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Akagi

A Neon Genesis Evangelion short story
By Aaron Bergman

Disclaimer: Neon Genesis Evangelion GAINAX / ProjectEva - TV Tokyo - NAS, Hideaki Anno, and AD Vision.


What is the beauty of suicide? Do silly girls really believe that killing themselves will make a misbehaving man say: "Oh, I really am a horrible, horrible person. What will I ever do to make it up to her?"

Not bloody likely. Instead they'll just continue with their lives, working hard, marrying someone, having children, maybe sparing a brief thought to the girl that left life behind for them. How can they do it? I don't know. Who can understand the mind of a man?

Nobody ever changes. Nobody can change. Too bad I didn't realize it until too late.

I guess I am just a silly girl after all.

My mother would sympathize, I suppose. Of course, we both were fool enough to take Gendo at his word. Fool enough think we could show him that Yui wasn't the only woman in the world. Fool enough to think we understood him. Fool enough to think we understood ourselves.

That's what it all comes down to, isn't it? We don't understand ourselves, so of course we can't understand each other. We hide from our own feelings, warped by society into inherently defective beings, so is it any wonder that we can't truly ever trust another of the defective beings surrounding us?

Ah, for an end to separation!

It was how he spoke that seduced both of us, I think. When he wanted to, he could make an audience dance on his strings; he could make stones weep; he could move men to hate and women to love. I first heard him speak at a SEELE subcommittee meeting not long after my mother's death. It was my first meeting with such important people, and I must admit that I was nervous, but Gendo… smiled at me, and… I felt better.

Isn't that so trite? "Gosh, the guy smiled, and the world seemed to slow down just so I could enjoy it." One would think that I'd strayed into a fairy tale.

One of the kind where pixies would drive you mad if you were fool enough to stray onto the moors after sunset and the gnomes would demand your firstborn son in exchange for their… 'help'.

But it was with that smile that something started to grow inside me, where there had only been rocky soil before…

Obsession is such a difficult behavior to examine rationally. From the outside, the tendency is to simply believe that the person has no actual need for the object; that if you were to remove the object the person would revert to a more normal mode of behavior. But from the inside, things are… different.

I think the first hints were when Rei began to mature. I felt the icy wind of jealousy within what was left of my soul, for I knew -- knew! -- what she was, who she had been, and what the first's fate had been. And I began to wonder what Gendo did when he was alone in that chamber, so far below the ground.

And I began to wonder if mother had felt that it was worth dying to have that perfect pale throat in her hands, crushing it as she could never have crushed his love for a ghost.

Is it any wonder Gendo rejected Shinji? He couldn't help but hurt the boy, to see so much of his wife, soft, supple velvet hiding steel, and yet to see so little of the maturity that had shaped the steel underneath… maybe if Shinji had been born a woman, all this would never have happened. No ghoulish attempt to resurrect his wife (an attempt which had only by happy accident resulted in a viable pilot), no pushing away of his only child, no…

But what-ifs are perilous terrain, their danger only exceeded by their inviting, innocent-seeming landscapes. All I know for sure is that I'll not let him finish this as he wants to. He's done far too much to my honor for me to let it slide.

I love him, but he doesn't love me. He loves cold steel, cold flesh, cold prophecy.

In the end, passion has almost, but not quite, destroyed my vaunted reason. Heh. I wonder if my mother would be jealous, to know that I will have his full, undivided attention for the few brief seconds I leave him before I destroy his dream, his love, as he has denied mine?

For I still love him, still need him, and for once, I'll know that he needs me.

 
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