Disclaimer: Evangelion is owned by Gainax...? Khara? ...Netflix? Not me at least.

SPOILER WARNING: 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 that...
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 on with...



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.

"Positive..." 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 around."

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 regard..."

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."

"Seriously though," 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 bit."

"Sorry," Shinji 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 Aki's return).

...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..."

"Still," Shinji 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."

"Try?" Misato 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 again."

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 now..."

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 all?"

"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 agrees!"

"However," 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 impossible."

"Also," Shinji 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."

"Pht, spoilsports," 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..."

"I'm home!"

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 baby.

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, hi, Misato!"

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!

"H-hey, Schätzchen," 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 school?"

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 lessons today..."

"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?"

"Hello, Aki," 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, right?"

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.

"Relaxing and 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 nice landscapes."

"Take pictures?" Shinji wondered out loud. "You didn't draw anything?"

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 around him.

"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 time consuming."

"Can't wait to see!"

"Yeah," Misato 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 was nice."

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 the masses.

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 to it.

It 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 you're back!"

"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.

"What's this?" 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!"

"Uh-huh..." 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.

"Aww," Misato 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."

"Uh-huh..." Aki 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!?"

"Well, no," 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 job.

And now, while more experienced, they would get to go through those early steps again. Another baby...

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 who noticed.

"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 herself.

And 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 confused.

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.

"'know..." Aki 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 know."

"Neither will we," Rei agreed over the speaker.

"In fact," 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'?"

"Hm, dunno..." Aki muttered again, but notably more playful now, the worries apparently brushed away, at least for the time being. She let go of his hand.

"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 months."

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.

"I..." Aki finally broke the moment, "can't feel anything...?"

The adults gave a light chuckle.

"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.

"Oh..." Aki's 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 kitchen.

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 everyone!"

The front door fell shut moments later.

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.

"What?" she 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 setting.

Random notes:

  • - 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 genius.
  • - 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 ).
    And in 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 missing.

    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 comics.

Thank you all for the past 16 years!
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