Author: Advantage PM
My gift to Fanfiction.net. It's a small Christmas story, not entirely cannon, but Chrismas nonetheless. Merry Christmas, and happy holidays.Rated: Fiction K - English - Supernatural - Words: 8,138 - Reviews: 8 - Favs: 2 - Follows: 2 - Published: 12-25-03 - id: 1656556
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Written by: Advantage
"Christmas?" Shinji asked almost suddenly and turned to see Asuka in her home cloths and circling a particular day on the calendar.
"yeah, you remember Christmas don't you?" Asked Asuka and turned around to consider the other Eva pilot with the pencil in her hand. It raised to her chin as she considered aloud, "Then again do people like you ever consider any holiday?"
"Yeah, I remember Christmas." Shinji replied with a hint of annoyance, "But I didn't really have anyone to celebrate it with, remember?"
"Oh, right. With your Dad and all," Asuka reasoned and crossed the room to her door while Shinji sighed.
"Well I suppose you don't expect anything for Christmas then," Said Asuka.
Shinji looked up and half-turned his head to glance at her, "Is that supposed to mean anything?"
"No." Asuka answered, "Besides, I'd probably get a lot more presents from much more important people, anyway." Smirked Asuka.
"…Right." Shinji muttered and turned back to his homework.
It was the 20th of December.
Tokyo-3 never had any snow.
The worst mother nature could throw at Tokyo-3 now was a downpour of rain. This happened now, as winter break was starting to settle among the teenage population of Tokyo-3.
For the underground organization of NERV, however, there was no such rest.
In the office of Gendo Ikari there was only small talk between the commander and his teacher.
"I suppose then you're not one of the season." Fuyutsuki remarked as he moved a piece on the chessboard.
"I have much more important work to attend to." Said Gendo and considered the board.
Fuyutsuki smirked, "So I suppose I shouldn't put the base on alert for any unidentified angels with a sleigh and eight reindeer."
Fuyutsuki said as Gendo moved his piece, "Well, 'Santa Clause' is really Saint Nicholas- you could call him an angel I suppose. But then, are we really fighting the angels of any faith? Or do we just call them angels for other purposes?"
"It's your move." Gendo remarked.
Fuyutsuki nodded and considered the board and touched a knight to consider it.
"You're especially talkative," Gendo observed, "Is there something on your mind that I should be aware of?"
"Not of duty's sake Commander." Said Fuyutsuki, "Unlike you I seem to have some time to spend for personal efforts."
"I thought I told you I'm a grandfather." Fuyutsuki remarked, "My Grandson is about three."
"Congratulations." Said Gendo.
"It's nothing special," Said Fuyutsuki and finally moved a pawn, "But enough to keep my sanity and perhaps- my humanity in check."
Gendo was silent for a moment, then said, "In some ways, I envy you."
"Do you?" Answered Fuyutuski.
In the other offices of NERV, Commander Misato Katsuragi was busy at her own work and slumped in her chair.
"Busy?" Asked Ritsuko from her own seat.
"Gee, does it show?" Misato huffed with sarcasm, then moaned with her head in her fingers, "Ahhh!! It's supposed to be winter break! I'm supposed to have off!"
"Evil never sleeps…." Muttered Ritsuko.
Misato looked over at the technician and winced, "What's that supposed to mean?"
"Nothing." Perked Ritsuko and turned back to her computer, "So, do you and Kaji have anything special planned?"
"Whata…." Misato winced again, "What makes you think I have anything planned with him?"
"Well it seemed natural." Ritsuko replied, "You hate him but I don't think that's the case."
"I'm thinking of a word here…ah yes, mistletoe." Ritsuko smirked, "I saw Kaji with some earlier today."
"God help me," Muttered Misato, "Great. And I need this too…."
"Well look at it this way," Ritsuko said and turned back to her work, "He's interested in you."
"Hey-" Misato looked up.
Ritsuko didn't say anything, just tapped silently at her keyboard- usually in the pattern saying the conversation was over.
Misato backed down and turned back to her own work and her own thoughts.
"Thank you for letting me come over Asuka." Hikari said a she took a seat at the kitchen table.
"Meh, no problem." Said Asuka and she looked at one of the doors with Hikari as Shinji emerged.
"Oh…class rep. Hi." Shinji greeted.
"hello Shinji." Smiled the class Rep. Shinji blushed some in his 'house' cloths and crossed the room with shorts and the XT shirt on. He found the refrigerator, opened it, and was greeted with beer. He winced and asked, "Wasn't Misato supposed to buy soft drinks?"
"What? Something wrong with beer?" Asked Asuka.
"Asuka!" Huffed Hikari and then turned her head to see a penguin standing there. "What's your problem?"
The penguin rushed for the refrigerator, grabbed a can of beer in his talons and then retreated for his abode.
When the door slammed Asuka giggled, "I don't think he liked that."
"It shows." Shinji remarked as he finally found a Pepsi among the sea of beer and pulled it out. He sighed, opened it, and took a sip.
"So Asuka," Asked Hikari, "You doing anything special for Christmas?"
"No, not really." Asuka replied, "Seeing as I can't get out of here to see family I guess I'm stuck."
"Well you could always come to my place," Hikari suggested.
"Hey that'll be swell!" Asuka remarked.
"…Of course, they'll be other guests. And Shinji's invited too."
"Huh?" Shinji asked.
"What? Why- AUGH!" Asuka rasped, "Don't tell me you're inviting them!"
Hikari shrugged, "if I don't, where would they celebrate Christmas?"
Shinji sat down at the table with a huff, "Shesh. We can celebrate Christmas on our own you know."
"And what do you know about celebrating Christmas? You never even had a proper one!" Shouted Asuka and pointed at Shinji.
Shinji smirked and winced, "At least I have people around here to celebrate it with."
"Who? Misato? Yeah, if she doesn't get drunk off the Eggnog." Huffed Asuka, "Or the Beer."
Shinji didn't say anything, but Hikari spoke up anyway, "Well it doesn't matter. You're all invited to the Christmas party I'm having."
"Well I suppose I'll live." Asuka said and examined her nails and asked, "Who else is coming?"
Asuka slammed both hands on the table, "Wondergirl's in on this too? Oh, fine, might as well invite everyone on my hate list!"
"Well I was thinking that because she was so quiet, maybe a party might cheer her up." Suggested Hikari.
Shinji smirked, "Hey, you're right."
"We still don't know if anything will faze her." Asuka said, "Last I heard the only time she said anything out of monotone was when she was in combat."
Hikari sighed, "I just hope there isn't another attack during Christmas."
"Heh," Asuka said, "At least it'll be a good excuse to get away from the three…er…at least two of the stooges."
"Asuka," Said Shinji.
"What? Complaints again?"
"Stop it, please." Shinji said, "I don't like it."
"Don't like what? Finally getting to you huh? Well I suppose I need something else to pick on…"
"It's not that," Shinji remarked, "It's…something else."
"Like what?" Asked Hikari.
Shinji crossed his arms on the table, "I'm wondering…if maybe I should get something for my father…"
Asuka blurted, "I think it's a little too late to play kissass…"
"No I seriously mean it!" Shinji said, "It's…well…I don't know. Forget it."
Hikari tilted her head, "You're not on good terms with your father aren't you?"
"No." Shinji replied and closed his eyes as he turned his head to the side, "I…I…I hate him."
"Well then why do you want to get him something?" Asuka asked, "Shesh, Hypocrite."
"You don't know anything about me Asuka, so just lay off!" Shinji shouted.
Asuka looked at Shinji for a second and smirked, "Fine. Okay."
"Thank you." Shinji sighed forcefully then stood and grabbed his soda and then left the room.
"Shesh, what's wrong with him?" Asked Asuka absently.
"Maybe it has something to do with Christmas…" Said Hikari.
Next morning Shinji Ikari was up much earlier than normal and out walking the many crowded stores and shops in search of something.
He sighed as he passed another store in his so far hopeless search for something to call a gift…
"Hey! Ikari!" Shouted a voice.
Shinji stopped on the street to watch his two friends approach.
"Hey!" Called Touji as he approached in a raincoat, "What are you doing out here? Christmas shopping?"
"Yeah." Muttered Shinji.
"For who?" Kensuke asked.
"…Nobody," Sighed Shinji, "Myself…" He offered.
"Shopping for yourself huh? Well, I guess that isn't as lame as if it was someone like Asuka…" Touji pondered.
Shinji sighed and Kensuke offered, "Well if it's any help Shinji we're out shopping for Christmas gifts too."
"Yeah, but this is the worst time to do it." Murmured Touji and winced, "I'll kick myself later, but we should have done this a while ago."
"Well I didn't know what my parents wanted until last night!" Kensuke said, "And even then I went out shopping and all the stores were closed!"
"Yeah, but this time they'll all be packed to the brim…" Touji murmured.
Shinji sighed while the two talked and then looked across the street at a store. He glanced at the two talking and then silently left their side to cross the street.
"Hey!" Shouted Touji when he finally noticed Shinji halfway across the street, "Come back!"
Misato became a very busy woman indeed.
Her phone beeped in the middle of a store and she had to drop half her things just to pick it up, "Hello?"
"Where the hell are you commander!?" Demanded Ritsuko over the phone, "It's already lunchtime and you haven't reported in yet!"
"Oh, sorry," Misato said and shifted the phone to the other hand as she stood in line, "I'm in the middle of Christmas shopping…"
"You decided to Christmas shop now? What happens if we come under attack?"
Misato wrinkled her nose in anger and proclaimed, "Look, Ritsuko, just because I have a life doesn't mean you can ruin it."
She simply clicked the hang up button and replaced the phone in her pocket to wait more.
Shinji wasn't having any luck finding anything for a present. As he shopped he realized he didn't have the slightest idea about what to get anyone for Christmas…
But he had some ideas. He decided to find Rei and ask her some questions.
"What does my father like?"
Rei turned her head to Shinji in the classroom. Had she been more human no doubt she would have shown a degree of astonishment.
Rei did display some, however, and answered, "Why do you ask?"
"Well…" Shinji said and hugged the back of his seat, "I just want to know what I could get him for Christmas."
"You plan on getting something for your father?" Rei asked.
Shinji nodded and then shrugged, "But I don't have the slightest idea where to start…for anyone…"
Rei blinked and then turned to her work, "I'll ask him."
"But…it's supposed to be a surprise," Muttered Shinji.
"Yes, but you won't know unless you ask him." Rei responded, "I'll ask for you and tell you tomorrow."
"…All right." Shinji agreed.
Then before Shinji even knew it, Christmas Eve was upon him.
He had been looking around constantly for anything to buy for anyone. Predictably he didn't know what anyone wanted, nor where he could get it. Instead he resigned himself to once more going through a poor Christmas. He would have to explain to Misato why…
At least Hikari's party is tonight, he told himself, maybe he could loose himself there.
This was the excuse he used for giving up on finding anymore gifts and headed for home instead.
Other minds weren't so relaxed.
"Oh shoot…" Hikari said in the store, "This is more expensive than I thought!"
Asuka had her eyes half-closed beside her and her arms crossed. She was practically dragged out of her apartment to go on this last-minute shopping run for the party.
Well, free ride.
She rolled her eyes at Hikari's babbling and said, "Look, are we shopping or are we looking?"
"Yeah…" Hikari said and looked at her watch as she held the lamp, "Well…I guess this will do…"
"What's with your dad and collecting lamps, anyway?" Asked Asuka.
"Well," Hikari said, "I just say as long as he doesn't get one in the shape of a leg…"
Asuka winced again and muttered, "Stupid movie."
Hikari turned her head at a wreathe of mistletoe and stopped in consideration.
The party would span from five in the afternoon to eight tonight- giving enough room for 'Santa' to visit.
The three friends met right outside Hikari's doorway, with Touji shuddering, "Man, we're gonna be at the mercy of the women this time. Misato we could trust, I don't know about Hikari…"
Kensuke glared at him and exclaimed, "She's a harmless class Rep! Why are you scared of her?"
Touji looked back, "Because she's Asuka's best friend."
"Oh…right…" Kensuke answered, "Next to her Eva…"
Shinji remained quiet through the proceedings, but knocked on the door.
"Oh, come in…"
The doorway opened on the modest apartment and Hikari smiled back at them.
"Hi! We late?" asked Touji.
"Nope. You're on time, come in."
The three men entered the adequate living room and took seats on the floor around the table. Shinji sat next to Rei half-hoping for a response.
He got one as she said, "I asked your father what he should get you for Christmas."
"And?" Shinji asked.
"He said 'nothing.'"
"…Oh…" Shinji said and turned away. It wasn't half unexpected…
"So, you guys all done Christmas shopping?" Hikari asked to start the conversation.
"I did!" Said Touji and thumbed to himself, "Lucky too. I hit every store in town to look for something for my sis!"
"What did you get her?" Kensuke asked.
"How old is she?" Hikari said over to Touji.
Touji replied, "She's not that old…only twelve…."
"And in the hospital?" Hikari replied, "Poor thing…"
Shinji lowered his head but Touji replied, "Well it happened, right? Not much that could be done about it…Besides," He stretched, "She hopes Santa will heal her for Christmas."
Silence fell over the table for a moment.
Night was falling around Tokyo-3, and it seemed as if Fuyutsuki didn't take himself seriously. The base was on normal operation with no alarms, and things were all working well.
All three Evangelions were housed in their cages, silent and unmoving.
Ritsuko was still up examining them from her station. Maya was in the seat before her and looking over the diagnostics.
"Well, I don't suppose it's much of a Christmas present," Said Ritsuko, "But it seems the angels have let up for this."
"Yes ma'am," Replied Maya.
Ritsuko nodded slowly and then ordered, "Right, close it up. Let's turn in for the moment."
Maya nodded again and shut down the special diagnostics programs. Even when Ritsuko was long gone Maya was just finishing, and standing up and walking for the door.
When she passed out of the doorway she heard a voice, "Ibuki…"
She turned to see Makoto standing there, smirking, holding a-
"Oh…" She blushed and saw the hanging mistletoe. She laughed and said, "I can't…"
"Well…" She said and turned away.
"C'mon. It's Christmas."
"…All right." She answered and reached up to give him a kiss.
Shinji felt he was far from that position, but in reality he was closer than he ever expected.
For some reason or another Hikari took a seat beside him with Rei on the other side while they were at the table.
A game of cards was also being played- and it was called Uno.
"Uno at Christmas…" Kensuke had said in disbelief when it was decided.
Shinji glanced at his cards and sighed. He wasn't anywhere close to winning…
"Well, here." Touji remarked and put down a card.
"Wha? GAH!!" Shouted Asuka, "Draw four…"
Touji winced, "What, you got a problem with that? And I say the color is…green."
"AGH!!!" She shouted and sputtered curses in German.
Touji smirked and Asuka shouted back, "What's so funny!"
As another argument built nobody noticed Hikari pull something out of her pocket and into her hand.
Shinji was half-focused on their argument when he heard, "Shinji…"
Hikari was smiling with a branch of mistletoe in hand.
"Wha?" He blushed, but it was too late.
Touji and Asuka stopped their argument dead when they saw Hikari kissing Shinji.
"AHH!!!" They both screamed.
"Gah!? Class Rep!?" Asked Kensuke, "But, I thought…"
She released him with a smile.
Shinji was so amazed he collapsed backward- onto Rei's lap.
The blue headed woman stared down at him as his face got even redder with embarrassment.
"Traitor!" Shouted Asuka, "How could you!?"
"Well, you didn't seem like you were interested…" Hikari giggled.
Touji shook his head with disbelief, "I don't get it. How come he's all with the girls and….oh boy."
"And all this time," Asuka shouted, "I thought you had the hots for Suzurah!"
"What?" Asked Touji in amazement.
Hikari blushed saying, "I can have more than one interest, can't I?"
Touji and Shinji exchanged nervous glances, and then Shinji looked at Hikari…
Then away, for the next sound had nothing to do with Christmas.
It was the beeping of their alarm pagers.
The base was on alert.
Apparently the angels weren't as forgiving- one of them was approaching now.
As operators rushed to their stations Major Katsuragi appeared and called out, "Where is it?"
"It's approaching from the northern area of the city….but…" Said an operator and turned, "It's not an angel…"
"It's…not an angel?" Repeated Misato, "Then what is it?"
Ritsuko was there to provide an answer, "Whatever it is, it shows some of the same power signatures as the other angles, but it's blood spectrum pattern is red…"
Misato hiccuped, "Human pattern?"
"Apparently." Ritsuko replied, "But whatever it is, it isn't human."
"Where is it now?" Misato asked and stepped to one of the panels.
"Still approaching the northern end of the city. We're marshalling the pilots now."
Ten minutes later Shinji was already suited up and entering the plug of his Evangelion.
He was still a little surprised about the 'revelation' from the party, but he had other matters he needed to concern himself with.
The Eva was finishing it's power up sequence and the cages were opening. In a few moments Eva one would be shot up to the surface to fight whatever it was that came to Tokyo-3.
He swallowed his sweat and gripped the handles tightly.
It was Christmas Eve.
Above the surface of Tokyo-3 was a shining star in the heavens.
But it was moving.
Leaving a trail of receding lights was a passing dot in the heavens, weaving a lazy pattern across the sky with no apparent purpose.
All three Evangelions reached the top of the city and armed themselves.
"What is that?" Asuka asked as she saw it.
"We don't know," Replied Misato's image, "We don't even know if it's an angel or not…"
Shinji winced as he looked at the twinkling light in the sky, saying, "I wonder-"
Then the dot side-slipped at incredible speed.
"Wah!?" Demanded Asuka, "What's it doing !?"
The light was headed for the surface.
"Shinji! Proceed to intercept!" Shouted Misato.
Shinji grasped the hilts of the Eva and charged the massive monster forward for the dot.
The dot of light came to a stop just above the street at the Eva's eye level.
Shinji was still running full force with the AT field spread when he contacted something.
Whatever it was, the Eva crashed into it as it would with a wall of unbreakable material. Shinji's face bruised up from the injuries and the Eva collapsed backward.
Mana let out a squeal, "Eva one damaged!"
"What…was that?" asked Misato, "AT field?"
Ritsuko shook her head, "That wasn't an AT field…whatever it is."
But Gendo and Fuyutsuki had ideas.
"No reindeer or suit and hat…" Muttered Fuyutsuki, "But even Santa Clause is against us."
"No. But close." Said Gendo, "This isn't an angel. This is a Saint."
"A Saint?" Repeated Fuyutsuki.
The point of light slowly approached Evangelion one.
In the cockpit the unconscious and injured Shinji stirred as the light played around inside the canopy.
The light filled the viewing screens, and Shinji's eyes widened in fear.
"NO! NO!!!" He screamed, "HELP ME!!"
But the light was not malicious.
Instead, Shinji felt himself feeling lighter in the LCL…
The Evangelion shifted somehow, being turned on it's back.
"What's going on?" Asked Asuka slowly with her gun aimed at the light.
Shinji was starting to wonder that also, until he saw outlines of something in the LCL.
He blinked and slowly came to the realization that-
He felt someone take hold of him, someone very close and very dear.
Only when he felt the kiss of a mother's touch on his cheek did he also feel the kick of the ejection module.
"Evangelion one's escape module has prematurely activated!" Shouted Maya.
As the escape capsule rocketed free of the Eva Misato asked slowly, "What…what force is this?"
The dot of light was hovering over Evangelion one for only a moment, before raising up into the sky and moving for another item.
This was Rei Ayanami.
The red-headed clone widened her eyes and raised the free hand from the pulse cannon to raise an AT field.
The light hit it and stopped, then retreated some distance to consider what it just hit.
"Target hesitated…" Rei said, then gave a small gasp as it came again.
Rei raised her AT field, but this time the light slipped through the field harmlessly.
Absolute Terror did not concern this entity.
Actually, Rei's field did matter to the entity- as it disappeared entirely when the light passed through it.
The light disappeared into the Evangelion's neck and disappeared from view.
Eva 00 teetered for a moment and then collapsed forward.
"Rei!" Shouted Misato and turned, "Can you eject the plug!?"
"No ma'am!" replied Maya and then gasped, "There-There's no biological infection!!"
"What's going on!?" Shouted Misato in fear.
Rei opened her eyes slowly to look at the massive light before her.
It occupied most of the chamber of the LCL, and had shrunk to the size of a person's head.
Rei stared at it transfixed with disbelief, and then whispered, "Who are you?"
Feelings of peace fell over Rei, as well as those of friendship, warmth, and disarmament. Her eyelids closed and she was soon fast asleep.
Then the escape door of the Eva exploded open and the escape capsule rocketed free.
"Evangelion 00's cockpit launched prematurely!" Shouted Maya.
"I don't get it…" Misato said, but then realized the dot was moving for the last Eva.
She leaned forward and shouted, "Asuka! Stop that light!"
"All right!" Asuka replied and opened fire.
Heavy rounds ripped through the sky at the light- which effortlessly dodged the bullets.
It then came to hover in front of the Eva, and Asuka flicked out the progressive knife to swing at the light.
But as it passed, the light brushed that arm and the knife flew free of the fingers and sailed into the distance- flying clear of the city and landing somewhere in the country.
Asuka squealed with panic and backed her Eva, but the light advanced.
Then she lost control of her machine.
Evangelion 02 clutched it's head and landed on it's knees.
"Hey, HEY!" Shouted Asuka, "What's going on?!"
"Evangelion 02 not responding…" Maya announced.
"Check all pilot connections!" Shouted Ritsuko, "Make sure-"
"All pilot connections in place! Synch ratio is still at 87% but The Evangelion itself is not responding!!!"
The Eva was curling up on the ground in a fetal position, hugging it's knees to it's chest and quivering in gigantic fear.
But the light was progressing towards Eva 02's cockpit.
"Eject!" Shouted Misato.
"No signal reception!" Replied Hyuga, "We're too late!!"
When Asuka saw the light penetrate the cockpits walls she screamed, "NO! STAY AWAY!!! STAY AWAY FROM ME!!!"
The light was shrunken again to the size of a human fist and it approached her through the LCL.
She quivered in fear, gritting her teeth in fright and she swiped at the light.
She missed, swinging again and again as if the could strike the light.
But none of her blows hit the target, and it closed to her.
"NO!! STAY AWAY!!!!"
But then the light moved back.
Asuka's eyes widened and she lowered her arms, "Mo-Moma…?"
A shape was seen in the LCL in the reflection of the light- only outlines of a womanly figure.
Then the screens died, and a thump was felt just as Asuka's heart was settling at peace.
Then the escape capsule from Evangelion 02 rocketed into the air.
Inside, Asuka was feeling the warm grasp of a mother's arms about her.
"Momma…you're here…" She muttered, "Momma…."
The plug's chutes opened and through one force or another, the capsule came to rest beside those belonging to Units 01 and 00.
But emerging from the entry plug well on the silent Eva 02 was the white light.
"All Evangelion units disabled!" Shouted Maya, "We're…we're at it's mercy!!!"
The light's first act was just to sit in the air.
As all the buildings, without orders, started to rise from the city.
Despite the efforts of NERV to stop it, the buildings continued to rise from their recessed wells and locked into place. Then the light spiraled down and moved through the streets.
Sick children suddenly became well again. Frightened ones stopped their wailing and panic and at last relaxed.
Hungry children were given food by what appeared to be coincidences, and greedy children were plagued with nightmares of gigantic monsters destroying their homes.
Emerging from the shelters, some civilians became witness to the light as it passed over the city.
Then it stopped before the one containing Hikari, Kensuke, and Touji.
Kensuke was of course filming it as the other two looked on in amazement.
The light hovered before them in consideration, and then rose into the sky-
-And then plunged through the ground with nothing as much as the sound of air.
"Woa…" Touji remarked, "I feel dizzy…"
"Me too…" Muttered Hikari, "But… I feel better…."
"Huh?" Touji asked.
"A headache…it's gone…" She said.
Kensuke meanwhile was slapping the camera, "NO! My footage! It's gone!!'
The light emerged back into the Geofront and spiraled down it's massive gap.
Efforts by the guns guarding the interior were useless as they one by one fell silent after trying so hard to penetrate the energy field it had up.
The light passed through the walls of the base and ignored every sort of physical obstacle on it's pathway to one particular place.
The medical ward was home to many injured adults, but only one ill child.
Touji's sister sat unmoving in the medical bed, instruments hooked to her small body to monitor her progress of natural healing. A teddybear had been placed on the small beside table- with a vase of old, dying flowers beside it.
The light ignored the doors and walls as it penetrated the small space.
The eyes on the girl opened slowly and she murmured under the mask, "Santa…?"
The light hesitated over her, and then moved to the bedside table. The flowers suddenly snapped into life, blooming once more with lush life and beautiful pedals. The bear was also adjusted, even somehow getting a bow tie on his neck.
And then for the girl herself, she relaxed and closed her eyes, smiling as pleasant dreams filled her head.
And the light shone over her and the bed, and for some odd reason or another the machines started registering a change. Broken bones were healed, and injured organs were repaired. Things once broken about her were fixed.
When the light left the room, only a healthy girl was in the bed and dreaming.
"I don't get it…" Misato said as reports were coming in from all over the base, "What is that thing? It isn't an angel, and it hasn't attacked-"
She gave a gasp as suddenly the light appeared in the room.
Everyone turned to face it as the light hovered at the center of the room at the size of a man's head.
"What is…" Asked Misato but fell into silence.
Ritsuko was clearly puzzled, as was Fuyutsuki and Gendo.
But then the light flashed a blinding light that caused everyone to look away.
When they opened their eyes the light had exploded into speed and disappeared through the view screen.
"What," Asked Ritsuko, "What just happened?"
Misato was getting up slowly from falling backwards, but then realized something was different.
She clasped at her chest and belly, and then said slowly, "It's gone…"
"A scar…it…it's gone…"
Ritsuko's eyes widened and Misato looked down to where she was looking.
The cross about her neck had changed from a polished silver to a lustrous gold.
"I don't believe it," Ritsuko said slowly as Misato stood and turned, "Commander?"
Gendo was holding his hands to his head, his glasses removed and folded out of sight.
Fuyutsuki turned up from looking at his pupil and asked, "What was that?"
"Whatever it was…" Ritsuko said, "It felt…."
"Benevolent," Finished Fuyutsuki.
"Like…" Maya put in, "Like a real Angel…"
"The commander said Saint," Fuyutsuki replied.
Ritsuko snapped a finger, "That's it."
"What? What's it?" Asked Misato.
Ritsuko spun with a smirk on her face, "Don't you get it? We were just visited by the Patron Saint of children…Saint Nicholas. Otherwise known as Santa Clause."
The light made a final appearance above the city, shining like a beacon star in the heavens.
Then it disappeared, leaving in it's wake an expanding haze of an aurora borealis.
When Shinji's eyes opened he found himself in the hospital.
He turned his head to see Misato standing beside the bed and smiling warmly at him.
"Hello Shinji." Smiled Misato, "How are you feeling?"
"…Well," he said and sat up to look at his hands, then clasped at his face, "I feel fine…"
"That's good." Misato said, then asked, "Do you remember anything?"
"The light….m-Mother!" Shouted Shinji, "Where is she?"
Misato blinked in confusion and said, "Well…we don't know that either."
"When we arrived to pick you up," Misato was saying, "There was a woman by the plug that had pulled you out. She waved us over and was there to see you into the ambulance, but she disappeared. The same with Asuka."
"You mean…she was there!" Shinji gasped, "Mother….But…but what was that thing that-"
"Easy, easy," Said Misato and placed a hand on his shoulder and smiled a weak, reassuring grin, "Ritsuko thinks it was Santa Clause."
"Santa? But, isn't he-"
"Apparently not Shinji." Said Misato, "Someone guessed it was some sort of manifestation of the spirit of giving…but whatever it is, it wasn't an Angel."
"Then…it didn't do any damage to the city…" Shinji said.
"Nope. It did the opposite…"
"You mean…it healed the city?"
"More or less." Said Misato, "It's mostly the children that have been receiving the benefits. I suppose you'll hear it sooner or later- Touji's sister is wide awake."
"She's been released from the hospital this morning- completely cured."
Shinji looked at the floor in silent shock, "Then….then…"
Misato squeezed his shoulder and Shinji turned his head to look into her eyes once more.
She smiled, and said, "Merry Christmas Shinji."
On Christmas day, the entire city of Tokyo-3 was seeing Snow for the first time ever.
People and children were laughing and at play as snowball fights started and snowmen were being made. One enterprising child even made a snow Eva.
Shinji Ikari was cleared from the hospital that morning and was crossing the street with Misato.
"Well, we're going to have to open your presents when we get home," Misato was saying.
"What about Asuka and Ayanami?" Asked Shinji.
"They're already at our place," Said Misato.
Shinji blinked in surprise, but followed Misato anyway.
When they arrived at the apartment, sure Shock greeted Shinji.
Asuka was laughing with…
Rei's face relaxed from laughing and gave a wave in Shinji's direction.
The boy blinked and Misato whispered to him, "Don't jinx it!"
"Hey! Ikari!" Shouted Asuka as she stood up, "You're finally out of the hospital!"
"Right," She said and crossed to him, "So, tell me,"
"…Yes?" Swallowed Shinji.
"Do you like Hikari or not?"
"….Huh?" Blurted Shinji.
Asuka smirked and pointed up.
Shinji saw, hanging from the ceiling, a branch of mistletoe.
Before he knew what was happening Asuka planted a huge kiss on his face.
In fact, it was so forceful he was even rammed to the wall.
"Shesh! Asuka!" Shouted Misato, "You'll suffocate him!"
Asuka released him and the youth caught his breath to recover, then ran to go brush her teeth.
Rei on the other hand was standing and asking, "Are you all right Shinji?"
"Yeah…uh…what got into her?" Asked Asuka and then noticed Rei was smiling, "What's wrong with you?"
"Me? Hehe…" She laughed, "I don't know…"
Shinji winced and asked, "Is this all that-"
But Asuka returned and called out, "Shinji, next time I kiss you please, please please, use mouthwash beforehand?"
"I didn't even know about that!" Shinji pointed at the Mistletoe and then shouted, "And what's wrong with you?"
Asuka smirked, "Call it good feeling. Anyhow, Misato-San! Is breakfast ready?"
"Assuming I don't kill it- two minutes! But Shinji's going to be cooking for Christmas dinner!"
"Figures." Replied Shinji, but was stopped by Rei's hand.
"Merry Christmas." She said and leaned forward.
Shinji didn't think Christmas would be this good….
"Hey!" Asuka shouted, but lessened into grumbling.
Rei finished with a hug and a giggle before leaving Shinji absolutely confused.
"Dear God," He said, "have I died and gone to heaven?"
"No," Said Misato, "But, I'm hoping we have another visit from a Saint, you're all in such great spirits!"
"No kidding." Said Shinji and approached the kitchen while Asuka and Rei were watching the TV, "Especially them."
"Let's just hope it lasts." Replied Misato, "By the way, I invited the others for-"
The doorbell rang.
"I'll get it…" Shinji said and headed for the door.
At the door already was Hikari.
"HI Shinji." She said.
"…Er…" Blushed Shinji, "Hello…"
"Can I come in?"
Not four steps in the doorway, Hikari noticed the mistletoe, grinned, and turned around to kiss Shinji.
Asuka noticed and called up, "Hey!"
When Hikari let go of Shinji he blushed, "Er…"
She was still holding him in a hug, "Are you okay?"
Asuka walked over, pulled the mistletoe off it's mount and said, "Take a seat all ready!"
"All right…" Hikari said and blushed some more, giving Shinji a small wave as she walked for the table.
Shinji waved back but was stopped by Asuka giving him a hug.
"Come over here," she said and pulled him over to the TV. As Shinji took a seat he spied some of the presents In the corner.
One of them had his name on it…but..
"What's this?" He asked and looked at the present, "From…From my father!?"
Rei blushed a little, "He wanted me to give it to you Shinji…he says Merry Christmas."
Shinji was staring to grin and the doorbell rang again. "Well, here they are…"
She approached the door and opened it to find someone she wasn't expecting.
"Hi." He replied, "I thought I'd stop by…I didn't know it snowed in Tokyo-3."
"We've had a visit from…er…" Misato said and winced, then went on, "Anyway, who said you were invited?"
"A dove that gave me this," Said Kaji and handled the branch of Mistletoe.
"Ugghhh…" Muttered Misato, "How much of that stuff is going around?"
"You'd be surprised. C'mere."
The two exchanged a passionate kiss just as Kensuke and Touji were ascending the stairs. Touji was laughing in joy that his sister was alive, but paused short when he saw the two lovebirds in the door.
"This doesn't look good," Said Touji, "I just hope Hikari didn't show up yet…maybe I can borrow that mistletoe."
"After you're done can I use some?" Asked Kensuke.
The four greeted one another at the door and then walked into the apartment.
Shinji was seated on the ground with Asuka beside him with a Santa hat on. Hikari was on the floor on Shinji's other side while Rei sat cross-legged on the ground and scratching Pen-Pen's head.
They were all ignoring the presents under the tree for the moment to listen to the TV.
"We turned to Philosopher and artisan Michael Ptak to comment on this unusual phenomena. What do you have to say for this Mr. Ptak?"
"Well," Said the blond author as he stroked the hairs on his chin and replied, "In all sense of the word, we were visited by the real Santa Clause. I know many parents out there might not think he exists, but I'm convinced that this was the real Saint Nicholas that visited us. At least, in any event, it was the real spirit of giving and generosity.
"Almost everyone who was affected by it's passing say they were in the presence of a high benevolence…not unlike those spoken of in the Bible. Remarkably enough many of them thought they were…well, protected. They felt relaxed and at peace, which doesn't happen often in Tokyo-3.
"As an added bonus it looks like NERV doesn't have much complaining. Sure the Evangelions were deployed, but there's been no harm to the city or the pilots so I'm told. I've even heard that there's been some other miraculous things happening there- a critically injured young girl was healed by it's passing.
"I suppose this doesn't come as a surprise. After all, the Real Saint Nicholas is the Patron saint of Children- they say he even raised three children from the dead when he was alive. Of course most people don't know that- they usually tie Saint Nicholas with 'Santa Clause', and the whole materialistic mess. But in reality Saint Nicholas was one of the greatest Saints that ever lived."
"So do you think more of these…visitors will show up?"
"I'm not quite sure," Said the Philosopher, "One's never shown up before since the attacks of those creatures. Maybe St. Nicholas came to remind us all about the real spirit of giving and care…other than the materialistic holiday it's become to some people."
"Well that's enough time we have for today, do you have any thoughts before we close?"
"Yes. For one, I'd like to say my thanks and prayers out for whatever that thing was that came by Tokyo-3. I'd also like to extend a thanks to the many people of Japan who didn't go to war about this.
"Finally I'd like to give my thanks and blessings out to the pilots of NERV. I know some people consider them more monster than human, but I suppose St. Nicholas' visit gave us a new perspective on the whole thing. For them I wish them a very, very merry Christmas, and hopefully a happy New Year."
Disclaimer: Evangelion is a work created by Gainax Studios