Asuka looked at Unit 07 through her video display. In the minute that had past by since she shot EVA-04 Rei had not spoken, nor moved her unit except to lower the Pallet Gun in the unit's hands towards the chamber floor.
"First!" Asuka called out to Rei, her voice in a softer tone. "First? Can you hear me?" There was complete silence from the other Evangelion. She next tried to open a video channel but was unable to as Rei had blocked the video feed.
"First," she said to her again, "You had to do it, you know. You had to." There was still no reply. Realizing any further attempts to speak to Rei were pointless, Asuka then turned her attention to Unit 01, still sprawled out face up on the ground .
"Baka!" she called to him. "Get the hell up!" No response came from Shinji's EVA, so Asuka kicked it in the leg. "GET UP!" she ordered.
Both of them really are related, she thought to herself. "Hey, Shinji! I came back for you, okay! Now get the hell up!" Asuka waited and watched for a sign from the purple and green giant below.
After another minute of neither movement nor sound coming from the prone Unit 01 Asuka lost her patience and shouted into the audio. "ANATA BAKA!" At that moment, the lights in Unit 01's eyes lit up.
For another few seconds there was silence between them, until a new video screen opened up in EVA-02's entry plug. It was from Unit 01, and Shinji's face appeared in her holographic display. Still wearing his plug suit, his expression was unusually serious.
"What the hell took you so long?" she asked him in an annoyed voice. "We've been looking all over for you!"
"I just woke up," Shinji said simply.
"Well, nice going," Asuka said facetiously. "We had to save you again from the Evil Twins just now. Anyway, we're here to get you out of here so we can go after your 'Best Friend,'" she sneered, "or whatever you're calling that stupid Angel Boy of yours."
"What are you talking about?" asked Shinji, as he began to lift Unit 01 up off the ground.
"Look, baka, we just got through slashing our way through this place just to rescue your precious self," she argued, her voice getting angrier as she spoke to him. "The First had to even shoot '04 just to set you free!"
"She shot Patrick?" Shinji exclaimed, EVA-01 now standing upright in front of Unit 02.
"Do you even know what's going on? This is just like you, no freaking clue until someone hits you on the head." At the same time as she spoke, Asuka's Unit 02 struck Unit 01 on the side of her helmet. "You lower your guard because someone's nice to you and then they sneak in and make you look like a fool!"
Shinji didn't say anything while Asuka continued. "Do you know how horrible you made me feel? Do you have any idea how much that hurt? To have everyone say you're a moron because you let that demon boy attack us? Do you know people actually got killed because of what happened?"
"I know it," he said calmly.
"So?! How can you live with yourself? I can't believe," she trailed off for a moment, "I can't believe...I can't believe I gave myself to you like that! Do you know I could have any boy I wanted? But I choose you and this is what I get for it! You're so not worth this crap!" Asuka told him.
"This is also about Mari, isn't it?"
"It is! How could you not see that coming?" she said in anguish. "See, that's what I mean! You just go 'La-Di-Da' with your simple little life and meanwhile some hussy like her comes and takes away your dignity!"
"Do you know what that did to me!?" Asuka shouted, now with tears in her eyes. "After all of this time, after fighting together, and living together, and being together, and all of that, you still don't know me at all! I can only give myself once!" she declared. "I don't want to be hurt again, and I thought that with you...with you I could..." Asuka's face became flush red, her eyes swollen with tears, her voice choked with emotion. "In the end I'm just like the First, you know!" she told him. "I...I just want to be me! Not just EVA anymore, but just me! And with you for once in my life I could do that! And I thought that somehow you could actually understand me! But then you go and screw it all up!" Asuka screamed. "I hate you! I hate you! I HATE YOU!"
"I love you," Shinji told her with a calm voice.
"Don't screw with me like that, you asshole!" she shouted back. "Screw you! If you really loved me you wouldn't have done any of these things!"
"That's not true either."
"Oh, so you can just screw up your way through life and then come crying to me when things go wrong, then?"
"I'm not crying to you."
"Well, you will be. Probably any minute now, you're just going to go and break down again and you'll say like 'Oh, God, I'm soo sorry' and some other bullshit story like that, and your' dad's a bastard and your life is hell and your mom is...your mom is..."
"Same as your mom."
"Don't fucking remind me!" she shouted. "Don't remind me that I never, ever got to be just a regular kid!"
"Except with me, you mean."
Asuka started to reply back but stopped before she could say anything further. Shinji, still unusually calm and collected, continued. "That's why I like you," he told Asuka. "I realized that I felt that with you I could be a kid again, like a normal kid. Maybe on the outside you were bossy or fake, but inside I knew what you really wanted, and it was fun being with you. I liked it when we were together. It made me feel little again too."
"Then why did you go and mess that up?"
"Because I'm me, just like you are you."
"Hey, I didn't go around kissing other boys!" Asuka protested.
"So flirting with that German boy back in Berlin was nothing, then?"
"It was nothing. I was just being fake, you know that!"
"And that one time you kissed Kaji…"
"I thought he was dead! Don't tell me you're jealous over that!"
Shinji smiled slightly. "I'm not, really. But someone else might misunderstand that."
"There's no excuse for what you did!" Asuka retorted.
"But is anyone else ever going to know you like I do?"
"It doesn't matter anymore!" she shouted. "I'm through with you!"
Shinji paused for a moment as Asuka angrily glared at him through the video monitor. "Go ahead and punish me, then."
"And you can punish me as much as you like," he said to her in a steady voice.
"Believe me, I will! No one will recognize you after I'm done with you!"
"Then go right ahead. Do whatever you want," he said softly. "But it won't change the way I feel about you."
"Who the hell cares? I sure as hell don't care!"
"That's fine then. Do whatever you want to me."
He's so weirdly cool about this that it's starting to freak me out a little bit, thought Asuka. "I'm going to drag you out of here, and then I'm going to rip you to pieces when we get back to NERV, and then I'm going to hang you by your neck, and I'm going to make you so wretched that no one else will ever want you again."
"So that way you can keep me all to yourself then," Shinji concluded for her. Asuka started to argue back but she found out that she couldn't, as Shinji had homed in right to the inside of her feelings deep within. Instead of saying something else Asuka just shouted back at him in frustration. "AAAAGGHH!"
Oblivious to Shinji and Asuka's arguing was Rei, who was now silently curled up inside of her entry plug. Lying on the seat of the control throne, Rei held her knees tightly against her chest and started into nothingness ahead of her.
She tried to bring back memories of Patrick, anything that she could, but she suddenly found that nothing would come to her mind. She couldn't remember the image of his face, or the smell of his skin, or the touch of his hand. She couldn't bring back the feeling of whenever he would hold her tight against him, or when he gently kissed her lips. All of those memories had turned to darkness. She knew that she had these thoughts, but she couldn't bring them to her mind where she could see and experience them again. Her heart had collapsed like a black hole, and the resulting singularity had sucked all of her good memories of her time with Patrick over its event horizon.
"You did what you had to do," came Adam's voice as he spoke to her inside of her mind. Rei said nothing in return, but just clutched her knees harder in her effort to try and feel anything at all.
I thought I could overcome what I was through him, but I chose the wrong way and this is the result. There is nothing here now. How could I have not seen he would put his family over us. Us women are all weak in the end.
But...but I want to remember! I want to remember these things in my heart! To know what love is, to give and receive it. Why can't I remember him?
If I can't remember then I must forget. I must forget all of it, and then I must complete my mission. There is no other way left to me now.
There is nothing for me except to be as EVA is. It was my destiny after all.
"Something else is here," Adam said with a troubled voice. Rei's head came up to see what it was but she was then violently shaken off of her position on the throne.
"...and another thing!" Asuka continued on their renewed quarrel. "How can you just flirt with everyone like that? Are you that desperate for attention?"
Shinji was about to say something when he looked to see what was moving behind EVA-02. He drew a deep breath and clutched his actuators. "Asuka?"
"Do you think I like it when..."
"WHAT!" she shouted
"LOOK BEHIND YOU!" He shouted even louder.
Asuka turned around and and through the plug's video monitors saw Unit 07 being caught in a stranglehold by another EVA, this one of blue and black color, with glowing yellow stripes down the sides of its limbs. Unit 07 struggled to break free as the dark EVA tightened its grip on its neck.
"Am I interrupting anything?" the silver-haired boy's voice came from the audio feed.
"Well, if it isn't the Angel homo boy again!" Asuka scowled.
"Kaworu!" Shinji shouted at the other pilot, now with anger in his voice. "Let her go!"
Through the audio channel Shinji could hear the sounds of Rei struggling inside of her entry plug to regain control of her EVA. He saw the beast pull the blue and yellow Unit 07 closer toward it. "I'm afraid I require this Daughter of Lillith," the silver-hair boy told them. "The true daughter, that is, not a copy like yours."
"What do you want?" said Shinji with a determined voice.
"I will restore myself to my true form," the boy replied. "I don't need the Old Man to do that now that The Daughter of Lillith has come. I will become one with her," he said. "And then this world will be re-made to my own desires."
Become One with her? He wouldn't..."You're not really Kaworu, are you?" Shinji said to him. "Kaworu would never do this!"
"Well, as this little waif said to you earlier, " Unit 06 pointed at Asuka's EVA, "you, Shinji Ikari, always seem to figure these things out a bit too late. And it's too late now, I'm afraid."
Auska turned Unit 02 to face Unit 06, and drew both of her fighting blades. "Get your goddammed hands off my friend, you murderer!"
"Not until you've seen my true self," the boy declared. Asuka then tried to rush towards Unit 06 but found herself bouncing up against a glowing blue force field. She violently pounded her left fist against the field to crack it but found it was solid and resistant to her attacks. Shinji now moved up Unit 01 to join her and as both pounded and tried to press through the AT field of the dark EVA, the EVA itself again formed a blue tentacle that came out of its backside.
"And now, Daughter of Lillith," he said to Rei, "I will know you, and I will unmake you." Rei could feel the pressure from Angel's powers against her mind and her body and struggled to keep control over both as the glowing tentacle penetrated the entry plug and plunged inside. She closed her eyes and tried to control her emotions, but her long-suppressed fear now starting coming out and her whole body shook with it. This time was different, she knew, this enemy couldn't just destroy her body, but her mind and her soul as well. "Uggh," she groaned as she labored under the pressure of the Angel's force fields. "...Shinji!"
"Ayanami... Rei!," Shinji shouted back. "We're trying to help, just hang on!"
Inside of Rei's entry plug she could see the blue tentacle enter from the walls and then slither over to the control throne, snaking between her legs. The front end of the tentacle transformed into a caricature of the human form of the Angel who controlled it. "I sense great fear in you," he said to her as he approached her face. "I sense your loneliness, your sadness. You wanted to be human but you couldn't be, could you?" Rei didn't reply back, but closed her eyes in determination, driving down to her soul to bring up any remaining strength, any remaining power that she had inside of her. She needed to make the Giant of Light one more time, she thought, if only she could.
"A-ha!" the voice of Adam within her said in realization, "I see what's going on now!" In a sudden moment an energy field emanated from inside of her body and rose up to meet the blue energy of the Angel. When the two fields contacted they crackled and flashed brightly, and then the white energy coming from Rei drove out the blue field. The tentacle rapidly sucked out of the entry plug.
As the white energy field expanded the beast's own AT field dissembled and Unit 07 quickly pushed against the dark EVA and away from it. Rei slid back into the throne seat and then commanded her EVA to run towards the other two.
"Rei!" Shinji called to her as he opened a video channel. "Are you alright?"
"I'm okay," she replied as she caught her breath.
As the dark EVA recovered itself Rei saw the image of Adam again appear to her. "I know now what you face," he told her. "With my help you were able to repel him, but you'll need the Spear of Longinus to completely defeat him."
"The Spear," Rei said, "It's..." It was at that moment that she realized what exactly Patrick had been trying to do earlier.
He mentioned Romeo and Juilet...how they couldn't guess what the other was doing...he said that because he wanted to me try and guess his true intentions...
Forri-kun didn't throw the Spear at me to hurt me...he threw the Spear past me to reach the far end of the cavern behind us. Far away from the main shaft...to keep it away from Unit 06.
He wanted us to have it, or at least keep it away from the enemy until we could get it first. Oh, no...
"I have to go," Rei suddenly told the other two and then immediately turned her EVA towards the far end of the cavern and started running her as fast as she could.
"Well," said Asuka as she watched her bolt off, "she finally freaked out."
As Shinji was about to say something further the dark Evangelion stood itself up off the ground as the haze of blue energy around it dissipated. Looking towards the running EVA-07, the boy inside said "She's run off. No matter. Even with the Spear she can't defeat me." He then turned his attention towards Units 01 and 02 that now both stood in front of him.
"I shall erase each of you annoyances," he told them, "and then my world will be born from the funeral pyre of yours."
"Not if we can help it," growled Shinji. As he prepared to do battle with the dark EVA Asuka positioned Unit 02 in front of him, in between Units 01 and 06.
"Shinji!" she said on the video screen. "If you love me...if you really love me, don't interfere!"
The boy was taken aback. "Asuka! What are you doing?"
Asuka's face had the look of determination and confidence. "I'm going to pay you back for everything that you gave me," she told him. "As of now I owe you nothing."
"Asuka," he warned, "don't fight him on your own!" Shinji had good reason to be fearful, remembering the last time Asuka tried to face a superior enemy by herself.
"Don't worry," she smirked at him. "I'm going to prove which one of us is really the better pilot after all." As Shinji tried to argue with her further Asuka turned off the video channel and then readied Unit 02's twin blades.
"Get what's coming to you, homo boy," she told the enemy pilot.
"You children never learn," the silver-haired boy sighed in reply. Asuka then shrieked out a battle cry and charged at him with all of her force.