Alison's Lullaby ::: Prologue

Cameron's life was over.

He hadn't meant for it to happen. A party with pretty girls and spiked punch had seemed like the formula for a perfect Friday night. At least, it had at the time. Now…he wished that he could simply turn back time and make himself not go. Because he had gotten so drunk that he wasn't sure which end was up, and Tabitha – the captain of the cheerleading squad – was wearing a short skirt that should have been illegal. Too drunk to stop himself, he ended up flirting with her, and she had ended up flirting back and then they were making out.

Next, they were naked in one of the upstairs bedrooms.

Later, they had both decided that it would probably be best if they just tried to forget about the entire thing. It wasn't supposed to happen, they agreed, and they could go on with their lives like nothing changed. Of course, Cameron figured that she probably regretted it. He knew that he wasn't exactly a jock or, hell, even popular in the loosest sense of the word, so he knew she was right by what she was saying. It made sense.

And now she was pregnant. His kid, she had told him. His. He was only seventeen, and his entire life was over. Groaning under his breath, he sat down on the flat roof of his high school, staring out at the small town. No doubt nearly everyone knew that little Tabitha Erickan had gotten knocked up by Cameron Borst. No doubt this was going to be his last day alive because Mr. Erickan was probably hunting down his rifle. That thought made him grin, proving that he had fully lost whatever grip he had on reality.

"Cameron, right?" a voice behind him asked.

Surprised, he glanced over his shoulder, then blinked when he saw the guy behind him. It took him a moment to remember who it was. Levon, one of Tabitha's friends. Great, he was going to get his face kicked in. Only….Levon didn't look angry as he lowered himself so he was sitting next to Cameron, crossing his legs and leaning back against the metal railing that was supposedly there to keep students from nose diving off. Cameron didn't see how it would stop anyone if they were determined.

"So," Levon said slowly, lifting a hand so he could brush his bangs out of his eyes. "You're the daddy."

Making a dismayed sound, Cameron closed his eyes. "If you're going to kill me, please make it quick. Make it as painful as you want, but make it quick."

It surprised him when Levon actually laughed. When he turned to give a startled look, Levon was staring at him with an open, friendly expression. "Dude, I'm not here to avenge Tabitha's loss of…virtue –" he made a face at the word, "Or whatever you wanna call it. She's lost that a while ago." He paused, looking like he was thinking. "A long while ago."

Cameron narrowed his blue eyes at the other boy. "Then why are you out here?" If he sounded a little short, he decided that he didn't really care.

"I was at that party. Tabitha's designated driver because….she needed one. You were drunk. Like, I was surprised that you managed to get up those stairs unassisted. If it came out of right field for Tabitha, then I have no idea where the fuck it came from for you. Outer space, maybe? Anyways, I came out here to ask how you're holding up."

There was nothing but honest concern in those deep hazel eyes. Cameron couldn't believe it. He didn't know Levon and he doubted that he would have even if he hadn't just moved here three months ago. They didn't circle in the same groups. And here was this guy that he didn't know, asking the one question that no one else had bothered to. After a long moment where he knew that he was gaping at Levon, he finally cleared his throat and looked away. "I don't know. Ask me again in about five days."

"Deal." Levon grinned, showing off a white smile and Cameron's heart started to pound, though he didn't know why. The silence deepened between them and there was no need to talk, not when it was just easy like it was. Levon's grin disappeared, his head tilting to the side while he stared at Cameron. "Well, I came out here to see if you were okay, and I'm not going to get an answer, so wanna talk about something?"

"You mean besides the love child?" A second after the words were out there, he wished that he could take them back. "I can't believe I just said that," he muttered, pressing a hand to his forehead.

Instead of answering, Levon just made a noncommittal hand motion. "It's okay." A short second while it looked like Levon was trying to think of something. He leapt onto his feet and held out a hand towards Cameron. "C'mon, school ended like twenty minutes ago."

Not knowing why he did it, he reached out and curled his fingers around Levon's palm, letting the other boy pull him to his feet. A jolt went down his arm at the first moment of contact and continued until Levon dropped his hand like it was on fire. "I know school ended twenty minutes ago," he muttered, stuffing a hand into his pocket.

"Did you know that my mom has the weirdest habit of making cookies on any given Tuesday?" Levon paused and grinned. "Actually, it's more like every day. Woman loves her cookies. She's going to make us kids fat one of these days."

Even though Cameron couldn't see how Levon could be fat, he didn't say anything. Which was probably how he found himself talked into getting into the passenger seat of Levon's secondhand car then in a kitchen that smelled like freshly baked peanut butter cookies. "See, fresh cookies," Levon said as he plucked one up from the pan, hissed as his hand was burned before he stuck it in his mouth. He motioned towards the others.

As he wondered what happened to his sanity, Cameron shook his head. "Can't. Peanut allergy."

Levon made a face. Then he reached for a cookie jar shaped like a giant purple rose and lifted the top. "Go ahead. Save us from eating all of them." He made a face, his eyes pleading. "I don't want to get chubby but they're just so damn good."

"Levon Paul MacCilliston," a loud female voice said, as a short blond woman walked into the kitchen and Levon flinched. "I do not want to be hearing you cussing in this house."

"Sorry Ma." Levon couldn't quite look guilty about it while he took another bite of his cookie. Jerking his head towards Cameron, he handed off the cookie jar. "And this is Cameron."

The woman's eyes widened briefly, the only sign that she recognized the name. Unable to say anything else, Cameron stuck a hand into the jar and picked up a cookie so he could have a reason to not answer the unasked question. Thankfully, Mrs. MacCilliston didn't ask anything. "It's nice to meet you Cameron," she said instead, wiping her hands off on her apron.

"Nice to meet you too, ma'am," he muttered, really wishing that he hadn't come here. No one said anything for a few minutes while the two boys chewed on home baked goods.

After a long moment, Mrs. MacCilliston walked across the kitchen and stuck her hands in the sink, starting to scrub the dishes. Levon cleared his throat. When Cameron looked over expectantly, he made a vague hand gesture. "Do you like video games?" Levon asked carefully.

Lifting his eyebrows, Cameron smirked. "Who doesn't?"

For some reason, over the next few months, they became pretty close friends. It had surprised Cameron because he hadn't expected to be able to make friends with someone like Levon. Not to mention the fact that they only real connection between them at first was the fact that Tabitha had a bun in the oven. Eventually, they formed a connection of their own, and Cameron ignored every little leap in his pulse whenever Levon grinned at him or laugh. He was just grateful that someone was actually taking his side in all this. That was it.

Cameron started spending more time at Levon's house than his own. Dinner at the MacCilliston's was an event, he noticed, with the single mother and Levon, and Levon's two little siblings, twelve year old Hailey and eight year old Garret. At least once a meal, someone ended up throwing something across the table, whether it be a napkin or a biscuit. Usually it was a biscuit.

One day when he was there, Cameron asked about the piano that was in the corner of the living room. There wasn't any dust on it, so he knew that someone played it. Only he hadn't seen or heard anyone playing it. When he asked, Levon, who had the remote half way into the air, paused. Then he turned his head to look over. "I play," he finally answered.

"Really?" Cameron asked. After a moment, he was able to see Levon's slender fingers dancing over the keyboard.

Not saying anything, Levon stood up and sat down on the piano bench, lifting the wooden keyboard cover. Cameron watched, absolutely mesmerized as Levon closed his eyes, and his fingers started to play. The music spilled forward, gentle and sweet. For a moment, Cameron couldn't think because his mind switched off and he only existed for the sole process of listening. It made him think of fairy tales and happy ending. When it cut off, Cameron almost jumped.

Levon turned and shrugged. "It's a work in process so I don't have an ending for it yet."

"That's amazing, Levon," Cameron muttered, unable to think of anything else to say. There wasn't anything else to say, not really. Not when 'amazing' was the perfect word for it.

The other boy's eyes brightened while he smiled. "You really think so?" he asked.

Cameron just nodded.

Surprisingly, Tabitha didn't seem to blame Cameron at all. In fact, she seemed pretty relaxed about the whole thing. She sat with Levon and Cameron at lunch after the other popular girls disowned her, didn't seem to mind the glares that were sent her way, and pretty much treated the entire thing like it was just a bump in the road.

"I mean really," she said once when Levon mentioned how laid back she was being, "What am I supposed to do? I could've gotten an abortion, but I don't like the idea of killing a baby. And that's completely and totally my call. So, if I decide that I'm going to have this baby, then I'm not going to be bitching and moaning about it." She paused and glanced at Cameron, grinning at his I-don't-want-to-be-hearing-this expression. "We did the deed, Cammie. This is why they warn us against this in sex ed."

Levon laughed when Cameron just groaned under his breath, dropping his head forward so his forehead collided with the table.

"Anyways," Tabitha continued like she didn't know that she was making Cameron feel uncomfortable. She curled a hand around her stomach. "I think I'm going to go the whole adoption route." At their startled looks, she shrugged. "If I raised the baby, it'd end up so screwed up. That and I'm not ready. Seriously, unless you want to be a single Daddy, Cammie."

When Cameron's stomach sank, he didn't know whether it was because of her question, or her declaration. How would he feel about that baby being raised by someone else?

The question plagued him for weeks. He couldn't get it out of his head. He kept imagining that little baby. Would it be a boy or a girl? Pictures of what that baby would look like flashed through his mind almost constantly. He hadn't realized that he had started to obsess over it until he was at Levon's house, playing video games like they usually did. Sighing, Levon paused the game and put down his controller, waving a hand in Cameron's face. "Hello," he drew it out. "Earth to space cadet."

"Huh?" Cameron realized he was still stupidly pushing buttons. Stopping, he lowered the controller into his lap. "What?"

"Dude, you've been spacing out for like two weeks," Levon grumbled, reaching over for the cookie jar that was between them. Ever since she figured that Cameron was going to keep coming over, Mrs. MacCilliston had stopped making peanut butter cookies just to be on the safe side. Cameron was touched by the gesture. Right now, his own parents couldn't even look at him without looking disappointed, but here was this woman who didn't know him but was willing to do whatever she could to be nice.

Cameron shrugged. "Sorry," he muttered, not wanting to bring Levon into his issues.

"Wanna talk about it?" Levon prompted. He laughed when Cameron shook his head. "You've got issues with opening up, don't you?" he continued. "Well, how about this then, you tell me, and I'll tell you something."

Narrowing his eyes, Cameron gave him a look and thought about it. "Fine. You first."

Levon sighed, leaning back until he was lying down, his head cushioned on his arms. Turning slightly, he stared into Cameron's eyes with an honest golden stare. "Promise you won't wig out on me?" There was something in that look, like Levon was almost nervous. Levon didn't get nervous.

Immediately, Cameron wondered what it was. "Sure," he said.

"I'm gay."

It caught Cameron off guard. Unable to think of anything as his mind went blank, he grabbed a cookie instead, munching on it as an excuse so he wouldn't have to talk. Finally, he found his voice again. "That so?" he said slowly, hoping that he wasn't going to ruin whatever friendship that they had built. It didn't matter if Levon was gay, he thought, only as long as he was still Levon.

Levon grinned and nodded. "Yup. For about a year now. Not even Tabitha knows."

"She'll rip you a new one if she finds out that you told me before her," Cameron muttered, speaking before he was thinking.

Levon tossed his head back while he laughed. For a second, Cameron watched as those wonderful hazel eyes turned bright and, like he had done for months, ignored how he suddenly found it hard to breathe right. "God, she will. Anyways," he turned back, "What's eating at you?"

Cameron paused, then sighed. "It's about what Tabitha said about going with adoption," he explained, "I…just can't picture it. It's not the right thing to do."

Slowly, Levon sat up and put a hand on Cameron's shoulder. A second later, he stiffened, like he thought that his hand was just going to be shrugged off. Instead, Cameron took comfort in the gesture. "You want the baby, don't you?" Levon said, somehow able to understand.

He hadn't thought of it like that, but once Levon said it so simply, he knew that's exactly what it was. He wanted the baby. Oh, God, he needed to keep that baby. Holding his head between his hands, he nodded. "Yeah, and I know that it's stupid because I can't raise a kid. C'mon, I'm seventeen. I have no idea what the hell I'd be doing. How things are going now, I'd probably end up killing him…her…whatever."

Levon stayed silent for a moment, then he leaned forward a little bit. "You'd do good," he said carefully.

"Can you see the future or something?"

"No," Levon shook his head while he pulled his hand back. "I know because you're worried about it. You've thought about it. You'd do good." He leaned closer then blinked. After pausing for a moment, he leaned back. "You'd do great," he murmured again, then unpaused the game. "Now play before I'm forced to kick your ass in real life instead."

"That's not all you want to do with my ass," Cameron muttered. A second later, Levon hit him on the back of the head, even while they both laughed.

Things were later settled with Tabitha. She seemed surprised that he wanted to raise the baby, but she went with it. Still, the rest of her pregnancy seemed to pass like a dream for all of them. Then Cameron finally got the call. Not caring that it was one in the morning, he rushed to the hospital, stopping at Levon's house to pick him up since Levon's mom had confiscated his keys the week before because of a speeding ticket.

It was a miracle they got there without any tickets of their own.

Cameron heard her scream that she was going to kill him and decided that he didn't need to be in the room. If not actually killing him, she might harm him. So, for personal safety, he stayed out in the hallway, pacing as he waited. It was horrible, the waiting. Every so often, Levon would stick his head out to check. At one point, the other boy actually left the room, his face pale and blanched. "You think it's bad in the video," he mumbled, running a hand through his hair. "It's worse than the video. So much worse."

"Poor Levon," Cameron answered dryly, thinking that Levon did look like he was about to lose his lunch. "At least you're allowed in."

"Be happy you can't see it," Levon hissed. "Thank God that you didn't see. It can't been unseen." He reached forward and clenched the front of Cameron's ratty tee shirt to tug him forward. "It can't be unseen."

Without really thinking about it, Cameron covered Levon's hands with his own, intending to pull the other boy away. But he couldn't. Their skin touched and Cameron froze because he didn't want to let go. Sucking in a breath, Levon rocked forward in surprise, his eyes filling Cameron's gaze. There were other people in the hall but Cameron couldn't think about them. All that mattered was that expectant look in Levon's face.

The moment was interrupted by a wail.

Levon jerked away, turning to peek into the room. He paused for a moment then looked back. "That's your kid alright," he told Cameron with all seriousness. "Looks like screaming, purple mutant. A cute screaming, purple mutant."

"If I wasn't scared shitless, I'd hit you," Cameron muttered, holding his breath.

And later, when he held the squirming pink bundle in his arms, she stole his breath away. The fear that he had felt earlier melted away because it didn't matter anymore. All that mattered was the little girl in his arms. She had a little tuft of dark hair, her eyes a bright and clear blue as she screeched. The nurse who had given her to him, handed him a bottle while she grinned. Tabitha was no doubt sleeping now, getting ready to leave the hospital in the morning. She didn't want the little girl. Cameron had known that, but it was still a surprise to realize that she meant to go through with it.

He couldn't imagine leaving the little angel. His throat tight, he rocked her while she suckled at the bottle. Unsure of what to do, but remembering the books he had read and the advice that Mrs. MacCilliston had given, he carefully handled her as he continued to rock, so completely awed. She was so completely perfect. Slowly, her eyes fluttered showed and she yawned. A second later, she fell asleep.

Behind him, he heard someone walk up. Somehow, he knew that it was Levon. He grinned when a hand was put on his shoulder. Levon looked just as surprised as he felt. "She really does look like you, you know," Levon whispered, sounding like he didn't want to wake the girl up.

He wasn't able to speak, so he just nodded. "How's Tabitha?" he asked, also in a whisper.

Levon shrugged. "She's throwing a fit because her parents decided that they're going to send her off to some boarding school in Greece. She's pissed."

Cameron chuckled. "I'm sorry," he mumbled, turning back to the baby who snuggled into his chest. "I can't believe Tabitha doesn't want her."

Obviously exhausted, Levon sighed and moved so he could sit down next to Cameron and he looked at the little girl. "Tabitha doesn't want kids. At least, not now. She's seventeen, Cam, and it was bad enough for her to go through these last few months. If she kept her," he brushed a hand over the baby's hair, "Tabitha would regret it for the rest of her life. She shouldn't be considered a mistake, you know?"

"You sure you're the same age as me?" Cameron asked, surprised at the sense that Levon had made. "Cos you sound like you've done this a few times."

Levon laughed, sounding like he was being careful not to be too loud. "I've never done this. I have the gift of reading people. "

Cameron nodded, sure that it was the right thing to do. Somehow, he had ended up leaning towards Levon until there was only a few inches between them. It was a surprise to watch Levon's eyes dip down for a moment, then back up to meet Cameron's eyes. His breath stopped and he made a show of looking down at the child. "You decide on a name yet?" he asked, a deliberate change of subject.

"I'm halfway between Karen and Alison," he answered, wondering what Levon had been thinking.

Levon nodded. "I like the sound of Alison."

A slow grin spread across Cameron's face. "Alison," he agreed. "Alison Christine Borst." He paused and laughed low in his throat. "If you rearrange the letters, it's ABC."

Levon chuckled too, even if it sounded sad.

Two months later, after they all graduated, Levon ended up surprising everyone in town. He didn't say goodbye, he didn't say a word to anyone, just packed up his car and left, leaving nothing but a cloud of dust behind him. Mrs. MacCilliston said that if her son needed to find himself in the world, he could and he'd still have a home if he came back. Whenever he came back home. Cameron knew Levon long enough and well enough to know that it wouldn't happen.

It was probably the worst time to realize that he had fallen in love with a golden-eyed boy who played piano.

Authors ::: Note

This is just something that I've been working on in my spare time around school and my other stories. I figure it's only going to be around three chapters (not counting this one or an epilogue if I put one in) Anyways...enjoy!