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lead me back to you

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Armando does his best to be quiet as he opens the door to his room. The thing about his adaptation is that it doesn't have an on switch. His mutation is passive, Hank tells him, and it only ever acts up when he needs it to and not necessarily when he wants it to. Don't matter, Armando knows how to tiptoe and Alex has been a damn deep sleeper the last couple of months.

Deep enough that he doesn't wake up when Armando softly closes the door behind him. If this was only a few months ago, there's no way Alex would've slept through that. But the longer Armando's been back for, the better he's gotten, and it sure makes a guy feel real special knowing just his presence can make Alex feel safe enough to sleep through the night.

He takes a moment to watch, looking at the beautiful blonde boy who changed his life the minute he walked into it. Armando's never had much like a family. His dad walked out on them before Armando ever knew him, and it was something his mom never forgave him for. He'd never been real good at making friends, and even at boarding school being too smart could cast you out.

None of that mattered now. Not since Alex came into his life and decided to be that family for him, getting closer and closer during the weeks they spent together at the compound ‘till Armando knew, without a single hint of doubt, that Alex was the boy he was gonna spend his life with.

Being torn apart from the inside was the worst thing that had ever happened to him, but it was the worst thing because he knew, even as his body was being ripped apart, that Alex was gonna blame himself. He’d been able to see it on his boy’s face, his grief clear as day as Darwin reached out for him. As his body crumbled, his only wish was that he could’ve told Alex it wasn’t his fault. 

But then he adapted. His consciousness was spread over the gas that he became, nothing but stray thoughts and the familiar tickle of his mutation that came from somewhere in the back of his neck and affected his whole body. That’s what it was like, for what he knows had been months, though during the time it hadn’t felt much like anything. 

All he’d known in that form had been his memories of Alex, of the pretty boy with the blue eyes that Darwin wanted to put a ring on. And it was those memories that had brought him back, that had pulled his atoms together and guided them into an actual person instead of just some gaseous particles with no real purpose. 

Darwin still intends to give Alex a ring, but it hasn’t even been a year since he’s been back and they’ve only been sharing a room for about half that time. Alex scares easy—Darwin hadn’t seen him for a week after the first time they kissed—and he knows that Alex isn’t ready for a commitment like that. One day, he’s sure, but not yet.

Now, though, he gets to look at his boyfriend laid out all pretty in their bed and admire the view. And it’s a damn good view, in Darwin’s honest opinion. He stands there for a few more minutes, a smile that he knows looks real soft stretching over his face. He can’t bring himself to care, though, not when he’s looking at Alex. 

Finally, he takes a breath and walks closer to the bed. He makes his steps a bit louder so Alex’ll wake. The boy gets damn grumpy if Darwin wakes him up on purpose, no matter what he’s waking him up for, but the noise will pull him from sleep slowly. It does just that, and Alex starts moving around in his sleep before he reaches over to Darwin’s side of the bed. 

And damn, that makes his heart feel real full. 

“Mando?” Alex mumbles, shifting onto his side and rubbing his face into the pillow before he peeks a single eye open. He looks adorable and also like the hottest damn thing Armando's ever seen, sleep rumpled and laying spread out in the bed they share, in their shared room.

Sometimes he still doesn’t believe that he gets to have this, gets to have Alex. But they’re safe in the mansion, a ragtag bunch of freaks that don’t judge no matter what, even if they wouldn’t be safe in the rest of the world. Darwin wouldn’t change a damn thing about anything that leads them here, since from where he’s standing, the views pretty fucking great. 

“Yeah, just me baby,” Armando tells him, softly walking across the room and placing the tray on the end table so he can bend over and give Alex a proper kiss. “Made you breakfast in bed,” he murmurs against his lips, brushing his hair back, “Happy Birthday, sweetheart.”

When Darwin pulls back, Alex’s face is flushed red and his eyes are shining happily. Darwin vows to put that look on his face as many times as he can over the course of their lives, and he leans down to seal that promise with a kiss, heart full of love.