Hi y'all! Sorry it took so long to get the final update for this fic up. The last few weeks have been pure insanity and I've had about zero time to chill. But thank god I finally finnished this one, writer's block included! It sure contributed to the delay...
But anywho, I hope you enjoy this last chapter, (I don't own Fringe, etc... you know the drill :P) and happy eve of the superbowl eve :)
It was bright. Very bright, and it hurt her eyes to look at it, so she kept them closed until they adjusted. Olivia ran her tongue over her dry lips and tried to swallow, but the inside of her throat felt like sandpaper. Everything ached. Each and every muscle in her body was sore, even though she wasn't moving. She decided to try opening her eyes again, hoping that they would be used to the brightness by now. Tentatively, Olivia pried them open, testing to make sure that the searing pain that had erupted behind her eyes the first time she'd tried wouldn't come back. Luckily, it didn't. She glanced down and noticed that she was still fully clothed in her blouse and slacks and lying spread-eagled on the hardwood floor beside her bed. Shivers wracked her weak body from the cold sweat that she was drenched in. Olivia moaned, a hint of nausea still thriving somewhere in her gut
She knew that she'd passed out at some point the previous night, though she had no idea when that was or what time it was now. Her ears felt weird, like they were submerged underwater, but the feeling was fading rapidly now that she was regaining consciousness.
After a few minutes of agony, she managed to pull herself up, clamping onto the edge of the bed like it was her lifeline. Her muscles physically shook under the stress of accomplishing the simple task of standing up, and it drove her half mad that her abilities had been reduced to the point where she couldn't even stand without over exerting herself.
Eventually, Olivia had pulled herself up onto the bed in a half standing half slouching position. Her blinds were wide open since she hadn't gotten to close them the night before. The intense sunlight sparked that nerve somewhere in her head and her mind exploded with pain. Olivia winced and shut her eyes quickly, but the pain lingered and took a few minutes to completely fade away.
Then someone knocked at her door. The noise was only just audible to Olivia, whose head was still spinning from the effort of lifting herself off the floor. At first, she thought that she was hallucinating again and braced herself for another onslaught, but when the knocking came again, this time a little more urgent, she grit her teeth and forced her legs to support her. The journey to the door was a long one, but she wanted to answer it. She wasn't that weak, for God's sake.
By the time Olivia reached the door, the knocking had become increasingly insistent until she was almost sure that whoever was on the other side of the door would break it down if they took another hammer at it. The noise didn't help her migraine one bit, but she persisted and pulled the door open after a few failed attempts to yank it from its frame.
"Peter?" she spoke hoarsely, her dry throat feeling like it was on fire.
The young Bishop stood in the doorway, his mouth slightly open for a moment before he found his voice.
"My God, Olivia, you look like shit." His eyes were wide and concerned, and Olivia could have sworn that there was a spark of fear in them as well.
"I had a rough night," she replied simply, her voice still shaky. It didn't reassure Peter one bit, and she could see it in his ever-widening eyes.
That's when Olivia's legs decided to give way and buckle beneath her. She grabbed onto both the inside and outside door handles to stop her fall, but Peter was already there, having practically dove to her rescue the very nanosecond of her collapse. His arms encircled her waist, supporting her, and, not knowing what else to do, Olivia wrapped an arm around his shoulders and allowed Peter to half walk half drag her into the safety of her apartment. Her head swooned under a strong dizzy spell and she placed all her weight on Peter's shoulder as he readily scooped her up and laid her on the obviously not-slept-in bed. The entire time Peter didn't speak, and Olivia was grateful for his silence. As she lay on her bed, a fresh sweat covering her face and chest, she wondered how long it would be until he asked her a question that she would have no choice but to answer.
Peter rose and, after mercifully drawing her blinds closed, went about the kitchen grabbing a damp cloth and some ginger ale, one of the few things that took up space in her fridge. He returned to her side, still unspeaking, and pressed the cloth to her forehead. It was cool against her skin, and refreshingly so. He dabbed slowly and evenly at her cheeks, neck and chest. His hand brushed against the skin just below her collarbone and it sent her heart into a wild frenzy, but she was too weak to move, and what's more, she didn't want to. With a jolt, Olivia realized that she enjoyed being taken care of by Peter. There was something about his presence that both calmed and enticed her at the same time, but she had grown accustomed to the mixture of sensations over the last several months.
Breaking into her reverie, Peter stopped dabbing at her neck and let the cloth rest on her forehead.
"Olivia," he began slowly as he picked up the ginger ale and popped the top to let it fizz. She already knew what was coming and looked up at the ceiling to avoid his gaze. "Olivia, I'd like to know what happened."
There it was – that way of his of being persuasive but not pressuring. She decided that this was a battle she wouldn't fight, and took a few deep breaths in and out before tearing her eyes away from the ceiling and looking into his. The amount of concern in his gaze stunned her. Maybe it was just the way the light played across his face that highlighted his brow, furrowed with worry, or the way that his hand was resting on the edge of the bed, so close to hers that she could feel his body heat radiating from it, but it took longer than usual for Olivia to finally find her voice.
"I didn't talk," she whispered, more to herself than to Peter, but he listened attentively. "I didn't tell you anything for two weeks. I kept everything in that entire time, and it almost broke me."
Peter closed the inch of space between their hands, lightly taking her hand in his. "This is the part where I tell you that you're nuts to bring this on yourself…" he trailed off and smiled dryly, "but honestly, 'Livia, that's exactly what I would have done in your place… it's, um, similar… to what I've done before."
Olivia looked away again, hardly able to bear the understanding and tenderness in his voice. Peter grew quiet again, withdrawing into a deep place in his mind, his thumb making small circles on the back of her hand.
"But I'm the idiot," he continued, withdrawing from whatever memory he'd been reliving a moment ago, "I'm the jackass who hasn't done something nearly as important with his life as you have. I'm the jerk who lets things happen that could have been prevented or stopped all together…" Peter angled himself to directly face Olivia and clasped her hand with both of his. "That's me, Olivia. That's not you, not in a million years. Don't turn into that; don't turn into someone like me. I would never want that for you."
Olivia was shocked. It wasn't like Peter to make these grand kind of speeches, and this one wasn't shabby at all; on the contrary, it was the kind of thing that would normally knock Olivia clean off her feet, especially coming from Peter Bishop, but that didn't really apply since she had already been literally swept off her feet.
"It doesn't have to be you either," she replied quietly. Peter's head snapped up at her comment, but he brushed it away with a shrug.
"I'm not worrying about me now, ok? And please – " he stopped her from saying anything with a finger to her lips, " – please, don't pursue it. Not now, not when you're the one who needs to sort out your own set of problems. Promise?"
He removed his finger from her lips and she nodded slowly. "Alright, I promise."
"Good," Peter smiled, "now drink up." He scooped up the ginger ale from where he'd laid it on the bedside table and handed it to her. "It'll help with the nausea."
Giving him an odd look and wondering how the hell he could have possibly known that was just what she needed, Olivia sat up and accepted the drink. The bubbly drink began working immediately, settling her stomach and leaving a sweet taste in her mouth.
Peter watched her while she drank, a calm expression about him that was apparently contagious, for Olivia felt the sudden overpowering sensation of relaxation come over her. After last night, she was tired, that was all. She handed the can back to Peter and pulled an extra pillow behind her head to prop up on.
"You don't have to stay, you know, I'm fine now," Olivia said quietly and crossed her arms across her chest, feeling a bit awkward and self-conscious under his intense gaze.
"Do I intimidate you?" Peter asked with a charming smile, not breaking their eye contact.
"No, of course not," Olivia replied quickly, looking down at her hands and blushing.
She looked up when she felt his hand on her shoulder.
"I was just kidding, you know that, right?"
Olivia nodded quickly, aware of how close Peter had had to lean towards her to be able to touch her shoulder. Somehow, his gaze had intensified even more, and she was compelled to look into his eyes.
"If you want me to leave, I will, 'Liv, I will. Just say the word." Peter was being dead serious now, and Olivia was afraid to say the wrong thing and offend him. Peter was even closer to her now; his face was less than two feet away from her.
"I… I…" she stumbled and shook her head. She had no idea what to say.
Peter gently caught her chin in his free hand and she froze. "Olivia, listen to me."
The desperate sincerity of his words caught her off guard and she listened with rapt attention.
"It's ok to not know what to say," Peter said gently, removing his hand from her shoulder and using it to stroke her messy hair. "You're tired, you're confused right now, and you've been through shit, so just relax. Don't stress yourself out." He smiled at her and tucked a loose strand of hair behind her ear. "And don't forget to breathe, 'Liv."
Olivia released the breath that she didn't know she'd been holding in since Peter's hands had found their way to her face and had begun playing with her hair. Now he was close enough for her to be able to feel his warm breath on her lips.
Why am I letting this happen? Whatever happened to keeping my distance?
The questions jumped sporadically into Olivia's mind only to be blown away by the gentle breeze that caressed her face every time Peter exhaled. She expected him to make a move on her, but he didn't. Peter simply stayed just as he was, sitting right beside her on the bed, his hands actually touching the bare skin on her face and neck. Despite the intimacy of their state of affairs, Peter remained exactly where he was, not an inch nearer or further from her. The apprehension that hung between them was, needless to say, growing exponentially with each passing moment, and Olivia wasn't sure how long she would be able to endure it.
This shouldn't be happening….
"Stay," Olivia blurted out quickly and breathlessly, for she found that she'd forgotten to breathe again. "I… I want you to stay."
"Only because you want me to," Peter replied with a small grin, and he leant in until his lips met hers. He was sweet, and his touch was soft and gentle. Olivia kissed him back just as tenderly, taking pleasure in the moment and not wasting one second of it.
It was a relatively quick kiss, but he pulled away slowly, letting his lips rest against hers for one extra moment. "I'm happy to stay with you."
Olivia smiled at him, blushing, but not caring in the least, especially when Peter crawled into the bed beside her and pulled her close to him, snaking his arms around her waist from behind. Olivia felt him nuzzle her hair and her smile widened as she snuggled closer to Peter. He was the greatest comfort that she could ask for, and finally, after all this time, he was here, first kissing her then lying in bed right along side her. She closed her eyes after a minute and slowly drifted off to a much-needed sleep in Peter's strong, comforting arms.
Olivia was asleep in mere minutes, and sensing the change in her breathing pattern, Peter bent over her shoulder and planted a soft kiss on her cheek, whispering softly in her ear, "Sleep well, sweetheart. I'll be right here beside you the whole time."
I hope this last chapter turned out alright.... what did you guys think?? Please review, it'd make my super-crappy Friday so much better!!!
oh, and a quick comment about the No-Brainer. Rachel's got no business hitting on Peter like that!!! it really ticked me off, but Peter was totally adorable with Ella. And they played my fave song "Spaceman" at the very beginning of the ep, and then "Single Ladies" for the girls.... just freaking awesome, as always! Can't wait for Peter and Olivia to go undercover in Transformation on tuesday, teehee.