Disclaimer: I don't own Evangelion

Summary: She's never been the kind of girl boys wanted to marry.

She had never been the kind of girl that boys brought home to meet their mothers, the kind they married.

Neither was she the kind of girl that would trade her virtue for the three magic words, however meaningless they might be.

As a child travelling with her father, she had been isolated, and he had been the only one she needed or wanted.

As a teenager she was isolated in an entirely different fashion, for a mute girl, however attractive, was an insurmountable mountain for most to attempt ascending.

As an adult she had by then thoroughly outgrown any lingering hankerings for the husband, children, white picket fence ideal that she had entertained in her lonelier moments.

She could speak now, and demonstrated so loudly and often, but she earned herself a reputation of eccentricity once again.

She drank beer for breakfast, drove like she was high on meth, wore the uniform of a hooker without losing her dignity, kept a penguin with a higher IQ than herself for a pet and earned the grudging respect of her subordinates and superiors alike, for despite the way she skipped through life, she was damn good at her job, and in their line of work, that was all that mattered.

She bought a wedding dress.

It was a dare, Ritsuko could really be quite creative after she'd had enough spiked drinks courtesy of Misato herself. She said no more about it, which would lead one to believe that the next mornings resultant hangover had gouged it from her brain cells, but Misato still bought it.

It was a real dress too, she had pretended to be a bride, and the assistants had fawned over her unendingly, gushing about what a beautiful bride she would be, what a lucky man her fiancé was and went on and on in this vein until her head was pounding and the mirror they held up for her showed nothing more than the obnoxious growth of her nose.

It was made entirely of velvet, white velvet.

The dress was elegant, the simple bodice curling not into straps but seamlessly around her neck, bereft of the lurid colouring and gutsy style that comprised the majority of her wardrobe. A lengthy train stretched in its wake. White buckled boots peeped from beneath the heavy skirt.

She didn't purchase a veil, for there was no one to unveil her.

She had the dress, but not the ring.

Kaji wouldn't give one to her.

She didn't want one from Hyuga.

And Shinji, a ball and chain visible only to them connected them already. A ring would only lend false legitimacy to the twisted bond they shared.

So she bought a ring too, and wore it on nights when the coldness of her sheets left her shivering from more than the temperature outside, and the colder metal on her finger gave her the illusion of happiness as it warmed while she fell once again into the abyss of restless slumber.

Eventually she lost that too.

She threw up on the shoes one night after drinking herself into near oblivion.

Only the dress was left, and she had never worn it.

Well, at least Ritsuko would have something to bury her in.