A/N: Her answer and a final moment of truth.
DISCLAIMER: SVU and characters belong to Dick Wolf. Story belongs to TStabler
She stares at the ring, then looks back down at the pizza as if it was somehow mocking her. She looks back up at Elliot, his eyes are wide, clear. His hands are trembling.
He watches her, looking from him, to the ring, to the pizza, and back again, and his heart can't take it. "Liv," he whispers. "Marry me."
She swallows hard, her eyes close, and she reaches for the pizza box. Without saying anything, she closes the lid and looks at him again. She blinks. That's all she gives him.
He shakes his head and says, "I get it." He blinks once, letting the last tear of the evening slide down his red and raw cheek. "You can't marry a killer. You can't marry someone with mental illness in his family. You can't deal with the other kids. But now, at least, you…"
"Yes," she interrupts, her body turning and hitting into his so sharply it knocks the breath out of him.
He waits a moment, as if trying to decide if he's heard her correctly. One arm wraps around her and he looks down, into her eyes. "Yes?"
"Yes," she whispers, knowing her voice is shaking and her body is trembling. "You are not a killer, El," she tells him, swiping a thumb under his eye. "If your family history bothered me at all, I never would have gotten involved with you. I love your kids, you know I do." She kisses his lips tenderly, and she hears him whimper a bit. It's a startling yet endearing sound. "I love you," she says, pulling back to look up into his eyes.
He smiles at her, then he laughs with both nervousness and joy. "You just…you said yes. After everything I told you tonight, you want to spend the rest of your life with me?"
She smiles back. "I think…I was going to say yes whenever you asked anyway, but I think it's because you told me all of this, El, that I…I know you're serious, and how important being honest and upfront about everything before you asked really was to you. You…God, you made me fall in love with you all over again, tonight."
He kisses her forehead, his other arm winds around her body and his hands link together at the small of her back. He takes a moment to breathe deeply, his eyes flutter closed as he feels her heart thump hard against his chest, he's holding her so tightly. "Liv," he whispers.
She squeezes him, silently telling him she'll be okay. "Are we…did we really just…"
"Get engaged? Yeah," he tells her, nodding.
She pushes against him, then, and her smile is gone as her eyes meet his. "I didn't get pregnant on purpose," she says.
His eyes narrow. "Who the hell said you…"
"Kathy," she says, regretting it immediately, "Before she left, she told me that she thought that's what I did, and that you knew it, too. She said it didn't matter and she hoped everything worked out, but it..." She shakes her head and tells him, "And to tell the truth, if you had gone back to Kathy, I wasn't going to tell you. If you didn't come into work, proudly declaring your divorce was finalized…"
"Shit," he says, a bitter laugh escaping despite the desire to yell. "You were gonna give me up, just like that? You weren't gonna fight for me?"
She shrugs. "I didn't think I'd really have a choice," she says. She takes his hand, turning it over in her palm, and with her other hand, she traces light circles in his palm. "I woke up every day, petrified you'd go home."
He shakes his head, he pulls her hand to his mouth and kisses her knuckles. "I am home," he whispers to her. "With you, and Eli, and whoever this little one is," he says, his left hand cupping over the middle of her belly, where a bump would soon form. "I am home."
She fights the tears that are building in her eyes, she tries to calm the burn behind her nose, but it proves fruitless. She drops her head into his chest and she sobs, openly and freely. She can't help the apologies that come flying out of her mouth.
"Sorry? For what?" he asks, stunned. "Baby, stop. Talk to me."
She tries to breath and she says, "I'm sorry for ripping you away from…"
"You didn't rip me away from anything," he assures her, interrupting her. "Liv, I left Kathy before anything happened between us. I didn't even know you were pregnant until my divorce was final. You didn't trap me into this, and you didn't make me do anything I didn't wanna do. Tonight included."
She sniffles and looks at him, a question mark dancing over her face.
He smiles softly, kissing away her tears. "I love you, that's the first and most important reason I asked you to marry me tonight. I was going to ask lobg ago, you know that. I told you that before, I want to make this an official thing, you and me. We've got a beautiful son down the hall, who deserves a real family, and we've got a new little life to think about. We deserve this, don't we? We deserve to finally, really, be happy."
"I just…I know you were thinking of coming back to work, and I…"
He kisses her, silencing her words. "I'm not," he says. "There's no way I can. Not after what happened, and especially not now. I would rather have you coming home to me, my wife, mother of my children, then have to try to explain the last couple of years to Cragen and Tucker. Shit, they already know something's going on, I don't wanna have to live under a microscope because they think we can't handle it." He laughs and says, "Besides, someone has to stay here and cook and clean because Lord knows you're not gonna do it."
"Well, when you put it that way," she chuckles, nuzzling into his neck. "How did you know?" she asks, then, turning her head up just a bit.
"How did I know what?" he returns. He kisses the end of her nose and pulls her onto his lap, and finally slips the beautiful diamond ring onto her left ring-finger.
She pauses, glancing down at her hand. She wiggles her fingers and smiles, sighs, then says, "How did you know that I'm pregnant?"
He laughs a bit. "I pay way too much attention to you, I guess. I noticed you haven't been moody or cranky for the last few months, I see this beautiful glow around you. You're softer, and last week, which is when, I'm guessing, the doctor called, you started to get up earlier, take vitamins, and you can't stop smiling."
"Neither can you," she says, smiling at him.
He pulls her down to him, kissing her slowly, deeply, and after the most emotional night of his life, he relaxes into the sofa to lose himself in her. As he feels her lips on his, her tongue sweeping over his, he realizes that he lost himself in her years ago.
She shifts her body, looping her legs around his, and she rolls her body into his, making him moan. "El," she whispers, tugging on his shirt.
He moans again, lifting his arms. He feels the shirt rip over his head and he blinks once as he looks at her, on top of him, ready to make love to him in the middle of the night on their couch in their living room.
She kisses his nose, then his lips, then she pulls his belt through the buckle, loosening it. She's silent, but for her heavy breathing and soft moans. She can't seem to take her eyes off of his, he's captivated her again, and she doesn't mind.
He kisses her with a noiseless breath. He pulls on her top, lifting it over her head, and he tosses it over his head with a chuckle. He takes another breath, and he skims his hands over her body as he stares into her eyes. He watches her mouth, "I love you," and smile at him, and he finally finds what he's been looking for.