Disclaimer: I so wished I owned Fringe because I would never kill their child. OH WAIT NEVER MIND I DID THAT ALREADY HAHA.
Spoilers: All the way up to 5x04 "The Bullet That Saved The World", plus the promo for 5x05.
A/N: So Real Life has been kicking my French butt and making it pretty much impossible for me to write for the past month. But miracles happen, all it took was for Fringe to kill my OTP's child and my muse came back running, woot!
In all seriousness, I am still heartbroken. All my hugs to you guys, especially if you decide to read this. It was inspired by the promo for the upcoming episode, so it's full of sadness. And probably typos.
"She had a glimmer."
For a moment, Peter isn't sure he has heard her correctly.
Olivia's face is still pressed against his chest, one of her hand gripping his forearm, while the other clenches his shirt at his waist. Compared to hers, his touch so far has been soft and comforting, drawing soothing circles on her back, a gesture that has progressively become more a reflex than anything else, as his mind starts to drift again.
It always drifts in the same direction.
Olivia's breakdown has offered him a momentary respite from the thumping rage that threatens to break through his chest at any given moment. His protective instincts have quickly kicked back in, as well as his need to soothe her any way he can, the only way he can, because it's the only way that has ever worked with her.
Everything has somehow managed to start hurting even more, when he has realized that the imposing walls Olivia had put around herself after losing their child for the first time, have crumbled at last. She's finally letting herself grieve, something she had run away from twenty-one years ago. Back then, she had run away so she wouldn't have to face the very sight that had been forced upon them, only a few hours ago.
Not only is she unable to run away from this inevitability this time, but having to go back into hiding in their dead daughter's apartment until they can travel back safely to Boston seems to be the last straw.
She has retreated into Etta's room, and Peter has let her be for a while, too busy pacing angrily, furiously, madly, not even caring about his half-mad father who for some reason has decided not to join them inside the building, preferring to go sit into an abandoned taxicab down the street instead.
He has let Olivia be for a while, too wrapped up in his fury, until the muffled sounds of her desolation reached him and pierced holes in the thick layer of wrath smothering him. That is how he has come to find her sitting on that bed, with a hand to her face, unable to suppress her pain anymore.
"Why would we get her back, just to lose her again?"
He offers her the comfort and warmth of his touch without saying much, never saying much, and he lets her cry into his shirt, burying his nose in her hair, as he tries to let her scent take him back to a better place.
Because the place he is in right now is dark, vicious and oppressing, and the obscure pattern of his thoughts systematically goes back to the same burning yearning: revenge.
He feels a thirst for violence he truly hasn't felt in years, and never before in this timeline. It has equaled and quickly surpassed what had driven him when he had gone hunting for Shapeshifters, a slaughter that had left a great amount of silvery blood on his hands, and some shady spots on his conscience. This time, the blood will be bright and red.
As thick and red and bright as their daughter's had been, all over his fingers, all over Olivia's.
They've been quiet for too long, now; long enough for the dark thoughts to take over again, for the thumping to become more deafening against his ribs and behind his skull.
kill them kill them kill them kill them kill them kill them like they killed her kill them KILL THEM KILL THEM KILL THEM
That is why he isn't sure he has correctly heard the few words Olivia has whispered against him. That is why he moves slightly, his hand stilling on her back as he unburies his nose from her hair and rests his cheek upon the top of her head. "What?" he asks softly.
She is silent for a few more, long seconds, to the point when he begins to think she won't say anything again. But she does.
"She would glimmer…" she repeats in a murmur, and he feels her tremble under his palm, hears the sharp intake of breath she takes. "Almost the same way you do."
Once again, the thumping becomes less violent, somewhat more distant, soon replaced by a faint yet very real pain, one caused by Olivia's fingers as they dig through his shirt and into his abdomen.
Once again, he focuses solely on her and her only.
He is surprised by the revelation. He is surprised, but his state of mind is such that it doesn't mean much. He feels so numb, all the time, when he doesn't feel so completely enraged.
"I thought all your abilities were gone," he speaks quietly against her hair.
He feels her faintly shake her head, followed by a tired shrug of her shoulders. "Most of them are, I guess. I never stopped seeing the glimmer, though. It's still there, whenever I'm scared, or overwhelmed."
"You never said anything."
There is no reproach in his voice. There isn't much anything at all in his voice, to be honest.
"What would have been the point…" she whispers. "You can't do anything about it."
And this is just like her, not to say anything about something he knows has always caused her distress in the past, because really, what would have been the point indeed of burdening him with something she can carry on her shoulders all by herself.
He moves, then, straightening slightly to look at her. She follows his movement, raising her head to meet his gaze. Her eyes are swollen and bloodshot, her cheeks wet with tears that haven't been absorbed by his shirt.
She looks absolutely defeated; broken.
His fingers and palm find a familiar place, cupping her face gently, and she leans into his touch with a wobbly sigh, staring up at him.
"She glimmered, too?" he asks very softly, wondering why he never thought about it before, why it never even crossed his mind to ask her. His father had told them most of the Cortexiphan had to be gone from her system after that day on the boat, but he should have asked.
There are a lot of things he has failed to do.
Olivia nods almost imperceptibly in his hand; he sees the tears that keep on rolling down, tears none of them care about wiping off anymore.
"It was…it was softer," she murmurs, her eyes getting more vacant now, as her thoughts get lost in distant memories, memories of all these things she can never forget. "Your glimmer has always been like…like a cloud of light, almost like a halo. Etta's is-" her voice breaks slightly on the word, and she closes her eyes, the hand that has started moving when she was describing his glimmer now going back to gripping his arm. "Hers was much fainter…" she breathes out, "…almost like it was another layer of skin…like a soft aura."
Her face has constricted in pain, and she shakes her head more vigorously. "I saw it the moment she was born, Peter. I was so…terrified, to have this perfect baby girl against me, and she was so…quiet, and beautiful, and that shimmer…she was ours."
Peter doesn't possess her ability to remember things the way she does, in their smallest details, but the memories of that day are engraved too deeply in his heart for him to ever forget anything about her birth.
Henrietta had indeed been absolutely silent upon being born, despite her eyes being wide open, big, dark blue eyes blinking serenely at this brand new world that had held so many promises for her, back then. The midwife had placed her upon Olivia's chest, whose loud and hectic breathing had remained the most prominent sound in the room for a few more moments.
Olivia had stared back into these eyes, with indescribable bewilderment and awe.
"She's beautiful…" she had murmured, her trembling fingertips tentatively brushing the wet skin of her baby's face, not really touching it at first, and Peter now realizes that she had been tracing the contours of something invisible to his eyes.
Never to hers, though.
She probably saw that same aura again, that day at the park, when he failed to get to her in time, when Olivia must have been plagued with the same unspeakable terror that had twisted his guts just before the world exploded around them. She probably saw it again not so long ago, so recently, when she was freed from the Amber and saw their grown daughter for the first time. She had uttered almost the exact same words she had said on the day of her birth, had displayed the same range of emotions.
Peter cannot help but wonder what she saw in the warehouse.
Olivia seems to read his thoughts, because she reopens her eyes, then, and what he sees in them is the mirror reflection of his pain. "I watched it fade away, Peter," she says in a broken voice, shaking her head helplessly as a new silent sob makes her whole body shudder violently. "She faded away…"
Soon, they are back exactly the way they have started, with her face pressed against his chest, her fingers leaving bruises in his flesh.
His hands are not trying to calm her, though, not anymore, his arms now tightly wrapped around her in a grip that matches hers, as if he was trying to prevent her from breaking apart. His nose is back in her hair, and despite the return of that violent and all-consuming rage and grief that thumps and thumps and thumps, his heart crying and his eyes bleeding, the familiar, homey scent of her does take him back to another place, a better place.
His nose had been buried in her hair, too, on the day their child was born, when he had watched his girls exchange the quietest of look.
It is the same kind of look he has witnessed only hours ago, as their baby's light slowly faded away with every drop of blood seeping out of her chest. The same quietude, too, soothed by that one unwavering certainty, lost in her mother's eyes: she was loved.
And that might be the only feeble solace they will ever find in this wretched future they have been thrown into.
Etta has left this world the way she has entered it; at peace.
A/N: Reviews are even more appreciated in dark times like these. Plus, I have a big hurricane coming my way, this might be my very last story hahahaaa!