Disclaimer: I seriously don't own Fringe. Loving season 4, but damn, I need some love ;_;
Spoilers: Up to 4x07 'Wallflower'
A/N: I want to thank all of you guys who sent me encouraging words on 'One Word At A Time' because it really motivated me to complete this story :') You're the sweetest.
This is simply something I wrote because I was in desperate need of happy P/O. That's what fanfics are for, right? So this is how I deal with season 4 at the moment. Denial. Lots of it. I decided to ignore the evidences (as I still firmly believe Peter is in the right place), and pretend Peter is making it back to Olivia. How, I don't know, he just does XD
Don't ask me for a plot, all I had was fluff. And some T-rated smuttiness :p
I might edit it again later this week, at least to get the rest of the typos out of there, but for now, I am drained, so I apologize. I hope you'll enjoy :)
The vibrations of the car alone make it hard for Peter to stay conscious.
On top of these, there is also the soft rocking sound of the rain falling more and more forcefully on the taxi, as it brings him closer and closer to Boston. And he's not even mentioning the regular sweeeeep-sweeeeep-sweeeeep of the wipers on the windshield, that his eyes follow like a metronome.
It's a miracle he's still awake…or alive, for that matter.
Even though his driver has stopped asking him if he's sure he doesn't need to go to a hospital a while ago now, Peter can still see him throwing nervous glances into his mirror every five minutes or so, surely making sure he's still alive back there. It makes him wish he had sat on the other side, so that he could hide from his view. But changing seat would mean unbuckling himself, actually moving again, and then he would have to buckle himself one more time…it would be wasting too much of what little is left of his energy, to be honest.
And so he just sits there, temple pressed upon the cold window, shivering against the door. He's not shivering as much as he is shaking, really, despite the fact that he knows the heat is turned all the way up, now. Even through the darkness, every time lights from passing cars beam on his driver's face, Peter can see the sweat on his skin.
He knows the poor guy must be seriously regretting taking this fair. But Peter has the money; he has dropped the heap of one hundred dollars bills into the man's hand just after entering the car, giving him the address without waiting to be asked.
The thought of seeing her again is the only thing keeping him from giving in to his exhaustion and pain, even though he hardly allows himself to hope as much as he wants to. He has learned the hard way -and on several occasions now, that just because something looks familiar, it does not mean they are the same. But he has to be in the right place, this time.
He has to be.
He came back into this world like he generally does. Falling into the Reiden Lake.
And once again, he had been completely naked. Someone or something up there must be enjoying this a little too much.
The main difference this time had been that he hadn't flashed back into this reality in the middle of the day, with people sitting in a boat three feet away from him, ready to drag him out of the water and help him out. That had been way too easy.
It had been night, this time around, and the water had been so excruciatingly cold, blinding him with another kind of pain, so much pain that he hadn't been able to find the surface right away. To be honest, for a moment there, as he'd tried and failed to get out, lost into these dark waters and deprived of oxygen, he had thought he was going to die.
He was simply going to drown, like he should have done years and years ago, according to that world he really hoped he had managed to escape at last.
And convinced that Death was about to find him, Peter had thought of her.
Of course, he had thought of her.
He had thought of her as she always is in the early hours of the day. About how relaxed her body is in these moments, how warm and limp she is against his. He has come to learn that there really is no better way to wake up than to press himself against her back, and let their bodies melt into one another, one of his arms circling her waist tightly, his nose in her hair.
She smells so good; nothing will ever be as soothing as that fragrance in his lungs, or the taste of her skin upon his lips and tongue. He loves how she so often sighs, sinking into his arms and into his warmth, intertwining her fingers with his, wordlessly asking him to hold her even closer. And as they lie there together in silence, he loves the feel of the world awaking around them, of the light getting brighter behind their close eyelids, and for a moment there, he always understands why she loves sunrise so much.
Of course, he had thought of her.
Obviously, he hasn't died. Because he had been through so much dammit, he was not going to give up now. Finally breaking through the surface hadn't been the end of his ordeal, though, because he'd then had to find shore, and to swim to shore, despite the fact that he had been literally spent by his little timeline-jumping or whatever the hell he had just done. Only many hours spent swimming in these waters as a kid and teenager had allowed him to know where he had to swim quickly enough, then making his way to the house.
From the timeline he has just escaped, the lake house had been sold years ago. His definite existence hadn't been proven by the simple fact that he easily found the spare key, though. Sure, the house looked like he had been visited a few times recently, like he had with Walter, but the only traces of him were old pictures from when he was a boy, which was hardly a confirmation at all, knowing that many versions of him had died after these were taken.
He had put on some old clothes he had found in the master bedroom, which had hardly helped warmed him up, but the shivers hadn't stopped him, as he looked for the stash of money he knew was hiding here somewhere; his teeth had been chattering, the world coming in and out of focus, but he had kept looking. Some people might have used the phone differently, then, choosing to call someone maybe, instead of dialing the cab company's number he had found in a dusty phonebook.
He could have called Olivia.
He would have known right away if he was in the right place, if he was back where he belonged, or if he was still stuck in some distorted universe, or timeline, or who knows what. But the thought of her not remembering again was too painful.
And strangely, he had thought about Orpheus, then. He had thought about Orpheus, and his wife Eurydice. He had thought about how this man's grief had been so strong that he had been allowed to bring his wife's soul back from the Underworld. He'd had the chance to have her back, if he survived the journey back, and above all, if he resisted the need to look back at her, as they walked to the Surface.
Maybe this is his journey. Maybe that's why he hasn't called her, hasn't looked back. He needs to trust that he is in the right place.
Despite his best efforts, he's still not entirely convinced when the taxi finally stops in front of her building, what seems to be an eternity later, and he forces his body to uncurl. The dull pain instantly awakens in his aching muscles and bones, but at least, it also helps sharpen his mind.
"You got someone in there who can help you?" His worried driver asks, and Peter doesn't even look at him, glancing at the clock instead. It's nearing 3am.
"Hopefully, I do," he groans, opening his door. "Keep the change," he mumbles as he escapes the car.
He is drenched within seconds, the rain still falling hard, and it is all it takes for the cold to penetrate his flesh again. He doesn't hurry to the door, though; he simply stands there, staring at it, as the rain beats up his already battered body. He doesn't run inside because dread has taken hold of him, now, literally paralyzing him.
What if it isn't her?
What if he has come back to another completely different world, and this Olivia –if she even lives here, doesn't have any recollection of him either? In a way, it would be the worst possibility, because it would mean he had just discarded the feeble truce he had managed to establish between him and the Olivia he had just left, after weeks and weeks of trying to prove her that he was harmless.
He would have to start over, again, and in all honesty, he doesn't know if he can even muster the strength to try.
There is no going back, though. He has to know.
He finally enters the building, and quickly stops in front of her door, splaying one of his hands upon the wall to keep him standing, as his body shakes more forcefully than ever. Water drips abundantly from his clothes and face, soon forming a puddle at his feet. With his teeth still chattering loudly, he eventually knocks, with enough force that she will hear if she's asleep.
The seconds that follow are excruciatingly long and slow; he can feel the cold getting more intense, more painful, and the world gradually becomes even less substantial around him, his vision reduced to a blurry depiction of what he's staring at –that dark line on the ground, between her door and the floor, a line that should be straight, but it's definitely wriggling strangely at that instant.
He loses a few seconds, his mind disconnecting completely for a moment, because when he's able to focus again, the line has become a wide gap; it takes him another confused instant to realize that it's because the door has opened.
He raises his eyes, and the first thing he sees is his own M.I.T. shirt. Admittedly, this should be all the proofs he needs, but he refuses to take it as a confirmation, barely registers it, really, as his gaze keeps on going up, and his eyes lock with hers at last. His shaky legs instantly weaken even more under him, and he doesn't know if what he's feeling is good or bad.
Olivia is staring back at him, one of her hands clenching the door, and it isn't recognition or relief he sees on her face, but shock, pure and unmasked shock…along with a definite hint of wariness that causes his heart to sink.
This is not his Olivia either; she surely simply has a boyfriend who went to M.I.T. like he did, except that, unlike him, this one actually graduated without a doubt, and he's going to be out there to kick his ass any seconds, now. Not that she can't kick his ass herself.
But she speaks, then, and her voice is barely louder than a whisper.
"Are you real?"
This is an odd thing to ask.
It is just odd enough to cause his despair to begin to transform into something else, something definitely less painful, and he watches, transfixed, as her own stunned mask morphs, too. He notes all these micro-changes taking place on her face, all these familiar signs he knows by heart, her breathing already louder and shallower. He finally really takes her in, her pale features, a face that is thinner than what he remembers –definitely thinner than the Olivia he has left earlier today.
She looks like someone who has forgotten to eat too many times in the past few weeks, letting worry and anxiety devour her instead. Even her hair, which he has known to be so vibrant at times, almost blinding in the right light, looks lifeless at that instant, falling dully over her shoulders.
He takes it all in, but ultimately, all he can really focus on are her eyes, and the hope he can see growing in them.
Is he real, she asked him.
Coming from his Olivia, it isn't that odd at all, really.
"Depends…" he finally answers, and his voice is hoarse and slightly broken, begging his weak arm still pressed upon the wall to keep him standing. "Do you remember dragging my ass away from Iraq a few years back, or am I just a problematic stranger to you right now?"
His brain blacks out again, then, stealing one or two more seconds away from him, but it doesn't matter, because it looks like she's choosing the first option. She has let go of the door, and her hands are now reaching out for his face. Soon, he feels her nails grazing his stubble, her fingers slowly moving upwards until she's cupping both his cheeks, and her palms warm up his skin the way her eyes are warming up his very soul. Her face is constricting so hard now that she looks in honest pain. He understands.
He feels it too, that relief so intense that it tears his insides and scorches everything as it spreads.
"Peter…" she whispers, in awe, and her hands keep moving, until they disappear into his wet hair, and this endless caress is killing him, purely killing him, and her eyes roam his face, obviously unable to believe that he's here. "You're alive…"
Soon, her touch is not gentle anymore, as she wraps her arms around his neck in a grip that is nothing short of deadly, literally smothering him, and he doesn't care. He can feel her clothes getting soaked within seconds, and she doesn't seem to care either. All he can do is bring his trembling arms around her and hold her as tight as he can, burying his nose in her hair, pressing his face against her skin, and he lets out a wobbly sigh of sheer relief, before filling up his lungs with her scent.
"So are you…" he murmurs against her neck, then, feeling his entire body finally giving in.
He lets the darkness envelop him, let it swallow him whole, because he knows she's got him, now.
She's got him.
That is the very first thing Peter really becomes aware of, when he escapes his dreamless slumber and starts to reconnect with reality. He feels warm, and safe, and his entire body seems boneless, a blissful sensation he hasn't felt in months. It's like all that tension that has accumulated during these past stressful weeks is simply gone.
Olivia is the next thing he becomes aware of. After that, nothing else matters.
His eyes are still closed for the time being, but he knows she's here, and real, her body pressed tightly against his under her cozy comforter. He can feel her leg over his, her fingers still in his hair, and the definite pressure of her nose against his. Above all, he feels her breath on his lips every time she exhales, and he has never been happier to be breathing the same air. In his sleep, he has wrapped her in his arms, his hand now resting loosely on her back.
Quickly enough, he decides to tighten his embrace, his fingers moving upwards and splaying over the smooth expend of skin upon her shoulder blade, the long shape of his arm fitting perfectly into the slight curve of her spine, bringing her closer. She instantly responds, letting him know that she's wide awake herself; he wouldn't be surprised if she hasn't slept at all. Her leg moves, too, wrapping itself more firmly around him, and he can confirm that they are both unquestionably naked.
He rolls them gently, then, so that she ends up mostly on her back with him over her, ignoring the faint aches instantly throbbing in his muscles; keeping his eyes closed, he nestles his face into the crook of her neck, and her fingers still refuse to leave his hair, now tracing slow circles on the back of his head, her soft breath against his temple. And he inhales her, all of her, letting the entire world disappear until nothing exists but the feel of her.
God he has missed her. And he can tell by how tightly she holds onto him in every possible way that she has missed him, too.
When he moves his lips slightly and presses a gentle yet possessive kiss upon her pulsing point, she shivers under him, sighing his name against his skin. He pushes himself up, then, finally opening his eyes to look at her.
It's daytime, now; he has no idea how many hours have passed since he has pretty much collapsed against her, and he doesn't care. But he is grateful for the sunlight, as it pours into the room through the window on his left, allowing him to see every detail of her face. She remains quiet, though, and so does he, both of them content to simply stare into each other's eyes, his hand now up to her face, the back of his nails grazing her cheek in a familiar caress.
There is too much pain in her eyes.
There has always been too much pain in Olivia's eyes, too many shadows she would never get rid of, but the newfound weariness he sees in her gaze pains him. He knows he's responsible for it, even if he hasn't exactly done it on purpose. She's relieved, of course, so obviously relieved, the rime of her eyes red from unshed tears now shining in her eyes, but he also knows she's been hurting.
He should be the one to speak first. He should finds something meaningful to say. How many times has he lain awake lately, unable to go back to sleep after one of these vivid dreams, imagining what he would tell her if he ever made it back to her?
He could start with these three words he has never said to her, not at this point in time, in any case.
"So," he finally speaks softly after another endless stretch of silence. "I'm not even back ten minutes that you already manage to put me naked in your bed."
It will have to do.
He doesn't expect her to smile; this is hardly funny –or meaningful, for that matter. He is therefore not surprised in the slightest when her face remains grave, staring back at him without even blinking.
"You were so cold," she says then, and her voice sounds hoarse, like his did last night, as if she hasn't been using it much lately. "You were completely out of it, but you didn't want me to take you to the hospital. I did what I could to keep you warm."
His fingers finally stop moving, so that his palm fully cups her cheek, and she instinctively sinks into his touch as his thumb brushes her lower lip. He tries to remember that specific occurrence, but his memories are blurry at best. He knows he has managed to stay conscious long enough so that he could drag himself to this bed, with her help, because there's no way she could have carried him to the bedroom by herself.
If he concentrates enough, though, he can remember bits of words and sensations. He remembers mumbling that he was fine, just fine, just need sleep. He remembers feeling her hands on his icy body, stripping him out of his drenched clothes.
And he remembers how he had managed to grab her, stopping her in the middle of her task. She hadn't resisted at all, letting him pull her over him as he lay half-naked on her bed, until her body and face were pressed upon his.
"Stay with me…" he had murmured against her lips.
He must have passed out for good, then, because he doesn't remember anything after that. She has stayed with him through the night, though, that much is obvious. He wonders now if the redness around her eyes is really caused by unshed tears, or if it isn't the lasting trace of tears she might have cried while he slept.
Either way, the thought only causes his heart to ache a little more.
"I'm sorry…" he whispers then, lowering his face until his nose bumps hers again, their lips barely brushing, and her grip on his hair tightens briefly, her other hand resting on his side, now, just as possessively.
"Where did you go?" She asks softly, and he raises his head again to look at her, her fingers finally leaving his hair to come and rest on his cheek. He needs to shave. "You…disappeared, Peter." She swallows hard, shaking her head slightly. "You just disappeared after creating the Bridge, and we had no idea how to find you, or where you could be. It almost started an open war with the Other Side, because we were convinced the Secretary had something to do with it, while he thought it was all a ploy from us to make them look evil."
"It's…complicated," he says then, not because he doesn't want to tell her about where he's been or what he's seen, but because he has no idea how to start that sort of tale. The weight of everything he has gone through seems to crash on him, then, the pain of all these loses he has endured still raw; thinking about losing her is the worst of all, despite her presence beneath him, and he knows she can read it in his eyes.
"What happened to you?" She eventually whispers, her eyes roaming his face as she tries to soothe him, soft fingers on his cheek. "You look…older."
He could almost laugh at that.
The truth is, he feels older. He still has an entire lifetime of memories swirling in his head; even if he hasn't really lived these moments, all these years by her side, they seem to have left an indelible mark on his soul.
But he quickly decides that it is surely wiser not to mention this to her for the time being, because it would simply lead to more questions. And what would be the point in discussing a future that will never be the same, anyway, as he has successfully changed that course of time?
All he can hope for them in this future now is for that bullet to never pierce her skull.
She definitely doesn't need to know that. It is better to start with what she remembers, which is the moment he pretty much ceased to exist.
"Let's just say that you can add 'Alternative Timeline' to the list of unusual places I wish I hadn't visited." He finally says, trying to sound unbothered by it all, though she knows better.
She simply holds his gaze, waiting for him to elaborate, as the fingers that had been resting on his side start to move slowly, almost unconsciously.
"Everything was…I was in this universe, except that I had never existed, there, not really. Both versions of me died as a child, so no one knew me as an adult, let alone trusted me, especially knowing how rudely I popped into their lives. Actually, the other you must be celebrating my successful disappearance, right now."
She reacts to that. It's subtle, but it's there, her brow furrowing and her nails digging slightly into his skin, and he's not surprised; he has given her reasons in the past to be wary of alternate versions of herself.
"She didn't…like you?" she asks tentatively, and he chuckles at that, humorlessly.
"Remember how you obviously thought I was a real pain in the ass when we first met?" This earns him a small smile. It is small but sincere, instantly bringing light in her eyes and warmth in his heart. "Well, add to that the fact that, despite the differences in your lives, I had this endless knowledge about her, and you get a very suspicious Olivia Dunham."
He decides it's safer to omit the part when the other Olivia had called him on the way he looked at her. He hadn't done it purposefully, of course, well aware that she wasn't the same woman.
Plus, he had had competition. That thought actually causes him to smile, too. "I still can't believe I did that, but I was so willing to get her to loosen up a bit that I basically played matchmaker between her and this guy who joined their division two months ago."
Olivia is really frowning now, and she tilts her head before asking: "Lincoln Lee?"
His breathing briefly hitches in his throat; he hadn't expected this. "How do you know that?" He can't help but ask.
She shakes her head slightly again. "Well, he did join us barely two weeks after you disappeared. I already knew his Alternate though; he's been working with the Fringe Division Over There for a few years, now."
Peter isn't prepared for this, for the sudden rush of doubts and dread that shoots through him upon realizing that this other man had been around his Olivia in his absence. He knows it's a ridiculous reaction, but he can't exactly help it. By the time he was leaving the other timeline, the vibe between these other Lincoln and Olivia had definitely started to shift, morphing into something else, something he had recognized all too well.
And in all honesty, part of him had been glad, in the weirdest way. He had been relieved, knowing that this Olivia would have someone to care for her whenever she desperately needed that support she always claimed she could do without. And Lincoln Lee was a good man, a bit awkward and nerdy, but honest and good. And Peter had recognized in him the same longing he had felt for Olivia mere days after meeting her.
I have never met anyone like her.
Could it have happened here, too?
"How…is he?" He finally asks, trying to sound casual, as if he was simply asking her if she liked her new colleague. But he can't fool her.
For one thing, his entire body has tensed up over hers, and he knows she can read him as well as he can read her.
Until now, she had looked mostly curious and a bit surprised by this similarity, but when the true meaning of his question settles in, her brief confusion changes into slight indignation, the hurt back in her eyes.
"Peter…" Even though her voice is quiet and low, it is still thick with emotions, her second hand now joining the other on his face, cupping both his cheeks. "You were gone for nine weeks."
She has to stop for a few seconds, then, and he hates himself for causing her to focus back on these weeks, because it obviously hurts her. She keeps going, though.
"I didn't want to give up on you, but everybody started acting like I should prepare myself for the worse. Sleep and food became even rarer than usual, and if you think you've seen me bitchy, think again. Lincoln found himself thrown into the middle of this, because his partner was killed by a Shapeshifter, and he demanded answers." She shrugs softly under him, managing a painful smile. "Maybe he tried to be friendly and supportive at first, but honestly, I just didn't have the patience for him, so he stopped trying. And I think he's officially terrified of Walter, now, ever since he came into the lab when-"
But she suddenly stops, her brow relaxing as her expression goes from pained to shocked, her eyes widening. "Walter," she repeats, sounding almost horrified. "I haven't told him about you!"
She immediately starts to move, her hands leaving his face as she attempt to free herself from his embrace, obviously trying to reach her phone on the nightstand.
She doesn't stand a chance against him, though.
He blocks her movements quite efficiently, pining himself more fully upon her as one of his hands promptly encircles both her wrists and presses them over her head, blocking her fingers against the headboard. She tries to fight back at first, as she has never been one to give up a good challenge too quickly, moving under him to try and free herself from his grip. That attempt spectacularly fails, though; the only thing it successes in doing is in creating a definite friction between their bodies, both of them instantly responding to the stimulation.
She hastily stops wriggling when she realizes how worked up she's getting them, and he stares at her as she pants slightly beneath him, the color on her cheeks only darkening under his intense stare. That, plus the fact that he is now unmistakably aroused, and she can definitely tell.
But she forces herself to remain still and in control, taking deep intakes of air, her fingers squeezing his, as his hand still holds both of hers up, pressed against the wood.
"I need to call him," she finally says, and she actually sounds apprehensive, now. "You don't understand, Peter. Your father went insane with worry and grief, and I mean it literally."
It is actually very easy for him to picture Walter in this state, after having been around a version of his father who had lost his son not once, but twice. The thought squeezes his heart painfully, almost makes him reach for her phone, buthe forces the image to stay buried in a corner of his mind for the time being.
He focuses back on Olivia, instead, on the feel of her, their bodies pinned together in such ways that it leaves little doubt on what is likely to be happening very soon; he's almost more hypnotized by her pink cheeks and bright eyes than by the feel of her breasts pressed against his chest.
Because she looks alive, and it is a wonderful vision after the sight that had greeted her last night.
Not to mention that other vision he wishes he could forget.
"You can call him soon, I promise," he tells her softly, then. But his voice his lower already, causing another shiver to course through her, and she sighs beautifully, his body humming against hers. "But we both know that once we do that, he's not going to let me out of his sight for who knows how long. And I understand why, I really do but…right now, I just need you. I need you for myself."
There is so much he is not telling her, so much he means by these few simple words. He wants to tell her all about what he saw, what he felt, about that image that will forever haunt his worst nightmares, about that dark, bloody spot in the middle of a pale face, and how crushed he had felt when it had hit him, realizing that he would never get to hold her again.
He wants to tell her how relieved he had felt, that day in the hospital, when he had seen her in the doorway, alive, only to realize seconds later that she had no recollection of him.
He wants to tell her about the pain, the excruciating longing for everything he had lost, about the people he loved the most standing right there next to him, with nothing but suspicion in their eyes.
This is why he needs to keep her here, with him, for a little longer, just a little longer. To feel the rise and fall of her chest under his, to feel her skin against his, and the faint pounding of her heart in her ribcage, matching his.
He needs this, the look of recognition and understanding in her eyes, that look that makes him feel truly alive for the first time in weeks.
And he knows that she does understand, without even needing to hear the words, her eyes filling with tears as a lump forms in his throat, and he doesn't know who's hurting the most, or for whom, and it doesn't matter.
He gently lets go of her wrists, then, his hand disappearing lower and slipping under her to press his palm upon the small of her back, in a simple and somewhat futile attempt to bring her even closer.
But she responds in kind, her hands soundlessly reaching for him until she's cupping both his cheeks again. And soon she is pulling his face down to hers, pulling him into a kiss that is both soft and famished, needing to savor the moment and yet craving the other too much to be slow.
Lips brush and mouths open, and her stillness is long gone, now, as she bends beneath him; the arch that soon forms between her back and the mattress allows him to wrap her more fully in his arms, pulling her flush against him, kissing her deep and long, and soon she's moaning softly into his mouth, both her arms now circling his neck tightly.
Eventually, the need for some air becomes stronger than this aching lust, and they pull apart slightly. Raising his head a little to look at her, he is not surprised by the fact that her eyes still shine with tears, her face distorted by emotions she can hardly contain.
He doesn't even have to ask. She reads that in his eyes, too.
"I can't believe you're here…" she breathes out, then, managing another painful smile, and her arms release his neck, one of them swiftly wrapping itself around his back while her other hand cup the back of his neck. "I still expect to wake up any second, now, and I'll realize you're still gone."
He lowers his face until his nose grazes her cheek, scattering soft kisses upon her skin, causing her to tilt her head back and sigh. "Does it have anything to do with you asking me if I was real?" He asks softly into her ear, and he feels her nod against him.
"I've been dreaming about you…" she admits then, and her voice is thick with emotions again. "Every time I would let myself sleep, I would dream of you."
He has to raise his head again to look at her, visions from his own dreams flashing in his mind, blending with the very real feel of her right there, in his arms.
"What did you see?" He has to ask. Is it possible that all these weeks, they had been finding each other in dreams?
It wouldn't be that surprising.
"It wasn't always the same," she recalls softly, her thumbs caressing the hair on the back of his neck. "But most of the time, we were in a park. It was simple as can be, but it was…"
She doesn't say the word, but she doesn't need to, because he hears it anyway.
And he can tell she knows he felt it too, dreamt of it too, because she's obviously losing her battle against her emotions, and she shakes her head, her breathing shallow and irregular. "I think that's why I barely slept these past few weeks. Because every time I woke up, you were gone again."
She closes her eyes, then, and a tear finally escapes her closed eyelid and rolls down; he leans in to kiss it away, holding her tight as she trembles in his arms, and she adds: "I didn't dream of you last night, though, before you knocked at my door. I should have known it was because you were coming back."
The pressure in his throat is almost unbearable, feeling like he could break any second now, and he presses his forehead against hers, presses his palm upon her cheek until she reopens her eyes. "I'll always come back for you," he promises, and she's too chocked up to say anything else, and he doesn't need her to. It is time for him to tell her what he should have told her long ago. "I love you…" he says against her lips.
And then, he says it again, against her lips, upon her skin, into her ear.
She doesn't say it back, not this time, but it doesn't matter anymore; he doesn't need words. Because it is there, in the way her fingers claim him, roaming his back and curling into his hair, in a grasp that quickly becomes as desperate as it was first tender. It is there in the way her face constricts and her eyes close again as he repeats the words, wet and burning trails trickling down her temples in straight and wavy lines.
And it is there in the way her knees soon enclose his hips, enclose him hard, and she ripples under him, his body in perfect synch; his longing matches hers, and she whispers his name like a plea, again and again and again.
There is no more time to think, or no need to, really; the only thing they need is this. They need this not for pleasure, not even for comfort, even though they are receiving both at that instant. It has become a necessity, now, needing to prove themselves and each other that this is real, that this is not just a dream anymore, that they have found each other again, and there is no letting go.
She cannot get any more real than this, and she's all shivers and moans and burning breath upon his skin, their fleshes meeting and melding, just like their souls do whenever they gazes lock together, and there is no letting go, no letting go. Because knows.
With the bittersweet taste of her tears on his tongue, and the soothing murmurs of her love in his ear, Peter knows.
He is home at last.
A/N: I'll try not to kill one of them in my next fic to balance this. Ow, Fringe, the things you make me write. But it cheered me up XD Please, don't feel shy, reviews would make my week ;)