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Lonely Hearts
A Ranma/Neon Genesis Evangelion Crossover Fanfic
By: Aaron Nowack

Chapter 1: Over the Rainbow

Disclaimer: Ranma is owned by Rumiko Takaashi. Neon Genesis Evangelion is owned by Hideako Anno. I am not either of these people, therefore I make no claim to ownership. However, the text of this fanfic and any original characters are mine, and should not be used without permission. Thank you.

Before Second Impact, this area had been well inland. Now it was home to the bustling seaport of Sasebo. Sasebo was home to a major UN naval base. At the moment, most of the Pacific Fleet was in port, preparing for an escort mission. Captain Anderson of the UN aircraft carrier "Over the Rainbow" watched, his mouth twisted up in disgust, as Evangelion Production Model Unit 02 was slowly loaded onto one of his ships. Captain Anderson was in nominal command of the entire operation.

He was disgusted at his orders. The entire UN Pacific fleet was being used to ferry one of NERV's toys, a young girl that was supposed to pilot it, and some functionary who was acting temporarily as the girl's guardian. What a joke. It wasn't like there were any enemy fleets to protect it from anyway.

Anderson noticed a young man in a NERV uniform walking confidently towards him. Probably a messenger of some sort. As the man approached, the captain realized that he walked with the gait of a fighter. He literally seemed to project an aura of danger, his eyes subconsciously darting from side to side, on the lookout for threats. Captain Anderson had studied some martial arts in his long ago youth, and he knew a martial artist when he saw one.

When the man drew near he spoke. "Are they taking good care of the baby, Captain?"

Anderson frowned in puzzlement. "The baby?" he asked.

The man gestured with his thumb towards the covered bulk of Eva02. "The Evangelion. It was what we called it at Third Branch."

Anderson blinked. What an odd nickname for a weapon. "You are?"

The man bowed slightly. "I'm Ranma Saotome, ranked as a Captain in NERV."

Captain Anderson bowed back. "I'm Captain Anderson, in charge of this operation. Pardon me for not recognizing you earlier, but you look... and move... more like a soldier than..." Anderson trailed off, trying to find a way to express his opinion of Saotome's job without being offensive.

Ranma laughed amiably, flashing a grin. "Don't worry. I get that a lot. Comes from a misspent youth."

As the two walked towards the "Over the Rainbow", the captain spoke. "A misspent youth?"

"I got into a lot of fights. Spent most of my time trying to become the world's greatest martial artist."

"But you got over it?" asked the captain.

"No," replied Ranma. "I succeeded."

Captain Anderson burst out laughing. "You are one arrogant sunnavabich. I think I like you."

Ranma's face turned slightly cold. "It's not arrogance if it's true."

Before the captain could reply, a supersonic bullet appeared out of nowhere and latched itself onto Ranma. Or more accurately, a young girl appeared out of nowhere and performed what Ranma felt was a credible imitation of an Amazon Glomp. "Mr. Saotome!" squealed the girl.

Ranma looked up into the heavens and sighed. "Asuka! How many times do I have to tell you not to do that. Honestly, you're as bad as a fiancee!"

Sheepishly, the girl released the young doctor. "Sorry, Mr. Saotome," she said, not sounding particularly penitent.

As Captain Anderson struggled to keep himself from disgracing is position by laughing his posterior parts off, Ranma tried to regain some sense of dignity. "Captain Anderson, may I introduce Asuka Langley Soryuu, designated pilot of Evangelion Unit 02."

"Pleased to meet you, Pilot Soryuu," replied the captain, as the three headed up the gangplank and on to the "Over the Rainbow". Maybe this mission wouldn't be quite so bad, after all. It would be amusing in any case.

Ranma surreptitiously reached into the inner pocket of his uniform jacket, feeling the test tube inside. He was going to have to find a safer way to transport it soon, but he couldn't have taken any of the necessary equipment with him into the SEELE base. He couldn't let SEELE get its hands back on his real cargo. Not that NERV was much better of course, but it would have to serve.

Misato Katsuragi forced herself to be objective. It was, after all, her job to know the people she would have to work with. Or, at least, that was what she told herself. In her heart of hearts, she knew she was searching for some reason to not work with him, one the Commander Ikari would accept.

Spread on the tiny desk she was lucky her cabin had was NERV's file on Ranma Saotome. There was a surprising paucity of information for such an important figure. Birthdate: October 12, 1982. Relatives: Unknown. Rank: Captain. Current Position: Pending Reassignment at NERV First Branch. Previous Positions: Security Officer, Gehirin (20042010); Head of Security, NERV Second Branch (2010-2012); Special Assistant to the Commander, NERV Third Branch (2012-2015). Educational History: Undergraduate Degree in Biology, University of Second Tokyo (2008).

Misato sighed. That was really all the information in the file, and she already knew all of that. After all, she had been there for most of it. Misato laughed bitterly. Those had been wild days... to say the least. Two years in Qinghai, then six years in Japan. Almost a decade of her life.

Misato thought back to their first meeting in five years, which had occurred earlier that day. She had been trying to convince the Captain of this oversized tugboat to turn over command of Eva 02 to her, but he had given her some bullcrap excuse about not having authority to do that until the Eva was in Japan. Then, Ranma showed up.

The air temperature had dropped at least ten degrees when he entered the room and the two of them locked eyes. Two words was all that were said. "Bastard," had been hers. His contribution to the conversation was "Bitch." Two words, and the pain and anger returned as strong as ever.

Ritsuko would tell her it was all her fault. She had been the one to choose the opening line, which set the tone for the exchange. She would say it was time to let bygones be bygones, and that the whole thing was probably just some sort of misunderstanding.

But then, Ritsuko thought this was a case of the jilted lover. She thought she was upset because Ranma had run back to Qinghai after the two had had a "week of nonstop sex". But that wasn't it at all, was it...

Misato ran her finger along the scar on her left arm. No. That was not the case. Not by a long shot.

Not far away, Ranma groaned. That had not gone well at all, had it? He had wanted to apologize. He had planned to apologize. But, one word from her, and all his plans went flying out the window. So much for self control.

Ranma cursed himself. He had overreacted that day, so long ago. She hadn't known. She hadn't meant it. He had just overreacted. She was probably justified in her feelings to him. After all, he had put her in the hospital. He had to keep those facts in mind. He was going to have to work with Captain Katsuragi... not Misato, never again Misato... while he was at First Branch. He had to do his job.

Speaking of jobs, he had some phone calls to make. He removed a cellular phone from his pocket, and hit the first speed dial number. "Hello?"

A moment later: "Yes. I have the cargo."

"No, I don't think they suspect."

For a moment, his blood ran cold. "I'm sure Captain Katsuragi and I will work fine together."

"The Second and Third have made contact. Asuka doesn't seem too impressed with the Third."

"My opinion? He's everything a pilot shouldn't be... but the results speak for themselves."

"What? Yes. Of course. The cargo is all important."

"Thank you. A backup is always useful." Ranma hit the disconnect button.

He paused only a moment before hitting the second speed dial. "This is Saotome."


"You're sure?"

"Do we have any clues to who did it?"

"None? Is this all our vaunted resources can do?"

"Of course I'll check for leads at First Branch." Ranma disconnected a second time, and breathed a sigh of relief.

He then carefully dialed another number. "What's up?"

"Uh-huh. Yeah, that figures, don't it?"

"Please tell me those records are secure,"

"Thank God. If the..."

"Yes, I know ya know that!"

"All right. Everything's OK on this end. Nice talking to you." Ranma hit the disconnect button for the third and final time. He then purged the phone's memory of the recent conversations. He doubted anyone would get their hands on the phone, but one lesson he had learned was that you never, ever let your guard down. At least, not if you wanted a long life.

His night's work complete, Ranma gathered his toiletries and started off to the head. He had time to take a shower before going to bed. Tomorrow should be interesting.

In the depths beneath the surface of the Pacific Ocean, something was stirring. Swarms of fish scattered as its massive bulk displaced hundreds of tons of water. Even the sharks, terrors of the sea, fled. Giant whales, the only creatures even approaching it in bulk, did their best to get out of its way.

It was ancient and terrible, utterly inhuman. Its very soul was so alien as to be almost totally incomprehensible. And, in that soul, it held something a human might call hatred, though such was a poor analogy.

It was hatred towards those who had caused its father's long sleep. It was hatred towards those it could not understand. It was hatred for Lilith, and all of her demon spawn. It was a hatred of humanity.

The other driving force behind this alien being was what could loosely be called desire. A desire for reunion with the being that had created it. A desire to return home to Adam.

This was Gaghiel, the Sixth Angel. And it could sense the one to who it must return... far nearer than it might have thought. And with that, Gaghiel began to move.

The figure stared at his phone. "How nice." He then quickly strode off towards his destination. Or what he hoped was his destination. The night darkened around him, and he quickly lost track of his precise location.

An indeterminable amount of time later, he arrived at his destination. "Good. I'm here." He quickly walked forward to the gate.

"Halt and declare your business!" called out the guard readying his rifle.

The man flashed his identity card wordlessly.

"You're with NERV?" asked the guard. "What do you need?"

"This is a Code Blue operation- authorization Alpha Pi Zero Nine," replied the visitor. "I am not required to state my orders."

"Er... yes, sir," stammered the guard.

The visitor swept past the soldier and into the facility. Moments later, he was alone in the control room. A few typed commands, and he was done.

"Well. That ought to make tomorrow a bit more interesting, eh, Saotome?" The visitor then left the complex without further word.

The facility was dedicated to detecting AT field spikes in the Sea of Japan. Its sensor net was flawless, and even the slightest Blue pattern would be instantly relayed to NERV First Branch. Or at least, that was the way it had been.

Five minutes after he left, the visitor turned around, shielding his eyes against the explosion's light. "Too bad about the people... just in the wrong place at the wrong time, I guess." He knew that he would have felt much differently before... but people changed.

"Captain Katsuragi." Ranma's voice was cold and steady.

"Captain Saotome," replied Misato, her voice just as ice hard.

The two locked gazes, causing the two children watching to shrink back. What they had felt in the bridge the day before was confirmed. A very real force existed between the two NERV officers... and it was not a pleasant force.

Ranma was the first to break the silence. "Where are the Children?" The capital letter was evident, leaving no doubt as to who he referred to.

"Asuka took Shinji to inspect Unit 02." Misato was proud of her ability to keep her voice level.

"The Third? Well, that's a help," commented Ranma.

Before Misato could question what Ranma meant, the entire ship shook. Misato quickly grasped the situation. "An explosion!"

Ranma shook his head. "An Angel," he corrected as he raced towards the bridge. Misato quickly followed. Touji and Kensuke paused for a moment before joining her.

"All ships, check distances between ships and avoid movement," ordered Captain Anderson as he struggled to gain control of the situation. "Damn it, what's going on?"

"Gaghiel," stated Ranma as he entered the bridge, the others behind him.

"What did you say?" asked Anderson.

"The Seventh Angel," clarified Ranma. "It's probably after Unit 02," he lied. He knew very well why it was here.

"All ships, fire at will!" ordered the Captain. The ship shuddered as the water around it rippled from the effects of dozens of depth charges.

"That's useless!" exclaimed Misato.

"Much as I hate to say it, Katsuragi's right. That's no way to defeat an AT Field," said Ranma.

"Well, what else do you suggest?" growled Anderson.

"Activate Unit 02," Misato quickly suggested.

Anderson glanced towards Ranma, who nodded. "All right, then. We'll see how your toy does." The Captain turned to his First Officer. "Order the Othero to launch the Evangelion."

Moments later, Asuka's voice was heard over the radio connection. "Unit 02 is ready for battle. The Third is with me."

Nobody noticed as Ranma slipped out of the bridge. "Well, I did what I could." Ranma frowned as he knew he was lying to himself. There was much more he could have done. But... that would only cause greater harm in the long run.

Ranma quickly grabbed the sample case from his room, before hurrying on to the small plane he had ordered to be kept ready. He had an appointment to keep.

Dr. Ritsuko Akagi slowly glanced around the ruins, her cold eyes calmly taking in the destruction. The salvage team was hard at work, trying to determine the cause of the explosion, as well as the extent of damage.

"Dr. Akagi!" called Aiko Hiruma, the leader of the team. "We found something!"

Ritsuko hurried over to Aiko, kneeling down besides the two workers who had made the discovery. That find was the facility's black box. The black box would contain records of everything that had occurred in the past 24 hours. Exactly what they needed.

"Well, let's see what's in it," suggested Aiko.

With a nod, Ritsuko commandeered a laptop and hooked it into the device. After ordering the workers to depart, leaving her and Aiko alone, she swiftly entered her security codes, and with a beep the computer let her know she had access. A moment later, she knew what she needed to know.

"Five minutes before the explosion, someone entered a delayed self-destruct command into the main computer," Ritsuko stated simply.

"Self destruct? You mean... sabotage! But why a delayed selfdestruct?" exclaimed Aiko.

"Probably so that he would have time to get away," replied Ritsuko absentmindedly as she continued going through the data.

"Do we know who did it?" asked Aiko.

"Have a look." Ritsuko turned the laptop around, allowing Aiko to see the screen.

Aiko gasped. The intruder was facing the security camera. There should have been a clear view of his face. Instead, the screen displayed nothing but a blur.

With a single click, Ritsuko deleted the entire contents of the black box. It took two more clicks to purge the laptop's memory of the data it had accessed. That complete, she rose.

Ritsuko turned to Aiko. "Ms. Hiruma."

"Yes?" asked Aiko.

"All results of this investigation are placed under the purview of the UN Security of Information Act by my authority. All members of your team without at least a Delta level security clearance are to be informed of the consequences of letting any information out." Ritsuko's voice stayed steady as she alluded to the punishments many felt were far to harsh. Aiko opened her mouth, planning to question the necessity for that level of security. Ritsuko silenced her with a glare. "This is a Code Blue operation, authorization Nine Gamma Six."

Aiko stilled her protest as she heard the correct authorization number. That was drilled into all NERV employees by heart... if somebody ordered a Code Blue and gave you your correct personal authorization number, you were to obey instantly. Doing otherwise would be hazardous to your career... and your life, if one believed the rumors.

Ritsuko smiled at Aiko's quick obedience. She had the initiative to try to protest, but knew when it was best to keep quiet. "Once all security matters are cleared up, you are reassigned to the Science Department of First Branch. Report to me at 0800 in three days." Best to keep the only other person with really sensitive information on the incident close at hand, where she could keep an eye on her.

Aiko's eyes widened in shock. First Branch was the most prestigious assignment in NERV, for obvious reasons. And now, out of the blue, she was being reassigned from this backwater post to there! She tried to stammer out a "Thank you," but once more she was interrupted.

"Good day, Ms. Hiruma," stated Dr. Akagi. And with that, Ritsuko departed.

Ranma settled into the back seat of the small airplane. "All right. Let's get going," he told the pilot.

"Destination, sir?" was the pilot's only reply.

"Tokyo-3... NERV HQ." Ranma carefully secured the sample case. It wouldn't do to have it break open in flight. That would be... disastrous to say the least.

"Roger." With that, the pilot lifted the VTOL aircraft off the carrier deck.

Almost immediately, the radio squawked in alarm. "Aircraft 1178, why are you taking off? Over."

Ranma gestured to the pilot to pass back the headset. "Over the Rainbow, this is Captain Saotome of NERV. I have commandeered this aircraft under the NERV Emergency Powers Provision. Do not interfere. Over."

"Err... roger. Over." Ranma caught the beginnings of a curse before the radio connection cut off. A grimace on his face, he handed the headset back to the pilot.

He glanced down at the fleet below him. It galled him to be running away like this... but that bastard Ikari was right. The cargo was too important to risk.

Soon, the fleet was over the horizon, and the airplane continued to speed towards Tokyo-3.

Later that day, the battered UN Pacific Fleet pulled into port. Gaghiel had been defeated, but not without a price. Two thirds of the fleet had been utterly destroyed. As soon as the final ship came to a halt, Captain Anderson gleefully signed over control of Unit 02 to Misato. He would be damned if he was ever going to have anything to do with NERV ever again...

As Misato lead the four children off the ship, Asuka looked around. "Where's Mr. Saotome?"

"Aw..." replied Toji, "That coward left durin' the fight. He ain't no man at all."

"Shut up! Mr. Saotome's not like that!" screamed Asuka.

"That's what happened, Asuka," said Misato. "But you're right... the bastard's not like that at all..." Misato trailed off. Ranma was anything but a coward, so he must have had a good reason to leave... something important. But, what could it be?

"This is it," stated Ranma as he laid the sample case on the Commander's desk.

"Very well," replied Commander Ikari, glancing down at the hazard signs that covered the case. "Open it."

Ranma lifted the lid, revealing the fetus-like organism within. "Here." Ranma returned his hands to his side, clenching his fists as he did so.

Gendo nodded.

"Gaghiel was after this, wasn't he?" asked Ranma, knowing the answer.

The Commander was silent.

"So, what did you need this for so badly you were willing to go against the committee for it, hmm?" questioned Ranma.

Ikari made no response.

"The Human Instrumentality Project, right?" Ranma pressed his line of questioning. He was going to win the first battle of wills.

Gendo sighed. "Yes. This is the First."

"Adam," stated Ranma simply. It was nice to have confirmation for his feelings. He wouldn't ask why Gendo needed it outside of the heavily shielded laboratory it had previously resided in. Why he wanted it where the Angels could sense it. Not this time.

"Your new position is the Head of Security for this facility. Fuyutsuki will tell you what you need to know," said Gendo after a long pause.

"That's technically a demotion, you know," replied Ranma. "But I won't make an issue of it this time."

"You are dismissed, Captain Saotome." The Commander turned his gaze back to Adam.

Ranma left the room as quickly as he could without seeming to hurry. As soon as the door closed behind him, he collapsed against the opposite wall. A moment later, he unclenched his fists. With a sigh of relief he wiped the sweat from his forehead.

As he did so he noticed that his fingernails had broken the skin of his palms, and that he now had eight bleeding marks where they had done so.

Ranma glared at the marks, and a moment later they vanished.