Til Kingdom Come

Shinji/Rei Pairing

This takes place during the "End of Evangelion" timeline, after Shinji "visits" Asuka and before the JSSDF attacks.

I do not own Neon Genesis Evangelion (property of Gainax) or the Coldplay song "Til Kingdom Come," from the X&Y album.

Shinji stood inside the hospital bathroom, staring vacantly at himself in the mirror. He had just come from the room Asuka was assigned to. He remembered the incident vividly: he'd desperately shaken her inert form, babbling that she was the only one who could help him. Then her gown had ripped open, and he had done...that. He looked away from the Shinji gazing at him from the mirror's glass, too ashamed to even look at himself. Not that he liked being in his own skin to begin with.

"What the hell's wrong with me?" he muttered into the sink.

In a distant part of the city, Rei Ayanami sat on her bed in a place that could be called a 'home' only in the very loosest sense of the term. In her hands sat a pair of seemingly unremarkable eyeglasses. Yet the girl was contemplating them intensely, as though they possessed the answers to all the questions that now plagued her mind.

They had once belonged to one she thought cared for her. One who she had thought-- no, believed-- had placed some value in her life. One of the only people who showed her anything resembling kindness.

Now they had become a negative talisman, like a voice mocking her to reinforce what she had resigned herself to long ago.

Worthless. Replaceable. Inhuman. Soulless.

Be still, my heart

And hold, my tongue...

"...Nothing." she whispered to the silence, as though it might hold some comforting words. Comfort... something she had never realized she would want or need.

I feel my time

My time has come...

What she did next would have surprised anyone who had known Rei, who had said she was nothing but an emotionless doll. She snapped the spectacles in her hand, sending shards of glass to the ground and into her hands. Without a word she got up from her seat, letting the torn remains fall to the ground along with small drops of blood. A few minutes later Rei opened the door to her apartment with bandaged hands and prepared to exit. As she turned, she took one last, comtemptous look at her domicile, knowing full well she would never see this place again.

Let me in

Unlock the door

I've never felt this way before...

Shinji suddenly snapped out of his reverie, finding himself in the middle of an unfamiliar street. He looked around suspiciously, as though he had been taken here against his will and his captor would still be in the area. But his location was merely the result of his feet acting on their own while his mind was occupied with other concerns. The previously sunny day had quickly become overcast and windy. The boy mentally kicked himself and was preparing to continue in the hope of seeing something familiar when he saw the last person he expected. He recognized that sky-blue hair in a minute. It was Rei.

The wheels just keep on turning

The drummer begins to drum...

Instict made Shinji start to yell her name in order to get her attention, yet reality instantly hit him at the same time and he stopped himself. Before now, he would'nt have hesitated to walk with her, regardless of whether or not it was convienient for him. When Shinji and Rei were together, they more often than not wouldn't speak, so the casual observer would have thought they didn't get along. Yet with Rei, the truth was he didn't mind the silence. With her, it seemed...comfortable. Almost peaceful.

I don't know which way I'm going

I don't know which way I've come...

Yet now, the certainty Shinji had felt before was gone. He had learned things about Rei that made him, to put it mildly, rather uneasy. He hesitated for barely a second before turning around and heading back the other way. He felt a tinge of guilt at ignoring Rei like that, but he couldn't face her. Not now.

Hold my head

Inside your hands I need someone

Who understands...

Rei continued her silent journey to NERV headquarters, contemplating the unimaginable task which lay before her. She was about to cross an unfamiliar street when she caught something out of her peripheral vision. She turned her head in time to see a boy she knew very well turn his head and prepare to walk away.

I need someone

Someone who cares...

The sight of Shinji Ikari sent memories flooding back, although they technically weren't HER memories. In the fourteen years that the being known as Rei Ayanami had existed, there had been only one person other than her creator who had shown her compassion and empathy. Unlike the Commander, though, Shinji had not given kindness conditionally-- and for that Rei was grateful. His unassuming warmth had slowly, without her realizing it, awakened feelings and desires she had thought herself incapable of. Perhaps that was why she ignored her insticts, her own personal habits and inclinations, and called out his name.

For you I've waited all these years...

"Ikari." Shinji heard his name from the far end of the road in that maddeningly calm voice. He instictively cringed, like a child does when he's been caught trying to escape the scene of his misdeeds. It both frustrated and surprised him that Rei would do something so out of character as to attract someone's attention. With his inbred manners taking over his greater judgement, Shinji turned and slowly walked back to the voice's source.

For you I'd wait

Til Kingdom come

Until my day

My day is done...

It was only a few hundred feet, but the wait for the two of them seemed like days. The two children quietly regarded each other, neither showing any visible emotion on their faces.

"Hi, Ayanami." Shinji was quiet for a moment. "I, uh... didn't see you there."

Rei looked at him oddly, wondering why he would lie to her so blatantly. But she remembered that Shinji had found out the truth about her. He probably believed she had decieved him on purpose, thus he no longer saw her as worthy of his trust. This thought bothered her, but she didn't say anything regarding it.

Say you'll come

And set me free...

It was then that Shinji noticed Rei's bandaged right hand.

"...Ayanami! What happened?" For a moment, Shinji's caring side won out, and he forgot about his abivalence regarding the girl standing opposite him.

"Nothing," she responded coldly. She surprised herself with how easily she had uttered a falsehood to someone she considered a friend. Yet the energy between them had become turbulent from their own insecurities and worries. Shinji, sensing the same vibe as Rei, let the matter drop.

Just say you'll wait

You'll wait for me...

"Where are you going?" Shinji asked half-heartedly.

"To NERV."

"...Really? This isn't the way you normally go, is it?"

Rei thought to herself for a moment. "...No. But I decided that a...'change of pace' would be acceptable."

"...Oh... I see."

The silence fell between the two as it had done before, but it lacked the serenity that the two had taken comfort in before. They didn't look at each other-- Rei's crimson eyes were focused on a distant flock of birds while Shinji examined the cracks in the pavement. Rei was about to speak when, as if on cue, the clouds thundered above their heads, and within seconds rain came pouring down from the dark sky. Shinji, like many people who seemed to think they shared the Wicked Witch of the West's genetic aversion to water, ran to the other end of the street and found shelter under the shade of a nearby shop. Rei was left behind, but made no effort to escape the precipitation. Shinji looked at her curiously but did nothing. He jumped when he heard Rei speak.

"Are you running from me as well?" She was still a few feet away, but her voice cut through the noise of the storm-- and through him-- like a knife through paper.

In your tears

And in your blood...

Shinji's eyes took in the sad image of Rei standing there, in the middle of the street, eyes downcast, the rain mercilessly falling down on her. Alone. No matter how afraid of Rei he was, he felt guilty leaving her there. He hesitated, then stepped into the rain with her. She raised her eyes to him, and for the first time in a long time, they made eye contact. What was in Rei's eyes surprised him. Where there had once been coldness, he saw a quiet lonliness. He had never seen her like this in his life, and it scared him. It seemed like all the people around him, everyone who had seemed so strong, had been brought low somehow.

In your fire

And in your flood...


Rei shook her head, her brow creased slightly with determination.

"No. There is something you must know before I will let you speak." Her voice carried a severity that quieted Shinji immediately.


Rei took a breath before she began to speak.

"...Ikari-kun... I'm sorry."

Shinji knew instantly what she was talking about and tried to turn away from the issue. He didn't want to think about what she was or whether she had lied to him or not.

"No, Rei, it's fi--..."

"No. You should have learned the truth from me. I was obligated--by our... (she hesitated slightly at the use of the unfamiliar term) friendship... to be forthright with you."

Shinji didn't say anything, he merely took in her words without argument.

"...It is just that..." Rei was uncertain of how to word what she wanted to say. "...I was afraid."

The boy almost did a double take. Rei afraid? He could'nt imagine her being afraid of anything-- she was one of the strongest people he had ever known.

"...You're one of the only people... who knows about me. But... you were more than that. You're the closest friend I have ever had. My only friend."

Rei's words were met only with more silence, so she continued.

"I... I couldn't tell you because I was afraid that you would leave me. That you would...hate me for it. I couldn't bear the thought of you...abandoning me."

Rei sounded as if she was on the verge of tears, the stress of her emotional burden weighing on her greatly now. In spite of her fear of Shinji's answer, she knew she had to ask him what she needed to know.

"Ikari-- no. Shinji," her voice dropped to barely above a whisper. "...Do you hate me now?"

I heard you laugh

I heard you say

'I wouldn't change a single thing...'

Shinji didn't respond right away. He simply let the impact of her words hit him. He looked at her standing there with her eyes focused on the ground. As the rain washed over him, he felt his fear go with it. He couldn't imagine that he had ever been afraid of Rei. It didn't matter what she was. At that moment, she was just a girl. Another person just like him. Without realizing what he was doing, he threw his arms around her and held her. He heard Rei gasp slightly, but she made no effort to deter him. Shinji looked deep inside himself and found an answer.

The wheels just keep on turning

The drummer begins to drum

I don't know which way I'm going

I don't know what I've become...

"No, Ayanami. I don't hate you. I..." Holding Rei in his arms was causing so many conflicting emotions to mix within him, and he struggled to speak. "...I could never hate you."

For you I'd wait

Til Kindom come...

Shinji's words had relieved Rei's frightened soul, perhaps more than even she could know. She hesitantly raised her arms and let them rest along his back. She was freezing from the cold rain, and Shinji's warmth was comforting. She instictively buried her face into his shoulder.

"...Thank you," she whispered, intending for only him to hear her.

Until my days

My days are done...

After a few minutes the rain finally stopped. Yet the two children did not let go of each other right away. After months of knowing each other, it had taken an unimaginable revelation to make them truly understand each other. They reluctantly released their embrace and stood there together.

"... Goodbye, Shinji." Rei turned to leave. Shinji felt dazed. A short while ago, he hadn't wanted to see Rei again. Now he didn't want her to go. There was too much he still had to say. So much he had just understood...

Say you'll come

And set me free...

"Rei..." Shinji said quietly, "...What are you going to NERV for?" The girl stopped walking and looked at him quietly. Her stoic expression hadn't changed, nor her voice, but he couldn't help but sense an odd foreboding in her answer.

"There are...things I must do."

Shinji felt worried, although he tried to assure himself that his paranoia was unfounded. "Rei, would it... be all right if I saw you when you were done?" He hoped that, whatever she was doing, she would come back safely.

Just say you'll wait

You'll wait for me...

Rei sensed Shinji's anxiety in his voice, despite his efforts to keep it hidden. She responded with a small smile, which was gone as fast as it had come.

"Don't worry Shinji... I know that we will see each other again."

Just say you'll wait

You'll wait for me.

And with that, the two children turned from each other to face their respective destinies.