A Mere Saturnine Reverie

(A title that would make a thesaurus writer proud!) But seriously, I knew what all that meant when I wrote this, I swear. I felt ever-so-clever when I used the term 'mere' (which has the double meaning of 'that, and nothing more', and 'lake'), until a friend said, "Christ, how old are you? 'Mere' means neither of those, now. Get out of the house more." …*tear*my big head deflated somewhat. The term is archaic.

But jeepers! I hope this doesn't hint my age, which is somewhere between born and dead.

I'm working on something new, now. I don't know what exactly is considered a 'songfic', but I'm assuming this is something close, and is a variant of the song 'Lake Pontchartrain', by the band Ludo. It's quite amazing, really, but even if you don't like the song, please give this story a chance.

(The only reason I pay taxes is in the hopes that, somewhere, it is funding Walter's experimentations.)

*I didn't do it! Fringe isn't mine! Ahhh!

Chapter I

"Why did you murder your son, Dr. Bishop?"

Fear and shock shaped his features. Then, pure, savage ferocity, as he strained against the handcuffs that kept him seated, testing the links with every ounce of strength he could muster. Finding himself completely immobilized, his muscles began to tremble, and at last his will left him and he slumped back in the seat, letting out a dry sob of defeat.

Philip Broyles watched him emotionlessly, at last taking a seat across from him, sighing as he settled, parting his jacket at his waist. He crossed his arms behind his head, and continued to watch, to calculate.

"I-I didn't do anything," Walter Bishop whispered hoarsely. It was the same thing he had been repeating since he had arrived, shivering and stained with blood.

"Your son and Olivia Dunham are missing, presumed dead. We need answers, Dr. Bishop," Broyles sat up, interlacing his fingers on the tabletop, "Where are they?"

Walter attempted to cover his face with his hands, stooping his head to the armrest of his chair to hide his eyes with his sleeve, "There was something… out in the water…"

"What, Dr. Bishop? What was in the water?"

"The water took them!" Walter burst, his voice tight with desperation and fear, "It took them, and I couldn't get them back!"

Broyles frowned in concern, "Try to calm down, Dr. Bishop. Did something happen, at the lake? Where are they?"

Walter shook his head, looking up at the lights as his eyes swam, "I know what it sounds like. I know how all of this seems. But you have to listen. There was something out there- I-I don't know what it was, but…it killed them. And then it tried to kill me. You…" his fingers crept to the collar of his shirt, his trembling fingers struggling with his buttons. He pulled his shirt open to reveal spotty puncture wounds and blood mussing his white undershirt. They looked to be freakishly large teeth marks, "you have to believe me."

xXx

There is a small diner just off of the highway, in the broad expanse of swampy marshland between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, in Louisiana. He could remember how ridiculously hot it was, even if the sky seemed to be draped in sable clouds, and how the dust from the road seemed to make everything sticky, as they pulled from the pavement into the dirt parking of the cafe.

God. From Baltimore to the everglades. Wonderful. The heat was making him cross, and he couldn't help it- it was impossible to sleep under the drip of a swamp cooler, which seemed to be the only form of air conditioner that worked in such a high humidity. He never thought he'd be glad to see the bleak, frozen expanses of Boston once more.

"So what do you think, Walter? 'You up for some crawfish?" Peter said cheerfully from behind his wide, reflective sunglasses.

Walter entertained himself for a few seconds by watching his reflection as he replied , "Thanks, no. Crayfish… the cockroaches of crustaceans, I think."

Peter laughed softly, "Fine, more for me. What about gator , then?" apparently, his son had spent time down in the navel of the states, and somehow found it pleasurable. Being in the muggy climate had cheered him considerably.

Walter frowned, feeling a heat headache setting in, "Of all the vermin that seem to scurry about in this part of the hemisphere, I don't think much of anything is edible."

Peter breezed off the comment, refusing to let Walter's negativity affect his cheer, "You're right. I forgot that they use all the chickens for voodoo." He looked around the nearly empty parking lot, "We've just got to wait around for Olivia. She said she'd try to catch us up when we left the hotel this morning, but I haven't seen her."

Walter decided to ignore Peter in return, drawing circles in the dust on the glass of the rental, "You know, the Vista Cruiser has a wicked good air conditioner. I just never used it, up in the sanitary states."

"There she is. Come on, hop out- let's get lunch."

Walter watched the dust stick to the bottom of his shoes, and slowly cake into a dry mud, in the time it took to walk to the front door of the diner. He removed a handkerchief from his pocket and dried the sweat from the bridge of his nose as they made their way down the narrow aisle and into a booth, Peter and Olivia chirping to one another aimlessly. Walter sat near the window, Peter beside him. He briefly wondered why no dust seemed to cling to the glass of the diner, before frowning at the tabletop, his seat growing damp against the plastic cushion of the booth as he sweated.

"Walter?"

Walter did not look up from frowning at the tabletop, "Just iced tea, thank you."

Olivia laughed softly, "I asked how you were doing, Walter."

He glanced up at her. Why was it everyone down here wore sunglasses? It was nearly dark outside, "I'd be better with an iced tea," he replied, wondering what it would take to break Peter's mirror lenses, and how each of the slivers would reflect his face.

Olivia chuckled softly, "I think we all will. Is the heat still bothering you?"

Walter leaned back in the seat, glaring at the window as his shoulders stuck to the back cushion. He sighed shortly, massaging his temples with his cold fingertips- he always had such cold hands. He was a doctor. The cold points felt good, as an ache swept across his frontal lobe, threatening another nosebleed.

Peter shook his head, "Just let him be. The south agrees with some people, and not with others," He gave her a charming smile, "And it does seem to agree with you."

Olivia smiled politely in return, her wariness lost behind her dark lenses, "Thanks. You, too."

The tea arrived via a thin, pleasant-looking waitress, her dark, rich skin and soft drawl placing her as local. She had seemed bewildered when Walter had requested more sugar packets, having emptied at least twenty into his drink already. Peter and Olivia drank theirs unsweetened.

They didn't know, as he slipped a packet of his medication out of his sleeve and into the dark tea. Sugar hid the flavor.

He sipped the tea slowly, and his thoughts returned to his two companions' conversation, "Well, Donaldsonville was the last big place, between Baton Rouge and here," Olivia was reasoning, "and we passed that days ago. I don't think there's any place between here and Kenner that would rent out cars."

"You don't need to rent another car," Peter replied, "The Camery is a four-seater, and I'm sure that if we shift some luggage, there's more than enough room for you. Besides, I could use the sane company."

"I resent that comment," Walter grumbled, reading the menu. He frowned at the all-you-can-eat crawfish special.

"You would."

"What if I want more company than the likes of you?" Walter questioned with a smirk, and Peter laughed. Walter folded his menu and tossed it lightly onto the tabletop, "Fried chicken. I don't want any of your damnable crayfish. And I want the sweet potatoes."

"Have it your way. I'll have the special," Peter told the waitress, and Olivia gazed over the menu curiously, "what is it?" Peter asked.

"I've never had crawfish," she admitted.

Peter laughed with disbelief, "Are you serious? You have to get it- it's mandatory, in Louisiana, am I right?" and the waitress laughed softly.

Smiling, Olivia shrugged, handing over her menu, "You're the boss. Crawfish it is."

xXx