title: the middle is the most important (1/1)
character/pairing: olivia pope/fitzgerald grant
word count: 780
warning(s): Spoilers for the name of America's Baby, but the headcanon connected to it is all me
summary: When Olivia finds out America's Baby's middle name, she loses it. Of all the names, he chose that one.
the middle is the most important
"Wallace?" she shrieks, her hands fisting at her sides as her eyes bore into his. "You named your son with her 'Wallace'?" He moves to stand, but she shakes her head. She scoffs. "I cannot believe you would do that. I told you about — I wanted to —" She marched up to his desk and slammed her hands down onto it. "You couldn't leave me one thing? Just one?"
"No!" she barks. "I only said it once, Fitz. The night of your father's funeral."
Fitz glances away. "You mentioned your grandfather, said you wanted to honor him."
"And you thought this was the way? Naming America's Baby after him was going to do it? What better way is there to celebrate a man who made this world what it could be?" Her voice cracks. "Made me…." Her lips quiver. Her arms come back to her sides, then around herself. "I needed that, Fitz. Ineeded the chance to make it up to him. You took that from me."
"I just wanted to do something. Mellie thought of Theodore and that's who she thought of, the man that she wants him to be. If he could grow up to be even close to the man you told me about, the one who helped raise you, who helped shape you into the woman I fell in love with, then I would be grateful."
She chokes down a small sob. "What's mine is not yours," she whispers. He reaches a hand out. She steps further back, makes sure the full length of his desk is between them. She repeats herself, louder, more assertive, "What is mine is not yours. We are not together. We are not married. We are nothing, and you cannot do things like that."
His eyes narrow. "It's a name."
"It's more than that! It's part of who I am, part of where I've been and what I've shared with you because I believed in you. I believed in us, and you went and you used that piece of me in your token of love with your wife!"
"I don't love her!" he roars. His voice echoes in the room, in her heart. He pushes from his seat into a standing position. He brings his voice down to normal. "I chose a name that made me think of the woman I do love. One that mattered. I named my first son after a man who ruined my life. My daughter's named for a friend of Mellie's from high school. Teddy's different. Teddy's…. He is more than America's Baby. He's my baby. He's a sign that, through all of the shit we deal with on a daily basis, there is a new generation that will be there to fix our mistakes and relish in our victories." He walks to her. Holds out his hands so they ghost over her arms. "I am sorry, Liv. But I can't take back what's been done. I can only try to make it better in the future. You voted for me because that's what I do. I'm the good guy. I'm the right guy. Trust me. Trust… tomorrow."
She shudders. Her eyes latch onto his. Then she falters, her walls crumble, and she steps into him. His arms cover her instantly as the sobs start wracking her body. She fights to breathe, and he holds her tighter.
She whimpers, "I miss him." Fitz nods.
"I know you do." He presses a kiss to the top of her head. "I know."
"His name was Wallace," Olivia recounted with a laugh, "Wallace Buford Pope."
"Buford?" Fitz laughed. "Not exactly a flattering name."
"Nobody called him that. He would swear up and down that his name was only Wallace, or Waldo. He loved the second. Said he could disappear just like that man in the stripes." She tossed her head back as the memory overtook her. Slowly, her smile faded. Her words caught up to her. "He disappeared alright. Gone. He had a stroke. He'd been alone. No one knew. No one helped. There are some things even I can't fix."
Fitz nudged her shoulder with his. He said, "Some things no one can. But anything else, everything else, is yours for the fixing. You're unstoppable. Phenomenal."
She swatted at his knee. "You're only saying that so I'll sleep with you."
His chuckle shook the couch they sat on. He shrugged in feigned nonchalance. "I do want you to sleep with me but only because of what I said. You're amazing, Livvie. And I'm sure he was too."
She leaned into him and nuzzled her nose into his shoulder. "Thank you."
He smiled down at her. "Any time."