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Much later, Peter thinks they've never really been a triangle. Triangles require, not equidistance, necessarily, but definitely angles, two of them far apart by definition.

No, the three of them have always been spiraling into each other, with no one's pattern as complex as Olivia's.

She'd be the first one to confess, and not ruefully, that for every step he took towards her at first, she took three backwards; it just wouldn't be true to say she stumbled backwards into Lincoln's waiting arms because Lincoln was ever-moving too, only lucky enough to be right beside Olivia at all times.

Lucky, Lincoln would say in that soft-sarcastic voice of his, or intrigued.

Of course there had been Lincoln's frank gaze from the beginning in the cell, holding Peter a lot better than the prison itself. And then there was Lincoln period: in his house, in his life. In his bed one memorable night after only two and a half microbrews, and while that shocked Lincoln in ways Peter finds amusing to this day, it didn't seem to shock Olivia, because while she clearly had feelings for Lincoln even then, she also had eyes and ears and -- this is why Peter loves her, loves this Olivia too -- a heart. He wasn't present when Lincoln and Olivia talked, and Peter secretly thinks it probably would have been a stretch even for him, who likes to think of himself as grounded, ever-adaptable, rolling with the punches; chose your metaphor of self-contained balance, please.

Having lengthy relationship talks before the actual relationship is something he's done before and didn't find all that pleasant. But whatever Lincoln told her (however he kissed her that night, however he loved her in the safety of her apartment) she listened. Maybe that, and vice versa too, is Lincoln-and-Olivia in a nutshell. What Peter had with Olivia was and now, is again, powerful; push-and-pull. But he doesn't think it was ever so much the words they shared.

But sharing they are, now. All of them.

Peter doesn't want to kid himself, but he she's opened up, Olivia has, verbally and mentally, and of course literally too, here beneath the sheets. From between her legs, he breathes her in slowly, and even now, after all these times, has to suppress a shiver -- grind once into the mattress and be perfectly still, for a moment, to be able to focus at all. When he looks up he sees Lincoln smile at him, curled up next to her, one hand running slow circles around one pointed nipple of hers, making Olivia sigh in that almost-inaudible way that arouses Peter more than any gasp ever could. He catches her eyes then, smoke and amber and jade, before putting his hands on her knees from the inside. Slides his hands upward, in increments and supplemented by gentle teeth halfway up the right thigh -- which makes her breathe harder -- and traces looping curves on the left one with his tongue. Which makes her shudder and draw Lincoln down by the nape of his neck to kiss her. Peter plans to do the same, and as plans go, he's always creative indeed, spreading her open with thumbs that tremble not at all. Opening Olivia up to slide his fingers into where she's hottest and wettest, and when he settles down to kiss her at length (and in-depth too) he idly wonders if he and Lincoln, together, can make her cry out after all, in joy.


They can.