Sorry for taking so long, I'm trying! I hope you enjoy this chapter, read the note at the bottom please :)
Getting to the hotel from Times Square took a shorter amount of time than they all expected, and they checked in and went upstairs quickly. At the door to the suite they'd rented for all the kids, Mary and Brooke stopped.
"Ok, what're your plans?" Brooke sighed.
Smiling, Ariella said, "I want to go to the afterparty, so we're gonna all go. "
"Ariella," Brooke said, "No. That's ridiculous! You're barely out of the hospital, and you want to go to a club party? Remember what happened last time? I'll call your parents if I have to, you're not going." She said firmly. "It's one thirty in the morning, why don't you all go to bed? That's where I'm going. And don't even think about trying to leave once I'm sleeping, security will be out here all night and they have strict orders."
"I don't want to go to bed, because it's New Years Eve, and it's the first night I've been anywhere besides the hospital and home in months! God, I'm almost eighteen, I wish you would all stop treating me like a breakable little baby doll!" She snapped, before stomping into the hotel suite.
Brooke sighed. "She'll get over it." She said softly. "Goodnight, guys," She said, before her and Mary moved on to the room they were sharing, and the other kids stepped inside, the door shutting behind them and the security guy taking his place.
In her rage, Ariella had went into one of the three bedrooms. Two of the rooms had two full sized beds in each of them, while one of them had a king sized. She'd gone into the one with the one bed, and the others gathered in the living room. "You going with her?" Kathleen asked Taylor.
"Yeah," He sighed, "Hopefully I can reason with her. Goodnight, guys," He said, and they all dispersed, him knocking on the door softly, Maureen and Kathleen going to one room, and the twins to another.
When he got no response, he opened the door and stepped in, shutting it behind him. She was standing out on the balcony overlooking the city's skyline, lit up with lights.
He went over to the sliding door, and stepped onto the balcony. "You shouldn't be out here without a jacket." He said softly, walking up behind her and sliding his arms around her, leaning down to kiss her bare shoulder.
He heard her sigh in annoyance, and she retorted, "Thanks dad," With a hint of anger in her voice, but she relaxed, leaning into him.
"You don't need to get angry at people for being concerned. We love you."
"Be concerned," she snapped, "But I wish you all would stop treating me like I'm so fragile and sickly. I'm out of the hospital, I'm ok for now, and I want to live my life while I can. It was one stinking party!"
"We know that, baby, we do. We want you to live your life, too, but you're always so eager to do everything, and you don't just bounce back right away. We don't want you to wind up back in the hospital anytime soon." He said, "It may be one party, but you just performed for the first time, while still gaining your strength back, and have been up all night."
"I just wanted to go have some fun with you, and my siblings, and the girls. I just wanted to dance, and enjoy being there." She said. "I wouldn't have stayed long. I just wanted to go."
"We can dance here," He said, smiling, gently pulling her back into the warmth of the hotel, shutting the door, before spinning her around to face him, and taking her in his arms, cheesily beginning to dance to no music.
She smiled, giggling, but shook her head. "As great as this is, I meant the other kind of dancing, to be honest."
Laughing, he stopped. "Well, next time there's a party we can go. I know you hate how we all worry, but it's normal. I can't not worry, because I need you for my life to be complete." He said gently, pulling her close to him. "It's selfish, but I don't care. I won't let anything happen to you."
Rellie let out a loud sigh, pulling away. "Now I have to go apologize to Brooke."
"Wait until morning," He said, pulling her back. "Let's get some rest."
They parted, and in the time that it took him to remove his shirt, belt, shoes, and jeans, leaving him in boxers, she had only removed her jewelry, belt, and shoes. He watched from his spot lounging on the bed as she carefully removed the wig, quickly pulling a beanie over her head, placing the wig on the stand.
"I went with Olivia to the police station this morning, 'cause my dad idiotically went in." She said after a moment of silence, peeling her shirt over her head, leaving only her tank top. "They have their boards with the information on their victims, and...it was awful. They busted a human slave ring, and there were so many...little kids, up to middle aged women. Some had been there for years...sold or kidnapped into sex slavery." She said, thoughts miles away. "I wanted to be sick." She said softly, curling up against him in bed, though she was still wearing her jeans. "They said there are more than twenty seven million people living like that. And I was researching, and...the numbers are sick, Taylor. So many people believe that a girls clothes or lack thereof, or actions, are invitations for rape. So many people don't report the hell they go through, and so many more wind up hurting themselves because they hold it in."
"Why'd you look all this up?" He asked gently, "It's not your fault."
"I know." She shrugged. "But I just...I was one of the lucky ones, Taylor. I went through hell, but I was one of the lucky ones. So many people don't get help out of the life I went through, or they have it so much worse."
"So what's your plan?" He asked, knowing she was plotting something.
She grinned, looking up at him. "I'm not completely sure yet, I have to do more research and talk to Brooke. But I'm going to do something to help. I have the influence and power, I have to help." She says. "I have to try to make some difference."
"Well you know I'll help you with whatever," He says. "Always."
She nodded. "But anyways, enough about that for right now...now it's you and me," She says, shifting herself on top of him, kissing him deeply. "It's after my performance, I still have some energy, and I want this...I want you." She said between kisses. "You said you'd consider it, so consider quickly, and agree."
Though still worried that she'd over-exert herself, she didn't need to do too much to convince him further, and they enjoyed that night, the first night they had in months.
Friday, February 3rd, 2012
After taking a few days to recover from the exhaustion brought on by the New Years celebrations, life for Ariella and her family fell into a routine. Her siblings returned to school and their jobs, and eventually her father returned to work. Ariella returned to the recording studio, getting to work on her fourth album, as well as doing some work on the TV show, shooting on location in the City. She took it slow and followed the doctor's and her parent's orders and wishes, and her strength was coming back.
Her hair started to grow in again, though it was fine and soft, and incredibly short as it grew in, and Ariella referred to it as 'cancer hair,' always wearing her wig out in public and a scarf or hat around the house when she didn't feel like wearing the wig. Slowly, she gained a few pounds back here and there, and Linda was pleased. Her cell counts reached the right levels, and she didn't have to go in for outpatient chemo anymore.
In addition to working on her album and the TV show, Ariella spent hours at a time shut up with Brooke and Mary in Brooke's office, working on something that none of them would tell anyone else about.
On February third, however, she told everyone at breakfast that she was having a press conference that afternoon, revealing her plans finally. They all planned to meet her there, as she was going to the studio again, and then accompanying Olivia to her doctor's appointment, since Elliot had to work.
She was officially twenty one weeks along that day, and everyone was excited to have the gender confirmed.
"Hey," Olivia said, knocking and peeking in to Ariella's room. Taylor was spending the day recording voice overs for Breaking Dawn part two, and was meeting them at the press conference later. "You ready to go?"
Ariella smiled, nodding. "Yup," she said, grabbing her bag and meeting her at the door. She was wearing sweats, a t-shirt, and a black North Face fleece, with Uggs boots on, wanting to be comfortable to record.
Mother and daughter chatted in the car on the way to the recording studio, and then once they got there she got right to work, while Olivia waited on the other side of the sound booth, listening as she recorded, while reading a pregnancy book.
Once Ariella was done for the day, they decided to grab lunch, as they had time before the appointment. Once they were seated in Olive Garden, Ariella said, "So, I need to talk to you."
"What about?" Olivia asked, "Your top secret project?" She teased, having been trying to find out something about it for the past month.
"Actually, yes." Ariella smiled. "The press conference today is being held outside of a building I bought at the beginning of the month." She stated.
"You bought a building? Here? Why?" Olivia asked, confused.
"Because as we speak, contractors and designers that we've worked with are renovating it into the Joyful Heart Foundation Headquarters and Crisis Center." Ariella said brightly.
Confused further, Olivia asked, "What's the Joyful Heart Foundation?"
"It's my top secret project." Ariella smiled, before a serious look came across her face. "After what I saw, with all the people that dad helped when he busted the human trafficking thing, I researched. It's disgusting how many people live in hell like that, or like the hell I lived in. It's insane how many people are raped by strangers or people they know and never report it. It's disgusting how many people think that the way a girl acts, or dresses is an invitation for rape." Ariella said, passion for the cause in her voice. "And so I decided to do something about it. I've been working with Brooke and Mary, and this is what we came up with."
Kind of shocked at how far Ariella went she asked, "So you came up with a foundation?"
Ariella nodded. "It's a nonprofit foundation whose goals include raising awareness, educating people, and providing help and support to survivors. The building isn't only going to be the offices for running it, but it's going to be a crisis center. There's going to be a crisis hotline that victims can call. It'll be a place where victims of domestic violence can go to get away, where we can help them get on their feet. It'll be a place where rape victims can go if they don't feel safe going home yet, where they can feel secure and get help. There will be a team of doctors and psychiatrists that will work for us, to help the victims that come to us. And the NYPD Special Victims Unit is going to work with us." She smiled. "Captain Cragen's been on board since the beginning."
"He knows?" Olivia asked, taking in what Ariella was describing.
"Yep," She nodded. "We went to talk to him. Him and your old co-workers will all be there tonight."
"That...sounds amazing, honey." Olivia said. "But why are you telling me before everyone else?"
"Because," She smiled. "I'm hoping that at the press conference, I'll be able to introduce the Co-president, Olivia Benson."
Olivia's eyes widened. "Me?" She asked, shocked.
"Who else would I ask, mom?" She pointed out. "I know it seems crazy, but this is what you wanted, remember? You said that you didn't want to do the whole cop thing anymore because of me and the baby, but you wanted to be able to still work with and help the victims, and this is the answer! I have music to record and shows and movies to film, all these appearances to make on a normal day-to-day business." She said, needing her to say yes. "Who better for a co-president than the founder's mother, and a cop? I'm not going to turn this over to anyone! You could take early retirement from the NYPD." She said, painting a picture. "We can hire people to work under you and do all the office stuff, and you can work with the victims, helping them directly. Once you have the baby, you'll still be able to do it, cause you'll be able to take her with you, there will be a daycare there for the employee's kids, and for the kids that come in with their mothers, who were victims. You won't be in danger of getting shot or otherwise harmed every day. It would be perfect."
"It does sound pretty good," Olivia admitted, liking this picture, liking this idea.
"I know it's a lot to take on," Ariella said, "So think about it...If I can't announce it today then whatever. You're the only one I know I can trust with this." She smiled.
"I'll think about it." Olivia promised. "I can't just say yes without talking with your dad about it. But I want to," She smiled.
Ariella smiled, and the rest of lunch they spend talking about random things and joking around. In the car on the way to the appointment though, in a moment of silence, Ariella stared out the window, glad that she seemed interested. That way, she figured, no matter what happened to her, she could be sure that her mother would have the baby and a job to keep her occupied and keep her going.
That was what she always feared, when finding a family. If by some miracle they did accept her and love her, which they did, what would happen to them in the aftermath, if she still couldn't be saved?
"Ok Olivia, your weight and blood pressure are perfect," The doctor said, smiling at her. "You're not getting sick anymore, right?"
"Nope, morning sickness is all gone," Olivia said. "Now I just want to eat everything in sight." She laughed.
Smiling, the doctor, Doctor King said, "Well within reason, go right ahead. Now, we do need to discuss whether or not you want to do the amniocentesis. We do highly recommend it for all women over thirty-five, since the risks increase."
"Doesn't it increase the risk of miscarriage, though?" Olivia asked.
"Slightly, yes." the doctor admitted. "You can take this brochure detailing everything, and discuss it with your fiancee. If you want to do it, though, it should be scheduled within the next few weeks."
Olivia nodded, "Ok, I will. Thank you." She smiled.
"Great...now, for your favorite part I'm sure!" She said, "I'll walk you down to the ultrasound tech."
Olivia and Ariella followed Doctor King down the hall, passing the reception area, where the receptionist stopped them. "There's a Detective Stabler here, looking for you Olivia." She said, and Olivia smiled, nodding, so she sent him back. Smiling, he hugged and kissed her, before hugging Ariella, kissing her forehead.
"You came," Olivia said, as they all followed the doctor, him wrapping his arm around her waist.
"I tried to get here for the whole thing, but no luck. You're going for the ultrasound now, right?"
"Yup," Olivia said, as Doctor King stopped.
"This is the ultrasound technician, Julia," She introduced, "Julia, Olivia Benson and Elliot Stabler, and their daughter, Ariella. Unless you have any questions, then I'll turn you over to her."
Olivia and Elliot thanked her and she departed, and then Julia shook their hands. "Ariella Snow, right?" She asked, look of recognition on her face.
"Right," Ariella smiled. "Stabler, technically, but yup, that's me." She smiled.
"My daughter's sixteen, she's a huge fan of yours," she smiled. "But, let's get to it, I'm sure you're all excited!"
"You two go," Ariella said to her parents, not wanting to intrude, wanting them to have this moment. "I'll wait out here."
"No way," Olivia said, stopping. "Rellie, you should be in there with us. This baby isn't just our miracle, it's yours too. If it weren't for you, I wouldn't even have this right now, none of this."
"We want you in there, princess" Elliot agreed. "Come on," He said, holding his hand out to her.
Smiling, she stepped over to them, letting her father take her hand, and together they all walked in. It took Julia only a minute to get Olivia up on the exam table, her shirt up, gel on her tummy.
"Alright," She said, grabbing the transducer and dimming the lights. "Do you want to know the gender?" She smiled, placing the wand on to Olivia's rounded belly.
"We think we know it, this is a confirmation, so yes," Olivia smiled. They all assumed that since the baby was genetically engineered to be a match for Ariella, it would be a girl.
Julia nodded, and moved the wand around, and a second later, the black and white image of the baby came into focus on the screen. Ariella was holding one of her mom's hands, while Elliot stood on the opposite side, closer to the monitor, her other hand in his.
"I remember the first time I went through this," Olivia said, suddenly emotional, squeezing Ariella's hand, looking up at her.
"Everything looks perfect, growth and development wise," Julia said, smiling. "And right here," She said, moving the wand over, "She's giving us a perfect view of her lady parts. You're having a baby girl."
"A daughter. A second daughter." Olivia smiled, tears in her eyes. "I still can't believe this is happening, sometimes, and...Oh my gosh." She said, so happy.
"I know," Elliot agreed, leaning down to peck her lips. "A fifth daughter, for me, but I love her just as much as all the others already. This is definitely really happening." He promised.
Both of them then turned to Ariella to share the moment, and after a few minutes of looking at the baby more, and hearing its heartbeat, they were on their way with a handful of sonogram prints.
Fin had dropped Elliot off at the doctor's office, so he rode with them back to the house so Ariella could change and get ready. Once she was home, in her room, she sat on her bed, looking down at the sonogram Olivia had given her.
She looked at it, a lump in her throat, tears prickling her eyes. It was her baby sister that had seemingly started out as a life saving move for Ariella. But now, this baby had become so much more. They were all excited, all in love with the idea of this baby. It helped to bring them all together. She couldn't help but wondering what her family would be like now, had Linda never mentioned the idea of the 'designer baby'. She wondered further, whether or not she would have even done the treatments to prolong her life, had she not known a potential cure was on the horizon.
It was likely, she realized, that without the existence of this tiny, unborn baby inside of her mother, she may not even be alive. Without this tiny, unborn baby, she didn't have a chance. Without this tiny, unborn baby, she wouldn't have this life.
"Thank you," She whispered to the picture, kissing the paper softly, before sliding it in her bedside drawer, making a vow.
No matter how the next twenty weeks went, no matter what happened with the cancer or anything at all, she would do anything she could to hold on, so she could hold her baby sister, teach her how to play guitar and piano, sing silly kid songs with her. So that she could watch her grow up, go to school, help her with her first relationship, get her through her first heartbreak. She'd hold on so she could give that baby everything and be the best big sister ever, because without her existence, the life she had grown to love, wouldn't be there.
Ok, so I hope you all enjoyed that chapter! Now that the gender of baby is official, I'm asking you all for baby name ideas! Help with that is greatly appreciated :) Any ideas you have about anything are always appreciated as well! Please let me know what you think :)