Title: What We Forget
Spoilers: All Episodes are fair game
Summary: A lazy, mother/ daughter day is interrupted by an intruder from the other side.
Author's Notes: So I have most of this one finished. I'm basically working on the last part. I decided to start posting to keep the momentum going. This is my first Fringe fic, so if you could please let me know what you think. I also had a beta this time! The very generous and talented Gigi2690 ( u/1169089/gigi2690).
Disclaimer: These are not my characters, I just play with them. No copyright infringement intended.
What We Forget
There was someone in the bedroom. Without moving, Olivia opened her eyes. Though she had been sound asleep only moments before, her entire body was alert. She was lying on her stomach with her arms wrapped around her pillow. The grey sheets draped over her shoulders. The early morning sun was shinning through a shade that she hadn't quite closed. She was facing the window, away from the door, but she knew someone was watching her.
It was a strange sensation. There was no doubt. The comfortable bedroom was suddenly dangerous. Every muscle was tight. She had nothing with which to defend herself; surprise was her only chance. Olivia pushed herself onto her elbows and jerked her head in the direction of the intruder. The figure was a quarter of the size Olivia was expecting. The tension evaporated.
"Etta, you monkey," Olivia said with a laugh.
Her daughter squealed and disappeared down the hallway. Olivia listened to Etta's little feet pattering on the hard wood floors. She swung her legs over the edge of the bed. She grabbed one of Peter's zip-up hoodies and pulled it on over her MIT t-shirt—also Peter's—and stripped pajama bottoms. She followed Etta.
She moved down the hall and into Etta's bedroom. The small room was painted a warm green with accents of pink. The furniture was a white and artfully distressed. Olivia had never been a princess and pink kind of girl, but Rachel had helped her decorate. By the time Olivia and Peter had moved in, Olivia was nine months pregnant and she pretty much let Rachel pick out whatever colors she wanted. When they had brought Etta home for the first time, the only room that was unpacked was the nursery.
Etta was clambering back into her crib. She was also wearing a little t-shirt but this one said Dartmouth and a diaper. Olivia caught the toddler around the waist and pulled her into her arms. She dripped Etta low as if they were dancing. Etta's chubby legs waved in air. She was laughing.
Olivia straightened up again and Etta balanced on her hip. "Daddy said you'd climbed out all by yourself and I didn't believe him."
"Dada?" asked Etta. She tilted her head and stared up with big brown eyes.
Olivia kissed her cheek, "No, monkey, Daddy's still away. He'll be back soon. He's with Walter." Peter was at a conference where Walter was presenting a paper or something.
"Waller," said Etta, which is how she pronounced Walter. No matter how hard Olivia tried to get her to say Grampa or Papa or Grandaddy, Etta insisted on calling her grandfather by his full name.
Etta was almost two and at the age where was spent a great deal of her time getting into things and repeating everything she heard. It was a fun little game and no matter what Etta said, it was adorable. Though, Olivia had to admit, she was a bit biased.
"Say Mommy," said Olivia.
"Mama," repeated Etta.
"Say we sleep in on Saturdays."
The beginning of the sentence was jumbled sounds in Etta's baby voice and then loudly, "Saterday!"
Olivia laughed and kissed her daughter on the cheek again. She carried Etta back to the master bedroom. She put Etta down on the bed and settled back into her own spot, on her back this time, looking up. Etta dropped down and rested her head on the pillow next to her mother. Olivia rolled onto her side and wrapped her arm around Etta, pulling her close. She took in the smell of Etta's soft blonde hair. That sweet baby scent.
The moment wasn't going to last long. Etta loved to be carried and hugged and cuddled and kissed, but like most almost-two-year-olds, she couldn't sit still for very long. It was these moments Olivia knew she would have to hold onto when Etta was a teenager and talking back or getting caught trying to sneak out of the house.
Etta lasted less then five minutes wrapped in her mother's arms. She wiggled away and climbed down from the bed. Olivia sat up so she could watch.
There was a basket in the corner filled with the toys that Etta had carried in the bedroom and Olivia hadn't gotten around to putting the away yet. She started to pick out each stuffed animal, block, plastic teacup, and picture book out of the basket one by one and brought each item to Olivia. Etta chatted away all the while. Most of what she said made no sense to Olivia but she still listened intently.
Once everything from the basket was on the bed, Etta climbed back up. Now that she had all the toys where she wanted them, she lost interest. She was getting fussy. Every time Olivia tried to move one of the objects, Etta complained loudly. No was definitely a word that she could say perfectly.
"Alright, monkey, can you say breakfast?" asked Olivia.
That got Etta's attention. "Bweakfast."
Olivia got up and scooped Etta into her arms again. After a quick stop back in Etta's room to freshen her diaper and find her pants, Olivia moved to the top of the stairs. Etta followed behind her, toddling down the hallway, still talking about something she thought was very important. Olivia opened the little safety gate at the top of the stairs and waited for Etta to catch up.
Olivia held out a hand. Etta finally reached the stairs, and Olivia picked her up again. She took two steps towards the first floor and froze. She had the same sensation again. She had heard or maybe sensed something. There was someone in their house.
She was perfectly still. Etta started to say something and Olivia quickly put a finger to her lip. Surprisingly, Etta hushed. Olivia tilted her head, listening with all her concentration. She was barely breathing. There was a thud and then the crash of glass falling to the floor and shattering on the tiles. It couldn't be Peter. It couldn't be Walter. No one else had any reason to be in the house.
Olivia took a deep breath to calm herself, like the moment before pulling the trigger. The lazy Saturday was over. She immediately went back into her bedroom. She closed the door gently. She set Etta down and knelt in front of her.
"We have to be very quiet."
Etta put a finger to her lips and smiled. She thought it was a game.
"Yes, baby, shhhh."
Olivia kissed her daughter on the forehead. Her heart was pounding in her chest. She could take care of herself. She could handle any danger for herself, but the panic began when anyone she loved was threatened. The two people Olivia loved more than anyone else were Peter, who was safe at the conference, and the little girl standing in front of her.
She stood back up, took off the sweatshirt and pulled her long hair back into ponytail. She went to the closet, took a black lockbox from top self and set it on the bed. The combination clicked as she spun the numbers into the correct order. The lid popped open revealing a handgun and a full clip. She glanced at Etta before taking the weapon out box and loading it.
Etta was staring up at her mother. She was very still; maybe she caught some of Olivia's fear. Her face had changed. She knew this wasn't a game anymore. Still, she was a brave kid. Her lower lip stuck out, but she wasn't crying.
She lifted Etta up. Baby on her hip and a gun in the other hand. She slipped back into the hallway with the gun held out in front of them. She went back into Etta's room and put her down in her crib.
Etta started to fuss. "No, Mama, up. Up."
"Just stay here. It's going to be okay. Mommy will be right back."
It was the last thing Olivia wanted to do. She wanted to keep Etta close. She wanted to hold on tight. She needed Etta to be out of harm's way. Olivia would not let whoever or whatever was in their kitchen up the stairs.
She turned her back on her daughter. It was to protect her. Etta began to cry. Olivia walked away and closed the door behind her.
For the second time, Olivia moved to the stairs. This time she descended, taking one step at a time, staying close to the wall. Both hands gripped the gun and her arms were steady.
The second story of the house had three bedrooms all situated around landing at the top of the stairs. The steps led directly to the front door with a living room and dinning room on either side. The first floor was a large circle around the staircase. Both the dinning room and living room flowed into the kitchen at the back of the house.
Olivia chose to cut through the living room. The woven rug would muffle her footsteps and the overstuff sectional sofa could offer a little cover. She ducked down beside the couch and peered into the kitchen. A figure was crouched and mostly hidden by the island. The person's back was to Olivia. She could see little more than a leather jacket.
She seized on the person distraction. She didn't wait for more then a breath. She straightened and crept into the kitchen. She pushed her gun against the person's head.
"What are you doing in my house?" said Olivia. Her voice was low and threatening.
"Well, hello to you too. Sorry about the glass."
Olivia blinked. She recognized the voice. She looked more closely at the figure. Leather jacket, dark green cargo pants, long red hair.