Hello readers

So currently after putting some thought into this decision, I have decided to bring the story to a close. While I do have plans for longer the inspiration is not there now, and I'd rather not keep people waiting forever on an unfished story.

Given I've been telling this more like an episodic series works in my favor for that.

Besides it seems these days one-shots and short few chapters are more what I'm likely to produce rather than long multiple chapter stories.

Anyway, I may come back to this one day but for right now it's being closed.

On with the show

the bat cave

Sitting in the chair Bruce hears Ace by his feet start growling as the clock door opens as Melanie Walker walks down the stairs. Bruce glares not at all pleased with this invasion. Unfazed by the glare, for the most part, Melanie walks over to Bruce.

"How did you get in here or get past my security system?" Bruce growls.

"I used to be a highly skilled thief and was the alarm expert for my family, I know my way around your system. Relax I didn't hack into anything; Terry gave me the gate code in case I ever needed it" Melanie replies.

"What do you want?" Bruce asks harshly.

"Somebody called Johnathan Hatter and Matt was at the diner I work talking about going to the VR room with Matt getting more hours if Matt did something for him. Didn't like the sounds of the whole conversation, especially given it sounded illegal" Melanie explains "I didn't want to call him on the normal cell because I didn't know if it was a secure line, so I came here instead."

"Matt McGinnis is out of harm's way and the situation is over. Let's just say the VR rooms are permanently shut down" Bruce replies then adds "Though as far as I'm concerned you're still just buying your time."

Scoffing "To do what? Betray Terry, steal from you? If I wanted to continue that life I would have stayed with my family. I don't give a damn Mr. Wayne if you don't trust me or not, Terry does. That's all I care about; I thank god every moment of my life he chose to come back to me" Melanie says firmly and the care for McGinnis clear.

"Even with all his life entails and the risks?" Bruce asks.

"Yes," Melanie says.

Bruce remains staring for a moment until turning back to the monitors while Melanie heads off to couple feet away from the computer system with laying down on her back and propping her arms up behind her head trying to go to sleep. Noticing this Bruce turns to glance at her for a moment, frowning in confusion.

"What are you doing?" Bruce asks.

"I put in a long shift so I'm tired, second I was thinking of waiting on Terry if I'm here, assuming he doesn't head back to his other house. And since you don't trust me, I figured this would be the safest place to catch up on sleep but stay out of the way, so I'm not involved in accidentally screwing something up" Melanie explains.

"Right" Bruce replies then turns back to look at the monitors.

Few minutes later Bruce unable to stand seeing her laying there on the cold floor quietly gets spare blankets and drapes one over Melanie before returning to the computers. Despite Melanie being silently appreciative and in surprise over the blanket which she snuggles into, neither comments on it. However, both decide maybe it's a start to earning trust with each other.

Later outside the McGinnis house

Pulling up his motorcycle to the side of the house Terry gets off the bike. Removing and placing his helmet down on the bike with grabbing his shoulder bag heads for the house.

Would have been here earlier Terry notes only ended up running across apartment building on fire, flew down to help. Especially since he was there before the fire department, who was making their way speedily across the city, had not arrived yet. Once that task was complete with getting quite a lot of people saved, even some pets, Bruce all but ordered him to put the cowl up and check on his family.

Nearing the door Terry reaches to open it only for Mary to pull it open and be standing there with a very unhappy expression on her face.

"I know I screwed up; I should have been here earlier," Terry says guiltily.

"You think? I've tried calling you multiple times, you couldn't even be there for your own brother when he was checked on in the hospital. I left working late so I could be there without an issue. Because that's what family does for each other" Mary says in a quiet furious tone.

"But I'm here now. Can I at least see Matt?" Terry asks desperately.

"No, he can't deal with being let down by you all over again. I can't even believe I'm saying this, but I talked with Dana since your breakup. She said something to me I don't want to believe, but she might indeed be right" Mary replies.

"Right about what?" Terry asks a pit of dread forming.

"About your going back to your criminal ways. Given the bruises you do get, unexplained absences since I don't buy Mr. Wayne needs you that much, lack of sleep, or struggling with your grades. And there's the fact your dating a former member of the Royal Flush gang" Mary says.

"No, I have not. I can't even believe you would say that. And yes, Melanie is a former member of the gang, means she's not currently working for them. Mel is getting her life turned around" Terry replies angrily.

"As much as this pains me to say I don't even know what to believe anymore from you. I can't keep putting myself or Matt through your crazy life. I won't have him around his brother when your living like this" Mary says her voice broken.

"Mom you can't be serious" Terry says desperately.

"I'm sorry my son, I really am. I will always love you and whenever you get your life in order we will be here" Mary replies.

"Please don't, I'll quit working for Mr. Wayne, just don't do this" Terry pleads.

"Then be honest with me, with your brother. What are you doing either on your own or for Mr. Wayne?" Mary asks hoping desperately her son is honest.

After a long moment "I can't… mom. I can't, if you worry now you would just worry even more. The only thing I can tell you is I'm helping keep people safe" Terry replies.

Since the burden of the Dark Knight is not something, he wants his mother or brother to live with. Also, if they don't know anything it means if they get tortured, neither Matt nor his mother can't break like Tim Drake did to the Joker decades ago revealing everything.

"Yet you still can't be honest with us. Well, your no Batman, at least the Tomorrow Knight cared enough to recuse all those people including your brother" Mary says.

Terry winces given his mother has no clue how ironic that statement is while Mary tears filled in her eyes closes the door in his face. Letting out a deep sigh with wiping a tear of pain from his eye Terry turns around, barely able to keep in his own emotions reigned in walking away from the house.

Looking up Terry's eyes go wide in surprise upon seeing a bright searchlight in the sky with a black bat symbol like an exact copy of the one on his suit in the center of it. Last time this was from Paxton Powers, only now McGinnis has a feeling it's from somebody else altogether. A smile crosses his lips upon getting up because Terry has an idea of who.

Near his bike, Terry climbs on while putting his helmet back on backs the motorcycle out and heads off down the street.

Later on the GCPD rooftop

Standing by the signal device Barbara is looking out at the night sky when a voice from nearby momentarily startles her.

"Nice apology, next time give a phone call Commissioner," Batman says emerging from the darkness.

"The signal's not just about you kid, it's about giving Gotham City hope" Barbara replies turning to face him.

"Bring back memories for meeting your dad on this roof as Batgirl?" Terry asks.

"Some" Barbara says before letting out a sigh "Listen I've been so caught up in my bitterness I've made life harder for you than it needs to be. But this is more than an apology."

"You want us to work together more closely?" Batman asks.

Nodding "Yes I'll be sure to send Bruce information on undercover operations so and such so you're not blindsided on stumbling into GCPD operations. Cases, well I'm sure you get the idea. Gotham needs us to work together. Will you help me, Batman?" Barbara asks extending her hand.

"Always" Batman replies.

Barbara merely nods with glancing off in the distance watching the vehicles for a moment and turns back to continue her conversation with Terry, only to find just thin air.

"Guess something never really changes," Barbara says smirking.

Walking over Barbara shuts the signal off and heads towards the roof door.

Later inside an apartment

Entering her bedroom Melanie stops at seeing Terry standing over by the window looking out. Slipping off her coat and placing it down on a dresser Melanie moves to her boyfriend and slides in front wrapping her arms around Terry's chest.

"What's wrong?" Melanie asks in concern.

"Just my mom and brother are pretty much done with me after… tonight. My mother thinks I'm back into being a criminal again" Terry says with a heavy sigh.

"How come you didn't tell her or your brother the truth?" Melanie asks curiously.

"What worry them even more so? I don't trust my brother to keep his mouth closed, he's just a kid and rather not drag either of them into this world. Besides after Tim Drake mess, they can't reveal information they don't know" Terry replies brokenly.

"Starting to sound like Bruce Wayne. You have a chance to have something I never did, an actual family" Melanie points out.

"I know but one who despite seeing the logical points myself, who that easily believes I went back to being a criminal? I just… don't know" Terry replies in pain, anger, and frustration.

Of course, Terry wonders what it says about him of willing to tell Melanie the truth over his own biological family. Then again Melanie can understand living this double life and can protect herself. Neither his mother or Matt can.

"True" Melanie says knowing how that feels given her parents believe the worst of her for not staying as a member of the family. If not a criminal to be their little slave well, they cut you out.

"Price of being the Dark Knight, always figured this crusade would be costly," Terry says grimly then adds "In better news Commissioner Gordon is finally off my back."

"Ah so that's what the signal light was about earlier" Melanie says in realization.

"Partially but it's a symbol of hope to Gotham. In a way perfect timing because it's a symbol of hope to me when I needed it" Terry replies firmly.

Melanie merely remains quiet while Terry wraps his arms around her as they look out at the city.

"You know the running across rooftops, that part I do miss about being Ten," Melanie says.

"Nobody ever said you had to be a criminal to go run across rooftops. If we wake up early tomorrow, we could always go for a run" Terry replies.

Letting out a grin "Sounds like fun" Melanie says.

"I'm not completely becoming like the former Dark Knight. I still have you; Mr. Wayne has sadly ended up alone. I don't intend on letting that happen if I can" Terry replies warmly.

"So, you're saying my sentence is to be forever stuck with you?" Melanie asks teasingly grinning.

"Well that's the sentence the judge signed off on, we both are past the age limit for juvenile hall" Terry replies seriously but teasing at the same time.

"Hmm, I can live with that sentence," Melanie says with adding flirtatiously "Besides if we are stuck with each other I think the frequent punishments will be most enjoyable."

Looking into his girlfriend's eyes whose looking at him heatedly Terry leans down passionately kissing Melanie on the lips. Equally returning the kiss Melanie runs her hands up Terry's scared, but muscular chest while removing his T-shirt. Reaching under Melanie's shirt Terry starts running a hand up her smooth skin, electing a moan from her.

As Melanie removing her mouth turns slightly wrapping her legs around Terry's hips while he carries her over to the bed and sits down. Removing Melanie's shirt to reveal Walker's naked upper body with running his hands down Walker's scarred back from a whip they start kissing again as Terry and Melanie fall back onto the bed.

Hope you all enjoyed this and leave a review letting me know what you think if you want.

Writing Bruce and Melanie entering is fun. Plus, Bruce you old softie getting her a blanket. Not to mention writing Bruce with an actual heart is always enjoyable too.

On another note, I debated for the resolution between Terry and the situation with his mother but frankly, I figured doing anything less kind of cheapens it. A happy ending just didn't work this time around.

I want to show the cost of Terry's mission, something the show itself never bothered to do. Where Batman Beyond treated Terry being Batman as like a cool after school job.

Mind you this is the same crew who said we wanted to move away from Batman stories come season 2 and get more into Terry at high school.

I shall let that stupid statement speak for itself.

Until next time