Title: Means Something
Author:Devylish
Fandom: Fringe
Pairing: Peter/Astrid
Rating: PG
Prompt: A Cell, Prompt 25 story_lottery
Word Count: 1068
Disclaimer: Please see profile/journal.

My name is Astrid.

Astrid Farnsworth.

I am a woman. An FBI agent. Of mixed heritage.

And I'm in love.

This moment, 'now', is probably the worst conceivable timefor me to have come to this realization, but, time... as we've all learned, is an ever changing, moving thing. And if I didn't come to the realization now... when would I? And would that time really be any better than now?

My realization comes on the heels of Peter and I being tossed into this cell by the group that calls themselves the Temporals. The group that is determined to open the gates... to break the apparently tenuous strands that are separating the dimensions....

They haven't touched me... yet. I think I was simply brought along because I was 'there' when they took Peter. But Peter... Peter they have touched.

They have beaten him; not enough to kill him, but enough to put him into pain... enough to try and break him, to try and find out what he knows --what our group knows --about the dimensions.

Unfortunately for them... and perhaps for Peter... Peter is stubborn. And unbreakable. Amazingly unbreakable.

So now I sit on the floor of our little cell, Peter's head in my lap, pieces of my shirt dabbed and wrapped around his wounds, trying to hold him still and keep the bleeding to a minimum until help could arrive.

I sit on the floor of our little cell, fully and finally aware that I'm in love with a certain Peter Bishop.

***

We have been seeing one another for a few months; 'seeing' being defined as sleeping with one another.

As most of these kinds of stories go, we had fallen into one anothers arms after a night of drinks; hardly aware of who the other person was, only aware of the warmth offered by his/her arms.

The second time we slept together, we were both sober. Perhaps too sober. Alcohol would have been good; it would have been escape. If only for a few moments. Death and deceit had surrounded us for days and we – all of us in our merry little group – needed escape, needed release.

Peter and I found ourselves alone in the lab that night. Alone except for Gene who happily ignored the two 'simple' bipeds.

So, for the most part, we were alone. I was on the computer, and Peter was putzing. Picking up pieces and parts of his father's experiments; turning them over in his hands then putting them back down.

Except for the click clack of my fingers on the keyboard and the occasional snort of disbelief from Peter as he looked at his father's work, we were silent.

This silence lasted for nearly an hour, until I finished entering the data and reports required of me. Shutting down my computer, I curved my head along my shoulders, working out the kinks that had burrowed there.

"This has been a bad week."

I smiled lightly at his voice and turned towardshim as I stood up, smoothing my hands down my pants, "Do we have good weeks?"

He grinned... an infectious 'Peter' grin. "Good point." He moved towards me, "heading home?"

I nodded affirmatively.

"Want some company?"

I looked up at him for a few seconds before offering another affirmative nod.

***

After that time - the second time – it just became a thing for us.

We didn't talk about it. We didn't share it with the others. We didn't date. We simply... sought comfort, and warmth, and pleasure in one another's arms.

There is so little warmth... so little light in our days.

It's nice to have one another... at night.

And it would... could... continue to be 'nice', if I could break out of this 'love' thing. If I could make myself keep my emotions separate from our actions.

But now, as I look down at Peter's battered face, running my fingers through his short curls, I wonder how I had ever thought I could keep it separate.

Sex... even when it means nothing... means something.

And with Peter, it had always meant something. Little somethings.

Little somethings that added up to bigger somethings.

Like love.

***

Peter groaned, and opened his eyes. Well, one of them any way, the other one didn't seem quite like it wanted to cooperate.

He head was resting on something soft. And he could smell vanilla and cinnamon... and blood. The blood, he was pretty certain was his own, but the vanilla and cinnamon; he recognized those too. Astrid.

"Astrid?" He turned his head to the side and moaned, his head hurt, his eye hurt, his nose hurt, his jaw and neck hurt.... and that was just the pain list from his shoulders up.

She opened her eyes, and looked down at him. "Peter... how are you feeling?"

He peered at her with his one good eye, "Are you okay? Did they hurt you?"

Warmth pierced her body over his concern for her well being. "I'm fine. I – they seem to realize I'm not all that important."

Peter snorted and closed his eye. Astrid was okay, for now. "Did you get the encrypt warning code out to Olivia before..."

"I got it out. They," she unconsciously touched her GPS loaded watch, "should be here soon."

He sighed, then coughed from the pain the sigh caused him.

"I tried to look at your ribs while you were... out. They're, at the very least, bruised, but I'd bet a couple are broken or cracked."

His eye was open again, humor temporarily sparking through the pain. "That would explain why breathing is such a pain in the ass."

She smiled, unaware that her fingers were curling through his hair again.

"Astrid?" His voice was lower now.

"Shh, don't talk so much Peter, it's not good for your ribs."

"Astrid...," he forced himself to speak even as fuzzy, pain-filled dizziness called to him again.

"Hmmm?" She watched his eye flutter closed.

"You are important... to me."

***

I knew it wasn't much. It could have been a purely innocent, pity filled statement. But... then again. It's possible that it wasn't innocent. That it wasn't made of pity.

Perhaps... perhaps Peter cared for me a little bit.

They were little words he'd spoken, but then again, little words, even when they mean nothing, mean something.