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She was just barely showing, she thought. The barest swell of her stomach, and she thought maybe she could only see it because she was so slight normally.

But there she was, Jade thought. There she was, inside Jade. A little heart, little lungs, little hands and feet, growing bigger by the day. Going from being a little speck of nothing to a baby. A daughter.

Her daughter.

Oh god, she needed to sit down.

She took a deep breath, trying to get herself under control. Wasn't panicking bad for babies? Was that something she was supposed to know? Fuck, she was the worst girl ever, she didn't know any of this shit. She hadn't been sitting around at fifteen, thinking about a white wedding and a house with a dog. She'd been thinking about how she kept leaving her left side open. She'd never idly flipped through a baby name book in the store like some girls, hell, she didn't even have friends with kids.

She put her head between her knees to stop the dizziness, then shot up like she'd been stuck with a pin as she realized she might be squishing the baby. Was that how it worked? How the fuck was she supposed to know?

She had her cell phone out before she knew what she was doing, but then she wondered who she was going to call. There was no one, really. She'd never let anyone close, never trusted anyone with personal knowledge of her. The closer people were to you, the more they could hurt you.

Who would be closer than a daughter?

No, no, that was a stupid way to think. This was hers. This little girl would be hers, to protect and love and cherish. She could do that. She could be a better parent than her dad, could keep her little one away from this life.

Yeah. She could do that. She had money. Tons of money. Being a professional thief and assassin made for a hefty bank account, all tucked away in Switzerland where it was safe. They could just as easily tuck themselves away in Switzerland, in a little house.

What would she look like?

Black hair, and brown eyes were dominant. But Artemis was living proof that it didn't always work like that. Still, she wouldn't be a ginger, like Roy. The both needed to have the gene for that. She was sure she was remembering that right from high school.

So maybe blonde? No, probably dark hair. Roy had light eyes, so the baby might have light eyes too. That happened, right? God, she didn't know.

She looked at her cell phone again, and thought about calling Roy. He'd want to know. He would. How would that conversation go? 'Hey, remember four months ago, when we had sex up against that wall in Star City? Turns out you knocked me up.'

She could see that going well.

God, how had she not noticed her own pregnancy? Four months pregnant. Weren't women supposed to throw up a lot? And she'd had her fucking period! Granted, it had been really light, and really quick, and the doctor said it happened sometimes, and God, her own body couldn't even tell her the truth. This was such bullshit.

She curled up on the bed, and tried to focus, tried to think.

She didn't know what to do.

How could she be pregnant? How could this happen to her? She was a fucking assassin, she didn't get pregnant.

That was possibly the most idiotic thought she'd ever had in her life, she thought. And she'd had a lot of them.

Her breath was coming too fast, in sharp pants, and she realized she was crying, an anxious release of all her troubled emotions.

She hadn't cried in years.

Not since...

She picked up her phone and dialed a number she had memorized. It rang four times.

“Hello?” A voice said, a voice Jade had been hearing since before she entered the world, a voice that had sung her lullabies in Vietnamese, a voice that was paired with hands that had brushed and braided her hair so many times, joined to a heart that had loved her before she'd ever drawn breath. A voice that had chased away the bad dreams with a gentle I'm here, baby, every night she needed her, until that day the judge made the decision that ripped her whole world from her.

Mommy?” She asked, and caught herself, cursed herself for using the childish Vietnamese word still.

“Jade?” Her mother replied. “Jade, is that you?”

For a long minute, Jade couldn't speak, didn't know what to even say. She hadn't said a word to her in years, had cut her out of her life, had cut her and Artemis and home away. She'd needed to be alone to be strong, right?


So why wasn't she strong?

“Jade, please, talk to me,” Her mother sounded desperate, and Jade trembled at it. Her mother should never sound like that. It was Jade's job to protect her, from her father, from the world. Her job to keep the bad guys of the world away from that apartment in Gotham where her sister and mother slept. She was the strong one.

Mommy,” She said again, because she needed her to be Mommy again, needed her to wrap Jade up and protect her from the world, protect her from this panic.

“Jade, what's wrong? Are you hurt? Artemis is here, she can find you, wherever you are, sweetheart, no, I don't know, she's not speaking,” That last part was to Artemis, and she could hear her sister moving in the background, probably sliding a quiver over her shoulder, grabbing her keys.

“I need you Mommy,” She pleaded. “Mommy, please, I need you.”

"Of course baby," Her mother soothed. "It's alright, I'm here. I'm here, baby."