A/N: Hey readers! This is my first chapter for this story since I posted the first chapter over a year ago which was when the movie was released. I haven't abandoned it, I've been really busy. I needed a break from the other story I'm writing at the moment. I've had most of the this chapter written for a while and I'm watching the movie at the moment so I thought what the hell I might as well write another chapter and here it is.
Chapter 2: Arrival
Emily's feet slowly hit the pavement as she stepped out of the bus. She turned her head to watch as the bus departed down the street. Looking up, she saw the all too familiar sign that read 'Tallet Gym and Boxing'. She was about to walk up the pavement towards the gym entrance when she heard her name being called.
"Emily?" she turned her head and caught the sight of a familiar woman who was about four months pregnant.
"Aunt Bailey?" Emily asked. The woman nodded and giggled. "Aunt Bailey!" Emily laughed as she ran with all her might towards her aunt. Though she was nineteen years of age, she still liked affection from those closest to her.
"You've grown up so fast!" Bailey sighed as she hugged her niece.
"You certainly haven't changed a bit Aunt Bails," Emily said with a smile as Bailey held her at arm's length. "I'm nineteen. Of course I would have grown up." Emily laughed as Bailey smiled as they hugged again. They were too caught up in their reunion that they didn't hear or see Max call out.
"Bailey, dad wants-" the boy stopped when he saw the exchange between his stepmother and the strange young woman. He backed up and hurried back inside.
"Come inside, I think it's time you met my husband and stepson." Bailey led her niece inside but not without helping her with her bags. Because she couldn't do much heavy lifting because of her pregnancy, she carried the lightest of the bags inside.
Upon getting inside, Emily looked around in awe at what her eyes registered. The gym she remembered from her childhood was now refurbished with all new equipment. "Oh wow! How in the world did you manage to get the gym looking so... cool?" she asked.
"A lot of Charlie and Max's winnings in the fight with Zeus paid for almost everything." Bailey said with a smile.
"But Atom didn't win against Zeus." Emily frowned.
"Well you're right there but all the fans of Atom weren't too happy about Zeus' undefeated win but it turned out there were more Atom supporters then Zeus supporters and they all chipped into the winnings."
"I saw that fight as did everyone at home and we couldn't believe that Zeus won." Emily said in disbelief as she retold of her family's reaction to Zeus' win. "Atom should have won that fight."
"I know but he became 'The People's champion' though." Bailey said reassuringly.
"Well, I suppose that counts for something." Emily thought aloud. Baily smiled and ruffled her niece's hair causing Emily to frown.
"Aunt Bailey!" she groaned. Bailey grinned before turning her head in the direction of the stairs.
"Max! Come down here, please!" she called. A moment later, a young boy around the age of twelve hurried down the stairs but stopped when he reached the bottom.
"Hey," he greeted.
"Hey," Emily replied with a shy smile.
"I'm Max," Max said.
"Emily," Emily said as she introduced herself. When Max looked confused, she continued. "Emily Tallet."
"My niece." Bailey told him.
"I didn't know you had brothers and sisters." Max said his eyes darting to his stepmother.
"Yeah, she's my brother's daughter." Bailey shrugged half-heartedly.
"Oh," was all Max was able to say before turning his eyes back to his new step-cousin. "Well welcome. I hope you enjoy your stay." He smiled.
"Thanks, I'm sure I will." Emily returned his smile.
"Hey, Bails, where's… oh sorry I didn't know we had a visitor." Bailey, Max and Emily looked up to see a man standing at the top of the stairs.
"Come down here," Bailey called. "There's someone I'd like you to meet." The man hurried down the stairs and was at his son's side a second later. "Emily, this is my husband Charlie, Charlie this is Emily, my niece." Bailey said introducing the two, her hands resting on her niece's shoulders.
"Hey, nice to meet ya. I've been looking forward to meeting you." Charlie said with a smile that was somewhat friendly. Emily smiled in greeting. "So, ah, looks like I'm your uncle, kid."
"I suppose so. I'm a huge fan." Emily said as she tried to calm her excitement at meeting her boxing idol.
"Oh, another Atom fan, huh? Nice. Must run in the family," Charlie chuckled as he turned his head in the direction of his son and wife causing Bailey and Max to smile.
"Yeah it must. My dad is a personal trainer. My entire family saw the Atom versus Zeus fight and we were cheering for you every step of the way. I suspect that grandpa put dad through his paces when you both were young."
"He sure did. You know the stories, as well as I do." Bailey said in an almost dream-like state.
"Yeah." Emily nodded as she removed her backpack from her back and sat it at her feet.
"You can put your bags up in the guest room," Bailey said gesturing with her head towards the stairs.
"I'll take her up there." Max said as he stepped forward and grabbed Emily's suitcase. Emily gave him a thankful smile before turning to give her aunt a similar smile and picking up her backpack again before following Max up the stairs.
"You're happy," Charlie said once Emily and Max were out of earshot.
"Hmm, I'm glad Emily came. It'll be good for her and for Max and us. We can be a family." Bailey said playfully as she bit her lip and wrapped her arms around Charlie's neck.
"What about Nick?" Charlie asked as his arms snaked around her.
"It's up to Emily if she wants to live with us. She's old enough to make her own decisions. I'm not holding my breath, but like I said, it's up to her."
Emily looked around her new room as Max sat her suitcase on the bed.
"So, your dad is the famous Charlie Kenton, hey." Emily smiled as she turned to face Max with her hands firmly placed on her hips.
"Yeah, pretty cool huh?" Max beamed.
"Sure is, Aunt Bailey told me in her emails that you use to live with your aunt and uncle. Must have been hard when your mom died." Emily said as she sat down on the bed.
"Yeah, it was. Aunt Debra and Uncle Marvin were more concerned about themselves than what they were about me. Marvin was filthy rich. He gave Aunt Debra everything she ever wanted, except a child. She was unable to have kids." Max told her as he sat beside her.
"That's so sad." Emily said sadly.
"Yeah, it is. But dad was willing to fight for me and after a few court appearances, he got full custody of me." Max smiled as he remembered what he did to get Debra and Marvin to sign custody over to Charlie. He had played up holy hell for his aunt and uncle causing his aunt to snap under the pressure and finally called Charlie to gain custody over his son.
"Aunt Bailey told me what you did. It wasn't the best way to accomplish your goal, you know." Emily said peering at him suspiciously.
"I know," Max, said smugly. Emily scoffed and ruffled his hair. He laughed while Emily smiled which her new friend returned. "Hey, wanna see 'The People's champion'?" he asked.
"Hell ya!" Emily exclaimed as she laughed.
"Come on!" Max said as he got to his feet. Emily got up and followed him from the room and towards Atom's resting space.
To be Continued…