/|\ Important /|\

"I care about you."

"And what I want to know is what they wanted from you."

"Who cares about me?" Olivia said, maneuvering her way around the table. "I want to know who's next."

Peter Bishop didn't think that these emotions would be so simple. He was suddenly over come about how much he cares for her. Olivia Dunham didn't seem to realize how important she was.

Hell, he didn't even realize how important she was to him until recently.

This woman, who pulled him out of his nomadic life and lifestyle, dropped him into a semi-domestic life with his formerly estranged father, Walter, had changed him. Even if those changes weren't noticeable to others, he noticed them.

In a dusty old lab underneath Harvard University, they were dissecting a slug the size of his forearm. And his father had asked for a Philly cheese steak, basically pleading for one to Astrid, and he wanted one too. Shouldn't he be disgusted and nauseous at the idea of eating next to a slimy, cut open slug with it's innards spilling out over a metal table? Instead, he didn't exactly mind. He was hungry, even.

Sweet little Astrid had even said, "Like father like son."

That statement had shocked him. He initially denied it, even if his efforts of denying it weren't that strong. Astrid had smiled at him, and eventually his meager protesting had died down in his throat.

During the rest of the day, he thought about that one sentence. Mulled over it, analyzed it, and eventually, maybe even reluctantly, he accepted it.

Now here he was, his arms folded, silently watching her as she dismissed her importance and began to leave the lab.

And then he observed her.

Olivia had bruises on the right side of her face, and a cut on the other. Deep and dark circles under her eyes seemed to emphasize the brilliant green and brown of her unique irises. Even when she is exhausted and running on adrenaline and black coffee(with one sugar), she looked beautiful, he mused silently to himself.

Is it really supposed to be that easy to fall for someone? Peter thought to himself.

And then the words just fall from his lips,"I care about you."

And once he says it, it seems to becomes extremely obvious: He cares for her. So much then he has ever cared for a woman.

Olivia obviously did not expect him to say that. She turned around slowly, her expression shocked and incredulous at what he just said. Blinking quickly and licking her lips, her green eyes flickered from Walter to him, then to his feet as she fumbled with what to say next.

Out of the corner of his eye, he notices Walter looking up from his work. Something he rarely does.

Peter swears to himself silently. He was over-stepping some sort of boundaries they had unconsciously set up the first time they had met. They had occasionally toed the line they had carefully set in between them, but nothing more.

Thinking quickly, aware of how awkward both he and Olivia felt at his sudden confession, he said, "If we can figure out why they needed you," He began awkwardly, shifting on his feet. "then maybe we can figure out who is next."

Olivia continued to stare at him for several moments. Walter wiggled quietly in his seat and grinned to himself, then looked back down at the slug.

Nodding to herself, and staying silent, she shrugged and looked back to him. "Well, I'm going to keep looking for someone who is connected to Kimberg and Simon." She looked him up an down a few moments, then met his gaze. He was still staring intensely at her.

Awkwardly, she turned away from his prying gaze and began to exit the lab. Even when the door closed, he was still looking in that direction..

"She is beautiful, isn't she?" Walter's question failed to bring him out of his deep and internal thought processes, and he did not look away from where Olivia left.

"Who?" Peter asked him, not bothering to really pay attention.

Walter looked down lovingly at the slug, but hid the grin that was threatening to spread across his face at his son's obvious attraction towards Agent Dunham.

"The slug," He answered cheekily.

I wonder if she'll call me Dad, Walter thought happily to himself, and began to hum as he continued with his work on the slug.

I love this episode. I really do. Anyway, this is just a little ficlet/drabble. I love how Peter looks at her when this happens. It makes me feel like squealing!

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