Disclaimer: I don't own Neon Genesis: Evangelion or All Purpose Cultural Catgirl Nuku Nuku.
Notes: This chapter has been updated, formatting wise.
All Purpose Cultural Catgirl Rei-Rei
By Crimson Arrow
Run silent, run deep.
This phrase reserved for the manoeuvres of a submarine matched up almost perfectly with the events past.
They left without so much as a whisper.
In the middle of the night.
Zigzagging their way as though they were in treacherous waters.
As if they were escaping.
But this was no ocean or submarine. Nor an ordinary house-move for that matter.
"Kaa-san, where are we going?"
"You know the answer to that, Shinji. We're moving to Tokyo."
"I know that… but did we have to leave at 2am?"
"Well, I… I wanted to beat the morning traffic. Lots of people are moving to Tokyo, you know… Lots."
Yui Ikari laughed very nervously. Her son, Shinji Ikari, sat unconvinced as his mother looked over her shoulder for the umpteenth time.
"Are you looking for something back there?"
"Ah, no, I'm just – just checking our trailer's still there."
"I don't know why you didn't just get some movers to take that stuff. It's a lot less trouble than an overloaded car."
"Sorry Shinji, but you know I can't let just anyone handle that equipment. What if they were damaged? That would be years of work down the drain. Not to mention if they fell into the wrong ha–."
"Yeah, I know… your research is important to you."
Glancing away from the road, Yui looked at her son. He slouched on the passenger seat, crestfallen as he had been for days now, upset at the prospect of another move. A white kitten lay curled up in his lap, waving its tail as Shinji absentmindedly stroked it.
"So… have you given her a name yet?"
"Uncle was generous to give you the first of the litter, wasn't he? I hope you thanked him properly."
"Yeah… but it really didn't feel right accepting it."
"Hmm? Why's that?"
"Well… now this kitten is going to grow up without its mother and siblings. It'll be all alone. It's wrong to do that, isn't it?"
"Shinji, it's a kitten – she doesn't know the difference."
"But I do."
"So then she'll make new cat friends in Tokyo – just like you'll make new friends. You'll see."
Attempting to break into the heart of the matter, Yui took a hand away from the wheel and placed it reassuringly on Shinji's shoulder.
"Listen… I know you're upset about all this… but this'll be the last time. Promise."
"That's what you said last time, and the time before that. I was really settling in this time Kaa-san, I really was… school was fun, I had good friends… I was happy… there was even this girl…"
Silence came between the two. There was only the sound of the station wagon's engine. A monotonous humming that only magnified the tension.
"…Hey, cheer up. It's not like you'll never see them again. Yokohama isn't that far from Tokyo by train – we can visit whenever you want."
"Yeah. And you know what? I really mean it this time when I say it'll be the last move."
"Really? Do you mean it?"
Lifting up his cobalt blue eyes, Shinji had the faintest expression of hope. Yui could only smile.
"Yep. This new job is a favour from an old friend. A friend who knows about our… situation."
Shinji's eyes widened and he paled ever so slightly, a stark contrast to his expression only a few seconds before.
"There's not a problem is there? Has he found us!"
"No, no, no Shinji! I just mean to say that should anything happen, Fuyutsuki-sensei won't hold us accountable and fire me on the spot. So don't worry your pretty little head, 'kay?"
"Oh, good…" relief spread itself on Shinji's features. "But then why all the secrecy?"
"Precautions, Shinji. Just precautions. Can never be too careful when he's involved."
"Yeah… but I don't understand – was he always like that?"
"Honestly… no. He used to be a lot like you, actually. But after the divorce… well, I guess some people don't know what they have until they lose it."
"Except in this case, he really did lose it."
Yui laughed heartily and Shinji joined in. It was rare for him to laugh, especially when they were on this particular subject, and rarer still for him to crack a joke. Whether he knew it or not, Shinji had just put the atmosphere back to what the mother-son duo were accustomed to: an open and loving bonding session.
Their laughter settling down now, Yui ventured again to dispel Shinji's fears and raise his spirits.
"It's good to hear you laugh, Shinji."
"It was a good feeling wasn't it? In our new home there'll be more times like that – and we won't have to worry about that troublesome man anymore."
Leaning over, Yui hooked an arm around Shinji's shoulder and brought him into a gentle embrace. Far from resisting, Shinji let himself be a washed with the warm affection, resting his head on his mother's shoulder.
Keeping her eyes on the road, Yui whispers into Shinji's ear.
"Everything is going to be just fine now. No more travelling, no more new schools, no more introducing yourself, no more making new friends – no more anything. It'll just be you, me, Tokyo, and, and… and you should really give her a name."
Mother and son laughed at what seemed to be the little feline's noise of agreement. Shinji scratched behind its ears and it purred with pleasure.
I guess she'll be fine after all. Maybe I can do the same…
"I-I love you, Kaa-san."
"I love you too, Shinji."
The family moved and grew closer together. It didn't matter where they were, or if they were in hard times – as long as they were together they could face anything. Nothing could stop them.
Well… almost nothing.
Reviews are appreciated.