Olivia Dunham was used to getting passed over when it came to the dating scene. She had more than her share of baggage; she was a strong, independent woman who carried a gun for her day job; she was… complicated. Maybe a little too serious and a little too severe.
And so many other women weren't. The girls in high school whose biggest worry was a stray zit or being homecoming queen; the single twentysomethings trying to have it all over cocktails. Free-spirited, open, warm women. She could never be like them, never wanted to be like them, until now. Until Peter.
"She's much quicker with a smile… less intense, maybe…" The words played through her mind as she lay on the couch. She had yet to be able to lay down in that bed – the bed he'd shared with her. As Olivia stared up at the ceiling, she contemplated.
Was that what Peter wanted? Uncomplicated, free, open Olivia? That wasn't her, could never be her. Even if she tried, she knew in her heart, there was no way she could be that unfettered.
John and Charlie had known her, had known her history and known that the austere personality and dedication were what made her who she was. And who she was, was a damn fine FBI agent.
The badge was cold comfort, though, every time she had to work side by side with Peter. If only she hadn't let the other Olivia get the drop on her. If only she and Peter had prepared for this kind of contingency. If only she could have been open enough with the most important people in her life so that they could recognize a goddamn fake when presented with one day in and day out.
Rolling over, Olivia punched the pillow and breathed deeply until the urge to scream or sob passed. The if-onlys would drive her crazy if she kept thinking that way.
In the end, it didn't matter what Peter wanted. She was who she was. It had been deeply ingrained on her from her early childhood. She didn't know if she could change, even if she was guaranteed that changing would fix the whole mess.
Peter either loved her or he didn't. He could either accept her or he wouldn't. She couldn't control the outcome.
But in the unguarded moments before sleep, she can't help but remember that Peter is from that universe, and she wonders if maybe he is destined for Olivia Dunham. Just not this one.