FRINGE

Fire

No copyright inFRiNGEment intended.

Note: one shot. "The Road Not Taken" spoilers.

-o-

"Peter?"

Peter sat up on his elbow and pressed the cell against his ear. He quickly glanced at the bed in the next room. Walter was asleep and seemed undisturbed.

"Dunham? What's up?" he whispered, covering the phone with his hand.

"I need to show you something."

"Now?" he checked the time on his phone.

2:08am, so much for having a good night sleep as he conscientiously told Walter the day before, right after they finally made it back to the apartment with the derelict family wagon after that odd emotional episode in the coffee shop. Right after he finally managed to calm Walter and tone down his father's fears.

"Okay. I'll be downstairs in no time."

"No sweat. Take your time. I'm not going anywhere."

He was supposed to be the one with the sleep problem, not her. He took the hotel phone off the hook, grabbed his jacket, buttoning his fly on his way out and pulled the door behind him gently. He took the stairs in a futile attempt at waking up more quickly and emerged from the hotel blinking under the street lamps and trying to assert Olivia's position on the parking space before him. She was standing near her black SUV. She flashed the car lights at him and he trotted to the car squinting. If he was right, he will soon nurse a major headache. He mentally shrugged and stopped in front of the blonde FBI agent.

"You okay?"

She simply nodded and gestured him to get inside.

"Where are we going?"

She didn't answer and got the car started. At this time of night, the traffic was minimal and after a mere half hour going north, they were out of town and driving on a small road parallel to the seaside. She didn't say a word during the whole ride, concentrating on her driving and the road ahead, chewing on her lower lip. He didn't make any attempt at conversation. He sank down into the passenger seat, hoping he won't fall asleep and let her down. Before he knew it, he was lost in scrutinizing her. She was obviously on a mission and he was supposed to be a part of it.

She slowed down, taking a dirt road down to the beach. The air was salty and apart from the regular backwash, they could have been stranded on a desert island. She let the car go gently down the curve and killed the ignition. Combing her hair with her hand, she took a deep breath.

"Are you coming or not?" she said, jumping out of the SUV. "I need to show you something."

"Yes, of course," he prompted. His eyelids were heavy and he felt scruffy and exhausted. "What am I looking for?"

"Just you wait…"

She jogged to the sea and stopped right where the waves were lapping at her feet. She turned around abruptly. Under the moonlight, she looked weary and freaked out. She glanced at her feet and he realized she was talking again.

"… have to, Peter."

"Sorry, come again."

"I said, Peter you have to help me. You must find out what Walter did to us. What he did to me. I tried to make him…" she sighed and looked away shoving her hands inside her pockets. She scanned the shore for something and he followed her gaze. The beach was deserted and apart from seaweeds, shells and some floated wood, there was nothing to be seen.

"I wanted to be as far as possible from prying eyes and possible victims," she confessed with a smirk.

"Possible victims? I'm not sure that I…"

"You remember what you told us about Drew Barrymore?"

"Firestarter?"

"Oh yes. But it's just a movie Dunham, you cannot seriously…"

"I looked it up on the internet. The synopsis says that Barrymore's parents in the film were dosed with experimental drugs while in college and they eventually had this child with incredible innate psychic abilities regarding pyrokinesis."

"Yes, basically, that's the story."

"Well, stay right behind me and whatever happens next, I want you not to move. Am I clear?"

"Crystal," he smiled. That was odd to be here alone with this unknown by the book Olivia. He put his hand on her shoulder and gazed in her eyes, resisting to cup her chin in his hand. "Are you okay?"

She stared at him for a while. "I don't know. Now, please, don't move."

"You're not going to explain…"

Suddenly the pile of floated wood on the opposite side of the beach erupted in a blaze with a sharpening cracking sound. The flames were soon twenty feet high and he stepped back, involuntarily moving away from the distant fire and soaked his shoes.

"Don't," she said in a commanding voice. "I can't quite control it yet."

"You're doing this?" He could hear a burst of sheer panic in his own voice. That was something that Olivia could control the lights on a control panel, but this, this was the twilight zone.

She let a deep breath out and her head sank to her chest. He didn't move. She eventually turned around and stared again.

"Peter, I need you to unlock Walter's secrets. I need to tell me what's next."

He simply nodded back and took her in his arms, his chin resting gently on her hair, his hands brushing her back gently. He could not take his eyes away from the fire. She was right, he thought, there will be something else next. He held her tightly against him and closed his eyes.