Finally, Chapter 150, everybody! In which I translate a week as several months…sorry for the delay on this—just couldn't bring myself to finish it. But now here it is, mostly because I got my Dad to read it and therefore had someone hounding me every day to finish it up. ^^

I wouldn't mind it if you all told me what worked and what didn't work within the story for future improvement. :) I also have vague plans for a sequel, but don't look for it in the next year or so—I have to make sure whatever ideas I get work and don't wreck this story's world. There's also some vague plans to illustrate this and cross-post it on Archive Of Our Own, but again, that won't be this year. I also have several other story ideas that are closer to being done, although one-shots will be in the near future. That, and finishing up the other stories that I've already posted. ^^

And that's pretty much it—thanks for all the reviews, favorites, and follows, and we hope you enjoy this last chapter. :)

Angiembabe, thanks for the review! Yes, this is true. Mmm, dumplings….Yes, it is a lot that pretty much just got dumped on them. Maybe. :)

Ashethehedgehog, thanks for the review! Don't worry about it. :) Yes, it took a while, but here's the end finally. I did! This makes the first fanfic of mine to ever get fan art! I love it. :D Ah, glad that works—and yes, Wilson's reaction was fun. :D Thank you for enjoying it so much! :D

Fromtheashtrees, thanks for the review! Yes, at least there's that. This is true—I'm working on making a Pokémon game (since I was dissatisfied with Sun/Moon), and working on the game design document is taking a while, mostly because I'm having to build up the basic ideas I started with. That sounds great! :D Yes, here we are, at the end….

Miqu, thanks for the review! Well, now you can read the whole thing through to the end! Yes, I do too—I generally just favorite the chapter I stop on so I can open it back up where I left off. :)

Yu-Gi-Oh! © 1996 Kazuki Takahashi

Don't Starve © 2013 Klei Entertainment

The Hobbit © 1937 JRR Tolkien (that title that was already taken)

Jurassic Park III © 2001 Joe Johnston ("As far as I'm concerned, it's the Four Seasons")

Wilson followed a circuitous route around the room, having left Willow to console Hannah and assure her that no, her son and nephew were not heading to their doom, they were fine, they'd be back, stop worrying already.

Now if only he could do the same.

Wilson couldn't quite shake the feeling that he was forgetting something. Something that he considered fairly important to address….

Ah, there it was.

He walked over and, ignoring decorum, sat on the table next to Rae.

"Hello," he greeted, noting that she had ceased her drawing at some point and was now working on filling the stack of paper she had asked for with tight handwriting.

"Hi there," she returned, not looking up. She was practically bent over the paper, so he couldn't quite read what she was writing.

"We seem to have lost the princes."

"Shame on you. How could you misplace those two, after all the trouble we went through?"

"I know. I was wondering about putting them on leashes, since the bells don't seem to be enough."

"Leashes would be a good idea."

"Glad you approve. Although I have some concerns about your lack of reaction."

"I figure you're not panicking yet, so why should I? Also, I'm a little tired for my usual reactions—wait until morning and then we'll see."

"Fair enough," he said, before gesturing to her paper. "What are you writing?"

In response, she handed him a stack of paper.

"Get writing," she ordered. "I'm doing it from the time I meet you onward, but you need to fill in some blanks and give some backstory here."

"Uh, huh," Wilson noised, accepting the paper she had practically shoved in his face. "What are we doing?"

"We have a story to write. People want to know what happened—this is the best way to tell them. Commit it to paper, and then….We need a printing press."

"It's on my to-do list," Wilson said, patting his pockets down in search of writing utensils. Ah, there. "Although I wanted to address your plumbing issue first."

"Yes….And seeing how Pale Skins are getting to be more acceptable around here, I might want to invest in something that'll get me across the desert faster—I don't think my farm would be a good place for a printing press."

"A drier location might be better, yes."

"And where will you be hanging your figurative hat now?"

"I'm not sure—I'm not entirely certain if I got my old job here back."

"You can't bunk with me—my parents would roll in their graves."

"I wasn't going to suggest that."

"Good, because I wasn't going to let you."

"I'm sure. I suppose the streets are as good an option as any."

"I don't think Hannah will let you sleep on the streets—she'll send you to bunk with what's-his-face. Bakura's dad. Then you can hear how wonderful those two are going to be together all the time."

"And what did I do to deserve that fate?"

"I don't know, but I'm sure you deserve it." She snapped her fingers. "Dragging me up a mountain against my will. There. That's what you did."

"Are you still on about that?"

"I am."

Wilson couldn't quite decide between a sigh or a scoff and ended up making a noise somewhere between the two. "I suppose I can't argue with that."

"Good, because there is no argument for that."

Wilson scoffed again, looking around the area as he did so. It wasn't perfect, and wouldn't be for a long time, if it ever did become so. But it was nice, to not have to be worrying about everything coming crashing down on his head for once.

He wondered how long that would last.

"You're sighing again," Rae pointed out, not looking up from her writing.

"My pessimism is showing," Wilson admitted.

"Well stop that. Focus on the positive. We're alive, we're in one piece…I at least didn't eat the hummus…."

"Indoor plumbing is in your future…."

"That I like."

"Good to know," Wilson noised, tapping his charcoal against the blank paper. Hmm….

"And what should we call this, once we finish it?" he asked her.

"I don't know," she noised. "But something iconic, I think. Like There and Back Again."

"That's already taken, although appropriate," Wilson said, tugging his papers out of his backpack and fanning through them. Basically a scientific journal of their progress in particular and the last…pff, twenty years in general, starting from the trip from the Pale Skins' homeland. "'A scientific discourse on peculiar winter phenomena and the effects thereof,'" he suggested, going through the papers and trying to decide which were immediately relevant.

"Way too wordy. And it sounds like it'd put people to sleep."

"Scientific people would take me seriously."

"Good for them."

Wilson scoffed, started writing down everything he could recall from the first pertinent moment that involved the Frost King—he'd compare with his notes later, but he figured stream-of-consciousness was serving Rae well enough.

"I do hope you'll be tidying that up," Wilson said, glancing at her writing.

"Of course," she muttered. "But everyone knows the first draft always sucks."

Wilson scoffed again, read a bit of what he had written, decided that he was a mite too tired to write coherently. Pull out another page, sort everything into something resembling chronological order (things had gotten jostled and turned around during the trip), lay the blank page on top and write out title ideas.

Rae glanced over and started reading. "You're being too verbose again," she pointed out.

"Yes, well," Wilson sighed, looking back at their surroundings, still trying to take in everything. "How does one render down a lifetime's worth of events into something concise and to the point?"

Rae looked around as well, as though this was fully occurring to her.

"All storms look serene enough from far away," she repeated.

"Indeed they do," Wilson said. "But I don't think 'Serene Storm' is a good fit for this."

"This is true."

Long silence followed—but of the comfortable sort. Maybe Wilson could get used to this.

He tapped his charcoal against the paper, scratched out some more title ideas before handing it to Rae.

"What do you think of this one?" he asked, pointing as she took it.

"An account of the Frost King and associated unexplained phenomena: A case study," she read. "Still too dry and wordy."

"I'll come up with something tomorrow. Or whenever I do wake up. I could sleep for a year."

"Me too," she agreed, putting the paper on top of the others and crossing some words out. "But I stand by my original statement—pithy is key."

He looked at the paper as she handed it back to him. "That works. And seeing as how this party seems to have gone as far as it can, what say you to finding someplace soft and quiet to crash for the night?"

"Are you proposing sleeping with me?"

"In that we'll both be unconscious, yes, although I was planning on separate beds."

She considered this before straightening her stack of papers. "I'm all for that—here."

He accepted the papers, put them with the others as she stood and stretched, put the title page on top and stood as she took his backpack.

"So where to?" she asked. "And no more inclines—I've had enough of those to last me a lifetime."

Wilson laughed. "There should be some storerooms nearby—if you don't mind not sleeping in a bed, there's tablecloths and the like there."

"After sleeping on moldy old straw mats in the middle of nowhere, freezing my everything off? That sounds like the royal suite to me—let's go."

He rolled his eyes, somewhat enjoying the relatively foreign feeling of mirth bubbling up. Yes, things weren't perfect, but they were good. And after everything that had happened, he could live with good.

He was still smiling as he followed her, glanced down at what she had left when she crossed everything out…had to admit that what she left was pithy, to the point, and described their story accurately.

Now to simply write everything out that fit the title she had left.

The Frost King.


Final Count:

Chapters: 150

Pages: 532

Words: 163,061 (in Microsoft Word)