Warnings: Violence, character death.

Spoilers: Through episode 2.4.

Disclaimer: I don't own Fringe or its characters. Stories like this are one of the reasons that is probably a very good thing.

Author's Note: Written for Death Bingo on Dreamwidth. Prompt: human sacrifice.

Redressing the Imbalance

Olivia swims out of unconsciousness to hazy shapes of light and dark flitting around, a jumbled murmur droning in her ears. She starts to press her hands to her face, trying to clear her muzzy head, and can't even lift her arms.

What?

She can't think, can't remember. She tries to force her eyes into focusing, tries to kick her brain back into gear, but it all feels so heavy, like navigating through molasses.

She hears her name, isolates those syllables out of the drone. Hears it repeated again, heavy with worry and an undercurrent of bitter fear, followed by swearing and threats directed at someone she can't see.

Peter. That was Peter.

She smells some sort of heavy incense that itches her nose but doesn't hide the musty stench permeating the room. The drone resolves into rhythmic chanting, a bastardized mix of Latin and German, but she can't make out more than those hints of familiarity. Her vision sharpens into figures made shapeless by robes and anonymous by hoods pulled low, backlit by torches flickering against the walls. And the memories leading up until now tumble free.

The cult. A radical splinter branch of the ZFT that had turned the manuscript into an obsessive, destructive religion. And she and Peter strolled right into their trap.

She's yanked onto her knees, positioned so she can see Peter strapped down to a chair. A hand stays at the back of her neck, fingers digging deep and holding her there.

"Behold the redressing of the imbalance," a voice hisses into her ear. "A wrong made right to clear the way for you and yours to triumph in glorious battle."

"No," she struggles to say, but her tongue is thick in her mouth and all she chokes out is a croak. Peter catches her eyes and she can see his fury, his fear, and his acceptance that his luck has finally run out. She pulls at her bonds but her limbs are still heavy, her responses dulled.

A figure steps out of the circle of people surrounding them, pulling a knife out of the folds of his robe and lifting it high. The light seems to glint on the blade, refracting blue as the point slides between Peter's ribs and into his heart, and when the blade emerges there is only red.

Peter holds her eyes as blood pools around him, and she can see his life ebbing away until the room is echoingly empty even filled though it is.

No. God, no.

With the emptiness comes enough focus to burn away the drugs clutching at her. Too late, she silently screams, and the only thing she can do is direct her fury at the one holding the still-dripping knife. He wavers and smokes and explodes.

Too late.

And the rest, all the rest, who stood witness while her partner—her friend, her best friend—was sacrificed to their insanity. They waver and smoke and she drives the collective force of their explosion outwards, scorching the walls but leaving Peter and herself untouched.

Too late.

She scrabbles at the ropes and they burn at last, searing bone-deep agony into her wrists and ankles. She stumbles to her feet, to Peter's side, but stripping away the straps that hold him down changes nothing. He's gone, eyes sightless. She pulls him into her arms and collapses to the floor, kneeling in his blood and rocking him until her eyes are raw and there are no more tears.

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