Hello, I'm Faust. But enough about me, I think. This is the first Fringefic I'm putting 'on the market', and I hope that you may find it entertaining, and don't judge my ability too critically, because, let's face it, I have no ability.*generic grin* Cheers. Now give me candy.
* I, in no way, own Fringe, or any of the characters affiliated with its glory.
Shivering awoke him, but not his own. Peter blinked drowsily, his senses finding the blank, empty stucco ceiling of the hotel room, and it took him only a few more moments to realize where he was- Boston. Still in Boston. He sighed.
Peter pushed the blankets to his waist and sat up, rubbing his face as the shivering at his side continued, and he coughed softly, looking over at the illuminated blue digits of the alarm clock: 3:07. He grumbled softly, turning to peer at the other side of the bed, "Walter."
A form curled tightly in the blankets gave no response, continuing to shiver violently. Concern gripped Peter, and he leaned toward his father, reaching out to touch his trembling shoulder, "Walter?"
Walter's voice was hoarse and muffled as he replied, "Leave me, I'm dying."
Peter frowned, pulling the blankets away. Walter lay curled on the sheets, his arms wrapped around himself in an attempt to stop the coughs that shook him, his face pale and damp with misery. He covered his head with his arms, sniffing. Peter reached over to place a palm on his forehead, "You're not dying, you've just got a fever. I think you may have picked something up at the station yesterday…"
"It's really cold in here," Walter murmured, pushing sweat from his eyebrows with his fingertips.
"Yeah, come on, get up. We'll get you some cough syrup and an aspirin." He patted his fathers' shoulder, and kicked the covers away, getting to his feet. Peter scratched his stomach as he headed toward the small kitchen station, filling the coffee pot in the sink and starting the machine with the press of a button. Then, he flipped on the lights, and headed for the bathroom.
Walter was grumbling inaudibly as he rolled from bed , holding the bedspread around himself as he continued to shiver, and let out a booming cough, stumbling to one knee. "Drat," he wheezed.
Peter appeared in the bathroom doorway, his mouth half-full of suds, "Sounds bad," he said around his toothbrush, and the phone suddenly gave a chime.
"I'll get it," Walter assured him, and Peter shrugged, returning to the sink. Walter moved to the nightstand, rubbing his aching eyes as he picked up the receiver and set it to his ear, "Hello?"
"Walter?" someone asked.
"Hopefully. Good morning, agent Dunham."
Olivia chuckled softly on the other end of the line, "Good morning, Doctor Bishop. Are you alright? You sound ill."
"I believe my brain is on fire."
"Here's Peter," He replied as his son frowned, shoving the triangular, green bottle into his hands and pulling the receiver away from him, "I'll get a straw, then." and Walter tottered toward the coffee machine.
"What's up?" Philip asked.
"Is something wrong?" Olivia asked, and there was a faint shifting, Peter assumed it was a seatbelt in her car- she must have been on her way to the motel. He both admired and envied her energy for a job that seemed to have no time for rest.
"Walter's sick, nothing serious. He'll be fine after- do not put that in the coffee! No! Bad!- anyways, what's up? Yet another gruesome episode in the wee hours?"
"Something like that. I'm on my way to pick you up now- lucky enough for us… it seems we've got a fresh one."
"Okay. We'll be ready. See you."
Walter looked up, sniffing as Peter set down the receiver. He smiled softly, "Where are we going today?"
"You're not going anywhere," Peter replied, moving to the dresser to pull out a pair of jeans and pull them on, "You're going to stay here and get well. I'll go have a look, and bring you back the details."
Walter watched him blankly for a few moments, "You can't be serious," he said at last.
"Dead serious," Peter snorted, pulling on a tee shirt and patting it flat across in stomach, "You're in no condition to be going out in the cold. Look at you; you can hardly stand."
Walter shook his head, sniffing again, "No. I'm going."
Peter frowned at him, "No, you're not."
"You don't understand. Peter, this is what I do. I there really are only two things I'm here for, and researching these cases, solving them…correcting my mistakes… is one of them." He set the open bottle of cough syrup on the counter and doffed the blanket onto the bed.
Dark curiosity piqued Peter's features, "…What's the other reason?" he asked at last.
Walter paused from gathering his clothes from the dresser to look over at his son. There was a silence, and Peter suddenly felt heat gather on his face as he realized the answer, "Asian cuisine," Walter replied modestly, returning to his task.
"That's your third bottle of cough syrup- stop it."
The black Ford Mustang pulled up to the loading docks of a huge warehouse, shrouded in the dark fog that drifted in from the river. The operation was quiet, and only a lone figure stood in the cold to greet them, black trench coat damp about his ankles. His shivering was non-existent, and he approached the car as the engine stopped, and Olivia Dunham opened the door and stepped out, "Agent Dunham," Agent Broyals called softly, and she looked up, her breath fogging the still air. He could see her hair, freshly showered, still damp about her neck. Her eyes were dark and turbulent with exhaustion as she turned them toward him, her pale features tinted pink in the chill. He nodded toward the other figures that emerged from the car, "Mr. Bishop, Dr. Bishop. This way." and he led them on, across the gravel parking lot and through an opening in the chain link. They trudged through the dewed undergrowth as he continued with the briefing, "A call came in a few days ago, and then another just a few hours ago. Some disturbances down under the bridge- murders."
"So why are we here? What's the catch?" Olivia asked, taking his hand as he helped her leap from the embankment onto the shallow sand of the river shore. Philip and Walter followed, and they continued on, "Homeless people flock to the bridges- murder is common practice, sadly enough."
"Well, at first we thought it was a matter for the police, as there was nothing in the reports to warrant attention from the FBI, more or less our own little branch of it. Then we got the full report in," Broyals replied. They came to stop before the graffiti-strewn cement pillar that stretched upward to support the tall bridge that spanned the river, and disappeared into the fog. Quietly, Walter coughed. "Six bodies."
Agent Dunham looked taken aback, "Mass murder?"
Broyals nodded, "It would seem so. Hardly unnoticeable, even for the homeless," he drew the manila file from under his arm and handed it to her, "But what made it truly peculiar was the manner in which the bodies were found. All completely drained of blood."
All three of his companions looked surprised, "All of the bodies were found mutilated in a ritualistic way," Olivia said, flipping through the photographs before her, "arms bound, tongues and eyes removed… And pentagrams etched onto the chest and forehead… this sounds like occult."
He nodded. "That's what we thought. This way."
"Walter!" Peter barked, and his father looked up from his place among the weeds, a frog clutched in his gloved hands. Peter glared, and Walter dropped the amphibian, following along sheepishly.
They arrived at the scene, pushing past the yellow tape that enclosed the terrain. Almost an exact replica of the photographs they had seen previously seen, six bodies lay in a circle, heads toward the center, around what had been a fire. The ashes smoldered now, and Agent Dunham approached, followed closely by Peter. Walter strayed behind, addressing Agent Broyals, "What happened to the removed parts?" he asked.
"According to some pagan religions, it is customary to eat parts of your enemy, under the pretence that you may gain their knowledge or power," He replied modestly.
Walter looked slightly sick, and coughed again, swallowing.
"These bodies look…bloated," Olivia said, her brows furrowing.
"Almost as if they were pulled out of the water," Peter completed her thought as Walter knelt to examine one on the corpses closely.
"So it would seem," Walter mused, drawing a small flashlight from his pocket. He glanced at the already coagulated wounds on the victims' chest, then turned his beam to the wounds on the undersides of each of their arms, "…may I have one?"
"I beg your pardon, Doctor Bishop?" Broyals questioned, slightly taken aback.
"I need to take one back to the lab for some tests. Any of them will do, but I'd prefer this one here," he straitened, motioning to the corpse he had just been examining.
"Yes, of course," Royal replied, blinking once to rid himself of uncertain thoughts, "That would be the natural course of things. You needn't ask."
Walter nodded, "Thank you." he glanced around anxiously, "Excuse me…" and he sped off toward the vegetation.
"Walter!" Peter exclaimed.
Olivia ignored them, turning toward her superior, "Something is obviously wrong about these deaths," she said, "I know that they were meant to look like cult killings, and that's what they've been reported as… but these bodies look like they've been in the water for weeks. I'd like to take a look at any suspicious drowning cases reported in the vicinity that have involved vagrants in the last few months."
Broyals nodded, "We'll have them for you."
"I told you I was dying!" Walter cried.
Peter emerged from the brush, looking distinctly put-out, "We've got to get back to the lab- Walter's puking cough syrup."