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This One is Different

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She’s been acting weird all week. Every time he’s tried to touch her, even briefly, she shrugs him off of her before storming away, leaving him there speechless.

He tries to call her on it one night, the squad room empty and no one around, the darkness shrouding them together with their secret in the dim light.

He watches her carefully as she sits across from him. Notes how she keeps running a finger over her left temple, rubbing brief circles into it before dropping her hand back onto a paper on her desk. She refuses to look up at him though, and he can’t tell if it’s out of ignorance or on purpose. After about ten minutes of not even trying to to hide his stare, he decides to break first.

“Liv, is something wrong?” She looks up at him then, startled, as if she’d forgotten he was there, and her eyebrows furrow together. 

“No. Nothing’s wrong.” She shakes her head slightly before looking back down at the paperwork in front of her and he continues to watch her. He gives her a minute before standing up and heading to her desk, leaning back against it to her right to watch her.

She chooses to ignore him and he sighs.

“Liv…” he starts, setting his hand on her shoulder before starting to run it down her arm when she shrugs him off again. This time, the frustration is more than evident in his sigh.

“Why do you keep doing that?” He asks loudly, his voice reverberating around the empty room.

She looks up then and her eyes just look… sad. She sighs before running a hand through her hair.

“Why do I keep doing what Elliot?” He gestures at her wildly, his hands bouncing up and down between them.

“Shrugging me off you every time I touch you like I’m some piece of sludge.” Hurt shines in her eyes at the accusation and he flinches inside before softening. 

“You just keep seeming like you’re disgusted with me every time I touch you Liv,” he whispers. Her eyes well up with tears then and both guilt and panic rise up in him. She stands up suddenly and rushes past him, leaving him speechless against her desk.

He watches her disappear into the bathroom and his eyebrows knit together as he pushes himself off her desk. The sound of her vomiting fills the empty squad room and his own stomach drops.

Suddenly he’s in the women’s bathroom with her, watching her as she stands above the toilet, her hands pressed tightly to her knees as she hovers carefully.

It’s quiet for a couple minutes, and he scans her waist for her gun and prays that she doesn’t pull it on him when he asks her the question that has been running around the front of his mind ever since he heard her vomit.

“Are you late?” He asks quietly, watches her shoulders tense up and prepares himself for the tongue lashing he’s about to receive. However, when she turns around, her eyes are watery, her shoulders dropped low and pulling in towards her chest and she sighs as she runs a hand through her hair.

“I honestly don’t know. I’ve always been irregular…” she takes a deep breath and looks up at the ceiling before meeting his eyes again. “This one feels different.” 

He doesn’t miss the hope and worry in her voice, how she desperately hopes that what she’s been wanting for so long is finally true, the undercurrent of the potential of this all being for nothing present in her voice. God he can only pray that this time, it’s finally real.

“Have you taken a test yet?” She flushes the toilet and walks closer to him, crossing her arms as she keeps her eyes focused on his chest. She doesn’t need to look at him to see the hope in his eyes, and she knows that if it all comes back negative once again, she’ll only see that look when she thinks of him for the next couple weeks.

“No. I bought a few the other day, I just haven’t had a chance to take them.” 

His hand reaches for hers, gently pulling her arms apart so that they eventually fall to her sides.

“You know you should check,” he prods gently, tugging at her hand to pull her into his chest. Her forehead rests snuggly against his sternum as she wraps her arms around his torso, nodding in agreement.

“I will,” she whispers before pulling her head back to look at him. “At some point.” His eyes narrow then and she drops her head back to his chest.

“I just need to prepare myself for another negative El.” He sighs and sets his chin on her head.

“You know I’m always right behind you right?” She nods, knows that he’s only trying to remind her that she’s not the only one disappointed with each negative test that flashes back at her. But she always feels as if it’s her doing, each negative. A reminder that maybe the courts were right, that the universe is also telling her she’s not fit to be a mother.

She picks her head up to meet his eyes. His eyes shift into a look of concern when they get to search her eyes, but he stays silent, only pressing a kiss to her forehead in response.

They go home that night and he watches her carefully, waits to see if she’ll go take the tests on her own but the nervous pit in her stomach tells her to wait, tells her to wait until she’s alone so she can face that initial grief on her own.

But as they lay in bed, Elliot finally rolling away from her, his arm slipping off his waist, there’s a nagging voice that tells her, do it, do it now. You’ve gotta know. He’ll be right here when you find out, good or bad. 

She gently pushes herself out of bed, pads her way out to the bathroom not connected to their bedroom, snagging the bag of tests from underneath their kitchen sink where she’d shoved them the other day when she got home.

The boxes stare at her as she stands in the small bathroom, her fingers rubbing together as she looks back at them. She lets out a sigh before plunging her hand in and grabbing the first one her fingers get purchase on and shakes her head in disappointment before opening it up.

Five minutes later and the box has been shoved under the sink, her hands washed, and the test sitting on the counter. 

She leans against the door as she stares at it, tries to shove herself as far away from it as possible as time slowly ticks by.

It’s been longer than the recommended five minutes. Been almost double that time, but she can’t force herself to pull the piece of toilet paper off the window that will tell her her fate.

Finally, she braces herself, feels the disappointment already start to build low in her stomach, as she lifts the toilet paper.

She drops it suddenly, as if she’s been burned, and her head spins.

The bathroom becomes a safe haven then. She locks herself in there for over an hour before she finally gathers the courage to leave.

Elliot is still fast asleep as she quietly pushes their bedroom door open. It’s a trait she’s always been jealous of him for, that he is a deep sleeper, only awakening to the noises that must call him from sleep and not any of the small noises that occur throughout the night.

However, as she turns to shut the door behind her, she hears him groan.

“Liv?” He calls out, the sheets rustling as he confirms she’s not in bed with him. She’s frozen then, his voice rooting her where she stands, her arms coming to cross in front of her.

When she doesn’t answer, he sits up in bed, rubbing at his eyes.

“Liv baby, what’s wrong?” She wants to berate him, remind him that she hates when he calls her baby. But, she is still stuck where she stands, her eyes frozen on him as her thoughts run rampant.

He stands up then, stalking his way towards her, his eyes scanning up and down to take her in. When she’s within arms reach, his hands cradle her jaw, and he tilts her head up towards him. 

“Olivia,” he whispers, trying to search her eyes. He sees the fear run through them, and he sighs.

“Did you take them?” He asks quietly. She nods, her eyes filled with tears and he sighs before kissing her forehead, letting his chin rest there as he wraps his arms around her. She leans into him, snaking her arms around him as she swallows roughly.

“It’s gonna be alright Liv. There’s always-“

“I’m pregnant,” she whispers into the column of his throat. He freezes and she presses her lips against his neck, his pulse beating thready beneath them.

He pulls back to meet her eyes and when she sees the joy in them, the tears that had been stuck start to stream down her face.

“No fucking way,” he whispers as his hands come to cradle her jaw once more, his right thumb running back and forth over her cheekbone.

“According to the three tests in the spare bathroom, yeah.” It’s sudden, how he pulls her into his arms, lifting her up and spinning around once before setting her back down, his eyes glittering with unshed tears.

He drops a kiss onto her lips and she opens her mouth so his tongue can invade it. She moans as he sucks her bottom lip between his teeth and then pulls away, a shit eating grin on his face.

“We’re having a baby.” She rolls her eyes and brings her hands to rest at the base of his neck, letting one hand run through his hair as she gives him a soft smile.

“Sure seems that way.” His grin somehow brightens even more and he drops a light kiss to her lips before dropping to his knees in front of her.

Her stomach drops at the sight, but then suddenly his hands are lightly resting at the fronts of her hips as he slides up the shirt she’s wearing

“Hey little one. We can’t wait to meet you,” he whispers against her skin, pressing a light kiss below her belly button and she’ll blame the tears that escape her on the hormones. 

He stands up quickly then, cradling her face once more as he stares at her in awe and amazement.

“We’re gonna have a kid Liv.” She gives him a watery smile, her heart melting at his reaction and god she understands how he has four other children if this was his reaction every time.

“We’re gonna have a kid,” she repeats, and both their eyes swell with tears. His lips drop to hers once more before suddenly she’s being picked up once again, but this time he’s carrying her to their bed, the sound of their laughter filling the room as he kisses his way down her body.