"Scar tissue?" he asked, intrigued.
"Yeah." Asuka answered, smiling as she noticed the long, vertical line going up her arm. "Scar tissue is never like normal tissue, it's broken, sensitive, disfigured and simply different from before, and it can never go back to what it was." She traced the calloused circle around Shinji's palms, for once feeling no disgust or rejection for the reminders of the power once given to him.
"But scar tissue is stronger. It'll endure much more than normal skin or bone, because it's already been hurt but managed to heal and get better. It might never be the same, but maybe that isn't such a bad thing, after all. Maybe a scar or two are the true proof that you've lived and grown."
It has been almost one year since Third Impact and humankind is slowly recovering. Unfortunately the Third Impact and Instrumentality have aggravated Shinji and Asuka's mental scars, giving them frequent nightmares and increasing their feelings of guilt and self-loathing. As a result of it Asuka becomes unable to control her temper and her behaviour gets increasingly abusive and violent, until one day she goes too far and nearly kills Shinji. Horrified at the result of her violence, she realizes how bad her attitude has become and she resolves to change and atone for her actions.
While both Children begin to mend their relationship, humanity struggles to rebuild a devastated world, the returning members of NERV get entangled in a web of politic intrigues, and SEELE prepares to strike NERV in order to seize the last remaining Evangelion.
In late September 2018, the final chapter of the story was posted, bringing Scar Tissue to a close.
- A Date with Rosie Palms: Shinji feels thoroughly sickened with himself for having masturbated over Asuka's comatose body. Later it is revealed that sometimes he felt tempted to do it again when she slept on his bed.
- Adult Fear:
- Misato finding her ward Shinji brutally beaten when she was at work.
- Chapter 9 has Misato watching over the video screen as Asuka climbs into bed with Shinji, after she admitted to beating and raping him, and realizing that that's the only thing that can calm him down in the state he's in.
- After the End: Most of the world's governments have been reinstated, and half of the world's population has returned. However, the major cities are in ruins, the roads are broken, the returned ones are living in refugee camps as cities are being rebuilt, there is a lack of supply of water, crops are damaged and there are riots due to the lack of food and water. In other words, the world has became Kenshiro's world.
- A God I Am: Deconstructed. The conscience inside Unit 02 ate the MP-Evas as well as the Lilith/Adam fusion to increase her power, and tried to talk Asuka into merging with her and becoming a god so she would never again feel pain. Then Shinji showed her his memories during Third Impact and Instrumentality when he had been given godly power, causing her excruciating pain. After realizing what being a god was like, she stopped wishing for it.
- All for Nothing: After returning from Instrumentality, Gendo reflects on how all he did to reunite with his wife, including abusing and torturing his children emotionally and ending the world, was completely useless and meaningless since Yui chose to remain inside Unit 01 instead of merging with everyone into Instrumentality.
- Always Save the Girl:
- Gendo caused the Third Impact because he wanted to save his wife and he did not care for everybody else.
- Shinji's actions regarding Asuka were summarized in chapter thirteen:You killed last every human being because you wouldn't have the guts to save her. Then, you gave a big fuck you to Instrumentality to bring her back.
- Anger Born of Worry: In chapter 8 Asuka gets angry with Shinji because he has reopened his wounds after yelling at their friends when they ganged up on her.Terror, she was paralyzed in fear, her worn out brain darkened in utter fear; fear of herself, of what she was capable of. In her state of restless hysteria, the abused subconscious of the redhead activated it's most primitive defense mechanism. She attacked.
Ritsuko seemed to shut up with that. As a matter of fact, the entire room had gone deadly quiet when exposed to her rage, even Shinji, who seemed to have been dying to seconds before, straightened up and gulped.
"What the hell were you thinking, huh?! Do you realize how injured you are?!! And who told you I need to be protected? I could've handled those three asses myself!! Even if...! Even if it was...nice of...you..."
- Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better: Asuka was jealous of Shinji because he always upstaged her, even though he did not even try to or want to, despite her training her whole life. Ironically, Shinji thinks Asuka is better than him at everything.
- The Apocalypse Brings Out the Best in People: Played straight when it is said that people are working together in order to survive, helping each other and sharing resources. However it is subverted when we see that some people still keep very ugly attitudes.
- Armor-Piercing Question:
- Ritsuko is telling Misato how Shinji and Asuka's health was recovering quickly after several months of deterioration:Misato: So what you're saying is that they're good for each other? I wish I could believe that, I really do Ritsu, but Asuka almost killed Shinji, with her bare hands, for touching her. She broke his fingers that time, too, I guarantee it.
Ritsuko: Dislocated. She dislocated one of his fingers, she didn't break both.
Misato: It doesn't matter! If they're so good for each other's health, how come this happened!? How come they've both been wasting away all this time?!
Ritsuko: How should I know? I'm not their guardian, I'm their doctor.
- Rei returns and tells Shinji that she will protect him from Asuka from now on. Shinji replies that whatever happens between Asuka and him is their concern and he does not like when someone else tries to meddle. When she insists his safety is her concern, he angrily retorts:Shinji: Then where the fuck were you!
- Asuka later also uses this line during their fight.
- Ritsuko is telling Misato how Shinji and Asuka's health was recovering quickly after several months of deterioration:
- Armor-Piercing Response: Ritsuko cuts Rei off at the knees when she vents about Asuka hurting Shinji.Rei: I am...so angry. [...] What Sohryu has done...it-
Ritsuko: It's no worse than what his father did to him his whole life, Rei, and you knew all along.
- The Atoner:
- After nearly killing Shinji, Asuka spends the whole fic trying to atone for her behaviour and earn his forgiveness.
- On the other hand, Shinji endured whatever Asuka did to him because he thought that he deserved it after his actions (never helping her when she needed him, leaving her alone after her Mind Rape, masturbating over her comatose body, leaving her alone as she fought for her life before losing and getting quartered and eaten alive, trying to kill her twice...).
- Ritsuko is trying to help both kids and eradicate the Eva technology in order to make up for her actions.
- Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: After spending months abusing him and finally going too far Asuka is so horrified that she resolves to stop hurting him, change her behaviour and atone for her actions. It takes a lot of effort to snap out of an abusive mindset, but she managed it for Shinji's sake.
- Bad Dreams: Shinji and Asuka had been suffering from awful nightmares during the series. Then the events of the movie happened and their nightmares got way, WAY worse. Shinji's nightmares consisted of him letting Asuka dying and getting the whole of humanity killed. Asuka's nightmares features her mother's insanity and suicide, her Mind Rape, her extremely bloody death, and later the abuse that she heaped on Shinji after Third Impact.
- Battle Couple: Shinji and Asuka. During the Angel War they battled giant alien monsters together despite their fights and arguments. In chapter 17 Asuka's Humongous Mecha is modified so that Shinji and she can pilot in tandem and fight together. Shinji also tells her he will not leave her to fight alone again.
- Bedmate Reveal: In the ninth chapter, Shinji wakes up to see Asuka sleeping by his side. He panics right away.
- Berserk Button: Shinji does not react well to Asuka being disparaged in any way, even by Touji and Kensuke."How dare you threaten my Asuka?!" Shinji slammed his foot against the beast's chest, forcing it to drop its grip on his throat and step back.
- The Berserker: Shinji. Do you know all of those times that Unit-01 went berserker? It was Shinji that was really going berserker. Unit-01 merely copied him.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Shinji is a wimp, but he is really scary when he gets angry or he loses control of himself.
- Big Brother Is Watching: Gendo is monitored at all times after coming back and getting arrested.
- Bio-Augmentation: Dmitri is a genetically engineered Super Soldier.
- Black Bug Room: Shinji's a dark void where he's mind-raped and tortured with visions of the Third Impact by his split personality every night.
- Broken Ace: Asuka was the best of all pilots and the one with more hours of training on her belt. She was defeated, humiliated, raped, impaled, chopped into pieces and murdered...several times. As a result of it, her mind was a complete mess before the start of the fic.
- Broken Bird:
- Asuka got severely traumatized and abandoned by her parents when she was a child. During the series she got hurt in all possible ways. She tried to cope with it by becoming as badass and self-reliant as possible, but it didn't work, and she became a neurotic, unstable wreck instead.
- Hikari shows signs of PTSD after being nearly raped by one of the mercenaries that kidnapped she, Toji, and Kensuke.
- Buffy Speak: In chapter 11 Touji thinks that Kensuke is better than him in "all that talky-feely stuff".
- Bully Hunter: Subverted. Toji, Kensuke, Hikari, and later Rei want to teach Asuka a lesson for mistreating Shinji. Too bad that: Asuka had stopped bullying Shinji before they decided going after her (therefore, their actions were late and pointless); Shinji does not want their help and hates their meddling; he hates the infuriating feeling of being treated like a helpless victim; and as far as he is concerned, THEY are bullying Asuka.
- Bullying a Dragon: Asuka abused and hit Shinji even though she believed that he could kill her easily.
- Calling the Old Man Out: During an accidental meeting in an elevator Shinji finally calls his father out. When Gendo starts lecturing him about his health, his language or his relationship with Asuka, Shinji says it is none of his business, especially after how he has treated him. When Gendo presses the issue about Asuka, Shinji finally explodes, punches him and tells Gendo will speak about Asuka respectfully, using her name... or else.
- Cannot Spit It Out: Shinji doesnt dare to confess his feelings for a long while because Asuka seems to hate him. Asuka keeps quiet about her own feelings because she thinks she doesnt deserve him.
- Canon Discontinuity: Maybe it is due to the long time between updates, but there are several continuity errors. For example, when Gendo returns he knows that Shinji and Asuka have also returned, but two chapters later he is shocked to hear that Asuka is alive.
- Can't Live With Them, Can't Live Without Them:
- Shinji and Asuka developed a co-dependent relationship during the series, but the war against the Angels and the Third Impact scarred their minds further. Due to Shinji's actions Asuka abused him constantly and Shinji was torn between blaming himself and resenting her. However, Shinji refused being apart from Asuka, and as soon as Asuka thought that she could lose him or never see him again, she was utterly terrified and mortified.
- In one scene, Fuyutsuki modifies the sentence:Fuyutsuki: Can't live with them, can't successfully control the Armageddon without them.
- Cat Fight: Rei's first encounter with Asuka after coming back from the ocean turns into a brawl. They later channel their mutual hostility into sparring sessions that leave both with cuts and bruises.
- Changed My Mind, Kid: Misato quit her job and wanted it back the next day. Much to her annoyance, Risuko expected that and actually guessed every word that Misato was going to say.
- Chekhov's Gun: In an early chapter Shinji is given a cello by someone who calls himself "Artist". Later it is revealed that "Artist" is Dmitri.
- Chef of Iron: Shinji is a great mecha pilot and also an excellent cook (echoing another mecha pilot. Surprisingly, Asuka is also a great cook when she sets her mind to it.
- The Chessmaster: You have to give him credit. Arrested, jailed and surrounded by people who hate him and want him dead and know that they can actually kill him and get away with it...and even so Gendo has a plan.
- Child Soldiers: Shinji, Asuka and Rei are teens forced or raised to wage a war against alien monsters, and they have been broken by it.
- Cluster F-Bomb: Almost every character gets one curse-filled yelling spree.
- Continuation: It starts out eight months after End of Evangelion and narrates how Shinji and Asuka repair their damaged relationship as humankind returns and the world is beginning to recover.
- Convenient Coma: Shinji's in a coma at the beginning of the story, courtesy of Asuka.
- Converse with the Unconscious: Asuka often did that when Shinji was in the hospital, as soon as the first chapter. She also did it when he got his mental breakdown.
- Cool Down Hug: In episode 9 Shinji is going through a horrible nightmare that is shattering his sanity, but he calms down immediately when Asuka lies down with him and hugs him.
- Crazy Jealous Guy: Shinji suffers a nightmare where he sees Asuka kissing another boy. He gets utterly distraught and feels the impulse to kill both them. At the same time it severely disturbs him to feel so jealous and possessive.
- Death Seeker:
- After masturbating over Asuka's comatose body Shinji was so sickened and disgusted with himself than he just want to die. He sat in some place and prayed for someone coming along and killing him.
- Before her psychological issues start to be resolved, deep down, Asuka wants to die, and part of why she abused Shinji so much was on the slim hope that he'd snap and finish what he started on the beach.
- Deface of the Moon: The Moon was permanently stained with blood during Third Impact... to Shinji's despair, since it means every future generation will remember his actions.
- Despair Event Horizon: Shinji had already crossed this during the events of End, but learning in ch. 9 that Asuka muttered his name as she was dying sends him even further past it.
- Devoted to You: As Misato puts it, Shinji is fine accepting a life of accepting Asuka's hatred, just so long as she's in it.
- Domestic Abuse: The issue is treated seriously and explored in different ways.
- The Angel War and Third Impact completely broke Asuka's mind, worsening her nightmares and turning her paranoid, unstable and unable to control her temper. When she returned she was mad at Shinji for his past actions, but she was also afraid of him and frightened of him fading away. She was so sickened with him and herself that she started to abuse him to make him react and ensure that he would not leave. Gradually her actions escalated. Often her bursts of rage were not even conscious: she entered a trance and she did not wake up until it was too late. She mistreated him and then she felt sick with herself, and often cried and vomited afterwards, and promised herself that she would start to treat him more nicely, but she would lose control and started torment him again. It took nearly killing Shinji to shock her badly enough to start to make strides toward correcting her behaviour.
- Shinji always covered Asuka's actions up, or affirmed that he did not feel threatened and refused pressing charges, as his self-loathing was such that he believed he deserved it after what he did to her (regarding her like the real victim and another person that he had screwed over)...and because he was afraid of killing her if he snapped and lost control.
- Dope Slap: In ch. 12 Asuka bops Shinji on the head after he ruins a bonding moment Shinji with a smartass comment.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: This fic is very dark, with several characters doing awful things or making grave judgement lapses and then regretting them and seeking atonement and expiation for them. However it looks like if there will be a light at the end of the tunnel.
- Enemy Mine: The United Nations did not like Gendo. However they REALLY do not like SEELE, so they are willing to strike a deal with the former in order to get rid of the latter.
- Face Palm: In chapter 17 Shinji has this reaction when Asuka tells him she has been angry and avoiding him for one week because she was jealous of him and trying to protect him from herself. Shinji slaps his forehead, groans and says it is the most stupid thing he has ever heard.
- Fan Disservice: Chapter 8's description of Asuka pressuring Shinji into sex.She had done that, licked his ear hungrily with a repulsive feeling of self satisfaction as he always recoiled in utter fear and self-disgust. She always did the same, make him feel helpless, insult him, claw at his skin and moan and sweat and bleed on top of him, without letting him so much as move.
- The Fettered: Shinji tolerated Asuka's abuse because he thought that he deserved the punishment...and because he was afraid that he would kill her if he lost control of himself.
- Fiery Redhead: Asuka became more hot-headed and more short-tempered, much to her regret.
- First Time Feeling: When Rei emerges from the Blood Red Sea she is not under the effects of her old emotion-numbing medication. Unfortunately it means she is not ready to deal with the sudden influx of emotions, particularly rage, and she picks a fight with Asuka as soon as she sees her because she can't control her temper.
- Forceful Kiss: A flashback in Chapter 10 shows Asuka giving Shinji a rough kiss after forcing him to masturbate to her.
- Foreign-Language Tirade: In chapter 14 Touji, Hikari and Kensuke tell Asuka they will try not to interfere with her and Shinji's relationship if she swears she will not hurt him or hit him again. Asuka swears her oath in German, thinking if she is going to swear something, she should do it in her mother tongue.
- Forgiveness: It is a very important theme in this story. Many characters feel that have done unforgivable, terrible things, and hope atone for them:
- Asuka wishes that Shinji can forgive her someday, although she thinks she does not deserve it and she does not dare to hope that he does.
- Shinji wishes that Asuka would forgive him for everything that he did to her, although he thinks that he does not deserve it.
- Former NERV higher-ups like Ritsuko, and later Gendo and possibly Yui are working to make sure that the pilots can led happy lives in the future as a way of expiation.
- Freudian Slip: In chapter 10:Asuka: I'll tell him whatever I damn well please! You just want him for his looks!
Misato: Oh! So you admit he's handsome!
Asuka: I...I did not! You just have a thing for pretty-boys!
Misato: So he's pretty, huh?
Shinji: I'm pretty?
Asuka: Shut up! Both of you! Just...just watch the damn movie! Misato, go get us some food, we're starving!
- From Bad to Worse: You would think that after The End of the World as We Know It things can only get better, but they actually got worse for Shinji. In the post-Impact world he's hated by other people both for causing Third Impact and for giving people the possibility to return, and has to endure verbal and physical abuse from them. Likewise, Asuka became completely unstable and unable to control her temper due to her ordeals during the Angel War and Third Impact, together with Shinji's actions and inactions during those events, and she physically and emotionally abused Shinji for eight months until she nearly got him killed. The fic starts right after that action, when she is so horrified and sickened with herself that she decides to change and earn his forgiveness. Both children start to rebuild their relationship and it looks like if they are finally having a break... but then it turns out that SEELE has returned, Unit-02 has reactivated itself and it wants its pilot back, assassins-for-hire are targeting both Shinji and Asuka...
- Giant Equals Invincible: In one scene Ritsuko comments that their giant robot can't be beaten with anything other than other giant robot.
- Go Mad from the Isolation: After Shinji came back from Third Impact, his complete isolation combined with his trauma and the stress of scavenging food from the ruins and started to drive him insane. He could not even tell when he was asleep or awake and he was starting to have hallucinations when he finally found Asuka. When someone asked him why he stood up for her, Shinji replied that she gave him a reason for living and kept him sane.
- Good People Have Good Sex: Subverted during the months prior to Asuka hospitalizing Shinji. Asuka and Shinji, while both fundamentally good, are also severely traumatized, and one way this manifested was that Asuka used Shinji for sex whenever she felt like it, but didn't allow him to touch her. These rapes sickened both of them, but Asuka couldn't bring herself to stop.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Asuka still wears the scars of her last battle: pale lines around her eye, a long white streak along her right arm and a network of lines and dot-like scars crisscrossing across her chest. She thinks that no one will love her cause she looks like an ugly freak now. Shinji disagrees.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Chapter 12's first word is "Jealousy", and that chapter features Shinji, Asuka and Rei getting jealous in different situations.
- Grew a Spine: A key aspect of the fic is Shinji forcing himself to develop the inner fortitude to confront his intense self-hatred and protect his surrogate family, as seen when he saved Asuka after they got shot by a sniper.
- Groin Attack: Gendo received two in this story: the first time Ritsuko kneed his groin; the second time Shinji punched his crotch so fast that he barely saw it after Gendo meddled in his relationship with Asuka and talked about her disrespectfully.
- Guile Hero:
- Gendo Ikari is accustomed to play powerful, influential people against each other, and in chapter 11 he proved that his skills are unmatched in that area. He was confronting a bunch of politicians planning to extradite him or execute him on the spot, and he drove them mad. He compared it with fishing with dynamite.
- Deconstructed with Misato. She is NERV's Sub-commander now, and she hates it. Every day she has to deal with politicians, army officers, civil servants and mass media, attend mind-numbing meetings, stay late at work, oversee Tokyo-3's rebuilding...and because it she missed what was happening to her wards. She is sick of the feeling of being loaded with all troubles of the world, of being unable to relax in her own home and of having her wards physically and mentally wrecked.
- Guilt Complex: Shinji blamed himself for absolutely everything in this fic. The MP-Evas murdered Asuka? His fault because she needed him and he left her to die. The End of the World as We Know It? His fault because he set it off, even if he was a mere pawn into other people's schemes. Asuka is physically scarred and emotionally wrecked? His fault because he allowed it or contributed to her mental state. She was so scared, confused, traumatized, paranoid, unstable and unable to control her anger that she abused him for eight months straight before getting her act together? His fault because he was the one got her so screwed, and not even think of blaming her or judge her because he WILL go berserker on you. The only times where he is not blaming himself is why he is blaming his father, his mother or Ritsuko.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Asuka's temper became incredibly volatile after she returned from Instrumentality. Often her bursts of rage were unconscious: she entered a trance and she did not wake up until it was too late. After the events prior to the fic she makes a conscious effort to keep it in check.
- Hates Being Touched:
- Asuka does not like being touched due to Arael Mind Raping her, Shinji masturbating over her comatose body, the MP-Evas chopping her into pieces and eating her alive, and literally everyone seeing her memories, thoughts and emotions during Instrumentality. This complicates further her feelings towards Shinji: on one hand she wants to touch him and receive comfort and warmth from him, but on the other hand she remembers him masturbating over her and is sickened by the thought of him touching her. After the start of the story she gets over her hatred of Shinji touching her but she is still frightened of him.
- Shinji hates and fears other people touching him due to the daily abuse from Asuka for eight months straight. He slowly gets better, though.
- Heel Realization: Asuka got hers before the first chapter when she snapped out of her trance, saw Shinji bleeding on the floor and thought that he was going to die because of her.
- Heroes Want Redheads: It is an Asuka/Shinji fic. It is noted in the story several times that Shinji is obsessed with Asuka's red hair:Asuka still hadn't raised her head to even look at him, all he could see were her beautiful, if somewhat unkempt fiery golden locks. Even then, after all that had happened, he dreamed of running his hand down those eternally beautiful locks. He loved her hair, just as much as he loved every last part of her.
- He managed finding her in the Blood Red Sea because he spotted several red hair strands floating in the LCL. It is true, he would recognize her red hair even if it was floating on a red ocean!
- Heroic Sacrifice: In the final chapter, Unit 02, inhabited by the pseudo-Asuka in the core, sacrifices herself to send Shinji & Asuka away to safety while it uses every last ounce of power it has to shield the city from a 40-megaton thermonuclear explosion, saving the city and its people but being reduced to a petrified statue that then crumbles away to ashes.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: As part of a last foolhardy attempt to destroy NERV, SEELE unleashed Project-X, their own trained pilot, to kill the Children. However, someone made him a better offer and he started to hunt SEELE members down. Oops.
- Holding Hands:
- After beginning to open up to each other, Asuka takes to sleeping beside Shinji, holding hands as they are sharing a bed.
- In chapter 13 they link hands after feeding each other.
- Hope Is Scary: After hurting Shinji Asuka promised herself that she would change and earn his forgiveness. However Shinji is so convinced that she loathes him and he deserves her hatred and violence that, when she tries to treat him kindly and gently or looks at him with caring and guilt, he's frightened because he does not dare to hope that she does not hate him.
- House Husband: This is in fact a plot point: Shinji was the one who did all the household chores in Misato's apartment, and he is hospitalised for several weeks. During that time Asuka realizes she is barely capable to cook and keep their house and herself clean, and she feels mortified thinking that Misato and she took him for granted and never showed enough gratitude.
- Humanoid Abomination: Unit-02, even moreso than in the canon series, as it regenerated itself, devoured the MP Evas and Lilith's remnants whole, becoming something even more powerful, more dangerous and more unstoppable.
- I Gave My Word: Misato swore that she would take care of Shinji and Asuka and she is determined to fulfil her promise, even if it is very hard.
- If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her...: After their Cat Fight in chapter 12 Rei warned Asuka that if she hurt Shinji again, she would kill her. Asuka's answer was: "I know that."
- I Love the Dead: A very dark twist: Shinji had fantasies while Asuka was abusing him about strangling her and having his way with her corpse.
- I Miss Mom: Subverted. Shinji and Asuka missed their mothers the whole time. Now that they know the exact cause of their deaths, they're torn between missing them and resenting them.
- I Will Punish Your Friend for Your Failure: Dmitri warned Gendo that if he failed his assignment, he would disembowel his children in front of him.
- In Mysterious Ways:Gendo: Perhaps God does exist, and perhaps He does have a plan, the only inconvenience is that we humans are far too blind to glimpse at a truth that stands before us as clear as daylight.
- Insult of Endearment: Reinforced. Before Third Impact Asuka used to call Shinji "idiot", sometimes with scorn and anger, but other times playfully. After Third Impact she was so traumatized and unstable that she become very abusive for months, during which she stopped calling Shinji "idiot" and used harsher, crueller insults to hurt him. One day her abuse went too far forcing her to face her awful behaviour and seek atonement for her actions, and simultaneously she started to call him "dummy" again, this time with fondness.
- It's All My Fault:
- Shinji blames himself for the demise of humanity and Asuka's death, suffering and mental instability.
- Asuka also blamed Shinji for everything. Now she blames herself.
- On the other hand Shinji accused Ritsuko of screwing him and Asuka up. Ritsuko felt that it was the truth.
- It's Not You, It's Me: Deconstructed. After a botched synch test with Unit 02, Asuka starts to avoid Shinji because she fears that she will hurt him during her nightmares or Unit 02 will try to kill him. When Shinji finally confronts her about her behaviour and gets the truth out of her:Shinji: So you do care about me, huh?
Asuka: Yeah, [...] That's why I was pushing you away, so I wouldn't hurt you anymore, so you could be happy again.
Shinji: That has to be the stupidest thing I ever heard.
- Kangaroo Court: Gendo attends a meeting with a group of politicians that intend to extradite him to the International Court. During the procedure it is obvious that they plan to turn him in a scapegoat to cover up their dealings with SEELE, and they would love an excuse to get him shot without prior trial.
- The Kid with the Remote Control: After the resurfacing of SEELE in the post-apocalyptic world. many politicians and military men want to force Asuka, Shinji, and even Rei to pilot the last Evangelion NERV has left again because they are the only ones can activate it, even though they are utterly broken in body and mind.
- Living Emotional Crutch: During the events of the series and the Third Impact, Asuka and Shinji became this for each other. However they were wasting away because their increased issues prevented them from opening up and leaning on each other. As soon as their relationship stopped to be abusive and they started to rely on each other, their mental and physical health improved greatly and instantly.Maya paused, taking a breath to remember what Sempai had told her regarding Shinji and Asuka. She had told Maya those too had developed a codependent relationship, they could not function correctly around each other or anyone else for that matter, they were simply too alien to the entire human experience, too deeply hurt to risk getting close to anyone, but due to the vast amount of traumatizing experiences they had both suffered together, neither Shinji nor Asuka would even think of leaving, since they believed nobody else would ever be able to understand their pain. To be without the other, it was beyond unthinkable in their minds, even when they were not consciously aware of it. Asuka had managed to put up a good show during the incident of the 14th, but almost everyone who had in any way interacted with the volatile redhead through that period clearly noticed she was affected.
- Love Confession: In chapter 13 Shinji rants angrily that he doesn't want Asuka fighting again because he wants to protect her. She quietly states it sounds like a confession. Shinji admits that it is one.
- Love Hurts: Shinji and Asuka loved each other but had hurt each other badly. After Third Impact Asuka's mind was broken and her temper out of control, and Shinji blamed himself for his actions and inactions. He put up with Asuka's abuse for several months because he loved her, he could not live without her and he thought he deserved her punishment. On the other hand Asuka beat him and she always felt sick with herself afterwards. After a while she managed to stop abusing him but she still hated herself for hurting the only person she loved.
- Love Interest: Shinji and Asuka are this to each other, no matter what.
- Love Triangle: The Asuka/Shinji/Rei triangle is downplayed because after returning from Instrumentality, Rei decides to act like Shinji's sister, but Asuka and Rei are still jealous of each other.
- Mama Bear: Misato considers Shinji and Asuka her children. She would shoot, or even kill with her bare hands, whoever threatens them.
- Manipulative Bastard: Gendo ruthlessly manipulated everyone in order to engineer the Third Impact and to reunite with his wife. Yui manipulated everyone, including Gendo and Shinji, in order to engineer the Third Impact and fulfill SEELE's plans. Shinji honestly cannot decide who is worse.
- The Masochism Tango: Shinji endured Asuka's abuse for eight months, blaming himself for everything and refusing be separated from her or pressing charges. If someone badmouthed Asuka he reacted violently. If someone told him that she would kill him, he retorted that he did not care. Things got better for him, fortunately.
- Mecha Show: The story is focused on Asuka and Shinji's struggles, but the Evangelions are still a prominent element.
- Mind Rape:
- Missing Mom: In several scenes Shinji and Asuka argue how their mothers left them, and wonder about their motives. Both children are quite bitter about it.
- Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: Part of the reason Dmitri is so eager to go after the members of SEELE is for the horrific things that were done to him to make him into the monstrous killer that he is.
- After Instrumentality, Shinji's mood could change abruptly and instantly when he was pushed the wrong way. He could go from quiet to maddened berserker to depressed to happy to sad in a matter of seconds.
- Ironically, Asuka's mood stopped being so shifty. After Third Impact she was nearly permanently angry and paranoid. During the fic she makes an effort to control her temper, and she is constantly gloomy and depressed.
- Moral Myopia:
- Shinji thinks that his friends suffer from it. They are quick to condemn and hate Asuka for everything and anything, but no matter what he does, they always forgive him, are supportive or blame it on Asuka.
- Rei also shows signs of this. She is so blinded with rage and jealousy that she refuses to admit that Asuka genuinely cares for Shinji and doesn't believe that she will stop abusing him.
- Mother Russia Makes You Strong: Dmitri is a Russian Child Soldier that is portrayed like a tough, extremely competent Super Soldier and a rude smartass. Reinforced trope, since the author chose making him a Russian because he could not think of something more badass-sounding than a giant robot Russian pilot.
- Must Make Amends: Shinji would never leave Asuka or go away because he defiled her and betrayed her when she needed him the most, which led to her horrible death. Thus, he remains by her side and tries to protect her and take care of her, no matter what, even though he thinks she hates him, because he feels he owes it to her.
- My God, What Have I Done?: This shows up in two different ways:
- Asuka, who has been physically, psychologically, and sexually brutalizing Shinji for months, has minor moments of this whenever her temper finally abates, then has a massive moment of this coupled with Villainous Breakdown when she finally beats Shinji badly enough to nearly kill him. The fic starts after this moment; when it's not filling in back-story, it's detailing her attempts to atone for her actions.
- Shinji, on the other hand, blames himself for everything Asuka has done to him, seeing his actions during the canon story (especially the hospital scene in Eo E) as so unforgivable that he can justify her abuse as karmic retribution.
- Neck Snap: When Shinji loses control and goes berserker, he is able to snap necks easily. Several characters as Asuka note it and he feels pretty disturbed about it.
- Never Live It Down: Asuka's verbal abuses of Shinji during the eight months prior to her hospitalizing him include constantly rubbing his past actions and inactions in his face, with him masturbating over her as a prominent example.
- Nerves of Steel: You can't faze Gendo. Torture him, threaten him, blackmail him and he will always remain calm, looking colder and more inexorable than an ice statue.
- Normally, I Would Be Dead Now: At the beginning of the story Shinji has the following wounds: a concussion; a dislocated shoulder; a shattered radius; four broken ribs, two of which had punctured his lungs; a shredded diaphragm; and his heart had been in danger at some point due to a broken shard of rib bone sticking out of it. On top of this, he was severely malnourished and had been in danger of total collapse from that. It was noted that it was a miracle he was still alive.
- No Sympathy: Asuka has little sympathy for people targeting her and Shinji in the post-apocalyptic world, stating that she did her best and fought to the end to prevent it, even if she was fighting for herself, and anyone can return if he or she has the will for it. Therefore: Your beloved person has not come back from the Sea yet? No her fault and no her problem.
- Not So Different:
- Shinji and Asuka. It is pointed out several times for several characters:
- During a fight Shinji shouted to Asuka that she was right like him.
- In chapter 5 Asuka thought that he was right, they were the same.
- A much darker example when Asuka saw Shinji naked, collapsed over the floor and spitting blood because of her, and she imagined in her mind the MP-Evas grinning and telling: "You see, we're not that different, you and meeee "
- As much as Shinji hates thinking about it, he and Gendo are not very different. Both were willing to unleash The End of the World as We Know It after losing the woman that they loved.
- Shinji and Asuka. It is pointed out several times for several characters:
- Oblivious to Love: Asuka does not get why Shinji puts up with her despite all she has done to him. Shinji has convinced himself that Asuka hates him because pf all he has done to her. Misato wonders how both kids can be so dense.
- One True Love: Rei visited thousands of realities during Instrumentality. No matter what reality she visited or what world she went to, Shinji and Asuka were always together, always bonded by destiny. They were one.
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business: In chapter 8 Toji, Hikari and Kensuke start to berate and insult Asuka in front of Shinji. Shinji is usually a quiet, shy and non-confrontational pushover but after Third Impact he could not stand when anyone -anyone- insults Asuka. So he exploded and started to shout at them. The three of them stood petrified.
- Orphan's Ordeal: Shinji and Asuka are horribly broken in this story, and it all began when their mothers died. The story starts out when they begin to try to recover from a decade of abuse and psychological trauma that left them severely damaged.
- Out, Damned Spot!: After her Mind Rape Asuka always took long baths. As stated in chapter 11:She took long baths; she had always taken her time to make sure she looked her best, but ever since the 15th, Asuka remained for at least an hour in the bathroom, trying in vain to clean off the dirt in her own soul.
- Parental Abandonment: In this story, Shinji and Asuka are very badly damaged. Both lost their mothers when they were barely four, and their fathers abandoned them shortly after. And that was only the beginning from their hardships. When Shinji is not blaming himself for everything he blames his parents and declares he wants nothing to do with any of them. Asuka, on the other hand... her father flatly refuses to look after her or take responsibility for her deteriorated mental state.
- Parental Substitute: Misato considers Shinji and Asuka to be her children, especially now that she knows how Yui and Kyoko left them, buy she feels she has failed them.
- The Plan: Let's see: The remnants of SEELE have a plan to retrieve the last functional Evangelion and use it to Take Over the World; Ritsuko has a plan to stop them; Gendo quickly came up with a plan to avoid being prosecuted and thus helping his son; and a mysterious, third party has another plan to destroy SEELE and save the Children's lives.
- Please Don't Leave Me: Asuka is frightened of hurting Shinji again, so in a scene she asks him if he wants her to go away. Shinji pleaded with her to stay with him. This is because after events of the series and Third Impact they had become so codependent that they would never want to be apart from each other.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Shinji suffers a violent nightmare and Asuka wakes him up. Misato barges in Shinji's room, and misunderstanding the situation, she grabs Asuka to hurl her off his bed, when Shinji grips her wrist, glares at her and states:Shinji: She didn't do anything. Let. Her. Go.
- Red Is Heroic: Asuka wears a red plugsuit and rides a red robot.
- Rape as Drama:
- Asuka spent several months forcing herself on Shinji to cope with her trauma and loneliness, even though she hated herself for doing it. Shinji was too bogged down by guilt and fear to resist, and his mental state took an even worse turn.
- When mercenaries (unknowingly including Dmitri) kidnap Toji, Kensuke, and Hikari, one of them outright admits to being into raping young girls and comes very close to raping Hikari before Dmitri turns on them and slaughters them.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Asuka is the red oni and Shinji the blue one.
- Reformed, but Rejected: Despite Asuka genuinely trying to change herself for the better, most of the cast sees her as an evil, abusive bitch that enjoyed torturing Shinji, and at one point Asuka wonders if she has to almost die for her friends giving her a second chance. Rei on particular refuses to believe that Asuka cares for Shinji, and it took some time for Misato to be convinced that she genuinely wants to change.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Dmitri got twisted into a psychotic monster for SEELE. He is helping to hunt them down because it gives him the chance to personally torture them and murder them in horrible ways.
- Robeast: The giant alien Angels had been all killed before the beginning of the story, but a Russian black project had used samples of their DNA to create another massive monster. In order to destroy it, the main characters have to repair and reactivate their last giant robot left.
- Say My Name: In chapter 2
- Scars Are Forever:
- Asuka still bears the scars of what was done to her by the MP Evas, although they have faded noticeably over the course of the series.
- Shinji still has the circular scars on his hands from where Unit 01 was pierced by the MP Evas' fake Lances during Third Impact.
- Whatever was done to Dmitri has left him with massive scarring all over his body.
- Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale: During a meeting, Dmitri announces that Keel Lorenz and several other SEELE members have not returned from the Red Sea. Since Third Impact was a global phenomenon that happened eight months ago you wonder why he is so sure that Keel did not return several months ago in any place on the planet and immediately hid out in a remote area where nobody knew him. Is he is aware of how huge Earth is and how easy it is for one single person to hide away, vanishing or blending among several billions of people? Did he have a network scouring the globe for anyone and everyone who wears funny metal glasses?
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: After learning that Unit-02 had reactivated Misato decides that she has had enough and quits. Ritsuko, though, guessed that it would not last long.Misato: You know what? You deal with this shit. I'm sick of this, I'm sick and tired of having to run here because my children suffer from the deepest traumas anyone has ever seen, I'm sick of not being able to relax in my own fucking house, I'm tired of waking up and being loaded with the world's personal piles of shit on my table, I'm sick of having to deal with all of these fucking media parasites trying to get answers that I don't have, I'm sick of feeling so fucking guilty of all the time and I'm sick of you!
You can deal with all this shit, it's your mess after all, you know. I'm gonna wait for my Shinji-kun to heal, and then I'm gonna go on a long, expensive vacation that you will be paying, so consider this my official resignation to all this crap, find yourself a new Sub-Commander.
Oh, and I expect a huuuge bonus with that'll keep me having to work another day and live a life of luxury, as I expect tons of cash for the kids, and of course that includes college, cars, parties, travels, the works. See ya!
- Ship Tease: Since the beginning the story establishes that Shinji and Asuka are unable to live without each other, no matter how much and how often they have hurt each other.
- Slap Yourself Awake: Variant. In chapter 12 Shinji is going through a horrible nightmare and starts to smash a fist into his chest to try wake himself up.
- So Proud of You: After returning from the Red Sea Gendo asks what his son has been up. After hearing an account of it:Gendo: That boy, he is uncorrectable.
Ritsuko: Is that pride I hear in your voice, Advisor?
Gendo: The boy successfully shattered SEELE's plan for the next step of evolution and gave a big "Fuck You" to Keel Lorenz himself, completely burned my scenario along with any hope of reuniting with his mother, and bit me in half. Literally. Then, he proceeded to refuse the godhood I devoted my life to and the endless ecstasy of Instrumentality so he could return to the deserted wasteland we once called home, only to be beaten half to death by the deranged banshee he fell for...saving mankind in the process. What's there not to be proud of?
- Soul Jar: After Third Impact, Yui's soul remained locked up inside Unit-01 which is now floating in space. Shinji bitterly hopes that her "tin can" rusts.
- Sour Outside, Sad Inside: Far moreso than in canon, as the trauma of being forced to share her innermost thoughts and memories with literally everyone compounded with her prior traumas to break her even more. As a result, her temper became much more volatile and uncontrollable. However, the more aggressive she got, the more awful she felt afterwards.
- Stress Vomit: Before the beginning of the fic Asuka had became highly unstable, distressed and paranoid due to the events of the series. Severely traumatized and unable to control her temper, she lashed out at Shinji, hitting him and then feeling sick with herself for beating him. After eight months she goes too far and hospitalizes him. Feeling guilt-ridden and full of self-loathing, she goes to visit him, and Shinji asks her to leave for a short while instead of demanding it or shouting at her like she feels she deserves. Asuka could not stand it anymore and ran to the nearest bathroom to vomit.
- Supreme Chef: Everyone loves Shinji's cooking and praise his skills.
- Take My Hand: Shinji was drowning in his worst nightmare episode, and he was ready to give up and lose his sanity utterly...when he felt Asuka grasping his hand, holding him and giving him warmth.
- Talking to Themself: Shinji and Asuka developed two versions of it after Third Impact:
- Shinji's guilt and extreme self-loathing and self-contempt became so strong that Shinji developed a split personality, a nightmarish version of himself that loved torturing him and mind-raping him night after night, reminding him of all his wrongs and sins over and over and over again. He listened to its voice almost every time he closed his eyes and sometimes it almost drove him mad. In chapter 14 Shinji finally manages to defeat it and make peace with himself and his enormous guilt.
- In contrast, Asuka's common sense and compassion manifested like a voice that pleaded with her to stop hurting Shinji and help him, or blamed her for his pain.
- Tears of Remorse: Asuka often cried when she remembered how she had treated Shinji for several months after the Third Impact.
- 10-Minute Retirement: After hearing that Unit-02 had reawakened Misato quit her job in NERV. She returned the next day after finding out that Gendo had returned from the Red Sea.
- Thanks for the Mammary: Shinji accidentally touched Asuka's breasts as he was sleeping in chapter 12, and panicked when he woke up and realized it, but Asuka reassured him.
- Through His Stomach: Often Shinji and Asuka make meals to apologize or make each other happy.
- Title Drop: In chapter 12: "It's like scar tissue, you know."
- Troubled Fetal Position: In chapter 17 Asuka argues with Shinji...and at one point of the argument she feels so exhausted and distressed (she had spent one whole week feeling angry, jealous, worried, frightened, depressed, lonely and barely getting any sleep) that she breaks down, sits on the floor, draws her knees close to her chest, wraps her arms around her legs, and cries.
- Tsundere: Asuka becomes a a Type B during this story.
- Unbroken Vigil: In chapter 9 Asuka remained the whole night sleeping with Shinji until he finally woke up.
- Undying Loyalty: After Third Impact Shinji told Asuka his life was hers and she could do whatever she wanted with him. Unfortunately her mind was so broken due to all she had gone through that she abused him for months until she realized what her actions were wrong and stopped. Even so he remained by her side trying to support her until she got better.
- Unfamiliar Ceiling: Lampshaded in chapter 1. At the beginning Shinji did not recognize the hospital's ceiling, but after so many months and fights he has become so familiarized with it that he is sick of seeing it.Uhhg... This ceiling again...
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: Shinji and Asuka loved each other but their psyches were so damaged they were seemed to be unable to open up to each other. Shinji thought Asuka hated him and Asuka thought he never cared about her and he just used her because she was convenient. At the same they were so codependent on each other neither of them would ever think of leaving and breaking off their relationship.
- Violently Protective Girlfriend:
- Shinji. Calling Asuka names is enough to make him losing control of himself. And when he does he is very frightening. Misato compared him once with a wolf defending his mate.Of course, in the middle of the open war against Asuka's presence, everyone in the room failed to notice Shinji's change of mood. With every insult directed towards Asuka, he felt rage unlike any other build inside him like a deadly current threatening to consume him completely. He could stand anything people directed his way, as long as it was him who was offended. No-one, NO ONE had the right to insult Asuka, they had no idea what she had been through, what she had suffered. Such a thing would not stand.
- Asuka. After almost killing Shinji her behaviour completely changes and she becomes extremely protective of him, and she gets very angry whenever she perceives that someone has hurt him.
- Shinji. Calling Asuka names is enough to make him losing control of himself. And when he does he is very frightening. Misato compared him once with a wolf defending his mate.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Although Misato and Ritsuko have repaired their friendship they still enjoy trading barbs.
- W.A.F.F.: In spite of how dark the story is, it has plenty of heart-warming parts. They are the best parts of the fic, actually.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Subverted. Shinji had yearned for his father's approval or acknowledgement or...something. Anything. However, after the events of the series he no longer cares for it. Ironically, after returning from Instrumentality Gendo praised his son.
- What the Hell, Hero?:
- In chapter 6 Shinji blames Ritsuko for his and Asuka's suffering:You did this. [ ] You did this, you made me like this, you fucked us all up, you and that bastard. [...] I can't go to bed in peace, I can't get a good night's sleep, Asuka hates everything, she'll never be the same. You did this, you bastards, you made me into this, this monster that I am...
- In chapter 8 Toji, Kensuke and Hikari thought that it would be a good idea to pick a fight with Asuka in a hospital room and insult her relentlessly in Shinji's presence. Shinji exploded and they had their ears ripped good:"SHUT UP!!!!!!!!" Roared Shinji, enraged. His outburst came with a high price, though. As soon as he yelled, he started coughing violently, the machines around him ticking like crazy. Amazingly enough, Asuka turned her back on her attackers as soon as Shinji coughed, forgetting them completely.
"Shinji?! Shinji are you okay? Don't strain yourself!." Asuka wore a worried expression, hoping for the best yet fearing the worst. What if Shinji had reopened his wounds?
The boy, however, was busy getting his breathing in control and glaring hell at his so called friends.
"What what do any of you (cough) know?! HUH?! What do you know?!" Shinji was breathing rather heavily, but he paid no mind to it, nor did he pay any mind Asuka's concerned eyes. No, he was focused on putting someone on their place.
"Nothing! You don't know shit! You didn't do SHIT! Asuka fought for you assholes, she fought nine Evangelions to save you!! And this is how you thank her, by insulting her?!"
'Shinji..." Muttered Asuka, finding his left hand and squeezing it, as to calm him. It was the first time she touched him since the incident.
"NO!! I will not just sit here and listen to this shit! She was the bravest of all of us, goddamnit!!! I did nothing, NOTHING while she fought alone, because I'm a good for nothing coward, but she didn't let that stop her!! She fought for everyone, until her last breath! And because she was alone, because I'm a fucking coward, she was ripped apart!! Literally!! And you... you dare insult her?! You have no right, you hear me?! No right!! No... (cough) (cough) right!"
- In chapter 6 Shinji blames Ritsuko for his and Asuka's suffering:
- When She Smiles:
- After Third Impact Asuka spent most of time looking angry, depressed or sneering. When she smiled, though, Shinji thought that she was the most beautiful girl in the world.
- Gender Flipped when Shinji smiles and Asuka thinks that his childish, relaxed smile melts her heart.
- With Friends Like These...: Misato sent Toji and Kensuke to Ritsuko because they were driving her crazy and mad. In revenge, Ritsuko tried to get Misato drunk in front of all her staff.
- You Are Not Alone:
- When Rei tells Ritsuko she is hurt and angry and confused because she does not know how to deal with her emotions, Ritsuko tells her she is not alone:Ritsuko: You can't numb yourself out, Shinji wouldn't want that. As to who you are... [...] You're whoever you want to be. Your essence is still the same, and if you feel confused, or overwhelmed, you can only come to me, or Shinji or Misato, even Maya would be happy to help you. Just don't bottle it up inside you. You're not alone.
- In chapter 17, when Asuka is depressed because of her troubles with Shinji, Unit 02 and her nightmares, Misato reminds her that she is not alone:Talk to Ritsu. Whatever you do, Asuka, please remember. You're not alone.
- When Rei tells Ritsuko she is hurt and angry and confused because she does not know how to deal with her emotions, Ritsuko tells her she is not alone: