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New Fic: Inconclusive

Inconclusive
Fandom: Fringe
Rated: PG
Category: Ficlet. Olivia angst.
Season: Two. Immediately Post-Jacksonville.
Spoilers: Jacksonville.
Summary: Olivia wonders if the price was too high. And she doesn’t like her answer.
Word Count: 397.

xxx

Olivia took another swig of liquor, trying to quiet her too-active brain.

Peter chuckled at her.

“Slow down, there, slugger,” he joked.

Olivia snorted and raised an eyebrow at him.

“After the day we’ve had?” she said.

Peter nodded his head sideways in concession and raised his own glass at her.

“Fair point,” he admitted, knocking back the rest of his drink and then signaling for another.

Olivia smiled, glad that someone could understand the insanity that was her life.

As soon as that thought hit her, though, she sobered.

Because that someone was now even more complicated than he’d been when she met him, which, given that crazy situation, was saying something.

Because just when things were starting to become simpler with him; when they were just two friends going out for drinks and giddily considering maybe becoming more; when things were approaching as close to normal as they could get for them, that damn glimmer had to change everything.

Peter didn’t notice the change in her mood, as the bartender took that moment to deposit his new drink.

Olivia was grateful for that, and when Peter turned back toward her, she smiled again, despite her inner turmoil. She wanted to throw a fit. She wanted to bang her fists on the bar and stomp on the floor and scream about the unfairness of it all until her voice gave out.

But she couldn’t, and that just pissed her off more.

And so she smiled, putting on the mask she’d worn for most of her life, and toughed it out in silence.

That was the Olivia Dunham thing to do, after all. Smile and nod and focus on something else.

So she tried to focus on the lives she’d saved. She thought of the hundreds of people going home to loved ones again because of her freakish abilities. She forced herself to remember that at least some people on the planet got to have what they wanted – because of her.

And it helped. She’d done her job, and that’s what mattered. Her smile became more genuine.

But as she watched Peter shift and phase in front of her, like an out-of-focus microscope slide, she couldn’t help but wonder if those lives were worth what they cost her.

And that night, long after Peter was asleep, Olivia continued to drink alone.

Because she wasn’t sure they were.

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