Spoilers: up until 3x19 - LSD, so if you're watching the show, it's safe and off-canon *sighs*
Rating: Oh you know it's M if I'm posting here XD
A/N: Since you guys are enjoying those so much (MY HEART IS FILLED WITH YOUR LOVE GUYS), new installment in the smutty adventures of Peter and Olivia.
Here come my long awaited 'shower fic' (which almost never came to be because Real Life was/is a pain in the ***). Or rather my LONG shower fic hahaha. I've been told it was huge, and I thought about splitting it in parts, but I love it whole. Arm yourself, bring some toasts.
This really isn't the fluffy morning!after shower fic I first had in mind, especially since it takes place immediately at the end of "LSD". I felt like explaining everything they didn't explain on the show. So it's quite angsty, sorry. BUT it's mostly full of Peter and Olivia and their beautiful love. I love them so much ARGH!
HUGE hank you to Alex for her help (and unofficial beta work XD). All (numerous) remaining mistakes are mine.
When you had been through the emotional trainwreck that Peter Bishop had had to go through these last few months, there was something incredibly comforting in knowing that you could now tell when the woman you loved was herself, or when she was not.
And he was pretty positive that not many people were faced with that dilemma on a regular basis. But with his life being what it was, it hardly sounded odd at all. All that mattered was he had been faced with a test of a kind while deep into Olivia's mind, and he had passed it with honors. He had looked at this scared, needy version of her, and as he stared closely, he had simply known that she wasn't her.
It was in her eyes, on her face, in her body language; something was just…off. That was a feeling he had painfully recognized, as it used to creep inside of him more often than not when he had been living a lie with the Other Olivia.
Among other things, Peter was a smart man, an extremely smart man, and as much as his mistakes weighed on his conscience, he always learned a lot from them. 'Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me'.
Peter would not be fooled twice.
As he stood in Olivia's kitchen, he simply couldn't shake off that strange feeling again, that deep certainty that she was slightly off. He knew without a doubt that she was his Olivia, though; he knew her too well now, and on so many levels, not to be sure that she was herself. As always, it was especially in the way she looked at him. There was just something in her eyes that was unique. And yet, she was giving out a different vibe than what he was used to, and it was confusing his deepest instinct.
She had just spent a few days possessed by a dead man though, and had only become herself again after no less than three people roamed her mind to find where she was hiding. Add the amount of LSD and other drugs that had been poured into her veins and that might explain it all. At least, that's what he told himself to quiet the troubled voices in his head.
And if she were honest with herself, Olivia would admit that she felt it too. She did feel slightly off, but like Peter, she blamed it all on everything she had been through. Also, she felt strangely unworried.
On every aspect as it appeared, when Peter asked her who the man she had drawn was.
"I don't know, I've never seen him before. But I think he's the man who's going to kill me." And on those words, she took a bite of her toast, unable to refrain herself from sighing as she chewed.
The look on Peter's face was almost comical. He went from looking incredulous to disturbed incredibly fast; she was pretty sure the fact that she kept on eating her toast was disturbing him just as much as what she had said.
"Why did you say that?" he asked then, quite dumbly, obviously still in shock.
She shrugged, distractingly licking some butter off her lips, before taking yet another bite. "Don't know," she answered truthfully. "I just…know it, you know?"
He was frowning now, really frowning, the line on his forehead deep and unamused. She briefly thought that is was actually funny, that she was giving moods to his frown, and she couldn't help the small smile that tugged at the corner of her lips. This simple reaction only made him look darker.
"Olivia, you don't just know that a random guy you saw in your mind is going to be your killer." He was definitely annoyed.
"I didn't say it wasn't weird," she approved, still amazingly calm, now absent-mindedly brushing some crumbs off her shirt. "But what do you want me to do about it?"
She took another bite of her toast, and a muscle twitched on his temple, as he briefly clenched his teeth. "Oh, I don't know," he said then, and his sarcasm was almost too blunt. "You seem to be taking the news of you presumably dying fairly well."
"Don't be dramatic," she countered with a chuckle. "I didn't say I was going to drop dead tomorrow."
"No, you just said that guy was going to kill you."
"'Well, yeah'?" He repeated, now taking a few steps towards her, and he seemed to be unable to settle on one particular emotion. He seemed to be stuck between annoyance and confusion, along with some definite worry. "Olivia, you need to help me out, here. How can you be saying something like this, and not be freaking out?"
She finished her toast, and could do nothing but shrug again as she chewed. "You've never felt like you just knew something, deep in your gut?"
"No, I haven't," he replied, now sounding more annoyed than anything else, only a foot away from her. "And this isn't like you, to take it so calmly."
"And this is just like you, to blow everything out of proportion." She grabbed her second piece of toast then, and she saw the dismay on his face, as he stared at the piece of bread. "You changed your mind?" she asked then, talking about the toast.
He raised his hands and shook his head, eyes closed. "Wha- Olivia." He sighed, opening his eyes again, his irises dark. "Put the toast down."
That was not smart, and he knew it; she didn't like orders, any kind of order. Even though she was still feeling oddly off, it didn't change the fact that she did not appreciate it when someone was giving her an order with that kind of look in their eyes.
So, staring right back at him with a look of defiance that was all hers, she took a loud bite of her new toast slice. He clenched his jaw again, taking a step closer. "Olivia…"
There was a warning in his voice now, even if she wasn't sure what he was warning her about. All she knew was that she actually very much enjoyed how deep his voice had suddenly gotten; it seemed like those particular kind of low vibration was perfectly in tune with something that was starting to throb faintly, just as low within herself.
"Peter," she mimicked with a smile that was almost taunting.
He didn't like it one bit, even though she knew that their proximity and his rush of testosterone was not leaving him unaffected either. "Put the toast down, we need to talk about this."
He was ordering her around again; as if he had a chance. "I'm hungry," she said with a hint of irritation in her own voice now, despite the fact that she felt the sudden urge to grab his coat and make the distance between their bodies disappear.
She didn't need to though, as he stepped closer, dark blue eyes bearing into hers, pressing his body into hers, pinning her lower back against the counter. She couldn't help a longing sigh as she felt him against her after what felt like days. Which was actually indubitably the case, with the exception of that hug they had shared only a few minutes ago; their state of mind couldn't be more different though, and so was their body language.
He used her temporary daze to grab her toast and throw it unceremoniously into the sink. "And I'm angry," he replied then. "I am not amused, Olivia. Twenty-four hours ago, I thought I had lost you for good. Don't joke about this."
And behind the dark fury storming into his eyes, she could see the sheer helplessness in there too. Her own faint annoyance faded away, as she felt a surge of protectiveness flood into her. He was really worried.
She put a hand on his chest, shaking her head slightly, never taking her eyes away from his. "I'm not joking," she said softly.
Unsurprisingly, his phone started ringing just then, breaking the mood quite successfully. He sighed, closing his eyes, before taking the phone out of his pocket and bringing it to his ear, not moving away from her.
"Peter Bishop," he answered, and then waited. His chin dropped to his chest, another defeated sigh escaping him as he brought a hand to his forehead. She had seen him to this enough times to know that he was upset. "I'll be there in fifteen minutes. I'm really sorry about this, Mrs Logan, a dear friend of his just passed away and he's a little…yes. Yes, I am aware of that. I'm on my way." As he hung up, he opened his eyes again, his tired gaze finding hers.
"Mrs Logan, your neighbor?" Olivia asked as he moved away from her, and she instantly felt the loss of his body warmth.
"Yes," he confirmed, making his way to the entrance door and she followed. "Apparently when she went outside to take the trash out, Walter was in the front yard, smoking some kind of drugs wearing nothing but his underwear." He stopped, his hand on the handle, looking at her again. "She made him go inside before someone else saw him and called the police. I think the only reason she didn't is because she has a crush on him. Or had. I'm guessing he's just lost most of his charm."
Olivia frowned. "I thought he was with Astrid. Was it safe to leave him alone, after Bell's death?"
Peter's face darkened again as he looked away, letting out a tired, exasperated chuckle. "Don't," he said. "The last thing I need right now is a lecture."
"I'm sorry," she said, even though she didn't really sound sorry. She mostly still sounded oddly unaffected. "It's just…unlike you; you know him best, and how he gets in times like this."
He met her eyes again, now openly irritated. "Well that means we're both acting out of character tonight then," he said tersely, opening the door. "It was obviously foolish of me to leave him while he was sleeping because I was worried about your wellbeing. You're obviously doing fine. If you have any more death epiphanies, let me know. I gotta go."
And just like that, he was gone, leaving her standing in front of her empty doorway, unable to understand how exactly his exit could be so different from the warm way they had greeted each other less than thirty minutes ago.
Olivia went for a run.
This in itself was most unusual –another odd thing she could add to her increasingly long list of odd behavior, and when this realization started to dawn on her, she had already been running for a few miles. The streets were mostly empty; it was late, past midnight for sure, and the thunder rumbling overhead seemed to have discouraged the late roamers. She had passed a handful of people as she ran, but feeling the reassuring weight of her gun secured in her thigh holster, she ignored them like she tried to ignore her own thoughts. It was after all what had made her go out into the night in the first place.
When Peter had left, she had been unable to shake off the feeling that this was not alright, none of this. The problem wasn't that it worried her, but that it didn't. Now engraved in her head was the face of a man she didn't know, but who would end her life, she was sure of it. On top of that, Peter and she had parted on cold and awkward terms, which hadn't happened in…well, it hadn't happened at all since they had started 'dating'. And she wasn't even that upset about it.
She was incredibly restless though, and when the intense desire to go outside and run crept into her, she barely hesitated. She put on her workout clothes and pulled her hair back in a high ponytail, knowing she was underdressed for the temperature outside, but not caring. She would warm up running.
And she had. Even though steam formed in the air with every steady breath she let out, she didn't feel cold. She didn't feel appeased either, and she had been running for a while now. It was just weird that she had felt the urge to run in the first place. It's not that she hated the activity, she used to run regularly when she was younger and studying, to keep up physically in the Academy, and try and work out the stress of her daily life. But in the end, she had always felt more relaxed finishing her evening runs in a bar with a few shots of whiskey. That was her thing. Alcohol and cold cases usually managed to take her mind off her most recent preoccupations.
Physically exhausting herself had never really worked. Actually, it was more something her Alternate would do. Run and shoot. Not to mention sex.
Olivia should not be thinking about sex right now though, not tensed as she was. And obviously because it took all of her weak focus off the sound of her feet beating the pavement, added to the new rumbles that filled the air, as Peter became all she could think about again. She kept going back to their last exchange.
She ran faster, the uneasiness escalating within her, because something was off, but what exactly? She wasn't running away this time, and she knew exactly who she was running to. She couldn't remember what had happened to her in her mind; the only thing she was sure of was that he had been there. He had found her, and had made her feel safe again, and that was why she was running to him now, more or less consciously. He had been right; they needed to talk about what had happened. Maybe he had details about what he had seen in her mind that could explain why she suddenly felt so…liberated. It was as if a very heavy burden had been lifted off her shoulders, and she was now off balance. Maybe it was all it was; maybe all she needed was some time to get used to this new feeling of insouciance that was bordering carelessness.
But she knew there was more. And why on earth couldn't she just shut her mind up and just run?
She realized then what had been missing the whole time: music. Of course, she needed music to fill her head as she run, a good U2 song maybe. She brought a hand up to turn her earpiece on, but her fingers only met the cold flesh of her ear.
Olivia almost stopped dead in her tracks, as she realized what she had just done. Or tried to do.
Dread and a new kind of fear invaded her whole being in mere seconds, leaving her breathless in the middle of the sidewalk, one hand still up to her ear. This was beyond not good. The extent of what had been done to her seemed to be finally crashing down on her. She was so shell-shocked that she barely noticed it when rain finally started to fall, quite forcefully.
Her mind had been invaded once more, by no less than three people, and now, the dormant personality she'd had in her head for months seemed to be awaking up again. She couldn't lie and say that whatever experiment had been done to her Over There had left her unaffected, both physically and psychologically.
She had overtaken her Alternate's personality long ago, but even before all of this, she sometimes found herself doing things that were not really…hers. Details, really, more quirks than anything else. It was in the way she sometimes found herself standing with her hands crossed in front of her, in the way she smiled, or simply cracked her knuckles at times. Not to mention that impressive aim she seemed to have preserved. She had noticed it, but hadn't worried much about it because for one thing, they had much graver matters to deal with. And it was only quirks, hardly harmful.
But as she paced in the middle of this empty street, ignoring the icy rain beating against her skin, she felt petrified, her fingers having left her ear to dig their way into her tied-up hair. Forgetting that she wasn't Over There and that the kind of earpiece she had been looking for didn't even exist Here wasn't a good thing. What if her Alternate's personality had been completely released and she was slowly overpowering her again? In this new light, her odd behavior suddenly made a lot of sense. She refused to believe this was happening, not again, not after fighting so hard. But she couldn't ignore the evidences. Even Peter's confusion seemed to be confirming it.
Had he felt it? Had she been giving out vibes that weren't exactly hers, vibes that part of him recognized? As much as she hated to think about it, he had been around her for two months, and Olivia knew her Alternate, she had been her Alternate. She could have been pretending all she wanted around him, there were just some things you could not change, and that liveliness that was so characteristic of this Other Olivia must have been all over Peter. He must have felt it, even basked in it.
With the most atrocious ache squeezing her now pounding heart, Olivia started to run again, quite frantically, with only one destination on her mind.
Peter woke up with a small start, and this simple reaction sent jolts of dull pain in his sore muscles, causing him to groan into his pillow. His fuzzy, exhausted brain didn't understand what had stirred him from his slumber, quite sure that he hadn't been sleeping for more than a couple of hours. He was so worn out that he hadn't even taken his shoes off, let alone his clothes.
The first thing he really became aware of beside his soreness was the soft sound of the rain falling against his window. That was odd. He doubted it was what had woken him up; rain usually tended to sooth him and rock him to sleep. But as said sleep slowly left his body and mind, he became aware of another feeling. It was a faint tingling sensation on the back of his neck, and comprehension hit him. He swiftly rolled over on his other side to face the door.
Olivia was standing in the doorway.
She was leaning against the frame, her cheek pressed into the wood, obviously staring at him. The room was dark though, the only source of light being a distant lamp from the street below that his unshaded window let through; she was barely more than a dark shape, her features blurred. The simple fact that he now knew she was in the room with him was enough to make his heart beat faster; as always, his body was so incredibly and painfully aware of her presence.
He groggily sat up, running a hand over his sleepy eyes, and as he did so, he fully remembered how they had parted a few hours ago. He looked at her tiny shape, not really sure about how they were supposed to handle this.
She spoke first, of course.
"How's Walter?" Her voice was barely louder than a whisper.
He squinted his eyes as they were adjusting to the darkness, only now starting to really take her in. "He's fine, knocked out for good this time." Was she only wearing jogging pants and a tank top? And she looked positively drenched. "Were you in the rain?"
"I ran here," she answered in another whisper.
Feeling yet again confused and not entirely responsive, instead of focusing on the fact that she had run such a long distance in the rain and in the middle of the night, he said the dumbest thing he could think of. "I didn't know you liked to run."
As she shook her head against the frame, one of her hands coming up to hold on to it, he realized then that she was shaking, and worry twisted his insides. "I don't," she admitted.
He was up on his feet in a flash, the last of his fogginess evaporating as he focused entirely on her, who was gaining consistency with every passing second. And while the wet aspect of her clothes and the raindrops on her pale skin became sharper, she on the other hand seemed to become smaller, quivering against the doorframe. He took a few steps closer, wondering why exactly he had ever felt any kind of irritation toward her earlier, because whatever had caused it, it was ridiculously irrelevant now compared to his aching need to wrap her in his arms.
He didn't ask 'Are you okay?' because everything in her body language was screaming that she wasn't. And in all honesty, part of him felt relieved. As much as he despised seeing her in any kind of distress, he knew this Olivia; he recognized her anguish, way more than the disconnected behavior she had been displaying earlier.
"What's wrong?" He asked instead, softly, stopping in front of her; even though there was still space between them, he could almost feel the cold coming out her, their difference of body temperature almost outrageous.
She didn't meet his eyes, keeping hers on his chest, and he was left just staring at her wet face, watching droplets of water sliding from her hair onto her forehead and temples.
"I think she's taking over me again," she said then, and even though her voice had been louder than her previous answers, it was also hoarse and defeated.
"What?" He honestly didn't know what else to say, hearing the words, but unable to understand their meaning.
She met his eyes then, and his urge to shelter her in his embrace became almost unbearable. "The Other Olivia's personality they've implanted in me. Whatever happened in my mind, I think it 'activated' it again."
As he always did when particularly shocked, Peter simply stared back, quite blankly, until a forceful shiver shook her body.
"Olivia, you are freezing," he said then, his worry for her current physical shape taking over anything else. He instinctively raised a hand to put it on her cheek, but as his fingers grazed her skin, she did something she hadn't done in months. She recoiled from his touch. It was barely noticeable, but nothing seemed more apparent to him, and to her.
She closed her eyes, shaking her head slightly. "I can't let this happen to me again, Peter," she murmured.
Reluctantly, he dropped his hand, fingers closing into a fist. "Is it…similar to what you experienced Over There?"
They were both surprised by the technicality of his question, and it was her turn to frown, still looking incredibly lost. "What do you mean?"
"Does it feel like it did when it first happened Over There?"
Her hand left the frame then so she could wrap her arm around her quivering body, shaking her head again. "I don't know. Maybe. I don't…" She let out a shaky breath, obviously trying to concentrate. "I guess not," she finally admitted. "Last time, I couldn't tell what was happening. I was aware that I was confused, but I couldn't tell my memories from hers, until I became sure hers were all I had ever known."
Her lips looked bluish, even in the darkness, and he took all his will not to force her all dressed into the shower so he could pour warm water on her. But one of the very first things he had learned about Olivia was that when she set her mind on something, she did not give up; she honestly was the most stubborn person he had ever met. And he knew she could go as far as using the gun he saw on her leg to knock him out rather to let him drag her in that bathroom before she was sure she was going to be fine. Or that she was indeed losing herself again.
Surprisingly, as much as he hated how confused and scared she was, he wasn't excessively worried, his brain of his already working things together, putting pieces together, starting to understand the situation.
"I don't think she's taking over you, Olivia," he said then, and she met his eyes. "I think I know what's happening."
There definitely was hope in her eyes, as she whispered: "You do?"
"When we were in your mind, you were hiding, because you were scared. Your entire subconscious was literally trying to kill us, even you. Walter and I both died in there, and according to Walter, the only way you could get 'out' yourself was by overcoming those fears. And I think you really did."
Olivia shook her head more strongly. "I don't understand. How does fighting my fears make me start to act like her again? Peter, I went for a run in the middle of the night because I was frustrated and restless, that's what she does, and for a moment, I tried to use the earpiece they all use as phones Over There."
"Alright, so maybe you are confused, and it wouldn't be surprising if with everything that has happened, some of her personality has leaked out again. But I don't think it is permanent, and we can ask Walter in the morning. What I think is happening is that…earlier tonight, you felt liberated, right?"
She nodded shortly, tensed.
"You may feel like you're acting like her because…because she doesn't have your burdens, Olivia." He knew this was a slippery slope to go onto, but it felt like the only plausible explanation. "She didn't go through everything you went through as a child, that's one of the things that shaped you both so differently. So the fact that you felt freed from this weight may cause you to act more like her because despite everything, she's…you. And you're her."
He watched as she tried to process what he was suggesting, and he knew she understood what he meant. But then, her face darkened, and when she met his eyes again, he knew something was wrong.
"How do you know that our childhoods were so different?" She asked, then. "She was pretending to be me, I doubt you chatted about our differences while snuggling."
He knew the slope would be slippery, but he not expect the conversation to take that turn; he felt completely unprepared for this. It had been so long since they had really mentioned her at all, let alone the fact that he had been with her. He could lie, find an excuse. But he didn't want to lie to her ever again.
"I've read her file," he confessed then. "That's how I know. She mentioned the major differences between the two of you on several-"
"I know what she wrote, I've read it too," she cut him, her gaze dark. "Did you read them before or after you asked me not to, because you were afraid of what she had written about you?"
He swallowed hard, feeling the familiar deep sting of guilt enclose his heart. "Olivia…" he said softly.
"Come on, Peter," she insisted in a whisper. "Full disclosure, remember?"
He closed his eyes. "It was before. I read it before anyone else. That's how I could track down the Shapeshifters."
When he opened his eyes again, they met hers, and for a heartbreaking moment, the hurt in them was all he could see, until she looked away, shaking her head. She was still shaking from the cold, and maybe something else. He wanted to take her in his arms and redeem himself for having lied to her, but the cold emanating from her wasn't just physical anymore. It was as if he was to witness the wall forming between them, and to feel her so close and yet already so distant was more painful than anything else.
"Olivia…" he tried again, raising a hand to her face because he simply couldn't help himself, but she moved away from the frame, averting her eyes.
"I'm just…" her voice was weak and unsteady, the look on her face unbearable to him. "I'm going to take a shower to warm up, then I'll take a cab home."
And it was her turn to leave him standing in the doorway, watching her disappear into the bathroom.
In all honesty, Olivia was not feeling so good.
In addition to the psychological shock she had experienced, everything that had been happening to her those past few days was physically starting to take a toll on her. Soul possession, drugs and all. Running in the rain in the middle of the night with almost no sleep might not have been the brightest idea either. She had not only drained herself of what was left of her energy, but now that the adrenaline that had invaded her veins during her moment of fear was mostly gone, she was also left freezing cold, weak and shaky. She was painfully cold.
The water was warm, almost too warm, but it barely touched her skin. When she had entered the shower and let the hot liquid flow on her, the difference of temperature between her body and the water had been enough of a shock to bring her to the verge of fainting, her vision darkening incredibly fast, as her whole body went numb and unresponsive. She had leant her head against the tiled wall, one arm tightly wrapping itself around her middle, while her other hand went up to grab the back of her neck, where she knew the tattoo still burned her skin, burying her fingers into her wet hair. The water kept on falling steadily, but it barely splashed her back, keeping her in this contrast of hot and cold, the air around her chilly, raising every hair on her shivering body.
She was almost voluntarily keeping herself in this physical state; she felt so cold, and yet she knew the heat was just there behind her; all she had to do was to straighten up slightly and let it fall on her, but she didn't. Once again, she felt like warmth and happiness had been within her reach, and she was now stuck only inches away from it.
She wasn't mad at Peter. She was too tired to be mad at him. The fact that he had lied to her about reading her file and about killing the Shapeshifters wasn't even what was upsetting her. She would be a hypocrite for blaming him for his lies, when she very well knew that his lies could be justified as much as her own lies had been, the previous year. The lies weren't what were hurting her. What was almost unbearable at that instant was the inflexible pattern of her life.
It seemed like every time she allowed herself to be filled with hope and optimism, she was quickly and painfully reminded of the fact that it wasn't how it worked, and that she was not allowed to bask in those feelings.
She remembered John. She remembered John regularly, with the kind of melancholy that came with long lost love, friends or lovers. Tonight, she remembered him for that hope he had breathed into her heart, the day everything had turned so black. When she had let herself love him back out loud, taking a leap of faith, only to have fate slap her in the face.
Two years later, coming back from her two months Over There, she had felt hopeful again, then. She had felt the kind of joy at being alive that only people who had just escaped death could understand. It hadn't been her first near death experience, but she had heard death this time, as the heat of the bone saw had grazed the skin of her back.
She was alive and she was home. She was home, and Peter was home with her. Or maybe Peter was her home. She had longed for this relief and hopefulness to swallow her whole, and may they swallow him too.
He had told her about her instead, and it hadn't felt like a slap in the face this time, more like a blade in her heart.
Had she been a fool to let herself try yet again? To let herself trust that everything could be alright? That together, they could be beautiful and happy? If only for the moments they spent together, because happiness was relative when you knew your world could crumble around you at any given moment.
She could not regret going to his house that night, though, letting herself live what she had been craving for for so long. But she should have been expecting what had happened. She should have known it would not last, she should have known something like this would hit her, sooner or later. She could hardly believe that a few hours ago, she had been standing in her kitchen feeling incredibly lively and free.
Now she only felt cold and lost.
When she felt his hands on her, she wasn't even surprised. Even though she had been too lost in her own depressing contemplations to hear him enter the bathroom and join her in the shower stall, that part of her that was always amazingly aware of him had felt his presence even before his fingers gently grabbed her shoulders. And it was with that same gentleness that was so his that he pulled her away from the wall, simultaneously offering her the warmth of his body along with the water's now pouring on her chest, trickling down her skin and insufflating heat into her flesh as it went.
Offering no resistance, she leaned back against him, her head falling against his shoulder as he covered the arm still wrapped around her middle with his own, silently praying her tremors away.
He hadn't planned on joining her.
When he had entered the bathroom, after spending a few minutes pacing in his room, all he had wanted to do was talk to her, refusing to let things get like this between them. But he knew the moment his eyes fell on her hazy silhouette through the steam-covered glass door that she wasn't okay. She wasn't moving, head against the wall, not even under the water.
He discarded his clothes in seconds, before slipping into the stall. Physically grabbing her hadn't been his intention either, remembering how she had recoiled from his touch a while ago; even if it killed him to see her react that way towards him, he respected her enough not to invade her personal space when she didn't want him to.
But it was not about respect anymore; even though she had been in there for a few minutes, it was clear that she hadn't let herself be under the water more than a few moments, her hair and body wet, but the way she was leaning forward against the wall did not allow the shower to warm her up, and she was still shaking, her skin pale and covered with goosebumps. He didn't hesitate.
Stepping closer, he gently grabbed her shoulders and pulled her away from the wall, offering her bare skin to the falling water. When he felt her lean into him, he briefly closed his eyes in relief, before wrapping his arm around her. She sighed against him, her own eyes closed, as he softly rocked their bodies so the water would warm her up equally. Slowly, the shivers he had felt running endlessly under her skin started to decrease, as their breathing, deep and slow, synchronized.
Always slowly and quietly, he reached out for the soap, and when he put some distance between their bodies, she turned her head slightly, eyes opened, but she looked away again before their eyes could meet. He poured some of the liquid in his hand, and then gently began to rub her skin, starting at her shoulders, slowly running his foamy palms down her back.
He could feel her tensed muscles relax under his touch, his thumbs digging skillfully into her flesh when he felt a knot. Soon, his fingers were creating another kind of shivers wherever they trailed. His reaction was to be predicted of course, and he closed his eyes again as his hands roamed over her hips and she let out another sigh, leaning back against him again, and he willed his body to stop being so responsive, but it was hopeless. Reluctantly, he slightly pushed her body away from his again, before pouring more soap in his hand, and starting slow circles over her lean stomach, feeling her muscles twitch under his hand.
Olivia began to feel like she was floating, lost into the gentle feel of his hands slowly massaging almost every inch of her, with such tenderness and care that a painful lump started to grow in her throat, as she let herself drown into his touch and the water still falling on them, like a warm and comforting rain.
With every passing second and brush of his fingers on her skin, another kind of warmth was growing within her, faint and low at first, steadily becoming stronger and stronger. She was very well aware of the fact that he was consciously avoiding any part of her body that you would called 'private'; she couldn't bring herself to call them that anymore though, even mentally, as every inch of her had been entirely his for weeks now. But she knew why he wasn't touching more intimately.
Some other men might have used this perfect opportunity to physically get over whatever fight they might have had –if you could call it a fight. He was no fool, he knew her and her body so well by now; he knew that she was more than receptive and willing, not to mention the fact that it had been days. The aching need she felt for him was becoming stronger, steadier and more implacable by the minute. And when other men would have indeed taken advantage of the situation, Peter did not.
He seemed to be determined to prove to her that this was not about sex, would not be about sex. He simply wanted to soothe her and warm her up. Even though he kept on slightly moving away from her every time she tried to lean back, in a desperate attempt to hide his own response to what he was doing, she felt the evidence of his desire against her quite regularly, and it was slowly driving her insane. She didn't want him to feel like he should hide it; he had no idea how incredibly good it made her feel, to know that it was she who made him react so strongly when all he had been doing was chastely cleansing her body.
She felt special and desired, powerful even, and it was an incredible feeling, because it mixed with the sensations he was creating within her, sensations she had absolutely no control over. And she needed him to know, she needed him to touch her without holding himself back.
His fingers still gently caressing her stomach, she felt him try and move away from her again, but she was not willing to let him go; she brought her left hand up to grab the back of his neck, unequivocally pinning herself against him and feeling the strong evidence of his arousal pressing hard into her lower back now. This sudden and exponential intimate contact caused them both to sigh loudly. She lay her right hand over his then, intertwining his soapy fingers with hers, and slowly but decidedly, she brought his hand down where she had been aching for him to touch her. When he did, his fingers sliding between her folds and applying pressure upon the bundle of nerves hiding there, she couldn't repress a moan, nails sinking into his nape, pressing the side of her face against his neck.
When she moaned and instinctively bucked into their joined hands, involuntarily moving against his hard-on, Peter had to close his eyes, swallowing back a moan of his own. After being physically and emotionally forced apart from her for the past few days, having her so close and so eager to be touched was indescribable. He was relishing into the feel of her, into those soft sounds that had become his favorite music.
He had tried his best to keep this innocent but as always, when Olivia decided on something, there was nothing he could do but yield to her will and try to keep up. This was no exception; she knew what she wanted and he gladly obliged. She directed his touch upon her, deciding on the pace and the pressure, and the way she moved and sighed and moaned against his neck, water trickling down her curving body, made him feel like he had taken another one of these sugar cubes, but instead of feeling it melt beneath his tongue, he felt her dissolve under his caress.
And she did feel like she was dissolving, lost into the rising heat within herself. She felt malleable in his hands, and he was the sculptor shaping her. He made her feel delicate and beautiful. Through the rush of sensations, she started to feel light-headed again, but she didn't worry, didn't mind. She was losing her grasp with everything surrounding them, this surreal feeling that she was floating increasing, as if she was a kite caught in the wind.
When she felt the fingers of his free hand on her cheek, she moved her head to expose her face, but she kept her eyes closed, panting as his thumb worked her so expertly, water dribbling into her open mouth. She felt his lips land on one particularly sensitive spot beneath her jaw, and when his warm tongue started tracing patterns on her skin there, licking the drops of water as if she was a melting ice-cream, she sighed his name, her grip around his neck so tight that it must have been getting painful for him. She felt him move his face by the way his breath brushed her skin, until his lips were near her ear.
"I'm sorry," he whispered then, and she opened her eyes, instantly cranking her neck so their gaze could meet.
Her hazy eyes met his dark blue irises, so intense and focused that it sent another shiver down her spine; but she could see something else in there as well, guilt and remorse overshadowing the rest.
Not without some reluctance, she let go of both his neck and hand so she could turn around in his embrace, ignoring the way the floor felt unsubstantial beneath her feet, legs weak, because he automatically wrapped his arms around her, keeping her close; once again, none of them could help a longing sigh from escaping their lips at their closeness. She kept her gaze firmly locked into his, though, her fingers finding their way back to the nape of his neck, as she tilted her head, shaking it slowly.
"Don't," she said softly, then, and her voice sounded constricted; as always, she found herself too receptive to the way his eyes seemed to bear into her very soul, and she wanted nothing more than to get lost into his. "Don't apologize," she clarified, her fingers gently caressing the soft, wet hair at the base of his neck, as she offered him a small, painful smile. "Our lives are so insane…" she whispered. "Everything's so messed up. I am so messed up… I don't want us to be messed up, too. Despite everything, you're the only thing that makes me feel normal."
She could read his storm of emotions just in the details of his face, in the way his eyes moved too fast, in the way he clenched his teeth briefly and swallowed hard. His hands came up to cup her face, tenderly, almost reverently, and when he tightened his hold, bringing her closer, she closed her eyes. Once again, when others would have undoubtedly kissed her lips, he did not, and she was not surprised when she felt his lips on her forehead. She was in all honesty incredibly fond of those simple gestures between them.
Peter was without a doubt the tenderest lover she'd had in her life, as she knew he would be long before she had experienced it personally. He could appear cold and rough when he wanted to, and he really was at times when particularly infuriated, but ultimately, he had a gentle nature; anyone who had witnessed him calm his father down could tell you that. Soft touches and eye contact were very important to him, and his cynical side was no match to the romantic boy hiding within him. Passionate kisses were not a rare thing, but there often was a sweet purity to their exchanges that she cherished. She adored it all; the warm hugs, the soft kisses on her forehead or cheeks, the quiet moments spent cuddling, his nose nuzzling hers.
It was the sweetest caress, the caress of love, she knew.
When she opened her eyes, her breath briefly caught in her throat as her gaze fell on his chest. Though her legs still felt feeble and her whole body partially numb, she straightened up to take a better look, her eyes widening, the fingers of her left hand traveling over his badly bruised skin.
"What happened?" she asked, worry and confusion in her voice, and she raised her head to look at him.
He briefly looked down at his own chest before meeting her eyes, shrugging slightly. "You know how they say what your mind believes to be true can affect you physically? Well, I guess stepping in front of a car in your mind felt incredibly real."
She stared at him for a few more seconds before her eyes fell back on his bruises, her nails barely grazing his skin, over the nuances of dark and light, taking in what he had just said. She remembered him telling her that both he and Walter had died in her mind.
"You died for me…" she whispered then, almost in awe, finally resting her palm over his beating heart, proof that he was still very much alive.
His fingers still on her face, he tugged gently so she would look up from his injury, and she was rendered breathless by the intensity of his eyes; even though he didn't say it, she could hear the words.
'Does that really surprise you?'
It did not, and it was the most astounding feeling of all, to know without a doubt that there was someone in this world willing to give up their life for yours. It was also slightly ironic, knowing this wasn't even his world. Sometimes, she still couldn't believe that they had found each other in this mess. It was as if they had been destined to meet.
Even when she was not physically and emotionally worn out, thinking about it tended to make her feel dizzy; tonight was no different, as she pondered the implication of such supposition.
It was in moments like this, when she felt overwhelmed and vulnerable, when Peter and everything he meant took hold of every inch of her, that she felt the words ready to come out. She could almost taste those three syllables rolling under her tongue, could imagine what they would sound like, uttered in the warm and wet and safe cocoon of this moment. It was like she knew exactly the way he would look at her after she said them, the smile that would lit his whole face, making him glimmer in a way that had nothing to do with the dormant drugs in her brain.
The words remained untold, though, because he smiled at her anyway, that small, warm, knowing smile, and she stared at his lips. This time, when he gently pulled her to him, she knew it wasn't her forehead he would kiss.
Peter fought his instinct to close his eyes as he brought her face to his again; he was feeling intoxicated by the sight of her, and he did not want to interrupt his contemplation.
He watched as her own eyelids closed over those beautiful eyes that had been telling him so much mere seconds ago. He loved to watch her when he was not supposed to, wondering if she had any idea how expressive her face was, at any given moment. He loved catching her off guard.
Their lips met, and even though it was soft and tender, it was enough to exponentially increase the heat within him, realizing just how much he had missed this simple, intimate contact in those past few days, savoring the feel of her and the way her brow instantly contracted, making that little wrinkle appear between her eyes. Their mouths parted and met several times, a slow dance that was steadily gaining rhythm as they captured each other's lips with a little more ardor each time, lingering a little longer, and he watched her traits twitched and relaxed, twitched and relaxed.
He felt the fingers on his chest dig into his flesh, while the ones still on his neck gradually travelled upward until they were completely buried in his wet hair; when he felt her nails decidedly sink into his scalp, he finally closed his eyes, unable to fight it any longer as she wrapped her other arm around his neck and pinned herself against him, pressing her luscious breasts upon him. The next time their mouths met, they were opened and famished; she was once again letting him know exactly what she wanted. She kissed him deep and long and possessively, and he kissed back, his own fingers now tangled into her wet hair.
The lust was there, there was no denying the presence of lust, especially when their bodies moved in synch, in a way that was leaving no doubt about what they both were craving for. But kissing her was always more than just about lust.
So was it for her, evidently.
She would never forget their very first kiss, the one that had set the tone for all the ones to come. It couldn't have been more different from a kiss full of desire, even though there definitely had been longing that night when their lips had first met.
She had been longing for him to come back, for him to look into her desperate eyes and see how bare she was, standing before him, begging him to take her as she was because she had nothing else to offer, and she had kissed him with terror and hope in her pounding heart. He had been hesitant at first, almost passive, mostly purely in shock. Until he hadn't been anymore, his palm on her back bringing her closer, his other hand leaving his pocket to cup her face the way he had done before, and the feel of his fingers on her blushing skin had been like a whisper, an answer, a promise.
'I hear you, I've got you, I'll come back for you.'
To say that she felt that same kind of desperation every time they kissed would be ludicrous; they may have a tendency for intense, meaningful meetings, they had enjoyed quite a few weeks of seemingly windless love before it all went to hell, and more than once their bodies had found each others with no other purpose than to indulge themselves into the greatly enjoyable pleasures of sex.
Tonight was not one of those nights, however. Tonight did make her feel slightly the way she had a year ago, desperate to hold onto him, to believe that whatever had happened to her would not cause her to slowly disappear. Despite the increasing numbness and dizziness that was melding again with the endless throbbing ache within her, she felt more herself in his embrace than anywhere else.
She felt both breakable and indestructible with him. It was as if his mere touch could liquefy her entire being, while the feel of his body against hers was enough to give her strength, to make her feel safe and whole.
When their mouths parted so they could get some air into their lungs, he found himself lost in her misty eyes, amazed by just how many conflicting feelings she seemed to be battling with all the time, two emeralds glistening, pleading him to keep her safe. It made him feel both terrified and serene.
In all honesty, he never thought that she would ever be his, long before the Switch and the ensuing angst. He simply never thought that she would ever need him, not the way he needed her. Because despite the fact that she definitely found herself in need of rescuing more often than not, Olivia ultimately didn't need anybody but herself; she had proven it once again only hours ago, when she had fought her deepest fears.
And yet, there she was. Bare, exposed, raw, and so entirely his that it made his heart ache. He saw it in her eyes. He saw her. And he wished she could see what he saw, so all of her doubts could fade away; he wished she could know what he felt so intensely.
There was no going back to before. She would forever be his weakest point and greatest source of strength, just as much as he was hers.
"I only see you," he whispered then against her parted lips, so softly that the sound of the water still falling upon them almost swallowed his words. But by the way her eyes widened, he knew she had heard him. "I look into your eyes, and I only see you."
He wasn't exactly sure what reaction he had been expecting from this admission. Watching her eyes roll back in her head as her whole body went limp in his arms was certainly not on his mind.
Sickening worry instantly washed over him as one of his arm kept her firmly against him, her head against his chest, fingers still in her hair.
"Olivia?" he called out, already feeling her coming around, as she started to stir against him.
Turning the water off, he cursed himself for letting things get this far instead of simply forcing her out of the shower and into his bed as soon as she had warmed up. Even though, again, he doubted he could ever force her to do anything. But her body had clearly reached its breaking point, and he was guessing her emotional turmoil was only making things worse.
Without a word, he eased them out of the shower, and she let him guide her, still obviously half out of it, her eyelids heavy and her eyes unfocused; she looked quite confused as he made her sit on the toilet's lid, grabbing some towels from the hanger. He hastily wrapped one around his waist before crouching in front of her, wrapping the largest one around her small, already quivering body, rubbing her back energetically to keep her warm. He then used a smaller towel to sponge her hair and gently dry her face off.
Her eyes never left his face as he quietly cared for her, but he barely met her gaze, focused on what he was doing, because he tended to get distracted so easily when that happened. He could tell she was completely aware again now, though still obviously shaky.
"This is kind of embarrassing," she said then, and she did sound embarrassed. He met her eyes; she looked both frustrated and mortified.
He shook his head slightly, offering her a small, tender smile, before leaning in to brush her temple with his lips. "I won't tell anyone you're a real human being, I swear."
When he leaned back, she was pursing her lips in a non-amused way, but the look she gave him was warm and grateful, even though still embarrassed.
"Let's get you to bed," he said then, reaching out for his discarded shirt.
"Well now that makes me feel much better, thank you," she grumbled, and he found the fact that she was blushing terribly endearing.
He gave her a cheeky smile, unwrapping her from the towel and passing his shirt over her head. She good-humoredly slapped his hands away so she could finish putting it on by herself, trying to stand up then. He stood up with her because she was still wobbly on her legs, and she sighed in defeat when he put an arm around her waist to keep her steady.
They didn't speak anymore as they entered his room and he carefully closed the door behind them. When they reached the bed, he finally let her go and she sank onto the bed, burying her face into the pillow with a long sigh. He dropped the towel still hanging around his waist and joined her, pinning himself behind her, incredibly contented by the way she moved closer into his arms to make sure they were perfectly interlocked.
Olivia could really fall asleep in his embrace. She felt safe and warm at last, and the embarrassing fainting incident in the shower proved that she was in need of some serious rest. And yet, the instant he spooned up behind her, erasing any distance between his naked body and her, wrapping an arm around her under the covers, she knew she would not sleep.
Everything still felt slightly foggy and unsubstantial, except for the feel of him against her; this felt more real than anything else, and the way every nerve ending under her skin seemed to be crackling when brushing against his made her feel extremely awake in every way extremely fast. His breath on her neck alone was enough to send shivers all the way down her spine to the tip of her toes, imagining that he was doing it on purpose, when all he was doing was breathing. He was far from being asleep though, that much was obvious.
He was being very still, and when she started to shiver, his body stiffened behind her. All of his body. She could almost read his thoughts, even though they were both quiet and unmoving; he was without a doubt cursing himself for this inevitable reaction, as he barely had time to calm down after their shower foreplay. Instead of helping him out by remaining still, she enclosed the hand he had wrapped around her with her own, her thumb starting to draw slow circles on his skin; then, she began to move against him.
It was almost imperceptible at first, following the same unhurried motions with which her thumb was tracing pattern on his hand. But pinned as they were, he felt every slight move her body, and for a moment, the steady breath on her neck stopped all together, until she became bolder, now moving against him way more suggestively. Warm air came pouring onto her skin as he tightened his arm around her to hold her more firmly against him, maybe trying to stop her; she felt his opened lips on the base of her neck, drawing a loud sigh out of her.
"Olivia," he almost choked. "Don't."
But she felt unstoppable now, every part of her fully awake and throbbing with need and frustration. She turned around in his arms to face him, pressing her forehead against his; she swiftly wrapped a leg around him so their bodies would be as close as they could possibly be without being joined.
She slid her fingers in his hair, hungry lips finding his, her tongue seeking his with the same aching longing with which their hips met, as she swayed against him quite unambiguously. She swallowed his moan just like he swallowed hers, and she knew she would get whatever she wanted when his hands grabbed her buttocks to increase the contact of his throbbing shaft against her equally burning core. She had to let go of his mouth, throwing her head back and sighing his name as his lips found her exposed neck.
They were not coherent anymore, both of them directed by this primeval and raw desire that they couldn't fight, even though Peter tried to. He really did.
This was beyond reasonable; she was exhausted, she had fainted in his arms for Christ's sake, and if he were honest with himself, physically, he had seen better days, even though all of his soreness had been soothed by the endorphins now flooding his bloodstream.
But she was yet again giving him absolutely no choice, moving against him in the most tempting way and she felt so incredibly good and how could he not succumb to her? He had no idea how she did it, but he was completely powerless against her, especially when he felt so intoxicated by her entire being.
Wiggling, rolling, tugging, she managed to slip under him, and as always he was quite amazed by how tiny she really was in his arms; she fit perfectly. She was gorgeous, her wet hair spread on his pillow while her smoldering body melted in his hands; hands that had minds of their own he soon realized when they urgently found their way under her shirt, fingers and palms splaying over the silky skin of her back. He pulled her to him, causing her to arch up against him and to utter his name once more, in a moan that was soon muffled by his mouth as he covered hers, feeling her arms encircling his neck again so to kiss him deeply and languidly.
Olivia felt like she was literally burning up, which was not too far from the truth as her entire being was possessed by this merciless heat, feeling his own body warmth seep into her even through the fabric of the shirt she was wearing. She felt almost delirious from this fever, lost into the feel of him, of his hands keeping her so close and yet not close enough, of his lips and tongue and the continuous tease of his erection against her.
That was until he abruptly let go of her mouth and brought his hands out from under her shirt, pushing himself up on trembling arms so to create some distance between their bodies, resting his forehead on her shoulder, and she felt the dampness of his skin being absorbed by her shirt.
"Olivia, we shouldn't," he said then, his breathing labored, and this was clearly demanding every ounce of willpower he possessed. "You need to sleep, you need rest…"
He knew it was almost ridiculous to be uttering those words; judging by both their states, the only way they would ever be able to find sleep would be if she actually left the bed, left the house all together and he went back into the shower, under very, very cold water.
She knew that as well, and when she could have playfully laughed it off by pointing out this obvious fact, laughing was the last thing on her mind. In fact, she found herself loving him even more for this desperate attempt, knowing that he was simply and truly worried about her wellbeing. She loved him for being so caring, for being so comforting and so devoted.
She loved him and that was the cause of her deepest aches, because she longed for that moment when she would physically become part of him again as much as he would be part of her.
It was her turn to cup his face so he would raise his head, and she gently rubbed her cheek against his stubble. Every inch of her was so sensitive at that instant that the rough texture of it on her soft skin was a delicious caress made of thousands of thorns.
She pressed her nose against his then, nuzzling slightly, her breath hot on his lips. And he stared into her eyes, the ink of her pupils having spread so much that it had swallowed most of the green, and he felt her hand on the back of his neck again, her thumb ruffling his short hair.
"Peter," she whispered, and the way she said his name always had such a power on him, making him feel like she was reaching out for his very soul. "I need you."
And they both knew it was the closest she had ever been to saying those three other words, four letters making all the difference, and yet it didn't, because he heard them anyway. He read them in her eyes, and then on her face when her eyelids closed and her brow contracted again, her hands coming down; down along the strong muscles of his back, down over the curve of his buttocks, stopping there and grabbing the flesh decidedly, raising her knees to encase his hips. She opened her eyes again, and there was a plea in her gaze as she whispered the same words again against his lips. "I need you…I need you…"
And so, without another word or thought, never taking his eyes away from hers, he brought himself down and entered her almost fully in one move, encouraged by the way she used her hands to push him in, rewarded by the deep, harmonic moan that escaped her throat and reverberated through him, causing him to lose himself completely into her; her eyes, her voice, her scent, her core, there was no escape, she was everything he was breathing and soon tasting again as he captured her swollen lips, and he felt like he was being smothered and did not care because death had her freckles and her smile.
She was feeling whole again, whole and alive, vibrant even, all of her senses overwhelmed as they started to dance, her legs now tightly wrapped around his lower back, as her hands almost desperately reached for his head again, fingers roaming his hair and clenching his scalp with every sway of their hips. Always deeper, always longer, always stronger, and they danced without holding anything back, eyes locked, eyes closed, kissing when they could, stopping when they could not and it was alright because she had come to associate the feel of his scorching breath in the crook of her neck with pleasure and love and home and even the sound of her own voice moaning his name like a prayer was beautiful.
She was floating away, a kite caught in the wind again, and the way Peter murmured her name against her skin and into her ear felt like a breeze, making her sway, pulling on her string, lost into his body and his warmth and everything was him and everything was sensations. Behind closed eyelids, she could see the sun rising in her mind, even though night was still queen for a few hours. But his light was stronger than her darkness; it had always been, melting the last of her fears and doubts away. She flew higher and higher into the rising sunlight, until that earth-shattering moment when her string broke.
And at last she was dancing freely with the wind.
A/N: Okay, who feels like taking a shower right now? XD This story almost killed me, any feedback would be greatly cherished and appreciated :')
Enjoy the Finale, guys, we can survive this! POLIVIA WILL CONQUER ALL!