No Longer Homeless
Prompt Two: Home is anything but a place; or, the people and things that Michael Guerin makes homes out of.
For most of his life, Michael never had a home. In truth, he didn’t even know what it actually was until it struck him, like a lightning bolt right through the heart… But it didn’t prevent him from looking for it. All the time.
The first place Michael considered like a home was Foster Ranch. It was the closest he could be to the crash site, the closest to where his family had been seen last.
It made him feel bittersweet, but despite the fact it broke his heart a little more each time he drove there to sleep under the stars, Michael always came back.
He wanted to feel close to the people he had lost and was unable to remember. He wished that, by staying here, someone or something would come and take him away.
The only person Michael ever brought to Foster Ranch was Alex Manes. Because he wanted to show him where his safe place was. Because he wished to share his home with the one he loved.
And, under the stars at Foster Ranch, Alex came and took his heart away.
The second place Michael saw as some kind of temporary home was the back of his truck. He spent countless nights there and felt far more comfortable laying on the hard metal, rolled up into his sleeping bag, than any other foster home he had been over the years.
His truck was like his movable house and for nearly his whole senior year, Michael practically lived in it.
Alex made a comment about it once, but he soon joined Michael and spent more time with him in the back of the truck than in his own house during the summer after graduation.
They often joked about adopting a dog and driving far away to live like misfits, homeless strictly speaking, but free and happy. Together.
The toolshed was Michael’s home for just a few weeks. He forced himself not to think about it too much, because it always brought back his happiest and his worst memories.
Here, he had gained and lost everything.
Here, Michael had opened up his heart to the love of his life and he had lost his hope for the future.
The toolshed was Michael’s favorite and most hated home all at once. It had been his dirty little secret for so long… but, despite all the pain and suffering, it would always remain where he had been the happiest in his young years.
Michael loved and hated the toolshed.
Just like he loved and hated the memories attached to it.
Just like in the years to come, he would love Alex more than anything and hate the fact he was completely unable to stop loving him.
The first real physical place Michael called home was his Airstream. He had worked hard to pay for it and it was the first actual thing he could call his own. His truck didn’t count, as he had been more of a gift from Sanders.
He was 19 when he bought it and moved all his meager belongings inside. Since then, Michael had never left, never got tired of it. He loved everything about his airstream. The fact he could move it whenever he wanted. The feeling of safety that came every time he passed the threshold. The way it smelt in the morning when he would wake up with Alex pressed up against him. The smell of sex and sweat and sandalwood and them would cling to the air, making Michael moan and gasp. It was his favorite scent in the whole universe.
But what Michael loved the most about it, was that over the years, his trailer became his and Alex’s safe heaven every time he came back to Roswell. Sometimes, they wouldn’t leave the Airstream for days, ordering take out and never getting tired of each other.
Their relationship outside of the trailer was rocky and uneven, full of passion and shouts and miscommunication, but as soon as they would walk inside, everything would go quiet and they would just be together.
The Airstream was the first place where Alex told Michael he loved him, past, present and future tense.
It was where they decided once and for all to be together, after years of hurting each other.
It was there Alex asked Michael to move in with him, only a few weeks after their first official date.
It was where Michael had hidden the ring he had bought when he was 22, planning on proposing to Alex just before his next enlistment, but never dared to.
It was the place they started anew.
Michael’s bunker has always been like his secondary home since the day he had found it at 18. It was his lab, where he dealt with everything alien related. It was his secret hideout and where he would just completely lose track of time.
For years, Michael had hidden himself in there when the outside world became too noisy. It was where he had gathered everything he had ever found on his origins. Piece after piece, he had managed to build an alien console from starch.
The bunker represented his hope to go home someday. It was the place where he used to go to just… escape .
In more recent years, when Alex didn’t know where he was, he would just get down in the bunker to find Michael bent over some kind of calculation or experiment. And he would always find the most delicious way to distract him from his work.
Now, the bunker wasn’t Michael’s secondary home any longer. It was just his lab, his work place and even if he still liked it, it didn’t have the same signification to him.
Because Michael didn’t need an escape anymore, not since Alex had come back for good.
Not since Michael had realized he didn’t want to leave this planet.
Earth was home now. Because Alex was on it.
Michael thought that their cabin would be his forever favorite and very last home. All his belongings were there now and had been for quite some time. He was paying bills for it and his name was listed next to Alex’s on the mailbox.
It was the Manes and Guerin residence. It was their home.
Michael always marveled when he saw his toothbrush, razor and far too many hair products in the bathroom. He knew his favorite brand of cereals was stashed in the cupboard and his “Save a horse, ride a cowboy” mug was rinsing in the sink, but it never ceased to make his heart swell every time Michael realized how fulfilled and loved he actually was.
He got to wake up every morning between the arms of the love of his life and to fall asleep every night nuzzling his neck. He was allowed to walk around completely naked and to make love whenever they wanted on every surface available.
Living with Alex was amazing. Even when they screamed and fought, it was everything he had even wanted.
Michael loved this place and he was the happiest he had ever been.
So, for Michael, their cabin was definitely his favorite home.
But he was wrong. Yes, the cabin was his home, where he lived and loved and found his peace, but it wasn’t, in truth, his one true home.
It took some time and effort for Michael to finally acknowledge that his home wasn’t a place. It had never been. He finally understood the truth when he realized that of all the places he had ever considered like a home in his life, all of them were intimately linked to one single, very specific person.
Michael felt like he had been struck by lightning when the truth came out. All this time, it hadn’t been the places he had lived in that were his homes, but the very person he had been with in all those places.
For a genius, he could be a real dumbass sometimes.
The day he had this sudden revelation, Michael left work early and drove to their cabin. When he opened the door and saw Alex seated in their living room, Michael got down on one knee to finally ask him to marry him. The ring he had bought at 22 had been tucked in his pocket for nearly a month now.
When Alex asked why, happy tears shining in his beautiful eyes, Michael simply answered, “Because you are my home.”
And it was Michael Guerin’s ultimate truth. He had found his home when he was 17 and had fallen in love with Alex Manes.
He wasn’t homeless anymore. He hadn’t been for years.
Alex was home.