Disclaimer: I need a new laptop. What, irrelevant?
Spoilers: As long as you know Peter and Olivia had a child at some point, you're good.
A/N: I wrote most of this back during the summer, when I was in France and mostly unable to write. Desperate times call for desperate measures, like fluff. I was going through my abandoned stories earlier today, and since this one made me smile, I decided to finish it and share it, because I think we can all use a smile. It's not like our show is over in exactly one month today or something. OH WAIT.
Anyway. Fluff alert. Feel more than free to leave a little review, if you feel so inclined. I've been trying to write things, but RL is a pain :'(
If you had asked Peter Bishop to describe Olivia Dunham only a few months ago, he would most definitely have described her as being a woman of action.
She did not enjoy sitting around, even if her job and its endless hours of paperwork forced her to do just that almost on a daily basis. However, one quickly learned that she usually managed to squeeze her paperwork loads during night time, when other people might do things like sleep, hence giving her more time to run after criminals during the day. Having been part of her life for quite a while, now, Peter still couldn't have said with certainty when she actually got some sleep.
No matter the nature of her mission, may it be arresting a crazy person trying to create a chemical weapon meant to make people's blood boil in their veins, or going out to buy two weeks' worth of groceries in less than thirty minutes on a Friday night, once her mind was set, Olivia was always swift, determined and focused. And while she admitted herself that she used her emotions as a catalyst to increase her job performances, it usually meant that she had a tendency to become particularly passionate and driven. To outsiders, the cool –if not cold- demeanor she often adopted unknowingly led them to think that she was a rather uptight, unfeeling woman.
These were some of the things Peter might have said off the top of his head, if he had been asked to describe Olivia. A few months ago.
Now, it was as if she had morphed into a completely different person, especially in the last few weeks. He was as equally fascinated by this transformation as he was honestly terrified of her at times, whenever she suddenly unleashed.
Some things had not changed, however, which was why he was careful not to ever question her, not making any comment on her new behaviors; he was all too aware of how annoyed and distressed she felt about her current…situation.
Mostly, he found her absolutely endearing and more lovable than ever -another thing he would never dare say to her, obviously.
She, who had always despised sleep so much and could never sit around for more than a few minutes before she felt the urge to move, even if it was simply to pour herself another shot of whiskey in the kitchen or go nibble on some cereals, was now spending most of her days (and nights) resting or sleeping, always trying to find some kind of comfortable position on their couch, or occasionally in the bed.
When she moved, there was almost nothing left of her quick strides and stiff movements; instead, she mostly wobbled around, or tried to, huffing and puffing whenever she had to do more than walk in a somewhat straight line.
Less than a month ago, she had still been able to move surprisingly swiftly, filled with some mysterious and crazed energy, whenever she was overtaken by a sudden and most intense urge to nest. They never referred to it as nesting, for obvious reasons, but Peter had read enough books by now to know it was exactly what she had been doing. These were good examples of times when he had been particularly careful not to stand in her way, or to call her out on how she was exhausting herself, as she cleaned absolutely every single surface of their place.
She would squat, crawl and bend in the weirdest positions to reach under furniture and do whatever she wanted, all the while having to deal with the already very impressive…element that was blocking most of her movements.
But that had been over three weeks ago, now, and so late in her pregnancy, every day that had gone by since then had been a day during which Olivia had seemingly gained more volume –still all in front.
She was officially a week overdue now, closer to forty-two weeks than forty-one, give or take a few days, as they were still unsure on when the conception had happened, exactly. They had been quite active around that time.
At this point, most doctors would have already 'advised' the expecting mother to check themselves into a hospital and get induced to end their suffering once and for all. Of course, they usually found ways to make it all about the baby's safety, making it sound like being overdue was dangerous for the unborn child.
As it so happened, however, Olivia was surrounded by men who were much smarter than most doctors, and through the months, she had taken a personal and serious interest in the safety and birth of her child. To quote her words, she knew it was mostly bullshit. As long as both baby and mother were closely and regularly monitored, and as long as they stayed healthy, there was no need for forced induction.
"I swear, if one more person asks me why I'm not going to the hospital to get drugs pumped through my veins and make things easier on the doctors by having the swift C-section that will mostly likely follow, I will get my gun back and put them in a hospital."
These had been her words, only two days ago. Even if Peter admired and approved of her choices about going 'all natural' and let things unfold on their own, he had to admit that the idea of suggesting induction to her was starting to cross his mind more and more often. He would however never, ever, EVER dare utter those words out loud.
But Olivia was just so…
Well, he never thought there would come a day when he would have to describe her as being 'pitiful ', but it just came a time when even the most badass woman in this universe (and probably the other one) reached a point of no return. He suspected that Olivia had reached that time a while ago now, as her belly was now close to making up a third of her corporal mass.
Peter did his best to be around as much as possible during this trying time, knowing –and hoping- that it could happen at any moment, but sometimes, things beyond his control forced him out of the apartment. He was not simply referring to how Olivia regularly asked him to go buy more Indian food, as spicy dishes were one of the many things that were supposed to naturally induce labor.
Today, it had been a new eccentricity from Walter that had gotten him out, and when he finally made it back home in the early evening, he wasn't exactly surprised to find Olivia in tears in front of the TV, lost in the pile of pillows, cushions and tissues that covered the entirety of the couch.
She hardly even looked at him when he entered the room, keeping her eyes on the screen as she sniffed miserably and took another bite of what he recognized as being a particularly hot red pepper.
One thing for sure, their daughter would probably love spicy food, too.
"Honey…" he said in his special very-pregnant-Olivia voice, as he freed himself from all his winter clothes, making sure to hang them in the right place so she wouldn't have a breakdown about it later. "I thought we'd agreed on the fact that you should stay away from all the very depressing movies Netflix keeps on recommending you."
She shook her head slowly, pouting in the most endearing way, still staring at the screen as tears kept on leaking out of her eyes. "I'm watching Animal Planet."
Peter had to force himself not to smile. There really was something incredibly sweet in seeing her so absolutely overwhelmed by her hormones, having no other choice but to accept her human condition.
She was such a mess at the moment, her face puffy, wet, sticky and flushed; her favorite and most comfortable clothes were in urgent need of some washing, just like she could probably use a trip in the shower or bath herself, and her hair was notably tangled and messy. Plus, she was so obviously exhausted and drained, as her constant physical discomfort made it almost impossible for her to get the sleep she so desperately needed.
And yet, he still believed her to be the most gorgeous creature on this planet, even if he had quickly learned not to share these particular thoughts with her. She had attempted to slap him rather hard the last time he had tried.
He walked into the room, coming to stand behind the couch, where she was not so gracefully slumped, looking at the TV to find out what was making her so emotional. After staring at the screen for a few seconds and quickly understanding what the nature of the program was, he bent down, so that his head was at her level.
"And…what exactly do you find so upsetting about watching a documentary on elephants?" He asked with genuine curiosity. From this view, her belly really looked impressively huge.
"Twenty-two months," Olivia moaned, her mouth once again full of pepper, and her face constricted, causing a few more tears to escape from her reddened eyes. "That's how long a female elephant gestates. It's almost two full years, Peter."
He bit the inside of his cheek hard, still doing his best not to smile, because she had turned her head, now offering him a truly distressed look.
"Good thing you're not an elephant, then." He couldn't help himself, even though he knew how dangerous joking with her had become. It could lead to all sort of unexpected reactions, from beautiful hilarity to terrifying fury.
Sure enough, her desperation was already morphing into definite irritation, as she glared at him. "The human gestation is way too long, too, in case you hadn't noticed. You go through life being told by everybody that pregnancy is nine months long. But a pregnancy is supposed to last forty weeks, which makes it a total of ten full months. And then you have cases when the baby stubbornly refuses to come out, no matter how much oil you swallow, how many miles you attempt to walk in your apartment, how much spicy food you eat in spite of your heartburn, and before you know it, you're almost a year pregnant!"
Completely endeared, and not even trying to hide his smile anymore since she was now talking to her belly with grand hand gestures, he nuzzled his nose against her wet cheekbone, until she moved her head away from him with an annoyed huff.
"It's probably because she's very cozy in there," he told her, still smiling.
She chuckled humorously, throwing another dark glare his way. "Cozy?" she repeated, her voice dripping with sarcasm. "Are you kidding me? She's getting so big, I don't even know how she can stand it. I mean seriously, look at this, I can tell you exactly where each of her limbs are, because you can almost see their shape now. Like, you see that small bump there?" She had pulled up her shirt to reveal the very tense skin of her stomach, pointing at one of the few smaller bumps that deformed her otherwise very round belly. "That's an elbow. And sometimes, I swear I can even see her butt sticking out!"
He had to laugh at that. He tried to muffle the sound into the pad of the couch, but he failed spectacularly. Therefore, he couldn't avoid the small –and well-deserved- slap that soon hit the side of his head.
"This is not funny!" she growled, now throwing what was left of her pepper onto the very messy coffee table, full of used tissues and empty snack bags, and already, her irritation was turning back into desperation, her voice thick with tears as she continued: "I'm so huge and achy, I can barely move off that freaking couch, despite the fact that I have to pee ten times an hour, while she kicks my organs 24/7. I'm also both desperately horny and so grossed out by my own body. I haven't showered in almost two days because that would mean dragging my enormous ass into the bathroom and getting naked. I keep on doing everything that is supposed to induce labor, and she still refuses to come out, I'm just done, Peter."
During her tearful monologue, he had straightened up again, leaning more fully over the edge of the couch, keeping his face very close to hers, so that when she raised her eyes to his as she said his name, her gaze locked with his, like they often did.
"I know you are," he said softly. "And I think you are absolutely admirable for going through all of this. But it will be over in a matter of days now, and we will have a beautiful, healthy, chubby baby girl…just like her mamma."
As always, being reminded of what would soon come, or rather who, Olivia's body relaxed slightly, mellowed by the thought of their daughter. She did offer him a look, though. "Chubby like her mamma, uh?"
"I was mostly referring to her being as beautiful and healthy as you, obviously," he corrected himself with a small smile, their faces only inches apart now. "And as far as getting you naked and into the shower, I would most definitely be happy to help you out with that."
"You're grossed out, too, aren't you?" she asked quietly, having sensed the definite shift in the energy surrounding them, caused by both his stare and the tone he had used while offering to get her naked.
His smile grew, becoming cheekier and undeniably seducing. He shook his head slowly. "Most definitely not. I was merely thinking about how I could also do something about your horniness problem while we're in there."
Under normal circumstances, she usually attempted to resist a little to his advances, though they both knew this particular stare and smile almost always led her to cave after only a few minutes. But circumstances were different, now, which is why he barely had time to finish his sentence before she reached up to grab the back of his neck, swiftly and avidly pulling him down to her.
She kissed him with equal eagerness, falling sideways against her pillows, and causing him to be splayed quite awkwardly over the back of the couch. Not that he minded much. Lately, physical closeness had become rare, as she felt too uncomfortable to be remotely in the mood for this kind of activity, and he was too mindful and respectful of her well-being to even try. But right now, it was obvious that her hormones were indeed firing her up despite everything else.
She tasted like pepper, and it wasn't long at all before he felt equally flushed, and somewhat uncomfortable too in this position, as if he had taken a bite of the spicy fruit himself –which in a way, he had, after teasingly nibbling her lower lip.
She abruptly broke their heated kiss, moving her head away with a pained grunt. Despite the intensity of the kiss they had just shared, Peter's mind immediately cleared up. He had read that this kind of physical activity was another way of naturally inducing labor, but he would never have thought that it would work so fast.
He fell back on his feet on the other side of the couch a bit too loudly, watching her face, scrunched in pain.
"Should I get the car running?" He asked, more than slightly hopeful, even though he knew they had no reason to rush out of here if she really was in labor at last.
But she shook her head, now looking grumpy. "That's not it. She's simply started kicking my insides again." She threw her head back against the couch, sighing heavily, and very tiredly. "She obviously got your sense of humor."
He leaned down again, softly nuzzling her nose before pressing a kiss on her forehead. "And your stubbornness," he said against her skin, as she raised a hand, briefly running her fingers through his hair, as she let out another long, frustrated sigh.
"C'mon," he eventually whispered, his lips still pressed upon her forehead. "Let's get you naked and see if nipple stimulation works better than spicy food."
Luckily for him, the joke actually worked this time, managing to get a few chuckles out of her. They sounded more like grunts than actual laughter, but it was better than tears.
And as it turned out, nipple stimulation did work better than spicy food.