Disclaimer: I don't own Neon Genesis Evangelion, which is owned by Gainax.

Yui Ikari is a collector of strays and monsters, the first being a pastime and the second being a learned habit.

When she was five, she brought home a dirty, shivering dog, bald and brokenhearted in the rain. She watched over it, nursed it to health, and her parents were utterly appreciative of their wonderful, responsible daughter.

One day, a wild fox was thieving from the garbage in the back of her house. The dog found the fox and fought it, but it was still weak and easily overmatched by the wily, fierce animal.

And then Yui came. With the cruelty that only love can produce, she took a rock and bashed the skull of the fox in, again, and again, and again.

Only when the blood slithered across the ground and her hands, did she cease her assault.


Older and a little wiser, Yui came across a stray man with a bruised eye and a cut cheek, bleeding and angry beneath a closed, emotionless face.

He looked at her with his good, stormy ocean blue eye.

Staring at him after a moment, Yui smiled warm as the sun and held out her hand. "Do you need a place to stay?" she asked.

The man stared at her with incredulity and the least amount of control he'd ever look at her again.

"I don't need pity." He said, not gruffly, not coldly, but just a statement.

"Its not pity." She replied, and grasped his unwilling hand, pulling him away.


He stood in the door of her apartment, looking out of place and yet as impassive as a statue.

"You can sit down, y'know." Yui said wryly, picking through her cabinet for the first aid kit.

"I'd prefer to stand." He said, his voice controlled and tense as trip wire.

"Its polite to follow what your hostess says, though." She smiled in a chiding way and pushed him slightly, carrying the kit in her free hand. "I'm Yui, by the way. Yui Ikari." She added, and pulled free some rubbing alcohol, dabbing it against his cut cheek.

After a moment, without flinching, he replied. "Gendo. Gendo Rokubungi."

She asked him to stay for the night.

He stays for the week.

There's little change in her routine. She goes off to the university to perform research about things most of the world has never dreamed, and when she returns, he's there. Sometimes watching television, sometimes eating, sometimes even making something to eat.

Other people would have questioned exactly where a stranger they picked up off the street came from. Yui had the innate sense of knowing that she was needed, and that all she ever needed to get through life.

"You don't have to stay here all the time." Yui chided, smiling easily.

"There's no place I need to be." Unsaid: I have no one.

"Then stay as long as you like." Yui replied, and everything she needed to say was in her voice.


"I don't like him." Fuyutsuki's voice is annoyed and his nose is wrinkled as though he is a disapproving father. In a way, Yui supposes, he is the closest thing to a father she has right now.

"He's dangerous." Fuyutsuki continues. "He's wild... uncontrolled. More like a lion than a man."

"Lions can be tamed." Yui said airily, looking into her microscope and into things no one else can see.

Fuyutsuki scowled. "That's just a stupid circus trick."


"I know you don't love me." Yui said, smiling over dinner one night. Gendo isn't surprised she's figured that out, not one whit. "You can't love... that sort of thing just isn't in you."

"I want you to marry me." Gendo said quietly. He doesn't kneel, and he never will. But he hands her the box with a ring as though that explains everything.

Yui just kept smiling. "Are you listening?" she questioned, humor filling her voice.

"I would let the world burn to make you smile." Gendo said honestly, his face unchanged.

"That's not love," Yui chuckled, sipping her blood red wine. "But that's good enough." She placed her hand over his.

"I'd kill for you too."


Yui never really wanted the white picket fence, suburban house, but the kids were what she loved about the fantasy. She loved children, loved the idea of innocence and raising it and protecting it and insuring everything would be perfect for it.

It was something she would kill for.

Gendo understood the feeling of doing anything and everything for something. He would do it for her, he would do it for himself. And doing it for her was the only thing he would do for anyone else.

Yui didn't know how she earned that devotion.

Whatever she did, she decided, it probably wasn't worth it.


Shinji Ikari was a quiet baby, even from birth. His cries were much softer, his first movements out of the womb much less frantic than even the meekest babe. Gendo watched the proceedings with the cold eye of an observer.

Yui smiled wearily as she was passed her child. "My baby... welcome to the world. I promise, you'll be the most important person in it." She looked up, and met Gendo's cold eyes.

"In the end, it will be him. You can scheme and predict all you want," Yui hummed and smiled, "But you know that my little Shinji here is the culmination of our dreams."

Gendo said nothing. The boy was now under his own personal protection. He would never be able to love the boy or even show the devotion he showed Yui, but Shinji is his son and that cannot change.


Gendo would never love the boy, Yui understood, just as she would never be able to be a normal mother who would stay at home and protect the boy until that boy could protect himself.

Shinji was frailer than a normal boy. Stronger too.

Yui smiled at the Evangelion before her. "You and me... we'll make sure Shinji is safe, won't we? At any and all costs." She could see the blood on that abomination's hands, and she could see horror upon horror.

Good parent's make sacrifices for their children.

Yui wondered if sacrificing the world made her the best parent in the world.


"What was my mother like?" Shinji asked softly. Fuyutsuki wonders at the chances of it being only himself and the young boy in the break room at the same time.

Shinji's words are desperate and searching like groping hands in the dark, searching for a hand to guide them through.

Fuyutsuki shrugged, keeping his hands at his sides.

"She loved. Really, she loved a little too much, in my opinion."