Open your Eyes
"I can't believe I'm doing this!" Makoto said as they wheeled the gurney with the black body bag on it down the hall.
The tech looked frantically back and forth to each end of the hall.
"Chill, think of it as being in a spy movie and you're the supporting character getting the spy out of the country..." Both Ritsuko and Makoto looked incredulously at Shigeru, silently asking themselves if the long haired tech had just compared this to a cheesy spy movie.
"What?" he asked looking between the two "I like spy movies, and considering we're all probably going to lose our jobs over this I'll look at it the way I want!" He chuckled a bit at how he was throwing a perfectly good paycheck down the drain. But there was something in the boy's eyes when they came to get him, a feeling of knowing, that this was part of the reason he was here. It gave him that feeling that some moments in your life are to be that hand to help the person making their way to the top of the mountain.
That, and it was rare for Ritsuko to ask for help.
He could recall the time she refused to get maintenance to change a light bulb in her office and tried to change it herself.
It hadn't ended well.
"Yeah, and that's if they don't arrest us!" Makoto piped up.
The trio came to a secure glass door which Dr. Akagi rounded the gurney to swipe her card. The locked door thumped its locks and parted into the wall allowing the three to pass into the next wing. Ritsuko scanned the hall they just left to see if anyone had watched them leave.
Exhaling a bit when she found that the hall was indeed empty she turned to her fellow conspirators, "Anyone that wants out, well, you're out of luck now." She said with a lop-sided grin. Makoto and Shigeru glanced to one another and smiled. "Fuck this place." "Yeah, I was starting to feel too much like an adult, right man?" Shigeru patted the body bag hard which promptly groaned from the Impact.
"Hey, keep it down! Be kinda hard to explain why we have a body that groans short of saying a zombie," Ritsuko admonished the black bag. Shigeru arched an eyebrow at the bottle blond. "You give me shit for being a nerd, and you bring up zombies!"
Makoto hung his head, then looked to the other two "What is this, a rescue or a movie review?"
A Genjoe Alternate Universe Production.
As we march forward to a new age of peace and happiness. Till all are one!
Sound Transformers theme!
DJ must have died or something... well on with the show I suppose.
Don't Own no Eva, have seen no money for this fic.
Oh, for the love of god get reading!
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To say that Shinji was starting to have doubts was a bit of an understatement.
The slap from Shigeru had landed on his still sore stomach, and the zombies conversation and spy stuff? This had to be a dream of some kind. Normal people don't talk about stuff like this.
"It is completely possible to have a car convert into a submarine!" He could hear the long haired bridge tech almost shouting at the blond doctor.
"Aoba... are you even listening to yourself?" he could almost see Hyuga running his hand over his face in frustration.
"Seriously, the odds of a blood born virus makes far more sense than a British agent running around saving the world with his guns and charm." The mocking quality of Ritsuko's voice made the third child quirk an eyebrow in his dark confines. Did she really just defend the idea of their being undead monsters?
"What!? You're telling me that zombies are more probable than secret agents...? What kind bullshit is that? I'm beginning to think you belong on the other side of one of these doors."
"Hey! All I was saying is that it's possible for a blood born pathogen to invade a host and possibly alter their physical makeup!" She said
The temperature inside the body-bag was stifling. And what was that smell?
He was pretty sure it wasn't from him, and being in a sack for the dead didn't help his nerves.
Shinji felt the gurney slow to a stop.
He could hear typing to his right almost seeming to bounce off the ceiling and down to him, he wondered if he listened carefully if he could hear the person's breathing.
"So you're telling me that a laser watch is bullshit, but the undead to feast on the living is alright?"
The third child was pretty sure he was doomed.
"Yes! I'm saying's that it's more likely to see a virus convert its host than to see a 'dashing' spy with a bunch of gadgets." The pilot could tell that Ritsuko was getting annoyed.
"Both of you shut the fuck up!" Hyuga shouted at them from the foot of the gurney.
Shinji heard the strained sigh, "I can't take you two anywhere!" he heard something meaty slap at Makoto's end of the bed and quickly surmised that it was probably the techs hand against his head.
"What are you three going on about now?" The voice sounded old and scratchy, but definitely a woman. The kind that gave you visions of horn rimed glasses while wearing plastic pearls and chain smoked like a factory.
"She says zombies are real!"
"He's trying to convince me James Bond is!"
This was just too weird.
Aoba being like this wasn't so much a stretch, but him yelling at Ritsuko who was acting just as childish?
"Speaking of Zombies who you got in the bag?" The woman he guessed was some kind of intern or secretary said with almost an air of suspicion. Thank fully it was Hyuga that answered instead of the other two who he was certain would blow his cover. "Had another vegetable go bad in the produce aisle."
So much for being thankful.
"This is the guy from room 402, finally kicked the bucket, he's a pretty bad stinker too..." The last part was conspiratorial whisper said with grim disgust at which the intern made a gagging sound.
Since making this covert trek the Third Child had felt an itching sensation on his shin. That had been about five minutes ago and the itching was positively burning. He heard the conversation between the staff go on making the itching seem to grow even more painful.
What is it they say? The one you can't scratch is always the worst or something like at.
Shinji felt this to be true as they continued to blather on about how the dead man he was portraying was a nice fellow that had a series of strokes that lead to his vegetative state, and how sad it would be that his family had lost a loved one.
Frankly right now the Eva pilot could give a shit less about poor Mr. Urashima. And to hell with his girl scout troop of grandchildren!
Remembering his time in the EVA he tried to blank his mind slowing his breathing and slowly but surely winning out over the need to scratch said itch. This accomplished he listened into the 'would be rescuers' who seemed to have forgotten he was in the bag.
"A bullet that causes things to inflate? Even an eight year old can tell you that's just stupid!" Ritsuko seemed pretty upset. What had he missed since his little mental break?
He hear Aoba chuckle, "Don't worry about her she's just trying to hide her budding necrophilia"
"GRRR!" He heard the bottle blond growl.
That's when all hell broke loose.
Something hard presumably the good doctor's fist slammed directly into Shinji's balls. This had the direct affect of causing him to lurch as well as gasp at the sudden obliteration of his poor twins.
This wasn't unlike the chain reaction of an atom bomb. In his daze he made out the shriek of the intern and the sound of something falling into a chair then a clatter against the floor.
The next was the sudden blinding brightness of the hall along with the assault of fresh air which Shinji took a generous gasp of.
Next was the unfamiliar and a little disquieting embrace of the blond 'mad' doctor as Asuka had once called her. "I'm so sorry!" Was all he heard from her as she wrapped arms around him lovingly and running a soothing had through his hair.
Again that strange mix of tobacco and perfume flooded his nose causing a strange burning in his pain wrecked mind.
"I hate to break up this hallmark moment, but we got to scram. Now!"
He felt Ritsuko's head shift. "Shit!"
Turing his head to see what the problem was he blurrily made out a person with short dark hair scribbling on a clipboard.
No sooner had he recognized her that she looked up from her clipboard with a perplexed expression that shifted into one of surprise.
"Stop them!" the short haired bridge bunny shouted giving immediate chase. At her sudden cry two men in white uniforms dashed from around the corner looking around before seeing him and his 'liberators'.
"Hang on!" Aoba shouted and with a sudden lurch Shinji felt the gurney take off down the all. Shinji was amazed to see Ritsuko sprint ahead grab tray from a cart and smash it over a sitting guards head, leaving him to slump to the floor in a heap. "Nice!" Hyuga said as he pushed the cart and was rejoined by the blond.
"That guy wouldn't stop grabbing my ass anyway." Shinji could hear the smug satisfaction roll out her panting lungs. How did she manage to run in those heels?
"What a pig." Came from the long haired bridge tech guiding the gurney as they flew down the hall.
"You're one to talk! You did the same thing when I first started!"
"Exactly what I mean, guy was trespassing on my territory!"
"My ass is not your territory!"
The Third child could only look back and forth at the sheer weirdness of the conversation. Shigeru harassing Dr. Akagi? He was pretty certain that any kind of advance made on the doctor would have been ground for dismissal or death, but in this strange place?
"Stop them!" The unmistakable shout of the Ibuki woman caused the young pilot to whip around and see that the orderlies, and her were gaining on them. This was not missed by Makoto who smiled at the Shinji.
"You guys go ahead I'll take care of this!" That said Shinji watched as he let go of the gurney, stumbled away till he was facing the three chasers head on and extended both his arms, clothes lining the two men and landing all three of them in a painful twisted pile.
To his amazement Maya managed to jump and clear the human wreckage in a graceful cat like leap.
Looking to the front to see Aoba's reaction, it was soon replaced with panic as another guard came streaking from the left hall. The long haired tech didn't miss this as he bolted from the front of the gurney shouting to Ritsuko, "He's all yours Ritsuko!"
Shigeru plowed into the guards mid-section like a pro-ball player sending one of the guards shoes into the air beaning a little girl in the head.
"Shit!" He whipped his head back to the good Doctor, who again took the back of the gurney and pushed it with all her might. Rounding a corner pair of sliding doors came into view. White light poured through the glass. Looking back Shinji watched the frazzled looking Maya skid into the hall after them. A pair of guards soon came into their feet stampeding through the hall causing techs and nurses to dodge or leap out of their way.
Looking to the front again the double doors were upon them when a red van came to a screeching stop in front of the double doors and its side door thrown open.
Before Shinji could comprehend it he felt Ritsuko violently grab him, causing a sense of free fall as he glided through the now open doors and landed hard on the floor of the van, knocking the wind out of him.
The door slammed shut causing the winded boy to wince and with a lurch and a screech felt the van start moving.
Feeling a sympathetic hand run through his hair he opened the eyes he's closed in preparation for striking the ground. He was startled to discover that his face was wedged in the doctor's firm (Shinji noted) bosom. Looking up a little in fear, he was even more shocked to find a concerned Ritsuko looking down at him.
"You okay, Shinji?" He felt her run another loving stroke through is messy hair.
Just who the hell was this woman?
And who the hell was driving? At that Shinji moved his face from the blonds assets to see who indeed was the get away driver.
Blinking from the glaring light coming in the windshield the driver did him the favor of turning and smiling at him. "Hey, Shinji, miss me?" Seeing the working man visage of his father at the wheel did little to unravel his nerves.
Not sure what to say he simply stared dumbly at the man who turned back to the task of driving. Hearing a flicking sound he turned his head to see the blond woman light a cigarette in her full lipstick covered lips, then take a deep drag causing her cheeks to hollow a bit and chest to rise at sucking on the stick.
He must have seen her do that a hundred times over the course of almost two years, but never before did it seem so...
Was it because this Ritsuko was more compassionate? Or was it that she just seemed to invade his personal space more?
So caught up in his musing little did he realize he was staring at the blond in mind who blew webs of smoke from her mature red lips. Looking deep into her green eyes he noticed a spark in them, something he'd not seen in her time as the head of project-E.
As he stared at her trying to figure out the mystery that was Dr. Akagi he noticed something was wrong with the color of her cheeks.
They were a bit too pink.
Realizing that he'd been most certainly staring at her and no less mere inches away he turned his head in embarrassment.
Awkward silence went on between the two as they took in the nuances of the ragged work van.
"You get a bit intense to look at when you stare at people..." Shinji turned to the blond who was now examining her cigarette, cheeks still tinged with color from what he guessed was embarrassment due to their proximity.
Again a silence settled between the two, filled only with the rocking and thrum of the commercial van as it made its way down the road.
So much had happened, in just the last two days. Was this really the world after Third Impact? Was this some kind of alternate reality that Rei was showing him? If it was, when would he wake from it?
These question ate at his brain like a cancer.
If what Ritsuko said was true, how much of this world would he remember? Did he have friends here? What was his house like? Was his dad really the kind man that held him after his horrid memory? And where were Rei and Asuka? Where were Touji and Kensuke? Were they just figments of his supposed coma nightmare?
There was no way that the last year was just a head trauma dream. The pain he felt was real, the loss of everyone he loved was real. This world was the fake. It was some kind of sick twisted allegory for things he 'wished' were. Just another thing he couldn't have.
Shinji flinched as something touched his hair.
His dark musings broken he looked to see the strange parody of Dr. Akagi with a concerned expression with her hand timidly outstretched.
Moving it forward again he backed away a little but this did little to deter the blond.
With a soft touch the Third felt her fingers lace into his hair and lightly pull at the strands and message his scalp. This had the strange affect of making the boys eyes roll up into his head, and slowly lean his head into her chest.
Nightmare or no, the stress he'd endured was too much not to accept the invitation of a loving touch. Even coming from someone as unlikely as Ritsuko.
His ear against her, he could make out the rhythmic thumping of her heart while she played with his hair. If this was a dream from Rei, maybe this little reprieve wasn't so bad. Cause right now, just these little touches were sent from heaven, each one seeming to ease the tension out of his back.
And her smell.
He didn't know what it was about the mix of those two things, but they seemed to hit some kind of primal spot his brain that caused him to nuzzle deeper into the Doctor's embrace. He could feel her stop a moment at the movement that he was making, but as soon as he stopped she resumed her exploration of his dark locks.
After a moment he felt himself slip into a warm dreamless sleep that he was thankful for.
* * *
"Shinji..." The soft voice cut through the haze of oblivion.
"...come on, its time to get up..." Whose voice was this?
He took a breath that soon sent the answer to his brain.
Knowing that the voice was indeed Ritsuko's he blinked his eyes open to see that it was now dark or at the most twilight.
The door to the van slid open revealing his father in torn jeans and plaid shirt and all. Groggily he stepped out and feeling a draft he looked down to note he was still in a hospital gown.
The chill was cut away from him when a pair of firm hands wrapped him in a dark green woolen blanket. Looking from the rough hands to their owner, he stared in suspicion at the hand that was offered him.
Feeling his legs shake, he reluctantly took the hand.
It felt like rusted metal or weathered wood, but gave off warmth that neither had. He wondered what his real father's hands felt like.
Slipping his other free hand to support him, he leaned into the man as they made their way up a path. The slight wet sheen of the grass, the smell of the flowers coming from the window boxes. The warmth of the concrete bit sharp into his feet, but again it was welcome he need to feel something right now.
Where were they?
He heard a dog bark in the distance while a light flicked on in the house. Taking in more of the scene around him he noted that a pair of eyes peeked from a drawn set of blinds next door. The eyes seemed accusing and almost suspicious. When they noticed they had been seen the blinds snapped shut. This left the Eva pilot a little confused, but figured it took too much brain power to process at the moment.
He had more important things to do, such as maintaining his balance.
After what seemed like forever, the pair had made it to the front door of the house. Ritsuko slipped passed them intent on opening the door for the pair when it opened before she could touch the handle.
Standing in the door with an elated smile was the vice-commander. To Shinji he looked like he was about to cry again. After a moment the old man turned to Ritsuko who extended her hand, but was soon surprised to find herself in a bone crushing hug from the vice-commander. After a moment, and a thank you later Shinji watched as the old man scooted back into the door to make room for the pair.
Looking in, he noted the golden light that seemed to spill from the entryway and down the rich wood floors and across picture frames in the hall.
He looked up at the man claiming to be his father with questioning eyes.
His father smiled as they stepped past the thresh hold.
A/N: First I'd like to than Bdavi for Beta-reading on this. Without him it'd still be killing your eyes with my bad grammar and spelling. I'm really surprised at the explosion of comments I got asking me to continue. Also I got asked to advance the plot a bit so here you go!