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Character Manifesto: Olivia Dunham

Fandom: Fringe
Character: Olivia Dunham
Pairings Included in Manifesto: Olivia Dunham/Peter Bishop, Olivia Dunham/(alt!)Charlie Francis

Why did I choose to write a character manifesto about Olivia Dunham? The reason is simple, really: she’s a badass. And by badass I mean that she kicks bad people’s asses and willingly risks her own life (and I’d say, more importantly, her sanity at times) to save the life of even one innocent person in her job as an FBI agent in Fringe Division.

See her in action for yourself if you’d like:

The beauty of Olivia Dunham -- the reason that so many fans admire her and affectionately refer to her as the Dunhamator -- is that she never gives up no matter how seemingly impossible the situation is.

We get introduced to this very early on in the Pilot, when we see the lengths she will go to save the life of her partner and lover John Scott.

Encountering obstacle after obstacle, she overcomes each and every one:

BROYLES: Listen, Dunham. You and I got off on a wrong foot.

OLIVIA: If my past job performance as US Marine Special Investigator offends you...

BROYLES: Well, Yeah. It does. A man who serves his country for 30 years has a few drinks and small lapse of judgment does not deserve five years...

OLIVIA: A small lapse in judgment that will haunt three young women for the rest of their lives.

Faced with resistance from a male boss who sees her as nothing more than a pretty, lovesick, upstart, rookie FBI “liaison” who landed one of his best friends in prison, she slowly but surely proves her mettle so that -- by the end of the case -- Special Agent Philip Broyles is offering her a position on the highly classified task force that is Fringe Division.

OLIVIA: I'm going to beg you as one human being to another. Your father may be able to save someone who is dying. Someone I care about very much.

PETER: Sweetheart, we all care about someone who is dying. I can't help you, I'm sorry.

OLIVIA: I know why you're here. I have your file.

PETER: What file?

OLIVIA: The one the FBI would say doesn't exist. And it has everything. Where you've been, what you're running from. And what you need while you're here. So, either you come with me, or I let certain people know your whereabouts.

PETER: When do we leave?

Flying all the way to Iraq, she manages to con a conman genius into traveling back with her to a mental institution in Boston to release his mad scientist father -- a father whom Peter hates so much that he hasn’t paid the man one visit in the entire 17 years that Walter has been there. And, by the end of the case, Olivia has Peter Bishop -- a nomad for half his life who would’ve rather stayed in Baghdad and possibly been killed by a car bomb rather than babysit his father -- agreeing to stay on with Fringe Division a little while longer even though everything in him is screaming to get the hell out of Boston.

(Olivia enters tank)

WALTER: Listen, in case you don't come back, I just wanted to say before we do this...how much I appreciate what you've done. There is so many things you lose in a place like that. You lose being trusted. Strange how important that is when it's gone.

Yet I would say her most impressive feat in the Pilot is getting a mentally unstable man who has lost the last 17 years of his life in a nightmare of an institution into an environment and state of mind in which he can function as enough of the brilliant scientist he is to solve a case (and save a life) that nobody else in the universe can. By the end of that first episode, she has given Walter Bishop -- a man who has been merely existing without hope or purpose - an opportunity to reclaim not only his sanity but, more importantly, his dignity.

To sum up, by the end of the Pilot, the audience has already learned that Olivia Dunham is the type of woman who can inspire respect, loyalty, and belief.

And how can she not, when she does things like this:

PETER: (to Olivia) The man who was just released from a mental institution, he wants to give you a drug overdose and stick a metal rod into your head and put you naked into a rusty tank of water.

WALTER: No, I don't want to. No, I'd rather not, I'm just saying I can.

PETER: Okay, Olivia, excuse me for a second. You're obviously under severe duress and you haven't slept since Iraq and the man you care about might die, but I'm telling you, that man will kill you!

WALTER: You don't understand the procedure.

OLIVIA: John would do it for me...Set it up. I'll get DHS's authorization to bring John here.

PETER: This is unbelievable. This is insane; he is insane and you're insane for following him.

WALTER: Excellent. Let's make some LSD.

But John Scott is not the only person for whom she’s gone above and beyond her duty to save. Take Claire Williams in the episode “The Cure” -- one of my favorite and I think one of the most crucial episodes for Olivia’s character:

In this episode, we learn why Olivia has wanted to be an FBI agent since she was nine-years-old:

PETER: All right, something’s been bugging you all day. Something other than Claire Williams. And that’s okay. You know what? We’re all allowed to have our bad days. What’s not fine is blaming it on me. I want to find her just as much as you do.

OLIVIA: You’re right. I’m sorry.… I… I’m sorry. Fine. I had a stepfather, and when he drank, he accused my mom of seeing other men, and then he’d hit her. And she’d just live with it. Never called the police, not once. Then one day, he beat her really bad and broke her nose. I was nine. He stormed out of the house, got in his car and drove off, my mom’s crying and I can’t help her, and then I hear his car. He’s turned back around. He kept a gun in the drawer near his bed. When he opened the door, I pulled the trigger. Then I pulled it again. And I can still see his face - - almost daring me to finish. But I couldn’t. So… they took him to the hospital and said that he couldn’t be saved, but he didn’t die. He recovered. Then one night, he just slipped away. We never saw him again. And I still blame myself, because I should’ve done it if. I should’ve killed him. And I know that rationally, he is not responsible for all the bad things in the world, but he is responsible for some of them. And every year he sends me a card on my birthday… Just to let me know… That he’s still out there.

Olivia has had to be a protector for others since she was nine-years-old, and she is determined that she will not fail the many innocent people she encounters in the crimes she investigates the way she feels that she failed her mother all those years ago.

That means she will go to whatever lengths she deems fit to find and help her victims even when others may feel that she’s gone too far. In the case of Claire Williams that means rummaging through a deceased victim’s room without permission during the deceased’s wake and threatening the senior officer of a multibillion dollar conglomerate.

And she doesn’t apologize for any of it because…well let’s just have her speak for herself:

OLIVIA: I understand that you think I acted too emotionally. And putting aside the fact that men always say that about women they work with, I’ll get straight to the point. I am emotional. I do bring it into my work. It’s what motivates me. It helps me to get into the headspace of our victims… See what they’ve seen. Even if I don’t want to, even if it horrifies me. And I think it makes me a better agent. If you have a problem with that, sorry. You can fire me. But I hope you don’t. (turns to leave)

Olivia Dunham gets into the headspace of her victims, and it’s what makes her not simply able to sympathize but empathize with them. And it’s why she always works to find the way that will result in the least amount of casualties possible, saving the life of someone even when they don’t believe they deserve to be saved:

NICK LANE: (earnestly) Shoot me Olive! I have to die or I will keep hurting people. Please. We weren't meant for this -- don't make me take them all with me. Please?

OLIVIA: I'm sorry. (shooting him twice in the legs, he falls and those around him fall to the ground, away from the precipice)

NICK LANE: Olive... you'll wish you had... you'll wish you'd kill me.

And even when she’s close to capturing a criminal like Newton and getting the answers she so desperately wants, Olivia Dunham is not wiling to put a criminal investigation above saving the life of another person:

THOMAS NEWTON: And, Olivia, now I know how weak you are. (runs away, hangs-up)

But what others call weak, I call strong. And others would agree with me:

OLIVIA: (to Broyles) He was right. I made an emotional choice. I chose my friend over my responsibility. And we have no idea if Walter gave Newton the plans for the door. Walter doesn't remember, and the brain tissue that Newton extracted is dead.

BROYLES: And Doctor Paris?

OLIVIA: Nothing. He's vanished. So all we have is more questions. I mean, who is Paris? How did Newton know about Walter's memories? And why did they let Walter live?

BROYLES: I suspect that's the way this is going to be. The more answers we get, the more questions they'll lead to.

OLIVIA: We didn't get any answers.

BROYLES: Sure we did. We've given our enemy a name and a face. That's something. And you saved Doctor Bishop's life. That's something too, because despite what you think, you made a rational choice, not an emotional one. If you had captured Newton, or even killed him, that wouldn't have been the end of this. But there's only one Walter Bishop... and we'll be needing him before this is over. Don't be so hard on yourself. We're gonna be needing you too.

Olivia is incredibly hard on herself, and to me that’s what makes her such a lovable character. It’s why I love her more than her alternate even though in many ways they’re the same person. But Anna Torv, the actress who plays the two Olivias, says it best:

”They are actually the same person. They’ve got the same genetic make-up, they would have the same mannerisms, say the same things, they are in the same job, they are fundamentally the same person, they have just made different choices. It’s so subtle the difference, but I think that Olivia, our Olivia, she kinda wants to be the best, she just wants to be the best, whereas Bolivia just wants to win. And I think that’s the swagger to her and that’s the earnestness to Olivia, but yet you can see they’re cut from the same cloth.”

It’s a subtle difference, yes, but it’s the difference that makes our Olivia so endearing to me -- what makes her the more compassionate rather than the more competitive person that she could’ve been had she grown up with a mother and without an abusive stepfather like Bolivia (or Alt!livia or Fauxlivia, whatever name rocks your boat).

Of course, the very best description of the Olivia Dunham from the Blue Verse is from the person who knows her best (and here’s a lovely video to accompany his words):

BOLIVIA: What's she like?



PETER: She's a lot like you. Darker in the eyes, maybe. She's always trying to make up for something. Right some imaginary wrong. Haunted, I guess. Maybe she's nothing like you at all. Thanks for the ride.

BOLIVIA: Of course.

HAUNTED. In one word, Peter Bishop gets at the heart of who Olivia Dunham truly is. She is so haunted, haunted more than you’d want to wish on anyone. Haunted by the early losses of her father and mother, the abuse at the hand of her stepfather, and the drug trials performed on her as a young child that gave her abilities that no normal being should have -- endowing her with a burden of responsibility that she never asked for nor wanted (all she’s wanted is to be normal, as we later learn from Peter in “LSD”):

And, later in life, plenty of new nightmares pile up to haunt her: the betrayal and death of her lover John Scott; the death of best friend Charlie Francis by a shape-shifter whom she later had to kill while staring at the face of said best friend; her abduction, brainwashing (into thinking she was her alternate!), and torture by Walternate in an alternate universe from which she barely escaped with her life and sanity only to discover that the man she’d crossed universes had unwittingly been seduced into an intimate relationship with her alternate!!!

Basically, the woman can’t seem to catch a break! But, you know, she’s working it out:

Oh, and let's not forget that she had her mind invaded by the consciousness of more than one person (and that’s saying a lot since even one is more than what should be; plus she’s had it invaded by more than one person all at the same time too!): John Scott, Alt!livia, William Bell, & Peter and Walter Bishop!

Faced with all this, it’s almost a miracle that she’s managed to survive the way she has. But she is a survivor. The woman has even managed to save herself when kidnapped, going from this:

To this:

And with the help of Broylnate, she’s managed to go from trapped on her deathbed in an alternate universe:

Back home:

Yes, that’s right! The woman has the ability to cross universes (by herself!):

She can also see into other universes:

…Defuse a bomb with her mind:

…Make connections where others can’t (or way quicker than others can) due to her amazing memory:

…Deactivate The Machine that can create or destroy universes:

But while all of this makes her cool as shit amazing, it’s her other abilities that make her truly extraordinary:

Like how she’s been able to bring together two estranged men with a history of resentment and gotten them not only to work together on cases but actually helped them work towards a real father-son relationship:

OLIVIA: This could provide closure for your father. He's had to live with the death of this woman. He was put away because of it. Who's to say that this wouldn't be a resolution for him?

PETER: Yeah, if I didn't know better, I'd think you actually wanted the man to have a nervous breakdown!

OLIVIA: Then maybe you don't know better, because I care for your father, too. And I believe that shielding him from the truth, from what's real, ultimately does him a disservice.

PETER: What's real doesn't really seem to concern Walter. And what you said earlier about this being none of your business, that was right on the money.


OLIVIA: What's up?

PETER: First of all, I've had a couple of drinks, but don't worry... I walked over.


PETER: And, uh... I wanted to say that... I've never had him in my life... Walter. And now, thanks to your insane freak show of an operation, I do. Have him in my life. And I think that I was... I think that I was a little scared. And maybe if he... he talked to that woman...Whatever. I... I wanted to say that I'm sorry. You were right. Thank you.

OLIVIA: You're welcome.

Or how she’ll do anything in her power to shield her sister from pain:

PETER: You able to get a hold of Rachel?

OLIVIA: No. I didn't try. She just went through all this stuff with me in the hospital, and she's still having nightmares about me being dead. What's the point in scaring her again? We are gonna get out of this.

PETER: That's just like you. Even now, you're protecting her. I thought that was the point of having people who care about you in your life... to have someone to talk to when you're scared.

And how she just wants to be the most loving aunt she can be:

OLIVIA: And what?

PETER: You do that thing with your mouth when you're upset.

OLIVIA: (snorts) Oh, Ella and I had this whole day at the amusement park planned, and then dinner after. She was completely understanding when I told her that I had to work. (pauses. remembers) When my mom took me to my first movie when I was six, I was so excited. She bought me a box of popcorn, and we took our seats. You know, they used to have that curtain before the movie started? It was this beautiful red velvet. We sat there eating popcorn. (giggles) And after a couple minutes, I turned to her and said, "Mommy, this is the best movie ever." I didn't understand that it hadn't started. (pauses) It's one of my favorite memories of my mother.

PETER: (sympathetic) Don't worry, you'll make plenty of memories with Ella.

And then there’s her ability to forgive and admit her own mistakes, to see past her own pain to recognize the pain of others:

OLIVIA: Peter. (changing the subject) I owe you an apology. (forthright)

PETER: For what?

OLIVIA: The last few weeks have been really hard for me. I've been so focused on what the other Olivia did to me that I... I just haven't thought about what she did to you.

PETER: Look, Olivia--

OLIVIA: And I want you to know that I'm sorry and that I get it now. The good news is... is that she's gone. I know it doesn't feel like that at the moment, but she is gone. And, um, we can get past it.

PETER: (smiles) Thank you.

And, in what I would argue is one of the most poignant scenes of Fringe ever, we see how Olivia is one of the only people truly committed to finding another way to save both universes:

OLIVIA: Despite what you think, my universe is not at war with yours. This all began because a man came over here to save a boy and twenty-five years later, I came back to save that same boy. But if you let me die, then we will strike back and we will fight. But if you let me go, both universes can survive. There must be another way and I promise you I will find it. Two floors up, there's a lab there. If you can get me in there, then I can get myself back home.

COLONEL BROYLES: And if you're lying? You'd say anything right now because your life depends on it, but what if your side has every intention of our destruction? Am I supposed to just hope you're telling me the truth?

OLIVIA: If you don't trust me... then there is no hope.

Hope is what Olivia gave to Broylnate. And also, belief. It’s a belief she can inspire in others, but that she’s always lacked in herself:


YOUNG OLIVIA: No more. I'm not afraid of you.


WILLIAM BELL: I suspect I know what has happened here. I think my experiment was right after all. You should have been safe inside your mind... Except it's you, and you have never felt safe. You are your own worst enemy, Olivia. You took the opportunity to let your fears overwhelm you, but you just fought back. In the end, you are as strong as Walter and I always believed you were. And now you know it too.

WALTER: I’m afraid at this point, it would do you more harm than good. These abilities are inside you, Olivia. You simply need to harness them.

OLIVIA: Walter, I don’t know how. I never have.

WALTER: I know what it’s like to feel unequal to the task required of you. To feel incapable. I’ll never be the man I was, but I’ve come to embrace those parts of my mind that are... peculiar and broken. I understand now that’s what makes my mind special. (studies her for a moment) I wish you could see yourself the way I see you. You have no idea how extraordinary you are. If you would embrace that, there’s no end to what you can do.

OLIVIA: I know that you want to believe in me... and I want to believe in me... but believing doesn’t make it true.

It’s not until the S3 finale that we see how future!Olivia has truly overcome her fears, come to terms with the pain of her past, and harnessed her abilities:

Note that in this future that didn’t happen, Peter and Olivia got MARRIED. How this happened is more than apparent if we understand how much of a rock -- steady and dependable -- Peter is for Olivia amidst the craziness that is her life. He’s her best friend before her lover, the one person she can confide everything to, the only one who can understand the pain she’s been through because he’s been through it too.

My favorite image of them is of two broken souls, two lost little children, reaching out to one another across the gap:

“I’ve never met anyone who can do the things that you do.”

For Olivia, who often feels like a freak because of what the Cortexiphan did to her, she needs someone like Peter who is not scared but awed by her ability:

And while she’s always been so good at pushing people away, Peter has been there from the beginning just letting her know in so many different ways that he’s there for her whenever she’s ready:

That first cup of coffee in the Pilot…

…then hand-touching and “You’re not alone here”

and so she knows for sure…“Olivia if you need me, I’m here.”

and of course…“I care about you”

And it’s when she sees him glimmer and finally loses him to the Other Side that she’s able to admit to herself that she also cares for him and realizes how much she does need him:

So Olivia Dunham not only crosses universes to get him back but -- in her greatest moment of vulnerability yet -- lays her heart out completely on the line:

“You belong with me”

And even when he’s hurt her beyond imagining by not realizing the switch that had occurred with her alternate:

"She wasn't me. How could you not see that?"

In the end, like the strong, amazing, and resilient person she is…well she allows herself to be vulnerable with him once again:

“I want what you want”

And if you can’t get enough of them:

Honestly, how can you not love this woman? And so, if I haven’t convinced you, just look at some other instances of her being completely adorable, stunning, amazing, and heartbreaking:

And did I mention she’s badass?

And because I've spouted my love for her so much now, I'm going to end with words from my dearest friend and fellow fangirl holycitygirl:

I love Olivia because the writers have finally done what so many have tried to do before - create a strong female character without taking away any of her femaleness. They didn't write a man and cast a woman. They wrote a badass who just happens to be played by a woman. She's still pretty and empathetic and capable of showing emotions - but tough and independent too. By pairing her with Peter - a guy who respects all of that, a guy without an ego the size of Texas, the writers aren't lessoning her. She doesn't have to give up anything to be with Peter because Peter wants her to be even more than she thinks she is capable of being [his faith in her is stronger than her faith in herself]. It's really quite the reversal. Most shows do it the other way, have the girl build up the boy. I love Fringe for this, if nothing else.

But seriously, she’s fucking perfect:

And can't get enough of Olivia?

+ Check out this tumblr’s 100 Reasons To Love Olivia Dunham
+ Funny Olivia Dunham Screencaps
+ A Walter & Olivia Picspam
+ The Peter Bishop Manifesto
+ And for your P/O fix: oliviaandpeter

Fic Rec #1 - Best Early-On-In-Fandom Story: Ask Me to Stay
Pairing: Olivia Dunham/Peter Bishop
Author: muselives
Link: http://muselives.livejournal.com/162525.html
Rating/Warning(s): PG-13
Why This Must Be Read: This is an early fic with spoilers only up to “Unleashed,” and yet even with how the series has progressed, I still feel the author has really captured the essence of Olivia in a poetic and striking manner. This is the Olivia I fell immediately in love with: devastatingly vulnerable and uncertain but incredibly strong and determined at the same time. The backdrop of the storm in this fic is lovely, mirroring the storm of emotions Olivia experiences at the prospect of Peter leaving brilliantly.

She doesn't want tears but it's hard to hold them back when she feels the absence of his body heat in the perfect rectangular shape of the plane ticket that's between them.

Fic Rec #2 - Best Introspection Story: Convictions
Pairing: Olivia Dunham/Peter Bishop (slight but still apparent)
Author: alamo_girl80
Link: http://alamo-girl80.livejournal.com/190519.html
Rating/Warning(s): PG-13
Why This Must Be Read: “Ability” is a crucial character episode for Olivia, and this fic complements it perfectly with a really insightful look into Olivia’s head. It also illustrates beautifully what Peter means to Olivia at this point in the series, when there was no real consideration of romance on either of their parts, but rather an underlying warmth, affection, and trust -- a burgeoning realization that Peter was someone she was truly coming to rely on and look to for friendship, comfort, and support.

It’s all connected. From the start, the game was set out, and the players were chosen long before Flight 626. John’s betrayal, Walter’s work with Bell, all threads of the larger tapestry whose image she still can’t quite make out. And apparently, she’s been woven into the design for a long time now. There is something frightening about that realization that makes the wine in her stomach churn. What if her fate is not her own?

She wants to laugh at that thought, because she’s never really believed in fate. Life was what you made of it, the choices you make and consequences thereof, and nothing was preordained. Until now, it seems.

Fic Rec #3 - Best Point-of-View Story: In Your Eyes
Pairing: Olivia Dunham/Peter Bishop
Author: Causality Rules
Link: http://www.fanfiction.net/s/6796005/1/In_Your_Eyes
Rating/Warning(s): T
Why This Must Be Read: I rarely like first-person POV fics, but this author is just so brilliant at capturing the characters’ thoughts and she does a superb job at articulating exactly what Olivia is thinking and feeling in “What Lies Below.” The episode is one of my favorites for P/O, because it’s the first time Olivia comes close to truly losing him and this fic shows beautifully how that’s such a crucial moment for Olivia.

"I thought that was the point of having people who care about you in your life. To have someone to talk to when you're scared." Peter is that person. Not Rachel. Peter's the one I go to when I'm unsure, when things don't make sense, when the world feels like it's pressing down on me. And he's always there. Even when I don't know I need him. He cares. About me. I guess he has for a while - he hasn't exactly tried to hide it - but I haven't let myself acknowledge it until now. Now that I might lose him.

Fic Rec #4 - Best Poetic Story: And the Four Tear Us Asunder
Pairing: Olivia Dunham/Peter Bishop
Author: Zaedah
Link: http://www.fanfiction.net/s/5746051/1/And_the_Four_Tear_Us_Asunder
Rating/Warning(s): K
Why This Must Be Read: Anything you read by Zaedah is bound to be heartwrenchingly poetic, but this post-Jacksonville fic where Olivia comes to terms with the implications of seeing Peter glimmer (but, most importantly, the implications of her reaction to seeing him glimmer) is definitely one of her most brilliant. It’s a haunting yet ultimately hopeful look at the Peter/Olivia relationship.

She wanted this sight to save others.

He can't be saved.

Fic Rec #5 - Best Short Story: Plummet
Pairing: Olivia Dunham/Peter Bishop
Author: alice in a coma
Link: http://www.fanfiction.net/s/5740894/1/Plummet
Rating/Warning(s): K+
Why This Must Be Read: This is just a lovely, poetic look at Olivia falling in love. It’ll take just a minute or so to read and be worth every second.

Somewhere between saving the world and cleaning up other people's mess, you've fallen in love with him, and you're not exactly ready for it.

Fic Rec #6 - Best Angst Story: Just One More Day
Pairing: Olivia Dunham/Peter Bishop
Author: chichuri
Link: http://chichuri.livejournal.com/19957.html
Rating/Warning(s): PG; character death
Why This Must Be Read: This is Peter/Olivia angst at its finest. It’s painful and achingly beautiful to read but with some bright and beautiful moments.

She lets his warmth penetrate her perpetual cold, but still feels like ice.

Fic Rec #7 - Best PWP/Kink Story: Devil in the Details
Pairing: Olivia Dunham/Peter Bishop
Author: ziparumpazoo
Link: http://archiveofourown.org/works/204420
Rating/Warning(s): M
Why This Must Be Read: A frustrated Olivia takes Peter lingerie shopping. Need I say more?

She searches back through borrowed memories. Her alternate was bold, showy sometimes, and proud of the fact, but Olivia is certain that she’s never done this. That's what makes it appealing.

Fic Rec #8 - Best Fluff Story: Not Quite Normal
Pairing: Olivia Dunham/Peter Bishop
Author: wikiaddicted723
Link: http://www.fanfiction.net/s/6840961/1/Not_Quite_Normal
Rating/Warning(s): T
Why This Must Be Read: Fluff with a spattering of angst that is just doubly sweet because the author shows how those two have truly earned their moments of happiness.

It gives her a feeling of eerie synchronicity that has come to permeate the whole of their relationship, a feeling she suspects might have been there since the very first time she met him, years ago in Iraq, when all she had been able to feel for him was a mild, though undeniable attraction she had not been able to suppress albeit her predicament at the time. She has always felt a connectedness with him that manages to exceed the limits of her intelligence, but she finds that it no longer bothers her that she can't seem to get her head around it.

Fic Rec #9 - Best Overall Romantic Story: Entangled Hearts
Author: chichuri
Pairing: Olivia Dunham/Peter Bishop
Link: http://chichuri.livejournal.com/13219.html
Rating/Warning(s): PG-13
Why This Must Be Read: I sometimes feel that capturing the romantic sweetness of the Peter/Olivia relationship in fic can be very difficult, because I see their relationship as very understated on the show (even with them finally being a couple) and they are far from your typical romance. But chichuri has a knack for striking that delicate balance of portraying the sweetness of their dynamic while keeping these two entirely-in-character, and I think that she particularly illustrates her skill at that in this beautiful shippy fic.

It's more comforting to shake awake to his touch than to solitude. And that scares her. She's become dependent on him—too dependent. He's in her bed two nights out of three. The nights he's not she feels his absence with an intensity that borders on absurd. She shouldn't allow herself to need him so much her bed feels wrong when he's not here. He won't be here forever. Sooner or later something is going to break. Their precarious peace will come tumbling down and she'll be forced to crawl away from the wreckage alone.

Fic Rec #10 - Best Olivia/Someone who isn’t Peter Story: we know it both ways now
Pairing: Olivia Dunham/(alt!)Charlie Francis
Author: angeldylan628
Link: http://soapboxblues.livejournal.com/12591.html
Rating/Warning(s): PG-13
Why This Must Be Read: The Peter/Olivia relationship is established and believable on the show, so if you’re looking to explore other possible pairings for her, then this is definitely your go-to author for Olivia/(alt!!)Charlie. The author’s writing is just so beautiful and poetic, hypnotizing really. She shows you with brilliant poignancy what a romance could look like between Olivia and her first FBI partner, more importantly, her beloved best friend.

Olivia still sees her Charlie when she looks at him. Still hears her Charlie. Still knows her Charlie was close enough to this Charlie. She still can't let go of her Charlie.

If it comes down to it, if he knows and it's turns out to be him versus her, she will not be able to pull that trigger again.

Fic Rec #11 - Best Post-Episode Story: Momentary Blindness
Pairing: Olivia Dunham/Peter Bishop
Author: kiraboshi
Link: http://kiraboshi.livejournal.com/406037.html
Rating/Warning(s): PG-13
Why This Must Be Read: This is a beautiful post-ep to “The Firefly” that thoughtfully explores the tension and yet possibility in the Olivia/Peter relationship at this point in the show. It’s just filled with some lovely insights into Olivia’s character and Peter’s and how they see one another.

Olivia sees herself as a time traveler, one that wasn’t missed because she never left in the first place.

Fic Rec #12 - Best Post-“Jacksonville” Story: Glimmers of Truth
Pairing: Olivia Dunham/Peter Bishop
Author: Della19
Link: http://www.fanfiction.net/s/5746284/1/Glimmers_of_Truth
Rating/Warning(s): T
Why This Must Be Read: There are a number of amazing fics to come out after “Jacksonville,” but I think this is arguably one of the best, especially if you want something heavy on the angst. There are a lot of powerful, striking observations and insights into Olivia’s character and how much Peter has come to mean to her -- why seeing the glimmer left her with that heartbreaking look at the end of “Jacksonville.”

She hates that universe because she owes it, as without it she would never have met Peter, and she can't stand having to owe that universe anything.

Fic Rec #13 - Best Post-“Marionette” Story: Emotion Deferred
Pairing: Olivia Dunham/Peter Bishop
Author: boronia-lee
Link: http://www.fanfiction.net/s/6881868/1/Emotion_Deferred
Rating/Warning(s): T
Why This Must Be Read: This is a darker imagining of how Olivia might have dealt with all of her pain after “Marionette,” and it addresses one of the issues I feel the show glossed over: the lingering effects Over Here from her torture Over There. It’s Olivia reaching her breaking point, and it’s done with lovely poignancy.

William Bell once said to her; "Momentum can be deferred, but it must always be payed back in full." It seems the same principle can be applied to emotion. Everything she hasn't been feeling for him over the past she's-not-sure-how-many weeks is coming back to her, hard and fast. So much pain, so much betrayal, so much terrifying love. It's far too much to make sense of even if she wanted to try, so she just lets it run its course, clinging to him so hard there'll be bruises, but neither notice.

Fic Rec #14 - Best Post-“6B” Story: your love is life piled tight and high
Pairing: Olivia Dunham/Peter Bishop
Author: x_the_rising_x
Link: http://x-the-rising-x.livejournal.com/14939.html
Rating/Warning(s): R
Why This Must Be Read: There are numerous post-“6B” fics out there that I could rec, but I chose this one because the author manages to say so much in so few words and the voice for Olivia is particularly brilliant. As far as I’m concerned, it’s everything you could want in a post-“6B” fic and more.

In a way she feels as though she’s writing over the pages someone has already inscribed, a speck of redundancy in a relationship he’s already had, but she will make him forget what he thought he had, once. Make him forget her, and force him to begin anew.

Fic Rec #15 - Best “LSD” Story: Let The Wind Carry It Away
Pairing: Olivia Dunham/Peter Bishop
Author: elialys
Link: http://elialys-art.livejournal.com/10967.html
Rating/Warning(s): T
Why This Must Be Read: This is an alternative and much more romantic imagining of “LSD” and how Peter may have had to convince Olivia to come back. It’s a really tragic yet beautiful look into all those memories that must haunt Olivia, the moments she’s lived through that led her to retreat into herself and hide within the very recesses of her mind.

"Even if it was all in my head, even if it wasn't really you…I don't think my mind chose you simply because I was in love. It chose you because for the last two years, you had always been the one here for me, to get me out of all those weird and messed up situations. You had proven yourself worthy of my trust long ago, worthy of my life, even. You were my constant."

There were a few other great Olivia-centric het fics I would’ve liked to include that have already been rec’d here so check them out using the fringe tag!
Tags: fandom: fringe, ship: olivia dunham/charlie francis, ship: olivia dunham/peter bishop, special: manifesto

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