Author's Note:Disclaimer: These characters are not mine, I'm using them without permission. Please don't sue me, you won't get much anyway.
Note this takes place after the attack of the 12th Angel.
Note this takes place after the attack of the 12th Angel.
"FLATLINE!! GET THE CRASH CART READY NOW!!" one of the doctors said as they continued to work on reviving Shinji's body.
Misato watch on helplessly. She just couldn't believe that Shinji had fought his way out of the 12th Angel only to die now. Shinji had gone into a coma shortly after he was removed from his entry plug. His last words were still fresh in Misato's mind. "I just wanted to see you one last time."
"S-Shinji... y-you can't die now. YOU CAN'T!!"
Despite Misato's calls, Shinji appeared to be doing just that.
Shinji woke up. He didn't know where he was, so he started to look around. He was laying in bed in a hospital room of some sort. It was unnaturally quite. There were people all around him, doctors and nurses it appeared, but none of them were moving. He got up and moved to the towards the doorway.
Out in the hall he could see Misato. She appeared to be crying, but she also wasn't moving at all. After a closer look, he noted that not even her tears were moving. He could see the droplet of a tear just sitting on the middle of her cheek.
Shinji then turned around to look back into the room. He was quit stunned by what he saw in there. He saw his body still laying on the bed with wires and tubes sticking out of it. What the hell is going on here! he thought.
"What's going on here is that you're dying."
Shinji turned around to the first voice he had heard since he had woke up, he found himself facing a girl. The girl had red hair done in a pigtail and was wearing what appeared to be a mixed dress/gi. On the girl's forehead was a ying-yang symbol. "W-Who are you?"
"I the formal mortal now goddess Ranko. I've come to talk to you."
"Goddess Ranko? I-I thought you were supposed to meet something gruesome when you died?" said Shinji while trying to figure out if he was seeing things.
"You mean Death? You shouldn't call her gruesome. She's actually a very nice person. As to why she isn't here? Well you see, she was very overworked by second impact and had to take a few decades vacation. Us goddesses are filling in for her right now. It's a long story."
"You said formally mortal. What you mean by that?"
"Uhh... That's an even longer story and it's not important right now. What is important is that our records show that you're not supposed to die yet. However, you're being very uncooperative with these doctors trying to revive you. Why aren't you trying to live!?"
Shinji started to get angry. "Maybe I don't want to live! It's not like I matter, hell some people will be glad I'm out their hair!"
"Are you so sure? Let's find out, Shell we!?" said Ranko as she grabbed Shinji's arm and started to drag him down the hall.
"HEYY! You can't just pull me around!" said Shinji pulling his arm back.
Ranko turned around walked right up to his face. In a low voice she said, "It just so happens that I'm the martial arts goddess of speed and ki. You wanna try me bub?"
"I thought not. Now let's go!" Grabbing Shinji's arm again, Ranko turned and with her free hand made a giant man size ki ball. Dragging Shinji, she then leaped into the sphere of energy.
When the light faded Shinji found himself in a rundown apartment room.
"Do you know where you are Shinji?" Asked Ranko.
"Ah... This is Rei's apartment. Where is she?"
"She's right over there," Ranko said pointing to Rei who was sitting on her bed.
"R-Rei?" Asked Shinji nervously.
"It's now several weeks after your funeral," Ranko began. "She can't see or hear you. Just watch for now."
Shinji watched Rei for a while. He noted that she was now a little thinner and, what he thought was impossible, paler. After an hour or so of watching Rei do nothing but sit, he turned to Ranko.
"I don't get it. She's just sitting there. Nothings happening."
Ranko looked at Rei. "That's just it. She's doing nothing. That's all she does now, day in, day out, nothing. She doesn't go to school. She doesn't go out. She does nothing but sit there until she needs to eat or headquarters needs her."
"I-I don't understand."
"Besides your father Shinji, you were the only real friend she had. When you died, it rocked her world. Since then she's withdrawn from the living. Because of your death she's literally become the doll Asuka made her out to be."
Shinji could only stare in shock. "I-I see."
"Now why don't we have a look in on your friend Misato?" Ranko said making another man sized ki ball.
Shinji now found himself in a white padded room. "W-Where are we now Ranko?"
"In the NERV Medical Center, Psychiatric Ward. This is where we'll find Misato... There she is," said Ranko pointing to Misato laying on the bed. She was in a straitjacket and had a glazed look in her eyes. Apparently she was heavily drugged.
"What's she doing here!? I mean she's the chief of operations."
"Was the chief of operations Mr. Ikari," said Ranko. "She turned in her resignation from NERV the day you died. She blamed herself for your death and started drinking heavily."
"Of course no job plus heavy alcohol abuse equals no home. Your father couldn't have someone with knowledge of NERV secrets roaming around drunk. He had her placed under house arrest and had her committed to this sanitarium. I guess she's lucky. Most people with such knowledge tend to disappear or have an 'accident'. Commander Ikari seems to still need her for something. She lives here now. Pen Pen was sold to a zoo and Asuka now lives with Ritsuko. Speaking of Asuka. You should consider what your death well do to her."
Shinji almost laugh at that. "Yeah right! She's probably happy now that she's number one pilot again."
"You think so? Let's find out," Ranko said making yet another ki ball.
They were soon in the EVA cages back at headquarters. A surprised Shinji watched as Asuka crawled out of Unit 01's entry plug. He turned to Ranko.
"What's she doing piloting Unit 01?" Asked Shinji.
"Unit 01 is the most powerful of NERV's EVAs so it had to be kept manned. For some unknown reason it won't accept Rei anymore. Commander Ikari wanted an experienced pilot for it so Asuka got chosen."
Shinji took a look at Asuka. "She seems okay."
"Just follow her and watch."
Shinji began to follow her but then stopped. Noticing this, Ranko turned and asked. "What's wrong?"
"This is the girls locker room. I-I can't go in there."
"OHH... Be a man! She can't see you! Besides, you really need to see this," said Ranko as she push Shinji through the doorway.
When Shinji was in the room he looked at Asuka. For a while she did nothing but stand in the middle of the room. Then putting her hands to her face Asuka dropped and began to cry and sob uncontrollably. Shinji could only watch in shock.
"She'll deny those tears even as she's drying them. To her, to show emotion is to show weakness. Know this Shinji Ikari. She was in love with you."
Ranko pointed in the direction of the EVA cages. "That machine still stores your memories. Every time Asuka enters Unit 01 she sees those memories. It's slow torture for her to be constantly reminded of the boy she loved. The boy she loved and lost."
Shinji shook his head. "I don't understand. If she loved me then why did she..."
"Always kick you around?" Shinji nodded. "Because it was the only way for her to get to see the Shinji she loved."
"T-The Shinji she loved?"
"Yes, the other Shinji. The Shinji that yelled back. The Shinji that broke orders. The Shinji that was the best EVA pilot in NERV. The Shinji Ikari that jumped into a volcano to save her life. Shinji the man. Shinji the HERO! The hero you hide under that wimpy exterior."
Shinji could only look at Asuka dumfounded.
Making another ki ball Ranko said. "It's time to visit Toji."
Shinji looked around. They were in the cemetery now. He saw Hikari kneeling in front of a marker with tears in her eyes. "Hikari?" Shinji walked over and looked over her shoulder at the marker.
Shinji shook his head. "WHAT?... HOW?"
Ranko looked off. "Someone had to replace Asuka in Unit 02. That someone was Toji. He was killed in his first engagement. How you ask? Partly due to Ritsuko."
"You see. Ritsuko and Misato were a team. Ritsuko was the brains while Misato was the commanding force. When Misato resigned from NERV Ritsuko became temporary chief of operations. Ritsuko is a great scientist but not a battlefield commander. Her inability as a commander plus Toji's inexperience resulted in his death and the destruction of Unit 02. Ritsuko never got over that. She now drinks almost as heavily as Misato."
"Toji's dead," Shinji said quietly.
Ranko turned to him. "There's one more place we need to go to."
They were in another hospital room. Shinji looked down to see Kensuke in the bed. Both Kensuke's right arm and right leg were missing. His eyes were lifeless.
"H-How did this happen?" Asked Shinji.
"Kensuke was chosen to pilot Unit 03. As it turned out it was infected with what you call an angel..."
"Goddamn ange... (WHACK)" Ranko popped him outside the head. "HEY watch it buster! Some of my best friends are angels. What YOU call angels are NOT angels! Understand?" Shinji nodded.
"ANYWAY, Upon activation Unit 03 went berserk and started destroying everything in sight. It had already destroyed Unit 02, killing Toji, and seriously injured Rei when it ran into Asuka in Unit 01. During the ensuing battle Unit 01 went to berserker mode. It tore Unit 03 to pieces and crushed Kensuke's entry plug. Kensuke will probably never recover. He can't get over the fact that his Unit killed his best friend. What happened to Kensuke was just one more thing to add to Asuka's already heavy conscience. She'll probably snap any day now."
Shinji sat next to the bed shaking. "Send me back. I want to live."
"Are you sure?"
"YES! I WANNA LIVE!"
In an instant Shinji found himself back in his hospital room.
"Okay, what do I do?"
Ranko pointed to his body that was still on the bed. "All you have to do is get back in bed and wish to live."
Shinji started to head for the bed. "Thank you. I won't forget this."
Ranko shook her head. "I'm afraid you will forget. You won't remember any of this when you wake up."
"Um... That's okay. I don't won't to remember most of that anyway. At least I know the future can be brighter huh!?"
Ranko looked a little sheepish "Ah... Yeah." I better not tell him what will happen now. He might change his mind.
"Good-bye Shinji Ikari"
Shinji woke up to see Rei looking down at him. He remembered having a very vivid dream, but couldn't remember any details. Seeing that he was awake Rei spoke.
"You're awake. You may have the rest of this day off."
That said, Rei then got up to leave the room. She open the door just in time to catch Asuka listening in. Shinji couldn't help but snicker as Asuka made a hasty retreat. Flopping down on his bed, he brought his arm up to his face and sniffed.
"Still smells like blood."
Ranko teleported into a huge office. In the middle of this office was a desk surrounded by a large garden. At this desk sat a middle age looking man doing what appeared to be paperwork. Without looking up he spoke. "Well?"
"It's done Sir. He will live," Ranko said.
"Good. You didn't tell him what will happen now did you?"
"Of coarse not Sir. If I did he'd have probably changed his mind. May I speak Sir?" The man nodded without looking up.
"Did we really need to do this?"
"Yes, it was his destiny..."
"Yes, I know it's now Shinji's destiny to be the new Adam, as it is Asuka's to be the new Eve. What I'm talking about is Second Impact and the upcoming Third Impact. Was this change in the great plan really necessary?"
The man looked up from his work. "Yes Ranko it was. The problems were getting out of hand. Something had to be done."
"I know there are problems Sir. But do we need to nuke the whole planet to fix them?"
"Ranko you are still very young. I know there are many who don't agree with my decision, but trust me when I say it has to be done. Someday you may understand... You've done will, you may have the next two weeks off. Now go, I must return to my work. Good day Ranko."
"Good day Sir," said Ranko as she turned and teleported out of the office.
"Sometimes Ranko you just have to start all over." Kamisama sighed and returned to his work.
1)Please don't ask how Ranko became a goddess. Although I think she is.
2)I like to acknowledge Chris Angel for his fanfic "Asuka's Love" (A great fanfic I think) for giving me the ideas for Asuka's scene.
back to the Short Story Page.It's a Wonderful EVA Fic, 11 June 1998