A/N: So this is set in Walter's bizarre steampunk-y noir universe from 2x20. Extremely AU, I would say it starts a month/few weeks before the events of the episode and would change them completely. I don't own Fringe.
Olivia Dunham did not particularly want to be disturbed. She was about to call it a caseless and boring day when in came a distraught woman.
It was always a distraught woman.
"What do you want?" Olivia sighed, pouring herself a glass of whiskey.
"My daughter's gone," the woman said, sobbing into Olivia's desk. Olivia took in the black clothes; the woman was probably a widow. And she looked younger than Olivia, definitely far too young to have a daughter.
"How old is she?" Olivia asked.
"Five." The woman looked up at Olivia. "Please, she's so young…"
"Ella, her name's Ella," the woman said.
"Alright. Do you have a picture?"
The woman nodded and handed a small photo to Olivia. This Ella was a very cute little girl, big eyes and a bright smile. That was probably what convinced her.
"Okay, I'll take it. Do you have any idea where she might be?" Olivia asked.
The woman shook her head.
Olivia smiled in spite of herself; this was going to be a challenge.
Peter Bishop was definitely on the opposite side of the law in that moment.
He had successfully performed a pigeon drop earlier in the day, which was admittedly a crude and not particularly intellectual of parting people from their money, but was effective.
He was rather happy about that, but he always ended up feeling guilty not long after. He worked in the lab of the creator of everything good, but conned people out of their money in his spare time? That just didn't seem right.
But alas, he did what he had to do to get by. Doing good made him feel like the sins of the previous night had been absolved, anyway. Not that absolution really motivated him.
But Walter Bishop was a good man, and Peter wanted to keep his bad deeds hidden as long as possible. Because when that hit the fan it was likely not going to be pretty. Currently the singing corpses were malfunctioning pretty badly and hitting anyone that came near them, so there was always the option of being trapped in a small room with them. (They freaked Peter out even without attacking him, so that would actually be the worst punishment imaginable)
So, back to linear story progression, he wanted to celebrate a successful con.
He hated dancing as a general rule, but he thought he might be able to find someone who he could have a good time with, so he went to a small club in the middle of town.
There were a lot of girls dancing, but the one who stood out to Peter was the only one sitting on the sidelines.
He walked over to her, tilting his fedora over his eyes.
"Why aren't you dancing?" he asked, leaning against a wall.
"No reason," she said. "Just thinking."
"No reason? Really. No reason why a pretty girl like you, who has probably been asked by every guy in the place, wouldn't go out and dance," Peter said, rolling his eyes. "You are a terrible actress, lady."
"I don't like dancing."
"I'm bad at dancing."
"Still lying. Tell me the truth," Peter said.
"Why would I tell someone who I've never met before and who has a generally shady air about them why I'm not dancing?" she asked.
"Because that man is very charming and attractive, and it's a small secret."
She sighed, visibly caving.
"There are a few reasons. I never find anyone I want to dance with, and I also have other things on my mind," she said.
They're both facing the floor, having not looked at each other this entire time, but this statement caught Peter's attention and he turned to face her.
"What nature of other things?" he asked.
"The sort of other things that you don't tell men too cowardly to show their faces."
"Touché." Peter smiled, removing his hat. He liked this girl quite a bit, she had a nice spark to her. "Now can you tell me?"
"A missing child," she said.
"A missing child? Yours?" Peter asked.
"No." She shook her head. "No, someone else's adorable little girl."
"You a P.I.?" Peter asked.
"Yeah," she said.
"Nice," Peter said. "S'your name, sugar?"
"Olivia. If you call me sugar again I will knock your chubby ass into the middle of the street," she said, finally turning to face him.
"I like you," he said.
"Well, that's great, because you have been getting on my nerves," she said.
"I might be able to help you with your case," he said.
"But first you need to dance with me."
A/N: Please review!