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Changed for the Better

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The sixth floor bullpen was quiet, a rare occasion considering that the agents who were in it had childlike tendencies that often came out. Each agent was focused on finishing their assigned paperwork, and from his seat, Matt could see Spencer making another one of his physics magic contraptions. Knowing that the kid was a genius, he wasn't surprised. What surprised him was how Emily walked past him in a rush to the bathroom for the fourth time this morning—counting how many times Emily goes to the bathroom was borderline stalker behaviour, but in Matt's defense, he had never seen Emily like this, and it was only done in concern.

She looked different too. Emily was a fit person, but this time, she looked a bit bloated. He figured she was having a lot of down time with Andrew, but now he thinks it's something else completely. She looked exhausted a lot, too. He thought it was the paperwork piling up, but when he headed to her office to submit a few files, he caught her trying to vertically balance a pen on her desk out of boredom.

Maybe she's sick, he theorised, and the thought of Emily possibly dying made his stomach churn. Granted, as the newest member of the BAU, they were still getting to know each other, but he trusts her. She didn't give him the hell he deserved after the hostage situation with Kristy a year ago, and she seemed genuinely excited for both of them when they announced the pregnancy. Not to mention the number of times she threw herself in the line for all of them, something he isn't sure Emily knows the team is truly grateful for. Emily wasn't just his boss, but she was also his friend. If she was sick, he would hurt like the rest of the team would.

Or, the back of his brain said, maybe it's something else.

"Matt?" A voice pulled him out of his thoughts. He turned his head and saw Penelope standing in front of his desk and staring at him. The rest of their team, minus Prentiss and Rossi who were in their offices, were looking at him too, brows furrowed in confusion. "Are you okay?"

"Yeah, I, uh," Matt found himself stuttering.

"Is it about Kristy?" JJ asked, concern lacing her voice. "Is she okay?"

"Everything's fine," Matt said with a soft smile. It warmed his heart to think that they all cared and worried about Kristy, but it wasn't Kristy that was bothering him right now. He wanted to tell them, but first he had to confirm his theory with the one person concerned. Maybe he should just ask Andrew, he thought. "I'm just, thinking of baby names."

"Aw that is so cute," Penelope gushed, putting a hand over her heart. "Do you know what it is yet?"

"Not yet, no," Matt replied.

"Lucas for boy, Lucille for girl," Luke spoke up. Matt chuckled as all three women's heads turned to his direction—or, in Penelope's scenario, glared in his direction.

"It's a baby, Luke, not your grandmother," Tara teased.

"Lucille is ranked number 264 on popularity charts and is often included in lists like ‘Classic Girl Names’," Reid added, smiling sheepishly at the team.

"And if Matt is naming his baby after us, it's going to be me," Penelope argued, starting a series of arguments between the present team members. Seeing his chance for an escape, he stood up and chuckled.

"Guys, I'm not naming my kid after any of you. I already have a kid named David, so beat it."

"Dibs on godmother!" Tara called after him as he paced towards the stairs leading to Emily's office. He knocked on the door and waited for Emily's approval before entering.

"Hi," Emily said, forcing a smile. If Matt noticed it, and he did, he didn't mention it. In fact, he was discretely profiling her for facts to confirm his theory. With what he was currently seeing—adding the headaches from the way all her window blinds were down—the pieces were starting to form a puzzle.

"I finished the Philadelphia case and I just thought you'd want to have it," Matt said, handing her the case files. She stretched her hand towards him to accept it, and it was then that he saw the redness in her palms. The only time Matt saw Emily turn red was when she was under the sun for too long. Or that one time during Valentine's when Andrew had flowers delivered to her office and she blushed madly like a tomato.

"Thanks, Matt. I just finished reading your Florida files. And uh, can I expect the Jersey ones by tomorrow?" she asked.

"Of course," he nodded.

"Okay, thank you," she said. He watched her wince and run a hand through her hair, messing up her bangs. A headache, he presumed.  He shifted from one foot to another as he made his decision, the consequences be damned.

"Are you okay?" he asked.

"What?" Emily asked, looking up at him.

"You've been a little off lately, and uh, I was wondering if you were okay," Matt said.

"Oh yeah, I'm fine," Emily waved her hand. "I just feel like I ate something I was allergic to but I'm still trying to figure out what it is."

"Have you seen your doctor yet?"

"I haven't. And Matt, please stop worrying, I already drank some antihistamine I bought on my way here. I'll be fine, I promise," she assured with a soft smile.

"Okay," he said. Placing his hands into the pocket of his jeans, he observed as Emily curled the fingers to scratch her palm and couldn't help himself any longer. "Are you having trouble breathing?"

Emily looked at him, mouth slightly parted in surprise. "What?"

"Are you having trouble breathing?" he asked. "Or are you just vomiting?"

"I, uh, I'm just vomiting," she replied.

"Do you eat a lot, or do you always feel full even though you only ate little?" When Emily didn't reply, he took it as a yes and continued with his questions. "Do you tire easily and do you feel dizzy a lot even when you're just sitting? Are you—"

"Matt," Emily cut him off, narrowing her eyes at him. "What are you trying to tell me?"

Matt sighed and tried to determine which was the lesser of two evils: warning Emily that these symptoms are probably not allergic reactions, but rather signs of early pregnancy. He sat on the visitor's chair in front of her desk and looked her in the eye. "Emily, I don't think you have an allergy."

"And you say that because?"

"Palmar erythema," he told her. "It's a pregnancy fluke that disappears after you give birth. It only occurs in about thirty to sixty percent of women but Kristy has it too."

"I'm not pregnant, Matt," Emily said in a firm voice.

"Emily—"

"No, I'm not," she said. She bit her lip and swallowed hard before sighing. "I'm almost fifty, so the chances of me being pregnant are low."

"You and I both know I don't need to drag Reid in here to inform you that a lot of women over their fifties can still get pregnant," he told her.

Emily shook her head at him. "Matt—"

"Kristy asked the doctor how to get rid of the itch and redness when she was pregnant with David, and he said it goes away after giving birth but he gave her a list of products that could help in soothing it," he said. "I could write it down for you if you want."

If Emily was pregnant, and Matt was leaning on a more positive note, then she was likely in self-denial. She might not have even taken a test yet, and he doubts Andrew is aware of the situation—in this case, the baby. Matt wasn't  going to push her; he knew that pushing Emily for answers would only make her close-off, but Kristy often complained about the itch, so the least he could do was help her out with her dilemma.

"That would be helpful, thanks," Emily mumbled, refusing to look at him.

"I'll give it to you before I head home," Matt said, smiling softly at her and standing up. He was almost out of the doorway when he heard her call him.

"Don't tell anyone," Emily said. "Please."

"I won't," Matt replied. "I promise."


Emily growled, digging her nails deeply in her palms as she curled her fingers into a fist. Her palms were red from her scratching, and if she continued to scratch them, they may scar. While she managed to hide the redness from her team—and the exhaustion and the never-ending vomiting which she still refuses to acknowledge as morning sickness—Emily isn't sure she could hide scars from them. They might come up with ideas that she was hurting herself or that Andrew was hurting her.

The thought of Andrew made her stomach churn. Leaning against the back of her couch, she squeezed her eyes shut and took deep breaths to wash away the nausea. For the past week, she threw up everything she ate. Matt's statement of her feeling full even though she only ate a little was actually right, and it scared her.

She loved Andrew, and he always found a way to let her know he loves her, too. It was evident in the little details: watching dumb reality television shows with her, cooking her dinner every now and then, preparing a bath for her so she could relax, holding her close when they had a bad case, and letting her cry in his arms when the nightmares haunt her. It was evident in how he caressed her cheeks and rubbed his thumb across her jaw every time he kisses her, in how he takes his time appreciating her body when they make love, and how he kisses each scar on her body, letting her know and feel that she is beautiful. Emily even saw a future with him, one that involved children. However, she kept that last thought hidden to herself considering their ages. But then again, like Matt said, there were women who had children even in their fifties.

"No," she told herself. "It's impossible. I had my period last month. Right?"

She did the math and yes, she did have her period, but it was merely spotting. Suddenly, she remembered feeling sick at the smell of coffee this morning and a feeling of dread washed over her.

She stood up, placing a hand on her forehead at the sudden dizziness she felt, another sign of pregnancy. She sat back down when she felt the nausea return. Panting, she placed a slightly shaking hand on her stomach. "Okay, if you're really in there, and that's a big if, can you please relax for at least thirty minutes so I can go out and buy a test and find out if you really are in there? I know, I know I'm not making sense right now, but you're already tiring me out and my hands look like they belong on top of an ice cream, so please, give me a break."

Much to Emily's amusement and chagrin, the nausea slowly washed away and she stood up, grabbed her coat and went out of her apartment to buy a pregnancy test. By the time she arrived back, Andrew wasn't home yet, something Emily was thankful for. She still had no clue on how she was going to tell him.

A few minutes later, Emily was pacing the living room, waiting for her timer to beep. Usually, three minutes were not enough for her, but the wait was driving her crazy. She flopped down on the couch and checked her wrist watch once more. A half-minute remained, making her feel more anxious and nauseated.

She leaned her head back against the couch and closed her eyes. Images of her and Andrew playing with a child came to mind, and she found herself smiling despite the situation. They haven't discussed the prospect of kids, but she knew that Andrew was going to be an amazing dad. They had offered to babysit Henry and Michael more than once, and the boys loved him. She knew the kid, their kid, would be a daddy's kid, and even though she wasn't a hundred percent sure that she is pregnant, she can't help but feel a little jealous.

Would the kid love Andrew more than her? Would her relationship with her mother be the same one she has with their child? What if she doesn't know anything about being a mother? What if she fucks up and the kid ends up becoming a serial killer?

Her thoughts immediately disappeared the moment her phone beeped, and if she wasn't already a nervous wreck from her thoughts, then she was now. She stood up slowly and made her way towards the bathroom. Two tests were lying face down on the bathroom counter, and when she flipped each one, she felt her heart drop to the pits of her stomach.

Turns out, it wasn't an allergic reaction after all.