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It's late when Elliot gets home, but even the dark and silent house feels warm and welcoming after so long away. He walks softly through the halls and looks in on each of his sleeping children before slipping into his and Kathy's room.

It was weeks ago now, but he can still smell the lingering scent of Kathy's heat in the bedroom air. Maybe it's because it's winter, the house shut up tight, or maybe it's because he's always been overly sensitive to her scent. Exhausted as he is, he still feels pulled toward her, still feels an instinctive desire to wrap himself around her and bury himself inside her.

He shucks his clothes and slides into bed next to her. Her smell is fainter here, hidden by clean sheets and fabric softener, but he still growls contentedly as he pulls her close, tucks his chin over her shoulder and his nose against her neck.

Kathy sighs as she wakes. "You're home," she says, like she's waking late on a Sunday morning, happy and rested and warm in the sun.

"I'm home," he agrees, holding her tighter once she turns in his arms, slides her arms around him. He kisses her softly, but it's still loud in the silent room. "Missed you." He's been gone too long.

"Me too." She nuzzles his neck.

He rubs her back, the bare skin where her nightgown dips low. "Liv take care of you guys okay?" He feels Kathy smile against his neck.

"Mmhmm." She yawns. "She's a good alpha. Brought us dinner, played with the twins..." Stretches a little, arching her back beneath Elliot's hand. "And she was so sweet when I was in heat. Just like you."

Elliot growls again, this time playfully, and rolls them over so Kathy is beneath him. "Not sweet," he says, and he can feel her laugh at him.

"Yeah, you keep telling yourself that, mister. I swear, it was just like my first heat after Mo. Remember that?"

"I'll never forget." He'd felt like such an irresponsible fuck-up when he'd gotten Kathy pregnant at seventeen, without even her heat or his rut to blame. At a time when he should've felt nothing but pride and protectiveness coursing through his veins, he'd felt only worry, only fear of how else he'd fuck up. But when Kathy's first post-pregnancy heat had come, when it had been just him, responsible for all the needs of his mate and his baby daughter... he'd finally felt like an alpha then, like someone who could care for and protect a family, not just create one by mistake.

"She actually tried to cook dinner for the kids." Kathy chuckles to herself; Elliot understands why. Olivia would starve to death without delivery. "I have never been so turned on by the smell of burnt pot roast. When she came back to bed, I was ready to have her kids."

He's supposed to find that funny, he thinks, but he doesn't. He'd left Kathy with Liv knowing how careful his partner was, never once considering the scenario that drives so many of their ugliest cases. But now, faced with the thought of Liv getting Kathy pregnant, of sliding his hand over Kathy's stomach and feeling Liv's baby kick... Jesus. The thought of it makes his dick hard.

"Olivia's kids, huh," he says, sliding his hand up Kathy's leg, right under her nightgown. He kisses her neck, shifts so Kathy can feel his erection. "How many would you give her?" He strokes her hip. "Would you give her four, like you gave me?"

Kathy hums. Not the way she does when she's thinking, but the way she does when she's turned on and enjoying his attention. "Maybe. If she wanted them."

Elliot's hand slips between her thighs. "She wants 'em," he says, dragging a knuckle through her slick. God, the way Liv wants kids. He'd give them to her if he could. "She'd go crazy seeing you pregnant."

She smiles, eyes drifting closed. "Also like you."

"I don't care what you say, you were so hot when you were pregnant with the twins." He bites her shoulder possessively as he slides the thin strap of her nightgown down her arm. "Maybe Liv'd give you twins."

Kathy groans, laughing, as Elliot starts kissing downward. "God, I hope not. Not again."

He takes her nipple into his mouth and brushes his thumb over her clit, making her arch up into his mouth. "You know," he says when he pulls away, licking the taste of her off his lips. He hopes he's not about to say the wrong thing. "You know, some alpha women, when their partner gets pregnant, their bodies..." He trails off. He's been with Kathy twenty years and sometimes he's still a blushing virgin with her.

"You're thinking about her tits," Kathy says, smiling, teasing. Then her eyes go a little unfocused. "Oh, God, now I'm thinking about her tits. And her hips. And--"

"Yeah," Elliot says. Liv would look good like that, with the echo of Kathy's pregnancy weight. "Don't seem so ridiculous now, do I?"

"Oh, you're still plenty ridiculous." She reaches up, puts a hand on the back of his neck and tugs him down for a kiss. "Get inside me, Elliot."

"You're thinking about her dick," Elliot teases, and Kathy agrees, but he does what he's told. And God, it's good. It's always good, but he's home for the first time in nearly two months, and Liv's been here, and Kathy's thinking about kids again, and maybe he's going into rut, but-- "Kath?"

"Mm?" She's rolling her hips beneath him, a familiar rhythm around his cock.

"I wanna." He rocks his hips forward, settles himself as deep as he can. He rests a hand on her stomach. "For real. I want Liv to get you pregnant, and I want to make love to you while her baby's inside you, just like we did with our own. I wanna raise our kids with her and I wanna know that if I'm ever not here anymore, you won't be alone."

Kathy's smile is tight-lipped and unsteady, the way it had been the night he'd proposed, the two of them terrified but full of hope. "You'll be here," she tells him firmly. "If I'm having more kids, I'm going to need you and Olivia both."

He grins and kisses her, which is clumsy as hell, his front teeth right against her lips, but he's going to be a dad again, and Liv's finally going to be a mom, so he kisses Kathy clumsily and happily again. "You are the best mate," he says, and Kathy's smile makes it clear she already knows.

"Fuck me, El," she tells him, putting an arm behind her head. Her other hand finds his on her stomach. "But don't come inside me. We're going to save that for Olivia."