Whoa! I have a oneshot? That's cool because I haven't uploaded anything in nearly a year...
After literally sobbing for nearly an hour from "The Bullet that Saved the World," I saw a screenshot of Broyles looking at that picture he keeps of Peter and Olivia and got inspired. You may see a pre-proofreading version of this on my tumblr, so don't worry about plagiarism or anything... I didn't take the screenshot, though, so if the owner wants me to not use his/her shot I can remove it and take my own - just ask :)
Spoilers for 5.04 "The Bullet that Saved the World." No copyright inFRINGEment intended.
Broyles keeps that photo of Peter and Olivia in his briefcase to remind him. It was taken in front of the house they bought when they found out Olivia was pregnant - at the housewarming party, actually. There weren't many people there. Rachel and Ella couldn't get away that weekend, but they promised to visit next week, so it was just Walter and Astrid and him. Some other people from the bureau dropped by for a few minutes, but honestly they were always nervous around the Fringe Team. Peter had insisted on remodeling the front bathroom, and the boards were scattered in the hallway, smelling their woody smell and blocking everyone outside in the sunny day. Despite the extraordinary circumstances of the weeks before, this was the last time things felt natural. The team had all received huge promotions, they were expecting a new member, and everyone could see their lives folding out before them. It was like the timeline was falling into place, despite September's ominous warning. They were indestructible.
Then Olivia went on maternity leave. Eventually Peter started staying home with her, too, and Walter wasn't being helpful at all so he got time off as well. Etta arrived and everyone was happy and then happy and tired. Olivia came back to work part-time, and then they found Etta a nanny and Peter worked part-time, too. They loved that little girl with every fiber of their beings. Walter was constantly muttering about candy and inventing new dolls and games for his granddaughter. He bought her a chemistry set, but her parents had to confiscate it until she was older when Walter tried to get her to play with it and they nearly blew up Gene! Etta started pre-school and she learned everything so quickly. Broyles remembers hearing Olivia telling him over and over how her baby girl had inherited the Bishop gene for genius, but that hopefully she got some Dunham common sense as well.
But that day at the park - the day of the invasion - that was when he pulled this photo from the album Astrid had made him last Christmas and put it in his briefcase to remember. It made him remember what he was fighting for when Peter and Olivia fought each other. It made him remember Etta. She was happy and innocent and naïve and she loved flowers. Whenever he saw her she was always giving away her drawings - pink, red, purple, and white splotches on green sticks. They were honestly the most adorable works of art Broyles had ever seen. The Obsevers took that from them. Even the flowers stopped growing.
There where countless moments during the Purge, when Peter was scouring Boston for his daughter and Olivia was saving people in New York, that the only thing that could keep him getting out of bed each morning was this irrational goal that his friends - his family, really - could be together and happy again.
And when his family disappeared, he lost sight of that. He slid the picture into the back of his album and kept it in a box under his bed. Away from prying eyes.
Until he saw Olivia at a crime scene. Well, he saw Henrietta there, but he really couldn't believe his eyes. He had found her! She was alive! There was hope left in the world, after all. She told him of the Resistance and he got involved. He had a goal again - to free humanity of its oppressors and help friends and families be together and happy again. He still remembers. Even today as he stands with his family, or most of them, at a wake without a body for their baby girl. (Only Walter speaks, and even that isn't very coherent. He thinks Peter may be drunk and he knows Olivia is. He can smell the whiskey from here.) He remembers sliding that box from under his bed and the album from the box. He pulled out this photo from the back and returned it to his briefcase.
As Peter and Olivia stumble off and Walter and Astrid walk slowly behind them to their car, the sewers, and then the Lab; Broyles picks up his briefcase and exhumes two wrinkled papers from amid the countless official forms - an old photograph and a drawing from a young child. He wraps the picture in the drawing, a yellow blob that vaguely resembles a young dandelion, and folds the bundle again and again. Astrid is driving everyone away now. Broyles leans down and lays the crumpled wad to rest against a tree root. He turns to his own car and heads back to his office. Windmark had a meeting scheduled for that afternoon.
Thanks for reading.
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