FRINGE: Getting to know yourself – 01
Phillip Broyles got up and took over from Walter to address the team. “It is evident that stopping David Robert Jones from tearing the two universes apart is going to be more difficult than we thought. The bridge is a huge potential liability. It is far from safe right now, so I want all crossovers minimised.”
“Okay, Sir, if you insist, but do you have anywhere for us to stay?” Olivia, said.
“Agent, I think, under the unique circumstances you need to stay with Agent Dunham.”
“That will be all.” Broyles addressed the room. “Enjoy your weekend.” He picked up his paperwork and headed for the door.
Olivia caught up with him, with Liv hot on her heals.
“Sir, can I have a word please,” Olivia said.
Broyles turned on his heal to face them both. “No, Agent Dunham. I know what you’re going to say and I’m afraid that is the only option. We do not want to awaken suspicion. I only want one of you,” he pointed at both Olivia and Liv, “visible in public at a time. This way you will be able to co-ordinate.”
“Yes, Sir,” Olivia said.
They both stood and watched Broyles leave, secretly hoping he would turn back and change his mind.
Finally Olivia turned to face her doom.
“The car is this way,” Liv said and headed to the other door.
The journey in the car was frosty to say the least. Neither one of them could think of anything to say. At least they had the preference for silence in common, Olivia thought.
Olivia was not thrilled about this mission in the first place. Now having to remain on this side had truly added insult to injury, never mind the horrific prospect of spending more than 48 hours in the company of her nemesis. She would have volunteered, in a flash, to go toe to toe, singlehandedly, with David Robert Jones, if that meant she could get out of this awkward situation.
Through the corner of her eye Olivia watched Liv driving – changing gears seamlessly and casually cautious in a way that Olivia recognised as her own style of driving, be it that Liv drove a bit more aggressively, and a little too fast, for Olivia’s liking. She was obviously equally in a hurry to get the drive over with. Olivia assumed Liv was not keen on the idea of spending a weekend cooped up with her either.
They entered Liv’s flat. “The couch and living room is yours for your stay,” she said heading straight to the kitchen, “and for your information I am not thrilled about this either.”
Olivia nodded and, not really knowing what else to do, followed Liv into the kitchen.
Liv switched on the kettle.
“I assume you want coffee. Personally, I prefer something a little stronger after a day like today.” Liv took out a bottle of whiskey she kept between her cups in the overhead cupboard and poured herself a large tot in a chipped mug. “Help yourself,” she said. Not bothering to put the whiskey away or even close the cupboard door, she picked up her mug and carelessly brushing past Olivia on her way, left the kitchen.
Olivia watched her go. A gulp or two of the auburn liquid seemed like a decidedly better idea than coffee right now.
From the beyond the lounge Olivia could hear Liv call. “Do you want to go out tonight?”
Olivia made the mistake of peering around the corner to hear her better.
Liv had not bothered to close the frosted glass double-doors to her bedroom where she was taking large swigs of her whiskey and starting to strip off.
“If not, I’m sure you don’t mind if I do,” Liv continued. It was more a statement than a question.
Olivia watched as Liv removed her shirt and bra. Her skin was seemed slightly freckled like her own and Olivia could see her toned back and shoulder muscles contract as she moved.
Once Liv started pulling down her trousers, Olivia averted her eyes swiftly, feeling embarrassed.
“No. You can go,” she managed to reply, her voice croaky. Despite feeling guilty she could not help looking towards the bedroom again. After all, she is the one who left the door open. It probably would not bother her anyway, Olivia thought.
“Good, because I think I would go mad just sitting here all night,” Liv said, continuing to strip off completely and walk on into the bathroom which was on the other side of the bedroom, still clearly in Olivia’s eye-line.
She could see Liv’s perfectly toned naked form as she casually stepped into the shower. In fact, the shape and competent athletic movement of her body was mesmerising. She continued to watch even though the hot steam and condensation on the clear glass soon made it impossible see anything. When the sound of running water finally stopped, Olivia ducked back into the kitchen.
Her heart was pounding in her ears. She felt like she was about to be caught with her hand in the cookie jar. The large whiskey bottle caught her eye. It now looked much more appealing than her customary black coffee. She grabbed a mug and help herself to a large splash like Liv had done earlier. She thirstily gulped down a big mouthful of the burning liquid.
Olivia took her mug and headed into the lounge. It was neat, with minimalist decor, identical to her own, not a place that inspired comfort and relaxation. She surmised that Liv probably did not spend much time in her lounge either between the long working-hours and a mutual preference for going out, rather than staying in. In her case, she would probably head to the gym to unwind in a healthy fashion. Obviously Liv had other ways to do the same.
Olivia chose her seat carefully making sure her back was mostly turned towards Liv’s bedroom. Here she sat and tried to focus on the mug of whiskey and taking small measured sips. In her peripheral vision she could still see movement as Liv prepared to go out.
Finally Liv came out of the bedroom. Her hair hung casually around her shoulders. She was wearing a fitting black top which revealed her toned upper body and black cargo-trousers. “As you are familiar with the place already,” Liv said grabbing her coat from the coat-rack and putting it on, “I trust you will find what you need. There is a blanket and pillow in the cupboard and I have some frozen meals in the freezer. Help yourself.”
Olivia nodded, not risking speech, in case her voice betrayed her.
Without even a last glance back, Liv opened the door and was gone.
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