"Now this brings back memories," DJ observed, standing at the rail (really a chain suspended between uprights) on the starboard side of the flight deck amidships and watching the headland at the southeastern tip of Miurajima slide past.
Asuka glanced at him, puzzled. "Cape Tsurugi makes you nostalgic? I didn't think you'd ever been to Japan."
"Not the land," DJ said. "Being on an aircraft carrier with you." He grinned. "Or have you forgotten how we met?"
"I will, unfortunately, never be able to forget how we met," she replied, expressionless. Then, relenting, she smiled and went on, "But you're right, it does feel familiar." She ruffled his thick black hair. "At least this time you're not wearing that stupid hat."
"I miss that hat," DJ said mildly. "Mind you, not as much as I miss your yellow dress."
Asuka rolled her eyes. "Mm-hmm, so you've told me." As they strolled forward along the rail, she went on, "You know, there's something I've always wondered about that day."
"Oh, what's that?"
"Why the hell were you wearing a plug suit?"
DJ gave her a puzzled look, then laughed. "Completely random impulse," he said. "You remember what a cluster my first few weeks with NERV were, right? And suddenly I'm faced with the prospect of flying out to sea on one of their helicopters. I wasn't crazy about the idea. I was getting dressed for the trip and I thought, well, it's kind of like a wetsuit, maybe it'll help if I end up in the water."
Asuka considered that, then said, "Which I suppose it did, in a manner of speaking." She shook her head with an indulgent smile. "You were a weird kid."
"Says the girl who thought hot water would increase her cup size," observed DJ dryly.
"I was just trolling you and Jon!" Asuka protested. "I wanted to see if I could make you both blush. I didn't seriously think that would happen!"
"Mm-hmm," DJ replied, unconvinced.
"I had a degree in physics!" she insisted.
"Twenty points higher than me..." DJ mused sadly, then grinned. "Just as well, anyway. They were perfect as they were."
«I should pitch you overboard, you pig,» growled Asuka in German. Then, her momentary (and mostly mock) dudgeon passing, she pointed and declared, "Look there, those must be our escorts."
DJ followed the line of her gaze and saw what she meant: a small group of warships, formed up off the coast as if waiting for them.
"Right then!" he said. "Let's see if we can find the bridge."