„Magnus, it‘s an emergency. Can I move in with you?“
Magnus nearly spit out his coffee and his son Raphael looked up with an arched eyebrow.
„What?”, he exclaimed and smiled at the little boy, who looked at his toys again. Magnus heard a sigh and someone mumbling in the back, then Alec spoke again.
“Jace broke the main pipe and.. my apartment got flooded. I need it to get fixed, which will take up to two weeks, the plumber said. I can’t live with Jace and Clary, their flat is tiny so… can I live with you? Please? It’s really just for those two weeks, I promise”, Alec said with a desperation in his voice, that made Magnus heart ache a bit. He glanced at his son.
“You know I’ll help you with anything but.. it’s Raphe. I’m not sure how he would feel about this”, he admitted and sighed.
“But you two got along well so.. okay, yeah. I think we can manage two weeks, right Raphe?”, he asked and the boy looked up again, then he smiled a wide smile at his dad and Magnus laughed.
“He smiled, must be a good sign, right?”, he said and heard Alec chuckle.
“Totally. You’re a lifesaver, thank you so much! I’ll see you tonight then”, he said and ended the call. Magnus knelt down next to his son and brushed through his hair. Raphael looked up at him.
“Who was that, daddy?”, he asked and Magnus smiled.
“We’re gonna have someone stay with us for a while, how does that sound?”, he asked, but Raphael furrowed his brow.
“No, I don’t want to share you with anyone”, he protested and pouted. Magnus ruffled his hair.
“It’s Alec, you know? He got you your dinosaur for your birthday and I work with him at the theater, and he comes by sometimes. Would that be okay?”, he asked again and Raphael thought for a moment.
“Alec is okay. I like Alec”, he finally stated and Magnus chuckled.
“Me too, buddy. Now, it’s time to get ready for bed, and Ana will be here soon. You wanted to show her your new book, right? Better be in bed so she can read it to you then”, he said and Raphael nodded, then sprinted off towards the bathroom, where Magnus followed him.
Ana was his neighbor, an elderly lady he had gotten along instantly, when he moved into the building and who was at his place when he had to work late shifts at the theater, which only happened when a play was near the final stage of preparation before it would premiere.
He was really glad Raphael liked Ana as much as he did, because Raphael didn’t like many people.
When Magnus adopted the boy two years ago, he had been scared of nearly everyone around him except Magnus.
It had taken a long time to get him used to others, and Magnus had taken leave for about a year that time to get Raphael used to his new home.
Raphael had lost his parents in a fire, and the boy had been really scared and frightened after that horrible experience, when he got into the system, until he met Magnus. There was an instant connection. So, with Magnus help and the work of a therapist, the boy had gotten more open.
And when the time had come for Magnus to start working again, he had been grateful for Ana offering to look after the sleeping boy when he needed to be at the theater late, and Raphael liked the old woman really much.
“Good night daddy”, Raphael mumbled after he brushed his teeth and put on his pajama, ready for bed. He hugged Magnus tight, and looked a bit sad.
“What’s wrong, buddy?”, Magnus asked and Raphael pouted.
“I don’t want you to go”, he ad m itted and Magnus ran a hand through his sons’ thick hair.
“I’ll be back later and will check up on you then. You know I always do”, he said, but Raphael shook his head.
“Don’t go”, he whimpered, and Magnus sighed. It had been like this a lot lately, that Raphael didn’t want him to go and cried when he did, even with Ana around to watch over him. It was heartbreaking but Magnus had to work.
“I know little guy, but you know I always come back to you, right? I’ll wake you when I get home and make you breakfast in the morning. Now don’t be sad”, he said but Raphael only tightened his hold on him. When the doorbell rang, he sighed and picked the boy up into his arms, then went to open it.
“Hey Ana. Tonight’s not a good night”, he sighed when the elderly woman stepped inside.
She tilted her head and nodded.
“I see. Hello Raphael, you need to let go of your daddy now, so he can go to work”, she said when Magnus put Raphael down, who instantly grabbed his shirt. Raphael had tears in his eyes and his lip trembled.
“No, daddy”, he whispered, but Ana held out her hand to him, which he took reluctantly.
“I know someone who has a new book that needs to be read before bed”, she said and smiled. Raphael nodded, then let himself be lead to his room by Ana. Magnus put on his jacket and took his bag after that, but went to Raphael’s room before he left.
Ana was sitting on Raphael’s bed, but the boy still looked disturbed. He looked up at Magnus when he peeked inside.
“Bye little guy, bye Ana. Thanks again”, he said, then he smiled at his son and closed the door and hurried, since he was already late.
He reached Alicante Theater with only a slight delay and hurried to his office where he dropped his stuff and raced to his department. His co-workers were already there, sewing on the final changes of the costumes for the play and he went to go through the final fitting with the main actress.
The girl smiled when he got to her dressing room.
“I’m so sorry Isabelle, Raphael didn’t want me to leave again”, he said with an apologetic look and Izzy nodded.
“It’s no problem, really. Alec told me he’s a bit clingy right now?”, she asked when she took the dress Magnus handed her and turned to step into it. Magnus nodded.
“Yeah, it’s gotten worse for a while now. I don’t know how to calm him sometimes, since he really knows I always come back at night and even wake him to let him know I’m back. It was easier with the day shifts while we were still designing the costumes, but now these late hours are a problem”, he sighed and Izzy nodded.
“I’m sorry. Oh and I heard Alec got shelter with you? Is Raphael alright with that?”, she asked and Magnus nodded when he knelt in front of her dress to put some needles on it.
“I think he is for now. He likes Alec, but who knows, he changes his mind every ten seconds these days. But what happened with Alec’s flat anyway? He said something like Jace broke the main pipe?”, he asked and Izzy snorted.
“Oh yeah, Jace did. There was something wrong with Alec’s bathroom sink and Jace boasted he could repair it and instead broke the pipe connected to the shower pipe and it flooded. The floor is ruined from the water and Alec needs to pay a lot to have it fixed, it’s a total mess. Jace apologized but Alec was furious”, Izzy said shaking her head and Magnus nodded.
He couldn’t imagine Alec being angry, he was always so calm even when it was a busy day at the theater but.. being forced to move out like that was indeed very unfortunate.
Manus got up from his knees and studied his work.
“Can you turn around, love”, he asked and Izzy did what she was told, then Magnus adjusted a few last things.
“That’s fine, thanks. We have to readjust somethings but then it should be fine”, he decided and Izzy smiled.
“Thank you so much for your hard work. Without your costumes, this whole play would be so boring”, she smiled and Magnus returned it kindheartedly.
“It’s my pleasure and passion and much thanks to you for pulling this off like you do. Your acting is extraordinary”, he complimented, but they got interrupted when Alec peeked inside and waved at Izzy.
“Iz, they need you on stage, five minutes. Props for act two scene five”, he said and Izzy nodded and quickly left for the prop department. While Magnus put down the gown on his desk to write down the changes he had to do Alec stepped closer with a smile.
“Hey, thanks again for letting me crash at your place. I swear I’m gonna kill Jace as soon as he comes back to work tomorrow”, he grumbled and Magnus raised his eyebrow.
“Izzy told me yo were pretty angry which I can totally understand. And it’s fine, as long as you’re fine with sleeping on the sofa since the guest room is Raphael’s”, he noted but Alec nodded with a relieved smile.
“I am, thank you. Is Raphe okay?”, Alec asked as he watched Magnus hang up the gown and walk to his desk with a second gown. Magnus made a grimace.
“He is but he just has a hard time letting go with me working this late. It breaks my heart to see him cry but it can’t be helped, I need to work especially this close to the premiere. And we need the money..”, Magnus mumbled with a wave of his hand and Alec tilted his head.
“I can pay half the rent while I work at your place?”, he offered but Magnus instantly shook his head.
“No, I can't accept your money”, he declined but Alec shook his head.
“Magnus. As long as I’m living at your place that’s the least I can do”, he insisted and Magnus looked at the determined face of his best friend. He sighed.
“Okay. But only because I know the flat is yours and Jace is paying the damage”, Magnus said, waving his finger and Alec let out a small laugh.
“Oh, he is paying for it, every last penny. I’ll come by later then so we can go home together, I got my bags in my car”, Alec said, then his radio cracked and someone told instructions which meant Alec had to leave.
When he was at the door he looked back at Magnus and smiled, the designer already lost in his work again.
The other one looked up at a smiling Alec.
“Always, Alexander”, Magnus said and winked, then Alec closed the door and left to get back to his work.
It got late for the both of them, the rehearsal taking longer than planned meaning Alec had to stay longer since it was Jace’s day off and they were one man short, while Magnus had to fix a mid-size disaster when one of the sewing machines nearly ruined a fabric for a tunic. All in all, they both were pretty exhausted when they walked the short distance to Alec’s car. It was thankfully a short drive since Magnus home was in Brooklyn where Magnus offered to carry one of the bags, but Alec declined and shouldered them himself.
Alec was working at a gym as a second job, so he had his gym bag with him as well and one bag full of his normal clothes. Which mostly consisted of black sweaters and black pants.
Magnus opened the door to his apartment as quietly as he could and Ana looked up from where she had been sitting in front of the TV, knitting.
He entered with an apologetic look followed by Alec who put down his bags carefully.
“Sorry it’s gotten so late again”, Magnus said but Ana shook her head with a smile.
“That’s okay, Raphael has been sleeping for a while now. He cried a little but wanted to be good for when you come back and eventually fell asleep. Hello Alec”, Ana said and Alec waved at her with a small smile.
“Are you moving in?”, the elderly lady asked with a chuckle when she noticed Alec’s bags who grunted and shrugged.
“For now, my brother flooded my apartment and I was forced to get out while it gets fixed”, he explained
and Ana nodded knowingly.
“That’s too bad. Thank god you got Magnus to shelter you and Raphael who likes you. He told me about you earlier”, she said and Alec smiled. His relationship with Raphael had been difficult when Magnus first got the boy.
He had been very scared of anyone, especially tall Alec but in time the started to get along well and Raphael liked Alec a lot now.
“Good night then boys. See you tomorrow”, Ana said as she left.
Magnus pointed towards his bedroom and looked at Alec.
“You find some sheets in my closet, I need to check up on Raphael, I promised him. You know yourself around here”, he grinned and Alec nodded, watched his friend leave for his son’s room, then Alec inhaled slowly and went for Magnus bedroom.
Of course he had been in there quite a few times, watching Magnus chose various outfits for parties they went to, but somehow this felt different. Alec shrugged the weird thoughts off, got himself the blankets and returned to the living room when he heard some whimpering and a soothing voice. He put the blankets down on the sofa then went to look what was happening in the boy’s room. His chest ached when he saw the scene.
Magnus was sitting on Raphaels bed, the boy holding tight onto the older man’s shirt while quietly sobbing as Magnus rubbed his back and tried soothing him. He looked up when the door creaked and gave Alec a pained expression.
“He had a nightmare of the fire..”, Magnus explained quietly and Alec nodded, then he had an idea.
“I’ll be right back”, he said and left, and Magnus wondered where he was going.
Alec came back a few minutes later carefully carrying a mug in his hands and stepped inside the room, kneeling down next to where Magnus was holding Raphael.
“Raphael”, Alec said quietly as not to scare the boy who didn’t look up.
“Raphe, can you look at me”, Alec tried again, his voice soft, gentle and very quiet and Magnus blinked when his son actually peeked up a little, the sobs continuing.
“I’ve got something for you. My mum used to make this for me when I was your age, a magical drink to make all the bad dreams go away”, Alec explained as he held out the mug towards the boy who hickupped and wiped at his face.
“What issit”, he whimpered and Alec smiled, crawling a little closer.
“It’s a secret that gets passed on in our family, but I think I can trust you to keep this secret, right?”, he asked and Raphael nodded slowly.
“For me?”, he asked again and looked up at his dad, and Magnus smiled and nodded.
“All yours little blueberry. He even keeps it a secret from me”, he encouraged his son, who looked back at Alec. Then he reached out and Alec carefully let him take a sip, then a few more and Raphael stopped crying, only sniffed every now and then.
“Good”, he said and Alec nodded, letting him finish it, then he stroke Raphael’s back.
“You can go to bed now. Your dad is right next door and I’m on the sofa if you need anything, okay?”, Alec said and Raphael nodded, then he snuggled closer to Magnus who gave Alec a thankful smile.
“I’ll see you in a bit”, Alec told Magnus, then he got up, ran his hand through Raphael’s hair and left the room.
Alec changed into his pajama bottoms and started arranging the sofa to sleep on when Magnus came out of the room, quietly closing the door a little and walked over to where Alec was standing.
“Thank you. He gets scared to easily and it needs a lot to calm him down this fast. What did you out in the milk then?”, he asked but Alec grinned mischievously.
“It’s a secret, didn’t you hear?”, he teased and Magnus rolled his eyes, but his look was fond and Alec nodded at him.
“I’m already finished in the bathroom, you can go. Thanks again for letting me stay”, he said and Magnus smiled.
“Always. Good night Alexander.”