Three Years Later…
"Max, please DON'T put that in your mouth, it's yucky!"
Allison groaned as she yanked the flower pot filled with dirt out of Max Miguel Reynolds-Clark's little hands. Max's bushy dark hair barely covered his beady little blue eyes as he stared up at Allison with a ring of dirt around his smirking little mouth. He giggled and smiled at his mother. His mouth wasn't the only area covered in dirt. Pretty much everywhere on his clothes and body had dirt on it. Max seemed fairly pleased with himself.
"Choc-lit!" he beamed. Allison bit her lip to hold back a little laugh.
"No…dirty! You need a bath now, Mister Max!" she said, scooping her son up in her arms to the best of her ability with a pregnant stomach.
"No bath!" Max begged. Allison groaned.
"Yes, bath! Then, bedtime!" she said. Max shook his head wildly, his hair flying all over the place. Allison, again, tried not to laugh.
"No bed. Wanna see Johnny first!" Max protested. Allison nodded her head, understanding. Bender was late tonight. He was busy managing records downstairs. Fender Bender' Auto Shop had opened up a second store in Peoria. Ernie moved himself over to that store, and left the original store in his cousin's care. He'd been going over sales receipts and crap like that late many nights recently.
"Fine. You can see Johnny, but you must promise me you'll take a bath and go to bed as soon as he gets home, kay?"
Max gave a little salute and a "O-kay, Mommy!" Allison nodded and grabbed a napkin off the coffee table to wipe off Max's mouth. She then sat him on the sofa in the living room.
"Watch cartoons quietly until Johnny gets home, Max," Allison ordered. Max lied down and stretched out on the sofa to watch whatever was on TV. Allison smiled and went back into the kitchen to get out some TV dinners for herself and Bender (Max had already eaten). As she sifted through the freezer for the two boxes she'd set aside, Allison heard the phone ring. Sighing, Allison shut the freezer again and went to the phone, hanging by the bedroom door. She picked it up and leaned against the counter.
Allison smiled. "Hey, Andy. How was the funeral? Did many of your father's friend show up?"
She heard Andy sigh from the other end of the phone. "Yeah, it was packed. My mom was crying pretty hard, so we ended it early. Leigh and Corinne were pretty hysterical too, so I'm staying with them in Adam's apartment an extra night to help them out. They need it."
Allison nodded. George Clark had suffered a strenuous heart attack while at the gym in Kenosha. He died before the ambulance even arrived. A doctor had told Andy when he came to the hospital that George had also had some hypertension problems.
"But Andy, will you be back in time for Max's birthday party on Saturday?" asked Allison.
"Of course, Al, I wouldn't miss it for the world."
Allison rubbed her stomach and sighed.
"Our boy's three years old," she said after a short wave of silence.
"I know, amazing," Andy said. "How are you doing?"
"Well, sadly, she DOESN'T take after me. She's got John's energy because I think she's throwing a party in here or something. I got NO sleep last night."
Andy laughed. "That's hilarious."
"Bite me," Allison said back. "Try no sleep, taking care of a toddler, AND running a yoga studio!"
Andy laughed more. "Okay, okay, I get it!"
Allison sighed. "So, you're okay with your father?"
"Yeah," said Andy. "I think I've made my piece with him."
"Hey, I saw Liz yesterday outside the church," added Andy.
"No kidding?" Allison asked. She tucked the receiver under her chin so she could dig the TV dinners out of the freezer before Bender got upstairs. "I thought she moved south after you guys broke up."
"She wanted to see me again after I told her about Pop. She might even come down with me for the party, if you don't mind."
"Not at all," said Allison.
Liz and Andy dated for a while after Allison had Max. It was certainly an awkward relationship, one that not even Allison and Bender could really understand at first. Liz was always self-absorbed and Andy was always trying to reinvent himself, as he vowed to do, mainly for the sake of Max. They did have their positive times. Liz loved being in love with the handsome, level-headed boy and Andy loved the vivacious, outgoing Liz and her goofy antics. They even managed to make better people out of each other. Liz taught Andy how to respect himself, and Andy taught Liz how to be a more pleasant person around others.
Of course, they decided to go their separate ways after about a year and a half, promising to remain friends. Liz moved to Missouri with her friend Colleen and managed to snag a job as a local news weathergirl. It was a perfect job for her. She was the center of attention at the local news station and she was a good talker. The last time Allison heard, she had begun dating the sports anchor, who was 8 years her senior.
Andy smacked his lips together, making a popping sound. "Okay. Listen, I have to go see how my sisters are," said Andy. "Say hi to Bender for me."
"Until Saturday, then. Bye."
Allison hung up the phone. As if on cue, she heard the front door open.
"Al!" Bender called from the living room. "He-ey, Max!"
"Johnny!" Allison heard Max say. She shuffled herself out into the living room. Her heart fluttered, like it did every day. Bender was home.
"Max, where's Mommy?"
"Right here." Alison said, making herself visible.
"Al!" Bender said, smiling. "Guess what called me downstairs?"
"Big Bry! He's coming to the party!"
Allison smiled. Brian had been stopping by in Shermer to see his godson less and less as his studies got more and more intense. Allison, Bender, and Max were flying out to meet him in a month for his graduation (magna cum laude). But none of them were aware that he was coming to town. At the end of the summer, Brian was planning to attend the University of Chicago for his graduate studies.
"That's great!" Allison said. Bender walked up to Allison and placed a hand on her stomach.
"How's Veronica doing in there?"
"Yeah, you got a problem with that?" asked Bender.
"Yes!" Allison said. Bender put his hands on her shoulders and kissed her.
"Ew, yucky!" Max squealed from the couch. Allison raised an eyebrow at her son.
"Bath time!" she sang, smiling.
"No bath!" protested Max. Bender laughed. He scooped up Max, brushed a bit of dirt off his shirt and winked at Allison.
"I'll read him the right act, and book 'im" Bender said. Allison nodded.
"Thank you. I'm exhausted!" she said. Bender nodded and took Max into the bathroom. Allison smiled and looked out the window.
All was finally right with the world.
Suddenly, a huge crashing noise, followed by a splashing noise, was uttered from the bathroom. Allison ran into the bathroom as fast as she could. Max was jumping up and down on the toilet dry as a bone and laughing. Bender, however, was sprawled out in the bathtub, scowling, drenched in bathwater.
Allison groaned. Okay, maybe all WASN'T right with the world.
But it was a start.
A/N: Thanks to all those who reviewed and followed this story, and I hope you enjoyed it. My next story should have it's first chapter up by early July. It's gonna be a TBC Kids fic in 2005 and explains what would happen if TBC never made Monday work and their kids ended up in the same detention room 21 years later. Anyways, glad u enjoyed!