Five Ways Kaworu and Shinji Never Lived Happily Ever After Together

From the current ongoing meme at my journal. For Vadalia.

1. there are no happy endings.

"I want you to kill me," Kaworu says. He's smiling, a bit sadly, but it's the same smile Shinji has known for such a short time, one that seems so much longer.

And even though his mind is screaming for him to not, Shinji does.

2. the last kiss / tasted like tobacco / a bitter and sad smell

"I like you," Kaworu says.

The school year is almost over and Shinji can almost smell the next year in the air, the newness of fresh blooms springing up from the snow.

Kaworu smiles, he seems completely calm, no trace of anxiousness in his eyes. Everything about him is so casual; even how his shirt hangs on him, loose, with a few buttons undone.

As much as Shinji wants to drink in every detail, he wrenches his gaze away.

"I'm that. I'm not gay!"

He grips Kaworu's shirt that smells of soap and air and sweat and iKaworu/I. He's hyperventilating, desperate.

"I'm not...I'm not."

All he can see is his father's face, Gendou's wall-like expression. The scowls. Even as he knows he will never achieve it, he desires his father's acceptance almost as much as he wants Kaworu's touch.

"I'm not..." he gasps out, all his rage and fury spent. His lies are so easy to spot, but Kaworu just smiles sadly.

"I understand," Kaworu says.

The sky is painted with red and gold streaks as Kaworu walks away. Shinji watches because he is weak and all he can do is watch

He never sees Kaworu again.

Later on, many years his life is shaped differently. Looking back, he always remembers the way Kaworu looked in other sunsets, walking him home. The curve of his smile. He remembers that summer to its abrupt, jarring end.

But most of all, he remembers Kaworu as his first love.

3. the other woman

Asuka was expecting their first child and her temper was worn even more thin than usual. She sat on the couch, her enormous swelling belly seems some kind of legion, tumor. Shinji can't look at her long, or he'll feel dizzy and nauseous with a kind of panic that claws at his skin and won't let him free.

"You forgot the pickles!" She screams, and throws the empty ice cream carton at him.

He ducks and just misses him, vanilla splatters over the newly painted blue walls.

"I'll get it immediately," he says and runs far from her poison, her hate.

He had intended to shower, wash the scent of Kaworu and their sin off of his skin, but now he'd have to find another way. He was always paranoid that Asuka would find out and throw back his own weakness in his face. He wants to wash and scrub until he can't smell the heady scent of him anymore.

The heat fell down so heavily, pushing him down as he walked down the streets from their apartment. His mind calculates how far it is back to Kaworu's apartment, to the cool refreshing feel of his controlled chaos.

Shinji pushes the hair from his face. He looks up at the heat rising from the blacktop and remembers the feel, the taste, the touch.

But as much as he'd like to end this, Kaworu is gentle. Asuka says he is useless, weak. Kaworu says that there's something special under it all. He brushes his fingers over Shinji's chests and whispers I love you into his skin over and over again with each kiss.

4. how you survived the war

Only one soldier could go. Everyone knows that this was suicide, an honorable death, and only if they succeeded. Shinji shifts from foot to foot, the gun feels far to heavy in his hands.

He's fifteen and he's never kissed a girl, never been in love or seen New York. All he can think of is all the living he has yet to do.

Shinji shudders as glances come his way. How many have labeled him weak, useless? How many of them wish for him to be nothing more than canon fodder? His helmet hangs low, enough to shade his eyes and conceal the fear that dwells there.

"I'll give you all this one chance, step forward, be a hero and make history!"

The commander looks directly at him as he says this, Shinji knows it. His hands shake and he grips the gun tighter, lest he drop it.

Beside him, he hears a voice break through.

"I'll go," Kaworu says.

Kaworu smiles back at him and all Shinji can feel is relief. He finally breathes again, slow, his lungs aching. He watches as Kaworu is outfitted for the final charge, the bombs, the weapons. Kaworu is strong enough to be no mere short diversion, no cannon fodder. Perhaps he would even live.

Shinji should feel guilty and he should feel regret but for that moment all he can feel is relief. He is fifteen and his life is spared for a moment more, he can walk father, only over the bodies of others.

5. the summer before

They met one summer and were near inseparable. It all happened so fast, Kaworu came into him Shinji's life, and since then he followed everywhere. They seemed a mismatch, yet somehow fit despite the differences.

They spent every day of that summer together. Swimming in streams, exploring the woods. Kaworu often slept over, they always shared beds then. The sheets were sweaty and it was too hot to share, Kaworu lay beside him, their thin legs touching. The days felt so long and yet so short – years and minutes all in one.

They spent every waking moment together, until one day, Shinji returned alone.

He never could tell what happened, or how his clothes came to be covered in blood. He couldn't speak, even to tell of where his friend had disappeared to. The mere mention of Kaworu's name sent him into hysterics.

He was hospitalized shortly after, when Misato found him curled in a ball, holding himself while staring unblinking at the wall.

Gendou was away, as always. When he heard the news, he made arrangements. They were well kept, to anyone who asked, the world at large, his son was dead.

In white rooms Shinji stared blankly at the wall. Over and over he heard the last words, repeated ad infantum. Kaworu's words, the last he would ever hear.