Title: Walnut Tree
Author: DayDreamer64/ MadWanderer
Pairing: Alex/Tristan, One/Other
Genre: Romance, Angst, Supernatural
Summary: Underneath the walnut tree, Where you said you'd wait for me,And I waited a long, long time.
Note: This fic was completely inspired by Keane's "Walnut Tree" and totally random. I'm not sure whether I like it or not. It's… weird I guess. Tristan and Alexander are recurring characters that I use a lot in my original fics and quite honestly have grown to love. "Other" and "One" are vague characters and are meant to be exactly that so yeahs... Enjoy?
A man of only twenty five- most would think he would be too busy partying and living his life to be bothered to visit a tree. A tree that had been dead for far too long to be considered 'a tree.' But that had never bothered this man; he was always there in the morning from dawn till dusk. No one knew his name; they just called him "the walnut tree man." Many women passing by the riverbanks would walk over to him in an attempt to pull him away from his never ceasing vigilant by the tree.
Silver, brooding eyes that scanned upstream as the boats passed by. He was always dressed up so formally and he kept a gold watch with him that never worked. It had long since stopped working. But not even the man knew since when, maybe since the tree had died over ten years ago. The man could never be sure and he didn't want to be. He only remembered that he had to wait here.
"Do you know why he's there?" One whispered to the other.
"Nope." The other replied. "Do you?"
"They say he lost his memory a long time ago and some kid used to take care of him." One murmured holding the other's hand. "But that guy left and never came back. They say he's been waiting there ever since."
"That's so sad." The other lifted a hand up to her mouth. "Does he remember anything about him?"
"Nope." One shook her head. "He just remembers he has to wait there."
"If I…" the other began but she stopped, unable to go on.
"I would," one replied without hesitation.
"But," the other smiled, "you don't even know what I was going to say."
"I know." one leaned over and hugged her. "But I guessed right didn't I?"
The other smiled and nodded, leaning into the girl's embrace, "you did."
He entered the house every night as soon as the sunset, without a backwards glance towards the river. He owned the whole land, including the riverbanks. His family had had a fortune and bestowed it upon their only son. But he as a son had disappointed them for falling into that accident. No one had ever bothered to try and help him.
No one ever knew how it was that he had gotten better within a year of the terrible incident. They just knew he had taken to staying inside for a week after he had gone back into society- then he had taken to waiting by the walnut tree.
"Is he still waiting?" the other asked moving from her place beside one and leaning over to stare at the silver eyed man. "Five years has passed…"
"Apparently," one replied, "he doesn't give up. You have to admire how stubborn he is."
"Yes," the other smiled laughing, "he reminds me of you."
"Me?" one arched an eyebrow. "How so?"
"He still has hope that he will return," the other sighed sadly.
"He won't…" one looked away from the sighed and curled up into the blanket they had set up beside the river. "Will he?"
The other did not reply, she merely closed her eyes and moved over to one and held her, "if only it could be like this."
"This can't go on much longer." One whispered.
The walnut tree was dead. Its branches had been bare for nearly ten years.
Before children would run about it thrashing the ends of branches with long poles to retrieve the mature fruit and take it home to preserve it. From September to October, the children would fight over who would be the first to try- it was always the same two boys. Close friends with two years of age difference. One had wide violet eyes; the other had deep silver- both inseparable.
Those two boys disappeared long after one left town. The other children ceased to fight over the thrashing to help collect the fruit.
Its branches no longer had leaves or fruit. The walnut tree was dead.
"How long has it been?" One asked curiously.
"Nearly ten years since we last checked up on him," the other yawned, "When do you think he'll figure it out?"
"Not long I suppose," one sighed, "then it will all end."
The other looked over at her, expression pained and then a teary smile arose. Arms wrapped around the body beside her. A warm embrace full of love- or was it an illusion? One closed her eyes against the tears the unspoken question floating between them- why?
"Because you wished for it," the other smiled lazily, "you always wished for it. And I'd do anything for you remember?"
"Not always…" One shook her head, "and not for much long either."
He stood there watched the river rush in and rush out- a storm was coming. It wouldn't be long before everyone else was gone from the place. But no, not him. He wouldn't leave the tree until dusk came in two hours time. He was stubborn and no on bothered anymore Children were told to stay away from him, women were still after him, elders pitied him- but no one knew. They never would.
The truth was buried at the base of that tree and would never be found until he remembered. He knew something was there. Something he was waiting for by the riverbank. He just couldn't recall the memory that he at one time held so precious.
How had this happened?
One was quiet this time. She didn't speak, she didn't think she could bring herself to. She just watched as the young man continued to stand there, as the storm raged around him. He would remember soon…
And then it would be all over.
"Watching hurts doesn't it?" The other smiled cheerfully. "But it's all you can do right?"
"Yes…" one murmured.
"Will he remember soon?" the other sighed moving closer to one.
The wind was merciless as it yanked away the branches from the dead walnut tree. There was nothing left anymore. He stood there still, closing his eyes against the rain and waited. Soon it would come to him and he'd remember…
He didn't remember falling. He didn't remember the wind knocking him down. He didn't even remember the branch that fell on his head. The water… that was all he remembered. It was so cold and so warm at the same time. What a contradiction. He didn't care. He would still wait.
"Did you hear that he died?" Whispers from the people.
"Just last night. The storm was too much and he fell into the lake. Drowned they say." So many stories…
"He used to be so handsome!"
"Oh but get this! His name was Tristan Arrington! You know the famous rich family that used to own these parts!" A story told over and over again- they'd never know the truth.
"I don't believe it!"
"What a waste!"
"Such a pity isn't it? What do you suppose he was waiting for anyway?" No one will know what really happened.
"I don't know but I heard they recovered another body in the lake." So many rumors… which is the truth?
"Where did you get that from?"
"You remember that kid- odd looking frail little boy by the name of Alexander that used to hang out with him? That's who they found down there. His corpse was rotting under the river the whole time!" The story died with them.
"My goodness, who would do such a thing?"
"Oh and he was such a nice boy!"
"Yeah… Apparently Tristan was found holding onto him… I can't imagine why." Now… they're happy.
He didn't want to live anymore- drowning was good way to go he had heard. But it wouldn't be a good idea. No, he had to wait for Alex. Alex said he'd come back. He promised he would.
He remembered everything now… The memories were flooding back…
The body underneath him… That was…
A face so white and soft- eyes violet and wide as they looked at him for the first time.
That's why he waited there every day. Ever since Alex left…
"I'll be waiting for you by the walnut tree okay?" Violet eyes filled with tears. "Then we can escape together right?"
"Right." Brown eyes nodded. "Mom and dad won't let me be with you but I don't care. Alex you're my best friend and I care more about you than I never thought I could!"
"Ssh." Alex smiled. "I know you do- but not everyone wants to hear that…"
"I don't care!" Tristan shook his head stubbornly. "You're all that matters to me!"
"I know." Alex whispered. "I'll be waiting."
"And if you don't show?" Tristan was suddenly gripped by a sense of fear- just to make sure…
"Well then… I guess you can wait for me can't you?" Alex laughed. "But don't worry- I'll be there."
And he had been. He had always been waiting… Tristan felt he tears forming in his eyes as he let his arms wrap around the body below the water.
I'm so sorry… He wished he could tell him now, but he couldn't. The water would… Did it even matter anymore? Alex had always waiting… and he thought-
I'm here now. And I won't let you go. Tristan gripped the body- not a corpse, not a corpse, Alex wasn't dead!- and closed his eyes. Now they could escape forever.
"So he's dead now." The other murmured. "It's all done."
"Yes," one nodded, "and now it's time for you to go."
"But why?" the other asked pleadingly. "Can't I stay here?"
"No," one shook her head, "it's not real. You know that. You're not real. You're just in my imagination- my afterlife… We were just keeping his other company."
Here she gestured to the body that was above the water. So many humans above them and around them. So many secrets hidden beneath the walnut tree that overlooked the riverbanks.
"Now that they've found him, we have to go back too." one smiled. "We'll be found at last and then we can go on just like those two did."
"Is that what we've been waiting for?" the other sighed softly.
"Yes." One smiled. "This… isn't the peace we wanted. Not the one I wanted- and not yours either."
"All… all right," she was smiling now, "as long as I'm with you I'll be fine."
"Why won't you let us be happy together?!" Alex was crying now, sporting a bloody lip. "He loves me!"
"You… are disgusting!" the older man yelled, "no wonder your mother left you!"
"That's not true!" Violet eyes burning with anger, "you killed her! And her best friend just for being different! She cheated on my father but he was fine with it! He loved her so much that he let her go with her! But you… you wouldn't let that happen!"
"Shut up!" Another punch to the delicate face, "don't talk of what you don't know!"
"I talk because I know!" Alex screamed. "I know all about you! My mother told me right before she left- you… you kill people like us. You hate us and so you kill us for no reason!"
"You think so?" A cruel smile never seen like his, "well then… I guess you're next right?"
Alex's eyes widened in fear. Tristan… he had been waiting for Tristan. The walnut tree- it couldn't-
"I guess you'll be waiting for my son under the walnut tree after all." He was laughing as he pushed him over the edge and into the water. "Let's see how long he waits!"
"I'll wait Alex." Tristan sobbed, holding onto the tree for support. "I don't care how long it takes- I'll wait!"
The long figure by the tree stood slowly and watched the sunrise. People were beginning to wake and soon the whole village as well. He would stay here and wait for Alex. Silver eyes, brown hair- he was holding a bag but he walked over to the edge and let it fall.
He didn't need it- he'd just be waiting here.
"Tristan…" His father was speaking beside his ear. "Come into the house for a moment- I have a letter from Alex for you."
He was so busy opening the folds of the envelope he never noticed the bat in his father's hand.
Darkness. Once Alex used that to describe those who didn't want to understand. Something about a cave and those people who were chained within contenting themselves with the shadows from the outside. If they tried to turn around- the light would blind them. So darkness was their only option.
But this darkness wasn't like that… this… what was this? What was that? What…? Who had he been talking about? And this man… that was beating him- repeating the words "you'll die just like the others!"- he couldn't allow that. He'd kill him instead.
A young man staggered out of the house, bloody and full of bruises. He held a bag in his hands, which he dragged, silver eyes vacant and staring straight ahead at the river. He stood by the river's edge and threw the bag- no one ever knew what was in it. But they could guess. Still no one questioned or bothered- it wasn't their business. They didn't even know who this man was- he'd probably move out of here soon.
But suddenly the man stopped and looked back. A long tree stood by the riverbank. He stared at it and stared- he had to wait there. He… had to wait. He stood over by the tree- a walnut tree- and looked over at the horizon, the sun was beginning to set, and he'd go in soon.
For now, he'd wait. He couldn't remember why. He just would. Right here under the walnut tree.