FRINGE

VCR

No copyright inFRiNGEment intended.

Note: spoilers for Bad Dreams. Hints of Bolivia. Peter finally makes that call. Sorry, lots of dialog here.

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"Hello?"

"It's me…"

"Peter? Something wro…" she prompted. "Oh, sorry." Her face melted down under the stress of going back to reality as she knew it. "You want to talk to Rach? I'm afraid she's asleep. Do you want me to wake her up for you?" she said with a distinct hint of smirk in her voice.

She was tired, she was appalled by Lane's file and the extent of what was currently unravelling before her eyes, and the last thing she needed right now was someone pouring out his heart on her, even if that someone was Peter.

"Olivia, would you stop, please. You must know that I called YOU."

"Okay."

She was not going to make it any simpler, he thought. He took a deep breath.

"Walter is watching telly."

"Excuse me?"

She combed absently her hair with her hand in a very familiar gesture, letting breath coming out between her teeth.

"He asked me to help him find his old tapes. I just spent the best part of the last two hours sorting out boxes from the shelves at the lab," Peter explained casually. "The junk that man has been piling up during all these years, that's simply mind boggling!"

She settled down in the couch and waited for him to get tired of her silence.

"Olivia?"

"Yes, I'm listening."

"I thought… Well, whatever. I think he likes to drive me crazy."

Another blatant silence.

"Did you find it?" she finally yielded.

"What?"

"Did you find it, the box you were looking for?"

"Oh, yes! I set the VCR for him and he's currently glued to the TV. I have no idea whether it's "Pippin" or "The Music Man" but he said he didn't want to be disturbed."

"So?"

"So I called you," he prompted with a boyish enthusiasm.

"You called me because you're stuck at the lab? How thoughtful of you," she sighed. "Look, I…"

"It's not like that. Damn Olivia! It's not my fault if Walter did something bad to you when you were a child. I wish you had not had to shoot Nick Lane, I wish there was no Pattern, no tank, no Cortexiphan, no everything. I wish none of this ever happened. At this point I'd rather wish that John was alive, I never got to meet him but I'm sure he was a pretty decent guy." He paused dramatically. "But it's not my fault."

She winced. What was THAT that supposed to mean? If John were alive, that he'll be free to date her sister? So much for a friendly call.

"I know," she said dryly. "I'm not mad at you," she added, her tone contradicting her words, "well I am mad at you, but not because of Walter. Because of you, --well, never mind," she trailed. "I'm tired, if there's something you want, please tell me, because I really need to get some sleep."

"Olivia, for the love of me, I'm not dating your sister!"

"I don't want to know okay? You're certainly not my problem. You're Rachel's."

"Don't I have a right to…"

"As far as I'm concerned Peter, you don't have any say on my personal life. To be honest, I'd rather like that you stay off limits."

"Man, you're really mad."

"Yes. I am. I just learned that my sister was involved with my partner, that my partner's father experimented on me twenty year ago, that I once had a best friend I can't remember anything about that I almost killed. I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings, but I've got enough on my plate as it is without you adding any extra recrimination. Why don't you call Astrid instead? She's the one in charge of cheese cakes and paper clips."

"Ouch. That hurts… Listen Liv, I'm sorry I doubted you. I… I should have known that you were not delusional. Walter made it crystal clear that I'm the one who is repeatedly faking my way through life."

"No he didn't!" she protested. "He was probably…"

"Mad at me? Yes, he was. Everybody seems to be mad at me these days. Look, I'm only trying to be the voice of reason here. I'm not trying to falsify anything or to fake…"

"Peter, I told you already, I don't need your explanations and certainly not your apologies. I'm far beyond exhausted. It's been a really bad day and I just want to get it over with. Charlie… Charlie got me Nick's file."

"He did? Isn't he supposed NOT to do that?"

"Yes. His job is on the line here."

"Do you want me to come over and help you with that?"

"You would leave Walter to save Charlie's ass?" she teased him, "I think not."

"Walter will be perfectly fine. He can take a cab, it won't be the first time."

"Hey, aren't supposed to watch him?"

"Hey, I'm not the perfect guy you think I am."

She bit her lip, happy they were not on a video call. She was tempted to accept his offer. She could use some input from him. She thumbed through the paper clips and photographs.

"I don't know."

"I can be here in ten, just say the word."

"Peter? You here? You didn't leave me did you?"

"Saved by the bell. See you tomorrow Peter."

"I guess. Coming Walter!"

"Peter?"

"Yes?"

"Thanks for calling…"

"You betcha. Walter, you don't have to… Sorry Liv, gotta go."

He hang up hastily.

"Night," she whispered.

She closed her eyes and folded her arms on Nick's file.

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yes, i know, that's pretty short. please review ;)