A/N: Here it is! Done! This chapter is the end (really) of Sixteen Years, but do not fear, for the crossover is near! Muahaha! I really don't have a lot to say here, aside from the fact that I am really really sorry for the time it took me to write the last chapters, and about the fact that I've put you aside. I was the master of zee updates last June, for those who remember, and I've lost that over the months, but I'll work hard to fix this. Besides, summer is coming again, so I'll be here, fresh and ready to rock, to write some more, and finish Medieval Times and But it Ain't Home.
The Fenris Wolf
When filled with children and thieves, the kitchen was a live place, loud and homely, the smell of bacon, coffee and toasts filling the air on every morning. It was also very crowded, but the two large oak wood tables and two dozens of chair could seat a lot. Everyone avoided the dinning room at all costs, with its cold atmosphere and empty walls. No, the kitchen was the place to be in the morning.
At least after 10. Thieves lived in the night, and the mansion was still awake far past 2 in the morning. The only ones in bed at midnight were the children, and the rec room, dens and living room still alive until 3 or 4, filled with laughing thieves back from a raid or another. The only times the mansion was quiet was when an important raid was organized, most of the thieves participating and leaving the other inhabitants of the great thieves mansion alone. Either way, until 10 in the morning, the kitchen was empty.
Louis never thought of himself as a morning person. He despised the early Danger Room sessions, hated getting up with the sun with a passion, and liked lying in bed until 8 as the sun slowly came up. But here, in the lazy house of thieves, he found that he was the first up at 8 in the morning. Happy to see he could sleep late, he had tried staying up late and getting up late as well. He found no trouble at staying up late, chatting with everyone, but found himself restless and turning in his bed at 7 every morning, unable to sleep more.
That left him with a good two hours of peace. Sitting in the kitchen at one of the great tables, taking advantage of his solitude to take off his gloves and pull up his sleeves to get the morning breeze coming from the windows, he leaned on the smooth surface of the table, crossing his arms and resting his forearms on the table, and stared out of the patio door, his cup of coffee steaming in front of him, and the smell of his toasts coming to him from behind the counter, where the toaster oven baked a few slices of French bread. He smiled. The kitchen was a live, homely place to be past 10. But here, at 8, it was a damn great place to be to be alone.
He sighed happily and lifted his cup to his lips, staring at his hands. Aside from the heat, which was slowly driving him nuts with the summer coming up soon, he merely even noticed his powers anymore. Message had been spread through the mansion about them and no one asked about his gloves, pants and long sleeves anymore. No one even stared. The only one who had asked was Emily, and he answered her questions with a smile. "Of course it sucks dat y'can't touch," she had said with a sad smile, raising a delicate eyebrow, "but I find it fascinatin'. Bein' a normal human's borin' after hearin' 'bout all dose powers mutants have."
He chuckled sadly, setting his cup back on the table. If only everyone thought that way, life would be pretty less complicated. No war for Magneto, no Friends of Humanity, no villains. Just a simple, peaceful life like the one he lived here with the thieves.
He heard some noise behind him and turned, surprised to see someone up that early. He grinned up at Franck, who smiled softly back, his eyes sleepy, and rubbed a hand over his face as he steered directly towards the coffee pot. "M'not a mornin' person," he said in a voice still hoarse with sleep.
Louis chuckled. "What are y'doin' up, then?"
Franck glanced at him, opening a cupboard door and pulling out a porcelain cup. He poured some coffee in it, and made his way to the table, sitting in front of Louis. "I don' know," he said, and chuckled. "I didn' sleep well, I guess. I'm always up b'fore de others, but never dat early. What time is it?"
Louis glanced at the old, large clock on the wall behind Franck. "8:15. And I didn't sleep well either." He sighed. "Strange dreams."
"It was dead hot last night, an' de crickets were particularly annoyin'," Franck said with a grin, lifting his cup to his lips. "Mmm, dat's good. I needed dat."
Louis chuckled, and looked down at his empty plate. "I might leave soon."
He looked up again, giving Franck a small smile. "Sounds stupid, but I have a strange feelin'. I'd feel better goin' back home, if somethin' happens."
Franck raised an eyebrow, the corners of his lips turning up. "Yeh've been sayin' dis for five months, Lou."
He laughed, leaning back in his chair. "If only to get rid of Guy… How come he never bothers you?"
Franck grinned. "Secret. No, well, Henri and Mercy took me an' Emily when m'parents died, long time ago. I was five, and Emily was no more dan a baby." He shrugged, chuckling. "So dey're practically m'parents, an' I guess Guy considers me as somet'in' like a brother. As close as it gets, at least."
Louis nodded, understanding. "And how did you meet Isabelle? You guys are always together."
He smiled softly. "She was m'best friend since de start. Den we started datin' when we were older, and got married two years ago. It seemed like de right t'in' to do, an' de guild likes it when weddin's stay in the guild. We don' like strangers much."
Louis smiled. "That's cute."
Franck chuckled. "Yeah, t'is," he said softly, staring down at his cup. His smile widened after a few moments, and he looked up at him. "When would yeh leave?"
His smile faded, and he reached for his gloves. "Soon. A few days, at most."
Franck raised his eyebrows. "Really? Y'family knows y'comin' back?"
Louis sighed. "I haven't called home in over a month, and they don't even know where I am… No, I guess it'll be a surprise."
On his last day in the mansion, he wanted to spend time with his friends. Of course, he knew he could come back anytime. They would always be here, part of the guild, and as welcoming as they had been six months before. They were sitting in the grass under the big tree at the end of the grounds, near the bayou. They always sat here, in the shade, to chat and laugh, and as Louis leaned back against the trunk, he realized how much he would miss it.
The thought of staying, for good, crossed his mind again. He sighed, looking around. Life with the Xmen was great. They were his family, his friends, and the people he had been living with since his birth.
But something was missing.
An itching feeling in his chest reminded him that something was going to happen. What, he had no idea. But if his family was in danger, he wanted to be there to help.
He smiled, listening to Didier, Emily, Isabelle and Franck's voices.
"Dere can' be that much mythical animals. How t'ick is dat book, anyway?"
Isabelle laughed. "Almost a thousand… Did, dere's hundreds o'mythical animals, depends on de culture y'in. I'm sure I can find yeh in dat book," she ended with a smile, presenting the book she had just gotten the day before. She was sitting with Franck a few feet away, between his outstretched legs, and leaning against his chest as she opened the book in her lap and narrowed her eyes at what was probably the table of contents.
A snort from Didier, who was leaning on the trunk next to Louis. "Alright. Find me. I'm curious."
Franck chuckled, pointing a page on the book. "Right dere. Found yeh. De Djun is a giant lizard livin' in de swamps an' rivers," he read out loud, a smirk on his lips. "He only comes out at night, t'capture his preys with his tongue o'his tail."
Didier snorted, and Emily laughed. "Dat's a pretty good description."
"Pah, never said it was handsome… I'm not a snake. Where does dis animal come from?"
"It's an African legend… oh look, dis one's fun," Isabelle said, narrowing her eyes at the page. "De Dajoji is a giant, flyin' puma livin' in de West, for de Iroquois people. He comes in de world o'de men in times o'war, an' fights on both sides, killin' dem with thunder an' lightin'." She grinned and looked up. "Dat could be yeh, Louis."
He chuckled. "You don't see me fightin' on both sides, that'd be backstabbin' to me."
Franck laughed. "True. An' y'not a puma, too, y'too loud."
Louis snorted, narrowing his eyes. "You wanna repeat that?"
He laughed, shaking his head. "Not really." He leaned in, resting his chin on Isabelle's shoulder as he looked at the book. She smiled at him and glanced back at the book, quickly flipping the pages. "Y'lookin' fo' somet'in'?"
She nodded. "I saw it yesterday… Ah, dere. Y'not a puma, Louis, y'a wolf." She flipped the book, raising it to show him the picture. A big orange wolf was drawn on what looked like a very old drawing. It had a huge tail and sharp teeth, and looked more like a puma, actually, or a fox with a cat's tail, than a wolf.
He smiled, leaning back against the trunk. "And why am I a wolf? An orange wolf, no less?"
She smiled and turned the book back to look at it. "It's de Fenris wolf, one o'Loki's children in de old Norse religion. It was a wolf so big an' strong dey had t'tie'im up, an' de only tie dey found dat could stop'im was a leash made o'silk," she read, the corners of her lips turning up. "De silk was made by dwarves with de sound a cat makes when it moves, a woman's beard, de roots of a moutain, de dreams of a bear, de breath of a fish an' de spittle of a bird. He could break de biggest chains, but he could never get rid o'de most unique, strange, an' solid silk leash ever made." She smiled up at him. "Wonder what kind o'leash is gonna make yeh stay put."
He laughed. "Certainly not silk."
She narrowed her eyes. "Yeh'd be surprised." She glanced back down, and nodded. "Yup, dat fits yeh. Yeh Fenris."
Didier laughed, poking Louis in the ribs. "Y'said y'were lookin' fo' a code name? Y'got one. Y'de orange wolf who got caught with a silk leash made with a woman's beard, made by dwarves."
Louis laughed again. "Fenris is a very strange code name."
Emily's eyebrows raised. "Does it have t'be anyt'in' else? Y'said y'wanted somet'in' special." She smiled at him, her cheeks getting redder. "It doesn' get any more special dan dat."
He smiled back. "No, I guess not."
"At least y'not livin' in swamps, catchin' y'prey with y'tongue," Didier chuckled.
"And your tail," Louis added.
Emily chuckled and Isabelle laughed, closing the book, and Franck smiled at Louis. "Dis' y'last night here, we should all go out somewhere."
"Well the plane leaves early tomorrow mornin'," he started hesitantly, but smiled as they all raised an eyebrow at him, "but I wouldn't miss that."
Yes, the kitchen was a peaceful place to be in the morning. Louis' throat tightened as he dropped his plate in the sink, and turned around to look around the place that had been his second home for the last months. They had gotten back from their night out very late, but Louis was still up early, getting ready to leave. He had promised his friends he would come back to visit soon, and he was hoping he would be able to leave without saying goodbye this morning. It had already been hard enough, he didn't need the tears Isabelle had threatened to spill last night.
He silently made his way out of the kitchen and down the hall to the front door, where his bag already waited for him. He bent down to pick it up and put his hand on the handle when a voice came from behind him. "I would've t'ought yeh'd say goodbye, at least."
He turned around and smiled sadly at her. "Didn't wanna see those tears of yours."
Isabelle smiled softly. "I got used t'havin' you here. Yeh one of my friends, now, m'gonna miss yeh." Her voice broke on the last words as she reached out and wrapped her arms around his waist, burying her face in his chest. "Yeh be happy, Louis, okay?" she asked in a muffled voice. "I know y'can be. Yeh jus' gotta let y'self be."
He closed his eyes, wrapping his arms around her shoulders, and rested his chin on the top of her head. "I'll try."
"Tryin's not good. I want a promise," she whispered, pulling back and raising her amber eyes to look up at him. "Y'one o'de best friends I've had in a long time, Lou. We're all gonna miss yeh."
He smiled, taking a step back. "And you have t'be happy too," he said softly.
She gave him a shaky smile. "Dat shouldn' be so hard. I'm a lucky girl."
He laughed softly. "An' Franck's a lucky guy. Goodbye, Isabelle."
"Au revoir, Louis Fenris LeBeau," she said in a soft voice. He smiled at her and she smiled back, looking down seconds before he turned away and opened the door, walking to the car waiting in front of the door.
Well, friends, this is officially the end of Sixteen Years. I know it ends… well, BAD, but just leave your email in the reviews if you want to be noticed when the first crossover chapter will be out, thus following Louis again in this bad feeling he has about what's going on in New York.. haha! Of course, another good way of knowing if putting XxFOOdelySxX in your author alert list. (see here =MsoNormal>
Review commenting :
Reality Dreamer : Another new name (unless my memory is playing tricks on me). Glad I'm feeding your insanity, that was really a sweet compliment. Hope to see you in the crossover!
Jenna : Hmmm, well, no, that won't happen (but you've already noticed that). Emily has a thing for Louis, of course, but that's a 16 year old crush for a 21 year old god. Hehe.
Browneyedimagination : Wow, nice name. Haven't seen it before, but thanks for the review anyway! Glad you liked the story, and I hope I'll see you in the crossover's list of reviews…
JesterGod : Well I certainly hope it was a déjà-vu, 'cause I pretty much picked it all from my own head… Welcome to zee new readers, only this story is over. Check out XxFOOdelySxX for the foofighta-fleurdelys crossover, that should be coming up soon (as soon as foo writes her darn scene, which she still hasn't. And if you all harrass her with it, I'm sure she might actually move her butt and write it!)
Remy's Ange : My poor girl. I'm sending this to you through email, because Fanfiction.net, the evilest thing on Earth, has wiped you out of this world, and it SUCKS. I'm so angry! Not only has it also erased your reviews in my stories, too (you had 22 in this story!! TWENTY-TWO!!), but it has also erased the reviews I had written for you!!! All of them! Dammit. And those reviews for CommitmentPhobia were the best ones I've ever written. Anyway, I'd understand if you didn't review this, since FF.N is being a real bunch of assholes to you, but I sent it anyway, because I know how much you love Louis, and you're one of my favorites. Honest. I hope to hear from you! You know how to contact me. FF.N is evil! The DEVIL I say!
kitsu black : Well I can't tell you what's going on up north, cause that would be like giving the plot of the crossover away. So you'll have to check it out to know :P Thanks for reading!
Nightbug : Well thank you! Hope to hear from you in the crossover (if foo writes her scene… I wonder if she gets the idea, she usually reads all the comments…)
Ishandahalf : Ah well, you know me. Yes he is leaving, and yes, I'm leaving you to die with the stress of not knowing what will happen until Foo gets on her computer and writes something productive (ladida… get the idea, honey? Write!). So yeah, he's going back to New York, where angst, action, and unbelievable things will happen to poor Louis and his family. Yay!
Zee Almighty Sleeping Foo : Haha! See? You were the first to review, and I'm keeping you for the end… Now, I'm waiting for you on Yahoo right now (see I tried waking you up, but you won't come, so I ended up writing this chapter. lol). Now, I know you don't like Isabelle, but I did my best to make her the sweetest thing in this chapter. And look! She even helped Louis find a codename! Fenris! Yay! Alright, I'm all done now! Wack! Wack! Wake up! (people must think I'm crazy).