Disclaimer: Suing a fanfic author is like masturbating with sandpaper; there may be a bit of satisfaction in it, but in the end it's just too irritating to bother with.

Warning: This is actually a crossover with another series. I don't plan on telling you what it is tho' and by the time you figure it out it'll be too late!

Shinji shifted nervously from foot to foot.

He hated riding the train when it was crowded, always trying to avoid eye contact with someone lest they take it as a challenge, but for some reason riding this train while it was empty was even worse.

The hollow sounds that echoed through the train every time a car shifted from one side to the other sending a ripple down the line were usually covered up by the murmur of the crowd. The harsh metallic noises it made were nerve-wracking. Every new sound rang like an omen of doom, an approaching catastrophe.

That sound there! Surely that was the sound of an overstressed rail beginning to twist under pressure or that sound there! That was definitely the noise one would hear shortly before a gear jammed causing the car to leap from its tracks!

Holding his breath, his right hand clenching the bar that ran along the ceiling tightly, as he waited for death.


The train slowed as it entered the deserted station. The mechanical noises that had plagued his imagination returned to the normal noises one hears when a train pulled in.

For some strange reason a sense of relief that he wasn't going to die didn't suddenly make it's way into his chest, instead a sudden burst of anger at the world surged in his breast.

Why? Why did he have to put up with this shit? Why did the world decide he was its whipping boy? Why couldn't he have a family that loved him or friends that cared for him?

The answer flashed quickly through his mind, 'Because pops is a bastard.'

A sharp pain surged through him. Clutching his chest with one hand he panted as the pain faded away.

'I'm too young to have a heart attack, Damn it!'

Shinji rubbed his chest with his free hand, his anger forgotten as he worried about whether he actually could have a heart attack at 14 years of age.

'Feels like someone just tried to gut me.'

Blinking away the strange emotions that seemed to surge up at that thought, he watched the doors open and stepped gratefully out onto the platform, happy to have something to distract him.

The condition of the pole he had been hanging onto went unnoticed, unnoticed by Shinji at least who had already walked on searching for the women who was to meet him.

The pole swung loosely from the ceiling, its base torn out of the floor it had been welded onto.

Shinji walked through the empty train station, listening to his boots slapping against the pavement, echoing into the distance. He knew something was up from the way the train had been deserted, but the station was completely empty as well. The feeling of doom certainly hadn't lightened any.

The cicadas droned on their wavering song, giving him at least a little comfort of the familiar, as he stepped out of the station into the warm summer's day.

Looking up and down the street he noted the complete absence of people.

'This can't be good. I feel like I've stepped into an episode of 'Tales of the Unusual'. Nah, probably just something my… Gendo had a hand in.' He thought bitterly, 'It's not enough just to move me around 3 months to keep me from making friends and interrupt my schooling. He's decided to evacuate the city so the risk of me having any actual human contact is even further reduced.'

Suppressing the strange urge to yell 'Gendo Ikari, this is all your fault!' took a moment and allowed him to get a handle on his anger.

'I must be going nuts. The old man ain't got that kinda' pull. Still doesn't explain why the city's empty tho'.'

Dropping his seabag against the wall, he used it as a chair while waiting for whoever the old man sent to pick him up. 'Where are they? They knew what time I'd be arriving, so they should be here already.'

A querulous noise from inside his leather trench prompted him to pull out his tiny passenger.

A small grey kitten about half the size of a paperback rested in his hand, if by rested you meant attempted to eat his thumb. Lessons about biting the hand that feeds you had apparently never been taught to this fractious feline, or if they had they were from a 'How To' manual.

"If I promise to get you some fish will you stop trying to eat me?"

The kitten paused as if considering this before releasing it's death grip on his thumb. Looking up at him it voiced a simple "queerrrpt?" which Shinji seemed to understand.

"Yes an actual fish. Nothing preprocessed." He smiled as the kitten purred as he scratched it's head before it hopped on top of his hand and ran up his arm, burrowing into his unruly mane of dark brown hair that covered his shoulders.

Grinning he turned back to search once more for today's keeper only to see a girl standing in the middle of the street.

Brown eyes locked with crimson ones, as he tried to figure out why she looked so out of place. Blue hair and red eyes struck him as a bit strange considering the reverse was usually true. The pale skin explained the red eyes quite well though. Albinos weren't common by any means, but they were quite well known.

'That still doesn't explain the blue hair. Could it be a dye job?' His eyes slid down her slender form. A couple inches shorter then him, making her just over five foot two with a nicely developing rack and… 'Nope. That's her real hair color.'

He blinked and checked again, 'Yep, she's naked.'

His gaze traveled along her form once again from top to bottom, with short stops along the way at the scenic vistas, before reaching her feet. 'No shadow. How the hell did I miss that the first time?' Taking in her lack of attire he nodded to himself. 'Yeah that would do it.'

He'd had some experience with ghost breaking. It was hard not to notice things like that when you move from place to place and wander around a lot, looking for a place to practice katas where no one will bug you. The places you tend to end up are the places that everyone else avoids and with no friends, no one had warned him about them. The simple fact that the majority of the human race had gotten wiped out during second impact made those places far from rare.

Getting involved gave him a purpose and while the usual ghost sweepers were all a bit weird, they were a friendly bunch. It always hurt to have to leave them, but apparently his father didn't want him to have friends for some reason and as soon as it became known he had some, or three months went by, he was moved again.

He'd managed to keep it down to mostly every three months for the last five years by playing the wuss, so everyone would avoid him in public and letting any group he hooked up with know the score. It hadn't helped him with his temper however. It seemed playing spineless in public just insured that by the time he lost his temper, he really lost his temper and with a dan level ranking in several martial arts the results were never pretty.

Working as a ghost sweeper helped him by allowing him to channel his anger into something useful and while It was never 'end of the world' or even life threatening for the most part, it was satisfying. Sending restless spirits to the other side and squashing the occasional imp or ghoul was a great stress reliever.

At any rate, his knowledge of things unusual allowed him to enjoy the scenery without too much worry. He had a couple of wards in his pocket and she wasn't threatening, whatever she was.

The flock of birds that erupted past Shinji's spot didn't distract him at all. Too many times he'd had something cornered when a convenient distraction allowed it to escape. Keeping your eye on the ball was an on the job skill that he'd taken to quickly.

The rather large missile that roared past along with some sort of attack helicopter did distract him however as did the rather large explosion from down the street and the way the train station was turning into a battle zone.

His priorities quickly switched from 'Who's the naked chick?' to 'Where the hell's my ride?'