Perchance to Dream

'To sleep! perchance to dream...' - Hamlet's soliloquy, Act III, scene I

A/N: So this originally came to me as an idea of what Peter wrote about the people he's conned, then I thought of this line from Hamlet and the possibility of Peter being haunted by what he's done to people and what he thought of them at that time. Thus I thought of a dream sequence. Post 3.11 "Reciprocity"

Disclaimer: If I owned Fringe, I would be living it up with the other Fringe writers; but sadly I do not.

Secrecy was never a fine art, yet Peter managed to be a virtuoso of it. His countless movements and actions were kept tucked away in the tiniest of crevices in his mind, locked away in a vault that one could only open with the dozens of keys that he had sealed it with.

He had never considered opening that vault; he'd stashed the keys away out of a desire for forgetfulness.

But he had also never considered that Olivia Dunham would come close to finding them all.

He sat on the edge of his bed, head cupped by his hands as his eyelids drooped. He was fatigued, but it was rare that anyone knew such a fact.

The crimson numbers on the clock next to his bed blurred slightly when he looked at them, but not enough for him to miss that it was past one am.

He crawled up to the head of the bed and settled himself there, his head cushioned by the soft curve of the pillow.

He didn't know how long he drifted for until he slipped under sleep's veil, taken from reality by the shroud of slumber.

Something in the air shifted, a smell tinted with the pang of gasoline and the coarse grit of dust. Sunlight burned over his skin and drew sweat from his brow.

It was Baghdad.

Dust crumbled off the buildings as car horns screeched and people shouted. There was a hint of gunpowder in the air.

And he stood in a tight circle of thugs and miscreants, but whether they were his friend or foe he didn't bother to ask.

He stood before his council; a hit man before his superiors. They were imposing at best, terrifying and deathly at their worst; and Peter had a feeling that this scenario wasn't a particularly good one. The words unbearable and remorseless came to mind.

He'd been assigned a target, a rare job because he rarely agreed to it.

But when caught between two ends of a gun, he was never one to be found facing the business end.

The world spiralled and twisted, the entire time he felt something heavy in his hand. When the world settled again he saw the dark revolver in his left hand.

The target was twenty feet away in the centre of a popular market.

The words innocent, unfortunate and sucker popped into his head.

He looked to the gun, poised like a viper in his hand and then to the target. He knew hesitancy was not something they viewed with favour.

He thought of the saying: He who hesitates is lost.

He wondered what that person would say about he who bears arms.

He fired a second later and the sound rippled out through the crowds, inciting a tide of chaos that ripped through the streets.

Somehow the next instant he was running through alleys and roads that were chopped with sunlight. He was never caught.

The world spun and shifted again, whirling into a contorted blaze of colour until he found himself sitting at a coffee bar with a young woman. The name Angelica came to mind.

Their discussion was nothing heavy, regards over the weather and the coffee they drank.

Her eyes seemed distant, but he still liked them.

"I'm sorry," she said finally.

He scrunched his brow: "For what?"

She sighed heavily, brown hair falling over her face: "My brother... he was shot two days ago in the market place and... he still hasn't regained consciousness...we don't know if he ever will."

Her eyes were weary now, brimming with emotion.

Peter felt as if a noose was sitting over his head.

He managed to choke out an "I'm so sorry" before paying both of their bills and sauntering out of the shop.

He didn't run; that was never a smart thing to do in such a place.

He strolled down the street, sweat curling over his brow without the aid of the weather. He thought he heard the 'snap' of a gunshot for an instant. He thought only of the word murderer over an over again.

The sun fell, hidden behind the sharp jut of a building as he kept walking.

He saw a newspaper headline on the ground, in bold black letters it read MURDERER.

He knew it wasn't logical, it wasn't even plausible but it still startled him.

The world shifted again, curled into bolts and stripes of angry red and harsh obsidian.

He woke under the plain stare of his bedroom ceiling, his left hand clenched and the other on his brow.

The red numbers on his clock were stark and bright in the night; it was barely past three in the morning.

He turned away from it to try and get back to sleep.

He didn't look back at it for the red reminded him of something far more sinister; something he hoped that Olivia would never have need to know about.

End.

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