“Isobel, I’m fine. The airstream has a generator, so I’ll get heat, and you gave me like ten extra blankets the last time you came over,” Michael said into the phone as he went about getting his hand me down laptop set up for his classwork for his online class.
Five months ago, Isobel had asked Michael if he wanted to go back to school. With some persuasion by way of Isobel insisting she use Noah’s money to pay for his schooling, he applied and was part of their online schooling program.
“Fine, if you insist,” Isobel said, and Michael sighed, knowing she was probably rolling her eyes, “but if you need anything, don’t hesitate to ask me!”
Michael let out a laugh, “I will. Now go bother Max. I’m sure he’s still trying to figure out what to do with his life now that he doesn’t have Liz to focus on.” The curly-haired alien heard a sudden light knocking on his airstream door and turned his attention back to the phone.
“Sorry, Iz. Someone’s knocking. I’ll talk to you later,” he ended the call before she could say a word, and he walked over to the door. The snow was coming down hard, and it was almost 8 pm. Who would be coming all the way over to his trailer this late in this weather?
Opening the door, he came face to face with Alex. Or what was left of Alex, who was covered in snow and his face red. He was about to ask what the other man was doing here until Alex let out a sneeze.
“Alex, what are you doing out in this weather?” He asked, handing a tissue over to the airman.
Alex turned away to blow his nose before looking up at Michael, a look so pitiful that Michael couldn’t help but move away from the door to let him in.
Alex limped up the two steps into the trailer and carefully sat down on the bed.
“I have a cold. I was trying to get cold medicine because I ran out. Didn’t realize that the new tires I have were not equipped for the ice and snow. Then I ran out of gas about two miles away from here. I knew I was closest to you, so I may have walked here.”
Michael looked at Alex with wide eyes before kneeling in front of him. He lifted the back of his hand to Alex’s forehead and, noticing his flushed cheeks, went about helping him out of his wet jacket and clothes.
“Michael…” Alex started before he sneezed again. He heard the other man tsk before helping him out of his jeans.
Alex let himself be manhandled, knowing that Michael wouldn’t stop. Even when he was clearly in the middle of something, as Alex saw the laptop out on his small counter area, Michael would drop everything to take care of someone.
He loved that about him.
Michael gently took off his prosthetic, and Alex hissed at the redness of his stump, knowing that Michael was going to be worried that he had been walking in the heavy snow with it on.
Instead of being reprimanded, Alex watched as Michael softly touched the area before turning around and going into one of the cabinets. Throwing around whatever he kept in there, he pulled out a lotion.
“The last time I was over your house, I may or may now have seen that on your bed. Thought I’d get one for whenever you were over here and needed it.” Michael turned away, his face red.
“Don’t be embarrassed. If anything, I should be embarrassed for all of this,” Alex could only gesture wildly to the current situation. He gave a small smile to the man and kissed him on the cheek. Before Michael could reciprocate with a kiss of his own, Alex turned away and let out four sneezes in a row.
Michael raised an eyebrow at him before Alex let out an embarrassed chuckle.
“See? I’m an idiot who now has an inflamed stump, a cold and no cold medicine, and I think I’m seeing two of you now.”
The alien could only shake his head wearily before grabbing a pair of University of New Mexico sweatpants and sweatshirt from his pile of clean clothes. He went about trying to help Alex into the warmer clothes before rolling up the one pant leg.
He then pulled a bottle of Nyquil he had leftover from a cold he had two weeks ago before looking over at Alex. He let out a laugh as he noticed that Alex was falling asleep sitting up.
“Alex, hey.” He said gently, sitting down on the bed and watching as Alex looked up at him through tired eyes.
“Some medicine for you,” he poured the medicine and gave it to Alex to swallow. The other man winced as it went down his throat before he leaned his head sideways towards Michael’s chest, making himself comfortable.
He felt the heat coming off of Alex and could only laugh at the ridiculous situation they were now in.
The medicine knocked Alex right out, and he was letting out little snores from the congestion that would have annoyed Michael if it was anyone else. But it was Alex, and anything he did was adorable.
Michael gently laid Alex out on the bed and covered him with one of the big blankets Isobel had given him before turning away and getting back in school mode.
He had homework to do and, with no distractions except Alex’s snores, he could finally get it done.
“Alex. Hey Alex.”
He moaned as he felt someone shaking him awake, and he buried himself further into the blankets before he heard a chuckle. He felt the blankets get lifted off him, and he slowly lifted his middle finger at the blanket thief.
“Do you treat all people who give you shelter like that?”
Alex's sleep-addled brain finally recognized Michael’s voice, and he sat up quickly, swaying at the motion before he spoke up.
“Michael, I’m so sorry!” Michael smirked at the apology before sitting next to Alex.
“No worries. Even with your little visit, I finished all my homework and the one last final I had due by midnight. Your snores made great background noise.”
Alex looked affronted. “I don’t snore!”
“I recorded you in case you said that,” he smirked, and Alex tried to look angry, but he just looked sad and sick. His hair was askew, and his nose was red, the flush still on his cheeks, so he knew the fever he had did not go away overnight.
“No fair Guerin…”
“Oh, it’s Guerin again, is it?”
“Why don’t I get you some soup, and then you can take another nap? You look like you need it.” Michael suggested, before patting Alex on his leg and getting up.
“Do you want chicken noodle?”
“Is that the only kind you have?” Alex asked.
“Ate all the other ones when I had a cold two weeks ago.”
Alex raised an eyebrow. “Thought you didn’t get sick?”
“Apparently, even the common cold can take an alien down. Only lasted about a day, though, so we definitely still heal faster.”
Michael snorted as he heard Alex mumble, “Not fair,” before he went about getting the soup started.
“So, what was your final for?” Alex asked, putting the discarded blanket now around his shoulders.
Michael turned to him and preened, trying not to show how happy he was that Alex was interested in his education.
“My Systems Analysis in Agriculture class,” he stirred the noodles around in the pot, checking the timer he had for the soup before he looked at Alex and continued speaking, “somewhat boring class, but I’m glad I’m learning this stuff. Happy to hopefully put my agriculture engineering degree to use in the future.”
Alex smiled, “I’m so happy for you, Michael.”
“Thanks, I really think I can help people doing this.”
“You already do a great job helping people, so I know you’ll be amazing at this.”
The ding from the timer going off ruined the moment as Michael went about pouring the soup into a bowl for Alex. Grabbing the bed tray he had folded up under the bed, he put it over Alex’s lap and placed the soup down, and went to get him a spoon.
“Hope it’s good,” he said, handing him the spoon.
“I know it’ll be great. Just like everything you do.”
Michael let out a laugh. “It’s just soup, Alex.”
“But it’s you, Michael. It’ll be something special.”
Michael looked at the man he loved with amusement. Alex was laying it on thick with the compliments, not that Michael would complain.
Sick Alex didn’t hide as much as normal Alex, but he loved them both just the same.
Michael went about putting the leftover soup in the fridge and cleaned the pot while Alex slowly ate what he could of the soup he was given.
“Alex, the soup is not going to hurt you,” Michael teased gently before taking the bowl away, but not before he kissed Alex on the forehead.
“I don’t have much of an appetite,” Alex said frowning, before he folded up the tray and handed it to Michael, who bent down to put it under the bed.
“It’s okay,” Michael said, before quickly kissing Alex on the lips.
“Michael…” Alex started, and Michael quickly stood up and was ready to apologize before Alex grabbed at his hand.
“I don’t want you to regret it,” he whispered, his own insecurities coming out, not knowing if Michael was ready like he had been for the past few months.
“I only regret not being ready sooner,” he responded, before grabbing Alex by the face and putting their foreheads together.
“We both needed the time and space,” Alex reminded him before he kissed him on the cheek.
“Are we...boyfriends now?” Michael asked, suddenly feeling like that 17-year-old nervous teen who was head over heels for Alex.
“Yes,” Alex beamed before he cleared his throat and continued talking. “Now, I don’t know about you, but I need another nap and probably more cold medicine,” Alex whined that last part, trying to drag Michael into the bed with him.
Michael guffawed before pulling himself away, ignoring Alex’s fake pleas.
“I need to get that medicine,” he said as he quickly grabbed another over the counter cold medicine.
“Here,” he handed him the medicine, and Alex practically threw it back at him, trying to get rid of the awful taste in his mouth before Michael got into bed with him.
“We can cuddle. I make a great heater.”
“I love having my own personal space heater, now hold me.” Alex pouted.
Michael kissed the pout off his face and went about to hold him in his arms.
And they did.