A/N: Hello, all! So, originally, I was going to do this and put it somewhere in "Chronicles." But then I decided, "It's Basem and Sally. I don't want to just throw their kid's birth and their wedding in 'Chronicles'." So, I decided to write this triple-shot instead. My series, my rules. There are only three parts to this story and they will all be going up simultaneously.
The title is inspired by the song by Corinne Bailey Rae. I absolutely love her! Her debut album still stands out as one of my favorites from any singer, band, choir, etc. She's in a long list of artists that hooked me with their first album and kept me as a fan with every album afterward. "Like a Star" is easily my second favorite song by her. "Put Your Records On" is my solid number 1 by her.
Quick note, Sally's doctor's last name comes from, who I dub along with some others, the godfather of mecha anime, Yoshiyuki Tomino, the creator of the original Mobile Suit Gundam and the interesting, yet Greek-tragedy level sad, Space Runaway Ideon. If you've never seen Ideon and don't mind a lot of sadness in your anime, I suggest tracking it down and giving it a watch. It's really interesting. The character in the story is just a small, quick tribute to him.
Nine months had passed. And it hardly felt like anytime at all. Primarily because after the war with the Graves, life in Gotham went back to as normal as it could get. Sally was due any day and she was ready for her son, Stevie, to be born.
Sally was lying on the couch when she heard the doorbell ring. She swung her feet to get off the couch and walked to the door. She opened it to find Max standing there with a smile on her face.
"You had to swing your feet to get up, didn't you?" Max asked, jokingly.
"Oh, shut up," Sally ordered. "What do you want?"
"Nothing." Max walked into the house and Sally closed the door. "Just wanted to check on you. You're due just about any day."
"Well, tomorrow is in about three hours," Max pointed out.
Sally sat back down and exhaled, "Kid's driving me crazy."
"With my sister," Max answered.
"She's gonna grow up thinking Mel is her mother," Sally noted.
"You're certainly ornery tonight."
Sally groaned, "I can't help it. My sleep schedule's all off and I haven't been to work in three weeks."
"Oh, please. You do too much anyway. You're all over the hospital when you're there. A break won't kill you."
"Yeah, maybe." Sally sighed. "I just feel exhausted."
"Yeah. And there's no crisis to distract you while you're pregnant."
"You hungry?" Max asked.
Sally scoffed. "Always."
After eating dinner, Max and Sally sat and talked for the next three hours. It was just past midnight, and they were watching the movie, Brown Sugar, with Max sitting in an easy chair and Sally having her feet up on the couch. While the movie played, Sally suddenly felt an unexpected sensation. Her eyes widened. "Uh… Max?"
"Yeah?" Max asked.
"What would you do if I told you my water just broke?"
Max slowly turned around, staring at Sally in shock. "Panic. Then get you in the car, so I can get you to the hospital."
"Okay, cool." Sally tucked her lips in for a moment. "Because my water just broke."
"Panic," Max said, immediately. She started to shake. "I'm… I'm panicking."
"Look, last time I did this, Terry was here! And I was the one pregnant!"
"You literally just said you would get me in the car and take me to the hospital!" Sally shouted.
Max blinked. "Oh, yeah. Let's do that!" She stood up.
Sally rolled her eyes as Max helped her stand up. "Let me point out I'm the calm one. Woman, that's bad."
"You're right. Let's go."
Batman, Nightrunner, and Koutetsu were just leaving the police station via the roof, having dropped off a group of armored thieves, when Bruce called.
"Gentlemen," Bruce said. "Get to the hospital."
Runner froze. It took him a few seconds to speak, as he stuttered out, "The… the ho-hospital."
Batman smiled. "No way!"
Runner felt his knees lock up. "Sally's…"
"Having the baby, yes," Bruce finished. "Get going!"
"Even me, sir?" Koutetsu asked.
"Yes. The city's quiet. And all of you should be there for this. I'll be there, shortly."
Runner started pacing and whispering, "Sally's… in… labor…"
"Runner?" Batman asked.
"She's… going to have a baby… my baby… our baby… hers and mine…"
"My friend?" Koutetsu asked. "Can you hear us?"
"Baby…" Runner repeated, absentmindedly.
"I think we lost him," Bruce said.
"Yeah, looks like it," Batman agreed.
"What do we do?" Koutetsu asked. "I've never seen him like this."
"We already had a mutually agreed upon plan for this exact situation. I got this."
Batman walked up to Runner, grabbed him by the shoulders, and slapped him across the face.
Runner shook his head, readjusted himself, and blinked. "Thank you. I needed that."
"Anytime, bro," Batman smiled. "Let's get going!"
The Gotham Knights changed to their civilian attire, arriving at the hospital not too long after Max and Sally. On the way to the hospital, Terry called Sally's parents while Basem called his own. Both sets of parents booked flights to Gotham before the calls ended.
Basem rushed into the hospital, heading straight for the maternity unit, with Terry and Hayate hurrying to keep up.
"Did you know he was this fast?" Hayate asked.
Terry smiled, "I kinda suspected."
Hayate chuckled. "You two go on ahead. I'll make my way to the waiting room and guide anyone who needs to find you."
Basem barely heard their conversation as he hurried into maternity ward. He and Terry walked to the ward and found Regina, one of nurses who knew and worked with Sally.
"Regina!" Terry called.
Regina looked up and smiled, "Terry! Basem! There you are!"
"Is Sally okay?" Basem asked, nervously.
"Nearly biting everyone's head off. So, yeah, she's fine. I feel bad for Max though. I think Sally called her a… overly-brilliant jerk?"
Terry laughed, "That sounds about right."
"Let's get you both in some scrubs and gowns and get you in there," Regina said.
A few minutes later, Terry and Basem walked into the room to find Sally in bed with Max talking to her. Sally and Max looked at Basem and Terry with Sally letting out a groan. "Finally!" Sally shouted at Basem. "Where have you been?!"
"I was at work!" Basem replied.
"Knock me up and then take forever!"
"I am so happy I'm here for this!" Terry smiled.
"Terry!" Max chided as she laughed.
"Whatever! I'm not sorry!"
Sally's doctor, and supervisor, Doctor Andrew Tomino, came in, wearing a smile on his face. "Doctor Croft," Tomino nodded. "Everyone."
"Hey, Doc," Sally breathed out.
"Seems like we've got a full house tonight."
"Would you mind if they stayed? I'd… just feel more comfortable if they were here."
"You're so used to getting your way, Doctor Croft," Tomino chuckled. "Yes. That's fine."
"Thanks, Doc," Sally breathed out.
"We'll be sure to stay clear, Doctor Tomino," Terry said.
Tomino nodded as he and the nurses continued to work.
Sally blinked then looked at Max. "Did you call me 'ornery'?"
"Sally!" Max said, pointedly. "That was hours ago! At your house! Long before you went into labor!"
"It just hit me."
"Alright," Tomino said. "Let's get to work!"
Hayate was sitting in the waiting room, staring at the ceiling with a smile, when Bruce walked in. They nodded at each other as Bruce sat down.
"Did you speak with Mr. and Mrs. Asselah?" Hayate asked.
Bruce nodded, "Right after the spoke with Basem. They were on the way to the airport. Any word from Sally's parents?"
"Both her parents and her eldest brother are on the way here."
Hayate smiled and sighed, contemplatively. "I imagine, now… I'll have some decisions to make. About returning to Paris."
"Mm-hmm," Bruce agreed. "But it's a decision we thought you would've made already."
"As did I. But… several factors I did not foresee have… delayed me."
"Whatever you decide, I'm sure Terry and Basem will understand."
"No matter my decision, it's not Terry and Basem that concern me."
Bruce sat back. "Hayate."
Hayate looked at Bruce.
"Whatever you decide… you have my absolute blessing. But know… you and Basem have done something for Terry… that I failed to do." Bruce sighed. "You gave Batman people he can completely trust. I failed at recognizing that when I had it. Terry did not."
Hayate nodded. "It is a good feeling. To know I can aid Batman."
"But no matter if you're here or in Paris, I know and Terry knows we can count on you."
"Thank you, Bruce."
About an hour later, Terry and Max walked into the waiting room. Bruce and Hayate stood to their feet.
Max smiled, wiping away tears. "It went great."
Bruce and Hayate smiled.
"Stephen Faris Asselah made it to the world perfectly fine," Terry added.
"How are Sally and Basem?" Bruce asked.
"Sally came through like a champ!" Terry shook his head, "Bruce, I'm starting to think her and Max should replace me and B."
"I'll consider it."
"And Basem?" Hayate asked.
"He couldn't stop crying," Max said. "It was adorable."
"It was pretty schway," Terry admitted. "I couldn't even make fun of him for it. I still cry at Grace sometimes."
"When we can we see them?" Bruce asked.
"They're moving Sally and Stevie to room right now. Regina is gonna come get us when they're ready."
Just a few minutes later, Regina came to the waiting room, having everyone follow her to another room. They came to the room and Regina opened the door. Inside, Sally was lying in bed, clearly exhausted. Basem was standing by the bed, a smile and tears of joy on his face. Inside the medical crib, baby Stevie was fast asleep. Bruce and Hayate walked to and stood over the crib. Stevie was five pounds and 18-inches long. He had fair skin and light brown hair peeking out of the top of his head.
"My goodness…" Hayate whispered.
"I know, right?" Basem chuckled.
"He's beautiful," Bruce smiled.
"Thanks, Bruce," Sally said, tiredly.
Bruce looked at them and nodded, "I'm proud of you both."
A few hours later, Basem's and Sally's parents arrived, everyone fawning over the baby as quietly as they could, given the late/early hour. The happiness continued on to the next day with Chelsea, Barbara, and others coming by to visit the couple and their newborn.
The following night, Basem, Sally, and Stevie were still in the hospital, just as a precaution. To no one's surprise, Bruce gave Basem the night off. Just after 1 A.M., Basem was staring out of the window, gazing at the city, as he hoped Terry and Hayate would be okay while also dreaming of the future.
Sally was sitting up in bed, holding Stevie in her arms. As she rocked Stevie back and forth, Sally was humming.
Basem smiled and looked at Sally, "What are you singing, chérie?"
"'Like a Star'," Sally answered.
"Corinne Bailey Rae."
"You know she doesn't get near enough credit."
"No, she doesn't," Basem agreed. "So. About that wedding."
Sally looked up at Basem and smiled, "Oh, I can't wait."
"Are you sure you want to get right back to planning it?"
"Yeah. Then, we go back to Paris and… relax for a bit with your parents."
"Well, let me tell you," Basem sat down in an easy chair. "That plan sounds… fantastic!"
Sally giggled then went back to rocking Stevie and humming.
After gazing at his fiancée and his new son for a few minutes, Basem whispered, "I wish they could see this."
Sally looked up at him.
"Marie. And Stephen."
"I wish I could've met them," Sally mused.
"They would've loved you." He chuckled, "Marie would've yelled at me for getting you pregnant before we got married."
"Yeah. Mom would've been on my case, too, if it hadn't been for the fact that she already and totally loves you."
Basem chuckled. "I lucked out a bit with the in-laws."
"Me, too," Sally replied. She stared at him. "So… future Mr. Croft…"
Basem laughed, quietly.
Sally giggled a bit. She stared back at Stevie. "We're… gonna be okay, right?"
Basem stared at her.
Sally looked back at Basem. He stood up and walked over to her, sitting on the bed. He kissed her forehead and looked at their son.
"It's never going to be easy," Basem admitted. "But… we're not alone. Ever."
"Got that right," Sally agreed.
"So… yeah, Sally. We're gonna be okay."