I've had this typed for a while now, but I wanted to be a oneshot. Problem is, I don't think I can get the whole storyline in one chapter. :/ So I read it through (it's actually proofread for once! -happy dance-) and put it up. I really like it so far, I hope you guys do too!
July 23rd, 2010
By the time you find this, I expect we'll be gone. Boston isn't safe anymore and I need to get us out of here. Don't worry, we're going to be safe in our new "home." We'll meet up with you where you and I first met, that very first time. I've left plane tickets for you back in the lab, in our secret hiding place. I think you understand now why I became wildly obsessed with finding places only you and I know about. Take care, and be safe. Don't forget this – I love you.
Olivia and Ella.
Peter ran his fingers through his hair. The problem wouldn't be finding her, because he knew the exact place were they first met – in the lobby of a hotel in Baghdad. The problem would be getting those plane tickets. The letter was dated a whole week ago, and in that week several bombs have fell on Harvard campus. Including the building that held the lab. Thankfully, Walter had taken Gene out for a walk in a nearby field, and only suffered a mild concussion. And Astrid was with Peter, trying to find Olivia.
The letter was in the glove compartment of his car, a place he would never have thought to look for a woman who's five-six. Of course, though, that's exactly where he found her.
Plane tickets weren't a problem. He could be out of here and in Baghdad by seven tonight, the problem was Walter. The man had brain trauma from the concussion and was in no shape to leave alone with Astrid in a city even Olivia deemed unsafe. And she isn't one to run unless she believes she's already dead.
Walter would just have to come along and Astrid too. Gene had taken refuge in a petting zoo outside New York City. Peter pulled out his phone and dialed the familiar number of Astrid's cell. She picked up on the second ring. "Peter?"
"Hey, Astrid. I think I might have found Olivia. But getting to her involves a couple hours on a plane into a hostile country."
Olivia put Ella to bed, an easy smile on her face. Things were going well in Iraq. She could almost understand why Peter had lived here for so long. "Goodnight, sweetheart. I'm sure Peter will be here tomorrow, and then we can go someplace else."
Ella didn't say anything, because Aunt Liv had been promising that same thing for a week now and every day was quite Peter-less. Still, she found comfort in the assurances. If her aunt still had hope Peter was okay and would come, then Ella had to also.
Olivia closed the door to Ella's room and went out into the living room of the little suite. It had two bedrooms, a living room, a bathroom, and a tiny kitchenette, perfect for their needs. She still stuck to the couch, watching TV until the early hours of the morning when she couldn't hold her eyes open any longer.
Tonight seemed like it was going to be another one of those nights.
However, at about eleven, her cell phone started going off on the coffee table. She ignored the call, knowing very well that the rates would be awful to just answer it. She did notice it was from Peter, though, and her heart fluttered just a bit. He had to have found the letter. And in that letter, she had admitted how she really felt about him, something she had never had the chance to do. Did he feel the same way? Or had she just stuck herself out there without a lifeboat to carry her back?
Hopefully he would be here soon. Because every sixty seconds he wasn't here was another minute she suffered not being with him.
She tried picking up the hotel's phone and calling him back, but his phone went straight to voice mail.
"Sir, please turn off your cell phone."
Peter looked up at the flight attendant and flashed a smile. "Of course." He unwillingly held down the END button until the screen went dark.
The attendant went further up the aisle and Peter turned his attention to Walter, who was sitting between the window and Astrid. Peter had gotten the aisle seat, trapping the man in against the window so he could watch the water sparkle by.
Olivia hadn't answered, but her phone was definitely on. That meant something. She was probably just asleep, seeing that it had to be almost midnight there. He leaned his head back against the headrest, just wanting this plane ride to be over and to find Olivia. To be able to hold her and say he loved her too, but had never said anything because of FBI policies and just being scared she would reject him. Again.
So instead he pulled the letter out from his pocket and read it through for the millionth time. He kept reading over the line of "Don't forget this – I love you." It just seemed so unlikely that someone like her, so innocent and trusting, would ever even tolerate someone like him, let alone harbor feelings for. And yet there it is, written smoothly in her pretty script. It seemed like a perfect way to tell him – just when he was starting to believe she was dead, she gives him something like to go on, to keep reminding himself in the face of danger.
Astrid pretended like she didn't see the letter, but the little curve of her lips gave her away. Because she hadn't known from the start…
(A few hours later)
They somehow managed to get out of the airport quickly, flagging down a taxi to take them to the shady hotel where he had first met Olivia. Ah, it was very bittersweet to be back. Each of the three got out with their bags and went inside. They got a room to go to put their stuff in.
Peter looked at himself in the mirror, ready to finally find Olivia again. His blue eyes were darkened with concern and just because the memories of Iraq made him seem so much more intense. He smoothed his shirt and hair, trying to look presentable to meet the one woman he loved more than the world. He tried faking a smile, but it looked like just that – a faked smile.
With a groan, he left the room and started wandering the halls, trying to figure out which one was Olivia's. Somewhat down his hall, the sound of Ella's voice stopped him. "Aunt Liv… how come we can't go back?"
His breath caught in his throat. Was he ready to hear her voice? It seemed like he wasn't going to get an answer, because she didn't reply. So before he could change his mind, his knuckles rapped on the door.
A short pause followed before footsteps came progressively closer to the door. He took a deep breath. Somehow, he was nervous and excited at the same time to see her face. He wanted her though. He wanted to know that everything was okay with her and Ella. Ever since Rachel died from cancer, we've pretty much adopted Ella. We were not about to let Greg take her away from us and Rachel's memory.
The door opened.
Olivia's face was questioning as if she was opening the door for anyone, then realizing, and finally joyous. "Peter," she whispered wondrously. She couldn't believe he was finally here.
A real smile crept across his face. "Hey, Liv. I had a little trouble with getting the plane tickets… I'll tell you later." He took a step closer to her and put a hand on her cheek like he had so, so long ago. But he didn't try and kiss her this time, not in front of Ella. Olivia closed her eyes and drank in his comfort. Somehow, he always found a way to get to her.
"Uncle Peter!" Ella shouted, jumping up from the couch and flinging herself at him. Olivia watched, amused, as he kneeled down and gave her a big hug. "Aunt Liv said that you'd be here everyday, and now you finally are!"
He ruffled her soft, fine hair but didn't say anything. Instead he sneaked a smile at Olivia, who just seemed to remember what was in her letter and blushed. The light pink of her cheeks was absolutely adorable. "Ella… how about you come down the hall with me and hang out with Astrid and Walter? I bet they can tell you another story."
Her eyes lit up. "Okay!"
After leaving Ella with Astrid as a willing babysitter, Olivia and Peter went downstairs and outside, sitting down on the wooden bench near the door. They didn't say anything for a couple minutes, just enjoying the other's company.
Finally, Peter spoke up. "I've really missed you, Liv. I mean, we all have been freaking out trying to find you and Ella, but I couldn't help but think I was the only one who cared that much about finding you." He laughed once. "As you can tell, I don't check my glove compartment often."
"Do you still have the letter?"
He smiled and slid it out of his pocket. The paper was worn by now, but he still handed it to her as if it was perfect. She read it through, blushing scarlet when she got to the last line. She stared at it, trying to think of something, anything, to say.
"I guess you never forgot."
"Are you kidding? I never stopped looking at that letter. It was the one thing that brought me to you and I hope to keep it with me forever." He leaned forward and looked at her intensely. "Because here's the thing, Olivia. You've brought us full circle. You brought us back to the place where we first met, where you took me away, and I've realized that it isn't just the setting. No matter what, I'm hopelessly in love with you."
She looked at him, an embarrassed half-smile pulling at the corner of her mouth. "You don't need to say that… I know that you just came here to just make me come home. Because the truth is I know you'd never love me, no matter what. Any ounce of emotion you've ever shown for me was either work-related or we denied it ever happened afterward. You don't need to lie to me, Peter…" She trailed off, blinking back the tears.
"No, no, no, no…" He grabbed her hands, holding each of her fingers as if they were delicate and fragile, as if she hadn't almost killed him with them. "Olivia, what you seem to think is not true. At all. I love you so freaking much, this past week has been pure torture to me, not knowing if you were okay or not." He put an arm around her waist and held her close. "I want you to be happy, 'Livia."
She leaned her head against his shoulder. "I don't think anyone has ever even tried to say that to me… they've always assumed that I am happy. But you're right. I'm not." She closed her eyes. "I should have known better to not to fall for another colleague."
A gentle chuckle escaped his mouth. "I should have known better than to make you fall for me. But the past is the past, and here we are now." He wanted to kiss her so much. He wanted to make her believe that he wasn't lying. But all that would do would make him seem more desperate, so he let the subject drop. "I had to get the plane tickets from some place else. Harvard was bombed two days after you left. I have a feeling that if you hadn't, we'd all be dead." She looked at him with huge eyes.
"Why Harvard? Why not DC, or New York City?"
"We have to guess they were looking for someone. That someone is most likely you, me, Walter, or Astrid. Luckily, it was on a Saturday and no one was in the building." She let out a sigh of relief. They sat like that for a long time, not speaking, just entangled in each other's personal space. After about ten minutes, he whispered, "Why did you believe Boston was no longer safe?"
"It wasn't safe for Ella anymore. I guess I should have specified that. After all the things I've seen, I knew it was time to take her out of Boston. I wanted to wait for you to help me get her to Jacksonville. I want to use the day care center as a place to stay for a while, at least until things start to settle down."
"The place where you were treated with Cortexiphan. You want to go back and bring your niece."
"I can't think of anything better."
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