Olivia remembers telling Rachel that she wanted a baby. It was during some phone conversation, not long after she'd started seeing John, and Rachel was telling her about Ella's latest escapades. Something about a stunt her precocious niece had pulled at pre-school, but despite the call for an early pick-up and a trip to the emergency room, Rachel's voice was so full of warmth and love for her little girl that it left Olivia feeling hollowed out, as if she'd been assembled a few parts short. Like a certain sense of purpose was missing from her life.
Rachel had laughed. "Liv, you do not want to be worrying about trying to balance daycare and sleepless nights with your career. With your schedule, the late pick-up fees alone would kill you."
Olivia had just shrugged it off and agreed, because Rachel was right. She loved her job. She'd worked hard to get where she was and she was good at it. She wasn't just going to put it aside while she settled down with Mr. Right and set up house. The FBI doesn't wait on mid-life crises. If she was being honest with herself, it wasn't really a baby she wanted; it was that feeling of belonging to something bigger and more important than herself. She yearned for that vibe of contentment she always got from Rachel. She wanted to stop drifting, to find her anchor… her home.
Then John was injured and her world was flipped upside down and inside out. And then he was dead and she had to acknowledge that maybe she'd been careless the last few times she'd been with him. The notion that she might be carrying some small piece of him was both terrifying and exhilarating. Being in love does funny things; she hadn't had any intention of getting pregnant, just the conviction that if she did with John… well, she was hitting her thirties and there were worse things that could happen to her.
She just hadn't imagined how much worse. She found herself being pulled into a world of abominations and atrocities, of espionage and double-crosses. A dangerous and sometimes terrifying world that became so all-consuming that there was often little room in her life for three meals a day, let alone a tiny person who would depend on her for even the most basic of necessities.
When she woke the morning after the funeral to the familiar ache in her belly, it was also with a guilty sense of relief. And as much as she would have liked to have been able to ease some of Mrs. Scott's grief at losing her son, Olivia felt a bit of weight fall from her shoulders.
Because when she wasn't looking, her purpose had come and found her.
And maybe she can blame it on all of Walter's talk about roads not taken and choices not made, but there are still times, especially when she's tucking that precocious niece of hers into bed with a storybook and a kiss, that she still wonders 'what if…'