A/N: So this is it …the final chapter! I really enjoyed writing this one, and a lot of that had to do with the awesome reviewers! I also have to thank Cori, for the beta and support, Lauren(aka Bean) and Karen for the occasional suggestions, encouragement, and overall awesomeness! Hope this ending doesn't disappoint :)
Elliot and Olivia waited anxiously as the monitor suddenly came to life with the image of their child. All of the air rushed from her lungs as Dr. Vargas slid the probe across Olivia's eight month pregnant belly, the cold gel causing her to shiver. Seeing her baby never got old and she couldn't wait to meet him or her. It was that moment that she looked over at Elliot who was grinning from ear to ear and made a decision. "El, I think I want to know the sex now."
Elliot squeezed her hand and brushed a stray lock of hair from her forehead. "Are you sure? You wanted to be surprised all this time." He looked over at Dr. Vargas. "I've been trying to convince her to let me find out if it's a boy or a girl for months now."
Olivia chuckled and nodded. "Yeah, I'm sure. I want to know, I do."
Dr. Vargas smiled and looked at the excited couple. "Okay, you are absolutely positive now, right Olivia?"
Olivia glanced at Elliot and then Dr. Vargas. "Definitely." Her heart raced and she could hear Elliot's breaths quicken.
"Well, congratulations, you are having a baby boy!"
"A boy…" Olivia's eyes grew damp as Elliot kissed her lips softly.
"I couldn't be happier, Liv." Elliot pressed his forehead to hers and swallowed hard, his emotions seemingly stuck in his throat.
"Did you two pick out a name for each sex just in case? Dr. Vargas continued to listen to the baby's heartbeat through her stethoscope as she interrupted their moment.
"Yes," Elliot said proudly. "James Christopher Stabler."
"Very nice!" Dr. Vargas removed the stethoscope and turned off the sonogram monitor. "Now, I'm going to have to be serious here for a moment you two. You only have a month to go before your due date and this time is critical. I'm going to put you on bed rest for the remainder of the pregnancy due to the high risk for premature delivery, okay Olivia?"
Olivia sighed and shifted uncomfortably. "I knew there was a chance of that happening, but thought everything was going smoothly…"
"It is, and we need to keep it that way, understood?" Dr. Vargas gave her a soft smile which defied her firm words.
"Yeah, I know." Olivia rested her head against Elliot's broad shoulder. "How the hell am I supposed to sit in bed for an entire month?"
Elliot groaned imagining the month ahead and a restless, cranky Olivia. This was going to be fun.
"Elliot," Olivia warned. "Quit fawning over me, will you? I'm on bed rest, not my death bed!"
It had only been two weeks since her last doctor visit and she was just about ready to lose her mind. She knew Elliot was only being sweet and helpful, but she was so uncomfortable and agitated, and so fucking bored. She hated feeling so fragile and, more or less, useless. Pretty much everything he did had been irritating her the last few days.
"Liv, will you just relax and allow me to take care of you for once. Damn it, you are really irking me, you know that?
"I'm irking you?" She asked incredulously.
"Yeah, as a matter of fact you kind of are," Elliot stood from the bed and lifted his chin at her in challenge.
Olivia huffed out a breath and struggled to sit up straighter, her protruding belly impeding the way. She rocked from side to side, struggling and out of breath before finally giving up and lying back down. "Son of a bitch," she muttered breathlessly.
Elliot took in the scene that played out before him before bursting into laughter despite himself. He watched as Olivia's expression went from angry, to mildly annoyed, to amused as she joined him with a giggle fit of her own.
He climbed over her on the bed and hovered over her swollen body, then kissed the tip of her nose. "Truce?"
"Truce…I'm sorry," she chuckled, pulling him as close to her body as possible without crushing her stomach. She strained to lean up and forward to kiss his lips, before exhaustedly dropping back down atop the pillows.
Elliot raised an eyebrow at her and stared at her parted lips. "You know," he said in a low rasp, "I think part of the problem here is that we haven't really been able to…"
"Let me make you come, Olivia."
She whimpered as he rolled his hips against her sweat pant clad lower half.
"I'll make you come hard and then you'll be able to rest," he whispered hotly into her hair.
Her body prickled with desire at his words. "Oh God, El…okay." She squeezed her eyes shut as Elliot slid down her body and lowered her sweats, his hot tongue connecting with her clit. "Feels so good…"
Maybe they'd be able to relieve that boredom yet.
An hour later, Olivia and Elliot had been enjoying a blissful nap together when a sudden and sharp pain ripped through her abdomen, startling her from her sleep.
"Ow..shit! Elliot, wake up, something's wrong."
Elliot immediately shot up from the bed and grabbed his Blackberry. "Contractions, baby?"
"I don't know, El, it's too soon…oh God." Her face contorted in discomfort as another sharp, intense sting passed through her, stealing her breath.
"Okay, stay calm; I'm going to call Dr. Vargas now." Elliot dialed the phone with one hand while the other cupped Olivia's face, his thumb rubbing the apple of her flushed cheek soothingly.
Due to the high risk pregnancy, Dr. Vargas instructed Elliot to take Olivia to the hospital to be examined right away. Olivia tried to breathe through the pain that was coursing through her body about every five to ten minutes as they got ready and headed to Montefiore Medical Center. Her forehead was soaked in sweat and Elliot did his best not to panic, but she wasn't due for another two weeks and everything was coming as a surprise, especially the amount of pain she was suffering through.
Neither would admit it to the other, but they were scared as hell.
"Placenta Previa?" Elliot furrowed his brow at Dr. Vargas as she presented them with Olivia's problem.
"Yes, it's somewhat common in mothers to be over forty and it can cause severe bleeding during delivery which can endanger both Olivia and the baby."
Elliot clutched the chair he was sitting in beside Olivia as a wave of lightheadedness took over his body. Olivia was staring at the ceiling, inhaling deeply through the oxygen tubes in her nostrils. Elliot could tell she was trying to remain stoic, but he couldn't help notice a tear fall from the corner of her eye to recede into her hairline. He gripped her hand tighter as Dr. Vargas continued.
"Luckily these complications can be prevented if we do an emergency cesarean delivery, or C-section, as they are most commonly called. The placenta is covering most of your cervix Olivia, so we will have to deliver right away."
"Okay, whatever you have to do to keep James safe." Her voice was shaky and it broke Elliot's heart. He hated that her first, and most likely only, experience with child birth had to be this way. He caressed her knuckles with the pad of his thumb as the doctor continued to explain the procedure, both of them calming down somewhat as they learned that it was quite common and not much more risky than a natural birth.
As they prepared Olivia for the C-section, Elliot kissed her lips and said a quick prayer. "I love you, Liv…it's time to meet our baby."
Tears had streamed down her face as James Christopher was placed on Olivia's chest at 2:46pm. He weighed five pounds ten ounces and had a set of lungs that made his parents proud.
The delivery had been risky, but everything had worked out in the end, much to Elliot's relief. A perfectly healthy, albeit tiny, baby boy and his strong and amazing mother had pulled through.
Elliot looked on with tears in his eyes as Olivia now sat with James cradled in her arms in their bed. They'd been in the hospital for four days after his birth due to his low weight and Olivia's C-section, but now his family was home and Elliot could finally feel at peace. They were beautiful and his heart burst with intense love and happiness.
He smiled as James yawned and Olivia softly cooed at him. He'd never seen her happier. He'd barely left their side during their hospital stay, but did sneak away for an hour one day when Olivia was asleep to make a special purchase. Elliot reached over into his bedside drawer to remove a small box that contained a gold necklace whose pendant spelled out the word fearlessness in block letters. It was the same type of necklace she'd given to Dana Lewis some time ago to give the FBI agent strength during a difficult period.
Elliot held the delicate piece of jewelry in his hand and looked at it for a moment before moving over in the bed to brush Olivia's hair aside and kiss her neck. She had truly proven her independence, working without him, living without him. They'd eventually found their way back to one another, but even that wasn't without its struggles. He smiled into her neck thinking about how much he admired her and all she'd put her body through the past year, to give life and become a mother. She'd done it despite all the complications and risks involved.
"I got you a little something, Liv." He slid in behind her on the bed and wrapped his arms around his family, giving a light squeeze before showing her the necklace.
"Elliot," she whispered as he linked the chain at the nape of her neck. "Thank you…"
"You are the bravest, strongest woman I know. In the past two years alone, you've made me see that even more. Despite all the ups and down in our almost fifteen years of knowing one another, there's no one else I'd rather be with every day." Elliot swallowed harshly and rested his chin on her shoulder, looking down at the newest Stabler. "This little miracle is just further proof of how fearless you are."
Olivia craned her neck to look back at him with moist eyes. "I know it hasn't always been easy, and I definitely know we will still have our problems…" She paused as they both chuckled knowingly and Olivia wiped at the moisture under her eyes. "… but I'm so in love with you, Elliot, and you need to know that although I may be brave, you make me even stronger."
Elliot smiled and whispered "I love you" against her lips; overjoyed in realizing that the last piece of the puzzle was finally in place. Olivia wasn't the only one who was fearless; together, and now with James, they exuded more strength as a unit then he'd ever thought possible alone. As he continued to move his lips against hers, he felt all of the passion, excitement, love, and respect he'd had for her since the first time they'd kissed. And now...now she was the mother of his child as well. They'd both faced and overcome their fears to get here. Here, with everything he'd wanted for the past few years right there in his arms.