In Remembrance of You
Of my early years, there is not much to say. My mother died when I was very young and my father raised me. In those days my father was a great man, one who was both respected and feared, al throughout the world the name Gendo Ikari was powerful. I grew up with few friends; the only one worth mentioning in this narrative is Asuka Langley Sohryu the daughter of my father's top researcher. My mother Yui Ikari was a stunning woman gifted with a beautiful body and an intelligent brain. My early years were spent being schooled and playing with Asuka.
It was not until I began high school that my picturesque world began to burn, because it was in those first few months that mother died. My father refused to tell me how, and frankly, I really didn't want to know, the shock was enough. Through those turbulent years spent in depression and loneliness, Asuka was the one to rescue me from it's gaping maw. I still remember the day when Asuka came to cheer me up.
It was a May morning and I had refused to get out of bed, Asuka stormed up the stairs and leaped onto me demanding that I get up. Unfortunately, she also was my childhood crush, and one thing led to another (these are things you don't need to know) and, needless to say, my father found us in a rather embarrassing position. He ordered that Asuka leave the house and that I was to be punished, and punished I was because he transferred Asuka's dad to Germany, I was never to see her again. I cried and cried as she left. After that incident, I began to realize how cold my father had gotten, and I went to live in the dorms during college.
My subject was biomechanical engineering and I was the pioneering student in the field. I attended the finest universities and took trips around the world to various seminars and schools, it just so happened that I was sent to a seminar headed by Dr. Hans Grueber in Germany. It was a pity that my arrival coincided with the death of Asuka's father, I remember on the plane that I was so excited that I was finally going to see Asuka again, then heartbreak when I first set eyes on her.
I was admitted into the house by a stout Aryan and was told that the master of the house had died a short time ago. The household was in a terrible state what with the funeral and the shift in the balance of power. Making my way upstairs I asked a maid where Ms. Sohryu could be found, only to be rudely pushed through her door. The morning light illuminated the bed but nothing else and I had to squint the see through the doorway. Suddenly a red haired blur rushed in front of me and shoved me brusquely to the floor.
"What the hell are you doing here!?!?" The red haired girl screamed out in perfect Japanese.
"Hello Asuka, I'm sorry about your father..." I spoke in perfect German.
"Shinji Ikari?" Asuka took a step back, then a step forward. Finally she grasped my shoulders and pulled me into a fierce hug. Even through the darkness, I could see her burying her face into my shirt and weeping. You see, Asuka needs to always look strong but I guess at this point she felt I could be trusted with her tears.
She cried for quite a while after that and I purposely missed a day of the seminar to watch over her, what with the danger of a suicide. I later on would not regret angering my father for that excess because my tardiness at the seminar led to a fateful meeting. I was in Germany for a month before the seminar, and I spent the entire time nursing Asuka back to full mental health; but the time was well spent as she was fine as I left.
I remember distinctly the fact that her sweater had a small hole just below her collar, its funny that it's always the little things you can remember. I can't even remember the first thing I said to her. But anyway I'm getting ahead of myself. You see I missed one day of lectures so I had to be assigned to someone for notes, it just so happened that I was paired with Rei Ayanami. The front desk planned it all, I had nothing to do with our meeting, but now I see it must have been destiny.
The day I set foot in the seminar's lecture hall, I was assaulted by the red eyes and blue hair, of the thin white figure that looked angrily my way. Rei always was more emotional that most, but that day she was really pissed that she had to take time out to tutor me. The musty smell of the room we sat in, I can still smell it. The simple act that triggered our relationship still surprises me today, it was a simple handshake. Rei and I went out to dinner together that night, German food gives one quite a bit of indigestion, and subsequently I discovered that she went to school in Japan as well. You cannot imagine my surprise and secret delight when she told me that she wanted to fly back with me, maybe even transfer to my school, our bond was so deep.
The plane ride back was uneventful, we shared the same room however, but nothing major really happened until we got back. Rei wanted to go steady! I jumped for joy and it took just five simple, easy words to calm me "Shinji Ikari I love you." That night of her revelation was one that I shall never forget even as the death shroud blackens my vision in a hundred or so years. Rei and I hit the town, dancing, dinner, or just walking through the park, anything she wanted to do we did; later that night we decided that she should move in, her being alone of course. Rei's parents had died when she was one year old, and Rei had lived in foster homes her entire life, I think that maybe I with my family as it was wished for that same kind of freedom.
It was three years later, after we both graduated college that I proposed. I had received a Ph.D. in bioengineering and she in genetic manipulation, both new fields at the time, and was working for a firm called GEHIRN where I first met Dr. Ritsuko Akagi daughter of the Nobel Prize winning scientist Naoko Akagi. After brief introductions Ritsuko casually called me 'brother' when questioned, she revealed that my father and Naoko had been married a year ago, startling new for me, I almost fainted. After that little incident I forgot all about my 'family.'
It was in the fall of 2021 when Rei and I finally tied the knot, with us were school friends, colleagues and family; our ceremony was held in a grand cathedral set in Tokyo-3. I cannot express with words the feelings that coursed through my body before she said 'I do,' apprehension, fear, nervousness these emotions traveled from the tips of my toes to the hairs on my head. When Rei finally opened her mouth and spoke those two words I jumped up in the middle of the ceremony much to Rei's dismay (I never would hear the end of it).
GEHIRN paid well se we were able to live extremely well. The house that was provided for us by the government was large enough to house four, and without any children, we were alone. Which brings us to Yui. About a year after our marriage, Rei announced that she was pregnant, and by God I felt like my life had been brought to a head! If I could travel back in time to any instance, I would want to relive that day over and over again. Rei was off on maternity leave when I managed to break my arm in the lab, but that accident meant I could spend more time with her, time that I felt would never run out.
On March 4th 2021, Yui Ikari was born once again into this world, from her chestnut brown hair to her red eyes. The birth was stressful and trying on Rei, I stood by her side after the delivery with little Yui in my arms. After sixteen hours of sleep Rei awoke to Yui's reaching little hand, a happy cry came from her throat and tears began to fall, it was on that day that Rei asked me to always take care of Yui, no matter what. I of course agreed but I didn't know just what she was talking about.
It was the spring of 2030 that our work finally paid off at GEHIRN, the first semi-autonomous living biomechanical creature, EVANGELION. Rei and I had looked forward to this day for ten years, with Ritsuko's help along with several engineers from my father's organization, our dream had finally come true...but at what cost. The Evangelions were supposed to be large walking humanoid battle weapons that would guard and protect countries, but all unit one did was destroy my life.
All had been going smoothly, tests had shown up positive, moral was up, and Yui was just entering junior high. Rei had been adamant about activating unit one herself and I wasn't going to stop her, it was her dream and now she could live it. It was an especially chilly morning when I brought Yui down with me to lab 6's Pribnow box to witness Rei's crowning moment. Ultimately all that was accomplished was death.
Rei synched with the machine well, just as smooth as the tests, but after further configurations Rei's voice was heard over the static.
"S-nji! Take care of Yu- f-r me! Always t-ke care of Yu- Shin-!!!!!!!!!" The line went dead. After forceful ejection of the plug Rei's body was never discovered, it had been killed by her own creation, and Yui had been there to see it. I wept openly on the bridge of unit one's cage, Yui seemed to be in shock. I slipped into a deep depression, so deep that even father walked back into my life, he and Naoko took care of Yui for me during my depression.
No one who has never been in a depression would not know what it was like, the shadows the guilt, the tears. I shuffled about the house blindly, Rei had been taken from me, Rei! My love! My only friend! I damned God, I damned the EVA but more importantly, I damned myself for allowing her to test the EVA. I began to see shadows of her everywhere, after all this used to be our house, I would wake up and she would be there, brushing her hair, tucking Yui in, making breakfast, memories of her were everywhere. Misato Katsuragi, a leading specialist and one of the commanders of GEHIRN came often to see how I was doing, her concern was almost palpable, strangling. After four months of depression and guilt, I prepared for the next step.
I telephoned father to see how Yui was and Naoko informed me that she was crying in the spare room. Taking a package of razors with me I laid back in the furo half-filled with warm water, warm like blood. With two quick swipes, it was done, and I barely felt a thing. I remember laying back and waiting for Rei to take me with her, up into heaven, to where she was. I lay there for countless seconds as the color seeped from my vision, just as I lost consciousness I saw a faint red blur. I let out my final death rattle and let the darkness overtake me.
I didn't die. You already knew that because I'm writing thing aren't I? How could I be dead if I'm writing now? Well I'll tell you what happened d after I lost consciousness. The faint red blur that I saw was actually Asuka who had returned to Japan after hearing about Rei's death, I figure she wanted to settle the score. It was Asuka that called the ambulance and it was also Asuka that sat by my bedside as I regained strength. According to her, she sat next to me twenty-four hours a day, seven day a week for four weeks until I regained consciousness, frankly I believe her because she would do that for a friend in need. A day after I opened my eyes father and Naoko brought Yui to my room, Yui stood crying into my blankets awhile before father spoke.
"Shinji, Naoko and I think that Asuka should stay here until you get back on your feet. We can't keep running after Yui like this anymore, we're getting old y'know. Asuka could take care of her until you feel ready to relieve her." Father's hand was inter twined with Naoko's and both of their gazes were leveled at me, I really couldn't refuse. I could readily see what father saw in Naoko, she was young and intelligent not to mention good looking, it seems to me that father and I have the same taste in women. I agreed and Asuka moved in with Yui and I.
The first few months were bumpy, Asuka and I had a lot of catching up to do, and not to mention taking care of Yui, but Asuka persevered and became stronger because of it. I gained a new insight into Asuka's life and heart, and realized how hurt she had been when I married Rei. She tried not to show it but she winced whenever I looked at a picture of Rei, or when I spoke of her, I guess in a way Asuka wanted to be my wife since I helped her after her father's death. It must have hurt to come back, to see the shadow of Rei's life living on inside me.
Asuka lived in our house for a year before our relationship began. I guess it was a strange byproduct of her old love for me and my need for companionship. After living with someone for ten years you begin to grow dependent on some kind of balance, when Rei died my scale was thrown and smashed. Asuka's daily habits not to mention her personality rekindled the flame not only in my breast but also Yui's. It began with a question as simple as "When are you staying 'till?" and blossomed into discussions on our relationship and finally settled upon how we felt towards each other. Yui sat under the kotatsu as Asuka and I revealed how we truly felt for each other, time heals all wounds but it does not mend the heart, I know this now. Asuka's contagious personality seeped into our everyday life until eventually I proposed to her.
"Asuka? I wanted this to be perfect but, will you marry me?" I got down on one knee and presented a black velvet box containing a gold wedding band similar to Rei's.
"Shinji? What...I...yes! Yes! I will!" Asuka jumped for joy and embraced me tightly to kiss me. I felt alive and happy for the first time in years, Yui wholeheartedly supported the marriage as did my father and stepmother and Asuka's mother Kyoko. We hastily planned a wedding and invited all the guests, many of which were happy to see us tie the knot, many said it reminded them of Rei's wedding, but personally I don't think so each wedding showed the personalities of the participant; Rei's elegant and respectful, Asuka's beautiful and enthusiastic. For example at Rei's wedding there were slow romantic dances, at Asuka's lively dancing music that caused everyone to cheer, in a whole they were two different types of people, hence two different types of weddings.
I remember walking up the aisle in a black tuxedo and white shirt, my father's cufflinks firmly attached. The organ began to play as Asuka walked up the aisle in her short frilly white dress, her red hair bows trailing behind her. The look on her face was absolutely precious, Asuka didn't know what to do! For the second time in her life, I had made her bewildered. As the precession faded the ceremony began. I felt that familiar tingling in my body as Asuka was asked if she would accept me as her husband, my body seemingly remembering from twelve years hence.
"I do." And it was all over.
On August 10th 2033, Shinji Ikari and Asuka Langley Ikari were wed, I feel that since Asuka arrived two years ago we've been living in the shadow of my previous marriage, but now I feel it's time to break out of the darkness and embrace the future. Yui is staying with my father and Naoko for the fortnight to give Asuka and I time for our honeymoon, my father pulled some strings and booked us passage to Okinawa on the UN aircraft carrier "Over the Rainbow." The trip was uneventful as Asuka decided to abstain until reaching our destination, where I'm writing this now.
I'm sitting in my bathrobe waiting for Asuka to come out of the shower, as I wait my mind turns back to Rei and how vibrant she once was, that and my promise to protect Yui, I feel that Rei would have wanted me to recover and be happy, survive. Asuka certainly liked you Rei, and I know that you liked her too. I hear the shower cease, I'd better get ready, I don't know what Asuka's like, but I have a feeling I'll find out.
Rei, Asuka and I'll take care of Yui, and I promise to live my life without ever looking back or having regrets, I never had a regret about missing the first day of the seminar did I? Rei you know that a part of my heart will always be with you, that I'll never let your memory go, I know you would want me to move towards the future.
I will do this in remembrance of you...Rei.
Author's Notes: I just resurrected this fic from 'Asuka's Notebook' and plan on revising it like I did to 'Perhaps' previously. More 'Adam and Eve' coming up next!
Dr. Suekeiichi Kaiton