chichuri_fic: Mask (Default)
chichuri_fic ([personal profile] chichuri_fic) wrote2011-01-20 10:05 pm
Entry tags:

Ficlet: Reflection (Olivia)

Title: Reflection
Fandom: Fringe
Author: chichuri
Character: Olivia
Word Count: 555
Rating: PG
Summary: Olivia post "Marionette".
Spoilers: Through episode 3.9, "Marionette".
Disclaimer: I don't own Fringe or its characters.


Reflection


Olivia's nose wrinkles with reflexive distaste as the whiskey burns its way down her throat. Distaste she didn't have two months ago. She leans back to stare at the glass, rubbing the rim with her thumb, then tosses the rest back in defiance and leans forward to grab the bottle for a refill. Alcohol won't help her forget, but enough of it will blur the raw and jagged edges into something that will let her drop into an uneasy doze for a few hours.

Closing her eyes, she drains the glass and drops it to the floor. If she opens them, she will see the couch, the bedroom. The bed. She chokes back a laugh and retreats deeper into the chair, fingers digging into her legs. Olivia's used to being overshadowed by others. There is always someone smarter, stronger, funnier, prettier. Someone better. She's just not used to that person being herself.

The other Olivia has everything. An easy smile and friendly manner that wins people to her side. Partners she trusts, a boyfriend she adores. The respect and admiration of everyone she meets. Not a perfect life, but a good one. A happy one. Her world may be crumbing around her, but she will fight until the end, a hero to her last breath, secure in the knowledge that the people who love her will fight with her. Olivia knows, remembers, and a part of her aches with the loss.

How can Olivia blame her other self for doing what she felt she must when Olivia would do exactly the same?

Ghostly memories of that other life resurface and she presses the heels of her hands against her eyes as if blocking out the world around her will block out the world within her head. But the memories remain, a fragile but stubborn tracery overlaying her real memories. At least she thinks they're her real memories, but how can she tell? Sometimes for seconds, minutes, she loses track of who she started as.

Tears burn her eyes. She lays her head on the arm of the chair and allows herself a moment of weakness to mourn what could have been.

All the things she thought would ground her to this place, this life, have been tainted by the person she might have become. A different set of choices and Olivia could have had that life, been that person. Instead she has a tragic past and a breaking heart, unreliable memories and fear she long ago learned to transmute into anger.

And she has two universes to save. She can't forget that. Now she knows the stakes and exactly how far the players will go to win. She can't—won't—let the Secretary go through with his plans.

She swipes at her cheeks and sits up, collects her glass and pours one more swallow of whiskey. She doesn't have a high tech command center or unlimited government funding, and there are no squadrons of scientists and agents eager to do her bidding. She has Broyles fighting in her corner, Walter desperate for redemption, Astrid willing to fill in the cracks of whatever needs to be done. Peter, who may be the key to it all. And she has herself.

It will have to be enough, because this is a fight she doesn't plan to lose.
aryas_zehral: Close crop of Chiana's mouth, slightly open as if worried/breathless (Default)

[personal profile] aryas_zehral 2011-01-21 05:12 am (UTC)(link)
Poor Olivia, she's in such a terrible position. I'm glad to see you have her beginning to pull herself together at the end.

Thanks for sharing.
chichuri: black wolf looking at viewer (Default)

[personal profile] chichuri 2011-01-21 09:49 pm (UTC)(link)
Thanks very much! I'm glad you liked it.
elfin: image:  olivia;  text: invincible (fringe.olivia invincible)

[personal profile] elfin 2011-01-21 02:02 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh Olivia. :(

I love how you have that perfect balance of self-doubt and self-confidence in her.
chichuri: black wolf looking at viewer (Default)

[personal profile] chichuri 2011-01-21 09:53 pm (UTC)(link)
You just know Olivia's just going to pack it all away and soldier on, ignoring the fact she's still bleeding from emotional wounds.

Thank you, and I'm glad you enjoyed it.
kay_brooke: Olivia, Walter, and Peter from Fringe, looking down into the camera (fringe)

[personal profile] kay_brooke 2011-01-21 03:00 pm (UTC)(link)
I am so fascinated with this plotline in the show, and how Olivia is dealing with the fact that her life was taken over by...herself. I love this look into her thoughts.

The last paragraph is wonderful. Olivia keeps fighting, no matter the odds.
chichuri: black wolf looking at viewer (Default)

[personal profile] chichuri 2011-01-21 09:57 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you very much! I'm glad you liked it.

I can't wait to see where they take the plotline. It must be so hard for Olivia; she doesn't have to wonder what might have been different because she has one example of who she could have been right there.
amalnahurriyeh: Olivia Dunham in AU-1940s suit and fedora, from the Fringe Episode Brown Betty. (olivia)

[personal profile] amalnahurriyeh 2011-01-22 06:33 am (UTC)(link)
Olivia's used to being overshadowed by others. There is always someone smarter, stronger, funnier, prettier. Someone better. She's just not used to that person being herself.

This really gets at the knotty tangle that is the Olivia/Bolivia problem. And, of course, that she remembers it all. You really capture the snagged-up circular nature of what Olivia's going through here. It's lovely.
chichuri: black wolf looking at viewer (Default)

[personal profile] chichuri 2011-01-22 10:54 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you very much! I'm glad you liked my take on it. It's an aspect that fascinates me and that I really hope the show explores more.

I LOVE your writing

(Anonymous) 2011-01-23 09:31 am (UTC)(link)
OK every time you post something you astound me. You are my favourite fic writer ever, you even beat out the x-files crowd. Your handle on these characters is SO perfect, I look forward to your fics almost more than I do new episodes. I'm in love with your Olivia, your Peter, everyone you write. Characters are achingly good.

Right just wanted to let ya know that :)
chichuri: black wolf looking at viewer (Default)

Re: I LOVE your writing

[personal profile] chichuri 2011-01-23 10:33 am (UTC)(link)
Wow. Thank you so much. And thank you for making my night a little better.

[identity profile] sugangel7.livejournal.com 2011-01-21 04:34 am (UTC)(link)
Fantastic introspective piece! Love your Olivia -- she's hurting but she's a fighter and so she's more determined than ever to push through the pain and use what she knows and all she's been through to ensure that she keeps her promise!

But yeah, love how you moved from the feelings of near self-pity to resolve.

[identity profile] chichuri.livejournal.com 2011-01-21 09:37 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you so much! Olivia just refused to wallow in angst; she insisted on pulling herself together and moving on.

use what she knows and all she's been through to ensure that she keeps her promise!

What I would love is if one of the things that helps our side succeed is the fact Olivia was imprinted with Alt!Olivia's memories.

[identity profile] ciderapples.livejournal.com 2011-01-21 02:07 pm (UTC)(link)
This is so depressingly true-feeling. Not only does Ourlivia have the shittier life (in so many ways, from so many perspectives), she has to fight against the (ostensibly better) alternate version of herself, and win. HA, no thanks. I like that the things you list that keep her going are almost pathetic, but they're things the show has made me love, too, so I can see how they could be enough. Just...sad.

[identity profile] chichuri.livejournal.com 2011-01-21 09:45 pm (UTC)(link)
I think which has the better life is an interesting question. On the surface it certainly looks like Alt!Olivia, but she also lives in a world that's been falling apart for more than half her life, and it's hard to say how much that has affected her. Alt!Olivia's life also shaped her into someone who's a bit more of a follower than a leader, who reflexively follows orders rather than questioning them. Is that better, really? (er, sorry for rambling on; it's a question I've spent a lot of time debating with myself, and I'll stop here)

Thanks very much for reading, and I'm glad it felt true.

[identity profile] paladin24.livejournal.com 2011-01-21 10:19 pm (UTC)(link)
I agree...AltLiv seems like a very good soldier, but lacking the depth of our version. I sometimes referr to Fauxlivia as Olivia Lite.

Anyway, sorry for threadjacking...I've read all of your Fringe fics, and I love your writing style and your characterization, even though most of the time I'm too lazy to comment - but I like how you can encapsulate the toughness and determination of Olivia in so few words in this piece. Excellent job.

[identity profile] chichuri.livejournal.com 2011-01-21 10:28 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm hoping we see more of the alternate universe and Alt!Olivia gets some expansion as a character. I'm fascinated by the similarities and differences between her and our Olivia, and I'm betting there's more to her that we haven't yet seen.

Lurkers are always welcome; I'm a hardcore lurker myself. I'm delighted this story motivated you to comment, and I'm glad you liked it.

[identity profile] paladin24.livejournal.com 2011-01-21 10:50 pm (UTC)(link)
Well, at least AltLiv knows Peter at least is determined to find a solution that doesn't involve wiping out either universe. I wonder if the alt-crew will ever find out what happened to their Broyles, or at least suspect something? Or does it occur to them that their constant sending over of shapeshifters and other agents probably isn't doing the inter-universe barrier integrity any good?

[identity profile] chichuri.livejournal.com 2011-01-21 11:13 pm (UTC)(link)
I wonder if that was the first time Alt!Olivia let herself consider there might be a way other than war.

My hope is the alt-crew find out, and that's what causes one of the cracks that pulls their loyalty away from Walternate. I would love to see the alt-crew running their own investigation under Walernate's nose while they try to put the pieces together to figure out what's really going on.

Or does it occur to them that their constant sending over of shapeshifters and other agents probably isn't doing the inter-universe barrier integrity any good?

Question, really, is how much do they know? Lincoln, Charlie, and Alt!Olivia only found out about the alternate universe when Olivia came over to rescue Peter; I'm not even sure how much Alt!Broyles knew before that. I'm guessing that Lincoln and Charlie weren't clued in on the fact that the shapeshifters existed. Alt!Olivia went from knowing nothing to being dropped into a critical operation in the alternate universe that might determine the fate of her world within 24-48 hours of finding out the alternate universe exited.

AltOlivia knows the truth, and now it's up to her to tell Lincoln and Charlie (and maybe Alt!Astrid?). My suspicion is that Walternate caused the increased rifts in the first place, but he's caught in that Walter-like focus that he's doing the right thing. Alt!Brandon seems to be all about the science and doesn't seem to care.

Ah, apologies on the massive comment; I do have a habit of tl;dr on these things when given the opportunity, and I have Fringe on the brain right now.

[identity profile] iconsbywong.livejournal.com 2011-01-21 09:39 pm (UTC)(link)
Very nice job - love your writing style!!

[identity profile] chichuri.livejournal.com 2011-01-21 09:46 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you very much! I'm glad you liked it.

[identity profile] raiining.livejournal.com 2011-01-30 01:51 am (UTC)(link)
Mmm, nicely done! Go girl go! :D

[identity profile] chichuri.livejournal.com 2011-01-30 02:13 am (UTC)(link)
Thank you very much! I'm glad you liked it.