Few people seem to read in the DW-LJ nexus on weekends, but what the hell; I'm bracing myself for *tumbleweeds*.
A Symphony that's You
Characters: Lincoln/Peter, background Peter/Olivia
Time-/Space!Line: Amberverse up to & including 4x10 "Forced Perspective"
Tags: Angst, mild D/s. Did I mention this is angsty?
Beta thanks to: samjohnsson, who rightfully insisted on a proper story (and without whom this would be much less of one, no euphemism).
Summary: Picks up where Ticket for my destination left off. It helps reading that story first for the basic set-up (but is not strictly required).
Lincoln sleeps again.
Which is to say: at all. He goes to bed when he's exhausted and sometimes that's enough. More and more often, it's enough. He still encounters strangeness almost every day, but maybe he is getting used to it. Lincoln's definitely getting used to Peter. Who threw a smile and a dishtowel at him after a little mishap with their tanuki udon take-away three nights ago. Who, just yesterday, didn't really believe in throwing on a t-shirt, instead doing his laundry bare-chested while wearing only jeans so threadbare they were probably illegal in Texas. Who was aloof and distracted today, but not so aloof that he missed Lincoln's eye-roll about that lemon of a fleet car because he fixed the spark plug five minutes afterward. Lincoln thinks he should probably be embarrassed, because this is not college and Peter is not Eli Saunders (he's clearly a lot taller and less blond).
Tonight, at any rate, Lincoln isn't sleeping. His train of thought hasn't been helping at all. He gives up and gets up, wanders across the hallway to the bathroom.
Almost at the door, he hears it: harsh breathing, moans coming from Peter's bedroom. The sound of wood scraping over wood makes the hair on Lincoln's arms stand on end. They could be harmless, of course, but they sure sounded like pain, not pleasure. Lincoln takes a full half-second to mentally debate actually checking in on Peter, but his hand is on the doorknob pretty much straight thereafter, and then he's in Peter's darkened bedroom.
To be less of a creep and more of a help instead, Lincoln flicks the light switch that turns on the large lamp on the bedside table.
Peter's in his bed, although that needn't be true in the immediate future, judging from the way he's tossing and turning, deep in what must be the mother of all nightmares. He's muttering unintelligible words, eyes closed but eyelids fluttering without seeing. Peter's hands are fisting he sheets, then the empty air. His chest is moving, marathon-like, and really, that can't be healthy. Lincoln approaches the bed, approaches Peter, but his quiet wake-up call doesn't help, and neither does his gentle pat in the vicinity of Peter's leg.
Peter gasps, again, face twisted, turning blindly and now he almost topples off the bed...or would if Lincoln wasn't there: unthinking, fast, propping him up and shoving him backward, back onto the bed. And now, now Peter wakes: with a start, blue eyes opening. His hands shoot out to grab Lincoln. A whoosh of air leaving his lungs, Lincoln himself is tossed onto Peter's bed, onto his back, and fuck, that guy is strong; Lincoln forgets Peter's sheer size and suspects a past that must've taught him tricks not in the FBI Handbook.
Poised over Lincoln, almost feline, Peter's keeps his knees on either side of Lincoln's thighs, boxing him in. He blinks, once and in slow motion, before focusing on Lincoln's face. Having Peter Bishop's considerable attention directed fully at him is a rush, as ever, but it's not the only thing keeping Lincoln so captivated. Peter's fingers are clamped around Lincoln's wrists hard enough to feel as if Peter has a grip on his very bones.
"Please, Peter," Lincoln says, and he doesn't know if he's going to say it out loud before he does, "please don't stop." His body feels weightless and perfectly weighted at once.
Lincoln can hear the thud-thud of his own heartbeat; he imagines it runs counterpoint to Peter's right now: his breathing almost as heavy as Lincoln's, only for Peter it must still be shock, the slow dissipation of adrenaline. "You've got to be kidding me," Peter says. His hands are still where they have been, exerting darkly-sweet pressure.
Lincoln closes his eyes. His cheeks are clearly on fire. He can't off the top of his head remember being this hard, this wanting. "I'll...have you know I originally just came to wake you up. From a nightmare."
Peter makes a sound Lincoln can't place, then leans down so far that Lincoln can feel his breath on his face -- lips, cheek, the shell of his ear, making Lincoln shiver. "I know I had a nightmare, Lincoln; it was my head, after all." Lincoln opens his eyes again, not without effort, but Peter is not currently looking at his face but dragging his gaze across Lincoln's bare chest, his arms pulled so tightly upward. "God, look at you. No wonder --" he breaks off, and for a moment he looks lost, more so than back in that cell that very first time Lincoln saw him.
Lincoln's lips are dry, so he licks his lips. Peter's eyes flick up, track the motion; that and his words make Lincoln bolder. Make him remember his own training, his own legs. With a surprised sound, Peter tumbles down, on top of him, and ouch, although Peter's kept his knees away.
For all his earlier realisation, Peter's eyes still widen when Lincoln moves his hips, a little half-circle up and against Peter where he's resting right on top of him, groin to groin, and Lincoln is rewarded with a bitten-off moan. "Lincoln," Peter says, voice vibrating on a frequency that makes the air between them hum, "this is a terrible idea."
"Doesn't feel so terrible, though." And his hands, his hands are free now, with Peter propping himself up on his arms and no longer on all fours. So Lincoln reaches up and runs his index finger across Peter's stubble, questioning. Peter's eyes flutter shut for just a half-second, and that's enough; it's encouragement enough for Lincoln to curl his hand around the back of Peter's neck and pull him down, against no resistance at all.
There's a tang of salt at the edges of Peter's mouth, and Lincoln finds he craves it. Peter kisses him back so slowly first, for a second or two, before breathing in sharply and going for it; open-mouthed, tilting his head just so. Lincoln shivers at the scratch, kissing while tugging at Peter's t-shirt. "Come on," he says when they both have to breathe again, and Peter nods, four hands dragging it upwards and away so Lincoln can run his fingers across Peter's biceps, down his collarbone to pinch a nipple.
"Oh," Peter says, and the expression on his face is one Lincoln hasn't seen before. Peter's immediate physical reaction is gratifying too, and the way he grinds down on Lincoln, hard. "Get those pants off."
"Among other things," Lincoln murmurs, and complies after Peter rolls off him, just slightly, to the side. They're both on their sides now, facing each other. Lincoln's rewarded with Peter's appreciative glance at and Peter's even more appreciative hand around his cock, a little slippery at the tip already. Lincoln gasps, gropes at Peter's now-bare waist and drags the hem of Peter's boxer shorts down just a little, insistently -- more as a reminder than to provide actual assistance, but Peter has enough self-interest to take that as his cue to push them away so they're both naked and Lincoln can touch him too, base to tip and back, as he's been wanting to do for a while.
It's one of the many things he's been wanting to do to Peter for a while.
Peter's hips jerk forward almost helplessly, into Lincoln's hand. "Fuck, Lincoln."
"That's the ticket." Lincoln can't breathe, himself, but Peter's fingers on his own cock are loosening, slipping, so Lincoln reaches down and shifts his body closer to push his cock against Peter's, enclosing them both in his hand, in Peter's hand. At the movement of their fingers and the brush of Lincoln's lips along his jawline, Peter almost-trembles, blindly turning his face into the crook of neck while their joined hands slide smoothly up and down, and in what feels endless yet like no time at all he's spilling hotly into in his -- into their hands. Lincoln squeezes them one last time; he doesn't know whether the erratic slide of Peter's thumb against the underside of the head of Lincoln's cock is a reflex or intentional, but what it is is perfect, and Lincoln follows him with a moan.
He must've fallen asleep, then, because when Lincoln wakes with a start it's dark and quiet. The sheets smell like Peter and sex; he's sticky all over. For a moment Lincoln just lies motionless, breathing. He knows even before his hands find the switch on the bedside lamp itself that Peter's side of the bed is empty.
The bedside clock spells out 6:02am. Lincoln finds his pajama pants in a crumpled heap on the floor and puts them on before stepping out into the hallway. No sound, no movement; in the bathroom and its too-bright lights only Lincoln's own wide-eyed face stares back at him from the mirror. His mouth looks bruised. He quells the fluttering sensation in his stomach and grabs his bathrobe from his room before walking down the stairs.
Where Peter is sitting at the kitchen table, in shirt and boxers only: hunched over, staring intently at the tumbler in front of him. It's got a thumb-width of dark amber liquid in it, but when Peter turns his head toward him, Lincoln realises it must've been a lot fuller not too long ago. "Lincoln."
Lincoln swallows. "Hi."
"You don't even know how fucked up this is." Peter doesn't sound angry. He sounds bewildered. His eyes, though red-rimmed, meet Lincoln's, and that gives Lincoln a first spark of hope, "I told you about Olivia's abduction to the Other Side playing out differently in the old timeline."
Peter had, but he'd also held back the specifics. "You...you said it was a lot more complicated. Which wasn't very helpful even then." Lincoln presses his lips together because yeah, way to go here, Lee.
The sharp little laugh from Peter surprises them both, Lincoln thinks. "You're right. It was one big mess. Suffice it to say that our team returned from that mission to the Other Side with who I thought was my Olivia."
Thought? "It was her double." Lincoln blinks, because all of it makes sense, darkly so. "And you -- you slept with her. She tricked you."
"I wanted to believe the woman whom Walter later dubbed Fauxlivia was my Olivia." Peter looks away, picks up the glass and downs the rest of its contents. His throat moves, rhythmically, and Lincoln can't help but stare. "It was stupid, but at least it wasn't intentional."
And they're back to this, them. Lincoln doesn't generally do whiskey, but now he wishes he had a glass too. Or rather something more substantial to hold on to. As it is, he's just standing in the middle of the kitchen like the fucking fool he is. Peter has told him he considers himself still in a relationship with his Olivia...in some other time-space continuum. That may have meant little to Lincoln but means pretty much the world to Peter.
If Lincoln doesn't say it now, it'll be too late. "I'm sorry."
Peter glances at him. His mouth is tight and his gaze is keen even through the whiskey. "It's not your fault, although I gotta to say, you're a lot more sneaky in your attempts at seduction than I'd ever expected. And yet."
Lincoln feels a hot wave of shame roll over him. And yet.
"I'm the one who went along. I could've pushed you away, physically, or even verbally. " Peter's voice goes very, very quiet. "Lincoln, I didn't want to push you away."
Lincoln breathes. "It's not -- it's not just a physical thing."
"No," Peter says slowly, "no it's not, and that's -- wait." Peter frowns, rubs his mouth as if to wipe away words. "You were talking about yourself."
Oh. If this weren't so surreal, it's be pretty funny: a romantic comedy-of-errors. Lincoln feels his mouth twist into an unhappy smile.
Peter's face shows a similar expression. "There's actually more. I had -- the other-other Olivia, Fauxlivia, in the old timeline? She was different despite her efforts at pretense, of course. My point is, I did like her. So what does it say about me, Lincoln, that I love one woman but keep having feelings for several other people?"
"It...it means you're human?" Lincoln frowns. He's not Peter; he hasn't been moving through a multiverse. But he loved Robert and still came to feel feel for Olivia something beyond the partnerly and platonic, right before Peter Bishop entered the picture to never leave, lodge himself firmly in what Lincoln with a sinking feeling suspects is his heart.
"Yeah, maybe." Peter looks down at his empty glass, drums his fingers against its sides. "Only that's not good enough. This isn't a fable penned by Voltaire, Lincoln -- far from it, in fact -- and if I have to choose, I'll always choose my Olivia. It's me who's sorry, Lincoln."
And he is; he clearly is. Lincoln feels cold despite the bathrobe, and he's standing upright with some effort. When Peter gets up to pour Lincoln and himself another single malt, Lincoln gratefully takes it from his hands, and a seat at the kitchen table. And this time Lincoln doesn't say out loud what he can't help but wonder about.
But will you have to choose?
Title taken from Kings of Convenience - Love is no Big Truth, which has been my Peter Bishop song since mid-Season Three. Who knew it'd work even better in Season Four?
Not my kink, but it's gotta be someone else's. You're welcome. Speaking of, not even for the 'meme. Where there is, on the last page, a slightly snippy prompt asking for "actual kink". Anon, c'mon, be constructive -- if you build it, they will come. *g*
Really, I'm fond of writing happy endings...when I can see them.
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- FIC: A Symphony that's You (Fringe, Lincoln/Peter, Explicit, 4x10 spoilers, follows earlier story)