[personal profile] secrecysock posting in [community profile] fringe_exchange
Title: These Endless Days Are Finally Ending In A Blaze
Author: anonymous
Recipient: ChaoticHeroine
Warnings: References to character deaths, ambering and universe destruction.
Word count: 2,110

Summary: Walternate succeeded in his plan. Walter crossed over, but was unable to save the Blueverse. Now Altlivia and Lincoln are bringing up Henry, determined that he must never know that it was his DNA used to operate the machine.

In all the chaos that was ensuing when Secretary Bishop finally released her, Olivia saw one thing: Lincoln, carrying baby Henry. As Secretary Bishop and Brandon Fayette were marched away by armed agents, as people she didn’t recognise ran around screaming, Lincoln took her to one side and filled her in on what had happened since the Secretary locked her up.

The Wave Sink Device hadn’t worked quite the way the Secretary had thought it was going to. Instead of healing their universe, it had just torn bigger holes in the fabric. “He was going to send someone to let you out,” Lincoln went on. “He thought you might be able to turn it off. Apparently, he’d seen some old drawing that showed you doing that.”

“So what happened?” Olivia asked.

“Before he had chance to give the order, the other Walter Bishop crossed over. He’d had some idea of trying to stop the Secretary before he could do too much damage. Instead, all he managed to do was piss the Secretary off. I’ve never seen him lose control like that before. He just went for him. Brandon tried to get between them, but before he could separate them...this happened. The other universe...it’s gone. There’s nothing you can do any more. It’s over.”

Olivia shook her head. “No, Lincoln. I think it’s only just begun.”

People needed to use oxygen canisters constantly now as the air quality had deteriorated so badly. More and more species started to become extinct, and more areas were devastated by the blight. Barely a day went by without a Class Ten situation developing, and more and more agents were pulled from their usual jobs to work in Fringe division. Not that it helped a lot in the long run, because there just wasn’t enough amber to contain all the incidents. It was like putting a Band-Aid on a goddamn fracture. The people were baying for blood, and Secretary Bishop had handed them Brandon Fayette on a plate. A combination of his power and the last vestiges of sympathy people still felt for him had helped him earn himself a lighter sentence. However, as time went by, as more incidents developed, and Bishop wasn’t in the public eye any more, what little sympathy people had retained for him dwindled away. There wasn’t anyone out there who hadn’t lost someone as a result of the actions of either of the Walter Bishops, and none would have been sorry to have seen Bishop receive a longer sentence.

No one knew what had happened to the other Walter Bishop. Some said he had gone into hiding, and none could have blamed him. His own part in what had happened and the fact that he wore the former Secretary’s face both meant that he was taking his life into his own hands if he ventured out in public. Others speculated that he had been quietly disposed of by some vigilante mob. Olivia and Lincoln didn’t believe that one. They doubted very much that it would have been kept so quiet had it been true. Besides, Olivia didn’t want to believe it. In the time she’d spent Over There she’d come to understand that Walter Bishop wasn’t the monster that his counterpart had portrayed him as.

Bishop and Fayette had been right. Their names would go down in history forever for what they had done. But Olivia was determined that Henry’s name would be kept out of it as far as possible. No blame could ever have attached to him. At his age, he could hardly be responsible. But Olivia hoped that Henry never knew the truth of what had happened, that his DNA had been used to bring about the destruction of both universes. She was determined that he would live a normal life, without the stigma of being Walter Bishop’s grandson, without any feeling that he was responsible in some way for what happened even though he was not.

Henry’s surname was changed to Lee when Olivia and Lincoln married. If he ever asked, Olivia and Lincoln were just going to tell him that it was done because Lincoln wanted to be a real father to Henry and they wanted him to have the same name as them. They never admitted even between themselves that they hoped that “Henry Lee” was going to be less likely to be connected to Henry Dunham. They moved away to a different part of Manhatan where they were less well known, and where most people just assumed that Lincoln was Henry’s father. Henry himself did know that he wasn’t, but Olivia and Lincoln had agreed to stick to the same story that Olivia had told to Frank about Henry’s real father being some random guy she’d picked up in a bar whose name she didn’t even know. With such a lack of detail, Henry was never going to try and track this person down. He’d know that he couldn’t. Besides, Lincoln was determined to be the proper dad that Henry deserved. Hopefully, Henry wouldn’t even feel the need to have his biological father in his life, to know any more about him, when he had Lincoln to fill that role.

Henry Higgins, the guy who had delivered Henry, had dropped by a few times just wanting to make sure they were all okay. Olivia had welcomed the contact, thinking he provided Henry with the opportunity to have the normal life that she wanted for him, that she and Lincoln tried to provide themselves but always wondered if they could provide more if they hadn’t had to spend so much time containing Fringe events. He was able to act as a kind of mentor, as someone Henry could confide in about anything he didn’t want to talk to his family about. Olivia didn’t know whether Henry had ever tried to talk to him about his father; he had never brought it up. Sometimes, Olivia wondered whether she should try and tell him more of a truth, even just to tell him that his birth father was dead. But she knew there would come a time when he would ask questions, want to know how it happened, want to know if he had any paternal family members out there. At least this way, she thought he wasn’t likely to ask.

As it was, Henry only ever mentioned the subject to Olivia once. It was the day when Olivia, Lincoln and Charlie went out to deal with a Class Four vortex in Southern Manhatan, but only Olivia and Lincoln returned. Charlie had become trapped in amber whilst trying to contain the incident, only a month before his wife Mona was due to give birth to their first child. Henry had said to Olivia “I wonder if that’s what happened with him?”

Olivia had been too drained to realise who Henry was talking about. “Who?”

“My father. What if he’s been ambered somewhere, never knowing he has a son?”

“Henry –“ Olivia had begun, not knowing how to continue. Luckily for her, Henry didn’t expect her to. “It’s okay. I know you wouldn’t even know. But I wonder whether that’s what happened.”

He’d turned and walked out of the room then, leaving Olivia wondering all over again whether she’d done the right thing. He didn’t bring it up again, for which Olivia was relieved. For a while after Charlie was ambered, Henry didn’t say much of anything to anyone, but chose to shut himself away in his room, only coming out when he had to for meals. Henry had been close to Charlie, who had also been his godfather. But they’d all been close to him. Olivia and Lincoln had been partnered with him for so many years, had shared in-jokes with him as well as their bad days. He’d been the only person Olivia and Lincoln were able to talk to about everything that had gone before.

Lincoln blamed himself. He kept asking whether he could have gone back and saved Charlie, the same way Olivia had saved him all those years ago. Olivia told him there hadn’t been time, that there was nothing Lincoln could have done, that if he’d tried he’d have just ended up getting caught in the amber himself. “I need you, Lincoln. Henry needs you. We can’t lose you too.”

Olivia knew that if she was ever to tell Henry the truth, this wasn’t the time, not while emotions were still so high. After a while, she started to see a smile on his face again, to hear him chat about his day, and was thankful that she’d never brought the subject up. She was finally getting her son back, and that was what mattered.

It hadn’t been true, what Henry had been telling Olivia and Lincoln for years. He did wonder about this random man in the bar, he wondered every day. And there was something in the way Olivia always said it when she claimed she didn’t know where his father was that made him think she did know more than she was letting on. It was nothing against Lincoln. The guy was great, and Henry knew that he’d been a great father to him. But this other guy was part of him, and Henry just wanted to know who he was. There was no one he could ask, though. Henry Higgins wouldn’t have known because he hadn’t known Olivia until she gave birth, Charlie had been ambered, Grandma Marilyn had only ever been told the same story herself. And since they’d only moved to this house after Henry was born, none of the neighbours would have had any idea.

Maybe his mother had some pictures, some paperwork, anything that might be some sort of clue. Henry knew he shouldn’t be doing this, even as he went through the box she always kept under her bed.

There was a picture of his mother with Frank Stanton, the well known virologist. That went some way towards explaining the face Lincoln pulled every time that guy was on the TV, if he’d been involved with Olivia at some point. Idly, Henry turned the picture over, then frowned as he read the date written on the back: February 2011. That couldn’t be right. Henry had been born on March 25th 2011. And Olivia wasn’t pregnant, or at least not obviously pregnant, in the picture. Henry knew the technology existed to accelerate pregnancies where the mother was a carrier for VPE, in order to enable safe delivery. But he also knew that it hadn’t become widely available until he was about five years old. For these dates to be right, Henry’s own birth would have had to have been enabled by that technology.

So was Frank Stanton his father then? That didn’t make any sense either. He was well enough known that Olivia couldn’t have genuinely been unaware of who he was, at least not by this time.

Henry rummaged further through the shoe box. There were some photos of Olivia with a man whose face he’d seen so many times. Every child in their universe had. But he’d never thought he would ever see the man’s picture having been taken with his own mother.
Peter Bishop? When had his mother had her picture taken with him? Everyone knew the story about how that guy had been kidnapped and taken to another universe by the other universe’s Walter Bishop, and then when his real father had tracked him down and brought him back, Peter hadn’t wanted to stay, and in the end Bishop had destroyed the other universe. He’d used DNA from his grandchild to do it. But no one had ever known the grandchild’s identity, because that had been hushed up at the time.

Henry studied Peter’s face, looking for some sort of resemblance. He thought the man did look a bit like him, but wasn’t sure if he was just seeing what he wanted to see because he wanted answers so badly. He’d seen pictures of Peter so many times before, but because he hadn’t known where to look, he’d never considered looking for a resemblance to himself.

He turned the picture over, looking for some clue as to when it had been taken. 2010 was inscribed on the back. That made sense. It all did now.

Peter Bishop was his real father. Henry was the kid whose DNA had been used to destroy the other universe, and he’d been used by his own grandfather. And his mother and stepfather had been lying to him his entire life.

He had to know exactly what had happened. And someone had to pay.

Date: 2014-12-06 05:58 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] chaoticheroine
You beautiful person, whoever you are. You did an amazing job. I truly appreciate the care that went into this. Great job. I'ma read this one quite a few times.

Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays!

Date: 2014-12-15 10:43 pm (UTC)
tellshannon815: (peter bishop naked tuesday)
From: [personal profile] tellshannon815
If you're interested, there is a sequel that I'm working on where Henry does confront Walternate and we also see some of the other characters, let me know if you are and I'll link it when it's done? I don't know that it will be done before Christmas though for various reasons. Anyway,pleased you liked this one!

Date: 2014-12-06 07:11 am (UTC)
wendelah1: The other side's Olivia holding her newborn (Olivia and Henry)
From: [personal profile] wendelah1
This AU ending for season three is imaginative, sad, and creepy. Poor Henry. We know where he gets his thirst for vengeance.

Date: 2014-12-15 11:10 pm (UTC)
tellshannon815: (peter bishop naked tuesday)
From: [personal profile] tellshannon815
As per above, there is a sequel on its way if you're interested (most likely after Christmas though) - glad you liked this!

Date: 2014-12-16 01:39 am (UTC)
wendelah1: (Default)
From: [personal profile] wendelah1
Yes, absolutely. Yay! More Fringe fic.


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