Word count: 340
Spoilers: 4x18 “The Consultant”
Disclaimer: Not mine, just playing.
A/N: Written for Five Acts.
Summary: Lincoln loved Olivia’s smile.
For a few weeks, a day, even a few hours, he thought there was a chance. That he would be able to turn their slow dance of friendship into something a little faster, pick up the tempo, go from meetings in a diner to drinks at home. Maybe there he'd be confident enough to say what he wanted to.
"You're amazing, you know." "You have no hesitation when you're going after something you want." "There's so much about you that I admire."
Even in his head they sound wrong, too formal, but he could see how she'd get what he meant, and how she'd flash that smile at him.
And then he'd be gone, just like he'd been gone every time she did that to him.
Then Peter came. For a while it was all right. Peter was an anomaly, Lincoln was Olivia's partner, and they worked together with quiet suspicion for this dimension-hopping stranger. The found refuge from his presence with each other. And Lincoln dared to dream of getting one of her smiles entirely to himself, for himself.
Then Olivia was attacked, and her memories began to fade, becoming those of another. She lost that edge of warmth with him first, then even the closeness of friendship, as Peter took over her mind. Sometimes she looked at Lincoln with blank politeness, as if she couldn't quite remember what he was doing here. Her smiles were for Peter now, her warmth for him. Even the most profound talisman of his life that Lincoln had given her was forgotten.
He let a polite professional smile cover the fact that his heart had quietly cracked into pieces.
When he left for the other universe, for another Olivia, his Olivia barely even noticed.
The other Olivia had cared for her version of him, had been his friend, had smiled at him, for him. She, at least, would look at him, know something of him. And she would smile for him.
It was the closest he was ever going to get to love.