Disclaimer: I don't own Fringe.
A/N: So… once in this fandom, forever in this fandom, you know how things go with this awesome show. I've been re-watching Fringe lately 'cause the first time I watched it was two years ago and back then I was really into Peter/Olivia. Now… not so much. I've actually noticed that this pairing is probably not gonna work lol. Since Peter has fallen for Alt!Oliv's terrible laugh and awful amounts of make-up, head over heels, I realized I still hate Alt!Olivia.
In my humble opinion, as much as Alt!Olivia would be perfect with Peter because they both can be cocky and sarcastic together, Lincoln/Olivia would be too because they're both so delicate and quiet. So, yeah. I'm back at it, on this website, with a new ship added to my large, large fleet.
I needed to write this.
- Scientifically Speaking -
"Hey, has anyone seen Lincoln today?" Olivia brushed the arm of the passing agent as she walked her way in the office, but all she got was a shake of his head.
The office itself was as busy as ever, agents shuttling to and fro, Broyles casting sullen gazes, noise, papers, coffee and her still empty chair. She called Peter earlier this morning, to let him and his father know they'd probably receive a body soon. Oh, how she loved receiving those calls at six am - this time, she actually wished it wasn't anything gruesome before picking up. Turns out, it was. A rapidly growing infection in the lungs… or something of the sort.
Olivia sat on her chair, eyeing the documents that were already placed in front of her - documents with information about the last victims of this odd virus. With a sigh, she leafed through the pages. Odd, but certainly not new. A virus very similar to this one has been documented before, in the late 80s, and thank God, in a state far from hers. At least Walter will be delighted.
Matter-of-fact, she had to wait for a while before the virologists make sure it's safe to get close to the body before letting anyone near, was it the Police or FBI. That's why she had hoped she could come and take Lincoln before going to the crime scene.
Olivia raised her eyes from the documents and searched the lively lobby. Strange… he was always so pathologically punctual, but it's been an hour since he usually came and he hadn't shown up yet. Her hand slid in her pocket and pulled out her phone.
Not until she felt a tangible pain she realized her teeth were digging in her lower lip nervously. The free signals crawled under her skin, slow, through equal intervals of torturous silence. The fourth signal came with a small spasm through her stomach and the fifth already had her anxiety triggered.
Why wouldn't he pick up? He always picked up when she called. He always heard his phone when it rang; he was punctual and with a retentive memory, like her. He always remembered where he put things, no matter if they belonged to him or not. Which is why his absence awoke a terrible gut feeling in her.
Her feet dragged her to her boss' office and she coughed quietly, to clear her throat before speaking. Broyles' attention was fully on her after she entered and he needn't assure her of it.
"Sir, has agent Lincoln Lee arrived at the crime scene yet? Did you contact him?"
"No, I haven't." Broyles slowly stood up, hands leaning on his desk. "I was hoping you could clear that up for me. Several agents have tried contacting him today and he hasn't responded. I concluded he might be on his way to the office, with you, so I didn't bother thinking about this." Broyles paused, eyeing Olivia from head to toe. "But if he isn't with you, we have a problem. Agent Lee is either trying his best to make me fire him or he's in some kind of trouble."
"Permission to check on him, sir?" Olivia couldn't hide the worry on her face as she stepped backwards, to the door.
"You're needed at the crime scene."
"Sir, I need to…" Olivia gave him a bitter smile, cutting her own sentence in half. That sounded ridiculous and inappropriate and… emotionally-driven. But she couldn't lose another one. Not another one. It almost felt like she was under some divine punishment when it came to her job, but whatever happened she just refused to acknowledge it a man's job only. Her eyes nailed on the floor. "I need to go and see what's going on, sir. He is my partner."
The silence extended, but Broyles quickly made up his mind, sighing.
"Alright, go. I'll tell The Bishops to not wait for you with the examination."
"Thank you, sir." Olivia nodded and dashed out of his office.
She was already dialling up Astrid when she got in the car and started the engine, quickly setting off and out of the Federal Building's parking storey. Good that Astrid was always on the line.
"Astrid, tell me that you're near a computer." Olivia's eyes flickered through the pedestrians when she stopped at the first red traffic light, fingers drumming on the wheel.
"I am. What do you need?" Astrid chimed, seemingly in a good mood. Only if she had her ebullience at least half of the time.
"Check in our database for Lincoln's address. I need it." Olivia shifted the gear and went on the boulevard, clicking on her phone's speaker. "I'm gonna put you on the speaker, for the GPS."
"110 Ashford Street." Astrid drawled, as if reading from somewhere and the car's GPS set the course right after. Astrid opened a pause before speaking again: "Why do you need his address? Did something happen?"
"I'm not sure, but I have a bad feeling."
Olivia knew Astrid has been the main reason for her intrigue for Lincoln. Astrid was the one who instigated her to spend more of her time with him and eventually wade a bit deeper in those waters she was always so scared to wade in. Not that she has made any move. And waiting for him to make a move meant waiting forever. They were too much alike.
"Oh. He didn't show up at work, right? They called me, to ask if I've seen him in the lab since he's often around here… but I haven't seen him since yesterday. Walter was happy that he had a chess-buddy since Peter is always busy… uh, with the other Olivia." Astrid let out a faint huff of amusement. "Anyway, I think he's mentally adopted him."
Olivia's mind was so lost in her thoughts that she forgot to reply and for a second she just watched the road, flinching when Astrid spoke again.
"Call me if you need anything, Olivia, and… calm down. I'm sure he's fine." She paused again. "Bye."
Then the conversation ended and Olivia smoothed her hair back. Fine? He hasn't been fine since he came into Fringe Division and she could see the consequences of it all from up close. Those little habits he created for himself, to keep him sane, to keep his foundations from shaking… she recognized all of this because it was the same with her back then.
Olivia wished she could help him get accustomed, but truth was, no one knew the trick. Chances were, you never get accustomed to this madness. She only prayed that all that won't get to her, but then again, there was something wrong with her in the first place. She was not afraid, she never laughed, she never thought she could waste time on shoes, on clothes or lipstick. Those things revolted her. And somehow, she's always thought they were normal. Her double was all those things she couldn't ever be and it made her hate herself for it. Because she sometimes wished to be as feminine, but she hated it nonetheless.
Anyway… she saw Lincoln's alternative version, she saw the Lincoln she knew face him and she saw that same bitterness in his eyes, the envy, the almost-hatred. Being observant, Olivia noticed all their differences and concluded that she could've never understood some things about her universe's Lincoln without the other, however brief their encounter was.
One important thing that she learned was that the alternative Lincoln was used to working in a team, just because he and his team were like a family, whereat her L- this universe's Lincoln… he never asked for help, for anything. This trait was just stained on him, likely as a permanent one. Not the best thing for someone who started working in this division in particular only recently, but it was actually what she felt drawn to.
Olivia parked at the first free spot she could find and jumped out of the car, eyes feverishly searching the street. Ashford was strung with similarly looking small houses, but she was glad to find the 110th number soon. The curtains were tightly shut when her gaze scanned the double windows from both sides of the door.
It was locked.
"Lincoln!" She knocked on the door, looking around. The neighborhood was quiet… maybe it was the early hour.
The lack of response tensed her nerves a tad more. She brought out her lockpick set and clicked the door open with a few short, nimble movements.
It was dark and it reminded her… she grabbed her gun and levelled it with her eyes.
It was a cozy house, with average rooms. Shadows fell over most of the furniture; the early, faint sunbeams turning everything particularly grim. The silence was absolutely unnerving and hear heartbeat vigorously in her chest until she opened the door to the bedroom and finally saw Lincoln there.
"Lincoln?" Olivia called timidly, lowering on her knees next to the bed and sheathing her weapon back. "Lincoln!" She switched the reading light on.
He breathed in and out, in a calm rhythm, turned to one side, and none of the times she called his name out loud shifted anything in his state. After her voice didn't wake him up, she proceeded with some vigorous attempts to do it, but… he didn't. Nothing woke him up.
She sat on the bed, looking at his relaxed posture for one minute of pure terror before pulling her phone out again. The signals were barely two when the other side picked up.
"Peter, I need you to give me the phone to Walter right now."
"Where are you? Aren't you going to meet us?"
"Peter, please, it's urgent." Olivia took a deep breath, hearing Peter agree with her right away and muting the phone for a second.
"Yes, my dear?" Walter's voice echoed through the speaker.
"Walter, something is wrong with Lincoln, he is not waking up." Olivia glanced at the subject in question. "Tell me you know what's wrong with him. He's been with you the last time someone has seen him."
"Not waking up? Hmm…"
"Did you notice anything strange in him yesterday?" Olivia leaned in, finding Lincoln's wrist. "I think his pulse is slower than normal and…" She squinted, then her fingers slowly travelled to his palm and slightly pressed his fingers to open his hand more. "His tips are in a… more bluish nuance."
"Strange. Very strange." He stopped for a breath. "Does he have a fever?"
Olivia touched his forehead.
"I don't think so, he's actually cool. He's got, uh," Her face saddened when she noticed the detail, "pockets under the eyes. Tell me… tell me what to do, Walter."
"Olivia, I need you to calm down. If he's still breathing, it's fine."
No, it's not. Olivia's heart was beating fast and she could almost hear it in the thick silence of the room.
"I should probably come and check on him, but your friends here want me to work on the case…" Walter's voice trailed off. "Astro, could you please pass me the flashlight?"
Olivia closed her eyes for a second. It was clear to her that Walter could not be on her disposal right now. Also, since Peter started going out with the other Olivia, she's been slightly ignored. Not that this fact was necessarily a bad thing, but she somehow felt isolated. Anyway, she needed to figure something out. Fast.
"Walter, you still there?" Olivia tried again, eyes to and fro.
"Yes, my dear."
"Good. Can you tell me if there's something in the lab that could trigger such deep sleep? Something of a poison or…?
"I'm sure that's not relevant," Walter replied in his typical lively tone. "Yesterday, I was working on a chemical fusion that's supposed to work as a painkiller, shutting down the parts of the brain that are responsible for the pain. Don't you think that's fascinating?" The phone was muffled. "Excuse me, c-can I have some gum, please? Thank you."
Olivia stood up from the bed sharply, walking to the end of the room and then back to the bed nervously.
"Not relevant… Let's say he's breathed it in yesterday when he was in your lab, your compound?" She gesticulated. "Is it possible that this fusion may have a side effect like this?"
"Is it possible the compound's fumes could have an anaesthetical effect? Highly unlikely. Impossible. Unless you combine it with a benzodiazepine of any kind." Walter coughed a bit to clear his throat.
"Benzo-what?" Olivia frowned.
"Uh, tranquillizers. Sedatives." Walter hurried to translate.
"Oh, ok. So-"
Olivia's eyes fixed on Lincoln for a moment before looking around for the bathroom, dashing to it. If he was anything like her, he would keep them there.
She reached for the shelf next to the sink when she didn't find one over it. The first shelf was not the one she was looking for, it was the second. She rolled it open and rummaged through the medical supplies, grabbing the pillbox in the most visible, closest corner, eyes feverishly seeking the inscription. Her stomach spasmed with an unpleasant sensation.
"Walter, we have a problem. He's taking sleeping pills."
"Mmm, that's not good."
"Yeah, I know it's not good, Walter!" Olivia left the pills back with an exclamation, her hand passing through her hair once again. Then she sighed. "I'm sorry. Please tell me he's gonna wake up."
"Ah, yes. Of course he will. Likely when the pill's effect wears off."
Olivia puffed her cheeks with relief. Finally good news.
"Thank you, Walter. I'll leave you to do your work. I'll meet you at the crime scene."
"There's something else, though." Walter intervened quickly before she could hang up. The way he said it… she braced herself for a blow and mouthed a quiet, tormented "Yes?" after which there was a brief pause. "Well, about those fumes…"
"Walter, tell me."
"His temperature may drop to critical levels and… if it's not kept within the normal until he's back, fully conscious, he might… might, uh…"
Olivia's lips parted with a gasp. Might what? Die? Was Walter serious? She ran back to the bedroom and sat on the bed. "But he's already cold."
"If he's still not shivering then you have a lot of time." Walter paused. "Should I come to you?"
"I think I can handle this, but… I'll-I'll probably call you again if there are complications. Actually, I'll call an ambulance right now."
"Excellent. Take care, Olivia." Walter said, more quietly than before. "And good luck. Don't worry, he'll be fine. The paramedics know what to do, you just explain to them that he needs to stay within the normal temperature."
"Yes. Thank you, Walter." Olivia managed a half-smile and hung up, dialling 911. It took her not more than a few seconds to explain the importance of the situation to the woman who picked up on the other side.
Alright. She searched through the big cupboard and found a single thick blanket, under a pile of clothes and other thin sheets. That could help, but she had slight doubts that it will work. Anyway, she spread it and covered Lincoln with it, fixing the lower blanket on him.
She stripped her overcoat and put it over too, her own hands a bit trembling as she did it. Her legs didn't keep her standing for long, with her nerves tensed as much, and she found herself sitting on the bed and staring at Lincoln in hopes to notice a change in him, sometimes checking his pulse or his forehead.
There was always something that kept him from making the step, there was always something that kept her from making it. Reticence. Uncertainty. Fears. Of Rejection. Of failure. Of abandonment. She knew his mother had died when he was too young, she read his files. She knew he had read hers too, of her abusive father.
Neither of them had the courage to get into this mess, but still… there were those glances he gave her when he thought she wasn't looking. Glances of pure adoration. It ruined her to know the scale of his attraction but to be afraid to reply to it. She has always thought him handsome. There was something very refined in his features, almost noble, that intrigued her every time her eyes stilled on him for more than a second.
Even now, when his features were perfectly relaxed and she could see the tiredness in him emerge, he was still so very beautiful to her in some unostentatious way… or maybe he made it unostentatious because he wished it to be, she wasn't sure. The other Lincoln… he had taken advantage of everything in his possession and he was killing it.
A smile quivered on Olivia's lips.
That other Lincoln was a good leader, a charmer of standing and terribly self-centred, but dependable nevertheless. And he was doing it all without a drop of hesitation. He was good at it. But somehow… her Lincoln had chosen to restraint all of this and it was exactly what attracted her. Humility was never out of style. In fact, it was downright the sexiest thing she could think of.
Her thoughts were severed by a thrill of horror when she noticed his hand starting to shake. Why was he getting colder…? She stood up, in panic, looking at him, then around the room. The blankets were not enough. She went searching through the house, her mind partly blank and absent, partly hectic with trying to find a solution.
He shouldn't be shivering, it was supposed to keep him warm.
There was nothing she could use in the house, to raise his temperature. Compresses wouldn't work at all, even if she pressures the pulsing points. His temperature dropped rapidly, it was a matter of minutes. The temperature of the air didn't help much either, it was wintry. Oh, God, she couldn't lose him. Not now, not in this ridiculous way. The ambulance was already on its way.
She stopped in the half-lighted living room, hands pressed to one another in front of her mouth. Alright. Calling Walter for help was an option. There was something else on her mind, though. It was going to be a bit weird, but if she had a shot on saving his life…
Olivia walked to the bedroom and took her jacket off. Then she removed her shoes and climbed on the bed with a grimace of concern. Then she slipped under the blanket and slowly shifted closer, tentatively hugging him. He was so cold that it gave her the needed push and she pressed herself to him, forehead leaning on his as she closed her eyes.
"Don't die on me, don't die on me," She chanted lowly, almost a whisper, and she refused to acknowledge that there was something particularly romantic in her awkward situation. In any case, she had never been as close to him and it made her nervous, but that was irrelevant now. "I'll never forgive you if you die on me."
Her voice was shaking, worry poisoning her mind. He was on the edge just now, she could feel the conversion of temperature through her own warm body. She was almost wreathed around him, hand making slow, circular motion on his back.
Don't leave me.
She wanted to scream it out loud, but she didn't. Instead, she allowed the thought to wander around and torment her for the longest of times. Minute after minute of an utmost agony, one that she has never gone through before. Not even when she lost John. Maybe because John helped her part with him in peace. He lifted off all her pain, possible regrets or sorrows when he left her behind. So she closed that book contently, with no concussive sensations.
But Lincoln… she didn't even tell him how much she cared. And how much she's fallen for him. She couldn't even begin to imagine the sorrows that would rent her if he died there, in her arms. Shivering.
Then his body suddenly unwound, the tension leaving it and Olivia's heart almost stopped, eyes opening. It was like he… was he breathing? Oh, God- Her eyes watered when she heard him breathe in again, deeply, but without the shiver. He has stabilized again. Thanks to the heat of her own body.
Olivia shut her eyes tight and forced herself to focus on his breathing - the only sound in the silent, chilly bedroom.
She lost perception of time, but she didn't really need time now, when he breathed in and… to her great inconvenience, woke up with a deeper breath and an opening of his drowsy, cerulean eyes.
There was one moment when he froze with the realization of Olivia's close presence, then a visible flush before she came to her senses and jerked away, but he caught and pressed her closer with some kind of a painful grimace on his features.
"Please." He mouthed, making her catch her breath and swallow down.
That was a weird situation. Weirdest she has ever been into. Including her life after the Pattern.
"Hey." She breathed out, and her heart skipped a beat for a second, seeing him squint at her in a momentary confusion. He was unaware that those ticks of his she found most… adorable? Perhaps that was the right word.
Was no one gonna address the issue that they were currently interweaved and lying under sheets…? She wasn't, for sure. His warm breath tingled her face when he spoke out again.
"Before you start talking," He paused dramatically. "Did Doctor Bishop experiment on me? This is why you're here, right? I'm suing the guy."
Olivia bit back a smile, thinking about a befitting answer. Her head relaxed back on the pillow. "Indirectly." He was stunning without glasses too, she thought.
"What does that mean, indirectly?"
"It's a long story. You've breathed in chemicals that made a reaction with the sleeping pills you take. So… you should be careful the next time you're at the lab." Olivia uttered, her eyes looking anywhere but him.
"I see." Lincoln drawled. "So if it wasn't for you, I would've been dead." At his words, she raised her eyes to his. He had a quick mind, she had to admit, but somehow, looking at his translucent eyes now made her weaker and she couldn't possibly tell the truth. At least not all of it.
"It was just that I checked on you and… yeah. You weren't responding so I called an ambulance and tried helping with whatever I can." It wasn't that bad of a long-story-short in her opinion. There's no way he could question that.
"What's wrong?" He asked, catching her unprepared.
"Wrong? Nothing wrong." Olivia smiled again. "Just that we have another awful case and… it was all a… rather unpleasant start of the day. But I'm glad you're ok." Her body slowly parted from his, trying to escape the pressing fact that they still lied into each other's arms.
"Thank you for saving me." He spoke again, quietly, with his usual singsong tone. "It happens too many times now, I'm starting to feel embarrassed."
"Don't." Olivia shook her head, a small tumble in her stomach dizzying her when he noticed her not-so-subtle attempt to shift away and his hand surrounded her waist, pulling her back. "It's w-what you'd do for me if I was in danger too."
"Yeah, but you have this air around you. Like you're invincible… and nothing can hurt you." Lincoln smiled bitterly, eyes moving up to her eyes and down to her lips, and then back up.
Olivia's lips parted open, but no sound came out of her. "That's… that's not true." She breathed out, at last, feeling a bit out of air.
"I only said you have that air. Not necessarily the truth." He leaned in to brush her lips with a ghost of a kiss. "I see now that I am in the wrong."
Olivia's faze has never been as strong as it was now, she found herself replying to his kiss for a second before backing away to find his eyes, horrified.
"Lincoln, I think that I'm in love with you." The stressed word rolled out of her rapidly, one with the approaching sound of an ambulance nearby. "Scientifically speaking."
"You could've pronounced the end of days with the same emotion." He acquired his typical frown of half-disappointment, half-amusement.
"I'm sorry. I'm just really frightened."
"Good. So there will be sometimes while I can be useful to you. You don't seem like you need me most of the time-"
"No, I need you," Olivia announced feverishly, burying her head in his neck without a second thought. "I need you. I definitely need you."
"Great." Lincoln vibrated with a low laughter, then continued quietly in her ear. "Because I'm in love with you too."
A/N: Thanks for reading! Although this is so not gonna be read by anyone lol I just love the concept of Lincoln and Olivia being together. It's the cutest thing.