A/N: On august 2, one of the best, most emotional fanfics within the Loud House finally came to an end, after three long years. Requiem for a Loud.
Underrated Hero decided to go for an open ending, that left Lincolns fate ambiguous. And since he made it clear that the story would be done for him, and there would be no sequel or epilogue by his hands, we readers have to imagine for ourselves what Lincolns fate, and that of the Loud Family, would be. So here is my version. It's not nearly as good as the original fanfic that inspired it, but it's the best I can do.
Special thanks to EltioRob95 for also translating the story to Spanish. Check out his account.
It was already dark, and at least for the youngest Loud girls way past their usual bedtime. But tonight it didn't matter. Only 30 minutes ago, the Loud family had finally come home from the surprise party/award ceremony they had prepared for Lincoln, and now the sole boy of the family was standing in the living room, posing with all the trophies his family, friends, and other people had given him. They would never all fit in his section of the trophy case, but Rita and Lynn Sr. agreed Lincoln could put them all on the table in the living room, for everyone to see. If it meant having to eat in the kitchen for a couple of days, so be it.
"One more. Give me smile!" Rita said as she aimed the camera at Lincoln. She didn't have to tell him twice. It was impossible for Lincoln not to smile, considering the day he had just gone through. Especially with all his sisters, standing behind Rita cheering him on.
"Thanks guys. I…I really appreciate it" Lincoln said when the final photo was taken.
"You deserve it bro" Luna said. The others sisters agreed.
For Lincoln, the day had already been the best one of his life, and he hoped it could never end. But evidently, the surprise party had worn him out since the one trophy he was holding (the big one given to him by Lynn) was getting quite heavy. So he turned around and put it on the table with the rest. But as he did, he could feel his legs turn to rubber underneath him. He barely managed to grab the table and keep himself from falling. Behind him, the girls gasped, and within a second they were all gathered around him, simultaneously expressing their worries.
Not wanting to scare them, Lincoln took a few deep breaths till he could feel his strength coming back. "I'm okay guys, sorry. Just tired I guess."
The girls all looked doubtful. "I mean it, it has been a very busy day". But Lincoln wasn't sure who he was trying to convince more; the girls, or himself.
Now Rita and Lynn Sr. also joined the group, with Rita kneeling down to Lincolns level. "You're right sweety, it was. You look even more tired than usual". Saying this made the mother of 11, but soon only 10, briefly drop her eyes in shame. She and Lynn Sr. never realized how tired Lincoln always looked due to how much he did for the family. "Better go to bed, and tomorrow sleep in for a chance".
"You can have the bathroom first Lincoln. We'll make up your bed" Luan said. Right now, all the Loud Kids' mattresses were still in the living room after last night's sleepover, stacked into a corner. And pretty much all the sisters wanted a second sleepover tonight, just to be close to Lincoln.
"Can we sleep here again tonight mom?" Lana practically begged.
"Yes, we want to be with Linky" Leni added, wrapping her brother in a hug that almost cut off his breath. Fortunately, Lori came to his aid and made Leni let go of him.
Rita and Lynn exchanged a brief glance. It had been agreed the sleepover from last night would be a onetime only, just to stop the bickering between the sisters about who got to bunk with Lincoln. On one hand, the parents knew Lincoln's time was running out (even more so after what had just happened), and they didn't want to deny their daughters the chance to spend time with their only brother. Heck, even the parents would probably never leave Lincolns side if possible. But on the other hand, they still didn't know how many days Lincoln had left, and to have sleepovers in the living room for maybe another full week was a bit much.
"Girls, I think Lincoln really needs his rest tonight, which he won't get when bunking with all of you" Rita eventually said. She could already tell her daughters were collectively going to object, but fortunately for both parents it didn't get that far as Lincoln, always being the peacemaker (and maybe because, on a subconscious level, he already suspected what was about to come) made the choice for them.
"It's okay girls. I can spend one night by myself, and maybe tomorrow night some of you can bunk with me".
"Lincoln, you don't have to…." Lori began, but Lincoln cut her off. "Lori, I'm grateful for this wonderful day you girls gave me, but…mom is right."
Thus, it was settled that there would be no sleepover in the living room tonight. While the girls reluctantly began to move the mattresses back upstairs (including Lincolns), Lincoln went to the bathroom to change into his pajamas and brush his teeth.
Walking up the stairs was a lot harder for him than usual ,and Lincoln had to stop for a moment to catch his breath once he made it to the top. Later, while he was standing at the sink, he could see his reflection in the mirror. Indeed, he looked awfully tired, with bloodshot eyes. And that dizzy spell he had downstairs just a minute ago….
He shook his head. It was better not to think too deeply about such things.
Only Lana, Lola, Leni and Luna where waiting outside the bathroom when Lincoln was done. Lincoln put on his best smile. "Well, goodnight girls. See you tomorrow". He tried to sound reassuring, but could tell he wasn't doing a very good job. So he held out his hands to give all four of them a good night hug, which they eagerly returned. He almost had to pry the fingers of Lana off him, so tight was she hugging him.
Before he reached his own room, he passed the room of Lisa and Lily, and caught a glimpse of Lisa scribbling down something on her notebook. Curious, but already suspecting what it was about, he walked up to her.
"Lisa, you should be in bed too".
Lisa yelped (a rarity for her; normally she didn't show any emotion, including fear), and dropped her notebook, allowing Lincoln to pick it up. As he expected, it was about him. In spite of their talk the day before, Lisa still wasn't willing to give up on him. In the book was a list of plans Lisa intended to try to save him, but despite her great intellect, Lisa was clearly at the end of her rope since her ideas got more outlandish with each entry:
- Triple amount of synthesized hormone compound to prolong male siblings life.
- Cryogenically freeze male sibling till cure found.
- Contact alternate selves from parallel universes to team-up for working on a cure (invent dimensional portal first.)
- Clone male sibling, without neurofibromatosis type one (risky, clone might be unstable).
- Research possibilities for reanimating dead (warning, could trigger zombie apocalypse)
- Travel back in time to warn past self and give her a head start on making cure (warning, may result in universe-breaking paradox if done improperly).
Lincoln shook his head. "Lisa, we went over this".
Lisa sighed. "I know, but as a woman of science, and as your sister unit, I cannot give up on you….Not after what happened downstairs….. I just can't".
Lincoln kneeled down to her level and looked her in the eye. "Lisa, I don't doubt you could do the things you wrote down here, but your notes make it clear even you understand the risks. You were risking your own health before, and killing all those mice, and now this… What's next, planning to replace me with an alternate me from some other universe?"
Lisa didn't say anything. That thought had actually crossed her mind. For about 0,3 millisecond. Then she violently pushed it away, cursing at herself for even considering to replace Lincoln.
But giving up on him was no option for her either. She removed her glasses, and Lincoln could see a small amount of tears forming in her eyes. This time, it wouldn't work however; he had to get through to her one way or another. "Lisa….promise me that if I die before you can find a cure, you will do no rash things to try and reverse it. Especially nothing that can put the entire universe at risk. Promise that you will try to move on".
Lisa wanted to protest, but Lincoln's face made it clear he wasn't going to accept no.
"I….I…fine I promise!". With that Lisa hung her head in shame.
Now Lincoln felt guilty, even though he knew it was for Lisa's own good if she gave up on him, so he tried his best to console her.
"Don't see this as failure Lisa. I still believe you're a genius. The greatest to have ever lived. You're going to do great things Lisa, and you should really continue your research. My disease may be rare, but I'm not the only one. There are other people suffering from it. It is perhaps too late for me….but you can still save others".
With that he summoned his last strength, lifted Lisa up in his arms and carried her to her bed. Lisa went along willingly. He carefully put her in bed and removed he glasses.
"I love you sis. I always will". With that he kissed her goodnight before finally making his way to his own room. As he did he could feel his other sisters staring at him, but he didn't dare to turn around and face them. It was like that first day in the hospital, when his elder sisters had found out about his condition. Everybody was afraid to talk.
Once in the relative privacy of his room, Lincoln took his calendar from underneath the bed and marked off today. Only three white days left, and even those he might not get. After putting the calendar back, he took one last look at his phone. Not surprising, he had tons of unread messages from his friends. Liam, Zach, Rusty, Ronnie Anne, and most of all Clyde. They boiled down to the same thing; they had forgiven him for his outburst, and once more stated how much he meant to them.
Lincoln didn't have the energy to answer them all now. He switched off his phone and put it on his desk, hesitated, then on a hunch he took his walkie-talkie. "Clyde, are you still awake".
Clyde responded almost immediately. "Lincoln? Are you okay? Is it happening? Do you see light at the end of the tunnel!"
Lincoln rolled his eyes (not that Clyde would ever know that, considering they were not in the same room). Sometimes, his friend could be such a drama queen. "I'm fine Clyde. I just…I just wanted to thank you again for today. And the other guys too of course."
Sounding much more relaxed now after Lincolns reassuring words, Clyde basically told him the same thing his sisters had told him downstairs. How he deserved it all.
"Yeah but… I was really a jerk to you. I still feel like I have to make it up to them" Lincoln said. "But not with another game of monopoly though. That won't end well".
He could hear Clyde sigh. "If you insist, but you don't have to Lincoln. We already forgave you".
"Still….maybe we can all go to Gus' Games and Grub tomorrow? I pay"
Clyde, knowing he couldn't talk Linconl out of this plan, agreed. "Sounds fine to me".
"Clincoln McLoud forever right?" Lincoln asked.
"Forever" Clyde answered.
With that taken care of, Lincoln put the walkie-talkie back on his desk and went to bed, while over in his house Clyde did the same thing. Not knowing their plans would have to be cancelled permanently, since he had just been the last person Lincoln would talk to during his life.
Lincoln didn't know what exactly it was that woke him up. He wasn't thirsty, nor did he have to go to the bathroom. If it was because of a dream, he couldn't remember what it was about. But point was that he now found himself wide awake. He glanced at the alarm clock, which told him it was 04:26 am.
Outside it was still dark. But evidently, in spite of the hour, someone else must have been awake since Lincoln could heard voices, coming from the living room, but he couldn't make out what they were saying.
Since trying to go back to sleep would be useless, he was too awake for that, Lincoln got up, silently sighing. "Lisa, please don't be up late working on a cure again". Not that he didn't appreciate his sisters efforts, but like he told her before, he had made peace with his fate and she shouldn't risk her own health for his.
Quietly, Lincoln opened the door. The hallway was dark, but he could see the lights were on downstairs. At least, that was his first thought, but when he looked better he noticed this light didn't look like it came from a lightbulb or other manmade source. It looked nothing like any light he had ever seen.
As he left his room, he saw Lori. She was sitting on a chair next to his bedroom door, slumped against the wall and fast asleep. It was her way to be as close to Lincoln as possible.
"Lori" Lincoln whispered, but he got no response. He tried again, harder this time, but again nothing. Lori didn't seem to hear him at all.
Slowly, and a bit frightened, Lincoln descended the stairs. As he did, the voices suddenly stopped talking. No doubt, whoever was down there had noticed he was coming. As he reached the bottom of the stairs, Lincoln could see the mysterious light was actually coming from outside the house; it was shining in through the three windows in the front door.
"Hello Lincoln" one of the voices, a woman's, spoke. Lincoln turned, and what he saw made his jaw drop. There, sitting at the living room table, next to his huge pile of trophies, where two people.
The first person was a woman who looked like an older version of Lucy. She had black hair, and was wearing a rather old fashioned black dress. Lincoln recognized her at once; she was his great-grandma Harriet.
The other person was a boy whom Lincoln did not immediately recognize, but that was because the last, and only, time they met, he had been bald. Now, he had a head full of hair. Gone also where the huge bags under his eyes and his pale skin. He looked perfectly healthy.
"Adrien" Lincoln whispered. The boy nodded. "Good to see you again Lincoln".
And all of a sudden, the truth hit Lincoln like a stone. The light, Lori's lack or a response to him, and now being here, in the living room, with two deceased people.
Harriet got up and placed a hand on her great-grandsons shoulder. "I'm sorry Lincoln."
And for a moment, Lincoln felt just like he did that fateful day in the hospital, when he was first informed about his condition. That same feeling of helplessness and unfairness. "This…it can't …. It's not even two full weeks yet, and It was supposed to get maybe as much as three".
Adrien joined Harriet. "Lincoln, that was just a rough estimation. Even that House guy couldn't tell for sure how long you had. Same as with me; the doctors were off by about a week when estimating my time of death".
"And I'm sorry to say but… the stress you put yourself through trying to complete your list, and not to mention all the excitement from today…." Harriet said. Lincoln didn't need to be a genius like Lisa to fill in the rest. He had pushed himself to his limit, and it had sped up the process, if only a little.
"So….I died in my sleep" Lincoln said. He still couldn't quite wrap his head around it, despite having known this day would come for a while now. Dying is something that happens to others, not you. But there was no denying it, and getting angry, or trying to bargain, wouldn't change anything.
"Yes. Not the worst way to go if you ask me. Some people are fully conscious as death come for them, and even suffer because of it" Harriet said. "At least you were spared that".
"And…you guys are here to….help me cross over?" Lincoln asked.
"Well, who else did you expect? A skeleton dressed in a shroud, and with a scythe?" Adrien joked. Lincoln gave him a weak smile. That was actually what he expected, but he didn't complain that it was Harriet and Adrien that came for him instead.
For what felt like an eternity, Lincoln could only remain silent and think it all over. Passed away in his sleep. Harriet was right, there were worse ways to go, but it wasn't quite what he had imagined his end to be. Whenever he dared to think about it, he imagined himself lying on his bed, surrounded by all his friends and family, saying them goodbye one final time as he passed on in their presence.
But deep down he knew such things only happen in stories. In real life, it was very rare for literally all your loved ones to be present at the time of your passing. And, in some way, maybe it was better it happened the way it did. At least now his younger sisters didn't have to watch him pass on.
"I…I just wished I could have said goodbye to them. One last time" Lincoln sighed.
"But Lincoln, you did. And in the most spectacular way possible" Harriet assured him.
"Indeed. How many people get an award ceremony from all their family and friends. You got a chance to see all the people you care about one more time, and talk with them. And most people don't get that Lincoln" Adrien added. "You followed my advice, and you followed it well. I wish I had made as much of my last time on Earth as you did".
"So….I take it then you're not going to kick my ass?" Lincoln asked, remembering Adrien's letter to him. Adrien just smiled and nodded.
"Now, you better get dressed. It's time to go" Harriet said. And all of a sudden, Lincoln noticed he was no longer wearing his pajamas but his regular clothes. Adrien took his hand and walked him to the front door, with Harriet leading the two boys. As she opened the front door, Lincoln shielded his eyes, but only for a second. The light didn't hurt to look at, like he expected it would, even though it was so bright he couldn't see the street, or even the front yard beyond the door.
He took one last look back at the dark, empty house. The clock in the living room still read 04:26 am, even though he, Adrien and Harriet must have spent at least some minutes downstairs. Lincoln didn't believe the clock was wrong though; Lisa had made sure all clocks in the house were perfectly synchronized.
"Time works different on this side" Adrien explained to him. "Thus, it won't seem that long to you before you see your family and friends again".
"And till then, there are plenty of people waiting for you over there Lincoln. I'm not your only deceased relative you know" Harriet reminded him.
Lincoln still stared at the hallway, while he could hear the light calling out for him.
"Farewell guys. Thanks again….for everything".
And before he could get second thoughts, or be tempted to stay in the house as a ghost (which he was sure Lucy would find great, but he knew the rest of the family wouldn't share her opinion), Lincoln turned back and followed Harriet and Adrien out of the door.
It was also 04:26 am that an alarm roughly woke up Lisa Loud. It was the alarm hooked to the microchip she had implanted in Lincoln; the same kind of chip she put in all her siblings, but ever since she realized what was ailing her brother, Lisa had modified this one to not just act as a GPS device but also monitor his vital signs.
It's amazing how adrenaline can speed up the waking process. Lisa instantly went from being fast asleep to wide awake. She practically leaped out of bed and rushed to her computer, mentally begging for it to be a mistake. But the readings on the screen confirmed her worst fear, and it caused her body to go numb. She could only stare at the screen, muttering "no" over and over.
Behind her, Lily began to cry. Downstairs, in the parents' bedroom, Rita Loud also awoke. Not due to the alarm, but because her maternal instincts told her something was very, very wrong. In the living room, Charles the dog began to howl, further proving her suspicions.
"Lynn WAKE UP!" she screamed. Her husband had barely time to open his eyes before Rita dragged him out of bed and up the stairs. They practically kicked open Lincolns door, waking up Lori in the process. Rita didn't even want to know what her oldest daughter was doing sleeping next to Lincolns door. All three of them entered the room at once, only to find Lincoln in his bed. Motionless, and his body already getting cold. But with a smile on his face.
All this commotion in turn woke up the other girls. One by one they left their rooms and gathered in the upstairs hallway, some still half asleep. Leni and Lori where the last to join them. What Leni remembered most of that evening was the dream she had just before waking up. In the dream, Lincoln had wings, like an angel, and a halo above his head. He was slowly flying away into the sky while she and her sisters were standing in the backyard, reaching out to him, crying their eyes out and begging him to please stay.
And not soon after awaking, Leni, like her sisters, learned her dream had become a reality. That the very day they had dreaded for the past two weeks had come. Here, in the early morning of Friday, august 12 2016, Lincoln Loud, the sole boy of the Loud family, had passed away. Quietly, in his sleep.
And so, for the Louds, a very difficult time had begun; learning to live without Lincoln in their lives. The rest of that Friday would forever be etched into their memories. At first, the Loud Girls all tried to get into Lincolns room, crying, screaming and begging for anyone (the parents, Lori, Lisa) to try CPR or something. Lori and Lynn Sr. had their hands full at restraining the girls, while Rita covered Lincolns body with his blanket.
For Rita and Lynn Sr. there was no time to start mourning right at once; arrangements had to be made. First call the morgue to send the coroner over. Next, break the news to everybody Lincoln knew. Soon phones would ring at the retirement home where Pop-Pop was staying, the McBride house, the Santiago house, and the homes of all Lincolns friends Even Aunt Ruth, who hadn't bothered to come to Lincolns surprise party, would soon hear the sad news.
And finally; arrange the funeral. Lincoln had already told them he wanted to be cremated.
As for the Loud Girls; their reactions varied. After it was clear to them that this was real, and Lincoln was gone for good, they spread throughout the house to grieve in their own ways.
Lori, Leni and Luna didn't leave Lincolns side till the first call vehicle arrived. After that, Lori and Leni went to their room, where Leni finally allowed her tears to flow unrestrained after all these days of keeping up a happy face for Lincolns sake. Lori, knowing that as the oldest sister she had to be there for her youngest sisters, did her best to console her. Luna got her guitar and withdrew into the garage, where she quietly played the song Lincoln had requested her based on Adriens last letter; Full Circle, by Aero is Myth.
The reason Luna choose the garage was because Luan was already in their room. Her grief manifested itself in anger. Anger at the world, at everything, yet nothing at the same time. She still hoped it was all a bad joke, but knew it wasn't. In her rage, she even broke Mr. Coconuts. Not that she needed him anymore; she wouldn't be making any jokes or give performances for at least the next few months.
Lynn didn't want to stay at the house. She put on her running shoes and went jogging, hoping the exercise would help clear her mind. She ran for hours, pushing herself beyond all limits to delay her inevitable return home, and having to face facts.
Lucy; she didn't get to see the first call vehicle arrive to bring Lincolns body to the morgue, since soon after learning of her brothers' passing, she had withdrawn into the vents, and stayed there till well into the morning, begging any ghosts out there to please escort her brother to the afterlife, and look after him.
The twins never got to see Lincoln after his death; their parents and older sisters wouldn't allow it and even Lola's best attempts at blackmailing or threatening them were not enough. They both withdrew in their rooms, and, in what was rare for them, they cuddled up together on Lana's bed. Lola didn't mind Lana's pets joining them (not even El Diablo); she wanted all the consolation she could get.
And Lisa, for perhaps the first time in her life, found herself completely at loss about what to do. She didn't even bother to assist the coroner when he came to pick up Lincolns body. What could she possibly do except further confirm that her only brother was no more? The majority of the morning, she could only sit in a corner and weep, looking nothing like her usual stoic self but more like the four year old girl she actually was.
The one leas affected was Lily. Even she felt sad, but that was mostly because she saw everybody around her being sad. But she was a baby; the world was a big mystery to her. It would be a while before she began to wonder where Lincoln was. And even then, she would never fully grasp the severity of the situation.
For a long while, the Loud House would not live up to it's name.
6 years later
Lori, Bobby and Ronnie Anne were the last to arrive at the Loud House, having to come all the way from Great Lakes City.
Barely 4 months after Lincolns passing, Ronnie Anne had practically begged their dad to move there and be closer to her late mom's family, and the man had reluctantly agreed to move in with his in-laws. Lori and Bobby had managed to maintain a long distance relationship despite this, and even went to college there together. After college, Lori had moved in with Bobby in his apartment. And today, the three of them made the long trip back to Royal Woods.
When they entered the house, they found the rest of the family, and even Clyde, waiting for them in the living room. That Clyde was able to come surprised Lori; he and his dads lived in Washington now, having moved there just before Clyde would start high school. They both thought their son needed a fresh start, and Dr. Lopez backed up this idea (though that was probably also to get Clyde off her back, since he called her every day, almost once an hour since the day Lincoln died). Upon seeing Lori and Bobby, Clyde just nodded but said nothing. Nor did he get a nosebleed or pass out. He had grown beyond that now.
Also present was Pop-Pop; the years had been hard on the poor guy, no doubt due to the grief of losing his only grandson. He looked so much older and frailer now, and actually needed a walker to get around. But that didn't stop him from attending todays memorial.
Rita just put the final touches on the memorial table she prepared for Lincoln. On it were the orange urn containing his ashes, various photographs, including the one she had taken the night of his death, with Lincoln posing with all his trophies. Some of these trophies were also on the table, together with other items that reminded of Lincoln; an Ace Savvy comic, a chessboard, and a copy of Rita's book. The one she intended to write since that day she took Lincoln to her job at the dental office, and with Lincolns help in de days before his death, finally managed to finish.
The smell that greeted them upon entry told Lori her dad was in the kitchen, preparing tonight's dinner. Some of his daughters had been skeptical about his announcement to open his own restaurant, but after Lincolns passing he had done just that, and it was a great success. Lynn even invented his own dishes, which he all named after his children. Not surprisingly, the first one was named after Lincoln.
Lori greeted her other sisters, none of which had brought their boyfriends (or in Luna's case girlfriend) with them, as far as they had any, feeling this was a family matter. Bobby, Ronnie Anne and Clyde being the sole exceptions. Over the years, all of them had managed to move on eventually, though some needed more time than others.
Leni, now 22, was still living with her parents, and working at a fashion store in Royal Woods. She never went to college, but hoped to open her own store one day. She had been the one to convince her sisters that Lincolns former room would never be given to anyone else. Instead, it would remain as a reminder to the brother they had lost.
Luna was currently in college. Rita and Lynn Sr. insisted she should get at least some education to fall back on if her music career didn't work out, and Luna choose to get a teachers degree. But she still hoped to make it as a musician, and things were finally going in her favor. She and her band were more and more frequently asked to perform, and there were talks about them getting their first record deal. Luna had composed no less than 20 different songs dedicated to Lincoln, and each concert she would sing at least one.
Luan had needed a long, long time to get in the mood for comedy again, and even when she returned she limited herself to stand-up shows. The silver lining was of course that her infamous prankpocalypses on April Fools finally came to an end. Like Luna, she was in college now, hoping to perhaps become a comedy actor or script writer. Today, humor was once again the farthest thing from her mind.
Lynn; the first weeks after Lincolns passing she could do hardly more than lie on her bed, clutching Lincoln's favorite stuffed toy Bun-Bun, and cry. When she finally returned to sports, she became more fanatic than ever before, hoping to numb the emotional pain with physical pain. It got so bad she had to be temporarily dismissed from several of her sports teams. But she wouldn't calm down until she broke an arm during football. Now, while in college, she had led the football team to its first victory in years.
If there was one memory about Lincoln she felt ashamed about, it was of that time she accused him of being bad luck. Still, that didn't stop her from using her good luck rituals before a big game; old habits die hard. She even invented a new one, and was convinced it had helped her more than anything else; carry a small medallion with a photo of Lincoln around her neck, as a good luck charm.
Lucy never truly outgrew her Goth-phase, still dressing in all black, but she had lost her interest in the mystical and supernatural. In the months following Lincolns death she held several seances to try and contact her late brother, to no avail, until one morning Rita found Lucy's Ouija board, Edwin bust, and other horror-related stuff in the trash can. That had been the day Lucy finally realized her brother was gone for good, in every way. Instead, she began to express her sorrow in her poems. Now in junior high, she aspired to become a professional poet.
The twins had grown closer than they ever had been before after Lincolns passing. First they tried to cope with their grief by creating a substitute Lincoln; Lana made one out of mud, and Lola out of cardboard. But these could of course never replace the brother they lost. Without her favorite coach, Lola seriously considered quitting pageantry, but Lana of all people talked her out of it and, using what she learned from Lincoln that one time she pretended to be Lola, became her sisters new coach. Lola in turn opened up more to Lana's love for dangerous animals, and helped her twin take care of the tree she and Lincoln had planted together. Thus, in the years that followed, it became rare for the twins not to be seen together, which sometimes worried Rita and Lynn.
Lisa had managed to keep her promise to Lincoln, which took all her willpower since he had been right about her being able to do all the things on her list. She also took his words to heart to continue her research, and 2 years after his death she finally reached a breakthrough; a cure for neurofibromatosis type one, which she hoped to perfect for use against other forms of cancer as well. It earned her another Noble Prize, and a position at the world's leading medical institution.
Having lost one of her siblings, Lisa had allowed herself to get more open to the rest of her family. Her relationship with her sisters had greatly improved as a result. But still, even after all these years, Lisa felt her sisters were deep down jealous at her for the fact that she was the last sister Lincoln had spoken to before his passing. They would never tell her as much, but Lisa wasn't as alien to emotions as some people would claim her to be.
And finally there was Lily. Now 7 years old. As Lori, Bobby and Ronnie Anne entered the house, she was sitting between Lynn and Lucy, holding Bun-Bun. Per Lincoln's last wish (and after Lynn was finally willing to part with the stuffed rabbit), it had been handed down to her, and she loved the toy as much as he did.
For Lily, the subject of Lincoln was always difficult to understand. Because unlike her parents and sisters, she had no conscious memories of her late brother. She knew all about him of course; she had seen the videos he recorded for her, the photos of him, and heard all the stories. But those things could not replace actual memories.
Sure she missed him, in her own way. But it was more like a kind of longing for something you never had but would like to have (she would like to have a brother, more than anything) Her parents and sisters on the other hand; they missed Lincoln because they used to have him, and lost him, which was far worse. Despite her young age Lily realized she would never truly understand what the rest of her family went through. And sometimes, she hated herself for it.
With everybody now gathered in the living room of the Loud House, Rita stood up and thanked everybody for coming to this sixth anniversary of Lincoln's passing. Then she asked Luan to please present the video that she had kept safe all these years.
The past six years it had become clear just how busy Lincoln must have been in his last days. He had made dozens of video messages; one to be shown during his wake, a video will in which he specified his last wishes, and enough birthday video's for all his sisters and parents to last the past six years, ensuring that each year their deceased son/brother would congratulate them.
But that tradition had come to a close, since there was only one video left. The one Luan would now show to everybody, as Lincoln had requested in his will.
First there was some static, but then Lincoln appeared, adjusting the camera a bit. He was sitting in his own room, with a sleeping Lily on his lap.
"Hey guys…..by the time you're watching this it's been six years since…it happened. I really wished I could have recorded more videos for you. Here is my last message to you all from beyond the grave. Unless Lucy somehow managed to contact me".
Lucy sighed when hearing this.
"Anyway…I just want to state once more that I consider all of you the best parents, sisters and friends I could have wished for. I hope that, by the time you see this, you managed to move on… at least enough to live normal lives again".
"Dad, good luck with our restaurant. I know it will be great."
"Mom, don't stop after just one book. You're a great writer."
"Lori, I wish you and Bobby the best. If you decide to get married, you have my blessing."
"Leni, don't let anyone tell you you're dumb. You have your own strong points, and I believe you will make it in life."
"Luna, rock on, and enlighten the world with your music. And never change who you are, like those morons Michelle and Doug tried to do."
"Luan, There is too much gloom in the world already, so cheer up and let people laugh. You're really good at it."
"Lynn, you're the greatest athlete I know. And even if you lose an important game, you're still a winner to me. Just…don't let it go to your head"
This caused Lynn to chuckle nervously.
"Lucy, remember what I told you that day in the junkyard. I'm always with you, no matter what, whenever you need inspiration for a new poem or feel lonely."
"Lola, You're always my princess, even though you probably outgrew that phase by now. I know you will make it big in the pageant business….even without blackmail". Lincoln put a bit more emphasis on that last part than Lola would have liked, but she said nothing.
"Lana, you're one of the kindest girls I know, especially when it comes to animals, and you're really skilled as a plumber. Some people may say you're too much of a tomboy, or too much into gross stuff, but I disagree. It's what you are, and why I like you".
"Lisa, if you see this you didn't succeed in saving my life or bringing me back, but never, ever let that stop you. You did everything you could, and I forgive you. I told you as much in the various birthday videos I assume you watched by now. You're the smartest person there is. You will make the world a better place with your great intellect."
This video of course had been recorded before Lincolns final conversation with Lisa, so Lincoln couldn't have known back then that he would tell Lisa a similar message to her face just before his passing.
At this point Lincoln was clearly having trouble keeping himself from tearing up. He lifted the sleeping Lily up in his arms without waking her. "And Lily….even though you probably don't remember me….just know that no matter what, your big brother is proud of you."
Lily could feel everybody in the room briefly turn their gaze from the screen to her, and it made her blush.
"Clyde, Ronnie Anne; I hope you too are able to see this. You were the best friends I had….even if you take the occasional bullying into account".
Now Ronnie Anne diverted her eyes away from the screen.
"Clyde, don't be afraid you'll end up a bad kid without me. You're too much of a nice guy for that. Also remember that you're never too old to like Ace Savvy, so enjoy his stories for the both of us. Clincoln McLoud forever"
This caused Clyde to break up. It were, after all, the same words he had told him that night. The last words Lincoln said to anybody.
"And Ronnie Anne, I liked being your secret boyfriend. I know you will find some else eventually, and like Lori and Bobby you have my blessing. But please, don't push people away because you're angry or sad. My sisters, your brother, Clyde… they all went through the same loss as you."
As if to prove Lincolns point, Bobby and Lynn both placed their hands on Ronnie Anne's shoulders. Ronnie didn't say anything, she just let it happen.
On the screen, Lily began to stir on Lincolns lap. She was about to wake up, forcing Lincoln to wrap up his message.
"Well… that's it. I wish all of you, including the people I didn't just mention but who are watching this, the best in life. I know we will see each other again someday". Now Lincoln really was crying. "…F….Farewell".
With that the screen went black.
For a while after that, nobody felt the urge to speak. They all let Lincolns last words to them sink in. The rest of the day they would share the best memories of him, before everybody would head home. No-one knew if they would hold another memorial like this, but one thing was certain:
Lincoln was gone,
but never forgotten.
A/N: And there it is people, my interpretation of how things might end after the final chapter of Requiem for a Loud. For those that wanted to have closure about Lincolns fate, I hope you enjoyed it. To those that would rather see Lincoln live, sorry I don't share your opinion.
The cover image is "Heaven's got a plan for you" by toonmass07. I also based some scenes of how the girls coped with Lincolns passing on a set of drawings made by BluFlameStudio, and Leni's dream is based on the cover image made by Alejindio. They can be found on deviant art.