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Butterfly Dreams, Chapter 14
Reply to AlerionPosted to the RoswellSlash mailing list May 14, 2002
Disclaimer: See Chapter 1
Kyle was at school when I woke up. He'd left a note on the pillow before he'd gone. If I'd left Kyle a message there'd be a flower and I'd know his favourite and what colour he likes. Kyle's scrawl covered the back of a grocery bill. He'd written that stressed-out alien boyfriends need their beauty sleep. Who needs flowers?
The pieces of Tess' cup were where they had fallen when I smashed them into the wall. The stain vanished when I ran the palm of my hand across it. No shaking, no spinning, no headache when I touched the pieces. I took them into the backyard. I meant to put them back together to celebrate being free, but the grass just looked too soft. I used to lie on my back watching clouds when I was a kid. You know that game of trying to zap clouds into the shapes you want? I can. The cloud shapes made me think about Kyle.
Somebody's hand was shaking my shoulder. Too rough for it to be Kyle. 'Can you wake up, Max?' Jim's voice.
My eyes slammed open. I jerked awake and grabbed his hand.
'hey, calm down, Max.' Jim looked dog-tired, wary. 'It's only me.'
'I guess I was just startled.'
'What are you doing out here, Max?'
'Just watching clouds. It helps me think. I didn't plan on sleeping.'
I tired to get up. Every muscle felt tired, like I'd run for miles.
Jim stopped me with a hand and sat on the grass beside me.
'Max, you know I like you a lot?' he spoke very softly.
'Should that make me feel any better about what you did to Kyle?'
Jim shook his head. He frowned. 'Max, you can't ever hit Kyle again. I don't care whether it's an interplanetary invasion or you're having a mental breakdown.'
'I feel the same way.'
'I'd kick you out now but Kyle would just hunt until he found you. I'm not going to lose him, Max. Not to you and not to anything else.'
'If it happens again, I'll leave. I promise, um...'
'You need to sort out what you've done in the last 3 months.'
Jim said: 'I have to work out how I feel about Kyle being gay and being with you. How much danger are you in? Can Tess come back?'
'I think the Skins are beaten. I don't know if Tess can get back here.'
'Did Tess say how long it would take to get to your planet?'
'I think Earth is my planet. Tess said the pregnancy would take a month. She thought we'd get home before then.'
'Max, she's been gone almost that now. You should be thinking about what to do in 4 weeks time if they come back.'
'Kyle and I have talked about it.'
'Not good enough, Max. What's happened is not your fault but you're the only one who can do anything about it.' He looked away for a moment. 'I'm scared for my son.'
'I am, too. I tried to stop this happening but Kyle won't listen. I don't' know what I can do any more.'
'I know its hard, Max, but you don't have a choice. If I had a choice, I'd tell you to get out of my son's life but Kyle isn't about to let that happen.
'I can promise that if any violence ever happens again I will leave and I'll tell Kyle that as well.'
'Max, can a mindwarp make you do something you against your will?'
'I don't know.'
'You need to find out because you need to decide if what happened with Tess was your choice or not.'
'What do you mean?'
'I think you're scared that you're guilty of what Tess did. Look, if Tess could take over your mind then you're not responsible. If it is anything less than a compulsion you're in a different position.'
'I don't know, I don't know. Kyle and I think we talked with Alex.'
'Alex is dead, Max.'
'We went to someplace where he isn't dead, or he is dead but he's still here.'
'Was it real?'
'Jim, I don't know if anything's real. except...'
'Except what, Max.'
'I love your son, Jim. Kyle feels real.'
I know.' he ruffled my hair. It felt strange coming from Kyle's dad. 'In some ways you are my son now, Max.'
Jim smells a lot like his son, but different somehow. Pressure smashed into the corners of my eyes. I tried to say something but my voice wasn't working.
Jim ruffled my hair again. 'As long as you don't beat up Kyle again we'll work something out.'
Nodding was all I could do. Jim said something but I didn't hear him properly. The clouds still floated above me when he was gone. I jerked awake when the phone rang and ran into the house. Jim must have been out. The phone stopped ringing as I picked it up.
I dropped onto the couch and looked around. I wanted to read something. All Kyle reads is football or weird stuff about Buddha and mysticism. I found an old copy of <i>Lord of the rings</i> on the bookshelf. The phone rang again. They have caller ID. I glanced at the display. Liz.
She said: 'Max, hey.'
'Liz, what do you want?'
'I had to talk, Max. It's lunchtime. Max, Michael said you weren't well last night.'
'I'm just tired, really tired.'
'You're sure that's all? Why aren't you at school?'
'I told you, Liz.'
'Max, do you and Kyle really belong together? Is this what's making you sick?'
'No way. never.'
'I miss you. Max.'
'I know. I'm sorry.'
'Max, what's happened to us, you and me?'
'Why did you want me to think you and Kyle slept together? Do you know what that did to me?'
'I had no choice, Max. I can't tell you why. Can't you accept that?'
'You know I can't.'
'Can't or won't?'
'Tell me why, Liz.'
'Can you ring me back? I'm running out of phone time here.'
'You can talk to me when you're ready.' The phone clicked and went dead. I spent the afternoon trying to read and watching the clock. A stupid way to pass the time but every time the clock moved it brought Kyle closer to coming home.
I opened Kyle's copy of <i>Lord of the rings</i>. I don't know if I read any of it, because I snapped awake again when someone knocked on the front door. I thought Kyle must have forgotten his keys or something. When I opened it Michael was standing there.
'Some fight you're having with Liz.'
'I know. It feels really weird.'
Michael shoved his hands in his pockets and looked down. 'Max, I think Maria knows what Liz was doing.'
'Why would Liz tell Maria and not me? I should call Maria and ask her.'
'Don't, Maxwell. She's working tonight but she might come over tomorrow night. I think she wants to talk to Liz first. What about you? Any plans for tonight?'
'Kyle should be home soon.'
'Do you want me to get out of here?'
I shook my head. Michael and Kyle are as hard to manage when they like each other as when they're fighting.
'Maxwell, Eddy came up to me in the parking lot at school.'
'Riverdog's nephew, remember?'
'Oh yeah, the Meskalito guy from the reservation?'
'Yep. Eddy has a message from Riverdog. For you and Kyle.'
'How does Riverdog know about Kyle?'
'What's the message?'
'Riverdog says it is time you and Kyle talked with him. He wants to see you tomorrow night.'
'Did he say where?'
'He said you'd know. He said to be careful. He wants to see both of you.'
'What's all that mean?'
Michael shrugged again. 'How would I know, Max?'
'Riverdog knows a lot. He knew Nasedo a long time ago.'
Michael asked: 'Are you going?'
'I want to. I'll have to see what Kyle says.'
I must have smiled or something.
Michael said" You're getting that look. Kyle's coming isn't he?'
'Let's see, Maximilian. Your eyes light up, you get restless, you start watching the door.'
We both heard Kyle's key turn in the lock. Michael sniggered. Then Kyle and I had our arms round each other, our lips touched, and I forgot about most things for a while.
Michael muttered: 'Um, hey Kyle. Maybe you should close the door.
Kyle swung me round so he could wave to Michael while we kept on kissing.
I tightened my arms round him and nipped at an earlobe. 'How was school?'
'School was pretty weird without you.' Kyle slid a hand inside my T-shirt. A thumbnail scraped slowly across my chest to a nipple.
Michael coughed and asked: 'So how was your day, Maxwell?'
'Well let's see, I counted it off on my fingers. I promised Kyle's father I'd move out if I ever got violent again. Liz rang to say she can't tell me anything. You came over to ask me about hot human sex.'
Kyle growled: 'You're not moving out. It wasn't your fault.'
'Uh, guys...' Michael muttered, 'Im here to get the low-down on hot human sex, not watch it.'
Kyle broke the kiss and said : 'Sorry, Michael, I've needed that all day.'
'Max, what's this about you hitting Kyle?'
'Max punched me. It was only once. He didn't know what he was doing.'
'How long have has this stuff been happening, Max?'
I said: 'Since...'
Kyle said: '...Pierce.'
'Oh great, now you're finishing each other's sentences.' Michael was grinning.
I smiled at him and kissed Kyle again. 'We're allowed to. We're in love.' I ran my hand down Kyle's face where I'd hit him. I had to be sure there was no damage. Kyle leaned into my hand, then grabbed it and twined his fingers through mine.
'Max, why didn't you ever tell me what was happening to you?'
'I tried. I couldn't.' Kyle's hand was stroking my neck. 'I thought if you knew Pierce...'
'I should be pissed.'
I dropped my head into the curve of Kyle's neck. He smells good.
'Pissed? No. I wish you'd trusted me though. Did Tess know?'
I nodded slowly. 'She used it.'
Michael whistled. His face looks like granite when he's angry. 'I've got a message from Isabel.'
I asked: 'How is she?'
Michael said: 'She wants you to dreamwalk her. She says you have to try and find Tess'
Kyle's fingers tightened round my hand.
'Its okay, Kyle. I can talk about her now.'
Sometimes Kyle hits me this giant smile that makes me forget what I'm talking about.
Michael's face softened. 'You know Kyle's better for you than anyone else ever was.'
Kyle smiled again.
I said: 'I know. When I was with Tess I thought she was good for me but it felt wrong as soon as we were apart.'
Michael looked bleak. "I should have done something. I tried.'
Kyle said: 'There was a desert father who said you can tell angels from demons because demons make you feel good while they're there and feel like shit when they've gone.'
I asked: 'What's a desert father, Kyle?'
'Some Christian mystics I read about. They mainly lived in Egypt.'
I turned to Michael and said: 'Did I tell you I have a deeply weird boyfriend?'
Michael grinned and shook his head. 'Yep. You've found the only quarterback in the world who thinks he's an angel.'
Kyle said: 'Max, you've had a busy time. Tell me about the rest of your day. Anyone else ring?'
'Yeah, Tim Halligan.'
'He wouldn't say. I don't think he liked me answering the phone.'
'Max, life would be a lot simpler if I told my fellow jocks I like dick.'
Michael asked: 'Is that a good idea? I mean we're supposed to be hiding in plain sight, not coming out.'
'Kyle, are we really ready for this?'
'Nope. But I don't think anyone ever is. We have to stop running scared sometime.'
'You'll do this anyway, won't you?'
'I have to. For you, for me, for us. Actually, it could be worse...'
'I promise not to tell them I only like alien dick.'
Continue to Part Fifteen
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