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The Story of Us
Reply to Debbie or visit her websiteSent to the Roswell Slash Archive February 16, 2001
Title: The Story of Us
Spoilers: Brief references up through MITC
Disclaimer: They may be my favorite characters, but I don't own 'em.
Dedication: To Kristin (radioactiveguava), wherever she may be. She came up with the idea of a Max/Liz/Kyle threesome that was romantic but not based on sex as many threesomes are. The general concept of how they got together is her idea, too.
Author's Note: Thank you Bennie for reminding me that not everything has to be "profound", and for beta-reading
Feedback: Both positive and constructive feedback are fine with me.
Ironically, it all started when I had to break up with Max. I mean, I was already trying to stay away from him, to let him do his Destiny thing without me in the way. But he wasn't letting go, so to save the world I thought I had to push him away from me forever. Everything I tried failed until I went to Kyle and asked for his help. We set it up to look like we'd made love, and I made sure Max found us. I can't begin to tell you how hard it was to go through with it, though. I mean - this was someone I *loved*, and there I was, hurting him. I'd never felt so horrible - I think I cried myself to sleep for days afterwards, and having to lie to everyone, day after day, didn't make things any easier.
But Kyle was just amazing, throughout the entire ordeal. I mean, first of all, he went through with the original charade, sacrificing his dignity and everything, even though I couldn't tell him why. Then, after Max had come and gone, he saw how upset I was and he just let me talk. I hadn't even been that nice to Kyle lately, but there he was, putting all our differences aside and just listening. He really came through during that time-dimension-warp thing a few weeks later, too. I didn't know if it was the Buddhism or the fact that he'd almost died from that gunshot wound last spring, but something had changed with Kyle. I really began to see him in a new light, and to appreciate him in a new way. We started to just hang out more often, and we became really good friends, closer than when we were dating that summer so long ago.
Of course you realize that when I saw Liz in bed with Kyle, I was stunned. I didn't know what to think. I just couldn't believe it was true, after all Liz and I had been through together. Something just felt *wrong* about her claim that "it was a mistake", but I couldn't figure out what was going on. I don't know what happened - I started to lose my grip, lose my focus, all because I was so devastated at losing a piece of my heart. I could hardly stand to look at Kyle at first, although when he proved instrumental in solving the time-warp riddle I at least appreciated him as a person. But I was still upset about him and Liz.
Then, one night, shortly after I came back from New York, Liz came to my window. She confessed everything, how she had deliberately tried to drive me away to save us in the future, to make sure that Tess stayed in Roswell. She was afraid that she was undoing her sacrifice by telling me and said she was doing so only because she was afraid that with all the battles and stresses on the alien front that something might happen to either her or me; that I would always think badly of her or Kyle. The sense of relief I got at finally knowing the truth was immediate. I think I loved her all the more for the sacrifice she had made, and for the strength she showed in the face of such a trial. And as for Kyle...my attitude toward him improved. I was glad Liz had had a friend when she needed one, that she hadn't been alone throughout all that. I began to appreciate what an asset Kyle was to us as a group, too; he really gave his all when we needed him. He and I didn't really have much in common at first, but when Liz invited him along to our group's social activities, I got to know him better. Even Isabel and Michael warmed up to his caustic wit after a while.
As for Liz, she and I got back together again, but I made sure this time that Tess didn't get pushed away in the process. Of course, at first Tess wasn't pleased that I wasn't giving in to our so-called Destiny, but she didn't leave Roswell, either. Instead, Tess started spending more time with Isabel, and, after a while, she seemed to let the Destiny thing go. Everything seemed perfect.
Liz and I stayed friends, even after she got all mushy with Evans again. Even after all the crap she and I went through from the previous year, I still kind of liked her. I already knew there was no way I could compete with Max, though. And besides, being friends was pretty cool, too. Most of the time we hung out with the others - dessert at the Crashdown after the game, or renting a movie, that sort of thing. Man, my old friends would have said I was really fucked up if they knew I was spending time with aliens, but it wasn't so weird, once you got used to it. I remember staring the first time Isabel put on some dance music by just running her hand over a CD, but the next time one of them did their Martian tricks, it was like "whatever". It's hard to explain, but Buddhism made the whole thing was a lot easier to handle, respect for all life and all that. My teammates didn't really get my new philosophies, and I ended up hanging out more and more with Max and the others.
Anyway, one weekend the Evanses went away to visit somebody's grandmother, I think, so Liz came over to hang out with me. We worked on this assignment for English class first - we had to present a Shakespearean scene. Liz was in charge, of course - you know her, always the brainy one. She had chosen "Much Ado About Nothing". How anyone can get comedy out of that medieval language, I'll never know, but I gave it my best shot. She was Beatrice and I was this Benedick guy. Anyway, we rehearsed the dialogue a few times before she laughingly agreed to give me a break. We put in a movie and sat down to watch it. I was throwing popcorn in the air and catching it in my mouth; Liz tried, but she kept missing. When I laughed at her, she threw it at me instead, and that started a popcorn war. We totally forgot about the movie as we wrestled all over the living room, trying to sneak popcorn down the backs of each other's shirts. She's pretty strong, considering how little she is, and she's definitely fast, so the battle went on a while before I finally pinned her and declared victory.
That was kind of a mistake, though, because I realized I really wanted to kiss her while she was so close. I got off her quickly before she could notice the effect she was having on me, and we went back to watching the movie without saying anything else. I was having fun being friends with her, really, and I didn't want to screw it up by doing anything stupid.
I was having fun spending time with Kyle and getting to know him again. Usually I would spend time alone with him only when Max was busy doing other things, so it wasn't like I was taking time away from our relationship. Max didn't seem to have a problem with it, either. Everything was working out great - Kyle had become a good friend and I had a wonderful boyfriend too - what else could I want? But then it started to get a little weird. I had the suspicion that Kyle still liked me. Nothing specific...just vibes, I guess. The way he sometimes looked at me, or the things he said. But he was being a good sport about me and Max, and he never did anything overt. I was a little uncomfortable at first, but then I just ignored it in favor of keeping our friendship light.
It became a problem though when I realized I was starting to feel attracted to him again, too. I don't know when it happened exactly, but I just started feeling that tension around him, like I wanted to kiss him. When we were apart, I thought of Kyle. A lot. But I still loved Max - I really did! Max was the romantic one - he made me feel so special... Kyle was fun and lively - I always had a good time, and we would talk about all sorts of things, too. It was killing me, feeling conflicted like that - I didn't want to hurt Max again, and I didn't want to break up with him for Kyle, either. I just couldn't seem to control the way I felt. I would spend a romantic evening with Max and come home feeling so happy, I'd tell myself that the Kyle factor was no longer an issue. And then, the next day, I'd be thinking about Kyle again. I finally confided in Maria, but she wasn't any help - she sympathized, but she didn't know what to do either.
So, there Liz and I were, sitting at the Crashdown late one night. She was closing up and I was just hanging out there since there was no one at home - my dad was working late and Tess was out with Isabel. I don't know how we got on the subject really, but I guess she was laughing about how grungy she felt in her uniform, and how it was no wonder she hadn't dated much when she was younger, since no one would find her attractive in it. Somehow that segued into her talking about unrequited love, and how she hadn't been on the receiving end much. I couldn't believe she had such a low sense of her attractiveness - hell, I was practically killing myself trying to keep from making a move on her. So I told her she had a lot of great qualities and I could see why a lot of guys would find her attractive, probably more than she realized. Seemed a safe enough way to make her feel better without betraying too much.
But she reacted really strangely - she got all tense, and there was an awkward silence. Then she looked over at me and asked me if I was one of those guys, and before I could stop myself I said "Yes." But I quickly added "But I know how you feel about Evans...I mean, Max, and all. I don't want to screw that up for you." There was more silence. She suddenly concentrated on her sweeping like there was going to be a housekeeping exam, and I devoted myself to stacking the empty cups in front of me, trying to think of a way I could pretend I hadn't said what I said. Suddenly, Liz put down her broom and came over to my table. I was going to apologize, but before I could, she said, "I have to be honest. I...I think I'm attracted to you, too." I remember my mouth falling open. Then she went on, "But I'm still in love with Max. I really like you both! I...I just don't know what to do."
I was happy she felt that way, but I felt kind of bad for Evans, too. I mean, the guy saved my life, and how do I repay him? By still being in love with his girl! He was a good guy ... alien ... whatever... and I wasn't looking to screw him over.
Liz and I talked a bit more, and in the end we decided to just stay friends. Even though I wanted to be fair to Evans, it still kind of sucked - I mean, if I thought I wanted to kiss Liz before, I *really* wanted to kiss her after finding out how she felt. Knowing she felt the same made it even worse.
Buddha once said, "Never have anything to do with likes and dislikes. The absence of what one likes is painful, as is the presence of what one dislikes."
It didn't keep me from liking her.
Kyle and I were sitting out on the quad when it happened. We were just hanging out, eating our lunch, talking about our upcoming English test. Ever since the night when we had confessed our mutual attraction, we had avoided the subject entirely. I know I was trying really hard to be casual, but when Kyle leaned his head in close so he could look at my notes, my heart suddenly started pounding and a shot of electricity ran through me. I could hardly breathe. Kyle froze too, and in that moment I wasn't aware of anything other than his presence, so close to me.
"Liz," he breathed.
I turned to look at him. Those deep blue eyes stared into mine in silence. Then he spoke again: "I know we agreed to be friends and all, but ..."
It sounds terrible, I know, but I just couldn't restrain myself any longer. I kissed him before he could finish the sentence. He was surprised for a mere instant, then he returned the kiss, his lips meeting mine eagerly. It was an amazing moment. When we finally broke apart, I knew we could never go back to being just friends. But I was so confused -- how could loving Kyle feel so right and be so wrong too? What was I going to tell Max?
I didn't realize it then, but Max already knew...
I was walking past the quad on my way to my locker when I saw Liz and Kyle kissing. For a moment I couldn't breathe, it hurt so much. All I could think to do was turn and walk away in shock, just like I had the night of the Gomez concert. I knew there couldn't possibly be any saving-the-world explanation this time, and I began to wonder if that excuse had been valid the first time, either. I was going to confront Liz at the first opportunity, but I spotted Kyle as I passed him in the hall after school. I didn't think--I just reacted, grabbing his arm and saying, "We are going to talk. Now." The nearest thing was the Eraser Room, so I yanked him in there so we could talk in private.
Once inside, I let loose. "What the hell is going on, Kyle? I saw you and Liz kissing out on the quad. And don't tell me you two are trying to save the world again, because that excuse won't work twice."
You know Kyle - he doesn't beat around the bush. "Look, Evans," he said. "I know how you feel about Liz. I gotta admit - you've got great taste. But I love her too. I've done my damndest to stay out of your way and let you have her, but you should know ... she kissed me."
I'm sure I looked like someone had hit me over the head with a brick. My throat closed up, rendering me speechless. The sense of betrayal was overwhelming -- I couldn't believe Liz would do something like that to me. Again. I turned to leave, but Kyle grabbed my arm and actually tried to console me. He told me how Liz had told him over and over that she loved me, that she didn't want to leave me. And somehow, despite everything, I believed him. So, what did that mean for Kyle, for me? Despite Kyle's words, I was really afraid that if I made Liz choose she might choose Kyle. He was human, after all - there were no risks, no dangers, no unknowns with him.
I was surprised when Kyle echoed my fears a few minutes later. "I don't know why you're worried, Evans. Given the choice, I'm sure she'd take a smart alien like you over a dumb jock like me." Then he chuckled suddenly, "Hey, remember that night I got you drunk? We joked about sharing Liz -- Mondays, Wednesdays, alternate Saturdays, that sort of thing. Yeah, like that'd ever work..."
I couldn't believe I was saying it, but I found myself telling Kyle that maybe it wasn't such a crazy idea after all. And that he definitely wasn't dumb.
I was sitting at my desk trying to study for the exam, trying not to think about how much of a mess I was making of my love life, when I heard a tap at my window. You can imagine how surprised I was to see Max and Kyle standing there together, and I dreaded the confrontation that was surely about to happen. But I was absolutely stunned when I let them in and heard what they had to say - they suggested that I date both of them. Openly. One at a time in alternation, or both of them on the same date - they claimed to be fine with either concept. My first reaction was to accuse Kyle of getting them both drunk again, but they assured me they were completely sober and completely serious. It was a strange idea and yet... well, I had to admit, it would certainly solve my dilemma! How I got so lucky as to love two unbelievably understanding guys, I have no idea. I'll have to ask Kyle about Karma someday.
Anyway, the three of us began a dating relationship the likes of which I could never have imagined for myself. Sometimes Kyle and I would go to the game. Other times Max and I would go rollerblading in the park. And then there were the nights when all three of us would go out to dinner or rent a movie together. At first I felt a little awkward, paying attention to one guy while the other one was sitting right there. And I could tell that even though it was their idea, Max and Kyle were a little uncomfortable with the arrangement in the beginning. But we decided early on that there would be no secrets among the three of us, and we just talked out any problems that arose. Before I knew it, the awkwardness was gone and it seemed totally normal for the three of us to do almost everything together.
Who knew? Evans and I actually found we had things in common besides Liz. One day I was out shooting hoops by myself when he walked by and offered to go one-on-one with me. Seems the Norman Rockwell family plays pickup basketball from time to time - he was pretty good, actually. And then there was the night he asked me about my interest in Buddhism. Seems he, too, was doubting his existence - not that I blamed him. I mean, come on, the guy has a previous life on another planet, and some hokey pre-existing betrothal and throne to deal with, to boot. Anyway, his family's traditional belief in God just wasn't doing it for him anymore and he wanted to know more about my path. We'd talked before, on dates with Liz or group events, but usually about school or other lightweight stuff. This was a *real* conversation, and it was pretty cool to connect with him like that.
We started getting together, just us, whenever Liz was busy with work or if she had to go away with her family. We'd work out at the gym, grab dinner somewhere, catch a movie, whatever. Ever since he saved my life I'd respected him, and since we'd started spending time with Liz together I'd come to like him as a person. But now that we were doing stuff on our own, I came to like him as a real friend. It'll sound kind of weird, but I hadn't had many close friends before. Jocks don't tend to bond anywhere off the playing field, and even then it's all sports-oriented "bonding", anyway. But Evans and I really connected, on so many levels.
I never expected to actually *like* Kyle. He and I started off as enemies, after all, and that sort of beginning can be hard to overcome. But as I got to know him, I found out there was a lot more to him than just the jock image he normally projected. He was intelligent, had a great sense of humor, and often conveyed a serenity that must have come from the Buddhism. The night he shared his beliefs with me was indescribable, and it helped me get through a rough spot in my life.
I sometimes wonder if I have a special affinity for people I've healed, if it has to do with bonds that are formed in those lifesaving moments. Or maybe Kyle and I would naturally have found a connection with each other given all other constants. I'm not sure I'll ever know. All I know is that, in rather short order, he and I got along great. It was nice having a friend who wasn't all wrapped up in alien issues and insecurities like Michael was, although Kyle did once express concern that maybe I'd 'changed' him somehow. He hasn't exhibited any odd talents yet, but maybe that's only for lack of opportunity.
I was feeling more grounded and stable than I had felt in ages, with Liz and Kyle filling the voids that Isabel, Michael and Tess weren't able to fill. And then the dreams came. Dreams of... Kyle. Dreams involving us - just the two of us. And they weren't platonic dreams, either. My first thought was that I'd been missing Liz lately (she'd been away on vacation), and so I was simply projecting my emotions onto the next closest person in my life at the moment. But even after Liz came back I found myself admiring Kyle's sleek, muscular form at the gym, or gazing into his dark blue eyes when we talked. I tried to be surreptitious about it, but eventually he noticed and we had a few awkward days. I didn't know what went through his mind at the time - I tried to pretend everything was normal and neither of us mentioned the subject. And then I started having the feeling that he was watching me in return.
When Max and Kyle showed up on my balcony together, it wasn't at all the surprise it was that first time. I was used to it by now - they'd swing by on their way to dinner and pick me up, or drop in after my shift at the Crashdown to hang out for a bit. But they looked really serious on this particular night, and nervous too. When they suggested I sit down, I got worried - something bad had happened, I was sure. Had someone died? Been attacked? I remember looking back and forth between them as they looked back and forth between each other and me. Finally I couldn't take it anymore - I looked pointedly at Max and told him he'd better just say whatever it was they came to say.
Max cleared his throat a couple of times, and after another quick glance at Kyle, simply reached out and twined his fingers in Kyle's. Nobody spoke at first, and I really didn't know what to think. I wanted them to get along, sure, but I didn't expect them to get along in *that* capacity! When I demanded an explanation, Kyle admitted that he and Max had started to find each other attractive, and they had even kissed a few times.
"So, what does that mean for us?" I asked them unhappily. "You're breaking up with me so you two can be together?"
"Oh, no," they said, trying to be reassuring. They quickly sat on my bed with me, one on either side, and explained that they still loved me. That their newfound attraction for each other didn't diminish their desire to maintain our current relationship. It just added a new dimension. It took me a while to process it, but eventually I realized that if I could love two people equally and have it work out, why couldn't they?
"You see why we love her so much?" Max said from his position on the sofa.
"Yeah, it all comes down to Liz," Kyle echoed, running his fingers absently through Liz's hair as he leaned on Max's shoulder. "I mean, hey," he added, his face cracking a smile, "if Evans and I hadn't been fighting over her last year, we might not have all gotten together like this. Ironic, huh?"
Liz rolled her eyes from where she lay, her head pillowed on Max's lap. "Hey, it was your idea to share." She sat up and ran a hand over her tousled mane. "And really," she said, looking at me, "it has worked out amazingly well. We have a great time together, the three of us. Everyone has two people they love, and we've managed not to be jealous of each other or anything."
Max looked at his watch. "I hate to cut this short," he said, "but it's almost 7pm and we have dinner reservations."
Kyle rose off the sofa and stretched his muscular frame. "Ah, yes. The nod to commercial romance."
Liz raised an eyebrow as Max helped her into her jacket. "If you're so against commercial expressions, how come you brought both of us roses tonight?" She nodded at the two vases, one with red flowers, one with white.
Max walked over to Kyle and gave him a brief kiss. "Admit it, Kyle. You're just an old softy."
"I admit nothing," Kyle replied with a grin. "But I guess you're right. Who better qualified to celebrate the day than us?" He draped an arm around Liz's waist as the three of them walked toward the door. I shook their hands and thanked them for sharing their story. As we went our separate ways, I called over my shoulder:
"Happy Valentine's Day."
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