From: (Anonymous)
A/n: Set in Amber!verse/new timeline/whatever you would like to call it. I'm not sure if this is shippy or not, so you can go ahead and make that call. :)

It still amazed Lincoln that despite all the weird, make-your-skin-crawl events he dealt with in Fringe Division everyday, there were still times where they had to do mundane things like paperwork. His first week working with them he almost forgot paperwork existed. It was a welcome change, though. No bouncing bodies or people who change their face. Just filling out reports like the good old days.

Well, like good old last month.

It was hard to believe that his whole world had flipped around in a few days. This was the kind of thing you saw in bad sci-fi films. The rookie cop has to fumble around with a bad ass crew that fights aliens and monsters and God, when did his life become this?

Dr. Bishop asked if he could go get a milkshake, and to everyone's surprise Olivia offered to take him. She ushered him out the door with a “We need to talk.”, and Lincoln was left to fill out stacks of forms with Astrid.

Astrid has always been nice to him, but he realized that in his week with Fringe Division, she was the only one who he hadn't sat down with and talked to yet. He was with Olivia almost all day, and Astrid frequently stayed at the lab to help Dr. Bishop. Maybe this would be the right time to get another perspective on working in this division. Olivia had been polite, but it was easy to see that she wasn't the “sharing” type.

Astrid slid him a cup of coffee as she sat down across the table.

“You know, they don't have coffee on the Other Side.”

Lincoln glanced up, smiling at the mug in front of him. “The other side?”

“The other universe.” She smiled and grabbed a pen and a stack of papers.

“Oh. Yeah.” He looked back down at the paper and paused. This was as good a chance as any to ask how she dealt with all that they did, wasn't it?

“Other universes. I didn't even imagine that kind of stuff before....” He trailed off.

Astrid gave him a small smile. “I know. It's hard to wrap your head around. I'm still working on it. But you'll get there eventually. Soon, a weird day will be one without a problem that only Walter understands.”

Lincoln nodded. The next few minutes passed with only the noise of their pens scribbling on the forms. As he took another paper off the pile, he glanced up at Astrid again.

“Do you ever think about what you're like? Over there?”

She let out a chuckle. “All the time. Are you thinking about what you'd be?”

He tried to shrug apathetically, but his face surely betrayed his confused thoughts. “I met Olivia's.... Person. Double. Doppelganger-”

“Whatever you want to call it.” Astrid interrupted him with a grin. “Yeah. She's something, isn't she?”

“It's weird. Probably the weirdest thing I've seen yet.”

“People we know who aren't people we know. It takes some getting used to.” She folded her hands on top of the desk.

“Pretty much everything we do takes some getting used to.”

Lincoln mirrored her actions, pushing aside the papers.

“I've figured that out.” He stared at her for a moment, waiting to see if she would continue on with their work or if he could push the conversation further. She merely smiled at him.

“So, what do you think you're like?”

Se responded right away. “I'm a substitute teacher who helps city kids learn to read during the day and fights crime as a superhero at night.”

There was a long pause.

Astrid reached over and tapped his hands. “What about you?”

Lincoln shook his head quickly. “I have no idea. A substitute teacher?”

“So I can work at different schools. Come on, you can't avoid the question.”

“I don't know!” He leaned back in the chair, any thoughts of completing the paperwork gone. “How did you come up with that?”

She laughed. “I've had a bit to think about it. I've never actually met my.... Whatever. And Olivia doesn't like to talk about her time on the other side. So I just made something up. Kind of like an... Alter-ego.”

He grinned. “I hadn't thought of it like that.”

She shrugged, grabbing the empty mug in front of her and standing up to refill it. “It's more fun this way.” She turned her back to him. “What do you want your alter-ego to be, Lincoln Lee?”

The wooden chair legs creaked as he leaned further back. “I don't think I want to be a superhero.”

Astrid came back to the table and firmly set her cup back on the table. “You want some?”

Lincoln looked at his forgotten cup of coffee. “No, thanks.”

She sat back down. “Why not a superhero?”

“I was never really into superheros.”

Astrid slowly spun the spoon around in her coffee. “Okay. Then what do you want to be?”

He shrugged. “Maybe I'm just me. I work in the Fringe Division and don't get any sleep at night.”

Lincoln thought he saw the briefest eye roll before she shook her head. “That's not an option. Come on! You get to create any version of you. No more paperwork,” She gestured to the stacks littering the desks. “No more errands for Walter or Olivia or whoever.”

He was beginning to think of how to respond when the doors creaked open. Walter Bishop strolled in first, clutching a large drink and animatedly talking to Olivia about something. Lincoln glanced over at Astrid, who was already standing up.

“Can I get back to you on that?”

“Sure.” She eyed Dr. Bishop, who was attempting to drink his milkshake, walk down the steps backwards, and talk to Olivia at the same time. “I'm going to go deal with that. Make sure you make it something good, okay?” She sent him one last smile before jogging across the lab and snatching the drink out of Walters hand.

Olivia gave him a small nod as she walked past into her office. Lincoln guessed he was supposed to finish up these papers on his own. He grabbed his pen and stared down at the file in his hand.

Now, what was better than being a superhero....
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