Keeper of My Heart

(Alternate Reality) Brandon and Kelly A to Z… This is just A thru D though so keep coming back for more. I have most of this story written!

A - Attraction

He still felt it when he looked at her, when their eyes would accidentally - or not so accidentally - lock across the table in the gang's old booth. Even surrounded by their new circle of friends, it was just the two of them in that crummy, memory-ridden diner, in his mind. That old attraction, that familiar fevered desire would boil up in his throat, almost constricting his very ability to breathe. The attraction that made him want to do something totally un-Brandon Walsh like, such as grab her by the arm, pull her into the nearest bathroom stall, pull her dress up and explore every contour and curve of her hot skin before they melded together. But that was not something Brandon Walsh did. Not something that anyone would expect or accept from him. That was a stunt best left to Dylan McKay - the devil, the ultimate ladies' man, the original Beverly Hills rebel without a cause. Not Brandon - not boring, stable, unfailingly consistent Brandon Walsh. He knew that he would never be Dylan. That she would never look at him the way she did his best friend. He should have learned after all this time to accept it but he never had.

So the slow burn of attraction would continue to course through his veins like molten lava but would have no outlet for relief.

So he turns to Emily and whispers in her ear, asks her if they could just get the hell out of there? She says yes and they head for the door. He looks back at Kelly and for a moment there he swears she is watching him under those thick dark eyelashes with heat in her cool baby blues but he thinks he knows better.

B - Baby

Baby. Bundle of joy. Stork bringer. Infant. Responsibility. Diapers. Fussing. Coddling. Hope. Plans. Dreams. The future ...

All these names and adjectives for the life growing inside her were running through his head as he listened to her tell him the big news she had been literally carrying around inside her body for weeks now.

"You're sure?"

"Three at-home pregnancy tests and a visit to the doctor don't lie, Brandon," she said.

Here she was with her heart in her hands, wanting him to solve their problems the way he always had, and in the back of his mind all he could think was, How the hell do I tell Kelly? He didn't know if she would even care at this point but he felt duty bound to tell her anyway. They had once meant something to each other, they were still friends, and he was hoping ...

What was he hoping? That Kelly would be okay with him being the father of another woman's baby? That she would actually say, Raise your baby with Emily but be with me, Brandon.

Emily looked harshly at him. "I am not ready to be a mother, Brandon," she said. "I think I'm going to have an abortion."

And just like that, all that might have been, all the responsibility and also the hope, was gone.

C - Crush

"Emily went through with it," he said. "And I honestly don't know whether to be devastated or relieved. I know that makes me sound so horrible." He rubbed his hand over his tired, bloodshot eyes. It's been weeks since he's had a decent night's sleep and the bright California sun scorches his pupils as they sit together in the quad, looking like any other normal couple. But they aren't. They are Brandon Walsh and Kelly Taylor, and their relationship could never be classified as "normal" or ordinary or simple.

She touched his back then, rubbed it in little circles with the warm pads of fingertips. They make his skin feel warm and also raw inside his soul. He feels so weak. He has just lost his own child and here he was thinking about Kelly this way. When she was just trying to comfort him like any friend would do. He felt sick as he felt turned on.

"You're not horrible, Brandon," she said. "You could never be horrible. You don't have it in you."

"Bull! You don't know what's inside me, Kelly," he barked, suddenly irrationally angry and it was all focused on her, directed at her. All the sadness, all the disappointments, he felt like he could trace them back to her. He wanted to run from her as much as he wanted to stay right there and crush her petite body to his more built one, possess her lips and her soul and her heart and never let her go. He was going insane. He felt it and he couldn't seem to stop it.

"You don't know the thoughts I have or the things I feel," he spat. "You have no idea. I didn't try to stop Emily! I didn't try to put up a fight and because of that I'll never hold my son or daughter. You tell me how I'm not horrible when the whole time I was just thinking that I needed to get through this trial so I could come back to you. A 'trial'! My own flesh and blood was a 'trial'. Not even a real consideration. All I thought of was you and how a child would screw up the oh-so-delicate balance of our relationship. You don't know what I feel so don't pretend you do."

He then jumped to his feet and stomped off, not knowing where he was going but just knowing he needed to get far away from here, from Beverly Hills, and most of all, from her...

D - Dumbfounded and Drowning

Running off and trying to put your troubles behind you was a classic Dylan McKay move. Not a Brandon Walsh thing to do. No, Brandon was hyper self-aware and very level-headed and grounded. So of course Kelly had been dumbfounded when she learned that not only had he left the university in the middle of the Spring semester but that he had left Beverly Hills altogether. He left her too. Left her behind. That's what she felt but never did say.

There were a lot of things Kelly didn't say that she wanted to. She didn't tell Donna how her obsessive need for orderliness drove her batshit crazy sometimes ... Never could bring herself to tell Dylan that she had fallen out of love with him a long time ago and that she wished he would stop jerking her around ... Never got the courage to verbalize to Emily just how jealous she was that she had had Brandon in her life when Kelly herself felt so alone. And she had definitely never told Brandon how much she still missed him and loved him. She had always believed that there would be time to take care of all that but how wrong she had been. Her mom said she put off what was uncomfortable until it disappeared altogether and she was more than right this time. Boy did she ever hate when her mother was right.

Emily said she hadn't seen him either and Kelly wanted to rail at her, maybe even slap her, put all the blame on Brandon's swift exit on the other woman in the equation, but knew she had a big hand in the events. She knew she had driven Brandon away and that he was treading eye deep, close to drowning, in his own misery because she had been too scared to reach out to him and make things right even when she had really wanted to.

So Kelly went to all of her and Brandon's old haunts, all the places they had their firsts, all the places they declared their true feelings and shared their bodies and souls; even scoured the halls of the old high school they used to spend their days in but he was gone. Gone and disappeared and took her heart with him to parts unknown. She wondered if she would ever get it back. If she would ever get him back...

TO BE CONTINUED