DISCLAIMER: This is a love story about two consenting female adults. Can't handle it, don't like it, don't read it. We're just borrowing Dick Wolf's characters for fun; we aren't making any money from it.
AUTHOR' NOTE: When two writing heads get together in a round robin...
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

It's Gotta Be Love
By Katherine Quinn & Adrienne Lee

1701 AWAKE

In my dream, we are kissing each other, murmuring soft words of love and sliding over each other.

We hold each other closely, but not too tightly. We float in a safe warm ocean, in the deep endless sea of our love.

In this dream, I touch you, you touch me. Where one of us ends and the other begins, I'm not sure...

And somewhere in the middle of us, is our baby.

We're going to have a family. A tangible extension, a symbol, of our love.

I feel happy, content.

I feel warm, and loved.

We moan.

We smile.

We roll in each other's arms, basking in each other's warmth...

My smile grows with your moan.

In my dream I can feel you...


I can taste you.

I can scent...



I jerk awake. Sometime during our sleep we must have pulled apart. And I turn around.

And I see you, curled into a ball holding your stomach. You're screaming silently, in your sleep.

And I see red, too much red, flowing out of you.

And I scream with you, shaking you, trying to wake you...

1702 Unconsciously

The pain is more than I can handle, and I stay curled into a ball. At first it doesn't compute, why I feel like this, but as the confusion starts to pull back I remember that I'm pregnant. Remember that this is our baby. I struggle to open my eyes, to tell you something's wrong.

I hear my own moan, and I can feel your arms on me.

You're yelling my name, begging me to wake up, begging me to stop moaning and talk to you.

I struggle to open my eyes, my legs pulled into my chest, instinctively to try to stop the pain that's tearing me.

"Olivia, open your eyes!" You demand.

"Alex…" I gasp.

"What's going on, Liv?" You ask me.

"It hurts." Is all I manage.

"Liv, Olivia, listen to me. You've got to talk to me..."

I struggle to listen, I struggle to pay attention at all.

"You've got to wake up," you cry.

"I'm awake…" I choke on sobs.

I hear you moving in the room, flipping on lights, which sting my eyes.

"Oh God," you moan.

"Alex…" I cry. I see your face. Your eyes are wide open and I know something's really wrong.

"We've got to get to the hospital."

"Alex… What?" I ask, but you don't say anything.

I struggle to look down and I see the blood.

It wasn't in the dream.

"Our baby," I cry. "Not our baby."

1703 PANIC

I see the pain on your face, and the blood on the sheets.

What do I do?

Besides waking you?

And I try. But you're deep in your dream, your pain.

I shake you, probably harder than I should.

But you've got to wake up.

"Wake up, Liv!" I yell as I shake you. Hard.

I hope that doesn't hurt the baby.

Oh, god. Our baby.


Oh, no.

No, no, no!

"Wake up, Liv!" I try again.

Oh, god.

Why won't you wake up?

I scream for you as you start to get blurry, and I push the moisture from my eyes. "Wake up!

"Liv! Please, wake up," I alternate between screaming and pleading.

Finally, you do.

Now you're crying, too.

"Please, please, Baby. Don't cry. Don't get upset." I plea, while I throw a robe over your shoulders and quickly pull on my clothes.

"Our baby," you wail.

"Liv," I gasp, "It's gonna be okay," I say, and try to kiss you, and calm you, and I pick up the phone to call for help, and try not to choke on my tears...

1704 In A Daze

I'm more awake, but barely conscious. The only things that are flying through my head are a series of inconsistent ideas, thoughts, fears of why there's this pain inside me. What could possibly be happening to the baby that I wanted more than life. The baby I wanted to be able to give you.

I know I'm bleeding. I can feel the warm stickiness between my legs, and I moan, as another wave of cramping pain flashes through my stomach.

I am afraid more for our baby than I am for me.

I know this is bad. I know this is very bad.

I don't even have to see it, because I can see your face.

Your eyes are wide, and you're trying not to cry.

You slide up next to me, and try to get me to sit up.

"I can't," I moan, as I slide back from you into my fetal position. Even though this still hurts, it's better.

"What's happening?"

"Hurts," I manage to stammer.

My insides feel like they're being ripped apart.

I listen as you walk away, you pick up the phone and dial.

I'm starting to feel weak.


I'm not quite sure, what's happening in reality and what's only in my warped imagination.

"Olivia, open your eyes," you demand again.

I want to. I want to listen to you, but they're so heavy. My eyes.

They want to close.

I want to go back to sleep so this cannot be real.


I don't understand it.

Why can't I wake you?

Why are you going back to sleep?

"Baby," I keep shaking you. I keep pleading while talking with the clerk at the front desk, "Please stay awake."

Guess it's a good thing we're at a hotel, I think as the promise to call for EMS flits through my head.

Quickly, I hang up the phone, and climb into the bed with you. "Baby, please wake up. Can you hear me?"

"Allie?" You moan.

Somehow my nickname never sounded so good. "Yes, I'm here. Stay with me. Please."

This is like déjà vu. A nightmare all over again.

"Our baby," you whimper.

"Everything'll be fine, Liv," I reassure you. "The ambulance is coming. Just stay awake."


"Shhh... It's okay," I say, feeling your blood seeping into my clothes.

So much blood.

Too much blood.


I mean, it's obvious what's happening, but... "Liv?"


"You're gonna be okay..."

"Our baby," you mutter again.

"Just promise me. You're gonna be okay..."

1706 Cold, Cold

My eyes open when I hear your voice, choking with tears. Or I try to. I'm cold. And it hurts, Alex.

"Alex," I try to tell you that I'm sorry. That I didn't want this to happen; instead all I can do is choke out "our baby." You reach for me, and wipe a tear from my face.

"It'll be okay." You say with a huge fake smile on your face. You're trying to reassure me. Trying to pretend for my sake, but I need you to understand. I try to tell you that there's something wrong. Something really, really wrong.

"No," I moan. "Hurts," I whimper.

"Baby, look at me."

I try.

"Open your eyes."

I can't.

"God damn it, Olivia," you yell, shaking me hard. "Open your eyes."

They flutter open. I feel... warm.

"Can't…" I whimper.

"Baby, you gotta stay with me. I need you to open your eyes and look at me."

I force my eyes open, and look at you.

"Good, baby, good." You tell me wiping hair from my face.

In what seems like hours, but surely is only a few minutes, I hear pounding on the door. You race away from me, to open it, and I hear you telling them I'm pregnant.

They look at me, and approach, carefully asking me my name. I just moan while you answer their questions.

In seconds, I feel a sharp poke in my arm, I hear lots of people talking to me, bright lights shining in my eyes.

"Alex," I whisper, but you're not there anymore.


It took forever for them to get here. At least it felt that way. Didn't take so long last time, but you were an officer down.

Not merely a pregnant woman.

Going into premature labor or whatever it's called, I have to acknowledge it. It's easier that way.

Easier than the alternative, of something really wrong happening to you.

But why?

I hope it's not something we've done.

The sex?

But it was gentle, like it's always been when I make love to you. And it's just a myth; it's not supposed to have any adverse effects.

And why can't or won't they tell me what's wrong with you?

Why are they sedating you?

You should be awake. Alert. Going into labor and screaming in pain. Not like this.

"Where are you taking her?" I ask the person closest to me, as her team quickly and efficiently transfer you from the bed to the stretcher.

For a second, she looks at me like I'm out of my mind.

Maybe I am.

Then she leads the way out the door.

Somehow I can deal with the worst kinds of human beings day in day out, but right now I feel like I can barely function. That I'm on autopilot.

Why were they asking so many questions? And why suddenly, they're not talking to me?

They're saying something, words I know. Words I definitely know, but somehow they're not connecting, and I'm not comprehending.

"Miss?" One of the men turn back before they disappear completely out the door.


"Aren't you coming with us?"

I blink. "Yes, of course I am."

Quickly, I shove your wallet into my purse and follow, not turning back when the manager closes the door…

1708 Loss

I feel them pressing something into my veins. It burns as it rolls up my arm and my eyelids get heavier and heavier. My body relaxes, even though the pain, still feels like it's radiating through my entire body.

You're following us, down hallways. I see them standing over me, quickly pushing me into a bus. I can see you, you have streaks following you as you jump into the back of the ambulance next to the guy. He says something to you I don't quite hear. Everything has streaks…

Someone leans over me, pressing something cold against my chest.

"How far along are you?" He asks.

I hear your voice answering for me.

He looks at you and says something, and then he's back in my face asking the same question again and again.

I try to answer.

But Alex, it hurts. I think.

"Alex," I mutter.

My mouth is dry.

"I'm right here," you say, quickly, squeezing my hand.

"Please," the ambulance guy says to you, pushing you back.

"Alex," I moan again.

"What's your name?" He asks me.

I look at him confused.

"'Livia Cabot."

"That's right, baby," you say, squeezing my hand.

"How far along are you?" He asks, but I look confused.

The baby.

I'm losing our baby.

1709 WHY

So there's nothing they can do to stop it, they tell me.

They can only help you with the pain and take preventative measures so you don't get infected, they explain.

And because of your bleeding, because your body's on the verge of going into shock, the doctor will most likely have to empty your uterus surgically.

We're losing our baby, I understand.

I understand perfectly.

But what about you? Will the medicine they give you keep the infections at bay?

They actually have to put you under. Why?

Why can't they just let it happen naturally?

Why is this happening to us?

What have we done wrong?

Are you going to be okay?

Why did I insist for you to have the baby?

The first question they asked was how old you are, and they acted as if my answer explained everything. Is that it? Your age?

But other people are having babies well into their thirties. Some even forties and fifties. Why us?

Why you? You're healthier than most woman. At least now, you are.

They'll have to keep you in the hospital for observation, they tell me.

Fine, I tell them. As long as they let me stay with you.

As soon as you're out of surgery, they promise.

So now I find myself pacing back and forth in front of the operating room.

What's taking them so long?

How hard is it for them to dilate your muscles or whatever they do to clear your uterus?

I hate that expression.

It's not some garbage you need out of your system. It's our baby dying or dead inside you…

1710 Finally Awake

I open my eyes.

You're there. I see your mom, and Trevor. All of them are looking at me with concern in their eyes.

Your face is tear stained.

What happened?

My eyes close again while I try to remember. I hear the blip of a heart monitor, constant and strong.

Heart beat.

Just mine.

Our baby.

I lost our baby.

I look at you and try to move my arm. You come over to the bed and take my hand. You look deep into my eyes.

"Is everything…okay?" I ask, already knowing the answer.

"You're going to be fine." You say, with a reassuring smile. "You just have to rest here for a little bit."

"Not me…" I croak.

"Liv, sweetie," you say, and your smile breaks.

"Our baby…"

"They couldn't… they couldn't save it, baby."

"I lost…"

"It's not you. There was something wrong. It was your body's way of letting us know that."

"But… I…" I barely manage to whimper. I failed you. Again.

"We can try again," you say, kissing away tears.

But I know, I know in my heart there won't be a next time. I can't. Can't do this all again. I… I just can't.

1711 LOVE

"Sorry, Alex…"

"Shh…" I hush, squeezing your hand. "It's not your fault."

"I don't think… I can't, I can't do it again."

Reaching out, I touch your cheek. "It's okay."

"But Alex…"

"We don't have to talk about it right now," I insist gently.


"Please, Liv," I sigh. "Let's not talk about this right now." Everything went well, all things considered. And you'll recover. That's all that matters.

"Alex…" You try again, but my wary gaze cuts you off. Briefly, you close your eyes. When you open them, you look beyond me to mom and Trevor.

Immediately, mom comes over to the bed, while my brother hangs back. In the typical, easy, mom way, she comforts you, like she did me. By the time she leaves, you're finally calm and ready for rest.

I walk them to the door but you call me back.

"You're not leaving?" You ask, pleading silently with your eyes.

"No, I'm staying." I reassure you. "Trevor's going to check out of the hotel for us, and then he'll stop by the apartment and bring some clothes over," I say, as nonchalantly as possible.

But you look down anyway, and see your blood staining my clothes. Your breath hitches. "I'm sor…"

I lean down, and interrupt you gently with a kiss. "It's okay, Baby. It's okay."

You squeeze your eyes shut and inhale deeply.

"You should rest, Olivia," my mom advises over my shoulders, then walk back to the door. "We'll see you tomorrow."

"I'll be right back," I tell you, and feel your eyes follow me.

You're still staring at me when I pull the chair up to your bed, and sit. "Allie," you start.

"Shh…" I hush, a forceful mixture of emotions choking my voice. "I love you."

"I," you start to respond, then you stop, as if to let the words sink in.

"I love you, Liv," I repeat firmly, and kiss your hand, and lay my cheek down in your palm…

1712 Guilt

I want to tell you how sorry I am.

How guilty I feel that my body rejected the beautiful baby that we created together. I want to tell you that this is why, why I didn't want other people to know. Because if I…if this happened, I didn't want to have to see the sad faces and the pitying looks that would come with it.

But everyone does know…

Or at least everyone suspects. And now that I'm here, and we've lost our baby, we have to face them.

I don't want to face them.


The Capitan.

Having to tell them that I lost our baby, having to deal with them apologizing to me, telling me they support me. I don't want to have to face that, even though it's their way of loving me. I want to crawl into a hole and die.

I look away from you, your big blue eyes pleading with me to stay calm.

"I don't…I'm…"

"Shhh…" you whisper.

"But Alex…"

"I love you so much." You say, with a smile. "It's not your fault."

"But…it feels like…"

"It's not your fault." You say again resolutely.

"I just…I can't believe this happened." I whimper. "Do they know?"

You shake your head at me. "It's just something that happens."

"To me."

"To lots of women."

"But why to us?"

"I don't know," You say sadly.

"Neither do I."

1713 STOIC

Again, I catch you staring surreptitiously at the closed door, the door which leads to my old study, and what was to be the nursery. Did you sneak a peek at the painted wall while I wasn't looking? Or have you not allowed yourself that grief yet?

I thought I'd be more upset than I am. Really. I should be more upset. The way people hover over us, I ought to be. And I think I feel guilty for not being as heart broken as others expect me to be.

Maybe everyone deals with grief differently.

Maybe it's because I've already cried my tears at the hospital.

Or maybe I've rationalized it. I've thought it through and decided it was really a stupid, selfish idea to begin with, to make you carry our baby. Sure, I insisted that it was your choice, and you agreed that it was something you wanted to do. But really, you and I and everyone all know that you'll do anything I ask, you'll give me anything I want…

Including a baby…

It's been almost two weeks now, since you've been out of the hospital. And how many tests have they put you through since then? I'm not really keeping track. Are you?

Okay, I suppose, in a way, I'm keeping track. I count all the days each lab takes to come back with the test results, and I keep track of the doctors' return calls. And my heart feels a little lighter each call you get, because they reassure me that the miscarriage was just something that happened. It's something that happened to people your age, and the stress of your job, and not because there was something wrong with you.

That's something I can live with…

"Liv?" I whisper, closing the book I've been pretending to read.

You turn from the television with a smile. "Hmm?"

"Do you mind?" I point to the remote.

Without giving the television a last glance, you hit the off button. Then you pull my feet into your lap. While stretching and massaging my toes, you look at me expectantly.

"I love you," I start.

"I love you, too." You say with a deeper smile.

"How are you?"

"I'm fine?" You reply, as if you don't know why I'm asking the question.

Suppose I should just take the plunge and not wait for you… "Liv?"


"Don't you think we should talk?"

"About what?"

"What to do with that room, for instance?"

1714 Numb

"What about it?" I ask you, cautiously. I'm not sure what's actually changed in there. I haven't had the courage to check yet. You have carefully tiptoed around it, not saying anything, but the door stays closed, and both of us pretend in vain that it's not there between us.

"Well what do you want to do with it?"

"You can make it your study again, I guess." I shrug.

"Don't you think we should talk?" You start to say.

I look at you with a smile. "What?" I ask you.

"I just thought you'd want to talk about this all a little more."

"What's there to talk about?"

"Well, it's…been kind of a big change."

"Yeah, I know."

"So…?" You prod.

"Alex, listen. I… I'm sorry that it happened. But it did happen. And it's over. And I think we should just go back to our lives before."


"Its over."

"It's not going to make it better if we just ignored it happened."

"I'm not ignoring it, Alex. I'm just not dwelling on it."

"Whatever." You sigh.

"What do you want me to do?"

"I want you to feel something. I want you to not sit there and be so damn numb."

"I can't help being like this Alex. I don't have anymore tears."

"Baby," you say, getting up and coming over to me. "We'll try again. We can do this."

I smile at you weakly. We could try again, I suppose. But what if, this… again…?

1715 TALK

You smile weakly at me, and sigh. "I'm not sure, Alex… What if we. You know. Again."

"Why would you say that?"

"What if I'm predisposed? I mean, who knows what twenty years of drinking…"

"Liv, I really don't think that's the reason…" I try to tell you.

You shrug. "Whatever the reason. Statistics. Bad luck. Whatever. I just don't want to, not again… I don't think I can… I don't want to fail you, again."

I lean back against the couch, and pull you into my arms. "You didn't fail me, Liv."

"I couldn't give you what you want," you sigh.

"But I do have what I want." I smile. "I have your love. I have you."

"But you want a baby."

"I also want world peace, but that's beside the point." I sigh. "So, if it's entirely up to you, you'd rather we stay just the two of us?"

"If it's entirely up to me, I'd still be pregnant," you say, with resignation.

"That's not what I asked."

"I… I think we'd be happy, just the two of us."

"I think so, too." I smile and kiss you gently. "If that's what you want, I'm fine with that."

"You sure?"

"Yes, Liv." I kiss you again. "I've never been more sure about anything. Okay, maybe when you asked me to marry you."

You smile, and reach around, and hug me back. "But…"


"I never thought I'd ever want a kid, you know. And part of me still…"

"You still want a baby?" I ask quietly, running my fingers in your hair, and I wait for your response. I was about to prod when you finally break the silence.


"Then we should try again."

"But, Alex, what if it happens again? I don't think I can…"

"I know." I admit. I'm not sure I can go through this either. But… "Have you considered the alternative?"

1716 Alternatives

"What alternative?" I ask quickly. I look at you sideways, not sure exactly what it is that you're going to suggest.

"We could do lots of things," you say, your head resting on my shoulder. You take my hand and play with the ring that sits on my finger. "We could get a puppy." You say with a smile.

"That's hardly the same." I sigh.

"I know, but you always talk about it." You say with a smile, lacing your fingers with mine.

"I'm not serious about the puppy. I'm not sure I even really like puppies."

"We could try again, but if that's out." You let your voice fade away.

"I think for right now…" I want to explain to you. "I'm just not ready. But Alex… maybe."

"We could adopt." You suggest.

"We could."

"There are lots of kids who need homes."

"You could carry our baby," I say quietly.

"Liv," you say.

"You're younger."

"They don't know that this has anything to do with your age really." You supply.

I give you a half look. "Why don't you want to do it?" I ask you.

"I don't know, really."

"Well there has to be more of a reason," I ask you.

"I just never saw myself…"

"Well neither did I," I laugh. "You could at least think about it."

"Are you sure you don't just want a puppy?" You ask.

1717 TRUTH

"No puppies, Alex," you laugh.

"But what if our future child wants one?"

You shrug. "We'll talk about it then."


"I don't think mom would be so willing to babysit kittens."

"She wouldn't," I concede. "I still think we could give a child a good home."

"I think so, too."

"Then let's adopt," I repeat my earlier suggestion.

"Why are you so opposed to carrying our baby?" You stare up at me.

"I'm not. I mean, not really," I say, trying not to cringe. It's not the baby. Not per se.

Nevertheless, you caught my reaction, and you look up at me carefully. "Alex?"


"What's wrong?"

"Nothing. Why?" I answer, perhaps a little too forcefully.

"Baby?" You question, immediately putting on your cop hat, and staring at me intently. "Did something bad, were you…"

"No, no," I rush to reassure you. "It's not what you think."

"Then what is it?"

"You'll laugh."

"I won't."


"Yes. Tell me."

"You know I don't like milkshakes, or runny eggs…"


"It's like slimy snot." I wrinkle my nose. "It's icky."

"It's not like you have to eat it!" You laugh anyway. "Wait. That's why you wore gloves?"

"It's really not that funny, Olivia!" I give you the dirtiest look. "I'll beat you with a pillow if you don't stop…"

1718 Scared

"So you won't carry our child because you're afraid of semen?"

"I'm not afraid of it." You say too quickly.

"You are."

"I am not. It's not fear, really. I just think its… gross. It's dirty. And sticky. And bleh." You say, shuddering at the very thought.

"Alex." I say, trying to keep a straight face. "It's really not that bad."

"It is that bad. Besides, I can't help it, okay?"

I try my best not to laugh at you. "So you've lived all this time with a deadly fear of semen?"

"I wish you would stop saying that?"

"Saying what?"

"That word."

"Alex! You're a sex crimes prosecutor."

"That's at work. This is our house. And that word shouldn't be used here."

"Why you afraid it's going to stick around?" I laugh at my own joke.

"You're not funny." You say crossing your arms.

"I think it's pretty funny. I mean, come on Alex, you put it inside me."

"And I had to protect myself."

"Ha. And you were willing to be putting it in me?"

"It's a means to an end."

"Well that's how it would be if you were to have a baby. A means to an end."

"I really have to think about it," you say, thoughtfully. "I have spent a good deal of time planning ways to make sure it never gets inside me. And I really don't want to start."

"Even if it meant our baby?"

You look at me and waver. "I'd have to think about it."


"Come on, Alex." You stare at me with your big brown eyes. "Our baby."

"It's not going to work."

"What's not going to work?" You ask innocently, with a cheesy smile.

"That look of yours. Not this time." I cross my arms. "You'll just have to let me think about it."

"It's really not that bad."

"That's easy for you to say." I make a face. "Why don't you want to adopt?"


"Because why?"

"I don't know. I guess, I just want it to be ours. I don't want the biological parents to change their minds at the last minute?"


"And I want to watch our baby grow inside you."

"Yes, and watch me hurl my guts out every morning, and laugh about it."

"I'll probably get sympathy sickness, and you can pay me back for all the times I made you watch me eat disgusting things."

"I'm not sure revenge is good enough a motivation." I think about the semen swishing around in my body and how it'd feel leaking out, and I cringe.

"I'll spoil you, and take good care of you, and love you forever and forever," you lay it on.

"I thought you made that promise at the glow in the dark chapel."

"Yes, but…" You start, then decide to revert to your original tactic. "Alex, Baby, please?"

"I said I would think about it."

"For how long?"

"I don't know."

"Think about our baby," you plead.

I sigh. As much as I hate to admit it, your look is working, and you know it, I'm sure. "Maybe we could get it done in the test tube."

1720 Just Wait

"I just don't understand what the big deal is." I sigh. "I mean, Alex. It's all perfectly natural. You were more than willing to put it in me."

"I just… Liv, just, let me think about okay. It's a big step."

"It was a big step for me, too." I almost complain.

"One you took willingly." You offer, countering me back.

"Yeah, and I'm sorry I…" I try to apologize again, but you cut me off.

"You… Never mind." You say, looking off to the side.


"We don't have to give up, Liv. We have lots of time, and there's no big rush. It's not like if we don't do it right now we'll never get the chance again. So we have time to think about it and decide which way we want to go and what it is we want to do."

"I know." I sigh. I still feel let down, I still feel like I failed. I still have let myself start to get excited about the chance of us having our baby.

"What?" You ask me.


"No, come on, talk to me. Tell me what's in your mind." You ask me, with a gentle smile, your head leaning back onto my shoulder.

"It's silly." I sigh.

"It's not silly. Please talk to me."

"I kind of… I had my heart set on it Alex. And now, to feel like we're giving up."

"We're not giving up."

"Well if I'm not carrying it, and you're not carrying it, and adoption seems… hard."

"We're not giving up." You say resolutely. "We're just taking a break."

"Okay," I sigh. "Just a break."

1721 BREAK

"Don't do this to me," I ask you, with a jumble of raw emotions.

"Don't do what?"

"Just, Liv," I bite my lips. "Please just give me time."

"I am. I said I would."

"But you're disappointed."

"Yeah? Do you want me to lie to you about how I feel?"

"No, I don't. But I also don't want…" I swallow my words.

"What? What don't you want?"

"Just. Please don't push."

"I'm not pushing, Alex."

"I know you think my reason is stupid."

"I didn't say that."

"You don't have to." I sulk, and pull away from you.


"It is a valid reason, at least to me. And it's a big deal. To me."


"Why can't you accept that, and give me time to think? I gave you time."

"I know that. But I am giving you time."

"But you're disappointed. You want a kid, and you want me to carry it."

"Alex," you sigh. "Baby, I'm sorry. I wish I hadn't, I wish I hadn't lost our baby. Then we wouldn't need to have this conversation."

"I know." I let you pull me back into your arms. "I just…"


"I..." I choke.


Suddenly, I find myself pushing tears back into my eyes. "I just, I don't know if I can do it…"

1722 Break

"Why wouldn't you be able to?" I ask, suddenly curious.

You look at me for a second, and then look away. "I don't…" You sigh.

"What Alex?" I know you have the words, because I can see them struggling to get out of you.

"I'm not strong enough."

"What do you mean?" I almost laugh. Of course you're strong enough…

"I'm not strong enough, inside."

"Baby, you're one of the strongest people I know," I say, in utter disbelief that you could ever think this way about yourself. Don't you see what I see? The strong, vibrant woman who makes every day seem so full of promise for me

"Yeah, yeah." You sigh.

"What's wrong?"

"I just… I'm so much more… neurotic."

"As opposed to me, the alcoholic?" I ask with a wry laugh.

You give me a dirty look that tells me that the humor at my own expense isn't appreciated. "I just don't think I could do it. Not as well as you can."

"Well obviously I'm not all that great at it, am I Allie?" I ask.

"You can't blame yourself," you say for the millionth time.

"I can't help but feel bad, Alex. For everything. You know, sometimes I just think that your life would have been better if…"

"Don't even say it, Liv."

"Sorry," I sigh.

"Me, too."

We both stare into silence, neither one of us talking or moving.

"So where does this leave us?" You ask me.

"I guess it leaves us taking a break."

"Yeah, I guess it does."


"Alexandra and Olivia, Darlings, I'd like to see you in the kitchen."

I glance at you warily while you suddenly look like you can't breathe. Trevor and Ted both shrug their sympathy while we get up from the couch.

Miriam leaves with a tray just as we approach the door, no doubt timed so that my mom can speak with us alone. Maybe I'm projecting, but I think she just gave us a consoling smile as we passed.

"Yes, mom?" I ask, taking your hand.

"How are you two doing?"

"Fine." You and I smile at each other, silently agreeing that I should keep talking. "Liv just broke a case we've been after for a while, and my ratio's up."

"That's good." Mom replies, pushing cookie dough into the shape she wants. Somehow I feel like that's us, being molded and prepared for baking.

A couple of nervous minutes later, although it's probably just seconds, mom speaks again. "How are you otherwise?"

"Good. We're good."


"Yes, mom, we're doing great!" You offer with a cheery smile.

"Are you really?"

"Yes!" We answer in unison.

"Trevor tells me he's going to help you get your books out of storage."

Damn him. "Yes. Um." I start to explain, but decide against it. "Yeah, we're going to do that tomorrow." I add.

"What are you going to do with them?" She asks, even though I'm sure she knows.

You and I look at each other again, and I sigh. "Look, mom, we've decided to take a break, and wait a while, before we…"

"You're not going to try again?"

"No, not right now."

"Why? You're not afraid are you?" She gets right to the point. "Many women lose their first child, chances are, it won't happen again."

"It's not that, mom," I say, reflexively defending our decision. Although maybe she's right about the fear…

1724 Beg

I hate it when your mother does this. I hate it when she decides these things for us, and then presses us into corners to manipulate her way.

Even though I could never say that to her, or you, I suddenly feel guilty under her gaze. Her indirectly too direct questions make me feel like I'm nine years old again with my hand stuck in the cookie jar. I hated that feeling then, and I hate it even more now.

I look at your mother, and then back to you. I can see the question gaze you're giving me, and I wonder if deep down inside you wish your mother would just let us make this choice for ourselves.

I know that logically she's right though, at least about me trying again. Us trying again.

I may never miscarry again. And as I've heard from more than one doctor, miscarriage is usually an indication that something's not right. Your body knows, and the problem could be almost anything. I might be fine. Everything might be fine. It might not though.

"Mom," I sigh, trying my best to put words together that are both kind and firm. "I'm just not ready." I say, staring at her. "I'm just not."

She looks at both of us with a sad smile. "I'm sorry to hear that, dear."

"Yeah," I sigh, looking more at the floor than into her eyes. "And we're going to take a break," I say, suddenly more firmly. "I'm not going to do it again right now."

"You don't have to stop trying though." She says still looking at us, raising her eyebrow at you.

"Mom, we kind of decided… agreed that Liv would carry."

"That's fine but you should remember that you're lucky, you have double the chances. Both of you can carry, and if Olivia isn't going to right now…"

"We know." You say, quietly.

"So why aren't you?"

"We're just not." I say more testily than I mean to.

Both of you stare at me.

"Look, mom. This is… this has been really hard for us. And personal. We know, we understand that you love us. But please, let us work it out ourselves."

1725 WISH

I listen to you tell my mom off nicely, and I squeeze your hand. How can you not see that you're so much stronger than me? I wish I had the courage to tell my mom to butt out.

Although maybe not, I wonder as I watch her slap the dough into the bowl. Is she going to kill you now? Or me too for bringing you home?

When she turns away to wash her hands, I wince at you. Silently motioning towards the door with my eyes, I try to tell you that maybe we should book now, so we could get out of here in one piece...

You simply furrow your brows at me.

I guess we wait for the verdict… I just wish... I wish my mom wouldn't do this. And people wonder why I'm so neurotic.

Imagine my surprise when she faces us again with a smile and wraps us both in her arms. "I know dears, I'm just worried."

"I know mom," I say.

"Forgive me for being so pushy. I just want you to know how I feel about either of you giving me grandchildren."

"Thanks, mom," you graciously acknowledge her acceptance.

I really don't know if this is a blessing or a curse, that she accepts you, well, us, so wholeheartedly. I doubt she's bugging Trevor about giving her grandchildren.

"All right." She pats us on our back, and directs us to the prepared trays. "Why don't you take these out to the table. You and the boys will want something to snack on while Miriam and I finish dinner."

"Yes, mom." We obey, and try not to run out of the room…

When we're back in our seat again, I rest my head on your shoulder. "Thanks for standing up to my mom."

"Hope you didn't mind. I just…"

I hush your explanation with a kiss. "I don't want her running our lives either."

"Yeah." You sigh into your plate.

"What's wrong?"

"It's nothing. Really, Alex." You smile and hold out your plate. "Want a celery?"

I shake my head, but pick up a carrot and take a bite.

We eat in silence until I can't stand it any more. "Tell me."


"What are you thinking?"

1726 Ruined?

"I don't know," I sigh. "I don't know what's going on in my head."

"Come, on, something's on your mind." You whisper, absently biting down on a carrot. You look at me with your big blue eyes and plead with me to open up.

"I don't know Alex."

"Talk to me," you urge, smiling.

"I feel like I'm letting her down." I finally sigh, which is only a small tip of the emotions that are swirling around inside me.

"You're not letting…"

"I know it's silly." I interrupt you. "I know we've talked about this. I wish I could just push it out of my head and not think about it anymore, but I can't. I want to be able to give her what she wants. I want to be able to give you what you want."

"We've already decided… we've already discussed this."

"I know."

"I don't want you to feel bad."

"I can't help it Alex," I sigh.

"I know." You say.

"I don't want you to think… I don't want you to think that I'm giving up on our family." I try to explain. I feel like my words are failing, twisting in on each other and not making sense.

"I know you're not."

"I'm just, Alex. I'm…"

"I understand," you say with a smile. You let your head rest on my shoulder. "I know." You say again.

"I don't deserve you." I whisper.


"I don't deserve you." I sigh again.

You laugh. "You're stuck with me," you say simply as though it was the answer to everything. "You've ruined me for others, anyway. You can't let me go now."


I bite down on my lip and take a deep breath.

And I look down at the items I just took out of the medicine cabinet, and I take another, deeper breath.

Maybe it's not such a great idea.

If I don't say anything, you won't be any wiser, and we can just fall into bed like we normally do.

But then sooner or later, we'll have another discussion.

We'll have to address this issue…

One way or the other.

Maybe this way is better.

We can plan this. Talk about this. Give you and me both time to think this over…

And make a decision. One way or another.

With another deep inhale, I pick up the items from the sink and slip them into the pockets of my robe. And I open the bathroom door, and step into the bedroom.

"Hi." I say, smiling at you, trying to not sound too nervous. "Sorry to keep you waiting," I feel necessary to add; I'm not sure why.

You smile in return, and lean back against the pillows.

Somehow it seems like such a long distance, from here to there. I keep my smile on my face, and let your eyes guide me to you.

"So what's the surprise?" You ask, as I join you in bed.

"Who said?" I whisper.

Leaning in, you kiss me gently. "You're blushing."

Another flush of heat sweeps over my face, and I swallow. "Am not."

You trail your hand down the front of my robe to the knot. "Shall I find out for myself?"

"Wait." I push against your chest. "Hold on a sec."


"Here." Quickly, before I can change my mind, I reach into my pockets. "Here," I say again, shoving the bottle in your hand.

"Okay?" You check the label of the lubricant, and stare at me questioningly.

I swallow again, before withdrawing my other hand.

"Isn't this a?"

"Yes, one of the leftover syringes, from you know," I interrupt, and rush forward. "I want you to use it, with that." I point to the lubricant. "I want you to put it in me, as if it were, as if we were trying, if you were going to impregnate… me," I finish, suddenly feeling out of breath…

1728 Sacrifice

"You want me to…?"

"Yeah," you say, nodding. You're pale. I wonder how long you've been torturing yourself with this idea.

"In you?" I ask, realizing what you're asking is like some kind of strange science experiment that seems like it's going to go horribly awry. You're nearly shaking.

"Yeah," you say too quickly.

"Are you serious?"

"Yeah, we need to… I need to try."

I look up at you and then back at what's in my hands, and then back up at you.

If it wasn't endearing that you were trying so hard, I would laugh at you outright. You're anxious though. You want to be there for me. You're willing to try something that obviously makes you incredibly uncomfortable.

"Alex, baby, breathe." I smile, and look down into my hands.

"I'm breathing." You say, hoarsely.

"Sit." I take your hands.

You sit on the bed next to me heavily. "I think we should practice." You manage to choke out.

"Alex… I don't think this is a real good idea."

"We have to try." You demand.

"Are you… you know this isn't going to work," I say, looking down at the bottle.

"What do you mean?"

"A bottle of lube isn't going to get you pregnant. And I'm not even sure it's a good idea to start shooting this…"

"It'll get me used to the idea."

"But baby… if you think this, that, is so repulsive, then you shouldn't do it."

"I just… I want… I don't want to disappoint you."

1729 TRY

"Alex, baby, why would you, you're not," you start, each time unable to finish. Finally, you sigh, "I don't think we should do this."

"Why? You want a family."

"Yes, but not at your expense."

"You changed your mind about carrying our baby."

"Yes, but I don't have your issue with semen."

"No, you had bigger issues," I remind you. "More legitimate issues. And you were willing to work through them."

"But that's different," you say, not arguing with me about what I just said.

"How so?"

"It just is," you say, your brows furrowing.

"But Liv, I want to try."

"I really don't think… What made you change your mind anyway?"

"Well, my mom was right."

"Then we definitely shouldn't be doing this, Alex. Your mom can get over herself."

"I know, I know. It's not that. Let me finish."


"My mom's right that we're lucky, we're not limited in our options. And I'm lucky, in that I can give you what you want – a baby."

"But you don't want semen inside you."

"Like you said, it's a perfectly natural process."

"Yes, it is. But you should look into the mirror. You're paler than a ghost." You hold up the bottle to show me. "And this is not even the real thing."

"That's why I want you to use it. So I can pretend, until I get my mind wrapped around the idea."

"But you shouldn't have to."

"But I want to, Liv. I really, really want to."

1730 Bitterly

"Alex, look, I'm not doing it."

"Why not?" You ask indignantly. "I really want to do this."

"When you can say that without looking like you're going to pass out, we'll talk," I say, sliding the syringe and the bottle back into your hand shaking my head.

"I am not going to pass out. I just…"

"I'm not doing it Alex."

"Why not?" You ask me with a whine in your voice.

"I'm serious. I'm not doing it. If you want to get over semen, you're going to have to do it without me. I'm not going to put something in you, or push something like that on you. It's like… it's like…"

"It's natural," you counter, using my own logic against me.

"But it's like violating you. What if I do it and you freak?"

"I won't."

"You say now."

"I won't."

"What if you do? What happens then?"

"I'll get over it."

I laugh, a sarcastic hard laugh. "I'm not doing it."

"Then I'll do it to myself."



"I'm not doing it." I say again.




I throw the syringe and bottle into the trashcan by the vanity and storm out of the room.

With a loud slam, I shut the door.

Throwing myself into the couch, I grab the remote and turn on the television, setting it at blaring. I know I'm being childish. But if you pay any attention, you'll notice I learned this routine from you.

I don't know what your problem is.

I'm willing to give you what you want, willing to get over my issues even after you laughed at me.

I don't know what happened.

It worked so well in my head.

In my head, you were happy with my decision. You would help me get over my initial shyness, and we would make passionate love. In the end, you'd inject the pretend-semen in me, and hold me, and kiss me, and whisper sweet nothings to me…

And it'd repeat until I'm ready to move onto the real thing.

I thought you would accept my willingness to change graciously.

But no.

Instead you…

I'm not even sure what to make of it.

What's your problem anyway?

Because I'm willing to change for you?

What? I'm usurping your martyr role?

Is that it?

Well, fuck you.

I can be happy without children.

I really can.

Or I can just get it done at the doctor's without you.

It's my body anyway…

1732 Sadly

I watch as you storm off into the other room and slam the door. I flop back onto the bed and stare at the ceiling.

I hate it when you act like this.

I hate it when either of us acts like this. I hate it when we fight, but when it comes to sex…

Maybe it's because of what I do. I'm so conscious of the lines that can so easily blur when two people drop their defenses and decide to take the step into being intimate with each other. What starts with me getting off, turns into your ultimate nightmare. I can't put you in that situation and I can't even imagine that you'd ask me to.

And then there's all the rest. I'm not going to be this selfish.

If you don't want to have kids, to birth them, I'm not going to force your impregnation. It should be something you want to do, not something that makes you want to hurl.

I stare the ceiling and examine it with a new hatred. I'm upset at you for putting me in this situation.

I'm upset at you for not understanding how I feel. You're not even trying. If you'd get down off your cross you could use the wood to build a bridge to understanding.

Instead you're out there, being passive aggressive.

Slamming doors. The TV has to be loud enough for people in small towns in the Midwest to hear it. And you're doing all that to show me that you don't care.

Well whatever.

I can not care with the best of them.

So why am I so damn angry if I don't care?

I sigh, flipping over onto my stomach and staring at the window across the room.

I can feel a tear at the corner of my eye.

I refuse though, refuse to let you make me cry. Why am I crying, even? It's not worth it.

Not worth it, even if you don't understand me. Even if you can't get where I'm coming from and insisting that I'm the bad guy. It's just not fair, I mumble, as the tears flow down my face.


I don't understand you, I really don't.

I thought we love each other, love each other enough to trust each other, to help each other, and willingly put our fate into the other person's hands.

I thought we love each other enough to have faith in each other, to believe the decisions we make is the right one.

So far, it's all about you not trusting me, when it comes right down to it.

It's always been that way, hasn't it?

You didn't trust that I wouldn't get mad and leave you to tell me about your alcohol cravings.

You didn't believe that I'd want to stay with you and stick by you when you couldn't remember your name.

You still don't believe me when I tell you I don't blame you for miscarrying our child.

Well, I don't blame you, not for that.

Suppose I shouldn't blame you now either.

I should've anticipated how you'd react.

I should've known you'd reject my idea. I'm sure in your mind, you did it out of some lofty honorable reason.

I shouldn't have taken it so personally, it's not like you're rejecting me.

Or is it?

Is that why I'm sitting here pushing tears back into my eyes and failing miserably?

I hate this.

I hate feeling like this.

Now that I've back myself into a corner, I don't know what to do.

I sure as hell am not going to go back in there.

You won't want to talk to me anyway.

And what's there to talk about?

You've made up your mind. And we both know when you made up your mind about something, that's the end of it, unless I try and try to convince you otherwise.

Forget it. I'm too tired to do that.

I'm tired of being the spoiled unreasonable bitch you think I am…

1734 Feeling Stupid

I'm tired of always being wrong with you. I'm tired of you thinking that I'm some kind of entirely unreasonable bull headed…

I'm tired of you and how you think you can just make everything okay with some stupid whim.

It's not fair.

You're not fair.

I want to crawl up and disappear. If I could leave without walking through the living room, I would. I don't even know where it is I'd go.

I don't really have anywhere anymore.

Who am I kidding?

The places that once held the attraction for me have long since been lost. I can't just go hang out in some bar. I've come too far for that now.

I would just wander around outside, lost without you.

I don't want a confrontation with you, though, so I'm going to just hide inside here.

I just wish you would get where I'm coming from.

But then again, I'm not really listening to where you're coming from either, am I? You are trying to please me. Right?

That's why you want me to inject you with lube? It's still a stupid idea. It's not going to make anything better.

I sigh.

I'm not wrong.

You're wrong.

I have to keep telling myself that.

You're wrong.

I'm not done being angry at you. I swear.


I try to remember what happened in there. I can't.

Or maybe I don't want to.

I just remember you getting mad, both of us getting angry with each other.

I don't know how you feel entitled to being angry with me.

I'm the one making the concession.

A big concession if you ask me.

Granted, it is conceivably easier for me to be the birth mother of our child.

But I'm willing to think beyond myself, to confront my issues, to give you what you want.

Okay, I'm also giving me what I want, since I don't want you going through another difficult first trimester, and I certainly wouldn't want to watch you lose another baby. Sure, these are my wants, but I want them mostly for your benefit…

I don't know why you can't see that.

I don't know why you act the way you do sometimes. I really don't.

I don't know why I have the issues I do.

I wish I could explain it.

Maybe you're right. It's a phobia, an unreasonable fear. But why? How?

It's not like I don't like men.

All I can remember were all the precautions I took to not get semen inside me, or let it get anywhere near me. To not get pregnant. Or let my mom know I was sexually active… Is that it? Another good girl don't thing?

Does it really matter now?

There's no reason for me to find out anyway.

You're never going to trust me enough to believe that it's not some harebrain idea, that I do want to carry our child.

Besides, are we really fit to be parents?

We can't even disagree without fighting. And at the rate we're going, we're just going to pretend this never happened anyway and keep up with our happy life…

Tomorrow's another day, right, Cabot?

I sniffle and curl up with a pillow from the sofa…

1736 Truce?

It's funny how time can erode even the most deadly anger.

Staring on the bed and looking into the window has made me more numb and less angry. I've cycled through the emotions, and now, I'm left just basically feeling sorry for myself. I can still hear the TV blaring from the living room. I wonder what you're doing out there.

Probably not thinking about this like I am. It's probably entirely left your head.

I bet if I never asked, never said a word you'd let it go too. Never ask, and we'd pretend that tonight never happened.

What two hours ago was hatred, a feeling that I had divinely been right and you so wrong has degraded in my mind to more of a question of why we were ever fighting in the first place. Why do we ever fight?

Stupid pigheadedness.

The two of us fall into that every single time.

It all seems silly, now. I mean, I guess if you want to practice squirting lube into yourself… or you want me to do it, how is it really any different than anything else we've tried sexually?

I mean everything we've done has been a process of careful negotiation. When we first started, after all, I was the one feeling dizzy about the concept of even kissing you, let alone strapping on a dick.

And now, kissing a girl, loving you is my entire life. I wouldn't trade it for the world.

And the idea that you want me to…


It's not really that different.

I like the idea of you having our baby. I just wish that it didn't disgust you. I wish you could understand how uncomfortable it makes me feel.

Maybe if I tell you.

Maybe if I try really hard, and talk to you, we can make this better instead of worse.

It's worth a try. I love you too much to fight with you.

1737 TALK

"Alex? Sweetie?" I hear you call me; I feel your hand gently brushing my hair back from my face.

"Hmm?" I open my eyes. For a moment, I'm disoriented. Then I hear the television blasting in the background and feel the pillow in my arms. And I realize, I must've fallen asleep.

The last thing I remember was sniffling and feeling sorry for myself because of our fight. How did I manage to sleep despite that and through the racket?

Because I know you're in the next room? That in my heart, I still feel safe?


"Yeah." I sigh, and shake the residual sleep out of my head. "What time is it?"

You ignore my question, and turn off the tv. "Can we talk?"

What's there to talk about? I almost blurt. "Sure," I say instead, and sit up to make room for you.

You run your thumb across the puffiness under my eye. "Were you crying?"

I shrug.

"I'm sorry."

"It's not your fault."

"I'm sorry that we fought."

Guess this is a truce? "Me, too," I sigh, leaning into your embrace, and resting my head on your shoulder.

"Can we talk?" Again, you ask.

"Okay." I nod and wait for you to start.

"I… I still think it's a stupid idea, with the lube."

"Fine. You've already made that clear." I start to pull away from you, but you hold me fast.

"Let me finish."

I hug my knees and look away to the window.

"Come on, don't pout."

"How many times do you have to make fun of my issue?"

"I wasn't, Alex." You sigh, and duck your head to catch my eye. "I'll do it, I'll put the lube in you, if you really want me to…"

"You will?"

"I just, I wish the idea of carrying our child didn't repulse you so much."

"I'm not. I don't mind carrying our child, I thought you knew that…"

1738 For Us

"It doesn't repulse me." You insist, taking my hands.

"It feels like that to me." I sigh.

"It really doesn't." You sigh. "I just… I don't."

"Wait, just a second." I say, interrupting you. "I just want you to listen… Alex, I just want you to understand."

"I'm trying to do this for you. For us. I don't mind having our child." You say, looking deep into my eyes.

"I don't like the idea of doing something to you that you find disgusting. I mean, I get that you want to practice and I really appreciate that, but Alex, I'm just not sure that," I stammer.

"Carrying our child doesn't repulse me, Liv. It's just how the child gets in there." You say again.

"Yeah, I know, but Alex, A large part of the process does."

"I know," you say with a pout. "Why does semen have to be involved?"

"I don't know," I say with a smile. "I think it's biology."

"You said that."

"But this whole thing…"

"Look Liv. It's the semen." You say, trying not to shudder. "I just don't like it."

"Well you don't have to like it but it's kind of part of the process."

"I know it is. I just… I don't like the way it… I don't like the texture."

"The texture?" I ask.

"Yeah. I don't know Liv. I don't know where it comes from. I just…"

"You dated men, right?"


"So you came across it before."

"I know." You sigh. "It's... let's just put it this way. I choose women, okay?"

"I'm glad you did." I smile.

"But the point is… yeah…" you flush.


"So…" You lean in and give me a gentle kiss.

With a soft sigh, I ease back, and close my eyes, expecting you to continue with your kisses. But you don't. So I open my eyes again, to find you with a goofy smile on your face. "What?"

"Can I ask a question?"


"Just how did you manage?"


"To sleep with men and…"

I cover your mouth with my hand. "Do we really have to go there?"

You kiss my palm, and smile. "I'm just wondering."

"Well. Stop."

"What about blow jobs?"

I wince as a shudder runs through my body as I imagine the texture of naked semen in my mouth.

"You didn't?"

"Flavored condoms, okay?"


"Liv? Please? Can we stop talking about this?"

"It really bothers you this much?"

"Okay." I push my hair out of my face and sigh. "I think I just have issues touching other people's bodily fluids."

"You touch me."

"That's different. You're not other people, and you're not slimy."

"What are you going to when we have a baby? You know babies drool, and they sneeze, and…"

"It's our baby. And enough!" I pinch your lips shut. "This conversation is over."

1740 Ribbing

"Flavored condoms?" I ask you, leaning back into the couch with a smile on my face.


"I'm just impressed. I never thought of that."

"Are you done?"

"Lemme guess, you didn't give very many."

"I tried very hard to avoid it."

"Bet it made you popular with the guys."

"I had a hard time keeping a boyfriend."

I can't help but laugh. "I'm sorry, hon, but I think I can tell you why."

"Can we please stop having this conversation?" You ask me, with a whine.

"Where ever did you get those?"


"Flavored condoms? Did your mother know you were buying things like that?"

"Can you please leave my mother out of this?"

"Sure, but I think she'd be interested to know…."

You swat at me. "Shut up," you say, turning bright red.

"Well I'm just thinking… I didn't think they tasted all that great. What'd you do, close your eyes and pretend it was a lollipop?"

You blush a deeper crimson.

"Wait, you really did?" I ask.

"Can you please stop?"

"Yes dear," I say trying not to laugh.

"Oh come on, can you honestly say you liked it."

"Liked what?"

"Giving head to guys?"

"That's delicate."


"It wasn't as bad as you make it sound like. I mean, it wasn't my favorite activity in the world, but if you wanted what you wanted…."

"And what did you want?"

This time it's my turn to blush. "Okay, we can drop it now."

"No, now you have to tell me. What'd you want?"

"I wanted… I don't know what I wanted." I say quickly.

"Yes you do, you just don't want to say it," you goad me.

"I wanted them to love me?"

"And did they?"

"No. They didn't."

1741 LOVE

"I'm not sure how you could think sex would get you love."

"I didn't."

"But you just said…"

"Let's drop this, okay? Alex?"

"You started it."

"I know, and I'm sorry. I just…" You sigh. "Half the time I wasn't even sober enough to think about what I wanted. It was pretty much just like scratching an itch."

"I see…" I say, even though I really don't.

"Anyway, it doesn't matter now." When I don't say anything, you ask, "What's wrong?"

I shrug.

"Tell me."

"I just, I can't even begin to imagine how it's like…"

"To screw people you don't know?"

"Well… Yeah. But then I think I have trust issues."

You laugh. "You think?"

"Okay, I have trust issues."

"And don't forget your control issues."

"All right already, Olivia." I pout. "We're talking about your issues now."

"Maybe I'm not being fair. A couple of times, they did love me back."

"What happened?"

"Just didn't work out?"

"I mean I'm glad," I smile, and snuggle next to you. "But…"

"Don't feel bad, Sweetie." You press a kiss to my head. "I don't. Otherwise, we wouldn't be together."

"Why? You don't think you'd leave them for me?" I tease.

"Would you really want me to?" You ask with a grin.

I shake my head lightly. "Did you love them like you love me?"

1742 Feelings

"Are you serious?" I ask, not sure I even heard you right. If I loved them like I love you? You can't be serious. That has to be the most ridiculous…

"Well, it's a valid question," you say, shyly.

"No, I never felt about them like I do you. I never really…" I let my voice drift off.


"I never really felt much for them, Alex. I didn't really let myself do a whole lot of feeling. The ones that managed to stick around either dumped me because of work, or I dumped them because of… well, anything."

"What do you mean?"

"You know how it is. You left the dishes in the sink, get the hell out because heaven forbid I don't want anyone too close. It's easier…"

"To keep people away?"

"It's almost like a requirement for the job Alex. Not a lot of people can understand what we do. It's not exactly romance to have to leave a date because a girl got raped and was found naked under a bridge."

"I know." You say leaning into me, resting your shoulder against me and taking my hand in yours. Without thinking, you start playing with my ring, teasing it around my finger and I watch as it spins gently for you against my skin.

"So I guess it just sort of becomes second nature to just pretend that having someone in your life isn't important. I kind of believed, it just wouldn't happen for me, and once you make that decision, it's easier every day to drink, and to find your happiness in measured doses at the bottom of a bottle."

"I'm sorry sweetie." You sigh.

"What are you sorry for?"

"I'm sorry that you weren't happy."

"But I'm happy now. I'm happy with you."

You smile and contented smile and lean deeper into me. "Really?" You ask, your voice raising an octave with a cute and breathy sweetness.

"Really." I smile, squeezing your hand and opening my arms to let you slide closer to me.


With a soft sigh, I let you pull me deeper into your arms. Closing my eyes, I savor the warmth of your embrace, of our together.

So we're both stubborn and quick-tempered, and we still fought. But we're more open with each other, and we talk more now. Guess we've come a long way.

I sigh again, and snuggle against you, feeling the bubble of happiness and contentment surrounding us. You tighten your hold, molding our bodies together, settling into the moment.

"So…" I start, breaking our comfortable silence.


"Are you really willing to… practice?"

"The lube thing?"

"Unless you can think of a better way."

You shrug. "I really don't know if we should, if you really hate it so much."

"It's a means to an end, Liv."

"Yes, it is."

"I want to know how it's like; I'd like to be prepared."


"Maybe I won't hate it as much as I imagined in my head."


"So can we try?"

You look at me, your expression inscrutable.

"What?" I ask, fighting my discomfort.

"You really want to? Carry our baby?"

"Yes? Why?"

"Really, really?" You ask, with a hint of smile.

"Yes, Liv, really," I assure, leaning up and kissing you deeply…

1744 Mechanics

"Do it," you nearly scream as my fingers trace circles over your increasingly sensitive center.

"Are you sure?" I ask, the lube filled injection ready for you. I look at it suspiciously for a second, my fingers never losing the small circles that are driving you to the edge.

"Fucking do it," you yelp, which makes me smile. I love it when you let yourself lose that control.

With a flourish, I slide the syringe inside you and depress it, pushing the lube inside you. At the same time, I lean into you with my mouth and place my tongue gently against your clit, providing all the incentive you need to come crashing down around me.

You gasp, your breath catching in ragged clips as your body enters release.

You moan, taking deep breaths.

"Did you do it?" You ask.

"Mmhmm." I smile, crawling up your body, slowly withdrawing the now empty syringe and showing it to you.

You close your eyes.

"What, Alex?"

You shift your hips around, and sigh. "I don't feel anything."

"Well, what did you expect?"

"I don't know, I thought it would be… different."

"What do you mean?"

"I thought it would feel all… sticky."

"We're not injecting you with super glue, Alex. You're not really supposed to be able to feel it."

"So that's it?" You ask with a smile.

"Yeah, that's it."

"I think, well, I think maybe I could do this."

"Really?" I ask with more hope than I dared feel before.

"Yeah, I think I could." You pronounce with a happy grin.

1745 TEST

"Are you sure?" You ask me again, your smile full of hope.

"Well, I'm thinking…" Oh hell, how can I say 'no' to that look on your face? "Yeah, I'm pretty sure."

You actually let out an excited noise that's a cross between a giggle and a squeal.

"Liv," I laugh.

"We're gonna have a baby!" You start to sing-song.

"Wait, wait."


"Maybe you shouldn't get so excited. What if I can't, you know. What if we have the same difficulties?"

"Yes, but you're younger."

"We're not sure if your age had anything to do with anything. It might be in the water."

"Don't say that," you scold.

That makes me smile. I guess now you know how I felt. "You really want this?"

"Uh-huh." You nod your head exaggeratedly. "So can we?"

"What if you get sympathy sickness?"

"I'll deal. I'll even eat sardines and PB&J sandwiches with you."

"Ewww. I hope I don't crave for stuff like that."

"Well, if you do, I won't complain."

"Okay." I smile, and move to curl up in your arms.

"Wait," you insist, pushing me back against the mattress.

"Sweetie?" I ask, watching you slide your body downwards. "What are you doing?" Laughing, I ask, even though I suspect what you're about to do with the pillow.

"Just testing," you say with a smile, and folded it over my belly, and resting your head on it.

"I hope I never get that big."

"Just more for me to love."

"Should I be offended?" I tease, and weave my fingers in your hair, holding you close…

1746 Understood

"Why would you be offended?" I ask, feeling like everything's right with the world. The smile plastered on my face is so big that it feels like it might crack.

"Because…" You smile, letting me rest my head against your stomach.

"I'm glad you're considering… we're considering… this."

"This is what you wanted the whole time."

Your comment takes me aback, but I don't deny it. There's no reason to. "It is."

"Are you angry at me?"

"Hmm?" I ask, looking up your body while you gaze down at me.

"Are you upset at me?"

"Why would I be?" I ask, not seeing your logic.

"Because I wanted you, I was the one who begged you to have our baby… and then, what happened… happened."

"That wasn't your fault, Alex."

"I know, and it wasn't yours," you say, before I can take it out on myself again. "But I wonder sometimes… I mean, I could see how you could blame me for it. Because I kind of felt like I was the one pushing the issue."

"Alex, I agreed because I wanted to. I could see myself doing it. I didn't expect it to…"

"I know, end like it did." You say, putting your hand against my face. "I'm sorry that it happened, Liv."

"I know."

"And if I had known…."

"I know." I say again. "But now… now we can make this happen, for real."

"Yeah," You smile at me, with a large grin. "It's going to be weird Liv."

"It was for me too, Alex. But you kind of get used to it… and it's kind of a good feeling. I wouldn't have traded the experience Alex. The outcome, yes, but the experience no."

"Do you really mean that?"

"Of course I'm just not…"

"I know Liv, I understand."

1747 PLANS

I snuggle deeper into you as you drape your arm about my stomach, and I imagine how it would be like when I'm pregnant with our baby.

This is so strange, that I'm actually, that we're going to…


I never really saw myself as a maternal person.

It was different when you were doing the carrying. You'd be the one feeding and the nurturing, the most I would have to do is change a diaper... Yech!

And maybe hold and feed with a bottle…

Instead, I'll be the one with the life growing inside. I'll be the one with little hands and mouth attached to my breasts…

Oh god, and the back pain, and all the other things, plus the labor itself?

Do I really want to do this? I ask myself as I feel the edge of panic.

"Sweetie?" You whisper as I tense involuntarily against you.


"What's wrong?"

"Nothing?" I say, perhaps a little too quickly.

You turn me around in your arms so we're face to face. "Tell me."

"It's really nothing. I was just thinking?"


"It's weird."

"What is?"

"Not too long ago, I had all these aspirations, careers goals, et cetera."

"You don't anymore?"

"Not really. At least not like before." I laugh. "I just never thought I'd aspire to be a mother."

"Really? You weren't going to have kids?"

"And you were?"

"Okay, point taken."

I smile and slide my finger across your collar bone. "So when do you want to start?"

1748 On Top

I smile at you. "I guess we can start… now?" I ask, my hand still on your stomach, which suddenly, if only in my imagination, feels bigger, like our baby is already living inside you.

"Well, we don't have the things we need." You say, smiling, turning in my arms.

"I know, but we can practice."

"Do you think we need practice?" You laugh, "I thought we did a pretty good job with you."

"It couldn't hurt," I say, sliding my hand gently up your body. Your eyes flutter closed and you smile at me.

"You just want to get laid." You laugh, as I lean in and kiss you.

"And you have a problem with that?" I ask you.

"I didn't say that, did I?" You smile coyly.

"You sound like you're complaining."

"I'm not." You smile.

"I'm just making sure." I say, as I pull away from you. You watch with your eyes wide.

"Hey, where you going?"

"You don't want practice," I say with a smile over my shoulder.

"Are you?" You ask, the shock written all over your face.

"What?" I ask.

"Where are you going?"

"I thought you didn't want to practice," I say, trying to hide my smile.

"Get back here," you growl, pulling on my collar, pulling me back onto the bed.

You crawl on top of me and kiss me forcefully.

I wish you knew how sexy it was when you do this, when you want me like this. When you crawl on top of me and take control.

Instead, I let you kiss me, let you touch me, happy to be with you…


"You want to call the same place?" I ask you while trying to brush my teeth. Can't believe we slept through the damn alarm. Both of us.

"Call what and where?" You yell back from within the closet. "You want your suit while I'm in here?"

"The sperm place. Sure, one of the ones we picked up from the cleaners."

"No court today?"

"No, thank god. Petrovski would have my skin for being late."


"Shut up."

"It wasn't my fault," you stick your head in and wave a garment bag at me. "At least not last time. How's this?"

"I didn't say it was." I glance at the suit while putting on my make up. "That's fine. Thanks."

"You're welcome," you squeeze my waist, while pushing me away from the mirror. "My turn."

"Who said I was through?" I mock complain, moving to the vanity.

"The clock?"

"Fine," I sigh. "So the bank?"

"Yeah, sure, I'll stop off before I pick you up."

"No, sperm bank." I correct. "Damn."

"What's wrong?"

"Dropped my earring," I reply, while bending to pick it up. "Wonder what Petrovski would say to me spending three months in the bathroom barfing my guts out."

"She might actually be sympathetic, you'll never know."

"Yeah, okay. So I should call them?"

"Who? Oh, the bank? Sure."

"Cool. I'll do that today," I say, scribbling a reminder into my pocket planner.

"Don't forget your doctor."

"My doctor?"

"Yeah. So she can see you."

"For what?"

1750 Prepare

"So she can check you out?" I say , standing behind you, realizing that you're not going to give up your prime real estate in front of the mirror even if we are about thirty minutes late and I still look like a creature who just rolled out of bed. I reach over your shoulder and grab the brush, and you give me a frustrated sigh, as I bump your arm accidentally, sending your eye shadow up your forehead. You wipe it quickly, and slip out another small compact from your make up case.

I grab the brush and run it through my hair while you pat the light blush onto your cheeks. "What does she need to do that for?" You ask me, staring at your own reflection in the mirror and hardly noticing that I'm trying to stand on my tip toes to look over you.

"So she can make sure you're healthy?" I remind you.

"I'm fine." You say simply, and continue brushing make up on your face.

"Great, she can make sure." I say, sliding the brush over my hair and then messing it up again with my hand to try again. You turn around and look at me, taking the brush from my hair and sliding it over my scalp. In seconds it's perfect and you smile your approval, before turning around and going back to your face.

"I don't have to go see a doctor, Liv. I'm fine. I've always been healthy. We'll just call the bank and get started."

"Says the woman who had my feet up in stirrups three times a week," I mumble, while I look over you and wipe my eyes.

"I did not," you complain, pushing me aside, as I try to reach for my toothbrush.

"Alex, I have to brush," I mumble, and reluctantly, you slide yourself over slightly and let me have access. "And yes you did," I remind you.

"But I don't like…"

"You better get used to it baby. Take it from experience, if you want to have a baby, that becomes a not-so-private area."

"You make it sound so tempting."

"Hey, it's all part of the process. And besides, it's not so bad."

"You make it sound bad."

"You kind of get used to it." I shrug, talking to you while I'm brushing my teeth.

"I wish you wouldn't do that," You complain.


"Talk with toothpaste in your mouth."

"Oh, Sorry," I mouth, as I spit the offending foam from my mouth. "You're still getting checked, though," I say, turning around and giving you a quick kiss before skipping away so I can't hear you argue anymore.

Part 1751

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