"It must be difficult being a father," the observer had once said to him. Peter had no idea what that had meant at the time, and was far more concerned about that weird gun being pointed at his chest and the questions he desperately wanted answers to.
Now, though, as Peter stood in his kitchen, warming up milk on the stove while Walter hummed a tune that sounded familiar but Peter couldn't quite place with his sleep-deprived – he'd been averaging about two hours of sleep for the past three weeks – brain, Peter knew exactly what the observer had meant.
Just three weeks ago, Peter had been well-rested, at least as much as he ever was. He was at Olivia's new apartment – she had claimed that the move was in no way related to the other Olivia, but he knew she just couldn't admit it – and they were trying. She was trying to pretend that everything with the other Olivia, the other universe, hadn't happened. Peter was trying to be patient. Though it had been over eight months since Olivia had returned, neither one of them was coping with the aftermath very well. As long as there was a case to keep them busy, Olivia was able to forget about the other her and Peter was able to give her some space. But right now was not one of those times. They were sitting on her couch, plenty of space between them, staring blankly at the TV that was currently off. Several minutes passed in silence while Peter willed himself not to move his hand to hers. He watched her carefully as she turned her head towards him and a slow but genuine smile slid up her face.
Then she jumped. Whether she was startled by the knock on the door or by Peter's fingers grazing hers, Peter wasn't sure, but he wouldn't get a chance to find out. Olivia went to the door, looked through her peephole, and frowned. Peter sat still on the couch, his arms itching to wrap around her and his mouth poised to ask her something, anything. Then Olivia opened the door and anything Peter wanted was forgotten. Standing there, staring at each other with identical looks of skepticism and hatred, were both the Olivia of this universe and the Olivia of the other. They looked so similar, Peter found himself blinking and quickly wracking his brain for any possibility that Walter had drugged him. But no, one stood with arms crossed, long blonde hair slicked back from her face, and a look of apprehension while the other had a fringe of red hair clumped to her sweaty forehead, a hint of fear in her eyes, and her arms wrapped around herself.
"Peter?" the other Olivia had noticed him sitting on the couch as she turned her head to survey the new apartment. "I should have known you would be here." She looked to her twin and there was a twinkle in her eyes that might have been mistaken for as a triumphant smirk by someone who didn't know better. Peter had learned in the weeks he spent with this fake of his Olivia that they were held back tears, and he silently cursed himself for knowing that. "I was hoping you would be alone. I need your help."
"And why would I help you?" Olivia, his Olivia, practically growled. The other Olivia bent her head in a gesture of shame, but both Olivias knew it was false. "Our positions were switched once. I came to you. And you didn't trust me. You really think after everything that I would help you?"
"No," the other Olivia grinned. "I knew you wouldn't help me, but…" As she let her objection fade away, the other Olivia pulled aside her heavy coat and caressed her swollen belly. Peter felt his heart stop. There were so many questions about that bump, but he couldn't begin to ask them, and worse, he didn't want to know. Unfortunately for him, Olivia couldn't leave a question unanswered.
"Congrats to you and… whoever the father is," Olivia deadpanned. "Now get out."
"Oh, Olivia. You know who the father is. Who else would we want for our baby's father?" Olivia smiled cruelly.
"You mean…" Olivia began.
"Yes," the other cut her off. "Peter's the father." Olivia gestured for her pregnant look-alike to come in before seating herself in a chair that faced the door, but also put space between her and Peter. The other Olivia sat at the other end of the couch, a tactical move that would allow her a few options in case either Peter, Olivia, or anyone else tried to attack her. Peter immediately began sweeping the room for possible restraints to use on this other Olivia, and met his Olivia's eyes as she was doing the same. She quickly looked away, and the three sat in one of the most uncomfortable silences any of them had ever known. Olivia's phone rang, and she snatched it up.
"Dunham," she answered curtly while piercing the other Olivia, who had also reached for the phone, a steady gaze. "On my way."
"New case?" Peter asked, careful to avoid even glancing at the other Olivia as his Olivia's eyes slowly turned to focus on him.
"Yes," she whispered before turning her head away again. As she got up, Peter followed suit, but Olivia stopped. "You should… stay."
"Oh," Peter slouched back down on the couch. He knew if he argued with her, Olivia would rationalize leaving him behind as a precaution to deal with the other Olivia. But he knew her better than that. She didn't want to deal with him right now. "Will you call if you need me?"
"Of course," Olivia forced a small smile before shutting the front door behind her. Then Peter was left alone with questions he didn't want to have to answer and a woman that he didn't want to exist.
After that, his Olivia had been busy with the new case, and Peter had been occupied with keeping an eye on the other Olivia. Walter had hardly noticed any change in their lives at first as he was too busy consulting on Olivia's case. But upon hearing the news, he gave Peter one of his trademark smile/frown expressions, clearly unsure what he should think about the whole ordeal and obviously uncomfortable with their new living arrangement.
The other Olivia had moved in with them for a week, given birth, and then disappeared at the hospital. If Peter had cared to think about it, he would have come up with the same conclusions Walter did, that the other Olivia had either been snatched back into her world or was deep in hiding to avoid just that. Peter was sure that he should be concerned about the mother of his child, who was most likely in extreme danger from Walternate, but he couldn't manage even the slightest bit of guilt.
When Peter did think of Olivia, and he thought of her often, he thought of his Olivia. She had stopped consulting with Walter, had almost completely lost contact with Astrid, and would hardly even talk to Broyles. According to Broyles, she had immersed herself in a stack of suspicious-looking cold cases that were leading her all around the world. They all said they knew she would be back, even Peter found himself saying it, but he knew none of them were all that sure, and he certainly couldn't make himself believe it.
So here Peter was now, cautiously watching Walter who was humming to the two-week-old baby girl with a tuft of blonde hair in his arms. He now understood what the observer had said to him all those months ago. Yes, Peter thought, being a father is difficult.
But as his little girl, looking so much like his Olivia, looked up at him, Peter realized that he didn't mind difficult one little bit.