A/N: Hey, guys! I just wanted to do something different for my typical Terry & Max stories. I wanted to add in one of my favorite minor characters from Batman Beyond, Chelsea.
Anyone who's read my story, "All This Time", know how much I love Chelsea. She reminds me of a couple of close friends of mine: she's a bit of a party girl, outgoing, she likes material things, but none of that makes her stuck-up or bad person and she's loyal to a fault. This story is also similar to a talk between myself and one of those said friends had, which happened before me and my girlfriend got together.
Take The Leap
Terry was sitting in the coffee shop, looking out of the window. He had a cup of coffee sitting in front of him and his mind was dwelling on a problem that had been plaguing him for a while. He was waiting for one of the few friends who could help him an issue he was having.
That issue stood up about 5'4", had pink hair, and, due to reasons Terry had no control over, had somehow made him fall in love with her.
Terry kept gazing out of the window when he saw Chelsea parking her car. She got out and waved at Terry and walked inside. Once Chelsea was inside, she walked over to Terry, who stood to his feet, and they hugged one another.
"Hey, Terry," Chelsea said.
"Hey, Chels," Terry said, they released the hug. "Been too long since we saw each other."
"Seriously. How's college life?" They both sat down.
"Eh," Terry answered. "Not so bad. No where near as bad as high school."
"Tell me about it," Chelsea said. "Plus the parties are better." She smirked. "Not that you'd know."
"Ha, ha," Terry said, sarcastically, drawing a laugh from Chelsea.
The waitress came over and Chelsea ordered her own coffee. After the waitress had gone, Chelsea turned her attention back to Terry, "What made you call?"
Terry thought for a second, trying to figure out how to approach this. He just had to go for it, putting all cards on the table. "I… really need your advice."
Chelsea jerked her head back. "Whoa. That was serious. What's wrong?"
"What about her? Is she okay?"
"Oh, she's fine." Terry leaned over. "It's not her. It's me. It's…"
"The fact that you fell harder than my dad's jaw when he sees my credit card bill?" Chelsea asked.
He looked at her with only mild surprise. "I don't know why I didn't figure you knew that already."
"Well, it's not like you're great keeping secrets, Terry," she said. "At least, not about people you care about."
"Caring about her, I do plenty. It's… I dunno."
Chelsea could see that Terry had some inner turmoil about this. She figured he would be, that's the kind of guy he is. "Want me to help you figure this out?"
"Please," Terry answered.
"When you and Dana broke up, it was hard on everyone: you, Dana, Max, and even me. And it was only hard for me and Max because we were worried about the two of you. But, after the proper period of mourning had passed…"
"Pause." Terry smiled. "'Proper period of mourning'?"
"It's what me and Max called it," Chelsea replied.
Terry held his smile.
"Me and her have a tendency to be dramatic? What?"
She smiled. "Anyway, after… that time passed, you and Dana both bounced back. She started seeing Michael and you… well, heck, you disappear even more than you usually do but Max keeps tabs on you. So, I knew you were fine."
"So, what does this have to do with me and Max?" he asked.
"You mean besides the part where I just said that you disappear but Max can always find you?"
Terry wanted to hit himself in the forehead. "Yeah, that."
"Because she's always calling you," Chelsea said, sincerely. "Half of the time, whenever I call her, she's either on the phone with you or just got off the phone with you. Heck, if I can't get a hold of her, I know it's because she's talking to you. Plus, she's always worrying about you. And talking about you. And, lately, when your name comes up, she gets this little smile on her face."
He looked up surprised. "She… does?"
"You really are clueless," she said, exasperated. "Seriously, are you gonna tell me you never hear it in her voice when she talks to you?"
"I guess I can't. That's why I'm here."
Chelsea thought about that, "Okay, that's fair. So, let me just ask you directly: do you like Max?"
Terry nodded, "Yeah. I do."
His reaction left Chelsea curious. So, she decided to push a little further. "Let me be a bit more specific. But… if you don't want to answer, you really don't have to. I mean it."
"Go ahead and ask. I think I need to hear it out loud."
Chelsea took a deep breath. "Terry McGinnis. Do you love Max?"
He clasped his hands together and brought them up to cover his mouth. It surprised him to hear the question out loud. But what surprised him even more was how sure he was of his answer. Once he heard someone else ask it, it told him how long he already knew the answer.
He lowered his hands. "Wow." He chuckled, briefly. "Yeah, Chels. I do."
"I guess I didn't know it until someone else brought it up. But, I guess one major thing stopping me from knowing it was… it felt disrespectful to Dana. Hardly ever saw her towards the end but I always saw Max."
"And?" Chelsea asked, practically. "You and Max weren't hooking up behind Dana's back. You two are friends. It happens."
"Did she ever think we were?" Terry asked.
Chelsea sighed. "She thought you might be. But… she asked Max if you were."
Terry's eyes widened. "They talked that? I never knew that."
"I know. I'm breaking girl code by telling you. But… Dana and Max had a long talk about everything and they came to a good understanding."
"That didn't cause any problems, did it?" Terry asked.
"Not really," Chelsea answered. "I mean, Dana was still a little worried but she trusted you and Max. That and she promised to kill you both if something was going on."
Terry stared at Chelsea for a long time, trying to get an indication of what she said was true. "I can't tell if you're joking."
"Honestly, for the longest time, me and Max couldn't tell if Dana was either. To this day, we've chosen to believe that she was."
Terry sighed, "Great. I wonder what she'll do when she hears about this."
"Why does that matter?" Chelsea asked. "This isn't about Dana."
"I just don't want to hurt anyone with this."
"Terry, you're not a bad person for being in love with Max. You'd be a bad person if you were still with Dana and were sneaking around behind her back. That's not what's happening here. You and Dana broke up. Two years ago, I might add. Sure, you're still cool but she's moved on. It's perfectly fine and, actually expected, for you to do the same."
"Yeah." Terry took a deep breath. "I guess that was just one more thing that I was worried about."
"But now, you don't have to worry about it," Chelsea said. "Promise."
They sat in a contemplative silence for a while. Chelsea could see that Terry was still worried and that was worrying her. "So, what's the issue? Why not tell Max how you feel? I mean, just… take the leap."
Terry sat back in his chair, "I don't know. I just… I'm nervous, Chels. I can't lose her as a friend."
"But if I tell her I'm in love with her and she doesn't…"
"You're being honest with her," Chelsea said, plainly. "Something you're both really good at."
"You tell her how you feel. You let her decide what happens next."
"I'm just hoping… she wants it too."
Chelsea smiled. "You're worrying way too much, Terry. Honestly, I'm thinking that she may feel the same and she's just too scared to tell you. Both of you need to get over being scared and make this happen. You both wanna be happy and you deserve to be. So. Be happy."
Terry stared at her. "Chels. I couldn't ask for a better friend than you."
"Besides Max, you mean."
"True but… for as much as I don't keep you in the loop…"
"We're there for each other when it matters, Terry," Chelsea reassured. "Like now. I'm your friend, always." She smiled. "Now! You better tell me what happens with this, because, if you wanna keep me in the loop on anything, you better keep me in the loop on this!"
Terry laughed. "That's a deal."
That evening, Terry was pacing back and forth in his apartment, waiting for Max to arrive. Chelsea's advice was playing over and over again in his head. He knew that, if he was going to do this, he needed to just do it.
The door opened and Max walked in. He had given her a key about two seconds after he had the place. Which, the more Terry thought about it, should've been hint number one. She smiled at Terry, "Hey!"
"Hey, Max," Terry said.
Setting her purse down, Max noticed that he had a serious look on his face. "You okay?"
He took a deep breath, "Yeah. Yeah, I'm-I'm good."
She narrowed her eyes, "No, you're not. Talk to me. What's wrong?"
"Not exactly 'wrong'. I just… I wanted to talk to you about something."
"What's that?" Max asked.
He sat down on the couch, "Sit with me for a minute?"
She sat down, "What's wrong, Terry?"
"It's not… nothing wrong. I mean, not really but…" Terry took a breath. "I… I wanna take a leap."
That left Max a little perplexed. "What kind of leap?"
"Max… can… uh…" Terry took a deep breath, "I really, really wanna go out with you and I want to be with you because I am seriously, seriously in love with you."
It took a few seconds for Max to realize what he said. Soon, the heaviness of his declaration came over her. "Whoa." She moved so she was staring straight ahead. "You… you're in love with me?"
Terry, almost, instantly regretted saying that. "Yeah."
"For how long?"
He shrugged, "It's been a while."
"Can you give me some kind of timeframe?"
"Uh. Not really."
"Has it been since we graduated?" Max asked.
Terry thought about it, "Well. I mean… not immediately after that but yeah."
"So, it was after you and Dana broke up?"
"Yeah. I wouldn't do that to you or her."
"So, for, at least, a year or more, you've been in love with me?"
He huffed, "Yeah."
She gazed at him in silence for a while. Then, out of almost nowhere, she started smacking his arm, "You complete moron!"
"Ow! OW!" He started covering his head, "What did I do?!"
"You've been in love with me all this time and never said anything?" Max was still hitting him, knocking them both over and causing her to fall on top of him.
"Max!" Terry said, laughing. He grabbed her wrists, "Max. Calm down."
Max stopped and stared into his eyes. She giggled, "You're so stupid."
She held her smile for a long time. "I love you, too, you moron."
Terry's eyes widened. "You… you do?"
"Yes," Max answered. "I was just… I didn't know how you felt. Why else do you think I stick around you so much?"
"My charming personality and stunning good looks?"
"Well, yeah, I'm superficial, so, those, too."
He gave her an indignant stare. "You are not."
"Only for certain people," she smiled. "But, seriously, Terry… I was… scared that I was I presuming too much. About how you feel about me. But… I've known for a long time how I felt about you."
"Then, I guess we're all good here?" Terry asked.
Max moved closer and kissed him. It almost took them by surprise at how good it felt. They separated, catching their breath.
"Ooooh, yeah," Max said. "We're good."
Terry felt his phone ringing and looked to see it was Chelsea. He smiled and answered, turning on the video phone, "Yeah?"
"Don't 'yeah' me," Chelsea said, quickly. "Did you talk to her? Did you tell her?! Is she there now?! What'd she say?!"
Terry chuckled. "Ask yourself." He aimed the camera at Max.
"Max?!" Chelsea gasped.
"Hey, Chels," Max said, smiling.
Chelsea screamed with joy. Follow by Max. And Terry simply rolled his eyes.
"There's going to be a lot of this, isn't it?" Terry asked.
"At least for the first month or two," Max said.
"Oh, my God!" Chelsea smiled. "Double dates!"
"Double dates!" Max echoed.
"There is no chance of me getting out of those, are there?" Terry asked.
"Not unless you start disappearing again," Chelsea said.
"I may have to."
Chelsea giggled. "Hey, guys. Seriously. I'm proud of both of you."
"Thanks, Chels," Terry said.
"You're the best," Max added.
"Don't you two forget it," Chelsea said. "Now, stop talking to me! You have some making out to do. Need to make up for lost time."
"Bye, Chels!" Terry and Max said, simultaneously.
"Bye!" Chelsea waved before ending the call.
Terry and Max looked at each other, as Terry put his phone on the floor.
"She's gonna be insufferable for a long time because of this," Terry said.
"Yeah," Max agreed. "But… I'd say it's worth it."
Terry smiled. "So would I."
A/N: HUGE NEWS! THE WAIT IS OVER! MY BOOK, TATSU ANGELO: RONIN DAYS, IS NOW AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE ON AMAZON! Go order yourself a copy!
Also, leave a favorite, a follow, and a review! Please and thank you! Until next time, Dreamers!