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I See You, Part Two
Reply to AK-77Sent to the Roswell Slash Archive May 20, 2001
Title: I SEE YOU 2
Pairing: Kyle Valenti/Max Evans
Disclaimer: the characters don't belong to me; no money for me by this
Note: not my native language + not beta'd = spelling- and grammar mistakes
Feedback: think I'd like that
Distribute: fine with me as long as I get to know first
Summary: suffering (I would be sorry, but the story chose me, not the other way round)
"What are you thinking right now?"
They sat outside on a bench, having lunch together. He had been a little confused about Liz asking him to spend that time with her, having assumed that she would keep distance after rejecting him two days before.
They had both been silent most of the time. Kyle had expected to feel awkward in her company, but had instead soon realized that the small trouble Liz represented in his life was surprisingly pleasant to deal with these days.
But this question was not one he wanted to answer.
He tried to think quick.
"You know, I heard about you and Max."
Brown eyes on him, no perceptible expression, since he evaded looking into them.
Too busy with doing other things, important things.
Trying not to panic, for example.
Or finding something good to say.
Finding anything to say.
"What do you mean?"
It sounded exactly the way it had not been supposed to.
It sounded wary.
As if he tried to hide something from her.
As if he had done something terrible, something completely wrong.
It was not that strange.
Strange was the way this emotions flooded him whole by only a few words, after he had managed to ignore their cause so successfully all the time.
Liz sighed, incessantly watching him. He could see it out of the corner of his eye.
"Maria told me. I don't..."
"Maria was there?"
That much about trying not to panic.
"Are you kidding? It was topic number one this morning. 'Max Evans hit Kyle Valenti'."
Kyle wanted to laugh.
But the way she was looking at him prevented him from doing so. It hadn't been that urging anyway.
The small brows were drawn together, matching the schoolmasterly spoken appeal.
"Why, Kyle? I want to understand." Her tone got more imploring. "I want to understand why he did this to you."
He became a little angry.
Everything revolved round Max Evans.
Kyle couldn't care less about the punch itself. But it was funny to see that the usually caring Liz Parker seemed more interested in finding out whatever had caused Max Evans to hit an other boy than worrying about Kyle's well-being.
He didn't answer, and as if she'd read his thoughts rightaway Liz's face got a guilty expression. Concerned fingers reached for his splitted lower lip.
He pulled back viscerally before they could touch him.
Both of them were surprised by his reaction, and suddenly Kyle wanted desperately to leave.
"Look, it's no big thing. We were arguing, one thing lead to another and it happened. It just happened."
Kyle noticed his voice had taken on a beseeching tone with the last sentence.
He felt so terrible drained.
But he had already turned his back to her and walked away.
"Yeah, it looks promising." Max said with a smile and took a sip of his cherry-coke.
"I knew it! It's high time, believe me. The thing between you two became unbearable." Michael nudged Isabel with his ellbow for support, and she agreed a little hesitantly.
Max watched Liz, who was standing at a table at the other side of the room, taking down orders. From time to time she would glance back at him but cast her eyes down immediately, smiling bashfully as if scolding herself for her behaviour.
It was admireable.
And it was funny to see Michael so relieved about this. He still didn't like the idea of getting involved with a human that much, but he had accepted Max's relationship with Liz, since it was the one thing that seemed to have an stabilizing effect on Max. Maybe that was not exactly the way Michael would perceive the situation, but he sensed that something was wrong with his little family whenever Max had trouble with Liz.
His mind wandered to Isabel, who looked kind of dissatisfied into her glass while playing with the straw. She had been like this the whole day, but Max hadn't had the nerve to ask her about it.
He didn't feel like discussing problems right now as well, but in a way he felt obliged to deal with whatever troubles she had.
"What's wrong, Isabel?"
Her eyes focused on his', made him almost wish he hadn't asked.
"Why did you hit Kyle?"
Max opened his mouth without even knowing what to say, but Michael was faster anyway.
"Don't even listen to her, Max." Turning to Isabel he continued. "That guy is a puffed-up full-time-jerk, you know that. He doesn't deserve better."
A mixture of anxiety and anger was clearly visible in Isabel's face and Max leaned back to leave the discussing to the other two. He continued watching Liz instead, until the little game started to become a bit exhausting. He felt tired.
"You know I don't like him either, Michael. But it doesn't matter who he is. I simply think we are old enough to behave different. And apart from that: what happened to 'be as inconspicious as possible'? Five different people asked me about it this morning, and I haven't even been there!"
Michael was about to disagree out of pure persistance, but it was obvious that inwardly he was considering her words.
Before he could reply anything, Max decided to interfere.
"He was insulting Liz, and I was unable to listen to that any longer."
While Michael nodded appreciatingly, Isabel's reaction was, like one would have expected, totally different.
"I hardly recognize you!"
It sounded desperate and made Max feel miserable.
"But what's the matter?" Michael threw in gruffly. "There's the side of Max I missed all the time, since I know him." And with a smug smile he added: "Besides, certain faces just beg for a good hiding."
"Yeah, yours, for example."
They all jumped at Kyle's voice. The boy had come in just in time to catch the last sentence, of course knowing exactly who Michael was talking about. He was accompanied by three other guys of his team who positioned themselves around him. Not something that would impress Michael.
"Try it, Valenti, we'll see which face lasts longer."
Michael was not really in his aggressive mood right now, it was mere formality.
"Any time." Kyle replied, just as unpromptedly, his voice lacking every edge.
It was like watching two very unmotivated actors rehearse the scene of a bad play. Max would have been amused, if he hadn't been so tensed up.
Though he did not stop looking at his drink the whole time, Max sensed Kyle's gaze on him, unwilling to let him go.
A few seconds passed, stretching to an eternity, then the heavy weight vanished when Kyle finally turned to head for a table, followed by his adherents.
Immediately Liz went over to them, wearing a slightly concerned look on her face. Kyle smiled at her, and that was a safe moment for Max to glance over, taking in Kyle's face with eyes that looked a little red.
But whatever troubles Kyle Valenti was dealing with was not Max's pigeon.
Max had spoken to Liz after school, and it had been a very good conversation. He had been able to explain his behaviour, had convinced her that he hadn't been himself at that moment, that he had to defend her if someone told bad things. But yes, he knew that had been the wrong way to go about it, and he was sorry. He had managed to reassure her, although she still did not feel totally comfortable with it. But when he had invited her to go to the movies tomorrow night, she had agreed.
Nevertheless, it was a long time till then. There seemed to be a headache on the way, and it did definitely not help to watch Isabel and Michael argue about some unimportant nonsense, while everybody long since knew none of them would ever persuade the other.
It was like hell.
Liz had been thoughtful enough not to flirt with Max in front of Kyle, completely misinterpreting the reason for his current frame of mind.
He should be grateful for that.
It was a good cover.
It ment one problem less, but it did nothing to ease his pain.
He was angry at himself for feeling like that.
Since when had he become such a wimp?
(The moment you looked into his eyes and saw him the first time.)
Kyle knew exactly what was going on.
That didn't mean he liked it.
And it was so unlike him to brood over a problem.
He was Kyle Valenti.
He solved a problem as it came along.
And he did not *brood*.
But right now he was lying on the couch in the early evening, unable to get up, wanting nothing more than to sleep and forget whatever one could brood over.
That song was right, Kyle thought, before hiding in his sleep. Hell was not a place, it was a condition.
He didn't dream, what was alright with him.
And when he opened his eyes the next morning, he was back in hell.
The next day Max was just standing with Michael near the lockers, when Kyle ran up to them.
"Evans, we have to talk."
He could hear Michael take in a very deep breath and said: "I don't think so."
He was about to turn back to Michael, intuitively intending to shut the other boy out, but Kyle wouldn't give up that quickly.
"It won't take long."
Max felt annoyed, and it was a good feeling, one he welcomed. He registered Michael mumbling something to him, something that sounded like 'No question about it, Mister Speak-to-me-in-short-sentences.' and did not even try to stifle his laugh.
"Alright." he said. "You've got five minutes."
Ignoring Michael's sigh, he walked to an empty classroom, not even making sure if Kyle followed him.
Yes, he was pissed off, but he swallowed it.
He entered behind Max who stopped near the door, and passed him.
His mouth was dry.
There were only two small windows, and the light was off, but still it was light enough to see well.
He was sweating, could smell his own sweat.
He hated feeling nervous.
He did not really have a choice.
Max closed the door, reducing outside's noise to muffled sounds of a world far away. Having done so, he took a few steps and sat down on a table.
Kyle ran his fingers through his hair, making sure he hadn't frozen. Good, it was working, but of course that didn't mean that his brain was, too.
He had to try.
"It can't go on like this." said Kyle's mouth, and the voice coming out sounded weak and strangely distant, as if it was someone else's.
The words were lousy, too.
He could swear there was no oxygen in the air.
But then, Kyle guessed, he would be dead by now, right?
This tension gnawed at him.
So did Max's eyes.
"What are you talking about?"
There was a bored undertone in Max's voice that made Kyle mad, made him want to hit someone hard. Blood shot into his head, heatening his face.
He spoke slowly, with faltering words. "You came to me. Twice. Said we had to talk. First time you hit me. Second time...you know what I mean...I..."
"No, Kyle, I don't know what you mean."
Hurting him deep inside.
Making him furious.
And Max looked so uninterested about it all, that Kyle felt the urge to grab him by his shoulders, scream at him and shake him violently until his head popped open, forcing the (green? slimy?) creature that had made itself at home in there to climb out, and let Max be himself again.
Trying to control his emotions was a lost battle.
Watch out, he thought. When we get hurt, we tend to hurt back.
We might regret it afterwards, but we don't think about future.
Causing something in Max's face to twitch.
Causing Max to chuckle disparagingly.
Anger boiled up inside him, until he was barely able to see.
Wiping his eyes fiercely he screamed: "I won't let it happen!" and his voice broke.
Not trusting himself in that moment he turned, ramming his fist with full force into the next wall and stormed out of the room.
Max was taking off his shirt to change for his date with Liz, when he heard a knock at the door.
"Come in." he called.
Isabel entered cautiously and sat down on the end of his bed. It was obvious that she was still troubled.
She hesitated to speak, seeming a bit uneasy, and Max was a little afraid. He steeled himself inwardly against what would come.
"Is anything with Michael?" he asked, although Max already knew the matter was him.
"No. No, it's just...Maybe I'm overrating the whole incident, but... it gives me a weird feeling."
Max was confused.
"What do you mean?" he asked, still concerned.
"It's not you, Max." She looked at him almost imploring. "It's not like you to overreact in situations like that. We speak about ridiculous problems of adolescence! What when something really important is at stake?"
An awkward silence followed, until Max finally said: "You are right. I'm sorry. I have to get a grip on me."
It sounded a little too reasonable, and by Isabel's reaction he could tell that she thought the same.
"Will you stand it, Max? I need to know. If you break in matters like that, what..." He cut her off, interrupting her in a low voice.
"It's just...it's just difficult, sometimes." he said honestly. "To be me."
There was a paralizing fear that she would think of him as weak, too weak to be what he was supposed to, too weak to hold them together. Max was surprised to realize how much Isabel's opinion actually ment to him.
She reached out for his hand, pulling him down on the bed. When he sat, she still did not let go of his hand, but held it between her two, looking firmly into his eyes.
"I wished you could talk about it."
He forced a smile. "Just ridiculous problems of adolescence. It will go away."
Pointing with her head at his neck she said: "Does it have something to do with that? It's not from Liz, is it?"
He knew the shock was clearly visible in his face. When you got a heart attack, people could see it in your face.
"No. It's not from her."
It was embarrassing. But there was something relieving about speaking those words, too, although he knew he would never confess to her whose teeth it were, that had left this impression on his nape.
Isabel astonished him with a smile, then hugged him briefly, until she rose from the bed.
Before leaving for good she grabbed in a swift motion a nearby lying shirt and threw it at him. "Watch out, brother dear."
His hand hurt.
But there was something native about it he liked.
Pain, one was able to grasp.
Still it hurt.
Ok, Valenti, Kyle thought to himself. You've got two days.
Two days to pull your sorry ass together.
Two days to become you again.
He knew it was a short time till deadline, but that was the way it had to work.
Kyle's recovering time ended the day Jaqueline Mason threw her birthday party. The special thing about it was that Jackie's older brother's birthday happened to be exactly the day after, so they used to celebrate together. It was always a big event many of Kyle's friends looked forward to. There would be people from out of town.
Kyle was determined to skrew some stupid chick that night. It wouldn't be difficult.
...Maria was friends with Jackie Mason, and Maria would bring Liz.
And Liz would bring...
But who said it would be easy?
He still had his two days.
And then there wouldn't be anything to it anymore.
It would only be fun then.
There would be Max then, and Kyle would say:
Who is that dope?
Kyle grabbed his jacket with his wrong hand and got up wincing.
On his way out he passed his dad but ignored him completely.
"Where are you going?" his father asked, rising from the table where he'd just read the paper.
"Get drunk." Kyle answered without lowering his speed. Before his father could say something more, Kyle was out of the house and headed for his car.
"What?" Max asked softly and brushed a strand of hair out of Liz's face.
The streets were empty by now, and a gentle breeze brought some coolness.
Liz hesitated, and Max could almost see the brain work behind that wonderful forehead.
"Would you like to come up for a while?"
She said it slowly, head lowered slightly, looking at him with a shy, but at the same time somehow mysterious smile on her lips.
It was a mistake to believe Liz Parker didn't know what she wanted.
Max couldn't help grinning.
"Yes." he whispered and felt a deep satisfaction when she laughed back at him.
She took his hand. "Then let's go."
They were standing in Liz's room, eyes locked. The little light was a warm one, coming from the candles outside.
When had he kissed her the last time? It seemed like years to him. Long years.
He got closer, noticing like her breath smelled a little of peppermint. Her eyes seemed to swallow him completely, and he didn't mind. It was like a promise that convinced him that finally everything would be alright.
He bent down, yearning for the touch of her lips.
Just the second their mouths met, Max caught a sudden flash of a picture.
It was nothing more than a short image, but he pulled back immediately, shocked.
Blue eyes. Blue eyes, framed with lashes that sticked together with wetness, so clearly visible down to the last detail, he could easily make out the tiny droplets of water between them.
He was stunned.
Then he felt anger rise inside.
Liz stared at him, looking bewildered. But before she could say anything, Max managed to composure himself enough to bend down once more, leaving his eyes open for safety, resolutely disregarding all unwanted thoughts.
This time he was not caught by surprise, when the images started to flood every recess of his anguished mind.
He closed his eyes.
It was Kyle again, under him. Kyle's broad smooth back under him, writhing. His own hand on Kyle's back, traveling up to grip Kyle's neck tight. Max deepened the kiss. Kyle, who was panting, who spoke in a high choked voice: "Oh god...Evans..." Max thrust his tounge deeper in. He felt Kyle's skin under his hands, heard Kyle's voice in his ear. "...don't stop......please...", moaning (or was it himself?), and Max's kiss got more hoarse, urging, until he noticed Liz's hands pressing against his chest, pushing him away.
He let go of her, registering his own heavy breathing, unable to look into her face.
He lifted his hands helplessly, knowing nothing else to do.
"I'm sorry. I...I didn't want..."
He turned suddenly, fled from the room and climbed down, the rapid beats of his heart hammering painfully against his chest. When his feet touched the ground he started running and did not stop untill he reached home.
He headed straight for his room, opened his jeans and jerked off. Twice.
Then he lay down on his bed, pressing his face deep into the covers and cried with violent sobs that didn't seem to ever come to an end.
Continue to Part Three
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