Actions

Work Header

A House Filled with Pretty Things

Chapter Text

It was calming. 


The storm, even as the wind whipped through the trees, bending great, big, oak branches. It picked up leaves, sticks, and small stones, crashing them against the windows. The sound it would have made drowned out by deafening booms of thunder. Streaks of light that preceded it illuminating the careful, manicured, gardens of Wayne Manor. It was the only light in the darkness of the storm.


He paid no mind to the rain beating down on him, soaking his red hoodie and the shirt underneath. Rivulets of water run from his soaked curls onto his face, combining with his tears. Yet he was happy. The storm outside matched the one wreaking havoc inside his chest. It was refreshing. Pent up emotions and anxiety finally released as he stands drenched on the balcony adjacent to the master bedroom, his bedroom. He does not try to mask his tears, at last letting them free. 


It’s cold. He came out barefoot. Underneath his feet a puddle of rain. He squelches his feet in it. His clothes cling to his limbs and torso. The wind tears through him. His cold wet skin shivers yet he makes no attempt to escape the cold. The room behind him is warm, but the storm outside embraces him. He basks in it. 


In his right hand he holds a thin pink and white tube. Even in the darkness, he can see the results. It stands out like a neon sign. Pregnant. 8 weeks. He was pregnant. He couldn’t be happier. 

Chapter Text

Dick came home early. He rushed through his cases, leaving behind a mess on his desk and an irate partner. He could care less. He was insistent on getting home early.

He zoomed out of the parking lot and onto slick, wet roads. It had begun to storm at some point. It was hardly worth his attention. He wanted to be home before rush hour traffic hit Downtown Gotham. It had already started to pile up. He drove aggressively, honking his horn when he felt that the cars in front of him weren't moving fast enough. Thoughts of home and family compounded him as swerved in and out of lanes. He needed to get home. He needed to get to Jason.

His mate had not been himself lately. His sadness and self-hate plain for all to see. His last visit to Dr. Leslie Tompkins had dealt a damning blow to his already fragile self-esteem. The three months that followed the faithful visit can only be described as hell.

Jason withdrew. He turned his grief inward and shunned any comfort he and Bruce offered him. Any attempt to talk about it was met with pained shouts and bitter tears. Then suffocating silence, followed by the most defeated look he had ever seen on his mate's face. He wanted to tear his hair out. Rage that it didn't matter. None of it mattered.

His mate. His reason for living had crawled out of his grave, fought death herself, and returned back to him and their alpha mate. How can anything matter after that? Jason was alive. His mate was alive! Everything else was just a bonus. An unnecessary bonus. He just wishes he could make Jason see that!

To think that it was him that started them on this path to hell. It seemed like all of his teammates were having children. First Roy with Lian, then Wally and his twins, and finally Clark and Lois's beaming announcement at their Christmas party. That night when Jason, Bruce and he returned to their Metropolis hotel room, he whispered his own hopes for a child to his mates. Surprisingly Jason had similar thoughts after babysitting Lian. Bruce hadn't raised any major objections to the idea either and soon the three started on their journey to parenthood. Unbeknownst to them that journey would be fraught with heartache and misery.

God! He wished he could go back to that night and take back those words. He didn't need to have kids. He wanted them, sure, but they weren't essential to his happiness. What was essential, were Jason and Bruce and their little family. Tim, Alfred, Cass and Ace filled him with more joy than he could ever have imagined. They filled the void that had been empty since his parents fell. While a child would add to that happiness, it would also not take anything away from the happiness that fills his life now.

As he careened through the winding driveway that lead to the manor, he shook himself out of his morose thoughts. Dwelling on what has already passed isn't going to help Grayson, he thought to himself. Get inside and tend to your mate.

He was just at the mouth of the driveway when he spotted Bruce's Aston Martin. Icy fingers of dread filled him, Bruce's car was parked haphazardly in front to the main entrance. Bruce had an annual budget meeting for the Wayne foundation scheduled this evening, he wouldn't have skipped the meeting. Unless there was an emergency!

Dick jumped out of his car and raced inside. His heart was in his throat. A cacophony of noise rang inside of his head, dizzying him. Please! Please No! Jason! His only clear thoughts.

Chapter Text

It was only by accident that Alfred had noticed something was amiss.

He was re-stocking the bathrooms with fresh towels when he passed by the upstairs' library, when a strong compulsion to check on his only charge tonight gripped him.

Master Tim was completing his school project with Miss Tamara Fox at her residence. Lady Cassandra was also out visiting Miss Gordon and Miss Stephanie. Master Bruce and Master Richard were both working late tonight. The only other person, besides himself, at home tonight was Master Jason.

Poor Master Jason.

He hung the last set of towels in the bathroom and made his way to the library, intent on checking on his charge. Perhaps he could finally persuade Master Jason to eat something. One could only hope.

It was upon entering it that he caught the first glimpse of something gone awry. His poor master, who spent the most of his waking moments, the last few months, in this great study was now nowhere to be seen. The settee that often held Master Jason now lay empty. The throw that used to drape his legs was thrown onto the floor. The tea and sandwiches he's brought in hours ago, sit on the side table cold and untouched.

Steely fingers of fear crawl through his spine as he takes in the sights before him. It all seems innocent enough, but years of armed service set his instincts a blaze.

Master Jason does not just comes to this place to read, but to grieve. The books that lined the walls of this room seem to hold the only solace he could afford. With the doors firmly shut and everyone away at either work or school, he believes his family will not hear the tears he sheds. Nor hear the screams that seem to crawl out of his very soul. Alfred, himself, would have been none the wiser had he not returned home early one afternoon. It had chilled his bones.

His blood once again runs cold as he takes in the empty library. It speaks to him of some sort of horrible tragedy. He runs out, intent on locating his son!

"Master Jason!" He calls out. "Master Jason!"

No answer.

"Master Jason! Where are you Master Jason?!" Yelling he throws open the door to Master Bruce's office as he zooms past. Another favorite spot.

Nothing.

"Master Jason! Master Jason!" He continues to shout. His heart beating frantically.

No reply. Blind panic grips him. No! No! Sweet merciful heaven no!

He had already checked all the bathrooms and Master Jason had no reason to be in Master Tim and Lady Cassandra's rooms. Downstairs was also ruled out, he was there just moments before. He would have heard Master Jason. The cave too, Master Jason had not ventured there for many months following the incident. He has not patrolled or worked on any cases since that tragic night. No, the cave could also be ruled out.

That left only one other possibility, the master bedroom.

Easy old chap. He could merely be napping. He thought, trying desperately to calm himself. It had no effect. He raced to the double door and his old heart nearly gave out when he discovered it was locked. The doors were never locked when no one was home.

"Master Jason!" He yelled out as he pounded on the door. "Master Jason! Please open the door!"

"Sir! Open this door!" He commanded, still banging on the door. No response.

Alfred stopped banging and fumbled for his keys in his vest pocket. It seemed to him like ages had passed before he finally located the right key, only to realize Master Jason had barricaded the door.

It was then that he started crying.

Chapter Text

Three Months Later:

 

He hadn't wanted to share.

When Jason first joined the group at the behest of his mates, he had entertained the idea only because Chelsea, his psychologist, said that he didn't need to share just listen.


So he did.


He listened to omega after omega recalled their own journey with infertility and child loss. Each story sadder than the next. One omega lost six babies to miscarriage before finally throwing in the towel and declaring herself a childless omega. There was a bitter finality in her voice that made his stomach clench and his shoulders scrunch inward. Another spoke about how he and his mate tried for several years only to be met with disappointment after each heat. He knew that feeling all too well. Another spoke about how unfair all this was. There were so many abusive parents out there who couldn’t fathom what an absolute gift their children were. Yet he, who would adore his children, couldn't even have one. Jason had entertained similar thoughts as well.

He listened to each of these stories, his eyes always on the floor staring at his shoes. He stayed as far away from the group as he could, not interacting with any of the other attendees.

Like clockwork when it came time for him to share, he always shook his head and passed the baton on by stating "Not Ready." And like always, the group moved on to the next story.



Yet Jason continued to come to each of their weekly meeting and listen to their stories. He listened to the struggles of those around him and somehow the tightness that wrapped itself around his heart like barbed wire loosened. Their stories which were so similar to his somehow helped him breathe a little clearer. And without any conscious thought on his part, he slowly started to share.


The need to say something gripped him suddenly when they were all taking a breather from a heavy session. His turn was next and instead of passing the baton on, he gripped the metal stick harder in his fist. It signified that he had the floor and he could feel all of the attendees looking at him. Normally he would have hated all the attention but the emotions churning away at his gut held most of his focus.

He cleared his throat and shuffled his feet, uncomfortable and on edge. He very nearly passed on the baton when a pale hand clenched his. Startled he followed the hand up to a tiny face. Warm sympathetic eyes the color of caramel greeted him. It was Justin, one of the attendees who had just experienced a still-birth. The hand in his squeezed harder and he smiled gently.

Jason couldn't explain it. He normally hated when people touched him, especially strangers but Justin like the other people in this group didn't feel like strangers. They spent weeks disclosing their most intimate thoughts and deepest fears, and suddenly the words crawled out of his throat without any effort on his part

He returned Justin's squeeze before letting go and finally turned towards the rest of the group. Chelsea had a soft smile on her face and nodded for him to speak. The rest of the omegas in attendance each smiled encouragingly at him.



"My name is Todd. I'm a detective." He started. There was no way he could explain what his real job was, so detective it was. It didn't matter anyway. The identities of everyone in this room was anonymous per Sanctuary's rules. Batman made sure of that.

A chorus of "Hi Todd." sounded out around him. He smiled.

"My mates and I started trying to conceive eleven months ago. It seemed like everyone around us was having babies. And I never really thought much about it. I was happy for them but a baby never factored in my plans for the future. It was after one of my good friends gained sole custody of his baby that I even entertained the idea of having a child." He began. He furrowed his brow and returned his gaze back to the floor, it somehow helped him recall the details better.

"Being a single dad was hard and I wanted to help, so I'd watch the baby when he had to work late. Or come over to his house to help him cook dinner and make organic baby food." He smiled, recalling the early days with Lian and Roy. "It was nice. She was such a sweet baby, hardly fussy at all. I enjoyed spending time with her. Taking care of her. A couple of months later, a family friend invited us out to Metropolis to celebrate Christmas with them. My mates and I went to visit them. He and his wife were expecting. Around the same time one of my mate's friends had twins, and suddenly the idea of a baby sounded more and more appealing."

Jason could still feel that burning want inside of him as he told this story.


He hated himself a bit for that delusion.


"My mates must have had similar ideas because they were the ones that approached me with baby talk and I agreed. They seemed so happy. They had no idea I had similar thoughts for a while now." He reminisced.

"We started right away. Trying to conceive and at first it was fun." He laughed bitterly. "Then one heat passed, then the next, and the next and nothing. Absolutely nothing. Every pregnancy test came back negative. I started dreading my heats. My mates could tell, but I was determined. So we tried harder. Still Nothing."

"I started getting desperate so I read up all that I could. I researched the hell out of the subject and I started charting my heats. Recording my basal temperature and tried every baby making position Cosmo listed. And even after all of that. Nothing!" His grip on the metal baton turned his knuckles white as he recalled those hellish months.



"After six months of 'trying'." Jason let go of the baton with one hand to make air-quotes. "I finally went to the doctor. She told me that it would take a miracle for me to conceive. I had completely ruined my insides when I was younger."

He tried to take several calming breaths before he could continue. To at least make an attempt at legibility, still the words came running out of him. "Nexium. It was a prescription drug marketed to poor omegas as a heat suppressant.” And one that had quickly found its way onto Gotham’s streets as well.


“What they didn't tell you was that it caused irreparable damage. One in twelve omegas experienced drastic changes in their heat cycles. One in thirty showed signs of blood clots and loss of vision. And finally one in fifty showed signs of infertility after prolonged use."

Jason could feel the looks of sorrow even as he focused intently on his hands as they clutched the baton.

Yep, that was him.


Jason Todd, the omega with the worst possible luck.


"I was on it for two years. It was the cheapest thing on the market and I couldn't afford anything else. I didn't even read the side effects! I just wanted the burning under my skin to stop!" He sobbed. He couldn’t remember when he started crying, but the tears ran down his face, down his neck, wetting the collar of his shirt.

 

A thin hand, Justin's, rubbed soothing circles on his back. It reminded him of his mother, though Catherine was never well enough to comfort him.

That had always been his job.


Still it helped him carry on with the rest of his tragic tale.


"After my doctor's visit, I just shut down. I wanted nothing to do with babies. Kids in general. I threw away all my conception journals. All my charts. Everything. I refused to talk about with anyone, including my mates. They tried to get me to open up but I was dead set on putting all of it past me." Someone passed him some tissues so he took a couple of seconds to wipe his face before continuing. "I threw myself into my work, determined to move on. I acted like I hadn't spent the last six months trying to make a baby. For the next couple of months, all I did was work."

"I didn't even know I was pregnant." He gasped out. "There was no signs or symptoms. I had stopped journaling weeks ago, so I wasn't tracking anything. I wholeheartedly believed that I couldn't ever conceive, so I thought I didn't have anything to worry about." Tears continued to run down his face.


"I went out that night looking for three missing children." He explained, trying his best not to break down then and there.


"My partners and I, we found them in an abandoned warehouse, just on the outskirts of the city. They located and tended to the hostages while I subdued the perpetrator.” It should have been so simple.


“He didn't even hit me that hard. I have had worse over the course of my career, so I thought nothing of it.” Jason sucked in a breath through his nose and let it out slowly, struggling against the veritable tsunami of grief that had reached it’s crest inside of him.


“He was arrested and the kids returned to their families. It was by all accounts a win."


"I didn't even know anything was wrong until much later when the cramping began. I brushed it off at first but soon it radiated all across my back and genitals. I tried to take a bath, hoping that it would help. It didn't." Taking a shaky breath, he braced himself for the most damning details of the entire story.


"That's when I noticed the blood. I think I passed out. When I woke up, I was strapped to a hospital bed. They told me what happened. The child I wasn't supposed to have been able to conceive, I lost. The miracle baby I couldn't have, died before I could even meet him or her."

"Anyway that's my story." A bitter sob escaped unbidden, his lip quivering. Tears running down his face.


Jason passed the baton on, feeling lighter. Hollow. Lost in his own world as the Omega seated on his other side spoke.