This takes place after "ALL the B-Day Sex", but before "Damian and Klarion's Magical Cat Adventure".
Damian peered moodily up at Steph over the frames of his glasses. She was wearing one of her highly specific smiles, and he couldn't quite decide what it meant.
"Absolutely not," he said. "I have no desire to know anything."
"Too bad," she said cheerfully, her smile only widening. That smile didn't bode well for his productivity level for the rest of the afternoon. "I'm going to tell you, anyway."
"Stephanie. I'm assuming that your eyes are failing you, because I would hope that it's completely obvious that I'm busy." Damian gestured widely around himself and the desk, at the literal piles of papers he was working his way through.
Tim had come by earlier, and it was obvious that even though Stephanie had forgiven him, Red Robin was still furious with him. He understood, of course; Steph had spent a full month living with Tim, and that was All Damian's Fault. They'd had a begrudging respect for each other on the best days, but not a lot of love, so hurting Stephanie hadn't endeared his older brother to him in any way. Steph hadn't opted to tell Tim about her pregnancy, her baggy sweatshirt mostly concealing how big she was getting, so Damian had held his tongue. If she'd wanted him to know, she would have told him herself.
Keeping such an obvious secret from Drake made him feel just a little bit smug; wasn't Tim supposed to be the only real detective left in the family? But he'd learned that when it came to Stephanie, Tim had never had a clue. The smugness didn't quite erase his irritation, though. Tim had brought paperwork with him, justifying that if Damian was going to spend months convalescing, he needed something to occupy him.
Tim had more or less thrown the paperwork at him when he'd smirked and told him that Steph kept him very occupied.
"I can see, D," she said, standing over him with her hands on her hips.
"Then, in the interest of my father's company, I must ask that you let me finish what I'm doing."
"Like Tim would ever let the company go under," Steph said, rolling her eyes. "And he didn't say when you had to have that stuff done."
Valid points, both. But, he wasn't sure how long it would take him to complete the work. For the time being, he couldn't count on his old stamina and energy levels. He wasn't sleeping through entire days anymore, but he still needed upwards of twelve hours' sleep to function. A few weeks ago, he could have easily pounded out this work in a day and a half, maybe two, and still feel rested after a four hour power-nap. Now, he was certain that this work would have to be spread over a week, and that annoyed him. Stephanie told him again and again to cut himself some slack, but slack-cutting wasn't something he knew how to do. He could forgive others-a little bit, sometimes, with a select few-but he'd been trained to be expect a lot from his body. It had rarely failed him, and now that it was, he couldn't help but feel a little resentful.
Even his good days were frustrating, because they weren't good enough. The bad days were worse, because he would tell himself that he would get a certain amount of things done. He'd get halfway through something, feel his energy start to flag, then wake up six hours later, face-first on his desk with a blanket spread over him. Sometimes, Steph said that she'd tried to wake him up, but couldn't. That always made it worse.
Steph slipped his reading glasses down the bridge of his nose, carefully taking them off.
"As much as I like these," she said, folding them neatly and setting them aside. "They've gotta go. You're nearing critical stress mass."
"I don't have time," he sighed, scrubbing hard at his temples. He didn't get headaches often, but when he did they were blinding. Oh, for the days when his body had unnaturally healed small ails like that one without a fuss.
Steph took his hands, kissing his knuckles. "Five seconds? I swear it'll only take five seconds."
He grumbled low in his throat. For once, it wasn't just requisite show. He did want to get things finished before he tired out unexpectedly, and Steph had a habit of distracting him. Damian had been powerless against post-coital afterglows even before the broken deal.
"Fine," he sighed. "What do you want to tell me?"
She pulled up her sweatshirt, pressing his hand to her stomach.
"I think the kicks have gotten strong enough for you to feel," Steph said, grinning. "Thought you'd wanna know."
Damian sat up straighter, touching her belly with his other hand, too.
"Really?" he asked, before he could tamp down his own excitement. He could usually keep it under wraps, cool and collected as a Wayne ought to be, but he'd been waiting for this. Steph had said that she'd felt movement for weeks, but it'd been too faint for him to feel. She'd laughed and said that he would regret wanting to feel the baby's kicks as soon as he got rudely woken up by one, but he disagreed. At least, in concept.
It was one thing to see the changes in her body, but another entirely to grasp the concept of them being due to a child. He'd never been around a pregnant woman, much less one carrying his baby. He couldn't help his fascination-he was still trying to wrap his head around the idea. This was round two for Steph, so the milestones weren't as big for her.
But for him, when he felt a nudge against his palm for the first time, it was all new. A child, his child, the blood heir to the Wayne legacy. A baby who hadn't been created, and who would have two parents. This was incredible to him, and the fact that it had been a complete accident made it even more amazing. He had been bred for a purpose, an unnatural thing, but his child was just going to be born. He would place no grand destiny on it. He'd allow him or her to decide who they were, and not dictate to them an ultimate goal.
He would even allow it if they didn't want to fight crime. Being his child was enough. He didn't need to be appeased any further.
"Can you feel it?" Steph asked, and he had to wonder how long he'd just been touching her, silent and awestruck.
"Yes," Damian said, when he could find his voice. "I can. You really are pregnant."
"You're lucky I'm going to ignore that, because my blood pressure is high enough as-is. Putting your face through a wall wouldn't be good for me. This is officially three weeks earlier than anyone could feel my baby's kicks the first time around," she said dryly.
"Well, of course," he scoffed. "It has half of my genetics. Our child will be a born athlete."
"Greeeeat," Steph sighed, then leaned over and kissed the top of his head. "If I bruise up, I'm taking it out on you and your genetics."
"I would expect nothing less," Damian said, pleased. She kissed him again, and all that important paperwork was abandoned.