During a test inside Unit-01, Rei realizes she cares for Shinji in a romantic way... and even though Shinji cares about her, his attention had been shifting towards Asuka. Determined to stop that, Rei decides to try to get Shinji's attention back. In turn, her actions force Asuka to drop her denial act and display her real feelings towards Shinji openly.
All of sudden, Shinji finds himself being in the middle of a war between his dearest persons... while the war against the Angels keeps waging and his personal traumas keep getting worse.
Written by Alain Gravel/Rakna and described by his author like "A story about how the love of two special girls can change one Ikari Shinji", The One I Love Is is one of the first Neon Genesis Evangelion classic fanfics.
It tries to address the next question seriously: "What might have happened if instead of a deconstruction of the Everyone Can See It trope, a real Love Triangle would have developed between the three pilots during the course of the series?". However, unlike other shipping/romance fics, it does not neglect the real events of the series, and strives to fit the events of the fic in the canon storyline. Most of tragedies and mind-screwness that happened in the anime show also happened here. However, due to the changes of relationships, the characters react differently to them, and evolve and develop accordingly, leading to Shinji having not only to choose between two girls... but also between saving the world and condemning it.
Check Advice and Trust, The Child of Love, Evangelion 303, Higher Learning, The Ikaris, Nobody Dies, or Mobile Fighter Evangelion to see other AU Eva fics. Check A Crown of Stars, HERZ, Neon Genesis Evangelion R, Scar Tissue and Walking in the Shadow of Dreams to see other Eva continuation fics. Check Doing It Right This Time, Once More with Feeling, RE-TAKE, The Second Try to see Peggy Sue Eva stories. 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.
- Aborted Arc: A fan began a sequel, setting the first episode between the end of episode 12 and the epilogue. Regrettably, that fan never got around to writing more than THAT only episode.
- Ace Pilot: Asuka trained very hard since she was three to be the best mecha pilot ever. However, her frequent defeats eroded her fragile confidence progressively until her mind snapped. However she still got to show how good she was when she ripped the MP-Evas apart.
- Adaptation Name Change: The author renamed Kaworu to Kaoru when he decided to change Kaworu's sex.
- All for Nothing: In one of the side-stories Gendo admits all he has done, all lives he has ruined -including his son and daughter's- and all blood he has shed... has been for nothing, since he has failed: he has been unable to free his wife and they will never be together again.
- All Take and No Give: One of the reasons that Shinji chose Asuka and not Rei was he knew their relationship would become this: she would make him the only goal of her existence, she would make anything for him without asking for anything in return and he would take everything. And it would not be fair to Rei.
- Always Save the Girl: In the side-story "Let the World Burn / One Dream at a Time" Gendo explains he had tried to wipe humankind out, destroyed lives -including the ones of his son and the girls he loved- and got his hands stained with blood... because he had to free Yui. He loved her, he missed her, he blamed himself for her getting trapped inside Unit 01, and he had to set her free, not matter what.Gendo:"I should have known. Once you were trapped, I had to set you free."
Yui:"And you thought the Third Impact would free me. That doesn't explain why you had to devastate your son's life. Seele would have given you the Impact."
Gendo:"I couldn't let the old men control it. I had to make sure everything happened correctly."
- Always Someone Better: Shinji was this to Asuka. She trained hard her whole life to become the best mecha pilot ever, only to be beaten every turn for an untrained civilian who -as far as she knew- had been picked from the streets.
- And Now for Someone Completely Different: Most of the story is told from Shinji's point of view, but some scenes and most of side-stories narrate events from other characters' points of view to flesh the plot out.
- Anguished Declaration of Love:
Asuka:"It's okay. I can manage on my own. You be happy with Rei... Shinji... I... I love you..."
- In episode 6:
Shinji:"Damn you Asuka! Are you deaf! I love you! I! LOVE! YOU! Is it so hard to understand?! Is it so hard to believe?! I love you! I would have chosen Rei a long time ago if I didn't love you!"
- In episode 9:
Asuka:"You...? You do?"
Shinji:"YES! So cut that crap about being worthless! It's not true! You mean a lot to me! A lot! I care more about you than I care about myself!"
- Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better: Rei was this to Asuka. In chapter 6 she said Shinji she was terrified of losing him to Rei because Rei gets better grades, is a good cook, keeps her apartment spotless, is nearly so beautiful... whereas she barely can pass the tests because she can not read all kanji, is a slob... and in her mind, she is only good at piloting Eva and she is not even the best anymore.
- Apologises a Lot: Shinji has the habit of constantly apologizing, and it gets Asuka mad. However she gets mad because she feels that Shinji doesn't apologize for when he feels that he has done something wrong, but because he tries to avoid a scolding, and it drives her mad that he is unable to stand up to himself.
- Arc Words: "Some truths can hurt if a person is not ready to hear them."
- Armor-Piercing Question: In episode 11 Shinji decides to regard Kaoru as his friend. However a part of his mind asked:'If she's your friend, then why did she leave so suddenly, without a word?'
- Armor-Piercing Response:
- In chapter 6, "Friends", Asuka is dissing Touji:Shinji:"Hey! Touji's a nice guy!"
Asuka:"He's just a pervert like you!"
Shinji:"I didn't know you liked perverts..."
- In chapter 11, during a nightmare, a vision of Rei tells openly something Shinji had been trying to not think about:Rei:"After the Fifteenth Angel, you swore that you wouldn't let another Angel hurt us, but you failed to protect me and so I had to die."
Shinji:"I did all that I could!"
Rei:"No, you did not. You could have destroyed it."
Shinji:"Attacking it was hurting you!"
Rei:"You acted the same way you did with the Thirteenth Angel. You feared to hurt us, so you let us die instead. I was not as lucky as Suzuhara-kun."
- In chapter 6, "Friends", Asuka is dissing Touji:
- Armor-Piercing Slap:
- In episode 4 Asuka delivered a well-deserved one to Shinji when he admitted -after asking her out, spending the day with her and even kissing her- that he had kissed Rei and shouted it was none of her business.
- In episode 11 Shinji has just killed Kaoru and he is feeling borderline suicidal. When he mutters he should just die Misato slaps him, reminding him that Kaoru sacrificed herself so he could live.
- Artificial Limbs: During the Angel War, Touji loses an arm and a leg. They were replaced with prosthetic limbs. They were pretty good but they did not quite looked like the real appendages, and they did not grant him enhanced physical abilities.I noticed that he also wore black gloves. I was very grateful for that. Even if the advances in bio-robotics had been astonishing these last few years, they hadn't yet managed to make artificial limbs that looked totally like real ones. Touji knew that the sight of his artificial hand tended to make me uneasy. I was over the guilt, but... I just couldn't look at it...
- Attention Whore: During several talks Asuka explains Shinji why she yearns for being looked and valued, and reveals she is frightened of being alone and disregarded as if she was a worthless thing.
- Author Appeal: After completing the series, Rakna confessed that Asuka was his favorite character and he had always planned for a Shinji/Asuka ending. However he also stated he started truly liking Rei after writing chapter 3 and he nearly changed his mind.
- Awkward Kiss: In episode 4, Asuka dares Shinji to kiss her during their date. Tired of her taunting, Shinji grabbed her shoulders and kissed her forcefully. Although they enjoyed it for a bit, their kiss was more awkward than romantic.
- Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: At the beginning of the story Shinji and Asuka argued very often. Then Rei gave Shinji chocolates and Asuka was jealous, slapped him and stormed out of the classroom... and Shinji felt awful because he had noticed she was crying, and her tears hurt him more than her slap. Later he found a chocolate heart in his bedroom, made by Asuka.
- Babies Ever After: In the four-years-later epilogue it is revealed that Shinji and Asuka are expecting, and Misato is raising her and Kaji's son, Ryouji.
- Bath Suicide: Asuka attempted this right before the final chapter, when she thought that she had lost all what she had and wanted: her Evangelion and Shinji.
- Battle Couple: Shinji and Asuka. Due to living, working and fighting together, they started to like each other and became extremely close. This closeness kicks the plot off when Rei realizes Shinji is falling for Asuka and decides to pursue him actively.
- Beautiful Dreamer: After her Mind Rape Shinji and Asuka sleep together. During the night Asuka wakes up due to a nightmare and stares at Shinji for a while, thinking of how beautiful he looks and how much she loves him.
- Bedmate Reveal: The night after defeating Leliel, Shinji woke up and found Asuka sleeping on his bed. He panicked right away, but Asuka told him shut up and go back to sleep.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: At the beginning Shinji and Asuka fight a lot even though they are clearly drawn to each other. However Rei starts to actively pursue Shinji and show her affection openly, forcing Asuka to try to show her softer, nicer side openly. As a result of it their relationship becomes calmer and stronger.
- Beneath the Mask: In chapter 6 Shinji finally realizes Asuka's self-assuredness and confidence were a mask to cover a very fragile self-esteem.There before me, from this girl who'd never shown anything but self assuredness, was a catalogue of failures.
- Berserk Button: Do not even think about hurt or harm Asuka or Rei in some way, shape or form. Or else Shinji
will not be nice to you.
- Zeruel found out the hard way.
- And later when he saw the MP-Evas munching the last remnants of Unit 02 he went utterly nuts and tore them apart savagely.
- The Berserker: In the Final Battle Shinji went completely nuts when he saw the MP-Evas had tore apart and eaten alive Unit 02 with Asuka inside. He fought like a savage beast, roaring "I'LL KILL YOU!" the whole time and he did not stop until all of them were dead.
- Betty and Veronica: Rei is the Betty to Asuka's Veronica. The former is homely, quiet and feminine. The latter is bold, hot-tempered and sultry.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Shinji is usually nice and meek to the point of being a doormat. When he gets angry... he is scary. When his father meddled in his love life for his own purposes he coldly told Gendo if he interfered again he would refuse to pilot and the next Robeast could kill everyone as far as he was concerned (keep in mind he is terrified of his father usually). When an Eldritch Abomination hurt one of the girls he loved he attacked like an angry berserker. He even lashed out against Rei or Asuka when he was angry (and then he regretted it afterwards).
- Beware the Quiet Ones: Rei was a quiet, calm Emotionless Girl, seldom spoke and obeyed her Commander's orders without question or hesitation. But if something or someone threatened Shinji or her relationship with him, she became hostile and even violent... especially to Asuka since Shinji was falling for her. Her relationship with Asuka became very strained and belligerent until they got a very bitter argument and a pretty virulent Cat Fight. Although that fight ended in a stalemate Asuka noted Rei was very quiet but she could be quite savage and hit hard if provoked.
- Big Damn Heroes: Shinji performs two: the first in chapter 7 to save Rei and Asuka from Zeruel and the second in chapter 12 to save Asuka from the MP-Evas. He arrived too late to save Unit-02 but right on time to save Asuka's life.
- Big "NO!": When Shinji saw the MP-Evas had chopped Unit-02 into pieces and possibly killed Asuka he screamed a very big and anguished "no":I opened my eyes and then saw a scene that will probably haunt me the rest of my life. I saw nine white EVAs, circling around what was left of Headquarters. And in their hands, or even worse, their mouths, they held the remains of what had once been Unit-02.
- Blood Knight: During several conversations Asuka tells Shinji she likes fighting because she is good at it and people notice when she fights. So she worked hard to become the best, because she thought that nobody would care about her otherwise.
- Blood Lust: When Rei confessed to Shinji that the dummy plug system used her brain patterns he could not believe it because the dummy plug program fought with a savagery and thirst for blood he did not manage to associate with the demure, quiet, stoic Rei.This killing frenzy... this hunger for blood and destruction... Rei?
- Bonus Material: The author includes several light-hearted, humorous omakes at the end of every chapter. They might be about anything, from Godzilla attacking Tokyo-3 to Shinji accidentally discovering his best friend's girlfriend is not a girl.
- Break the Cutie: In case that seeing your mother dying and being abandoned by your father before your fourth birthday, being blackmailed into piloting a Humongous Mecha to fight an alien monster, and being a child forced to fight a war against Eldritch Abominations were not traumatic enough, in this story Shinji has to see how the two persons he cares the most about fall gradually apart until one of them loses all her memories after trying to blow herself up and the other attempts to commit suicide and falls in a coma.
- Break the Haughty: In this story Asuka was broken even worse than in canon. In addition to the long string of traumatic humilliations, beatings, defeats and Mind Rape she suffered in the original series, she got to compete with Rei over Shinji. She forced herself to face her feelings, opened up to Shinji (making herself vulnerable despite of all her misgivings and fears)... and then she got depressed and heart-broken because it did not seem to be enough to win him over and she felt wanting compared with Rei. That situation increased her insecurities and feelings of inadequacy and she slowly and gradually fell completely apart and tried to kill herself.
- Broken Ace: Shinji thinks that Asuka is better than him at everything: she is beautiful, smarter, more sociable, braver, more strong-willed and a better pilot and fighter. Then she gradually reveals she is utterly broken inwardly and she sees herself as a worthless failure.
- Broken Bird: In chapter 6 Asuka shows Shinji she has been very, very badly hurt but she has always tried to overcome it and be a strong-willed, self-reliant girl.Asuka:"Don't worry Shinji. So far, I've lived on my own, by my own, only for me, only for my own values and my own satisfaction. I don't need you, or anyone else for that matter. I... I don't want to be lonely anymore. If I could... I'd rather be with you then be alone. But it's too late now. And besides... half of your heart is not enough. If I can't have you all to myself, then I'd rather not have you at all..."
Asuka:"It's okay. I can manage on my own."
- BrotherSister Incest: Although Shinji likes Asuka he also likes Rei (and both girls like him back). However Rei does not want to tell him she is his mother's clone because she is afraid that it will kill any possibility of having a love relationship with him. Later Shinji learns about her origin but he does not care about it because she is still Rei.
- Calling the Old Man Out:
- Shinji called his father out twice:
- In chapter 5 Shinji gets mad because his father has manipulated Asuka and Rei. So that he marches to his office and warns Gendo against interfering with their lives again, pointing out he is more expendable than a pilot.Gendo:"You think you can threaten me?"
Shinji:"Of course I can. I am the only pilot of Unit-01. You need me to save your life. You know as well as I do that you don't have any spare pilots. And you also know that Rei and Asuka won't be able to fight alone for long. That is, if I don't convince them to stop fighting for you at all. In this whole scenario... you are the only one who is useless."
- And in chapter 11 Shinji explodes in public:Shinji:"Damn you! You hurt Touji! You let Asuka suffer! You took Rei from me! And now you want me to kill Kaoru? You heartless son of a bitch! If it wasn't my mother's name, I'd be ashamed of being called Ikari!"
- In chapter 5 Shinji gets mad because his father has manipulated Asuka and Rei. So that he marches to his office and warns Gendo against interfering with their lives again, pointing out he is more expendable than a pilot.
- Shinji called his father out twice:
- Cannot Spit It Out: Asuka had a very hard time confessing openly her feelings to Shinji. And the fact of Shinji has also a very hard time with this is part of what moves the plot forward.
- Cat Fight: Asuka and Rei had three, all of them were about Shinji and all of them happened off-screen:
- The first of them happened in chapter 5, while Shinji -the POV character- was trapped into the Sea of Dirac -an alternate dimension-. Asuka wanted to mask her growing worry so she said things she did not mean, and Rei took offense. When Shinji returned, Rei's left cheek was badly bruised and Asuka had a black eye and a cut on her lower lip.
- The next happened in chapter 7, during the month Shinji spent absorbed into his robot and it was narrated in the side-story "Friends or Rivals". Asuka went to Rei's apartment and they got into a fight. After beating the crap out of each other, ruining Rei's living room and being taken to NERV med bay they realized they had done something very stupid and made up.
- The last happened a while before the epilogue. Rei was wasting her life and Asuka went to her house to have a serious talk with her. When Asuka came back to her and Shinji's apartment she brought Rei along, and both girls were bruised and exhausted.
- Catapult Nightmare: Asuka does this in chapter 9 after a nightmare where she was forced to relive the worst bits of her childhood.The teenage girl woke up with a start, her heart beating so fast that she thought for a moment that it would burst out of her chest. Then, the memories came again, as did the tears, silent, yet present.
- Character Development: Several characters go through it, but mainly the three pilots evolve greatly through the story. Shinji learns to stand up for himself and stopping to run away and give up (Word of God stated in one of the author notes it was one of his main goals, since he simply hated what Shinji had become at End of Evangelion). Asuka learns to stop to push people away, to not let her existence was defined by piloting a Humongous Mecha (like another certain Humongous Mecha Ace Pilot / Broken Ace that she is a Gender Flipped Expy from did) and to open herself up to others. And Rei learns to acknowledge her emotions, show her feelings and developing bonds.
- Characterization Marches On: Back when the fic was being written, fans debated whether it was or was not Misato the one shot Kaji (shortly after, Word of God stated she did not). Rakna was uncertain about how he wanted to handle and he even put up a poll in his site. Finally he decided leaving it ambiguous. Also, it is interesting pondering how Asuka's portrayal could have been affected by one of the extra scenes added in later releases (the one showed she had wept after kissing Shinji because she believed he really was not interested in her since he had not kissed her back and he would not even hold her or touch her) or if he would have added the manga event regarding her stepmother to her backstory, and how it would played out.
- Character Tics: Asuka sometimes clenches and unclenches her fist, like Shinji did. She mentions it in the Friends and Rivals side-story:I didn't really notice it, but I clenched and unclenched my fist, much like Shinji sometimes did.
- Chef of Iron:
- Rei is a Humongous Mecha pilot and surprisingly an excellent cook. When Shinji gets worried because she always eats instant food he starts to teach her how to cook a few recipes. She learns quickly and she becomes an excellent cook. Asuka even remarks she cooks like a chef.
- Shinji is not as good as her but he is still a very good cook... and the squad member with the larger number of kills.
- Chick Magnet: Shinji goes from believing nobody cares for him to ask -more than once- why girls are interested in him and what has he done to deserve it. The old homepage even joked about it, displaying pictures of Asuka, Rei, Misato and Hikari and asking if they were romantically interested in Shinji.
- Clueless Chick Magnet: Shinji drew women wherever he went... and he had absolutely no idea about it. He was genuinely shocked and surprised when Rei gave him chocolates and when Hikari told him that Asuka was in love with him because he was completely oblivious to their feelings and Asuka's hints.
- Convenient Coma: Asuka was in a coma twice: after attempting to kill herself and after being badly wounded in the final battle.
- Conveniently an Orphan: As per canon, all Evangelion pilots but Kaoru are orphans.
- Converse with the Unconscious: When Asuka was in a coma after attempting to kill herself, Shinji remained by her side the whole time, talking to her every so often, hoping his voice reached her somehow.Shinji:Physically, she was now fine. She had suffered from a bit of malnutrition, but nothing severe. However, she wouldn't wake up. The doctors had said it was all up to her. She didn't wake up because she didn't want to.
So I waited for her to come back.
Most of the time, I simply waited in silence. It wasn't easy. In fact, it was exhausting. It reminded me much of my experience inside the Twelfth Angel. There wasn't really anything else I could do but stay put and wait. When I got too bored, I would talk to her, hoping that the sound of my voice could reach her somehow... wherever she was. I spoke of the past, of what I thought when I first saw her on that aircraft carrier, looking so pretty in her yellow dress and how impressed I had been by her air of confidence.
- Cooldown Hug: It happens a lot of times. Some of them:
- In chapter 4 Shinji hugs an upset and furious Asuka to reassure her after an argument between them;
- Shinji also hugged Misato when she was crying her heart out after Kaji's last phone call;
- Shinji hugged Asuka several times after her Mind Rape to comfort her and reassure her that he was there for her;
- Asuka embraced Shinji when he was collapsed over the floor and sobbing because Rei had blew herself up to save his life;
- Kaoru hugged Shinji when he was shivering after a terrible nightmare and feeling lonely.
- Crush Blush: In chapter 9 Shinji blurts out that he loves Asuka to her face. Then he blushes brigthly.As the words sunk in, Asuka's eyes grew wider and wider. I felt myself blushing heavily under her gaze.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Shinji against the MP-Evas in the Final Battle. Asuka was butchering them when they suddenly gained the upper hand and tore her robot into pieces. Then Shinji arrived, saw what they had done, and went completely berserker. He utterly massacred them.
- Daddy Had a Good Reason for Abandoning You: In the side-story "Let the World Burn / One Dream at a Time" Gendo explains to Yui he cared about Shinji but abandoned his son because Shinji scared him: his son loved him and he could not understand why; neither he thought he deserved it. Moreover, Gendo was convinced he would only hurt Shinji if he stayed around.Gendo:"....if all I did was hurt him, it was better that I wasn't there."
Yui:"Shinji didn't think so. Or at least up till a certain point."
- Death Equals Redemption: Averted with Gendo. In the final moment of his life he met Yui at last, and he confessed he knew he had done many horrible things to try to get her back, and he said he was sorry for what he had done to his son. His wife informed him that he had to earn his redemption yet in order to have her forgiveness.
- Death Glare: During the first half of the story Asuka and Rei were very hostile to each other due to be in love with the same boy. They constantly crossed heated, angry glares. Shinji was also recipient of many Asuka's incensed glares. An example of this happened in chapter 5:This was something I had not expected. I had not even chosen yet one of them and Rei was already assuming that I'd ask her to marry me... and with the way Asuka was glaring at me... I probably looked as white as a ghost.
- Death of the Hypotenuse: Subverted and explored. After Rei is seemingly killed, Asuka reflects that this means she can have Shinji for herself, but feels guilty for even thinking this. It turns out Rei survived anyway.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: Shinji had defrosted both Asuka and Rei... and he had no idea that had done so until both got jealous and started fighting over him.
- Despair Event Horizon:
- Asuka. After several close calls (in episode 6 when she thought she had lost Shinji and in episode 9 after her Mind Rape), Asuka crosses the line in episode 10: she has been completely beaten, humiliated and even Mind Raped, she knows she will be replaced soon, and regards herself as an utter and completely worthless failure. After Rei's death the only thing keeping her from falling apart is Shinji loving her. But then it turns out that Rei has survived, Asuka thinks Shinji has chosen Rei over her, and she can not bear it anymore. She runs away, leaving a goodbye note, and slits her wrists.
- Shinji was on the brink of crossing it after Kaoru's death. Then the Geofront was invaded, Misato got shot, Asuka's Unit 02 got butchered and eaten by the MP-Evas and Shinji thought he had nothing left.All those who had meant something to me, all those I had cared for... they were all dead. I had nothing, nothing left. Nothing to expect. No hope.
- Determinator: At the end of episode 11, when Shinji is at his lowest, Misato explains why he can not and must not give up. Thanks to her words he does not give up and he keeps fighting during the Final Battle, even though everything seems lost and he has nothing left, and defeats nine war mechas. And because he did not give up, Asuka survived the battle.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: During the Final Battle Shinji driving Unit-01 ran the Lance of Longinus through an Eldritch Abomination born when Gendo performed the Forbidden Union betweeh Lilith and Adam.
- Distant Finale: The epilogue happens four years after the Final Battle and narrates the Shinji and Asuka's wedding. During the ceremony, Shinji tells what has happened to the cast in the meantime.
- Don't You Dare Pity Me!: In chapter 9 Asuka is cracking under pressure and going through a severe breakdown which her Mind Rape worsened. When Shinji tries to help her she tells several times she does not want to be pitied and she actually hates being pitied."Don't give me that look! The last thing I want is your pity, Third Children!"
- Dramatic Irony: After Asuka runs away, a depressed Shinji notes how ironic it is that he -a self-proclaimed coward and wimp- stood his ground as she -who had always been brave and indomitably stubborn- runs away.
- Dream Sequence: Shinji had one when he was trapped inside Leliel and another when he was stuck into Unit-01 after fighting Zeruel. They consisted of memories and visions intermingled where his family and friends asked him about his life and helped him to reach a resolution.
- Driven to Suicide: Asuka had been completely beaten, humiliated and even MindRaped, after which she knew she would be replaced. She regarded herself as an utter, worthless failure, and the only thing keeping her from falling apart completely was Shinji loving her. However, when she thought Shinji had chosen Rei over her, she lost her only reason to live left. She wrote a good-bye note, ran away and slit her wrists. Fortunately she got found in time to save her life.
- Dude, She's Like, in a Coma!: At the beginning of chapter 12, Shinji is watching over a comatose Asuka. Before leaving for a little while he leans over and kisses her lips softly.I bent down (painfully) toward Asuka and gave a soft kiss on the sleeping girl's lips. I almost regretted I did. Those were not the moist and soft lips I knew; they were dry, cracked, and completely unresponsive.
- Dye or Die: After the Final Battle Rei dyes her hair brown (and wears contact lenses) so nobody knows she is still alive.
- Early-Bird Cameo: Shinji meets Kaworu shortly after the defeat of the Thirteenth Angel. In canon Kaworu came along after the death of the Sixteenth.
- Eating the Eye Candy: Shinji often found himself staring at Asuka and Rei, specially the former. When any of them wears a dress, when Asuka wore a swimsuit in chapter 5... he finds them very attractive.
- Eldritch Abomination: The Angels -or Messengers-, giant alien monsters sporting all kind of shapes and abilities. Nearly all of them keep their canon selves, but Tabris. He is a her in this story. Adam -the father of the Angels- and Lilith -mother of all life on Earth- also show up. In addition to them Gendo manages to merge with both Adam and Lilith at the end of the story.
- Elevator Going Down: Subverted. In chapter 9 Maya is waiting for the elevator coming down. When the doors open she sees Asuka kneeled in front of a standing Shinji. She blushes, thinking they have just had sex. However nothing like that had happened.
- Emotionless Girl: Rei starts the story like this, completely emotionless, but she learns to identify and display their emotions and becomes more expressive as she spends time with Shinji and later Asuka. However, when Shinji disappeared for one month -and later when he chose Asuka over her- she reverted to her original behaviour (although Asuka managed to make her snap out of it the second time).
- Everyone Can See It: Everyone could see Asuka liked Shinji and vice versa. Everyone but Shinji, of course. When Hikari told Asuka liked him and she believed that they were a couple he was genuinely shocked.
- Expendable Clone: Rei regarded herself as a mere clone and she thought her life was worthless. Shinji and later Asuka worked hard to convince her otherwise.
- Faking the Dead: Kaji faked his own death to throw SEELE off his trail while he worked to expose them.
- Fan Art: Many fans drew fanart and even comic pages from the story when it was at the height of its popularity. Unfortunately, it disappeared when the server crashed.
- Fate Worse than Death: After trying to cause Third Impact to reunite with Yui, Gendo gets trapped in a sorts of deserted Limbo, separated from his wife forever... which is his personal vision of Hell.
- Fiery Redhead: Asuka is quite hot-tempered, hot-blooded and emotional. This is visible in her first scene, where she has a jealousy-fueled public meltdown after Rei has given chocolates to Shinji. It is even reinforced by chapter 4's title ("Don't play with fire") which focused on her.
- The First Cut Is the Deepest:
- In chapter 6 Rei is trying to convince Shinji to get over his feelings towards Asuka and suggests him to talk to Kaji because the older man was in a relationship with Misato and she thinks he will make Shinji understanding he has to move on and forget about the past... not knowing Kaji never got over Misato.
- After the last battle, Misato and Makoto started dating. However Shinji thinks his guardian can not completely love Makoto because she never stopped loving her first lover.
- First Girl Wins: Averted. Nope. She does not.
- First Kiss: In chapter 5 Shinji and Asuka kiss during their first date after Asuka challenged Shinji to kiss her.
- Forceful Kiss: In chapter 4 Asuka tries to tease Shinji into kissing her. All of sudden Shinji grabs her arms, pulls her closer and kisses her.
- Foreign Cuss Word: In chapter 2 Asuka and Rei are having a very heated argument. At one point Asuka yells: "Du... du Hure!"
- For Want of a Nail: The nail is Rei watching and feeling several of Shinji's memories during a synch test in Unit 01 and realizing she likes him, but he is falling for Asuka. Rei decides she will not let Asuka have him, and subsequently she gives Shinji a chocolate box in Valentines Day. That action unleashes a succession of changes, altering the relationships between the main characters profoundly, and eventually culminating in averting the end of the world.
- Freudian Excuse: Most of the story is narrated from Shinji's point of view, so Gendo is treated very unsympathetically most of time. The "Let the World Burn/One Dream at a Time" side-story explores his personality and motivations. Gendo is depicted as a pathetic, broken shell of a man who always felt lonely and frightened of other people, thinking nobody would ever love him because he was not worth it, and fell utterly apart after his wife's death, sending his only son away because he was scared of Shinji and of hurting him.
- Get A Hold Of Yourself Man: After killing the last Angel Shinji feels more depressed and lonelier than ever and he implies he wants to commit suicide. Misato slaps him -and the slap was worthy of Bright Noa himself- and points out that if he dies all hurt his friends went through and all sacrifices they did will be meaningless."Why am I the one who always stays alive? Why do people have to sacrifice themselves for me? I'm not worth it! My life is not worth so much pain. I should have been the one to die. Maybe there's still time to put an end to the pain."
I gasped as I felt Misato's hand hitting my cheek.
"Don't you ever say that, Shinji! Don't even dare think about it! If you die now, then all the sacrifice and suffering your friends went through would become meaningless! Don't disgrace them!"
The words hit me even harder then her hand. I had never thought about things this way.
- Gender Flip: In this story Kaworu Nagisa -a character is male in canon- is a girl (and gets a rename: Kaoru Nagisa).
- Giant Equals Invincible: Although he hates fighting, Shinji gets forced to pilot a giant robot because there is nothing else can damage the Angels, and the is the only one can pilot Unit 01.
- Goodbye, Cruel World!: In chapter 10 Asuka feels she no longer has a reason to live after losing her ability to pilot Eva and after losing -or so she thinks- Shinji. So she wrote a goodbye note for Shinji and left, intending to kill herself.
- Good People Have Good Sex: Shinji had sex with Rei and later Asuka when they needed comforting each other. It is depicted as a tender, heart-warming moment where they tried to take care of each other.
- Gratuitous German: Asuka uses her mother tongue liberally.
- In chapter 5 she exclaims "Gott sei Dank!" ("Thank God!") when she sees Shinji is cooking.
- Gratuitous Spanish: The title of the never-finished sequel is "Que Sera Sera" (meaning -after a fashion- "Whatever happens, happens". Incidentally it is incorrect. It should be written: "Lo Que Será, Será".)
- Green-Eyed Epiphany:
- During a synch test Rei saw Shinji's memories and realized he was drawn to Asuka... and that realization made her angry and anxious. Then she realized she loved him.
- The inmediate consequence of the abovementioned epiphany was Rei starting flirting with Shinji, which in turn made Asuka very jealous and forced her to admit she also loved Shinji.
- Grew a Spine: Shinji forces himself to grow a spine AND keeping it intact to protect Asuka and Rei.
- Groin Attack: In chapter 7 Asuka was sleeping on her bed when someone fell on top of her. She woke up, and thinking a pervert was attacking her, kneed his groin. Then someone switched the light on and she saw the intruder was Shinji. Oops.I don't know how she managed, but Asuka ended up on top of me and jammed her fist in my face, followed by her knee in my crotch.
- Happily Married: Shinji and Asuka got married in the Epilogue after living several years together happily.
- Hard Work Hardly Works: In chapter 9 Asuka complains that she worked hard for one decade to become the best pilot, and she was being beaten by a barely-trained rookie.Asuka: Of course I'm upset! How would you feel, Shinji, if you devoted your whole life to something and it didn't pay off? I've been training to be an Eva pilot for ten years. Ten years, Shinji! I should be the best! I worked at it, damn it! I worked hard for it! But instead, you, who's been piloting for less than a year, can beat me! And you're not even trying! What the hell was I doing, if I can get beaten by some jerk they grabbed off the street?!
- Heroes Want Redheads: Shinji finds himself attracted to Asuka... and at the end, he chooses her.
- Hates Being Alone: The three Children suffered of this in the original material, but it increases cause the events of the fic. Rei no longer wants to be alone, and Shinji and Asuka (who was good pretending otherwise) hate it now. The former tells he was used to it before, but after being in a Love Triangle he does not want to be alone again. And the latter sobs to Shinji she is sick of being alone during a "The Reason You Suck" Speech to herself.
- High-School Sweethearts: Asuka and Rei competed over Shinji when they went to the same school until he chose Asuka. In the epilogue they got married.
- Hint Dropping: During the first half of the story, Asuka teases Shinji, incites him to kiss her, tries to sleep with him... and Shinji didn't got it until she bluntly said she loved him.
- Hope Spot: In chapter 7, Shinji has come back to the physical world after spending a month stuck inside his giant robot, Asuka and Rei have become friends, and the three of them and Misato are fine and are relatively happy. In the next chapters Kaji gets assassinated, Asuka gets mind-raped, Rei blows herself up, Shinji's remaining friends move out, Misato barely comes home, and he gets forced to kill another person who had showed him affection.
- Hot-Blooded: Asuka is very emotional and her reactions are often extreme. Often in the story she goes from sheer rage to bitter weeping in a matter of seconds (such like when Rei gave Shinji chocolates and Asuka got beyond mad, stomped towards him, slapped him, and then ran from the classroom so nobody saw her crying). And she is too hasty and rash for her own good.
- How the Mighty Have Fallen: Asuka was the best Eva pilot, a genius and a beautiful girl. She gloated about it because her very fragile self-esteem depended on being the best at all what she did. However throughout the fic she got routinely beaten by her teammates, defeated by the Angels and the guy she loves is uncapable to choose between her and another girl. When she is mind Raped, that is the final blow and humilliation and she feels that she is worthless and she has nothing to live for. She even quotes the line verbatim:Asuka: "How the mighty have fallen. Look at me... I'm crying... I hate crying... only a weak person cries. I hate Wonder Girl... she showed everyone how pathetic I was. I hate you... you made me cry, now you can see how disgusting I am. I hate everybody... but most of all... I hate myself..."
- Humongous Mecha: The bio-mechanical Evangelions. Shinji hates them, but after the War Unit 01 is the only giant robot left and he still has to undergo regular synch tests with it.
- Hurting Hero: Shinji, Asuka and Rei's went through the traumatic experiences they endured in canon, but their traumas got worse because they became a Love Triangle, and Shinji could not stand that Asuka and Rei got hurt. Still they fought to save the world and made their best.
- Hypocrite: In chapter 6 Shinji calls Rei a hypocrite because she said that she'd never hurt him, but she kept things from him.
- Ignored Epiphany:
- Played straight in chapter three. Shinji is making out with Rei. Suddenly he starts thinking about Asuka, and he is unable to go on. If he would have realized that it meant he loved Asuka the most, the Love Triangle could have been resolved right then, but instead of getting a clue he complained about Asuka mucking things up.
- Played straight again one chapter later. Asuka dares Shinji to kiss her because she was bored. Typically clueless, Shinji replies that "You don't kiss a guy because you're bored". Exactly, Shinji. So, think: Why does she want to kiss you?
- Averted in a later chapter. Shinji suggests Asuka her parents surely care about her. She lets him know that his father does not give a damn about her and her mother is dead. After few seconds it hit him that she was just like him.
- "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: In chapter 11 Shinji tried to help a brainwashed Rei to remember him. It didn't work.
- The "I Love You" Stigma: Even though she was competing with Rei to win Shinji over, Asuka was unable to tell him "I love you" for a long time. In the first chapters she was barely capable to admit and tell openly she liked him.
- I Miss Mom: Shinji often misses his mother and wishes she was there with him. He also wonders what his father would be like if he would not have lost her.
- Important Hair Accessory: Asuka always wore her iconic red hair clips. After she went missing, Shinji wore them for a while.
- Inferiority Superiority Complex: Shinji used to envy Asuka's boastful arrogance and confidence... and then he saw her berating herself several times and losing her will to live after her Mind Rape and he realized her confidence was false and she was a very insecure, vulnerable person.
- In Spite of a Nail: Although Shinji, Asuka and Rei and their relationship changed a lot throughout the story, most canon tragedies still happened. Their different and improved mindset only changed one thing: the outcome of the war.
- Interrupted Suicide: After running away, Asuka lay down on a tube and slit her wrists. However several Section-2 agents found her in time to save her life.
- It's All My Fault: When Shinji found out that his friend Touji had become a pilot because NERV promised to take care of his sister (who had been accidentally hurt during Shinji's first battle), he blamed himself for his wounds, despite of Rei trying to convince him that he was not responsible:"It's my fault... I failed to take control of the EVA... Father... my hands... he used me to harm Touji. And now... you say he piloted because of his sister? It's... it's all my fault! If I hadn't hurt his sister in the first place, none of this would have happened! Touji wouldn't have piloted! IT'S ALL MY FAULT!"
- The Kid with the Remote Control: After being absorbed into Unit 01 and being told about Reis origins Shinji realizes he was the only one could pilot Unit 01 despite being a teen with no training because his mother is inside the giant robot.
- Last Girl Wins: Rei was the first female character who shows up in the story. Asuka comes along later. Shinji fell for both but in the end he chose Asuka.
- Late-Arrival Spoiler: This fanfic got finished several years ago and became very popular among the fans, so that if someone starts reading the story for first time it's likely that person already knows beforehand whom Shinji chooses.
- Latex Space Suit: The pilots wear skintight suits called plugsuits when they drive their giant robots. In this story there are two standard models: one for males and another for females. However Asuka's plugsuit is different from Rei's because Asuka is first production model's pilot and her plugsuit's design is the standard one.
- Leave Me Alone!:
- In chapter 4 Shinji hurts Asuka and she runs away. Shinji looks for her and when he finds her, she is sitting under a tree and sobbing. As soon as he approaches she screams him leaving her alone."Go away..."
Her voice had barely been stronger then a whisper. It got definitely louder as I continued, as if I hadn't heard her.
I continued to ignore her.
"You're hurt, Asuka..."
"LEAVE ME ALONE!"
What stopped me was the look on her face, rather than the words. I had seen her angry before. I had seen her mad before. I had seen her sad before. But this... It was a look of pure hatred.
"I don't need you! I don't need anyone! Go away!"
This said, she pulled her legs up to her chest, let her chin rest on her knees and then closed her eyes.
"Leave me alone... just... leave me alone..."
This time, she had said the words between sobs.
- In chapter 11, Kaoru asks Shinji to hang out with him. Unfortunately, Shinji is so frightened of getting hurt that he asks her leave him alone.I looked at that warm smile. Loneliness... I didn't want to be lonely anymore... but I didn't want to be hurt again...
"No. Just leave me alone..."
The girl left without a word, disappointment clearly showing on her face. It was a clear contrast to her usual cheerful smile. Some part of me felt bad about that. But I tried to ignore it.
I would not be hurt again...
- In chapter 4 Shinji hurts Asuka and she runs away. Shinji looks for her and when he finds her, she is sitting under a tree and sobbing. As soon as he approaches she screams him leaving her alone.
- Let's Wait a While: Subverted. In an early chapter Rei wants to have sex with Shinji but he backs out because he can not stop to think about Asuka. Not wanting to hurt Rei he lies, saying he stopped because he wants to make sure things don't go too fast.
- Lighter and Softer: A bit lighter than canon thanks to the Love Triangle between the three pilots which led to them finding some happiness and Third Impact being averted.
- Love Confession: Rei blurted out she loved Shinji in presence of everybody during a celebratory party in Misato's home. Asuka said Shinji she liked him several weeks later when they were alone and sharing bedding space, but due to her fear to be vulnerable she did not say she loved him until she thought she had lost him. Shinji admitted he cared about both girls early on, but it was when Asuka got Mind Raped by Arael when he dared to tell her he loved her.
- Love Epiphany:
- Shinji has three: when he realizes he has fallen in love with Rei, when he understands he cares for Asuka because he is in love with her, and finally when he realizes it is Asuka the one he loves the most.
- Rei has hers in the Prologue: during a sync test in Unit 01 she accidentally sees Shinji's memories, realizes he has feelings towards Asuka and herself and gets afraid of losing him to Asuka. Then she realizes she likes him.
- Asuka has hers when she sees Rei giving chocolates to Shinji.
- Love Hurts:
- Shinji had been alone since he was a kid and he was resigned to it. Then he met Asuka and Rei and he fell for them. However Rei blew herself up to stop Armisael and Asuka ran away and slit her wrists because she thought she had lost him. Shinji was alone again for a while and he felt loneliness was unbearable now.
- Asuka fell for Shinji and it hurt her knowing he had feelings not only for her but also for Rei. After her Mind Rape she felt he was the only thing she had left. Thinking she had lost him too was the final blow to her mental stability. She ran away and attempted to kill herself.
- Love Interest: Shinji is Asuka and Rei's love interest. He loves both girls and finally he chooses Asuka.
- Lovely Angels: Asuka and Rei were part of a team of Humongous Mecha pilots. Unfortunately, due to their different personalities and being fighting over the same boy their teamwork was pretty ineffective.
- Love Makes You Evil:
- Gendo specifically tells that his hands are blood-stained because he thought it would be the only way to reunite with his wife.
- In an alternate ending Shinji is so determined to get Asuka back that he is following on his father's steps.
- Love Revelation Epiphany: In chapter 1 Rei gave Shinji chocolates. In reaction Asuka got beyond mad, yelled him and slapped him. Then she cried and ran out of the class. And Shinji had absolutely no idea of why. Later Hikari yelled him he was a blind, thick-headed idiot and told him that Asuka loved him. Shinji was shocked because he liked Asuka but he could not believe she was interested in him.
- Love Triangle: The Asuka/Shinji/Rei love triangle drives the plot. Rei realizes she likes Shinji and he likes her... but he is falling for Asuka. Since she does not want to lose him to the other girl she starts to express her feelings openly, in turn forcing Asuka to acknowledge and display she loves Shinji openly. Meanwhile Shinji likes both girls and he is afraid of hurting either of them.
- Loving a Shadow: Asuka had a crush on Kaji because he was handsome and manly. Later on, she admits that he wasn't the person that she believed that he was.
- Luminescent Blush: In chapter 9 Shinji blurts out that he loves Asuka to her face. Then he blushes brigthly.As the words sunk in, Asuka's eyes grew wider and wider. I felt myself blushing heavily under her gaze.
- Mama Bear: Yui Ikari went berserker every time her son was in danger... and when Misato said she did not want to die because she was pregnant she activated Unit 01. Shinji -who had refused to sortie until then- realized his mother wanted to protect Misato's baby as well, and he reluctantly agreed to fight.
- Mind Rape:
- When Shinji fell into Leliel, the Angel entered his mind to try understand the human mind. However Shinji did not realize what was happening, and he attributed the visions he got to an hallucination.
- On the other hand, when Arael burst into Asuka's mind, forcing her to relive her worst memories, she was painfully aware what was happening. She screamed and even begged for it stopping and leaving her alone."My mind has been sullied. Shinji... it's polluted. What should I do? My mind has been polluted... I... I want to die..."
- Mind Screw: There was at least three: the first in chapter 5 Shinji falls into Leliel trap and sees an image of his younger self asking what he loves and what people thinks of him; in chapter 7 when Shinji is absorbed into his giant robot and wades through a bunch of hallucinations; and in chapter 12's side-story when Gendo merges with Adam and Lilith. He and Unit 01 grab the Lance at the same time and all the sudden we see Gendo and Yui are in some kind of Eldritch Location. They talk, Gendo explains his actions, Yui and Kaoru lecture him about his mistakes, and Yui tells she will set him free because he was willing to do anything to save her... and maybe after a long while she will forgive him.
- Missing Mom: In chapter 9, Asuka reveals Shinji her mother was dead. Shocked, Shinji realizes she is just like him.
- Nightmare Sequence: In chapter 11 Shinji has a nightmare where he relives his worst failures: first he sees Unit-00 fighting Armisael and blowing up. Then Rei appears and says that he let her die before bursting into flame. Right after Asuka shows up, accuses him from never loving her and betraying her trust, and then slits her wrist. When Shinji tries to touch her, her body erupts in a shower of blood, covering him whole. Shinji screams and then he wakes up.
- Noodle Incident: Shinji spent one month absorbed into Unit 01. After getting pulled out of the giant robot, he found Asuka and Rei were now friends and were living together. Shinji asked Misato what had happened between them, and his guardian mentioned off-handily a Cat Fight, but she did not provide further details (a side-story written later by another author narrated what happened that month, though).
- No Social Skills:
- Shinji knew he was not good with people, but he thought Asuka was more sociable. However he slowly realizes he is very, very wrong: Asuka is popular but she has never dated anybody, has very few real friends and has a hard time to open up.
- Rei is lonely and asocial at the beginning. After opening up to Shinji she gets better and she even makes some friends (she eventually befriends Asuka).
- Not So Different:
- In the false epilogue it was shown what Shinji might have turned into if Asuka would have never awoken from her coma: He would become eerily cold and driven, and his obsession with saving the woman he loved would lead him to try to bring about Instrumentality, manipulating everyone around him and treating them like tools to achieve that goal. In a nutshell, he would turn into his father. As a reader put told, the scariest thing of that alternate epilogue is it feels right.
- Likewise, Shinji notes several times throughout how alike he and Asuka are, to the point of considering it eerie.I'd thought once before that she was a lot like me, by pushing people away... but I'd never imagined this. It was distressing to find out how much we really were alike.
- Not What It Looks Like: In chapter 9 Shinji and Asuka argue as riding an elevator. Asuka loses her temper for a second and slaps him. Shinji falls on his back and Asuka gets horrified and kneels down. Shinji stands and reaches a hand down to help her up when the elevator stops and Maya walks in on them. She blushes and Shinji does not want to know what she thought was happening.
- Oblivious to Hints: Shinji never got all hints Asuka had constantly dropped at his direction. Not even when she said she wanted to kiss him in chapter 4 he thought she might like him. She had to resort to blurt her feelings out blatantly.
- Oblivious to Love: Shinji had no freaking idea that Asuka and Rei liked him. He was utterly clueless. So that when Rei gave him chocolates in episode 1 he was surprised. When Asuka got mad with jealousy he was incredulous. When Hikari told Asuka liked him he was shocked and amazed. Then in episode 2 they argued, shouting (Asuka) and snarling (Rei) at each other that he was hers and Shinji finally got a clue. Finally.
- Official Couple: Shinji and Asuka.
- Official Kiss: In chapter 4, after an awkward Test Kiss, a fight, an argument and a long talk, Asuka and Shinji kissed under the shade of a tree in the middle of a wood.
- Old Flame: Misato and Kaji got back together during the story, but he had to fake his death to expose SEELE.
- Orphan's Ordeal: Shinji had led a crappy life after his mother Yui's demise, and he thought Asuka was way more strong-willed and brave than him. However he gradually discovered Asuka was another orphan with a very fragile self-esteem regarded herself as a catalogue of failures.
- Parental Abandonment: In chapter 9, as Asuka is going through a terrible break-down, Shinji finds out her mother died and her father does not care about her... and he realizes she is just like him.
- Parental Neglect: Misato cared dearly for her wards Shinji and Asuka, but after Kaji's death, she was so wrapped into her grief, rage and thirst for revenge that she completely neglected them while they were going through a break-down. She never helped Asuka while she was going through a severe emotional turmoil or after she got mind-raped, and she was not there for Shinji when he was depressed because everyone were dying or leaving him. Shinji even mentioned she was barely in home those days.
- Parental Substitute: Misato took Shinji and Asuka in when they were summoned to Tokyo-3. Shinji also looks up to Kaji and often goes to him for help, advice or counseling. Several times He has wished that Kaji was his real father.
- Plagued by Nightmares:
- Asuka suffers frequent nightmares, specially after getting raped by Arael. Usually they revolved around her mother's insanity and craziness. During a conversation with Rei, Shinji says they are getting so bad he is worried about Asuka.
- Shinji also had bad dreams after Rei blew herself up and Asuka ran away. Often he sees his Eva tearing his best friend apart, Rei exploding and Asuka killing herself while he does nothing to prevent it.
- Please Don't Leave Me: In chapter 11, Shinji says Kaoru those words after having a terrible nightmare.Shinji: "Don't leave me alone. Please... I'm scared... I don't want to be alone...
- Pregnant Badass: Misato was pregnant during the final part of the Angel War. She still commanded her troops in battle and shot down an entire squad of soldiers that was about to execute Shinji.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Done several times by Asuka to HERSELF as a horrified Shinji watches how she someone whom he admired for her courage and confidence- tears herself apart.
- In chapter 6:Asuka:"Do you realize how much it hurts?!" she continued, slightly shaking as if she were about to burst into tears. "Do you know how it feels to hold you, at night, knowing that the next day you'll hold her in your arms instead of me?! Do you know how I feel when we're eating together at school and that you look at HER instead of me?! I... I... I was desperate... I knew that... in the long run... I'd lose you. I'm only good at piloting EVA... That's the only thing I can do and I'm not even the best at that anymore. Her... she cooks like a chef... while I barely know how to make instant. She cleans, does the laundry, her apartment always sparkles... here, I expect you to do all those chores and my room is a mess. She's good at school... do you know that she's our class's top student, even though she misses half the classes? I can barely keep up because I can't understand all the kanji... me... a college graduate... how pathetic..."
- In chapter 6:
- Recursive Fanfiction: Several fans wrote a bunch of side-stories, parodies, and even an authorized -sadly unfinished- sequel ("Que Sera Sera").
- Red Is Heroic: Asuka is a redhead, wears a red plugsuit and drives a red robot. And if you ask her, she will tell red is the best color.Asuka:White or red are much more sexy colors.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Asuka -Hot-Blooded, hot-headed, angry, loud- and Rei -emotionless, detached, calm, quiet-. Their relationship greatly evolves throughout the story. At the beginning Asuka detests Rei and Rei ignores Asuka. Later, when they start competing over Shinji, they can not stand each other. Finally, after a violent fight, they make up, call a truce, and they gradually become friends.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: At the final chapter, Shinji makes it to the battlefield... and realizes he is too late: the MP-Evas have torn into pieces and eaten Unit 02, apparently killing Asuka. After the initial shock and horror Shinji decides his only single goal in life is making them paying with blood. Burning with rage he goes berserker, attacks and slaughters brutally all of them. He practically channelled Kouji Kabuto in that scene.Shinji:"Die... die... die... die! Die! Die! You monsters! You killed Asuka! I'll kill you! Kill you! I'LL KILL YOU ALL!"
- Robeast: The Angels -or Messengers-, giant alien monsters sporting all kind of shapes and abilities. Nearly all of them keep their canon selves, but Tabris. He is a her in this story.
- Running Gag: Shinji is constantly falling on top of women in increasingly embarassing situations -and positions-. Rei, Asuka... When he falls on top of Misato in chapter 8 he is wondering whether it is some kind of curse.However I didn't plan on Misato walking on a beer can and, with her already unsteady balance, falling on the said bed, dragging me along with her. The outcome of this... I had fallen on top of a female... *again*! Surely, it was a curse!
- Sacred First Kiss: During their first date Asuka (not entirely) jokingly accuses Shinji of completely ruining her first kiss. He agreed, feeling pretty guilty about it. In all hindsight, kissing her forcefully as she was teasing him, admitting he had kissed Rei before their date and then yelling it was nothing of her bussiness whom he kissed was probably not a good idea.
- Scars Are Forever: The epilogue happens four years after the Final Battle. Asuka still sports the scars from her last battle.
- Sex for Solace: Shinji ends up having sex with Asuka to comfort her after Arael's mental attack. Played for Drama in that she becomes emotionally dependent on him afterwards, and attempts suicide when she thinks she's lost him.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Although Shinji, Asuka and Rei survived the War and their relationship made them slightly psychologically stronger they were still traumatized. Several years later Shinji still felt guilty for his friends' pain, Asuka was afraid of having children, and Rei regressed and became emotionless again for a while.
- Ship Sinking: The last scene of the second-to-last chapter sinks Shinji/Rei. At the end Shinji chooses Asuka and says a relationship between Rei and him would be bad because he would take everything, giving nothing back, and Rei would never complain or protest. He would be using her to run from reality again, and it would be unfair to her.
- Ship Tease: There is huge amounts of teasing between Shinji and Asuka and Shinji and Rei throughout the whole story. It starts off with Rei recalling old battles, times where Shinji had risked his life to save her or Asuka... and concluding that he cares about the German girl and herself. Later each girl gives Shinji a box of chocolates.
- "Shut Up" Kiss: In episode 5 Shinji does this to Asuka to shut her up after she dares him to kiss her.
- So Proud of You: After the Final Battle, Fuyutsuki tells Shinji that his mother would be proud of him for what he had done."Your mother would be proud of you."
- Sour Outside, Sad Inside: Shinji used to think Asuka was a brave, bold, self-assured girll to the point of being obnoxious although he had seen some glimpses showed Asuka was weaker than she looked. Then in chapter 6 she started tearing herself apart and he was shocked because she was so fragile and insecure and frightened as him.
- The Stations of the Canon: The story starts halfpoint through the series and it follows the order of battles and main events closely. However it introduces little gradual changes that alter the outcome radically.
- Suggestive Collision: Shinji colliding with other woman and falling on top of her happens so many times that it is a Running Gag. Shinji had fallen on top of Rei before the beginning of the story, he fell on top of Asuka when she was asleep and lying on her bed and he tripped and fell over Misato when he was helping her to go to her bedroom. All accidents are highly embarassing to him.
- Talking in Bed: Shinji has several talks with Asuka and Rei when he shares a bed with either of them. Asuka often opens up to him in those times.
- Teen Pregnancy: After the war Shinji gets Asuka pregnant when she is seventeen. They never used protection because they thought they did not need because her injuries were too severe. After finding out she was pregnant they got married.
- Test Kiss: In chapter 4 while they are going on a date, Shinji and Asuka have a test kiss. Asuka wanted to kiss him but she was frightened of being rejected so she taunted him, and Shinji reacted to her goading by grabbing her and kissing her forcefully. Then they had a fight before making up.
- Thanks for the Mammary: In chapter 7 Shinji falls on top of Asuka and accidentally gropes her left breast:This took me out of my brief daze. I soon realized that Asuka wasn't looking at me anymore but rather lower, toward her chest. I followed her gaze to realize that my right hand was... right on top of her breast.
- That Didn't Happen: When Misato collapses over the floor after listening to Kaji's last call Shinji hurries to hug her, try to console her and help her to walk to her bed. Accidentally they tripped and Shinji fell on top of her. Misato kissed him before both of them fell asleep. At the next morning both are embarassed and agree to never talk about it again.
- That Was Not a Dream: In chapter 9 Arael's Mind Rape leaves Asuka in a catatonic state. When Asuka wakes up she looks around confusedly and realizes it was not a dream.Asuka:"It wasn't a dream."
- Their First Time: Rei has her first time with Shinji when she sees him crestfallen and tries to comfort him. Several months later Asuka is the one is distraught after her Mind Rape and asks Shinji loving her and making her forget the pain for one night.
- These Hands Have Killed: Shinji felt awful and borderline suicidal after having been forced to kill Kaoru.
- They Do: Shinji spent the whole story trying to choose between Asuka and Rei. Finally in the epilogue he and Asuka got married.
- Title Drop: It happens sometimes.
- Took a Level in Badass: Shinji tried to become more badass throughout the war to protect people he loved. As a result of it, in the Final Battle he broke synch records and utterly destroyed the MP-Evas.
- Took a Level in Cheerfulness: Rei, Asuka and Shinji had several setbacks and much angst as the former two fought over the latter, but on the whole their Love Triangle made them happier and more emotionally stable.
- Took a Level in Idealism: Through the story Shinji, Asuka and Rei often get depressed, sad or even hopeless, but ultimately they try to overcome their troubles, open up to other people and gain a more positive mindset.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: Shinji. Several times. When Asuka tried -clumsily- to seduce him he thought -for absolutely NO reason- she was just trying to screw Rei, so that he slapped her, called her names and treated her like dirt during several days. Later he insulted Rei and made her crying because she had not told him who was the Fourth Child. In his defense, he later admitted he behaved like an ass and apologized to both girls.
- Took a Level in Kindness: Rei and Asuka start fighting over Shinji, forcing the latter girl to acknowledge and display her feelings openly. Since she has to stop pushing him away, Asuka starts being nicer and less harsh. In chapter 6 Shinji notes she is really kinder now.
- Trash of the Titans: Misato and Rei's apartments seem war zones because the amount of trash, garbage and dirt littering floor and furniture. Rei made an effort to become tidier, but when Shinji got absorbed into Unit 01 she reverted to her old ways. When Asuka visited her apartment in the "Friends and Rivals" side-story she was surprised when she saw the mess because she thought Rei was tidier than her.I entered her apartment. It looked like a mess. A rather strange sight, in fact. I always heard that Ayanami was a tidy girl, unlike me. But as I saw the state of her apartment... I realized that Shinji must have been doing all the chores in there...
- Triang Relations: Shinji, Asuka and Rei have a Type 7 relationship (thankfully without affair): Shinji loves both Asuka and Rei and both girls love him, but they are rivals (although later they become friends).
- Troubled Fetal Position: In chapter 4 Shinji hurts Asuka and she runs away. Shinji looks for her and when he finds her, she is sobbing and sitting under a tree, her legs pulled up her chest."I don't need you! I don't need anyone! Go away!"
This said, she pulled her legs up to her chest, let her chin rest on her knees and then closed her eyes.
"Leave me alone... just... leave me alone..."
This time, she had said the words between sobs.
- Tsundere: Asuka hid her softer side under an intentionally harsh side because she was afraid of other people due to her childhood trauma. Thus, although she fell for Shinji, she was reluctant to show her feelings openly, restricting herself to drop hints he never got. When Rei started to pursue Shinji, though, she had no option but dropping her façade and displaying her feelings and her nicer side in plain, honest fashion.
- Unbroken Vigil: When Asuka was in a coma Shinji was by her side the whole time, talking to her and praying for her waking up. He only left the hospital room when the nurses needed to take care of her. In an alternate epilogue where she does not wake up after the Final Battle, she spent fifteen years comatose, and there was not a single day Shinji did not visit her.
- Undying Loyalty: When Asuka falls in a coma after the Final Battle Shinjij promises he will always wait for her, not matter what."I'll wait for you, Asuka. Even if it means waiting all my life..."
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: Before the beginning of the story there was unresolved tension between Shinji and Asuka because Shinji was frightened of showing openly he liked Asuka, Asuka did not want to admit she liked Shinji, and Rei had not realized yet what she liked Shinji. Later there was tension because Shinji cared about both girls but he was unable to choose whom he loved the most.
- Valentine's Day Episodes: The story begins during a Valentine's Day. As Asuka is trying to work up the nerve to give Shinji some home-made chocolates, Rei gives Shinji a chocolate box, earning Asuka's wrath and kick starting the plot.
- Wedding Finale: Shinji and Asuka get married in the epilogue. The whole episode covers their wedding until they go on a honeymoon.
- Wham Line:Misato:"I don't want to die... because... because... I'm... I'm pregnant..."
- What Does She See in Him?: In chapter 6 "Friends" Asuka tells Shinji her best friend has a huge crush on his best friend... and she has no idea of why she likes that pervert idiot:Shinji:"Are you really sure she likes him?"
Asuka:"Sure! I asked her. I don't know why, but she has the biggest crush on that baka. Personally, I think she deserves better, but if she want him that bad..."
- When She Smiles: After spending several chapters angry and trying to not crying, Shinji asks Asuka out. In answer she smiles, and he thinks she is gorgeous when she smiles sincerely instead of seeming mad, smug or depressed:She gave me her most beautiful smile, before reverting to her arrogant self. If I had not been seated on my bed, I might have fallen on the floor. For that brief moment, she had really been the most gorgeous person I had ever seen.
- "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The epilogue chapter happens several years after the Final Battle: Shinji and Asuka get married and their friends and co-workers attend their wedding. During the ceremony Shinji explains what everyone have been doing during the past years: he and Asuka still work for NERV, are living together and expecting a baby; Rei dealt with a depression for a while but got better and was experimenting with all kind of jobs; Touji and Hikari are still together; Misato started dating Makoto...
- Wrong Name Outburst: At the end of chapter 5, Shinji notices that a girl is sleeping in his bed, and he mutters Rei?. Asuka was NOT amused:"Rei-chan?" I groaned, still half asleep.
"Wrong girl, you baka."
- You're Not My Father: When Gendo is trying to force him to fight and kill the last Angel Shinji calls him out on all he has done to Asuka and Rei and screams he would be ashamed of calling himself "Ikari" if it was not his mother's surname.
- Zeerust: Averted in an unintentional -and ironically funny- way. In a chapter, Misato plays a DVD for Shinji. Alain told in the author notes he guessed in 2015 there would be more advanced technology than DVD technology, but he didn't feel like making something up. Nearly in 2015, DVD and Blu-Rays keep being the most widespread information-storing technology.