Beginnings/Full Circle

It is early in the evening. Rei is chopping some cabbage and carrots for 
the evening meal. The kids are in the back, playing. She has her lips in 
what for her is a smile. Her eyes have softened considerably over the 
last few years...

After a few minutes of work, Rei stops preparing the meal. For a few 
seconds, Rei is very still. She reaches under the apron she's wearing, 
and restarts the tape. The player is old and not fancy, but Rei enjoys 
listening to it.She feels more at harmony with the world when she 
listens to it...

Today is an important day, and most of the world is celebrating. Rei 
could hear a lot of the celebrations from the apartment, since everyone 
had finally moved back once they rebuilt Tokyo-3. Despite this world 
party, a few select others are working things as best they can today, 
the ones who lost. Of course, the event seemed to many others to not 
affect Rei at all. Narrowing her eyes, Rei knows that Shinji would have 
understood her better. 

Rei had to stop working on dinner, and think about this. Every year, she 
had been this way at only two times of the year... From the second year 
on, Rei's life consisted of caring for the children, tending the bar she 
owned, or playing her cello at recitals locally. Many of the locals, 
though civil, considered Rei quite odd, and not very good at showing 
emotions as well. Rei, of course, knew better. So did her friends. She 
still talked with Asuka occasionally, but had a tough time building a 
relationship with Asuka, because of the situation. Rei didn't think her 
and Asuka could ever be close friends, though she still had hope for the 
both of them to stand together as friends, someday. Asuka had a hard 
time dealing with the reality of the joining of her and Shinji. Rei 
could still remember...

--- Flashback ---

"I remain. Why do I still live?" she said, eyes closed. She was in the 
center of a sphere of primal energy. Despite the activity around her, 
Rei's mind was wandering. She thought the question was to herself. She 
did not expect an answer.

Rei wasn't sure what to think. The mind that was with her was as alien 
to her as she was to most people.

"This is a reason?" she said, in a voice like a whisper.

 the other voice stated.

"Why?" Rei responded in a voice that was, incredibly, even quieter than 

The mental voice was silent for a few moments, an eternity, whatever. 
Rei could not tell, regardless. That mind-voice came back; though 
silent, Rei could feel the voice sitting quietly in the back of her 
mind. No, she felt like she could almost, She did recognize the 
music that she enjoyed so much. She was sensing another mind coming to 
join her and the other. A mind she recognized, and welcomed.


The young boy's visage showed no signs of the struggle from hours, from 
ages before. He looked at Rei, concern and sadness in his eyes. He 
didn't try to touch her. Rei was, still, comforted by the presence 

"Rei, why are you sad?"

"I am sad because it is right to be sad..." Rei's voice cracked a bit, 
but she held back the tears, ... barely.

"But Rei, don't you realize that when you smile, I am happy too? I wish 
I could stay, but I couldn't live with the cost. My heart is at ease, 
Rei. It is a beginning, Rei, not an end. I want you to smile for me, 

Rei recognized the irony of the request, that she was wanted, that there 
was something to exist for. Rei could barely voice her hidden desire, 
but she had to say something.

"Shinji..." Rei's voice was almost inaudible. "I wanted to be a 
companion to you... to unite body and soul with you. I wasn't sure what 
to say or how to say it... I would leave with you, now-"

"Rei! Stop it!" Shinji said, his scorn burning deep within him. Knowing 
that Rei would take his anger literally, he calmly explained. "Damn it, 
Rei, I chose this ending, and it is a good and fair ending. Don't reject 
the gift... don't reject my gift..."

The voice of the other spoke again. 

"Rei, you have to think about it. I have to pay a price, but I don't 
regret a moment of our friendship. Both of us could have said what we 
felt, but neither of us knew how. You have to think about the times that 
we gave each other, Rei. Those times make it worth everything...

At this point, Rei looks over to Shinji. Though she feels sadness, which 
is pain, she begins to think carefully about the two of them. She thinks 
on the many times that Shinji had given pleasure and hope to her:

When he fought for her, though she did not yet understand at that 

When he had saved the second child, though she was not as happy about 

When he had asked her to smile. 'Can my heart be this closed?' thought 

Those times when they had sit together at school, quietly. She knew he 
was as comfortable with her as she was with him...

Rei, though still hurting, began to smile as she considered these 
things. Only the one she would give her soul and life for knew this. It 
was as she would have wished. This made her happy, though with almost 
unbearable pain.

Shinji was beginning to glow, and the parts of him seemed to flow and 
split. It was as if she looked at a Shinji painted with flowing bits of 
light. He smiled, as well, a larger and more friendly smile.

"Rei, I cannot stay longer. I have destroyed everything and everyone I 
love. I have taken their lives and yours, Rei-chan. I must give my gift 
to all of you. Please talk to Ritsuko and Misato. You will have a lot to 
talk about." While Shinji's smile was wide and genuinely happy, one 
could almost see the irony in his grin, as well as a hint of perversity. 
His form began to split and scatter around Rei.

"Shinji! Wait!" yelled Rei.

Rei could again hear Shinji's voice. "Rei, you gave me hope. I give you 
peace and life. Remember, I love you, and Asuka and Misato too, though 
not quite in the same way. Be there for her, she will be your friend 
too." Rei felt the lightest pressure on her shoulders, almost a gentle 
squeeze. "Remember to talk to Ritsuko and Misato. They will help you."

The essence of Shinji surrounding Rei had been glowing brighter by the 
moment. The essence glowed like minuature stars in a sky of fire and 
blood. Rei could feel the love penetrate her soul. Rei cried out in 
ecstasy, then passed out.


...For the End of Mankind, it seemed pretty crowded, and a bit 
embarrassing too. While a few had gone, noone knew why, for the most 
part a lot of naked people came out of a lot of places.

Between Toji and Hikari, both were as red as could be, as they had 
awakened right next to each other, hugging fiercely when they both 
realized that the rest wasn't a dream, either...

Yui and Gendo just laid there and stared up at the stars, both sad, both 

Asuka, whole again, sat and cried, her mother holding her and stroking 
her hair...

Kensuke was well hidden, and mad because he didn't have his camera to 
record Asuka and mom. He would nurse that slap for about a week, as it 

Ritsuko and Maya came to in a comfortable embrace, and stayed that way 
for a while...

Misato and Kaji were, ehemm, well... Misato and Kaji! [Leave it! This is 
not a lemon!]...

Rei woke up alone, but not lonely. She knew Shinji was still there, 
though it didn't hurt any less. She smiled...

[At this point, the real death toll of Third Impact took place, as fully 
one-half of the NERV security force, seeing genuine emotion in Rei, 
found themselves in cardiac arrest. The other half then wondered if the 
others had ever existed... creating a new dimension where they never 
existed... never should have read about quantum physics anyway hehe...]

Lilith had broken to pieces in the aftermath of Third Impact. The first 
thing that happened was a massive cleanup to clear all of the rubble and 
body parts. After the cleanup, Rei went and talked to Ritsuko, as she 
had to be there for a physical anyway. As they talked about it, Ritsuko 
checked off elements on the chart, ... then she turned an odd grey color 
and froze in place for a minute, possessed by shock. It took Yui, 3 top 
bio-engineers, 7 biologists, and MAGI 12 days to convince Ritsuko that 
Rei, was, REALLY, pregnant. Twins, they would find out later... one with 
red, and one with black eyes...

---End Flashback---

It was about two hours later. Rei was in a chair, laying back and 
thinking, the children safe in bed. Rei liked to look back, even if the 
pain was there, for she knew what gave her and Shinji pleasure...the 
daughters were now 5, and though they were both a handful, Rei payed 
close attention to the lessons of Misato and Ritsuko. Her children were 
healthy and happy, and never lacked attention, though others sometimes 
couldn't seem to tell...

Rei heard the voice and then stretched. She knew someone else was here, 
as always...

"Rei, you're beautiful."

"I have not learned to live without you,"Rei said, though there was a 
happiness and determination in her voice; she would make due, and 
fulfill her promise.

Shinji smiled. "We are always together, Rei. If we could betogether, I 
would give almost anything. Besides, who would care for the children?" 
Rei could see the smile in Shinji's eyes, as she wasn't looking anywhere 
else at that moment, though Shinji was smiling as well.

Rei agreed. "That is true... They give us pleasure, and that is a good 

Shinji smiled. "Now you understand what I meant before, unlike that 
first year. I nearly lost you, and you nearly lost yourself about this 
time that year. I couldn't bear the thought of losing you..."

Rei disliked this memory, because she had been so close to destroying 
herself and Shinji. She had not been doing well that year anyway. She 
was still living in her empty apartment at that time, and she had felt 
after the initial rush of hope, ultimately just as empty. Neither she 
nor Asuka were needed anymore, as the souls were no longer bound to the 
evas, and the evas no longer functioned because of that. A few weeks 
before the anniversary, Misato gave Rei all of Shinji's things, since 
neither she nor Asuka could deal with the memories without crying. They 
did not realize that Rei's thoughts and moods were far darker. She would 
sit with the lights off in the dark for days at a time, despair filling 
her soul. Rei hadn't been good at coping with life, anyway. Rei always 
kept her own counsel... not even Yui suspected what would soon happen... 

On the anniversary of Shinji's 'disappearance', Rei did things a little 
different than normal. Just a little different... 

For one, she was very relaxed, almost euphoric.

That day, she had taken a bath, another change in the situation. Some of 
the preparations were a little unusual, but as NERV didn't really exist 
at this point, and there were only a few security agents, noone realized 
what was happening. Rei was thinking the whole situation out very calmly 
and rationally... 

She thought about her desire for Shinji, and the last few moments when 
Shinji was stripped from her. Rei had come to think their separation was 
for eternity...

She thought about her lack of companions except for the children, and 
that companionship that the children shared, that companionship that she 
would lack forever on.

She smelled the salt of bitter tears, and the smell of LCL.

She knew the bitter taste of the relaxants, and of the blood. She truly 
knew her loneliness, and could feel the slow draining of life from her 
soul and body.

As she slowly passed out from loss of blood and the drugs, she realized 
just how much this felt like the times when she was piloting eva. Her 
eyes closed...



Rei awakened on a beach. Beautiful white sand, and a bay that was clear 
and deep. 'Is this a dream, or is this something else?' Rei thought. She 
felt something, a presence that she couldn't quite place. She heard the 
barest hint of a voice. As the voice belonged to Shinji, she wasn't sure 
what to think. So, she didn't. Rei just laid on her side, and looked 
towards the water. That voice whispered to her as she lay back on the 
comfortable warm sand to rest.

"Rei, you were a tool at one time... a tool used by my father to try to 
do something terrible. Everyone else has forgiven themselves, even 
father, so why can't you forgive yourself now? You have so much to live 
for, Rei!"

Rei stated things very simply. "I have nothing. I want nothingness. I 
want despair...

A gentle shaking shocked her into consciousness. It seemed to be Shinji. 
"Rei, damnit Rei! Dumbkopf! Don't you know I can't live without you 
either?! You must wake up, Rei! Please wake up and smile again for me, can hear me can't you?"

"You are just a voice, and I no longer exist. Why try to delude me? 

This caused Rei to force open her eyes to see a nearly maddened Shinji 
staring at her in primal fear. Once she awakened, Shinji shuddered, then 
fell to his knees and wept.

"Rei, we have been here all this time. We still live, but we cannot 
split from the others like this often. All the lives you see would be 
gone in a heartbeat. Do you want that, Rei? Neither did I, and this was 
the only way..." Shinji's voice was becoming high and shrill. "I can't 
forgive myself if you can't forgive yourself, Rei! Baka! What do you 
want me to do? Destroy the world again?! I want the same thing! But I 
wanted all of you to have a chance...Idiot!"

Rei noticed that he was acting like Asuka would in desparate situations. 
Shinji saw the change in Rei's eyes, and Shinji seemed to catch himself, 
and his voice became calmer, and he simply said, "Don't you love me?"

Rei said, without hesitation, "Yes. I will always love you."

"Rei, try to understand. The gift I gave to all of you, my life and my 
soul, I chose to give. All that I ask of you, Rei, is that you live on, 
and be happy when you can. It is a choice only you can make, like the 
choice I made to accept the burden and let the world continue. Your 
mother even understands that..."

"Shinji, I had no mother. You of all people know that."

"Rei, you had a mother. Her presence is with us, now..."

"I do not understand."

"Rei, that voice you hear is your mother. Didn't you know that?"

"I feel a voice within. There is noone here but you and I, though I hear 
another voice as well."

"Rei, you could not see me until just now, but I have been with you all 
this time. Inside, deep down inside every person, I reside. Both of us 
have to be here, or life would be forgotten in a few moments. Rei, I 
need to tell you something. When I killed Kaoru, my friend, he told me 
that only one lifeform could sieze the future. He did not say that the 
others would stay dead, however. As a part of me is within everyone, 
everyone lives. I can't really explain, but this had to be. I couldn't 
desert everyone. I can manifest like this, but it takes part of me from 
everyone else. I can't do this for long without the legacy of death 
overtaking us all." 

"Rei, you have feelings. You know you do. What do they tell you? Use 
your feelings, and let them guide you. For your own sake..."

Rei went over her thoughts and desires...

Love... is that what I feel for Shinji? I would give my soul, my life 
for him. Is this really love, though? Now I am not so certain...

Desire... I feel this as well, deep within me. This is me, yet this is 
not me... it feels right, though.

Friendship... I would be his companion, and be with him always. I have 
tried, although I did not understand what I wanted at the time.

Comfort... Even now I feel comfort in Shinji's presence...the presence 
that...has always been with me! I am still with Shinji, and live with 
him even now! The children said that daddy said I should be strong and 
that he was here for me, but now I understand!

Pain... Though I am happy, there is always a cost. The pain of 
loneliness, of separation, of loss... I would not have life without 
Shinji. I would not have chosen life had Shinji not been there... 

Rei began to understand, and not just agree as before. Rei thought to 
herself, 'I don't feel the pain when I think on the good times. I had 
simply chosen to focus on the bad times... This means I have chosen pain 
all this time... 

Shinji continued, as he saw the change in Rei's face, her first 
understanding of the situation she brought upon herself.

"Rei, I learned from Kaji that pain and pleasure are both part of life. 
Everyone is born, everyone dies... Rei, I'm not frightened by these 
things. Everyone must choose their destiny, and I am afraid for you, 
Rei. You have forgotten that part of yourself that knows pleasure, and 
have only lived with the pain..I want you to really understand... you 
can be happy Rei! You deserve to be happy. Be happy for me as well... I 
love you, and don't think that you would want me to be sad, and I won't 
let you destroy yourself for me. You need something... you don't know 
how to let others see your inner self, your feelings and emotions. You 
still have my cello, right?"

"True. But the pain..."

"Rei... Even when I played the sad songs before, did you not feel joy? 
When you free your soul, and just live, it's like that. I could give you 
my feelings, and you accepted them as part of me. You could do that 
too... I think you should. Why not learn to play the cello?"

"Shinji, your cello... it is painful to me... I cannot."

"Rei, when I was little, for different reasons, I thought the same 
thing. Later, things changed. You, Asuka, and Misato liked to hear me 
play. You enjoyed it, right? Why not try it? It won't hurt you any worse 
than what you were trying to do before... would it really? Just try it 
and see, Rei."

Rei bowed her head down for a few moments, and she let a heavy sigh 
escape. "... Very well. I still do not understand, and I cannot see how 
the cello will help. I will try it, though..."

Rei was holding her hands out in front of her, twitching nervously. 
Shinji noticed this, and took her hands slowly into his own, trying to 
calm her. Rei could feel his strength, and knew that she could not 
desert her daughters any more than Shinji could desert her.

"Rei, you will have to go back on your own. We can no longer return you. 
Just know this: I love you now as I will for the rest of time. I will 
see you happy, if you give it a chance to happen."

At this point the bay and sand faded, into a dark, but comfortable void. 
Shinji stood with another, but Rei could not tell. There was no face, no 
features. It was almost like looking at a shadow, but Rei could sense 
the mind there, and could sense its amusement, even if she did not 
understand. She turned around, and, slowly, walked toward the light...

Rei awakened in a hospital room. It was pretty noisy, but Rei didn't 
mind. She was surrounded by those who cared for her, and that was what 
was important. She could see the sadness and the joy in both Asuka's and 
Misato's eyes. She could feel love around her, as before... so long 

Asuka had been lost in dark thoughts. Rei could tell. Now, she was 
coming back from them...

"Rei why did you do that? Don't leave us here. Let us help you." Asuka 
was fighting tears as she said this, but looked up as Rei touched her 
shoulder, and smiled back to Asuka.

"I would tell you something, Asuka... later. I thank you all, and I 
apologize to you. I would not leave my... friends... willingly." Rei 
smiled slightly to everyone else, which did confuse almost everyone else 

To Rei's surprise, Asuka and Misato both stayed long after, to talk, and 
Rei welcomed it. Rei then let her friends know what had happened, and of 
course the others didn't understand, but they tried. They then talked 
until almost dawn, when they all heard the barest of whispers... 

"Go. Live. Be happy..."

They all looked at each other. Rei smiled immediately, knowing full well 
that everyone she loved would live or die, but they would live. That was 
what really mattered. She fell asleep as Asuka and Misato talked to each 
other, smiling through tears.

Rei had found that she could play quite well, after a few weeks of 
trying. It seemed odd, but Rei had payed close attention to Shinji when 
he had played. A few weeks later, Misato had brought up the community 
center, and their need for a celloist. Hikari Horaki had brought the 
subject up, and said they would welcome Rei. One month later, Rei was 
playing and drawing people to the concerts herself. While Rei still did 
not easily show emotion, all thought of Rei as emotionless stopped when 
they heard Rei play. As Rei did these recitals, she decided that this 
was what gave her pleasure, and decided to open a bar. Rei believed that 
she could then learn to understand others better this way. Rei also 
figured that she could at least rely on Misato for the rent money. The 
children had been more than happy to hear Rei play, and she thought they 
deserved happiness too, so she played almost every night at her bar. 
Seemed the customers weren't as thirsty as they were drawn to the music, 
and Rei couldn't stop. Then again, why stop being happy? Shinji was with 
her and the children too... 

From there to today. A long hard walk. Often through silence, sometimes 
in darkness. But, never alone.

Rei looked towards Shinji, and the other presence. They both smiled, 
Shinji in his way, and the other familiar voice she often heard was 
happy in a quiet way. Rei smiled at both of them, one of her rare wide 
happy smiles, that usually only happened between her and her children, 
Hikari, Asuka, Misato, or Kaji. Shinji gave a warm, loving smile through 
tears in return. Then, still smiling, as always, Shinji's eyes closed 
and his body began to glow and disperse. The shadow began to break up in 
much the same way. Soon, it was just Rei, the room empty again...

'No, not empty. Just a little quieter, for awhile...' Rei thought as she 
continued to smile fondly.

As always, after the visit, she played for Asuka, Misato, and Kaji at 
the bar privately on that sad but joyous day. Rei had committed herself 
to always let her friends be with her and help her, and that she would 
do the same. As usual, the four talked about Shinji, life in general, 
and their loves. Someday, Asuka would find hers. Rei knew it, and she 
thought that Asuka believed it as well, now. Asuka and Rei would play 
between themselves a bit, Asuka's violin to her cello, and Kaji and 
Misato would listen, and quietly talk between themselves. 'This is a 
good ending to a day,' thought Rei.

Kaji stood after the recital, and clapped quietly. Rei could see a grin 
on Kaji's face, and knew there was going to be trouble. Rei saw a 
similar knowing look in Asuka's eyes, and winked. Asuka winked back, 
pointing covertly at Kaji. 

"My, my. Rei, you and my Asuka always throw a great party. And two such 
beautiful creatures. Either of you thought about moving in with me this 

"Whaaat? Kaji! You two timing child molester!"

Both Rei and Asuka, amused by all this, were smiling and giggling. 
Unlike Kaji, who was busy blocking the legendary wrath of Misato, who 
was grinning as she cursed at Kaji all the same. 'A good beginning as 
well,' Rei thought as she grinned to herself.

The voice sounded just as amused as Rei felt. This was life. Rei would 
give both her daughters these feelings, this joy and happiness. They 
would live, too. They would know their father as well. Rei would do no 
less for Shinji, the one whom Rei loved with all her heart. The one that 
Rei patiently waited for. The one whom she lived for, now until the 
end... Rei knew their day would come, and they would be together. Once 
and for all time. 

... and that was enough. They had all the time in the world. 

What is life? Truly...
Don't ask what life is about,
Just do it. Life is...