Well this is it, the real end of Out of Disaster. No more epilogues, I'm not going to do a sequel, its over after this. Again I'd like to thank you all for reading this far and I hope that with both epilogues you find an ending you agree with.
When I started this fic I couldn't really see the end of it. Now that I'm standing at it, it seems so awkward. But with OoD's completion I can return to my poorly neglected Nadesico story "Anata no Ichiban ni Naritai"
Well lets see this other ending
Out of Disaster
Epilogue 2 – When all that is left is…
Shinji was dimly aware of the crashing of waves only several feet away from him. His mind and senses had been left in a state of mild shock due to the events that had transpired. 'I was fighting those white Evangelion's with Asuka…then I was… flying.' Try as he might to sit up, Shinji's fatigued body refused to move.
Later wagging his head, Shinji succeeded only in getting sand embedded into his hair. Continuing on his hazy recollection. 'That spear Asuka used to kill whatever angel that was flew at me, then I saw Rei, but she was so big.' The rest of his memory was too hazy and jumbled beyond hope of remembering clearly. He thought he remembered talking to Kaworu again, something about a choice, and then he heard the waves. 'Maybe, it was all a dream,' he hoped as his body sank into slumber again.
Several hours later, Shinji's eyes opened in earnest. After he sat up and took stock of his new environment the boy knew two things. One was that he hadn't dreamt the odd visions he had, and second he wished he had kept his eyes shut. Before him was a parody of normalcy. The waves crashing in were an orange-red and he had a sickening feeling he knew what the liquid was. The sky had a reddish hint to it where it had been blue, a thread of red hanging in the sky, and the white monstrosities that had once challenged him, stood rigidly in the liquid like silent sentinels, yet there they were crucified. "What happened?"
An almost inaudible grown to his left caught his attention, 'At least I'm not alone.' Ripping his attention away from the ghastly sight before him, from the short tufts of blue hair he reasoned Rei was sleeping on his right. Another mumble directed him to his left where Shinobu laid, seemingly having a nightmare. Looking between the two girls, Shinji didn't know why it was only them that were left. 'What do we do now?'
The trio sat in silence around a small fire as Shinji prepared some food that he had scavenged in the remains of the city. 'At least we won't have to worry about staving,' he thought as he placed the sliced lettuce into bowls and handed them to his silent companions. Not know what to say, "With all the canned and preserved food in the city still, we should be fine for a long time." It was a temporary fix they all knew, but by the time it spoiled they'd have a better plan, hopefully.
Rei took her bowl from Shinji with a slight smile, and began to eat. She didn't know what to expect from life anymore. With all her memories back she knew about Shinobu's feelings for Shinji, as well as her own. 'I can't do anything now. If I were to try and he chose her, I'd be literally alone on this planet.' With a glance at the other girl, who quietly thanked Shinji for the meal before eating it, Rei realized she had been wrong in her actions regarding Shinobu in the past as well. 'It was all according to what Akagi wanted. She wanted me to kill her so I too could have been 'dealt' with.'
'What do we do now? I love him, she loves him, and he loves us …both,' Shinobu thought reluctantly as she slowly ate her meager meal. All she could remember was Kanako asking her to hold still then blackness, she felt as if she had lost herself somehow as the voices of all her friends and family came crashing into her mind, and finally she saw Shinji gently waking her up. It was all so strange, she was so frightened that all she wanted was to rush into Shinji's arms and let him comfort her. But if he rejected her here and now, she would have nothing.
So the three remained silent as they had their meal and their fire brewed tea. Setting his store found bowl in the sand, Shinji had to try to open some sort of communication with the girls, or things could only get worse. His voice devoid of emotion, "I think we should stay around here for a bit, just in case anybody else comes back they might need help at first." Now whether he meant to commandeer one of the nearby houses, or build a shelter he didn't really know.
Both girls nodded, and returned to their internal debate on how to act regarding what was really important at the time, how to deal with each other. While nobody really wanted to start the discussion, it was Rei who finally brought up the topic. Looking out at the crashing waves, Rei momentarily regretted her choice in returning. "If you wish me to go, I will comply."
"Go? What do you mean go?" Shinji asked shocked at the sudden utterance of her heart, and the matter to which she spoke. Hastily getting to a kneeling position closer to Rei, he didn't notice he knocked over his bowl spilling the leftovers of his meal unto the sand.
Mixed emotions filled Shinobu as she witnessed the scene. If Rei left that meant she would have Shinji all to herself. If Shinji wanted Rei to stay that meant he loved her more. The more curious thought to her at the moment was, 'Do any of us really have to leave?'
Filled with self-doubt, Rei opened her thoughts to the two others. "I would not want to be a burden. Seeing you two sharing your love for another and knowing I cannot have a part in it would be more painful than living alone.' Her eyes stung as the sudden influx of sadness that filled her. 'I couldn't bare to see him everyday knowing…'
"No, you can't leave," Shinji said cutting Rei off. "We've all lost to much to do that! I know I've not treated either of you two fairly in the past." He hated himself for what he had to say, but it was his true heart filled belief. "But I couldn't chose one of you back then… and I can't now. I love you both with all of my heart. I…I'm sorry."
Both girls were shocked to learn that they had not been replaced, yet they had not fully won the boy's heart over the other. Seeing the tears of frustration building in Shinji's eyes, both Shinobu and Rei realized how much turmoil Shinji had suffered trying to come to terms with all that had happened to him in the past as well as now. Crawling over to him, both girls hugged him, and he them. 'Haven't we suffered enough, can't it end now?' they all thought as they sought comfort in the arms of each other.
Time slowly started to pass for the trio. The first few weeks were filled with scavenging trips to the city to gain all the supplies they needed and the creation of a shelter to shield them from the elements. Their constant time together formed a stronger bond between all three that they hadn't believed possible. They relied on each other to live and prosper. Out of that reliance came a new friendship between Shinobu and Rei.
A month after they had returned to what had been Tokyo-3 after Third Impact and the start of their new life the two girls came to terms. They acknowledged the strengths of the other and their own weaknesses, and realized that they weren't in affect that different. Over the course of many sleepless nights, the two new friends conversed as friends were oft to do. A result of their talks was they came to one conclusion that they voiced whole-heartedly.
As the sun rose and the trio sat around the makeshift table for breakfast, the two girls presented Shinji with their conclusion. "We both love you Shinji, and although it'll be hard for us, neither of us are willing to give you up," Shinobu said while blushing at the oddness of the comment. Had other people been around they'd have thought such a union sick or wrong, but with only three people left on the face of the Earth, they didn't care.
But even with the changes Earth had things are always changing. So, two days after Shinji, Shinobu, and Rei agreed to live together for the rest of their lives, they got a new resident. It was Shinji who while on lookout found her lying in the sand, Shinobu and Rei had slept in that day, for matters only one could guess. Her red hair gave her away instantly as Shinji rushed to the figure floating in the waves. "Asuka!" Shinji called as he gathered her up in his lap trying to wake her.
"Few more minutes Baka…there's no school today," the German mumbled in her semi-lucid state. Feeling a pair of arms wrapped around her, Asuka panicked. "Hentai! Rapist!" Her limbs flaying wildly and striking her unidentified assailant repeatedly with her returned strength.
Shinji didn't care or even notice the blows all he knew was Asuka was back. His murmurings into her ear about how glad to have her back, Asuka finally snapped back into reality and realized who it was. Finally releasing her from his embrace, Asuka saw what had befallen the Earth she once knew. "What…what happened here?"
With a heavy heart, Shinji explained to Asuka to the best of his knowledge what happened. As his brief narration came to a close, "So now Shinobu, Rei, and I have set up a shelter above the shoreline and we're watching incase more people return."
Getting to her feet and slowly heading in the direction Shinji indicated the shelter was, Asuka paused, pivoting around to look Shinji in the face. "Say that again, who is watching for more people?" Asuka's raised eyebrow was more than enough evidence for Shinji that he had better answer quickly and satisfactory.
His face slightly reddened, "Shinobu, Rei, and I. We were the first people to return. So where're… living together." He knew how odd it sounded but after spending so much time together after Third Impact, and the time shared before, it felt wrong to be away from either of them.
Starting back to what looked to be, and was, the only dwelling, Asuka couldn't believe it. "So you three are living together. Happily?" The last part seemed the most unbelievable to her. 'Shinobu was terrified of Wondergirl, and she…she wanted to skin Shinobu alive over Shinji.' Trying to fathom how such a turn was possible, Asuka's progress slowed a step.
Walking briskly through the door and towards the approaching two, Rei's voice pierced the stillness of the air. "Very happily," she punctuated her statement by hugging Shinji lightly and giving him a brief kiss. "It is good to see you again Sec…Asuka."
"Its bizzaro world I'm living in all right," Asuka said dumbly as the sight before her took place. Rei was there, she kissed Shinji, who looked very happy about it, and she just called her 'Asuka.' Looking back at the shelter, "And Shinobu has no problem with this?"
Being roused by all the talking and the lack of heat generated by the others, Shinobu got out of bed. Rubbing the crusts of sleep out of her eyes as she headed to the door, "What are you two talking about so," Shinobu stopped talking and rushed Asuka as she saw her. Throwing her arms around the girl in a very large hug, Shinobu was overjoyed to see her lost good friend again.
Eating her fourth can of beef stew, Asuka looked at the other three. "This is just too odd for me. You three are basically married then?" The facts were overwhelming. They didn't try to kill one another, they lived together, and after seeing not only Rei but also Shinobu kiss Shinji while the other didn't get upset was still hard to accept. "You dirty little pervert you," Asuka's voice had an incredulous tone to it, but the smirk she shot the embarrassed trio was anything but upset.
Putting his hands up in defense, Shinji looked panicked. "Asuka, you…I…you see." Unable to speak due to the shear oddness of the dialogue, Shinji's lips shut tight.
He had to admit it still felt different to him, but as Rei put her hand on his back, and Shinobu took his hand. Rei's smile as she looked at Asuka did the bulk of the convincing, "We love each other, and that's all that matters."
Turning to Shinobu, Asuka took another spoon full of stew before asking, "And you have no problem with this? None at all?" If she loved somebody romantically, Asuka would sooner kill a rival than share her most cherished person. 'But the world isn't the same place anymore is it.'
Finding comfort herself as she comforted Shinji, Shinobu confidently looked Asuka in the eyes. "At first I had my reservations about it. I had hoped to have him all to myself, but with how things are now, with what we," she gestured to Rei, "now know about how we acted and feel about one another. I really can't see living any other way."
Leaning forward slightly, Asuka changed her target. "And you…Rei," Shinji had been adamant about Asuka bad mouthing Rei, "Do you have any problem with how things are for all of you?" Asuka slid the empty bowl back across the table that had been 'borrowed' from a nearby apartment complex.
Without a moments hesitation Rei replied, "I have none. I love him as he does me. That is all I want. I also have a friend that can assist me in this new life of ours as well" And it was true, Rei had grown to accept and then appreciate Shinobu as well so she truly had no problem.
Met with total defeat, Asuka shrugged. She couldn't say anything else. She had her own problems, so she didn't look much further at theirs. Looking at the decently furnished home, Asuka smiled. "So where are your bedrooms? Hope Shinobu and Rei don't mind bunking together because I'll want my own room."
To that the three looked at one another and blushed, Shinji was the one to talk, "We…umm… share a room. So you don't have to… worry about that." As realization dawned on Asuka, Shinji found it fitting to run very fast out of their home across the beach as Asuka chased him throwing whatever she could grab at him and calling him a pervert.
More time passed and Asuka came to learn that the three truly had no problems living as they did. She quickly returned to her sisterly position in Shinji's heart, and he the brother she never had. It was odd for Asuka to be around the trio at times as they shared their love and she had nobody which to share hers. And one other thing irked Asuka to no end, 'They really need to learn to keep quiet while they…Thank Kami-sama for earplugs.'
As the months stretched into years more people started to return from the red-tinged waves. At first it was by ones and twos, then dozens, and finally on mass. As more people returned, the more the trio took to secrecy. Asuka knew they feared the unfavorable view the returning mass might have, but they refused to separate. When Asuka asked what he would do if they were found out and the reestablished law system forced a separation, Shinji had one definite response. "I won't leave either of them again."
Shinobu was overwhelmed one day as Keitaro and Motoko were the first of her old friends to return. Motoko was like Asuka and was taken aback when she first learned of the relationship Shinobu was in. Then after she spent time observing them and how they interacted with one another, she realized they in fact shared a deep bond of love and accepted their choice.
So when the trio came to her, as she was the most spiritual person they knew, to perform some type of bonding ritual Motoko accepted. From ancient texts kept at her ancestral compound Motoko found a version of the Shinto wedding ceremony that provided for more than two lovers. It was a unique wedding, but those in attendance thought it was beautiful none the less.
More years passed and still more people returned from the waves at a constant rate back to Earth, but not all people did. Keitaro was devastated after three years of waiting for Naru to return, being the only Hinata resident not to return from the LCL sea. Motoko was there, much to Shinobu's surprise, to comfort her old Sempai from his loss. So, as a result of the Third Impact another love blossomed that would otherwise not have transpired.
Shinobu was even more surprised to be a bridesmaid at Motoko's Christian style wedding. Shinji was shocked to learn that Asuka started dating Makoto, having caught up to the techy in age as he didn't age in the waves as Asuka had done. "Does he make you happy?" Shinji asked questioningly.
"He may not be the strongest man, but he makes me laugh and we have more in common than I thought," the older wiser Asuka informed her non-official brother. She was happy with the man, and he with her.
After ten years, all of those who were to come back had, the sea of LCL vanished from the oceans, and the earth moved on as if nothing had happened. Governments reformed, civilization recovered and rebuilt. The horrors of the Angel War were now in the past.
Walking into his apartment after his day of work at the Tokyo-3 Music auditorium ended, Shinji was greeted by the smell of simmering food. "I'm home," he said as he slid his tie off, slipped his shoes off, and set his cello case in its rightful place. Stooping down to pick up the mass that collided with his legs, Shinji smiled, "Are you happy to see me Yui-chan?"
A tired looking Rei walked into view, "She missed her daddy. That girl seems to have her aunts energy." She smiled at her husband and kissed his cheek. "Shinobu said supper will be ready in a few minutes," Rei said as she took Shinobu's daughter into her arms.
The one tragedy that the trio learned of was that due to her creation, Rei was barren. Shinji and Shinobu offered to seek out assistance for Rei's inability, but she would have none of it. 'I wouldn't risk our happiness for my selfishness. Yui is as much my daughter as yours.' So they all loved their daughter just the same. They had love and although they couldn't official tell others about it, it was all they needed.
Sliding his arms around Shinobu's stomach, Shinji perched his head on her shoulder, "What ya cooking?" Coming home to Shinobu or Rei's cooking was the highlight of his day. Rei had taken to cooking like she did everything in life, with a vengeance. The red-eyed girl quickly surpassed Shinji in talent, to the point where Shinji said the two should upon a café.
Tapping Shinji's nose with the dirty spoon, Shinobu giggled, "Vegetable soup and I'll put it on the table soon so no samples." Shinobu's life would seem odd to outsiders, but to her she couldn't imagine being any happier. She had a loving family, a beautiful daughter, and a bevy of great friends. Pouring the soup into bowls and grabbing a basket of bread she set the table.
Soon Rei, Shinji, and the five-year-old Yui took their seats. Eating the meal in the comforts of there home, surrounded by loved ones, the group knew that life had indeed gotten better for all of them. They had suffered greatly in the past, but they considered it the payment for the joy they had now.
Watching Shinobu and Rei eat, Shinji just smiled and thought of all that happened to lead the three, make that four he corrected as Yui waved her hand in front of his face, of them to this place in life. 'I wouldn't change any of it,' he realized as he started eating.
If given the chance, none of them would have changed a thing, they were happy together. They had all gotten exactly what they wanted and their bonds to one other were already tested for truth. They were a family.
Yup, I did it that way. Hope you don't get upset but I really see it as possible.
Again special thanks to all my pre-readers. Chewy, Dennisdud, Otaku-man, and an extra special thanks to Golden Kitsune how kept me motivated to finish this, gave me ideas, and a prod in the ass when I was slacking or debating on ruining the story. You guys rock and this story wouldn't have been nearly as good/long without you
So this is the end of Out of Disaster. It went out not with a bang or a whimper, but with a Kyu.
Omake…the last one.
Shinji was dimly aware of the crashing of waves only several feet away from him. His mind and senses had been left in a state of mild shock due to the events that had transpired. 'I was fighting those white Evangelion's with Asuka…then I was flying.' Try as he might to sit up, Shinji's fatigued body refused to move.
Wagging his head, Shinji succeeded only in getting sand meshed into his hair. Continuing on his recollection. 'That spear Asuka used to kill whatever angel that was flew at me, then I saw Rei, but she was so big.' The rest of his memory was hazy and jumbled beyond hope of remembering fully. He thought he remembered talking to Kaworu again, something about a choice, and then he heard the waves. 'Maybe it was all a dream,' he hoped as his body sank into slumber again.
Several hours later, Shinji's eyes opened in earnest. After he sat up and took stock of his new environment the boy knew two things. One was that he hadn't dreamt the odd visions he had, and second he wished he had kept his eyes shut. Before him was a parody of normalcy. The waves crashing in were orange and he had a sickening feeling he knew what the liquid was. The sky had a reddish hint to it where it had been blue, and the white monstrosities stood in the liquid like silent watchers, yet they were crucified. "What happened?"
An almost inaudible grown to his left caught his attention, 'At least I'm not alone.' His eyes turned to his left and saw a mess of raven black hair and the tradition Gi. 'Motoko?' Another grown from his right directed Shinji to see another mess of long red hair, "Naru?"
Both girls upon hearing their name woke and saw Shinji. In unison both girls cried out, "My wish came true!"
And the three of them lived happily ever after, after they hid the bodies of Shinobu and Rei in a cove where Shinji would never find them.