I have wanted to see a scene where Peter completely defends Walter in a manner he would be willing to threaten someone to protect him.
Rating: T for mild violence and swearing
Summary: Set near the end of season 4 when Walter went back to St. Claire's to prove Belly had come to visit him before he died. And extended scene of when Walter came out of his former room and the orderly singled him out. Peter's reaction to the situation and why Walter may have that nervous twitch in his left arm and fingers when he starts getting nervous.
Peter had thought there was something going. Something that no one outside the walls of St. Claire's ever seen. Like the walls of the asylum had a deep dark secret and no one was privy to it but the staff and the poor lunatic tenants. Four years ago, he would never suspect he would be in this building even once in his life time. Before this particular moment... well… before time was rewritten and Olivia retrieved him from Iraq, he had never been interested in seeing his father. He didn't care if Walter suddenly became sane and powerful like his brain would make him if he wasn't completely bat-shit or… whether they were taking his father carcass out of the building on an undertaker's gurney.
Perhaps he would have at least consented to come back long enough to help them throw the son of a bitch's body in the incinerator, that wouldn't have been painful at all… it would have been liberating as the one thing still tethering him to the awful stigma of his family name died at last.
Of course… things change. It's been four years to his reckoning since Walter Bishop… a man whom Peter had only called 'dad' a few times had been released from St. Claire's and back into the world that made him the way he is to begin with. It took Peter a while to really see Walter for what he was, the man he is deep down. Yes, Walter was a monster. A wolf in sheep's clothing. His true saving grace is that Peter can look his father in the eyes and see… feel… know the remorse that Walter suffers over everything he has caused between them as father and son and between him and the alternate universe to which Peter truly belonged. He can see it in his father's stance and hang of his head how he feels about everything he did when Olivia displays the powers given to her from the Cortexiphan trials in Jacksonville twenty some odd years ago.
Peter knows by now that Olivia has accepted her fate; embraced it after a fashion and has sequentially forgiven Walter for what he and William Bell had to her and the other children when they were younger; test subjects to be more precise as to their designation.
Such as it is… this tribulation and revelations they had gone through as a unit had wrought some bond between them. Peter, although he knows his true origins, that Walternate is his real father, that his real mother is alive and he did not really belong on this side; this universe's Walter was the only man he could ever see as his father; his brilliant, LSD loving, lunatic father. He seemed like a walking oxymoron.
He had come to the terms rather abruptly when for some reason no one seemed to know who he was, that he would do anything for Walter. Where his heart lies with his father… that was a unique bond that Peter thought would never come to surface, not after Walter repeatedly rebuffed him when he came back into their lives when…whoever it was saw fit to let him come back. He expected Olivia and Walter to be all over him at his return, but they weren't. They didn't know him and Walter… Walter was actually afraid of him rather than for him.
No one, not Olivia, Walter, Astrid… Broyles… Lee… no one remembered him. Without getting down to the nitty gritty details, he had to work to regain their love and trust. It took a while but when he was fighting for Walter to help him return to his universe and Walter ran from him like a whipped dog, he realized then how much he wished for the Walter he had taken from the asylum. The one who's eyes would water at the mere idea that Peter would be harmed. Who was unwilling to let him go. Who had saved him not once… not twice, but technically three times. It came into fruition inside Peter's mind…there was no longer any shaky uncertainty. He loved him. He loved his father. This being said…
He has had the misfortune of having to lead Walter back into St. Claire's on the basis of their research into Fringe business several times and every time he did… he had a nasty feeling about it. He watched his father change when he walked through the doors of the asylum. Usually because he insisted on it for the benefit of a case and because he had been there so long he knew how the system worked.
Peter felt like there was a weight on his shoulders. The atmosphere in the asylum was oppressive and heavy, the density in the air very palpably different from the air outside the building's walls. He could almost feel it just driving through the gates of the facility, like the unspoken and very secretive unseen horror extended beyond the stone and iron like a disease spreading beyond the wound.
If he felt this raunchy on the inside when nearing St. Claire's it was nothing next to what he felt Walter was experiencing. Walter was still crazy, will always be crazy… a loon. But when he was away from St. Claire's he was uninhibited. He wasn't scared of being himself to an extent. It was as if when he entered this building at the risk of his crumbled and shakily rebuilt scruples, he would instinctively revert back to what he was four years previous.
Peter watched his father go from upright to a slightly slouching figure, his left hand would come upward, and his right hand would grasp his left and his fingers would twitch. The vague confusion that ever seemed present on his features turned to cold dread even at the thought of this place. His chest would rise and fall rapidly as his breathing became labored. Jesus… what did they do to him in here exactly? What turned this most brilliant man into such a decrepit and timid soul?
Peter's eyes shifted from side to side, watching Walter walking in front of him, shuffling like the 'inmates' around him… probably like he used to as well. He watched and noticed how some of the other incarcerated people looked at Walter, some with varying degrees of pleasure at seeing him again, some not so much. Some didn't even seem to notice. They probably wouldn't notice Marilyn Monroe riding through naked on a pink elephant. This isn't what caught Peter's attention. What caught his attention was the way some of the orderly's looked at Walter. The way Walter reacted when seeing these orderly's observing him with a somewhat hidden sinister smile to which made even Peter's blood run cold. If the way these men looked at Walter made Peter uneasy, a younger, healthier and unafraid sane man, what would those threatening glances do to an older, lunatic man who is scared and trapped?
He and Olivia had to sign in at the desk and this time was no different from the last, Walter was very edgy. He was quick to snap at the littlest things or even began to tear up even before driving through the gate.
"Peter… where's your father?" Olivia turned and looked behind them. Walter was gone.
Peter smiled and touched Olivia's shoulder.
"He probably went sightseeing or to the cafeteria; likely the latter. He probably thinks its pudding night. I will go look for him; you buzz me if the Administrator is available if I am not back, okay?"
Olivia nodded as Peter walked off in search of his father but knew Walter wasn't likely to go sightseeing or to the cafeteria. Not when his mind was so spent on seeing the visitors' logs to prove William Bell had visited him. This place was a source of terror for Walter. It is more likely that his trepidation had carried him off to the source of his pain… with a slightly clearer mind than what he had during his tenure here, looking at it, Olivia thought perhaps he wanted to make sense of it all.
Not that there was any sense to be had. What sense came from surviving the wastelands of the raving and deranged? The hypocrisy of false sanguine men with faux smiles and giant muscled arms ready to beat the ever living piss out of someone who even twitched wrong made the walls of Walter's hell all the more real. He was in purgatory here, and he still sort of is. Olivia felt she and Peter had descended into the depths to pull this man out… and here they are again. Back in his hell… it's no wonder Walter lost his mind and wandered off. It made her uncomfortable even thinking about what it was like to live here. The muffled echoes of the unhinged traveling down the hall the only confirmation she needed to understand what it was like.
Peter wasn't sure where all these very symmetrical and drab halls lead to but it certainly could be overwhelming for someone not in their right mind. What irritated him was that Walter, although an older man could still hustle. He didn't shamble and schlep around like the inmates. So where ever he went, he went in more of a hurry compared to the people crowding some of the halls. Perhaps Walter knew something he wasn't sharing and used his presence to slip past certain people to get to the place he needed to 'prove William Bell' visited him before he died. This means Peter may have to overturn the entire facility to find his father which was not something he wanted to anticipate doing. He pushed a heavy door open and stepped through, turning his head to the right and was relieved. He father was standing right there. He hadn't gone far, thank god.
The man in the hall between he and his father was standing with his hands firmly grasped around a mop handle. He was speaking to his father but Peter couldn't understand what was being said but his father looked like a deer caught in headlights. There was a nervous convulsion in his left hand that he was trying to stop with his clutching right. It seemed timing was good because before Walter could lapse into full fledged breakdown, he spotted Peter behind and coming toward him, breaking the uncomfortable connection with the orderly between them. Peter walked forward, gesturing for Walter to come to him. Walter shuffled forward hurriedly, keeping his eyes averted from the orderly who had him cornered. Oxymoron
As Walter neared him, he could see tension in the set of the older man's shoulders, but at the moment he hadn't figured anything was wrong. He had raised his hand and as his father came close to him, he touched his arm.
"Good news… The Administrator can see us now~' Peter said gently to his father as he passed. Normally Walter would at least look at him or at least nod his head in understanding but Walter just hurried by, as if there was something chasing him. Peter's brow line connected in concern. Tension and a little fear were not so unexpected. What Walter is showing now it was beyond remembrance. As if something was trying to hurt him and he was trying to evade it.
"… everything okay?" Peter asked to his father's back. The hasty retreat had not been seen for a while. Walter briefly turned around and looked… not at his son, but back at the orderly who was looking over his shoulder at them with a satisfied grin on his pockmarked face. Walter looked away with a sigh of relief.
"…fine…' Walter mumbled and continued on to the door and walked through fast without waiting for his son. Peter was a little more than just dismayed. He looked back at the orderly who had been looking at his father before he entered the hallway and wondered if he had said anything to upset Walter. The orderly turned away from the hall behind him and started mopping the floor with a tuneless whistle that made Peter angry. He had a sneaking suspicion that he understood what had happened.
Coming out of the office after wishing to observe the records of visitor logs, Walter was leading the way, looking very much like he wanted to leave the building in a hurry suddenly came to an uneasy shuffling gait when he spotted that same orderly standing down the hall in the path they had to walk.
The tall and unpleasant looking man gave Walter the same evil smile he had before Peter rescued him; he leaned on the mop stick jauntily as they walked by. What perplexed Peter was this asshole didn't seem to even notice Walter was being followed by two people clearly lucid. The bullying so finely ingrained into the other man's head that it just came natural. He had purely wicked smile on his face as Walter shuffled by him, clearly apprehensive. Okay, apprehensive wasn't the right word, Peter thought. Scared out of his mind was more like it. The steadily draining color in Walter's face since he got here had flooded out completely as he seemed to remember who the leaning man was. Peter instinctively walked faster to catch up to Walter's strides.
"Walter… wait a moment." Peter put his hand on the older man's shoulder. It forced the orderly to move away and resume his work.
"Peter, I don't want to spend a moment longer in this place. Please let me leave… don't keep me here." Walter stammered emotionally. Peter watched the orderly walk slowly and unconcernedly to a supply closet, kick it open carelessly with his foot and push the mop bucket into the closet, still whistling that droning tune and walked in while the door closed.
"Peter-what~" Olivia started but Peter cut her off with a pausing raise of his hand.
"Can you give Walter and I a second?" Olivia nodded and stood back a little. Peter looked at her a moment longer and then back to his father, taking the material of the coat near Walter's elbow and lead him to an alcove not more than fifteen steps from Olivia. Peter looked down at his father and Walter was looking at the floor, his left hand grasped firmly by his right, the fingers twitching as he shifted his weight from foot to foot.
"Walter… did that man hurt you while you were here?" Peter asked in a hushed tone. Walter did not answer. He didn't have too. His twitching and swaying became more pronounced. His brow furrowed and his lips pressed together tightly as a tear slid down his trembling cheek.
"Walter…' Peter clasped his father's face and brought it up so they could look at each other. He wanted Walter to look at him. "Did he hurt you?"
"He broke my wrist while putting me in the ECT chair. He… he never liked any of us. I think he liked when we got hurt, Peter. He just seemed to like to pick on me more-so." Walter mumbled.
"So he was abusive to you. Do me a favor… can you go wait out in the car with Olivia? I will be right out." Peter could see some sort of dawning in Walter's eyes as Peter gestured for Olivia to come over and take Walter. Olivia approached and instead of looking at the woman, Walter's eyes stayed on his son.
"Live… can you watch Walter? I will be out in a minute. I won't be long."
"Sure. What is it?" She asked, taking Walter under the elbow the way Peter had.
"Nothing I just want to talk to someone." He said offhandedly and started toward the closet.
"Peter… don't. I'll get in trouble!" Walter tried not to cry out, but he couldn't help it. It made Olivia jump a little and she had to work to get Walter's attention back as Peter opened the closet door, looked around and stepped in, closing the door behind him softly.
Peter knew the orderly hadn't heard him come in the closet area. The orderly was washing out the mop in the sink, the water pressure masking the door opening and closing. He was still whistling… like all was right with the world and he had some sort of measure of control over at least a little piece of it. Peter leaned on the closet door, leaning behind him and locking the door. He sneered at the back of the man's head as the man obliviously went on cleaning out the mop.
He had stepped on people. Hurt people… willingly. But most if not all the people he had tramped on deserved what they got. Maybe this guy feels Walter deserved the punishment he got while he was here… perhaps this man felt that the shock therapy and regular reminder beatings from the orderly's when the nurses and admins weren't looking wasn't payment enough for his craziness. Point is, whatever Walter had done, this man was clearly not completely in the know. This guy probably perceived Walter a murderer for the death of his lab assistant. Maybe he felt it was down to him to serve justice. And maybe…just maybe once upon a time, Peter would have not cared in any way that this man was hurting Walter. But again… times change. Walter is not here anymore. Walter his not his punching bag and Peter… Peter does care about his father and what happens to him.
"'S'cuse me…" Peter said loudly, pleased to see the orderly jump and fumble to turn off the water as he turned and pulled out a small retractable baton from his side belt loop, automatically jumping to the defensive. Peter raised his hands in subjugation.
"Visitors aren't allowed in staff only areas." The orderly said. Peter kept his hands up and laughed.
"No shit, Sherlock. I just wanted to ask a question." Peter said. There was a smile on his face. A pleasant and fake smile. The sort this man… Peter squinted at the name tag… Hank Rivers… would give those at his mercy. Peter supposed the patients here should be lucky he wasn't the one who decided there drug regime. He'd have them all completely foam mouth doped while slipping himself some on the side.
"Cafeteria is down the hall and to the left. Public bathrooms are near the entrance to the building and just down the hall and to the left of the admin wing. Public phone… go to the nearest shopping mall, we don't have one."
"Wow… covered all the bases, huh? Actually, the question was about a former client." Peter gave him a completely misleading smile which made, as he suspected it would, this Hank guy relax a little.
"I am not allowed to talk about patient information with anyone outside of contacts in their files; if you aren't a relative or POA you don't have access to personal files." Hank said in a manner that seemed learned by heart. Like he had the rules finely embedded into his brain.
"You're right… I know the rules.' While Hank had run through the rules of information sharing, Peter had closed the gap between them further. "Truth is… I want a job here. All these murdering bastards and sick fucks who don't know their asshole from their elbow need a good ass whooping to remind them. I need to be able to get out some aggression and you look like a guy that can help me out with that, Hank. I saw the way you looked down that old fart out there, Bishop. Had him nearly pissing his pants. You're good! You are really good!" Peter said with a laugh, further letting this Hank guy relax, even accepting that this man who came into the closet looking for a job was on the same level as himself where the clientele was concerned.
"What are you talking about? Wally Bishop? Ha…' Hank scoffed. "He ain't a patient anymore. He was let out by some sexy blonde a few years back. Don't know who she was but she was a fine looking woman." Hank said, and much to Peter's disgust, this Hank guy started subtly rubbing his crotch through his pants pocket. It made Peter angry… but he had to hold it together to get this guy to admit out loud he had abused Walter.
"Yeah, I am sure. You know… I heard Bishop murdered someone. How is it he gets off so clean? He claims insanity and they throw him in here. It doesn't seem right. How did you guys take that? Can't have been too easy knowing a murdering son of a bitch got off as good as he did." Peter asked and Hank reached into his smock top and pulled out a paper and pen.
"Well I'll tell you… Ol' Wally Bishop was one of the easy ones to deal justice too. The trick is to find and use the ones whose family doesn't give a shit about them. Although Bishop was so much easier than that because his family was all dead. He landed in here because he killed his lab assistant there. And his wife and son died under mysterious circumstances." Hank said in a secretive tone pointing at Peter with the end of his pen like he was proving a point.
"Yeah I heard about the wife and son. So no one ever came to visit him? So what should have at least been mild treatment here became~' Peter was just egging on the conversation. Hank clicked the pen and put the tip to the paper with a laugh.
"His hell. Some of us, we don't like the murderers. It's one thing to be crazy… but then its another thing completely to kill someone and then claim insanity. That sick fuck probably got the lab assistant pregnant, cheating on his wife. He didn't want her to talk so he off'ed her. The missus probably caught wind of the infidelity and wanted to leave him, so Ol' Wally killed her too and his son… a seven year old boy, can you believe it? And the kid was sick too from what I heard. For what? Good measure? Sick fuck. He deserved what he got.' Hank chuckled a little and leaned in. "A little pointer for the newbie… It's easy to break a bone and blame it on their insanity the way they blame their violence on insanity. Tit for tat. A little squeeze while they struggle goes a long way." Hank said. Peter looked at him closely with a satisfied smile.
"You actually broke bones?" Peter asked. He tried like hell to make it look like he was pleasantly impressed but the scowl sort of peeked through. Forcing his fists down deeper into his pockets for fear he would punch the guy in the face prematurely.
"Yeah!" Hank said, not seeing the ghost of anger in Peter's eyes as he looked down at the paper. "It was easy. Take Ol' Wally there. He was struggling when we were putting him in the ECT chair and to enforce cooperation, you give a nice squeeze and his brittle wrist cracked in my hand. It ain't natural, the means these men go through to get away from their treatments, so sometimes brute force is needed, even if it is strictly off the books."
"So… you broke Walter Bishop's wrist and no one suspected you did it?" Peter asked. His tone was stony. Hank didn't notice. He laughed and nodded.
"Yeah I did it and no, they just figured he broke his wrist when he was struggling. Hey… what's your name? If you tell them I suggested you, then I get a check for helping the company." Hank said, poising the pen on the paper, waiting for the name.
"My name… is Peter Bishop." He said with as much venom on his tongue as he willed. His eyes icy with anger and he was surprised the man didn't turn into stone when his stunned and scared face came up to look at him. Hank dropped the pad and pen on the floor and tried to duck by Peter.
Peter caught the man by the material of his smock and shoved him none too gently against the wall.
"You hurt my father? You didn't notice me with him in the hallway, you idiot? Are you that hardwired to bully my father that you are blind to everything else? How many other people have you hurt?" Peter growled, his white knuckles pressed up hard under the man's jaw. Hank struggled to pull away, disbelief and fear pinching his face.
"You can't be a Bishop. All Walter Bishop's ties were severed!" Hank choked.
"Walter Bishop is my father… here I am. He never severed me from his life. He saved me… thrice. It was a mistake I made personally… to let him rot away in this hell hole with a sick motherfucker like you, who beats on people who can't control their impulses.' Peter seethed heavier, pressing the flat side of his hand to the man's face, squashing it.
"You can't be his son! He killed his son and his wife after he killed the lab assistant! You're a fucking bat-shit ass wipe too!"
"No… my mother committed suicide! My father went insane because he had pieces of his brain cut out. And how the FUCK would you act if some cruel asshole tried to tie you into a chair and give you a few hundred shocks treatments?" Peter said through his teeth, his face red and a vein pulsed on his forehead.
"How the hell was I supposed to know what happened! It's what I heard, man!" Hank said in a high pitched voice.
"How would you like for me to break every bone in your body?"Peter wrapped his hand around the orderly's wrist. "If you thought my father was unstable… imagine what I will do to you."
"I can call the cops! You can't do this over some freak incident that happened 5 years ago!" Hank scrambled to pull Peter's hand away from his throat.
"Call the cops… I promise you now; the FBI will back me up." Peter said and stopped long enough to see the incredulity on the orderly's face.
"The FBI? You work for the FBI?" Hank said now with a hint of real terror. Peter reached in his pocket and pulled out his credentials. He saw horror spark on Hank's face and felt justified.
"If you ever so much as breathe in my father's direction…or abuse anyone in this facility again, the FBI will know, we have our ways of seeing you when you think you aren't being watched. And I will come back. I will dispose of you. No one… I promise you, will miss you. You will be even more at my mercy than my father was at yours. Do you understand… what I'm saying to you?" Peter said in an angry calm. His face steady, red and his vein popping, his eyes large and glassy. Hank didn't say anything at first and slowly nodded. He seemed incapable of blinking at that moment as Peter released him. Hank landed on the floor. He wasn't sure if he should keep looking at this man or turn his eyes away in shame. So he compromised by shifting his eyes to Peter and to the floor just beyond him.
"Feel helpless now?" Peter asked in a casual voice. Hank didn't have to answer. Peter smiled.
Walter was in the back seat of the car wringing his hands between his knees nervously, consistently looking back up to the entrance to St. Claire's impatiently looking for his son.
Olivia observed the state of him through the reflection of the rear view mirror; her green eyes periodically flashing upward to see his pale face fraught with worry. She had a suspicion as to what may be happening. She was able to catch a little of what was being said between Peter and Walter and had a notion that Peter went to deal with the situation once and for all.
She smiled a little. It made her heart warm knowing Peter was defending his father like this when she thinks back to when they first met… Peter wanted nothing to do with him. At the beginning of Peter's last four years with Walter was like standing on a giant pane of cracked glass, one wrong move and it would shatter. It hit that breaking point, but Walter managed to pull the fragmented glass back together.
"Its okay, Walter. Peter will be out in a moment." Olivia said to his reflection. It's funny how a human can instantly seek out a speaker's eyes. Instead of looking directly at the back of Olivia's head, Walter's eyes connected right to her eyes in the mirror. He was on edge.
"I know what he is doing in there. He's going to get me in trouble… he is going to get himself in trouble over me! I don't want him to do that! Not for me!" Walter said defiantly.
"Because you haven't or wouldn't do it for him…' Olivia said smartly.
"After everything I have done~' Walter started to counter argue.
Peter came out of the building with his hands deep in his pockets. An oddly satisfied and calm expression on his face. He walked briskly to the car and got in, purposefully keeping his eyes averted from his father's accusing stare. He opened the passenger side door, got in and closed the door. Olivia started the car and looked at Peter as she put the car in drive.
"So…' She said. It wasn't posed as a question but she knew Peter got the gist.
"I just had to give someone a talking too. We had an understanding by the end."
"Peter- I~" Walter leaned forward, ready to give his son the same reasoning he wanted to give Olivia but Peter shook his head.
"Its done now, Walter; I can't take it back. If you need to come back here ever again, Hank will send a message to the other workers and they will think twice about hurting you." Peter said, he didn't look back over his shoulder at his father. He leaned against the door and looked out the window.
"Come back here…again? To stay?" Walter's voice was weak; he thought Peter insinuated being incarcerated again. Peter shook his head.
"No, dad… You are never coming here again to stay. I meant, if you need to come back here in the interest of a case." Peter said softly, Olivia's face broke into a sweet smile and Walter, who had not really heard Peter call him 'dad' nearly cried at the word directed at him. He leaned back in the seat with a tremulous smile on his lips. Relaxing and peaceful.
"Thank you, son."