Title: Recovery

Author: AnitaB

Author's notes: The episode where Peter gets horribly infected with a terrible disease made people in my head think too hard. It was powerful enough to make people jump out of windows at a fatal height, but couldn't make Peter kill Olivia. But Peter needs to know just how much damage the virus has done to the both of them. What happens when Peter and Olivia think too much about what might have happened in that building? Peter/Olivia romantic smut ensues.

I own nothing and nothing I do own would be worth the lawyer's fees of a lawsuit.

Rating: M, NC-17


By AnitaB

Chapter one: The ambush

He'd had to wait a little while. Both to get her alone and to let the evidence fully surface. Peter knew the doctors would keep him for at least a day and Olivia would try to keep him out of the office for another. But that was too long. If he didn't get to her quickly enough… well, he just needed to know.

Showing up at her door wasn't the most ideal place to ambush her, but at the lab there was no way to have the conversation he needed without Astrid and Walter witnessing or participating in it. At the FBI headquarters the number of people just hanging around would be higher. He needed to talk to her, touch her, know they were really okay. If anyone else was around, her own self-consciousness and embarrassment would get in the way.

Peter had it all planned out from when he would show up at her door to what he would say. He was confident it would go perfectly… right up to the moment he knocked on her door. The smooth opening line he'd planned just disappeared at the sight of Olivia's face.

She opened the door wearing a look of concern with his name on her lips. "Peter, what's wrong?" Her hair was loose around her face and the traditional suit and button down the front shirt had been traded for a sweatshirt and sweat pants. And behind his eyes he could still see the fear in her eyes as his own fingers tightened at her throat.

And his mouth disconnected from his brain. "I want to see them."

Her eyes blinked and her mouth opened silently for a moment, then her hands opened the door wider and she stepped back to let him in. The last act was instinctual, thoughtless. Olivia Dunham still trusted him in her home after he'd almost killed her with her own gun. //Well, that's a start.\\ Her bare feet padded across the floor to her couch. Peter closed and locked her front door before following her. "What was it you needed, Peter?"

"I… I need to see them." He found himself sinking down to the couch at her side, turning enough to keep his eyes on her face. Some of what he needed would be found there. The rest would be all over her, painted down her skin.

She looked puzzled but not scared. "See what?"

"The bruises, the one I gave you in the parking garage. I need to see them. I need to know how… badly I hurt you."

"Oh, Peter, you didn't hurt me. The virus had control over you." The hand she rested on his arm was warm even through his shirt and leather jacket. The look on her face warmed him even more. Her lips opened like she was going to argue more.

"Don't lie to me, Olivia. I know I hurt you. I watched it happen. I watched myself point a gun at you, watched my hand at your throat." His own throat closed up at the memory, the act of saying it out loud. "Please, I have to know."

He watched her eyes fall closed, watched her hands fold in her lap. Then Olivia leaned closer and tilted her head back, baring her throat in an age old sign of trust. Now Peter watched his hands ever so gently move to cup her chin. He pushed the edge of her clothes down to trace the outline of his hand done in faint bruising. It was the lightest of shadings, but he still felt it was far, far too dark. The world at large hurt Olivia enough all the time, he never wanted to be the one who added to her pain. Under his hands she didn't even flinch, merely sat quietly and let him invade the hell out of her personal space. "Feel better, Peter?"

"Not yet," Tipping her head to the side, he pressed a cheek to the arched line of her throat and breathed in the smell of her hair. Even this close, not one line of her body reacted with any fear or hesitance. Olivia trusted him… even this close. That comforted him far, far more than the light coloring of the skin against his lips. "Show me the others. Give me your gun arm." Peter forced himself back from her skin and held out his hand for hers.

Her eyes opened, her head angled to give him warm eyes and a soft smile. "Here you go." Her right hand lifted from her lap to slip little fingers across his palm. She was so delicate to be so damn strong. The world had quite literally rested in these tiny, determined hands. More than once. Lifting that palm to his face, Peter warmed his lips on the back of her hand before pushing the wrist of her college sweater up her arm. This mark didn't match his hand, it matched the bottom of his shoe and it was a little darker than the one on her throat. This little hand had pointed a gun at him but hadn't pulled the trigger. This little hand had risked everything to save his life, so many times. He pressed his lips to the bruise on the back of her wrist, gently cradling her arm with both hands. Her fingers curled then opened. Her arm turned in his grip to rest her palm on his chest, over his heart. "See, Peter? I'm fine. We made it. We're okay."

The sequence of events he'd seen repeatedly in his head hadn't been covered yet. "No, not yet. I hit your side, slammed your back against that car." Pressing one more kiss to her arm, he lifted his head and met her eyes.

"Those didn't bruise, didn't leave a mark at all." Her face said she was telling the truth, but his nerves, his brain wouldn't believe it until he'd seen it for himself. Simply shaking his head, Peter buried his cheek into her palm.

"Show me, please." He watched her roll her eyes and nod. His hands moved to her waist to help her stand in front of his knees. Spreading his feet for balance, Peter leaned forward and touched his fingertips to the waistband of her sweats. "Livia?"

The body between his knees, his hands went still for a moment, drawing in a deep breath. Her eyes locked on his face as her hands lowered the side of her sweatpants to expose a long line of bare, unbruised skin from mid-hip to ribs on her right side. He remembered the shape of that curve under his hands as he had shoved her across a doorway. Now he needed that skin bare against his palms. Spreading his fingers wide, he buried the nerves of his hands against the smooth, uninjured heat of her side, feeling the tiny shift and movement of her muscles under her skin. She was so fragile and so strong. "See? No bruises, not even a scratch." Apparently his face told her he still needed more. For without waiting for him to ask, Olivia gave him her back and raised the sweater and t-shirt underneath to bare the small of her back up to the edge of her bra. True to her words, that long lean curve of skin was unmarked. Her narrow waist was under his hands before his brain caught up with his body.

"Livia," Helplessly wrapping both arms around her waist, Peter buried the side of his face into the arch of her back, feeling her hands rest lightly against the backs of his. Again his body moved ahead of his brain and he found his fingers intertwined with hers, pulling her tighter against his body. "Livia, I'm so sorry. I never wanted to hurt you. Ever."

"Peter," All her muscles tensed as she tried to pull away. All his muscles leapt to let her go. He had no right to ever restrain her. Especially now. Peter fisted his hands together and forced himself back into the couch cushions. He couldn't hurt her, not ever, ever again.

Before his eyes, Olivia sank to her knees at his feet and leaned in, she was reaching for him. His body seemed to understand the look on her face before his brain even started to focus. He found himself clinging to her ribs as she wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled him close, closer. "Livia,"

"I'm here, Peter. I want you to listen to me, okay?" Those strong, tiny little fingers were running through his hair as he buried his face against the side of her throat. He managed a nod, but not any words. "Good. You would never hurt me, I know that. I know it. You weren't yourself and you have nothing to feel sorry for."

"But you were." Peter knew the answer he'd really come here to get. It solidified in his brain like the sudden comprehension of his father's theories. And this was something he needed to see on her face. Catching his hands in her hair, he pushed her back enough to see her eyes. "You were yourself, Livia. Why didn't you shoot me? Why didn't you even put your finger on the trigger? You knew better than that. You should have shot me."

Her eyes slowly met his, searching his face as she bit her lip. "I went back into that building to save you, Peter. Not kill you. I… I couldn't…"

He was going to do it. He was going to cross a line and hope to hell that she would catch him on the other side. Like she always had. "Olivia." Peter watched his fingers cup her face with the same sense of being out of control. He watched himself pull her closer. He felt his eyes fall closed in the instant before his lips reached hers. Soft, smooth silk pressed against his lips in a mind bending rush of warmth. Olivia responded, parting her lips to invite him inside for the sweet taste of her. She was heaven and he forced himself to slowly explore the precious woman in his arms, on his lips.

There wasn't a realistic chance in hell that he would get to keep this, no matter how much Olivia seemed to want it too. And before she came to her senses and pulled away, he wanted more. With a low groan, Peter gathered her closer, lifting her into his lap and slowly deepening this amazing kiss. Her arms tightened around him as her knees opened to press closer along his body. //Olivia,\\ She was warm, sweet, and pulling him closer. It was heaven, but it still wasn't enough.