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{Fic} Amazing Grace | Fringe | Gen

Now edited! (March 6) For comment_fic, it grew beyond comment capacity. ;;^^

Amazing Grace
By Clarity Scifiroots
Rating: All
Spoilers?: Thought Jacksonville!
Characters: Peter, Astrid
Prompt: "I once was lost, but now am found/was blind, but now I see." - Amazing Grace

He hadn't turned on the lights when he entered the lab. He didn't have any sheet music, nor did he need it, so why spoil his mood by making visible the tools of madness spread throughout the room?

Gene mooed in what sounded like a question when he started playing scales. Soon he let his fingers wander to play snippets of various songs, committing to nothing in particular. He lost himself in the familiar notes and the movements that came second nature to him.

Time passed without his notice until a voice brought him back to the present.

"Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me." Peter opened his eyes and tracked the voice to Astrid, standing a few feet away watching him. "I once was lost, but now I'm found, was blind, but now I see."

He was tempted to stop playing, but her voice melded so well with the music and this song had always captivated him.

"T'was Grace that taught my heart to fear, and Grace my fears relieved. How precious did that Grace appear the hour I first believed."

He continued to play and kept his gaze on Astrid. She made no move to come closer and he wondered what his expression was that kept her at a distance.

The song came full circle and Astrid finally walked toward Peter and perched on the end of the piano bench. "I once was lost, but now am found, was blind, but now I see."

Peter let his hands fall to his lap and he glanced sidelong at the junior agent. She seemed to be searching his face for something and it took her a while to speak.

"It's a beautiful song," she said. "But I always..." She shook her head, apparently deciding to end that train of thought. "What's wrong, Peter?"

His lips twitched into a wry smile. "You're getting good at reading the Bishops, aren't you."

The smile she returned was shadowed with concern. Peter looked away, sick of seeing that concern on so many faces. Perhaps it was better than the look of guilt that had seemed to age Walter another decade. Definitely better than the pity Olivia silently conveyed when Peter had shouted at her.

Astrid's fingers lightly touched the back of his hand. Peter looked down and focused on her fingertips as he said, "I played it at a funeral, once." He held back a dark chuckle, though he did continue the thought, It seems fitting.

Astrid suddenly gripped his wrist and he glanced over. He was surprised to see a look of understanding on her face. "Oh, God. I didn't think..."

Peter's eyes narrowed. "You knew, too?" he whispered harshly.

Eyes widening, Astrid shook her head. "Walter, he said - when we were under quarantine in that building - he said he couldn't let you die... again. I just..." She shook her head again, horror creeping into her expression. "Oh, Peter."

His jaw clenched with the effort not to start yelling at her, too. At least she hadn't really known. Olivia had, and she had waited so long before she clumsily brought it up.

"Leave it," he finally muttered, looking away. He twisted his arm, trying to get free of her grip.

Astrid merely shifted her hold so that her hand clasped his. "Peter, I'm sorry. But you're here, now. You're with us, you made a life here."

He somehow resisted the urge to snap at her. After a moment he replied, "It wasn't supposed to be mine."

She waited him out, her hand continuing to hold his.

Eventually he spoke again, voice low. "I remember worrying about my mother. She seemed to change overnight." He grimaced. "One night she was tucking me in and promising a trip to the carnival, the next morning she kept looking at me with tears in her eyes. She didn't let me out of her sight for days, she even slept in my room."

He licked his lips. He didn't let himself wonder why he was telling her this, opening up to Astrid when sometime last night he'd been yelling at Olivia and felt ready to walk away from Boston and never look back. "A couple weeks after her strange mood swing, Walter was arrested for the lab fire. My mom didn't say much about it, she just worked at getting us to move on. After a while she didn't seem like a stranger anymore. She smiled again and didn't look scared when I brought up things we'd done before."

He chanced another look at Astrid and was relieved that her expression was clear. "I think she started to block the details out."

Seeming to recognize that he had revealed all he was ready to, Astrid offered him a small smile and squeezed his hand. "I know it's not something you can forgive. But maybe you should think about how much Walter must love you to have--"

Peter cut her off. "He loved his son. I'm not that boy." He was tempted to flee, but Astrid's hand was still wrapped around his and he felt like he was anchored to her. "He's always measured me against the child he knew and what he expected. I'm not him."

Astrid smiled sadly. "I know," she said softly. "I can't imagine what it was like, for you or for him. Walter's... a unique man. But he thinks the world of you, Peter. He'd move heaven and hell for you. You, not the memory of a child. He's trying to be a better man, even I can tell, and I've only known you two for a year."

Peter didn't respond, the pain and anger still too recent to allow any give to the suggestions she made.

Astrid squeezed his had before letting go. "Go on, take a break. But promise to come back, okay?" She bit her lip and averted her gaze. "Haven't you felt like... like you belong here? Like all of us were supposed to come to this point?"

He had. Maybe he still felt that way. For the moment he couldn't tell, not with the confusion and volatile emotions ready to overwhelm him.

Peter stood up and walked away from the piano. Early daylight had begun to filter into the high-set windows of the lab and he could see all the equipment - Walter's tools of trade. He felt a little sick looking over the reminders that Walter often seemed like a mad doctor transported from a horror film.


He didn't look back at Astrid, but he said, "I need to leave." He hesitated before adding, "For a while."

"I'll tell them," Astrid replied. "Take care of yourself."

Peter resisted the urge to run and instead walked to the doors. He didn't look back or respond to Astrid's soft "come back soon."



( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 23rd, 2010 05:43 pm (UTC)
Oh, lovely. So *nice* to read something that's not Peter & Olivia.

Particularly find this line true: Astrid squeezed his had before letting go. "Go on, take a break. But promise to come back, okay?" She bit her lip and averted her gaze. "Haven't you felt like... like you belong here? Like all of us were supposed to come to this point?"

Hope to read more of you with Fringe!
Mar. 23rd, 2010 05:59 pm (UTC)
So *nice* to read something that's not Peter & Olivia.
Heh, yeah I feel similar. ;;^^ I'm fine with the pair, but I'd really like to see more gen or team fic available.

Thanks for commenting. =) I'm hoping some other Fringe prompts inspire something. Short bits of fic I'm able to squeeze in at the moment.
Mar. 23rd, 2010 05:49 pm (UTC)
I really enjoyed this. The emotions are so fitting for them, and you write them both so naturally. It's so good to see some Peter and Astrid interaction, and I really do believe they have a deeper connection than you see on the show. I'm glad you evoked that wonderfully here.

Fantastic work!
Mar. 23rd, 2010 06:00 pm (UTC)
>^,,^< Thanks for your kind words! (Your icon makes me happy, too.) I really appreciate the comments. =)
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 24th, 2010 03:17 am (UTC)
Thanks so much. =)
Mar. 24th, 2010 12:07 am (UTC)
lovely moment between the two of them.
Mar. 24th, 2010 03:31 am (UTC)
=) Thank you
Mar. 24th, 2010 02:18 am (UTC)
Nicely done first effort. It's great to see more fringe writing.
Mar. 24th, 2010 03:32 am (UTC)
Thank you =) Thought it was time to try some Fringe.
Mar. 24th, 2010 06:52 am (UTC)
This is great! I really like the line about Walter comparing Peter to the son he expected, very true and also quite sad. It's going to be heart-wrenching when the truth comes out.
Mar. 24th, 2010 02:20 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I know the angst will be EPIC. O_O *wibble* Poor Peter! I love him so much...
Mar. 24th, 2010 11:31 pm (UTC)
I really enjoyed this!
It's always so interesting to imagine the possible ways Peter will react to the news, and this one felt true to Peter!
Mar. 24th, 2010 11:52 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I really appreciate your comment. =)
Apr. 11th, 2013 01:45 pm (UTC)
Nice. Good to see Astrid and Peter interacting here and acknowledgement she'd have some idea at least.
Apr. 14th, 2013 05:00 pm (UTC)
Thanks :) It's been a long time since I watched Fringe (I'm many seasons behinds) but I've always adored Astrid
Apr. 14th, 2013 06:27 pm (UTC)
I've just finished watching S5, so I've been on a fic bender since I only just got fannish for the show. It's always lovely to find Astrid fic as it's a little rare.
Jun. 15th, 2013 04:06 am (UTC)
That's such a quiet, lovely fic! It's nice to see something showcasing the friendship between Peter and Astrid.
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )