Title: Prosperity and Gold

Fandom: Fringe

Author: frickangel { frickangel[dot]livejournal[dot]com }

Pairing: Implied P/O.

Spoilers/Time line: Up to Season 2 Episode 15 - 'Jacksonville'

Disclaimer: Don't own. Don't know. Don't I wish.

Summary: Olivia hated how that for one day a year, it was dedicated to nothing but romance. Peter, on the other hand, gives her something else to celebrate about. One Shot.

A/N: I love the fact that I don't really have to go AU anymore since the events of 'Jacksonville'.

Warning: Unbeta'd


Take time to realise,

That your warmth is crashing down on in.


.

It was evil.

Pure and simple.

The way its hair curled unnaturally, and its body poised to shoot a poisoned arrow right into the hearts of many. The bright red of its culling was sprayed all across town, red paper, red balloons, red roses, red t-shirts for couples with the cutest tagline that brought the unsettling feeling of vomit at the base of her stomach.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Special Agent Olivia Dunham loathed Valentine's Day. It was the one monster that she couldn't fight and would rather hide from.

But this time, it was worse. No, it wasn't because John Scott had left an unimaginable question mark of love and betrayal in her heart, but because she had met a man who was out of this world.

Literally.

And she was the only one who saw it—the gold glimmer of lies that Walter had built.

Crushing another piece of heavily scribbled paper, Olivia tossed the wad into the nearby wastepaper basket, missing it, and letting it settle upon the pile of other similar fated trash. With one deep breath, she let her pen fly across the empty sheet as she referenced through old files that she and John had investigated. Maybe there was something that she had missed earlier on—something that could explain everything.

Something that could keep her mind off the blasted day.

Olivia puffed her cheeks out, blowing air between her lips while running a hand through her blonde, loose hair. Her working clothes were a source of comfort to her even though it was a Sunday, and even though she wasn't at the Bureau.

She was in Walter's lab, and hiding from this world and those beyond.

Hiding from him.

"Concentrate, Olivia," she whispered to herself and focused on the gory crime scene photos before her.

"Concentrate on what?"

Fighting every single fibre in her body, she resisted pulling out her gun and taking aim at whoever the intruder was. She kept reminding herself that this was Walter's lab, and very few people had the privilege of access to this house or horrors. Only her, Astrid, Walter, and...

"Peter?"

Slowly, his tall figure emerged from the shadows as he descended down the platform overlooking the room. He kept his eye on her and she, not backing down, tried hard to ignore the glow around him.

"You're pretty hard to track down, Olivia."

"Doesn't look like you had much trouble," she replied with a polite smile. The flickering aura around him caused a stir of troubled feelings.

"Only because you're such a creature of habit," he returned the smile. "You managed to find me in a bar; I managed to find you here."

The walls of cautiousness were strong and thick, and Olivia was taking the first few steps to the same song and dance. She couldn't lie to him for long, but she'd protect him for as long as she could.

"Touché."

Olivia swallowed hard while fighting the urge to the clean up the files and notes spread across the table. They were there to serve the purpose of an excuse if ever the situation ever called for one.

Somehow, she sensed that that situation was rising.

But only if he ever brought the existence of this evil day.

Studying him as Peter made his way to her, she couldn't detect any sort of gifts, chocolates, or roses of any kind.

Thank God.

Only an orange in each hand.

Wait, an orange?

She frowned in confusion and with a dollop of slight curiosity. Against her intuition, Olivia found her smile growing and pouncing upon her like a tiger on an unsuspecting prey.

Knowing exactly that she was interested in his little trick, Peter had on his cocky grin to match, "Do you know what day it is today?"

The smile was gone; the files were beckoning her to be used but she hesitated. "Peter, I've got a tonne of files and paperwork to go through," she thumbed at her poorly disguised excuse and turning at it for effect, "So..."

He paused, looking at her with his blue eyes before nodding a few times. "Today," he ignored her pleas for solace, "is a very special day." Pulling another tall stool with his outstretched foot, he pushed it into the right position and settled himself right across her. Without another word, he juggled the two fruits between both hands, a strange blur of bright orange that swished across the dark background of his jacket and the metallic shine of the table.

One.

Two.

He placed both pieces of fruit of the table.

"Today is a day when red and gold are important colours."

Olivia cringed inwardly but played a poker face just for him because she knew what was coming.

"And today is a day when oranges are important."

Oranges?

"Oranges?" she broke her silence, the bizarreness of his words not making a single drop of sense.

"Yes, Olivia, oranges."

When did oranges become such an important part of Valentine's? Had the beast morphed into some disfigured form of a health freak?

He lifted a finger up to his lips to proclaim silence just before she could question him again.

Fine—she'll keep quiet for now, but at any mentions of hearts and cupids and she was shooting someone.

The smug smile never waning, Peter knew without a doubt that he had the upper hand for now. "Today is..." he lifted one fruit with his hand and presented it right before Olivia, "the Chinese New Year."

Somewhere deep inside, she felt the wave of relief came crashing on her. No wait, was it relief or disappointment? Relief. It had to be relief.

"Okay, what has oranges have to do with Chinese New Year," she asked good-humouredly, the files and drudgery of work now a fleeting memory of yesterday. She no longer required an excuse.

"Kam," Peter answered, the alien word only causing the lines on her forehead to deepen further. "It's Chinese for orange, and it sounds a whole lot like gold, too. The Chinese love to have anything that can be related to fortune and wealth. Even the number eight sounds like the word for prosperity."

"I see," She allowed a small laugh to slip before reaching and accepting his strange offer of gold. "Let's split the gold then," Olivia got up and surveyed the lab, looking for a knife that could be used to cut the fruit. She refused to employ the aid of any sharp utensil that had once cut into things such as giant worms, dismembered bodies, brain sludge, and anything of that sort.

Food and work do not mix. At least not in this case.

The weight of the citrus was lifted from her grasp as Peter gently snatched it back, nodding for her to sit down again. He had that warmth in his eyes that she had once loved to watch.

"Another good thing about Mandarin oranges is that you can just peel them like a banana." He broke the rough skin with his thumb and proceeded to unwrap the treasure it held within. Slowly, the anaesthetised air, mixed with the pungent odour of cow and hay, was scrubbed clean by the refreshing scent of the bright orange.

Olivia closed her eyes to enjoy every last whiff of it.

"Here."

Across the table, stopping right before her pile of an excuse, Peter presented to her gold. Not knowing if it was her subconscious, Olivia was unsure if Peter had purposely peeled the orange skin into a flower of six petals that lay trapped beneath the segmented fruit.

Remaining silent for a while, she absorbed it all and ignored the reflection of his glimmer upon the metal table.

It was like a splash of cold water that woke her up to the reality of the nightmare.

He didn't belong here.

"Not that I don't appreciate the cultural lesson," she pointed out with a very slight smile and looked back at him, "but what is this really for?"

He shrugged. "I figured if I can't wish you happy Valentine's without getting mutilated into 21 different pieces, I could at least bring some sort of celebration to you."

Pressing her lips into a thin line, the FBI agent couldn't hold it in anymore.

She smiled and laughed.

Her nightmare forgotten for just a little while longer.

Standing up and stepping around his seat, Peter took hold of the other untouched orange and held it up right before her eyes, "Happy Chinese New Year, Olivia. May you have an abundance of prosperity this year," his festive wish tip-toed around the more offensive celebration of hearts.

It worked.

Accepting his gift of gold, Olivia felt comfort from the dimpled skin of the fruit. "Thank you," she mouthed.

He bent forward slightly and laid a soft, platonic kiss on her cheek.

Or it could've been more than just platonic.

"You're welcome," he replied her before gathering the air of hesitance around her. Instead of questioning her like she suspected he would have, he took a few steps back and proceeded for the exit.

Olivia had no idea what else to say and concentrated on the gift.

"Hey," he did the talking instead, "Walter and I are going for Yee Sang tonight to celebrate the New Year—why don't you and Astrid come along?"

She blinked. Even though she had no idea if Peter had just named a traditional Chinese dish or another concoction of worm smoothies, Olivia was more preoccupied with the unanswerable question on her mind.

Was she strong enough to face the scientist?

"We'll see."

Not now.

She would decide later.

"Okay. Just give me a buzz," he shrugged and slipped through the door, back into the strange realm outside.

In the cold silence of the lab, the fresh scent of the orange had faded into the air of unease, the glimmer enveloped by the darkness, and his warmth spent.

There was nothing left.

Uncapping her pen, Olivia Dunham returned to her distraction and concentrated on the case files once more.

She was back in her nightmare.


It's not the same,

No it's never the same,

If you don't feel it to.


END