A/N: I had so many ideas after Jacksonville, that I don't know what kind of a mess I will eventually make. This starts immediately where the episode left us. Please let me know what you think!
~ One should rather die than be betrayed. There is no deceit in death. It delivers precisely what it has promised. Betrayal, though ... betrayal is the willful slaughter of hope. ~
Peter came back to the door with his coat on, feeling giddy and a spring to his step, only to be faced with Olivia with an unexplained look on her face staring at Walter who was looking ashamed and begging at the same time. The atmosphere was palpably strained. When he asked groaning, "What did he do now?" both Olivia and Walter whipped their head around to stare at him instead.
Peter got a heavy feeling of dread in the pit of his stomach.
"What is going on?" he asked looking from Olivia to Walter, but mainly trying to read Olivia's face.
"Peter, you go ahead to the restaurant. I just need to talk to Walter for a second," Olivia answered with a flat voice, which made Peter even more worried.
"He didn't talk about us getting married and trying to get me to wear his purple tuxedo, did he?" Peter asked flippantly trying to lighten the mood while trying to hide his worry.
Olivia visibly startled at his words and with a voice resembling somewhat her normal timbre she answered, "No.. No, he didn't say anything about a wedding" while looking again at Walter.
Peter looked at the two while walking to the door, unsure what was going on, but sensing that it was something massively important. But if Olivia didn't want him there, who was he to argue although it did hurt. A feeling he tried to shove to the back of his mind.
When he was walking past Olivia, she reached out to set her hand on his arm stopping him.
"Wait for me. Please." Olivia pleaded quietly, looking at him with unveiled eyes, but if possible that made Peter even more nervous and worried as he couldn't make sense of the mercurial shift of all the emotions, but he only softly smiled and nodded.
"I will," he said softly leaning towards Olivia slightly before heading out of the door.
He walked the couple of blocks to the restaurant, which had a nice bar, soft music and smoky lightning making privacy surprisingly easy. There were people around, but it wasn't too busy so he could easily slip to the bar and reserve two seats. He gestured to the bartender for a drink while he waited, trying not to get too anxious. He trusted Olivia. She would turn up as she had promised and he trusted her to tell him what was going on with Walter. He just hoped she would tell him sooner rather than later.
Olivia waited until she was sure that Peter wasn't within earshot and turned towards Walter, with icy coldness in her voice.
"What have you done?" she demanded quietly, almost hissing. Walter took few steps back as he was suddenly afraid of this woman in front of him who usually was a polite and pleasant person.
Olivia was surprised herself at the anger and rage that she wanted to unleash, her sudden desire to physically shake Walter to see what other secrets would tumble from his mouth. She realised that part of that anger was behalf of Peter, who clearly didn't know anything, and partly because of herself. She had finally opened up to Peter, allowing herself to accept his comfort and companionship that he had offered for such a long time, only to be slapped across the face by Walter's meddling.
She took a step closer to Walter who was now cowering close to the wall.
"What have you done?!" Olivia demanded more loudly, getting angrier by the second. At that moment, the door bell rang making both Olivia and Walter to jump. A moment later when nobody answered the door, somebody came in with keys. Astrid stepped in only to stop in her track when she saw Walter cowering in front of Olivia.
"What's going on? Where is Peter?" Astrid asked carefully as she had picked up on the atmosphere immediately.
"Peter is from the Alternate Universe," Olivia said flatly, "And Walter begged me not to tell him," she continued turning back to look at the man, who still hadn't managed to get a coherent sentence out his mouth.
"Oh my god," Astrid gasped clutching her scarf in her hands, remembering.
"Walter said earlier that he can't let Peter die again. He never answered what he meant by that." Astrid said to Olivia. She walked closer to Walter and carefully managed to manoeuvre him to sit on the sofa, while looking worriedly at Olivia who she had never seen so angry before.
Once Astrid sat next to Walter and Olivia sat on the armchair, Astrid managed to get Walter talking. He was still glancing fearfully at Olivia, but he also seemed to be consumed by grief.
"When Peter was about 6 years old, he became very sick," Walter started.
"He died," Walter whispered tears in his eyes while reliving the past. Astrid was stroking his back soothingly while Olivia watched stone faced.
"I was grief stricken. When he was alive I rarely paid much attention to him, preferring his mother to spend time with him, but when he was gone, I felt like my heart had been ripped form my chest. William Bell saw my state and he started cultivating the idea in my head to go to the Alternate Universe and take their Peter to replace mine."
"We had experimented with crossing over before and had succeeded few times. I still don't know where Belly got the idea from in the first place as it was his idea originally to try to make contact with the Other Side. He seemed to see some bigger picture that he never divulged to me," Walter told them haltingly.
"We were successful. But once Peter was on our side, we realised that he needed help to be able to adjust to this reality and the Electrical Shock and Deep Brain Stimulation therapies are probably the reason for him not remembering crossing over or even his early childhood," Walter continued burying his face in his hands.
"That's why he doesn't know?" Olivia asked with cold detachment as if she let her marginal control over her emotions slip, she wouldn't be able to stop herself doing something that she might regret later.
"You never thought about telling him?!" she was raising her voice once again as she couldn't believe Walter's logic.
"No," whispered Walter.
"I never got the chance as I wanted to wait until he was older, but by then Belly had me sectioned into St. Claire's and when I finally got him back when you, Olivia, came to me, first I didn't even remember it. Then I just wanted him to love me so I couldn't tell him. Please, don't tell him! I can't lose him again!" Walter finished pleading with tears in his eyes.
Astrid looked up at Olivia who was sitting still, clearly mulling things over. All of the sudden she asked Astrid, "Are you going to stay?"
Astrid nodded as that had been the plan and judging by the mess of a man next to her, he couldn't be left alone. Astrid still felt sorry for him regardless what he had done.
Olivia stood up and walked to the door. Walter pleaded once more, but she only looked at him with cold eyes, and without saying anything walked out of the door.