TTCS is a Fanfic Iâ€™ve been working on for a couple years now when time allows, its main purpose besides telling a good story is to allow me to improve my skills; so Iâ€™d appreciate any constructive criticism youâ€™d like to offer.
As, for the plot of this fic, itâ€™s a retelling of Eva with Ranma Â½ characters, themes, and tone added. For example: Gendo and Genma are brothers thus Shinji is sent to live with the Saotomes and Shinji and Ranma are both cursed hence the title.
Iâ€™ve included the Prologue here; Chapters One threw Fourteen are available on FanFiction.Net.
Thanks for your time. Hope you enjoy TTCSâ€¦
A Tale of Two Cursed Souls
Prologue: A Delay In Schedule
"Daddy!!!" yells a small child, as he chases after the man he calls "Father".
"Daddy!!! Don't leave me!!!" he tries again to get the departing man's attention, but to no avail.
"I'm sorry!!! I'll be good!!! Dadâ€¦" tripping over a rock, the small boy's cries cease as he begins to sob.
But, despite the small boys apparent distress his Father does not stop, leaving him alone in the middle of a train platform. The small child remains in that spot crying for what might have been mere seconds or many minutes until he hears a familiar voice.
"Shinji?!" a female voice calls out.
The small boy turns towards the voice, wiping his eyes as his sobs quiet down slightly.
"Auntie?" he asks as he spots the woman standing in the distance.
"Yes, Shinji, what's wrong? Where's your Father?" asks a very concerned Nodoka Saotome.
"He - he's gone. He went away. I called him but he-" Shinji begins to cry again as Nodoka takes him into her arms.
"Oh, shhh - shhh - It's all right, Shinji. Now, I want you to wipe your eyes and stop crying. Can you do that for me?" she gently asks, trying to soothe the poor child.
"Ye - yeah. I - I can." he replies, as he tries to fulfill her wish.
"Goodâ€¦ because it's not very manly to cry in front of your Uncle and Cousin."
"Ra - Ranma's here?" Shinji asks, slowly sounding more like his normal self.
"Yes, he is. Do you want to go see him?" she asks, as a smile spreads across his tear-streaked face.
"Yeah!" he cries, his sorrow momentarily displaced as she puts him down.
She takes his hand and picks up his bag as she leads him to where her husband and son are waiting.
"Ranma/Shinji!!!" the two boys yell almost simultaneously.
The two small boys go running towards each other as the two adults watch happily. Upon reaching each other they embrace momentarily before quickly breaking into conversation. Now closer to his Cousin, Ranma notices Shinji's redden eyes.
"Shinji, have you been crying?" Ranma asks curiosity and worried heard in his voice.
"N - nooo!" quickly says an embarrassed Shinji.
"Don't lie. You know it not right." Ranma sternly says.
"Yeah, I know - sorry." Shinji replies with his head down.
Ranma watches as his Cousin struggles to hold back newly formed tears and wonders why he's so upset.
"Soâ€¦ Why you crying?"
"Da - Daddy left me." Shinji answers, on the verge of more tears.
"So whatâ€¦? I knew that!" answers Ranma, completely confused by Shinji's reaction.
"You did? " asks a confused Shinji.
"Yeah, he leave you because you gonna live with me." Ranma happily states.
"Really?" Shinji yells.
"Yeah, you not know?" Ranma asks, surprised by Shinji's shocked reaction.
"No - Daddy, just say come with him. Than he leave me and go away."
"He just leave you?! Not tell you why?" Ranma asks, not believing what he's hearing.
"Yeah, that's why I cried. First, Momma left than Daddy just left."
Seeing how upset his Cousin is angers Ranma, despite his young age, he has a clear understanding of what right and wrong is. And thanks to his parent's influence, what is honorable and what is most definitely not. And abandoning your child, let alone without telling him why, clearly is not.
"Don't worry, Shinji. You're gonna live with me now, and if Uncle ever makes you cry again I'll beat him up." Ranma declares, fully intending to enact his promise.
"You will?!" asks Shinji, surprised by Ranma's declaration.
"Yup." a proud Ranma declares.
"Thank you, Ranma."
"It all right, let's go. Mom's waiting."
And with that the two boys head for where Nodoka stands talking with her husband, Genma.
"I can't believe that Brother of yoursâ€¦ to leave his child - Yui's child like that!" Nodoka yells, her outrage, clear for all to hear.
"Yes, but he's going through a lot. With Yui's passing and his work at GEHIRN - I hear the committee's really coming down on him." states Genma trying to defend his younger sibling.
"I don't care what problems he has at work! He abandoned his child at the train station! How can you even try to defend him?"
"I know - but, please, try to understand - for Shinji's sake." Genma pleads.
"I'll never understand that man or his actions, but I will tolerate them for Shinji's sake."
"Thank you. Now, where are the boys." a relieved Genma asks.
They turn to see Ranma leading Shinji over, in a moment they're all together.
"Well, Shinji, my boy! How are you?" Genma asks, playfully ruffling the boy's hair.
"I'm fine, Uncle." Shinji meekly replies.
"No, he's not! Uncle Gendo made Shinji cry, he leave him alone and not say why. That not honorible!" Ranma loudly declares.
"That's honorable, honey. And your right - No - it wasn't honorable of Uncle Gendo to leave Shinji alone. Isn't that right, Genma?!" a glaring Nodoka asks her husband.
Genma freezes momentarily under his wife's icy cold stare before speaking, "N - No it's not. But, not to worry, Shinji, youâ€™re coming with us. Ain't that right, boy?"
"Yeah, you gonna come with me and dad. We going on training trip, we become greatest martial artist in whole world." Ranma says, clearly excited at the addition of his Cousin.
"We are - but, what about school? Momma says I go to school soon." Shinji asks, turning to Nodoka.
"Yeah, what about their schooling?" Nodoka asks, her glare returning.
"Well - we - we better hurry it's almost time for our train! Boys, race you!" Genma quickly yells, as he grabs Shinji's bag and dashes off with both boys in tow. Nodoka smiles at scene before her, as she turns and stares off into the horizon admiring the setting sun.
Don't worry, sister-in-law. I'll watch over your Shinji, as if he where my own.
She is brought out of her thoughts as she feels a sudden tug at her sleeve.
"Huh?" she says in surprise.
"Come on, Auntie. Uncle and Ranma are waiting." Shinji states as he tugs on her sleeve.
"Shinji, did you come back for me?" a pleasantly surprised Nodoka asks.
"Yeah, I not want to leave you behind." states Shinji voicing his worry.
Nodoka smiles at her Nephew as she kneels down and kisses his forehead. She then takes his hand giving it a gentle squeeze.
"That's sweet, Shinji. Thank you."
"Your welcome, Auntie." a beaming Shinji answers.
"Well, let's not keep them waiting."
"Yup!" he yells his happiness evident.
But, as they walk off, Shinji takes one last look behind him as his earlier sorrow returns...
11 Years Later...
Hidden beneath the city of Tokyo-3 is the Geofront, a massive dome-shaped vault that contains NERV HQ. A massive structure in its own right, it is a maze of halls and tunnels that extends for at least one km below the surface. It is a place where one can easily lose there way, but such is not the cause for Nodoka Saotome.
As she has but one destination on her mind, as it was also her destination ten years earlier as was her reason for visiting this place. They where the office of Gendo Ikari, Commander of NERV, and the future of Shinji Ikari, her Nephew, now adopted son and former child of Gendo and Yui Ikari.
As she approaches her final destination, she can only smile at the memories she's built over the past eleven years as she raised someone else's child as if he was her own. Of course, it was no problem considering how sweet a child her Shinji was.
My Shinjiâ€¦ Since when have I considered him mine?
Nodoka's journey momentarily comes to a halt as she ponders this self-imposed question.
I guess ever since Genma took Ranma... Oh, how I miss my child. At least, I know he's doing well with Shinji there to help him. Heaven, only knows what would happen if he was alone with Genma for to long!
Nodoka laughs at the thought only to get a sudden chill. She shakes it off and continues on her way. As she approaches Gendo's office, she notices what seems to be a young woman sitting outside the office. Nodoka is instantly captivated by the girl's aura, so calm, so withdrawn, yet a hidden warmth deep within.
She approaches the young woman and instantly notices her distinct features: pale skin, azure-colored hair, and crimson red eyes. She smiles at the young woman as she stands before her, she looks up but the smile is not returned.
"Good Morning, Miss. Is it all right if I sit beside you?"
The young woman simply nods before returning her gaze to the door across the hall. Nodoka thanks her as she sits, she notices where her gaze is set.
"Excess me, but you wouldnâ€™t happen to be waiting for Gendo Ikari?"
At the mentioning of the Commander's name, Nodoka succeeds in capturing Rei Ayanami's full attention.
"Yes, I am."
"Pardon me, for prying but what would a young lady like yourself have to do with him?"
"He is my guardian and commanding officer; I am simply waiting for him to return."
"Your guardianâ€¦?" Nodoka states with complete disbelief.
"That is correct." Rei replies, sounding slightly upset at her disbelief but that could have been just Nodoka hearing things.
"Sorry, I mean no disrespect. I am Nodoka Saotome, Gendo is my Brother-in-law, and you are?"
Rei looks at the older woman momentarily examining the kind smile gracing her lips, before finally replying.
Nodoka is caught of guard by Rei's continually short and abrupt answers, but her smile only brightens at finally hearing the girl's name.
"Rei Ayanami, that's a beautiful name, it's a pleasure to meet you."
Rei is caught of guard by Nodoka's continually polite and friendly answers, but her gaze only shifts slightly at hearing the compliment.
Nodoka is surprised by the reply, not expecting one like it. Rei notices her surprise and wonders...
That was the appropriate response, was it not?
Noticing what she takes for a questioning gaze, Nodoka apologizes.
"Sorry, I did not expect such a reply and I guess my face must have shown it."
How did she know I was...?
"How did I know you where confused by my reaction?" Nodoka asks with a knowing smile.
"Your eyesâ€¦ While your gaze as whole remains unchanged, I could tell by the look in your eyes that you where put off by my reaction. Ever hear the saying that the eyes are the window to one's soul?"
Rei can only shake her head slightly, still surprised and equally confused by Nodoka's actions and comments. As the duo continue to converse, the sound of footsteps can be heard approaching. They look towards the source, only to find Gendo approaching them.
He stops suddenly as he is surprised to not only see Nodoka before him, but that she also appears to be having a conversation with Rei. He watches as they both stand and quietly approach him.
"What are you doing here? How did you get inside?" Gendo demands to know.
"Good to see you too, Ikari. And why else would I be here, but for Shinji. And Kozo let me in, once he was informed of my arrival."
"Fine, what do you want? I see that the boy is not with you nor has he contacted NERV. Where is he?"
"That boy, your son, is as far from you as possible!"
Gendo unaffected by Nodoka's outburst responds, "I requested that the boy be sent to me."
"And what gives you such a right?"
"I need no such thing, I am his Father and as such he and you will do what I say!" Gendo states, his voice rising slightly.
"Fatherâ€¦? No, you lost that right when you left him on that train platform!"
Gendo and Nodoka stare hard at each other as she continues.
"And if not then... you certainly did when you signed him into our care. Or, do you not remember standing in this very hall afterwards and saying that you no longer needed or wanted a son?"
Gendo is silent as Nodoka vents her anger and disgust at his attitude; it was ten years earlier when she and Genma came to this very place in order to complete the process of adopting Shinji. She can still remember the eerie silence that filled the office as the paperwork was signed, not a word was said.
Afterwards she had to know why - why would a man throw away his child like that? It was right then and there as Gendo spoke those words that Shinji became hers, not just legally but also within her heart. She would give him the love and attention she knows Yui would have in her place.
Gendo continues to look Nodoka directly in the eye, he can see her restrained fury and it almost moves him to a sinister smile. But, the smile is restrained as he notices that Rei has remained at Nodoka's side this entire time. So used is he to Rei always coming to his side, that he did not notice her absences. He turns his glare to Rei who looks to meet his but does not move.
I thought he might have changed... sending for Shinji, taking in this child - Rei. But, he is still the same after all this time. No - maybe even worse.
Nodoka watches as Gendo breaks their unwavering starring contest and summons Rei to his side. As they begin to depart, Gendo solemnly states, "Shinji will come to me, that you will see."
"And how will he do that when he's on a journey of discovery with your Brother and Nephew?"
Gendo suddenly comes to an abrupt stop as he hears these words, Nodoka smiles at his reaction.
Got you there, you bastard!
But her smile fades as she notices Rei, locked into her position at Gendo's side. She looks her over and saddens at the neutral expression upon her face. It was only moments ago when she could have sworn she felt an inner warmth emanating from deep within her, but now there's a cold calm settling around her.
She reminds me so much of Shinji and the way he was when he first came to us. So quiet, so withdrawn, only with myself and Ranma did he show that inner strength and warmth that had been locked deep within. She's just like that and I know who to blame.
Coming out of her thoughts, Nodoka smirks at her Brother-in-law. He grimaces at the sight knowing from his Brother, that whatever is to come probably won't agree with him.
"Exactly, how badly do you want to see MY son?"
Gendo flinches unconsciously at the tone in her voice.
It'll be all right, this will work. Shinji can take care of himself and he can certainly handle Gendo. It's this young lady, I'm worried about. Rei could definitely benefit from having someone like Shinji in her life. Besides, they'll make such a cute couple!
"By the look in your eyes, I can tell that, for whatever reason, you need to see him pretty badly. Maybe, we can come to an agreement, my dear Brother-in-law."
"What do you have in mind?" Gendo asks, despite his better judgment and that little voice in the back of his head yelling - Are you out of your freakin' mind? Don't trust her!
"The young lady tells me youâ€™re her guardian. Is this true?"
"Yes, she is my ward and as such is under my care. Why?"
That smirk which Gendo is quickly coming to dislike returns causing him to damn his Brother's taste in woman.
Meanwhile In A Unknown Location...
Amidst an endless sea of darkness, voices can be heard. Each voice unique, carrying an accent all its own, yet they all carry the same foreboding undertone.
"The time of promise has come." a voice from within the darkness announces.
"Yes, the events put into motion fifteen years ago are finally coming to ahead." a second voice adds.
"And, with them the path to a higher state of beingâ€¦ The goal for which all has been done and for which all have suffered." says yet another voice.
"And this is all possible, now that the keys to Instrumentality lay before us." states a fourth voice, joining the conversation.
Light pierces the darkness as a group of twelve monoliths marked with the words, SEELE, make themselves visible; as the voice coming from the one marked '01' makes itself heard.
"All that you speak is true, and soon our plans will flourish. As the end or should I say the beginning is near - The beginning of a new existence for man - a higher one. As we shed this flawed existence, for one that is perfect in every way. And it all will come to pass, with the upcoming activation of Eva and the arrival of the Third Child and First Messenger. Soon all will be as we hoped and planned for."
"That may not be the case." A thirteenth voice from the shadows announces.
"Explain yourself, Ikari! What do you mean?" demands the one marked '01'.
"What I mean is this - as was revealed by further study of the Dead Sea Scrolls. We now know that the arrival of the Third Child and the activation of Unit01 will be the trigger of all that will lead us to our eventual goal of Instrumentality." Gendo Ikari calmly states.
"Yes, we all know this. What of it?" the monolith marked '11' asks.
"Well, it would appear that the Third Child has gone missing."
"MISSINGâ€¦ Explain yourself! How did this happen?" asks '09'.
"The Third Child as we speak is currently located somewhere in mainland China."
"And why is he there?" an uneasiness is heard in the voice of '03'.
"He is currently in the midst of a training trip with his Uncle and Cousin. And as such we have been unable to pinpoint their exact location, all we know is that they are somewhere in the region's mountains."
"This is UNFORGIVABLE! How could you be so incompetent?" '01' howls, the menace in his voice clearly felt by all present.
"Despite how it appears, this turn of events changes nothing. As the scrolls foretold, only with the arrival of the Third will the trials begin. So, until he is found our plans are only delayed - not at an end." Gendo explains, unaffected by the hostile environment in which he sits.
"For your sake, I hope you're right. Your presence is no longer required, as the rest of this meeting is not your concern, Ikari." orders '01'.
"As you wish." Gendo replies.
And with that, darkness returns to the room leaving only Gendo seated amongst it. Moments later, Kozo Fuyutsuki, Gendo's second in command, appears to his right. Gendo only glances to acknowledge his presence.
"So how did they react?" Fuyutsuki inquires.
"As expected, it matters not though. When the boy is found all will fall into place."
"And what of your agreeing to Nodoka's arrangement, as well as the activation of Unit00 scheduled for later today?"
"This arrangement changes nothing, if anything it has only given me a stronger hold upon the boy. And as for the test, you may cancel it. There's no need for additional complications. I want all our energies spent on finding Genma and the boy. The sooner, the better... the committee will not be patient for long."
"Understood." Fuyutsuki replies exiting.
Once again, alone amongst the darkness, Gendo is left alone with his thoughts...
Damn, that woman! How did she ever get me to agree to this?
Two Years Later...
Qinghai Province, China
"Hey, whaddya do that for?!"
Shinji Ikari, age 16, yells as he is awakened by a sudden downpour. He quickly finds its source as he looks up at a bucket carrying Ranma.
"That - is what you get for oversleeping." Ranma, also age 16, states with a smirk.
"A simple 'Shinji, it's time to get up' would have sufficed!" Shinji says, as he wrings out his clothes.
"Yeah, maybe, but this way is more fun. Anyway, hurry up. Pops wants us ready by the time he gets back. We're heading for that training ground when he returns."
"You mean that 'cursed' JusenkyÃ¶ place?" asks a suddenly nervous Shinji.
"Yeah, Pops said he'd return with the things needed for breakfast then we'd..." Ranma suddenly quiets down, as he feels a nearby presence. Shinji, who feels it as well, follows suit as they both begin to scan their surroundings.
"There!!!" they yell in unison, as they launch an attack upon the same spot within the bushes.
"Good - I see your improving." a figure yells as it emerges from the brush, narrowly avoiding their attack.
They land side by side turning to face their opponent, as what one may call 'disturbing' smirks spread across their faces, before launching a full out assault at their opponent...
"Mumâ€¦ that was great. Shinji, you really out did yourself." Ranma happily declares, pushing away his plate.
"Ah - it was nothing. Just something I picked up at the last village we visited." Shinji replies, while cleaning up.
"What about you, Pop? What did you think?" a smirking Ranma asks.
They both turn to a bound, gagged, and heavily beaten Genma Saotome, as he mumbles a reply.
"What was that? Oh, youâ€™re sorry for stealing our dinner last night?" Ranma asks mockingly.
"And youâ€™re sorry for stealing said dinner in the first place, and getting us kicked out of that last village? I mean those people where so kind. They would have gladly shared... Why do you always have to get us in trouble?!" adds a fuming Shinji.
Genma shrugs his shoulders and shrinks in on himself before giving a muffled apology, as the two boys hover menacingly over him.
"Good! Now - you can eat." they say in unison.
Shinji produces one last bowl of stew, as Ranma unties his Father. Genma doesn't hesitate in attacking the bowl.
"Well, now that that's done. I guess it's off to JusenkyÃ¶." a disgusted Ranma says to Shinji as they look off in to the distance.
"Yeah, I guess so. I can barely make out the training grounds from here." Shinji replies, squinting as he looks into the valley below.
"Your right, we should be there in no time. Well, let's get going! Pops, hurry up or we'll leave you."
"How dare you speak to me in such a manner? Who's the one who found the ground's location in the first place?" Genma yells.
"Shinji - and that's only after stealing a peak at the map. If left to you we'd be wandering these mountains forever!" Ranma yells back, now face to face with his Father.
Shinji watches as the two of them get into yet another argument and sighs; he picks up a nearby bucket and throws its contents upon his companions - drenching them both. Their fight instantly comes to a halt as they turn to see a smirking Shinji.
"Cool down, you two. Wait, till we get to the grounds. Then you can tear each other apart for all I care." states Shinji, pointing to the grounds in the distances.
"Shinji's right. I'll beat you at these training grounds you're so hung up on." Ranma declares.
"Ha! You have a long way to go before you can think of beating me, boy!" a smirking Genma states.
"Yeah, we'll see, Old Man."
Shinji watches as the two walk off towards JusenkyÃ¶ and smiles at their antics. He thinks of how thankful he is to be apart of their journey, he can only imagine what life would be like without them or Mother in it. He shudders as he gets a sudden chill; he then thinks that certain things shouldn't be thought of.
"Yo, Shinjiâ€¦ Hurry up, man!"
Hearing Ranma's call, Shinji quickly puts his thoughts aside and rushes to catch up. As he does a sudden thought crosses his mind...
I wonder why they're called the 'training ground of accursed springs?' I mean they can't actually be cursed - can they?
Little did Shinji know how cursed they could be. This day would mark the end of their lives as they knew it, but it would only be a prelude of things to come - as the incident in JusenkyÃ¶ would only be the beginning of their cursed existence.
One Week Later...
Shinji and Ranma race threw a bamboo thicket at an amazing speed, the two boys coming to a stop as they enter a clearing.
"Where'd that stupid Panda run off to?" Ranma yells.
"I don't know but he's got to be around here somewhere." Shinji adds.
"He's probably getting us into more trouble - like with those Amazons." Ranma states, a shiver runs through him at the thought.
"Yeah - well - it's not like you weren't stuffing your face along side him."
"All right - fine, but it's still his fault! I mean, why doesn't he just let you lead? I mean you are the only one of us who speaks Chinese!" Ranma says in his defense
"I know - but, he is leading this training trip and it was..."
Shinji stops suddenly as he hears something approaching their location, he looks to Ranma who nods.
"Yeah, I hear it too - barely." he replies.
They look all around them for any trace of what's heading their way, but nothing is to be seen as the sound gets closer and closer. It's then that they recognize the sound, as if appearing out of thin air; a black helicopter flies over head before circling around and landing nearby.
Ranma and Shinji prepare themselves as a large man dressed from head to toe in black emerges from the chopper and heads directly for them. They prepare themselves for anything, as the man comes to a stop mere feet away.
"Shinji Ikari?" the man asks looking the duo over.
"Yes, I am he." Shinji answers as he carefully steps forward.
"Shinji Ikari, I am here on behalf of Commander Gendo Ikari."
"Fatherâ€¦? What the hell does he want?" Shinji yells, his whole body shaking with anger.
"I was only told to make sure you received this." the Man says, reaching into his jacket.
The man in black produces a large envelope from his jacket and hands it to the confused young man.
"Here. You are to review the contents and follow its instructions precisely."
And before more can be said, the man turns around and heads for the chopper.
"Hey! Wait! What's this all about? Who are you? What the hell is going onâ€¦?" Shinji yells, but to no avail as his queries fall upon deaf ears, as the man enters the chopper and vanishes as suddenly as it appeared.
Shinji stares at the package in his hands as he tries to come to grips with the strange event that just accord. It's then that Genma approaches Ranma holding up a sign that reads...
[What was that all about?]
"I have no idea." Ranma says, shrugging his shoulders.
Shinji opens the package and looks over it contents. Ranma watches as his face goes from deadly serious to confused to bright red as a blush creeps over it. Finally with a hardened look, Shinji looks to Ranma and Genma.
"So, what's up?!" a surprisingly nervous Ranma asks.
"Father needs me."
Is Shinji's simple and cold answer as he turns and startsâ€™ walking off in what one can assume is the direction of Japan. Ranma and Genma remain silent until Shinji vanishes from sight.
"What's up with him?" Ranma wonders.
[No idea?] Genma's sign reads.
Meanwhile at NERV Headquarters...
"That is correct, sir. We have found the Third Child and the package has been delivered." the voice of the man in black can be heard saying over the radio.
"Good, that will be all. Return to base." Gendo replies, his voice as calm as ever.
"Thank you, Sir!" the Man replies.
Gendo cuts off the communication and looks ahead as Fuyutsuki enters his massive office. He proceeds to learn forward with his hands steeped in front of his face with a pleased smirk hidden behind them. It's then that Fuyutsuki finally reaches his desk.
"I take it that the Third Child has been found successfully." states Fuyutsuki.
"Yes, he has and should be on his way as we speak." Gendo states, his voice dripping with confidence.
"Understood, but..." Fuyutsuki begins.
"Yes, what is it?" Gendo asks, only glancing at his second from behind his tinted shades.
"Well, with the Third Child located. Why didn't you just have him retrieved, instead of ...?â€
Noticing the slight raise of the eyebrows from behind his shades, Fuyutsuki decides it be best to leave Gendo alone at the moment.
As Fuyutsuki exits the massive office, Gendo proceeds to walk over to the large window behind his desk that overlooks the Geofront. Silence fills the room as nothing is heard, not even the breathing of its sole occupant. The silence is suddenly shattered with the mumbled exclamation of...
To Be Continued...[/url:1h4tw7sr]
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