AN: Don't own Evangelion, wish I did though lol, I'd make such a trippy storyline. Well here's my first try at an Eva fic, hope you like it. Let's get it on!
Note: A new cover, crafted by the incredible ZackRay_Lin has been added to the story, please show your love and support to the artist!
Chapter 1. The Curtains Open: We Turn Red
NERV Medical Ward
Here she was again, after promising herself never to set foot on the inside of the wretched, hollow depths of the organization that had ruined her life, after swearing to every God and Demon in existence that she would never, ever again be caught in a medical facility as long as she lived, here she was.
It was funny, in a way, the nature of that which people often called fate. It was a sadistic, evil bastard, if one could determine fate as an individual. Life never went the way she wanted; it twisted her desires to an extent where she no longer understood herself, and much less others. What she did know, however, without a shadow of a doubt, was that she had gone too far. The last time she had set foot in a medical ward had been because of her own actions; she had run away in the most Shinji-like manner and allowed her body and mind to decay until Section Two had found her. She had fallen into a coma then, only woken up to be speared, bled, and dismembered. Coincidentally, it was her time trapped inside her own mind that had allowed that bastard... Shinji to give some pleasure to himself at her expense, but such a thing was trivial in her mind at the moment. She had, after all, done much, much worse.
And there, with that line of thought, Asuka Langley Sohryu came back to the present, to the cold, sterile little world of NERV medical ward. She stood outside the door of a room labeled only by a cold, sterile number, much like the location itself, room 203.
Inside the room she was locked out of, Ikari Shinji recovered from his newest almost-encounter with death. The concussion wasn't the worst of his injuries; if anything, it was the easiest to patch up. Two of his four broken ribs had punctured his lungs, his diaphragm was torn to such an extent that the boy had had a respirator keep him alive for the last two days. The dislocated shoulder and the shattered radius were of no consequence, again, those kinds of injuries were easy to heal, it just took time. The damage to his lungs had been extensive; his heart had been in danger at some point, a broken shard of rib bone sticking out of it. As the doctors had so casually announced, it was a miracle the boy was still alive.
Added to the injuries, his almost decaying physical condition had not helped matters. It would appear that the boy had not been eating or sleeping well for over eight months. Oh, coincidence, oh, irony.
Eight months was the time that had passed since that one, life-defining event. Third Impact. The death and rebirth of all men and women, as well as the world. The entities and perpetrators responsible for bringing about the cataclysm were common knowledge, now. Said perpetrators of the Event had never returned, though, not yet at the least; they were happy hiding away in what remained of the so called "Sea of LCL". Everyone had died and returned with the knowledge that had for so long eluded mankind: The knowledge that they were separated for a reason, that pain existed for a reason. After all, without pain, there could be no joy, without hate there could be no love, without barriers, walls, or separate hearts there could be no self, no individuality, and that was hell.
It was kind of funny and very lame to her, at the least, the way people had returned. Not a full week after her return, perhaps two weeks after the Third Child rejected Instrumentality, everyone started coming back. Misato, for some reason, had been one of the first ones to return. While addressing the question of why, she had simply stated that her children needed a mother. As Toji, the idiotic jock had returned with his arm and leg, no less, he had responded that his sister needed him. Kensuke had found no fun in the sea of people, so he had decided to return. It was that simple to come back. One had to simply imagine themself as an individual being and find some sort of hope to hold on to and that was it, back to the real world.
Back to the real world.
Asuka blinked slowly and exhaled. She had been standing in front of Shinji's door for over an hour now, not mustering up the courage to enter his hospital room. Misato's words came back, fresh and cutting like before.
"Don't you get near him, I swear to whatever god there is that if you so much as breathe his air, I'll kill you, I swear Asuka, I'll kill you myself."
She would, as well. Asuka had seen it in her eyes. Shinji was like a son to her, after all, and only a week before she had been some sort of a daughter to the drunken bitch, but not anymore. Not anymore.
Nothing's ever gonna be the same, she thought sadly, looking at the white, pure, sterile floor beneath her feet.
Why did I do that? How could I ever do something like that? For eight months, I've tortured him, tortured him. The part of her mind that screamed and raged that he deserved every last thing she had done was strangely quiet this time, maybe because of the guilt.
Guilt. Such a fleeting, new feeling for the Second Child. For so long she had done what she wanted, taken what she wanted and gotten what she wanted, only to find that was she was taking was in fact not what she wanted. New was not exactly the proper word either; the guilt had been there from the first moment, stifled to silence by rage and fear.
Bitter thoughts started entering her mind as she stood petrified in front of Shinji's hospital room, the locked door and white walls mocked her uselessness and despair. Her treacherous mind betrayed her yet again, as it started showing her the events of the past eight months, as if daring her to feel something else but the crushing guilt that ate at her soul, forcing her to remember from day one, from the day she had woken to find his hands on her throat, squeezing with such strength.
"I feel sick."
She had, indeed, felt sick at the time. The Asuka that had returned from the vast sea of souls had seen the darkest parts of Shinji's mind, and had been disgusted by it. Granted, he had actually jerked himself off in front of her, at the sight of her exposed breasts. He had done nothing as the MP Evangelions had ripped her to shreds, and he had killed every last living human on Earth. But above all else, she was sickened by the similarities between them both. So alone, so cold, both of their souls were.
She had watched as he got off her and kept crying his eyes out. Too worn out to do anything, she had fallen unconscious. Hours later she had awoken to the smell of burning wood and had found herself on a sleeping bag with a blanket on top of her. Shinji had cooked some kind of instant ramen and offered it to her. She had taken the cup of steaming noodles and thrown it at his unsuspecting face, burning him.
That was the first time I hurt him, and I just couldn't stop from then on, she thought, looking at her leather shoes, shoes he had polished to brightness and laid fresh and clean for her to wear.
They had to fend for themselves for more than a week before Misato had found them in a torn house 20 miles south from Tokyo 3. Throughout their time alone, which sometimes felt like a week, sometimes felt like two, and most times felt like a hazy recollection of dark days and nights, Shinji had done everything. From cleaning, to looking for food and water, seeking shelter, looking for new clothes, cooking said food and helping Asuka with whatever she wanted, he went about it almost obsessively. They barely spoke to each other. No, that was not right. He was the one who did not speak.
Asuka wanted to cry. She wanted to cry so badly, but the tears would not come. She was unworthy of such things; she did not deserve to cry for him.
The things she had said to him, oh God, the things she had said. They were such horrible words, made for hurting, for damaging, for cutting deep into another's soul. When addressed with any accusation, Shinji had the same answer for everything.
"I'm sorry. I'm so sorry Asuka, I'm sorry. I don't deserve anything, I'm so sorry."
It had infuriated her to no end, to hear those words from him. She had slapped him, hit him, kicked him until she was tired and worn. All the while, he had taken it silently; cried quietly, as if wanting to hide his anguish. She remembered what he had said to her, the first night after 'coming back'. He had thought she was asleep at the time.
"I'm scum, the lowest of the low, but right now we... need to stick together. I know I don't deserve to be near you. You're disgusted with me, I know that. But now, I'll do anything for you, anything. Even if you won't believe, I'll keep my word. I know you hate me; I know you'll never forgive me, but that's... okay."
Her lip shook recalling how his voice had wavered and paused with every word, as though it was close to imposibble for him to articulate a single thought.
"I don't deserve your forgiveness. Of all the people I've hurt, I've hurt you the most, I'm sorry. If anyone deserves to punish me, it's you. I'll do whatever you want. When you're tired of me, you can do whatever you want. My life is yours, even if my life is meaningless."
"I want you to know, that, I like you, Asuka…"
The following morning, she had hit him with her closed fist as a wake-up call. She had no aching wounds, no noticeable ache whatsoever of her fight with the Eva. Series except for the angry marks on her skin, but he now had more than just one. The left side of his face had small blisters around his cheek, thanks to the noodles she had so graciously thrown at him, and he had a black eye.
When Misato had found them, his face was swollen, some of the blisters were infected, and he looked pale. Their legal guardian had demanded to know how he had gotten the wounds, and Shinji had simply stated that he had burned himself and fallen.
Even then, he took all the blame. He knew what Misato would do, so he just said nothing, she thought, feeling despondent.
The world was up and about again, sure, most of humanity had already resurfaced from the Ocean. There was no doubt Gendou Ikari would never come back. Ritsuko, for some reason, had returned. Most would say it was because of Maya. Most of NERV had come back, and the world had gone back to some semblance of normality. They had had to live in a UN rescue camp for more than a month after Misato had come bursting through the door, so long ago.
She had not relented on her abuse, though. When no one was watching, she would insult him, slap him, claw at him, demanded to know why he had done nothing, why he had done what he had in that hospital room, why he had found it fit to kill every living being on Earth. Shinji never answered with more than the typical and disgusting sorry, sorry, sorry.
She wanted to use that word so badly now. She wanted to apologize for all the screams, the cutting words, the punches, the kicks, the slaps, everything.
As if sorry would ever compensate for what I've done. What he did is nothing, nothing compared to that. She begged her subconscious to stop, to please stop. She did not want to remember this, the most horrible thing she had done. She could not. Would not. But she would.
"I…I raped him," she whispered hoarsely to the closed door. The guilt was eating away at her heart. It was so suffocating. Why couldn't she just pretend it had never happened, like all the times before? For six months, since they had moved to the apartment, she had abused Shinji in every possible way. As he cleaned, cooked and did everything in the household, she had feasted on his suffering, on his pain. She hurled his actions at his face, screaming he was a murderer, a rapist, a monster. The one time he had quietly defended himself by telling her that deep down they were the same, two fingers on his hand had been broken for his trouble. Misato was never around; as she had to work almost every day. When she was around, Shinji acted as if nothing was wrong. When asked about his bruises, he always made up some bullshit story to save her undeserving behind.
Her deepest regret was, however, the most disgusting to her. She had raped Shinji, as much as a woman could rape a man. One particular night of loneliness and nightmares, she had walked to his bedroom, kicked him and said two simple words.
She had taken him, and when Shinji had tried to touch her, to kiss her, she had reacted with violence at first, slapped his hands away afterwards, and ultimately placed them on her hips herself. He did not deserve to enjoy it, he had no right to enjoy it, so did as he was told and complied without much resistance. The process repeated itself for months. Perhaps once or twice a month, when the loneliness became too much to bear. She went to him, slept on his bed, enjoyed his warmth and then left in the morning, careful not to wake Misato, neither of them making any mention of it. There was just so much rage inside, so much anger and spite and hate and fear and sadness. He was there; he took whatever she threw at him, never taking advantage, never reclaiming anything for himself. He was there, and he had suffered for it, for caring for her, for begging for understanding, not even forgiveness, just understanding, company. She had denied it.
Asuka's mind began to fight itself as she slowly sat on the bench by his door.
He did those things to me, I was just paying him back! He deserved it! That bastard killed everyone! The wrath within her bellowed, relentless.
"Liar, he gave everyone a second chance, SEELE killed everyone." She internally retorted.
He raped me!
He let me die!
"Bakelite, remember? After all, you saw inside his mind."
He didn't care, he let me die!
"Really? Funny thing about that." Shinji's words rang through her mind, as if to assert her point.
"I want you to know, that, I like you, Asuka…"
He was lying! He always lies! He's nothing, nothing! The black pit of rage screamed in desperation.
"No, you are nothing, you selfish bitch." She replied with a strangely calm voice.
He would just hurt me, just like Mama! I hate him, I hate him, I hate him!
"No, you don't." Asuka sighed, somewhat exhausted of arguing against herself.
I hate him!
"You hate yourself, and you hurt yourself through him. You care for him, and he cares for you."
Liar! Liar! The screech was deafening in her mind, the voice of a small child shrilled through Asuka's consciousness.
"You're lying to yourself. He cares for you so much that he was willing to suffer for you, to offer your sick, demented self some sense of calm, you selfish bitch. You selfish bitch. Selfish. Selfish, just like Mama…"
She was running back to that room, back to that hell, only she wasn't a child. She was in her plugsuit, running towards a door that had a seemingly familiar heart-shaped sign. She was smiling and saying something, but she couldn't understand. As she threw the door open, there was Shinji, dangling from the ceiling, a rope around his throat. He opened his eyes and gazed at her, an insane smile on his face.
"Hi, Asuka, look at what you did to me…!"
The scream brought her back to reality, to the cold, sterile reality of the NERV medical ward.
Apparently, she had fallen asleep on the bench, with her head resting against the wall. The nightmare had been so real, one moment she was fighting herself over whether or not Shinji deserved what she had done, the next, she was in that nightmare, running towards his door.
Asuka lifted herself up shakily and faced the metal barrier with the sterile number 203 once again. She needed to see him. It was too unbearable to just sit outside; she needed to feel him, to touch him. She needed to apologize. Before the redhead realized it, her hands were on the electronic lock, hacking it with frightening speed. She had survived in a deserted wasteland, her mind, through broken, was still quick and witty; the miserable excuse of an algorithm used to keep her from seeing him was pathetically under-prepared.
For the first time in her young life, Asuka truly felt ashamed of her actions towards someone else. She had hurt the one person that had stood by her side at all times, even when he knew there was nothing in return for him. She needed to apologize, to hold him, to have him hold her. Not once had she let him hold her after her "night visits". She needed it so badly right now, for once, to be held in his protective embrace, and she was admitting it to herself.
Kaji, what would you think of me? No. If you only knew what I've done... I'd rather not know.
Her mind was set, no matter what; she would earn his forgiveness, even when she did not deserve it, consequences be damned. It didn't matter if Misato came through that door, nobody would stop her.
A determined frown manifested on her pretty face, for once devoid of blinding ire. Asuka Langley Sohryu disengaged the lock system with some difficulty, pushed the button to his door and let herself in, and not a moment later she regretted her decision.
Looking at the result of her violence was almost too much to bear. Tubes stewn everywhere around his body. A thick layer of bandages covered his chest and forehead. His right arm was in a cast. Two IV tubes were connected to his left, one giving the much-needed nutrients he needed to survive, the other one injecting a powerful sedative to his bloodstream. Suddenly she was back in the apartment, snuggled against his naked chest, and for the first time, his right arm encircled her waist.
It had been an especially bad night, she had relived the dismemberment. She could faintly feel the Evas, their teeth, their hands all over, tearing, ripping, eating. She could feel the Lance in her eye, her arm torn in half. In tears, she had come to him, demanding the comfort he so selflessly provided. After she was done, her orgasm still coursing through her, she collapsed on top of him, fast asleep.
For Shinji, he had reached a breaking point. He needed the contact as well, so he had gently placed his arm around her, holding her close. Even after all she had done, he could not bring himself to hate her, he only hated himself more, because all he could ever do was hurt her. She had told him so, and he had strangled her.
When she woke up, she felt so relieved, so comfortable, lying there on his chest, until she found out he had broken her rule. In a moment, all the memories came back; the way he had satisfied himself off her; the way he had just sat there as her mind was defiled in every possible way by the 15th Angel; how he just sat there, doing nothing, as she was torn apart. Irrational wrath came bubbling from the pit of her stomach, it swallowed the serenity and overwhelmed her ever thought. The ringing in her ears became stifling, the sensation of the MP Evas ran through her, pushing all rationality to the darkest depths of her psyche. In one movement, she rose from bed and pulled on his arm until she heard the satisfying –snap- . His eyes were open in an instant as his mouth released a scream of pain.
"You bastard! How dare you! How dare you put your dirty hands on me!" She grabbed his head before he could utter a word and smashed it against his only window. He fell like a drunken man to the floor, holding his now bleeding head with his left arm as he pulled himself to his knees and looked at her in the eye. That stare was like the one during Instrumentality; cold, disgusted, so much like his father's eyes. Crying from the pain, he uttered the words that sealed his fate.
"I just...wanted…to hold you...just this onc-"
The kick was powerful; it pushed every breath he owned out of his body.
Asuka started visciously kicking his side with her left leg, ignoring the pain of her own foot and her nakedness. She concentrated on kicking this... bastard who had dared touch her, this monster that had the audacity to think he deserved anything but pain. She blissfully ignored the repeated cracks and the feeling of something giving in his chest.
"Hold me? Hold me? How dare you, horny little worm! Don't you think I feel dirty enough just by doing this with you? You're nothing but a toy, a tool for me to use whenever I want! You're not worth anything, you said it yourself! You're nothing, Shinji! You're nothing! Nothing!"
Finally, exhaustion got the best of her and she stopped her assault. For a while, Shinji just lay there, the tears still leaking through his eyes, his expression dead, lifeless. Then, a shake emanated from him and Shinji recoiled, pain overwhelming his brain. He wanted to scream but found he couldn't breathe. When he managed to take some air, something else stirred in him and jumped to his throat, his whole body exploding in pain.
Asuka turned her head when he squirmed, and saw what she had done. Shinji lifted himself and tried to breathe, his eyes unfocused and his forehead bleeding. Then, to her everlasting horror, Shinji heaved and spat a mouthful of blood, followed by another. He fell on the floor, whimpering almost inaudibly as he struggled to breathe through his broken ribs and his skin lost all color.
Blood kept coming out of his nose for some reason. He started shaking, violently, and in that moment where he just stopped moving, the self-induced maniac desire of revenge was shattered by a single, horrible thought.
Shinji is going to die.
She tore the door open and dashed to the phone, tears spilling from her eyes as a deep feeling of hysteria consumed her mind. As she reached the phone, a single number came to mind and she dialed as fast as she could.
With each passing tone Asuka's fear grew worse, until a voice answered on the other side of the line.
"Katsuragi here," said Misato, her No-Bullshit tone completely active. She was probably on a budget meeting again.
Asuka's voice quivered violently as she tried to utter something, anything to bring her guardian here.
"M-Misato, I...I did something… really bad..." she all but wailed at the telephone.
"Shinji. Shinji's hurt….bad…please come here, he...Oh my God, he's not moving…Misato, please. He's dying!"
Misato had not spoken another word; she had simply run. The poor major, in tears of despair had called Section Two and demanded medical assistance. Not five minutes later, three agents broke through the door along with the medics. Another four minutes and they were out the door with the poor boy on a stretcher, his body limp.
She had stayed there, her head clear enough to see her nakedness and strong enough to take action. After she threw a sweatshirt and some shorts on, she sat there, for four hours, until Misato came through the door…
"No. I can't remember that," she whispered to the machines keeping the boy alive. "The things she said…" Her voice was a faint whisper inside the sterile room.
She felt so repulsed with herself, so disgusted. Shinji had almost died, and he had been tortured by her. For eight months, eight months. He had tried to act normal, he had tried to be normal for Misato, to be happy for Toji and Hikari, to be friendly with Kensuke. But everyone had noticed; he had been more depressed than ever. Now he lay there, unmoving, barely breathing, and all wrapped up in bandages.
She hadn't expected a punch from Misato. Maybe a slap or a gunshot, but she felt she deserved it. Five days, and it still hurt to chew. It felt good though. No one knew yet. She just felt Toji would kill her. No, she was sure of it, Toji would kill her with his bare hands, while Hikari laughed and Kensuke filmed it for Shinji.
"Heh. I guess Kensuke would provide a helping hand…" The tone sounded so bitter, so empty, just like she felt. Asuka knew she had crossed the line; she had done the worst, most horrible thing in her life. Her self-hatred mind was, however, paused, as Shinji groggily opened his eyes and uttered.
"Ugh… This ceiling again. I guess I'm not dead yet…" He sounded disappointed. Then his eyes caught a glimpse of red and he froze completely. Something primal stirred in his battered chest as he started to feel very much afraid.
Asuka noticed his fright. As soon as he saw her, he started shaking like he was freezing cold, his eyes wide and wildly frightened. She didn't know what to say, so she tried to approach, but at the first step she took towards Shinji's bed, the boy let out a horrified yelp and shut his eyes as tightly as he could. As she took the second step, Shinji screamed.
His scream was weak, muffled and in the end sounded like a painful yelp, but the horrified expression never left his face, and the raw terror Asuka saw in those eyes was forever burned in her memory.
To Be Continued…
AN: Yo everybody, I've been kinda lost haven't I? Revising is being done at the moment! Once I'm done with a good half of the story I'll sit down and write the Epilogue. To any and all new visitors, thank you so very much for clicking and reading! This is my baby, Scar Tissue, please give it a chance! It gets better, I hope! Again, thank you so much!
Special thanks to my brother Richitzer for helping me correct this chappie! Please feel free to drop a review! Stay healthy and eat your veggies! Much love!