister Incest: Subverted. Shinji and Asuka thought that Rei was his sister due to her being a Yui clone. However in this timeline she is genetically Ritsuko's little sister by way of her being a clone of Naoko Akagi.
- Buffy Speak: In chapter 2 Touji is explaining how he and Hikari got together: "It was a few days before everything got weird and explody and..."
- Calling the Old Man Out: Rei of all people calls Gendo out on having abused Shinji and her emotionally before informing him all was for nothing.
- Cannot Spit It Out: In the original timeline Shinji thought Asuka did not like him back, Asuka thought Shinji did not like her back and he loved Rei instead, and Rei was unable to recognize her own emotions. In the altered timeline neither of them confessed for a while since Asuka was confused because she also started liking Rei, Rei was unsure about her feelings towards Shinji and Asuka, and Shinji thought he would have to choose between both.
- Can't Live With Them, Can't Live Without Them: Shinji and Asuka found out this the hard way in the original timeline. They were unable to hold a civil conversation and open up to each other but they were also unable to be apart.
- Clingy Jealous Girl:
- Asuka defines herself as very clingy and possessive. So, how can she practice polyamory? Easy. She is clingy and possessive to both Shinji and Rei.
- In chapter 2 Asuka caught Shinji staring at Rei and was jealous... and then she wondered who was making her jealous:Hands off! Asuka screamed internally... then she realised she wasn't sure if she was referring to Rei about Shinji, or to Shinji about Rei.
- Closet Key: Asuka does such a great job helping Rei Clean Up Nicely she had a crisis of sexual identity!
- Combat Pragmatist: In chapter 2 Misato reminds Shinji that the Angels DON'T play by tournament rules and she wants that her pilots are willing to fight dirty.
- Conveniently an Orphan: In the original timeline Shinji and Asuka spent a long time mourning their deceased mothers as they fought space aliens. Ironically they — and Rei — now know that their mothers were always with them.
- Cool Big Sis: After finding out Rei is her mother's clone, Ritsuko changes completely her behaviour towards Rei, treating her like her little sister and being quite overprotective from her.
- Cooldown Hug: How do Shinji and Asuka react when Rei is feeling depressed and distressed after opening up to them? They hug her. The gesture reassures and soothes the trio.
- Crack Fic: It has been described as this by several commentators on the forum threads, much to the consternation of its author.
- Crazy Cat Lady: There's some debate as to whether or not Ritsuko's a straight example, as she doesn't have an actual animal-hoarding issue as such, but she's definitely not quite right in the head and really likes cats. And catgirls, it turns out.
- Crush Blush: Asuka blushes when she sees Shinji and Rei trying new clothes. She is particularly flustered when she stares at Rei because she had never been drawn to a girl until then.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Rei against Sachiel. She kicked its groin, shattered one of its kneecaps, slammed its face against a building, suplexed it and finally disembowelled it.
- Deadpan Snarker: After having gone through the Angel War and the end of the world, the three Children have gotten very, very sardonic.
- After having a short talk with Gendo:Asuka: Well, that was a touching family reunion,
Shinji: Could've been worse. He could've forced me into the Eva to go fight the Angel with absolutely no training whatsoever because the only other pilot got put in hospital in a botched synch-test or something.
- Rei describes her confrontation with Gendo:Shinji: Figures. How much did you actually tell my father, anyway?
Rei: Few details. Only that everything he had worked towards and everything he had put myself and his only son through had been for nothing, and that he would die alone and unmourned, rejected by the only person he had ever truly loved. [...] It was... cathartic,
- After seeing Rei's apartment for first time:Asuka: We spend hundreds of millions of dollars a week keeping the Evas running and they couldn't spring for the rent in a nicer part of Tokyo-3 than this?
Shinji: That's the Japanese housing market for you,
- After having a short talk with Gendo:
- Death Seeker: Rei was one in her former life, seeking oblivion to escape from her pain. Now she is done with it and intends to live and try new things.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: Shinji partially "defrosted" Asuka and Rei in original timeline, but it did not work very well because he was oblivious to the fact that both girls had fallen for him. After travelling back in time, they want to turn over a new leaf; so that Rei is learning to identify and express her emotions and Asuka is trying not to hide her feelings and be less angry. And Shinji is still trying to figure out how he feels about it.
- Defusing The Tykebomb: Name-checked by Asuka when she realises she's in a do-over. Turns out not to be necessary in Rei's case though.
- Determinator: Played with. In the original timeline, the kids tried to win, but they failed spectacularly and at the end they gave up. Now they have another chance, and they're determined to succeed.
- Determined Defeatist: Shinji thinks that he has no real chance to set his world right, but he is determined to try anyway.
- Devoted to You: Subverted. Shinji is completely devoted to both, Asuka and Rei. In turn, they're devoted to him and each other.
- Disappeared Dad: Gendo abandoned his son when Shinji was four because he honestly thought that Shinji would be better off without him. After returning to the past, father and son have a talk where Shinji tells his father that his "Don't screw Shinji up" strategy didn't work.
- Did You Just Have Sex?: In Chapter 3, Ritsuko is looking ridiculously cheeful and sporting a huge hickey. Misato tries to work up the nerve to ask the obvious question... And then Maya walks into the break-room sporting a collar, which answers questions Misato didn't want to ask.
- Doomed Hometown: Earth blew up when Kaworu sent everyone back in time.
- Double Entendre: When Misato is teaching Shinji about gun safety:Misato: Sure. Which leads us right on to the next lesson: How to clean and maintain your weapon.
Shinji: That sentence would sound really wrong out of context.
Misato [snorts] If you need help cleaning and maintaining that you're on your own.
- Driven to Suicide: After returning from Instrumentality but before being sent back to the past, Asuka and Shinji had a nasty fight and a long talk. During that talk they decided anything was better than staying in that post-apocalyptic, ruined, desolate world, and made a mutual suicide pact. Then they walked into the sea together, hoping returning to Instrumentality or drowning.
- Drives Like Crazy: Misato drove Shinji to the Geofront, and Shinji was proud with himself for only needing to grab the safety handle twice for the whole ride, despite her crazy driving antics.
- Drowning My Sorrows: In the first story draft Rei decided to get hammered when she thought she had missed her second chance and Asuka had beaten her to the punch again because she was under house arrest (long story) for long enough for Asuka getting there and get her claws into Shinji before she did.
- Duct Tape for Everything: Kaworu's improvised time machine has duct tape as an important structural component. Shinji does not find this reassuring.
- Dude, Not Funny!: Asuka and Misato have this reaction to Shinji making a rather dark joke about seppuku in Chapter 3, though it's not so much the joke itself as the fact it's the known suicide-risk making it that sets them off.
- Early-Bird Cameo: Kaworu shows up for first time in chapter 2, shortly after Sachiel's defeat. In canon he showed up half year later.
- Earth-Shattering Kaboom: When Kaworu sent everyone back in time via an FTL communcations device, Lilltih's S2 engine, and a Dr. Akagi designed brain scanner, said S2 engine overloaded and exploded, blowing Earth up.
- Eating the Eye Candy:
- Shinji is constantly staring at Asuka and Rei.
- In chapter 2 the three pilots go to buy new clothes, Rei tries a new dress... and Shinji and Asuka can not take their eyes off her, noticing how the dress clung to her body and showed her curves. Asuka can not take her eyes off Shinji, noticing how yummy he looks when he wears nicer clothes:Asuka couldn't quite hold back a gasp. The dress was a deep blue that set off Rei's eyes and complexion wonderfully, and while it was technically quite modest — it only showed about as much actual skin as her school uniform — it followed and flattered the curves of her body almost as closely as a swimsuit. A pair of strappy sandals with four-inch heels completed the ensemble, doing wonderful things to the shape of her calves and...
Asuka realised she was staring. She could feel her face getting hot and significant parts of her brain fusing together, but she couldn't look away.
Asuka didn't have the mental energy to offer much more than the occasional noncommital comment as Shinji was coaxed into picking out some nicer shirts in various shades of grey and green, along with a caramel leather car-coat that made him look mature and sophisticated and generally yummy and damn it hormones make your mind up this is not remotely fair...!
- Eldritch Abomination: After returning to the past, Shinji, Asuka and Rei have to fight the giant alien Angels... again. The "alien goddess in the basement who may or may not be God" Lilith is also mentioned.
- Emotionless Girl: Deconstructed. Gendo ordered Rei to take medication to "keep herself focused". Upon returning to the past the three pilots found out that her "medication" was a cocktail of mood suppressors and tranquilizers which turned her into a completely creepy and unemotional person. After stopping to take them, Rei starts exhibiting a normal emotion range.
- Establishing Character Moment: Asuka's first appearance in Doing It Right This Time firmly establishes that she knows exactly which trope she's living, and is damn well going to Set Right What Once Went Wrong.
- Ethical Slut: Asuka actually wants to become this when she returns to the past. Shortly after meeting her teammates again she purchases "The Ethical Slut", familiarizing with the book's jargon and taking notes, and later she proposes Shinji and Rei having a three-ways relationship in lieu of repeating the Love Triangle and having all their hears broken again.
- Expendable Clone: Double subversion. After returning to the past Rei no longer thinks she is expendable... however, since the other Rei clones are effectively soulless shells, she is not overly concerned about dying since she has many spare bodies.
- Expository Hairstyle Change: Asuka removes her hair-clips and ties back her hair into a ponytail when she decides that she's done with devoting her life exclusively to piloting Evangelions.
- Face Palm: Asuka facepalms when she finds out that Shinji did not know that pilots get paid.
- Fan-Art: One of the fans of this story makes illustrations of several scenes.
- Fate Worse than Death: Shinji thinks of killing his father before coming up with something better: give him exactly what he wants and reunite him with Yui and then seeing his mother giving his father a piece of her mind.
- Female Gaze: When Shinji tries new clothes Asuka spends a while thinking of how yummy he looks.
- Fiery Redhead: Time-travel has changed many things for Asuka, but she keeps being brave, bold, hot-tempered and spirited.
- First Time Feeling: When Rei wakes up in the past, the effects of her feeling-numbing medication have worn off, and she is trying to cope with the rush of different emotions.And then she felt a sudden stab of fear at the sheer intensity of the emotion, which was like nothing she'd ever felt before. She glanced over at the untidy stack of pill bottles on the nightstand. They will keep you from becoming distracted, Commander Ikari's voice said in her memory. Apparently whoever was responsible for sending her back in time had decided she might benefit from getting a little distracted, because this was ten times worse -or better?- than when she finally said 'no' to Gendo Ikari for once after skipping her meds for a week.
- Fix Fic: To the original canon, and to Advice and Trust pairing-wise.
- Flat "What":
- When Shinji and Asuka meet after the timeline restarts:Asuka: Trying to stab you when we ran into each other by Misato's memorial was spur of the moment. I've had three months to plan this meet-up. Besides, [...] you masturbating over my comatose body was far from the worst thing to happen to me that week. At least it proved you were too dumb to know when you're being hit on instead of just gay.
- In the first draft Misato uttered one when she saw Asuka had been reading "The Ethical Slut":Misato couldn't help but smile... until she happened to glance at the cover of the book Asuka had been reading, and realised it was a copy of The Ethical Slut. And Asuka had apparently been taking notes.
- When Shinji and Asuka meet after the timeline restarts:
- Funetik Aksent: She usually makes an effort to be intelligible to others, but when she's sufficiently angry or upset Mari has a Scouse accent so thick that even native English speakers struggle to understand her.
- Gamer Chick:
- Gender Bender: When Kaworu decided to send himself and the other Children back in time to prevent the end of the world, he thought he might avert to play his role in the Dead Sea Scrolls prophecies if he changed sexes. So he turned female.
- Genre Savvy: The people hiding together with Shinji in the shelter know how the "Humongous Mecha versus Robeast/Kaiju" thing uses to work:NERV guy in shelter: The military must've hit the Angel with something big. Either an N2 mine or a fuel-air explosive.
other guy: Never works in the movies.
[another, longer shock reaches them]
NERV guy: [grins] And that is the secret anti-kaiju weapon that will work!
- Giant Equals Invincible:
- During Sachiel's attack a Nerv employee says a Humongous Mecha is the only thing works against a giant monster.
- In the first story draft, an Admiral complains about using giant robots to fight monsters. Asuka quickly points out a Humongous Mecha is the only thing has worked so far with Robeasts and Kaijus.Admiral: There's got to be a better way of doing this. I mean, giant robots for heaven's sake!
Asuka: Technically the Evangelions are cyborgs. And you could well be right, but so far we've killed three more Angels than any other weapon of man's devising.
Admiral: [scowls, but concedes the point]
- Girlish Pigtails: Hikari wears pigtails. When she wants to look more mature, though, she wears her hair down.
- Girl-on-Girl Is Hot: According Asuka, Shinji always likes watching when she and Rei make out.
- The Glomp: Asuka and Hikari somehow managed to glomp each other — flying tackle included — when they met again.The two girls stared at one another for a long moment, neither knowing what to say, but then something broke in both of them at once.
Simultaneous mutual glomping is a hazardous activity even for professional anime characters on a closed screen, but somehow Asuka and Hikari managed not to hurt themselves.
- Good Morning, Crono: All time-travelers started out their new lives waking up in their beds.
- Grand Theft Prototype: Asuka mentions the trope for its former name when she calls Bardiel "the Angel of Gundamjacking".
- Gratuitous German: Asuka thinks or exclaims "Mein Gott" ("My God") every so often:Mein Gott, she thought to herself.
- Gratuitous Japanese: At the beginning of chapter 3, Shinji uses many Japanese words:Shinji: "If he wants me to be his kaishakunin again he can damn well observe the formalities and commit proper seppuku first; I never worked up the courage to actually ask, but I'm almost positive the Commander keeps a pair of swords and a washable tatami handy."
- Grave-Marking Scene: In the original draft Shinji and Gendo visit Yui's grave and for first time they have a heart-to-heart talk. Gendo states he comes there once every week and Shinji lampshades he now knows it is empty.
- Green-Eyed Epiphany: Subverted. When Asuka begins to suspect that Rei's feelings towards Shinji are not sisterly at all she gets jealous... and then stops herself, remembering that was when everything started to go wrong in the original timeline (she loving Shinji but being unable to spit it out and being jealous of Rei because she thought that Shinji liked her was a major factor in her break-down).
- Green-Eyed Monster: When Asuka suspects Rei can be in love with Shinji she starts to feel jealous
and then she stops herself, remembering her jealousy was used to turn her into a puppet and she is done with that.Asuka had only ever seen that smile once, directed at Shinji after Ritsuko — or Misato — finally got him back out of Unit-01. Now she wasn't continually seeing red and green both at once, she had to admit it was quite a nice smile. Rather cute, in fact.
Then Asuka had to fight down a sudden stab of fear, anger and jealousy. Was it possible that Rei's feelings for Shinji were...??
Arrrrgh. No, bad brain. No hedgehog impressions; that was where it all went wrong the first time round. Rei? Ayanami had deserved better than that, much less Rei Akagi.
- Grew a Spine:
- After returning Shinji considers running and hiding for an instant before resolving he would not run away this time and he would not be scared anymore.
- After having been his dutiful servant in the original timeline Rei slapped Gendo and called him out on everything.
- Groin Attack:
Ritsuko: "I wonder if they even have reproductive organs there?"
- The story opens with Rei being the one to take on Sachiel solo instead of Shinji. She also has a certain amount of aggression to work off. This trope is the first thing she tries, and Sachiel's day just gets worse from there.
Misato: "If they do, I'm actually feeling a little sorry for the Angel."
- Shinji kicked Kaworu in the groin after Third Impact.
- Hair Decorations: Asuka always wore her iconic red clips. In episode 3, she replaced them with an ordinary hair-tie.
- Hair Flip: Asuka discovers that being able to do these properly is an unexpected fringe benefit to ditching her signature nerve-clip barrettes.I should've thought of this ages ago. My old hairstyle just doesn't emphasise a dramatic gesture the same way.
- Happily Failed Suicide: Asuka walks into the sea together with Shinji, hoping to rejoin Instrumentality or drown... and wakes up in her bedroom in Germany, three months before the start of the War. When she realizes she has a second chance she is ecstasic and thrilled about it.
- Has Two Mommies: Discussed. Asuka, Rei and Shinji have a three-ways relationship. Both girls agree if or when any of them has a child with Shinji, they will raise him or her together.
- Heartbroken Badass: Shinji was utterly broken when Asuka died. So he let the world die, and the timeline restarted.
- Hello, Nurse!: Asuka and Rei are very popular with their male schoolmates.
- The Hero: Shinji intends to save the world this time.
- Heroes Want Redheads: Shinji and Rei are infatuated with Asuka.
- High-School Sweethearts: Shinji, Rei and Asuka were fourteen when they met (the latter was thirteen to be precise). Shinji liked both girls and they liked him back, but due to their psychological issues they were unable to make a connection. After going through a war, the end of the world and returning to the past they do not want to repeat past mistakes and they are very sick of romantic angst, jealousy and woe so the three of them get together.
- Hint Dropping: When Asuka meets Shinji she mentions on passing she had been constantly hitting on him
and getting exasperated because she could not tell whether he was dense or not interested:Asuka: You masturbating over my comatose body was far from the worst thing to happen to me that week. At least it proved you were too dumb to know when you're being hit on instead of just gay.
- Holding Hands:
- Shinji and Asuka linked their hands when they walked into the sea together before returning to the past.
- Hopeless Suitor: All main characters were or thought they were this in the original timeline. Shinji to Asuka and Asuka and Rei to Shinji. In the new timeline they are so sick of crappy Love Triangles and all worry, angst and heart-break which go hand in hand with them that they opt to share.
- Hot-Blooded: Asuka had lost part of her hot-bloodness after going through the War and end of the world and was ready to end it everything together with Shinji. Then she got flung back to the past and got ecstatic, thrilled and more passionate than ever because she had a chance to "do it right this time". When she met her partners again she used her determination and fierceness to help Shinji to shake his pesimism off.
- Humanoid Abomination: Rei and Kaworu are cloned humans whose bodies are vessels for pieces of the souls of ancient alien gods.
- Humans Through Alien Eyes: Kaworu admires human culture but he does not understand many aspects of human thought. When he undergoes a sex change as part of a plan to break the Dead Sea Scrolls prophecies he does not get why the other time-travellers are so puzzled about him having boobs.
- Humongous Mecha: The Evas, bio-mechanical giant robots. A NERV worker says — when he sees Unit 00 being deployed — that it is their anti-Kaiju secret weapon.
- Hurting Hero: When Shinji was four he saw her mother's body dissolving. His father abandoned him shortly after. When Asuka was four, her mother went crazy, stopped acknowledging her and killed herself. Her father — who cheated on his wife without caring about Asuka hearing him and his lover — remarried and abandoned her shortly after. Rei was ordered living in a dump and taking a cocktail of feeling-numbing drugs. The three of them were forced to fight giant Eldritch Abominations despite of being kids. And then the world ended and they died. And now they have been reborn in the past and have to go through it once more.
- I Cannot Self-Terminate: Kaworu was unable to kill himself and asked Shinji to do it. Understandably, Shinji is pretty irked about it.Shinji: "He was a friend, at a time when I really needed one, up until he turned out to be an Angel and went all 'I cannot self-terminate' on me."
- At the end of Chapter 3, we learn that when Kaworu says he cannot self-terminate, he really means it. He tried.
- Icy Blue Eyes: Asuka's eyes are deep blue and her personality is prickly (although she's mellowed down in the redux)
- I Didn't Mean to Turn You On: When Rei tried a new dress and innocently asked Asuka if she looked good, Asuka felt very flustered and very hot all of sudden (that was her first hint that she liked both Shinji and Rei).
- I Need a Freaking Drink:
- After several instances of the Children behaving oddly Misato demands an explanation. Before explaining things, Asuka suggests her picking a beer first:Asuka smiled sadly. "Knew you'd figure it out sooner or later. You might wanna grab a beer for this."
- As she is listening to their story, Misato decides a beer is not enough:Misato tossed back the whiskey she'd poured herself after realising beer just wasn't going to cut it tonight.
- After several instances of the Children behaving oddly Misato demands an explanation. Before explaining things, Asuka suggests her picking a beer first:
- Ignored Confession: As Ritsuko is expressing her frustration about her abysmal love life
Ritsuko: I am going to murder him! Mother of God, I've dated some really lousy men over the years but this is a goddam record. I give up. I really do. You wanna be my torrid lesbian rebound fling?
Maya: Yes! [covers mouth in horror]
Ritsuko: Uh... We never had that conversation, okay? And on a totally unrelated note, meet me after your shift finishes and we'll go for a completely platonic drink somewhere, because I could really use some company. [stands up] Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go and have a talk with Rei.
- Eventually Subverted. Turns out the next time they went out for a drink wasn't quite so platonic...
- Ill Girl: As in the original timeline, despite everything else that changed, Sakura still got hurt during the battle against Sachiel. However, she's only got a broken wrist and will be running around like nothing ever happened in a month's time, rather than possibly ending up in a wheelchair for life like canon. Plus she got to see Rei suplex an Angel, which in her own words was "totally Worth It!"
- I Miss Mom:
- Shinji and Asuka missed their late mothers in the original timeline. Now they know what has happened to them, they are looking forward to meet them again (although Shinji has no idea what telling to Yui after her actions).
- Averted with Rei who never knew her mother and did not care about it. And now she knows who she is, she does not like her.
- Important Hair Accessory: Asuka makes the important decision to stop wearing her neural connectors as barrettes, to symbolise the fact that being an Evangelion pilot isn't all of who she is anymore. And then a few scenes later she discovers a practical advantage; a long ponytail makes it possible to do a proper Hair Flip for emphasis when making a dramatic gesture. Lampshaded by Kensuke, with his usual tact and diplomacy:"Like the new look, by the way. Is there some deeper symbolic meaning to you ditching the A-10 clips and the ol' Tsundere Twintails?"
- Inappropriate Role Model: Asuka thinks she's a terrible influence after seeing Rei berating and blackmailing one of their classmates. Rei suggests she takes after Naoko.
- Inferiority Superiority Complex: Shinji and Rei now know Asuka's pride is a façade and she has no self-esteem (and Shinji realizes he was unintentionally poking her in her insecurities and neuroses the whole time). So they actively try to make her feeling valued and reassure her that she is a damned good pilot.
- Innocent Blue Eyes: Shinji's eyes are grey-blue, and he was pretty innocent and naïve (keyword: "was").
- Insecure Love Interest: Asuka is pretty insecure about her feelings towards Rei after realizing she likes the blue-haired girl.
- Interrupted Suicide: Shinji tried to kill himself — again — when he met Asuka again, but she stopped him. His nonchalance and the way how planned out the whole thing in seconds to make it look like a firearm mishandling accident scared Asuka a lot.
- It's All My Fault: As Asuka notes, Shinji blames himself for all what happened in canon, including messes were not his doing or he had no control about.Asuka: Yes, I remember everything. So do Rei and Shinji, who's probably hiding because he blames himself for what happened to you; in fact, come to think of it he blames himself for pretty much all of it.
- It's Personal:
- Misato wants to kill the Angels because she blames them for her father's death.
- The three Children want to destroy SEELE because the organization ruined their lives.
- Jerkass Woobie: Asuka was rude and annoying because she suffered massive and constant mental and physical trauma since she was three. She's trying to be nicer in the new timeline, though.
- Just Friends: Asuka insists that Rei is her friend and just a friend. She definitely has not a crush on Rei, not matter how cute she is.
- Kick the Dog: Naoko is a much more unpleasant person in this story than in canon. When she found out about what had happened to Kyoko after Unit 02's failed contact experiment, she laughed. Loudly. She also lied to Rei, making her believe she could not have children.
- Kid Hero: Shinji and Rei are fourteen; Asuka is thirteen.
- The Kid with the Remote Control: The first time around neither Shinji nor Asuka really knew why they were chosen as Evangelion pilots. Now they and Rei know it is because their "giant robot moms".
- Knight In Sour Armor: Shinji, Asuka and Rei are more determined than ever to save the world. They are also more sarcastic than ever due to be fully aware of having been puppets used to fight massive alien monsters and bring about the end of the world.
- Lap Pillow: In the initial draft, Shinji, Asuka and Rei combined this with Sleep Cute. After their first date, Asuka leaned on Shinji as Rei rested her head on both their laps, and they fell asleep.
- Latex Space Suit: The pilots wear skintight outfits called plugsuits while pilot to synch with their giant robots. Nonetheless, Shinji really, really does not like them:His good mood lasted about ten minutes. "Is it absolutely necessary to pilot an Evangelion wearing skin-tight neoprene?" Shinji grumbled. He'd always hated plugsuits, but then he'd always hated damn near everything about this job so he'd never bothered to make an issue of it. But now he knew what was coming, he really thought he ought to take a stand.
Nobody, he reasoned, should have to confront Armageddon in a gimp suit.
- Lighter and Softer: Than canon, so far. The three Children have been sent back in time. And they have decided things will go THEIR way this time... and they will have a three-ways relationship because screw you, Unresolved Sexual Tension-fueled angst and Cannot Spit It Out-induced heartache.
- Limited Wardrobe: Lampshaded, justified and then averted. Rei didn't own any other clothes but her school uniforms thanks to Gendo, whereas Shinji just decided to pick "a look that works" and stick to it. Asuka cajoles them both into expanding their wardrobes some.Asuka: And once we're finished with Rei, it's Shinji's turn! Seriously, do you actually own any clothes besides plain white dress shirts and black slacks?
Shinji: (defensively) I have a look that works.
- Loophole Abuse: Defied. Misato notes that while there technically isn't a rule concerning an outfit addition of Maya's of a BDSM/pet-play collar, she still shoots it down while among the other staff on account of how much controversy it would cause.
- Lovable Alpha Bitch: Turns out that Chihiro Tanaka's not such a bad sort underneath it all.
- Love Epiphany: After a shopping trip in chapter 2 Asuka realizes she not only likes Shinji but also Rei.
- Love Interest:
- Shinji is Asuka and Rei's love interest. Asuka is Shinji and Rei's one. And Rei is Shinji and Asuka's.
- Touji and Hikari are each other's.
- Ritsuko is Maya's one.
- Lovely Angels: Asuka and Rei combine it with Battle Couple. In the altered timeline Asuka comes along early and she and Rei start training together (and hooking up with each other AND Shinji) and fighting in tandem. Her first success was taking down Ramiel.
- Love Revelation Epiphany: Comically and ironically, it is Asuka who reveals Kaji that Misato carries a torch for him still:Asuka: You think this is some harebrained roleplay thing? Fucksake, Kaji, I walked into your cabin on the boat carrying Unit-02 to Japan wearing nothing but a smile and you still turned me down. You're not over Misato yet, I get it. She's not over you yet either if that makes you feel better.
- Love Triangle: Subverted. Asuka and Rei love Shinji, and Shinji spends a while agonising over having to choose between them only to be informed he does not have to make a choice because both girls like each other and him.
- Luminescent Blush: Shinji, Asuka and Rei often blush when they talk to or stare at each other. An example happened in chapter 2 when Rei bought a new dress and Asuka and Shinji blushed when they saw her wearing it.
- Male Gaze:
- Shinji is constantly staring at Asuka and Rei.
- Chapter 2 gave an example that amusingly combined this with Female Gaze: the three pilots go to buy new clothes, Rei tries a new dress... and Shinji and Asuka can not take their eyes off her, noticing how the dress clung to her body and showed her curves.
- Making Love in All the Wrong Places: Rei's shutting down Chihiro's Alpha Bitch routine was made possible by this.
- Manipulative Bastard: Gendo used their employees' emotions to manipulate them. Asuka has realized he set her up to hate Rei because it made her easier to control and she is done playing by his rules, so she has befriended Rei. Rei also theorizes that he manipulated Ritsuko's jealousy of Rei so that Ritsuko would be more driven to fulfill his agenda.
- Married to the Job: Ritsuko was so engrossed in her work and her scientific research, and so driven to differentiate herself from her mother, than all her relationships prior Gendo failed after a few months.
- Marshmallow Hell: After remembering everything, Misato gave Shinji and Asuka one. Rei pointed out dryly that she was suffocating Shinji.
- Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Asuka is loud, tomboyish, bold and likes fighting. Shinji is shy, passive and is their apartment's House Husband.
- Mathematician's Answer: When Toji and Asuka are discussing their situation for the first time:Toji: Aw, hell, what part of this isn't weirdAsuka: The time travel, or me not being a bitch?Toji: Yes
- MacGyvering: Kaworu's improvised time machine. When this was hinted at on the forum thread it was immediately suggested that he was "the Angelic Macgyver", but in practice he's more the Angelic Riff.
- Meaningful Rename: After returning to the past Rei decides she is no longer Rei Ayanami, Yui Ikari's clone had no dreams or hopes and wished for nothing else than the peace of oblivion. She is now Rei Akagi, Ritsuko's little sister what wants to find out what she wants to do when she grows up.Rei: Rei Ayanami is dead, I am not her. I am Rei Akagi, Ritsuko's little sister. I am not sure what I want to do when I grow up, but I would like to find out what it is like to kiss a boy. I think I would like to find out what it is like to kiss a girl, as well; Ritsuko said it was similar in most ways, but different in others.
- Mental Time Travel: Shinji, Asuka and Rei's minds were sent back in time to three months before the beginning of the Angel War (and later they find out they are not the only returnees). All time-travellers wake up in their younger bodies. Asuka jokingly suggests they pretend everything was just a prophetic dream or something, and theorizes Kaworu has something to do with their return.
- Meta Girl: Asuka, when she realises what's happened, doesn't so much lean on the fourth wall as trip over and bang her head on it. With a side order of Conversational Troping on top!A desperate, slightly hysterical giggle bubbled out before she could stop it. "It's a do-over," she breathed. "It's a motherfucking do-over!" She fairly bounced out of bed and snatched up her dressing gown. "I'm gonna do it right this time," she muttered, throwing open the curtains. "I'm gonna have the best damn synch score ever now. Well... I can live with tied for first place with Shinji, I guess." She filled her electric kettle from the small wash-basin in one corner of her room. "Heh. I think I'll work on synchronising a little better with him too, after I beat the crap out of his asshole dad... Maybe I can defuse Commander Creepybeard's precious blue-haired tykebomb too? Well, she is kinda the baka's sister, wouldn't hurt to try being nice to her either way. In fact, screw it. If my life's going to turn into the biggest fanfiction cliche ever I'm just gonna roll with it and be the ultimate Mary-Sue, because I have earned some verdammt wish fulfilment in my life... And I really need to raise my blood sugar and blood caffeine levels because that sounded crazy even to myself."
- Mildly Military: NERV has become even more informal in this timeline.
- Mind Screw: Shinji defines Instrumentality as "whatever the hell had happened."
- Missing Mom: Shinji and Asuka's mothers died when they were children and Rei never knew hers. After returning to the past they know what happened to them, and they try to talk to them when they are inside their robots.
- Motherly Scientist: Both Akagis are a subversion:
- Naoko abused and murdered Rei, despite of knowing that she was her daughter... but now she and Rei have actually bonded because both hate Gendo.
- Ritsuko looked cool but nice. However she abused and mistreated Rei... until she found out about Rei being her mother's clone. Since then she's become overprotective and motherly.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Learning that Rei's her sister causes Ritsuko to have a slight breakdown upon considering how she's been treating the girl.
- Nice Guy: Shinji wants to be one. Asuka thinks he is one.
- No OSHA Compliance: Kaworu's desperately improvised time machine required several very important safety features of an already-damaged S2 Engine to be disabled. Stuff Blowing Up ensues.
- No Social Skills: After returning to the past the three pilots talk about how they are so socially inept that they run away from other people (Shinji), push them away (Asuka) or don't know how interacting with other persons (Rei). However they agree to try to get better at socializing.
- No Accounting for Taste: In the previous timeline Shinji had wondered why his nice, loving mother would fall for his jerkass father. But after considering his mother got absorbed into Unit 01 on purpose to become an eternal reminder of humankind's existence and she actually wanted him to watch how she seemingly died, Shinji wonders why his father would marry her and decides there is no accounting for taste.Shinji: So, yeah, [...] That's the woman my father is planning to cause total human extinction to reunite with. No accounting for taste, I suppose.
Asuka: Guess not,
- Not Blood Siblings: A source of some discomfort to Shinji. First he had what he thought was a near-miss with Surprise Incest before the whole Peggy Sue thing happened, but now it turns out Rei wasn't a clone of who everyone thought she was and they're definitely not even siblings by adoption (Rei's pretty emphatic about that) and he has no idea if that makes the time he accidentally saw her naked better or worse. Especially because he has a bit of a thing for Asuka as well.
- Not So Different: During the extended flashback in Chapter 3, Kaworu alludes to passing over his own personal Despair Event Horizon and going out to set off Third Impact and wipe out all life on Earth. The circumstances were somewhat different, but the parallel is noticeable enough that Shinji feels a bit of sympathy for Kaworu despite the bad blood between them.
- Oblivious to Hints: After Instrumentality Asuka has realized Shinji did not react to her hints because he was oblivious and clueless, not because he was not interested.
- Official Couple: Shinji, Asuka AND Rei.
- Offing the Offspring: In this timeline Rei was Naoko's daughter. Even so she still choked her first incarnation with her own hands for badmouthing her, right like in canon.
- Old Flame: Misato and Kaji. Asuka told Kaji that Misato isn't over him. Their reconciliation is a foregone conclusion.
- One Thing Led to Another: Touji and Hikari reveal that Hikari visited Touji after the fight against Bardiel. When she saw that he was feeling awfully depressed and hopeless, she tried to cheer him up... and before they realizing what was happening, she was giving him "something to live for".
- Only Sane Man: Lampshaded when Asuka has a moment of slightly horrified realisation that the person to come through the end of the world and the subsequent inexplicable do-over with the least amount of mental trauma might be her.
- Orphan's Ordeal: Shinji, Asuka and Rei led crappy lives after their mothers' deaths: Shinji thought he had no reason to go on living, Asuka fabricated a loud, attention-seeking personality to validate her existence and Rei was a Death Seeker. After dying during the end of the world and being given a second chance they decided to support each other to try to cope with the inminent trauna train.
- Out-of-Character Moment: As usual in Peggy Sue stories, this plays a part.
- Shortly before Sachiel shows up, Asuka volunteers to fly out to Tokyo -separating her from her beloved Evangelion for an indefinite period, in order to help train the other two pilots. And that's nothing compared to what happened with Rei... Misato catches on pretty quickly that something's up.
- Similarly, when they accidentally meet Touji and he gets shocked at seeing Asuka, they realize they are not the only time-travellers.
- Parental Favoritism: Gendo loved Rei more than Shinji... however, Gendo being Gendo, it only means he treats her in a slightly less crappy fashion.
- Parental Obliviousness: Misato was so wrapped up in her own issues and avenging Kaji that she didn't notice her wards' declining mental health until it was too late to help them. She blames herself for it.
- Parental Substitute: When Shinji and Asuka arrive to Tokyo-3 Misato takes them in... and shortly after they insist on her taking Rei in, too. When she asks Asuka what is going on, they explain that they were time-travellers, and she had been her and Shinji's caretaker in the original timeline (and Rei did no longer want to be under Gendo's legal guardianship). After their explanations Misato agrees to be Rei's guardian, too.
- Patchwork Fic: Although this is based on the original series, Mari Makinami from the Rebuild films appears in Chapter 4 as the intended pilot of Unit-04 and joins the cast proper in Chapter 5.
- Peggy Sue
- Percussive Therapy: Ritsuko suggested to Rei that she should take her feelings towards Commander Ikari out on the Angel. Even Misato, who has ample reason to hate Angels, was a bit creeped out by the results.
- Person of Mass Destruction: The three Children pilot hugely powerful, divine war machines.
- Pitbull Dates Puppy: Asuka is very strong-willed and bold compared with her meek boyfriend and quiet girlfriend.
- Please Kill Me If It Satisfies You: Upon meeting Asuka again and learning she knew of his little self-pleasure moment viewing her comatose body, Shinji immediately offers to kill himself as penance for it. Asuka talks him out of it.
- Polyamory: Discussed when Maya and Asuka have a long talk about Asuka's Love Triangle problem.
- Precision F-Strike: After waking up in her bed and finding out she had returned to the past, Rei swore for first time in her life:Rei: Oh, shit.
- Rage Against the Heavens: Asuka was angry with God after her mother's death, and remained angry for ten years, but now the universe has reset itself and she has another chance to make things right she decides that God Is Good after all:Asuka: So. Our father, who art in heaven, yada yada yada. I know, we haven't spoken in a long time; I kinda stopped believing in you for a while, truth be told. I mean, no God was better than a God that let that happen to Mama. I was pretty mad at you for that at the time, but now that I'm in possession of all the facts... Well, actually I'm still mad at you. Second Impact, the Angels, whatever the hell happened to the planet after Wondergirl decided to hand Shinji phenomenal cosmic power the same day he finally got around to having that psychotic break he'd been procrastinating about since the clusterfuck with Toji and the Angel of Gundamjacking: I'm pretty sure at least half of that was your fault. Jeez, I appreciate a hands-off management style as much as anyone, but there's limits...
[sighs] But apparently you hit the reset button, so I have a shot at making things less of a cataclysmic shitshow this time around. Low bar to clear, I know, but hey. So... Thanks for that, I guess. We have a long way to go before we rebuild our relationship still, but it's a big step in the right direction. Just... If I have some great divinely-mandated destiny and you're not just doing this out of morbid curiosity, please give me the occasional nudge in the direction of not fucking it all up? Surely you owe me that much. Oh, and please don't get all judgemental if I trade in some purity points to make Shinji less emo, that kid needs all the help he can get. [long sigh] Amen, I guess.
- Reconstruction: After a glut of deconstructive Peggy Sue fics this story gleefully reconstructs what they tore down:
- Shinji can not possibly outsmart Gendo or SEELE... but he will try anyway since he has nothing to lose.
- Gendo figures the Children are up to something... so they confront him from the start and tell him his scenario to reunite with Yui will fail.
- The Children are unstable for having gone through it once... and they are aware of it, so that they try to channel their craziness into productive ways.
- People notices the Children are having out-of-character moments... and they use it to their benefit.
- Recruit Teenagers with Attitude: All mecha pilots are teenagers.
- Red Is Heroic: Asuka is a redhead, wears red and her Humongous Mecha is red, too.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Asuka was the Red Oni (temperamental and impulsive) and Rei the Blue Oni (emotionless and quiet). After returning to the past Asuka is calmer and Rei is learning to recognize and express her emotions, so differences between both are less extreme, but Asuka is still the passionate half of the duo and Rei the calm one.
- Relationship Upgrade: Ritsuko and Maya have been building up to one behind the scenes since Ritsuko left Gendo, but in Chapter 3 they go public with it. Very public.
- Retail Therapy: Asuka takes Rei out clothes shopping, after finding out just how her fellow Pilot had been living thanks to Commander Ikari. A Justified Trope in this case as she didn't have any clothes except her school uniform beforehand.
- The Reveal: When Asuka announced Rei was moving with them, Misato demanded knowing what was going on. The three Children figured out that she would find out sooner or later so that they told her everything.
- Reverse Mole: As soon as Asuka woke up in the past she passed information on Kaji secretely to warn him that the organization she was working for was plotting the end of the world.
- Ripple Effect-Proof Memory: All time-travelers remember their past lives.
- Robeast: The Angels of canon, fought in the original timeline. Now the main characters have returned to the past, the battles have become quite different.
- Safe, Sane, and Consensual: Ritsuko and Maya have taken up BDSM. Their sex life is loving, based on mutual respect and has well-defined rules and boundaries; it's probably the healthiest relationship Ritsuko's had in years.
- Sanctuary of Solitude: In Chapter 1, Asuka finds a small church and spends some time there, for the first time since her mother died.
- Saying Too Much: After getting an impressive score in his first synch test Misato asks Shinji if he is sure he has never done this before. Of course he denies it, but later he wonders what she would have done if he said "yes" not knowing Ritsuko was listening.
- Schoolgirl Lesbians: Chihiro and Megumi, who try not to let on that they have gone far, far beyond "Class S". Although their Secret Relationship is a lot less secret than they realise.
- Science-Fiction Fanfic: Giant robots, alien invaders, Time Travel, clones...
- Secret Keeper: Sakura and Nozomi know about her brother and her middle sister, respectively, and other people being time-travellers and are keeping it secret... despite of Sakura being very loud and indiscreet.
- Secret Secret-Keeper: Ritsuko has figured out what Shinji — and maybe Asuka and Rei — are time-travellers but she has kept it to herself.
- Self-Made Orphan: Subverted. After hearing how his father treated Rei Shinji wants to kill him and then he thinks of a better idea: giving him exactly what he wants — reunite with Yui — and then watching while his mother gives Gendo a piece of her mind.
- Seppuku: Discussed (semi-jokingly) by Shinji, as he is rather sore about being essentially press-ganged into being Kaworu's kaishakunin, and avows that if they end up going through the whole "I Cannot Self-Terminate" thing again this time around he's going to make him observe the proper ceremonies first.
- Set Right What Once Went Wrong: As usual in Peggy Sue stories one of the goals of Shinji, Asuka and Rei is averting The End of the World as We Know It. Another goal is fixing the unholy mess was their relationship and learning to get along well with each other (which will lead to unexpected results known as "Israfel Special").
- She Cleans Up Nicely:
- The trio of time-travellers found Hikari right when she was about to go out with Touji. She had got ready to their date, and the kids were shocked at how pretty she looked.It took Shinji a moment to realise who he was looking at. She was wearing her hair loose in ringlets instead of her usual pigtails, along with artfully-applied makeup that made her look a few years older. It was also the first time he'd seen Hikari out of her school uniform, and the rather adventurously-cut sundress and court heels were not the kind of thing he'd imagined the famously straitlaced Class Representative wearing at weekends.
- And shortly later Rei got a makeover. The results were stunning:Asuka couldn't quite hold back a gasp. The dress was a deep blue that set off Rei's eyes and complexion wonderfully, and while it was technically quite modest — it only showed about as much actual skin as her school uniform — it followed and flattered the curves of her body almost as closely as a swimsuit. A pair of strappy sandals with four-inch heels completed the ensemble, doing wonderful things to the shape of her calves and...
- The trio of time-travellers found Hikari right when she was about to go out with Touji. She had got ready to their date, and the kids were shocked at how pretty she looked.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Before being sent back to the past Shinji and Asuka were heavily traumatized and barely sane after the Angel War and Third Impact. After a last violent fight they decided to kill themselves because even death seemed a better option than remaining in a dead world. Then the two of them and Rei got flung back to the past and they started dealing with their issues in... unique ways.None of them were in a good place mentally, she knew that. Who would be after all they'd been through? But Shinji worried her the most. Asuka was probably going to come down from the initial OMG-we're-alive high at some point, but at least she seemed hopeful. Rei she didn't really know well to get a read on, but the mere fact she was showing something like a normal human emotional range was encouraging. But Shinji... She'd seen eyes like that back in Central America as a young lieutenant, in the faces of soldiers — and some civilians — who'd seen so much horror and faced death so often that some sort of emergency shutdown mechanism kicked in and sent them into a kind of autopilot. Not everyone came back out of it, and a lot of those who did were very changed people, not usually for the better.
- She's Got Legs: In chapter 2 Asuka notices Rei has very nice legs.A pair of strappy sandals with four-inch heels completed the ensemble, doing wonderful things to the shape of her calves and...
- Shipper on Deck: Misato shipped Shinji and Asuka in the original timeline. In the changed timeline, she worries about her children's new relationship's stability, but she supports anything makes them happy.
- Ship Tease
- There is a lot of ship tease between Shinji, Asuka and Rei while their relationship heads towards a threesome.
- During their first post-Time Travel talk Asuka says him masturbating over her at least showed he was Oblivious to Hints rather non-interested.
- Later Shinji is trying very hard to not think about who is cuter -Asuka or Rei-.
- Later Asuka is saying herself she does not find Rei cute. Of course not. It would be silly. Haha.
- Rei slapped Gendo for hurting Shinji. And in the first story's draft she admits she finds Asuka attractive.
- Ritsuko and Maya also have a little amount of teasing. During a rant Ritsuko unthinkingly asks Maya if she wants to be her lesbian rebound fling. Maya unthinkingly blurts out she does.
- There is a lot of ship tease between Shinji, Asuka and Rei while their relationship heads towards a threesome.
- Single Woman Seeks Good Man: After the shopping trip thinks that she liked Shinji because he was a good person:She liked Shinji. A lot. However hard she'd tried to tell herself otherwise after that kiss, which with the benefit of bitter hindsight she knew she'd botched just as badly as he had. He was patient and loyal and brave and selfless and all the things she should have said but couldn't because she was scared of rejection, a rejection that had never happened. Not even at the very end.
- Sinister Geometry: Ramiel, the octahedron-shaped Angel. When the Children fought it, Ramiel shape-shifted constantly. At one point Shinji thought it seemed to be frowning and glaring at him.
- Sleep Cute: In the first story draft, Misato comes home and finds Shinji, Asuka and Rei fast asleep and cuddling up together. She finds them so absolutely adorable her doubts about a three-ways relationship working vanishing... and she slinks away to find a camera and take pictures.The Children were curled up together on the sofa. Asuka was propped under Shinji's arm while Rei was lying across both their laps. All three of them were fast asleep.
They looked so utterly adorable that Misato's few lingering doubts about Asuka's grand plan were banished entirely. She decided to leave them undisturbed, and tiptoed off to bed... but not before she got her camera.
- Sour Outside, Sad Inside: Asuka. Having had quite some time to reflect upon just what an amazingly counterproductive coping mechanism this was, she throws herself into the do-over with every intention of "using less tsun and more dere" this time around.
- Spanner in the Works: The three Children hope being this, since neither Gendo nor SEELE could foresee their pawns would know about their scenario from the beginning, but they are not too confident on their abilities to pull it off.
- Speculative Fiction LGBT: Fantasy world time travellers that end up in a poly relationship are the main characters.
- Stupid Sexy Flanders: In chapter 2 Asuka has this reaction when she sees Rei trying a new dress. When she realizes she is staring she says herself "Stupid hormones". That scene led Asuka to realize she was not as straight as she thought and she liked both Shinji and Rei.
- Sufficiently Advanced Alien: Asuka invokes the trope's name when Kaworu talks about Adam and Lilith's creators.
- Suspiciously Specific Denial: Asuka does not find Rei cute. No, of course not. That would be silly.A little bit, but probably not by grabbing random classmates to conduct "experiments" with. If nothing else, Asuka won't let her do that sort of thing; she's too protective of her friend, definitely a friend, she does not have a crush on Rei Akagi no matter how cute she is now...
- Suplex Finisher: Rei of all people has her Evangelion doing this to the Angel Sachiel, after beating the ever-loving crap out of it.Misato: "Okay, now you're just showing off."
Maya: "I didn't know she was into professional wrestling."
Misato:"Actually, I think she got that one from Final Fantasy."
- Talking Down the Suicidal: When Shinji finds out that Asuka remembers everything, including his actions when she was comatose Shinji thinks he has already screwed it up and decides to put himself off his misery. Horrified, Asuka talks him out of it.
- Talking in Bed: At the beginning of chapter 2, Asuka and Rei have a short talk when the latter is sleeping in the former's room and she starts bleeding.
- That Came Out Wrong: When Misato and Asuka argue Shinji's shooting skills, this exchange happens:Misato: The rookie did good. In fact I think he did better than your first time, Asuka.
Asuka: My first time was at the age of seven. Besides, it's all just point and squirt; you'd expect a boy to be capable of that by his age. [beat] Ugh! Please don't ever quote that out of context. Or at all, in fact.
- That Didn't Happen: After Gendo and Naoko broke off, she insisted that they behaved as if their relationship never happened.
- That Man Is Dead: Rei, after discarding her old Ayanami name and taking Akagi instead.Rei: Rei Ayanami is dead. It was what she wanted, the only thing she could want, and I hope she is at peace. I am not her. I am Rei Akagi, Ritsuko's little sister.
- They Do: Shinji, Asuka and Rei eventually get together.
- Three-Point Landing: When Shinji and Asuka met Rei, she was perched on her Humongous Mecha's shoulder. In order to talk with them, she leapt from the giant robot and landed on the catwalk in this position.
- Title Drop: After waking up in the past Asuka laughs and exclaims:Asuka: It's a do-over, [...] It's a motherfucking do-over! [...] I'm gonna do it right this time,
- Time-Travel Tense Trouble: In the initial draft Asuka ran into this trouble while talking to Shinji about the events of the original timeline:Asuka: Months of treating you like crap... and you still wanted me. And I wanted you. Couldn't admit it to myself, but I did. Do. Whatever fucking tense I should be using.
- Together in Death: Before returning to the past Shinji and Asuka decided to commit suicide together and walked into the ocean holding hands.
- Tomboyish Ponytail: Masculine, brash Asuka starts wearing a ponytail when she decides to ditch her hairclips and try a new hairstyle.
- Took a Level in Badass:
- In the original timeline Rei was too injured to fight Sachiel. In the current timeline she rips it apart.
- Before leaving his old home Shinji takes Judo classes.
- Asuka is more emotionally focused this time around which means she is in fact more dangerous.
- Took a Level in Cheerfulness:
- Before the timeline restarted Asuka was so infuriated, hopeless and fed up with everything she just wanted to die. When she woke up in her room back in Germany, three months before the beginning of the War, and realized she had another chance, she was absolutely giddy.
- Not having her emotions dampened, gaining a decent big sister figure, and developing a solid, sturdy relationship with her teammates (which later became love) improved Rei's erstwhile somber mood a lot.
- Shinji... Well, he still has some way to go.
- Took a Level in Idealism: After returning to the past, Shinji, Asuka and Rei are more sarcastic but also more idealistic: Shinji does not believe he can change things for better but he wants to try to anyway, Asuka try to be more carefree and a better friend since her former method to cope with her trauma did not work at all and Rei stops wishing for death and begins to learn how living.
- Took a Level in Kindness:
- Ritsuko, upon discovering Rei is actually a clone of her mother instead of one of Yui, starts being kinder to her, even going so far as to treat Rei like a little sister.
- Asuka, after returning to the past with full knowledge of how disastrous and self-defeating was her "drive everybody away in order to avoid pain" strategy, allows herself to be nicer.
- Triang Relations: Shinji, Asuka and Rei have a Type 8 three-ways relationship. Each member of the triangle loves the remainder two. It is basically a kind of spiritual Fix Fic in response to their Type 6 Love Triangle in Advice and Trust.
- True Companions: After surviving the Angel War, dying before being fifteen, outliving the end of the world and going back to the past Shinji, Asuka and Rei are bonding and becoming this.
- Tsundere: Asuka. After returning to the past she decides to try be less "tsun" and more "dere" this time around... not always with success.
- Tyke-Bomb: Rei and Asuka were raised since they were three to be obedient soldiers (or to put it another way, willing or clueless cannon fodder), and when they exploded in the original timeline, it wasn't pretty.
- Underestimating Badassery: When Rei sorties to fight Sachiel, Misato informs her of the location of the nearest weaponry building. Rei, though, answers she would prefer to solve that situation with her bare hands. Misato thinks that Rei is underestimating her enemy and about to get beaten... until Rei starts destroying Sachiel in spectacular fashion.Misato: Rei, there's a weapon locker a hundred metres to the north of your position,
Rei: Thank you for the thought, Captain, but that will not be necessary. [...] I would prefer to solve this problem in a more... hands-on fashion.
Misato: Rei, I really don't think that's a good idea!
Rei: Excuse me, Captain, I have an Angel to kill.
Misato: This is not going to end... Holy shit.
Ritsuko: I'm not wild about her methods, [...] but I can't argue with her results. I wonder if they even have reproductive organs there?
- Unfamiliar Ceiling: Parodied. When Shinji wakes up in his bed in his Uncle's house he thinks that ceiling is not unfamiliar at all.Shinji stared up at the ceiling. It was as far from unfamiliar as a ceiling could possibly be, which would have been vaguely reassuring if it hadn't been the ceiling he had last seen shortly before getting That Letter and starting down the slow but inexorable path to... Well, whatever the hell had happened.
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: There was a lot of romantic and sexual tension between Shinji, Asuka and Rei in the original timeline, and it increased when the three of them travelled back to the past and Asuka and Rei started to be drawn to each other. In chapter 2 the three of them buy new clothes and Asuka can not help to notice Rei looks beautiful, Shinji looks more handsome, and seeing Shinji paying attention to Rei's looks is making her jealous for more reasons than usual. All of it was resolved when the three teenagers decided to have a three-ways relationship.
- Violently Protective Girlfriend: You really, really does not want to mess with Shinji or Asuka in presence of Rei. She has a gun and she is very trigger-happy.Asuka: [half-heartedly] Was it absolutely necessary to pull a gun on him?"Rei: He made you cry.
- Wave Motion Gun: Shinji describes Ramiel's particle beam with these words.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy:
- Subverted. Shinji sought his father's acknowledgement and approval. After going through the Angel War and end of the world, returning to the past and finding out about what kind of life Rei has led he is sick of it:Shinji: Well, he can keep his fucking approval,
- Shinji really thought a So Proud of You moment was the only thing he was getting out of piloting Eva:Shinji: We get paid?
Asuka: [facepalms] Yes, Shinji, we get paid. Quite well, in fact. Did you think the only thing you were getting out of this gig was empty promises of basic parental affection?
Shinji: Actually... yeah.
Asuka: [beat] Well, that explains a lot. C'mon, Shinji, let's go spend your dad's money!
- Subverted. Shinji sought his father's acknowledgement and approval. After going through the Angel War and end of the world, returning to the past and finding out about what kind of life Rei has led he is sick of it:
- We Used to Be Friends: Subverted. Misato stopped being Ritsuko's friend when she found out about the secrets of NERV. When she returned to the past, her original self and Ritsuko had already argued about Ritsuko's actions and made up. So, techinically, they never broke their friendship off.
- What Does She See in Him?: After considering his mother got absorbed into Unit 01 on purpose to become an eternal reminder of humankind's existence and she actually wanted him to watch how she seeming died, Shinji wonders what his father saw in her. Asuka can not figure it out either.Shinji: It's just that I'd repressed the memory as thoroughly as possible because I saw my mother die horribly when she tried to synch with it and succeeded a bit too well. Or so everyone thought; if I didn't hallucinate everything between seeing you go down to the Mass-Production Evas and waking up on the beach, she actually did it on purpose so that Unit-01 could become an eternal monument to mankind's existence... or something. I don't know all the details and I'm not sure I want to, especially why she found it necessary to make me watch.
Shinji: So, yeah, [...] That's the woman my father is planning to cause total human extinction to reunite with. No accounting for taste, I suppose.
Asuka: Guess not.
- What If?: What if the three Children and several more characters went back in time? And the Children were so sick of love triangles and belligerent sexual tension that they agreed to have a three-ways relationship?
- When She Smiles:
- Shinji thinks Rei has a very cute smile when she is not looking cold or glum.Shinji's head shot upwards at the familiar voice. Perched casually on Unit-00's shoulder, Rei met his gaze and smiled that little Mona Lisa smile that had made him harbour thoughts he was somewhat embarrassed about.
- As Asuka does:Asuka had only ever seen that smile once, directed at Shinji after Ritsuko — or Misato — finally got him back out of Unit-01. Now she wasn't continually seeing red and green both at once, she had to admit it was quite a nice smile. Rather cute, in fact.
- Shinji thinks Rei has a very cute smile when she is not looking cold or glum.
- Will They or Won't They?: After dancing around each other for a while, the three pilots get together.
- World of Snark: Nearly every sentence comes out of the mouths of Shinji, Asuka and Rei drips with sarcasm.
- Worth It:
- Despite the fight against the Angel Sachiel playing out rather differently, Sakura Suzuhara still ended up getting hurt, albeit nowhere near as badly. But she got to see a Humongous Mecha pull a Suplex Finisher on a Kaiju; in her own words, "Totally worth it!"
- Turns out this is also Toji's opinion of the whole Bardiel clusterfuck, seeing as it was directly responsible for him getting to see Hikari naked.
- Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Sakura pokes fun at her brother without fear of retaliation because he would not hit a girl.
- Wrestler in All of Us: Using her Humongous Mecha, Rei utilizes a German Suplex against an Eldritch Abomination. Shinji, who is staring the fight from far, barely can believe it, and Misato and Ritsuko argue that Rei must have taken it from Final Fantasy VI.
- Yandere: Or rather "YandeRei", which is what Chihiro starts calling her after a bit of a Clingy Jealous Girl moment. Shinji (who is frankly rather enjoying being fought over by pretty girls) thinks it's Actually Pretty Funny. Rei does not.
- Your Cheating Heart: Subverted. Ritsuko accused Gendo of cheating on her with her own mother. Gendo replied he and Naoko broke up a good while before he and Ritsuko started dating, and Naoko was aware of it. Ritsuko was not fully convinced but she gave him the benefit of the doubt.
- You're Not My Father: Rei to Gendo.Toji: [snorts] Oh, I doubt your dad did it on-
Rei: [coffee cup meets table] The Commander is not my father. Not genetically or by his actions. [reins in herself] Forgive me. It is a... sensitive subject.
- You Didn't See That: When Maya accidentally slips that she does want to be Ritsuko's torrid lesbian rebound fling, Ritsuko mutters: "Uh... We never had that conversation, okay?" This doesn't stop them having a long, serious talk and reaching a compromise in which Maya becomes her steady girlfriend instead.
- You Do NOT Want to Know:
- During a conversation:Misato(?): Asuka, have you taken up Zersetzung as a hobby or are you genuinely planning to-?
Asuka: Don't ask the question unless you're sure you want to know the answer.
- And in a preliminary version of the story, Misato and Asuka have this conversation:Misato: You keep telling yourself that. So... you going for a vee or a full triad?
Asuka: Wha-a...? I don't know what you mean!
Misato: I can read English as well as you can, Asuka. I saw the book cover.
Asuka: [sighs] I don't know yet. I'm hoping for a triad, I don't think I could cope with a vee if the fulcrum was someone else. And how do you even know what those words mean?
Misato: There are parts of my dating history you probably don't want to know about.
Asuka: No. No, I don't.
- During a conversation:
- Your Head Asplode: Kaworu neglected to mention that this was a side effect of the Mental Time Travel technique he'd MacGuyver'd up. Not that it really mattered, given the overclocked S2 Organ powering it also Asploded shortly thereafter.