Disclaimer: I do not own anything in Fringe. If I did, Peter would still exist, and Olivia would never have died. Walternate would have perished in a fire though.
Spoilers: ALL THE WAY UP TO THE FINALE.
Rating: K+ (even though it can destroy your emotions, so it's emotionally rated T XD)
Summary: Peter and Olivia meet one last time in a familiar place.
A/N: Hey guys :)) Here's the first of many fics to come this summer I'm hoping, to keep myself busy and alive during the hiatus.
Let's just be clear: I am insanely in love with Olivia Dunham. Therefore, watching her die so crudely last Friday was the most shocking and painful thing I have ever witnessed on TV. I also love Peter with all my heart, and they were so in love, happily married, talking about having a tribe of Bishops, and then she was just DEAD and he was all alone, sacrificing his existence for her and all. EPIC OTP IS EPIC.
I had to write this to deal with this insanity. Olivia dying that is. I'll deal with the rest somewhere around July when I'm not traumatized anymore.
This is unbetaed, and I am very, very tired. Also, it has made people cry. Fair warning.
I'M NOT SCARED ANYMORE
Peter falls into a drunken slumber, sitting in a pool of alcohol among pieces of broken glass, the bottle having shattered on the floor a while ago now. The two hours he has just spent sobbing have finally drained him of the last of his energy, and he falls asleep for the first time in over three days.
If he dreams, it is an unusual dream. He's expecting his dreamscape to be the mirror image of everything devouring him from the inside. Everything should be dark; everything should be ruthless and crude. Everything should be pain.
But it isn't. He opens his mind's eyes, and everything is soft.
He finds himself staring at a perfectly round moon in a cloudless sky, and for a blessed instant, he forgets everything else, amazed by the millions of stars glittering up above. He drops his eyes though, catching light from below as well, and only now does he realize where he is standing.
He's in the middle of a white tulips field.
The sea of scintillating flowers all around him stirs something deep inside of him. But before he can focus on his very first feeling of 'déjà-vu', he hears it.
The most beautiful sound of all.
He turns around, his entire being and soul reaching out for that call, for her voice, and soon for the sight of her.
She's standing a few yards away, dressed in a silky white dress that seems oddly familiar, just like the entire scenery, but he doesn't care. He doesn't care either that her hair is longer than it was only three days ago, floating in the breeze, or that she looks younger. No, not younger.
Olivia Dunham, his life's angel, is smiling at him, that kind, loving smile he is sure she has created for him and his sighing heart alone.
He guesses she really is an Angel, now.
He makes his way towards her, walking fast at first, then literally running, directed by that same insatiable thirst that has led him to down so many drinks those past few days, longing, craving, dying to touch her again.
The collision should have been more violent, given his speed; but everything is slower here, calmer, softer. And so when he picks her up in his arms, she's as light as a feather. And yet he feels her, he feels her, her body against his and the strong, comforting hold of her arms around him as he spins her around in slow motions, panels of her dress wreathing around them in white, glowing waves.
He spins, holding her too tight he knows, holding her so tight, his face buried in her neck so he can breathe in her scent. When he does, dismay takes holds of him as he realizes that he had already started to forget all the nuances of her unique fragrance. That is all it takes for him to break down again, drenching her skin with warm tears, and the sound of his sobs resonate into the night, even though muffled against her. He doesn't care, because she's holding him and he feels her hands on his back, soothing him without a word, letting him get drunk on the mere feel of her.
When he finally calms down enough to be able to speak, he straightens up so he can look at her face. When he does, he instantly loses himself into her eyes, two beautiful eyes he could never forget because she has painted so many years of his life with that shade of green. With a trembling sigh, he leans his forehead against hers.
"I've been looking for you," he whispers then, unable to speak any louder, and she blinks knowingly.
"I know. And I've been waiting for you," she answers softly, and did her voice always sound so gentle and beautiful? "You haven't exactly allowed yourself to sleep those past few days."
Dread freezes his entire body as realization dawns on him. "I'm dreaming."
Of course he is dreaming. This is nothing but a dream.
"Most definitely," she nods against him, still smiling softly, almost apologetically; she seems to know what's going through his mind.
Something inside of him screams to let her go, to just let her go and make himself wake up now, because every passing second spent in this dream will only make his reality that much harder. He finds himself tightening his hold on her instead, because she feels so real. She feels like his Olivia.
Who is he kidding, really? He will stay in this dream state as long as he possibly can.
His eyes close painfully. "I don't want to wake up."
Her hands are still slowly roaming his back. "The fact that you can wake up means that you are still alive, Peter," she says softly.
He opens his eyes. "But you're not," he whispers, a painful lump in his throat. "You're dead."
She nods again; her smile is sad now, though still remarkably serene. "I am. But I'm here, right now. With you. I was waiting for you." She repeats.
Grief is smothering him all over again and he has to close his eyes, pressing his nose against hers, holding her so tight that may have she been real, he would surely have broken her small body.
"You're not real…" he whispers, even though the way her hand has found a familiar place, stopping on the back of his neck ,feels more real than anything else. "We…we've discussed it. We knew one of us could just…we knew it could happen. Olivia wouldn't stay."
"Open your eyes, Peter," she breathes against his lips, and he obeys, moving his face away from hers as she cups both his cheeks in her hands. "I can't prove it to you. We both know it is all just a matter of perception. But I am here. I'm in…between."
His battered, gashed heart fills with some strange hope, the hope that she is telling the truth. He knows that it wouldn't change anything, though. This still isn't real, and upon awaking, she will disappear again.
"How?" he can't help asking anyway, his eyes taking in every minuscule detail of her face, as if he didn't already know them by heart. But he is also realizing now just how fast details fade away. "Why?"
She shakes her head slowly, still smiling so serenely. "I can't really explain how. Walter would know, I'm sure. Cortexiphan, mind connection…love?" She's taking him in, too, her eyes tender and loving. "As for why…I've lost so many people in my life, Peter, without any warning. So have you. I couldn't leave you without saying goodbye."
He closes his eyes, and it causes more warm tears to leak out, as he leans his forehead against hers again, and her thumbs gently wipe the trails away.
"I'm so sorry," he chokes then, and he feels her shake her head against him.
"Don't apologize for something you had no control over, Peter."
The tears, bitter and full of regrets, keep on rolling down his face, pooling between her fingers.
"He…killed you," he manages to say, his voice hoarse with too many emotions. "He killed you simply to get back at me. He didn't even give you a chance to fight back with dignity, like I know you would have."
She chuckles softly against his lips; it is barely audible, but he knows all of her sounds and their meaning just as well as he knows every freckle on her skin.
"Yeah, with a little more time to prepare myself, I wouldn't have gone without a fight, that's for sure. But it still isn't your fault. That's why I stayed here, too, waiting for you. I don't want you to blame yourself for the rest of your life, Peter, like I know I would."
He opens his eyes, finding hers, making his heart bleed faster. "It is my fault. You can't change that."
She tilts her head. "You know it doesn't matter whose fault it is, in the end. We can go back so far, trying to find the one who pushed the first domino and set everything into motion. What happened just…happened. It was my time to go."
But he shakes his head like a stubborn child. "No, it wasn't. You were not supposed to die. Not like this."
She's smiling quite sadly again. "The choice wasn't ours to make. The only choice I was given was to linger long enough for us to meet one last time, even if it's only in a dream."
She looks away from him then, to stare at the moon. She's breathing deep and slow, her features completely relaxed. She seems so at peace.
"I heard your eulogy," she says then, her voice as soft as the breeze playing with her hair, and she turns her gaze back to meet his, green eyes glimmering with the light of the stars, moon and flowers, and she smiles. "It was beautiful."
It's his turn to chuckle, but his throat is so constricted that the sound is strangled and resembles more a moan than anything else. "I don't even remember what I said."
It is true. He went through the whole funeral in a complete daze, which was mostly caused by some kind of soothing medication Walter's trembling fingers had put into his palm before the ceremony started.
All he remembers are fire and emptiness.
She pushes herself up so that their faces touch again, nuzzling his nose gently with hers, and all he can see are her eyes and those lights.
"You said I had been sent from God," she whispers. "That I had been sent to you."
He swallows hard, feeling the tremors shaking his body, and she feels them too. "You were," he manages to say.
She smiles, her fingers sliding from his cheeks to his hair. "You were the one who was sent to me."
He shakes his head almost imperceptibly. "You found me," he argues, because God knows those ridiculous, pointless arguments with her feel as much like home as the feel of her against him. "You sought me out, dragged my sorry ass from Iraq to Boston."
She chuckles, closing her eyes, before opening them again, moving her face ever so slightly against his so she can look around. "You found me first, Peter. You found me here, in this field."
He looks around too, once again feeling that inexplicable tug, that familiarity that he cannot place, and he meets her eyes again. "I don't remember," he admits.
"That's alright," she says softly. "You will, one day. But you definitely found me. We were only kids. I was so scared, and you calmed me down. You gave me hope."
He holds her even tighter, closing his eyes, feeling her breath on his lips and wishing he could just meld into her embrace.
"Will I find you again?" He asks then in a murmur, opening his eyes to drown into hers.
"When the time is right, you will."She answers just as softly, and for a moment there, he believes he really is going to fall into those two emeralds and merge his broken soul with hers.
But she looks up at the sky, then, as if hearing something only she can hear, and she utters the most painful words he has ever heard; he didn't think anything could ever be worse than 'Peter…Olivia is dead.'
He was wrong.
"I have to go," she whispers, eyes lost into the stars.
He tightens his hold on her then, tightens it hard because he swears she feels less tangible already, and this cannot be.
"Please, don't," he chokes, and she looks down from the sky, meeting his eyes, and he knows that the pain he can now read on her face is only a projection of his own torment.
"I have to," she murmurs.
"Where will you go?" Not only does he act like a scared child, but he sounds like one as well, his voice constricted by sorrow.
"I don't know," she shakes her head, the smallest smile on her lips.
It's as if the thought of this unknown place fills her with quietude and certainty. But she knows. She knows that what he feels at that instant is the complete opposite of serenity, and that he simply wants to hold onto her because he needs her, and he needs to make sure she'll be alright.
"It's okay, Peter…" she says softly, smiling her beautiful smile. "I'm not scared anymore."
And she's telling the truth. He has seen her broken and burdened too many times not to realize just how completely free she is, now. She is ready to let go and embrace what is awaiting her, and he knows he is being selfish by wanting to keep her with him. But how can he not?
How can he not cling to her and everything she means, everything she is?
It is his turn to bring a hand up to her face, cupping her warm cheek, and she closes her eyes almost adoringly, sinking into his palm as her own fingers leave his hair, wrapping themselves around his forearm. It is another one of those simple gestures that means so much to both of them, saying so many things without even a glance or a word.
"I miss you so much already." His words comes out strangled again, the pressure within his chest intolerable, and she opens her eyes.
And he's hugging her again, then, simply hugging her, begging any greater force to just let him keep her, just a little longer, please, and he's crying once more into the crook of her neck and he doesn't care, crushed by his sorrow. "I can't breathe, Olivia."
He feels wetness on his own skin then, and forces himself to pull away just enough to realize that she's crying too, now. Unbelievably, his heart bleeds even more.
He cups her face in his hands again, and she grabs both his arms. "Don't cry…" he manages to say.
She shakes her head, smiling her tearful smile. "You're in so much pain…"she whispers. "I wish you could feel what I feel Peter. It's beautiful, and you're such a big part of it."
Unable to find the words that could possibly match hers, he kisses her forehead instead, his heart torn with infinite love and unbearable sorrow. He knows now that it is what he will always feel when thinking of her. Every second of every day.
He's holding half of his soul in hands, and she's about to slip through his fingers.
And there's absolutely nothing he can do about it.
He kisses her lips, and it is a soft, sorrowful kiss, tasting each other's tears.
When he opens his eyes, his gaze meets hers, and somehow, he knows it is for the last time. He is aware of how she's slowly dissolving between his fingers, as if becoming dust blown away by the wind.
"Do you remember what you said to Mrs. Merchant, all those years ago?" she asks then, and even her voice sounds distant, like an echo of what it once was.
Another watery chuckle escapes his throat. "You mean that speech that led you to my kitchen with a bottle of bourbon? I remember bits of it."
It is a lie. He remembers every word, and they both know it. Her hand has found its way back to the back of his neck, even though it feels more like a warm breeze on his skin than actual flesh and bones.
The fingers she has spread over his heart feel like a kiss from her lips in the early hours of the day, when the world is still full of promise.
"Maybe we didn't get our lifetime," she says so softly with a tender smile, "but those memories we built together were worth three of them to me. You were my everything, too, Peter."
No matter how hard he tries to hold onto her, she slipping away now, and so he whispers the only words invading his entire being at that instant.
"I love you, Olivia."
And as everything swirls and fades away, he can hear the whisper of her voice in his ear. "I love you, always…"
Peter awakes with a jolt.
With his first shaky intake of breath, what he is sure was Olivia's scent invading his lungs is now replaced by the acre smell of sour alcohol, and he has to close his eyes again, as his Father's voice instantly booms inside his head.
"Do you know what it's like, to wake up and just for a moment, think that everything is as it was? And then to realize it's not, that the nightmare you had was real?"
Reality hits him so hard that the next time he tries to breathe in, he simply cannot, the air getting blocked somewhere where his heart used to be. He bends over in pain, hands closing into fists as if trying to contain that excruciating feeling spreading through his entire being.
That is when he feels it, between his clenched fingers.
Peter opens his burning eyes, looking down as he unclenches his trembling fingers, and it falls onto his laps. Perfect and pure.
A beautiful white tulip.
A/N: Just so you know, more knowledgeable people than me have managed to read Peter's lips during his eulogy, and he really does say "She was a woman sent from God" (along with things like "She helped me better myself" *sobs forever*)
Please, don't make me beg for reviews, I cried so much writing this it's not even funny ;_; I have another one plotted in my head, and a draining Real Life, so any encouragement is always welcome!