Yay for chapter 43! Now we're going to have a very important Barson conversation about having a baby, and all the other stresses on Olivia's life at the moment. And no it doesn't exact go swimmingly.

And oh my goodness last night's episode about the aftermath of Lewis! I won't spoil anything, but it was pretty epic. Besides my unhappiness that a certain someone was missing from the episode (which I will rectify when I get to that episode in this story), it had me yelling at my TV haha!

And in other news, my finals are coming up at the start of next week so I won't get to update this story until the middle of next week, hopefully late Wednesday as my last final is on Wednesday morning! Unfortunately it's at 8am :(


When Olivia walked through the door she found Rafael in his study, going over more case notes for the trial he was currently in the middle of, for a different precinct.

"How was lunch?" Rafael questioned without looking up as Olivia entered his study.

"Um…I went to see Dr. Lindstrom."

"Oh yes, yes, that's right," Rafael said with a nod and a mental kick to himself, looking up at her for a moment. "And how did that go?"

"Well we talked about a lot of stuff, you know, like Cragen leaving me in charge of the squad and everything…"

"Did you talk to him about the agents following you?" Rafael wanted to know, and Olivia wished he would just look up at her for longer than two seconds.

"No, that was something we didn't touch on. One of the only things, really." Olivia admitted, and Rafael sighed.

"You need to open up to him about everything, Liv, or he can't help you."

"I know that. I know…why are you talking to me like that?" Olivia demanded, and Rafael's eyes snapped up to meet hers.

"Like what?" Rafael questioned in confusion, and Olivia looked pointedly at his case files.

"Like I'm some problem that needs to be fixed so it can go away and you can get back to whatever is more important in those files."

"This coming from the woman who puts her work ahead of literally everything? That's rich." Rafael scoffed, and Olivia's mouth dropped open.

"What…" Olivia started to say but Rafael interrupted her, saying,

"You go to your therapist today not to talk about the nightmares that still keep you up at night no matter how hard you try to keep it from me, but to talk about how you're worried about the squad, about their perception of you."

"That's not all we talked about!" Olivia shot back, and Rafael threw his hands up in exasperation.

"Well I wouldn't know would I? Because you don't talk to me about it! When was the last time we had an honest conversation about your therapy sessions, about Lewis?"

"We haven't because I'm trying to keep him out of our lives!"

"That's impossible, Olivia, because he's still in your head! As long as he's in your head, he's in our lives. Look, I'm not saying that it's your fault…"

"Good." Olivia snapped but Rafael shook his head and continued,

"Because it's not. It's that bastard's fault, what he did to you, but it still haunts you. I can see it. And it hurts me to know that you won't let me in enough to help you. Your problems are my problems, Liv, I thought that was a given. You have no idea how much it kills me to see you walking around with that baggage from Lewis while you won't let me carry it with you."

"It's not your burden, Rafael. It's mine. I can handle it."

"I don't give a crap if you think you can handle it or not. The fact of the matter is that you don't have to. I'm here. And I'm not going anywhere. Just let me help." Rafael pleaded, putting the case file down and getting to his feet.

"I just…I can't let anyone help. That's just me, Rafael. I handle it all, the agents tailing me and doing a terrible job of it, the reason they're tailing me, Lewis stalking my mind every time I have a few free moments to myself. Then there's the squad, watching my every move while I have to be the boss of the squad and make sure they don't screw up. Cragen watched over us and I know I can't as good a job as him and…"

"Stop. Olivia, just stop, okay? You're working yourself into a frenzy and for what?" Rafael said firmly, stepping over to her trying to touch her arm but she shook him off.

"Every single thing I said it true, Rafael, I don't know if I can handle all of it…"

"How many times do I have to tell you: that's why I am standing here." Rafael said firmly, putting his hands on her shoulders.

"And…and pretty soon I'll be going through menopause…" Olivia whispered, and as soon as she realized what she said her eyes went wide. "I…I'm sorry…I didn't mean to..." She could kick herself; she wanted to have a rational discussion with Rafael about having a child, and this was far from emotionally rational at the moment.

That threw Rafael for a loop; having a baby was something they hadn't talked about before.

"Olivia?" Rafael questioned, and she shook her head.

"No, it's okay, I shouldn't have brought that up the way I did," she took a deep breath and rubbed her face with her hands.

"Maybe we should sit down for this…" Rafael said guardedly, and the pair of them walked into the living room and sat on the couch.

"At Dr. Lindstrom's office today, I told him about this recurring nightmare I've been having with Lewis. He's holding up this clock and saying, "Tick tock, Olivia. Tick tock," and it's been unnerving me a little."

"What do you think it means?" Rafael questioned, wishing he still had his scotch in his hand.

"My biological clock, Rafael." Olivia said with a hint of exasperation, and Rafael nodded slowly.


"So the bottom line is we need to talk about whether we want to have kids or not."

Rafael almost choked for a moment and then said quietly, "Like right now?"

"Yes we need to talk right now. It's important to me." Olivia stressed, and Rafael sighed. He didn't mean the talk part, he'd meant the having kids part.

"Okay. What's your…position on the subject?" Rafael queried, and Olivia sighed.

"Honestly, I want kids, Rafael. I want a child of my own. About five or six years ago I looked into adoption but they said I wasn't a candidate. So I pretty much just gave up. Since then I've had a few relationships but none of them serious enough to talk about a kid together. Then Calvin came along and I thought it was my chance at having a child, and then he was taken from me too. I guess I'm hoping this is my third time's the charm." Olivia admitted quietly, and Rafael was silent for a long moment.

"I…" Rafael started to say but gave up, sighing.

"Just be honest, Rafael, please. Even if you think it's not what I want to hear."

Rafael looked at her for a long moment and said quietly, "Honestly I've never really thought about it. To be fair I never quite pictured myself engaged to an NYPD Sergeant either," he joked weakly, a small smile twitching at the corners of his mouth. Olivia just nodded, and Rafael blew out a breath. "I guess I thought we'd be married for a few years before we had this talk. My parents were married for quite a number of years before they talked about having me."

"I understand that, Rafael, I do, and it's not like we have to make a decision here and now or anything, but…" Olivia trailed off and Rafael nodded, replying,

"Clock is ticking, I got it. I just need some time to think about this, some space…" Rafael muttered, getting to his feet and walking to the kitchen to get a drink.

"Okay, okay I get that. I'll call Amanda and we'll go watch a movie or something," she offered, getting to her feet as well and at her words Rafael strode back into the living room.

"No, no, that's not what I meant," he said hastily, and Olivia shook her head.

"No, it's a good idea. We both need to do some thinking, and it'd be a good idea to do it separately. I don't want to influence your decision any more than you want to influence mine."

"Influence like how?" Rafael wanted to know as he followed Olivia to the staircase.

"Rafael, I know the idea of having kids right now threw you for a loop, it doesn't exactly take a mind-reader to see that."

"See what?" Rafael pushed and Olivia finally turned around to face him.

"That you don't want kids! At least not right now, and it's not like I have a whole lot of time left. So we both need to do some thinking apart for a while and then we can have a rational, adult discussion about this."

Rafael stood there sipping his drink as Olivia went upstairs, grabbed a bag and left the condo. Rafael heard the front door shut with a snap and he rubbed his temples, feeling a headache coming on. Olivia's need for a child completely came out of left field for him, and it was even more frustrating that she knew his feelings on the subject. He thought he'd tried to hide it well enough but obviously he'd failed. Rafael knew he didn't want kids, but maybe he could talk to Olivia about looking into adoption. They were sure to be a candidate together whereas Olivia was turned down by herself.

"Dammit." Rafael muttered, downing his drink and reaching for the bottle to pour another.

Meanwhile, Olivia drove around aimlessly, and then decided to call Amanda. "Rollins."

"Hey, Amanda, it's me," she said, and Amanda responded,

"Hey Liv. Are you okay?"

"Yeah, yeah, I'm okay. Are…are you at home?"

"Yeah I'm at my apartment. Why, what's up?"

"Can…can I stay with you tonight?" Olivia finally hedged, and when Amanda was silent she rushed into saying, "Never mind, it's okay…"

"Barba?" Amanda questioned simply, and Olivia sighed. "Come on over. I'll break out the wine."

"You're the best," Olivia sighed, and Amanda chuckled.

"That's what they keep telling me."

Olivia made her way to the condo to pack a quick bag and left a note for Rafael, telling him that she was having a girl's night at Amanda's apartment. She then left for Amanda's.

To Amanda's credit, she didn't even ask when she let Olivia into her apartment. They ended up ordering take-out and had it delivered, and very soon the first bottle of wine was gone. Olivia had brought a few from the condo, so they had plenty to last them through their dinner and the few ridiculous movies they watched, including Grown Ups.

It was getting late and the two ladies were very tipsy when Olivia started talking. She told Amanda how much she'd wanted a baby for years, but the job always came first. Now she felt like this was her last shot, her Hail Mary, and Rafael didn't want kids. She knew he'd tried to hide it from her when they talked, but she could see it in his eyes.

The two fell asleep on the couch after Jack Ass, and woke up to pounding headaches. "Thank God for the weekend," Amanda moaned as she blindly searched for some aspirin while Olivia sipped at her bottle of water.

A few hours later, Olivia's phone trilled. She looked at the name and sighed, throwing it across the room onto the couch, as they were sitting at the table. Amanda walked over to the phone after it rang three more times, and sighed.

"No don't…" Olivia tried to protest, but Amanda tapped the answer button and said,

"Hey, Barba, Liv's fine, we just woke up…quit yelling I can hear you just fine…yes I have a hangover, is there anything else Captain Obvious…whatever, maybe I'll tell her. Goodbye."

She hung up, and tossed the phone back down. "What did he want?" Olivia asked quietly, and Amanda sighed.

"He wants you to come home so you can talk."

"Not in this state I'm not," Olivia muttered, and then Amanda's phone rang. "What the hell can't people just leave us alone for one day?" She burst out, and Amanda shrugged.

"Nope. Your turn."

Olivia chuckled as she picked up the infernal ringing device and answered, "What?"


"Fin. What's up?"

"Just wondered if you two would like some breakfast. Amanda told me you were having a girl's night because I called her and asked if she wanted to go to the bar with me and Nick and Munch."

"Oh. Do we have to go outside in public for this breakfast?" Olivia inquired, and Amanda covered her mouth as she laughed.

"Nope. We're right outside Amanda's building."

"Hmmm…okay. I'll let you in."

Olivia set the phone back down and walked out the front door to head down to let them in the building, her hangover preventing her from remember that there was a button for that in the apartment. At least until she was already in the lobby.

"Yes I know there's a button for this," she muttered as she let the three guys in.

"Damn girl you look like hell," Fin commented, and Olivia shot him the evilest glare she could muster.

"Whatever." Olivia sighed, and Munch put his arm around her.

"So I hear congratulations are in order for the newest leader of the squad!" He said happily, and Olivia cringed.

"Thank you, but you don't have to scream. I think the whole world will know soon enough."

Munch just chuckled as they walked up to Amanda's apartment. It was already lunchtime but they still had a full breakfast from one of the local diners.

A few hours passed, and Olivia's phone rang. She groaned out loud and Amanda smiled as she went over to the couch and answered it. "Quit calling, Barba, she's fine…I understand that but…no you need to listen. I understand your concern, but Nick, Fin and John came over and brought breakfast, and we're eating now. She'll come home when she's good and ready, got that? Goodbye."

She threw the phone down with an eye roll and the guys all raised their eyebrows. "Trouble in paradise?" Nick questioned, and Olivia sighed.

"Not exactly."

The guys all exchanged looks and decided they didn't want to ask. The look on Olivia's face was enough to tell them that it was none of their business. It's not that Olivia didn't want to go home because she knew they needed to talk, but she was putting off the inevitable. She was going to marry Rafael regardless of his decision about having children, but since she knew it was going to break her heart she wanted a few more hours before it happened.

Later that night Olivia decided she wanted to go to the club, her and Rafael's club. Amanda, Nick, Fin and Munch all decided to go with her, and they just wore jeans and decent shirts. They snagged a table big enough for all of them and pretty soon Olivia and Amanda were in the middle of the dance floor.

"Elliot called me." Munch said finally, and Fin's mouth dropped open.

"That bastard finally learned how to pick up a phone and dial?" Fin snapped, and Munch shrugged.

"He'd seen that Cragen and I retired, and that Olivia was getting promoted. He wanted to know how she was doing."

"Please tell me that you didn't tell that jerk a thing." Fin said with a pointed look, and Munch sighed.

"What did you tell him?" Nick questioned, and Munch shrugged again.

"Nothing, really. I was going to hang up on him, and told him that, and he begged me not to. He said he knows he was a fool, but he didn't know how to fix it. I told him if he had called when Lewis had her or after she'd been rescued, or during any of those three months where she was 'dead', I would have considered telling him. But since he didn't care when she was in trouble, he didn't deserve to be a part of her happiness."

"That's what you told him?" Fin questioned, and Munch nodded. "Good for you, man. I would've probably said worse."

"That's probably why he didn't call you," Munch said wisely, and Nick's eyes went wide as Olivia's voice questioned,

"Who didn't call you?"

She and Amanda were pretty sweaty since the dance floor was packed full, and they came back for their drinks. "An old buddy of his that he worked with in narcotics didn't call him when he retired and he's complaining about it, as usual," Munch said smoothly, and Fin scowled.

"Well, if you guys would quit being lame and dance, maybe you'd have a better time." Amanda teased, and Olivia chuckled as she turned around and saw Rafael walk through the door.

"Oh great," she sighed, noticing how his eyes were sweeping the place for her. Truth be told she was rather glad he had found her, though she knew it should've been her who had gone to find him. It wasn't like he did anything wrong, because he didn't. Olivia set her drink down and headed over to him, who had already spotted her and was waiting.

"Olivia, I'm so sorry," he started out, and she shook her head.

"No, Rafael, I am. I was overwhelmed and I took it out on you, and it wasn't fair. Then to top it off instead of dealing with it I just hid at Amanda's."

"No, Liv, you needed some space. We all do, I get that, you were right when you said we needed to do some thinking separately," he said quietly, and Olivia nodded. "I just, I missed you."

Olivia smiled, and slipped her arms around his waist, burying her face in his chest. His arms encircled her torso tightly and she said loud enough for him to hear, "I missed you too."

"Can I take you home, pretty lady?" Rafael inquired with a chuckle, and Olivia rolled her eyes in jest.

"I better check with my friends I came with," she teased, and he took her hand and looked over at the table of detectives and former detective that hastily looked away as if they hadn't been watching the entire time. He raised his hand and waved, and they all raised their hands in response. Olivia glanced back and laughed as she raised her hand in farewell and allowed Rafael to escort her out of the club.

"I just want you to know, I love you and I want to marry you, whether you want kids or not," Olivia said gently once they got in the car. She'd been thinking about that since the night before, and it took a lot to come to that conclusion.

Rafael knew how hard it was for her to say that, and he reached across the console and squeezed her hand. "And I want you to know I'm becoming more and more open to the idea. I know we don't have a whole lot of time, but…"

"It's okay, Rafael. And I mean it this time. We'll talk about it later, okay?" Olivia said with a half-smile, and Rafael smiled back as he told the taxi where to take them.

Wow another long chapter! I feel like I'm spoiling all of you…haha!

So the next chapter will have the case from Wednesday's Child with major spoilers for that episode, and we'll finish up that episode and start Comic Perversion in chapter 45! I know I said we wouldn't finish Wednesday's Child until chapter 45 but I decided to finish it in the next chapter.

Thank you all so much for reading and I really hope you've enjoyed this latest update! I rewrote this chapter over and over because I didn't like how the discussion turned out, but I ended up liking the squad interaction so I left it in! And I promise I'll get the next chapter up by next Wednesday after my hell semester is over!