|Misfits in a Sea of Same|
|Summary: NERV infiltrates an anime convention for some reason.|
Shinji Ikari, secret agent!
Okay, not really, Shinji thinks to himself, adjusting the 'colorful' hawaiian print tie NERV's costume department's given to him and sighing. He adjusts a pair of horn rimmed glasses, and pulls on the cheap suit coat a little, feeling like a hobo or something. Is this how out of work reporters dress? "'Clark Kentamura?' Really?" Shinji mutters, looking at the mysterious secret identity his dark masters have given him. The train is closer and closer to the convention center, and Shinji is doing his best not to be a total downer or try to go after moral with a knife or something.
Shinji lets out a sigh, going over his little notepad full of information that NERV has provided. "They seriously think that there's going to be some kind of...Angel worshiping cult at a convention?"
No matter how weird Shinji may feel in his outfit, he can't top Asuka, who has been sent 'undercover' as a cosplayer. She's currently wearing a long coat over whatever it is, because it's cold, but nothing can hide the fact that she's wearing kitty ears instead of her usual Eva hairclips. She's also, apparently, got a bell around her neck, because it jingles. "I guess so," Asuka says with a slight frown. "I hope there aren't too many horny nerds at this thing."
Ritsuko did not keep wearing her clubbing dress. Instead she is dressed in a rather severe business suit, with sunglasses, which make her solemn and tight-lipped expression look positively maternal in an upper-upper-middle class way. "It's possible," she answers Shinji. "Entities such as the Angels would not care, of course, but they could be used as terror cells by the Divine Crusaders."
NERV's master disguise artists knew that clothes alone would not be able to conceal a certain science-teen's -- how does one put it... 'Rei-ness.' They puzzled over this conundrum tirelessly before a breakthrough that some once believed would be impossible was made -- a way to keep Rei from looking /quite/ so constantly out of place as she stares everything around her down with those dead-inside eyes.
They put Rei in a pair of sunglasses.
From there, it was just an issue of giving Rei a sundress not unlike the kind Asuka favors, which is nicer than anything Rei herself owns; this is because Rei owns a plugsuit and a school uniform. If pressed for her name, she was told to say 'Audrey Lily Sununu.' Luckily, no one has thus far spoken to her, let alone asked her name. In fact, she hasn't said a single word this whole time. The sunglasses really do make it seem less creepy.
"Don't want the competition?" Shinji mutters, because being a mild-mannered reporter means snappy banter, and because he's seen Asuka's hidden Mario collection. He only picks up on the 'horny' part a second later, after he has sealed his fate. He pulls on his collar and snaps a sallute to Ritsuko. "W-well, um...um...interesting! Don't you think that's fascinating, Ayanami?!" He looks a little pathetic, like he'd be hiding behind the cheerful, perky young woman if not for the fact that it'd be the equivelent of hiding behind a corpse. So Shinji's just /emotionally/ hiding behind her.
The train mercifully skreeches to a halt around this time, opening up and bringing its hapless passengers closer to the world: Of the future! Seriously, there's a banner that says, "WELCOME TO THE WO LD OF THE FUTURE" and a large picture of a Zentraedi battle pod, silent affirmation that they were right and the guys who called them insane were wrong. A little man wearing a UFO costume is on a ladder, trying to fix that rogue "R" discreetly, as nerds trickle in and out of the psuedoscientific mecca.
Asuka narrows her eyes at Shinji, but, since she can't think of an immediately snappy response, just pounds him on the head with her fist. It makes her bell jingle, and she quickly grabs the collar of her coat.
Then, they arrive. She looks around the interior, peoplewatching more than anything. "See? Nobody here is dressed like--" She then sees a few geeks in 'space captain' uniforms, and cringes. "I would've been better off in my plug suit." If recongizable.
"Not really," Rei responds to Shinji, pivoting her head to look at him directly. Her voice is flat, but delicate: "You should not use my real name, Clark. NERV would only have given us assumed identities if they intended for us to use them. I am 'Audrey Lily Sununu.'" As they arrive, Rei does not seem fazed by any of the strangeness that accompanies such a gathering of potential personality disorders. In fact, if 'personality disorders' is the name of the game, it's no wonder she fits right in.
"Possibly," Ritsuko answers Asuka as she steps off the train, cutting just a bit ahead of Rei in a way which might, possibly, perhaps, knock her down underneath the train and to a quick, grisly -
Oh, she doesn't really. She looks over the rim of her sunglasses at the idea of The World of the Future, snorting with momentary derision. "Alright," she says, reaching into her fashionable neo-Italian purse. "If you did not receive your allotment from Section 2, I have extra funds. Are you all prepared? Rei?"
"Funds?" Rei asks blankly, stopping and turning her whole body to face Ritsuko. "What is there to be prepared for?" It's apparently a genuine question. Rei has never once had to 'pay admission' to go to a 'convention floor' or any of these other /crazy concepts/.
"Ow!" That was actually kind of adorable, with the jingling, but Shinji figures he has just finally became masochistic. "I miss when you just hurt with your words." Shinji blinks at the first name useage, but figures she might be reading the name backwards. "S-sorry, um, Sununu." Man, why does Rei only get all talky when she's chewing him out?
"Well, um, lots of things...we'll probably have to buy some stuff to inspect." Shinji reasons, "If only so requisitions doesn't think this whole thing is an excuse to embezzle funds..."
Ritsuko produces a small wad of American currency from the purse and takes Rei's little pale hand, sticking the money in it in a patronizing way. "If you don't spend money at these places," she explains, "you stand out. And as Ikari says, there may be a need to obtain evidence."
Rei clutches the money as Ritsuko puts it in her palm, giving Ritsuko a blank stare behind her sunglasses. She doesn't verbally respond, but it's reasonable to assume that she understands, since she doesn't ask any further questions.
Asuka has money, but she wonders if she can get some from Ritsuko just by looking like she needs it. She waits as if she's about to be handed some.
Then someone comes up to check for her pass (it currently says Erica Kagawa on it, which is no more mismatched than her real name), while she's fumbling around, and she realizes she has it still in her coat. So she has to pull it out, which means she has to remove her coat.
Underneath it she is wearing a 'kitten maid' outfit, with a frilly skirt that seems to poof up as soon as it's given cause to. She attempts to close the coat again, but it is no good, as she has to fumble around longer for the pass and eventually finds it shoved down her bra, such as it is. There's no pockets in the outfit.
Then she stands there looking embarassed.
Shinji Ikari just sort of, uh. He swallows, wondering what he could say, should say, or if he should just hit himself to make it easier. He's blushing, a little, though it is not hard to make Shinji Ikari's face flush and he is likely just picking up Asuka's embarassment and feeling it along with her. "Uh-"
"So we meet again, Clark Kentaro!"
"What." Shinji blinks.
"Hao hao hao!" Lola Lane, a dark skinned plucky girl reporter with a press pass pinned on her jacket and a sinister look in her eye appears, stepping one boot on a nearby bench! "Your team of floozies won't protect you this time, Kentaro! I'll be getting the big scoop from this...this /thing/, and I'll be getting the internship at the Daily Star! And nothing's going to stop me-least of all a no account idiot like you!"
Shinji looks vaguely accusitorily at Ritsuko. "Completly unused cover, huh."
"Y-you won't even look your rival in the face...!" Lola exclaims, hands clenching into fists! "Why you...!"
Ritsuko's pass reads 'Misato Katsuragi'. Guess whose credit card got used!?
The revelation of Asuka's strange outfit is not commented on by Ritsuko, who knew it was coming. Instead Asuka is given her own little wad of money, and then her baleful gaze turns towards 'Lola Lane', then back at Shinji. "It must be a coincidence," she says, dryly. Her attention goes back to 'Lola Lane,' looking over the edge of her sunglasses again.
"Miss... Lane. I see you're from the on-site news feed... why don't you show Mr. Kentaro your 'news room,'" air quotes, "as he's really quite into this kind of thing. I'm sure you have openings that he can fill."
Rei stares vacuously at Asuka. She doesn't /intend/ to be like a silent tightening of the thumbscrews, but sometimes life just works out that way. Of course, her attention just drifts from active point of interest to active point of interest when Lola Lane appears. Then Rei looks down at the money in her hand. Piloting an Eva never seemed so easy.
Asuka looks back at Rei. There is a small awkward moment.
But it's hard to ignore Shinji's antics, and suddenly she really wants to go ... investigate somewhere else.
She grabs Rei by the collar of her dress. "Come on, let's go shopping now! Shopping!"
She shoves the coat she was wearing in the hands of the convention staffer, who looks confused, then shrugs and goes to hang it up. Coat check later will be fun.
"Is there a reason she hates me?" Shinji asks Rei, "Or does she just feed off of misery, like some kind of psychic parasite?" He is then punched in the back of the head by an angry teenaged journalist.
Blushing something fierce, Lola's left eye twitches wildly. "If this idiot can't find the press room, I'll be happy to do your job for you, NERV High!"
Abandoned by his "friends" and left to the tender mercies of an enemy he didn't even know he had, Shinji is dragged away, wondering if he will be able to find a way to quietly kill himself without anyone being too inconvienanced.
"I don't know," Rei says evenly to Shinji -- as her body takes a diagonal cant from being dragged. The sound of her shoes scraping against the ground stops when she finally sees fit to start moving with it instead of making like a ragdoll. "Is this some sort of store, then?" she asks, in that sort of tone where the '?' sounds like a '.'
"Well, aren't we having fun," Ritsuko says acridly as she sees Shinji get hauled off by some little curly-haired girl from the area. She is sure he will be fine. She turns then, to follow after the towed Rei and the jingling Asuka. "Yes," she says, with perhaps a little too much familiarity. "There will be a great many unusual things for sale. Be careful that you don't purchase shoddy goods."
"Oh, they're probably all shoddy, but you can probably find something good if you're in to comic books, or..." Asuka passes by a stand and looks at it, curiously blinking at the wares. "Swords. Huh."
A sword might not actually be a bad idea. She could do some damage with that. Hmmm...
Well, she's supposed to be investigating, not buying scary things.
"There aren't press rooms at conventions." Shinji says after a minute, idly seeing if he can't get away, like when Asuka is just playfully trying to murder him.
"I know." Lola says with a soft smile on her lips as she tightens her hold on Shinji's neck. Shinji gulps-the shiver running down his spine when Asuka looks at a sword doesn't help, but he figures it is regular fear.
Speaking of shoddy goods, there certainly are a lot of them. The attitude on the floor is jubulant, because we have definate proof that aliens exist, and a little depressed, because they are huge space vikings. A Divine Crusaders recruitment stand cleverly disguised as a photo hut is fairly obvious, but if Orb has investment here, they've chosen the 'actually subtle' route.
Rei slips out of Asuka's grasp as they wade further up the river into the veritable heart of darkness; she does this to suddenly turn and walk, almost robotically, to a vendor selling what is certainly a pile of crap.
Rei, who is still holding her entire wad of cash in her hand, point at a dingy metal spheroid. "What is this."
"Why, miss, that's a /haro/ owned by /Amuro Ray/ himself," the four-hundred-something pound vendor says, chest hair growing through his Watchmen t-shirt. "Technically, I'm not /supposed/ to have it, but you know, I figure a good kid like you, Amuro -- that's what I call him, 'Amuro,' we're buddies -- Amuro would approve of you, kid, I can sense it." The man is trying to count the money in Rei's hand as he says this. Rei is too busy tilting her head to stare at the junk haro to notice.
"I want to buy it," Rei says, emotionlessly. She sets the whole wad of cash Ritsuko gave her down on the table, picks up the haro, and walks away, holding it cradled in the nook of one arm.
"Pleasure doin' business with ya!" the man cackles as he counts out /way/ more than that haro is worth.
Rei walks back over to Asuka and Ritsuko: "I have completed the spending objective of our cover detail, Doctor."
Ritsuko strolls along. She looks disapproving, unsurprisingly. She remarks to Asuka, "Do you see how they're doing the sketches on their computers and printing them out now? They used to do them longhand, when I went to these. But then," she lowers her voice, "I suppose I never went to one on /this/ subject."
She then looks back to Rei as she approaches, holding the junky haro, nodding slightly. "An excellent choice. I wonder how many others he'll sell today?" Then her attention goes up towards the 'Space Journeys To Zeon' stall, complete with its bright-eyed young person in what is very technically and legally /not/ a Zeon uniform.
"Oh, really?" Asuka is just making conversation with Ritsuko, but looks over to the sketch artists' area anyway.
While doing so, she spots something a bit unusual: someone drawing an anime 'moe' girl with purple ponytails wearing what looks a LOT like Rei's plugsuit. She blinks at it. "Is THAT a copyright violation in progress?" she wonders, hoping she gets to drop the hammer (large and oversized) on someone.
Shinji Ikari is mysteriously missing.
Captain Zeon gives a thumbs up, the secret cameras in his eyes recording anything that comes close for the dark purposes of Bian Zoldark.
"Did NERV copyright me, Doctor?" Rei asks, assuming that is what Asuka meant. She doesn't sound very interested in the question, though; she is, in fact, not.
"Only your representation," Ritsuko says, bitterly for some reason. She steps forwards, then, towards the artist as she cranes her head to look at the indicated picture, her eyes flicking for a moment over at Captain Zeon. "Asuka," she tells the little red-headed girl, "charm that man."
Then she reaches over to grasp the sketchpad. "May I look?" she asks, before pulling it loose abruptly and turning it around for closer study.
It certainly does look like a plugsuit outfit, but the moe girl isn't Rei precisely due to having more of a Sailor Moon sort of hairstyle to complete the look. The artist looks proud of it, as he doesn't believe himself to be any trouble.
Asuka is now directed to charm someone. She looks over to see more clearly who it is. She isn't sure why. She walks over to Zeon with her bell jingling.
As Ritsuko trots off to do something and Asuka to do something else, Rei is left standing in the middle of the main foot-traffic avenue. She holds out her haro to look at it dispassionately.
"Hello!" Captain Zeon says, even though he was a cardboard cutout a second ago. "I am a heroic defender of space! How may I help you, young lady?" Perhaps his spider-senses warned him of the dangers of calling Asuka little girl.
Ritsuko smiles thinly. "Your representation is very good... tell me," and here she waves Rei a little closer, "may I ask you where you bought the rights to use the font you've used for these?" She points at the cleverly reversed chest numerals; this would have bene cleverer if it was, say, '02' instead of '00'.
"Oh, I, uh, well, they're just numbers, you know?" the young artist asks when Ritsuko points out the font. "You don't need font rights to draw numbers," As if he were authoritative on the matter.
Asuka doesn't know what she's charming Zeon for yet, but given a task she's going to do her best at it. So, she jingles her little collar bell with her fingers, then blinks at him. "Nice to meet you, heroic defender! I'm --" auch oh god, but she must swallow and continue with the cover, "from the planet Neko-chan!"
"Just so you know." Shinji Ikari murmurs weakly, "They're totally going to come looking for me."
"Please." Lola, or whatever her real name is murmurs, finishing drawing on Shinji's skull with a green piece of chalk. "You do not even sound sincere, Mister Ikari. This is for the good of the human race-the secrets of the A2 nerve must belong to my employers, before NERV's incompetance destroys the earth."
"C-couldn't I just sign a contract or something?" Shinji offers meekly, struggling as best he can!
"Man." One of the staff mutters, seeing the janitor's closet rock a little. "Lucky kid. Those tsundere types are /crazy/..."
"I see." Captain Zeon says, holding his chin between his thumb and pointer finger. "And are you a native of that planet...or a colonist, a heroic explorer of the human race!" Captain Zeon gives a thumbs up, and a few cameras take a picture of him. Asuka may notice the ray gun looks kind of, um, real, right about now.
Rei wanders off, still toting her Haro. She is promptly lost in the crowd. NERV's worst nightmare comes true on some level.
"Mm hmm," Ritsuko says, drawing out a small envelope from her purse and handing it to the young man, along with his sketchpad. "Be seeing you." The envelope contains a small selection of cryptic legal papers. Unfortunately, opening it constitutes acceptance of guilt in ths copyright claim.
"Well, 'Audrey,'" she says, before looking over at the space where Rei is not. Normally this would be joyous, but she has to return her by the end of the day or Gendo will make her pay late fees. With a grimace, she strides into the crowd, earrings jingling. She can't have gotten THAT far.
Oh, damn, a camera flash. Now there's going to be a picture of Asuka wearing this outfit. She winces, which looks accidentally more like winking. "Um... Oh, yes, I'm a native! My, that's a very nice ray gun you have there!"
The young artist, meanwhile, opens up Ritsuko's envelope, and accepts blame without knowing. The papers seem to perplex him, especially the part where they keep coming out of an envelope that doesn't seem capable of holding them, like a magician's scarf trick.
NERV: Using onionskin paper for evil since NCA 109
"I see..." Captain Zeon internally throws out his previous plan of trying to recruit the girl to Zeon's honor guard of adorable, under aged killing machines. Do not trust the Alien. Instead, he pulls out a form, flipping it around and looking over Asuka a few times-it may be a little embarrasing, because he has something of an eye for detail.
"And why have you come to our blue earth?" Captain Zeon asks.
Rei, meanwhile, has already filtered out of the main convention room. She ignores the passing glances of conventiongoers -- you know, the 'wait, what, a /girl/' types of stares -- as she calmly and serenely walks around, looking for a room labeled 'PRESS.' Intuition seems to be guiding her, but worse intutions exist.
"Wow." A skinny girl in a cat-eye hat licks her lips. "That is a lot of."
"She's a kid, Cheryl."
"What, really? Shit, how can you tell these days. Now I feel like a sick old lady..."
There is a door marked 'Press' but it also says, 'BEING CLEANED'-clearly implying that Rei should wait until there is not such a sign blocking her way? What should she do? Could this be the end of Spider-Man?
Rei stands in front of the 'Press' door for a few long minutes, considering the likelihood of whether or not it would actually be cleaned during operating hours of the convention center. The conclusion she comes to is that she has no idea; she feels like she might as well be on Mars. So, trusty haro in hand, she reaches to turn the doorknob.
After about five minutes of investigation, and an untoward moment at the American Albinism Support Society's booth, Ritsuko comes stalking back near the area of Captain Zeon. She looks even more pissed off, and about ten years older, than was the case on the train.
The door opens...
Well, either Shinji's in trouble, or he's far kinkier than the betting polls have ever suspected. The Third Child is tied to a chair, while 'Lola Lane' is fiddling around in the back. He looks a little depressed, both because it seems like he is doomed and because he's not dead yet, and has a green outline where the surgery is about to take place.
Lane comes back out, armed with a small camera and a pizza cutter. "Now, just hold still, and this should be over momentarily..."
Like Rei even /understands/ sex, let alone kinky play.
"Indeed," Rei says in response to Lola, as she lifts the haro above her head and /throws/ it at the would-be sciencetorturer with as much might as her skinny freak arms can muster. Luckily, despite being functionally useless as a haro, the sphere of metal makes a /great/ medicine ball.
Lola may be a skilled spy and gifted amature surgeon, but she is also all of fifteen, and is quickly knocked the hell out by the lethargic wrath of Rei Ayanami.
"A-ayanami!" Shinji exclaims, unsure if he is more suprised by her choice of weapon or the fact that someone bothered to look for him. "...did you just, um, make a witty rejoinder, there?" He thought she was allergic to that. Shinji is still sort of tied up, or he'd applaud or something.
He worries, vaguely, if being basicly raised by his evil dad means Ayanami will take advantage of the situation.
Captain Zeon blinks, looking up at Ritsuko. "Hello, citizen! I am Captain Zeon, hero of space!"
When Shinji asks Rei if she dared to be witty, she responds with nothing more than a silent stare -- for all of a moment, before she walks around to untie her comrade. "We came here as part of a mission; that implied danger. Leaving a team member to fend for themselves seemed like a poor choice." Having untied Shinji, she steps over to where Lola is 'resting' and picks up her haro, checking it for dents.
Some part of Shinji Ikari thinks, perhaps cynically, that if it were the Second Child or Dr. Akagi in here, she might not have stumbled into the room before the operation. The rest of him is relieved and a little dissapointed to be free, rubbing his sore wrists and sighing. "You really know how to make a guy feel warm and fuzzy, Ayanami."
It's said in a fond sort of way, though, and Shinji actually pats her on the shoulder before remembering that she has touch issues worse than he does and quickly moving his hand away. "Sorry." Shinji murmurs, not wanting to make the girl he's starting to see as a-something or other, he doesn't even know, but important-any more uncomfortable.
The Haro is not dented, persumably because it has not had time to be loved yet.
Rei does flinch a bit -- just a bit, though, because she's in the process of examining what is now her only possession. Her head turns to stare at Shinji; the lighting of the room makes her eyes easily visible through the tinted lenses of her NERV-issue Wayfarers. "Do I?" she asks -- and then, as if already bored by the question, she starts walking back the way she came. "We shouldn't stay here. She might have allies."
"Where's your helmet," Ritsuko asks Captain Zeon, acidly.
"Yeah." Shinji agrees, distantly, finishing taking pictures of the woman-he's tied her hands up behind her back, but figures a spy can break out of that eventually, and giving another quick look around for something resembling evidence. The tools she was going to use have been put into a backpack.
"In the hearts and minds of children everywhere!" Captain Zeon exclaims, patting Ritsuko on the shoulder and grinning rougishly at her!
"...I just want to make sure we can figure out who's into stealing our brains. I like my brain." Shinji looks a little embarrased at this, as if giving a damn about a NERV-related thing is some sort of silent victory for his father. "...here we go." Shinji smiles, then, pocketing a checkbook. Names and dates, nice. Why is he not freaking out over almost dieing? Maybe this is freaking out, Shinji thinks, as he idly holds the door open for Rei. "After you, Ayanami.~"
Did Rei hear... a tilde in Shinji's tone? In any case, she doesn't respond to it with more than a momentary glance, but she strolls out all the same, haro tucked under one arm. "Doctor Akagi and Asuka are in the big room," she says, not having much of a frame of reference for calling it a 'convention floor' or any of that. She strolls along at a comfortable pace, although the perfect one-two-one-two rhythm of her step is maintained the whole way.
Ritsuko reaches up to rest a hand on Captain Zeon's own, eyes lowering downwards as her lips tighten slightly, her expression drawn and solemn. Perhaps even on the verge of tears.
She says in a low voice, "You will take your hand off of me, or I will scream." She then moves her own hand.
"Oh?" Shinji sighs a little, perhaps at the idea of seeing Dr. Akagi again-does he need that on top of almost getting his brain abducted? "I hope she doesn't get any ideas from this. God knows I'll be the one getting plugs in my skull..." Shinji grumbles a little, as any unwilling test pilot might.
"Jeze, lady!" The hand's off of there in a second, unless Ritsuko holds on with some force. Captain Zeon's actual voice is a little squeakier, perhaps because he is shocked and a little offended by the insinuation. "Don't take your issues out on me, okay? I'm just doing a job here-"
"Oh good." Shinji murmurs, seeing some of the goings on as they start getting closer-perhaps he has super vision. "We're keeping nice and low key, then."
"Hmf!" Ritsuko says, turning her nose up slightly. "Yes, a /job/, I suppose. I thought this wasn't a /corporate/ convention?" Her arms fold.
"I don't understand," Rei replies to Shinji. "She doesn't seem to be drawing much attention." Indeed, many conventiongoers are thumbing through One Year War trading cards and haggling for bootleg DVDs of 'Char Aznable: Behind the Gundam' rather than pay attention to what will certainly not be the last woman-and-costumed-man squabble of the day.
"Well, I'm not the 'trained professional' so I'm more expendibl-oh." Shinji flushes. Like she wants to hear him bitch. "I'm just annoyed, Ayanami. Sorry."
"Well, what, do you think they're going to get a real Zeon soldier to interact with the crowd?" Captain Zeon offers, "I'm just supposed to hand out flyers, play along when someone comes up 'in character', and make sure no one hits eachother, okay? I wasn't trying to hit on you or anything, seriously."
Ritsuko adjusts her sunglasses. She continues to look Aggreieved. "Hmf," she says. She looks down at the fliers, then. You can virtually see the - - - - - coming out of her eyes. "What are these for, anyway? Is this some kind of charity?"
Rei gives Shini a glance when he apologizes, but nothing more, as if her end of Conversation Creek has dried up entirely. She continues wandering toward fussy old Ritsuko (emphasis 'old').
"Oh, uh..." Captain Zeon starts to look worried, rubbing the back of his head, when!
Ritsuko can feel Shinji pulling on her jacket, slightly, as though he were younger than he actually is. "Sorry to interupt, 'mom'." Shinji says, an innocent smile on his face, "But you told us to tell you when the meter's about to, um, run out. We don't want to get another ticket, after all..."
Shinji winks at Rei, perhaps out of sheer need to suffer. "Well, I mean, I guess I could spend another night in county, but that one guy kept looking at me funny..."
Captain Zeon may have gotten off lucky.
"Well, then," Ritsuko grates, "Clark. I suppose then we should be going." Her lips twist upwards into a thin parody of a smile, and she turns on one heel, putting her hand firmly on the back of both children's necks. To make sure they don't get lost, yes. Asuka can find her own way back, she's a tough girl.
Rei tenses when Ritsuko touches her neck, but quickly stifles her reaction, trundling along with the rest of the now-trio. She at least came away from the experience with a haro. Which is probably more than Asuka will be able to say, unless 'haro' is defined as 'horrifying molestation adventure.'
Presumably Asuka's allready back at the hotel, ordering room service. At least that's what Shinji'll say when it comes up in court.
He silently hands Ritsuko the checkbook, an explination for his actions. If she takes it, Shinji'll use the excuse to break off physical contact, because his skin is crawling-it isn't Ritsuko's fault, and Shinji doesn't blame her so much as he blames his own worthlessness. But, hey, at least he got something done tonight. sort of. sigh.