Author's Notes:Viper belongs to Pet Fly productions (the car to Dodge). All the original characters belong to their creators at Pet Fly.
- Epilogue -
"Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday, dear Ronnie! Happy birthday to you!" Together, Julian, Mara, and Joe lay the lit cake on the dinner table.
The twelve-year-old was beaming with pride and joy.
"Make a wish," Mara prodded her daughter.
Ronnie closed her eyes a moment then blew out all twelve stubborn candles.
"Hurray!" The family clapped.
Lucy giggled from the baby chair, reaching a hand for the vanilla frosting before Mara intercepted her.
The white cake had a picture of the Viper in Defender mode with the red cursive letters, "Happy 12th, Ronnie!"
Julian mildly disapproved, thinking Joe could've come up with something a little less conspicuous.
Every child has to have a hero, Joe explained. And what better hero than the one her very own dad created?
Ronnie cut into the double-chocolate cake and put a piece on a paper plate. "Have a piece, Dad."
Julian eyed her. "You didn't plant one of your inventions in it, did you?"
Ronnie smiled innocently. "Of course not! I saved that for Joe's piece."
Joe blinked, surprised, midway through pouring glasses of milk.
Julian laughed softly.
"You certainly have quite an influence on the kid," Joe remarked.
"Me? You're the former thief. I'm just an inventor."
"And which is more dangerous?"
Mara tried to restrain her smile.
Julian looked her way and laughed.
They all broke into laughter.