Disclaimer: Still not owning anything beside a masochist muse.
Spoilers: None really, unless you still haven't seen Jacksonville XD
A/N: Me again :D So, uhm, I have no idea where this is coming from. I was just going through some Jacksonville caps yesterday, and next thing I knew, I was writing about their "date" we never saw at the end of the episode. I'm just slave to my muse.
This therefore contains season 2 P/O drama, and I regret nothing XD
Enjoy! And don't forget the little reviews, those are all kind of wonderful ;)
NOT HERS TO TAKE
It was without a doubt one of the things she liked the most about Peter. The way he cared about her.
Olivia would never admit it out loud, of course, especially not to him, but she couldn't deny the fact that if at first, she had regarded his genuine worry for her wellbeing with incredulity and slight irritation, she had now come to depend on it, on him. Like she had told him only a few months ago, he was naturally gifted when it came to taking care of the people he cared about. She would be unable to explain why she liked it so much, when she used to be so averse to being seen as anything but untouchable, unreachable, unbreakable. But she was pretty sure it had to do with that inner relief she felt whenever she felt overwhelmed with whatever was happening to her at the time, and Peter's presence always managed to bring her some comfort.
She didn't know when it had happened exactly, but at some point, she had stopped being simply receptive to his quiet guidance, and had started actively seeking him out.
Even tonight, when he should be the one being rightly upset, he was worrying about her instead. Granted, he had absolutely no clue what was wrong, whereas she was still being blinded with the evidence of what she had just learned whenever she looked at him.
They were sitting opposite each other at one of these high, round tables of the bar, his body unconsciously leaning towards her, both his forearms resting on the table, as he watched her gulp down yet another drink. The place was rather dark, the late hour of the night having changed the atmosphere from friendly to something more intimate, as most of the remaining patrons were either oblivious couples or intoxicated friends.
Peter and Olivia were both and neither.
He was oblivious, she was intoxicated.
The lights were dim, but not dim enough to conceal the worried crease between his eyes, eyes that would still reflect the same puzzlement if she dared stare at him for more than a few fleeting seconds. Unfortunately, she seemed unable to hold his gaze, as every time she looked at him, the dimness of the place disappeared, harshly brightened by the Glimmer still surrounding his body without a moment's respite.
She felt nauseated and nothing short of heartbroken whenever she raised her eyes long enough to take in the contours of his aura, and yet, she was incapable of not looking at him, even if it was just fleeting glances.
Deciding to go ahead with their plans and go out for drinks when she had just understood what Walter had done had been a stupid idea. It had been her first stupid decision of the night, and not the last. The fact that she was now positively drunk was proof enough.
Olivia was not a novice, when it came to alcohol. She had mastered the art of downing shot after shot years go. Generally speaking, she could hold her liquor, and Peter knew it; as he had told her once, he had seen her with a whiskey bottle.
But tonight, she was drinking sweet. She was drinking cocktails.
By now, she was pretty positive that she had tried everything the bartender had in store, not even shying away from the most expensive ones; she had given her work card to their waitress a while ago now, telling her to put all of their drinks on it, deciding without any guilt that the FBI could pay for her stupidity. After all, she had just saved quite a handful of people from vanishing, or rather from dying atrocious, deformed deaths. Hadn't been easy work.
Took guts. Some cortexiphan, too.
And if you happened to have a guy from another universe nearby and ready to awoken your most guttural fears, it couldn't hurt either.
Olivia took another long sip of her drink, silently begging the alcohol to help her forget, help her calm down so the Glimmer would just go away, but it was a lost cause. She was engrained in a vicious circle. Every time she looked up at Peter, her distress would increase, therefore making the shimmering light around the strong, familiar lines of his body even thicker.
She should have gone home. She should have found a pretext, anything, really, rather than walking with him to this place and putting herself through this misery. But she had been too shell-shocked to think coherently, as her entire being silently screamed in horror at the sight of his rippling aura, overwhelmed with the weight of the understanding that came with such a vision.
Peter was not from here.
Peter was not from this world.
Peter was not from her universe.
Peter had never, and would never, belong here.
"Olivia, please. Don't tell him."
How could she not tell him? Or how could she?
Peter was talking again, and she pretended to be listening. He had known right away that she was deeply troubled by something, but she guessed he had simply assumed it had something to do with what had happened in Jacksonville and New York, and had made it his new goal to help her relax. He had no way of knowing that he was the reason why he was now witnessing something rather rare –Olivia getting ridiculously drunk. Of course, she couldn't say that everything concerning Jacksonville and what she now knew had been done to her and other children wasn't messing with her head and emotions, but for the time being, those dark patches in her life seemed almost insignificant compared to the pain she felt regarding Peter.
It was both unsurprising, and completely unfair, how she was now feeling so torn, just when she had started to open her eyes to him and everything he had come to mean to her these past two years. Olivia was a master when it came to pretending she didn't needed people in her life, but unfortunately for her, Peter was just as skilled at breaking down all of her defenses.
From the moment he had entered her life –or rather from the moment she had forced him to become part of it, she had decided that it would be safer for everybody if she put a strong barrier between the two of them. She had just lost the man she loved, had felt betrayed in the most intimate ways, and she was forced to watch as her whole world morphed, monstrously, throwing her into the middle of a fight she didn't even comprehend.
Peter had first been a welcomed company, then becoming a resourceful colleague, until he had become her most needed source of comfort.
And it wasn't until she was standing shaking in front of him, with his hand seeping warmth into the skin of her cheek, that she had realized just how much she had fooled herself, all those months.
His stunningly beautiful blue eyes had been staring right into her soul, silently repeating what he had just told her.
I've never met anyone who can do the things that you do…
She had felt it, then, in every fiber of her being. She had no idea when it had happened, or how, but somewhere along the way, he had crawled his way under her skin, quietly, skillfully, irremediably.
And it had scared her to her very core, as she became once more aware of her own vulnerability and strong receptivity to another human being. Especially to him.
Dormant cravings had brutally awakened, draining her of her strength and ability to think. And all she could do was feel.
Had she not realized that this newfound rawness she felt would allow her to see the glimmering building, would she have let him close the infinitesimal gap that existed between their lips?
She had let herself fantasize almost giddily, as she was getting ready for their 'non-date', feeling quite exhilarated. She had realized that without the heavy burden of impending doom, reflecting back on how close his body had been, how warm his fingers were on her face, burning really, or how she had felt his every breath on her lips, the fear wasn't as intimating as it had been back then, already changing into stirring anticipation.
And this new invigorating and thrilling fright had been running through her veins when he had opened his door, triggering that ability of hers, making her so uniquely perceptive, and allowing her to see what had been concealed all that time.
He's not from here he's not from here he's not from here he's not from here he's not from here
It wasn't fair.
It was not fair.
It was infuriating, really, the way life was so keen to become unspeakably twisted and cruel whenever she started to feel like she might have a shot at having some normality in her world.
She had thought the same with John, thought that loving him openly would be good for her. She thought she had learned her lesson, but there she was again.
And she wasn't even thinking about love. She was so not ready to think of Peter in term of love, but it was undeniable that during that short stretch of time, she had let herself hope. It had been an evanescent feeling, one that had come from deep inside, from something that had absolutely nothing to do with her brain and everything to do with the way her every cell seemed to vibrate incredibly strongly whenever he invaded her personal space and stared at her for too long, and she let him.
She let him crawl there, within her.
Pretty much the way he was doing, now, as she let herself stare back. He obviously knew that she wasn't really listening to him; she couldn't even feel bad about the fact that he was trying to make her smile, feeling her distress and awkwardness, and all he got in return was silence and occasional glassy, drunken glances. She was feeling too miserable to worry about what he might think of her right now.
Mostly, she felt horrible about the fact that he was so genuinely concerned about her, when he should be the one feeling wretched, had she been strong enough to tell him the truth right away.
"I should drive you home," he suddenly said after watching her finish her umpteenth drink. "Clearly, this wasn't the best idea."
She shook her head vehemently –well, she tried. The result was rather pathetic. "I'm fine," she spluttered, even though she was fully looking at him again and it was hard to breathe. It was depressing to realize that she had drunk so much and it hadn't done anything to make his Glimmer disappear.
"Of course you are," he replied, and even though his tone was sarcastic, it was still soft. "But if you want to keep on saving the universe tomorrow, you're going to need some Advil and some sleep."
It was stupid of course, but the simple word universe coming out of his mouth felt like a painful blow, and she felt completely overwhelmed all over again, almost suffocating right now, torn with despair and sheer fury, the alcohol in her blood definitely not helping. All that she knew was that she couldn't bear being here a second longer right now, needing air, needing space, needing not see this damn thing all around him.
She was up on her feet before she even consciously decided to stand up, her body deciding for her. Unfortunately, intoxicated as she was, she immediately stumbled backward, her balance having vanished about three drinks ago; she realized then just how unsubstantial the world had gotten around them, her brain taking a second too long to decipher what her eyes were seeing, so that when she moved her head, everything felt wobbly and surreal.
What did not feel surreal at all however was the sudden feel of Peter against her. He had gotten on his feet in a flash to get a hold of her before she could embarrass herself and crumble on the ground. He had put a strong arm around her waist, pinning her to him, and both her hands had instinctively fallen on his hips, feeling the tense muscles under his clothes and skin. She pressed harder, feeling his bones, as she moved her head in another swirl to look up at him.
"C'mon…" he said softly. "I'll take you home."
There was no judgment in his eyes. To be honest, she would have been incapable of telling what his eyes were showing exactly, too busy trying to remember to breathe, trapped in the intensity of his gaze and the warmth of his arms. When a second ago she had been so desperate to move away from him, all she wanted to do at that instant was drown into his eyes.
But her confused emotions morphed into more pain, as soon as she realized that even up close, she could still see that damn wavering light all around his face, a constant burn on the orbs of her eyes, scorching her heart.
He's not from here, that nasty voice kept on whispering in her ear. He's not yours to take. He's not from here.
As a reaction to this nudging truth, she felt the instantaneous and impulsive need to get him closer, much closer. She needed to feel more of him, because surely, the fact that her body was so responsive to his touch, even the most innocent one, had to mean something.
What if she ignored it all, ignored the Glimmer and his origins, ignored the lies that had made up his life, and made him hers?
Her hands were moving of their own accord, now, one of them already up behind his head, her fingers soon curling into his hair as her second hand moved upon his chest, and he felt so warm and strong under her touch; the smell of him was more intoxicating than all the alcohol she had swallowed tonight. His scent filled her lungs and fogged her head with every short, raspy breath she was now taking, and she felt him tense in her hands, against her body, felt the way his heart was now galloping under her palm, and she was truly drowning now, drowning in his eyes, eyes that had filled with confusion and something darker, proof of his own growing lust.
That inexplicable pull she had felt for so long and ignored for even longer was stronger than ever now, hooked deep within herself, and tugging rhythmically with every beat of her racing heart. And she could see it all, could see the rest of the night unfold from this moment on.
She could already taste his lips, could feel the relief that would creep into her, melding with hunger and despair, as she let herself move against him, letting her body melt and take his shape as he held her closer and kissed her fully, deeper, yielding to her eagerness as she opened her mouth to him and asked him to do the same. He wouldn't taste like someone who should not be here; he wouldn't taste foreign. She would taste his kindness and his strength on his lips and tongue, taste his essence, as it met hers and spread through her in this long awaited reunion.
He would be hers.
He would be hers when she took him home with her and demanded all of him, pinning him down hard on her bed, on her couch, or maybe on her floor. She didn't care. She did not care.
She needed this, needed the fiery feel of his slick and heated skin and quivering flesh upon her own, against her, beneath her, within her. She needed to feel him shake and hear him groan her name as she sank her teeth in his shoulder and marked his back with her fingernails.
And maybe he would shimmer more brightly than ever as their bodies met and mangled, because she knew, she just knew that everything she felt would expand exponentially when she surrendered to him until she was nothing but liquefied flesh and bones. But the Glimmer wouldn't matter, because he would be hers, undeniable proof that where he was from didn't matter. It didn't change who he was or what he had become to her.
She would challenge Nature itself, dare it to come take him now, dare it to untangle him from her limbs and take his eyes away from hers, break their souls in half and tell her that this was not his place. That it never was and never would be.
But something was missing from that fantasy.
Olivia was not the only one with the power to choose, with the right to decide.
If she took Peter's lips now, he would let her. He would let her take him whole. He would let her, not knowing what battle she was truly fighting, not knowing that she was in reality trapping him.
Because if she made him hers now, whenever he learned the truth about his origins, he would be too entangled in her not to stay here, with her.
He wouldn't run away.
She couldn't do this to him. Maybe she wasn't brave enough to let him know what she had learned tonight, but she was still honest enough not to trick him into another lie.
Breathing had become even harder now, but it wasn't caused by her sudden rush of desire anymore; it was caused by the pain squeezing her heart. She knew right away that he was reading it her eyes, feeling it in his bones, the way he always did, his beautiful eyes once more filling with honest concern, silently asking her to share her worries with him.
But she couldn't. God, she couldn't.
She let her head drop, instead, until her forehead was resting upon his chest, wrapping both her arms around his waist in a very intuitive gesture, silently begging him not to leave her, not yet, as she fought hard to keep traitorous tears from slipping out, letting him know just how bad she felt exactly. While her state of inebriety would have made her bold enough a second ago to capture his lips, it was also making her more vulnerable than ever.
He let her hug him, responding in kind, burying his fingers in her hair and tightening the hold of his arm around her. True to himself, she knew he wouldn't ask questions, not now, not later, and she would let him drive her home in silence. The fact that she had just tried to drink herself into oblivion would give her the perfect excuse not to mention this ever again, come tomorrow. She would remember every second of it, of course, would remember how he felt in detail.
She would remember the feel of him as well as the musky fragrance of his skin seeping through his clothes, just like she always remembered everything else, with the exception of that time in Jacksonville when she had been turned into a freak of nature.
But memories would be all she'd ever get, for now and for as long as she shall live.
Because the truth was what it was.
Peter was not hers to take.
He never would be.