Spoilers: Post-"Entrada", pre-"Immortality".
Summary: Olivia wasn't the only one who was replaced.
Notes: This fic brought to you by 'brain terrorist', [tm]Alestar: "Y'know, when you're just minding your own business, and a story tackles you to the ground and screams, 'Fuck you--write me.'"
She never thought she'd be *replaced.*
Liv had assumed--right, yeah, stupid--that Secretary Bishop would just classify her mission top secret and that'd be the end of the inquiries. Her team would worry, Frank would fret, but orders were orders and it wouldn't be the first time that a Fringe case required one or more of them to be incommunicado for awhile. No one would ever send Lincoln undercover, what with his verbal diarrhea and all, but Charlie had infiltrated more than one terrorist group in his day. He usually played the biddable triggerman type: Yeah, boss, whatever you say, boss, I'll get the job done. And he did, right up to the point when it was time to drop the hammer and arrest them all.
As for the other Olivia, Liv had assumed (again) that the Secretary and his pet hench-scientist Fayette would be running tests, trying to figure out the source of the ability that let her move between universes. Probably not comfortable for her, but Liv wasn't particularly concerned about that part of it; they started the war, they kidnapped the Secretary's son and ripped holes in their world, and if a little interrogation would help even the balance, so be it.
And she wasn't playing innocent, either. Secretary Bishop had told her about the weapon that could destroy the other side, and she'd collected the missing pieces as ordered. Sure, she'd had qualms about it--by the end of her time there she'd come to see they were just people, like on her side, and even the prime offender Walter Bishop was just a broken down old man trying to make amends for past mistakes. But everything she'd been told pointed to the fact that only one universe could survive, and Liv was determined that it was going to be hers. For her mother, and Frank, and Lincoln and Charlie and everyone else she loved and all the billions she didn't even know.
But from the moment she got back and the Secretary's team picked her up from the reentry point at Penn, nothing was the way it was supposed to be. She'd done the debrief to video--and she probably shouldn't have expected the Secretary of Defense to come running just for one agent, but come on, that hadn't been a standard mission--and gotten a slim briefing packet in return. The contents of which boiled down to "say nothing" and "oh, by the way, your team thinks you've been with them for the last two months, after a breakdown. We gave the other Olivia your memories."
Her whole existence replaced, just like that.
The "how" was mad science, but the "why"...just to see if they could do it, turn the other Olivia into her? Did they really think she was that expendable? Was the other Olivia going to be her permanent replacement if she'd been caught and couldn't get home?
The other Olivia had been living her life, and she couldn't say a damn thing about it. The whole mission was still classified even to her partners, and it wasn't their fault they hadn't noticed the swap.
(Not like the people on the other side. Two *months* she'd played their Olivia, lacking her photographic memory and tripping on every other cultural difference, and Liv had never considered herself much of an actress. Sure, they were obviously enough alike to cover a lot of ground, but she'd expected to be caught out a lot sooner. Chalk it up to the fact that their Walter was crazy like a bedbug, their Astrid too involved taking care of him to pay attention elsewhere, their Broyles was more distant from the team than hers, and Peter...she'd distracted Peter in the best way, and he'd clearly been wanting Olivia for so long that their new relationship blinded him to any discrepancies.
And she hadn't lied to him, either. It *had* become something more by the end of it, and part of her was still secretly hoping that he'd change his mind and come back to his real home. But that was probably just fantasy and he'd never forgive her, anyway, she'd seen that in his eyes.)
At least--oh, and this is irony, she's fully aware, but it's her life and she's allowed to be selfish with it--at least Frank had been away on his CDC mission the whole time she was gone. Liv had never been good about sharing her toys with anyone, and even if there's no way he could have known, she's not sure she could've picked right back up like nothing had happened. (Which reminds her, the toys in the bedroom needed to be burned. And all her underwear replaced, at the very least.)
It's the casual disregard for her life that really has her steaming. Bishop and Fayette and whoever else was involved might've considered the swap like a science experiment, but she's the one who has to live with the consequences. And since she's the only one who knows about it, it's up to her to make it right.
What that'll entail, she's not sure yet. Right now, she's just mad. Getting even will have to wait--Secretary Bishop and his cronies are still working to save the world, after all, and her need for revenge has to take a back seat to that. But while her anger might burn hot, she understands the adage about vengeance tasting best cold.
It wouldn't be the first time in her life someone accused her of being a cold-hearted bitch. This time, she's determined to thoroughly earn the title.