For Auld Lang Syne (Sequel,CC,MATURE) COMPLETE -A/N - 6/26/2016

This is the place to post all your General Roswell fanfiction. Any Canon fics, which pick up directly from any episode of the show and that focus on Max/Liz, Michael/Maria, Isabel/Alex or Isabel/Jesse, Kyle/Tess, or all the couples together! Rule of Thumb: If Max healed Liz in the Crashdown in September 1999, then your fic belongs here. If it picks up from the show in any way, it belongs here.

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KindredKandies
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For Auld Lang Syne (Sequel,CC,MATURE) COMPLETE -A/N - 6/26/2016

Postby KindredKandies » Thu Jan 14, 2016 10:10 pm

For Auld Lang Syne (Sequel #1 to A Tale of Two Christmases)
By: Kindred Kandies aka ArchAngel1973 in collaboration with Marsis
Disclaimer: Characters and plot lines that appeared in the series, the books, and the concept of Roswell are not ours. Belong to Melinda Metz, UPN, etc, etc…
Pairing: K&I but will also feature Michael & the others briefly.
Rating: Mature – Just to be safe.
Summary: Post-Graduation. A little conversation and reflection on New Year’s Eve as two people try to make sense of what they are to each other.
Author’s Note: For Novy – Happy New Year’s! Okay, it’s a tad late for New Year’s, but since it’s RF’s first day back up, it’s close enough. 


Part 1

New Year’s Eve was a time of merriment for many people, a time of quiet reflection for others, and a time to make resolutions that while well meant would most likely be forgotten before the first week of the new year was even over. The celebration could be heard going on outside the walls of the quiet tavern, the city’s residents well into welcoming the New Year that was still a few hours away.

There were a handful of locals scattered around the tavern, all of them seeming to have sought out the quiet camaraderie of the establishment. It wasn’t a place frequented by kids from the university nearby; it was a sort of unspoken understanding that this place wasn’t for raucous gatherings. Very few outsiders ventured in and before long they bid their farewell and disappeared back out into the night. He knew given another hour or so even the people in the tavern would begin to liven up a bit and by 11pm they’d be in the mood to ring in the New Year.

He peeled back one corner of the bottle of O’Doul’s he held between his hands, sighing tiredly and shaking his head when the bartender made another pass and motioned to his drink. He’d had his share of New Years’ parties over the years and he’d made a ton of resolutions that’d been left by the wayside. This year he just didn’t have it in him to spend the evening ringing in the New Year at some party and he’d decided resolutions were a waste of time.

He didn’t hate New Year’s per se; he just wasn’t in the mood to celebrate a night that seemed destined to remind him of the one woman that remained just out of his grasp. For the past few years they’d spent December 31st together, sometimes with their family and friends, other times just the two of them. This was the first year he’d ever spent it alone and the first time since that stupid search for Enigma that he’d spent it without her.

He reached up to pinch the bridge of his nose between his thumb and forefinger, turning his head to glance over his shoulder when the door opened once again to admit some weary visitor. He rolled his eyes when he recognized the visitor and turned back to his beer to take a drink as he mentally prepared himself for what was coming.

“Just a Coke,” the man said when the bartender shuffled down to nod at the newcomer.

“Don’t you have somewhere to be, El Capitan?”

Michael Guerin ran his hand through his hair, ruffling it to brush the snowflakes away before giving his friend the once-over. “You look like hell to the power of infinity.”

“Bite me,” Kyle Valenti muttered without bothering to look at him. “I thought you had plans for the evening?”

He reached for the Coke the bartender placed on the cocktail napkin in front of him and took a drink, making a face at the too-sweet taste. “I did and there was nothin’ in them about hangin’ out with you at a bar full of stiffs.”

“No one asked you to the party.”

“No, but someone did ask me to find you.”

Isabel. He immediately nixed that thought. No, she was the last person who’d be asking anyone to find him tonight. “Tell Dad to stop worryin’ about me and just rock into the New Year, alright?”

“That crap the Sheriff plays is about a billion light years away from anything resembling rock,” he snorted. “The girls wouldn’t get off my ass about makin’ sure you weren’t face-down in a bottle somewhere.”

“You have any idea how much of this crap I’d have to drink to be tanked?” He held the bottle up and waved it back and forth in front of the hybrid’s face. “I’d be here until next week. Unlike some people I can actually hold my liquor.” He set the bottle down again. “And while there’s alcohol in this stuff it’s not enough to even register on my radar.” He sighed and rolled his shoulders. “Look, I appreciate you guys checkin’ up on me, but I don’t need a babysitter for the night. Go back to the party over at the Parkers’ Pub and let me drag my ass into the New Year alone.”

“You know the hell I’m gonna have to deal with if I don’t come back with you?”

“You’ve put up your token protest, you can go now.”

He shook his head and drained his glass. “She’s not gonna be there.”

His hand tightened around the bottle. “If this’s gonna turn into one of those stupid touchy-feely talks you’re gonna have to go back and tell the girls to do better than sendin’ in the B Team because you suck at it.”

“What’s up with the bitchy mood?” He grabbed a handful of peanuts and tossed them in his mouth, chewing them as he contemplated the situation. He nodded when his friend just shot a look at him before facing front again and taking another long slow drink. “Separation anxiety from the little fat man, right?”

“You’re really not helpin’ matters, El Capitan.”

“She’s not home tonight if you wanna go home an’ pray or whatever it is you do.” He made a face. He still didn’t get the whole Buddhist thing his buddy was into. “Anyway, just sayin’ if you need to go home and say a few chants you’ve got the all clear.”

He waved his left hand dismissively. “It’ll wait.”

“You want me to go over to the house, get the fat man for you?” He shifted to rest his weight on his right elbow, one eyebrow lifting as he smirked. “I’m sure the Sheriff wouldn’t mind letting Buddha move in too.”

“I think it’d unnerve Dad if he had to look at my statue on a regular basis.” And while he could meditate anywhere he was fairly partial to his meditation room at home. It had been a gift from Isabel the year before; she’d turned the third bedroom in their apartment into a sanctuary and he’d loved it the moment he’d seen it.

“Okay, close your eyes.”

“Isabel, it’s been a long day and I’m beat.” The temperature had peaked at eight degrees. He’d been at it before sunrise and it was well after dark now. He’d pulled cars out of ditches, jump started dead batteries, changed flat tires, and assisted with lockouts. He wanted out of his grimy clothes, a hot shower, a hot meal, and his bed… in that order.

She’d been waiting for him when he’d walked through the front door, a big smile on her face, her beautiful eyes shining with happiness. She had grabbed his hand, the smile momentarily slipping when her hands came in contact with grease as they slid across his palm. But it returned full force a heartbeat later as her powers gently removed any traces of the offensive substance.

“Please?”

They’d been living together since coming to Canada, sharing space and friendship, and to his dismay, nothing more. For two years he’d thrown himself into his work and when he wasn’t at work he was either working out, meditating, or hanging out with the guys. How much could a guy take?

“I know what to do with the third bedroom.”

They’d been using that room for storage since they’d moved in. He couldn’t care less what she wanted to do with it. He tried hard not to roll his eyes or sigh in irritation or do anything else that would hurt her feelings. He could see that whatever it was, it was important to her that he see it and be excited about it. “Just lemme get my outer gear off, okay?”

“Have you had dinner?” she asked, watching him as he stripped the gear off and she lifted an eyebrow when he hung everything in easy reach of the front door rather than stowing it away for the night.

“No, not yet.”

“You’re on call tonight?”

He rolled his shoulders and moved his head from side to side in an effort to ease the tension in his muscles. “Yeah.”

“Well, that’s ridiculous. You’ve been on call for the past five days.”

“No rest for the wicked apparently,” he mumbled as he tried to fight off a yawn. “Show me what you’ve decided to do before I fall asleep standin’ right here.”

She led the way down the hallway, glancing back at him as she talked. “You remember we decided in spite of all the natural light from that room it wasn’t large enough to work as a bedroom for either of us?”

“Uh-huh.” Was it necessary to go over all the reasons why the room wasn’t in use for anything but storage? Did she not understand that he was about to fall over where he’d just spend the rest of the night sleeping on the floor? Or at least until the next call came in.

“It came to me the other night and I started clearing the room out.”

He nodded dutifully and made the appropriate noises to indicate his interest in spite of his desire to duck into his room and leave her talking to herself.

“Okay,” she turned to face him and put her hands on his shoulders, “are you ready?”

He was so freakin’ ready! Was his enthusiasm and joy at this detour not obvious on his exhausted face? “Let’s see it.”

“Oh, wait, you have to take your socks off.”

He dropped his head and reached up to press his thumb and forefinger to his eyes. “Isabel…” He was trying his damnedest to be patient with her but his last nerve was frayed and this wasn’t helping.

“Please?”

He sighed and toed them off just enough to stand on the ends so he could pull them off without having to bend over and expend energy he didn’t have. He gestured to the socks and lifted his eyebrows as he waved his right hand in a ‘can we get on with it’ motion.

If she hadn’t known just how tired he was she would’ve expressed her opinion of his actions. But as it was, she was fully aware of his exhaustion, so she let it pass. Just not without a disparaging glance at the abandoned socks lying crumpled on the floor in front of him. “Okay,” she took his hands, “now close your eyes.”

He bit back the comment that came to mind and just did as she asked. “Make it quick because closed eyes equal sleep.” He felt the air around him shift as the door was opened, his tired mind briefly recognizing the fact that the door hinges didn’t squeak like they normally did. He moved forward when she pulled on his hands, frowning when his feet didn’t come into contact with the old wood flooring.

“Just a little bit further.”

He followed her lead, coming to a stop when she indicated they were far enough into the room. It was an odd-sized room, long and narrow. Yeah, he supposed the right person could use it as a bedroom, but they both liked room to move in their private space. Bedroom furniture would’ve left the room cramped with too much space at one end or the other. He felt her take a step back and to the side and heard her snap her fingers.

“Okay, now open your eyes.”

The walls that had been a sort of off-white had been painted a soft shade of brown, lending the narrow room the feeling of walking along a wooded path. He clenched his toes in the thick plush carpeting that was accented with a couple of red textured rugs and matching pillows. At the opposite end of the room a distressed wood bureau had been placed between the two floor-to-ceiling windows. Centered on the bureau was a Buddha statue, flanked by incense and candles that were lit.

Some of his exhaustion just melted away as the serene feeling of the room enveloped him. He released a surprised breath as he shook his head. Behind the statue was a framed poster and he snorted softly at the text printed on it in an Old English font: To thine own self be true.

“I thought you could use a focal point.”

He chuckled and looked at the wall to the left, his gaze searching the Tibetan tapestry hanging from a bamboo pole before turning his attention to the opposite wall. A bronzed frame formed the border of the wall mounted water fountain. Inset lighting revealed the water slowly flowing down to trickle over the polished stones that layered the bottom of the fountain and hid the equipment necessary to keep the water circulating. Two small shelves had been placed on either side of the fountain, each of them holding a small bonsai tree.

The room was a perfect retreat. A place to come and meditate, a place to let the stress and aggravation of life melt away. He could see how much work she had put into remodeling the room, the care she’d taken in selecting colors, art, carpet and especially the statue. More than any of the others she understood his need to meditate and she’d given him a real sanctuary to do that.


And he’d obviously read too much into it, he reminded himself as he finished off his O’Doul’s and motioned for something a little stronger to accompany the empty’s replacement.

“So, I’m just curious,” Michael said, pulling him out of his thoughts, “the whole Buddhist thing, I get that it’s your safe zone or whatever.” He made a face. He himself enjoyed time alone but the whole fat man statue, sitting around on a pillow, pruning tiny trees and meditating for endless periods of time, he didn’t get that.

“Is there a question comin’ sometime this century?”

“You do yoga in that room?”

“Why does it matter to you what I do in my meditation room?”

“Well, there’s just some things I’m unclear on.”

“Somehow I’ve got a feelin’ there’re a lot of things that fall in that category.”

“I was watchin’ the tube the other night and there was nothin’ on, no surprise there – “

“How do you have that many channels and find nothing to watch?”

“Maria was in a mood and it was late, alright? Anyway, there was this yoga class thing on the fitness channel and I’m tryin’ to figure out where they come up with these names. First off, there’s that whole downward facing dog thing. That just doesn’t seem all that meditative to me.”

He nearly choked on his Jack and Coke. “What?”

“And then there’s that monkey king pose thing. I mean, who can actually bend like that? The dude on the TV had one leg in front of him, one leg in back of him, and his crotch to the floor. Not only does that just not seem right, I don’t see how that’s physically possible. And then there’s this one called – “

“Let’s stop this conversation right here,” Kyle insisted as he held a hand up. “I’m not discussing yoga positions or their origins with you.”

“I just wanna know if you do crap like that.”

No, he didn’t. His meditation didn’t involve bending himself into improbable pretzel positions that he’d never get out of. “Michael, would you just get the hell outta here and go home?” He scrubbed his hands over his face. This was NOT the way he’d anticipated spending his New Years’ Eve.

Michael got up and scratched his chest as he let out a belch that had a guy at the end of the bar clapping. He turned and gave him a thumbs-up before grinning at Kyle. “I’m gonna hit the head an’ after that, me an’ you, we’re gonna get to the bottom of this so I can get back to my girl ‘cause I like you an’ all, but I’m not about to kiss your ugly mug at midnight.”

Kyle grimaced at the unwelcome thought that followed on the heels of that unwanted comment. He rolled his eyes and shook his head, waving Michael off towards the men’s room and thanking Buddha for the brief reprieve. It wouldn’t last long, but maybe it would be long enough to prepare for the next round. He focused on his breathing; inhale, exhale, repeat.

But it wasn’t long enough and he’d known there was no such thing where his friend was concerned. He jumped and his drink sloshed over the side of his glass when a hand landed against his back with more enthusiasm than he was in the mood for at the moment.

“Hey,” Michael called, flagging down one of the waitresses, “lemme get an order of your hottest wings over here with a side of onion rings. Oh, and bring a bottle of hot sauce with ‘em.”

“You want the Atomic Wings, honey?”

He grinned and nodded as he dropped down on his barstool next to Kyle again and he shrugged when his buddy just leveled a look at him. “What? The all-you-can-scarf buffet’s over at the Parker pub. And where am I? Here, tryin’ to get your sorry ass to cooperate so I can get back where I’m supposed to be.”

“Then go. I’m completely sober. I’m not gonna run out and play in traffic. I don’t have any intention of doin’ anything stupid tonight. I just wanna hang out by myself and have a couple of drinks without havin’ to explain my every move. Do you mind?”

Michael took a drink of his Coke and shrugged. “Nah, I don’t mind. If midnight comes around and I’m still here, then I’m gonna mind.”

He huffed out an irritated breath. “Michael, go bother Maria. You’re damn good at that and she actually enjoys it.” Well, he amended silently, she did most of the time anyway.

“Yeah, I know she does.” He grabbed another handful of peanuts. “But,” he mumbled around a mouthful, “she’s doin’ the singin’ thing tonight so it’s not like we’d be together anyway.”

Kyle shot a baleful look at the steaming platter of Atomic hot wings and onion rings that was slid on the counter in front of Michael. “Yeah, I’m sure she’s sorry she’s gonna miss out on that. Try to kiss her after downing that mix and you’re either gonna knock her out or melt her tonsils.”

Michael shrugged one shoulder and abandoned the peanuts in favor of the wings, stuffing one in his mouth and waiting to see if Valenti would offer anything up. It didn’t take long for his patience to run out. It was right about the same time the first Atomic Wing disappeared. “You two have a fight or somethin’?”

“Or somethin’,” he muttered as he took a sip of his Jack and Coke and let his mind wander back to two nights ago. The night he’d finally decided he’d had enough. Enough of waiting to be seen as more than her best friend, enough of waiting for her to finally let go of Alex and reach for him, enough of waiting for her to realize he was the guy who’d stick around through thick and thin, enough… hell, he’d just had enough.

And he’d walked out.
Last edited by KindredKandies on Sun Jun 26, 2016 10:25 pm, edited 13 times in total.
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keepsmiling7
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Re: For Auld Lang Syne (Sequel #1 to A Tale of Two Christmases)

Postby keepsmiling7 » Fri Jan 15, 2016 9:56 am

A great way to start a new RF year.......thanks for coming back with the sequel.
Can't wait for more, but I am still laughing over the yoga pose discussion!
Thanks,
Carolyn

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Eva
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Re: For Auld Lang Syne (Sequel #1 to A Tale of Two Christmases)

Postby Eva » Sun Jan 17, 2016 3:54 pm

You girls made a sequel!!!!!! I feel like a young girl in a toy shop! What a surprise!

And what a beginning! Kyle, Kyle, Kyle! I get why he ran. Man, living day in and day out with isabel on a friendly base when you love the girl, is like self punishment. But running isn't the key either. I'm curious who's going to win this thing: Michael's stubborness is legendary but Kyle isn't an easy man either. Although the whole world thinks he is.
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Re: For Auld Lang Syne (Sequel #1 to A Tale of Two Christmases)

Postby sarammlover » Mon Jan 18, 2016 3:24 pm

OMG! I AM SO HAPPY!!!!!! I am so excited to read this!!!!!! Poor Kyle. I have to say, Michael has seemed to gain a bit of a sense of humor....whoa.

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For Auld Lang Syne (Sequel #1 to A Tale of Two Christmases)Part 2

Postby KindredKandies » Thu Jan 28, 2016 10:04 pm

keepsmiling7: Thank you! We're so happy to have RF back and we're glad you're still here. :)

Eva: Thank you for the wonderful compliment, Eva :) You know Kyle just kind of showed up in our heads last January. RL knocked us down for most of the year and thank goodness he's back and so are you and RF.

Kyle's hit the wall with Isabel. And in the words of our non-couple, sometimes you have to know when to walk away and when to run. At this point he's taken a step back, trying to figure out his next step. As you pointed out, he's not easy, and he's also passed the point where their current situation is acceptable. He wants more and no one can fault him for that. For now he's walked away. Running... well, he's just run into another wall so we'll have to wait and see what he does next.

sarammlover: Thank you! We're glad to be back here with you on RF. :) Michael and Kyle's relationship has a foundation of leaning on humor in good times and in difficult ones.



Part 2

Philip ambled down the stairs, pulling the band of his wristwatch in place before snapping the clasp closed. He shook his arm and felt it settle into place just as his feet made contact with the first floor. The house was comfortably warm and smelled like cinnamon and apples with just a hint of vanilla. He peered around the doorway into the living room, watching his daughter as she flipped through the cable stations without pausing long enough to even see what was on.

“Hey, sweetie,” he said as he took the two steps down into the recessed room.

“Daddy,” she said with a brief glance in his direction.

Um-hmm, channel surfing in her sweats with her hair up in some kind of messy ponytail sort of… thing. That was never good. She had come by a couple of nights ago, asking if she could sleep in the guestroom and she hadn’t gone home since. Not that he was complaining because it was nice to have the kids around. “Are you gonna be joining us this evening?”

“No, I think I’m just gonna watch TV. Y’know, there’ll be some great shows on tonight.”

His eyes flicked to the television and he gave a skeptical nod when he saw the station she had paused on. “I can see the draw of woodworking for beginners.” He gave her a smile as he reached out to rub her shoulder. “You’re gonna miss out on a fun party.” He nodded at the sleek entertainment center. “Your copy of Rudolph’s Shiny New Year is over there.”

Isabel forced a smile. “Thanks, I’ll keep that in mind. You guys have a good time tonight, Dad.”

“If you change your mind you know where we’ll be.” He leaned over and dropped a kiss on her head. “I love you,” he whispered and squeezed her shoulder gently.

Her hand covered his for a moment as she tried to control the tears that wanted to fall. After a moment she settled for a nod, not trusting herself to speak. She breathed a little easier when he stepped back and then he was on his way to the kitchen.

“Diane,” he called, “I told Jeff we’d be there about eight and if we don’t leave pretty soon we’re gonna be late.” He paused in the kitchen doorway and sighed loudly when he realized she was in the process of making tea.

“Do not tap your watch, Philip,” she warned when he raised his hand to do just that. “I have the dishes I made for the party in the insulated bags over on the table in the hall. I want you to take them with you. I’ve already talked to Nancy so she knows I’ll either be late or I won’t be there tonight.” She lowered her voice with a meaningful look at their daughter. “She’s just about ready to talk and it’s not a conversation we can have with a party going on around us.”

He glanced over his shoulder. “Jim said Kyle hasn’t had much to say either.”

“How shocking,” Diane said wryly, “a man who isn’t forthcoming with something that’s bothering him.”

Philip rolled his eyes as he crossed the room. “Alright, I’m going, but if you decide you’re gonna be able to make it I want you to call me, okay?” He dropped a kiss on her lips. “It’s been snowing all day and I’d rather come back for you than have you out on the roads tonight.”

“I’ll call,” she promised and then shooed him out of the kitchen. “Now go so I can talk to our daughter.” She chuckled and followed him, helping him into his coat and making sure he had everything before standing at the door to watch him carefully navigate the freshly shoveled walk down to the car. She waved him off and waited until he pulled out of the drive before she closed the door and leaned back against it, shivering as the heat of the house chased away the chill from standing in the frigid air.

She paused in the living room doorway and watched her daughter as she listlessly changed channels, not bothering to stay on anything for very long. Her gaze flicked to the television screen when Isabel sighed and slouched further down into the cushions. She recognized the movie. It was one she enjoyed and one that Philip had predictably slept through.

“Well, your dad’s on his way and I have cookies to finish,” she said, leaving it up to Isabel if she wanted to join her or not.

“Okay.” She stared at the screen, not really watching the movie because the tears threatening to spill over made the images blurry. She didn’t need to watch it to know what was going on – she had seen it so many times she could quote it word for word. Her thoughts drifted back to a lazy rainy Sunday afternoon just a few months before her world had turned upside down.

“Whatcha watchin’?” Kyle asked as he rested his hands on the back of the couch on either side of her shoulders.

“You’ve Got Mail.”

He rolled his eyes. “Again?” She had the movie but if it came on TV she was bound to find it. “I thought you had homework.”

She shrugged. “I’ll get back to it later.” She tipped her head back to glance up at him. “What about you?”

“Mrs. Deveaux’s warming up.”

She snickered. Their elderly neighbor was a retired opera singer and she insisted on keeping her voice in shape. “At least she doesn’t sing after nine.” She gestured to the TV. “Guess it’s this or Mrs. Deveaux.”

Kyle snorted. “What a choice.” He sighed and shook his head after debating for a few moments. “Fine. We got popcorn?”

“Yeah, for later.”

“Why wait?”

Isabel just grinned when the doorbell rang right on cue. “Because you haven’t eaten since breakfast and lunch just got here.”

“I’ll get it,” he said when she started to get up.

“Thanks. Money’s on the table by the door.”

“Uh-huh.” He pulled his wallet out as he walked to the front door, opening both at the same time. He made small talk with the delivery guy as he fished out what was needed, paying him and then heading into the kitchen. He slid the cartons on the counter, pausing when he saw the cookies sitting out to cool.

Well, maybe just one. She knew better than to leave them out if she didn’t want him snatching one. Mmm, he thought as he chewed it. Warm peanut butter cookie topped with a milk chocolate Hershey’s Kiss. Okay, maybe just one more. He hummed to himself as he went to get paper plates and napkins, stacking them on top of the cartons and adding a couple cans of soda.

He balanced everything with one hand and shoved another cookie in his mouth with the other. As an afterthought he snatched up just one more cookie and placed it on the napkins for Isabel.

“Did you leave any cookies?” she asked when he unloaded everything on the coffee table.

“You just assume I have no self control.”

“Yeah,” she mocked as she slid a couple of slices of pizza on his plate, adding a few of the hot wings before handing it to him, “because your self control is so great.” She rolled her eyes and took a slice for herself before leaning back.


She hadn’t understood the look he’d given her at the time, hadn’t even really known how to define his expression. You didn’t want to know, her little voice insisted.

She’d played it off, pretended not to notice, and when she’d gone on as if nothing had happened he’d just nodded and let it go. “The last time you and Michael were left alone in the room with cookies I’d just baked the two of you ate six dozen of them in a matter of minutes.”

“He said he could eat more than I could.” He shrugged and chewed a mouthful of pizza. “I couldn’t let that go unchallenged.”

“Six dozen cookies? You ate all of them!”

“Well, I had help.” He’d also had a stomachache that wouldn’t quit for hours after that. But he’d beat Michael by three cookies, so it had been worth it. He slouched down, munching on his lunch and halfway watching the movie. “I don’t get it,” he said almost an hour later. “I mean, he just told her who he is.”

“What?”

“That bit about daisies being the friendliest flower, although how that makes sense is beyond my understanding. But he turns right around and says she told him that. The only time she ever said that to him was when they were emailing, before they actually met.” He pointed at the TV. “So he just told her he’s the guy on the other end of the email.”

“Well, she has a cold and she’s all fuzzy-headed. She’s not thinking clearly.”

He rolled his eyes. “I think she’s in denial.” He watched for a while longer. “See? I mean, it’s obvious right here that she wants it to be him but because she’s got this image in her head of what the perfect man is she walks away and goes to meet the email guy.”

“But she wishes it was him, she even says so at the end.”

“Then why won’t she take the risk?” He growled under his breath. “I don’t get why you girls think this movie’s so great. She wants it to be him but she won’t just put herself out there and take the risk. She waits until she knows it’s him, waits until it’s…” he cast about for the right word, “safe,” he spat out finally. He threw his voice and mocked the female lead, “I wanted it to be you.” He got to his feet and stretched as he shook his head. “I think I’m gonna hit the books. Mrs. Deveaux should be finished howling the roof down.”


They could sit and watch just about anything and before it was over they’d have two completely different viewpoints about what they’d seen. And most of the time she enjoyed that, but there were times when she’d realized that what he saw seemed to mirror their relationship and it made her nervous. She dropped her head back against the couch and watched the end of the move, seeing it through Kyle’s eyes, and wondering if he was right.

She ran her hands over her face and got to her feet, turning the television off and tossing the remote on the coffee table before going into the kitchen. She hated the sounds her feet made as they dragged across the floor but it just required too much effort to actually lift them up. She washed her hands and went to sit on one of the barstools at the large island that dominated the kitchen.

Her eyes wandered over the different cookies Mom was busy making and she frowned. “It’s New Year’s. Why are you still making cookies?”

“There’s no point letting all of these leftover supplies go to waste. I’ll make them and add them to the donations Jeff and Nancy will be taking to the shelter tomorrow.”

She nodded and reached for a sheet of cookies, pausing when she felt the heat coming off of it and reaching for another one. Deciding it was cool enough she pulled it closer and stared at it for a few moments. Propping her left elbow on the counter she rested her chin in her hand and looked around at the decorations lying within reach. Sighing quietly she picked up a bag of M&M’s, emptying them out on a paper plate and sorting the colors into little piles.

“Are you sure you don’t want to go over to the pub?”

“Not really in the mood to celebrate.” What was the point? There was nothing to celebrate. “You should go, Mom. If you don’t you know Dad will eat too much and spend the entire night with heartburn.”

Diane chuckled and pushed a bag of small chocolate covered pretzels across the counter. “Oh, I have your brother keeping an eye on him for me.”

“Mom, you and I both know Max has eyes for nothing and no one that isn’t Liz, tonight or any other night.”

“He is smitten.” She smiled as she thought about her son and daughter-in-law. They were happy and safe and making a good life for themselves and that made her happy. She watched Isabel as she pressed two brown M&M’s into each of the cookies and then added a single red one to each of them before using the mini chocolate covered pretzels to give the ‘reindeer’ antlers. Her movements were slow and methodical, each M&M and pretzel precisely placed. It was a dead giveaway as to her emotional state.

“Maria’s singing tonight.”

She glanced up at her mom and shrugged. “Michael will be there.” And she was sure he’d already talked to Kyle. The two of them were close and in his own way Michael would bulldoze his way into his friend’s space and poke and prod until he figured out why Kyle hadn’t been out to play lately. She rolled her eyes. For two grown men they could act like little boys when it suited them.

If she was right and he had talked to Kyle, well, that was just one more reason not to go to Parker’s Pub. Michael was about as subtle as the proverbial jackhammer and he’d side with Kyle, she had no doubt about that, and she wasn’t in the mood for the lecture he was sure to hit her with as soon as he saw her.

“Sure, but it’s always nice for your friends to be there too.”

“Yeah, well, I’m not exactly dressed for a party. Don’t really feel like going to one anyway.”

“Well, I suppose you can ring in the New Year anywhere, can’t you?” She smiled and sprinkled a fine dusting of sugar over the cookies she was decorating.

“It’s just another day like any other.” She didn’t care about ringing in the New Year. She didn’t want to think about the last few that she’d spent with Kyle. She didn’t want to think about sitting down and watching Rudolph’s Shiny New Year. There was nothing shiny about this one that was for sure. She sighed and shook her head. Time to move on, she was slipping back into depression territory.

She reached for the next cookie sheet and began the process all over again as she wondered if Kyle would be there. She wasn’t lying about not feeling like a party, but under other circumstances she might force herself to get dressed and go out. As it was though, she wasn’t interested in going out and running into him.

He had been pissed the last time she’d seen him and he’d refused to let it go. Meditating wasn’t going to fix this one and he hadn’t even tried. There hadn’t been a big scene, no screaming match, and he hadn’t even slammed the door. Any of those she could’ve dealt with but the silence was harder to fight. It was impossible to win against the silence because there was no one to fight with, to reason with. Silence forced you to face your thoughts and that had scared her just as much as the sudden loss of his presence. But rather than stay and figure out what had happened and try to figure out how to fix it, she’d run to Mom and Dad.

For the first time she had no idea what to say to him. Over the past few years they’d fallen into a routine and it worked for them. They went to class, they worked, they both dated, and as a rule, life flowed pretty smoothly. But things had changed. The rules had changed. And it had thrown everything into a tailspin.

Suddenly what they had wasn’t enough.

“Alex hasn’t been around,” she suddenly blurted out.

“Do you know why?” It should be surreal to be sitting in her kitchen discussing the ghost of her daughter’s boyfriend visiting. But it wasn’t. She’d never seen Alex appear but she had no doubt that her daughter saw him. She didn’t know if he actually appeared or if it was something Isabel needed, a coping mechanism of sorts, but she knew Isabel had come to rely on him being there for advice and support.

She had told her daughter once that he would go when she was ready to let him go. For so long Isabel had relied on him and she knew not having him there to lean on would leave her out of sorts because when that time came she was going to have to acknowledge the truth.

Did she know why? She frowned at one of the pretzels when she applied too much pressure and it snapped. She gently traced a fingertip over the broken pieces and they slowly melded back into a single undamaged piece. Apply enough pressure and anyone or anything could snap. Pressure didn’t always have to be applied directly. Sometimes indirect pressure was more than enough to cause a break.

She had seen it happen… she had made it happen.

Unable to deal with the repercussions of what had happened between her and Kyle she had shut him out. He’d made the effort, tried to draw her out, but she had felt lost, adrift, and without Alex there to anchor her, she’d continued to withdraw. Why? Why had she pushed him away? It was stupid. It was the movie. It was the fear of the unknown, the desire to take the safe path, and she hadn’t been brave enough to just jump in with both feet and take the risk.

And he’d walked out.
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Re: For Auld Lang Syne (Sequel #1 to A Tale of Two Christmases)Part 2

Postby keepsmiling7 » Sat Jan 30, 2016 9:18 am

outstanding part,
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Re: For Auld Lang Syne (Sequel #1 to A Tale of Two Christmases)Part 2

Postby Eva » Sun Jan 31, 2016 12:55 pm

Oh, Isabel! Kyle pinpointed her feelings so well and she know's it. It's hard to look in the mirror and open yourself up for new feelings after you lost the love of your life.
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Re: For Auld Lang Syne (Sequel #1 to A Tale of Two Christmases)Part 2

Postby sarammlover » Mon Feb 01, 2016 2:19 pm

I liked the Isabel perspective in this. Great job. I hope she figures this out before it really does become too late to fix things with Kyle! Excited and ready for more!!!!

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For Auld Lang Syne (Sequel #1 to A Tale of Two Christmases)Part 3

Postby KindredKandies » Thu Feb 04, 2016 10:34 pm

keepsmiling7: Thank you so much for your wonderful compliment!

Eva: It’s not easy to take that step… but before she can even do that she has to finally admit the truth to herself.

sarammlover: Thank you! Isabel’s got a little soul searching to do. She’s got to face a few truths before she can even think about approaching Kyle.


Part 3

Michael watched the action on the television over the bar for a while, trying to be patient but his buddy was testing his limits. He gave it up when Kyle muttered something under his breath and started making designs on his napkin with a handful of peanuts.

“Okay, look, it’s pretty obvious what’s got your shorts in a knot so you gonna talk about it or what?”

“You think you know it all, don’t you?”

He shrugged and took a drink of his Coke. “I know what this’s about.”

“Oh, well, please enlighten me with your wisdom.” He reached for his O’Doul’s and took a drink. “I forget sometimes that you’re honing your feminine side with that crap on The View.”

“You wanna hear this or not?”

“Hell, if I have a choice I’ll take the second option.”

Michael went on as if he hadn’t even spoken. “You two did the deed.” He shoved a handful of peanuts in his mouth and chewed slowly, giving Kyle time to deny it and nodding when he didn’t.

“What we did or didn’t do is none of your business.”

“Yeah, right.” His eyes flicked to the television and he shook his head when the goalie failed to block a shot. “Why else would you have moved in with the Sheriff? And why would she be stayin’ with her parents if nothin’ happened between you two? Because we both know how much the girl loves her own space.”

“If you were anyone else this conversation would be over and you’d be on the floor.”

Michael shrugged and held his arms out at his sides. “You think it’ll help, take a shot.” He and Kyle were pretty evenly matched as long as he kept his powers under control.

“Yeah, because I want Maria on my ass for knockin’ you out,” he snorted into his glass.

“Then just tell me what happened between you an’ Isabel and I’m outta here. It’s a win-win situation.”

“Maybe for you.”

Michael shook his head. “Who’d you think I was talkin’ about?”

He sighed and ran a hand through his hair. “You ever watched the Nutcracker?”

Was it his imagination or had the entire bar gone silent in the wake of a question no man should ever ask? Michael cleared his throat and glanced around surreptitiously, checking out the other patrons before responding. But before he could open his mouth his friend was off and running.

“There’s this whole underlying theme…”

Michael motioned to the bartender and nodded at the empty glass Kyle was turning between his hands. He ignored the guy’s raised eyebrow at the odd turn their conversation had taken and he reached over to place a hand on Kyle’s shoulder, giving it a warning squeeze.

“Anyways, what she - Ow!” He squirmed out from under Michael’s grip and glared at him while reaching up to rub the area that was probably well on its way to being bruised. “What is wrong with you?”

“Me?! You’re the one sittin’ here talkin’ about a bunch of freaks runnin’ around in tights. I get that sometimes you’ve just gotta talk about these off the wall things, but I’m not interested in takin’ on a bar full of guys because you’re weird.”

Kyle just stared at him. “Yeah, you’re one to talk,” he muttered drily. “Look, Michael, I appreciate that you came here to make sure I’m alright, but just… leave me alone.”

“I will,” he said with a shrug and finished off his Coke. “Soon as you open your trap and tell me what went down between you an’ Isabel.” He nodded at the bartender when he replaced their drinks.

Kyle’s hand tightened around the glass that had just been put in front of him and after a minute he pushed it back. He shoved himself to his feet and stalked off to the bathroom without another word.

“Gotta be a woman.”

Michael turned to look at the guy who had spoken. He lifted his glass in response. “Is it ever anything else?”

“If it’s got a guy talkin’ about the ballet over beer,” he shook his head. “Can’t be anything else.”

He smirked and gave a one-armed shrug as he lifted his right hand and made a circular motion with his forefinger next to his ear. “He’s a Buddhist.”

“Oh,” the guys said, drawing the word out into multiple syllables. “One of those guys.”

“Um-hmm.”

He nodded as if that explained everything. “He wear those funny little robes?”

“Only when he’s meditating.”

The guy turned his head to watch Kyle as he crossed the room, his head bowed as he stared at the floor. “Well, whatever gets you through the day.”

Michael laughed to himself when the guy picked his beer up and headed to the other end of the bar just as Kyle dropped down on his stool again.

“The point I was making with my question about The Nutcracker was that the whole thing revolves around a dream. The girl in the production is basically living in this dream, right? It’s where she’s happy. She just loses herself in the fantasy and in my opinion the danger of losing perspective is too big a threat. If she continues to be drawn into the fantasy she’ll eventually lose the ability to tell reality from fantasy.”

He had no idea how he was supposed to respond to that. “Well, that’s just stupid. Reality’s where it’s at.”

Kyle pinched the bridge of his nose between his thumb and forefinger. Maybe he needed to go at this with a more direct approach because if he continued on his current path he was going to be stuck with his friend for the rest of the night. “Between me and you,” he said with a direct look.

He nodded.

“Isabel still talks to Alex.”

Michael shrugged. “So?” He’d suspected she was still holding onto their fallen friend.

“She sees him.”

He slowly lowered his glass back to the bar without taking a drink. “She sees him,” he repeated. “No, Isabel’s too smart to see things that aren’t there.”

“It has nothin’ to do with how intelligent she is, Michael.” He took a drink of his Jack and Coke. “Christmas dinner with the Stevens a few years back, remember that?” He nodded when he received an affirmative response. “The conversation was choking me so I went outside to get some air. I saw him that night. I talked to him.”

“About what?” he asked, his mind going over the possibilities.

“That doesn’t matter. The point is he’s gone, but at the same time he’s not.”

“Are you tryin’ to tell me you’re bein’ haunted by Alex’s ghost?”

“No, what I’m sayin’ is she can’t let go. Hell, maybe she doesn’t want to let go.” He ran a hand through his hair in frustration. “I don’t know.”

Michael mused over everything Kyle had said, even the crap about The Nutcracker. “Look, I know Isabel’s got her issues,” he kicked the stool his friend was sitting on when he started to interrupt. “The girl thinks she’s cursed or somethin’, that everyone she cares about ends up six feet under.”

“You think I don’t know that? I can deal with that but,” he shook his head, “I can’t fight a ghost.” He took a drink of his beer. “And I won’t.” He set the bottle down, carefully and deliberately because the urge to slam it down was overwhelming.

“So what happened?” He held a hand up when Kyle shot an annoyed look in his direction. “I’m not stupid, Valenti. I know the two of you slept together.”

For years he’d waited for Isabel to be ready, waited for some sign that she had made peace with her past and wanted to move forward. With him. They’d been sharing an apartment and they’d found it easy enough to make it work. Then she’d started dating and it had thrown him for a loop. He’d been sitting at the dining room table studying the night she’d come home from some project she’d been working on with a couple of classmates and he’d immediately been captivated by the look of happiness on her face.

“What’s goin’ on?” he asked, turning to give her his full attention. She was a beautiful woman, but when she was happy that was magnified and it just radiated outward. Sometimes he thought he could just sit and stare at her because he’d never be able to look his fill.

“I’m having dinner with Scott tonight.”

He’d managed to catch himself before his mouth could drop open. “Scott,” he mused, trying to place him. “Your study buddy?”

She made a face at him as she opened the refrigerator door to look for something to drink. “That sounds so high school, Kyle.”

“Well, that’s what he is.”

“He’s my project partner.” She pulled the orange juice container out and poured herself a glass. “He’s smart, athletic – “

“Figure skater?” he taunted but the tone of his question was lost on her.

“What? No, he plays on the hockey team.”

Yeah, well, he knew that. He’d just like it if the guy was a figure skater because then he wouldn’t feel so… invisible. He didn’t have time for sports outside of an occasional recreational game. Between classes and work he stayed pretty busy.

“Oh, you know what?” She dug around in her pocket and pulled a folded up piece of paper out, pressing the creases out of it before walking over to hand it to him. “Here.”

“What’s this?”

“Ellen Benoit asked me to give you her number.

“Great.” Her laugh was worse than breaking glass, he thought, recalling her description of one of her eligible classmates the night they’d gone to a college party that first New Year’s Eve they’d spent together.

“She’s nice. You’d like her if you got to know her.”

He tossed the paper aside and went back to reading. “I’ve got a job.”

“People with jobs date too, Kyle. It wouldn’t hurt you to get outta the house once in a while.”

He knew he could date if he wanted to. He might not look like a movie star, but he was a decent looking guy and more than one girl had hit on him since they’d been there. It was just never the right girl. There were opportunities available, he just wasn’t interested. “I get outta the house,” he muttered.

“She really likes you.”

He shrugged and poked the scrap of paper. “Maybe I’ll call her later.” But he wouldn’t and they both knew it. “You said you had to hit the books for that big exam comin’ up.”

“And I will. I’m just gonna have dinner with Scott first.”


Scott had just been the first. Going out with him had been evidence that the dating moratorium she’d imposed had ended and suddenly guys had started taking the risk and approaching her. It had been agony watching her getting ready for her dates and being polite to the guys when they came by to pick her up. Nothing had been worse than the occasional date that brought her home well after midnight though. That had nearly killed him.

He’d hidden it. He’d thrown himself into work and school, he’d meditated and worked out, and eventually he’d started going out on the rare date. It was nothing more than an attempt to fill the space in his chest that she owned but seemed content to ignore. Maybe he should’ve spoken up sooner, told her the truth rather than expecting her to just know, but he’d been so sure she’d somehow know when she was ready.

He knew about her issues, that she felt like she was cursed. Over the past couple of years she’d dated different guys but never allowed any of them to become serious. She’d felt responsible for Grant but he wasn’t the one that haunted her. No, she’d come to terms with his death. She’d finally put her relationship with Jesse to rest and he knew she’d accepted that and moved on. It was Alex that she was stuck on. He was the reason she hadn’t allowed herself to take a chance and move on with him. Not Alex himself so much as what could’ve been if he’d lived.

But everything had changed a couple of nights ago and he’d thought the time was right. Granted, he hadn’t given that much thought at the time. He’d been heady with the euphoria of finally having what he’d waited so long for. He was in love with her, had been for years but he’d known better than to rush into anything before they were ready. He’d had his own issues to deal with, namely Tess Harding and her betrayal.

The next morning he’d watched her wake up, his stupid traitorous heart beating like crazy and the words ‘I love you’ on the tip of his tongue. But before her eyes had even opened he saw the look of denial and apprehension on her face. What hurt the most was the regret he’d seen in her eyes when she’d finally opened them.

She’d held onto the dream the way he’d feared she would.

He’d made a major miscalculation and it had blown up in his face. She hadn’t been able to get out of his bed or out of his room fast enough. He’d refused to back down. He’d tried to keep her from running, tried to get her to talk to him, but his efforts had been in vain. She’d shut down on him and even though he’d tried to hold his ground and fight it out he’d gotten nowhere with her.

He exhaled loudly, the sound holding more frustration than he could contain. He shook his head when the bartender motioned to his empty glass. He could nurse his beer for a while but he wasn’t interested in getting loaded tonight.

Michael frowned. “Valenti?” He wasn’t worried or anything, but he was a little concerned. The guy just wasn’t acting right. Maybe he needed to have a few words with Isabel on the sly. If she was anywhere near as out of sorts as Kyle was there was no telling how this was going to end. He reached over and thumped his shoulder when his companion remained silent. “Hey, what gives?”

“She’s not ready to move forward and I can’t keep treading water.”

“What’re you sayin’?”

“I’m sayin’ maybe it’s time for me to leave.”
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Re: For Auld Lang Syne (Sequel #1 to A Tale of Two Christmases)Part 3

Postby Eva » Fri Feb 05, 2016 3:05 am

It finally came out... And although it was very serious and emotional, I had to smirk here and there. Kyle was really stupid to think that Michael would understand some clues. If you want to talk to him, you've got to say it like it is.

But I'm glad it all came out. Kyle kept his feelings too long inside. And I can only hope that Isabel will follow him and opens her heart to someone.
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