I didn't really have anywhere to go for the net two hours so I just stayed in the lab, available at any time if I were needed. I knew that if I did leave I would only end up back at that little apartment or the bar to try and escape from my problems. I had been getting so desperate to escape these days that when I passed by the cigarettes in the store they actually were appealing. I hadn't smoked since that time in high school when Brandon Hexley told me it would get rid of all of my problems. After a week I decided it did more damage than it helped.
So I went to the back and began reading Science, Medicine, and Man. It didn't help me understand anything that we were working on, but it was a good distraction. I lost myself in this book until I heard the lab door shut. It was at exactly 9:52 that Olivia Dunham walked through the lab doors. I sucked in a quick breath. I hadn't seen her in over a week and I didn't realize how much it hurt, even though she didn't know me.
She looked around, searching for Astrid I was sure. "She's in the back." I told her. She looked over to me and nodded with a forced smile. Then she disappeared into the back only to return a few minutes later, following Astrid.
"I needed you both here." Astrid began, "The workplace has been a bit heavy over the past few weeks. I just think we all just need to realize. Things are the way they are now and we can't change them. You are not married, you are not even friends, but you are coworkers. This is affecting the whole team. Maybe if we could all work together, we might be able to solve this case a little faster. That is why I asked both of you to come this morning. I think you two are in serious need of working out the problems between the two of you so we can get back to focusing on our cases." She looked with sharpness between the two of us and disappeared back into the back, leaving both Olivia and me completely dumbstruck.
"Well." I began, still looking towards Astrid's escape.
"I don't hate you." Olivia said quietly. I looked over to her crestfallen face. She was staring at the floor. Out of feeling awkward or ashamed, I couldn't tell.
"Well, that's good news." I gave a little chuckle. She looked up in confusion.
"I don't want you to hate me, but I'm not her. I don't want you mixing us up, expecting anything."
"I don't expect anything, Olivia." It came out a bit too loud.
"Don't tell me you don't ever confuse me for her." She said and then under her breath added, "Even I do that."
"Technically you are her, just with different experiences. But trust me, ever since I got here, I haven't been able to forget that you aren't the one I've spent the last three years with." She inhaled sharply.
"A few days ago, I was searching for a book and I was wondering who might have it. So I went to this guy Markham. I figured I had been there a lot and he always seemed able to help. When I got in there though, he didn't recognize me. I realized that he must have been someone you knew. He got me the book, but I've been thinking about it since."
"That's what I want to know." She looked up at me, finally she looked me face to face. "ZFT?"
"Ah yes. ZFT. Zerstorung durch Fortschritte der Technologie."
"I started reading it. And then I remembered my abilities. The other cortexiphan subjects. Do you think I could get those back?" I didn't see why not. Just because I wasn't here doesn't make her abilities any different.
"Yeah. I could help you." I offered.
"When do you want to start?" She looked hesitant, drawing her lips back as she spoke.
"Tonight, maybe. I think the sooner I start working on them, the better. You never know when we might need them." I smiled at the thought of me helping her, even if she wasn't the same Olivia. I knew mine would be proud. So that night at six, I made my way to her apartment. I was a little surprised at the change in bedding, furniture placement, and color scheme but it still was the same place.
"Hi, Peter. Come on in." And there I began helping her like I did with my Olivia in the future to this world. At first we worked on focusing. I didn't have that little cortexiphan subject awakening box that Jones had, so we tried on regular lights. It took a few weeks of hard work and many late nights until we reached results.
It was 12:04 in the morning and I was approaching falling asleep at her kitchen table. "Just, focus on this light and try to turn it off." I pointed up and then leaned on my hand. She looked up and began staring down the light. I began to doze off when the light suddenly went out.
"I think I did it!" She exclaimed.
"Huh?" I looked up and noticed she had. The light switch was still flipped on and the light was most definitely off. "Good. Great. Now turn it back on." She sighed before looking back up to undo what she just did, and when the light turned back on the smile on her face grew wide.
"I can't believe I did it!" She gleamed.
"You are capable of amazing things. Things far more impressive than turning off a light." She smiled down at me.
"Well then, I guess we'd better get to work on these amazing abilities." So over the next few months we worked harder than ever before, bringing up abilities that even my 2011 Olivia hadn't mastered yet. But the long case we couldn't solve continued on that way, unsolved. Luckily though, memories were no longer being switched. After our eleventh and twelfth victims, the switches just stopped. So the case went on the back burners and the agents began focusing on newer cases and fixing the holes between the two universes.