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Coda

by Annie

Posted to the RoswellSlash mailing list June 6, 2001

TITLE: Coda
AUTHOR: Annie
ARCHIVE: RSA, GP, and my site [http://www.luminoustimes.com/fanfic] only.
RATING: PG-13 for language and slashy stuff
SUMMARY/NOTES: This story takes place 13 years after "Exodus," the last in my Genesis Series, ends. If you haven't read that series yet, you need to or this won't make a whole lot of sense. This is a total AU so if you're expecting canon, go elsewhere. Finally, even though not everything is resolved, this really is the last in the series.
FEEDBACK: Is always appreciated.
DISCLAIMER: If I owned these characters, Max and Kyle would be fucking all the time. But I don't and they're not and that makes me terribly sad.
DEDICATION: To Pilar, who challenged me to actually take one of my musings and do something with it. I never would have gotten around to writing this if you hadn't encouraged me.



        A drop of whiskey clung to Kyle's lip and he licked it off, not really tasting it. He couldn't taste much of anything anymore; eight shots having effectively numbed all senses. Even in his haze, he saw the bartender eye him warily. He knew the look. He'd be lucky to get one more drink, maybe two, before he was cut off.

        He hated that look. So he pretended he didn't see it and turned back to his companion.

        "So where was I?" It was a question he'd asked hundreds of strangers over hundreds of nights just like this, but he damn well knew what came next. Still, the routine was familiar, comforting.

        The woman - A girl, really, just passing through town on her way to better things and bigger dreams. He'd resent her later, after he'd sobered up. - took a sip of her own drink. She had that look of youth about her, the look that took pleasure in being able to drink in public legally.

        "Um, your dad had a problem with your boyfriend and tried to arrest him." The girl had sat down next to him with a flirtatious smile and even at the ripe old age of thirty he felt a bit of pride well up that he was attractive to a pretty, young girl like her. Then the alcohol took over and the memories surfaced and her inviting smile turned into a vaguely pitying look.

        He shook his head. "Not tried. *Did* arrest him. Bastard locked him up for a crime he didn't commit." He shook his head again, this time in disbelief, still fresh after all the years.

        She saw her cue. "So then what happened?"

        Kyle laughed, a harsh bark of bitterness that made the bartender look up from the glasses he was washing. "What happened? What happened is I talked my dad into letting Max go. And then he left me."

        "Your dad?"

        He downed his shot. "No. Max. Max left me. He took off for parts unknown. And I never saw him again."

        The girl cocked her head to the side. "So what'd you do?"

        He sighed and ran his fingers through his hair and grinned, but no smile touched his haunted eyes. "What do you think I did? I got drunk."

        The girl made a small sound of sympathy, paid for her drink, then walked off without a backward glance. He didn't mind. He didn't even know her name or where she was going. Just another face in the crowd.

        "That's a pretty fucking pathetic story."

        Kyle whirled at the voice behind him and couldn't breathe.

        "Michael."

        The newcomer leaned against the bar and regarded Kyle. "You look like hell."

        Kyle shook his head violently, trying to clear away the fuzziness. He opened and closed his mouth several times, a rash of questions rising to his brain and then floating away before he could grab one. Finally, he gasped one word, a name. "Max?"

        Michael closed his eyes, pain briefly twisting his features. "He---he died, Kyle. So did Isabel. I'm all that's left."

        Kyle sank back into his stool, all of the breath sucked from his body once more. He'd spent fourteen years hoping and waiting for Max to come back and that dream was shattered in an instant. He felt nausea rising to engulf him and he struggled to hold it back. "How?"

        Focusing on something Kyle couldn't see, Michael answered. "After we ran, we started to find clues about others of our kind, of our home. And then we found clues about different aliens. Dangerous aliens. But they found out about us, too. We ran and we hid, but they kept coming. Finally, we stayed. We fought. We lost."

        "How did you---?"

        "I was a coward," Michael bleakly responded. "I went down but I didn't die. I crawled under the bodies of my friends and I waited for it to be over. When it was, I saw the truth."

        Like his conversation with the now-forgotten girl, Kyle knew there were cues to respond to and this was one of them. Dutifully, he asked, "What truth?"

        For the first time, Michael looked directly at him. "I'm the last. There are no others like us, here or anywhere else. Me and Max and Is - we were supposed to save our people. We failed. I failed."

        Kyle didn't try to reassure him or console him. He sensed that Michael didn't need it and would resent it. A long silence passed as he fought the tide of grief that was threatening to drown him. He knew it would come before too long but he couldn't face it now.

        Michael straightened. "I can't stay. I think they know I'm still alive. I just---I just wanted to tell you about Max. He never forgot you, you know. He always loved you." He tentatively touched Kyle's shoulder for a moment - in his own abrupt way trying to give comfort - then withdrew his hand. "Well, so long." He slipped through the crowd and out the door before Kyle could stop him.

        The bartender tapped Kyle, in the same place Michael had just touched him. He flinched. The bartender lifted his hands in the air. "Hey, relax. I just wanted to see if you want another." He gestured at Kyle's empty shot glass.

        Kyle stared at it for a long time. He shook his head slowly. "No, I don't think I'll be wanting anymore." Before his emotions could overwhelm him, he pushed his way outside. It had begun to rain and Kyle let the cool drops wash over him.

        He walked home, never looking back.

        END

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