A sigh left his lips. Everyone was having so much fun. Why was he still so reserved? The rest of the Numbers were so energetic and cheerful. And with his wallflower attitude, Shinji remained barely noticed. He was better than how he was when he started this mecha hero business, but he still felt insecure, and frustrated. Groaning, he slammed his head on the dinnertable in front of himself and groaned in pain as his forehead slammed home. He kept his position, wondering if he should just leave; and that was when he heard a soft voice emanate from in front of him.
"Ahh, Ikari-kun?" The soft, feminine voice said.
Shinji raised his head immediately and looked towards the owner of the voice. Her hair was straight, missing the trademark white ribbon tied around her forehead. She was dressed conservatively for once as well; wearing a beige colored knee-length skirt and white blouse, missing that odd swimsuit-esque red and white one piece. But there was no doubt about it, the young woman standing before him was the beautiful Takaya Noriko; the savior in the Battle of Buster Machine 3. Shinji flushed, flailing to get himself sitting up straight and proper looking. He was out of his element; wearing a formal black and white suit instead of his usual button down white shirt and slacks. He tugged at his tie nervously and gave the young woman a shy smile.
"T-Takaya-san, hi." He got out nervously.
She giggled. It was a cute sound that was enough to make Shinji blush even more.
"You looked sort of lonely over here, so I thought I'd come say hi." She offered, taking a seat from across Shinji. Her cheeks were a shade of red as well; but she didn't seem flustered or shy. Had she drank some during the reception? He had heard Roy Fokker getting loud and forcing the women to take heaping drinks of liqour earlier; well until his girlfriend got him in line. "All alone tonight?" She asked, resting one of her rosey cheeks in a raised palm.
"N-nah... everyone's just busy being social, I guess..." Shinji replied, looking away, but shyly shooting a glance her way every now and then. Though she was dressed conservatively, it didn't hide her impressive curves. The way she sat, and leaned forward over the table gave her chest definition; a ribbon near her collar bone sinking in to the valley between her sizable breasts. He gulped. He was a war hero. Had fought and killed a lifetimes worth more than most other people. But Shinji Ikari was still a 14 year old virgin.
"Well, you've got me for company now then." Noriko said cheerfully, giving him another warm smile. "We're a lot alike, you know?" She added suddenly, which made Shinji take a moment from his shy confusion to listen to her intently.
"Really...?" Shinji asked. He found that hard to believe. She was beautiful and so likable...
"Really!" She said, her hands reaching out to suddenly take his as she gave him a warm smile. If she was drunk, all it did was amp up how naturally friendly she was. "I was really shy and unsure of myself before I started piloting. I was really scared. Terrified!" She said quickly. He melted in her warm hands. Physically she was a lot like Misato - curvaceous, sexy even. But her personality is what set her apart. She was so warm and kind... something that set her apart from all the other women he regularly dealt with.
"Being with all of you helped me grow... I hope its help you too, Ikari-kun. How you dealt with your father... it was very brave." She said. The mention of his father; of reminding Shinji of how he defeated his father in combat to help save humanity shook him. His shy smile turned in to a melancholy smile; something Noriko immediately noticed. She reeled back a bit, letting go of his hands momentarily, before regaining her resolve and moving closer to him. She was now a seat away, to the point he could feel her body heat near him. She then took his hands again.
"Um... sorry for bringing that up. I can be a bit of a clutz when it comes to speaking to people." She offered with an apologetic smile. That was enough make him forget, and focus once more. Her beautiful smile was almost enough to get lost in; and Shinji felt his heart begin to race. He shook his head at her apology; unable to get the words out, but meaning to get across "don't worry about it". She smiled wider, seeming to have gotten it, and held her hands, and in effect, his hands to her chest. He felt her softness press in to the back of his palms and he swallowed hard, taking a heavy breath. He was falling apart in her hands, and this was something she slowly began to notice.
"Ikari-kun? Are you ok?" She said, absent mindedly pressing his hands more in to her chest.
"Y-YEAH!" He exclaimed louder than he would have liked. He felt like slapping himself. "It's just I... I don't talk to girls that much. Well um... normal girls, ahaha..." He trailed off. She giggled at that, obviously picturing the quiet Rei and hot headed Asuka in her mind as he had. She nodded to his summation, understanding, leaving it at that, as she let out a sigh.
"I'm a bit lonely tonight too." She admitted, giving him a half-smile as she softly began to massage his fingers; the back of his palm; seemingly doing so unconciously. "Kazumi-oneesan is out with Coach tonight.. and I was hoping to spend the night with her." Kazumi - that was Noriko's partner's name. A blue-haired, strong beauty. He calmed down a little bit; understanding. Though he appreciated Noriko's presence, the word began floating in to his mind and made him relax a little, perterbed. Replacement, replacement...
Noriko seemed to catch on to this too after awhile. Despite how aloof, how naive she seemed, she was quite intuitive. "I don't mean...! Ahhh!" Noriko huffed at herself, shaking her head. "Ugh, I always say stupid stuff like that! I like hanging out with you just fine Ikari-kun!" She exclaimed, and as if to emphasize what she said, she wrapped her arms around him. Shinji's eyes went wide and he froze, heart preparing to explode. She was quite obviously a bit drunk, but not to the point she lost focus of her facultie like Misato often did. But not even Misato got this touchy-feely when she was drunk. Debating this whole process was lost on Shinji when Noriko's smooth cheek pressed in to his own; her chest pressing in to his.
"Ah-ahhhh, it's ok, Takaya-san..." He said quickly, his heart racing, and his body reacting a lot quicker than he would have liked. Her soft chest, the wonderful smell her hair and skin give off, it was overwhelming him. A curvaceous beauty like Noriko Takaya would have one effect on a boy like Shinji Ikari, and it was quickly evident what that was when Noriko moved out of the hug; her hand brushing against the rigid tent that had formed in Shinji's pants. The thin fabric of the dress pants did little to help when this happened, and the frail young boy left out a girl "ahn" as his most private place was touched.
Shinji wanted to scream, mortified. It reminded him of when he fist moved in to Misato's apartment, and in their very first night she saw him completely naked. Of course, this was much worse. He almost looked on the verge of crying, his hands instantly pulling away from her and moving to hide himself as he sat in his seat, wallowing in his own shame. Noriko flushed and seemed to back away for the smallest of moments, before she leaned in towards him, giving him a smile and a wink. "Don't worry, I'll make sure no one sees it!" She said.
Despite his situation, Shinji managed a face fault. This is your fault, Takaya-san! You'll make it worse! His mind screamed. The innocent pilot of Gunbuster moved closer to him, an arm hugging Shinji in to her body; his face going against her neck. She was now hugging him, one of her hands pressed in to his erection. Did she even understand men? Or was she too drunk to know? Pushing down on it wasn't going to do anything. If anything, she was making this worse, and he let out a girlish squeal in to her neck. While they sat in this position, Shinji could hear footsteps coming towards them, and he tensed up even more madly; Noriko beginning to lightly massage the very end of his tent; meant to be a soothing action in her mind, but of course having the entirely opposite effect on him.
"Hey guys." Came the cheerful voice of Misato; having finally returned to the NERV table. She eyed Shinji seeming to be clinging to Noriko without hesitation, and she blinked a little bit, tilting her head slightly. "Is um, something wrong with Shinji?" she asked. Shinji let out another embarassed squeal; only hardening at the fact another often object of his desires was a few feet away while he was in this position. Noriko shook her head, offering the older woman a reassuring smile as she continued her work downstairs.
"He's fine Katsuragi-san.. just got a little shaken up when we started talking about the war..." She said, as typical of herself making an excuse that wasn't totally a lie. Misato eyed them for awhile, seeing SHinji quivering, and nodded lightly, understanding it; trusting her.
"Well..." Misato trailed off. She was proud of Shinji, but as per her own set of issues, had her own set of problems in readily praising the young man. She approached his side, and his heart felt like it was going to burst. Misato rested a hand on Shinji's shoulder, lightly rubbing it. The combined affection from both women at the same time made Shinji shudder. What Misato assumed was a sorrowful body spasm was actually Shinji letting one out to Noriko's awkwardly thought out affectionate rubbing. Shinji then went motionless, and Misato gave Noriko a thankful look and moved on to the rest of the party.
Shinji was panting, and Noriko withdrew her hand, blinking at the fingertips being slightly moist. "Are you ok now, Ikari-kun?" She asked; seemingly aloof to what had just transpired. SHinji was still almost too mortified to speak, and simply gave her a quick nod. She gave him another of those warm smiles, and got up from her seat as he seemed relaxed - enough. "I'll bring some tissues!" She said, and made her way off to the accessories table. Shinji groaned, once more slamming his head in to the table, as he held on to his crotch; the moist patch slowly growing as it settled.
It was a year's worth of being around the female Alpha Numbers released, at least. So despite his embarassment, Shinji felt relieved; invigorated. He weakly raised his head, eying the aloof Noriko go about attempting to get some tissues, and managed a shy smile to himself, hiding his head again. He hoped they'd be friends, and could hang out more often like this... minus what had just occured, of course.