Perhaps

A Neon Genesis Evangelion fanfiction

By Dr. Suekeiichi Kaiton

A roar arose around him, engulfing him, hiding him from the filth and insecurity all around him. Darkness clouded his vision as the long night hours dragged on into infinity as he sat cloistered in his cell. It was raining outside his window. A relentless torrent of nature's wrath lashed out at the Plexiglass, obscuring a full view of the land outside. The land was sunken and pitted as if by some great explosions or perhaps evenfootfalls? Still, the landscape around him was the furthest thing from his mind now, his duty keeping him from contact with the outside world except perhaps on a superficial level. He spent an increasing amount of time inside rather than outside now, projects and the like, and he was beginning to feel that something was dying. Or perhaps someone? Preposterous! He was the same as he was 15 years ago, perhaps even better! The idea was ludicrous, insanebut hadn't he been having more of those the past few years?

No matter, not right now at least, he had more pressing concerns. SEELE was about to strike with the backing of the UN and their own covert operations, trying to destroy his dream. His dream, what a load of bullshit! His dream died years ago along with almost every redeeming feature about him, except his patience. Patience is a virtue it is said, but it can also become a curse to those that abuse it. The Lance still swam up in the eternal soup of space, revolving around the overripe piece of fruit called Earth The documentation for an A-108, the order that would dissolve the UN's protection of NERV had already passed his desk. Time seems to have a sense of humorThings repeat in an endless cycle. He stood up in his dark suit, blending with the foreboding shadows of the room and stood before the glass once more.

His hand wore intricate patterns on the glass, his heated palms steaming the surface. Deftly pulling off his right hand glove he wrote the kanji for Ikari' on the glass. Ikari, hatred. Perhaps he _had_ relegated too much time to his hate and losses but then again perhaps he had not given enough, even the bitterest fruit can yield the most beautiful of flowers. Lightning flashed outside and shot the epigram of his fate across the chamber leaving it emblazoned on the far wall for the briefest of moments. It flickered there, suspended, his dark blue eyes watching it with cold curiosity.

He eased himself back into the chair. Time was ticking away, the old men were getting restless. So many things left to complete before we can be reunited my love, please be patient as I have these past ten years. Ten years can twist how one perceives love, especially if that love had come under fire from almost every conceivable person around you. Some say love, some say obsession, others even call it a vision of man's potential.' Ha! She would laugh at that. As he recalled she had no love for authority or rulesso what would she think of what he had become? A hollow question when he was still so far away from his final goal. The doors to the chambers opened wide as his trusted friend stood by the enormous metal slabs, waiting for his words. He could make out the stooped shoulders outlined by the hall lights.

"Come in Fuyutsuki." The older man was chilled at the dull tone those words were spoken with, an arrogant drawl that grated on the nerves. He could just say Fuyutsuki, you can be replaced', and it would have the same effect. Deft, calculated footsteps gave a resounding tap to the deadly silence. What happened to the kind, caring man before? Fuyutsuki didn't know. Did he die? Or was he in mourning for what Ikari have become?

"Ikari, Dr. Akagi wants you down in the labs, an important discovery she says." He was wheezing from the run as well as the walk across the office, he was an old man now. He collapsed in his chair and sipped at his coffee ineffectually. A little spilled from his chin down the front of his maroon jumpsuit. He dabbed at it as Ikari pulled on his gloves and retrieved tinted glasses from his desk. He swept his black jacket from the back of his chair, slipping it on over his red turtleneck.

"Thank you Fuyutsuki, if you have finished you may go home now, we wouldn't want you old men to tire on us." He flashed a small grin from the side of his mouth, a rare sight since the start of his cursed projects. Fuyutsuki regarded Ikari with a kind smile tinged with regret, laying his hands on the smoky glass.

"Heh. It's been awhile since a last heard a joke from you, that smile suits you." Fuyutsuki wiped his uniform and doffed his gray trench coat. "It's coming down like all hell, old friend. You'd better leave before it gets worse." He stuffed a few papers he had to look over into his attaché.

"I'll leave after I see Akagi. Good night Fuyutsuki-sensei." It had been a long time since he had used that term. He took up his glasses and strode out of the office, leaving Fuyutsuki to lock the door.

It took quite a while to reach Terminal Dogma via elevator, but the double helix tubes and the sights beyond held little attraction for him. He was so close to it, so close he could taste it, a feeling that was lacking in his other duties. Many hours were spent talking about budgets or staff, not enough seconds were spent reflecting on his past mistakes. How odd that he would be reflecting on the mistake of not reflecting on previous ones, he chuckled a little at that, his rigid façade cracking for a few moments.

The graveyard of EVA stood out before him, offering up its contents in some sick mockery of Grecian ceremony, for no one would accept such a gift. The gods themselves were here of course, deep in the bowels of the earth, waiting for the correct time to emerge once more and take back humanity. Or more realistically, return humanity to its perfect shape. The cable-car passed a half completed EVA, the head was of Unit Zero but was lacking eyes. Ah yes. The irony of technology, we may know how to create it, but not how to control it. He gazed back at the row of skulls, each blackened socket staring back into his own. A cold chill ran up his spine as it always did when he traveled to Terminal Dogma. [Blasphemy they cry!?! Before what God? A god, repulsed by the miserable humanity he created in his own image? Humph! I'll show them a god, I will take the refuse of their god's failures and I will triumph!]

The elevator ceased its revolutions and disgorged its contents on a platform some seven miles underneath the earth. He straightened his jacket and unbuttoned it, he preferred it that way, a carry over from the days of old. These days he spent entirely too much time in the past, but then again, that was his job. White gloves covered his fingers with a startling contrast to his black uniform of Supreme Commander. He chuckled a bit at the irony of his situation, and the situation of the others around him. His gloves covered a series of burn scars caused by Rei's fourth activation attempt. History repeats itself. [Man begets Man, God begets God] His shoes echoed ominously in the dark cavern.

Dr. Akagi was waiting for him at the far edge, her blonde hair standing out in the darkness. One could say that she wore a seductive smile. Her blue blouse and black miniskirt seemed to blend with the background, making her appear as a disembodied head atop a flowing white cape. Her hair was slightly dry from the dye, but otherwise soft and silky, she still did it only for him. In some strange way it pleased him to see her loyalty, however misplaced, she believed herself to be irreplaceableshe was wrong.

"Dr. Akagi, Fuyutsuki told me you had something to tell me, report quickly." He wanted to return to his house to sleep even though nothing awaited him there but a cold bed and nightmares. He pushed his glasses back up with his middle finger.

"Synch ratio is in the acceptable range but we are still running into the same disintegration problems in the LCL. I'm thinking of restoring some old data and inputting it in the plug. Rei's data." She put special emphasis on the Rei' and was shrugging off her lab coat. She still was a stunningly beautiful woman, even in her late forties, even after being with child.

He watched her hanging her lab coat on the back of her chair, the strange desk and computer tableaux completely out of place in the centre of such a flat nothingness. "Very well, just as we are sure it will work. The Old Men are getting restless again, and we're already beyond the acceptable timeframe. I will give you access to the files needed. Is that all?"

She pouted. "Yes." She looked almost ashamed by the situation.

Ikari inwardly turned an idea in his head, his face showing no sign of his indecision. "I'll be expecting you in two hours at my apartment then." At least tonight he wouldn't have a cold bed and with her next to him the nightmares never seemed to come

"Y-yes sir." The arrangement was a needed one if he intended to use her. He had found that sometimes love could be a powerful motivator, often the most powerful motivator of all. He intended to use that. Akagi was trusting and seemingly in love with him, the perfect pawn in his plan. If it weren't for the one that kept his heart he would already love her. Perhaps love was impossible for him now.

A hand reached out to caress her cheek and she relished in its warmth. When she was in his arms she felt a peculiar twinge of shame and love, perhaps caused by the age gap, maybe her conscience coming out late. He was strong, a man that commanded the powers of gods, but she thought she saw a human side to him when they made love, a loving side she had seen in him a long time ago. She was in his thrall, a pawn to be used and abused, a well loved pawn but a pawn just the same. Festering pits of guilt washed over her as his hands removed her clothes and shoved her back into the chair.

They made love there. They rutted like animals in heat but there was a love there, almost a motherly love between them as she held his head to her bosom. Her blonde hair was matted to her brow as he dressed, she smiled despite herself and spoke to him. He was pulling on his jacket.

"It was good, we should do this more often." She began pulling her clothes together.

"The current arrangement is fine. I see no reason to change it." The gloves were last.

"You can be a insensitive bastard you know." She looked up with anger at him. Tears almost running down her cheeks. "You just can't forget her, can you." She was rewarded with a glare for her impertinence. "Even with Rei now, you're becoming like _him_ now!"

"Don't ever speak of her when you are with me. You can be replaced Doctor. Don't make me destroy you." He gave her a smoldering glare that burned like flames through her head then spun on his heel and left. "Don't speak of her." His footfalls echoed through the platform as he was swallowed by the shadows. She was struck by the truth, and truth does hurt. It can be a bitter pill to take but we all must take it sometime. Akagi sat up and followed him, down through the myriad depths of Terminal Dogma until he reached his prize.

She was suspended two feet off the floor in a tube of amber fluid. The LCL caused her hair to rise up and ripple around her head like a crimson halo. She was in her teens with a well-defined body. He stood before her now, like a prisoner to this love brought before the judge. He bowed his head in reverence as the massive jumble of tubing and pipes thrummed overhead. The throbbing of the machine soothed his hurt soul, so much so that Akagi thought he was crying. Perhaps it was time to leave, but she couldn't tear herself away from the scene.

He cried, he only seemed to cry when he was with her at night. Perhaps it was a remembrance of a night long past, of a phantasm of the horrors he had committed at night. He had his own personal demons to fight and crying now was a waste of time, something he couldn't stand. The tears stopped as they always did. He withdrew a cloth from his jacket and wiped his lenses. It was cathartic to cry sometimes, it was a needed release in his solitary life.

A gloved hand could be seen caressing the tube, the girl inside bobbing gently in the LCL, a bemused expression on her face. It was that which kept him awake at night. That expression that he saw behind his eyes every minute of every day, it was his seventh hell, his pit of eternal torment. Perhaps it was his punishment for actions long forgotten, perhaps punishment for action yet to be done, either way the man inside was tore asunder by the absolute feeling of hopelessness the sight before him held. Death would be kinder, he thought, or at least quicker. Another series of breathing alerted him to an interloper.

"You can come out now Ritsuko. I know you're there." A gasp was heard behind him. That was all the time it took for him to spin around and painfully pinch her arm. He dragged her out of the shadows and into the soft, muted light of the cylinder. "Did you really think I wouldn't notice you? Did you?" His tone betrayed no emotion.

"No, but I needed to see what you do down here at night. Don't you ever sleep?" She was attempting to twist out of his grip.

"Oh yes. But I always come down here, it helps me think. It helps me see what I'm doing all this for." Love. That was what it boiled down to, love.

"She's gone, she has been for nine years! Can't you get over her? You have Rei now!"

"No Dr. Akagi, that is why I am commander of NERV now, to further my dream." He squeezed her arm painfully. "Never mention Rei again!"

"This is a fool's quest Ikari! She can't be awakened!" She angrily thrust a finger at the tube. "There's no chance!"

"If I can't bring her back in this form, then it will be in another." She gasped as she understood.

"No! Rei was the last! I refuse to be a party to this contemptuous blasphemy of nature again!"

"You will do it Dr. Akagi." There was no room for argument. Perhaps her life wasn't worth it, but the lives of those she loved and was yet to love depended on her. There was no other choice. "You will do it or be replaced." She dropped her head, refusing to look the son-of-a-bitch in the eye. It would give him too much satisfaction. He kissed her softly on the lips before walking away. Ritsuko Akagi called out to him once before his footfalls disappeared down the corridor.

"When did you turn into such a bastard, Shinji Ikari?!?" She was leaning against the cylinder.

He turned back to her at that, black eyes visible through the tinted lenses. "When she died Doctor. Good night." His footfalls melted into the heavy thrumming of the machines. Ritsuko looked back on her life at that moment and found that she had made the same mistake again, falling for an Ikari but she also saw the sins of the past repeated in the present. She knew that Shinji Ikari was seeing her fifteen year old daughter just as Gendo had seen her. She was a fool, her mother was a fool, and her daughter was starting down the same path. Perhaps she could salvage her daughter. After all, it was never to late for redemption

Asuka Langley Sohryu floated in the LCL, a smile on her face and her mind somewhere unfettered by the laws of morals and taboos, good and evil. Disembodied, she wafted in the breezes of a warm summer day, smiling at the chirps of birds and the lovely lap of water at her feet. Her mother sometimes visited her there, they would have ,long talks under the shade of trees, about life and love and death. Omnipresent in her Garden of Eden was the emptiness of not having him there beside her. The sunshine seemed dull without him, the world a hollow cardboard façade. But none the less, she knew he would come. Shinji would come she knew, Shinji would come. She had faith in him, in his love. She trusted the Ikari family, she knew their obsessive ways. Perhaps tomorrow, perhaps next year

Perhaps

THE END

I wrote this at twelve in the morning, please excuse the grammatical errors. I wrote this to pay homage to the end of Alain Gravel's "The One I Love Is" series. I read his unofficial epilogue and the idea just flowed in my mind. Well I hope you liked the story! I may write another part if I receive positive feedback.

Revision 8/29/01: Just a few minor revisions, a few extended sentences and the deletion of most thought bubbles. After rereading this story I thought it needed a few small changes so here it is again. I might have some trouble in getting it posted because I haven't kept in touch with my NGE pre-readers or contactsfallout from Bell Atlantic's crash and burn to Verizon. I hope to enjoy this new version and I hope you all will join me for the rewrite of "Adam and Eve!"

Dr. Suekeiichi Kaiton

Second Disciple and Holy Scribe

The Church of Ranma and Kasumi (CORK)

Vze2jcwc@verizon.net