Vulnerat Omnes, Ultima Necat.
I used to think life really wasn't worth living, it's not like I have a death wish, more like sheer apathy to live; I am afraid of getting close to people, but at the same time I am afraid of being hurt so I push people away.
Catch-22, damned if you do, damned if you don't.
So, as I walked again thru the hallways I knew so well, I couldn't help but let my mind wander, thinking the same thought over and over.
And I could feel what I had left of humanity slowly slipping away.
"There he is again..."
"He's come ever since..."
The endless droning of the voices in his head made him wince a little, wondering why he felt the dull thud at the corner of his mind tugging at it. He felt sick; not only physically sick, but also emotionally sick, mentally spent, spiritually frail.
He felt like there was no point o it all, no real reason left for him to fight.
Kaworu was broken; dead, by his hand; the only person who had told him, who had showed him in a real, unequivocal way that he felt for him something. He had called it love, but somehow it didn't feel like a physical attraction, more like the feelings you get when you see a long lost friend, some one who you spent time when young, someone who is being forgotten little by little, as the seconds of the clock tick by.
And it hurts so much to forget.
But it hurts even worse to remember.
Toji was broken; physically broken, which amounted to not being able to function in his mind; he had always been a physical sense, looming behind them all, imposing and brash, but in his heart of hearts as noble as they came. He had meet him with a punch in his face, and had left him by crushing him in his hands.
And they felt tainted with blood.
And they felt as heavy as lead.
Rei was broken; like a doll, she was and was not; she had been and wasn't anymore. He had always felt an affinity for the strange quiet girl, like a part of him yearning, wanting to be filled, like a caress long given by someone else. Such warmth and comfort and Whydidshehadtoleave?Whycouldn'tshestay? Whywasshedifferent?Whowasshereally?
And he felt like he knew her when...
And he felt she was gone, taken by Eva...again...
Asuka was broken. That was what he felt had hurt the most. She was brash and overbearing, and rude and egotistical, and spoiled and beautiful and warm and soft and she was crying and he couldn't do a thing to stop her from crying and why was she gone? Why wouldn't she wakeup? Why was everyone leaving him alone, all alone again?
He wanted her back, he needed them back. And isn't it immature to want to stop the ticks of the clock, to want to make it go back to the time you were happy and hope, even if it's hope against hope, for it to stand still and remain the same?
So as he walked past the whispering nurses, and stopped at the front of her door, he let out a heavy sigh.
Was it worth it? Did all the sacrifices, all that we lost, all I have lost manage something, anything in the end?
He turned the knob, and opened the door, to be greeted again with the sight of her lifeless body slumped to her left, the beeping of the machines and instruments filling the quietness of her room, reminding everyone who came in she was still alive, even if she chose to be a prisoner of her mind.
And as a lonely tear rolled down Shinji's tear, and he stifled a sob, and he fought against himself to stop the tear from becoming more and the sobs from choking the air out of his lungs, he suddenly had an epiphany, and understood it all.
Every time he got in, every time they got in, Eva took a bit more and more of their soul.
They were being forced to leave their innocence behind in that entry plug, swimming within the LCL, stored in the MAGI databases; chipped away one small part at a time.
Like someone carving a dead animal for the substance within.
That's what really meant growing up in this world.
He shuddered, and walked towards the bed.
And in the distance, the JSSDF prepared for their assault against NERV.
And his father waited patiently, like an old warlock, for the stars to be right; to go back; to be with her.
And Rei felt the tug in her chest and saw her body begin to fade away, to dissolve and become nothing more than a clump of bones and sinew.
And Misato became aware of it all.
And Asuka was still sleeping, dreaming dreamless dreams; hearing his voice, watching him go, waiting for him to save her from herself.
And Shinji shook Asuka, and stared at her breast, and closed the door and-
That was the passage of time.
That was the ticks of the clock.
That was growing up.