Hey there everyone! Here's my second attempt at writing a piece of fanfiction. The first got some positive response, but then went up in flames when school interfered… I won't let the same happen to this one, because I genuinely like this idea. So here we go, my second fanfiction ever: Out Of Body Experiences!
Pre-read by Voidhawk of the Dark Icon Writers: Danke schön mein Freund!
Disclaimer: All characters and places revolving around Neon Genesis Evangelion belong to the great Gainax. (Bows before feet).
Out of Body Experiences
After everything that had happened today, it was hard for Shinji to tell what was real or not anymore. He knew that he was depressed, he knew that Nerv was attacked, and he knew that Asuka was dead… But after that, nothing made sense… It was almost as if he had been sucked into the plot of some kind of horror film…
Of course, he had pretty much already lived in a horror film, the horror film Shinji liked to call his day-to-day life. Living in a fortressed city, fighting off giant alien-like creatures called angels, piloting the enormous biomechanical behemoths called Evangelions, he would have been deemed mad if he had lived anywhere except the confines of Tokyo 3. He had experienced more pain and anguish in one lifetime than most of the entire human population.
But even compared to all of that, this was just ridiculous… Within the last hour or so, Shinji had experienced the awakening of a demon, the return of an "irretrievable Lance of Longinus", getting crucified, and watching a giant, white, glowing form of one of his most trusted comrades rise out of the ground below him. Now top that off with the virtual destruction of the human race, and you have enough to drive anybody mad, Shinji included. He just couldn't believe it, and started to believe his mind was in fact playing tricks on him.
However, this seemed real enough… kind of… He could feel everything, but then couldn't feel a thing at the same time… It was almost as if he was part of the very air around him. Ironically, he wasn't too far off. He slowly opened his eyes, and saw a very familiar face looking back down at him.
"Ayanami?… Where are we?"
"We are in the Sea of LCL. The sea of the origin of life. This is the world without AT Fields, and therefore, without your own shape."
Shinji looked around at his surroundings. Sure enough, his body was pretty much merged with Reis. He wouldn't have believed it himself if her arms weren't inside of his chest. They were both lying in the middle of a seemingly endless orange sea, and yet the moon still lay above them in the now orange sky. Rei continued her explanation.
"You can't tell the difference between one person or another. An ambiguous world. You're everywhere in this world, and you're also nowhere in this world. A silent world"
The question had been ringing in Shinji's mind since he had awoken, so he asked it, "I died?"
"No, everything has just combined into one."
He was relieved to hear those words, but something wasn't right about this place, it just felt wrong… Rei continued again.
"This is the world you've been hoping for Ikari-kun… It is like this…"
Shinji looked around again. Yes he wasn't lonely. He no longer felt the same pains he had felt his own life. Here, people couldn't keep themselves as individuals. Here, people couldn't hurt him anymore. Yet… Yet this was all so wrong… It shouldn't be this way… It was then Shinji remembered the presence of something in his hand. He opened it, and out floated the cross Misato had given him right before her death… Misato had… died… How many had died today? How much pain was experienced by all of these people? Here… they didn't need to feel that pain… here… they were safe from it all… but here… wasn't reality, it just couldn't be.
"But… this isn't it. I don't think this is it…"
"If you hope that other people exist again, your heart will separate everyone once more." Rei answered, "But… you will be frightened of other people again."
Shinji still wasn't sure about how he would respond to being like that again, but at least that was reality, he could be sure of that. Here, nothing felt real, and nothing was his to feel… Any reality is better than this dream…
"It doesn't matter…"
Shinji lightly grabbed hold of Rei's arm, and she began to pull it out of his chest. He had never really seen Rei in this light… The way she smiled down at him was entrancing, and the way she spoke, was just mesmerizing to the ears Everything was topped of by the beauty the moon's light gave her from behind. Yes, it really didn't matter. As long as he could be with the people he knew, the people that at least he knew he cared about. None of it mattered if there were at least a few people he trusted around him in the real world. He lightly took Rei's hand, and said the only words that came to his mind…
He got up and lay his head down on Rei's thigh. He felt so comfortable here… was it because of being one with everyone? Or was it just being here with Rei? Now that got him thinking… 'Why did I see Ayanami? Why not Kaworu, or Misato? Or even Asuka?' Deep down, his mind was shouting back at him, 'You know why, you feel comfortable around her… She's like you. Probably the one person who's the most like you… Whether it's the Second Rei or not.'
That thought made him shudder. The Third Rei was… so different… It was like all of the progress Rei had made during that lifetime just suddenly faded away. Her personality, her life, her memories, all just vanishing into thin air After visiting this new Rei, he knew that something was wrong. She didn't even seem to remember who he was… or anything before hand. But it was only after Dr. Ritsuko Akagi showed him what lay in the depths of Terminal Dogma did he really begin to fear the new Rei. He just couldn't bring himself to face her now knowing what she was… But the Rei next to him now, she was just like the old Rei… so much so… it must have been what was making him so calm… He felt that he could tell her anything, and she could sympathize with him… Shinji had begun to talk again without even realizing it…
"I felt that there were only hateful things… So running away just felt right… But even when I ran away, I couldn't find a better place, because I'm not in that world… In fact…no one is there. Everything's the same…"
"If you make the AT Fields once more and hurt yourself, is that okay?"
Shinji looked up, and found that this new voice was his deceased friend Kaworu. Normally, he would have been freaking out, or joyous, or a strange mix of the two. But right now, after everything that had happened… he didn't care… He was just glad to be here with his two most trusted friends trying to make this decision. He just answered Kaworu, and went on to ask another thought of his that had been troubling him… What made them so special to him? Why did he feel that they were so trusting, why did he feel so safe and happy around his two friends more than anyone else he knew…
"I don't really care… But what are the two of you that are inside of my heart?"
Rei was the one to respond first this time,
"Hope, that humans may be able to understand each other… that means-"
"The word called 'Love'" Kaworu interrupted.
Shinji felt like most of his questions about both this world, and his old world had been answered. But he still felt the need to talk about it… he didn't know if he would ever feel this safe again…
"But that's just appearance… a self intoxicating thought. Just like praying… I can't continue like that forever… Finally, one day, I will be betrayed… Everyone will leave me behind…"
Rei and Kaworu just stood smiling at him, as if they knew completely what he was speaking of. They were in fact happy that he was going to be making this choice for mankind, they both wanted the humans to be able to live on their own… They listened on as Shinji finished and voiced out his final decision.
"But… I want to meet those people again, because I truly believe that those feelings at that time were real…"
Shinji felt he had made the right choice, he slowly felt his own senses beginning to come back to him. He could smell, he could feel, he could even taste the blood-like LCL around him… 'God… glad I don't have to spend an eternity here…'
But then everything just went wrong, the people around him just vanished, first Rei, and then Kaworu. Shinji panicked. Had he forgotten about them? What would happen to his two best friends, or those who had died before the Third Impact? What had he done…
'WHAT HAVE I DONE?'
And then everything was black…
Shinji felt a presence in his subconscious nagging at him. Even in sleep, he was bothered… or so he thought until he recognized the presence he hadn't felt in so long…
"So, everything will be fine then?"
Shinji was shocked by that reply almost as much as being in the presence of his mother again. She had asked almost exactly what he was trying to figure out. Would everything be fine now? Will everything go back to how it should be? Will everyone he cares about be able to come back unharmed? And lastly…
"Where can I find happiness? I don't know yet… But here, what will happen if I remain here? I'd have to continue to think about that from now on." Shinji's answer was ever slowly convincing himself that he was doing the right thing, his doubts were slowly fading away, "But in the end, I found out that it's just common sense. Because I am myself…"
Even after convincing himself, he just had to ask… he just had to know…
"But mother… what is going to happen to you mother?"
"Mother? Mother? MOTHER? WHERE ARE YOU! DON'T LEAVE NOW!"
Shinji began running. He was running away from the truth again, even in his own mind. His mother was dead, he knew this, but he had just felt her… He just couldn't face the obvious truth after everything that had happened. He just ran, and ran, hoping he could find something, anything that could help make him feel complete.
"SOMEONE? ANYONE! HELP ME!"
And then again, black…
After what seemed like an eternity, Shinji slowly began to come back to the realm of the conscious. As he slowly regained his senses, he noticed something… He felt warm, and covered up… Almost like he was… in a bed? Shinji quickly opened his eyes, and looked up. Only for him to end up muttering the phrase that seemed to have haunted him over the last year at Tokyo 3, "Another Unfamiliar Ceiling…"
Surely enough, he was lying in bed. But where was this? This most certainly wasn't his ceiling, and most definitely not his bed. He sat up cautiously and looked around this new atmosphere. He saw what looked like a normal teenagers room. There were posters, school supplies, and all of the standard furniture set up around the room. This verified that he wasn't in the hospital, but this DEFINATLEY wasn't his room… Where was he? And then another thought quickly came back to him, bringing him back to the last things he was thinking before he went unconscious. 'Where Is everyone! What have I done to them? Did I do the right thing?'
The next voice he heard froze his blood, and halted his thoughts right where they had been
"SHINJI NO BAKA!"
"WHY AREN'T YOU AWAKE YET!"
'That voice… it couldn't be, could it? She… she was dead… She had died… fighting the MP Evas… I…I saw it with my own eyes… She was… she had…'
But sure enough, the door swung open, and in walked a seemingly perfectly healthy and untouched Asuka Langley Sohryu, in school uniform and all. And boy, she didn't look happy. But right now, Shinji was too happy to really care about the minor details
"ASUKA! YOU'RE ALIVE!" Shinji shouted as he leaped on Asuka and brought her into a tight hug, bringing them both to the ground. "I CAN'T BELIEVE IT!"
Shinji was quickly shoved off of her onto the floor, and was also quickly scolded for his actions with a quick slap.
"Anta baka hentai! What do you think you're doing?" Asuka said while she stood up and brushed off her skirt, "Of course I'm alive! Why wouldn't I be!"
'Why wouldn't she be? Why wouldn't she be! She was torn apart! Her Eva was ripped limb from limb! She- unless…'
"It was all a dream?" Shinji said unsurely. But it couldn't possibly just have been a dream, could it? 'Everything had looked… so real…wait a minute…'
"Where's Ayanami! And Kaworu! Misato?" He shouted out each name with more and more tension. What had happened? Was it really all just a dream? Were they all really ok?
Asuka sighed and looked at the ceiling again, "Can't you appreciate the fact that I went to the trouble of coming to wake you up? Don't you have any words of appreciation for your oldest childhood friend?"
At that, Shinji paused. Asuka said she was his…what? 'My oldest childhood friend? Since when? What does she mean coming to wake me up, doesn't she live here too?' Shinji just decided to play along, he needed his answers before anything else.
"Alright Asuka, thank you! But do you know where they are? I need to know!"
Asuka looked perplexed by his question,
"Man, you're acting really strange this morning… Kaworu's probably already at school, and Misato-sensei is never on time! She's still probably sleeping at home!"
'Wait, did she say Kaworu was at school? Misato-sensei? What's going on? Why'd she avoid mentioning Ayanami? Oh God… don't tell me she's…'
"And Ayanami? Where's she! Tell me she's alright too!"
At this point Asuka just looked plain annoyed, 'I come to wake him up and here he is ranting like a madman…what kind of screwed up dream did he have?'
"Who's Ayanami?" She asked to answer his final question. That answer sent a shock through his spine… 'What do you mean who's Ayanami? She's your mortal enemy! Wondergirl! The doll! How can you not remember?'
"Sweetie! Aren't you going to go to school?"
For the second time this morning, Shinji's blood ran cold. He had heard that voice before, somewhere, and for some reason, he couldn't place it. If he thought he could be any more shocked, he was proven correct by the next voice that came from outside.
"Shinji, we don't want to have to call up Miss Katsuragi again, you've missed enough school this year."
Shinji practically ran outside of his room to locate the two voices, leaving a still confused Asuka behind. When he entered the kitchen, he almost died of shock right there. Sitting at the table was his Father, Gendo Ikari, just silently reading the daily newspaper, a light smile spread across his face as he went through the comics page "Yui dear, is Shinji's lunch ready?"
No… did he just say what Shinji thought he said? His mother was dead, yet…the voices he heard before were…
"Yes Anata! I left it by the door for him so he could pick it up on the way out!" Yui Ikari poked her head into the kitchen and looked at Shinji with a smile, "Are you heading out soon sweetie?"
The sight before him just froze him. He responded the only way his body would allow him to, "Yah…" Shinji turned around and walked into the bathroom, starting to get ready for the day.
Yui looked genuinely confused as Asuka came into the kitchen and leaned against a wall. "What's wrong with Shinji?"
Asuka just shrugged and sighed, before responding, "I have no idea, I guess he just had a weird dream or something…He kept on mentioning some Ayanami girl… I don't really feel like prying right now."
Yui just shrugged and went back to her morning work. "Anata, you have to get ready for work too." She waited for an answer, but only got a low "Un" In response. "Good gosh…you're just like Shinji…" She was starting to get a bit flustered, "I'm the one who gets complaints from Fuyutsuki-sensei if you're late for the meeting…"
To this, she heard a low grunt and a small chuckle. "That's true, He IS your biggest fan."
Yui just rolled her eyes and continued washing the dishes. "Oh you… Cut that out and get ready!" Again, all she got as a response was a quick "Un." This time however followed by a short, "I know Yui."
It was the same every morning… she wasn't sure if Shinji inherited his laziness from his father, or if it was a bad habit that Gendo picked up from Shinji Either way, it was annoying as hell… "GO GET READY!"
She heard him jump in his seat, and after a few seconds heard him get up and head to the bedroom. 'There, that wasn't too hard!' Yui thought while she inwardly smiled at her forwardness. She continued to clean and put away the dished when she heard a voice from the doorway call, "We're leaving now!" Followed by a less enthusiastic, "I'm leaving…" She recognized the first voice as Asuka's and the second as Shinji's, and replied back quickly, "See you later sweetie! Have a good day!" before again turning towards the bedroom, "Anata! Hurry up already, you're going to be late!"
"I know Yui" Gendo replied as he walked into the kitchen. "I'm heading out now."
Gendo gave his wife a quick kiss on the cheek before exiting the house as well. Leaving an annoyed Yui behind in the kitchen. "I am going to get those two motivated in the morning if it's the last thing I do…"
A mile or so down the road, Shinji and Asuka could be seen running down the sidewalk heading for school. Shinji was more confused than he had ever been. What was going on? His mother was supposed to be dead, but there she was in the kitchen, acting as if nothing was out of the norm. And his father… his father! He looked like a normal person! He had even smiled, and he had called Shinji by his first name… He knew he should've been glad, but he was far too confused right now to be feeling anything else. His thoughts were soon interrupted by his red haired companion.
"Hey, we're going to be getting a new girl in the class today, aren't we?"
Shinji wasn't quite sure how to answer this question. He honest to God didn't know. All of these new things, all of these changes. People were acting like things had always been like this… and yet…he had no memory of this life at all. His thoughts and memories still lingered on his past life in Tokyo 3, and the Evas…But if he told everyone that, they'd probably think he was mad… He decided right there and then to try to blend in for as long as possible.
"Yah, I think so. I wonder what she's like!" He replied enthusiastically, "I hope she's cute!"
The last comment seemed to rile up Asuka a bit, but she quickly dismissed it as Shinji trying to get on her nerves. They continued on their trip down the sidewalk, and Asuka began to hear a faint voice on the other side of the granite wall to their left
"Oh crap, I'm late! I'm late! I can't be late on the first day!"
Asuka quickly realized what was about to happen, but couldn't warn Shinji quickly enough as he smashed into the blue haired girl emerging from the other side of the wall, sending them both flying backwards onto the ground.
"Ow… son of a…" Shinji murmured as he gripped his forehead while leaning on the ground before looking up at who he had run into. For the forth time that day, his blood froze. "…Ayanami…?"
Sure enough, Rei, or at least someone that looked exactly like her, was on the ground rubbing her head as Shinji was. Shinji couldn't believe it! She was alive as well! As strange as this new place seemed, it looked like everything was turning out right. Rei looked up at Shinji and immediately covered up her dress, thinking he was "sneaking a peek".
"Sorry! I wasn't looking where I was going, I'm in a hurry!" She apologized quickly as she stood up and began to run off. "Again, sorry!"
Shinji just stood there flabbergasted. The only other person that had seen everything during Third Impact… didn't even remember his face…No, he wouldn't accept that. He had to try…
Rei froze. While she was worried about getting to school late, her curiosity was peeked when she learnt that somehow this boy knew her name. 'Could he be… a stalker!' That one thought was all she needed to keep running towards the school, leaving a broken Shinji behind.
'This isn't right…' Shinji thought. 'No one remembers… anything…Where am I? In some kind of alternate universe? Is this what Mother meant? I CANT TAKE LIVING LIKE THIS!'
Asuka at this point was concerned. Shinji had already fallen back to his knees and was shaking. While she REALLY didn't want to know what was going on, she felt that it was her duty to help her friend. "Shinji, what's wrong?"
It was that moment he snapped, pulling his head back and letting out an ear shattering scream towards the sky,
Alright, leave it on the edge there for chapter one. Hmmm, that turned out better than I thought it would! Now since I actually like this idea, I wouldn't be surprised if I can finish the next chapter some time next week. (Assuming school doesn't get in my way…) Please leave reviews if you enjoyed it, or wish to say something about the story! Flame if you must, I'll just laugh you off anyhow, so go right ahead and waste your time flaming me if you so desire, just one more review for me!