One Night Stand: 3 – Conclusion
Disclaimer: I do not own Evangelion or any of the characters they are the property of their respective creators. Please be aware that no profit is being made from this work of fan fiction.
When I finally arrived at Nerv I found Section-2 agents already waiting for me. It seemed that following the events surrounding the 14th angel, my father no longer fully trusted me to be left unaccompanied. I was escorted directly to my locker room and left to change and then once I was ready I was escorted from there to the Eva cages and Unit-01. Despite the fact it was presently under lock down, I was to be inserted into the entry plug in case complications occurred and I was needed to battle the angel, the only way this could happen was by my father's direct order. Most likely, he would only ever report to sending me if both Asuka and Rei had been incapacitated.
I waited, surrounded by the ever present LCL as I listened to communications flit back and forth between the bridge crew and the two remaining Eva's. Asuka had been given the point position on protest, having complained when Rei was assigned the task. She was to use the positron rifle to engage the target as it remained in orbit, out of the reach of all our conventional weapons. It was the same one I had used against the 5th, that though causing memories of that battle to resurface in my mind, briefly reliving the searing pain as my flesh burned when it's laser attack melted the majority of Unit-01's chest plate and caused the LCL in the entry plug too boil…
I was barely paying attention to the flood of voices issuing back and forth, my thoughts had turned elsewhere, replaying the events of both last night and this morning…it was when alarms began to sound and the comm. was flooded by conflicting voices that I realised something had gone wrong. Yet, through the tangle of sounds and voices I heard only one.
"Shinji! Help me! Please! Shinji!"
She cried out for me, over and over, her constant pleading tearing at my heart. Despite the events of earlier this morning, I felt compelled to save her, to do something to take away her suffering. I knew then I still loved her, despite how she had used me. I knew my father would not allow it, I could see now what his plans were. He was going to get rid of Asuka, I wasn't sure how I knew, but I did, as soon as this battle was over she would be removed. I could not, would not allow it. I felt the will of the Eva surface all around me, at first it resisted, trying to reject my will. I exerted my will further, causing the first dissolution of our ego borders, understanding of what was happening flowing into me as I absorbed the part of the Eva's mind that contained my mother's memories. My mind, it's mind, now there was no difference as I re-entered and completed the process that began when I was absorbed during my fight with the 14th angel. My human senses faded completely as my body joined with the Eva and we were born anew, just as my body ceased to be the last thing my human ears heard was a communication from the bridge crew.
"Synch ratio 400…"
When we arrived at Nerv, Misato was informed that Shinji was already here and currently in the process of being transported to his Eva. There was no hope of speaking with him before the battle now, I would have to wait until I was inside my Eva and try and contact him briefly then. I ran off towards the locker rooms, every moment I spent getting changed and into my Eva was another one I lost for speaking to Shinji. I knew I had to tell him, before it was too late…a flicker of hope burned in my heart as I prayed that he would understand.
I tore off my clothes, not caring as buttons were sent flying across the room. I threw the wrecked garments into my locker even as I pulled out my plug suit and hurried to pull it on, zipping up as I headed towards the door and pressing the button for it to pressurise as I ran down the corridor towards the Eva cages. On arrival, I stopped for only a moment to regard the silent form of Eva Unit-01, knowing Shinji was inside. In a few moments, I too would be inside my Eva and I would finally be able to contact him…the technicians were already waiting for me, the plug ejected and open. I jumped inside before the hatch closed and the plug moved down and interfaced with Unit-02. My communications came on line and I was about to open a channel to Unit-01 when suddenly a line opened from the command centre and Misato's face appeared in front of me.
She proceeded to issue orders detailing how we would engage the angel; apparently, it was currently in a geostationary orbit above the Earth, hovering directly over Tokyo-3. None of our normal weapons would be able to reach it so the positron rifle would have to be deployed instead. Unit-00 would be the shooter while I provided backup, without thinking I began to contest, forcing down the feeling of dread that filled me as I spoke those words. There was a brief moment, when Misato disappeared and I could faintly hear her speaking with Dr Akagi. When she reappeared, she confirmed that I was now the shooter and Rei would be my backup. Apparently, Unit-01 would remain under lockdown.
No sooner had Unit-02 arrived on the surface was I assaulted by a series of techs, all rushing to make modifications for my Eva to fit the rifle, apparently, one of them told me, this was the same one they had 'borrowed' from the JSDF a while ago and had last been used with Unit-01. There would be a little work involved in recalibration, but it should take no more than a few minutes. As I pulled the helmet over my head, I allowed my fingers to dance across its surface for a moment, wondering what it was like for Shinji when he used it. From what I had heard, his encounter with the fifth angel had not been a pleasant one. I was pulled from my musing by Misato's voice, giving the order to commence the operation. I moved into position, allowing the targeting computer to line up the shot accordingly before firing a moment later…seconds past and the silence was broken by a member of the bridge crew mentioning something about an AT field. Apparently we had been unsuccessful, the beam had been too weak too penetrate. I sat there, humbled by my defeat, now more than ever needing too speak with Shinji. It was then I heard someone call out there was an energy build up in the target and pain blossomed in my mind.
"Shinji! Help me! Please! Shinji!"
Using my newfound strength, I found no difficulty in freeing myself from my restraints. I tore my arms from the bolts that restrained them; sections of armour being ripped away and my arms came free. I turned my attention to my legs, using my arms to tear the bolts from their housing. Once all my appendages were free, I forced my way out of the cage, tearing the umbilical bridge from the walls as I waded through the bakelite they used to try and hold me back, intent only on reaching the launch elevator. As I got closer the doors above, the launch elevator slid closed, locking bolts sliding into place. No doubt, they still believed they could keep me here, despite what they had already seen…I would prove them wrong.
Drawing upon the full power of the S2 engine that lay within me, I allowed my wings to form, sliding out from my back slowly. Where they touched against the walls, the metal began to melt as the energy flows heated it to just below boiling point. With my wings now fully expanded, I began to float into the air. I flew upwards, reaching the doors and rending them apart before continuing upwards and causing many more blast doors to meet the same fate. When I finally reached the surface, I flew up and hovered above the city, seeking the one who had summoned me.
I found her pinned beneath a stream of light. At once; I moved to block the beam, using my body as a shield. Images flickered briefly in my consciousness but I batted them away, disinterested in anything but the red Eva before me. I curled my wings around us, shielding us both from view. I gave her a cursory examination, looking for any signs of external damage, finding none I turned my senses deeper, reaching out to her mind…when I withdrew I was filled with an all consuming rage, I turned and leapt into the sky, hungering for the flesh of my foe. It had hurt her and now it would pay with its life…
A torrent of images assailed me, all my worst memories being brought back from the darkest reaches of my mind and played out over and over. It was like being trapped inside my own personal hell. Suddenly, Shinji's face appeared and for a moment, the image storm halted. Finding my voice at last, I cried out, calling to him, begging for him to help me. He seemed not to hear me as he turned away and began walking off into the darkness. I tried to follow him, willing my legs to move yet, I found myself frozen to the spot. I could only watch as he moved further and further away, eventually vanishing into the darkness…I screamed and screamed until my throat was raw and I began to choke on the LCL.
Now, the images returned, this time they took a very different form…before me lay an older version of myself, cradling an infant in my arms. As the view moved closer, I noticed the few brown hairs that graced the child's forehead as well as the deep blue eyes that shone like their father's. In that moment, I knew…I turned to look at him, to gaze upon the future, as I had wanted to be, a future I most likely had lost. The view shifted once again, now moving to unveil the man who stood beside the older version of myself, gazing at her with unconcealed love in his eyes…
All of a sudden, they began to scream, even as the flesh began to peel from their bodies. I could only look on in horror as muscle then bone was revealed, and the skeletons of both the other Asuka and her child crumbled into dust…yet, his skeleton remained. Within moments, a new flesh began to form upon his frame, new and different patterns of muscle flowing into place. Purple armour formed like a skin across his body and in a moment, I found myself looking upon the familiar countenance of Unit-01…
The images halted suddenly and once more, I was aware of the outside world. As my sight returned, and I raised my head look at what lay before the Eva only to scream as the face from my nightmares sat before me…Unit-01 was standing over me, shielding me with it's body. Once I recovered from the initial shock I began to wonder how Shinji had convinced his father to let him free…I began to notice the tears in Unit-01's armour, the obvious damage it had no doubt sustained while breaking free. As I saw the strange, translucent wings that extended from it's back and presently wrapped around us both, I knew something terrible had happened and at once, I tried to open a channel to him.
The screen remained blank but for a moment, I heard his voice, calling to me softly.
I opened my mouth to speak but before I could get out the words he was gone, the window closing as he broke the connection before Unit-01 leapt into the air.
I felt as if I was trapped inside some terrible nightmare…Asuka had not only failed to stop the Angel but had fallen victim to it's attack while Shinji had once again been absorbed by his Eva, tearing lose from it's restraints and heading for the surface. The command centre was in uproar; the commander was shouting orders, seemingly for the first time that I knew of, losing control. Unit-01 was out of his hands now and it seemed that whatever plans he had made had come crashing down.
The rest of the staff, including myself sat in awe as we watched the surface monitors, witnessing as Unit-01 broke from the surface, looking like some demon coming straight from Hell. We watched as it landed in front of Unit-02, moving to shield the red Eva with its body. The wings that had so shocked us all when they first appeared curled around to form a kind of protective cocoon.
There were gasps as without warning he unfolded and leapt to the air, leaving Unit-02 behind. There were a few murmurs from the bridge bunnies, idle musings of what he could be doing. I had no doubts regarding his motives, the Angel had hurt Asuka, so he would slay it himself, no matter what it cost him…
I immediately opened a comm. window, not waiting for Unit-01 to fly out of sight. When Misato's face came into sight I found my worst fears confirmed by the sadness etched into her face and the unshed tears glistening in the corners of her eyes.
"Misato! Please! Tell me what happened to Shinji!"
She hesitated at first, and for a moment, I was afraid she would remain silent.
That single word cut through her defences and finally caused her tears to fall. Words came thick and fast as she recounted what had happened to Shinji.
"His synch ratio breeched 400 again…he was absorbed by the Eva just after you screamed."
Her words made no sense, how could that have happened? I asked her again, desperately seeking a way to understand what was happening.
"Please Misato…I don't understand! What happened to him? How is Unit-01 doing this?"
Her tears had finally ended and now she looked at me with a serious face and hardened eyes.
"Asuka…Shinji's mind merged with that of his Eva. In a very real sense, he has become the Eva…even as it has become a part of him. As to how he did what he did…we just don't know."
I shook my head in disbelief, unable to accept what I was being told. It was not possible! After everything that had happened, he could not leave me this way! I knew Shinji would never leave me, that somehow he would come back to me…
The rage fills me, an unstoppable force driving me ever upwards towards my foe. I am tearing through the atmosphere, barely noticing as the friction causes my armour to heat even as I surge ever upward to greater and greater heights. Still my enemy remains silent, it's attack long since ended when it found that it could not affect me. It tries planting various images in my mind, memories of my mother, of Misato, and even Asuka. I tried desperately to quell my rage, to protect it's own existence it's pleas were denied. I flew close, grabbing its crystal form in my hands as I began to tear off its 'wings'. I heard what felt like a scream in my head, I grinned, knowing now that my foes could also feel pain. I began to dismantle its body, tearing great chunks of it away with my great purple hands. Each time it would scream, again and again begging for my torture to end. When at last I grew tired of the game, I reached inside of what remained, taking it's core in my hand I squeezed, crushing the small red orb and at last giving the angel it's release in death.
My enemy defeated and my purpose fulfilled, I allowed myself to drift, aimlessly. No longer driven by any purpose I allowed my wings to fade as the gravity of Earth took me and began to take me home. As I felt the fires of re-entry consume my body I closed my eyes, ready to accept my fate…then, from the silence her voice called out to me, three simple words tumbling from her lips causing my whole world to come crashing down.
"I love you."
For the first time I finally understand the full extend of what I have done. On the day Yui was taken away from me I made a vow, I swore I would bring her back to me, no matter what it cost. To do that I had remoulded myself into a monster, perverting the vision of the future we had once both held and turning into a means of returning her to me. I sent Shinji away, not able to bear for my son to witness what his father had become although later I used him as a tool, a way of controlling the dormant power of the Eva, a thing with which I could remake the world…now that blasted purple behemoth has stolen not only my wife but my son as well. Everything I have worked for is in ruins, the dreams I once held of having Shinji and Yui beside me, a family once again, and all had been crushed in a single moment.
It's almost ironic, I have always wanted Shinji to be strong, always driven to find strength in himself, silently praying that he would not make my mistakes. In the end it seems that it was the very strength that I instilled within him that was his downfall, when faced with that most terrible of decisions he had chosen to sacrifice himself to save the girl he loved. There is nothing left for me now, the only thing left for me is to join my wife in death. One last task remains before I go, I will put an end to SEELE so at least the child he fought so hard to protect will be safe…
Even though months have passed, it is good to stand before him once again. As his eyes cannot close, I cannot tell if he is asleep or awake, so I whisper his name watching as his eyes light briefly showing that he can hear me.
Carefully I unwrap the bundle held close against my chest, lifting it away from me and holding it in my outstretched hands so he can see him clearly.
"Look Shinji…look at our son."
AN: And with that One Night Stand is brought to its conclusion, one chapter longer than my original vision. I am sure that you all want to flame me right now for that ending but in truth, I never said it would be happy…
Thank you all for your reviews,
Chapter preread by The Other Guy