Book 1: Leaving
Chapter 1: First Steps"Leave me alone"
His snarled lips weren't the only of thing out of place on this once emotionless face. His eyes were no longer a deep warm, yet calm blue, but had now returned to a cold and hard, dark blue. They spoke of pain and hurt. Then they were gone. His hair covered his eyes as he stared at the floor, clenching and unclenching his fists. This was no longer the boy everyone had known as Shinji Ikari; this was a beast fueled by his hatred and anger.
"Shinji, what's wrong….Shinji….Shinji"
Misato hoped that she would be able to reach him, but it might just push him over the edge. He had been fine earlier at Nerv. This was her job, her responsibility. She was in charge of the well-being of the pilots. It hadn't been but a few hours since she had last seen him. Only one person could have done something like this.
A quick scan of the apartment turned up nothing. Either Asuka had retreated to her room or else she wasn't even home. That would mean that either she feared punishment or she had nothing to do with it. Misato knew she would have to wait till later to worry about that, but now she had to find out what was wrong with Shinji. She had never seen him like that, so full of emotion. She admitted she wanted him to be more open, but this Shinji was similar to Unit 01 when it went berserk.
'I have to try to help, if not for Shinji then for….everyone that depended on him to save them from the Angels…No, for my self'
She had to say something to him, yet the word wouldn't come. .
'What could I say? What should I say?'
Every subject she thought of could be considered dangerous ground. Her position allowed her a way out, but it even sounded like a lie to her. This was Shinji that she was talking about. Sure at first it had been about her duty as a Nerv officer, but now that had changed. Then he was just a pilot, someone who could accomplish her wish for the destruction of Angels. He was her roommate, her charge, and more importantly, a part of her makeshift family and her friend. She didn't want to lie to him; there were already too many lies in Nerv blending in with the truth. Yet, the truth may hurt them both. Misato didn't want to become another source of pain for Shinji. Pain seemed to surround Eva, yet it seemed to follow Shinji. It was something Shinji seemed to coexist with as one. The one thing that people recognized him for caused him pain that they never knew of, but he still piloted. The person who abandoned him and seemed to be the source of this pain had control over his life and others around him.
Her arm straightened as she reached to him only for him to he raise his head look into her eyes. As their eyes met, something stirred inside Misato, and she froze.
'His eyes, so much pain. I don't know what to do. Oh Shinji, I'm so sorry'
Inside of Misato, those stirrings became a screams.
'Make love to him'
'Do what ever. Ease his pain. Let him know you care'
As if in a dream before she knew it, she was reaching out towards Shinji. As her hand reached his shoulder, suddenly her phone rang. Misato continued to stare at Shinji, she was afraid that when she blinked he would be gone. As the phone rang again, she answered it never allowing her eyes to leave him.
"I'll be there"
Short and sweet, that exactly how Misato liked her conversation. She never really liked to beat around the bush.
"Shinji, I have to report back to Nerv, will you be ok."
The look of concern on Misato's face wasn't lost on Shinji, yet it only angered him more. He was still being a burden
"I'm fine, Misato. Sorry about earlier."
'I'm sorry for everything Misato'
"No prob. Look Shinji, if you ever need someone to talk to or just get something off you chest, I'm available."
'Please open up to me Shinji. I don't want to left in the dark like at Nerv.'
"Don't worry Misato, I'm just a little tired, that's all."
'Misato shouldn't have to worry about me. She has a job to do and she should been unfocused because of me.'
"Sure, that's what I thought as well"
'You're a terrible liar, Shinji. Why won't you tell the truth? Always there for others, yet never allowing others to be there for you.'
Misato hugged Shinji tightly and before turning and walking out the door. Once outside the door, Misato made her way to the elevator and quickly ran in. She pushed the ground level button and waited for the doors to close.
As the doors closed, tears began to flow down her checks. She shut her eyes refusing to let anymore of her pain to be shown. She had become stronger, she didn't need to cry. Not at a time like this.
'How long had it been since I had shed tears for another person?'
She pulled a tissue from her purse and began to dab her eyes hoping that they would no longer be red when she reached Nerv
'How long would it be before I do it again?'
The tightness in her chest as she remember his eyes told her that it wouldn't long.
Shinji had watched Misato leave. He could tell that she didn't believe what he had said.
'I should have told her especially after I almost chewed her head off after she only tried to help'
The time had finally arrived
"I never thought that I'd be able to actually do this. I've tried before, but I couldn't complete it. Now I have no choice."
It hurt, but this was what he had to do. Misato, Asuka, Rei, Touji, Hikari, Kensuke, and even Pen-pen, he would miss them the most. Friends and family, they were something he had experienced in a long time.
"This is what best for everyone"
He continued to pack his clothing into his backpack Clothing, his SDAT player, and pictures of those he cared for. He had everything he needed.
'Do you truly have everything you needed?'
It was the same voice that constantly told him, that he was worthless, that he was a failure. It reminded him of his father abandoning him, of his life before coming to Tokyo-3; it reminded him of his loneliness.
'Do you truly have everything you needed?'
'What you need will still be here when you leave'
'How long it will be here is a something that may depend on you'
"What do you mean?"
'With you gone, what if they can't defeat the Angels and they destroy everything. It would be you fault'
"How would it be my fault? Aside from that they won't lose, Nerv still has Asuka and Rei."
'The fault lies in abandoning one's teammates, which can be similar to abandoning ones child.
"Shut up, I'm nothing like him"
'So you say, Shinji. So you say.
"There's nothing about me that is similar to that bastard. I'm sick of your lies. This is what everyone wants"
'Is it what everyone wants or just what you want?'
"This is what they want. One less burden for Misato. One less irritation for Asuka. Father doesn't need me, Rei can pilot Unit 01. Touji's sister is in the hospital because of me, how many more people will I injure or worse yet, kill before they get that I wasn't meant to pilot an Eva.
'There are many truths yet people can only see from their own perspective.'
"Truth or no truth, this has to be done. The pain that I cause will no longer affect them"
'Running away is still running away, even if you create a reason.'
"Running away is far better than hurting those around you or being left instead"
'I guess Asuka was right, you are a coward'
'Touched a nerve, huh'
"Why do you torment me?'
'Because you want me to.'
"Because I want you to"
"So I cause myself pain as well. I really must be an idiot."
"No, you are just human. But that also means that you can change.'
'Yeah, when you return maybe you'll see things in a whole new light'
"What do you mean when I return?"
'Come on, Shinji. We both know that you are planning to return eventually. Otherwise you wouldn't be packing you Nerv Id and your cell phone.'
"Yeah, this is really the only place I can call home. Well I'm finished packing and its time"
Shinji zipped his backpack and shut his door as he walked into the living room. As he walked out the door, he turned and took a final look at the place he once called home.
And with that he began to his journey.
He was no longer a slayer of Angels.
He was no longer an Eva pilot.
He was not as a member of Nerv
He was not a hero
He was not a coward
He was not an idiot.
He was just Shinji.Author's Note:
I'm back from hiding with a brand new fic. You're probably wondering what happened to cause Shinji to leave. Probably wondering where Asuka is. Well hopefully some of that will be explained in the chapters to come. Leaving is part 1 of a 3 part series for now. I'm also finishing up with chapter 4 of More Than Meet the Eye.
Leaving 2-3 chapters
Wandering 2-3 chapters
Returning 2-3 chapters
(These are subject to change)
1st draft 7/11/04 No pre-reader were used or harmed in the making of this fic