Substitute

A/N: This story goes AU from Fringe, after 3x18 "Bloodline" into my own little "what if this happened next" type of story-world. This is my take on the theory that Walternate is sneakier than he makes us believe XD. Yes, yes, it is one of those stories lol. Serious - sappiness, angst, drama, a bit of action maybe? Its not fringe without something weird, right? Etc... Like it or else!

If this story had to have an opening song, it'd probably have to be "Nobody Loves You" by Garbage...


Her mother had gone home already, having been nearly forced to by her daughter; it had only been a day and a half since the whole rapid-preganacy deal, and now Olivia lay in her hospital bed, alone, feeling uncertainty and anxiety creep up on her as she watcher her son dose in her arms. 'Who were those people? Why did they want my baby so badly?' she thought in distress. Then, another little feeling stirred within her. Would she be able to take good care of this baby? This baby who wasn't planned yet somehow utterly loved? A soft knock on the door pulled her out of her thoughts but before she could answer, the door opened a crack and familiar shockingly green eyes peeked around the corner.

"Hey," Lincoln said simply. He pushed the door open with his foot, his hands stuffed in his jacket and an almost shy smile on his face. He had come back to check on her as soon as his report was done, and not nearly soon enough if the look on her face was an indication to her mood.

"Hey..." Olivia responded with a tired smile, trying to hide her worry. She did this quite often, tried to keep all her worries and stresses from showing, to not worry her friends, to not worry him. But, as usual, Lincoln caught on immediately.

"Sorry I couldn't be here earlier, being the new boss has its disadvantages..." Lincoln explained. He frowned then, he had noted something was off with Olivia right away but it wasn't until she spoke that he realized how deep it ran.

"That's okay, I understand," Olivia said distractedly. She tore her eyes away from his, still unwilling to let him see how she felt.

"Are you okay? Can I come in?" He asked, concern tinging his tone.

"I'm fine, come in," Olivia replied, her poker face still up, trying to convince him that she really was okay... and maybe herself as well.

It didn't work.

Lincoln frowned agan as he walked in. "Something is wrong, isn't it? What is it?" Lincoln prompted, walking over to sit on the seat her mother had occupied a few hours earlier.

"Do we have any intel on who abducted me?" Olivia asked instead. Lincoln knew she was avoiding the question but played it her way anyway.

"No, none yet, it's as if they dropped right out of our radar. We found where they kept you but none of the equipment was there anymore. They packed up and left without a trace..." Lincoln answered, eying the child in her arms curiously. He saw how tense she was and wondered if it had something to do with the child more than the people who took her. "Is there anything else?" he asked, his eyes shifting back to look into her's. He could still see that she was troubled and he wished he didn't have to get information out of her like this. It was like pulling teeth!

"Do you... think I'll make a good mother?" She asked him softly, suddenly. There, it came out.

Ah, so he was right. "Absolutely," Lincoln answered without hesitation, his gaze not leaving her's.

"How can you be so sure?" Olivia's eyes clouded with the uncertainty she felt.

"Because... because you're you," he shrugged. "You'll be a great mom, and I'll be right here with you to spoil the crap outta the little guy," Lincoln smiled lopsidedly. When in doubt, revert to a goofball... that was Lincoln's motto anyway. Not that he had any doubt about his confidence in Olivia, mind you.

"Funny, Charlie said the same thing..." Olivia smiled back.

"H-oh boy, then that kid is gunna be spoiled rotten!" He grinned.

"Oh, of that I'm sure," Olivia agreed in amusement. The two lapsed into silence, neither knowing what else to say. While Lincoln stared at his hands resting over his knees in his slouched position, Olivia watched her son sleep.

"I was... so scared..." Olivia thought she didn't hear him right. Lincoln? Admitting fear? It was true that he was usually the more serious about his job in the group, but he was also usually so gung-ho, so sure of himself... sorta like her actually. What was even more startling was how wide and troubled his eyes where, even if he was still staring at his hands. "I thought you were going to die..." Lincoln went on, his eyes lifting back to her's.

There was a pause before Olivia answered. "Me too," she admitted just as softly. She really was scared, terrified, she was almost certain she was going to die. The only comfort she got in that at the moment was the promise Lincoln made to save her son.

"Are you- are you sure you're okay?" He asked cautiously. He looked like a wreck, almost like he did the night before. It broke her heart. He was supposed to look relaxed, cocky, goofy... he wasn't supposed to look this stressed! That was her job!

"Linc, I already had one mom in here repeatedly asking me that, I'm fine, I promise... I'm just a little worried about the future, but who isn't?" She said, trying to lighten the mood. Luckily, it seemed to work a little; she was rewarded with a weak smile and a nod of agreement. But then his face became serious again.

"You know I'll always be here for you, right?"

Olivia's eyes softened and she smiled. "I know..." there was another pause where they simply stared at each other. She didn't want to, but she had to, "Did you mean it?" she finally asked him, her question so quiet he almost had to lean forward to hear. Maybe it wasn't the best time to ask... then again, she wasn't sure it was the right time to drop that bomb on her that night either! She knew she didn't really need to ask him either, somehow she knew he was dead-serious, he never lied about that kind of thing. And somehow... she had always kind of known, deep down inside, after all, he had kissed her once before, when they first started working together. If that kiss didn't let her know how he felt, then she was like a mirror - dumb, blind, and deaf.

"I did," Lincoln answered simply, immediately, though not quite anywhere near his normal loud and cocky tone.

"I... see..." Olivia looked away and frowned thoughtfully. Maybe it was a bad idea to ask him... what would she say to him? Her eyes turned back to his, he had such a deep look of hope, what was she going to say? She didn't feel the same! ...Did she? At this point, she really wasn't sure. "Lincoln... I..." Oh God, why did she have to deal with this now? Wasn't her life complicated enough? She shouldn't have asked.

"You don't have to say anything right now, okay?" He told her quickly. It was funny how well he knew her. "Just know, that's all. If you don't feel the same, that's okay, I-I'll still be here for you, whatever you need..." Lincoln explained. He knew he felt like a sissy right now, being all mushy – which was something he normally wasn't – but his heart wouldn't let him shut up at the moment. "I just had to tell you, had to make sure you knew before... before you were taken, you know? I've loved you since I first laid my eyes on you, that kiss I gave you... it wasn't just a fling, I meant it. I'm sorry if you don't want to hear any of this but I had to say it." Olivia stared at him with wide eyes but before she had a chance to say anything, he suddenly stood, giving her an awkward smile. "Look, I um, I should go and let you rest..."

"What?" Was he serious? He drops that bomb on her and he decides to leave now? "You don't have to, you know," Olivia protested. Was it because of her? Probably. She knew he wasn't the type to run away from something, anything, but maybe he had to think about all of this alone just as much as she did. She didn't fault him for that.

"No, you need to rest, you've been through a lot and I'm keeping you up... I'll see you again tomorrow, okay?" Olivia didn't want him to leave, felt an almost intolerable feeling of panic she had to smash down with the thought of being left alone and him not with her to keep her safe... which was just absurd to begin with, she was perfectly capable of taking care of herself, but knew it was probably the right thing to do. Maybe she really was tired...

"Alright... I'll... see you later, Linc," Olivia relented. Lincoln saw the disappointed look in her eyes, watched her shoulder slouch, and oh how much Lincoln wanted to go over there and hold her, promise her everything will be okay and that he'll be back, but he knew that would be bad at the moment, so instead, he stuffed his hands in his black jacket and left. Olivia sat there, feeling more lost and disorientated than she had before he walked in. She knew it wasn't the time to think about these things but... then again, maybe it was never the right time to think of it? At least, when it came to him...

What did she feel for him? She wasn't sure, she was never sure what she felt around him. It was always kind of foggy. Lincoln Lee was always an awesome friend and partner, along with Charlie, that much was true. Though, with Charlie, it was more established that they had a brother-sister type relationship. But Lincoln... it was different with Lincoln somehow, though they teased each other just as siblings would, something about the way he looked at her, leaned toward her when they talked, spoke of something more... intimate. Why hadn't she seen it before? Maybe she did... maybe she saw it but refused to accept it, because she was with Frank. Olivia was not blind to the subtle jealousy that escaped Lincoln when he tried to hide it... she was aware of it but never acknowledged it. She cared for him, she always had, but she never thought about him further than 'just friends'... after all, she had Frank, and then she had whatever it was she had with Peter... but both men were no longer a part of her life anymore, were they?

Peter... there were odd feelings that went with the thought of him. During her time over in the other universe, she had spent enough time with him to understand why the other Olivia wanted to get him back so badly. Not for the first time now she felt a rather strong pang of remorse. She didn't, she couldn't hate or even dislike the other Olivia, no matter what the Secretary said of the other universe... it was still her, wasn't it? So she understood the feelings they had for each other... because she felt probably a shadow of what she felt for him as well. Peter... would he ever know of his son? Probably... things have been getting so messed up and mixed up lately that anything and everything was possible really. She just hoped he wouldn't hate her, well, she just mostly hoped he wouldn't completely reject the baby... his baby.

Somehow though, she knew that wouldn't happen. So she knew where she stood with Frank and Peter... but where did she stand with Lincoln? It wasn't like she couldn't feel the same way, after all, he had all the qualities she looked for in men. Smart, charming, loyal, and... attractive... he certainly was attractive... but she never noticed him before. Frank and Peter had been all those things too... but they weren't exactly loyal in the end, where they? Then again, they had reasonable reasons to do the things they did. Though, she still didn't understand how Frank could just leave her like that. On the other-hand, Lincoln knew of all the bad things she'd done, recently and in the past, and never once stopped being there for her. So why couldn't she feel the same way?

All this confusion and questions without answers was starting to give her a headache. Maybe right now wasn't the best time to think about all that. Maybe Lincoln was right and she needed to rest... after all, in a few hours her still nameless son would be waking up again.

Olivia looked back down at her baby. The baby Lincoln and that man... what was his name? Hubert? Harry? Henry? Right, Henry. Lincoln and Henry had helped her deliver it. Henry... what would she have done without the kind man? She wasn't sure Lincoln would have been all there if he had to do what Henry did. Henry, not a bad name. "Henry... what do you think baby-boy?" Olivia whispered to her child, caressing his tiny fuzzy head. The child in her arms fidgeted a little in his sleep, gurgling softly before he settled down again. Olivia smiled and kissed his little head gently. "Henry it is."

TBC...


End A/N: I have a feeling she's going to name him Henry... I could be wrong, but I would if I were her so I did! So there! Just want to let you know, this story does NOT end here... I have plans. Please let me know what you thought!