A/N: I'm not really sure how many people read beginning author notes but I promise this is pretty important – at least at first. This is a co-authored fic by myself and the amazing Americanchick. How this works is we have each taken turns writing a chapter. I have written the odd numbered chapters and Americanchick has written the even.
So, without further ado, I give you "Silent Moments".
Olivia sat with her arms folded across her chest looking as if she would either die of boredom or shoot the person across from her. FBI psychologist and expert profiler, Dr. Kari O'Brian, sat across from her lounging comfortably in her leather chair, pencil scratching at ground breaking speeds across the paper template perched on her crossed legs. Olivia was pretty sure that she hadn't said a word throughout their entire session, so what she could be writing about was completely escaping her at the moment. She replayed the reason Broyles had given for sending her here for the millionth time. Oh yeah! She was a "loose cannon just waiting for any target and she was going to get someone killed, and probably not herself". The last case had gotten a little too close to home for Olivia's comfort and had her sister and niece in the direct path of danger. The psychos who had been behind the latest heinous acts of violence and terrorism had found out Olivia was working on the case and had literally shot up her place. They had been lucky that Ella was in the bath at the time and only Rachel and Olivia had been toward the front of the apartment.
"I don't understand why Ella wants me to sing to her before bed – it was always you that had the beautiful voice in the family." Olivia reasoned as she helped finish cleaning the dishes from dinner.
"Not true! You just don't sing often enough and besides, Ella just likes to be around you as much as possible when we visit. You're her hero, Liv." Rachel smiled at her sister lovingly.
Olivia knew that sound before the shatter of kitchen wall tile made it to her ears. It was gunfire and it just kept coming. Olivia shoved her sister to the floor and quickly dove for the floor herself. Rachel's eyes were wide in horror and pain. She had probably been hit.
"STAY HERE!" Olivia yelled over the gunfire. "I'M GOING TO ELLA!"
Rachel had nodded and agreed mostly in fear and Olivia army crawled her way across her kitchen, living room, and down the hallway. Most of the gunfire hadn't reached the bathroom, but Ella had been smart and she was lying beside the bath tub, pressing her body to the floor and covering her ears. Tears were streaming down her cheeks and she nearly cried out when she saw Olivia crouched in the doorway. Olivia ducked beside her and pulled her into her arms and continued to press her to the floor so that she would take a bullet before her niece did.
A couple minutes passed and the firing stopped. Olivia remained still with her body protecting a sobbing Ella for another couple of minutes before she deemed it safe for them to move.
"Ella, sweetie. I need you to stay right here and not move okay?" Olivia slowly extracted the girl from her arms, but Ella wasn't having any of it and refused to be budged.
"NO! You can't leave me Aunt Liv – PLEASE!" Ella continued to sob and Olivia couldn't just leave her. She stood with Ella still in her arms and hustled back into the kitchen. Rachel was just trying to get to her feet when they entered and when she saw Ella there was a tearful reunion as Ella leapt from her aunt's arms and into her mother's. Blood was dribbling down Rachel's left arm, but she didn't seem to care as she cried into her daughter's hair.
It was that image, burned into her retinas, that caused her to shoot at a suspect's legs for not answering all their questions. They had needed him to talk so that they could find his boss, but he wasn't, so Olivia gave him some external motivation.
"You know that in order to get off part-time status you'll need to speak eventually." Dr. O'Brian reasoned.
Olivia visibly cringed and then forcibly relaxed the muscles in her body and almost made it as far as releasing her arms, but they were her last line of defense against this woman.
"What do I have to say to not have to come back here?" Olivia asked in all seriousness.
Dr. O'Brian smiled pleasantly at her as if she had expected that response and it made Olivia want to yell at her. She wasn't someone that could be stereotyped into a category and dealt with.
"You obviously don't feel comfortable enough to open up to me."
Olivia almost rolled her eyes at that statement but fought the urge.
"Do you have a friend that you speak regularly to? Someone to confide in?" Dr. O'Brian asked conversationally.
Olivia immediately thought of her sister, Rachel. She'd always been able to tell her everything, but since starting the fringe division she'd started to keep more and more to herself. First it was just because it was case related and she was bound by law and country not to tell her anything. Then she stopped telling her some personal things that were slightly tied to the cases she dealt with; John's non-proposal, their relationship in general, Charlie's death, and her general fears as to what she was becoming.
She then thought of Peter. Despite herself, a smile crept across her face. That man had been trying to get her to open up since day one and she had been fighting him with every ounce of strength she had, but he just kept chiseling at her walls and every once in a while something would slip past. It wasn't that she didn't trust him. They had saved each other enough for her not to worry that he didn't have her back. Sighing and accepting her solution, Olivia nodded.
"Yes, I guess I do." She said evenly.
"Good. Then I want you to email this friend and just let whatever comes out, come out. I've got a work sheet to get you started on things you can talk about and I encourage you to pick one for each email and see where it takes you." Dr. O'Brian took a sheet out from her desk and handed it to Olivia. "Write an email every day, back and forth, and agree not to discuss the emails in person. This should create a safe environment where you can say anything you want without having to face direct repercussions."
"But-" Olivia protested once she started reading the list of topic ideas.
"I assume you want to be at full-time status sometime this year, Agent Dunham?" The doctor raised her eyebrows at Olivia's show of defiance.
Olivia almost dropped her head in defeat. "Fine. How long do I have to do this for?"
"Until I see some change in you, Agent Dunham." Dr. O'Brian closed her binder with a definite snap and stood. "I'll see you next week."
Olivia took that as her leave and made a beeline for the door to escape.
The drive to the lab was too short for Olivia's liking. She just wasn't sure how she was going to ask this favor from Peter. Finding him in the lab was easier than she had anticipated as he sat playing a slow jazz ballad on the piano. Taking a deep breath and resigning herself to the mission she made her way towards the piano and then rested her elbows on the piano's ledge and cradled her face in her palms. She let her eyes drift shut as she listened to him play. Maybe her sessions should include Peter playing the piano, Olivia thought wistfully. It was certainly doing wonders for her blood pressure at the moment. Either Peter had just figured out she was there or he was ready to find out why she was just standing there like a glorified statue, because the final chord filled the lab and died.
"Can I help you with something, Dunham?" Peter asked suavely, no doubt, giving her that wicked grin of his that made most women's knees buckle. But her eyes were still closed in hopes that she could remain immune.
"Yes, actually." She finally opened her eyes to meet his. "As you know, there are conditions for me returning full time as an agent to the Fringe division…" She trailed off, momentarily clueless as to how to continue.
"An FBI psychologist, if I remember correctly." Peter filled in for her.
Olivia nodded. "She's given me this assignment that I have to complete or she's going to make me talk to her and I don't think she'll pause at torture."
Peter laughed heartily at her. "And what exactly is this assignment?"
"Email correspondence with a friend just talking about… stuff." Olivia said vaguely.
"So wait – we just email each other? Is this doctor going to be reading what we write?" Peter asked, skeptical at the ease of this project.
"Just emails, and no she isn't going to be reading them. However, we're not allowed to discuss what we write out loud."
"Oh I've heard of this! It's supposed to help you say things without having to see the other person's reaction and therefore keep you safe from the after effects." Peter said, referring back to some odd piece of knowledge he'd garnered. "You probably don't want to know how I learned that…" Peter said trailing off.
"So, does that mean you'll do it?" Olivia asked nervously.
Peter leaned back a bit and pretended to give it some thought. "Alright, you've got a deal. But you're starting this email chain."
Olivia nodded and felt relief flood her body. She wouldn't have to talk to that crazy doctor after all!
Olivia cracked open her lap top on her kitchen island and booted it up as she munched on a bowl of cereal for dinner. Once she opened a blank email and filled in Peter's email address her mind drew a blank. Deciding not to force anything out just yet, she resigned herself to finishing the cereal and when that was done and she still had no idea what to say she raided her liquor cabinet. Two glasses of whiskey in and thoughts began to flow more fluently through her brain.
Olivia reread it a few times before grimacing and clicking the 'send' button before she could change her mind. Oddly, the panic she thought she would feel having said all those things didn't rise and threaten to overtake her. She felt calm and at peace. She was about to rethink her opinion of the doctor but then she laughed.
"Nah, it's the whiskey." She threw back the rest of her glass and shut down her lap top. It was definitely going to be an interesting week.
A/N: You know the drill; review if you likey and I wish many naked Peter dreams to all of you.