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I Could Live Forever

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They’ve been married for a little over a year now and, honestly, it’s been one of the best years of Andy’s life. Despite the fights (they’re both stubborn, passionate people, convinced of their own righteousness - they’re going to fight. And do. But they’re also learning how to actually communicate to work through their arguments together (it’s a work in progress) and while make-up sex is awesome, angry sex can be holy moly - after the first time they kept pretending to be mad for another week just so they could keep having it), and the struggle and heartache of telling Marlo that they wanted a more formal custody arrangement for baby Maya and that they’d hired a lawyer to do so (Andy and Sam both want to be a part of her life, and “you can see the baby whenever you want” just isn’t enough if they’re going to be co-parents, especially given some of the custody disputes they’ve been called to intervene in), and Andy’s growing pains as a training officer, she is the happiest she’s ever been.

It freaks her out a little sometimes, when she thinks about it too hard, and it’s getting easier to convince herself that her current married bliss isn’t just some weird coma dream.

What? It could totally happen. Just look at that old YTV show, The Odyssey, or that fan theory about Grease that keeps popping up on the internet to try to ruin Andy’s childhood. (Grease is a masterpiece, thank you very much.)

Regardless, whatever Andy’s feelings on Sam’s first child not being half hers, having Maya has been a bit of a blessing in disguise. It’s been kind of a trial period on motherhood and proven to Andy that, while parenting is far from easy (and is frequently really, really hard), it’s not as scary as she thought it would be. What does freak her out a bit is that she would do absolutely anything for Maya, no question, and if her devotion to a baby that isn’t biologically hers is that complete, what will it be like when she and Sam give Maya siblings?

Boo goes scrambling for the door a split second before Andy hears the garage door open - Sam’s home. Oliver has been awesome about keeping Andy and Sam on the same shift rotation, but occasionally their schedules don’t line up exactly and Sam offered to cover for Traci while she took some time off to be with Leo, so Andy’s just finishing up her days off before the next rotation starts and he had to work today. She hears the rumble of the truck’s engine cut out and a few seconds later Sam walks into the house and greets Boo.

She can track his after-work ritual aurally by now: shoes off and placed in the closet, jacket off and hung up, go bag on the shelf, keys on the hook.

“McNally?” he calls into the silence of the house.

“Kitchen,” she calls back from where she’s sitting at the table, nursing a mug of coffee.

He looks exhausted, she notes with concern when her husband (holy crap!) walks into the kitchen. “Hey,” he says, leaning down to kiss her hello.

“Long day?”

“Hit and run case. The kid that got hit didn’t make it, car was stolen and abandoned a few blocks away, and IDENT is backed up for at least a week.”

Andy cups his face and pulls him back down for a deeper, longer kiss that he gladly sinks into. “We’ll catch him,” she assures when they break apart.

“I know.”

“As much as I would love to move this along to more naked fun, I need to talk to you about something,” she says with some regret.

Sam moves over to the fridge to get himself a beer and sits down at the table across from her, so he can better read her eyes. “What’s up?”

Andy is not ashamed to admit that she paid a visit to the department psychologist for tips on how to approach this conversation. The last thing she wants is for either of them to feel backed into a corner or otherwise coerced. “I don’t know how much you know about my birth control, but I’ve got a 5-year IUD. It’s a little device that sits inside my uterus and keeps me from getting pregnant. It’s going to expire soon, so I’ve got an appointment in two weeks to get it taken out. It’s what happens afterwards that I need your opinion on.” She is somewhat amazed to see that his expression is completely open and relaxed, patiently waiting for her to get to the point. “We have three options available: first, I can get another IUD put in and we’ll be good for another five years. The important thing to know is that it can be taken out at any time before then if we change our minds later.

“Second, I don’t get it replaced and we switch to condoms. Or, I don’t get it replaced and we.. let nature take its course.” A smile has been gradually appearing in Sam’s eyes while she speaks and it gives her the courage to keep talking. “There’s no wrong answer here, Sam. I mean that. I want to know what you want.”

He’s silent for a few moments as he thinks this over. “Don’t take this the wrong way,” he finally says tentatively, “purely out of curiosity, the Pill isn’t an option?”

A part of her desperately wants to take it the wrong way - he wouldn’t be asking about it if it wasn’t what he wanted to do, right? - but Andy can still appreciate the question and give him an honest answer. “With our hours, it’s not exactly easy to be able to take it at the exact same time every day. And, I was on it in high school. The doctor took me off of it when my blood tests starting showing weird results, like abnormally high cholesterol while everything else was normal. Everything went back to normal when I got the IUD.”

Sam nods, accepting her answer and considers his next words very carefully. The last thing he wants is to spook her when she’s wound so tight. He takes a sip of his beer and slides his hands across the table to hold hers. “Andy, I told you before the wedding that I want babies with you. I’m not getting any younger, and I’ve been ready for a while now. I was just waiting until you were ready. But, and I need you to listen to me here, if you aren’t ready yet, that’s okay . If you’re never ready for kids, if you think Maya is enough, that’s okay too, I promise you. I would never force you to do something you don’t want, and I will never stop loving you.”

The smile on Andy’s face is slow to dawn but nearly blinding in its brilliance as she squeezes his hands tightly. “I love you,” she says quietly, tearing up. She inhales deeply and lets it out slowly, trying to recover her composure.

He watches her carefully, trying not to let his renewed sense of hope and his dreams for the future show on his face. While she’s been weaning herself off the desire to make major decisions unilaterally, in this case she does have final say. As much as he wants babies that have her eyes and her smile, as many of them as she’s willing to give him, he will wait until she’s ready.

No matter what.

Sam’s heart skips a beat when Andy slips her hands free of his, speeding up when she drops them below the tabletop to cradle her belly.

Andy looks down as she curves her hands around her stomach, imagining it round and hard and blossoming with new life, and the wave of longing that crashes over her takes her breath away. She takes in a shuddering breath, trying desperately to get her emotions back under control, but a tear escapes unbidden, and then another, and another, until they drip steadily down her cheeks. “I want that, Sam, I do. With you,” she finally says, raising her head to look him in the eye.

Sam stands and leans over the table to pepper her face with overjoyed kisses, murmuring “I love you” every time his lips leave her skin. She’s grinning, and crying, and laughing, and trying to kiss him back all at the same time. Eventually she gets a grip on his cheeks and hauls his head up far enough to press her lips to his.

He automatically tries to deepen it, stroking her tongue with his, groaning when she responds with alacrity. At some point his back decides to protest the awkward angle, so Sam pulls away from her grasp and rounds the table to stand in front of her.

Andy reaches for his neck at the same time that he ducks down, and then the world is spinning before she finds herself slung over his shoulder. “Sam!” she protests laughingly as he heads for the stairs and their bedroom.

“The way I understand it, McNally, it could take a while to knock you up, so the more practice we get the better.” He squeaks a little bit when she gets a firm grip on his ass cheeks and squeezes, and swats her bottom in punishment.