The Ikaris

Chapter 6: Of Super Gendos, Rivals and Roommates


It was a relatively quite evening in the Katsuragi apartment (at least since a certain inhabitant married another one). But everyone who lived within a range of a hundred meters knew better than to raise their hopes of finally getting a raise of the land prices again too early.

And they were proved right when a high-pitched scream emitted from the complex as Shinji ran past the baffled Misato from the living room into his own.

Just having returned from work, barely having time to down her first beer, the wondering Major was about to ask him what was wrong, but seeing him trembling on his bed, clutching his pillow with a panic look on his face, she knew that she wouldn't get much out of him.
Besides, there was only one possible answer.

"Asuka?" she sternly called her second charge.

"What?"

To Misato's surprise, the annoyed answer came from behind her; the opposite direction from where Shinji had run. As she turned around, she indeed found Asuka coming from the kitchen with a can of soda in her hand; wet hair and the towel on her shoulders making it apparent that she had been in the bathroom.

"If it wasn't you, then...?" She quickly stepped into the living room, where the TV was still running; PenPen still watching intrigued. A quite catchy song played while various scenes were flashing that seemed to feature EVAs, Angels, some NERV personnel, but most prominently a somehow much less intimating Gendo Ikari. Most likely because it wasn't really him.

"They made a cartoon out of us?" Asuka asked surprised as she sat herself on the floor in front of it.

"Anime," Misato corrected, sitting down herself, cross-legged on a cushion behind Asuka. "It's Anime in Japan."

"Whatever. Silly animated drawings are silly animated drawings. Why didn't they made a life action series? I wouldn't have a problem to... a-hem... sacrifice myself to become a sta... I mean, to play my role."

"Shh! It's starting!" Misato shooed with a grin, her eyes fixed on the screen. "I've got to see this!"

And indeed, a brightly-colored screen displayed the title, and for those who couldn't read and haven't heard it plenty of times during the opening song, an announcer said in a quirky voice:
["It's time for 'The Super Gendo Super Show!'"]

"Super...?"

[The scene started rather unspectacular, at least for anyone who didn't know that Gendo Ikari usually didn't stroll down the corridors of NERV, whistling a catchy tune (sounding a lot like the main theme).]

"That's supposed to be the introduction?" Asuka complained, already bored. "They should have used something huge that gets the viewers attention, like an Angel Attack, me beating it up..."

"Probably did; before the opening," Misato mused. "Back in the day, openings where actually at the beginning, but nowadays you sometimes don't get to see the title screen until halfway through the episode..."

["Hello, my beloved son," Gendo greeted an animated Shinji that passed his way. Obviously the producers of the show thought it would be better to avoid the topic that the "hero" hadn't taken care of his son most of his life. "How's it going in your marriage?"]

The redhead's head jerked up at that word.

["Oh, I don't know, Pa..." Shinji said in an extremely whiny voice. "She's just like always. I don't know why she married me at all. She doesn't really seem to like me after all..."]

Asuka's right eye twitched in tension.

["Don't worry," Gendo chuckled heartily, ruffling his son's hair. "Everyone knows she's just acting the 'tough girl'."]

"Acting?" came an angry breath from the real 'tough girl'.

["I'm sure you and the Second Children will have many blissful years together."]

Asuka's eyes bulged out and her whole body stiffened in shock, crushing the can she was holding, not caring about its contents that poured out and over her hand. "The-they're spreading that over THE WHOLE FUCKING COUNTRY?!" she screamed at the screen, unable to hold back any longer.

[As if on cue, a certain redhead girl (or rather her animated counterpart) in a similar red plugsuit made her entrance.

"Are you talking about me?" she said in an overly snotty voice.]

The sound of grinding teeth filled the apartment.

["Well, of course you were," the drawn redhead continued, waving her hair around. "What else is there to talk about but me?"

"H-hey, Asuka..." Shinji greeted her shyly.

"Hello, my daughter in law. We were indeed talking about you," Gendo confirmed, still with that extreme friendliness. He actually sounded like he was – teasing? "In fact, I just told him that you must actually love him very much to marry him so early in your life."

"Pa!" an embarrassed Shinji winced.

"Pht!" Asuka huffed, turning away from them towards the camera. "I-I just married him, 'cause he tricked me!"]

"What the hell is with that blushing and stuttering? I'd never do that!" the real Asuka protested, pointing at the screen. "They're portraying me as if I would just pretend not to like him and secretly be all over him! That's so... so... ridiculous!"

"Oh, I think they matched the shade of red quite well."

"Why do I have the feeling you have something to do with that?" Asuka snarled through gritted teeth, shooting her guardian a patented glare of death.

"Well, they came to NERV recently and asked around for help with the characterizations, so..."

["Major Katsuragi! Come quickly! We have an Angel sighting!" an apparently faceless tech shouted, the scene having shifted to the command center.

A groan was heard, before a figure with messy purple hair and dark circles under her eyes stepped tiredly into the picture, holding her head with one hand. "Yes, yes, I'm already here. You don't have to shout this loud, I'm still having a hangover from yesterday. Or was it this morning? Ah, I can't think like this. Does anyone have a beer for me?"]

A shower of said brewage rained down near Misato, followed by the can she had just taken a mouthful from (and later leaving Shinji with the problem to get the mess out of the carpet again) as she looked gawking at her TV-self.

"Well, at least one character is right on spot," Asuka grinned at her revenge.

The Major quickly snapped out of her trance, but her amusement was also replaced by a childish competitiveness. "Yes, and that's you."

"No, you!"

PenPen shook his head and let out a low "Waa..." which was his penguin equivalent to a sigh.

"You!"

"YOU!"

"Hey, look, there's Unit-02!"

[Indeed, there were the surprisingly accurate forms of EVA-02 and the other two Evangelions, facing the "Angel" – which looked like a flying blob with two tiny wings.

"Okay, I'm gonna take it down!" Anime-Asuka declared in her entry plug, but a small window popped up at her side, showing her husband.

"Uh, honey, w-wouldn't it be better to analyze the situation first?"

"Aww, alright, alright," Asuka said with a pout. "Rei, hurry up!"

"Command acknowledged, processing..." The scene shifted to the cockpit of the blue haired... girl?]

"Huh? What's with those joints?" Misato wondered, cocking her head at the screen in synch with (real-)Asuka.

"And those eyes..." the redhead concurred, for instead of merely shining crimson, "Rei"'s pupils were filled with numbers and code rushing by for several seconds.

["Insufficient data," Rei reported with an odd mechanical sound. "Scanner unable to see past AT Field."]

"Ha," Asuka laughed on her cushion. "I've always said she's a doll, but that...!"

"She's not a doll, she's..."

"If you're going to say 'action figure', I'm going to make sure that you won't enjoy your next beer!"

"I was going to say 'robot'," a peeved Misato grumbled. "I guess they misunderstood a few things they were told about her..."

[But all inconsistencies were forgiven (for the moment) when the surprisingly well-done action started. Not unlike the tenth Angel, the "blob" was able to use little parts of itself to shoot at its enemies and on top of that sprout as many fists wherever it liked, giving the EVAs also a hard time close-range.]

Especially Asuka got quickly engrossed in the battle, cheering "herself" on, throwing her fists around enough to scare any imaginary Angel away (probably hiding behind the stereo and the plant).

[THEN!

The music changed into a dramatic piece as a large glob of the blob came flying at EVA-02, that was unable to react in time as Anime-Asuka was just recovering from an earlier hit. But in the last second that got drawn out for ten, EVA-01 pushed its red companion out of the way – only to be hit itself right in the chest.

The purple unit didn't fall over from the impact though – the pink substance wrapped itself around the Evangelion before its master called it back. Stuck into it, Unit-01 flew right at the Angel – which awaited it with the two biggest fists it had formed so far (in fact it now pretty much consisted entirely of two large fists – with a little wing each) .]

A single blow was enough to slam the EVA in the ground, eliciting a shocked gasp from both Asukas, much to the Major's amusement.

["Pilot doesn't answer!" the voice of an unnamed techie announced. "EVA-01 is silent!"
The Angel however didn't stop its assault and pounded with its fists onto the helpless EVA.
"It's going to kill him!"
"No!"] both Asukas shouted, though rather unconsciously by the real one, as she didn't even tried to save her grace by adding something like "I mean... That's your chance to kick this Angel's butt all by yourself!"

[That was just what she did anyway – or at least tried.

She stormed at the Angel, her battle-cry revealing her agony and anger, making it obvious to everyone hearing her how much she actually felt for the fallen boy she sought to avenge. She would defeat the Angel, rip it apart, equaling the pain her husband must feel and hers, shouldn't he feel anything at all anymore.

That is, if the Angel wouldn't just have slapped the advancing EVA rather comically away with a backhand, sending it flying.]

"WHAT THE HELL?!" Asuka yelled, jumping to her feet as "her" EVA remained on the ground, right leg twitching in the air. "Don't tell me that was all! You're supposed to do that to that bastard, not the other way round!"

"Geez, Asuka!" Misato actually sounded stern for once. "It's not the TV's fault!" she reminded the redhead, who had her hands already at the sides of the screen, about to shake the device in rage.

"But they made me...!"

"Lose, I know, I've seen it," the Major groaned. "It's not like you're the only one..."

[Indeed, EVA-00 was just going down as well, what Rei commented without fazing. "Heavy damage in vital systems. Unable to reestablish connection to the left leg."]

"Certainly not, with that thing being a mashed up pulp a couple of miles away..."

["This isn't good," Fuyutsuki analyzed the obvious from his place in the Command Center.

"Indeed," Gendo muttered, raising up from his chair with determination, "I fear it's time to take matters into my hands!"

And with that (and a catchy "time to shine"-tune kicking in), he held his arms out to call:

"Evangelions! Lend me your power!"

And outside, the beaten Units reacted. One by one, they slowly managed to heave their heavy arms up. The cores inside them started to sparkle, before a rainbow-flashing beam shot up from each to the sky, meeting in the middle, then shooting back down as one, searching its way through the earth to the NERV pyramid, to the Command Center, right at Gendo Ikari, awaiting the energy with open arms.

"SUPER GENDO HYPER MODE!!"

Bathing in the light, he twisted and turned, suddenly starting to grow until he reached EVA-like proportions – which fortunately didn't prove to be a problem, as he had magically been transported to the surface already, facing the Angel.

"Halt there, Evil-doer!" he yelled, pointing his finger accusingly.

Surprisingly enough, the Angel suddenly proved to be able to talk as well – and just as melodramatic.

"Hur hur!" It laughed with a guttural voice. "I was wondering when you'd show up! I need a challenge after these wimps! I hope you'll prove to be one as it's said!"

"Don't you dare insulting these brave children! They might not be as strong as me, but they are doing the best they can! You might exceed them in strength, but never in heart!"

"Hur hur, listen to yourself! Angry that I hurt your son?"

"As well as his wife and friend!"

"I am unharmed..." a third voice echoed over the field. A quick zoom to EVA-00 revealed Rei standing on the chest of the fallen mammoth, an unusual angry look in her eyes. In a sudden motion, she stretched her right arm out.

"Ayanami Model Rei Mk II, entering battle mode!"

But before that could happen, Gendo interrupted her. "No, I will take care of this on my own! Be prepared, evil-doer!"

"Have been for long!"]

What followed was one of the most intense and at the same time most ridiculous battles the two beauties ever witnessed. [After all, it was (the animated version of) their commanding officer that jumped around, quickly getting the Angel into a defense position with furious kicks. That didn't mean it was all over for the hideous monster already though.

Glowing fists were exchanged and blocked from both sides (for some reason, the Angel had stopped sprouting more hands, which probably would have ended the fight much faster. But then again, the two opponents moved so fast that it probably didn't really matter...) Sparks went flying with each hit (however that was possible with neither of the two being made out of metal or similar), shockwaves plowed through the earth.

They parted and clashed again, over and over, but it wasn't until Gendo drew the "holy prog sword" out of thin air and embedded it deep into the Angel's core (why he or the EVAs couldn't do that before probably remains a mystery too...)

"This is impossible!" the Angel screeched in its death fight. "No one was ever able to withstand my power!"

"It is the punishment for your evil deeds! In the name of the EVA, I have slain you!" Gendo declared. "Now, be gone!"

And it was, exploding in flashy fireworks.

Shrinking back to his normal size, Gendo was immediately surrounded by the pilots, Shinji and Asuka apparently already having recovered too, and having run towards this place from miles away, knowing exactly where to go.

"You did it, Pa!" Shinji yelled.

"I wish I was that good!" Asuka complimented.

"Efficient as always," Rei noted.

"Now, now," Gendo laughed, not even panting heavily anymore. "I'm sure if you train hard and believe in yourself, you'll easily be able to do the same as me."

"But I don't wanna grow a beard," Shinji said pouting to everyone's laughter.

"Oh Shinji," "Asuka" commented in between.]

"WHAT-THE-HELL?!" Asuka(!) commented as the screen faded to make place for the credits. The absurdity of the last minutes had baffled both of them into silence until now.

"Yeah, that beard-joke wasn't funny at all. And why didn't they show Rei's battle mode? Such teases!"

"That was not exactly what I meant..." Asuka muttered deadpanning.


*********


"Shinji?" Misato asked again as she knocked on the boy's door. "Shinji, come out already! The show's over!"

"R-really?" came a muffled reply from the other side.

The woman's tired sigh elicited a snicker from the redhead next to her. "Well, I'm not the one married to him," she muttered lowly at Asuka, causing her to choke on her laughter instantly. "Yes, Shinji, really."

"O-okay..." the boy answered, and the door slid open ever so slowly to reveal his fidgeting form.

Just then, the doorbell rang.

"Waaaah!" Shinji jumped in shock and would have retreated back into his room if it weren't for Misato's hand shooting forward to grab his arm. "Let me go! What if it's him?!"

Despite being trained in several suspension techniques, the Major had major trouble keeping the teen from possibly hurting himself as he flailed his arms around in panic, trying to get away. "Damn it, keep still! And Asuka, instead of laughing your ass off you could get the door!"

"No!" Shinji shrieked. "Misato! Let me go first! What if he's just like there?! So... friendly and cheery and... positive! That's just not normal!!"

"Geez, that's it?" Asuka rolled her eyes. "Just when I thought you couldn't hurt my reputation any more..."

"Asuka, the door!" Misato reminded.

"Yes, yes," the redhead groaned and finally went for the front door. Hitting the button to open it, she was faced with two familiar faces. "Oh, it's you..."

"Yes. We're not too late, are we?"

"Late?"

"Yes, Mrs. Ikari," Saori reminded as she walked in without waiting for admission. "We had an appointment for an inspection of the living conditions."

Asuka stared after her, even forgetting to react on the name for the moment. "We did...?"

"To be honest," Hiroya whispered, bending down to her as he sheepishly followed in, "I didn't know about this either until she called me and asked what was taking me so long..."

"See?" the children's guardian told the finally calming Shinji she was keeping in a headlock. "It's not him, it's... ehm..."

"Saori Tagawa, marriage counselor. And that lawyer guy," the young brunette introduced herself and, with a nudge of her head, her companion. "I believe we didn't have the pleasure of meeting before, Ms...?"

"Uh... Katsuragi. Misato Katsuragi."

"Misato? Misato..." Saori repeated as if searching her mind. But then her eyes narrowed at the sight of the (by now heavily blushing) head of Shinji that was still trapped under Misato's arm – and well cushioned. "Ah yes, the rival..."

"Rival?" Misato repeated, raising an eyebrow.

But the brunette counselor continued counting the facts without taking further notice of her. "Luring him to the city with a questionable picture, inviting him into her home with questionable intentions, getting him into many questionable..." she glanced disapprovingly at the 'cushioned' boy, "...compromising situations..."

"Questionable...?" the Major wondered. "Was it also questionable with Asu-...?"

Saori, however, didn't even pretend to listen to any reasoning. "The spouses sharing their home with a rival; now this is a state we can't possibly permit!" she firmly cut the Major off. "I'm afraid I have to demand that you move out within the next 24 hours."

"WHAT?!"

Shinji's body hit the floor as Misato let go of him in shock.

While the boy tried to get up, gasping for air, Hiroya leaned over to Saori. "I'm afraid we do not have the right to kick someone out of their own apartment," he mumbled, but loud enough for Misato to hear.

"See? Even your lawyer friend there agrees with me!"

"Oh, I may not have this kind of authority by the Japanese law," Saori said calmly and handed her a letter. "But I got the permission of your 'Commander' to do everything in this matter I deem necessary."

Misato unbelievingly unfolded the paper. All it read was, in big, bold letters that were all across the sheet: "Do what she says!"

"Damn, that's official alright," she hissed silently. "But..."

"I'm sorry, but your presence here is disturbing the bonding process. A rival, especially a... 'well endowed' one like you would distract Mr. Ikari too much from getting closer to his wife again. The risk is too high that you will try to seduce him in this critical state of their relationship. Just him gawking at you instead of his wife could already cause an otherwise preventable conflict."

"Why does everyone see me as potential abuser of a 14 year old? I'm not that desperate!" Misato protested.

"Why does everyone think I'd rather look at her than..." Shinji trailed off as he felt the glares of the two women on either of his sides on him. "I mean, yes, she has... eh... never mind..."

"Why does everyone think I would care if he'd stare at other girls?" Now Asuka was instantly met by the knowing looks from every other person in the room. "Well, yeah, but I'm just doing that 'cause he's a pervert!" she hastily defended herself.

"Anyway," Saori redirected the attention to herself, "I think I made my point. I'll keep the counseling on hold until this living arrangement is settled; in other words: The two of them living together with only each other."

"But they're still kids. They need someone to watch over them," Misato tried to argument once more, immediately silencing Asuka with a gesture of her hand, before she would start another "I'm not a kid"-tirade.

However her pleas didn't even scratch Saori's professional exterior. "As far as I've learned, you are trusting your lives on them. I guess it wouldn't be too much to ask to trust their own lives on them as well. Your organization doesn't seem to have any problems with the living conditions of that other, blue-haired youngster. And she's surviving pretty well regarding that she's living in that dump."

"How do you know all that?"

An aura of eeriness suddenly seemed to surround the councilor as a creepy smirk spread across her face. "A good marriage councilor knows everything..." For some reason her voice had sounded a little deeper than usual as she said that. But as suddenly as it came, it vanished again. "... About her clients."

The short didn't manage to distract Misato from her more than sudden eviction for long, however. "But... but... where am I even supposed to go? Kaji's still who-knows-where."

"Don't you have his keys?" Asuka said, half sneering.

"Not since I lost them..." Misato sighed. "For the third time..." she added mumbling.

"Then what about Dr. Akagi?" Shinji proposed.

"Ha! The original reason she started to get cats was because she knows I'm allergic to them."

"A hotel?" he suggested then.

"Not with my current financial situation."

"Most of this building is empty," Asuka huffed. "Can't you just go to another apartment?"

"What part of 'not with my current financial situation' did you not understand?"

"Besides, I won't permit her anywhere close to this building," Saori interjected.

"Uhm..." Shinji was thinking, "can't you get an apartment at NERV?"

"Have you ever seen these coffins? I have my reasons that I got me this place."

"But... isn't there anyone you could live with?" he wondered. "What about Lt. Hyuga?"

"He'd probably pass out from the lone thought of me 'sleeping with him'."

"Lt. Aoba?"

"He's living in an old van for Christ's sake!" Misato snapped for a second. "Freaking Hippy/Military freak-crossbread. Stupid scientists with their stupid 'combined opposites make the ultimate being'-theory."

Asuka groaned. "Lt. Ibuki?"

"Too nerdy."

"Sub-Commander Fuyutsuki?"

"Too old."

"The Commander?"

Shinji shuddered and Misato agreed. "Ugh! Rather Fuyutsuki."

"Geez!" Asuka yelled. "Isn't there ONE frikkin person you could move in with?!"

"Um, well, there's..."


*********


"Maybe the NERV apartments were a better idea after all..." mumbled a shocked Misato at the sight of the desolate rooms. She had heard the stories, but seeing it was a whole other one.

"I have never been averse to live in this place," Rei stated calmly.

'Big surprise...' Misato rolled her eyes. "Oh, it's not too bad I guess..." – 'Though not even my student flat at its worst times looked as shabby,' she mentally added.

Rei narrowed her eyes as she looked at her commanding officer, who had "suggested" to move in. "If you do not wish to live with me..."

"Oh, really, it's okay," Misato quickly apologized, putting the hastily packed box with her most important belongings on the ground. "I'm sure the two of us will have lots of fun. We're gonna have a nice girl's party tonight and we'll... say where's your TV?"

"I do not have a television set."

Misato blinked. "A girl of your age without TV? What are you doing here to relax?"

"Thinking."

"Thinking? Too much thinking is not healthy for a girl of your age."

Rei stared at her in an unusual "is she for real"-kind of way. But of course, she put it different: "I do not think that not thinking would be very practical..."

"Well, if you think so..." Misato shrugged, making her way to the kitchen that only gave a slightly better sight than the bed-/living room. Not that she really cared, as she instantly went to the fridge in search for a much-needed liquid distraction, as she used up most of hers already on the way.

But...

"So much for a party," she muttered disappointed, before turning to Rei behind her. "Where's your beer?"

"As far as I am aware, it is unusual for a girl of my age to have beer in her refrigerator."

"You mean you drank all of it already?"

"I was told it would be inappropriate for a girl of my age to consume alcoholics."

"Pht. 'Inappropriate'. Didn't stop our honeymooners and look where it got them..." Misato muttered under her breath, trailing off as she realized: "...a fully paid apartment, all for them...", as she added grumbling.


*********


Meanwhile, in that fully paid apartment, it was about to get ugly again.

"So, with that hindrance out of the way, let's get back to the sleeping conditions!" Saori stated, clapping her hands to gain attention after all the ruckus.

"What about them?" Asuka spoke with a hint of dread in her voice.

"'What about them?'" Saori repeated. "Sleeping in two different beds is bad enough, but sleeping in different rooms as well? I cannot tolerate that! So you, Mrs. Ikari, will move into your husband's room."

"No way in hell I'm gonna-! Hey, that doesn't even make sense logistic-wise! My room is much bigger, and Misato's even more so! His is already too small for one – normal – person, let alone two!"

"Exactly! I'm an avid follower of the "close proximity" theory: The closer a couple is, even and especially under forced conditions (thanks to the combination with the "same enemy"-focusing), the more they'll stick together."

"Isn't it usually the other way round?" Shinji quietly asked Hiroya as they watched the two women "discuss" the matter. "I've heard couples tend to separate after spending a lot of time with each other..."

"Phht!" Saori had apparently heard, however. "The 'lacking privacy'- or 'everything's been said'-excuses and the like are just that: excuses from couples who have forgotten about their love or never really had any and only got together for some other convenient reasons! People truly in love would want to be together every second, share everythi-"

"But we're NOT 'truly in love'!" Asuka spat, interrupting the rambling counselor.

"Says you. But I'm the expert here! And as such, I say you will sleep in your husband's room and I will take measures to ensure it!"

Asuka eyed her thoroughly. "You're not gonna sleep here too, are you?"

"Oh no, no, I don't have to..." Saori laughed in a diabolic way that send shivers down everyone's spines – Hiroya's because he kind of dreaded that she'd make him stay there, being the overseer and all.

The truth, however, was far worse – for a certain redhead, that is...


*********


"This GOT to be illegal!" Asuka grumbled for the n-th time.

"Well, Mr. Matsura said there was nothing he could do about it," she heard Shinji replying tiredly from the futon below.

Maybe it hadn't been the best idea to claim the bed. Not only it was too reminiscent of that one very bad morning – it just smelled too much like him...



And who on earth knew what he did in there all the time, thinking of her... and all...

'Focus on the problem at hand!' she scolded herself. "Then he's the crappiest lawyer ever! Or it's this stupid country with it's stupid laws – our... 'situation' being the prime example! I mean, seriously, live camera observation and blaring alarm when one of us sets a foot outside the room at night?" Both still had ringing ears from when Asuka had tried to evade the detection devices that had been installed by the same quick workers who had also helped moving Misato's things earlier. "We're being held hostage in our own home!"

Shinji muttered a reply as he seemingly drifted off to sleep after a long day, but she didn't quite caught it.

"What?"

But there was no longer a reply.

Did he really say "It could be worse"?


*********


Meanwhile, two other roommates prepared for bed as well.

That being Misato snuggling under the cover of her (already) unmade futon, as Rei exited the bathroom – instantly causing the Major's eyes to bulge out from surprise.

Noticing the purple-haired woman staring at her, Rei eventually decided to ask. "Does my appearance bother you?"

Misato shook her head free from the trance. "No, it's just... Why are you wearing that?"

"I was not aware that I am expected to wear nothing to sleep."

"That's not what I meant. But... that?" Misato pointed at the pink nightgown covered with white bunnies that Rei was wearing.

"It is... comfortable to wear."

"And what's with the plu..." Misato reached out for the gray, fuzzy object that Rei held by its arm, but was stopped by the pilot's cold stare.

"You will – not – touch Mr. Fluffy-Bunny."


*********


Elsewhere, anther pair was not quite thinking of sleep yet. Only dim light illuminated the vast room where the two NERV Commanders observed a certain video footage.

"It seems like the PR department did their job a little too well again," Fuyutsuki commented, standing behind Gendo as usual as they watched the monitor fading black.

"Indeed."

"Shouldn't we... prohibit this?"

Gendo's answer didn't come immediately. "As long as they are not showing our actual intentions and tactics, I don't see any reason for such action."

Fuyutsuki smirked knowingly. "You didn't happen to have an influence on this?"

The Commander just glanced at him.

"Very well," the elder sighed. "I will see to it that it doesn't get out of hand... too much..."

Just as he was almost out of the door of the huge office, he heard a low humming of the opening song of the show they've just seen. A smile formed on Kozo's lips as he shook his head. 'Still a child at heart...'





----------------------------
AN: ZOMG, NEW CHAPTER!!1 ... and what a mess it is. But then again, it's Ikaris, never supposed to be good, yadda yadda.... Well, it probably didn't help that I worked only now and then on this, making some parts of the chapter actually over three years old by now, even though the main ideas already stood.
The show was pretty much a natural continuation of the "Happy Gendo" product line, but what was intended as small little side-step went somewhat out of hand. While I liked those "mistakes" in authenticity and winks at TV-clichés, the whole thing got a bit out of proportion (sure, I could have put more work in the other parts... naaah...). I guess the (at least my) biggest problem with it is that I apparently haven't really gotten the hang of the whole MSTing thing. Maybe because I made up the story they comment on myself, but even then, the whole switching back between the commenting and the acting versions was a pain in the behind.

I admit, the whole Saori kicking Misato out of her own apartment to live with Rei was also a pretty random and spontaneous (if you can still call it that after several years) idea, that might end me up in a corner. Not so much because I have ideas with Misato and/or Rei that would clash with this setup. No, I actually see myself more faced with the problem that now I'll have to do more with this. While it's a relatively unexplored relationship and thanks to their contrasting characters, make a neat "odd couple", I was already struggling in this chapter. It might be partially because I just wanted to finally be over with this chapter, but that scene was significantly shorter than intended. In fact, that A/S scene in between was not even in the original plan, it just got in to "fill the hole", at least enough to get a proper pacing between the two shorter than intended
scenes.

Anyway, don't expect the chapters to come in masses now. I can't even tell if the next one will be out faster or even longer then this one, all I can say is that Ikaris is still pretty low on my "To do"-list.

And finally, thanks to Eric Blair for... well, at least helping some (sorry, shortened the "smile" slightly)... XD



All rights belong to their respective owners. Which means mostly Gainax in this case...