It was the sound of glass breaking, hard and sharp, that made Olivia reach for the gun resting in its holster. She crept quickly up her apartment stairs, keeping a little low so she wouldn't project any shadows into her window. The lights were dim in her place, implying that the hallway or kitchen light was on and casting a residual glow into her living room. When she got to her door she heard a muffled yell and the sound of furniture moving. Olivia gently tested the door knob and found it locked. Cursing under her breath that she had gotten the heavy duty bolted lock for her front door, she backed up a few feet and ran the short distance, bracing herself behind her shoulder as she aimed for the lock. The door smashes at the lock as she rolled into her apartment, gun at the ready, already sighting for a target. Her throbbing shoulder was a distant thing as she took in the crumpled body of her sister, curled up into a corner of the living room, bloodied and looking defeated. Olivia fought the urge to run to her and started looking around but she had been too slow and something hard made contact with the back of her head, causing her to fall flat onto the floor and her vision to blacken at the edges. Momentarily stunned she barely managed to roll out of the path of another swing aimed at her head. Olivia clumsily got to her feet and backed up quickly, almost falling over the coffee table in her attempt to get more space to aim and defend herself.
When she finally had enough space between her and the attacker she looked at his face and almost dropped her gun in surprise but kept the gun steadily pointing at the man. It was Greg. Rachel's ex-husband and Ella's father.
"I wouldn't have hurt her if she would've just told me where Ella was," he growled.
Olivia fought the urge to show her shock. He was planning on kidnapping Ella, but she was at a friend's house for her first sleepover.
"Get out, Greg, and never come back." Olivia said, trying to keep her voice from shaking in anger.
"Not until I know where Ella is."
Rachel made a strangled noise that sounded like a sob and Olivia glanced over at her sister, unable to stop herself and it was enough time for Greg to throw himself at her, knocking her gun to the side and her to the floor. When they hit the ground with Greg on top of her the wind escaped her lungs and she had trouble finding it for a moment. She brought up her hands to block his fists from making contact with her head, but after a few he got two in that had her seeing stars. She hadn't heard anything crack and she sent a silent thanks to whoever was listening for that. Olivia bolstered up whatever strength she had in reserve and twisted her body so that he fell off her. She quickly dove for her gun on the other side of her and before she could think too much about it she shot him in the center of his forehead. Greg's body dropped to the ground in a lifeless pile.
Olivia numbly crawled her way over to Rachel and sat beside her trying to get her to focus on her face rather than that of her dead ex-husband.
"Rachel, you're going to be okay, just look at me, alright?" Olivia said, cradling her sister's face in her bloodied palms.
The sound of sirens down the road grew louder and Olivia knew someone must've called the police when they heard the gun shot.
"Rachel, where are you hurt?" Olivia asked, searching her face and body for significant damage. She had a large cut across her forehead that was bleeding profusely and she looked to be bruising already, which was never a good sign.
"God, Liv, everything hurts," Rachel sobbed and moaned when her body jerked with the effect.
The sirens now sounded like they were right outside her apartment and a flood of armed cops came rushing into her door, pointing their guns at various locations in the room and settled on them. Olivia reached for the badge around her neck and held it up for the cops to see.
"Agent Olivia Dunham, FBI. I live here." Olivia said as calmly as she could manage. "My sister needs a medic, please say one came with you."
The lead cop nodded and dropped his gun and with the other hand lifted the radio snapped to his collar. "We need a medic in here now." He put down the radio and turned his attention back to Olivia as four medics rushed in and headed towards the sisters. "And who, Agent Dunham, is this?" He nodded his head towards the dead man on the floor.
"That's my sister's ex-husband, Greg Ryan." Olivia said, distracted by the three men and one woman who were laying Rachel out and checking her over before moving her gently onto a stretcher. One of them turned to her.
"It looks like you could use some medical attention yourself, miss." The man said.
Olivia shook her head. "Don't worry about me; just take care of my sister. I'll be fine."
The medic shook his head in disbelief and joined the others to hoist the stretcher up off the ground and out the door. The police steered Olivia out the door and sat her down outside to begin questioning her. The ambulance soon left, sirens blaring, and Olivia tried to keep calm as she answered all their questions. When the questioned started to repeat and Olivia's nerves were significantly frayed she snapped at the police officer.
"Look, I want to see my sister and make sure she's alright. She was beaten and almost killed by a man she used to love and she watched as I killed him!" Olivia was breathing heavy and turning redder with every word. "You can question me more later, but right now, I'm going to go see my sister." Olivia shrugged off the cop and headed toward her vehicle.
Olivia was ten minutes away when she remembered Ella. She didn't want her to worry needlessly about her mom, but Olivia didn't feel safe leaving her at her friend's house just now.
"Call Peter," Olivia said to the car and waited.
"Calling Peter." The car responded and the sound of ringing filled the car. After three rings he answered.
"Peter Bishop," he said. And just hearing his voice calmed her and some of the tension left her body.
"Hey, Peter. Can you do me a favor?" Olivia asked, trying to sound casual.
"Have I ever said 'no' to you?" Peter said laughing.
"Yes, but that's beside the point," she smiled a little despite the situation. "Could you pick up Ella from her friend's house and take her back to your place for the night? I'd feel safer if she were with you."
"Sure!" His voice was higher than normal and clearly shocked. "What happened Olivia?"
Olivia paused to find the wording. "I'm on my way to Memorial hospital to see Rachel, I-" Her voice broke and she took a deep breath. "I'll tell you more later. Do you think I could crash at your place too? Mine is currently unusable."
"Of course, 'Livia – anything you need." Peter said, meaning every word.
"Just don't tell Ella about Rachel yet. I don't want her to worry."
"Alright. Where is she right now?" Peter asked.
Olivia gave him the address and quickly ended their conversation as she had arrived at the hospital. When she got inside nurses bombarded her trying to steer her into a room to be checked out, but she waved them away and asked where her sister was. One of the nurses informed her that she wouldn't be able to get in to see her sister until the doctor was finished, but she assured her he would be done within a few hours. So Olivia found a seat in the waiting room nearest her sister's room and waited. The few hours passed with Olivia refusing medical attention and fighting the urge to sleep now that the adrenaline had left her system.
A doctor finally approached her and she quickly stood up, letting a wave of nausea wash over her and pass. Maybe she shouldn't have refused the medical attention; her head was throbbing.
"Doctor, how's my sister?" She asked, sounding so weak and unlike herself that she shivered.
The doctor looked her over and frowned. "She's going to live, but she has some rather serious injuries. She had some internal bleeding from a broken rib that cut through a couple organs, her right forearm is fractured, and she has a concussion."
Olivia turned paler as the doctor's words sunk in.
"I want to keep her here for a couple weeks. She'll have to undergo some minor surgery to patch up her insides and place her rib back in place, but she'll definitely live."
Olivia smiled weakly and nodded. "Can I see her?"
"Sure, but she's not awake and we'll be stopping by in an hour."
"Alright, thanks." Olivia quietly stepped inside her sister's room and gasped softly as she saw her lying in the bed. She looked so pale and lifeless that if it weren't for the monitor's steady beeping she would've thought she was dead. The long cut on her forehead had been stitched up and her right arm was in a brace. Her face was covered in bruises and her left eye looked to be swollen shut. Olivia couldn't keep the emotions at bay anymore and she sobbed, covering her mouth in an attempt to muffle the noise. What kind of protector was she if this had happened to her own sister in her apartment?
Olivia dragged a chair from the side of the room and set it next to Rachel so she could sit and hold her good hand. Silent tears made tracks down her face as she tormented her mind with what-ifs and her own failure to be there for her sister. Her silent hell was broken when a nurse knocked on the door and stepped in.
"I need to prep her for surgery and the doctor will be in soon. You should go home and get some sleep. We'll call you when she comes out of surgery." The nurse said gently.
Olivia nodded and wiped the tears from her face. Standing up and heading for the door, she glanced back and stared at her sister one more time before she left the hospital.
The ride to Peter's house was almost a blur and when she got there she glanced at her car clock; 2am. She groaned and pulled her keys out of the ignition and got out of the car. Olivia wasn't quite sure how she managed it, but she had made it to his door and knocked. She only waited a few seconds before the door swung open rather quickly by one Peter Bishop who was dressed in pajama pants and t-shirt. His face was tight with worry and he quickly pulled her in by the arm.
"God, Olivia! You look like you were put through a blender!" He tipped her chin up and turned her head to either side to assess the damage.
Olivia was too tired to even respond and she just stood there, staring at his chest because the pained expression on his face was going to make her cry again if she wasn't careful.
"'Livia, you're covered in blood," his voice almost choked.
"Most of it is probably Rachel's," Olivia murmured.
Peter grimaced and nodded. "Why don't you take a shower and I'll go grab something for you to sleep in."
Her mouth opened but he cut her off.
"Ella is asleep in the guest bedroom. She was a bit confused at first but as soon as Walter broke out candyland she was happy." Peter said, knowing what she was thinking.
She smiled softly up at him and locked her eyes with his. "Thank you, Peter. I don't-"
"Shhh," he shushed her and shook his head. "That's what friends are for. The shower is upstairs and it's the second door on the left." He gently nudged her towards the stairs and Olivia dragged her feet up the stairs while Peter followed. They parted directions at the top of the stairs; Olivia to the bathroom and Peter to his bedroom to pick out some clothes.
After picking through some clothes in his dresser, Peter settled on an MIT t-shirt and a pair of red basketball shorts. He gathered the garments and knocked softly on the bathroom door so he wouldn't wake Ella.
"Yeah?" She asked, just loud enough to be heard over the running water.
He cracked the door enough for his voice to travel better and steam seeped out of the bathroom and into the hall past him. "I've got a change of clothes."
"Could you set them on the sink?" Olivia asked.
"Yeah." Peter stepped into the bathroom, trying to keep his eyes on the floor and where he was walking. Unfortunately for him her discarded clothes were on the floor and even though he had seen them on her before he blushed. He turned quickly and set the clothes down and practically ran out so he wouldn't have to see the foggy outline of her body through the frost colored shower curtain. Closing the door softly behind him, Peter walked down the hall and poked his head into Ella's room. She was fast asleep, clutching an old teddy bear of Peter's that Walter had scavenged. Smiling, Peter quietly pulled the door almost closed again and returned to his room. He began to gather a spare pillow and blanket to take down stairs when Olivia appeared in his bedroom doorway, clad only in his clothes. Her hair looked like a tangled wet mess and the cut and bruises on her cheek stood out like beacons. Peter wanted to run to her and pull her into his arms and never let her go, but Olivia loathed weakness and he knew she might not appreciate it right now.
"I was just grabbing some things to make a bed for myself downstairs. You can have the bed." He gathered the slipping blanket back into his arms and was about to walk past her when she reached out and grabbed his arm.
"Peter," her voice was soft and if she hadn't grabbed his arm to stop him, he would've thought it was just in his head. "I'm not kicking you out of your own bed. We're both adults and I think we can handle sharing." She was smirking at him as if she found his idea of sleeping on the couch amusing.
"You're sure?" Peter asked, his eyes smoldering into hers. With that tone Olivia wasn't sure what question she was answering as he seemed to be asking something else entirely with his eyes. Her smile faltered and she nodded.
"Just stay on your side Bishop," she joked lightly.
Peter just smiled and shook his head as he returned the pillow and blanket to the bed. They each climbed in the bed on opposite sides and brought the covers over them.
"I know you're probably exhausted beyond all reason, but it'd be nice to know what happened tonight." Peter said gently.
Olivia sighed and rolled over onto her back to stare up at the ceiling. "I-" Olivia paused, her voice on the verge of breaking. "I killed him, Peter."
Peter sat up quickly in bed and stared down at her. "Who, Olivia?"
"Greg, Rachel's ex-husband. He-" Olivia shook her head and screwed up her face in the rush of the memory. "He had beaten her so badly. I barely recognized her cowering in a corner to avoid him." Traitorous tears tracked down her cheeks as she battled that last image of her sister.
"Livia," he sighed her name and lay down beside her and pulled her into his arms, turning her face into his chest. Olivia buried her face into his chest and let the tears fall. Peter made small soothing circles on her back and smoothed her hair back. "You saved her, 'Livia. If you hadn't shown up and-" He paused. "You saved her."
Olivia broke hearing his defense for her; the opposite of what she had been thinking the entire time. Sobs racked her body and she fell apart in his arms and for the first time since she could remember, she felt safe. She knew he wouldn't hold this moment against her and for tonight she wasn't going to fight her façade to be tough.
After fifteen minutes Peter felt Olivia slacken and her breath came steady slow. He didn't want to waken her, so trying to move as minimally as possible, Peter made himself comfortable and fell asleep with the scent of his shampoo and Olivia mixed into one.
A/N: I forgot I had this buried in my laptop so I thought I'd share. Expect quick updates : ) And if you don't hate me, please review and let me know what you think.