I Could Have Loved You (CC,K/T,TEEN) (Complete)

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I Could Have Loved You (CC,K/T,TEEN) (Complete)

Post by jbangelo » Thu Oct 13, 2005 10:46 pm

Winner - Round 10

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Title: I Could Have Loved You
Author: Jenny
Disclaimer: I don’t even own the car I drive.
Pairing: Kyle/Tess
Rating: TEEN
Summary: One-shot, set during Tess’ return in Four Aliens and a Baby. Before Tess asks Liz to take her to the base, she and Kyle talk.
Author’s Note: I was going to go back and watch 4AAAB before posting this to make sure I got all the details right, but I couldn’t find my CDs, so I had to settle for reading over the transcript. So if anything is off, I apologize.

Thanks as always to Kerri, my awesome beta. :D

***

Moonlight filtered in through the front window of the Ramirez living room, giving Tess a dim view of the sleeping bodies scattered throughout. On tiptoe, she stepped further into the room, and she could just make out Liz’s still form on the couch, while Maria, Michael, and Kyle snoozed on the floor below.

She had already made up her mind what she was going to do, and although it terrified her to the core, she knew it was the only option left. It was up to her to fix this mess – then maybe, just maybe, she could find some absolution, even if it was only from herself.

But before she went through with her plan, there was something else she needed to take care of. Cautiously, she approached Kyle, watching the gentle rise and fall of his chest as he slept. She hadn’t expected him to be so hostile to her upon her return. Of everyone, she thought that Kyle would be the one to most easily forgive her – instead, he seemed to hate her the most. For a brief moment, she debated whether this was the best idea – he owed her nothing, after all. There was nothing she could say to him to make things right.

But she needed this. Maybe it was selfish, but she needed him to know how sorry she was. She needed him to look at her without the venom in his eyes. She needed him. She couldn’t leave without some kind of closure . . . without saying goodbye. So she reached out and nudged his shoulder, whispering his name so as not to wake anyone else.

Groaning, he rolled away from her, mumbling, “Just five more minutes, Dad.”

“Kyle, wake up,” she said, louder this time, giving him another nudge.

He opened his eyes slightly and groaned again. “Tess?” he questioned groggily.

“I need to talk to you,” Tess whispered.

Kyle looked back at her warily, as if debating whether or not he wanted to hear anything she had to say. Finally, he tossed back the throw blanket covering his body and slowly stood up, still somewhat dazed from sleep. “All right, talk,” he said bitterly.

“Let’s go outside. I don’t want to wake anyone up.”

“How considerate of you,” Kyle replied snarkily, and Tess visibly flinched at his harsh tone.

He followed her outside to the back patio anyway, planting himself in a chair and folding his arms across his chest, stoically waiting for her to speak.

Now that she had him alone and semi-willing to listen, Tess wasn’t sure where to start. She had so many things she wanted to say to him. She wanted to apologize, she wanted to explain, she wanted him to forgive her. But now all her efforts seemed fruitless as his blue eyes gazed upon her with contempt. She hated the way he looked at her – like he didn’t even know her – like she was an alien. Which was ironic considering he was the one person who ever made her feel like she was human.

“Thanks for not voting against me earlier,” she said meekly. It was as good a place to start as any.

“Yeah, well, I may be angry with you, but I don’t want to see you dead,” he said. “I’m not a murderer.”

Tess flinched again at his intended jive, but tried to hold it together. “I won’t give you any lame excuses or explanations as to why I did what I did,” she said, “because, chances are, you won’t believe me anyway. I just want to say that I’m sorry.”

He scoffed slightly and looked away, but she chose to ignore him and continued on. “You have to know that I never meant to hurt you, Kyle. Things just got so out of control and I didn’t know what to do. I know that’s no excuse . . .”

“You’re damn right, it’s not,” he shot back with a glare.

“Kyle, please,” Tess begged. “Please just let me say this.”

“Whatever.” He looked away again, and Tess really started to have second thoughts about this confrontation, almost telling him to forget it. But she continued on anyway.

“You were the first person to make me feel like I had a home here, and for that, I’ll always be grateful. I wish I had realized how good I had it before it was too late. I’m sorry that I used you. That’s not what I meant to do. If I could go back . . .” Tess’ voice trailed off as she struggled to fight the tears that threatened to escape her eyes. She knew Kyle would have no sympathy.

“But I can’t. All I can say is I’m sorry. I’m sorry for Alex. I’m sorry for Liz and Max and how I tore them apart. I’m sorry for betraying you and your dad . . . and Isabel and Michael . . . and anyone else who had the misfortune of crossing my path. I’m sorry that I gave you reason to doubt that I care about you. But most of all I’m sorry that these are all just empty words to you and that there’s nothing I can say or do to make you see how sorry I really am – and to make you stop hating me.” She couldn’t stop the soft sob that escaped her throat, and she collapsed into the chair next to Kyle, dropping her face into her hands.

He sighed wearily, as if he had lost the will to fight with her anymore, running his hands over his face and through his hair. “I don’t hate you, Tess,” he responded, and she raised her head to see that he was looking straight at her, seeking out her eyes. “I’m hurt. I’m angry. I feel betrayed. But I could never hate you.”

They both sat in silence for several moments, neither one quite sure what to say next. Then Kyle spoke again. “I wanted to hate you. For months after you left, it was all I thought about. But it just got to be so exhausting, and I just couldn’t hate you, no matter how hard I tried.”

He paused again, nervously picking at a paint splatter on the armrest of his chair. “Last year at prom . . . I lied to you,” he said without looking at her. “I never thought of you as a sister.”

“You didn’t?” Tess asked, not quite sure what to make of his confession, but unable to mask the hurt that crossed her features.

“No. You were . . .” He sighed again. “So much more. I guess that’s why this hurts so much.”

She looked at him in surprise as he continued on. “I told you that I thought of you as a sister because I didn’t understand what I felt for you, and I was scared. Scared of what it meant for our friendship . . . scared of always playing second fiddle to Max . . . I had never felt for anyone what I felt for you, and it just terrified me.”

Tess couldn’t help the disappointment she felt at his use of past tense, but then what did she expect? She had betrayed him and used him in the worst possible way. It was a wonder he was still sitting here talking to her.

“You can imagine how justified my fears were when I found out you’d hooked up with Max by the end of the night.”

“Kyle . . .”

“Don’t,” he said, holding up his hand. “I’m not trying to make you feel bad – I guess I’ll just always wonder what if. If I hadn’t been too afraid, maybe it would have been me you were kissing at the end of the night.” He paused momentarily, and then gave her a sad smile. “If things had turned out differently . . . I think I could have loved you.”

Tess was so overwhelmed with emotion at his heartfelt words that she could practically feel her heart breaking inside her chest. In a moment of desperation, she grasped Kyle’s face in her hands and pressed her lips to his. She fully expected him to push her away, but he didn’t. Instead he kissed her back urgently, almost as if he was struggling to hold on to something he knew was already beyond his grasp.

The kiss was short but intense, and Tess poured everything she had into it – all of her sorrow, all of her regret, all of her fears. She didn’t try to stop her tears this time as they flowed freely down her face, a combination of joy that he wasn’t pushing her away, and sadness for what never was and what would never be.

When they separated, she leaned her forehead against his and said in a choked whisper, “I could have loved you too.”

Whether he believed her or not, Tess would probably never know. But for one brief, shining moment, he looked at her the way he used to. Not like she was a traitor, or a liar, or a murderer. But like she was a girl. A girl who just needed to be loved.

And that was enough.

The End
“You know you’re right for someone when they force you to be the best version of yourself.”

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Post by Kath7 » Sun Feb 04, 2007 9:56 pm

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