I do not own Evangelion or any of its characters.
Just a little one-shot involving my favorite pairing of all time, Rei x Shinji. This was written to the violin music of the youtube video /watch?vpribzhyGBk posted by Nexuiz90 - if you enjoy this fic I recommend you listen to the music on the video.
It was a dark, gloomy night.
Clouds that were so thick that they could be seen despite the shadowy darkness engirdled Tokyo-3 in a relentless embrace, obscuring the lingering caress of the moon's fingers. Outside the security of the glass windows of the apartment, the wind raged furiously, howling and shrieking with a haunting intensity as unseen arms savagely shook the trees from side to side in a violent, passionate dance, casting tortured shadows across the wasting gray tones of the urban cement pavements. Lights flickered on and off throughout the city as the power grids struggled against the merciless onslaught.
Lying on his side in his bed, the covers draped around his waist, Shinji Ikari gazed silently into the empty, toneless expanse of his room wall, his pupils flickering as he watched the nightmarish shapes that were the shadows contort and flicker as lightning arched and coursed through the stormy skies, his eyes downcast and lifeless. The dillapidated, recycled air of the air conditioning unit kissed his skin, eliciting the occasional shiver from the motionless form, but otherwise having no noticeable effect. Misato's snores reverberated through the considerable thickness of the walls, but Shinji paid them no heed. Instead, he simply reached out and touched the cool surface of the paint, watching without interest at his pale hand's shadow elongating and twisting in response to a flash outside.
After serveral moments, the boy finally moved, sitting up in the bed and casting a silent look out of the window before shaking his head and shaking his eyes, trying not to remember.
The progressive knife sang as Shinji brought it down, the blade keening through the silent air to sever the shining silver appendage that frantically fought against his grip, straining at EVA-01's body. Panicking, the boy put all of his strength into the attack, and watched as the lethal blade connected with the Angel's tentacle, and wincing as he immediately heard a haunting, piercing scream shrill through his EVA's audio receptors, realising that his attack had indeed hurt the Angel, a spray of crimson fluid confirming his thought.
It took him a split second to realise that the scream had in fact come from Rei Ayanami's lips. Jaw dropping, the boy swung round to catch the sight of EVA-00 contorting and spasming in agony. To his horror, Shinji looked at his own hands, squeezed tight over the butterfly controls, and saw his skin flaring and bubbling, veins protruding hideously, small vestiges of Rei's face manifesting across his gloved flesh.
He felt horrified, violated, bewildered, all in one.
The ghostly, emotionless voice of Rei Ayanami floated into his ears.
"It hurts... doesn't it, Ikari-kun?" The shimmering tentacle pulsated as it grew and manifested into a replica of the pilot of Unit 00, reaching for his EVA with the ghost of an idyllic giggle dying on its lips. The boy's eyes widened as the soft voice filled his ears again.
"Is this what my heart desires? ... to be one with Ikari-kun?"
Shinji struggled against the strength of the Angel, turning his head to stare frantically at the image of Rei on his HUD as her words sank in. Veins protruded hideously all across the First Child's body, defiling the flawless contours of her form that he had always secretly admired before. His attention was diverted back to the Angel as the replica of Rei lunged at him again. Shinji's heart leapt in terror.
"No." Shinji heard Rei's whisper as she saw the Angel lunge at him. Without warning, Unit 00 spasmed yet again, and Shinji gasped in surprise as the Angel's appendage was sucked back into the core of Rei's EVA, struggling and resisting. The blue EVANGELION shuddered and quivered, struggling to contain the lethal entity within itself, Rei's AT field flickering and pulsating as it fought with the Angel's awesome strength. It's core expanded, forming a bulbous canopy that surged higher and higher, a terrible, unwanted baby that birthed from EVA 00's trembling stomach cavity. Dimly, Shinji was aware of Maya desperately yelling at Misato, telling her that the core wouldn't be able to take anymore.
"Rei!" Misato's voice flooded the comm, strained with desperation. "Abandon the unit and escape!"
Shinji's mind screamed at himself not to run away. Forcing himself upwards, the pilot of Unit 01 ignored his grotesquely mutilated hands and struggled towards Rei, the ground echoing with his footsteps, just as he heard her speak what would be her last words.
"If I escape, the Unit's AT field will collapse. So I won't."
"Rei... do you want to die..?"
Shinji was too bewildered by Rei's words to do anything but watch mutely as the bulbous core retracted and collapsed. With a surge of hope, he saw the blue EVANGELION rise to its feet, and he stepped forward-
-just as the unit surged white-hot as wings of fire exploded from its back in a maelstrom of flame and shrapnel, bathing Unit-01 in surging fire and blasting it backwards off its feet. The sky flared crimson as the core went supernova, gouts of flame flaring from the raging inferno that housed Rei Ayanami. Sheltered in the safety of the NERV command center, Misato and the rest of the HQ could do nothing but watch dumbfoundedly as the conflagration surged higher and higher into the skies, Unit 00 enveloped in its hellish embrace.
Twelve feet away, Shinji sat motionlessly on the ground as the flames surged around him, his eyes wide and unblinking. He did not move. He did not speak.
Twelve feet away, his world had just come crashing down around him.
Shinji cursed. Sleep simply would not come tonight.
Disgustedly, the boy climbed out of his bed, wincing as his bare feet touched the icy contours of the floor. Silently, he crossed the small expanse of the room before halting before his cello, absentmindedly running his fingertips across the smooth, varnished wood, caressing the strings tenderly.
Ah well, he thought, playing always helped take my mind off things anyway.
Settling back into his chair, he hefted the bow, and began to play.
Closing his eyes as the bow touched the strings, he silently stroked the cello, a bittersweet note coursing throughout the room. Invigorated by an unknown impulse, he tightened his grip on the bow and brought it gliding backwards across the instrument, shifting his hands and fingers as he surrendered to his pent-up, restrained feelings, and allowed his fingers to move by their own accord.
The rhythmn increased in tempo as he skillfully caressed the instrument, his body and head swaying as he played, his hair dormant over his closed eyes and his lips parted softly. His arms began to move faster and faster as passion enveloped his body, moving with emotion and precise, elegant momentum as he poured his emotions upon the silent room with the cello as his filter, melancholy notes flowing off the strings like water, surrounding him and rising to a ghostly, haunting crescendo. The shadows danced around his form as thunderstrikes roared and lightning flashed, the city streetlamps flickering continuously, casting swirling contrasts of darkness and light across his face.
He continued to play without pause of lessening of his rhythm and speed, striking the strings with an ardour that almost bordered on ferocity, the bow moving faster and faster, the strokes longer and deeper. The notes danced around him within the shadows, lingering echoes of his sorrow and fury flowing through the walls and floor, flooding the very air around them as the storm outside increased in savagery. Raindrops began to fall against the glass, adding a soft, pattering momentum that flowed in tempo to his song, thunder growling as the protective storm drapes outside the windows began to sway.
He did not even know how he felt.
The spattering of the rain increased in intensity as the clouds relinquished their tears, falling against the glass and sliding downwards in a waterfall of crossing currents, the storm sheets pirouetting in a ghostly ballet, Shinji's song providing the routine, the setting, the feeling. The boy shivered suddenly as a chill embraced his spine, and he inhaled as he forced the bow across the strings harder than he would ever have done,
his fingers dancing across the strings. All caution he had ever exercised of awakening Misato or anyone else was now truly gone.
She had smiled for him. She had thanked him, the first person she had ever thanked in his life. Her emotionless, crimson eyes, gazing into his with a gaze that seemed to penetrate every protective wall, every precaution he had ever been able to erect. She had leapt in front of him, directly into Ramiel's attack, and he had been forced to watch, second by agonizing second whilst the positron rifle recharged, as Rei's shield had collapsed beneath the might of Ramiel's assault, and still she had remained interposing between Shinji and the Angel, using herself as a shield.
His head swayed to and fro as he surrendered himself to the grasp of his own music, playing as he had never played before, allowing the impassioned, bitter notes to engirdle his body, the shadows pooling around his feet as they surged forth from the darkest corners of his mind and the room, summoned to the seraphic sorrow of his song, watching as he venged his anger, his despair, his helplessness, all upon the unfortunate strings that remained firm and unyielding before his force. The rain struck harder upon the glass, assaulting it with a strength that would have shocked and frightened the usually meek, mild-mannered boy in a normal situation. But in this instance, it only seemed to add to Shinji's fervour, and the notes increased in variety and tempo, interchanging and flowing from one to another with a smoothness and a grace that not even the finest musician in the existence of the world could ever match. Outside, the storm drapes flapped and were flung against the windows in a flux of material, helpless before the wrath of the thunderstorm, the wind casting them to and fro with a demoniac capriciousness that bordered on glee.
He had never known how he felt about her. He had never had the chance to tell her.
He hadn't even cried for her.
Still Shinji continued to play, the shadowy melody augmented by his vindictive self-loathing, his teeth clenched tightly together as he sliced the bow across the strings again, and again, each repetition sending a waterfall of notes flowing from the cello. His breathing grew faster, his inhales and exhales deeper, ever so soft yet harsh growls slipping from his lips as his head rose and dipped to the music. The rain was falling harder and faster, the drapes twirling and dancing in their macabre ballet continuously.
A droplet of water dripped onto the smooth, varnished wood of the cello.
Followed by another. And another.
Shinji never stopped playing as the first tears stole forth from the corners of his eyes that were squeezed shut; he simply continued his ministrations as the droplets of crystal slid down his cheeks and fall into the darkness of the room. The first tear seemed to act as a catalyst; within moments, teardrops were sliding continuously down the boy's face, falling through the shadows to land on his cello and dampening the strings, but Shinji paid this no heed. In a single, fluid moment, with more grace than he had ever displayed in his life, the pilot of Unit-01 surged upright, his feet kicking the simple metal stool out from behind him as he assumed his full posture, upright and steady amidst the heartbroken music that flowed from the instrument that was clasped in his hands, his head and shoulders swaying and bowing to the rhythmn, so immersed was he in his solitary symphony.
The silence in the room save his playing was broken by the shockingly sudden sound of his door sliding open, and a Major who was at once livid, exhausted, bewildered, and curious was revealed, her mouth open, undoubtedly ready to unleash a torrent of irritable reprimands, but, surpisingly, none of them came.
The Major simply stood there, all notions of anger and disturbance slowly fading from her expression as she watched Shinji, standing, playing his cello alone in the darkness, the bow gliding back and forth across the strings, his body flowing with the music that spilled from the instrument, tears splashing down his cheeks unabashedly. He made no motion to reveal to acknowledge her presence and continued to play, his body wracking and contorting with sobs.
Quietly, Misato stepped into the room and wordlessly walked up behind her young ward, placing her arms around his shoulders and pulling him towards her in a warm, firm hug, feeling his body shuddering further as even more violent exclamations of his grief left his lips. Wordlessly, Shinji slowly ceased his playing, the tempo dying down to a stop, the bow and cello falling from his aching grasp, and he limply fell to his knees amidst the fallen instrument, allowing Misato to cuddle him to her as he wept openly and unashamedly.
"Shinji-kun..." she whispered soothingly, stroking his hair gently. "It's okay. Everything's going to be okay."
Shinji gave a sudden, violent inhalation that was half laugh, half sob.
"No, Misato," he said quietly, eyes still shut. "Nothing will ever be okay again."
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