Incandescence - Kindred Spirits
I do not claim any rights to the Batman Beyond series in the animated format or the comic books. All copyright material belong to their respectable owners. The following story is entirely fictional and pays tribute to the amazing characters developed by said owners. As a fan, I am writing this out of respect to the owners as well as to elaborate on this couple because I don't think the series gave Terry and Ten a proper relationship and ending.
It has been an extremely long road in writing this story. I started in 2003 and went on hiatus for a very long time and many of you guys were genuine in your comments about telling me not to give up on this story. I never realized how truly difficult it could be to write something as simple as this. I started this story in wanting to dedicate a fanfiction to Terry and Ten, having noticed that there weren't many stories about them at that time. I truly believe they are meant to be together. Bruce denied himself that relationship but Terry is braver and stronger in what he wants out of life and so, I end this story with the final chapter. I hope you guys enjoy what you read and thank you for staying loyal to me and my story ^_^
Terry and Jack were running full speed down the stairs as they burst through the doors and found themselves on the fifth floor. Terry was grateful that it was vacant; not a single person in sight.
"What now?" Jack also looked around, realizing how empty the floor was.
"You go downstairs and find the others. I'm going after Havoc," Terry said, before he bolted down the hall. Jack nodded as he watched Terry's fading form. Good Luck my friend.
It ends here. Everything. Everything that ever happened to Gotham City since Havoc reared his stupid face. For those people who died or were killed, their lives would not be in vain. Terry would avenge their deaths. He would take down Havoc no matter what; for everything he did to the city and Ten. For what transpired between the girls when they were on campus. The nightclub. Tan productions. His mother's attack. His baby brother's trauma. Everything would fall into place and be avenged today. But more importantly, Terry would be able to prove to Bruce that he was truly Batman in every meaning of the word. Even though he did things differently. His approach was never as close to that of Wayne's nor was his style or research capabilities; however, that's what made him unique. That's what made him the New Batman.
Passing a few doors, Terry stopped in his tracks as he swirled back to the doors he just ran by. There was a pair of double doors with the logo of the Assassins Guild on it. The door handles were the spider legs while the emblem of the diamond was carved into the door itself. Yes!
Terry kicked the doors open, breaking the lock as he pushed his way through the doors.
Meanwhile, Jack had finally found a staircase when he was making his way down the stairs. He knew they had to end this quickly if they wanted to get away from the cops. He could hear them clearly now as their voices and sirens and even gun firing continued to get closer. As he ran by a hall, Jack stopped as he noticed how scorched and drenched a particular hallway was. Only one person could play with fire like that!
Terminal stopped in his tracks as he lingered a few feet behind the girls as he heard his name echo down the hall they had just ran away from. Max and Ten also stopped in mid-stride as they, too, heard the echo as well.
"Was that just me or..." Terminal trailed off, as he turned around and took a couple of steps back towards the hallway, looking down the long corridor to see if he could spot anyone he might recognize. The girls remained silent; Max was breathing heavily from the run while Ten also turned to stand next to Terminal. That voice? It can't be!
Terminal spun to look at Ten while Max was practically floored. Jack? Max wondered, he came back!
Ten started to run back down the hall and just as she did, Jack's form could be seen running towards them in his Royal Flush Gang costume. Terminal closed his eyes and smiled as he realized that Jack finally came back. He didn't tell anyone else but he suspected that eventually, when they needed him, Jack would show. As he reopened his eyes, Max was standing next to him and smiled broadly as she too, began to run in the direction Ten took off in. Eventually, Terminal followed suit.
Everything was a blur. Ten was running but couldn't feel her feet touching the ground. All she knew and all she saw was her big brother merely a few feet away before she opened her arms, as he too opened his and they crashed into a tight embrace. He noticed her injuries immediately as he continued to hug his baby sister fiercely.
Ten moved her head back a bit just so that they could see each other's eyes. Jack had his mask on, but Ten knew that he had the same tears she had.
"You came back," Ten choked, before she rested her head on his shoulder.
"Ah'm sorry about everythin' ... but yeah, Ah'm back."
"You don't know how much this means to us," Max said, as she came to a halt with Terminal behind her. Jack gingerly let go of Ten as he walked up to Max and gave her a hug. Terminal moved to stand next to them as he put his hand on Jack's shoulder. "Glad you're back."
"Good to be back," Jack smiled, as he released Max.
"Listen guys, Terry's already on the floor above. No doubt he's already found Havoc," Jack stated, as he turned to look over his shoulder. "The cops are getting closer..."
"Yeah, we can hear 'em," Max pouted, "...and we don't even have the evidence we need to bust Havoc after all's said 'n'done."
"No, no, no, no. See, we can make it upstairs and find his computer."
"Jack, there's not enough time if Terry's already fighting..." Max stated, as if everything was already lost.
"We can't split up! Terry specifically told me to regroup with you guys."
"Then what do we do?" Ten asked, as she continued to look down the hall as she heard the approaching footsteps. Everyone else noticed as they began to pick up the pace as they were talking.
"We can get to his computer first and then go help Terry," Terminal pointed out, as they began to run.
"That's the best choice we have right now!" Ten said, as everyone began to run harder, following Jack to lead them up to the fifth floor. As they finally made their way through the end of that corridor, the cops made it around the corner.
"Uh no thanks!" Jack joked, as he stuck his tongue at the cops before heading off in another direction with the rest of the group. The cops began to fire and the four of them began to zigzag through the bullets. Jack grabbed Max's hand as he helped her maneuver through the bullets, since she was not use to that type of an attack.
"Found 'em," Terminal yelled, as he began to bolt up the staircase with the others behind him. As they made their way through the fifth floor, Terminal and Jack both started to grab furniture as they began piling it up against the entrance to prevent the cops from getting through. Three long minutes passed before they finally slumped on the floor breathing heavily.
"Next time..." Terminal then took a deep breath, "don't harass the cops okay?"
"A-aw, come on..." Jack was also breathing heavily. "...you...can't say...that wa...wasn't fun."
Terminal punched him on the shoulder before he got back up. The girls had already gone off down the hallway searching for Havoc's office and the guys could still see their forms from afar.
"Come on Jack. This ain't over yet." Max chided.
"Ah know. Ah know," Jack whined, as he got up and both of them began to catch up with the girls.
Upstairs, Terry remained silent as he stared at the man responsible for all the heartache and suffering Gotham City and its people had been through. Havoc was busy deleting files when Terry broke in through the doors. He looked up, clearly not amused as both he and Terry exchanged glares. Slamming his fists on the table, Havoc then moved to the side as he walked towards Terry.
"You know, I thought it was quite generous of me to invite your stupid group over here to my headquarters, and here you are destroying all that I have offered."
Terry remained silent. Studying Havoc's posture. He would have to be prepared for anything. This man had already enjoyed killing as a teenager, there was no telling how dangerous he was now. Havoc noticed Terry's intense eyes before he spoke up again.
"You think you can take me?" He mused, as he removed his coat and jacket, "Go ahead and try."
Terry couldn't help but smirk at the guy's self-assured attitude. "Don't be so anxious, Havoc."
"A plea for your life?"
"Hardly," Terry sniggered. "That doesn't work with you, remember? After all," Terry then lowered his voice a bit, "...you wouldn't think twice about killing someone as defenseless as a child, or for that matter..." Terry then chose his words carefully, "...anyone who finds you to be nothing more than a pathetic form...something not even human."
Havoc smiled. "Ah yes, I saw how beautiful she looked tonight. Tell me Terry, do you know how much suffering she'll go through once I'm done with her. And it's all thanks to you. You took her away from me. She's rightfully mine."
"She's not a poker chip, you ass! She's a human being. She belongs to nobody."
Havoc rolled his eyes, "Spare me the lecture," and with that, he pulled out a shotgun and began firing at Terry. Instinctively, Terry ducked to the side and hid behind a column next to the double doors, as the onslaught of bullets rang by him.
"Come out Terry! One shot and I'll make it quick!"
"Go to hell!" Terry shouted back, before he jumped out from behind the column as he continued to dodge the bullets before he crossed the distance and jumped towards Havoc. Terry then swung with a kick, colliding with Havoc and effectively knocking the gun out of his hands as it slid across the platform under a long table. As the two of them jumped back up, Havoc couldn't help but grin sadistically as he began to walk slowly, before picking up the pace as he ran and tackled Terry to the ground. Havoc then grabbed both of Terry's arms as he pinned them on the ground before he lowered his face so that they were merely inches apart.
"I'm so glad you decided to play Terry, it makes this all the more interesting!" Havoc said, as he jumped back up, bringing Terry along with him before he kneed him in the stomach and then elbowed him on the back of the neck, sending Terry face-first onto the ground.
Terry landed hard on the ground, he could feel his neck ache from the impact of the hit and also the angle his head hit the ground. Terry turned just in time to see Havoc swinging his leg, trying to kick Terry in the face, before Terry managed to maneuver his body and roll away from the kick. As he did, Terry brought both hands up and caught Havoc's foot, and with some effort, he was able to pull Havoc's foot from under him, sending the man falling to the ground on his back.
As the two of them recovered from their falls, both leapt back up and kept a distance from the other.
"You know Terry? I might not even kill you if you're this much fun."
"You're sick, you know that?" Terry asked as he soon came to realize that this man was nothing more than a void. A human shell. A soulless being if there ever was a word. Havoc then walked over to the side as Terry continued to follow, but kept a distance. Havoc then opened a drawer before he pulled out another weapon. This time, Terry was worried. It was a shotgun that was bigger and much more impressive than what those damn Special Agents carried.
"Round Two!" Havoc grinned, as he aimed it at Terry. Just as he was about to fire though, Havoc heard another door behind him crash open. Annoyed, he turned to look around and was met with the battered form of Xander.
"You?" Terry said, with a hint of distaste and shock in his tone. He died! He was supposed to be dead!
"I tried to stop 'em by myself," Xander said, as he came to stand by Havoc.
Still annoyed, Havoc finally asked, "Who?"
"The cops are already on the fourth floor," Xander explained, "...and Terry's friends..." But before he could finish, Xander looked up at the double doors behind Terry; standing there, Terminal, Ten, Jack and Max were standing at the entrance of Havoc's office. As Terry looked behind himself and saw his friends, he couldn't help but smile genuinely at them. The group smiled as they made their way to stand right next to him, Ten brushed her arm over Terry's shoulder before she helped him up. They exchanged looks. Terry was asking her if she was okay, since she had dried blood and cuts over her arms and legs and a nasty cut on her face. She answered his question by squeezing him on the arm before she looked up ahead, at the two men not more than twenty feet away.
"You couldn't stop them?" Havoc asked, clearly angry at Xander's incompetence.
Terry could pick up on the tone of Havoc's voice as he realized just how mad Havoc had become. With one hand, Terry reached out, grabbing Ten's arm before he shoved her even further behind him. Terminal and Jack noticed the gesture as they moved to stand in front of Max, shielding her from whatever was to come.
Max also realized from Havoc's body language just how upset he was, "Man," she whispered, "...this ain't good." Terry couldn't help wonder how the hell Xander survived. He died in that crash where Kairi took him down. He was in his reptilian form and was killed in the explosion. So how is it that he's alive and right in front of us!
Havoc lowered his weapon as he watched Xander try to explain himself. He grew more annoyed by the minute and soon enough, Havoc found himself disgusted.
"Don't worry though; the two of us can take them. See, look what I did to the blonde one." Havoc immediately turned his head towards Terry and his friends. His eyes scanned the group searching for Ten and he finally saw her form behind Terry.
Realizing that Havoc was looking for Ten, Terry shoved her even farther behind him, trying to shield her from Havoc's eyes. It was pointless. Havoc could see the cuts and bruises on her arms and legs and the minor gash on her cheek. He felt his blood boil within seconds.
"YOU did that?" Havoc's voice was cold as ice.
"Imagine the possibilities when it's the two of us against them. We can take them easily," Xander said, as he took several steps forward in front of Havoc, "...we can end this game and get out while we can since the police..."
Terry and his group flinched as a gunshot rang throughout the room and echoed down the halls. Terry had instinctively covered Ten while Terminal and Jack covered Max. When they realized that nothing happened to them, they all looked up towards the two men and watched as Xander's body fell limp on the ground, Havoc still holding the shot-gun in his hands with some smoke coming from the revolver.
He shot Xander? Terry and the group watched in horror as the body hit the ground and Havoc walked over the fallen mess.
"Disobey my orders and I warned you of the consequences," looking up, Havoc walked towards Terry's group as he looked at Ten, "...don't worry baby. He's not the one you should be worried about. I'm the one who can play with you however I want."
"Bastard," Terry heard Ten whisper, as Havoc continued to approach them.
Terry then looked over at Max and realized she was staring at something beyond Xander's fallen body. Looking over to what she was staring at, Terry couldn't help but stare at the computer behind the desk. How did I miss that?
"Ten and I will get the computer," Max whispered, "...you guys can handle him," Max concluded as she and Ten moved a few feet behind the guys.
"Typical. The girls get the easy way out," Jack whined, as he took a few steps forward. Terminal and Terry also stepped forward as the three of them prepared to fight.
"Stop whining and just pay attention," Terminal said, as he stopped in his tracks and looked around to see if there was anything he could use as a weapon. Terry was also looking around, having realized that Havoc was still carrying a shotgun. The problem with that weapon is that he has to constantly stop to aim, which will give us a good chance at getting to him.
"I guess for now, this is a hand-to-hand combat guys," Terry said, before he bolted forward running towards Havoc. Terminal and Jack also followed, running slightly behind Terry. Ten and Max immediately began to run behind some furniture and next to the walls as they tried to make their way around the group and get to Havoc's computer.
Havoc instantaneously threw some ammunition into the socket before he aimed his weapon at Terry. The guys quickly jumped to the sides, all three of them hiding behind furniture and columns to avoid getting hit.
"Think that will stop me?" Havoc yelled, as he began firing in all three directions. The boys could hear the scrapping of the bullets as it pierced and skimmed the edge of their hiding places. Havoc continued to fire, trying to destroy anything and everyone in his path.
Man! What a psycho! Terry thought, as he quickly ducked behind another column. Terminal and Jack were also trying to inch their way closer, but they all knew that there was a huge disadvantage on their side. They had no weapons and Havoc was armed.
However, their plan wasn't completely at a loss...Havoc, as expected, needed to re-load his weapon and the group leapt on the one opportunity they had been waiting for when he did just that. Terry was the first to bolt forward, rushing Havoc and tackling him to the ground. He began punching him in the face all the while trying to knock him unconscious. It didn't work. Havoc pushed himself up, kicking Terry off just as Terminal and Jack began their own personal assault.
Havoc was in no mood to play without his toy though, as he bolted forward and grabbed his shotgun. Terry and the guys quickly ducked on all sides of the room as they hid from another onslaught of bullets.
Ten and Max had just made their way half way through the entire room when Havoc noticed them from the corner of his eye. Realizing what they were up to, he spun around and aimed his gun at the computer, a shattering ring and explosion taking place the moment his fire hit the computer. Shocked, Max could only stand in awe as Ten grabbed and then pulled her to the side, trying to hide from the debris flying all over the place. It's all gone. All the evidence we needed! Max could feel tears well up in her eyes, frustration at the entire situation. We worked so hard! And for what?
Maxine snapped out of her reverie as she realized that Ten was trying to lead them back to the other side of the room where they entered from. "If anything, we need to at least have an escape route!"
"You're right," Max responded, as the two girls once again, stealthily made their way through the fighting to get back to the entrance doors of Havoc's office. Max took one last look behind her as she realized there was one door in the far end of his office. I wonder where that leads to?
Terry was just as shocked as Max was when he saw the computer burst into hundreds of pieces. Everything he had planned all the risks he took, endangering his friends' lives and ignoring Bruce, it all came down to this...failure. However, if life taught him anything, it was to never give up. Snapping himself out of it, Terry realized that as he stood there watching Havoc spin around and destroy the computer, both Terminal and Jack were able to tackle him to the ground. Terry then ran back up to join the fight, just as he watched Jack yank the shotgun out of Havoc's hands and point the weapon at Havoc. As he did though, from the ground and still fighting with Terminal, Havoc struck out his leg as it connected with Jack's hands, and in doing so, caused the weapon to fly across the room.
Terminal meanwhile landed several hard punches to Havoc's head, trying to render him unconscious but the man refused to give up. With amazing strength, just as Terry was two feet away, Havoc managed to kick himself up, pushing Terminal backwards a bit, before Havoc kicked Terminal in the stomach, sending him backwards and crashing into Terry.
Jack had already began charging but Havoc was angry now as he began to fight harder. He matched each punch, kick and throw that Jack tried to land him with but finally, Jack had lost his momentum as he was getting tired. Havoc capitalized on that momentum as he easily tripped Jack before sending him crashing into a nearby wall. Terry and Terminal both grunted as they got up from the ground. Terry quickly looked around and saw Jack on the ground, trying to get up, while Havoc was walking towards them.
Carter looked up just as Havoc was five feet away. The two of them jumped up and moved aside, so that they were trying to surround him.
"Do you really think the two of you can take me?"
"Stop actin' so arrogant you jackass!" Terminal growled. He was already irritated that they didn't take him down yet. Havoc couldn't help but smile at the remark, as he turned his attentions towards Terry.
"I told you before Terry, in the end, I win," then within seconds, Havoc had jumped up, landing only a few feet away from Terminal before he struck him on the back of his head, knocking him onto the ground.
"Carter!" Terry began running towards the two but then Havoc began charging him as well. However, Terry wasn't alone. Jack was by his side in seconds. Jack then threw a punch, and Havoc blocked it. Terminal finally got up from the ground before he came running and then threw a kick, however, Havoc managed to allude the kick. Terry bolted forward and tried to punch. This time, Havoc was able to grab Jack and use him as a shield. Terry stopped in mid-attack but then realized a little too late what Havoc was going to do. Terry watched helplessly as he landed a few feet away but then Havoc used Jack's weight and momentum to push him backwards, thus falling onto Terry. Terminal used a round-house kick from the floor, trying to knock Havoc down but Havoc simply jumped up and moved forward, putting distance between him and Terminal.
Terry and Jack moved up as they both threw punches, Havoc, successfully dodged their attacks. Terminal came running from behind, ready to attack from the back, but Havoc was exceptionally skilled. He heard Terminal's footsteps running forward as he managed to jump up and behind, causing Terminal to lose his balance and collide right into Jack. Terry leapt forward, trying to catch up with Havoc, as he was trying to get his shotgun back. Just as Havoc cocked the gun, Terry swung his leg as it impacted on the weapon, sending it flying a few feet away.
Frustrated, Jack leapt from his position as he ran and began using a very old technique that had challenged his capabilities as a fighter. Ever since that incident in Europe all those years ago, Jack was pissed that he was unable to defend Ten the way he had hoped. He was her older brother. It was his DUTY to protect her and yet he failed back then. Ten consistently told him that he didn't but Jack refused to believe it. What was it other than a failure when an older brother was unable to protect his little sister from the aggressions and perversion of a psychopath?
Jack never used this technique. It was physically straining and Jack found himself unable to fight using it more than two minutes, but the effects were usually successful. Fujian Kung Fu. The main characteristics of this technique and style are a strong stance, short hand movements and the emphasis on evasion and attack.
With his adrenaline pumping, Jack was already mere inches away from Havoc as he started his swift and powerful attacks. Terry and Terminal locked eyes for a split second as they realized that Jack was this talented. Both Jack and Havoc were in a sparring match with their arms and legs as they punched, attacked, and aimed at their opponents with precision speed but the other, dodged and evaded the blows. Havoc found himself impressed to know that Jack had become this much stronger.
"You've gotten better."
"Clearly not good enough."
"Exactly." Havoc then mercilessly attacked Jack on the back of his neck sending him crashing to the ground. Terminal and Terry were on their feet and running to his side as they heard the horrible "pop" when he was hit and then the painful "thud" of his body as it connected to the ground. Once again, Havoc began walking towards his weapon. Terminal refused to let him as he blocked his way, all the while watching as Terry made it to Jack's side.
"You okay?" Terry asked, as he realized Jack was still conscious.
"Ah don't think Ah can do anymore..." Jack panted, as he tried to regain his breath. That fighting technique was powerful, but it was also draining and Jack had only learned the techniques, he never perfected them. Havoc on the other hand clearly did since it looked like he was unaffected in using that technique.
"Stay here. We'll take him," Terry said, as he turned around and began approaching Havoc from behind. Jack's down. We've got to end this now!
Terry then began running forward as Terminal used his foot to kick the weapon farther away from Havoc. Havoc simply snickered, "You think I need that weapon to take you?" Terminal knew that he would have to keep his head straight. He did have an ego a long time ago and it was his downfall. No matter what Havoc says, I won't listen to his bull.
Havoc began dodging Terry's attacks just as Terminal joined him. They both began their assault and both were thrilled when they realized that they had landed several blows that knocked the wind out of Havoc. They increased their attacks and their speed as they soon realized that Havoc was getting tired. They also knew that their momentum and speed wouldn't last and so they had to end what they started quickly, before they too tired out.
Why? Why do they not give up? Why haven't I finished them yet? Havoc racked his brain as he tried to counter-attack them. He was successfully handling two men at the same time but he felt his body weaken. He hated that feeling. He could tell that the entire ordeal he went through with Jack was a workout, but he didn't expect to feel anything after it.
It's because of them! Havoc realized. It was three against one but more importantly, it was three very talented and strong fighters against himself. They all wore him down, and now with what transpired with Jack, he was starting to get tired. The three of them as a team were beginning to seem unstoppable.
Terminal finally landed another punch, but Havoc also stroke and landed one good hit on his temple. Unfortunately, when Terminal stumbled back, his leg tripped on the carpet and he fell to the ground. He felt everything spinning as he tried to recover.
Terry instantly increased his offensive techniques and they worked, but just then, that's when he saw Terminal get hit bad on the head before he stumbled to the ground. For that brief second, when Terry was focused on Terminal, Havoc took advantage as he grabbed Terry by the collar and butt-headed him, before kneeing him in the stomach and then twirling around with a final kick that sent him several feet away and onto the ground.
Terry felt the impact of the hit vibrate throughout his body as he landed hard on the ground less than ten feet from the double door entrance of Havoc's office. Trying hard to get back up, Terry groaned as the pain began to sink into his body. He managed to sit up, clutching his waist as he looked over to where Havoc stood. Damn! He thought, as he saw Havoc had remained where he was but he had a wicked and sinister grin on his face.
Bastard, Terry thought, as he tried to steady his breathing.
"Again Terry, I will drill this into your head until you realize that no matter what you do, I win," and with that Havoc pulled out a dagger that was hidden behind his waistband as he aimed the weapon and flung it at Terry. Terry mentally willed his body to move but the pain was everywhere as Terry looked up and watched as the glint of light from the weapon got closer until a figure leapt between him and certain death.
Terry blinked as he heard Max's scream but everything around him moved in slow motion. He could see Ten's figure swiftly land in front of him from a high jump, as she straightened up and extended both her arms, in a protective gesture, before her body shook from the impact of the dagger. She slowly slumped to the ground onto her knees, leaning forward as she wrapped her arms around her waist. Terry crawled over to her side quickly and held her in his arms, pulling her back so he cradled her in his arms before he saw the dagger embedded in her abdomen.
Max had screamed out Terry's name the moment she stepped back into the room where the guys were. She and Ten had just found a convenient staircase leading right up to the roof and the two of them had returned, wanting to end it so that they could make their escape. The horror of the entire situation was when they both arrived back to where the guys were, Havoc had pulled out a dagger from his waistband and flung it at Terry. Max felt her eyesight blur. All she could do was call out Terry's name as she watched the situation unfold.
Ten had been mentally trying to convince herself that everything would be okay. Terry, Terminal and Jack were fighting Havoc. They would be enough to take him down right? Even though he was far more experienced and skilled as a killer than they were, right? She was so relieved when she and Max found an escape route. She knew Max was still thinking about that computer, but in any battle, you will always suffer some type of loss whether it's in the objective or in persons, and Ten prayed to God that it would remain with that damned computer. However, she too did notice that there was a door in the far end of the corner of Havoc's office when she dragged Max out of there. She knew Max at one point was wondering what was behind that door. Where did it lead to? But she brushed those thoughts aside as they both made their way back to Havoc's office.
Not everything was okay though. Ten quickly assessed the situation as they entered back into the office. Jack and Terminal were on the floor behind Havoc, trying to get up, while Terry lay on the ground, several feet away from them as Havoc flung a sharp weapon towards him. Ten's eyes caught the glint of the weapon that would end the life of her beloved. Her body instinctively ran forward as memories of the very first time they met, the very first time they had a walk together, their first kiss, their fights together, their reunions, their trials and everything they both had been through together flashed before her eyes as she finally placed herself in-between Terry and the dagger, taking the weapon for herself.
Max remained in the doorway, still in shock as to what happened. Terminal and Jack had just looked up when they saw Ten take the hit. Jack felt his body turn numb while Carter finally pushed himself up onto his feet as he grabbed Jack and made their way to where Ten and Terry where.
Terry remained on the ground, holding Ten in his arms as he watched her breath. He traced her jaw line before his hand moved over to where the dagger was still embedded in her abdomen. Cupping her face, Terry tried to calm himself down as his hands were covered with her blood. Nothing in his entire life had prepared him for this.
"Hey," Terry whispered, as he leaned in closer to her. Ten's eyes fluttered for a bit, before she opened her tear-stained eyes.
"Hey," Ten smiled weakly; as she laced her hand with Terry's other hand.
"Why'd you do that?" Terry felt himself choke.
"You said you'd protect me...but...I wanted...to protect you," Ten said as she exhaled. Terry sobbed a bit before he moved his hand over to Ten's abdomen as he wrapped his hand and fingers around the dagger, Terry then calmly looked into Ten's eyes before spoke, "Close your eyes."
Ten did as she was told as she tried to breathe carefully before she yelped in pain as Terry pulled the dagger out of her abdomen in one swift move. He then threw the dagger away before he hugged Ten in his arms.
Havoc had been watching the entire scene and felt his blood boil. He remained silent and watched on but couldn't help but feel jealous and angry at what he saw. When Terry finally removed the dagger, Havoc was about to pick up his shotgun that he spotted on the floor when he suddenly felt a piercing sharp object enter his body. Terry's entire group jolted as they heard his scream as they looked up to see where he was.
Havoc was standing exactly where he was but this time, to their surprise and horror, he had a blade sticking out of his chest. He slowly fell to his knees and behind him, standing tall was none other than Curaré.
"You!" Terminal shouted, as he realized who it was.
Jack, Ten and Maxine looked at her in confusion, but Terry watched her with apprehensive eyes.
From where he kneeled, Havoc began to laugh in heaving gasps as he heard the voices of police officers approach. Terry and his group heard the voices as well. Carter, Max and Jack made their way to the double doors, ready to make their escape. Terry picked Ten up bridal style in his arms as he pulled her closer to his chest, but instead of walking back to his friends he took several steps forward towards Curaré.
Curaré watched him approach as she too, made her way to where he was, leaving Havoc gasping for air behind them.
"Why?" Terry found himself asking again, this time to Curaré, as he tightened his hold on Ten.
She watched him for a few seconds as she glanced at Ten in his arms before she answered, "Take care of yourselves."
"What're you talking about?"
Curaré then picked up a control as Terry saw the numbers dwindle from 30 down to 25 then down to 20.
His eyes quickly returned to Curaré as he silently asked her if it was true.
"Goodbye," was all she said, before she turned around and headed back towards the glass windows that overlooked the lobby below.
"Why?" Terry shouted, as he could hear his friends behind him call for him to hurry up and that the cops where near.
Curaré took one last look at him before she smiled, and although she knew that his friends could not see her face, she could tell that Terry knew. Terry knew she was smiling. "For the life they stole from me," she whispered, "when I was but a child."
"Curaré!" Terry yelled, but she would not join him. Realizing that he could not convince her to live, Terry ran off with his friends as they made their way past the double doors and up the stairs. 15 Seconds! Terry counted, as they made their way onto the roof.
Jack instantaneously jumped up on his card as he pulled on Ace's collar. The dog had been sitting there the entire time and when he saw Terry's group burst through the roof, its instincts told him to move as Jack pulled him onto the hovering card as he shot up into the air. Max and Carter had both jumped on one motorbike together, as Carter revved up the engines before kicking it up into full gear, before he too, zoomed up into the air to follow Jack.
Terry was the last of course with Ten still in his arms. He ran to the bike before he sat her on the front. He then positioned himself behind her as he turned on the engines as Ten leaned back into his arms. Terry then threw the motorbike into drive before he zoomed up into the air. Just as the bike took off from the rooftop, Terry could feel the aftershock of the explosion as he tried to control the bike.
Finally up in the air, Terry looked back to see what happened. Curaré must have planted those bombs in his office. She had planned her own death. She was probably hiding the entire time behind those double doors behind his desk.
Looking up into the air, Terry continued to follow his group but kept a distance at the same time.
"You okay?" Terry asked, as he tilted his head so that he could see her eyes. She no longer looked as pale as she did when she got hit and she wasn't bleeding as much as before.
"I am now."
"You ignored my direct order. Who the hell do you think you are? You didn't even let me help you; turning off the com-link!" Bruce barked, as he paced in front of Terry.
"Again, Sorry," Terry said, with his head bowed as he listened to Bruce lecture him for what he felt like an eternity.
"And one last thing!" Bruce growled, before he headed towards the door. Terry closed his eyes, ready for another whole lecture about how reckless he was. Bruce remained silent, choosing his words carefully. "Good Job."
Terry's head jerked up as he heard what Bruce said. Bruce smiled softly before he left. Ever since the explosion last night, Terry and his friends raced back to Wayne Manor. Terry quickly took Ten to the Batcave where Wayne exploded on all of them. He helped bandage and nurse Ten and the others before he grabbed Terry and demanded an explanation. The explosion, surprisingly, was only on that one floor where Havoc's office was and only a few bodies were discovered in the rubble. Terry knew that it would take a while for them to identify Havoc and Xander, but it was Curaré who they would never be able to identify.
Her words resonated in his mind for a while. They had stolen her life from her when she was a child; no doubt that's when she started preparing for being an assassin; no doubt she had no say in the matter. Her only outlet was death; it was her only escape from a life that wasn't hers. In the end though, Terry was disappointed that they were unable to bring Havoc to justice. It was Curaré who took him down but then again, he remembered what Terminal had said when they were both drinking coffee. Terry was not supposed to copy the old bat's style, he had his own.
And Terry knew that his own personal style included the concept of forgiveness as well as new allies. Terry did bring peace back to Gotham in his own way, even if Havoc and Xander would never be known as the villains that they were. Curaré had also found solace and freed herself, and it was thanks to Terry's role as Batman.
"So like I was saying, we could stop by the new pub later on this week."
"Sorry Chelsea," Blade finally looked up from her magazine, "...got a date with Carter tonight."
"Fine! And here I thought we could double date."
"What?" Blade now put the magazine entirely down.
"Jack called me yesterday," Chelsea said, with a huge grin on her face.
"No way!" Dana was hardly able to keep her excitement as she heard the news that they were now back with the guys.
The girls laughed, absolutely excited, as they continued to gossip about Chelsea and Blade's boyfriends.
A little less than fifteen minutes from Wayne Manor, Max put down her last box, having moved into a new sky rise that was as close as she was going to get to Wayne Manor. She had been awarded two full scholarships; one from Wayne's Company and the other from the city with Commissioner Barbara Gordon's signature.
Soon after everyone recovered, Terry helped her move into her new sky rise before heading off to help his mom and brother move as well. Max was happy for him. His decision to permanently move in with Wayne was going to take time to get use to, and even more so since Ten was staying with him, but it was the right choice. The manor was gigantic, probably 20,000sqft at least, Max thought, the first time she ever laid eyes on it. When Terry discussed it with him, Bruce grumbled and returned to the batcave with Ace, but both Max and Terry knew he'd get use to it to. Once upon a time, he had a family living with him, and Max wasn't referring to his parents.
Terry would continue to be Batman but he wouldn't be as involved as he use to be. The city was more than capable of taking care of itself. Terry was surprised at how well the police had managed to infiltrate the headquarters of Havoc and also bring down almost all his men. To top it off, they had hacked the accounts of several members suspected of illegal activity so even if they didn't have all the evidence needed to prosecute, their investigation would continue. The proper authorities would continue to monitor and keep watch, waiting for them to slip and catch them in any other criminal activities. Gotham City had truly transformed into the metropolis that it was. Batman would occasionally be needed, but his role would dwindle down because Batman was born out of apathy, greed, corruption and injustice. Gotham was anything but that now; for the citizens of Gotham were finally able to handle and take care of the city on their own, even without the help of the Legendary Dark Knight.
Hell, even Barbara was humored when Terry told her he wanted her to start using the Bat-signal that her father used all those years ago. It did bring a smile to her face.
Max couldn't help but smile as she thought about Terry and Ten and wondered what those two were up to right now. They were inseparable. Max walked towards her window as she continued to admire the view. Now, she could begin her new life without having to worry her heart out for her dear friend. Now, they were all free to live.
Bruce was walking down a long hallway as he made his way to Barbara's office. He smiled as he read her title, recalling his old colleague and friend, her father. After knocking on the door, he heard a familiar voice welcome him in as he pushed the door forward. Sitting there behind her desk, Barbara smiled, the warmth of seeing him was reflected in her eyes, "Bruce," she welcomed. He was about to take a few steps forward but then realized who else was there. Tim Drake stood up from him seat.
"Hi Old Man," Tim smiled, as he motioned for Bruce to join them. Bruce couldn't help the genuine smile that spread across his face. For once in his life, he now truly understood what Terry was talking about when he spoke of a life other than Batman.
"Who you calling old?" Bruce grumbled playfully, as he made his way to sit down in front of them. As he sat down, Bruce found himself lulled by the conversations he was having with Barbara and Tim. He hadn't expected himself to call them, let alone ask them to meet. But then again, after everything Terry went through, Bruce decided to give it a chance. Terry had truly outshined Bruce in that perspective. Terry was not the Batman of the past, he was the New Batman. Not the same as the old one, but no different either. Terry was not a replacement of the Legendary Dark Knight, he was the Tomorrow Knight. And at this point, both Bruce and Terry made it to where they lived in a city where Batman wasn't needed as much as he once was.
She scanned the scenery around her, enjoying the cool breeze pass by as her hair softly flowed in the wind. She was standing at the bridge beneath Gotham Clock Tower with Ace keeping her company. She stared at Ace before petting him, remembering how they had both been bandaged up after their mission was complete. She was even more keenly aware that it was the old man who helped save her life when she was back at the Batcave. She had found herself growing a very strange feeling toward him. He could be incredibly annoying, but his soft touch and the concern she saw behind his eyes belied his angry demeanor. He was simply misunderstood and Terry figured him out. She would learn in time to understand him, especially now that they were all living under the same roof.
Ten started walking towards the all too familiar park she and Terry spent their first time together at, talking and learning about each other. She recalled that night so long ago when Terry and her shared their first kiss and he lent her his jacket. She loved that jacket.
Once at the park, Ace whined at her before she smiled, giving him the okay to go around nearby. She closed her eyes briefly, enjoying the calm tranquility before she heard familiar footsteps approach. She smirked. She'd learned to detect his steps versus those of others.
Ten grinned as the steps stopped a few feet away, knowing fully well that he was taking in what she was wearing. Once again, Terry found himself taken away at her beauty. Ten slowly twisted around and smiled at the man who held her heart captive. She was wearing black high heeled boots that cut off at her knee. A black mini skirt that showed off her slender legs and a velvet v-neck shirt that showed just how slender her neck was. Her hair also perfectly framed the entire look, locks of her golden hair framing her shoulders with her crystal sapphire eyes shining with emotion. Terry couldn't help but stare as his eyes bore into her own. Their eyes were locked as another breeze blew by, this time, causing Terry's trench coat to flutter in the air. Ten couldn't help herself as she eyed Terry's physical appearance. Her eyes trailed up his from, as she admired his sexy and mysterious look. He was wearing black boots from what she could tell as her eyes trailed up his blue jeans and black shirt. Both of them smirked at the other, having given an appraisal and approval of each other's countenance. Terry then walked up to her as he wrapped his arms around her slender body, bringing their bodies together and stealing a very passionate yet slow kiss. Finally, the two pulled apart as Ten twisted around and leaned back into Terry's chest and embrace.
"You know, I think I can get use to this," Ten mused, as she began to close her eyes. Terry hummed an approval as his lips brushed her ear before trailing down her neck and resting his head on her shoulder blade.
"I love you," Ten spoke, as she opened her eyes and moved closer to Terry, bringing their lips together. Terry's hand slipped into her hair, his other snaked around her waist as he pulled her closer, deepening the kiss. As the seconds turned into minutes, Terry and Ten reluctantly pulled away as Terry said, "I love you too."
"You know the worst is over now...I feel like this is a dream...a dream I don't want to wake up from." Ten whispered.
"This isn't a dream Ten. This is reality and for once I'm happy with it. As long as you're here with me. I love you and I always will love you..." Terry said, realizing for the very first time in his life, he felt happy being Terry McGinnis as well as finding a sense of contentment with his secret identity. For once in his life, Terry was happy.
Terry and Ten both stared off into the distance, standing in their spot where fate brought them together when they were only in high school. Terry pulled her even closer, their bodies molding into one as Ten wrapped her arms around Terry's already strong arms that were wrapped around her waist. It was all those years ago that Terry felt this way. And it was only with her that he could feel this way. Terry closed his eyes, praying to the sky and stars above that he'd be able to succeed where Bruce failed. He'd be Batman but he'd also have a life. He'd found his soul mate, his kindred spirit and now, he felt more alive than ever.
"The odds were against us, but we've proven them wrong. We'll make it Ten. We'll survive because you are all I need." Ten lifted one of his hands before kissing it. Squeezing his other arm, she replied. "You are all I see."