No one retains all the specific details of their childhood. They fade over time like ink on paper until the lines blur and the pages yellow. Kyle had one distinct memory he wanted to keep but as he grew, he lost sight of it. There was a boy; that much he knew. A boy in a costume who came to him for help; a boy who called Kyle the smartest kid in school while he himself risked his own life making the town safe for others.
He couldn’t put the puzzle pieces together, but he remembered the palpability of it all; the thrill and excitement, the way it felt to have someone put their trust in him. He vaguely remembered doing something unselfish for the boy without even knowing why and being whisked away from a place with bars and concrete and through the darkened streets of the city, the boy jumping from rooftops, a sturdy hand around Kyle’s waist to secure him.
Kyle thinks the boy may have hugged him, thanked him, told him he could never repay him even though it was still a stupid thing to do. And then he was gone.
He thinks he learned his identity and they met again, thinks he himself even fought some crime. But he was 16 years old now and those memories were like shooting stars.
Therefore he doesn’t anticipate nearly jumping out of his skin one night as he’s sitting at his desk doing homework. He has his Ipod on, lost in the music, when he feels a breeze hit his back. He turns and starts, yanking the buds from his ears whilst staring at the sight in front of him.
“Hey..” the masked boy, older now yet still the same, says in a deep, throaty voice. Kyle can see a slight smile curving his lips. He takes in the outfit and remembers the name…
Mysterion’s eyes flash with something Kyle cannot decipher. “You don’t remember who am I, do you?”
Kyle racks his brain but comes up with nothing. “No, sorry.”
“And you definitely don’t remember my ‘power,’” he says, the words not a question.
Kyle shakes his head. “Why are you here?”
Mysterion raises one shoulder in a shrug. “I missed you.”
Kyle frowns in response. “But… we go to school together, don’t we?” That much he recalled, he just for the life of him couldn’t place the face.
“We do. But I always felt I had your attention more this way. I want your attention, Kyle,” he says, voice rough and demanding, the words trailing over his skin like fire and making him feel things he never could all those years ago.
Kyle remembers now that he never felt on even footing with Mysterion. He felt like a girl in a comic book or superhero film who was enlisted to help but was really just there as the eventual love interest. Mysterion makes him feel off-kilter in the best of ways and deep down Kyle knows he’d do anything for him.
“I never did properly thank you,” Mysterion says, by way of response. “For taking the fall for me. Going to jail.”
“Is that what I did? How can you possibly remember all of this?”
Mysterion stands and looks out the window dramatically. “I remember everything, Kyle. It’s part of my curse.”
Kyle’s eyebrows knit together as he watches Mysterion’s back, taking in his lean form. “Can I help you? With your curse, I mean..”
Mysterion turned and meet Kyle’s eyes. “No, no one can.”
Kyle stood and crossed toward him. “So.. what now?”
Mysterion stepped closer and raised a hand to Kyle’s face. Kyle felt himself tremble at the touch, the gloved fingers softly caressing his skin. “I think about you all the time,” he whispered, urgently.
Kyle lifted his face. “So why haven’t you said anything?”
Mysterion’s fingers slipped to his jaw, his thumb sweeping over Kyle’s lower lip. “You don’t see me, Kyle. I’m just the same kid you grew up with.”
Without thinking, Kyle let his tongue flick over the pad of Mysterion’s gloved finger. “I see you now.”
Mysterion’s eyes darkened and he licked his lips. Kyle felt himself begin harden in his jeans and wants nothing more than to close the distance between them.
Mysterion takes his hand. “Come on.. let me show you how I really wanted to thank you that night.”
Mysterion leads him to the window and tells Kyle to hold onto him. He slides them down the rope and onto the slick pavement.
“Dude, it’s raining!” Kyle sputters, shaking the rain off his hat.
Mysterion grins. “Of course it is.”
Kyle lets himself be lead down the sidewalk and toward the backstreets of town.
“Is this what you do? Run on top of buildings? Doesn’t it get tiring?” Kyle gasped as they leapt from rooftop to rooftop
“This is what we did that night,” Mysterion says, before lifting Kyle into his arms and jumping off a low rooftop, landing them planted on the floor.
“Jesus!” Kyle shouts, gathering his footing and wrapping his arms around Mysterion’s waist. They stare at one another.
“This is what I wanted to do,” Mysterion whispers, before bending forward to kiss him, quick and hard. Kyle gasps, tasting rainwater and cigarettes.
Mysterion licks slowly into his mouth, finding Kyle’s tongue with his own. Kyle presses their foreheads together as he pulls away. “You really shouldn’t smoke,” Kyle whispers, breathless.
Mysterion smirks at him, mischievously. “Trust me, it really doesn’t matter,” before kissing him again, turning them so Kyle is pressed against the slick brick of the building. Mysterion brings their hips together, his gloved hands pressing hard against the sharp curves of Kyle’s hipbones.
Kyle gasps as Mysterion breaks away only to lick his way down Kyle’s throat, pressing a hard, sucking kiss into the heated skin of his neck.
“You.. you thought about this when we were 9?”
“Didn’t you?” Mysterion asks, as though anything but an affirmation was ludicrous.
‘Uh, no.” But I think you just gave away who you are.
Mysterion breaks out of his arms and hoists himself up the short wall of the building.
“Hey!” Kyle exclaims, watching as he positions himself upside down, hanging by his legs, his feet tucked into the ledge, his body suspended.
“Fantasy of mine,” he says, gruffly, face level with Kyle’s, eyes asking a silent question.
Mysterion smiles outright and Kyle can’t deny him anything. “Oh my god, okay, Spider-man,” he rolls his eyes, even though a secret thrill travels through his body. He cups Mysterion’s face and presses their lips together. Kissing upside down shouldn’t be as hot as it is. Their breath mingles with the rain, saliva, and the air around them.
They kiss dirtily; open-mouthed and clumsy yet somehow still perfect. Kyle is 95% sure who this is and the thought of kissing him this way feels almost forbidden. He tries to imagine the two of them at school, at their lockers, joking around and waiting for the others to all walk home. He thinks about what might happen if he followed him to his house after school, if he’d feel the way he does around Mysterion – even though they’re the same person. He thinks about a lot and then he stops thinking and just kisses Mysterion harder, who is still upside down as the rain pelts down around them and Kyle loses himself in the sensation of it all.
Eventually, Mysterion flops back down beside him and takes his hands in his own.
“Thank you for this.”
Kyle wants to take his mask off, but he’s something holds him back. They walk back to Kyle’s house and kiss in the doorway. “Can I see you again?”
“Ke--” he begins before noticing the panic in Mysterion’s eyes at the name. Kyle then realizes what Mysterion must give to Kenny – a thrill of being someone else, something else. If that’s what he needs right now, for this, Kyle will go along with it.
“Sure. I’d like that.”
With one final kiss, he’s gone in a flash. Kyle shakes his head, considers slapping himself in case he really is dreaming.
The next day at school, it’s as though nothing has changed. Kenny sits in homeroom and passes notes to Bebe, probably about who is throwing the next party and who knows someone who can get a keg. Kyle and Stan talk about the new Tarantino and Cartman tells Craig to stop being such a fucking asshole. Kyle meets Kenny’s eyes at one point, those same eyes that stared at him last night and a thrill of anticipation overtakes him.
He looks down and sees a crumpled piece of paper near his foot. He leans down and quickly fishes it up before the teacher can see.
8pm tonight. The playground.
Kyle smiles to himself and counts down the hours.