AN: Chapter 3! Yes! God, this chap was particularly hard to write. Also, the story had been rebranded as M, due to some of its adult content. Grammar is still being revised; Epilogue is being written. I hope to better the reader's experience before I publish the last instalment to this. Thank you all for reading!

Scar Tissue

Chapter 3. Second Act: Forget to Remember

What to do when you are ripped away from the two most important people in your life? How does one cope, exactly? How, when you cannot reach that home you sought for so long?

Misato Katsuragi was a complicated woman. Most of her actions had no logical reason behind them; she was the kind of person to let herself be guided by her gut feeling. She was not, under any circumstances, an intellectual. Until recently, she had trusted her gut. Said gut, however, had cost her her beautiful children once already. After Kaji died, she had buried herself in her senseless quest for the truth, left behind two mentally broken youngsters, and did nothing short of abandon them in their time of greatest need.

She could care less what Yui or Kyoko had to say in the matter, Asuka and Shinji were hers now. Both former parents decided it would be better to let their children suffer a lonely, terrible childhood while they stood guard deep within the imposing Evangelions. Neither Yui nor Kyoko could reclaim their children anymore; Misato would simply not let them go.

If only she had realized it earlier.

In the short year they had lived together, her empty, alcohol-stinking house had turned itself in a warm, comforting shelter for the three of them. It was a place for smiles, teasing and endless laughter, a place they shared with their little penguin friend. Slowly but surely, after watching as they suffered time and time again, her maternal instincts had kicked in a little too late. Misato, much like Shinji himself, had many regrets. Her empty excuses meant nothing when trying to justify eight months of absence.

She had abandoned Asuka, in the stupid, faint belief that the girl was strong enough to fend for herself, even when her mind had been raped and all of her traumas had been forced to resurface. Her screams still haunted the Major's dreams. She had allowed her little girl to starve herself to the brink of death and fall into a coma. Then she had placed Asuka inside Unit 02 in the stupid belief she would be safe there. She had ordered Asuka to fight and die. The young girl's gruesome death had been her fault. She knew in her heart that Asuka would have just rejected her, had there been literally any better option than to stay with her and Shinji.

Shinji. There were no words to describe how she felt about him. She was so disgusting; she had promised Shinji to have sex with him just so he would go and pilot that monstrosity. He had been used and then discarded like yesterday's meal so many times, and yet she did the exact same thing to him, in the end.

Both pilots under her 'care' had been used for her own sickening dream of revenge; she had manipulated the children that had brought so much joy to her drunken heart. Shinji had gone through so much; he had seen the remains of Unit 02 after the fight. In her mind, she could hear that insane yell, that agonizing scream which had stolen what remained of his fragile sanity. He had watched the end of the world; he had watched the darkest parts of her horrible self. Day in and day out he had taken care of both of them in his own little way, regardless of all he had seen and witnessed. There were always fresh clothes for her to wear. There was always a warm, home-cooked meal waiting for her at the table, a meal he had prepared with his innocent hands, a meal made with love and care.

Misato wondered how she could be a mother to them when she couldn't even take care of herself.

She needed her kids. They had been the driving force, the hope she had clung on to in that sea of people. She was happy for a while in those fake realities, sleeping around with Kaji all day long, not a single worry in her mind. Yet there had always been something in the back of her mind, something calling for her, begging her to go back. Soon she found the false realities as empty as loeveless sex. There was nothing in that place for her, just emptiness and false happiness. Misato remembered Kaji's relaxed smile when she had told him she needed to leave. She remembered his promise to her.

"I believe in you, Katsuragi. Now go out there and get them, please take good care of Asuka for me, tell her I'm very proud of her, no matter what happens."

So many tears had been shed at the moment of departure, but the struggle was worth it. Kaji said he would return when he found himself. He had promised he would come back to her, and help her take care of those two beautiful, unique kids. She loved them so much it hurt nowadays. But she had been away, too caught up in her work once again, too caught up to actually see the bruises on her boy, always too tired or too drunk to see the look in his eyes. That look had no place in the face of a fourteen year old child. She was always too worn out to hear the cutting words Asuka hurled at Shinji while he simply stood there and took the abuse. Misato truly had not meant to stay away, but things were so messed up all around the world that she just didn't have the time for the kids.

That's right, they're my kids. I'm so tired of this, it has to end. No more meetings, no more late night dinners alone on the table, no more Ritsuko and her stinking cigarettes. No more.

Misato breathed in and opened her eyes. She was still in that small bathroom, holding Asuka close. The girl had cried for over an hour until exhaustion got the best of her. She was asleep now, snuggled happily on Misato's chest.

For once, she looks so peaceful. Misato ran a finger along the girl's cheek, brushed a strand of hair that had fallen over her face, and gently put it behind her ear. This scared little girl was capable of such horrible things.

But it's because there was no one there to tell her right from wrong. She was torn apart. Her mind was opened for everyone to see. She had to watch as I had sex with the only man she's ever truly loved. She thinks it's Shinji's fault.

Even when she knew the reasons behind Asuka's actions, she could not forgive her. No, Asuka had gone too far. Insulting Shinji was one thing, but to put him in a hospital, to break four of his ribs along with his arm, such things were unforgivable.

Asuka had almost cost the Major her surrogate son. The moment she had seen Shinji's state, she had wanted nothing more but to strangle the girl with her bare hands, but she found herself unable to. Asuka's eyes were so fearful, so full of regret. Misato knew, she just knew they were having sex, and her gut told her it wasn't consensual. It made her feel sick to her stomach to even think Asuka would be capable of robbing Shinji of his innocence, but her intuition told her that was exactly what had happened. What infuriated her most was that Shinji withstood it. There was no evidence yet to support her claim, yet she already assumed and feared the worst.

He could have come to me, he could've talked to me, and maybe things would not have gotten so out of hand. Why would he want to protect someone who brought him nothing but pain?

Shinji felt he deserved the punishment, had convinced himself of it completely, and took the blame each time she noticed a bruise or a change in his gaze. Every time something bad happened, the boy immediately apologized, even when he had nothing to do with it. Nobody blamed him for Third Impact, he had just been a tool in the plan of some demented old men who wanted a perfection that didn't exist. In his circumstances, there wasn't much anybody could have done. Even if he had been the one to cause Third Impact, he had given every last human a second chance at life; without his desire to see those important to him, life would not have returned to the planet. But Shinji would never see those things. He'd watch the news and see all the homeless refugees and think it was his doing. He'd hear people talking about relatives or friends they had lost in the Sea of LCL and cringe. Shinji thought everything was his fault.

When Asuka abused him, he felt compelled to receive it. He thought he had hurt her and deserved it. The poor boy thought he was helping her by letting himself be broken, but he was digging both his own grave and Asuka's. A phrase she had heard somewhere came to mind.

"Love and hate are very akin emotions so far as extremes go. It's really easy to confuse one for the other, sometimes."

It was so true, considering the circumstances of both young pilots. For so long she had told herself she hated Kaji, when in reality she adored the unshaven man to death. These two children, pushed into battle and bloodshed, had survived in whichever way they could. How could she possibly expect them to act as anything other than what they were? Broken, torn to pieces, and placed back together, how were they supposed to not be confused?

The girl stirred in her sleep she lay in Misato's hold. A moment later, Asuka blinked her eyes open and gazed at her guardian's face.

Misato smiled at her; she tried to produce a warm, loving smile and ended up providing a stiff smirk. Despite it being so strained, the expression was the closest thing to a mother's smile the orphaned girl had seen since her last battle. Suddenly Asuka wanted to cry again. She had been vicious to this woman; she had accused her of preferring Shinji over her, of stealing the only man in her life, of being a drunk, irresponsible bitch. She had all but crushed her surrogate son's lungs and yet, here she was, holding her and comforting her and smiling at her. Misato kept stroking her hair; it felt so good to be held like this. Once again, Asuka felt sick with herself.

"Misato, I'm really sorry," she whispered, tearful eyes staring at her guardian's brown eyes. "I-I know what I did was horrible, I'll understand if you wanna throw me out, I-"

"I know." Misato's voice was smooth; she was still stroking her hair.

"I know. I know you didn't mean to go that far, but I also know you wanted to hurt him. You never thought things would escalate this point, but don't lie to me. Not anymore." Her tone turned reprimanding.

Asuka adverted her eyes from Misato, but she didn't try to get away.

"Asuka, I need you to tell me everything." Asuka froze completely. Her heart felt constricted, she wanted to get away, if Misato knew of half the things she had done, the woman would never forgive her. In a meek, almost non-existing voice, she answered.

"No. you'll hate me..." She felt so helpless. Where was the arrogant, proud young woman she had once been? 'You lost your pride a long time ago. What, you think you'd feel proud of torturing Shinji?' Her own mind was already tormenting her.

"No, I won't. Asuka. I know you've been having sex with Shinji." Again, the young pilot looked up at her, but this time Misato could see the fear as clear as day. Shit. I knew it. I knew it, and I didn't do a thing.


"I'm not stupid you know. I was a kid too, remember? Did you use protection?" For some reason alien to the redhead, Misato still hadn't yelled at her, like she deserved. Misato knew the answer already, she found condoms in the dumpster. She just wanted to see if Asuka was truly sorry.

"Ye-yeah." Asuka knew the question was coming, she could feel it.

"Was it consensual?"

Blue eyes drew to the ground, Asuka remained silent. Misato's stomach turned to ice.

"Asuka?" Misato frowned ever so slightly despite her best efforts to keep a sere expression. She already knew the answers to these questions; she just needed to hear it from Asuka's mouth. Said girl was fidgeting in her embrace, looking anywhere but at her.

"No…" Asuka said in faint whisper. Misato could almost feel the guilt in her tone. The girl's lower lip quivered.

"I see." Her voice became cold this time, as if she was talking to a soldier. Her effort to remain gentle and caring began to fade, yet Misato swallowed down the bitterness and remained by the girl's side.

"I felt so lonely, sometimes. T-The nightmares would-I couldn't sleep a-and he was there. So I just. I just wanted to. Oh God, I'm such a monster…" The guilt came back tenfold, and Asuka started crying again. She wanted to get away, but Misato kept her where she was, she was still stroking her hair. "What have I been doing?!"

"Shh, Sshhhh. We'll deal with it later okay? I need you to be strong for me right now, Asuka, you're not going to like what I'm about to tell you." Asuka looked up, her gaze fearful and her eyes leaking bitter tears. Here it was, her punishment. Maybe a restriction order, something along the lines of not getting near 50 feet of him. Maybe she was never to touch him again, and never talk to him, may-

"I'm going to ask you, Asuka, to let go."

At once, her wide eyes jumped to those of her guardian.

"Don't look so surprised, everyone went through Instrumentality. I know what you saw, I know damn well." The girl tried to interrupt, but Misato pressed her forefinger on Asuka´s lips.

"Let me finish. I'm not gonna say that what Shinji did was right, far from it. It was a rotten thing to do to someone that means as much to him as you do." Asuka tried again to look at the ground, but she felt Misato's hand on her face, softly lifting her chin and staring at her troubled blue eyes.

"I'm sure you know that what you did was worse. But it has to stop. You can't keep treating him like that, you should never treat anyone like that, and you know this. Don't you understand that he hates himself?"

If possible, Asuka's eyes widened more as she nodded.

"What if some day he just can't take your insults and kills himself? Who's going to cook for you then? Who's going to draw you a warm bath? Who's going to wash your clothes or clean your shoes? Who the hell is going to be there, waiting for you to come around from this- this thing you've turned yourself into?" Misato kept stroking Asuka's cheek, looking straight into her eyes.

"Nobody." She still felt like crying, but there were no more tears to shed.

"That's right. I hope that this helped you understand just how important he is to me, and to you." Misato paused; this was going to be hard.

"I need you to let go of all that hate and anger, Asuka. What's past is past, there's nothing any of us can do to change it, the only thing we can do is move forward. If you keep doing this, you're going to kill him, and then, when he's gone, you won't stand the sight of yourself in the mirror, and you'll probably kill yourself, too. Don't look at me like that, you know it's the truth."

Asuka looked angry now, very angry. Who the hell did Misato think she was? Months upon months of absolute neglect and now, all of the sudden, she was the concerned and doting mother? Asuka was about to give the purple haired woman a piece of her mind when she beat her to it.

"I know I have no right to talk, I haven't been there for either of you, but that's going to change right now. I'm tired of all those stupid meetings, I'm so sick of those politicians. We'll go home, okay?"

Asuka gulped, perplexed and angry, not truly understanding what was happening. Why wasn't she being punished?

"Don't you think for one second you're gonna go unpunished young lady." Misato said in her patented No-Bullshit tone.

"Shinji's terrified of you. Just saying your name around him makes him shake like a leaf, you're going to have to work very hard to earn his trust back, do you understand? That is, of course, if he even wants you around, anymore." There was no harsh rebuttal from Asuka, only silence and grim understanding.

"What you did, what you've done... it's not something I can forgive, but it's not my place to forgive you. I'm not the one laying on that bed. You went too far this time, his mind's going to associate pain with you, probably, so it's going to take a long time. Do you want him to forgive you?"

Asuka nodded.

"No matter what?"

"Yes. No matter what." The fire came back to her eyes as she furiously stared at Misato. Unbending resolution shone amidst the deep remorse and anguish; perhaps giving Asuka a chance was the proper course, after all.

"Good, now go home and tidy up the apartment and make me dinner." The older woman smiled and patted her surrogate daughter on the head. She gave the girl some space to make herself more presentable. Asuka had been wearing the same clothes for three days now, her hair was a mess, and she had bags under her eyes.

God, I hope I'm making the right choice.

"Come on, let's get the hell out of this damn bathroom." She motioned her female charge to follow her with a wave of her hand, and together they exited the small restroom.

Toji knew something was wrong. For five days he had been calling the Katsuragi household, and for five days there had been no answer. Twice already he and Kensuke had tried looking for him at his house, but they had knocked for centuries and nobody answered. Hikari was getting really worried about that Red Devil as well. He was tired of waiting around and doing nothing every day. The school building was not finished yet, as the construction was taking more time than expected, a small miracle he thanked God for.

God, this is so boring. At least at school we could fool around and fall asleep on class. Sure cuddling with Hikari is cool an' all, but I need some fun!

His mind set, he reached for his phone and dialed.

"Aida Residence, how can I help you?"

"Drop the formal act dork, no girl is gonna fall for that crap," Toji commented in a dry tone.

"Coming from someone as whipped as yourself, I don't think I'm gonna change my strategy any time soon."

Both friends shared a good laugh.

"So, what did you call for? Already getting some from Hikari are you? Come on! I want details!" Kensuke giggled girlishly on the other side of the line. If the glass-wearing Stooge had been standing there, he would have gotten a good smack on the head.

"Shut up, idiot! It's none of your business! Anyway, I was actually calling about Shinji." The jock's voice turned somber.

"Shinji, what about him? Did he call you or something?"

"No," he sighed and glanced at the arm that had been given back to him. "That's the problem, I haven't heard from him all week you know, maybe we should try going to his apartment again."

"Come on man, last time we stood there for hours and no one so much as opened the door. Did you call?" Kensuke demanded, sounding both annoyed and concerned.

"Yeah man, no answer like before. Look, I'm really worried about Shinji, you've seen how he is lately right?"

"Mmhm. Now that you mention it, he's been pretty depressed ever since third impact, and he's always bruised up." Kensuke heard Toji hiss at the mention of the bruises.

"I'm telling you man, that Devil is responsible, you seen the way she looks at him?"

"Yeah, I mean, it was bad enough before, but now she looks at him like he's gum under her shoe," added the Eva fanatic. "I think it's pretty obvious at this point."


Despite being a hormone-driven, rather uncouth and direct teenager, what most failed to notice was that Toji was highly observant. He had known of Shinji's crush on Asuka since day one but played along for formalities' sake. The few times they could hang out together, Shinji barely said a word, and he always had some sort of injury on him. A limp, a black eye, a red mark on his face, a swollen cheek, a purple mark on his arm, it was always something. When asked, he always came up with the lousiest lies, like he had fallen on the floor, or hit his head on the bathroom or some crap like that. Asuka would throw these really nasty glances at him too.

"Hey, Toji, you there man? Hello? Helloooooo!" Kensuke's voice brought him back to reality.

"Huh? Oh, yeah, sorry about that. So, anyway, I'm going to check his place, you in?"

"I sure am, see you at his building in 20."

"Cool, see you there."

The moment he hung up, Toji sprinted towards his room, grabbed his favorite black jacket and was out the door.

"Ahh man, it's gonna take forever to get there with all this junk on the street." He absently kicked a rock on his path and jumped over some rubble. Damn it's so cool to be able to run.

He sprinted in the apartment's direction, smiling to himself.

Shinji opened his eyes. That had to be the best night he had had in a while. No monsters to haunt him, no voice to torture him, no memories to torment him, just a vast nothingness, silence and peace. It felt so good to be well rested for once, injuries aside. He attempted to lift himself up, but as soon as he moved his body sheer pain washed through his chest.

"Ugh, not yet." He lay back down and turned his head to the left. There was Misato, her head resting on his mattress, her hand holding his. He had to smile at the small puddle of drool developing on her side.

"This must be what it feels like to have a mom." He smiled again, very happy but very tired all of the sudden, and went off to a blissful, untroubled sleep for the second time in eight months.

Step by step, she approached her home. Step, step, step, rubble, mantle, step, step. Her mind was empty for once. She concentrated on walking, walking and ducking around and over boulders. The apartment building was in sight, but she felt no thrill in going home. Getting home would mean being around the kitchen which reminded her that there would be no Shinji in there, cooking her dinner while smiling ever so lightly. She would have to go to her room, which was kept tidy by him. She'd have to use the bathroom he worried to clean and made certain it smelled like strawberries, her favorite fruit.

On the surface it was easy to view Shinji as a convenient maid. However, there was always a deeper meaning to those actions considered normal or expected. Shinji knew almost everything about his roommates. He knew Asuka liked her shoes to be polished and shiny; she liked eggs and bacon for breakfast, with toast, strawberry jelly and orange juice or milk. Never coffee. He knew neither her nor Misato really kept a steady count of their own clothes, so he did it instead. She wasn't even sure she wore half the crap she owned, but he organized it for her anyway.

"He's going to have to stay in the hospital for a month. A month of no Shinji," she said to the air. It brought bitter memories. It felt like the time he had been absorbed into Unit One. How many nights had she cried herself to sleep while he was gone? How many times had she deluded herself by thinking those were tears of joy?

Going home meant not having him there, and for Asuka, it would be the first time in over a year and a half that Shinji would not be there with her. No Shinji to ask her what she´d like to eat, whether she wanted a soda or milk, no Shinji to help her when she felt too lonely, no Shinji to go to, especially now when she felt so –

"No, that's over. I have no right, no right…" The air didn't bother to answer. She kept looking at the floor, looking at her shoes. Five days, and they were still bright. Everything kept reminding her of Shinji.

Damn it, stop thinking about him. Why couldn't she just feel good like all those other times when she hit him?

Did it ever actually feel good?No, it just made her feel less miserable with herself. The eight months had been difficult. When she came back from that sea, she was still the same old angry Asuka. Instrumentality had taught her nothing. She knew why Shinji acted the way he did. She had always known.

He didn't move because he was paralyzed with guilt for what he did to me, just like I was this morning, and he knew he'd hurt me if he tried to stop me.

He did what he did in the hospital because he was lonely, and devastated. Everyone left him, Rei died on him, Misato ignored him, and I was useless.

Where was the Great Asuka Langley Sohryu now? Where was her anger? For so long, anger had been such an active part of her life. It was her driving force; the angrier she got the stronger she was, but in that horrible moment where Shinji had lay there, unmoving, all of her wrath had dissipated. Did his life really mean so much to her?

'You're a big girl now, don't lie to yourself.

Of course his life meant something to her, it meant everything. The time she had spent with him had been both the best and the worst time of her life. The teasing, the laughing, going to school with him every day, it brought a secret happiness to her heart, but her pride had never allowed her to understand those feelings.

Another rock, step, step, step, hop, step.

Soon she was on the elevator, the numbers ticking away as she reached the 5th floor. The cling brought her to reality, and as the metal door opened she could faintly hear two very familiar and very unwelcome voices.

"-man, are you there?! Hey Shinji! It's us man, Touji and Ken! Open up!"

Toji's voice. Bad news. Terrible news.

Those stupid stooges, always showing up at the worst times. She lacked the strength and the patience to deal with those idiots at the moment, but they would not give up until they heard from their friend. She would be forced to tell them something, but what? If she told them the truth, Toji would react very violently, of that much she was certain, and while she knew how to fight, Toji was physically superior.

"Shit man, no one's home again. Maybe we should try again lat- hey, isn't that the Red Devil?" Kensuke gestured at the figure at the end of the hallway, standing there doing nothing. The golden-crimson locks were unmistakable.

As Kensuke continued to gesture and yell at the Devil, Toji took a good look at her posture. Her shoulders were slumped; her head was down, as she was ignoring them completely. Only once before had he seen her like that, that time she had come to visit him at the hospital, allegedly dragged there by Hikari. It was the time Shinji had disappeared for a month. Something really bad had happened.

"Ken. Shut up man, I don't think she's paying attention" The larger boy smacked his friend upside the head and started walking towards his certain doom. He would have to be cautious if he wanted to remain healthy.

"Hey, what was that for! Wait, don't Toji! Don't go! She'll rip your soul out!"

I just got my arm and leg back, I'll have to be careful or she'll rip them off again. Gulping audibly, he tried to be as polite as possible. Asuka, for some reason, seemed to be watching everywhere but at him.

"Hey, Asuka. We were just wondering where Shinji was you know, we've been calling for five days and nobody answered the phone, Hikari´s been asking about you too, so…" he trailed off, praying to God, Buddha, Allah and every other holy being he could think of to please protect him.

Asuka had no intention of dealing with the situation, but it would come at some point, so for once, she told the stupid jock the truth.

"Shinji's in NERV's medical ward, he-he's hurt. You guys can go visit him, I guess. He's in room 203." She was so tired, but it wasn't even that late. The sun was still setting.

"What!? What happened to him? Is he gonna be okay?" Kensuke had this really nasty habit of yapping like a lost puppy, it was irritating.

"He-it's my fault. I went too far, he was holding me, and I just reacted…" She knew the insults were coming. Then probably Toji would explode and start banging her head against the wall.

Kensuke was about to throw his best arsenal of insults, which truly was pathetic, but Toji beat him to it.

"How bad?" He felt like hitting her. God he felt like hitting her so much.

"Pretty bad. He's got four broken ribs, some lung damage, a broken arm, a shat-"

"I see." She had never, ever heard the jock's voice so cold. For the first time in her life, she felt slightly intimidated by him, even if she wouldn't admit it to herself.

"Is he going to be okay?"

"Yeah." She never realized how quiet her voice became. "In about a month or so."

"I see."

`Why is he acting like that? Is he trying to build some suspense or something? He wants a piece of this? Well bring it on, just don't expect me to go easy on you, you stupid little perv-´

"Ken, let's go."


"What! Are you deaf or something?! She just admitted she put Shinji in the hospital! What the hell do you mean by let's go? Aren't you going to say anything to her!" The glasses-wearing, camera obsessed Stooge could not believe his ears. Their friend had just been put on a hospital by that bitch, and they were going to leave?!

Toji looked at her straight in the eye. His gaze was cold steel; his fist was shaking, she noticed he was barely controlling himself, but he could not bring himself to hit her.

"There are two reasons why I'm not killing you right now, Asuka." The jock too a deep breath and forced himself to relax. Think of nice things, think of Hikari, think of Hikari. Think of your sister. Still, his fists tightened; any more time spent in her vicinity would undoubtedly result in a nasty confrontation.

Asuka was caught off guard, and by the most idiotic of the Stooges, at that. Violence she could deal with, but not this calm, this cold shoulder; it was most unexpected.

"Hikari would be mad if I smashed that pretty face of yours." With that said, Toji grabbed Kensuke by the neck of his shirt and dragged him away, pushing him to the elevator. The jock never broke eye contact with her.

Before the steel door closed, he spoke to her again.

"The other reason, in case you're wondering, is that if I so much as touched you, Shinji would beat the living crap out of me. Hell, he'd probably kill me. Isn't that ironic? And don't worry, I won't tell Hikari. I'll leave that to you." The door closed.

She stood there, once again totally paralyzed, as her brain struggled to find a logical answer to what had just happened.

"To hell with this, I'll make heads of all of this tomorrow. I just want to sleep," she told the elevator door. With that said, she went to the apartment and let herself in.

The place was empty, it felt empty. She found herself missing Pen-Pen. Even the stupid bird would make a big difference at the moment. A thin layer of dust covered the entire place. Her mind was set. First things first, she sought the cleaning utensils and started the tedious but fulfilling housework. After two hours, the entire apartment was spotless with the exception of Shinji's room. The food was made and the table was set. After a relaxing bath she headed to her room; it was still very early, not even 8. o'clock, but she felt exhausted. As she reached the door to her room, something stirred inside her. It felt wrong, somehow. She couldn't explain why, but she was drawn towards his room. Before she could think of anything she was in front of his door, and that felt right.

She had to fight the urge to puke yet again as she observed the disheveled state of the chamber. The bed was a mess, both of their clothes still thrown about all over the room. The window was broken. The bloodstains were the worst. They were all over the floor, some of them were small droplets, two stains were especially large, the one made when Shinji had puked all that blood, the second one was where he lay, completely still. That blood was probably from his head wound.

It stank of blood and sex; she would fix it for him tomorrow, for now it meant nothing, not when Shinji was not in the room. Grabbing one of his school shirts and wrapping it against her tired frame, she lay on the mattress and closed her eyes. The familiar scent calmed her agitated nerves little by little. She started to cry, but for once it felt good, purifying in a strange way. A few moments passed with nothing but her muffled sobs reverberating in the empty room. She fell asleep, tears still falling off her eyes.

To Be Continued

AN: Well, there you have it. Hope you enjoyed it. Anyway, I´d like to once again say THANK YOU SO MUCH for the wonderful reviews. Honestly, I just get so inspired I can't stop writing. I hope you don't get angry at me when test season begins, cause the updating WILL slow down. College is a pain in the ass, but I'll try and keep updating as soon as I can. Added note: Still working on revising the entire story before I publish the Epilogue that was promised.

I want to thank my brother Richitzer for taking the time to correct and improve this chapter! Thank you so much!



Inspirational Music: Otherside-Red Hot Chili Peppers, Sad But True-Metallica, Fall into Sleep-Mudvayne, In the Name Of God-Dream Theater