By Otaku D-Man
Refer Chapter the First. A Long Time Ago In A Galaxy Far, Far Away)
Author's Pre-Rant –
I need to take the time out here and now to express my gratitude to all those who read my debut work and posted something in the way of review (Good, Bad or indifferent. It was all very much appreciated.) Surprisingly, at least to me, people enjoyed it (Still coming to grips with this unexpected turn of events.). Thank you all for taking time out to peruse my incoherent ramblings. I should mention that the 'Happily Ever After' ending wasn't my original option. But I didn't want my debut work to be a 'Sad/Dark Fic'.
I found that the gap between thinking about writing and actually writing was considerable. The learning curve for fan fiction writing is steep (Near vertical in my opinion) and perilous to say the least.
Someone should have posted the warning sign that the first step is one hell of a drop.
But now that I've started down the path, I find myself strangely rejuvenated. Methinks an ambush lies ahead. (Inherent paranoia exacerbated by lack of caffeine in the blood.)
This won't be long and drawn out. Just a way of closing the book. Does Shinji make a choice? Of course not! Where's the fun in that? I'll leave that up to the individual reader.
Insight and Understanding
Chapter the Seventeenth – Understanding the Insight
"Mother" Shinji stared at the woman standing before him. He couldn't remember her face completely, but without a doubt, he knew this was Yui Ikari. His Mother.
Yui quickly embraced the young man and kissed his forehead. "It's good to see you Shinji. I'm sorry I wasn't there for you. That you had to suffer…." Unable to control herself, Yui tightened her hold on her son as she wept.
For the first time in his life that he could remember, Shinji did not flinch or cringe as he was held. "It doesn't matter. You're here now. That's all I ever wanted. To see you again." Afraid that she would disappear if he didn't hold her, Shinji timidly returned the hug.
"They need you Shinji. They're waiting for you." Yui whispered into his ear. "You have to go back."
"It hurts so much." He closed his eyes, hoping to stave off the unpleasant memories. " Father didn't want me. And without you there …."
Yui smiled at her son as she stepped back and grasped his hands in her own. "Sometimes life does hurt. But without the bad, how would you recognise the good." Squeezing his hands gently she tried to make him understand. "Listen to your own advice Shinji. Life can be what you make of it. Yes you'll suffer occasionally, you can't truly live and not experience pain. But there's so much waiting for you. And if there are those willing to stand at your side, to help you through the bad times, you'll never be alone." A soft glow slowly began surrounding her as she looked at her son, at the young man he had become. So many things she had missed. All the little things that most mothers took for granted.
"You can't come back can you?" Shinji started to lose his grip on his mothers hand's as she gradually became more insubstantial. "What about father?" Even now, after all the terrible things the man had done, he couldn't hate him completely.
"I'm bonded to Unit 01 in ways that I never conceived possible. Even now she calls me back. As for Gendou." Yui smiled as she considered just how compassionate her child was. "He's discovering that sometimes what you wish for and what you find waiting for you are two very different things.""
Lowering his gaze, Shinji struggled not to cry more than he already was. "So I'll never see you again?"
"Never is an awfully long time Shinji. And life is full of surprises. But even if we never see each other again, know that I love you. And that I'll always be thinking of you." Yui watched her hands slowly pass through Shinji's as her body began to dissolve.
"Maybe I can be happy. Thank you Mother. I'll miss you." Turning to face his mother once more, he blinked his tears away to ensure he farewelled his mother with a smile. An honest smile that encompassed his feelings for what she meant to him.
"Goodbye Shinji. I love you, I always will."
Shinji felt himself falling from a great height. But instead of fear, he felt a sense of completeness. He was going home.
Blinking at the morning light, he noticed something very wrong. "Why is everyone crying?"
The early morning streets of Tokyo-3 held a most unusual sight for the many people out and about. Although it was becoming more and more commonplace, many had passed idle moments discussing the recent events that had nearly decimated the city. Again.
"Perhaps you should not have done it Sohryu?" Rei quietly posed the half question, half statement to her companion.
Asuka snorted. "They've had it coming for a long time Ayanami. If anything, I think I let them off easy. Anyway you helped." Looking at the morning sky, Asuka smiled as she reviewed the revenge she had exacted the night before. "I think it might rain. What do you think Ayanami?". It was still early morning and the sun was just managing to make its presence known to the residents of Tokyo-3.
"Perhaps Sohryu." The measured response offered no idea to what the young woman actually thought.
Having become marginally accustomed to the enigma that was the First Children, Asuka watched how the morning light began filtering through the canopies of the trees. "I wonder who Shinji REALLY wanted to take to the dance?" The question had become more or less of a ritual for the two girls in the weeks that followed the end of the Angels.
"Me of course." The simple statement was the same as it had been the first time Asuka had asked it. It still annoyed her.
Asuka's response was the same as the first time this little game had started. "When he comes back, we'll see."
For the last month and a half, Shinji Ikari had been held in isolation, away from the world until the NERV scientists, led by Doctor Ritsuko Akagi, were absolutely sure he was clear of any potential contamination and associated complications. It wasn't every day someone became an Angel and regardless of the death threats issued almost daily by a certain lavender haired Interim Commander, they had to be certain he wasn't capable of initiating Third Impact.
Tokyo-3 Municipal High School – Class Room
Sitting on the floor at the front of the empty class was a large wooden crate. The padlock locking it closed still contained the key, ensuring that it could be easily opened. The poorly written Kanji script on the piece of paper taped to it explained that it should only be opened once the entire class was present.
"Man I can't believe the Devil was able to get us like this." Completely naked, Touji Suzuhara tried lifting the lid on his 'prison' once again.
"Hey watch what you're doing." His fellow inmate, Kensuke Aida was equally naked and attempting to keep as much distance as he could from his long time friend. Although trapped together inside a crate did not offer much in the way of breathing room.
"Damn it. It won't budge. How did this happen? All I remember was getting a call from Misato-san saying she just had to see me." The sound of the beautiful woman's voice, the desperation he was sure he heard was more than enough for him. He had readily agreed to the clandestine, late night rendezvous.
Kensuke blinked. "Me too."
Both sighed as they realised that their own rampant teenage hormones had precipitated their falling for the not so elaborate ruse.
"If Hikari finds out about this, I'm a dead man." Slumping down, the young athlete considered just how he could explain his way out of this predicament.
Scratching his posterior, Kensuke posed the question that had been bothering him since he had regained consciousness. "I'm wondering just what happened to our clothes?"
Maya carefully made sure that no one was watching as she gently leaned over her sempai's shoulder to read the report just written on the Third Children's current condition. "Do you think he'll be okay Sempai?" She frowned slightly as her mentor and lover hastily turned the data screen off.
Ritsuko took Maya's hand and interlaced her fingers with hers. "He seemed a little apprehensive, but maybe that had something to do with the way Misato grabbed the poor boy. I swear that woman has no sense of common decency."
Maya chuckled as she recalled the poor boys frantic attempts to escape the Commanders rather intimate stranglehold. "She cares about him. Otherwise she wouldn't have been so desperate to see him home safe and sound."
"Desperate sounds about right. With Misato, sometimes even I don't know what to expect."
The sounds of strained bickering echoed throughout the apartment complex that housed the Evangelion Pilots and their Commanding Officer (and her Warm Water Penguin)
"Stop saying that Ayanami!"
"Truth bears repeating Sohryu."
"Misato-san! I'm okay. I promise." Both girls looked at each other in surprise at the panic stricken voice from inside their home.
They knew that voice. "Shinji!?"
Asuka and Rei raced inside to confirm his presence.
"What's going on here?" The twitch of Asuka's eyebrow indicated her feelings of the intimate display being enacted by the apartments current occupants.
Shinji gulped as he glanced from Asuka to Rei, he wasn't sure but he could swear he felt an almost oppressive field of energy begin to build around Rei as the young woman glared at both him and the interim Commander of NERV.
"Oh! You two back already?" The disappointment in Misato's voice was almost palpable. It was obvious that she was extremely concerned about the young man's physical well being. Considering she was straddled across Shinji's waist who was lying on the floor looking for all the world like an assault victim poster boy with his shirt half open and hands pinned to the floor.
"Guten Morgen Asuka, Good Morning Rei. Uhhm Misato-san, could you let me up now?" The plea was more so he would have a sporting chance if Asuka decided to blame him for the situation.
"Oh, I suppose so." Misato pouted as she slowly removed herself from the now crimson young man.
"When were you released? / Why wasn't I told?" Both Rei and Asuka practically demanded.
"Ritsu-chan called early this morning to say Shin-chan was eligible for parole. You two had your hearts set on grocery shopping, so I went and picked him up." Misato rested her chin on Shinji's shoulder as she draped her arms around his chest. Further upsetting the two young women and causing Shinji to consider asking Ritsuko to re-admit him to the secure facility that had been his home for the last six weeks.
Gathering of the Council of Seven Eyes
Lorentz Keel observed his fellow members of SEELE squabble and argue as they all still struggled to come to terms with the recent events of only six weeks ago.
"What viable path is left to us now? Our agents were unable to find a single trace of either Adam or Lillith anywhere in Tokyo-3."
"Without the First and Second Messengers, Impact cannot occur. Our Red Earth Purification Ceremony is nothing more than a lost dream."
"Not quite." All members present regarded their presiding Chairman with a degree of scepticism. "As we speak, plans are already in place to retrieve the one true Lance."
"The Lance is useless without Lillith and Adam."
Lorentz smiled. "Restoration of Units 00, 01 and 02 are now complete. I'm sure I don't need to remind this committee that they are duplicates of the originals. And failing that we still have both the First and Third Children. If any of you had bothered to read the reports you would know that they are genetically acceptable."
Laughter resounded throughout the secure meeting room as they all began discussing the implementation of their renewed scenario.
In an apartment, a small family of unique individuals celebrated Christmas six weeks late.
All three woman exclaimed surprise as they opened the gift they each received. Cradled in each box was an immaculately hand stitched super deformed replica of Unit's 00 (for Rei), 01 (for Misato) and 02 (for Asuka) holding a small velvet case. In each case lay an exquisitely crafted necklace with a small heart shaped disc of gold with a precious stone adornment. It was obvious that he had gone to some length in preparing the plush toys and in selecting each piece of jewellery.
The colour of the stone was representative of each woman.
A dark lavender amethyst for Misato.
A sky blue sapphire for Rei.
A crimson ruby for Asuka.
Shinji helped them put the necklace on, admitting he wasn't sure whether they would like it or not. Misato made a special occasion of it by insisting Shinji wear her silver cross. While Rei and Asuka hinted that their present for him would have to wait, something that had the young man feeling vaguely concerned and unsettled.
The leftovers were wrapped and in the fridge and four human beings and one warm water penguin sat back to relax and reflect on things.
At least until Misato Katsuragi decided to have her way with a certain male Pilot.
"Misato, stop that. Wonder Girl get the mistletoe away from her."
"But it's fun. Here Rei, give it a go."
"Enjoyable…….. Please hold still Shinji"
"Ahhhhh!..... What do you think you're doing?....... Let him go!"
Warkk Waark (Warm Water Penguin Translation Service - And life goes on.)
Authors Post-Rant –
It was a long and bumpy ride. Hopefully everyone stayed until the end. I can't really blame anyone for abandoning this if they decided to head elsewhere.
I have started work on my next opus (insert any synonym for trash). This is where my 'fan base' (Still coming to terms with that. Anyone that enjoyed my work needs therapy.) gets torn in half.
My next work will be a Shinji/Rei pairing set during the TV Series. Essentially some things will vary from Anno-san's Canon (Not enough to destroy his vision.). This doesn't mean Asuka is going to be an outright bitch ('Those' sort of S/R fics don't really appeal to me). As I stated way back when, I hope to portray any and all cast members In-Character. Asuka will still have all of her emotional baggage to deal with. As will Shinji and Rei. Ain't life grand?
To appease the Asuka fans, I am also working on a Shinji/Asuka pairing but I'm only capable of devoting myself with any level of commitment to one fic at a time. How some people manage multiple stories at once mystifies me. I applaud those that can.
If you've enjoyed 'Insight and Understanding' I hope you'll at least give my new work a chance. If not, thanks for your time anyway. Also I have converted the series into PDF format (with some pictures too!) and fixed (hopefully) some of the glaring spelling typos and other things. For anyone that's interested. Just drop me an email at -
BTW – To clear some things up. I purchased the Girlfriend of Steel (Tenku no Girlfriend / Iron Maiden) a few years back when I was in Japan. The game is now packaged as a single DVD-ROM with Renewal of Evangelion (I am so tempted to use her in my work. Essentially Gainax created a terrible thing in Miss Kirashima. She's almost too perfect.). My next trip is coming up soon and I intend to get GfoS 2. I saw the screen shots in Newtype (J Edition) and at Gainax's website. It seems to be AU (Alternate Universe) as Kaworu is in it. Wait till you see the classic shot where Asuka and Rei glare at each other with Shinji trapped in the middle. The other Evangelion games I have are the card games (Solitaire, Hanafuda and Sevens) and Ayanami Rei Ikusei Keikaku (Project Raise Ayanami Trainer sim) – a must for any Rei Otaku. (It's just been re-vamped for XP)