Well ACEN was fun again this year. Again I seem to be in the middle of the age groups with a lot of younger and older people. Maybe one day I'll actually try talking to people…scary thought isn't it?
From the Stars
Chapter – 8
Her gun smelled of ozone and burning hair, but Sanada had long since gotten used to the odd stench. "It truly was a blessing working with you Katsuragi-kun," Sanada's ears pressed against her head as the sorrow brew deeply. It was the last day she was to be on Earth it seemed, and the day of her beloved princess's wedding. The morning light was streaming in, and Sanada had work to do.
Being more of a physical person, the new de-cat eared Misato lunged in and hugged her former leader. "Going to miss you Sanada, being a maid for Valkyrie was a lot more fun than I would have thought it would have been," Misato squeezed harder nearly crushing the woman in her grasp. Misato had hoped the ending would have not been this way, she had such high hopes that Shinji would have manned up. "You tell Valkyrie to be happy alright? Just because she's not ending up with who I wanted doesn't mean she doesn't deserve happiness," Misato glanced at Shinji's door apprehensively.
Turning the gun to Maya, Sanada let out a deep sigh. "Yes, I had hoped Hime-sama and Ikari-kun would have been happy together. But Ikari-kun simply let Hime-sama go, even after she said she would have abdicated her position," Sanada had been so shocked that Shinji had spurned Valkyrie that she refused to talk to him. He had broken Valkyrie's heart by not standing by her side, and Sanada couldn't fathom why. "Ready Ibuki-kun?" the head maid asked.
With a quick nod, Maya said, "I guess I am. I think I'm gong to miss the ears and tail. They were fun to play with." Her face went red as Misato and Sanada gasped at the more forward comment that they heard. The tail was something of an erogenous zone, but the maids never spoke that aloud till Maya's flub. Quick to change the topic, "It seems Asuka is trying to brighten Ikari-kun's spirits though…so if nothing else could comes from this at least there is that."
Watching as Maya's ears dissolved into her hair, Misato just crossed her arms. "I wish I could have been there to see it though. I was so sure this time Shinji would have stuck up for himself, and for Valkyrie. Everybody could see she cared for him, but he chickened out," Misato just didn't know why. Blowing her hair out of her face she added, "Where is Hydra, she leave already too?"
Pocketing her gun along with her other possessions, Sanada shrugged. "After Hokari-kun finished teaching Soryu-kun how to heal her, Hydra-sama has been preparing her ship. Though, with her possessions still here she couldn't have left the planet yet." Walking to the repaired wall that once connected apartments, Sanada traced the mended plaster with her fingers in remembrance. It was a quick several months, but they were full of wonderful memories. "Ayanami-kun, I only wish I could reverse the affects of the conditioning on you, but Mehm is right in that we don't know if it would cause more harm," Sanada apologized to the last of her impromptu maid team.
Shaking her head, Rei had made a decision of her own. "It is no matter, Sanada-sama, as I wish to go with you and continue my service to Hime-sama. I have nothing left on this planet that matters to me now," Rei's voice was masked and unreadable. With the news of Gendo's plans laid bare before the world, hacked from his computer, Rei's nature was revealed to the world. It was Shinji's support that kept her from breaking, but Rei refused to be a burden to him.
Misato's eyes went wide and her hand quickly went to Rei's side, "You can't mean that, Ayanami, what about Shinji-kun and the rest of us? We don't care how you came to be, you're still his friend and we all like you too," Misato's voice was half strained however. She had tried to not view Rei as an artificial person, but it was hard. Shinji however, Misato could see how the boy despite his own pain saw to it that Rei was treated with respect. "You won't leave him with him like this can you? He might have been too weak to stand up to Mehm, but he stood up to those reporters yesterday didn't he?" Misato recited how Shinji punched out a reporter for insinuating Gendo had impure relations with Rei.
"First off, Shinji did not back down from Mehm-sama, he spared Hime-sama from a pain far greater than she expected," Rei stated firmly. From the ashes of her life, Shinji was there for her to put the pieces back together, and Rei wasn't going to stand back and listen to people bash him for things they didn't understand. "Hime-sama loves her family dearly, and Shinji was not going to let her be cut off from them, knowing she'd never be able to recover…as for his feelings for me…how can he care when we might actually be related," Rei's head finally dipped breaking eye contact with Misato.
Drawing the emotionally blank child into a hug, Sanada was moved at both her words and actions. While it was true that in his convalescing in the hospital Gendo hinted that Ayanami Rei might have been cloned using his late wife, it was never substantiated. As for Shinji and Valkyrie, Sanada had to confess she had blanked out upon Mehm's arrival and missed most of what had transpired after Valkyrie grew back to her normal size. "The rules…I forgot them," Sanada whimpered in Misato's direction. "If Hime-sama removed herself from the royal house, she would have lost all contact with everybody not of Earth," Sanada's eyes widened.
"And Shinji wasn't going to let her do that…was he," Misato slapped her palm to her forehead. He had cut his own heart out, not because he was afraid of losing Valkyrie, but to spare her from hurting herself. "That stupid kid, that damn romantic but stupid kid," Misato's head leaned back and bounced off the wall. "He did it for her, and here we were calling him foolish for hurting her. How much would she have hurt if she had stayed and never saw her friends of family again?" Misato asked the room.
Pushing the calmed child away from her, Sanada gazed deeply into Rei's eyes seeking uncertainty. Finding none, Sanada nodded, "Thank you Ayanami-kun. For both opening our eyes to something we failed to see…and your continued service to the Royal house." Sanada had no qualms taking Rei with her if the woman wanted to go. She had seen the foolish and prejudice people judge the child for things outside of her control, and yet call her comrades heroes. Sanada would take Rei with her and let the girl's true gifts show for the masses.
Her eyelids sharpened slightly and a tiny rise befell her lips, "Thank you Sanada-sama, I will not dishonor you. But will you allow me to say goodbye to Shinji before we leave?" She owed the man that might or might not be her brother so much, and she was leaving the planet despite that fact. Hoping something could be done to allow for them still to communicate; Rei could only hope things went well for him. If he does try his scenario out, I will honor my promise to him as well.
Standing in the small room, Asuka could see her robot hovering outside the window watching in. "So today is the day, you just going to sit and do nothing like you did the last two days?" she asked with some of the fire returning to her voice. Despite her feelings for the boy, she couldn't just sit back and watch him stew over another woman. "Come on, Shinji, say something to me damn it!" she hurled at the sitting boy.
His mind calculating every possible variable he could, Shinji was putting the final pieces of his plan together. "I know she's getting married today, Asuka. But what did you really expect me to do about it?" he sounded tired and worn. It hurt, and while he had expected it, it didn't dull the sensation. Two days of plotting his final move, but he still accepted the emptiness to continue past the day. "What did you think was going to happen between us?" he finally met her gaze.
Crossing her arms violently, Asuka stomped her foot hard, "Something more than you pouting like some coward in your room! If it wasn't for your time helping Wonder-clone I would have sworn you were totally broken!" Asuka retorted. Asuka watched as Shinji would make his visits to Rei's apartment to see to the girl's mental health. The news of Rei's origins made Asuka squeamish, and ashamed of her earlier bias towards the albino. She knew now that Rei wasn't the commanders favorite, Rei had been his ill kept pet.
Lancing the German with a stern glare that physically moved her Shinji said softly, "She is a girl, Asuka, how she came to be does NOT lessen her as a person." Gendo's plans for Rei now globally known, Shinji was going to see to it that Rei was not treated unfairly or rudely in his presence. Rei was a special and caring woman in Shinji's mind, and nobody was going to tell him differently. His fierce visage softened as Asuka recoiled, "And I know you feel the same so how about not calling her that anymore."
Sitting down next to the boy, Asuka leaned against him pressing her arm to his as she gripped the edge of the bed. "I know, I know, but this isn't about Ayanami and what plans that sick bastard had for her and the rest of us. This is about Valkyrie and you, and how you just let her go without a fight," she choose her words carefully not wanting to overstep her bounds. "You just let her walk out of your life that day, even after she offered to give up her position to be with you. How could you have said so little to her?" Asuka wanted to know. If Shinji had been fearful of a relationship was one thing, but she would not try talking Valkyrie's place if Shinji felt nothing.
His fingers crossed as he pressed his head against the mass of flesh as Shinji sighed. "I'm going to say a few things, Asuka, that I think are true here…if I overstep my bounds just let me know and I'll stop," he began. Closing his eyes, "I think you're like me, Asuka, in that our families are either dead or mean nothing to us. I lost my mother and my father attempted to commit genocide on the entire species, and you…I know your family is a touching area, isn't it?"
Leaning away from the boy, having never really connected the dots about their shared tragedy, Asuka nodded. "Yeah, momma had some issues and poppa tried to forget her as soon as he could. So yeah you can say I have a few issues with my genetic benefactors," Asuka's tone cooled to borderline threatening. Asuka hated her father and feared becoming like her mother. Wiping her hand across her cheek just in case something tried to say more than her words did, she continued, "So what of it? How does our parents being royal pains in the ass have to do with you flaking on that woman that loved you?"
Falling back into his bed, gazing up at the ceiling and Asuka's back, Shinji chuckled a little. Asuka's free speaking way recently was able to make Shinji laugh more than anything. "It's simply the fact that she isn't like us, and I saw that. My father was going to have me killed and you pretend to like your father yet ridicule him after he hangs up, but what of Valkyrie's sisters?" he asked as he rolled to his side. He envied the sense of love coming from the family unit Valkyrie had, hell Sanada was more family to Valkyrie than his own father was to him.
"She loves her family deeply, and they her. I mean if Laine hadn't reported back to them I bet every single sister of hers would have come to earth looking for her. Can you say our family would have done the same for us?" Shinji asked haggard. He saw that while Hydra had some selfish reasons for coming after Valkyrie, the true reason was fear for Valkyrie's safety. "I couldn't let her be separated from the family she loves and that loves her for my selfish benefit. She's be happy with me, I know she loves me and I her, but she wouldn't be as happy as she could be. And I want her the happiest she can be," he smiled despite himself at his comment.
Her breath left her for a moment as Shinji's reason shattered her preconceived notion for his actions. "You idiot," she muttered as she leaned forward and her face was masked by her hair. "What if she gets married to some pervert like Triam or worse? So she'll have her family and old friends but live in a loveless marriage of political necessity? You're happy with that?' she gritted her teeth as she spoke. It was time to prove that she wanted to be his friend, even if that meant shutting the door on the budding feelings in her chest. She couldn't let Shinji abandon the woman he truly loved, even if that meant she went without.
"I was afraid of that until I meet Mehm, and now I know she wouldn't do something like that," Shinji sat up. He heard the door open and close, Hydra was back and the final piece of his plan was about to fall into place. "She wants Valkyrie happy, just as I do, so she won't choose poorly. It won't be me, but I'm sure it can be somebody that can see Valkyrie for who she really is," Shinji had to have faith in that. He hoped whoever Valkyrie did marry knew she wasn't perfect, that she was flawed and yet in that human err was even more beautiful for it.
Shaking her head, tears threatening to fall, Asuka hated what she was hearing, because it was true and she didn't want that. Much like Shinji, Asuka wanted the man she cared for happy and she knew Shinji would be happiest with Valkyrie. "Coward, you've gave up without even asking her, without telling her to her face your feelings. That half-assed confession I heard about was bullshit! You never once told her 'I love you' to her face and here you sit going on about how you're doing this for her? Can you really let it end like this?" she shouted as she got to her feet.
Standing up, his back to Asuka, Shinji faced his door as Hydra opened it coming in looking for her headband. "No Asuka, I'm not going to let things end like this. I have something I need to do, something I have to do," he said with finality. Bowing on his hands and knees before Hydra, Shinji was ready to cast the die. "Hydra-san, I request you take me with you when you leave earth. I have something I need to do, and I have to do it before the wedding," his voice was solid yet contained an underline fear. If Hydra refused, it truly was over.
"I knew there was something about you that had some balls," Hydra chirped as she pulled the boy up to his feet. Taking the bandanna off his desk, Hydra flashed him the thumbs up, "Don't know what you got planned kid, but I'm bored enough to help you out, just try to keep me off the wedding platform will ya?" she joked. Doing some soul searching over the last few days, Hydra didn't like what she saw in the mirror. Valkyrie cherished this boy and he her, and yet Hydra tried to stand between them because of her own fears. Well she wasn't a coward, and she wasn't going to become one now. "Sanada already left so we need to move fast, you coming barbarian?" Hydra asked the stunned Asuka.
Stepping into the room, Misato sniffed and threw her hair back proudly, "You bet your oversized breasts she's coming, and I am too!" Having bid Sanada and the now space fairing Ayanami goodbye, Misato was in the same boat as Shinji and wanting the ending different. "Now lets get a move on, we have a wedding to crash!" she cheered and roped her hand around Shinji's neck and gave it a hug.
As Hydra maneuvered her sleek starship past the moon, Misato let her fingers glide over the metallic finish. "Have to admit this is a lot fancier than the craft we have back in Ritsuko's lab," she said with a hint of genuine interest in her voice. Her body was jolted with excitement of the incoming battle. "So how long will it take us to get to Valhalla anyway, is it even in this galaxy?" she quipped sparing Shinji and Asuka a glance.
Thankful she had the model that was made easier to fly, Hydra entered the coordinates for home. Leaning back in her seat, "It will take about an hour to get to Valhallaan space, which is about forty light years from your planet," she answered. Flipping on a monitor she let out a confused hum, "That's odd, we should be able to get some news on the interstellar news network, and I would have thought Valkyrie's wedding would have been top news," but as Hydra mentioned the screen simply stated that Valhalla was suffering a media blackout.
"So you're saying this thing can fly forty light years in less than an hour…how is that possible without breaking several laws of physics?" Asuka asked as she tried not to drool over the technology. Her mind, while not as fixated as Ritsuko's, was having a joygasm envisioning just how the technology worked. "And where is Wondergirl, I mean she didn't back out on us or something did she?" with how Rei and Shinji were getting along Asuka was afraid the girl would have jumped Shinji before he made a move.
Pulling at her collar, Misato never liked being the barer of bad news, and Rei abandoning Earth was something she considered bad. She did see how people reacted to her, but Misato thought in time people would remember that Rei did save them all just the same as Asuka and Shinji. "Well with her recovering and all I wouldn't think it would be wise to bring her…" Misato tried fibbing.
"Ayanami is already on Sanada's ship," Shinji said cutting Misato's lie-fest short. When the trio of women nearly fell out of their chairs in shock, two from not knowing and one from Shinji already knowing, he chuckled lightly. "Ayanami told me her plans to leave, and while I'm sad I'm glad she's making choices for herself rather than having them made for her now," he was proud of Rei for making a stand regarding her life. Pointing out the window, "What are all these things floating around us?"
Unsure what she made of the boy, Hydra gladly let the distraction move her. Calling up a few external sensors, Hydra smacked the console hard and let out a jolly laugh. "Well it seems our dear friends the space pirates lost a good dozen spawn on your planet. I bet after the smuck I have in stasis in back stopped making calls they sent the lump of them, and well…its good you played the human super conductor kiddo," Hydra would have patted Shinji's back but with Asuka hovering around him she knew better.
Like Hydra, Misato was reevaluating her opinion of Shinji, he wasn't normally able to keep secrets like this. "What kind of reception can we expect once we get to wherever Valkyrie is? Will we be able to walk right up to her, or are we going to have a fight on our hands?" she cracked her knuckles hoping it was the latter. Stupid bureaucratic nonsense was causing two people she cared for problems, and Misato wanted to smack some heads in for it.
Flexing her fingers insider her gloves, Hydra gave Misato a very appealing grin. This woman was just like her, Hydra thought, and wanting to release some pent up stress. "Well normally access to the royal family is restricted, and with Valkyrie getting married today I'm betting that is doubled," she reached under her console and pulled out a lazar and tossed it to Misato. "Put it on stun and you'll have over forty shots before the power is drained," Hydra was enjoying this.
Her eyes never leaving Shinji, Asuka thought he was far to calm for what was coming. Misato was a trained marksman, Hydra and she could fight, but Shinji was mostly dead weight so why was he so calm. "Shinji, you do know we're going to have to fight our way to Valkyrie don't you? And if what you say is true that means you might have to fight Rei to get to her," with Sanada as insane as she was Asuka was hoping to have to put the cat girl down.
Seeing Shinji squirm under Asuka's question, Misato couldn't believe she didn't see it before. The boy was hiding something, it was so painfully evident in his actions, Misato could sense it. "Shinji-kun, what aren't you telling us, and be honest now because we'll only have one shot at getting you to Valkyrie?" she asked while balancing the pistol sized lazar in her hand judging its mass.
His head dropped a moment on getting discovered so quickly, scratching at his nose Shinji confessed his little duplicity. "Well…Ayanami is expecting me. When she said she was leaving I asked her to watch for me. I had hopes of getting Hydra-san to help me, and if she did Rei was going to be ready to help in whatever ways she can. She-she said it would make Valkyrie happy so she could do it," Shinji blushed knowing just how true Rei's words were.
Reaching across the cockpit, Hydra grabbed the boy and yanked him into a fierce hug. "You just saved us a whole mess of problems with the external defenses I bet kid! I guess there is something for having brains instead of brawn…though now that I get a feel of ya you have more meat on your bones than I thought," Hydra quipped. The lad in her arms wasn't skin and bone, but lean and trim. Valkyrie had a winner and nobody but her had even suspected!
Prying Shinji out of the green haired bimbo's steel grip, Misato dusted off the boy's shoulders. "Guess you did take something from your father after all, but this better be the last scenario you plan or I'm going to have to lay down some rules for you young man," Misato's stern lecture was countered by the smile that split her face in two. In Shinji's one move, he likely boosted the chances of success greatly in their favor. Knowing Rei, and Misato was keen on knowing people, the albino likely had already prepped for their arrival and secured a passage to the imprisoned princess.
Less than one hour later, after the pointless pre-fight gab fest was ending, Rei's image appeared in a halo screen informing Hydra's ship to land on docking pad – C. The communication blackout was in effect until after the wedding, and they only had two hours to get to Valkyrie before it happened. Hydra lent Asuka a smaller version of her battle suit, Misato stocked up on clips, and Shinji tried not to let his resolve waver. It was going hectic two hours.
"Shinji, Soryu is surrounded and Katsuragi is running out of ammo," Rei stated over her halo-feed to the two other invaders. "The guards also know of my assistance and are in the process of breaking into the control room to stop me. But you are outside of Hime-sama's dressing room," she informed as the resounding gongs of a makeshift battering ram hitting the door behind her echoed across the feed.
Pulling her gloves on tighter, Hydra flexed her fingers in preparation. "Lock as many doors as you can, Ayanami. I'll hold off the guards while Prince Charming her goes to save his princess," she gave Shinji and approving look. The kid had guts, another trait she had overlooked in him. He was willing to go against the royal family, attack the imperial seat of power, and it was all for Valkyrie. Once the video feed shut down, "Don't worry about her or your other friends, boy, the guards won't kill them just take them into custody," she said to calm him.
Heaving a sigh of relief, Shinji had in fact been wondering just what the punishment for breaking into this little party was going to be. "Glad to hear that, but what about you? Won't you get in trouble for helping us to get here?" he gazed at the door with trepidation. Behind the mammoth white barrier was the end of the road, and the long hard goodbye.
Patting Shinji's back, Hydra chuckled at his endless worrying, quite the opposite of Valkyrie but it worked. "I'm a princess of the royal family and a known tomboy, I'll likely spend a few seconds in Inarba's punishment zone. It's nothing I haven't done before, and I have to admit getting Valkyrie and you together is worth it. I'll just have to make sure Laine takes Valkyrie's place," she gave Shinji a small push towards the door.
Stumbling towards the monolithic door, Shinji spun around to see Hydra's approving face. Taking a deep breath, he felt he owed his current protect a little clarification. "I think you're mistake on why I'm here, Hydra-san," his weak smile was more sad than relieving. "I came to say goodbye to Valkyrie, not steal her away from here," he admitted and prepared himself for the expected question of 'what?'.
Not to disappoint the earthling, Hydra nearly fell over after hearing Shinji's oh so mind shattering statement. They all fought legions of Valhalla's strongest guards, destroyed security systems, and made a real mess of the reception hall all for Shinji to say goodbye? "Sorry, I think I had something insane in my ear, care to throw that one by me again? Oh and if I wasn't mistaken I think I'm going to have to throw you out an airlock," she wouldn't stand for it unless he had one hell of a good reason.
Checking his watch, ten minutes until the ceremony was to start, Shinji spared the door another glance. "I said I came to say goodbye to Valkyrie. When your sister came and took her, it was so sudden that I didn't get to do it properly. Valkyrie deserves to know why we…why I can't let her suffer for me," he cared to much to cause her that pain. "Mehm said she'd be forbidden to interact with anybody outside of Earth…and she'd lose her protection. So if those pirates wanted her…their would be no way to keep her safe," and she'd forever long for her missing family.
Hydra's hand, ready to strike the boy, fell to her side as the epiphany hit her. Royal decree stated anybody abandoning the crown was exiled forever, even in death they would be banned from returning. Selfish in her own right, Hydra couldn't picture a life without Valkyrie in it. "Oh shit…I forgot about that little stipulation. But-but you actually love her and she loves you," for reasons Hydra was now seeing. "Isn't it worth the risk?" she asked not believing she was pushing for it.
"You don't believe that anymore than I do. I won't risk her happiness or health simply because of my feelings," Shinji turned back to the door and started walking towards it. The pounding on the outer chamber door started to get louder singling the guards were coming. "She deserves to be happy and safe, if this is all I can do to see to that I'd gladly make this sacrifice over and over again," but he feared the pain in his heart would eclipse the pain from the machine.
Facing the door, and the impending fight, Hydra ran a finger under her nose. "Damn kid, this isn't how I wanted it to end. But for what its worth I know you'd have made her happier than any other man could," Hydra accepted that. And if he was free…technically she could insure he didn't get to sad, maybe teach him to fight. Go on a date or something, nothing to serious…seriously. "I'll hold them off as long as I can, you go do what you came here for," she heard him mutter some sort of apology and then the door shut.
"Well this was unexpected, but no matter, I was hoping for a fight," Hydra hollered. Five seconds after her words died in the hall, she was encompassed in a puff of pink smoke and her body again was that of a child's. "WHAT THE HELL! That damn shaman said I was cured!" Hydra's high pitched voice filled the room with its remorse and anger. Back on earth, Hikari shivered for an unknown reason.
In the changing room, Shinji approached the figures before him. One was clad in the purest of white and attended by three cat-maids. "V-Valkyrie," he croaked out, his eyes enraptured by the vision before him. "Valkyrie!" he cried out again and nearly rushed to her side. How desperately he wanted to hold her, to do what Hydra and the others thought he wanted to do and steal her away.
Adorned in her wedding gown, Valkyrie froze upon hearing Shinji's voice. Oh how she dreamt of his arrival, just like this. She fantasized he would come and they would escape together to the far reaches of the universe together, but Mehm's words repeated in her mind. He hadn't abandoned her, but saved her from making a fatal mistake. "Shinji," she cooed as she finally spun around to gaze at the man who captured her heart. "L-leave us, we have much to discuss," she gestured to her maids and the door.
As the cat eared maids left the room, Shinji quickly closed the distance between Valkyrie and himself. Wrapping his arms around her, he hugged Valkyrie tight. "I'm sorry it came to this, Valkyrie, I wish it could be different," he wished for that with ever fiber of his being.
Reluctantly breaking free of his hold, Valkyrie held his hands as they shared the moment. "I-I know Shinji, it rends my heart in twain, but I would not risk the pirates hurting you to get to me," Valkyrie's tone was somber and full of regret. Without her royal protection, any number of miscreants would aim for her and anybody foolish enough to protect her. Shinji would be killed protecting her if she chose to stay with him.
Cupping Valkyrie's cheek with his hand, Shinji shook his head. "I'm not sorry for loving you, I'm sorry I didn't see the true you at first," he said softly. "When we first meet, I thought you were an angel, a real angel. Beautiful, charming, intelligent, and out of my grasp but what I didn't see was the other side of you the true you," he continued. "The selfish, the lonely, and the childlike Valkyrie that I came to love even more," he felt one of her tears drip on his hand.
"Shin-chan," Valkyrie gushed as she drew him into another hug. Life was cruel to have given her such a meeting only to tear it away. She knew in her heart of hearts she could never care for another as she did the man in her arms, but her obligations forced such. "I don't wish for you to go…I don't want this, but" she couldn't continue.
Kissing softly for what he thought was the last time, Shinji didn't need to hear the words. He knew what she wanted to say. "Goodbye Val-chan. May your happiness be great and your sorrows trivial," he whispered in her ear and took a step back. Gasping as he noticed they had an unexpected guest, Shinji quickly took a defensive stance between Mehm and Valkyrie, "Don't punish her! She didn't know I planned this!"
Easily able to look at Valkyrie over Shinji's head, Mehm gestured to the door and the waiting attendants. "Valkyrie, it is time. They will take you to the chapel for the ceremony," Mehm watched as the forlorn lovers shared one linger gaze and wordlessly Valkyrie left the room. "She will not be punished, Ikari-kun, and neither will your or your friends," Mehm held her hand out for the boy to take.
Halfheartedly Shinji linked his arm with the matriarch of Valhalla and let her lead him. "You chose a suitable man for her didn't you? Prince Triam or somebody that will care for her as she deserves right?" Shinji didn't want to think of her marrying anybody that wouldn't feel blessed.
Almost beside herself with joy, Mehm's continence did not betray her inner glee. "A suitable male has been found. Come I humbly request you attend the ceremony with me, as I believe Valkyrie would wish you to be there on her most important day," she was right about this boy and Valkyrie. And thanks to Triam's little fixation on Asuka she was able to tie up all the loose ends into a very lovely wedding present.
Sitting in what Mehm called a chapel and Shinji considered a warehouse with an art deco interior, the lad gazed around the cavernous room. Aliens of every make and type gabbed with excitement as they waited to learn who Valkyrie's husband would be. "Mehm-san, why doesn't anybody know who Valkyrie is going to marry yet? I would have thought it would have been made public knowledge by now?" he asked. However much he loathed the idea of her marrying, Shinji had to know who the man was.
Hiding her smile behind her hand, Mehm was enjoying the scene three rows behind their front row pew. Apparently Hydra wasn't as cured as she thought and was busy fighting with the now famous Asuka Langley Soryu. Triam's obsession with the earth girl was also growing in popularity. Answering Shinji's query, "We had to keep the man a secret until we got him on site less the pirates attack him to hold as a hostage."
"GIVE ME MY BREASTS BACK YOU DAMN NEANDERTHAL," Hydra's frantic voice filled the chapel and echoed through the massive structure.
Standing up, Mehm patted Shinji's shoulder and gave him a kind smirk. "Excuse me, Ikari-kun, but it is time to begin the ceremony," it tore at her to keep things secret from both Shinji and Valkyrie but Mehm did love dramatics. Standing at the pulpit, Mehm cleared her voice into the microphone. She couldn't wait to see their faces when she let her little tidbit of info slip.
"Ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to start off by thanking you for coming to Valkyrie's wedding," her stately voice was easily heard over the low hum of voices. While this was in reality a political marriage and could have been done as purely a paper transaction, Mehm had hoped the boy would have triumphed over the final challenge as he had. "Before the ceremony begins, I would like to announce three special guests visiting us today," she nodded and three spotlights flickered on over Shinji, Misato, and Asuka.
Waiting for the nervous earthlings to stand, Mehm gestured for calm. "As some of you know, Earth has been petitioned to join the league of aligned worlds under Valhalla's power. And as I have just heard back from the holy sages, the application has been granted. Claiming Earth would have advanced to a space faring civilization had the pirates not forced them to develop their technology to defeat them, Earth is hear by granted advanced status and now open for free trade of ideas with the rest of the alliance," Mehm would see to it the earth council consisted of Misato and Ritsuko before any others.
Spinning his seat, Shinji quickly scanned for Misato. Mouthing the words, "What does that mean for us?" the boy was growing anxious. This was truly a shock, but why was Mehm saying this now…did it have any other meaning or was she just trying to cover the pain with something nice. Sadly Misato just shrugged as she had no clue, and like Shinji wasn't really thrilled at being at Valkyrie's wedding to non-Shinji males.
Mehm's calm face split into a glorious show of warmth as she continued speaking. "As a sign of our trust and acceptance of Earth into our kingdom, it is also my esteemed privilege to announce something else," she could hardly contain herself the mischief maker in her was about to explode. "Valkyrie will be marrying one of earth's representatives as a symbol of our support and willingness to aid the earth in further advances in the future. So without further ado I present Valkyrie's husband Shinji Ikari," Mehm's hand shot out and pointed at Shinji who was now standing in the only spotlight left on.
His jaw literally fell open as he hearth pounded so hard in his chest he was sure the others around him could hear it. "M-Mehm-san are…I'm going to…" he couldn't believe it. This was a dream or a cruel joke, but he so wanted it to be true. Behind him Asuka and Misato nearly fainted for two very different reasons. On shaky almost uncooperative legs, Shinji advanced to the pulpit amidst the cheers and frantic news casters heated reporting of Valkyrie's chosen.
Throwing the door to the chapel open, Valkyrie ran full tilt up the aisle, her cat eared bride's maids falling behind. Decorum be damned! In one fell swoop all her fears and doubts had been crushed! She was going to marry the man she wished AND have her family! Standing before her sister, Valkyrie grabbed her beloved, "I love you Shinji!"
"I love you two Valkyrie" Shinji said just as mystified at the twist of fate as his soon to be bride. His body fidgeted as he spared Mehm a glance and hesitantly both he and Valkyrie lunged at one another and embraced deeply, giving the cameramen a wonderful show.
"I know pronounce them wife and husband, I now present to you the newest member of the Valhalla royal family," Mehm's voice boomed loudly and joyously through the room as it exploded in cheers and catcalls. Sure Valkyrie had skipped most of the ceremony, but Mehm didn't care. She had played with the two long enough, they had earned their victory and their moment together.
As the pair continued and deepened their kiss, the idea of other people a foggy and misty concept they cared little about, they felt something familiar. Their souls merged again, Shinji could feel Valkyrie within him as did the overjoyed princess. And as the kiss broke, Shinji scooped up the now child sized princess in astonishment.
"Val-chan is Shin-chan's bride!" the child cried out stunning all the onlookers. Another kiss later and the child was again an adult, blushing a lovely crimson. "She-I…both of us…love you," it was hard to describe but Shinji's bride knew her husband understood.
He did, and it didn't matter. They'd find a cure for her, or something in time but for now it was just the joy of knowing they wouldn't be separated ever again. "And I love both of you," he kissed her one more time before the pair rushed out of the chapel to Valkyrie's repaired Shinji for the trip back to earth. It was time to celebrate the new blessings in their lives, and nobody was going to stop them
Yeah its basically a twist on the ending of Valkyrie, but come on you knew it was going to be a happy ending. Now I'll say it again I'm unsure if I'll go into Decembers Nocturn, the 2nd season of Valkyrie cause it would be heavily UFO princess and light on Eva since only Unit-02 is left in this variation of the story. I'm happy with how this ended, cliché or no I enjoyed it and I hope you did too.
It was quick, it was odd, it was fun, it was depressing, it was romantic, it was a little ecchi just like UFO Princess Valkyrie and I hope in encouraged one or two of you to actually watch the show.
Well that's all for this story for now stay tuned to my next story and my others…debating another cross over cause lord knows I love my crossovers…maybe another serious Eva fic too…got a nice idea for one.