Spoilers: Nothing specific.
Disclaimer: I don't own Fringe or its characters.
Author's Note: Written for Death Bingo on Dreamwidth, prompt: Russian Roulette. Not what I'd originally intended to write for the prompt, actually.
Seal the Deal
Peter stares McCafferty down, takes the revolver without breaking his gaze. The gun is a solid weight in his hand, the wood of the grip warm against his palm.
"Well?" Albertson asks coolly.
Peter doesn't look at him, just raises a sardonic eyebrow and continues to meet McCafferty's eyes. "Savoring the moment. Might be my last, after all." Peter stretches the moment even longer for the drama, then spins the cylinder and nestles the muzzle under his chin.
He doesn't flinch, just bares his teeth in a feral grin as he rides that addictive rush of adrenaline. He glances at Albertson, who continues to watch impassively from his sprawl in the massive armchair. "Enough?"
Crap. Peter so fucking wishes he'd been able to palm the damned bullet. But no, McCafferty might have fallen for it, but Albertson isn't so easily fooled. One of the reasons Peter never did like playing to an audience. Especially when the audience is the man he's trying to negotiate a deal with.
In one of the unfortunate cases where rumor is all too true, Albertson requires this game of anyone who wants into his inner circle. And always, the game is played against someone pulled from his own ranks. The wanna be crime boss wants minions who don't flinch, the ones who keep spinning the cylinder and pulling the trigger without breaking a sweat. Whether he considers it proof of loyalty or insanity, Peter doesn't know. Pretty fucking much guarantees that every single man Albertson has under him has balls of steel or a death wish. In some cases, both.
Crazy son of a bitch. And crazy that he's been able to draw so many who are willing to take the risk.
Peter shakes off regrets. He knew this was a fucking stupid move at the outset, a gamble that probably wasn't worth the rewards. His reputation will be made if he succeeds, but every spin eats away at his probabilities of getting out alive. In theory, each pull is preceded by a new spin, so each man makes his own luck. In actuality, although each pull gives equal odds of survival, the cumulative odds go down with each succeeding round the game is played.
Had he been able to get away with it, he'd have trusted his skill at sleight-of-hand over luck any day.
McCafferty takes the gun again, spins the cylinder with a flourish. When it stops spinning, he grins at Peter and squeezes the trigger.
And back to Peter.
Can't stop now. At this point, his odds of survival are better if he plays the game than if he breaks and runs. Albertson is none too fond of cowards.
Peter spins the cylinder, listens to it come to rest, pulls.
He twirls the gun around his finger and smirks. "Again?" He doesn't have to look at Albertson to see the nod. It's a break in routine, continuing the game. Usually all that's requires is one spin, at most two. Never three, not that Peter's caught wind of. Either Albertson doesn't trust him or is using this as an opportunity to get rid of McCafferty. Or both. Or neither. Who the fuck knows?
McCafferty's smart enough to know something's wrong and takes the gun more slowly this time, glancing at his boss for confirmation. Spins the cylinder, hesitates before positioning the gun. Peter watches MCafferty's muscles flex as he pulls the trigger.
The blood and brains spray in a wider radius than Peter would have believed possible.
Peter doesn't let the giddy relief show in his expression or stance, just turns to Albertson and asks, as casually as can be, "We got a deal?"
Albertson leans forwards and steeples his fingers, studying Peter with interest. "Indeed, Mr. Bishop. I believe we do."