A/N: I really didn't do a whole lot to this chapter. I corrected some mistakes (I'm sure there are plenty I have missed) and added a new scene along with a couple new lines. I really didn't want to change too much fearing that it would take away from the importance of the first half of the chapter. Chapter two is actually two and three combined with about seven thousand words added to help the story flow better, also to add more depth to the story then what was originally there. Chapter four will actually be chapter three, and I have added roughly eight thousand words to that chapter. I will be posting chapter two shortly after posting this one, and chapter three should be ready to post tomorrow or the next day.

-Beck

Disclaimer: I don't own Evangelion, If I did, Bill Gates would suffer my wrath for having the balls to release Vista with a straight face.

'thoughts'

"speech, sounds"

Chapter 1 – The Struggle Within

Asuka was bleeding, well technically she was gushing blood. The cavity created by the .45 slug was spilling the crimson life force from her body at an alarming rate. To say I was shocked would be an understatement, it would be like saying "Al Gore is a douche", while being technically true, the one word just doesn't say enough.

Looking back at that moment, I don't find it difficult to decide what had shocked me the most. Was it the fact that the woman I love is bleeding to death while I hold her in my arms? Was it the fact that the bullet was for me? Or was it the fact that Asuka had shoved me out of the way? No, what had shocked me the most, was what she had said to me when I held her dying body in my arms. "I love you Shinji."

I had always imagined God as a caring, supreme being that loved all of his children. Unfortunately, being as it may that the woman I would die for did in fact die for me literally seconds after confessing her love for me, I have came to the conclusion that there is no God, or at the very least he's an incredible asshole that loves torturing me. Either way, knowing this makes what I'm about to do a whole lot easier.

A lot of people will tell you that suicide is never the answer, that it's just a form of running away. As for the latter statement, its not, I would know, I'm the king of running away. In fact killing myself is the only way to deal with the problem head on.

My problem is that I refuse to live another day without her. So, the only logical solution is to end my life and join my dear Asuka, wherever her soul maybe.

Trying to look at this situation in a poetic light, I try to form a deeper relationship with the item of my demise. The gun is a .45 caliber 1911 style Smith & Wesson, gun metal gray with black grips. I hit the release and slide the clip out and proceed to empty said clip. Laying in front of me is nine hollow point slugs in a row, a straight, equally spaced row. I examine each bullet in an descending order -examining them in an ascending order would just be crazy- and decide on the third bullet. After all, what could be more poetic then the third bullet taking the life of the third child with the same type of gun that killed his loved one? Its almost a shame that it's not my third attempt on the third day of the third month after her death. However, as previously stated I refuse to live another day, so today will have to do.

I kiss the third round before putting it into the clip and then I slide the clip into the gun. The sound "Click – Clack" reverberates off the walls in her small bedroom as I pull the slide back and release it. As I sit on her bed -gun in hand- I cant help but cry when I look around at all her belongings, I try to stop the memories from flooding in, but it's an exercise in futility. 'Soon Asuka, soon' repeats in my head as I slowly bring the barrel to my temple. I start to think about all the good and bad times we shared, well mainly bad, but now I see that those were just attempts to get my attention, she wanted me to notice her, me of all people. But I did more then notice her, I loved her.

I shed a single tear as I pull the trigger, then I almost shit myself when I hear "Click". "I cant believe I forgot to flip the safety." I say to myself. I Take a couple minutes to calm down and to stop shaking. I hear Misato walk in the front door.

"Shinji, I'm home!" she yells from the hallway. "Shit!" I say as I put the gun under Asuka's pillow; I give a kiss to her picture before putting it back on the night stand. I head out to the kitchen while wiping the tears from my eyes.

"Hello Misato." I say weakly, trying to maintain my composure. "Did you have a good day at work today?" 'Like it really fucking matters, either way your going to get drunk and lock yourself in your room, and I'm going to blow my brains out of the back of my skull.'

"Not really Shinji." she appears to be contemplating what to say next.

"I know its only been two weeks since Asuka's funeral, but you need to start attending school again." she takes a swig of her beer before continuing. "And we believe that its time I set up an appointment for you to see the shrink at Nerv."

'We? Whats this we shit?'

To say I was getting angry would be a fair assessment, but I know Misato does honestly care for me, so I let it slide.

"Listen Shinji, I know you liked her, but..."

That's all Misato was able to say before I politely and kindly interjected with my own opinions about what she can do with her opinions, I even held my pinky up like the rich do while drinking tea. That's how classy, respectful and kind my response was.

"Don't you fucking dare presume you can even begin to understand my feelings for her or what I'm going through!" I yell a little louder then what was my intent.

"I lost Kaji shortly before you lost Asuka, so I think I have a pretty damn good idea of what your going through!" Was her retort

"Kaji was your fuck buddy, Asuka was the woman I loved, the person I wanted to be the mother of my children! The person I would gladly sacrifice everyone on this planet for!"

Ok, so maybe I was a little rough with her, but she needed to understand that I was displeased with what she was saying. However, I should have remembered one little piece of advice that Kaji had given me during one of our talks about Asuka.

'Actions speak louder then words.'

I'll be honest, I don't think there was anything anyone could have said, that would have spoken louder then Misato's right hook striking my left check. Hell, even the floor spoke volumes when my head made contact with it.

What I did next may seem a little 'extreme' in order to win a pissing match, but I was not going to be denied victory in the game of 'who lost the most'. So it seemed somewhat reasonable to myself when I picked myself up off the floor, walked into Asuka's room, pulled out the gun and walked back into the kitchen.

Sure, I laugh about it now, but you should have seen her face when she saw me put the gun to my head. I have never seen her so scared before, but don't think it was because I was holding a gun to my head, oh no, what really scared her was the genuine smile on my face. 'Checkmate' I think to myself before I pull the trigger.

"BANG!"

I never would have imagined I would have been able to hear the gunshot or even feel the breeze of the small explosion going off in the chamber, but I did. What I didn't feel was a bullet enter my skull. It takes a second to realize that I'm still alive, well for that matter, I'm even still standing. I look at the gun, then I look at Misato. Tears start streaming down my face when I finally realized what was going on.

"Shinji, I..."

"Don't." I say. "What the hell are blanks doing in your spare service pistol Misato?"

"Why would you do that Shinji?" Tears are streaming down her face as her knees give and she lands on the floor. "W-Why would you put e-everyone that cares for you t-through that?" She manages to say in between sobs.

"You honestly don't get how much I love her?" Yea, I really am shocked she would be that ignorant.

"B-but enough to want to die Shinji?"

"I died with Asuka..."

"You don't mean that Shinji!"

"Says the person that just watched me try to kill myself." I say as I cup my face with my hands.

"Shinji... There is something you should know." I look at her questioningly, I can see the turmoil in her eyes. "Look I know I should have told you sooner but I was ordered not to tell anyone, as it is now, only four people know."

"Misato?" My heart starts pounding in my chest as I contemplate what she could possible have to tell me.

"She's alive Shinji."

As the air left my body and I fell to the floor, I realized one thing before I blacked out, "She's alive Shinji." speaks a helluva a lot louder then Misato's fist.

Understandably so, once I resumed a somewhat conscious state I had a great deal of questions that I would appreciate someone answering.

"Misato, I swear to God if this is some sort of sick joke..."

"I'm serious Shinji, she survived the shooting."

"Why the fuck did you keep this from me!" I screamed with my fists clenched.

"Shinji please calm down!" This is the first time I see Misato flinch at anything I have ever said.

"Where is she and when can I see her!" I say slightly quieter, but my fists are still clenched.

"Shinji, your father doesn't want anyone to know till they catch the guy that shot her."

"I swear on my mothers grave, I will kill whoever keeps me from being with her!" I may have said that out of anger, but I really couldn't deny the fact that I would go to any extreme to see her. Person I care for or not, no one will keep me from her.

"Shinji I had my orders, I was threatened with jail time if I didn't comply!"

"I tried to kill myself Misato! Don't you think that maybe you spending a week or so in jail is worth saving my life?!"

"I didn't know you were this depressed!"

"I have to see her Misato!"

"I don't know if that can happen right now Shinji."

"Please Misato..."

"Let me make a few phone calls and I will see what I can do."

I decided that I have had enough stress for the day and head to Asuka's bedroom to get some sleep. I lay on her bed and place my head on her pillow. "I can smell her shampoo." Is the last thing I say before the tears resume.

"God damn it Shinji." Is all I can say. I don't like lying to him, but I fear it's the only way I can get him to see professional help. I know he is going to hate me when he realizes what is actually going on, but I'm willing to be the bad guy in order to save his life. I walk over to the fridge and grab a beer. Little droplets of beer fall to the floor as I pull the tab. Maybe it's because I feel guilty or maybe it's because the beer is past it's date, I don't know, but either way I can't help feel that it's a little more bitter then normal. I dump the can into the sink and then proceeded to the phone to call Ritsuko.

"Hello?" Ritsuko says in her normally chipper voice.

"It's me."

"What do you want Misato?"

"I need your help." For some reason, I feel like a teenager that has just been caught seeking out.

"What did you crash into, how much have you drank and is there any witnesses?"

"I don't need that kind of help again you ass! it's about Shinji." Oh sure, just because I may have been in a few alcohol related driving incidents doesn't mean that's all I ever need help with.

"I'm sorry Misato, now tell me what you need so I can get back to work."

"I want to have Shinji committed." The silence on the other end of the line tells me she was surprised.

"What?"

"He tried to kill himself tonight."

"I-I... what?"

"Shinji tried to kill himself. He failed because the gun was loaded with blanks. I told him Asuka was alive."

"You did what! Why the hell would you tell him that?" I had to hold the phone away from my ear to avoid going deaf.

"Because I am going to tell him that we are going to be visiting Asuka, in reality, we will be going to the mental ward."

"So why do you need my help?"

"I need you to set it up with the doctor, I would also like section two agents there to restrain him."

"When do you want to do this?"

"Tomorrow if possible."

"Fair enough, be at the hospital at nine a.m.."

I give her my thanks and hang up the phone. I walk into Asuka's room and tell Shinji we will go see her tomorrow morning. It breaks my heart when he gives me a hug and thanks me.

I'm fairly confident that there is a special place in hell reserved for me.

Shinji rolled out of bed and headed to the bathroom to take a shower. After that, he headed to the kitchen to make him and Misato breakfast. He was surprised to see her already awake and fully dressed, and judging by the amount of empty beer cans sprawled around her, she had been for a while. Warning bells started ringing in his head.

"Misato?" Shinji looked at her questioningly.

"Morning Shinji." Was her lifeless response before she took another swig.

"How long have you been up for?" Shinji then noticed all of the empty cans on the floor around her.

"I couldn't sleep."

"Are you ok Misato?"

"I-I'm fine, just have a lot on my mind right now." Misato stared off into the distance.

"What's not being said Misato?" Shinji asked while picking up one of the empty cans and waving it in front of her.

"Nothing."

"Don't lie to me Misato!" Shinji crushed the can and tossed it against the wall.

"It's nothing for you to worry about Shinji." Misato refused to look at Shinji.

"Are you still taking me to see Asuka?" Misato nodded her head yes.

"Then what's wrong Misato?" Shinji said in a calmer voice as he took a seat next to Misato.

Misato let out a sigh. "Shinji, there is a time when your going to be faced with a situation that causes you to do things you don't want to do, things that you won't be proud of, things that will wish that you didn't have to do... Things that will eat you up inside... Things that are evil..." She took another drink. "We justify our actions by telling ourselves that ends justify the means. But honestly, it doesn't, because most of the time it ends up being a Pyrrhic victory." Misato just stares at the can in her hand.

"Then why do it?"

"Because sometimes you have to do what you have to do. Even if it goes against every preconception you have held about you self. Sometimes hating yourself for what you have become, is worth it. Look at you for instance. Why did you want to kill yourself?"

"I-Don't want to talk about it." Shinji was now the one that refused eye contact.

"Did you do it because you feel guilty that she took your bullet? No. You did it because spending the rest of eternity in hell is a chance your willing to take if it means that you could see Asuka again. You attempted to partake in the ultimate sin, just so you could see her again. That is what I am talking about Shinji."

Your wrong, I do feel guilty that she took my bullet!" Shouted Shinji.

"I know, but that wasn't the reason you wanted to take your own life."

"How would you know?" Shinji glared at Misato.

"Why do you think there's blank rounds in my gun. I took away the temptation after Kaji died."

"You were going to kill yourself?!" Yelled Shinji.

"The only thing that stopped me was I knew that I still had you and Asuka." Shinji gave Misato a look of understanding.

"I didn't know Misato." Shinji said meekly.

"I know this is a lot to put on you, but your all I have left." Shinji hugged his guardian. "Your all I have left too." Shinji released her and went to the fridge.

"Do you want me to make breakfast Misato?"

"No, they're picking us up in ten minutes."

Shinji closed the fridge and dropped his head. "Thanks again Misato, I can't even begin to tell you how much this means to me." Shinji raised his head and gave her a smile.

"I know Shinji... I know..."

Shinji and Misato entered the medical wing of Nerv. Shinji never understood how such a large place could feel so claustrophobic, maybe it had to do with the overpowering antiseptic smell. Shinji followed Misato up to the receptionists desk.

"Excuse me miss, can you tell Dr. Scolari that Misato Katsuragi and Shinji Ikari are here?"

"Of coarse I will major, please have seat over there while I go get him."

Shinji sat in the chair next to Misato and impatiently tapped his feet. The wait had already felt like hours when in reality it was only a few minutes.

"I'm sorry for keeping you waiting Major Katsuragi." Said a short, dark haired man.

"It's not a problem Dr. Scolari, this is Shinji."

"A pleasure to meet you Mr. Ikari." The doctor held out his hand and Shinji shook it.

"The pleasure is all mine, but please call me Shinji."

Unfortunately for Shinji, he didn't notice the section two agents walking up behind him until it was too late.

"What the hell!" Shinji tried to break the grip the section two agents had, but it was no use.

"Shinji Ikari, you have been deemed a danger to yourself and others, you are to be incarcerated under the advisement of Dr. Scolari until he sees fit that you are no longer a danger to yourself or others."

If ignorance is bliss, then realization is a mother fucker. Especially the realization that Misato had lied to him. The realization that he was being committed. The realization that Asuka was in fact dead and he had lost his opportunity to join her. The pain in his heart was almost unbearable as the tears flowed like rain drops in the Amazon.

"Shinji... please forgive me, it's what's best for you." The look that Shinji gave her told her he didn't feel the same way.

"I trusted you." Was his only words as he was escorted out of the room.

A/N: Did you like the changes, or should I have left it alone? Should I have taken this chapter further?