Disclaimer: Olivia and the Bishops do not belong to me, nor anything else Fringe related. It is all Fox's and JJ's. Thanks for letting me borrow them though.
Set a week after "The Arrival". Spoilers for that ep and everything leading up to it.
Author's Note: My first Fringe fanfiction, hopefully not my last. I've seen a trend toward Olivia/Peter in a lot of the stories out there, which is cool, but not really my thing. I'm an action/adventure hurt/comfort girl myself and that is what you will find here. As more episodes come out this story may have to change a little to fit canon, but for now I have a pretty clear plot in my head and I will let you guys get to it and let you know that there will be Peter angst to come eventually. So please enjoy:
Trust by Robinyj
It was a normal morning for Rachael Sutton. She had her coffee, the red blouse she seemed to wear every second week, a newspaper tucked under her arm and as she shuffled quickly across the street in front of waiting traffic she could see Marcy waiting for her as usual at the corner. The only thing that was not normal about this morning was that Rachael was very late for work as shown by the tapping of her assistant Marcy's foot and the exaggerated gaze at her watch when she saw Rachael finally approaching.
"Should I even ask?" Marcy questioned as Rachael continued towards the end of the road, not slowing once she had crossed the street.
"It's best if you don't, it involves a traffic light, some children on rollerskates, some swerving, it's not anything I want to discuss unless I'm forced to testify in a Court of Law," Rachael warned. "What do we have today?"
Marcy was ready with her answer, had been ready for the past twenty minutes, "A meeting with Dr. Sargeant in, oh look, 12 minutes, about the patent for DX-24. There was some kind of breakthrough on the seventh floor last night, I didn't hear a lot about it before I came down and Nina Sharp's assistant called twice wanting to know where we're at with you know what."
"I'd like to know too," Rachael muttered, but nodded thankfully to Marcy for the usual morning update. The work they did was competitive and cutthroat and that's why Rachael got Marcy to meet her outside every morning with the daily gossip and reports so she wouldn't get sidetracked by any new information while in her office or at a meeting. It kept Rachael ahead and she liked that. Having to rush to her meeting with Dr. Sargeant however, she did not like. Cursing her high heels she continued her light jog to the doors of Synco Research and pulled the heavy front door open.
"Ugh, where's the doorman?" she asked with a sigh as the huge door closed behind her. However, her first step inside was her last as she took one look around the lobby, screamed, dropped her coffee and backed out of the building as quickly as possible.
"What's wrong?" Marcy demanded as she was pushed back by Rachael in her rush to evacuate the scene. Once outside Rachael felt herself hyperventilating but managed to frantically pull out her phone and dial 911. When the operator picked up she was sobbing:
"Oh god, oh god, they're all dead!"
Agent Olivia Dunham looked at her watch as she strolled down the familiar hotel hallway toward the Bishops' suite. It was nearly 8:30am and she was scheduled to be in the office at 9. The Bishops didn't exactly have set hours but they usually stayed in the lab at Harvard from 9-5 unless they were working on something specific. Normally the FBI provided their transportation for them, or Peter would get sick of being driven around and lug them both to Harvard in his father's incredibly old car. Today however, Olivia decided to pick up the two geniuses herself in order to see how they were adjusting to living together since the factors that would keep them from cohabitating peacefully were limitless. The list of things that could cause tension between these two included, but was not limited to, the standard father/son abandonment issues, Peter's stubbornness, Walter's arrogance and mental instability and the fact that Peter had been kidnapped and tortured just the week before. It was the last one that was the real reason Olivia was about to knock on their door. When Peter had been in top mental form she had had full confidence in his ability to handle Walter and his eccentricities, but being tortured, abducted, it took away something from most people and though Peter had been putting on a brave front for the past week Olivia could see the cracks. He needed time to deal with what had happened to him, and trying to do that while taking care of an eccentric estranged father wasn't the easiest thing in the world. She hoped she might be able to make it a little easier with her presence.
Raised voices from behind the door made her pause before knocking and listen to the commotion going on inside.
"Walter, I don't care how healthy, delicious, or scientifically balanced it will be, this is disgusting!"
"It's perfectly harmless and it's good for the mind. Now put it back before you contaminate it."
"I'm sorry but we are not cultivating bacteria in our fridge just so you can make home-made yogurt. I refuse to have Petri dishes of germs beside my milk. We'll get yogurt at the store, full of probiotics and bacteria," she heard Peter promise, calming down slightly as he always did eventually.
"It won't be the same," Walter tacked on quietly in defeat, apparently not having it in him to fight with his son this morning. Olivia took the opportunity the moment of silence created to knock on the door.
"I'll get it, eat your oatmeal," Peter ordered and Olivia heard his footsteps approach the door. When he first appeared Peter wore a look of frustration and exhaustion but upon seeing it was Olivia at the door he quickly forced on his cocky, carefree smile that she could see through every time. Defense mechanism, she knew, Peter was not one to let his defenses down and she was not about to force him to … yet. But someday he would have to talk.
"Agent Dunham, how nice to see you when it's not an ungodly early hour of the morning," Peter greeted her.
She smiled and nodded, acknowledging that she usually showed up pretty early in the day, "Thought I would give you guys a break. Need a ride to the lab, I was passing by."
Peter looked hesitant for a moment but then nodded, "Sure, sounds good, come on in I uh, I think Walter has pants on but maybe just … wait here for a second."
"That's probably a good idea," Olivia agreed not wanting to see anything unnecessary. After a moment she heard Peter call out from the kitchen.
"We have pants, come on in."
As Olivia walked into the small kitchen in the hotel suite she spotted Walter sitting at the counter sprinkling what looked like brown sugar into his oatmeal while Peter poured himself a cup of coffee. Peter sighed as Walter completely ignored, or hadn't noticed, that Olivia had come into the room.
"Walter, you want to tear yourself away from your bowl for a second and say hi?"
Dr. Bishop appeared startled by his son's request and quickly looked up, "What? Oh yes, hello. I … I have to get the ratio just right you see, the saturation rate of oatmeal to sugar is dependant on many variables … the texture of the oatmeal, the ratio of water …"
"That's great," was the only response Olivia could come up with as Walter trailed off, but he was lost in his own world again so it hardly mattered.
"Coffee?" Peter offered.
"Sure," Olivia said even though she wanted to get to the office she had a feeling she should probably try not to interrupt their morning routine too much. Peter handed her the coffee and then motioned her towards the couch to give Walter the silence he needed to calculate his breakfast. Still in a mild state of undress, but not seeming to care in the least, Peter's unbuttoned shirt slipped open slightly as he sat down and Olivia caught a glimpse of the bruises on his ribs caused by whatever weapon it was the Observer had shot him with. He was lucky they hadn't been broken and she knew even now breathing must have been painful. Making a point not to cringe on his behalf Olivia asked:
"So, how have you two been doing?"
Peter laughed mirthlessly as he took a sip of his coffee, "Oh, couldn't be better, you know I've always dreamed about running a daycare so every day is just heaven for me."
Olivia gave him a look which he read easily, "Yeah, that's not what you were asking. I'm fine Liv, thanks. I've been better but I'm all right. Walter is slowly getting more lucid, which is a blessing and a curse as it means he can take better care of himself but tries to run more experiments … everywhere."
Peter smiled, realizing Olivia had heard their earlier conversation, "Yogurt, exactly. But I'll survive, I've been through worse, unfortunately."
"That's good. Not the being through something worse part, but the surviving part I mean. Peter, if you need any help with anything though please let me know, any help with your father or the lab, or even if you just need someone to talk to. I know this hasn't been easy for you," Olivia offered, trying to reach out though she couldn't really explain why.
Peter smiled uncomfortably, appreciating her sentiment but not exactly skilled at participating in any type of personal conversation, at least not willingly.
"Thanks Liv," he said finally. "But I'm fine really, for now. I'll let you know if anything changes."
"Sure," Olivia replied taking note of his defensive response. Also noticing his discomfort she offered him an out of the conversation, "We should get to the lab. Is Walter ready to go?"
"God only knows," Peter mumbled as he pushed himself off the couch and moved back towards the kitchen. "Walter, we gotta go, how's that oatmeal coming?"
"I need a napkin," Walter announced slipping into the child-like helplessness that sometimes came over him.
"Of course you do," Peter said as he grabbed one off the counter without missing a beat and passed it to his father. Walter cleaned off his face as Peter sighed looking at the brown sugar all over the counter. Walter looked down as well and was good enough to look apologetic.
"Oh yes, the ratio you see was very inexact …"
Peter brought up a hand to halt his explanation, "I really don't need to hear it. I'll clean this up, you go get dressed, Olivia is waiting to drive us."
"Olivia?" Walter questioned then turned around to see her in the doorway, "why hello my dear, when did you get here?"
It was easy for Olivia to catch the cringe that Peter tried to cover up when his father's memory lapsed again but Olivia was good at covering things up too.
"Just now Dr. Bishop, but we really have to get going."
"Yes, of course, of course. I hope it's cold out. Peter bought me a new hat and I think it will be just right for the occasion. I'll show it to you," Walter announced as he excitedly made his way towards his room to dress.
When Walter disappeared Olivia sent a small smirk Peter's way, who was cleaning off the counter.
"To be clear," Peter said, "the FBI bought him a new hat. I picked out a new hat because all the ones he liked had cartoon characters on them. I think the "Hello Kitty" one really caught his eye."
"I've always been a Scooby-Doo kind of girl myself," Olivia joked.
"Why am I not surprised that even as a child Olivia Dunham was solving mysteries?"
Peter had made a good point but Olivia brushed it off, "Who mentioned being a child? It was on last night."
This actually made Peter laugh as he finished cleaning up and focused on finally buttoning up his shirt. They turned as Walter came bustling down the hallway, now fully dressed and eagerly pulling his new black winter cap over his head. He adjusted it a moment then turned to Olivia.
"What do you think?"
"It's very smart," she replied. Behind her Peter was pulling on his coat and gesturing towards the door.
"Okay, the fashion show's over Walter, we gotta go."
Olivia smiled as she moved to dump the rest of her coffee down the sink and then led the Bishops out of the hotel suite. While they traveled down the hallway she looked at Peter, amazed at how much he was the parent in his relationship with his father. It had to be hard but he was handling it well and the new badge that he was at this moment hanging around his neck meant he was going to be sticking around to keep doing it. That thought made her smile.
The prologue is a bit shorter than my usual chapters. Once the action gets going the sections will be longer and more fun to write. Please tell me what you think, it's hard to get a feel for these characters with just four episodes under my belt so I'm open to suggestions. Also, this will be a multi-chapter fic so get ready, I'm thinking at least 8 chapters. Thanks for reading. Later, Robin.