Disclaimer: Still not owning anything beside a very, VERY masochist muse.
Spoilers: If you watch Fringe every week, you're good.
A/N: I have absolutely no excuse for this...beside the fact that I'm evil, generally speaking. A few of these scenes were just floating around my head for a while, and today, I just wrote them all down in this little depressing fic. And when I say depressing, I do mean depressing.
Obviously unbetaed...and depressing, I think I said that. If you feel like it, don't hesitate to scream at me in a review once you're done :D
THIS IS HOW IT BEGINS, AND THIS IS HOW IT ENDS
This is how it begins.
A clammy and feverish body becomes limp. The soul has departed, taking with it its infinitesimal weight, and yet, the body gets heavier in the father's arms. A small, lifeless hand slowly falls, and then the rest of him follows, until the Boy rests upon his pillow, open-eyed, seeing without seeing.
Peter has died.
The first Crack appears in the intangible space separating one universe from the other.
The Rift is initially small, a gaping hole that resembles the throbbing ache in the grieving father's chest; it spreads, becomes a window, a door, a vortex, and what is dead on one Side is still alive on the other. Barely, but still.
Some lines should never be crossed.
They often are.
It happens at Reiden Lake. The Crack, the Hole, the crumbling Line.
The father steps from one world to the other, entering as a broken man, leaving as a thief, clenching the hand of a son that isn't really his to take. The universes ripple from the intrusion, from the fissure, from the thievery, and the ice breaks beneath their feet.
In another Timeline, the Boy dies yet again. In this one, he doesn't.
And for that treachery, someone else will die instead.
The bullet pierces her skull.
It slices the skin of her forehead open first, before shattering the bone of her head. It then goes straight through her brain in a scorching line that takes her life away and replaces it with Death, exiting her skull at the other end a breathless moment later, the hole messier than it is on the front.
The valiant Warrior falls on the ground, vanquished before she even got a chance to fight.
This is how it has to be.
Because Peter survived that night in the water, Olivia dies.
Olivia dies in the park. To Peter, it happens at Reiden Lake.
And he knows, of course. The moment his Father vanishes, never here in the first place, dread poisons his insides, spreading ruthlessly the way the first Crack did years ago, and Peter knows.
He was born in one world, raised in another. He belongs everywhere, and he belongs nowhere, if only in the comforting glint he sees in Olivia's eyes whenever their gazes meet and they talk without words; he knows he is loved.
He has destroyed a universe, and now, the only one he has ever truly belonged to is being taken from him, too.
Soon, the time will come for him to make a choice, just like his father did decades ago. To save, or to let go. To respect Mother Nature, or to con Her yet again.
Some men never learn, especially when their heart is involved.
What was once a Crack in the fabric of the worlds becomes a Crack in the fabric of Time, allowing traces of him to bleed through. The clock is reset, life resumes, with Olivia never knowing how it had left her in the first place.
Olivia lives, and soon, Peter exists once more.
And for that treachery, Peter will die again.
It happens at Reiden Lake.
His body, still lively and warm moments ago, is now limp and cold in her arms, his skin the color of winter snow, his cheeks spattered with ebony stars; he is lifeless, and yet, his stubble still prickles the delicate skin of her palms as she holds his face in her hands. She has stopped trying to insufflate air back in his lungs, her battle lost.
Peter has drowned, the way another Him did here, years ago, just like it should be.
All around the shore, the ground and the water still fume, a perfect circle of smoke surrounding the two entwined lovers, as they share that last embrace one of them cannot even witness anymore.
The Observer stands mere feet away from them, unperturbed by the scene, unaffected by Olivia's wrath as her mind keeps on burning everything around them; it burns, it burns, it burns, her grief insatiable as she rocks his body against her own, the feverish skin of her face pressed upon the icy one of his.
What a shame it is, to remember everything only to lose him now.
"You have to let him go."
The voice is low, impassive, detached, the perfect opposite to the scorching poison running through Olivia's body and soul. She raises her head to look at him, the Bald Man, and she shakes her head, categorically, stubbornly, tearstained face and glaring eyes.
"Go to hell."
"The Boy had to die," September insists, without insistence. "He served his purpose. Bringing him back will only lead to your own death, as I have told you before. You have to let him go."
The ground is shaking now, as is the rest of the world, already starting to bend under the assault of Olivia's mind. In that other Timeline she now remembers, she was once told by a greedy man that she was extraordinary; and she truly is.
She understands his greed, now; she understands how one can decide to break the Rules.
She's doing it right now.
Once, there was Crack, here. It had spread and broken down walls. Nature was cheated, and so was Time.
Tonight, Olivia cheats Reality. She bends it with her mind, changes its perception so that in another world, a new Reality, Peter can live again. And he does.
Peter lives once more.
And for that treachery, Olivia must die again.
In this Reality, it happens slowly.
One might have hoped that the time given to them to prepare is enough to prevent mistakes from being repeated; it is nothing but wishful thinking.
There is never enough time.
Peter is as driven as ever, determined to save her, to cure her from that poison; for what had once devoured her soul and led her to make that Choice, it is now literally devouring her body, slowly destroying her brain, one neuron at a time.
It's killing her.
That drug that once made her so special, a few Lives ago, it is now killing her, and they both know that it is the price she has to pay for being as greedy as the rest of them.
Peter tries, because Peter will always try.
But there is no cure for Fate.
It happens at Reiden Lake, in his father's old house.
He doesn't approve of it, but Olivia doesn't want to stay in the hospital anymore, and who is he to deny her her dying wish? And so he brings her here.
It feels appropriate.
Too soon, she asks him to unplug all of these machines helping her breathe and monitoring her heart; he doesn't approve of it either, but even on her deathbed, she's stubbornly obstinate.
Everything is quiet, now, without their constant background noises; all there is left is her labored breathing, which is getting slower and slower by the minute. He's holding her bony hand in his, their fingers intertwined, and he knows he is clenching too hard.
None of them cares, his lips pressed upon her wedding ring, as they stare at each other, speaking without words, certainly for the last time.
There are too many memories in their heads, too many lives, and he knows Olivia's ready to let them all go, now.
But he's not.
"Don't try and save me this time..." she asks him in a weak voice, having read his thoughts; her grayish skin glistens with sweat, from her fever and from the exertion of talking and breathing on her own.
Staying alive is hard enough in itself.
His lips are wet against her hand; he doesn't even try to hide his tears. He manages a smile, though, shaking his head slowly.
"I'll always try to save you."
"There's no point...it always ends the same way..." She murmurs, and her harsh intakes of air become rarer…and rarer… "Maybe it's time we learn….You have to let me go."
Her clammy fingers go limp between his.
"Next time," he promises her a minute later, or maybe is it an hour, whispering the words against the wedding ring; the gold is warm from his breath, wet from his tears. "Next time, we'll let go together."
When he lets go of her fingers, her lifeless hands slowly falls back onto the bed, and Olivia simply lies there, open-eyed, seeing without seeing.
But Peter doesn't let her go. Some men simply never learn, especially when their heart is involved.
He uses it one last time, the Machine. He cheats everything that can be cheated.
Nature, Time, Reality.
Worst of all, he cheats the last request of his dying Wife.
He does make sure he won't be tempted again, not this time, not ever again. He comes back in a version of their Worlds were the damn thing doesn't even exist to beginning with.
Peter still does, though. And so does she.
And this time, for that treachery, if they refuse once more to let each other go, all shall die.
The end of Everything.
It happens at Reiden Lake.
Peter is bleeding profusely from the bullet wound in his left side, and after Olivia makes them cross over yet again, he is nothing short of delirious.
They fall onto the ground, feet away from the water, and he groans in pain as his back hits the shore, her body on top of his. She keeps her hands pressed hard upon his wound, feels the warm and thick liquid thread between her fingers, mixing with the cool water soaking his coat. She is just as equally drenched; it had been raining on her Side, even if it isn't here.
"Help is on its way."
She hears Elizabeth's anxious voice, and moves her eyes away from her dying lover to look at his Mother, who stands right were September stood, a Reality or two ago.
She is here, waiting for her Son, just like it had been arranged. Olivia had told her things were likely to go wrong and that she should wait for them with assistance.
The women's eyes meet, and they exchange a knowing look. They both know.
If Olivia stays, Peter dies.
She doesn't have a lot of time left, anyway.
She brings her eyes back to Peter's ashy face, pins herself more firmly upon his chest over one of hands, so she can bring the other to his face, as his eyes flutter open and his head moves from side to side.
"Peter," she calls out his name softly, calling him back to her, just like she once did, two or three Timelines ago. She caresses his cheek, leaving streaks of blood wherever her fingers brush his skin; it doesn't matter. When he finally reopens his eyes enough to lock his gaze with hers, she offers him a trembling smile. "I have to go."
Up until now, his hands have been resting limply over her back, too far gone to really move at all. But at her words, his grasp instantly gains strength, wrapping her in his arms.
He shakes his head, hard, and she feels the blood already flowing out faster under her palm, his heart pounding in distress. "D-don't…" he almost chokes.
"Shhh…shhh, it's okay," she whispers, her fingers curling in his hair, bringing her face down to his. "You know I have to….we agreed on this, you know it's the only way."
"I changed my mind…" he murmurs against her lips, and she lets out a chuckle that sounds more like a sob, and that's okay.
"You'll always change your mind," she murmurs back, barely able to get the words out through her constricted throat. "But if I stay, you'll die."
He's holding her surprisingly strongly now, despite his state, his grip on her so tight that her bones might shatter soon. "Then I'll die…" he says much more loudly, his voice raw and broken. "I can't let you go, Olivia…"
She's atrociously aware of each passing second, not only because with every one of them, life keeps on seeping out of him, but also because her chances of getting back on her Side get slimmer and slimmer with every new breath she takes on this one.
The Universes are healing at last, the Rift is closing, the Crack is mending.
So why does it feel like the Worlds are ending?
She forces herself to lift her head again, lifting it from his face, against which she had let their tears mangle.
She presses a kiss to his lips, and whispers almost in agony: "You promised, Peter…You promised." She strokes his stubble again, carving each sensation of him in that part of her heart and soul that will never let her forget. "You promised we'd let go together."
Here comes the time for the Right Choice, for salvation, and for goodbyes.
It is time for them to let go.
If Olivia stays, Peter dies, anyway. And Olivia dies whenever Peter lives.
It is the way it always is.
They belonged together, three or four Lifetimes ago. And they still do on that day, near the water, as they murmur their goodbyes and taste each other's tears.
But the truth is, who you belong with doesn't really matter when the Universe claims you as its own, and rejects the other half of your soul.
That is why they finally let go.
They let each other go.
And this is how it ends.