Peter had been married five times before Olivia found him in Iraq. Two he knew for sure were legally over, one woman had died while Peter was at Fringe. It was highly unlikely the other two were legal or binding. He really doubted any of the women thought about him that much, if at all.
Then the universe knit together and spat him out. He didn't have to worry about any lingering legal issues.
Olivia was on the phone with Astrid. They were discussing something about new FBI regulations. Olivia said, "I know you're a very special agent." Then Astrid said something that made Olivia genuinely smile. Olivia asked about Astrid's girlfriend. She paused to listen and then they said goodbye.
He started off by saying "you're gonna love this story" and then told her about his many wives.
"Five times?" Olivia was seven months pregnant and they were sitting on their couch in their place. She grimaced. "You were married five times?" She slightly shook her head. "Of course you were. Were any of them real?"
Peter shrugged. "Ah, well, three of them I entered into with no plan of ending them. You know none of them are real now."
Olivia was definitely frowning. She said, "No, we're not saying that. It was real." She looked at him steadily. "We both remember it, so it was real. Tell me."
"I was nineteen, in Seward, Alaska, and I thought I would work at this coffee shop. I married the twenty year old who worked at the vet hospital because we were both drinking a lot. Snow started to melt and she was very sick of me and I was very sick of Seward, so we divorced. A year later, I got married in Peru to a local woman because she asked, really, and it was that kind of trip."
Olivia managed to look even more skeptical. "What is that kind of trip?"
Peter smiled. "I was very young, surrounded by other people who were very young and we all thought we could conquer the world. I didn't use my real name so I don't know if it was even legal. And she ran off and left me two weeks later. She met a DJ."
"He was a better option than you," Olivia said. He loved her, and the way he couldn't exactly tell if she was kidding.
"He genuinely was," Peter said. "Twenty-four, I married a woman in Iraq who wanted to get a visa to the US. I wasn't using my real name, though, but I forged a good one for her. I think she used it. She died in 2010. I saw it in the news."
"You were probably a bigamist still."
"Probably. I never saw any papers from Peru. Then again, I don't know if there were any papers when we got married," Peter said. "A year later I married a girl in Dallas because she was just that charming. She sent me divorce papers a week later."
"You didn't charm her," Olivia said.
"Number five was trying to scam me, she thought I had money," Peter said. "I didn't. We deserted each other. At twenty-seven, I promised myself no more marrying."
"You've changed your mind," Olivia said.
"It's a new world, right?"
Olivia shifted closer to him on the couch. "Do you ever look people up? See what happened to them?"
"Without me? No," Peter said. "I'm selfish, I guess. There's only a few people I really care about."
"Maybe," Olivia said. "Or you're scared of the bad changes."
Peter nodded. "That too."
"I don't know why I'm surprised," Olivia said.
"I've changed," Peter said.
Olivia smiled a little. "I'll still marry you next week, even if it does make me your sixth wife."
"But you're really the first," Peter said. "Not just because I have no past here."
"I know what you mean, but technically ..." Olivia trailed off.
"Technicalities are on my side here," Peter said. "Technically, I was dead for more than two decades. You and I are the only ones who even remember that other timeline. None of the women do."
"It won't be the first time you say I do," Olivia said. "It doesn't bother me."
Peter smiled. "It's definitely the first time I actually, truly mean it. Will mean it. Do mean it."
Olivia managed to look skeptical and indulgent all at once. "I still don't get how none of them showed up in our background file. I can see it in my head right now. You said two of them you used your real name."
"Three," Peter said. "I did have friends who knew how to take care of things like that."
"Really?" She looked more indulgent then.
He rubbed his chin. "Okay, I also think Big Eddie had friends who wiped certain things out when he liked me."
"You know he's dead?" Olivia shifted on the couch; in her third trimester she seemed to be uncomfortable all the time. "I did look up some people."
"He died before I even met him, would have met him," Peter said. "I checked, too. That wasn't concern, it was, uh, amusement. I thought it would be funny and it was funny."
Olivia was quiet and Peter knew better than to fill the silence with talk. He used to try but he trusted Olivia now. And himself.
Then she said, "You didn't mention any names. Anyone I know?"
"No one you know, or knew. It's a very big world."
"It is," Olivia said. "But now it's a very small world, too, just something you and I remember."
"Mostly," Peter said. "Mostly, I think people are better off, they're doing better for not knowing me. I'm not being self-deprecating, I mean it based on the facts."
"But you haven't looked any of your wives up," Olivia said.
"I've checked on others," Peter said. "Then I stopped. Have you looked anyone up?"
"I don't have any ex-husbands," she said with a tiny smile.
"And you never will," Peter said. "I promise you."