Empty Skies of Darkness
Disclaimers: I do not own Evangelion or Silent Hill, that honour goes (respectively) to Studio Gainax animation and Konami Entertainment. Should either company, or any of their affiliates, request it, this story will be removed from the web. Thank you.
Author's Notes: This is a crossover of Neon Genesis Evangelion and Silent Hill. This ignores both the series ending and End of Evnagelion.
Co-written with Random 1377.Prologue – The Letter
Misato Katsuragi drove back towards her apartment in silence, the dull 'thump thump' of her Alpine's wiper blades the only sound within the small passenger space of the vehicle. The rain beat down on her windshield relentlessly, the dark, leaden clouds reflecting her thoughts as if by design and offering themselves to the idea that the entire world was against her.
It had been two weeks since the death of Kaworu Nagisa. The Fifth Child… Shinji's best friend… the seventeenth angel… Tabris. Shinji had taken the boy's death hard, and Misato readily admitted that her discussion with the forlorn Third Child was a bit on the cold side, but she would never in a million years have dreamed that he would vanish the way he had, disappearing without a trace from the very hillside Misato had left him upon.
Her latest update from Section Two – less than an hour prior – had contained the same results: no word from Shinji, no one fitting his description in any port or nearby city, no bodies with his characteristics in any of the morgues… no clues as to his current location.
Misato arrived at her building and rushed inside, doing her best to stay dry in the driving rain as she made her way towards her apartment. Reaching into her pocket for her keys, she sighed…who would have thought things could have come out the way they had?
Ryoji's dead… she thought, slipping the key into the lock, I haven't been allowed to see Ritsuko since the last angel… Asuka's still in a coma…and Shinji…I don't even know where the hell he could be! People don't just VANISH – not with the kind of security HE has on him!! She shook her head. Section Two has assured her that they were doing all that that they could to find Shinji, and with her other duties and paperwork, it wasn't as if she could just drop everything and tackle it single-handedly.
She unlocked the door of her apartment and entered, catching herself before the words 'I'm home' could form on her lips. Never had she known it to feel so…empty. Misato Katsuragi felt more alone in that moment than she ever had in her life.
Quickly wiping her eyes (and telling herself that it was just rain dampening them) she picked up her mail and walked into the kitchen, putting the small stack of envelopes on the table as she headed for the fridge. With an almost guilty air, she reached in and extracted a six pack of beer, glancing over her shoulder and imagining that she could hear Asuka jeering 'I thought you quit! You're just a big lush!'
With shaking hands, she set the beer on the table and pulled one off the ring. Asuka, she thought tiredly, Even before the 15th Angel, she saw Shinji as a threat to her position. He was the only one who ever beat an Angel without assistance, and even though she trained for years, he was still better than her near the end. She popped the top on the beer, but did not drink, finding it easier to focus on all that had come before – as painful as it was – than all that was currently happening. And after me and Kaji renewed our relationship well… she sighed and took a small sip, a slight grimace lighting her features as the coarse alcohol burned her throat. A lot of how Asuka acted towards her from that point on was born out of jealousy, she was sure. What the fifteenth angel did to her did not help her state of mind at all, but…
Misato bit her lip, the beer in her hand momentarily forgotten. She had also visited Asuka a couple of hours before, finding (unsurprisingly) that the young German girl was still in a coma. Misato began to wonder if the girl would ever wake up, lifting the beer to her lips and quickly downing it before she could think about all the reasons she had quit. She did not care what Asuka's attitude was going to be – whether it was more ranting about how her life sucked, or some remark along the lines of 'I'm not your daughter and you're not my mother,' or even if the redhead called her a drunken whore… as long she would just wake up and come home so Misato did not have to be alone anymore.
She slapped her forehead and found her thoughts trailing back to Shinji once again. I was never there… she berated herself harshly, popping the top of the second beer with so much force that a small amount of the amber liquid splashed onto her hand. I did exactly what papa did to me and mom, even when I knew Shinji needed me the most. God, what must he have thought when he looked at Rei?? And who knows how lonely he must have been… and how desperate he was and…
Misato let the thought trail off, trying to obliterate it with another beer… but it was no use. She found herself wondering if she had ever really been there for Shinji when he needed her, and knowing that if she had, Kaworu would never have stuck his claws into Shinji and weaselled his way into Shinji's life. After Shinji had killed Kaworu, Misato had started wondering if the angel had genuinely cared. Looking back her words were worse than unhelpful…
Perhaps I should have told him that I was sorry that I was never there for him, and perhaps I should have told him that…I cared about him. Misato sighed, Shinji's 'hedgehog's dilemma' made him rather hard to reach – but then again, wasn't she the same way? She had certainly felt pain when she got close to him, but still… wasn't it a good pain? At least…in some ways? I wish I'd tried harder to reach him, she lamented sadly. Was I EVER close to him? God, I used to think I was doing ok, but now…? Misato shook her head, looking back at what she had said to Shinji after Kaworu's death. He was right, she thought sadly, that was cold…
It should have been clear to her after the sixteenth angel, and Rei's apparent death, that she was not as close to the boy as she would have liked, but did she do anything about it? No, she decided, no she did not. I wonder if he was more afraid of hurting ME, she thought hopefully, opening the third can and feeling a slight warming in her stomach as the drinks began to have their desired effect. Maybe if I pushed a little more he would have opened up to me that night, so why didn't I? Was I the one that was running that night?
Misato sighed and wondered if she would ever have the opportunity to reach him again.
She scowled as she thought of her supervisor, the supreme commander of NERV – a certain Gendou Ikari. The bastard abandoned his own son when he was 4, she thought, glad to have something else to be mad at besides herself, and he was so full of excuses and half truths that Shinji never had a chance to even get CLOSE to finding out why he was left alone. All he ever wanted was for his father to look at him – just once – and acknowledge his existence…that was the least he could do… Misato bowed her head in shame, for while she could not understand his reasoning for it, she knew that in many ways, she was no better. When Shinji needed it the most, no one was there to tell him it was alright, not his father, not Asuka, not even she herself said 'it's ok, Shinji – you did what you had to do. I understand.'
All she could come up with was, 'He didn't deserve to live.'
At least he knew where he stood with the Commander, Misato thought darkly, he said up front, 'I want you to pilot.' He never offered more, or expected more. She took a long, slow pull off of the third beer. And God forgive me, neither did I…
Bringing her thoughts back to Kaworu, Misato wondered suddenly if he had actually been able to reach Shinji. He had told the Third Child that he loved him… but was he sincere, or was he just telling Shinji what he wanted to hear?
She ran a hand through her long dark hair, her face showing her worry as she picked up her mail. Shinji please tell me where you are… she thought tiredly, I promise that we'll work this out just if you just come home, please I… she let her thought trail off as she went through her mail, trying her best to lose herself in the mundane act. She found that she was already approved for a low-interest rate credit card, a low-interest rate car loan, and a super low-interest rate on refinancing her home.
Why do I even bother? She thought disgustedly, shuffling through the envelopes. "If it's not someone asking for money, it's someone trying to give me money," she muttered, frowning as she spotted a handwritten address amongst the stack of junk mail, "at a low introductory interest rate of course." She smiled to herself at her weak joke, glancing at the return address. "Silent Hill," she read, glancing at the postmark as she turned the envelope over and began tearing it open, "Silent Hill USA, huh? Who would be writing me from-"
Her throat locked up and she sat down hard as she scanned the first few lines, her heart clenching in her chest as a million emotions threatened to overwhelm her. She set the envelope down, but kept her hand on it as if she was afraid it might disappear as she reached out and picked up her third beer, emptying it with one gulp.
"N-now then," she whispered, struggling to control herself as she brought the letter up to her face and read it very, very closely, not wanting to miss a single word.
I want to start this letter by saying I'm not mad anymore – I think you should know that. I've had a lot of time to think about everything you said to me about Kaworu, and I think I have to admit that you're at least partially right. I know now that I had no choice in killing him, because he WAS an angel, and Kaji told me about what would happen if an angel touched Adam, but… but even with all of that, it's the hardest thing I've had to do.
He told me he loved me, Misato.
Did you know that no one has ever told me that they love me before? Until I met Kaworu no one had ever said those words to me…ever.
When you talked about him like he was just another angel, I knew I couldn't stay with you anymore. Yes, he was an angel… but he was still a good person, Misato. You would have known that if you had ever talked to him, but you never made any effort to get to know him. He was actually there for me when you weren't, and you passed judgement on him based on your own ignorance.
I never knew what you wanted from me, Misato. I thought, for a while, that you wanted to be my friend – but you don't ignore your friends when they need you, do you? You haven't spoken more than two words to me in the last month – did you even notice that? I have always cared about you, Misato… but I just couldn't stand the silence any more, can you understand that?
My meetings with father were always tense and I never understood what I ever did to deserve his treatment, but I knew that that was the way he was, so I just accepted it… but that's no excuse for what I did to you. I should have been there for you when I learned that Kaji died, and I'm sorry, it's just that I didn't know what to do… so I just stood there, saying nothing… watching you cry.
I guess… I don't know what I want to say to you anymore, Misato – I've forgotten why I started this letter… so I'm just going to stop now by saying: I'm sorry, Misato, for not being there for you when you needed me most… for running away… for anything that I've ever done to hurt you, I'm sorry.
Misato gaped as she finished reading the letter. Shinji? She thought dizzily, America… Silent Hill… how…?
She sat back in her chair, clutching the letter tightly in her hands as if it was the most valuable thing in the world – and at that moment, it was. "S-sorry," she managed, blinking as two tears pattered onto the paper, "y-your sorry…"
Quickly wiping at her eyes, caught between the most intense sensation of guilt she had ever felt and the near-euphoric high of finally having a clue about the whereabouts of the person she had done the most harm to, Misato snatched up the phone and dialled NERV central.
"Y-yes, Kotoko?" she said quickly, "It's Misato Katsuragi… yes, I was wondering if you could tell me…" she glanced at the envelope, her eyes tracing the return address with a fervently hopeful light, "I was wondering if you could tell me how much vacation time I have left…"