The shower water was hot against Olivia's skin as she tried to scrub away the heart that had been festering inside. She had tried this several times, washing away the wounds that caused her insides to burn. She thought that when she came back from the parallel universe that everything would go back to the way it would be. She, Olivia Dunham with the Fringe Division, should know better. Every action has an opposite and equal reaction she could hear Walter's voice in her mind. Everything was turned upside down; it was as if Olivia's fate wanted her to suffer. She had gone to the other side to save her Peter from whatever it was Walternate wanted to do to him. She had gotten stuck, no thanks to her alter ego. Folivia.
Olivia stepped out of the shower but left the water running. She slid down the wall next to her shower door until she was on the floor. She brought her knees to her chest, tucking her chin in between. Her hair was wet and dripped down her bare back as she wrestled with the thoughts running through her head. Doubts and questions that only nagged her more after Simon gave her that not. He still has feelings for her. Olivia couldn't help but smile a little at irony. How many people can claim that the man they loved was stolen by their own personality, from another universe? She had loved Peter, no she still loved Peter more than she could ever imagine. She had been the fool that allowed herself to give up her feelings and heart to this man. Things would have been alright if only he hadn't kissed me. She reasoned with her mind. That kiss in the other universe, it was like none she had experienced in past relationships. It made her feel like she was a complete Olivia for once in her life, not needing to fight her way to reach someone's expectations. It turned out that she needed to meet his expectations, something her other self had done quite well.
Was it possible to be jealous of oneself in another form? She wondered as the shower steam began to engulf the bathroom. She was jealous of Folivia and the life she had. Maybe if she wasn't a broken replica of that woman from the other side she would have kept those around her closer. She wouldn't have had to go through so much. She felt like the smashed porcelain doll that was shoved in the closet because it was a special gift from someone, but had long been replaced with a better, newer, shinier doll. Folivia was the new improved her. She was sure that the cheeriness that her alter ego saw in life had brought smiles to people's face. Like the milk in the coffee, she was the light in the darkness of the Fringe division. Olivia was certain that she didn't worry about keeping her mate up at night, in the throes of a nightmare. The nightmares that haunted Olivia every night because of the things Bell and Bishop had done to her. She had forgiven them long ago; they had given her something to help more people with but they had also scarred her for life. Folivia's mother was there to protect her from all of that. Folivia's mother, her mother; she was the same person wasn't she? Just in a different place and time? Olivia pushed the logistics out of her mind as she pressed a fist to her forehead. That was one thing that could have kept her over there, knowing that she had a mother. She felt selfish for not remembering her sister or her beautiful niece; dead and nonexistent respectively on the other side. Nothing could replace a mother that would protect you from all the bad things out there in life.
Folivia was even complete enough to have a successful relationship. Here, Olivia struggled with one after the other. Probable territory for a girl who has been experimented on most of her life; trust doesn't come easy. Olivia felt the tears slide down her wet cheeks as she wrestled with herself. She pulled herself up, going to the sink. The mirror was fogged over and she used her hand to brush the condensation away. An unclear image of what appeared to be Olivia Dunham looked back. The hair was blonde, all one length. She didn't miss the copper color with fringe bangs that Folivia had pulled off. Thought Folivia was able to live up to the fiery red color. It was hard enough being a lady these days, comparing yourself to all the beautiful girls in the magazines. Again irony tinted Olivia's life as she realized she was wrestling with how attractive she was compared to herself. The mirror began to fog again and she caught a glimpse of her muddy brown, red rimmed eyes. The same eyes that her alternate looked through. But there was something different behind Olivia's. They were less carefree, more focused, able to put the dots together faster. Olivia Dunham of this universe was a machine. She was able to live a life devoted to helping other take down bad guys no matter what the cost, no matter what it did to her feelings. She had always hoped that the experiments had removed her heart long ago. But Peter Bishop came into her life, bringing all those feelings rushing back. She wanted them long buried. Then there was Folivia; full of life and aspirations. She had friends, she had accomplishments, and she had a sex life for crying out loud. Olivia had done her best to avoid the painful intimate moments between Folivia's boyfriend and herself. Her alternate self had most likely gone back to a very unhappy boyfriend. She had come back to a very satisfied Peter. She had slept with him, she had already gone farther with Peter than Olivia had even imagined in her mind. She shuddered at the thought, turning to shut the shower off. She took a towel from the rack, wrapping it around her thin body. She wiped the condensation from the mirror once again looking back.
Peter had promised her that he loved her. That he was the Olivia he got the book for, he was the Olivia he thought he was kissing. But why didn't he know? The question pounded the back of her mind. They had given her drugs to help her forget her memories of here, to try to make her stay in the alternate universe! But she had never forgotten Peter! He had been there when she was wrestling with two different realities in her mind. He assured her that she was right when she struggled with the idea of madness. Peter had lived up to his name, he had been her rock. She had clung to him when the tide grew rough. She braced herself against the sink, looking into the mirror once more. She met her green eyes and imagined that it was Folivia looking back. She could have sworn the mirror image even smiled at her as she glared at it. All that mattered was when the two universes were at the breaking point. When Peter would need to decide which universe he would save. But Walter, Astrid, the whole team was sure of the answer. Why wasn't she? He was a long time friend, a confidant. He hadn't kept anything back from her, even that he had screwed her alter ego. He had been honest, well except for the fact that he had feelings for Folivia still. But when it came down to the wire, Olivia looked herself in the eyes once more before turning away and finishing her thought. When it came down to saving one universe over the other, Peter Bishop would chose this Olivia Dunham and her universe. Right?...