WARNINGS: Do not archive without my knowledge. Written by a non-native English speaker. Not proof-read. Pardon me.
NOTES: If any of you fringies have forgotten: A DEMON'S TWIST RUSTS. Don't trust Sam Weiss! Also, I still feel like Peter is hiding things from us, even after the "6B" episode.
I have to apologise. I am so very sorry for delaying this chapter for so long! My plan was to post it after 3x13, but since that episode was set on the Redverse, I didn't have the canon material I needed to keep writing this and keeping it truthful to the show. But now we got it, and how pleased (and surprised!) I was to see Peter and Olivia making amends. Still, I'm no fool and am waiting for the big shit to finally hit the fan and screw everything up – yeah, I am that poetic. Writers better run to write their fluff and smut and sappy stories before the power that be take that from us.
– CHAPTER 3 –
THE SADNESS OF ANOTHER
The Wind is ghosting around the house tonight
and as I lean against the door of sleep
I begin to think about the first person to dream,
how quiet he must have seemed the next morning
Peter Bishop can't sleep.
Since the night he received that call from a stranger telling him that Olivia was trapped in another universe, Peter can't sleep. The longest night of sleep he had since then was barely a few days ago, when they had managed something that resembled bonding while Olivia was wearing one fancy dress and astounding red lipstick that gave him all kinds of unchristian thoughts (and memories, if he was to be honest with himself).
That night, he managed a nap of fifty minutes straight, only to wake up startled.
Because if Peter Bishop can't sleep, he can sure as hell dream all kinds of bad dreams. It seems like the inability of sleeping did not deprive him of nightmares, all of them involving Olivia in some level. Even when he dreams about the Machine, even when he is trapped on it somehow, with fire coming out of his eyeballs, Olivia's figure still manages to break through his pained mind and unsettles him even more – she would always watch him from a distance, while he screamed for her help. She'd carry a sadness that would rip him open before the Machine did.
Tonight, though, Peter's dream isn't about the doomsday machine.
Tonight Peter's dream is about Olivia – both Olivias, actually.
As he lay in his bedroom, dimly lit by his desk lamp, he twists around nervously, and grunts under his breath. He's still wearing jeans and jacket, and he has fallen asleep over the covers, while reading once again the other Olivia's journal, now scattered all around the floor – but they were probably with him on the bed before he could give in to his tiredness.
His nervous motions and the thin layer of sweat on his brow have one source only: now he dreams about Olivia Duhnam from Over There and Olivia Duhnam from Over Here, and his body can't help but answer with the symptoms of a fever.
He might have gone off by himself to sit
on a rock and look into the mist of a lake
They're inside of a house.
It's Olivia's house, but it's different and unfurnished. He can tell though, with an assurance that you only have in your dreams, that is Olivia's house.
She cries out for him, "Peter!", but the scream comes from different directions, as if many Olivias were calling for him – and suddenly the house is too big and too vacant for one to feel safe. "Peter, I'm in here!" And again, the scream comes from everywhere.
He doesn't know where to go – so instead he stands still, thinking out loud, growing nervous: "Which one of you is the real Olivia?"
And suddenly, their voices are very close and their whisper echoes around the house causing him to shiver: "Don't be silly, we're both real". They're now standing in front of him, the two Olivias, both blondes, both wearing the same outfit, even though when he wakes up he'll be unable to tell what it was, and they stare intently at him.
"I miss you, don't you miss me?" "She wasn't me" "...I find myself forgetting why I'm here" "You belong with me" "I love this song" "How could you not see that?" "...it became something more" "...help me..." "...love you..." "...you belong..." "...really miss..." "how could you..." "...happily ever after" "PETER!"
He wakes up almost falling out of his bed, and it takes all his might not to cry out loud – so instead, he lowers his head in his hands and swallows hard, for Peter Bishop isn't a man of tears. Not even when his father was institutionalised. Not even when he left home forever. Not even when his mother committed suicide. Not even when Olivia Duhnam was missing from her car and appeared one hour later crashing through the windshield.
Peter Bishop did not surrender to the luxury of tears.
He would gulp, and gasp, and swallow hard and feel choking to death until he felt like being ripped open, but he did not give in to the luxury of tears. He did not give in to the luxury of releasing his pain.
Because he deserves it. Or at least, he always thinks he does. He screws up. He fails people. He is too late for them sometimes. Then he runs away for a god forsaken place. That is Peter Bishop: this is how he rolls.
When Olivia was facing her last breathing moments, while laying on that hospital bed, he allowed himself soft sobs, sitting anonymously on a bar stool, holding a glass of whiskey, wondering how he could be late for her... Then he got up and walked aimlessly for a while, tears welling up on his eyes, until he let them fall.
That was when he realised It.
as he tried to tell himself what had happened,
how he had gone somewhere without going,
It wasn't something he had been musing over for too long, or something that crossed his mind as being anything but a highly unlikely and far-fetched possibility, a secret wish that would humour him through the night – but there It was.
The word scratches the walls of his head as chalk, scribbling things he cannot fully grasp.
It is consuming him. It is burning him.
It is taking the very life out of him.
It is there.
So as he sits up on his bed and takes deep breathes, he wonders how long he can take it.
Because if Peter Bishop isn't a man of tears, he is a man of patience. He would give Olivia all the time and the breathing space she needs. He would take all the blows she wants to throw at him, and he will keep his polite distance for as long as she says so.
He will do whatever she says, for as long as it takes... Sometimes though, like that very moment, after waking up from a nightmare involving two Olivias, he wonders if he is able to do what he promised himself – he wonders if he is able to wait forever.
So here are a few facts about Peter Bishop, of which he has become surprisingly aware in the past weeks:
Peter Bishop can't sleep, although he can dream.
Peter Bishop isn't a man of tears, but a man of patience.
Peter Bishop can take all the blows without complaining and wait for a long, long time, if that's what it takes.
But sometimes... Sometimes Peter Bishop isn't himself.
Then again, the first dream could have come
to a woman, though she would behave,
I suppose, much the same way,
moving off by herself to be alone near water,
They haven't seen a lot of each other lately, and Olivia Duhnam is very aware of this fact, though no words will come out of her mouth about it. Not even to her bedroom's walls.
So instead, she entertains her mind with old case files involving the Pattern, and with long runs on the park and a lot of exercise – not that she needs to work out so much, but the physical effort cleans her mind and leaves her with a sore body to worry about, erasing any uncomfortable thoughts or feelings she might have.
However... He still has feelings for her. If Simon could read her mind, he would think her brain was a damaged vinyl, playing the same sentence over and over and over and over again.
Of course he does, she would add to her first thought, and she couldn't blame him. The other one... The other Olivia, she stole not only Olivia's identity in this world, she also stole Peter, or any potential relationship they could have. She had damaged them for good.
God, how she had struggled with herself when she said that he belonged with her...
Olivia shakes her head and increases her pace. She is going back home, after a two-hour run through the neighbourhood, that would leave her tired enough to take her shower then down two shots of whiskey and crashes on her bed.
Peace of mind, that's how she calls it.
When Olivia gets home, though, she changes her mind. She will have the whiskey while enjoying a long bubble bath. Yeah, definitely a bubble bath.
Already stripped to her underwear, Olivia is interrupted by the unmistakable sound of her cell phone ringing. "Damn it".
She goes for it on the kitchen table and checks the screen. Peter.
Of course. Who else?
She considers ignoring his call. She considers being rude with him. She even considers some soft words, after all, they did need to work together, and she misses their bonding. But instead, what she manages is her usual detached tone that she has been using at Peter since she burst in front of him. "Duhnam".
except that the curve of her young shoulders
and the tilt of her downcast head
would make her appear to be terribly alone,
"Something came up?" She asks, all business. She can't manage non-work related calls with Peter anymore.
"Hmm, no". God, please, don't make that a non-work related call from Peter. She braces herself. "It's just Walter being Walter. It seems like he was reading his file on Simon Phillips on the bathroom and he has mistaken it with..."
"Oh" Olivia lets out a sigh of relief, and at the same time she thinks of how silly she was to imagine he would call to talk about... them. Peter never pushes her, and for that she is glad. "Do you want me to get him a copy from my files?"
"Yeah, I tried to call Astrid but she was running some errands, I didn't want to overload her with it".
"I'll drop by later, then."
and if you were there to notice this,
They are broken.
They both know it. They both heard it, in each other's voices. They are mirrored images of each other's pain.
Now Olivia will prepare her bubble bath and instead of downing two glasses of whiskey, she'll down six, until the water gets cool and the bubbles are all gone, and she will be only left with shivers and a numb broken body, barely capable of getting up.
Peter, on his own house, will busy his mind with the Device and its intricate design, but he will find himself staring blankly at his notes while his mind wanders far away, farther than he can understand, to be there by Olivia's side, watching over her. Then he will get up and have not one, but six beers.
They are just the same.
And they both know it.
you might have gone down as the first person
to ever fall in love with the sadness of another.
[ The First Dream by Billy Collins ]
END NOTES: I'd like to thanks everyone who has been keeping track of this story, I'm happy to see you are all enjoying it! A special thanks goes to the ones who took their time and reviewed it. Thank you very much!
I've cut out bits of this poem, and I also messed with the structure of the stanzas. If you like it, google it for the full thing.
Mirrors are not only about you and your reflection. You can see other people there too, looking at you through your own eyes, sharing joy and pain. They are not the same, they have its differences, but it is a reflection nonetheless. And if you felt like I was giving Peter more light on this one, you're absolutely right. I just can't help writing Peter's POV. I just can't.
So. I'm finished. I know I said there would be a fourth chapter, but I'm not liking it as it is, so I guess I'll be done here, before I can royally screw this up.
Reviews? Anyone? =)
Oh, and before I forget, my DISCLAIMER: Not mine. Thanks for asking.