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Title: Some Understanding And a Little Love
Series: Evangelion
Word Count: 3262
Rating: PG? Maybe a rly light PG-13 for discussion of sex?
Characters/ships: Kawoshin (Asexual!Kaworu)
Summary: Shinji grows concerned about what Kaworu's feelings for him really are.
WarningsMentions of anxiety and what could probably be considered a panic attack.
Notes: Written for the Asexual Awareness Week Fanworks collection, and because Aceworu has been my headcanon for the longest time.

It’s about ten twenty-five pm on Kaworu’s birthday, and this isn’t quite how Shinji was expecting it to go. They’re lying down on Kaworu’s bed, the lights turned off, pressed close together, and they aren’t really doing much. Kaworu has an arm around Shinji’s waist, his other arm lazily playing with the brunette’s hair while the movie they’d been watching comes to an end. It’s . . .not bad, really. In fact, it’s quite nice. He enjoys Kaworu being so close to him, making him feel wanted and warm. It’s just, not what he expected, he thinks. He doesn’t quite want to admit what he was expecting when he told Kaworu he could do ‘whatever kaworu wanted’ with Shinji for his birthday, but it certainly wasn’t simply spooning and watching movies.

The room darkens completely as Kaworu shuts of the television as the credits roll. The pair lie together in the comfortable silence, Kaworu’s arm returning to rest around Shinji’s waist. Then Kaworu shifts a bit, loosening his hold.

“Shinji-kun, will you look at me?” He says softly, sweetly.

Shinji does his best to swallow down the mix of heat and his fluttering heart when the pale boy spoke to him, but it’s useless when he complies, rolling over to his other side. Kaworu is smiling warmly at him, as he always does. His gaze is sleepy and Shinji likes to think he isn’t just imagining the color on his cheeks. Kaworu still has one hand at the back of Shinji’s head, idly twirling the short brunette strands in his fingers.

“Thank you for spending the day with me.” He says. He speaks quietly, as if there’s any chance of being overheard. His face falls a bit as he continues, “I know this isn’t a . . particularly easy day to have celebrations on.”

Shinji reaches up to hold the hand playing with his hair. “Well, it’s still your birthday. You can’t help what happened on it.”

Kaworu doesn’t say anything. He isn’t looking at Shinji anymore. His eyes are cast downward, his gaze distant and sorrowful. He looks awfully tired in a way Shinji feels he won’t ever completely understand. Shinji squeezes Kaworu’s hand. He scoots closer to him, not wanting him to be lost of thoughts of Second Impact. He doesn’t want Kaworu to fall into thoughts of Evas and Angels and everything dark and cruel about the world. Kaworu always chases away Shinji’s fears and anxiety and he wants to return that. He presses a soft kiss to Kaworu’s forehead, whispering his name.

Kaworu smiles at him softly again, though his eyes are still tired. “I’m alright, don’t worry.” He kisses Shinji’s cheek to reassure him, then pauses before pressing their lips together. It’s a long, sweet kiss, and Shinji’s freehand clenches and unclenches as he debates rolling over and pulling Kaworu on top of him, wondering if pressing his body against the pale boy will make Kaworu embrace him or shove him away in disgust. Kaworu is pulling away before he can decide, though, and wraps both arms around Shinji, holding him close and sighing contently.

“You’re so kind, Shinji-kun.” He whispers, nuzzling against Shinji’s hair.

“I’m not, though,” Shinji replies, his heart sinking with guilt at his dissatisfaction with how their night had gone. “Not like you are.”

“You should have more faith in your own good qualities,” Kaworu says. He yaws, before continuing “besides, I don’t believe I am any better than you."

Kaworu yawns again before bidding Shinji good night with a whisper and another soft kiss. Shinji stays awake and watches him for a while. The slight part in his lips, his soft breathing and the movement of his chest. In Shinji’s eyes he’s porcelain perfection. Though his personality has its quirks and he sometimes seems too tired and detached, Shinji can’t think of Kaworu as flawed. He is patient and kind. He’s made of soft smiles and kind words. He smells of the ocean and clean spring breezes.

So why would he love someone like me?

Shinji’s chest tightens at the sudden thought. He takes a deep breath, trying to calm himself. Kaworu had chosen to spend the day with him, had called him kind. Kaworu is right there, right there, with his arms around Shinji. That’s reassurance enough, right?

He could just be pitying you.

Shinji swallows, trying to keep his breath even. His SDAT is in his school bag, by the door to Kaworu’s small apartment. He can’t get himself to move. He’s frozen from his sudden anxiety, frozen with not wanting to disturb Kaworu. Not wanting to give him a reason to be upset with Shinji or dislike him. He breathes again, but his SDAT is gone and he can’t block out his own thoughts.

He never tries to touch me more, and why would he? I’m nowhere near his level, and I’m a boy. It would be gross for him, disgusting. Kaworu would never ever think of me that way. He would never, he would never.

Shinji squeezes his eyes shut, as if blocking his vision can block his mind. Despite his thoughts he presses closer to Kaworu, seeking out his warmth even when it makes him feel weak and disgusting.

I’m just a burden to him, even now i have to cling to him because I’m so weak. He’s too good for me I shouldn’t make him waste time on me.

Shinji ignores his first impulse to bury his face against Kaworu’s chest, to wake Kaworu up and hear his soothing his voice. He presses his face into his pillow instead, and he isn’t quite sure if he’s trying to force himself asleep or suffocate himself.\

The next morning, sunlight is streaming in through the windows. It paints everything a warm, sleepy shade of orange. It’s a perfect, drowsy sort of morning, and Kaworu wakes up to find the other half of his bed empty.

“Shinji-kun, wait a moment.” Kaworu finds Shinji again on the way to school the next day. He sees Shinji tense as he approaches, and it catches his concern. He approaches slowly, cautiously. “Are you alright? I didn’t expect you to leave so early this morning.”

Shinji doesn’t look at Kaworu. He keeps his eyes downcast, looking at his shoes. “Uh, s-sorry, I just wanted to make sure I had time to make lunch for everyone.”

Kaworu smiles at him. He keeps it soft and reassuring. “You could have prepared them at my residence. I would have loved to assist you.”

“It’s fine, I didn’t want to trouble you.”

Kaworu’s smile falls. Shinji still isn’t look at him. In fact, he seems to keep his gaze pointedly away from Kaworu’s. He’s tense. 

“Shinji-kun, are you sure there’s nothing wro-”

“S-sorry, Kaworu-kun!” Shinji exclaims, cutting him off. “I-I have some homework I need to get done!”

Shinji quickens his pace, practically running away from Kaworu. Kaworu stops in his tracks, watching Shinji speed away from him. Something cold settles in his stomach. It feels distressingly like concern and loneliness with a little bit of panic. He pushes himself to trudge on after Shinji, assuring himself that Shinji is just embarrassed about spending the night together, lying so close to each other. He’s sure Shinji will be fine by lunch. He’s sure.

Until Shinji quickly darts from their classroom at lunch without so much of a glance at Kaworu. He watches Shinji leave and his blood runs cold again. He feels eyes landing on him - Suzuhara, Aida, Makinami, Second and First. He doesn’t have to meet their gazes to know what they are. He’s felt their weight before. Suzuhara and Aida are distrustful, apprehensive. They’re protective of their friend and suspicious of the stranger. Second is similarly distrustful, with a bitter satisfaction mixed in. First is distant, studious. It all mixes together to a sickening weight that pushes Kaworu to get as far away as he can.

He stands up, trying to be as nonchalant as possible as he scoops up his own poorly made bento. The roof would be a good place to look for Shinji. It’d also be a good place for a serious conversation between the two of them, to see what is bothering Shinji so much. His hopes are only meet with disappointment, however, when the sight of an empty roof is all that greets him. He sighs, sliding down to floor and leaning against the roof door. He eats his lunch half heartedly, eating small portions and poking at the rest.

He plays back the previous day over in his head. Then once more. He doesn’t believe he did anything to upset Shinji. he had believed that Shinji was enjoying the day as much as Kaworu, but did he miss something? Perhaps Shinji really wasn’t comfortable celebrating on the anniversary of such an event. Kaworu’s heart aches at the thought. He is very much aware of how selfish it is of him, to enjoy the day of his birth when the very same event had brought such tragedy to the lillin. He closes his bento, having lost what little appetite he had. Even in these circumstances, he can’t help but think of how Shinji would scold him for not eating properly.

He looks up at the clear blue sky, feeling a little pathetic at how lonely he already feels, when Shinji had only been ignoring him for a few hours. He does not want to pull Shinji towards him, he would very much rather that Shinji comes to him. In circumstances such as these, however, he doesn’t think it would be wrong to seek an explanation, at least.

Even something as simple as that proves difficult, however, when Shinji seems determined to avoid him. He doesn’t stop by in the mornings to make sure Kaworu doesn’t sleep in too late. He leaves school quickly or hastily says he has plans with Suzuhara and Aida or First. He doesn’t so much as glance at Kaworu during class and disappears during lunch. It stirs up Kaworu’s ages old anxiety and loneliness that he had been convinced was buried under dedication and love to the dark-haired boy. He had gotten quite good at covering up his darker feelings for more important matters. Even now he believes he has a believable front, though the most perceptive aren’t as easily fooled.

“Did you and puppy-boy break up?” Makinami asks after a week passes.

Kaworu doesn’t answer, and only pokes at his untouched lunch.

Another week passes before Kaworu decides he needs to actually speak to Shinji about it. He doesn’t have to wait long for an opportunity. As he and their classmates pack up to leave, he notices that Shinji remains sitting, his face serious as he focuses on his unfinished worksheet. Kaworu continues to prepare to leave, going along with the flow of the crowd. He stops short, however, just at the end of the hall. He acts as if he’s forgotten something, then turns back and stands beside the open classroom door. He listens in silence as the laughter and chatter of the students fades away. He listens intently to the quiet sounds of Shinji working inside. The faint scratch of mechanical pencil lead against paper, a pencil being tapped against the desk in thought.

Eventually Kaworu hears a chair scrape against the floor and papers rustling. He moves into the doorway to see. He allows himself a moment to simply watch Shinji as he files the papers away in his school bag. Only a moment, though, he can’t risk any waste of time.

“Shinji-kun,” He says. Shinji jumps at the sudden sound. He looks up at Kaworu and he’s nervous, apprehensive. “Could I have a moment?” Kaworu asks before he can convince himself that he doesn’t have a right to bother Shinji this way.

Shinji fidgets. He as he looks around, searching for another way to exit. After a moment he hesitantly returns Kaworu’s gaze and nods.

Kaworu walks over to him, slowly. He stops in front of where Shinji had been sitting, the desk between the two of them. He wants to be closer to Shinji, to hold him and stroke his hair and whisper how much he loves him over and over again, but he knows he has to be careful. Anything too forceful and he might never be able to fix whatever this had turned into.

“Have I done something that upset you?” He asks. He speaks as softly as when they had been lying in his bed. “I would very much like to make up for it, if I have.”

Shinji looks almost distressed at Kaworu’s words. “N-No, Kaworu-kun, that’s not-” He sighs, shoulders slumping. He sinks back down into his chair, burying his face in his arms. “You haven’t done anything wrong,” He answers, so quietly Kaworu almost misses it.

Kaworu follows him down, crouching down to be level with Shinji. He hesitantly covers Shinji’s hand with his own, running his thumb over it soothingly. “Then, have you grown tired of me?” He asks. “I don’t mean to pressure you, but I . . must admit that the sudden shift in our relationship has been of,” he pauses again, trying to think of how to convey his feelings without putting the weight of them on Shinji. “Considerably concern to me,” he finishes after a moment’s thought. Shinji shakes his head.

“That’s not it either, I - I really like being with you, Kaworu-kun, but I just,” He looks up from behind his arms just a bit, enough to meet Kaworu’s gaze. “On your birthday, after you had fallen asleep, I-i just, I started thinking, or uh, I guess, overthinking and I,” He looks away, his shoulders tensing in what kaworu reads as apprehension or anxiety.

“I got,” Shinji continues “s-scared.”

Kaworu shocked at the admission. He’s well aware that Shinji harbors many fears about Piloting and connecting to others, but he would never had thought that Shinji would be fearful of their relationship, of Kaworu. He squeezes Shinji’s hand.

“Shinji-kun,” he starts, wanting to say something reassuring, but Shinji cuts him off.

“I figured that, th-that I’m only a burden to you, th-that you and I don’t have the same feelings for each other. I - I started think that you were j-just with me out of pity be-because you’re so wonderful, Kaworu, a-and I’m nothing like you.” Shinji hides his face behind his arms again. “And I, I’m so disgusting, even though I love it when you hold me and kiss me, I can’t help but want more, b-but there’s no way you would want to do those kind of things with another guy, especially not one like me. S-so I,” his sigh sounds almost like a sob “I ran away.”

Ah, that’s all it is
, Kaworu thinks. They had run into this challenge before, in other time lines, other loops. It had never been this severe, though. Kaworu sighs. Evidently this loop is being much more difficult for Shinji that it is for him. Kaworu shifts, wrapping his arms around Shinji’s trembling form and leaning against him.

“Shinji-kun,” he says, speaking quietly again. This is a moment just for them, in their own little world, even if no one else is around to hear anyway. “Please listen to what I have to say.”

He waits a moment. Shinji nods, and he continues.

“You and I are separate people, and our bodies are different from each other’s.”

More so than you realize
, He can’t help but think, but Kaworu buries the thought quickly. This is not the time for that.

“You are not disgusting for feeling a sexual need for the person of your affections. It’s perfectly natural. But I can hope you understand that someone not feeling the same sort of . . . attraction is also perfectly natural.” He holds Shinji a little tighter, hoping his words are coming across clearly.

“It’s true,” he continues “that I do not feel the same sort of . . desires that you hold, but that is only because my body does not react to certain stimuli the same way yours does. So, Shinji-kun - could you look at me?”

Kaworu loosens his hold, giving Shinji room to move. It takes a moment, but Shinji grants his request. He looks up at Kaworu hesitantly, his dark blue eyes glistening. He looks so vulnerable and hurt that Kaworu’s heart aches with guilt. He softly caresses Shinji’s cheek.

“I beg that you do not allow yourself to doubt my feelings for you. Please be sure that when I say I love you, I mean it with all of my heart and soul. I do not love you out of pity, and I am not at all disgusted by you. Please, please, believe that.”

Shinji stares at him after he finishes speaking, and Kaworu can tell from the look in his eyes that he wants, desperately wants to believe his words. He takes a trembling breath. “Do you,” he whispers “do you really mean that?”

Kaworu smiles softly at the other boy. He kisses his forehead, running his fingers through his dark hair. “Of course."

Shinji smiles then, and oh, it’s a magical smile, soft and small, that fills Kaworu’s chest with warmth and lifts the weight off of his shoulder.

“I- I believe you, and, Kaworu-kun, I’m,” He stands, grabbing his bag again. “I’m sorry, for not trusting in your feelings.”

“You don’t have to apologize,” Kaworu says, standing as well and adjusting the strap of his school bag on his shoulder. He steals another peck on Shinji’s forehead. “Besides, I should have been more aware of your wants."

Shinji frowns a bit. “You don’t have to, Kaworu-kun, you have your own wants to worry about,” he scolds. Kaworu can’t help but smile at his light chastising. It means that they are back to normal.

He holds Shinji’s hand as they walk down the hall together.

“I don’t mind, I’m always thinking of you anyway.” he says as they retrieve their shoes. “And if you wish it,” he leans over Shinji as he ties his shoes, wrapping his arms around the smaller boy and whispering right into his ear “I would be glad to go home with you and meet those needs.”

Shinji almost falls over from how fast he jerks away from Kaworu.

“N-NO, THAT’S NOT. . YOU R-REALLY DON’T HAVE TO I, I” he stammers, his entire body flushing bright red. He takes another deep breath “I-I don’t think I’m re-ready, anyway. N-not now, anyway.”

Kaworu can’t help but chuckle. “Perhaps just dinner, and some movies, then.” Shinji nods.

“Y-yeah, I, I think I would really like that.” Shinji says as he finishes his shoes and stands up. He takes Kaworu’s hand again.

“Though I would be happy to meet your needs anytime, if that’s what would make you happy.” Kaworu says as they exit the school.

“Kaworu-kunnn,” Shinji whines. “Y-you can’t, you can’t just say stuff like that.”

“I’m simply being honest, though!”

Kaworu can’t help but lean in to give Shini another kiss, on the cheek this time. Which only helps them burn redder, but Shinji smiles. As they walk Kaworu inquires what Shinji plans to make, and if they need to stop for anything. They talk of movies and school work and classmates between the quick kisses Kaworu keeps bestowing on Shinji’s face. The setting sun paints everything a warm, sleepy sort of orange, and Kaworu feels peaceful in the knowledge that he won’t wake up to an empty bed that had just before been filled again.
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