"Anger, if not restrained, is frequently more hurtful to us than the injury that provokes it." - Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Chapter 1.0: Fall α

Tokyo-3 was in the middle of a city-wide power outage, and the Ninth Angel chose then to attack. The blackout affected NERV, thus any operation to defend against the otherworldly threat was going to be greatly hampered as a result. Unable to enter NERV normally, the trio of pilots were forced to take an alternate route to the Eva launch area.

Seconds before they entered an air duct, the irate Second Child decided to give the Third a fair warning.

"If you dare look forward, I'll kill you!"

Shinji found himself at an impasse. Asuka wanted to be the leader, the one in front. She wanted to quickly and efficiently make it to Unit 02, and kill the Angel. So why worry about something like that? It would only slow them down if he couldn't see where he was going.

The boy thought for a moment, and with courage seldom displayed outside of his Eva, made an innocent suggestion.

"Well…how about I stay in front, and you tell me where to turn?"

What, does he think he can lead better than me? We'll see about that…

Asuka's expression molded into one of disgust before settling into one of curious mischief.

"Fine, then. The Invincible Shinji Ikari can lead the way! Us second-rate pilots would surely slow him down if we were to take point!"

With a grunt from the aforementioned Third Child, the trio entered the air duct, Asuka following Shinji, and Rei tagging along at the rear.

Always cautious of his every movement, Shinji made his way through the air duct slowly and carefully.

"Hurry it up, damn it! The Angel's not going to wait all day for us!" shouted Asuka, simultaneously jabbing Shinji in his posterior.

"Okay! Sorry! You don't have to hit me," was the response she received, the unneeded apology only serving to test her patience and increase both the frequency and force behind her jabs. Her frustration was short-lived, however, as her attention slowly began to be occupied by the not-so-unpleasant view directly in front of her.

I guess the idiot isn't all skin and bones…this is kinda fun.

Shinji, too, was reaching the limits of his patience. The difference between him and Asuka, however, was that he did not have something to distract him from it. Ironically, the object of Asuka's rapt attention was the very same that was bothering Shinji to such a great degree.

"Come on, idiot," she said, with another quick jab at his rear.

Why does she keep hitting me there, wouldn't she find that gross?

"Asuka, can you please stop? It hurts."

Another jab.

"Asuka, please! I'll speed up."

Another one.

"Asuka, I'm sorry but please – "

Another two jabs in quick succession. The second aimed slightly lower, perhaps on accident, perhaps not. Either way, the second jab missed the brown-haired boy's rear and landed squarely into the twin cores of his manhood. It was a pain unlike anything else.

"Dammit Asuka!" Shinji roared.

Never had he felt such a raw, primal anger. Not against the Angels, not against anyone or anything. Not until now. It coursed through his whole being, a feeling of such pure resentment that it surprised even Shinji himself. It came from so deep within himself, however, that he knew it to be true.


It was not just this one outing in particular. From the second they met, Asuka had taken every possible opportunity to put Shinji down and let him know just how low he stood in comparison to her. Every would-be compliment was laced with an insult, every insult designed to attack his confidence. She hated him. Even though he always tried to please her as best he could, even though he saved her life at Mount Asama. She hated him. Of that he was sure. He tried to understand her, to do right by her, but it was all for naught. Now, it was his turn to hate her. That's when it came, a rumbling within his abdomen.

The complete fury Shinji felt in that moment was ready to burst out of him. The feelings he kept locked up, the ones he never wanted to feel, were desperately trying to claw their way out. He could feel it at his core. He wanted to let it all out, all of that hate, else he felt he would explode from the built-up pressure. He needed to let it all out.

So he did.

A single moment of retrospection was what it took, and all the anger, the vexation, the sheer outrage coursing through his body focused into his center, and released.

Shinji fucking farted.