A/N: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back! Welcome to Good Life, the final story in the Unpack Your Heart trilogy!
Now, then, I just want to say before we start... I seriously appreciate all of you guys and how much of a success you've made this! Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Alright! Let's get started! IT'S SHOWTIME, FOLKS!
One year had passed since Terry and Max's wedding and life for the Gotham Knights was going very well for two men bearing the mantle of the Bat. True, the number of opponents hadn't lessened and at no point did they take their jobs lightly but they found that, as long as they kept their focus and remembered why they were fighting and who they were fighting for, they always made it through.
The biggest development that had taken place for the collective lives of the group was Mel and Eddy had a beautiful daughter named Lita Marie Simmons.
Max sat in Mel's house, playing with her three month old niece, Lita. She couldn't get over how much she looked like her and Mel. Max was making Lita giggle by singing to her when Mel walked in.
Mel examined the sight of her baby sister playing with her daughter and she couldn't stop smiling. "Hey!" she said.
Max looked up at her, "Hey. You're back already? That was fast."
"Fast? Max, I was gone an hour!"
Max looked at the clock. "Huh." She looked back at her sister, "Guess I didn't notice."
Mel set her things down in the kitchen. She came back into the living room and sat in the easy chair, staring at her sister and daughter. "Max?"
"Yeah?" Max asked, still playing with Lita.
"Are you and Terry gonna have any kids?"
Max paused and looked up at her big sister, "Uh…"
"It looks like you'd be great at it."
"What, uh…" Max cleared throat. "What do you mean?"
"I mean… I was gone for an hour and you didn't notice. I don't even think Lita noticed and I'm her mother!"
Max smiled. "You know better than that."
"Do I?" Mel looked at the still smiling Lita. "Do I, really?!"
Max realized that Lita was still smiling and giggled. She looked back at her sister, "Okay, Okay. But… well, I don't know about us having kids."
"We've… never really talked about it. I mean… not, like, in a lot of detail."
"Again… why not?"
"We're just so busy."
"You guys don't think that you can pull it off?"
Max opened her mouth then closed it. "I dunno. It's just… with our lives, things are plenty crazy. Me trying to go back to school, both of us working with Wayne Enterprises. We're just… a little too out of it, right now."
Mel smiled. "Well, I still think it's a good idea. I think you guys should talk about it. Besides, Lita needs a cousin."
"Why don't you and Eddy just have another kid?"
"Well, duh. But I want a nephew or niece that I can spoil the hell out of and send him or her back to you." Mel smiled, smugly. "See? Everybody wins!"
Max rolled her eyes.
That night came with the Gotham Knights performing their usual vigilance. Nightrunner was on his airbike, patrolling the skies when Bruce contacted him.
"Runner," Bruce said.
"I'm here," Nightrunner replied.
"Your father is calling you."
"Can it wait?"
"You might wanna pull over for this one."
Runner paused. "Bruce, what's going on?"
"Just do it."
"Okay, okay," Runner stopped the bike and landed on the closest roof. "Okay, I'm parked."
"Patching him through."
"Ibn," Bilal said.
"Yes, Babaan?" Runner asked.
"There was an explosion at the Clairvaux Prison yesterday. Eight inmates lost their lives with 30 more injured."
Runner paused for a minute. He let out a pained exhale. "What happened to Rene?"
"He was among the confirmed dead."
"How was it confirmed?"
"Blood and dental records."
Runner interlocked his fingers and placed his hands behind his head.
"Ibn. Jeri wanted to speak with you. She wants to know if you're okay."
Runner thought for a minute then shook his head. "I can't talk now. I need to process this."
"It's not just her. Hayate and Stephen are asking about you, too."
"I'll speak with them soon, I promise. Just not…" he sighed. "…not now."
Bilal exhaled. "Alright, Ibn. Be safe."
"He's off the line," Bruce said.
Runner sighed. "I need some time."
"Go ahead. I'll let him to cover for you."
"Thanks." Runner ended the call. He looked around the city, focusing on the sea in the distance. He pressed his fingers to his mask and called another number.
"Hello?" Sally's voice came on the other side.
"Sally," Runner said.
"Oh, hey, babe! I thought you were working."
"I am. I was."
She caught his tone. "Baby, what's wrong?"
"Rene Leblanc is dead."
She stopped. "You mean… Marie's brother?"
She fell silent for a second. "Come on by. I'll be up."
"Thank you, Sally."
"You know better than that."
"See you soon." He paused. "I love you."
"I love you, too, babe."
Runner ended the call and stood, motionless. He stared at the night's sky. "Rene. I'm so sorry." He rubbed his head, got back on his airbike, and headed toward Sally's.
As morning was approaching, Terry arrived at the Cave and met with Bruce. Terry walked over to the computer and leaned against it, facing the cave, while Bruce stared at the computer screen.
"So, he's gone?" Terry asked, referring to Rene LeBlanc.
"That's what the report said," Bruce said. "They had a full casualty list and the autopsy confirmed it."
"What caused the explosion?"
"Attempted breakout. The League is handling it."
They both remained still in the silence of the cave.
Terry kept his gave at the cave, "How do you think Basem will handle all this?"
"It'll be rough," Bruce said, leaning forward and interlocking his fingers.
"Well… it's why we're here: for the rough times."
"Speaking of rough times, how are you and Max?"
"What kind of God awful transition was that?!"
Bruce smirked. "One that provided entertainment for me."
"God, Bruce! Watch a movie!"
"Boring. Human reactions are far more entertaining."
Terry rolled his eyes. "And we're fine. Thanks for asking, I guess."
Bruce smiled. "Glad to hear it."
"Sometimes, I wonder why I still put up with you."
"You and me both."
They stared at each other in silence then slowly began to laugh.
Terry sighed. "Well, I'm gonna head home. You need anything before I go?"
"No, thank you," Bruce said.
Terry pushed himself up and started to walk off to change. He stopped. "When I first stumbled in here seven years ago…" he turned around and looked at his mentor, "did you think it would be like this?"
"Absolutely not," Bruce said. "For once… I'm glad I was wrong."
Two Weeks Later.
Despite the death of Rene hanging over Basem's head, it didn't seem to be bothering him all that much and life seemed to retain the semblance of normality that it always had. As close as it could, anyway.
Max and Sally were out shopping at the mall, going through the lingerie section of a department store.
Sally picked out a red bra, "What do you think?" She showed it to Max.
Max stared at it then smacked her lips. "I think I know wayyyy more about yours and B's sex life than I really should. Too much. And, by that, I mean… ANY of it!"
"You don't know anything," Sally kept looking around.
"Sally, you practically reenacted the time you and him did it in a dressing room." Max leaned closer to her and whispered, "In this mall. In this store!"
Sally thought about it. "You're right." She put the bra back. "Let's go to Victoria's Secret. I can get something new there. And show you the dressing room we did it in there, too."
"How many times have you two done it? Exactly."
"I dunno. How many times are we alone together?"
"Oh, please! You're not that promiscuous! You talk a big game but you're a minor leaguer."
Sally looked at her, offended. "Well, forgive me for not being a mainstay in the all-star game like you!"
Max smiled and winked.
Sally shrugged, "And, okay, yeah. It's not… that often we do but… Basem's so patient with me inconsistent ass that… well, hell, I like to please my man and… reward his patience."
"With quickies in public places?"
"Why not? Plus, he's super hot and sooooo good at it!"
Max shook her head, "Again, too much info."
Max laughed at Sally then paused when she felt her stomach bothering her. She suddenly felt off balance and had to grab one of the clothing racks for support.
Sally looked her over and grew concerned, "You okay?"
Max nodded, "Yeah, yeah. Just… whoa, I don't know where they came from."
"What are your symptoms?" Sally walked over and pressed her hand to Max's forehead.
"I don't know. Just… my stomach became a little uneasy. And… I got a little dizzy."
"Huh." Sally checked her pulse and started thinking this over. "Max, when did you last have your monthly visitor?"
"Oh, come on, Sal!"
Max exhaled, trying to think back. "Uhh…" She realized that she was late. "Now that you mention it… it's… a little late."
"Two weeks. Maybe three?"
"And when was the last time you and Terry… talked without… steps taken?"
"Uhh… about a month ago?"
Sally's eyes widened.
Max's eyes widened as she started breathing hard. "Oh, shit. Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit, oh shit!" Her mind went into panic mode and she started shaking.
"Calm down, calm down!" Sally grabbed her hand.
"But we haven't talked about it! We haven't planned for it! I'm still planning to go back to school!"
"Well, don't lose it before you even know anything!"
"But… but what if I am?! How can we afford it!? How can we…"
Sally grabbed Max's arms, "For God's sake, woman, get a grip on yourself! Bruce Wayne's your father-in-law! Money is your last concern!"
Max caught herself. "Oh. Yeah. I… I kinda forgot that part."
"So, one less thing to worry about."
"I'm not worrying about anything until I know for sure."
Sally stared at her, indignantly. "Bull."
Max conceded, "You're right."
"Well, let's get outta here and get you a test."
"I'm not sure if I wanna pass this test or not."
"Well, I sure as hell want you to."
"You and Terry with a kid? Do you know how awesome that'll be?!"
Max exhaled. "I guess so."
They left the mall and stopped at a drug store where Sally picked up the best home pregnancy test she could find. They drove back to Max and Terry's house and headed inside.
Max took the box that contained the test and stared at it. She looked at Sally, "Hey, I'm gonna need to take the test by myself. Okay?"
"Of course," Sally said.
"But… can you stay here… for the results?"
Sally smiled. "I'm not going anywhere."
Max nodded and headed to her bedroom. She went in her bathroom and pulled out the instructions. She was trying to read the paper but two things were stopping her: she couldn't focus on the words and her hands were shaking.
She took a few deep breaths, "Okay. Okay. Get a grip on yourself. Don't panic until you take the test. Then panic."
After taking the test, Max sat on her bed with her leg trembling. She wanted to call Melissa but Sally being here helped and she wanted to be sure first before telling anyone else. Her phone beeped after the 90 second mark passed, signaling the test was ready. Her breath caught in her chest. She let out a deep exhale and went to the bathroom. She retrieved the test and looked at it.
A plus sign.
Her eyes widened.
She looked at the instructions and saw what plus meant.
Positive. Plus meant positive. Of course, it did. What else could plus mean besides positive? She was positively having a baby.
She backed away from the test and put her hands over her mouth. She started to cry. She looked down at her stomach. "If you really are in there, kid… you better get ready. You're in for one wild ride."
A/N: Ibn: "son" in Arabic, Babaan: "papa" in Arabic
Oh, yes. That just happened. If you think you're ready for this, we'll see. We're back on the train, my friends. And it's only just now leaving the station!
Let me know what you think by leaving me some REVIEWS! SEE YOU GUYS SOON! And, once again, WELCOME BACK!