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the heart of happiness

Chapter Text

You were always
the heart of happiness to me,
Bringing nougats of glee,
Sweets of open laughter.
- Mother: A Cradle To Hold Me Maya Angelou 

Talia had the palms of her hands pressed against her still-flat stomach as she stared at the woman before her. “Rana, you truly believe I am…” She found herself incapable of finishing the sentence.

After a moment, Rana nodded. “Yes, My Lady. I think you could be pregnant. It would explain the recent morning sickness and your unusual cravings. May I ask when the last time you had your period was?”

Talia flinched. “I am not regular,” she said. “I believe it is a side-effect of exposure to the Lazarus Pits. What do you know of pregnancy?”

Rana frowned. “Not much,” she admitted. “My mother was a midwife, but I obviously did not follow that path myself. The best advice I can give you is to find a doctor you trust.”

Talia scowled. “I trust no one except - ” she stopped, struck by a thought. She trusted no one except her Beloved. The only man who could possibly be the father of the child that may be growing inside her.

Bruce would have a trustworthy doctor. He may even be willing to share them with her.

With this realization in mind, Talia returned her attention to Rana, her dark brown eyes narrowed. Rana had proven herself a loyal woman, time and time again. She had stood by Talia’s side for years as a faithful bodyguard; a bodyguard Talia had never had a need for, but an excellent one nonetheless. Talia did not wish to kill her.

“You will not tell anyone of this conversation,” Talia commanded. “Do not betray me.”

Rana fell to one knee. “I would never, My Lady.”

Talia nodded. “Thank you for bringing your concerns to my attention. You may leave now.”

Rana nodded once before rising and leaving the room. Talia leaned back in her chair and allowed herself the chance to contemplate her next move.

Talia had grown weary of the League. In truth, she had never much cared for her father’s tactics or even his goals. While she agreed with his beliefs in the importance of the world, she thought getting rid of part of the population was not the solution to fixing the earth.

Also, Talia hated killing. She hated it! An assassin’s work was dishonorable and she had never wanted to be one. But it was what Ra’s expected of her, as his only viable heir.

Talia had no desire to lead the League.

All Talia wanted was freedom; a life with her Beloved. Her hand absently fell to her stomach. A calm, domestic life with Bruce and their children.

Talia laughed and shook her head. Bruce did not want domesticity. He would never stop being Batman and she would never ask him to. She had fallen as much in love with the Bat as she had the man. He would not be himself without it.

Talia realized with a start that she had made her decision.

She would make sure she was pregnant and if she was, she would leave the League and go to Bruce.