FanFic - Other
Part 57
by Kath7
Disclaimer: I own nothing but the story. The characters and concept belong to Jason Katims and Melinda Metz. Tarsus of Dernia and all Illyrian characters belong to me. Lyrics by Sarah McLachlan, Phil Collins, Amanda Marshall, Garth Brooks, Frozen Ghost.
Summary: Sequel to "Out of the Woods." I highly recommend reading it before trying this one. It is archived at the Crashdown. Basically, Max is gone, and the others have no idea whether they will ever see him again.
Category: Other
Rating: PG-13
Kyle managed to plaster a smile on his face as he and Vicky posed for the photographer. It was a complete sham, trying to pretend that he was having a good time, that he wanted to be there, that he wanted to be with Vicky. But then, his entire life was a sham, so it wasnít like anything was new.

"Címon Kyle! Letís dance!" Vicky grabbed him by the hand, pulling him out onto the dance floor, which was currently packed with gyrating high school seniors. Kyle rolled his eyes. This was the absolutely last place he wanted to be but throwing himself lock, stock and barrel back into jock-land unfortunately meant that the prom was a social obligation.

He couldnít believe he was actually concerned about frigging social obligations.

And they were actually playing that Vitamin C song - the one about graduation and about being friends forever.

He wanted to kill himself.

He was definitely losing it. Not that this came as any sort of surprise. He had been losing it for a long time - since the day he had admitted to himself that he loved Tess and that she was never going to love him back.

Kyle missed her. He missed them all.

He missed Liz, the understanding friend he had found in her whenever they talked. He had always loved Liz, always would. She was completely above him in every way, but she loved him too and he knew it when he was with her. She was the only true friend he had ever had.

He missed Maria - her craziness and her love of life, although there hadnít been much of that over the last few months. He missed Alex, even if he did used to torture him by making him listen to all his new songs. He missed Isabelís snootiness, which hid a sharply wicked sense of humour. He missed Guerinís grumpiness

Finally, and, yes, Kyle had to admit it to himself, he even missed King Max. He had always been able to tell that there was something apart about Max Evans, and while it had often pissed him off, he had always admired the guy, even wanted to be like him. It wasnít Maxís fault that he had everything Kyle had ever wanted.

Of course, Kyle had seen them all at school over the few months since he had made his break from them. It wasnít like they had fallen off the face of the planet just because he wished they would, wished that they would stop flaunting what he had once had with them in his face. He would see Liz and Max sitting quietly together in the quad, completely wrapped up in each other as they always were when they were alone, would see Liz and Maria and Alex laughing together in the computer lab, would see Michael and Max having one of their intense - read argumentative- conversations in the parking lot, would see Isabel and Liz studying in the libraryÖ

And needless to say, SHE was even MORE everywhere then the rest of them.

He would turn one way and she would be walking down the hall-way with Michael and Maria, trying to mediate their bickering. He would turn another way and she was talking intently to Liz on the front steps of the school. But he saw her most often with Max, as though they were deliberately trying to torture him. She and Max seemed to be the best of friends these days.

Tess Harding was haunting him.

She knew she was doing it too. They had gone back to the game of her staring at him all the time - in class, in the hall-way, if he saw her on the street. Even when she had no idea he was in the room, her blue eyes were always on him, penetrating him, looking hurt, making him feel guilty.

She was going to drive him crazy.

At least he knew for a fact that she wouldnít be there tonight. He would be able to get through this damn prom without having to watch Tess with whatever bohunk she brought. Kyle knew that it was unlikely that any of them would come. He was sure that they would have decided that it would just be weird, what with all the crap they were constantly dealing with.

Kyle often wished that he knew for sure that they were all right - that Jennetta was okay. He knew that Max kept in touch with his dad, but that the Sheriff was even more out of the loop than he had been since Maxís disappearance. Max was trying to distance his dad, didnít want to put him in danger. Kyle knew it, but it was still annoying that that one venue of information had completely dried up.

He knew that his dad was worried about him. Kyle even thought he might have mentioned how worried he was to Amy Deluca since she always asked him if he had talked to Maria lately. It was ironic that as Kyle cut himself off from Amyís daughter and her friends, Amy and Kyleís dad seemed to be growing closer and closer. It was bloody typical. If he wasnít seeing one of THEM, he was seeing their parents.

Kyle felt Vicky put her arms around his neck. Tuning back into what was going on around him, he realized that a slow song was beginning to play. He put his arms around his unwanted girlfriendís waist, sighing. It wasnít that he didnít like Vicky - he did - but unfortunately his heart didnít belong to him anymore. He didnít have it to give to anyone else. Nothing had changed. Even if he never spoke directly to Tess again, she had him.

But at least he didnít have to see her tonightÖdidnít have to see any of them.

Of course, it was just as this thought was running through his head that Vicky suddenly said, "Hey! Thereís Liz! She looks great!"

Kyleís head whipped around despite himself, his heart in his throat.

Liz was standing in the entrance to the gym with Max. She looked beautiful just as Vicky had said. Her dark hair fell around her face in those ringlets that she sometimes wore, the ones that made her look like some Renaissance goddess come to life. Her dress was light pink and fairly simple, but it emphasized the complete naturalness of Liz Parkerís beauty. And since she happened to be talking to Max at the moment, her entire being seemed to radiate with some weird sort of energy that lit up the entire room around her. Kyle didnít blame Evans at all when he suddenly pulled Liz close to him, kissing her lightly on the forehead. While Kyle loved Tess, he could still remember the time when Liz had been everything that was perfect to him. Looking at her tonight reminded him even more strongly.

At the thought of Tess, Kyle felt his heart drop to his toes. He scanned the group coming in behind Max and Liz. First Isabel and Alex, Isabel drop-dead gorgeous as usual, Alex looking absurd and yet completely comfortable in a powder blue tuxedo. They were followed by Maria, who had already started to drag Michael towards the photographer. Michael was tugging at his tie, looking like he was about to strangle. He must have muttered something to Max as he passed him, because Max grinned and Liz scowled at him.

Kyleís heart began to beat at a more normal pace when he realized that Tess was nowhere to be seen.

"We should go say hi!" Vicky said suddenly, following his gaze.

"NO!" Kyle said too quickly. Vicky stared at him, her blue eyes confused.

"I thought they were your friends."

"Vicky, have you seen me with them at all since we started dating?" Kyle demanded, annoyed at himself for using such a mean tone. "Iím not friends with them anymore." He continued in a gentler voice.

Vicky frowned slightly. "Well, okay, I guess."

"Letís dance." Kyle decided that changing the subject was the best possible solution to the awkward silence that had suddenly sprung up between them. Vicky allowed herself to be led onto the dance floor.

Kyle did his best not to look at any of them, but this didnít mean that he wasnít aware of the exact moment that Liz became aware of him.

She and Max were standing near the punch bowl, watching the dance floor, where Alex and Isabel were already cutting a rug, Alex dipping Isabel all over the place, to the point that she was practically in hysterics.

Lizís eyes seemed to light up the minute they met his across the crowd. He saw her say something in Maxís ear and then she was on her way over.

Oh hell.

He had not actually conversed with Liz since that horrible scene in the Eraser Room a few months ago - the time he had actually cried. They had said hi in the halls, but Liz had seemed at a loss about how to deal with him. It was clear that she wanted to but that she didnít know what to say to him. He knew that she thought he was an insane imbecile, that she thought that Tess loved him, that she was sure that there was nothing going on between Tess and Max, knew that she was frustrated that he couldnít say that he felt the same.

And so the fact that she was actually approaching him was a surprise - and yet not. This was Liz after all, Miss "Iíll never give up on my friends" Parker. She had practically brought Max back from Illyria with the strength of her will alone.

"Hi guys!" Liz said, her voice friendly, but with a vein of steel running through it. There was no way Kyle was avoiding this confrontation.

Vicky turned, smiled. Kyle knew that she genuinely liked Liz. Why did the girl have to be so darn friendly to everyone? Why couldnít he have picked one of Pam Troyís mean robots to date? But then he hadnít wanted to completely torture himselfÖ

"Hi Liz!" Vicky said brightly. "You look beautiful!"

Liz smiled her kind smile, the one that made Kyle know that he was in real trouble. "You too Vicky." She turned to Kyle, her eyes determined. "Do you mind if I cut in?"

Vicky smiled again. "Not at all. I need to go powder my nose anyway." Vicky kissed him lightly on the cheek before deserting him with the one person who was capable of getting past his resolve.

He was dead meat.

Kyle sighed when another slow song came on. Liz raised an eyebrow at him, grabbed his hands and practically forced him to put his arms around her. "Well?" She asked after they had danced for several moments in tense silence.

"Well what?" Kyle knew he was being a belligerent idiot, but he had to protect himself somehow.

"Are you ever going to let us in again?" Kyle stared down at her. Lizís eyes were filling with tears. Oh man, she had brought out the big guns early.

"LizÖ" Kyle felt completely helpless.

"We miss you Kyle. All of us." Liz said significantly. Kyle knew she was talking about Tess.

And then he was mad. "I havenít seen much evidence that ANYONE misses me." Kyle snapped. "The Queen of Illyria seems to be doing her best NOT to address me in any situation. All she does is stare at me."

Liz flinched slightly at his tone. "Sheís scared youíre going to reject her again."

Kyle scowled. "This is really unfriggingbelievable Liz! I never rejected Tess! She was the one who told me that she didnít care when I told her I loved her."

Liz was staring at him steadily. "But the two times she tried to talk to you, you either got distracted or you refused to listen to her."

Kyle was almost seeing red he was so angry. He knew deep down that it was at himself, but Liz, unfortunately was a convenient target. "How many times do I have to tell you that I want nothing to do with any of you Liz? But especially with her! Why canít you leave me alone?"

Liz didnít seem upset at all by his tone of voice. "Because I love you. You are one of us. We will always be here for you. Especially Tess. Do you know sheís not here tonight because she wouldnít come with anyone who WASNíT you? Those were her exact words Kyle. If you canít get it through your thick skull that Tess loves you, well then I guess you donít deserve her." Liz pulled away from him. Kyle stood frozen in the middle of the dance floor staring after her as she stalked away.

He didnít deserve herÖ

They were the exact words he had said to Tess all those months ago - in the transformation chamber on the day that Jennetta had gone into the pod. He had told her that running away from the others when they needed her meant that she didnít deserve to have them.

He WAS a complete moron.

He needed air. Quickly.

Kyle stumbled to the nearest entrance and managed to smash into the person coming in. He reached out to steady the girl, mumbled an apology.

And then he realized who it was. Tess Harding was staring at him, her blue eyes unreadable.

Kyleís heart stopped. "What are you doing here?" He managed to croak. He realized that his hands were still clutching her silky, bare shoulders. Her gold dress was sleeveless, clinging to every single curve she possessed, her blonde hair tumbling around her shoulders in that tousled way that always made her look like she had just climbed out of bed. Kyle dropped his hands immediately.

"You know exactly why Iím here." Tess replied. Kyle was staring at her glossy lips. He was beginning to get dizzy. "Iíve come for you. And youíre not going to escape me again."

He was DEFINITELY dead-meat.


Love of my life
I donít have a lot to give you
Whatís in my heart is all that I can really give you
Love, undying love is all I have
A handful of words that might make you laugh
And all the strength you need
To make it through all your troubled times
I give all of myself to you
Only you
My dream come trueÖ

Love of my life
You were all I ever wanted
To be with you
Was all I ever really wanted
You, youíve made my life a fairy-tale
Youíve added love to a life that was so stale
And know that Iíll be here
Always for you
When you need a friend
I give all of myself to you
Only you
My dream come true.

Iíve been waiting my whole life for you
Now my waiting is through
All the nights I spent dreaming I knew
That my dream would come trueÖ

So many nights
I lay awake dreaming I knew
One day Iíd be with you
Now all my nights of dreaming are through
ĎCause my dream has come true.

Frozen Ghost

Max watched Liz stomp away from Kyle, her expression furious. He could tell that she was trying to hide how angry and upset she was, but he KNEW her.

She came and stood beside him, her arms crossed, clearly still fuming.

"I take it that didnít go well." Max asked unnecessarily, reaching out and pulling her against him.

"I donít want to talk about it." Liz replied. "Heís a completely blind fool. I give up."

Max kissed her on the temple lightly. "Right."

Liz pulled back, glared up at him. "What is that supposed to mean?"

"Just like you gave up on bringing ME back from Illyria?" Max raised an eyebrow. Liz scowled at him, but Max could tell that she was beginning to calm down.

"You can be really annoying, you know that?" She finally asked, a look of resignation appearing on her face.

"You canít fix everything all the time Liz." Max told her, running his hands up her arms. He felt her shiver slightly. She began to relax, her eyes glowing in that way that was reserved solely for him, in that way that made him thank his lucky stars ten times a day.

She was so incredibly beautiful, it sometimes still took Maxís breath away. And he wasnít just talking about on the outside, although that went without saying. When Max had first laid eyes on her earlier that night, he had literally wanted to sweep her off her feet in order to lock them both in her bedroom, not to emerge until the next morning. He had managed to restrain himself, however, but only because he was looking forward to holding her against him while they danced at the prom. He hadnít danced with her properly since their first date. Since that had been one of the most incredible experiences of his life, he had definitely been looking forward to a repeat of that magical feeling tonight.

And yet, Max knew without a shadow of a doubt, that it wasnít Lizís exterior beauty that made him want to bind her to him forever. He had seen her soul, knew it for the spectacular thing that it was. She was so good and kind and intelligent. She was his angel, his soulmate. She always would be.

They still hadnít figured out what the heck that book she and Tess had found in the alien library meant, but Max didnít really care. He didnít need a book to tell him what he already knew. Liz completed him - she was the other half of his whole, his dream come true.

"I just want them all to be as happy as youíve made me." Liz was telling him. Her hands were snaking up around his neck. It was his turn to shiver.

"And they might be Liz." Max replied, "But you canít force it. If itís meant to be, it will be."

"What happened to Ďwe make our own destiny?í" Liz asked, her eyes laughing up at him.

"Well, since Iíve already made mine," Max replied jokingly, "Iíve decided to move on to a new catchphrase."

"Really?" Lizís eyes darkened with love. "Well Mr. Destiny-Expert, letís say we show these amateurs what real destiny is about." A slow song was beginning again. Max allowed himself to be pulled out among the swaying couples. He wished momentarily that they were alone on Lizís balcony, under the stars. Now that would be PERFECT.

And yet, he certainly was not complaining as Liz came into his arms, her body warm and inviting.

Making your own destiny was the best.

Part 56 | Index | Part 58
Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours
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