Miki is finishing a workout in the therapy room. He sees Misato observing him, and waves to her. She waves back. She enters into the room.
Misato to Miki: How are you feeling, Miki-kun?
Miki to Misato: A little sore, I think. Dr. Akagi says I can return to school tomorrow if I'm careful not to exert myself too much.
Misato to Miki: That's good news, isn't it?
Miki to Misato: Yes, but I hope I'll be able to pilot Eva again soon. I know Asuka's here now, but I don't like the idea of Shinji having to work alone with her.
Misato to Miki: Still haven't forgiven her, have you?
Miki to Misato: It's hard to trust her, now.
Misato looks down.
Misato to Miki: Miki-kun, there's something I have to tell you.
Switch scenes: Mikage is standing in a dark room, illuminated by a spotlight.
Keel (off): Vice-Commander of NERV, Mikage Souji, you will not allow us to question the pilot of Evangelion Unit 01. Why not?
Mikage: I don't believe it wise for the well-being of the pilot for him to stand here before you now.
Unnamed One (off): Very well. As Commander Ikari was absent for the incident, the details of this occurrence must now fall to you.
Unnamed Two (off): Did the Angel attempt to make contact with the pilot?
Mikage: There is no data to suggest that took place. The pilot's report makes no reference to any outside influence. No tampering to his memory was discovered.
Unnamed One (off): The Eva's recorder was not functioning due to a lack of power, however. That cannot be confirmed.
Akio (off): And how was the pilot affected by this incident?
Mikage: There appear to be no adverse mental affects. The pilot continues to be the exclusive pilot of Evangelion 01, and made no indication that he would wish otherwise.
Unnamed Two (off): In your scientific opinion, then, Mikage-sensei, do you believe this Angel was interested in the human mind or soul?
Mikage: That is not a question I am able to answer. We don't know if Angels have concepts of mind, or concepts of thought.
Switch scenes. Class is starting at Ohtori. The students are filing into the classrooms. Kensuke, Toji, and Shinji are sitting together. Shinji looks deep in thought. Wakaba is also there, though she is speaking with some other girls. Utena and Rei walk in together.
Toji to Shinji: Hey, Ikari-kun. Are those two...you know...
Shinji sits up straight.
Shinji to Toji: What do you mean?
Kensuke to Shinji: Well, everyone knows Tenjou wants to be a prince.
Toji to Shinji: And aside from you, I don't think she's ever been seen hanging around a boy. And you know, you don't count.
Kensuke to Shinji: Since you work together.
Toji to Shinji: And you're already spoken for.
Kensuke to Shinji: And where Tenjou goes, Ayanami isn't far behind.
Shinji to Toji and Kensuke: I have no idea what you're talking about.
Kensuke to Toji: Ikari must be the most clueless person in the class.
Toji to Kensuke: No kidding.
Shinji watches Utena and Rei as they sit down in their respective places.
Miki (off) to Idiot Trio: Hey! Ikari-kun! Aida-kun! Suzuhara-kun!
Shinji turns to see Miki coming in, walking fine, with Kozue next to him. After a moment, Kozue goes to her seat and Miki goes to see Shinji and company.
Idiot Trio: Miki!
Utena and Rei both turn now, hearing Miki's name called. Wakaba comes over and sits next to Utena.
Utena to Wakaba: So that's Kozue's brother. He looks so different. So alive.
Wakaba to Utena: Yes. He looks very good for someone who was in a coma. Shinji told me that Miki has made a complete recovery.
Utena sees Shinji and Miki talking. Shinji turns and looks at her, then Miki looks at her as well. They walk over to her.
Miki to Utena: You are the Fourth Children, Tenjou Utena-san?
Utena to Miki: You are the First Children, Kaoru Miki-kun. I am happy to meet you.
Miki to Utena: As am I.
Wakaba: Wow. All you'd need here is Asuka-san and all of the pilots would be in one place.
Kozue looks at Wakaba as she says that, as does Rei. Miki looks at them both before focusing back on Utena. Miki and Utena shake hands. Shinji sees both Utena's and Miki's Rose Signet, and looks distant.
Wakaba to Shinji: Shinji-kun, are you alright?
Shinji snaps out of it.
Shinji to Wakaba: Oh, yes.
Switch to Mikage and Gendo in Gendo's conference room.
Mikage to Gendo: Chairman Keel sent me a complaint this morning. He's very upset, and at the end, hinted at your dismissal.
Gendo to Mikage: Adam is going well. And we've finally been able to make progress on the Dummy Plug project. What is the old man complaining about?
Mikage to Gendo: The Human Revolutionary Project is behind schedule.
Gendo to Mikage: Hmm. All the projects are linked together. There will be no delays.
Mikage to Gendo: As you say. I've also received word from my contact in Amsterdam. How would you like to proceed?
Gendo to Mikage: For the moment, allow him to do as he likes. We can still make use of him.
Switch scenes: Saionji's room. He looks roughly the same as we saw him after his loss to Utena. There is someone knocking on his door. He doesn't respond. The knock continues.
Saionji: It's open.
Touga walks in. He looks at the state of Saionji, looks around at his room, then focuses back on Saionji.
Saionji to Touga: Oh, it's you.
Touga to Saionji: My, this isn't what I expected to find.
Saionji to Touga: Don't mock me. What is it that you want, anyway?
Touga to Saionji: You've been absent for a while now. I came to see how you were.
Saionji to Touga: Did you now?
Touga to Saionji: You don't believe me?
Saionji to Touga: It's very hard to believe your words at face value.
Touga to Saionji: Have I ever betrayed your trust?
Saionji is silent for a moment, then:
Saionji to Touga: Why are you pursuing Tenjou Utena?
Touga smirks, amused and surprised.
Touga to Saionji: Oh, I see, is that what this is about? I had no idea that you were interested in her as well.
Saionji to Touga: Why are you pursuing her?
Touga looks solemn.
Touga to Saionji: I believe that is no concern of yours. I will pursue whomever I wish.
Saionji looks away.
Saionji to Touga: As I expected. Get out.
Touga to Saionji: Saionji-
Saionji to Touga: Get out.
Touga looks at Saionji a moment, then turns and leaves.
Touga (leaving): As you wish.
Switch scenes: Miki and Utena are together. Shinji and Wakaba are nearby, but the focus is on Utena and Miki initially.
Miki to Utena: Katsuragi-san tells me that you are the current pilot of Unit 00.
Utena to Miki: Um...yeah.
Miki to Utena: How do you like it?
Utena thinks about that question.
Utena to Miki: Hmm. Is it possible to actually like it? I'm happy that because I do it, people are safe, but I don't like actually being in the Eva. Especially after, well, with what happened with Ikari, and everything.
Miki looks at Shinji, who looks relatively happy with Wakaba as they talk.
Miki to Utena: He looks very well to me.
Utena to Miki: Yeah...I'm glad that he and Wakaba are happy together. But I meant what happened with Unit 01.
Miki to Utena: What do you mean, Tenjou-san?
Utena to Miki: I'm not really certain what the Evangelion is anymore. It's...I don't know...your sister told Wakaba that she felt the Eva was looking at her. And now...I think she might have been right.
Utena looks at Miki.
Utena to Miki: Did you like it, Kaoru-kun?
Miki watches Shinji while he thinks about it.
Miki to Utena: I'm not sure. I was proud to be selected as a pilot, like Soryu-san is and Arisugawa-sempai was. But...I think part of me is relieved that I don't have to do it. Well, not unless they build another Eva, anyway. But...
Utena to Miki: But?
Miki to Utena: I understand Arisugawa-sempai so much more, now. I always used to think she thought of herself as a failure. Maybe some of that is true. But it was always more than that. Having to sit on the sidelines, helpless to do anything about what's happening to the world.
Miki focuses his attention on Shinji and Wakaba.
Miki to Utena: Watching a friend go into battle for my sake, while I remain at home.
Miki looks at Utena.
Miki to Utena: That's hard to accept. And I think I'm jealous of you because of it.
Utena to Miki: I'm sorry.
Sirens go off in the background, and all the students turn their heads, including those in the background.
Wakaba: Look, look!
Around the Academy, the students watch as the buildings of Tokyo-3 rise into the air.
Students: Wow! Beautiful!
Switch scenes: Kaji is outside of NERV, on the hillside that overlooks both Tokyo-3 and the Ohtori Academy. He stands watching the city as the towers rise out of the earth. Misato's car pulls up. She steps out and walks over to him.
Kaji to Misato: Beautiful sight, isn't it?
Misato to Kaji: It's nice to have them out in the open again. There hasn't been an Angel attack in the past few days, so it's possible to elevate them.
Kaji to Misato: Thank you for coming out here.
Misato to Kaji: I didn't want to talk to you where there might be someone listening to us. What did you want to show me now?
Kaji pulls out the photo of Fuyutsuki and Mikage. He hands it to Misato, who looks at it for a few moments without commenting.
Misato to Kaji: That is the Vice-Commander.
Kaji to Misato: More than that. Look at his hand.
Misato sees Mikage's Rose Signet.
Misato to Kaji: A pilot's ring? But...that's impossible. This was taken before the Second Impact.
Kaji to Misato: Makes you wonder about what else they aren't telling you, doesn't it? Look at this.
He hands her another photo. It is the crest of the Ohtori Academy. It looks very much like the Rose emblem on the pilots' rings.
Misato to Kaji: Ohtori Academy is part of End of the World, though. That's no secret. Many of the scientists and technicians at NERV were once students there. Like the Vice-Commander. The research of the Ohtori Academy was essential to the development of Project E.
Kaji to Misato: Just how much influence does the Academy have with End of the World, though? Makes you wonder.
Misato looks back to the picture of Mikage and Fuyutsuki.
Switch scenes: Rei is watering the roses in the Rose Garden. She is alone, until Shinji comes in approaches her. She looks up upon hearing the door open.
Rei to Shinji: Ikari-kun.
Shinji to Rei: Ayanami-san.
Shinji looks around.
Shinji to Rei: Tenjou-san is not here with you?
Rei to Shinji: No. She is finishing class.
Shinji to Rei: Ayanami, may I ask you a question?
Rei to Shinji: What is it?
Shinji to Rei: Do you feel like your freedom has been taken away from you?
Rei to Shinji: What do you mean?
Shinji looks at the roses, then back to Rei.
Shinji to Rei: What I mean is, do you wish you weren't the Rose Bride? That we wouldn't be dueling for you?
Rei to Shinji: I am the Rose Bride, Ikari-kun. I could be nothing else.
Shinji to Rei: So...you don't mind being the Rose Bride?
Rei to Shinji: I neither like nor dislike it. I am the Rose Bride, Ikari-kun.
Shinji to Rei: Oh.
Rei to Shinji: Is that all?
Utena now walks into the garden.
Utena: Hi, Ikari-kun! Hi, Ayanami!
Rei smiles slightly at Utena's entrance.
Shinji reaches over and plucks a white rose and hands it to Utena. She just looks at it, not accepting it.
Utena to Shinji: What?
Shinji to Utena: Tomorrow, after school, in the Arena of Duels.
Utena looks at Shinji in disbelief. Shinji places the rose in Utena's hand.
Utena to Shinji: Shinji...why?
Shinji to Utena: Fourth Children, I challenge you to a Duel.
Switch scenes. Juri's apartment. Asuka is coming out of the room that used to be Utena's. It's obvious that she really hasn't moved in, more accurately she has just been a very long guest.
Asuka to Juri (off): Did you hear the news?
Juri (off) to Asuka: What?
Juri emerges from her room.
Asuka to Juri: The Fourth Children has been challenged to a duel by the Third Children.
Juri to Asuka: Oh...so Shinji finally decided to do it.
Asuka to Juri: Are you next, then?
Juri looks down, and says nothing. She goes back into her room.
Asuka to Juri (off): What?
Juri's light goes off.
Juri (off) to Asuka: Good night, Asuka.
Asuka to Juri (off): Good night, Juri-san.
Asuka goes into her room.
Asuka (quietly): Must be tough,
Angle switch, and we see Juri staring up at her ceiling.
Asuka (off, quietly): having to think of yourself as a Prince all the time.
Juri (thought): And what do I have to show for it? Will I revolutionize the world?
Switch scenes: It is now the next day, and the sun begins to rise over Tokyo-3 and the Ohtori Academy.
Switch scenes: Misato is in NERV, familiar coffee cup in hand as she watches Ritsuko enter data into the computer. Switch back and forth three times between Ritsuko typing and Misato watching. Finally, Ritsuko gets uncomfortable, stops typing, and slowly turns to Misato.
Ritsuko to Misato: What is it, Misato?
Misato to Ritsuko: Nothing, sorry.
Misato rises from her seat, and walks out. Ritsuko watches her go, her expression is concerned.
We then see Misato walking through NERV, glancing suspiciously at different technicians and workers along the way. She comes to an elevator, gets in, only to find Mikage inside. There is a very uncomfortable moment of silence that continues for nearly 30 seconds where neither of them says anything to each other; neither of them looks at the other. Misato glances down at Mikage's left hand, looking for a Rose Signet once, and finds none. When the elevator stops, and Mikage gets out, he reacts like nothing happened.
Mikage to Misato: Have a good day, Major Katsuragi.
Misato to Mikage: Thank you, Vice-Commander.
The elevator doors close. We next see Misato standing in front of Unit 01 in the cooling cages. She looks at it like she's never really looked at it before.
Misato (thought): I know you're not just a copy of the First Angel...but what will NERV do with you once all of the Angels are destroyed? Human Revolutionary Project, End of the World...there's so much I don't know.
Switch scenes: Rei and Utena are walking to school from the Dormitory.
Utena to Rei: I can't believe that I have to duel with Ikari after school today. I didn't think he would buy into all of this nonsense.
Rei to Utena: Nonsense?
Utena to Rei: You know, dueling for you, like you're a prize and not a person.
Rei looks down.
Rei to Utena: Why do you duel then, Tenjou-sama?
Utena looks over to Rei.
Utena to Rei: To keep you from being traded around like some object.
Utena tilts her head.
Utena to Rei: You don't think of yourself as an object, do you Ayanami?
Rei looks up at Utena.
Rei to Utena: No, Tenjou-sama.
Utena to Rei: Well, that's good.
Switch scenes: Shinji and Wakaba are sitting next to each other on one of the benches at Ohtori, watching other students walk by on their way to class.
Shinji opens up his book bag, and carefully pulls out a red rose, handing it to Wakaba.
Wakaba to Shinji: Shinji...thank you.
Shinji smiles tenderly.
Shinji to Wakaba: You're welcome.
Wakaba inhales the rose's aroma carefully.
Shinji to Wakaba: I just wanted you to know, that...no matter what might happen...
Wakaba looks at Shinji.
Wakaba to Shinji: Don't say it. Don't you dare say those words to me, Shinji. I know that what you do is dangerous. Every time those sirens go off I wonder if you, or Utena-sama, or Asuka-san won't be coming back. While I have to wait in the shelters with Kozue, Suzuhara, and Aida, it's all I can think about. Sometimes I even cry at night worrying about you. So don't even think about not coming back.
Of course, Shinji wasn't thinking about that at all, rather the possibility that he might return from the upcoming duel as the One Engaged to Rei, so his face is surprised that Wakaba brought up death. He smiles nervously, and nods.
Shinji to Wakaba: Alright...
Wakaba throws her arms around Shinji and holds him tightly.
Switch scenes: Now in class. Toji, Kensuke, Kozue, Miki, Shinji, Rei, Utena, and Wakaba are all there, listening to the teacher's lecture.
Teacher: I remember the world before the Second Impact, when this country used to have autumn, and the secadas weren't here all year round...snow would fall and cover the ground in a white blanket...
During the teacher's lecture, Shinji looks over at Utena once. Utena looks back at him curiously. Shinji looks away.
Switch scenes: Kozue is in the music hall, sitting at the piano. She just stares at it. Her fingers reach out to try playing it, but she can't seem to bring herself to. Miki walks in.
Miki to Kozue: Are you okay?
Kozue looks up, and smiles softly.
Kozue to Miki: Yeah...I just can't believe I played it...looking at it now, it's just like before...
Kozue stands and walks over to Miki, and hugs him. She is crying.
Miki to Kozue: Kozue?
He holds her.
Miki to Kozue: Hey...hey...it's okay...I'm alright.
She doesn't seem to be comforted by this, and continues to cry on his shoulder.
Switch scenes: Utena opens the gate to the forest, ascends the spiral stair, and emerges at the Dueling Arena beneath the inverted castle. Rei and Shinji are already there. Shinji has a rapier. As Rei silently begins fixing the flowers to the duelists' chest, Shinji and Utena speak to one another.
Utena to Shinji: Why? Why are you doing this?
Shinji to Utena: For Wakaba.
Utena to Shinji: For Shinohara-san?
Shinji to Utena: I'm doing this to make certain Wakaba, and people like her, are safe.
Utena steels herself, hearing her own words used like that.
Rei begins drawing out the Sword of Dios.
Rei: Oh roses of the noble castle...power of Dios that sleeps within me...harken unto thy master and reveal to us...
Utena pulls the Sword of Dios from Rei.
Utena: ...the power to bring to the world revolution!
The duel begins to the soundtrack of "Seal Spell." Shinji and Utena swipe aand parry at each other. They appear very evenly-matched in terms of skill.
Shinji to Utena: Why do you say those words if you don't believe in the power? If you have no intention of using it?
Utena to Shinji: No power is worth gaining if it would hurt someone in the process.
Utena swipes hard at Shinji's rose, and he's barely able to parry it. He falls back a few steps.
Shinji to Utena: You mean Ayanami, don't you?
Shinji lunges at Utena, who is surprised with the speed of his counterstrike. She has to duck and roll out of the way to avoid being speared by his blade. Shinji turns and pauses, allowing Utena to get up. He holds his blade out in Utena's direction.
Shinji to Utena: The power to revolutionize the world, Tenjou-san. Do understand what that means?
They begin clashing again, and again, appear evenly matched.
Shinji to Utena: To change the world, Utena. You could make it so the Angels were gone, or that they were never here to begin with. Make the world safe for people like Wakaba! And you would let it pass you by, let it go to waste!
Utena pushes Shinji back, but is unable to swipe the rose from his chest.
Utena to Shinji: You can't sacrifice a life to save lives, Shinji! You can't ask Ayanami to give up her freedom for something like that!
Shinji moves in with new determination. Utena has trouble holding him back.
Shinji to Utena: What are you talking about? Everyone of us is sacrificing our lives for it. You, me, Juri, Miki, Asuka...all of us are giving up our childhood! We've been asked to give up our freedom to save the world, so how is it any different for Ayanami? If being the Rose Bride could mean saving the world, wouldn't you do it too?
Shinji's words begin to weaken Utena's resolve, and Shinji manages to knock her to the ground. He holds his blade towards her as she kneels.
Shinji to Utena: And if she didn't want to be the Rose Bride, do you think we'd be here in the first place?
Utena looks over to Rei, who stands there impassively. Focus closer, and it appears that Rei looks at Utena sadly. Utena grits her teeth.
Utena to Shinji: You're wrong, Shinji-kun. She doesn't want to be the Rose Bride. She's only doing it for the same reason we pilot Eva. And if I can spare her that burden-
Utena leaps, the Dios-ghost overlapping her as she does.
Utena to Shinji: then I will!
Shinji reacts as fast as he can, trying to get out of the way of Utena as she springs to life. In slow motion, he almost manages to make it out of the way of Sword of Dios, but at the very last second, the tip of the blade catches his rose through the middle, scattering petals everywhere as Utena passes by him.
Shinji watches the petals of his rose fly off into the wind. Utena recovers from her attack, and looks at him.
Shinji turns to Utena.
Shinji to Utena: Don't let it go to waste, Tenjou-san. If you are the one who can change the world, then do it.
Switch scenes: Asuka is standing with Wakaba. Wakaba is holding the rose Shinji gave her earlier. They are both looking at the dueling forest.
Asuka to Wakaba: Did you get that from Ikari?
Wakaba blushes and nods.
Wakaba to Asuka: Yes. He's so kind.
Asuka to Wakaba: Do you love him?
Wakaba nods repeatedly.
Wakaba to Asuka: Oh, yes. I know he hasn't said it yet, but I think he was going to today.
Asuka looks up to the dueling forest.
Asuka to Wakaba: I'm happy that you have someone who loves you like that.
Wakaba looks at Asuka.
Wakaba to Asuka: Don't you have someone that you love?
Asuka frowns and looks down.
Asuka to Wakaba: Well, I did, but apparently I wasn't good enough for him.
Wakaba to Asuka: Oh no! What happened?
Asuka to Wakaba: His old girlfriend stole him from me.
Wakaba to Asuka: Well, don't worry about it. I'm certain there's someone out there waiting for you.
Almost on cue, Juri happens to be walking by the dueling forest as Wakaba says that.