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09 May 2010 @ 11:41 pm
less fortunate saviors  
flashfoward- olivia/lloyd
I just can't get enough of these two, if you couldn't tell. post-course correction. spoilers for everything. this is probably the closest to fluff I'll ever get. takes place immediately after Olivia walks out of Lloyd's house. 

Olivia’s breathing quickens as she shuts the door behind her, back pressed against the cold wood as the door does its best to drown out the voices of her husband and her...Lloyd.

She’s been telling herself she’s not married. She hasn’t felt married in a very long time. But now, here, with Mark interrupting her evening with Lloyd (work-related, of course– there’s always some pretense or excuse pulling them together) she’s feeling very much married and the weight of this truth is digging into her unforgivingly.

There’s only a few feet to go to her car, but it feels like eternity. She’s across the street and it strikes her that Mark should have seen her car. Maybe he hadn’t noticed. Maybe he hadn’t been looking. Maybe he’d just trusted her as much as she’d begged him to.

All in the past of course, or so she tries to console herself. This isn’t wrong. There’s nothing wrong with her being here.

Mark’s eyes burn her memory as she tries to wipe his hurt look from her mind. Betrayal, anger, disbelief, it was all written over his face and she has to admit, she really can’t blame him, not for this one.

There will be no scapegoats or red herrings to speak of. There’s only her and a man who she made a promise not to see, not so very long ago.

She’s having trouble with her keys or maybe with her fingers, because she’s finding it impossible to start her car and her vision’s failing her rapidly until a screen of liquid floods her eyes and the keys fall to the floor, forgotten.

Head on the steering wheel she bawls, because she hasn’t done this yet, not with 72 hour shifts at the hospital and a little girl she has to remain upbeat in front of at all times. She has to get out of here, drive down the block at the very least, but she’s forgotten how to do anything except this.

Chest heaving, she collapses into herself, losing all sense of time and place.

 



 

Lloyd’s fingers hesitate as he shuts his front door. Olivia’s car is still out front and she must be in it, he supposes, but Mark’s walking in her direction and this really isn’t his place to interfere.

His eyes skirt through the open blinds, watching as Mark freezes momentarily, torn between getting into his car and going after Olivia. (He doesn’t call her his wife. She doesn’t feel like Mark’s wife to him.) He watches as Mark’s head turns towards her and Lloyd sucks in a breath, hating the jealousy coursing through his veins. It only lasts for a moment though, because Mark clenches his fist and climbs into his car instead.

The flashing of his headlights illuminate Lloyd’s face from his living room and he know longer cares if Mark’s watching him or not. A few seconds later, the car vanishes.

The street’s quiet after that and his view is now unobstructed. The decision is easy, but still doesn’t feel quite right to him. Nevertheless, he’s out the door, slowly making his way to her.

The motion sensor light flickers on as he steps off the porch.

It’s then that he notices she’s crying.

 



 

She’s not sure how it happens, when she replays it in her mind. There’d been a slight knocking sound that tried to drown out the pathetic noises coming from her mouth, then a loud click and next an arm around her, pulling her upward until her feet were dangling in the air.

A sense of calm washes over her as she gives in, head burrowing into Lloyd’s shirt. Her fingers grasp the edge of his blazer and her teeth bite down firmly on a lip that refuses to quit quivering.

There’s no shame left in her. Only exhaustion.

 



 

It’s a battle convincing Nicole to go home. Lloyd understands. He’s a stranger to her, a stranger who Mark’s probably mentioned from time to time, in less than flattering light. Luckily, Charlie warms to him and starts asking about Dylan, and their conversation seems to ease Nicole’s worries.

She whispers something to Charlie before leaving, but he tells himself he doesn’t mind. He’d hope his babysitter would do the same with Dylan in a similar situation.

"Is mommy sick?" Charlie asks quietly in the loud whisper voice children often use.

Lloyd nods, leading her into the kitchen. "She just needs to sleep," he explains simply. "So we have to be quiet. Can you do that?"

Charlie pretends to zip her lips shut then grins.

"Is Dylan coming?" she asks after a minute, still fake-whispering.

Lloyd grins at her attempt to remain silent. "In fifteen minutes," he promises, eyeing the clock. He’d already arranged to have a neighbor pick Dylan up from therapy and bring him to Olivia’s. "Why don’t you pick out a movie to watch and I’ll make some popcorn."

"Okay!" Charlie shouts, forgetting all about her pact of silence as she trots off into the living room.

 



 

It’s one of those dreams where she knows she’s dreaming, but when she tries to wake up, she can’t.

It takes a moment before she realizes she is awake and that she’s in her own bed with no idea of how she ended up here. She glances at the clock to her right and panics when she notices the time. Her feet hit the ground instantly, jumping slightly from the cold of the wooden floor beneath her. She shivers slightly as she stares around the dark bedroom, finding herself alone and still quite confused.

The door creaks loudly as Olivia presses it open, fingers curling around the wood delicately as she sticks her head out first, peering around the edge much like a child in a strange, unfamiliar environment. She makes her way down the stairs slowly, wondering if Nicole is still here and praying she hasn’t called Mark.

Lloyd stirs as she shifts her body weight, floor creaking unforgivingly beneath her. She winces as she tries to tiptoe past the couch, but he’s turning over and his eyes are already roaming the room.

"Hi," she says awkwardly, because she’s not certain what one is supposed to say after doing the things she’s slowly recalling from the night before.

"Hey," Lloyd begins, pushing himself into a sitting position. He eyes her carefully. "How are you..."

"Charlie," she says quickly, swallowing the lump in her throat. She closes her eyes, thinking of the lecture Mark will give her. "I have to...I can’t believe...."

"What time is it?" he asks quickly.

"Three in the morning," she tells him quietly. "How did you...did Nicole..."

"I told her you were sick," Lloyd explains. He motions to the floor as he climbs to his feet. Olivia looks down to see two tiny bodies nestled in separate sleeping bags.

"We made smores," he laughs. "They wanted to pretend they were camping."

"Oh," Olivia remarks, smiling lightly. "Oh."

"I had Dylan dropped off here after therapy to keep Charlie company. I hope that’s all right. I wasn’t...I wasn’t sure what..."

"No, no, of course it’s fine," she concludes, smiling down at her sleeping daughter. "I should be thanking you."

"No thanks necessary, really," he insists, following her eyes down to the kids. "Charlie’s got quite an imagination."

"That she does," Olivia agrees. "Did she want to sleep in the living room?"

Lloyd grins as they walk into the kitchen. "No, they had to sleep down here. There were bears in Charlie’s room," he states with a straight face.

Olivia nods. "Of course there were," she remarks, laughing lightly. She shakes her head and leans against the island in the kitchen. "I’m such a mess." It’s an apology of sorts but also a warning. She holds her breath as Lloyd looks down at her, concerned.

"We all are," he confesses, stepping closer.

Olivia holds back her sigh. "I’m really..."

"Don’t apologize," he insists sincerely. They’re both just figures in the darkness and she feels safe here, like this, with only the dim light of the moon casting shadows on them.

"I’m not ready to talk about it," she offers weakly, rolling forward on the balls of her feet. "Any of it."

Lloyd nods, understandingly. "Then we won’t talk about it."

"For how long?"

He grins sheepishly. "Now answering that could be considered talking about this."

Olivia’s mouth curls at the edges. Outside the wind whips around violently, blowing against the windows without apology. A tree branch taps against the side of the house rhythmically and she finds she likes it here in this strange setting where her daughter plays make believe and sleeps on floors and she shares secrets with a scientist in the dark.

She slips her hand in his and rubs her thumb into his palm reassuringly. "Thank you," she says again.

He smiles awkwardly, pressing his lips gently against her forehead. "You’re very welcome," he whispers.

She can count on her fingers how many times she’s fallen in love. She can’t understand why it’s never felt quite like this.

 



 

The sunlight sneaks through the curtains much too early and Lloyd blinks a few times in confusion before placing exactly where he is. It’s funny, being here, in the exact same spot as in his flashfoward, with Olivia turning over next to him, blonde hair spilling over her shoulders as opens her eyes.

"Hey," he says slowly, smiling as he sits up, head resting against the wooden headboard. He’s not sure if this is okay, for him to be here, in her bed, even though she said it was, and besides, nothing had happened. Still, it’s morning now, and with it comes the unapologetic truths he knows she may be wishing to forget.

"Hi," she says softly, head digging deeper into the pillow as she scoots towards him. He can’t help but smile. "What time is it?" she asks slowly.

"A little after six," he whispers, looking down at her.

Olivia shifts her weight until she’s sitting up next to him. She stares around the room blankly for a moment before turning back to him. "Some night," he jokes.

He chuckles. "One of the best." He’s only half-teasing.

Olivia crosses her arms. "I’m sorry..." she starts.

"Not that again," he remarks, bringing his fingers to her lips to silence her. "We’ve been over this."

Olivia grins as her fingers pull his away. "No, not just that," she begins. She plays with his fingers listlessly as she talks. "For today. You’re going to have to go into work with Mark. I know how he can be."

Lloyd squeezes her hand. "I think I’ll manage," he insists lightly as she smiles at him. "We should probably get the kids off to school."

Olivia nods as he slides out of bed. "I’m off today," she utters quickly. "We could...we should have lunch."

 



 

They meet at a small café less than a block from Mark’s office. She thinks about meeting somewhere farther away, just in case, but she’s tired of hiding and feeling like a criminal all of the time. She’s almost ready to be honest about Lloyd.

He buys her coffee and a sandwich and she laughs when the foam from his cappuccino collects over his upper lip. She holds his hand across the table and thinks that this is exactly what she needs.

She doesn’t tell him about her morning, about packing the rest of Mark’s belongings or her meeting with their lawyer. She doesn’t mention the heated phone call between herself and Mark of the tears she shed in Charlie’s honor, thinking about what an adjustment this must be for her little girl. She doesn’t tell him about her urge to redecorate, to reinvent herself, or the stabbing pain in her chest caused by packing up all of the pictures of her and Mark.

None of this has anything to do with them. She’s not ready to fully come clean and Lloyd’s more than ready to give her time. It a refreshing change, his patience.

Instead they compare Chaucer to Proust and he tells her about his kleptomaniac college girlfriend Amelia while she offers up a story about a drunken college karaoke fiasco. She tells him about almost quitting her job to have Charlie and the constant struggle to maintain balance between being a mother and being a surgeon. He talks about Dylan’s mom and how she moved across the country after finding out she was pregnant and how he’d only seen Dylan on holidays or business trips.

He tells her about growing up in England and she talks to him about her hometown in San Francisco. He explains that his mother died when he was young and his dad worked too much, a professor of literature, and she recalls stories of her mother reading her Shakespeare when she was in elementary school. She tells him about not getting along with her father and about how she misses her sister, Lydia, who now teaches art in New York.

The minutes fly by and suddenly he’s late for work, though she reminds him, it’s not really his job, he’s just helping and he laughs and walks her to her car.

He kisses her on the cheek before he goes and she lets him. She invites him over for dinner that night, if he’s not too busy.

He promises to try and waves as she shuts the door behind her.

She finds herself hoping he shows.

 
 
Current Mood: relaxedrelaxed
 
 
 
Camilla Sandman: Olivia - bluemisscam on May 10th, 2010 05:55 am (UTC)
Oh I'm in a hurry since I gotta go to work, but this was a nice thing to wake to. Very, very nice. Loved Lloyd's care and how the kids were involved and how well you touched on Olivia's very understandable exhaustion. Very nice descriptions in it too, weaving the mental images together very well.

The last section was very sweet and hopeful. :)
Courtney: pic#100599152helen_halliwell on May 10th, 2010 02:13 pm (UTC)
Why thank you! I stayed up much too late finishing it when I really should have been sleeping.

I'm going to be extremely bummed if they do end up cancelling this show...it's not looking good :( All I want is one more season at least to tie everything together...I hope at minimum we get that.

I do feel bad for Mark and I'm thinking about writing something from his point of view but these two just suck me back in and I forget all about Mark...one day I'll finish something for him.

Thanks again for reading (especially since you were short on time!) Glad you liked it!
(Deleted comment)
Courtney: less fortunate saviors - flashfowardhelen_halliwell on May 10th, 2010 10:14 pm (UTC)
Aw, thank you! I agree...I don't hate Mark's character...I just never bought into his relationship with Olivia.

I don't even want to talk about this show getting cancelled. Ugh. I would love just ONE more season...I don't think that's too much to ask, but you're right, it's looking like a long-shot.

Thanks again for reading :)
Auroraauroraloo on May 11th, 2010 03:30 am (UTC)
Your writing is amazing!
I can visualize everything.
I went back to read your earlier work and you capture them both
beautifully. Thank-you so much for this.
I'm hoping and praying by some miracle that they get a 2nd season.

Courtney: we hold these truthshelen_halliwell on May 11th, 2010 10:49 am (UTC)
Why thank you! I'm really glad you enjoyed this!

I'm praying with you! It'll be a shame to end this so quickly...

Thank you for reading!