63. Blessed (epilogue)
October 2005 (1 year later)
Chris points excitedly at all the dogs playing in the dog run on pier 84. If he wasn't strapped in safely in his stroller, they think he'd jump out to try to get closer to the dogs. He might even try to climb the fence. At 18 months, he's becoming quite the handful, but Olivia enjoys every little bit of time she can spare to spend with her son, either alone or with her husband.
"Kwis doh? Mamma? Kwis doh?"
Chris tries to twist around to look at his mamma with those huge brown eyes of his.
Olivia rolls her eyes at Elliot, who can't stop grinning. This has been going on for a few weeks now, and Elliot thinks it's hilarious. Chris wants a dog. Ever since they had an animal petting day at the daycare center, he hasn't stopped asking for a real dog. He seems to have a particular love for dogs that can't stop running and moving about and she can picture it now. Nothing will be safe in the house. Not that anything has been safe from their little man for a while now, ever since he's started walking.
Chris laughs with delight when one of the dogs jumps up against the fence near his stroller and Olivia sighs. Elliot has been giving her puppy eyes right alongside their son and she know it's inevitable. They're getting a dog. A small one, she's argued. One that actually stays small and won't mind being alone for hours on end. They can't expect their new nanny to take care of Chris and a dog full time. She has to admit that a puppy will be the most perfect Christmas gift they can give their little boy. He isn't really aware of birthdays and holidays yet, but he loves getting presents. And since a dog is the only thing he's ever asked for so far, she knows it's going to be a big hit.
Elliot seems to sense that she's finally ready to cave and when their lazy Saturday is over and she's tucking Chris in for the night in his new big boy crib, she feels her husband move behind her. He leans over her a little, trying to make it seem like that's necessary to say goodnight to Chris, but she knows what he's doing. He's wrapped an arm around her waist and moves his hand down slowly while he makes funny faces at Chris.
Chris giggles, completely unaware of what his father is doing to his mother as his hand finds its intended target. Olivia takes a deep breath but she can feel her body responding to Elliot's touch already. She's been so sensitive lately and so easy to get in the mood and Elliot is taking advantage of that eagerly.
"Night night, Chris," she whispers to her son, waving at him to complete their evening ritual.
"Nai nai," Chris answers sleepily, clutching his newest favorite toy - a dog of course.
A day in the fresh autumn air has been good for him and they know he will be asleep within another minute. Olivia suppresses a moan when Elliot rubs her through her jeans again and she quickly pushes him out of the room, then closes the door softly.
"What do you think you're …" she hisses, but she's cut off by Elliot's lips on hers, her back colliding with the door she's just closed.
She tries to resist but it's only for show and they both know it. Now that Chris is in bed and the other kids are with their mother, they can be Olivia and Elliot for a while, not mamma and daddy. She kisses Elliot back eagerly and yelps when he suddenly lifts her up. She wraps her legs around his waist and lets him drag her into their bedroom. Her room is no longer her room but theirs, while Elliot's bedroom has been transformed into the girls' room. Dickie calls the nursery a man cave now that he doesn't have to share it with his sisters anymore, only with his new brother. Olivia could never have dreamed things would turn out so well with Dickie after their rough start. He has accepted Chris and her into the family completely and is even trying not to be grossed out when he catches his father kissing or cuddling with his new wife. Still, she's glad that the Stabler kids aren't there right now because their father is about to ravage her and she doesn't want to hold back.
Sex with Elliot is never going to get old, she knows that now. She's never trusted a man as much as she trusts her husband, who has just taken her clothes off in record speed and has asked her to sit up on her hands and knees on the bed.
"Oh yes," she whispers, already anticipating what's coming.
She waits a little impatiently while Elliot quickly sheds his own clothes and then joins her on the bed, kneeling behind her. She feels his hands caressing her hips and ass, and them moving up her body to cup her breasts. She moans and pushes back into him, as if to urge him to get on with it. Elliot chuckles and she drops her head to the pillow. They've done this dance before and she isn't going to take the bait. Not this time. He can be cocky tonight, as long as she gets laid. One hand continues kneading her breast while the other one moves behind her thighs and then between them.
"You're dripping already," Elliot hums contently.
Olivia breathes heavily into her pillow, enjoying the rhythmical ministrations of Elliot's fingers where she craves to be touched almost every chance they get nowadays. They've made love in many ways and they've had rough sex too. Tonight, she just wants him any way he wants to do it. She's never let a man simply take her before Elliot, always needing to be in control, but everything is different with Elliot. Her best friend. Her husband. She allows herself to let go with him, knowing he will never hurt her and will always catch her.
She groans loudly when he starts to push into her, knowing how much he loves it when she gets vocal. It feels sexy too to cry out and she finds it harder and harder to hold back when the kids are staying over.
She hears Elliot sigh her name as he starts to find a rhythm and she braces herself, knowing things are going to get intense fast. He never lasts long in this position but he doesn't have to. She's so horny lately that she's right there with him. They can take it slow later but not now. Right now, this is what she wants. To feel him moving deep inside her, fast and hard.
"Ofuckofuckofuck," Elliot grunts after only a minute, picking up the pace even more.
He's now holding on to her hips with both hands and Olivia has placed her palms against the headboard of the bed to keep her head from crashing into it. When her husband bottoms out and then stills suddenly, she knows he's going to blow. He moans loudly, then hisses as he picks up the pace again, throbbing inside her and making sure she comes as well. She feels like all her insides are tingling with delight and lets out a happy squeal when her orgasm reaches its peak.
Elliot leans forward, his muscular chest heaving against her back as they catch their breath. He wraps his arm around her waist and pulls her along with him when he lets himself topple over.
They're on their sides now, Elliot spooning Olivia, and she's never felt safer. Elliot reaches up to move her hair to the side so he can kiss the side of her neck.
"Hey Liv," he whispers.
"You wanna make a new baby with me?"
She turns around in his arms to face him and she has a grin on her face so wide that it almost hurts.
"You wanna know something?" she asks him.
"I think we already have."
Olivia doesn't think their home has ever been this full. All the kids are there, including Maureen and her boyfriend Sam, as well as Olivia's squad and Elliot's partner Mitch, and Melinda, Casey and Alex. Most of the adults are squeezed on the couch or sitting on the dining room chairs they've dragged into the living area, and the children are sitting on the floor. The older children will be spending Christmas Day in Queens but nobody seems to mind celebrating it a day early at the Stabler-Benson residence today.
As expected, Chris is the center of attention and he's loving every minute of it. They are gathered around the Christmas tree at 10 AM on December 24, pretending it's Christmas, all for little Chris. But the older kids and the adults are enjoying the thrill of unwrapping their gifts immensely too, and it's a festive time of ooh's and aah's as more gifts are revealed. Naturally, Chris is being buried in presents, from new clothes to new toys and he loves everything, including the wrapping paper and the pretty bows on top of the boxes. And then it's time for the biggest gift of the day. Elliot leaves for their bedroom for a moment and when he comes back, Olivia urges everyone to pay attention.
"And now … Christopher," Elliot says solemnly, and Chris quickly scrambles to his feet when he sees his daddy carry in the big, shiny box. He reaches up with both arms, but the box is too big for him to carry, and father and son lower the box to the floor together gently.
"Be careful now," Elliot tells his son. "This is a very, very special gift for you. Maybe mamma should help you open it."
Chris darts over to his mother and grabs her hand.
"Mamma open," he tells her, pointing at the big box.
She can tell he really doesn't know what to think and he's giggling nervously when Olivia sits down on her knees next to the box.
"Now let's see, how does this open?" she mumbles, knowing Chris is going to start tugging the big red ribbon any second.
"Mamma open!" Chris urges again, and they pull the red ribbon together until the big bow on top of the box comes apart. Olivia takes the lid of the box very carefully and looks inside. Chris stands next to her and peeks over the edge of the box until he sees his present.
"Doh! Doh!" he cries out, his eyes growing even bigger than usual. "Mamma daddy Kwis doh!"
He's so excited that he falls over and Elliot picks him up while Olivia lifts the tiny dog from the box carefully. It's the cutest little Dachshund puppy they've ever seen and everyone is melting at the sight of the little dog. Elliot has sat down on his knees, holding on to Chris who is now very eager to get his hands on the puppy.
"Kwis doh!" he squeals again, reaching for the tiny animal.
"Be careful now," Olivia repeats. "Don't hurt her."
Chris gently pats the doggy on the head and then tries to grab it.
"I'll just put her down first," Olivia says. "So she can run away if she has to."
The others chuckle, all in awe of the little dog. They sit perfectly still, trying not to startle it.
"We've let her play in the room last night after Chris went to sleep," Olivia says softly. "So she knows the surroundings a little already."
Once the dog is on its feet, Elliot lets go of Chris, who grabs the dog right away. He's giggling happily and Olivia has to swallow a lump in her throat. The dog is wagging its tiny tail and doesn't seem to be uncomfortable. When the other children approach to pet the dog, Chris almost gets a little possessive, but when the dog begins to squirm, he quickly lets go of it.
"Oh, he's so cute!" Kathleen exclaims. "Does he have a name yet?"
"It's a she actually," Elliot corrects his daughter. "We haven't named her yet."
"Can we think of a name?" Elizabeth asks, gently rubbing the doggy's back.
"Sure. But I think Chris should get the last say, don't you think? It's his dog, after all."
"Kwis doh," Chris confirms, watching the small dog intently while the other children pet her.
"I think Chris just wants to call her Doh," Dickie laughs, "but what do you think of Tiny?"
"That's a dumb name," his twin sister counters immediately. "I think she should be called Contessa."
The adults join the name game too, and a lot of suggestions come up until Casey waves her newly acquired chocolate collection in the air.
"How about Hershey? She looks just like a yummie chocolate bar!"
Everyone laughs but when the suggestion is made to the happiest little boy in the room, he instantly seems to approve of the name.
"Hussy!" he exclaims, picking up the little black and brown dog again and tucking it under one arm. "Hussy doh."
"Hershey it is," Olivia concludes.
"Awesome. What did I win?" Casey asks.
"More chocolate," Fin replies without missing a beat, dumping his own two bars in the redhead's lap.
Elliot stands up and winks at Olivia before heading to the kitchen. She knows what's next. He's going to get everyone some chocolate milk and a Christmas cookie, and then they have one last surprise for everyone. Chris only has eyes for Hershey and crawls around after her while the others relax and enjoy the Christmas treats. Olivia takes a deep breath and then plucks the very last small present from behind the Christmas tree.
"We have one more," she says quietly, biting her lip as she caresses the wrapping paper of the flat, flexible package.
"Another present? Who is it for?" Maureen asks.
"It's for Chris and it's for us and it's for all of you," Olivia says mysteriously. "Who wants to unwrap it?"
Alex is scrutinizing her suddenly and Olivia can't look at her friend. She can read her like a book but she really wants it to be a surprise for everyone.
"How about grandpa Don?" Elliot suggests, and Donald Cragen sits up straight at the mention of his name.
Their relationship with the Captain has improved a lot over the past 18 months and is now even better than before. He can see that they're truly happy together and that even Elliot's kids are flourishing again. Kathy has been in therapy for quite a while now and has finally found her bearings in life again. She is now going through a process of mourning the marriage she has lost due to her own issues, without really wanting it back. It's an intense process but she's getting there, with all of their help. Kathy and Olivia may never become friends but even Cragen can see that in the end, everyone is better off in the new situation. He even gets to be a surrogate grandfather to little Chris now.
He accepts the honor of opening the very last present and when he finds a small t shirt inside and unfolds it, he gasps when he reads the text on the shirt.
"What? What is it?" Munch asks. "What does it say?"
Cragen doesn't answer but simply holds the little t shirt up for all of them to read:
"Promoted to big brother"
Elliot, now standing next to his wife, wraps his arm around her waist and looks at their friends and family proudly while the news begins to sink in.
"Liv!" Alex exclaims, and she's the first to jump up and rush over to her newly pregnant friend to congratulate her with a big hug.
The others quickly join in and Olivia almost drowns in the huge group hug that ensues. Even Chris catches on and he hugs her leg with one arm while holding onto Hershey with the other. He's laughing out loud without understanding why, but everyone's happiness is contagious. When his daddy picks him up and lifts him and his doggy high in the air, Olivia can no longer contain her tears. They're happy tears because this is the most perfect moment in her life. She is surrounded by her entire family, everyone who truly matters to her, and they are all sharing in her joy of becoming a mother again.
And little Chris is the one who made it all happen, simply by coming into existence. He's the center of her life and of her extended family. Her fear that he might not belong had evaporated ages ago and she knows that she's finally let go of the past. She is able to move forward with her husband, their children and their friends. She feels incredibly blessed. It's a new life, and in it, in about six months, they will receive another new life. They are blessed indeed.
A little encore
"I think that went pretty well."
Elliot plops on the couch contently and opens his arms, welcoming her to join him. All their guests have gone, Chris is sound asleep and even little Hershey has slipped into a semi-coma from exhaustion in her new dog crate. They had walked the little dog as they saw the last of their visitors off but she had almost been too tired to pee.
Now, silence has descended on them and Olivia climbs into Elliot's lap, straddling him so she can hug him tightly.
"It was perfect," she told him, kissing his neck softly.
"Are you ready to do it all again?" Elliot asks and she sits up to look into his eyes.
"You mean the sickness, the bloatedness, getting fat and ugly and emotional all the time?"
Elliot grins at her and she smirks as well before adding,
"And the anticipation, feeling the baby kick and move around, thinking of names, loving them to death already."
"Yeah, that," Elliot smiles.
"Absolutely. As long as I get to do it all again with you."
"I'm not going anywhere."
"Neither am I."
"Then I guess we're stuck with each other."
She pulls her lower lip between her teeth and sees Elliot's eyes drop to her mouth instantly.
"I wanna kiss my pregnant wife," he tells her honestly.
They're becoming better and better at that. Simply telling each other what they want instead of making each other guess.
"This hormonal pregnant woman wants to kiss her husband too."
"I love it when you go all hormonal on me," Elliot says softly in that amazing bedroom voice of his.
"You won't say that when I'm nine months pregnant and sick of it," she huffs but Elliot's smile only widens.
"I loved you when you were nine months pregnant and hormonal before and I'll love you again. Never doubt that for even a second."
She bites her lip again, but this time it's to keep her chin from trembling.
"I love you, Olivia. Now and forever."
She nods, swallows and blinks, then pulls him close to her and whispers against the skin of his neck,
"I love you, Elliot. Now and forever. Thank you so much for never giving up on me."
Elliot kisses her shoulder and then uses his finger to lift her head again and make her look at him.
"Easiest thing I've ever done."
He caresses her cheek and she lets out a soft sound when their lips meet. He kisses her tenderly, lovingly, making her feel so loved from head to toe that she wants to cry. But it will be tears of pure happiness and love, not of pain or loneliness. She will never be alone again.
THE END END
Because everything has to come to an end eventually.
Well, there it is.
I loved writing this story. I know it took a long time to finish but basically, we witnessed an entire pregnancy in real time so there's that. Thank you all for sticking with me until the end and for all your kind words along the way. They mean a lot to me. I know some wanted to see Miguel again or see more of Chris growing up, but I really felt like this story was finished. I hope you'll agree and I hope to see you all again soon!