A/N: This took me forever to write. Ah, well.
Spoilers: There's More Than One of Everything
Disclaimer: I don't own Fringe.
Frankly, it shocked the shit out of her.
To have all of these little mysteries, all of these seemingly insignificant puzzles come together in such a way that affected him was absolutely unacceptable. This didn't concern him. He was, as he had said many times, merely a babysitter, an interpreter. Now that she knew this, she agreed with him, although an hour ago she'd be fighting him to stay.
She wouldn't fight now. She'd be heartbroken, lonely, but she would make the sacrifice if he found out and wanted to leave.
And how could she blame him? If she had found out that she had actually been Walter's replacement son from another dimension after the first one died tragically, then hell — she'd be out of here as fast as possible, ready to commit herself to an institution if just to forget.
She wondered if they would ever have to tell him. She hoped vainly that she wouldn't, that they could just keep it between her and Walter, but the thought of that was simply ridiculous. Walter was unstable; Olivia had a conscience.
He would have to find out. She wouldn't want to live in this lie, even if it saved him from what was bound to be a world of hurt.
This story starts with Walter's vague references to Peter's ill health as a child, then progresses to the "you're wasting your life" speech Peter got almost daily, then, most recently, scrambling for something lost, he had lost something and he was trying to get it back. He lost Peter, and being the insatiable scientist he was, he was intent on getting his son back. So he reached in and grabbed him.
Something occurred to her — what about that other family? What about the other life that Peter would have had had he stayed in the alternate reality? Wouldn't that mad genius Walter just steal his son right back?
Peter would have lived, there. He would have had a life, a job, a sane family. He would have fallen in love, married a nice girl, lived by the law. He would have had a life.
Now he has this mess.
And what if he got sick again? What if Walter was interfering with fate, bringing him back here? What if he dies again? What the hell could she do? She doesn't want to admit it, but she needs him more than professionally—she needs him personally and emotionally and physically.
This despair she was feeling was clouding up her judgment fast; the thought of the pain the both of them would be put through if she didn't tell him pushed her up, out of her dark, abandoned house and to her car. From her car to the streets to his hotel. His hotel to their room to him.
Her knock is insistent, constant, and, she bets ruefully, a real crowd-pleaser with the bleary Bishop boys.
But this mattered too much for her to care.
Peter answers, and for the millionth time she is flustered in his presence.
"I need to talk to you."
He doesn't speak, just moves out of the way for her to fly past, launching herself enthusiastically on the bed because she doesn't know what else to do.
And now he doesn't know what to think, because at 3:14 AM, Olivia Dunham burst into his hotel room and was now hyperventilating on his bed.
Thank God Walter was in the tub.
"Okay, I know this will sound crazy but I need you to listen to me. This is important, and it's really ridiculous and completely insane and you are a part of it, and you really shouldn't be. And it's not your fault at all and I don't want you to go back in another reality, I don't want you to leave."
There was a long pause.
"Olivia, what the hell are you talking about?!" He was concerned for her sanity.
"You're not actually from this dimension."
"What the hell—"
"You were sick, as a child. Do you remember?"
"Don't speak." Walter is barreling in, and he's dead angry. He has heard, and he's not going to let her tell him. This is one of those intent times where the mad scientist is too lucid for Olivia's comfort.
"Do not proceed, Agent Dunham. This doesn't concern you."
"I can't lie, Walter. I can't do this anymore."
"I only told you this morning!"
"Told her what, Walter?" Peter butt in.
"You're not from this reality!" She bursts like the swollen water balloons he used to make to throw at the neighbors when he was a kid. This one soaked him straight through. But at this point, at this time, there was nothing he could do. The urge to flee was overwhelming, but he was tied here now, and there was nothing he could do.
There was nothing he really wanted to do.
"You died as a child, so Walter went through to the other reality and brought you back here."
In quick deliberation, his face would have been stoic if not for the ounce of shock in his brow. "Okay." He was going to accept this. Because there wasn't much he didn't accept anymore.
"Really? You're fine with this?" Olivia is stunned.
"Not really, but I'm still half sure this is a dream, so I don't really care."
She notices how tired he looks, how pale. He's so worn down, and it's her fault.
"I suppose it was selfish of me to take you from your home," the father offers before returning to his bed.
"Thanks, Walter. That was almost an apology."
She just can't believe this. Come on. This is her cynic, her this is impossible, her voice of reason, her lovely Peter Bishop.
"That can't be it. You can't just be done with this." She isn't going to let this go.
He rolls his eyes. "I am done for tonight." He pulls his t-shirt over his head, and then pulls hers off too, and leads her to bed. It isn't a problem. Yet.