*Disclaimer: I own not a single thing of Gainax, Khara, WMG or Sony Music Entertainment.*

It hadn't been a good day for Shinji. Then again, the anniversary of his mother's passing usually wasn't. He never liked visiting the cemetery where her marker lay, especially if his father was there. Today was no different, with the revelation that his father destroyed any pictures or mementos of her pouring further salt in the wound. Shinji returned to the apartment he shared with Misato and Asuka more sullen than when he left earlier in the day. Not wanting to immediately pick up his SDAT, he decided to actually make some music himself to soothe his melancholy, and took out the cello he inherited from his mother. Playing it seemed to have the desired effect as he lost himself in the music. Strangely, when he finished his piece, he found Asuka-having returned from a blind date that proved less-than-satisfactory-applauding his performance. Even if a part of him welcomed this, he was quick to downplay his musical ability, much to the redhead's chagrin.

Later in the evening, Shinji had gone to his room to retrieve his SDAT and ear buds, only to make an unwelcome discovery: the batteries had finally given out, and at the moment there weren't any fresh ones in the apartment. Sighing, the Third Child decided to tough it out on the couch and find something on TV to watch. When he got there, he found Asuka at the table, head laid down on the surface, looking quite bored. Pen-Pen had already taken up one of the cushions on the floor and didn't look as if he'd put up an argument over whatever channel Shinji picked. Shinji began channel-surfing, until he wound up on one in particular that piqued a bit of his curiosity. He'd stumbled upon the Japanese pickup of MTV Classic, and found himself at the beginning of their rock block dedicated to classic 80's and early-90's videos.

Not noticing this at first, Asuka was about to ask Shinji something when the two of them had their attention caught by the video that just came on. Uncannily, the two of them were quickly drawn in by the opening bars on the synthesizer, and found themselves surprised by the sudden shot of the band's frontman doing the splits while gripping the mic stand. Behind him, the lead guitarist, wearing a yellow tiger-stripe shirt and playing a red electric guitar covered with various white strips, launched into the full bore of the song.

Given their age, Shinji and Asuka hadn't been around when the band was in their prime, so to them this was something entirely new. Shinji, in terms of music preferences, had listened to little pop and rock, mostly sticking with classical. Asuka liked her fair share of Rammstein, but didn't see herself as much of a arena rock fan. Still, both teens found themselves enraptured by the song as it kicked into high gear with the opening lyrics. Asuka, getting up from the table and walking over to the couch, proceeded to grab the remote and turn the volume up more.

I get up and nothin' gets me down

You got it tough, I've seen the toughest around

And I know, baby, just how you feel

You got to roll with the punches and get to what's real

Unconsciously, Asuka found herself bobbing her head along, while Shinji found himself miming the drum beat with one hand, his trained musician's ears picking up on the rhythms without him realizing.

Ah, can't you see me standin' here

I got my back against the record machine

I ain't the worst that you've seen

Ah, can't you see what I mean?

At the moment, neither of them cared that the other was in the same room, since they gave in and danced along to the song.

Ah, might as well jump (jump)

Might as well jump

Asuka, as if on command, jumped into mid-air with a high kick of her left leg. Shinji now added his other hand as he 'played' along with the drums. Neither of them noticed that they were both smiling-that they were actually enjoying this.

Go ahead and jump (jump)

Go ahead and jump

Ow, oh, hey, you

Who said that?

Baby, how you been?

You say you don't know

You won't know until you begin

Asuka then proceeded grabbed the broom laying against the wall and mimed along to the guitar.

So can't ya see me standing here

I got my back against the record machine

I ain't the worst that you've seen

Ah, can't you see what I mean?

Ah, might as well jump (jump)

This time both Shinji and Asuka jumped into mid-air, each with a kick upwards.

Go ahead and jump

Might as well jump (jump)

Go ahead and jump

Jump!

Asuka then 'joined along' to the guitar solo, climbing all over the couch as she gripped the broom's handle as if there were frets and shredded the head as if the bristles were strings. Shinji then took on the synthesizer solo as he played 'air keyboard', his fingers dancing along some imaginary set of keys. The two of them were lucky they'd managed to unconsciously avoid knocking anything or anyone over in their path, as Pen-Pen ducked and weaved between the two teens caught in their musical reverie and retreated to his fridge, fins covering his ears.

Might as well jump (jump)

Go ahead and jump

Both Shinji and Asuka jumped as if on cue, with the former back to air drumming.

Get it in, jump (jump)

Go ahead and jump

Jump

Jump

Jump

Jump

By the time the song was finishing, the two of them were panting from all the dancing and air jamming they'd been doing, and had managed to catch a glimpse of the band's name in the closing caption before the video faded to black: Van Halen. A mutual idea popped up between the two of them, their curiosity about the band having been stirred up highly, and they soon found themselves in Asuka's room with her laptop on, looking through the web and listening to more of Van Halen's discography.

The two of them were so wrapped up in this that they didn't even notice Kaji coming in the front door, a drunk and exhausted Misato on his arm. Wondering where the two kids were, the stubble-ridden spy ventured further in, Misato in tow, and noticed the door to Asuka's room open a crack. Peering in, he saw the two of them in the least likeliest of positions: sitting side-by-side on the bed, sharing a set of headphones, rocking out to something playing from the girl's laptop. Seeing this brought a smile to his face. Maybe there's hope for you two yet, he thought to himself as he led Misato to her own bedroom, helped her out of her clothes and tucked her in. He then left the apartment, taking another quick look at the two pilots before departing. As for the two pilots themselves, they kept listening to more songs until they were too tired to rock out any further, eventually falling asleep.

The next morning saw Asuka's clock radio spring to life. She hadn't bothered to set the station to something she wanted to wake up to, so the song that served to wake the two EVA pilots (helped by the rays of the morning sun that poked through her room's window) was a stark contrast to the music they'd been listening to yesterday night. Apparently the station the clock had been set to played old American pop tunes.

I can see clearly now the rain is gone

I can see all obstacles in my way

Asuka's eyes were the first to flutter open as she stirred herself awake. Shinji followed a minute after.

Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind

It's gonna be a bright (bright)

Bright (bright) sunshiny day

The two were a bit perturbed at first to find themselves waking up in the same room, on top of the same bed no less. But then they remembered how they'd wound up here in the first place, and things became clearer.

It's gonna be a bright (bright)

Bright (bright) sunshiny day

The two of them gave all of what happened the night before some thought. It was actually a surprising way for the two of them to find some common ground. Even more surprising was something they noticed a lack of as they slept: neither one of them had been plagued by the bad dreams that had tormented them all previous nights. For the first time in a long time, they'd each had a good night's sleep.

I think I can make it now, the pain is gone

All of the bad feelings have disappeared

The two smiled at each other, as if agreeing that last night could be the start of a new direction for them. Both had experienced a lot of pain and sorrow in their lives up till now, and there'd be no doubt that life may toss more into their laps. But for the time being, maybe they could lean on each other. Or at least give it a try.

Here is that rainbow I've been praying for

For now, though, they had more immediate plans on their mind for the day-or at least after school today. Namely, hitting up a music shop or two in the city...

It's gonna be a bright (bright)

Bright (bright) sunshiny day

END.

**Author's Note(s)**

I knew I wanted to write a piece for Evangelion's anniversary week, and ultimately came up with a piece inspired by less-than-ideal circumstances-namely, the passing of a couple of music legends within the same week. Of course, I refer to guitar hero Eddie Van Halen (b. 1955) and reggae/pop star Johnny Nash (b. 1940). They may be the unlikeliest music combination one could ever put in an EVA fic, let alone a one-shot, but hey, I figured I'd at least try. RIP, Eddie and Johnny. And happy anniversary to the EVA franchise-may Thrice Upon a Time give us something worth the wait.