Disclaimer: I own only the sleeves on my legs and the pants on my head. Beyond that I got nothing.

CHAPTER ZERO

Nine white demons circle him. Crucified, beaten and dying. They keep smiling

Above the earth. A giant Rei, no Kaworu. Thousands, millions of emerald crosses.

A feeling of completeness. No pain or sadness at all. Everything he could wish for.

"No this is wrong"he thinks, "We shouldn't have to be together…"

The giant Rei again, no, Asuka this time

"What would you have us do then Shinji? What do you want to happen?"

"I…I see what I should have done…I want a second chance"

Asuka changes to Rei

"Well then lets begin again…lets change this future" she says

Separation and a flash of light

Shinji sat up with a start breathing hard.

"Wha…what was that?" he asked himself

It's been three weeks since the last angel, Kaworu, was destroyed. Asuka has yet to wake up from her coma and people were beginning to return to Tokyo 3. Things were looking up for the world.

"Shinji what's the matter?" a voice from the door asked

It was Misato, the official guardian of Shinji and Asuka, and she had heard him screaming. Again.

"Sorry Misato. It was that nightmare again" he said

She sighed relieved. The nightmare he was talking about started a little after he defeated Kaworu. It was always the same thing. Nerv was being attacked by an army of demons and somewhere near the end of it he is nailed up on a red cross by some very evil looking angels. It goes on with him conversing with Rei or Asuka about the world being restarted.

"Well don't scare me like that ok?" it was late and she was still tired and it showed.

"Sorry Misato. Good night" he said laying back down.

"Night Shinji" she said walking back to her room

As Misato walked back to her room she was thinking one thing

"Why does his nightmare sound so much like mine?"

In the hospital of Nerv…

A tall man draped in what appeared to be black rags came into the room of one Asuka Langley Soryu. She has been unconscious since shortly after her contact with the 15th. It was time for her to wake up again.

"Now then let's see…they won't catch this bit here so lets…" the mystery man spoke as a light blue hexagonal field appeared around him and Asuka

In the mind of Asuka

As far as the eye could see there was a sea of red. The smell of blood hung heavily in the air and the sky was a deep red.

"Hmm now where is she…Aha!"

Some distance away from the man was a young lady with red hair lying in a boat adrift at sea. Her hair was hanging over the edge and soaked in the oddly colored ocean. The man hovered and stood next to her.

She looked up at him her tear stained eyes wide in shock.

"Who… who are you?" she asked her voice weak from disuse

"Me? Just a stray wandering around these parts. Though you I find most curious." He said calmly

"What are you doing here?" she questioned

"Well I'm here to offer you a hand. Ikari couldn't really make it here, though you're on his mind often. Seven times out of ten I believe last time I counted them."

"Humph. As if I need that losers help. I don't need anyone's help"

"Really? Then why are you still out at sea with no oars?"

That threw her for a moment. She had just realized that she has no way back to the shore. Though she did notice some odd ropes attached to the boat that she was sure were not there before.

"Well if you don't need any help prove it. Get back to shore by yourself. Of course if you depended on your friends I wouldn't complain." He grinned as he floated over to a beach that was definitely not there moments ago.

"Hmph thinks I can't get back does he?" Asuka said as she started trying to paddle her way back to shore with her hands.

The man looked on amused. He takes out a juice box labeled "Final Eden" and proceeds to drink.

"Stubborn that girl is. Oh well its not like I'm in a rush." He says as he lies back on the sand.

In the apartment of Rei

The silence in the room was deafening. With the exception of Rei's quiet breathing there was no sound at all.

"What…is my purpose now?" she asked herself

With all the angels destroyed and the human instrumentality project delayed indefinitely due to the theft of Adam some time ago Rei found herself with no purpose.

"What should I do now…?" Rei asked quietly

There was no answer save the silence.

"I am alone…"

Back with Asuka

"You know it's not like your getting terribly far. That water is closer to slime then water ya know?" the man yelled to her still drinking his juice.

"I don't need any help!" she screamed back to him.

"Really now? Seems to me you do. Your goin the wrong way." He said calmly

And she was. The boat was in fact going the opposite way with the ropes growing tighter each moment.

"Asuka you should know it's not hard to get help if you need it. You just need to ask for it and you shall receive."

"WHY SHOULD I! Everyone ends up leaving me in the end anyway…" she said the last part quietly

"Well duh! You don't try to let them in ya know? Friends don't leave you. You leave them."

"So what should I do then huh? Take one of these stupid ropes you put here and pull myself to shore what then?"

"Well I didn't put those there. Your friends did" he said motioning to his side where silhouettes of everyone she knew stood with a rope in their hands.

"For once Asuka you should try to trust someone else."

She looked down at the ropes.

"If I get hurt by them I'm going to kick your ass"

"You won't and you are welcome to try" he said with a smile on his face

Asuka reached for the ropes…

And I'm gonna cut it there for now. Hope you folks are finding this at least a little entertaining. And if you would be so kind if you think there is a way to improve my writing please share. I'm pretty new at this…