SILENCE OF THE EVA

by Gunman

Disclaimer: I do not own Eva, Hannibal Lecter, or anything in either universe, just the events of this story.

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Shinji is walking through the city streets of Tokyo-3, just walking. He had been lost ever since he had left the apartment.

He wasn't sure where he was going, and he didn't really seem to care. He was desperate to find an answer to his own problems. Of which he had a lot of. He stopped for a moment and sat down in the entryway of an alley, the cool wind biting his skin. He hugged his bag so close he didn't notice the elderly man approach him.

"Are you alright, my boy?" the man said with a mild accent, but perfect Japanese.

Shinji looked up and saw that the man was old, perhaps as old as the sub-commander. There was a stern expression on his face and a look in his eyes that gave Shinji little comfort. He almost looked like he was... indifferent.

"I'm... I'm fine, sir."

The older man looked at him, and did not seem convinced.

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"So, you're the pilot of those giant robots that fight the monsters that threaten the city." the man said as he set his tea cup down.

Shinji nodded, looking away.

The pair had come to a quaint little restaurant at the request of the older man, who insisted that Shinji was in more trouble, both physically and mentally, and all but commanded him to join him for a warm cup of tea.

"You seem rather down, for a savior."

"I'm no hero."

"I didn't say hero. I said savior."

"I'm...not that either."

"Really. Tell me, Shinji... what is your life?"

For some reason, maybe just to get it off his chest, Shinji spent the next 40 minutes telling the older man exactly what had happened to him.

Everything, from his mother dying, to his father abandoning him, to his life with his relatives, to all the troubles that had brought him, to his piloting of Eva, his pain and suffering, and now to his running away from his current guardian.

"They tell me I have to pilot, that I'm the only one who can do it, and then they tell me there isn't a place for someone like me with them. I wish I knew what they really thought about me." Shinji said to the man.

"People don't always tell you what they are thinking. They just see to it that you don't advance in life. They do this, primarily, for their own justification." the man said.

"You must know my father." Shinji muttered.

The older man looked at the boy, his expression unchanged.

"You have many scars." he suddenly said.

Shinji looked at himself.

"On the inside, dear boy. And be grateful. Our scars have the power to remind us that the past was real."

"What if we don't like our past?"

"We can't change it. The only thing we can do is face it."

"I can't face it."

"Why not?"

"Because I'm a coward. I'm mean, dishonest, weak, sneaky, and a sissy."

He stared at Shinji in disbelief. He listened to his voice as best he could. The boy was lying to him, and more importantly, to himself.

It was obvious to the man that the boy suffered from depression and feelings of negative self-worth. But it was more than that. This boy had been abandoned, by his own father, shortly after he had witnessed his mothers death. The trauma that was within this boy was enough to write a book on.

Thoughts of suicide may also be present, he thought.

As a child, an innocent, he would have had no one to turn to for comfort, or emotional support. It didn't sound like it from what he had told the man about his life. And now he was being asked to fight for the future of the world that needed him, yet seemed to hurt him. He was being made to see that there is nothing more to his life than this.

How can a boy be asked to save the world, when he can't even save himself?

The man himself was old, he knew that death was inevitable. But still...

"Only because you have never had anyone tell you that you have courage."

"Misato...did." Shinji suddenly realized.

"Did she?"

"She said I did a brave thing. Piloting Eva."

"And did you?" the man asked.

"I didn't want to pilot Eva in the first place."

"Then why did you?"

Shinji didn't need to think about that. "Because of Rei."

"Rei?"

"A girl. Another pilot...like me. She was injured, bandaged up, bleeding. They were going to make her pilot if I didn't do it. I...I couldn't let that happen."

"So you took her place in the pilot seat."

"Yes."

"Because you were needed. Because you didn't want the girl to be hurt, or worse."

"Yes."

"Putting others before yourself. That is a brave thing, my boy. In my youth, I never did that. Even in my middle age I never did. I've know cowards, Shinji. You are not a coward, you are better. Much better."

"They want a hero. I can't be that. They need a warrior. I don't know how."

"Of course you don't. You can't be those things, because they are the journey not the destination. Only at the end of your journey will you be called hero, warrior, savior. Not during."

"I don't understand." Shinji said.

"I think you do. Deep down, you know the right thing to do, and what's more, I think you believe it too."

"I've...never had anyone tell me that before."

"That is fairly obvious."

"I don't know what to do."

"Yes you do. You just have to admit that you do know."

"I don't...understand."

"Then let me explain... you stink of fear. But you're not a coward. You're not any of those things you say you are. Cowardly, dishonest, weak, mean, sneaky, or a sissy. You've had a terrible life, yes. You're being asked to shoulder a tremendous responsibility, true. But you do it, not for yourself, but for others. To protect them, to ensure that they live. Buildings can be replaced, machines can be rebuilt, but human life is so fragile that it needs to be protected at all costs. You are prepared to pay that cost, with your life, and that makes you braver than anyone else. Because your intentions are not selfish, but of the highest, purest caliber. You put others before yourself. Their needs, their wants, their wishes. Their entire future. And you ask nothing of yourself, only to ensure that they are happy. That's what you fear, my boy. You are afraid of failing the people you care about. You're afraid of losing them all. That is why you don't want to try."

Shinji just looked at the man as he continued.

"You're not a politician or a general, you're a solider. You stare the enemy in the eye every time you fight, you know who you're up against. You know, what has to be done. You are afraid, but you are not a coward, Shinji Ikari. You are human, and humans make mistakes. You just have to realize it. And when you do, you will be ready to fight."

Shinji starts crying again, but this time he is smiling.

"Ah. So you can smile."

"Yes. Thank you, sir. I...I feel a lot better now. I...you're right. I need to face my problems. I need to pilot...because I'm the only one who can."

The man smiled.

"And I need to get home. I've taken up a lot of your time. I'm sorry."

"Not at all, dear boy. It was a pleasure to speak with you."

"Thank you, sir. Will I...see you again?"

The man shook his head sadly. "I'm afraid not. My business here in Tokyo-3 is almost over and I must be moving along soon. I have...other matters to attend to, and I am not long for this world as you can plainly see. But I am pleased to have met you my boy. And hopefully, I have helped."

"You have."

He smiled. "Remember, Shinji. You are a savior, a guardian of the world. As long as you fight for those you care for, you can never be defeated."

Shinji smiled at that, bowed respectfully, and then left.

The old man smiled as he lifted his tea to his lips.

"And now...to other matters." he grinned.

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Gendo Ikari awoke in his dining room, tied to a chair, his head still buzzing from the chloroform he had been hit with.

"Where am I? What happened?"

"Not much. I just had to make sure I had your full attention." a deep, cultured voice said. "So, tell me, bowels in or bowels out?"

"What? Who's there? Do you have any idea who I am?" he started to growl.

"Gendo Rokobunji Ikari. Supreme Commander of NERV. Husband of the late Yui Ikari. Father of Shinji Ikari, the Third Child and pilot of Evangelion Unit 01."

"You don't know what you've done, you fool! When I get finished with you there won't be enough to put in a thimble! And I'll do the same to all your friends, you're family, everyone you've ever #&(!) loved!"

"Now you're being rude, and I hate rude people."

"I demand to know who you are. TELL ME!"

"You may call me...Doctor Hannibal Lector."

"Lector?" Gendo whispered as his blood suddenly went cold. It can't be. Hannibal the Cannibal? What are the odds he would be here? And why? "Why...why have you come here?"

"It is in regards to your son. Shinji."

"What have you done with him!"

"Nothing. He and I had a very...unpleasant talk. Never before have I met someone with so much, trauma, in his life. And I can't blame him. Traumatized and abandoned so young in his life makes him the victim. Blameless. I've seen it much too often, and always it is the parents who are to blame. As such, I can only do what I think is the best solution."

"What are you talking about? You will not take him from me! He is too important to my plans!"

"I'm sure that whatever it is that you are planning, short of genocide, will not be missed by the world at large. Men such as yourself are prepared for that, to sacrifice everything to complete your own egocentric goals. Even your only family. The boy however is too important, he has a great deal on his shoulders, and he doesn't need your interference or influence to do his job."

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The next day Section 2 finds Commander Ikari dead, his heart on a plate in front of him and his liver gone.

The only evidence was a small plate with a couple faber beans on it.

His face frozen in one of fear.

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Authors Notes:

Alright, you can let out your breath now. What, you thought I was going to have Lector kill and eat Shinji? Give me a break! There was NO WAY I could write something like that.

And I assumed Lector liked his food...aged.

And I really don't like Gendo that much, so what better way to take him out than to pit him against someone scarier than him.

I never actually read the Hannibal Lector books. Saw the films a couple times, 'Silence of the Lambs', 'Red Dragon' and parts of 'Hannibal'. So if anyone thinks that I'm not being as true to Lector as possible, take into consideration the effect that Second Impact had on him. That and that alone could have seriously changed his personality to a more... friendlier one. Though, not too differently where Gendo is concerned.

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