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On Your Mark

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Added to the Roswell Slash Archive December 31, 2000

Title: "On Your Mark"
Author: Mala
Rating/Classification: PG-13, Kyle POV, slash, angst

"Do you see that mailbox? I'll beat you to it. On your mark..."

Kyle heard the drunken offer in his sleep. He'd heard it often since the night of Liz's blind date with Dog Boy. And, always, it would sound sober. It would sound huskier. Evans' dark eyes were always brighter. His lips quirked with more than mischief and alcohol. Instead of Kyle's legs tightening, poised to sprint towards the big dark blue metal marker, it was something else that always answered the challenge. Something else answered the challenge and the race always ended with his back against the box. With hands in his hair. With a soft, male, mouth on his.

He awoke gasping, flushed and panicked.

"I am not gay," he said into the dark, pregnant silence of his bedroom. "I am not." He dragged a shaking hand through his damp, sweaty, hair.

He rolled over, pressing his legs together as the misery made him shiver. Made him shiver like Max Evans' smile made him shiver. After a few minutes, he drifted back into slumber, the smile followed him. That Mona Lisa smile. And, of course, the words...

"On your mark..."

He whimpered.

He swore softly.

He tossed...turned...and, in the dimness of slumber, allowed himself to accept what daylight wouldn't allow. He wanted more than a race. He wanted more. He wanted Max.


"Evans...ohhh, Evans...."

The hoarse cry made Max sit straight up in bed...and he couldn't seem to stop shaking as the vestiges of the dream left him. He buried his face in his hands as he tried to calm the hitching gasps coming up from his lungs. Again. It had happened again.

It always began the same...climbing down the ladder and looking at Kyle Valenti through a haze..."Yeah. All the stuff you said...about me, about Liz. I've been keeping all this stuff inside...not confronting the horrible, ugly truth of it all. I've been hiding for years, Kyle. Years. But it's time the real Max comes out."

Then, Kyle's sardonic grin.

"He wouldn't be gay, by any chance, would he?"

And then the night would would change...and, instead of telling the arrogant jock that he was a jackass, Max would nod. He would nod and reach his palm against Kyle's rough cheek. "Yeah...yeah, he would be. And he wants you."

A swift motion. Pressed up against the wall...tangling his hands in the human boy's hair...kissing away protests...and the husky sound of his name being moaned. "Evans...ohhh, Evans."

Max swallowed hard, drawing his knees up to his chest and resting his chin on them. Kyle's whiskey taste was still on his lips. As real as Liz's vanilla lip gloss. Maybe realer. It was a reality he wasn't ready to face.


He felt the heat of Max's hand through his shirt and his skin...and it hurt worse than the bullet. It made him ache. He'd known he was shot...and then he'd felt his dad's arms around him. It was like being underwater. Hearing and seeing and feeling through ten fathoms of salty ocean. But the hand had brought him upwards. A jolt that dragged him up, inch by inch, out of the deep.

He couldn't speak. Couldn't move. Could only memorize the moments.

A dark-eyed boy on the playground, staring at Liz in a dress with huge cupcakes on it...that same dark-eyed boy in a cave, gazing longingly at a pale face behind a layer of ice...then, that boy was older, once again staring, at Liz as she served somebody a Coke at the CrashDown.

Kyle coughed, weakly, feeling his chest expand...feeling the ache spread. So hot. So sharp.

His own face, seen through a blurry haze...his own voice, moaning something it had never said. "Evans, oh, Evans."

He opened his eyes and stared into eyes of darkest brown.,

And then his father was holding him tight...and the eyes and the memories slipped away...


He stood on the rock...felt Michael, Isabel, and Tess around him. He heard Tess's low and annoying question: "What do we do now, Max?"

He didn't know what to say. Liz had run down the hillside, crying. As fast as her feet could carry her. Running from his destiny. And he didn't have the same luxury. He couldn't run...couldn't walk...couldn't even think...much less answer Tess.

It had been simpler to kneel in front of feel heat and life course through his hand. Max knew how to heal. It made sense. It meant something. It meant opening himself up to one other person and bridging a gap. How was he supposed to open himself up to thousands of people on a distant planet who were counting on him? How could he heal that many wounds and save that many lives?

He wanted to run. He wanted to go back and see through Kyle's eyes. It was safe. Safer than his mother's beautiful voice or Liz's anguished tears. Safer than being someone's true love or someone's husband. Safer than being a leader.

"I've been hiding for years, Kyle. Years. But it's time the real Max comes out."

"He wouldn't be gay, by any chance, would he?"

"I wish...I wish it could be that simple," he gasped to himself. And then the weight of the day finally made his knees buckle.

Michael and Isabel caught him on the way down...but the strong arms around his shoulders were not the ones he wanted. Not the ones he needed.

As he rocked in his family's protective embrace, Max sobbed for the life he'd been handed and the simplicity of a man he could never have.


Kyle no longer dreamt. Or, if he did, he remembered nothing.

Sometimes he woke up and his pillow was damp and his cheeks were stained with tears. His dad said it was stress. From finals. And the beginning of baseball camp. But Dad always said it with an odd expression...with sad eyes that made him wonder if he'd missed something, if there was something he wasn't being told...

And sometimes, oddly enough, he thought back to night he'd gotten trashed with Max Evans. He remembered Evans grinning at him.

"Do you see that mailbox? I'll beat you to it. On your mark..."

It was weird thing to get stuck on...but he'd gotten used to just shrugging off the ache in his chest, rolling over, and going back to sleep.

"On your mark..."

The End

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