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Over Before It's Begun

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The first time he kisses her, Olivia forgets how to breathe.

She's aware of a few things in her immediate surroundings. The floor of the warehouse where she collapsed god knows how long ago is cold and unforgiving beneath her. She still has a tight grip on the gun -- it's not hers, not a great fit, but it got the job done -- and there's a very dead, very evil scientist lying a few dozen feet away behind a wall of packing crates, only his feet visible from where she's lying.

She's dizzy, and there's the slight possibility she has a mild concussion, but whatever drugs they used on her are still in her system, so the pain is dull and far away while Charlie's mouth is sweet and warm and immediate: an oasis of comfort. She drops the gun, hooks her fingers over the strap of his flak jacket and holds on tightly, needing him right there to keep her anchored to the here and now. There's an edge of desperation to his kiss, his face pinched tight with worry, but he doesn't push too hard, mindful of her injuries, his hand in her hair cradling her skull like she's precious.

He pulls back, and there's a split second of something that looks like regret on his face, or possibly she's reading him wrong and it's just plain old guilt, but he clamps down on it, hard, and it's over before it's begun. He gently squeezes the back of her neck and he tells her in his low, sandpaper voice that as smart as she is, it's amazing to him how reckless she can be sometimes. Olivia looks at him closely, seeing double. She blinks up at him, waiting for the world to slide back into focus, and tries to figure him out because she's never seen him look at her like this before, like he's offering her something secret and fragile.

He lets out a shaky breath, squeezes her neck again -- which she leans into because his hand is warm and the pressure feels really good -- and he tells her that she scared him. It's then that she smiles and knows that he's teasing because Charlie's just like her. He's not scared of anything.

She can hear heavy footsteps approaching, clanging on the metal walkway, and the sound of familiar voices calling back and forth as they clear the level below. Charlie pulls away and calls out to them, but he doesn't go far. More than anything Olivia wants to close her eyes and drift away, but there's that whole concussion thing to think about, and the way that Charlie looks so damn concerned, so she struggles to sit up if only to get him to quit the mother hen routine. She ends up leaning on him instead, weaker than she wants to admit, trusting him to hold her up as they wait for the medics to arrive. His words wash over her, a constant stream of reassurance in that slow, measured way of his, keeping her awake, keeping her with him.

It's only later, after she's been discharged from the hospital -- with orders from Broyles in his I'm-not-taking-no-for-an-answer-so-don't-even-think-about-it voice not to come back to work until Monday morning at the earliest -- that she remembers the kiss. It's surreal, like a half-forgotten dream, and she stops dead, right in the middle of her kitchen, her fingertips to her lips.

She can't quite figure out how she feels about it. She wonders if it's going to be a problem. She wonders if maybe she has issues with getting too attached to the people that she works with.

She wonders if maybe she should have seen it coming.


The second time he kisses her, Olivia breaks the promise she made to herself.

They're alone in the office at three in the morning, running on coffee and stale donuts, surrounded by stacks of paperwork and getting nowhere fast. They're poring over the files on her desk when Olivia realises she's had to read the same page four times and it still doesn't make any sense.

She steps back from the desk, stretches out her spine, and turns her head to suggest calling it a night, only to catch him watching her. He doesn't say anything, but it's not like she expected long impassioned speeches justifying himself to her, or telling her all the reasons why this is a truly terrible idea but they should do it anyway. That's really not his style.

Olivia has some well thought out speeches of her own. The ones about how she's not prepared to muddy the waters of another working relationship, how he's the closest thing she has to a best friend, how he's married, and that's something she knows neither one of them wants to jeopardise.

She doesn't get a chance to use any of them because Charlie is right there, close enough that she catches the faint hint of his cologne and can feel the warmth coming off his skin. He glances at her mouth, and her heart gives a hopeful little lurch in her chest.

When he leans in, she meets him halfway.

This time he's not so careful when he kisses her. She didn't mean to let it happen again, she'd sworn to herself that the last time was a fluke and this wasn't going to happen again, but there's something about his hands on her face and the way he can't seem to get enough of her mouth that's unravelling all of her common sense and most of her higher thought processes.

She edges up onto the desk, just to give her a little height, and ends up with him between her thighs, her skirt -- seldom worn, and why did she have to pick today of all days? -- rumpled and pushed right to the tops of her thighs. He untucks her shirt, looking for skin, and smoothes his hands over the small of her back. His short, bitten fingernails tease at the sensitive skin of her sides and make her shiver. She arches up against him, torn between shying away from his touch and blatantly asking for more.

She has one foot on the floor, the other wrapped around his hips. He was already in his shirt sleeves, cuffs rolled up his forearms, so she can feel the heat of him, the solid muscle through the thin material. Clothes keep getting pushed up and out of the way, buttons undone, and those are her hands undoing his belt and tugging impatiently at his fly. He slides his hands up her thighs, opening her wider to him. He brushes his thumb over the cotton of her panties, right where she wants him most, where she's so hot and swollen for him that she cries out when he first touches her.

He tugs her panties down and off, laying her bare to him, pulling her closer so she's perched right on the edge of the desk. She's so ready for him, shocked into stillness when he rocks back and forth against her, not inside, not yet, just letting her feel him, teasing her over and over. He feels impossibly big and blunt nudging up against her, pushing inside her, stealing her breath, not stopping until he bottoms out. Olivia wants to close her eyes, wants to ride the hell out of the moment and get it out of her system once and for all, but he's not just fucking her; it's not just about getting off. She'd be a fool if she thought it was. It's too slow, he's holding her too close, and he keeps kissing her, keeps touching her face and running his hands over her skin.

She knows she's smarter than this, knows there's something seriously wrong with the way she chooses to live her life because fucking her supervisor on her desk in the middle of the FBI buildings definitely doesn't rank up there as one of the smartest things she's ever done.

It's awkward, right afterwards, but not nearly as awkward as it should be.

The next morning, she's almost an hour late for work after a trip to the pharmacy and earns herself a raised eyebrow from Broyles. Charlie sets a steaming cup of coffee on her desk and murmurs good morning in her ear before going to his own desk.

Olivia's cheeks burn. She doesn't look at him all day.


The third time he kisses her, Olivia pushes him away.

He's insane. He's got to be insane because it's the middle of the day and, yeah, they're in the archives at the far end of their section, but anyone could walk around the corner at any second. She's all too aware of the fact that you never know when someone's eyes are on you in the Bureau. There's an embarrassed squirm in her stomach that reminds her of past indiscretions, but she stands tall and resolves to learn from her mistakes.

She uses every last one of her speeches, keeping her voice low and her face impassive. She tells him it isn't right. She tells him he's a son of a bitch for putting her in this position. That she can't get involved with someone from work again. That he's married, for Christ's sake, and shouldn't that mean more to him?

He just waits her out, letting her get it all off her chest, wearing the same expression as all those times when she's asked him to stick his neck out for her on the job with little or no solid evidence behind her reasoning other than her gut instinct and recently Walter Bishop's own particular brand of crazy. Like Charlie would go right to the wall for her, just on her say so, but this time he doesn't give her the answer she's looking for. He ends up standing closer than he should and does it without her noticing until it's too late, close enough that Olivia knows she should be backing away, looking for an out. She knows she's screwed because all he does is touch a lock of her hair that's fallen forward over her shoulder and say her name, the shortened version that these days only her sister and Charlie ever use, that one little syllable that somehow tells her everything she already knew but didn't want to hear.

He takes hold of the tail of her shirt between his thumb and the knuckle of his index finger, tugging on it gently, and he leans in again and kisses her softly, such a tiny thing to be so dangerous, but as he walks away, it leaves her trembling.


The fourth time he kisses her, Olivia thinks she's falling.

She can't tell him. She can't tell anyone. It's a mistake, and she knows it, but as clever as everyone thinks she might be, she's never claimed to being smart when it comes to her heart.


The fifth time... Olivia kisses him.

She knows something's wrong almost immediately. Charlie doesn't react at first. He doesn't close his eyes and he doesn't put his hand in her hair. She suffers through a horrible surge of doubt, like she imagined the entire thing, before he gets with the programme and kisses her back.

It's different and jarring and nothing at all like the way Charlie kisses her.

The pieces fall into place a second too late; the shock of realisation a thump of pain to her chest. She should have known long before this. Charlie, her Charlie, could have been gone for days already and she never even had a glimmer of doubt. She, of all people, should have seen this coming. She should have known.

She checks for the reassuring weight of her gun, secure in her shoulder holster under her jacket, and feels a sick surge of relief to know that he is in his shirt sleeves, unarmed. She lets the kiss go on longer than she should, longer than she wants to. The second it's over and she opens her eyes, the world is going to change. Whoever this is, he's going to look in her eyes and he's going to see that something is wrong, that it's game over, because this hurts too much, it cuts right to the bone, and there's no way she's going to be able to hide the fact that she knows.

Olivia keeps kissing him. This is how she says goodbye.