Despite his secure trust regarding all known laws of reality, Shinji ikari is most certainly convinced that there are three different versions of his trusted companion. They may all be localized entirely within the singularity known as Kaworu Nagisa, but that simple fact could never be an obstacle for the mind of a young man of his calibre.
There may be more, actually. Shinji isn't quite sure. In fact, every version, he has stumbled upon so far, has had it's time and place to shine.
Theres the one, shinji knows best."Sweet and lovely", as Misato might say, "a pseudo philosophical airhead" as Asuka loves to put it, "a potential rival" Kensuke once wrongly guessed, during his quest to win over the before mentioned women's hearts.
Shinji doesn't know how to effectively say it but he might..sorta kinda in a slight, small, little too unimportant to actually mention way... like the guy. But this isn't about him. It's about the other two, shinji had the pleasure or displeasure of meeting so far.
''ll cover you !"
The soft yet calculated voice of his companion, still manages to drown out the violet slashing of steal and blood curtailing screams, emanating from the battlefield.
Merging it all into an undecipherable blurr and directing shinjis attention to them and only them. With a quick and efficient motion, the paladins eva steps between Shinji and their angelic opponent, taking the blow of it's attack and leaving the young sorcerer just enough time to summon up the spell, to be it's deadly demise.
After the angels body has stopped moving and a collective sigh, runs through the small group of pilots, Shinji rushes to his paladins side. Who's looking as calm and confident as ever. Even with angel blood splattered across his otherwise disturbingly perfect features. He smiles at Shinjis advances and it looks fake. That's one of the notable things, shinji has noticed about him. Kaworu seems fine, yet there's a hesitation behind his friends red eyes, before dealing every killing blow. A slight bit of sorrow after every battle, which never feels like it is directed at the human lives lost. He shakes it of with a pat on the back before mastering up the courage to articulate anything more than
"thanks for having my back !".
The sun had set long ago. In fact, they may even be closer to it rising than setting at this point. But despite the entire town being tucked away under the dark feathers of a warm summer night's wing, two boys were roaming it's deep streets instead of sleeping in their respective beds. Well, two boys would be an overstatement. Shinji roamed the streets, while kaworu had the much less draining task of dramatically clinging to the first ones shoulder and being dragged around by him. The evening went great, until Misato left them out of her sights, wich the both of them took as a sentiment to be a little more adventurous about their choice of beverage than usual. After all, it was the full moon festival and a sheer crime against mankind that they hadn't ever tried the area's specific brand of moonshine before. Or something like that, shinji couldn't remember much, and the current state of his partner in crime, hinted at kaworu being just as clueless.
Shinji takes a deep breath, the fresh summer air almost clearing the alcohol induced fog inside his head, that had built in density since his first cup. He Never expected Kaworu to be such a lightweight. Sure he wasn't prone to alcohol, but he didn't seem to be very well versed in any of the other activities, kaworu had turned out to be naturally talented at, so far. Indulging in Adams aberrations to be his weakness, was a funny surprise to be kept secret from Asukas or any of the other children's malicious intent
The white haired boy mumbles into the crook of his friends neck
"That I am."
The reply is short and strained. Not mad but not warm either, he wants to be home in his bed. Hidden under a blanket so the events and possible repercussions of today's night, may never reach his idle self, under the safety of his fathers status.
"No reason to be so cold with meee, shniji. Say, do you hate me ?"
The impact of that question hits harder than it should've. Normally, kaworu wouldn't even contemplate over his answer to that kind of question. Normally kaworu just ... knows and shinji doesn't need to spell his emotions out for him.
"You can't hate me shinji, I'd wither away from that, like a broken flower. You wouldn't allow that to happen..right ?"
"No. I wouldn't. I don't hate you. Now stop whining about it!"
The white haired boy nods like he's satisfied with that answer and rests back at his place on Shinjis shoulder
They try to walk for a while, until kaworu decides to rid himself of the sustained stability shinjis shoulder's offering him, to grasp at the sorcerer's hand and subsequently sag to the floor, with the grace of a dying pigeon. Completely ignoring his less than ideal position, Kaworu tugs at his hand and looks at it, like it's a treasure for him to keep. Lacing their fingers together, before finally looking up towards shinji.
In a way, seeing him like this has it's charm. His white hair disheveled with strands of it sticking to his forehead. A rosy red blush, splattered across his porcelain features. Illuminated by the dim glow of candles, shining through a nearby window.
Not at all flattering, but assuring to know his friends perfect facade had a way to crumble.
The latter mirrors his gaze for a moment too long, until he sighs and reaches to help him up again.
"You have pretty hands, did you know that, Shinji ?" Kaworu starts again, once he's somewhat stable, his own hand, still neatly intertwined with Shinjis.
Who doesn't take it upon himself to reply.
"They really are !" Kaworu continues "so small and yet immensely powerful !
They're always covered in splotches of ink from writing notes and letters. You use them to summon spells, carry and support people with them, like me right now.
They're holding the ring i gave you.." kaworu fruitlessly searches for it on his friends hand "oh, you don't have it on you ?"
It's tied to a leather band around my neck.
Closest to my heart.
He doesn't say that.
"I left it at home in my chambers, didn't want the ring to get lost during the festivities.. a-and i get it. Pretty hands. Now quiet down or I'll use them to shut you up for good"
Kaworu hesitates for a moment, his expression looks like he's thinking about something. Disregarding it, then carefully picking it up again and contemplating it's worth to say outloud. Shinji almost feels a sense of victory rush over him when-
"Would you do the same with your lips, if i told you those were pretty too ?"