My second Fringe story, that took me forever and a day to complete because of laziness. Haha!
It's unBeated, so I'm sorry for the typos. I just had to get this little scene out of my head. No real spoilers, just Peter x Olivia 'fluff', or whatever you want to call it. Anything to get us through this awful hiatus. HURRY UP JANUARY 20!!!
Anywho, hope you enjoy ;)
* * * *
Olivia Dunham was pissed.
And not the good and drunk kind, but the kind where you really are seeing red and slamming a door makes you feel just a bit better.
So that's exactly what she did.
Right in Peter Bishop's face.
"Dammit, Olivia, what the hell was that for?" He rubbed the shoulder that had collided, rather harshly so, with the offending door, not really feeling the sting. Adrenaline had a tendency to do that.
"That!-" she yelled, whipping around in a blur of blond hair and fury, "was me telling you to go – the – hell- away."
Peter had seen her angry before. Hell, he'd seen her nearly shoot a man's head off for hitting on her (granted, the man was a repeated pedophilic offender), but he had never been on the receiving end of it. Not that he ever wanted to be.
Peter scoffed. "Oh no, I ain't going anywhere, sweetheart, until you tell me what's got you all in a tizzy."
Olivia stopped in her tracks, glancing around the room in disbelief. What was that breathing exercise they teach you in anger management again? Inhale, two three four. Exhale.
"All in a 'tizzy'? A tizzy? Seriously, Peter?" Fuck the breathing exercise. "What's got me all in a "tizzy", as you so eloquently put it, is that you thought it would be a good idea to barge in on an interrogation, an interrogation I had under control, and slam a man's head against the table!"
She knew her hands were shaking, desperately wanting to hit something. Hard. Unfortunately punching Peter right now wouldn't help the situation any. But she'd knew she'd sure feel a helluva lot better.
"'Under control'?" Peter balked, blinking in confusion. "You call having a man feeding you lewd sexual comments about tying you up and, what was the phrase? 'having his insatiable way with you,' under control?!" Olivia bit her lip, hoping Peter didn't notice the blush she felt rising along the back of her neck. "Yeah," Peter nodded, clearly annoyed, "I'd call that under control."
Under any other circumstances Olivia would have dropped the conversation and took the high road, walking away before she said anything she would regret. But the sheer arrogance and lack of remorse she heard in Peter's voice kept her rooted to her spot.
"That man," she said, voice almost in a whisper, "was the only lead we had on finding out who killed those women. And now, thanks to your inability to let me do my job, he's not talking." Her gaze flicked downward momentarily as Peter pulled his bottom lip between his teeth. "So we've got nothing."
Locked in what seemed like an eternal stalemate the two reluctant partners stared down their noses at one another, daring the other to make the first move. Too stubborn to back down from any kind of fight, especially a verbal one, Peter crossed his arms over his chest, the muscles in his shoulders and neck tightening involuntarily. Olivia could practically feel the heat energy coming off of him through her winter blazer and she shivered despite the increasing temperature in the room. Or maybe that was just her because she could almost swear it was 100 degrees in the frigid basement lab.
Astrid had wisely refused to remind the pair of her presence in the room. She had barely stopped Walter from laughing loudly in delight at his newfound pair of Doc Martin's hidden behind an old incubator, completely oblivious, thankfully, to the commotion. Whispering to him that Gene might want to watch some television, she sighed in relief as Walter grinned broadly and shuffled off into the annex, mumbling something about the ineffectiveness of contraception. Astrid didn't want to know. She also didn't want to know how the conflict in front of her was going to pan out, because knowing Peter and Olivia, it could only involve trouble.
Finally, Peter relented. "Fine. Whatever." The slap of his palms against his denim-clad thighs sounded unusually loud in Olivia's ears, regardless of the insistent ringing that had been there since the drive to the lab. "But I'm not sorry I did it."
Without waiting for a response he pivoted on his heels and marched out of the lab, making sure to slam the door on his way out.
For the hundredth time that hour Peter tossed onto his back, failing, once again, to find a comfortable position. Walter had even conceded into letting him have the bed that night, opting for the living room floor instead, and he still wasn't able to fall asleep. The sheets were either too warm or the pillow not thick enough in that certain spot.
Excuse, of course. All of them.
Cursing into the darkness, he switched on the bedside lamp casting a dingy glow about the cramped little room. An over-used Sudoku puzzle book sat on the nightstand. Number and logic games always seemed to clear his head.
Peter snorted. He really was his father's son. Sometimes. But similarities be damned, he needed something to get and keep his mind off Olivia and that asshole of a suspect.
Peter knew very well that Olivia could take care of herself (she only reminded him every other day), but that creep had it coming to hi. No woman deserved to be subjected to such… filth. Least of all a woman who had to put up with all the crap Olivia did. Peter stopped writing and set his pen down on the duvet. He sighed, head falling against the wall behind him.
He hadn't meant to be so cross with her in the lab. She had enough to deal with without his violent outbursts getting in the way.
Peter glanced at the clock.
2:17 AM. Nice.
Considering his options, limited as they were, he pushed the covers off his lap and pulled on a pair of jeans and a long-sleeve shirt. Taking a moment to check on Walter, who was, for once, sleeping soundly, a slight grin on his face, Peter grabbed his keys and slipped out the door.
Olivia couldn't sleep.
It had been two hours since she'd laid down, an early night by her recent standards, and all she had managed to do was count 37 cars driving by her window. That, and convert oxygen into carbon dioxide.
Lovely. Now she was thinking like Walter. Her day couldn't possibly get any better.
Olivia sighed, deeply, pressing a palm to her forehead.
She hated fighting with Peter. Arguing? Sure. What's a healthy debate between colleagues? Friends? But fighting…. There was just something unsettling about yelling, screaming actually, in the face of the man who had literally dropped everything to come and help her; a stranger, no less. False blackmail or not, he had agreed. She had no doubt that he could have easily packed up and left a long time ago.
But he hadn't.
He was still there. Still helping her. Still driving her insane with his "I don't need you, sweetheart" attitude and quip-filled arsenal of words.
Olivia smiled sadly, twisting the hem of her bed sheet nervously. But if she were being honest with herself, she found she rather enjoyed spending time with Peter. In some strange, twisted way actually looked forward to working with him every day. She smiled more around him. Even laughed. She hadn't laughed so much since…
Olivia furrowed her brow, halting her thoughts.
No. She wouldn't go there. Not tonight.
A knock at her door brought her out of her head and she sat up in bed. Who would be at knocking at her door at 3 o'clock in the morning? The knock sounded again.
Sheesh. Do people even sleep nowadays?
Foregoing her robe or even a decent pair of pants (why bother when she was just going to tell whoever it was to go away) Olivia peered through the peephole and froze.
If the door hadn't been there to prop her up she might have fallen forward out of shock or sheer confusion. Probably both. Come on Olivia, open the door.
Peter shuffled from one foot to another. It would have been easier to remain calm, or at least appear calm if he didn't feel like such an ass for coming all the way over here at such a godawful time, probably interrupting a perfectly good night's sleep.
He could be such an ass sometimes.
She probably didn't even want to see his face after what he'd done and what he'd said. Much less speak to him. He didn't even know what he was going to say to her! Umm, hi Olivia. Sorry to wake you up at such an ungodly hour, but I just wanted to apologize for being such a jackass and quite possibly letting a murdered go free. So, yeah, I'm sorry.
Yeah. That was sure to get him back in her graces.
Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, he had no time to prepare a speech as the click of the door made a start and a nervous-looking Olivia peered out from around the door.
It was a statement. Not a question. But at least she wasn't yelling at him. In fact, she looked too tired to even raise her voice. God, he really felt like a jerk. He opened his mouth with all intentions of spilling out a garble of apologizes and explanations for why he was standing in her hallway at 3 AM, but nothing came out. He tried again, with similar results. Olivia just starred at him, face pressed against the door, probably thinking he had finally lost his marbles. Hell, he was beginning to think the same thing. She narrowed her eyes at him. Well…
"I couldn't sleep."
Smooth move, Casanova.
He stood there, waiting for her to ream him out for dragging her out of bed or at least slam the door in his face (again), but it never came. After a moment of awkward silence she dropped her gaze and stepped back, pulling the door open wider and inviting him inside.
It was warm inside her apartment. Oh, the advantages of central air and a decent landlord. All the sudden he felt crowded and very very small, a feeling he wasn't entirely used to.
He finally broke the silence. "I'm sorry I woke you up, I just…"
"I wasn't sleeping," she interrupted, softly, motioning towards her bedroom.
The last time she had felt this awkward was in junior high waiting for Patrick Thompson to either accept her invite to the annual Sadie Hawkins dance or tell her to bug off. Except that time she wasn't standing before the guy in an over-sized college t-shirt and black cotton panties. She was definitely regretting not putting on a pair of pants before answering the door. Suddenly feeling self-conscious and exposed she wrapped her arms about herself, finding a particularly interesting piece of lint on her carpet to study.
Why wasn't he saying anything? Why wasn't she saying anything?! At least tell the guy you're sorry for slamming a door in his face, she thought to herself.
She almost jumped when Peter's hand reached out and lightly brushed against her arm, her gaze jumping up to meet his.
"Look, Liv, I'm sorry about today. At the interrogation. And at the lab. For, you know, ruining the case and yelling at you. I just wanted to, well, tell you, I guess." An apologetic smile touched the corners of his lips, disappearing as quickly as it came. "I guess I could have chosen a better time to tell you but I just couldn't…"
"No. No, it's ok… I mean, I would have done the same thing. I did, I mean, I yelled at you, too. I didn't mean to loose my temper like that…" God, two seconds ago they could barely form words and now they were gushing forth in an incoherent, poor excuse for a sentence.
Taking a deep breath she smiled at him and shook her head lightly. "I'm sorry, too. But Peter…" She paused for a moment, starring down at her still bare legs, feeling surprisingly warm despite the cold winter outside the window. "You can't go around physically attacking every single suspect who makes a move on me."
Peter jumped to his defense, "That was not a move. That was-"
Olivia cut him off with an ironic laugh and grabbed his hand, leading him towards the kitchen. Without speaking she busied herself with gathering the makings for a pot of coffee. This all felt strangely intimate to Peter, who found himself leaning against the counter, hands braced on the edge, just watching. Intimate not in the sexual sense, or maybe yes in the sexual sense, but more in the way of comfortable familiarity. Though he was quite sure he would remember if this had happened before.
He was amazed at this woman before him. She pushed his buttons like no other woman had. She was infuriating and brilliant and brash when she thought she was right (which she usually was). She could kill a man with one glance and probably sooth away worries with another one. And yet, here she was at 3 o'clock in the morning, rummaging around in her kitchen to make him coffee, wearing nothing but a t-shirt and plain cotton underwear.
The blush came unbidden at that last thought. What did he say about pushing buttons? Yeah. Suddenly needing to keep his hands busy he pushed one hand through his hair and jammed the other to the bottom of his pockets.
"Here." She handed him a mug of black coffee. He took a careful drink, not bothering with cream or sugar. He would need none of that tonight. "We might as well 'wake up'. Broyles wants us in the office at 7:30."
Peter scoffed. "Probably to tear me a new one."
Olivia laughed. "Yes, probably."
"I'm pretty sure you weren't supposed to agree with that."
She laughed again, smiling behind her coffee mug. The bitter hot liquid stung on the first sip and she cringed. She preferred her coffee more on the sweet side, but something told her that bitter was a bit more fitting at the moment.
"I wasn't questioning your ability to take care of yourself." He felt as if he owed her more of an explanation than just the incoherent apology he had managed to fumble out.
"I mean, I saw what you did to that Steig guy," he added with a grin. "I'm just saying that someone like you shouldn't have to hear those things."
Her eyes narrowed. "Someone like me?"
"A woman," Peter answered, as if it were the most obvious of answers. "A respectable woman."
Olivia shut her eyes, shaking her head. She fixed him with a pointed grin, biting her lip out of habit. "And they say chivalry is dead."
The bark of laughter he emitted was enough to make her wish she could make him laugh like that all the time. Laughing into her coffee, she leaned against the counter, caught off guard by the cold tile that presses against her bare thighs.
Suddenly feeling more exposed than she ever remembered feeling, she shuffled her feet along the floor, tracing the lines with her toes. With one hand she tugged her shirt lower in an attempt to preserve what modesty she had left. Not that she suspected Peter minded. After all, he hadn't thrown her an off-handed joke or pick-up line about her lack of clothing. Something she was quite grateful for.
Peter watched as the rolling shift of emotions passed over her features; a mixture of humor, embarrassment, and uncertainty. His hands clenched around his mug. That whiskey was beginning to sound a lot more appealing.
After an awkward moment Olivia looked up at him and hooked a thumb in her bedroom's direction. "I should probably go get dressed."
Tugging at her shirt one last time she moved to push past him, fully intent on putting the day's events behind her. But Peter, it seemed, had different plans.
She didn't make it two steps out of the kitchen when he wrapped his fingers around her wrist, stilling her instantly.
It took little more than a gentle tug for her to find herself pressed against him, her thigh trapped snuggly between his own, and there's nothing she could do to hide the brief moment of panic that rises in her throat.
Maybe it was the lack of sleep or the stress of the day that had wore her down, but she didn't pull away, didn't even question it. The effort of moving didn't quite seem worth it. She had known, possibly from their first meeting, that they would eventually end up here. Just like this. Granted, she had imagined it would be under somewhat different circumstances.
Peter could practically feel her blush, the heat spreading along her spine and settling in the pit of her stomach. Whatever it was that was running through her mind, he knew it couldn't be too far from the thoughts currently occupying his own mind. And judging from the shallow rise and fall of chest, he knew he was right.
"I'm still not sorry I hit him though." He ran his thumb along the hem of her shirt, pushing the material out of his way. Olivia shuddered. She knew Peter could be extremely focused when he chose to be, obsessive even, but being put as the center of that focus was something she wasn't wholly prepared for. Biting her lip she stopped herself from groaning as Peter slip one finger into the waistband of her panties, drawing a painfully soft line from one hip to another.
What the hell were they doing? They had been just talking, right? Like any pair of friends after a shitty day at work. So how the hell had they…
Oh my god.
The warm breath of air traveling along her bare shoulder stole whatever question she thought she had been asking. Peter pressed a kiss just above her pulse point, pausing to feel its erratic tempo beneath his lips. Olivia let out a heavy breath. This was getting out of control too fast. Much too fast. Oh god. Please...
"I was going to explode if I had to listen to him insult you for one more second." His hands slid upwards.
Wasn't this the part where she was supposed to push him away, convince them both that it was just a moment of weakness, and chalk it up to high tensions and stress? Yes, she was pretty sure that this was that time. But at the moment, the only thing she could concentrate on was trying to stopping the floor from spinning and not collapsing forward.
He shook his head, instantly stilling her words. She was almost thankful for it because for the life of her she didn't think she was capable of saying anything more than his name. Groan, perhaps, yes. Was that a whimper? What are you doing to me?
"I could ask you the same thing."
Great, she thought. Now she was thinking aloud. She really was going crazy.
Against all the proper ways of seduction – probably a good way of describing this situation, she decided – Olivia found herself grinning, head relaxing against Peter's shoulder as laughter began to set in. This was in no way how she pictured any of this going.
Peter pulled away, trying to discern whether or not to be offended by her sudden outburst of humor. After a moment, thinking perhaps that he had screwed everything up, he grinned, full-blown, and shook his head. It felt good to laugh, she thought. Even in the midst of making perhaps the biggest mistake of her life, she couldn't help but find herself more… at ease than she had felt in a long time. A very long time.
Peter's brow furrowed, that familiar crease appearing between his eyes that told her he was thinking much too hard. She brushed her fingers along his face, tracing, mapping, and memorizing his features as she went. Thanking was much too dangerous of an activity right now.
"Funny, I don't remember the 'Stop and Laugh at Peter' chapter of Seduction 101," he quipped. He was rewarded with a 100-watt Olivia Dunham smile, before she quickly rolled her eyes and swatted at his shoulder.
"I don't think they actually taught that class in college, if I remember correctly."
"Well then you were definitely going to the wrong school."
Her green-eyed gaze flew upwards and she was almost embarrassed that she couldn't stop laughing. What was is about this rootless man who made her feel more secure than any job title, degree, or human being ever had? If she had any notion of how dangerously attached she was going to become to Peter Bishop, she would have left his pain-in-the-ass back in Iraq and boarded the first flight home.
No. No, she would save those thoughts for another time. Another night when her blood had finally slowed down and her brain was capable of thinking of more than just trying to fuse herself together with her obligatory partner. Consequences be damned, she didn't feel like being at all rational right now.
Olivia's mind focused on the feel of his hands, still tracing lazy circles against her hips. He was solid beneath her own. Tangible and warm and alive and here. Somewhere in the back of her mind she thought she could hear John's voice, his constant presence, telling her to stop, to end things before they went too far. But it was quiet, actually quiet, and it's only Olivia in her mind, and Olivia didn't much feel like stopping.
When she kisses him it is demanding yet light, and no where near long enough to satisfy their curiosities. She smiled, finding her courage, and took his hand once again, pulling him towards the unmade bed on the far side of the room.
"I'm pretty sure we're about to break, oh, about a hundred FBI rules."
She kisses him again, this time making sure to taste him, enjoying the way he smiled against her. Grabbing her waist he walked them backwards, stumbling only slightly and laughing.
"Well then it's a good thing that you're not FBI."