Ich Brauche Dich
Several long seconds had passed in anticipation before a slightly surprised male voice answered the phone.
-So how did you know it was me?-she asked playfully, albeit a bit breathlessly.
-Who else would be calling me from US?-he smirked over the phone and Olivia had to admit he had a point. –I'm kidding, you gave me your number when we said goodbye at the airport. I am glad you called. Honestly, I thought you weren't going to. What's up?-Lucas added softly, with care. –Did you catch the bad guy you came here to visit couple of months ago? David Robert Jones?
-Nope. No, we didn't. Actually, after he escaped from his cell, as you surely already know, he mysteriously appeared here in the FBI headquarters… Later he somehow managed to run away again-Olivia didn't wish to drown him in the details of the case; she especially didn't wish to say the words such as "teleportation", "Disray device", "Alternate Universe", "ZFT manifesto" and "My newfound ability".
-Eh. That sucks. I sense there's something else you're not telling me but it's probably something I don't even wanna know. So… What's going on with you?-he whispered huskily.
-Um…-Olivia stopped for a split second wondering if she really wanted to do this but then her angry subconsciousness urged her to go on. –Lucas… Listen. I was thinking about you so much since the last time we've seen each other-that was a blatant lie but, then again, she was desperate. –And about what almost happened that night in your room… What you said to me…
-Yes?-his nervous expectation was almost palpable and she sensed a tiny smug smile forming on her lips.
-If you still want to… We could… We could give it another try.
-Olivia-he breathed in with relief and Olivia felt how pleased he was with her words. –Thank you. I was hoping this day would arrive, I… I don't know what to say. It's like a dream come true. You giving me another chance. It's all I've ever wanted.
-How about you say "yes"?-she teased him.
-Ok. Today is… Tuesday, right? Let me talk to my boss, and arrange to take a couple of weeks off. Maybe an entire month, if he allows me to. I could fly to Boston on Saturday night. Stay in a motel… And we could take it easy from there. No pressure. I am ready for you this time, Olivia. I have matured so much. You don't know how I curse myself for the way I treated you. You were the best thing that happened to me. My life was so empty since I abandoned you. And I never dared to call you, because I thought it would be selfish and wrong… You've no idea how I felt when I saw you again after six long years. It was as if life was giving me another chance.
-Let's not think about that now.
-You're too kind to me, Olivia… I don't deserve that, I don't deserve you. But I will do my best to earn your forgiveness.
-So I'll see you on Saturday? I'll meet you at the airport-she interrupted his guilty confession on purpose.
-You don't have to do that. I understand if you are going to be in the field, or, like, going through some case files. I can manage on my own.
-I know I don't have to. But I wish to.
-Great. See you then. Love you-he muttered seductively in the end and waited for a couple of seconds, but the only sound he heard from the other end of the line was the sound of silence.
So that's done. She started walking around the apartment, trying to calm down a bit. Olivia was always nervous around Lucas. He was her first love, her high school sweetheart. When she fell for him, she was merely a teenager; she didn't even start her training at Quantico… Olivia was very insecure when she was a young girl… Although Rachel was constantly telling Olivia how beautiful she was and how all the boys from her class were into her, Olivia somehow lacked confidence… She used to dress very plainly, and she would normally wear gray and black pants and dark oversized sweaters… She never wore her hair loose…
Lucas was… The most popular senior in high school…. And very handsome. A quarterback, as well… His most obvious match, Olivia thought, would have been a cheerleader… Not a stern, serious young girl who was only interested in psychology, forensic science and criminalistics, someone who never went out anywhere, who shunned male company. And yet he'd noticed her. Olivia recalled clearly how she believed he was nothing but a presumptuous, pompous prick, and how she was surprised after she got to know him better…. Lucas was funny, charming, pleasant, intelligent and somewhat shy and reserved, as Olivia found out later… He never did enjoy all the attention he was getting from the girls and his classmates… He liked to keep himself to himself and that was Olivia and he actually had in common. Also, he had an extraordinary sense of humor. He was always able to make her laugh, to unwind her after a stressful day at home or after hours of studying… And the way he could make her body react to him… It was amazing. It would take only a casual kiss, a brush of his lips, for Olivia to start trembling in his arms. Sex with Lucas was always incredible, overtly passionate and earth-shattering. The only thing that she never liked about him was his possessiveness and his bossiness. Lucas would sometimes control her too much… And he had those mood swings she hated… One moment he could be sweet and indulgent, and the next he would get angry with her over something stupid and he would verbally humiliate her… Something like a bipolar personality disorder, Olivia thought. One moment he would insult her, and he would apologize the next… Olivia never knew what to expect of him. She was, however, grateful for his support. Lucas thought she was brilliant, and he was one of the reasons she decided to go through the Quantico training, to become a full-fledged agent. Of course, she had wanted to work in law enforcement since she was a child, but, one thing was to desire something and quite another to achieve it for real. Lucas was there for her every step of that arduous road.
She spent five amazing years with him… Her longest relationship ever. They've managed to stay together even during her extensive training, and they would always find time for each other in the end of the day. Olivia was naively certain he was going to wed her, choosing to ignore the little signs that slowly started to emerge on the surface…
Their relationship was put on the test, when she could no longer see him each day but only at weekends… And then every other weekend. Lucas was beginning to respond irritatingly whenever she tried to explain that she simply had to remain in the FBI base that night or the next one. Olivia was trying to make him understand, and he grudgingly accepted that new schedule, and waited… It seemed the waiting was over on the day when she finally completed her training. They rented an apartment together and there was no one happier than Olivia when they began their new life.
However, when she started working as FBI agent, things only became worse for them. Being highly moral and responsible, and having a strong sense of duty, full of desire to prove that she would do her job well, Olivia gave herself completely, performing all the tasks that were asked of her, believing that she was the one to right all wrongs, to give unconditional help to the ones who needed it. And Olivia was content because she knew that in the end of the day she had a home to go to, and a loving, caring boyfriend. A place where she would forget all horrors that might have transpired during the day in the field. But she didn't know Lucas was gradually growing tired of waiting for her to come home in the night…. Olivia was lulled in her imagination, safe in her fantasies… And then Lucas snapped and ended everything, so abruptly. It was a wake-up call, the one that brought her to reality…
-I can't go on like this anymore, fuck, Olivia! I barely managed to hold on to you while you were doing your training. I was just hoping that, when you were done at Quantico, things might become different for the two of us… You know, since moved in together… But nothing has changed. You're spending even more time at work than you used to spend before at your training sessions. It's just always going to be like this, isn't it? You, coming home late at night, or not coming home at all… And me, waiting for you like an idiot, preparing dinner… In this relationship, I am the giver and you are the taker! You sucked all the life out of me, Olivia! We used to be great together… We used to give so much to each other.
-I am giving you all I can, Lucas-her voice was drowning in the oncoming tears. –I love you so much.
-Not as much as you love your work. What if I suggested you to quit? To simply… Go elsewhere with me. Go live the life, explore the world! And then, maybe, in time you could find something else to do…
Olivia couldn't believe her ears. Something else… To do? This job was the job of her life, she has always wanted to be a federal agent. And Lucas used to understand that, he used to push her forward with his reassuring words…
-Lucas, we are grownups now, each of us has his own responsibilities, his own obligations. I cannot ignore that. I simply can't behave like a carefree teenager I once was. This workplace is a part of my life now.
-And me, what about me?
-You have always been a part of my life. You know that.
-Somehow that part of your life has gotten significantly smaller. Olivia, this job you're doing… It's taking you away from me. I am giving you a choice here now. Your work or me. You choose.
-You can't simply expect me to do that, Lucas-she whispered exasperatedly. –I don't believe you've just said that. You can't force me to make that choice. My job is not taking me away from you. You are the one who is distancing from me.
He laughed bitterly.
-But it appears that you have already chosen. Goodbye, Olivia.
Just like that. After five years…. After all the plans they had… Christ, Olivia remembered awkwardly, they were even thinking about the names they would give to their children. She was heartbroken after he left. And angry with herself for not having noticed the signs before, for not doing something on time… Olivia was convinced she could've saved that relationship if only she dedicated more time to him…
Everything after Lucas didn't seem to last, partly because he shattered her heart and Olivia would find herself either not investing enough in a new relationship or completely avoiding guys who had a crush on her. She was certain that sooner or later, no matter how much they swore they loved her, they would leave her because of the job she was doing. Phillip Broyles came to her mind and she cringed sadly. His wife had actually abandoned him, taking the children with her, marrying his friend… Because Broyles, just like Olivia, got so caught up in his work… Because he dedicated his life to finding a serial killer and his family had suffered.
And then there was John. So full of understanding… So similar to her. That was the first time Olivia thought that maybe Lucas couldn't comprehend her because he didn't do a same type of job, he didn't know what it was like… The one year clandestine relationship with John did her so much good… He made her feel like no one else had in a long time. She bit her tongue. And then he died. You didn't count on that, Olivia Dunham, did you? What's worse… Last night… It almost happened again.
Trying to banish the thoughts of bloodied Peter Bishop convulsing on that warehouse floor from her mind, Olivia started for her bedroom, thinking she should definitely get some rest. Broyles had the horrible habit of calling around 6 a.m. and informing her about the new case. It was around half past ten, already night time and she decided to call it a day. Rachel and Ella weren't back yet and Olivia wondered where they were. She couldn't possibly still be at the hospital. Olivia thought of calling Rachel to check up on her but then she desisted. She might be with Peter and I don't want to seem desperate. As her head touched the pillow, she forced herself to think about her upcoming meeting with Lucas, and everything became clearer. Olivia Dunham had a new goal in life. And it made her feel so much better.
Surprisingly enough, when she opened her eyes in the morning, there were no missed calls from her boss. She tiptoed to the door of Rachel's room and found her and Ella sleeping together in a tight embrace. Olivia smiled and went to prepare a pot of hot, strong black coffee. Her cell rang only ten minutes later and she shrugged nonchalantly. Well, it's not like I hadn't been expecting that.
-This is Francis-kind gravelly voice she knew all too well was on the other end of the line.
-Hey Charlie-Olivia exclaimed happily. -What's up?
-I'm at the old Bishop's lab at Harvard. Thought you were gonna be here.
-Broyles didn't tell me anything…
-I wasn't calling in Broyles's stead. I need your help with a case I'm working on.
-Ok, sure, let me get ready, I'll be there in twenty minutes.
She found Charlie in her improvised office. He was looking around and he seemed a bit uncomfortable.
-Livvy… Look. I know you're over your head with everything you do for Fringe division, but… Me and the boys've been tracking down a serial killer for a month now. Elusive son of a bitch. Three victims so far… All elderly males. He apparently rips their throat open and then pulls their tongue out through the hole he makes in their larynx… It's like some sort of strange imitation of a tie…We have a theory about who he might be but we need to go through so many data… We could use some helping hands. I brought you this pile of archives… If you could...
-Charlie. You don't need to elaborate so much and to sound so apologetic. Of course I'll do it. You've helped me on my weird cases countless times. I'll get Astrid on it as well. We'll get back to you as soon as we find some useful information.
-Thank you, Livvy.
-Now don't you say another word-Olivia grinned and punched him on the shoulder. –What the friends are for? Oh… And… Love those sunglasses. You look like some sort of Italian mafia boss when you wear them.
-Glad you approve of my new style. How you're holding up?
-What do you mean?-her voice had a false cheerful ring to it.
-Broyles told me what happened on Monday evening. It must've been crazy… The goons, the mafia boss. You were lucky to get outta there alive.
-I don't really want to talk about it right now-she stated as firmly as her shaky voice allowed her to.
-Ok. Point taken. How are the Bishops doing? Broyles told me Peter Bishop was the one who got you in all this.
-It was hardly his fault. Man came after him. He didn't know.
-When he first came here, I didn't like him. Problematic past; he seemed so full of himself, he was obstructing the investigations, always pouring some smart-ass comments out of his sleeve. Irritating, really. In time I learnt to appreciate him. It appears that his father functions well only with him around… And he's become good at job as well… The shady people he knows all over Boston… Sometimes they come in handy when there is no other way to end the investigation. He is the guy to break the law for us when the need be. That, and he saved your life. I remember when he wiretapped Mitchel Loeb's phone. If he hadn't told you Loeb's wife was going to kill you, we wouldn't be having this conversation here today. From that day on, I started to look at him with different eyes. He's not an overall bad man. Just got a bit lost along the way, methinks.
-Well you won't be looking at him much anymore.
-Oh?-Charlie raised his eyebrows.
Olivia cleared her throat uncomfortably.
-He's leaving-she tried to sound nonchalant and she almost managed a leveled tone to her voice.-It's some… Stupid hero mission he thinks he's performing…Apparently, he believes that his departure would protect his father from… More criminals that might come looking for him. And… You know. That's fine. Maybe he's right. It's just… So abrupt-Olivia stopped herself on time. Why am I saying all this?
Charlie's gentle eyes looked at her worriedly.
-I don't think he'll leave-he reassured Olivia hoarsely, seconds after. –If he said that to you-Charlie proceeded carefully seeing how Olivia's forehead had wrinkled-it must've been in a moment of… Weakness… I don't know… He wasn't thinking straight. You all got hurt that night, one way or another and he didn't wanna see you go through all that again.
-Whatever Peter Bishop's reasons for his decision might be, I no longer care-she rubbed her temples tiredly. –I should get down to work. Let me start with your files.
-OK. And Liv…
She raised her head and he could see a single tear forming in the corner of her eye.
-Peter Bishop's not going anywhere. Mark my words.
Olivia merely nodded and swiftly lowered her head, put on her glasses, blinked heavily several times and forced herself to read the documents…The work was long and tedious but she did manage to find some useful information.
It was about one o'clock p.m. when she decided to take a break. She looked around the office aimlessly. It seemed so lifeless… So… Dull.
She could no longer hear Peter's sarcastic, exasperated voice that used to echo from the lab, retorting, saying things like "Walter!" "Really?" "Excellent", "Now that's fantastic", "That's just wrong", "Don't eat that! That's a person!" And there was no timid knock on her door, there was no boyish smile, no wary facial expressions he made when he believed she was angry with him...
Her thoughts wandered off, recalling how he would bring her coffee every morning and… Just ask her how she was… And did she make any progress on the case… If she was tired, if she needed anything, anything at all…
Olivia… If you need me… I'm here.
The way his practiced fingers moved effortlessly along the piano keys… Bringing the world to standstill… To a place where nothing was relevant anymore… Where she was left just with the sound of the soothing tones he was producing and with his self-satisfied lopsided grin.
And in the evening… Peter would always know if she hadn't eaten all day, even though Olivia tried to conceal it poorly, and of course, failed miserably. He would spontaneously swing by, bring a pizza, a couple of beers, and then he would lift his feet on the table carelessly, teasing her, telling her amusing stories, trying to make her laugh. Gazing at her unabashedly with those radiant, enticing, electric blue eyes. A Cranberries song instantly popped into her mind…
Electric blue eyes, where did you come from? Electric blue eyes, who sent you? Electric blue eyes, always be near me. Electric blue eyes, I need you. If you should go you should know I love you. If you should go you should know I'm here. Always be near me, guardian angel. Always be near me, there's no fear.
Then Olivia smiled widely when she remembered how Peter snuck up behind her once and stole her rubber band from her hair, making her chase him all around the office… And then he shamelessly claimed it was in her pocket all along… Peter and his magic tricks…
Olivia was incredibly terrified of the solitude she was left in now. Her eyes wondered off to her mobile phone and she reluctantly took it in her hand only to put it down again. She wouldn't call him. She wouldn't. She needed to wean herself off of Peter Bishop… If every day was going to be like this one from now on… Well she'd better get used to it. She looked forward to Saturday afternoon. Lucas would be here then and her thoughts would belong to him and him only.
Loud footsteps made her jump in her chair. It was Astrid and she was apparently carrying food. Olivia's stomach rumbled inquiringly.
Has the sound of her heels always been so earsplitting?
-Hi-Olivia smiled tiredly.
-I brought you some Indian food… I think you told me once you liked it… Hope you don't mind.
-Thank you. I really appreciate it.
-I'm sorry I couldn't come sooner… I know you needed me back here. I'll get to work straight away. I was at the hospital.
-Oh. Ok.-Olivia looked everywhere but in Astrid's face.
-Peter and Walter told me to say hi. Peter has personally asked me to check up on you every now and then to see if you eat regularly-Astrid burst out laughing. –And he sent you this.
-What is that?
-Those are some of the French fries he had for lunch today.
-Cute-Olivia looked perplexed.
-He said, and I quote: When Olivia tastes these, she'll forever stop complaining about the quality of the pizza I bring her. Oh… I already miss them both. The lab is so ghostly quiet without the Bishop boys-Astrid sighed. –I even miss Walter calling me Asteroid and Asterix… Who would've thought…
-Astrid-Olivia's cold voice interrupted Astrid's chattering. –Could we please focus on these files?
-Sure. Whatever you say. Sheesh…-Olivia heard her muttering as she was walking away… -What's gotten into her, she's so grumpy today…
Peter Bishop was lying in bed with a horrible headache. He couldn't fall asleep… Walter was already snoring again after eating both of their food rations. Peter simply couldn't bring himself to swallow hospital food so he elegantly skipped lunch.
It's just that sort of stuff you can eat only if you're really hungry. Like… Dirt. Or rat tails.
He had been thinking about Walter's and Rachel's words all day but came to no definitive conclusion. Closing his eyes, he thought of Olivia.
She's most likely working on a case right now… Either energetically apprehending a villain or methodically going through some case files. I wonder if she'd eaten… God, I miss her already. That's definitely not normal. Look at you, Bishop, one day without your "sweetheart", and you're all mushy.
Why didn't she come with Astrid? Meh, she's probably on a gruesome crime scene or something like that. Perhaps she'll come later today. Who knows, she might even wish to talk in private. What do I tell her? Should I just behave like I always do, and ignore what happened yesterday between us? Or… I could make a prelude to the conversation, ease her in… Send her a goofy SMS or something.
Peter took his mobile phone from the nightstand and stared long and hard at her name. Finally, he decided against calling Olivia… Maybe she's resting… Or she's in the middle of something. I could just wait for her to call me.
-Or maybe you're a chicken, Bishop. Buc-buc-buc-buc!
-Yeah, that too.
Nothing else remained but to fantasize about her lovely, ever shifting eyes… They could be disapproving and dark green when he behaved like a clown, worried and olive green when he was wounded or hurt, incredulous and amber-colored whenever she saw him doing something utterly and completely stupid and unexpected, and gentle as a light green spring grass… When she listened to his drunken ramblings and confessions…
Peter Bishop was dreaming awake….
However, several days have passed, weekend came and yet, nothing significant had happened. Peter caught himself yawning several times of boredom. Walter had been checked out of the hospital already, so he joined Olivia and Astrid in the lab… Peter was left alone and he was wondering how the hell he was going to stay in the bed for another two or three weeks. And that was not the worst thing. Olivia didn't come to visit. He had been contacting Rachel, and she promised she would come on Wednesday… Peter was expecting her and Ella (and maybe Olivia) during the weekend, but Rachel texted him she couldn't come.
Oh, well, at least Walter and Astrid are regulars, Peter thought. Even Broyles called him to ask him how he was doing.
During one of his many heartbreaking, sobbing visits, Walter made Peter promise he wasn't going to leave Boston, at least for the time being. Peter was slightly angry with himself because he let his father's tears coerce him into staying. Nevertheless, he thought, maybe I could stay for now, just… Go with the flow. Keep my eyes open. If I notice anything out of the ordinary… I could easily leave.
When he asked Rachel about Olivia, she merely told him they barely saw each other since Olivia would spend an entire day at work in the last couple of days. Peter was puzzled. Why didn't she come to see me? There was something about that fact that wouldn't stop nagging on his brain. That wasn't like Olivia at all. From Tuesday to Saturday, Peter glanced more than hundred times over to his cell phone. His whole body was itching with impatience, with desire to speak to her. And yet he didn't dare to call her.
At least the nurse is taking good care of me. Cute redheaded nurse was practically drooling over him, entering his room every now and then and asking him if he was comfortable, if he was hungry, if he wanted anything…
Yes, please. I want Special Agent Olivia Dunham. Here with me. God, I miss her so much after only five days… I definitely wouldn't be able to leave Olivia. At least not now. Not immediately. Not after she admitted I belonged with them… With Fringe division. But the shy way in which she had said it… As if she wanted to let me know I belonged with her.
And then it hit him. Olivia was behaving like this… Because she was angry. She was ignoring him… Because she was hurt after he told her he was leaving Boston! Everything started to make sense. If I tell Rachel what I've decided… That I am not going anywhere for now… Not until I find out more about Michael and the way he operates… She will say that to Olivia and… Olivia might be relieved I am staying and she will no longer be angry with me…And when she comes to visit… I'll tell her how I feel about her. Now I just have to wait until Wednesday, until Rachel comes to see me. And then everything will work out for us.
During the working week, Olivia stubbornly and insistently continued to bury her head in a copious paperwork, like an ostrich. Astrid was pointedly avoiding her ever since the day Olivia snapped at her. She and Walter were busting their humps, working hard as well, talking about Peter in hushed voices. Olivia didn't need to hear what they were saying. She already knew Peter was fine, he was recovering. Olivia herself asked Broyles about Peter earlier that day.
The only good news was that it was Saturday. And Lucas was coming in the evening. Olivia went home early, around 5 p.m. She had a shower and she put on a light green pullover and a dark green skirt. She let her hair flow freely and she even put a little make-up.
Rachel whistled upon seeing her exit her bedroom.
-Hey, princess! You look amazing! Are you finally going to the hospital? You are long overdue-there was a hint of reprehension in Olivia's sister's voice.
-Um… Actually, no. I am going to the airport.
-To the airport? Where are you flying to? You didn't' tell us a thing.
-I am not going anywhere, Rach, I am going there to wait for someone.
-Oh, yeah? Whom? Do I know the lucky guy?
-Yes you do. It's Lucas Vogel.
-Whoa! THE Lucas Vogel! What's he doing in the US, isn't he, like, in Austria or Switzerland…
-He is in Germany. He lives and works in Frankfurt.
-And… He is here because…
-He is here because of me-Olivia replied calmly.
-Hang on a second. When did this happen? And how long is he gonna stay?
-Three weeks, maybe a month.
-So what, you guys like, don't see each other for six years and suddenly he senses this odd craving for you and flies across the globe to find you?
-I saw his couple of months ago in Germany. And…-Olivia hesitated. –We connected… I don't know… He apologized for having left me. He wants to give it another shot.
-Really, Liv?-Rachel was furious. –If he'd been a right man for you, he wouldn't have been able to leave you in a first place. Don't you remember how he talked down to you, how he constantly bitched about your job? How devastated you were after he dumped you? I was there, hello! In case you, um, need a reminder.
-He is a different person now. Lucas is now ready to commit to me; he understands how important my job is. He even left his job for an entire month.
-Olive… Have you ever heard of a saying: Don't reheat an old meal?
-No. No, I haven't.
-Ok, I admit I might've made that up just now. But you get the point, don't you? What you had with Lucas was a boiling hot broth. And then it froze. And now you want to reheat it. But it will never taste the same. Sorry about the cooking metaphors. I got carried away. My point is… You won't be compatible as you once were. Years have passed… He has changed, you have changed… Past should remain in the past. I mean, the only thing left you could possibly be compatible in would be…
Realization slowly dawned on Rachel's face.
-Tell me you are not gonna do what I think you are gonna do.
-What?-Olivia bit her lower lip in dismay, embarrassed in front of her sister. –I have my needs.
-Girl… Remember our teenage rule number one. NO CASUAL SEX.
-Maybe in time it wouldn't be casual. Perhaps we'd really reconnect. Rach, he was my first love. If I could make this work… I would feel better than ever… Well… Since John died. Please tell me you'll support me.
-You know I will-Rachel sighed, giving in. –But that doesn't mean I agree with what you're doing.
Olivia gave her sister a quick, grateful peck on the cheek and stormed out, making her way to the airport.
Rachel was left standing alone in the living room, dumbstruck and worried. She decided to keep an eye on Olive, even though Olivia was older sister. There was just something fishy in this story and Rachel was determined to find out what it was.
The loud buzz of her cell phone startled her.
"1 new SMS from: Peter Bishop". She clicked on "Read".
"Hey, what's up? Everyone's forgotten me. Everything OK with you and Ella? See you on Wednesday, right? How's Olivia?"
How am I going to tell him? Poor Pete. "We're fine. And by the way… Olivia is dating her first flame again".
She sighed. So many complications. After couple of seconds of thinking, she typed a simple, non-descript reply.
"Everything is fine with the three of us, Casanova. See you on Wednesday. I found you one of those books on the list, An End to Innocence. I hope it'll suffice. Bye!"
That's just great. I am gonna have to be the one to tell him what's happening. And if I know Peter at least a little… This particular piece of information will drive him insane.