Neon Genesis Evangelion Fan Fiction ❯ The Second Child / Promises To Keep ❯ Anomie, The Fall/ Rage Against the Dying of the Light ( Chapter 3 )

[ P - Pre-Teen ]

Neo Genesis Evangelion: Apocrypha
The Second Child - Promises To Keep

Part 3 - Anomie, The Fall/ Rage Against the Dying of the Light

(continued from Part II)

A voice in the void. Rei Ayanami speaks.

"This the climax of the new Akedah. In an age long ago forgotten,
Abraham sacrificed his only son Isaac for the God of the Hebrews.
In the Age of Evangelion, the evolution of humanity would be
heralded by the sacrifice of the only child of Yui Ikari and the
only child of Kyoko Langley, and completed through the sacrifice by
Lillith of her own children, in expiation for the sins of the

"What Lorenz did not consider in his schemes was the love of the
mothers Yui and Kyoko for their children, even in death. And the
recorded fact that Yahweh did not let Isaac die."

A voice in the void. Yui Ikari speaks.

"It was on the edge of the abyss that Kyoko was able to help her
daughter rebirth her Self. It was within that abyss that Rei - who
was mother, self, and daughter to me - tried to do the same for
my son. And offer him the hope of a second chance with
Kyoko's daughter."

"He was the son of humanity's striving for its self. Faced with the
choice of growing up, or retrogressing to the cosmic womb. Between
pain and desire on one hand, and submission and a kind of
death on the other."

"To understand why the center of his collapsing universe shifted
from his father to the Second Child, it is necessary to remember that
he was, in fact, no longer a child, yet not yet a man."

"His alienation from his father had destroyed his sense of Self, yet
he was at the age where his desire for the Other was manifesting itself.
It was this desire that Asuka had unleashed, and matched with her own
flowering. For Shinji, Asuka was the personification of the Other,
someone he both desired and feared from a most primal level. Yet it is
said that the cosmos demands balance, between man and woman, yin
and yang, fire and ice, Self and Other. Without a sense of Self, Shinji
was in no position to offer the Other his love, nor to accept love in
return; only a tragic meeting of phantom selves would have ensued.
SEELE's forced Instrumentality, this violent imposition of will,
would have made easy union with her possible with the cessation of
Self and Other, but he knew deep inside that he would have lost her,
and himself, this way. In order to survive, he had to be willing to accept
his Self. Only then would he be able to start to reach out for the Other,
and by extension reach out for the world. "

"The Third Impact made it necessary for Shinji and Asuka to understand
something of the nature of love, in a considerably compressed amount of
time. I was not sure they could possibly survive the trauma."

The voice fades, unheard, back into the void.


The Second Child walks cautiously through the red fog,
lost and bewildered.

"Shinji? ... Rei?" she calls out. "... Mrs. Ikari... What...
What did you mean, we don't have much time?" she whispers.
She strains her ears, pauses, wondering if she's hearing the
wind or an echo of his voice calling out. Hoping to hear the

Instead she hears Rei's whimper.

The Second Child stares down, in wide-eyed shock, at the figure
crouched down in front of her. Rei in her plugsuit, one hand and
one arm wrapped in bandages, groaning in pain, forlorn eyes blinking
away tears at the edges. Asuka reaches out to her uncertainly,
kneels on one knee, hesitantly wraps one arm around her fellow

"No. We don't have time. What's done is done...
Now we wait," murmurs the First Child, as she lays her head onto
Asuka's arm.

The Second Child stares down at her, eyes flashing in
tired irritation for a brief second, before she hangs her head
down and whispers back.

"You are full of surprises, Rei."

"It's calm here, Asuka. This place is a crossroad. It's sometimes
at great personal cost that we come to places like this. If only
for a moment."

"Rei... Why are we waiting here? He should be here... Is he still
fighting the Eva series? I... I don't know, but I think I can still
sense him screaming..."

"I couldn't save his father, and I couldn't save him. This... this
is why I cry... The Instrumentality process has already begun."

"... We lost, didn't we?"


"No... that's crazy... why? I want to know why..."

"He's losing the will to fight it. An insane child
cannot save the world."

"I have to help him..."

"It wasn't your fault, Asuka. You were SEELE's blood sacrifice,
as Ikari's anointed precursor. It couldn't be helped. It's all
in Ikari's hands now."

"I want to know what happened to him."

"You don't have to know. You've been through so much already.
You don't have to relive the pain, seeing him go through it
too. We can just wait."

"Rei. I want to know. Please."

The First Child turns to look up at her fellow pilot's eyes. Her
image reflected in determined blue eyes rimmed with accumulating
tears. The eyes of the First Child blink.

Rei takes Asuka's arm off her shoulder and slowly stands. She
scowls, and hesitates, as if deliberating something. A measure
of purpose returning to her own eyes.

Kyoko's voice rings out from the void, startling Asuka.

"... She's strong enough now. Do it, Yui!"

Suddenly with a grunt and a swing of her good arm, Rei hits the
misty air beside her, where a train window used to be.

Sounds of a glass barrier breaking, wind blowing. Rei
turns back to look, blue hair windblown, scarlet eyes pleading,
at the Second Child.

Blinding light.

"As you wish. Listen to him, Asuka..."

Silence. Abrupt darkness. A faint hint of an introspective cello tune
is playing, almost imperceptibly, in the far distant background,
until it shies away, and fades, followed closely by Rei's
trailing voice.

"Listen to him..."


Asuka is back in the kitchen of Misato's apartment. Their home.
She spots Penpen huddling confused in a corner. As she stands by
the door, she sees herself, or rather, a replica of herself,
cradling Kaji's arm. But the image of Kaji fades away, and the
image of Asuka stares out into nothing, her eyes hollow, and she
sits down on a chair, her arms slumped on the table.

("Who... Who is this, Rei?")

("This is you as you exist in the Third Child's mind.")

("You mean he's imagining this?")


"But I like Asuka..."


Shinji comes rushing, frantic and frightened, into the room.

"I want to help you, Asuka, and be with you forever."

("...What? I... I...") She feels her knees shaking, heart rapidly
pulsating, blood draining.

"Then don't come near me. All you ever do is hurt me."

She is startled at hearing her own voice, sharp... and cold.
She tries to move, but cannot.

("But, but that's not me! Wait!")

"Asuka, help me! You're the only one who can! Asuka!"

"Liar! To you, anybody will do. You're afraid of Katsuragi and
Ayanami. You're afraid of your father and mother. So you're only
using me to escape. You can't be happy this way."

("Wait, shut up! Why do you have to be like this!?")

"Please, help me!"

"You never think of other people! You only think of your own
existence! You only think of yourself! You're pathetic!"


"Asuka... who... who can save me? Please help me... please help
me... me... please help me! Don't ignore me! Don't ignore me!
Don't kill me!"


("That's not me!")

Unseen, she witnesses the entire scene, with the mirage-Asuka pushing
the Third Child relentlessly away, and Shinji falling on the floor.
Asuka screams at him to fight back, but when he lunges in manic
rage for the mirage-Asuka and strangles it, she recoils in shock. She
angrily reaches out to stop him, but stops, in the blink of an eye,
when she abruptly realizes he is strangling... a limp
red-haired doll.

She hears his thoughts, his mind finally breaking, his
sanity unraveling, his self disintegrating, eyes hollow and vacant,
unaware of the consequences of his surrender.

She can feel him falling as she shrieks out to him.

("That's... no! Shinji! Don't go there!")

She staggers back, bent over, covering her ears, yelling above the
Third Child's hysterical thoughts in her head, her voice
desperately trying to get through to him.

"Betrayed! You betrayed my feelings..."

("No! That's not me!")

She feels herself briefly back in her entry plug. Explosions
reverberate around her Eva as depth charges shower down on the
lake bottom, drowning out her pleas.

"Nobody wants me, I should just disappear... so everyone
just go..."

"Wimp! I would never want to be with you! I hate you!
I hate you!"

("That's not me! Listen to me! Look at me!")

"But I like Asuka..."

"But if I were to be with you, I would rather die!"

("That's not me! Come back! Come back!")

"Everyone, just go..."



An image assaults her mind; Lillith-Rei sadly cups the black moon
in her hands, as pinpricks of light shoot up from all over a red
planet. A terrible realization dawns on her.

("Mein Gott! Shinji, what are you doing... you infinitely stupid
moron... stop it...")

Lillith turns to her, her face emotionless but speaking in
Ayanami's voice, dripping with regret.

"I am truly sorry, child..."


The Apocalypse.


And it is over.

She is alone. Crying in the void. Catching her breath. Thoughts in
disarray, disbelief. Fists clenched in confused frustration.

"Stupid... How... He would end the world because of this?"

Rei speaks, a voice in the void. "If he continues to lose his mind,
yes. We will know shortly... He is like his father, in a way."

"He's not his father!"

"And you're not your mother."

"... I'm not... Momma..."

In the dark, she senses someone take a sharp nervous intake of
breath just inches in front of her face. Rustling sounds of someone
rushing to move away from her, footsteps moving around her,
followed by a soft muffled thud behind her. She wakes up, lying
on a futon, in their room in Misato's apartment, on the night
before the battle with Israfel. She half-opens her eyes and
turns around, espies Shinji lying on the floor away from the futon,
hidden under his blankets. She wipes the wetness from her eyes,
and watches him fall asleep. She touches her fingers to her lips.
She lays still, watching him... as the night grows longer...

She doesn't know how long she's been staring.

"... Rei?"

"Yes. I'm here."

"Is... is it all true, what she said about him, about his feelings,
in the kitchen?"

"About as true as what he said to you in the train."

"It all came down to nothing then, all we did was let each
other down."

"But what he said to you in the kitchen, that was also real. What
you wanted to ask him, back in the train, and even what you
said to yourself about him, was also real."

"So which ones among all our selves are real?"

"All of them are, it really depends on you."

"But neither of us was listening. We didn't have to be as bad
as what we believed we were..."

"You see it now. The secret to the Eva was in harnessing the
power of your heart to touch it. Neither you nor the Third Child
could endure when you thought your hearts barren. Your hearts
did not have to be so desolate."

"So this is the end, is it? We lose to them, we lose the will to
fight them, because of our inner weaknesses... what fabulous,
pathetic Eva pilots we turned out to be ... But why tell
me all this, when it's all over, what's the use now?"

"So you can understand why this all happened. The Third Child wants
to feel accepted. He most needs to be accepted by she who is also
the one he fears the most, and the one who rejects him most
vehemently. So he rejects himself in turn, so he's lost the ability
to exist and the will to live."

"I didn't know. But... no... I couldn't risk it... they would all just
turn crazy on me, or die on me... they would all just hurt me!"

"You simply assumed what others thought."

"I don't even know what my real feelings are..."

"Again, it's always been up to you."

"But I don't know if I can forgive him... or if I can even forgive
myself, for that matter..."

"You were given a human heart and hands so you can change
that which you can change."

"But I can't change the past... and if I could change the past,
knowing what I know now, it wouldn't be real..."

"I know. We can only go forward."

A ghostly figure of Rei appears over Shinji. The boy and the room
slowly disappear from sight. Asuka sits up, wiping away the wetness
from her eyes.

"But... what happens now?"

"If this Instrumentality succeeds, humanity will be one Collective.
There will be no individuals, no barriers, no rejection."

"Is this what we want?"

"There will be no Other to know what one wants, therefore there
will be no wants, and no hurts. Isn't this your heart's desire?"

"But is that still living? Not if it means losing our freedom,
our consciousness, our free will... It's a coward's way out! Is this
what you want, Rei?"

"... I can't decide for him... before returning to Lillith, I
learned from him that I didn't want to be a doll. I don't wish
it on anyone; existence is such a precious thing ..."

"He has to bring everyone back!"

The First Child turns, fades and disappears, leaving behind a sad

"It is not too late yet for the Third Child. We wait. But time is
running out, even for him."

"Shinji...? Wait, Rei, what do you mean!? Rei!"

The Second Child runs. Slides open what was once the door to their
room. Rushes through a dimly lit doorway. Fear and premonition
rising like bile in her throat. And abruptly she stops,
horror-stricken, in front of an insubstantial shadow, a silhouette
of what could be a woman... or a doll... or a certain young man.
Hanging limply by the neck, from a rope tied to the ceiling.
She hears herself release an outraged shriek, dissolving into
a wail.

"No!! Not you, too..."

She is engulfed in darkness. There is complete silence, save for
a quivering, sobbing voice whispering into the void left in her

"... you moron! I didn't leave you! I didn't leave you!"


"... I did care for you..."


"... Everyone leaves me..."

It is twilight under a blood-red sky. She stands in the middle of a
barren, muddy field littered with graveposts. Heartbeat racing, she
runs from grave to grave, and scans the names on the nearest
graveposts. Her heart falls with each name. Ritsuko. Maya. Makoto.
Shigeru. Gendo. Fuyutsuki. Hikari. Touji. Aida. Kaji. Misato. Her
hands tremble at the next two graveposts. Shinji. She is crying. She
turns to the gravepost next to Shinji's. Asuka. She almost
loses control. She kicks down her gravepost, and faces Shinji's.
Shivering, tears stinging her eyes, she staggers to her knees in
front of it, fighting desperately to keep from wailing, and failing.

"Stupid Shinji, how can I ever forgive you for this!?"

She stares up at the luminous white grains congregating in the red
night sky. Fists clench. Tears streaming down her cheeks, she
glares at the heavens, daring them to fall down on her.

"We didn't have to end like this..."

Lights like an Eva's eyes seem to her to shimmer in the red sky.

A memory moves in her mind, and she grabs it, holds on desperately
to it. The memory of her fall into the abyss after her battle with
Sandalphon. The memory of a reckless, insubordinate purple Eva
rushing down through red-hot magma to grab her broken cable,
risking painful death to rescue her. The memory of a smile and a
soft whisper shared in private between two young pilots. Rivals.
Comrades. Friends... Partners.

"But I'm not giving up on you, Shinji... I'm not giving up
on you..."

It is a soft whisper, but her grief-stricken challenge
reverberates through the heavens.

"Please come back to me..."


(To be continued...)

Writer's Notes:
The train station scene in Part 2, where Asuka sees Shinji and Rei talking,
is partly a flashback to one of the "Director's Cut" scenes added to the
Japanese home video release of Episode 22.
The "fog scene" that starts Part 3, after Yui's monologue, is adapted from
the "fog scene" in one of the last TV episodes, in which a lost Shinji calls
out for his friends.
The reference to the Akedah was inspired by the reference in the TV series
to Soren Kierkegaard's work "Sickness Unto Death". The Akedah is discussed
in his work "Fear and Trembling".
The graveyard scene during Instrumentality in Part 3 is adapted from one
of the rumored alternate endings to the EoE movie, in which Asuka kicks
down her gravepost.
Dialogue from End of Evangelion was taken from various fansubs and script
translations posted on the Internet.
"Rage Against the Dying of the Light" is the title of a poem on
death by Dylan Thomas.