FRINGE

Chase

No copyright inFRiNGEment intended.

Note: based on There's More Than One of Everything. Another take at the 2nd season premiere. Given that Olivia is missing, how would Peter react?

-o-

The elevator finally comes to a stop and the door glides open smoothly. Peter glances into the hallway and confidently strolls towards the Fringe Division section. A dozen agents are busy with studying paper files, computer diagrams or having quiet conversations over the telephone. His eyes pan over the bright room but he can't find Charlie Francis. The crease on his forehead deepens. It could either mean that Charlie is hiding something from him and following a lead or can be absolutely irrelevant. It could simply mean that he's out of town with her on some hush-hush mission.

But she would have told him. Or Francis would have. He goes straight to the other side of the room towards the coffee machine. His poise confident, he exchanges a few words with agent Kate Libbett over an espresso. His cup in one hand and a folder full of flyers for the opening of a new pizzeria downtown in the other, he flirts outrageously and delivers his best impersonation of an independent consultant. Leaving her confusing and flushed, he walks leisurely his way to Olivia's office. He lets himself in and carefully closes the door behind him. And wait for the cavalry to barge in. Nothing but the same comforting office buzz.

His back to the door, he scans her empty office, looks for signs, signs that could give him a hint of what happened to her, signs that should explain the adamant protestation of the Bureau that she's not missing. Even Astrid doesn't seem to buy it. She has no clue where to find her. Her worried face when he asked her where she might be speaks volumes.

Apart from the white board parted in four clean columns and covered with written notes in various colours in her precise handwriting, the wall of photographs and possible leads, and her desk where files are neatly stacked, there's definitely no obvious explanation why she could be gone. He sighs. Even if he wasn't expecting she'd be miraculously back and buried in her clerical work, he feels strangely disturbed for some reason. He studies the wall. It's literally plastered with post-it and an astounding collection of little things pertaining to "their" cases –the only new addition a map, the sole item added since the last time he was here.

A smile graces his face. So that's how she found Jones. Clever.

He retrieves the scotch bottle from the bottom drawer and spikes his coffee. He sits in her chair, thumbs through the manila folders and notebooks, takes a swig from his cup. And winced. Too early too much for his taste. His eyes stay a while on her laptop and he finally turns it on, enters her various passwords and browses through her files. He mulls over the possibility of installing a spy program that would allow him to take control of her computer or at least detect any change in the log registry and plugs a flash drive. His fingers rap nervously on the desk while he installs the troyan that will allow him to silently collect information from her machine for months to come without being detected. Now that he's gained remote access to her laptop and with any luck to the rest of the Fringe Division network, he reflects on the possibility of tracing the last calls on her cell. Note to oneself, rather ask Kyle than the FBI. That's his line of work. He switches off the computer and leaves the room.

Better be sorry than safe. He walks through the agent pool again, sits his empty cup on a shelf, and knocks on Broyles' door, neglecting to wait for an answer. Broyles eyes shoot up to the unexpected visitor. He barely flinches. He sits back in his chair instead.

"I will call you back," he says, hanging up. "Peter Bishop, how can I help you today?" he smirks.

"Where is Olivia? It's been two days."

Broyles nods and sits up straight, elbows prepped on his desk. "This matter is classified and not of your concern. I suggest that you cool off unless you want to put agent Dunham in an awkward position."

"Is that so?"

"Your present attitude suggests that you're not in control of your emotions. There's nothing you can do except maybe get in the way. Leave it be."

"And if I don't?"

"I have several antidotes…"

"Are you threatening me?"

"No, I'm not for Christ's sake, Bishop, don't make things any more difficult than they already are. Just be patient and go back to doing whatever you do in your father's lab, you're worrying people."

"Worrying as in annoying?"

"Worrying."

"The big people in the big white building?"

"I'd say the quiet man, who runs the big people in the big white building." Broyles flashes him a smug smile but the smile doesn't reach his eyes. His voice is colder than ever and his words detached. "Suffice to say your credentials don't allow you to pursue any further Bishop."

"Stop the nonsense. I was there when Jones went carpaccio on us, Broyles, you need to read the report. What other credentials do I need? Is there something you're not telling me?"

"This is final Bishop. I don't want you to jeopardize this… investigation by going on one of your wild goose chase."

"Wait... I can't believe you people. You know, you know where she is! Why do you keep this information from Astrid, and from Walter? Why are you trying to hide it from me. Because, for Christ's sake, if anything happens to Olivia, I will make sure that you feel sorry."

Silence. Agent Phillip Broyles keeps his eyes locked on Peter Bishop and simply does or says nothing. He doesn't even wince or blink.

"Do I have to go directly to Ms Sharp to get answers?"

Broyles simply shrugs. "Do whatever you want Bishop, but you've been warned."

-o-

"There was no point at passing yourself for an FBI agent." Nina Sharp smiles pleasantly. "You're welcome to visit me anytime Peter. You don't have to barge in like that and threaten my people. It reflects badly on you."

"You of all people know that we're past apologizing for being uncivilized, not when Olivia's life is at stake."

"Aren't you a tad overdramatic, Peter? I'm sure that Ms Dunham is perfectly safe. Whatever you think I did, I'm afraid you're mistaken. I'm not in bed with the FBI, you must know that."

"I'm here to get answers."

"Have you forgotten we've known each other for a long time?"

"As a matter of fact, yes, I have. I have absolutely no recollection of our friendly past. The only thing I want to know is what is it that you've done with Olivia. I know that you called her right before she disappeared."

"I understand you consider yourself on a mission Peter, but I can assure you that agent Dunham is no danger. She will be back eventually, there's only so much I can tell you. I'm not up to date of her whereabouts and I cannot be of any help. You'll just have to wait."

"It's not enough. Why did you call her? What was she doing in New York?" he pushes.

"I'm willing to do you a favour, but you're aware that you owe me already."

She doesn't deny. It means two things: I'm right and Kyle is a genius. Olivia was to meet Nina Sharp in New York and she merely vanishes. How convenient. He knows what's his next move.

"Yes, yes the Amazon thing, I know. Don't worry, Ms Sharp, I'm a man of my word."

She hesitates. "I don't doubt your word Peter, but you'll have to be patient, there are many things you don't know."

"Then enlighten me Ms Sharp."

She seems to ponder on his last words and lets her chin drop on her mechanical fist. "It is your understanding that she wished to meet with the founder of Massive Dynamic..."

"Wait a minute! You're talking about the guy who deliberately used an experimental drug on her when she was a child and messed with her head. And now you mean to imply that she crossed on the other side? I saw what it did to Jones. Tell me you didn't send her…"

She quietly waves a dismissive hand. "No, I didn't, and let me be clear, this information is strictly confidential."

He nods with caution.

"William Bell sent for her. All you need to know is that she'll be back. Hopefully unharmed." He gasps. "Now if you'll want to excuse me, I have a board meeting to attend to, I'm afraid your time is up." She stands up and goes round her desk to face him.

"Had anything happened to Olivia, I promise you that for this one time, Bell will be accountable for his actions. I'll be back."

"I don't doubt for one second that you will Peter," she sighs watching him leave.

-o-

"Walter, I'm sure you can remember something!"

"Son, I'm sorry, but I can't. I wouldn't know where to begin."

"I know that you built this… teleportation device…"

Walter shakes his head violently. "No, no, no, I told you already, but you're not listening Peter. It was meant to be a time machine but I posited that transferring the flux to…"

"Stop, Walter. Can you help me or not?"

"You can't cross over Peter. I won't allow it."

"Are you saying you can beam me to the other side?"

"Beam you up? Interesting metaphor." He nods appreciatively. "Yes, given enough time, I probably could. But I won't. I don't want to. I'm certain you're overreacting. She'll be back before you know it."

"So you know how to get there, to the other side?"

Walter whines. "You know how! That's always the same problem with you Peter. There're soft spots. Only there can you cross. But would you know where to find her once you'd be on the other side? And do we have a 100% certainty about the reality you'd possibly reach?"

Peter punches his bench and gritting his teeth, "You're right, I probably wouldn't know where to go."

His father turns his back to him, relief written on his face and pretends to be busy with browsing through the files displayed on his computer screen.

"Walter, you said we were linked in some way, agent Dunham and I?"

"Yes, to some extent you are," says Walter. His back straightens.

"Then there's a way," Peter states stubbornly. "I want to go inside the tank. Hook me up Walter. I'll check the saline and you'll monitor me. Maybe I'll find something to help her."

"But Peter, this is absurd. What could you possibly find in your head about agent Dunham?"

"You tell me. You're the one who said we were linked! Your choice Walter, I can either use the tank with your help or by myself. Or.... you help me rebuild your teleportation device."

"You're so stubborn Peter. Your mother was the stubborn kind too…"

"Walter, don't even think for one second that I won't do it."

"Go prep yourself, you're going in," Walter yields.

"Walter, Olivia…" shouts Astrid who barges inside the lab like a rocket. "… Peter, I didn't know you were back. They found her car. She was in an accident."

"How is she?" Peter crosses the lab in a couple of strides. He grabs his coat and scarf.

"They wouldn't know. She's missing. Broyles is waiting for you, you're going to New YorK."