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Higher Education, Part 5
Reply to SusanOriginally posted to Roswell Desert Skies in 2004
The next two months Michael, Kyle and even Maria made the most of their time together. Almost everyday the three of them found something to do together and every night Michael and Kyle reaffirmed their love for each other both physically and emotionally. They both knew their time together was coming to an end. This was all the time they had to continue the relationship which began a year earlier. Once Kyle left for college they agreed that it would be the end of their physical relationship. They would still love each other and be the best of friends but the physical aspect would cease. It was for the best. Michael still insisted that he would not get involved with anyone in college. His heart was already taken, not by one but two people. He didn't have anything left to give to someone else but he sincerely wished for Kyle to find his perfect match. It was what enabled him to let Kyle go.
"I can't believe I leave tomorrow." Kyle said as he laid his head against Michael's chest. They had just made love for the second time and Kyle wasn't sure that he had the energy to do anything else except sleep but he wouldn't allow his eyes to close. He wanted to relish the little time they had left together.
"I know." Michael whispered emotion making his voice crack. Saying goodbye to Kyle was harder then he had ever imagined. The thought that this was their last night together was tearing him apart. He hugged Kyle tightly against him, not wanting to let him go and he admitted so to him. "I don't want to let you go."
"Me either. I knew this was going to be hard but this is absolutely killing me." Tears formed in Kyle's eyes and he choked to hold back the sob wanting to escape.
Michael sat up and looked down into Kyle's eyes his hand caressing his cheek softly. "No matter what happens after tonight just know I DO love you. I will ALWAYS love you. I wish I could give you everything you want, that you deserve. I'm sorry I can't be who you need me to be." Tears fell down his cheeks as he leaned down and kissed Kyle lovingly.
After a few gentle and loving kisses Michael got out of bed and headed for the bathroom. He stopped when he reached the doorway and turned to look back at Kyle who also had tears on his cheeks.
"I will always love you to Michael. ALWAYS." Kyle declared as Michael retreated.
When Michael returned they held each other close for the rest of the night, sometimes kissing and other times talking quietly, neither wanting to sleep. They both wanted to savor their last few hours together. At dawn they made love for the last time and then they got up showered and packed Kyle's stuff in his car. He didn't want anyone to take him to school, he didn't want to have to say goodbye to his family, to the people most important to him, in public. He needed to say goodbye at home.
Kyle hugged his parents and Maria in the house and then Michael walked him to his car. "We will still talk right?" Michael asked quietly.
"Of course we will. I told you I would always be there for you Michael and I meant it." Kyle said wanting desperately to pull Michael into his arms even when he knew he could not.
Michael pulled Kyle into a hug. He held him tightly for a moment before letting him go and standing away. "I'll miss you."
Kyle looked away and opened his car door, tears forming in his eyes. "I'll miss you too." He whispered.
Michael sat outside for a long while after Kyle left. Watching Kyle drive away had been one of the hardest things he had ever had to do in his life. He'd wanted to run after him and beg him not to go. Michael was afraid of what would come of them now. He hoped that they would still remain friends. That the closeness they had once had, before the sexual relationship, would return but he was afraid that nothing would be the same anymore.
Michael turned to see Maria standing above him on the steps. "Yeah. Why wouldn't I be?"
"I know that you two are close. It can't be easy to be separated." Maria said as she joined Michael on the step.
"All three of us are going to be separated. I think it sucks." Michael said honestly.
"I don't like it either and you're right it does suck, big time." Maria agreed "But it is different for you and Kyle."
"Not really." Michael said absently.
Maria cleared her throat and put her hand on Michael's arm. "I know about the two of you Michael." She admitted
Michael looked at her "Wh...what?" he asked his voice breaking up.
"I know that you and Kyle were very CLOSE."
"I don't know what you are talking about." Michael said pushing Maria's hand off his arm. 'Could she really know?' he thought to himself
"I saw the two of you. I heard you two together." Maria admitted.
"What? When?" Michael asked his voice shaking with emotion. He wasn't expecting this conversation today. He didn't know what to say to her.
Maria sighed. She had hoped Michael would talk to her openly about this but it looked like she was going to have to make him. "About six months ago I went into your room to see if I could borrow one of your dvd's. I didn't know that you were home until I saw the bathroom door open and heard the shower. I was about to shout out until I heard both of your voices. I couldn't hear what you were saying so I walked to the doorway. That was when I saw the two of you and heard what you were saying and doing."
Michael knew exactly the day she was talking about. Kyle had come home from working out all sweaty and entirely too sexy for his own good. Michael had followed him into the shower. They realized afterwards that they had forgotten to lock the door. They'd never forgotten until then and it was also the only time they had done anything during the day. They always waited until everyone was either out or asleep to do anything. Michael looked over at Maria. What could he say to her about this? How could he explain? "Shit" he cursed.
"It's ok Michael. I just wish you had been honest with me." Maria said putting her hand on his arm once again trying to let him know that she was there for him.
Michael sat quietly for a moment and then something dawned on him. "Wait a minute. Six months ago? Wasn't that about the time you started ragging on me about dating? And then you asked me if I was gay." Michael asked
"Yeah. I just wanted you to tell me what was going on. I wanted to admit to you that I knew but I wanted you to confide in me more. I thought we were best friends. Don't best friends tell each other everything?" Maria said tears flowing down her cheeks. She'd been hurt when he wouldn't tell her about Kyle especially when she gave him the chance to do so over and over.
"Maria." Michael whispered as he wiped the tears from Maria's cheeks. He'd wanted to talk to her about everything for so long but didn't know how. He wanted to admit his feelings. Not just for Kyle but for her as well.
"You lied to me." Maria accused.
"Huh?" Michael asked confused
"When I asked you if you were gay, you told me no." Maria said her voice shaking
Michael stood up and walked away from her agitated. This was exactly the reason why he didn't want to tell her about Kyle. He knew that she wouldn't understand. He really wanted her to so he tried to explain. "I'm not gay Maria. I'm really not." After seeing the look Maria gave him he continued. "Ok so I was involved with Kyle. We were close. Very close. I love him Maria. But he is the only one. I don't feel that way about other guys and I'm not just deluding myself either. I have agonized over this for more than a year Maria. I KNOW I am not gay. It's just Kyle."
Maria looked at Michael. She could tell that he was being completely honest with her as well as himself. He really was only attracted to Kyle. Maria swallowed the pain of hearing that he was in love with Kyle steeling herself against it so she could be supportive for Michael. "I believe you Michael."
Michael silently thanked her with his eyes. He'd wanted her to understand. It was important for him that she'd believe him.
"So let me ask you again. Are you ok?" Maria asked.
"No not really." Michael admitted quietly. "I'm going to miss him so damn much. I'm going to miss both of you. I knew it was going to be hard but I didn't know it was going to feel like my heart was being ripped apart." Michael said as he turned his head away from Maria not wanting her to see the tears in his eyes.
Maria stood in front of Michael, her hands moving to his face making him look at her. "It's ok Michael. It's ok to hurt." She said pulling him into a hug.
Michael held onto her tightly as emotion racked his body. Maria whispered comforting words trying to soothe his pain all the while her own heart was breaking. She hated to see him hurt so much. She could only imagine that Kyle was hurting just as bad as he drove to school. Her heart broke for both of them and it also broke for herself. Six months ago she had come to an epiphany. She'd realized that she was in love with her best friend. Today she found out that he was in love with some one else. A part of her knew from the moment she had witnessed Kyle and Michael together in the shower that Michael was lost to her but hearing his declaration of love towards their best friend made it final.
After Michael's tears dried up he pulled away from Maria pulling her hand to his lips. He kissed her hand gently. "Thank you."
Maria nodded. There was still one thing she didn't understand so she asked. "Why did Kyle decide to go to Arizona? I thought you'd decided to go to college together."
"We did but then I screwed up and Kyle decided he needed to go someplace else." Michael said.
"I don't understand. What happened?" Maria asked.
"I slept with Courtney for one."
Maria gasped in horror. "Oh no Michael. Oh God. I did this. I caused this pain." She said turning to run away.
Michael quickly caught her arm pulling her back. "No this isn't your fault. I'm the one that did it. I didn't have to. I was too afraid of people getting the wrong idea so I did what was expected. I could have had the courage to just walk away but I didn't. Anyhow, it doesn't matter. We worked things out and we both agreed that us going to separate colleges was a good thing."
"A good thing. How could breaking your hearts be a good thing?" Maria asked confused
Michael sighed. His life was complicated. He barely understood it himself. How could he explain it to her without admitting his deepest desires? "It's confusing I know. It is best for Kyle Maria. He needs to be able to meet someone else and he wouldn't have done that if we went to college together." He explained
Maria was still confused. "I don't understand. Why does Kyle need to meet someone else? You love each other right?"
"Yeah we do. We love each other a lot. But sometimes love isn't enough. I can't give Kyle everything he needs, that he deserves. In the long run he would have been miserable." Michael said
"Because you won't come out?" Maria asked
"Partially, but that isn't the main reason. It is just complicated Maria. I wish I could explain it to you but I can't. Please try to understand." He begged
Maria took Michael's hand and squeezed it tightly. She didn't understand and maybe never would but she had to support Michael and Kyle in their choices. They were her family and that was what family was for.
"I'm sorry Michael. I wish I could do something to make things better for both of you. I hate to see you in such pain." Maria said quietly.
"Just always be my friend Maria." Michael whispered his voice full of emotion.
"Always." Maria declared.
A month later it was Michael's turn to leave for school. Leaving Maria and his home of over eight years, had been just as hard as watching Kyle leave a month earlier. He'd fallen in love in this house, with both of his best friends. He'd had the love and support of Amy and Jim Valenti. And now he had to say goodbye. It wasn't easy for any of them.
As Michael packed his car he thought of the conversation he'd had with Kyle the night before.
"I can't believe I leave for school tomorrow." Michael said
"Yeah I know. It's hard driving away but it will be ok Michael. Trust me."
"I miss you." Michael admitted
"Me to." Kyle said quietly.
Michael changed the subject quickly. They'd agreed they wouldn't dwell on what they'd shared together and move forward. "So when do you meet your roommate?" Michael asked.
"Hmm. Meet him today. He started moving his stuff in this afternoon. He will officially move in tomorrow." Kyle smiled thinking of his new roommate. The guy was hot with a capital H. Tall, dark and handsome. Actually beautiful would be a better word to describe the guy.
"Do I hear a bit of interest in your voice?" Michael asked smiling.
"He's hot. That is for sure but I'm not sure what team he is batting for yet. I will keep you advised." Kyle said
"You do that." Michael laughed. He was glad to hear the excitement in Kyle's voice. He sincerely hoped that if he didn't find happiness with his new roommate that he found it with someone else soon. Kyle deserved it.
Michael was smiling as he put his last box in the car.
"What are you smiling about?" Maria asked
"Just thinking about my conversation with Kyle last night" Michael said.
Maria gave Michael a questioning look.
"Evidently his roommate is HOT." Michael explained
"Hmmm. I bet Kyle is happy about that." Maria said laughing.
"Oh yeah. He was definitely excited over the possibilities."
Maria's smile faded. "You ok with that?" she asked concerned about Michael's feelings.
Michael nodded. "Yeah I am. I want him to be happy. Thanks for asking though." Michael said as her kissed her on the cheek.
Michael sighed "Time to say goodbye to the parentals. I hope your mom doesn't cry like she did when Kyle left."
"You know she will." Maria said pulling a suddenly reluctant Michael into the house.
An hour later...
Michael was finally on his way to school. As Maria predicted, Amy cried and wouldn't let him walk out the door for nearly twenty minutes. She hated that her babies were all leaving home. Michael reminded her that Maria was staying and finally he was able to escape as Amy grabbed Maria fiercely in her arms. Maria gave him a dirty look but then smiled as Michael blew her a kiss and shouted "Love you", as he walked out the door.
It was hard driving away but he was also excited about starting a new life. He would miss both Maria and Kyle for a long time but he knew that this time apart would be good for them. Maria and he had shared a lot over the last month. He loved the time they had together. True to his word, Kyle and he had talked a lot since he left. It was always good to hear his voice, the pain of separation growing less everyday. Maria promised that she would call as well. It felt good to know that even miles apart that they would not loose each other. With that knowledge he was able to look forward to what was yet to come. He hoped they would all find happiness.
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