Miss Kingsleigh? Wakey-wakey...
Huh, what...? Oh...OH! CC! Y-You're BACK! So...so early!
Something wrong? You seem a little...what is THIS? Did you finish the story WITHOUT ME?
Hey, I knew you were gonna be gone awhile and I couldn't keep everyone waiting, so - OW! Uncalled for! No, no, not again, not OW OW OW! Look, if it makes you feel any better, I still have to write the epilogue. You wanna help? Put. The flyswatter. Down.
...Oh, all right.
See, isn't not attacking me FUN?
DISCLAIMER: These things aren't mine. I'm just messing with them for the moment, and I'm about to put them back (albeit in less-than-stellar condition.)
- Six Months Later -
"I finally found one!"
"A place in Seattle that delivers fried chicken!"
"You know, last time I checked you were supposed to help pack."
"She's almost done. Look, it's just gonna take a minute - "
"After we get back from the airport!"
"The flight's not for three hours!"
Carly sighed and sunk back further into the couch. She really shouldn't be surprised by Sam's behavior, but still...your sister's leaving and you're thinking about fried chicken?
After six months in Seattle, it had become painfully obvious that having two daughters just wasn't going to work for the Puckett household. And so it was that Melanie would be returning to her boarding school, not to return for quite a while (if at all); her flight left in just a few hours and because Mrs. Puckett had been arrested and Spencer was in Vancouver showing off his new exhibit of dragon sculptures, Carly would be driving her. She'd spent the last few months learning and had finally gotten her license.
The apartment door opened, and in stepped Freddie and Gibby. "Did we miss her?" the former asked.
"No, she's still getting ready," Carly answered. "What's with the newspaper?"
He grinned mischievously. "This!" he said as he triumphantly gestured to an obscure headline.
Sam grabbed it out of his hands. "What's so - holy chiz."
Carly took a look. " 'Mount Baker's Madman Admitted to Mental Institution.' Is this...?"
"Oh, just some amnesiac called Albert Trengrove."
According to the article, Alvin had managed to evade capture for the past six months, slowly losing his memory and sanity. By the time he'd been found he was a wild-eyed, half-dead wreck speaking only in feral shrieks. There was no way of identifying him, and he refused to communicate. So he was being taken to an institution where he would, in all probability, spend the rest of his days.
"OMG, that is...really..."
"Good riddance," Sam deadpanned.
"Yeah, that. Thanks, Sam." Carly let herself sigh in relief: another weight lifted from her shoulders. Spencer had been completely paranoid ever since his disappearance, even seriously considering the idea of moving, and for once his sister had understood why. But now, after a thousand years, they were finally rid of Alvin the Treacherous.
They heard the elevator trundling up its shaft and watched as the door opened to reveal Melanie and Amanda, both carrying several large bags. "You got everything together?" Carly asked them.
"Yep," Melanie said. "We should go soon..." she trailed off as her smile began to fade.
"Peak time for traffic congestion, ya know," Amanda jumped in helpfully. "Getting to be a major issue."
Oh, Amanda. Despite her best efforts, her mock article hadn't been enough to get her into the School at Sea - but it had gotten the attention of the school paper. She'd jumped at the chance when asked to join, and in a few months she was one of their busiest and most valuable reporters. She had appeared on iCarly a few times and occasionally came to Carly and her friends for help, which they were now more than happy to give. She still dreamed of traveling and getting out of Seattle but, as she said, "I've got plenty of time."
"So," Melanie said after an awkward silence. "This is it."
"You're coming back, right?" Gibby asked innocently.
She just gave him a sad look and hugged him tightly. "Yeah...I wish."
"It's gonna be okay," Carly said reassuringly as Melanie hugged her next. "We'll e-mail you. All the time!" She seemed to brighten at this.
"What, no kiss?" Freddie asked teasingly after his hug.
"...No," she answered quietly.
Sam didn't wait to be approached "I know I was kinda mean to you at first, but...after all that I..." At a loss for words, she abruptly threw her arms around her sister. "I'm sorry. You're not all boring and perfect, you're totally awesome and I'm gonna miss you and keep in touch all the time and watch out for Mom and stuff."
"Are...are you okay?" Melanie asked.
Her sister sheepishly released her. "Yeah," she replied, trying to slide back into her old demeanor and indiscreetly rub the tears from her eyes. "Geez, Carls. You left out a crate of onions or something?"
Freddie started picking up bags and headed for the elevator. "Come on, let's go - "
There was a rapid knocking at the door and a soft thud of something landing on the carpet.
Carly opened the door and looked around. No one, nothing but a small envelope lying on their doorstep. "Hello?" she called out as she picked it up and examined it. No address.
"What is it?" Gibby asked as she closed the door.
"No idea," she answered. Tearing open the envelope, she removed a piece of paper, unfolded it and stared at its contents.
"Still no idea."
It had been nothing special - just a map of the history museum park, the kind you could pick up anywhere. Only someone had scribbled an X on the northeast side with the message "Please come now! Bring your friends!" And so they had, making their way to the appointed spot and soon finding themselves in a shady, secluded clearing.
"Hello? Anyone here?" Carly called out.
"This is only funny for one of us!" Sam added. Neither received an answer.
Amanda examined the map again. "Are we in the right place?"
"Yeah, I'm sure," said Carly.
"So...what do you think this is?" Gibby asked.
"Just some kid with a weird sense of humor," said Sam. "I would know. Come on, let's get outta here."
"Or," a familiar voice rang out, "you could just turn around. Personally that sounds much easier."
There, standing across the clearing, were their six lost friends - and one other familiar face.
"Well, don't just stand there!" snapped Nevel. "You have twenty minutes and then that wormhole closes for another six months. And I haven't got all day, either!"
At the moment, though, it didn't matter.
The village was doing fine, Hiccup told them. His dad and Gobber sent their greetings and thanks. Fishlegs had spent the last months educating the neighboring tribes about accepting dragons, an endeavor which had been surprisingly successful. Lout, Ruff and Tuff hadn't changed a bit. As for himself, he'd been training to succeed his father as chief...and preparing for his and Astrid's wedding.
Carly smiled as she watched his own amazement at his good fortune; just you wait, buddy. Just you wait. She told him about learning to drive, and Spencer's dragon sculptures, and Amanda getting onto the school paper and the impending departure of Melanie. "And he was so excited to see her again," Hiccup said sadly.
"Looks to me like he still is," Carly answered. The pair in question were seated beneath a tree, swapping stories and laughing like they had all the time in the world.
Meanwhile, in as few words as possible, Nevel explained that when Hiccup and his friends had left, something had gone wrong. "I'd just gotten back from Yudonia and was taking a walk here when the air started shimmering and - "
"Bored now," Sam deadpanned.
"I must not have powered the arch down right, or there was enough negative energy generated to trigger the Casimir effect - "
"Would it kill you to speak English?"
"Somehow it kept the bridge from disappearing. It'll open and close it at certain times, and it can be used for travel."
"You mean we can visit?" Carly asked hopefully.
"Er...sort of. For an hour every six months, that's what I calculated."
"Man, that is just not fair!" whined Tuffnut. "Now I gotta listen to Legs whine about Melanie for six more months!"
Fishlegs and Melanie laughed nervously. "It's gonna be longer than that," the former said. "But I won't make a big deal of it, I swear!" he added quickly upon seeing his friends' horror-stricken faces.
"You sure you're gonna be okay?" Melanie asked him. "It'll be two years, at least."
"I'll be too busy to notice," he said jokingly.
She smiled, then pulled down her ponytail and handed him the sparkly hairband. "Keep this safe for me, will you!"
A cool, crisp wind kicked in at that moment, picking up fallen leaves, carrying them into the air before swirling them in a circle around the group. The now-shimmering air was filled with a low rumbling.
"Hole's opening!" yelled Nevel, hurriedly backing away.
Carly threw her arms around Hiccup one last time. "See you in six months."
"I'll be there."
"Good, 'cuz if you get kidnapped we're not coming after you!" Sam added.
He laughed. "But I'm so good at it!"
The rumbling grew in intensity as the ground began to shake. "Goodbye, goodbye!" the two groups of friends called out to each other.
A flash of light, a loud crack...and then they were gone. The air returned to normal, the rumbling stopped and the wind instantly died away. A calm, quiet peace settled over the clearing.
"Will...will we really see them again?" Amanda asked as they stared at the spot where the Vikings had been.
Carly listened closely. For a split second she could still hear the echoes of their farewells hanging in the air. Like a promise.
"Oh, yeah. Totally."
"So," said Sam. "Airport, fried chicken, smoothies. Who's with me?"
|~| The End |~|
Well, that's that.
I think we can take away an EXTREMELY important lesson from this little story; A. Kingsleigh should not attempt to create her own sci-fi technology. Not without more experience in the field, of course. Which is why I'll be sailing into safer waters for my next fic...
What, a steampunk Star Wars is safer than THIS?
*sigh* I like Star Wars, I like steampunk. Win-win for everyone! NOW CEASE AND DESIST! Anyway, I'd like to thank you all for reading and reviewing, especially Annabeth The Unicorn and ida4444. It was always great to see reviews from you guys. You gave me some great ideas and helped me keep this story on track.
I bid thee farewell and hope to see some of you again! That's all for iTrainVikings! Allons-y, CC!
I'm studying French, so TECHNICALLY I have an excuse to say it.