Title: PHASE TWO INITIATED
Spoilers: Up to 3x09 'Marionette'.
N/A: This is a Christmas gift for one of my dearest fandom friend, Anne (liebeanne here on ffnet = READ HER FICS!). We adore each other, so I asked her what she wanted.
Yesterday, she gave me a character prompt, just a name. And there came the plot bunny that you are about to read. It is a plot bunny alright, planned out and written all within 5 hours (and late at night of course lol), but it is by no mean a light read.
I really hope you will give it a try anyway :) Enjoy!
(Sorry for the mistakes, still not betaed)
PHASE TWO INITIATED
Olivia Dunham didn't deal well with pain.
That wasn't surprising. She loved control a little too much to be comfortable with her body fogging her mind with jolts of pain.
She had always been tough, though. She didn't like it, but she dealt with it as well as she could when she had to.
She had broken her arm when she was seven. She always was too much of a daredevil, she knew that; her mother used to say that she would die falling from a tree one day. She hadn't die, but her arm had broken pretty badly –the kind of broken bones that pierce through the skin. Rachel had vomited all over the place.
She had been in fights at school. Had broken one of her teeth falling from her bike, gotten another concussion falling from a motorcycle. She was in a car crash when she was nineteen. In her line of work, she had taken quite a few blows, had been beaten up, almost drowned once, cut and strangled.
She had dealt with it all, telling herself that she was not a weak woman. She was strong and brave, and showing your high dislike of pain would only make the world think that you were weak. Unworthy.
Still. She didn't deal well with pain.
And the pain she was in, right now?
Oh God. She simply wanted to die. Which was pretty ironic, come to think of it.
The pain had jerked her awake less than twenty minutes ago. At first, she'd hoped really hard that it was nothing, just some of the dull aches she had been feeling on and off for the last few weeks.
It wasn't. This was the real thing.
Still, she didn't move. She just lay there, in that foreign bed, her face turned into the pillow, one of her hand clenching it hard, as pain regularly rippled through her core. This was happening. Not only was she hurting like she had never hurt before, but she was also scared to death.
She knew what had to be done, now. There was no more postponing it, as much as she wished she could just turn back time. She just wanted for things to go back to how they were a year ago.
But now was not the time for regrets. It was too late for that. And as if to prove a point, pain swallowed her whole again, and she moaned, loudly.
She heard her mother's voice, heard her come out of bed and rush to her side. But she couldn't move at the moment, waiting for the pain to subside again. She barely felt her cold hand on her sweaty forehead.
When she was able to breathe again, she turned her head to look at her. Even in the darkness of the room, she could see the worry on her face. The sorrow, too.
They both knew this was it.
"Should I call her?" She asked softly.
Olivia wished she could say no, that it was just a false alarm. She wished she could turn back time.
But she couldn't.
So she closed her eyes, another kind of pain crushing her heart, and she felt tears burning beneath her eyelids. "Yes…it's time." She whispered.
Her left hand was still gripping the pillow, as the right one held her round belly tight, her fingers slightly digging into the tensed skin.
There was no turning back.
She might not be ready, but her baby was.
Getting her pregnant was the Secretary's idea, of course.
Agreeing on it was hers, though.
And as for pretty much the rest of the whole mission, she quickly came to regret it bitterly.
Of course, he hadn't really explained the whole thing to her at the time. His messages on the typewriter were cryptic at best. All that she knew was what he had told her the very first time:
"PHASE 1: GET PETER TO WORK ON THE MACHINE AND HELP HIM FIND PIECES. GET INTIMATE IF NOT ALREADY WITH OTHER OLIVIA.
PHASE 2: ONCE INTIMATE, DO NOT TRY AND STOP CHANCES OF PROCREATION. IT'S ESSENTIAL FOR THE SURVIVAL OF OUR WORLD."
This had left her quite confused, to say the least. All she wanted to type back was "ARE YOU KIDDING ME? WHAT THE HELL DOES THAT MEAN?"
There were a lot of things she hadn't asked, hadn't really questioned. Because Newton had been right.
If she started questioning every little –or big- thing she was doing Here, she would soon be consumed by guilt and self-doubts. And she couldn't allow this to happen.
She had a mission.
And so she followed her orders, however strange and disturbing they might be.
She and Peter had gotten intimate. A lot of times.
Not once had they used protection. All she had to say was that she was "on the pill". Apparently in this world, it was a good way to prevent pregnancy, and most women used it. She didn't of course.
She hadn't thought about it much, then. She knew that every time they were falling into bed together, she was risking it –or helping it? But she ignored it all.
Just like she ignored the fact that it wasn't really her Peter was seeing, whenever he was looking at her. He was seeing her. Kissing her. Making love to her.
No, she didn't think about it. She pretended it was all for her, and simply let herself be swallowed by the warmth of his body and the love in his touch.
Until it was all over, of course.
And she wasn't surprised at all when they asked her to go to the lab on Liberty Island, the very day she returned home, and they drew her blood.
"Congratulation, you're mission was a total success." The Secretary smiled at her, a little too brightly. "You are pregnant."
Olivia didn't even like kids. She never knew how to behave around them. They were…weird, and unpredictable. And noisy. So having kids of her own hadn't really been an option. She was still young anyway, she had time, right?
At least that was until Mr. Secretary of Defense took over her whole life, obviously.
So she was back to a home that felt foreign, after weeks away, with a baby growing inside of her.
"Why was it so important for me to get pregnant?" She asked, because if she had to do this and everything that came with it, she thought she deserved to know.
He was still smiling in that creepy way. He was so different from Walter. She blocked the thought, though, because thinking of Walter made her think of Over There (or Here?), and then she was thinking of him.
"You, my dear, are now carrying the child that will save us all. As you know it, my son is indispensable when it comes to using the Machine. But as things are at the moment, especially now that he knows about the Switch, I doubt he will ever help us. Your child will fulfill his father's duty."
He just kept smiling, and she forced herself to smile too. But she actually felt nauseous –and she was sure it had nothing to do with morning sickness.
She knew what the Machine was for. She had spent enough hours in the lab along with Peter, Walter and Astrid to know by heart everything they had ever said about the damn thing. About its pieces. About Peter.
About how it was supposed to kill him.
Did the Secretary want her to carry and give birth to that child simply to kill him/her?
Even though she was home, Olivia didn't sleep that night.
And it had nothing to do with the fact that everything was the same and yet different, or that she was realizing that someone had taken over her life here as well, or that she couldn't fall asleep anymore without him to snuggle with.
This was all wrong.
How could she do that?
She had done a lot of bad things in the last two months, she knew it –and it was all coming back at her hard, now that it was over.
But this…this was beyond wrong. This was sick.
So, she thought about termination, that night. She could always go to another State and get it done there. Lie to the Secretary and say that she'd had a miscarriage. They had told her that she wasn't even five weeks into the pregnancy. She could just…end it.
But she thought of her time Over There again.
She thought of that photo album on the other Olivia's bookshelf, the one she had looked through too many times.
Pictures of Rachel pregnant; pictures of a baby girl, tiny and beautiful. Oddly, she had thought that she looked more like herself than like her own mother. She had seen her grow up through the pages, seen her smiles and her pouts and her sleeping face.
She had never called them, while she was There, never met with them. Because she knew that she could never go back, if she had to say goodbye to Rachel again.
To the niece she never had.
So she had stared at those pictures for long minutes, picturing a life she would never have.
She thought of that baby girl.
The first night Olivia spent back in her apartment, she spent most of it in the bathroom, throwing up and crying. She blamed it all on the hormones confusing her body.
But when morning came, she knew that she would get through with the pregnancy.
Which meant that she had about eight months to figure out how to save the baby, once it was born.
Eight months was a very long time to go through, when you had another human being growing inside of you.
And yet, the weeks go by so fast that you barely have time to buy a new pair of pants that will fit your incredibly huge belly.
But Olivia had made it through. Not without pain.
She had lost Frank along the way. Her job, too, but it was her own decision.
The Secretary said that she would be able to go back to work as soon as she was done with the pregnancy. She knew better.
Sometimes, when she felt so tired and sick and depressed by everything that had been done and everything that was to come, she would think that maybe, just maybe, she should give up her child to its grandfather. Let him do whatever he wanted to do, because that was the only way.
The only way to save their world.
The only way for her to live her life again.
But then, she would feel a movement, deep inside herself, so small that she could have been imagining it. But then it was there again, stronger and stronger, and soon she could feel it too when she pressed her hand on her stomach.
This was her child.
She didn't like kids, never had. But this was different.
Against all odds, it appeared that she had a pretty strong maternal instinct. But yet again, it wasn't all that surprising.
Protecting people was a big part of who she was. It was what had led her to the Fringe Division in the first place. Despite the murders now staining her conscience, it still was her deepest desire.
And ask a pregnant woman if she would rather save her child or save her world, you would be surprised what she chooses.
Elizabeth Bishop was going to be her baby's savior.
Ultimately, all the credit went to her own mother, for having the idea to contact her in the first place; but none of this would be possible without Elizabeth.
Marilyn Dunham was the first person beside the Secretary to know about the pregnancy. And before long, despite the risks and her duties, she had told her everything.
Because she was scared, for her life and her child's. And there's nothing quite like your mother's embrace when you are terrified.
"You need an ally inside the 'enemy' side, Olive," she had said. "Someone who can help you. You should try and meet Peter's mother."
Olivia thought this was crazy. Why would Elizabeth Bishop help her?
Turned out that losing a child was something Elizabeth could relate to.
She only met twice with the woman. It was better that way. No attachment; no thinking about how she saw his eyes when she looked at her face, or how Elizabeth was going to have a grandchild that she will never get to see grow up either.
"It's better that way," Elizabeth told her, during that second meeting, only two weeks ago, smiling the saddest smile. "As long as he or she grows up healthy, I know I will have done my part."
"It's a she," Olivia said softly, a hand on her belly, as she felt her move inside of her.
She knew Elizabeth wanted to hug her. To feel her move too.
So to protect both their hearts, she left.
And tonight, her mother was talking to her by phone, as they had been doing for months.
"Elizabeth, it's Marilyn. It's time. She's in labor."
In labor, she very much was, indeed.
She was now walking back and forth in the hotel room, trying to focus on her breathing like her mom had showed her, but she was mostly just dreading the next contraction. Until it hit her.
Then, she just wanted to die already.
"Okay, she'll be there on time. Thank you for everything. I know. I'll tell her."
"What time?" Olivia asked, now standing in front of the wall, forehead against it, because she felt a new one coming.
"4 am." Marilyn answered behind her. "That gives us one hour."
"Awesome," she breathed out, but the word turned into a moan as she tried to breathe through the pain.
Before long, they were out of the room, out of the hotel they had been staying in for the last few days.
Officially –meaning to the Secretary's knowledge, she was at home, resting and waiting for the baby to come, her mother here to take care of her.
The reality was that she had fled her place, her home, her life. The only thing left for her to do was deliver this baby safely.
And then, she would die.
Elizabeth Bishop may not be as smart as her husband, but she still was a smart woman. She was cultivated and married to the man who had written the ZFT, after all.
She knew a lot more about Universes and the upcoming war than Walter seemed to think. Of course, they hadn't had a real conversation in years, decades even.
That was why she knew how to save her granddaughter.
But as she had told Olivia, crossing-over in her state would be…extreme. Her body would do everything to protect her child, and this would most definitely lead to her death.
She had accepted it.
She also told her that she needed to wait as long as she could before crossing over, because they wouldn't be able to bring back similar mass from Over There. When she would die, balance –or something close to it, would restore itself. She had to wait until labor.
This was madness, and Elizabeth knew it.
But she had planned it all for weeks and weeks.
Olivia still had the implants in her body. And through weeks of preparation, Elizabeth had gained access to the lab. She knew how to do it. How to make her cross-over.
How to make them cross-over.
It truly pained her, to know that the young woman was going to die. But she understood all too well.
She would have died too, to save Peter.
And the baby will be safe There.
Her father would be a better man than his father ever was.
They were in Newark. Penn Station.
Elizabeth didn't want to risk it. She had said it was better to use the same coordinates.
Whatever. As long as it made her cross over and push that fucking baby out, she would go anywhere, really.
Now sitting on the ground like a wounded animal, Olivia was humming, as her mother kept pacing in front of her, clearly distressed. The humming was supposed to help with the pain. Bullshit.
"Mom, just stop." She moaned, already feeling so tired.
She did stop, though, only to come and crouch in front of her.
"Baby, maybe you'll feel more comfortable standing up."
"I'll feel more comfortable once it's out of me," she groaned, hitting her head a little too hard against the wall, as she felt a contraction hit her again. "Oh gooooooooood, I hate it, I hate it all."
She just hated pain.
She felt her mother's hand on her face, and she forced herself to open her eyes again. She saw tears in hers. "Mom, please, don't get weepy on me." She whispered.
But the truth was, now that the contractions had gone –for a few minutes, she was realizing just how fast the end was coming now.
With every new cramp, her own death sentence was getting closer and closer.
"I love you," her mom said in a broken voice, and before she could try and stop her, she was hugging her hard.
It was the most awkward hug she had ever received, seeing how she was still sitting on the ground.
But it was also the most desperate of all.
"I love you, too," she whispered back, fighting her own tears.
She couldn't be weak; she couldn't weep and ask her mother to just take her home and make it all better.
She truly couldn't stop time, or turn it back.
Her hands were glowing red again.
"Mom," she pushed her away a little too roughly. "It's time, I need to stand up."
She hurriedly helped her on her feet, and Olivia got as far from her as heart would allow her to go. The warmth felt familiar under her skin. She remembered that the first time, it had brought some pain; but she had been revaluating her knowledge of pain in the last few hours.
She closed her eyes, wrapping her arms tightly around her extended stomach.
She refused to look at her mom, as the warmth intensified, and the unique note pierced the air, coming from her hands and back.
But she had to look. As she felt herself starting to shift through the worlds, she stared into her eyes. Her mother mouthed four words, before the air exploded around her.
"I'm proud of you."
It was raining on that Side.
That's the first thing that went through her mind, as she collapsed hard on the ground. She didn't even feel amazed by how her body knew how to make her fall in a way that was harmless to her child.
Pain still rippled through her entire being, and she moaned loudly, curled up on the ground, rain falling hard on her. But she had to get up.
She had to get up so she could deliver the baby.
She was hurting so much, though, and she was so tired.
"Hey, miss!" she heard someone call –who was outside at 4am, really?
Then she felt hands on her. She opened her eyes.
"Oh my god, I'll call 911!" the man almost screamed in the rain, clearly panicking.
She lifted her head and saw that he had indeed stopped his car in the middle of the road; his door was still open, the engine still running.
She turned her eyes back to him and grabbed his arms. "No, please, I need to go to New York."
"Miss, you need to go to a hospital, I… I can't-"
"Please", she begged him, as pain came back. "Please, I need to get to Massive Dynamic."
Of course he listened to her.
That kind of desperate face always had a strange power on men.
Somehow, she managed to stay conscious the whole way to New York. It was only half an hour away, but when you are slowly dying while a baby is desperately trying to get out of you, you feel every minute of it.
She collapsed as the man helped her enter the building.
She woke up a short while later, in a bed.
Her eyes instantly fell on Nina Sharp. And a mixture of fear and hope coursed through her body. She then noticed the rapid 'bips' coming out a machine next to her bed.
"How's the baby?" was the first thing she asked, her fear intensifying.
"The baby is fine," Nina answered. Her voice wasn't exactly cold, but she clearly didn't know what to do with her. "You, on the other hand, are not. I'm afraid that you condemned yourself, crossing over in your condition."
She closed her eyes, chuckling humorlessly, a distant shadow of her usually smiley self. "Yeah, I know…"
And then, pain invaded her whole body again, and she bent in half, clenching the metal bars on each side of the bed.
"Can't I have some drugs for this, please?" She panted desperately when she was able to speak again, ignoring the tears rolling down her cheeks.
"I'm sorry, I'm afraid we cannot give you anything strong enough to dull your pain, not in your…state."
She closed her eyes and lay back on her pillow, bringing a shaky hand to her face.
"Peter is outside," Nina then said, and Olivia opened her eyes, dropping her hand.
"No…" she whispered. "He wasn't supposed to be…why did you call him?"
She looked at her sternly. "Because you crossed over here, in labor, and I'm assuming that the child is his." Her silence was as loud as a 'YES'. "Plus, they were already in New York, working a case."
They. That meant the rest of the gang as well.
Olivia shook her head, but she felt incredibly weak, as tears started leaking out of her eyes of their own accord. She felt like she had no more defenses, no more walls to hide behind, no more strength.
All she was now was a vessel.
"Don't bring him in, please," she asked the other woman.
But she knew she had no choice. She had betrayed them all. The only reason why she had come to Massive Dynamic in the first place was because it was closer than Boston, which would have required a four hours ride.
Also, she didn't have to face him if she was in New York and he was in Boston.
She would give birth, and by the time he came to take his child, she would be long gone.
Things didn't always work the way you wanted them to, though.
Nina exited the room then, and she was left alone with her pain. She only took comfort into the steady and rapid heartbeat indicating that her baby was still doing fine.
She heard the door open again, but she was in the middle of a contraction, and nothing mattered but the thousand blades tearing her up from inside.
Eventually, it went away, like it always did; she tried to wipe her face off a little before opening her eyes, but her arms felt so heavy.
Peter was standing next to her bed.
He looked…well, pretty much like he did the last time she had seen him. Both crushed and angry.
She wanted to say something. She found out she couldn't open her mouth.
"You had no right to come back," he finally spoke. His voice was cold.
She chuckled again, closing her eyes, ignoring the tears still leaking automatically. "Trust me, if I had another choice, I wouldn't have come back here."
"You know you only have enemies here, Dunham. I wonder what can be worse than us Over There."
She wished it didn't hurt so much. She wished it would just stop. She wished for a lot of things, tonight.
She opened her eyes to look at him, putting herself out there. Lying emotionally bare on that hospital bed, because she had nothing to lose.
"Your father wants to kill her, Peter. The baby," she said then. "He wants to use her for the Machine."
It was his turn to close his eyes, hanging his head and bringing a hand to his face.
"I'm dying," she whispered. "I won't be a problem anymore in a few hours. But…please. She needs to be protected."
She was about to say "It's your baby, too," but she stopped herself. As far as he knew, he had absolutely no reason to feel obligated to protect this child.
She had used him, manipulated him.
He knew the baby was his already. Reminding him of that obvious, obnoxious fact would only make things worse.
The wave of pain came back anyway, and she shut her eyes tight, bracing herself for the big of it.
When she opened them again, he was gone.
"Olivia, I need you to push again when you feel the next contraction." The doctor instructed her for the third time.
She obeyed. When the now almost familiar pain rippled through her core once again, she pushed with all her might.
She sobbed the whole way through the delivery. Funny, really, when you knew she hadn't shed a tear in years before all of this, not since Rachel had died.
But there was absolutely no point in keeping a strong face on, was there?
Like Peter had told her only a few hours ago, she was dying among enemies.
This was not her Universe. She was in a sterile room, surrounded by complete strangers. The fingers she was crushing in her hand were those of a nurse who only felt pity for her. She saw it in her eyes.
Pity and contempt. That was all she was going to get on her last few minutes.
She thought of her mom, and how she would have helped her through this, whispering lies about how she was going to be fine, and she cried harder, pushed harder.
And then another set of cries filled the room. Strong and furious.
"Congratulation, it's a girl," the doctor announced.
She ignored him. She ignored them all. They held her out, still attached to her through the cord, and covered with blood and other things she didn't care about. She took her.
She took her against her chest, and looked into her eyes.
Green, and beautiful, and confused. She had stopped crying already, staring at her with those eyes.
Olivia cried some more, but she was smiling too, ignoring the fact that this was the only fleeting moment she would ever have with her child.
She was offering her a look of her own, and there was no pity, no anger, no resentment.
Only the simple innocence of a newborn's soul.
"I love you…" she whispered to the tiny being that was still all hers.
Those were her last words.
When Peter entered the room, Olivia was already there.
She didn't look at him.
She was staring down at the baby, nestled in the crook of her arm. She was rocking her softly, even though she was already fast asleep.
He didn't know what to say. To be honest, he didn't know what to think.
He felt like there were back eight months ago. The betrayal was back, now having taken the physical form of an infant. All the careful steps they had taken toward each other again, they were all gone.
Or so he thought.
She didn't really think about it, though. Not yet. For now, she was too focused on the infant.
She briefly took her eyes away from her to look at him. He could see she had cried.
"She left a note for you," is all she said, indicating the nightstand next to the now empty bed. Then she turned around.
He swallowed hard, but approached the bed, picking up the small note.
"Please, name her Elizabeth. She wouldn't be here without her."
He closed his eyes, his heart thumping painfully in his chest.
When he eventually looked up again, he saw that Olivia was quietly crying again. She seemed mesmerized by the baby, who now had her eyes opened.
She simply stared, her lips pressed hard together, as a few tears roll down her cheeks.
"She looks like Ella…"she whispered then.
She never took her eyes away from that child who could have been theirs.
N/A: I know I should have said first hand that this was all about Altlivia, but I'm just curious to see how many people will read it through anyway.
I know she's mostly hated in the fandom, and I respect the hatred (I used to hate her quite a lot too). But some us do love her character. Not what she did, not the consequences of her actions in the long run. But she's a person, she's human, she had a life before that Mission, and I simply find her fascinating. I wish the writers had showed us more of what she was made inside, rather than simply put her out as the almost heartless b*tch she appeared to be.
I had warned you about the plot bunny haha. Actually, it's a theory that keeps popping up within the fandom –Altlivia being pregnant with Peter's child, that is. And while I would hate for it to really happen, part of me is curious about how they would handle it. This was my take on things.
And damn, I rarely cried that much killing off a character before. I swear I'm still traumatized.
Merry Christmas everybody. Thank you so much for reading my stories. If you're feeling the Holidays spirit, please review :')
EDIT: This is now a Work In Progress story. More to come :D