1x12 Coda (#5.2)
Continuation of this because Caitlin, Shae, and Lauren asked nicely
Max slammed the door behind him and bounded up the steps of the cabin. The front door opened and Liz stepped out to greet him.
“Where is he?” Max barked as soon as he saw her.
Liz held up a hand to calm him but Max just tried to push past her. Liz placed her hand on his chest and pressed hard until he stopped and looked at her.
“I know you’re upset right now, but you need to calm down.” She told him.
“Where’s Michael?” He asked again.
Max shook his head and stepped around her. Flinging the door open wide, he paused a foot inside when Kyle and Cam stood up from where they’d been sitting on the couch.
“What the hell are you doing here?” He asked in surprise, his tone sharper than he intended. He looked around but Isobel was the only other person in the room. Dimly, he recognized the sounds of Liz coming inside and shutting the door. “Where’s Michael? And Noah?”
Isobel crossed the room and slapped him across the face. His head jolted to the side more out of surprise than actual force. Max put a hand to his cheek and gaped at Isobel but she just glared at him.
“Don’t you ever do that to Michael again.” Her voice was calm but hard and Max could only nod.
“Where is he?”
“Sleeping.” Max’s neck hurt from how fast he whipped his head around at the new voice. Alex Manes stood in the archway to the rest of the house, anger written clear on his face. “So don’t wake him up.”
“He’s sleeping?!” Max was flabbergasted. “He heals and kidnaps a serial killer and he’s fucking sleeping?” Max took a step forward and Alex smoothly pulled out a gun and pointed it at him. Max stopped cold in his tracks and slowly put his hands up.
“Yes. He’s sleeping. So do not wake him up.” Alex told him. “I believe I was very clear.”
Max swallowed and glanced between Alex’s face and the gun. His face was set and his hand never wavered. Max suddenly remembered that Alex was a decorated combat veteran who had probably seen more than his fair share of violent situations and knew his way around a firearm. The man didn’t even blink.
“You don’t like having a gun pointed at you, do you?” Alex asked idly.
Max shook his head slowly.
“Bet you’d like it even less if it was someone you thought loved and cared about you holding it.” Max felt his stomach clench as Alex’s voice turned ice cold.
Nobody in the room moved.
“You ever hurt or threaten Michael again, you and I are going to have a problem. Do you understand me, Max?” Max wasn’t sure he’d ever heard his name sound like that, a threat in and of itself.
Max nodded his head vigorously. “It was a mistake, Alex. I would never hurt Michael.”
Alex let out a hollow laugh and Max took a step back instinctively. “Never hurt him? So punching him, throwing him into cars, telling him he’s nothing to you - none of that counts as hurting him to you?”
A chill swept over him as he was forced to realize just how bad his relationship with Michael had gotten. And he was ashamed to realize, as he thought it over, that it was almost entirely on him. Every time Max had lost control of himself recently, he’d taken it out on Michael. Some part of him recognized that he’d done because he knew Michael wouldn’t retaliate. That Max could work out his issues on someone who knew and understood them and who wouldn’t fight back. The perfect outlet for his anger.
Numbly, he nodded to Alex. “I won’t. I swear.”
Alex searched his face before finally flicking the safety on and tucking his gun away. Max felt his body slump with relief.
“Where’s Noah?” He asked. Nearby, Isobel tensed and finally turned her glare upon someone else.
“Yes, where is my lovely psychopath of a husband?”
“He’s safe.” Alex told her.
“Oh I’m not worried about him.” Isobel retorted.
“He’s locked in a secure facility and we’ve surrounded him in that yellow powder he used to subdue Max and Michael’s powers the other night.” This time it was Cam who answered her and Max turned to her in surprise. She met his gaze but gave away nothing.
“Why did Michael save him?” This time it was Liz. “I know he wanted answers but to go against Max and Isobel’s wishes like that?”
Max watched as Kyle and Alex exchanged glances, seemingly deciding whether or not they should answer her question. He felt his anger rising again.
“If you know something about my brother, you need to tell me.”
Kyle scoffed and Max turned to him. “No offense, Evans, but the way you’ve been treating you ‘brother’,” the way he said it made Max’s stomach turn. Like Max was a fool for calling Michael that, “you don’t deserve to know jack.”
“Since when are you friends with Michael?” Liz asked.
Kyle shrugged. “I’m not. But the guy’s had a pretty terrible day and I’m not going to let any of you make it worse.”
“What the hell happened?” Isobel asked, looking frantically between Kyle and Alex. The two men exchanged another look before Kyle shrugged and gestured that it was Alex’s call.
Alex sighed. “You know about Project Shepherd?” He asked and waited until everyone nodded. “Well we found an old abandoned prison that mine and Kyle’s father’s had taken over as part of the Project and today we went with Michael to investigate it. There had been reports of unusual heat signatures on the compound, outside of normal human range. When we got there, Michael and Kyle found a cell block full of captive aliens from the crash. There had to be at least 50, I’d say.” He paused when Max collapsed into a seat and Isobel gasped with her hands over her mouth. Both stared at him as he continued. “Michael met his mother in there. About five minutes before the facility blew up. It was rigged to self destruct should any alien damage the cells and Michael tried to break them out-” he trailed off as Max’s heart leapt into his throat.
“Did he-?” Liz started to ask.
Alex shook his head. “We couldn’t get anyone out. We barely made it out ourselves and it was all I could do just to get him to leave with me. He wanted to stay.” He admitted.
“Oh my god,” Isobel let out as she buried her face in her hands.
Alex cleared his throat. “Anyway, there’s a possibility that there’s another site but it’s very unlikely. Project Shepherd doesn’t have the funding to run two off the books sites like that. So if any of you want to know anything about where you came from or who you really are, then Noah’s your answer.” He shrugged. “Michael needs answers. So he’s going to get them. Until then, Noah stays in a secure facility away from all of you. Once Michael’s learned all that he wants to, you can do what you like with him. But not before.”
Everything in Max revolted at the idea of Alex decreeing how they go about this but he remembered the look in his eyes earlier and stayed in his seat.
“He’s my husband,” Isobel objected. “It’s my decision.”
“It was.” Alex agreed. “You made it already. Just consider this an interlude of sorts. You’ll get him back and when you do, feel free to kill him again.”
Max turned to Cam. “You know where he is.”
“I do.” She agreed. “But I’m not going to tell you.”
“You hated the idea of not turning him in. Of letting him die! How can you support this? Michael will torture him if he has to.”
She stared him in the eyes. “My choices are let Michael interrogate him or let you murder him.”
Cam didn’t say anything else but she didn’t need to. Max recoiled at the disappointment in her voice and the harsh reality of her words. He was a murderer. Or at the very least, he desperately wanted to be. It was only fair, he reasoned, considering how many people Noah had murdered. Why should he get a fair pass?
Max glanced around the room but found no supporters. Liz, he knew, hated the idea of her science being used as a weapon. Alex, Kyle, and Cam were all firm in their decision to help Michael and Isobel seemed to be coming around to their side of things.
“No,” she cut him off. “Michael’s wanted answers our whole lives. He has the chance, maybe his only chance, to get them. I won’t stop him.” She clambered to her feet. “Let me know if Michael changes his mind?” She asked Alex to which the man nodded. “And tell him to call me tomorrow. I want to talk to him.”
“I’ll let him know.”
She nodded and turned to Liz. “Can you drive me home?” Liz nodded and opened the door for her.
As Isobel left, Liz turned to Max. “Come with us. She needs you right now and I don’t think this is the best place for you to be. You can try and talk to Michael tomorrow.”
Max looked around the room one more time before nodding. He stood up and crossed the room. With a hand on the door and one foot out, he turned to Alex. “I love my brother and I would never hurt him. Not really. I just need to talk to him.”
Alex nodded. “I’ll let him know,” he repeated, much less sincere than he had to Isobel. Something told Max he wouldn’t be hearing from Michael for a while.
“Liz,” he asked after he’d closed the door behind them and made it halfway to their cars, “how do I fix things with Michael?”
She paused and looked at him for a moment. “With time, I think. And actions. You can apologize all you want and say the right things but they don’t mean much if your actions don’t back it up. I know you say Michael’s important to you, but since I’ve been back, I haven’t seen it.” Her voice was cautious, almost apologetic. Liz laid a hand on his arm, her gently touch belying the harsh words. “Any blind idiot can see how much you love Isobel. She really is the most important person in the world to you. But sometimes you treat Michael like he’s an afterthought. Like you’re stuck with him because you all hatched together or something.”
“How can you say that?” Max recoiled. “He’s my brother!”
“So act like it,” Isobel’s voice cut in as she leaned out of the car window. “Starting with leaving and giving him the space he clearly needs right now. Get in the car Max.” Her voice softened. “And start fixing things tomorrow.”
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way up here there’s galaxies
Summary: teenage alex and michael laying in the back of his truck and talking. inspired by listening to Boy by Willow Smith for a week straight.
“I told my mom about you.”
Alex expected confusion from his confession, but Michael simply gazed over with a thoughtful expression. The moon reflected in Michael’s eyes, something it really only seemed to do when they parked on the far side of Foster’s Ranch. They came out here most nights since the shed was no longer an option. However, cuddling up in the chill of summer nights in the desert in the bed of his truck wasn’t exactly the worst way he could spend his time.
“Oh yeah? What’d she say?”
“Nothing. But she never responds, so…” Alex said, turning his gaze back to the stars. He couldn’t even count the number of letters he’d sent to her. Or, rather, his grandmother in hopes she knew where his mother was.
“I told my mom about you too. She can’t say anything. She’s somewhere there, I think.” Michael admitted, pointing to the dark sky. Alex looked over at him, wondering if his mother was dead or if he just didn’t know. Maybe that’s how he coped. Sometimes Alex would pretend his mom was dead too. That was easier than to think she just up and left him. He wouldn’t blame Michael if that was the case.
“I’m sorry,” Alex mentioned, gently resting his hand against Michael’s shoulder. He dropped his hand back to his chest, still staring aimlessly into the sky. Michael didn’t look sad, though. In fact, he had a smile on his face.
“Nah, don’t be. I already know what she’d say about you.” Michael declared. Alex watched him for a moment, his heart thudding a little faster as he waited for him to speak.
“She’d say that she loves you,” Michael said simply, turning to look him in the eye. Alex thought he was going to combust. “She’d say… that I went above and beyond, hit the jackpot by getting you. That I should be careful so I don’t lose you. And that you’re the strongest person in the galaxy. That I… I could trust you with the stars.” Michael grabbed Alex’s hand with his good one, bringing it to point to the stars together. “She’d love you so much.”
Alex had to focus on his breathing. Michael always had a way of saying things that made it harder to breathe. They were always these simple declarations that sounded specially tailored to get him laid. Alex had to constantly remind himself that he wasn’t special, that Michael probably fed the same lines to every girl or guy he was interested in. They just felt so real.
Every line Michael gave seemed like a carefully crafted ‘I love you’. Each one pushed Alex closer to saying he loved him, to pleading him to stay with him forever. Countless nights he’d thought about asking to run away together before he was thrown into the military, to get out while they still could. But Alex knew he couldn’t possibly take what Michael said as truth, no one could see him that way.
Besides, Alex had been the reason his hand was destroyed. No one could love someone after that.
“There’s a whole world out there that’s just waiting for us, you know. A place where no one hates us, where we can love and be loved. It’s like, uh… it is written.” Michael whispered, silently adding ’Alex & Michael’ as he wrote it in the air using Alex’s finger.
No words came to Alex’s mind as he stared at him. In fact, he felt braindead. How was he supposed to respond to that? Especially when Michael brought their hands down and cradled them against his heart. God, Alex was in love. Badly, hopelessly. So, instead of ruining Michael’s words by trying to come up with his own, he just turned on his head and slid his hand up to Michael’s chin.
“You’re beautiful, Alex,” Michael whispered a second before Alex pressed a kiss to his lips. “You make me feel safe.” Alex kissed him harder.
Michael smiled as they kissed which fueled Alex to kiss deeper. He didn’t have the words Michael did, he could only hope kissing him and touching him could show him how in love he was. Even if that love was one-sided. Nothing in his mind would ever accept that someone like Michael Guerin would love him. Or anyone ever.
Alex moved on top of Michael, pushing his hands beneath his shirt. Michael brought his damaged hand to the back of Alex’s head, holding him there with what little force it could produce. It had been two months since that night in the shed, but Michael still kept it tightly wrapped. Alex was too scared to ask about how bad it looked.
Soon enough, their clothes were off and pushed to the side. There was no point in feigning modesty, not when they knew they were alone and that no one would be looking for them. Besides, there was nothing better than getting lost in each other.
Alex thrived on the little sounds Michael made. For a man that carried himself as ruggedly and manly as possible, he was unbelievably soft and quiet when he got him alone. Alex liked it, though. The soft kisses, bites, moans all felt unreal and intoxicating. He was everything.
An hour or so later, Alex found himself dozing off in the bed of the truck with Michael laying bare on his chest, drawing mindless shapes on his stomach. Those were his favorite moments. Well, any time with Michael was favorite, but the quiet moments where they could pretend there were no worries in the world were the ones he’d happily live in for the rest of his life.
“When I get rich from my fancy engineering degree, I’m gonna take you far away from this stupid place,” Michael said. Alex closed his eyes to the sound of his voice, imagining the impossible promise he was making. Michael didn’t know that in less than a two weeks, he’d be off to basic training and this would have to come to a complete stop. He’d be watched daily by his father or his father’s friends. Not even letters were an option.
But he would still happily listen to Michael’s hopes for as long as he could.
“Oh yeah? Where to?” Alex asked, letting his fingers graze the slope of Michael’s bare back. Though he worked with cars and on a farm and lived in his truck, his skin was softer than humanly possible. It made it that much harder to keep his hands to himself.
“Anywhere. Paris, Rome, hell, even Albuquerque is better. But maybe one day we can go meet the stars. I think you might shine too bright for them, Alex.” Michael said softly, tracing circles and lines into his chest as Alex chuckled. His drawing felt deliberate as if it should mean more than it did to Alex’s mind. Maybe one day he’d understand.
“You’re so cheesy. I’m not going to be outshining any stars.” Alex said. Michael propped his chin on his chest, giving him a sweet smile paired with a look in his eyes that made Alex want to both cry out in joy and throw up. How did he ask for Michael to never stop looking at him that way?
“Maybe. To me you do. I wouldn’t want to explore galaxies with anyone else, though.” Michael paused, pressing a soft kiss against Alex’s heart and placing his hand flat over the same spot. The world around them ignited with the heat that burned in Alex’s body, isolating the two of them completely in what he could only describe as pure ecstasy. “There’s so much negative shit that comes with being here. I always feel so… trapped. I don’t belong here. When I’m with you, though, I feel like I have a chance to fit somewhere. I fit with you, Alex. I really mean it when I say I want to go where there’s a place for us, where we can have a place of our own.”
Alex’s eyes began to burn with tears. He prayed to every God in existence that Michael was telling him lies. If they were all lies, it would make it much easier when he had to leave him. The idea of Michael waiting for a future with him while he was off in the Air Force made him feel sick.
“Michael…” I’m joining the Air Force where my father will be keeping close tabs on me and I probably won’t ever see you again. Just say it. Don’t give him false hope.
“Sorry if that was too much. You make me want to word vomit.” Michael admitted shyly, his fingers going back to tracing that same drawing into his chest. Alex swallowed hard.
“No, no it’s not too much. I just…” Say it. Tell him. “I can’t wait to leave with you.”
Michael smiled so bright it took out the sun. Shakespeare needed to rewrite his sonnet. There was no comparing him to a summer’s day‒that was nothing in comparison to Michael Guerin’s smile.
Hot lips pressed loving kisses from Alex’s chest to his neck to his jaw to his lips. Alex grabbed handfuls of Michael’s hair, holding him close as the other boy got on top of him completely. He could only hope that if he held him close enough, kissed him deep enough, Michael wouldn’t notice the fact that he was crying.
If he did, he never mentioned it.
Two weeks later, Alex left without a goodbye and with false promises that Michael Guerin was nothing but a liar.
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