Tony was still groggy with sleep when it had happened and he had to admit that at first it had frightened him. He was lying on his back in bed, the covers slung low on his waist, when suddenly he felt an odd fluttering sensation in his stomach. His sleep-addled brain couldn’t fathom what it could possibly be at first (let it be known that Tony Stark was not a genius before his first cup of coffee in the morning) but when the fog had finally lifted Tony pushed himself onto his elbows in a hurry.
The mound of his stomach looked no different than it had when he had gone to sleep that night but there was definite activity coming from it now. The baby was moving.
He looked beside him, ready to wake Steve, when he realized that the super soldier had already gone out for his morning jog. Well, that was disappointing. It was also a bit disconcerting that he was alone when his child was wiggling around inside of him, but what could he do about it?
It felt like a warm of butterflies had been released in his stomach, their tiny wings sending shivers through his entire body. It wasn’t unpleasant, it just felt strange. This was not something Tony was used to, not in the least. Aliens coming to invade his planet was something he could handle better than a baby moving around inside of him.
He placed a hand on his stomach and the sensation intensified. Now he could feel it both from inside and out. Vaguely, he wondered if the baby was uncomfortable in there. Maybe he wanted out. Tony would certainly want to escape if he were trapped in that kind of prison (though he liked to think that it was at least a comfy prison—he certainly ate enough).
The silence in the room was becoming deafening and he had to do something about it.
“You just waking up, little body invader?” He wasn’t usually the one to speak to the baby, that was Steve’s job, but seeing as no one else had a voice at the moment he figured he should speak up.
Another flutter of movement passed beneath his hand, making Tony smile and taking his breath away. Damn these hormones.
“Well, it isn’t really time to wake up yet. Mind if I catch a few more hours of sleep?”
The baby’s movements increased and Tony frowned down at his belly. “Really? That’s your answer?”
He was answered with more movement. “You’re an attention hog. I’m on to you.”
Tony leaned back against the pillows behind him and propped himself up so that he could properly observe his stomach. It was rounded into an almost perfect sphere and marred with thin silvery stretch marks. Steve had assured him that they were beautiful but Tony severely doubted him. He felt enormous and very unsexy but he figured he must have retained some of his attraction since Steve could barely keep his hands off of him.
His belly button had finally popped from the pressure within him and Tony was beginning to wonder how the baby would have any room left to grow, because he certain was going to grow more. He already felt so huge—none of his normal clothes fit him and even Steve’s shirts were beginning to get tight around his middle. Pepper had taken the liberty of sewing elastic waistbands into several pairs of his jeans (so that he didn’t have to buy women’s maternity clothes) but lately he found that he was much more comfortable lying around in sweatpants.
Tony’s center of gravity had shifted so greatly that it had begun to affect the way that he walked. He was forced to do a waddle/shuffle kind of movement to get around (Clint absolutely wouldn’t let up on the duck jokes). He had long ago lost sight of his feet and it was now up to Steve to help him get his shoes and socks on. Oh, that was another thing he could add to his long list of things he hated about pregnancy: his swollen feet. He could no longer stand for long period of time, making working in his lab a miserable experience (even with the pillow that Bruce had gotten him for his chair to ease his back pain).
Probably worst of all was the fact that his chest had begun to swell. It wasn’t a dramatic physical change (he wasn’t growing breasts or anything) but it was hell since they had become rather tender. They ached occasionally and he swore that if he began lactating he would castrate Steve so that he never had to go through this hellish experience again.
Tony hadn’t even realized that the baby had stilled until he began moving again. He rubbed circles into his stretched skin and yawned. “Sorry kiddo. Got lost in thought.”
The baby bumped against his hand and Tony smiled tiredly.
As much as he hated this he had to admit that there was an upside. He got to feel his and Steve’s child growing inside of him. He would feel every movement, every kick, every hiccup (he was told that could happen), and that was amazing. It gave him a new appreciation for the human race. If he really thought about it, he would admit that he enjoyed private moments like this that he spent with his unborn son. But…
“You’re gonna have to do this again when Steve gets home. You have no idea how upset he’ll be if he doesn’t get to feel you move.”
The baby pressed against his hand once again, and yeah, Tony found that being pregnant wasn’t all that bad.