This was originally intended to be a This Alien Shore oneshot, but it ended up too darn long. I also thought it ended up too silly to post, but the person I showed it to liked it and other people seemed interested, so here you go.
The BABIES fic.
I actually was mostly through this fic before I started writing Colour 'verse, even though I'd had the bunny for Colour 'verse, thought that was something that could have resulted from that scenario, for a lot longer. Since I'm examining different possible interpretations of canon and the characters, this fic is a less depressing take on what it might mean that Kaworu is in fact an angel of a specific type.
Rather than calculated, malicious use of his powers because he hated the world (note that practically all he's experienced of the world in that version is SEELE – he doesn't encounter people who could have proved SEELE wrong because he killed them first), here it's stemming from Kaworu's real wish in the manga and going with the premise that he doesn't really know how to be a seed any more than he knows how to do the stuff like socializing and not going into women's bathrooms necessary to be a functional human. Because watching him blunder is endearing when Sadamoto isn't making it heartrendingly tragic.
The chemicals the brain uses to reward healthy behaviors, or at least that's the idea, are not things to fuck with. Especially dopamine, which is what we use to want things. Too much of that stuff will basically make you psychotic. It's the neurochemical that bath salts fuck up. Seriously, that shit will make you crazy.
The transmission from SEELE ended, and Kaworu knew he had no more time.
Even after losing all the others, Shinji still refused to be his friend, and Kaworu would be dead before Shinji changed his mind, if the Lilim ever did.
He was going to die. Half his instincts cried out against that fact: he was a being meant to be eternal. That was what SEELE were counting on. Yet this body had been made with the DNA of the Lilim as well. He carried enough of the black seed in him to be able to realize that 'he' wasn't his body, or his soul. He was he himself, Kaworu, the 'I' that thought, and that self would be extinguished if he merged with Lilith as he was ordered.
If he did, he would die. If he didn't, they would kill him. There was no way for him to survive.
Even Lilith, the mortal black seed herself, had found a way to live on and he couldn't?
Kaworu clutched his chest as he dropped to one knee, kneeling on the statue and looking down at his reflection in the tainted water. Even though the new vessel of her soul didn't remember her previous self, Rei's memories were still present inside him. Her self, her goals, her love: he remembered them. At least some of her thoughts lived on. As parasites inside him, yes, but that was still existence. Not of the body that was SEELE's creation, not of the soul that belonged to another before him. Of the thoughts that were the self.
"To be remembered: is that the immortality of the Seed of Wisdom?" he asked quietly. They lacked the immortal bodies of the children of the white seed, but their self-awareness was far more than the rudimentary, instinct-driven angels. Armisael hadn't even been aware enough of herself to know that the feeling that drove her to reach Adam was loneliness.
Kaworu hadn't known what that feeling was either, not until Rei named it. Not until it forced tears from him. Even though his body was still half of the black seed, his soul was still that of the white. So he was only figuring this out now because of Lilith's influence. Because of Rei's thoughts.
He couldn't force them out: as long as he lived Rei's thoughts would live. Her love of Shinji would survive, in him. As much as he wanted to get rid of it because it hurt to want something that he couldn't have. That the Lilim was too much of a selfish bastard to give him.
What if he contaminated Shinji, the way Armisael contaminated him?
Shinji would be forced to recognize these feelings. Forced to remember Kaworu. A part of his self could live on with, within Shinji.
Oh, yes, he thought, the hand that had clutched at his shirt now tracing over the tightness in his chest. The part of him that wanted to touch and kiss, the part of him contaminated by this love, wanted that. Wanted it so much, to be with him. To live on, within Shinji's heart.
Yet Shinji would die, he knew. Even if Tabris died, the old men certainly wouldn't give up. He'd grown up at their mercy: he knew their implacable cruelty. Even if he did that, he would have so little time with Shinji. Perhaps no more than a handful of days, the way he had a handful of hours left to live now.
He, himself, as Kaworu, didn't especially care if he died. It was freedom, and it wasn't like this life was worth living at all. Especially now that he hurt because of Shinji and Rei.
It hurt so much he wanted to curl up around the pain he'd felt when Shinji had stood there in absolute rejection, and Kaworu could only let go of his shirt because the part of him that was Lilim wanted to crawl away and find somewhere to die.
That also sounded sweet, but the part of him that was a Seed of Life? It drove him to live.
An angry twist of his lips replaced the pained and lost look on the face reflected by the lake. Living? Letting the Lilim hurt him more? SEELE would send men to kill him. If Kaworu fought them then at some point he would have to use his AT field. Then Shinji would know what he was, and would see him as an enemy, think that all of Kaworu's feelings were fake and he was right to reject them. He would never love Kaworu then, so what was the point of living that way?
What was the point of living if it was nothing but pain? Even the old men agreed that there was no point in living the way Lilim did. Kaworu still hated them for inflicting that pain on others, when they should know how much it hurt.
But while he was alive, and thought to be a Lilim, then there was still hope that Shinji would return these feelings someday, right?
That someone would return these feelings, so the lonely ache in his chest would be filled.
Kaworu understood Armisael now, he truly did. He would do anything for this ache to stop, and when she thought that finding her father would…
Her father. She was Adam's child, who loved him enough to try to reach him. Wanted to cling together with him to end her loneliness. She hadn't wanted Kaworu, not when he wasn't really Adam, but what if, "What if…"
As soon as Kaworu framed the thought he shuddered, feelings flooding into him, instincts awakening. Yes. This was what Seeds were meant to do, of course! This was the purpose of his existence, this was what would fulfill him and give him what he wanted!
He did not exist to die, he existed to create life. He would have children, and they would love him, and not want him to die. He could touch them, hold them, and none of them would ever have to be lonely. Just thinking of it made him wrap his arms around himself, overflowing with joy at the thought of it, a light he could barely contain.
A light that could overflow, that could become a new light if he wanted.
Yes. Yes he did, he wanted it so much.
The light pooled in his cupped palms, the warm sticky feeling that was love flowing out of his chest and gathering there, and it made him tremble with anticipation. Yes, precious light made of love that would love him! He couldn't help the tears that fell, and even when he severed this light from his own, the light of joy inside him just continued to grow. He wasn't tired at all.
He could make more. More precious souls!
Red eyes gleamed, starting to glow with a manic light as the light in his hands took on physical form, first a white blob but then it grew eyes just like his. To see him with, to see its daddy with. It wanted to see him, know him, be with him, and Kaworu gathered it to his chest with one hand, making a fist with the other and slamming it down into the statue because he could not contain this feeling. These feelings, so many of them, old pain and anger rising now that he knew what he should have had all along.
When the statue shattered and dropped him into the water all he could do was laugh as his precious child grew gills in order to live, little clawed paws to hold on to him with, because this joy, there was so much that it would start hurting again if he didn't let out.
Yes. More life. More precious children, to love him as much as he wanted. He wanted them, needed them. Instead of cruel Lilim, instead of being alone, this. More of this.
The light of his soul, the light in his chest would not be still, and the part of him that was born of the black seed realized that this was why Seeds had to be sealed by the lances, because otherwise they would obey this drive to create and create.
The moment of fulfillment when he held a new child in his hands? There could be no greater bliss than that of creation, but then that love started to build up inside of him again, and it hurt if he didn't let it out.
They clung to him, when they were new, in order to soak up his love, but instead of feeling sad when his first-made started to dive and poke at rocks it made him smile, because the child was only able to leave him because he wasn't lonely. The child knew that it was loved, that it wasn't alone, and Kaworu had made the child feel that way. Kaworu was here when the child returned, still recognized it and loved it even now that there were more children, and oh, he couldn't die now, not when there were children that loved him. Children that wanted him to live.
He hadn't realized how much his despair and ennui had dimmed the light of his soul until the knowledge he was loved made it glow brighter and brighter, and that part of him that was Lilim, that was aware of more than his instincts and drives, began to grow a little frightened. This much power: it could tear him apart so easily. It was tearing him apart: the light that became the souls of his children was torn from that of his own soul, yet all he felt was joy that he had light and strength to give them.
He wanted to explode with it, to fill this world with his children, take it from the unworthy Lilim, but if he obeyed that instinct and made too many at once in order to fill this world then they would have weaker souls. They wouldn't be able to protect themselves from the Lilim. No: even if it meant he couldn't have as many children, he had to make them as strong as he could. Let the light inside him build up for as long as he could contain it before letting it out, so they would be strong.
Even though it hurt, it was worth it, he knew as his third grew longer in order to coil around him, made so happy by the light and presence of the one who gave it life. This love… feeling so much of it hurt so much, but oh, it was good and right and wonderful. This was, this was what he was for. A Seed of Life, not a Seed of Death.
They loved him.
He was loved.
"He's making them?!" Misato's face paled, her fists clenching on the railing. Making more angels? Could they do that? Theoretically yes, angels had to come from somewhere.
The white giant…
Kaworu was kneeling on the back, or side, or something of an angel that seemed to consist of just a pale, furless body, a long neck that it grew in order to look at Kaworu and a head that looked vaguely foxlike. It kept shifting colors but for the moment its surface had settled on sort of a pale green. At least it had stopped growing larger. Not that size seemed to have anything to do with power: it wasn't the strongest among them, not even in the top three. The strongest was still Kaworu, who still looked deceptively human. Except for that glow.
He was glowing the same white as that giant, growing brighter and brighter. When he'd grown bright enough that light gathered in his palms, igniting another AT field, and he laughed with manic delight as his hair darkened to gray. That laugh… it didn't sound sane.
Above her, Fuyutsuki leaned over Gendo, quietly asking if this was in the scenario, if Gendo had any idea what they were going to do. How were they going to hold off this many angels already with only Shinji and Yui's Eva? Gendo had no answer for him, looking at the scene in his thoughtful pose, but Fuyutsuki could read him well enough to tell that no, this wasn't in the scenario, and Gendo was scrambling to think of some countermeasure, after the report on the angel's AT field strength revealed that all dropping N2 mines would do was remind the angel that NERV existed.
Gendo Ikari was part of the team that investigated Adam and set off Second Impact: he knew that a lance could subdue even an angel of this power, even this angel, but he'd already used the lance that imprisoned Lilith, the Lance of Longinius. Asking SEELE to let him have the other, the Lance of Cassius, after losing the first in defiance of their orders? The alternative was to dispatch the new Rei, but since Dr. Akagi had destroyed the others and was locked up at the moment, he no longer had the option of giving her a signal to have the magi fail so NERV's staff didn't see Rei's true nature or abilities.
Well. First he would see what Shinji, or rather what Yui, managed in the initial attack. Misato had gotten his approval to send Shinji out as soon as possible, after seeing that the angel was making more.
Katsuragi was obviously hoping that new meant stupid, that Shinji could kill them before they learned to use their AT fields.
Gendo wasn't ruling that out: angel or not, humans could be relied on to be fools. Still, after observing this angel's brief combat against Armisael, and knowing that it was trained by SEELE and the old men had almost certainly used it to create their own dummy plugs? If that angel had uploaded its own combat data and training into its creations, then the good news was that Shinji wouldn't be a dangerous enough opponent to be worth finishing off. So Yui's body should remain reasonably intact.
Misato was ordering Shinji to go after one that was a ways away from the others (yet not heading in the direction of NERV), and Shinji was relived to accept that order even though he should know that obviously he would be ordered to kill Kaworu Nagisa: this was only a temporary reprive.
This angel looked something like a ball of pale blue tissue paper floating in midair, made up of thin, translucent panels that matched the color of the sky. Was it attempting to camouflage itself as it bobbed there? The wind made by the Eva's massive arm as Shinji tried to thrust the prog knife into it knocked the angel away, sending it tumbling into what was left of a chimney. It shook the rooftiles off itself before it rose up.
"Watch out, Shinji!" Misato ordered as the angel moved towards him.
Shinji stood there with his knife at the ready: this was an angel, one of the things that killed Rei and did that to Asuka.
"The twelfth angel is heading towards Unit 01!"
"Now, Shinji!" Misato ordered. He had to kill this one now, before Kaworu got there!
This time, the knife was stopped by an AT field. As Shinji tried to cut through the field, putting all the force and will behind the knife that he could, he noticed that the color of it was like Kaworu's hair, and the angel was actually still moving towards the field and knife, as though it didn't even know that it was under attack and should keep its distance. So if this field wasn't this angel's, then Kaworu was protecting it?
Kaworu, the Kaworu who killed a kitten was protecting this baby fluffy-looking thing?
Envy mingled with the confusion and betrayal (Kaworu was an angel?) in Shinji's gut, and in that instant he felt something hit the side of his Eva and found himself hurtling through the air.
He must have hit the mountain that overlooked the lakeshore, but before Shinji could get to his knees and get his bearings, he heard Misato's cry of "Look out!" There really wasn't anything he could do at that point but cringe as something slammed into his Eva's knee. Shinji could just thank goodness it was the whatever it was that shattered, not his knee.
"Phew, we're lucky the concrete didn't hold up to the impact. Get up, Shinji! He's looking for something else to use!"
Shinji bit back an annoyed response: what did Misato think he was trying to do? His eyes widened when his knife was suddenly torn out of his Eva's hand. Heart pumping, he scrambled to turn and face Kaworu, expecting that knife to be flung at his Eva's throat any second now.
Kaworu was hovering there with his arms folded, glowing and furious. "I don't care about Ramiel or any of the others you killed, not when Armisael didn't care about me, but that is my child, not Adam's! Mine! So much as look at any of my little ones again, you bastard spawn of Lilith, and not even Rei's feelings will save you! If I didn't love you I would have killed you for that, but my little ones love me back! They're not selfish monsters like you Lilim, and I won't let you hurt them! Not even you, Shinji!" Kaworu grasped at his chest. "That Eva… an abomination made from Lilith, with the power to hurt my children? I won't let something like that exist. Get out of there, now, or I'll cut it to pieces around you!"
"Something's trying to make Unit 01 eject the entry plug! It's the angel!"
Well, what else did Maya think would be doing that, Misato wondered. Well, theoretically there could be some malfunction, or the Eva could be acting up again, but wasn't it the reasonable assumption that the angel was responsible? But how, when it hadn't touched the Eva the way the last angel had?
It looked like Unit 01 was about to act up again, judging from that roar, and more of the angels were converging on Shinji's position… or rather Kaworu's, as that glowing knife hit the Eva. It was as though Kaworu knew exactly where to hit to bypass the armor… but then again, he'd infiltrated NERV posing as a pilot. Misato should ask what didn't he know about NERV and its Evas.
Kaworu scowled. "You may have possessed part of your progenitor, Lilim, but a pathetic, fearful creature like you is no match for a True Successor! Release Shinji or I'll… No, I'll cut you open regardless!" His glow intensified, but this time he called it out in the form of his AT field, the barrier forming in angled shapes that somehow reminded Misato of something…
Ramiel. When this angel was orders of magnitude more powerful than the one Kaji's information called Ramiel.
Her mouth opened to tell Shinji to run, but he'd already been cut off at both knees and all he could do was try to keep the rest of the Eva's frame between that knife and the arm it was working on now.
All she could do was slam her hands down and scream, "Eject the entry plug! Hurry!" Because Unit 01 was a sitting duck and there was no point in Shinji being vaporized along with his Eva.
"No," Gendo overruled her. "Without a pilot, Unit 01's AT field can't be used." Damn Ritsuko! Damn her for destroying the dummy plug clones and forcing him to rely on that useless boy! "We can't afford to lose the Eva." And if Shinji wasn't enough to save Yui, then dying with her was almost too good for him!
Misato knew she should protest, but the cold-hearted bastard was right. Damn it! She wanted to say 'Sorry, Shinji,' but the hypocritical words caught in her throat.
The angel fired and Shinji screamed.
Gendo screamed for "Rei!"
"Another AT field! The Magi are identifying it as the second angel!"
The shield appeared between Shinji and Kaworu, revealing the Eva smoldering on the ground.
A discordant shriek came from Kaworu: was this the language of the angels, or was he too furious at being balked to mimic human speech anymore?
"Rei, bring Unit 01 back to base!" Gendo ordered, leaning forward with his hands flat on his desk, fear and tension in every line of his body.
"I cannot… It is taking all I have to… Ah!" The laser cut off suddenly, and with that bright light gone they could see Rei floating there behind her shield – her own AT field.
She clearly hadn't been expecting to be hit from behind.
Through Rei's communicator, they heard. "Mother of the Lilim… You're the one who gave me this feeling. No, not you," Kaworu said as he floated down to stand over Rei. "The Rei who fought Armisael. That Rei might have been stupid, but she was more than a tool of the Lilim. She deserves to live on. In you, not just in me." He was breathing hard: was it from effort? Was he getting tired, even with an S2 engine? Misato dared to hope that at least their angel (the hell?!) had managed to wear down SEELE's. Kaworu's words confirmed that regardless of what Ritsuko said, this wasn't the Rei who fought beside Shinji and the others. The one who sacrificed herself for the world. This was just an angel, so Misato could want her dead. Preferably two birds with one stone.
Kaworu, the Twelfth Angel knelt over her as Gendo ordered her to get up. She groaned softly, trying to obey, but even if she was an angel falling ten meters and landing on broken pavement without her AT field raised to protect her left her unable to do much more than draw arms that were scratched and studded with asphalt a little closer to her chest, pushing weakly at the ground.
"Hmm? Oh, so even the Black Seed can't heal, isn't eternal the way we are." Kaworu sounded a little enlightened as he touched her cheek. "I thought the old men had to be lying about how you couldn't have any more children, but if you don't heal any faster than a Lilim from something like this..." The cameras could see his shudder at that thought, but not how he closed his eyes, focusing.
"Be quiet, old man!" Kaworu ordered the Ikari, snatching the communicator away from Rei with his free hand and tucking it into his pants pocket to get it out of the way.
Rei coughed, getting rid of the dirt that had gotten in her mouth when she landed. "Shinji…"
"He shouldn't be injured: I aimed around the entry plug," Kaworu reassured her. "You're not going to obey the stupid old man anymore, are you?"
She shook her head, although that could easily be no, she was worried about Shinji despite Kaworu's words as well as no, she had no loyalty to humanity. "Shinji…"
Kaworu picked her up. Not with his arms, although he held them out as though he was carrying her. Instead she floated about six inches above them, suspended in his field. "Let's see. Lilim are so fragile."
"I thought you…" Rei still sounded tired, and puzzled.
"I do," Kaworu answered her, "but it was your feeling to start with and I have my children now. Shinji is one of your Lilim, so it makes sense. If one of my children was injured… Why even have children if they're doing to die so quickly," he demanded of her. "Your Lilim are all bastards: my children are adorable and they love me back."
She shook her head. "I don't remember Lilith at all. I remembered fragments of the second me, but… Thank you for giving me those memories back." Precious memories of Shinji.
"Oh, so you're not Lilith, then. Sorry for blaming you for the Lilim," he told her. "I just thought there wasn't anything about making them in the memories you gave me through Armisael because you didn't want to think about how much of a disappointment those bastards are. Ew." Kaworu wrinkled his nose at the scent of the Eva's burning flesh as he put Rei down.
"Shinji!" Rei ran forward to the entry plug, trying to get at the latch.
It turned and LCL started pouring out when her fingers were still centimeters away. "Or you could just will it open. Didn't your old man teach you how to infiltrate computer systems and locks?" Kaworu wondered. "Of course, they didn't teach me until I was about to come here, since they wanted me to use it on NERV instead of them." Rei ignored him, already inside the entry plug.
When there was no response Kaworu shrugged and took off again, finding the paper-child and grabbing one of its folds to tug it back to where the others were waiting, just in case. Now that his children weren't being attacked anymore it was hard to stay interested in the Lilim, even though the part of him that was Lilim knew that he should care, that the Lilim were still a threat to his babies.
Wonderful children that trilled and coiled around him to welcome him back, and he loved them so much, wanted them so much!
He didn't come back to himself until the N2 mines hit.