Three Years Later
June 23rd, 2012
Colombia, Ohio

"That box needs to go in the kitchen with the rest."
"Please say it's the last one."
"If by 'last,' you mean there's four still on the truck. then yes."

Fisk heaved the cardboard box onto the counter with a hard grunt and the contents jingled inside.

It had taken some time to earn enough money for the ranch-style house's down payment, but they had managed to finally put their name on the mailbox. Carol had managed to get her job back at Blizzard Entertainment when she learned that Mr. White had been fired for misconduct. After some sweet-talking and hard work, she had earned her own office in the Concepts and Designs branch and was soon a senior executive. Thanks to that turn, Carol had hired Akira to work in Programming - a job she loved - which paid more than most companies offered.

When Fisk had returned the stolen weapons to the Colombia Police Department shortly after he was released from the hospital, he had been given what he considered a bill for having lost one of the M-16's and a sidearm. It was expensive, but the Jaguar managed to pay for the missing weaponry (the military had graciously adopted them, it turned out) with some help from Akira. It wasn't more than a week after he paid the debt that the Colombia Police offered him a position in the department. He accepted, and now spends his weekday mornings patrolling the streets. Though his job never paid as much as Akira's, he enjoyed law enforcement.

In fact, most Hybrids had found that government jobs that involved keeping the peace were ideal. Some joined the military, some worked for the FBI and CIA, but most found that local law enforcement was their forte.

The most surprising part about Hybrid integration was the level of acceptance that humans had. After more detailed information of GenTech's control chips was disclosed, Hybrids were discovering that normal lives were achievable. All eyes seemed to lift off of the new species and glower down at Foster, whose trial was swift. He had earned a life sentence in the Guantanamo Bay prison camp and had no possibility of parole. With the corrupted former CEO dealt with, and with repairs nearly finished a year later, life seemed to return to normalcy.

Carol was surprised to learn Fisk and Akira had bought the house next door to her. They had kept it a secret until the day the "For Sale" sign turned to "Sold" and the pair's possessions were packed into cardboard boxes. There was a bit of disappointment mixed in the congratulations she delivered - after all, they had lived with her for three years now - and yet she was happy to see that they were finally able to begin a new chapter in their lives.

"Last one!" Akira called with a large box under her arm, "I didn't think I'd be able to get away with leaving your novels with Carol."
"Not a chance!" Fisk said with a smile, "Dem's mah books!"

The Cheetah giggled and shoved the box into Fisk's chest. She gave him a "here you go, then" look and he quickly stashed them in their room. He had discovered he enjoyed reading novels by Stephen King and Tom Clancy, and had already grown a collection of nearly thirty of the books. About twenty of them he had yet to read. Though it was nothing compared to Akira's computer. With the discounts she got from her work and the money she earned, she had built one from scratch and left no cool accessory out of the mix. Fisk was a bookworm and she was a techno-geek. A perfect match, Carol was known to say.

The news had been keeping track of the two since day one, but surprisingly it hadn't gotten to the point of being intrusive. They never traveled for interviews, which forced the media to come to them. That limited their visits to the point where interviews were scarce - Fisk liked that - but ever since they had put their name on the lease, a few channels paid some unexpected visits. They answered questions and let the cameras tour the box-filled house, and repeated for whatever reporters that came after.

----

A few days after July 4th, when moving and small renovations had been finished, Carol held a housewarming party for the two Hybrids. It had taken some research, but she had drawn up a short list of invitations and delivered them before the event. Fisk had begun putting hamburgers on the grill in the front yard when the first car pulled up. He lit up when he saw the Wolf that got out.

"Hey!" he exclaimed, "How'd you find us?"
Vincent smirked, "Your neighbor invited me! How've you been?"
Fisk put the grilling tongs on the lid and hugged the Wolf, "I'm doing great! You?"
"Phenomenal! You're looking at the new Wayne Country Judge in Detroit!"
"Good deal," the Jaguar congratulated, and pointed to the squad car parked in the driveway, "That's where I work."

Vince nodded in approval, and was glad to know the reason why the cruiser was at Fisk's house. Meanwhile, Akira had come out of the house to see who had arrived. Fisk had told her everything he remembered of Vincent, and her mental image matched him perfectly.

"Is that Vincent?" she asked with a smile.
"The one and only," Fisk answered, "Vince, this is Akira."

Vince shook her paw and nodded, "It's good to meet you."
"Same here," she replied, "So you're the one who freed Fisk?"
The Wolf nodded, "It was a lucky shot, mostly. I didn't know I'd actually hit his control chip until he started blowing up cars outside the Hospital."

Fisk smirked, and looked to the driveway when a hot red sports car slowed down and parked behind his squad car.

"Is that Latigo?" Akira squinted, "Oh God, what is he driving?"

Sure enough, Latigo was driving a Ferrari. The last time Fisk had seen him, he was driving a tank.

"Hey guys! You can stop worrying, I'm here!" he declared.
"Come on over!" Fisk said with a sweeping gesture.

The Bobcat had a wily grin on his muzzle as he jogged across the front yard. Before Fisk could do anything, Latigo had him in a headlock and was grinding his knuckles into his skull.

"You never call, you never write! Shit, man, I was afraid you got lost!" Latigo said through his grin. When he let Fisk go, they were both laughing.
"Still as crazy as always," the Jaguar joked, "Jesus, where'd you get that car?"
"Nah, it ain't mine, it's the dealership's," Latigo explained with that same devious grin, "It's a perk for owning the place!"

After congratulating him for his business, Fisk introduced the Bobcat to the other two. He hadn't expected to ever see either Vince or Latigo ever again when the war was still being fought, let alone grilling out in the front yard with both of them.

And yet, that was what they fought for. Since the day Fisk came back from his mission in Beijing, to the moment Vincent pulled the trigger of a shotgun and freed the Jaguar, to the night when Fisk waited at GenTech's airport to snipe the chip out of Akira's ear, to the mission in Toledo where a terrified woman put a slug in his shoulder and he was found cowering in a storage room by Latigo, all the way up to the point where Foster's last assassin nearly sent him to his grave, there was only one objective: to somehow put an end to the decade of enslavement that Foster had reigned over. Three years ago Fisk and Akira succeeded in that goal, and now they were living in peace. It began as a dream,

And it ended as a legacy.