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chichuri_fic ([personal profile] chichuri_fic) wrote2009-05-03 02:18 pm

Fic: Slip Off the Choke Chain (Peter)

Title: Slip Off the Choke Chain
Fandom: Fringe
Author:  [info]chichuri
Pairing/Character: Peter, Olivia, Peter/Olivia
Word Count: 2259
Rating: R
Summary: A mission to take out a traitor goes awry. AU.
Warnings: Swearing, violence.
Spoilers: Through "Bad Dreams", episode 1.17
Disclaimer: I don't own Fringe or its characters.
Author's Note: Very AU. Olivia's childhood goes a bit differently, which leads to a universe where Peter and Olivia are soldiers for the ZFT. Thanks and donuts to [info]alamo_girl80 for making sure this made sense to someone not in my head—and for not laughing that I managed to write this despite not having the time.


Slip Off the Choke Chain

The ground is cold, sucking warmth out of Peter as he lays prone and studies the layout through binoculars. Olivia, a shadow but for her pale skin and the strands of blonde poking out from under her dark cap, watches the scene through the same gap in the bushes. The hill is a good vantage point, overlooking the isolated private lab and providing plenty of cover for them to stay hidden from casual observers below. Or the not so casual.

The moon is low on the horizon by the time the cars come, big black sedans that look like they could take on a tank and come out intact. The ranks of protection file out, surveying the area with wary eyes before they usher their charge into the building.

Peter knows what she's about to do the instant before she moves. "Olivia. Olivia." He rises to his knees and grabs her wrist as she jumps up, dragging her to a stop. She's raring to go; he can feel the hot flicker of her impatience against the skin of his palm. Only a flicker. As usual, she's so guarded it's tough to get a good read on her. "We wait. We watch. Don't jump the gun."

"The target's there."

"The target will be there for the next hour, maybe two."

He can't tell if she's just gung ho or bordering suicidal, not tonight, not even with the bare strip of skin between her glove and sleeve pressed against him. She's been pushing the boundaries more and more, little things that look like eagerness but he recognizes as discipline breaking down. Not that he minds. Fuck, he approves of her shrugging away the indoctrinated chains that are holding her back, but if she's not smart about it, they'll both catch hell.

He has orders to rein her in; she probably has orders to kill him if he steps out of line. They trust her more than him, and he'd really fucking like to keep it that way.

She settles back to the ground, pressed warm against his side. He studies the building and tries to focus on it, not her. The night settles into the rustles of nocturnal animals, the songs of the crickets, and the even breathing of the woman stretched out next to him.

She breaks the peace maybe fifteen minutes later, just when he's finally managed to filter out the alluring but distracting buzz he always gets when he touches her.  "Why do you always call me Olivia?"

"'Cause you're not an Olive," he replies absently, calculating how long it'll take him to break through the security system. Five minutes, tops. If their target wanted to be safe, he really should have ponied up the money for something better. "Who gave you the nickname, anyway? What'd they think you were, a martini?"

"My dad. He always used to tell mom my eyes reminded him of olives."

He lowers the binoculars and looks at her. Her attention is focused on picking apart the grass in front of her and shredding it into little piles. Her mouth moves, silently counting every piece that falls.

Her chattiness is unusual. Usually she's quiet before a mission, stalking her target like some sort of deadly blonde feline. Of course, usually she has enough common sense to wait for her target to settle rather than rushing in for the kill. "'Livia—"

"It reminds me of them. Before they died."

Before she became the ward of an organization that trained her into a weapon. Back when she had family, a life. Hope of becoming something normal.

His father protected him longer, shielded him after those first years of testing.  After Walter's death, Peter bolted and enjoyed a few giddy years of freedom before being found and forced back. Forced to remember his ties to her.

There were worse things than being tied to her. Even if it's kept him tethered to the people she unquestioningly obeys. Making a break for it would mean abandoning her, and he's not about to leave her behind.

"Everyone dies," she murmurs, and he can't read her face, has to stop from reaching out to touch her to figure out what she's thinking. Nick again, maybe. She took Nick's death hard. Hell, he took Nick's death hard, despite the weirdness of their little triad of interlocking partnerships. He'd gotten used to brushing up against Nick on the edges of her emotions, of sometimes feeling him more clearly than Olivia herself.

Being strong for Nick kept Olivia focused and grounded. Gave her a purpose beyond the mission. Now, Peter doesn't know what the fuck is going on in her head.

He sure as hell hopes she didn't pick up suicide from Nick before he imploded.

"You're not going to die," Peter says roughly. Not if he has anything to say about it. "Which is why we're waiting for the right time to make our move."

She glances at him, looking through lowered eyelashes and chewing her lip. "You might."

"Not if I can fucking help it." He meets her eyes. She looks away.

"I like it when you call me Olivia," she offers quietly a few minutes later, then whiplashes back to businesslike. "And thirty minutes in. They'll be off their adrenaline high from the trip in, and won't be gearing up for the trip back yet."

He watches her push to her feet, bouncing a little to limber up after the wait, flexing her fingers and securing her grip on her guns. At least her strategic instinct has kicked back in. He still wants to touch her, to try to suss out what the hell that was all about, but she's right. Mission comes first. Even he'll admit that. He pulls on his gloves more to curb the impulse to reach for her than to guard against fingerprints.

He's through security in two minutes, with Olivia a warm and dangerous presence guarding his back. He gestures her through first, and not just so he can watch the swing of her hips. His gun's out but she takes point. What she was made for. Each them play their own fucking little roles.

She focuses a moment and fritzes the inside cameras, then moves ahead in a graceful lope.

It's bad luck that one of the guards was fucking around on his rounds and not where he was supposed to be. Even worse that a wild shot—he was shooting at Olivia, for Christ's sake, and Peter was eight feet away—takes Peter in the shoulder and spins him to the ground.

About half a second after which the guy goes up in a tower of flames to the tune of Olivia's inarticulate scream of rage. He feels the backwash of heat, sees parts of the corridor melting from the blast.

"Peter? Peter?" She's beside him, eyes wide and voice full of terror, pressing hands against his shoulder.

"Shit," he mutters and tries to sit up. She holds him down; the pressure spears agony through him and he yelps.

"We need to stop the bleeding." She's back to flat and impersonal, but she's too white.

"Then cauterize the damned thing. We don't have time." Not with the fire alarms blaring like a flock of banshees on speed and truly fucking up what was supposed to be a quick in and out.

She swallows. "I—"

"Look, you can torch a guy, you can do this. Just... dial it back."

"I don't want to hurt you."

"Then don't." He drags the glove off his good hand, catches one of hers and curls his fingers against the skin of her wrist. He ignores that the wetness making his grip slide is his own blood.  The racing of her pulse keeps time to the pain throbbing through him.

He's seen her file. He knows exactly how many people she's killed with that practically uncontrollable fire thing, starting when she was four—and he doesn't want to think how that fucked her up as a kid, how it's echoed into her adult life. He knows that lack of control is why Olivia—and therefore he and Nick—were kept close and active rather than dropped into sleeper mode. But none of that matters.

"I trust you," he insists. The truth, and he presses it into her skin and tries to reach through the prickling needles of her fear to embed that trust in her soul.

She keeps a death grip on his hand and he anchors her eyes with his. Searing agony radiates through his shoulder, then eases, leaving behind no more pain than before and the stench of scorched flesh.

"I did it?" She sounds more scared than surprised, and he disentangles his hand from hers to cup her face.  She leans into his touch and closes her eyes, looking impossibly young and vulnerable. Taking advantage of her uncommon pliancy, he strokes her cheek with his thumb. So soft. So at odds with the steel core of strength and determination that threads her every action.

Common sense overrides indulgences. "C'mon. Let's see if we can salvage something from this mess."

She's across the hall as soon as he breaks the spell, guns in hand and eyes wary. Not just wary of enemies, not the way her attention keeps flitting back to him. "We could always blow up the whole damned building," she mutters, fingers flexing on the grips of her guns.

"Can you?" She doesn't meet his eyes, but it's not denial. Also, not in her files. "Huh. Not a bad idea. Orders were to make it strange and fucking scary, and to make sure the breech is contained. We do it right, that might work."

The rest goes more smoothly. They catch their target on his way out—some guy named Esterbrook that's supposedly profiting from both sides—and make sure he's a warning to anyone else who dares try. When they're done Olivia focuses a second, hand on the body, then rises with a nod. "Building'll burn. He won't."

He didn't know she could do that, either. Neither, he'll bet, do their lords and masters.

They take Esterbrook's briefcase. The rest of the papers they're after are in the safe in the lab like they were told, though picking the lock one handed triples the time to break in.

The explosion is spectacular, lighting up the night sky for miles.

By the time they're back on their hill they're out of breath. His shoulder hurts like a bitch and from the way she's scrunched her forehead the headache from overuse of her talent isn't much better. She still stops to watch the fire. He stops to watch her, silhouetted against the fiery backdrop, her hair free from both cap and ponytail and curling over her shoulders.

"That was fucked," he murmurs.

"We got the job done."

Trust her to focus on that part. "Yup."

"They're using us." He can't see her face, but exhaustion and resentment vibrate through her voice. "And they're no more right than the other side."

Huh. The good little soldier really is breaking free of the fold. "Well, yeah."

She glances at him, orange and yellow of the fire below reflecting in her eyes and casting odd shadows on her face. "We can't let them use us forever."

He'd think she was playing him, luring him into betraying himself, but he feels the honesty reverberating through her from five feet away. Excitement twists up his spine. Everything's in balance, about to shatter free of the status quo. "Split?"

"They'll still be out there, waiting for us to slip up and show ourselves." They stare at each other, and he can feel the shape of what they have to do forming between them. She's the one to say it out loud. "We take them down. Work from within."

"It'll be dangerous." Massive understatement. But the alternative is worse.

"Then don't get caught." Her eyes are serious and unflinching. "Or killed."

"Back at you."

She nods, solemn.

Her touch is a casual brush to his arm as she's passing by, not even skin to skin, but she's raw and unguarded and he knows. Eyes wide, he turns her, cups her cheek and studies her face. "Olivia?" he breathes, and lowers his lips to hers before she can manufacture a protest.

It takes three seconds for her to get over the shock—he counts them, hoping he's not letting his own feelings color what he recognized in hers—and then she responds, her arms locking around him and her mouth hungry on his. And fuck, she's completely open to him for the first time, showing shades and nuances he never even knew existed as she comes alive in his arms.

He grins against her lips. Damn, but those dumb bastards have no clue what they think they have a leash on. Not a fucking clue. He's going to love watching her chew up and spit out the binds they think are trapping her. Then do worse to their captors themselves.

The kiss is too short, a confirmation rather than a resolution. But even with the high of this wonderful, eager woman egging him on his shoulder is really fucking starting to hurt, and she's about to drop. And they need to get out of here before someone comes looking because neither are in any shape to deal with opposition.

She practically glows when she really smiles.

He grabs her hand to pull her along. "C'mon. Let's go take down the ZFT."


Feedback is welcome. Concrit is love.

[identity profile] 2009-05-03 08:05 pm (UTC)(link)
OMG this was beyond brilliant love! Seriously. I love the idea of Olivia as this weapon of some sort.

This part right here:
Damn, but those dumb bastards have no clue what they think they have a leash on. Not a fucking clue. He's going to love watching her chew up and spit out the binds they think are trapping her.


[identity profile] 2009-05-05 05:39 am (UTC)(link)
Thanks! So glad you enjoyed it. I'm kinda enamored of Olivia-as-weapon myself.

And yes, the problem with training up weapons is that there are problems with they decided to turn on their trainers... Heh.
elfin: image:  olivia;  text: invincible (fringe.and you and i)

[personal profile] elfin 2009-05-03 09:45 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh my god. This was wonderful!

I love how you've characterized Olivia here; half lost little-girl, half cold-blooded killer. Her attention is focused on picking apart the grass in front of her and shredding it into little piles. Her mouth moves, silently counting every piece that falls. That is so perfectly her.

[identity profile] 2009-05-05 05:36 am (UTC)(link)
Oh, thank you.

From bits and pieces of backstory that keep circling through my head, I highly suspect this Olivia is very, very broken and I'm kinda becoming fascinated with trying to pick her apart.
elfin: image:  olivia;  text: invincible (Default)

[personal profile] elfin 2009-05-05 07:27 am (UTC)(link)
Mmmm... does that mean there will be more? *is hopeful*

[identity profile] 2009-05-05 07:33 am (UTC)(link)
Y'know, I'm kinda in total shock that so many people have been asking me this?

Yeah, it's on the (admittedly long) list of "things I have so got to write", since it's currently eating my brain. Right now, it's mostly backstory stuff, though. I have in my head how Peter got ensnared, and bits and pieces of Olivia and Nick and Peter dealing with the new situation (Peter and Nick are apparently bonding over video games, and Olivia is not amused by any of it) and quite possibly an AU of the AU that ends with Olivia/Peter/Nick.

It's amusing me, but it's derailing the *hell* out of what I'm supposed to be doing.
elfin: image:  olivia;  text: invincible (Default)

[personal profile] elfin 2009-05-05 06:39 pm (UTC)(link)
Guh. Olivia/Peter/Nick breaks my brain. And Peter and Nick bonding over video games is great! I can totally see that. :D

[identity profile] 2009-05-03 10:15 pm (UTC)(link)
Totally fucking awesome. Loved it.

[identity profile] 2009-05-05 05:34 am (UTC)(link)
Thanks! Glad you enjoyed.

[identity profile] 2009-05-04 01:27 am (UTC)(link)
I love this so much. I love the dynamic between them and fucked up darkness of it all and how they still end up deciding to fight the good fight.

[identity profile] 2009-05-05 05:34 am (UTC)(link)
Thanks! These two were so much fun to play with, and so much fun to figure out how they relate to each other.

And I just noticed you added me as a friend (I apparently fail at noticing these things); hope you don't mind I friended you back.

[identity profile] 2009-05-05 02:06 pm (UTC)(link)
Go right ahead! The more the merrier (and the more willing to listen tox my crazy Fringe theories, the better :)

[identity profile] 2009-05-04 01:29 am (UTC)(link)
I've read a few AU fics and most of them have been hard to follow--too cryptic. I have to say that I actually had a feel for the plot and things ran smoothly. Nice job :)

[identity profile] 2009-05-05 05:29 am (UTC)(link)
Oh, thank you! I was so worried that this wouldn't make sense to anyone else, so I'm delighted to hear that this one wasn't too difficult to follow.

[identity profile] 2009-05-04 07:07 am (UTC)(link)
I usually love dark-ish AUs so it's not surprising I loved this... but for the first time I actually want to read more of the strange world someone's created :) Very awesome work. Just one thing, in Olivia's first line - They target's there - should probably be "the" :D

[identity profile] 2009-05-05 05:28 am (UTC)(link)
Oh, thank you so much! Glad you enjoyed, and there might be more stories set in this world.

And thanks much for the typo catch. (and I'm blushing, because I confirmed it's original to the first draft, and in all the edits I've done since, I still didn't manage to catch the damned thing. Gah.)

[identity profile] 2009-05-04 12:31 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh my frakking god! Perfection! Ever since Bad Dreams I've wanted to see Olivia as a badass, absolutely love the idea that she's a weapon and ZFT have no frakking idea what hell they've unleashed with her and Peter, they're gunna get their asses kicked and I'm gunna love every step of the way. Loved it! CANNOT wait to read more...

[identity profile] 2009-05-05 05:25 am (UTC)(link)
Thanks so much! My love of badass Olivia started with "Bound", and has only increased with ongoing episodes.

More is likely to come, although to start with it will most likely be backstory.

[identity profile] 2009-05-04 06:25 pm (UTC)(link)
Hot damn. Now this is a phenomenal AU, I wish you had the time to do the works on it, backstory, the take down, all of it. I know I've told you that I like your dark!Peter but ZFT!Olivia rocks my socks. Bring on the powers, for sure. Props for the part on Oliva/Olive, so curious about the thing with Nick and where you were going with that, and well done pulling in Esterbrook.

[identity profile] 2009-05-05 05:24 am (UTC)(link)
Thanks so very much! And there's more, damn there's more running through my head that will not go away. Mostly backstory stories for now: how Peter got involved in the craziness, snippets of Peter and Olivia and Nick and life as they work through integrating Peter into the team (Nick and Peter are very 19-ish and almost scary normal as they bond over video games, and the whole thing is irritating Olivia). And I'm starting to think ZFT!Olivia is kinda awesome, very scary, and very, very broken. And I need to rewatch "Bad Dreams" and try to figure out how to characterize Nick.

Added to the pile of about 20 other Fringe story ideas I need to work on. So wish I was exaggerating that number...

[identity profile] 2009-05-05 01:11 pm (UTC)(link)
Ugh, don't give me ideas! We're both going to be completely derailed from RL responsibilities at this point. Your ZFT!Olivia is naturally darker and therefore more badass then mine but your fic has already spawned one fic for me and I've rewatched "Bad Dreams" a million times already and now I'm having a ZFT v. MD v. FBI conflict going on in my head which is threatening to spawn into a chapter fic and YOU NEED TO STOP INSPIRING MY MUSES, OK? :D

Wow, 20. I totally cannot wait to read them all!

[identity profile] 2009-05-05 11:37 pm (UTC)(link)
So, would you rather I stop posting, or just stop writing altogether? Y'know, just to make sure I don't accidentally give you more ideas. And might I add that I am giddy delighted and ABSOLUTELY UNREPENTANT that I've managed to inspire you? *grin*

I'm almost looking forward to hiatus, if only because I'm hoping no new episodes will mean I'll stop generating story ideas quite so quickly, and maybe I'll be able to settle and work on the rest. I've never been so bombarded by so damned many things I wanted to write, and it's fun but *frustrating*.

[identity profile] 2009-05-06 01:24 am (UTC)(link)
Oh, you can keep writing, I'm just demanding a drop in quality *eg*

And I'm on the same page. I'm watching tonight's episode and, sigh, I just need the season break to gather my thoughts... Just think, in a week, we'll have plenty of time to sort it all out!

[identity profile] 2009-05-05 12:37 am (UTC)(link)
Shit. This was crazy good. Kudos to you!

[identity profile] 2009-05-05 05:15 am (UTC)(link)
Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it. I gotta admit, I think I'm a little in love with this AU-verse.

[identity profile] 2009-05-05 12:26 pm (UTC)(link)
It's really addictive. I think there should be more. *hint hint*

[identity profile] 2009-05-05 11:29 pm (UTC)(link)
Hee! There's a better that even chance, I must admit. At least of some prequel stuff, since I can't get the ideas to leave me alone.

[identity profile] 2009-05-07 04:40 am (UTC)(link)
Agh, I love this 'verse! ZFT!Olivia is amazing, as is ZFT!Peter. Can I, like, fifth the request for MORE of this story? I would so love to see the take-down from the inside! Oh my goodness, I'm just imagoning all the wonderful action and angst and goodness that could go into that story.

*drifts off into speculation*

[identity profile] 2009-05-07 06:24 am (UTC)(link)
Thank you! I'm delighted you enjoyed it. Right now I've mostly got backstory stories poking through my head, so there are very, very good chances those will show up at some point; still not sure what's going on with the takedown, so that might be a while.

[identity profile] 2009-05-07 07:36 pm (UTC)(link)
This is definitely one of the better AU I've read. Well-written and such and such. :)

[identity profile] 2009-05-07 07:56 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you very much! Glad you enjoyed it.

[identity profile] 2009-05-21 08:19 am (UTC)(link)
oooh love the concept for an AU! \o/
Olivia's rather scary in a seriously cool way here. And Peter! \o/ Brilliant!

[identity profile] 2009-05-21 09:20 am (UTC)(link)
Thanks so much!

Yeah, I've got to confess I'm more than a little in love with this AU 'verse. ZFT!Olivia is all kinds of fun, as is ZFT!Peter.

[identity profile] 2009-07-19 02:45 am (UTC)(link)
This? Is amazing. I love the AU versions you've created of these characters- the way that they're still *them*, only... different. I love your Kick-ass!Olivia and Peter -I always love Peter, and you've captured his AU self well.

[identity profile] 2009-07-21 05:52 am (UTC)(link)
Thank you so much! Got to admit, I think I'm more than a little in love with these AU versions of both of them.

I'm so glad they still do feel like them, though; I was trying to keep the core of Olivia and Peter intact and recognizable, and wasn't quite sure if I'd managed.

[identity profile] 2009-11-03 08:57 am (UTC)(link)
So I decided to read the prequel before I read this. You're mean for getting me to really like your Nick, just for him to be killed 'off screen', lol. I really liked this, Olivia still reeling from Nick's death, her concern for Peter and fear of losing control of her powers. I also obviously loved Peter here and how he's just THERE for her. Not to mention the promising ending with those two going to take down the ZFT! I really liked it, even if it was too short for me (the prequel was 5 chapters! You spoiled me).

[identity profile] 2009-11-04 01:48 am (UTC)(link)
Sorry to be mean! If it's any consolation, I've totally fallen in love with Nick in this AU, and I have to live with the fact that he's dead. Of course, the great thing about Fringe? Multiple universes. I will eventually finish writing the story of how Nick dies. And how he doesn't die. One of many planned Choke Chain 'verse stories.

Glad you like it, and thanks for reading.

[identity profile] 2010-02-10 04:55 am (UTC)(link)
Ah! This is utterly fantastic.

I have to confess that I can be fairly wary of reading AUs for new fandoms, because while AUs end up being some of my favorite fics ever, I'm very sensitive to character portrayals and staying true to the essence of a character even while putting them in a different reality.

But goodness, no need to worry here because you do such a great job of giving us this Olivia and Peter who are still so very them but much darker and broken from having become soldiers (weapons) of the ZFT.

I mean, Olivia is as bad-ass as ever but it's so much more intense and scary because her powers are fully unleashed in this. Crazy how she made that guy and then the building go up in flames!

Then Peter is even more cynical but he's still that same caring guy who's concerned with how she's doing -- who won't abandon her and is attracted to her.

I really love how you describe his powers. On the show, I feel we've seen that he's a guy very in tune to what other are thinking or feeling, and able to use that knowledge to persuade or sweet-talk them. So it makes sense to me that he appears to have this hypersensitivity where he can tell how Olivia's feeling when he touches her or her guard isn't completely down (is his ability supposed to be similar to Nick's which is why they were both 'assigned'/'paired' to her?).

But anyhoo, I just really love that you've kept their dynamic pretty much the same. Olivia is still reserved and yet Peter manages to elicit from her some openness. I liked their conversation in the beginning as Olivia mentioned why the nickname 'Olive' was important to her. (oh and the martini line from Peter made me laugh -- that line is SO him)

Then, I loved his "I trust you" and him wanting her to know it in her very soul. I feel like so much of their relationship is based on trust. Peter trusts in Olivia's ability enough that he knows she won't let either of them die, and Olivia (whether she knows it or not) trusts that Peter is going to be there to back her up and not abandon her (because he won't!).

I love the end, and how we -- along with Peter -- see that fiery passion in her unleashed in a sense. And I liked that you had Olivia be the one to say out loud that it was time for them to do something. It's interesting because Peter had been thinking it, had been wanting to get out from underneath the thumb of ZFT but he didn't take any action to do so until Olivia voiced the same desire. I think it goes back to not only the fact that he won't abandon her, but that he's perfectly willing to follow her lead and let her be in charge. I was talking to a friend about that, about how the fact that Peter isn't threatened by Olivia's strength and her being the one with the gun and on point, etc. and how key that is to their relationship and allowing it to work as it does.

But yes, I basically really enjoyed this and look forward to reading more of it as I see you've posted other parts for it!

[identity profile] 2010-04-30 12:39 pm (UTC)(link)


Really freaking awesome.

I LOVED Peter's talent, and adored the way you did Olivia. Beautiful.