July 19th, 1994

Elizabeth kicked her heels off the moment she walked in the front door. It had been a good day at work, but long, and she was eager to leave its discomforts behind. The heels were the first of many; her bra would be next in line, if she had her way. She could hear Henry moving around in the kitchen, though, so she stopped in there first to see him. She found him at the sink washing a couple of dishes, and she could smell something delicious simmering on the stove. He was always so good at cleaning as he cooked, so that by the time a meal was finished he had hardly any cleanup to do. How nice it was, she thought, to come home to him like this every day. It had only been a few months since he'd stopped his work with the NSA, two short years since he'd left the marines, and she was still learning to indulge in having him here all the time. She'd been worried, lately, about this delicate balance they'd slipped into. She feared what would happen when she disrupted their carefree marital bliss with the news she'd been carrying around for a week now.

She stepped through the kitchen until she was close enough to touch him, wrapped her arms around his waist and rested her head against the back of his neck, by way of greeting.

"Hey, babe," he said, setting down the bowl he'd been scrubbing and twisting around enough to give her a quick kiss. "You have good timing, dinner's almost ready."

"And dessert, I hope," she said, inhaling the scents wafting through the kitchen. "I smell chocolate."

He chuckled to himself, then, as he set the last of the dishes out to dry. "Funny you should mention chocolate."

Her brow furrowed, and she watched him curiously as he turned away from the sink and leaned against the counter. "Funny?" she echoed.

"Well, I made an interesting discovery when I was working on dessert," he said, with a note of teasing chastisement in his voice. "It seemed someone took a bite out of the chocolate I was saving for that recipe."

She laughed, then, remembering the night before when she'd snuck into the kitchen with a craving. "I have no idea what you're talking about," she told him, knowing the look on her face alone was enough to disprove her own statement.

"I think you do know," he said, creeping in on her, putting a hand on the counter on either side of her and trapping her in between his arms. The intense look in his eyes, though she knew it was for show, made her heart rate speed up.

"You have no proof."

"I think someone had a sweet tooth, and the milk chocolate in the cabinet was the perfect cure."

She was shaking her head before he finished his sentence. "It wasn't milk chocolate, it was baker's…" she trailed off, realizing her mistake.

"Aha!" he shouted, and she couldn't help but laugh at his indignant pride. "So it was you."

"I plead the fifth."

He leaned in to land a quick kiss on her lips. "Very well," he said, wrapping his arms tight around her waist. "But I can still hold you for questioning."

"It was only one bite," she protested. "I stopped when I realized it was that bitter baker's stuff."

He shook his head. "Excuses, excuses."

"You know I can't help myself when it comes to chocolate," she went on, "never mind the fact that I'm eating for…" she trailed off, catching her mistake a moment too late.

He frowned. "Eating for…" he echoed, clearly asking where she'd been about to go with that.

Well, then. She supposed now was as good a moment as any to let the bomb drop. "Eating for two," she said softly.

There was something beautiful, actually, about watching the realization dawn over his face. First his eyes lit up in recognition; then every drop of tension and mock seriousness dropped from his face as his mouth gaped open in disbelief. "You mean, you're-" the sentence broke off in his voice, like he was too scared to voice his suspicions, as obvious as they might have become. His eyes flickered uncertainly, unconsciously, down to her stomach and back up before she put him out of his misery.

"I'm pregnant," she said. It was the first time she'd ever said those words out loud, and it seemed to clear the air between them which had grown thick with uncertainty.

Henry's face went from shock to sheer joy in less than a second. His expression exploded into a wide smile, and he pulled her into a hug with such force that her feet left the ground for a moment. "You're pregnant!" he repeated, wrapping his arms around her so tightly that she had no choice to let the air out of her lungs; it came out in a surprised, exuberant laugh.

"So you're glad about this, I guess," she said, returning his embrace with fervor. It was a moot point, now, but she couldn't help holding onto just a bit of the insecurities that had made her keep the secret for as long as she had.

"Glad?" he repeated, releasing her at last so he could stare into her eyes. "Babe, I'm thrilled. How could I be anything less?"

She smiled at him. Cupping his face in her hands, she leaned up to kiss him tenderly. "I don't guess you could, really. It's just a bit…"

"Unexpected?" He asked, as at the same time she finished, "sudden."

He chuckled. "It's both of those things. But I couldn't be happier. And you…"

"Same," she assured him, and found that she was telling the truth. She'd been excited from the moment she'd held the positive test in her hands, but she'd also been full of worries. Now, with the worries slipping off her shoulders, she felt light enough to simply float away.

He sighed deeply, happily. "God, I love you." Wrapping one arm around her waist, he let the other rest on her stomach, where his future child was forming. He could hardly wrap his brain around it.

"I love you too," she whispered, and kissed him again.