Disclaimer: I seriously don't own Fringe. Otherwise, Peter and Olivia would be making their tribe already.
Spoilers: Up to 4x08 'Back to Where You've Never Been'. Mild spoiler for something that should be happening in a future episode.
A/N: Hi everybody :) I apologize for my lack of updates these past two weeks. I've decided that now was the good time to start watching Castle, and so I spent all of my free times watching 3 seasons and half of episodes XD But I finished last night, and this morning, my muse came back and I felt the urge to write something P/O, anything, really, because Friday's episode just made a mess out of me. So this is a small oneshot without any real plot.
I don't know if you guys keep track of spoilers or not, but on tumblr, there was an information going around, about something being filmed, so it inspired something in this story. I won't tell you what, but if you're trying to remain spoiler free, I guess you should stay away. But mostly, this was simply inspired by what the show has been giving us, when it comes to P/O this season. I just miss these two together atrociously, it's not even funny.
As usual, it isn't beta-ed, so I apologize for any mistake.
BACK TO WHERE YOU'VE NEVER BEEN
Walter is always the first person Peter sees.
No matter the location, no matter the scenario, his eyes always find his father first, often long before he notices him back.
Sometimes, he's swinging in the park, his smile brighter than the kids' he's imitating. At other times, he's cooking breakfast half-naked, humming a happy tune as he flips pancakes and takes a few pieces of sizzling bacon out of the pan. Peter has seen him in the lab, dancing around while conducting some kind of experiment; he has seen him in his old car, talking about the new aphrodisiac formula he just invented, which by the way also increases fertility. He has seen him on the beach, the one near their lake house, running after his untamed kite.
It's never the same, and yet, it's always as painfully comforting. Because, while Walter is systematically the first person he sees, Olivia is the first person he feels.
He often feels her well before she comes into view, or before his gaze finds her. But he knows she's here, in this dreamscape, always within his reach.
He just has to find her.
When Walter swings, she's resting on the grass.
When Walter cooks, she kisses them good morning and offers him reassuring smiles.
When Walter dances in the lab, she lets her father-in-law take her hand and engages in the activity, laughing cheerily as if she didn't have a care in the world.
When Walter insists on talking about their sex life and his desire for grandchildren, she humors him and promises him she'll drink more grapefruit juice -known for its fertile properties.
When Walter runs after his kite, shouting at the sky with a spring in his step, she sits peacefully on the beach, toes buried into the sand, one of her hands up to her face to protect her eyes from the sun as she keeps a vigilant eye on the five year old trapped in this old man's body.
Peter knows what it means, what she's telling him through those dreams, even before they acknowledge each other.
"I'll take care of him until you come back, don't worry. I'll look after him."
Peter hates those dreams.
They represent absolutely everything he is longing for, everything he's missing so intensely that it becomes physically painful for him to breathe at times. They feel so real, so tangible, that waking up always fills him with the most desperate feeling of loss and yearning. He hates those dreams, and yet, every night, he craves for them, knowing that not dreaming of his home, of his family, would lead him to slowly go insane with pain, until he becomes even madder than this new version of his father who still refuses to look at him.
That is why night after night, he opens up his mind and waits for these images, for Walter's new eccentricities. He waits for the feel of her, for that knowledge that always washes through him; she's here, somewhere, waiting for him. And when their eyes finally meet, he forgets his misery for a while.
Walter is in the street, this time. It is cold, the middle of winter, he guesses; he can feel the icy air descending to his lungs and slipping under his coat and many layers of clothes, and he instantly dislikes the vivid quality of the dream, as it freezes his every cell. He has always detested the cold.
The street is incredibly busy and noisy, the crowd moving around him like a dark, unstoppable wave. He quickly understands that there must be a street fair going on. He finds Walter almost instantly.
His father is almost bouncing with excitement, waiting in line in front of a stand, and when he notices him, his wrinkly face breaks into an enormous grin.
"Peter!" he exclaims, rubbing his hands in exhilaration. "I'm getting cotton candy!"
Even though he's smiling too –how could he not smile?, Peter instantly thinks about how Walter is surely going to get a sugar rush out of this, and he's pondering about how smart that is. The thought has barely crossed his mind that she speaks behind him.
"Don't worry. I just gave him enough money to buy a small bag."
He's not surprised. He had felt her here, somewhere near him, long before she made her presence known with those few, simple words; she had already been warming up his soul, the way the cold is still chilling his flesh. It doesn't prevent his heart from missing a beat at the sound of her voice, before it starts drumming under his chest as he turns around.
She is a sight for sore eyes. She always is.
Just like him and his father, she's wrapped in a warm coat and a fluffy scarf, while a black beanie keeps her head and ears protected from the cold. Her hair is down, and the small breeze blowing in the street causes it to slowly move around her, in wavy golden strands.
Despite her thick clothes, the cold has reddened her cheeks and the tip of her nose, making her freckles oddly visible in the bright, winter light, her eyes greener than ever. The sky is milky white overhead; he knows it's going to snow.
She's beautiful, of course, but it isn't her physical beauty that soothes his aching heart. She's always beautiful, even when he's awake and she's looking at him with uncertainty, her body language not as much telling him as it is screaming just how suspicious she still is of him and his intentions, even after weeks of trying to gain her trust.
Right now, he looks into Olivia's eyes, and all he sees is recognition and love. She's so peaceful.
She's too peaceful, he knows that.
He has seen this side of her before, before the Machine, before his unexpected trip to the future, before the bullet and the blazing casket. But this is different; it isn't the fleeting tranquility that sometimes sneaks upon you and makes you forget all your troubles for a few minutes. The burdens she bears at any given moment are simply too heavy for her to ever feel truly relieved and unworried.
She's happy and serene, here, and so is he.
There is no bleeding hole in this place, neither in his chest nor in the middle of her forehead.
There is no wondering when he will see her again, his heart filled with dread whenever he lets himself think that the longer he stays away from her, the slimmer his chance to go home gets. There is no trying to gain her trust back, no moral debate about what he is supposed to do, about what fight he is supposed to join, about what sacrifice he is ready to make to get back where he belongs.
Right here, none of them needs to worry, because they found each other, even if it isn't real, even if it is ephemeral. Even after all these nights spent with her and Walter in this dreamscape, he cannot tell if this is some sort of distorted memory, a vision of what could be in the future, or if it is simply his subconscious giving him a way to cope with his forced exile.
He doesn't care in that instant; he never cares.
He walks to her, taking the few steps that separate him from her, all too aware of the fact that no matter how good he feels, here, it will end too soon, always too soon, and he doesn't want to waste any second of it. He cups her face in his hands; he thought his fingers were cold, but her cheeks feel icy under his touch, and he's completely unable to keep another memory away.
She had been so cold, on that autopsy table, so lifeless.
But she's alive, now, she's alive. Her skin isn't cold because her heart has stopped pumping warm blood through her body, but simply because Boston's winter air has enveloped her in its chilly embrace.
He sees the life in her, in the way her breath clouds the air in front of her every time she exhales; he sees it in her kind, comforting eyes. She's alive, and soon, he's inhaling that white cloud of hers, just before their lips meet, like they have many times before. It is a soft, lingering kiss, his palms warming up her face as she circles him with her arms, pinning her body against his and pushing herself up on her toes to ease their embrace. They sway slowly on the spot, as if their bodies had no more mass, and that gentle breeze still whispering around them was enough to shake their very foundation.
The noises coming from the crowd have quieted down, he realizes then. It hasn't completely disappeared; it is as if someone had turned the volume down, reminding him yet again of the fact that this is nothing but a dream.
She breaks the kiss when she falls back on her heels, and he reopens his eyes, locking her gaze with his, decided on not letting her go. Everything is so bright, now, and he feels the small, transient flakes grazing his skin, sees them land quietly on hers, instantly melting away.
Not only has the sound dimmed down, but the shapes he sees from the corner of his eyes are now blurry and insubstantial, as if the dream was already slowly dissolving around them. And yet, she still feels so real against him, her hold firm around his waist, her hair brushing his face in a satiny caress, as soundlessly and softly as the snowflakes.
He brings his face down slowly, until his forehead touches hers and their noses graze, his breathing labored, now. He knows the dream is coming to an end; the anguish that has taken hold of him is too familiar, squeezing his lungs and crushing his heart.
"I miss you…" he whispers against her lips, closing his eyes and breathing slowly, deeply, inhaling her scent.
"I know…" she says just as softly; one of her hands has come up to press her palm upon his cheek, and he sinks into her touch.
"What if I can't get back to you?" He murmurs, and his terrified despair makes him sound like a lost child.
She slightly pulls away from him, then, forcing him to open his eyes again to look at her, and unsurprisingly, she's offering him a reassuring smile.
"You don't have to worry about that," she says, so calmly, too calmly. "I haven't gone anywhere, Peter. You'll understand soon. You're almost there."
He shakes his head in incredulity. "Almost where?"
Her smiles widens, and she shakes her head almost imperceptibly, as if the answer was obvious.
"Back to where you've never been."
Peter wakes up.
A/N: That's when I pretend I know what I'm talking about. Hahaha.
That's all I've got for you, folks :) Reviews are always greatly appreciated :3