Someone Borrowed: a romance in four extremely short parts
Characters: Olivia, (alt) Lincoln Lee
Rating: Mostly harmless. Sex and consent issues.
Spoilers: Through "Stowaway" and the preview clip for "Bloodline" of Lincoln confronting Walternate. (Lincoln's convulsive swallowing got to me.)
Summary: Olivia is living Fauxlivia's life. Though the world is falling down, there are compensations. And fallout.
Notes: Back in January, killabeez mentioned that she wanted "Fringe (Lincoln/Olivia, or Lincoln/Charlie/Olivia, but NOT Fauxlivia)". Turns out I wanted to see that too. Three (and a fragment) pieces written separately, now bundled together and thoroughly jossed by "Bloodline."
Thanks: to gwyn_r for looking over the first two parts!
And it takes Olivia a moment, but then she grins and says, "Wouldn't miss it" like always, and the smile on his face that had been partly hopeful, partly concerned (still treading carefully after her breakdown, so ridiculous) turns into one of pure anticipation.
Across the room Astrid glances up at them and the briefest knowing look flits across her face before she turns back to her monitors. Liv wonders what she'd do if invited, what she'd look like with those lips wrapped around--
but no, the after-action is for them alone, the Fringe active team who risk life and sanity and worse with each incursion.
In the meantime she widens her eyes in warning at Lincoln and he rearranges his face back to something approaching professional, or at least as much as he's capable of, and he mouths "Seven" at her before wandering back to his desk.
It's okay that she's grinning, she's usually grinning when Lincoln is around. He's class clown and consummate soldier rolled into one, somehow never falling prey to the fatalism that surrounds Fringe Division. Even burned to within an inch of his life he was still ready for action, ready for anything their decaying world could throw at him.
So she--she loves him, sure. There's probably some kind of pathology Liv doesn't care to examine in the irony that she'll fuck Lincoln but would never date him.
Even that's treading a fine line. She's not oblivious to the way he looks at her when he thinks she doesn't see, but their current circumstances bring them all to places they never thought they'd go. Self-circumspection isn't really her thing, but even she can see she would have destroyed Lincoln if she'd given him half a chance.
Frank has his own obsessively consuming career, and he's not *there* all the time. They both like their space. At the end of the day Frank doesn't need her, she doesn't need him. There's love between them, of course, but not need. And that's the way she likes it.
But Frank has nothing to do with this evening. He doesn't need to know.
She glances around but Charlie is nowhere to be seen, as usual--off decompressing in his own way, managing his nerves and his arachnids. Wrestling with his guilt, probably, before succumbing to the inevitable. Liv might think his qualms are ridiculous, but Charlie takes his marriage vows seriously. Except when it comes to the night after a mission, and as far as she's concerned, that's a matter of simple survival.
The docs swear that there's no chance of passing along the infestation but Charlie is ultra-careful anyway, insisting on the condom, cautious with his tongue. He doesn't kiss her, but Liv thinks that his internal guests aren't the only reason for that.
If that's the boundary he needs to set to make it all right, that's fine by her. It still puts him on the edge of the bed, nuzzling her neck and hard inside her, while Lincoln between her knees licks at them both.
Her body clenches at the thought, at the memory. Anticipation is building and hell, no one's going to care if she doesn't turn in this report tonight. Fringe Division gets some well-deserved leeway even in the tight bureaucracy, courtesy of Secretary Bishop. She can grab a quick bite and still complain later that Lincoln's got nothing to eat when she's standing naked in front of his refrigerator at three in the morning. Which will provoke the expected response, cheerful and crude, and she'll take him up on the offer to prove herself wrong.
She shivers again and shuts down her workstation with a definitive motion. Work is over and as she gathers her things, she calls out a "'night, all" to the room that fools no one. But it doesn't matter. In just a few hours Charlie will meet her at the door of Lincoln's apartment. "Hey Livvy," he'll say, his voice even rougher than usual, not just an effect of the already half-empty whiskey glass in his hand.
And she'll grin and move inside, and the world will be set right for a couple of hours. These days, that's almost more than she can hope for.
The case of the woman who couldn't die (at least temporarily) is interesting enough, but what really catches her attention with a cold, sharp shock is the agent who joined them on the case. Agent Lincoln Lee, out of Hartford. *This* world's Lincoln Lee.
She hadn't mentioned him once she returned to her own world, just like she hadn't mentioned Frank or the...activities the alternate Fringe agents engaged in post-mission. Those memories were personal, and hers alone.
Broyles says (this) Lincoln proved himself to be professional, intuitive, and--most important--flexible enough to not only accept the impossible, but to absorb the implications deeply enough to follow the illogic to a solution. A valuable aptitude, and one she thinks will be useful in the coming months.
When she looks at the photos in his personnel file, though, she has to laugh. Those glasses! And such earnest expressions! Her Lincoln--
--no, not *her* Lincoln, the other Olivia's Lincoln, the one who looked at her with worshipful eyes.
It's almost enough to find a pretext to drive down to Hartford and visit this Lincoln Lee, to--oh, dammit, to explain she wasn't herself when they first met, to introduce herself properly.
The other Olivia has Lincoln, she has Frank, she has a Charlie who's not dead.
She has Peter.
Peter who didn't know she wasn't herself, who confessed to murdering the shapeshifters right before Bell took over her body. The first she had come to terms with; she didn't know herself during those weeks, either. Walter calls her double "Fauxlivia," which is cute but inaccurate; having lived her life, Olivia knows the other her isn't any less real. The second...
...the second they haven't yet discussed, and she can't imagine what she'll say.
It's complicated with Peter, she knows it will always be complicated, not only by their current actions and their current circumstances but by the echoes of the past. He stolen from an alternate universe, she experimented on and given unpredictable, fluctuating powers--and everyone around them convinced they are meant to be. Olivia sometimes thinks that Walter and Nina are really just biding their time, waiting for her and Peter to produce some new breed of mutant super-baby.
Considering she can't even *talk* to Peter at the moment, that possibility is a long, long way off.
It's with real regret that Olivia shuts off the computer, returning Lincoln's pictures to their electronic sleep. Whoever he is, whatever path his life has taken in this world, she has no right or reason to impose her own experiences on him. She has no right to imagine his hands on her breasts, touching as expertly as his other self, or to picture the look on his face as he comes inside her.
These things she already knows, and she's keeping them for herself.
He doesn't say, "You turned me into a rapist, sir."
Because he can't imagine that the other Olivia gave *consent* to having her memories replaced by those of their Liv. No matter how willing she seemed, so much like their own Olivia that he hadn't been able to tell the difference once her "memory lapses" cleared up. He'd accepted the explanations, trusted her at his back, celebrated their continued existence with her and--
Oh, God, this was going to *kill* Charlie. As if he wasn't already conflicted enough about their post-mission nights.
Lincoln is a soldier, and he understands that they're at war with the other universe. But there are lines he swore he'd never cross, and Secretary Bishop has made a liar of him. As much a monster as the shapechangers. He'd understood those creatures to be a necessary evil, and he had no illusions about what they were trying to accomplish. Two worlds cannot exist in the same space. It's a battle for survival, and as a soldier who loves his world, Lincoln is willing to fight to the end.
But what Bishop had done is beyond battle and wartime protocols. Inserting Liv into the other world as a sleeper agent, with full knowledge of her circumstances, is one thing. Taking this other woman, this other Olivia, and erasing her mind for his own purposes....
It's vile, and Lincoln had been made an unwitting accomplice to her violation. He understands that there was no way he could have known, and that the woman in his arms had been entirely willing at the time.
What's killing him is the fact that she hadn't chosen to be there in the first place.
They were told that the people from the other universe were invaders, that they had deliberately caused the degradation of the world's integrity. But what if they're just trying to save their world, too? What if they're just as much in the dark?
He's beginning to wonder what else Bishop has been lying about.
Confession (Blue) [ conversation snippet ]
(Because dammit, I am not going to write the whole plotty fic wherein Captain Lee comes through to Olivia's universe, not when this is really what I want to get out of it.)
The same thing Peter said about the other Olivia, only in Lincoln's case--
"Oh," she says. "Oh, no." And it's really unlike her, she doesn't like touching people she's only just met, but then again she already knows this man. In a biblical sense, even. She reaches forward to take his hand. "I don't blame you."
He's staring at their entwined hands when he says, "We, Charlie and me, we had no idea. I think the Colonel knew, but--"
"He did," Olivia interrupts. "He helped me escape--come back to this side, I mean."
Lincoln's eyes come up to meet hers, shocked. "He did? He went missing on our side, we never found a trace--" and then clearly it hits him, what happened. "He helped you escape, and they--the Secretary's men caught him."
He needs to hear it cleanly, without embellishment. "We found his body," she says softly, sparing him the details.
He breathes out sharply and slumps back against his chair. He hasn't let go of her hand and she leans forward to move with him. "Dammit. We knew something was wrong, but there weren't any leads. Even Farnsworth couldn't extrapolate his location."
"Your Walter Bishop is very good at what he does." The tight tone of her voice brings his eyes back to her face. "He's the one who turned me into your Olivia, and he did a good enough job that I didn't know myself. So how could you?"
"I'm sorry," he mutters again, and she squeezes his hand.
He deserves the truth, and her secret. Olivia smiles at him, remembering, knowing he'll see the blush across her cheeks. "I'm not. It's a-- it's a good memory."
And now, finally, she sees the Lincoln she remembers as his eyes crinkle when he smiles back.