Alec waited until everyone was busy clamouring round Max and loudly debating what the hell they were going to do next before he slipped away. Once out of sight he stopped the pretence of being able to walk normally and leant against the wall, closing his eyes briefly for a moment.

Every inch of him throbbed in time with his heartbeat and he'd given up trying to look at anything properly, given the fact he could see at least three of everything right now. He was fairly certain no one else had noticed – Max had been otherwise occupied and Logan had just teased him about getting beaten up by a girl.

Although he seriously had his doubts that the person who'd so successfully kicked his ass could be considered a girl in the usual sense of the word.

Joshua had been the only one who looked at him appraisingly and as much as he'd wanted to refuse, he's been forced to accept the big guy's help getting out of the van. It was that or land on his face, which probably would have attracted a little attention.

He told himself he just needed a minute to catch his breath. He was after all a transgenic - they'd been bred specifically to be stronger, tougher, and more resilient than regular humans.

Of course that wasn't to say they didn't still have their limits though. And he was pretty certain he'd just reached his.

He was about to try and move again, find a more comfortable place to rest for a while, when a voice made him jump.


He swore profusely, in more than one language, as every bruise protested the sudden movement he'd just made. Turning round, still leaning against the wall, he blinked until Joshua's canine expression came into view.

All three of them.

"Dammit, Joshua! Are you trying to give me a heart attack?" he demanded, berating himself for letting the fellow transgenic creep up on him like that.

"Alec hurt?"

The concern in Joshua's voice was touching. It was also the last thing he needed right now. He knew how stubborn Joshua could be when he put his mind to it and since the whole disaster with Berrisford he'd been more than a little protective of Alec.

Which, although he'd never admit it, was actually kinda nice.

It was not something he was used to though and right now he could have done without it, especially when he was busy trying to prove nothing was wrong.

"No, I'm fine. Just a few scratches that's al. Shouldn't you be seeing if Max needs a hand?"

It was a common misconception people frequently made when first encountering the canine transgenic, that he was slow or stupid. Just because he talked in that odd way of his and had a certain trusting naivety that seemed out of place in the world they lived in didn't mean he couldn't understand everything that was going on. In some cases, he actually saw more than most 'normal' people did.

Particularly when it came to Alec.

He'd been aware right from the start that the cocky act the younger man put on for everyone was just that – an act. As much as Joshua loved Max he'd rebuked her on more than one occasion for being too hard on Alec. Especially when it came out about the woman he'd loved and lost so tragically. On that occasion he'd actually managed to get Alec to talk to him, to let him help, but the following day it had been as if nothing happened. It made Joshua sad, that his friend thought he had to hide who he really was from everyone. He knew better than most how it felt to be afraid of revealing yourself, of how people would react. But Joshua had friends, people like Max and Logan, and Alec himself, who accepted him for who and what he was. He just wished Alec would realise he had that too.

In the meantime, he knew his friend was hurt more badly than he was letting on and he was determined to do something about it. Although Alec didn't know it, Joshua had appointed himself a guardian of sorts to him and he wasn't going to fail in his duties now.

"Alec lying. Let me help."

Alec bit his tongue. Joshua meant well and truth was, he was the closest thing Alec had to a best friend. But he really, really didn't need this. Forcing himself to keep calm he managed to dredge up a smile from somewhere that he hoped looked a lot more confident than it felt.

"That's nice, big fella, but I'm fine really. Why don't you go see what Max wants us to do next? I'll be out in a minute."

Joshua merely looked at him in that way of his, the one that made Alec feel he was seeing a lot more than he would have liked. Deciding that if Joshua wouldn't leave then he would have to, Alec pushed himself off the wall.

And promptly saw stars.

When they cleared he realised he was on the floor. Well, almost on the floor, since his top half was being held off the ground by Joshua. His head was leaning against Joshua's broad chest and he could hear the rumble as Joshua called for help. He would have told him to stop yelling, since it really wasn't helping his headache any, but he couldn't quite seem to get his brain and his mouth to communicate. He could hear rapid footsteps that sounded like someone was running, and he knew he should get up before anyone saw him - quite literally - in Joshua's lap but he was so tired.

Maybe he could just rest his eyes for a minute.

The last thing that registered with him was Joshua's big hand, gently brushing over his head, and the sound of his deep voice telling him everything was going to be alright.

And then there was nothing.

Joshua had seen the colour drain from Alec's face as he went to move and his enhanced reflexes meant he was able to catch his friend before he hit the floor. Cradling Alec against him, he could feel that his heart was beating too rapidly and that his skin was colder than it should be. This was bad. This was very bad.

He called frantically for Max. She would know what to do. He saw Alec's eyes flutter open briefly and he rubbed his hand over his friend's head, wanting to reassure him.

"It's alright. Joshua take care of things. Everything will be alright."

Alec looked for a moment like he would respond but then his eyes closed again and his head slumped against Joshua's chest. Joshua was suddenly very glad his canine DNA gave him the enhanced hearing that meant he could still hear Alec's heartbeat. Because if it weren't for that, he wouldn't have been certain he was even still alive.

He could hear running footsteps behind him and he heard Max's voice.

"Joshua? What is it, what's wrong?"

He turned his head to face her as she came to a stop next to him, closely followed by Logan. He saw her surprise when she saw Alec.

"Alec hurt – badly." said Joshua, allowing the fear to creep into his voice.

Max's face paled and she reached out her hand, putting it gently against the side of Alec's face.

"Dammit – he feels too cold. I think he's in shock." she said, her own voice tight with worry.

"He said he was fine." said Logan, looking just as worried. Despite whatever differences between them in the past they'd actually come to something of an understanding recently and he could tell straight away that whatever was wrong with Alec was serious.

Joshua knew that for all their disagreements Max did care about Alec, and as he looked past her at Logan he saw he looked just as worried.

"He never said anything in the van." continued Logan and Joshua looked down at Alec sadly.

"Alec hides things. Didn't want to make a fuss."

Max looked at him. "You knew though, didn't you?" she said quietly and Joshua nodded.

Max forced herself not to panic. Joshua was looking at her like he expected her to know what to do and she came to the sudden, horrible realisation that Alec's life might well be in her hands right now.

"Logan, go and fetch Sandra. Joshua, bring him over here."

She was surprised her voice sounded so steady. Logan immediately set off at practically a run to fetch their resident medical expert. Joshua meanwhile gathered Alec up in his arms with a tenderness that seemed almost out of place in someone his size. As Alec's head came to rest against his shoulder, Joshua followed Max as she led him to the room they'd cleared out at the back of the warehouse. It wasn't exactly sterile but it had a bed and a sink with actual running water, as well as the medical supplies they'd managed to hoard so far.

She hoped they had enough.

Joshua put Alec down gently on the bed and put his hand on Alec's head, resting it there as he looked up at Max with frightened eyes.

"Will he be alright?"

Max bit her lip.

"He'll be fine." she said, desperately hoping she was telling the truth.

She heard rapid footsteps and turning round saw Logan run into the room closely followed by Sandra. The young Asian woman was an X5 so like Max and Alec appeared perfectly normal. She'd been a doctor at the hospital until the whole human/transgenic 'war' had started up a few months ago. She'd decided to leave before her secret was discovered and since she'd joined them at Terminal City she'd quickly become the group's unofficial medic.

Not wasting time asking questions she went straight over to the bed and began examining Alec. She lifted his eyelids, frowning as she shone a penlight at his pupils. She felt his pulse and noted it was too fast and too shallow. She turned her head slightly, addressing Max.

"What happened?"

"He was in a fight with one of the soldiers back at Jam Pony. He got worked over pretty good." said Logan, jumping in since he'd actually been the one to rescue Alec.

"Did he complain of anything afterwards? Nausea? Dizziness? Pain anywhere in particular?"

Max sighed. "No, but then he wouldn't. Alec is stubborn with that stuff."

"I had to help him get out of the van." said Joshua quietly and Max cursed herself for not noticing that at the time. She'd just assumed because Alec was still being his usual sharp self that he was fine. She was afraid suddenly that assumption may have fatal consequences.

Sandra lifted Alec's shirt and they all winced as they saw the myriad of bruises that were developing already. She prodded the area gently and even unconscious, Alec groaned. Joshua moved closer and stroked his hair soothingly.

She looked a little grim as she stood back for a second.

"It feels like he has some broken ribs which could be causing internal bleeding. He's definitely loosing blood somewhere and he's going into shock already."

"What can you do?" said Max, her stomach flipping at Sandra's diagnosis.

"I need to operate. If we don't stop the bleeding, he'll die. As it is he's unstable. It's not going to be easy with the limited equipment we have." she said.

There was a brief silence as the seriousness of the situation sunk in. It was Joshua who spoke first.

"Please." he said, and when Sandra looked at him she understood he was pleading with her to save his friend's life. She squared her shoulders.

"Alright – this is what I'm going to need."

Two long hours later Alec was resting as comfortably as possible. Max had assisted Sandra with the surgery, forcing herself to detach from the situation. Now the immediate danger was past though she was sitting on an old plastic chair just outside the room, waiting for her knees to stop shaking long enough for her to stand up.

They'd been lucky, in a way. Sandra had located the source of the bleeding almost immediately and managed to stop it with some well placed stitches. She assured them that the stitches would dissolve as the area healed itself over the next few days. Once that was done she'd stitched the wound, wrapped the broken ribs so they didn't do anymore damage, and started him on a course of antibiotics given the less than sterile conditions. Once the operation was finished there'd been a moment of panic when Alec's blood pressure had started dropping. Sandra had tensely announced it was because of the blood loss and Joshua – who had refused to leave Alec's side, even while they operated – had immediately volunteered to donate. She'd quickly hooked him up and now the canine transgenic was sitting there, holding his friend's hand and talking quietly to him. Max could have heard what was being said but deliberately wasn't listening. It wasn't for her ears.

Sandra had been reluctant to give any guarantees but had cautiously said that if there was no infection, and if his blood pressure stabilised, then his chances were good. Max found herself literally willing the cocky X5 to hang on.

It was strange but she hadn't truly realised till now just how much she had come to care about him. She knew she'd been unfair on him, more than once, because of her own feelings about Ben and what had happened. It wasn't his fault he reminded her of that, and she resolved when he woke up she'd be making a few overdue apologies. They'd grown closer though, after she'd admitted what had happened with his clone, and she'd realised that Joshua was right – there was far more going on under the surface, if you only stopped to look. When he'd had his past dragged up, she'd witnessed another side to him. The side that had been as damaged by Manticore as the rest of them. Who'd suffered as much as they had.

It made her look at him in a different light and now whenever she was about to get angry or frustrated with him she forced herself to look beyond first impressions. It wasn't always easy, and she was the first to admit sometimes she probably still judged him harshly, but she was trying. The truth was he was a part of this family of theirs – just like Logan, and Cindy, and Joshua. And the thought of losing him made tears well.


She looked up, blinking rapidly and rubbing at her eyes almost angrily. Logan put his hand on her shoulder and looked down at her compassionately.

"How's he doing?"

She glanced back into the room before answering.

"Not great. Sandra fixed the bleed and it should heal now, along with his ribs, but he lost a lot of blood. She's giving him a transfusion from Joshua but she can't say for sure if it will be enough."

Logan sighed, surprised how much the news upset him.

"He'll be ok, you'll see. He's stubborn." he said, trying to sound reassuring.

Max shook her head.

"Yeah, too stubborn. Why the hell didn't he say he'd been hurt? If we'd realised sooner."

She tailed off. Logan squeezed her shoulder.

"You know what he's like – he's worse than you about handling stuff alone. Besides he probably didn't even realise it was that bad. What with the adrenaline and everything – we hardly had time to stop and draw breath what with the cops and Manticore on our tails."

She sagged against the chair.

"I know, you're right. I'm just so mad at myself for not checking properly."

Logan shook his head.

"I didn't either, and I saw how much he got thrown around. It was just one of those things. At least we had a doctor here, that counts for something."

"Yeah. I guess."

She braced herself and stood up, her legs still feeling slightly shaky.

"I need to go check how things are going. Joshua is gonna be there a while with the transfusion and I've a feeling he won't be moving until Alec is ok anyway."

Logan smiled.

"Yeah, I doubt a nuclear bomb could shift him and I pity anyone who tries."

Max smiled slightly.

"It's gotta be one of the most unlikely friendships I've ever seen, but Joshua thinks the world of him. And funny thing is? I know Alec feels the same. Even if he would never admit it."

Logan smiled too. Max was right, Joshua was the only one really Alec had actually formed a relationship with at first.

"This will destroy Joshua if we loose him. Especially after what happened with Annie." she said softly.

"We're not going to loose him." said Logan firmly and Max had to smile at the fact he said 'we', probably without even realising it. She had a feeling Alec would be surprised to learn just how many people he had who cared about him. She resolved to make sure he knew if – when – he woke up.

She stepped into the room quietly and Joshua looked up at her.

"Hey big fella. I have to go check how things are going. If anything happens, you just yell ok? I'll be back as soon as I can."

Joshua nodded.

"Joshua take care of Alec." he said and Max smiled at him.

"Yeah, I know you do. Just remember, Sandra's going to be back soon to unhook you. I know you want to help but it'll do no one any good if you make yourself ill, ok?"

Joshua nodded, reluctantly.

Max stood there for a second and on impulse reached out and put her hand on Alec's head briefly. She leant forward to whisper in his ear.

"You hang on, you hear me? You even think about dying I'll kick your ass."

She stood up, taking one last look at his pale face. Steeling herself, she turned round and left him in Joshua's capable hands.

Four hours later the place was quiet. It was the early hours of the morning and most of the inhabitants of Terminal City were taking the opportunity to get some sleep. Nobody knew exactly what would happen when the inevitable war began and they knew they should make the most of the chance to rest.

Joshua had donated as much blood as possible, finally giving in and allowing Sandra to unhook him only when he nearly slid off the chair because he was so dizzy. He was asleep now, his head resting on the bed next to Alec's arm and still holding his hand tightly, as if he could physically keep his friend with him.

Logan had sat with them for a bit earlier, talking to Joshua to try and distract him and watching Alec just as anxiously as the rest of them. Sandra had checked on him before she turned in, about an hour ago, and proclaimed he was doing as well as could be expected.

Max guessed that was the best they could hope for right now.

She shifted slightly in her chair, rolling her neck to try and iron out the kinks. She could have found somewhere more comfortable to sleep but she didn't want to leave Alec or Joshua for that matter. If something happened she wanted to be there.

She heard footsteps and looked up as Cindy came into the room, carrying two mugs. She handed one to Max and dropped down onto the floor next to her.

"How's our boy doing?" she said and Max flicked her gaze over to the bed and back again.

"He's hanging on."

Cindy nodded. "Glad to hear it."

Max smiled and Cindy looked at her quizzically.

"What's so funny, boo?"

"Nothing. It's just Alec would be stunned if he knew just how many people are rooting for him to be ok. I've been fielding questions on his condition all night – he's really made an impression on a lot of the people here. Even Logan is really worried. I don't think Alec has any idea just how many friends he has." she said softly.

Cindy shook her head.

"That'd be about right. Boy can't see what's there in front of his face. Maybe it's time someone pointed out the truth to him."

Max nodded. "Maybe it is." she said, thoughtfully.

Alec felt slightly like he was trying to surface from the bottom of a very deep lake. His mind was fuzzy and his limbs felt heavy. He struggled to open his eyes, managing it on the fourth attempt and reflecting that it really shouldn't be that difficult.

He was lying down, that much was obvious, and it was dark except for a pale glow coming from somewhere to his left. He was aware of a couple of things as his senses slowly came back to life. One was that his side was throbbing quite badly, and his chest felt tight. The second thing was that someone appeared to be holding his hand.

Wincing as he shifted his head, he glanced down and saw it was Joshua. His friend was leaning forward with his head on the bed, clearly asleep, and with Alec's hand held carefully in his own. As he looked Alec saw the white edges of bandages on his chest, just visible above the edge of the blue blanket that was covering him.

Moving his head to the right now he realised he was in the back room at Terminal City. He also saw he and Joshua weren't alone – lying on the floor by the far wall were two figures he could easily make out, with his enhanced vision, as Max and Cindy.

He frowned as he tried to remember how he'd ended up like this. For a moment things were blank but then it came flooding back. The hostage situation, the fight with the psycho solider, Joshua asking him if he was ok just before he collapsed.

"Aw hell." he muttered. Clearly there'd been a bit more wrong with him than just a few bruises. He was never gonna live this down.

He was contemplating trying to sit up when he heard someone coming. Closing his eyes again, out of instinct, he waited. Whoever it was came into the room quietly and walked over to the bed. He felt a hand against his forehead and just managed to stop himself jumping. He recognised the aftershave the person was wearing but surely it couldn't be..

Logan's feet almost left the ground as Alec's eyes suddenly opened and he looked right at him.

"Jesus! You nearly gave me a heart attack!" he exclaimed, and Alec couldn't help smirking slightly.

"Sorry." he said, feeling a little guilty.

Logan just grinned though, looking both happy and relieved.

"Don't worry about it. It's good to see you awake – you had us all worried."

Alec frowned a little at the 'us all' part but didn't say anything.

"What happened?" he asked, speaking quietly so as not to disturb Joshua.

"Well, turns out those bruises of yours were a bit more serious than you thought. You had internal bleeding. Sandra managed to fix it, and wrapped up your ribs for you as those are broken too by the way. You'd lost a lot of blood though. Luckily Joshua here was happy to donate."

Alec glanced at the canine transgenic.

"So I'm a dog boy now? That's just great." he said, although in truth he was touched.

Logan chuckled.

"Yeah, well – that makes both of us remember? Hey, I guess after this we're practically brothers."

The look of complete surprise on Alec's face made Logan laugh out loud.

"Did I wake up in some parallel universe?" the X5 asked, only half kidding, and Logan shook his head.

"'Fraid not. Seriously though, it was touch and go for a while there. You were lucky."

Alec considered that, feeling a little self conscious.

"That's me – always with the luck."

Logan hesitated for a second before putting his hand on Alec's shoulder. Alec looked at him, surprised.

"I'm glad you're ok." he said and Alec was for once at a loss for words.

"Uh, thanks." he managed in the end, feeling awkward.

Not entirely comfortable with the situation himself, Logan turned to look at Max and Cindy.

"I should let Max know you're awake – it's almost dawn anyway."

Before Alec could protest Logan had crossed the room and was bent down next to the two women.

He shook Max's shoulder gently and she came awake instantly.

"What's wrong? Is it Alec?" she said, sitting up straight away and waking Cindy.

"In a way." said Logan with a smile and he moved to one side so Max could see Alec was awake.

"Alec!" she exclaimed, leaping to her feet and crossing the room in two steps.

Alec blushed slightly at her response and shifted with a grimace.

"Hey Max." he said.

She came to a stop, putting her hand on his arm. The look on her face was one of total joy and he was, for the second time in one day, reduced to stunned silence.

"It's good to see you awake." she said, forcing herself to calm down.

Alec looked pale still and there were dark shadows under his eyes but he was the best thing she'd seen in a long time.

"Thanks." he said, almost shyly.

Cindy was on her feet now too, wiping the sleep from her eyes. She came over and gave Alec a big smile.

"Well it's about time, sugar. You been getting everyone tied in knots round here you know."

Alec swore his brain had stopped working. All his witty comebacks had deserted him and he wanted more than anything to just crawl under the blankets. He wasn't used to this much care and concern, it was making him uncomfortable.

Logan seemed to sense this and he stepped back.

"I'm gonna go check on the situation out front." he said, flashing a final smile at Alec which the transgenic tentatively returned.

"I'll come with you." said Cindy, leaning forward and giving Alec a kiss on the cheek as she left.

Max struggled to hide her smile at the look on Alec's face. It was priceless. Once they were alone again – except for the sleeping Joshua – he frowned.

"Ok, did everyone get taken over by aliens or something while I was out? You're all acting – weird."

Max rolled her eyes.

"We're not acting weird, we're concerned about you. You nearly died, Alec. You should have said you were hurt."

He shrugged and then made a note not to do that again in the near future.

"I thought it was just a few bruises that's all." which wasn't a total lie. Not really.

"Well it wasn't. You really did give us a scare." she said softly and there was something in her tone he couldn't quite place. He'd heard it once before, when she'd checked on him after Rachel had died.

"That's what Logan said."

She seemed to think about something for a minute, then she sat carefully on the edge of the bed. Looking him in the eye her expression became serious.

"There were a lot of people worried about you, Alec. You've got a lot of friends here. People that care about you. I know how hard it is to get your head round that, believe me I know. But the thing is we're lucky, both of us – we don't have to do this stuff on our own. You need to start realising that, before your stubbornness gets you killed."

Alec really didn't know what to say. He could see Max was serious, but he'd never expected to hear her say something like that – to him of all people.

He was saved from having to answer by Joshua, who picked that precise moment to wake up. As he sat up he saw Max and then he saw Alec was awake and his face lit up.

"Alec!" he said, practically shouting, and Alec winced but smiled back. It was impossible not to.

"Hey Josh." he said and Joshua literally bounced with excitement.

Sensing Alec needed time to process what he'd just heard, and that Joshua could well be just the person to help with that, Max stood up.

"I'll see if I can find some food. You need to get your strength back up – both of you. Be right back." she said, patting Alec's leg gently under the blanket.

Alec watched her go, almost warily. Once she was out of sight he turned to Joshua, who was looking at him with an appraising expression.

"What?" said Alec, feeling like he was under a microscope.

"You feel better?" said Joshua and Alec nodded, giving him a tired smile.

"Yeah, I do. Listen, Logan tells me you donated some of the good stuff for me. I guess I owe you one, huh?"

Joshua shook his head.

"No. Not owe. Joshua give blood because Alec is his friend. Family. It is good blood, it will make you well again."

"Yeah, I'm sure it will buddy. But I owe you one anyway, I mean it."

Joshua made a noise partway between a growl and a sigh.

"You still do not see." he said and Alec raised his eyebrows.

"See what?"

"What Max said. You have friends. You are not alone - should not keep pushing people away."

Alec blinked. "You heard that? Just how long were you awake?"

Joshua ducked his head slightly, a slight smile on his face.

"Long enough."

Alec sighed. Great – now they were coming at him from all angles. It wasn't that he didn't appreciate it, it was just going to take some time to get used to the idea. He'd never intended to do anything more than make enough money to get the hell out after he left Manticore. And then somehow he'd been drawn in to this bunch of misfits, until one day he'd woken up and realised he actually liked it there. That he actually cared about these people.

He'd just never thought for one moment that maybe they cared about him.

"What are you afraid of?"

The softly spoken question startled him and he looked up to meet Joshua's thoughtful gaze. He swallowed.

"I don't know." he said, honestly.

Joshua put his hand on Alec's shoulder.

"Then do not be afraid. You must trust us. We will take care of you."

Alec opened his mouth to say he didn't need taking care of but then it occurred to him that sometimes, like now, maybe that wasn't true. He was uncomfortably aware that if Joshua hadn't stopped him he'd have probably hidden away somewhere, hoping to sleep it off. And by the time anyone would have noticed he was gone or come looking for him it could well have been too late.

It was a sobering thought.

Because as much as he wanted to live, which obviously he did, it also made him think about the impact that would have had on others. He'd never had anyone to worry about except himself, but now he could see from the reactions of Joshua and Max, and even Logan and Cindy, that if something happened to him he'd be genuinely missed. That it would actually cause someone pain.

As the thought registered with him he realised it wasn't a totally bad feeling and he smiled.

"I guess I could give it a go." he said and Joshua beamed at him, slapping him slightly too energetically on the shoulder.

Alec spent the day, and most of the next night, sleeping. Despite Joshua's donation he still had a lot of strength to rebuild. Joshua insisted on staying with him and Max dropped by quite a bit too, even though he slept through most of her visits.

By the third day he was itching to get up and waited until everyone was occupied before slipping out of the room. He was dizzy at first but once he'd been upright for a while that became manageable. He made his way slowly to what passed for a bathroom, washed carefully so as not to get his stitches wet, and dressed in fresh clothes. All of which made him feel much better.

It was also enough to tire him out and he was lucky it was Joshua who came looking for him and not Max. His friend had looked at him disapprovingly but hadn't said anything, simply helping him into the main area of the warehouse and putting him, firmly, in an old armchair that had been lying around.

Max had been slightly unhappy to see him up and about but he'd insisted he was feeling better and wanted to do something useful. In the end she'd reluctantly agreed he could check their weapons, since that didn't require anything strenuous, and he soon got into a soothing rhythm with guns, knives and ammo spread in a large pile around the chair.

Joshua meanwhile was painting their flag, less than a foot away from him. He had a feeling he wouldn't be getting very far without his constant shadow for the next few days but he could handle that.

By the time Joshua had finished the flag the following morning Alec was determined not to miss it's unveiling.

It was Logan who gave him a hand to get up the stairs and Alec found he quite liked the comfortableness that seemed to have settled between them since the big fight. He'd always actually liked Logan and that had been one of the reasons why he was so pissed when Max used him as an excuse to split up with the guy. It was common knowledge now though that hadn't been true, so there was no reason for them to have any issues. Apart from the usual lively debates that they both actually enjoyed.

It wouldn't do for things to get too 'Waltons', Alec had already decided.

As he stood on the roof, Cindy holding his arm on one side for support, he watched Joshua raise his flag. He saw Logan take Max's hand and smiled to himself. Virus or no virus those two were going to find a way.

Assuming they all lived that long of course.

He knew he should have felt scared by what was coming but he was strangely calm. He couldn't explain it but he had a good feeling about the coming battle. Whether society liked it or not they existed and they were here to stay.

'Normal' humans would just have to learn to deal with that.

But whatever the outcome of the coming days he knew if it came to the end, he'd have no regrets. Because he'd finally achieved something he could never have even dreamed of during those dark days at Manticore.

He'd found a home. Family. People that he cared about and who returned the favour.

And that was something he wouldn't change for the world.