Lose Some, Win Some

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Tony put his hands over his girlfriend's stomach, waiting to feel the kick. It was faint, like eyelashes on a cheek, and it took the man a moment to realize that it was kicking that he was feeling, not just a muscle movement or stomach gurgling.

"Oh! I felt him!"

Mary looked down at Tony's hands on her stomach. She was reading in bed, her head propped up on Tony's silky sheets and pillows wrapped up in a set of fancy, maternity pajamas Tony had bought her when they first found out about the baby. "Must you do this when I am reading? Your big head is getting in the way of the light."

Tony snorted. "My big head? You swung your noggin right into my lip a week ago and I'm still bruised."

The woman waved her hand. "Toe-may-toe, toe-mah-toe. You still have the biggest head between us."

"Bigger head."

"Shut up." Mary went back to reading. That was the ease of her and Tony's relationship - they joked, teased, and bickered good-naturedly all the time.

Tony laid his head on her stomach, his ear pressed right over her belly button. "Hey, baby. Bambino. Your mom loves to read so much, I can only hope you're a bookworm like her. So smart and pretty and funny."

"Oh, so now it's a girl?"

"What makes you say that?"

Mary furrowed her brow. "You said pretty. 'Smart and pretty and funny'. Do you think it's a girl?"

Tony shook his head. "No, I was just- It was more- Boys can be pretty, too, okay? Maybe he'll be the prettiest boy in the whole world."

Mary laughed, throwing her head back and banging the headboard. "Ow."

"Are you okay?" Tony was up in a flash, his hands brushing through Mary's hair as he checked for any sign of blood or bruising. "Where did it hit? Do we need-"

"Tones, I'm fine. Sit back down, love, it's fine."

The couple settled back into bed, Tony now curled into Mary's side as she read. The billionaire danced his fingers across Mary's stomach, drawing invisible spirals and swirls and flowers. It was relaxing, and Mary pulled herself closer to the man subconsciously. Tony, in return, didn't stop tracing around Mary's torso, and began to write I love you over and over.

"You could just say it."

"I say it all the time," Tony said cheekily. "This is just a fresh approach."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Get the bag! The bag!" Mary breathed heavily, one hand bracing herself on the doorway, the other under her stomach as another wave of pain ripped through her body. "Ahhh-HHH FUCK!"

Tony rushed around, grabbing Mary's overnight bag, her pillow, and the books she'd been saving for the hospital stay. "Okay, okay, got it! Got it, let's go!"

The two made their way down to the garage, having to stop every few minutes so Mary could double over and scream through the pain. By the time Tony made it to the car, got Mary inside and settled, and was in the driver side seat himself, his fingers were practically purple from how hard she had been squeezing his hand during the contractions. Neither one of them even thought about how Mary was almost 8 weeks early.

Tony sped through New York, ignoring traffic as he wove through the cars on the road. Normally, Mary would be freaking out about the way Tony was driving, but in her current state, she couldn't care less.

"Drive! Drive faster! Oh, I hate you for this, Tony Stark, you keep your hands to yourself from now on!"

"I know, babe," Tony soothed, his eyes glued to the road ahead of him. "I know."

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