Title: Good Things in Small Packages
Summary: A trip to Boston Medical Center takes a turn to the unexpected for Olivia Dunham.
Author's Note: Happy Valentine's Day! Our heroes needed a break for a change, so here ya go!
Olivia had been in the car on her way home from the office when the call had come in.
"Olivia!" Walter's frantic rambling had been almost incomprehensible over the car's speaker system, "We're at the ER and, and, and, we weren't looking for just a second and he just swallowed it! It was there one second and gone the next. I, I, I, Olivia!"
She had tried to calm him down the best she could, but deep inside, it was hard to keep calm herself. Even though she had reassured Walter that everything was going to be fine, the older man had kept rambling on about how sorry he was and that he hadn't been paying attention during the quick moments when it has happened. Rush hour traffic had been at its peak when she had gotten off the Southeast Expressway towards Boston Medical Center, and the short drive from the I-93 exit to the Emergency Room entrance had taken her almost fifteen minutes.
It had taken her another five minutes to locate someone who had been able to tell her where to find Peter Bishop as all Walter had been able to croak out over the phone had been "hallway with lots of blue curtains". Now she walked down the corridor on the ground floor where she saw a rather agitated Walter Bishop nervously pacing the floor.
She met with him halfway down the hallway, "Where is he?"
"Olivia, I'm so sorry, so sorry! He swallowed..."
"Calm down, Walter," she tried to soothe him by placing her hands on either side of his upper arms, "Where's Peter and what happened?"
Even before Walter could reply, Olivia saw Peter rounding the corner at the back of the hallway. She let go off the older man and hurried down the corridor towards Peter, who immediately raised his hand, "Don't worry, everything's fine."
Her eyes narrowed in on Peter, "What do you mean, everything's fine? What the hell happened? I get a frantic call from Walter who tells me I need to come down to the ER immediately because he swallowed something and now you tell me everything's fine? Where's my son?"
"Yeah, well, he did swallow something," came Peter's reply, "but he's gonna be fine, so don't worry. He just had an X-ray taken and is now back in bed five. C'mon, I'll take you there."
They walked back the way Peter had come from only a minute before, "What did he swallow and why were you not paying attention?"
"Remember when he stuck one of Ella's plastic pearls up his nose?" Peter pushed open one of the curtains to reveal a crib in which Luke lay fast asleep, "You can't really watch he's so fast. Daddy's little boy is a regular Houdini!"
Olivia rolled her eyes at him then turned her attention to her baby son. She leaned over the railing of the crib and gently brushed a lock of blond hair out of the baby's face, causing Luke's eyes to snap open almost instantly. With a warm smile on her face, Olivia scooped the baby up into her arms, whispering sweet nothings to him to let him know mommy was here. The boy blinked at her sleepily before he placed his head down in the crook of her neck. His tiny fingers reached for a strand of blonde hair that had fallen loose from his mother's ponytail. He twisted it around his hand, then closed his eyes and drifted off into dreamland once again.
"You still haven't said what he swallowed," Olivia said, gently swaying back and forth to lull her son back to sleep, "If you took him to the ER to have him checked out, I gather it probably wasn't just another plastic pearl."
"Uh, no, not this time."
"Don't tell me you took him to the lab again and he grabbed something off the table."
"I wanna see how you're going to explain that one to her," they both heard Walter pipe up as he stepped through the opening in the curtain. Olivia quickly shot him a glance over her shoulder before she turned her attention back to Peter, "Yeah, I'd very much like to hear that explanation as well."
The worried look on Olivia's face was replaced with a wicked grin as she spoke, and Peter immediately knew that he was in the dog house. He pondered for a moment what exactly he was going to tell her, but before he could say anything, the doctor who had been tending to little Lucas Bishop walked up behind Walter.
"Mr. Bishop, the X-rays are done," her eyes fell on Olivia, "I can see you got a hold of your wife. I'm Dr. Jackson, Mrs. Bishop, I was taking care of your son."
"Olivia Dunham," the two women shook hands, "we're not married."
"Oh," the doctor's lips pursed into a smile, "that would certainly explain this little incident then."
Olivia's eyes narrowed in on the doctor, ready for a feisty reply but Peter cut her off immediately, "Don't say a word, she didn't mean it the way you think she did."
"And how would you know that?" she whispered back, her hand absentmindedly stroking Luke's back..
"Because..." Peter's voice trailed off for a moment as Dr. Jackson held up one of the X-ray images towards the light, "you'll see."
He indicated for Olivia to look. There, in the middle of the picture of Luke's tiny torso, was a diamond ring. Olivia's eyes opened wide, "He swallowed a ring?"
Peter grinned at her. Feeling embarrassed, he shrugged his shoulders. This was definitely not how he had planned for Olivia to find out about the ring he had bought. He had it all planned out perfectly in his head already: take her out to dinner tonight, surprise her with that two carat diamond ring and ask her to marry him.
"It's a magnificent ring, isn't it?" they heard Walter's happy voice behind them, his enthusiasm more than obvious. Leaning in towards Olivia, he added, "Expensive, too."
"And not quite as harmless as it looks," Dr. Jackson interrupted as she pointed at the X-ray, "That diamond has sharp edges around the setting that can nick the intestines from the inside. Just as a precaution, I'd like to admit Luke for observation over night to make sure the ring isn't causing any internal bleeding. "
Olivia shot Peter a look, "So much for... he's fine, don't worry."
"You shouldn't worry too much, Miss Dunham. Chances are very slim that any bleeding will occur. We still like to be on the safe side though. I'll have a room set up for Luke in the pediatric unit. Once it's ready, someone will come down to get you. If you'll excuse me now, I have other patients I need to tend to."
And with that, Dr. Jackson walked out of the small curtained off area and vanished down the hallway.
"A ring, huh?" Olivia uttered with just a hint of amusement in her voice.
"A ring," Peter repeated, not really sure what to say. The cat was out of the bag.
"Tell you what," she broke the awkwardness between them, "why don't you take Walter home while I stay here with Lucas?"
"Oh, what a marvelous idea. I am starving!" the older Bishop said, "There isn't much we can do here anyways at the moment. Other than wait that is."
"Fine, I'll take you home, Walter," Peter sighed. He placed a kiss on the top of his son's head, then whispered a "Daddy loves you," before he turned to Olivia, "I'll be back later so we can talk, okay?"
She just nodded at him silently, then placed a quick kiss on his lips. He smiled at her shortly before he ushered Walter out of the room. When he returned to the hospital about two hours later, Luke had already been moved from the ER to a room in the pediatrics unit in the building next door. He found the lights dimmed when he entered the room, Olivia's soft humming the only sound to be heard. For the longest while he just stood leaning against the door frame, watching her cradle their son in her arms while she fed him a bottle. It was a sight he never grew tired of.
"You wanna stand there the whole night?" she finally said as she walked up to him.
"And watch you sing him to sleep? Most definitely."
She laughed, shaking her head slightly, "Diaper duty is yours for the next week at least."
"Yeah, now I know I'm in the dog house. I get the exclusive rights on my son's poopy diapers," he gently brushed his fingers along Luke's cheek, "How is he doing?"
"Oh, he's fine. Like nothing ever happened," she walked towards the pulled out sleeper sofa and sat down on the edge, "Do you wanna finally tell me what really happened?"
"Short version or long version?"
He dropped the overnight bag onto the floor and sat down on the sofa as well, motioning for Olivia to move over so they could both stretch out their legs.
"The version in which you tell me about that diamond ring?" came her amused reply as she shifted her now wide awake son in her arms so he could hold onto the bottle himself.
"Then first the short version." Stretching his legs on the sofa, he scooted closer to Olivia and placed his arm around her body, pulling her closer to him, "I was showing the ring to Walter and I now know that it was not a good idea to carry Luke while I did that. One second and he had grabbed the ring out of the box and it was gone."
"And the long version goes how?"
"Do you really like to see me squirm like that?"
"I don't know," she teased, flashing him a naughty grin, "you could just ask the question and be done with it."
"It's not like I haven't asked before. Remember your answer?"
She chuckled, "Touché."
"Look, Olivia," he started, his gaze fixed on his son who was happily gurgling and laughing in his mother's arms, "when I asked you to marry me, you said you didn't want to get married just because you were pregnant. And you were right. I probably would have never asked if that happy little accident hadn't happened. I asked because of all the wrong reasons. But," he took a deep breath, shifting his glance from their son to her, "I know that I want to spend the rest of my life with you. This is not about trying to do the right thing, this is about me loving you and wanting to grow old with you. It's about us being a family – you, me and Luke and maybe, who knows, a little brother or sister for him in the future."
"You're serious about this, aren't you?"
"Dead serious," he reached inside his pocket and retrieved a sparkly, bright purple plastic ring he had gotten out of a gumball machine in the waiting area downstairs which he held up for Olivia to see, "Olivia Dunham, will you marry me?"
She couldn't hold back the laughter when she saw that flimsy piece of plastic in his hand. Shaking her head, she leaned in and kissed him.
"Was that a yes?" he asked, and was rewarded with her bright smile.