Chapter 1: April
He'd been found. After three months on the run he'd been found hiding out in Chicago working as an electrician but also getting into some trouble. She wasn't too surprised in his choice of career or the fact that trouble had seemed to find him yet again.
"We need you to go collect him before he either gets killed or kidnapped by Newton or someone else the way things are going for him." Boyles said, seated at his desk and staring her down.
"No offense, sir, but I'm the last person he's going to want to see. Couldn't you send someone else?" Olivia said, trying to sound logical when really her heart was racing and her palms were beginning to sweat from the possibility of seeing him again; no matter the capacity.
"No one knows him as well as you, agent Dunham." Broyles said, propping his elbows up on the desk and resting his finger tips together in a steeple shape. "He'd just slip under the radar again like he has five times now. No," Broyles shook his head and hardened his resolve. "It's got to be you."
Olivia tensed in her seat and the urge to pace became overwhelming and she stopped disallowing the idea and got to her feet. "What about the Fringe cases?"
"Astrid and Walter can mediate them until you and Peter return." Broyles stated.
"Don't you mean if?" Olivia said smartly. "He wouldn't be running still if he wanted to come back."
"Then you arrest him," Broyles said as if it were common sense. "He needs to be brought back to be kept safe, whether he agrees with that or not."
Olivia paused in her pacing and stared at him incredulously.
"Sources say that he's been conducting his business at a local strip joint," Broyles said, pushing photos across his desk toward her. She approached the desk and picked up the pictures, flipping through them and trying not to let her eyes linger on him too long. "You're to go undercover as an exotic dancer at the club he conducts business at and confirm it's him and then bring him back; one way or another."
Olivia fought the urge to cringe and nodded in affirmation. Knowing she would need some help, she pulled her cell phone out of her pocket as she exited Broyles' office. Dialing Astrid's number she waited three rings before she answered.
"Farnsworth," she answered distractedly. "Walter put that down!" Her voice came muffled over the phone.
"Hey Astrid, it's me. Are you free tonight?"
"Yeah, I can be, what's up? Another case?" She asked, immediately interested in the conversation.
"I've got a flight out to Chicago for an undercover case tomorrow, but I need some help with research and shopping." Olivia said, grabbing her keys off her desk and heading down the stairs of the building and out to her car.
"What kind of undercover case?" Astrid asked, her curiosity piqued.
"I'm bringing Peter back, but I've gotta go undercover as an exotic dancer to do so." Olivia said, trying to sound like she had more confidence then she really had.
"It's about time! But an exotic dancer?" Astrid asked, sounding like she was trying not to laugh out loud.
"Yeah, I know." Olivia sighed, letting her nerves loose. "I've got a credit card with $300 on it to buy a wardrobe that will deceive Peter and no idea where to go or what to purchase."
"This is going to be the best case ever!" Astrid gushed excitedly.
Olivia couldn't help but groan. "Does this mean you're going to help?"
"Of course, starting with tonight." Astrid said, already setting her mind to the task. "We go out and study exotic dancers."
Olivia silently cursed Peter for what she was about to undergo to keep him safe, but she knew if this was the only way, she'd do it over a million times to bring him back safely.
"Okay. I'll pick you up at eight tonight," Olivia said.
"K, see you then." Astrid hung up leaving Olivia to the deafening silence of her car.
Olivia drove home and readied herself for the task ahead.
"La Chaleur," Olivia sounded out carefully as they were let into a club with booming music. It was the third and last club of the evening. The music vibrated through her bones and left her ear drums ringing. She hoped that the club she would be dancing at wouldn't be this loud.
They found seats in the third row and each ordered a drink as they watched analytically as the dancers moved around drawing the attention of the audience. Olivia trained her brain to try and memorize as many dance maneuvers and sequences as possible. Midnight came around rather quickly and they dragged themselves out of the club to head home.
"What time does your flight leave tomorrow," Astrid asked climbing into the passenger seat.
"Two in the afternoon."
"That's some serious early shopping to get done," Astrid sighed tiredly.
Olivia nodded glumly, already driving toward Astrid's place.
"I'll pick you up this time so I can drop you off at the airport," Astrid offered once they got to her apartment.
"Thanks, nine tomorrow? I'll buy breakfast," Olivia offered, knowing she would need the coffee in order to shop.
"Roger that, g'night Olivia," she said as she exited the vehicle.
"Good night Astrid," Olivia called before she drove off toward her apartment to call it a night.
Olivia hopped onto the private jet that Broyles was lending her and quickly took a seat toward the middle, setting her bag down beside her and leaning back in the seat. Maybe she would be able to sneak in a nap since the night before had proven most unproductful for sleep. Her brain had kept reeling through the last time she had seen Peter and a few times before that – moments they had shared together. And now she was about to fly into certain trouble to save his ass. Despite her mind's activities she dozed off until the plane was about to land and the pilot announced their dissention onto the runway.
After checking with the front desk, there had been a set of keys to car left behind for her along with directions to where she would be staying. Arriving at the hotel she found a parking space in the structure below the hotel rooms and took the elevator up to the level that had reception and check in.
"Olivia Dunham," she told the man at the front desk and waited after she flashed her ID.
"Yes, here you are. Room 3012," he handed her a set of card keys and pointed to the elevator through a lounge area to her right.
Shouldering her duffle bag she breezed past the chic lounge and headed up the elevator then down the hall to her room. Upon opening the door she was overwhelmed by level of luxury in the room. It was modern European with a lot of blues and greens that was obviously meant to sooth the temporary tenant. Half in awe she shuffled into the room and set her bag down by the dresser, taking in her surroundings.
Deciding that she was too nervous to eat a large dinner she decided on a hot shower and apple from the fruit basket perched on the desk in her room. Dressed in jeans, t-shirt, and snug hoodie, Olivia armed herself with her backpack that held tonight's get up and headed out into the city that had been concealing her partner.
The club's exterior blended well with its urban surroundings and Olivia almost missed it. In the light of day it looked like just an ordinary building. She stepped in the front door and had to squint her eyes at the drastic change of luminance. Once her eyes had adjusted she began to look around at the interior. There was a bar directly to her left that seemed to go for at least thirty barstools and then a smattering of tables around the floor with the only row being up at the front closest to the stage where three poles were symmetrically arranged. Whistling from behind the bar alerted her that she wasn't alone.
"Hello?" She called out, breaking the almost silence.
A head shot up from behind the bar to peer at her and she walked toward him.
"You the agent?" He asked, setting a couple glasses away in the shelf behind him.
"Yeah," she asked a little flustered that he would just assume.
"The name is Henry," he held is hand out for her to shake and she took it without thinking.
"Olivia," she returned.
"Have you thought of a stage name?" He asked, leaning his wait against the bar.
"No, I didn't know –"
"You look like a Snowflake or an April," he said eyeing her from toe to head in a very typical male fashion that left her itching to fidget.
"April is fine," Olivia said, almost cringing at possibly being called Snowflake. It was better then some others she had heard though.
"Destiny is coming in soon and she's going to help you learn some of the moves before we open up tonight. I don't want to lose any customers because of your inability to attract customers." He said gruffly, turning away from her.
Olivia bristled and she could feel herself building up a storm of anger. Who was he to judge her and what she could or couldn't do. She was an FBI agent who'd saved thousands of lives through various acts of selflessness. Swallowing her pride and anger she settled for glaring at him.
The front door opened and in walked a leggy dark haired woman who looked exotic even in street clothes. She made a straight line toward Olivia and held her hand out.
"You must be Olivia," she said kindly and Olivia had to force herself not to be intimidated by this woman. It wasn't that she was dangerous or formidable, but that she must've been like sex-incarnate out on a dance floor and in comparison Olivia felt like she would fall terribly short. Panic began to overwhelm her as she shook her hand. "You look like you're about to faint there love. My name is Paula, but my stage name is Destiny."
Olivia nodded, feeling rather stupid for not having said anything yet.
"You're going to be fine, girl!" Paula chuckled and released her hand. "So have you decided on a stage name?"
"April?" She said it as more of a question, unsure of her choice now.
"Sounds rather fitting. I bet Henry picked it," she chuckled.
"You're damn right I did!" They heard his voice call from below the bar.
"Why don't we try some basics in our street clothes so you're a little more comfortable," Paula said, heading toward the stage.
Olivia followed her onto the stage, setting her backpack down on a table in the front. They spent the next hour going over moves before Henry called out to them that their time was running short.
"Alright, let's get you dressed and ready while we have time and space. Once the other girls get here, room to get ready is sparse." Paula laughed good naturedly and led Olivia to the backstage area. "Don't worry, you're going to be great! You show some real potential," she said honestly.
"Thanks," Olivia laughed off her nerves.
A/N: I blame wjobessed and her fic Rogue for this plot making it's way into my brain. Just a three shot that took over and wouldn't release me until I'd finished it. Thanks to Americanchick for coaching me through this fic and lending me the smut-fairy.