He calls her once Mellie's asleep. He can't help it. He stands in the corner of the private nursery room they gave to his son. His back leans against the wall as he watches that tiny chest rise and fall in time with the ringing of the phone. His eyebrows knot. His breath hitches. It keeps ringing.
"Come on," he whispers, voice so low it's almost not even there. "Answer the phone. Please, answer the phone."
The ringing stops. Silence takes over instead. He can hear her breathe, once, then she holds it. He lets his go. He has to be the first to talk, the first to act. He has to be the one to take control of this situation because she can't do it anymore. She can't wait, and he gets that. He understands more than anything that he has to fight to make them work. Not the least of those fights is the one to make Olivia believe in him again.
Fitz clears his throat. "I was coming to you. I had my jacket on, and the car was on the way. I wanted to be there for you. I wanted to help you, in any way I could." He pauses. His tongue ventures out to wet his lips. "Livvie, I'm sorry." His eyes fall closed. Sorry for all of this. Sorry for marrying Mellie in the first place, sorry for letting his emotions get the best of him, sorry for keeping her and trapping her and only letting her go when it was too late for the both of them. He swallows down the long list.
Miles away, Olivia croaks, "I'm not." Fitz tells himself not to get too excited. There's more. There has to be. "I'm not sorry about what we had." His throat closes at the past tense. His eyes mist. She continues, "I'm sorry about what I did."
Sorry for loving him, she means. He's quick to retort, to vow and say, "You don't have to—"
"I did a bad thing," she interjects. "I've done a lot of bad things, things that my associates can't know about, but probably do because they are amazing at what they do. They… they're gladiators, and I'm floundering."
He has to look away. His eyes land on Teddy in his crib. Teddy has no idea what's happening in the world. He doesn't know how important he is, or Mellie is, or Liv. He barely knows how to breathe. Though, in that moment, neither does Fitz.
He steps off the wall. The forward motion helps his brain start working. She's floundering. That means she's not sure what she'll do. She might not marry Edison. She might not run from him if he goes to her. God, he wants to go to her.
"I'm right here, Liv. I could be with you."
He means it. Craves it. He doesn't even have to be there long. He could hold her, feel her chest pressed to his as her lashes flutter against his collarbone. He could breathe her in until all he smells, all he knows, is Olivia Pope. He'll leave the second she tells him to. He won't push. One word, and he'll come back to the hospital. One word the other way, and he'll head for the lawyers. Technically, he doesn't even need one. Anyone could draw up the forms for his divorce. Maybe even one of her associates. Well, one of the ones with a law degree. He grins a bit at that.
Her voice cuts through his thoughts. "You need to rest," Olivia tells him, but she's the one who sounds exhausted.
"I need you," he replies. "I could rest with you. Lie beside you in that mountain of covers you're holing yourself up in." She rustles, probably finding a better way to situate herself in all of them. She must not have been home too long. A symptom of being Olivia Pope, fixing the world's issues even when her own are swallowing her whole. Only today's issues, the latest problem is one of their old ones. He adds, "I heard about Hollis." She stops breathing. He reminds himself to focus. "I don't understand why or even what was happening, but I don't care. I care about you. I want… I want to be with you."
She chuckles, cynical and bitter, hollow, raw. "We don't get what we want, Fitz."
He does. He got to be president. He got — "I got you to love me. That's more than I ever dreamed of wanting." And more than I deserve. He puts his hand on the crib. He doesn't deserve any of this. He has two children, now three, that love him no matter what he has done. He has an army of people literally willing to die for him. He has the confidence of America, the strength of the office, and he has her. He can't lose her.
"I can't keep waiting." She exhales slowly and lets the intake build her back up to full volume. "I can't keep torturing myself."
His chest tightens at the wording. Torture. Their love is torture. He moves his phone from his ear. He taps it on the railing as he bites down a curse. Their love is all they have. It holds him together. It makes the hours spent fighting over foreign policy, or the hassle of even going for a run, worth it. He needs her smile to remember how to do one himself. He needs her eyes so that he can see what this world has to offer. He needs her touch so he knows that he can feel. With Olivia, he is alive, and he does not want to feel dead again.
He can fix them. Fix himself. He lifts the phone back up. He asks, "And if I make myself better? If I'm the man you voted for, the one you believe in, would you wait?"
Olivia doesn't respond right away. He presses the phone closer to his ear and closes his eyes. He knows her well enough to know what she's doing. She's probably on her side by now, watching the specks of dust float off of the cords of her landline. She'd want to clean them away, but they're a distraction. They're a tool to buy her time and give her the space she needs to stop 'yes' from tumbling out of her mouth. She will say yes. If what she feels for him is even one third of what he feels for her, she'll wait again.
Her lips part, and they're dry enough where the sound rings over the line. Her small sigh rumbles in his ear. It is her resignation, her affirmative. Her actual words are as reluctant as her silence.
"Would I have a choice?"
He grimaces. "You always have a choice. You just keep making these ones."
No pause this time. No hesitation. "And if I stopped?"
I would die. I would shatter worse than any bullet could ever accomplish. But she could be normal. She could marry Edison and have some kids of her own, ones with skin as smooth as their mothers and a voice that slides straight from his ears to his heart. He would spoil them. Fight for them. They would want for nothing only because they were hers. And if they ever asked, he would tell them that he owed their mother everything. He lived because of her. Fitz sighs.
"Then I'll let you. I-I won't stop you." He runs his fingers through his hair, over the scar. "If you do, Liv, please tell me face to face. Let me see you one last time. Let me hold you…."
She moves again. She's sitting, eyes closed and breath forcibly steady. She's gearing up for something. He readies himself for her rejection.
She says, "Someone tried to kill you. I have no idea who did. I have no idea when they started planning, or when they'll try again. I don't do uncertainty—"
"I know." But…
"—And with you," she sighs again.
He finishes for her. "Nothing could ever be certain." He can hear her nose rising, the tears forming, the head nodding. "Except for one thing."
She chuckles a second time, only this one is watery, light. "That you love me."
He smiles. Right. "And I will never stop. We can figure this out."
She swallows. "Okay." He repeats it in his head. She repeats it aloud. "Okay."
And, at that moment, his relief explodes. He smiles. Nods. He has a chance, a new chance. His eyes land on Teddy. A new chance for everything, and he will not mess it up this time.