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"Good morning, Alexander"

Alec perks up at the mention of his full name, a small smile managing to seep through during this ungodly hour of the morning.

As usual, his eyes catch the source of the voice. Magnus Bane.

Magnus showed up two months ago, desperate to be caffeinated, and while Alec was supposed to be closing up, he couldn't help but feel a little sympathy for the poor man, so he sat him down and got him the drinks he wanted.

"Good morning, Mr. Bane. The usual?" Alec asks over his shoulder, his smile broadening when he sees that Magnus has indeed brought little Max with him.

Magnus sits up on a stool, giving one of his signature grins. "Yes, please!" He exaggeratedly exclaims, "I swear, one of these Fridays are going to be the death of me, my dear"

Alec chuckles lightly, his back to the older man as he grabs a cup and begins with Magnus' usual.

Max starts to gurgle, ripping another smile from Alec, who finds himself way too weak around the baby.

"Not the hair, darling" Magnus murmurs, "not the hair"

Alec steals a glance over his shoulder, his heart jumping in his chest when he sees Magnus' eyes shut, his ringed hand slowly disentangling his son's fingers from his hair.

"Here, let me help" making his way towards the two, he places the drink on the till and reaches up, using his forefinger and thumb to coax Max's fingers out of Magnus' hair.

Magnus laughs, and for a second, Alec stills, just to admire the lighthearted chortle with a smile that made his eyes crinkle at the sides. He was smitten. Don't blame him.

"Thank you, darling" Magnus says, reaching for the cup and bringing it to his lips. His eyes don't leave Alec's, and Alec automatically finds himself looking away, cheeks burning.

Stop it.

Magnus' phone rings, a funky beat that suited Magnus so well, and Alec looks away, needing distraction. "Ah, I've got to take this" pulling his phone out, Magnus looks back at Alec, "can you hold Max for me, darling?"

Alec, with a stuttered yes, reaches over the bar and cradles Max in his arms.

Max burbles, looking up at Alec with those wide blues before he reaches up and takes ahold of his hair, happy to find messier locks to tug at than his father's.

Magnus spares Alec one last smile before bringing the phone to his ear and clearing his throat to put on his formal tone.

"Hello. Mr. Bane speaking" he begins, "yes, no, I said I'll make it. No, don't worry. I'll find something" he sighs, rolling his eyes, "I'll be there" he catches Alec's gaze, then yaps his mouth in a dorky imitation of the person he's talking to.

Alec chuckles, shaking his head affectionately before resting a light kiss to Max's forehead. Magnus has to lick at his lips to subside his smile.

After Magnus' done bickering with whoever was on the phone, he slides his mobile back into his pocket and brings his drink to his lips before lowering the cup with an exasperated sigh.

"Rough day?" Alec questions, not meaning to sound probing, but merely wanting to start a conversation.

Magnus sighs. "You don't know the half of it" he mutters, "there's a défilé de mode tonight and I'm dead if I don't attend" the way he's sitting shows no indication of him wanting his son back, so Alec adjusts the baby in his arms, and Max rests his chin on the barista's shoulder.

"Where's the problem?" Alec questions, "it'll be fun, you're a.. uh, a very fashionable man, I'm sure you.. like fashion"

Alec doesn't miss the small smile that passes Magnus' lips as he looks away with a fond shake of his head, "oh trust me, darling, fashion week is something I'd never want to miss"

Alec blinks, eyes fixated on the older man. "So what is it?" He eventually asks when Magnus shows no sign of spilling the beans.

"Max and Rafael"

Alec nearly chokes. "There's another one?!"

Magnus convulses with a wave of laughter, "you speak like they're animals!"

Alec's cheeks gain colour as he begins to apologise. "I'm so sorry, I didn't mean to– I just.. you look 20!"

Another chortle manages to escape Magnus' glossed lips. "Don't worry about it, my dear" he eventually says, an easy, lopsided smile replacing his laugh. "I'm actually on the edge of 30"

Alec gapes. Magnus really didn't strike Alec as a man over 23. 25 tops. God, he was gorgeous.

"Oh" Alec breathes out, voice laden with genuine regret, "I'm sorry"

Magnus smirks. "Don't worry" he says, "you're quite good for my ego"

Alec laughs involuntarily, tilting his head and resting a kiss on Max's head.

Magnus' brows rise.

"So, uh.. Rafael?" Alec questions, "how old is he?"

"Sixteen" Magnus answers, waving a hand, "troublesome, that one is" he continues, but Alec still hears the doting tone bleeding through the airiness of Magnus' gesture.

Alec smiles. "Cute" he comments, "Rafael, not you" he inwardly slaps himself. What is he doing?

Magnus blinks at Alec, surprised. "You're quite an honest one, I see"

Alec swallows. "Anyways, um, so what about Max and Rafael?" He switches the subject, trying to soothe the heat blossoming across his cheekbones again.

"Well, I can't leave them alone, can I?" Magnus shrugs, "usually my friends, Catarina and Ragnor, are the ones to babysit them while I'm at work, but the two of them have decided to go on vacation to Italia to find suitors and left me to deal with the children"

Alec feels warmth spread through him. He liked this. The casual conversation. The comfort that allowed Magnus to actually talk to him about his friends. Was it trust?

"I'm sure Rafael is responsible enough to take care of himself and Max" Alec smiles assuringly. Magnus chokes on a laugh, sputtering coffee as he begins to cough. Alec's eyes widen and he grabs the tissue box and holds it out for the older man.

When Magnus recovers from his coughing fit, he narrows his eyes at Alec. "Rafael? Responsible? He's a teenager, Alexander. Were you ever responsible as a teen?"

Alec's lips part for a few seconds. "I guess not" he mutters, then bites at his lip in thorough pensiveness. "What about your wife? Or husband, I don't judge. Of course I don't. I just don't want to assume your sexuality and—"

"Alexander, both my children are adopted" Magnus cuts in, "Max was put on my porch when he was only a week old"

Alec's heart stutters in his chest. "Oh" he whispers.

"And Rafael was nine when I took him in, his parents died in a car accident, and Catarina, my friend, was the one to attend to his wounds. She called me and told me about him. Once we met, I couldn't exactly let go of him" smiling at the memory, Magnus twists one of his rings around his finger, staring into space. "Those two are my life. Rafael has been there for me ever since he came into my life. Once, I was crying because of allergies, and the little imp ran up to me with a box of tissues and told me to tell him who hurt me so he can, and I recite, pluck their eyes out"

A small snore comes from Max, making Alec laugh and hold the child closer, eyes still set on Magnus thoughtfully.

Giving up with a sigh, he speaks up.

"Uh.. If– If you want I can.. um, take care of them for you?"

Magnus' eyes soften. "I wasn't telling you all this so you can take pity on me, my darling" shaking his head lightly, Magnus blinks in that way that makes Alec all fuzzy inside.

He. Was. Smitten.

"No!" Alec calls out, making the child in his arms groan, "no" lowering his voice, Alec shakes his head lightly, "I love kids, and I'd be more than honoured to do this.. For you"

Magnus rests his chin on his palm, elbow on the bar as he looks at Alec, long and thoughtful. "How old are you, Alec?"

Alec takes his lower lip between his teeth, "twenty five"

"Don't you have university?"

Alec looks around the empty café before resting his eyes back on Magnus. "I do" he says honestly, "I do but I prefer to study during my break times or at home" he shrugs the shoulder Max isn't asleep on.

"What do you study?" Magnus taps his fingernails against the wood of the bar. Alec lifts a hand and scratches at his stubble.

"Criminology" he pauses, waiting for Magnus' freaked-out reaction and his give me my kid.

Magnus smirks. "That's.."

"Creepy?" Alec questions, "eerie? disturbing? menacing?" Alec tries to sound careless, but his voice quavers and Magnus definitely catches it.

"I was going to say sexy" Magnus protests, watching that delicious shade of red crawl its way back to Alec's face.

Alec bows his head, licking at his lips. "Thank you"

Magnus revels in the deeper blush that colours his cheeks, sighing dreamily.

"So, um" Alec's gulps, "do you.. uh, do you want me to watch over the kids or have you changed your mind?"

Magnus slips his hand into his pocket and pulls a card out. "Here's my number, dear" he says, "call me before seven so I can give you the address"

Alec nods. "Right, ok" he doesn't mean to run his fingers over Magnus'. Or did he?

• • •

"Are you seriously missing the game because you're babysitting your crush's kids?" Jace rolls his eyes, smacking both his knees in disbelief.

Alec's pacing, teeth dug into his lip. "Do I call?" He looks at Izzy, "or do I send a text? Maybe I should just apologise and say something came up? But what if.. what do I do? Can you stop standing there like bricks?!"

Izzy laughs softly. "No, no, it's just so amusing seeing you like this" she says.

Simon nods in agreement, "I've never seen Alec actually showing human emotion" he murmurs into Maia's ear, making her smirk.

"It's kinda cute if he didn't radiate so much anxiety" she replies in a whisper

"Just call him, big bro" Izzy says, putting the spatula down and turning to face him, "ask him for the address, say you'll see him soon and hang up."

"Or" Jace cuts in, "send him a text that says something like hey, it's Alec, how about you give me your address so I can miss the game I've been dying to see and babysit your two brats?"

Alec sends a pointed glare in Jace's direction. "They're not brats!" He snaps.

"He's definitely crushing on the guy!" Jace waves his arms in Alec's direction with excessive motions.

Izzy rolls her eyes, and Alec gasps, affronted. "I don't have a crush on him! He's my friend!" He yells out.

"You never miss a game for a friend!" Jace retaliates, "does he even find you the slightest bit interesting?"

Alec scowls. "He said that me studying criminology is sexy" he mumbles.

Izzy claps her hands, "he told you to call him before seven, call him right now"

Alec glances at the clock, "I still have time" he pettily informs.

Izzy slams his phone into his hand "call him"

Giving up with a sigh, Alec taps in the number from the card that he may or may have not memorised, then presses the call icon and brings the phone to his ear.

It's only a matter of two rings before Magnus' voice booms. "Hello, Mr. Bane speaking"

Alec gnaws at his lip for only a second, then clears his throat. "Hey" he says, "hey, Mr. Bane" cringing, he trails his hand down his features, face turning hot.

Jace snorts. "That Mr. Bane is going to come in handy when they're fucking" he whispers to Izzy, who presses her finger to her lips, hushing him.

"Oh, hello, darling" Magnus' formality leaves instantly, "just call me Magnus. You know how I am with the Mr. Bane" although Alec can't see Magnus, he knows that the older man rolled his eyes at the formal soubriquet.

"Right, sorry, uh, you told me to call you before seven, and uhm, I'm.. calling you before seven" Alec leans his lower back against the island, bowing his head with one arm crossed over his chest.

"It's 6:58" Magnus muses, then laughs softly, "God, you really are quite precious, aren't you?"

Alec gives a nervous laugh. "Sorry, I kinda lost your card"

"He lost your card but still hasn't lost his V one sadly!" Jace calls out from behind the phone.

Alec's eyes widen, and he abruptly presses the phone to his chest to muffle his voice. "Jace, shut the fuck up!"

He brings the phone back to his ear. "Yeah, sorry about that" he apologises quietly, cutting Magnus' chortle off, "do you still want me to take care of the kids?"

Magnus lets out a dreamy sigh. "Of course" he exhales, "I'll text you my address in a second, can you be here before seven thirty?"

Alec nods, then remembers that this is a strictly vocal call. "Yes!" He all but shouts, and receives another laugh in return.

"I'll see you then, darling" and with that, Magnus hangs up, and Alec looks at his siblings with near-teary eyes, "I hate you" he mumbles.

"We love you too" Izzy leans up and kisses Alec's cheek.

"I don't even know what kids like" Alec says.

"I can help with that!" Maia asserts, "how old are they?"

"Six months and sixteen" Alec replies, making his way to the living room where his jacket and bag were.

"Just cuddle the little one" Maia says, "and as for the sixteen year old, talk about naked girls and he'll love you"

Alec's face scrunches up. "I don't think Magnus would appreciate that" he says, "but you think?"

"When I was sixteen I used to love reading poetry" Simon knits his brows.

"Because you're abnormal" Jace comments, making Simon scoff.

"At least I didn't hide jellybeans under my pillow" he mumbles, and Jace's eyes turn on Izzy. "YOU TOLD HIM?!"

Izzy chuckles.

Alec looks at the time. 7:10.

"I've got to get going, thanks Maia" he leans down, presses a quick kiss to her cheek, then turns around and flees.

• • •

Alec stares at the house in awe after knocking its door.

"Rafael! Get the door!"

A small smile tugs at Alec's lips, and he stands straight, hands clasped behind his back.

When the door opens, the boy leans against the frame, looking Alec over with an unamused expression, and once he gets to Alec's face, he sighs. "This is what my dad's so infatuated with?" He arches a brow.

Alec's beyond startled.

"You must be Rafael" he says, "you're just as handsome as Magnus described you" although we haven't even talked about you. In fact, I just found out you existed this morning, but I really need you to like me.

"I'd say the same, but I'm actually really disappointed in his taste" Rafael turns around and starts walking away.

Alec lets out a sigh. Kids.

"Ah, Alexander" Magnus appears at the doorway a few seconds later, and oh god, Alec's tongue is incapable of moving. He's so gorgeous. He's so beautiful and handsome and f u c k.

"H-Hey" Alec smiles, "I just got the privilege of meeting your eldest son" he continues, looking over Magnus' shoulder.

Magnus chuckles. "I'm sorry if he said anything that hurt your feelings" he opens the door wider, welcoming Alec inside.

Alec steps in. "It's no problem, I know what they're like"

Magnus nods slowly, trying his hardest not to check Alec out but failing miserably as he gives an approving frown.

Alec turns around just as Magnus shuts the door.

"Come on, let me show you around" Magnus inclines his head to the side and begins walking. "This is the living room"

Alec looks around, giving an impressed frown. "Gorgeous"

"Yes?"

Alec stills. "No.. I mean the.. the room is gorgeous, not you"

Magnus shifts his weight to the opposite leg.

"I mean, you're gorgeous too" Alec points out, "but so is the room"

Magnus chuckles. "Thank you, Alec"

Alec grins proudly, "where's Maxie?"

Magnus looks up at the ceiling, "in his cot, upstairs, come on lemme show you" he leaves the room and shuts the doors "it's a house law, always close the windows and doors when the AC is on so the cold air doesn't leave the room, Raf invented it"

Alec replies soundlessly, smiling, then follows Magnus up the stairs, holding the strap of his bag tighter.

"What do you have in there?" Magnus looks over his shoulder at the younger man.

Alec looks down shyly.

"I'm kinda hoping I'll have some time to study" he says, and Magnus stops sharply, then turns on his heel, making Alec bump into him.

Alec's caught off guard, he grasps the railing to stop himself from stumbling back and breaking his neck.

"Alexander" Magnus exhales, "darling, if you have studying to do, you should've stayed home, I have absolutely no problem"

Alec lets everything sink in, then shakes his head. "No, I–I wanted to do this. I love Max, and I want to get to know Rafael."

Magnus tilts his head to the side, then lifts his hand and cups Alec's neck. "Thank you, dear" he extols, "Rafael is.. he's not very accepting, and I grounded him, took his phone, so good luck with trying to earn some respect from him"

Alec grins. "I'm a likeable person!"

Magnus nods. "I know that" he thrums, and just as he's about to speak again, his phone rings and his eyes widen, "what time is it?"

"Ten to eight"

"Oh, fuck, fuck, fuck" Magnus curses, "I'm late. Do I look good?" he takes a step down and closes his eyes.

"What? Yeah, yeah, you look great" Alec smiles, "you've just got some.." lifting his hand, he cups Magnus' cheek and uses his thumb to stroke a spot of kohl from his cheekbone.

Magnus peels his eyes open, then smiles back, reaching up and tucking a strand of hair behind his ear coyly. "You can order takeout, money's on the table, all the menus are hung on the fridge"

Alec nods.

Magnus rushes down the stairs, then looks back at Alec. "And Alec?"

"Hm?" Alec turns around.

"A Chace sent me a text saying you missed the game for this, thank you" he says, voice soft, "I appreciate it. Even though ditching a date for this is definitely unacc—"

Alec's lips part. "I'm single" he inputs, "Jace is my brother"

He inwardly curses himself for leaving Magnus' card on the island.

Magnus smiles again, this time lopsided and really fucking hot. "That's good to know" he looks Alec over once, then turns around and leaves.

Alec stands for a few minutes, takes a deep breath, then ascends the stairs.

He stares down the hallway, eyes shut for a few seconds. "God hates me" he whispers, the loud screaming music thingy blaring from one of the rooms.

Alec makes his way towards the room radiating that awful music, then he knocks, suspecting Rafael could even hear the light tapping over his lousy music taste.

He opens the door, and peeks in.

Rafael looks up, eyes narrowing before he lifts a small remote and forcefully presses hid thumb on one of the buttons, eyes not leaving Alec.

The music turns off.

"Hey" Alec smiles, "your dad's gone, and uh.. Max is asleep I think"

Rafael blinks.

"Wanna hang out?"

Rafael looks Alec over demeaningly. "If you want me to praise you around dad so you can get into his pants, consider it done, get out"

Alec laughs. "Raf, Magnus and I are just friends"

Rafael rolls his eyes. "Sure" he mutters, "just get out, I'm studying"

Alec bites on his lip for a few moments, then he leans against the doorframe, "um.. do you want my phone?"

Rafael's brows furrow.

"To see..uh, naked chicks?"

Rafael glances away, biting the insides of his cheeks to hold back from laughing, then he looks back at Alec, shrugging. "Sure" he holds his hand out. Alec walks over to him and pulls his phone out, placing it in his hand.

Then he turns to leave.

Just as he catches sight of the poster hung on the door, a small smile tugs at his lips and he turns back around. "You like Sherlock?"

Rafael looks up from Alec's phone, then arches a single brow. "Who doesn't?"

Alec smirks. "Fantastic" he murmurs to himself, "I actually decided to study criminology because of him and I have a couple of books about deduction and whatnot"

Rafael tries to act unfazed. "And how's that working out for you?"

"Well, forensics is kinda hard, but other than that, everything's cool" Alec answers, "I was hoping to become an FBI agent, however.." Heaving out a sigh, he rolls his eyes "my parents still want me to give it up and go for a lawyer, or a dentist or something along those silly lines"

Rafael laughs. "I think criminology is cool" he shrugs, "I don't like parents who force their kids into studying something they don't want to study"

Alec nods once, stepping forward. "Uh, is your father like that?"

Rafael gasps. "Oh, lord, no!" He exclaims, "dad's more of a… my dad always says I can become a bin man if I'm good at collecting rubbish.." Trailing off, he looks around his room, "which, as you can deduce, Mr. Holmes, I'm not a very clean person"

Alec smirks. "I've noticed"

Rafael sits up, turning the phone off. "What else can you tell me about myself?"

Alec looks around, pensive, then settles his eyes on Rafael.

"Well?"

Clearing his throat, Alec bites down on his lip.

"I can tell you that you're ambidextrous" he smirks "since you're flipping my phone around with your right hand but your pen is on the left side of your desk, the tip tilted upwards and to the right"

Rafael snickers. "Old school. Give me something new" he teases, emphasising on the last word with a wink.

Alec hums, letting his eyes scan over the room, then he smiles.

"Y'know.." He looks at the teenager "Magnus wouldn't appreciate coming home and finding you at a party"

Rafael stills. "What?"

"You're going to a party" Alec ambles around the room.

"What— wh— how'd you know that?" Rafael blinks, sitting up instantly.

"Let's see" Alec hums, "your window's open, your father told me that when the air conditioner's on, the windows should be shut, you were planning on going through there. But, you're not dressed, and all your wardrobes are open, so I'm guessing you were choosing your outfit.." Trailing off, he cocks his head to the side, "but there's a closed closet" he murmurs, "so, I'm going to hazard a guess and say…" walking towards the wardrobe, he places his hand on the knob and looks at Rafael, "you have someone in here" he flings the door open and the girl inside yelps.

Alec chuckles.

"God, you teens" he shakes his head lightly.

Rafael's mouth hangs open.

"And come on, Raf" Alec rolls his eyes, "studying on a Friday night? I don't think so"

Rafael stands up, "please let me go, please please please please"

Alec licks at his lips, looking between him and the girl, then he sighs. "Raf, you know I can't, your dad—"

"I'll be home before 10! I promise!" Rafael cuts in, and the girl nods in agreement.

Alec's jaw flexes. He knows exactly what it's like to be denied a cool ass party on a Friday night. But Rafael wasn't his son, and right now, Magnus has put both his children under Alec's responsibility, trusting him with them.

"Sorry" Alec says, walking to the window and shutting it.

Rafael groans. "Dad would've said yes!"

"You're grounded" Alec states, turning to face the little rebel, "how about you invite your friends over and I order takeout?"

Rafael says nothing, glaring at the older man.

"Don't try stare battling me, young man. I'll win in a second" Alec blinks blandly, making eye contact for only a second before he looks back at the girl. "Sorry, darling, I think you'll have to go, unless you want to stay here with Rafael?"

• • •

"Alec?"

Alec looks away from the TV, eyes catching Rafael, who had just entered the living room. "Yes?"

"Do you think.." Rafael looks away briefly, "does dad talk about me?"

Alec sits up slowly as to not disturb Max. "He talked about you today"

Rafael nods. "What did he say?"

"He said he loves you, that you and Max are his life, and he mentioned the time you promised to pluck the eyes of his enemies out" smirking, Alec waves the teenager closer, "come on, let's talk"

Rafael sits down on the couch next to Alec's. "I sometimes think I disappoint him"

Alec blinks. "Magnus could never be disappointed in you" he says softly, "hey, Raf, come on, he loves you"

Rafael swallows. "I know he loves me, but he does these things where he grounds me and yells at me or sends me to my room when I don't do as he tells"

Alec smiles. "Look at me"

Rafael does as told.

"Magnus loves you" Alec says, forceful, as if he's drilling the sentence into Rafael's head, "and parents have to do things like that to make their children the best versions they can be of themselves"

"What're your parents like?"

"Ok" Alec sits up with a smirk, "so, I'm going to tell you a story"

Rafael gets comfortable, smiling.

"When I was.. Fourteen I think" Alec squints an eye thoughtfully "yeah, fourteen, I found out I was gay"

Rafael snorts.

"So, I was like, super hormonal and whew, my boyfriend was…" trailing off, a smile comes to his face, "he was like.."

"Hot?"

"Very" Alec nods with a proud smile, "he was sixteen I think. Anyways, so, I really really really wanted to.. Y'know, take the next step" laughing to himself, Alec lifts the remote and turns the TV volume down, "I was inexperienced, and imagine what my parents felt when they walked in on me deep throating a pickle for the sole purpose of knowing how much I can take into my mouth"

Rafael stares. "You didn't!"

"I did!" Alec laughs out, "I did! It was terrible! I choked as soon as I saw them! It was terrible" throwing his head back, Alec closes his eyes tightly, "god, it was terrible" he breathes out.

"And did you take the next step?" Rafael asks after recovering from his laughter.

Alec shakes his head. "Nope" he says, "my parents found out I was gay and weren't very happy, so I had to hide it"

Rafael sighs. "And now? Do you have a boyfriend?"

Alec looks down at Max with a smirk, stroking the child's cheek with the back of his fingers. "No"

"But you wanna have my dad?"

Alec looks back at Rafael. "He's.. been really nice to me, and he's.. gorgeous, like really really hot, like—"

"I don't wanna hear about your sexual fantasies with my father thank you very much"

Alec laughs. "I'd like to give relationships a chance. For him" he eventually says.

"He's always talking about you" Rafael informs, "to his friends, I mean. And believe it or not, he gets nervous, and he blushes"

Alec smiles. "That's cute" he pictures a blush on those beautiful cheekbones, and his smile unconsciously spreads further across his face.

"Anyways" Rafael sighs, "I'm willing to let go of the fact you didn't let me go to the party if you take care of my dad for me" he shrugs, "goodnight" he lifts the covers over him and turns away from Alec.

Alec closes his eyes and rests his head back. "Goodnight"

• • •

"I'm home!"

No answer comes.

"Alexander? Raf?" Magnus takes his jacket off, then steps into the living room.

A smile crosses his features when he catches sight of the trio, huddled up and asleep. The sight itself makes the older man yawn.

While walking towards Rafael, Magnus takes the remote from Alec's hand and turns the TV off, then throws the remote to the ground and leans down to press a kiss to Rafael's temple. "Hola, guapo" he murmurs.

Smiling, he turns to Alec and Max.

Max is wide awake, big blues staring straight at Magnus, sucking the milk out of his bottle eagerly.

Magnus reaches for it, testing its temperature. It was still warm, so it hasn't been long since Alec fell asleep.

"Hello, little one" Magnus leans down and kisses Max's cheek, "have you been a good boy? Did you annoy my darling Alexander?"

Alec snores. And Magnus finds himself smirking at the newfound fact he'll be teasing Alec about for the rest of their lives.

"And you, my handsome prince" Magnus cups Alec's jaw, "what have I ever done to deserve you?" He leans down, slowly and carefully, and plants a kiss on the younger man's forehead.

Another snore escapes Alec, and Magnus titters lowly, standing straight.

He takes a step back, but ends up standing on the remote and stumbling, knocking the pizza to the ground with a small thud.

Alec's eyes fly open.

"It's just me" Magnus whispers, and Alec sits up, rubbing at his eyes with his fists.

"Magnus?" He rasps out, "what time is it?"

"It's a little past midnight, darling" Magnus stands, "go to sleep"

Alec reaches a hand to the switch of the lamp set on the coffee table and turns it on.

"How was it?" He asks, lifting Max up, "I hope you had fun"

Magnus smiles. "I did" he replies, "let's go to the kitchen, I'm starving and Rafael's asleep"

Alec cradles Max and stands up, following Magnus out the room.

"So, what did you guys do?" Magnus asks, opening the fridge.

Alec shrugs. "Max was watching TV with me the whole time"

"And Raf?" Magnus turns to peek at Alec, "did he burn your wallet? Step on your phone? Let the cat sleep on your face?"

Alec chuckles. "No, we talked a little. I told him how I came out, we laughed, then he fell asleep"

Magnus stares. "He laughed?!"

Alec smirks proudly, holding the bottle as Max sucks on the teat vigorously, eyes about to fall out of their sockets.

"Down, little boy" Alec laughs softly, then looks back at Magnus, "he teared up"

Magnus gasps. "You, my darling, are a phenomenon" he praises.

Alec nods in agreement. "Thank you" he thrums, swaying from leg to leg.

Magnus watches him for a few moments. "It must've been a funny story"

Alec tells him the story, and Magnus can't stop himself from doubling over and cackling like an idiot.

"Shut up, it's not funny" Alec mumbles.

Magnus shakes his head, trying to get air into his lungs. "oh, Alexander, you're so precious"

Alec smiles to himself, placing the bottle on the worktop as he rocks Max in his arms.

"Here, hold Maxie, let me fix you something to eat" Alec stealthily makes his way to Magnus and puts the kid in his arms.

Magnus smiles. "Thank you, Alec" he says, "for everything"

Alec waves him off. "Don't mention it."

• • •

"Thank you for today" Magnus says, standing in front of Alec.

"You're very welcome" Alec answers, "you know, if Catarina and Ragnor fly somewhere else for suitors, I'm still here, and I love your kids" he jokes slyly.

Magnus steps closer. "I actually want to ask you for a favour"

Alec nods, "of course, anything"

"Dinner, tomorrow, with me?"

Alec swallows. "W-With you?"

Magnus smiles. "Do you like seafood?"

"I love seafood" Alec replies, breathlessly, hand lifting on its own accord and cupping Magnus' jaw. "But why now?"

"I don't date people my kids don't like" Magnus replies in a whisper, eyes fixated on Alec's lips.

As if on cue, Chairman Meow and Church both scramble towards Alec and circle his feet.

"Or my cats for that matter" Magnus laughs, placing a hand on Alec's waist.

"Are you sure you have to leave?" He whispers, "it's very late"

Alec leans down, and with a shy smile, he presses the lightest of kisses to Magnus' cheek. "I'll be ok" he murmurs, "goodnight, Magnus"

Magnus bows his head. "I'll have a very good night if you promise me something"

Alec arches brow, "what is it?"

"Tomorrow you kiss me on my lips" Magnus replies, bopping Alec's nose.

Alec's jaw flexes, and he gives a single nod. "I promise"

"Good" Magnus answers, "text me when you're home, I don't want to worry and force myself to text your brother"

Alec laughs. "I'll text you" he assures, "have a good night"

"I will, you too, darling" Magnus smiles, "and Alexander, I'm sorry you missed the game"

Alec glances in the direction of the living room. "Priorities, Magnus" he turns back to Magnus, "priorities"