VANGUARD
by Gunman

Disclaimer: I do not own Eva or Wonder Woman or any character related to them.

Summary: Shinji is adopted by Hippolyta and becomes the brother of the amazons as well as Diana's companion. But trouble looms as Artemis is fated to return to the island.

Author's Notes: Thanks to StraightedgeWingZero for the help with this chapter.

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Chapter 2
Growing Up Amazon

"You wish to adopt him?" the high priestess asked in shock, standing before the amazon queen who was now dressed in her royal raiments, including crown and scepter, her sword at her side.

"Yes." Hippolyta said to the brown-haired woman in the tan robes. "It is Athena's will."

The trio of priestesses, two attendants who stood upon either side of the much taller high priestess, were naturally skeptical. Especially given what had happened only a few hours prior.

"My Queen... you do know that this is highly... unusual." the high priestess said. "Given what has taken place only a few hours ago."

"I understand that. But as much as I know in my heart that this is right, I beg you to do the same and not judge this boy simply for being born different." Hippolyta said. "And perhaps this will help." she said as she handed the crystal ball to the amazon priestess.

The priestess held the crystal ball for more than a minute as it glowed brightly as it had before. Once it had stopped glowing, the priestess felt tears stain her cheeks while her breathing was deep and ragged. She handed the crystal ball to the other advisors while she spoke to Hippolyta.

"How can people... even other women... treat someone this way?" she asked the amazon queen. "It is... horrible!"

"Those were my thoughts when I first held the orb." Hippolyta said.

"At the end of those terrible visions, I saw the face of Athena. What you spoke was the truth." the high priestess said.

"Did you think I would use the name of Athena lightly?" Hippolyta asked as if she had just been insulted.

"No. But your judgement has been impaired before."

"Yes. I was deceived by the son of Zeus. I admit that. It was only thanks to Shinji that I was saved from his defilement. But a deep pain festers within the boy. One that I wish to cure." the queen said.

The high priestess turned back to her assistants and saw they had tears in their eyes as well.

"It is an outrage!" the first priestess said. "So young..."

"Is it any wonder men are such beasts?" the second priestess hissed as the high priestess took the crystal ball from her hands and returned it to Hippolyta. "Though... it is obvious that some women are no better."

"Then he will be allowed to stay." Hippolyta said as she accepted the orb.

"Where is he now?" the first priestess asked.

"Diana is taking care of him in her room. These recent events have... exhausted him." Hippolyta explained.

The small gaggle of advisors spoke quietly for a few minutes. When they were finished, one of them, the high priestess, spoke.

"Considering his life, and that he was clearly sent by Athena to aid us, we agree that adopting him would be the best course of action." the high priestess said.

"Excellent." Hippolyta said with a smile.

"However... there is one concern." the second advisor said.

"Yes?" the queen asked, curious about what she was going to say.

The advisors looked at each other tentatively, the two priestesses paling before the high priestess herself spoke.

"Artemis." she said.

At this, Hippolyta paled.

The red-haired amazon's hatred towards men was well known. Even before Hercules and his men had arrived on the island Artemis had been as anti-male as anyone. While Hippolyta trusted Artemis with her life, as she was one of the best trained amazons of the island nation, this would obviously cause more than a little friction when she met the young man.

At present the fearsome amazon was off traveling the world, exploring and learning as much as she could so as to broaden her experiences. She would return in a few years, but Hippolyta knew that she would not like the fact that Shinji was here. Regardless of his situation.

She might attack him. Try to kill him. Before she hears of why he was allowed to stay. she thought. I must speak with Diana about this! "I will deal with Artemis. What about my adoption of him?"

"We will enter it into the by-laws that you have claimed maternal rights over him." the first priestess said. "As queen of Themyscira."

"Thank you. Excuse me." Hippolyta said before turning and walking out of the temple. He will need to be trained in the ways of combat by the amazons. We will teach him. Train him. Educate him. And with proper discipline, his awesome strength will be a force to be reckoned with by any foe. With luck, Artemis will see that.

Hippolyta stood before her amazon sisters and spoke.

"My sisters! This young male has indeed trespassed on our island. But it was not intentional. It was the will of Athena that this male was brought here to aid us during our time of distress when Hercules attacked us. And now The Gods have demanded that I claim him as my son. His name is Shinji Ikari and he is not like the corrupted men outside our island in Man's World and like it or not, he is now my son and the first prince of Themyscira. You will treat him with respect. Your queen has spoken!"

"My Queen! It is not that we dispute your word, but... if Athena declares this... after what we have already endured by Hercules and his men... is there any way we can know for certain that..." one of the amazons asked.

"You saw what he did for us, fighting and defeating Hercules himself. Yet you demand proof that the Gods are party to this. Even after I have given you my word?" Hippolyta asked.

"Seeing is believing, my queen." another amazon spoke.

"THEN SO BE IT!" a booming voice echoed across the skies.

The Amazons all gasp when they saw Athena, dressed in all her glory with her owl on her shoulders standing before and towering over the warrior maidens.

"I KNOW THAT YOUR FAITH HAS BEEN SHAKEN. I KNOW THAT YOU ARE STILL RECOVERING FROM YOUR BETRAYAL AT THE HANDS OF HERCULES AND HIS MEN. BUT THIS IS MY WISH, FOR YOU TO ACCEPT SHINJI IKARI AS YOUR FRIEND AND ALLY, AS THE SON OF HIPPOLYTA."

With that, in a flash of light, she was gone.

There was no more dispute about this from any of the assembled Amazons.

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Diana replaced the dried up washcloth with a new one, glad to see that Shinji's temperature was beginning to stabilize.

The blanket that was draped over Shinji's waist covered his lower half, exposing his upper body: stomach, chest, arms, shoulders and head. All of which were in incredible physical condition. For an adult. Prior to his amazing transformation, Hippolyta said that a child of 14 years had appeared in Athena's temple to save her.

This man was no child.

He had a physique that was equal in build and definition to that of Bruce 'Batman' Wayne, one of her closest friends and allies. She had seen him in battle, having gotten injured many times, she knew what his body was like underneath that Kevlar-mesh bodysuit he wore.

Shinji's physique was much like his. Pretty much the peak of human physicality. Yet his strength was greater than that of Superman himself.

And yet, as she looked at him, she continued to ponder the events from the crystal orb that she had seen. That her mother had seen. He had endured so much in his short life, it was a miracle that he hadn't become some kind of monster or psychotic lunatic.

Having been to Man's World more than any other amazon, Diana knew firsthand how much the damage to a person's mind could be.

People such as The Joker, Two-Face, and even Harley Quinn were perfect examples of an unstable and even damaged mind. And yet, despite all that, Diana could sense an overwhelming desire to be loved and cared for coming from him. Even if he didn't feel like he deserved it, or that anyone would reciprocate.

Maybe that was what was attracting her to him.

Shinji moaned as his eyes blinked open. He looked up at the marble ceiling and groaned.

Another unfamiliar ceiling. he thought.

"You're awake." a soft, deep voice said.

Shinji looked over and gasped when he saw the most beautiful raven-haired woman in his life since Misato.

This woman however looked more athletic and fit than Misato did.

He often wondered how Misato managed to keep herself so slim and sexy with what she ate and drank on a regular basis. A constant diet of beer and curry didn't have as bad an effect on her as one would have figured, but she still could have tried to eat healthier.

Looking back to the woman with the long, black and wavy hair, deep blue eyes, unblemished soft skin, and incredibly toned and athletic body, while wearing a sexy white tunic that left her arms and the upper sides of her legs exposed, hanging loose on her body, attached by a metal clasp over her shoulders, a gold belt around her waist, a pair of leather sandals on her feet, and silver bracelets on her wrists. There was a silver headband over her forehead, with a small impression of a star in the middle of it.

"Who... who are you?" he asked.

"I am Diana, daughter of Hippolyta. Queen of the amazons... who you saved from being raped."

"By Hercules."

"You remember."

"Barely. I... I remember he was trying to rape a woman. I... I beat him. Savagely."

"Yes. He deserved it."

"I suppose he did... but I didn't like it. I was just so... angry."

"Don't let these doubts plague you now. My mother is in the process of repaying you for your efforts. By adopting you."

Shinji gasped as she said that.

"A-Adopt?" he gasped.

"Yes. She has seen your life and the pain and suffering you have endured. I'm sure your mother, Yui, would approve of this."

Shinji felt a tear fall down his cheek as she reminded him of his mother.

"You miss her, don't you?" she asked.

"She was the only one who was... the only one who loved me." Shinji said.

Shinji then looked down at his body and gasped.

"What... what happened to me?" he gasped.

"We're not sure. Somehow, whatever power you were channeling in order to defeat Hercules, enhanced your body to what it is now."

While that explanation didn't make a great deal of sense to Shinji, it was more than he knew before.

Just then, a beautiful woman with blond hair and blue eyes rushed into the room.

"Diana! Diana! The Council has approved of your mother adopting the male!"

"The male, has a name, Mala." Diana said, indicating the young man who was sitting up on the bed.

"Oh. Right. Sorry." the blond said sheepishly.

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Shinji's adoption by the amazon queen had quickly spread to the entire island.

Hippolyta and the Council, and those amazons who were present to Athena's decree, were hard-pressed to make sure that the goddesses' commands were carried out.

And while rumors of Shinji's great deed spread to the island itself, Hippolyta's own concerns lay with Artemis.

Even if Artemis is loyal and obeys my orders, she will no doubt attack Shinji when she returns. Hippolyta thought. I... I will do everything I can to sate her anger, but I fear I will need help.

While help had been sent to the amazons, in the form of Diana, her daughter, it took the additional aid of Shinji to make sure that Hippolyta and her amazons were not defiled and enslaved. Athena had intervened yet again, and Hippolyta could not ask her goddess for help again. Especially against one amazon.

Another solution would have to present itself.

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It had been three days since Athena's decree, and Shinji was feeling better. At least physically. Diana was helpful in explaining everything to him that he wasn't aware of. Which was a lot. The amazons history, their morals, their goals, and even their training regime.

It was also because of his defeating Hercules that Hippolyta had made a strong case in Shinji being adopted as her son. This actually made Shinji happy since he hadn't had a mother in along time. However, Shinji knew that her responsibilities as Queen would take precedence.

Still, Hippolyta tried to make as much time for him as possible, knowing full-well the life he had lived without a mother.

He was also aware of the fact that Athena herself had given Shinji her blessing to live on the island. And even if the island was filled with man-hating amazons, something he still had Hercules to thank for, Diana had assured him that they would eventually warm up to him.

Currently, Shinji wandered the palace hallways in search of Diana or anyone who could give him some assistance. Dressed in a black bodysuit that was without sleeves or pant legs, a white tunic with gold and red trim, a black belt around his waist, leather wrist guards and padded shin-guards with sandals, Shinji looked every bit the Greek prince to his new Greek mother/queen.

(AN: Think Pit from Kid Icarus SSBB)

He had been walking for a good ten minutes and still didn't find what he was looking for. It was then that he came across a large metal door that was cracked open.

Maybe someone in here can help me. Shinji thought as he walked through door and paused when he saw dozens of shelves with all manner of books lined-up from top to bottom. Most of them looked centuries old, as if they had been written in the time of Hercules and Achilles themselves.

It was then that he heard something come from the furthest corner of the room.

"Hello? Is anybody here?" Shinji called out, his voice echoing through the large room.

Not getting an answer Shinji walked through the row of books fascinated at the size of the library itself. It was then he came across a broken ladder, a large empty bookcase that was leaning towards him, and a huge pile of books spilled onto the floor. The boy was about to walk across the pile when he heard a voice from underneath the books.

"Help me please!" pleaded a voice confirming someone was buried underneath books.

Shinji wasted no time in digging the trapped person out. He sorted through the books by the bunch until he found a hand stretching out from beneath them. Gripping the arm with both hands, he pulled free the person underneath the books. Much to his surprise, he saw that it was a young girl with light red hair wearing glasses and dressed in a reddish-brown tunic, gasping for air as if she suffocated underneath the books.

His surprise was more from the fact that this girl, who had to be an amazon, should have had the strength to dig herself out from underneath all those books.

"Thank you, sis-" she started to say, but stopped short as soon as she saw Shinji.

She had heard something about the queen adopting a male on to their island but she didn't believe it. What's more is that he the defeated Hercules with his bare hands. Now by order of Athena this boy was Hippolyta's son, the prince of their island. She quickly got down on all fours bowing in respect.

Shinji looked at her in confusion for a bit before he spoke.

"There's no need for you to do that. Are you hurt or anything?" Shinji asked.

Keeping herself bowed, the girl responded.

"I'm fine, you-r your highness." the girl stuttered lightly, keeping her head down.

Though Shinji had been informed of his new status, he wasn't comfortable with it.

"My name is Shinji. What's yours?" he asked,.

"My name is Alexa. I'm the librarian here on Themyscira." she said.

Alexa rose up and looked down at her feet, as if completely unsure what to do in this situation. The boy was here on the island and normally by amazon law he should have been killed on the spot for trespassing. But her Queen had decreed that this boy live among the amazons by order of Athena herself. So now she was here standing a few feet away from the newly adopted prince of Themyscira. The silence was awkward for a few moments, until Shinji spoke up.

"I'm sorry if I startled you, but I was wandering the hallways looking for some assistance." Shinji said.

Alexa smoothed her dress out before turning to Shinji.

"I can help you, your highness." Alexa said, almost a bit eagerly.

"Oh Shinji. There you are. And I see you've met Alexa." Diana said, walking up to the two as they were conversing. "I went to your room to check on you and weren't there."

Shinji rubbed the back of his head, almost in mortification.

"Sorry, Diana. I was wandering the hallways until I came across this library." said Shinji looking down at the floor. "I just wanted something to read."

Diana gave him a bright, reassuring smile, and was tempted to comfort him with her body in front of Alexa. Athena knows the poor boy needed a woman's comfort, even though 'boy' was not the proper term for him now.

"Don't worry. Our mother just wanted me to show you around the island." Diana said, getting a slightly bemused and wiry look from him.

"I'm still finding that hard to accept." Shinji said.

"By Athena's decree, and her own choice, the queen has adopted you." Diana stated.

"Are you comfortable with the title?" Alexa asked.

"N-not really. I'm not much for royalty. I don't know how to be a prince or anything." Shinji said. But a mother is something I can easily accept.

"Something that will need to be corrected. For all our sakes." Diana said as she linked arms with Shinji and led him out of the library. "I'll bring him back later, Alexa."

"I'll be here!" the librarian called out. "Cleaning up my mess." she said to herself.

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Authors Notes:

This chapter was much shorter than I wanted. I was going to include Artemis and Circe, but I'll save those two for the next chapter. It had just been so long since I updated this, I figured something was better than nothing.

Next chapter: Artemis Attacks!