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UrsusArctos
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Postby UrsusArctos » Mon Jan 18, 2010 7:52 pm

To reply in IRC fashion...

<Sammael> No fair! I'll poke Shinji for that, you mean, bad fangirl! Sammael-sama does not approve!

<pug> *stares* Harff? *confused*

<bear> *does not understand how 3I popped out of nothingness*
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Postby Sailor Star Dust » Mon Jan 18, 2010 11:30 pm

Rei taking Adam's soul into herself and joining Lilith is 3I out of nothingness? :huh: Or do you mean how only Shinji was shown tanging? Also, Rei is not an Angel proper which is why Nerv didn't asplode.

I hope you enjoyed this in some form though.


Eva-04: Thanks! Glad you liked this!
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Postby Eva 04 » Tue Jan 19, 2010 12:41 am

No problem.It really was a good read.Sounds like something the last two movies would be about.

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Postby UrsusArctos » Tue Jan 19, 2010 7:24 am

I found the lack of description about 3I unusual. No GNR ascending out of Earth's atmosphere, lifting the Black Moon with her? She's there at the end, but what happened in the middle?

I guess Brik was wrong about you and erotic asphyxiation, since the scene doesn't happen here. :wink:
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The main point of idiocy is for the smart to have their lulz. Without human idiocy, trolling would not exist, and that's uncool, since a large part of my entertainment consists of mocking the absurdity and dumbassery of the world, especially the Internet.-MaggotMaster

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Postby Sailor Star Dust » Tue Jan 19, 2010 10:20 pm

Remember now, Rebuild is not NGE. Not everything will be the exact same as 2.0 has proven so far. :bigeyes: Also, something about a new ending.
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Postby Sailor Star Dust » Sun Apr 11, 2010 5:32 am

Since DarkScribes is on its deathbed and I never posted the Final/4.0 chapter of this... Enjoy! ^_^

Evangelion New Movie Edition: Final wrote:Rebuild of Evangelion: Eros and Thanatos
Chapter Title: Final: ???
Winter 2010
Sailor Star Dust
Author's Notes: Thanks to Legendary for his help with a scene in this.

2014 AD

The beautiful Earth, tinged with red, seemed to shake to its very core. Something was coming. Something...

A crash. An impact. A sizzling crater--an outline of a giant human--was all that remained of a decimated area in Japan: Soil stained with red blood; totaled and long collapsed buildings--the remains of Second Impact--were the surroundings of the crater.

A nude figure weakly rose to her feet from the still sizzling crater: a blue-eyed, brown-haired girl about 15 years old or so.

It was a pity that one of the members of the First Ancestral Race had to lose their body as soon as she landed on Earth, but it was a small price to pay for the mission she was given. The mission she couldn't afford to fail with.

Staring towards where the moon would appear that night, Mari's blue eyes narrowed coldly.

"Monster. I won't forgive you for the harm you're trying to cause them."

***

The fated meeting of the children... While Seele taking the puppy away wasn't what I intended, it's good to know everything else went according to my scenario. It's time they knew the truth. Sammael....I meant what I said. I will not forgive you, nor will I let you win.

In the present, New Years Eve 2015, Mari Illustrious Makinami adjusted her pink plugsuit in the pilot locker room. She was changing along with her fellow pilots Asuka Langley Shikinami and Shinji Ikari. They were changing as quickly as they could; there was no time to waste.

No time to spare.

Mari let out a breath, doing some quick, light, stretches. "I wasn't completely honest with you all."

Blinking, Shinji walked over to the girl's side of the lockers, ready to go. "Huh?"

Asuka, busy adjusting her eye-patch, looked up, puzzled.

Mari headed towards the exit, towards the Eva cages. Her hand rested on the door.

"What we're about to fight is an enemy that could destroy us all. Sammael is a terrifying third Seed of Life who wishes to rectify the mistake of the Adam and Lilith Seeds landing on the same planet by claiming this Earth for his own. I suppose you can consider this being the 13th Angel of sorts. Regardless, he'd cause Third Impact on his own terms, wiping out humanity and Angels alike in the process. Sadly, Seele were foolish enough to place their trust in Eva-06 to ensure the Humanity Instrumentality Project would occur, unaware it would lead to their downfall in the end."

The girl didn't bother trying to fight back the grin spreading across her face. "I was sent here to stop both Sammael and Seele--once I did some digging on what kind of organization Nerv was really like. Although I don't see how there was anything wrong with me having some fun in the process, like piloting Eva. It's such a rush!"

Shinji blinked. "But...just what is the Human Instrumentality Project, exactly?"

Asuka made a face, thinking back to something Misato told her and Shinji sometime last month. Seele...they could be considered the enemy, more or less. "Anta baka?! Weren't you paying attention to what Misato-san warned us about? Seele, Nerv's superiors, are a crazy cult that thinks humanity's at a dead end and wants to bundle all our souls together!"

Mari nodded. "Exactly, Shikinami. And in order to achieve that, Seele will cause Third Impact." She laughed bitterly, "This really is a situation of kill or be killed, regardless of which affliction. If nothing is done, I'm afraid."

No. That couldn't be. Life was painful enough as is, but to have to share his very being with the rest of humanity... It was sickening to think of, not because the morality of it all, but because Shinji couldn't bear the thought of his weakness being exposed for all of humanity to see and judge.

Shinji snapped out of his thoughts when a warm plug-suit clad hand rested on his shoulder. He blinked. Noticing Mari had left for the Cages, Shinji offered a weak smile to Asuka.

"Don't worry so much, idiot." She leaned in, softly kissing his cheek then straightened, a confident smirk playing on her lips. "We're going to win. There's no way in hell some stupid Angel or whatever it is can defeat us when we've made it this far. Okay?"

That's it, her eye-patch was starting to bother her too much. Time to remove it so she could see straight when battling.

With a swift fluid motion, Asuka removed the black eye-patch, throwing it into a nearby wastebasket. The redhead continued to smile confidently, reaching for Shinji's hand to give it a squeeze.

Shinji let out a breath. I still don't know if I'm really piloting to protect humanity, or if piloting just to protect the people I care for. But... As long as you're by my side, then I think I'll be okay.

He squeezed Asuka's hand in reply, eyes serious. I mustn't run away I mustn't run away I mustn't run away...

"Right. Let's go, Asuka."

Right. I mustn't run away. Not now. Not anymore.

***

Within Nerv's Command Center, Misato and Ritsuko were busy helping Nerv's techies prepare the Eva pilots for launch.

"Are the pilots ready to launch?", Ritsuko impatiently--and with good reason--asked.

"Yes, ma'am. They're just about to as we speak." Maya rapidly entered some commands on her keyboard.

The fake blonde let out a breath. "Good." Perhaps humanity won't be doomed as we thought, after all.

"Colonel Katsuragi, Rei can't be found!" Hyuga glanced over his shoulder to his superior officer.

"What?" Misato's eyes widened. "What does she think she's doing at a time like this! She needs to be on standby--"

"Let her be, Misato." Ritsuko's calm voice betrayed her icy glare; a warning that Ritsuko was in no mood for one of Misato's moralist rants today.

"How can you say that?! It's dangerous for her to go wandering around at a time like this!"

Rei. The one piece of the puzzle Misato still wasn't sure that fit. She already knew that Nagisa was an Angel, due to his admitting of it, but... If nothing else, it was clear that Rei was somehow needed for Gendo's plan of seeing Yui again. Even if it was at the cost of all else.

Misato clenched her fist. Kaji-kun... Father... I promise you won't have died in vain. I'll put a stop to all this, one way or another. For that boy's sake and everyone else's.

"Rei will be fine, Misato.", Ritsuko began. "She knows how to fend for herself." Especially at this point, with that thing being able to cause Third Impact if she really wanted to.

Aoba suddenly interjected, "Eva units, 02, 08 and 07 have launched. Currently making their way towards Dogma."

Nodding, Misato dropped the issue with Ritsuko, her gaze returning to Nerv's main computer screen. "Good."

Gendo sat as his desk as usual, observing the scene from above on the command tower. Fuyutsuki stood, hands firmly behind his back.

"We needn't worry. Regardless of what those old men are planning, Fuyutsuki, we have Lilith and the Eva on our side. Despite the drawback of Shinji and Rei not carrying out our plans with Nagisa's arrival, time is all we have right now. Those fools need to be taught a lesson in battle preparations."

Fuyutsuki sighed. He shook his head, eyes on the floor. There was a hint of apprehension in the old man's eyes. "But will she agree to any of this? That's what I can't help but be concerned with."

Gendo said nothing.

***

Rei Ayanami, clad in her school uniform, floated above the Level-EEE gate in Central Dogma. Her gaze never left that of Kaworu Nagisa, the 12th and final Angel as she blocked his path to access of Lilith. "Why are you doing this?"

Kaworu hummed Ode to Joy as he floated across from Rei, smiling. Hiis eyes were serious. "For Shinji-kun's happiness, of course. He has been in too much pain in this world, among other worlds. Seele and Mari-san were just using me for their own gain. And death is the only true freedom for me anyway, so I'd be honored to die for his sake. I want to help him decide his own future. That's why."

Rei began to frown, expanding an AT Field. The first time she had ever done so. "A world of death will not make Ikari-kun happy. Allowing harm to befall him is not an act of love, that much I do know."

She paused, coolly adding, "How do I know you do not wish to bring ruin to us? That you will not betray humanity for your own kind?"

Kaworu, floating towards Rei, his own Field expanding, neutralized Rei's. "Because of this." He bent down, his lips pressing against Rei's own.

A soft, warm, sensation began to fill Rei's body and soul. Different from what she felt from either Ikari. A pleasant, safe, frightening, feeling... Rei's eyes widened from shock as she began to blush. What? Why...? N-no.

"NO!"

Kaworu continued to smile as he floated inches away from Rei, holding his now bruised cheek. "It frightens you, doesn't it? That we are the same. And that I wish to stay by your side despite our differences. You still do not wish to acknowledge the dark, true self deep within you. It frightens you, so you continue to do nothing but run."

The blue-haired pilot shook her head back and forth. She was shaking. "Th-that is not true. I am here to confirm the darkness from which I came. I am here to prevent tragedy from befalling this Earth and my children. It is a pity that our children could not live in peace, yet..."

"Such is the hand we were dealt with, right?" Kaworu finished.

Rei sighed, silent. Conflict. To answer to her true self, her dark self, or to answer to the self that loved Ikari-kun and the Commander as family.

Was there no way she could answer to both?

Father and son... Lilith and Yui...

"Rei."

She looked up, red meeting red. Kaworu smiled, one of the utmost trust and love . "Let us bring him happiness together. There is no need for us to fight like this."

....I want....I want him to be happy. Truly happy. That is all.

Kaworu continued, "May I ask for one request?"

Rei gave a slight nod of her head, pale hands acting of their own accord as she grasped one of Kaworu's. "What?"

"At the end of it all... let's die together."

A pause.

"For Ikari-kun's sake?"

"For Shinji-kun's sake."

Nods of mutual agreement.

And then, Rei Ayanami gave the most beautiful smile she had ever given.

***

Mari in Eva-07 had cornered Eva-06, the other two units close behind. Grabbing the false Eva in a choke-hold, Mari began to laugh.

"There's no way I'll let you escape!"

Letting out a mighty roar, Eva-06 expanded the biggest AT Field seen yet. The dark armor began to shed off like a second skin. In the former Eva's place was a multi-red-eyed, light-skinned being with twelve glowing wings.

Eva-08 and Eva-02 held onto what they could as they ground around them began to shake. "What the hell?!", Asuka began. "How will we win if the stupid thing doesn't give us an opening!"

Eva-07's eyes lit up, reaching for Sammael's neck. "We just..."

She stabbed Sammael's core with a Prog Knife as it began to bleed. "Keep on fighting until we win!!"

The being roared once more, multiple eyes glowing red.

Born evil giant sinner

Expanding Eva-02's AT Field, Asuka charged, Gatling gun in hand, with a war cry. "You bastard!!" She began firing, not wasting any time in trying to slow it down.

Shinji in Eva-08 was close behind, taking a more cautious approach by simply expanding the Eva's Field instead of readying an assault. In the meantime, Mari stabbed Sammael from behind as the creature flailed about, wailing.

Human spirit lies

Asuka reached the Angel, set to work on eroding his Field with her own.

No compassion tortured soul

Yet, she was already too late.

EVANGELION!!

Sammael's many eyes lit up, piercing Eva-02's AT Field, continuing to fire again and again and again.

Armageddon day is here

Asuka screamed, trying to hold her ground, ripping at the core with her bare hands...

Living hell has come

But Sammael had the upper hand. His relentless firing at the Eva began to spread an electrical shock through the system, de-oxygenating the LCL.

"Stop! Stop!" Asuka began to shierk within the Entry Plug, feeling the LCL spark and crackle around her.

World's worst nightmare has appeared

Tears gathered in the German girl's eyes. This can't be the end. It can't. Shinji...I'm sorry. "You're burning me alive! STOP!"

EVANGELION!

"AHHHHHHHHHH!" The deed was done. Apparently satisfied, Sammael carelessly let go of the Evangelion unit, turning his attention on Mari, red eyes deadly.

"SHIT!" Mari grit her teeth, using her own--not the Eva's, but her own--AT Field to push Shinji out of way. "Ikari, get out of here!"

"...Asuka?" Shinji blinked, puzzled by his fellow pilot's and girlfriend's lack of response. In disbelief at her sudden screams which had just as quickly ceased.

Eva-02's burnt body collapsed sideways to the ground before him. It's pilot had fallen silent.

His eyes widened. "A-Asuka?" He began to shake, trying to reach for the unit and see if she was alright."Come on! S-say something, Asuka!" He choked. Tears gathered in his eyes, threatening to spill.

There was no time to waste. He'd be dead if Mari didn't save him now. Blocking Sammael's path to Shinji and Eva-08, Eva-07 used one hand to continually deploy the AT Field around her Eva. Mari used the other Eva's hand to transport Shinji away. To where he was needed most right now.

It was all up to Lilith now, while Mari did what she could on her end. In a flash of light, Shinji had disappeared from Mari and the battle, only to reappear in front of the opened gate of Level-EEE.

***

In the entry plug of Eva-08, Shinji Ikari stared down at his console numb. In shock as silent tears fell down either of his cheeks. "Asuka.... Asuka is....."

It was then that Shinji's mind registered the scene before him: a mixture of LCL and Kaworu's bloody body lay at the foot of the Level-EEE gate.

Rei, naked and covered in Kaworu's blood, cupped a tiny red dot in her hands. As it absorbed within her stomach, Rei let out a gasp. She was floating in the center of the room, in between Lilith and Eva-08, her eyes dead.

Noticing the unit, the blue-haired pilot calmly explained, "We want to see you happy. Ikari-kun, I need you to trust me that everything will be okay."

Sobs racked Shinji's body to his very soul, preventing him from answering.

Light. Shinji blinked, still crying. The light intensified, revealing a star-field within the plug.

Warmth. Shinji felt somebody embracing him close, smiling lovingly...

Scent. It was the smell of his mother. The smell of Ayanami.

"Mo...ther?", Shinji murmured, his blue eyes dull, devoid of life.

Yui smiled at her son, caressing his cheek. "Do not worry, my darling. I promise you that everything will be alright. I'll make sure it is."

"I...." Curling up within himself, Shinji hugged his knees to his chest, voice breaking. "I don't care about anything anymore.

Asuka is dead. Kaworu-kun is too. We're all going to die. No-nothing matters anymore." The brown-haired pilot continued to sob.

Rei frowned, appearing in the plug before Shinji. She floated side by side with Yui as both woman embraced their beloved brother and son. "That is not true, Ikari-kun. It is not the end."

"It is the beginning.", Kaworu added with a smile, embracing Shinji along with the other two. "And you are the reason we have found love."

Shinji hiccuped in reply, silent.

The star-field had disappeared, leaving Shinji alone in the darkness. Yet the comforting, motherly, warm feelings remained as Shinji continued to sob.

***

Covered in blood, Eva-07 attempted in vain to break off the arms of her opponent. This being was more powerful than anticipated but... Not that she didn't mind a challenge.

"You...won't...WIN!"

Mari's eyes began to glow green. Lilith...Adam...Please!

***

Rei gasped.

Turning to Lilith, her eyes still devoid of emotion, Rei grabbed the Spear of Longinus from Lilith's body. She could feel it. Kaworu's hands wrapped around her own, guiding her, helping her...

Grunting, she threw the spear with all her might directly at Eva-08's core. The eyes of the unit instantly lit red as the Eva growled, ready.

The spear passed through the Eva, reappearing in Mari's hands. Yes, this was it. The raw energy was more than enough.

Mari smirked, her eyes deadly. "It's over for you now. Bastard." With a flick of the wrist, the spear flew out of Mari's hands and...

Core shattering from the impact of the spear, Sammael roared from pain, exploding in blood.

The evacuation site on the moon began to rumble, miniature explosions occurring every which way. 12 replicas of the spear appeared, crashing down on each Seele monolith in the process, each member chanting feverish, feeble prayers as they met their fate... With the exception of Kiel, who was the last to remain.

"This is our punishment for placing our faith in that which we do not understand. Yet it is a pity humanity is doomed. I ask You in Your Almighty power to forgive them, my Lord."

Kiel's liquefied remains crumbled onto the ground along with the rest of the members before him.

***

Misato, Ritsuko, and the rest of the staff listened to the audio feed, tense. Unable to monitor anything.

Barking out an order, Misato began, "Force eject the Entry Plugs of all units. After that's done, activate self-destruct of the Evangelions."

Aoba gave a start. "Self destruct, ma'am?"

Misato nodded, glaring. "Yes, self destruct. The Entry Plugs will be enough to protect the pilots from any explosion impact."

Maya frowned, "But, is that really a wise decision when..."

"Do as I say! Now!"

Ritsuko silently observed the scene, her hands buried in her lab coat pockets, expression neutral.

Hyuga nodded. "Yes ma'am. Activating force-ejection and Eva self-destruct code in T-minus..."

Gendo, impassive as ever, frowned against his folded hands. "Yui. Are you and Rei leaving the decision up to him?"

Fuyutsuki offered a weak smile. "At this point, all we can do is wait. There is assurance we won't perish, at least."

...I will never see her again. Bitterness and regret filled Ikari's heart. Rei... Had I known it would end this way, perhaps I would have done things differently. I'm sorry...Shinji.

***

Standing on the top of Eva-07's plug, Mari silently regarded the remains of Eva-07 and 02. The Spear had long left her, returning to the core of Eva-08. Where it truly belonged.

She paused, starting at the plug of Eva-02. Sadness reached her face. That girl hadn't survived. She was nothing but a corpse. At least there would be hope for her yet.

"It's time to go home." Mari's plug-suit disappeared as her nude body began to glow with pure, white, light. "It is not my place to interfere with the fate of the Lilin. Adam and Lilith... thank you. I congratulate you and your children for the hard work with your continued survival."

She paused as she began to float within the air. "Nerv's puppy... I wish you and the rest happiness. Good luck, and God speed."

With those words, Mari Illustrious Makinami disappeared. Trails of stardust were all that was left in her place.

***

Eva-08 let out a mighty roar, eyes glowing red as the spear slowly entered her core, now a part of her. With the Spear of Longinus where it belonged, nothing could stop her from fulfilling her mission.

Rei Ayanami floated towards Lilith's center. The pull was too strong. She could not wait any longer. The time had come.

"The dark place within my place within myself is where I belong. Commander Ikari, thank you for your pure heart. Ikari-kun, thank you for teaching me how to live. I love you both."

In the command center, Gendo broke into a sweat. The end was here after all?! He really would lose HER?! No... No...

"Rei!"

Rei, her eyes dead, regarded the giant white being calmly. "I'm home."

Welcome Home.

She was being pulled in...sucked in... The time was now...

Heavy breathing came from the giant. The existence known as Rei Ayanami was no more. Lilith's body reforming, her mask shed to the ground, revealing multiple eyeballs dripping out.

I am myself, nothing more, nothing else. This body, this soul, this heart, belongs to nobody other than I.

Horrified, Shinji began to scream as Lilith lovingly cupped Eva-08, her multiple eyes blank.

You have to make your own path. You are responsible for your own happiness.

Lilith, gradually taking the form of Rei, blinked. "Ikari-kun. It is time to go home. Let's go home, together."

Shinji's tears had ceased. His screams were frantic. Rei had betrayed him. She had left him as well. Just like Asuka and Kaworu had!

"No. NO! STAY AWAY Ayanami!"

A sigh. A gentle laugh, a loving voice: "What do you wish for?"

He blinked. That voice...

"Mo-mother?", he feebly asked.

It was mother embracing him. Not Lilith...

Shinji felt his breathing and heart rate slow. Warm, comfortable, feelings began to replace his fear, as if it was completely vanishing....

The voices and images of Rei and his mother blended together. Shinji was unable to distinguish which was which anymore. "What do you wish for?"

His eyes shut as he continued to loose consciousness. As if drugged, Shinji began to grin stupidly. Was that really such a hard question? The answer should be obvious.

Red hair pressed against Shinji as he embraced the soft body against him. Shinji kissed the top of Asuka's forehead. She squirmed and giggled in his arms within the comfortable warmth of the entry plug.

"Shinji, let's go home together."

A relaxed, overjoyed, smile reached Shinji's lips. "Okay, Asuka."

Bright light enveloped Shinji. He wondered why he heard the sound of something splashing in the distance--or was it close by? The sensation of time itself stopping was evident as everything seemed to fade to black.

***

EVANGELION FINAL

YOU ??? (NOT) ??????


****

January 1st, 2016 AD

On the first day of the New Year, the Humanity Instrumentality Project has commenced.


Darkness. Complete and utter darkness.

Shinji blinked, opening his eyes... Yet darkness was all he saw, all he...felt? What was strange to Shinji, he soon enough realized, is that it felt as if he could sense, he could hear the hearts and minds and souls of every single person within his very spirit. Those he knew well: Misato-san, Asuka, Ayanami, his father, the rest of Nerv and his classmates, complete strangers; the whole world it seemed.

Those he knew.

"Yui...Forgive me. I just wanted to have a second chance with Shinji and Rei by being able to see you again."

"It's not true! I don't care for father the same way I care for Kaji-kun! And Shinji-kun is like my son! Stop this! STOP THIS!"

"Shinji... Shinji, where are you? I can't see you. I can't hear you. But...but I can feel you. And mama. And Misato. And everybody else. Where are you, baka? Don't leave me all alone like mama did! Please! I DON'T WANNA DIE! I DON'T WANNA BE ALONE!"

"Katsuragi, if you can hear me... Forgive me for getting in over my head with finding the truth. Forgive me for my selfishness of trying to protect the Earth as is that we live on."

"I wished to become one with you, Ikari-kun. I wished to be by your side forever. I am merely fulfilling what your heart yearns for most: A world of solitude where nobody and nothing can ever hurt you again. A world where you and I can be together for all eternity. It is a merely fulfillment of your wish, what happens to me in the end of it all matters not. That is the world you wished for.”

"Shinji-kun, what is it that you truly want? Think of it. Make it happen."


Those he knew somewhat.

"Shinji, we're counting on you. Good luck."

"Ikari, do your best."

"It's wonderful that the Eva pilots protect us. All of you are so amazing. Keep up the good work, Asuka."

“Yui-kun, is this really alright?”

“I love him. I shouldn't have any regrets, I knew what I was getting into by helping him reach his goals. Yet... yet...”

"Senpai! I look up to you so much, why don't you notice me?"

"I should never left Taro. I should have been the lead guitarist in Cobalt Sky, playing alongside him, but... the prestige of being in Nerv was too great to pass up. I wonder if I can be forgiven for the sin of duty before dreams?"

"Nerv's secrets... I hope Katsuragi-san knows no matter what happens, I'll be alongside her to help in anyway I can. Even if she takes no notice of me... It's alright like this.”


Those he nothing of, those he had never met at all in his life.

"Yes, what I told you about us dating was a lie.... Do you think I like hurting you?! I can't help how I feel for..."

"How could I lose that promotion when my entire career was riding on it?! I should have worked harder."

"I wonder what it would have been like to have been part of a family."


All of them discussing their hopes and dreams with others they knew, complete strangers, it didn't matter. Their souls lay bare for all to see, criticize, psychoanalyze, all people being part of the process, whatever this process was. If it could be called a process.

"What the hell is this?!"

Mother "Shinji."

Ayanami Rei "Ikari-kun."

Nagisa Kaworu "Shinji-kun."

Father "Shinji."

Asuka "Shinji!"

Misato-san "Shinji-kun!"

He winced. These memories, thoughts, feelings of everyone he knew including himself... How much more of it all did he have to take?!

"Ikari-kun." Rei's voice, her lips, were so close to his ear. He could feel her breath against his naked skin, holding his head in her own nude lap, stroking his soft brown hair... "Do you want this to stop? Ikari-kun."

"It hurts." He whimpered, "It hurts. Make this stop, Ayanami!"

He blinked. Sight. His blurry vision, watery eyes, barely made out Rei embracing him still, a rare smile on her face. "I want to protect you. You are the reason I know what love is, what it is like to have a family. What do you want most?"

"I...." He paused. ....He wasn't sure. His blue eyes cast down in the void. "I don't know, myself."

"But...just what is this? Where are we? And where are the others?!" He looked around, sensing, feeling, that only himself and Rei were in this strange void.

Rei...Lilith? sighed softly to herself. "This is the LCL Sea. A world without AT Fields, where humanity has merged into one being. All souls are now one, and can be that way for all eternity if you wish it."

"However.", Rei lovingly caressed Shinji's cheek, and for an instant, Shinji realized Yui was caressing and embracing him as well, not just Ayanami. "If you wish to return to Earth, pain as well as pleasure can be yours once more. You may experience betrayal and hurt, but you can also feel love, as well."

Shinji blinked. "You...you won't return, Ayanami?"

The blue-haired Angel shook her head, continuing to smile sincerely. As if she was pleased with her outcome of death.

"No, I am unable to. Yet it is a small price to pay to--"

Shinji began to sob. Holding onto Rei as tightly as he could--afraid she would disappear if he let go--he cried loudly against her shoulder.

Rei sweetly kissed Shinji's cheek, finishing, "...Death is a small price to pay to be able to see you smile once more."

Shinji sniffled, body wracked with silent sobs.

"Shinji-kun."

Tired blue eyes slowly met Kaworu's red ones. The Angel's hands were in his school uniform pockets as usual, smiling slightly. "Thank you for your friendship, for letting me experience the beauty of life. And the beauty of Lilin. I will never forget you."

Knees shaking, eyes wet, Shinji managed to stand, embracing the older boy as Kaworu held him in turn. "Do not fear life, Shinji-kun. For it can be beautiful."

A frown as Shinji nodded, turning back to Rei. "Ayanami." He reached for her hand, helping her stand. "Take me home."

As the siblings of sorts held hands, Shinji noticed that Kaworu was nowhere to be seen. He had disappeared...

"Thank you. Ikari-kun, it is alright if you smile."

Shinji gradually, slowly, smiled at Rei as they embraced and held hands for the last time. "Thank you for everything, Ayanami."

***

Sweet release.

Lilith's giant crumbling body began to fall backwards in outer space as her Black Moon exploded in blood and LCL around her.

Having left Lilith before her body began to fall apart, Eva-01 inside the armor of Evangelion unit 08 let out a mighty roar, wings of light shining brightly.

"Take heart, Ikari-kun.", Rei spoke, gasping slightly as she felt her soul separate from her body. Her body which was returning to nothing, to dust that would be swept away with time on mother Earth.

"Those who died the year before Third Impact occurred can restore their human bodies if they wish. They can return if they are strong enough in heart to imagine themselves."

Lilith as Rei--her soul, her very being, the one who had met Shinji when he arrived in Tokyo-3, advised him countless times in the train-car, and would soon give a final farewell--calmly, quietly, stared at Eva-08. The Spear of Longinus floated ahead of the suddenly purple-armored Eva, blue hair waving about.

Lilith blinked, her red eyes focused in concentration. It was time for them to say goodbye.

***

As the entry plug of Eva-08 ejected, falling back to Earth into the sea, Shinji sensed familiar, warm, arms wrap around him.

"Mother."

Yui's green eyes seemed to sparkle as her hand lovingly held Shinji's cheek. "This is goodbye, darling."

He blinked, frowning slightly. "But... what's going to happen now? What will you do?"

"I will go on living within the Eva to ensure humanity has a bright future. I will be alone for a short while, but I will soon enough ensure that love and humanity will never die."

Yui's soul seemed to glow with an otherworldly light as a tiny red dot appeared in front of her stomach. "Maria-sama has bestowed upon me the honor of becoming a new Seed of Life. As the eternal proof that mankind existed."

Shinji gulped. He felt his eyes moisten once more. "But... mother, I..."

"Shinji." Yui kissed her son's forehead, her hands resting on either sides of his cheeks. "Be happy, my darling. And always remember that anywhere can be Heaven as long as you have the will to live. If you're alive, there will be chances to be happy everywhere."

He felt it. The comforting, safe, presence of his mother, leaving him alone in the entry plug as her soul ascended--or perhaps it never left?--the Evangelion once more.

"Yeah." Shinji nodded, managing a smile. He thought about all the ways Rei, Kaworu, and his mother had helped him. Shinji's entry plug landed in the waters of the sea.

Waters which had red as in the Second Impact world, yet now there was a change to it: the sea-water was mostly a shade of beautiful, clear, blue.

And his smile become sincere, one of hope.

"Goodbye, mother."

Eva-08 faded into the distance, into the darkness of outer space.

****

June 6th, 2016 AD

Shinji Ikari's 15th birthday


The blood streak on the Moon and the chalk outline of Mari's original form faded away with time.

At Misato's new apartment, in honor of Shinji's 15th birthday, a dinner party was thrown. The dinner party that Rei was never able to give. At the head of the table, a chair was left empty in her memory. To her left was an empty seat for Kaworu. Her right, an empty seat for Mari.

"Father.", Shinji nervously began, offering a weak smile, over the discussion between Shinji's classmates--Toji, Kensuke and Class Rep--as well as the former employees of Nerv--the bridge bunnies, Ritsuko and Kaji. "...Thank you for coming."

Gendo nodded, smiling at his son. "It is what Yui would have wanted.", he quietly said before returning to his meal. There was still tension between them, yet... Father and son were making an honest effort at least.

"Shinji," Toji smirked as Hikari frowned at her boyfriend's eating habits. "I'm surprised Misato-san managed to learn how to cook."

Shinji laughed. "Yeah, I suppose it shows anything is possible if you try real hard."

Laughing herself, Misato made a face, lightly bopping Shinji's head. "Be good, birthday boy. I did this all for your sake, you know."

Shinji nodded, smiling. "Yeah."

Pen Pen nudged Kaji's foot, begging for some more chicken and rice as Kaji obliged.

Out of the corner of his eye, Shinji blinked noticing...blue?

Rei appeared in front of Shinji for the first and final time since Third Impact. She smiled while playing the part of the silent observer once more, as if pleased that he seemed happy.

Blinking again, Shinji slowly, gradually, smiled back. Thank you, Ayanami.

A tap on his shoulder from Shinji's left side made him look up.

"Is something wrong, baka-Shinji?", Asuka asked, unable to help but feel concern.

Noticing Rei had already disappeared as mysteriously as she appeared, Shinji shook his head. "I'm fine, Asuka."

They kissed softly with warm smiles and flushed cheeks before returning to their meal, sitting side by side.

***

The hybrid of Evangelion 01 and 08 continued her journey, Spear of Longinus leading the way. The goddess with the soul of Yui Ikari was a single beacon of light through the vast darkness of space.

"As long as the Earth, the Moon and Sun exist... It will be alright."


The End.


It's only love

moshimo negai hitotsu dake kanau nara
kimi no soba de nemurasete, donna basho demo ii yo
Beautiful world
mayowazu kimi dake wo mitsumeteiru
Beautiful boy
jibun no utsukushisa, mada shiranai no

It's only love

nete mo samete mo shounen manga
yume mite bakka, jibun ga suki janai no

nani ga hoshii ka wakaranakute
tada hoshigatte, nurui namida ga hoo wo tsutau

iitai koto nanka nai
tada mou ichido aitai
iitai koto ienai
konjou nashi kamo shirenai
sorede ii kedo

moshimo negai hitotsu dake kanau nara
kimi no soba de nemurasete, donna basho demo ii yo
Beautiful world
mayowazu kimi dake wo mitsumeteiru
Beautiful boy
jibun no utsukushisa mada shiranai no

It's only love

donna koto demo yatte mite
son wo shitatte, sukoshi keikenchi agaru

shinbun nanka iranai
kanjin na koto nottenai
saikin choushi doudai?
genki ni shiteru nara
betsu ni iikedo

boku no sekai kieru made aenu nara
kimi no soba de nemurasete, donna basho demo kekkou
Beautiful world
hakanaku sugite yuku hibi no naka de
Beautiful boy
kibun no mura wa shikatanai ne

moshimo negai hitotsu dake kanau nara
kimi no soba de nemurasete

Beautiful World (Beautiful Boy)

Beautiful Boy (Beautiful World)

Beautiful World (Beautiful Boy)

Beautiful Boy (Beautiful World)

Beautiful World (Beautiful Boy)

Beautiful Boy (Beautiful World)

Beautiful World (Beautiful Boy)
Last edited by Sailor Star Dust on Tue Jul 06, 2010 6:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

Sailor Star Dust
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The Emotion of Pride.

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Postby Sailor Star Dust » Tue Jul 06, 2010 6:08 am

Yeah, I merged all my fics on here into one thread to make things easier to find.

Here's my latest offering. :3

The Emotion of Pride

Alternate link: http://www.fanfiction.net/s/6115588/1/The_Emotion_of_Pride (Some typos that sneaked their way into this post as well as on ff dot net have been since fixed.)

The Emotion of Pride wrote:The Emotion of Pride
By: Sailor Star Dust
July 4th/5th 2010
Rating: Teen.
Disclaimer: I don't own Evangelion nor anything relating to it, I'm just a crazy fangirl.
Many thanks go to Naveryw and fadingreminder for their help with proofreading. You guys are awesome, never forget that.
Dedication: For Eric Blair and Kaname Langley. Thank you both for your constant support and love. This one's for you.
Summary: Oneshot fic based on some "What ifs" regarding the Arael battle in Director's Cut Episode 22'. Not the most original idea in the world I'm sure, I just wanted to get my thoughts and feelings out on paper, so to speak.


"My mind's been defiled. Kaji-san, I've been defiled. What will I do? I've been defiled."

An anguished voice. An utterly broken woman.

Asuka Langley Soryu, curled up against the entry plug of Evangelion Unit-02, was defeated. The 15th Angel had violated her mind; dug up memories, thoughts, and feelings she didn't wish to admit.

Not to herself, not to anybody.

Memories of her mother's insanity and subsequent death...

"Die with me."

Kaji's constant brushing her aside—whether on that boat en route to Japan, or in Japan proper—after various attempts to make him notice her...

"Asuka, you're still a child."

And then, there was...

"Don't look inside my mind! Please! Don't dig deeper into my heart!"

HIM. That boy. That weakling... At the center of everything, in the darkest deepest of her heart, the one that Asuka saw was...

"Why are you there?!"

Incomprehensible. Completely and utterly. It made no sense... After all of her efforts and hard work, despite all of her teasing, hinting, and implications! After everything they went through, that idiot, he still didn't...

"You won't do anything! You won't help me! You won't even hold me! No one! No one! No one!"

Shinji Ikari still didn't notice that Asuka Langley Soryu—against her better judgment, despite all of her projection, within the very depths of her subconscious—had somehow fallen in love with him.

Why?!

WHY HIM?!

Burying her head deeper, never letting go of her knees against her chest, all Asuka could do was whimper, utterly miserable. She didn't even have the strength to allow herself to cry anymore.

***

Nerv headquarters was sent into a frenzy. An Angel being able to infiltrate the human mind in the midst of attacking an Eva? It was unheard of!

One of the technicians announced, "Eva-02 has shut down! Life support has developed a problem."

Reading off the latest graphs, Maya bit her lip, adding, "Pilot entering a dangerous state!"

A deep, pitiful, moan could be heard from the otherwise silent entry plug of Eva-02.

Shinji Ikari, awaiting standby in Eva-01, clenched his fist. His voice trembled. "I'll go out there in Eva-01!"

Misato's eyes widened as subcommander Fuyutsuki shook his head. "No! The target corrodes the pilot's psyche."

Commander Ikari, calm as ever, agreed. If his son was foolish enough to risk his life to appeal to some fleeting emotions, let it be on his own time. There was no way Gendo would allow harm to Yui. Especially with the target so far away, she had no way to properly defend herself unlike the battles against the 14th or 12th Angel.

"Right now, we must avoid the corrosion of Unit 01."

Blue eyes narrowed. "Then I just have to keep from getting hit, right?!"

The commander flatly replied, "Your success is not guaranteed."

That bastard... Didn't he understand how important Asuka was to him?! To everybody else?!

"But at this rate, Asuka will..."

Ikari, against his folded hands, sighed. "I don't care. Rei, go down into Dogma and use the Spear."

Little did either Ikari know that the fate of another human being—Asuka—would be the last conversation they would have together.

Despite Misato and Fuyutsuki's protests, Rei's quiet agreement to the Commander's request could be heard through the intercom. She and Eva-00 obediently descended deep within headquarters.

Shinji grit his teeth. He didn't know what Ayanami was doing under father's orders, but whatever it was, time was of the essence. If he didn't act now, there was no telling what would happen to Asuka...

Making his way towards the launch pad, Shinji wasted no time in lifting off in Eva-01. The usual adrenaline rush was replaced with a feeling of mind-numbing fear, but...

But he had to save her.

"SHINJI-KUN!"

To say Misato was horrified was an understatement. What the hell was that idiot thinking! It was bad enough that Asuka was down for the count, now he wanted to risk his own safety too?!

Misato glanced at Commander Ikari. She wasn't sure if she could trust him, not after his apparent lies regarding Adam down below.

But for now... for now she had no choice. All she could do was her job, what was expected of her. For Kaji's sake, for the pilots' sake.

"...Let him be, Major. He can serve as a good distraction if nothing else."

Fuyutsuki seemed to scoff at Ikari's words, seemingly angry since he told Rei to retrieve the spear. But it wasn't the Major's concern, at least not right now. Sighing, Misato returned her gaze to the monitors, arms crossed.

It was time to see if Shinji had what it took to save Asuka.

***

The rain didn't let up, dark clouds covering all of Tokyo-3 on that cold winter afternoon.

Eva-02, head bowed, was strangely silent in the bright shower of the 15th Angel's steady beam of light. Trembling, Shinji in Eva-01 quickly approached the fallen unit, dragging it to safety, away from the Angel's path.

The seemingly peaceful moment was shattered, however, when the light's brightness intensified, focusing on Eva-01 and the pilot inside.

Shinji pushed Eva-02 and Asuka away to prevent any further damage, yet... It was too late for him.

"AHHHH!"

Memories, pain, feelings of betrayal, all of this filled Shinji's heart and mind. He was consumed by them, overwhelmed by them...

A suitcase. Tears at a train station. His father, back turned, walking away. He had no words of farewell for the four-year-old Shinji other than a single piece of advice: “Shinji, you must not run away.”

Irony.

"Why did you leave me?! Don't abandon me! FATHER!"

Wincing, choking, Shinji gasped as he felt the Angel's beam of light intensify.

Arael probed deeper into the Lilin boy's mind, at a loss. She just did not understand his
anguish and pain, nor the pain of that other girl...

Surely knowing the truth of things would set them free? How could they not understand that lying to themselves, hiding away their deepest fears and thoughts, would lead to their destruction sooner than later?

The Lilin mind was a fascinating, albeit, confusing matter.

The attitude of that red-haired girl especially confused the Angel. The girl had refused to admit any loneliness, stubbornly, angrily, claiming she could—and would—live alone...

Yet Arael's intelligence helped her see through the lies, she had even informed the girl as such. The lies of love, pain, loneliness, anger...

"You big liar."

That is all that girl had done, lie to herself.

Lilin were strange, but in the end, it didn't matter. Arael did not care, it was merely curiosity getting the better of her. The girl was the one whom shot first, Arael was only defending herself by attacking in turn. Trying to understand these strange beings—ones whom would hopefully be destroyed sooner than later—was nothing but a passing hobby as she continued her search, her real objective of this "attack".

The most important thing was the one who Arael couldn't find, couldn't sense.

Mother was not down there, in that little corner of Earth, in Tokyo-3, deep in the Geofront...

Arael could not sense her presence—Adam's presence—after all. A mistake on her part, she supposed.

Arael returned to the task at hand, interested in the secrets of this Lilin boy.

***

Rei's descent into Terminal Dogma was near its end. She mused silently, concerned with what would happen from here on out. The Second's pride nearly destroyed her in the end, yet Ikari-kun wants to save her at all costs...

Eva-00 entered Heaven's Door, the gates of Terminal Dogma, approaching the white giant.

Without hesitation, Rei grabbed the Spear of Longinus. And she gasped instantly. A curious feeling—her stomach tightening—overtook herself and her previous self deep within Eva-00...

This is....?, Rei thought, crimson eyes wide with fear and confusion.

"The dark part of your heart inside you, that you can see nothing of, that you know nothing of.", the resident soul of Eva-00—the first Rei Ayanami—replied. A cruel smile was seen in her mind's eye continued, "That's where the real you is."

Rei's palms grew damp with sweat, her breathing irregular, eyes occasionally twitching. She was unable to remove the Spear, just as she was unable to let the Spear be.

Hesitation.

Fear.

You are afraid.

Her eyes closed, attempting, trying, to find a sense of inner calm amongst the madness. I am me. Because I became who I am through the time I've spent and the connections I've made with other people.

For that one, brief, instant... Rei, the soul of her previous self, as well as the white giant: there was a connection. There was an understanding. As if all time had stopped, Rei heard whispers in the back of her mind...

Had Rei allowed her heart to open up instead of closing it off, had she gained the clarity sooner, she would have realized the whispers were of the Second Angel, Lilith.

Lilith, who possessed the Fruit of Knowledge. Lilith, who wanted, no, needed the Fruit of Life. If she only had that, if she could gain and destroy what Adam had possessed, then nothing could stop her. Adam would be destroyed, and then Lilith's children could continue to flourish on this beautiful planet.

She bore no ill will towards Adam nor the Angels. It was neither's fault that two of the seven carriers had ended up on the same planet, yet...

Yet it did not change the fact that both Seeds of Life were in a race against time: survival of the fittest.

Only one life form will be chosen to survive the time of destruction and be given a future. And the Lilin are not a being who should die. Her children need the future.

"The current me has been molded through contact with other people."

Lilith... She had done what she could to help allow that boy to understand himself and others, and would continue to aid Ikari-kun for as long as he needed it...

The first time they had met, Lilith silently watched Shinji Ikari from afar, observing him as he arrived in Hakone. After that time, she met with him time and again, imparting wisdom against the backdrop of the sunset, against the increasing intensity of train-bells...

Now came the time to try to help herself.

Lilith continued, speaking within the far reaches of Rei and Eva-00's minds.

"Destroy that wretched Spear of Adam. Destroy Adam herself. Give me the Fruit of Life. And, return to me—"

Eyes blank, as if dead, Rei removed the Spear of Longinus.

The second Rei Ayanami repeated her previous words, all while looking ahead, eyes towards an unseen, far off, place.

"I am me. Because I became who I am through the time I've spent and the connections I've made with other people."

The safeguard of Adam in hand, Rei Ayanami and Eva-00 left Terminal Dogma behind, ascending to the Geofront.

***

The pain from Arael's attack didn't cease to be. Asuka would now be nothing but a failure, she would be shipped back to Germany, unable to pilot Eva, then nobody would look at her anymore.

Branded as a failure. She'd be nothing. She WAS nothing. Nobody cared. Nobody would bother to care. She couldn't help but wonder why things had to turn out this way.

All of her years, all of her efforts, of trying to be the best Eva pilot, trying to be number one, trying to make people love her and notice her as a proper defender of humanity should be noticed and loved... It was all for naught. Asuka would be abandoned. She'd be ignored.

Clenching her eyes, holding back tears, Asuka hiccuped.

"I hate this...I hate myself..."

There was nothing to love in this sick and sad world, because there was nothing left to li—

She blinked, her eyes truly opened at the realization in front of her.

It suddenly registered with Asuka that the bright light of Arael—the light that had hurt her eyes and her heart—had ceased to be. Her pain was suddenly replaced with the lesser of two evils, mental and emotional exhaustion.

Had somebody rescued her? Was she really alright? Who...

Asuka's eyes widened.

The bright purple armor of Eva-01 flooded her senses. Eva-01 held a protective stance a few meters in front of the hunched over Eva-02, clearly struggling to support itself from falling over itself, from shutting down as well...

Shinji!

He was shielding her, protecting her, from anymore pain...

Why...how...

Joy filling her heart and warmth within her body, Asuka allowed herself the tiniest of smiles before the emotion of pride overcame her once more.

Her eyes narrowed with unshed tears, face contorted into a scowl. It didn't make any sense to her why at the eleventh hour he had to play the part of the hero when he had failed her time and again.

He didn't do anything when loneliness and fear overwhelmed her on the night before the attack against the 7th Angel. He only helped her back then, during the volcano, instead of helping her now. He didn't even bother to hug Asuka that time they kissed.

And yet...despite it all...

It was Shinji who would continue to smile at her when Asuka would talk about this or that, be it how boring their teacher from Nebukawa was, or how she was going to score 100% on the synch tests at Nerv that day. It was Shinji who was interested in knowing more about her like her family in Germany. It was Shinji who would treat her with patience and kindness—although usually shyness and silence—while Asuka was the one berating him or frustrated with his overall attitude...

It was all her fault. She was the one who made their relationship an absolute mess when
Shinji, despite the ebb and flow of his personality, remained at the core the same person he always was.

Choking back a sob, her plugsuit-covered fists clenched at her sides. Asuka shut her eyes tight, allowing a tear or two to escape.

She really was an idiot.

***

"Are you alright now?" The smile of his four-year-old self while cupping something in his hand, a tiny red dot—his soul—offering his mother to protect him... "Well, that's good for you."

After all this time, he still couldn't believe it. He REFUSED to believe it.

"I want to show my child the bright future."

"No... NO! Mother can't be inside this thing! I...I don't want to think about that again!"

"What do you wish for?"

Shinji Ikari shut his eyes, remembering the few times he had sensed her within Eva, the times she as Eva had saved her...

Yui's presence—somehow reminding him of Rei—had been a great comfort to him. She had felt soft and warm. The aroma of lavender overwhelming his senses everytime she "embraced" him inside the entry plug; her gentle, loving, voice never ceasing to ease his shattered nerves...

His voice choked back with sobs. "Please...somebody make this stop."

Mother was no better than father, abandoning him like she did. Yui left him all alone in favor of being inside this wretched Evangelion; Gendo had left Shinji somehow as a result of Yui.

The pain of the past ten years without either parent never really left the boy. Days of living with his guardian, a teacher, were mostly quiet and peaceful. All he had to worry about was schoolwork and looking after himself at home. Other than that, he was free to keep to himself, be at peace. More often than not, Shinji would listen to his father's abandoned SDAT or practice his mother's cello, but...

When the pain of the battles, such as what happened with Toji; grew to be too much, it would have been nice to be back there, living in peace and quiet, once more.

That way he wouldn't have to deal with his hated father. Misato-san's lousy but well-intended attempts at parenting. Ayanami serving as a constant reminder and substitute of the one he lost ten years ago; while serving Gendo as a comfortable replacement—a surrogate daughter instead of the man's own flesh and blood son.

That way, if he was back home, he wouldn't have to deal with the guilt of his friends getting caught up in this mess of a war. He wouldn't have to deal with the confusing, beautiful, roommate and fellow pilot that didn't understand his pain. His natural talent aside, at least Asuka enjoyed piloting Eva. At least she was proud to protect this world from the constant threat of destruction.

It just wasn't fair. He simply wasn't cut out for piloting. There was nothing or nobody he could protect; he could barely fend for himself...

Why? Why did she leave him? Was he really such an unwanted child? What had Shinji done wrong to make his own mother and father leave him all alone?!

***

Aoba's voice suddenly rang through the speakers, "Eva-00 has passed through Number 2, emerging on surface."

Rei steadied her Eva, the Spear tightly gripped. All thoughts of the encounter with that white giant were blocked out. By choice, perhaps, not wanting to think of whatever it entailed. And yet, she had a job to do. Her teammates needed to be saved, she wouldn't allow herself to let Ikari-kun and the Second down.

"Eva-00, prepared to throw.", Aoba confirmed.

Hyuga added, "Target confirmed. Adjustment for errors made."

Rei's eyes narrowed, deep in concentration. Like a javelin thrower making their way to the final rounds, she mentally prepared herself for the main event where failure was not an option.

Maya's voice. "Beginning countdown. T-minus ten seconds."

This was it.

"Zero!"

Taking two giant steps forward, Rei moved the Eva's hand back, lightly flicking its wrist before allowing the spear to seemingly fly out of her Eva's hand.

With a roar, the Spear of Longinus had destroyed the Angel of Birds, piercing through Arael's core.

The target had been annihilated, while the spear was seemingly lost to the pull of Earth's moon and the blackness of outer space.

The rain finally ceased on that cold December afternoon, although the sudden painful memories of the past would not be as easily forgotten.

***

"Target has been destroyed.", Aoba calmly reported.

Maya quickly read off her console. "Eva Unit 01 and Eva Unit 02 disengaged."

Fuyutsuki took a step forward, his eyes were full of concern. Didn't Ikari understand how much trouble they would be in with Seele? They were already in enough hot water as is, especially with the recently fired warning shot at Agent Kaji...

"What about the Spear of Longinus?"

In the back of Hyuga's mind, he wondered why the Commander had used that Spear against the Sub-Commander's protests. He figured it had was something he could privately discuss with Major Katsuragi later, but...

"It broke the first astronautical velocity. It is currently moving into lunar orbit."

The sub-commander looked grim. "Recovering it will be nearly impossible."

Hyuga nodded, adjusting his glasses slightly. "Yes, at present, we do not have the means to bring back that much mass."

Maya let out a breath. The worst was over. They had won, and the children would be okay.

"Eva-02 and Eva-01 are in good condition. Readings currently at normal levels."

Misato kept her poker-face. She was tired of so many things.... First losing Kaji, the stress of finding out what Nerv was planning, now the reckless behavior of Asuka as well as Shinji? A sense of normalcy was far gone, it seemed...

"What about Asuka?" A beat. Misato's voice remained even. "And Shinji-kun?"

Hyuga hoped the Major wouldn't be too hard on the children, but of course, that was at her own discretion. "Life signs confirmed. Quarantine due to the contamination has been removed."

"I see."

She turned to Ikari and Fuyutsuki, maintaining her facade of calm. "What should be done about the Third Children's blatant disregard for orders?"

The tiniest hint of anger could be seen in the elder Ikari's eyes before it just as quickly disappeared. "A day or two in the brig should be enough to make him understand that such actions will not be tol—"

"Ikari." Fuyutsuki clearly didn't care he interrupted the man he had despised when they had first met. Before that woman, that beautiful and kind woman, had confined in Fuyutsuki of her plans to help secure their future. His complete agreement with Yui, his intense hatred and opposition of Seele's own goals...

"I understand he disobeyed orders, yet I honestly feel that punishing Shinji-kun is not the way to go about this."

Gendo raised an eyebrow, scoffing. "You don't mean to tell me his disobedience should be rewarded, now do you?"

The older man shook his head. "No. I mean that your son couldn't afford to see his fellow pilot and teammate die. Asuka and the others are not some assets to help protect us all, they are human beings. Nobody should be forced to go through the hell they are, let alone mere teenagers."

Not in the mood for an argument, somewhat pleased he was one step ahead of Seele, Gendo nodded. "Fine." His voice was flat, lacking any sign of emotion. "I will make a one time exception for both pilots. But if either of them resorts to this sort of behavior again, I am removing them permanently from the project."

Ikari's harsh blue eyes tinted against his glasses met Misato's calm brown eyes. "Do I make myself clear, Major Katsuragi?"

Misato nodded once, all business. Good. They're off the hook this time, but...

Internally, she was seething. What the hell were they THINKING, deciding to prove themselves in such an asinine manner?!

"Yes, sir. Thank you."

She would deal with them later. Right now, Nerv had to focus on cleanup.

***

Shinji wearily kneeled against the metal ground and LCL within the entry plug of Eva-02. After the 15th Angel had been defeated, he had somehow found the physical strength to force eject Eva-02's entry plug as well as open the hatch.

In some ways, it had reminded him of Operation Yashima with how he had checked on Ayanami. Although there was no sense of relief in the aftermath of this battle. Only dread, and fear. What if he was too late? What if Asuka had managed to actually die in the time it took to reach her?

What if...

After he had opened the hatch, Shinji silently, worriedly, glanced at Asuka's far-off, fatigued, expression. Her half-closed blue eyes looked ahead, scarcely blinking; skin pale and cheeks sunken. Her breathing was ragged; red hair damp with sweat and clinging like a second skin against her plugsuit.

Trying to futilely recover from the horrifying shock of her ordeal, their ordeal.

And so, all Shinji could do was collapse against his knees into the LCL below, the feelings of being emotionally and mentally spent finally catching up with him. His irregular breathing took a good few minutes to settle. Physically, he wasn't in any better shape than his roommate and fellow pilot.

The pair had sat in utter silence, in the cold entry plug, damp from LCL, for a good 10 minutes or so, ignoring the shouts and work of the Nerv crew nearby, outside.

"Why?"

Shinji blinked, forcing himself to meet Asuka's gaze. She continued to look ahead, expression unchanging. His throat was dry, managing to dumbly respond, "Wh-what?"

"...Why did you do it? You're bound to be in huge trouble now, and you were stupid enough to let yourself end up in the same state as me."

Angrily, Asuka continued, "SHE could have saved me on her own just fine, although I would've rather died than allow that to happen. You actually took the extra step by checking on me afterwards. So, why?"

...What if he had lost her.

Shinji shut his eyes, his pale cheeks turning a faint shade of red. Shinji allowed himself to quietly speak from the depths of his heart.

"Because, Asuka is somebody who's irreplaceable to me. You're a very important person. Without you here, I wouldn't know how to get through all this. You help give me strength."

Asuka rolled her eyes, ignoring the sudden heat gathering in her cheeks. Did Shinji honestly expect her to believe such crap?!

"That's a lie. You seem to be doing just fine, given how well you get along with Miss Perfect and how Misato does nothing but dote on you!"

The male pilot shook his head, letting out a breath. "Ayanami I barely know, although she's dear to me, somehow. Misato-san is like family, and she's...."

He thought back to her cries of anguish over the news that Kaji had died. There was nothing he could have done, nothing he could have said... He wondered how Asuka would take the news—if she didn't know already—but that was something to worry about later.

"She's just trying to do the best she can. Misato-san isn't perfect, nobody is, but I know she cares about you and Ayanami as much as she cares for me."

Asuka didn't reply.

Instead, she stood, trying her damnedest to ignore her shaking knees. Shinji was instantly at her side, offering his hand for support. She wordlessly accepted, leading them out of the entry plug.

Rei Ayanami was sitting in locker room of Nerv, silently wondering where things would go from here. If she had much longer for this world—somehow, she feared she didn't. Why had that strange being in Terminal Dogma had contacted her and what had it meant...? If Rei had to be replaced, if she had to die in order to protect Ikari-kun, the Commander, and the others... She would do so.

She existed because that person needed her. The least she could do was follow her duty of destroying the Angels, ensuring the hope that they would all live to see another day. That the future would be theirs... Until the day Rei Ayanami had to return to nothing.

At Seele's headquarters in Germany, the final messenger, Adam incarnate, was awaiting the 16th Angel Armisael to appear. Then his move could be made.

Kaworu Nagisa was honestly looking forward to arriving in Japan, being able to work alongside his fellow pilots at Nerv. He could sense the vessel of Lilith was out there somewhere, and wondered how they would get along...

Meeting her will prove to be most interesting.

Kaworu bore no ill will towards the Lilin. He existed because Seele needed him. Yet even he knew that only one life form will be chosen to survive the time of destruction and be given a future.

And yet, time in Hakone seemed to stand still as Shinji Ikari and Asuka Langley Soryu silently walked, hand in hand, back to check in with their commanding officer—their guardian—Misato.

Neither pilot knew what would happen from here on out. But somehow, they both knew that letting go of their pride was the first step to get through the painful mess that was their lives. Their past, present, and future.

It was the only way they could win the war against the Angels, as well as the war in their own hearts.


FIN

Author's Notes: Some of Rei's lines during the scene with Lilith come from Episode 25. The lines of Rei 1, Rei 2, and Rei 3 (according to the episode 25 script) are designated in this fic to each proper incarnation of Rei. Rei 1 is the resident soul of Eva-00 (various canon and non-canon sources strongly imply this) while the Quantum Lilith seen throughout the series (the two bookend Rei as well as the Hell-train Rei) later becomes the incarnation known as Rei 3, or rather, Lilith becomes Rei (given Rei 3's ability to be in several places as once in EoE, as well as how time and space seems to know no bounds for Lilith).

A few lines (Shinji's lines during the mind rape, Lilith's line about “Give me the fruit of life” (the Fruit of Life is also known as the S2 Engine)) comes from the PSP port of the Neon Genesis Evangelion 2 game.

Interestingly, the title of this piece comes from a sci-fi film (Colossus: The Forbin Project) which is from a line of dialogue that (whether intentionally or accidentally) makes its way into Evangelion 2.0 as a backwards message (props go to NAveryW for discovering this!!) during the scene with the Dummy System. For those curious, the line in full is as follows: "Freedom is an illusion. All you lose is the emotion of pride. To be dominated by me is not as bad for human pride as to be dominated by others of your species." The context itself of the line obviously doesn't fit this story, but pride as well as fear does get in the way of the Eva cast, more often than not. I thought it was fitting in that sense. All of these little tidbits can be found on the Evageeks dot org forums, so for anybody interested on checking us out, you know where to go.

I hope you enjoyed this piece. Writing this was an entertaining way to pass the time on an otherwise quiet Fourth of July. There were a few points I wanted to just give up and was getting extremely frustrated with how the words weren't flowing, but I felt I owed it to myself to finish what I started, even if it wound up being complete crap (which is for you, the reader, to decide).

Take it easy until next time,

SSD
Last edited by Sailor Star Dust on Tue Jul 06, 2010 12:52 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby Seele00TextOnly » Tue Jul 06, 2010 6:54 am

A very enjoyable read SSD! I'm glad you didn't give up.
Check out my AMVs: Kaji/Misato in "18 Apostolos" & Kaworu and the Harpies in "The Beast That Shouted 'I' at the Heart of the World" w/ music by Esselfortium!!
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Postby AngelNo13Bardiel » Tue Jul 06, 2010 7:38 am

You do some good work, ma'am. Just finished with the last of 'em.
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Postby esselfortium » Tue Jul 06, 2010 8:53 pm

Cute.

A bunch of things stood out to me as odd, though:

- Some of the dialogue felt fake and overly specific.
I'm not going to go through the whole thing with a fine-tooth comb, but two examples would be Shinji's "Ayanami I barely know, although she's dear to me, somehow" and Asuka's "SHE could have saved me on her own just fine, although I would've rather died than allow that to happen."
In addition to not really sounding like dialogue that a person would actually say, Shinji's line just doesn't make much sense (Why would he be saying this? "I barely know her, but she's dear to me, somehow"? Eh...).
Both of their lines could be depicted far more believably by trying to have them speak normally while keeping those motivations in mind, rather than ever having them say them so outright. Show that Asuka would have rather died, rather than having her state it so openly. She sounds rather casual about the whole idea, the way she's speaking of it.

- Shinji's mindrape was really, really, uhm..calm. Its contents weren't nearly damaging enough to really make sense. Realizing "my mom is still alive and in a robot protecting me" isn't really scarring.
He has lots of fears that would be easy to capitalize on: He's afraid of being hated (particularly by certain people), he wants to get closer to his dad and the others around him, he's afraid that everything he does is just hurting the people he's trying to protect, etc.

- There's a lot of focus on specifics and some NGE2/EGF-fanon stuff (two of the seven seeds, fruit of life, etc), where something more abstract could be far more effective and would make more sense in the context of the characters discussing it.
Lilith talking specifically about needing the Fruit of Life, for instance, isn't really as gripping as, say..Rei feeling an unexplainable emptiness, an almost imperceptible force threatening to pull her into the white giant and claim her as its own. Or something.
"He only helped her back then, during the volcano, instead of helping her now. He didn't even bother to hug Asuka that time they kissed." is also really, really overspecific in ways that don't really help the story. It takes me out of the mindset of the character by guiding me through things that are obvious to her, and recalling specific instances in the show instead of something more emotional like "It had thrown her feelings into metasis when he had come to her rescue in the past, shaking her pride. Now, she wished for it, consequences be damned. She knew he wouldn't, though; he had already failed her, proven his disinterest when he rejected her advances."

- And on that note, I think you could have done more with explaining why Asuka wasn't angry and full of self-hatred that Shinji had needed to rescue her, like she was when Rei did in the series.

Hope this helps :)

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Postby Sailor Star Dust » Tue Jul 06, 2010 8:57 pm

Thanks a lot for your constructive criticism, it helps. ^_^

I'll be sure to keep it in mind for next time around (or possibly a revision if I'd feel this fic needs one down the road).

Glad you liked this though.
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Postby Eric Blair » Wed Jul 07, 2010 4:45 pm

Posting this here and in FF>net because I'm crazy lazy. ^^;;

First of all, thanks for the story and the shot out, it was a very nice surprise, and I'm sure Kaname loves this as a birthday present.

That said, the story is good; there are some minor nit-picks here and there (I agree with Essel here) some of the dialogue feels a bit forced, as if you were trying to work the words from some other source (game, draft) into the story and trying to move the story around to accommodate these changes.

The characterization is nice but this can also be polished simply by focusing more on what the characters feel and do; at times, it seems like you focus more on the plot itself, the idea you want to carry across when that should be left to the character to do; their actions and thoughts and words are what will make your idea come across, remember: "Show, don't tell."

The characterization is perhaps something that will always be a sore point; I think Shinji was goo until the moment when he got "mind raped", then it felt like he was simply acting as he saw Asuka act; a bit more depth here could take this scene from interesting to awesome, simply by going down the Anno line of how Shinji reacted to when Kaji made him remember; it's raw, and emotional and open.

Asuka's plight should be, in the same tone, more obvious; you have in a mind rape the chance to go beyond the character, see their insides, why the react, say and think and behave like they do; don't be stingy with it, dare to take the plunge, go down the deep end, why did Shinji (focus on him, not on an egf theory) act like he did? what propelled him? what pushed him? was it Asuka's scream? was it his father's voice? why did Asuka felt like she did? what else did she see? was it simply the scenes from the animu? did she saw something else? was she confronted by the ghost image of herself and made to realize she was a failure and a joke?

remember, the best approach to showing a character's flaw is by making us, the reader, feel them and live them through the actions of that character.

hope this helped, and keep it up!
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Postby Kaname Langley » Sun Jul 11, 2010 8:47 pm

Domo Arigato!
Muchas Gracias
DankenShon or something like that n.n
Thak You So Much.
SSD Rulez!
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Postby Sailor Star Dust » Wed Dec 29, 2010 9:40 pm

New fic created especially for a contest I'm entering.

Whee~

Darkscribes

Fanfiction.net

FF.net's formatting is horrible, I had section breaks which are not there anymore.
Last edited by Sailor Star Dust on Wed Dec 29, 2010 10:14 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Kaname Langley » Wed Dec 29, 2010 9:50 pm

Whee... :w00:
Reading.....
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Postby Sailor Star Dust » Thu Dec 30, 2010 3:38 pm

Okay, I managed to fix the formatting error on FF.net accordingly. It'll probably take a while to show, though.

Also, here are the pics in question. :3

http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i267/sailorstardust/GainaxTopPageping-pong.jpg

and

http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i267/sailorstardust/Fandom/1290028179146.jpg (Ecchi warning.)

Aaand that contest is postponed. :fuyu_facepalm:

But oh well, my entry will just be left as is until it actually happens.
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Postby AngelNo13Bardiel » Thu Jan 06, 2011 5:04 am

Review has already been sent. I liked it (no real shocker there), just the thing I needed this morning.
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Postby Sailor Star Dust » Thu May 05, 2011 10:39 pm

Very brief teaser for an in-process fic. I'm pleased with how this came out. (That said, this scene might change somewhat for the final product.) The fic itself is gonna be a long one (4 chapters total, each one jam-packed with content) and won't be posted for awhile (maybe in a month or two with Chapter 01?), but any feedback is welcome.

I might post another teaser down the line if people want more (or if this snippet isn't enough to get a feel for things).

Fic teaser wrote:A bright light. What happened? Was it morning already? Did he fall asleep without realizing?

Blinking twice, Shinji noticed he was wearing his school uniform, sitting down. Within a train car of all places! The train bells occasionally whined, increasing then decreasing in their intensity. It hurt his ears, somewhat.

Sunlight poured from the opposite side of the train, warming his face. The warmth felt comforting and offered Shinji some form of quiet reassurance, yet...

He was alone.

His eyes fell to the floor.

Of course, it wasn’t anything surprising. Bitter smile.

Why wouldn’t he be alone. Being thrown into such a ridiculous situation, expected to do the impossible, having been surrounded by insincere and uncaring people, possibly save for Misato...

He was always alone.

“Ikari-kun.”

Shinji looked up, and turned his head to the side, staring a seat or two down.

Wearing her school uniform, hands gently folded against her skirt, stood Rei Ayanami. The blue-haired girl was unbandaged, her red eyes serious.

“....”

Shinji averted his eyes, gaze instead focused on the wooden train-car floor. Something about this girl made him uncomfortable. Even from the distance, he noticed she carried the strong scent of a hospital--and of LCL--which happened to smell like blood.

A deep sigh. The boy wondered why he saw the girl standing in the middle of the street yesterday morning. It made no sense, how could she get hurt so severely within the same day? She had just as quickly disappeared, as if she wasn’t even there... Strange. Perhaps it was a clear sign that he was already starting to lose it, especially considering his being blackmailed into piloting that Evangelion last night.

Rei quietly sat across from him. Her pale skin, her hands, yet again folded neatly against her lap. Her position blocked the brightness of the sun, and yet, it almost formed a crown, an angelic halo, against her hair.

Shinji felt himself snort slightly as he tiredly shut his eyes.

As if. The only Angels in this world were apparently the freaks of nature that he was suddenly thrust into fighting against.

Rei opened her mouth as if to say something, yet no words came out. She just as quickly shut it, instead choosing to quietly stare at the young boy.

He flinched, decidedly uncomfortable, unsure of what to say--if anything--himself.

Deafening, awkward, silence.

Until.

The train’s bells increased in their intensity, as one clear thought rang within the depths of Shinji’s own mind:

Ayanami Rei...

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Postby Korgan » Fri May 06, 2011 5:36 am

SSD, after taking a glance, I must say I like your stuff, particularly Theme of Love. To be honest, the prose is pretty beige most of the time, but at least you're relatively faithful with character direction and know how to make a (hopelessly sentimental) reader d'awww.
:asuka_thumbsup:
Could use some more smut, though! :wink:

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Postby Sailor Star Dust » Fri May 06, 2011 8:45 am

My weakness is descriptions compared to dialogue which is somewhat easier. But you can see my later stuff is *slightly* better than earlier stuff.

And there are of course my smut fics on Lemontastica, including a very smutty CYOA (yes, CYOA) on the forums there. :bigeyes:

And yeah, gotta love WAFF. There's so much bullshit in the world (but good things too), you might as well kick back with something pleasant and happy at the end of the day.

Glad you like things so far!
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