A/N: Ok, it's been ten thousand years since I updated this fic, but I honestly lost the juice for it. I've been trying to spit this out for months now. I had a plot before, but now it's just going to be a bunch of fluffy chapters with prego Liv and nervous daddy Barba. I know a lot of you have been wanting me to update this fic, but it's pretty low on my priority list. I'll still continue to pump out chapters, though. I don't own SVU or its characters, and I hope you enjoy.
"Where…in the hell…Rafael!"
Rafael was in the middle of fixing his tie when she yelled his name. He nearly choked himself for tugging on the fabric so hard, judging by his red face and coughing fit as he joined her in the kitchen. She instantly felt bad and cursed the tears stinging behind her eyes.
Six months pregnant, and she was getting more and more emotional by the day, something she was hating just as much as Rafael was. The only difference was the fact that she hated crying every time she saw a damn baby food commercial and he hated seeing her cry.
"What's wrong? Are you ok?"
She sighed and leaned on the counter, feeling the muscles in her back tighten. She would rather be back in bed at that moment, but she knew she would be going stir crazy if that happened. Bed rest was on the table, but it hadn't been forced on her yet, much to her pleasure. With her pregnancy being so high-risk, coupled with her age and the nature of her job, she was positive the doctor would slap her with it almost immediately, but she'd been able to avoid it so far.
Rafael wasn't so pleased, but that was because he was so damn worried every second of the day. If it wasn't because of her mood swings and back pain, it was because she was dizzy sometimes or had the oddest craving for apple juice and fried chicken. Through it all, though, he was doing his best to stay calm himself while simultaneously trying to keep her grounded.
He was a trooper and she loved him more because of that.
"I'm fine. The babies are fine," she ground out, seeing him relax the slightest. Irritation welled up in her again as she all but threw open the fridge door and pointed at the empty shelf, "Now, who in the hell drank the last of the pickle juice? Was it you?"
Rafael just looked at her, shaking his head. He was amused but she found nothing remotely funny about the situation. Her mouth was salivating with just the thought of the salty brine and if she didn't drink any at that very moment, there was going to be hell to pay.
"It's not funny, Rafael. Your children want the juice and there was a jar of it in here last night. I remember, because I ate all the pickles out of it and set it right next to my juice boxes. Did you drink it?"
"Honey," he said slowly, raising a placating hand before she could start in on him. She crossed her arms and popped her hip out, doing her best to look intimidating even with the unshed tears making a comeback in her eyes. "Look behind you and to your left."
She glanced over her shoulder, seeing the lone pickle jar sitting out on the counter by the sink, top off and a bendy straw sticking out of it. She licked her lips and looked back at him, immediately trying to form an apology. She sighed shakily and sniffed, shifting on her feet.
"Sorry…," she breathed out, a small sob escaping her mouth afterwards. Rafael just came up and held her, rubbing her back and kissing her neck as she buried her face in his. She hated just how fast she was switching between emotions, but she hated the absent-mindedness the most. She misplaced everything nowadays. Yesterday morning, she thought she lost her cell phone, when really, it had been in her blazer pocket all along. Half the time she felt like she was going crazy, but she'd been told, by Amanda, Lucia and her doctor, that everything she was experiencing was completely normal.
"I'm getting your shirt wet," she pulled back and wiped at her nose. He cleaned her face off with his hands, smiling at her. "Forget the shirt. I have more."
"I love you," she backed away completely and grabbed the still cold jar, taking a few long sips. He snorted and disappeared down the hall, calling to Noah, who was still in bed and sleeping away. She sighed in content and downed the rest of the jar until it was gone. She was going to have to stop by the store on the way home for some more.
Throwing the jar away, she moved onto the row of vitamin bottles lined up on the counter. She forced herself to stop right there and empty her daily amount out into her palm, knowing if she stepped away for even a second, she would completely forget.
"Don't forget to take- "
"I got it," she cut Rafael off, who was now fully dressed and carrying his briefcase. He snorted and walked over to her, kissing her on the cheek. "Just making sure. You forgot them three times last week."
Lucy chose that moment to walk in, leaving her sassy comment about to leave her mouth hanging between them. She sent him withering glare and dug in the fridge for one of her juice boxes. She was going to need two of them this morning.
"We're gonna have to go round him up."
"You mean us, and not you."
Liv could feel her irritation instantly flare up again as she stared at Fin over the top of her glasses. She'd been doing so good with her mood swings since she got here four hours ago, and now they were about to go for another ride with that comment.
Fin noticed almost immediately but didn't back down. Amanda and Carisi didn't say anything, but they were amused. Probably because she looked less intimidating now that she was sporting quite the baby bump and was sipping from one of the juice boxes she kept stashed in the break room fridge.
"No, I mean I'm going to go do it myself without any backup and hope for the best." She rolled her eyes, knowing Fin could take her attitude in stride, and he did, chuckling while she slid his coat on.
"Barba would have a cow," Amanda snorted, imagining their Lieutenant in her delicate condition trying to take down a perp and Barba screaming her off for even carrying a gun on her hip. They'd all been surprised just how fatherly the normally grumpy ADA was being lately, not that they didn't witness it enough with Noah, who thought the man was a superhero the way he looked at him sometimes.
Fin and Carisi often commented on how weird it was to see, but Amanda always felt a little warm inside when she was privy to it. Those private moments, when they thought they were alone, and he would touch her belly and make her smile. They both looked so happy, and that in turn made her happy.
"A cow about what?"
Barba strode through the squad room with his briefcase in one hand and a bag from the deli two blocks down in the other. Liv immediately perked upon seeing it and her irritated mood shifted into one of delight.
"Just a joke about Liv going out in the field with no backup," Fin commented, making sure to inform the man of the joke beforehand. Carisi had told a similar joke last month, without the preface and while Liv was in the bathroom, and Fin couldn't remember ever seeing the man so pale before. Liv had given Carisi hell for that one, and shoved him at a desk for a week because of it.
"Please, don't give me those images. I'm having enough trouble keeping her and my children fed without having to think about that."
"Hey!" Liv's lip curled for a split second, but as soon as he set the bag of food down, she happily opened it, spotting the giant paper wrapped pickle first thing. "Oh, you got me two pickles! God, you're the best. I'm definitely going to ride you tonight."
Amanda, Fin, and Carisi froze and then took off right after that, disgusted looks on their faces. She yelled the address after them and unwrapping her pickle simultaneously. Rafael gave her a look, knowing a few other officers had heard what she said, but she shrugged, chewing happily.
"That's what they get."
He couldn't argue with that. He dug around in the bag for his own sandwich and was about to dig in when Liv gasped and clutched the pickle tightly in her hand, a droplet of juice tipping over the side and down her hand. Her free hand flew to the side of her belly, and her eyes were wide with tears forming in them.
"What?" He said, giving her his complete attention. His heart sped up to an abnormally fast pace. It was so loud in his ears it drowned out the office sounds of the precinct they sat in. Liv was silent, despite his rapid-fire questions, but she finally shushed him and reached over, grabbing on of his twitching hands and placing it on her stomach.
"They're kicking," she said quietly. Rafael froze at that, feeling the small bump against his palm almost immediately after. A huge grin broke out on his face. This was a moment they'd been waiting for and were anxious because it hadn't happened yet. They'd called their doctor almost every week just to make sure, but they were reassured that Liv was right on track, their babies were healthy, and they would kick in due time.
They spent almost every night, tracing her belly, waiting for that fluttering sensation to turn into full on movement. They'd been disappointed, every single night for the past two months, but it was happening now. In the squad room, no less.
"Oh my God," she whispered, biting her lip to try and keep her emotions at bay. He wasn't faring well himself, tears stinging his eyes as the small bumps against his palm continued. Liv smiled at him, sniffing loudly. She threw her pickle in the bag and wiped her other hand on a napkin and then wiped the tears on her face. She had to retain some semblance of stoic in this place. She was a Lieutenant…they couldn't see her crying like a baby, even though one of the most amazing things had just taken place there.
"She keeps going…"
"I think he's on that side, honey. I'm almost positive she's over here," Liv patted the other side and her frowned, trying to think back to their ultrasound last week. "You sure?"
"In any case, whichever one this is, they're gonna be a soccer player."
"We really need to get on picking those names." It was true. They'd been doing their best to try and create a list of names they could both agree on, but they were having a hell of a time. It was either too traditional, or not traditional enough, and those baby naming sessions often turned into arguments.
"I still say we let Noah decide. He's more excited for the babies than I think my mother is."
"No…no, I think Lucia is more excited. I'm sure she's told half the city she's gonna be a grandmother by now. Maybe she can throw in a few suggestions?"
"…really? She named me Rafael…I'm not sure her baby naming abilities are up to par with our standards."
"I like your name…it's cool…it's a real…Ninja name."
Rafael rolled her eyes and pulled his hand away, the kicking having subsided and his hunger returning. The babies kicking were going to be his new obsession, he just knew it. He was going to force Liv to lie on their bed for at least an hour so he could feel them again, if the twins were up for it. He certainly hoped so.
"First of all, I was not named after a Ninja Turtle. Second, you're lucky she didn't go with Samuel Barba Jr. like she planned on doing."
"You don't even come close to looking like a Samuel. Sam. Sammy." Liv scrunched up her nose and shook her head, reaching for her pickle again. Rafael shuddered and dug into his food. They sat out in the squad room, occasionally being interrupted by an officer who needed a signature.
They polished off their lunch and made a b-line for her office, wanting some privacy as they finished out the rest of their lunch hour. He still had plenty of work to do and she still had plenty of sitting and tapping away on a computer to do.
"I'm all for Noah picking the names, but they need to be reasonable. So, we can sit down with him tonight and come up with something. If that fails, your mom's going to have to step in, because at this rate, our poor babies are going to be nameless for the first three months of their lives."
He could argue that. With two workaholics under one roof, things were bound to be forgotten by either one or both of them. Baby naming was at the bottom of their list of worries when it needed to be towards the top.
"Agreed. Alright, I need to get back to the office. I have a meeting I need to prep for and an arraignment at two. I'll call you later," he leaned over her desk and kissed her, keeping it chaste at work. A wicked smile formed as he thought about that little comment she made earlier while her detectives were still around, and he turned in the doorway, leaning against the frame.
"So, are you going to ride me before or after we brainstorm baby names tonight?"
Liv looked confused for a second but returned his wicked grin, licking her lips for good measure. "It'll be a surprise. Don't bring any work home with you."
With that, Rafael turned on his heel and left, hoping the day would go by quickly. He was eager to get home.