A/N: The final chapter. Published one year (a day early maybe) after the first installment of "Times Are Changing" was first put up on the web.
Okay, I'm not going to go all sappy on this monumental occasion, but I am going to take a step back in awe. I have never never held something together for this long. Looking back at who I was then and what I am now... Two different people, but still the same.
Alex ran down the steps of the castle to the waiting car outside. "Crap, I'm going to be late!" He cried in dismay as he hurriedly combed his hair in the back of the limousine, driven by none other than Owen. Owen smiled.
"We will not be late."
Alex was dubious but continued to clean up his appearance as Owen took shortcuts through parking garages, parking lots, alleys, and the occasional construction zone. They arrived twenty minutes early. He opened the car and let Alexander out.
"Thank you, Owen," Alex replied.
He stepped onto the New York Law School campus, feeling slightly confident and slightly nauseated. Owen put a hand on his shoulder. "You'll do fine."
Alex gulped and ran up the steps with the grouping students to go and take the bar.
Wanda and Alex walked hand in hand to the table that waited for them. Fox, in a deceptively seductive red strapless dress and David in a white tuxedo looked up from their conversation to shake hands with the young couple.
Alex wore a black tuxedo and Wanda wore a red cocktail dress that sparkled in the light. Fox had actually picked it out specifically for her, so that they would compliment each other. And, on an added note, so that the younger woman would not completely overshadow the ex-TV star.
Wanda and Fox exchanged kisses on the cheek as David and Alex shook hands. "Where's Owen?" Wanda asked. Alex gave her a sideways glance as if to say, 'Didn't know you cared,' or 'That's my line.'
David answered, "Owen actually has the night off. He was free to do as he chose."
Alex's eyebrow arched in slight surprise. "Good for him."
The Xanatonian Gossip Column
by April Jones, Associate Press
Photographer: Peter Parker
They were the envy of the room these four; celebrities not only in their wealth but in the enrapturing quality their lives gave off. The few freelance photographers had reserved seats as close as they could get to the Xanatos's (and the alluring Miss Maximoff, whose parents were reputed to be gypsies in Transia/Romania). The problem being, as soon as one of them accidentally gave off a flash, they were kindly escorted out of the restaurant by a man reputedly named 'Bubba.' (Crafty work, Peter! Good job!)
Latest words said that the couples were celebrating Alex's bar exam. It was over and done with, and they were happy (none as much as Alex).
Another interesting note on the radar was that, earlier today, an aspiring young entrepreneur (whispered to be Alexander himself) had bought out all the remaining shares of Cyberbiotics only to merge it with Xana Corp only a few minutes later. Renard's old lawyer team had refused to comment on the situation, but an inside source said he was, "...flabbergasted. Anyone who knew Halcyon knows he hated Xana Corp with every fiber of his being. I guess the only thing keeping the old man dead in the ground rather than rising again as the vengeful livingdead is the fact that his favorite (and only) grandson will inherit it all."
Sources had also been circulating that Alexander had been to the secret school down in Bayville, NY, and had attended the Institute for Gifted Youngsters for a short while. Many commented that the school was known to be a private school for mutants, and questioned Alex's genetic make-up. Upon questioning, Dr. Charles Xavier, headmaster of the school replied, "Alexander is a fine young man. As the heir to the Xanatos empire, he and I discussed a trial period in which he would attend as student to help understand the mutant plight. Upon spending the months here, he decided to move on to graduate high school early from his public school back in New York City. As to whether or not he is a mutant, I can assure you with great confidence that he does not have the X-gene. He's still a fine boy though..."
According to Bobby Drake, one of Alex's best friends, he met Wanda at the institute. "They hit it off the bat pretty quickly, probably because they were both new here at the institute. They also have very similar...personalities. You could say daddy issues, but I think they both like their fathers now." They have been dating for a little over a year now, and make frequent appearances at parties and various clubs (including the Gothika).
When asked what he thought about his sister dating one of the richest bachelors in the world, Pietro Maximoff had this much to say, "Honestly, I'm glad she's happy. We had a... an interesting childhood. As much as I'd like to say that he had better treat her right or else, I think I'll refrain from threatening him publicly. I just hope he remembers to spread the love around sometimes... or more than once... Hey, don't give me that look! I meant the money! Geez..."
Also of interest, the dashing debonair Owen Burnett has resumed his practically archetypal duties at the Eyrie Building in the past month. It was one of the largest upsets in business employment when Colby Stern, employee of David Xanatos for a month, quit his post to find a job with a lead competitor. Many will remember Owen Burnett's similar move almost three decades ago now when he switched sides from Cyberotics to Xana Corp. Apparently, Mr. Stern was not nearly as lucky. Our latest report is that he is being held at the local hospital's infirmary for strange gashes on his arms and chest. He refused to comment, but as one of our reporters was leaving, he observed three uniformed police officers walk into Stern's room, placing him under arrest for fraud and attempted embezzlement. The charges were allegedly made by Xanatos himself, and the documented proof goes all the way back to the second day that Xanatos had hired him.
However, during this year-long period, many still asked about Mr. Burnett's whereabouts. When questioned, Mr. Burnett said merely, "It was unpleasant work. I'm just happy to be back."
Xanatos had a little more to say on the matter: "It was a mistake to just let him go like that, and I of course am to blame. No one is as valuable to me as Owen, monetarily or as a friend. We'll take better care this time around, to be sure."
Another interesting development: Our sources state that Fox Xanatos was seen at a small bistro in Manhattan with a figure possibly identified as Dominque Destine. Both were obviously trying to conceal their identity, and the subject of their conversation is still not known since both femme fatales attacked the reporter. He is currently in physical therapy.
Overall, the Eyrie Building and its varied inhabitants, still hold the rest of New York, as well as the world, caught in a rapture of thought, excitement, and intrigue.
So there you have it. A story has been told about the Renards, the Burnett(s), and the Xanatos', giving more insight into each. The story isn't done, but merely written down from one mind to the enjoyment of others.
Elisa clutched her backpack as the elevator dinged level after level in the Eyrie building. It was just now a half hour before sunset, and she sincerely wished this piece of junk would move faster. She drummed her fingers on the strap of the backpack, impatient as ever to reach the top.
It had become routine again. She'd sleep all day, wake up, rush over to the Eyrie building and hope she made it before sunset. Usually she did.
Things had settled down between her and Goliath, as in, they didn't fight anymore. She could stand to be around him, let alone, let him kiss her and occasionally, kiss him back.
Oh, who was she kidding. She loved her 'big guy.' Everyone could see it plainly on her face when she looked at him. And Things were finally back to the way they should be.
Alex and Wanda would continue to date.
Goliath and Elisa would begin to officially date.
The Manhatten clan continued to protect the city.
With all this, they still had their adventures.
Because times are changing...
But some things remain the same.