Disclaimer: I do not own NGE or its characters.
The van pulled up to the campground as everyone breathed a sigh of relief.
"So, why are we doing this again?" Shinji Ikari asked as he stretched his unused legs.
"Because after you got out of the hospital, I thought you could use a vacation." Misato Katsuragi smiled as she started to unpack the gear. "You know, away from NERV, and Eva, and Tokyo-3."
I get shot through the chest and she takes me camping. Wonder what would happen if I got hit by a car? Shinji thought as he helped Misato unpack the car.
"And thanks for inviting us too, Misato!" Toji Suzuhara and Kensuke Aida cry in unison as they bailed out from the back seat.
"And why am I here? It's not like Toji's going to be paying me any attention." Hikari Horaki grumbled as she followed them out.
"Because I didn't want to exclude you." Asuka Langley Sohryu said. And misery loves company. "Still, I think we should have gone to the beach."
"Yeah right. A nice camping trip away from civilization will do us wonders." Misato said.
"And why did we bring Wondergirl?" Asuka grumbled as she saw Shinji help Rei Ayanami out from the middle seat of the van.
"Because I thought it would be nice to invite her. Get her out of the city once in awhile. And Shinji likes her." Misato teased.
This only left the German redhead to grouse. Mostly because the First and Third Child had gotten closer after Shinji had gotten shot.
Camp had been pitched quickly. Rei was reading a book by her tent, Toji and Kensuke were trying to video tape Misato in shorts and a sleeveless shirt just walking or bending over, and Asuka and Hikari were grumbling about the lack of brain cells the pair possessed.
Shinji had decided to go down to the river and do some fishing. Having never done it before he thought it would be interesting, and relaxing. Misato had actually encouraged it.
When Shinji got there the river was a little high. Runoff from melted snow he figured.
"Now where...ah." he uttered as he picked a place by the river and dropped in his line.
He had been there about five minutes, when his ears suddenly heard a yapping coming from up river. He looked up towards the sound and saw what looked like a small animal splashing around trying to keep its head above water.
Like before when his father was targeted for assassination by a sniper, Shinji reacted without thinking. He dropped his fishing rod and jumping into the water to intercept the animal. The water was a little heavy and fast moving, but Shinji was able to get a footing into the floor and got into position. He let the animal come right to him.
"Gotcha!" he said as he closed his arms around the animal as it slammed into his chest.
It was then he noticed that it was a wolf cub.
"Are you alright little guy?" he asked as he waded back to shore carrying the soaked cub in his arms.
He crawled out of the water onto the shore, half soaked himself. It was then that he noticed several creatures bounding out of the surrounding woods and formed a semi-circle around him.
"Uh..." Shinji froze as he noticed that the cub he was holding looked a lot like the wolves that had just appeared. They both had dark, almost black fur, with corse hair.
At this point Shinji was worried, and for good reason. Having no real experience with wild animals, and even less to do with a whole pack of wild animals, he was aware of the fact that animals were very protective of their young.
A fact he couldn't really identify with for years.
The pack suddenly parted as a different looking wolf steps up towards Shinji. From the different appearance of the wolf, the slightly grayish tint to its fur, a slightly smaller size to it.
The mother. He thought as she stepped up and eyed the young cub he was holding. She let out a small yap.
"I hope you're his mother." Shinji said as he gently put the cub down on the dirt ground and backed away slowly.
The she-wolf steps up, sniffs the cub, barks at it a little, earning a reply from the cub. She then licks the cub in the face, picks him up by the scruff of his neck with her teeth and walks away with the pack leaving one-by-one behind her.
A mothers love. Shinji thought as the whole pack disappeared into the woods.
A couple minutes later, Misato and the others arrive at the river looking for Shinji. They were lead by Rei Ayanami.
"Shinji-kun, are you alright?" Rei asked.
"I'm fine, guys. Really." Shinji said as he retrieved his fishing pole.
"Shinji, what happened to you?" Asuka asked, noticing his soaked clothes.
He looked at his drenched clothes and realized that they wouldn't believe the part about the wolves. "Uh...I fell into the river." he grinned sheepishly.
"Klutz." Asuka huffed as she headed back to the camp.
"Well, as long as you're alright." Misato said, giving him a hug before she too headed back to camp.
Hikari was the first to follow Asuka back, Toji and Kensuke headed after Misato.
Rei however lingered. While Asuka was asking him about his wet clothes, Rei was looking around and had noticed several animal prints around where Shinji had been standing. This made her realize that something else had happened.
Strange, from the position of the prints, it would seem that they surrounded him. These are definitely wolf prints. I was not aware there were any wolves in this area. The number of prints would suggest a large pack. How could someone have missed this?
"Uh, are you not going back with them, Rei?"
"No. You could fall in again. I will stay to make sure you do not." she said, with a small smile.
"Uh...that's nice of you, Rei." Shinji said as he tossed his fishing line back into the river.
(NERV, Gendo's Office...)
Gendo hadn't liked the idea of his three pilots going on a camping trip, yet Major Katsuragi had made the argument that if they were too stressed, they wouldn't be able to pilot as good as they had been. A little break didn't seem like a bad idea.
And if there were any troubles, they weren't too far away.
He was so lost in his thoughts he failed to notice the intruder sneak up behind him.
"So, you are Gendo Ikari." the voice said.
"Who are you?" he asked, tensing slightly.
"Someone who has been hired to replace the assassin who failed to kill you at the cemetery."
Gendo noticed that the voice sounded female. "So, whoever hired the other is still interested in my death."
"Yes. But not yet."
"Yet?" That didn't sound good.
"They felt it was too easy, too simple and quick. Therefore, my employer has decided on a different form of punishment. You have been a very naughty boy."
With that, a boot struck him hard in the side of the face, knocking him out of his chair and to the floor. She pounced on him in an instant.
"I am to beat you into a sorry lump of flesh and make you suffer glorious humiliations." she said as she gripped his neck tightly. "I am doing this also to fulfill a personal satisfaction. I heard what you did after your son was shot, saving your life no less. Abandoning your child for ten years is one thing, but to leave him on Death's door after he has saved your life, is unforgivable."
A tinge of fear went through him, as if he could feel that she was smiling beneath her mask.
And with that, the beating began.
It was the end of the week and there had been no calls, or retrievals. The last three days had been very peaceful and relaxing, especially for Shinji. Misato said they were going back tomorrow morning, and so Shinji and Rei had decided to go for a walk.
They hadn't really said anything to each other since they left camp, but that was fine for them. It was then that Shinji spoke.
"Yes, Shinji-kun?" the blue-haired girl replied.
Rei just smiled at the boys shy attempt at conversation.
"Would you like to... when we get back to Tokyo-3... would you..."
Shinji paused for a second as he suddenly grabbed Rei by the shoulders. "Get Out Of The Way!"
Rei was more than a little shocked by this, especially when Shinji tossed her to her left. It didn't last as she suddenly heard a loud animal-like roar. She landed hard on her rear end, and turned to see, with some shock, a large black bear lunge forward and swing its mighty paw right where she would have been. Instead of nailing her in the back, the claw nailed Shinji in the chest. The blow dug deep, slashing his shirt across his chest/stomach and into his skin, while at the same time sending the boy flying. He flew two dozen feet, his back slamming hard against a large tree, his body falling limply to the ground.
Rei was on her feet in an instant, racing towards Shinji's fallen form.
"Shinji-kun! Shinji-Kun!" she shouted as she noticed with great relief that he was still breathing.
The bear started to advance on the pair, growling as it lumbered towards them on all fours. It was a meter away when Rei suddenly noticed that another animal had appeared.
She looked to the ground and saw a young wolf cub standing in between them and the bear.
"Yip! Yip!" the cub barked.
The bear roared at the cub and pulled back it's paw in order to slap it away, only to pause when he suddenly realized that he was surrounded by a whole pack of adult wolves.
They surrounded him and the two Eva pilots, almost as if they were trying to protect him.
The bear roared, the pack roared, and then it was on.
The wolf pack swarmed the large black bear, the attack driving it back from the pair.
Rei watched with odd fascination at the ferociousness of the battle between nearly two dozen wolves and a single much larger bear.
They attacked his legs, his chest, his back, his arms, and even managed to jump high enough to bite at his neck and nose. The bear swatted the wolves away, but they were all over him. He couldn't protect his entire body every second and that's where the pack was.
The bear growled in defeat as he was forced to run back into the forests. The wolf pack didn't give chase as they turned to face both Rei and Shinji.
The blue-haired girl noticed that the young wolf cub came the closest to the Third Child, his paws leaning on the boys thigh as he whimpered. The rest of the pack surrounded Shinji and Rei, but none of them made any attempt to attack them. They weren't even growling, or licking their lips. While this was going on, Rei's mind was working furiously.
Very strange. They are not acting as wild animals. The bear did, attacking us, yet these wolves seem to have protected us from the bear. Why would they? Or... her mind trailed as she looked at the cub. Were they protecting Shinji? Did he do something for...of course!
It suddenly hit Rei: the river, the paw prints around the bank, the cub seemingly more concerned for Shinji than the rest.
Shinji-kun must have saved the cub from drowning in the river. The pack must have seen him save the cub and are returning the favor. It is the only logical conclusion.
It was a stretch, but given what had just happened, and what was happening now, it was the only thing that made sense at this point.
Suddenly, Misato and the others burst into the clearing and froze as they saw the wolf pack surrounding the two pilots. They saw Shinji laying prone against the tree with Rei at his side. His gut was slashed open and he was bleeding heavily.
Misato was the first to react. "SHINJI-KUN!" she shouted as she drew her gun at the wolves.
"MISATO-SAN!" Rei shouted, rather uncharacteristic of her. "The wolves did not attack Shinji, but he needs help, NOW!"
She emphasized this statement by touching one of the wolves gently. It looked at her for a second, before barking at the other wolves. The pack suddenly parted, allowing Misato and the others a clear path to the injured boy.
Misato was quick to get to Shinji's side, the others a bit more hesitant as the wolves still remained. She doused the wound with beer that she happened to have on her (don't ask) and with Rei's help started to bandage the wound itself. She realized that Rei was right, the claw slash in Shinji's stomach was too big for a wolf to have done it.
"Rei, what happened out here?" Asuka asked as the wolf cub was curled up in Rei's lap.
Rei did her best to explain how this entire event happened, based mostly on her own deductions. It was Misato who explained that a forest ranger had come to their camp and told them about a bear that had been seen nearby. This had prompted Misato and the others to come search for the pair once they had heard about it.
Naturally, they were shocked to find that the bear had attacked Shinji as he had saved Rei from getting hurt by it. And were more than a little surprised to find a pack of wolves had protected Shinji simply due to the fact he had saved one of their own from drowning.
Shinji's eyes opened slowly as he looked around and took stock of who was with him.
Rei, the wolf cub, Misato, Asuka, Hikari, Toji, Kensuke and a whole pack of wolves.
"Hello." he said weakly.
The she-wolf suddenly let out a sharp bark and one-by-one the wolves bounded back into the forest. The she-wolf and her cub were the last to leave, the cub licking Shinji's hand before he did.
When they had all gone, the human group shared a dumbfounded look.
"If I hadn't seen it, I wouldn't have believed it." Kensuke said as he adjusted his glasses. His camera with him, he hadn't even filmed the wolves. Mostly out of fear of them.
"Jeez, Shinji! A bullet in the chest, and now bear claws in the gut. We were supposed to come up here and relax!" Toji gasped.
"Told you we should have gone to the beach." Asuka groused.
"Oh, sure! And we get a front row seat to watch Shinji fight off sharks and giant calamari!" Misato said, sarcasm dripping in her voice.
"It was just a suggestion."
Shinji was air-lifted to NERV. Toji, Kensuke and Hikari were sent home, as Misato, Asuka and Rei stayed to make sure Shinji was alright. After having the medical professionals take a look at him, the Third Child was quickly given a clean bill of health. Though he would have a nasty scar right below his bullet wound.
Shinji was still in his bed when Misato, Asuka and Ritsuko entered the room, wheeling in a television with a DVD player. Rei was already there and wondered what was going on.
"What's going on Misato?" Shinji asked as he struggled to sit up.
"About two days after you all left for your camping trip, NERV security was breached." Ritsuko said. "The commander was attacked."
"So you said, but by who?" Misato asked.
"We don't know. But it was definitely a professional." Ritsuko said as she plugged the television into the wall.
"So what happened? How bad is it?" Asuka asked.
Ritsuko paused. "It's...bad."
The quartet are then shown the DVD recorded by a security camera that they didn't know wasn't supposed to be in Gendo's office.
"I'm only showing you this because there isn't any way you'd believe me if I just told you." Ritsuko said to them.
Though her own reason was to get their reactions at seeing Gendo get his ass kicked. And she wanted to share it. She had to. She played the disc and gave commentary where she felt it was necessary.
"Between the repetitive punching, the numerous kicking, being slammed against the desk, having his head pounded into the floor, getting tossed around the room like a ragdoll..."
"We get it! We get it! How bad is it?" Misato interrupted.
"He's got bruises all over his body, internal bleeding, seven broken ribs, forty-six broken bones, which include all the fingers on his right hand, he's missing five teeth, his left eye is swollen shut, he's got a fractured pelvis, his right ear has been punctured, which has caused his balance to be shot. Not that he'll be able to stand up any time soon, and his left foot tendon has been cut, meaning he won't be able to walk properly until we get it fixed."
Asuka winched as the doctor mentioned the foot tendon.
"Can you fix it?" Shinji asked.
"Well, not me, but, it's a delicate operation and will take several months at best. Maybe a year or even two."
"Yeah. However, he's still alive, which means that whoever did this obviously didn't want him dead. They probably just wanted him to suffer."
"Anything else?" Misato asked.
"Yes." she said, turning back to the video. "The attacker...gave him a haircut."
The group watched as the attacker took out what looked like an electric shaver and started randomly shaving uneven paths down and across his head and face. His hair and beard looked like a three year old had shaved him in his sleep. The site was, to say the least, hilarious.
Even Rei was giggling.
"He looks like he's got mange." Asuka said.
Ritsuko suddenly froze as she realized what was next. "Uh, maybe we shouldn't watch the rest."
"There's more?" she said, grabbing the remote from Ritsuko and let the disc run.
Everyone's eyes froze at the screen as the attacker had Gendo's hands tied behind his back, tossed him on the desk to where he was half-slumped over it, ripped his pants and underwear down, and then...
"Oh. My. GOD!" Asuka groaned, flushing brightly, but couldn't look away.
Shinji was pale and obviously shocked that anyone could do that.
Rei only had a tinge of pink in her cheeks.
Misato, however, managed to speak.
"That thing's huge!" the purple-haired woman gasped.
Ritsuko sighed as she covered her face with her hand. She hadn't wanted the children to see this.
"Yeah. According to the tape it was in almost an hour from when security found him." Ritsuko said, knowing that the others knew he sometimes stayed in his office for hours at a time. "Fortunately it was properly lubricated so there was no rectum damage, but unfortunately the batteries were fresh. And it was set on 'Max'."
"Uh...has anyone seen this disk?" Misato asked, not taking her eyes from the screen.
"You're... watching a copy."
The purple-haired woman blinked. "Of how many?"
"Let's just say that everyone at NERV got a copy of this. A disk was also sent to the local news, the Internet has been flooded with video feeds, and a couple were sent to...the UN."
The whole group was shocked into silence.
"Whoever did this was extremely busy the last few days." the blond said off-handed.
Needless to say, Gendo's reputation had taken a serious hit. Just from the video it was clear that the attacker was a woman, and obviously a lot stronger than him. That aside, the humiliation Gendo had suffered would never leave him even if he went out and took down an Angel himself.
The video had been broadcast to just about everyone in the world. No one would be afraid of the man now, and that was something he couldn't change. He would never recover from this, which was actually the point.
It would even be feasible to say that he might take his own life.
Rei entered the hospital room with Shinji's food.
"Your meal, Shinji-kun." Rei said with a smile.
"Thank you, Rei-chan." Shinji replied.
While Shinji ate, Rei sat next to him in silence. After several minutes, Rei spoke.
"I want a wolf."
Shinji spat his food out at that.
"What?" he asked in shock.
"A little wolf cub. For a pet." she smiled.
"Please? It would be so cute!" she pouted.
"Rei, have you been talking to Misato?"
Rei just smiled at her, continuing to pout and bat her eyes.
I apologize if this story seems a little weak, and even short. Most of my focus was given to Gendo getting his ass kicked. I originally intended for this to be a story where Shinji gets injured again and Rei becomes closer to him as a result of him protecting her. But as I was writing it, I felt that the story was just too weak and then I got the idea to add the Gendo scene, and make him suffer as much as possible.
A lot of my writings are like this.
Anyway, this sequel was a long time in coming, but it's finally finished, and awaiting reviews.