It starts with Tim feeling vaguely off. Nothing he can put his finger on, and he isn’t feeling bad, exactly, but something’s not quite matching up with the status quo for him. But with nothing more to go on than “I feel weird,” he puts it out of his mind.
It’s not unusual for him to be ravenous after patrol; what isn’t so usual is for his hunger to push past starving into nausea. It sneaks up on him until suddenly the odor of the grease they use on their grapples hits him wrong and he finds himself kneeling on a rooftop, heaving.
Damian notices he’s missing after a moment and circles back, and he actually looks like he’s experiencing mild concern for Tim. “The hell?” he says, crouching at Tim’s level but carefully giving him a wide personal bubble.
“Ugh,” Tim says, and wipes his mouth. “I really think I need to eat something now. Do I look that bad?”
“You look like a cancer patient,” Damian says kindly.
“Gee, thanks.” Tim stands slowly, a little wobbly.
“Seriously, you’re kind of pale. Like you might faint.” Damian puts a hand to Tim’s forehead. Tim makes a note to go back to wearing a cowl. “You don’t feel warm...”
Tim rolls his eyes at Damian, not that he can see it. “I’m fine, mother.”
They were on their way back to the cave anyway, and Damian immediately tattles to Bruce. Little twit.
Bruce insists on running blood work along with a number of other tests; Tim has not gotten over his strong dislike of needles and stares at the wall while Bruce draws a couple of vials.
Alfred makes Tim a snack, which makes him feel much better, at least until he returns to the cave to find Bruce frowning at the readouts from the blood test. “There are things here that shouldn’t be,” he says.
“What, like a virus?”
“No, I mean things that shouldn’t appear in human beings. Specifically, blood components that only appear in Kryptonians.” Bruce looks like he isn’t sure whether to be fascinated or disconcerted.
“Uh. Well, maybe it’s because of Conner. And, um, you know.” Bruce knows that he and Conner are dating but it falls under the category of things they never talk about. Tim would really rather not discuss his sex life with an alien with Bruce, and he really would rather not discuss whether or not his bloodwork is off because his body is very acquainted with Kryptonian semen. He wonders whether Lois has to deal with this stuff.
“I think you’d better go talk to Leslie. This is a bit beyond my limited medical abilities.” He hands Tim a file. “Here’s what I know about Kryptonian biology. If Leslie can’t help I want you to go see Superman.”
“Yippee,” Tim mutters. He’s not sure whether discussing this stuff with Leslie is better or worse. Probably better, but not by that much.
Leslie reads over the info that Bruce sent, but she’s also fairly baffled.
“I could just have the flu and the Kryptonian thing is totally unrelated,” Tim suggests.
“Possibly, but I’d rather be safe than sorry.” She has a whole battery of tests she wants to do, although thankfully none of it involves drawing more blood because apparently what Bruce did was sufficient. Eventually she sticks him in a CAT-scan, and when he gets out Leslie and the nurses are all staring at the readouts. It’s probably not a good thing.
“Tim,” Leslie finally comes over. “Congratulations. You’re going to have a baby.”
Tim stares at her. “That’s not funny.”
“Good, because it’s not a joke.” She puts down the printouts and points. “You’re pregnant.”
Tim kind of feels like he’s going to be sick again. “No. No no no.”
“Timothy.” Leslie pushes his head down between his legs. “Breathe. Slowly.”
“I can’t have a baby!”
“Ordinarily I’d agree with you, but apparently you can. And I’d have thought that you would have left can’t behind long ago.”
Tim sits up and glares at her, gritting his teeth. “Get. It. Out. Now.”
Leslie takes a deep breath. “Tim, if you seriously want an abortion, I can’t do it now. For one thing, it’d be a surgery that, to the best of my knowledge, no one has ever done anywhere. I’d need time to research. For another thing, you need to discuss this with your boyfriend.”
Tim’s got a stubborn set to his lips. “You can’t actually make me do that.”
“Actually, no medical precedent means no legal precedent, either.”
“Like the standard would be different in this case,” Tim mutters, but he obviously knows that he can’t actually win this argument. And, oh god, what is he going to tell Conner? Hell, what is he going to tell Bruce?
“Do you really not want a baby, or do you just not want the inconvenience of being pregnant?” Leslie asks, more gently.
“I...” Tim looks kind of bewildered now. “I always thought I’d adopt. Like Bruce.”
“Bruce has a biological kid. Maybe he didn’t have Damian intentionally, but he still loves him.”
“Yeah.” Tim rubs a hand over his face.
“Tim, go home, get some sleep, and talk to your boyfriend, okay? I need to see you back here in two days because I need more information, though.”
Tim nods. “Fine. I’ll come in around one.” He heads out to his bike and pulls his cell out, dialing with shaking hands. He’s not ready to deal with Bruce and his questions yet. Instead he rings Damian’s phone, since he’s the one most guaranteed to not give a crap enough to ask questions.
“What?” Damian snaps. He always answers that way when Tim calls.
“Tell Bruce I’m fine, but I’m skipping patrol tonight.”
“Why are you calling me?” He can almost see Damian’s suspicious look.
“First number in my phone other than Bruce’s,” Tim says.
“That’s not true, Gordon would come before-“
“Later, Damian,” Tim says and hangs up the phone.
Conner’s been working out of Metropolis and living with Tim pretty much full time since it’s just a short flight. He still has his own apartment but he’s rarely there; most nights he’s wrapped around Tim, which is just fine with Tim. Well, except for the whole getting pregnant thing.
Tonight, though, he’s torn between wishing Conner would stay in Metropolis so they don’t have to have this conversation and wanting to get it over with as soon as possible.
The only reason he’s not fidgeting is years of long practice in not giving anything away. Leslie passed on the information on Kryptonians that Bruce had given her after making copies, so Tim’s trying to read it. Some of it he’s seen before, and he does eventually find one throwaway reference to both sexes being able to bear children, but none of it is terribly enlightening.
Bruce calls twice, Dick calls three times. Damian sends him a text message that says “screw you,” probably because Bruce and Dick are both pumping him for information he doesn’t have. Although it could also be because it’s Monday.
Conner appears an interminable hour after work. Tim’s been rehearsing how he’s going to tell Conner in his head, but is there a right way to go about this?
“Hi,” Conner says, and bends down to kiss him. He pulls back after a minute, frowning at Tim. “Something wrong?”
“No - maybe?” Tim says. Good and bad.
Conner peers at the papers Tim has. “You’re reading about Kryptonians? Cool.”
“Did you know that Kryptonian men can get pregnant?” Tim sets the pages on the coffee table and wipes his hands on his pants.
“Really? Wait, so should you be wearing a condom when you top?”
Tim swallows. “The other way around.”
“What other-“ It takes Conner a moment. “Wait, you were sick, and- wait. Wait, you’re pregnant?”
Tim nods, small.
“Be right back,” Conner says, and blurs off at super speeds.
“Well, that could have gone better,” Tim mutters to himself.
Conner reappears a little while later. “Sorry, I shouldn’t have run off like that.” He strides over and gets his hands under Tim’s ass, lifting him up easily. Tim’s legs automatically go around his waist and Conner squeezes his ass and then kisses him with heat.
“You’re happy,” Tim says stupidly, when Conner’s lips move to his jaw and throat.
“Hell yeah,” Conner says. “Um, I mean, are you?” He pauses.
“You don’t care at all?” Conner sounds a little disappointed.
“No, I’m torn both ways. I’d love for us to have a kid. It’s this particular method of getting there that I’m not crazy about.”
“Right, you’d probably try to clone one in a lab.”
“Ha ha. I’ll have to quit Red Robin, and then there’s the coverup, and the recovery afterwards. I have no idea how hard it would be to bounce back into fighting shape after having a kid.”
Conner scoffs. “Please. Remember the Olympics that had that medal winner who was a forty year old soccer mom? If she can do it, you certainly can. You’ve got like twenty years on her for one thing. And Steph obviously managed.”
“Okay, point, but babies take a lot of time, too, right? I’m not just dumping it off on Alfred or whatever.”
Conner kisses him hard again. “I will quit my day job, Tim. It’s not like I need to work, I just...do.”
Tim gives him a half-smile. “You really want this, huh?”
“Are you kidding?” Conner walks them over to the bed and sets Tim down, then climbs on next to him, stretching out. His hand slips up under Tim’s shirt, stroking his stomach. “Our baby? I love the sound of that. It’ll be adorable and smart and strong and amazing.”
“Yeah, well...I’m reminding you that you said that in six months when I want to kill you.”
Tim calls ahead and Conner comes with him when he goes over to the manor. The whole family seems to be hovering around, probably because they all sense something’s up. Tim says he needs to talk to Bruce alone, which most of them aren’t so happy about, but Tim really needs to talk to Bruce first.
“You know, avoiding me by calling Damian is not exactly reassuring.” They’re shut in the study. Tim’s aware that there are probably several pairs of ears pressed to the door, though it’s fairly soundproof unless someone raises their voice. He just hopes no one goes for the surveillance equipment.
“I said I’m fine, though you’ll lose my services for awhile, shortly.”
Bruce’s eyebrows go up. “And why is that?”
Conner grins and wraps his arm around Tim’s shoulder, looking rather proud of himself.
Tim swallows. Telling Bruce is way harder than telling Conner. A lot of him knew Conner would be happy, but he’s always been terrified of letting Bruce down. “We’re having a baby.”
“What-“ Bruce starts to ask, and then Tim can see him putting the pieces together in his mind. “The Kryptonian pregnancy thing? You’re pregnant?” He doesn’t look terribly shocked, but whether it’s because of his poker face or because they really are far too used to this kind of thing, Tim isn’t sure.
Bruce doesn’t glare at Conner, exactly, but he’s got his Batman face on now. Batman doesn’t need to glare. “And what are your plans for this child?” he asks.
Conner gulps. “Well, sir, I-“
“You don’t have to answer that,” Tim interrupts, and stares Bruce down. It’s no one’s business but his and Conner’s.
“Very well. Tim, you’re off patrol duty from now.”
“What?” Tim yelps. “Women used to work in the fields right up until birth and-“
“Back in a period when both infant and mother mortality rates were high-“
“Not because of the work- Leslie said I could exercise-“
“Regardless, your body is behaving in ways you’re not used to, you’re probably still queasy at times, and furthermore, we do not put others in danger.”
Tim’s hand flies to his stomach and he looks wounded. “That’s unfair. I’m armored.”
“Not a guarantee or you wouldn’t have as many abdominal scars as you do. This isn’t up for debate, Tim. You are welcome back once you’ve recovered and I’m happy to have you do support work, perhaps with Oracle, but no cowl.”
Tim shuts his mouth. “Fine.” He’s not agreeing, exactly. Just acknowledging. Until he can think of some better arguments or convince Bruce he’s the obedient son. One of those.
He’s sure the rest of his family is still eavesdropping - or at least attempting to - so he moves to the door on light Robin feet and jerks it open suddenly.
Dick and Steph definitely had their ears against the door. Damian is feigning disinterest but he’s obviously at least somewhat involved since he’s hovering right behind them. Tim decides he’s going to torture them a bit longer, just for listening in.
“C’mon, Conner, we’re going to need stuff,” Tim says. “Let’s go shopping.” He heads towards the door, ignoring the clamoring from Steph and Dick.
“Did he just say ‘let’s go shopping?’” he hears Steph ask incredulously.
They don’t actually buy much because it seems like tempting fate to do so very early, and Tim is pretty sure he’s seen some stuff in the manor’s attic anyway.
They do come home with a rocking chair (which Tim seems rather enamored of anyway, something about Zen Buddhism and repetitive motions) and a soft baby blanket. Conner catches him stroking it thoughtfully after dinner.
Conner wraps his arms around Tim from behind and rests his chin on Tim’s shoulder. “You really are a wonder boy.”
“Uhmhm?” Tim responds vaguely, though Conner can picture the slight arch of his eyebrow.
“You’re pretty wonderful, too.” He turns his head to nuzzle Tim’s neck. “Is it weird that I always wanted a traditional family? Mostly traditional, anyway. Wouldn’t trade you for anything.”
“Not that weird, though I promise traditional families are overrated. You’ve got a great family in Ma and Pa Kent.”
“Yeah, but I didn’t get to grow up with them. I was just...all of a sudden sixteen and I didn’t know anyone, really.”
Tim turns around and wraps his arms around Conner, squeezing. “We’ll be a great family of two totally normal superhero dads to our quarter alien, quarter super criminal, half clone baby.”
Conner grins down at Tim and kisses his nose. “That’s what I like to hear.”
None of Tim’s siblings has boundaries, and Dick, Steph, and Damian in combination tend to egg each other on to greater heights of inappropriateness. So Tim’s not entirely surprised to find that during his latest appointment with Leslie they have broken into his apartment, disabled his security, and are going through his things.
“Are we sure he’s even still sick?” Dick’s asking Steph.
“He told Bruce he was seeing Leslie today. Their last two appointments have taken appalling amounts of time.” Tim had, of course, noticed her following. She’s gotten much better over the years but she’s never going to be able to follow him without Tim being aware. “And I really don’t understand why he’d be there so often if-“
“Ahem,” Damian says, because he’s the only one who’s noticed Tim standing in the doorway.
Tim gives them a look he learned from Bruce, like he’d be mad but it’s not worth the effort, but they’re still in big trouble. “Today was routine, and I’m not sick,” he says. He’s tempted to continue torturing them, but he’s also smart enough to recognize that’s partly an avoidance tactic. He’s pretty sure at least two of the three of them are going to be total bastards about this, he’s just not sure which two yet.
“You’re not sick? Despite the barfing and didn’t you almost pass out the other day too?” Steph crosses her arms over her chest. She’s never tolerated his bullshit very well.
“I have no bacteria or viruses, nor are there any other foreign-“ he pauses. Well, technically he supposes the baby is a foreign body, sort of. Not a hostile one, though.
He sees three sets of eyes narrow in near unison at his hesitation.
“Tim,” Dick says firmly.
“It’s a baby,” Tim blurts. He’s never felt socially awkward around Dick and Steph the way he always did around his peers, but right now he feels a little like that. “I’m having one, I mean. A baby. It’s Conner’s fault because he’s Kryptonian.”
Steph’s eyes are a little wide and she lets out a giggle and then claps her hand over her mouth, looking embarrassed. Damian doesn’t react as strongly but his lips are parted in surprise.
“Wait,” Dick says. “Are you saying you’re pregnant?”
“Yes.” Tim feels relieved to have gotten it out. Steph’s still gaping, but Damian’s shut his mouth and is smirking now. He probably thinks it’s his opportunity to get a leg up on Tim or something.
“That’s great,” Dick says, once he gets around his own shock. “I mean, that’s great, right?”
“I don’t know, artificial means would have been preferable,” Tim says, and then relents. “But yeah, it’s pretty great. Although if we ever do this again, Conner’s having the kid.”
Dick wraps Tim up in a bear hug because he knows Tim’s defenses don’t apply to him. After a moment, Steph comes over and wraps her arms around both of them. “You’ll let me help?” she asks, and there’s a lot underneath that question.
Damian makes a disgusted noise. “If you three are done celebrating the fact that there’s going to be another Drake in this world, now that the mystery is solved, perhaps we ought to go do some real work.”
The three of them untangle themselves. “I suppose Damian’s right,” Dick says. “There’s that problem with tracing the arms shipments-“
“I think I might have a solution to that,” Steph puts in. Tim waves them off - he’s been working on something unrelated with Bruce and while he’s been dropped off the more dangerous parts of the work, he has his own research to do for that.
Tim isn’t sure what the etiquette is for announcing a pregnancy, but he doesn’t think he can deal with calling all of the ex-Titans individually. But in retrospect, maybe he shouldn’t have let Conner compose the email.
Bart appears about five minutes after Conner sends the email. “You’re really having a baby?” he asks, eyes bright.
Tim nods, which sets off a barrage of questions. “Is it a boy or a girl? Can I hold it? What’s its name? Do you really want maternity clothes?”
Tim sputters and turns to look at Conner, who just grins, unrepentant. “No, I don’t, I’ll figure out my own clothing situation. We don’t know if it’s a boy or a girl for another couple of months, we haven’t had a chance to talk about names, and yes, once it’s born, you can hold it.”
Conner and Bart order a pizza and start playing the Xbox; Tim goes to see what, exactly, Conner said.
Hi, Titans! This email is to anounce that Tim and I are having a baby.
“Spell check your emails,” Tim reminds Conner for the hundredth time.
Kryptonian dudes can get pregnant, apparantly. And can get other dudes pregnant. But we’re pretending the baby is just going to appeer in 6 months cause Tim is really kind of pissed about it.
You should all bring maternity clothes for congradulatory gifts because in a couple of months Tim won’t be able to wear fancy desiner suits.
Tim and Conner
Tim glares at the back of Conner’s head. “It’s really not funny, Conner.”
“I thought it was pretty hysterical.” Conner shoves what appears to be an entire slice of pizza in his mouth.
Cassie’s a few hours behind Bart, but she also doesn’t check her email constantly. She holds up a copy of Conner’s email. “Explain.”
“Actually, all jokes aside, I think Conner’s explanation pretty much covers it,” Tim says, letting her in.
“Yes, I thought we’d covered that.” Tim hates his life right now.
“Yes, seriously, no, it’s not a joke, no, I can’t prove it.”
Cassie yanks up his shirt and squints at his abs. Tim lets her because it seems like the fastest way to get her to stop being weird. “Your six pack does look less than perfect for once.”
She narrows her eyes at him. “So no joke?”
“I understand why you think Conner might be pulling your leg, but would I go along with this particular one?”
Cassie considers him a moment. “Probably not.” Then she grins. “Ohmygod, you’re going to have a baby!” She gives him a big hug and then goes over and gives Conner one, too.
“Actually,” Conner says, “We were hoping the two of you would be its godparents.”
Bart beams. “Really?”
“Of course we will!” Cassie answers and hugs Conner again.
Tim leans against the wall and allows himself a very small smile. He doesn’t feel old enough to be a father, and he really wishes his dad was around, but Conner’s here and going to be a great dad, and Bruce is a phone call away and he has great friends and family. Except for Damian, who keeps laughing at him, but there’s on in every family, right? Actually being pregnant is going to be a pain in the ass but he’s absolutely sure that this is what he wants.