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"Because in the end, each sun, each world, every galaxy, will collapse and end, either into flame, or into darkness. And when that happens, she will be there, for each of us. Now do you understand?"
"She is Death."
Exchange between Lady Killalla and Sto-oa, The Sandman: Endless Nights
Author's Final Notes
Well, the fanfic has ended, and I'm happy I came up with an ending that satisfied the majority of you. To those who read this from the first revised chapter, thank you for being patient. For those who read it upon completion or halfway through completion, I thank you as well for giving it a shot.
Now then, answering the reviews. I noticed a smattering of unfortunate comments about the ending being rushed. I proofread it a second time, just to make sure I didn't, and I realized why it sounded rushed, even though I took my sweet time in writing it, (I had a good four hours to myself at the college English lab.) While EoE had an extensive ending full of spiritual and philosophical double-meanings and purpose, it was more often than not thanks to the complicated issues Shinji himself was faced with at that point in the timeline. Asuka despising him, Misato morbidly depressed, and Rei turning out to be some form of cloned abomination of his mother, all on top of his rejection issues with his father and his own personal issues when dealing with his own self-hatred, (especially when it peaked at the opening of EoE,) all gave plenty of reason for his Third Impact to be chunk-full of stuff in EoE.
In this fanfic, all he cared about was Death. Death had given him love and pain, and it absorbed him into his purpose. With Morningstar whispering in his ear, he had no second thoughts and was completely focused on his goal, thanks to the gift of Vision from Delirium. So, when Third Impact happened, there really wasn't anything to do besides meeting with Death, (hence why I went more into detail about Death clearing out the universe and the Endless.) So I can understand why that part seemed rushed.
As for his relatives and "friends" following him, he went into hiding, as implied by the fact that he took on the life of a hermit, living off the land and whatnot. NERV would have no interest in him, since Instrumentality was dead and gone, a failed project with nothing to show for it, and Misato wasn't that close. Gendo himself probably wouldn't have accepted life and would have decided to stay dead instead.
There will be no continuation of this storyline, but perhaps the birth of another one. Hell, I wouldn't even be against writing another EVA/Sandman, should another concept come to me...