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Fringe Fic: This Side - tranquility... best achieved in chaos
phrenitis
phrenitis
Fringe Fic: This Side
Title: This Side
Rating: PG
Category: Peter/Alt!Livia
Spoilers: Season Three, Do Shapeshifters Dream of Electric Sheep?
Disclaimer: Owned by others.
Author's Note: I can’t help it. This pairing is like weird and awesome AU crack.

==

“I say across the waves of the air to you:
today once more
I will try to be non-violent
one more day
this morning, waking the world away
in the violent day.”
-- Muriel Rukeyser, ‘Waking This Morning’


==

There are a few tense moments, times where lies and facts fill her head and it takes a second to spin the right story. But she’s really really good, and failure means a lot more than her life, so those incidents are few.

Rachel and Ella prove the most difficult – not to convince, they’re utterly clueless, but they have so many stories. She hunts down photo albums, letters, videos – pieces together a past that is rich with years and emotion.

Aunt ‘Liv, Ella says. And sometimes, when it’s late and thrown into an offhand comment – so can I watch TV now? I brushed my teeth, Aunt ‘Liv. – it hits her unexpectedly, the loss.

Only Peter questions, but it’s a curiosity really. She watches him watch her, knows her cover is solid, the tiny discrepancies always vaguely explainable. And if she encourages his affection, it’s only to continue the cover; it’s only to bring him close enough that the occasional rough edge starts to get a bit blurry.

==

The case runs long, a few endless days of searching through woods, and Walter puttering around in the lab. It’s not exactly on her mission list, but she can’t really do anything but be bothered about it at this point.

When they get to the bottom of the mess – an arrest, some odd glue (or goo, she’s never really sure what Walter’s saying), and one more telepath on the run – she feels fierce satisfaction at a mostly closed case, and it gives her pause.

“Nice job, Olivia,” Peter says, brushes a kiss to her temple as he passes.

==

It’s quaint, this side of the universe. It’s also destructive and cruel, deceptive and evil – what she’s been told will definitely prove true enough one day – but there is a charm to this side that reminds her of simple things, a slower history.

They dawdle over coffee, sit in traffic, drink at the bar, watch TV from the couch, and it’s almost boring having this much time to think, to wait. She feels lazy most days, practically vibrates with excitement and energy when there’s even a hint of a case.

Sometimes, when she’s thinking, she worries it’s too easy with Peter, the way they’ve fallen together. The other Olivia has the backstory, but here she has the relationship, and the territory is new for both of them. There aren’t really rules she needs to follow, and it leaves her unsettled, writing this story with him.

==

She remembers Frank suddenly, violently, a few months on this side. It’s over something incredibly mundane, fighting with the coffee pot of all things. And it shocks her, this investment she’s made – so deep a cover, so great a mission, that this universe is slowly, quietly, becoming her only universe.

She goes to the firing range, frustration high as she fudges her aim again and again, the sound of casings hitting the floor in fast, metallic succession as she forces herself to remember the facts, the faces, the stories she shares with Frank, Charlie, Lincoln…

==

“Go to sleep,” he says in a quiet mumble, arm warm and heavy across her stomach.

But she can’t, she can’t even try, and she stares at the ceiling, at the shifting shadows, and listens to his slow, soft breaths.

I did this to throw Peter off track, she thinks. The lack of conviction makes her ill.

She is still awake when the sun finally starts to rise.


-Fin

Tags: ,

24 whispers :: tell me a secret
Comments
lone_pyramid From: lone_pyramid Date: October 22nd, 2010 02:49 am (UTC) (Link)
I want to dislike this because, wrong Olivia, and that's just not right.

But I've been saying since before the premiere that she's going to fall for Peter herself before all is said and done, and this is that story.

Ack! Don't make it so believable!!

(Er. Lovely -- if somewhat painful for its potential reality -- story. In case that wasn't clear in the above ramblings.)
phrenitis From: phrenitis Date: October 22nd, 2010 06:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hahaha - I totally understand. I'm definitely in the Peter/Olivia camp, but apparently I'm also twisted because I'm just in love with Peter/Alt!Livia and Olivia/Head!Peter right now.

And even though it annoys me that Peter doesn't really realize he's with Alt!Livia, I can actually explain that away in my head and it doesn't really bother me. I'm sure we'll get happy/sexy Peter/Olivia times soon enough. What I love love the most is that even without knowing who Alt!Livia really is, Peter's still managing to turn her anyway. Come on, that's just perfect fic fodder. LOL :D
lone_pyramid From: lone_pyramid Date: October 22nd, 2010 11:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
Olivia/Head!Peter

lol! Love that.

What I love love the most is that even without knowing who Alt!Livia really is, Peter's still managing to turn her anyway. Come on, that's just perfect fic fodder. LOL :D

Well, you've got a point there. :) And it is pretty awesome that Peter's got her questioning things without even trying. But I'm too much of an OTP'er to be okay with Peter sleeping with the wrong Olivia, and the inevitable angst that's going to follow when everyone knows everything is going to kill us all dead.

But yeah, I'm clinging to them having a happily-ever-after ending when all is said and done. :D
azarsuerte From: azarsuerte Date: October 31st, 2010 12:50 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you SO much for writing alt!Livia as the complicated person she is instead of the two-dimensional scheming bitch most of fandom would like her to be!

phrenitis From: phrenitis Date: November 1st, 2010 11:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
Really appreciate the comment - thank you. I've been feeling fairly alone in my love for this season and the complicated personalities and character/relationship dynamics that are evolving!
i_like_neon_ice From: i_like_neon_ice Date: October 31st, 2010 08:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
This was lovely! I've never thought of Alt!Livia's feelings on how slow this world must be to her. But I can definitely see it now.

I really hope Alt!Livia sticks around after real Olivia comes back. I think she has a great story to tell and has the potential to be such a deep character on the show. It would be fascinating to see if she ends up with some sort of bond (be romantic or platonic) with Peter after he realizes who she is.
Might bring the theme of fate into play. (:
phrenitis From: phrenitis Date: November 1st, 2010 11:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!!

And yes - completely agree. :) I would love to explore it going one of two ways...

1) Alt!Livia can't go back to the other side and it opens all sorts of awesome possibilities with this second Olivia running around in this universe.
2) Alt! Livia goes back to her universe but Peter has managed to turn her (whether he knows this or not) and she becomes an ally. Which of course means she will most likely meet some sort of horribly tragic end at the hands of Walternate. Angst!
twixbitch From: twixbitch Date: November 1st, 2010 04:12 am (UTC) (Link)
I LOVE this. I mean, I hate it, but I love it. Especially the first and last section. Felt very real.
phrenitis From: phrenitis Date: November 1st, 2010 11:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hahaha, thank you. I'm pretty sure it's me versus the rest of fandom at the moment, but it's super fun to play in all the angst anyway. ;)
peanutbutterer From: peanutbutterer Date: November 2nd, 2010 03:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
The other Olivia has the backstory, but here she has the relationship, and the territory is new for both of them. There aren’t really rules she needs to follow, and it leaves her unsettled, writing this story with him.

So true.

I like Alt!Livia. She thinks these guys are the baddies, but that doesn't make her evil. Maybe these guys are the baddies. I mean, look what Walter did to their universe. I'd be pissed too.

(Though that incident with the deaf guy was not okay. That was pretty straight up evil.)
phrenitis From: phrenitis Date: November 2nd, 2010 04:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
*grins* Thank you! And I don't know what it is, but I'm intrigued by the whole parallel dynamic happening between the worlds and really don't think fandom is giving it all enough credit (mostly because they're all OMG BUT OLIVIA/PETER WTF). Then again, it's possible it will all be one dimensional and black/white in the end, but I'm hoping the writers have a more complicated story to tell.

As for the shooting of the deaf guy - evil yes, but Alt!Livia is an enforcer, she follows rules, she's a soldier, and this is war. It's not just a fight for herself, it's to stop the extinction of her entire universe. What is one man's life, even a dozen men's lives, to prevent that?

And I'd like to believe that while she might fight them until the end because that's her job in this war, somehow it's getting to her - she's finding that humanity exists on this side, that love exists, and I think the story is about to get super juicy. ;)
blueeyelinerx From: blueeyelinerx Date: November 7th, 2010 09:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
Aunt ‘Liv, Ella says. And sometimes, when it’s late and thrown into an offhand comment – so can I watch TV now? I brushed my teeth, Aunt ‘Liv. – it hits her unexpectedly, the loss.

I loved this. How complicated it must be to be someone else entirely but someone else the same and know what could have been. Olivia's a complicated girl on both sides -- this was awesome insight into one of their heads. SO good!
phrenitis From: phrenitis Date: November 17th, 2010 07:40 am (UTC) (Link)
Glad you liked. Thank you so much! :)
(Deleted comment)
phrenitis From: phrenitis Date: November 17th, 2010 07:42 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for the comments! I have such a hard time disliking Alt!Livia because even though she's from Over There and obviously at war with us and all, she's still Olivia. I feel like I owe her a chance to be complex and complicated and awesome in her own way. ;)
noblealice From: noblealice Date: November 17th, 2010 04:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wow, this is amazing! Here through a rec and I'm def. going to rec this fic myself! I really like how you've gotten into alt!Livia's mindset and how there's too much time to THINK and WAIT here and what that's doing to her.

I did this to throw Peter off track, she thinks. The lack of conviction makes her ill.
This line is PERFECT. I love seeing her slowly develop real feelings for Peter.
phrenitis From: phrenitis Date: November 23rd, 2010 07:24 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!! Very glad you enjoyed. :)
musesfool From: musesfool Date: November 17th, 2010 05:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
This is a really great look at alt!Olivia.
phrenitis From: phrenitis Date: November 23rd, 2010 07:25 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!
ulkis From: ulkis Date: November 30th, 2010 04:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
I really enjoyed this.
phrenitis From: phrenitis Date: December 1st, 2010 12:44 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks so much! :D
ceruleantides From: ceruleantides Date: February 18th, 2011 05:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love that she can't even convince herself. That it makes her ill.

It's beautiful, always written with eloquence and details, the intricate details that make it so believable that you're not only there, but that YOU should be writing this show.

phrenitis From: phrenitis Date: February 18th, 2011 05:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
You're such a sweetheart, hon. <3

I honestly can't stop saying how excited I am about you watching this show. Now we can talk fic and ideas and beta-ing and all sorts of fabulous things that make me smile ALL THE TIME!
ceruleantides From: ceruleantides Date: February 18th, 2011 06:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm crazy excited too. Fic talk is one of my favorite things ever. Along with TV. And food. :)
24 whispers :: tell me a secret