Story: The Daughters of Lilith (chapter 6)

Authors: bleeding.blade

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Chapter 6

Title: Inspector Ryoji Kaji

I should have seen it coming—should have guessed it after I saw Misato again all those months ago.

Misato and Ritsuko: everything had come between those two: life, death, work, men. Yet nothing had also managed to keep them apart—not even the fact of the world ending.

Still, I hadn’t seen it coming—hadn’t guessed it until my proposal to Misato caused a reaction I’d never anticipated.

Strange that after the world had ended, some expectations still remained.


I remember hugging her from behind, trying to comfort her in her worry for Ritsuko.

Look, I told her, I know we’re the farthest thing from your mind right now, but we can do this together…we can finally be together, and if the first thing we need to do as a couple is to rescue Ritsuko, then that’s what we’ll do—for the rest of our lives, if we have to. Our being together is what she wants too.

She looked at me then, an unreadable expression on her face. How do you know Ritsuko wants us to be together?

Her question puzzled me, but I gave her an answer anyway. Over a year ago, when I was about to…leave, she told me that I didn’t need to go. That Gendo didn’t have to be in the way.

She froze at that moment, a look of dawning horror on her face. Then she whispered something to herself that I couldn’t hear—then turned abruptly on her heel and ran away.


Misato wait! I sprinted after her and was gratified to see her slow down.

You left me there all of a sudden, I told her quietly after I’d caught up. What’s going on, Misato?

She looked away for several long moments before looking at me again. Her voice was gentle as she spoke.

I’m glad your search is over Kaji. Few people deserve to rest as much as you do. But…something in me broke the day you left. And someone else put the pieces back together.

I stared at her until realization dawned. You’re in love with Ritsuko, aren’t you? Her aloofness when I’d come back all those months ago, her agitation at Ritsuko’s situation—suddenly everything made sense.

She nodded bleakly and whispered. I should have known. Then she shook her head and spoke more firmly. No, I’ve known all along. I was just too afraid.

I struggled for several moments before asking: Do I still have a chance?

The sadness in her eyes broke my heart before she opened her mouth. That morning when I asked you not to go and you did—that was your chance, Kaji. There was a moment in your life when you had a choice between me and your cause, and you chose your cause. Ritsuko had a choice between her life and my happiness—or what she believed my happiness looked like anyway—and she chose my happiness.

I laughed bleakly. When you put it that way, it really isn’t a contest, is it?

She hugged me impulsively. I’m sorry, Kaji. I truly am.

I hugged her back for a long fierce moment, before finally letting her go. I’m the one who’s sorry, Misato. For many things, including what’s happened to Ritsuko—

A beep from my phone cut me off. I was going to put it away when I saw the caller ID and decided to answer the call instead.

Yes? I replied tersely. After a moment, I could feel myself turning pale. I see. I’ll be there in half an hour.

I flipped my phone off and spoke without looking at Misato. There’s been an assassination attempt at the NERV prison. Gendo was shot. Ritsuko…Ritsuko was also shot, Misato. They’re taking them to the hospital now.

Strange that after the world had ended, some curses still endured.

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