Two Birds with One Stone
Olivia was beginning to relax more with her pregnancy now that she was in her 14th week and officially out of her first trimester. The initial screening came back perfectly and there were no chromosomal defects found. Her next tests weren't for another month or so and that's when they would also find out the sex of the baby. Elliot and Olivia made sure to keep the kids informed on every aspect of the pregnancy to make sure they didn't worry and everyone was excited about the wedding.
Although she was on desk duty, there was no shortage of work that she had to keep up with and she was often bringing a little of it home at night. Elliot considered saying something to her about it but didn't want to start a fight so he just rubbed her feet and back to help her relax. Since she was so bogged down with work, as expected Casey, Lizzie and Maureen were in full wedding planning mode. Even Alex was getting involved a little more than she expected.
It started off with Lizzie signing her up for bridal magazines that mysteriously started showing up in her mailbox and casual chit chat then graduated to lunch dates to discuss specifics. She listened while they went on and on about venues, dresses and flowers while either playing with Noah, joking around with Elliot or checking her emails.
"Should I be worried that you don't seem at all interested in planning our wedding?" Elliot asked her while rubbing her feet. They were sitting on the couch with Noah playing on the floor and Lizzie was going through one of the bridal magazines putting sticky notes on dresses she thought Olivia would look good in.
"It depends. Should I be worried that you don't seem to be interested in planning the wedding?"
"Not at all. Men rarely get into these types of things. I told you before Liv. I'm just focused on you being my wife, not all the extra."
"Same here," she agreed.
"So if you don't want all the fuss and I don't want all the fuss, then why do we have them going crazy planning all of this stuff?" he asked confused.
"Because look at her," she motioned to Lizzie. "They are all so excited about it. Don't say anything but Lucy told me that Dickie has been practicing his dance steps and asked her to be his date. Apparently Eli has been tapped to carry the rings and has been practicing not dropping them. I don't want to wreck that for them. They're happy."
Elliot watched her lovingly as she sipped her tea and checked emails on her iPhone. He loved that she was willing to let everyone including his kids drive her crazy just so they would be happy and feel involved in their special day. He rubbed her belly which got her attention and mouthed "I love you."
"You are not so bad yourself Stabler," she said leaning over to kiss him. They were mid kiss when Lizzie interrupted them.
"Earth to dad! Liv," she called out annoyed.
"Could you guys let go of each other for one second and answer my question?"
"And what question was that?"
She rolled her eyes in annoyance. "Are you wearing a white or black tux?"
"Uhhh," he stuttered.
"Black," Olivia chimed in.
"Thank you." She typed the answer down in her iPad which apparently now was used for all things related to the wedding and not for school as it was originally purchased for. "You guys can continue on," she waved at them.
"Well thank you for your permission," Elliot quipped.
They were placing light kisses on each other's cheek when they were momentarily distracted by Lizzie's cell phone. "Oh that's Casey."
"What?" Olivia asked in shock pulling away from Elliot. "I've been trying to get in touch with her all day. I have a development in the Marks case."
Lizzie answered the phone not paying attention to Olivia.
"Thanks for calling me back Casey. I found out dad is wearing black so we can go ahead and order the boys' tuxes. Also, did Mr. Reynolds call you back about the band?"
Olivia watched the conversation in stunned silence waiting for Casey to respond and be annoyed that Lizzie was calling her at night with such questions but they continued to talk like best friends.
"Can you believe this? I have literally been calling her all day and she calls Lizzie back first about a damn tux."
"I think it's hilarious," he smirked clearly amused by Olivia's reaction.
"Okay talk to you later Case," Lizzie said in a chipper tone as she hung up the phone.
Case? Olivia thought to herself. Apparently they were calling each other nicknames now. A second later Olivia's phone rung.
"Well hello there Case," she answered sarcastically with an edge on her name.
"Hey Liv, you called me earlier?"
"Are you serious? Fin and I both have been trying to get with you all day to see if we can get a warrant to search Tommy Marks' house. I know the evidence we have is slim but it should be enough for probable cause."
"Oh man I completely overlooked that. Sorry, I've been overwhelmed lately I actually thought Barba was going to take the Marks case."
"Overwhelmed with what? Wedding planning?" Olivia challenged her.
"Just so you know Liv, the DA's office has been slammed so we're all kind of all over the place with juggling cases but I will get you your warrant," she shot back defensively.
"I'm sorry Casey, I was just..you're right I'm sorry," she apologized.
"No problem…and I've been a little overwhelmed trying to figure out if you should wear a fitted gown like mermaid cut or something with a bit more poof you know with the baby bump and all," she joked.
"Oh my god, bye Casey," Olivia said exasperated and Casey laughed. "Let me know about my warrant," she yelled before hanging up.
She took a deep breath and shot eyes over to Elliot who looked like he was trying to conjure up every favor he had in the universe to not burst out in hysterics at the conversation.
"Go ahead El, get it out of your system."
He started to laugh so hard that tears were forming in his eyes. The more he tried to stop himself the worse it got and watching Olivia's less than tickled face made it even better. Noah started to giggle when he saw Elliot laughing so hard and she couldn't help but join in.
"Why are you so annoyed? What happened to whatever makes them happy?" he mocked her.
"Yeah yeah." She dismissed him and went back to checking her emails.
Lizzie returned from the bedroom with a huge smile on her face. "So I just got off the phone with Alex and another special person and it looks like we have the wedding venue all picked out." She clapped her hands and jumped up and down with excitement.
"That's great Liz. Where is it?"
She stalled for a bit before saying where it was.
"Liz?" Elliot prodded.
"I want you to keep an open mind," she started explaining while looking at Elliot.
"Liz, where is it?"
"It gives you a lot of options, you can do whatever you want…"
He continued to stare a hole into her until she finally gave in.
"….it's at Grandma's beach house."
Before Olivia could catch herself it was her turn to burst into a fit of laughter.
"Payback is a beautiful thing," she said as she retrieved Noah and put him in his high chair.
"Absolutely not," Elliot said sternly.
"Why not? Grandma was more than happy to do it and it saves you guys a lot of money. Venues are expensive."
"Ill pay whatever the cost is as long as it's not at my mom's house."
"I'll keep that in mind the next time I ask you for some money," she quipped earning her an icy blue glare from her father.
They continued to spar back and forth while Olivia and Noah watched from the kitchen. She was finishing up dinner and started to set the table grinning at them in between. Lizzie was very much like Elliot. Stubborn, bullheaded and determined and Olivia enjoyed watching her take him on.
The doorbell rang and neither one of them stopped their spirited discussion to answer it.
"Don't mind me, Ill just go grab that," Olivia said. "Hey Lucy. You ok?"
"Yeah, I think I left my anatomy book here and I need it to study," she said blankly.
"Oh yeah I think I saw it on the coffee table. Come in come in."
Olivia watched her closely as she retrieved the book sidestepping Liz and Elliot who were still going back and forth. She was not bright and happy like she usually is, especially lately since she had been seeing Dickie. She looked like she had been crying. She didn't want to pry into Lucy's life but the young girl had become like a daughter to her.
"No problem. Do you want to talk about it?" she asked not even bothering to go through the motions of asking if there was an actual problem because clearly there was.
"It's just…Richard and I had a fight. A big one," she said through sniffles.
"Come on lets go." She put her arm around her shoulder and guided her back to the kitchen trying to multitask by talking to Lucy, setting up for dinner and entertaining Noah.
"It's not going to happen. End of discussion. She probably won't even remember that she agreed to have the wedding there by next week!" Elliot yelled.
"Don't mind them honey, let's just talk."
Once she had Noah occupied, Lucy helped her gather the ingredients for the salad while they talked.
"Is this awkward to talk about with his dad and sister right there?" Lucy pointed out.
They both looked toward the living room at the two who didn't even seem to notice that Lucy was there. Liz's phone started to ring and she answered it now involving Maureen in the discussion.
"I'm glad you are nearby. We are at Olivia's house drop by and help me talk some sense into your father," she said before hanging up.
"As you can see, they aren't even paying attention. So tell me what happened," she continued.
"Well it started because he got stuck at a condo a few miles away and the people were taking longer than normal to look at it. It was late and getting dark, he was frustrated and couldn't come pick me up like we originally planned. So I took a bus."
"Okaaaaaay," Olivia answered not quite understanding the problem.
"He went off into this whole speech about it being dark and not safe for me to take the bus because I had to walk several blocks to get to the stop. Then he said I should have told him about it first before just doing that and he would've made other arrangements for me to get home. He said I should've asked you but I know you are busy and then you would've had to pack up Noah," she rambled. "It was just a dumb argument. He's not my dad you know? I shouldn't have to run decisions like that by him. I'm a big girl I can take care of myself. It's just a stupid bus ride for Christ's sake."
Olivia smirked a little bit listening to Lucy talk about their fight. She instantly thought about her and Elliot's fights throughout their partnership but particularly in the beginning when it came to her safety and ability to protect herself. She didn't bother to understand his reasoning back then, it just pissed her off that he thought he had to be her knight and shining armor and she was a damsel in distress.
"So what do you think?" Lucy asked her.
"Honestly Lucy remember that warning I gave you before?"
"About them being very fertile?" she asked and Olivia smiled.
"Well that too but about them being protective?"
"Oh…yeah," she said remembering that part of the conversation.
"I didn't just make that up. I carry a gun, can punch as hard as a man twice my size, I'm a cop and I'm still not sure that Elliot and I wouldn't have that same exact argument if I would've made the same decision you did. Elliot even went so far as to put a protective detail on me without me knowing," she explained.
Lucy visibly started to relax.
"Really?" she asked softly.
"Yeah. It's what they do. Trust me honey it's not that he's trying to control you or doesn't think you are capable. Stabler men are fiercely protective over those they love."
Lucy's eyes went wide with realization.
"You…you think he loves me?" she asked in disbelief.
She pulled her into a hug and spoke softly to her. "That's how they show their love. They aren't always the best with words just actions. Bonehead actions, but actions nonetheless," she clarified receiving a little laugh from Lucy. "I'm willing to bet you have what…about five missed calls from him on your phone?"
"Yep, I figured. Word of advice, when he stops being protective of you, that's when you worry."
Olivia and Lucy were so deep in conversation they didn't hear the knock on the door but saw Maureen walking in looking pale. Her appearance caused Elliot and Liz to call a temporary truce.
"Mo, everything ok?"
"Umm yeah, I guess," she said seemingly out of it. "I-I-have some news but I'm waiting on Dick to get here so I can tell you guys all at once. I don't know if I can say it twice."
Elliot helped her to the couch where she sat fidgeting with her hands.
"Maureen, you have to tell me something honey," Elliot persisted.
She put her hands up to signal for him to stop and not worry. "Dad it's nothing bad I promise. Just…surprising."
Olivia went to the living room and Lucy stayed in the kitchen weary to go any further considering she overheard that Dickie was on his way over. She also didn't want to pry into family business. A knock a few moments later signaled his arrival.
"Hey, Maureen what's going on?" he asked as he charged in. "She said she had a -" He stopped cold when he caught sight of Lucy in the kitchen. "Oh hey Lucy," he said uncomfortably.
"Hey," she said giving him a small awkward wave but not meeting eye contact. Elliot noticed the tension and looked to Olivia for an explanation. 'Ill tell you later' she mouthed to him.
"Ok since everyone's here I wanted to let you all know…I was still feeling super sick so I went to the doctor today and found out why. I'm having twins," she announced. "Oh wow Maureen. Congratulations!" Olivia offered.
"That's good news right?" Elliot asked unsure.
"I guess so it's just so…unexpected. I'm just worried. I know mom said she had a tough pregnancy with Dick and Liz and plus…I'm just….one baby is one thing but financially supporting two? I'm just concerned I guess. But it will be alright," she said trying to convince herself.
"Of course it will be," Elliot offered. "I'm going to help you any way I can."
"Yeah and I'll help you babysit and anything else you need," Liz added.
"Don't worry sis. Mom handled the sickness and stuff with me and Lizard just fine."
"And look how great that turned out," Maureen joked easing the mood. "You're right I'm just nervous and stunned I guess."
"We are all here for you Maureen. Whatever you need. Ok?"
"Ok," she said giving Olivia a slight smile. "I have pictures if you guys want to see."
She pulled the sonogram pictures from her pocket and began to pass them around.
Dickie and Lucy continued to exchange glances at one another. They both wanted to say something but didn't have the courage to speak up.
"Dickie can you do me a favor and bring the lasagna to the table so we can get ready for dinner?"
She was trying to get them in the space so they could talk.
"Wow, what an amazing night," Liz said clapping her hands. "Maureen is having twins, dad and Liv are getting married on the beach at grandma's…"
"No we are not Liz so drop it!" Elliot exclaimed and the argument started all over again. Olivia rolled her eyes and looked at the pictures with Maureen.
"What are you hoping for? Girl or boy?" she asked her.
"Just healthy I guess. I thought about maybe one of each to kill two birds with one stone but with my luck they would fight like Dick and Liz and I can't handle that."
Olivia chuckled. "They aren't that bad."
She snuck a glance over in the kitchen and it looked like her plan worked. They were talking. Their body language looked much less tense than it did when Dickie first walked in.
"Well that's interesting," Elliot said. "Did you hear that Liv?"
"No, what's that?"
"Why don't you tell her Lizzie?"
"Well I was just telling dad that if it's at Grandma's then we can be open with dates. We don't have to worry about it being booked or anything else. You guys can get married anytime," she said grinning.
"Now how about that," Elliot stated sarcastically looking at Olivia who rolled her eyes. "Anytime we want to hunh?"
"Go figure," she responded.
"So when's the date Liv? Dad said it's your decision."
He folded his arms and eyed her knowingly, "Your move Benson."
"This has been a big night for everybody. How about we all sit and have some dinner? I should have enough for everyone and we can work all the details out later."
"Nice deflection," he whispered in her ear.
During dinner, Lucy and Dickie sat next to each other and every once in a while would trade affectionate glances at one another. Olivia concluded that they must have made up or at least on the road to making up. Talking about the twins with the family worked wonders for Maureen's mood and she already seemed more excited than she was when she walked in initially. Elliot seemed to resign himself to the idea of having the wedding at his mother's house for no other reason than to torture Olivia into setting a wedding date. Olivia fed Noah and watched tenderly the conversations and interactions between everyone at the table. It was organized chaos at its finest, but it was the best kind.
After dinner, Dick took everyone home including Lucy. Lucy thanked her for the talk and said she would be back first thing in the morning to take care of Noah. Noah was bathed and down for the night not requiring a bedtime story thanks to being tired out by the commotion caused by his soon to be brother and sisters.
"So you ready to tell me what that was all about with Lucy and Dickie?" he asked wrapping his arms around her waist while she washed dishes.
"Just a lover's quarrel. Nothing big."
"Here let me finish that. Why don't you go put your feet up?"
"I'm fine El. I'll compromise. Why don't you wash and I'll dry and put up."
"Deal." She planted a quick chaste kiss on his lips and they switched positions in front of the sink.
"So compromising already…sounds like someone is definitely ready for marriage," he joked.
"I've always compromised that isn't new."
"Yeah right," he scoffed causing her to slap his arm playfully. "Thank you."
"For tonight. I know we were just going to have a quiet night just the three of us and it turned in to a three ring circus. I know you are probably exhausted," he said concerned.
"I'm ok. Really. This is what our life is going to be like right? It's actually kind of nice. Never a dull moment."
She put her arms around his neck and pulled him into a long kiss.
"Are you sure you are up for this Liv? Forever is a long time to be dealing with the Stabler kids," he said causing them both to laugh.
"It's not the Stabler kids I'm concerned about, it's their stubborn but sexy daddy," she said playfully.
"Is that right?"
He kissed her again and began to unbutton her shirt.
"I've got an idea."
"Mhmmm, me too," he moaned pushing his growing erection into her stomach.
"Let's get married the same day Noah's adoption is finalized. We can get Judge Linden to perform the ceremony; after all she's responsible for giving us a family. She may as well seal the deal. We can kill two birds with one stone."
Elliot pulled back from kissing her and considered her idea for a moment.
"As romantic as you just made that sound, that's actually not a bad idea. You recognize that's just a little over a month away don't you?"
"Yep I do," she said simply.
"Ok so it's decided then."