Every so often, I want to do a nice, normal romantic slashfic like writers that aren't totally insane. And then I fail and it ends up speccy crack with character analysis that points out people's issues and how a relationship might be messed up because of all this and I don't even know.
A plot point in the Director's Cut version of the last episodes is an interesting bit of Fridge Brilliance.
In European/Christian myth, a Lilim is basically a subtype of incubus. They come to men in the night and have sex with them even if they don't want it, weakening them and tarnishing their souls – this was an explanation for wet dreams. They as well as other monsters were born because Lilith chose to sleep with animals/demons instead of Adam, and thus gave birth to monsters.
If you pay attention to the video of what happened in Antarctica right before Second Impact in the Director's Cut, not only was Second Impact set off to weaken Adam so that he wouldn't wake up and be beyond SEELE's control, they specifically set it off by inserting human DNA into Adam in order to trigger the formation of life, and it's implied that the seventeenth angel was the result.
In other words, the Lilim raped Adam while he slept, reducing the giant of light to an embryo and also producing an embryo: Kaworu Nagisa's birthday is the day of Second Impact because that's the day he was born, or rather conceived. The purest and nicest character in the series is not only a child of rape, but it was his birth/conception that triggered Second Impact. This being Eva, he probably does have a massive guilt complex about it, and it explains the comment about being born to meet Shinji and make him happy: he'd like there to be a meaning to his birth other than just setting off a global cataclysm that killed billions.
So not only do we see that Eva's Lilim act like the mythological Lilim, but there's an explanation for why Tabris is the only angel who's really able to interact with and understand humanity at all, instead of being an eldritch abomination that can't be communicated or reasoned with: he's not just a child of Adam but a child of humanity, in the same way Rei is.
He liked girls, Shinji knew he did, but when Kaworu stood up in the bath he couldn't look away from… there, or even pay much attention to what Kaworu was saying. He was very lucky that Kaworu was kinder than Asuka, because if he'd looked at Asuka's breasts like that, blushing and unable to look away, she would have beaten the hell out of him.
He didn't think Kaworu had even noticed, which made him simultaneously relieved and disappointed.
Seeing… that part of Kaworu was part of why he was here now, in Kaworu's bedroom. Shinji needed to keep his back to Kaworu as they dried off and put their clothes on. Covering up that milky white skin, like that of women in books, and Shinji would like to think that he was attracted to Kaworu because he was like a girl, but he knew that wasn't true. It was just… Kaworu was so kind, and how pathetic did that make him?
They were both the age where, well, physical reactions happened, but Kaworu hadn't been erect at all, unlike Shinji, and Shinji had blushed so furiously because he wanted to lean forward, reach forward and change that. Wanted to make Kaworu want Shinji.
Kaworu was almost certainly straight, so much so that the idea of Shinji finding his body attractive, of traditional communal bathing being an issue hadn't even occurred to him. He wasn't attracted to Shinji, so it was perfectly safe to spend the night in his bedroom.
Safe for Shinji, anyway.
His kindness, his openness: they were everything Rei and Asuka weren't, everything he could have wished from the older Misato. I'll take care of you, everything about him said. He'd touched Shinji's hand, just that, and Shinji had barely heard a word he said all evening, unable to understand any of it, unable to think about anything but Kaworu's smile and that soft skin. Hands that would never hurt him, lips that would never say anything cruel. If he, if he could make Kaworu want him, maybe this wouldn't vanish in the morning, like a dream? He could sleep up there in that bed with him, feel that skin all he wanted.
He couldn't stop himself from reaching down into his boxers to touch himself, just thinking of it.
A rose without thorns. Something beautiful that wouldn't hurt him when he touched it. He would hurt Kaworu, Shinji knew. He hurt everyone. He shouldn't be doing this here, looking at that peaceful face, those lips: what if Kaworu woke up? What if he recoiled from Shinji in disgust, once he saw what Shinji was really like? Kaworu was so perfect, so kind: if even he rejected Shinji?
He, he'd offered to share the bed with Shinji. Or let him have it, but…
He was like Rei, Rei who had been so ignorant of her emotions, of so many normal things. Maybe he wouldn't really understand what Shinji was doing? That it was shameful? Maybe he'd just enjoy it, maybe he'd just be glad that Shinji was more willing to touch now. He'd reciprocate, he wasn't selfish enough to just want to get off. He'd want to make Shinji feel good, wrap those lips around him, let Shinji tell him what he wanted, smile when Shinji moaned his name and kiss him afterwards, kiss him and hold him and accept him.
This was wrong, wrong, but even though he trembled Shinji couldn't stop himself from getting up, from looming over that figure and gulping when the movement made Kaworu open gently curious red eyes. "Ka, Kaworu, um… Would you mind sharing the bed?"
"Of course not, Shinji." He'd offered earlier. He hadn't changed his mind, why would he?
"Th-Thank you," Shinji said, blushing, and blushing more when Kaworu lifted up the blanket in invitation for Shinji to join him under it.
"Is this alright?" Kaworu asked when Shinji was settled, wrapping his arms around him.
"I, um, Kaworu… Is it alright if I touch you?" Shinji asked, because he didn't think he could keep his hips from pressing against Kaworu's for much longer.
"Of course, Shinji," Kaworu said, and Shinji could feel his smile, could feel how happy he was that Shinji wanted to do this, was willing to reach out to him without fear of being hurt. Or was willing to overcome that fear.
Kaworu thought it was just… a nice thing, something people did for those they liked and Kaworu had decided he liked Shinji so easily it had to be because he just liked people, Shinji knew, and he also knew that wasn't the truth. Shinji just wanted. This was what he had wanted for so long, and now, now he wanted to have as much as he could take.
Shinji didn't know what to do at this point, how to ease Kaworu into it, make him go along with it and gradually permit Shinji more and more things, but those hands stroking down his back, just to touch, just to make him feel good, made him press forward against Kaworu's body.
After that, he couldn't have stopped himself if he'd tried. From rubbing against that welcoming body, from reaching into Kaworu's underwear to touch him, make him hard, make him want what Shinji was going to do to him. Make him want Shinji. Couldn't keep himself from rolling over to pin Kaworu beneath him, from wrapping his legs around that body to keep him from escaping as Shinji thrusted, no, squirmed against him, gasping for breath until instinct drove him to kiss and suckle at those lips, that neck, to scratch at that back, to try to make Kaworu helpless so he couldn't leave Shinji, make him too desperate to want to.
Make him come from Shinji's touch, and looking down at those kiss-bitten lips, at that marked neck and feeling their mingled come soaking into Kaworu's sheets, he could imagine that Kaworu was just as soiled and impure as he was. That Shinji actually deserved Kaworu.
Kaworu was no less beautiful, but it seemed as though he was more… touchable now? That he was impure, that he was weak enough to let Shinji do this to him. Less remote, less like Rei. More human, more like Shinji.
Attainable. That was it. He couldn't be perfect, because Shinji couldn't deserve anyone as perfect as Kaworu seemed. So if he could make him imperfect, touchable, by touching him?
Shinji fell asleep on top of him, knowing that they'd be stuck together in the morning and it would be more than a little gross but liking the idea because of that. Mine, he thought, pressing at Kaworu, trying to dig past those clothes and into Kaworu's skin. Mine. Want me. No one else but me.
When he woke up, it was just like he might have imagined. Kaworu didn't hesitate to kiss him, didn't hesitate to smile and wrap his arms around Shinji. Was happy to have Shinji show him how to touch him, moon-pale hair and crimson eyes leaning over him and watching Shinji lovingly as he gasped with pleasure.
Shinji couldn't last very long at all.
Shinji was welcome there the next night, and the next, always welcome. There was no school to go to anymore, so except for tests there wasn't anywhere he had to be. Hours that otherwise would have been cold and empty could instead be spent with someone.
It was still a shock to wake up with someone there, holding him or letting himself be held by Shinji, as though Shinji was good enough to be allowed to touch him, worth sheltering or strong enough to shelter anyone. A shock to be sitting there alone, listening to his Sdat player and hear Kaworu's voice, see a hand offered for him to take.
Shinji wanted to stay in that little room. To close out the world, to just lie there and not have to think, just feel and make Kaworu feel. Replace the shell that kept others away, the thorny shield of a hedgehog with walls that would enclose just the two of them, but Kaworu loved life so much there was always something he wanted to do together, and Shinji always ended up smiling, at first without noticing it and then with wonder at his own happiness.
Walking along the shore, seeing all the damage he'd done or failed to prevent: it depressed him before, but now Kaworu held his hand and looked at him with eyes the color of that water. It made it beautiful, somehow. Made it the place where he'd met Kaworu. Where he'd hummed that song of joy and spoken words that made no sense to Shinji, because he didn't understand joy or caring, much less that they could possibly apply to him.
Even when they did lie awake on that bed, in that room that felt only big enough for the two of them, a place no one else could invade, Shinji wasn't thinking thoughts of emptiness, of how there was nothing he could think of to do, nothing he could do that would make any difference. Instead, the music from his player was shared for the first time. The little room with its hard, bare walls was almost as good as a practice room. He heard Kaworu sing in there, instead of just humming, and eventually let Kaworu coax him into singing other parts sometimes. Shinji knew he wasn't very good, but if it was to hear Kaworu sing… And playing his cello, he'd do that all day if it meant Kaworu played along with him, or sang while Shinji provided accompaniment that really wasn't what Kaworu deserved, but if it helped him sing…
Kaworu told him that he played beautifully, because his heart was in every note and Kaworu loved his heart, loved him. It wasn't just empty flattery, either. Not just something Kaworu was saying because Shinji had somehow gotten unbelievably lucky and Kaworu had fallen for him hard enough to overlook all of Shinji's faults. It was Kaworu's honest opinion, and Shinji could actually believe that because Kaworu's opinion of Shinji's singing was nowhere near as glowing. Oh, Kaworu said that it was only natural: Shinji hadn't grown up training his voice the way Kaworu had, because of the teachers he was raised by. He didn't think that Shinji's singing was as terrible as Shinji thought, but he did give him tips, and showed him a few practice exercises, and coaxed him to get better, smiling all the while because he believed that Shinji was capable of getting better, that Kaworu wasn't wasting his time. So because of that, Shinji could believe that when Kaworu didn't have anything to say about his playing, it really was because Kaworu didn't see anything wrong with it.
Every kind word of encouragement, every note Kaworu sang: maybe Kaworu was right about Shinji's heart being in his playing, because Shinji could hear Kaworu's in his voice, see it in his eyes. While Shinji hid himself away from the world, Kaworu was always himself. He didn't have two faces like Misato, Asuka… Like everyone, except Shinji who really didn't bother to try to act brave or anything. He didn't believe there was anything he could do to make people like him more, so he didn't try to put up a façade. They'd just see through it eventually.
Kaworu didn't wear a mask because there wasn't anything to hide: he really just was that kind. He really was that brave, too, because when there were things he didn't know how to do he didn't hesitate to say it. He didn't try to hide how much he liked Shinji, even though it made him vulnerable.
Shinji tried to feel bad about taking advantage of that vulnerability. For taking that outstretched hand, for letting Kaworu spend every possible second with him when Kaworu should have been making other friends, better friends, finding better ways to spend his time than with Shinji.
It was clear even to Shinji that Kaworu believed there weren't any better ways to spend his time, but the more time he spent with Kaworu the clearer it became that he really was like Rei. He'd been raised isolated, for a purpose, and just like Rei hadn't known how to feel her emotions Kaworu didn't know how to judge people. Otherwise he would have found Shinji wanting, right? Everyone else had.
So just like Shinji had hoped Rei would learn more, so she might learn to like Shinji, he hoped Kaworu didn't. He hoped that Kaworu stayed strange, stayed different, stayed innocent, because if he learned more then he'd stop smiling at Shinji, in that way that made Shinji blush.
The smile that said Kaworu was happy to see him. The smile that said welcome home when Shinji took his hand. Even when Misato ordered him to go back to her apartment, he could stand up to her and say he'd only come if Kaworu came with him. He could go back to that room where he'd spent so many lonely nights and think of it as his room, as home, because Kaworu came with him.
It was like a dream, but Shinji knew that Kaworu had to be the one dreaming, because Shinji didn't think he could have imagined that someone would make him this happy before. He didn't want Kaworu to wake up.
Even though he knew that he shouldn't spend every possible second with Kaworu, because surely Kaworu would get sick of him, Shinji did. When Kaworu was with Shinji, then he wasn't with anyone else, because no one else wanted to spend time with Shinji. Kaworu was so friendly, and if he liked Shinji this much then surely he'd like the other people here even more and then surely he wouldn't want to spend time with Shinji, either.
Wouldn't wash his back or hair in the baths for him, wouldn't rub his neck just because Shinji seemed tense and Kaworu worried about him. Wouldn't look at him with those patient red eyes and not demand answers but hope that Shinji would explain. Hope that there was something Kaworu could do, even if it was only listen.
No, Kaworu was too wonderful to be Shinji's dream.
For Kaworu to keep dreaming, keep living this fantasy that Shinji was someone worth loving: that was Shinji's wish, more than anything else. It was what he felt when he played the cello and hoped Kaworu would like it, it was what he felt when he tried to sing and hoped Kaworu would appreciate that he was trying. It was even a third of what he felt when he touched Kaworu.
Don't look at anyone else, not even yourself. Just look at me, just touch me, focus on me.
As hard as Kaworu tried to give Shinji warmth with every touch, to let him feel Kaworu's love in the core of him, Shinji tried to make Kaworu think of only Shinji. To throw his head back with his eyes closed, as unable to look at the outside world as Shinji was unwilling. To fill, to stain that pure heart with Shinji, Shinji, only Shinji. To fill Kaworu's heart and mind and very soul so there was no room for anyone else.
It was so very selfish of him, wanting to turn the first person to ever care about him, to really give him a chance into his doll, his pet, as though Kaworu had nothing better to do than to keep him company. He didn't want to treat Kaworu like Gendo did Rei, but he just…
He couldn't give up Kaworu, not when his eyes, his words, his lips, his body, his song: everything made Shinji feel so good, he loved him so much he wanted to devour everything that was Kaworu.
"Don't feel guilty," Kaworu told him one evening. "I'm glad that you want me to stay with you. It's why I've been able to stay this long," he said, and there was a softness to his smile Shinji hadn't seen there before. No, it wasn't softness but weakness. Something had dimmed Kaworu's joy, those eyes were looking past Shinji, and Shinji wouldn't allow that.
He would have pressed Kaworu for answers, no, demanded them, even if it wasn't something that made Kaworu sad. Because it made Shinji jealous. Thinking that he could help Kaworu by relieving some of his pain, the way he'd helped Shinji's made him a little happy, but he knew he didn't deserve to be proud of himself, not when his real reason was such a selfish one. He didn't want Kaworu to look away from him, couldn't stand the thought of him going away.
If his selfishness could save Kaworu, though? It was still hard for Shinji to believe anything good about himself, even the him reflected in Kaworu's eyes, but he knew he was a selfish, needy person. He could be as selfish and needy as anything, if it would let Kaworu hold on to Kaworu's dream. The dream that made Kaworu so happy with Shinji, the dream that kept Kaworu alive.
The dream that Kaworu was human enough to have a life.
"Hmm?" Ritsuko frowned, looking over the test results and photographs Misato brought her. The Fifth Child's sync ratio wasn't changing levels as fast as it had the first day. It was still clear that he could control it, but the change was no longer instant. If she didn't know that physical condition had nothing to do with an Eva's response, she might have attributed it to the obvious difference between the Fifth Child on his first day and after the first night.
It made her clench her fists in jealousy. Gendo Ikari would never leave marks on her like that. The bastard.
Wait. "How would you describe his personality? How he treats others?"
"He's very open, or he seems that way. Friendly. Too friendly," Misato told her, leaning against the wall of Ritsuko's cell. "Recently, though, he's been more and more focused on Shinji." Eyes drawn to him in a crowded room, smiling at others more briefly so he could return his gaze to Shinji.
"Clever," Ritsuko said slowly, thinking. "In order to pilot an Eva, one needs to open oneself to the Eva. That's one of the reasons it has to be children." Reality quickly made grown-ups too bitter to let anyone in like that, even if it weren't for the effects of Second Impact on those born afterwards. "He may be just as open as he seemed. If SEELE somehow managed to raise someone like that, without letting them learn to distrust others? I didn't think it was humanly possible, but someone who opened their mind to the Eva with no hesitation could have these results. Someone who loved the entire world and either had no idea that they might be hurt because of it or just didn't care. But human love, the only kind we're capable of, is selfish. If we love someone most, then we love other people less than them. If he really did fall for Shinji," she said, and wondered if Misato would realize why she was grimacing, notice the accidental pun, "he would begin to love Shinji more than other people." The way there was no room in Gendo's heart for anyone but Yui. "The more fixated on Shinji he becomes, the less he will open to other people, or to the Evas." She looked up at Misato. "How are Shinji's results?"
"Better than before. He's grown more confident, more willing to open up to others because of this." Because he'd found one person who hadn't hurt him… so far.
Ritsuko smiled bitterly. "So Kaworu loves Shinji more than Shinji loves Kaworu." And in the game of love, the person who loved the other more lost. "Like father, like son." She'd thought Shinji wasn't a user like Gendo. Ha. He was a man, wasn't he? She laughed at herself, but, "I assume the seventeenth angel hasn't appeared yet?" She'd been here long enough for her brown roots to grow out a full inch. She was never dyeing her hair again. Not for Gendo's sake or anyone's.
"The tension's so thick at headquarters you could cut it with a knife. The angel could just be waiting: at this rate, the army will attack us and it can finish off the victor. Someone's sending assassins after Shinji, too." None of them had gotten close enough to strike, not yet, but, "It almost seems more like they're sending a message than anything. None of them have been very skilled, none of them know anything. Expendable types. And I've seen Kaworu leave in the early mornings." Returning in time to slip back into Shinji's bed. "It took awhile to verify that he was using a holographic communication system." She was certain he'd seen her, even though it wasn't possible to see someone watching through binoculars from so far away. "It looks like whoever he's reporting to, probably the ones that sent him," SEELE, "aren't very happy with him. And he isn't all that bothered by it." Serene, and not just that calm, angelic serenity. Misato recognized young love. She was also intimately familiar with 'Doesn't matter, had sex.' "I gather he's pretty important to their plans, if they've put up with it this long. Or he may just have a good excuse."
If only Kaji had been able to obtain a copy of those prophecies! Was seducing the Third Child worth putting off the search for Adam in SEELE's eyes? Or did this one know that it was Lilith sealed under NERV, and hadn't yet found where in the complex Adam was being kept?
"Or he's a decoy," Misato finally admitted. It was possible that he wasn't the seventeenth angel.
Ritsuko shook her head. "Too much like Rei."
"Rei?" Misato had already guessed that Kaworu might be another clone, SEELE's attempt at a dummy plug or some other system possessed by an angel like that other one possessed that Eva, but what was this now? More secrets?
"She only had a soul because she's the vessel of Lilith's."
"Why didn't you tell me this before?"
"Being locked up has given me a lot of time to think." Too much.
Misato shook her head: she wasn't going to give up on figuring this out, but all these conspiracies and insane experiments were just ridiculous. "You'll be let out for good behavior soon. The real reason is that you're the best with the Evas, and everyone's waiting for the first shoe to fall." It was quiet, and they heard the rumbles in the distance, saw the approaching tanks. A storm was coming: no, it was already here. So why hadn't it struck?
Since in the apocrypha Lilith slept with demons/animals and became the mother of monsters, I was considering even more of an EVA AU where Shinji was a Lilim, Misato was a maenad (alcohol, sex and violence), they should have buried Kaji at a crossroads to make sure of him (which was how he was able to survive his relationship with Misato, not to mention Ritsuko…) and basically everyone in the world was some variety of mythological monster instead of a human.