The next day was normal for Alex as normal could be. His parents didn't know he was missing last night. Puck must have been keeping leverage on Alex, though Alex couldn't see why he would be doing that. Maybe Puck was just waiting for an explanation before going to his parents.

When he knew the others would be out of the classroom, he called Jeremy.

"So how did things work out after I left?" asked Alex.

"Good," replied Jeremy, sitting in front of his computer in his dorm. "Putting the finishing touches on a few documents. Turns out that Franz Hopper hid the deed to the Hermitage. No one's been able to claim it. Then again, not many people knew it was there to begin with. What about you? Did you get in trouble?"

"Not really," said Alex. "Puck was the only one who realized I was gone. He wanted to know where I was and what I was doing, but I kept my mouth shut. I don't like lying to him."

"Maybe one day you can tell him," said Jeremy. "Some of us have been waiting a long time to tell our closest friends and family members."

"How are Hopper and Eva?" asked Alex.

"Franz is doing well," said Jeremy. "His name will now be Franz Stones. We need to create a cover ID for him. Franz Hopper has been missing for years and Waldo Schaeffer is being hunted by the government. Besides, before Aelita got her memory back, we gave her the name Stones. As for Eva, as well as can be expected. She's a bit sore from Kayla having to preform CPR, but she's okay. Jim's taking everything very well. I think he's just glad Eva's safe."

"I would be, too," said Alex.

"So how are things at home with your mom and dad?" asked Jeremy.

"Good," replied Alex. "Mom and Dad didn't know I left. Puck didn't tell them as far as I know. Dad hasn't been feeling well. I think he's got a stomach bug. I have a question about Franz: what is he going to do now? He's been missing for years, it's not like he can just pick up where he left off, can he?"

"We're figuring that out," said Jeremy. "Right now we're trying to get the Hermitage back in his and Aelita's possession. We can go from there."

"If you need help, let me know," said Alex. "I'm sure I can find a way to help out."

"Cool," said Jeremy. "I'll talk to you later. I'm almost done with these documents. The only thing they need now is a signature."

"Talk to you later, Jeremy," said Alex.


At the Hermitage, the rest of the LYOKO warriors, Franz, and Jim were cleaning up almost a decade of debris. Aelita and Kayla were sweeping the bedrooms, Odd and William were cleaning the kitchen, and Ulrich and Yumi were cleaning the living room. Franz was seeing what he could do for the bathroom. Eva and Jim were up on the roof checking for leaks.

"You gave me a scare last night," said Jim.

"I gave everyone a scare," said Eva. "I have a feeling it won't be the last time."

"You like to live on the edge," said Jim. "I remember when I was your age, I was like that. It was why I joined the army."

"From what I'm told, you were a lot of things, Jimbo," said Eva.

"Yeah," chuckled Jim. He frowned. "Hey, how do you know my old nickname?"

"Odd told me," replied Eva. She took a careful look at the roof. "This roof is going to need completely replaced."

"You're telling us!" Odd said from the large hole in the attic. "This roof has more holes than a strainer."

"And the electrical is less than to be desired!" William shouted from downstairs.

"If we can save the world from XANA, we can certainly fix this house!" yelled Kayla.

Jim and Eva came inside to see what else could be done.

"You know, Chris was talking to me about you going on tour with him this summer," said Jim. "Summer's not that far away. Do you think you would like to go?"

Eva thought for a long moment. "It would be nice," she said. "Hopefully this entire mess with LYOKO is finished now."

"Chris also said you were working on new music," said Jim.

"With the others," said Eva. "We'll see how things go."

"If you would like to go, I'll talk to Chris and we'll set something up," said Jim. "I have a feeling you'll get along with him just fine. Let's go back to school. I'm getting hungry."

"So am I," Odd chimed in.

"You're always hungry," said Ulrich.

"Do you want us to bring anything for you, Daddy?" asked Aelita.

"No," said Franz. "I have some pocket money. I can buy food."

They started back to school.

"Eva?" Aelita said softly.

"Hm?" Eva glanced at Aelita.

"Thank you for bringing my father back to me," said Aelita.

Eva shook her head. "Don't thank me. I didn't do anything. I was just the messenger."

"But still, thank you," said Aelita. "I have a chance at leading a normal life now."

"Aelita, nothing is normal for us," said Eva.

Eva gave Aelita one of her very rare smiles.


Franz Hopper's back, Eva's headaches are gone, Jim knows their secret, so what next? Keep your eyes open because there is still more to this saga.