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Changed for the Better

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"Andrew, I know that we neither discussed nor planned this, but unfortunately, we should've been more careful, ugh, no. Okay. Um, oh hey, Andrew! Have some wine! Not that I can drink any, because, you know, I'm pregnant. With your… fucking shit. No no no no."

Exasperated, and a tiny bit nauseous, Emily sat down and stared at the ceiling. Five days had passed since she found out she was pregnant, and since then, she was trying to figure out a way to tell Andrew she was pregnant. So far, the best idea she had was cooking dinner and asking him to get something from the oven only to find a single bun.

"Because, you know, a bun in the oven," she told herself when she came up with it. But then again, Andrew often made bread and might not notice that she was going for the idiom.

Sometimes she wondered if she should tell the team first. She did know them longer, but she felt that Andrew should know first. It was only fair. Besides, she was certain that they were not in the dark of her situation. Emily knows Matt would never break his promise, but they work with profilers who knew she liked Andrew even before she herself was aware of it. Surely, they would notice if she was pregnant. Not to mention the fact that they were slowly becoming overprotective, something Emily remembers JJ had complained about during both times of her pregnancy.

Emily suddenly sat up when an idea came to mind, but regretted the action when the nausea returned and the taste of bile entered her throat. She ran to the bathroom and emptied the contents of her stomach, dry-heaving by the end. Panting, she raised her arm and flushed before leaning against the tiled wall.

"Kid, you are killing me," she mumbled. Sometimes she didn't feel like she was pregnant until all the unfortunate symptoms of pregnancy decide to sweep her off her feet. Talking to the baby helped with the denial she faced. It made everything feel real. And Emily hated to admit that being pregnant actually scared her.

The first, and what she thought was the last time, she was pregnant, she had an abortion. There were days when she still found herself thinking about her unborn child, who would've been thirty-four by now if she never had it aborted. There was also a chance that Emily would've been a grandmother already, and she let herself smile wistfully at the thought. But sometimes she wondered how different things would be if she chose to have the baby. Would she have developed an interest for law enforcement? Would she have joined the Academy? Would she have met the team? Maybe not.

She remembers telling Andrew about it one night. The team had arrived from Alabama after a gruelling case that continues to haunt Emily. Four teenagers were stabbed twenty times at the torso area, and further research done by Penelope told them that all teenagers had abortions. Their unsub, a bitter forty year old white man, held the belief that any woman who had an abortion were killers, that they deserved to die and suffer in hell. It brought back memories of Italy. Emily feel Dave sending subtle worried glances in her direction, and as thankful as she was to know that he still has her back, she didn’t want to acknowledge the lingering pain of how her actions had also affected Matthew. Despite the years that have passed, she refuses to believe that it wasn’t her fault Matthew strayed from his path.

When she got home to the apartment she and Andrew shared, seeing Andrew preparing dinner for the both of them tore down the defensive walls she put up for herself. She found herself sobbing mid-conversation with him, and she told him about the case, Italy, Matthew and John, and the abortion she had when she was fifteen. Emily mentally prepared herself for some spiteful comments from Andrew, but the only thing he did was hold her close and whisper in her ear that it wasn't her fault. He held her until she fell asleep in his arms, dinner forgotten.

Shaking away these thoughts, she placed her hands on the edge of the tub for support as she stood up slowly. When she leaves the bathroom after rinsing her mouth, she gets her phone and dialed JJ, asking to meet her for lunch. She only hoped she didn't sound too eager over the phone.


JJ isn't blind.

Hell, she has two kids, and she had been pregnant three times; she knew the signs of a pregnant woman. And she was sure as hell that Emily was pregnant. The entire team knew, too. They all had exchanged worried looks when Emily arrived at the office too pale, and they all kept count of the number of times she made a beeline for the bathroom. They also noticed how she never drank coffee any more, and after they pieced the symptoms together, they always made sure that the break room had stacks of ginger ale and tea for Emily, as well as saltine crackers and some of Emily's favorite food.

After Emily hung up, JJ quickly got dressed and headed for the Italian restaurant near Quantico, one she, Tara, Emily, and Penelope often frequented when they weren't busy. She had a gut feeling that Emily was about to tell her news, or else she would've invited the rest of the girls, too. She was excited, and was only glad she didn't drive through any red lights.

JJ grinned when she saw Emily enter the restaurant, and waved at her friend. She took note of how Emily was a bit paler than usual and how she hid her hands under the table to, she presumed, hide the red palms they all noticed three days ago.

"Have you ordered yet?" Emily asked, snapping JJ away from her reverie.

"No, not yet. I was waiting for you," JJ shrugged and took one of the menus a waiter placed on the table earlier. "What are you having?"

"I don't know yet," Emily said, mentally wincing at the ambiguity of both JJ's question and her answer to it. If JJ had noticed it, and she did, she chose to continue perusing the menu even though she knew it like the back of her hand. "Maybe the tuna pesto and some garlic bread. It's been a while since I last ate some. Ugh, garlic bread alone would keep me satiated."

Of course, JJ thought in amusement, Emily "I grew up around the world" Prentiss would crave foreign food. She bit her own tongue to stop herself from teasing Emily about it before the woman announced her pregnancy. But how would she get Emily to tell her already? It's not like she was hiding it well around a group of profilers. It was an occupational hazard none of them could avoid.

"I'm gonna go with the steak," JJ announced. "Choose the wine for me?"

"Always," Emily winked and raised her arm to get the waiter's attention. She stated their orders, including the wine she chose for JJ. When the waiter asked her what wine to go with the tuna pesto, Emily found herself stuttering as she said water.

Bingo.

"You're not drinking wine?" JJ asked innocently.

"Not really. I drove here," Emily shrugged.

"Right," JJ said, leaning her chin against her propped-up elbow. "So, how are you? It's been a while since we both went out for lunch."

"Well, you know, the job already takes too much of my time, so my life's been basically a cycle of work and home."

"What, Andrew doesn't try to woo you?" JJ teased.

"Oh, he does," Emily said suggestively, smirking. "But we really don't go out much. We have home-cooked dinner and then watch a movie."

"Please tell me he does the cooking."

"Okay, first of all, I resent that. I have enough cooking skills to survive. And second, he's trying to teach me how to cook. He teaches me how to cook some of my favorite dishes on weekends when we're not on a case," Emily said. She froze, all of a sudden, thinking about how she was going to feed a child when she doesn't even know how to boil noodles properly. If she was thinking rationally, she would've realised she was overreacting and that a baby wouldn't require the five-star restaurant level of cooking, but right now she couldn't even think properly.

The waiter arrived with their drinks, temporarily halting their conversation. Eyeing Emily worriedly, JJ took a sip of her wine and mentally weighed the lesser of two evils.

Reading Emily's body language and getting an accurate result was a skill that required years of knowing the woman. Even then, it wasn't a hundred percent reliable; there was still a chance Emily might close off when confronted. But JJ had gone through pregnancy twice–thrice if you counted her miscarriage, and she could tell that her friend was struggling. She knew the struggles of pregnancy, knew how it could suck for a first-timer, and she didn't want Emily to go through all of it alone.

"You're already showing, you know that right?" JJ said softly.

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

"You're showing," JJ repeated with a smile. "It's a good look on you."

"Am I?" Emily asked, looking down at her torso. She hadn't noticed it when she got dressed, but then again she hadn't noticed the symptoms of pregnancy. JJ leaned over and grasped Emily's hand.

 

"You're pregnant!" JJ whispered excitedly, biting her lip.

"I'm pregnant," Emily said with a soft smile on her face. It disappeared quickly as she stared off at nothing, a frown painting her classical features. "I'm pregnant," she repeated with less enthusiasm.

"Emily," JJ said, but the brunette didn't respond. JJ frowned and squeezed her friend's hand tighter, trying to get her attention. "Emily," she tried again, and still no answer. "Prentiss."

Emily looked up at her with glistening eyes. "I haven't told Andrew yet," she whispered brokenly.

"Why?" JJ asked. "Is something wrong? Are you two fighting? Is he hurting you?" JJ was ready to leave the restaurant and hunt down Andrew Mendoza to kick his ass if he was hurting Emily. She was sure the rest of the team, plus Morgan and Hotch, once informed, would have her back.

Somehow JJ doubted it. Yes, she had doubts about the man when Emily accidentally let it slip that she was seeing him. But she had seen how bright and happy Emily was around him, how Andrew looked at her like she hung the moon and the stars, how they help each other through dark times, and how they made each other better people. JJ slept peacefully at night, knowing that one of her best friends had someone who would risk it all for her.

"No, no," Emily sniffled, shaking her head. "I'm just scared."

"Of what?"

"What if he doesn't want it? What if he doesn't want kids? What if he leaves or something? Or what if he feels compelled to stay because it's his kid, even though he didn't want it? What if—"

"Em, stop," JJ cut her rambling. "I need you to take a deep breath, okay? One more, that's it. Now I need you think clearly before answering me. Do you think Andrew would intentionally hurt you?"

"No," she whispered.

"Do you think he would do up and leave once he finds out you're pregnant?" JJ asked. Emily shook her head once more. "Do you think he'll feel compelled to stay, should he not want a kid? Or do you really think he doesn't want one?"

"I don't know," Emily started, her voice cracking. "Honestly I have no idea why I'm like this."

"Hormones are a bitch aren't they?" JJ said with a sympathetic smile. Watching the usually controlled Emily deal with pregnancy hormones would be amusing.

"Ugh, tell me about it. And the morning sickness? Who even came up with that term? It's inaccurate," Emily complained.

JJ chuckled. She was glad to see Emily joking along, but the unsettled look on her friend's still worried her. "What's wrong?"

Emily sniffled again, wiping the lone tear that slipped down her face. "What if I'm not a good mom?"

"Emily," JJ chuckled. "If Garcia was here, she would smack you."

"Why would she do that?" she asked, her eyebrows furrowing.

"Because have you met you? You're Emily. Children love you. Hotch used to send you as the first contact with a child during cases. Henry, Michael, Jack, Hank, and even Matt's kids love you. Declan keeps in touch with you, not because he feels like he owes you but because he wants to. Literally every child we encountered on a case loved you. Hell, you mothered us the moment you became a part of the team."

Emily smiled at the last statement, wiping the few tears that slipped down her face. She doesn't even understand why she's crying. Damn pregnancy hormones.

"You've always been a mom, Emily," JJ said, a soft smile on her lips. "Momily, if you will."

Emily chuckled and squeezed her friend's hand. "That actually helps a lot. Thank you, JJ."

"Glad I could help," the blonde replied. "So, how are you gonna tell Andrew?"

Chuckling, Emily shook her head. "Now that is actually the second agenda for today."


"Oh hey! You're home!" Emily was greeted by the sight of Andrew by the kitchen counter. She checked her watch and realised it was only three in the afternoon.

"Hi! I would've called but my phone went off," Andrew said, smiling at her. She felt butterflies in her stomach, a mixture of anxiety and swooning over Andrew making her want to rush to the bathroom and hug the toilet seat once more.

"That's okay. At least you're here," she said, making her way towards him. She wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled him down for a kiss, smiling against his lips when he pulled her closer. They broke apart after a few seconds, neither one stepping away from each other's embrace. "How was your meeting?"

 

"Ugh, it was boring. Mack and Smith were playing tic-tac-toe the entire time, and I was tempted to actually join them," he said with a slight wince.

"My, Agent Mendoza," Emily fake-gasped, making Andrew laugh briefly. "That would not be setting a good example for your colleagues."

"Is it, Agent Prentiss?" Andrew asked, raising an eyebrow.

"Mmhm," she nodded, the smirk on her face making the dimple on her cheek appear.

He scoffed. He leaned over and placed kisses over her neck, making Emily sigh in pleasure when he kissed a sensitive spot behind her ear. "Because I remember JJ telling me a story on how she saw a doodle of Matt Cruz on your pad paper after a budget meeting," he whispered on her ear.

Emily laughed, placing her hands on his face and placing a kiss on his nose. "That, my love, is an entirely different story. You see, no one knew I wasn't paying attention until JJ saw it."

"Right," Andrew chuckled, and then began leading her to the living room. "Come on, I was just about to put on a movie. I made popcorn and coffee."

The second the smell of coffee entered her nostrils, Emily ran to the bathroom, ignoring Andrew's worried cries of her name. She knelt over the toilet and began to throw up everything she ate. She hadn't heard Andrew come in, only felt him holding her hair back and rubbing her back, all the while whispering words of comfort. When she was certain that she was done, she leaned back hesitantly and flushed, tears shimmering in her eyes.

"Emily, baby, what's wrong?" Andrew asked, placing his palms on both sides of her cheeks. "Are you sick?"

She sighed and pulled away from his embrace, feeling gross and ashamed. "Help me up?"

Andrew wrapped an arm around her waist and carefully hoisted her up. She smiled at him in thanks and began rinsing her face. She had to force herself not to cry when Andrew silently handed over her toothbrush. When she finished, she turned to face him and was immediately pulled into his arms.

"I'm sorry," Emily mumbled.

"Don't be," he placed a kiss on top of her head. "Are you okay? Is there something wrong?"

"No, no," she smiled, pulling away a little so she could look up at him. "I'm fine. But we need to talk."

"Sure," Andrew said. With an arm still wrapped around her shoulders, he led her to the living room and sat down next to her on the couch. "Are you sure you're okay? Do you need me to get you some Ibuprofen?"

"Andrew," Emily chuckled, placing a hand on the side of his face and rubbing his cheek with her thumb. "I'm okay. I really am, but please promise me you won't be mad. Okay?"

He nodded and turned his face to place a kiss on her palm. "Promise."

Emily smiled and leaned her head against his chest, feeling all the butterflies she felt slowly disappear, much to her chagrin. The nervousness and anxiety she had for the past two weeks had all faded away like they weren't even there, and she wished these feelings decided to take an exit right after she found out. Maybe she didn't have to go through everything—the morning sickness, nausea, and headaches—by herself. Andrew, undoubtedly, would've been there.

"Remember a few days ago, when I woke up in the middle of the night and got sick?" she asked softly, tilting her head up at him.

"You said it was something you ate," he replied, running his hand through her soft dark hair.

"Well, I really thought it was just that," Emily said, slightly wrinkling her nose. "You told me to take the day off, but I insisted that I was fine. And I was, relatively. I still felt nauseous, but we were off-rotation so I could handle it. That was until Matt handed in his report and noticed my red palms. He started cluing me in on what was actually happening."

Emily stopped for a few minutes, letting Andrew run his fingers through her palm and unknowingly soothing them from the itchiness. She smiled and took his hand, placing a kiss on his knuckles.

"He told me it was palmar erythema, and before you worry, it's nothing serious. It's just," she swallowed, "a pregnancy symptom. He said that only thirty to sixty percent of women go through it, but Kristy has it too, that's why he knows. And he gave me a list of products that help with the itch, which explains the new bottles of lotion you found on my nightstand."

"Emily," Andrew said, and it was then that she realised she was rambling. "Did–you–you're–you're pregnant?"

Her teeth found her bottom lip, the anxiety setting back in. If Andrew wasn't holding her hand, her nails, which she was trying her very best to grow, would be back to chipped and broken and probably bleeding within seconds. "I'm pregnant."

Andrew said nothing, just stared at her with his mouth slightly. Tears began to fill Emily's eyes, and she was about to stand up and run to the bathroom once more when Andrew leaned in and placed a hand on her stomach.

"You're pregnant," he whispered as he met her gaze once more. Emily felt her heart melt at the tiny smile plastered on his lips and the tears that glistened his eyes. He was as bad as she was, minus the anxiety and nausea. "We're having a baby."

"Yeah," she said, making a noise that was half chuckle and half sob. A lone tear slipped down her cheek. "We're having a baby."

Andrew laughed and kissed her. Emily's arm snaked around his neck as she kissed back and pulled him closer towards her. He deepened the kiss by slowly pulling her over his lap, making Emily moan silently.

"You're happy," she whispered once they parted for air.

"Happy? I'm ecstatic!" he told her, sweeping a few strands of her hair behind her ear. "How far along are you?"

"I don't know really," she shrugged. "I haven't seen my doctor yet. JJ wanted to take me after lunch, said I could just show you the sonogram to tell you I was pregnant. But I told her I wanted you to be there."

"JJ knows?" Andrew asked. He wasn't mad. He couldn't accept any other emotion except happiness and excitement, but he also wanted to know who was there for Emily when she hadn't told him yet.

Emily nodded shyly. "She was the first one I told. I intended it to be you, but I didn't know how to tell you so I asked for her help."

"Hey, it's okay. I understand. I'm just glad you told me now."

"You know, the first idea that came to mind was to just put a bun in the oven and ask you to get it for me, but I thought you wouldn't get it," she said.

"What did JJ say?" he asked.

"She just laughed," Emily said with an eye roll. "She suggested the ultrasound photo, and the famous giving you the pregnancy test with the positive sign on it, but it's not like I kept it. So she just told me to just tell you."

Andrew grinned. "Baby giving you a hard time already with the nausea?"

Emily gave him a look. "Yep. Definitely your child."

"Want me to call the Ambassador and let her tell you otherwise?" Andrew smirked.

"God no," Emily winced. "I don't even have a clue on how to tell her."

"We'll figure it out. Right now, we just have to make sure you and the baby are okay," he said, kissing her forehead.

Smiling, Emily placed a quick kiss on his lips once more. "I'm gonna call my OB tomorrow, and set a schedule for Tuesday. We're still wheels down, so we won't get called on a case."

"That sounds good to me," Andrew said. "Absolutely good."

Emily chuckled and leaned her head against his shoulder. "I love you."

"I love you too, Em. And I already love our kid."