logomachy –noun, dispute about or concerning words. Set anytime after 1x16-Peter/Olivia UST
"Rachel likes you," Olivia tells him, completely out of the blue, as they drive back from a late night crime scene. Walter's snoozing in the backseat, occasionally murmuring about walnut whips in his sleep.
Peter just loves those late night crime scenes. Really, he can't think of any other way he'd want to spend a Saturday night than among gruesome corpses with his father poking his fingers in their every orifice. Before Olivia set up this merry, mismatched band of investigators, he'd have been mildly disturbed to think this was what his life would eventually boil down to. But the fact that this is the longest he's stayed in one place in years seem to belie any misgivings he has with his life at the moment, the reason for which Peter tries not to examine too closely.
He didn't really mean it as a question, but Olivia answered it as one anyway, "Yeah."
"Good to know."
Apparently, Olivia isn't done with this conversation just yet. "She described you as 'hot' yesterday." There's a note of something Peter can't quite pin down in her voice, akin to the tone she used when she told him his friendship with Rachel didn't bother her. Peter almost doesn't want to think—jealousy? Surely it would be the most rational explanation of all the facts: the needling, the vested interest she seemed to have. Still, Olivia Dunham didn't seem like the type of person.
Peter smiles briefly. "I'm flattered," he says. He shifts in the seat, so he's facing her. "So… how would you describe me?"
Olivia's trying to hide a smile. "Ask Charlie. Before we met, I think my exact words to him were 'misfit', 'nomad', 'pain in the ass'."
He supposes he did deserve that a bit, but he can't resist saying playfully, "Thanks, Dunham. Sweet of you." He looks at her curiously. "Well, that kinda begs the question… what about now?"
She glances sidelong at him, eyebrow arched. He's toeing the carefully etched line of their friendship and he knows it, but there's an alien buzz running under his skin that he can't quite curb. He likes it when she's like this, so much lighter and as close to carefree as he imagines Olivia ever gets. He sees her so often weighed down by the work they do, so driven by her dogged sense of justice that she doesn't recognize how much of a burden it is, he likes seeing her free of it even for a little while- even more when he's the reason behind it. He's starting to think maybe he likes the feeling a little too much.
"You really wanna know?" Olivia asks, smirking.
He shrugs nonchalantly, trying to tamp down the corners of his mouth. "Wouldn't be asking if I didn't."
She presses her lips into a pout, cheeks lifted. After a moment, she says, "…Rakish."
He's sure Olivia is the only person who always manages to surprise him—because really, it takes a lot these days. "Rakish?" he repeats. "Meaning 'slightly disreputable'?"
Olivia's grin is luminescent and she has a teasing look in her eyes; he can't help but return it. "Don't ask for the truth if you can't handle it, Bishop."
"Point taken," Peter murmurs and finds he likes this particular feeling a really inappropriate amount.
A/N The wonderful thing about the word rakish is it can have other interpretations. Another is 'dashing'. Take what you will from that.