Lincoln's funeral is terrible. She's still a little numb so she thought it might be better, but it's not. When she wakes up, it's overcast. By the time she's buckled herself into the dress uniform that she hasn't worn in so long it feels like a stranger's, it's started raining and that feels right.
The cemetery is awful, though. Astrid is her usual mechanical self as they drive over, and even that is a little comforting, until she balks when it's time to get out of the car.
"Agent Lee and I were not particularly close," she says, and Olivia bites her tongue- literally, hard- against the cruel words that want to spill out. Words about how if that is Astrid's criteria, she won't ever attend a funeral. As if being nasty to someone else will make her feel better.
She pinches the bridge of her nose and misses the weight of her hair curving around her, making her feel fierce. "Look," she starts, stalling, not knowing what alternative tack she's going to take as people start gathering behind her. Just then Astrid adjusts her stance, responding to something behind Olivia's back. She turns, expecting to see Broyles or some other higher-up approaching. But instead it's Lincoln.
He's walking so casually that for one part of one second, Olivia fools herself into thinking that it's her Lincoln, playing one of his elaborate, unfunny jokes. But then her brain catches up to her and she registers the alternate details of him, the wrongness of his clothes and carriage and the alien expression on his face.
"Hi," he says, far too awkward to ever be her Lincoln. "I wasn't sure if it was okay for me to come…"
Hearing his voice hurts, even with its differences. "Fine. It's fine," she interrupts, giving him a slip-sliver of a smile, although her words are a lie because nothing is fine. Over his shoulder, she spots Mr. and Mrs. Lee. They had a six AM flight up from Philadelphia, but she knows that's not the reason they look absolutely wrecked. Stranger-Lincoln turns too, somehow knowing to follow the brief flicker of her eyes, and immediately understands the problem.
"On second thought, I'll wait in the car." He is already backing away when Astrid steps towards him.
"I'll wait too," she says, more desperate and reckless than Olivia has ever heard her. "Agent Lee and I were not particularly close."
He looks at Olivia briefly for confirmation, and the familiar, instinctive glance- one she shared with her Lincoln during hundreds of stakeouts and bar fights- makes her so weak, she can't even nod. "I'll just…Agent Farnsworth and I will be in the car," he decides for her and walks towards a bland company sedan that her Lincoln would have hated.
The crowd is small and the service is short- most Fringe Division ones seem to be, at least the few she's attended- but somehow it is made worse by that. It makes it seem like Lincoln was just some guy, someone who helped some people and lived for a while and now is gone. The picture up is Lincoln's service photo, but she wishes they had one of him playing paintball or pool, looking intense as they tracked a suspect, something that actually showed Lincoln living. She wishes he were at least smiling.
Broyles is twitchy the whole time, moving his feet and eyes around, and Olivia hates it. The anger is galling, because Olivia is passionate, yes, and witty and sharp, but control is key. There is no control here, and he keeps shifting his weight and she wants to punch him and demand whether he has somewhere more important to be. But the only thing she says is to Lincoln's mother (stepmother, really, but Lincoln loved her like a mother and neither of them ever made the distinction). The last time she saw her, it was the Lee's anniversary. They came up for the weekend because Lincoln couldn't get off and they invited her to dinner with them. Lincoln and his father joked and pushed each other around until his mother was crying from laughter.
Now her tears are different. Olivia can taste them in her mouth, and they are a burden. She looks away. "This isn't right. Our children aren't supposed to die before we do."
Olivia expects Broyles to respond, but he doesn't, so she says, "We are going to do everything we can to find who's responsible and bring them to justice." It sounds wooden and rote and unconfident and so unlike her, she wants to cry herself. "I give you my word," she adds, trying to insert herself back into the prepackaged Fringe Division statement. It seems to work. Mrs. Lee thanks her, as if Olivia Dunham's word is as good as gospel. Olivia wishes with everything she has that Lincoln were here to tease her about all the times that hasn't been true.
As she hugs Lincoln's mother, she looks over her head and through the rain. She can just barely make out the shape of Astrid's curls and not-her-Lincoln's face, staring right at her through the windshield. For one moment, anger rises within her, a spear of white heat, and she wishes she could trade. That she could take out her gun and shoot the Lincoln in the car (she could do it, too, she is that good, just not good enough to save her Lincoln) and have her Lincoln rise from the coffin and be her rock and her partner and her best goddamn friend.
But Mrs. Lee is stepping away, back to the safety of the umbrella that her husband is holding, and Olivia retreats as well, hopefully back into sanity. The Lees are having some sort of memorial in their hotel room and they invite her, but Olivia would rather be with Lincoln anyway. The cuffs of her rarely-worn uniform are getting muddy; it will need to be dry-cleaned, although she's barely worn it for four hours.
"I'm never going to remember to do that, am I?" she asks the grave, snorting just a little.
What are you going to do without me around to fix your life for you? Lincoln's wry voice says in her head. You can't tell because the umbrella has stopped keeping the rain off her head, but there's a tear on Olivia Dunham's cheek. She doesn't bother to brush it off as she turns toward her car.
Lincoln's funeral is terrible. She doesn't know what made her think that it wouldn't be.
A/N: I paused the episode three minutes in to dash this down. I didn't beta and can't keep track of half of the Fringeverse, so it is conceivably riddled with errors. If you find one, I would love for you to point it out, as long as you do it politely.
However, as I watched the episode, I became more and more convinced that AltLincoln isn't dead. I think AltLivia should have been sadder and she and our Lincoln shouldn't have worked so well together...but anyway...longtime viewer, first time ficcing, so I'd love some reviews! *Not even a hint, just a blatant message.*