Disclaimer: I do not own anything at all, just my vivid imagination.
Spoilers: Up to 3x22 'The Day We Died'.
Rating: T, for some mild sexual situation of course :p
Summary: Four times Olivia forgot Peter in the morning, and the one time she didn't.
A/N: Hi guys :))
Sooo this is me being super original and writing my own 'Olivia still kinda remembers Peter' fic (yes this was sarcasm, I am aware that 4 months into the hiatus it has become the typical summer '11 kind of fic xD). I actually haven't read a lot of those at all, so I apologize if that particular 'plot' has been used before, it's unintentional.
Speaking of plot, this came out of a plotless plot bunny, because I'm utterly Fringe!deprived, and PO!deprived. Dear hurricane Irene might have influenced it a bit, too, since I wrote the second half of it while it was trying to blow my house away.
All the quotes, title included, are from the movie 'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind'. It is not necessary for you to have seen it to read this, though I highly advice you to watch it if you haven't yet. You need this perfect movie in your life.
Needless to say emotional people might need a tissue xD As usual, this is huge and unbetaed :-X
MEET ME IN MONTAUK
"It would be different, if we could just give it another go-round."
"Remember me. Try your best; maybe we can."
When she was fifteen, Olivia almost drowned.
Like most drowning accidents, it was stupid, of course. She knew how to swim; she could still remember reaching out for her father's strong arms in the pool when she was five, maybe six. He had never looked worried as she made her way to him, even when she had sunk a bit and swallowed one or two good mouthfuls of water. She didn't remember much about him, but this was one of the few things she could never forget; this look of confidence and expectation –the good kind, the warm kind.
She had known how to swim for years, but she had never really swum in the ocean until she was fifteen years old, and she was sent to a foster home literally minutes away from the beach. Now she couldn't really remember why she had ended up in there, in the middle of the waves; she must have had a good reason. Maybe it had been October –she remembered the water being so incredibly cold- and the card had found her anyway, and it hadn't exactly been a good time.
All she knew was that she had underestimated the strength of those waves.
They had knocked her off her feet, emptied her lungs in a surprised rush, and she had ended up completely submerged, rocked and shaken, pushed and squeezed, unable to know what was up or what was down. She had fought, of course, fought against the unyielding currents, trying to find her way out of this tornado. She may have considered giving up for a second or two, because it really hadn't been a good time…but she hadn't. Soon she had been driven by this implacable feeling, this visceral need for air that made her feel like someone was pressing down hard on her lungs, burning her inside, and her instincts had taken over.
Nothing could describe the feeling she got upon taking her first breath after being deprived of oxygen for too long.
And that night, when Olivia dreamed of him for the first time, that was exactly how she felt.
Like she was finally breathing again.
"By morning, you'll be gone."
Most days, that was pretty much how she felt like, all the time. She felt as if she was being deprived of something vital, and that in the long run, this deprivation would bring her down. She felt it most strongly when she was alone at night, and obviously loathed feeling that way.
She was used to feeling burdened, to feeling weird, odd, feeling like a freak, feeling like things were out of her hands. What she could never get used to, however, was feeling like there was absolutely nothing she could do to change things, one way or another, and yet, that's what had been dominating those past few years. She tried her best to ignore the nagging feeling, ignore the melancholy that settled in her heart and made her crave for something that has no consistency.
In some way, it was therefore not surprising that this same feeling of suffocation was manifesting itself in her dreams, in the form of her old drowning nightmare. The main difference between dream and reality was that in her nightmare, she never made it back to the surface. She would eventually wake up with a jolt, shaking and gasping for air, but the pressure would never go away, leaving her weakened, her face pressed against her knees, fingers in her hair as she tried to calm herself down.
That night, it started like any other night. She found herself lost into the darkest waters, so heavy and cold, freezing her to the bones, with her heart thumping hard against her ears, the only eerie sound in the thickness of the sea. She didn't even try to swim back to the surface, her limbs floating limply around her; she had learned that fighting in here was pointless. As long as she remained still, so did the water around her. If she started moving, though, tried to find her way out, the sea became alive, trying to swallow her with angry waves and violent currents that hit her body with extreme force. She knew there was no surface anyway, that she would drown no matter what. Resignation didn't make the fear go away, though, her innate fear of dying, despite the fact that she was aware on some level that this wasn't real and that she would be fine. Maybe.
When a glow pierced the darkness, she didn't think much of it. This unusual event kicked her instincts back to life, though, and she found herself moving again, swirling in panic, legs kicking and arms stroking the water, causing it to move forcefully around her as she yearned for the cold air of night. The sudden feel of a body pressing itself behind hers and of arms circling her was unexpected enough to make her empty her lungs in a last flow of bubbles, kicking hard now; but the arms were strong.
In her panic and some kind of old rage, Olivia gasped, both in indignation and bitter resignation, letting the freezing water invade her mouth and lungs, because if she drowned now, she would wake up, and the nightmare would end before she could see the face her mind had chosen to put on the man.
But instead of waking up, she felt her entire body break through the surface, and water poured out of her in ragged coughs. When she threw her head back to finally breathe, that's when she saw his face, so close to hers, surrounded by a wraithlike glow.
And for the first time in her life, the pressure in her chest disappeared, and she was able to breathe in deeply and fully.
There was a strange stillness to the moment, as all she could do was stare at him, her head still thrown back. Her breathing was loud and long, though a bit hectic, her lungs sore from having been filled with water; inexplicably, the way he was staring back at her was almost smothering her need for air. Everything just seemed to freeze, and she was barely aware of his movements, his legs still moving beneath them to keep them both afloat.
What was even more surprising to her was the fact that her fear seemed to have simply vanished; she felt no worry at all as she stared into this beautiful man's eyes, barely hearing the sound of her heavy intakes of air beneath the deafening thumps of her heart against her ears. But the frantic pounding in her chest wasn't caused by fear this time; what she felt couldn't have been more different, though she was completely incapable of depicting what she was feeling exactly.
In awe, she simply watched as the soft yellowish glow slowly disappeared from around him. Just as inexplicably, relief started to morph into something else then, into that same distant ache she was feeling so often while awake, except that it felt incredibly more acute at that instant.
Her grip on his soaked shirt tightened; at the feel of the wet fabric between her fingers, she couldn't help but be a bit taken aback by the details of this dream. The thought quickly died in her mind, though, as she felt too overwhelmed to think clearly, and she had to close her eyes, despite the fact that it meant breaking this intense connection. She closed her eyes and let her head fall against his chest, and soon she was feeling his breath in her hair, and she could have cried.
"You can't let yourself die like this…" he said softly against the top of her head, and she pulled back slightly to look at him, getting lost into his eyes again.
Somewhere off in the distance, thunder growled.
"It's just a dream," she told him, as if it was enough to explain why she did let herself drown way too often. It was also her way of quietly asking him for confirmation. It had to be a dream, didn't it?
And then, he smiled. He smiled a kind of cheeky smile that instantly caused her insides to twist and her breath to momentarily stop.
"I'm hardly a dream," he said, and she could hear that same smile in his voice, though she had a feeling that it wasn't because he thought it was amusing, rather the opposite.
She was suddenly filled with an intense wave of recognition, and felt her own lips curl up in a small smile.
"I remember you…" she whispered, because it was the truth. It was completely inexplicable, but undeniably true.
Both his smile and the look in his eyes turned sad, as he shook he head slowly. "No, you don't."
Her throat closed up as a familiar stinging sensation invaded her eyes, and pain spread within her chest, causing her smile to falter. She felt the sudden urge to bring a hand up to his face, to make sure he was real, as real as he could be here, anyway. She didn't, though, because she didn't want to let go of his shirt. Despite the fact that he still had one of arms under her legs, the other one wrapped around her, keeping her close, she still feared that if she let go of him, he would vanish and she would instantly sink back into the airless water.
"I do…" she insisted in a desperate murmur, because she felt so sure of it. She didn't understand how, but she knew him.
"What's my name, then?" he asked softly, his eyes still sad despite the gentle smile that remained on his lips.
The ache in her heart increased upon realizing that she had absolutely no idea what his name was, causing an odd kind of panic to take hold of her; she could see the glimmer starting to shimmer softly around his face again.
She finally relaxed her fingers, her need to touch him stronger than her fear of drowning. She was convinced that when her fingers would touch the hairless spot on his cheek, graze the smooth skin of his face, his name would come back. It would all come back.
He would come back.
Her hand was inches away from his face when she woke up.
Olivia didn't remember him at all.
" I can't remember anything without you."
The next time she dreamed she was drowning, she stilled her movement within a few seconds, allowing the water to settle around her. She felt the strangest sense of confidence, the memory of the last dream slowly coming back to her, and she found herself hoping that he would appear again.
Sure enough, less than a minute had passed when she felt him, felt his arms circling her, swirling them to the surface, face to face this time. When she felt the soft air of night on her face, she opened her lungs to it, both her hands grabbing his shoulders to keep herself steady as she threw her head back to breathe in deeply. She quickly straightened up, though, opening her eyes to him.
When their gaze met, she was once more filled with this intense feeling of recognition. Nothing had ever felt both so inexplicable and yet so natural.
Before he could say a word –or before this dream could even come close to an end, she raised her hand, the way she had done the previous time, as if touching his face had become a necessity. Her fingers finally brushed his cheek, and the skin there, just above his stubble, was as soft as she had imagined it to be. Or maybe it was simply something else she remembered, and yet didn't. She searched her mind for the echo of his name, because she had been so sure that this contact would be enough, enough to bring him back to her.
But she still couldn't place it, place him, despite the fact that at that instant, safe in his arms with her hand on his face, their eyes locked, she felt whole again. This aching certitude only intensified when he closed his eyes at the feel of her hand, his face constricting in a way that caused her heart to squeeze. No one had ever displayed that sort of quiet emotion for her before.
"What took you so long?" She whispered then, not sure of what she meant exactly and yet, she knew it was the right thing to ask. That part of herself that recognized him so well had no doubt about it.
He opened his eyes again, his irises definitely darker than before, though their shade of blue remained lighter than the sky above, or the water below. She became suddenly that much more aware of his arms around her, one of his hands splayed firmly over the small of her back. Though their bodies weren't exactly pressed together, the distance between them wasn't that great either. Their legs kept on moving beneath them, in a reflex motion that kept them both afloat, and very regularly, she did find herself pushed against him, her body briefly meeting his, and she didn't mind it in the least.
"What do you mean?" He eventually asked back, though she had a feeling he knew exactly what she meant; surely more than she did.
"I've been having those drowning dreams for years," she answered. "Why are you only appearing now?"
What she had really wanted to ask was 'I've been feeling your absence all my life, where have you been?' And she could see in his eyes that he understood.
"I know it feels like…years to you," he said softly, almost apologetically. "But I haven't been gone that long…a few weeks, maybe."
It didn't make any sense at all; nothing did, really. One thing she was sure of, though, was that this feeling she had had, of loneliness and emptiness, of feeling incomplete, it had been there as long as she could remember. How could it only have been a few weeks, when she remembered missing him years and years before she got to see his face for the first time, even if it had been in a dream?
Instead of inquiring more explanation on that part, her fingers moved, once again almost of their own accord, fingertips gently tracing his temple, before going back down, finally cupping his stubbled cheek; the feel of it against her palm was a soft sting that felt just as familiar as the rest of him.
In the distance, thunder rumbled again, closer this time; none of them cared.
"Why did you go?" She whispered instead, and he swallowed hard; she watched as his Adam's apple moved up and down convulsively, and he briefly closed his eyes again, shaking his head softly. He was clearly unable to answer, or maybe he just couldn't give her an answer she would like to hear.
When he reopened his eyes, he didn't meet her gaze, distracted by something he was seeing in the water. Instinctively following his gaze, her eyes fell on the flower that was floating near them. She didn't even think; her fingers left his face, tightening her grip on his shoulder with her other hand, and she picked up the flower, bringing it between them. It was surprisingly intact, its stem strong, droplets of water hanging on the smooth petals.
"I've always liked tulips," she said then, almost mesmerized by the sight of it. "Especially white ones."
"I know," he said softly, and she looked back up at him. He wasn't staring at the flower anymore. "It came from the shore. There's a field over there."
And indeed, when she looked away to scan the horizon, she could make out a faint glow farther away, whiter than the one that had been surrounding him, once before.
It really didn't make any sense at all. But it was a dream after all, she was still very oddly aware of that fact. She simply had been so sure that there was no shore in this particular dream. Until not so long ago, she hadn't even known there was a surface either; all there had been was the suffocating water.
And yet there she was, breathing, in his arms, with that flower in her hand, and it all felt too real.
Right now, what she felt was the urge to swim to that shore and see this field that was glowing in the night. It seemed to be calling her.
"Can we go there?" She wondered out loud, almost dreamily. There would be more answers in this place, she was sure of it.
From the corner of her eyes, she saw him shake his head slowly, and she turned her gaze back to him. "We don't have time to make it there," he said simply, a definite note of sadness in his voice, which was reflecting in his eyes, and it was enough for dread to take hold of her.
She opened her mouth to say his name, and she knew it would come this time, it was there. But her eyes opened instead, opened to the darkness of her bedroom and the coldness of her sheets. She tried to hold on to her dream, to the feeling of completeness it had given her, but loneliness was already creeping back so fast, in every inch of her.
As she curled into a ball, pressing her face into her pillow, all she could remember was a white tulip.
"I wish I'd stayed. I wish I'd done a lot of things. I wish I'd... I wish I'd stayed..."
By the time the third dream started, she had sunk back so deeply into her melancholy that she hardly tried to fight the rolling waters, as they kept on twisting her around, knocking the air out of her lungs and battering her limbs, pushing her down, deeper and deeper.
It had been a while since she had had this particular nightmare, and though her heart told her that he would come for her, like he had twice before, she just couldn't believe it. As the pressure built atrociously within her chest, she found herself longing for him and for the saving breath he would bring.
She suddenly found herself thinking of a dark room, and she was overwhelmed by the hopelessness that settled on her heart as she did so. She also thought of a Tank of salty water, one that had absolutely nothing to do with the one she had been using in Walter's lab. The one in the Harvard's lab always had her on her back, floating at the surface. The one she remembered being in however had her completely immerged in water, allowing her to swim as freely as she would be doing here, hadn't she been fighting against this possessed sea.
Those memories filled her with despair, filled her head with visions of torture, and filled her heart with a petrifying feeling of homesickness. It was completely incomprehensible, because she had never suffered anything of the sort.
Above all, she remembered waiting for him. And though she had never been one to ask for help, not when she was more than capable of dealing with things on her own, she knew she had needed him to come. But she also remembered realizing that he would never come.
She had swallowed more than a gulp of water when she felt the now familiar hold of his arms around her, felt his body behind hers as he grabbed her firmly and kicked his legs to bring them back upward. When her body broke through the surface just like it had the first time, she violently coughed the water out, one of her hands instinctively reaching out behind her to grab the back of his neck, throwing her head back against his shoulder as she tried to breathe freely again.
She could feel his fingers on her face, gently moving wet strands of hair away, wiping water off her closed eyelids, her cheeks, her lips. When his hand finally came to rest on her chest, just above her breast, she slid her second hand over his, her fingers instantly finding her way between his over her pounding heart. She kept her eyes closed, focusing on the feeling of his chest rising and falling behind her, of his hand on her, of his warm breath against her jaw. She felt the strangest mixture of relief and pain, and for a second, she was tempted to ask him about the Dark Room.
"I'm sorry, Olivia," he whispered just then against her skin, as if he had heard her thought –and maybe he had.
Her heart skipped a beat as she realized that it was the first time she heard him say her name out loud in those dreams; the sound of it was simply thrilling and entrancing, and she knew that whenever she finally remembered his name, it would sound just as wonderful.
She moved her head so that it was her turn to press her face against his neck, breathing even more deeply than before, filling her burning lungs with his essence. She felt intoxicated by his scent, which was incredibly clear despite the fact that he was as soaking wet as she was.
"Don't apologize…" she said softly, and the arm holding her around the waist tightened its hold, pinning her even more firmly against him; her own grip on his nape tightened in response, needing him closer. "You saved my life…"
She felt him shudder almost violently against her, heard the shaky breath that escaped him as he squeezed her fingers in his, and knew that she wasn't even close to understand why he was so affected by her words, or what they really meant.
She finally opened her eyes, and her gaze immediately got lost into the swaying glow coming from the shore; it seemed definitely closer than the previous time, and her intense desire to go there took hold of her again. And again, he seemed to simply know what she felt.
He moved, loosening his grip on her; before she could even start to regret the slight loss of body contact, he turned them around, so that she was the one behind him.
"Hold on to me," he said simply, directing her arms so she would put them around his neck, and as he started to swim, she did just that.
She held on to him.
She was very grateful for the fact that she didn't have to swim by herself, still feeling weakened by her near-drowning experience. She let him carry her, in a way she had never let anyone –certainly not a man- carry her before. And it was so perfectly okay.
She only let go of him when they came close enough to the shore that the waves started moving them forward with ease, and they let the water direct them, his hand clasping hers. She closed her eyes again, feeling so oddly calm in that instant, rocked by the waves; it couldn't have been more different from the smothering battle she had held against the same waters, only moments ago. But she knew that as long as she felt his hand holding hers, she would be completely safe.
As she had let the sea direct her, she found herself lying on her back when they finally reached the land; she could feel the sand under her, digging into her exposed skin. When she opened her eyes, despite the fact that she knew what they would find here, she almost expected them to be in the middle of a deserted beach. But her eyes instantly fell on a silky white tulip swaying softly in the breeze near her face, giving out that same faint glow she had seen from the distance. Moving her head slightly, she could tell that they were completely surrounded by flowers; there must have been hundreds of them, each of them as beautiful and pure as the one she had held in her hand once before. There was one major difference here; while in the water, the sky had been pitch black, starless, stormy. The light was soft, here, soft and warm, as if the sun was about to rise.
Her attention quickly diverged from their surroundings, though, as she felt him move swiftly and quietly, and before long, he was hovering over her. Their bodies were that much closer, now, one of his legs resting between hers, pushing himself up on his forearms; their faces were only inches apart, droplets of water falling from his onto hers. She felt it more than she saw it. He was staring down at her with a look that made it impossible for her to concentrate on anything else but him, causing her insides to quiver and ignite. Now more than ever, she was very aware of the fact that many parts of her had been rendered mostly dormant in his absence.
But she was waking up to him.
She could feel the growing fire, low within herself, just by lying there beneath him, feeling him so close, his body only an inch away from hers; she could almost feel her blood coursing through her veins, warmer than it had ever been despite the cold wetness of her skin, and she knew his blazing gaze had a lot to do with it; the body heat emanating from him helped, too, and she didn't even question how he could be so warm when he was just as soaked as her.
His eyes drifted away from her face, though, pushing himself up slightly so he could burn her entire body with his gaze. For the first time since she had started doing those dreams, she realized that she had no idea what she had been wearing all along; she lowered her eyes to find it out, and was faintly confused by what she saw.
She was wearing what was clearly a white dress, though the fabric of it had turned almost transparent in its actual state. Her obvious lack of underwear was therefore more than evident, and they were both very aware of that fact –and she was not bothered by it in the least. She was simply slightly taken aback by the dress itself.
Raising her eyes again, she met his, and once again, he answered her unspoken question.
"It's your wedding dress," he said simply, his voice low; the look in his eyes was indescribable, but the intensity of it all caused her to shudder beneath him.
"I was never married," she whispered, without really thinking. She serenely and gently pushed away the distant memory of an engagement ring a man she had loved dearly had slipped on her finger, once, in a dreamscape somewhat similar to this one.
"I was," he said, and his voice was even lower, quieter, and she wished so badly that she could read his thoughts the way he seemed to read hers.
She knew what he was implying, it was obvious, but she didn't understand.
"It doesn't make any sense," she told him with a slight frown, now fighting her need to put her hands on his shirt, because she had a feeling than she wouldn't be able to stop herself if she did.
"It makes sense to me," he answered, and once again, his mysterious answer resonated with a sadness she didn't comprehend. "I'm older than I look," he added softly. "I have lived a life you will never know, Olivia."
Unable to stop herself, she did bring a hand back to his face, touching his cheek lightly again, feeling the water under her fingertips. She was obviously even more confused than before after his admission, but she felt also more serene, lost into his eyes.
"Are we sharing a mind?" She asked then, because that was the only explanation for him being able to control her dream the way he did, bringing things from memories she apparently didn't share with him.
He smiled then, and once again, it was both cheeky and sad. "I think you're letting me linger in yours." He told her quietly, his fingers now in her hair. "I was supposed to go for good, but somehow, you held me back."
She smiled too, bringing her second hand up to his chest, tracing her way up slowly, running over the buttons of his white shirt. She guessed it was his own wedding clothes.
"How was it?" She asked softly as her fingers reached the top button, and started to unbutton it.
Thunder rolled again, and it felt so close this time, as if it was just overhead. She hated the sound of it, realizing now that it had preceded the end of the dreams, the previous times. They chose to ignore the upcoming storm, lost into each other's eyes.
"How was what?" He whispered, the hand that was not in her hair coming to rest on her side, moving as slowly as hers over the thin fabric of her dress. The feel of his hand on her, as small a touch as it might be, was exhilarating.
"The wedding," she specified, moving to the second button, and letting her fingers trail slightly on the skin of his chest. She instantly loved feeling his body react to this simple touch, shudders rippling under his skin as he lowered himself onto her ever so slightly. "Marriage."
His hand moved away from her then, just when it was getting really close to the hem of her dress, up on her thigh. She didn't mind though, because he cupped her cheek, and this alone was enough to crush her under a new wave of emotions, her entire being rejoicing in this comforting familiarity.
"It was beautiful," he told her softly, as his thumb brushed her lips. His eyes were tender and melancholic. "You were a beautiful bride, and a beautiful wife."
She wanted to tell him that to her, he was the beautiful one. Her fingers mimicked his, leaving his cheek to trace his lips. She may not have the actual memories, but she knew him, she was sure of it; she knew his soul; like hers, it was broken and haunted, she could tell, but beautiful. She still wondered how someone like him had come to love someone like her.
Because there really was no questioning the presence of love.
"Were we happy?" She asked in a whisper, genuinely curious, almost concerned. He closed his eyes, then, finally bringing his face down to rest his forehead against hers.
"Olivia…" he said her name as if it was the most painful thing he had ever said, and she let go of his shirt so that she could curl her fingers in his hair on the back of his head, feeling the tears prickling in her eyes, as if his pain was slipping inside of her, melding with her own.
"I remember you…" She murmured against his lips, and it sounded like a plea.
Of course she remembered him; she remembered this, the ache that came with loving someone so strongly that everything else felt irrelevant, unimportant. She knew that as long as they remained torn apart the way they were now whenever she was awake, she would be incomplete.
He raised his head slightly to look into her eyes, and he could see the reflection of her own desperation all over his face.
"What's my name?" He breathed out, and she opened her mouth. Despite that indescribable feeling she got whenever she tried to remember his name, that feeling that told her his name was right there in her mind, on the tip of her tongue, so close she could almost taste it, nothing came out, except for a tear that rolled down her temple as her face constricted with the pain of her failure.
Seconds later, she was left crying silently into her pillow.
And she didn't even know why.
"Please let me keep this memory, just this one."
Anger. That's how the fourth dream started.
When she found herself lost in the water yet again, after too many dreamless nights, she was furious, and so was the sea all around her. She battled with it wrathfully, though, because she knew the surface was there, just above her, or maybe under her; she was moving too much and was being pushed too forcefully to be sure of anything anymore. What she was sure of however was that he was nearby. She couldn't tell if she was mad at him, or mad at everything else, at everything keeping them apart.
She had never been one to sit still and let things just happen, and she had been through some of the strangest events. Life, it seemed, enjoyed knocking her down and pushing her to the point of breaking at times, but Olivia didn't give up. She didn't understand this, all she knew was that she was craving it, needing him, and that she would not give up on him. The fact that she seemed doomed to only catch glimpses of what she knew deep down she once had was driving her mad. She needed answers.
Above all, she needed air.
In her wild combat against the swirling sea, she was completely unaware of his arrival until he was near her, and their collision was more violent than all the others. She stopped fighting as soon as she felt her fists hit the firm flesh of his chest, though, and she clang onto his shirt almost desperately as he brought her up. She didn't even try and keep her distance this time, quite the opposite; she leaned her forehead against his as she coughed and breathed raggedly, firmly pinning herself against him as if she could just make their bodies meld together. He responded in kind, his arms circling her tightly, his fingers digging into the flesh of her hips.
All around them, the sea remained angry and loud, the waves stronger than they had ever been before, forcing them to tighten their grip on each other to stay close as the sky growled with oncoming thunders. When breathing became easier and less painful, she let go of his shirt so she could bring both her hands up, wrapping her arms around his neck, burying her fingers in his wet hair as she pressed her nose against his. Once again, she felt overwhelmed, feeling both angry and distraught, so scared of losing him and the feel of him, of being left alone in these fuming waters under the howling sky.
When she opened her eyes and pulled back just enough so she could meet his gaze, he was shimmering again; she knew he could read it all on her face, feel it all, his own eyes filled with regrets.
"What did you do?" She asked him then, not even trying to hide the pain that consumed her whole, consumed her to her very soul. When he didn't answer, simply swallowed hard and closed his eyes, she pressed her face against his again, her fingers digging into his scalp. "What did you do?"
She knew he was still very reluctant to share this information with her, whatever 'this' was; he was obviously responsible for it, and the irritation she felt was somehow familiar too, and strangely comforting in a way. But she also knew without a doubt that he was a smart man, and that he wouldn't have risked everything if he hadn't had very good reasons.
He finally moved his face slightly away from hers and opened his eyes to look at her. "I made a choice," he admitted then.
"What choice?" she immediately asked back, irritably, hardly contented by this answer. The need to say his name was incredibly strong at that instant, and the fact that she still couldn't remember it only added to her aching frustration. "What kind of choice can cause someone to be…neither here, nor there?"
"The kind of choice that allowed you to be alive again," he told her quite callously, clearly affected by her anger.
But his face softened as soon as the words left his mouth; it quickly contracted with pain again, as she stared back at him in shock. He lowered his head, then, burying his face into her neck, and she could feel him breathing in deeply, holding her even tighter, almost painfully. She didn't care, her heart filling with another kind of sorrow.
"You were gone, Olivia…" he murmured against her skin, and she closed her eyes tightly, nose into his hair, feeling traitorous tears slip from under her closed eyelids onto her cheeks. "You were gone…"
She swallowed back the enormous lump blocking her throat, shaking her head against him, barely aware of the fact that overhead, the sky had started to cry, too.
"You're the one who's gone, now," she managed to say, her tears now mixing with the rain. "Do you think that's fair?" He raised his head, his face stricken with grief, and she leaned her forehead against his again. "I feel like I have a hole in my chest…" she whispered against his lips. "And I don't even know why."
"I'm sorry…" he said just as softly, one of his hands letting go of her to come up, cupping her face, and she closed her eyes again, sinking into his touch. "You weren't supposed to suffer from this. I wasn't supposed to stay."
This caused her to instantly reopen her eyes to stare intently at him, her emotions boiling just under the surface just like the raging sea they were swaying in.
"Do you want me to forget you?" She asked him, more gravely than she really intended to, because she was upset on levels she didn't even know existed before, and she had no idea how to deal with this without ending up broken. "Because if this is really all happening in my mind and you're just a lingering ghost, I'm sure I can find a way to make you go. I've done it before."
She knew just how much pain her words were causing him as she was saying them, even before he clenched his jaw and averted his eyes, swallowing convulsively again. She instantly regretted saying this, because she knew he understood what she was referring to, or rather who. And yet he hadn't been there when John had died, and she had been left with his memories haunting her. Or had he?
I hope your guy is worth it
His voice resonated in her head just as a bolt of lightning pierced the sky overhead with a terrifying bang, causing her to jolt in surprise, instinctively pressing herself against him more fully, face buried into his neck, as the hand he'd had on her face came back down to circle her protectively. For an endless moment there, they just seemed to be rocked away by the waves, the rain falling harder upon them now, and she briefly thought that if they kept on being carrying away that way, they would end up in the field again.
"I don't want you to forget me," he eventually whispered in her ear, one of his hands now moving slowly over the soaked fabric of her dress. "But I would understand if you chose to."
She didn't even know if she was crying anymore; the rain was falling too heavily, beating every inch of her exposed skin. She had to be, though, because her entire being seemed to be weeping upon hearing the resignation in his voice, telling her that she could just…let him go. She clung to him harder in response, simply moving her head away from his neck to stare at him through the veil of rain, and found herself mesmerized by his eyes.
She had never been really good at letting him go, though, had she?
She felt a painful, quivering smile pull at the corners of her lips, as new flashes and memories suddenly invaded her head and slipped into her heart. Knowing that his arms around her would keep her from sinking, that he would keep her safe, she unlocked hers from around his neck, bringing both her hands to his face, and she shook her head slightly.
"I can't forget you," she told him, then. "I want to remember you. I want to remember details, and memories. I want to remember why I crossed universes for you."
She knew why, though. She couldn't remember the circumstances, but she knew what had been her motives.
She had traveled through the worlds to bring him back, because he hadn't belonged there. He would always belong with her.
Maybe she could do it again; bring him back. She was already travelling between dream and reality, after all, finding him here when he wasn't really there. He felt so incredibly real to her, though; she could feel each hair on his face poking the soft skin of her palms, could feel the pressure of his fingers on her back as they moved, could feel the flesh and bones of his body against hers. Most of all she could feel herself being pulled in by a simple stare, as if his gaze alone could make everything else disappear, as if he had the power to make a whole world vanish.
Right now, his eyes were almost as dark as the stormy night sky. "Remember me, then," he told her in that low voice that sent shivers through her entire body, from the top of her head still receiving the rain to the tip of her toes beneath the water. His wandering hand was now under the water itself, following the curves of her body until it stopped on the underside of her thigh. "Remember my name, Olivia."
When a new flash of light and sounds exploded in the sky, resonating endlessly into the night, she closed the small distance between them again. Their minds seemed to be working in sync as she brought herself up, wrapping her legs around his waist and encircling his neck with her arms again; he kept them steady with his arm around her and those fingers splayed under her thigh, maintaining her against him. She barely thought as she sought him, her lips finding his as if they had done so hundreds of times before.
And maybe they had.
Of course they had.
They were lost in an enraged sea with no solid ground under their feet, rain pouring down over them, and yet they never sank. They mingled in a consoling embrace that only accomplished lovers could attain, intertwined limbs and famished lips, seeking a closeness they were both craving for.
And when Olivia woke up alone in her bed, that's when she sank.
The only taste that remained on her tongue was the salty tinge of her own tears.
"This is it, Joel. It's going to be gone soon."
"What do we do?"
The fifth dream mostly began like the fourth one ended. The inky depths she was in were still wild and unyielding. She didn't even have time to start to fight back or panic, though, as he was reaching for her within seconds. This time, they didn't immediately made it back to the surface, part of her somehow hoping that if they stayed there underwater, she wouldn't have to wake up.
She couldn't see him, eyes closed, but it didn't really matter; she felt him. Just like time, their movements seemed almost suspended, slower; she felt his fingers on her face, soft fingertips on her skin, before they moved, getting lost in the wreathing halo of her hair, his other hand back behind her to bring her closer to him. Her own fingers almost instinctively reached for his face, her fingernails grazing his stubble, and for a second, she thought she almost heard the soft scratching sound it created. She knew she was imagining it, though, as even in this deafened place, she heard the rumbles of thunder somewhere overhead covering everything else; it reverberated into the sea, vibrating within her flesh. She knew they would have to go back up soon, the lack of oxygen already starting to squeeze her lungs, but for now, he was all the air she needed. Her fingers kept on tracing his cheeks until they found his hairline, slipping in and grabbing decidedly to propel herself forward, erasing all distance between them, bodies and lips finding each other again; she would have sighed in relief if she'd had any air to exhale.
She knew the ache within her chest wasn't simply caused by her need for oxygen. She couldn't ignore the fact that this was nothing but a fleeting reunion and that too soon, he would be gone again. She pleaded with her own mind, needing to remember, to remember his name, to remember this. To remember how perfectly she fit in his arms, how even in the middle of these cold waters, the simple feel of him was enough to set her ablaze.
The lack of oxygen and the haze on her mind must be causing her to hallucinate, because she suddenly became sure that the water was warming up around them, boiling against her skin; she couldn't help but think about how as a child, she had supposedly been able to change herself into a ball of fire. Instinctively, she tried to pull away from him, not wanting to harm him, but his hand now resting on the back of her neck only tightened its grip, as if he knew exactly what was going through her mind again, and she heard his voice in her head, like an echo from the past
I'm not scared
She wouldn't be able to tell when exactly they did reach the surface again, as he really was all she was aware of, having taken over all of her senses She was blind to the lightening and deaf to the roars of both sky and sea, only listening to the storm that was growing exponentially within herself. She felt drunk on the feel of him, on his taste and scent, on his body under her hands. His own hands were anything but still, roaming her skin with as much fervor as his mouth on her jaw and neck. The simplest touch was enough to ignite a trail of fire under a skin, a sharp contrast with the cold rain falling on them harder than ever, that much she noticed. Her legs had hastily found their way back around him, knees circling his waist, and it wasn't long before both her hands were buried in his hair again, keeping him close. She could feel his fingers on her thigh over her dress, pushing the fabric up way too slowly, sometimes moving, sometimes stopping and squeezing, fingers digging into her sensitive flesh and causing her to shudder and gasp against him, offering her face to the rain.
Opening her eyes, mouth slightly gape, she watched as the sky was lacerated by a deformed ray of light, feeling his hands finally pushing her dress higher on her hips, and the night exploded with the deafening crack of thunder, swallowing the moan that escaped her throat when he brought his fingers between them at last, finding her aching core. Using her grasp on his hair, quite ruthlessly, she brought her face back to his, their gazes meeting just long enough for the warmth to spread even more forcefully, before she crashed her lips upon his, kissing him heatedly as she swayed against him and into his touch with no restraint.
There was something incredibly entrancing in feeling rocked away in every possible way, waves raising and crashing against her skin as well as beneath it. There was a definite desperation in their movements now, a hunger throbbing deep and low, and her hands were moving again, needing to free him of his clothes; her impatience caused her to rip his shirt open, only to make it impossible for her to help him discard it entirely, her hands already moving lower underwater. Her lips on his neck sucked and her teeth nibbled, marking him hers as she moaned against his skin, her hands decided on getting rid completely of any extra item.
Staying above water was a nearly impossible task now, the way they moved having for only purpose to bring them closer, much closer, rather than staying afloat. None of them cared, because whenever they briefly sank, swallowed by an unexpected wave, they sank together and always found their way back out, always more intertwined, letting the currents guide them, knowing they would bring them solace in the form of a land.
And they did.
Just like the transition from underwater to the surface, she was incapable of telling when they reached the field exactly, or when their bodies became one; this was, after all, still a dream, and things had a tendency to often be insubstantial and blurry in dreams. There was absolutely nothing intangible about him, though, about him and her and them, or about the bed of flowers they now lay in. They found themselves like they had been another time, in another dream, and countless of times before that, she knew.
Their frenzy had slowed with the weather, it seemed, though they were definitely beyond rational thinking now, lost in a world of their own. Just like the previous time, the tempest hadn't followed them here, a rising sun spreading its warmth over their entangled and rippling forms instead; all that remained from the storm was a soft falling rain, a pleasant sensation on her burning skin. It also masked the tears she knew were slipping from under her often closed eyelids again. She didn't mind, didn't care, as there was hardly anything she could do about it, her emotional turmoil as trouncing as the overload of sensations coursing through her nerves and blood. Not to mention the endless flow of images and memories that invaded her mind and filled her heart with what seemed to be thousands of moments. It wasn't as much the memorable ones that were crushing her soul, times when she had risked everything for him, times when her heart had ended up shattered, or times when he had helped her heal by letting her take his hand.
The relief and the pain lay in the simplicity of everything else, in the in-between, in the softness of his smile and in the warmth of his eyes, in their quiet intimacy and profound connection. The pain lingered in those countless holes he had carved in herself and in her life when he had vacated his own. It all seemed to be coming back now, in a rush, in a crash, in a timeless instant, but she knew that even if they remained with her upon awaking -which she sadly highly doubted they would, each and every one of them would leave a scar where the hole used to be.
She would take a thousand more scars, though, if it meant having him with her again.
She needed more of this, of his pounding heart against her chest, of his uneven breath into the crook of her neck, of feeling him beneath her hands, shivering and vulnerable.
When she opened her eyes, the tulips near her head were the first thing she saw. And as her fingers gently stroked the hair on the back of his head, staring at the flowers swaying softly in the breeze, another echo from a very distant past resonated in her head.
And she had to close her eyes again, her face constricting as the most intense relief of all filled her heart in the form of his name.
My name's Peter
"Peter…" she whispered in his ear; the now almost regular feel of his warm breath on her neck paused then, as he tensed briefly against her.
He moved, raising his head to look down at her, beautifully at a loss for words; she didn't need him to speak. She didn't need him to say anything at all.
She needed him to come back.
And she told him so, both her hands cupping his jaw, bringing his face down to hers so she could murmur against his lips like she had once before: "You have to come back…"
She had to close her eyes again when he rubbed his nose against hers. "Help me come back…" he whispered. "Remember me in the morning, Olivia. Remember me, and come find me."
She opened her eyes, wanting to ask him where she should go, but the dream had gone.
His name hadn't.
"Peter…" she whispered his name to the darkness of her room, clinging to the unshakable sense of purpose she had been lacking before, and that was now settling into her heart.
She knew where to find him.
"Meet me... in Montauk..."
A/N: Yes, I'm obviously very Fringe!deprived X_X I do hope you enjoyed it!
As always, reviews would be more than lovely :)