Disclaimer: I do not own Evangelion

Summary: She tries to keep her consciousness in a sea of misdirection. Set during Third Impact

It was peculiar, to be freed of all human frailties, to be released from the constraints of a physical form, for your mind to be liberated from its mortal prison of human perceptions and limitations and to feel your very sense of self disintegrate as individuality ceased to exist and your claim to uniqueness fade away, unapologetically and without remorse.

The emotions that had accompanied their descent into nothingness, the short burst of defiant rebellion against the reunion of souls had long since faded, the righteous outrage as their achievements, hopes and desires became part of the collective, the yearning for something more than a single brittle psyche could comprehend, the glass ceiling that she pounded against, above, below and all around her, refusing to let her be more or less than any of the cornucopia of hearts consigned to oblivion in the ether.

They were all one, and she was simply a smear on the face of perfect unity.

They were weak, for allowing themselves to be stripped of their integrity of spirit, of the essence that had so painstakingly carved out its niche within the flesh and blood shell of its birth, and shed blood, sweat and tears to maintain, for becoming as a drop of water in a mighty ocean, indistinct, and destined to be lost forever in its roiling mass.

She was weaker still, because she understood all of this and in the end, had found individuality wanting.

Life was unfair. What didn't kill you made you stronger, or it broke you in a way that the keenest of eyes could not see.

A paralysis of the mind leads to a paralysis of the body, where the only thing that prevents you from getting up and walking away, is the fear of what lies ahead. And so you wait, as your heart stagnates and the husk you inhabit begins to fall victim to human deterioration, for a path that is never clear enough to allay your anxieties and you never take that first, frightening step into the chasm that stretches out before you. Your mind has caught up with your body, and when your time of dying is near, the will to live on your own has been taken from you.

In that sense, she had been wanting for her body to wait for the child who inhabited it to mature, for the disparities in mentality and physicality to become lesser. She had been standing still since then, while they still put up the pretence of expectation.

It wasn't so bad, in theory.

There was nobody here to judge you, because there was no you, and no them, just the one. Only the sensation of infinity as the entirety of creation returned to their original state of being, and soul after soul merged and beat its own absolute, unearthly pulse. And it was meaningless, for what is an affirmation of existence, when no heart beats along with it, and not as a part of it.

Unity had fallen short of expectations, and now we were all one, we were lonelier than we could ever have known within the confines of our limited human span of perception.

You could not see, because even the blind see the darkness behind their eyelids, and we did not possess the form to make a distinction.

There was empathy, but without sound or words, as we all surged forward as one, the concept was swept away in its tide

There was no silence, as memories faded and we forgot to remember that we had ever listened with anything but our boundless, unified soul.

We were nourished on the fruit of our unending growth, and we ceased to know taste or flavour.

We could not touch, but with our minds, we were one, and we were none, and we were all each other, separate and yet not.

I knew life again when I knew the cruelty of loss, that the boy had done his duty and brought us back to feel pain as individuals once more. And I couldn't help but smile.

Because this pain was mine.