[AN: Ahem. I GOT MY FUCKING DRAFTS! Okay sorry I'm done; now we're back in business! I want to welcome you to the one that started it all. This was the first section of this story that I wrote and it is probably the one that's been edited the most. It takes place a few months after graduation and Max and Terry's relationship has continued to grow albeit into a slightly gray area, at least for them. Enjoy!]
Max is dating a new guy. Little Miss "slag relationships" has been regularly going on outings with the same guy for two and a half weeks now. His name is Dante. He's tall and muscular and he's some sort of big shot prodigy hoping to sign a deal with Wayne Enterprises. Two minutes after he'd left Bruce's office Bruce had commissioned Max to figure out a way to peek into his company's financial history and somehow that turned into Dante taking Max to all sorts of balls, parties, and banquets like she didn't have a life before he swooped in. Sprawled on his back in (regretfully his own) bed Terry's lip curls as he thinks about how he'd like nothing more than to take the silver spoon from this guy's mouth and replace it with his fist.
He turns over and punches his long abandoned pillow into a more comfortable position, releasing a fraction of his frustrations before running down the list of things he hates about Dante (again). He hates how Dante sends her red roses "just because"; if he really knew anything about Max he'd know that she thinks roses are cliché, and would prefer that you not send her flowers at all if you're just going to send her that generic standby. He hates how Dante kisses her knuckles when he greets her because he knows that Max likes it better when you kiss the inside of her wrist; she thinks it's more romantic and intimate. He hates how Dante insists on treating her like she's so slagging fragile when in reality she could kick his ass without breaking a sweat. He hates how dismissive Dante is of Max's talents, like he could've hacked his military-grade security and sent a detailed report of the past four years of his company to his boss while his date was off finding him a glass of champagne. Terry especially hates the fact that it's the first night in two months that Bruce has let him off before three and he's at home alone because the only person he'd spend a night off with is out on a stupid date with a pompous jackass and- most importantly- what the hell kind of charity benefit lasts until four in the morning?
He turns again and faces the window. The blinds hide him from the light of the moon and in the safety of the darkness Terry allows himself to acknowledge why he really hates Dante. It's because for the first time in a long time, Terry's not drifting to sleep with Max curled around him (which is now the only way he can sleep and so his current bout of insomnia is Dante's fault too). It's because the only time Max ever wore a skirt for him it wasn't even really "for him". It's because Max loves peaceful nights like this where he's not injured and there's no one in need of rescuing, so she gets Terry all to herself. It's during nights like this that they play whispered games of truth or dare that start out silly but always involve the answering of questions like What's the dirtiest fantasy you've ever had about me? and the execution of dares such as Show me how you'd touch me if we were naked right now. Terry hates Dante because he wants to be Dante. He wants to be the man that Max deserves, but instead he's just the man who hopes that one day loving her will be enough.
He finally closes his eyes and decides he'll try willing himself to sleep when his phone buzzes. Grumbling, he manages to find and answer the phone without opening his eyes. "What?" he barks at Bruce, because Dante may be a dreg but he hasn't forgotten that Bruce deserves blame in this too.
"Well someone's in a bad mood," comes the reply. But it's not gravelly and serious. It's soft and beautiful and Terry's eyes shoot open immediately.
"I thought you were on a date," he says to Max, his tone softening considerably.
"I was. I thought you were on patrol."
"I was. It was quiet so Bruce let me off early." Terry sits up and begins searching for his shoes in the darkness. "I'm on my way over."
Max laughs softly. "Open your window McGinnis."
Terry stops and turns to his window. "No way," he says, more to himself than to her. Leaning over and pulling up the blinds he's met with Max, who's sitting calmly on the ledge grinning at him through the window.
"Are you going to let me in or do you want me to sleep out here?" Still stunned he hangs up the phone and stands up, tossing it on his desk before sliding the window open. He offers her a hand, which she takes only as a formality; they both know she can get in on her own. As she turns to close the window behind her, Terry finds his voice.
"What are you doing here?"
She shrugs as she kicks off her shoes. "You always come to my place. It's only fair that I make the commute every once in a while." She walks to Terry's bed and flops into it. Terry stares openly at the way she's sprawled in his bed like she owns it and feels an overwhelming sense of relief. She's here. She chose him. Take that Dante.
Once Max is settled she continues. "Dante's charity benefit was apparently just an excuse to palm my ass all night and when I told him to back off he said that he'd spent so much money on me in the past couple weeks that he practically owns my ass and could touch it if he wanted. So I told him to take me home-"
"What's his address?"Terry growled.
"And," she continued, ignoring Terry's interruption. "When we got there he grabbed me to stop me from getting out, so I hit him." Max says this last part proudly and Terry can't help but smile.
Terry shakes his head, unable to stop smiling as he falls into bed beside her. "That's my girl," he says pulling her into his side.
"I wish you'd told me you had the night off," she says, her voice slightly muffled. "I would have come over sooner."
"It doesn't matter," he says inhaling the scent of her shampoo. "You're here now and since Matt and Mom are gone until tomorrow night you get to make me breakfast to make it up to me."
Max snorts. "I wondered why I came home to any empty apartment."
"Next time I'll give you a heads up," Terry laughs.
"You'd better," she responds and it takes all of his willpower not to kiss her until they're both out of breath and touch her everywhere and tell her how much he loves her and how the thought of anyone else touching her made him mad enough to kill, but instead he whispers "Dare." As she thinks one up he manages to lock away his green-eyed monster.
At least, until the next time she goes out.