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Distant Early Warning

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It starts out as a dream.  Nick knows it's her dream not his; the colors are all wrong everything sounds like something else.  She's at the beach and there are stars on the surface of the ocean and she's playing connect the dots with them.  She can hear someone yelling behind her but she doesn't want to look, doesn't want to give up the stars but she turns and the dream shifts.  There's blood on the floor, streaks leading to another room and flames are already licking up the walls.  There's stark fear and panicked flight.  There's a familiar hand writing in blood on the wall and she reads the words before the explosion.  He's already awake and running to her room when she starts screaming.

Nina finds them huddled together on the floor in the corner of her bedroom.  He's lost track of time, thinks they're probably late to the morning training exercises.  They're a tangle of long, lean limbs and Olive is still whimpering a little when Nina gets there.  She sighs when she sits on the edge of Olive's bed.  She's been crying, too and the grief rolling off of her is stronger than anything he's ever felt from her.  She just sits with them for a while and when she finally speaks her voice is rough.

"Olive… I'm so very sorry learned of Dr. Bishop's death they way you did."  She's twisting the fingers of her real hand over her other hand.
"Nick was there, too."  Her voice is small and distant.  "In the dream.  We saw him."

She looks at them and as sad as she is he can tell she's measuring them with familiar scrutiny.  "Did you see anyone else?"

She curls her fingers around his.  "No."

"Olive…Nick… was there anything unusual about what you saw?  Anything that could help us find who did this to him?"

She shakes her head and tightens her fingers around his.  He feels it then, the suggestion from her like when she takes the lead in a training simulation.  Follow, and he does.  "No, Nina."  When Nina looks at him he shakes his head, too.

Nina sighs again.  "I'm very sorry you won't be able to attend his funeral, Olive.  I know you were very fond of him.  He wanted to be buried where he grew up and we just can't travel to England right now."  She seems about to say something else but stands to leave instead.  She's halfway to the door when Olive asks.


"Yes, dear?"

"What about Peter?"

Nina hesitates and he gets worry from her, tightly guarded but seeping out.  The grief is making her careless around them.  "That's still rather up in the air."

Olive frowns.  "Why?  Won't he be buried where Dr. Bishop is?"

Nina's mouth drops open for just a moment before she recovers.  "Olive…?"

"I think he should be even though he grew up here.  They should be together."  Tears well up and splash down her cheeks when she blinks. 

Nina looks close to tears now, too, dejected.  "Yes… that wold be best, wouldn't it?"  She continues to the door and sorrow flows like water behind her.  He waits until she's well away.

He frowns at her.  "Why'd you do that?"

"It's what Dr. Bishop wanted."

"But Olive… he didn't mean to protect Peter from her."

She shrugs and he knows it's not something she'll be able to explain.  She knows things sometimes, more than they're supposed to know.  He pulls her close and kisses her temple.  "Okay."

He can feel her building the walls, cutting Peter off as best she can, helping him hide.  He feels the last barrier go up and the gossamer threads that tie him to Peter through her go dim and they're alone.