tallulahgs: (Rothko red)
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(I realise there's actually very little of Lent left. Cue frantic posting to the comm >_>)

[Title] At the Setting of the Sun I
[Fandom] Fringe
[Rating] G
[Notes/Summary] Peter and Walter wait in a darkening town for something to happen. Consider this set during season 1.



The night is closing in.

It’s a long time since Peter’s been scared of the dark, but right now he’s in a city that’s almost entirely deserted because every night, people disappear. And investigating this kind of weirdness is his job, now, and he and Walter are probably the best people to be here. But that doesn’t mean he 's not feeling like something's about to grab him by the shoulder any minute.

He reckons Walter feels it too. His father has become progressively quieter as the sky’s darkened and now they are both just sitting in the lobby of an empty office block, watching the light vanish.

(It’s stupid, but) he wishes they’d waited for Olivia.

“I shouldn’t have brought you here,” Walter says, suddenly.

“Hey, I’m not a kid any more, Walter. I did have some say.”

“There was never any need to put you in danger. You should have stayed at the lab.” Walter leaps up, starts pacing past wide glass windows covered in dusk. “This was stupid.”

“Hey, hey, it’s all right.” Peter gets to his feet, puts out a hand. Walter comes to a halt and blinks at him as if he hadn’t been expecting to see anyone at all, or if he’d been expecting someone different. Not that that’s unusual. Walter often gets that look these days. Even in Peter’s (admittedly very imperfect) memories of childhood, it was there. As if he’s been telling himself his own story about who Peter is.

“We’ve got a plan,” he says. “We’re gonna follow it. And we’re gonna be fine, like we always are, okay?”

Walter shakes his head, stares out again at the darkness. It is darkness now. Peter hadn’t noticed how far into night they’d got. Despite himself his stomach lurches. God, they’re both letting themselves get spooked. People vanishing isn’t even close to the worst thing they’ve had to deal with. Hell, if you vanish, it means you might still be around somewhere, whereas a corpse removes that ambiguity entirely. And if you’re around somewhere, it means you can come back.

These thoughts should be comforting. They’re not in the least comforting and Peter can’t work out why. It’s like a nightmare, when something’s terrifying because your mind’s decided it is. Walter takes a deep breath, rocks on his heels.

“I should never have brought you here,” he says. “And I’m sorry.”

This sounds like more than agitation, this sounds like he genuinely believes the situation is all his fault. (Well, to be fair, more than once they’ve traced a strange phenomenon back to some long-buried experiment Walter was involved in. But he’s denied all knowledge of this particular one.) Peter's got pretty good at cutting through panic and talking Walter back to rational (sort of) thinking. But it feels trickier tonight, like his head's full of cloud and Walter's actually the one seeing the truth.

But you have to try.

He takes a deep breath and tries to ignore the night welling up around them.

“No apology needed,” he says. “Tell you what, let’s go see if we can find a coffee machine in this place. We’re gonna need some caffeine. Maybe we’ll be able to whip up a cappuccino. Or some hot chocolate.”

He keeps his eyes fixed on Walter’s and after a moment his father nods. He nods like he knows Peter is making the best of a bad situation and he’s willing to play along, but he does nod, and says, “Excellent suggestion. Perhaps they’ll have cookies as well.”



[Title] At the Setting of the Sun II
[Fandom] Fringe / Homestuck
[Rating] G
[Notes/Summary] Olivia searches in the darkness, having picked up a slightly unusual ally.



Olivia really wishes she had the Bishops at her side. All right, Walter’s unpredictable and prone to panic, but only sometimes. Other times he’s completely calm in a situation where anyone else would be hyperventilating. And Olivia sometimes forgets how much she values Peter’s good sense and cool head and general competency. Until it’s taken away and she’s confronting whatever the latest weirdness is without him.

And, in this case, confronting it accompanied by Terezi Pyrope, head of the local police department, who – okay, she’s not even close to the weirdest person Olivia’s ever met, but she’s pretty weird. She professes to be able to smell colours, has a habit of licking whatever she's holding, seems to show too many teeth when she smiles, and is worryingly fond of the colour red. Walter thought she was wonderful, not least because she was the first person he'd met who seemed to love strawberry liquorice as much as him.

“Where is he, anyway?” she's asking Olivia now as they walk down a twilit street. “You sure he didn't just get distracted and wander off for doughnuts?” Her cane slides from side to side, patterning out a diagonal on the empty pavement.

“Not if he thinks he's found out what's going on. He's focused as hell if he thinks he's going to prove something. That's why he's come back here.”

“And has he? Solved the mystery?” There's a faintly mocking note to Terezi's voice, but Olivia can't decide if it's a real dig or if it's just the woman's general demeanour.

“He might seem a little... odd,” she says, “but he's as smart as hell underneath that and he's saved my life on a number of occasions.”

Terezi cackles – there's no other word for it – but she says, “It's okay. I believe you. You take things very seriously, don't you?”

This is the kind of attitude that sets Olivia's teeth on edge – because of course she takes things seriously, she takes a lot of things too seriously, and it would be very easy to snap back some putdown about how the nature of their work demands it. But she presses her tongue against her teeth for a moment, and glances again at Terezi, and says, “Yep. Lightening up is probably the most frequent recommendation I've had. I'm guessing that's not a problem for you?”

Terezi laughs again. “I don't mess with people as much as you're thinking. I mean, sure, it's fun to screw with people's expectations of a poor little blind girl –”

“Does anyone really think of you as a poor little blind girl? I heard you broke a mugger's arm with that cane.”

“You'd be surprised,” Terezi says, grinning that wide grin. “Well, no, perhaps you wouldn't. You're a blonde and I reckon you're pretty hot, if the way Peter Bishop talks to you is any indication –” Olivia feels herself blushing and she starts to stutter something but Terezi carries on, “You'll have had the same thing, people thinking you're nothing very much. Only you put up the walls and make it obvious that they shouldn't screw with you, whereas I like to lure 'em in and laugh at them when they realise how wrong they are –”

She stops. “Hey. What's that?”

Olivia, very glad to get a distraction from the unwanted psychoanalysis, looks round. The street is dark now, she can't hear anything except the breeze in the trees and Terezi sniffing a little, and it feels as though there's no one but them around for miles. “What?”

“It smells of... hey, you must've got knocked unconscious a few times. I'm assuming it comes with being a badass FBI agent. Do you know that colour that creeps up around the edges when you're about to keel over? Sort of purple-black with yellow edges? The air reeks of it.”

Olivia isn't sure how to respond to that. She can't see anything out of the ordinary, but she... all right, she's seen a lot of horrible things and this situation isn't even in the top twenty and yet her heart's racing and her skin's crawling like she knows there's something behind her.

Down a side street, torchlight rushes across a wall.

“You said no one goes out at night here any more,” she whispers, reaching for her gun.

“There's hardly anyone left to go out at night. And, yes. Everyone is home by sunset.”

“Someone's down there with a torch.”

“Your Bishops?”

The torchlight vanishes, but the next moment, another beam lights up on the other side of the street, rushing across the shuttered storefronts and the trash cans and the tree trunks.

“I don't think it's them,” Olivia says, and her heart is pounding so much she can barely get the words out.

“Are you scared?” Terezi says, softly. Olivia doesn't want to admit it, but Terezi (of course) seems to have worked that out. “Because I'm scared. And that makes no sense. This is not the sort of thing I'm frightened of. This is something in the air.”

“There's people with flashlights,” Olivia says. “All around us.”

“Anyone going out at night here with a light either knows something, or they're behind all of this. Which means they've got some questions to answer.” Terezi's knuckles whiten on her cane. “Come along, Agent Dunham. We've got some justice to serve.”

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