Neon Genesis Evangelion Fan Fiction ❯ Chaos Element: Book One ❯ School Day ( Chapter 2 )

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Chaos Element: Book One
Chapter2: School Day
by Ranwolf( 
Disney/Buena Vista Studios own the concept of Gargoyles. Neon Genesis Evangelion and related characters are the property of Gainax Studios. They are used without the knowledge and/or consent of the rightful owners. The character of Kenshiro Maza is the property of the author.
Author's note: This story will in no way be canon. It will borrow elements from the original anime and manga, as well as the “Rebuild” movies. All of which are different from each other to begin with.
The lunch hour had finally arrived, to Toji's relief. He was hungry. He looked around and noticed the new guy, the gargoyle, sitting at his desk. He also noticed that a vast majority of the class was giving him a wide berth. Maza seemed unsure what to do. Wither to sit there and hope someone would approach him, or if he should go to one of them and try to strike up a conversation. From the looks of virtual terror he saw on his classmates faces he doubted either option was going to happen anytime soon. Yeah, he was kinda intimidating looking with the wings and tail. Being the tallest person in the school, including teachers, probably didn't help matters.
Don't these dumb-asses watch the news? he asked himself. Maza seemed like a nice enough guy during that press conference. He even got a laugh from the reporters from a wisecrack he made about all the security he had around him. Besides, Shinji vouched for him so that was all he really needed. Toji let out an annoyed sigh. “Looks like it's up to me.” He got up from his desk and walked over the gargoyle. Remembering Maza grew up in America, Toji stuck out his hand to Shiro. “Toji des,” he said as politely as he could manage.
Maza stared at him for a moment in surprise. Soon, a smile formed on his face. He got up from his seat and reached out, taking Toji by the forearm instead of the hand. “Kenshiro,” The gargoyle replied, a look of relief on his face. “Shiro, for short. It's nice to meet you, Toji.”
“Same here. Listen, don't let these guys get you down," he said, referring to the other students, some of whom he got the feeling were already stirring up rumors somehow. “They're like this with all the new people. It happened to me and Shinji. Probably to Ayanami, too. Not sure about Souryu though, she seemed to get popular real quick.”
“You know Shinji, Rei and Asuka?”
“Yeah, I'm friends with `em. Known Shinji for a couple of years.”
Just then, the door to their classroom opened and Asuka and Shinji entered. Toji noticed Ayanami in the hallway as well.
“Oh, great.” Asuka said. “Toji got to him first.”
“What's that suppose to mean?!?” Toji said angrily, a vein in his temple visibly swollen. “You tryin' to start somethin', already?”
“Yeah, I'm trying to keep Shiro's brainstem from withering to nothing. I can practically see his I.Q. dropping just from standing next to you.”
“Hey!” “Oi!” Gargoyle and Human teens said in unison.
The redhead simply smirked at them. She decided not to continue further. Toji was too easy to taunt, and she wasn't here to make fun of Shiro on his first day. She was determined to help Shiro out. It was the least she could do to repay the dept she had with his father for saving her life from those crazy cultists. Making fun of Shiro could wait until later.
Shinji sighed. “Gomen, Shiro-kun. We came to invite you to eat lunch with us.”
Shiro grinned. “Great, I was getting hungry and I have no idea where the cafeteria is.”
He followed the others out of the room stopping in front of Rei. Toji noticed a brief look they gave each other but decided to bite his tongue. He doubted anything was going on, if there was, it wasn't any of his business. He had known Ayanami for a few years… correction he had known of her existence for a few years. It wasn't until sometime after Shinji and Asuka arrived in Tokyo-03 that they even said a word to each other. The fact she seemed to be showing any kind of interest in someone was actually a marked improvement.
“You two comin'?” he asked. It was all he could do to keep from laughing from their reaction.  
The group managed to find a large enough table to accommodate the group. They were soon joined by two others, Hikari Horaki and Kensuke Aida. Hikari, a short girl with freckles and wore her hair in pig-tails seemed to flush whenever she looked at Shiro. He had noticed, but said nothing of it, figuring it was nervousness from being around him. Kensuke, was another story altogether.
The young man had light brown hair and wore glasses. He also had his face virtually glued to a camcorder Shiro was told he carried with him all the time.
“You know there's a whole bunch of conspiracy theories about you online, Maza-kun.” Kensuke was walking around filming everyone, but his focus was on the gargoyle at the moment.
“Yeah? Like what?” Shiro asked as he struggled to control his chopstick. He let out an aggravated snarl when his ramen plopped back into the plastic bowl for the third time. “How can anyone eat with these? Where are the forks?”
Rei gave him a sympathetic smile and helped him, placing his fingers in the proper position. After a few tentative attempts he finally got a grip on a decent amount of noodles. “Thanks Rei.”
“It was nothing,” she replied.
“Well,” Kensuke began, “My personal favorite is that you're a prototype super-soldier, genetically engineered to take over piloting the Evas so `real' humans won't be put in danger of fighting the angels.”
“And you believe that shit?” Toji asked him. He winced at the glare Hikari gave him. Apparently, she had spent years trying to curb his language while at school with only a modicum of success.
“Like I said, it's just a theory.” He finally put down his camera and placed it in a small bag he carried around his shoulder. He sat down and opened his container of ramen and began to eat.
“Nice being compared to Captain America.” Shiro said, half joking. He wasn't surprised to see Asuka was the only one to get it. “Comic book character from the states,” he explained.
The group of friends continued their conversation, straying from one topic to another. There were times Shiro had little to no idea what any of them were talking about. At times he was fortunate enough to have his mouth full when asked his opinion on something, but he was getting dangerously low on noodles.
Unfortunately, that was when fate decided to grant him the first of two favors.
“Hey freak!” Someone called out. “Go back home.”
There was a near universal gasp from everyone remaining in the lunch area. All eyes suddenly turned on him. He could feel them. He knew they were wondering what he would do. How would he respond? With anger? With a snide comment? Or with a joke?
Shiro decided to do nothing. He frowned to himself. He rose from his seat and was about to head back to his classroom when he felt a familiar, soft hand touch his arm.
“Shiro-kun…” Rei said softly.
“Its okay, Rei.” He turned to the others. “I'll see you guys later.” As he headed towards the door, a laugh from the commenter rang out. Shiro visibly stiffened.
Asuka, angered, rose up and slammed her fist onto the table. “What the hell's wrong with you idiots!”
“Leave it alone, Asuka.” Shiro said, turning his head slightly to her. This surprised Asuka a little; Shiro had never referred to her by her name, usually calling her `Red' or by her family name. “They're not worth the trouble.” With that, he left the room. The others stood there, saddened by the turn of events. The treatment of their new friend shamed them all. Some may wonder if the human race was worth saving.
When he returned to his classroom, Toji found Shiro at his desk. The young Gargoyle had his computer on apparently working on one of the home assignments early. “Yo, Shiro-kun. You okay?”
Shiro looked up from the screen. “Yeah. Why wouldn't I be?”
Toji blinked in surprise by the answer. “'Cause of what that ass said that's why.” He pulled a seat from a nearby desk and sat down.
Shiro sighed slightly. “Listen Toji. Believe me when I say I've heard worse, by people who could actually hurt me. Some dickhead isn't gonna bother me.”
Toji gave him a doubtful look. If that were the case, Shiro would have stayed at the table with the others. Instead, he was in class getting a head start on his homework. Toji was about to call Shiro's obvious bluff when the bell signaling the end of lunch rang out. A moment later his classmates began to file in. He replaced the chair and went to his own desk. He made a mental note to talk to Shinji and Asuka about this. 
Commander Ikari stood before the massive tank of LCL that filled the majority of the little known genetics lab deep within Central Dogma. The amber colored liquid glowed with a surreal light of its own as barely visible figures floated lifelessly within. The sound of purifiers rumbled almost noiselessly in the distance and the copper smell of the LCL filled his nose. He turned away from the tank and walked over to Dr.Akagi as she entered commands into a terminal on the far wall.
“Has there been any change?” he asked as she looked up from her work.
“Some improvement” Ritsuko replied. “It's slow going considering how badly contaminated that last batch of LCL was. Honestly, I'm shocked we managed to save any of them.” She looked over her shoulder at the tank and barely managed to suppress a shiver at the memory of the decaying, bloated forms that filled the tank two months ago. The stench had made her gag. Like dozens of bad eggs had broken open and smeared all over the room.
“The replacements are growing fine but it'll take time to reach capacity.”
Ikari made a grunt of acknowledgment. “Work faster. Use whatever resources you need. I feel the Angels will return soon.”
He approached the tank again. He placed a hand on the wall of the massive container. One of the small floating bodies seemed to sense his presence and opened its large crimson eyes, staring coolly at him. After a moment, it closed its eyes again and drifted on oblivious to the outside world.
He lowered his hand and walked away, leaving Ritsuko alone in the nursery. 
 Toji looked up at the clock on the wall and sighed to himself. It was almost an hour before school was over for the day. He couldn't wait, he wanted to get out of there and visit his sister in the hospital. Miyuki had gotten sick recently and ended up being admitted. She had gone through a battery of tests and her results would be coming in today. He wanted to be with her.
He let out a soft grunt as he dragged his mind to the present; Sagawa-sensei seemed to have a knack for knowing when someone wasn't paying attention. He has seen and been on the receiving end of the frightening accuracy of his chalkboard eraser.
“Suzuhara-kun, would you please read the three quotes on page two-thirty-seven.”
Shit. He thought.
He stood up reluctantly, and held his English text book up to his face. He found the quote the teacher had been talking about and was a little surprised. He looked up at Sagawa-sensei and saw the teacher nod. Toji grinned internally realizing what the teacher was trying to do. “All men are created equal, it is only men themselves who place themselves above equality. David Allen Coe.”
Toji's reading was interrupted by the sudden sound of squealing tires and a drawn out crash. “What in the world…?” Sagawa-sensei began.
“No way!” A girl near the window cried out. The outburst seemed to trigger an instinct in the students as they all rushed to the window to see what was the matter. In the streets, out past the school gates, a green two door sedan was seen overturned, the front left section of the car was crushed and the roof of the car was partially collapsed. The smell of smoke and gasoline could just barely be smelled through the closed windows. Like many of the students, Toji was stunned by what he saw.
“Move!” He heard Shiro say loudly. He looked to his friend and was confused when he saw him holding up a chair. Then he remembered the windows were built to only open a few inches for some reason. “Move, God-dammit!” Toji wasn't the only one to realize the young gargoyles plan. The students scattered as the wood and metal chair crashed through the window.
“Are you out of your mind!?” Sagawa-sensei yelled, shocked by Shiro's actions.
“Call an ambulance,” he replied. He picked up another chair and used it to knock out the remaining jagged pieces of glass. He dropped the chair, and climbed through the windows.  He stood on the ledge just long enough to unfurl his wings. He jumped, dopping several feet before his wings caught the air and lifted him up. “Call an ambulance,” he cried out again, as he glided over the trees and landing quickly on the street, running the rest of the way to the car.
“Sugoi…” the girl next to Toji whispered, awed at the sight.
“You got a cell?” Toji asked.
“A-re? Uhm, hai.” She looked confused for a moment, before it dawned on her. “Oh! Right!” She got her cellphone from her schoolbag and began punching numbers. Toji saw that a number of the other students had also retrieved their cellphones. He felt a slight sense of disgust when he saw that a majority were filming Shiro instead of calling for help.
Toji rolled his eyes, before heading to the door.
“Where are you going, Suzuhara!?,” The teacher said, his face looked pale.
Toji made a face. He considered ignoring the teacher but thought better of it. “I'm going to help my friend.” He opened the door and ran. 
Shiro landed harder than he intended, his legs nearly buckling under the force. He ran to the car, skidding to a stop when he reached the door.
“Are you alright?” he asked, ducking down to see what he could do.
 Inside the mangled car, he saw a woman unconscious, hanging upside-down, the driver side airbag hanging limply from the steering wheel.
“Shit,” he said to himself.
He gripped the door as best he could and began to pull. The metal groaned in protest, but held. He continued pulling, bracing his foot against the car for extra leverage. The door groaned louder. “C'mon! Open!” Shiro grunted under the strain. He heard someone run up beside him, but ignored them. Focusing everything he had on the car door, he pull harder, a growl of effort escaped his throat as he felt the door slowly starting to give.
With a final roar of effort, the door moaned in defeat as metal rent and the hinges snapped. Shiro threw the door to the side. He shook his hands in pain.
“Whoa! Shiro, your eyes are glowing!” Toji said, alarmed.
“Huh?” Shiro blinked a few times and his eye-lights extinguished. “Sorry.” He ducked down again and reached into the car. “Help me with her, will ya?”
“Right.” Moving besides Shiro, Toji climbed in and undid the seatbelt latch as Shiro supported the woman by her shoulders. He scrambled out of the way as Shiro carefully pulled the woman clear of the car. Toji grabbing her legs and the two boys carried her away from the car. They set her down on the sidewalk besides the school's gate. Shiro felt her throat for a pulse. After a few moments of adjusting his finger tips against the woman's neck he finally found one.
“You know first aid?” Toji asked, sounding impressed.
“Nuh-uh,” Shiro shook his head. “You?”
Toji shook his head. Sudden panic threatened. What if the woman was really hurt? What could either of them do? He had seen CPR done on television, but he knew if not done correctly it could make things worse. “Crap.”
“I know first aid,” they heard someone say above them. The two teens looked up to see Rei climbing down their side of the main gate. She dropped down the last three feet and made her way to them. The pale girl knelt down besides Shiro and began to examine the woman.
As Rei checked on the woman, Shiro could hear the distant siren of an ambulance approaching.
“She will be fine,” Rei proclaimed. “Only minor cuts and bruises. I do not believe she has a concussion.”
“Thank the gods,” Shiro let out a sigh of relief.
A few minutes later, the woman, who had gained consciousness as the para-medics were checking her over, was being placed in the ambulance by a pair of med-techs that looked vaguely familiar to Shiro. The thought nagged at him, but he quickly dismissed it as irrelevant. Before the doors of the ambulance closed, the woman had looked at Shiro and Toji and smiled, thanking them.
Shiro, Toji and Rei spent the rest of the afternoon speaking with the police about the crash.  
Ritsuko entered the commander's office and strode to his desk. Ikari looked up from the reports about the construction of Units-Three and Four. They had fallen behind schedule.
“What is it?” Ikari said, blandly.
Ritsuko smiled slightly at her superior. “Your plan seems to have worked, Commander. Maza-kun is being hailed a hero by the media at the moment. So are Rei and one of their classmates, a Suzuhara Toji.”
“Rei?” The Commander was taken aback by this revelation. “She was there?”
Ritsuko nodded. “Not through all of it. But she did assist.”
“Souka.” Ikari put on a pensive look as he processed the possible implications.
“If you don't mind me asking, why go through this charade? Surely, there must have been easier ways to boost Maza-kun's image.”
Ikari was silent for a short time before answering. “Easier perhaps, but not as swift. For nearly three years NERV have told the general public that the angels are an alien race bent on the destruction of mankind for whatever reason. Then recently, we tell them this young man who, by many cultural accounts, has the appearance of a demon, is here to assist us. I knew the xenophobic tendency of man would never allow him to live in peace. No matter how good Maza's intentions are, humanity would never trust him, and by extension, NERV since we are, in essence, his guardians.”
“So, to win the hearts and minds of the public, you employed a sort of shock and awe. Very clever. The only downside is, the school's principle is rather upset Maza-kun threw a chair through a window.”
She noticed a hint of a smile on Ikari's face. For some reason he found it humorous. “People tend to embrace a hero who acts, rather than someone who says they wish to be friends.”
Ritsuko looked pensive for a moment. “This may not last forever. What will you do if the public begins to get hostile again? Set a building on fire and hope Maza-kun is nearby?”
“If that's what it takes.” Ikari returned to his reports. It was his way of closing the matter.
Ritsuko was taken aback. She had meant the question as a joke. As she thought on it, deep down she knew the commander meant every word.