FRINGE

Promise

No copyright inFRiNGEment intended.

Note: this is an alternate POV. What if (as Josh Jackson hinted it at the PaleyFest last week) Peter was indeed seeing Rachel?

-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o

Olivia woke up to the sound of laughters and rattles coming from somewhere in the apartment. She stayed still in her bed for a moment, trying to make sense of the odd noises and tantalizing smell. She finally decided to see for herself. She would not go back to sleep anyway. She tossed away her duvet, and put her naked feet on the floor, pressing her hands on her eyes to fight away the last shreds of sleep and headed directly to the kitchen.

Maybe she'd been imagining these noises, maybe it was only a bad dream. She had learnt more about bad dreams lately that she ever wished for. To be honest, she'd had enough for a lifetime. She was not ready yet to becoming the subject of her cases and the centre of a most likely Massive Dynamics scheme meant to transform innocent children into an army of senseless fanatics. Conveniently, their experiment records have been erased. She will have to grill Walter about that. She was two hundred percent sure that he was hiding something from her, --and most likely from his son too.

Yes, she was going to confront him. Now that she was up, she could as well go to his hotel right now. But first thing first. She repressed a yawn and turned to the kitchen. She heard distinctly a door being shut behind her and stopped in her tracks. No, that couldn't…

The lights were off, and her sister was in the middle of her kitchen, dishevelled and half naked.

"Rach? What are you doing up this early?" she asked, checking the time on the micro-wave oven digital clock.

3:46.

"I was having a craving for…"

"Bacon? And peanut butter? Last time I checked, you were a vegetarian or something," said Olivia, her eyes on a pile of sandwiches, opened jars and a pack of bacon strips already half eaten into. "You usually sleep like a log. Something wrong? Greg's bothering you again with his unlikely stories?" She dropped on a stool. She was having trouble keeping her voice down. She simply couldn't control its unexpected shiver. On the other hand, it was quite normal, she had been startled awake and…

"No, no," Rachel interrupted her train of thoughts. "It's not Greg. I couldn't sleep and I found myself hovering to the fridge and, had you not barged in on me, I would have probably eaten the whole pack! See, this bacon had done nothing else but sit down here for a week or so. And Ella doesn't like it, I can't remember why I bought it in the first place. You're not even home for dinner most of the days and…"

"Wow, wow, wow! You sure you've been having any sleep at all? You were never so talkative at the wee hours and I was sound asleep while I'm the one taking caffeine pills…"

"You're right," Rachel admitted immediately. "I was having troubles sleeping. So I came here, I opened the fridge, I saw the bacon and then I looked up above it and there're tomatoes, and I looked down below and there's a bowl of lettuce."

"I see where you're going with that…" Olivia chuckled. "Then you looked to the side on the cupboard and there is just enough bread left and before you knew it, it was BLT time again!"

"Yeah, now you're getting the hang of it. So at first I cooked just half the bacon and ate a couple slices. And then I made a BLT. But it was so good, I had to go back…"

"… so you cooked more bacon, sliced more tomatoes…"

"Yeah. Crazy, huh?"

"Yes, it is. Since you're not going to eat all that, you're gonna spare me some. I'm feeling famished now!"

"Dig in! There's plenty. I'll get back to bed now," Rachel gestured to her room with a wince. "Listen, Ella wanted to sleep on the couch so don't turn on the living room light, Liv. She's been having bad dreams. I think that's the vaccination. She had a strong reaction and she's been driving me mad ever since. Next time, I won't even try to be the caring mother and I certainly won't explain everything. I did more harm than good."

"You're a very good and caring mother as it is, Rach. Now, go back to bed. I'll tidy the place up for you."

Rachel disappeared without further ado and Olivia heard her door creak, --again. She sank her teeth inside the first sandwich and tried to ignore the weird feeling that made her sick to her stomach.

-o-

She kept on pounding on the door, too bad if she had to wake up half the hotel guests. For whatever reasons, she needed to get out of her apartment, she needed answers and she needed them right now. She was not in the mood to delay her questions any further. She should have confronted Walter way before already. Deep inside her, since she'd heard of Cortexiphan, she knew, she knew that Walter might have been a part of this experiment. A very important part.

"We don't need anything," Walter slammed the door open. His hair stuck up, his face even more wrinkly than his usual, he was in his dusky red robe and wearing wool socks. He grabbed the lapels to keep his robe shut and locked his eyes on Olivia, dumbstruck. "Oh, it is you Agent Dunham! Oh, oh…" he glanced behind his back.

"Walter? Are you all right?"

It seems that about everybody was acting out this morning. She smiled and pressed him.

"May I come in… Walter?"

"It's… I-I… yes, I guess you may. Please, do come in," he invited her inside, now avoiding any eye contact. "But I'm afraid Peter is not here," he prompted. "He didn't come back to the hotel last night."

"You're the one I wanted to see Walter."

"Oh… Really? I had no idea you were into m…"

"Walter?" she said with a stern stare. He stopped immediately and glanced sheepishly in her direction. "You're well enough now to be on your own, aren't you?" she said gently, the urge to discovering the truth or some missing pieces of a larger scheme suddenly evaporating.

Walter nodded and sat down on the couch. She watched him absently. So her gut feeling was right. She squinted, fighting a touch of panic attack and shoved her hands deep inside her coat pockets. She had to stay calm. She knew that she was only grasping at straws there and that she had no solid ground to base her fears on. But unless she was willing to delude herself further more, everything seemed to add up quite perfectly. She eventually sat beside him and put on hands on her lap, lost in her thoughts.

"So you did not want to talk to Peter?" Walter said, seemingly oblivious of her inner struggle. Was he? Or was he being cruel?

"I want you to tell me everything you know about Cortexiphan. I mean it Walter."

"The truth is not always right, agent Dunham. You should not seek it unless you're willing to bear additional burden."

"What do you mean?"

"I am sure that deep down, you don't want to know the truth, Olivia."

"You're wrong. Go ahead, I'm listening."

-o-

She had to talk to someone. Charlie. She checked her watch. Charlie will be up and running in Central Park. She put her hand in her pocket but she might have left her phone inside her car. She searched her car, her bag, went back to Walter's hotel room but stopped before knocking on his door.

She had never forgotten to take her phone with her once since she's been with the FBI. And it had been a long time. She started the engine and drove back to her place. It was not an honest mistake. Her subconscious has been acting out today. It was a very subconscious deliberate mistake. She stepped on the gas and went back to Brighton.

She parked right in front of her building, strode up the stairs, and dashed inside. Her phone was in the kitchen. So was Peter, who was nursing a cup of coffee in his boxer shorts.

"Hi," he said.

"I-I… I forgot my phone."

She retrieved the cell from the table and cleared her throat, awkwardly standing from one foot to the other and trying desperately to find something else to say.

"Okay," he chuckled.

"What is it supposed to mean?" she hissed.

"Nothing." He dropped his head to his chest. "You forgot your phone? Olivia, are you listening to yourself?"

"What is wrong with leaving your phone home. It happens."

"You of all people, you would never do that, not under any circumstances. I know you Olivia, you wouldn't."

"You think you can be the judge of that?"

"Hey, cool down. I don't intend to raid your fridge or steal your silverware or anything."

She turned around but he followed her.

"I can even repay you a pack of coffee if you insist."

"Don't push it Peter, I'm not in the mood for your little games right now."

"Hey, I come in peace!"

"Yes, I can see that. Peace, sex and macchiato."

"Dunham, you needed me to get my father out of the nut house, you got me, and you purposely put me in the middle of your little rodeo. I didn't make you any promises. Remember when I told you to be careful what you wish for? I was not only warning you about my father."

She shrugged without slowing down, her back to him.

"Olivia, I'm still your friend."

She slammed the door behind her.

"Whatever," he sighed and took a sip of his coffee.

"Peter, aunt Liv never screams like that," said Ella from the couch. "Is she mad at you?"