Disclaimer: Neon Genesis Evangelion is owned by Gainax and My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is owned by Hasbro.

"Interesting..."- Nightmare talking.
"Why me..." -Ordinary speaking
'And so it begins.' -Nightmare thoughts
'Aw hay.' -Ordinary thoughts


Two days after the battle against the Fifteenth, Fuyutski and Gendo are in his office. Sitting at a table over looking a chess board, Fuyutski moves one of the pieces. "So what are you going to do about your son."

Slowly reaching over, Gendo moves one of the chess pieces. "A few days locked up and some tests being run on him should be enough."

Raising an eyebrow, Fuyutski moves a Pawn. "I would have thought that you would be dismayed that he may have caused complications."

Gendo moves another piece. "Some may see what occurred as a complication. However, the Scenario is still on track and we are even now ahead of the old men."

At this, Fuyutski looks at him in surprise. "How so?"

Watching as the old man moves a piece, Gendo considers his next move. "All our goals were met in the battle. The Lance is out of reach of the Committee for the foreseeable future. The Angel was defeated as was planned. And the Second Child is continuing her downward spiral. And whatever happens will cause the Third to become more malleable to our wishes. And, as we foresaw, Unit-01 was not directly involved. So, in a sense he did obey orders."

Watching as Gendo moves a Knight, Fuyutski shakes his head. "I still fail to see how we came out ahead in this."

Gendo smirks. "We have a better idea of what the Third is capable of is one." He watches as the former Sensei moves a piece. "The fact that he actually participated in the battle will increase the emotional impact of when the Second reaches the end of her rope due to him not having acted in time to prevent damage. And now we know that the S2 core that Unit-01 absorbed works." He then picks up the Knight and examines it a bit before using it to remove a Bishop. "And the old men..."


Deep within the bowals of several Supercomputers, twelve black monoliths are gathered for a meeting hidden from prying eyes.

SEELE 10: Something must be done about the Third Child. His very presence is a threat to our path.

SEELE 07: And this... White Waveform Pattern is the most disturbing. Only they might have such a pattern.

SEELE 03: Do not speak of such blasphemous things here!

SEELE 01: Enough. 12, what have your researchers found?

SEELE 12: Something most interesting.

SEELE 04: Oh? How so?

SEELE 12: As you know before his... unfortunate demise, Agent Ryoji managed to smuggle some tissue samples from the Third Child's current form. And while the attempted cloning failed, we discovered something else.

*Murmurs*

SEELE 01: Quiet. We did not expect the cloning to work, but what came of the attempt 12?

SEELE 12: We used a special nutrient bath to cause the cells to grow. And while the most they would form is a lump of flesh, the cells themselves turned out to be biologically immortal. At no time during the experiments did they show signs of the normal wear and tear cells have which shows as aging.

*Quiet*

SEELE 01: Immortality...

SEELE 06: And with his powers and abilities... Could he be what we are seeking?

*More murmurs*

SEELE 12: I have a theory on it.

SEELE 01: Yes?

SEELE 12: As you know the Third Child, having been human contained as do all children of Lilith the Fruit of Knowledge. We know that he had already been absorbed when Unit-01 devoured the S2 Core of the Fourteenth. Or as we know it, the Fruit of Life. It is possible that his exposure to both has caused his transformation.

SEELE 03: You are treading a fine line with what you are suggesting Twelve!

SEELE 07: Is he? Earth is an accident. Two Seeds were never meant to be on the same world. Or else what might come of it could equal them. The Third could be proof of what we are seeking! A being that partook of the fruits of Knowledge and Life! Perhaps through him we-

SEELE 01: No. We shall continue along the path set out in the scrolls.

SEELE 07: But One!

SEELE 01: Enough. However, I do see an opportunity here. We shall continue to monitor the Third Child and Gendo's False God for farther developments. This... transformation may be of use when the time comes...


Watching as Fuyutski takes the Knight, Gendo allows his smirk to grow. "They shall be distracted by the current situation of the Third Child allowing us to better make our moves under the radar. To them, he is the tempting fruit just out of reach. All the while they take less notice of the fruits below."

Fuyutski just shakes his head. "Still, with his current emotional state and how he's been pushing the boundaries..." He then frowns as he shakes his head. "And now that he has killed an Angel outside his EVA..."

Gendo makes another move. "His current emotional state of turmoil is of no consequence at the moment and only helps for when the final steps are taken." He then moves a Pawn capturing Fuyutski in Checkmate. "As for him killing the Angel, he did so with the Lance, which is currently unrecoverable. It is highly unlikely that he could kill an Angel any other way now without an Evangelion. And the illusion of control can itself be a form of control. ." He then picks up the Knight he sacrificed. "After all, a Pawn who has been promoted to a Knight is just as useful as a sacrifice for the end game as the original Pawn would have been..." He then sets it down on the board as the light glints off his sunglasses.


Walking into the medical wing, Misato hands a mug of coffee to a silent Ritsuko before looking towards the bed where her charge is lying. "So how is he doing?"

Taking a sip of her coffee, Ritsuko looks at the clipboard in her hand. "Considering that he somehow not only broke the sound barrier under his own power, but was going faster then Mach 4... not to mention how he breached the atmosphere and entered space while surviving not only the lack of air but the cosmic radiation, one shotted an Angel, and survived re-entry with out any real protection... He's doing just peachy."

Noticing the trembling of the mug in her friend's hand, Misato rolls her eyes. "You seem tense for some reason."

A twitch develops in the resident mad scientist's eye as she gives the purple haired major a glare. "Tense? Tense? TENSE!?" Panting, Ritsuko turns to her old friend with bloodshot eyes. "Tense is how I am during and before a battle with an Angel. Tense is how I am when I'm trying to repair the EVAs as fast as possible. This? This isn't me being tense. This is me trying to cope when the world has gone fucking insane!" She then motions to Shinji. "Everything he did in the last battle is goddamn fucking impossible and I have been up for the last 72 hours trying to figure out what he did and how!"

Ignoring her friend ranting, Misato turns back and looks into the room to see her charge still softly sleeping and in a nearby bed is Rei simply watching him do so. Her thoughts slowly turn towards what had happened after Shinji had defeated the Angel...

****************** Flashback ***********************

Mouth hanging open, a part of Misato's brain refuses to believe what she just saw. 'He... he just killed an Angel without an EVA...'

Shaking herself out of it, she starts listening in as Maya speaks up. "Just received word from NASA, they're reporting that the lunar seismographs just reported an impact in the southern lunar hemisphere." She then turns and looks at the Commander. "Sir, the Magi calculate that there's an 88% chance that the impact was from the Lance."

Aoba just shakes his head as he looks over his own monitor. "The ring of energy that the Third Child created has now expanded beyond the original radius of the storm and is still expanding. Reports coming in from the west coast that they can now see it approaching."

Shigeru grimaces a bit. "Damn, did the kid create a mini-impact or something?"

He clamps his mouth shut as Misato and Maya glare at him. Ritsuko then sighs as she slides her open palm down her face before leaning towards Maya. "Maya, contact the space agencies and tell me who might be in the area for... pick up or when the earliest possible time might be."

Misato just nods. "Yeah, and let whoever does pick him up know that he'll likely be hungry and thirsty."

Ritsuko gives her oldest friend a saddened look. "Misato, you know as well as I do that he's dead."

Whipping around, Misato glares at her. "I refuse to believe it until we have proof Ritsuko!"

Ignoring Maya typing away, Ritsuko slams her hand on the console next to her. "Dammit Misato! Even though it seems that he survived the ascent into orbit, he would die within minutes of being exposed to space. No air and radiation likely got him."

The two glare at each other for a few minutes before Maya speaks up. "Um... Sempai?"

Turning to her, Ritsuko raises an eyebrow. "Yes Maya?"

The mousey tech swallows as she knows her superior would not like what she just did. "I realigned one of the microsats under our control so that I could take some readings from Shin- I mean the Third Child." Ritsuko tightens her lips some but nods for her to go on. "And... um... this is what I got."

With a few more taps, an image appears on one of the large main screens and Ritsuko's clipboard drops from now nerveless fingers as her's and several other people's jaws drop. "It's... not possible..."

Maya just shakes her head as she looks at the readings displayed. "It is Sempai. We're reading that Pilot Ikari's vitals are still there and he is in fact surviving." Up on the screen the beeps from a heart monitor as well as the spikes and dips from brainwaves can be seen. "From data gathered it seems as if Pilot Ikari is not in distress at all."

Ritsuko tries to say something only to fail before she shakes her head. "How could he be surviving let alone thriving..."

Misato is about to say something when Aoba's eyes widen. "Ma'am! The Third Child has changed direction and is currently on a descent path."

Misato whips in his direction, her face paling. "What?!"

Shigeru nods as he checks his own monitor. "I have confirmation ma'am. The Third Child is on a deorbit and will re-enter the atmosphere above Beijing in three minutes. Probably site of impact is Tokyo-3."

Narrowing her eyes, Misato turns and heads for the exit only to stop as the Commander demands to know what she is doing. Taking a breath, she looks at him. "Sir, I am going to make sure that Shinji is okay once he lands."

The Commander stares at her for a minute before nodding. "Very well. I expect you to place him in custody as soon as possible."

Grinding her teeth, Misato just manages to hiss. "Yes Sir." Leaving, she scowls. 'Damn bastard. Shinji just saved his and the other pilots' lives and he gets arrested in return.' She then frowns and sighs. 'But Shinji did disobey a direct order no matter the outcome...' Speeding up into a jog, she soon reaches the elevator and beings to ascend to the parking garage. Once there, she gets into her car and heads out. Fifteen minutes later finds her getting out of her car after driving it as close to the battlescene as possible and jogging the rest of the way to where the two EVAs are slumped against the buildings. Almost there, she looks up to see a small purplish light trailing smoke and flame as it get closer. As she's running, she watches it slam into a partially water-filled crater creating a cloud of steam. Reaching it, she holds her arm up across her face as she tries to peer into it. "Shinji-kun? Are you okay?"

The world itself seems to hold its breath until Shinji's voice drifts out of the steam. "Misato-san?"

Misato watches as first a small shadow appears which rapidly becomes an exhausted looking Shinji as he leaves the steam, scorch marks and tears covering his formally prestine plugsuit demonstrating the sheer heat and force it was subjected to. "Shinji?"

Giving her a tired smile, Shinji nods. "Hey." Seeing Misato rush towards him, he gets up on his back legs and holds out his forehooves in a "Stop" gesture. "Um... I'm still pretty hot Misato."

As if to prove the point, once he gets back down on all fours, one of his hooves hits a puddle causing it to hiss making Misato wince as she can just about imagine what would have happened had she hugged him. She then sighs. "Shinji... I'm sorry but..."

He interrupts her with a sad smile on his face. "You have to take me into custody." He then shakes his head at her surprise. "I knew it was coming." Frowning, he gives her a pleading look. "Can I... at the least check on Asuka and Rei first? Make sure that they're okay?"

Misato looks at him with a wry expression as she crosses her arms before gesturing at the steam coming from the wet ground around him. "Well, somehow I doubt that I could place the cuffs on you without burning myself."

Shinji for his part has the decency to blush. "Um... yeah..."

Shaking her head, Misato gestures for him to follow. "They're this way." The two speed up as they move among the hunks of debris and torn up streets, Shinji using TK to splash himself with water (of course, the rapid cooling along with all the other damage causes his plugsuit to start to fall apart, exposing among other things one of his flanks). It's not long until they come to the site and find only Rei there. Laying a hand on Shinji's shoulders, Misato gestures at Rei. "Go on Shin-chan, go check on her."

He just smiles at her and nods. "Thank you Misato."

He trots over to where the First Child is sitting with a lost expression on her face. Reaching her, he starts trying to get her to speak only to get no response. Sighing, he pulls away for a moment and then frowns. Misato can see a slight glow from his horn only to turn (along with the other personnel on site) to see as Unit-00 and Unit-02 suddenly tip over. "What the..." Seeing movement out of the corner of her eye, she can see a even more exhausted looking Shinji pulling away from where he had touched his horn to Rei's forehead. 'Wait... did he just...' To her surprise, she watches as Rei blinks and cries a bit before hugging Shinji around the neck. Giving them a few minutes, she eventually walks towards them. Grimacing, she sighs as they turn to her, Ritsuko and Maya coming up behind. "I'm sorry Shinji, but..."

He simply nods. "I know." Turning to Rei, he gives her a nod. "Take care."

The doctor and her assistant finally reach them only for Maya to give Shinji a sad smile. "Hey."

Shinji gives her a nod as two Section Two agents walk into view with cuffs. Misato scowls a bit before giving Shinji a wink. "Hey, I wouldn't worry much. After all, you're the most talented protector we have."

Shinji chuckles a bit. "Yeah, I guess so..."

Seeing him trail off as his eyes widen, Misato is about to say something when a flash of light comes from his exposed flank. When it disappears, there's the image of a shield made out of an AT Field with the Lance of Longinus crossing it on his flank. "What they hell?!"

Shinji just blinks as he stares. "What... do... you... know..."

He then begins swaying and before their shocked eyes collapses to the ground as his eyes roll into the back of his head. "SHINJI!"

********************** Flashback End ****************************

Seeing Ritsuko calming down, Misato cocks her head to the side. "That reminds me... what's with those tattoo things of his...?"

Grumbling, Ritsuko looks over her notes. "They're no tattoos. That much I can tell you." She then looks at Misato. "It's imprinted into his fur and the fur will change color when moved just so that it's in the same position... WHICH DOESN'T MAKE ANY SENSE ALONG WITH HIS GROWTH SPURT!"

That catches the Major's attention. "'Growth Spurt'...?"

Ritsuko sighs before gestures at the large amount of IVs attached to the pilot. "Did you think that those were for show?" Seeing the sheepish look on the Major's face, she scowls. "For some reason his body mass is growing, that's all we can do to keep up with it."

Misato blinks at this. "How much are we talking here..."

Not saying anything at first, Ritsuko pulls out a cigarette and lights it before taking a deep drag. "When he was first transformed, his mass was roughly about the same amount as a adult man. Now?" She shakes her head. "His mass and size is actually approaching actual horse size." She then checks a monitor. "Seems to have slowed down though so we're not talking a Clydesdale in size." She then looks back at the sleeping Alicorn. "That's why we're still keeping him sedated. Otherwise the term 'Growing Pains' would be putting it mildly."

Misato just shakes her head. "Shinji..."

In the background, the radio starts playing. "In Weather news, the cold front currently passing through Hokkaido is still bringing record lows not seen since before Second Impact..."


*Three Days Later*

Head pillowed on her arms, Misato grumbles as a mosquito lands on her nose. She winkles her nose a little to try and dislodge it before it bites her causing her eyes to fly open as she smacks herself in the nose. A moment later, Misato and the chair fall backwards and hit the floor causing her to groan. "Augh... dammit..." Looking over to where Ritsuko is sleeping, Misato snorts as she sees the keyboard pressing into her face. Shaking her head, she looks into the room with the now much larger Shinji and raises an eyebrow as she sees Rei there peeling an apple causing her to frown. "She still there?" She then looks back at her long time friend, a expression of amusement crossing her face as she reaches up and scratches the tip of her nose. "Maybe I should wake her up..."

The decision is taken out of her hands a moment later as Maya bursts in. "SEMPAI!"

Ritsuko snaps into wakefulness as she jerks back. "Not the steel shackles, use the leather!" Fully waking, she blushes as she realizes what she shouted out. Coughing into her hand, she looks over at the fully red faced Maya. "Er, yes Maya. You needed something?"

The room falls into silence as Misato tries (and fails) to formulate a response to what she heard and Maya tries to snap out of it. Finally, the Tech manages to do so. "Er... right!" Still red faced, she walks over to the nearby computer. "May I Sempai?"

Nodding, Ritsuko rolls her chair back. "Go ahead Maya."

Maya licks her lips as she reaches into a pocket and pulls out a disk and inserts it into the computer. After a moment she starts typing as she begins to explain. "Remember how you wanted to see what effects that... er..."

Misato grins. "Rainboom."

Ritsuko looks at her disbelieving alongside Maya. "A what?"

Misato just shrugs as she gestures in the air. "You know, it was a sonic boom that created a rainbow wave thingy... so... rainboom."

Slapping herself in the face, Ritsuko takes a moment to calm herself before looking at Maya. "Anyways, you were looking for effects..."

Maya finishes typing and finally takes a breath. "Well, biologically, there seems to be no change in the area. In fact, it seems like there were no effects from it." She then looks at her superiors. "At least at first."

That causes both of them to straighten as Misato asks the question on bother their minds. "What did you find?"

Swallowing, Maya brings up the screens. "At first, I couldn't find nothing locally. So I expanded the search." She then sighs as she runs her hand through her hair. "Running through the Magi, I found the size of the... rainboom's shockwave that was created."

Misato is about to do a victory gesture when a globe comes appears on the screen, a red circle expanding outwards from Tokyo-3 causing her to drop her arm. "What in the world..."

Ritsuko blinks and works her mouth as it keeps growing. "Maya... this... this is impossible..."

Maya just shakes her head. "Sorry Sempai, but I used reports, satellite images, and various instrument stations and..." Turning, she watches as the circle having expanded over most of the globe, starts shrinking as it reaches the far end. "Best that we can tell, whatever it was it managed to encircle the globe at least twice if not more." To punctuate it, the circle reaches where Antarctica was and becomes a pin-prick before expanding again in the direction it just was coming from. "After that, I had the Magi trawl through reports looking for anything odd..."

Misato grimaces. "You found something."

Maya nods before sighing. "Yeah, a lot of somethings." She then types and an video of a small town starts. "This is a village in Iceland. They recorded this approximately two days ago."

Misato frowns as she watches it, something in the back of her mind telling her there's something seriously wrong with what she is seeing. It's Ritsuko who realizes it first as her hand covers her mouth. "Is that... snow!?"

Misato's jaw drops as she tries to comprehend it. "What the hell?!" She then looks at Maya with a disbelieving look. "That... there hasn't been a snowfall in almost fifteen years..."

Maya just nods. "We're seeing meteorological effects that have not been seen in various areas since Second Impacts occurring." She continues typing and brings up a picture taken from orbit. "However, this is the biggest place of change."

Misato swallows hard as she sees a place she revisits in her nightmares appear in a satellite photo. "Antarctica..."

Ritsuko spares a glance for her before looking over the photo and seeing gray clouds over part of it. "Snow?"

Maya grimaces a bit. "Some, but not quite." She brings another photo. "As of five days ago, seismological probes detected submarine earthquakes through out the region. At the same time, various volcanoes in the area began extruding magma. What we were just seeing is the ash clouds. And then there is the 'Dead Sea'." She looks at her two superiors with a serious expression. "Since the rainboom reached it, the dead sea's size has decreased by 0.045%. Now that may not sound like much but..."

Ritsuko shakes her head. "That's almost a kilometer..."

Nodding, the Tech turns back to the computer. "Yeah, and according to the data, it's continuing to decrease in size and more then that, we found this..." She brings up another picture showing small bits of ice. "Those weren't there a week ago. Somehow, the area is starting to freeze in the very southern region right over the pole..."

As Ritsuko starts freaking out, Misato turns and looks through the observation window at her charge, a shocked look on her face as she whispers. "What exactly have you become Shin-chan...?"


*Meanwhile In Russia*

Walking down a hallway, a man comes to a pair of doors and swipes a card opening them. Entering a small room between the door he just came through, he goes through the various scans before waiting as the door opens and then heading down another long hallway. Finally, he reaches his destination. Not too long after, he's in a room looking down into a glowing orange tank. "So Doctor... how goes the... Project?" He then gives the small man fiddling with a pencil. "With what happened to the Third Child and current events, we must buy the time we need to bring about our... paradise." He then snarls as he slams his hand down in the darkened room. "With every moment that blasted Ikari solidifies his position."

The scientist licks his lips before nodding. "Da, this I know." He then gestures at the tank. "The samples you obtained for us helped immensely." He then reaches up and pushes his glasses up. "With some work, we managed to merge them with cells from the Angels."

The man just grunts. "I better see results Doctor. We could have used those Dummy plugs..."

The Doctor just nods, sweat beading on his forehead. "I cannot deny the truth in that. But we needed the S2 organs as they are the right size and we cannot produce the ones the Angels used nearly as quickly."

Staring at a monitor, the man nods. "How soon for the first unit?"

Glancing at some papers, the Doctor's lips twitch a little. "With the accelerated growth, perhaps as little as a month." He then frowns. "I do wish that I could examine the Third Child. The knowledge contained in his body..."

The man just glares at the Doctor causing him to flinch. "He is of yet possibly needed."

Gulping, the Doctor shakes. "Da, I understand..."

The man just falls silent as he looks at the monitor which had an image of a black orb the size of his fist with flesh slowly growing around it. He then chuckles. "Magnificent..." He grins as he shakes his head. "I wonder how you will react Ikari... and what information we might gain about the Third Child from the... tests..." He then smirks. 'Soon...'


Grunting as he slowly wakes up, Shinji slowly opens his eyes only to sigh as he notices the canvas above him. "Still here…" A moment later he throws off the heavy sheets and steps out of the bed and looks around, taking in the room that is a mixture between modern, medieval European, and Japanese. He starts grumbling as he preens his feathers, the movements coming to him naturally after so long. "At least she let me choose some of how it looks…"

Not too long afterwards finds him walking down the narrow, stone hallways. The only sound being his hooves against the stone floor as he passes various banners showing his battles, pictures of his friends, and finally statues of Units -01, 02, and 00 around a door (his EVA being in a recess above the door and the other two beside the door itself). Opening it and walking in, he notices Nightmare waiting at a long table with what appears to be food all along it which she gestures at. "Come Young Prince. After all, breakfast is the most important meal of the day."

Shinji silently regards her before looking at the food, bathed in moonlight. "Why? None of this is real." He then glares at her as she smirks. "All this is a dream. A figment of my subconscious that you made real here."

Nightmare seems to blur for a moment before appearing beside him, her muzzle close to his ear. "Does it truly matter young one? This is after all just as real as anything, even if it's all in your head."

Stamping one hoof down, hard enough to make the ground quake, Shinji turns to glare at Nightmare, who's smirk grows. "How much longer before I can wake up!?"

Nightmare gives him a small nuzzle before pulling away with a smile. "Soon Little Prince." She starts sauntering back to her original spot as she continues talking. "But that would not be today, or tomorrow."

All of a sudden, all the anger drains out of Shinji as he follows her. "I just want to wake up and see my friends and Misato again."

Nightmare is silent for a moment before she sits and a chair materializes next to her. "And I can understand that young one." She then frowns as she looks at him as he sits down. "However, the changes currently happening to your body and magic are extremely painful." She then shakes her head as her magic wraps around a pastry. "It is best that you sleep for now or else you might go mad with the pain."

Buttering up a piece of toast and placing some egg on it, Shinji shakes his head. "That's what you say, but like I keep telling you, I am no stranger to pain."

Snorting, Nightmare gives him a look, "Ah, colts." With an amused look, she shakes her head. "Always trying to prove their worth." Ignoring her companion's glare, she takes a bite of her pastry before continuing. "To be truthful, while you, yourself, are no stranger to pain, if you were awake it would feel like that time the Fifth Angel nearly boiled you alive combined with the feeling of your body being ripped apart and remade." She then calmly sips at her tea as Shinji winces as this is the first time she's given him a description. "From the memories I saw, when my previous host and her sister went through the change, they nearly went mad from pain."

Shinji then frowns. "Since you're being talkative… why bring me here? Why not simply let me go unconscious and then wake up as if no time has passed?"

Nightmare then raises an eyebrow as she watches him drink some juice before leaning forwards. "I had many reasons… not the least of which is for you to gain more experience as an Alicorn." Seeing that he's about to say something, she holds up a hoof. "And before you say anything, all of your experience here can transfer over."

Now it's Shinji's turn to raise an eyebrow. "And that's all?"

Lips twitching, Nightmare chuckles as she bites down on a juicy pear. Swallowing, she gets close and holds her chin up with her hooves. "The other reason was so that you could get more used to me and I to you." She then smirks. 'Which is why I made time here move faster…'

Shinji blinks for a bit as he chews some more and then nods as he swallows. "I… see…" He then tilts his head. "That… makes sense I guess…"

Afterwards, the two lapse into silence as they finish eating before the two head out onto a balcony revealing that the castle is on the lookout that Misato took Shinji to. After a few moments, Nightmare notices a pensive look on her host's face causing her to frown. "Is there something the matter Little Prince?"

Shinji shakes his head and sighs. "No, there isn't…"

Nightmare just gives him a knowing look. "We share the same mind Little One. And we have had enough time that I know how to read you." She then moves closer to him as she tilts her head to the side. "Tell me what bothers you." She then stops when she's close enough to whisper. "You have had something on your mind for days now."

Shinji opens his mouth only to close it as he sighs and looks up at the moon. "I've been thinking… about how I can no longer be human."

Nightmare raises her eyebrow as she frowns. "Having second thoughts about what you did?"

Shinji shakes his head as he looks at the other Alicorn. "Never. Rei, and despite everything Asuka, are worth the sacrifice." He then hangs his head as he closes his eyes. "It's just… when this war is over, what am I supposed to do?" He then raises a hoof and looks at it. "I'm not human and I can never fit in now." He then slams his hoof down as a tear leaks from his eye. "I never belonged before and now… now it's worse… What… what future do I have…?"

Nightmare watches for a moment before quietly closing the distance and wrapping one wing around Shinji as she holds him close. "Even though you might not believe this Little One, I am sorry for what I have put you through. But your future will be what you make it. You are no longer bound by humanity and so you can rise as you please. You are now free to make your own way." She then softly nuzzles him as her voice drops to a whisper. "And I shall be here with you every step of the way." Feeling warm and safe for once in a long time, Shinji lets it all out as Nightmare holds him close.


Much later, as another day ended in Shinji's mindscape, Nightmare finds herself sitting next Shinji's bed softly singing as he sleeps.

"...Hush, foal, darkness will rise from the deep,
and carry you down into sleep.
Foal, the darkness will rise from the deep,
And carry you down into sleep.
"

Finally finished, she takes a moment to draw the covers more over him and then gives a soft smile as she watches him with her head tilted to the side. 'Such an odd feeling this is. Why? Why do I care?'

She gets no answer from the sleeping Alicorn and so she turns to leave only to stop with her eyes widening as he mumbles. "Mom..."

Stiff, she slowly turns back to him and stares at him in shock. 'Did he just...' She watches him for a moment before she blinks and leaves in thought. 'Mom...' Walking out, she makes her way through the darkened halls as she thinks it over. 'Why would he call me such? I am not...' She stops before a thought occurs to her. 'Or am I?' Her smile slowly turns into a grin as her pace picks up. 'Did I not create his current form? Did I not bestow upon him all the power of an Alicorn? My power? The vessel his soul inhabits was crafted by me after all in my image. Does that not make him my foal?' Nearly reaching her destination, she chuckles darkly. 'And now I finally have that which neither Celestia nor that foalish Luna has. A Foal of my own. An heir.'

Reaching her destination, she steps out onto the balcony as the cool night air surrounds her, the new moon in the sky above as she gazes at the lights in the city below. 'In time my young Prince, all this shall be yours. You and they may not yet know this, but the time will come when they turn to you and you shall answer. And so you will rise above them and so take your rightful place.' Sensing something, she turns to two lights and frowns. "Now we cannot have you two getting bad dreams, can we?" A wave of her wing and the two, Misato and Rei from her memory, suddenly calm down as they drift off into peaceful sleep. 'Rest you two. For my... son, cares for you both and so I shall protect you for him until he is able.'

She then focuses on another and glares as she smirks. 'Ah yes. You.' She then chortles some. "You had your chance with him. And you threw it all away for a foalish plan." She then sneers. "And so he is now mine and mine alone." Flapping her wings, she takes flight as she glides into the darkness. 'Now to begin to lay the groundwork for my little Prince when it comes time...' And a moment later, there is nothing there as her laughter drifts away into nothingness on the wind...