I was clearing out my old LJ and found this, figured I would try and share it! I'm in the middle of a Fringe re-watch, so it was actually pretty fun to go back and read this. I forgot just how incredible this show was, and how much I loved any and all versions of Olivia Dunham.
Originally posted in 2011.
The countdown has reached ten seconds, and she still hasn't moved.
They're quarantining another building- routine for him and Charlie, but a first for her. Lincoln understands, he was there once too. It's hard to take it all in the first time. Evacuating the building is easy enough when they've got enough time, but this hole is getting bigger fast, and Broyles has already given them the order to set off the canisters and get out.
He's just set it on the floor and makes for the door. There is a thirty second wait between pressing the button and the dispersion of the amber, which typically gives them enough time to clear out of the building.
The only thing is, it only gives them enough time. Them and maybe a handful of other people who are lucky enough to be on the ground floor when they come in.
The rest are going to be stuck in that building. And that thought takes some getting used to. Knowing that you are responsible for trapping these people like insects; it's hard to get past. But that doesn't mean he has time for her to experience a moral crisis right now.
"Dunham!" He yells, turning around in the doorway. The thirty seconds are almost up, and he doesn't want to wait and see the smoke start to come out. "We need to move!"
She seems paralyzed almost, staring at the beeping device. They're down to six seconds now.
He stomps back over to her (because while he's hopelessly afraid of getting ambered, he's also just a little bit angry with her) and grabs her wrist, yanking her in the direction of the door. She turns her hand around and grasps his, her feet staying rooted to the floor.
"What's going to happen to them?"
He meets her eyes, wide and confused. He's surprised; up until this moment Dunham has had this air of confidence. She saunters around seeming so sure of everything she does. But right now she looks scared (terrified he wants to say, but he also doesn't ever want to associate that verb with Olivia Dunham). He doesn't have time to explain it all, to try and convince her like he tries to convince himself that this is the only way.
A shrill beeping noise brings him back, and his eyes flit over to the canister. The amber is just starting to escape, and he sees the smoke beginning to fill the room. So he just tugs on her hand, pulling her through the doorway and down the hall. She doesn't fight it, just runs with him as they both try to escape what he thinks is certain death. They scramble out the door of the building just in time, and he stops short a good ten feet outside while she is still going and they both topple to the ground.
He's aware of the dozens of people watching them. Fringe events are almost like entertainment now, he thinks darkly. He doesn't quite want to get up yet, so twists his neck and glances at her lying on her back on the ground next to him.
She's breathing heavily, which isn't unexpected considering she just sprinted out of a building in order to escape being trapped forever. She spreads both of her hands out over her stomach, and turns to look at him. He thinks he knows what's going to happen before it does.
But, as he'll learn as time goes on, he can never truly predict what Olivia Dunham is going to do.
The giggles start out soft, barely escaping her lips. They get louder and louder, the laughter just bubbling up out of her like she can't control it. Pretty soon she's cracking up on the ground, wrapping her arms around herself.
At first he's a little worried, maybe the fall hurt her head. But soon he starts snickering too, and it isn't long before he's laughing like she is, all of the tension seeming to melt away.
Later on, after he finds out about Frank and even later, after he finds out about the baby he remembers this moment, because he thinks that this is the first moment where he started to fall in love with her.
He's never questioned the limits he'll go to for her. He's never had to either. She's good at her job, very good, and while she sometimes gets into sticky situations she's always able to get herself out of them. She has never been the Damsel-In-Distress kind of girl. But that doesn't mean he's not prepared to be her hero anyway.
He watches as they load her onto the stretcher, and she grasps onto Franks hand with this look on her face that he's only seen a few times. She's scared.
He's scared too, because he's seen what these bugs can do to you. Because they're inside her now, doing whatever it is they do before they come crawling out. He doesn't want to think about that happening to her.
He's dealt with a lot of sick people in his time with Fringe Division, but this guy has to be one of the worst. Partly because in his quest to save the world, he seems to have no regard for wasting a few lives. And one of those lives is that of a woman he cares for very much.
So he doesn't really think about it when he kicks everyone else out and draws his gun. It's necessary, it's Liv, and he's not going to bother thinking about the consequences right now. He's able to convince himself the outcome won't be too disastrous either way; if the man breaks they save her, if he doesn't they rid the world of another bad guy.
(Because no matter what he will tell her later, he will pull the trigger. He won't think twice about it.)
He builds the fucking box, because if that's what the madman wants he'll do it. For her. And finally, finally he gets an answer, after what seems like hours, but it's not the one he wants.
"She doesn't need saving. I didn't infect her."
Lincoln spares a glance back at Charlie, who has crept a little bit closer.
That's impossible. That's impossible because he just saw her get sick, he saw the look on her face and he watched her get wheeled away to the ambulance and if she's not infected than something else is definitely wrong.
And she definitely does need saving.
They've all been on edge lately. Her pregnancy has set all of them off. It set him and her off anyway, Charlie just doesn't want to get involved.
He knows he's being stupid, he has no right to be angry about her having another mans child. He supposes if the baby was Franks he would feel better, but knowing that she just got bored and stepped out with some random guy hurts way more than it should.
It hurts more than her being in love with Frank did, anyway. At least then she was happy, this situation seems to make her as miserable as it makes him.
He still worries about her, of course. No matter how upset he gets (and he's not upset with her, it's really more with the situation and his gradual realization that he's never going to feel this way about anyone else).
Part of him doesn't want to know about her trip to the other side. He's standing in the Secretary's office and he realizes that there is no turning back now, it's just answers from here on.
(He hopes for answers at least. Answers are something that are never certain in his line of work.)
Somehow finding out that she's having Peter fucking Bishop's kid doesn't make it any worse. It doesn't make the ache in his chest any better either, but at least it wasn't some random douche he and Charlie would inevitably have to track down and beat the piss out of later.
The fact that he didn't even realize she was gone does.
He's pretty sure you're supposed to be able to recognize when the woman you love (because this is love, he realizes. This feeling where he knows that if they don't get her back, if she's not okay he doesn't really know if he will be able to fully function ever again) has been replaced by another.
But knowing that he's not the only one who fell for it, that somewhere the great Peter Bishop was also tricked, and by his own father, makes him feel a little bit better.
She calls him from some payphone in the middle of Chinatown and despite how panicked she sounds he's so glad to hear her voice.
Next thing he knows he's speeding through red lights in a taxi cab driven by a man who four hours ago was their only solid lead to her. Charlie keeps talking in his ear but the only thing he really hears is that she won't make it through delivery.
He knows about Rachel's baby, he knows about the disease and he knows (although she didn't tell him this herself) that she probably has it herself but he isn't able to wrap his head around the fact that Olivia Dunham, who can shoot with frighteningly accurate aim and is wonderfully sarcastic and bright and beautiful, the Olivia Dunham whom he loves so much, is going to die giving birth and not in some fiery explosion that saves hundreds of thousands of lives like he's sure she has always imagined herself going out.
She's dying, he thinks while helping Henry carry her into the restaurant. She's dying, he reminds himself while holding her tightly on his lap. She looks up at him with those wide, terrified eyes and he knows that she knows; they are both painfully aware that she is going to spend her last minutes giving birth in a Chinese noodle shop.
(He knows this isn't the ending she wants, and it's so far from what he wants but if this is it he's not wasting a second.)
He doesn't regret saying it. He doesn't really plan on doing it either, it just sort of spills out as she is clenching onto his hand and he realizes he's rocking her back and forth like he would a small child. She's biting her lip and holding on to him and he doesn't know what else to do. It really only seems logical to tell her. To tell her how he feels, how he thinks he's always felt.
She doesn't respond, not that he's expecting her to. He just feels her grip onto his hand even harder.
She makes him promise to save the baby. The baby. The thing that's killing her (but he truly can't think of it as just that, because it's a part of her and doesn't he love every part of her?). He promises, of course. It's the only thing he can do.
And then there's a lot crying (done by him, her, and the baby as well) and a fair bit of wailing before he looks back down at her and feels everything come to a stop. Even the baby, who has let out a few cries falls silent, as if he knows his mother has just slipped away.
He doesn't save her. That's what hurts the most. He's always wanted to save people; her, his brother, his nephews, the whole entire world, hell that's why he became a cop isn't it? To save people.
And now he can't even save her. She's gone.
But then she breathes (he supposes later it's more of a gasp than a breath, but technicalities hardly matter in the moment).
He's never really been a man of God, never been one to believe in miracles.
But he knows that coming back after you've been marked for death is nothing short of that.
They're both okay, they're both okay he's chanting in his head, holding her just a bit closer to his chest. Henry holds out the baby and she had this look of pure awe on her face. He's never seen anything quite like it, and he feels his face break into a wide smile too. She looks up at him, her mouth opening in shock. He just grins back down at her and the little being on her chest, feeling the tears slip past his nose.
They're both okay.