I find author's notes completely fascinating. I'm so sorry if you don't, but I have to write some. ^_^

Well. It's over. It's really, really over. Four months, 107 pages, over 38,000 words. And it's over. I really can't believe it.

Here's some backround on the fic:

I took Tachikawa Mimi's original idea for this and ran a lot with it, really. ^_^ We were talking on March 29th, 2001, about ideas for upcoming fics, and Mimi-sempai told me her idea for a post-epilogue Kouyako fic:

"...and I am thinking about a way for Kouyako to happen... y'see... the way I have it figured... Koushirou's daughter--in spite of remarkable resemblance, is actually adopted. ^^ since Koushirou was adopted himself, I thought it would be a sweet twist. and since he's the computer-teccie for the Digital World, I figured that he's making a decent amount of money... anyway, he's a single father, never being married. and since he's got such high regard for education, he has his daughter attend an all-day primary school. and probably has a governess take care of her for the few hours before he comes home. since Kou-chan's a single parent, he adopted this daughter because he was getting up there in years, never been married...and he felt that although he was highly successful... he hadn't really made a large contribution to the world. so he adopted a child. insert sentimental twist--here:

anyhoo. you can read into it what you like, but I guess the jist is, he has feelings for Miyako, but she married Ken. I'm just debating what the best way to get Ken out of the picture would be... especially since she's already got three kids of his. I don't want to have Ken leave her for Daisuke. that's not my style. I mean-- I could have Ken get killed somehow... and then... later on, when Miyako is past mourning ... she goes through Ken's private memoirs... and discovers it that way.

the way I see it though...it's possible that Ken gets killed in a car accident... and Koushirou, his parents having been killed in a car accident, is sympathetic towards the family. and feels a personal...obligation..? to come to the childrens' aid..."

I was inspired instantly, and saved the IM.

The next day, I found that I was starting to plan out the first scenes of the Kouyako fic, so I asked permission to write the fic out. Mimi-sempai agreed instantly, and I was off. ^_^

So, if you look at it, I've been writing this fic from March 30th to July 29th. Not bad, considering what a monster it turned into. ^_^;; And the sad thing is, if I'd been able to make this thing longer, I would have -- I cut out about three or four different plotlines concerning a) the children, b) Takeru, Hikari, and Daisuke, and c) Sora, Yamato, and Taichi. If I could have developed these plotlines, I really would have -- they weren't just the average run-of-the-mill love triangles. (For one, Taichi wasn't involved in any love triangles.) Daisuke's and Hikari's parts were really interesting, but I couldn't write it well enough.

There honestly in enough backstory mentally planned out to allow me to stretch this fic out as far as I want it to go. I have ideas for prequels, sequels, and mirrors. I doubt I'll write any of the three. The closest thing that this fic has to a prequel is Close Enough, but that really spoils a lot, and it was actually written before I even heard the idea for the Kouyako. ^_^

For the four months of this fic, it was known as 'the Kouyako fic' or 'the Fic' or 'how's that mega-long story you're working on coming along, Rb?' For most of the time, I was searching for a title, something that would fit. I couldn't think of anything, and everyone kept saying "it's okay, you'll think of one afterwards." About a week before the end of the fic, while I was restocking minature surfboards at my job and mentally planning out the next scene, I thought of the title.

Kirai ni narenai.
I can't hate you.

That honestly expresses so much of what I think about love in general and in this fic in particular. I can't hate you, I can't hate you. I've been trying so hard to hate you, but I was never able to manage it. I can't ever seem to hate you anymore -- in fact, I'm afraid that I love you.

So, if you want to find a 'theme' of this fic, you can say it's either the above paragraph, or "Toei, stop giving your fans twenty-five years and an epilogue full of plotholes for them to expmain away!" I screamed enough times at the plotholes that I attempted to explain in this fic that I made myself hoarse. ^_^;;

If anyone's interested, here are the reasons behind the childrens' and the other original characters' names:

Mikomi - I wanted a name that sounded like both Miyako's and Ken's names. ^_^
Osamu - Honestly, does anyone not know the reason for this name? Osamu was the name of Ken's older brother, who died in a car accident.
Ari - For both the reason listed in the fic (it means 'lion' in Hebrew and 'ant' in Japanese, which interested me), and because a boy who recently died in my community was named Ari, and it's the practice in my family's tradition to name people after the dead.
Kakeru - He was originally named 'Hikaru', but that was too close to Hikari, and my most common spelling error is switching the 'i' and 'u'. ^_^;; Kakeru is the name of one of the characters in Mimi-sempai's 'The Unicorn Academy', who's my personal favorite. ^_^;
Mori - Um, this was just a random "I need a name, where's a name?" dash at kalabrians.com, and I liked it. ^_^
Himeko - Reason listed in fic -- it means 'princess', which was the image I had associated with her. She looks so pretty in the epilogue, I want a daughter like her...^_^;; Plus, I figured Iori would spoil his daughter rotten.
Shuten - Mimi-sempai named him. ^_^ It sounds kinda like 'Shuu', Jyou's older brother's name, and he kinda looks like one. ^_^
Shawn - I just wanted a common American name, and Shawn wasn't used in the dub.
Daichi - ^_^;;; This was a joke, aimed at all the people who swore Daisuke should have been named this. You have your wish -- in the next generation...
Hitomi - Hitomi means eyes, related to vision...just seemed like a Koushirou-type name. ^_^ BTW, Koushirou's joke about naming his daughter 'Izumi Haruko' or 'Spring Spring' was a pun I just had to get in there somewhere. Blame my father for giving me a love of baaad puns. ^_^;;
Tori - It means bird...Sora would name her daughter that.
Touma - Another Mimi-picked name...it suits him, somehow. ^_^
Yuuki - It means 'courage', and I'd be pretty surprised if Taichi's child *wasn't* named Yuuki. ^_^
Satoe - It was the result of Mimi-sempai and I throwing names at each other until we were satisfied with a name for Koushirou's mother, who hasn't been named to the best of my knowledge.
Umi - I like the name. ^_^
Reika - It sounds a little like my real first name. ^_^;;;;;;;
Hanae - It's actually the name of Yuki's stepmother in 'Shizuko's Daughter', one of my favorite books. Yuki's stepmother is not necessarily evil, but she's not a good person either -- she dislikes Yuki (the protagonist) and fears Shizuko (Yuki's real mother), she wants Yuki's father Hideki all to herself, she's very concerned with appearances, but even so, she makes Hideki happy. I didn't go into the actual story about this, but my Hanae was extremely jealous of Hikari and was the only person to succeed in getting between Hikari and Takeru.

I have some thank yous to put here, hope no one minds. ^_^

Tachikawa Mimi - Mimi-sempai, I could *not* have written this fic without your help, plain and simple. ^_^ Every step of the way, you were encouraging me, reading over my scenes, and cheering along with every slowly-written scene. Without your original idea, I would have never ever been able to write this monster. ^_^ Thank you so, so, so much. ^_^

Tracie - Oneechan, when have I not relied on you to help me out? You beta-read every single scene of this fic, correcting every spelling and grammar mistake I made (and believe me, there were plenty.)You cheered, you told me to write, you printed out scenes and e-mailed me comments by phone...thank you, you rule. ^_^

Whitecat - Whitecat-san, I don't know how many times I IMed you begging for beta-ing over the past couple of months, and I have no idea why you never told me to shut up. ^_^ You *helped*, you really, really did, and I will write the Marauders fic -- it's next on my list, actually. ^_^ Thank you muchlies. ^_^

For everyone who has helped me with this and for everyone who has been reviewing: Minna, hontou ni arigatou! Daisuki! [Everyone, I truly thank you! I love you all!]

I don't know how to end this -- oh, I know! How about with a retranslated version of the true song, Kirai ni Narenai? (It's one of the opening themes to Magic Knight Rayearth, my all-time favorite series!) The original translation came from cephiro.anime.net, which I polished off. ^_^

I can't hate you, but it's really not enough
You don't know your real self.

When you are about to give up hope,
Your tears will be taken away by the wind
Pouring out from the eye of the universe,
The light will engulf you

A magical jewel... everything we want
Is even more clouded than our dreams

I can't hate you, but it's just not enough
I believe that my feelings are true
After breaking through the wall of steel
I'm sure a sea will open up to tomorrow and shine

Even after you fall in love and get hurt,
The stars will whisper gently into your ear.
Even the crying face shown in the window
Will turn to a smile in the morning.

Sing, jewel... so that tomorrow's me
will also be my true self

I want to hate you, but I can't hate you
My heart is always indecisive
The night's veil makes you the least able
to see yourself in this vast world

A magical jewel... everything we want
Is even more clouded than our dreams

I can't hate you, but it's just not enough
I believe that my feelings are true
After breaking through the wall of steel
Let's go look for our true selves now
At any time, we are our own biggest mysteries