A Fateful Miscalculation
Summary: When Gendo Ikari sent Shinji to live with his aunt and uncle, the magnificent bastard made one grave miscalculation - he had forgotten that they lived in San Francisco. With the Angels aware that it's LILITH rather than Adam in Tokyo-3, well... basically, my interpretation of what would happen if Evangelion took place in the United States. Contains influence and characters from – or shout-outs to – various other anime, manga, etc, whatever I decide is cool. If it gets to be too much, then say so, and I'll try to tone it down, but no promises.
Disclaimer: If I owned Evangelion, then why on Earth would I write fanfiction about it? Also, I don't live in San Francisco, but I wish the hell I did.
Rating: T for language and themes.
Warning: This story features a (most of the time) consistently well-adjusted Shinji. If anyone's head explodes at the mere thought of such a concept, I apologize. In addition, if you desire a Shinji with overwhelming wangst, this is not your fanfic, and I advise you to find another one, or perhaps read my story "Devourer", which is quite a good deal wangstier. Also, more shout-outs than Nobody Dies!
"You want me to what, Ikari?"
"I did not stutter, sensei, nor do I like hearing myself talk, but I will say it again anyway. Take Shinji to his aunt and uncle, let them raise him."
Wondering why the hell Gendo wanted rid of his son, Fuyutsuki enquired as to his former student's reason.
"Even if I did want him raised well, I'm quite aware that I am not the man to do it. You've got some vacation time saved up, right? Drop him off and go to the beach, then."
For a moment, Fuyutsuki was about to ask something, but changed his mind upon deciding that Gendo probably wanted his son as far away from him as possible.
'I know he's arrogant, but surely he remembers that his in-laws live in San Francisco, right?'
On the outskirts of San Francisco, California…
A tall man with long red hair, light scars on his face, and an abnormally large necktie was exercising in his basement, beating the tar out of a well-worn punching bag. His technique looked like a combination of boxing, Kung Fu, and Karate.
When the phone started ringing, he steadied his punching bag, paused Disturbed's "Ten Thousand Fists", dried the sweat from his brow, and said, "Ikari residence, this is Adell. Can I help you with something?"
"Adell, do you remember me?"
Pleasantly surprised, Adell happily replied, "Of course I remember you, Fuyutsuki! So, old man, what's going on? I haven't seen or heard from you since Yui's wedding."
Amused somewhat, Fuyutsuki said, "I'm surprised you can mention that while still managing to sound so upbeat. I thought you hated your brother-in-law."
Pouring himself a glass of orange juice, Adell said, "Ah, I don't hate him, not really. Sure, Gendo's a grade-A jerk, but my sister loves him, so he can't be a complete bastard. Besides, hating someone I don't really know all that well in the first place just isn't my style."
Chuckling, the older man mused, "I was beginning to wonder how long it would take you to say that, Adell. Sadly, I'm afraid I haven't called just to kill time, and I need to cut to the chase. Can you and your wife take care of Shinji?"
A bit confused, the now-seated Adell responded, "Shinji? Yeah, great kid, Rozalin loves him to death. How long are we talking about?"
Brow creasing in worry, Adell asked, "Did something happen?"
"Yes. I'm sorry, but… your sister died three days ago in a work-related accident. I can't tell you anything more than that."
Leaning forward, Adell softly asked, "A 'work-related accident', hm? When you say you can't tell me anything else about it, is that because you don't know, or because it's classified?"
"Both. Even if I did have more information, it would probably be the kind that can put me in prison or six feet under for repeating it."
"I see. And Gendo wouldn't know how to care for a child, even if a book on it smashed him in the face. So I take it you're bringing Shinji here?"
"I'm at the airport now, and the flight is supposed to arrive in America at nine in the morning, your time."
Downing his drink, Adell said, "Nine in the morning. Got it. I'm off duty this week anyway, so that actually works out pretty well. Rozalin and I will be there to meet you tomorrow. Oh, and the next time you get a chance, say hi to Gendo for me."
After hanging up the phone, Adell nearly shattered the glass in his hand, but controlled himself and set it down gently. Breaking it would serve only to cut his hand wide open, slice through his nice comfy gloves, and make Rozalin worry about him.
Shutting down the stereo and turning off the lights, Adell sighed and went upstairs to the living room, where he knew his wife to be doing paperwork. On his way to the fridge, the blonde, buxom Rozalin looked up and said, "Hey there, I thought you'd still be beating the tar out of an innocent punching bag. Is something wrong?"
Grabbing a bottle of water, he said, "Yeah. Old man Fuyutsuki called."
Concerned, Rozalin went to her husband's side as she asked, "And what happened?"
Eyes in shadow, Adell Ikari hesitated before quietly replying, "My little sister's dead. Some kind of accident at work. That's all I know, and it's all anyone can tell me."
Then, suddenly perking up with a happiness that his wife could easily tell was fake, he added, "On the bright side though, Shinji's coming to live with us, so that's pretty cool."
Just as he got ready to ramble in an effort to hide his pain, Rozalin got up, quickly strode to her husband, and embraced him. "Adell, we promised each other that we wouldn't try to bury our feelings, remember? So… just cry, damnit. Or are you trying to break your promise?"
Grimacing, Adell replied, "I know I promised to be honest about my feelings, but I also promised I wasn't going to make you worry."
Nuzzling her husband's neck, Rozalin countered, "Trying to hide what you feel and think just makes me worry more, idiot."
After a few minutes, Rozalin looked up with a genuine smile and asked, "So, when's Shinji coming?"
Smiling a bit himself, Adell said, "We're supposed to pick him up from the airport at nine in the morning tomorrow."
Frowning a little, Rozalin asked, "Then… I suppose we need to purchase furniture for his room, then?"
Having been raised in the massive household of Lord Zenon of Britannian Parliament, Rozalin was highly intelligent, but even after a few years of marriage to Adell, still somewhat socially awkward.
Also, unlike nearly every other woman Adell had ever known, his wife was amusingly not fond of shopping. Her father's servants had normally taken care of that, and for whatever reason, she simply didn't see the appeal in it that most other women seemed to.
Seeing his wife's discomfort as she subconsciously turned to the side a bit, Adell smiled as he brushed a strand of hair from her face, saying, "Eventually, yeah, but it's not like we have to go today. If you want, I can just take care of it while you're at the park with Shinji or something."
Smiling again, "I appreciate that, but I know that if I sat back and let you do every single thing for me, you actually would. And I, the only daughter of Lord Zenon, will not allow that!"
Chuckling, Adell teased, "You just love mentioning your dad every chance you get, don't you?"
Smirking, Rozalin retorted, "Well, if it weren't for him, you wouldn't have a beautiful, loving, brilliant, and devoted wife, would you?"
"Damnit Rozalin, stop saying nice things about yourself. It means I have to think harder about new compliments." (1)
On a high-altitude plane, somewhere over the Pacific Ocean…
Shinji blinked at the bespectacled eyes before him. About an hour or so after the plane had left the ground, a girl his age had suddenly appeared in the hallway, spotted him, briskly walked up, got within an inch of his face, sniffed him, and then backed off a few inches before saying something in a language he didn't understand.
All the while, Kozo Fuyutsuki observed, his head tilted in amusement.
She wore a pink shirt with white stripes on it, green-and-white pants, sneakers, had a sleek pair of glasses, reddish-brown hair tied in twin ponytails, and was holding a Godzilla plushie.
Blinking in return, she casually bopped herself in the forehead as she said in Japanese, "Sorry, I didn't realize I was speaking English. My bad! Anyhow, what's your name?"
Hesitating for a minute, the boy replied, "Shinji Ikari."
Tilting her head a little, the girl mused, "Shinji Ikari, huh…. That's a really nice name. My name is Mari Illustrious Makinami. I'm Britannian! Hrm…"
Nervous at the way the girl was peering at him, Shinji asked, "Is there something wrong, Makinami-san?"
Smiling brightly, Mari replied, "You called me –san instead of –chan. Other than that, nope! Huh. You know, Shinji-kun… I like you. You're cute, you're quiet, you don't look like the stupid meanie every other boy I've ever seen seems to be…. And that look in your eyes… It's so adorable! Hey Shinji, let's get married when we're older!"
Completely off-kilter, Shinji could only reply, "Huh? Uhm, okay, sure, I guess…."
Smiling with the radiance of the rising sun, Mari exclaimed, "Great! Let's seal the deal with a kiss!"
And, just before Shinji could open his mouth to try and figure out what was going on, Mari Illustrious Makinami reached up and kissed him on the lips. It was an innocent duplication of what she'd seen adult couples do from time to time, and a second later, she separated her face from his own.
For reasons he couldn't fathom, Shinji suddenly became extraordinarily interested in his seat, trying to make his crimson face return to its normal coloration.
Mari giggled a bit, her own face flushed to a lesser degree, before her father suddenly caught up to her. "So this is where you've been, Mari. I swear – excuse me sir, but could you tell me why my daughter and your son are both red as tomatoes?"
Laughing a bit, Fuyutsuki replied, "My… son? Oh, you must mean Shinji here. You see, there's been trouble with his parents, so I'm taking him to live with his aunt and uncle in San Francisco. Anyway, your daughter appeared out of nowhere, asked proposed to Shinji, and then kissed him."
Mari's father, a tall, muscular – though not bulky – man, gently nudged his daughter to the side as he knelt down to get a better look at the boy.
"Look me in the eye, junior."
Hesitating, but eventually choosing to comply, Shinji did so.
Hrm… He's scrawny, and he's clearly confused and afraid… but despite his obvious fear, once I got him to look right at me, his gaze hasn't wavered since. And I just have this feeling… that someday in the future, this kid's going to be a very important young man. Besides, as scatterbrained as Mari is half the time, there's no way she'll remember this for very long.
"Son, you look like you'll grow into a fine young man. If you and Mari decide you want to get married once you're of age, I'll allow it." Then, returning to his full height, he turned to his daughter and said, "Come now Mari, I understand that you like the unknown, but this really isn't a good place to explore. One place on a plane is practically the same as every other place on a plane."
Honestly having no idea what he should do or say, Shinji was utterly frozen for the remainder of the flight. Once the plane touched down the next morning, however, Mari tracked him down and gave him a parting hug and a peck on the cheek before she and her father vanished into the crowd.
Face turning a bit red again, Shinji turned to the much older man and asked, "Mister Fuyutsuki, do you think I'll ever see her again?"
Fuyutsuki, shaking his head with a stupid grin on his face as he read the papers he'd packed for the flight, eventually brought himself back to reality and replied, "What? Oh, Mari… To be perfectly honest, the odds of you meeting her again in, say, ten years – even if you try to seek each other out – are nearly astronomical. So, to answer your question… probably. In fact, I'd be willing to bet three hundred yen you see her again even sooner than that."
(1): I'm sorry about the blatant Adell/Rozalin fluff there, it just kinda… happened. On the other hand, now you have an idea about the kind of parents that Shinji's about to be getting – that is to say, the fun, loving kind that you never saw in Neon Genesis Evangelion proper, nor in any of the spin-offs. It also helps that they're both very, very badass, so the odds of anything… untowards happening to them is lower than if I gave Shinji to bit parents.
Now then, tell me what you thought! Also, the first three people to catch every single reference get a special mention in the next chapter!
Finally, if anyone reading this is a fan of Devourer, there's a poll for it on my profile - please vote!