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by AnnieAdded to the Roswell Slash Archive November 13, 2000
ARCHIVE: CKOS, Guilty Pleasures, Fanfiction.net
PAIRING: Kyle/Max, with some Kyle/Liz and Kyle/Isabel
SERIES: Second in the Genesis Series
SUMMARY/AUTHOR'S NOTES: Kyle-o-rama. What would happen if Max saved Kyle from that gunshot wound instead of Liz? This fic resembles canon in no way, so let me slap a big AU label on it now.
DISCLAIMER: I don't own any of these characters. I'm just playing with them for a while but I'll give them back as good as new.
FEEDBACK: Yes, please. Constructive if you can, but I'll lap up lavish praise too. Flames will be laughed at.
DEDICATION: To Courtney, who has been my Kyle/Max cheerleader.
Forgetting was easy.
Kyle had had enough practice in the refined art of forgetting. Stumbling into his parents' bedroom at age eight, awakened by yet another fight, his father snapped, "Just go back to bed and forget about this." Years later, coming home from school with the exciting news that he, a lowly sixth grader, had been picked to be on the eighth grade basketball team, only to find all of his mother's belongings gone and a scribbled note on the kitchen counter. His father's response: "She's gone, Kyle. You need to just forget her."
So he went to sleep on that September night with the firm mantra of, "Nothing happened today out of the ordinary. Just forget about it." reverberating through his head. When he woke up, he stood under the steaming hot water of his morning shower and repeated the chant, until he believed it.
* * *
School was the same. Another day of the same unrelenting greyness. Grey walls, grey books, grey faces. He knew that Roswell High was just another thing to forget eventually, that he'd go on to bigger and better things. Pro football. Married to the perfect trophy wife and benevolent father of the perfect trophy kids. He sometimes envisioned Liz in the role of his wife but -- deep down -- he knew he and Liz would part ways at graduation. If not sooner.
He grinned and slapped hands with some of his buddies from the football team and half-listened to their gossip. Most of it revolved around the shooting at the Crashdown the day before and when grilled about his presence there, Kyle just grunted that he was there but didn't see anything of note, and the jocks went on to the next subject: who was sleeping with who, and who *wanted* to sleep with who.
Isabel Evans strolled by, surrounded by her admiring circle, and one of Kyle's friends nudged him.
"Man, I wouldn't mind climbing *that*."
"Huh? Oh, Isabel. Yeah, I'd do her," he replied absently, watching the cool blond stroll past him. She turned to look back at him, her eyes locking with his for a moment and Kyle was positive she had somehow heard what he said. He winced inwardly, but shook it off and met her gaze with a challenging stare. She continued to look at him with a mixture of speculation and menace that unsettled him, but he refused to look away. Eventually, one of her attendants said something to her that caught her attention and she moved on. Kyle breathed a mental sigh of relief.
"What was *that* all about?"
Kyle jumped a little, startled. It was just his buddy. "What was what?"
"Isabel Evans. She was staring at you like she wanted to devour you."
He leered, regaining his equilibrium. "What can I say? All the babes want to eat me up."
(--Always in control.--)
* * *
Liz cornered him after third period. She didn't say anything, just grabbed his arm and pulled him into an empty classroom, and waited.
"Hey, beautiful," he purred, wrapping his arms around her and kissing the top of her head. She pulled back slightly to look at him. "What?"
"Kyle, are you ok?" Her voice had a hint of worry and fear hidden beneath the warm compassion. "I tried to find you yesterday, but your dad said you had taken off. He thought you wanted to be alone, so I went home."
He smiled reassuringly. "I'm fine, Liz. Yesterday was... freaky. But it's over and no one got hurt. Just forget about it."
(--Forget about it.--)
Her enormous eyes widened. "Kyle, someone *did* get hurt! *You* got hurt!"
He shushed her. "For God's sake, Liz, lower your voice. Do you want a teacher or someone coming in here?"
She flushed, but continued in a whisper. "You got *shot*, Kyle. I saw all the blood. I saw..."
"You saw what, Liz?" he prodded, sharper than he intended. When she flinched, he felt a pang of regret. He didn't want to hurt her, but she was pushing at him too hard. She was making it hard to forget. "Look, you want the truth? Yeah, I got shot. And Evans did... something. I don't know what exactly, but now I'm fine. And you can't tell *anyone* about what happened. OK?" He stepped closer to her as he spoke, letting his bulk reinforce his words. He hated seeing the look of fear flitter across her features, but he had to make sure she would keep quiet.
She lowered her eyes. "OK. OK, Kyle, I won't say anything. Just... Maria saw too. And she has a theory about what happened."
Kyle rolled his eyes theatrically. "Maria and her wacky theories. What's this one about? Genetic enhancements? Angels from heaven?" He snickered, hoping his derision would throw Liz off track. He didn't like Maria. She was part and parcel of Liz's life and he accepted that, but he couldn't stand the flighty, gossipy girl. Liz knew that, since he took the opportunity to tell her every time he could. It had become a familiar scene between them:
"Kyle, Maria's the sweetest and most loyal friend a girl could have. You just need to get to know her."
"I know enough, Liz. And frankly, you can do better than her. Besides, you have me. What more could you want?"
He'd kiss her to shut her up about Maria, and that would effectively end the conversation. But it always came up again.
(--Like a friggin' rash.--)
Kyle shook off his musings as a word from Liz's account of Maria's theory snapped him back to attention.
Liz looked at him earnestly. "I said, Maria thinks Max, and maybe Isabel too, might be aliens. Y'know, since this *is* Roswell. And as much as the scientist in me wants to deny it, it makes some sense. I *saw* what happened yesterday, Kyle."
He pulled away from her and snatched up his backpack. "Liz, I'm not in the mood to listen to any more of Maria's crackpot ideas. I've got to get to class." He dashed out the door without even kissing her goodbye, imagining the startled look on her face.
* * *
Kyle could name the exact time when his carefully constructed shield of denial shattered around him. 12:55 p.m. He walked into his history class and saw him.
The other boy was leaning over and talking with a classmate, so he didn't see Kyle come in and quickly take his seat in the back of the room with the other jocks and cheerleaders. He nodded a hello to his teammates and flashed a flirty grin at the cute redhead who sat in front of him.
(--Just keep it cool, Kyle.--)
The room grew quiet as a stunning blond woman in her early 30's came into the room and stood behind Mr. Carroll's desk.
"Where's Mr. Carroll?" Sally Rogers asked.
The woman smiled. "I'm afraid Mr. Carroll won't be in today. I'm the substitute, as well as the new school guidance counselor, Ms. Topolsky." She strolled around in front of the desk and leaned against it, looking down at a paper in her hands. "The syllabus says you are to be paired up for an interview assignment, to learn what it's like to shape historical records as they occur. Correct?"
A few students nodded, and she continued. "Excellent. I think this will be an exciting project for you all. Now, I'll read off the names of the pairings and hand out the questionnaires. Find a corner of the room and begin your work. You have until tomorrow to turn in the assignment. Friday-Hewson. Summers-Stanley. Johannsen-Abrams. Evans-Valenti. Harrison..."
Kyle jerked violently when he heard who he was paired with, and struggled to regain control. He looked up the aisle at Max, who had turned around to regard him with an enigmatic look in his eyes.
"All right, everyone. Find a place to work, and feel free to go out in the quad if you need more space," Topolsky instructed. The students stood up and milled around, pairing off and finding a place to do their interviews. Kyle sat there, stunned, until he saw a shadow fall over him. He looked up into Max Evans' brown eyes.
"Would you like to do this outside?"
He smiled thinly. "Sure."
* * *
The hot desert sun shone through the trees, leaving patterns of light on the wooden tables in the quad. Kyle traced one with a finger distractedly. Max cleared his throat and he looked up.
"Um... so, do you want me to go first?"
Kyle shrugged. "Sure. Whatever." He kept his mask of casual indifference on, determined not to let Max know how much his proximity was affecting him. What did that commercial say?
(--Never let 'em see you sweat.--)
Max cleared his throat again, clearly uncomfortable. "OK. Uh... number one: What is your best memory?"
(--You mean besides the day you saved my LIFE?--)
"The day I won the Junior Statewide Rifle Competition," he responded, thinking of the first *safe* answer that came to mind. It actually *was* a good memory, perhaps the last time he saw his parents get along before his mom left. They had made a vow with each other to not fight that day, for his sake. When he won, they both looked so proud of him, and they took him to his favorite restaurant afterwards to celebrate. Later that night, though, he had to bury his head under his pillow to muffle the shouting. "What about you, Evans? What's your best memory?"
"I guess... the day I was adopted."
Kyle couldn't help himself. "I think I'm gonna shed a tear." He winced at the look of hurt that crossed Max's face, but didn't apologize. The more he let his inner asshole out -- and it wasn't really *that* deep down -- the easier it would be to forget the events of yesterday and Max Evans.
"Next question: What are you afraid of?"
Kyle squirmed on his bench. "Pretty personal questions."
Max nodded. "I think that's the point. To put a human face on historical records. But if you want to skip some for now---"
"No, I don't care," Kyle responded hastily. He could do this. No problem. "What am I afraid of? I guess I'm afraid of never getting out of Roswell, of being stuck here the rest of my life, just like my dad. Everyone thinks I'm just like him, I'm gonna be *just* *like* *him*, but it's bullshit. I've got better plans. Dreams."
(--Shit, did I just say all that out LOUD?--)
Max had a look of understanding on his face that unnerved Kyle, and he deflected the attention away from him. "Your turn, Evans. What are *you* afraid of?"
The other boy looked down at the table, his features troubled. "Not finding my way home."
"Oh. *Oh*." Silence, as Kyle let the full import of that sink in. There it was. He couldn't avoid it any longer, couldn't deny what had happened or who Max was anymore. "I'm sorry."
Max looked startled. "For what?"
"I dunno. I'm just sorry." And he *didn't* know what he was apologizing for. He only knew that he felt an overwhelming sense of regret for Max. He couldn't even begin to imagine how lonely it was for him.
"I think you can."
Kyle shook off his thoughts at Max's quiet voice. "What?"
"The loneliness. I think you understand."
He bristled in anger. "What, you can read minds? You think because you saved my life, that gives you the right to poke around in my head?"
Max gave him an apologetic gaze. "I can't read your mind, Kyle. When I... when I healed you, I made a connection. I can get sensations, emotions from you, but only when they're strong and focused. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to intrude."
Kyle stood up. "Yeah, well, you did. You've got some nerve, Evans. You think you have some deep insights into how I feel? Fuck you. You got *nothing*, you hear me? Nothing. You *are* nothing. You're *nothing* to me. Tell Topolsky to find you another partner for this project. I'd rather take an F than spend one more second around your creepy ass."
"Kyle, wait--" Max reached out and grabbed Kyle's wrist. He jerked it away.
"Don't you *dare* touch me, Evans!" he hissed, his eyes narrowing. "I don't know what kind of shit you've been doing to my head, but I am *not* what you want me to be. Understand?"
Max dropped his hand and collapsed to the bench. "I understand. I'm sorry, Kyle."
Kyle ignored him and strode off angrily. He made it into the school building before he had to lean against a wall for support, his legs shaking and his heart pounding. He didn't know what had come over him, but a few seconds ago he was ready to *kill* Max. Even worse, he had come dangerously close to threatening to reveal his secret. The idea that Max could feel what he was feeling, know what he was thinking, made his skin crawl and enraged him. Even now, as his breathing slowed and his legs steadied, he kept imagining Max poking around in his thoughts and it infuriated him.
He *knew* what he had felt last night, what he had *done* last night, was only a result of Max's manipulations. It had to be. There could be no other logical explanation for why he had acted like--
--*that*, why he had even considered throwing away his status in the school and the town, not to mention his relationship with Liz Parker. It was all Max Evans' doing. And now that he knew the score, well, all of those feelings would go away.
* * *
Kyle buried his face in Liz's smooth hair and inhaled deeply, losing himself in the apple and cinnamon scent that surrounded her. He loved how she smelled, loved how it was so very *Liz*. The two lay curled around each other on Kyle's bed in the late afternoon.
"Mmm, Kyle, you're tickling my neck," Liz murmured lazily. He grinned against her hair.
"Oh, really? Does this tickle?" He blew softly where her jawline met her throat and she giggled. "Does this tickle?" He traced circles around her earlobe until her giggles faded into breathy sighs.
He loved being with her like this, without Maria or any of his friends hovering around, without feeling the need to keep up the appearance that he was in complete control of their relationship. Here, in these afternoon sessions while his dad was at work, she ruled him. And he gave up everything to her willingly, gladly.
"You're feeling better." It was a statement, not a question. He looked at her, puzzled.
"Yeah. You were so tense earlier at school today." She leaned forward and kissed his nose, laughing a bit at the way he went cross-eyed.
"Oh, that," he replied. "It was just a weird day. But everything's back to normal." Not giving her a chance to respond, he captured her lips in a kiss, prodding with his tongue.
She parted them eagerly and he explored the contours of her mouth languidly. She never reciprocated with her own tongue, content to let him guide her. It was her innocence in physical matters, contrasted so heavily with her ageless wisdom, that drew him to her. He had been the first one to kiss her, to touch her, and that knowledge empowered him.
Still, she was a fast learner. As he kissed her, sliding one hand to rest on her belly just under her shirt, she squirmed and moaned into his mouth. His crotch twitched at her undulations. They hadn't gotten much farther than a little under the shirt groping, but he knew it was only a matter of time. She knew how much he desired her and as much as they differed in their everyday lives, they meshed well physically. At times like this, he could convince himself they would be together forever.
He brushed one finger along the underside of her breast as he sucked her lower lip, and was rewarded when she wrapped one slender leg around him. He kissed down her jaw until he reached the hollow of her throat, sucking gently. He felt the pulse of her throat throbbing as he licked lazy figure eights on her neck. His hand moved to cup her breast and he ran his thumb over her nipple, smiling inwardly as she bucked slightly beneath him. She was so responsive to his touch, her skin flushed and her breathing shallow.
He took his mouth from her long enough to pull her shirt over her head, tossing it to the floor. She gazed at him with eyes dark from passion, completely trusting. He marveled again at how beautiful she was, how lucky he was to have her for his girlfriend. Whenever they fought, whenever he felt jealous of some other guy staring at her--
(--like Max Evans, you mean?--)
--he only had to think of these afternoon makeout sessions to feel secure. He knew she didn't love him, would never love him. But she was here with him, right now, and he could make himself believe it was enough.
Giggling lightly, she flipped him over, so she was lying on top of him. Smiling seductively, she sat up and looked down at him, wiggling a bit until he groaned. She looked so spectacularly gorgeous, with her dark hair tousled and her pale skin contrasted with the navy blue bra she wore.
"Tease," he grumbled huskily.
"You know it," she winked at him. It was a familiar routine, one they both loved. With him, she didn't have to be the conservative, ever-logical Liz Parker everyone knew at school. With him, she could embrace her inner dominatrix with glee. Kyle adored her, would do anything to make her happy, and she knew it.
Slowly, she unbuttoned his shirt, planting hot, open-mouthed kisses on his chest each time. He felt another tug at his crotch and looked forward to the day when she'd take off more than his shirt. He closed his eyes, enjoying her ministrations, until she gasped. His eyes flew open.
Her brown eyes were wide with surprise and a touch of disbelief. She pointed at his side, one hand going to her open mouth. He looked down and saw what she was talking about.
A slender line of silver marked the skin on his side. He sat up and twisted his body to see where it went and Liz gasped again.
"It's a hand, Kyle. Where you... where you were shot," she whispered.
He stood up and went to the mirror in the bathroom, peering around his shoulder. Sure enough, a silvery handprint was imprinted on the tanned skin of his back, a finger curling around his waist. Shaking, he stumbled back to his bedroom and sat down on the bed. Liz touched his face gently and her jerked away.
"I think you should go home, Liz," he said, stunned.
Her eyes flashed. "Not a chance, Kyle. I let this drop before, but I'm not going to this time. What *happened* to you?"
He squeezed his eyes shut. "I can't... I need to handle this on my own. Please, just go."
She cupped his jaw in her tiny hands. "No, Kyle! This is me. I'm not going anywhere until you tell me what's going on. You can trust me."
He sighed unhappily and met her stare with a level gaze. "All right, I'll tell you. Remember what you told me this morning, about Maria's theory?"
She nodded, looking puzzled. "Yeah, Maria thinks Max and Isabel Evans are ali-- Oh! You mean it's *true*?"
He shot her a look. "This morning you said it made sense to you."
"That was when it was still a theory, Kyle! This is... this is..." He had never seen her at a loss for words.
"This is weird?" he finished her thought wryly.
She gave him a shaky smile. "I was going to go with 'insane', but 'weird' works too. So what are we going to do?"
He couldn't believe it. Of all people, Liz should have been the skeptic. Her world was ruled by science, by the tangible. He had expected her to scoff at him, tell him he was imagining things. Instead, here she was accepting the impossible and asking him what he--
(--No, what WE--)
--should do. He barked out a short laugh that sounded on the edge of madness to his ears, reminded once again how remarkable and unpredictable she was. "Do? Nothing. It's over."
"You're not going to tell your father?"
He raised an eyebrow. "Are you kidding? Tell my father that the brass ring he's been chasing his whole life is actually here? Give him that satisfaction? No, thank you. I get enough of his 'I told you so' bullshit as it is."
She was taken aback. "Kyle, this isn't something like telling him the guys on the varsity football team are doing steroids. There are *aliens* in Roswell."
He took hold of her shoulders and looked into her eyes. "Liz, promise me you won't tell anyone. Not Maria, not Alex. *Nobody*."
She looked back at him, searching his eyes for something before she relented. "OK. I won't say anything. I promise. But... Kyle, is there something you're not telling me? Something else about what happened yesterday?"
He struggled to maintain his facade of control. Part of him yearned to tell her everything, sensed that she would understand, would know what he should do. But another, more vocal, part of him demanded he keep silent. If he told her the truth, he'd lose her, and that was unacceptable. Simple as that.
So he kissed her and smiled. "No, there's nothing else. I promise. But I think you should go home now. Dad will be home before too long."
She nodded, kissed him again, and gathered her books. He watched her go, her shoulders bent with the burden of a secret he had never wanted her to have, and wished once again that the past twenty-four hours had never happened.
Sighing, he stretched out on his bed and closed his eyes. He wanted to rest for a few minutes, just shut down his brain for a bit and rest.
(--Just for a few minutes...--)
* * *
He found himself on the outdoor basketball court at the school. The grounds were completely deserted, the only sound a dry desert wind sighing through the trees. He had a basketball cupped in his hand and stared at it stupidly.
"How the hell did I get here?"
"Because this is where you feel in control."
He spun at the voice. Isabel Evans. She stood at the other end of the court, a mocking smile on her lovely face.
"What are you doing here? What am *I* doing here?" he demanded, feeling more than a little disoriented.
She ignored his questions. "It's all about control, isn't it? On the field, on the court, with your friends. Even with Liz, though you *think* you let yourself lose control with her. You don't. Your endless goal is to always be in control. But things don't always work out that way, do they? Sometimes you have to give up control."
As she spoke, she advanced on him, forcing him back until he was pressed up against the coils of the fence. "What are you talking about?"
She looked at him as if he were an idiot. "He won't hurt you. He'd never hurt you."
"Who?" Kyle felt as if he were missing something very important, like Isabel was having a conversation on a whole other wavelength than his.
"Sometimes," she continued, pressing even closer until the curves of her body were molded to him and he could feel her warm breath on his face, "it's ok to give up control. It's ok to admit to yourself what you *really* want."
She kissed him hungrily, tangling her fingers in his hair and thrusting her tongue so far down his throat he could practically feel her licking the inside of his nipples. Unable to control himself under her onslaught, he responded just as forcefully. She leaped up and wrapped her long legs around his waist, grinding her crotch into his. He could feel the heat pouring from her, could almost smell her desire, and it inflamed him. His senses swam with the pure animal magnetism driving his actions as he and Isabel frantically dry-humped each other on the deserted basketball court.
(--Kissing Liz is NOTHING like this.--)
Without warning, she unlocked her legs from his waist and pulled away from his mouth. He panted, shivering with rampant desire, as she licked along his ear and held him close to her. She raised her head and he opened his eyes.
To see Max Evans looking back at him.
* * *
He jerked awake, his breath ragged and harsh and his pants painfully tight. He sat up, sweat drenching his body. By the deepened shadows in his room, he knew he'd been asleep for over an hour and his father would be coming home any minute. He yanked a t-shirt over his head, glancing down at the silvery trail of Max's fingerprint before looking away.
He heard the door open and sighed, relieved that he would have the distraction of his father to keep him from looking at his dream too closely. He wasn't ready for *that*.
"Kyle?" Valenti called.
"Down...," he started, his voice hoarse. He cleared his throat and tried again. "Down here, Dad."
His father appeared in the doorway, a crumpled paper bag in his hand. "Kyle, we need to talk."
He feigned casual curiousity. "About what?"
"I took your shirt down to the lab today," Valenti said, opening the bag and pulling out the shirt Kyle had been wearing yesterday at the Crashdown. "Care to explain why there's a bullet hole where your back would be?"
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