Characters and situations used here ultimately belong to GAINAX.

Neo Genesis Evangelion : "Healer"

(Alternverse fic)

"You bastard," he muttered under his breath, shaking with anger, " I have no news from you for the last three years, and when I do it's only so you can use me."

Things were even worse that Shinji had expected when he answered his father call to come over. It had been interesting at first, if frightening. After all, it's not so often you find yourself in a deserted city that's under attack from somekind of giant monster. The weird looking girl's astral projection he'd seen right before that was worth notice, too. It wasn't often they looked so stable. But from then on, pretty much everything had gone downhill, leading to this point.

"You must do it, Shinji." Gendo had, to his side, many screens showing him a close on his son's face. But he couldn't hear his words, and that could be misleading.

"No!" Screamed Shinji. "I won't do it. I have no idea how to pilot this robot, and beside, I'm not a warrior."

"Shinji...". Misato had had doubts about the decision to make Shinji a pilot from the moment she heard it. But there, she was surprised. There wasn't a trace of fear in the teenager voice; instead there was a lot of anger and, at the bottom of it, a deep conviction of every words he said, though she couldn't tell how she knew that.

"Very well. You can get the hell out of here." Said Gendo, his voice dripping with contempt. "Fuyutsuki."

One of the screen on his side changed to show an image of the old professor.

"Yes, Ikari-kun?"

"Wake Rei up and prepare her. She's going to pilot the Eva..."

From were he stood, Shinji couldn't believe his ears. That was it. He refused to play along with the little game his father had in mind, and so was cast aside as useless junk.

"So be it." He said aloud, startling Misato beside him. He began to walk toward the entrance when the door opened on three people, doctors from their garbs. They were pushing a hospital cart with someone on it. He had just begun to analyze this when he felt pain in his side, in his eyes and on many different other places. Taken by surprise, he collapsed on his knees as they ran past him.

"It's her. She's the one who suffers so." Because of the pain, he hadn't seen the person on the cart, but, instinctively, he knew it was a girl. Getting up, he began to slowly walk toward her, his hand slowly going to his collar. The girl had just painfully sat when the gigantic room began to shake, again. But it was stronger this time, and part of the ceiling collapsed. Shinji didn't noticed the huge purple hand that protected him. All he could see was Rei as she fell to the floor with a cry of pain.

He didn't realized he moved until he found himself beside her. He had raised his mind shield, but he still felt a dull ache, a reflection of the pain that made her unaware of anything around her. His decision made without conscious thought, he pulled out of his shirt the leather satchel that hung from his neck. People had just began to collect themselves when he took out a gleaming sapphire stone from it. A blue light surrounded everything around him and her.

Gendo couldn't believe her eyes. Everything was going according to the plan, and he already could see his son giving in and climb into the Entry Plug when that had happened. He didn't know what this stone was and he didn't know what his son was trying to do, but he was sure it was something it wasn't going to please him. Nothing unexpected did.

Rei wasn't aware of anything but the excruciating pain she felt. She had tried to do as was asked of her, but it was too much to bear. And then, slowly, relief came. She felt as if thousands of tiny fingers were slowly healing her wounds, mending her bones. She opened her valid eye to see a boy of about her age who was right beside her. He had a stern expression to his face and concentrated his gaze upon a bright blue stone in his hands. Only then did she notice the soft blue light that was all around. Looking back to the stone, she felt a wave of nausea that made her turn her eyes.

"Don't look at the Starstone, it'd hurt you." Despite hearing the soft voice, she wasn't sure she had seen his lips move.

Misato finally gathered herself and went closer to the children. She was hesitating as whether or not she should enter the blue lighted zone when the glow subsided as Shinji secured the stone into its satchel.

"How do you feel?" he asked Rei.

"I'm... I'm fine." She answered, wonder in her voice.

It was the first time Misato saw Rei with such an expression of on her face. In fact, it was the first time she saw Rei expressing an emotion. but this... This worship to Shinji was wrong, somehow.

Rei stood up slowly, taking off her bloody bandages. Her gaze never faltered from Shinji who had slumped to the ground until she just had her plugsuit on. Her injuries looked like she had weeks to heal and not just a few minutes. Shinji, on the other side, looked completely beat.

Lingering a bit more, Rei asked "Are you all right, Ikari-kun?"

"Just fine." His voice was weak. "Nothing that a meal and a good night won't cure." The room shook again. "I think you should go, now."

She nodded, and, turning around, began to run toward the Entry Plug. She stopped before entering it and looked at him one last time. He looked back with a tired smile on his lips. " They need to be quick, I think."

"Ikari-kun, Aligato."

She then jumped into the plug.

To be continued ?..