Notes- This is the revised version of Visiting, hopefully much better than the first.
It was almost ten o'clock and Will was hungry. He had started reading one of the books from his little bookshelf, and he was so caught up in it that he had ignored various signals from his stomach, telling him that he was hungry. Will was just getting out some bread when he heard a knock at the door.
Who could be here this late at night?
He put his bread aside and went to answer the door. Hopefully it would be a quick caller, Will was hungry, and he didn't having anything to offer a guest. Most of the time he fixed himself a sandwich, but that wasn't something he would offer a guest. He would just have to wait until his visitor left to eat.
Will walked to the door reluctantly, and received a welcome surprise when he opened it. Standing there was Bran Davies, whom he had not seen in years.
"Bran! What are you doing here?"
Bran looked tired, as though the journey had worn him out. "I'm visiting, if you will have me. I would have been here earlier, but I didn't know that you had moved into your own flat. I went first to your parents' house, and they directed me here."
Will was surprised to say the least; he hadn't thought that he would ever see Bran again, much less have Bran practically invite himself to stay in Will's flat for any amount of time. "Of course, of course! You can stay as long as you like."
After Bran had chosen to live a mortal life, Will hadn't really been able to talk to Bran as much. He had spent his some of his summer holiday there the year after they defeated the Dark, but it wasn't the same. Everything that had brought them together was gone. Cafall being shot, waking the Sleepers, and finding the Lost Land; all of the memories that had made their friendship were gone. It had been hard for Will to accept that, but he thought he had finally put all everything to do with Bran Davies and their lost friendship behind him. Bran was standing right in front of him though, and it was much harder to forget with him there. Bran had not changed much since the last time Will had been in Wales; he had was much taller, still slim, but with more muscle. His skin was as white as ever, and his black clothing only emphasized his coloring.
"Have you forgotten your manners Will? I would think you would at least invite me in. Perhaps you just like to stare at your visitors?" Bran was smiling; he loved it when he could take Will by surprise. Not many things did, and it was a rare treat to do such a thing. Will like Bran, had not changed much since Bran had last seen him. He was taller, though he didn't quite reach Bran's six feet. Will was leaner though, most of it from growing, but also from working with his father to fix up the jewelry shop.
"Oh! Sorry I was thinking and just I forgot. Please come in." Will looked sheepish, and Bran stepped in. It served Will right for not speaking to him in five years.
"Do you want something to eat? I was just fixing something to eat, and I could make you something too. Will had not meant to say that, he really didn't have anything for Bran to eat. Hadn't he just been thinking to himself of how he had nothing suitable for a guest to eat?
"No, I'm not that hungry really." Bran followed Will into the kitchen, but he was told to go back to the living room and sit.
Bran sat and looked around the room he was in, it looked like Will spent most of his time in here. There was a small wooden desk in the corner, it was stacked with various papers and books; in front of him was a couch that looked like it had seen better days, the material had once been blue he supposed, but now it was gray with age and in some spots the fabric was so worn that you could the cushion underneath. There was a small television that had seen its better days too, and a small bookcase in the corner. The room was cozy; it fit Will's laid-back personality perfectly, but at the same time suggested that an old man lived here.
"So what have you been doing? Got a job? Wife? Kids?" Bran couldn't keep the irritation from his voice when Will came back in and took a seat across from him.
Will could not quite look Bran in the eye, and nervously asked him, "Why are you asking that? It's not like you haven't seen me in ten years."
Bran was astonished Will could even think of saying that. "Maybe not ten years, but it has been five! I have sent letters, I have called but I cannot reach you! What is so important that you can't take five minutes and write a letter to me? It doesn't take that long to write a simple letter does it? You pick up a pen, and write a greeting, Dear Bran, for instance; then write a few sentences, Hello how are you today? I've been doing great, met a nice girl, and we have three kids, something along those lines; then you just sign your name, which is Will in case you forgot. Amazing isn't it, how I came up with something in 30 seconds? So, with five minutes you could come up with a whole page or so. Now, please do elaborate on why you have not written to me in the past five years."
Will was astonished at the anger in Bran's voice. He could not think of a suitable reply, and he didn't really want to. He had only wanted to forget Bran, and now a very angry Bran was sitting in his living room.
"Listen Bran, I cannot explain why I haven't written or called. We can finish this conversation later, when you have had some rest and are thinking more clearly though. . Your trip here must have been tiring, you can sleep in the bedroom and I will take the couch." Will looked at his untouched food sitting on a stack of papers on his desk, and decided he was no longer hungry. He went back into the kitchen to throw away his sandwich.
"Where are you going? I'm not finished talking to you! I'm trying to talk about this; you can't try to put this off by telling me that I am tired!" Bran could not believe that Will was acting this way. At one time they had been best friends, and now it seemed Will would rather be anywhere than with him.
When Will had left, Bran had been sad; when Will hadn't written, Bran thought Will just didn't have time; but when Will refused to talk to him, Bran had been crushed. "You left me! You left, and then you ceased to exist! I tried to get up with you, but it was impossible! I had to travel here to be able to talk to you, and now it seems like I'm going to have to chain you up to get any answers!"
Will just stared at Bran; he hadn't ever thought that it would affect him this much. Bran had been the one to forget everything, and maybe it would have been better just to have taken away all of Bran's memories of him. Then he wouldn't be so distraught now. Somehow though, it bothered Will more to think of Bran not remembering anything about him.
"Are you going to say anything? Or are you just going to stay in your dreamland forever?" Bran stood up, looking across the room at Will, "I don't understand why you don't want to talk to me; you won't even have a simple conversation with me!"
Will could not meet Bran's eyes as he replied, "Listen, why don't we just go to sleep now, and we'll figure everything out later. You're tired and it's making you very irritable." Bran would have told Will he was not going to go to sleep until he got some answers, but Will gave him a look, and Bran decided that he would save his ranting for later. Will would have to listen to it sometime; he wasn't leaving until he found out why he had lost his best friend.
Will and Bran did not talk anymore as they prepared for bed. Bran would sleep in Will's room. While Will might not want to talk to him, he was a perfectly good host. Bran turned back the covers and climbed into Will's bed. He tried to go to sleep, but it seemed that it just wasn't possible.
Bran started to think about why he had come. He had come here since Will obviously wasn't going to come to him. He wanted to find out why Will wouldn't talk to him, but there was more than that. Bran had tried to convince himself that it wasn't possible, his father would disown him, but it hadn't worked. Will had become more than just his best friend, even with Bran resisting it with every fiber of his being. Even when they had not seen each other in years, Bran dreamed of Will and the forgotten times that had brought them close. He wished he could remember all of their adventures, but though he tried he could not. In his dreams, everything was so clear, but as soon as his eyes opened, everything became foggy once again. Bran wanted to know why he couldn't remember, and he knew that Will was the only one who could answer his questions.
Will was a mystery all in himself, one the Bran wanted desperately to figure out. Bran had thought about Will a lot when he left, and it wasn't always in the manner people think of their best friends. It was in a more intimate way, like one would think of someone that they love, and at first it had left Bran completely puzzled. Why would he think of Will like that? However, the more he thought it, the more he knew that Will was more than a friend to him. When Will had been with him, he felt complete. Will didn't make fun of him because of his skin; Will never treated him any differently from anyone else. Bran didn't know why, he just knew he had to find out why Will didn't want to be near him, to talk to him. Did it have to do with what Bran couldn't remember? He needed to know why he couldn't remember so much from the time he had spent with Will, and if there was any chance Will felt the same way that he did.
Bran was tired, but his thoughts would not let him sleep, and he decided to get a glass of water from the kitchen. Bran crept out of Will's room and was halfway across the living room when a sleeping Will distracted him. He was so peaceful lying there. Bran's heart jumped seeing him so peaceful. Most of the time it was like Will had the cares of the world on his shoulders, but now he looked so carefree. Will turned over then and his breathing didn't sound quite as deep. Bran didn't think he had been that loud, but decided to check and see if Will was awake. Maybe when he was still half asleep he would be more forthcoming with answers.
"Are you awake? Will?"
He was met with a soft moan. "I am now. Is something wrong? Do you need anything?" That was just like Will, always to be concerned if everything was okay.
"No I'm fine, I just couldn't sleep. Do you mind if I stay in here for a little while? I really want to talk to you." Will sighed and told him to come sit down. Will sat up to give Bran some room and waited patiently for Bran to reveal what he wanted to talk about. Will had hoped that he could at put this off until morning, but that Bran was not going to let him do that.
"Can I ask you something? Don't say yes if you won't answer me. I came here to talk to you, and I'm not leaving until you answer me." Bran looked at Will to see if he would reply.
Will just sat there for a moment and then replied, "Yes I guess you can ask. I'll try to answer, but I don't know if I will be able to." He turned to face Bran, "Go on and ask then".
Bran took a deep breath. "I wanted to know why I can't remember anything from the time you were with me in Wales. Why can't I remember? When you were in Wales that was the best time of my life. For the first time I had a best friend, who didn't care that I was different from everyone else, and we did some incredible things together. I can't remember what now, but I know that they were unbelievable." Bran's voice was starting to crack, he had prepared himself for this on the way here, but it was so much harder to actually say it to Will.
Will looked into his eyes with the cares of the world on his shoulders again, "That's just it Bran, you don't remember. You don't know what we did, or why, and it was your choice to forget everything. You made your decision and I can't reverse that." Will's eyes conveyed what he had controlled his voice not to. They spoke of loneliness and pain, but why? Why would Will be so sad when it was his decision not to speak to Bran again in the first place?
"What are you talking about? What choice did I make that I can't remember? How could I make such a choice and not remember it?" Will looked torn, he wanted to make Bran remember everything, but he knew that he couldn't, it had been Bran's choice to forget. "I can't say. All I can tell you is that you made it, and I can't do anything about it no matter how much I want to."
Will turned away from Bran then. He couldn't take the pleading look in Bran's eyes anymore. He knew now that Merriman should have taken away all of Bran's memories of him. Then at least only one of them would be hurting now.
Bran could not understand what Will was saying. "This doesn't make sense! What do you want me to say to you? That I completely understand? I can't say that because I don't. I don't know what to think. How do you expect me to understand why you disappeared off the face of the earth for five years, when you are being so cryptic? You haven't called, visited, or even written a letter. You were my best friend, my only friend, and you just disappeared into thin air. I sent you letters, I tried to call a few times, and you weren't there, you were busy, or just ignored me I guess. That takes a toll on a person you know?" Bran let everything spill out, not holding back anymore.
Will took a deep breath, "Bran, I want so much to tell you everything! I didn't want you to forget, I didn't want to lose my best friend! When you made your choice, I knew everything would be different, and I didn't want that to happen! I could not make the decision for you though, and you chose to forget."
"You don't even know what you would be remembering. I don't know if you really want to remember. There would be consequences, consequences that come with remembering." Bran put his hands on either side of Will's face, forcing him to look Bran in the eye.
"I can handle whatever those consequences are Will! They can't be worse than knowing that I'm missing part of my life! That's what it's like right now; I cannot remember what I somehow know to be the most important part of my life! It's driving me crazy Will!" Will shook his head to loosen Bran's hold, and Bran dropped his hands.
"Remembering might be even worse than not knowing Bran." Will's eyes held so much pain and sorrow that Bran just wanted to take it all away from him. What could be so horrible to make Will, brave Will, wise Will, feel so much pain?
"Will, tell me what's wrong. Why do you not want me to remember? What is causing you so much pain?" Bran took Will's chin and lifted it so that he was again looking Bran in the eye. Will's eyes were filled with tears, and headless of what Will might think later, Bran pulled him into his lap. It felt right for to be there, and he leaned against Bran's chest and cried.
When Bran had pulled him into his lap, Will stopped thinking and let his tears run their course. He had thought he could keep them at bay, but it was too much. What would Bran think of him later? Would he think that he was a crybaby? He couldn't take it anymore though. How could he tell Bran that he would be alone? How could he tell Bran that? Will could hardly handle being alone anymore, but he knew that was how it should be.
How would he be able to deal with it when his family and friends all died and he was left? That's how it would be from now on, Will would watch the ones he loved die and it was better keep away from any close friendships. He would then have to watch them die. That was why he had avoided Bran; Will had known he was in love with Bran after his last visit to Wales. He had gone one last time because Bran had wanted him to, and he couldn't say no. After he returned home Will had tried to forget Bran, but it didn't work that way. Will had fallen in love with Bran, but there was nothing he could do to save restoring Bran's memories to bring back the Bran he loved. That would only cause Bran pain and sorrow, and Will would do anything to save Bran from an eternity alone.
When his tears were spent, Will looked up to Bran, "I can't let you feel as alone as I do. I don't want you to have to deal with the pain. I want you to remember, to reclaim your heritage, but I don't want you to go through the sorrow and the loneliness." Will sounded broken, and Bran couldn't believe this was Will speaking to him like this. Will never gave up; he was always so strong.
"Will! How can you say that? As long as I have you, I wouldn't be alone! I would have back my best friend, and…" Bran hesitated and Will looked at him with hopeful eyes, "and the one person I can imagine spending eternity with".
"That's what it would be, it would be eternity, are you sure that you want that Bran?" Will couldn't believe what he had just heard; Bran wanted to be with him?
"Yes Will, I'm sure. Whatever may happen I want to be with you." Will smiled so brightly that Bran knew this was right, no matter what happened he would be with Will, and that was the only thing that mattered.
Will turned so that he was facing Bran and told him to close his eyes. He held out his hand and stretched out all five fingers, "Now remember."
There a brief flash of light and then Will lowered his hand. Bran kept his eyes closed, there was so much that he had forgotten. How could he have forgotten it all? How could he have forgotten everything that they had done together?
Will waited anxiously until Bran finally opened his eyes.
Bran looked at Will, whose face was full of fear. He knew Will was waiting for him to say something.
"Now you don't have to be alone, cariad."
Will smiled and leaned so that his head was on Bran's shoulder. "Thank you, thank you so much." Words couldn't convey just how happy that made Will. He had never imagined Bran would want to be with him, to take away the loneliness.
"Why are you thanking me? I should be thanking you for even letting me in the flat; if you hadn't then I wouldn't have my memory back, I wouldn't be here now. The only thing that would make it better would be…" he stopped and smiled mischievously at Will.
"What would make this better Bran?" Will asked.
His heart almost stopped as Bran leaned closer, "This" and then he kissed him.