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Reply to citizen or luckylouPosted to the RoswellSlash mailing list February 14, 2001
Title: Kyle's Valentine
Author: citizen and luckylou
Archive: Just let me know.
Spoiler: Especially the Hybrid Chronicles.
Summary: Kyle has a special valentine.
Disclaimer: I/We don't own these characters . . . they are the property of Katims and WB.
Feedback: If you'd like.
Acknowledgment: This story was developed by luckylou from a kernel I sent him. All praise belongs to him.
Max's words sounded loud in the quiet diner. Everyone was gathered around them, watching this byplay. Kyle really hadn't expected any other answer, but he'd had to ask.
He just didn't have any other choice.
And Max had said it out loud. He couldn't stay out of their lives. Max and his friends would just always be there, making a mess of things like they'd done now.
After a long moment, Kyle extended his hand toward Max. He had the plastic bag with the strange glowing blue stuff (why was it always blue?) that had been so important to Max. So important that he had to risk discovery, and steal it from his father's office.
Kyle watched Max's eyes carefully. Just as Max's hand was about to take the bag from him, he deliberately opened his hand and let the bag fall. It made a nice solid sound as it hit the floor.
Kyle smiled at everyone's reaction. The confusion in Max's eyes was enough. He'd never expected this out of him.
Kyle left the group quickly, so they wouldn't see the depth of his anger. He stormed out of the Crashdown, and went directly to his car. Once there, he allowed himself a long sigh. Damn, why did it have to be this way? Why couldn't things just go back to the way it used to be? Back to before, when he had Liz, his dad had his job, and things were normal?
Why couldn't things be normal?
He started the car, and all too quickly, drove home. He knew he was pushing his luck, but he just had to get away. He couldn't be there any longer.
The house was empty. Normally, that wouldn't surprise Kyle, but since his father couldn't be at work, where the hell was he? It wasn't as if he had a life outside of his job.
No matter. As much as he wanted to figure things out, no, that was wrong. As much as he had to figure things out, first he had to work off some of his anger. There was only one way of doing that.
As the miles passed, and the pace he'd set for himself slowly ate up Kyle's strength, he finally felt calmer and more controlled. Damn it - why did Max always do that to him? Since he'd learned to meditate, he'd normally been able to find the answer there. But, tonight he knew, he had to exhaust himself physically before he'd be able to be calm enough for meditation.
It annoyed him that he'd had to resort to running. He'd been able to get past that need soon after he'd started meditating. He felt like he was slipping up. He was letting them get to him. He was losing control.
As he rounded the corner, he saw lights on in the house. Good. Maybe Dad is home now, or Tess. Not that he wanted to talk to either of them, it was just, well, one less thing to think about. He'd be able to meditate knowing someone else was home.
A quick shower felt good and removed the sweat from his body. There was a time when he'd have lingered in the shower, enjoying the sensation, or maybe even enjoying himself more. But, that was behind him now. He didn't need that.
Settling down into his meditation position, Kyle found himself automatically calming. It was almost too easy to slip into a deep trance, once his breathing was steady and controlled. Here was peace.
Kyle felt the cares of the world falling away. Now, he could examine things calmly, without his emotions getting in the way. Things were in bad shape at the moment. He felt a need to catalogue everything. Perhaps it was to ensure he had everything accounted for, so everything was included in his meditation. Or, perhaps it was a way of exposing everything, so that the emotion was removed. Certainly when he reviewed events later, much of the emotion would be gone.
Which was as it should be.
Well, Dad was suspended from his job. That was bad. His job was important to his father. In some ways, it had always come first. That had hurt Kyle at one point, but now he understood. It was just the way Dad was.
Rumours were floating around town about Dad going crazy, just like his grandfather had. That was upsetting, not because Kyle believed for one moment that Dad was crazy, or that it was hereditary. What was upsetting was having people say those things about his Dad, and his grandfather. But, they'd learn eventually. He couldn't do anything about it, so why allow it to bother him?
Something strange was going on between Max and Liz. She'd never told him just why she'd wanted Max to find them together in bed. That was very strange, but it seemed to have had the effect she'd wanted. They were friends now, but nothing more. But, the expression on Max's face when he'd seen them. He'd been hurt. He didn't like to know he'd been the cause of that much pain. Still, Liz had asked, and he owed her that much.
Other things were less bothersome. Tess had turned into a wonderful sister. She was the one positive thing to come out of all of this. Tess had made his life, and his Dad's life, so much nicer. She was good to have around.
The rest of their group didn't concern him much. Everyone seemed to be getting along, or at least, not getting him into trouble. Alex had returned, which was almost certainly good - whatever else Alex was, he wasn't a troublemaker. He was a calming, positive influence on the group.
So, it all came back to the same spot. What could he do? He reviewed again, the actions that had brought him here. That nearly fatal shooting that had brought him into this group. When Max had healed him. When he'd found out about the aliens. When he'd learned what it was all about. When he'd really learned what was going on.
That was when it had all started.
Kyle wasn't surprised as he felt the trance start to slip. He'd never really been able to get past this point. He still wished things were different. He still wished he'd never have been told.
He wished Max hadn't healed him. It had changed so much.
He blinked, and slowly allowed the room to return to him. The soft light of the candles was familiar and reassuring. He allowed the anger to be released, and embraced the calm.
He knew. He knew what he had to do.
The past couple of weeks had been hectic. Kyle had so much to do. There was just so much that had to be ready for Valentine's Day. And time was short.
He'd bought most of the gifts over the Internet. That had worked for some things, like the candy, CD, tickets and such. But, some things just had to be purchased locally. The flowers and balloons were good examples of those. But, in the days leading up to Valentine's Day, everyone was buying flowers and balloons, so he didn't feel too conspicuous.
He'd also been busy doing surveillance work. He'd had to study the habits of his secret valentine, so he was sure he knew everything he needed to make it all work out right. That had cost him some sleep, but it really was amazing what meditation could do to rebuild his strength.
And, so now, just before the alarm clock rang at 5 am, he left his trance and turned it off. He was ready.
Today was the day.
The first stop was the school. There, he'd attach the balloons to his secret valentine's locker. Next, he'd have to place the flowers at the front door. There were cards already attached to each item. After all, he didn't want someone to think they were for someone else.
It was too bad he wouldn't be able to watch his valentine's face when the flowers were discovered. There was just no place to hide without being seen, and he didn't want to reveal himself until much later in the day. No, the idea was to keep it a secret until the very last moment.
Still, he would be able to see the reaction to the balloons, and all of the other gifts. The tickets would be slipped into his valentine's locker between classes, to be found on the way to lunch. The CD would be found later after lunch, just before classes would resume. The candy would be on his valentine's car seat after school, and the final present would be waiting at the front door, where the flowers had been. Kyle would reveal himself later in the evening.
It would all go perfectly. It had to. Kyle jumped out of bed. He had a lot of things to do, and there was no time for lying around in bed.
All of Kyle's meticulous planning had paid off. He'd managed to place each gift without being seen, and his valentine's reaction had made it all worth it. The balloons were clearly a surprise, but the reaction had gotten bigger with each passing gift. At lunch, everyone was speculating on who was the source of all of these secret gifts. And when the gifts continued until the end of school, nobody seemed to be any closer to the answer.
Kyle was in a great mood as he drove home. Everything had been perfect. Now all he had to do was join everyone else at the Crashdown, where they'd all continue to speculate on who the secret valentine really was. He'd have trouble not giving himself away, but he just couldn't miss it. Some of the people who had been suggested were just impossible. And, nobody had suggested he'd done it.
So, all in all, he'd done well. It was almost over, just a few more hours until he'd reveal himself to his valentine. Of course, he'd have to wait until everyone went home, so they could be alone.
He parked his car, unlocked the house, and went inside. He took a quick look around for his father, who must have been out somewhere. Well, that wasn't anything new. His Dad seemed to be good at keeping himself busy, even if he wasn't working.
It wasn't until he heard the voice that he knew it was all over.
"Why Kyle?" Max said. He didn't look happy. He looked closed off, private. He was trying to keep himself inside.
Kyle had never realised before how carefully controlled Max was. In that instant, he suddenly knew the weight of the burden he carried. He'd never realised before, just how strongly Max felt the pressure of his position in the world. What a heavy burden to be king!
"Are you trying to get back at me for all the things..." Max's voice trailed off. For the first time, Kyle saw Max's control break, as he suddenly looked down.
"Oh, no Max. I just..."
"Because if you're trying to hurt me, you've succeeded. I'll be humiliated when everyone knows you did this, and..."
"Max!" Kyle couldn't stand it. He just had to touch him. He laid his hand gently on Max's arm, which caused Max to look up and meet his eyes.
"Max, let me explain. Please?" Kyle only paused for a moment before he blundered on. "Ever since that day you healed me, things have been strange. I've tried to make sense of it all, and this was what I had to do."
"What do you mean?" Max said. He was clearly confused by everything.
"I've changed. You changed me when you healed me. I'm not even sure if I'm human anymore, but that doesn't matter. Somehow, there's a connection. I've got this connection with you. I've just never felt like this before."
"You mean, you really like me? You really do..." Max's voice trailed off as he saw the look on Kyle's face. He knew then that it wasn't a joke. He'd been wrong. It wasn't a joke. It was real.
"But, why have you been pushing me away? Why have you been avoiding me? You've been arguing with me, like with the alien goo from the gravesite. Why?"
"I was trying to see if I could get past it. If I could make it go away, and return to normal. But, I know now, that'll never be enough."
Somehow, Max knew what Kyle meant. That connection he'd mentioned goes both ways. Max had struggled with his feelings too, but he'd had Liz. And then when Liz had broken up with him, he'd only felt anger at Kyle for a while. The image of the two of them in bed was just too much. It had hurt.
"Nothing happened." Kyle whispered.
"Nothing happened with me and Liz. I don't know why, but she asked me to do that. It hurt so much to see your face when you found us. I wanted..."
"But Liz asked you not to tell me." Max finished. He didn't know why, but he knew Kyle wasn't lying. Nothing had happened, and Kyle really regretted his own role in Liz's game. Kyle had been caught between friends.
"I'll understand if you can't forgive me," Kyle said. "I just, well, I wanted you to know how I felt. How I feel."
It was all too much for Max. He didn't know what to think. This possibility just hadn't entered his mind before he'd talked to Kyle. He could feel the connection, the desire, the longing for him, but was that enough? Was that enough? This would cause no end of new problems. How would everyone else react? What would Michael think? Would they be okay?
"Max? I've got one more present."
Kyle's voice was soft. His touch on Max's arm was gentle, reassuring. More than anything else, he wanted to melt into that. To embrace the strength that Kyle had. But, could he?
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