AFTER what seemed like an eternity to Peter Bishop, but what had probably been mere minutes, he lifted his tired head from his hands and slowly, carefully stood up, leaving the bed. His legs were trembling ever so slightly and his heart was beating faster than he ever thought possible.
If I were an animal, I'd probably be a humming bird-he thought and marveled at his residual possibility to still peruse the witty sarcastic remarks that made him exactly who he was.
That's probably a good sign. God, I look ridiculous-he concluded glancing down his body and discovering a massive pocket rocket in his pajamas. Not only that it throbbed with desire, but it also hurt like hell.
I gotta get this out of me. Now.
Peter resolutely approached the door and went into the dark corridor, from which he headed to the bathroom. Good old bathroom. Alleviating guilty pleasures of Peter Bishop since 2008.
There was no one in the hallway and he was relieved to notice that. I really don't want anyone to come across me right now… When I am sporting the stiffie-he smiled at the prospect of that situation.
This is OK, Bishop… Go with the flow… Joke around…Keep it positive, man. It makes everything better…
Peter had this way of mentally consoling himself even though he obviously wasn't in the mood for jokes. The half bottle of cheap whisky he downed half an hour ago was still lingering in his system and it made him giddy, lightheaded and… He felt better, overall… More confident, somehow.
Maybe what just happened in the room was some sort of… Temporary weakness… But I'll manage, I'll pull through… I am in charge of my thoughts, of my reactions, of my feelings… Not her. Dammit, not her. She can't wield such power, such influence over me. Especially because I have no influence on her….-he concluded bitterly.
It was a passing moment, yes, that's all what it was…
He entered the man's restroom and flicked the light on. It was around nine o'clock in the evening. Peter placed his hands on the sink and looked into the mirror. The man who looked back at him was a complete stranger.
What the hell happened to me?
His hair was messy, greasy and disheveled, and his beard was overtly long. Peter could see it much clearer now, under the neon lights of the bathroom. The wrinkle he had between his thick eyebrows seemed to have nested there even deeper, making him look more ominous than ever. His eyes were color of mud puddles, dull, listless, lifeless and unfocused… Eyes of a drunkard. Only Peter's pupils flickered madly in all directions like those of a mentally disturbed person.
He blinked heavily several times, not believing what he was seeing in front of himself.
Peter's chest was heaving.
God, I can count my own ribs. How much weight did I lose anyway? My face… It's so pale, so skinny… I look like Hell itself spat me back. Jesus…
His swollen member was pulsating desperately, asking for his immediate attention but Peter chose to ignore it for the time being, still incredulously frowning at the image of himself.
I won't be reduced to a mere copulation desiring animal. And even if I jerk off, what good would that do? Another erection would simply come back… Maybe even harder than this one…
He took a deep breath and willed himself to calm down but the ruin that was mockingly staring back at him haunted his very soul and Peter's eyes widened angrily at his own demise.
What the heck have I become?
Peter looked awful on the outside… He felt horrible on the inside… It was as if there was nothing good left neither for him nor within him anymore…
She took everything.
When she decided to call upon her German sugar daddy. She made me like this, she turned me into a rabid wild animal…
Her hair is clean, long, and beautiful… Her skin is smooth… Her eyes are clear, sane and bright… Unlike mine… Mine is the gaze of lunatic.
Little Miss Perfect on the outside… And on the inside… She probably feels divine, now that she's most likely riding Lucas every night like a show pony… Now that he's satiating all her desires.
And here I am incapable of sating my own cravings, even with the young gorgeous woman who was willingly offering herself to me just minutes ago. And all because of her.
She is having fun…. With someone else.
After everything I've done for her in the last ten months. Despite how much I care for her. And does she care for me?
I thought so. I wanted to believe that so badly when she came to rescue me in that warehouse. Well guess what Bishop? It appears that Special Agent Dunham was just performing her civic duty towards her partner…
Her name slipped into his consciousness even though Peter was trying to push it back, to drown it, to make it insignificant… Just a little crush… That's what it was… No big deal… Nothing, nothing else… And he could easily move on… He could forget…
But deep inside Peter knew that was a lie. His shoulders and his tired head sagged in defeat. Peter couldn't fight it anymore, he could pretend no longer.
Olivia was everything to him. His whole world. His own personal sun. His moral compass. His wet dreams. His frightened little girl who needed to be soothed, who subconsciously went to him, to Peter, when she needed comfort. His strong young woman who would always pick him up when he'd fall.
And then the realization hit Peter.
How pathetic is this… She is not mine. Not mine. Not mine. Not mine…She isn't mine anything. She doesn't give a damn about me. Not one visit in two weeks… Not one…
-Fuck, Olivia…-Peter growled, now positively shaking, barely able to breathe, while the unleashed, relentless anger poisonously flew through his veins. Peter's blood was boiling and his fists rabidly clenched the edges of the metallic sink.
-Sweetheart-Peter slurred drunkenly, talking rapidly and incoherently to his own reflection…. –Maybe you even wish me gone… It would make your life so much easier… You were so annoyed when Broyles made you collaborate with the two Bishops… One insane, one irritating… Those were your exact words… And don't think I didn't hear you talking to Charlie… Let me show you I do have more qualities than you think, Olivia… I can easily be as insane as my father, honey…. So you don't care about me at all, is that right… You don't give a damn if I'm alive or dead… Let's see how you like this, then…
His hands blindly and furiously fumbled with the freshly replaced bandages on his stomach, yanking them viciously, ripping them apart, throwing them away and leaving the bare, tender, still unhealed flesh unprotected.
Then Peter consciously brought his overgrown nails down to his wounds, clawing at the almost invisible BE letters, making them bleed, turning them into more discernible than ever….
See me for who I really am, Olivia… Nothing but a criminal, and a violent criminal at that…
As blood was oozing out of his now open cuts, Peter didn't stop at that. He frantically scratched at his pink soft tissue on the stomach, annihilating the weeks of recovery, matching the internal agony with the external pain so strong that he almost fainted then and there.
Then he paused, inhaling deeply, resting his forehead on the cool white bathroom wall tiles, staring at the trickles of dark red liquid that were rapidly dripping on the floor, feeling weaker with the every passing second as a result of a sudden blood loss.
The whole world was spinning around him; with the last atom of his strength, Peter desperately slammed his head into the wall as hard as he could, feeling self-destructive and drunken with rage. Then he looked at the mirror again, noticing how a part of his forehead was rapidly swelling and turning violet in color.
-I want you out of my mind, Olivia, do you hear me? Out of my head, out of my heart! Get out!-Peter roared furiously, smashing the entire mirror in front of him with his right, already injured hand, and laughed bitterly as the mirror burst into thousand pieces that shattered all over the cold floor on which he stood, many of them embedding in his arms and legs and causing further bleeding…
The last thing Peter heard were frightened voices in the corridor, as a group of a couple of doctors and nurses barged into the restroom at the same time, gasping shockingly in unison at the gruesome sight; and then he blacked out and knew nothing more.
OLIVIA was sitting on the Lucas's hotel room balcony in his lap, enjoying the view, letting her thoughts flow freely as he was caressing her hair. After having felt his bold hand slide down to her breast, she shifted awkwardly and stood up to stretch for a little bit, making him frown.
-I am glad you came back here with me tonight after we went shopping. How did you like the dinner?
-It was great, Lucas, really. Thank you for your invitation. And the waiter who brought it for us up here was very nice too. God, I'm stuffed. I think I simply couldn't eat anymore. I normally don't sup-Olivia groaned, holding her stomach.
-So how about a toast? To us.-Lucas went over to the table, bringing a bottle of champagne and two tall crystal glasses.
-But do me a favor first.
-What kind of favor?-Olivia inquired gleefully.
-Change into a dress I've chosen for you this afternoon in the mall.
-Ugh…-she moaned… -Do I have to?
-Yes-Lucas grinned, amused. –It is of uttermost importance.
-And why is that?
-I have a gift for you, Olive-his eyes twinkled mischievously.
-In that case-one of her eyebrows shot up in the air quizzically… -Hold on a second…
Olivia went to another room with the dark green dress in her hand, and started to take of her leather jacket and her jeans. She could hear Lucas whistling on the balcony and she immediately recognized the playful, speedy song he played for her on his laptop, probably to set the mood. Olivia's feet danced in the rhythm of the music and she smiled.
He said, "Baby, what's your name? Are you new in this town? Since you walked in, things don't look the same…. How about sticking around? The place was dark and the band played loud… His voice sounded kind of dry. He said, "Who's that guy with the funny smile?" She said, "He's just a friend of mine" Just a friend of mine… Just a friend of mine… They talked a little, drank a lot, As the evening went by, The place got crowded and the air too hot…He said, "Let's go out for a while"… The night was clear and the wind was soft… As they walked side by side…He said, "Who's that guy following us about?"…She said, "He's just a friend of mine"…
For some reason, a small tentative thought of Peter Bishop snuck into her mind because of the lyrics of this song. She thought of his funny, endearing smile, of the way he would follow her about the lab inquiring about her next move, and then casually trying to insert himself into an investigation with simple "I'll come with you", whenever Charlie couldn't accompany her. He felt very protective of her and it sometimes irritated her, other times… It flattered her… But mostly Olivia was just glad for his company even though she made Peter think otherwise on countless occasions.
-Thank you for coming to get me, Olivia.
-Don't mention it, Peter. We're partners. And friends. You'd do the same for me.
-Yes. Yes, I would, Olivia. I am glad you know that. We have our fair share of differences, but in the end… We watch each other's back.
He's just a friend of mine, Olivia repeated to herself. And soon… After he leaves… Maybe not even that. Who knows where the road will take him?
She decidedly shook off those negative thoughts and, letting her hair flow loose, left for the balcony after satisfyingly having checked her curvaceous figure in the mirror.
Lucas's mouth opened in awe as she stepped out to the terrace under the moonlight.
-Olive… You look like million dollars.
-That means a lot, coming from you-she teased him.
-I'm serious. You always seem beautiful to me, but when you're wearing a dress… It's something completely different. I swear, if you came out in the street right now, I guarantee you a lot of men would've had a heart attack just from seeing you like that.
-Thanks, I guess-Olivia winked at him.
-Now close your eyes. And no peeking.
Olivia obeyed but nevertheless, she tried to discern the present by quickly batting her eyelashes.
-You can open your eyes now.
He held a beautiful emerald necklace in his hand.
-Luke… That must've cost a fortune. Besides… You know I don't really like jewelry. I rarely wear it, too… A pair of earrings, occasionally, but nothing else, actually. You really shouldn't have bought it. Maybe we should… Return it to a shop?-she twitched seeing how his eyes suddenly became sad at her refusal.
-Olive, please… I won't take no for an answer. It matches perfectly with your dress and with the color of your eyes. Also, it's symbolic. "Emerald Necklace" is a chain of parks linked by parkways and waterways in Boston and Brookline. The park we went to on Wednesday belongs to that chain and I think that this is my way to apologize for having behaved poorly there towards you. Here, let me put it on for you.
Olivia shrugged a bit reluctantly, but she let Lucas put the necklace around her neck. He slowly steered her towards the sliding door that led out of the balcony and back into the room, making her look at her impeccable reflection in the glass. Olivia blushed, slightly. Lucas did have a point. It really looked nice on her. She just couldn't get used to all that…
He eagerly leaned forward and passionately touched her neck with his mouth, and then he parted her lips and started to kiss her fervently, caressing her hair.
-Olive…-his breathing was rapid and shallow. –I want you so bad that it hurts. Stay with me tonight…
His hands slid down to her waist and he pulled her closer to his body, wrapping his arms tightly around Olivia's shoulders.
Olivia stiffened but she didn't break the contact. Maybe I should just let the things flow.
Lucas's restless fingers roamed down her lower back and gently rested just above her backside. She placed her hands around his neck and willed herself to relax.
And then her cell rang with the familiar melody of "Imperial March".
-I'm sorry, I really have to get this. It's… It's my boss.
-Ugh, I hate that man, even though I've never met him-Lucas groaned and went inside, decidedl giving her some privacy.
-This is Dunham.
Broyles's rasping voice could be heard on the other end of the line.
-Dunham, I need you to go to Boston Medical center immediately.
-Yes, sir, of course, I'll be on my way. What am I looking for? Is there a new pattern- related case on our hands, similar to the one with the rapidly aging baby? Or was someone admitted to the hospital displaying strange symptoms you think might be pattern-related?
-No. It's nothing like that this time. The information I am giving you right now is strictly confidential and it concerns one of the members of Fringe division.
-Peter Bishop has been acting…. Radically… During the last two days. In short, he got drunk, behaved extremely violently, assaulted a member of a medical staff, and completely destroyed the men's restroom tonight.
-I'm sorry… What?-Olivia couldn't believe what she was hearing, but her voice somehow managed to maintain a strictly professional tone.
-Everyone in the medical centre is appalled. I am even considering putting the 24 hour surveillance in front of his room. That's not all.
-There's more?-her mouth went dry.
-He also laid his recovery on the line. I was expecting him to leave the hospital on Friday next week and join you and his father. It appears it won't be possible.
-Apparently, he inflicted grievous bodily harm to himself. The last two weeks he spent there were practically for nothing.
Broyles paused for the moment hearing her gasp and inhale sharply, but then he resumed his speech.
-The point is: he can't go on like this. He's giving a Bureau a bad name. I know what kind of life he led before joining the Division. I also know he changed, up to a certain point. What I want to find out is what triggered this violent conduct all of a sudden. And I want to make sure it doesn't happen again.
-Yes, sir-Olivia could barely speak. Her mind was racing, receiving this unexpected flow of information.
-You're friends, Dunham-Broyles's voice suddenly became softer. -Talk to him, rein him in and explain to him that the consequences of his behavior might be dire. Also… While you're in the hospital, try to find out why he did what he did. Once he's outta there, I want you to keep an even closer look on him and his father. The last thing the division needs are two unstable members. That could put in danger the entire mission and you know how much we've accomplished so far and how much we've discovered thanks to the three of you. Good luck. I'm expecting a report on my desk on Monday morning.
-I'll do my best… Sir?
-I'm not sure I've understood you correctly. You've just told me that Peter Bishop will be joining Fringe division as soon as he comes out of the hospital.
-You haven't misunderstood me, Dunham. That's exactly what I said.
-Sir…-she hesitated once more, nervously chewing on her lower lip. –I am sorry to disappoint you but… He himself told me he's leaving the division and that that was his final decision-Olivia barely managed to say those words as they faded in a whisper.
-I see. When did Peter Bishop tell you that?
-Two weeks ago.
-I spoke to him on the phone three days ago, Dunham, on Wednesday morning, in order to find out if I could count on him or I had to start to look for a substitute. He told me, and I quote: "I am staying, for an undetermined amount of time".
Olivia's heart jumped at those words and myriads of conflicted emotions raced through her body as she slowly processed what Broyles was saying. He… He isn't leaving.
-Dunham? Are you there?
-I am here, sir.
-I see that this news is a bit of a shock to you.
-I didn't expect it, that's all-her voice became calm once more.
-Go now. Find out what you can. Report back to me. Good night.
-Good night, sir.
Olivia stood frozen on the balcony for a couple of minutes. Her heart was pounding in her chest like mad. He got drunk, he behaved violently, assaulted a member of medical staff, he…. Inflicted grievous bodily harm upon himself? She shook her head repeatedly, incredulously. I need to see him-was the only coherent thought that sprang out of her mind. Olivia was worried about Peter. What she'd just heard about him… It didn't sound like him at all. What happened to him?
Lucas came out to look for her.
-What's wrong?-he inquired. –You look so pale and frightened. Let me guess. It's a new case?
-No… It's nothing like that… Listen, Luke. I've gotta go to Boston Medical Center. It's urgent.
-Right now?-he whined, wrapping her in his arms and protesting.
-Yeah-Olivia impatiently liberated herself from his hug and put her trench coat on.
-Will you be coming back afterwards? I mean… How long are you going to stay there? Remember you owe me that toast. For us-Lucas grinned seductively.
-I really don't know, Luke, I… I can't promise you anything. I'll call you as soon as I'm done to tell you whether I'm coming back here or not. If I finish early, I'll return. I'll do my best.
-OK. Take care. Are you sure everything's alright?-Lucas asked again, confounded with her facial expression.
-Yes. Everything's fine. With any luck, I'll see you soon. If not, first thing tomorrow, then. I haven't forgotten I promised you a weekend together-she smiled and Lucas kissed her lovingly on the cheek. Olivia gave him a quick peck back, before she stormed out the door and ran into her car.