Even Lovers Drown CH 150

Jake and Shireen left with she and Michael in deep conversation. That left Olivia feeling slightly better, but not much, not nearly enough.

Everything that had just taken place had given her more to think about and all that had done was caused her headache to spread downwards into the rest of her body. She could feel the tenseness tightening in her neck and shoulders, aggravating the ache already there.

Before Olivia allowed herself a brief respite, she and the rest of OPA held a brief review of the morning's events, including Olivia's private meeting with Jake and Shireen. The news of Jake's agreeing to work with them instead of against them was welcome news; they'd all been surprised at his defense of Shireen's appearance at OPA headquarters.

And now they were brainstorming about the information Michael Martin had shared with them. He had no way of knowing that he was on their suspect list and even now there was debate if he should remain on it or not.

"We can't trust anyone that works with or for Hollis Doyle." Quinn was insisting.

"The enemy of my enemy is my friend." Huck said cryptically.

"But is Hollis Doyle the enemy here?" Olivia asked, deliberately playing devil's advocate.

"The million-dollar question." Harrison frowned. "I'd rather err on the side of error and put him in the enemy column. We may not know enough to put this all together yet, but we do know this - Hollis Doyle is a man that has no scruples or morals -"

"Like we didn't know this already." Quinn interrupted him. Her eyes were bright with anger."If we couldn't nail him for Cytron, we can at least get justice this way - he deserved to get locked up a long time ago." she spat.

"We can't go after him if we what we're doing is running on pure emotion." Abby cautioned, fixing her eyes on the younger woman. "We have to have rock-solid evidence - and we all know - hell, even Michael Martin knows and he's only worked with him for maybe a little more than a few months - Hollis is a hard man to get the truth from. You'd probably have to line him up in front of a firing squad and even then you can't be sure that he might not find a way to wriggle out of it."

Quinn made a small sound of disgust. "You heard him - Michael Martin has a beta-prototype security device. Hollis is guilty of stealing or misappropriation of government property if nothing else. And we all know that since this is Hollis, there's always something else?"

"Abby's right." Olivia told Quinn. "- and so are you. So the question is, where do we go from here?

"We check out his story." Harrison was ready with the answer. "We find out who would be in a position to know what Michael Martin knows so we can verify his theory and then we look for holes in his story."

He exchanged a look with Abby; it was full of questions unspoken that were swiftly asked and answered between them without a single word being said.

Harrison looked back at Olivia. "I'll check with the shop that had Shireen's jewelry box. According to Huck here, they seemed knowledgable about their jewels. We can't go through official channels since it's a sure bet that Hollis is tied into that and the last thing we need is for him to get a head's up that we're looking into his business."

Abby nodded. "And I'll search out some local museums and see if I can't find a few to visit around the city and see what we can find out that way."

Harrison gave Olivia a look; she nodded in approval at both he and Abby. He turned to leave while Abby headed for her office and her computer. She paused at the doorway of the conference room. "Oh, and by the way - you look like crap. Go home - or wherever."

Before Olivia could find the words to form a reply, the other woman was gone.

Her thoughts went elsewhere, only coming back to the here and now when Huck spoke up. "I'll punch in some parameters and see if I can spread the search net further out from DC. Quinn can hep me."

Olivia agreed with him - Quinn needed something to refocus her anger and energy.

With everyone having a task to accomplish, Olivia thankfully retreated to her office. She closed the door behind her with a sense of relief, then walked to the window and leaned her forehead gratefully against the cool glass. She closed her eyes for a moment, trying to convince herself that she was just tired and nothing more.

Tried and failed. Before the doctors had released her from the hospital, they had told her to avoid stress, she reminded herself. Fitz had told her to avoid stress. She had told herself that they had all been over-reacting. But now she was being forced to admit to herself, maybe she'd been wrong. It was all emotional stress piling up on her and maybe she should be a little more careful with her health.

When Fitz had been hurt, hadn't she told him the very same thing? And his reaction had been pretty close close to her own. That thought forced a smile to her lips. It was a fault of hers and she knew it - Olivia Pope was quick to give out advice, but not always so ready to take it.

Just like Fitz.

But it was more than work that sent her out of the White House and she knew it. Olivia's smile faded a little; Fitz could say whatever he liked about her being there, but the true facts of the matter was that this was the White House, where the presidential family lived. The President and the First Lady.

She didn't mean to doubt Fitz in any way, shape or form - but she knew it; Mellie knew it too. It was Mellie's turf - and here, Olivia was the outsider. She felt it every time she lay down to sleep and every time woke up in the morning.

That was the major part of her stress. To be so close to Fitz and still have to remain apart. It didn't matter whether Mellie was there or not, her presence in the White House reminded her of the world that existed outside of their love.

Being in Fitz's arms could make it all go away for a little while, but not forever.

Olivia crossed the room to her desk and sat down, closing her eyes. The moments when she doubted him, doubted them - were few and far between, but it was with her in the here and now - would forever ever be theirs?

Unshed tears stung her eyes; Olivia wished for nothing more than to hear his voice or feel his touch right now.

She shook her head; Olivia knew Fitz's schedule and knew that it was unlikely that she hear from him this morning because of the day's schedule. It was hard enough to keep her distance already, following the agreement they had made that the two of them would follow the story that had already been crafted. She was a guest, a valued advisor and that was all she would be while she recuperated under his roof.

"If I tried to be anything more -" Olivia had turned away from Fitz as she'd tried to make things clear about how things had to be between them. "If we tried to be just us, the way we really are, then - I- we - couldn't keep the illusion up for long. One of us would end up making a mistake that would cause it all explode in our faces."

She turned to look at him and even in the moment Olivia felt the pull of them. "We cannot let that happen. You have to know that there's media just waiting to dig up any kind of dirt on you."

But in the here and now, Olivia didn't care what she'd said. In the here and now, all Olivia wanted was to feel Fitz holding her close, to close her eyes and feel their bodies, their breath and their hearts begin to beat in sync.

"Fitz." she whispered his name into the empty room, willing it to fill the empty space in her heart All Olivia wanted was one minute. More than wanted - it was what she needed.