Staring at the words inked into his skin the first thought in Alex's mind was Michael. He couldn't trust him. The one person he wanted to trust. Needed to trust. The weight of that realization pressed down on him and for a brief moment it was hard to breathe. How could the humans possibly survive when the one thing looking out for them isn't dependable? How could he save the world without the angel's help? Then Alex remembered he may have trusted him, but everything had been a lie. Maybe not everything, but enough.
"Nothing. I can't read anything." Alex states cooly his inner storm of emotions hidden from his voice. Years of practice in the tunnels lending its aid. Letting his hands drop to his side Alex closed his eyes. The crushing weight of pending decisions filling his mind.
Suddenly finger tips graced the side of Alex's arms. Trailing up the new darkness staining his skin. Alex resisted the initial startled reaction and fought the urge to pull away from the warmth.
If Michael thought Alex was disappointed in his abilities he was wrong. The soldier didn't need reassurance. He needed to be someone else. Alex never liked being touched. Not unless he was doing the touching. In control. Too much of Alex's life was, still is, out of his control. Who touched him shouldn't be part of it.
Michael's powerful fingers traced the writing, sending a small jolt coursing through the tattoos. Alex couldn't keep his shoulders from tensing as Michael's palms glided over them. Unable to resist the urge to squirm away any longer, Alex made to step away as the gentle pressure of the angel's hands curved into the base of his neck. Sensing the motion Michael's hands quickly slid to cradle the base of Alex's skull preventing The soldier's movement.
The angel's thumbs caressed the short hair on the back of the blonde's neck in a soothing manner. The soldier tilted his head up on instinct attempting to avoid the contact. Only to rest more comfortably between Michael's lithe fingers. Alex closed his eyes for a second as a calm fell over him.
It took a second for the soldier's brain to catch up. His lack of control over the encounter finally breaking through. Anger at Michael's brash treatment of him coiled in Alex's stomach as his brain finally processed the cause of the serene warmth encasing his neck.
How dare the angel think he had the right to touch the tattoos? To touch Alex! The leader of the human race had given these scripts away. He had no entitlement to them, not anymore. Alex owed him nothing. Yet even as the blonde voiced the thought in his head he could feel his heart curl in denial. He swallowed hard, opening his mouth to tell the angel off, clinging to the anger instead of the loyalty screaming at him. Alex quickly shut it again before any sound could slip through. Hot breath caressed the hairs on the back of his head as Michael stepped closer. The tip of his nose caressing Alex's hair. The angel's clothes rustled with the small movement, the only sound in the silent room, reminding Alex to breath. Michael took one deep breath before his voice filled the room.
"You didn't want this." Michael said only a small ounce of emotion creeping through his usual monotone. Alex could feel the tip of the angel's nose touch the back of his neck as the dark haired creature tilted his head down. Michael's breath warming Alex's skin.
"But you are not alone, Alex." The hands cradling Alex's jaw made a slow track back down to cup his shoulders as the angel spoke. "I will always be here for you."
Those words hit him. Alex sucked in a sharp breath. Pain ripping through his heart, followed closely by hatred and anger. He tore out of the angel's hands, who didn't put up much of a fight. Alex spun around quickly, taking in Michael's near emotionless face. Only the smallest glint of actual human emotion existed in the being's dark eyes. Thats when Alex knew he was a fool. He had felt that this prestigious peacock sitting up on his summit perch had something to do with him. Like they where connected. Close. Like he mattered. But that was all bullshit. Just because this creature was the closest thing Alex had to a father while growing up, did not mean they were close. It simply meant he was delusional and he wasn't about to let the angel use his wishful thinking against him. Michael was important to their survival yes, but Alex had let himself believe the leader of their city was important personally to the lowly soldier. Let himself feel like the angel had actually cared for him as a person. He was wrong though. Those feelings no matter how stretched and warped they were on Alex's part, the soldier's desire to fill the empty holes, weren't the problem in the end. Alex was simply a thing. A means to an end, and in the end, the angel had stood by and watched. Never helped. All of those years of fear and suffering, living day to day on scraps, alone, all the while under Michael's dark watchful eye.
"Alex." Michael spoke softly his near emotionless eyes never leaving Alex's. The chosen child shook his head slipping past the majestic angel and quickly out of the door. Michael didn't follow which worked out great for him . Alex couldn't look at their leader, because despite everything he still admired the angel. He still saw him as the only one who had been there. Even though Michael was never really there. Had never helped. He had simply existed, swooping in to exact punishment or the ever elusive praise. But Alex had known him from the start and for some reason that was enough in the end, for his heart at least. That had been enough.