After meeting with Cyrus, Olivia hails a cab and rides the relatively quiet D.C. streets back to the office. A cold snap has rolled in, and the first tinge of fall bites at her bare fingers and light coat. Her breath is visible when she pays the driver and determinedly walks up the stairs. She will represent Amanda Tanner. She will win this, press all the way to the endgame, whatever that shall be. Her core might be shaken, but it's still there, holding up firmly.
Their rooms are dim when she steps in the door, calling out, "Hello? Harrison? Stephen? Abby?"
Silence, during which Olivia drops her bag and sits down at the table. It's been a long day; her head is starting to pound, and a drink would not feel out of place.
"It's just me, Olivia," a quiet voice belatedly responses, and Quinn steps into the room from the dimness beyond.
"Everyone else left to get some sleep."
Olivia nods and rests her head in her hands, sighing.
"I can, I can go. If you want to rest."
Quinn speaks quietly, stumbling over her tongue, hands visibly trembling.
"I was just finishing up some paperwork, uh, straightening, and then-"
"Straightening? Quinn, we have a cleaning service."
"Go back to what you were working on, it's fine."
Olivia tries to inject some positivity into her shot voice, and sits up to smile (reassuringly, which is soft for her, but it's late and Quinn is a newbie and still freaking out; that's not helpful.)
Quinn just looks more uncertain, and a blush spreads over her cheeks.
Olivia sighs, and commands her, "Sit."
Quinn perches across from her, back so straight it's arched, eyes wide, trembling hands laid on the wooden tabletop.
She's clearly exhausted, though. Bloodshot eyes, extreme posture unable to mask the slump that holds her neck not quite straight and her shoulders forward.
"You first case," Olivia says flatly, making an eye contact that Quinn uneasily returns. "Reaction?"
Quinn squints, her tired eyes tearing up slightly.
"It was, uh, good. More than a little confusing, but- Seely-I'm glad he was able to be honest."
Olivia nods, eyes distant.
If she holds still enough, she can feel again his hands, his lips- it burns. It hurts and she wants it so badly. Which sickens her.
"I am, too."
The talking ends, limp words done falling out of limp lips.
Olivia studies the frosted glass and the way Quinn's hair falls, the soft sheen pretty in the dim. She feels a cold coil of something stir in her belly.
Quinn gulps a lot, blinks as she looks at Olivia. Her eyes are tired and bright in their squint against the dim light.
"What?" Olivia finally says, sharply.
"Sorry. It's just weird. You're my hero. Olivia Pope. And now I work for you. And I'm new and you didn't call out for me when you came in, of course not, I'm new. But you're Olivia Pope, I would be the cleaning service if I could be here. And I am here. As a lawyer. Wow."
Olivia sighs and drops her head into her hands.
"Hero worship doesn't get the job done, Quinn. Although I appreciate the compliment."
Quinn smiles awkwardly, then stands and offers tea.
"Whiskey," Olivia requests instead. Quinn brings the bottle, glass, and a steaming mug.
Olivia gulps her first glass, then refills and offers some to Quinn, who nods and tops her tea.
They sit together, quietly getting plastered. Olivia wonders how irresponsible this is. Then again, Quinn is an adult. And this case has been a lot of work for the both of them.
The room starts to get fuzzy and warm, and Olivia welcomes it with open arms. Life has been too tough and on-point tonight.
Quinn starts laughing a little. Olivia is silent, more serious even as the warmth swells in her belly and on her tongue.
"Your hair is so nice," Quinn says slowly. "Can I touch it?"
Olivia's stomach twists as she nods, tears almost smarting in her eyes.
Quinn walks over and sits down next to Olivia. In the silent office, Olivia can hear Quinn's heartbeat as she gently threads her fingers into Olivia's dark hair. Olivia shudders in confused pain and tingly sensations that bring to mind oval offices and long ago stolen kisses with that girl who lived down the block, back home in Maryland. Jane. She was so beautiful. Her father almost broke Olivia's arm when he found them in Jane's attic. Olivia tries to push away the memories.
Quinn's fingers are firm and Olivia wonder if she is using Quinn. Almost undoubtably. But didn't Quinn say she was her hero? Isn't she allowed to get some benefit from being Olivia Pope, besides the broken mistress or the warrior.
Olivia turns and looks at Quinn. Quinn stops playing with her hair and looks back. Her eyes are bright, not so drunk that Olivia can't read the desire. It isn't blind drunkenness. It's young and shy and awkward, and certainly emboldened somewhat by the alcohol.
"Do you want this? As a rule, employees are strictly off limits. So this has to be no strings."
No strings, Olivia repeats firmly to herself. This is Quinn Perkins. Her client, even though Quinn is unaware.
Quinn nods firmly, almost stubbornly.
Olivia steadies herself, then lets her professional steel fall away. She is drunk and hazy and Quinn is soft and young and single and uncomplicated.
Quinn is too shy, so Olivia leans across the space between their chairs and pushes their lips together. Quinn's lips are warm and coated in Chapstick. Olivia savors the kiss, pulls it slowly along. Olivia doesn't want to push it, but Quinn is only too eager to feel her up- hands soon are under shirts, and Olivia's heart races. This is so irresponsible. And so blissful. With Quinn's hands skimming over her belly and Quinn's lips glued to hers, Olivia is able to almost totally forget Fitz. Forget everything.
Quinn grabs the bottle of scotch and takes a swing. Olivia grabs it and sips. They kiss more, buzzed brains cloudy. Eventually they end up in Olivia's office, on the rug. As Quinn softly touches Olivia's thighs, Olivia breathes deeply and smiles grimly. She is getting Fitz out of her system. But she doesn't want to think about Fitz. She turns toward Quinn and makes the most of their night alone. After all, being Olivia Pope has its pluses, and one of them is Quinn Perkins being all too eager to get to know her hero. Olivia holds this woman's hand as they fall asleep later in the cot in her office, feeling refreshed and exhausted and melancholy, all at once.