This is hardly an original idea. A character at the end of a series going back to the beginning? Been done a lot, especially by better writers than me. The TV Tropes wiki even refers to this type of device as a "Peggy Sue", a portmanteau on the "Mary Sue" type character and the time-travel movie "Peggy Sue Got Married".

But that's not to say these stories can't be interesting. Crazy-88's "Once More with Feeling" is a good example of a Peggy Sue done well. So is Strike Fiss's "Higher Learning". In fact, while I was rereading those fanfics, a curious thought entered my head: everyone always writes about the hero (usually Shinji) getting a do-over.

Why not the villain?

Why not Gendo Ikari?

After all, who is less deserving of a second chance than that ol' four-eyed bastard? Even a casual fan of Neon Genesis Evangelion knows that Gendo is a total slimeball. Why, he's practically the devil himself! He killed, maimed, schemed, blackmailed, and conned his way into unleashing Third Impact on his own terms, just so he'd be reunited with his dead wife. And all it cost was his soul, his son's love, and the human race itself. Why would HE of all people DESERVE a second chance?

Of course, that assumes "good" and "bad" people get what they deserve. Life rarely works that way. And Gendo with foreknowledge of what's to come? That's a surefire recipe for yummy fanfic drama.

So now let us begin a new story, set in a world where Gendo Ikari finds himself blessed with a second chance to save his soul…

…or damn it once and for all.

[A quick note on the rating. This isn't going to be a hard "M", but the later chapters, particularly when I get into the second half of the series, will be darker and more violent than the first half. Don't worry, I'm not going to get into detail about sex or violence, but those themes will be present.