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Hope Once Lost

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Jason Todd stares at the stick in his hand. His brain is having a hard time translating what the stick says. What all ten of the sticks littered around the bathroom say.

He's been staring at it for almost half an hour, trying to convince himself his eyes aren't making things up. Waiting for the one blink that will finally change it from what he wants it to be to what is actually displayed on the stick.

It can't be.

It's impossible.

How many times has he hoped and prayed and cried for this? How many years have passed since he realized that the circumstances of his death and resurrection had broken him fundamentally and taken his ability to carry new life within him?

Jason remembers the day he got the news of Dick's pregnancy. The pain and jealousy he had felt at it all. The reminder of what he would never have.

But here he is, just a year later. Staring down at a bunch of pregnancy test home kits.

Jason feels the twin urge to laugh and cry as his hand caresses his lower abdomen, where the new life, his baby, is nestled safely and growing. He can feel the tiniest hint of a baby bump, and that is what finally does him in.

Laughter bubbles up from his belly, even as tears spill from his eyes.

He's going to have a baby!

Him. Jason Todd.

After all the shitty hands that life has dealt him, it seems like life is finally giving him a break.

Jason is still lost in the feeling of it all when the bathroom door bursts open to reveal his Alpha, filling the door with his massive frame.

Slade only pauses long enough to see the tear tracks on Jason's face before he's gathering the Omega into his arms and cuddling him close.

"It's okay, Kid. I'm here." Slade's voice is a soothing rumble. "I've got you."

Jason lets himself be held in those strong arms that have loved and supported him through everything in his life since he got together with Slade two years ago.

He breathes in the rich scent of his Alpha, his Omegan instincts calmed by his Alpha scenting him.

His Alpha picks him up like he weighs nothing, and carries him into his latest nest.

It suddenly occurs to Jason why he has been so obsessed with building nests lately, and why he has been so reluctant to leave their den. Hell, most days he doesn't want Slade out of his sight.

Jason hasn't been out on patrol in months. Slade had gone out in a Red Hood costume a few times, just to quell any rumors about the Red Hood's death, because Jason couldn't bear to leave the den.

"Slade," Jason starts, unable to keep the news to himself a moment longer. He wonders what kind of picture he makes. Slade hasn't asked why he's crying. "I'm pregnant."

Slade's response is to let out an amused rumble. "Finally figured it out, huh?"

"You knew?!" Jason asks shocked. "Why didn't you say something?"

"Kid, all your symptoms pointed in one direction. I thought it was amusing that you never thought that you might be pregnant."

Jason stares at his Alpha, wondering if the man has suddenly gone senile. "I'm barren. You don't expect me to jump to pregnancy whenever I'm ill."

"You were also dead, Jason. Buried too. But you shook that off," Slade helpfully points out. "I don't think getting pregnant would be what's impossible."

"Well, when you put it like that," Jason mumbles.

Slade only laughs. "What finally tipped you off?"

He can feel the way his face heats up at the question, even as his hands immediately find the evidence of their baby growing in Jason's body.

"I have a baby bump."

"That's what it took?" Slade's voice is incredulous, even as he hugs Jason tighter. "A bump. I'm surprised you didn't dismiss it as an effect of weight gain."

Jason blushes fiercely. He had when he'd first noticed it. But his body burns fat too quickly and no other part of his body seemed to be getting the memo.

"You did, didn't you?" Slade laughs, not even reacting when Jason smacks him on the shoulder. "I've never seen anyone so intelligent and oblivious as you." He presses a kiss on Jason's forehead. "Never change, Jason."

As glad as the thought of finally having a kid makes him, Jason can't deny how much life likes to fuck him over.

"What if something happens?" he asks quietly, fear dripping from his words. "What if my body is not strong enough to carry to term and I miscarry?"

"Kid, we made it through the first trimester. The risk of that happening is greatly reduced now," his Alpha says in a soothing voice, running his hands down Jason's back. "Worrying never solved anything. Just listen to your instincts and doctors. We'll do all within our power to make sure they're born as healthy as possible."

Jason feels a dopey grin spread over his face as he thinks about what a kid born from the combination of his and Slade's genes will look like.

They'll probably be the biggest people in every room they enter when they're grown up. Would they have golden blond hair, like Joey, or silver blond hair like Slade, or even Jason's black tresses? Will they have Jason's pit-tainted eyes, or his original blue eyes? Or will they inherit Slade's unique blue?

Either way, he knows their kids are going to be the most perfect kids ever born and Jason cannot wait to meet them.

"We're going to have a baby," he repeats, a hand cradling his bump.

Slade matches his grin with a dark and hungry look.

"We are," he tells Jason, just before he pulls him into an intense kiss.

After a few rounds of celebration, with Slade's hand never leaving his belly and telling Jason what a great mom he's going to be, Jason feels heady and light-headed with pheromones. But he still needs to know.

"Are you okay with this?" Jason asks breathlessly. "The baby, I mean."

"Why wouldn't I be?"

Slade doesn't even sound out-of-breath... The bastard.

"You didn't exactly sign up for a new kid," Jason points out.

When they'd gotten together, Jason had come clean to Slade, told him that he couldn't have kids. Slade had kindly informed him that he already had kids and wasn't looking to make more.

But the circumstances have changed. Jason is pregnant and Slade may not be looking for a kid … but Jason won't give this baby up for anything in the world.

Not even for Slade, despite how much Jason loves him.

"Kid, I've known you were pregnant for two months now. If I didn't want to be here, I'd be long gone. Even before you had a chance to suspect why."

Slade intertwines his fingers with Jason's and brings them to his belly.

"I told you I wasn't looking for more kids because I didn't want you to think I wanted a broodmare. I want this. You, this baby, this family and everything it represents. This pack. I want all of it, and I especially want them with you. I want to go on this adventure with you, and this time, I promise you that I'll be better. That is what I signed up for."

Jason doesn't know why he bursts into tears, but he's happy to have his big, strong Alpha by his side to hold him through it.

This is the best day of his life.