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14 October 2008 @ 10:49 pm
Title: No Alice
Author: tiptoe39
Rating: PG. Language only.
Set: Post-1x05. As in, the episode ended and the first thing I did was go to my computer and type this. So, spoilers for 1x05.
Author's note: First Fringe fic ever. Hints of Olivia/Peter but nothing overt.


God damn it, the ring said ALWAYS.

Olivia went into the now-dark ladies' room and sat against the door so nobody could come in.

She didn't cry. She didn't open her eyes. She just sat and saw that word, giant floating letters behind her eyelids. ALWAYS.

If she'd learned anything in these past few weeks it was that nothing was always. Not love, not truth, not even the world.

It was some sordid sense of propriety rather than her own lingering sentimentality that kept her from chucking the ring out the window.

When she was ready to move again, she put it in her desk. On the bottom drawer. Underneath a box of paper clips.

Walter had asked, did she want the apparition to go away?

She needed the apparition. That was apparent. For the case, but also for herself. She still needed John in her life.

Which is precisely why the answer to Walter's question was a hell, yes, she wanted it to go away.

She wanted to not need him anymore.

She stood in the elevator scared to death, not of it plummeting to the ground and killing her, though that might be the more reasonable fear, but that she'd look around and he'd be there. Touching her. Kissing her with lips that weren't real, with warmth that was a clue.

She didn't relax until she was behind the wheel of her car and merging onto Storrow Drive. It wouldn't be long before she was home.

He'd been in her home. He'd stood there, real and alive, after a date. A movie, perhaps? She'd invited him upstairs. They'd laughed. She'd pursued him like a panther and he'd feigned fear. A childish game of love just begun.

Fuck it. She wasn't going home. She got off at the Mass Ave. exit and crossed the bridge.

It had been a zombie movie, she thought, or a vampire movie. Some screamfest where the creatures had been unable to cross over water. They'd laughed so hard at how long it took the heroes to figure that out.

Now she was praying the river did the same for ghosts.

John Scott had been so many things to her. John Scott, her partner. John Scott, her lover. John Scott, a traitor. John Scott, lost to her. John Scott, appearing in her head. John Scott, leading her down hallways and alleyways. Her own personal white rabbit, taking her to Wonderland and back.

She was no Alice. She refused to be Alice. She parked on a side street and started walking through Central Square.

All-night coffeehouses. A few late-lingering bars. Some live music. Black holes of dark windows, like missing teeth in a gaping mouth of storefronts. Olivia walked along its lower lip and tried her best to get swallowed.


Peter's voice behind her. She turned. Peter's face.

This was the area that the two of them had found an apartment. She'd forgotten. She was fairly sure she'd forgotten.

He was in a winter jacket and a cap. "You look like you're about to do some breaking and entering," she said, smiling thinly at him as he approached.

"Left the crowbar at Mill Street." He shrugged and shuffled his feet on the ground.

"What are you doing out here at this hour?"

"Walter." She didn't even need to hear it. She could have answered her own question.

"Root beer again?"

"Something about a Saturday morning cartoon he thinks I used to watch." Peter rubbed his hands together. "I don't remember it, though. He probably made it up to keep himself busy in the nuthouse."

"Do you remember much about your childhood?"

He shook his head. "Still, I think I'd remember a theme song that annoying." He peered at her again. "Olivia, are you feeling all right? Why are you out here, anyway?"

His face was close. Olivia thought for a moment he was going to reach up and feel her forehead for fever. "I'm fine, it's just..."

It's just that I've been seeing my dead boyfriend who was maybe not a traitor and he's now giving me clues to the Pattern and your father says he's actually alive inside my brain and I'm scared...

She stood there, blinking, trying to figure out what she could say, what she wanted to say.

He didn't wait for her to speak. "Everyone's got a past, Olivia," he said. "You shouldn't feel like you're the only one who has to be professional about it."

"What?" Her voice sounded high and almost quavering. She was ashamed.

Then there was warmth, and she was tasting the fleece of his jacket. He had a hand behind her head and was pulling her in to a friendly embrace. "It's OK," he muttered, and in the flurry of fluttering heartbeats she dimly sensed his lips being pressed to her hair. "It's going to get better."

"How can you of all people say that?" she half-whispered, not trusting her own voice to carry without breaking. "You won't forgive your father for what he did twenty years ago. I lost him barely a month ago. If I'm like you in twenty years..."

Peter let go. Olivia gasped and held the breath for an instant before exhaling with a rush of words. "Oh, my God. I'm sorry, I didn't..."

She drew back to look at him. But he was grinning.

"I'm sorry," she repeated.

Now he burst out laughing. Full-throated, genuine laughter that carried on the empty street's concrete edges and flew up to the streetlights like a bevy of moths. He doubled over, leaned on his knees. Olivia watched him like he was some creature beyond her understanding, an alien. She hugged her arms around herself and backed away a few steps. "What?"

"Nothing," he said, trying to get his composure back. "Nothing. You have a point."

"I do?" She wasn't sure what it was, but she was willing to take his word for it.

"Do you want to go get a drink?" he asked. "That coffee place is still open."

She shrugged. "On one condition. No, two conditions."


She regarded him. Flushed with laughter, he looked impossibly young and fresh for such a jaded man. "Number one, that we don't talk any more about the past tonight."

He nodded soberly. "All right. And number two?"

She hooked her thumb at the sign that read OPEN MIKE NIGHT. "You don't recite any bad poetry at me."

He laughed again, shortly this time. "Deal. Shall we?"

She took his arm. "Let's go."
alamo_girl80: Fringe - Peter/Olivia Heartalamo_girl80 on October 15th, 2008 02:57 pm (UTC)
Great job! I loved the imagery in this and the great characterizations.

LOVED this line: "Black holes of dark windows, like missing teeth in a gaping mouth of storefronts. Olivia walked along its lower lip and tried her best to get swallowed."

That was a wonderful metaphore.

I look forward to more Fringe fic from you! Bravo!
saavikam77: Clark Facesaavikam77 on October 15th, 2008 03:29 pm (UTC)
Awww!! This was really heartbreaking and sweet. :) I think I'm definitely starting to ship those two. ^_~
♪ Saranade -- BoomBoom! ♫: Fringe | Olivia | Shocking Beautybriteskies on October 15th, 2008 04:29 pm (UTC)
Oh, nice. I really liked this. I've not really gone out searching for Fringe fics yet, but since you wrote one I thought I'd look! ♥

Also! This image just is wonderful:
Black holes of dark windows, like missing teeth in a gaping mouth of storefronts. Olivia walked along its lower lip and tried her best to get swallowed.
Lisa: OliviaPeterfailegaidin on October 28th, 2008 07:11 pm (UTC)
I loved his reaction to her outburst. Instead of getting upset, he laughed and pointed out that she's probably right.