Alex isn’t sure what he’s expecting when they get to the last facility on the list from the Caulfield data that they stole, but he knows he isn’t expecting this.
The few guards were easily taken out by him, Isobel and Max. Michael choosing to stay far behind the carnage this time and is waiting at Isobel’s with Liz. Kyle comes up behind him and gasps.
“Yeah.” Alex says as he takes stock of the situation. Nine adults of varying ages all stand staring at them in what looks like a white padded room with some chairs and tables similar to what one would see at a hospital.
“Is this what Michael felt?” Isobel asks them, although it seems rhetorical. “I can feel them.”
“Me too.” Max says quietly as they both walk towards the room. Kyle goes to stop them but Alex shakes his head.
“They need to know we’re friendly, and if Isobel and Max can feel them then I’m sure they can feel Isobel and Max.” Kyle nods after a moment and walks into the room behind the twins.
“You’re them.” One of the adults says to Max and Isobel.
“You can speak?” Kyle asks and Alex glares at him. The women chuckles.
“We can. I am Mina.” She says quietly. Alex is shocked. The aliens in Caulfield couldn’t speak, or didn’t speak. But these people don’t seem to have been tortured like the people at Caulfield.
“How?” Alex breathes out. Mina turns and smiles at the others, and they seem to take her word that it’s okay and they sit down.
“We were all in pods on the ship. Whomever found us must’ve separated us from the rest, we all emerged at different times. I’ve been out the longest, and am now the oldest.” Mina chuckles again as someone glares at her.
“We were in pods too.” Isobel says.
“Yes. You are...were the King’s children.” Mina says quietly. Both Max and Isobel gasp. There are so many questions, but they can’t stay here.
“Isobel.” Alex says quietly. “We should bring them back to your house. Noah’s relatives and friends are here for the funeral remember?”
Isobel nods, remembering the excuse they would use for any aliens they found. She seems to be having a silent conversation with the others and eventually they get up and go to what Alex now notices are rooms. They seem to have a bag of possessions each and Alex’s heart breaks a little more.
Alex hears a noise and turns around expecting to see a guard they may have missed but he is utterly unprepared to see the small boy he notices hiding behind a chair. Mina notices his movements and joins him.
“Roman. It’s okay. He isn’t like the others. He’s like Hunter.” Mina says to the boy. Alex gasps at the mention of his brother’s name.
“Hunter?” He asks her.
She nods. “He is your brother yes? I can feel you are family.”
Alex nods weekly and Roman finally emerges from behind the chair. Alex takes a step back in surprise. Roman looks like a blonde haired blue eyed version of Michael. Even the way his curls fall into his eyes are the same.
“Oh wow. He looks like Michael.” Isobel says. Alex is glad he isn’t the only one who sees it. Mina must notice and she and Isobel have a silent conversation.
“Roman is his cousin. If Michael’s mother is really Mara, he is Mara’s sister Anya’s son.” Mina says as she takes Roman’s hand. She pulls him along, but he keeps looking back to Alex.
When they get everyone situated in the different cars Kyle sits in the passenger seat of Alex’s Jeep.
“How are you doing?” Kyle asks him as they head back to Roswell.
“I’m okay. I just can’t believe they’re alive, and that my brother was helping them. I didn’t know.” Alex says, his mind whirling with the possibilities.
“Yeah. I’m sure they’ll tell us more when we get to Isobel’s.”
“How are they doing?” Alex chances a look at Isobel and Max’s cars driving next to them.
“They’re okay. I mean some of them are underweight based on their ages. They all seem to be in their late fifties or early sixties. They must’ve come out of the pods within the last twenty years or so, if what Mina says is correct. They have their memories of their planet so who knows. She says Roman came out of his pod last year. So he would’ve been two when the ship crashed.” Kyle lets out a breath.
Alex nods. “That makes sense. If Michael, Max, and Isobel were around seven when they came out of the pods there’s only a five year age difference between them and Roman. I would guess they all came out of their pods around the same time. Except Roman.”
“Makes sense. Mina said a few others came out of their pods at different times but they were taken away. So...more people to find.”
“We’ll find them.” Alex vows, after they get these ten settled and after he calls his brother. So much to do.
They’re just pulling up to Isobel’s house when Liz and Michael come running outside. Looks like someone had the good sense to call them beforehand .
As Liz helps everyone out of the cars, Alex hangs back and watches Michael. He’s standing stock still, mouth agape. Alex can hear Michael’s sharp inhale when he spots Mina coming out of Max’s Jeep with Roman in tow.
“Alex?” Michael asks quietly not moving from his spot. Alex is taken aback. He and Michael are, friendlier, than they ever have been. Tentatively building a foundation from the rubble that was left after Michael’s relationship, if you could even call it that, with Maria had ended.
Whatever Michael is feeling, Roman must feel it too, because he leaves Mina’s arms and runs to Michael. Roman must be saying something because Michael looks down at him in awe and his eyes fill with tears.
Alex will never admit it but he knows he’s shedding a few tears as well.
“How?” Michael gasps out. Before anyone can answer, Alex suggests they all go inside. It seems Roman won’t let go of Michael, and Michael looks down and grabs his hand and walks him inside.
Mina walks up to Michael. “It’s how he communicates. Through touch.” She gestures to his hands.
“But they aren’t glowing.”
“Mmm. That’s how we can communicate with each other, but his gift is communicating through touch. He doesn’t need that.” Mina smiles at him.
“It’s like your telekinesis.” Liz says clearly fascinated with all this new information.
While everyone bustles around the house, getting food and clothes, and coming up with cover stories for them all that Alex will have to back up with actual data and evidence, Alex sits down next to Michael on the couch. Roman is on Michael’s other side, leaning into him and sleeping now.
“Hey.” Alex says quietly so he doesn’t startle them. Michael turns to Alex and smiles.
“He’s my cousin. He said he can tell we’re family. I can feel it too.”
Alex squeezes Michael’s hand and in a bold move he leans over and kisses Michael on the forehead. He gets up to leave them and goes to leave. He has work to do.
It’s a couple of weeks before he sees Michael again. They’ve been communicating mostly through text and some phone calls. Alex will lie to anyone who asks, but he loves the photos he gets of Michael and Roman together.
The time apart was necessary though, as he spent weeks working to give the nine Antarians, as they learn, official identities and histories. Lining their histories up with the one Noah created is easier than he thought, and soon they have aunts, uncles, and family friends of Noah who are all staying in and around Roswell.
And one Antarian, in particular, is now officially Michael’s nephew. A long lost sister, who passed, and whose son went into the system, until his DNA matched an old file of Michael’s. Lucky for them Isobel still keeps in touch with some of Noah’s law school classmates. Influencing them wasn’t hard.
Alex walks into Isobel’s house and sees her in the kitchen.
“Hey. Where’s Michael?” Alex asks, knowing he’s been staying here with Roman.
Isobel points her head towards her pool.
“Yes. Honesty, never give him your Amazon password.” Isobel jokes as they walk outside to sit with Mina at the patio table.
Alex just laughs as he takes in Michael laying on what looks like a giant green alien head pool float. He has Roman laying on top of him with rocket ship floaties on his arms and they’re in matching swim trunks.
“I take it I shouldn’t take him to Old Navy either?” Alex jokes. Isobel laughs and smiles fondly. Because Michael would get him and Roman matching clothes.
“What’s that he’s throwing around?” Alex asks. He notices Michael using his powers to bring a toy in and out of the water, much to Roman’s delight.
“Michael made him an action figure out of some spare parts of the ship. He takes it everywhere with him.” Isobel answers. Alex is shocked. He can’t believe Michael would take apart pieces of the ship. But then, for family, there’s probably not a whole lot Michael wouldn’t do.
“We can feel them, the ship, pieces of our planet. They have their own life forces.” Mina says quietly. “When he took Roman and me to see them, we could both feel it. It calms him down.” Mina gestures to Roman.
“The pieces want to be together.” Alex whispers but Mina hears him and nods.
Once everyone has had lunch, and Alex has finished detailing everyone’s new histories, Roman comes up to him and grabs his hand. It shocks Alex for a moment that Roman is speaking to him in his mind.
[Your house looks like my toys. Can we see it?] Roman gestures to a set of Lincoln Logs. Alex smiles. So that was why Michael asked for a picture of the cabin.
“Of course. We’ll have to ask Michael.”
“Ask me what?” Michael asks as he comes out of the bathroom.
“He wants to see the cabin.” Alex points to the Lincoln Logs. If he didn’t know any better he’d swear Michael is blushing.
“You both can come for dinner. I’ll have to stop at the store though.”
[Can I come?] Alex pauses at Roman’s question. He hasn’t spent much time, if any, with kids, but how can he say no to that face?
“If you want.” Michael seems to know what Roman asked him, as he packs up some of Roman’s things.
“Bring an overnight bag. It’s getting late and it’s a far drive.” Alex says to him and Michael smiles.
Alex doesn’t know what he’s thinking, inviting Michael and Roman over for a sleepover. His cabin isn’t equipped for children and his heart isn’t equipped for Michael. But here they are.
They make it to the store with relative ease. Michael driving Noah’s SUV since he can’t put a car seat in his truck. Alex will admit to laughing when he notices this. Michael glaring at him in turn.
Michael sets off to grab most of the food they’ll need for tonight and the morning. It looks like he’s planning on stocking Alex’s cabin for weeks, with all the food in the cart. Or like he knows Alex and knows he barely eat. Whatever.
Roman tugs on his shirt and lifts his hands like he wants to be picked up. Alex leans down to get him and shifts him to his left hip. With Space Man, as Michael has taken to calling the action figure, securely in his grip Roman points towards the cereal aisle. Alex chuckles and doesn’t stop walking until Roman points to the Lucky Charms.
“He’s been letting you eat these?” Alex smirks and Roman smiles. He pulls them off the shelf and is about to turn and find Michael when he hears his name.
“Alex?” Maria asks quietly. Alex closes his eyes and breathes deeply through his mouth. He hasn’t seen or spoken to Maria in months. Not since that fateful day at the Pony when he confirmed who Michael was to him. He hasn’t even spoken about her, except once, when Michael and Maria’s relationship ended and Michael started talking about it and Alex couldn’t get the word vomit to stop.
“Hey Maria.” He says and tightens his hold on Roman.
“Who’s this?” Maria asks kindly and smiles towards Roman who promptly puts his face into Alex’s neck. Familiar.
“This is Roman.” He looks down at Roman. “Can you say ‘hi’ to Maria?”
Roman shakes his head and grabs Alex’s shoulder.
[She’s bad] Alex hears in his mind. Alex freezes wondering what Michael could’ve said to make Roman think that.
“He’s shy, sorry.”
“It’s okay. Didn’t know you knew anyone with a kid?” She tilts her head to the side to try and read them. Alex senses it and so does Roman.
“He’s Michael’s nephew.” Alex says and Maria’s head snaps up.
“His...what?” She looks like she has a million questions, but Alex doesn’t want to answer them.
“Long lost sister passed away and left behind a son. So Michael’s fostering him for now.” The lie coming smoothly off of Alex’s tongue. It’s surprisingly easy to lie to someone who’s hurt you.
“Huh. I didn’t realize you two were…”
“We’ve always been friends. Look, I have to find him so we can pay. It was good to see you.” Alex turns to leave but stops with a hand on his arm.
He sighs. “Maria.” She must sense his annoyance so she nods and turns to leave. He knows they have to talk, and he knows they need to hash some things out, but not right now, and not in the middle of the grocery store.
He finds Michael waiting to check out and laughs when he sees the full cart of food.
“Staying for longer than dinner?” Alex jokes.
“I’d stay forever if you let me, Manes.” Michael shoots back quickly then looks away. Michael clears his throat and takes the Lucky Charms from Alex.
“He convince you he needed these?”
“Well someone apparently bought them to begin with.”
Michael nods and goes to pay for everything but Alex stops him. Michael shoots him a look but Alex can be bold too.
“You can get the next round.” Michael smiles.
Once they’re back at the cabin and Alex gets to witness Roman devouring tacos and then almost instantly falling asleep, he sits on the couch next to Michael.
“I saw Maria.”
“Really? Where?” Michael pulls his legs up to get more comfortable.
“At the store. She saw Roman.”
“Damn. Well she’s the first person he’s seen that isn’t us.”
“He said she was bad.”
“Out loud?” Michael pulls on his curls a little. Something Alex knows he does when he’s stressed.
“No. Wait he can speak?”
Michael chuckles. “Yeah. Scared the shit out of me the first time he did it. He just doesn’t like to.” Michael shrugs.
“I wonder why he would say that? You didn’t say anything did you?”
“No. Jesus. I wouldn’t do that. He’s a kid.”
“I know. Sorry.” Alex really wishes he thought to bring some of the beers with him to have this conversation.
“Was she wearing her necklace?”
“Yeah I think so. Why?”
“Damn.” Michael runs his fingers through his curls, further messing them up. Alex smiles.
“What’s wrong with the necklace?”
“It’s filled with the flower that has the pollen Noah used to render us powerless. She told Liz her mom gave it to her to keep away the ‘bad’. Roman must’ve been able to sense it.”
“Damn.” Alex parrots. That’s a lot.
Alex shakes his head. There are so many issues and surprises floating around, it feels like they can’t catch a break. He realizes suddenly how tired he is. He forces himself to get up from the couch.
“I’m going to head to bed.”
“Do you have extra pillows? I’ll take the couch.” Michael stretches and Alex can see his tanned skin from where his shirt rides up. They’ve been dancing around each other for months. Alex doesn’t want to keep dancing.
“I have a king sized bed. We can share.”
“Michael.” Alex hears Michael’s breath catch. Eventually Michael must see he’s serious, because he nods and follows Alex into the bedroom.
“Just sleeping.” Michael says as he gets ready for bed. Alex smiles.
When Alex wakes up in the morning it’s to the smell of coffee and an empty bed. Once he gets his prosthetic on he heads into the kitchen and smiles at the sight.
Michael leaning against the counter with coffee in his hands while Roman is at the table eating cereal. Space Man is sitting on his lap.
“Mornin’.” Michael’s voice is sleep rough and Alex smiles as he takes his own coffee.
“Morning. So...Lucky Charms?” Alex asks as he turns to Roman.
“Yeah. Watch.” Michael smiles and Alex notices Roman pull a marshmallow out of the bowl and eat it. Roman’s nose scrunches up almost like it’s sour but then he smiles and goes back to eating the cereal.
Alex laughs, joyful. Every couple of bites Roman takes a marshmallow out and smiles big and bright when he eats it.
“Yeah. Isobel has them at the house. Comfort food, I guess, and he had them one morning and I noticed he did that. I haven’t been able to stop him.” Michael’s smile is small and fond.
“I wouldn’t either.” Alex whispers. Without thinking he leans into Michael’s personal space and kisses him. Soft and quick, but he lingers close by when he pulls back.
“What was that for?” Michael asks. Alex shrugs.
“I wanted to.”
“Mmm.” Then Michael pulls him close and kisses him again. They break apart when they hear Roman laughing and turn to see him clapping at them. Alex blushes at being caught by a three year old.
Michael runs up to the table and grabs Roman and runs him around the room. Roman’s laughter rings out with Michael’s and something settles in Alex’s heart. When he sees Michael land on the floor and Roman climbing over him like he’s a jungle gym, Alex laughs and joins them.
“Room for me?” Alex asks them smiling. Michael nods and for the first time, Alex hears Roman.
“Room for you.” Roman says quietly.
Alex gasps and lays down next to Michael. Michael gives him a knowing smile and then Michael and Roman must have a silent conversation because Alex is being tickled within an inch of life. There are tears in his eyes and he hasn’t laughed this hard, ever. He rolls into Michael as he calms down and feels Michael’s arm come around them both.
“Nap time now?” Alex asks and Michael laughs. Yeah, nap time sounds good.
It continues like this for a couple of months. Michael and Roman spend more and more time at the cabin and barely go back to Isobel’s. They’ve even managed a few childless dates when Isobel or Mina wants to spend time Roman.
But what Alex’s most proud of is that he and Michael talk, actually talk. About everything. It seems that once they started, they couldn’t stop. And the sex was fantastic, better than before, if he could even believe it. It was like once they got out of their own ways, and started working on their relationship together, it clicked.
Which is why when he comes home one night to Michael cooking and Roman attempting to build a lego spaceship, because Michael buys him everything space related, he blurts out the first thing that comes to his mind.
“Move in with me.” Alex didn’t phrase it as a question, but it was one. Michael turns from the stove and stares at him.
“I love you. And I love Roman. And I want you both to live with me, here, at the cabin.”
Michael smiles, and it’s the most beautiful smile Alex thinks he’s ever seen him wear. Alex breath catches as Michael walks up to him.
“What do you say Ro, wanna live here with Alex?” Michael smirks and looks towards Roman. Roman smiles.
“Yeah!” Roman looks up and then goes back to his legos, so much like Michael it makes Alex’s heart happy.
“So that’s a yes?” Alex holds his breath. Michael leans in to kiss him.
“That’s a yes, darlin’.” Alex laughs and kisses Michael again.
Alex walks through the front door smiling with a definite skip in his step. He takes a look around the living area and spots Michael and Roman cuddled up on the couch watching a movie.
“Cars again?” Alex asks as Michael startles and smiles at him.
“He loves it.” Michael says as he makes room for him on the couch.
“Oh, he loves it, huh?” Alex teases and Michael throws a pillow at him.
“You’re home early.” Alex is about to answer when Roman climbs into lap to finish watching the movie. Alex smiles and holds him tighter. He grabs the papers out of his bag on the floor and hands them to Michael.
“What are these?”
“Read them.” Michael skims over them and puts them on the coffee table and smiles.
“Really?” Michael asks excitedly. Alex nods and Michael grabs him and places a kiss on his cheek and ruffles Roman’s hair.
“You hear that Ro, Alex isn’t in the Air Force anymore.”
Roman just leans up and smiles at him and places a kiss on Alex’s cheek, mimicking Michael’s from earlier.
Alex pulls up to the junkyard and before he can fully get Roman out of his car seat he’s sprinting out of the car and to Michael, who’s standing outside the Airstream.
“Hey. What was so urgent that we had to get here in the middle of the day? Everything okay?” Alex asks as he walks up to Michael, who has already picked Roman up and is holding him and Space Man.
Michael leans over to kiss Alex and Alex smiles.
“Everything's fine. I just couldn’t wait until I got home to tell you.” Michael smiles and floats a folder over to Alex from where it was sitting on the table. Alex opens it and nearly drops it in shock. It’s the Bill of Sale, and the title to the land. Michael officially owns the junkyard.
“Michael?” Alex whispers.
“You think I should change the name?” Michael asks and Alex just smiles.
“Roman’s Auto. What do you think?”
Roman laughs and claps his hands.
“Sounds perfect.” Alex says and squeezes into their group hug.
Alex comes home to Michael and Roman at their kitchen table, papers strewn across it and a wooden board in front of them.
“Hey, what’s this?” Alex leans down to kiss Michael and then he kisses Roman on top of his head.
“It’s a family tree. I’m carving our names into the wood.” Michael points to the carvings already done and Alex gets teary eyed.
“Really?” Alex traces the outlines of the symbols he recognizes from Michael and Roman’s planet.
Michael nods. “Mina helped us with everyone’s names. I figured we could put them in Antar’s language.” Michael points to the papers on the table and Alex notices that they each have different hand drawn symbols with the English equivalent next to them.
“It’s your language, too.” Alex says through tears. Michael smiles and kisses Alex again.
“I even had her draw your name.” Michael pulls out a piece of paper from underneath the rest and Alex traces his name in symbols.
“And this one too.” Michael hands him another piece of paper, and Alex recognizes the symbol as the one Michael just finished carving.
“Guerin.” Roman says out loud as he places his hand on the wood.
Alex looks over and sees the carving above Michael and Alex’s names and a piece of paper below their names that says Roman, that Michael has started carving.
“Yeah Ro. Guerin.”
~1 year later~
Alex steps outside into their backyard and smiles at the sight. Michael is at the grill arguing good naturely with Max. Liz is sitting with Isobel, Maria, and Kyle around the table. Mina and a couple of the other Antarians are playing Monopoly. Arturo and Rosa are laughing on a couch. And, most surprisingly, his brother Hunter and his wife Jamie, with their son Tommy, are here enjoying the summer day with everybody. Roman and Tommy are chasing after each other, each equipped with their own Space Man.
He didn’t think they’d all get here. To this moment of peace and laughter. But Alex wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Roman runs up to him and slams into his legs. He steadies a hand on his back to keep from falling over.
[Can Tommy sleepover? Papa said I have to ask you.] Alex looks over at Michael and smiles. Roman had taken to calling Michael ’Papa’ shortly after they both moved into the cabin, as was customary on Antar. It made Michael blush almost every time and Alex has never been more in love. He sees Michael come up next to him and feels his warm hand on his lower back.
“Sure.” He tells Roman. “Tell your uncle they can come by and have breakfast in the morning when they pick him up.”
[Thank you!] Roman says quickly and runs off. Roman stops suddenly and turns around then runs back to Alex to hug his legs again.
“Love you Daddy.” Roman says quietly and then runs after Tommy. Alex is frozen in place and he can feel the tears running down his cheeks.
“Did he just?” Alex whispers to Michael. “He said that out loud?”
“Yes sweetheart.” Michael leans into him and kisses him on his cheek.
“Is this how you felt…” Alex trails off, at a loss for words. Roman has said ‘I love you’ to them, but he’s never called Alex ‘Daddy’. They’ve never mentioned it to him but Alex wasn’t worried.
“It is.” Michael pulls him close and Alex goes willingly. His heart is close to bursting.
“He’s amazing.” Alex says slightly awed, that this beautiful child gave him a family. That Roman was able to help heal him and Michael. That they both get to have each other.
“He’s ours.” Michael whispers. He’s ours.
If you’re so inclined to dream up Roman’s future - @allthehearteyes already did:
Roman just wants a cat, that’s all. And to go to Disney. And then learn how to skateboard. And then go to space camp. And then drive a car. And then get a full ride to MIT. That’s it.