TITLE: The End of Days

AUTHOR: brightblue

CATEGORY: Fringe future fic, drabble, angst, Peter/Olivia romance

DISCLAIMER: Sadly, I don't own them.

RATING: PG

SUMMARY: You can't regret anything. You won't. A brief glimpse into the future. Not a happy picture.

AUTHOR'S NOTES: This drabble was inspired by the Death Cab for Cutie song "Grapevine Fires." I just couldn't get this image out of my head and so it was written. Enjoy!

The End of Days

The sky is purple feathered with gray, studded with diamonds. Though this vista is a symptom of death, it's oddly beautiful. Like an old lady's hat.

Eve twirls through the grim landscape. Ribbons of platinum hair trail behind her; an impish grin brightens her face. Not for the first time you marvel at the startling sight of this whole other person who is so perfectly you and so perfectly him, and yet: Eve shimmers in the moonlight, innocent and promising. Someone possessing those traits can't be either of you.

You can't regret anything. You won't.

"Evie!" Peter warns as your daughter dances too close to the edge of the cliff. This is where you've made camp for the night. Thin air, big sky, rocky ground: this is where you live now. Chasing down whatever days you have left, it's not so much survival as it is prolonging the inevitable. Deadly air, super soldiers, and eyes in the sky—they had you beat from the start.

All that work and here you are: one, two, maybe three days away from the end. To think, there was a time when investigating global corporate conspiracies felt normal and you were most fearful of the feelings you had for your brash, overly intelligent pseudo-partner who made your life impossible. It seems like a lifetime ago that together you were panicking at the thought of bringing a new soul into this decaying world.

But life isn't measured on the same scale as it was before. Blissful domestic ignorance is a myth. Death lurks in the shadows, makes itself known in the sunlight. Cities have crumbled, friends and family are missing. Peter and Eve are all you have in this world and they are more than enough. For them you will keep fighting a losing battle.

For now, though, you let the cadence of his voice warm the chill that set in your bones weeks ago. Your eyes track Eve's progress over rocks and fallen trees. You worry less about broken bones than you should. It all seems so trivial when the world is falling apart at your feet.

"Let her play," you whisper, tucking into your husband's side. Your voice is scratchy, unused. This surprises you only a little. Spend day in and day out with the same two people and you'll find that language evolves beyond mere vocalizations. Peter is amused by this and kisses your nose. What does surprise you is that, years later, being encircled in his arms still creates an instant feeling of comfort and security. His lips brushing against your neck still have the power to make your heart pump faster.

Eve has discovered a bug of some sort. She cups it in her palm, stares at it with a curious intelligence that's a sure sign of her father's pedigree. You squeeze Peter's hand, seek answers in his gaze. All this time and he hasn't let you down yet, not when it really matters. Taking in your expression, his eyes soften and he understands.

"No regrets, sweetheart," he murmurs against your temple.

"Don't call me sweetheart," you chide, smiling despite yourself. You lean into his embrace with a sigh.

The night is endless and uncertain. You can't possibly retrace the path you took to get to this moment; you only know it was filled with false starts, mirrored walls, and dead ends. But you are here now.

Together, you watch your daughter play. In this moment, Eve is happy and that's all that matters.

No regrets.