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Changed for the Better

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Emily sighed, turning over on her side to face Andrew. He was engrossed in a novel that although he felt Emily move beside him it took him a minute to realise she was gazing longingly at him with an adorable pout on her face.

"Yes?" he asked, marking his place.

"I can't sleep," she admitted, burying her face against his arm.

Andrew shifted so he was lying down next to her, allowing her to rest her head on his chest. "Anxious about tomorrow?"

"Excited and anxious," she said. "You know, we never talked about the baby's sex."

"What's there to talk about? I don't really have any preferences."

"What about healthy?" Emily asked.

"What do you mean?"

Emily shrugged, lifting her head and resting her chin against his chest. "I'm nearly fifty, Andrew. I'm redefining what it means to be 'over the hill' A lot of babies conceived during menopausal years or closer are born with defects."

Andrew sighed and wiped a tear from her face. Emily sniffled and leandd her head against his palm. "Emily, even if our baby was born with two heads, I would love them with everything I have in me, because they're our child and they deserve nothing but the best."

"I'm scared. That's why I can't sleep." Emily smiled sadly. "What if there's something wrong, not now but in the future, and we end up losing our baby? I know, it's always a possibility and maybe every pregnant woman in the world worries about that, but with my age, the risks are doubled, probably tripled." She looked at him with sad eyes, letting her tears flow freely. "I can't lose this baby, Andrew. I don't—I don't think I'm strong enough to handle that kind of pain."

Andrew didn't waste a second in wrapping his arms around her. His heart broke as sobs shook her body, but he held her tight and whispered soothing words in her ear. He wouldn't dare to tell her that everything would be okay, because the odds weren't in his hand, but he made a silent vow, to Emily and their growing baby, to always try his best to make everything as okay as they would be.

"We need to know," Emily said once her sobs died down.

"It's okay with me. That way, we can plan for a nursery ahead of time, and we can think of baby names without having to come up for each one," Andrew responded, assuming Emily was talking about the baby's sex.

"No, I mean, yes, I want to know what we're having, but not just that," she said with a sniffle. "We need to know what risks could possibly happen not just to the baby but also to me. Andrew, I'm ancient and there's a possibility I can die during childbirth or hemorrhage after the birth or that we can have a severely disabled baby. I looked it up, and there's this test that can detect genetic abnormalities by collecting some tissue from the fetus. We need to know so we can both be prepared for this."

Andrew was at a loss for words. He was so focused on the baby, praying and wishing and hoping that it would be okay, but he completely forgot that pregnant women have one foot under the ground. He made the mistake of thinking of the worst case scenario: losing the baby and Emily at the same time. Now that the thought was planted in his mind, dread accompanied the feeling of worry settled in his gut. He couldn't afford to lose either of them.

"We'll do whatever it is we have to do to be prepared for anything, Emily, I promise you that," he took her hand and kissed her knuckles. "We'll even ask your doctor about the diet you should follow, and we'll both do it together so you wouldn't be alone in it."

"You don't have to do that," she said. "Being here for me would already be more than enough."

"If that's what you want," Andrew nodded, but deep inside Emily knew he would still do it. That was just how he is, and she loved him for it. "We'll talk to the doctor tomorrow okay? But right now, we don't know anything except your blood pressure—for all we know, our baby here's completely fine and we're just being paranoid, and paranoia leads to worrying, which is not good for either of you. So try to get some sleep okay?"

Emily nodded, wiping her tears. "Can you hold me?" she asked. She hated asking for comfort, but she knew she was too afraid of everything that could go wrong that she couldn't handle putting up her masks. She needed to be vulnerable, even for just a night.

"I always will," Andrew smiled, shifting so he could hold her closer to his body. He moved his hand lower down their bodies, resting against Emily's baby bump. Running his fingers against the soft curve, he smiled and placed a soft kiss on Emily's forehead before closing his eyes to sleep.

"Emily," Andrew cooed, caressing his girlfriend's cheek. "It's time to wake up, my love."

"Mmm," Emily grumbled. She opened her eyes and closed them immediately, a groan escaping her mouth. "Why is the sun so bright?"

Andrew smiled in amusement. Emily was naturally a morning person, although she tended to sleep in whenever she didn't have to go to work, but it seemed pregnancy was converting her to a nocturnal. Not that he would complain; in fact, he was getting used to this new routine. Every time he woke her up, she would complain about the sun and its brightness, and take a few minutes to actually wake up and smile sleepily at him. It makes him fall in love with her even more than he already has.

"Its telling you that it's time to wake up," he said.

"What time is it?" she asked, eyes still closed.

"Quarter to nine," Andrew replied. "Our appointment is at eleven, so I'm making breakfast right now. Do you want anything in particular?"

Emily blinked one eye open and smiled at him. Andrew had to restrain himself from leaning over her and giving her a good wake-up call. "Can you make pancakes?"

"Your wish is my command." He went to stand but Emily took his hand.

"Not the normal pancakes, though. The big fluffy ones." At Andrew's raised eyebrow, she continued, "I had a colleague at Interpol who lived in Japan for three years before moved to London. She took us to this restaurant for breakfast one day. I distinctly remember her saying 'this is the most authentic Japanese restaurant in a non-Asian country.' Anyway, they served these amazing fluffy pancakes that were soft and fluffy and airy and they were just absolutely delicious."

"It sounds like heaven," he agreed.

"And they taste like heaven," she nodded. "I firmly believe that if I ate heaven, it would taste like those pancakes. I really do."

Andrew laughed. "As heavenly as those sound, I don't really know how to make those pancakes. But, what about I learn how to make one first and perfect it so when you ask for some, I can whip a couple for you?"

"Alright," Emily nodded, "but you don't have to if it would bother you."

He smiled and placed a soft kiss on her lips. "You could never bother me, Emily Prentiss. Never." He broke away from her before the kiss could go any further. "I'll set an alarm for twenty minutes. When it goes off—"

"I get up and shower. I know, daddy," Emily teased, smirking at how his eyes darkened when she drawled out the last word. "I'm kidding. Go make my pancakes."

"You're bossy. And mean."

"They do call me that at work sometimes."

"Good thing I still love you."

"Good thing indeed." He placed one last kiss on her lips before he got up and left the bedroom.

Thirty minutes later, Emily walked out of the bedroom, dressed in a yellow shirt and pants, which Andrew knew she had recently bought at the mall. She refused to shop at the maternity section just yet, opting to go for clothes three sizes up from her usual ones. Andrew took a moment to stare at her, smiling at how she seemed to glow. In his eyes, she was the most beautiful woman he had ever met, but pregnancy seemed to intensify her beauty, her shirt accentuating the ever growing baby bump. She was ethereal.

"What are you staring at?" Emily asked, pulling Andrew out of his thoughts. She laughed when he blinked twice. "What? Do I have something on my face?"

"You look incredibly beautiful," he smiled at her.

Emily rolled her eyes. "Really? I don't feel it. Your child has decided that I could no longer keep the pregnancy a secret from anyone and showed themselves," she pointed to her stomach. "I'm going to be a walking basketball come twenty weeks."

"Remember the list? I just officially added 'walking basketball,' so you are no longer allowed to call yourself that," Andrew said, placing a plate with a stack of blueberry pancakes in front.

"Oh poo, the list is stupid," Emily argued, stabbing a pancake with her fork.


"What? It is!"

"I'm a little hurt because I made the list and since you called it stupid that indirectly means I'm stupid."

"Babe, I love you, I really do, but the list is stupid because those things are true. Two weeks ago, I just look bloated, but now I look like I stole a basketball from the school gym and decided to hide it under my shirt because I'm that huge," she said. "Don't deny it."

"I won't because yes, I agree that you are getting bigger, but one, that is good news because bigger you means the baby is bigger and is therefore healthier," Andrew said.

"Point number two must better be sweet to make up for you calling me fat," Emily warned.

"Two, you are not fat, you are pregnant," he continued, hugging her from behind. He placed her hands on the bump and smiled, stroking it softly with his thumb. "Which leads me to point number three, the last but not the least: pregnancy looks good on you. You've always been beautiful and glowing, but right now, you're five times that."

Emily smiled. She placed her hands on top of his and sighed, content and comfortable as she leaned against him. "Thank you. You're too sweet to me."

"Mm, you deserve every ounce of sweetness," Andrew said, placing soft kisses down her neck.

"Andrew," she moaned softly as his lips traced her jaw. "Honey, we're going to be late for our appointment."

"We can reschedule for a later time," he whispered in her ear, biting her earlobe gently.

Another breathless moan escaped Emily's lips, but she held firm, despite how her body was screaming, begging to let him take her back to bed, and pulled herself away. "Do you really want to hold off on finding out what we're having?"

Andrew sighed, leaning his forehead against her shoulder for a moment before placing one last kiss on her neck and leaving to take a shower. Emily, on the other hand, was one step away from inhaling the entire plate of pancakes. So far, her doctor hasn't said no to pancakes yet, and she asked Spencer, her walking baby-guide, to be safe, and he assured her it was safe. Emily knew that her access to pancakes and the rest of her favorite food could be cut short any minute so she gulfs everything down while she still can.

"You're going to bite your entire thumbnail off," Andrew said, taking her hand.

"Do they intend to make me wait any longer?" Emily asked, rolling her eyes when Andrew shot her a reprimanding look for snapping. "What? I'm a nervous wreck here, and waiting doesn't make me any less nervous. It actually just makes me worry more, thank you very much."

Andrew sighed in defeat. He nearly kissed the technician when she (finally) entered the room, offering them a warm smile.

"Sorry I took so long. Our usual guy in charge of testing was out sick today, so Doctor Nichols and I had to take care of it," she explained, "and by taking care of it, she told me what to do and I just followed. She should be by in a few minutes with the results."

It was Emily's turn to shoot Andrew a reprimanding look at his arrogant "I told you" smirk.

"Meanwhile, we can get a look at your baby, check if they're ready to tell mommy and daddy what they are, unless of course, you guys don't want to know."

"Oh we do," Andrew said eagerly, grinning. "We so do."

"Daddy's excited," the technician smiled as she set up the equipment. "I like that."

"Yeah, well, our little one here is already a surprise, and we both decided no more surprises unless they want to be grounded for life," Emily squeezed Andrew's hand.

"Any preferences?"

"None at all," Andrew and Emily said simultaneously, making the technician smile. She squeezed some gel onto Emily's exposed abdomen and began moving the wand.

"And here's your baby."

Similar to their first ultrasound appointment, Emily and Andrew were at a loss for words, both mesmerized as they stared at the screen with hands tightly clutching the other's and tears stinging their eyes.

"You know, I keep staring at the sonogram we already have, but seeing our baby never gets old," Andrew whispered. Emily nodded, hastily wiping her eyes.

"Good news is, baby is big enough for a geriatric pregnancy," the technician said. Emily was too distracted to notice she mentioned geriatric pregnancy.

"Good news? Does that mean there's bad news?" she asked in a worried tone. Beside her, Andrew held his breath, terrified at the words that might come out of the technician's mouth.

"Not really, more like disappointing news," she clarified. "Sadly, your baby seems like they're not yet ready to show."

Emily let out a sigh of relief, grateful because she bad expected the worst but this wouldn't even classify as bad news. She smiled at Andrew, who kissed the back of her hand as a means so soothe her.

"But fortunately for us, I have your chromosome test results." The three of them whipped their heads around to see Doctor Nichols walking towards the bed, clip file in hand. "Good to see you again, Andrew."

"There's no place I'd rather be at this moment, Doctor," he nodded.

"Before we go to the fun part first, let's discuss your blood results." Doctor Nichols took a seat in front of the bed. "Your blood pressure is still high, not danger levels or I would already issue bedrest for you, but it's still higher than I like."

"What should I do to keep it down?" Emily asked.

"Same as what I told you last time, but can I get a clue on what you do in the field other than chasing the bad guys and tackling them to the ground?"

Emily held back a snort at the doctor's description. She had heard more bizarre ones, after all. "Well, we do crime scene visits, stakeouts, interviews, coroner visits sometimes, and uh, arrests."

"Hmm, I know last time, I gave you permission to do all those except the arrests, but right now, we can't risk your blood pressure rising again, so I'm issuing an order to limit you to strictly stick to visiting the coroner's office because it seems the least dangerous," Doctor Nichols said. "Other than that, you are out of the field. Okay?"

"Yes," Emily nodded in disappointment. She had hoped that she would still have freedom, although limited, even when pregnant, but for her baby, she would be willing to stay at the station.

"Good," she smiled. "Now, I have the results from the chorionic villus test, and I am happy to announce that there are no obvious genetic problems found."

If Doctor Nichols knew their reactions would be heartwarming and comical at the same time, she would've had a camera ready. Both parents let out a sound that was half laugh and half sob, leaning into each other at the relief flooding through their veins. From the corner of her eye, she saw the technician wipe the corner of her eye and stopped herself from doing the same. Once they calmed down a little bit, she decided to add in one last detail that would surely make the parents' day even more wonderful. "Congratulations you two."

Later, after they buckled their seatbelts, Emily cupped Andrew's face and kissed him, smiling when he placed his hands over hers as he kissed her back.

"I love you," she sniffled after they broke the kiss. Her hands were still on his face, and she wiped the lone tear that slid down his cheek. "I love you so much."

Andrew pulled her as close as he could to him. "Not that it's a competition, but I love you more."

"They're here! They're here!" Michael's voice could be heard from inside, and a few seconds later, the front door opened and Emily was greeted with a hug to her thighs. "Hi Auntie Em'ly!"

"Hey, Michael!" Emily bent down to give him a hug, waving to Henry who had followed his brother to the door. "Oh god, you've grown since I last saw you, which was what, three weeks ago?"

"No!" Michael giggled when Emily began tickling his side.

"You hear that Henry? Michael's asking you to help me tickle him," Emily teased, winking at the ten year old. Henry smiled and tickled his brother's neck. The two stopped when Michael was giggling so hard he was wheezing.

"Hi Uncle Andrew!" Henry said, giving him a fist bump. He stepped aside to let the couple in and followed them to the kitchen. "Are you going to play video games with me and Uncle Dave tonight? Mommy said we could as long as Auntie Emily isn't tired yet."

Andrew smiled. "Sure buddy! But go easy on me okay? You beat me last time. Let this old man have one win."

"Beat Dave's ass for me, I promise a special night once we go home," Emily cooed seductively once she was sure the two children were out of earshot.

Andrew shot her a grin and slid his hand from hers and into her waist, pulling her against him and kissing her passionately. He ran his tongue lightly over her bottom lip and Emily let out a moan, wrapping her arms around his neck and pulling him closer. Her back was pressed against the kitchen counter, with Andrew's hands running up and down her sides, leaving a tingling effect that had her kissing him for more than he was worth.

"Hey guys, we're all over oh my god!" They broke apart and turned her heads to see Spencer standing over the archway, one hand covering both eyes. Emily groaned and buried her face against Andrew's neck in an attempt to hide the redness covering her face, as if Spencer would see it.

"Hi Reid," Andrew chuckled awkwardly, keeping his arms around Emily.

"Hi, I, uhm, we, uh, Rossi set up a campfire, and he told me to come tell you that we are all out in the balcony," he stammered. "I'll see you there then."

"Is he gone?" Emily asked, her voice muffled against Andrew's chest.

"Yes, he's gone," he sighed, placing a kiss on her forehead. "At least it wasn't Dave, or Penelope, again."

"What is it with Dave's house that gets us all hot and touchy?" Emily wondered, eliciting a chuckle from Andrew.

"I think it's either the chimney or the huge backyard."

"Hmm, maybe," she sighed, kissing his cheek. "Come on. Let's go before Dave gets us or sends someone else to do it."

"Hey you two," JJ greeted them with a smirk on her face. "Dave sent Spencer to get you and he came back all flushed and stuttering. Want to tell me what that was all about?"

"Hi JJ," Andrew said. "Is Will here?"

"No, his partner's mom was in the hospital so he couldn't get out of work that easily," JJ said. "He's going to be sad he missed you, though. He was so excited when I told him Emily was pregnant, saying maybe this baby would break the boy streak between the BAU children. That is assuming, you guys found out today, right?"

"Hey, what did Rossi cook?" Emily asked. Andrew held back a snort at her abrupt change of topic. "I mean, I'm game to eat smores all night long, but my doctor gave me diet list and the pregnancy watchman here is going to make sure I follow it to a T."

JJ laughed when Andrew nodded beside her. "Well, knowing you and your penchant for everything greasy, I would say someone's gotta do it."

"Hey! I resent that," Emily complained as they made their way to where everyone else was.

"Nice job on sidestepping the what happened with Spence question," JJ remarked.

"I have no idea what you're talking about," Emily said, accepting a hug from Krystall.

Dinner outside was eventful. Everyone, except Matt and Kristy who had to visit her family, was there, and they all gave her big hugs and told Emily she looked amazing. Despite Emily's expectations of smores and barbeque only meal, Dave went all out and cooked fish and made a salad for her, which Emily knew Andrew was grateful for. The kids were animatedly asking Emily about the baby, and the adults, although they tried to hide it, were waiting for Emily to spill something about the baby's gender. Penelope, as Emily had expected, was the one to snap.

"How did your appointment go?" she asked.

"It went well," Emily said with a warm smile on her face. Andrew wrapped his arm around her shoulders and she leaned against him. "Our little one is getting bigger, and unfortunately, my blood pressure's still high so while I'm still allowed to travel, I'm stuck to desk duties."

"And visiting the coroner's office," Andrew reminded her.

"Ah yes, visiting the coroner's office. My doctor said it was the least dangerous part of being in the field."

"What, you didn't tell her about that one time when it turned out the coroner was actually the unsub and shot at you?" Tara asked in a teasing tone.

"If I did, I would've died from boredom of desk duty," Emily said.

"Did you find out what you're having?" Luke asked curiously.

Emily glanced at Andrew and held his gaze, both pretending to have a silent conversation that seemed to take forever in order to elevate the suspense. In reality, they made a bet on which BAU team member would be the one to break and snap: Emily had bet on Penelope, while Andrew bet on Spencer. Fifty bucks were at stake, and both wanted to win.

She barely managed to suppress an eye roll when Spencer cleared his throat to get their attention. "Did you?" he asked, smiling sheepishly at the couple.

"We did," Andrew nodded.

"Ooh!" Krystall said, clapping her hands together. "So? Are you having a boy or a girl?"

"Yes, please do tell us so I can start shopping for the baby!" Penelope took out her phone and opened, what Emily dreaded, was an online shopping app.

"Pen, I am begging you now to please not buy out an entire baby store," Emily said.

"I am the BAU Fairy Godmother! It is my job to spoil the BAU babies, and since this time, it's specially your baby, I have to make sure the baby likes me," Penelope explained.

Emily opened her mouth to argue but was immediately stopped by JJ, who placed a hand on her shoulder and said, "Arguing with her would lead to nowhere. Just make some space in your closet."

"I'm not telling," Emily joked. A chorus of "Oh come on, Emily!" escaped their mouths, and Emily felt Andrew shaking beside her as he tried to hold back from laughing.

"Fine! Andrew can tell us!" Luke said and everyone shifted their gaze to Andrew, who raised his palms up in the air.

"She's the boss," he shrugged.

Penelope let out a dramatic sigh. A few seconds later, the corners of her lips twitched upwards as she grinned. "That's okay! That just gives me an opportunity to plan a gender reveal party for you, and there's these pretty black balloons I saw online and you can fill them with either blue or pink confetti and—"

"We're having a girl," Emily blurted at the same time as Andrew said, "It's a girl."

Everyone fell silent for a few minutes before they rose as a unit and went to hug the couple, with Rossi leaning over to kiss both of Emily's cheeks, Italian style.

"Em, I'm so happy for you," JJ said, giving her friend a tight hug. "I can't wait to meet her already!"

Emily gave her a watery smile and nodded. "Me too. But she's staying in there for at least thirty-five weeks or she's in big trouble."

"Daughters are amazing," Krystall said as she hugged Andrew. "They're a love and at the same time a pain because they do all the stuff you did as a teenager."

"Oh god," Emily groaned. She was not looking forward to her daughter's one day teenage angst, and she hoped that she and her daughter would have a better relationship than the one she had with her mother.

Her daughter. The thought made her giddy. She was going to be a mother to a baby girl who, as far as they knew, was as healthy as she could be. Emily felt tears pool in her eyes and she nearly cried right there and then in Andrew's arms as she met his gaze and saw the genuine love in his eyes.

She was having a daughter with the man she was madly and deeply in love with.

"Alright everyone," Dave gathered everyone's attention and raised his glass of champagne in the air for a toast. The kids raised their glasses of soda and Emily raised her glass of water. "To Emily and Andrew. Here's to your growing family."

"To Emily and Andrew!"