Wayne Manor, Gotham
Early Fall, 2061
It was family dinner weekend at the Manor again and Terry was wondering if he should have cancelled this month. It had only been two weeks since they had all sat around the table and it still felt too raw to have them all back so soon. The gaps at the table glared at him, taunting him with the losses their family had suffered. Even though there were new faces around the table as well.
Two weeks ago they had buried Tim and his wife, Mandy after a horrific car accident had taken their lives prematurely. They were not the only absent faces from the long table, Bruce had died only four years after his reconciliation with Dick from a fourth heart attack. Barbara and Sam had been lost a year before that, along with over a hundred other people, when Mad Stan had made a major miscalculation with a new explosive. It had cost him his own life as well, but that didn't make those left behind feel any better. Especially Terry, who felt that he should have been able to do something – he was Batman after all.
Looking around the table, Terry tried to cheer himself up. His eyes lit on Matt and his bride of a year, Beth. 'Gads, they are worse than Dana and I ever were,' he mused, involuntarily amused as the two cooed at each other. Tim's two kids, Jan and Rick were more subdued along with their spouses, but it seemed they also weren't as troubled as he was. In fact, they appeared to be proportionately happier the more time they spent with the group. Max and Dana were chattering away together in their old way, which meant that no-one who didn't know them from before high school could understand a word. Terry had to grin at the look of total confusion on Max's husband's face as he attempted to follow at least part of the conversation between the two women. 'Give up pal, it's a lost cause.'
Lastly, his eyes drifted over to his mother and Dick. The two had become very close since Dick had started to attend the family dinners, and then when he had retired and moved back into the Manor – things had developed a bit more. Terry still wasn't sure how he felt about Dick, who was in some ways like his older brother, dating his mother. It just felt – odd. 'And very hillbilly...' He mentally slapped himself. 'Don't go there, McGinnis – just don't go there.'
Terry's eyes were drawn back to his wife as made a surprised sound and laughed as she rubbed her protruding tummy soothingly. "Darn kid is going to be a scrapper," her eyes sought out his and she smiled. "Just like their Daddy – eh, Ter?" He couldn't contain his pride or happiness at that and grinned widely. That is when he realized life was a never-ending cycle. Ups and downs, joy and despair, it was all part and parcel of being. You lost family members over time and gained new ones as you went on and they didn't have to be related to you by blood – only by ties of the heart. He knew that because he had been the one to show Bruce.
He raised his glass suddenly and cleared his throat to get the attention of the entire group, "I would like to propose a toast." All around the table glasses were raised along with curious eyebrows. "I would like to offer a toast to Family. To those that are not here yet," Terry motioned to Dana's stomach, "and to all present and accounted for as well as those who are gone. Barbara and Sam, Bruce, Tim and Mandy – family to us as well as to each other if not by blood, by the heart. We love and miss you. Peace."
Glasses clinked together and there were damp eyes all around as there were a few quiet "Hear, Hear!" cries heard. Dana moved to where her husband had been sitting to brood and slid onto his lap as best she was able with her new figure. She didn't say anything and neither did he; they just sat cuddling together amid their boisterous family.