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i bleed more red than you will ever know

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     At first, Raphael understood the fledgling's pain. He would let him run off to the shadowhunters. He understood that now was an important time for Simon to be around the people he loved, to help him know that he was still Simon Lewis. What he did not  understand was how Simon was still ignoring his clan. People who love him and accept him for who he is, not as some 'downworlder scum.' He was still being used by the Fray child and it was unacceptable. And so, when Simon came home for the first night in moths, Raphael may have went a little overboard.

   "Nice to see that you still remember us." Simon had jumped at the sound of Raphael's voice- which wouldn't have happened if he had been home, training with other vampires. 

  "Oh, yeah um- I'm just going t-to bed." His voice was shaky and his head was low, things all unnoticed by Raphael.

   "What happened? The Fray child decide she didn't need you for the time being, so she kicked you out?" Simon flinched.

   "Something like that, I guess."

   "Maybe it wouldn't have happened if you were here more- you know, with your clan? If you want to be a shadowhunter so bad maybe you should stay with them! They're obviously better then us."

   "I'll be gone by tomorrow. I'm sorry." His voice is soft, and his words are almost unspoken.  "Goodnight." The wind of the door hitting his face makes Raphael snarl. 

Simon is gone the next morning. Raphael is bitter.

*******

     Two weeks had been the last time he'd seen Simon. Off with the wolves or shadowhunters or something. One night, however, he finds the fledgling on the counter in the kitchen staring at the wall. There are bags under his eyes and he looks sick. 

'Where the hell have you been?" Raphael is seething. The fledgling comes to take his blood but can't stay for a consistent three days? Not on his watch. 

  "I uh. I don't really know what m'doing here I guess." Simon's voice is like gravel. He hasn't spoken in a while. 

  "Yeah, thanks for showing up every two weeks. Great knowing you're alive." At these words, Simon's eyes meet his for the first time in months. They look empty. Like he's looking at Raphael but not seeing.

   "I'm sorry." The leader's eyes soften (he doesn't know why) and his tone is gentle when he says to the boy,

"Come, let's get you to bed." Simon lets Raphael take him, but declines his elder's outstretched hands, jamming his own fists further into his hoodie pocket.

Simon is gone the next morning. Raphael is disappointed. 

*******

    The last time Simon is found at Hotel Dumort is the also the last straw for Raphael. Simon is sitting across the street, back against a building, looking up at the stars. The boy's skinniness is visible from Raphael's window. He can see the fledgling's cheek bones. The punk looks like a skeleton, and is as pale as one too. Everyone in the hotel is tense from his wait. He feels void from emotion. So, the waiting game is played.

Simon wins 5 minutes before dawn. Raphael doesn't think Simon would have moved in 6. 

He's gone before the next morning. 

*******

   The bond between them all is searing in pain. It has been broken. Simon is dying. He could quite possibly be dead. They all cry red tears.

The searing stops. The tears don't. It's time to bring the fledgling home.

*******

When he's in need, there's one person Raphael can turn to. 

"Magnus."

"Raphael."

"I need your help. Finding someone." He makes sure to let desperation bleed into his voice. He's desperate to find the fledgling. Something was not okay. 

"And who might that be?" Magnus makes the words drawl in a teasing tone. 

"Simon." The warlock makes a "hmph" like noise in the back of his throat, so Raphael continues

   "There's- There's something wrong with him, Magnus. With Simon. He I can tell he's not eating, sleeping, and when he comes home for a night every month he doesn't speak." There's a pause on the other end of the line,
   "Oh, my dear boy. You don't know?" His tone is sad, pitiful.

"Know what?"  

"Mm. maybe you should come over." 

He runs.

********

     "She asked him to release Camille. To betray you. He said no, and she got mad. She said that he was better when he was alive and to never contact her again." Raphael sat in amazement.

"He told her he wouldn't do it? Really?" Magnus looks at him, head cocked to the side.

"You do know he's head over heels for you, right?" 

"What?" 

"Nothing. You should be worried. Very much so. I would have called sooner but he said if he would leave." The look on his sparkly friend's face says he's being true.

"Leave? He's here?" 

"Sleeping upstairs with Alec. It's the only way he'll sleep. They've grown quite close since Fray had him banned from the institution. Alec rarely goes now, seeing how poorly she and the rest of the shadowhunters treated Simon." Magnus pauses for a couple seconds before starting again.

"You know, Raphael. I tried. I tried to get him to eat and sleep. When he came back from the hotel the first day after it had happened he just cried. I ended up using magic to make him sleep. After that, it was a cycle. I don't think he knew what I was doing. He rarely came out of his room. After the second time he went to the Dumort he was better, not crying himself to sleep. Still hardly ate. Then Alec came and broke him out of his shell. He was doing better. Then she came to the house, yelling. Screaming. They hadn't found her mother. She told him it was a pity he couldn't die, because she wish he would just kill himself." Raphael lets out a angry growl at hearing this. 

"Dios, I should kill her. Them. they deserve-"

"He didn't eat for three days. Didn't even set foot out of him room. When he came out. his hands and arms were covered in burns. It was awful Raphael." He feels himself hearing like he's underwater. His baby tried to take his undead life. 

"W-what was the searing pain we all felt?" Raphael knew, of course, but he had to hear the words." 

"He tried to kill himself." His heart shatters.

"How?" 

Magnus looks pained and tears begin to form in Raphael's eyes.

"He stepped into the light. I wouldn't have even known if it weren't for Alec. He walked in on him sticking his arm out." Raphael hears steps on the stairs and wipes his tears.

"Mag? He just woke up. Who's he- oh." Alec steps into the kitchen and Raphael quickly approaches him with a hug. 

"Thank you." He gives the taller boy two firm pats on the back before he lets go.

"It's fine. He's okay now. I uh- think he'd like to see you?" 

He runs again. 

********

The door is slightly ajar and he steps into blackness.

"Alec?" Simon's voice is rough and thick from tears and sleep. Raphael wants to cry again.

"Simon." His voice cracks and he curses.

"Raphael? A-are you okay? Is the clan okay? What's going on?" The panic in the fledgling's voice is rising and the older man can hear sheets rustling.

"No- no Simon. Everything is okay. I'm here for you." He steps to the bed. "May I?" Simon turns on his bedside lap and Raphael lets out a quiet groan.

"Why haven't you been eating? Or taking care of yourself?"  The bags under his eyes are worse then every, along with his cheeks. His cheekbones stick out and his face is hollow. He looks like the ghost of Simon Lewis rather than the vamp himself. 

   Raphael reaches out and traces his hands along Simon's face. Simon leans into the touch.

"You need to take care of your body, baby. You're still a fledgling." The older vampire inhales deeply and kisses the other's forehead.

 "I'm sorry I didn't ask what was wrong. I was angry and jealous off how much attention you gave you gave the Fray girl." Simon flinches at her name. 

"I spent a lot of time being used. It's okay."

"It isn't" There are many moments of hesitation before Simon replies.

"Thank you." Raphael lays next to him and Simon lays his head on the other's chest.

"We installed internet at the hotel. They all miss you. Lily decorated your room with pastel paints and put all the comics and movies you have away. We set up a TV and whatever gaming system you kids are into." He waits for Simon to say something but finds that the boy is fast asleep. Good.

For the first time, Simon is there when Raphael wakes.