Happy Valentine's Day everyone!!! I felt the need for a holiday fic (this is one of those ones that was hiding up my sleeve :P) and since it's the BEST day for shippers everywhere, then why not write a cute, fluffy fic for Bolivia?
It doesn't take place anywhere in particular. Just on Valentine's Day :)
Disclaimer: I don't own Fringe, or conversation hearts. Or Peter Bishop. But if anyone felt like giving me a Valentine, there's a clue for ya ;)
Olivia arrived at the lab one morning to find a simple white envelope face down on her desk in the small, makeshift office. Frowning with curiosity, she picked up the envelope and turned it over. Her name was scrawled across the front in very eloquent cursive. Being careful to avoid getting any paper cuts, Olivia tore at the seal and pulled out an equally blank white card. Inside, in the same fancy penmanship, it read:
The most important things are the hardest to say, because words diminish them.
Her brow furrowed even more. There was no return address or name regarding who'd left it for her, only a small, hand-drawn heart below the quote. Then it hit her – today was February the 14th.
The card kept popping into Olivia's mind throughout the morning. She was supposed to be finalizing some reports (and kept mostly to herself in the office), but it was useless attempt. After she caught herself reading a full two pages of text and not remembering one word of it, twice, Olivia sighed and pulled the card out of the desk drawer. She took off her reading glasses and studied it closely.
It wasn't really a typical Valentine's letter; there was no direct reference to love or Cupid or any other run of the mill lovey-dovey fluff. The only indication was the heart.... But the words were powerful, and absolutely true.
A loud rumbling noise interrupted her reverie. Olivia had been ignoring her growling stomach for the past hour or more, and it had come to the point where it physically hurt to ignore her body's cravings, even though she'd only completed four of the ten reports that needed to be handed in by tomorrow morning.
But who put that card on her desk?
It was the question that hung in the air around her as she made her way to the small deli a block down from the college. Naturally, the first person she thought of was Peter. It was an odd idea, getting a Valentine from Peter Bishop. Not necessarily a bad one, but just… different. Something she'd never considered before. Granted, he was a good-looking guy, easy enough to get along with, smart, funny… Olivia shook her head. What the hell was she doing?
Olivia arrived back at the lab to find Peter and Walter bent over a microscope, both looking thoughtful.
Peter looked up and waved at the sound of her entry. "Hey, nice to see you out of the lair today."
She raised her eyebrows, an amused smile appearing on her lips. "The lair?"
"That little box where you do all your work. The lair."
"I was hungry. I needed to get out for once," Olivia called over her shoulder as she made her way to the office again.
"For once…" She heard Peter mutter dryly when he thought she was out of earshot.
Olivia smirked. "I heard that!"
She closed the door behind her, turned, and saw another envelope on her desk. This one was light, periwinkle purple. Olivia rolled her eyes as she opened it. This time, there were two quotes.
Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love.
When love is not madness, it is not love.
–Pedro Calderon de la Barca
Did he really think that she was that daft? Olivia shook her head and walked out of the office, the purple envelope in her hand. She descended the stairs into the lowest level of the lab and approached Peter from behind, tapping him on the shoulder.
He smiled. "You decided to come out and play? We've got some beakers of goo for the taking."
"They aren't toys son," Walter retorted absent-mindedly over his shoulder.
Peter rolled his eyes in exasperation. "I was trying to make a joke, Walter, a joke!"
After a split-second hesitation, Olivia held out the envelope and tried to hold back a smile. "Peter, I'm not that stupid. I know that these are from you. You put this one on my desk when I went out for lunch!"
Peter's eyebrows shot up. "I'm flattered that you think that I put this on your desk, but I didn't."
Now it was Olivia's turn to look surprised. "It's… it's not you?"
Peter shrugged. "Maybe it was Gene."
Olivia could feel her cheeks turning bright red from embarrassment. "Ok, um, sorry to bother you."
"No need to apologize, 'Liv. I really am honored that you thought I was your secret love letter guy." Peter winked at her and returned to his work.
Once back inside the sanctuary of her office, lair, whatever, she leaned against the door and put a hand to her head. Her face even felt hot. Great. But if it wasn't Peter, then who was giving her these letters? It certainly wasn't Gene. Walter wasn't an option either; the man wouldn't be able to keep a secret for this long. Peter wouldn't lie to her. Plus, she was good at telling whether or not someone was lying; it was part of her job. He wasn't always the easiest guy to read, but he hadn't shown any of the tell tale signs of someone trying to pull off a convincing one.
She could have spent hours mulling it all over, but Olivia took one look at the remaining files on her desk and forced herself to focus on her work.
A few hours later, Olivia was still in the office working on the last of her reports. It was a long and precarious process but it would be worth it to finish by the end of the day and not have to leave it all until the last minute.
She was putting the finishing touches on her last report when there was a knock at her door.
"Come in," Olivia responded, not looking up from her page.
"Hey," Charlie greeted her. "Twenty bucks says you're never gonna believe what I've been, um, instructed to bring you."
Olivia's stomach twisted in anticipation. Her gut was telling her something and, for once, she wished it were lying.
"If it's a Valentine's Day card then I get that twenty bucks."
Charlie looked stunned. "Damn, you're better than I'd thought." Reluctantly, he pulled a twenty out of his wallet and handed it to Olivia.
"I've already gotten two, so it was a pretty good guess as to what it was." Olivia smiled, fishing about her desk for a moment and then, upon finding them amidst the chaos, held up the other two envelopes.
"Wow. Do you know who it is yet?"
"Nope," she shrugged, "not a clue."
Charlie smiled and handed her a ruby red envelope. "Here's the special delivery for one Miss Olivia Dunham."
Olivia accepted the card from him and, before opening it, noted that this one was actually addressed to the Federal Building, stamp and all. However, there was no return address.
In addition to a card, three cinnamon hearts and one of those colorful conversation hearts fell out onto her desk.
No surprise, the card consisted of more quotes:
Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place.
–Zora Neale Hurston
At the touch of love, everyone becomes a poet.
Despite herself, Olivia smiled and popped a cinnamon heart into her mouth as she read. She didn't really do the whole 'bows and arrows and Cupid' thing, but this was rather sweet.
"I'll leave you and your love letters alone, 'Liv. Happy Valentine's Day," Charlie called as he backed out of the office, smirking when she shot him a look for saying 'love letters'.
After the door was closed, Olivia spread out the letters on top of her work, having completely forgotten that she needed to proofread the last paragraph of a report. She picked up the conversation heart and laughed out loud.
Then she gasped. She knew exactly who the letters were from.
Suddenly, another knock sounded on her door.
"Uh, come in!" Olivia called as she hurriedly tried to re-conceal the letters in the depths of her paperwork.
However, Peter walked in before she could accomplish that, and caught her red-handed. "Three letters? Wow," He chortled and came to lean on the opposite side of the desk. "Gene must really like you."
Olivia laughed and gave up trying to hide the evidence. "I think I know who they're from, and it's not Gene."
Peter's eyes lit up. "Do tell."
Olivia stood up and leaned toward him across the desk, a smug smile playing on her lips. "You."
"Yes, you, Peter."
For a moment, she thought he would deny it, but then Peter's smile widened and he mimicked her, leaning across the desktop.
"What gave it away?" His eyes twinkled and sparkled with delight.
Olivia hadn't been expecting such a forthcoming confession, but she kept it together and, without breaking eye contact with him, held up the candy heart, her smug smile transforming into a victoriously smug one.
"Ok, I admit, that was supposed to be a different message, but I had to change it to this fool-proof one, only because you were a little confused earlier."
She frowned, leaning even closer to him and lowering her voice. "So wait – how did you change the clue between the time when I talked to you and when Charlie delivered the envelope? I could hear you and Walter talking in there the entire time. And you said that you didn't put it on my desk...."
Peter smiled mischievously. "I didn't put it on your desk. I didn't. I never said they weren't from me. It's all part of the game, 'Liv."
"So why then?"
"Why give me these?" Olivia held up the colorful cards and their envelopes, still holding up her end of the stare match. The bluntness of the question hit her a little too late and she flinched inwardly, her face feeling hot again.
Peter inclined himself even closer to her. "Because," he said matter-of-factly, "it's Valentine's Day."
And the next thing Olivia knew, Peter's lips were pressed to hers, and before long, she was kissing him back. As quickly as it had begun, the kiss was over before Olivia's brain could really register what had happened. Only her raw instincts had kicked in and were telling her that she liked it – that she really, really liked it.
Peter pulled away and gave her one of those crooked smiles. "Happy Valentine's Day, Olivia."
He pulled something out of his pocket and left it on her desk before leaving, smiling at her over his shoulder the whole way.
Olivia was still in shock. Should she chase him? Or wait for him to chase her?
Still confused, she glanced down at her desk. Peter had given her another candy heart. Olivia smiled, her mouth slightly agape with wonder.
Could it be?
Well, I hope you all liked it, and I wanna wish a great Valentine's Day to y'all - full of candy, love, and a little more candy for good measure!