Author's Note

Before posting this story, I want to provide a little information about this fic. The story began with a hypothetical - what if Steve had returned while Shane and Kayla were together.

This story begins in July of 1991 and pick up exactly where the show was at that time. Shane and Kayla are together and have fallen in love, although they have not yet slept together. Steve "died" 10 months earlier; Kim and Shane broke up a few months before that; and Kim has returned to Salem and has watched that her sister and Shane get together. In other events, Lawrence Alamain is in jail for raping Jennifer, Bo has the virus created by Lawrence and is getting sicker, and Kayla and Kim have not yet told Shane that Bo is sick. Carly and Kayla are working at the immunology lab to find a cure for the virus.

That's where this story begins, but I want to be clear about what this story is and isn't. Because of where it starts there are a few Shane/Kayla scenes that some readers may not like very much. Having recently read some interesting discussions of Shane/Kayla, I tend to think that their relationship involved love of a sort - something based on security and a desire to find some happiness - that both admit is nothing like the strong love they had with their former partners. To enjoy the story, however, you don't have to agree; all that is necessary is that you accept that Shane and Kayla have strong feelings for one another - even if those feelings are nothing more than affection - and they identify those feelings as "love."

The beginning of the story is also very Shane-centric because of the way the events transpire, but things will be much more balanced before too long. But this is emphatically not a Shayla fanfic. Nor is it a Steve/Kayla/Shane triangle fanfic. It is a story about four people – Steve, Kayla, Shane, and Kim – who are human and therefore, flawed. They have made and will make mistakes based on human emotions – loneliness, fear, pain, jealousy, insecurity, a desire to protect one another, and the desire to protect themselves. But they are also all fundamentally good people who try to do the right thing even when they sometimes feel conflicted about it. They are intricately and intrinsically bound together by circumstances and family ties and therefore must learn to co-exist and figure out how to forgive each other for hurts (both intentional and unintentional) and accept each other despite those human flaws.