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Ronnie and I had agreed early on that none of our children would have the first names of any of the Animorphs as their own first names.  Middle names, perhaps, and first names could be a nod to something.  But naming our son “Jake” or our daughter “Rachel” was just asking too much.  Not to mention, it was morbid.  And uncreative.  Every other child born in the decade following the war would be “Jake” or “Rachel,” and probably “Toby” a lot also.  So, when I found out I was pregnant with a little boy, we set out to be creative.  

After a lot of brainstorming, we finally settled on Alan Tobias Chambers.  We ended up throwing a dice to decide on Jake, Marco, or Tobias as his middle name (we couldn’t think of a way to make Ax’s name into something that wouldn’t get our son relentlessly teased).  Ronnie eventually came up with using the name that Elfangor had adopted on Earth, saying it was “the only name that would complement ‘Tobias’ properly.”  

Alan was solid, like me, medium height and quite dark.  He got to grow up in a fascinating time.  The novelty of aliens had worn off, but we were still slowly making sense of all the new technologies that were being shared.  Naturally, he became obsessed with flying.  

He loved any type of flying craft.  He made paper airplanes as a child, carefully crafting new ones that would fly better than the ones before.  His teachers grew very frustrated with this habit.  He spent hours researching the latest crafts, as well as old ones.  Big ones, small ones, fast ones, slow ones.  Military ones and leisure ones.  He could tell you anything you wanted to know about any flying craft ever built or used on our planet.  Ronnie bought him model airplanes and they spent hours putting them together and flying them.  Eventually, he joined the Air Force.

He also, strangely, had a love of plants.  I always thought it was ironic, that one of his favorite pastimes was based in the earth, and the other in the sky.  But we encouraged him, and built a greenhouse in a corner of the backyard (it’s not as if money was an object).  He hung all of his model planes that would not fit in his room in the greenhouse, and turned some into hanging pots.  He had plants from every part of the world, which we had collected over the years of diplomacy.  Some that would live for a hundred years if taken care of correctly, and others that lived for only a day.  Some flowered and some didn’t.  They were all pruned and watered with precision and gentle fingers, which I never saw without some dirt under the fingernails.  

He asked me once for the morphing power.  He swore he only wanted one animal, a bird of course, but I refused.  I didn’t have that power anyway.  But if I had, I would not have given it to him.  I know that he would lose himself in the sky, the way Tobias could, and lose track of the time.  I never decided if it was truly a tragedy (or an accident) that Tobias had been trapped, considering his home life, but there was no reason for my son to take that chance.  But I knew that if the Andalites gave us permission to use the morphing power militaristically, my son would be the first in line.  And they would let him, because being the child of an Animorph gave you privileges in life.

Our second child was a girl, and we named her Annie Rachel Chambers.  “Annie,” as a reference to the name that Marco jokingly made up so long ago, and “Rachel,” which was obvious.  Ronnie teased that if we had another girl, she would have to be named after me, since there were no other female Animorphs.  

Annie looked nothing like Rachel, of course.  She was dark in coloring, cursed with my hair, but a few shades lighter.  She would have looked a lot like me, if it wasn’t for the lengthy, willowy quality that she gained from Ronnie.  Everything from her hands to the shape of her face was long and graceful.  And she was not in the least bit like me.

Maybe we had tempted fate by bestowing the middle name that we had chosen.  Annie was outgoing, spontaneous, loyal, and passionate, and a teensy bit reckless.  She was not exactly like Rachel, but she was a lot more like my best friend than she was like either of her parents.  She liked animals, but it was not her idea of fun to be ankle-deep in manure.  Her temper was on the short side, and she was always frustrated by my lack of enthusiasm when she found a good sale on shoes.

Once, something so uncanny happened that I decided conclusively that it was not just my imagination or chance.  Annie didn’t want to do something (probably homework or chores or college applications), and I gave her my “look.”  You know the one.  The one that says “it’s up to you but I’m disappointed in your choice.”  She groaned, rolled off her bed, and said, “Fine.  I’ll do it.  Just turn off that look.  I hate that look.”

It was the exact phrasing that Rachel had used, many years ago, in a circus tent, on our way to stick up for some abused elephants.  Annie’s room disappeared, and suddenly I could see my best friend in front of me, clear as day, cringing under my gaze, long blonde ponytail swinging with the littlest movement.  The words left her pretty red lips, and I had to swallow a chuckle.  I was trying to be serious, and that would be lost on her if I laughed.

Thankfully, Annie didn’t notice my momentary lapse in my grip on reality.  I hurried into the large backyard of our large home, and sat in one of the picnic chairs, trying to catch my breath.  

When I looked up, I saw Alan in his greenhouse across the yard, tenderly trimming his plants, underneath at least a hundred miniature model airplanes and spacecrafts.  I looked back at the house, through Annie’s bedroom window, and could see that she was not doing what I asked.  She was on her cell phone, laughing at something a friend had said.  

Eventually, I looked up at the clouds.  “Still meddling?”  I asked.

I got no response, but I didn’t expect one.
Cassie and Ronnie wanted to name their children creatively. Maybe they tempted fate, just a little.

THIS IS A ONESHOT. I get so many comments asking when the next chapter/installment is, and the answer is usually "it's not." I write almost exclusively oneshots, and I post long stories even more rarely.

Writing in Cassie's voice is SO HARD. And I can't think of anything else to fix this, so we'll just have to assume that Cassie's narrating voice has changed somewhat as she aged.

Disclaimer: Yep, still don't own any of it. I just like to pretend I do for two minutes.

Review please! Reviews are filling and nutritious. Like a yummy, lean piece of chicken with spices and lemon.
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TamamoMae Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2013  Student Filmographer
Love it! Many fans copied the style Applegate used when she begins each book. Your style is fresh!
yellow-tulips Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2013
thank you! i tried for a fresh style that still felt familiar
Terraraptor Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2013
This is really amazing. I feel like I found another animorph book. Favorited.

That ellimist. Can't keep his nose out of other peoples buisness can he?
yellow-tulips Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2013
Haha no he can't!!

I'm glad you liked it! And I would just like to say that I am SO pleased that you liked my stories from separate fandoms. I rarely see one reader like some of each. But you read an Avatar one, an Animorphs one, and an original! Thank you!
Terraraptor Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2013
Oh, its no problem at all. Whenever I find something on deviantart that I like, I always check as much of the artists gallery as possible.
Avix215 Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
You are amazing!!! :O
The ending <3
yellow-tulips Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2013
hahaha thanks!!!!

did you read "not even able to cry"? that's my third animorph story i've posted.
Avix215 Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
yellow-tulips Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2013

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