Do You Want to Build a Snowman?: no romances this about FAMILY + Friends to Lovers to Enemies to Lovers to Enemies to Lovers (repeat for 100 years)
Louis' morning had been rather routine. The only thing he'd really noticed was that his apartment was no longer covered in snow. Everything else, especially his memories from the last few days, was sort of fuzzy. Which he quickly wrote off as a byproduct of him sleeping in a little later than usual. In a rush to get to school, he'd thrown on a suit and tie and raced out the door as fast as possible. Somewhere between peddling to work and scribbling the day's assignments on the board, however, Louis Snow had shrunk. Everything from his parted hair to his hush puppies had gotten smaller along with the rest of him. He didn't really realize he'd de-aged until his Principal Duvall had come into his classroom and addressed him as "young man" and asked where his parents were. Once he'd figured out he was now about twenty years too young, the only reasonable explanation came in the voice of Loki repeating in his head, "Time blender." Yet again it seemed Louis Snow became the victim of the Time Gem's unstable antics.
The one and only person he could think to call in such an odd predicament was Nora. And as he sat in the front office, waiting for her, swinging his tiny legs and flicking his tongue over the gaps in his baby teeth, he slowly began to remember why she was his go-to. Namely, that he'd spent another lifetime married to her and now he had another person bouncing around in his head. Or napping in his head, currently. Needless to say, the headache came back around the time he started craving juice boxes and fruit snacks. Nora had arrived to save him with neither, just some guy named Teddy that Louis hadn't quite had the pleasure of meeting yet. What a fun first introduction that had been. On the way to Nora's house, after stopping at Target for some emergency babysitting supplies, Louis had to resist the urge to ask if they could stop at McDonald's and get a happy meal. Because apparently childish desires came with his new childish form. Perfect.
Around 8PM Louis started to feel sleepy. And he was not happy about it. A feeling that only increased after he changed into the PJs Nora had purchased and stepped back into Nora's living room with his little arms spread. "Really? Footies, Nora? Is this payback for the misunderstanding on Monday?" The Dinosaur pajamas he was wearing came with the attached foot covers, white traction bottoms and all. Louis wanted to be embarrassed about it. Except the PJs had a hood and he sort of liked them when he pulled the hood up over his wet, post-bath hair. Still, he glared at his friend, pushing his tiny glasses back up his nose. "I could have stayed at my apartment, you know. I'm perfectly capable of taking care of myself, despite my current appearance. My mind seems to have retained its maturity." Of course he had noticed the slight lisp he'd worked for years to get rid of had also come back. So he added, "Mostly."
Nora's day had been anything but routine. It had started off like any other work day: her alarm had gone off at 4:30 AM and she hit snooze once before rolling out of bed and going about her day. She got ready for work, made sure the pets were fed and watered before she left, and had made the quick commute to UCSF with plenty of time to spare before hand-off and morning rounds — so much so that she'd even had time to sit down for a quick breakfast in the cafeteria rather instead of just grabbing something on the go.
This week being this week meant that a day that had started off that well had started off too well. She had just come out of her first surgery of the morning when she saw that she had a voicemail from an unfamiliar number with a Palo Alto area code. She furrowed her brow as she listened, rather absent-mindedly for the first go and then with her full attention and damp scrub pants after dropping her water bottle on the second go. What unfolded next was yet another scene where she was thankful that she had been confronted by her program director about her super extracurricular activities; with someone in charge in the know, she could slip in and out in an emergency as needed — within reason, of course.
It was one of those emergencies that had her sitting in her living room at that exact moment, exhausted by the events of the day and ready to go to sleep for a week. She had mindlessly been playing Tetris on the Switch when she heard little footsteps make their way into the living room. She paused the game and looked up, immediately having to stifle her laughter, poorly. "Well, they look comfortable?" she offered as she sat up. "You could've stayed there, but your neighbors probably would've tried to call the cops on you for a wellness check if they saw that an 8 year old was home alone all afternoon."
If no one had called about the snow in August or about Max climbing the side of the building, Louis doubted they would call about a kid wandering Louis' apartment. Then again. "You might have a point... or ten," Louis decided after reconsidering the ramifications of trying to explain to the police why a little boy was at his place at all. With a heavy sigh he padded over to the couch, footies sticking to the floor, to flounce down next to Nora. He scratched absently at the scale shapes inked into the fleece fabric of his pjs. "They are rather comfortable. Helps they were the most expensive ones, I suppose." It did make him smile knowing he was spending as much of Max's money as possible.
He poked his hooded head up, glancing around the living room. "Did Teddy leave?" Once he was sure the other guy was at least nowhere to be seen, he added, "He's quite bad at coloring. Wouldn't slow down long enough to stay in the lines." While Louis might have looked like a child, he was still very, very neat as on Louis Snow could be. He curled his little fingers before his face, turning his hands back and forth as though examining them. "What a strange week."
That segued easily into the real reason Louis had trotted out of the guest room rather than preparing for bed as his tired young body demanded. "Speaking of." He looked to Nora and scrunched up his face as he sank back into the couch, his legs basically stuck straight out. "Should we... talk about Monday? Or is this one of those things where we'll both forget at the end of the week anyway so best to ignore it until then?"
"I'm sort of surprised you didn't ask for a PS4 or something like that," she said with an amused look on her face. Despite it still being fairly early in the evening, she was also dressed comfortably in one of her old Barnard t-shirts and a pair of flannel pajama pants; she knew she wasn't leaving the house anytime soon with an eight year old around, even if he wasn't actually eight years old and even if there were a couple of super pets around to keep an eye on him and keep him out of harm's way.
Her phone lit up with a text and she reached over to grab it from the coffee table, only to set it down again when she noted that it was just an automated message from her cell phone carrier and nothing of actual importance. "Yeah, he left while you were upstairs. Needed to get back to his dog before Dibs had an accident." She watched him move his limbs as he got comfortable on the couch and couldn't help but smile. This week might have been one of the strangest ones yet, but she couldn't deny how cute this was.
Nora was just about to suggest taking a few ridiculous selfies with animal filters when he mentioned his other Time Gem mishap. She raised an eyebrow. "I'll remember it. I always remember these weeks. But you'll probably forget. We can talk about it if you want to, though. Do you remember all of it? You just...woke up like that, thinking we were married?"
"Alas I was too busy wondering if I'll have to get braces again," Louis lamented. His one tooth was really wiggly and it was very distracting to a guy who liked everything straight and in order. He kept sticking his tongue against it every time he stopped talking to see if it was loose enough to fall out. The thought made him shiver, so he pulled the hood further over his face. Which also helped hide away the pink splotchiness on his baby smooth cheeks when he blushed.
"I didn't think we were married. We were married," he clarified, voice squeaking and only making this whole situation worse. "It was... I don't know how to explain it. An alternate timeline, I suppose? It's not logical, but it was real. It felt real. Some version of you married some version of me and I lived that life. In the span of one day." The idea just made everything worse though, because more Louis talked about it the more he remembered. A tiny hand covered his red face, his headache lessening the more he opened himself to the memories. "It doesn't make sense. None of this does. Now I have him and Robert," just saying his name made Bobby peek out and force a giggle out of Louis before retreating. "Ugh. Both of them. In here. With me. And it was already very, very crowded in my head to begin with..."
Hand dropping, Louis turned his eyes toward Nora again. Suspicious. "What do you mean you always remember these weeks? I was informed of the contrary."
"Doubt it," she said nonchalantly, if not too casually. "The really weird stuff never lasts more than a week. I mean, I feel like it's usually not this nuts — this is pretty bad." She had to admit that much, and that was a lot coming from someone who had once died at the hands of one of the 'weird stuff'. That was a story for another day, one where Louis was his actual age and not stuck in the body of a third grader wearing dinosaur jammies.
Nora folded her legs underneath her and turned to face Louis. "Okay, so we were married," she repeated as she tried to stop herself from flinching. There were far worse people to be married to but it was still an unsettling thought. "In an alternate timeline. Like, somewhere out there in the multiverse, there's another version of both of us and we're married. Maybe not happily, but we are. And I know none of this makes any logical sense and that it's hard to take it all at face value when it's just so…fantastical. But yeah, you've got another person in that head of yours. So do I, and so do a lot of other people. Just remember that you're not alone in any of this."
Her eyes grew wide when he asked his next question. Maybe she had said too much all at once. "Some people remember this stuff after it happens, like outside of these weeks. It's like your other person is around all the time. It's not always a bad thing, but it's a lot to juggle."
It was increasingly clear that Nora had a lot of experience with this stuff. Which was both helpful and hurtful. Helpful, because Louis knew she'd have answers to all the weirdness. But also hurtful, because he had no idea how long she'd known things that he hadn't. Every feeling in his tiny body seemed bigger, harder to swallow. Like there wasn't enough room in the little form for more than one emotion. Right then he felt that hurt and huffed, pulling his fleece legs up to hug them to his chest. "Oh. Well. Good to know."
If he looked like he was pouting, it's because he was, chin on his knee, trying to stop his tongue from pushing at his tooth again. He couldn't quite suss out if he was mad or bitter or what. And if so, was it because Nora was his friend? Or was it because she was more, at some point, in some timeline that was still fresh in his little head? "If you know all the time..." he started to say, voice small. Well, everything about Louis was small. "Does that mean you've been hiding stuff from me our whole friendship? Do I only think I know you as well as I do?" Which was sort of funny since he knew her parents and her grandmother and, well, they'd been married kind of. Sort of. Maybe.
When he turned his hooded head to her his eyes were wet from behind his little glasses. "Did you know what was going to happen to me this week..?" Louis really had no idea how any of this worked, despite the e-mail he'd received yesterday.
Nora took a deep breath and watched him with that same furrowed brow and a look of concern. His pout was practically palpable and she had heard the subtle change in his pulse as she explained what she could as briefly as she had. Theoretically, she knew how scary it must have been to find out that there was a second person — not just a personality — sharing her headspace, but it had been so long since she had been the recipient of that particular brand of news that she had taken it for granted and forgotten what it was actually like.
The expression she wore on her face softened as she tried to take another shot at explaining everything and answering Louis questions in a way that would be both satisfactory and empathetic. She also felt a strong impulse to give him a big hug, but the Louis she knew wouldn't have appreciated that and she also wasn't sure whether it was because she felt badly or because he looked like an adorable little dinosaur. "Of course not, Louis," she said softly. "Not our whole friendship. Just this stuff, and for about...I don't know, a little under two years?" Well, that certainly didn't sound good. "I don't tell anyone who isn't going through it themselves because I know they'll just think I'm crazy."
And there certainly had been people who'd made that assumption, that it was all in her head and that she was making it up and of course superpowers weren't real. There had been one person in particular who had been especially hurtful and though he didn't matter at all in the grand scheme of things, the damage had been done. She shook her head quickly when he asked his next question. "No," she answered. "Not at all. I don't know if there's a way to tell who this is going to happen to, or how or why any of it happens at all."
Crazy. The word resonated with Louis at that moment, because that's exactly how he felt. First with the alternate timeline, then waking up to the winter wonderland in his apartment, and now this, trapped in a body he'd long outgrown with the same old urges popping up. He was sleepy, thus he was grumpy. And emotional. Still, he nodded. He did understand. Mostly. He let go of his legs to wipe the tears from under his glasses with the sleeve of his pjs.
"I guess-- I guess I can understand. I wasn't entirely honest with you, about myself, for years. And I never told you about Maxwell." A lie by omission, but one that felt particularly fresh, given the timeline still jumbled up in his head. When he looked to her he was actually able to lift his eyes to meet hers, offering the faintest of a gap-tooth smile. "I am sorry, Nora. You are a very good friend to me. I trust that your decision was for the best at the time."
His smile grew bigger still. "I know you were just pretending to be my aunt today for Principal Duvall, but I want you to know. I think of you as family. And I am very fond of you." When he shifted to his knees on the couch his hood fell back, dirty blond hair sticking up. "Bobby is telling me to hug you now." He paused, little arms out-stretched, to roll his eyes. "No. I'm not saying that to her, Robert."
Nora chewed on her bottom lip, an anxious quirk that kicked in every now and then. She hadn't expected Louis to cry tonight; if anything, she thought she might be the one to let out some water works after such an exhausting week, but he wasn't exactly in his right mind or body given everything and surely he was tired and frustrated, too. To find out that there was a whole other world of people with superpowers out there, and to have some of them be your close friends would have been enough to drive someone to tears.
"It's okay to cry," she said, trying to offer some assurance. She twisted around to grab a tissue box that she knew was sitting on a nearby side table and held it out towards Louis in case he wanted to use something other than his sleeves. She mulled things over for a moment and tried to think of something that could make this situation better. "It's okay, Louis. I'm sorry I couldn't be completely honest with you about all of this either. But you're family, too, and you mean a lot to me. I've got your back, okay?"
Nora offered him a smile and almost instinctively reached out to smooth down his still damp hair before she remembered who she was dealing with. Instead, she nodded and leaned in to give him a big bear hug, squeezing him tightly and rubbing his back. "I'll gladly take that hug, and maybe we can make some hot cocoa if you're thirsty?" Nothing could lift spirits like the old Laser Eyes Hot Cocoa trick. She tilted her head to the side and squinted as she pulled away. "...What does Bobby what you to say?" she asked suspiciously. "I promise I won't judge or hold it against you. Bobby maybe, but not you."
Louis had to huff out a laugh at being told it was okay to cry. It was exactly the opposite of what he'd been told when he had really been eight years old. Which was why he often tried not to cry. Something about being tiny meant there wasn't room to keep tears to himself. He'd snagged a tissue before he was all smiles. "Even without super powers," he told the girl with a million super powers, "there's no one else I'd want to have my back."
There was something... really comforting about a bear hug when Louis was like this. Had he been regular Louis, without two other people in his head and in an adult body, he probably would have stiffened up from the touch. Instead his little arms squeezed Nora tight, happy to siphon off some of that motherly energy, chin on her shoulder as he soaked it up.
He was feeling much better when he drew back, nodding. "Cocoa... and maybe a little snack?" Along with this new old body came the constant craving for snackies. Again Louis rolled his eyes. If only to shut Bobby up in his head he said, "Lemme rest my head on your snow mounds, Superwifey." It took about two seconds for his baby face to turn red after the words left his mouth.
Her mouth dropped open just enough to show her shock, more at the fact that the words were coming from someone who looked eight years old than anything else. "Definitely holding that against Bobby. Not now, but next time around," she mumbled. It took some effort, more mental than anything else, to get her to peel herself off the couch but the idea of cocoa and a snack won out over indulging her tired body. "Come on, let's go to the kitchen. What kind of snack do you want?"
The trip to Target had served many purposes: to pick up a few things to outfit child-sized Louis, to let him choose a few things that would keep him entertained for as long as he was this age, to get him sized for a booster seat for any trips they'd have to take in the car, and last but not least, to stockpile some snacks for the next day or so. Sure, Nora and Charlie had a well-stocked kitchen, but they both seemed to try to make some healthy choices and Nora wasn't sure that they had anything that would be all that appealing for a kid. She ran through the list of groceries they'd picked up from the store earlier and rattled off a few of them to Louis as she pulled out two mugs from one of the kitchen cabinets. "We have popcorn, some of those panda cookies, and Oreos," she listed. "And I think we grabbed some string cheese. We should have stuff for ants on a log, too."
Having Bobby Drake in his head was more intrusive than the whole alternate timeline, if Louis was being honest. Bobby was loud, obnoxious, crude, and downright childish. Still, he had a massive heart and this was something that Louis could actually relate to. As he hopped off the couch, literally hopped, both little feet hitting the ground at the same time, he considered something. "You know, London-- Loki, both, I'm not sure... They said usually these other personas of ours choose us based on our similarities." He had to take bigger strides to keep up with Nora as they made their way from the living room to the kitchen. "But for the life of me I cannot think of many ways I'm similar to this buffoon in my head."
Once in the kitchen Louis dragged one of the chairs, which looked and felt ten times bigger, to the island so he could be close to the action. The act of actually climbing onto said chair was exhausting, frankly. By the time he was sitting on his calves, trying to peer over the counter, he was ready to just place his head on it. "Oh! Ants on a log. My mother used to make those..." Although they had been talking about family, the idea of his own now suddenly made Louis sad. He hadn't given them much thought since the time blender started whirling him about. Mostly because he tried not to think about his mom too much, and his dad didn't think about him so why bother? Bea. He could have told his sister. But he still wasn't even sure she was around.
He placed his elbow on the counter and his chin in his hand as he watched his friend move about, only semi-jealous she could actually reach things from the hanging cabinets. "Nora? Does your family know? Your mom and dad. Do they know? About Supergirl?" The name still felt weird to say out loud. Then again, with wiggly baby teeth everything felt weird to say out loud.
"Yeah, they do sort of seem to," she said rather nonchalantly as she rifled through the pantry for the hot cocoa mix. She finally found it towards the back of a shelf and it was a precarious Jenga act to retrieve it without knocking over boxes and cans that were in its way. She set the hot cocoa tin down on the counter before turning her attention to one of the kitchen drawers to pull out a couple of spoons. Was what she was about to do a little extra? Probably, but it made for a cool party trick, and Louis seemed like he could use some entertainment or a distraction at the moment.
She pulled a Brita pitcher out of the refrigerator and poured water into both mugs before returning the pitcher to the fridge. "You ready for this?" she asked Louis as she walked back to the counter. A red beam of light emerged from each of her pupils, and from past experience, she knew that it would only take a few seconds for the water to heat up to an appropriate temperature for hot chocolate. She repeated the process again with the second mug before blinking a couple of times to look at Louis. Without saying a word, she placed the mugs in front of him along with the tin of cocoa and spoons. "Why don't you mix those up for us while I work on the snack?" Nora suggested with a mischievous smirk.
She felt a pang of sadness when Louis mentioned his mother and debated acknowledging it. She wasn't sure whether talking about her would lead to some sort of child-sized meltdown that he (and she) would have been far better equipped to handle in his usual body, so she played it safe and let him drive the conversation while she gathered in the various ingredients to make ants on a log. Celery, peanut butter, and raisins: one in the fridge, two in the pantry. Nora used a slowed down version of her superhuman speed to piece everything together while she listened to Louis, and it only took a few moments before several logs filled with (raisin) ants sat on a plate between the two of them. "They know," she answered. "They know about me, and they know about Molly. They don't know about Joseph but I think they just assume most of my friends have some kind of alter ego. You can tell them about Bobby, if you want, but that's up to you." She pushed the plate towards him. "Here, bud. Eat up."
Louis perked up to his knees to get a closer look when Nora asked if he was ready. When he nodded he wasn't quite sure what he was getting ready for, but the child portion of his current state was very excited for any sort of surprise. Watching Nora eye-beam the water to heat it up? Not at all what he thought was going to happen. Immediately Louis, or maybe Bobby, was clapping. "It's extremely unsettling that you can literally kill someone with a look," he said, in total contrast to the way he was grinning like a happy camper. Bobby was more familiar with laser beam eyes, yet still also impressed.
Always wanting to be helpful, Louis set to work measuring out the perfect amount of cocoa for each mug. His dexterity was a tad off with his new smaller set of hands, but he managed not to make a mess. As he stirred he canted his head, watching Nora move faster than normal. "It's funny. You have an umbrella of super powers and you make them look effortless. I, on the other hand, have... snow. And I have no idea how to do anything but--" In an act to show her he wiggled a couple fingers, shaking snowflakes out from between the grooves. Not nearly as impressive.
He used the sleeve of his pjs to wipe the melting flakes off the counter before reaching for the snack Nora made. As he crunched on the celery he considered her offer. Once his mouth was mostly clear, just some streaks of peanut butter on his lips, he asked, "How did they react when you told them?" Nora's parents were pretty cool, but this was still a huge thing to process. Louis briefly thought about how long it took him to completely grasp the idea when Max shared his spider secret with him. "My father would probably disinherit me. Officially."
"It would really only burn them, not kill them," she said maybe a little too casually. "I mean, unless I really wanted to." Nora offered him a small smile of both reassurance and to check on how he was doing with the cocoa. The Louis she knew wouldn't make a mess, but this wasn't quite the Louis that she had grown accustomed to. This change was, hands down, one of the strangest things she had witnessed in the two years or so that she had been granted an insider's look into the world of supers. Those two years had included Phoenix fire, green flames, various forms of kryptonite, and a couple of body swaps, and yet the things that had happened to Louis in just the past week had left her wondering if it was actually possible to get used to all of this.
She shook her head and shrugged off his concern. "The powers are the easiest part to get used to. Everything else, that still feels weird. It's like the rules change all the time and no one really ever knows what's actually happening." Nora wore a look of amusement on her face as she watched the snowflakes fall from his fingers. "You never know, that could come in handy. Like if I heated up the cocoa for too long just now. Does Bobby have other powers?" she asked. She wasn't sure if asking that would draw him out, but she was curious enough to ask, anyway.
Nora reached across the counter for a couple of napkins and set them down in front of Louis — both for the snow and for any messy peanut butter incidents. "It's weird," she started. "I mean, obviously. But I don't actually remember telling them. They just knew. They called me while I was on that reality show and my mom was talking about some other fight in Boston that had been on the news, and she had seen footage and said that she and my dad were proud. The whole family was." There were a few details she was leaving out — everything about Boston, for instance — but she didn't want to dump even more information on him when so much had already happened in such a short amount of time. "You really think he would?"
Nora could kill people if she wanted to. It was a realization that didn't frighten little Louis as much as it probably should have. Mostly because Nora was a good person, there was no doubt in his mind about that. Everything else, including his own sanity, was doubt-filled. But Louis had ants on a log and that was enough comfort to his sleepy, eight-year-old mind for now. "I never know what's happening anyway," Louis admitted. He acted smart, sure, but he had always, always felt like he was the last person in the room to get the joke.
"I shall be at the ready if anyone needs their food cooled," Louis said. And it was almost a joke. If Louis Snow was the type of person to make jokes. Blame Bobby, for taking up so much obnoxious space in his head. Grabbing a napkin, Louis wiped the peanut butter from his little mouth while he considered. "If annoying people is a super power, then Bobby has that." Another pause. "Oh. He said he's like Elsa. Only with bigger... icicles." No, Louis refused to say what Bobby really said out loud. "I guess there's a lot more we're capable of. Everything's just all jumbled up now so it's like riding a bike for the first time all over again."
After downing another celery stick Louis yawned into his napkin. A big, sleepy yawn that left him slumped in his chair after. "Your parents are good people," he said, off-offhandedly. Then he shrugged, suddenly wanting to shrink into his footies and disappear at just the thought of his father. "I don't know. Maybe? I've always been... a disappointment to him. It's not a secret. That's why I still haven't told him I'm... you know. If I added super powers on top of that? He'd probably take me to court and demand I stop using the Snow name entirely."
She offered him a small smile; it was easy enough for her to sympathize with being the last one to get the joke, as it often felt like she was the last to put together pieces of a puzzle that had come from her own damn brain. She had to smile yet when Louis made a joke about cooling other people's food. "You'd be surprised how often that comes up. It's a good party trick, great for making sure the beer is always cold and the wine is always chilled...not that you'll probably be drinking anytime soon, and definitely not in that body."
Nora picked up her mug and carefully took a sip of hot cocoa, taking caution so that she wouldn't burn herself. The drink was nice and hot but she set it down, anyway, and she shot him a mischievous smile. "So, Olaf. Mind cooling my cocoa down for me? Just a little bit, nothing too drastic."
She picked up a celery log and began munching on it. It had been literal decades since the last time she'd had this snack, and she appreciated that nostalgia that it inspired, especially with her present company. "My parents are good people," she repeated once she had chewed and swallowed her first bite. "And your dad...has different priorities." She felt her face heat up as she almost let a few choice words slip. "I don't think he's a bad guy. I think he's just unwilling to adjust his expectations of other people to reality. But you know," she started. Nora set her celery stick down on a napkin. "You always have my parents, too. And Bubbe, who'll be out here in a few weeks. Don't forget that."
Chilling drinks, the ultimate party drink. Louis' eight-year-old face didn't appear too impressed with it, but that quickly morphed into a more affectionate look of appreciation when those big brown baby eyes turned to her general vicinity. There was enough space between some of his teeth to fit a raisin in when he smiled. "Right. Mildly chilly. I think I can manage that." Just a pinch, like taking salt, he sprinkled above Nora's mug and tiny snowflakes tumbled down into the cocoa. They instantly melted upon hitting the hot water.
Louis made a childish "tehe" noise, because, well, powers were fun. More so to a child. Once he wrapped his mind around the freaky aspect of them and stayed in his general 'chill' zone, as Max had called it, Louis liked the idea of being this type of gifted. All his joy melted whenever his father was addressed, however. He slumped back into his seat, instead focusing on dipping his tiny tongue into his cocoa like a cat drinking from a milk bowl as he considered Nora's observations.
"That might be the nicest way anyone has ever called my father a ding-dong," Louis pointed out, lifting a grin from his mug as soon as he realized he'd censored himself. "Thanks, Nora." He felt like he said that a lot. But it deserved to be said a lot, full sincerity behind it. After taking a sip, which left him with a cocoa mustache, Louis hopped down off the seat and padded his way around to Nora to wrap his arms around her waist for an impromptu hug. Whether it was kid Louis or Bobby that needed it bad enough to break Louis' no-touching rule was unclear. Maybe it was just Louis Louis. "You know. Next time we get married? I'm perfectly fine with taking your last name instead."
After all, it hadn't been so bad being Lewis Saylor for the day.