Holiday Birthday Baby Shower
By Sunday afternoon, Olivia was getting a little sad thinking about her long weekend with her boys coming to an end. Elliot had called Kathy Saturday morning to see if Eli could spend the weekend even though it wasn't scheduled and she agreed. They walked to the park, ordered pizza, watched movies and went to the new house so Elliot could show them the progress.
At random times Olivia found herself staring at Elliot and the boys. She sighed and couldn't believe how happy and carefree she was. Her final test for the baby had come back Saturday morning and everything had come back normal. Even though it was a weekend, Dr. Thompson knew how important it was for them to know everything as soon as possible. She couldn't shake the feeling that something would go wrong. She never viewed herself as a pessimist but she walked around feeling like at any given moment the rug would be pulled out from under her.
"Hey, where'd you go?" Elliot looked at her with his brow furrowed examining her to see if something was wrong. "Everything ok?"
She put her hand on his to reassure him. "Everything's fine. I was just…thinking."
She got up from the couch and headed to the kitchen. "Who wants more pizza?"
"I do I do," Eli yelled raising his hands. Noah mocked him putting his hands up in the air too.
She put some pizza on a plate for them and put it in the microwave. Elliot joined her in the kitchen soon after.
"What's wrong Liv? Please don't tell me it's nothing. I know you." He was truly concerned and she hated to make him worry.
She scoffed and turned to him with her arms folded. "It's nothing. It's silly really."
He stood waiting patiently for her to finish.
"Everything is just so..perfect. I just keep waiting for everything to blow up in our face. I know, I know it's stupid," she said looking down and suddenly recognizing that her belly was blocking her from being able to see her feet, "I'm just so used to—"
He smirked and kissed her on the forehead. "I get it. I really do. If it makes you feel better I'm the same way."
"Really?" she asked not completely believing that he was being truthful. "How so?"
"Well you and I have seen a lot of shit over the years. It's hard to believe it can be this good but it can be. It will be."
He kissed the tip of her nose and stayed close to her just breathing her in. Sometimes they both just needed to be reassured that the other was really there and their life together was this real.
Their moment was interrupted by a knock on the door and Olivia stood back looking confused. "Are you expecting anyone?"
"Nope. I'll get it." He walked to the door and opened it to see his daughter on the other end.
"Lizzie!" Eli shrieked and ran over to hug her leg.
"Hey there. Well if it isn't the only two brothers of mine that I actually like," she joked making her way into the living room like she was on a mission. "Hey Liv!"
She was perky, almost too perky and Elliot and Olivia were a little uneasy.
"What brings you by?" Elliot asked.
"Do I need a reason to come by and see my family?" she asked acting like her feelings were hurt. Elliot gave her his patented glare and she fessed up. "Ok ok. So I was thinking.."
He wiped his hand down his face and sat at the dining room table. "Oh no."
"Dad! I'm serious."
"I know and that's why I'm rubbing my temples trying to fend off this migraine that I'm sure is coming."
The pizza had finished warming up and Olivia gathered the plates and two juice boxes and brought it over to the living room in front of the boys.
Lizzie watched Olivia as she walked and her eyes poked out seeing how big she had gotten since she had seen her just a couple of weeks ago. Elliot noticed her looking and slapped her on the arm to break her out of it and secretly warning her not to make a dumb comment about her size.
"Well don't get a headache dad this is actually more for Olivia than it is for you."
Olivia's head turned at the mention of her name and she paused from helping Noah with his pizza while she listened.
"Ok, so what's up?" she asked and Lizzie took a deep breath before continuing.
"Just keep an open mind."
Olivia and Elliot both rolled their eyes simultaneously while Lizzie pulled out her iPad. Her eyes settled on the iPad and she knew what was coming. The last time she saw it out all the time was when Lizzie was planning the wedding and about to drive her damn near insane.
"Mind open. What's up?"
"So I was thinking. You didn't seem too thrilled when I mentioned a baby shower before so I was thinking of a little compromise," she explained.
"Go on," Elliot pushed her.
"Ok so your birthday is in a few days, it's almost Christmas too so I'm thinking we roll them all in to one. Just get everybody together since we are celebrating a lot of things at once. It won't be your typical baby shower, just all your friends together, dinner, gifts, we'll have a nice big tree you know..just everyone together. Kind of like Noah's adoption party. That was fun right?"
"It sure was," Elliot teased looking at Olivia's pregnant belly and thinking of the night the baby was conceived after the festivities.
Lizzie had a disgusted look on her face obviously picking up on his less than subtle insinuation. "Dad. Gross."
Olivia cleared her throat. "Anyway, so you mean like some sort of holiday birthday baby shower?" She was still trying to piece it all together.
"Exactly. I know it sounds strange but it would be an excuse for everyone to get together and celebrate the little one."
"Charlotte," Elliot corrected her.
"Her name is going to be Charlotte," Olivia added.
Lizzie looked shocked for a brief moment and then starting to smile. "Charlotte," she repeated like she was trying to test how the name sounded. "I like it."
"Well we are glad you approve," Elliot teased.
"And she's ok? I mean you've been feeling ok?" she asked slipping right back into worried daughter and sister mode.
"She's just fine," Olivia assured her. "We forgot to call you yesterday but we got the results from the final test yesterday and everything came back fine. Now we just wait these last couple of months. She will be here before you know it."
Lizzie nodded her head and started typing into her iPad. She was trying to not get emotional and Olivia smiled at the similarity between her and her father. Elliot would do the same when they were partners when he felt too much, he would just distract himself. She always saw through it but she would never push him if he wasn't ready to talk about it. She handled Lizzie the same way.
"This is good that you all have a name picked out. It will make the party planning a lot easier," she said opening the notepad app on the tablet.
"Oh no. Here's the deal," Olivia said standing up. "I agree to the holiday birthday baby shower thing on the condition that there aren't any silly games, no smelling fake poop candy bars in diapers, or toilet paper around the belly or anything like that. That's just never been my thing."
"Got it Liv. Of course it won't be anything like that," she acquiesced. "Like I said just dinner, gifts and friends. I do want to do some party favors and you having her name makes it easier because I wanted to put it on the cake that's all. Is that ok?"
Olivia felt a little embarrassed because it's actually a sweet gesture and she's worried that maybe she was being a little harsh. "Of course honey that's fine."
Lizzie's face softened. "You wouldn't happen to know the middle name would you?" she asked bouncing back as only she can. "I saw this idea on Pinterest on something I can do with the initials for party favors."
Olivia decided to ask later what a Pinterest was but regarded Elliot for a few instants before she answered. "CKS. Her initials will be CKS."
Lizzie and Elliot look at each other when Olivia announced what they were guessing. "I was thinking her middle name should be Kathleen."
They were both quiet and she started to get a little self conscious. "I hope that's ok."
Elliot swallowed hard before he answered. "It's more than ok."
Lizzie took a little longer to pull herself together and the silence is deafening. For all her teasing and false bravado she was still a young woman who had lost her older sister.
"Thank you for doing that," she finally said. "It's truly remarkable." She waited a beat and then got up to leave. "Ok I should get going, I have a lot to do in a short amount of time."
After kissing them both goodbye and hugging Noah and Eli, Lizzie is out of the door as quick as she came in.
Later after the kids are sleeping Olivia is trying to read Olivia's mood. He seemed distant and withdrawn but not in a negative way. It seemed like he was just brooding. She knew it had something to do with the baby name but didn't want to upset him.
"I was just thinking," he said as if he was reading her mind. He turned towards her on the couch and ran his hands through her hair. "What we were talking about earlier in the kitchen with not believing everything is going so perfectly and just waiting for everything to explode."
She leaned into his touch giving him better access to her longer hair. "Yeah?"
"I think we've been through so much shit, both of us apart and together that maybe this is just the universe's way of saying we deserve a little happiness." He placed a kiss on her cheek and rubbed her hands.
She smiled at him and he returned her look of contentment. "Don't think it's all going to blow up in our faces Liv. Everything's going to be just fine. Just fine. Ok?"
People had been telling Olivia everything would be ok and she would be fine for years. She even told others that about herself all the time. Tonight was the first time in a long time that she actually believed it.
How Lizzie managed to get everyone to agree to get together on such short notice only a few days before Christmas Olivia would never know but she couldn't be more grateful. Alex volunteered her Brownstone just outside of Queens for the party because it had a lot more space and it was decorated beautifully. There was a huge Christmas tree in the foyer and lights throughout the foyer, living room and dining room. There were Christmas carols playing in the background and the living room had just a hint of baby themed decorations that hinted at a baby shower.
As she promised, Lizzie incorporated the baby's initials in the cutest way. There was a bowl of Christmas cookies in the shape of the letters C, K and S in holiday themed boxes with a note attached that said "Thanks for helping us welcome our sweet baby into this world." Olivia marveled over the boxes with a slight grin wondering who in the world would not only come up with this idea but would have the time to be so meticulous to carry it out. After passing the favor table she moved over to the table where some gifts were and there was a cake in the middle that said "Welcome baby Charlotte."
"Hey, do you like it?" Lizzie asked nervously swaying from side to side. "I know this isn't your thing so I really tried to keep it low key but creative."
"It's definitely both of those. I love it Lizzie I really do. Did these ideas come from the Pin whatever?" she asked hugging her.
Lizzie chuckled and hugged her back. "It's called Pinterest. I'll introduce you to it sometime."
"I look forward to it. I'm sorry if I came off ungrateful or difficult about it. I wasn't trying to be," Olivia explained.
She shrugged her off and looked genuinely unphased. "No worries Liv. I knew I was fighting an uphill battle when I suggested it. Just like dad with the wedding at Grandma's beach house. But as you can see I always get my way." She popped a cookie in the shape of "S" into her mouth and waltzes off flashing her a wink.
"Do I even want to know what that was about?" Elliot asks walking up behind her and placing his hands on her belly.
"No you don't." She laughed and nuzzled into him while he rested his chin on her shoulder. From across the room Casey snapped a picture of them on her phone before walking up. "Hey guys did you forget you should be entertaining your guests?" she joked.
"Hey when did you get here?" Olivia asked temporarily removing herself from Elliot's hold to give her a hug.
"Just a minute ago but you seemed to be pretty occupied so I guess you didn't notice," she said winking at Elliot who gave her a hug as well. "Wow you are really umm…you look great."
"I know I know, I'm huge," she said rolling her eyes.
Casey tried to clean it up but couldn't wipe the astonishment off her face. "No no it's just that. Man I just saw you like a month ago and you…were…much smaller."
"Yeah Dr. Wilder said I just popped as they call it. She said it's normal."
Melinda walked up at the tail end of her explanation.
"Hey Li-," she stopped and looked at her from head to toe. "Heyyy Liv. It's nice to see you. ALL of you," she laughed.
"Haha." The two women embrace as Alex joined them with champagne glasses.
Elliot immediately started fidgeting feeling completely outnumbered by all the estrogen surrounding him. "Why don't I go see if anyone needs anything?"
"Bye Elliot," Alex asserted and nodded towards the opposite direction. He gave Olivia a quick kiss on the lips and retreated to talk to Don and Fin who were near the fireplace.
The women chatted among each other a few minutes and everyone greeted Olivia as they came in. Nick and Amanda showed up together but tried to act as if they arrived separately. Elliot and Olivia shot each other a knowing glance at the attempt, she shook her head grinning and continued to snack on appetizers.
"The name is absolutely beautiful Liv. How did Elliot react when you told him the middle name would be Kathleen?" Alex asked.
Olivia glimpsed at him briefly talking with Nick before turning her attention back to the group of ladies. "He was taken aback for a minute but he's really happy about it. All of the kids are. They were excited when we told them her name."
"Speaking of.." Casey began diverting her attention to the door to see Dickie, Lucy and Maureen walk in together.
"It's about time what took you guys so long?" Elliot asked. He walked up to greet them and took Maureen's hand to guide her over to the couch. She was a few weeks behind Olivia in pregnancy but because she was carrying twins she was a little bigger.
"Dad stop fussing I can still walk," she complained slapping away his hand playfully. "Honestly Liv I don't see how you handle him."
"Oh I handle him just fine," she retorted winking at Elliot.
Dickie rolled his eyes. "Oh geez. You two I just can't deal."
Alex, Melinda, Casey and Amanda laughed at the exchange while Dickie went to get something to eat.
Everyone mingled for another half hour and Olivia opened baby gifts including a much too expensive stroller, a car seat, clothes, pampers and a lot more items that she didn't even realize they needed. Her friends really went all out and she was finding it hard to not cry. She succeeded until the kids presented her with a picture frame that had all of the kids baby pictures in it including Noah's and a blank one for Charlotte's picture to go in when she was born. At the bottom of the frame was the inscription "Stabler Soccer Team" and everyone started laughing. Olivia loved the present and the idea of having all the kids' pictures together. She couldn't wait to hang it above the baby's crib.
"Just so you know this was not my idea," Dickie offered up trying to remove himself from such a sentimental present. "Because if it was, my picture would've been solo and not with Lizard," he complained.
"Deal with it Dickhead up until we were in middle school all of our pictures were together. You have mom and dad to thank for that," Lizzie countered.
Noah giggled and clapped his hand. "Di-heh," he mumbled trying to say Dickhead to everyone's amusement except his parents.
"Oh that's just great. Would you two knock it off and watch your language? Your brothers don't need to be repeating the things you two say," Elliot scolded them.
"Dad what's bad about a dickhead?" Eli asked innocently.
"Ok everybody let's get these gifts out of the way and get ready for dinner," Casey announced trying to prevent Elliot from having a headache.
Lizzie and Casey headed for the kitchen to prepare while Alex put the finishing touches on the table.
"Those are some pretty good gifts you got there. I'm sure you two are pretty much all set," Don said patting Elliot on the back. Nick and Fin also approached them.
"Yeah we really cleaned up. Now I realize why people have these things but I'm getting tired just thinking about how we have to do it all again in a month for Maureen," Elliot said.
"Can you believe we are going to have three more little ones running around here next Christmas?" Olivia asked.
"Just the first of many," Fin commented but corrected it when he saw the horror on Olivia's face. "I mean with grandchildren Liv not you. Looks like Dickie and Lucy are getting pretty serious and Lizzie may even have some in a few years."
"Oh God I need a drink," Elliot said rubbing his temples and walking off to everyone's enjoyment.
"How's he doing?" Fin asked her seriously.
"He's doing fine. Why is something wrong?"
"No, it's just after what happened when we arrested Harrington I thought maybe he would've been-"
Olivia looked confused and stopped him. "What do you mean? What happened when you arrested Harrington?"
Nick glared at Fin nervous about revealing Elliot's outburst with their suspect.
"What happened?" she asked again looking at Nick.
"Look it's no big deal," Nick tried to explain holding his hands up in defense. "He just got real upset and we thought he was going to….Look it's understandable considering everything that happened and he has daughters of his own."
"And because of what happened to you," Don added confronting the pink elephant in the room. "I'm thinking that if he had an almost violent reaction to Harrington that probably had more to do with what happened with you and Lewis than it did anything else."
Nick and Fin looked to each other and quietly walked away removing themselves from the conversation.
Olivia motioned Don a little further away from the group and they talked in lower voices.
"Have you talked to him about Lewis?"
Her guilty look gave him the answer.
He sighed briefly and put his hand on his shoulder. "The day before you and Elliot got married I went to your house and talked to him. Did he tell you that?"
She shook her head no.
"I told him that you both had gone through a lot and whenever those demons from your past threatened to re-enter your lives you have to deal with them together. I know you had a therapist Olivia and you talked about a lot of things and I'm proud of you for that. I also know you well enough to know there are some things you didn't tell me about what happened when you were with Lewis," he said and her small gasp in response confirmed it. "And that's fine. I know why you didn't tell but you have a husband now. I know it's hard but you have to lay these demons to rest between the two of you."
"Don I-" she got ready to object but he held up his hand to cut her off.
"Elliot is better in a lot of ways and I know that you know that. There's a lot of healing that's happened and he's happy but what happened to you will forever haunt him. I think you know what I mean."
"Alright guys, dinner's about to be served. Come on Don and Liv," Lizzie said motioning towards the table.
He gave her a tight smile and squeezed her elbow before joining the rest of the group. Olivia watched Elliot from across the room and saw the joy in his eyes and how he gleefully played with Noah before setting him in a high chair between where the two of them would sit. They were content, they were settled..but she knew what she had to do. It was time to put the ghost of William Lewis to bed once and for all. It was time for her to tell her husband exactly what happened.