Disclaimer: Evangelion is owned by Gainax...? Khara? ...Netflix? Not me at least.
This contains major spoilers for my old fanfic "The 2nd try"
– in fact, already the title and potential summary (depending
on where you read this) may have been a bit of a spoiler. If you
haven't read that and think you might have the slightest interest in
it, you should definitely stop right here and check that out first.
You may not get much out of this one otherwise either, since I wrote
this very much expecting the reader to know about what happened in
Also minor spoiler warning
for my "AcL"-webcomic (if you don't know what that's the
abbreviation of consider yourself especially warned), but that's
mostly limited to references.
Other Note: I will go
further into it at the end, but to keep expectations in check right
from the start as to not end in disappointment: This is not a
full-fledged sequel to T2t. This is just a little idea I had earlier
in the year as an extension to another idea, that I figured I could
do as this year's "annual" one-shot. That said, now finally
Shinji couldn't help it, a
wide – if a bit shaky – smile formed on his lips, not so
much from the felicitation, but the reason for it. He felt elated;
happiness mixing in with excitement and admittedly also quite a bit
of nervousness. And looking to his side, he saw the same range of
emotions playing on his wife's face as well, returning the light
squeeze of her hand he was holding.
There had been some signs,
so they had decided to confirm their hopes, leaving for the city
while Aki was in school. Neo-Tokyo 3 had proven to be a small town
again though, as just when they left the pharmacy, they just
happened to run into their former guardian who just happened
to be out making some errands herself. When Misato had realized what
they had been getting (while he may have been older, Shinji had to
admit he was still way too gullible and talkative when he was
nervous), there was no talking her out from accompanying them home
for the results.
So there they had been,
sitting around their kitchen table, staring at the test after Asuka
had returned with it, until it finally displayed its conclusion.
Asuka had merely whispered.
So yeah, congratulations
were certainly in order. Those earlier hadn't been from the grinning
woman on the other side of the table though. No, those had been from
the speaker of the phone next to them on the table. Whether it had
been just another big coincidence or her displaying an eerie ability
to sense something going on with them, Rei had called from her
current globe-trotting just in time while Asuka was in the bathroom,
unable to prevent him from babbling out too much when the blue haired
artist had asked about their well-being.
But no, while Rei's wishes
were warm and honest, the former Major's reaction was still quite a
bit more expressive.
Accompanying her yell,
Misato threw her arms up, the sudden exaggerated movement almost
making her topple over backwards, but instead she used the momentum
to push back forward, lean over the table and pull her former wards
into a hug. "Come on, 'Dad'! Get us something for a toast! Not
for you, of course, Miss Pregnant!"
"And not for you
either," Shinji laughed, as they untangled themselves. "Unless
you're fine with juice? You know we usually don't have much alcohol
His reminder let Misato
immediately slump back onto her seat. "Ugh, yeah, how could I
forget? You guys really need to work on your hospitality in that
As hurtful as the words
seemed, her childish pout prevented anyone from taking it seriously.
Even more so knowing that she had eased up on the alcohol herself
quite a bit over the years, especially since she had become a mother
as well. But she undeniably still enjoyed a good drink now and then.
Finally, she just
shrugged. "Well, I guess it'd be unfair to Rei anyway..."
"Oh, do not mind me.
The mini bar in my room appears to have a decent selection."
Misato just glared at the
speaker, much to the couple's amusement.
"Come on, Rei,"
Asuka chided with a chuckle. "No need to make Misato envious
with your jokes."
the purple haired woman in question changed the direction of the
topic. "You haven't prepared anything for a celebration yet?"
"Well, we didn't
expect to celebrate with anyone yet," Asuka explained.
"We had meant to keep it secret until we were absolutely
certain, but thanks to my dear idiot already unable to keep his
tongue in check, our circle of conspirators has already grown quite a
sighed in defeat. He certainly didn't start off with a good track
record in that regard.
But Asuka just gave his
hand another light squeeze. "Don't worry," she said, giving
him a quick peck on the cheek, "I can relate to wanting to tell
the whole world." She glanced at the still positive pregnancy
test, her eyes glazing over a bit as she returned her view to him,
her smile not faltering. "We're going to have another baby..."
He matched her smile, the
two of them basking in the warmth of their shared happiness of
finally becoming parents for the second time (or third, if counting
...Until they realized
Misato was watching them with a grin of her own.
"You know... well,
Asuka, remember that talk we had, back when you told me about Aki the
first time? When you said 'it would never be her again'? I just had a
funny thought -" She scratched her chin conspicuously with a
laugh. "What if it were?"
Asuka's eyebrow twitched. "That's... quite doubtful..."
"But think about it,"
Misato continued to muse. "You'd know what to expect, she'd have
herself as big and little sister, essentially you'd have twins that
are eight years apart..."
cut her off. Even if he had to admit that the thought had some merit,
it would also be kinda... well, "boring" would probably be
the wrong word for it, since having one of her was already anything
but. But he certainly would prefer at least a bit more diversity
between his children. And, well... "It's more than unlikely.
We're way past that point, after all. We may not have tracked time,
but we're certainly quite a bit older now compared to then. I mean,
we even specifically waited this long to try again."
wondered. "So I take it this one was definitely planned?"
The glowing husband and
wife shared another glance with a knowing smile, before Asuka gave a
nod. "Aki has given us so much, I guess the thought of having
another crossed our minds now and then even before we returned. But
back then, it was hard enough to get by with just having to worry
about her. And afterwards, well, initially I don't think either of us
had their minds on a 'replacement' and even after she came back to
us, we were still stuck in our way too young bodies. So Mr. Worrywart
here," she said, ruffling Shinji's hair, "insisted on
waiting a bit longer."
Shinji chuckled, slightly
embarrassed. "Well, we were quite lucky with how well it went
with Aki, but even if we now have easy access to highly qualified
specialists in case anything would go wrong, I thought we shouldn't
take unnecessary risks by having her pregnant at a younger age
Asuka shrugged. "And
I guess it may help getting at least a few odd looks less."
"Surely that has not
been uncommon for you these past years?" Rei suggested.
"Well, no. And it's
not like I really care what they think – and there will
probably still be plenty of those, given that we're still relatively
young in their eyes – but I'd be lying if I wouldn't say that
I'm glad for every lesson I don't have to dish out when
someone gets funny with me when it's involving my kid...s..."
The redhead gave a laugh. "Shit, it's actually gonna be plural
A new swell of emotions
surged through the parents-to-be-again, but this time Misato did not
appear to be swept along. She still seemed a bit disappointed that
her theory got shot down. "Aw, and you're sure that it couldn't
possibly be her again? I mean, you were young and in love and you
already admitted that you didn't track the time, so surely some extra
years could have slipped by without you realizing?"
"Nah, I really don't
think we could have been that far off..."
"But couldn't it
still happen either way? It's the same genes coming together, after
"It may be possible
in theory..." the traveling artist admitted over the speaker,
causing Misato to jump up and point at it. "Ha! See, Rei
continued, "the chances for that happening would be just as low
as for any parents having the genetically same child twice –
not counting identical twins, of course. In other words, practically
chimed in, "even if entertaining the thought and she were
physically the same, she'd have such a different upbringing that
she'd end up being a different person anyway."
Misato huffed. "I still like the thought."
Her grin returning, she
leaned over the table, waving her hand in a circling motion over
Asuka's still flat stomach. "I hereby dub thee 'Aki2'!"
"Cut that out
already," Asuka grumbled with her cheeks flushing, shooing
Misato's hand away. "You heard it, it's not gonna be her again.
We may have beaten bad odds before, but not that bad. And we don't know if
it's even gonna be a girl again, or a boy instead this time. Maybe
it'll have more reddish hair or an even darker brown. Maybe it'll
have recessive green eyes instead of blue. All we really know at the
moment is that – according to this one test – I'm going
to have a..."
Three pairs of eyes
widened in surprise at the well-known but not-yet-expected greeting
coming from the front door. Shinji looked to his side into the
equally startled face of his wife, the patter of the – of
course already bare as soon as the girl they belonged to was past the
door – feet coming ever closer. His view flickered between
Asuka, the door to the living room that was between the kitchen and
the hallway, and the test still lying on the table.
This was definitely much
too soon. And not just her being back already.
While there had been some
discussions whether even to include her in the decision and get her
opinion first, the two parents had dismissed that pretty quickly.
They were already very much set on their wish to have another child,
so if she would have been against it, it would only have meant to
disappoint her and, on top of that, make her needlessly feel like her
opinion didn't matter if they'd ask for it only to ignore it anyway.
And if she were for it,
she probably wouldn't have stopped asking when they'd finally get the
So they had meant to ease
their daughter into the idea of their family growing slowly over
time, dropping some hints here and there and have some
well-thought-out, calm and collected discussions and explanations.
Somehow he had the feeling
that the few remaining seconds until she would come through the door,
see the test and ask what it was about may not be quite enough time
to prepare for that.
Fortunately, he had
neglected to throw away this morning's newspaper so far, still lying
next to him on the table and with a quick swipe, he brushed the white
plastic device under it, just in time before a mop of wild brown hair
appeared in the door frame.
"Huh, here you are,"
Aki exclaimed as she entered, only then noticing their guest. "Oh,
Shinji smiled. Maybe it
was due to the news, but he couldn't help but feel a wave of
nostalgia washing over him at the sight of his daughter. It seemed
almost like yesterday that she had been a baby herself, sitting at
this table in her highchair, getting her food anywhere but in her
mouth. A toddler making her wobbly early steps everywhere she could.
A three year old in much too wide clothes putting up her drawings on
everything she could reach. A kindergartner who brought her friends
home to play.
Since then, she may have
grown a bit, but otherwise she was still very much the same. Her
shoulder length hair was still as untamable as she could be herself,
her blue eyes sparking as much as always in prospect of discovering
something new, her smile still able to make any hardship worth it.
Just that she now wore the
blue uniform of her elementary school.
As much as he loved seeing
her growing up, he also wished the years wouldn't feel like just
flying by so much.
And as much as he loved
her, period, a glance down at the stack of newspapers reminded him –
she really shouldn't
have been here yet!
Asuka greeted her, but her voice and quick nervous glance at him
betrayed her being equally wary. "You're pretty early, we
thought you wanted to spend some time with your friends after
Not the best thing to
remind their daughter of apparently, as she let her upper body slump
over the length of the table, a big pout forming on her face. "Mimi
had to go to help out at home and Ririko forgot that she had piano
"Aw, sorry to hear,"
Asuka pitied her, ruffling her hair. "If it cheers you up,
there's another friend on the phone for you."
The girl wearily raised
her head. "Huh?"
the soft voice from the speaker greeted.
The brunette child's mouth
formed to a wide grin hearing her. "Hi, Rei!" she happily
responded, propping up her chin on both hands, her feet now swinging
in the air. "How is it in France? You're almost done there,
Shinji couldn't help but
smile at the display. There was a little twinge that told him that a
"good" father should remind her of the proper use of the
kitchen table, but between her apparently having had a bad day, now
finally happily chatting with her very first friend, and their own
good news, he didn't really have it in to call her down.
productive," the artist recounted over the speaker. "The
exhibition was nothing special, but I did get the chance to take
quite a few pictures. It may not be Paris, but there are some very
pictures?" Shinji wondered out loud. "You didn't draw
An exaggerated groan
escaped the girl on the table, as she rolled her eyes. "Ohh,
Papa! It's for reference!"
Shinji just threw his
hands up in defeat. "Sorry for being an inept layman...",
he muttered over-dramatically hurt, to the amusement of the women
"Well, I did draw a
few quick sketches," Rei admitted, bringing the attention back
to her. "But indeed, doing full pictures would have been too
"Can't wait to see!"
sighed. "Will be nice to see breathtaking places some people
can only dream of going to anytime soon."
"Aw, come on, as if
you couldn't afford it if you wanted to," Asuka chided.
"Eh, maybe, but..."
she trailed off, but they knew pretty well what she meant. They knew
from experience that a long distance travel with a small child was a
possible, but not necessary easy feat. "Well, Okinawa is also a
nice vacation place..."
"So, Aki?" Rei
started, but then paused for a second, leaving a familiar dread
hanging in the air. "How's school?"
The girl let out an
exasperated groan. Not the best topic. As Rei should know, but for
some reason, she kept teasing Aki about it every time they talked.
"Boooriiing! How can anyone stand just sitting around for hours?
Back in Kindergarten, we would go outside to play when the weather
Yeah, it hadn't really
come as too much of a surprise that she would clash with the harsher
rules in school. Children with a more traditional upbringing could
already have issues with that, so for her, it was almost guaranteed.
As Shinji couldn't
entirely shake his own upbringing in this strict society himself, a
part of him sometimes wished she would be a bit more willing to adapt
further. But no matter what that small voice in him said, he was
overall rather glad that she inherited the stubbornness of her
mother, as he would no doubt miss this carefree and wild spirit that
made up an undeniable part that made Aki herself - as straining as it
could be at times. And fortunately, they hadn't had too deep clashes
with society yet, as she still had that uncanny ability to rub off on
her peers rather than the other way round of her just conforming to
Not that this other side
of him really had much right to complain to begin with. She was doing
pretty good in school despite her claims of it being boring. And in a
rare situation with someone who's not as easily swayed by her natural
charisma, like her school's rather stern principal (Shinji had to
admit, he rather let Asuka handle that guy himself –
fortunately, Aki's teachers were otherwise a quite friendlier batch
as far as he got to know them), she did have a very impressive sense
of when to act "appropriate".
She may not like
that, but – just like initially with uniforms and more fitting
clothes in general, let alone shoes – she could get used
just didn't seem to have the chance of actually changing her.
At the latest at home, the shoes were off, so to speak.
And as far as her parents
were concerned, they'd do everything to ensure that this would always
be a place were she could fully be herself.
"And why do we even
need to learn Kanji? I mean, Hiragana was alright, but isn't that
enough? Even Mama's alphabet is easier!" Aki kept complaining –
before halting and abruptly changing the topic. "Oh, but I lost
that loose tooth!"
"Yeah, do you want to
see?" she asked her friend excitedly. "I can keep it until
"I... don't think
that will be necessary..."
"Oh?" the child
didn't seem too fazed though. "Well, tha' one on 'e top righ'
alfo got a bif fobbly", she declared while demonstratively
nudging the tooth in question with her finger. Shinji winced, but he
knew better than to remind her not to do that, as she would just
conveniently forget it anyway.
"So when will you be
back anyw...?" Aki suddenly trailed off.
Shinji followed her line
of view with a tingling feeling in his stomach, already having a
decent idea of what she was looking at. But before he had any chance
to discretely re-adjust the newspapers that had probably moved during
her previous antics, Aki's hand had already shot forward, snatching
the plastic strip from beneath the stack.
she wondered, slipping off the table onto her feet. "A
thermometer? Does anyone have a fever...?"
Shinji and Asuka looked at
each other, a weary smile mirroring on their faces. They both knew
they got caught, there was no turning back now. Hiding was one thing,
but there would be no lying. Especially since they would have to tell
her sooner or later anyway, even if they had hoped for at least a
little later to get properly prepared.
"No, Aki, that's no
thermometer," he finally explained. "That's... a test that
your Mama took and it shows that she... that we... that... you... ehm..."
He closed his eyes, taking a breath trying to think how to best put
it. "That... in a few months... our family is likely going
to have another member..."
To his surprise, there was
no immediate reaction.
No shocked gasp or excited
yell, not even a wondering "Ehh?" at his admittedly
somewhat lackluster explanation.
Instead, Aki just stared
at them with a deadpan expression, blinking once or twice, until
focusing on her mother.
"So you're pregnant?"
"Well, we'll still
have to see a doctor to confirm it, but – wait, you actually
know what he meant by that?"
"Uh, you remember I
was there when she had Hiro, right?" Aki reminded, pointing at
Misato with her thumb. "Also Mimi's Mom had another baby just
last year. And it didn't sound like we'd been getting a..."
She suddenly whipped
around, staring at her parents with a stern face.
"I'm not gonna clean
up the poop!"
"Mimi sometimes has
to do it for her little brother! It's so gross! It stinks and if you
don't watch out it gets everywhere!"
Well, that explained the mystery of why she had come home in a sour
mood wearing one of Mimi's shirts when visiting last week.
mixed in. "I remember how you wanted
to change Hiroshi's diapers back in the day."
"I was young and
naive!" Aki exclaimed in an over-dramatic fashion, even bringing
her arm up to her eyes theatrically. "He was that new thing
everyone was fussing about, so of course I would want try out all the
baby things. I didn't know there'd be so much stinking... POOP!"
she dropped the act, returning to being all fussed. "There's no
way I'd do it again!"
"Well, I can't say I
miss having to do that anymore either," Misato agreed, swelling
with pride. "Fortunately, those times are long over for us."
just eyed her. "And what about last month?"
"H-hey, he's not even
four," Misato came to her son's defense, trying to wave away the
memory of the embarrassing moment during the family trip to the zoo,
just before Rei had to leave. "Th-that was an accident, it just
took us a little too long to find a toilet. It can happen..."
"Eh, I dunno, I'm
pretty sure it didn't happen to me when I was that age..." Aki
claimed self-assuredly – before halting and panicking turning
back to her parents with wide, frightful eyes. "It didn't
happen to me, right!? I'm not just suppressing something!?"
Asuka mused, "but you sure filled quite the share of diapers
yourself back in the day, and we didn't exactly find roses and
sunshine in those to clean up either."
As an embarrassed blush
crept on Aki's face, Shinji smiled wryly at those memories. It really
felt like a different lifetime – and it kinda was – when
they had just become parents of a little baby girl that they had no
idea how to handle outside from what they got from books, with no one
to ask. But they had managed, and dared he say, done a pretty good
And now, while more
experienced, they would get to go through those early steps again.
Asuka seemed to have
similar thoughts as she looked down, a hand on her stomach, with a
serene smile on her face. And, as he realized, he wasn't the only one
"So... y-you're going
to have another child..." Aki muttered, the earlier energy
fading. Her eyes darted between them and the ground where she was
nervously curling her toes. A hand gripped her blue shirt. "I-I'm
no longer... won't be..."
Obviously, the news was
finally fully sinking in.
That it wasn't like Misato
and Kaji having a baby or Mimi's parents having a baby. That it was
her parents having a baby.
That she wouldn't be an only child anymore, having her parents all to
quite apparently, it brought along a fear that they had already
worried about. Even if she would consciously know that it was
unfounded, it was all too understandable that it would start nagging
at the back of her mind, leading to her being frightened and
Asuka noticed it too,
holding out her arms for her with a warm smile. Aki didn't hesitate
long to take the invitation, rushing over and pulling her arms around
her mother, nestling against her body as Asuka pulled her up onto her
lap. Shinji turned his chair towards them, and sure enough, he felt
Aki's smaller hand reaching for his and gripping it tightly as he met
hers, even if she wasn't looking at either of them.
"As said, we still
need to see a doctor to be sure," Asuka pointed out, as she
lightly rocked her daughter like she had so many times when Aki was
smaller. "But to be honest, even if it turns out that I'm not
pregnant now... your Papa and I would still like to have another
baby. You... wouldn't have a problem with that, would you?"
Her face still buried
against her mother's neck, Aki just shrugged.
"It's okay to be a
bit scared and confused," Shinji chimed in, caressing the back
of her hand with his thumb. "We sure were when you were on your
way," he added, earning him a weary look from his wife for
putting it so mildly.
muttered softly. "I just... I... dunno..."
"Hey, you don't have
to worry," Asuka assured her daughter. "Don't you remember?
I promised you that you will never-ever lose our love."
She shifted Aki in her
arms, pulling her a bit away. Caressing her cheek, she brought her
daughter's face up to look into her slightly watering eyes. "Yeah,
we will also give the baby lots of it. But love is something special.
Unlike other things, it can be shared without getting any less. As
much as we'll love the baby, we won't love you any less than we do
"Neither will we,"
Rei agreed over the speaker.
Shinji added, "you will probably get even much more. Because I'm
sure the little one will love their sister a whole lot as well."
Aki perked up at that, a
baffled look in her eyes that ensured him that she just realized.
"I'm... going to be a big sister!"
"That you will,"
Asuka laughed. "Maybe as big sister, you can be my
'Schatz' now instead of 'Schätzchen'?"
Aki muttered again, but notably more playful now, the worries
apparently brushed away, at least for the time being. She let go of
"Well, either way,
you've sure gotten quite big, so..." Asuka said, helping her down.
"My, my, you of all
joking about someone's weight?" Misato chimed in with a grin.
"Be careful that it doesn't come back to haunt you in a few
Asuka glared at her. "Be
careful that I'm not gonna haunt you!"
Aki meanwhile didn't seem
to notice the exchange, as her eyes were fixed on her mother's
stomach, as she slowly reached out for her.
"Go on." Her
hand stopped abruptly at her mother's soft voice, mere inches away
from her belly. "It's not gonna bite."
Shinji's heart warmed as
he watched Aki nod, not hesitating anymore to place her palm against
the place her little sibling was growing; Asuka inviting her with a
warm smile, brushing through her brown hair.
finally broke the moment, "can't feel anything...?"
The adults gave a light
"I'm afraid, it will
still take a few months until Mama will be able to feel it and even a
little longer until we can," Shinji explained.
face dropped a bit. Then she addressed the stomach directly. "Well,
if you can hear me inside there, you better hurry up growing, so I
can be the best big sister you'll have!"
Another chuckle from the
rest, though Aki didn't quite seem to get it. She did seem a little
in thought though.
"You know, now that I
think about it..." she wondered. "I kinda remember you
telling me why the baby would grow in their mother's belly... but did
you ever tell me how it gets inside...?"
Silence swept through the
The low hum of the
refrigerator was deafening.
The ever-present cicadas
chirped extra loud.
"My, look at the
time!" Misato jumped from her chair. "Really need to get
going and pick up Hiroshi from Kindergarten! Bye Rei! See ya
The front door fell shut
Shinji glanced over to his
wife who met his eyes with an equally nervous look. At first. Then
her eyes narrowed, and a hint of a familiar grin formed on her mouth.
"Well, I kinda ended
up doing it last time so..." she shrugged, before addressing her
daughter while getting up, "I'm sure Papa can explain everything
you want to know. Well, aside from the gritty details."
"And since pretty
much everyone already knows now, might as well give Hikari a call,"
she just continued, taking out her cell phone. "Hope she's not
too bothered by us having our second before they are even close to
plan for their first."
And she was gone as well.
Nervously, Shinji's view
went from the doorway where Asuka had vanished, to his daughter
looking confused at him, to the phone on the table.
"I know you are
looking at me, but don't look at me." Rei's voice merely
announced. Then only the sound of the hung-up phone followed.
His eyes returned to his
child. Aki just stared at him.
asked with a shrug. "Did I say something wrong?"
A/N: Well, it's sure been
a while since I wrote anything, hasn't it? Not that I had
particularly big plans to do so, this was almost on a whim (if that
counts when writing for half a year). Earlier this year, I had a bit
of a renaissance after going through my old stuff that resulted in me
having quite a few ideas for new pictures. And while the execution
was almost predictably quite a bit slowed down thanks to work, the
new chapter of "Aki-chan's Life" and other things (and I
guess also kinda this), one idea I had was something of an entirely
different "era" even than I had ever considered before: a
short comic of an eight/nine year old Aki interacting with her baby
sister, who I so far had only in mind a few years older for the AcL
epilogue (and no, she's not an "Aki2", they indeed did not
beat the odds this time ;) ). And when I realized that I didn't do
anything for my 15th anniversary last year, I figured, "To make
up for it this year, why not do a new 'annual' one-shot as I used to
in the first few years, about Aki learning of that little sister?"
Now, as said before,
please don't get your hopes up for more about this (aside from the
rest of the aforementioned comic –
I had meant for that to be out entirely before this, but alas...).
I'm not going to say "no way ever", but for now, nothing
else is planned and given that I still have plenty of other things to
do, I'm not exactly going to focus coming up with more ideas for this
- - As I described Misato
as "former" Major at a point, I should note: I haven't
really thought out her occupation at this time (neither really for
Shinji and Asuka – I may have implied in AcL before that
keeping the garden business up would be a full-time job, but there's
nothing to say that they do or that they wouldn't just hire some
help). But I figured it would be a relatively safe bet that even if
she's still at NERV, she'd been promoted up by then.
- - I actually cut out
one of the original ideas that tied to the "Aki2" title:
When Misato names the baby such and Asuka shoos her hand away, I
originally had her add "My child's not a Pokemon!" And
while I guess most would have gotten the reference, I felt the
thought process in-universe might not make that much sense.
- - I had been thinking
of "I'm not gonna clean up the poop!" be Aki's initial
reaction, but I also liked the idea of her surprising them by
knowing (almost) exactly what they're talking about. And this still
worked later on, while it wouldn't have the other way round.
- - I did insert a little
tease for something that will come up in the current chapter 5 of
AcL (other than the long distance trip comment), though in the end a
little subtler than initially (had it pretty much spelled out at
first), so you might have to wait for it to notice. ;)
- - I may have went off a
bit of a tangent with the school bit, but I personally felt it
important to point out that she's still her old self. When I was
watching "Wolf Children" a few years ago, one thing thing
that really bothered me was how Yuki went from a super energetic
girl to conforming almost instantly once she got in school due to
being unable to make friends otherwise. And I really
wouldn't want that to happen to Aki.
- - I did
almost go off even more of tangent though. With the notion of her
being bored but still good at school, I had been thinking to have
Shinji comment on them having discussions of maybe testing
her/having her skip classes. But I felt that was going a bit too far
off course, not to mention that one big thing for me had always been
that Aki was supposed to be a "normal" child. And even if
she may have turned out smarter here and there than she should have
been for her age, I really don't want to paint her as some sort of
- - Even though a long
time in the canon (though still only off-screen), I actually didn't
have a name for Misato's son until now. And even then, it wasn't
that much of a conscious decision. "Hiro(shi)" just kept
crawling up on my mind when thinking about it and eventually I
thought, "why bother?" and settled with it.
- - Likewise, I couldn't
quite decide where Rei's trip had been taking her, and while France
kept popping up in my mind, I didn't want to go that clichéd
route. But eventually I just went with it and to appease myself made
the note that "it's not Paris" at least. :P
- - The ending went
through several revisions (at least in my head). I wanted a bit of a
callback to AcL chapter 4 and the adults finding excuses to leave,
but details varied. I originally thought of Shinji also making an
excuse, so it'd leave Aki with Rei, which could have went two ways –
Rei's "don't look at me" being directed at Aki instead, or
a reveal that Aki already kinda knew where the babies come from (and
Rei knew that Aki knew) and just asked to mess with her parents. But
I felt, in case of the latter, I would have had to include how much
exactly she knew (or rather doesn't) to not make it creepy coming
from an eight year old - but it seemed like that would have made it
too clunky and "explaining the joke"-y (yeah, I know I'm
kinda doing that now, but it's a difference to do that in the story
and in the notes most of you won't even read ;P ).
general, it would seem kinda mean if everyone would leave her alone
with her questions (which is another change, I guess, since she's
now more pondering about the previous instance and just ends up a
bit confused why everyone's leaving), plus it would have been a bit
of a POV change, since the rest is from Shinji's perspective. So he
got to stay.
Last thing I was contemplating was to have Asuka
leave to call Hikari before Aki asks the question. After all, she's
still her mother, so it wouldn't hurt to be around for an important
talk. And you'd think she'd know better than to leave it to Shinji,
given how well it went last time... So her leaving earlier would
have been a way to get around that. But rule of three demanded it, I
guess. If just Misato and Rei opted out, something would have been
And either way, this is just a more AcL-style
comedic bit to end on. I guess for a more realistic take, feel free
to imagine Asuka returning with an age-appropriate book covering the
topic from Shinji's study that he had already gotten before and just
hoped not having to use yet.
No prereaders, since a) I
wanted to keep it a surprise even to those I know and b) I only
finished a few days ago... -_-
Still, I'd like to thank
everyone who helped me in the past, everyone who supported and
inspired me. And I want to thank everyone that liked my stuff so much
that they wanted to work with it, be it translations, fanart or
stories of their own. And of course also thanks to everyone of you,
for your warm and encouraging comments, for your recommendations, or
for just taking your time to enjoy my silly little fics, pics and
Thank you all for the past