AN: This story was born as I was watching an episode titled "The Jeffersons". Michael Jackson Jefferson visits Stan in the middle of the night. Stan hears tapping on his window and the first thing he says is "Kyle?" This made me wonder…

Moonlight breaks through the bedroom window and spills carelessly onto dark blue carpet. The room is dark and calm. Tonka trucks and action figures lay strewn around a hand painted toy chest. A messy desk and an empty fishbowl sit abandoned in the corner; rarely used. The bedspread is designed with popular Canadian actors, and under it, a little boy is deep in a sound sleep.

Outside his window all is not well. Outside there is pain and suffering and hunger and betrayal. Outside there are those who aren't loved with no one to speak to and no where to go. Outside is a horrible place to be.

Gently, gently, as if afraid to actually wake the little boy, there comes a soft rapping at the window. Just a faint little tentative tap, but the little boy's keen ears pick up on it. He had been listening for it all night.

He sits up wordlessly and rubs his eyes. He wonders if there would be any more sleep for him tonight. It wasn't an important matter really. Tonight there were more important things to care about, the first being unlocking his window.

The boy stood on his bed, spread the curtain, opened the window and pulled his friend through onto the bed.

They sat in silence on the little boy's bed for a long time. Neither said a word. Neither even seemed to breath. The entire room seemed dead and quiet. It was hard to even believe that three other bodies were asleep in the house. All was quiet, all was stony cold. Another beat… and then the little boy's friend burst into tears.

They'd both learned, after all these nights, that all crying and talking needed to be done as quietly as possible. The little boy pulled his friend into his arms and held him tightly as the other wet his friend's pajamas with soft sobs.

"What happened?" The little boy asked his friend.

"He's horrible!" His friend whispered. "I hate them both."

"What did he do Kyle?"

There was a series of sniffles in the dark and silence as Kyle's voice caught in his throat.

"He hit me."

The little boy was silent again. He despised violence. This was unspeakable evil at the highest level. This was the most horrible thing that his eight year old mind could imagine.

"Don't make me go back Stan. I can't go back."

Stan frowned slightly. He wanted desperately to agree. He wanted Kyle to live in his room. He could sneak him scraps of food and help pretend that he had just gone missing. He'd sneak up here to talk to him every chance he got, and soon they could run away and forget this whole stupid town.

He knew that was impossible though. It could never work, no matter what they did. It was a plan full of holes, destined to fail. Was it any easier to send him back though? Would it be easier for Kyle to live in a destructive home for another ten years? No…that wasn't easier, and Stan wished there was a third choice, but there just wasn't. Except right now. Right now was the third choice. They could sit here in silence and hold each other through the night until dawn broke and Kyle could sneak back to his own house. They could lay here and forget all the evilness and hardships and just be themselves for a little while. Stan smiled softly to himself. That was the best choice.

Stan smiled at Kyle and moved over to make room for him under his covers. The other boy quickly scooted up next to him and snuggled up under the Terrence and Phillip bedspread.

"Will it always be like this Stan?"

"Like what?"

"Having to… sneak out when things get bad?"

Stan leaned over and kissed Kyle's forehead protectively. "Of course not. We'll run away soon. We'll run away to some special place where nobody ever hits you. And you'll be safe. I promise."

Kyle swallowed a lump in his throat and smiled at his best friend.

"Th-thanks Stan. Goodnight."

"Goodnight Kyle."