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Changed for the Better

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"You didn't propose."

"What?" Andrew asked, turning around to face Emily. After Emily had calmed down a little, Andrew managed to convince her to eat lunch, telling her it wouldn't be good for her or for the baby if she skipped a meal. Ordering practically the same thing she ordered for brunch (and buying her favourite brand of Greek yogurt) helped convince her. They spent the rest of the day in bed, with Andrew's arms still wrapped around her as they watched some of Emily's favourite movies.

"Earlier today, the girls asked how you reacted when I told you I was pregnant," Emily began to explain, "and then I remembered—well, JJ recalled how Will reacted."

"How did he react?" he asked.

"He flew to DC the next day. JJ picked him up from the airport. She said he knelt down one knee and asked her to marry him once he was in front of her," she smiled when Andrew chuckled.

"That sounds like something Will would do," he said. "It's part of the Southern charm."

"I agree," she giggled. "But it does make me wonder."

Andrew furrowed his eyebrows in confusion. "About what?"

Emily took a deep breath and debated whether she should ask. After all, they had never discussed it, so it wasn't a surprise that he never proposed. It had been bothering her the entire day. Her mother, Emily frowned as she thought of the woman, asked if she was going to marry him too.

"Emily," he spoke in a soft voice, taking her hand in his. "You can tell me. I won't judge."

She smiled. "I know you won't. It's me who's judging me." She let out a sigh. "Why didn't you propose when I told you I was pregnant?"

Andrew sighed. His eyes met Emily's dark ones, and he could tell that she was mainly curious, but he was also unsure of what his actions meant. "I didn't propose because I knew that it would seem like I was marrying you because you were pregnant. It would feel like an obligation. I didn't want that, and neither would you."

"Does that mean you thought about it?" Emily asked.

"Of course," Andrew let out a soft chuckle. "I thought about marrying you the moment I asked you out."

"You're a weirdo," she laughed.

"I know," he said, grinning at her.

A comfortable silence took over for a while and the couple refocusing their gazes to the television. Andrew, however, shifted slightly when his eyes suddenly landed on the television stand, or rather what was hidden in the second compartment, meticulously hidden underneath a stack of paper.

"I have a ring," Andrew blurted out.

Emily snapped her head upwards to meet his gaze, her mouth slightly agape in shock. "What?"

"I have a ring," he said, slowly this time. "I, uh, I bought it a few weeks after our eight month anniversary. It was, well, it was there and it screamed 'Emily', and still does, if you ask me, so I bought it."

"Okay," she cleared her throat. She sat up and ran a hand across her bump, trying to think of a suitable response. She suddenly regretted saying 'okay' because she couldn't come up with anything and leaving it at 'okay' sounded wrong.

"I planned to ask you," he said in a soft voice. "That night, when you told me you were pregnant. When you were asleep, I took it out and toyed with it for a minute, wondering if I should wake you up and ask you to marry me. I already had a speech planned, and a back-up plan in case chose to ignore me and keep sleeping."

"What made you change your mind?" she asked after he fell silent.

"Well, for starters, I realised you didn't want to get married, or get engaged, just because you were pregnant, and I understood that. I really did. I didn't want it too," he explained. "And then I asked myself why I wanted to propose. Really thought hard about it."

Confused, Emily furrowed her eyebrows at him. "What do you mean?"

Andrew wasn't a profiler, but he heard how her words were laced with a tiny bit of her hurt. He smiled at her and took her hand, placing a kiss on her palm before fiddling with her fingers.

"I wanted to propose to show and convince you that I'm not leaving. No matter what happened, I would always be here for you, in sickness and in health and all that other stuff they say during the vows," he shook his head and met her gaze. "I realised how shitty that reasoning was. It sounded like we needed to be married so I had a reason to stay, like we would never really be happy unless we were married. That was never how I felt towards you."

He pulled Emily closer towards him, helping her drape her legs over his lap, and she leaned her head on his shoulder. Andrew's hand began caressing her swollen belly and she smiled against him.

"You make me the happiest person in the world, Emily Prentiss. You and our butterball here," he said, eliciting a chuckle from Emily when he pat her bump lightly. "That's enough reason for me to stay. You're more than enough for me, and I would never ever leave you. I would be here with you through every storm that we face, and I would still be here when it's over and the lights are back on." He lifted her chin with his hand and kissed her softly. "I love you, so so much, and I will love you forever."

Emily gave him a watery smile and placed her hands on both sides of his face to pull him down for another kiss. "I love you, too. I don't think I've ever loved someone as much as I love you."

Andrew smiled at her. " Really?"

"Yeah," she nodded. "You make me feel safe and vulnerable at the same time. I've only ever felt them separately, never together. But with you? You've seen me at my worst a month in on our relationship. I pushed you away so hard, but instead of leaving, you gave me the space I needed while refusing to leave me alone. I'm a lot of work to handle, but you were always there for me. I don't know how you're so patient with me and I don't think I ever thanked you for being my safe haven. For loving me."

Andrew kissed her forehead, his lips lingering for a few seconds. "It's always a pleasure loving you, Emily. Always."

Emily let out a soft sigh and leaned closer against him. "I wish we met sooner."

"Me too," he replied. Emily looked up and narrowed her eyes at him. "What?"

"You have that look on your face."

"What look?"

"The 'I have another thing to add to that but I'm not sure whether I should' look. Babe, I invented that look—hell, I invented most looks," she said.

"Hey, I thought we agreed to no profiling each other in the bed," Andrew chided, squeezing her side gently.

"Uh-uh, we agreed to no profiling each other during sex," Emily retorted, winking at Andrew. "Tell me what's on your mind."

"If we met sooner, I don't think things would be the same," he said, sighing. "I don't regret anything, and I love how we went from you dodging my phone calls and refusing to schedule a date, to expecting a baby of our own in twenty weeks. Our story's a bit unconventional, but I wouldn't exchange it for anything."

"Really?" Emily smirked. "Not even how we met and how you asked me out?"

"Uh, I don't think we remember the same thing because you asked me out," Andrew reminded her.

"I did not!"

"Yes you did," he laughed, causing Emily to hit his arm lightly. "Butterball here is going to find out that her parents' love story began with her daddy being stabbed and mommy telling him he had to get her a drink because she saved me from the bad guy. And then mommy proceeded to play hard-to-get after daddy asked her to dinner."

"Stop," Emily whined. "I was thrown off-guard, I didn't think you would actually flirt back."

"Oh, and did you know mommy ignored daddy's calls for a long time before she agreed to have dinner? Your mommy's really mean."

"That's it, you're sleeping on the couch," Emily glared mockingly. "Shoo."

Andrew laughed and wrapped his arms around his girlfriend. He placed soft kisses along her shoulder, smiling when she leaned against him. "I love you."

Emily hummed. "I love you too, even if you're annoying me right now."

Andrew ignored the second part of her statement. "When we first met, you were wearing that olive green blouse and your belt was lopsided."

"I was in such a rush that day," Emily chuckled. "I didn't even get to iron my hair. I was a complete and total mess."

He smiled and kissed her softly. "My point is, when our daughter asks us how we met, I'll tell her how mommy and daddy worked together on a case and how mommy was called into the office earlier than usual and how mommy was a complete and total mess, but she was the most beautiful woman I've laid my eyes on. She'll know the gory details when she's eighteen."

Emily had a soft smile on her face when he finished. "You know, you already got in my pants. There's no need for you to keep flattering me."

Andrew rolled his eyes. "You're exhausting."

"You love me. And you bought a ring that you intended to give me when I told you loved you."

"Yeah. I love you," Andrew agreed. "And I promise you, Emily Prentiss, I will give you that ring in a few years."

"I'll hold you to that, Andrew Mendoza."