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19 January 2010 @ 11:38 pm
we hold these truths  
She’s feeling like she used to back in med school before an exam she knew she wasn’t fully prepared for. She doesn’t like to be caught off guard. She’s always prepared, always ready. She hates when plans change. She’s no good at improvising. flash forward -- olivia-centric. spoilers for all of season one. olivia/mark, olivia/lloyd

xx

She feels the guilt pressing in on her chest, forcing her throat to tighten as she watches him go. There’s fear yes, uncertainty hovering over her as she refuses to let go of Dylan while the boy stares wild-eyed as his father’s taken away from him. For all she knows, this could be the last time she’ll ever see Lloyd Simcoe again.

Except, a daring voice creeps through her head, you already know you will see him again.

Olivia swallows slowly and plants a kiss on Dylan’s forehead. “Come on,” she coos, lifting the boy into her arms. She’s not sure where she’s taking him at first. There’s always the hospital yes, but she can’t leave him alone. He’s been through enough as it is. The last thing she wants to do is frighten him more.

“Remember my house Dylan?” she says a bit too cheerfully. She knows she’ll have to try to explain where his dad is, but that’s a conversation for another time, another night. Right now she needs to stop shaking long enough to remember where she’s parked. She needs to slow her pulse down, because if she doesn’t Dylan’s not going to be able to relax. She needs him to calm down.

“Charlie,” he says slowly, looking up at Olivia daringly. She’s never been one to grow fond of other people’s children, but she’s watched Dylan closely. She’s seen the way he looks at everyone, as if he’s looking through them, deducing them, picking the apart. He never looks at her that way, slicing through her. He just looks up at her, eyes searching for something.

He’s missing his mother, she realizes as she pats his hair with her free hand, the other on the steering wheel. She’s not processing any of this. She can’t.

“Yes,” she replies, because the silence is gnawing at her. “We’re going to see Charlie. Except it’s late and she’s probably asleep. So we’re going to have a sleep-over in the living room and when Charlie wakes up the two of you can play.”

He doesn’t respond, but he smiles.


“Almost there,” she assures him, cradling him in her arms as she balances him on her hip, unlocking the door gracefully with skilled balance that only a mother possesses.

He’s half-asleep, cheek pressed against her shoulder as she flips the downstairs light on. She hears Mark and the kitchen and she winces, praying he’ll keep his opinions to himself, at least long enough for her to get Dylan to bed.

“There we go,” she whispers, laying Dylan onto the couch, propping his head up with a small pillow. She drapes a blanket over him as Mark enters the room, face lined with questions and unmistakable anger.

She presses a finger to her lips, urging him to wait. Dylan stirs slightly and she glares up at Mark. “In a minute,” she promises, crouching down onto the floor, her arm dangling across Dylan’s chest. He reaches for her hand and clutches on to two fingers, his eyes fighting sleep.

Biting back tears, Olivia sits with him, forgetting for one small moment that this boy’s father is supposedly the one to threaten everything she holds dear in her life. Right now he needs her and she needs to help him. She can’t explain why.

It’s not like she can abandon him. He’s been left behind too much in life already.


“Don’t wake him up,” she threatens, noticing his deadly stare as she walks into the kitchen. Her knuckles graze the granite counter top as she rocks back slowly on the balls of her feet. She’s feeling like she used to back in med school before an exam she knew she wasn’t fully prepared for. She doesn’t like to be caught off guard. She’s always prepared, always ready. She hates when plans change. She’s no good at improvising.

Mark sighs and rolls his eyes, taking a seat at the kitchen table, legs straddling the chair as he looks up at her expectantly.

She presses her hand to her temple, squeezing her eyes shut quickly. “We arranged for Dylan to be taken somewhere safe,” she explains. “He has no family, no one who understands his condition. I pulled a few strings and we were seeing him off....”

We?” Mark questions bitterly, disgust etched across his face.

Olivia’s eyes narrow. “I was helping Lloyd,” she hisses. “For Dylan. The poor kid’s been through enough.”

Mark purses his lips but remains silent.

Olivia swallows. “They were putting him on a stretcher. They were so rough and unprofessional. I could tell something was wrong, but when I tried to call for help they...they shot at him. They weren’t there for Dylan.”

Mark’s eyes widen. “Who were they?”

Olivia shrugs. “I don’t know. They were going to kill me Mark.”

He climbs to his feet, arms wrapping around her as she starts to unfold. He grips her tightly as she buries her face in his neck. “What happened next?”

She exhales slowly. “Lloyd jumped in front of me. Whoever they were, they wanted him alive. He told them he’d go with them if they left me alone. I got to Dylan a few seconds later, but they already had him. I don’t think Dylan’s processed any of it yet.”

Mark nods, letting go of her slowly. “The police came?”

She nods. “Questioned me, but I had no answers. I couldn’t even remember what they looked like.”

“You’re in shock,” he notes.

She shrugs. “Maybe.”

“Olivia....”

“I couldn’t leave him there Mark,” she admits. “And to send him away, after all of this. He lost his mother a month ago. And now he had to watch his father get taken away. He doesn’t have anyone.”

“So what, we’re just going to take him in? Adopt him? What’s your plan Olivia?”

Part of her knows he’s right. She hasn’t thought ahead at all and she hasn’t considered what the future might hold for Dylan.

They took Lloyd. She keeps replaying it through her mind, like a terrible nightmare she can’t escape. She watched them as they drug him away from her– from Dylan. He had been ready to die for her. It was funny almost, the connection they’d developed from trying not to communicate at all.

Olivia.”

She’s sent spiraling back into reality, her hands scrunched into balls, forming tiny fists at her side. Her eyes dart back to the living room, to where Dylan’s sleeping, safe and sound. No one’s going to hurt you, she thinks, wishing she knew it was true. Can’t Mark see that she just needs this one thing to be true?

“You should get to bed,” she says tersely, ending their conversation. She’s sick of arguing with him over everything. She’s sick of screaming.

Mark shakes his head. “And what are we going to tell Charlie, huh? Did you even think about her?”

“Of course I thought about her!” she snaps, her volume surprising her. Mark steps back, slightly shocked, but his eyes remain glued to her. She sighs lightly, her arms crossing defensively. “What would you have me do Mark?” she asks desperately, giving him one last shot at redemption. She’s stuck between a rock and a hard place, but it doesn’t have to be such a struggle. If he would cave, just this once, if he would allow himself to see past the jealousy and the anger, then maybe she could figure out a way to resolve this whole mess. She can’t help him anymore than she already has. What’s done is done. There are no answers, only questions.

Mark scowls, looking away in frustration. “I wish I could believe that this was all just coincidence....”

“Mark don’t,” she demands.

“...that this all happened because you were in the wrong place at the wrong time...”

Mark.”

“...trying to do the right thing....”

Damn it Mark!”

“...but I can’t,” he determines, glaring at her harshly. “Lloyd Simcoe just happened to be taken away? You just happened to be helping him with Dylan? The three of you just happened to be outside talking and laughing like a god damn happy little family? What about our family, Olivia?!”

Her eyes narrow, throat tightening as she challenges him, walking around him to stand between him and the living room. Between him and Dylan. She’s in the middle of a bigger mess than she understands, but she doesn’t know how to fix what’s been broken. She’s not even sure she wants to.

“That’s not fair and you know it,” she says tightly, eyes livid and intense. “He’s a kid, Mark. He’s a little boy who just lost both of his parents and right now, Charlie and I are the only two people in the world that he feels comfortable with. So I’m sorry if I can’t sympathize with you on this one...and I’m sorry if you’re god damn Mosaic project has you so brainwashed that you can’t see past your....”

“Mommy?”

She spins automatically, expression melding from one of anger to one of concern. Charlie eyes up the situation quickly.

“Are you mad at daddy?”

Mark shoots her a condemning look before smiling at his daughter. “Mommy and me were just talking,” he lies.

Charlie doesn’t blink. She doesn’t believe them. Kids know things, Olivia recalls. Kids always know more than their parents think they do.

“Charlie do you remember Dylan?” she asks quietly, almost pleadingly. She half-expects Mark to butt in, but he remains silent behind her.

Charlie nods, eyes lighting up slightly. “Is he okay?” she asks suddenly, with a profoundness that Olivia’s never noticed before. She nods slowly.

“He’s sleeping,” she says, pointing to the couch. “His daddy had to go away for a while so he’s going to be staying with us. Is that okay?”

Charlie nods quickly. “It’s his house too,” she says quickly.

Olivia’s lips part as she stares up at Mark, bewildered. Mark’s seething, she can tell, but still he’s silent.

“Uh, for now sweetheart. Only for now. Not forever.”

Charlie grins. “If you say so mommy,” she remarks as if she’s patronizing her.

Olivia swallows. “You should go back to bed,” she insists, looking down at her daughter.

Charlie shrugs. “Couldn’t sleep,” she insists. She pauses, eyeing the living room curiously. “Couldn’t I sleep down here? Just this once?”

Olivia bits down on her lips and she hears Mark sigh, giving in to his daughter’s desire.

“Okay,” he agrees kissing Charlie softly on the forehead. “Just this once.”

Olivia tries to meet his eye, but he’s avoiding her, scooping Charlie up in his arms and carrying her over to the other uninhabited couch. Charlie and Dylan both grin at each other, exchanging secrets without ever moving their mouths. It’s the first time Olivia realizes her daughter may have something valuable to hide.

“Don’t follow me,” he whispers, voice barely audible as he bounds up the steps, eyes focused straight ahead, leaving her behind.


She’s overcome with a dizzy sensation. It’s what they call deja vu.

Olivia, Olivia, Olivia.

Her pupils dilate as she stares trance-like into the mirror. She’s trying to remember how he used to say her name.

It had been the slight accent that sold her immediately. She loved to listen to him speak, even if she had to pretend to be annoyed by him.

She’s done with acting now. She hasn’t heard from her husband in two days. She can’t tell how daughter that everything’s going to be okay.

Nothing’s all right. Everything’s been flipped upside down, and she needs to believe desperately in her flash forward more than ever, because Dylan needs his father.

She doesn’t need Lloyd.

She tells herself this over and over again.

“Olivia?”

She freezes, spinning around quickly, blonde hair whipping at her face. She forces a grin for Dylan’s sake. “What is it sweetheart?”

He shrugs, shooting her a strange half smile. “It’s your name,” he tells her blatantly.

Olivia chuckles slightly, kneeling down so that she’s eye level with him. “We’re going to find him,” she promises. “I know you don’t want to talk about it, because it’s scary and that’s okay. But we’re going to find him.”

Dylan just stares back at her, but something tells her, he hears her.


“We have a lead.”

She presses the phone to her hear, heart racing. She eyes the clock anxiously. It’s nearly midnight.

“Oh?”she says, trying not to sound too elated.

“I’ll let you know what happens,” Mark mutters.

Olivia lets out a small sigh, her fingers drumming along the kitchen counter top nervously. “Well, that’s great Mark. That’s...Dylan will be so relieved.”

There’s an audible silence that slices through her. Somewhere between the two of them, hanging in the air between the radio waves and the static is the word liar. She’s not sure which one of them the word’s intended for. Both, most likely.

“This had better be for him,” Mark warns her, referring to Dylan.

She digs her back into the cold ledge of the counter top, phone heavy in her delicate hands. “Who else would it be for?” She finds her question funny.

He hangs up.


fin.

 


 
 
Current Mood: determineddetermined
 
 
 
Camilla Sandman: Lloyd and Olivia - touchmisscam on January 20th, 2010 05:36 am (UTC)
Really enjoyed this one. Your characterisation of Olivia really worked for me, and you balanced the struggle in her very well. All the characters felt very organic. Found myself even feeling a bit sorry for Mark, and I'm not a fan of how he's been ating!

Nice work :)
Courtneyhelen_halliwell on January 21st, 2010 12:09 am (UTC)
Thanks! Glad to hear you enjoyed it! I can't wait for the show to come back so that we can learn more about the characters. I do love Olivia though. I'm not sure why, but she's become the character who most intrigues me.
Lady Paynes Grey: katequirkysmuse on January 20th, 2010 08:50 pm (UTC)
Oh, wow! FANTASTIC. You have Olivia's characterization down perfectly, as well as Mark. It's like a missing scene from the show.

Great work.
Courtneyhelen_halliwell on January 21st, 2010 12:09 am (UTC)
Thank you! :)