Title: Absolutes

Author: CSIphile

Rating: K

Summary: What happens after "The man from the other side" based on the promo from last week.

Disclaimer: No own-y.

AN: This will be a oneshot and is unbetaed so any mistakes are wholly mine. Based on the promo for this weeks Fringe, which, I'm hoping is going to be EPIC. Even though it's a oneshot, please review, they keep me inspired to write more. I should also be posting to Inquietude this week.

It had been two weeks since Walter had let the truth free. Two weeks since Peter disappeared from his hospital room in the middle of the night. Two weeks of hell.

She had tried everything she could to at least locate the wayward Bishop. She didn't even want to talk to him; she just needed to know he was ok. She needed to let Walter know he was ok. The older man had fallen off the deep end when they arrived at the hospital in the morning to find an empty bed and concerned nurses.

They had been admonished that Peter was in no condition after suffering a fairly serious concussion and bullet to the shoulder to be wandering around alone. As if they could have stopped him. Olivia was certain no force in ANY universe could have kept Peter Bishop in that bed another second.

He had done exactly what she expected. He ran. Somewhere deep inside herself she had hoped that the year and a half spent with his father – and her – would have diminished that rather discouraging flaw of his. Apparently not.

In the meantime Astrid had practically taken up residence in the Bishops home and it seemed her presence kept Walter from completely reverting into his own mind. She'd even managed to translate Walter-speak into English a few times. He was still able to help with the search and the one small case that had reared its head he dispatched of quickly enough.

Broyles had asked about the search several times, each time offering all the resources the FBI and Homeland Security had. And as far as they knew Peter Bishop was still in the country and would remain that way unless he figured out a way to radically alter his appearance. Somehow, though, Olivia knew he hadn't gone far. Maybe that was wishful thinking on her part.

And Olivia, she just kept going forward, knowing that nothing would have changed this outcome. Eventually Peter WAS going to find out where he was from, and he would run. These were absolutes. She was honestly surprised he waited since according to Walter at some point during the chase for Newton he figured it out on his own. She supposed he needed the confirmation. Maybe that was progress, minimal as it was.

Progress didn't make her hurt less. Didn't make the hole in her heart any smaller. She didn't consciously realize how much she came to depend on Peter until he was gone. Well, maybe she had an inkling that day she moved Broyles to speed dial 4 and Peter to 3 on her home phone. And the evening she desperately needed help and hadn't called Broyles – who was only one number away after all – her subconscious gave into it.

Everyone was skeptical of the flighty con artist when she brought him in; sure that Olivia Dunham had lost her mind to utilize someone so bitter and angry with the entire situation – and the man he was tasked with looking after. For a while there he had proven them all wrong, showed them that Peter Bishop could stay in one place, set down something resembling roots and actually make himself indispensible.

And then he disappeared and Olivia had to fight back the urge to punch something. She had a rogue FBI consultant with active credentials – that had taken every favor she had and some she didn't to convince them to give her time before they cut him off, she knew getting clearance back would be near impossible. Add to that a grief stricken mad scientist and an impending literal war of the worlds and she had the makings of an alcohol problem.

Ok, so she would give anything just to talk to him, just for a second. So she could apologize for how everything went down, explain herself. Not that it would matter. Peter knew how to hold a grudge and she knew he had a temper of immeasurable proportions. He would come back when he was good and ready and not a damn second earlier, and probably without warning. Again, wishful thinking. She refused to accept he wouldn't return, though Walter seemed convinced he was gone for good, reminding Olivia that Peter could disappear into a crowd of one, if he didn't want to be found, he wouldn't be.

The fact he disappeared in the middle of the night without leaving so much as a note seemed to lean the odds of return in Walters favor.

On the last day of the third week Olivia returned home after an excruciating case, opening her front door all she could think of was taking a bath and going to bed. Which was probably why she missed the fact her apartment wasn't completely empty. Tossing her coat onto the chair by the door her hand made it halfway to the light switch before a voice called out from the dark depths of her living room.

"Leave it off."

Thankfully her brain recognized the voice before her hand made it to her gun. Two thoughts ran simultaneously.

Thank god.


She wasn't sure which emotion to go with so she split the difference.

"I could have shot you."

The shrug came through even in the dark. "Not likely."

"I'm armed and you broke in. How do you figure?"

"I know you, Liv. You're more an ask questions first kind of girl."

She let out an exasperated sigh, as if his arrival hadn't affected her in the least – all the while her heart was hammering in her chest - and went for the light switch again.

"Leave it off," he repeated, this time more sternly.

"Fine," she said and moved toward him. Her eyes had adjusted enough and with the dim light from a street lamp she was at least able to read his expressions. For a moment she studied him, his facial hair was longer, the lines in his face harder, he looked defeated.

"Where have you been Peter?"

"Does it matter?" He asked bitterly.

"It does to me."

His shoulders slumped further and all she wanted to do was to hug the man who had so suddenly reappeared. Three weeks had been far too long.

"Around." Was his vague reply and she knew no more about his whereabouts was forthcoming.

"Are you ok?" Her voice was soft.

"I guess…considering."

His non-answers were starting to annoy her. "Peter…look, I know all the apologizing in the world won't make a bit of difference, but you have to know. I wanted to tell you. But it wasn't my secret to tell, it was Walters."

"I know."

Ok, that was it. "Why did you come back, Peter?"

"I missed this."

She was surprised by the answer, despite its brevity. Olivia didn't think Peter missed anything.

"Missed what? Investigating insanity, dealing with Walter or worrying about an interdimensional war?"


Now she was speechless. "Me?"

He merely shrugged. "I missed you, Olivia. Is it that hard to believe?"

Now she returned the shrug. "Considering how you left…"

"Do you blame me? Really?"

No, she didn't. How could she given what they had done, what they had kept from him. "No."

She heard the distinct sound of ice in a glass and she knew he had found the liquor cabinet. How long had he been waiting for her here?

"Where are you staying tonight?"

"Hadn't thought about it." The "not home" was unspoken and understood.

Without saying a word Olivia stood up and went into her bedroom, wondering the whole way if this was a terrible idea. Probably it was, but she was so thrilled to have him back the idea of watching him walk out that door made her sick. Besides, it was nearing midnight, they both needed the rest.

Returning to the living room, Peter had turned on a small lamp and in the dim light she could see his eyes, and his secret was out.

Honestly, how the man played poker with those baby blues was beyond her, they told her everything she needed to know, and right now that was he wasn't going anywhere.

She tossed the items in her hand to the man sitting on her couch and smirked as he caught the pillow and blanket with a confused expression.

"Couch is comfortable," she explained matter-of-factly. "You're welcome to use it a couple nights. Put your bag in the front closet."

"Thanks." He looked down sheepishly. "And for what it's worth, I'm sorry I left the way I did."

She nodded and headed toward the bathroom, her back to him. "We'll talk in the morning. You better not snore, Bishop."

A faint smile crossed his face.

Being here, with her.

In his world that was an absolute.


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