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Title: Rings
Recipient: [personal profile] tellshannon815, who wanted backstory for any character, and something set in the redverse.
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No AO3 warnings apply.
Summary: A competition.



Liv Dunham fidgeted in her seat on the airplane and resisted the urge to look at her watch again.

She'd traveled before. She'd been all over the country competing in shooting since she was twelve, even been to two World Championships. She'd been an active duty Marine for three years, but this was different. This was a private jet instead of a public airship or Marine drop-ship. This was the crew of the jet asking to take pictures with her and her teammates. This was the Olympics.

She twisted in her seat and looked out the window again, but it was still endless ocean.

"Stop fidgeting," Benji muttered from the seat next to her, half-asleep.

She glanced over at the boy snuggled under a heap of blankets. No, her mind amended, not a boy any more - no more than she was still a girl. They'd been rivals when they were teenagers, teammates now, and she forgot sometimes that'd he'd grown up out of sight when she was in the Marines. She guessed she had, too.

"I'm bored," she said.

Benji yawned. "You're always bored. Watch a movie or something."

She flopped back into her eat and kicked at his ankle.

He glared sidelong at her.

Of the twenty people on the US shooting team, Benji was the only one she knew with anything more than passing familiarity. They had texted each other at exactly the same time when they found out they'd made the team. Benji had been in a practice room at Juilliard. Liv had been huddled against a pile of duffle bags and gun cases on a freezing runway in Bismarck, Dakota, waiting for her squad's Huey to be prepped for takeoff.

"Go to sleep," Benji said.

"Sleeping will just make the jetlag worse."

"Oh, right, I forgot you're a seasoned globe trotter," Benji said, turning in his seat to get more comfortable.

Liv rolled her eyes and went back to looking out the window.

*****

They'd all jostled for window seats in the busses that took them from the airport to the Olympic Village.

She fingered the silk of the tri-colored podium jacket that was included in the massive amount of swag they'd all been given. Benji sat next to her, leaning his shoulder into hers.

Liv looked back yo at their coach as he said, "I'm not singling anyone out - all of you need to be at the top of your game. After the competition you're free to do whatever - whoever - you want, but until then you train, you eat, you sleep. Got it?"

"Yes," they chorused.

"We don't get to go to the ceremony, do we?" Benji asked.

"Sorry, guys, the first round of competition starts too early. Rest up tonight, as much as you can. We'll head to the training center tomorrow morning."

*****

Liv startled awake at the sound of her alarm, slapping at it to silence it. Across the room her roommate grumbled and rolled over, pulling the blankets over her head.

"Sorry," Liv whispered, pulling a sweatshirt on and slipping out of bed.

"Wait, what time is it?"

"Early. Go back to sleep."

Liv padded out to the commons area of their dormitory and woke up one of the video phones. She opened the connection and yawned while she waited for an answer. The screen flickered, then resolved into an image of a man with sandy blonde hair shot through with gray. Behind him the stark white of the Bishop Dynamic offices was softened by the warm light of a Florida morning.

"You should be resting, Livvy, getting rid of the jet lag."

"Hi Uncle Kenton. I know. I wanted to talk to you anyway."

"The flight was good?"

"Yeah, it was fine. Long, though."

He laughed. "Well, we're still working on Zeno-Transit. How is Sydney? Everything you hoped?"

"You should see the training facility. It's amazing! It feels unreal to be here. I wouldn't be here without you."

"I remember the first time I handed you a gun. You hit every target I set out for you. You mother was furious when she found out."

"Yeah," Liv said, smiling, "I remember."

"I'm proud of you, Livvy. I wish I could be there."

"Thanks. I wish you could be here, too."

"I'll be watching every second of the competition so I can see you win."

Liv grinned.

*****

Benji leaned on the railing and asked, "Nervous?"

Liv shrugged. She looked down at the competition grounds and the targets at the far end, pushing away the sudden memory of the last extraction mission she and her Marine squad had been on before her leave for the Olympics. Shooting in 21ºC temperatures with a light breeze beat the hell out of shooting in a blizzard.

She was nervous, though. She was more nervous than she'd been on her first field mission, when the bullets flying had been propelled by gunpowder, not air, and the stakes immeasurably higher.

The officials called for the competitors to take the field, and Liv pushed herself up, bouncing on the balls of her feet before grabbing the duffle bag that held her gear.

"Knock 'em dead."

She nodded to the other shooters - some familiar, some not - and arranged her bag and shooting mat. The gun felt familiar in her hands as she pulled it from its case, and she focused on that and not the sounds of the spectators. Not the memories of cold air and the smell of blood.

She reached for the sight. Her hands were visibly shaking. She clenched them into fists and took a slow breath, only moving again when she felt centered.

When the official called for the start of shooting, she was ready.

*****

The podium was shaped like three giant medals, and somehow that was the only thing Liv could really take in at the moment. The Polish medalist, Renata, squeaked a little and wrapped Liv in a hug.

"Gratulacje, mój przyjaciel."

Liv squeezed her arms around the other woman and said, "Thanks, you too."

Tatiana patted Liv's shoulder and said, "Very nice, Liv."

Liv turned to hug the Russian woman. "Thanks. I thought you were going to catch me in the prone round."

Tatiana shrugged, "Eh, shit happens."

The announcer began addressing the audience and the three women turned, grinning. Liv's breath caught in her throat when her name was announced, and any thought of being cool fled her mind as she jumped onto the highest podium, both fists in the air. She clutched the bouquet of gold and red flowers and lowered her head to accept her gold medal.

*****

Benji missed gold in his event by two points. He claimed silver was a better color on him anyway, and had yet to remove the medal from around his neck. He and Liv were sitting on a stone bench under a gum tree watching people walk past in the warm twilight, and Benji was already talking about Athens.

"I'm going to enjoy Sydney," she said. "That's enough." Liv was thinking of her next deployment when she allowed her mind to wander forward. The here and now was much more appealing.

"Yeah, but it's not like you're done or anything," Benji stated.

Liv was quiet.

"Wait, you're done? This is it?"

She shrugged. "I've got three more months in the Marines. I'm gonna go to school once I'm out, and I don't think I'll have much time to train."

"Like you even need to train."

A group staggered by, singing in several languages at once. Liv smiled at them, shaking her head at the invitation to join them called out by a dark-haired French gymnast.

"Seriously, Liv, you're done?"

She squeezed his hand and said, "Yeah. It's time to do something new."

*****


A/N: Apologies to Maria Feklistova for bumping her off the podium.

Date: 2014-12-07 03:26 pm (UTC)
wendelah1: (Alt!Olivia)
From: [personal profile] wendelah1
This is an excellent, well-researched back-story for AltLivia's Olympic career! It makes sense that she'd be ready to move on after reaching the pinnacle, too, looking for a new challenge.

Date: 2014-12-08 10:29 pm (UTC)
tellshannon815: (peter bishop naked tuesday)
From: [personal profile] tellshannon815
Love this look at this time in Altlivia's life, great job!

Date: 2014-12-09 10:14 pm (UTC)
opusculasedfera: Slightly roughed up Lincoln Lee looks out from behind blue curtains. Captioned Fringe Exchange. (fringe exchange)
From: [personal profile] opusculasedfera
Lovely! This was a part of Liv's backstory I'd never really thought about, and you brought it to life beautifully. I hadn't thought very much about the difference between military and sport guns, you brought that our really clearly.

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