Pairing: Alexei/Evgeni, Mika/Michael
11 December 2008, Finland
Every year for a couple weeks in the beginning of December, Mika and Michael would go away for two weeks to a cabin Mika had hidden away in Finland, just the two of them, before parting and going back to their families for Christmas (well, for Mika to be with his children, after his divorce).
It was always a great opportunity to unwind, to let down their guards (Mika had specifically chosen the location for its isolation), and to be lazy and just enjoy each other.
Mika had gotten up before Michael, as he always did, and was standing outside, enjoying the weather and the light snow that was falling down. Or at least he was, before Michael decided to pelt him on the head with a snowball.
“Why you little…!” Mika hollered, giving chase to a laughing Michael around the cabin, each trying to pelt the other with snow, until Mika finally tricked him and tackled him to the ground. They spent minutes laughing, Mika on top of Michael, before Mika bent down to kiss him good morning, when they heard a familiar noise.
Both of them looked up to see the TARDIS at the edge of the woods. They got up, dusted the snow off themselves, and walked over toward the TARDIS.
The Doctor bounced out. “Helloooooooooo?”
“Doctor!” Michael said, grinning. “Why aren’t you in warm clothes?”
“I’m wearing a scarf!”
“Ignore him, he’s just glad to see you. It’s been years, Doctor, how have you been?” Mika said, matching Michael’s smile.
“Oh, well, well, the usual, traveling through space and time, you know.”
“Coerced anyone else to travel with you?”
“I seem to recall a certain then-Benetton driver saying ‘all right’ when I asked if you wanted to come along. Speaking of, did I not tell you that you two would enjoy your future?”
“Yes, you did, and now you’re going to be smug that you’re right, aren’t you?”
“No! What do you take me for?” Then the three of them laughed.
“What are you doing here, anyway, Doctor?” Mika asked.
“Well, I am actually traveling with a couple of people. One of them wanted to come here.”
“Oh that’s nice, we could compare notes on travels with you. Where are they?”
“They’re probably getting warm clothes. Probably heard you complaining about mine, Michael.”
“You mean your lack thereof.”
“I’m wearing a scarf!”
While the Doctor was partially right, Alexei and Evgeni were also watching on the monitor outside as the Doctor talked to the two strangers he had said were Alexei’s parents.
“I recognize him,” Alexei said, fingers running over the image of the darker haired one. “I saw him on tv once. He was a Ferrari driver.”
This didn’t mean anything to Evgeni. Nor, really, to Alexei.
“They seem nice,” Evgeni said, as he put on a hat.
“Zhenya? I’m scared. What if they don’t want to see me?”
“I doubt that the Doctor would bring you here if he didn’t think they would want to see you.” Alexei still looked hesitant. “Do you want me to go first?” Alexei nodded. “All right, I’ll go first.”
“Ah, here’s one of them now! Evgeni, come, join us.”
“I wish you’d call me Zhenya like everyone else.”
“Oh, hush, I prefer Evgeni. Mika, Michael, this is Evgeni Plushenko. Evgeni, Mika Hakkinen, and Michael Schumacher.”
Evgeni was surprised to see mild recognition in Mika’s eyes. “I remember you. I saw you a while back on the Olympics.”
“A while back?”
“Remember, it’s only 2008 for them, Vancouver hasn’t happened yet.”
“Oh, yes,” Evgeni said, ducking his head in embarrassment, “my mistake.”
“Come on,” Mika said, taking Evgeni’s arm, “I’m sure we have so many stories to…”
Mika and Evgeni turned to see Michael staring in shock at the TARDIS. Mika turned in that direction and gasped, dropping Evgeni’s arm.
As Evgeni looked back and forth between Mika, Michael, and Alexei, he noticed the little things, parts of each parent that yes, made up the face of the man he loved.
The three of them stared at each other, almost afraid to speak for breaking the spell. Finally Michael said almost reverently, “Alexei…”
So quick Evgeni nearly missed it, the two older men wrapped their arms around Alexei. Alexei looked stunned at first, but then wrapped an arm around each of his fathers.
“We always loved you, you know,” Mika said as he handed Alexei a mug of coffee. “That was why we gave you to your mother. We wanted you to have a normal life, and neither of us could provide that back then.”
“We were both only rookies in F1 at the time, and only 22, 23,” Michael chimed in as he handed Evgeni coffee and the Doctor tea.
“I…didn’t take it well when I found out I was pregnant.”
“I can’t say I blame you,” Alexei said softly. “We were all taught that women were the only ones capable of childbirth. I can’t even imagine how you felt.”
Mika smiled. “Neither of us were capable of raising you well as a single parent, and…well, society back then would have frowned on us raising you together.”
“And we knew there would be questions about just where you came from. Questions we wouldn’t be able to answer without being called liars or insane.”
“Even if they believed us, we were afraid they would take you away and prod you, experiment on you, since we haven’t-still haven’t-come so far that men can bear children yet. We decided to find a country and time period to leave you in, one that wasn’t Finland or Germany, and one where on the off chance you were linked to us through DNA, they’d presume that we shared an ancestor since we would be too young to father children. 1980 was perfect, a twelve year difference.” Mika shuddered. “You were born on the TARDIS. The Doctor made sure I felt no pain as he cut into me to bring you out.”
“It was nothing, Mika.” Taking his tea, the Doctor went outside, leaving the four of them inside.
“I…” Michael swallowed. “I was the one to take you away from the TARDIS. I had planned on taking you to an orphanage, but then I came across your mother. I told a little white lie, saying that my wife died, and I was dying, and begged her to take you in.”
Alexei shut his eyes, picturing that, his mother taking him in her arms, agreeing to raise little Alexei.
“She…she did great. I couldn’t ask for a better mother.”
Michael smiled. “Then I made a good choice.”
“There’s something I’m not getting,” Evgeni said from his little corner. “How did you know it was him? I mean, when you first met…I mean…”
“Time travel is a bitch, ain’t it?”
Evgeni laughed. “Yes.”
“We happened to see the 2002 Olympics,” Mika said. “I heard the name, and then when I looked at you I recognized you immediately.” He smiled again. “I was so proud of you for winning.”
“So was I,” Michael whispered.
Alexei looked down at his cup of coffee for a long time.
“Lyosha?” Evgeni murmured, getting up and wrapping his arms around Alexei. “Are you okay?”
“Yeah,” Alexei said, clasping one hand around Evgeni’s arm. “I’m just so overwhelmed. But in a good way.” He looked up. “Wouldn’t you be?”
“Yes. It’s okay.” Evgeni kissed Alexei. “You have a good reason.”
Mika and Michael exchanged glances. “Evgeni, was it? Could I see you outside?” He looked confused, but followed Michael outside.
Mika and Alexei watched them leave. Mika smiled and touched Alexei’s face. “I never thought I’d see you again. I thought that you’d never know the truth. How did you?”
“My mother told me I was adopted, and the Doctor accidentally mentioned he knew you both.”
“I see.” Mika looked on Alexei with warm eyes. “I never stopped loving you.”
“I…well, I just met you, you and Michael, but I’m glad I did. Do you think I could talk to you sometime? Email or something?”
“We can try. The Doctor said that you two are from 2010, yes?”
“So I can expect an email from you then. I can’t wait.”
“Oh!” Alexei pulled out his wallet. “I think I should show you this,” he pulled out a picture of him holding his daughter. “Since you’re my parents, technically this makes her your granddaughter.”
“She’s beautiful, Alexei. But you keep the picture. Like I’ve said, too many questions would rise if I kept it.” He reached over for pad and paper to write down his email address.
The Doctor came in with his now empty cup, depositing it in the sink with an amused look on his face.
Michael then came in with a determined look on his face. He was followed by Evgeni, who looked shell shocked.
“He is a very scary man,” Evgeni said, pointing to Michael.
Mika tried to hold his laughter back. “Is this a preview for when Gina-Maria is old enough to date?”
“I have no comment on the matter.”
“We should go,” the Doctor said. “I’ve been trying to get these two home for weeks.”
“Michael, write down your email address so Alexei can contact us.” While Michael did that, Mika pulled Alexei in close and hugged him. “I love you, Alexei. Never forget that.”
“I won’t…” he hesitated for only a second, “Father.”
Mika beamed as Michael came forward. “You take care, okay? And don’t drink anything blue from another planet.”
“All right…what should I call you, so I don’t confuse the two? Papa?”
“That is fine. I love you, Alexei.” Michael turned a glare on Evgeni. “And you, remember what I said.”
Evgeni nodded quickly.
As they boarded the TARDIS to leave, Alexei asked Evgeni, “what did he say?”
“To never break your heart or he’ll find and kill me.”
Alexei grinned as the TARDIS took off.
19 February 2010, Monte Carlo, Monaco
Mika yawned as his computer booted up. His first order of business was checking the F1 news of the day: Michael had by now come out of retirement, and of course Mika had a vested interest in his return. Then he checked his email.
He noticed an address that was unfamiliar to him. The address ended in .ru.
Mika’s heart raced. Has it finally happened?
He clicked on it, and was greeted by a picture of Alexei and Evgeni waving at Vancouver.
Below it was a letter that began Dear Father and Papa…