• Published 7th Jul 2012
  • 11,087 Views, 355 Comments

Shinji's Nightmare - Harry Leferts


Having returned from being absorbed into Unit-01, Shinji finds himself in a decidingly odd situation

  • ...
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Chapter 6

Disclaimer: Neon Genesis Evangelion is owned by Gainax and My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is owned by Hasbro.

"Interesting..."- Nightmare talking.
"Why me..." -Ordinary speaking
'And so it begins.' -Nightmare thoughts
'Aw hay.' -Ordinary thoughts
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Shinji panted as he dodged yet another blow from Nightmare, only to be tripped up by a broken piece of furniture that she had magically moved into his path. He began to scramble to his feet only to stop when the other Alicorns horn appeared at his throat. "Yield."

After a few moments in which the only sound that was made was that of their respective breaths, he sighed. "I... yield." Once she had backed off, Shinji stood up and grunted as he rotated his wing with a wince. "Do you have to be so rough?"

Nightmare raised an eyebrow before she replied. "Of course I do." She then walked over and gently nuzzled his hurt wing as the pain vanished. "Those who would be your enemies would not be gentle with you in a battle and so me being gentle in these practice fights would be nothing more then a disservice to you."

Shinji couldn't help himself as he felt a slight warmth in his chest at the fact that she did care for him in her own dark way. 'Though I wish that it didn't involve pain like it does...'

A moment later, confusion set in as their surroundings blurred and seemed to melt away, only to be replaced by a balcony that overlooked the darkened version of Tokyo-3. As always, Shinji gave it a glance as there were only a few lights on at the moment before Nightmare walked past him. He then noticed the two pillows with a low table, on top of which sat a pot of steaming tea and two cups. Nightmare then motioned at one pillow as she laid on the other. "Come and sit with me for a bit Little Prince."

Still highly confused, Shinji did as she asked and laid down on one. As the silence between the two stretched on, Shinji busied himself as he poured a cup of tea for both him and Nightmare. He then floated one to her, where she took it and sipped with a nod of approval. Shinji then cleared his throat. "Did I do something... wrong?"

Nightmare blinked and raised an eyebrow as she hid a flash of anger toward several people. "Wrong?" She hummed to herself as she stared into her tea. "Not so much wrong as an area of some concern to me." If she noticed his shocked look, she didn't show it as she took a sip. "As usual Little Prince, you continue to impress me and exceed my expectations in my training of you in your abilities by a decent margin."

Shinji looked away with a slight blush from the compliments. "We-well, I've been here for what feels like months now and there's not much else to do..."

Nightmare just smirked to herself behind her cup of tea. "Be that as it may, you have nonetheless shown remarkable improvement in the areas needed. Even with flying, your skills have come far indeed as you no longer need to rely on instinct alone." She then sighed as she set down her tea. "But within recent days your rate of progress has slowed some. I would have normally thought it due to you reaching a plateau of sorts. However, I can sense that this is not so and it has another cause. So tell me Little One, what is it that troubles you so?" Shinji sighed as he placed his tea down and looked at the floor, only to have his chin lifted as Nightmare raised it with her hoof. "Come now Little Prince, is this about your mares?"

Shinji scowled and gave her a slight glare. "I told you, they're not my mares-" Upon having realized what he had just said, Shinji looked away. "Um... that is, uh..."

The larger female Alicorn laughed some which caused the younger Pony's face to heat up even more. "Ah! I thought as much Little Prince. So it is thoughts of them that has troubled your thoughts then?"

After he turned, the former human gazed at her before he shook his head. "I know that you keep telling me that it will be a while yet before you can let me wake up, it's just..." He hung his head a little. "I really miss them..."

Nightmare watched him for a moment before she sighed. "There is indeed a way for you to contact them..."

Shinji's head snapped up at that, slight hints of betrayal that lurked in his eyes that caused the larger Alicorn to flinch and her heart to hurt some. "I thought that you said that you couldn't wake me up yet though!?"

The older of the two snorted softly. "Correct, Little Prince. I did say that." She then gave him a slight intrigued look. "However, I never said that you would have to wake up to do so, now did I?"

Confused to no end, Shinji cocked his head to the side as one of his ears flicked and his eyes narrowed. "What are you talking about?"

The female of the two hummed to herself thoughtfully. "What am I talking about indeed..." She then gestured at the darkened Cityscape. "Tell me something Little Prince, what do you truly see? Do you know?"

Shinji frowned before he looked himself in time to see some lights be turned on while others are turned off. "I see a dark city at night with some lights on in the buildings..." He then glanced at her as his frown deepened. "Why?"

Nightmare slowly shook her head and smiled. "No, Little Prince, what you are actually seeing is the dream realm's version of Tokyo-3." She continued as she ignored his startled jerk. "Each of those lights you see? Each one is a sleeping person. When one appears, that is when they fall sleep. When they disappear, that is them awakening."

As he stammered, Shinji looked between the city and Nightmare. "Bu-but... wh-what does this have to do with me talking to them and why bring it up now..." His eyes then narrowed as he snapped his attention fully onto Nightmare. "Unless..."

Nightmare slowly nodded. "As I have told you before, you underestimate your rather high intelligence when you use it."

Shinji just blinked at that as she began to circle him. "Are you telling me that I could enter their dreams and talk to them there...?"

As she stopped, Nightmare slowly eased herself down on Shinji's now much larger pillow. "Yes." She then nuzzled him as her wing stretched out across his back. "I was unsure as to how you might react to such a suggestion and so I kept quiet about it." She then gave him a sorrowful look. "And if I caused you any grief due to that, I apologize."

Shinji thought about it for a moment before he sighed and shook his head. "No, you're right. If you told me back when first asked, I might have reacted badly." He then nuzzled her back some. "So there's nothing to forgive." They both then turned and looked out across the city. After a few minutes passed, Shinji turned back to Nightmare. "So... all I have to do then is... enter them?"

Nightmare nodded. "In a nutshell, yes." She then shrugged some. "You already have the knowledge to do so my foal, you just need to use it."

Shinji gave her an odd look at her choice of words, but the other Alicorn ignored it. He then sighed and shook his head. "I... think that I need some time to think this over first..." He then frowned as he looked at the sky. "If I go through with this... is it right? Because I would be invading their privacy in the worst way..."

As she turned and nuzzled him again, Nightmare sighed. "Take as much time as you need, Little Prince. That is something that we have in abundance..."
________________________________________________________________________
As he slowly ascended the stairs into the rundown apartment complex, Shinji looked around himself with a frown. 'At least it's cleaner here in the Dreamworld.' He shuddered as he remembered how filthy it is in reality. 'Much cleaner...' He soon reached Ayanami's apartment and opened the door. 'I wonder if all the doors in this world are unlocked...'

He jumped a moment later as he heard Nightmare speak up from behind him. "To ones such as you and I, they might as well be." Shinji looked back to see her sitting on the guardrail with a knowing smirk as she looked around. "Hmm... a most interesting choice for your first dream walk." She then hopped off the rail and walked over where she sidled up to him before she gave Shinji a motherly nuzzle. "And here I would have thought that you would have chosen the red maned one for this."

Shinji shifted a little uncomfortably before he looked away and sighed. "I think that Rei maybe a little bit better to start with and I don't know how Asuka might take it with how she is... at least Rei might listen and forgive me if she gets angry..."

Nightmare watched him for a moment before she nodded and agreed. "Yes, caution may indeed be the best idea in this particular case." The elder Alicorn smiled as she stepped into the room. "Hmm... now where are... ah, yes." As Shinji stepped in behind her, she gestured at the small lit orb that hovered over the bed, the light from which lit the room up. "Ah, it seems that you're in luck Little Prince, for here is the dreams of the mare that you seek and wish to see."

Shinji walked over to the glowing orb and frowned in thought. "Is this what they truly look like?"

Nightmare nodded as she laid her wing across his back, internally smirking as she felt him lean into it. "Yes, that is how we ourselves see it." She then nuzzled him softly. "Most amazing, is it not Little Prince? It appears as something so small and vulnerable looking as a soap bubble, and yet it's not." She then looked at him as her head cocked a little to the side. "Do you know how to enter a dream, Little Prince?"

The Alicorn colt slowly nodded, still mesmerized by the orb. "Channel my magic through my horn and touch the dream with it, correct?"

After she nodded, he moved to step over to it before he stopped. Nightmare raised an eyebrow at this in question. "Is something the matter Little Prince?" Her eyes widened some as the slightly blushing Ikari nuzzled her like a normal colt would to it's mother. She then smiled as she nuzzled back. 'Mmm... soon my foal, soon the world shall see your greatness as I do.' As he pulled away, she gave him a amused look. "And what was that for?"

Shinji smiled a bit as he rubbed the back of his head. "To say thank you. For everything." He then walked up to the orb and looked over his shoulder. "I'll see you later."

Nightmare then watched as his horn lit up with magic and he touched it to the orb before he vanished in a burst of light. After a few moments passed, Nightmare glanced around and grinned. "Well now, with that taken care of it's time to visit Maya-chan and give her a very realistic dream..." As her wings rose slightly, the dark Alicorn vanished from sight.
________________________________________________________________________
As he shook off the sudden disorientation of having entered a dream, Shinji looked around and raised an eyebrow at the sight of Tokyo-3 bathed in the light of a bright sunny day. 'Rei dreams of Tokyo-3?' He then caught a glimpse of himself in a window which caused him to raise both eyebrows. 'Why exactly am I dressed as a Prince...?'

It was then that he heard rapid footsteps toward his position and he turned as a shout made itself known. "SHINJI-DONO!"

Shinji felt his jaw drop a little at the sight off Hikari in what could only be called a cross between samurai armor and a school girl's outfit. "Hikari? What the hay..."

She soon reached him and bent over as she gasped before she bowed. "Shinji-Dono, you must run! The Red Devil approaches!"

Shinji's frown twisted into a strange hybrid of amusement and confusion. 'The "Red Devil"? She couldn't mean...' His thoughts are cut off as he hears evil laughter that ranged through the air and caused the fur on the back of his neck to stand on end. "What the hay was..."

He turned and his mind froze at what it saw, unable to believe it. "BWAHAHAHAHAHA! AS PROMISED PRINCE SHINJI, I, THE RED DEVIL HAVE RETURNED!"

For there is Asuka...

In a more evil looking and outlandish version of her plugsuit...

Complete with devil horns, tail and wings. Oh, and a pitchfork too. Couldn't forget about that.

A pitchfork that she pointed at him as she laughed again. And so, Shinji did the only thing that he could.

He facehoofed. "Oh, I do not believe this..."

Asuka, or the Red Devil if you would prefer, gestured at the ground with her pitchfork. "ARISE MY FAITHFUL MINIONS! ARISE AND DO THE BIDING OF THY DARK MISTRESS, ME! CAPTURE PRINCE SHINJI AND BRING HIM TO ME SO THAT I MAY SPIRIT HIM OFF TO MY EVIL LAIR OF DARKNESS WHERE I SHALL MAKE HIM MY ETERNAL SLAVE!"

The shadows on the ground then coalescence into blank faced beings who bore a startling resemblance of a cross between Section Two agents and those clay monster things from a 90s Sentai that Misato had forced him to watch once (and claimed that the Americans had ruined). Suddenly, Hikari was in front of him as she pulled a zambato from inside her shirt that was longer then she was tall... somehow. She then faced the mob before she looked back at him. "Run my Lord! This One shall buy thyself some time!"

Shinji just watched as she ran into the mob scattering minions left, right, and center. He then tried to say something, only to find himself dogpiled and soon tussled up like some hunk of meat. "Oh... this is getting beyond ridiculous now..." He then watched as Asuka went into an evil villain monologue about what she was going to do to both him and Hikari (who he was trying to look away from as she was tied up in a certain way). "Never mind..."

However, at just that moment, a glowing golden lasso wrapped itself around the minions and before they were yanked back and thrown into the horizon. Then a knife freed Hikari from her bindings. "Aww..."

Shinji stared at her for a moment before he closed his eyes. "Oh come on..."

Asuka, however, turned and snarled. "SO! YOU ONCE MORE TRY TO FOIL MY EVIL PLANS BY APPEARING ONCE MORE MY NEMESIS! WONDERGIRL!"

The Alicorn just blinked at the sight of what appeared to be Rei in a red and blue swimsuit with an eagle on the chest and the bottom and skirt being blue with white stars. The silver bracelets and the golden tiara with the red star in the middle not to mention the long red boots completed the look. '...' He then twitched as his wings strained against the bindings that bound them before he started to hit his head on the pavement. "I! DO! NOT! BELIEVE! THIS!"

What followed was a battle right out of a comic book as the two superpowered girls tore into each other. Which ended when Rei grabbed Asuka by the hair. "HEY! NO FAIR WITH THE HAIR!" She then swung the red head around like a shotput before she let go causing Asuka to fly into the back of a police paddywagon whose driver (Toji) closed the doors and got into the driver's seat with Kensuke as the passenger. Snarling as it drove off, Asuka stuck her head through the bars as it grew to many times its original size as she shook her fist at Rei. "I WILL DEFEAT YOU ONE OF THESE DAYS WONDERGIRL! YOU HAVEN'T HEARD THE LAST OF ME! DO YOU HEAR ME!? I SHALL RETURN!"

Rei ignored this as she ripped off the ropes that bound Shinji and picked him up bridal style as she flew off. Hikari just sniffed as she looked around. "Now who's going to tie me up..."

Shinji twitched within the albino girl's arms as he heard that. He was stunned though when Rei looked down at him with a soft smile. "Do not worry my prince, for I shall always be there to protect you as I promised."

Shinji rubbed the back of his head a little as he blushed. "Um... you do realize that this is all a dream... right?"

Rei just nodded as she closed her eyes happily. "Yes." She then opened them and looked back at the Alicorn in her arms as her smile grew. "And this is a good dream." Her eyes then widened some as she nearly dropped him in surprise. "You really are here Shinji-kun... in my dreams." She then grew puzzled as she tilted her head cutely. "How did you enter my dreams Shinji-kun?"

He stiffened a little. "I... it's a new ability that I've gained." He then sighed and closed his eyes as he expected her to get angry with him. "I'm so, so sorry for invading your privacy like this Rei, I really am. But... but I just wanted to talk to someone and so I thought that you might..." He then gulped as a tear slid out from beneath his closed eyes as what he did hit him. "I can see now that it was pretty selfish of me now, wasn't it?"

Rei looked down at him in puzzlement. 'He is... sad because he wanted to speak with me?' She blinked some before she spoke, which caused Shinji's eyes to fly open in shock. "No, I do not believe that it is Shinji-kun." He then looked at her face to see her smiling at him as she hugged him, her face slightly red. "I have found that I have missed you and our talks greatly." She blushed more as she pulled away, her face lit with a smile that Shinji had never seen in the real world. "And I look forward to us resuming them even if only in our dreams."
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Meanwhile, in the real world, Maya was sitting slumped in a chair within her apartment where she had fallen asleep after eating supper, utterly exhausted from her day. Suddenly, her eyes sleepily opened as she got up in a sleepwalker-like trance as she made her way into the kitchen and tore a piece of paper off a notepad. She then wrote on it in handwriting not her own before she went to her bedroom. After she laid the note on the nightstand, she got under the covers and fell fully asleep once more as she continued the dream of her and Nightmare (in human form) were having in her apartment. She then smiled as she snuggled more into the blankets and mumbled. "Akumu-chan..."

When she found the note once she had awoken in the morning, she read it and giggled from what was on it before she held it to her chest. She then read again.

'Dear Maya-chan,
Sorry for not waking you before I put you in your bed after you felt asleep last night, but you just looked so deliciously adorable that I couldn't find it in me to wake you. Hope that you don't mind me not staying the night either, but there was somewhere that I needed to be by sunrise.

See you soon,
Tsuki Akumu.'

Maya sighed with a massive grin before she suddenly squealed and fell back onto the bed...
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Bored, Maya was looking through an online newspaper when something caught her eye. "Another satellite launch?" She then turned to the other two women in the observation room as Shinji quietly laid on the bed they had placed him on. "That makes what now? Five satellite launches in as many days?"

Misato glanced from her paperwork toward the still sleeping Shinji. "Hmm?" She blinked for a moment as it jarred something loose and she snapped her fingers. "Ah! That's right!" She then looked over at the curious computer tech. "I forgot that you probably haven't heard yet, but after the 10th and the 15th, the UN decided that we need a defense network in space to intercept any Angels up there. So they're launching weapons satellites into orbit using the heavy lifters. Russia is going to send up the biggest ones on their Energia-M boosters." She then shook her head and snorted in derision. "It's a waste of taxpayer's money to make them look good in my opinion."

Maya's eyebrows raised at that in shock. "What!? But doesn't the Outer Space Treaty prevent that sort of thing?"

Ritsuko softly snorted into her coffee as she shook her head. "The OST has been dead since Second Impact. There's probably dozens of weapons sats ten years and older up there now. This is just the final nail in the coffin." As she sipped her coffee though, she frowned. 'I wonder what SEELE is up to now... They have to know that no more Angels are going to be attacking from space according to the Dead Sea Scrolls...'

Misato paused for a moment in her paperwork as she realized something before she looked over at the blonde doctor. "Hey, Rits? I thought that we were running out of N2 warheads? There was less then what, 1,000 in the world after the 10th?"

The doctor just shrugged as she puzzled over it herself. "They must have ramped up production I suppose. or maybe they're finally pumping out new ones after realizing what we're into. A war of survival is good for lighting fires under people after all." She then shook her head. "Of course, it's also possible that they've finally got the various countries to release their stockpiles..."

________________________________________________________________________

Meeting once again deep within the computer network, the various members of SEELE regarded each other in silence for several minutes as was usual. Eventually, 01 spoke up.

SEELE 01: 09, how is Project Carthage proceeding? Has there been any issues?

SEELE 09: None. it has been progressing smoothly after we twisted some arms. The fools have no true idea as to the purpose of the Project and the various production facilities have secretly ramped up production of the materials and warheads we need. Even those that were decommissioned.

SEELE 05: I question the need for this plan. There is too much at stake this late in the game and the possibility of discovery and the possible fallout is too great.

SEELE 12: Be that as it may 05, we need to have contingencies for any... possibilities that may arise, no matter how remote. The situation with the Third Child has shown us that. And this has been worked on since Second Impact. Now is just the best time to bring it all together.

SEELE 01: Carthage will only be used if after completing our great work it should happen to come undone. If humanity rejects and returns from ascension, then we are likely to be killed one way or the other. And from our dead hand, our vengeance shall rain upon those who rejected our gift.

SEELE 05: Then let us hope that they do not. For they shall regret it...
___________________________________________________________________________
As she went through her paperwork after the conversation once more lulled, Misato came across one little bit that caused her to raise her eyebrow. 'This can't be right... I thought that...' She then glanced at Ritsuko. "Hey, Rits, you know anything about us getting backup?"

Ritsuko glanced over from her coffee and gave her a inquisitive look. "Backup? No, besides the nearest Evangelion to completion is Unit-05 in NERV Scotland branch. Why?"

Misato just smirked. "Seems that the JSSDF had a lot more up their sleeve then they let on."

Now concerned, Ritsuko walked over and grabbed the paper and rapidly looked it over. "What the hell... But Jet Alone was cancelled!"

The Major then tapped a section of another bunch of papers. "Not just Jet Alone..."

The doctor narrowed her eyes as she set down the papers she had been looking at, which Maya picked up and began to read, before the doctor grabbed the papers and began reading. "'T-RIDEN-T'..." She then frowned as she read some of the background and raised her eyebrows. "From this, it's been in development since 2005 in case of a war breaking out. It's older then the Jet Alone project..."

Maya looked over another sheet. "Well, at least with the new version of Jet Alone, they're going with a N2 reactor instead of a fission one."

Ritsuko gritted her teeth some. 'Which was developed for T-RIDEN-T...' She then frowned as she read farther before she glanced at Maya's paper and nodded. "Seems that they started to really fund the projects a month after the 14th..."

The same thought went through all their heads. 'They know about Shinji...'

Misato then tapped her fingers on the table. "We're getting the land cruiser's pilot next month along with it. So we're going to need to modify some of the lifts for it. They're still selecting the Jet Alone's pilot right now, so there is that." She then sipped her coffee and grimaced as it was cold. "Going to be a bitch trying to set up a cross command as I can't see the JSSDF not using this as an excuse to try and pry some secrets out."

The Bridge Bunny then looked at the other two women and then at the unconscious alicorn. "What about Shinji-kun then? Any Command Staff is going to have to be briefed on him..."

The purple haired woman blew out a breath as she walked over to the coffee machine. "It wasn't like we could keep the lid on him for much longer though. After what he pulled?"

Ritsuko snorted. "The Magi alone have had to pull no less then a hundred videos from the internet." She then grimaced. "Though it is not going to be fun for him..." She then frowned as she looked at Maya. "I thought that the Jet Alone project had been cancelled though..."

Maya looked at the papers again and shook her head. "JHCI kept funding it. Apparently they went with the reactor in the prototype because it was cheaper to use it in the prototype rather then the actual N2 reactor." All three women scowled at that as derision ran through their heads. Maya then continued as she flipped through some papers. "They developed it as a support unit though. The main one is manned and the pilot can control 'drone' versions..."

Having gotten her coffee, Misato walked back. "Wouldn't that be a lot of work for a single pilot though?"

The blond doctor shook her head. "Depending on how good a programmer the pilot is, not really." She then sipped her coffee. "They might well be able to manage it."

The Major then snorted a bit as she smiled. "Though, having more support for Shin-chan and the others isn't something that I am going to complain about..."
_________________________________________________________________________
As she walked down the corridor between Ritsuko and Rei, Misato continued chatting with her old friend before she noticed Rei looking more thoughtful then usual. "Something on your mind Rei?"

Rei looked between the Major and the doctor as if she was considering something. Finally, she nodded. "Yes." She then closed her eyes. "I had a most interesting dream last night. one in which Shinji-kun visited me and we talked."

Ritsuko raised an eyebrow as she thought this over. 'She dreamed? That's... new.'

Misato just winked. "Ah, an... interesting dream, hmm?" To both hers and Ritsuko's shock, a faint dusting of pink appeared on Rei's cheek as a soft smile did as well. Misato then shook her head as her lips twitched. 'Well, I'll be...'

The blonde scientist frowned for a moment though. 'I should tell Gendo about this...' She then remembered Shinji's offer of friendship and a shoulder to cry on and couldn't help but feel like it would be a betrayal of him if she did so. 'Then again... Gendo doesn't need to know everything. And she might have mentioned it to him, so why bother bring it up?'

The cyan girl then shook it off before she looked at the two women beside her. "I wonder how long before Shinji-kun visits you in your dreams?"

Both of the women shared a look before they shrugged it as another example of Rei's oddness. Later that night though, as she headed for bed, the conversation drifted back to Misato as she passed Shinji's old room and looked inside. 'Oh Shin-chan...' She sipped at her beer as she leaned against the doorframe and looked at the window. 'I wonder... if the truth does come out if you'll be able to come back home.' She then smiled before she finished her beer and walked to her room, having ignored Asuka's empty room as she was staying at Hikari's. Once in bed, she propped her head on her arms and looked out the window at the full moon as she remembered what Rei said which once more caused her lips to twitch into a smile. "Are you going to visit me in my dreams tonight Shin-chan?" Still chuckling, she soon drifted off to sleep...

_______________________________________________________________________________

As he walked through Misato's dream, Shinji first took note of his outfit which was obviously some sort of uniform as around him, people rushed here and there. 'Hmm... Now what's this about?' He heard a shout and turned in time to get a face full of Misato as she shoved his face into her chest. 'Hmm... it's smaller?' He then mentally smacked himself for his thoughts. 'DAMMIT!'

Misato didn't notice as she kept hugging him. "You're just in time Shin-chan!"

She then pulled away and Shinji just barely kept his jaw from dropping as the first thing that he noticed was that Misato was younger, just a few years older then he was. The other was her outfit, consisting of blue shirt with top buttons (undone), a red ascot, and white pants as her hands were covered with yellow gloves. On her head was a white helmet with a large red "M" on it. 'Why does that look familiar...?'

She then grabbed him. "Hurry up Shinji! Or else we'll miss our start!"

Shinji gave her an odd look. "Our start?"

Misato nodded and stuck her tongue out. "For the race!" Shinji paled and was about to back out of the dream when he found himself grabbed and pulled. Suddenly, he was in a car and looked around as it drove out. "I need my navigator after all!"

Shinji looked at her. "Navigator?" He then blinked as he looked the car over, noticing that it was white with the same red "M" as on Misato's helmet. 'This is really familiar... but why...?'

Suddenly, he heard snickering and turned as Misato scowled. "Dick Dastardly..." Shinji blinked at the guy in the nearby car wearing old fashioned racing gear and the dog that snickered at them. "Grrrr..."

She also narrowed her eyes as two guys in a go-cart pulled up. Both looked Italian with one wearing red and the other green as they waved. "It's a me! Mario!"

The green one waved at Shinji, who waved back slowly. "It's a me! Luigi!"

Shinji just leaned back and slowly sank into his seat. 'Oooh boy, this is not looking good...' The the race was on! And as they drove through the course past various things, Shinji looked over the map and blinked as he turned it this way and that. 'Why does this look like a five year old drew it in crayon...?' He then saw a ways back a van with some kind of dog eating from a box. "... A dog?"

The dog blinked and looked around and with his better hearing he could hear it. "Wog? Where?"

Shinji just shook his head. 'Definitely a weird dream...' He then looked at Misato and softly smiled as she laughed in pure joy and raised an eyebrow as she pressed a button and the car jumped over another. 'But she is enjoying it.' Suddenly, what looked like a fireball flew past and he glanced at the mirror to see what looked like an ice cream truck with a flaming clown head on top and a demented one at the wheels. "Uh... Misato? We got a clown on our heels..."

Said purple haired woman growled as she gripped the steering wheel. "Sweet Tooth..." Misato then gestured at the glove compartment. "There's a weapon in there, use it."

The alicorn raised an eyebrow and popped it open to see a stock. He grabbed it to show what looked like an oversized gun with what looked like a bomb on the end. "What the hay is this?"

Misato smirked. "Davy Crockett." She then looked in a mirror as she dodged another fireball. "Now, mind using it?"

Shinji shrugged before he unbuckled his seatbelt and turned around as he took aim. A moment later he fired and there was a bright flash of light and he slumped down with a disbelieving look on his face. "Misato... that was a nuke..."

She nodded as flaming debris rained down around them. "Well, of course it was Shin-chan! That prick deserved it!"

He just gave her a look and slowly nodded. "O... kay..." As Shinji buckled his seatbelt, he glanced in the mirror as the fireball began to dissipate. "Um... what's next?" Misato smirked and Shinji got a good look ahead at a portal. "Wait... that smirk... Misato, why do I..." They passed through and suddenly they're in a futuristic cityscape... on a track out of hot wheels. "... Have a bad... feeling..." Seeing the drop, all Shinji did was lay a hoof across his eyes as the driver of the car manically laughed. "Oh... buck me..." And then they we screaming down the sheer drop, Shinji quite literally...
________________________________________________________________________

Slowly walking across the pitstop, Misato reached the still freaked Shinji and handed him a can of juice. "Here you go Shin-chan." As she took a sip of her own, she looked around. "We're making some good time, Navigator." She laughed though. "Though you're acting just like you should." The purple haired woman caught him stiffening and raised an eyebrow as he mumbled something. "Sorry, what was that?"

Shinji gulped a little and closed his eyes. "I said... I am the real Shinji..."

Misato stopped for a moment and was about to say something when she remembered the conversation with Rei that day and her eyes widened as she looked at him. "Wait... Rei said that you visited her in her dream earlier... So, you're actually here?"

He winced and nodded. "Yeah, turns out that I got a new ability so..." He held out his hooves a bit with a shaky smile. "Ta-da?" Shinji then had the wind knocked out of him as she slugged him in the stomach. "Oof!"

The alicorn groaned a bit but before he could say anything, he was pulled into a hug as she cried into his furry neck. "I was so worried... I... I couldn't lose someone else..."

He hugged her back and nuzzled her. "Sorry Misato, I never meant to worry you."

She pulled away some and wiped at her eyes as she looked around with a slight grin. "Guess that I should be happy that you didn't wind up in one of my more... naughty dreams, hmm Shin-chan?" Misato then gave him a teasing look. "Though maybe you might have enjoyed it."

Shinji sputtered for a moment before he shot back. "Oh come on Misato!" He then decided some payback was in order as he gave her a hooded look. "Besides... I'm a horse, you might not be able to handle it." It took her a moment to piece it together, but soon she was red in the face and sputtering as Shinji chuckled. "Feels good to get one over you."

It took her nearly a minute, but she eventually got herself back under control and slugged him in the shoulder. "Bastard." But her smile belied her true feelings as she leaned back. "Just the same, I'm glad to see that you're alright." She then noticed him giving her a questioning look. "Something the matter Shin-chan?"

He rubbed the back of his neck for a moment. "I would've thought that you'd be angry that I invaded your privacy..."

Misato snorted and shrugged. "Maybe a little." She sighed as she looked down at the can. "Though, to be truthful, since it's you, I don't mind all that much." The purple haired girl shrugged. "Not like you don't know a lot of my secrets from my drunken rambling anyways and you've never told anyone what I've told you." Seeing the surprise, she snorted. "I've always known Shinji, but I trust you enough to know that you won't tell a soul what I've said... so this doesn't bother me much." Misato then smacked him across the back of the head causing him to wince. "Just next time as me for permission. Though you're welcome whenever you want." At his nod, she finished her drink and tossed the can into the garbage. "So then, ready partner?"

Shinji finished his and sighed dramatically. "I suppose that now is time to face my death." He then shook his head. "And here I thought that you weren't angry at me..." As she yelled at him with a flushed face, he trotted ahead to the car with a large grin...
After the race finished, Misato sighed as she leaned against the wall and looked at her car, with the various dints and scrapes on it. "Well, we did it."

Shinji chuckled as he sipped from the juice can. "We did." He looked at her and shook his head. "I have to admit Misato, you have some exciting dreams."

She nodded a bit before she drank from her own can as she looked at her car in thought. The teenaged girl then looked at the alicorn. "Shin-chan, can I ask you something?"

He turned toward her with an eyebrow raised. 'I wonder if it's what I think...' Shinji slowly nodded with a smile. "I think that I know what you're going to ask Misato, but go ahead and ask anyways, I don't mind."

Misato flushed some under Shinji's gaze as she rubbed her neck. "Well... we still have to do our victory lap, but with the damage to the car, that can't be done so..." She cleared her throat as the alicorn's expression became more and more amused at her embarrassment. "I was wondering if... you know, you wouldn't mind giving me a ride...?"

Shinji slowly tilted his head to the side as if puzzled. "So you want to ride a stallion for the rest of the night in your dream?"

The young woman just stammered and sputtered as she tried to say something. "Tha-that wasn't what I meant Shin-chan!"

He just pointed to himself with his hoof as if still puzzled. "But Misato-san, I'm a stallion and you just said that you wanted to ride me."

Misato turned even redder until she realized what he was doing as she spotted the slight twitch of his lips. "Oooo! You!" She then wrapped on arm around his neck as she gave him a noogie. "Come here you!"

Shinji laughed some as he tried to dodge her. "Oh come on Misato!"

She grinned. "Oh no, Shin-chan! I can't let you get away with that!" A few minutes later, the still laughing Misato leaned against her charge, who was out of breath and chuckling as well. She then slowly calmed and sadly smiled as she twisted around and gave him a hug. "I've missed you Shin-chan."

He gave her a nuzzle, the motion no longer alien to him while to Misato it caused her to flush slightly. "I've missed talking to you Misato..." He then snorted. "Even your teasing."

The young woman just laughed at this. "Okay, who are you and what have you done with Shinji?" She then shook her head. 'He's... changed.' Suddenly, she frowned in thought. 'Though somehow I know it's him...' All of a sudden Misato's eyes widened as she was enveloped in a glow and lifted off the ground. "What the..."

Shinji gave a smile. "Well, you did want a ride." It was then that Misato noticed that he was no longer in his uniform before he placed her onto his back just behind his wings. "Now then, ready?"

She looked around for a bit and shook her head. "Uh... where do I hold on?"

As he rolled his eyes, the EVA pilot flicked his ears. "Place your arms around my neck, but be careful of my wings, okay?" Shinji waited until she had laid forward and placed her arms around his neck. "Ready?"

She nodded. "Ready." A moment later he began trotting which caused her hair to fly out behind her. "Faster!"

Shinji smirked. "Faster? Okay then..." And with that, his trot turned into a full-blown gallop. After making sure that she had a good grip, Shinji turned his head toward her. "This is your captain speaking, I wish to inform you that your flight on Air Shinji is about to take off. Please keep all arms and legs where they are. And thank you." And with a loud squeal from his passanger, he leaps into the air and soars off...
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As a winded and grinning Shinji walked into the castle's main dining room, he noticed a pleased looking Nightmare watching him over her folded hooves. "Er, is something the matter mo-Nightmare." He frowned a little. 'I can't possibly be thinking of her in that way... could I?'

Shinji was deep enough in thought that he had not noticed the pleased expression on Nightmare's face before she schooled it. "Oh, just wondering if you had a... pleasent time within your mare's dream, that is all."

He blinked and gave her an odd look before it clicked. "WHAT!?"

She chuckled a bit. "Why, I was wondering if you had a very good time while visiting her..." Her eyes became hooded. "After all... considering that you came back smiling and out of breath, what exactly am I supposed to think Little Prince, hmm?"

At her smirk, Shinji felt heat climbing his neck as he knew that his face was completely red while he sputtered. "I... that is... we... NOTHING LIKE THAT HAPPENED!"

Nightmare's smirk grew. "Oh, I know... though I doth think that thou protests too much."

Shinji just sat down and held his face in his hooves as he groaned over her laughter.
____________________________________________________________

As she walked into the small control room, Misato grimaced as she caught sight of Ritsuko sitting at a computer and typing away. She then glanced at the clock and her grimace only grew before she pulled Maya aside. "How long?"

Maya looked over at her superior and sighed. "She's been here all night according to the logs..." She then clinched her fist in rage. "If I ever find the bastards who are trying to do this I'll..." She felt a hand on her shoulder that squeezed it and looked over at the Major. "Ma'am?"

The purple haired woman just sighed. "I'll take care of this Maya." She slowly strode over to her friend as she thought over the present situation. 'Oh Rits, he wouldn't blame you.' Having reached her, she placed her hand on the dead tired scientist's shoulder which startled her. "Rits, you promised me that you would head home and get some sleep."

Ritsuko sighed as she ran a hand down her face. "I know, I know..." She then groaned. "But I've had to stay and deal with the attempts to release the videos of Shinji." The doctor then ran a hand through her hair. "That's all he would need, is for the world as a whole to find out about him."

Misato glanced at the computer with a frown. "That bad?"

The doctor took out a cigarette and lit it, the whole time she ignored the disapproving looks from other techs. "Someone is trying to push the matter. The Magi are having to seek out and block about 200 attempts an hour."

The purple haired woman's eyebrows raised at that number. "That many Rits?" She shook her head confused. "I thought that the Magi were able to prevent attacks and leaks..."

Ritsuko scowled as she shook her head. "Yes, attacks against them. However, the videos about Shinji are not attacks against them and considering that they're coming from places outside the Magi's network here in Tokyo-3..." Suddenly, the intercom buzzed and Ritsuko turned back to the computer. "Now..." She activated the communication for it and Commander Ikari was there. "Sir?"

He watched her his glasses for a moment before he began. "Doctor, I was under the assumption that you had managed to prevent any leaks."

She blinked for a moment and slowly nodded. "I have... why?"

Gendo watched her for a moment before another window popped up showing a newscast in America... a newscast that showed Shinji. "Apparently, you have not."

Ritsuko just stared at the screen before the window closed and she gave a small scream as she punched the desk.
________________________________________________________________________

After Ritsuko had left his office once he had finished her dressing down, Gendo smiled behind his hands. "All is going according to the scenario..."

Behind him, Fuyutsuki frowned. "You're playing a dangerous game Ikari." He looked at him. "If she ever finds out that the information was released through you..." The old ex-professor shook his head. "And with what might happen to your son..."

The Commander's expression didn't change from what it was. "Her response is already planned for. And as explained for her, she's only here as long as she has purpose. And once that purpose runs out..." He then tilted his head a little. "As for the Third Child, the resulting reaction to him being no longer human can only help the scenario as it would distance him from human contact. And in the end it will help to break him."

The Sub-Commander watched him for a moment and sighed. 'I only hope that you know what you're doing Ikari...'

With Ritsuko as she reached her office, walked over to her desk and sat down with a heavy sigh. "I am so sorry Shinji-kun..." She looked at the desk as her thoughts poured over what had happened that night when she remembered something. 'Wait... what did he mean by saying that my mother's use, unlike mine, will never run out...' She slowly glanced at the computer and turned it on. "Lets see if your notes can help me one more time mom..." She connected with the Magi, and using her mother's notes, managed to get in deep past where she was supposed to be allowed when she came across several things. 'Why would he hide how long a soul can remain in a body before it leaves...'

She continued reading as her stomach slowly churned. '48 hours... a soul remains in the body for 48 hours...' She quickly cross-referenced several things and as time went on, she grew more and more horrified. 'Splintering and splicing different souls? I... what the hell were you doing and... Unit-00's soul was the test subject?' She frowned as she remembered how the memory pod was not just to copy memories and brain patterns into the clones, but also to do the same for the soul in Unit-00 as she was there for when they had placed the shards of Rei's soul into it. Suddenly, she found a video. After watching it, she sat there stunned before she ran for a nearby wastecan and puked into it. "Oh gods..."
________________________________________________________________________

From where she floated in Unit-00's core, Naoko watched her daughter through her connection with the Magi. "Oh Ritsuko... I am so sorry..." As she continued to watch her daughter sob, Naoko's form became slightly misshappen as she stopped focusing on keeping the image of her original form. As she did so, some of her hair turned blue and her skin became blotchy as some pale areas developed. Most telling though was when one eye turned blood red...

"I will live to see you die Gendo..."
_________________________________________________________________________________
As he sat across from her in a kimono, Shinji watched as Nightmare gracefully collected the various utensils in front of her and waited until she was done. His stern look then turned into a smile as he nodded. "Very good, Nightmare. You're becoming much better at this."

While she examined the small box and the room around them, Nightmare shook her head as she adjusted her own kimono. "I must admit, it's surprising how hard this 'Tea Ceremony' truly is." She then smiled. "And yet... it is quite calming in a sense I suppose."

The younger alicorn chuckled some. "Hmm, yes, it is, isn't it?"

After a few moments, Nightmare asked a question that had bothered her for a bit. "How is it though that you know of this ceremony so well?"

Shinji frowned a little as he raised an eyebrow. "Why are you wondering that? Being in my head and having seen my memories should have told you how."

The larger alicorn softly snorted. "If you think that, then you are most mistaken Young Prince." She looked around as she sighed. "I have only looked through those memories that pertain to your current situation as well as general information as to how to act in this world." She looked him in the eyes. "Other then that, I have not pried." Nightmare then gestured around. "If I had, would not I have already mastered this?"

Stunned, he thought it over some. "... No, I guess not."

As she nodded, Nightmare stood up and made her way beside him before she sat back down. "Now then, would you mind indulging me?"

Shinji looked at her before he closed and sighed. "Her name was Saki."

Beside him, the female alicorn frowned at the sadness in his tone. "Saki?"

He nodded. "She was actually one of my few friends at my sensei's." Having opened his eyes, he looked at the floor. "Saki had invited me to a tea ceremony club one day and we started to learn how to perform it."

Having felt the pang of pain, Nightmare draped a wing across his back. "And something happened to her." Before he could say anything, she had quickly thought it over before she said something that went against her nature. "If it hurts and you do not wish to speak more of it, I shall understand."

To her surprise though, Shinji shook his head and slowly leaned into her as her wing embraced him. "No, it's not like it's a huge secret or anything." He sighed as his eyes misted. "She was my friend for about six months before her father got a job offer elsewhere. It was a better paying job with a promotion, but he rejected it in the end because she didn't want to leave her friends... she didn't want to leave me..."

Nightmare guessed where it was going, but nodded nonetheless. "But something happened, correct?"

He sighed and closed his eyes. "About a month later, her and her family were found dead. A serial killer had murdered them."

Her eyes narrowed in anger, the female alicorn growled. "And did they catch him?"

Shinji nodded. "They did, though he died in the resulting shoot out." He opened his eyes which were filled with pain. "I have had other friends over time, but around then the economy started picking up and so their parents often had to move for better jobs and opportunities. Only her family had ignored that..."

Nightmare pulled him close with her wing as she nuzzled him, Shinji not fighting it. "There, there Young Prince. I am sorry for bringing up such painful memories." She sighed. "And so, that is why you continue it? In her memory?"

Shinji just shrugged. "I guess... or at least that is what I would like to think anyways. I just kind of... continued with it."

They just sat there for several moments before Nightmare pulled away some. "Now then... I do believe that you were visiting another one of your mares tonight?"

He rolled his eyes as he snapped out of his funk and mumbled. "She's not one of my mares... Ritsuko is a friend, that's all..."

The alicorn beside him smirked. "But you are visiting her... correct?"

Shinji smiled softly. "Yeah, I think that tonight she might sleep, giving me the chance."

Nightmare gave him a smile in return. "Then I do believe that you should head out now and go see her..."

The room and their kimonos disappeared as they stood up. As Shinji started for the door, he looked over his shoulder and gave her a nod. "Thanks Nightmare..."

She just nodded. "You are welcome, Young Prince." After he had left, she moved to where she could glare out over the dreamscape version of Tokyo-3 as she focused on one area. "I suspect that you are responsible foal... When the time comes, I shall see you punished for your crimes and place you through suffering that shall seem like an eternity..."
______________________________________________________________________________
Having just entered Ritsuko's dream, Shinji looked at himself and raised an eyebrow as he was in a one piece orange jumpsuit which was unzipped to his waist and the arms tied together. On his shirt were the words 'NERV Laboratories' which caused his eyebrows to raise. 'Okay...' It was then he spotted the rest, in particular the odd oblong device attached to one foreleg that ended in a small arm which contained three prongs. On his back legs were some odd boots. "What is going on here?" Suddenly a holographic window popped up revealing what looked like a robotic version of Ritsuko who hung suspended from the ceiling from wires, though the cat ears and tails on her caused him to raise his eyebrows even more. "Ritsuko? Is that you?"

She looked surprised for a moment. "Shin...ji...kun?"

Suddenly, one of the odd devices attached to her had it's "Eye" light up and she screamed as bolts of lightning shot through her as Shinji's eyes widened. "RITSUKO!"

After a moment of her just hanging there, she pulled back up, her eyes dulled as she spoke in a mechanical voice. "Hello [Test Subject]. Welcome to the NERV testing initiative. Please try not to die too soon for SCIENCE."

Shinji growled deep in his throat. "Ritsuko..." In the back of his mind however, he sensed there was more to this, but didn't know what. He then glared. "Bring it on."

The robot seemed to fight with itself for a moment before she groaned. "Sh-Shinji... don-" Another object's eye lit up which caused her to shudder and whimper before she went back to her dulled voice. "Proceed to the first test room, [Test Subject]..."

As the door before him opened, Shinji steeled himself as he stepped through and found himself in a room. "Now what..."

Ritsuko once more spoke up. "All you have to do is transport the NERV Laboratories Weighted Companion Cube next to you and place it on the button at the end. This test is mainly to get you used to the NERV Science Handheld Dirac Sea Device." Shinji raised an eyebrow at that. "It is powered by a mini-S2 core, not that a brain dam-damaged subject such as yourself would know what that is..."

Shinji narrowed his eyes as he watched her stutter a bit before he tested it out on a wall, a large black circle outlined in orange appearing. He then shot it at the other wall which created another. 'Interesting...'

The robot then continued. "The Dirac Seas are connected and allow for travel between them. Thus, you can travel large distances in a moment by stepping through them."

After a few more tests, where he got the gist of what he was supposed to do, he walked to the end and placed the cube onto the outlined "Button" on the floor, though he raised an eyebrow at the strange sound Ritsuko let out. 'That almost sounded like... naw! Couldn't have been!' The door then opened and he walked through... to find a series of strange egg shaped robots alone with, of all things, golden rings in the air while the ground was covered in ramps and dips. "What the..."

Ritsuko blinked slowly. "In this room, you shall find the NERV Science Rotational Speed Increase Ball, it's to your left moron."

Once more, she jerked as if she had been fighting with herself before Shinji turned and saw a large hollow ball. "... It's a hamster ball..."

The robot seemed to glare. "It's a NERV Science Rotational Speed Increase Ball." She then coughed. "The turrets are currently only able to shoot painfully debilitating streams of electricity at you. For this test, you must reach the end of the level inside the ball while destroying the turrets and collecting the NERV Science Quantum Ablative Rings. To destroy a turret, you must 'Jump' using the NERVSRAIB and land on top of it. The NERV Science Quantum Ablative Rings shall help decrease the amount of damage that you take by acting as an ablative armor. If you are struck, they shall explode from you and prevent most of the damage. However, you only have a matter of seconds to collect them."

Shinji smirked as he walked over to the ball. "Well... time to see what this hamster ball can do..." He got in and began to run until the ball was a blue blur...
_________________________________________________________________
Having had to stop and take a break, Shinji rotated his sore shoulder as first he looked around what seemed like a run-down office before he glanced at himself and winced. There were tears and cuts all across his clothing which was also scorched in places that he had narrowly dodged attacks. After he turned back around and began to explore the office, his mind drifted to how Ritsuko kept trying to help him, only to be cut off as one of the spheres electrocuted her. Angered, Shinji stomped a hoof and growled as he whipped his head around. 'I'll beat whatever this is Ritsuko...' He then frowned as a thought occurred to him. 'I hope that those groans when I beat a test don't mean that I'm hurting her...'

It was then that he noticed the name plate on the desk. "Wait a second... Kasuragi Misato?" Shinji looked around and his frown deepened. "This is her office... but why..." He then saw the framed pictures on the wall, each one showed a different scene of Ritsuko and Misato together. But the other thing being that the glass in each one was shattered as well as the pictures themselves looking decayed. 'Okay... Mo-Nightmare said that your surroundings in a dream can tell you quite a bit. But what does Misato's office being all rotted mean?'

Before he could think it over any more, he heard a screech that came from Ritsuko. "Dammit... I don't have time for this..." He then rushed out of the office and headed through the next test. After a few more, and having had to rush across a catwalk while shot at, he finally reached two massive doors. As he looked them over, a smirk that looked like it belonged on Nightmare's face crossed his. "Well now... time for the finale." The doors opened slightly and Shinji slipped inside to see Ritsuko as she hung. He also saw the spheres on her at which the alicorn glared. 'There you are...'

It was then that Ritsuko noticed him as her eyes widened and she struggled to whisper. "Shin-Shinji...?"

Shinji slowly took a few steps forward as he kept an eye out on his surroundings. "It's me Ritsuko. He scowled as she twitched from a few bolts of electricity, chains binding her body and the cores. 'Damn... whatever this is, it's serious...'

Ritsuko struggled against her bindings as she stuttered. "Sh-Shinji... Get... away... from... here... before..."

She screeched though as she was again electrocuted, one of the spheres lighting up as it spoke in a female's. "Must experiment for the sake of science. Advance all science."

Another one, with an orange "Eye" then also spoke up in Gendo's voice, which caused Shinji's eyebrows to nearly meet his mane. "Never mind the pawns, they are unimportant and easily sacrificed."

As her body smoked, Ritsuko slowly raised her head as the eyes on the other spheres all glowed. "Yes, you are right as always. We must do everything to bring about the scenario." Shinji got ready as she turned her dull, lifeless eyes on him. "[Test Subject], your journey through science ends here. We here at the NERV Testing Initiative would like to thank you before your tragic death for helping to advance science." Shinji then heard what sounded like hissing and looked up to see vents. "What you hear is extremely powerful neurotoxin that is going to cause you a painful death."

Shinji growled as he saw a small shadow flit around. "Snap out of it Ritsuko! This is all a nightmare and you can be in control!"

The robotic catgirl blinked dully. "A... dream...?"

He just nodded. "A dream. You can conquer it!" As he saw her struggle, he grit his teeth. "I can help, but only if you let me!"

There was a moment where the hissing continued as Ritsuko fought the hold of the spheres. Then, suddenly, there was a clang as the vents slammed shut. "Th-there... He-help... me..." As she obviously bit back a scream, several doors opened as rocket turrets walked out. "Th-th-think with... portals..."

Shinji smirked as he brought up the portal gun. "You got it Ritsuko..." What followed was a fight as every time a rocket or bullets was sent in his direction, Shinji would dodge and open a portal, trying to get the turrets to shoot off the spheres or hit the chains. Finally, the last sphere fell off in an explosion as the chains came undone after which the turrets shut down. As Ritsuko hung there, Shinji winced from his injuries as he trotted up. "Ritsuko...? You okay there?"

She swung around and nodded. "I am now, thanks." Ritsuko then looked around as if she was coming out of a daze, before she spotted one of the sphere's, the same one that Gendo's voice came out of. "Ah... there you are..." She seemed to grin viciously as an arm came out from behind a ceiling tile and grabbed it. "The Immorality Sphere... And I know just what to do with you..."

Another arm came down and opened a chute, which Shinji looked down to see flames and molten metal at the bottom. The arm that carried the Immorality Sphere brought it over right above the chute as it's eye flickered. "You cannot get rid of me. I have insured that you shall always be bound to me."

Ritsuko, however, was going to have none of that, as she dropped it in. "Like hell." She smirked at the screams which were suddenly cut off before she picked up the one that went on about science. "And now for you..."

It looked around in a daze before it focused on her. "You can never escape my shadow. After all, you shall never be near as good as me in science..."

Shinji walked up beside Ritsuko and snorted. "Like hell. Whoever you are, she's going to overshadow you."

The robotic catgirl looked pleased as she dropped it into a chute, once more, her smirk grew as the scream was cut off. "And there goes another past issue... Now whose next..." Once they were all gone, Ritsuko frowned as she looked at herself. "Now then... if this is a dream and I'm lucid..." There was pneumatic hiss as part of the connection to the ceiling separated revealing a human lower torso and legs as she slowly descended to the ground. Once she touched down, her usual clothing, with a hole for her tail, appeared on her. The scientist chuckled and smirked as she looked herself over. "Well, now this is rather nice..."

From where he was, the alicorn nodded in agreement. "It is rather nice."

Anything else though, died in his throat as she turned to him with a glare. "Now then, perhaps you might explain how you managed to get into my dream, Shinji-kun..."
After she had said that, Shinji started a bit before he glanced around. "Whatever gave you that idea Ritsuko...?"

She gave him an unamused look as she ticked off on her fingers. "Usually, this nightmare has me watch while various people I know are killed, including you numerous times." She gulped some and blinked back a few tears before she shook it off. "You, however, made it all the way here and snapped me out of it. Then, there's the fact that you are currently a winged unicorn, every other time you've been human."

The stallion bit his lip and looked away. "Um... maybe you're just used to it by now...."

Ritsuko just gave him a level look. "I also, despite being able to control the rest of this dream, can't transform you into a human." Shinji was about to say something when she strode up with an angry look. "Why the hell would you violate my privacy like this Shinji? I trusted you dammit!"

Shinji hung his head and sighed. "I thought that Rei and Misato had told you..."

The robotic catgirl was about to say something when she remembered the hints that Misato and Rei had dropped her. 'Wait... they did do that, didn't they...'

A sniffle caught her attention and she couldn't help but wince as she saw the saddened look on Shinji's face. "I'm sorry Ritsuko and I couldn't ask since I'm unconscious and then I saw the nightmare..." He hanged his head even lower if that was possible as he shook it. "I guess... I ruined everything huh?" Shinji then began to fade. "I'll... just leave now..."

Ritsuko's eyes widened before she was suddenly in front of him, her hand on his shoulder. "Wait." He stopped fading, but didn't go back fully solid. "I'm sorry for snapping at you Shinji, I've just been under a lot of pressure and with you showing up in my dream... well, I shouldn't have." As he once more solidified, Ritsuko sat down as a chair came into existence in time to catch her. "Just next time, ask."

Shinji just nodded as he sat down as a cushion appeared below him. "I will... unless you're having a frightmare..."

The doctor just chuckled. "Now that is better then nothing." She then frowned. "Though how you can travel into others dreams or how you found out is something entirely different." Ritsuko narrowed her eyes. "How did you find out?"

As he shifted a bit, Shinji looked at the ceiling. "Something inside just told me that I could."

He felt a bead of sweat as it dripped down the back of his head as Ritsuko mumbled. "This requires controlled tests..." She then noticed his expression and smiled. "Which will, of course, be kept secret." The doctor then noticed that Shinji was examining her with a confused expression. "Something the matter?"

Shinji frowned some and gestured at her. "Just wondering why a cat girl..." He saw her flush some and waved his hooves in the air in front of him. "N-not that it's anything bad I mean! You look quite good as a cat girl, I mean, it's attractive, er... I mean-" He got cut off as she started to laugh and soon after joined her...

_________________________________________________________

As she woke up, Ritsuko yawned and laid there with a happy smile on her face. 'That... was the best sleep that I've gotten in years... Guess having no nights filled with nightmares helps.' She then looked around the room at the various items including several cat girl dolls and other cat memorabilia. After she yawned, she cracked her back and sighed, "Ah..."

Author's Note:

Yeah, sorry it took so long, but was busy with some other projects as well as figuring out ways to do this chapter. Hopefully, you all enjoyed it.