"I really was born to meet you."

The faintest of blushes coloured Shinji's cheeks, almost unnoticeable in the darkness, as the words hung in the air between the two, the cool breeze failing to expel them. It was a moment before Kaworu exhaled lightly and turned so that he was once again laying on his back looking up at the stars, and another moment still until the boy spoke again.

"Have you ever given thought to the idea of reincarnation?" Kaworu's voice was quiet as he said the words, so much so that even in the silence that surrounded the two, Shinji might have missed them had he not seen the movement of lips.

Shinji looked back at the stars and remained quiet, turning over the question in his mind. "Not really," he finally said, "I figure it doesn't really matter much either way. If reincarnation does happen, I still don't remember any of my past lives, so it doesn't really matter, does it? And even if I do believe in it, it doesn't change whether it happens or not."

He glanced back at Kaworu, hoping to gauge some sort of reaction from him. The white haired boy continued to stare up into the glowing abyss of the night sky, but his expression seemed a bit sadder than it had before. The smile that had been there when he'd spoken the earlier words had faded. When his lips finally moved, his words were once again quiet and subdued, almost as if he wasn't sure if he wanted to be heard. "But perhaps it's better if you can't remember. If you do, then there will always be the pain you experienced before. The memories of all the people you betrayed, the acts you failed." The words stung, reminding Shinji of the events that had transpired in what felt to him like only the last few days. It was true. If he was born again, he really would prefer to be without those memories. He would prefer to have a chance to redo his life without all the pain and suffering he knew from this one.


He hummed a noise of agreement. "I see what you mean. It really would be nice to get to try again without knowing about everything I've done and caused, but… at the same time, there's a lot of things I wouldn't want to forget."

"How wonderful it would be if we only remembered the pleasant things in life," Kaworu breathed, shutting his eyes.

As Shinji gazed at him, he couldn't help but think how beautiful Kaworu looked in the starlight, his pale hair and skin seeming to almost glow as if he was a star himself. Yes, if Shinji was reborn, then he would like to remember Kaworu, the boy who had accepted him and offered him peace in this barren world of confusion and hatred. He would like to remember the hours they had spent sitting together, their hips lightly touching each other every so often as their fingers danced across ivory keys. And he would like to remember this moment, its gentle peace as the two looked out into the darkly lit expanse of infinity. "I'm glad I was able to meet you," he said softly, wondering if the words seemed odd in reprise to Kaworu's earlier ones.

But as he watched, the slight curve returned to Kaworu's lips, a slight hum resonating from them. "I am too."