A tow truck pulled up in the lane to the David's farmhouse to collect the mobile home that had been parked in it for, what seemed like an eternity.
Claira ran down the lane to watch it pull away.
"Well, good morning, sweet pea." Steve said walking out from his cottage.
"Is that it? Is that your temporary home gone for good?"
"Gone and good riddance to it. My back couldn't have stood another night on that makeshift bed." Steve said watching Claira move up to him for a hug.
"Claira?" Sarah said from the cottage.
Claira looked back then to Steve.
"Of course. My home is your playground."
He watched her run in as he now watched David walk up to him.
"So, this is the big day, ha?" David said holding out his hand.
"You could call it that, in two ways." He said shaking it.
David looked at him.
"Meaning, the bureau?"
"Hmm, but lets not let them spoil the first part of the day. Come in to my humble abode and lets have a toast."
"You might have just pulled my leg."
They walked in and he handed out the drinks.
"To my new neighbour." Steve said looking at him.
"Your only neighbour."
They drank their glass of wine.
They walked through to the new area.
"This den is great. I couldn't have done it without you."
"Well, I am the architect and I must say that it has turned out pretty good."
"Better than good. It's brilliant."
"I hope the roof stays up." David said raising a laugh.
"It will stay up, unless a saucer decides to land on it. I didn't make it that strong."
The phone now started to ring.
"Excuse me." He said moving to the phone. "Steve O'Brien…"
David moved to the kitchen to pour out two more glasses as the children ran in.
"Hey great. My dad's given in to us indulging on intoxicating liquor, come on Sarah, grab a glass." Claira said moving forward.
"You touch that and your feet wont touch the floor for a month!" He said looking at her.
She watched him then moved back.
Steve now finished his phone call and moved in to the kitchen and grabbed a glass.
"Bad news?" David said watching him.
He looked at him.
"That was the bureau. They want to see me as soon as possible."
"Alright. I'll drive you in to town."
"I can do this on my own, David, I don't need a wet nurse to…" He stopped and remembered where he was. He now looked at the children.
"Look, erm, David, can you get these kids out of my hair for a while, ha? I erm, I don't feel like, like being around you for a while."
"Being around, us? What does that supposed to mean?" Claira asked looking at him.
"Claira, just leave it." David said moving to her.
"No! He meant something by that, dad, do you mean 'us' as in humans, Steve?"
"Yes, I mean humans. Now get out of here!" He said throwing the glass to the wall.
David looked at him.
"I'll call you, when… when you've had a chance to cool down."
He nodded and moved away.
David grabbed the children and went out.
"What's going on, David?" Sarah asked as they walked back to the farmhouse.
"Nothing is going on, Sarah. Steve just needs some time alone, that's all. The move has got to him."
"The move? I've never seen an alien act like that before, dad, what's going on?"
He looked at her.
"The bureau want to see him today. I've offered to give him a lift, to be with there when they see him."
"See him about what? Dad, you're not making any sense, what's wrong with Steve?"
"Steve wants to be recognised as a human, but the bureau see it differently. They wont allow him to have a birth certificate. Steve is officially classed as an alien to them."
"A birth certificate? Something to make him prove that he was born on Earth," She said looking down.
"But, he wasn't, was he, David?" Sarah said looking at him.
He looked at her then walked on with the children.
Steve drove in to town that afternoon where Ed Scoville was waiting for him.
"Come on in, sit down."
"Do you want a drink?"
"Scotch, thank you."
Ed moved to the drinks cabernet.
"I'm surprised that David isn't here…. He said looking back.
"I don't need him to shadow me everywhere I go. I can handle this situation on my own."
Ed watched him then handed him the glass.
"I know what my position in life and this bureau means to you, and in all fairness I'm sorry for the situation that you now find yourself in."
"Well, your bureau put me in it. I'm just happy to carry on my life as a persona non gratis if that's how it has to be."
"If there was any other way, Steve, you know that I would help you, but the law of the bureau is to go to any lengths within the American right of man to destroy all aliens and you are an alien. You cannot have a birth certificate because officially you were not born on Earth."
"The bureau's law is not the governments law, not the American Law as it stands today. I could walk out there and into a legal office and get myself a birth certificate and you would be none the wiser."
"You have no legal documents whatsoever, you do not exist to anyone out there, except for the Vincent's and Sarah Whitten who is a minor and at this moment is in as much of a problem as you are."
"You mean in regards to no family…?" He said then looked away.
Ed looked at him then went through his files.
"I want to adopt her. Give her a home a new beginning, with me, someone that loves her like she was my own."
"Impossible! You're not in any position to adopt anyone. The state does not recognise an alien as a human being."
"Then do something that will!" He said jumping up.
"You're a test case Steven, I can't help you." He said closing up the file.
Steve looked at him then went out.
David was checking dinner when Steve pulled in to the farmhouse driveway.
"Kids, Steve is back."
They jumped up from the sofa.
"Steve!" They both shouted.
David watched them bowl to the back door and run out.
"Well, if I knew that I was going to get this much attention coming home I would have got here sooner."
They followed him in.
"Bro?" He said walking in and grabbing a drink.
David watched him.
"I guess your meeting didn't go to plan?"
"You guess right. I am officially persona non-gratis. Now I know how Charlie Chaplin must of felt." He said moving away.
David watched him.
"Dinner will soon be ready. Are you hungry?"
"Well, it hasn't taken my appetite away. Hey, maybe that's it bro, go on a hunger strike. I don't eat until I get my birth certificate. It might work."
"And pigs might fly."
He stopped and looked at him.
"Well it was worth a try."
They were soon having dinner, which was unusually quiet, as everyone knew what everyone else was thinking.
"I can't believe that it all comes down to one piece of paper. A scrap of paper that tells you where you were born, what date, your parents, even your grandparents if you really want to go back into history. The trouble is I have no history. I don't even have a dam future at the moment." Steve said slowing getting drunk on David's scotch.
"It's red tape, we'll work something out, I promise."
"Yeah, it sure is red tape. My red tape as it disappears right up my, as I slowly burn to hell… Red tape… I can't even apply for a green card!"
He now noticed them all looking at him.
"Do you want to help me with the dishes?" David asked getting up.
"Yeah, why not." He said moving up to the sink.
"I have my birth certificate around here somewhere. It has dad's name on it… if I can only find it." Claira said getting up from her seat.
"It has David's name on it? How's that Claira, your adopted, it should have your parents name on it, shouldn't it?" Sarah asked watching her.
"It does have my parents name on it and it also informs you that I was adopted… ah here it is." Claira said running back in. "See, Claira Vincent, born September 2nd 1995." Claira now placed it on the table and Steve looked back.
"That reminds me." He said turning back.
"What reminds you?"
"The adoption. I want to adopt Sarah as soon as possible. She needs a father and I know that I can be one to her."
David looked at him.
"Are you sure? I mean, you can't even get yourself recognised as a person at the moment, how long do you think it will take to become a father?"
"How long did it take you?"
"Months! I had to fight off the competition from the aliens who tried to take Claira away from me."
"I might think about giving up after a year then." He said finishing the last plate and going to Sarah for a hug.
David looked back and watched them. He now looked at Claira reading her birth certificate.
The next day David drove in to town for a meeting with Ed Scoville.
"Did you manage to catch Steve yesterday?"
"Oh yes. He drank all my scotch to drown his sorrows." He said then sat down.
"Hmm, I thought that he might do something like that."
"Well, what did you expect? You practically threw a big red sign at him with the word 'alien' written over it, right at him yesterday. He's going to wake up with one hell of a hangover this morning."
"We cannot help him, David. Our hands are tied."
"Maybe you wont have to help him."
"What do you mean?"
"How about if I offered out my hand of friendship and adopted him just like I adopted Claira?"
Ed looked at him.
"You really want to do that?"
"In order for him to adopt Sarah, yes. Steve's right, she does need a father and Steve is perfect for her."
"But, making Steve a part of your family. Your family David, and you were the first to discover these aliens and now you want to have one of them as, as your brother?"
"In order to help him out in any way possible, yes." He said looking at him. ""Can it be done?"
"Well, legally, yes, but, David, you have to stop and think about this."
"I have. All night as I watched him get slowly drunk on my scotch!" He said standing up and turning to face him.
Ed watched him.
"Would you sort out the paperwork for me?"
"If you really want this?"
"I want this. There is no other way."
"Alright. I'll sort the paperwork out. You can bring him in tomorrow."
"Don't worry, I will. Thank you." He said holding out his hand.
"Personally, I think your mad David, but it is your family…" He said shaking it.
"Your right, it is, and Steve is a big part of my family."
Ed now watched him leave.
David drove home and moved into the farmhouse. Steve was still flat out of the sofa.
"I don't believe this. That's where I left him this morning."
"He hasn't moved. You don't think that he's, he's…" Claira said taking David's hand.
"No, I certainly don't think he's dead, Claira. Come on bro, up and at 'em." He said nudging him.
"Ah, not so loud." He said moving and then holding his head.
Sarah now moved up to him.
"Are you alright, Steve?"
He sat up.
"I'm fine, darling."
"Black coffee?" David said going into the kitchen.
"And loads of it, quick!" He said getting up and following him.
"Where have you been all morning, daddy?" Claira asked behind him.
He looked at her.
He now looked at Steve.
"Sorting a few things out, darling."
Steve held his head.
"The only things you need to sort out in town are that bureau! Edgar Scoville is coming straight off my Christmas list."
"As a matter of fact I was sorting out the bureau and your problem with them."
Steve now focused in on him.
"Try the coffee first. You might want to sit down."
"I'm fed up with the courtesy bit, David, just tell me what you went to the bureau about."
He looked at him.
"About you getting a birth certificate…."
Steve now turned away.
"Forget it, I've tried, it's a non starter." He said grabbing the cup, which held the black liquid.
"As Steve Vincent."
Steve turned back to look at him and nearly dropped the cup.
"Steve, Steve Vincent?"
"If you could live with me as your brother, I mean, if not,"
Steve now jumped up and hugged him.
"Hey, easy. I'm not that way inclined."
He now shook his hand.
"Steven Vincent…. Man, I've got to let that one sink in."
"Take all the time you need. You sign the documents tomorrow which should then allow you to adopt Sarah, if that is still you intentions."
He looked at him then remembered Sarah and looked back.
"My god, Sarah!"
Sarah was with Claira who were both looking on in amazement.
"I've got to get her home. I need to explain…"
"Well, there's no time like the present."
"Your right, yeah." He said then went up to the children. He looked at Claira first. "Darling." He said touching her face.
"Shooosh, not yet. In the morning."
He now moved to Sarah.
"I think that it's time I took you home. We need to talk about what is going to happen in the morning." He said picking her up and carrying her out.
Claira moved up to David and he now held her.
He looked at her.
"Is that the only way that Steve, Uncle Steve can, can?"
He kissed her. "It's the only way darling and it's the best way. For Steve and for Sarah."
The next day they were in town. Ed watched Steve as he walked in to his office.
"I have to tell you Steve that this has come as some kind of a shock to the bureau, what David has done…"
"In a way sir, it has come as a bit of a shock to me too, although our meanings are completely different."
"Do you also have the file for Sarah's adoption?" David asked looking at the forms.
"It's all there. All notarised, ready to be signed."
David picked up the pen.
"Well then, lets get it over with." Steve said taking the pen from him.
Ed now walked away quite loudly which made everyone in the room stop for a moment and watch him.
"Bro…?" David said diverting his attention back to the paperwork.
He now signed the form and then David signed it. He looked at Steve.
"Congratulations, it's a brother." Steve said shaking David's hand.
The family now hugged each other.
"Now, I think it's time you had a daughter." David said looking on.
He looked at him then Sarah and signed his name on the adoption form. He now moved up to her.
"Miss Sarah Whitten, my name is Steve Vincent and I have just become your father, making you now, Sarah Vincent." He said taking hold of her.
They watched them.
Claira now went up to her.
"That means you now have to call him dad."
"Claira, I think she knows that darling. Anyway, you were calling me dad long before I adopted you." David said looking on.
She now looked at him.
"I know I was daddy, but, but…" She now went to him for a hug.
"And don't forget darling, this now means you have a cousin." Steve said looking on.
She looked back. "Yeah, a cousin. Wow, that's one member of the family I've never had, great Uncle Steve." She said beaming at him.
Ed now coughed behind them.
"Erm, if you're quite finished I would like my office back."
"Come on, let's get out of here before I say something I might not regret." Steve said as they left.
Ed moved to the paperwork and stared at the signatures upon the pages then slowly picked them up and filed them away.
They went to a local watering hole for a meal. Steve checked his birth certificate.
"Will you stop flashing that around? You were born, what else is on there that's so interesting?" David asked looking on.
"Our parents. Hey bro, even our grandparents."
"Well, now you have a past, what are you going to do in the future?" He said raising his glass in a toast.
He lifted his glass, looked at him then the children then back at David again.
"Live. What every alien has ever dreamed of."
David looked at him then at Claira who was staring at him. David now slowly nodded and acknowledged him and started to drink the contents of his glass.
They enjoyed the rest of the day and evening together.