She's had a hell of a couple of days, long and difficult enough that she springs for a cab home. The cabbie looks somehow familiar--maybe she's seen him in her neighborhood?--but Liv is too tired to chase through her memories to place him. If she could stand the taste of alcohol at all, getting stinking blind drunk would be a really, really good idea.
It's nearly a blur, the way the world changed so fast. Just two days ago, things got rolling when she found out that Secretary Bishop had activated the machine, using the parts she'd collected from the other world. She'd decided the hell with that, tried to cross back over to warn them, and got captured and held over for treason for her trouble.
Sometime after that she was hauled out of her cell (Christ, could it be the same one the other Olivia was held in?), ordered to put on a white lab jumpsuit, and taken to the machine. The Secretary looked at her with barely veiled panic and told her that she had some kind of connection to the thing, that she could stop it.
It took everything she had not to laugh in his face. She could have shot it if they hadn't taken her gun away. What else was she gonna do? Sass it to electronic death?
She couldn't help mocking him, even as what was happening became clear. He'd turned on the machine to destroy the other world, and they'd found a way to send its power back on itself. It'd be poetic if it didn't mean the death of everyone and everything she cared about.
Right about the time she'd figured it was all just about over Lincoln and Charlie (and Farnsworth, how strange seeing her away from her computers) came bursting in, loaded for bear and clearly intent on a rescue, and despite the circumstances it felt really, really good that they were willing to risk treason for her. Olivia remembers thinking in that moment that chances were none of them were going to survive to stand trial, but still, she really did appreciate all their effort.
And then everything flashed and they were face-to-face with their alternates, and suddenly there was a possibility that maybe everything wasn't going to end after all.
It's weird. The whole thing is weird. Other-Olivia took charge right away, Broyles backing her up (and at least *he's* the same, that effortlessly commanding presence Liv knows well), and corralled the two Dr. Bishops into working together. Liv hung around on the periphery of that conversation, completely unable to contribute, still wanting to punch the Secretary in the neck and biting back the impulse for the good of the world. At one point she caught Olivia staring at him with the same expression, and it made her feel a lot better about her alternate; they both had reason to kick his ass. They'd exchanged a glance by accident, despite neither particularly wanting to look at the other. The shared emotion of that moment, knowing they were feeling the exact same thing, was almost too much to process.
...and yeah, that's why she got so prickly when she saw Olivia holding her partners' hands. It hurt to see them talking to her like--like they were the same, like she'd been replaced again. Liv might as well have peed on their shoes to mark her territory.
She's full of uneasy, scratchy new feelings. Compared to the other Olivia (even if no one's doing the comparing but her) she feels like the bad daughter, the bad partner. Charlie telling her to knock it off with him and Lincoln was the last straw and yet he's right, she knows he's right. (That was the worst part, like a big brother's disapproval, in a totally incestuous way.) It was never fair, what they were doing. With Charlie, it'll be okay, they'll go back to what they were before and everything will be completely the same except for the after-hours part.
Lincoln...she's going to lose him and she never really had him in the first place. She could have, maybe, if she'd met him before she knew Frank. (And she'd have chewed him up and spit him back out, broken-hearted or maybe just broken, she's still pretty sure about that.) She does love him a lot, just not...enough, not in the way he wants.
And Frank is steady, he's always there, and all her rationalizations about job stress relief don't really make up for the ways she's been unfair to him, too.
She does love Frank. She does. It's time--past time--to commit to him. The ring she accepted says so.
Being in the same room as the other Olivia was...disconcerting. She already knew the highlights from her infiltration over there and wouldn't trade lives permanently for anything. The other woman had been tortured as a child, lost her mother, lost her fiancé, lost her Charlie...Liv's story is golden by comparison, including the part where she'd actually killed the guy who'd been beating up on mom. When she'd heard that the bastard is still alive on Olivia's world, sending her taunts via greeting card every year, she'd wanted to jump ship and hunt him down.
She'd lost Rachel, never got to know Ella. But otherwise...her life's been solid. No crazy scientists experimenting on her head, an Olympic medal she'd earned through her own intense effort, lovers when she's wanted them, marriage to a good guy on the horizon.
And yet, and yet. Other-Olivia is the girl with the most, the super-powers that can save the world, maybe both worlds. Liv has a gun and a temper and what good is either against the vortexes that are tearing both universes apart?
Home, finally. "Have a good evening, Mz. Dunham," the cabbie says, and she starts but then recalls that he saw her Show Me when she got in the car.
"'Night, uh, Henry," she says, reaching for a last gasp of courtesy, reading his name off the posted license. That, too, sounds familiar, although she couldn't say why. The car waits for her until she gets inside the apartment complex, a kindness she'll have to remember.
Liv opens the door and finds that Frank is actually here, waiting for her. She's feeling insecure enough that she's glad someone wants her tonight, someone who can take all her sharp edges and contradictions for what they are and loves her anyway.
That's new, too, needing that reassurance. It's the kind of hateful, uncomfortable feeling she usually avoids at all costs and dives into work or sex or target practice to avoid. But so much has shifted in the last few days that deflection ain't gonna solve anything.
Maybe she's changing, too, along with the universe. Evolve or die, isn't that the way it goes? She's faced down too many threats to be undone by a little reality-shifting.
"Hey, lover," she says, and closes the door behind her, thankful for his presence, thankful for her life.