Authors Notes: All right, this is the end of the fic, barring any new thoughts I get. I am very proud of this fic. It is the longest thing I have ever completed, and it's become far more than the small tale it was meant to be. Also, I have posted the first chapter of my Jinx fic, though the second one is fighting to stay in, and I've had an idea for another Kit/Alan fic when they're both older, and that ones easier to write. So…I'm not dead yet! (We hope…)

KIT/ Jinx

The light of the street lamps flashed across the window, refracted out of proportion by the glass. The car sped by each one of them, moving slowly, but fast enough that each lamp was seen for only a moment before it passed out of the viewer's sight. Jinx, driving the car, was aware of each flash of light, each crooked form. He was also vibrantly aware of the form curled up in the back seat, the one that occasionally released soft sighs. His body and reflexes, sight and touch, were focused on the road ahead of him, as it stretched seemingly endlessly into the night. But his mind splayed out across time, remembering, and sensing and simply being aware. It was that, more than anything, which made him Jinx and not some other, more ordinary being. It was the fact that he was always aware.

He heard Kit give a cat-yawn, each muscle in the young boy's face stretching. Kit sat up quietly, stretching. He even stretched like a cat, bracing his fingers against something and stretching in a way that portrayed exactly how flexible he was. Jinx smiled a little, but did not speak. Time enough for words when they got home. Now, both he and Kit needed time to lay out their thoughts…

Kit felt like a toothpaste bottle with too much toothpaste, ready to squeeze over onto everyone else. His heart was pumping, pure adrenalin seemed to be flowing through his veins, and he tried not to fidget too much, but he couldn't help hugging himself, rocking back and forth. His thoughts, contrary to Jinx's belief, did not need much laying out. They went something like this: Alanalanalanlanalanalanalanalanalanalanalanalan. It was barely even a stream of consciousness. One word, one name, had taken a depth of meaning in Kit's mind, and he was busily exploring all of it. It was Alan, it was a beautiful smile, a self-conscious laugh, a gentle touch, a tentative kiss. It was Alan, it was whispered words, untold dreams, years of happiness. But in the end, all it really needed to be was Alan.

Jinx's thoughts were more ambiguous. He was pleased for the ball of happiness that his protégé had become. But at the same time, his mind was already exploring the future, testing out the patterns of life. He had always known that Kit was different, in more ways than simply his sexual identity. Despite my best efforts, I was not able to raise him to be the normal unthinking male droid that compromises most teenagers of today. Oh, alas. Jinx smirked, his eyes narrowing. This world is often hard on misfits, and Kit, unlike me, has few coping measures. Perhaps Alan will provide a haven of safety…except that he is almost as unsuited to the world as Kit; made so by a fervent desire to be more than he is. What remains to be seen is whether he will be or whether his past will drag him down. Jinx, unlike 'his own', was a realist. He faced the world head on. He had seen too many people who had tried hard and failed to ever really believe in the 'power of the human spirit'.

"We are all misfits. Can't we be misfits together?" Jinx's hands tightened on the wheel, and flinched. No, he told the errant phantom in his mind, we can't. Because you are dead, and I live. A touching irony, ne? I, who never wanted it, have life. You, who clung to it with all your might, died in blood and tears. He turned the car into the driveway, maneuvering it with skill that would have done any racecar driver proud. He parked easily, and turned the key. For a moment, he listened to the silence, and heard it filled with a million voices. Then he shook his head, stepping out of the car, letting the breeze play with his hair, strands of blonde-orange whipping in the night air.

"Jinx?" Kit's voice was soft, as though afraid to interrupt his foster father's reverie. Jinx turned to look at the young boy beside him, and smiled, touching Kit's hair gently. Kit grinned at him, still deliriously happy. It was such a stupid, silly grin that Jinx had to return it with a smile. "Come, my own, let us go inside. I think we need to have dialogue." He turned away from Kit, padding carefully toward the house. Behind him, he heard Kit trot, obviously impatient to be inside and talking. He wondered how long Kit could keep his feelings internalized before he exploded.

Ironic, indeed.

Twenty minutes later, they were both curled up on the couch, Jinx with a mug of tea with honey, and Kit with hot chocolate. Kit lay snuggled into the armrest of the couch. Jinx leaned against the other armrest, legs curled gracefully under him. "Jinx…Do you think I'm doing the right thing?" Kit asked, green eyes sparkling like the Fourth of July. Jinx paused, and Kit fidgeted, for once impatient with his Jinx's response time. Jinx, however, closed orange-lidded eyes. A strand or two of hair fell in his eyes and despite himself, Kit found that he was nodding off long before Jinx's soft voice answered.

"I think…that if I told you were not choosing the correct path by seeing this boy Alan, you would continue to see him despite this. I think it has stopped being a matter of right, and become a matter of the heart, which has very little to do with right or wrong." Jinx's fingers reached over, brushing gently across Kit's cheek. "I am glad you have found Alan." He rose quietly. "Rest well, my own." Kit watched him flow upstairs with a slight smile on his face. Only after Jinx was completely out of sight did he realize that Jinx hadn't answered his question.

Jeremy

Its nice to be able to surprise someone you thought utterly unflappable. Alan's look of utter shock made me grin like an idiot. He looked about ten years younger, not to mention dumb as a doorpost. Still, after a while, the silence started to bug me, so I said, in a friendly sort of way, "Hey, Alan, has it been so long that you forgot what I looked like?"

His mouth snapped shut and he grinned suddenly. "Jeremy! You hellspawned bastard! I thought they'd put you away forever." He grinned like an idiot and I returned it. "Come on, what jail can hold me? I'm out on bail." I told him. Around me, the others were making food. Someone shoved a beer in my hand and someone else handed me a slice of warmed up pizza. In the background of all the noise, music and smoke, I could see Alan's brother Jason watching me with a slightly sardonic smile. It wasn't a smile I liked much. Almost a challenge, with a mocking hint that thought that maybe, just maybe, I wasn't up to it. Well, I'd show him. I had big plans. Just let em see. But first…

"Hey, Jerry. What about this war?" Alan's voice rang out, loud and clear, giving me the perfect introduction I needed. Trust Alan to do that. I wondered if maybe he was starting to think about that offer I'd made him a year ago, about joining up with the gang. It was weird that he hadn't already. It was practically in his blood. "We'll get to that... but first I got a little revenge of my own to get." Somebody turned off the music, so everyone in the cramped house heard my words. They hooted and hollered, grinned like idiots and toasted me. I smiled. Yeah, it felt pretty damn good to be home.

"You mean Ki-…that faggot kid? I dunno, Jeremy, you're out just out on bail. They've gotta know you'd do it." Alan's voice sounded slightly worried. Good man, Alan, always seeing all the possibilities. But I was way ahead of myself this time. This time, there would be no stupid mistakes. "But it doesn't matter if they don't catch me in the act." I said, and they all laughed, laughed at the rules that bound the cops but don't touch us none at all. "But if they catch any of us…and if that person tells…" Alan's voice was soft, but full of implications that set the room snapping at him.

"Hey, man, what are you implying? You think one of us would rat out our boys?!" Crusher's muscles rippled and his eyes glinted dangerously. "Yeah…nobody betrays nobody around here." J.C's voice followed right after Crushers, like cigarettes after sex. Then more voices joined, an ever-growing chorus of protests. I stayed out of it, watching Alan. Once or twice, he tried to make himself heard over the ruckus, but they always drowned him out, and finally he stayed quiet. He looked cool, though, and a lot calmer than anyone else in the room. His hands hooked in his belt loops, just chillin'.

"Let him speak." Everyone heard Jason's voice, but he wasn't yelling. His voice just made everybody else shut up. I frowned. It was a little scary, how much power Jase had over them. A little scary, and a little threatening, sometimes. Alan nodded once to Jason, and then spoke as though he had been rehearsing for this all his life.

"Look, guys, you all know if you pull the kind of stunt I think you're talking about, its jail. No two ways about it, no probation, no juvie. Jail is for real. It's hardcore. There are guys in there that would cut you up just cause you looked at em funny. Guys who eat teenage punks for breakfast…" This started another chorus of protests, but before it could really get going, Alan ran over the top of them. "Shut up! You know as well as I do that we aren't a hardcore street gang. We don't have the money, the weapons or nothing to start shit like that. We don't sell drugs, maybe pot on the side, to kids in school, but we ain't making the money the real gangs are making. So just cool it. We get into jail and either we're going to come out of it in somebody's gang, and in it so deep we can't get out, or screwed over. Because in jail, either you join a gang for protection or you get to be everybody's play toy. People have sold out before, under that kind of pressure and I don't look down on them for it. But its something you gotta think about. So think hard before you decide anything." Alan paused, then nodded and stepped back, blending into the crowd.

"Alan's right." I spoke up now, before Jason could do it, reclaiming some of my lost authority. "But I don't plan to let anybody get caught in this." I looked each one of them in the eye, and made it a kind of promise to them, that nothing would happen to anyone in that room. They seemed to believe me too, because everybody relaxed, even Alan. "Besides…" My voice got louder. "This is a matter of honor. Nobody screws over my boys and me. No little faggot pulls that type of shit and gets away with it. He ain't gonna get off clean." I smiled, and I could feel the way it stretched the corners of my face, like a predator baring its teeth. They all submitted immediately.

Except Alan and Jase. Because they were watching me, and I knew if I screwed this one up, it wouldn't be me who led anymore. But I wasn't going to screw up. Not a chance. I could already taste victory. And it was sweet.

ALAN

Alan climbed the stairs, feeling muzzy-headed and sleepy. He also felt a pounding in his head that heralded an oncoming headache. This isn't fair! But he had long ago learned that ranting about the unfairness of the world changed nothing, though it did occasionally get you slapped. His fingers sought out the stone Kit had given him, making circular patterns on it, round and round. It was a comforting motion, feeling the smooth, cold stone under his finger, unyielding, unchangeable. It was a reminder that there were things beyond his little corner of the universe. He tossed himself down on the bed. Below, the party was still raging, but the people down there had become strangers. Somehow, in two days, he had changed from being one of the gang, albeit one who rarely participated, to…something else altogether.

He even had a name for the change. Dreams. Aspirations. Hopes.

They had none. They would not go to college, not learn any profession, and would probably work in minimum wage jobs all their lives. They would live the lives of the ignorant poor, always looking for someone below them to crush in passing. It was a vicious cycle, and Alan despaired of anything ever breaking it. I'm not sure they even want to break it…they've grown up being taught not to want, not to think of the future. The future to them is their parents; only of course THEY won't be drunk, and mean. They all think they'll be seventeen and cool for the rest of their lives. It scared Alan, a little, how close he had come to being them.

Alan was so lost in depression that he barely heard the pounding on the door until it had gotten loud enough to nearly deafen him. "Yeah, who is it?" He called, sitting up to glower at the door. The door opened and Alan opened his mouth to curse at whoever it was who dared infringe on his private time. Jason raised an eyebrow at his little brother and Alan abruptly closed his mouth. Jason smirked and sat down on the bed. What does he want…? "Not bad. Not bad at all, kid." Jason reached over and cuffed him across the side of his head. The words came as such a surprise that Alan grinned at his older brother, but his heart was beating hard in his chest. He had been avoiding Jason lately, and for good reason. He practically raised me and Kenny both… Damnit, I hate lying to him. His older brother had always been a figure of authority, both in the traditional sense and the gang sense. Everyone around Alan always obeyed Jason and Alan himself was no exception to the rule. The lie he was living now felt too much like betrayal.

"You showed some real brains out there, bro." Jason said, watching his brother closely. Alan looked into Jason's dark blue eyes and then looked away. "Yeah, I guess…" He muttered, shrugging. If he had any idea…he'd hate me. A callused hand suddenly squeezed his shoulder and Alan looked up, startled. Jason grinned at him, an expression Alan didn't remember having seen on his brother's face for a long time. "Geek." Jason murmured, a nickname from a long time ago, a much more innocent time. He ruffled Alan's hair and Alan couldn't help but return the grin. "Idjit…" Alan replied, swiping at Jason's cheek with a closed fist. Jason shoved him over and Alan picked up a pillow, taking a swing at his older brother. Jason grinned and returned fire with a pillow of his own.

And the laughter echoed.

Alan lay back on the bed, panting. Jason barely looked out of breath, which seemed a little unfair. "You're out of shape, kid." Jason said. Alan could barely believe the friendly, teasing tone Jason said it in. "I'm just not big enough to play football…that's where all your muscle came from." Alan muttered, mostly for the sake of argument. "Not my fault you're a scrawny little wuss." Jason said, but for once his tone was gentle, easy-going. Is it possible… that Jase thinks I'm a man now? The only time he uses that tone is when he's with his friends. The thought made Alan smile for a moment, with pride. He shoved his hands into his pockets, lying back on the pillows. "You going to join in Jeremy's mini-crusade?" Jason asked, sounding bored with the subject.

Alan wasn't fooled for a minute and he tensed, feeling his heart rate speed up. Jason was no fool. The school had given a mandatory battery of IQ tests, back when Jason was in middle school. He was third highest. No, no matter what he acts like, my brother is damnably intelligent.

"Hey, you hear me, man?" Jason asked, flipping over on his side to stare at Alan. "I don't know, Jase. Jerry's little scheme still sounds risky." Alan said, after a moment's pause to make sure he sounded calm. Jason didn't speak for a minute. "You know, there's a difference between being smart and being scared." He said, his eyes unreadable. Alan sat up, stung despite himself. "Its one thing to beat up another kid because they hurt one of your homeboys or because they pulled something on your gang. But the way I heard it, Jeremy beat that…that faggot kid up, not the other way around. It was his own stupid fault for jumping the kid, instead of waiting like planned." Alan felt sick inside. The words seemed to burn on his lips. That faggot kid…Green eyes and laughter, teasing and warmth. Kitsune, Kitsune…I don't know how much longer I can say these things, not when I know they're lies.

Still, it looked like Jason was buying into it. "Jeremy's stupid, that's his biggest problem. He lets emotions take him over and then he fucks up, because he doesn't think about what he's doing." Jason's voice was hard now, hard and cold. Yeah, no shit, Jase. Jeremy wants to screw over the world, and then watch it burn. But just because he's stupid doesn't mean he's not damnably dangerous. Alan glanced at his brother and flinched. Jason had closed his eyes, and a little smile was playing across his features, a very dangerous expression for Jason to have. Oh, I SO do not like that look…

But Jason simply got up. "Night, bro." He said, not looking back as he kicked his way across Alan's floor, finally reaching the door. Alan barely had time to mutter a quick 'Night', before Jason was gone, leaving Alan more confused than ever.

KIT/ ALAN

"Alan!" Alan spun around; his eyes sought and located a small, black-haired blur that stopped just short of tackling him. Alan glowered. "Jeeeesus, Kitsune, we have to act normal at school, remember? N-o-r-m-a-l." He muttered, locating around quickly to make sure no one else had seen Kit's actions. Kit blushed, lowering his head and kicking at the ground. "But…I missed you…" He muttered, causing Alan to blush as well. "We were apart all of ten hours!" Alan said, but he realized he no longer sounded intimidated and so gave it up as a lost cause. Quickly, he turned and led Kit behind the school, where they both curled up in the grass, Kit putting his head on Alan's shoulder. After a moment, Alan wrapped his arm around the slender boy.

Alan closed his eyes and heaved a soft sigh. Somehow, the tension in his chest, the knot of fear, worry and anger that had lurked there since last night, died a sudden death. "Kit…" He muttered, but Kit put one finger to his lips, effectively silencing him. Alan sighed, but was silent. They lay there for a while, just content to cuddle with each other. Its almost like…like all the angst we've been through is just bringing us closer. But…the question is, what will happen when Kit finds out Jeremy's back? Almost without thinking about it, Alan shifted his grip to protective. God…No. I won't let Jerry do this. I CAN'T let Jeremy do this.

"Alan? Is something wrong?" Kit asked, curling closer to Alan. Alan noticed how warm Kit was, especially where flesh touched flesh. "…Yeah. We need to talk, Little Fox." He grinned as Kit blushed. Reaching up, he touched two fingers to Kit's cheek. "Ok…so what are we talking about?" Kit asked, shifting to stare into Alan's eyes, far too trustingly. "I…" Damnit, this wasn't easy, not with Kit staring at him like that. He saw the fear in Kit's eyes, carefully masked behind very real affection.

Come on, Alan…speak! Kit hoped, desperately, that Alan wasn't going to say what he was afraid of. Don't you dare try to leave me. I won't let you go. He clung tighter to Alan, mortally afraid his friend and beloved would try and abandon him. Alan smiled, but the worry in his eyes didn't dissipate. "Look, Kit…Itsjeremyhesoutofjail." The words were slurred together so fast that it took Kit a moment to sort them out. He felt first relief that Alan wasn't going to try and leave, and then that gut-wrenching fear that made him want to curl up in a corner and never come out again. Alan put his arms tightly around Kit's shoulder, protective now. Kit clung to Alan, not at all ashamed of his fear. Besides, if I read Alan aright, he's just as terrified as I am. I guess that makes sense… his family doesn't know he's in the closet and I think they'd…be unhappy if he came out.

Especially with me. I guess this means I don't get to go home for a nice dinner, meet his folks and have them come over to make wedding plans. The image that conjured, of himself dressed in a lacy wedding dress with a veil, was enough to make him laugh out loud. Alan looked at him oddly, so he explained the joke and Alan laughed too. It was a good sound, Alan's laugh, and Kit relaxed into it. He rested his head against Alan's chest, listening to the soft pounding of Alan's heart. Alan smiled down at him, and the sun shone and birds sang…

And the bell sung out its warning to the school as a whole, and Alan rose with a muffled curse. Kit grabbed for his wrist. "Don't go…please…" Kit asked and Alan grimaced. "Kit, other people will come out here to skip. It isn't a good idea for us to be…together." He tried to ignore the look in Kit's eyes when he said that, knowing what it sounded like. Kit understands, just as I do, the risks we take every time we're together. But it still hurt to see Kit flinch, and he moved quickly to sooth Kit's pain, leaning down to steal a quick kiss from the slender boy. Kit smiled childishly, and Alan relaxed. "Ok…I'll see you after school? YOU get to tell Jinx about Jeremy." Kit grinned up at him, and Alan didn't have the heart to turn him down. Instead, he shuddered, as though scared to death and Kit giggled. Alan rose and grabbed his backpack, followed only a moment later by Kit. Together, they raced toward the school. Carefree and in love.

KIT/ Jinx/ ALAN

Jinx sat cross-legged on the couch, hair streaming over his shoulders like molten gold. His strange, orange eyes were mere slits and he hadn't spoken for almost five minutes. Kit and Alan sat on the floor, holding hands tightly, both staring at Jinx.

"These are harsh tidings you bring, my own. I dislike the idea of anyone threatening you and your new love." Jinx's voice was calm, but his posture was stiff and cold. Alan thought to himself that even Jason was not a match for Jinx, despite the man's almost delicate features. Still, Jinx was on their side, at least. Actually, he's on Kit's side. 'Your new love, indeed'; I don't even have a name anymore. Alan smiled wryly, stroking Kit's hair. "So what do we do about these 'harsh tidings', anyway?" Kit asked, snuggling closer to Alan.

"The obvious. We obey by the system of laws that exists in this country and we take this to the police." If there was any sarcasm in the word 'police', it was unnoticeable enough to be close to nonexistent. Jinx surveyed his two charges, knowing what he would have to say next and not liking it all. "Unfortunately, Alan…it may be possible that, should the local law enforcement take some interest in these proceedings, you may be called upon to testify in a court of law." Jinx's voice had gotten colder, distancing himself from the proceedings.

Alan knew he was turning pale, his skin fading to an off-white color. He felt queasy, but before he could speak—not that he knew what to say—Kit spoke up. "No." It was very quiet, but with no ambient sound to mask it, it seemed louder. Both Alan and Jinx looked at Kit. "I won't let anyone do that, put him up on a stand and make him testify against everyone he knows. I won't and no one can make him, either!" Kit stopped speaking and blushed, seeming to realize that he had been yelling. He looked back and forth between Jinx and Alan. Jinx had raised an eyebrow, as though informing him that there was no reason to shout. Alan was blushing and when Kit glanced uncertainly in his direction, Alan grabbed him and pulled him close, kissing him. Kit oomphed, startled, then relaxed into Alan's grip.

"I love you, Kitsune, Little Fox." He whispered into Kit's ear and Kit answered by simply wrapping his arms around Alan's neck and staring into his eyes. Jinx cleared his throat and they started, and then turned to stare at him, looking embarrassed. He had a slight, unreadable smile on his lips, one that made Alan and Kit exchange looks and then shrug. "Well, either way and whatever happens, I think it would best that we take some safety precautions in the event that the police prove ineffective." The tone in Jinx's voice implied that he thought the police would be highly ineffective.

"What kind of precautions?" Kit asked, eyes fixed trustingly on Jinx. Alan felt a pang of jealously. He trusts Jinx more than anyone; I can't even compete. Then he took another look at Jinx and laughed. What am I thinking? He loves Kit and Kit loves him, but he won't ever have Kit like I will… hell, like I do. He wrapped his arm around Kit's shoulder and listened intently to what Jinx had to say. "For one, Kit, you go nowhere alone. School should be safe, but these private rendezvous must stop." Jinx's voice had taken on its other aspect, the colder, more impersonal tone that told everyone that he meant business. Still, Kit opened his mouth to protest.

"Kit…he's right. You were lucky that that coach found you before Jerry really hurt you. We have to go separate ways to get back into the building, and you're vulnerable during that time. Kit…if anything happened to you…" Alan looked away, unable to express what he felt in words that didn't sound like overused romantic clichés. Kit stared at him, then shook his head slowly, and climbed into Alan's lap. "Ok…ok… But I want to see you whenever I can…" Kit said, knowing Alan was right, but barely able to accept it. What is that line from Romeo and Juliet? 'I must hear from thee every day in the hour, for in a minute there are many day. O, by this count I shall be much in years ere I again behold my Romeo!' He grinned. What a time to be quoting good ol' William Shakespeare. He really didn't want to think about star-crossed love at this point.

Alan clung tighter to Kit, whispering in his ear, "I'll never leave you, never let you go…you needn't worry about that. I'll see you whenever I can. Ok?"

Kit turned and stared into Alan's eyes. "Ok." He said, and it felt like a pact. Jinx, watching the two of them, shook his head. Trust the young to make everything into a drama. Still, there was no denying they were cute and innocent. Innocence is sadly undervalued in this day and age. Jinx gritted his teeth; this was not the time to be thinking about loss of innocence.

"Also, my own, I would rather you stay in the house when we are at home. We cannot ignore the fact that it is possible these gentlemen known our place of residence." Jinx said, interrupting the young lovers, who were busy staring into each other's eyes. "…All right, as long as we don't have to do this for long." Kit said, sounding resigned. Jinx nodded, making a purely mental note to take some other precautions. He had been lax in allowing the threat to reach Kit this time. It would not happen again.

"Well, if that part of our evening is done, I think perhaps its time to eat." Jinx said, rising with understated grace. As if on cue, the timer on the oven went off. Jinx carefully pushed a button or two, and then flourished a pot roast with all the skill of Martha Stewart. Alan and Kit stared at him, and then doubled over laughing. Jinx smiled. Children.

Jeremy

I looked out at the sea of faces, and grinned. Admittedly, it wasn't exactly the Marines. There were probably only about fifteen boys there, but they were all my homeboys, my friends. My army.

I grinned, looking at the sea of bats, knives and chains. I let my hand fall down to my waist and stroked the pistol I had brought second hand. We had plans tonight, plans that went beyond one faggot. Tonight, we went hunting and anyone who got in our way would feel the strength of our anger, our hatred. They were laughing now, and playing; alcohol and drugs made them loose. There is only one thing that makes this day less than perfect; I don't see Alan among the crowd and that annoys me. Still, I could almost feel the tension in the room. They knew tonight that we were going to do something big, bigger than any of us. We will become Hitler's ideal tonight; strong, white, and living in a world free from Commies, Jews, Niggers and Faggots. There is a name for us tonight, a name that we all know with pride.

Tonight, we will be Aryan.

I clear my throat, and raise my hands for silence. It never stops to amaze me that I get it, too. They stare at me, eyes burning, waiting for what I have to tell them. I raise up my arm in a fist, facing them, so they can see the tattoo on my shoulder, the swastika I had put there the moment I was old enough to know right from wrong. They respond in kind, first Crusher, then the others, all raising their fists to me in an age-old gesture of hate.

"Tonight, we will become the First Wave. Together, we will crush those who have destroyed our society, who have corrupted it, and forced you and I into poverty by their very existence." I raised my fist higher, and stared each and every one of them in the eye. "WHO IS OUR ENEMY?" I screamed, and listened, well satisfied, to the wave of response.

"JEWS. FAGGOTS. NIGGERS." It comes back, echoing through the room, powerful with all the voices united as one. I feel a surge of pride in them; they are warriors worthy of the new nation I felt sure we would create together. "AND WHAT DO WE DO TO THE ENEMY?" I yell, and people heft weaponry in their hands, slamming it into the air with barbaric ferocity. "KILL! KILL! KILL!" It becomes a chant, picked up by the room in general, a chant that grows as people stamp their weapons on the ground, in an insanity of bloodlust.

"That's right. We kill. Tonight." I jump down from my makeshift podium, and watch as they flood out into the streets, still chanting, weapons at the ready. I grin, grabbing the arm of Crusher. He turns to look at me, and for a moment, I am unaware of him, lost in the chanting and the bloodlust.

"Jeremy? You wanted me, man?" He asked, sounding surprised. "Yeah…get me five good men. We have something to take care of before we do anything else." I told him, and he nodded and went to go do it. A good man, Crusher. Really too bad he was Hispanic.

I walked out into the street. They congregated to me, as though I was their church and their God. Yes. Tonight, I am the God of Death.

Jinx

"Jinx, can we go outside? I want to show Alan the stars…" Jinx glanced up at them, and then nodded once in affirmation. "Go ahead, just don't stay out there too long. The nights are getting cold." He told them, and Kit grimaced, wearing the age-old expression of a child who already has memorized every warning of their parents and finds them all passé. "Yeah, yeah…" Kit muttered, pushing open the door. Alan, with the grin he always wore when Jinx and Kit bantered, followed.

Jinx watched them go, and then sat down on the couch, his thoughts distant and for once, convoluted. They are so happy together, yet it seems my Kitsune is fated to be plagued by the prejudices of others. Jinx grimaced. So much hatred in one so young… He sighed. It had never been a fair or just world, but only now did it strike him that he wished it were. For himself, Jinx had never asked expected the world to change. For Kit, though, he would have forced the world to follow the utopian ideals he once scoffed at, if it would save his son pain. But he had no such power, and Jinx was not the kind to hope blindly for that which he could not do himself.

Still, realism was not equivalent to fatalism. If he could not change the world, then he would do his level best to protect Kitsune from it. He rose swiftly and walked into the interior of the kitchen. It was a small area, decorated homey trinkets to remind the family that lived in its walls of their past together. A family. Me, and my Kit, and now…now this boy Alan. He has joined our family, I think, for Kit would not have it any other way. Jinx shook his head; he who had once sworn he would never be powerless acquiesced immediately to any demands Kit made, whether they were conscious or not. Have I grown so, from the boy who knew not the meaning of the word family and therefore disdained it as meaningless? Jinx shook his head, mocking his younger self.

He paced across the cold patterned tile of the kitchen, reaching up on top of the highest shelf in the place. He grimaced a little as his fingers encountered a thick layer of dust. It had been a long time since he had cleaned the top of this shelf. His groping fingers closed on a key, once golden in color, now rusted a little, the color faded with age. He examined with a curious smile, and then turned on his heel and carefully walked up the stairs, across the green carpet, to stand in front of a door. It was locked, at the moment, and had been so since he brought a particular seven year old to live with him.

It was also, he reflected wryly, the one room a curious little boy had never been able to access. He studied it for a moment, then carefully fitted the key into the lock, and turned. It yielded easily, and he opened the door. The musty smell made him wrinkle his nose, but he did not pull back. Instead, he reached in and pulled out a long, slender rifle, pure black, with a sniper scope on the top and examined it. He reached up, carefully taking down the bullets and loading the gun, his hands remembering what do without conscious thought. He hefted it easily.

"It's been a long time…old friend." He said, his eyes gone cold and hard in remembrance.

KIT/ ALAN/ Jeremy

"Can you see Orion?" Kit asked, one finger unerringly tracing the warrior's constellation. I squinted hard, and then shrugged sheepishly. "It just looks like a mass of stars to me, Kitsune." I said, pretending to stargaze, but mostly watching the way Kit's face lit up, the way his eyes sparkled. Kit glanced up at me. "Well, maybe if you'd look up, it would help." He said tartly, and then stuck his tongue out.

I laughed. It felt good to laugh like that. "You're eight…" I muttered, mussing his hair. "Does that make you a pedophile?" Kit asked, leaning up to nuzzle at my hand, looking very much like his namesake. I rolled my eyes, leaning over and kissing him. He kissed me back, and smiled. "Looks like it…" I whispered in his ear. He grinned and sat up, pulling away from me. "Come on, I want to show you something special." He said, eyes dancing in a teasing sort of way. I groaned, but rose as well; it was enough to be with him.

He ran across the yard, stopping in front of a monstrous oak tree. Without pause, he grabbed the tree branch and pulled himself up into the hollow of the tree. After a minute, I saw a pale arm emerge, motioning me to follow. I stared at the tree, wondering if I was at all capable of duplicating that feat of skill. "Come on!" He called. "It's easy." I looked up at the tree and thought that if that was so, it was redefining the meaning of the word easy. Still, I walked up and pulled myself up into the tree, reaching out to grab Kit, who laughed and batted my hand. Lithe as a monkey, he climbed across a tree branch, and hooked his legs over the branch, hanging upside down and swinging back and forth. I started to climb out there myself— and probably break my neck in the process— when everything changed.

There was a sound, like something being thrown and then Kit yipped suddenly, in surprise and pain, and dropped to the ground. He didn't land right, either, and I heard him hit the ground with a whimper. Concerned, I started to climb down to see if he was all right, when a voice stopped me. It was eerily familiar.

"Hey, faggot. Didn't expect to see us, did you?" It said, and then Jeremy scaled the back fence, his red hair shimmering in the moonlight, blue green eyes dancing in a way that didn't seem quite sane. Behind him came five more and the moonlight revealed their faces pitilessly. I could name them all. Crusher. K.C. Crash. Trent. Geo. They were all there, all the faces of my childhood. My friends. Suddenly, I felt sick to my stomach, knowing why they were here.

"Jeremy. Y-you can't be here, you know. Its against the law." Kit's voice was surprisingly steady, but I could see in the cold moonlight that he was shaking like a leaf. I felt frozen in place, trapped with a choice I wasn't yet ready to make.

Jeremy laughed. Not a clear sound, like Kit's laugh, or even the relaxed laughter of friends, but a clear, cool sound that cut through the air and made Kit's shaking increase. "The law." The contempt in Jerry's voice was clear. "You think I'm afraid of the law? You think they're going to save you now? You think your faggot father is going to save you, boy?" Jeremy was drawing this out, enjoying the power he had over Kit.

"Don't call Jinx that!" Kit snapped, tears in green eyes. Jeremy smirked and stalked forward. Kit stepped back, flattening himself against the tree trunk. The rest of Jeremy's pack followed a few steps after their leaders, like a wolf pack moving in for the kill. They look like something out of the first scene of a bad horror movie…I was surprisingly calm despite the fact that my skin was prickling slowly and my heart was beating out of my chest. "Don't call him what? A faggot…like you? A little ass-humper?" Jeremy's voice became steadily harsher, angrier, as he kept walking toward Kit. The gang was on either side of Kit now, slowly closing in. Someone laughed—K.C., I identified—but everyone else was eerily silent. Waiting for Jeremy to make the first move.

Kit's eyes darted back and forth, looking for a place to run and realizing there was nowhere to go. Jeremy smiled and slammed his hand into Kit's stomach. With barely a whimper, Kit felt on the ground, clutching his stomach and trying desperately to regain his breath.

Finally, at last, I realized what I had known all along. There would be no superhero to get us out of this. I could sneak off…they didn't know I was here yet, I could probably get away, get Jinx or the police. Or I could stay with Kit.

In the end, it wasn't that hard of a decision after all.

I stepped out into the clearing, shoving through a few of the boys. They looked up at me, startled, but let me pass. I don't think it ever occurred to them to think that I was here for any reason other than to join them; there are some advantages to being the brother of the former leader. "Hey, Jerry." I said, and watched him spin around, watched the grin spread over his face. I walked across the field, getting closer to Kit with each step.

"Alan. You came! Fucking H, man, I wasn't sure you were going to make it." He glanced at Kit. "Or did you come here to get a little revenge of your own? Before the rest of us?" He glanced up at me, his eyes dancing, his hands clenched into fists. I wondered if he realized how much harder he had made my life. Because Jeremy had just given me a reason to be there, and maybe, if I played my cards right, a way to get the rest of them out of there…a way that didn't involve the truth. It would be safer, too…they'll turn against me if they learn the truth…this way, they never have to know.

Something whimpered, and Jeremy turned back to Kit, who was looking up at me. I think of all the participants in this twisted little drama, Kit was the only one who saw the indecisions splayed across my features. Jeremy smirked at Kit. "Don't worry, bitch. Your time is coming." I stared, as my friend walked over and aimed a vicious kick at the only person I loved.

I will not be one of them. I had dreams, hopes… and Kit. I couldn't go back to their way of life, their drugs, and their gangs. It would have been like trying to fit back into a box I had outgrown. You can never go home again. But sometimes you find a new place that's even better.

I stepped between Jeremy and Kit. Jeremy stopped in midstrike and looked at me quizzically. He started to speak, but if he said anything, it washed over me. I turned toward Kit and reached out my hand to him. He stared at me, his eyes asking a silent question. Even now, he knew how much this had to cost me. I nodded once, in silent answer and he smiled and took my hand. Slowly, gently, I helped him to his feet. I heard the group behind me inhale as one and I smiled. At least I had managed to surprise them.

He draped his arm over me and I slipped my arm around his waist. His presence was my strength and I turned to the remnants of my past with a cocky smile, the kind you only see in movies or on the faces of people who are hiding things. "Hey, Jerry. Fuck off." I saw Jeremy's eyes flit between us and I strengthened my grip on Kit's slender waist. Kit smiled, and flipped up his middle finger. "Yep, that's right, gentlemen. He's mine." Kit said, and his voice was stronger now, more defiant.

Jeremy's eyes darkened and he stepped back. "That the way you want it, Alan? Ok, fine. We'll play by your rules." He reached into his waistband. I remember very clearly thinking OhMyGod, he's got a gun… Next to me Kit cried out, and Jeremy laughed again and I cursed. Then someone screamed…

Blood was on the ground, coating the leaves, looking darker than it should have been. It took me a moment—a moment when I think my heart stopped—to realize it wasn't me or Kit whose blood stained the ground. It was Jeremy's.

Jeremy had his hand clutched to his chest and was screaming loud enough to split the silence of the night…though not long enough to drown out the steadily approaching sirens. I felt Kit gasp and then heard a throat clear from somewhere behind me. "I believe you gentlemen have caused enough trouble for one night." Jinx stood in the doorway, framed in light, with a gun that I vaguely recognized as a sniper rifle. It added a ridiculous air to the whole scene, that gun. It looked like something off a bad police movie.

I turned to glance back at Jeremy, hearing the police pull into the yard… I supposed Jinx had contacted them. The rest of the gang considered trying to get away, but one movement of Jinx's gun kept them still. I don't think they doubted he would shoot them down in an instant; neither did I. Something about the way Jinx's eyes burned, even behind orange contacts, made me very glad I would never have wanted to hurt Kit.

"Alan…" I glanced at Kit, questioningly. He looked pale and drawn. "Yes, love?" I asked, stroking his hair tenderly, my attention fully on him. "Is it over now?" He asked, green eyes dull now that the emotional gamut he had just run was finished. I kissed him gently. "Yes, beloved. Its over." I whispered and he smiled, putting his head on my shoulder. And for the moment at least, it was.

We watched the cars speed away, streaks of blue and white, each bearing two or three boys within; boys I had known all my life. Curled together with Kit, sipping mugs of hot chocolate, it felt a little like my past was carried in those cars and there was a bigger and bigger gap between it and my present. I did not regret the choice I had made; but it was a bittersweet moment, knowing that things would never really go back to being the same.

A touch on my cheek pulled my thoughts away from introspection. Kit looked at me, askance in green eyes. "Whatcha thinking?" He whispered. I smiled and toyed with a strand of hair that lay against his cheek. "That I made the right choice." I answered, and then knew it was true. Kit smiled beatifically and wrapped his arms around me. It took me moment to realize there were tears in green eyes, but when I did, I simply wrapped my arms around him and held him. But even then, I couldn't cry.

"I've spoken with the sheriff." Jinx seated himself in an overstuffed armchair, glancing at us. In the last few minutes, he seemed to have thawed considerably, and he even reached out to brush his fingers through Kit's hair, in a gesture of comfort. "What'd he say?" I asked, shifting positions to let Kit rest with his head against my chest. "I think it will be necessary that both you boys testify in court." Jinx said softly. "At least to get the kind of conviction that will get these boys serious jail time."

Kit looked ready to protest for my sake again, but I cut him off with a finger to his lips. "All right." I said softly and then looked away, blushing, as Jinx's eyes looked over me appraisingly. "I think you're growing up, Alan." He said, and for some reason, it made me feel oddly proud, as though Jinx's opinion had suddenly taken on a great deal of importance. Kit sighed. "I guess I'm overruled…" He muttered, not sounding particularly pleased about it. I laughed and kissed him gently on his forehead. Jinx just shook his head, amusement in his eyes.

KIT

I barely remember the trial. You know how people say certain part of their lives passed by in a blur? That was the trial. I almost cried when I got up on the stand, and Jeremy just kept staring at me, like he was hoping I would die right then and there and save him some trouble. But I guess I didn't make too big of a fool of myself. Jinx should have been our lawyer…he kept making everything Jeremy's lawyer said sound horrible and wrong, twisting his words until they were pretzel-shaped. Even the judge looked amused. And Alan was wonderful, he told them everything, all about things Jeremy had done before and the things he wanted to do. He was so calm and brave; I don't know how he managed. Especially after the trial…

"Did I do ok?" Kit asked, bouncing a little on the balls of his feet. They had been sitting for far too long. Alan laughed, and hugged his fox. "Yes, you were wonderful. You're always are wonderful." He muttered, kissing Kit. Kit giggled and hugged him.

"Alan." A voice said softly. Alan looked up and, his eyes widening, stepped away from Kit, his eyes fixed on the two strangers standing before him. Kit followed his gaze, and froze. One of the two was tall and athletic, with golden blonde hair and blue eyes. The other was short, and scrawny, with a babyish pout and white blonde hair. They could be none other than Alan's brothers.

"So its true. You really have turned faggot." The older one—Jason, that's his name—supplied. Alan swallowed slowly. "Where's Dad?" He asked softly, looking between to the two of them, but not at either one. "He didn't come. Are you really surprised? He said you're not to come home, either. You're not his son anymore." Jason's tone was light, almost conversational, but his eyes were hard. Kit glanced back and forth between Alan and Jason, biting his lower lip.

"I guess you came to tell me the same thing, then." Alan said softly, eyes now focusing on his older brother. "You betrayed us, Alan. Even beyond the faggot thing, you picked him," Jason glared at Kit, then looked away coldly. "Over us. That's what I can't forgive you for."

Alan looked down for a moment; seeking words that would explain why, that would make Jason forgive him. But Jason hadn't stopped talking. "Listen up, little brother. You got a lot of people hot for your blood, and I'm not saying I'm not one of them. You better get out of here, and take your little faggot with you." Jason stared at him hard, and then turned away. "I hope you're happy with him. Because he's the only family you've got." They turned to walk away. Kenny looked back. Jason didn't.

Alan stared after them, feeling like he was sinking. Kit touched his arm and muttered something, eyes wide with empathic sympathy. He didn't hear it; he didn't hear anything. Then Jinx's voice cut through his paralysis. "Well…would you like to move in?"

When all was said and done (a very rare occurrence), Alan wanted to move in. Kit wanted Alan to move in. Though no one knew what Jinx's real opinion was, since he had suggested it, it was assumed that he must at least somewhat approve.

KIT/ Jinx/ ALAN

"I think it may be necessary to relocate." Jinx said bluntly. Alan had been living with them for a week, almost, after having retrieved his belongings from his house and so far everything had been normal, though school had been living hell. The persecution that Kit got was bad, but Alan's was worse. They both nodded at Jinx's proclamation, though Kit looked around sadly at the little house that was also his home. "Yeah…I'm afraid any day now Alan's going to get badly hurt or worse…" Kit's lower lip trembled at the idea. "Any living preferences?" Jinx asked, looking back and forth between them. Alan shrugged.

"San Francisco!" Kit answered, and Alan cracked up. "Oh, come on, Kit. We're not that gay…" He muttered. Jinx shook his head. "In that case," he said, completely ignoring Kit's suggestion, "I will look for affordable real estate in a place reasonably distant from this one." He said, rising and sweeping out. Kit looked after him, and then shook his head slowly. "I don't even know why he bothers to ask us." Kit muttered, putting his head on Alan's chest.

Alan stroked Kit's curly black hair, thinking of his father in comparison to Jinx. He smiled a little, and if it had a hint of sadness in it, that was only to be expected. "He's a good man." Alan said. Kit looked up at him, raising an eyebrow in a Jinxish expression. "Of course I know that. He is my father, you know." Kit's voice had no real bite in it, though and Alan just shook his head.

"Alan? Are you happy?" Kit asked, after a moment of silence during which they were both lost in their separate thoughts. Alan glanced at his Kit—my little fox, my…my boyfriend—and smiled. "Yeah. I am. I'm with you, aren't I?" He said, a little smile dancing over his features. Kit laughed, delightedly, and kissed him. "You always will be. I'm never going to let you go." He said.

They lay next to each other, arms holding close and it was a long time before they spoke again. This time, it was Alan who interrupted the silence. "I love you, Kitsune." He whispered, breath brushing Kit's ear. Kit glanced up at him and smiled beatifically. "And I love you, Alan." He said softly, kissing Alan's chest to seal the promise.

And they both promised, in the silence of their own minds, that they would never again fear to say I love you.

THE END