Disclaimer: Neon Genesis Evangelion is the property of Gainax. US distribution of NGE is the sole right of ADV. I am but a poor fanfiction writer seeking to bring a few moments of joy to the lives of fellow fanfiction readers.

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Evangelion: Any place can be Heaven, if you let it (This is a sequel to Random1377's Crimson and Azure)

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Description: This story is a sequel to Random1377's story, Crimson and Azure. It originally started out as an epilogue to his story, but soon took on a life of its own. This story was written with the approval of Random1377 and is being posted on the web with his blessing. If you have not read Crimson and Azure, I strongly suggest that you do so first. This story begins after Third Impact and follows the lives of Shinji, Rei, Asuka and Misato in the years that follow. The title of this story was taken from C&A, and was something Asuka's mother said to her before ascending to Heaven. Here it serves as the central theme of this story. This story does not try to tell of one particular event, but rather is a character driven story that looks at instances in time and the developing relationships between the main characters. I hope you enjoy it.

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Acknowledgements: I'd like to offer a VERY BIG THANK YOU to Random1377 for giving me permission to continue where you left off on Crimson and Azure, and for allowing me to use excerpts from Crimson and Azure in my prologue. I hope I managed to maintain the spirit and sense of his original story and expand upon it. I'd also like to extend thanks to those who followed this story while I was posting it on . I'd especially like to thank those who emailed me and replied to my postings with suggestions and creative comments. I believe the final product of this work has been made better by your comments and suggestions. Thank you all. I'd like to thank Tex James for proofreading my story. Thank you for offering suggestions and ideas that helped make this story better than it otherwise may have been, Tex. You were a great help. If you want to read some fine fanfics, check out his site at

In addition, I'd like to extend a very special thank you to my new pre-reader, Janice, who has worked tirelessly at re-editing all of my works. Thank you Janice for all your help and hard work. You're the best.

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Prologue

Excerpts from Crimson and Azure (by Random1377 and added here with his approval)

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With a savage, and far less muted growl, Unit 02 tore free of Lillith's now disintegrating body, its four eyes glowing with green fire as it once more sounded its mournful cry. It pulled its way free of confinement, stumbling slightly on the irregular surface of the angel's face for a moment before leaning forward and collapsing. As it fell towards the earth, its power reserves spent, the back panel ejected, releasing its precious cargo.

In a place far removed, yet less than a breath away, Shinji, Asuka, Misato, Rei, and Kyoko floated, no longer bound to the illusion of Terminal Dogma and Tokyo-3 that was Gendo's province.

"Well done," Kyoko said tiredly, her image fading ever more, "well done… my Asuka. Now go," she smiled, caressing the girl's face gently, "go live…"

"What about you?" Asuka asked hesitantly, holding the hand against her face, "What's going to happen to-"

"Shhh," Kyoko whispered, averting her eyes, "Go now, Asuka."

The redhead's face crumpled. "But… but – that's not fair!" she managed, scrubbing angrily at her eyes, "Shinji and Rei get to come back – and they were dead! Why can't you, too?"

Kyoko smiled gently. "What's all this crying business?" she said softly, "Where's my strong little Asu-"

"I'm tired of being strong!" Asuka shouted, her voice cracking, "Everyone else is happy! Everyone else has someone to love them – but not me! I have to be all alo-"

"Look around you," Kyoko interrupted, her tone indicating that it was not a request.

Asuka did as she was told, frowning as she looked at the three others, ……… looking slowly from face to face and trying to see anything she hadn't seen the first time. It was in Shinji's eyes that she spotted it first, but it was present in the other two as well, to a lesser degree. "What's this existential crap?" she breathed, blushing slightly and lowering her eyes as Shinji smiled at her, "You're going to try and tell me they ALL love me??"

"I'm not telling you anything," Kyoko grinned, "I'm just saying maybe you should look at the people around you – that's all." Her voice grew softer, and her image seemed to fade a bit more. "I will tell you that I love you, and I wish I could be there to say it every day." Her words became mere whispers as she sighed, ethereal tears finally slipping down her cheeks as she looked at Rei and Shinji, locked in a tight embrace and whispering words of love and comfort to one another.

She inclined her head slightly towards them, closing her eyes and whispering, "Any place can be Heaven, if you let it."

Asuka closed her eyes as the world around her began to fade away, Instrumentality's power finally breaking. Slowly, she opened them once more, ignoring the others and focusing on her mother one last time, whispering the words she held onto for so long… before it was too late.

"I love you too, Mama."

Unit 02 continued its unceremonious plummet to the ground, crashing into the ocean of LCL left behind by the rapidly decaying body of Lillith and sinking to the bottom with barely a ripple to mark its passing. Its eyes, once glowing with fire and power, were black… the soul that once resided within having chosen to ascend to the heavens.

On the banks of the ocean sat four individuals, blinking as they found themselves suddenly free of the merging of souls. "Is it over?" Shinji asked uncertainly, looking away as the remaining white EVAs crashed lifelessly into the LCL, "I mean… really over?"

"Looks like it…" Misato managed.

, ……… "So what now?" Shinji asked the redhead cautiously, still holding Rei as if he expected her to vanish any moment, "Since the EVAs are gone, are you going to leave?"

"Please do not," Rei added quietly, gently freeing herself from Shinji's embrace so she could fully face the Second Child, "we… I would like you to stay."

Asuka pondered this for a moment, looking up at the gigantic, broken form of the second angel as the others waited for her reply. "Don't really have any other place to go," she shrugged finally, "don't really want to go back to Germany – I don't even know if my father survived, and we haven't been too close lately, so I don't think I'd want to go there anyway… so I guess I'll hang around." Slowly, she rose to her feet, offering Shinji her hand and smiling softly. "Besides," she said mischievously, "I have to make sure I'm there when Wondergirl messes up and loses you."

"You will have a long time to wait," Rei whispered softly, blushing in spite of herself as her boyfriend was helped up, "I will not lose what I have so recently found." She blinked as Asuka leaned forward, offering her a hand as well.

"Better be sure," the redhead murmured seriously, "because I'll be around. And even if I'm married, have five kids, and live in the suburbs, I'll always hold a place for him."

"Five kids?" Misato asked skeptically, "I thought you hated kids."

Asuka stuck her tongue out. "Ever hear of a hypothetical?" she grumbled, practically yanking Rei to her feet, "You know what I mean… tramp."

"What did you say?" the purple-haired woman asked dangerously.

"I said, 'Damn,'" Asuka said immediately, "like, 'Damn, it's getting kinda dark – let's find a place to stay."

Shinji laughed as Misato rolled her eyes, brushing herself off as she got to her feet.……… Together they began walking away from the beach that could have so easily been their final resting place.

Anyone watching them leave could have easily picked the four out of a crowd. There was a young man with brown hair, an older woman with purple hair, and two young women – one with hair of brilliant crimson, and the other with hair of deepest azure.

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(Our story begins)

Eight Days after Third Impact

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"This is Elizabeth Heatherfield, reporting for the BBC in London. Events are rather sketchy at the moment, but it does appear that a worldwide cataclysmic event took place eight days ago. Reports are still coming in, but it appears at this point that nearly a third of the world's population has ceased to exist. No one knows for certain, or at least no one in authority is saying, what the source of this global catastrophe was, but speculation seems to center around Tokyo3. While the world struggles to recover from this latest calamity, scientists and politicians alike are calling it: Third Impact."

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Ten Days after Third Impact

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"This is Warren Sutton, reporting for CNN outside the capital building in Washington DC. A joint session of congress has been in session now for four days, discussing what is being called a global conspiracy against humanity, though only a quarter of the senators and congresspersons are present. States have been sending newly elected or appointed representatives each day in order to ensure representation. As their numbers build, the burning question on everyone's mind is how could such a conspiracy take place, and what was the United States' involvement in that conspiracy? Many questions have been asked, but few answers have been found so far."

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Eleven Days after Third Impact

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"This is Akito Tenkawa, reporting for the JBC. We are broadcasting 100 kilometers inside the quarantined area, where the fortress city of Tokyo3 once stood. Just over this summit about 40 kilometers away are the ruins of that once great city. This reporter has confirmed reports that a steady flow of construction vehicles has been moving in and out of the city. What you are seeing now is a convoy of trucks, hauling a wide assortment of raw materials needed to rebuild a city. This convoy seems to have no end. We have been observing it now for over six hours, and still no end in sight. An equally steady flow of trucks has been leaving the city, but these as you can see are empty. Now what we are about to do is extremely dangerous. We are going to take our camera over the summit and give you a first hand look at the city that was once Tokyo3."

"This is the most amazing sight this reporter has ever witnessed. As you can plainly see, there in the center of what used to be Tokyo3 is a huge hole. And in that hole… yes, yes it appears to be a geofront, an actual geofront. So the rumors of a geofront existing under the city of Tokyo3 appear to be true. And if the rest of the rumors can be believed, in the heart of the geofront is NERV. The once secret organization whose job it was to preserve the planet from the invading monsters referred to as Angels."

"As you can see, the focus of the construction effort seems to be centered on sealing up the great chasm in the midst of the city. And… wait… wait; it appears that… yes, a UN attack aircraft is closing in on our position. We will remain on the air as long as we can. The public has a right to know what has been going on here. The craft has landed and several armed UN soldiers are now approaching us."

KSHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

TSH! TSH! TSH! TSH! TSH! TSH!

KSHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

TSH! TSH!

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Fourteen Days after Third Impact

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"This is Sydney Weathering, reporting for the BBC in New York City, just outside the General Assembly Chambers of the United Nations. The broadcast and sudden disappearance of reporter Akito Tenkawa has the world in an uproar. Civil unrest has been reported throughout the world, especially in the industrialized nations that most likely had a hand in the events that took place at Tokyo3; events that may very well have precipitated Third Impact. The General Assembly of the United Nations has been called to order to obtain the truth from these nations. A report is anticipated within the week. What exactly will be in this report has yet to be revealed."

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Seventeen Days after Third Impact

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"Hello, this is Akito Tenkawa! I am happy to report that the rumors of my demise were greatly exaggerated! I am currently on a UN military transport being driven through the once devastated city of Tokyo3! As you can see, much of the city has already been rebuilt! It has taken an amazing, monumental human effort to rebuild this city in such a short time! But there is still much work that needs to be done!"

"We are now coming up to the chasm we showed just six days ago!"

"At that time, it was at least 40 kilometers across. Now look at it. I would estimate it is no more than 15 to 18 kilometers. And for the first time ever, the media has been given permission to show what is down below this great city. As you can see, it is a geofront, and at the bottom, yet another city. To people who have lived and worked in this city for years, this is nothing new, but everyone who has ever lived within the Tokyo3 district has had to sign a non-disclosure pact, ensuring the secrecy of this place to the rest of the world. Now for the first time, the existence of the hidden headquarters of NERV is being shown to the world. What purpose does the United Nations have in mind for this hidden complex and the organization that once called this its home? Only time will tell. This is Akito Tenkawa, reporting for the JBC in the heart of Tokyo3."

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Twenty-two Days after Third Impact

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"This is Warren Sutton, reporting from the White House. The release of the UN report on the events leading up to Third Impact has had an immediate effect on this administration. The report clearly states that the United States government was one of five nations involved in the attack on Tokyo3. An attack that cost the lives of over 700,000 civilians, not to mention another 50,000 UN, JSSDF, and NERV military personnel. While neither President Longstreet nor Vice-President Channily have returned since Third Impact, former Speaker of the House, now President, Vincent Hoffman is expected to address both houses of congress later today to announce his resignation. Though his name was in no way mentioned in the UN report, this reporter has it from reliable authority that the President feels that it was his Party that was directly involved, and therefore as the head of his Party, he must accept responsibility for its most heinous actions."

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"This is Elizabeth Heatherfield, reporting from London. The release of the UN report has had a devastating impact on the already fragile world economy. Markets all over the world have plummeted. Reports of government leaders resigning over the report have come from the United State, China, and Germany. Calls for parliamentary elections are coming from London and Moscow. Reports that the Japanese Secretary of Defense, who was named prominently in the UN report, has committed suicide are as yet unconfirmed.

Other names and organizations prominently named in the UN report include NERV, Gendo Ikari, the overall commander of NERV who has yet to be found, and a secret organization called Seele."

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Twenty-three Days after Third Impact

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"This is Marco Colombo, reporting for the BBC from Vatican City, Rome. The Pope has just completed a speech to tens of thousands of loyal followers, condemning the UN report as blasphemy. The Pontiff pointed out such phrases as The Angel Wars, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Human Instrumentality, and Third Impact as being akin to heresy. And he condemned NERV, its commander Gendo Ikari, and the three young Eva pilots as instruments of Satan. In an unexpected turn of events, while most in Vatican Square were cheering every word the Pontiff spoke, when he condemned the three children, an uneasy murmur started within the crowd. The murmur grew into a chant of God save the Children, and eventually the Pope was booed unceremoniously. This was an event never witnessed by this reporter before, and if I may say, was well deserved. Believe what you will about man's war against these… these monsters; those three children were the saviors of this planet and deserve a debt of gratitude humanity will never be able to repay."

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"The previous opinions were those of Marco Colombo and do not reflect the opinions of the BBC or any of its affiliates."

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Four weeks after Third Impact

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"This is Akito Tenkawa, reporting for the JBC from within the geofront, in what used to be the command center of NERV. From here the battles against the Angels were waged. From up there, looking down like some type of demigod, sat Commander Gendo Ikari as he orchestrated both the defense and destruction of the world. Down here the Operations Director, Major Misato Katsuragi commanded the Evangelions in battle against the Angels. These seats here were where the operators sat that monitored both the EVAs' systems, as well as provided analysis on their targets. And while the reconstruction of Tokyo3 continues, this place has gone silent.

Accusations and counter-accusations over who was really at fault for the attack on this complex and for the deaths of nearly 50,000 UN and JSSDF troops is currently being debated in the chambers of the UN General Assembly. And the result of that debate can very well determine the future of this organization. An organization that once defended the world from annihilation now stands accused of acts against humanity so terrible, this reporter has difficulty putting them into words.

While charges have been levied at all levels within NERV, those most prominently mentioned include Sub-Commander Kouzou Fuyutsuki, Department Head of Project E. Doctor Ritsuko Akagi, Operations Director Major Misato Katsuragi, and Eva pilots Rei Ayanami, Asuka Langley Souryu, and the former commander's own son, Shinji Ikari. What will become of them and of this facility is now in the hands of the General Assembly. Only time will tell."