For The Sake of Dreams
A Xenocide Production
AN: Wow. I didn't even know that this fic existed up until a short while ago. It was a fic I wrote before I knew self-insertions were a big no-no. But hey, I figure I'll post it just to see what kind of reaction I get. And don't worry. I think you'll like how this one ends. A fitting tribute to all SI fics.
Summary: We strive to dream where we know we should not. It does not do to dream and forget to live.
Ikari Gendou was focusing intently on the laptop in front of him on his desk, the silvery glow of the screen reflecting brightly off of his glasses. His hands were folded in his trademark manner: both hands interlocked with each other and held conveniently in front of his mouth, obscuring from prying eyes what little emotion he allowed himself to show from time to time. This very moment, his mouth was quirked in a small smile of satisfaction, though one would hesitate to label it a smile.
All was proceeding as planned. The board was shaping up quite nicely to fit his needs. All of his pieces were moving in their assigned routines, and with each passing day, he grew nearer to his goal.
He leaned back in his chair and idly studied the intricate mural he had had carved in his ceiling, rubbing the palm of his left hand through his white gloves unconsciously as he did so.
Yes, indeed. Proceeding as planned.
Suddenly, he snapped to attention, some subconscious sixth sense causing him to scan the corners of his office intently, searching the shadows for whatever had disturbed him so.
For some inexplicable reason, he feared to take his eyes off of the room in front of him.
No, fear wasn't the right word. He feared nothing.
He was more…….apprehensive………than anything. He felt as if the universe had taken a deep breath and was holding it in for as long as it could. And when the explosive exhalation came……
Slowly, without ever once taking his eyes from the shadows, he reached for the small pistol he kept in his desk drawer. There was one on the inside of his uniform, which he kept with him at times, even when sleeping, but he felt that he dared not make such a movement. For what reason he thought this, he could not fathom.
He brought the gun out silently and placed it in his lap, hidden from sight and with one finger on the safety.
The exhalation he had been waiting for appeared, not in front of him as he had surmised, but behind him.
He stiffened as a soft voice spoke gently into his ear,
"There's no need for that, Ikari Gendou. Please, put your weapon away. It has no place here."
Against his will, cursing his seemingly traitorous limbs and motor functions, he laid the pistol back inside the drawer, and shut it. He tried to turn his head, but found that, like his limbs, he could not so much as twitch his cheek.
"I just want to have a polite conversation with you. Your fears, while unjustified, are entirely understandable."
Fear? Oh, no.
The only emotion that the Commander felt at that moment was a cold, cruel rage. No one, not even the bane of mankind's existence, spoke to him in such a condescending tone and lived to tell the tale. Well, they might have lived, but they probably would have preferred not to once Gendou had finished with them.
"I am going to release you now. I trust that you can behave with a modicum of civility?"
A great weight seemed to lift from his shoulders and Gendou found that he had control over his body again.
He swiveled his chair around and fixed his murderous glare, said to be able to shorten one's lifespan by a considerable amount of years, on a boy not a few years older the pilots of Evangelion.
He was leaning nonchalantly against the bay windows that overlooked the Geofront as if he hadn't a care in the world. He was wearing a pair of blue jeans and a simple navy blue hoodie with the word NIKE emblazoned in green on the front of it. It was an American, surprise of surprises.
Of course, it was hard to tell. All of those damned foreigners looked the same.
For all the Commander knew, and quite frankly didn't care, the boy in front of him could have been German, or even French.
Though the way he had spoken, it was as if he had been born a native. True, he was overly formal, and spoke as if he was far older than he looked, but still…his command of Japanese was impressive. Even the Second Children had traces of an accent.
What was even more interesting was the look on his face. He was willing to bet that Rei herself would be hard pressed to match the look of utter indifference that the boy wore on his face.
For someone who had just pissed off one of the top ten most powerful persons in the world, the boy was remarkably calm and noticeably not pissing his pants for fear of his life, as most lesser mortals, and probably Angels, would have done by now.
Of course, perhaps he didn't feel the need for fear. After all, the boy had manipulated his body quite easily. An Angel with the power to control the body. A terrible foe indeed. How could Eva combat a being such as this? He toyed with the idea of lunging for his sidearm, but doubted he would live to complete the action.
"I told you, I'm only here to talk." He slouched down even further, sliding down the glass until he was sitting with his knees to his chest and hands in the hoodie's pouch, completely relaxed in front of his would-be murderer. "And before you ask, I am not an Angel, bent on the destruction of mankind. If I were, do you really think you would still be alive?"
"And what, exactly then, are you?" Gendou forced every bit of coldness and barely contained rage into that question that he could. His hopes of unnerving the boy was dashed.
"I'm, for the lack of a better word, a visitor."
The Commander scowled.
The boy chuckled lightly. "A bit anti-climactic, wasn't it? Drama has never really been my forte."
"Who are you? The Dead Sea Scrolls did not predic--"
The boy snorted indelicately. "I swear Gendou, if those Scrolls 'predicted' that you would jump off of a cliff, would you do it?"
The Commander's lip curled disdainfully. The boy's insolence was quickly becoming tiring. "Little boys shouldn't talk of things they know nothing of."
The boy smirked. "And four-eyed nerds and old men with too much money shouldn't play God. There's a lot of things that we shouldn't do, Ikari. That doesn't mean we won't do them anyway. Such is the nature of the almighty human race."
Ikari frowned darkly. "Don't preach philosophy to me, boy." He leaned forwards slightly. "You know nothing of human nature. And one who knows nothing can understand nothing."
"But that certainly didn't stop you from placing your hands on matters that were best left alone," the boy shot back. "You opened the proverbial Pandora's Box, Rokubungi," Gendou twitched in surprise at the use of his former family name, "Only this time, there is no hope left to go around." He paused, adding only a few moments afterwards, "Tell me, do you really think that Yui will accept you after all you have done? All of this misery, supposedly all for her sake?"
Gendou's smooth exterior dissolved instantly in the wake of his rage. "How DARE you!?!" He snarled.
He almost went for his handgun, but once again realized the futility of the move. To his credit, the only sign of the Commander's deep desire to empty several clips into the boy in front of him was betrayed only by a slight twitching of his hands.
"I dare many things," the boy replied blandly, "but not so much as you."
The Commander was near apoplectic with rage. But with a deep breath, he schooled his expression back into its stoic mask.
"I am quite curious as to how a young foreigner knows so much about the Project. I shall have to…reprimand…Section One very harshly. They haven't been doing their jobs, it seems." He tilted his head downwards slightly, hiding his eyes behind the dark lenses of his glasses.
The visitor responded in a wry voice, "You wouldn't believe me if I told you. Besides, you couldn't handle the truth." His voice hardened. "I'm bigger than you, Ikari. I'm bigger than SEELE, than Eva, than Instrumentality, and bigger than this whole goddamn sorry state of existence."
The older man snorted in amusement.
"My, we think highly of ourselves, don't we?" He would not let this….thing intimidate him. If it was going to kill him, it would have done so by now.
"It's the truth." The other responded simply.
Ikari could not think of an answer that would adequately counter the wholehearted sincerity he had felt of that statement.
The boy brought his hands out from hiding in his hoodie pouch and began to idly trace intricate patterns on the cold tile beneath him. "I won't trouble you much longer, Commander. I only have one question. One, burning question that I'm sure others of my ilk have been dying to ask."
He leaned forward in his chair in spite of himself.
The boy looked him dead in the eye. "Why?"
He considered the youth in front of him. What, oh what plausible trash could he feed the brat to satisfy him?
Still looking him in the eye, the boy added nonchalantly, "And should you think to answer with anything less than wholly truthfully and seriously, know this. I will feed you to the very demons that you have been trying to free. You will suffer a fate that Lucifer himself would shudder to think of." He grinned viciously. "And I will take great pleasure in doing so."
Eyeing the feral grin opposite him, the Commander didn't doubt for one moment that he would.
He nodded slowly.
"Very well." He straightened in his chair, bracing his elbows on the arms and folding his hands loosely in front of him, in a blatant mockery of prayer.
"And there is the Gendou that we all know and love…" The boy murmured absently.
He raised an eyebrow but the boy waved him on impatiently.
"As you have no doubt surmised," he began, "the main goal of my….strategy is to reunite me with my Yui. When Instrumentality has occurred, we shall be together, as one, for eternity and onwards." He paused. "And at the same time, I am also doing this for the Third."
The boy looked slightly perplexed, the only sign of true emotion that the Commander had seen on him the entire time. "Shinji?" He queried.
Ikari nodded. "Yes, for the Third. The loss of his mother damaged him far beyond what my hands could repair, and I could not look at him without seeing his mother in him. So I left him to his own devices."
"We already knew that." The boy murmured again. He ignored the strange look the older man was giving him.
"Even then, the stages of planning for the Instrumentality project was nearing completion. All that I lacked was a key, one who would unlock the Gates of Heaven themselves for all of mankind."
The boy had the faint traces of understanding on his face. Horror soon followed. "You….you….bastard!!!" He hissed through his teeth. "How could you do that to him?"
Ikari continued on as if he hadn't heard. "I needed a willing tool, the hand that would guide the light of man to the comfort of the void. One who could find no redeeming qualities in the world that he inhabited." He spoke idly, as though discussing the weather. "I needed someone who was broken beyond measure, who feared and loathed the thought of all human contact. He would incite Third Impact, and raise humanity up as gods, choosing an existence that was comforting to him and beneficial to me. I forged him into a tool that was befitting of my needs. I was the blacksmith, you might say."
"And in return," he added softly as he gazed coldly at the seething figure before him, "he himself would be bestowed the title of Lord over all Creation. He would have his mother, and I would have my wife. It's really a win-win situation, don't you agree?"
There was silence then, and there was only the flickering glow of the Tree to remind them of existence.
The boy chuckled bitterly his voice echoing thinly in the vast room. "Some of us almost wanted for there to be more. But no. It's as cut and dry as the fucked up bastard could make it, even if he didn't say it in so many words." He shook his head. "A wasted dream, soiled and dirtied. I almost feel sorry for the old man."
The Commander could only be silent. He cared not for the boy's insane ramblings. He could feel a slight return of control over his motor functions. Inch by creeping inch, he was preparing himself to draw the hidden sidearm under his jacket. The thing would never know what hit him.
"It's heartbreaking." The boy continued. "We try so hard to change things, to change them for the better, because nothing is worth the misery, the horror, and the despair of it all. So we make different dreams, full of light, laughter, and love, hoping to fill that gaping hole in our own hearts and burying the harsh truth under it." He stood up from his position on the floor and, with indifferent mask back on his face, peered dispassionately down at the old man. "Try as I might, Ikari, I—we cannot change things. This is the way things are, and this is the way they will always remain, no matter what flights of fancy may take us. Though I know it is futile to warn you, I will ask you to take special heed of that. Dreams are no substitution for reality."
He turned and faced the bay window. Ikari silently and swiftly drew the gun from his side. "It does not do to dream and forget to live." The boy said softly, with a note of regret laced in his voice.
He met the boy's eyes in the reflection of the window. There was no surprise at the sight of the gun, and no remorse either. "The Project will come to fruition boy, and then there will be no more dreams to dream."
He squeezed the trigger.
He stared coldly at the end of his gun and the smoke drifting aimlessly from its end. He stood up and moved to the far side of his desk, pressing a small red button.
A toneless, female voice droned over the intercom.
"Have someone come up to my office to…dispose of some refuse. It was quite careless of them to forget to clean it up."
Yes, Commander. Will there be anything else?
An eye unseen roved over the still form of a small teenage boy drenched in red and gray matter slumped facefirst against his office window.
He grimaced distastefully. That red would stain.
"Please advise the disposal crew to replace a window and lay down new carpert.
Right away, sir. They're on the way up as I speak.
He pressed the button again and the intercom clicked gently as it shut off.
He subconsciously rubbed his left hand. This was nothing more than a hiccup in his scenario. The Scrolls obviously did not deem the unwanted visitor important enough to be mentioned, but still.
He frowned. Such odd, odd questions he had asked. And even madder murmurs and whispers. A ghost, a wraith, an apparition. A dream that had slipped through the cracks.
He pushed the odd thoughts out of his mind. He had a scenario to see to completion. There would be time for idle pondering later.
On the floor a few scant feet away, a young boy gazed sightlessly at the glass in front of him. A distant light flashed, then was gone.
The eyes suddenly blinked, the focused. His lips moved long enough to form just once before his eyes glazed back over and he succumbed to the pull of the otherworld.
"I hope you fucking burn, Ikari."