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What it means to care

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"Mr. Lightwood!"

A female voice called after him the moment he walked out of the building. He turned around and fought the urge to roll his eyes.

"Miss Branwell," he continued walking expecting her to catch up with him.

"What can I do for you today?" He asked once she fell in step next to him.

"Well," she started with a broad smile on her face, "I think we've finally found the solution to our problem."

"How so?" Alec asked, deciding to just go with it. This was the third time in the last 6 months that Lydia had approached him and he had a pretty good idea how this conversation was going to go. They worked for rival companies and Lydia made it her mission to get Alec to work for her and even though it was a tempting offer his personal happiness wasn't a priority here, so that's why he turned her down the previous two times.

"The last time we had this conversation," she struggled to keep up with his long steps, "you said you couldn't accept the job because it's too far from your son's daycare. So, guess what?" She asked with a grin, obviously proud with how she was going to answer her own question. Alec looked down half interested.

"We opened up a childcare for our employees, inside the building. You couldn't get your son any closer than that."

Alec stopped walking. Mainly because they already reached Max's daycare, but also because he was actually intrigued with the information Lydia had just shared with him. He wasn't a big fan of changes, and neither was his son, so even though it was a tempting offer he still had a lot of things to think about.

"I don't know, Lydia. Max is not really good with new people, and I don't even know who would take care of him there, I kind of like his teacher now."

"I assure you that we've hired a complete professional. Other parents have been leaving their kids there for a month now, and we haven't had any complaints."

Alec was still unsure. He had a problem being separated from his son as it is, and now he would have to leave him with a complete stranger all over again. Right when he got used to Miss Rollins.

"I don't know," he said again.

"Alec, please. I know you're not happy working for Aldertree. And I also know you're only staying there because your son is two blocks away. But I promise you, we can give you so much more. Your son could be right there. You could have lunch with him, or go tuck him in when it's his time for a nap. You could see him whenever you want. This is a win-win situation," she said with a firm and convincing tone.

Alec looked at her, not sure what to say. He wanted to say yes, but it wasn't that easy. His son would always be a priority, and he didn’t want to put him in a stressful situation of having to adapt to new people once again if it was not completely necessary.

"10 minutes," Lydia spoke again. "Come to the office tomorrow before work and just give me 10 minutes to put my offer on the table. You can even bring your son to meet our caretaker and see how they get along, hm?" She smiled softly, and Alec finally gave in.

"Fine, 10 minutes. I'll be there at 8."

Lydia beamed. "Thank you, you will not regret this."

"Yeah," Alec chuckled. "Now if you would excuse me. I really want to go pick up my son."

"Of course, yes," she waved and started walking backwards. "I'll see you tomorrow," she gave one last smile before she turned around and left.

Alec proceeded forward and entered the building. A large smile spread across his face when his little boy started running towards him, calling out for his daddy. He crouched down and picked him up in his arms.

"Max," he hugged him tightly. "How are you? Did you have fun today?"

The little boy nodded enthusiastically. "We were drawing today. I made something for you!"

"You did?" Alec smiled.

"Mhmm, it's in my backpack," he pointed to his classroom.

"Okay, let's go pick up your stuff and get you home and then you can show it to me."

"Okay!" Max exclaimed and started wiggling in Alec's arms, demanding his father to put him down before he sprinted back to the classroom.

"Be careful!" Alec yelled after him, shaking his head fondly and following his son.

Miss Rollins pulled Alec over once he reached the door. "Mr. Lightwood? Can I talk to you for a moment?" She asked, not unkindly.

"Of course," he nodded and told Max to go get his jacket.

"Is there something wrong?" He asked when Max left.

"I wanted to talk to you about Max's nap time. I thought this would improve eventually, when he got used to all of us a little better, but as it is, Max has a problem falling asleep. He keeps asking for you, and he can't seem to relax."

Alec noticed that Max was quite tired lately ever since he started leaving him in the daycare. He would always crash after dinner but it didn't occur to him that that might be because he wasn't sleeping at all during the day. He thought Max was just tired from all the activities they did here every day.

He thought about what Lydia told him earlier, how he would be able to have lunch with Max and tuck him in for his nap if he took the job and brought his son with him. The job offer had never looked more appealing.

Alec nodded and informed Dot that he would bring Max in a little later tomorrow since he had a job interview, and he was fairly certain that that would be the last time he would leave Max there, but he didn't tell her that just yet.

He said his goodbyes to Dot and went to get Max. He was waiting for him by the front door. Alec took his son in one arm, and slung his tiny backpack on his other. He planted a soft kiss on Max's temple and walked them out of the building.

"Max?" He asked as they proceeded to the subway, and his son stopped playing with the zipper on Alec's jacked and looked up.

"Hm?" His tiny arms circled around Alec's neck, and he could see that he was very sleepy.

"Miss Rollin tells me that you haven't been sleeping much when it's nap time. Can you tell me why that is?"

Max sighed and snuggled closer into Alec's neck. "I just miss you, and I don't want to go to sleep without you telling me a story."

Alec's heart broke and in that moment he had come to a decision. "How would you like to come to work with daddy every day? And I can come see you whenever I have a break, hm? Especially when it's nap time?" He asked.

"Really?!" Max beamed and started pounding his small fists into Alec's chest in excitement. "And you would tell me a story? And give me a kiss goodnight?!"

"Yes, I would do all of that," Alec grinned. "Would you like that?"

"YES!" Max exclaimed and hug his father tighter.

"Then it's settled," Alec kissed his hair. "I love you, little marshmallow."

"I love you, too, daddy."

They got home and had a quiet dinner. Alec gave Max a bath and tucked him in his bed. He told him a short story, like he did every night and told him he would be taking him with him in the morning to meet some people. If he liked his new caretaker, they would stay and Alec would take the job, and Max could always be close to his dad. Max gave him a small nod before he drifted off, and Alec left him to sleep after he sneaked one last kiss on his son's forehead.

-

The morning at the Lightwood's home was calm as usual. Alec was a responsible father and nothing that resulted in his son's happiness was ever hard for him to do. Which is why he never had a problem getting up earlier to get everything ready if it meant that Max could sleep in longer, he knew his son needed it.

He took a shower and got dressed, after which he sneaked into Max's bedroom. His son was sleeping peacefully which put a soft smile on Alec's face. He did a quick job of pulling out clothes for Max to wear today out of the wardrobe and went to the kitchen to mix up a healthy breakfast.

By the time he was done cutting the fruit and placing it in a bowl along with some fresh yogurt and cereal it was time to go wake Max up. He walked to his room and peaked in. His son was snoring softly, his favorite plush toy secured safely under his arm. Alec walked to his bed and slowly crouched next to it. He caressed his hair and planted a small kiss on his cheek. "Time to wake up, my little marshmallow." He softly shook his shoulder which did the trick and Max opened his tiny blue eyes.

"Good morning, daddy," he said through a small yawn.

"Morning, buddy," he slowly untucked Max from his three bed covers (he was always cold and asked for Alec to bring him another cover, Alec sometimes thought he would suffocate in them).

"You ready to meet your potential new caretaker?" He asked as he moved away to give Max space to get off the bed after which he followed him to the bathroom.

"Yes!" Max exclaimed excitedly but thought better of it. "What does potential mean, daddy?"

Alec chuckled as he picked his son up and placed him by the sink. He took out his small Iron Man toothbrush and planted some toothpaste on it. He handed it to Max as he started explaining.

"Potential means that she might be your new teacher, but it depends on whether you will like her or not."

"What's her name?" Max asked through a mouth full of pink toothpaste foam.

Alec frowned for a second. He forgot to ask Lydia who she was and what her name was. To think better of it, he didn't even know if she was a woman which he admitted to his son.

Max shrugged as Alec helped him rinse his mouth, he didn't really care if it was a man or a woman, and neither did Alec, but he still mentally scolded himself for not inquiring more from Lydia. He felt like he should at least know the name of Max's new teacher. But what's done is done, they would meet them soon anyway. So, he helped Max get dressed and eat breakfast and they were on their way out.

-

They walked into a tall glass building of Branwell corp. after a 25-minute ride on the subway. They were immediately greeted by a tiny young woman who introduced herself as Clary. After they exchanged pleasantries she told them to follow her as she led them into what looked like a conference room with a large oval glass table and a dozen grey chairs in the middle of it.

"Miss Branwell will be here in a second. Can I offer you something to drink?" She asked cheerfully.

"Thanks, I'm fine," Alec said and looked down at Max. "Would you like something?" He asked.

Max shook his head and hid behind his father's legs shyly. Clary smiled at the gesture and told them to make themselves comfortable and sit wherever they want. She nodded after they both took a seat, Max squeezing as close to his dad as he could, before she left the room.

"You okay, buddy?" Alec asked as he softly caressed Max's hair. Max just nodded and pressed closer to his father's side and under his arm until he was safely tucked in Alec's embrace.

The glass door next to them suddenly opened and in walked Lydia with a tall man following behind her.

"Mr. Lightwood. Thank you so much for coming," she said and offered her hand for Alec to shake. He made a move to stand up and properly greet her but she quickly stopped him after she noticed his son tucked under his side shyly.

"It's okay, you don't have to get up," she smiled and shook his hand as he remained seated.

"This is Magnus Bane, our caretaker," she pointed at the man standing next to her and Alec gulped when he got the chance to look at him properly. He was tall, with broad shoulders and soft black hair which was combed to one side, falling down in waves. His face looked youthful and cheerful and it was embellished with all sorts of make-up Alec couldn't name, he just knew he liked it. He couldn't help but grin dorkly as Lydia introduced him next.

"And this is Alexander Lightwood," she said, "who I'm hoping to be our new software developer."

"Pleasure," Magnus said and extended his hand. It was soft and warm to the touch, mixed with a little tingling sensation produced by cold metal jewelry that adorned his fingers. He held Alec’s gaze with an open expression, small grin playing on his lips and Alec struggled to keep his heart rate at a normal pace. He wasn’t sure what he was expecting of Max’s new teacher, but he was pretty sure it was not very appropriate to have his eyes slip to the other man’s lips three times in the span of 10 seconds so he quickly looked away effectively breaking the spell that took over him.

Magnus smirked and pulled his hand out of Alec’s. "And who is this young gentleman?" he asked as both newcomers circled the table and took a seat across from them.

"This is my son, Max." Alec said after he saw that Max sunk deeper into his side and wouldn't speak himself. He squeezed his favorite plush animal which was a small purple dragon from that animated movie, My Little Pony, which Alec had to watch too many times. Max wouldn't go anywhere without it.

"Hello," Magnus directed the greeting in a soft voice towards Max.

"Hi," he greeted back quietly.

"What you got there?" The man asked pointing at his toy.

"Spike," Max said the character's name and looked up at Magnus for the first time.

"Is he your favorite from the cartoon?"

Max nodded.

"What's your favorite?" He asked politely after a few seconds and Alec couldn't be prouder of his son.

"Hmm.." Magnus put a finger on his chin to look like he was thinking hard. "I think my favorite is Pinky Pie, because she's always ready for a party. Aaand, she has the word pie in her name, and who doesn't like pie?" He laughed. "Do you like pie?" He asked after a moment.

Max nodded again.

"What's your favorite?"

"Blueberry."

"Blueberry?" Magnus beamed. "That's my favorite, too! I think I'm going to call you little blueberry from now on. It can be our little secret." He said in a hushed voice to make it seem like Alec and Lydia couldn't hear them which had Max giggling.

Alec watched the exchange between the two of them and his heart skipped a beat in happiness seeing his son laughing like that. He had a good feeling about this.

Lydia remained quiet through the exchange, too. But nodded towards Magnus when Max seemed to relax a bit.

Magnus took the cue and asked Max if he liked to draw to which the boy nodded eagerly. "Alright," Magnus said as he reached into his folder and pulled out a couple of papers and some markers. "What do you say we do some drawing and leave the adults to do boring work stuff, hm?" He asked with a wink.

"Okay," Max said and reached across the table for the supplies.

Alec was so mesmerized with how well Max had accepted Magnus, he almost forgot Lydia was there until she cleared her throat. He looked up and was met with her smiling face.

"So, what do you think?" She asked in a low voice. "About Magnus?"

"I-I think he looks great," he rushed. "I mean is great, um.. Max seems to like him, that is." He cleared his throat.

"Right. Good, I'm glad." She said. "Are you ready to hear my offer?"

Alec nodded.

-

After 10 minutes of listening to Lydia's offer (half of which he was too distracted by Max's giggles as he talked with Magnus in hushed voices, but she didn't have to know that), there was only one outcome to this meeting.

Lydia explained to him that his salary would be almost twice as big as his current one. He would work under the supervision of one Luke Garroway, and be partnered up with Maia Roberts for most of their projects. Both of which he had heard of, and only good things. But most importantly he would have his son just one floor away from him, and by the looks of it he would be enjoying his time here with Magnus. There was only one way this should go-

He was going to take the job.

Chapter Text

After he was done with all the paperwork regarding his resignation in his old firm and in Max's daycare, Alec had spent a peaceful weekend with his son. They spent most of Saturday playing outside in the park, and had a Disney marathon on Sunday. Before they knew it, it was already Monday and they had to make their way to Alec's new workplace.

Alec felt different when he was getting ready that morning. The routine was still the same, but he was excited about starting a new chapter in his life. He knew he was good at his job, but he still felt proud that one of the biggest companies in the industry actively fought for him to come join their team. It felt good to have his hard work finally pay off. He always wanted to buy a bigger place for him and his son, but he could never afford it. Maybe something with a small back yard, where he could build him a tree house and set some swings up. The possibility of turning that into a reality now, if he worked hard enough and saved enough money, made him even more excited to go and start his day.

He felt excited for Max, too, although he was a little nervous. He knew his boy was very shy and it took him some time to open up and make friends he was comfortable with. But he knew he would be close by if his son needed him, and Magnus seemed like a good man, and someone they could both trust. He smiled unconsciously at the thought of the other man. He remembered how Max had giggled when the two of them were in their own world, drawing and coloring and just talking about imaginary worlds and mythical creatures. Magnus patiently answered all of Max’s question, and when his eyes met Alec’s a couple of times across the table he could’ve felt his cheeks heat up and almost forgot he was supposed to be listening to Lydia.

He chuckled and shook his head to bring himself back to reality. He could hear Max waking up in the other room, and he took that as his cue to go help him get ready so they could be on their way out.

 

-

 

They walked into the building and proceeded to the second floor where the daycare was when they ran into Magnus.

"Alexander," he greeted with a smile and Alec's breath hitched at the sound of his full name. If it were anyone else Alec wouldn't hesitate to correct them and asked them to call him Alec, but there was something in the way Magnus said his full name that Alec strangely liked. He found that he liked a lot of things about Magnus - his face, his clothes, the curve of his mouth when he smiled…

"Mr. Bane, hello," he quickly pulled himself together. It was not appropriate to have these kinds of thoughts about Max's new teacher.

"Please, call me Magnus. Mr. Bane makes me sound so old," he chuckled.

"Right, Magnus, nice to see you again," Alec smiled.

"You, too. And you, little blueberry. Are you ready for your first day?" He smiled fondly at Max.

The boy nodded and let go of Alec's hand.

"Want to go see all the cool toys we have inside?"

"Yes," Max looked eager and looked at his father asking for permission to leave with Magnus.

Alec crouched down and put the little Spiderman backpack on his son's shoulders. He gave him a kiss on the cheek and told him to behave nicely and to listen to Magnus.

"You don't want to come with us and see the classroom?" Magnus asked.

"No, I should really go, I don't want to be late on my first day. And I will come visit you guys later anyway," he told Magnus before he turned back to Max and gave him one last hug. "Okay, buddy? I miss you already, but I will come see you in no time."

"Okay," Max hugged his dad back.

The small boy walked to Magnus and took his hand. Alec didn’t expect the gesture, but he was glad Max was comfortable enough to do so.

"See you later then," Magnus said and turned around to lead Max into the classroom after Alec nodded at them to let them know it was okay.

 

"I forgot to ask you how old you are last week?" He could hear Magnus ask Max as they were walking away.

"Four," Max pointed with his fingers.

"Four, huh? Can you name an animal that has four legs?"

"Hmm, a giraffe!" Max said proudly.

"That's correct," Magnus praised. "And can you tell me another animal that has spots?"

Max thought for a second. "A cow!"

"Yes," Magnus chuckled, "cows do have spots."

"Daddy loves cows," Max giggled.

"He does? Well maybe we can draw him a cow today, yeah?"

Max nodded. Their voices were barely audible by now, but the casual way they seemed to act around each other made Alec feel less nervous about Max’s first day. And his own. He watched them with a smile as they entered the classroom before he turned around and went to find his new office.

 

-

 

The morning had run smoothly. Alec met Maia and Luke and they hit it off right from the start. He was excited about working with them. The workplace was also very nice. It was a big room with open-floor concept with work stations scattered all around it. They were all divided into two-person teams with their desks facing each other for easier communication. That's how he found himself sitting opposite of Maia, with water machine situated behind his back, and only closed-off office - Luke's - to his right. As Luke was the boss of their division, he had his own office, for private meetings and scolding, as Maia joked, but Luke made it clear that his doors were always open and that Alec, as anyone else, could come talk to him anytime. Alec felt welcome, and excited to start working on new projects, but as today was a slow day of introduction for him, he didn't have much to do and he was anxious to go see how his boy was doing.

When time for lunch finally rolled in, he excitedly skipped down the stairs, favoring them over the elevator since it was just one floor and it was quicker that way.

He walked into a big room that looked like a combination of a playroom and a classroom just in time to hear Magnus inform the kids that lunch will be served in 5 minutes and that they should go wash their hands. Most of the kids rushed to the small sink that was in the corner of the room. It was placed on a bright red and yellow cupboard and was significantly shorter than an average sink, just high enough that the kids could reach it. It was much safer than having them standing on stools trying to reach the water and Alec smiled and silently thanked whomever designed that feature for the room.

His attention snapped back to his son who spotted him over Magnus' shoulder and started running towards him.

"Daddy!" He reached out his small hands as he progressed towards Alec with the biggest smile on his face. He crouched down and pulled his son into his arms.

"Hey, little marshmallow," he kissed his head and stood up with Max in his arms. "What have I told you about running so fast while we are inside? I don't want you to trip and bump your head on some corner, okay?"

Max nodded and looked up at his father apologetically. "I'm sorry," he whispered and Alec couldn't stay mad at him even if he wanted.

"I know," he kissed his cheek. "And I know you won't do it again, right?"

Max nodded again. "I was just happy to see you," he hugged his father around the neck tightly.

"I'm happy to see you, too. I missed you," Alec said just as Magnus joined them.

"Can't say I'm disappointed to see you, either," Magnus winked and Alec hoped his cheeks weren't as red as they felt.

"Hi, Magnus," he said shyly and mentally scolded himself. What was he, 12? He shouldn't feel shy around what was essentially his colleague, even if said colleague was extremely attractive and wore a shirt that accentuated his strong biceps in the most flattering way.

"Hello, yourself," the other man smiled. "Will you be joining us for lunch?”

"I-"

As if on cue, a young man with thick frames on his nose walked into the room pushing a cart with food trays on it. He smiled broadly at Magnus before he noticed Alec and his eyes widened.

"I didn't know I had to bring down an extra tray." He looked at Magnus. "You didn't tell me you had company." He was in slight panic mode and Alec felt embarrassed for causing a fuss.

"It's okay, I'm not that hungry," he said quickly with an apologetic smile. It was his first day and he didn't want to make a bad impression on any of his new colleagues.

"Alexander, don't be silly, you have to eat something," Magnus jumped in.

"No, really, it's fine."

"I can go grab an extra dish, it's no trouble," the guy, whose name he still didn't know said.

"No, no, really, it's okay." Alec could feel his cheeks redden. How did he find himself in this embarrassing situation?

"It's fine, Simon, we can just share," Magnus said after Alec refused to let the man make an extra trip to the kitchen just for him.

"Magnus-" Alec started.

"Alexander, I'm not asking. We are sharing," he said with a wink and that was the end of it. He instructed Simon to go and serve the food to the kids and told him he would be there with them in a minute.

"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to-" Alec tried when he was left alone with Magnus, but the other man stopped him, his index finger hovering over Alec's mouth.

"You didn't cause any trouble, Alexander," he said in a soft voice. "Simon just rambles a lot when he's nervous and he's very sensitive when it comes to his food. He likes everyone to have a full stomach even if it means he has to make an extra trip to the kitchen for just one person. Okay?" A smiled played on Magnus' lips and it made Alec breath hitch and helped him relax all at the same time. Magnus had a strange effect on him, but he decided he didn't hate the feeling.

"Okay," he said finally and earned himself another smile.

"Okay," Magnus repeated. "I have to go help the kids with their food. You can wait for me at my desk. And if Max doesn't feel comfortable eating with the others yet, he can sit with you."

Alec took a seat at Magnus' desk, Max in his lap, right as Simon came over and placed 2 trays of various food in front of them. One for Max that was filled with colorful vegetables and chicken carefully sliced into bite-size pieces so it would be easier for kids to eat it, and one for Magnus and himself that had what looked like a turkey sandwich and a mixed salad.

"It's still not too late for me to bring you an extra plate," Simon smiled.

"It's okay, really, I don't want to trouble you, and I'm not that hungry. But thank you, anyway," he smiled back.

"Okay, then. Enjoy, fellas," he awkwardly saluted them and left the room.

Alec helped Max eat his lunch while they chatted about their day. His son told him about all the toys they have here and how he was too shy to play with others, but that Magnus had kept him company and was really nice to him. The man himself joined them about 20 minutes later when all the kids were mostly done eating and have put the trays onto the cart that Simon will come pick up later.

"Did you have a nice meal, Max?" He asked with a smile and the boy nodded. "You can go play with the other kids if you'd like while the food sets in your tummy for a bit, and then we're going to take a nap, okay?"

Max looked at his dad uncertainly. "It's okay, buddy," Alec said. "I'm sure other kids will want to play with you if you ask them nicely. And if not, I will be right here and you can come back and sit with me and Magnus, okay?"

"Okay," Max said and Alec kissed his cheek before he let him down from his lap. "Go on, I'm right here," he gave him a reassuring smile and the boy finally walked over to the other kids. Alec kept an eye on him but relaxed a bit when he saw Max sit next to some kids who were building Lego. He didn’t exactly reach for the toys himself, but he was sitting close enough that he was a part of the group, and Alec guessed that was a good start.

"He's very shy," Magnus said, having observed the interaction himself also.

"Yeah," Alec sighed and turned to Magnus who had sat at his desk across from him and cut his sandwich in half. "He's not really good with new people, but hopefully he can make some friends here today."

Magnus hummed.

"He seems to like you," Alec added as he thanked Magnus when he handed him half of the sandwich. It felt weird to share food with someone he had just met. It was not a bad weird, but it felt intimate, and he couldn’t remember when was the last time he had an intimate meal with someone. This wasn’t like that, he had to remind himself, Magnus was just a good colleague, and someone who could become a good friend. But most importantly, he was Max’s teacher, so Alec had to get a hold of himself.

"Yes, he seems quite comfortable around me,” Magnus started. “We spent a nice time coloring together today. He's very smart, knows all sorts of animals," he chuckled and Alec beamed with pride hearing his son being praised.

"Yeah, that sounds like him. He loves animals," Alec smiled.

"How's your first day going?" Magnus shifted the conversation. "Hope Luke and Maia are not giving you too much trouble," he grinned.

"Oh, I didn't realize you knew them," Alec said after swallowing a bite of his sandwich.

"Luke is a close friend of mine. Put in a good word for me that helped me land this job," he laughed. "You let me know if they bother you, and I'll handle them," he added with a wink.

Alec chuckled. "I'm sure that won't be necessary, they both seem really nice."

"They are. They are great, especially Luke. One time I nearly got arrested when I jumped out of the window half naked trying to save my neighbor's cat and he-" he looked up at Alec, his amused smile fading. "And I just realized I shouldn't be telling you this, because we just met and you're entrusting me with your child and this just got really awkward." He laughed nervously and cleared his throat. "Anyway, the point is, Luke saved me on more than one occasion and both him and Maia are great people, and I'm sure you'll enjoy working with them." He finished his ramble and took a huge bite of his sandwich to shut himself up before he embarrassed himself further.

Alec just looked at him for a while, one of his eyes squinting at Magnus suspiciously before he burst out laughing. Magnus shoulders visibly relaxed and as he joined Alec in his giggles.

"You're really something else, Magnus Bane," he shook his head fondly looking up at the other man who wore a matching grin on his face.

 

They spent the rest of lunch break eating and chatting comfortably. Alec found it easy to talk to Magnus, and he even shared a couple of stories about himself and his family. He usually hadn’t had a habit of talking about himself, especially not with someone he knew for such a short time, but Magnus listened to him intently and with a smile on his face, like he really wanted to hear more about him, and Alec found it hard to deny the other man anything. So, he talked and they laughed and Alec actually had to remind himself that he was at work, and would have to go back upstairs in a few minutes, when all he wanted was to stay here and talk to this gorgeous man for a little bit longer.

Although he heard some crazy stories from Magnus in return, he could tell that the man took his job seriously, as he never let his attention slip away from the kids for too long and he was ready to jump in at any moment should the situation arise. Alec kept glancing at Max, too, giving him a reassuring smile when the boy looked back at him a couple of times and he was glad to see that Max was actually playing with the other kids.

With their break almost over, Magnus got up and began to distribute the kids to their beds. Alec went to pick up Max and helped him settle in a small blue bed with yellow stars painted all over it. He safely tucked him in and kissed his forehead.

"Daddy has to go back to work now," he said with a soft voice, caressing Max's hair gently. "You be a good boy and sleep for a while so you have enough energy later, okay?"

Max nodded and held Spike closer to himself. Alec gave him another kiss and hummed a soft melody until the boy fell asleep. He wasn't aware that Magnus was done settling other kids in beds and was looking at him with a soft smile. He got up and walked to the other man.

"Thank you for letting me spend some time here, I really appreciate it," he wasn't sure what compelled him but he gently squeezed Magnus' arm right above the elbow, expressing his gratitude.

Magnus didn't flinch away, but Alec did see a hint of surprise on his face before it melted into a warm smile. "You're welcome here anytime, Alexander." Alec nodded and left to finish his work for the day.

 

Chapter Text

The first week at the new company was slowly coming to an ending. Perhaps a little too slowly, Alec thought as another 10 minutes passed after the agreed time of the meeting. Alec was sitting in a modernly styled coffee shop across the street from the office with Luke and Maia. The clients they were meeting liked a casual atmosphere so they all agreed to meet there, but no one predicted they would be almost 30 minutes late.

Alec kept nervously glancing at his watch. At this rate he wouldn't be able to get back on time to have lunch with his son. And Magnus. It was weird how his brain supplied that information, but in a week's time, it had become normal to have the other man in his daily routine.

Max got mostly acclimated to the new surrounding by the end of the week. And he even managed to make a friend, which made Alec very happy, but he still preferred to eat with his dad. Every day they would sit together at Magnus' desk and munch on whatever delicacy Simon served them that day. That was always the best hour of Alec's day. But not just because of Max, he enjoyed Magnus' company, too.

The two of them hit it off right from the start and in a few days-time became quite good friends, but Alec would be lying if he said he didn't find the other man attractive. He was simply put - gorgeous. Beautiful brown eyes, strong build, show-stopping smile, but perhaps the best of all was simply his personality. He was fun and witty and open and it was so easy for him to captivate Alec's attention making him almost late two days in a row.

Magnus was perfect, but he was Max's teacher, which made things a little complicated. But it also made everything so much better. For Max. And Max would always be a priority.

Alec had never seen his son get accustomed to a stranger so quickly. He would talk about his new caretaker even after they got home. He would sit in his lap even though he never liked being held by anyone but Alec, and maybe his sister Izzy. He had seen his son flourish in just a few days he had spent here, and that just made him like Magnus even more.

Alec could feel that he was developing a crush on the other man, which made him nervous and scared. The last thing he wanted to do was make things awkward between them and make his son suffer for it. Perhaps it was best to just be friends. He would savor the hour he got with Magnus every day and leave it at that. He was probably not interested in Alec anyway.

 

-

 

When he finally got back from the meeting he practically sprinted to Max's classroom. He was just in time to tuck him in for his nap. "I'm sorry I'm late, buddy," he said as he pulled a blanket over Max and tucked it under his chin. His small eyes were already closing from tiredness.

"It's okay," he sighed sleepily and snuggled closer to the pillow.

"I love you," Alec kissed his forehead and caressed his ruffled hair.

"Love you, too," Max mumbled before he drifted off to sleep.

Alec smiled and stretched up from his crouch. He spotted Magnus sitting at his desk, having already put all the other kids to sleep. He walked over and pointed at 2 paper cups he left there when he came in.

"I got caught up today," he said and dropped in the chair across from Magnus. "I brought you coffee from that coffee shop across the street", he said and pushed one cup to the other man and put the other in his hands, savoring the warmth.

Magnus smiled and took a sip. "Thank you, it tastes great."

Alec smiled back. "I didn't know what's your favorite so I asked the lady who worked there to just give me their best one."

"Well, you were close," Magnus grinned over the cup. "Vanilla latte is my second favorite."

"What's your first?" Alec asked.

"Maybe I'll tell you over coffee some other time," he winked making Alec chuckle.

Luke told him to take a break now since he didn't have one earlier so he sunk deeper in the chair and closed his eyes, enjoying the comfortable silence.

"Did you eat?" Magnus asked after he was done scribbling something onto the paper. The muffled sound of the pen dragging on the smooth surface almost making Alec fall asleep.

"Hm?" He jerked and opened his eyes.

Magnus laughed. "I asked if you had time to eat anything? I saved you a sandwich if you'd like," he offered.

"Oh," Alec sat up and as if on cue, his stomach grumbled making both men laugh.

"I'll take that as a yes," Magnus said and walked up to the bright lime green fridge he had in the corner of the room. He pulled out a sandwich and a bottle of water and brought it to Alec who thanked him with a nod and dug right in.

"I hope you don't mind, but I pulled your phone number from the company's data base," Magnus said as he slid a piece of paper over the desk. "And this is mine. You know, so I can call you down here in case of an emergency, or you can text me when you want to check up on Max during the day... or you know, whenever." He cleared his throat, looking almost hesitant when he added that last part.

It was a new side of Magnus Alec hadn't seen before. He was used to the confident way Magnus always spoke, but now it seemed like he shied away from Alec, like he wasn’t sure what Alec’s reaction was going to be. Surely, he didn’t like him back, right?

“Thanks, that’s a good idea,” Alec answered with a smile before things got awkward. Magnus nodded, his posture visibly relaxing and he let Alec finish his food before they both had to go back to work.

 

-

 

Alec was tired when they got back from work, but not as nearly as his little boy. The whole way home Max was telling him how much fun he had when Magnus took them outside after their naps. Apparently, Lydia had arranged a small park in the building’s back yard, and they had spent a couple of hours running around chasing butterflies and sliding down the park slide. He was so excited, but barely had enough energy to stay awake for dinner.

After they’d both finished eating, Alec gave Max a quick bath and proceeded to put him to bed. Everything was running smoothly until Alec tucked him in and Max wanted to hug his favorite plush dragon, but it wasn’t there.

“Daddy, where is Spike?” Max asked, his eyes wide awake now.

“I don’t know, it must be in your backpack,” Alec kissed his forehead and got up. “I’ll be right back, you close your eyes and try to sleep.”

“No! I want Spike,” Max protested.

“I’ll bring him to you, don’t worry,” Alec chuckled and left the room in pursuit of the toy. When he ended up empty handed after he searched both Max’s and his bag he began to worry. He flipped over the entire living room trying to find it because he knew his son couldn’t sleep without it, but the dragon was nowhere to be found.

After almost 15 minutes Max dragged himself back to the living room, a thumb in his mouth and tears in his eyes.

“Max…” Alec said softly and scooped him up into his arms. “Shhh,” he patted him gently on the back as the small boy cried into his shoulder, a mixture of tiredness and lack of his favorite plush safety anchor making it hard for him to control his emotions.

“I want Spike,” he mumbled in between sobs, barely audible as Alec continued to rub soothing circles into his back.

“I know,” Alec closed his eyes and hugged his boy a little tighter. He remembered when Isabelle got Max the little dragon. She always showered him with toys. A little too much, Alec thought, but he never complained to her. He was 2 when she brought it here from her trip to Europe. Max was ecstatic, he always loved mythical creatures, so it was no surprise when Spike became his favorite toy, and he wouldn’t go anywhere without it.

Alec sighed and sat them both on the couch. He pulled his phone out of the pocket and kissed Max’s hair. “I will get Spike back, don’t you worry, my little marshmallow.”

 

-

 

Magnus was sitting in a bar with Catarina. It was their favorite place, half way between Cat’s hospital and Magnus’ work place, and they always met there twice a month to catch up. They were enjoying a moment of comfortable silence, the one you can only have with a best friend, where no one had to say anything, but you were still enjoying each other’s company. But it seemed it had stretched a little too long as Catarina playfully hit him in the shin under the table, a knowing look playing on her face.

“What’s got you all dreamy? Or should I say who?” she smirked.

“Huh? No one, what are you talking about?” Magnus tried to play dumb, taking another sip of his drink. But he really should’ve know better than to try to hide something from Catarina. She’d known him too long for that.

“Really?” She rested her head in her hand, leaning on her elbow over the table. “I don’t remember seeing you this happy after work in a long time. So, what changed this week?”

Magnus closed his eyes for a moment. A pair of hazels popping into his mind as soon as he did so. He smiled gently and looked back at her, not even trying to hide it anymore.

“Fine… I might have met someone,” he said, gliding his finger over the rim of the martini glass absentmindedly.

“Oh? Who?” she inquired curiously.

“He’s a father of one of the children I take care of at Branwell’s…”

“Magnus, that’s dangerous,” she said, switching into protective mode. “He could be married.”

“I know, but he doesn’t wear a ring.”

“That doesn’t have to mean anything,” she tried to protest, but Magnus stopped her.

“I know, Cat,” he said. “And I haven’t tried anything. I’ve only known him for a week, and yes, it’s possible he’s with someone, that’s why I’ve kept my flirting to a minimum. Although, even those rare moments managed to put a blush on his face, so I think there’s a reason to hope,” he laughed.

She smiled too, deciding to put her guard down. Magnus knew she was just trying to protect him, but really, she should have more faith in him from time to time.

“So, what’s his name?” she asked.

“Alec,” Magnus smiled as he thought of the other man. He was not only breathtakingly beautiful, but also kind, and funny, and adorably gentle with his son. He had never met anyone like him. “He’s… different. I really like him.” He said.

“You think he likes you back?”

“I don’t know,” he fidgeted with his rings. A thing he often did when he was nervous, and uncertainty if Alec liked him or not did made him nervous.

“Well, he would be a fool if he didn’t,” Catarina joked, sensing Magnus’ nerves. He smiled at her in gratitude.

He was just about to ask her if she wanted another drink when his phone started vibrating. He looked at the screen and saw Alec’s name on it.

“It’s him,” he said with a confused look.

“Well, there’s your sign,” Catarina laughed.

He shook his head. “It doesn’t have to mean anything.”

“Just pick it up,” she urged him on.

“Right,” he finally picked up the phone and answered.

“Alexander?”

Magnus? Hi. I’m sorry for calling. I know it’s late, but is there a chance you’re still at work?” he heard the voice on the other end and frowned. It was true that he sometimes had to stay late at work if the children’s parents couldn’t get out on time, but it was still almost 8 pm, he was never at work that late.

“No, but I’m in a bar a block away,” he said. “Is everything okay?”

Yeah, everything’s fine, it’s just uh… is there a chance you could meet me at the office? I think Max left his toy in the classroom and he can’t sleep without it. I could use your help finding it. Please?”

“Oh. Is it that purple dragon?”

Yes! That’s it. Do you know where it is?”

“Yeah, I think I saw it after you two left.”

Great! I’m on my way.”

“Alexander, wait! You’re not going to travel through half of the city and back at this hour. I’ll just go grab it and bring it over.”

What? No, I can’t ask you that, you’re probably busy, and if I come there it will just take 5 minutes.”

“You’re not asking, I’m offering. I don’t want you to leave Max home alone now. Just text me the address, and I’ll be on my way.”

Are you sure?”

“Yes, I’m sure. Now, I’ll see you in a bit. Text me.”

Okay… Thank you.”

Magnus hung up the phone and looked at Catarina. “I’m afraid I have to cut this short, dear,” he said and got up, already putting his jacket on.

“Is everything alright?” she asked.

“Yes. Alec’s son just left a toy he’s very attached to in our classroom, so I’m going to bring it over to him.”

“Mhm,” she hummed in amusement. “And was it really necessary that you go all the way to Alec’s place on a Friday night?”

“I suppose not,” he smirked. “But it can’t hurt, right?” he winked and leaned down to kiss her cheek. “I’ll see you soon.”

“Don’t do anything stupid!” She yelled after him, making him laugh as he walked out of the bar.

 

-

 

Alec was sitting on the sofa, Max safely tucked under his arm, stubbornly fighting sleep while playing on his dad’s phone, when there was a knock on the door. He got up to open it and barely contained a gasp when his eyes focused on Magnus. He looked different than when he’d seen him earlier today. His make-up was more intense, darker shades accentuating his beautiful features, and it looked like there was a hint of color in his hair. His clothes were tight, a dark burgundy shirt had a few buttons undone, showing a hint of his toned chest, while a tight black jacket hugged his strong arms.

Alec swallowed hard and tried to form words to greet him, but his son beat him to it.

“Magnus!” Max ran around Alec and launched himself at the other man hugging him tightly around the legs.

Magnus chuckled and crouched down. “Hey, Blueberry,” he ruffled his hair. “I have something for you,” he stretched out a hand that was hidden behind his back and presented the plush toy to Max.

“Spike!” The small boy exclaimed, grabbing the dragon and holding it tight to his chest. “Dad! He found Spike!” Max showed it to his father proudly.

“I know,” Alec smiled. “Now what do you say?”

“Thank you.”

Magnus smiled and pinched Max’s cheek. “You’re very welcome.”

He yawned and leaned on his father side. Alec caressed his head gently. “Max, I think it’s time for your bed now. Go on, I’ll be there in a minute,” he turned to Magnus after Max left to his room.

“Magnus, thank you so much,” he said in a soft voice, hoping Magnus could sense how grateful he was.

“It was not a problem,” Magnus smiled. “I actually live not far from here, so you don’t have to worry.”

Alec nodded. “You uh… you want to come in for a drink?” he asked hesitantly.

“I’d like that,” Magnus said with a smile and Alec let him in his apartment.

 

He made a quick work of tucking Max into his bed, and was back with Magnus, who made himself comfortable on the couch.

“I’m not much of a drinker, so I only have beer. I hope that’s okay?” he asked walking into the kitchen that was divided from the living room by a small island counter.

“Beer is fine.”

Alec opened two bottles and gave one to Magnus before he sat down in a chair next to the couch. “Y-you look very nice… I hope I didn’t mess up your plans,” the words escaped his mouth before he could stop them. He felt his cheeks heat up and hoped Magnus didn’t think he was some kind of weirdo.

The other man chuckled, but accepted the compliment. “Thank you. I was just having a drink with a friend. She didn’t mind me leaving early, so you don’t have to feel guilty,” he assured him.

Alec nodded.

“You have a lovey place,” Magnus said with a smile, looking around and taking everything in. Alec’s apartment wasn’t very big, but it was cozy and simple. The furniture all matched, more or less, and a light blue and gray color scheme adorned most of the living space.

“Thanks,” Alec said. “It’s not ideal for rising a child that wishes to have a new pet every week, but I try to make the best of it,” he laughed, thinking about all the dogs Max wanted to adopt, but Alec just didn’t have the heart to make them live in such a tiny space.

Magnus hummed in understanding.

“Is your wife going to be home soon?” He asked suddenly, surprising Alec. He glanced at his hand like a fool to make sure there was no ring on it, even though he never came anywhere close to marriage, but he just wasn’t expecting that kind of question.

“What? No, I’ve never… I’m not… It’s just me and Max,” he said finally.

“Oh.”

“Yeah, my uh… my last boyfriend left after I got Max…” Alec said, taking a bitter chug of his beer.

“I’m sorry,” Magnus said and put a hand on Alec’s knee, making a tingling sensation run through his entire body, but it was gone as quickly as it appeared after Magnus withdrew his hand.

“It’s fine,” Alec started. “He just wasn’t ready for a kid. But I guess most 24-yearolds aren’t.”

“No, I guess not,” Magnus agreed in a soft voice.

“So, what about you?” Alec shifted the attention from himself. “You got someone waiting for you at home?”

“No, actually. I broke up with my last girlfriend after she cheated on me with my ex-boyfriend. It was a mess,” he laughed.

Alec frowned, not understanding how someone could cheat on Magnus. “I’m sorry,” he said.

“Don’t be,” Magnus smiled. “Everything got so much better after her. I got a new place. Landed a great new job. And just last week, I met a guy that I really like, and would like to get to know better.”

“Oh,” Alec’s face dropped. Of course, Magnus liked someone else. “I-is he from work? I still haven’t met everyone,” he feigned interest, hoping Magnus would say no, so he wouldn’t have to worry about bumping into that man while he was at work every day.

“Alexander,” Magnus looked at him amusedly. “I thought I was being obvious. I was talking about y-“

“Daddy!” Max called from the other room, interrupting Magnus.

Alec got up and excused himself to go check up on his son. He stayed in his room probably longer than necessary, but he had to collect his thought after what Magnus had just told him. He liked someone else. It was fine. Alec was his friend, and if Magnus wanted to talk about other men, then he would put on his best fake smile and do so.

 

-

This is good, Magnus thought as he waited for Alec in the living room. Alec was not in a relationship, and he even gave him a compliment, making Magnus give himself a mental high-five for taking a quick stop at home to change his clothes. Catarina would never stop teasing him if she knew, but he couldn’t resist as his apartment was on the way here.

“Is everything alright?” he asked when Alec got back.

“Yeah,” he sat back in his chair. “Max was just cold. Asked for another blanket, he does that often.”

Magnus smiled, anticipation in him rising. Was now the right time to ask Alec out?

“So, you were talking about that guy? I’m sorry, relationships aren’t really on the map for me right now with the new job, and Max, so you gotta throw me a bone a let me live through your stories a little bit,” Alec laughed and Magnus’ heart dropped.

“Oh.” Well, there was his answer, he guessed. “Actually, um… I-I’ll tell you some other time,” he got up abruptly. “I just remembered I have this thing I have to do, so um…” he walked to the door, Alec following him with a confused look on his face. He felt bad for leaving like that, but maybe coming here and having drinks wasn’t the best idea.

“Are you okay?” Alec asked.

“Yeah, yeah,” Magnus faked a smile. “Say hi to Max for me. I uh... I’ll see you on Monday.”

“Are you sure you’re alright?” The other man was frowning.

“Yes, I’m sorry for leaving like this. Have a nice night, Alec.”

“You, too,” an unexplainable flash of hurt appeared on Alec’s face, but it was gone in a heartbeat and Magnus wasn’t sure if he imagined it. “Thanks again for coming and bringing Spike.”

“You’re welcome. Goodnight,” Magnus said and turned to leave, but Alec caught his arm.

“Magnus! Uh… text me when you get home? I just want to make sure you got there safely. Sorry again for dragging you all the way here.”

Magnus smiled and nodded, finally walking away. He kept his promise and texted Alec when he got home, smiling softly when Alec sent him a photo of Max sleeping peacefully with Spike tightly held in his small arms, in reply.

Chapter Text

Magnus was browsing through the supermarket, his phone glued to his ear.

"How did it go last night with Alec?" He could hear Cat's voice on the other end.

"It… didn't," he sighed. "He's not interested in a relationship right now."

"He said that when you told him? That's a bit cold…"

"No, I didn't get to tell him. He assumed I was talking about somebody else and just… You know what? Never mind, it's not that big of a deal." He shook his head, walking into the fruit and vegetables section. He picked up an orange and examined it. He wasn't really there to buy anything, he was just bored at home and decided to take a walk which somehow led him here.

"Are you sure?" Catarina asked hesitantly.

"Yes. It's not like I'm in love with him, or anything," he put the fruit down.

"Yet…" he could hear the scepticism in her voice.

He sighed. "Cat-" a familiar cheery voice pulled his attention from the phone. He looked up and saw Alec and Max just a few feet away.

"Can we go to the park and get ice cream?" He could hear the little boy ask.

"Promise to eat all these vegetables for dinner?" Alec asked as he put a bunch of asparagus into the cart Max was also occupying.

"Dad," Max exhaled dramatically. "I always eat my vegtbals," he struggled to say the word making Alec chuckle.

"I know," he pecked his son's forehead. "You're my good little boy," another peck on his left cheek. "Which is why," and one on the right, "we can go get ice cream," he finished with a kiss on his nose making the boy giggle.

Magnus melted at the sight. They were both so adorable. And he was so screwed. Perhaps Catarina wasn't far from the truth. He was crushing hard on Alec, and he needed to get a hold of it before it got out of control.

"Magnus!" Catarina raised her voice on the other end of the phone, and he was sure this was not the first time she tried to get his attention back.

"Huh?"

"Are you okay?"

"Yeah, everything's fine, I’ve just-"

"Magnus!" Max spotted him behind Alec making the other man turn. He looked at him with wide eyes before his face transformed into a grin a second later.

"Magnus," he breathed.

"I'll call you back," he said into the phone and hung up.

"Hello, gentlemen," he walked to them and pinched Max's cheek. The boy giggled in return.

"What are you doing here?" Alec asked.

Magnus frowned. "It is a store, Alexander," he laughed making the other man blush. It was too easy.

"Right."

"You want to get ice cream with us?" Max asked excitedly, catching him off guard.

"Oh, um…" he hesitated and looked at Alec. He hoped things weren't awkward after how he left last night.

"Y-you should come with us. I mean, if you're not busy," Alec gestured with his hands awkwardly.

"Are you sure?"

"Yeah," the other man smiled. "We're going to walk through the park for a bit, you're welcome to join us."

Magnus was weak and couldn't resist the hopefulness in both Max and Alec's eyes. "Okay," he finally said.

"Okay," Alec nodded and led the way to the cash register.

 

-

 

"Did you manage to do that thing you had last night?" Alec asked after they walked into the park. They bought Max a scoop of chocolate ice cream, and Magnus insisted on carrying Alec's groceries, so he could pick up his son who asked to be held. Magnus had a hard time shaking off the feeling that they looked like a cute little family.

"What?" He blinked the thought away. "Oh, yeah, everything's taken care of," he smiled. "I'm sorry I left so abruptly."

Alec smiled back at him. "It's okay. I'm just glad everything turned out alright."

"It has. Thank you."

Alec nodded and they proceeded walking. It was a sunny day, but still a little chilly since it was early spring. Kids were playing on the playground and some people were walking their dogs on the other side of the park. They walked for a bit in silence until Max gasped in excitement!

"Benny!" He pointed with his small fingers. Magnus looked in the direction he was pointing and saw a dog who was running with a toy in his mouth, bringing it back to its owner.

"Can I go play, Daddy?" He jumped excitedly in Alec's arms making him laugh.

"We have to ask Raj if it's okay first." The man, who Magnus assumed was Raj spotted them and waved.

"Hey, Alec," he jogged over with his dog to greet them. Magnus noticed a subtle sparkle in his eyes when he looked at Alec and he could see a hint of blush he was sure wasn't the result of jogging. Interesting, he thought.

"Hey, Raj," Alec said back. "Um, this is Magnus. Magnus, this is my neighbor, Raj."

"Hello," Magnus nodded politely and the other man smiled at him, but his attention was quickly back on Alec.

"Can I play with Benny?" Max asked, looking down at the dog who wiggled his tail in excitement.

"Sure, you can, kiddo," Raj grinned. "I'll take care of him," he added after Alec put down Max from his arms. He fixed his jacket, and wiped the ice cream smudges from his face. The second he was free from his father’s protective arms, Max lunged himself at the dog, hugging him tightly and giggling when the dog licked his face.

"Don't go too far," Alec warned his son. "I'm going to sit on that bench with Magnus so we can keep an eye on you, okay?"

Max nodded and began chasing the dog around the park.

"Thanks, Raj," Alec smiled.

"Any time, I know how much he loves that dog," Raj put a hand on Alec's shoulder and held it there a bit too long, Magnus thought, who had been silently observing the interaction.

 

"I think your neighbor likes you," Magnus said when they sat on the bench.

"What?" Alec laughed. "Not you, too. That's what Izzy always says, but I don't see it," he shook his head.

Magnus put down the shopping bags in between them and looked at Alec. "Izzy? Is that Max's mom?" he asked hesitantly.

"No,” Alec chuckled. “Izzy is my sister. And Max is not… I mean, he is mine in every way that matters, but I didn't actually… I’m not… I adopted him," he said finally. "And I'm gay," he added for good measure.

Magnus nodded. He knew Alec had mentioned he had a boyfriend when he got Max, but in all the time they’ve known each other he’d never said anything about the boy’s mother, so the curiosity got the best of him and he felt compelled to ask. "I'm sorry for assuming," he said

"There's nothing to apologize for. I know it's not usual for a single man in his twenties to be raising a child that he adopted by himself," he kept a watchful gaze on his son and Magnus could see so much love in his eyes.

"Why did you decide to adopt him?” He asked before he could stop himself and panicked. “I’m sorry, you don’t have to tell me,” he rushed, silently cursing his tongue that sometimes worked faster than his mind.

"It’s okay, I don't mind,” Alec smiled, probably noticing that Magnus hadn’t planned on blurting that question out loud like that. “It wasn't planned,” he started the story, looking straight ahead. “I was just out of college, got my first job, started my life, and actually, my best friend Aline decided to adopt a child with her wife. But Helen got very sick. They went through so much together to finally get her a proper treatment, but it was in Europe. They had to move and focus on her health, so the agency decided that they weren't suitable for an adoption at that time. I went with Aline to some of those meetings when Helen was feeling particularly ill, and I met Max,” he finally looked over at him.

“Oh, you should have seen him, Magnus. He was the cutest thing I had ever seen and I fell in love instantly. So, when they couldn't adopt him, my heart broke. I couldn't stand the thought of him having an uncertain future, so I decided to adopt him myself,” he finished with a firm tone, and Magnus could see that there wasn’t an ounce of regret in the decision he had made. Max was his son in every sense that mattered, and he loved him with all his heart.

“That’s… amazing,” Magnus said after a pause. “What you have done for Max, Alexander… I wish there were more people like you,” he shook his head in awe.

“Thanks,” Alec smiled one of his signature lopsided smiles and continued in a lighter tone. “I named him Max because that's what they’d wanted to call him. My little brother, who's also called Max, wasn't very happy about it, though," he laughed. "Said my little boy was stealing all the attention from him, but he got over it… mostly."

Magnus laughed with him. When he woke up this morning he wasn’t expecting a day where he would learn so many new things about Alec, especially with how awkward things got yesterday. But he was enjoying every second of it.

"Is she okay now? Helen?" He asked.

"Yeah," Alec smiled. "All three of them, actually,” he pulled out his phone. “They adopted a little girl last year. Named her after me - Alex. She's a little princess,” he showed him a picture of a small girl with warm brown skin and big, curious eyes.

"She's beautiful," Magnus said in a soft voice and Alec nodded.

They sat there for a while, both wearing matching grins on their faces when Max sprinted back to them and expertly climbed on his dad's lap. Alec enveloped him in his arms and planted a kiss on his hair.

"Daddy, look what I got you," the boy presented a small purple flower he had picked up somewhere in the grass. There were different flowers scattered here and there, a clear sign of the upcoming warmer months.

"Thank you," Alec kissed his cheek, blowing some air into the skin producing funny noises and making the boy giggle.

"It's really beautiful, Max," Magnus smiled and Alec looked up at him, an unreadable spark in his eyes that made Magnus' heart rate speed up. He reached out his hand that was holding the flower and tucked it behind Magnus' ear.

"And now Magnus is beautiful, too," Alec's voice was barely a whisper and he was holding a steady gaze on Magnus' eyes, effectively making him forget how to breathe.

The spell was broken when Raj finally caught up with Max and interrupted them.

"I see Max has found his way back to you guys. He's really fast for a four-year old," he laughed, awkwardly scratching the back of his head. "Anyway, Ben and I have to go."

"Yeah," Alec finally broke the eye contact with Magnus, seemingly getting out of a trance and Magnus wasn't sure if Alec was even aware of what he'd said just a moment ago. "Thanks for letting Max play with you."

"Sure," Raj nodded with an overenthusiastic smile. "I-I'll see you around," he said once he noticed he wasn't going to get much more attention from Alec and waved before he finally walked away.

Max yawned and snuggled closer to his father's chest.

"I think it's time we head home, too," Alec got up from the bench, Max safely tucked in his arms. “Max is getting sleepy and I still have to make him eat something.”

Magnus nodded. “You want me to help you with your bags?” He offered.

“No,” Alec shook his head. “It’s okay, I can manage,” he balanced his son in one arm and picked up the bags with the other.

“Are you sure?” Magnus asked, even though he could see that Alec could handle it. And it shouldn’t be so much of a surprise, he guessed, since Alec had been raising Max on his own for 4 years, and surely, he had done plenty of shopping trips and managed just fine on his own. So, it was probably purely for selfish reasons when he offered to walk them home.

“It’s okay,” Alec said. “We’ve taken up enough of your time as it is. But thank you, though.” He smiled.

Magnus chuckled. “Don’t be silly. I enjoyed spending time with you. Thanks for inviting me,” he said sincerely.

Alec nodded, and slowly they started walking towards the exit of the park.

“Well, I’ll see you on Monday, then,” Magnus said when they reached the part where they had to go their separate ways. Max was already snoring silently with his head resting on his father’s shoulder.

“Yeah, thanks again for hanging out with us today. I had a nice time,” Alec smiled.

“Me, too,” Magnus couldn’t help but smile back, and they just stood there grinning at each other until someone rudely bumped into Magnus’ shoulder bringing him back to reality. That was his cue then. “Goodbye, Alexander.”

“Bye,” the other man said, and after a few more moments Magnus finally turned around and went home. And if he found a special place for the flower that was still behind his ear when he got there, no one had to know.

 

-

 

Alec walked home with Max peacefully sleeping in his arms. When they finally reached their apartment, he slowly put the bags down and went to open the door, but found that it was already unlocked. He frowned and softly woke Max up. He put him down and told him to wait outside while he went in to check things out.

He slowly walked in, careful of any movements and sounds when a small figure appeared in the hallway that lead to the bedrooms.

“Alec!” He heard his sister’s excited voice and she launched herself at him, squeezing him in a tight hug.

“Izzy,” he hugged her back. “What are you doing here? I thought you weren’t coming until next weekend.”

“Surprise!” She laughed and Alec smiled, quickly guiding her to the front door to get Max.

“Aunt Izzy,” the boy exclaimed when he saw her and she picked him up in his arms to give him a big, wet smooch.

The boy giggled. “We thought you were a burgurar,” he couldn’t say the word and all three of them laughed.

“The only thing I’m here to steal is more kisses,” she joked and started planting kisses all over the boy’s face.

Alec set the grocery bags on the kitchen island and repeated his question from earlier. “How long are you staying?” He added. Isabelle had been living in Alabama for the past year, getting her degree in forensic pathology, but she always visited her brother and favorite nephew for a weekend every month.

“Thought I’d surprise you guys,” she sat on the couch with Max in her lap. “I’m done with the first semester so I’ll be staying the whole week,” she smiled. “And then just one more and I’m back for good.” Alec could see that she was excited, and he was excited for her. He couldn’t be prouder of his little sister.

“That’s great,” he said. “You know your room is here waiting for you.”

“Thanks. But I think I’m going to get my own place when I move back to New York,” she laughed. Alec guessed living with an older brother and his son wasn’t cool anymore, but he didn’t take offence to it. Isabelle deserved to have her own life, and he would always support her.

“Anyway, where have you guys been? I’ve been waiting for you for hours.”

Alec cleared his throat. “We just went to get some groceries and then to the park,” he could feel his cheeks warm up as he thought of Magnus. He already knew he would spend the whole night overthinking that moment when he called him beautiful. He groaned internally, that was so stupid. Magnus would see through his crush in no time if he didn’t stop acting so awkward. It was best not to tell Izzy anything, he thought.

“With Magnus!” Max added unhelpfully, making Alec sigh. Well there goes that plan.

“Who’s Magnus?”

This was going to be a long week…

Chapter Text

"So, what you're saying is," - Isabelle started; she was sitting on the kitchen counter, her hair pulled in a messy bun, and her legs swinging in the air while she kept stealing blueberries Alec was trying to put in the pancakes for their traditional Sunday breakfast - "Magnus is this super-hot guy, who cares about your kid, and with whom you have lunch dates every day, and yet you failed to mention him when I called the other day?"

"Okay, first-of-all," Alec smacked her hand when she tried to take another handful of berries. He knew they were Max's favorite and at this rate there would be none left by the time he woke up. "I never said he was 'super-hot'…"

"You didn't have to, your face said it for you," Izzy mumbled under her breath.

Alec squeezed his eyes at her. "And second-of-all, they are not 'lunch dates', it's just lunch," he said, flipping a pancake.

"Oh, really?" She raised her eyebrows. "It's just the two of you every time. You eat together, and you joke around and share stories about each other. It sounds like a date to me," she popped another berry in her mouth triumphantly.

Alec knew this conversation was coming. He managed to avoid it yesterday, claiming he was tired and would rather listen to her stories about college, but he knew she wouldn't forget about it that easily.

He sighed. "They are not dates. And we are not alone. There's literally a dozen kids with us. Including my son, who sits in my lap, if you must know," he finished, hoping he had won this one.

He stacked a few pancakes on a couple of plates and took them to the breakfast bar, Isabelle following closely behind.

"I'm just saying," she sat on the high stool next to him and poured a generous amount of syrup on her pancakes. "It's okay if you like him."

Alec closed his eyes for a moment. "It doesn't really matter… he likes someone else," his posture visibly deflated and he could tell Izzy felt guilty about making him talk about this.

"Oh. By the way you were talking about it, it seemed like he'd flirted back."

Alec frowned. "I never said I flirted!"

"Oh, big brother. I know you well enough to know that you've flirted without even realizing it. You probably talked about computers or something. You're such a nerd," she nudged him in the shoulder playfully, successfully lighting up the mood and making them both laugh.

He rolled his eyes. "Thanks a lot, Izzy."

"Any time," she winked.

 

-

 

Alexander, are you at work?

Alec got the text shortly after he had started his work on Monday. He was just going through today's plans with Maia when his phone vibrated and Magnus' name popped up on the screen.

Yeah, I am. Why?

He quickly typed back and continued his work when there was no reply. He was so engaged in the codes on his screen that he hadn't noticed someone walking up behind his back 20 minutes later.

"Hey," he was startled by the voice and jumped in his chair. He turned around and this time his heart jumped in his chest when his eyes landed on Magnus. He was wearing a dark navy button-up shirt and tight black pants that ended with shiny leather boots. He looked stunning, and Alec wondered if there will ever be a time when he would look at the other man and be able to breathe normally.

"H-hi," he said.

"Hi," Magnus smirked, but then his playful expression turned into a concerned one. "Where's Max? You haven’t brought him today. Is everything okay?"

Shit! Alec silently cursed himself. He'd completely forgot.

"Yeah, everything's fine. My sister's in town, so he's with her. I'm sorry, I forgot to tell you," he felt guilty for not stopping by the classroom when he got to work this morning.

"Oh. Izzy, right?"

“Yes,” Alec smiled, not expecting Magnus to actually remember his sister’s name. “She surprised us over the weekend, even though I wasn’t expecting her until next week.”

“That’s nice, although I will miss my little Blueberry today,” Magnus laughed and Alec’s heart fluttered at seeing how much Magnus cared about his son.

“I’ll tell him you said hi.”

Magnus nodded. “I’ll still see you for lunch, right?”

“Um… actually,” Alec frowned. “I’m going with Maia.

“Oh,” Magnus cleared his throat. “Right of course. With Max not here, there’s no reason for you to come downstairs,” he laughed, but it didn’t reach his eyes, and Alec could’ve sworn there was a hint of regret in his expression.

“Magnus, I-“ he started, not exactly sure what he was going to say, but the other man interrupted him.

“It’s okay, um… I should really go back now. I left Clary in charge and she’s not that good with kids. Good thing I’m getting an intern tomorrow,” he chuckled nervously and started backing up. “I’ll see you around,” he waved, quickly shouting to Maia that he liked her hair today before he walked out of the office.

Alec still stared at the door a few moments after he left. What was that about? He frowned.

“What was that about?” Someone actually asked. He shook his head and turned to Maia who was squinting her eyes at him. “What’s going on between you two?”

“Nothing. What do you mean?” He cleared his throat and started fidgeting with the things on his desk. In the short time that he’d been working here, he’d managed to make his work station cozy and personal. A picture frame with Max’s grinning face was in one safe corner of the desk, and in the other a small metal archer figurine that his siblings bought him for his 18th birthday. He’d even put a bowl of candy in one spot after Izzy advised him that that was an easy way to make friends.

"What do I mean?" She threw a paper at him to get his attention back.

"Ow," he looked up.

"How about, why did he come all the way up here to ask you about your son when he could've just texted you? Or the fact that this is the first time you're having lunch with me and the guys from the office since you started working here? Not to mention the heart eyes I just witnessed," she smirked and raised her eyebrows suggestively.

"W-what? There were no heart eyes. And he just wanted to make sure Max was okay, that's all," Alec stumbled over his words, feeling embarrassed. Was he that obvious?

"Mhm. Keep telling yourself that. I don't see Magnus asking Mike over there," she pointed at an empty desk behind her, "how his son who is actually sick, is."

Alec frowned. "Mike is not even here."

"Well obviously. He's home with his sick son," she deadpanned.

"Then how would he ask h-"

"That's not the point," Maia rolled her eyes. "The point is, I think there's something going on between you two.

"No, there isn't," he argued but she just kept looking at him with a big teasing grin on her face.

"Mhm," she hummed and Alec rolled his eyes.

"Don't you have work to do?" He asked and turned his attention back to his computer screen deciding to ignore her.

She just laughed and kept teasing him for the rest of the day, and if he sat at a table that only had one empty seat for lunch, leaving her hanging on purpose, she didn't have to know.

 

-

 

The rest of the week had gone by quickly. Alec loved having Izzy in town, and although he missed having Max with him at work, he knew he was having fun spending time with his aunt. The boy was ecstatic with all the new toys she'd bought him, and a trip to the Zoo and the Museum were enough for her to become his new favorite person. Alec just rolled his eyes when she teased him that Max loved her more than him. He knew he didn't have to buy his love, they were inseparable as it was.

 

He thought he wouldn't see much of Magnus that week, but it turned out he was seeing quite a lot of him. He managed to get that intern he mentioned. A sweet girl with long silver hair called Gretel, which gave Magnus an opportunity to have more breaks and actually leave the classroom. He came upstairs almost every day, mostly to visit Luke but he did stop to chat with Alec for a bit every time.

He would lean on his desk and talk about random things while he picked candies from Alec's candy bowl. And once he noticed which ones were his favorite, he made sure to always poor extra of that kind in the morning when he got there. Talking to Magnus was easy and carefree, all awkwardness from the other day forgotten. He would say how much he missed Max every time he saw him, so Alec decided to Facetime Izzy one day so Magnus could say hi to his little boy. He didn't miss the look Maia was sending him over the computer, and Izzy didn't hold back on the teasing once he got back home, either.

They were both ridiculous. Magnus was just a friend. An extremely handsome, funny and intelligent friend that he totally had a crush on, but he would just have to get over it.

 

When Friday afternoon rolled in, Alec made his way out of the building when Maia called after him.

"Lightwood!" She caught up with him in the middle of the front lobby. "A few of us are gonna go grab drinks. Want to join?"

"Sorry, I have to go to a family dinner. My sister is outside waiting for me. But maybe another time," he smiled. He'd actually made a few friends in the office, primarily Maia and Luke, and he wouldn't mind grabbing drinks with them sometimes.

"Oh. Okay. How about you, Magnus?" Alec turned around where Maia had directed her question and was met by Magnus who must have come out of the elevator while they were talking. He looked as breathtaking as ever, and a dopey smiled formed on Alec face.

“Hi,” he breathed and Magnus smiled back.

“Hello. What are you guys talking about?”

“We’re going out for drinks. Want to come?” Maia repeated.

“Sorry, I would, but I already have plans,” he shrugged. 

“Oooh, like a date?” Maia teased making Magnus laugh and Alec whipped his head towards the other man so fast, he was surprised his neck hadn’t snapped. Magnus had a date?

“Wouldn’t you like to know?” He winked and Maia hit him on the shoulder playfully.

“Tease. Anyway, have fun, we’ll be on our way now,” she said after a few of their colleagues caught up, and they made their way out.

“You’re not going to join them, Alexander?” Magnus pulled him out of his thoughts. He stood there, not exactly sure how to feel. He had no right to feel jealous, but the thought of Magnus seeing someone still hurt a little. He shook his head and transformed his face into what he hoped looked like a genuine smile.

“No, um… Izzy’s outside waiting for me. Max is with her if you want to say hi,” he offered.

“I’d like that,” Magnus smiled and they proceeded out of the building.

 

"Daddy!" Max pulled his small hand out of Isabelle's when he saw his father walk out. He sprinted to him and Alec picked him up in his arms planting a kiss on his temple.

"Hey, buddy. I missed you," he smiled and hugged his boy tight.

"Missed you, too," Max circled his small arms around Alec's neck.

"Look who I have with me."

Max looked up. "Magnus!"

"Hey, Max," he chuckled at the boy's enthusiasm and pinched his cheek.

"Look," he proudly showed Magnus a toy he was carrying in his hand.

“That’s a nice truck you got there. What are you transporting?”

“Candy!” The boy exclaimed and Alec’s smile turned into a frown when he took another look at the toy and didn’t recognize it. Izzy must have bought it for him today. He gave her a warning look, but she just shrugged and smiled.

"Hi, big brother."

"You're spoiling him too much," he said.

"It's not my fault his puppy dog eyes are so irresistible."

"He must've gotten it from his father," Magnus winked, rushing blood into Alec's cheeks.

He cleared his throat. "Uh, Magnus, this is my sister, Isabelle. Izzy, this is Magnus," he gave a quick introduction.

“It’s so nice to finally meet you,” Magnus shook her hand with a smile. “I’ve heard a lot about you.”

“And I about you,” she grinned. “I think you’ve got both of my favorite Lightwoods smitten. They won’t stop talking about you.”

“Is that so?” He chuckled and looked towards Alec who was still holding Max. “Well, this one’s definitely got me smitten, too,” he tickled the boy, making him giggle before he locked gazes with Alec. “And I guess his dad is not that bad, either,” he winked and turned back to Izzy with a laugh. “Just don’t tell the other parents, I’m not supposed to pick favorites.”

She laughed and promised his secret was safe with her.

“I would love to stay and chat, but I should probably get going,” Magnus said after a moment and successfully burst Alec’s bubble. Having seen him joke around with sister and making his son laugh, he had almost forgot that Magnus was on his way to meet with somebody else. His smile faded.

“Right. We wouldn’t want to keep you,” he said, perhaps a bit too coldly and Magnus gave him a strange look.

Izzy jumped in before things got too awkward. “Have a nice night, Magnus. I hope we’ll see each other again,” she smiled.

“Me, too. Enjoy your evening, and I’ll see you two next week,” he nodded and walked away.

“What was that about?” Izzy punched Alec’s arm.

“Nothing. Let’s just go,” Alec grunted and proceeded to be in a grumpy mood the whole evening.

 

-

 

They arrived at their parent’s house about an hour later. It was a three-story, luxury home that also had a separate entrance to their home offices. Maryse and Robert were both successful and respected lawyers, who ran their own practice along with their adopted son, Jace, who took it upon himself to uphold the Lightwood name after both Alec and Isabelle decided to pursue different careers. It was a struggle at first as their parents wanted them all to stay in the same business and take over once they retired, but they eventually accepted their decisions. At the end, they were happy that at least one of their children was interested in law, and they were still holding hopes for their youngest, Max.

They usually had a dinner together once a month when Izzy was in town and Alec was excited to see his brothers. They haven’t had time to hang out much lately.

Izzy hadn’t bothered knocking since she had the keys, so she unlocked the door and let them in, Max cheerfully hopping next to Alec, his hand safely held by his father’s so he doesn’t trip.

“Guess who?!” Izzy shouted after she closed the door behind them and one by one the rest of the Lightwood’s emerged from the kitchen.

“Isabelle. Alec,” Maryse had a huge smile on her face as she hugged them both and then leaned down to Max. “Oh, how’s my favorite grandson?” She planted a big kiss on his cheek and hugged him tightly. “Oh, you’ve grown no much. Have you gotten thinner? Are you feeding him enough?” She asked her son.

Alec rolled his. “Mom, you saw him like three weeks ago. He hasn’t changed that much. And yes, he’s eating plenty, thanks for asking me that every time I bring him.”

“Oh, you,” she slapped his arm. “I just want my boy to be happy and healthy.”

“And he is,” Alec smiled and proceeded to greet the rest of the family. Robert gave him a quick one-arm hug and then he was almost tackled to the ground when Jace threw himself at him.

“Hey, bro,” he grinned after he untangled his arms from around Alec, and high-fived his nephew.

“Hey, Jace,” Alec grinned back.

“Uncle Jace, look!” Max showed him his new toy truck, the same way he did to Magnus, and Alec sighed as he was reminded that the other man was probably out having fun at his date now.

“That’s rad, Maxie! Let’s see how fast it can go through the hallway where there’s no carpet,” Jace said and led him away to probably do something stupid. Alec just shook his head, hoping they don’t break anything.

“Don’t be long, boys. Dinner will be ready in 10 minutes!” Maryse shouted after them.

They settled around the table and Alec learned his little brother Max wouldn’t be joining them because he was sleeping over at a friend’s house. Something about entering puberty and not wanting to spend time with his family, because he was too cool now that he was at high school. Alec just laughed, remembering how Jace and Izzy were like that too when they were teenagers.

They had a nice dinner, even though Alec had to go through the usual questions like “When are you going to start dating again?” and “Are there any good-looking men at work?” (The last one became common only recently, as it took them some time to accept Alec’s sexuality, but once they’d become okay with it, they never failed to ask him when he was going to bring home another father for his son.)

Alec didn’t find them amusing, especially since now he actually had someone he liked. Someone who he would like to date and maybe even raise Max with. And so, yet again, he was cruelly reminded of Magnus, and how he was out with someone else and his face fell. Izzy picked up on his bad mood and thankfully drew attention away from him and started talking about college.

The rest of the evening went well, even though Alec’s mood remained grumpy. When it got late Robert called them a taxi and they had to promise they would visit soon and Maryse insisted that he should let them babysit Max more often. “We can take care of him when you have a date or something,” she winked and Alec rolled his eyes.

“Bye, mom,” he kissed her cheek and quickly said goodbye to everyone else, and they were on their way home. Max fell asleep in his arms in the car and Izzy took that as an opportunity to ask him what his bad mood was really about.

“You’ve been grumpy ever since we picked you up at work? It is about Magnus? What happened?”

He sighed and leaned his head back on the seat. “Nothing happened. He just… he had a date tonight and… and I guess I’m just jealous. Even though I don’t have any right to be,” he ran his fingers through Max’s hair absentmindedly.

“Oh, I’m really sorry, Alec,” she squeezed his knee in comfort. “Are you sure it was a date? Maybe he was just meeting a friend.”

“I don’t know. It sounded like a date to me,” he looked outside the window and closed his eyes. Izzy leaned her head on his shoulder and whispered she was sorry, again. They remained quiet for the rest of the ride and he was grateful that his sister always knew when to push it and when to just leave him with his own thoughts.

 

-

 

The next day Izzy had her flight booked to go back to campus and start her last semester. Alec woke up early and decided to surprise her with her favorite chocolate muffins from a coffee shop they always used to hang out in when they were in high school. It wasn't that far away so he decided to take a morning walk there.

The bell chimed when he walked through the door and a couple of customers looked up at him. It was a cozy, medium sized cafe, with big windows that let in a lot of light and a smell of delicious coffee and pastries filled the air.

He walked to the counter and placed his order, taking a seat on a bar stool while he waited. He looked around the coffee shop and his heart almost jumped out of his chest when his eyes landed on a person he least expected to see here - Magnus.

He couldn't see much from this angle, but it looked like he was in company of a young woman with silky black hair pulled in a high pony tail and they were both laughing. He tried to look away before he got spotted, but he was too slow and Magnus noticed him over her shoulder. The woman glanced back at his direction as Magnus excused himself and walked to him.

"Alexander, what a pleasant surprise," he smiled.

"Hey, Magnus," he pursed his lips into what he hoped resembled a smile. "I see your date went well," he fist-bumped his shoulder awkwardly, like they were a couple of bros congratulating each other on getting laid.

"What?" Magnus frowned, his face looking as awkward as Alec felt. Why did he do that?

He pointed with his head at Magnus’ date.

"Cat? No," he laughed. "Catarina is my best friend. She works in a hospital and got called in last night so we had to reschedule."

"Oh," Alec raised his eyebrows. "S-so it wasn't a date?"

"Definitely not a date," Magnus smirked and Alec nodded, an invisible weight lifting from his chest.

"How was your family dinner?" Magnus asked after a moment.

"It was good. I haven't seen them in while so it was nice to catch up. And Max always loves visiting his grandparents so he had a great time," Alec smiled.

"I'm glad," Magnus smiled back, opening his mouth to say something else, but someone cleared their throat behind them.

"Your order, sir," a petite blonde girl smiled from over the counter.

"Right… uh, thank you," Alec jumped from his seat to take his order and Magnus waited for him until he settled the bill.

"I better bring these to Izzy, while they’re still warm," he lifted the bag with the muffins and Magnus nodded, looking a bit disappointed. Was he hoping Alec would join him and his friend?

"Give my best regards to your sister," he smiled kindly.

"I will, thank you," Alec said and before he could react, Magnus was in his space, lining in and planting a chaste kiss on his cheek. Alec’s breath hitched and he almost dropped the coffee he'd ordered for himself, but in a blink of an eye Magnus pulled back with a grin.

"I'll see you Monday," he winked and walked back to his table.

"Bye," Alec barely managed to whisper, standing there for a few more moments, not exactly sure what’d just happened. All he knew was that his cheek still pulsed with heat where Magnus’ lips had touched it, and he fought the urge to lift his hand up and touch it. He glanced one more time at Magnus’ table and waved awkwardly before he walked out, almost tripping over the doorstep.

 

-

"I saw that," Catarina teased when Magnus sat back in his chair.

"What? You were the one who told me I should tell him how I feel. This was just the first step," he winked and took a sip of his latte.

Chapter Text

"So, how are things going with Alec?" Luke grinned and leaned back in his big leather chair.

"What do you mean?" Magnus tried to act oblivious. He was sitting in Luke's office, something he did a lot lately, and sipped his hot coffee.

"Really?" Luke raised his eyebrow. "You've been hanging out on our floor almost every day for over a month now, and don't try to tell me you come here to see me every time," he laughed.

"It's that obvious, huh?"

Luke shrugged. "We may, or may not have a bet going on."

Magnus snorted. "Very mature."

"Well?" Luke urged him on.

"I don't know," Magnus sighed. "It's complicated. He said he wasn't looking for a relationship right now, but I've been dropping hints that it is in fact possible to juggle work, family and a relationship at the same time, like 'Hey, Alexander, have you read the latest on Beyonce? That woman is such a mogul. Husband, three kids, and she's still slaying her career!'… He just shrugged and said he doesn't know much about pop culture and celebrities. If I didn't already like him this much, I'd be seriously offended."

Luke broke into a laugh. "Magnus that's terrible!" He held his stomach as he folded over in giggles. "H-how do you expect him to relate to Beyonce? He's a 28-year-old, single dad with an average paid job, and she… well she's Beyonce."

Magnus rolled his eyes. "Thanks a lot, Luke."

"Why don't you just ask him out? He might make an exception for you?"

"What? And what if he doesn't?"

"And what if he does?" His friend was persistent.

"You're not helping," Magnus threw a scrunched paper at him.

"Either way, you should do something about it soon, or I will lose my money," Luke grinned.

"You are a terrible friend," Magnus got up and walked to the door, his break almost over. "You still coming on Friday?"

"Is there going to be alcohol at that party?"

"Uh, have you met me?"

Luke laughed. "Good point."

"See you then," Magnus winked and walked out, making his way to Alec's desk as usual. He frowned as he realized that he was, in fact obvious, but he shook his head with a grin, he didn't care what the others thought.

"Hey, handsome," he sat at the edge of the desk and picked a hazelnut caramel from Alec's candy bowl.

"H-hey," Alec looked up, a shy smile on his flustered face from the compliment. "Still nap time?"

"Yeah. Gretel is watching the kids," Magnus explained. "I should go back there, but I wanted to ask you something first."

"Okay," Alec nodded.

"I'm having a party at my place this Friday, and I would really like you to come," he smiled.

"Oh, um… I'm not really much of a party guy, and you know, with Max and everything," Alec waved his hands around, but Magnus decided he didn't want no for an answer.

"Please?" He put on his most charming smile. "It's my birthday, and everyone's going to be there. Right, Maia?" He turned around and raised his brows at her questioningly.

"Wouldn't miss it!" She winked.

"See?" Magnus pouted.

Alec rolled his eyes with a chuckle. "Stop pouting, you're worse than Max."

Magnus laughed and nudged his leg into Alec, making the other man sigh in defeat.

"If it's your birthday, of course I'll be there."

"Great!" Magnus hopped off the desk. "I'm looking forward to it," he grinned and said bye to everyone before he made his way back to the classroom.

 

-

 

Music was playing, people were dancing and Magnus would’ve been having a blast at his birthday party if he wasn’t nervously glancing at the door every 30 seconds.

“He’ll be here, don’t worry,” Catarina appeared at his side and handed him another drink.

He thanked her with a smile. ”I’m that obvious, huh?”

“Only to me,” she chuckled, “but I’m your best friend, so…” she linked their arms together. “Want to go dance for a bit?”

“Sure,” he smiled and started leading her to the open space in his apartment that was now transformed into a dance floor when there was a knock on the door. He excused himself and checked his appearance in the mirror before he went to open it.

He lost his breath when he was met by Alec’s startling image on the other side. He was wearing tight black jeans, and a dark emerald button up shirt which brought out different shades of green in his beautiful hazel eyes. His hair was messy in that I-just-got-out-of-bed kind of way and an adorable lopsided grin was plastered on his face.

“Hi,” he greeted and handed Magnus an expensive bottle of whiskey with a sparkling purple bow on it. “Happy birthday.”

“It’s actually tomorrow, but thank you,” Magnus smiled and let him in.

“I’m sorry, I’m not really good at buying gifts,” Alec pointed at the bottle as he shrugged off his jacket and pulled something out from his back pocket. “But Max made you this,” he handed him a card.

Magnus opened it and hid the gasp that escaped his lips with his hand when he saw what Max had drawn. It was the three of them, walking in the park and eating chocolate ice cream, like they did that one time almost 2 months ago. They are wearing birthday hats and Magnus’ ice cream has a small birthday candle in it. Magnus’ smile widened when he noticed that Max even drew the flower Alec had tucked behind his ear. The same flower Magnus had pressed and carries in his wallet for safekeeping. His heart melted.

“This is the most beautiful gift I’ve ever gotten,” he finally looked up, a tender smile on his face. “Thank you, Alexander.”

The other man smiled back and nodded.

“And make sure to give Max a huge kiss from me when you get back home tonight,” Magnus laughed and put the card in the pocket of his blazer.

“I will,” Alec smiled. “You have a really nice home.”

“Thank you,” Magnus walked them into the main living area, handing Alec a drink from the nearest tray. His big apartment looked a bit hectic now, with all the people and sparkly birthday decorations, but he loved his place. Especially the big floor-to-ceiling windows that gave him a beautiful view over the city, and where he had now spotted Catarina.

“Come. I want you to meet someone,” he grabbed Alec’s hand and led him to her.

“Cat!” She turned around at the sound of his voice and a bright smile appeared on her face.

“There’s the birthday boy!”

“Yeah,” he chuckled. “And I have someone here I want you to meet,” he gestured to the man next to him.  “This is Alec. Alec, this is my best friend, Catarina.”

“It’s so wonderful to meet you,” she shook his hand and they exchanged a few pleasantries.

Magnus was glad the two had finally met, and when Catarina was asked to go dance he wanted to do the same with Alec, but a group of his friends had a different plan. They hoisted him up on their shoulders and brought him to the dance floor. They jumped, and danced, and drank with him in the center for almost an hour before he managed to slip away. He was having fun, but he kept glancing around trying to find Alec and when he spotted him over the room he took the opportunity and made his way over.

The man was standing by the windows, a half empty glass in his hand and he was looking over the city longingly. Magnus nudged their shoulders.

“You look like you would rather be somewhere else,” he offered with a sympathetic smile.

“What? No. The party is great, Magnus,” he tried but Magnus gave him an unimpressed look. He could see that Alec was not having fun, and he wanted to find a way to change that.

“You don’t have to lie to me, Alexander. What’s bothering you?”

Alec sighed. “Nothing. I’m just thinking.”

“About what?"

“About Max.”

Magnus frowned. “Did something happen?”

“No. He just… he was crying when I left him at my parent’s house. And I hate seeing him like that,” Magnus sensed the guilt in Alec’s voice. He loved his son so much.

“Why did he cry? I thought he loved staying with your parents.”

“He does. It’s just, when I told him I was going over at your place, he got upset he couldn’t come with me. He wouldn’t even give me a kiss goodbye,” Alec actually pouted and Magnus’ heart melted. These two were too cute, and he was weak, deciding he couldn’t have fun at his party while Alec was feeling down.

“Okay, go find your jacket,” he said and put down their drinks on the nearest table looking over the room in search for Catarina.

“What? Why?” Alec frowned.

“We’re going to go get Max!”

“Magnus, no! This is your birthday party, you can’t just leave,” Alec protested but Magnus put a finger on his lips to shut him up.

“You’re right. It is my party, which means I can do what I want. And right now, I really want to make one boy smile,” he furrowed his brows in thought. “Well two, actually,” he winked and felt Alec’s lips curve into a smile under his fingers. “One down, one to go,” he said triumphantly and ushered Alec to the door. “Now go get your jacket while I find Catarina,” he said and went looking for her.

Catarina was talking to a group of people and he pulled her away for a second. “I’m going to step outside with Alec for a bit. You’re in charge while I’m gone,” he said and she frowned.

“Where are you going?”

“There’s just something we have to do. I won’t be long,” he assured her and she nodded.

“Okay. Just be careful.”

Magnus smiled. “It’s not that late. We’ll be fine.”

“I meant, of your heart,” she said and pulled him into a hug. Magnus knew why she was worried. She’d been with him through all of his past break ups, and she wanted to protect him and his heart. He hugged her tight and kissed her head.

“I will,” he whispered and pulled back. “Don’t let anyone break anything,” he winked and walked away to the front door.

 

-

 

They took a cab and drove to Alec’s old home. He felt nervous about everyone meeting Magnus, which was kind of silly since they were just friends, but he knew his family wouldn’t spare him the teasing. He had never brought a guy home before, his college flings never being serious enough, and him never getting into a real relationship after he got Max. His palms felt sweaty and he rubbed them on his jeans before he knocked on the door.

His mother opened it after a few moments, her eyebrows shooting up in surprise. “Alec. I wasn’t expecting you so early. Is everything okay?” She looked at Magnus curiously.

“Yeah,” Alec nodded. “Mom, this is Magnus. My uh… friend from work, and also Max’s teacher in the daycare.” Her eyes widened in recognition and he hoped it was because Max had mentioned him before and not Izzy going behind his back and spilling that he had a crush on him. “Magnus, this is my mother.”

“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Mrs. Lightwood,” Magnus said in a charming tone and shook her hand.

“Please, call me Maryse,” she smiled brightly and fully opened the door so they could walk in. “He’s cute,” Alec heard his mother whisper as he walked past her and he looked down at her in horror. He quickly glanced over at Magnus to make sure he didn’t hear, but the other man seemed to be oblivious to what was going on behind his back. Alec sighed in relief.

“Where’s Max?” he asked, not bothering to shrug off his jacket as they wouldn’t be staying.

“He’s in the living room with your brother.”

“Why is he still up? It’s getting late,” he frowned, expecting him to already be asleep in his childhood bedroom.

“Well, he’s been moody ever since you left and he didn’t want to go to bed. Jace put on some cartoons in hope that it would lull him to sleep,” she explained and steered them in the direction of the living room, before she excused herself and left to her office, probably busy with a case.

Alec turned to Magnus when they reached the archway to the living room. He asked him to wait there for a minute, anticipating that Max would still be upset and he would need Magnus to walk in and surprise him. The other man chuckled, but agreed, positioning himself out of sight, but close enough so he could hear when Alec called him in.

 

“Hey, guys,” Alec finally walked in. Jace was sprawled out the couch, his arm hanging down and acting as a painting canvas for Max who was sitting on the floor next to him, scribbling things with crayons all over his forearm.

“Hey, man,” Jace waved with his other hand. “Want to watch Sponge Bob with us?”

“No, I’m actually here to pick up Max. Come on, buddy. Where are your shoes?”

“No!” Max pouted and continued coloring.

“Are you still mad at me?” he asked already knowing the answer.

When Max decided to ignore him, he nodded with a smirk. “Okay, then I guess Magnus and I are gonna have to go alone.”

The boy’s head shot up right as Magnus walked into the room. “Magnus!” He jumped up and sprinted to him.

“Hey, Blueberry,” he chuckled and crouched down to hug him. “Why are you mad at your dad?”

The boy shrugged. “He didn’t let me go play with you,” he whispered.

“Aww,” Magnus cooed and caressed his head. “He didn’t bring you because it was just a boring adult party, you wouldn’t have any fun. But you know what? If you forgive him and go put on your shoes, we will take you to the amusement park and have some fun. Okay?”

Max looked at him with curious eyes, obviously liking the sound of that. “What do you say?” Magnus asked, looking up at Alec, and making a flood of emotions rush through his heart. He was still amazed that Magnus decided to leave his party for the two of them, and now looking at how easy he could calm down his son, it just confirmed the fear that crawled into his mind after he had gotten closer to Magnus in the last few weeks. His crush on the other man had gone beyond that. He was falling for him, and falling fast.

Max nodded. “Okay,” he walked to Alec and stretched out his arms for his father to pick him up.

“You still mad at me?” Alec asked and Max shook his head. “Okay,” he kissed his hair and put him back down. “Go find your shoes so I can help you put them on.” The boy ran away, leaving the three grown-ups in the living room. Alec made a quick introduction between Magnus and Jace, his brother giving him the we’re-gonna-talk-about-this-later look and when Alec helped get Max ready, they were on their way out.

 

-

“So, um… I think I’m just going to head home with Max now. I don’t want to keep you away from your party any longer,” Alec said once they were standing outside on the pavement.

“What?” Magnus frowned. “We didn’t go all the way over here for you to go home right away. Plus, I was serious when I told Max I would take him to the amusement park. They have the most amazing one that opens every spring in Central park, and it’s just around the corner.”

Alec shook his head, appreciating the gesture but not wanting to be a burden. “You don’t have to do that.”

“But I want to,” Magnus smiled. “Please? Just one ride?” Alec was defenseless against his pleading eyes so he chuckled and agreed to go for one ride.

One ride turned into three, three turned into six, and after almost two and a half hours they’ve been through every ride, ate a bunch of churros and cotton candy and laughed until their stomachs hurt. Magnus told him how he used to come here when he was a kid with Catarina and Ragnor, a friend who is a college professor and was currently teaching a semester in London. Alec recalled that he also went a couple of times with his siblings and they wondered if they had ever crossed paths.

“Do you think we would’ve been friends if we met when we were kids?” Magnus had asked as he stole another pinch of Max’s cotton candy.

“Probably not, I wasn’t very social when I was younger.”

“Well, if you were as cute then as you are now, I would’ve probably tried to befriend you,” Magnus had winked and picked up Max to go show him another attraction, leaving a blushing Alec behind them.

 

-

 

By the time they came to Alec’s apartment Max was already sleeping in his arms, tightly holding a stuffed unicorn Magnus had won for him on the water guns stand. Magnus asked the cab driver to wait for him as he walked the boys upstairs. They walked in and he waited in the living room while Alec quickly put Max to bed.

“So…” Alec said as he emerged from the hallway and slowly made his way over to Magnus.

“So…” Magnus smirked as he stepped forward and shortened the remainder of the distance until they were standing right in front of each other. Something felt different.

“I wish I could ask you to stay for drinks,” Alec started. “But I’ve noticed how your phone has been ringing about a hundred times.”

Magnus chuckled. “It’s Catarina. She’s just worried, I told her I wouldn’t be long.”

Alec nodded. “Thanks for walking us home. And for everything, really. I can’t remember when was the last time I had this much fun.”

“Me neither.”

“You’re just saying that,” Alec looked down with a sad smile. “I’ve probably ruined your birthday celebration.”

Magnus shook his head. “No. I think this is the best birthday celebration I’ve ever had.”

Alec looked at him for a few moments, a glint in his eyes that hadn’t been there a few hours ago. “I have something for you,” he said. “Give me your hand.”

Magnus was confused, but he still outstretched his right arm. Alec pulled something out of his pocket. It was a shiny black beaded bracelet. “I won this for you on the archery stand while you were with Max on one of the rides,” he said as he gently clasped it around his wrist.

Magnus wanted to admire the piece of jewelry up close, but Alec was still tenderly holding his hand and he didn’t want to be the one who pulled back first.

“Thank you,” he looked up from it and smiled. “It’s beautiful.”

“You’re welcome,” Alec said and took one more step closer. “And it’s the perfect time to give it to you,” he looked over Magnus’ head, leaving him confused.

“Why is that?” He asked.

“Because it just turned midnight,” Alec leaned forward and pressed a soft kiss on Magnus’ cheek. It was just a simple press of lips, but Magnus could’ve sworn he felt sparks flying on the surface of his skin.

“Happy birthday, Magnus,” Alec said, pulling away all too soon.

Magnus felt breathless, staring at the man just inches away from him. He never wanted to kiss him more badly. “Thank you,” he breathed, his eyes not able to decide if they should focus on Alec’s eyes or his lips.

His inner turmoil whether to kiss him or not was rudely interrupted by a loud honk of a car which made them both jump. He stepped away and looked out the window. The cabbie was probably tired of waiting.

“I guess I should go,” he said, regret that he felt mirroring on Alec’s face as well.

“Yeah,” Alec nodded and walked him to the door. “Text me when you’re home, so I know you got there safely.”

“Okay,” Magnus smiled, turning back to Alec once he was out in the hallway. “I had a really nice night.”

“Me too,” Alec leaned on the doorframe and returned the smile.

“Goodnight, Alexander,” Magnus decided to just go for it and kissed Alec on the cheek quickly.

The other man’s grin widened and Magnus took that as a win. “Goodnight, Magnus.”

Magnus’ phone started vibrating again, and he decided that he should probably go if he didn’t want Catarina to kill him when she next was him, so he found the strength to turn around and walk to the cab. He sat in the back seat and leaned his head on the headrest. He finally picked up the phone and answered.

“Magnus?!” He heard Cat’s worried voice on the other side, but all he could do was close his eyes and chuckle.

“I think I’m falling in love.”

Chapter Text

"So… Where did you and Magnus disappear to on Friday?" Maia asked the first chance she got after the weekly meeting on Monday. She brought a freshly brewed coffee for the two of them and leaned on Alec's desk, teasing curiosity written all over her face.

He smirked into the cup, taking a sip of the hot liquid and leaving her question hanging in the air. He had enjoyed every minute he'd spent with Magnus and his son on that evening. All the fun, the laughter and the shared food. The way Magnus had carried Max up on his shoulders and the way he took Alec's hand to drag him to whatever new fun attraction he'd spotted. Everything had just felt  ̶  right.

He hadn't had the chance to see the other man today yet. Gretel told him Magnus was running late, so he dropped Max off with her and made his way up to the office, but both excitement and anxiety were growing in his stomach as the lunch hour was getting closer and he would finally see him.

He was just about to tell Maia to go back to work when his phone started vibrating and Magnus' name lit up on the screen.

"Hey, you," he answered with a grin, not missing the way Maia rolled her eyes at his sappy expression.

"Alec?" Magnus not using his full name was the first sign that something was wrong, but what really froze the blood in Alec’s veins was the loud sobbing and crying coming from the other side. He would've recognized that voice anywhere.

"Max?!" Concern painted his face. "Magnus, what's going on?"

"Alexander, I think you should come down to the lobby right now."

Alec jumped out of his chair in a heartbeat. "What happened? Is he okay?"

“Just take your things and meet me downstairs,” Alec could hear the concern and fear in Magnus’ voice so he quickly pocketed his phone and wallet and rushed through the door. He took three steps at a time, his heart beating rapidly as he got closer to the front room and could hear his son’s loud cries.

He barged in and saw Magnus sitting on one of the sofas. Max was sitting on his lap, a small white towel soaked with blood pressed over his chin. His eyes were red from crying and he was tightly squeezing the sleeve of Magnus’ shirt.

“Oh my god!” Alec ran to them and picked Max up in his arms. He pampered kisses all over his face trying to soothe him, carefully removing the towel that was on his chin to check the damage. There was an angry looking slash on his delicate skin, quickly oozing blood with bruising all around it. “What happened?!” He whipped his head towards Magnus, his voice louder than necessary.

“We were outside on the playground and the kids were running around playing. He must’ve tripped and fallen, banging his head on the concrete, I-“

“How could you let this happen?!” Alec roared, taking the other man by surprise. He couldn’t believe this was happening.

“It wasn’t my fault, Alec. I-“

“You’re supposed to protect him! Keep him safe! I can’t-” Anger was boiling inside him, concern and fear making it hard to contain it. He could see that his words were hurting Magnus and he needed to get away, he needed to do something. “I have to take him to the hospital,” he said.

Magnus nodded. “Lydia’s driver is already waiting outside. Let me just go get my stuff and we can go.”

“No,” Alec stopped him, his hand hovering in front of Magnus’ chest, keeping him at a distance. “I-I can’t have you near right now. Just… just, stay. I need to go. Alone.” He said and turned around, leaving a hurt-looking Magnus behind him as he rushed to the car.

 

-

 

Alec was sitting in the waiting room for about 15 minutes after the doctor had taken Max in, when a familiar voice startled him.

“Can I sit?” He tilted his head up and saw Magnus looking back at him with an uncertain smile. He was holding Max’s favorite plushy dragon in one hand and pointing the other one at an empty seat next to Alec.

Alec nodded.

“I brought Spike,” Magnus said softly as he nestled himself into the chair. “Thought Max might want him for comfort.”

“Thank you.”

“H-how is he?”

“He’s good,” Alec said, looking down at the towel in his hand. When he brought Max in and the nurse calmed him down, he realized how badly he had overreacted. Fear for his son’s well-being had completely clouded his judgement. What’d looked like a completely blood-soaked towel was actually just a few red spots on the white cloth, and what had looked like an angry deep wound was actually just a cut a few inches long that the doctors had stitched up in minutes.

He sighed. “It’s just a small cut. He got a few stitches, but it’s nothing serious. The doctors are checking if he has a concussion, just to be sure, since he hit his head, but he should be out soon.”

“That’s good,” Magnus smiled, sincerely this time.

Alec nodded, guilt flooding his mind at how he had reacted earlier. Max was not badly hurt, and that’s something he should’ve realized right away, but his parenting instinct put him in panic mode. Still, he shouldn’t have yelled at Magnus the way he did. “Magnus, I’m sorry I snapped at you,” he looked at the other man, hoping he could see how genuinely regretful he felt.

“Alexander, it’s okay,” Magnus started but Alec shook his head.

“It’s not,” he said, locking his gaze with Magnus’ so he would know that he really meant it. “Yes, I was scared, and Max was crying, and I couldn’t see far past my concern, but that’s no excuse. I know you would never allow anything bad to happen to him, and that this was out of your control, so I’m sorry if I made you feel like it was your fault.”

“Thank you, Alexander,” Magnus smiled and put his hand over Alec’s, gently intertwining their fingers and squeezing. “And you’re forgiven,” Alec smiled back, squeezing their hands a little tighter.

“Mr. Lightwood?” A door to his left opened and a doctor walked out, holding a stack of papers in his hand.

“Yes?” Alec got up, eager to hear what the man would say about his son’s condition.

“I’m happy to inform you that Max doesn’t have a concussion, and that you can take him home,” Alec let out a sigh of relief and nodded. “I do, however recommend that you minimize his activities and let him rest for the next few days until the swelling and pain subdue. And you should bring him here in 10 days to remove the stitches.”

“Thank you, doctor.”

The man nodded and stepped away from the door. “He’s waiting for you inside,” he said with a smile and walked away.

Alec turned to Magnus who gave him an encouraging nod before he walked into the room. Max was sitting on a bright blue exam table, a colorful bandage stuck on his chin and a cherry lollipop in his hand that he had probably gotten for being brave.

“Hey, love,” Alec walked to him and kissed his head, the boy automatically stretching his arms out so his dad could pick him up. “Are you okay?” Alec could feel him nod as he rested his head on his shoulder. He knew Max must’ve felt really tired after so much stress, so he wanted to get him home as soon as possible. “Does it hurt?” He felt him nod again as he walked them to the door, and he closed his eyes for a moment, wishing he could take away his son's pain.

“Look who’s here,” he said when they were back out in the hallway where Magnus was waiting for them. His face softened when he saw Max cocooned in Alec arms.

“Hey, Max,” he said softly and showed him Spike, hoping it would cheer him up. The boy was too tired to hold it so Alec took it for him.

“I think I should take him home,” he said and Magnus nodded. “Could you please tell Luke I won’t come back today and that I will call him later about taking some days off?”

“Of course,” Magnus said and offered to walk them outside.

Once they were in front of the hospital, Alec hailed a cab, letting Magnus take Lydia’s driver to get him back to work. He settled in the back seat with his son, Magnus lingering by the door, somehow reluctant to let them go. “Text me later? So I know how you’re both doing?” He asked with hopefulness in his voice and Alec nodded.

“I will.”

“Okay,” Magnus pressed his lips into a weak smile. “Take care,” he finally closed the door and let them drive off.

 

-

 

It's been a couple days since Magnus had last seen Alec and Max in front of the hospital. They'd exchanged a few texts here and there, but not much. Even though Alec said he didn't blame him for the accident, he still felt a little guilty, and he really missed them, so he decided to surprise them one evening after work.

That's how he found himself standing in front of Alec's apartment. He knocked a few times and waited, hiding his face behind a large Lego box he'd bought for Max. A few moments later he heard footsteps approaching on the other side and the door finally opened.

"SUP– rise," he breathed out the last part of the word as he lowered the box and found a half-naked Alec standing in front of him. He couldn't contain his eyes as they slowly traveled up and down Alec's body, soaking up the view of his muscular torso. He was standing with a towel hung around his shoulder, drops of water still shining in his hair, and soft cotton sweatpants hanging low on his hips.

"Magnus? What are you doing here?" Rose color painted Alec's cheeks at the state of his undress and the sight of the other man standing on his doorstep, and Magnus felt stupid for not buzzing downstairs first to see if it was okay to come up. Although he really didn't mind the view.

"I'm sorry, Raj let me into the building when he went out with his dog. I really should've called or something first," he frowned but Alec shook his head.

"No, don't be silly. Come in," he stepped to the side and let him walk into the apartment. "I'm just gonna grab a shirt, you can sit wherever you want," he smiled and disappeared into the hallway that presumably led to his bedroom.

"Can I get you something to drink?" He asked when he got back.

Magnus had settled on the couch, a piece of paper in his hand. "No, I'm fine, thank you," he smiled and put it on the coffee table. "Other kids from the group have made a get well soon card for Max."

"That's very sweet, I'm sure he'll like it," Alec held a glass of water for himself as he sat on the other end of the couch. "What's in the box?"

"Just some Lego Star Wars that I got him."

Alec gave him a pointed look. "You're just as bad as Izzy. You didn't have to buy him anything."

Magnus chuckled. "I know. How is he?"

"He's fine. Sleeping."

Magnus nodded.

"Are you hungry? I was just about to order something in?" Alec got up to get the phone. "I haven't cooked much this week apart from soups since Max says it hurts to chew," he explained, waving his hands around.

Magnus felt that pang of guilt again, and his face fell. Alec was right, he should've protected Max, made sure nothing bad happened to him. If not because it was his job, then because he cared about him. He cared so much, he loved him like he was his own.

Alec must've noticed his change in mood and he sat back next to him on the couch. "Hey, what's wrong?" He asked softly.

Magnus shook his head. "I just feel bad for letting this happen."

"Letting what happen?" Alec frowned.

"Max getting hurt. He can't even eat," Magnus grunted.

"Hey, no. I told you none of this was your fault. And I'm sorry if I ever made you feel like it was," Alec protested. "Kids run and fall all the time. He's fine."

Magnus continued shaking his head. "No, you don't understand. I care about him. I care about you. I should’ve-"

"I know," Alec tried to assure him, but Magnus wasn't having it.

"I don't think you do, Alexander," he looked down at his hands, nervously fiddling with the rings on his fingers. "Last week… that was the best birthday in my life, best night I've had in a long time. And this week… this week was torture. Seeing Max hurt. Seeing you hurt because of him. I-l was afraid you were gonna hate me."

Alec shook his head. "I could never hate you. And I know how much you care about Max, it's okay."

"You're not listening," Magnus finally looked up. "I don't just care about Max. I care about you. I… I have feelings for you, Alexander," he finally let himself admit that out loud. He was tired of waiting, playing games and dancing around Alec to see who would crack first. He wanted to be there for him and his son. When they were having fun, and when they were hurting. He wanted everything.

"What?" Alec looked at him with wide eyes. "But… but I thought you liked that other guy."

"There's no other guy, Alec. You're that guy. Always have been, ever since I met you."

Alec looked like he was having trouble letting that sink in. "But… why didn't you say anything?"

"Because you said you were too busy for a relationship, and I didn't want to make things awkward."

Alec shook his head. "I only said that because I thought you liked someone else, and I guess I was just trying to protect myself."

"What?" Now it was Magnus' turn to look at him in disbelief. "What are you saying, Alexander?"

"I'm saying," Alec scooched over closer to him on the couch, making them face each other, "that we are both idiots who've liked each other for months, but were too scared to do anything about it."

"You like me?" Magnus asked, just to be sure his mind wasn't playing tricks on him.

Alec chuckled. "Of course, I like you. You're beautiful, smart, kind and generous. You make my son laugh, and you buy him stuff even though I tell you not to,” he gave him a warning look with no real anger behind it. “And you're seriously killing me with those tight shirts of yours, it should be illegal to have arms like that,” he finished making them both laugh.

Magnus nudged his shoulder. “You’re not so bad yourself. Especially after the show you put on tonight,” he winked making Alec shrug.

“It was all planned,” he tried to play it cool but the heat in his cheeks betrayed him.

“Mhmm,” Magnus hummed with a teasing smirk. “So, now what?” he asked, looking up through his eyelashes.

“Would you like to stay for dinner?” Alec asked.

Magnus smiled. “I would like that very much.”

 

They ordered some Chinese food and settled around the coffee table in the living room. The noise had woken Max up and Alec let him stay up with them for a little while. He found a place in his father’s lap and managed to put some solid food in him. They ate and laughed and spent a couple of hours building the new X-wing fighter and before they knew it, it was midnight. Max was asleep on Magnus’ stretched out legs, somehow having migrated there during the evening, and Alec let him go tuck his son in bed.

Magnus felt strange being in the boy’s bedroom for the first time, it all felt very domestic. Him sitting on the bed, pulling the covers up and planting a kiss on his head while Alec stood leaning on the doorway, looking at them with a fond smile  ̶ he realized that he really enjoyed the feeling.

He got up and softly closed the door behind him, following Alec back to the living room. “I think I should go, it’s late and I still have work tomorrow,” he said, not really wanting to leave.

“Okay,” Alec nodded and walked him to the door. “Thanks for coming, I had a really nice time,” he smiled.

“Me, too,” Magnus smiled back as he lingered by the door. “About what we said earlier…” he looked up at Alec. “I would really like to take you out on a date sometime.”

“I’d like that, too,” Alec smirked.

“Yeah?”

“Yeah.”

“How about Saturday?” He asked.

Alec grinned. “Sounds perfect to me.”

“Okay,” Magnus leaned closer and planted a soft kiss on the corner of Alec’s mouth, a silent promise of more, that’s hopefully about to come on the weekend. “I’ll see you then.”

Alec nodded with a dorky smile.

“Good night, Alexander.”

“Good night.”

Chapter Text

A strange noise startled Alec out of sleep early on a Saturday morning. He rolled on his side to check his phone that was on the night stand – 8:14. He groaned, at first thinking it had only been a dream. But then he heard another noise, like someone closing the door and he shot up into a sitting position. It wasn't coming from Max's room and that rose all kinds of alarms in his head – someone else was in their apartment.

He quickly got up and walked into the hallway, checking on Max first to see if he was okay. Once he was assured that his son was safe and peacefully asleep in his bed, he started towards the living room, carefully rounding the corner before making himself visible.

"Who's there?" He asked, cringing at his own cliché words that could be heard in every horror movie before something bad happened.

"Hi, big brother!" He jumped and almost landed on his butt as Izzy appeared behind his back, probably having been in the kitchen the whole time. She laughed at his jumpiness.

"Izzy!" He turned around. "What are you doing here? I thought I was supposed to pick you up at the airport at 10."

She shrugged and gave him a quick hug, walking back to the kitchen island and pulling something out of a paper bag. "I caught an earlier flight and then Simon picked me up. I brought you some coffee and pastries," she said as she casually planted them on the counter.

"Simon?" Alec frowned. "The cook?"

"Yes," Izzy rolled her eyes. "Do you know any other Simon?"

"Well no," Alec said as he walked to the breakfast bar to take a seat, gratefully taking a sip of hot coffee after he was so rudely woken up. "But you only met him like 2 times," he frowned again, remembering how Izzy had met some of his colleagues the last time she visited.

"Yeah… but we've been texting for a few weeks… and I really like him," she smiled shyly.

"Oh."

"Is that a problem?" She frowned at her brother's lack of enthusiasm.

"What? No." Alec shook his head. "You're perfectly capable of making your own decisions, and if you say you like him, then I'm happy for you," he smiled.

"Thank you. I do like him, and that's why I'm seeing him again tonight," she said excitedly.

"Oh."

She rolled her eyes again. "What now?"

"Nothing," he fiddled with the cup in his hands. "I was just hoping you would watch Max for me tonight, because… I kind of have a date."

"Really?! Alec, why didn't you say so?! With whom?" She grinned, looking genuinely excited for her big brother. They both knew it had been a while since he last went out with someone.

"With Magnus," his lips pulled up into a smile of their own accord, something they always did when he thought of the other man.

"Finally, yes!" She exclaimed, but quickly changed her mind, freaking Alec out. "No! Wait, no. No!"

"What? What's wrong?" He asked, not understanding her reaction.

She groaned. "I can't believe I lost," her words were not making anything clearer to Alec.

"What are you talking about?"

"The bet!" She exclaimed like that explained everything.

Alec just looked at her with one eyebrow raised, still not understanding anything.

She sighed. "Simon told me that the people from your office had a bet going on about when you and Magnus were going to get together, and I kind of… maybe… played, too."

"Izzy!" He couldn't believe his sister.

"What?" She put her hands up in defense. "It's all in good nature. We were all rooting for you."

He shook his head. "Unbelievable."

"What's unbelievable is that I've lost by one week," she pouted. "Ooh! You think you could reschedule for next weekend?"

"No!" He threw a kitchen towel at her.

"I'm just joking," she caught it with a giggle. "I'm happy for you, big brother."

"Thanks," he smiled, not being able to get mad at her even if he wanted.

"So, you mind if I invite Simon over then? We can watch Max together."

Alec shrugged. "That's fine. Just don't do anything inappropriate in front of him."

"Don't worry, Max and I will be on our best behavior," she joked making him roll his eyes.

"You know what I mean," Alec warned. He didn't want his son to have traumas if Izzy and Simon decided to have a make out session in front of him or something.

"I know the rules, big brother, don't worry," she tapped him on the shoulder with a grin, and disappeared through the hallway into her room. He shook his head fondly and dug into the pastries.

 

-

 

Magnus checked his appearance in the mirror for the hundredth time that evening. He opted for a simple black button down shirt under a shiny black suit. A few golden streaks in his hair matched the golden details that were on the collar of the shirt as well as the gold and black smoky eye he was sporting. His fingers were bare of any jewelry. Something he already regretted, having nothing to fiddle with as his nerves worked him up, and he had to refrain himself from nervously chipping on his shiny black nail polish instead.

A bell rang around the apartment, making him look at the clock – Alec was right on time. He walked to the door after taking one last glance in the mirror, taking a deep breath before he opened it.

"Alexander," his mouth transformed into a grin, all his nerves going away as his eyes landed on the other man. He looked breathtaking. Magnus told him to dress formal as he was taking them somewhere special, and he really delivered. His tall frame was wrapped in a dark grey suit, a classic white shirt with one button undone, layered underneath it. A matching grin played on his face, his eyes shining as they traveled up and down, taking everything in.

"Wow," he said. "You look… beautiful."

Magnus chuckled. "Thank you. So do you."

"Thanks," Alec looked shy taking the compliment. "Izzy helped with the outfit."

"Oh. Well, she's got a good taste," Magnus smiled.

"Yeah, I guess," Alec nodded. "This is for you," he handed Magnus a single white rose, taking him by surprise. It smelled delightful and he thought it was quite romantic.

"Thank you, Alexander," he took the flower from his hand, not missing the opportunity to glide his fingers over Alec's. "Also Izzy's idea?" He asked teasingly.

"No," Alec smirked. "This was all me."

Magnus' grin widened. He wasn't expecting that kind of gesture from Alec, but he had to admit, he was kind of impressed. "Well, it's lovely, thank you. I'm just going to put it in some water and we can get going."

Alec nodded and waited for him by the door.

 

A cab was waiting for them outside, ready to take them to their destination.

"Where are we going?" Alec asked once they got into the back seat.

Magnus smirked. "You'll see. It's a really nice place." He really wanted to spoil Alec by taking him to one of the best restaurants in the city. He was hoping he would like it.

"Okay," Alec laughed at his mysteriousness, but didn’t push.

"How's Max? Is your sister watching him?"

"He's good, his chin doesn't hurt as much anymore," Alec smiled. "And yes, Izzy's babysitting… with Simon.

Magnus frowned. "Lewis?"

"Yes," Alec laughed. "I was surprised, too. But apparently they really like each other."

Magnus hummed.

"Also, did you know there was a bet going on around the office about us?" Alec asked.

"Yeah, I kind of knew," Magnus gave an apologetic shrug after Alec looked at him disbelief.

"I can't believe everybody knew but me," he shook his head.

Magnus chuckled and stretched his arm out to take Alec's hand, intertwining their fingers together. "If it makes you feel any better, I think the real winner here is me."

Alec smiled, bringing their joint hands up and planting a soft kiss at the back of Magnus'. "I think we both are."

The car pulled to a stop shortly after, interrupting their sappiness. They got out after settling the bill and Magnus smirked when he saw Alec's eyes widening at the sight of the building in front of them.

"Bella Rosa?" Alec turned to him. "Magnus, I can't afford this." He understood his surprise. It was one of the most highly rated Michelin star restaurants in the city, situated on the top floor of a beautiful glass skyscraper in Manhattan. Not everyone could just get a table there.

"Don't worry about it," Magnus took his hand again and smiled. "It's all taken care of."

"H-how did you even get a table here? I heard it was impossible," Alec asked as they walked into the building, taking the elevator to the top floor.

Magnus shrugged. "It helps that I know the owner."

Alec gave him an impressed look, just as the elevator binged and came to a stop.

"Mr. Bane," a young woman dressed in a structured burgundy suit and with her hair sleeked back greeted them once they walked in. "It’s lovely to see you again."

"Likewise," Magnus gave a small nod, introducing her to Alec. "This is Lily, Raphael's right hand."

She shook his hand with a smile. "Mr. Santiago will join us later in the evening. In the mean time I will be your host. Please, let me take you to your table."

She took them to Magnus’ favorite table in the hall, situated next to a big floor to ceiling window, giving them a perfect view over the city shining below them.

"Thank you," they both said once they were seated and Magnus ordered them glasses of wine to begin with.

"Magnus, this is amazing," Alec said, looking around, soaking things up. "I’ve always wanted to eat here," he admitted.

Magnus smiled, his efforts to impress and spoil Alec were obviously working. He knew how busy Alec was and how he always put his son first. He wanted him to be the one experiencing something special for once.

"I'm glad you like it," Magnus raised his glass. "A toast. To us."

Alec smirked, clinking their glasses. "To us."

 

Their 5-course meal started in an amazing atmosphere. The food was delicious, the wine was cold, and the company was brilliant. They talked, and laughed, and learned so many new things about each other.

Magnus told Alec about how he met Raphael when they were just kids, and how his small food business transformed into a beautiful gourmet empire with this restaurant as its shining star. He shared some stories from his college days with Catarina and Ragnor, too. Some more embarrassing than others, but the way they made Alec laugh, making his eyes crinkle in that adorable way, made it all worth it.

Alec mostly talked about Max, which Magnus was more than happy to hear about. He was glad the boy was recovering well and they would both be back at work on Monday. He also talked about his sister, and how she would be done with her studies soon and move back to New York. He loved how much Alec cared about his family, it was one of his favorite things about him.

Four dishes and a couple of hours later, Raphael finally joined them. "Gentlemen," he greeted with a nod, trying to be professional, but Magnus got up and gave him a tight hug, making him roll his eyes. He wasn't really one to show affection.

"This is Alec," Magnus proudly introduced his date and Raphael shook his hand.

"I've heard a lot about you. How are you enjoying your evening?"

"Everything is wonderful, thank you," Alec complimented the owner with a smile.

"I'm glad to hear that. I hope you will enjoy the next part, too," Raphael turned back to Magnus. "Everything is ready for you upstairs."

Magnus nodded and stood up, taking Alec's hand and informing him that they will be having their dessert in a different location.

 

-

If Alec thought this night couldn't get any more magical – he was wrong. After being spoiled with four brilliant meals and enjoying Magnus' perfect company, the other man led him up the stairs and onto the roof of the building.

He couldn't help but open his mouth in awe when he saw the sight in front of him. A single table for two laid in the middle, bathed in the golden colors of the fairy lights scattered all around it. A simple red rose decorated the center of it, two chocolate desserts on each side, accompanied by glasses of sparkling champagne. Soft melodies of violins were coming from the corner, as fresh night breeze caressed their faces.

"Magnus…" He breathed, not able to find the words.

The other man chuckled, leading them to the table and pulling a chair out for Alec. "I thought we'd finish our evening with something special."

"This is amazing," Alec whispered as he took a seat, his eyes now solely focused on Magnus, this beautiful, brilliant man who just continued to surprise him. He didn't know what to expect from tonight, but this – this was more than he could've imagined.

"I told you knowing the owner comes with certain perks," Magnus winked and raised his champagne glass for another toast.

They indulged in their desserts, soft music being a perfect background for their quiet conversation. Their hands found their way towards each other over the table, gentle fingers caressing each other as they exchanged a couple more stories.

"Would you like to dance?" Magnus asked after no one said anything for a while.

Alec was content just sitting there, looking at the other man's shining eyes in silence, but if he was being honest, he wouldn't mind having him a little closer.

He nodded and stood up, offering his arm to Magnus and leading him a little further away from the table. He placed his hands on his waist, Magnus' arms automatically going up to lock behind his head. They swayed gently with the sound of the music, soaking up the warmth and scent of each other. Alec couldn't understand how his heart could beat so rapidly, yet be so at peace at the same time. He never wanted to move. Being in Magnus' embrace, looking into his eyes – it was the only place he wanted to be.

He wasn't sure how much time had passed when Magnus slowly moved them to a stop. He gently untangled his hands, gliding one of them over Alec cheek and letting it rest there.

"You're so beautiful," he said softly as he caressed his cheekbone and Alec couldn't help but smile, heat rising in his face. He was never good at taking compliments, especially coming from a man who deserved all the compliments in the world. He didn't know what to say back, so instead he slowly leaned in, closer, and closer still, finally opting to do what he was craving to do all evening.

It was as if all the things around them came to a stop once he looked into Magnus' eyes, then at his lips, and then back up. He tightened his hands on his hips, wanting nothing more than to keep him close, but still giving him a moment to stop him if the wanted.

When Magnus showed no intention of moving, his eyes determinedly staring back, similar desire shining within them, Alec found that last ounce of courage, finally taking the last step, and making their lips meet in a softest of kisses.

It was just a gentle press; two pieces of a puzzle fitting perfectly together; two lost souls meeting after an eternity of being apart; two forces finally colliding after being pulled by some kind of magnetic force. It was like coming home – familiar and warm; full of excitement, but bringing back that lost peace.

Alec gently pulled back, resting their foreheads together. "You're the beautiful one," he finally whispered when his lungs filled with air. "I wanted to do this all night."

Magnus chuckled, leaning back and letting their eyes meet again. "I wanted to do this ever since I met you."

"Yeah, that, too," Alec laughed. "But tonight especially. Everything was perfect. You are perfect," he said, accentuating the last part. He needed Magnus to know how special this night was. How special Magnus was to him.

Magnus shook his head fondly. "You are the perfect one," he said, leaning back in to claim his mouth again.

And if their first kiss was like a warm salute the Sun gives the land every morning, then this one was like a thousand burning stars shining upon them.

Magnus' lips got bolder, they glided over Alec's with determination, his hands moved back behind his neck, playing with the soft hair on the back of his head. Alec pulled him impossibly closer, his own hands pressed at the small of his back, his lungs inhaling sharp breaths as their lips met in a perfect rhythm over and over again.

It was slow, and sensual, and he felt like he was flying, his mind completely losing it when he got the first taste of Magnus' tongue, his lips gladly letting it slip past them. He let his hands roam over Magnus strong back, feeling every strong muscle underneath his soft garments. He wanted to get lost in his body forever.

They stayed in each other's embrace for what felt like hours, kissing and dancing, exchanging sweet whispers and gentle caresses, until their lips felt tired and their feet could sway no more.

When it was time to leave, they took a cab that drove them back to Magnus' place first. Alec felt bad that he couldn't stay, but he promised Izzy he would be back at a decent hour, so she would still be able to go grab drinks with Simon. He didn't have the heart to tell her "no", when he knew she was only staying in town for three days. She deserved to have some fun, too.

Alec walked Magnus to the entrance of his building, their hands firmly clasped together, reluctant to let go. Magnus turned to him once they were in front of the door.

"Thanks for letting me take you out tonight," he grinned making Alec's lips pull up into a smile, too.

"Thanks for taking me on the best first date I've ever had," he said honestly.

"If you stick with me, I can promise you more awesome dates," Magnus teased, pulling him closer.

Alec smirked and leaned in, leaving a breath of space between them. "Deal," he whispered, claiming Magnus' lips with his own.

They pulled apart after a few minutes, not wanting to leave the cabbie waiting for Alec for too long.

"Text me when you get home," Magnus said caressing Alec’s face, and he nodded, still hating that he had to go.

He finally untangled their joined hands, taking a step back. "Good night, Magnus."

"Good night, Alexander," Magnus stole one last kiss before he ushered him towards the cab, waving one last time before he disappeared into the building.

 

-

When Alec got home he found his sister cuddled up on the couch with Simon. She told him that Max had eaten dinner and was fast asleep. He gave her a green light to go out and have fun after he thanked her, quietly walking to his son's room to check up on him.

He was softly sleeping, Spike tightly held in his arms as usual. Alec walked to the bed and planted a soft kiss on his head, careful not to wake him. His heart felt so full at that moment. Full of joy – of having had an amazing dinner with Magnus, of having his son to come back home to. Just having these two amazing men in his life; it was the kind of feeling he’d always wanted.

He sent a quick message to Magnus, attaching a photo of his snoring baby boy and wishing him a good night, before he went to his room and got in bed with a biggest content smile on his face.

Chapter Text

Magnus was leaning on the wall next to the classroom, a phone in his hand merely a decoration so he would look less obvious as he waited for Alec.

"Hey."

His head perked up, a smile automatically splitting his lips when he heard what was slowly becoming his new favorite sound in the world. "Hey," he put his phone away, his attention now solely focused on the other man.

"Were you waiting for me?" Alec asked, his eyes bright with curiosity as he smiled back at him.

Magnus shrugged. "I didn't really like that I couldn't kiss you in front of the kids the last two days you came down here, so I took the matter into my own hands this time."

"Hmm," Alec hummed, stepping closer and putting a hand on Magnus' bicep. "Well, I can't argue with that," he leaned in and pressed their lips together. Magnus let out a content sigh as he melted into Alec, pulling him closer by the belt loops on his pants.

They pulled apart with a wet smack, Magnus letting his eyes stay closed for a few more moments as he grinned. "Now that's what I call a proper greeting."

Alec chuckled. "Wait, I missed a spot," he pulled him back in, resting his hand on the back of Magnus' neck while they shared another kiss, a mixture of lips and teeth as they both smiled into it. "Now you're properly greeted," he grinned when he pulled back.

Magnus laughed and shook his head fondly, they were both ridiculous. He took Alec's hand and guided him into the classroom. "You hungry?" He asked when they entered. Gretel was helping a few kids that were still eating, but most of them were done since Alec came down for lunch break a little late today.

"Yeah, I am. Did Max eat already?"

Magnus nodded. "Yes. I even managed to get him to eat his carrots."

"Yeah?" Alec raised his eyebrows. "How did you do that? He started hating them recently and refuses to eat them."

"I've noticed," Magnus chuckled. "So, I told Simon to cook those baby ones, and then I put a green bean over it, made it look like a little airplane. The rest was easy," he shrugged casually, but didn't miss the impressed look Alec gave him.

"You're amazing," he praised and snuck a kiss on his cheek. Magnus could feel his own blush.

 

Alec went to say hi to his son, planting a quick kiss on his head and leaving him to play with the other kids, before he joined Magnus back at his desk.

"So, how's your day been so far?" Magnus asked when they dug into their lunch, a delicious chicken dish Simon had made today.

"It was fine. Although I do have a problem," Alec frowned.

"What is it?"

"So, you know how I was supposed to take Max to the doctor's today to get his stitches out?" Alec continued after Magnus nodded. "Well, Maia called in sick today, so now Luke's not letting me leave early because we have a deadline to meet and we can't both be absent," he explained.

"Oh," Magnus frowned. That was a problem. "Maybe I could take him?" He offered hesitantly. He didn't want to be pushy and make Alec feel uncomfortable, it was his son after all.

"Really?" Alec raised his brows. "Are you sure?"

"Yes," Magnus smiled. "When were you supposed to take him?"

"At 3."

"Okay, yeah, I can do that, Gretel can handle an hour without me," he paused. "But only if you feel comfortable with that, though. I know you are very protective of Max."

Alec smiled. "Yes, I am. But I trust you," he squeezed Magnus' hand over the table, making his heart skip a beat. It meant a lot to him that Alec felt that way.

"Then it's settled," he smiled back.

Alec nodded. "Thank you, Magnus."

 

-

 

Magnus was sitting in the waiting room with Max for about 15 minutes before the nurse called them. The boy didn't make a big fuss about having to go with Magnus. They've both gotten used to each other in the past couple of months and Max liked spending time with him. Plus, the fact that Alec had promised him ice cream later helped seal the deal.

"Mr. Lightwood?" She called and Magnus froze. They didn't really think this through.

"Um, no," he frowned. "My name is Magnus Bane, and I'm his… boyfriend?" He cleared his throat and the nurse gave him an unconvinced look.

"Do you have permission to bring his son here today?"

"I… y-yes?" Magnus stuttered and the nurse cocked her head amusingly.

"Excuse me for a moment," she said and disappeared behind the door, leaving a confused-looking Magnus behind her. He shook his head and waited, hoping this wouldn't be a problem.

"Okay, you can come in," she reappeared after a minute and opened the door for them with a smile. Magnus chose not to overthink it, they probably decided he was trustworthy and let them come in. The most important thing was that Max gets his stitches out.

 

He led Max out of the hospital once they were done, a protective hand on the boy's shoulder as he guided him through the halls. He had been a brave boy and got himself a lollipop again, but this time it was green. He explained how the last time he'd gotten a red one, but that he liked the green ones better. Magnus listened to him with a smile, he was adorable, and he made a mental note to buy him green apple candies the next time he picks something out for him.

"Magnus!" A familiar voice made him stop and turn around. He smiled when he saw his best friend, he should've know he'd bump into her in the hospital.

"Who's your little friend?" Catarina asked when she caught up with them.

"Oh Cat, this is Max. Alec's son. I brought him here to get his stitches taken out from when he cut his chin last week," Magnus explained, and the boy squeezed a little closer to him. He remembered that he wasn't very good with new people and his heart warmed up when he realized he was Max's safe spot right now and that he was seeking comfort from him. He hugged him a little tighter.

"Really?" Cat widened her eyes. "That very serious, Magnus."

"What? Oh no, it was a small cut, he only got a couple stitches, nothing serious," Magnus laughed but she shook her head.

"No. I meant Alec trusting you with his son and letting you bring him here. I thought you said they barely ever get separated."

"Well, yes, but this isn't that big of a deal. It's only a short trip and Alec got stuck at work so I jumped in," Magnus started to explain but Catarina stopped him, an assuring hand placed gently on his arm.

"It is a big deal… but it's a good thing," she started with a smile. "You look happy, and I'm happy for you. I'm sorry if I freaked you out," she laughed and Magnus relaxed. For a second he thought she meant that maybe he was moving too fast with Alec and that it wasn't a good idea, but he was glad that he had his friend's support.

Cat turned her attention to Max then and crouched down to be on his level. "Is Magnus taking good care of you?" She asked and the boy nodded. "Would you like another lollipop?" Max looked up at Magnus and when he smiled in encouragement, the boy nodded at her again. She smiled and pulled out a cherry lollipop from the pocket of her scrubs. When the boy made no move to take the candy from her hand she looked at Magnus who chuckled fondly at her confused face.

"He likes the green ones better," he said and Catarina dragged out an amused "oh" before she took out the green apple one from her pocket, handing it over to Max.

"Just don't tell your dad," she winked and stood back up.

The boy thanked her shyly and held the lolly tight to his chest, making both adults smile at him fondly. He truly was the most adorable kid Magnus had ever seen – and he wasn’t being biased. (Well, maybe just a little.)

 

-

 

Alec was waiting for his boys in front of the office building. He would be lying if he said he wasn't feeling a little nervous about not being the one who took Max to the hospital, but he meant what he said – he trusted Magnus. And he knew Max trusted him, too, otherwise he wouldn't have let him do it.

He stood leaning on the concrete wall, hands in his pockets as he picked on a damaged piece of the pavement with his foot.

"Daddy!" He looked up and saw Max running towards him, Magnus closely behind with his arms stretched out, ready to catch him if needed.

Alec shook his head and knelt down, stopping his son by the shoulders. "Hey, no more running like that. That's what got you in this situation in the first place. Okay?" He kissed the boy forehead when he nodded. "Okay."

He picked him up in his arms and turned to Magnus. "Hey," he smiled one of those soft smiles. "Did everything go okay? What did the doctor say?"

"Everything went fine," Magnus smiled back. "He was a brave little boy and the doctor said it wouldn't even leave a scar."

"That's great," Alec felt relieved. "Thank you so much for doing this, Magnus."

The other man nodded. "It was my pleasure."

"So, I'm done with work for today. Want to go grab something to eat?" Alec asked. "I did promise Max ice cream."

Magnus chuckled. "Sure. Let me just go check on Gretel for a minute. Most of the parents should’ve already taken their kids home by now, but I just want to make sure everything's okay."

Alec nodded and said he would wait for him outside.

 

Magnus came back out about 10 minutes later. Alec was rocking Max in his arms, the boy had fallen asleep which wasn't much of a surprise since he hadn't had his afternoon nap today.

Magnus looked at them with a soft expression. "He's asleep?" Alec nodded.

"You want to take him home and reschedule?"

"Or how about you come with us?" Alec smiled. "I can make us something to eat. Have a quiet evening in?"

"Are you sure? I don't want to intrude."

"Magnus, don't be silly. Of course, I want you to come over," Alec shook his head fondly. How did this man still not get that Alec wanted to spend every minute with him?

"Yeah?"

"Yeah. Now come on," he took Magnus' hand and led him towards the subway.

 

-

Alec took Max to his room when they arrived at the apartment. The boy had slept the whole way there. He made a quick job of taking his small shoes off and tucking him in bed, before he made his way back over to the kitchen. Magnus was sitting at the breakfast bar, his head perking up when he heard Alec coming. He hadn’t had the chance to tell him how beautiful he looked today yet, but he had every intention of changing that. The man deserved to be showered in compliments every day. Especially when he wore his hair like that, falling down his forehead in soft curls, a hint of color making it even more interesting.

He made them a quick pasta dish, nothing complicated, but Magnus still praised him, putting a smile on his face. They talked casually as Alec moved through the kitchen, Magnus hopping off the stool at one point and joining him, helping with the stirring and adding seasoning. It all felt very calm and domestic – Alec liked it. He hadn’t had that in a long time. Or ever, really.

He served their plates on the small glass dining table, Magnus sitting opposite him and they dug in. It wasn’t bad, he had to admit, but he was mostly happy that Magnus liked it.

“So…” he finally opted to bring up what was on his mind the whole afternoon. “Boyfriend, huh?” He asked with a smirk.

“What?” Magnus looked up, pausing his fork halfway to its destination.

Alec chuckled. “The nurse called me when you were in the hospital. Said my boyfriend was there with my son... Asked if that was okay.”

“Oh,” Magnus put his hand on the table. “I’m sorry, Alexander. I got caught off guard, wasn’t sure what to say. I didn’t want to make you feel uncomfortable.”

“Uncomfortable?” Alec frowned. “Why would I feel uncomfortable?”

“Because, we haven’t really talked about it, and we’ve only been on one real date. I didn’t want to assume, or pressure you…”

“Magnus,” Alec made him look up. “I like you. I like you a lot. And I don’t care that we’ve only been on one date, I don’t want to date anybody else. Do you?”

“No, of course not,” Magnus shook his head making Alec smile.

“Then I don’t see what the problem is. Magnus Bane, would you like to be my boyfriend?” He asked with a dorky grin. He knew he was probably being ridiculous with this formal wording, but the way it made Magnus laugh, made it all worth it.

“Yes, I would,” the other man finally said, small blush painting his cheeks making Alec feel oddly proud that he was able to get that reaction, since it was usually the other way around.

“Great,” he smiled. “Now eat before it gets cold. Your boyfriend worked really hard to make this pasta the perfect firmness,” he joked making Magnus laugh again. He would never get tired of hearing the sound.

 

They curled up in front of the TV after they’d finished eating, Magnus pressed into Alec side, their legs tangled together. They haven’t talked for a while, just enjoying the closeness and watching some crime TV show Magnus really liked. Alec wasn’t really into it, but the detectives were pretty to look at, so at least he had that.

Magnus suddenly pulled back, shifting so he could look at Alec. “Alexander,” he started softly. “Do you think Max will be okay with this? Us, I mean?”

“Of course. Why wouldn’t he?” Alec frowned. He hadn’t really thought about it, but he was sure his son wouldn’t mind him dating Magnus. They spent a lot of time together anyway.

“It’s just that you told me you haven’t been in a serious relationship since you got him, so this will be new for him. I just want to be sure that he will accept me,” Magnus said hesitantly, not meeting Alec’s gaze.

“Hey,” Alec tilted his chin up, making their eyes meet. “Max loves spending time with you, and you buy him things all the time – you’re practically in the top 5 favorite people on his list.

Magnus chuckled. “You sure?”

“Yes,” Alec nodded. “But I will talk to him about it if it’ll make you feel better.”

“Thank you, Alexander,” Magnus smiled and leaned in for a chaste kiss, Alec mumbling a quick “don’t mention in” before he pulled him back in for more. Always more, now that he could. He let their mouths glide together in a lazy rhythm, savoring the softness of Magnus’ lips that still had a hint of taste of the pasta sauce. He slid his hand into Magnus’ hair, gently playing and pulling on the strands, provoking delicious moans to leave Magnus’ throat. He felt warm fingers sneaking under his shirt, making him giggle into the kiss once they roamed over a particularly ticklish spot.

“Ticklish much, are we?” Magnus pulled back with a grin, his lips red and kiss-swollen, making it hard for Alec to stay calm. “I think I’ll store that information for future reference,” Magnus whispered hoarsely, definitely not helping. Tonight wasn’t the right time to take things all the way, but Alec could already feel that he had a situation going on in his pants, just from a few minutes of kissing. He groaned silently.

Magnus seemed to have stayed oblivious to his little problem, or maybe he just didn’t see it as such as he continued planting kisses from the corner of Alec’s mouth, down his jaw and onto his neck, his hand still teasingly exploring the skin under Alec’s shirt. They went on like that for what felt like hours, but probably wasn’t as long. Alec’s brain kept yelling at him that they should slow down, because Max was in the other room and he could walk in any second, but the rest of Alec didn’t listen. His hands kept pulling Magnus closer, his lips inviting him over and over again, soft moans filling the room–

“Dad!” They pulled apart with a smack when they heard Max calling from the other room, Alec trying his best to calm his breathing so he could call back.

“In a minute!” He said, and turned back to Magnus who had somehow found himself straddling Alec’s lap. He sighed and gently caressed his cheek, Magnus adoringly leaning into the touch. He hated that the moment was ruined, but it was probably for the best, they just started their relationship and there was no need to rush. “I’m sorry,” he whispered, but Magnus shook his head.

“Don’t be, we both got carried away,” he smiled, leaning down to peck Alec’ lips one more time before he moved and got up. “I should probably go anyway.”

“You don’t have to go,” Alec said as he stood up, too, pulling his wrinkled shirt down. “Max’s probably just hungry. We can all watch some more TV together?”

Magnus smiled. “Thanks, but it’s getting late, and you still have to have that talk with Max, remember? You promised.”

“And I will,” Alec smiled. “You sure I can’t make you stay?”

Magnus walked to him, gently cupping his cheek. “I’ll stay another time,” he planted a soft kiss on his lips. “Thanks for the dinner, it was delicious… But I think my favorite part was the dessert,” he winked making Alec snort.

He walked him to the door, stealing one more kiss. “I’ll see you tomorrow then?”

Magnus smiled and nodded. “Good night, Alexander.”

“Good night.”

 

It turned out Alec was right, and his little boy was just hungry. He heated up some pasta for him and helped him eat, letting him watch some TV so he would get tired again. When it got pretty late he gave him a quick bath, putting his favorite dinosaur pajamas on and tucking him back into bed.

“Max,” he caressed his soft hair. “There something I wanted to talk to you about.” He paused, trying to think of the best way to approach this with a four-year-old. “So, you know how in the cartoon Spike really likes Rarity and he wants to be around her all the time? Well… Daddy kind of likes Magnus and wants to have him around... Do you like spending time with Magnus?”

The boy nodded. “So, you won’t mind if we both spend more time with him?” Alec asked with a smile, happy that this was going well.

“No. Magnus is fun.”

“He is.”

“Is he going to be my daddy, too?” Max suddenly asked, taking Alec by surprise.

“Um, I don’t know,” he said honestly. It was really too early to think about that. “But maybe someday. Would you like that?”

The boy shrugged, his small eyes already closing, and Alec decided that was a conversation for another time.

“Don’t bust your little head about it. The most important thing is that daddy loves you and I promise all three of us are going to have a lot of fun together. Okay?”

The boy nodded and Alec kissed his forehead. “Good night, my little marshmallow.”

“Good night, daddy,” Alec tucked him all the way in and left for his own bed.

Chapter Text

"Coming!" Magnus rushed out of the bathroom when he heard a knock on the door, his immature self laughing at his own choice of words. The truth was; he had never felt more sexually frustrated in his life, so it wasn't really a surprise that everything sounded like an innuendo to his playful mind.

He and Alec had been dating for a month. A beautiful, most amazing month… but they still hadn't taken things to the next level, at least not physically.

Magnus had slept over at Alec's place several times in the last few weeks, usually on the weekends. Partially to help Max slowly adapt to the fact that his dad now had another important person in his life, and partially, well – he was simply addicted to Alec. He wanted to spend as much time with him as he could, and recently he was dying to get a taste of him, to finally take that last step.  

It was strange. He had never waited this long with any of his former partners, but he also knew it was different to date someone who has a child. Alec couldn't exactly come over and spend the night whenever he wanted, and neither of them wanted their first time together to be a quiet quickie at Alec's place in fear of Max overhearing or walking in on them. So, they waited for a perfect time, and no one could really blame Magnus for feeling a little on edge when Alec walked around looking like that.

His eyes travelled slowly up and down over the picture-perfect body of his boyfriend who was standing in front of a now open door. His tall frame was styled in a dark navy suit, a light grey shirt underneath it giving it a more casual look with a few buttons undone.

Magnus groaned silently before greeting him with a sweet kiss. "You're here early." He snuck a peek at Alec's perfectly round bottom as he let him in, not really helping his situation. This suit will be the end of him.

"Yeah. Mom asked to bring Max over a little earlier because she missed him," he said, and Magnus forced his gaze back up to meet Alec's.

He smiled, knowing how much the Lightwoods loved spending time with their grandson. "Well, I really ought to make you a key, so you don't have to wait at the door for me every time. We could go make it together tomorrow?"

"Uh, sure… yeah," Alec pressed his lips in a half smile.

Magnus frowned at his lack of enthusiasm, but didn't think much of it. They spent so much time together already that he guessed they didn't have to make a big deal out of this. He tapped Alec's shoulder fondly and left to the bathroom to finish getting ready.

 

"I can't believe it's our one month anniversary and we're stuck at this stupid office party," he said as he walked back into the living room a few minutes later, adjusting the earcuff on his left ear. He'd really wanted to make this night special, pamper and spoil Alec – just the two of them, since Maryse already offered to watch Max this weekend. But then Simon informed them during lunch one day that there was an annual office party happening this week, and a day later they got the official notice – the worst timing ever.

Alec chuckled, the motion not reaching his eyes. He looked somehow distracted and nervous as he lounged in his favorite armchair, but Magnus assumed that was just because he wasn't really a big fan of parties, and he was probably just as annoyed that they had to go as he was. "We don't have to stay long. Just enough that Lydia sees that we've showed up," he said making Magnus laugh.

"I like the sound of that. Shall we?" He asked and Alec finally looked up. His eyes widened as they landed on Magnus and the older man smirked when he noticed his reaction. He opted for a dark blue silk shirt, with lots of buttons and a high neckline, the color almost matching Alec's suit, which was sort of the point. Alec licked his lips as he finished his once-over, standing up and walking to him.

"You look great," he whispered as he rested his hands on the smooth fabric on Magnus' arms, leaning in and letting their lips meet for just a second.

Magnus groaned at the loss of contact when Alec turned around and reached for his jacket, holding it up and helping him slip his arms in. "You sure dressing me up is the right thing you want to be doing right now?" He teased as he turned back, wiggling his brows suggestively.

Alec shook his head with a laugh. "We're going to be late, come on," he kissed the pout from Magnus' lips and intertwined their hands together. "Let's go."

 

-

 

The party was slow and kind of boring, but at least the food was good. Simon had made all sorts of delicacies served on a buffet table and Magnus found himself reaching for it more often than not in effort to avoid tiresome conversations with some of the guests.

He looked over the room and finally found Alec who disappeared a while ago – at least he looked like he was having fun. He was chatting casually with Maia and one of the guys from their office whose name Magnus couldn't remember for quite some time now, and he decided to go steal him back.

"Having fun without me?" He asked when he approached the cheerfully laughing group, his arm instinctively slipping around Alec's waist.

"Uh Magnus, you remember Joey?" Alec stepped out of his hold to allow them to shake hands, Magnus instantly missing the contact.

"Joey, of course, how could I forget," he smiled.

"He was just telling us about the road trip he went on last weekend," Alec informed him.

"He got robbed by a raccoon," Maia added with a laugh.

"Yes," the man himself nodded. "He stole my phone and all of my potato chips."

"Apparently, they're into Pringles," Maia snorted making them all laugh.

"Well, that's quite a story. I hope you got your phone back."

"Nah. But I got a better one, so it's okay."

Magnus nodded and turned back to Alec. "You want to go dance for a bit?" He felt like they hadn't spent any time together since they got here, and he really wanted to hold him close for a bit.

"Um… sure," Alec smiled and put his drink down, leading them to the part of the room where a few couples were already dancing.

Magnus circled his arms around Alec's neck, breathing in the familiar scent and letting the music guide their bodies.

"Are you having a good time?" He asked as he rested his head on Alec's shoulder.

Alec hummed. "I guess it's not that bad."

Magnus chuckled. "Well, if you ask me, I'm ready to leave. Maybe we could go grab drinks somewhere else. Just the two of us?" He still had hope this night could be about the two of them. He liked the idea of going some place nice and sharing a glass of wine and maybe something sweet, before retreating to his apartment for a different type of dessert.

Alec shrugged. "I don't know. Now that you've mentioned it, I'm not feeling that well, I think I already drank too much."

"Are you okay?" Magnus stopped their movements and looked up, cupping Alec's face with his hand as he looked for any sign of discomfort in his eyes.

"I'm fine," Alec placed his hand over Magnus', an unconvincing smile appearing on his lip. "I think I just want to go home."

"Of course," Magnus nodded and went to get their jackets before rushing them to the nearest cab.

 

The drive home was quiet. Alec insisted that he was okay as he kept fiddling with his phone.

"Who are you texting?"

"Huh?" Alec looked up, quickly locking his phone and putting it away. "Uh, J– I mean… I was just checking the time."

Magnus frowned. He could clearly see that Alec had a text open, and why would he check the time on his phone when he could clearly see it on the display at the front of the car. Was he texting that Joey guy? That's what he was starting to say, wasn't he? And he'd been acting strange the whole day. – Being indifferent about Magnus wanting to give him a key to his apartment. Spending the entire time at the party with Maia and Joey. Stepping out of Magnus' arm when he joined them even though his right hand was free to shake with the other man's.

Even when they were dancing, something was off. Alec's hands were stiff and sweaty as they rested on Magnus' back, he could feel it through his shirt. And to think better of it, Alec couldn't have had too much to drink. He'd been holding that same glass the entire evening and it wasn't even half empty.

Magnus could feel himself starting to panic. What was going on? The plan was to finish the night at his place, but now they were driving back to Alec's apartment. Did Alec not want to spend the night with him? Was he supposed to just drop him off and leave for his own home? Would Alec break up with hi–

"Magnus!" Alec's voice startled him out of his thoughts. "We're here."

He gulped, suddenly not feeling like getting out and going upstairs with Alec. He wasn't ready to face what was going to happen. He didn't want to hear Alec say those words. That they had a nice time while it lasted, but now he wanted to be left alone.

He wasn't sure how he found himself standing in front of the door of Alec's apartment. The trip upstairs was a blur, his legs walking him there on their own accord. He stood behind Alec who was fiddling with the keys, turning back around when he got the door unlocked.

"Are you okay? You look a little pale," he put his hand on his arm. Magnus didn't trust his voice so he just nodded, hoping this would all end quickly.

"Well, I hope this will make you feel better," Alec said as he started to open the door, and Magnus thought that that was just cruel. How could any of what was about to happen make him feel be–

Magnus gasped as he saw Alec's apartment on full display through the doorway. The living room was lit in a warm yellow glow flickering from a dozen candles scattered all around it. In the middle was a table for two, champagne already cooling, chocolate-covered strawberries presented on a crystal serving plate. A sea of rose petals decorated the floor, leading through the hallway and Magnus assumed, ending in the bedroom. It looked beautiful.

"Happy anniversary," Alec grinned, leading Magnus inside. "I know we said we weren't going to buy each other anything, but technically I had most of these things here already and–" A noise made him stop talking and turn around.  

A noise that Magnus had produced as he leaned on the door and let the back of his head thud on it. He closed his eyes as he let his heart calm down. He could hear Alec closing in on him, probably having a concerned look on his face, and even though Magnus wanted to reassure him he was fine all he could do was chuckle in disbelief. "You ass," he said, still not opening his eyes, and Alec was right beside him, a gentle hand pressing on his cheek.

"What?"

"I said, you're an ass!" He finally opened his eyes, allowing them to meet Alec's concerned stare. "I thought you were going to break up with me!"

"What?" Alec repeated, cupping Magnus' face with both of his hands now, his confused eyes searching for answers.

"Y-you've been acting strange all night! The key, the party, my arm, your hands, and the glass, and-and that Joey guy, I–" he sighed, finishing his rant when he realized these words on their own didn't make much sense to Alec as he kept looking at him with a frown.

"Hey, breathe," he whispered, his thumbs gently rubbing on Magnus' temples. "God, I've ruined everything. Magnus, I'm so sorry. I know I've been acting weird today, but that was only because I was nervous. I wanted this to be perfect, to surprise you..."

"So, you weren't texting Joey in the car?" He asked insecurely.

"What? No," Alec shook his head. "I was texting Jace. He's the one who helped me set all of this up, and I was just making sure it was ready before we arrived.

"And the party? You didn't ignore me?"

"No, of course not, I just needed a pep-talk from Maia. When you joined us, we weren't laughing at Joey's stories, we were laughing at me. They teased me for being so worked up."

Magnus chuckled, he knew that story with the raccoon couldn't be true. "And you didn't step away from my embrace on purpose?"

Alec shrugged. "I didn't want you to feel how sweaty my back was, you would've seen right through me."

"And you're not actually feeling sick? You didn't drink too much?"

At this point Alec was looking at him with an amused grin, probably thinking how silly Magnus' imagination was if he'd misunderstood all of those situations.

"I needed to get you here somehow without raising suspicion."

Magnus rolled his eyes. "You could've just said you'd rather we go to your place, you idiot. You almost gave me a heart attack."

"I'm so sorry," Alec whispered, leaning in to nuzzle their noses together before placing a feather light kiss on his lips. "Can you forgive me?"

Magnus' breathing accelerated at the contact. "I guess I could be persuaded," he managed.

"Hmm," Alec hummed, pressing another gentle kiss on the corner of his mouth. "I'm happy to oblige in anything you'd want me to do to make up for it."

"Just keep doing… that."

"You mean this?" Another kiss on the jawline.

"Yes."

"And this?" Another one on the soft skin of Magnus' neck.

"Yes," Magnus' hoarse voice was barely a whisper, his heart beating rapidly in his chest for an entirely different reason now. "Come here," he pulled Alec back up, smashing their lips together, letting his fingers find the buttons of Alec's jacket before quickly undoing them and shrugging the clothing item off.

He put his hands on Alec's hips, gently guiding him backwards and towards the bedroom, not letting their lips part for a second, wet sloppy sounds filling the room.

"Mhh… but the champagne," Alec mumbled as they passed the table, stumbling into the hallway.

"It can wait," Magnus started pulling Alec's shirt from his pants, sneaky fingers finding their way underneath it, gently scratching on his back. "The only thing I want to be tasting right now is you."

Alec moaned as his back hit the door of his bedroom, Magnus reaching behind to open it before pushing them in. He sat Alec on the edge of the bed, letting him rest there as he did a quick job of shrugging his jacket off, Alec's hungry eyes following his every movement. He kicked his shoes off next, Alec doing the same thing with his own, before he stood back between Alec's legs, leaning down slightly to cup his face.

"I want you," he whispered as he kissed him gently; sweet and deep and with everything he had, conveying all of his wants and needs in one touch.

"I want you, too," Alec said when they pulled apart, a firm hand taking a hold of Magnus' hip, pulling him in as he scooted back, letting him dip the mattress around him as he straddled his lap.

"I'm sorry I freaked you out today," he caressed Magnus' face. "I just wanted this to be perfect... you've been so patient with me, I know it's not always easy dating someone with a kid and–"

"Shhh," Magnus put a finger over his lips. "This would've always been perfect, okay? Because it's you and me. And I don't care how long I'd have to wait, it would've always been worth it. I promise."

Alec nodded. "Kiss me?"

Magnus smiled. "Gladly." He leaned down, letting their lips meet in a dance of teeth and tongue, his hands roaming over Alec's torso, popping open the first button of his shirt. He moved his mouth downwards, planting sweet kisses over his chin, down to his neck and collarbone, his lips following the path his hands were opening as they undid every button.

He pulled his mouth back with a pop when the sweet trail from Alec's chest ended by the line of his pants, opening up his shirt completely and shrugging it off as best he could with Alec lying down – he looked so beautiful like this. His skin glistening in the half-dark room, only lit by warm candlelight coming from the living room and soft moonlight shine sparkling from the outside.

"Magnus…" Alec breathed as Magnus slid his fingers over his naked sides, taking in the sight while applying sweet pressure with his hips over Alec's. He could feel that they were both growing hard.

"What do you want?" He whispered, leaning back down to nibble on Alec's jaw, something he knew by now drove him crazy. His hands kept roaming over Alec's chest, grazing over his nipples here and there making his breath shudder.

He clutched firmly on Magnus' shirt trying to tug it up over his head but the high neckline making in difficult. "Why are your clothes always so complicated?" He almost whined making the older man chuckle.

He reached for his collar, popping the first three buttons undone before shrugging it off over his shoulders. "Better?"

Alec shook his head, impatiently reaching for his belt to unbuckle it. "It'll be better when you lose these, too."

"Hmm, is that so?" Magnus smirked, sliding to the side to slip his pants off, doing the same to Alec's; socks along with them, until they were both left just in their underwear.

"How about now?"

*

"Perfect," Alec leaned forward and circled his arms around Magnus' waist, pulling him back on top of him. Their noses bumped as Magnus landed in between his legs making him giggle.

Alec smiled, not believing how lucky he was to have this man in his life, and in his bed. He'd been planning this night for a while, wanting to make their first time special and he silently cursed his nerves for almost ruining it.

"You look so beautiful when you laugh," he said after Magnus balanced himself with his hands next to Alec's head.

"Only when I laugh?" He smirked, leaning down and planting a series of kisses from Alec's temple to his neck, nibbling on the sensitive skin behind his ear. "How about when I do this?" He moved onto his chest, leaving an experimental lick over one of his nipples and Alec's breath hitched, incoherent mumbles leaving his mouth as he closed his eyes in pleasure. He could feel Magnus smirk against his skin as he switched to the other nipple, taking it into his mouth, making him moan as his warm lips and tongue glided over it.

His mouth traveled lower and lower, licks and kisses making Alec's skin burn in the most satisfying way, until they finally reached the spot where he wanted him most. Where he had been hard and needy since the moment Magnus' mouth crashed into his tonight. He could feel his warm breath hovering over his clothed cock, but not touching, not giving that delicious contact that he so desperately needed.

"I didn't hear you answer?" Magnus asked playfully, making his eyes snap open, and all Alec could think was yes. Yes, Magnus looked beautiful like this. Yes, Magnus always looked beautiful. Yes, Magnus needed to touch him. Now. He groaned.

"Yes. You look beautiful while driving me crazy like this," he breathed and Magnus smirked, seemingly satisfied with that answer before he finally put his mouth on his length, gently kissing it at first before he started sucking on the tip over the thin material of Alec's underpants, his hand joining in to provide much needed friction.

Alec found it hard to breathe, he was already becoming a mess. His hands formed fists in the sheet as he panted, not knowing what else to do with them, but all to soon Magnus pulled his mouth away, mercifully leaving his hand over him as he continued his gentle strokes. "What do you want, Alexander?" He asked gently as he looked down at him, lips red and eyes shining with desire.

"I…" Alec could barely think. He wanted everything. "I want you to make love to me," he said the most honest answer, he wanted to feel him inside. He was desperate for it.

Magnus nodded, leaning down to place a heated kiss on his lips. "I can do that," he smiled. "Where do you keep your things?"

"In the bathroom. Cabinet behind the mirror."

Magnus nodded. "I'll be right back. Feel free to lose these," he winked, gesturing with his hand at Alec's underwear before he hopped off the bed and disappeared in the bathroom.

If Alec's cheeks reddened when he quickly took off his boxer briefs, it was nothing compared to what happened when Magnus walked back in a few moments later. He, too had decided to lose his underwear somewhere along the way and was standing at the doorstep stark naked, his hands and neck bare of any jewelry as well. Alec wasn't sure where to look first – at his perfectly sculpted abs, at his strong arms, or at his impressive member that bounced proudly as he approached closer, climbing the bed as elegantly as a cat.

"See something you like?" Magnus smirked as he settled between Alec's legs again. "I know I do," he looked down at his hard cock, eyes glistening with want as he licked his lips, and if Alec weren’t in such a desperate need for release he’d be rolling his eyes at Magnus’ ridiculous flirting.

He placed a condom and a bottle of lube next to Alec, leaning in for a kiss and reigniting the flame, continuing where they left off. Alec hands flew to his waist almost instantly, pushing him down to let their hips touch and allowing their cocks to rub against each other. They both moaned at the contact, enjoying the friction.

Alec's hands roamed over Magnus' back, eager to touch and bring him closer, wanting more of that pressure Magnus' steady rocking was providing.

"Magnus," he panted when it became too much. "Please…"

"What?" Magnus' voice was wrecked, but gentle.

"I need you," he could see understanding in Magnus' eyes as he nodded, probably feeling just as affected, they were both already fully hard.

He reached for the bottle and popped it open, squeezing a generous amount on his hand and doing his best to warm it up.

Alec spread his legs more, adjusting his lower body to make things easier and nodding eagerly when Magnus asked if he was okay. "Yes. I want this. I want you."

Magnus smiled. "I want you, too."

He gently rubbed his finger over Alec's hole, slowly introducing the pressure, and the pleasure. It's been a while since Alec had done this to himself, and even longer since someone else had done it, and it was as if Magnus had sensed that, because his movements were soft and loving, his finger slowly breaching the entrance until it was all the way in.

Alec let out a breath, pleasure consuming him. Magnus started to pump his finger in and out in a slow motion, loosening him up before introducing another. He pampered kisses over Alec's abs as he steadied the rhythm of his hand, adding the third one when he was ready.

Alec's member was already leaking with precum, seeking the friction that Magnus wasn't giving him, his other hand gliding over his inner thigh instead.

"Hhngg…" he moaned, not wanting to wait a second longer. "I'm ready," he pulled Magnus up to kiss him, wanting to show him how much he wanted him. Needed him.

Magnus slowly pulled his fingers out, Alec feeling disappointingly empty. He reached for the condom, but Alec snatched it first, wanting to be the one to put it on, his fingers itching to touch.

Magnus chuckled. “Eager much?” He tried to tease, but his breath hitched when Alec circled his finger around him, giving it a gentle tug. He sat up, kissing Magnus’ shoulder and enjoying how his body reacted to him. Magnus’ hips kept rocking forward, enjoying the attention his member had been given for the first time tonight.

“Now who’s eager?” Alec smirked, but decided to have mercy on both of them. He quickly opened the packet, pulling the condom on before giving it a few more strokes. He rested his forehead against Magnus’, planting a soft kiss on his lips before he lay back down.

Magnus settled back between his legs, positioning himself at Alec’s hole, anticipation rising.

"Okay?"

Alec nodded, his head falling back in the pillows when the tip of Magnus' cock touched his entrance and slowly slipped in.

"You're so beautiful... And so tight," Magnus murmured softly as he pushed in, inch by delicious inch, bracketing Alec with his own body until he bottomed out. He gave them both a moment to adjust, Alec never feeling fuller in his life.

"Please move," he said after a minute, and so Magnus did. He slowly pulled his hips back, pushing them forward again and making them both moan.

It was slow and steady at first, their lips and hands connected as Magnus built up a steady rhythm. He pushed Alec's hands behind his head, moving his mouth to his neck to leave bruising kisses on his delicate skin as he experimented with a few hard and fast snaps with his hips.

Alec was seeing stars, letting out a guttural moan when Magnus' cock hit his prostate. "Yesss, there… please."

Magnus obliged, looking sinfully hot as he braced his hands on Alec's hips to allow his member to penetrate him in the perfect angle. Sweat was starting to form over his skin, glistening in the half-lit room, and Alec couldn't take his eyes off of him.

"Alexander… " he breathed, pushing Alec's legs up higher and opening him up even more, allowing him to go deeper, making Alec almost scream in pleasure. His leaking member was bouncing between them, desperately waiting to be touched. He sneaked his hand over it, starting a fast stroking pattern, feeling convinced that this couldn't get any better, until Magnus's hand covered his and elevated his pleasures to the next level.

Magnus kept a steady rhythm with his hand over Alec's – the one that matched the snap of his hips, and Alec knew he wouldn't last much longer. Not with the way Magnus' thumb expertly glided over the tip of his cock, or the way his prostate was being mercilessly pounded.

"I'm close," he managed to say in between heavy breaths, his lungs forgetting to pull in enough oxygen as his body burned with pleasure, and by some unearthly power Magnus' hips started to move even faster.

"So am I," he panted, his hips losing some of its precision with the added speed.

Alec was in heaven, his senses going wild. All he could hear was both of their panting, and skin slapping on skin; the image of Magnus taking him in the most loving yet powerful way the only thing he could focus his eyes on. He didn’t want to look away, he couldn’t – because surely there was no sight more beautiful than Magnus seeking his pleasure while making love to him. Surely there was no sensation more satisfying than being filled by his hard cock. And surely there were no sounds more heavenly than the labored moans that escaped Magnus’ lips as he gave his all.

The pressure became too much, layers and layers of pleasure screaming at Alec to let go and so he did. Just a few more strokes were enough for him to tip over the edge, warm cum coating both of their hands and chests, unimaginable ecstasy taking over his body as he released harder than ever in his life.

Magnus kept pounding into him, desperate to catch his own release, Alec's name slipping from his lips as he started to fill the condom a few moments later, riding his pleasure out until he was completely dry, Alec enjoying every second of it even with his oversensitive skin.

They were both a panting mess as they slowly came down from their highs. Magnus gently pulling out after a minute, making Alec whine at the loss.

"Come here," he pulled Magnus into an embrace, letting him settle by his side even though he knew they needed to get cleaned, but he wanted to enjoy this for just a moment. He tipped Magnus' chin up with his finger, planting a soft kiss over his lips, different from the heated ones they'd just shared. Magnus sighed contently into it, his hand coming up to stroke Alec’s cheek.

"That was… amazing," Alec said, even though 'amazing' didn't even come close to how he was feeling right now.

Magnus grinned. "Couldn't agree more,” he pecked Alec lips again. “Let me get you cleaned up," he smiled before disappearing into the bathroom to get rid of the condom and bringing wet towels to clean them.

He threw the cloths across the room when he was done, flopping back into bed and Alec chuckled, scooting closer and putting his head on Magnus' chest as he embraced him. They were both tired.

"You feeling okay?" Magnus asked, and Alec nodded, absentmindedly drawing patterns over the soft skin on Magnus’ torso.

"What are you thinking?"

"That this is the most content and happy I've ever felt," Alec admitted truthfully. And it wasn't just about the sex. It was about everything. Having a good job, a happy and healthy son, a man by his side that made him feel things he'd never felt before. Feelings he'd never dared to explore with anyone until now. Feelings he wanted to continue to explore. He just felt happy. "What about you?"

"More or less the same. Just how lucky I am to be here with you."

Alec smiled, propping himself on his elbow to look into Magnus' eyes. "So, we're still going to go make that key tomorrow, right?"

"Y-you really want to?" Magnus asked hesitantly.

"Magnus," he cupped his cheek. "Of course, I want to. Actually… I kind of made one for you for my apartment already. I just didn't know when to give it to you."

Magnus' eyes lit up. "Really?"

Alec nodded. "You're welcome here anytime."

"Thank you, Alexander," he smiled, closing the distance between them for a quick peck. "Then we'll go tomorrow. The three of us."

Alec nodded, lowering his head back onto Magnus' chest with a yawn.

"Sleep now, my love," Magnus caressed his hair gently. “There’s champagne and strawberries for breakfast,” he teased and Alec laughed. This was not exactly how he’d planned their first month anniversary to go, but being in Magnus arms, happy, content and deliciously spent – he realized that they didn’t need expensive dinners or grand romantic gestures. They just needed each other.

He sighed contently and hug Magnus closer, planting a soft kiss on his chest. “I can’t wait”

Magnus smiled. "Good night, Alexander."

"Good night, Magnus."

Chapter Text

It was a beautiful warm day in the late spring – the Sun shone, the birds sang and the annoying bugs buzzed all around the air. Magnus stood in the shade, a watchful eye never leaving the kids as they ran around the playground, scolding them here and there when they picked a fight about who's going to have the toy next. Days like these reminded him why he loved his job. He loved hearing their laughter, loved seeing them grow; it was a special kind of feeling, very close to his hearts, and he would never change his career for anything.

He felt a tug on his pants and looked down, a smile instantly forming on his lips when he was met by his favorite of the bunch – his little Blueberry.

"Hey, munchkin. Everything okay?"

Max shook his head. "I got a boo-boo," he pouted and Magnus instantly crouched down, scanning him for any visible injuries.

"A boo-boo?" He held his shoulder protectively. "Where, sweetheart?"

Max stretched out his arm, a tiny red dot visible on his wrist.

"Hmm," Magnus took a closer look at it. "Does it itch?"

The boy nodded.

He put his palm on his forehead, feeling how warm it was. "And do you have it anywhere else?" He looked over the rest of his arm and under his shirt, more pinky spots confirming his suspicion. "It looks like you have chickenpox," he told him and the boy looked up at him in wonder.

"Is that bad?"

Magnus picked him up in his arms, planting a quick kiss on his temple. "It's not bad, but it can be annoying because it gets really itchy and you can't scratch it. You didn't scratch it, did you?" He asked after a moment, already taking him inside and away from the other kids so they don't get it, too.

Max shook his head.

"Good boy," he smiled, promising that he will be okay. "Now, let's go call Dad."

 

-

 

Alec was having a stressful and tiring day. An unexpected project messed up his schedule and he had to put in a lot more time and energy than he normally would on an average Tuesday. He sighed, taking a sip from his third coffee today when his phone started to ring. He smiled when he saw it was Magnus. He must've sensed that Alec was having a bad day and knew his voice would make him feel better. At least that's what he decided to think.

"Hey," he picked up, instantly feeling calmer when he heard his velvety voice on the other side.

"Hey, love. Is it possible that you get out of work early? Max's got chickenpox and he can't stay here," he informed him and Alec put a palm over his face. This was not something he wanted to hear right now.

"Chickenpox?"

"Yes. You've had it when you were younger, right?"

"Actually, I haven't," he said, remembering how none of his siblings had it when they were kids. Except Jace, but that was before his parents adopted him.

"Oh. Well now's your chance to get over it," Magnus chuckled.

"Why would I willingly give myself chickenpox?"

"So you don't have to worry about it in the future… you know, if you decide to have more kids…"

"Are you trying to tell me something?" He shook his head fondly. It's not like he'd never thought about the future, and the idea of adopting more children with Magnus might’ve had crossed his mind here and there, but he still found it unbelievable how the other man dropped things like that so casually.

Magnus hummed on the other side, and he could hear the smirk in his voice. "We can talk about that some other time... But, can you take Max home now?"

Alec sighed. He really couldn't, he had work over his head, and he couldn't afford to take sick leave this week. "I can't, I have a lot of things I need to finish today. I'm sorry. Is it okay if you take him to my place? And then we'll talk about what we're going to do next when I come back tonight?"

"Of course, that won't be a problem."

"Thank you so much, Magnus," his voice softened. He really didn't know what he would do without him.

"You don't need to thank me, Alexander. You know I always want what's best for Max. And for you. Don't overwork yourself, okay?"

Alec nodded, even though he knew the other man couldn't see him.

"I'll see you tonight."

"Okay, I'll try to come as soon as I can. Tell Max I'm sorry I can't be there right now."

"I will. Bye, Alexander."

"Bye."

 

-

It was past 7 when Alec finally got home. He sighed as he walked through the door, flopping ungracefully on the couch.

"Hey," Magnus said after he walked out of the kitchen and sat next to him. "Tough day?" He put a comforting hand on his knee.

Alec nodded. "You have no idea. How's Max?"

"He's good. I gave him a bath to soothe the rash and something to get his fever down. He's sleeping now."

Alec nodded again. "Thank you," he took the hand that was resting on his leg in his.

Magnus smiled. "Wanna talk about it?"

"A big client ordered some major changes to their main software," he started with a sigh. "And they want the job done quickly. Maia and I have been busting our asses all day. I need to figure out what to do with Max, I really can't afford to take days off right now, or get sick." He closed his eyes for a moment to think. "Maybe I could ask mom to take care of him for a few days."

"Didn't you say they were flying to San Francisco tomorrow for that new case?"

"Right," he groaned, having completely forgotten about that. "Maybe I could ask Jace then... But he's going to be in charge of taking care of our little brother, and he hasn't had chickenpox before, so I can't really do that," he remembered after a moment. This was starting to be more complicated that he realized.

Magnus cleared his throat.

"Oh, sorry, I almost forgot," Alec leaned in, giving him a sweet hello kiss like he always did when they saw each other. It was a cute little ritual between them.

Magnus smiled into the kiss, fully chuckling when they pulled back. "Thank you, you are sweet… but that's not what I was trying to point out. I wanted to bring your attention to the fact that I am here, and I can take care of Max."

"Really?" Alec's eyes widened. "But your job–"

"I can take a few days off."

"Are you sure? I don't want you to go back and forth between our apartments every day."

Magnus shrugged. "So, I'll just sleep here. You need to avoid contact with Max as much as possible if you don't want to get infected, and someone needs to take care of him full-time with his condition. I don't have a problem doing it."

"You sure?"

"Yes," Magnus smiled. "I'll go to my place early tomorrow while he's still asleep to get some of my stuff. I can sleep in your clothes tonight, right?"

Alec nodded. "Of course, you don't need to ask that."

"Okay, then it's settled."

Alec leaned in for another kiss, slow and sweet and full of meaning. He really didn't know what he did to deserve having such a wonderful man in his life.

"Thank you," he smiled, resting their foreheads together. "This really means a lot to me."

"Well, you both really mean a lot to me… so, you're welcome," Magnus smiled back.

Alec pecked him one more time before getting up. "I can go see him, right?"

"Yeah, just try to stay closer to door. I'll explain to him later why he won't be able to snuggle with you for a few days."

Alec nodded, already feeling sad that he would have keep his son at a distance for the next few days, but he knew Magnus will take good care of him.

 

-

 

“Daddy!” Max called out the next morning. He woke up a little later than usual, probably because his body felt exhausted after he’d spent half of the night trying to fight the itchiness. But that meant Alec was already at work and Magnus had to be the one to answer him.

“Good morning,” he said softly as he walked into his room and sat on the edge of the bed.

“Where’s Daddy?” Max asked.

“He left for work,” Magnus caressed his hair, gently planting his palm over his forehead – it looked like his fever was back.

“Why couldn’t I go with him?” The boy pouted.

Magnus smiled. “Because you’re sick, and you need to get better before you can go back to daycare. Don’t scratch that!” He warned when Max started picking on the pink dots.

“Are you going to leave, too?” He looked back up.

“No, of course not. We would never leave you all alone.”

“Okay,” the boy nodded. “I like when you stay over.”

Magnus’ heart melted, his smile widening. “I like that, too,” he planted a kiss on the top of Max’s head. “Now, come on. Let’s put some food in you so you can take your medicine,” he pulled the covers off and helped him get out of the bed.

Max stretched his arms out and Magnus picked him up with a chuckle. “I also called Catarina to bring you some cream to soothe the itchiness,” he said as he carried him into the bathroom.

“Who’s Catarina?” Max looked at him curiously.

“She’s my friend. You met her at the hospital, remember?”

“She gave me candy!” He exclaimed.

“Yes, she did,” Magnus laughed, shaking his head fondly; of course, that was the only thing he remembered. He placed him by the sink and helped him get cleaned up for breakfast.

 

-

The first day went well. Magnus did his best to distract Max so he wouldn't scratch the pox too much, and the cream and bathing powder that Catarina brought definitely helped as well. She'd also brought a few medical masks for Alec to cover his face, so he would still be able to spend some time with Max; although she did advise to keep the contact to a minimum.

"How was your day?" Magnus asked as he crawled into Alec's bed at the end of the day. He laid by his side, resting his head on Alec's chest and started to run his hand over his stomach and sides in a soothing motion. He knew how hard it was for Alec to not be able to tuck Max in, and how stressed out he was because of work, so he tried his best to make him relax for a bit.

Alec sighed, circling his arm around him and pulling him closer. "It was… long. And I missed you guys. I had to have lunch with Maia," he frowned and Magnus chuckled.

"I'm sure it wasn't that bad."

"I guess. But I couldn't do this with her," he said as he put a finger under Magnus' chin, pulling his head up and gently kissing his lips. Magnus melted into the touch, his mouth willingly opening up to let Alec in.

Alec’s fingers ran through his hair, pulling on the soft strands and guiding his head to deepen the kiss, and Magnus really liked where this was going. He pulled away with a wet smack, moving up to straddle his lap.

“Well, I’m glad you saved that for me,” he smirked and leaned back in. Alec’s hands settled on his hips, making him moan into the kiss when they slid down and squeezed over his ass.

"Mhh, looks like you really missed me," he teased, planting open-mouthed kisses over his jaw and down to his neck.

He could feel Alec smirk and a shudder ran through his skin as he squeezed harder with one hand and glided the other under his shirt, warm fingers caressing the sensitive skin over his abs and ribs. He knew Alec was probably thinking that two can play this game – and he was all for it.

His pulse quickened as they continued their game of kisses, touches and squeezes, the room suddenly becoming too hot and he reached for the hem of his shirt to pull it off, Alec's hands holding him steady by the waist–

"Daddy!" Max's voice made him stop mid-way, his head getting tangled in the fabric, and he sighed, pulling it back down after a moment.

Alec was looking up at him with shining eyes; chest falling up and down in a fast rhythm, his face slightly flushed, seemingly just as affected as he was, and Magnus found it strangely endearing how fast they could get each other going. But they both knew someone needed to go check up on Max.

"I'll go," he said softly, leaning down to kiss Alec one more time, getting off his lap and out of the bed after he nodded. "I'll be right back."

He walked to Max's room, doing his best to even out his breathing. "Hey, buddy. What's wrong?"

"Where's Daddy?" Max asked.

"He can't come right now. We've talked about this, he can't get sick, remember?" He reminded him with a soft voice.

"Okay," the boy nodded.

"Are you okay? Do you have a fever again?" Magnus sat on the edge of the bed, checking his forehead, but it wasn't hot.

"I need to pee."

"You need to pee? Didn't I ask you if you had to go before I put you to bed?" He asked amused – that was less than an hour ago.

"But I didn't have to go then," Max exhaled dramatically, and Magnus couldn't help but laugh. Sometimes he was too adorable for his own good (although his timing was questionable).

"Okay, come on," he untangled him from the covers and led him to the bathroom.

After they were done, he tucked him back in, making sure he was nice and cozy, but still feeling eager to go back to Alec to continue what they'd started now that he knew everything was okay with Max. He planted a quick kiss on his head, wishing him a good night and started to leave when the boy stopped him.

"Magnus, aren't you going to tell me a story?" He asked, and Magnus turned back around.

"I already told you a story tonight," he smiled, but Max still pouted.

"But that was before. I have to fall asleep again now."

"Max," he warned. There was no real heat or annoyance in his voice, but he was pretty sure those were not the rules Alec had when he put his son to sleep.

"Please?" Max asked in a small voice and Magnus sighed in defeat; he really couldn't resist either of the Lightwood men when they asked something of him.

"Okay, but just a short one," he said, sitting on the edge of the bed and starting the story.

 

When Max was asleep about 20 minutes later Magnus finally found his way back to Alec's room. He walked in, ready to lose his shirt, but stopped in his tracks at the sight before him – Alec was already asleep, soft snores echoing around the room as his chest rose and fell in a steady pattern.

Magnus smiled fondly. It looked like their fun little activities would have to be picked up again some other time. He climbed into the bed, pulling the covers over the both of them as he settled by Alec's side.

"Good night, Alexander," he kissed his shoulder gently, careful not to wake him and let his steady breathing lull him into sleep.

 

-

 

The rest of the week went pretty much the same. Alec worked late almost every day, and Magnus did his best to take care of Max until his chickenpox passed – not that he minded, he loved spending time with the boy. By Friday almost all of his blisters turned into scabs which meant he wasn't contagious anymore and Magnus treated him with going out to the park. They even ran into Raj and his dog, which meant lots of running and a very tired Max when they got back home.

 

Magnus tried to put him into bed for his afternoon nap, but the boy kept blabbering about Benny, making him laugh with his exciting stories and love for dogs.

"Oh, Blueberry, you really are one of a kind," he smiled as he tucked him in, planting a kiss on his forehead. "I love you so much."

"I love you, too," Max said without even thinking about it and Magnus' heart grew three times larger. This week had really been such a great bonding experience for them, even if half of it was spent by Magnus trying to prevent Max from scratching the pox.

"Do you love Daddy, too?" Max's next question took him a little bit by surprise, but Max was a bright boy, so maybe he shouldn't have been that shocked.

"I…" he paused, not sure if he dared to go there yet. "I care deeply about your father, Max. But perhaps he's the one who should find out about it first, don't you think?" He said with a smile, hoping it would be enough for now. This was not really a conversation he'd planned on having today, although these thoughts and feelings did come rushing in his mind quite often in the last few weeks.

The boy nodded. "I love cupcakes!" He exclaimed and Magnus chuckled, realizing he was worried about nothing; kids always jumped from one thought to another.

"You do?" He grinned. "Well, let me tell you a story about little Princess Cupcake, who lived in Sprinkle Land a long, long time ago…"

 

-

Alec finally managed to come back home on time today, and he excitedly ran up the stairs, eager to see his favorite boys.

He walked into the apartment and frowned when he noticed how unusually quiet it was in there. He checked the kitchen first – no sign of Magnus. He wasn't in his bedroom either, or the bathroom, which only left Max’s room.

He silently walked to the door and opened it, the sight before him making his heart melt. Max was sleeping in his bed, Spike gently clutched in his arms, but what really made the whole thing special was that Max wasn't just sleeping alone in his bed. He was sleeping safely tucked into Magnus' side, his arm protectively circled around the boy, and Alec couldn't help but stay leaned on the doorway for a few minutes, just cherishing this picture-perfect moment as his feelings for the man grew ever stronger.

He sighed, deciding to have mercy on Magnus. As cute as they looked sleeping like that, he knew it couldn't be comfortable. The bed was too small for Magnus' tall frame, and he decided to wake him up to spare him all the back pain he would get otherwise.

"Hey," he gently patted his shoulder, quietly chuckling when Magnus jerked awake, probably not planning to fall asleep here in the first place.

"Hey. You're back. What time is it?" He asked, gently untangling himself from Max and walking with Alec into the hallway.

"It's 5. I managed to leave on time today. We're almost done with the project," he smiled, circling his arms around Magnus to give him a quick kiss hello when they got to the living room. "Hi."

"Hi," Magnus smiled back, looking adorable with his bed hair. "I didn't make anything to eat, but we can order something in. What are you feeling up for?"

"Hmm," Alec thought for a moment. "Italian?"

"Sounds good to me," Magnus smiled and picked up his phone from the kitchen island. "Oh, wait. Someone's calling me," he said as the phone lit up in his hand. "Hello?" He answered and Alec decided to give him some privacy and went to pour himself some water.

He leaned on the island, taking small sips from the glass when he noticed Magnus' body stiffen.

"Yes, that's me," he said into the speaker, and Alec could sense that something was wrong.

The conversation was short, Magnus mostly answering with "yes" and "okay", but the tone of his voice made Alec worry. He walked around the counter, giving him space, but still being on alert.

When Magnus hung up it took him a moment to turn back around. The line of his shoulders was hard and stiff.

"What's wrong?" Alec asked when he couldn't wait any longer and Magnus looked up at him with a blank expression.

"My stepfather just passed away."

Chapter Text

"Magnus." Alec kept following the other man as he determinedly walked around the apartment, looking like a man on a mission.  "What are you doing?" He asked, although it was more than obvious that Magnus was packing the stuff he'd brought for his stay.

"Magnus." Nothing. "Magnus, just please, stop for a second!" He grabbed his arm, finally stopping his movements.

"Huh?" Magnus looked up, his brows raised like this was the first time he had noticed Alec was in the same room as him. Something was off; and it wasn't just the fact that Magnus now apparently had a stepfather.

When Alec asked him about his family, all those weeks ago when they'd first met and were still getting to know each other, Magnus said he didn't have any. Alec sensed that it was a sensitive topic so he didn't push on it, knowing that Magnus would tell him when he felt comfortable. And ever since they got together, Magnus always called his best friends family, and Alec accepted them as such.

He became friends with all of them, too – Catarina, Raphael, and even Ragnor, whom they'd had several entertaining Skype conversations with all the way from London. So, hearing what Magnus had just told him, and seeing him reacting this way made all kind of alarms go off in Alec's head.

"What are you doing?" He repeated now that he had Magnus' attention.

"I'm going back home," he said like it was the most obvious thing.

Alec frowned. "Why?"

"Because Max is all better now, and there's no need for me to stay here anymore," he said and proceeded into the bathroom to grab the rest of his stuff.

"That doesn't mean you have to go right now," Alec followed him in. "We can all go together in the morning."

"No," Magnus shook his head. "I… I need to be alone right now."

Alec disagreed. "Now seems to be the worst time to leave you all alone. Magnus, talk to me. Clearly, you're upset, someone from your family has died and–"

"That man is NOT my family!" Magnus raised his voice, taking him by surprise.

Alec put his hands up in surrender. "Okay, sorry, I didn't mean to–" he started to say, but Magnus shook his head, sighing heavily.

"No, I'm sorry. You're just trying to help, I shouldn't have snapped at you."

Alec took a reluctant step forward, still trying to assess if closeness or space was what Magnus needed right now. When the other man didn't step back, he gently put his hand on his arm. "It's okay," he squeezed softly, trying to convey his concern and support in one simple touch.

Magnus looked up at him, really looked, and Alec's heart broke at the conflict he saw in his eyes. In that moment he knew that he was not trying to run away from him; he was trying to run away from himself, from his past, so Alec would try one more time.

"Please, Magnus" he pleaded, desperate to help the man that he cared so much about. "Please, don't push me away."

"I'm not, Alexander" Magnus said, closing the last bit of distance between them by circling his arms around Alec's waist. His own arms locked around Magnus' shoulders almost instantly, pulling him as close as they could get, trying to shield him from whatever pain he must've been going through right then.

"I promise I'll be fine," he mumbled into Alec's shoulder. "I just need to go home right now."

"This is your home, too," Alec started to protest, but quickly realized that was not what Magnus needed right now.

Magnus sighed. "You know what I mean." And Alec knew. He knew that what Magnus needed right now was space. He knew that Magnus would tell him when he was ready. And he also knew that he would be standing on Magnus' doorstep first thing in the morning. Which is why he had found the strength to reluctantly let him go now. He helped him put his stuff in the bag and walked him to the door.

"I'll talk to you in the morning," Magnus said as he opened the door, leaning up to put a soft kiss on Alec's cheek.

He nodded, pulling him into one last hug. "And text me when you get home."

Magnus smiled. "I always do."

 

-

It was barely 7:30 when Alec found himself standing in front of Magnus' apartment the next morning – a carton with two paper cups of hot coffee in his hand and a dilemma on his mind. This was the first time since they had exchanged keys that he wasn't sure if he should use it. He knew he was technically welcome here anytime, but it was clear last night that Magnus wanted space, and Alec didn't want to take that choice away from him by breaching his privacy, so he decided to knock.

He waited a few moments, the hollow sound of wood echoing around the quiet hallway, before he heard the sound of the lock being unlocked.

"Alec?" Magnus looked at him in surprise, his face bare of any make-up and his hair messy like he'd just rolled out of bed.

"Did I wake you?" Alec asked, feeling guilty. He himself couldn't sleep, so he got up at 5, went for a jog around the neighborhood and dropped Max off at Jace's so he could come here as soon as possible. But it didn't really occur to him that Magnus might be asleep, which by the look of it he had been, and now Alec felt stupid for not texting first.

"It's fine," Magnus brushed his concerns off. "Come in. Where's Max?

"Uh, he's with Jace."

"You woke him up this early on a Saturday? That's not nice," Magnus chuckled.

Alec shrugged. "He likes the morning cartoons so it's okay."

"I was talking about Jace."

"So was I," Alec smirked. "I brought coffee. Caramel latte, your favorite," he said as he placed the cups on the coffee table.

"Thank you," Magnus smiled, taking the cup and curling up on the couch. Alec sat next to him, close enough that it felt intimate and familiar, but still giving some space to Magnus if that was what he needed.

"So…" Magnus sighed. "I guess you came here to talk about last night…" he took a sip of his latte. "You know, when I said we would talk in the morning, I meant I would call you. You didn't have to come all the way here… not that I mind seeing your pretty face," he smirked over the rim of the cup.

Alec chuckled. "I didn't come here to interrogate you, Magnus. You don't have to tell me anything you don't want to. I just wanted to see if you're okay and… to thank you."

"For what?"

"For everything you did this week. Going out of your way to take care of my son… I can't thank you enough."

"Alexander," Magnus put his coffee back on the table, fully turning towards him, "you never have to thank me for things like that. You know that, right?"

Alec smiled. How was it that he came here to check up on Magnus and make him feel better, but Magnus was the one saying these nice things and making him feel warm and fuzzy. He nodded, not knowing what else to say.

Magnus took the cup from his hand and placed it on the table next to his. Alec looked up, not sure what he expected to happen next, but sighing in contentment when Magnus scooted over and cuddled up next to him, resting his head on his chest as his arms circled around his waist. Alec pulled him closer, placing a soft kiss on his hair.

"Magnus," he whispered. "Are you okay?"

Magnus didn't say anything for a while, the only sound in the room both of their steady breathing. "I wish my stepfather was more like you," he sighed finally.

Alec tensed. This was not what he was expecting. "What do you mean?"

"Do you know why I first liked you, Alexander?" Magnus asked as he sat back up, looking him in the eyes.

"You mean besides my good looks?" Alec joked to lighten up the mood, silently celebrating when he managed to get Magnus' lips to curve up into a smile.

"Obviously,” he rolled his eyes. “But more so because you were different. I don't know if you've noticed this before, but you are the only parent who comes down to spend time with his son during lunch break every day. Most parents can't wait to get a few hours to have a break from their children when they are at kindergarten or at school, but not you," he chuckled fondly. "No, you would spend every waking hour with Max if you could, and you would never get annoyed. He can never ask you too many questions, and you never get tired of showing him something 5 times. You’re ready to flip your entire life around for him if you have to, and I… I wish I had someone like that. Someone who would never abandon me."

"Magnus…"

"Remember when I told you I didn't have any family?"

"Magnus, you don't have to tell me," Alec tried, not wanting to pressure Magnus into sharing things if he wasn't ready, but the other man just shook his head.

*
"I want to," Magnus said, realizing that he really wanted Alec to know. It wasn't a secret, it was just something that still hurt, even if it had been 20 years. But Alec was someone that he could open up to, someone that taught him that he can share anything with him and he would always listen. So, he took a deep breath, his fingers nervously fiddling with each other and started the story.

"I never knew my real father, he left before I was born. My mom married my stepfather when I was 2. He was a young Dutch doctor who came to America for specialization. She worked in a coffee shop, that's how they met," he smiled at the memory of his mother telling him how they'd met and fell in love.

She was young and beautiful, working hard to provide for her son, and he was a charming handsome man who came by the coffee shop to study. He used to pick up a sunflower in one of the gardens down the street to give it to her almost every time he came by trying to woo her, until the lady who lived there caught him and chased him all the way to the shop. His mother hid him in the staff room, laughing at his foolishness, but the truth was she really liked him. That's where he'd first kissed her.

"He was a good man," he continued. "He loved us, both of us. He never really cared that I wasn't his blood, he loved me like I was his own. I had a good childhood… until my mom got sick," his brows furrowed as he remembered. It was always the hardest telling this part of the story.

"I was 5 when she got diagnosed with a severe illness. There was no real cure, only some medicine that would postpone the inevitable. She died 2 years later… and that's when everything changed," he looked down, his voice dropping as he got to the part that hurt the most to remember. Alec's hands circled around his own, stopping him from nervously picking on his nail polish and he managed to continue.

"My stepfather couldn't bare the fact that she was gone. He started drinking, gambling, leaving me home alone for days, sometimes weeks. I was just a kid, but he didn't care. Suddenly it was a problem that I wasn't his real son. I just reminded him of her. I was a burden. He stuck with me for 2 more years, until he couldn't take it anymore and he left for good. He moved back to Europe leaving me all alone. I… I was only 9 years old, with nobody else to take care of me, and he left me on the streets like some dog," he finished bitterly, a single tear rolling down his cheek.

Alec brushed it away with his thumb, gently stroking his cheek. "Magnus…"

"And now," Magnus got up, not able to sit still as anger filled him. "Now his lawyer calls me and tells me I'm in his will? After he left me and never tried to reach out to me for 20 years! Why?!" He almost shouted through teary eyes, pacing around the room.

"Magnus, I'm so sorry," Alec was by his side in a second, pulling him into a hug. "I'm so sorry for everything you had to go through," he whispered as he gently caressed his back and the soft hairs on the base of his neck.

Magnus circled his arms around Alec's waist, his hands forming fists around the soft material of his shirt. "I don't know what to do, Alexander," he said weakly.

Alec kissed his temple, pulling him as close as he could. "We'll figure it out together," he said softly, and for now Magnus just allowed himself to be comforted.

-

Magnus walked out of the bathroom about an hour later, feeling relaxed and refreshed after taking a long shower that Alec recommended. He managed to calm down after the little break-down that he'd had earlier. He wasn't even sure why he had cried. He stopped feeling anything for his stepfather years ago.

First, he had felt scared and hurt, hopefulness and naivete that was common at such a young age not allowing him to accept the truth. Then the feeling of betrayal consumed him as the reality sunk in, quickly growing into resentment as he grew older. The worst part was probably when he accepted that he wasn't ever coming back for him. He Googled him one night with his friends when they were at the library and learned that his stepfather built a new life for himself back in Europe. He got clean of his alcohol problem and was a successful doctor in a hospital in Amsterdam. Magnus was 14 then and he swore to himself that he would never shed another tear for that man.

Alec was mingling in his kitchen, preparing them something for breakfast. His eyes lit up as he spotted Magnus. "Feeling better?" He smiled.

"I am," Magnus nodded. "Thank you."

"For what?

"Just… for being here."

Alec walked to him, cupping his face and planting a soft kiss on his lips. "There's no place else I would rather be."

Magnus smiled, his own hands coming up to cover Alec's, gently turning one of them over to kiss his palm. He must have done something right in his life to have someone like Alec in his life now, he thought. There was nowhere else he would rather be either. "Can you stay here today?" He asked silently.

Alec nodded. "Of course. I'll tell Jace to watch Max for the day."

"Can he bring him over later? I feel bad for leaving last night while he was asleep," Magnus frowned.

Alec chuckled. "Are you seriously worrying about that right now?" He took his hand and led him to the dining table.

Magnus tried to explain that yes, he did feel bad for leaving without saying goodbye, especially since they'd spent the entire week together and Max must have been confused when he woke up and Magnus wasn't there.

Alec just shook his head fondly, making him sit at the table as he served breakfast. "Yes, I'll tell him to bring Max here later. But for now," he planted a kiss on Magnus’ temple, sitting on the chair next to him, "let me take care of you, hm?"

Magnus smiled. "Okay," he pulled Alec in for a quick peck, and let himself get spoiled with the delicious food.

-

They'd been curled up on the couch for the rest of the noon, watching some crime TV show that Magnus usually liked, but his heart just wasn't in it. His thoughts kept going back to that phone call. The phone call that he still hadn't talked about with Alec. The other man gave him space, not asking questions and letting him decide to tell him what he felt comfortable with. Magnus appreciated that, but he needed to talk to him about this, he just didn't know how to bring it up when he himself wasn't sure what he should do.

"I can hear you thinking," Alec suddenly broke the silence, untangling their bodies to be able to look into Magnus' eyes. "Whatever it is, you can tell me."

Magnus stayed silent for a moment, his mind coming to a decision. "Alexander, I think I need to go to the Netherlands."

"What? Why?" Alec frowned.

"The lawyer… she told me that my stepfather's last wish was for me to attend his funeral. And then I would be able to read the rest of the will that she is not allowed to open without my presence," Magnus explained. "And I don't care about the money or the things he might have left me. They can keep that, or give it to charity, I don't care, I just… I need to know. I need to know if he has left me some kind of letter. Anything to explain why he never came back, or tried to contact me. I just need that closure."

Alec nodded, and Magnus felt relieved that he understood. "Okay, then I'll go with you."

"What?" Magnus looked at him in surprise. "Alexander, no. You have work, and Max, you can't just leave."

"I don't care about work. And Max can come with us, he's been on an airplane before."

Magnus shook his head at his boyfriend's stubbornness. "Alec, you literally couldn't miss work when your son was sick, I doubt they will let you go on an impromptu trip to Europe."

"I just don't want you to go through this alone," his voice sounded pleading, making Magnus' heart swell when he realized how much he cared.

"I can handle it," he assured him.

"I know you can, but you shouldn't. No one should go through this alone."

Magnus smiled. "I'll be fine. I promise," he kissed the corner of Alec's lips gently.

"When are you supposed to leave?" Alec asked.

"Um… tomorrow."

Alec's eyes widened. "Tomorrow?!"

"Yes," Magnus nodded. "The funeral is in 3 days, but I think I should go earlier to avoid feeling jet lagged and all that."

"You sure you don't want me to come with you?" Alec tired one more time.

"I’ve got it," Magnus smiled as he caressed Alec's cheek, the other man adoringly leaning into the touch. This was something he had to do on his own. "Now call Jace to bring Max over. I want to spend the day with my favorite boys before I leave."

Alec nodded, reluctantly taking his phone out of the pocket and making the call.

Chapter Text

Alec took the elevator to his floor after dropping Max off with Gretel, dragging his feet through the hallway to get to the office.

"Lightwood!" A voice startled him as he walked in, making him spill a little bit of the coffee he was holding over his hands.

"Ah!" He licked the hot liquid off his fingers, giving Maia an annoyed glare.

"What do you think you're doing here?" She inquired, hands on her hips and an accusatory look on her face like he was in some kind of trouble.

Alec frowned. "What are you talking about?" It was Monday morning, and he was pretty sure he wasn't late. He looked at the nearest monitor to check the time and – nope, still 10 minutes left before their shift starts.  

He didn't understand what the fuss was about and he tried to get over to his desk, but she gripped his arm to stop him.

"I'm serious, Alec. Why aren't you with Magnus?"

Alec sighed. "He told you."

"Not exactly," she squinted her eyes. "Luke told me. But that's not the point. The point is, how could you let him go alone?"

"Because that's what he wanted," he said, but the reason sounded weak even to his own ears.

She threw her hands up. "And you just listened to him? Shouldn't you know better by now?"

"Maia…" he grumbled, not needing any more guilt thrown his way. He already spent the entire night awake, stressing about the fact that he had left Magnus on his own after he dropped him off at the airport yesterday.

"Don't 'Maia' me. Get your ass back home, take your stuff and hop on the next flight. Now!" She said determinedly.

Alec shook his head. It's not like he hadn't entertained that idea already. Only about 800 times during the restless night he'd had. But, he couldn't. He had Max to think about. And so much work to do here. And Magnus didn't sound like he wanted him there when he called him this morning to tell him he had landed. He didn't want to disrespect his wishes.

"It's done, Maia. Magnus said he could handle it on his own, and we still have so much work to do, so if you'd please…" he gestured to her hand still holding his arm, before he pulled it out of her grip and walked to his desk, not missing the angry glare she sent him.

"Alec, can I see you in my office?" Luke's head peeked out behind the door of his office the moment Alec wanted to sit on his chair, and he looked up, nodding and momentarily walking in his direction.

"Of course. I was just about to start working," he said as he walked in and closed the door behind him. "It should take no more than two days to finish the software," he reported proudly. Three days before the deadline.

"Good, good," Luke nodded as he gestured him to take a seat. "You did really good on this one… that's why the company has decided to reward you," he pulled out what Alec instantly recognized as a plane ticket out of the desk drawer and slid it over to him.

Alec leaned in to read the destination – Amsterdam. He smirked, realizing Luke was in on this with Maia. "Really? A reward? And the fact that Magnus is there is just a coincidence?" He looked up.

Luke sighed. "Look, Alec, you know I love Magnus, he's like a little brother to me, so when Cat called me last night and told me what happened I knew I'd have to pull some strings. The company's paying for the trip, if anyone asks you're going there to explore the European market, but all you really have to do, is be there for your boyfriend. I know you love him, I can see it in the way your eyes light up whenever you see him, or the way you can't help but smile every time he picks Max up in his embrace. But I also know Magnus. I know he's told you he's fine, that he's a big boy and he can handle it himself, but he has always been an expert in pushing people away, and we can't let him do that. He needs you there."

Alec nodded. He knew this was something he should have done in the first place. He was trying to give Magnus space, but sometimes that was not what was best for him. "What about Max?" He asked.

"Are your parents at home? I can take him there at the end of the workday,” Luke offered.

"You know my parents?" Alec frowned.

Luke chuckled. "Yes, we went to the same high school. Maryse used to be my lab partner."

"You never mentioned anything before," Alec pointed out.

"Because it wasn't relevant. I don't want other people in the office to think I treat you differently just because I know your parents. Now go. Your flight leaves in an hour," he stressed.

Alec nodded, quickly thanking him and rushing out of the office.

 

-

 

It was past 10 in the evening when Alec reached Magnus' hotel. He decided to surprise him and not tell him he was coming, which is why he couldn't have known he wouldn't find Magnus in his hotel room when he got there.

A kind-looking middle-aged man that worked at the reception of the hotel patiently listened to Alec's story of why he came here, and decided to help him out. He led him up to the fourth floor to Magnus' room, only to find it locked and empty. He told Alec to wait for him in the lobby if he wanted, which was an offer Alec had gladly taken.

"Thank you, Lars," he said with a smile as he took a seat at one of the cream-colored couches.

The other man nodded. "I have a vending machine in the back room if you're hungry?" He asked with a heavy accent, but Alec shook his head, politely declining. He was too nervous to eat. Even though he wasn't sure why he was feeling that way. Magnus wouldn't be angry at him for coming even though he had told him not to, right?

He leaned more comfortably into the cushions and waited.

It was about 20 minutes later that his phone vibrated in his pocket. He pulled it out and smiled. It was a text from Magnus.

Hello, my love. Just got back to my hotel. I've had the most delicious lamb dish in one of the local restaurants. We'll have to try the recipe out when I get back.

Alec smiled again after he read the message. He should've known Magnus went out to eat, he always liked to explore the cuisine when he traveled to different countries. At least that's what he had told him. They hadn't really had a chance to travel together yet. But Alec was determined to change that.

Another text vibrated on the phone in his hand, just as the automatic door of the hotel opened and in walked none other than his gorgeous boyfriend.

And the venue was beautiful. Amsterdam is truly something.

He was looking down at his phone as he walked in and didn't notice Alec getting up and walking towards him.

"Not as beautiful as you," Alec whispered when Magnus was just a step away from him. Just in time when the third message came in.

I miss you. It said, and Alec chuckled.

"I missed you, too," he looked up and was met by Magnus wide-spread eyes.

"Alexander?" He asked quietly, like he was not sure if Alec was really there.

"Hi," Alec smiled, and then the air was knocked out of his lungs when Magnus threw himself at him in a bone-crushing hug making him stagger a few steps back towards the couch.

"You're here? What-" he broke into a laugh and tightened his arms around Alec's neck, and Alec breathed in the familiar scent of his boyfriend as he pulled him closer by his waist.

"I am,” he pulled back. "You're not mad?"

"Mad? Why would I be mad?" Magnus cupped his cheeks into his hands, stroking and feeling all over his face – almost like he still wasn't sure if that was really him.

Alec put his hand over one of Magnus in a gentle motion. "Because you told me you didn't need me here," he admitted quietly.

Magnus smiled. "I always need you, Alexander." He said and then he pulled his head down and smashed their lips together, making Alec take another step back and fall onto the couch from the force of it.

He giggled into the kiss as Magnus fell over him, straddling his lap and making the soft hairs that fell over his forehead tickle Alec's nose. His arms instinctively locked around Magnus waist, holding him secure while the other man licked his way into his mouth.

A low moan escaped his throat when Magnus bit his bottom lip, making his eyes open for just a split second, but enough for Alec to see Lars in the corner of his eyes, trying his best not the look and give the two reunited men some privacy.

Alec appreciated it, but decided to stop Magnus regardless. "Magnus…" he breathed, pulling their lips apart which Magnus took as a sign to continue planting kisses over his jaw and down to his neck, making stopping all of this that much harder.

"Magnus," he repeated, before gently pulling him back by his shoulders. "We're in a public space," he said and chuckled when Magnus looked down at him with pupils blown wide, and lips deliciously swollen, quickly snapping back to reality.

"Oh my god, Alexander. I'm so sorry," he said and quickly tried to climb off Alec's lap, but he held him tight around the waist, wanting to hold him close for just a little longer. Nobody would walk in at this time of the night anyway – at least that's what he'd told himself.

Magnus kept apologizing, until Alec stopped him with a finger over his plump lips. "Why are you sorry?" He smiled. "For giving me the best welcome-make-out-session I've ever had?" He teased, and the heat colored Magnus' cheeks in a warm pink color.

"Really?" He asked quietly, and Alec shook his head fondly, not believing this man.

"Magnus…" he breathed. "Everything I have with you is the best I've ever had," he confessed honestly. The words pouring out of him before he could even think.

Magnus' eyes grew wider, a tender look softening his features. He looked almost angelic looking down at Alec like that from his lap, soft light from the lobby accenting his features.

"Alexander," he brushed his finger over Alec's cheek gently, his eyes running all over his face before they locked on to Alec's, a new kind of light shining in them. "God, how I love you," he said after a few moments, words just slipping from his lips, and surprising both of them, if the way Magnus' eyes widened even more was any sign to go by.

Alec just looked at him blinking for a few moments, and Magnus started to panic when he didn't say anything.

"I… you don't… it's okay, you don't have to–" he stammered, but Alec just shut him up with a kiss. Short and sweet, and full of meaning.

"I love you, too, Magnus," he whispered into the space they were sharing with their foreheads still connected.

He could feel Magnus smile and relax and he pulled him even closer if that was even possible.

"I didn't want to tell you like… this," Magnus sighed and Alec pulled their faces apart so he could look him in the eyes.

He shook his head. "I think we're past having to impress each other with grand romantic gestures, don't you think?" He asked with a grin and Magnus laughed.

"Says a man who flew across the ocean for me," he rolled his eyes, but Alec just shrugged.

"I would fly across the entire world for you," he smiled and Magnus leaned in for another kiss.

"I love you," he said it again after he pulled back, and Alec already knew he would never grow tired of hearing that.

"And I love you," a wide grin spread over his face, the words feeling as natural as breathing.

As much as he didn't want to move, he motioned Magnus to climb off his lap as it was about time they retreated to his room – they'd already given Lars enough of a show.

They bid the doorman good night, and walked hand in hand to the elevator and toward Magnus' room.

-

 

"You left Max back at home?" Magnus asked when they got up.

Alec nodded. "My parents got back today, so he's staying with them. He was a little upset, but Luke only gave me two days off, so we won't be separated for long."

"I already miss that little nugget," Magnus smiled fondly.

"He misses you, too. Gretel sent me a picture of him sitting at your desk in the daycare, pretending to be you," he pulled his phone from the pocket and showed Magnus a picture of Max barely peeking over the large desk, an adorable frown of concentration on his little face as he pretended to write down daily activities the way Magnus usually did.

"Oh my god, that's so precious," Magnus covered the small gasp from his mouth with his hand. "I love this angel so much. Can we facetime your mother before we go to sleep? I'd really like to say hi to him?"

"Of course," Alec nodded with a smile.

"We should go take a shower first, you must be tired and crampy after your flight."

Alec smirked. "Together?"

"Only to save the hot water of course," Magnus winked.

"Of course," Alec enveloped him in his arms, guiding him back towards the bathroom. "We have to think about the environment."

"Mhm," Magnus hummed before closing his lips over Alec's, his hands sneaking under his shirt.

Alec opened his mouth willingly, his own hands finding their way into Magnus' hair, the temperature around them rising by the second... until the hotel's phone started to ring and Alec jerked back.

"Did you give anyone this number?" He asked through a breathless pant.

Magnus shook his head, untangling himself from Alec and walking towards the desk to pick it up.

"Hello?"

Alec waited a minute until Magnus finished talking. "Is everything okay?"

"Yes," Magnus nodded with a teasing smirk. "That was just Lars. You forgot your bag downstairs."

"Right," Alec blushed, realizing he had completely forgotten all about his stuff when he laid his eyes on Magnus. "I'll just go grab that really quick," he gestured toward the door. "You start the water, I'll be back in a minute."

Magnus laughed at his awkwardness, giving him a quick peck before ushering him out and disappearing into the bathroom.

 

 

Alec slipped out of the hotel room, closing the door behind him and starting to walk down the hall, when a small toddler ran by.

He didn't think much of it; probably another family getting back from the city, but he stopped in his tracks when he gave her another glance and recognized her.

"Alex?" He called after her, at the same time as her mother did after just rounding the corner.

"Alex!" Aline yelled, running after her and telling her to slow down.

It took her a second to realize Alec was there, but once she'd finally caught up with her daughter and pulled her in her arms, she looked up and her eyes widened in surprise.

"Alec?" A smiled appeared on her lips. "Is that you? Oh my god, it's so good to see you!" She pulled him in a half-hug with her other arm.

Alec smiled, too, hugging her back after he recovered from the surprise of seeing her here. "It's good to see you, too. And little Alexandra," he pinched the little girl's nose. "She already grown so much."

Aline nodded. "Yes, she's getting heavy," she laughed, turning to her daughter. "You remember uncle Alec, baby?" She asked, and the girl shied away. Alec wasn't surprised she didn't remember him. She'd only seen him once in person, right after Helen and Aline adopted her, and Alec usually kept in touch with them via Skype since they stayed living in Europe even after Helen finished her treatments.

Alec cooed at her shyness, she really was adorable. "What are you guys doing here?" He asked, wondering why they would fly from the UK where they lived back to the Netherlands. He hoped Helen's illness didn't return.

Aline's face darkened as she answered. "We're here for a funeral."

"Oh. I'm sorry," Alec said. "Is it someone from your families?"

She shook her head. "No. But it's someone just as important."

Alec nodded. "That’s actually also why I’m here."

"Really?" She perked her head up.

"Yes. It's um... it's Magnus' stepfather."

"Wait," she furrowed her brows, some kind of realization coming to her mind. "Your Magnus is the Magnus?"

He cocked his head, not sure what she was talking about. "What do you mean?"

"Magnus is Dr. Bakker's son?"

"Stepson… but yes," he frowned. "How do you know him?"

"He's the one who saved Helen's life!" She exclaimed, and suddenly Alec understood why she'd said it was somebody just as important as family. It was the person who had saved the love of her life. But that still didn't explain how she knew about Magnus. The man hadn't spoken to his stepson for 20 years, Alec doubted he walked around talking about him.

"Did he… did he mention Magnus to you?" He asked warily.

"Yes," she nodded. "He told us about him. Is he here? He should probably hear this."

"Umm yeah, he's inside," he gestured towards their room, not sure what to do. He didn't want to reopen any old wounds and make this whole thing any harder for Magnus than it had to be.

"I think he should really hear this, Alec. I know some of their history together, but I imagine Magnus isn't the biggest fan. Maybe we could help him put some of the pieces together.

Alec nodded after thinking it over for a moment. It wasn't his call to take the opportunity away from Magnus to learn more about his family. If Magnus didn't want to hear the girls out, it should be his choice. "Okay, meet me back here in 20 minutes," he said.

"Okay," she smiled. "I'll just go put Alexandra to sleep and grab Helen and we'll be over in a bit."

Alec nodded and thanked her before they both went their separate ways.

 

-

 

Magnus stood in front of a mirror, gently removing his make-up as the hot steam from the shower filled the bathroom. A soft smile appeared on his lips when he thought of Alec. A man who had flown for miles just to be here for him. A man that he loved – and who loved him back.

The truth was, Magnus didn't want to be here alone. He didn't know what tomorrow's going to bring and he was infinitely grateful that Alec didn't listen to his stubborn ass and actually came here even after Magnus had told him not to several times. He really didn't know what he'd done to deserve such an amazing boyfriend.

He quickly pulled his clothes off, slipping into one of the hotel's soft robes. Tonight, he wanted to forget about everything that was happening. He just wanted to spend a beautiful night with Alec in this beautiful city and not think about anything else.

He walked back into the main area of their hotel room, frowning when he saw Alec still wasn't back. What was taking him so long?

As if on cue a knock sounded from the door and Magnus chuckled when he realized that Alec didn't have the key-card and he wouldn't have been able to get in even if he'd come sooner.

He opened the door with a huge grin on his face, feeling like he couldn't wait to get his hands on his boyfriend, but when his eyes landed on Alec he immediately knew something was wrong.

"Alec?" He asked as the other man walked past him into the room, a concerned frown spread across his face. "Is everything alright?"

"Umm, yeah… I just ran into someone," Alec turned back to him, guiding him towards the bed so they could sit.

"Okay…" Magnus didn't understand why he was acting so weird. "Who was it?"

"Remember my friends Aline and Helen that I've told you about? The ones that couldn't adopt Max?"

Magnus nodded.

"They are here."

"Well that's wonderful!" Magnus smiled. "Didn't you say you wanted to visit them in England soon?"

"Yes, but… they are here for the same reason we are…"

Magnus frowned. "What do you mean?"

"They knew your stepfather. He's the doctor who saved Helen's life and they came to pay their respects to him," Alec said carefully.

The smile from Magnus' lips slowly faded away. "Oh…"

Alec took his hand, intertwining their fingers together. "Aline said that he mentioned you, and they would like to talk to you. But you don't have to, of course!" He stressed.

Magnus stayed silent for a few moments, just drawing the comfort form Alec's warm hand. His head was a mess, and he didn't know how to process the bomb Alec had just dropped on him. His stepfather mentioned him? Why? They haven’t had any contact for 20 years. What could he have possibly said to them. It didn't make any sense.

"Magnus?" Alec called him softly, switching the hand that was holding Magnus' so he could drape his arm around his shoulder. He pulled him closer, planting a gentle kiss on his temple. "Are you okay?"

Magnus just nodded, still struggling to find his voice.

"You don't have to hear them out if you don't want to," Alec mumbled into his hair.

Magnus took a deep breath, untangling himself from Alec's warm embrace. "I want to."

"Are you sure?"

"Yes," Magnus said and Alec planted another kiss on the corner of his mouth, before he got up from the bed.

"Okay."

 

-

10 minutes later, after Magnus had changed into his comfortable sleeping clothes there was another knock on the door and Alec hopped off the bed to go open it. Two beautiful young women walked in, their smiles spreading when they saw their friend.

Alec gestured him to come closer after they'd all finished hugging and introduced him to the couple.

"It's so good to meet you, Magnus," Aline smiled as she pulled him in a half-hug. "Alec's told us a lot about you."

"Apparently, he's not the only one," Magnus muttered.

"Yeah, about that…" Helen started and Magnus gestured them to take a seat on the small sofa that was in the corner of the room, while he and Alec took their places on the bed.

"I assume Alec's told you the story about how he got Max..."

Magnus nodded.

"So, you know it was because I had been very sick. I got a really rare disease and they only way to get better was to go and try this experimental treatment that they’d offered here in Amsterdam. That's where we met your stepfather…"

Magnus clenched his jaw, and Alec took his hand when he sensed that he tensed up, offering him a soft smile in support.

"He was a good man," Helen continued. "He was always ready to help, to listen, or to give advice. He tried his best for this treatment to work, and his methods were what had essentially saved my life."

"He was a positive man, but we've always felt like something from his past was weighing him down," Aline pitched in. "Last year, when we had our last session and he officially declared Helen cured, he asked us what had been the hardest part of the journey. And yes, there were some really hard times, there were times when we thought we would give up or that it won't work, but the hardest… the hardest was giving up on Max; on a son that we've always wanted… and that's when something sparked in his eyes. I still remember his exact words 'I know the pain and guilt that comes with giving up on a child… it's a feeling that I still carry with me every day.' And that's when he told us about you."

"He told us how he had moved to the States when he was young and met your mother. How the three of you had formed a family, and how that family was broken when your mother passed away. The guilt in his voice was so raw… but so was the love for you when he talked about you, Magnus," Helen looked him straight in the eyes and Magnus struggled to process all of this.

"He still carried a picture of you in his wallet. It was old and faded, but the huge grin on your face never failed to make him smile. He told us a few stories from your lives, like how he taught you how to swim in some lake you always loved going to, or how excited you were at your first day of preschool," Magnus' eyes filled with moisture. He still remembered the lake house they used to go to every summer. He blinked the memory away, he refused to care for this man, and for their past together.

"Then came the hard part," Aline jumped in again. "He told us what happened with your mom, and what a coward he had been for leaving you to grieve by yourself, and having to face life all alone. We could tell that that still pained him, and that he still loved you, that much was clear, and–"

"That's enough!" Magnus suddenly got up, covering his temples with his hands so he would be able to think. "I don't care about his feelings, or his guilt! If he were so guilty, why didn't he try to find me? Why didn't he come back?!"

The girls looked at him stunted. It was clear they didn't know the answer to that, and it was wrong of him to snap at them like that. Alec was already by his side, a gentle hand rubbing circles on his lower back to calm him down.

Magnus sighed. "I'm sorry," he said to the couple. "I appreciate you telling me all of this, but I don't want to hear more. I'm glad that man saved your life, Helen. But that man is clearly someone else than the man I used to know all those years ago. Coming here was a mistake," he said and turned around and closed himself in the bathroom.

A few minutes later there was a knock on the door, and Alec slowly peeked his head into the small room.

"Magnus? The girls are gone now. Are you okay?" He asked softly.

Magnus nodded. He was sitting on the floor by the shower and Alec came in and sunk down next to him. Magnus leaned to rest his head on his shoulder.

"I want to go home," he whispered.

Alec kissed his head. "Are you sure?"

Magnus nodded again.

"Okay."

 

-

 

It was no longer than 2 hours later that they found themselves on the plane back to New York. Magnus felt guilty when he saw how tired Alec was. He'd just flown for hours to get here, and now he was forced to take the same trip back, only a few hours later.

"I'm sorry, Alexander," Magnus said, and Alec turned from where he had his head rested on the pillow by the window to look at him.

"For what?" He frowned.

"That you came here for me, and I was a coward who couldn't go through with the funeral and the will reading tomorrow, and your trip was all in vain," Magnus poured out, not meeting Alec's eyes.

"Hey," Alec put a finger under his chin, gently tilting his head up. "I love you. Or have you already forgotten?" He smiled. "I would do anything for you."

Magnus managed to smile back, pulling Alec in for a gentle kiss. With everything that had happened, he had almost forgot that he was now allowed to say those three words out loud, and it felt even better to hear those words being said to him. Especially when he felt this beaten up by everything.

"I love you, too," he said when they pulled apart. "And thank you."

Alec smiled, quickly pecking his lips on more time. "You don't need to thank me. Now let's go to sleep, I think we both need it."

Magnus nodded, nestling himself inside of Alec's embrace, and he let the murmur of the engines lull him to sleep.

 

-

 

Magnus woke up in his bed, feeling like crap and not remembering how or when he had even got there.

"Good morning," Alec walked into the bedroom with a cup of coffee and sat next to him. "Or should I say afternoon," he chuckled.

Magnus stretched his arms before sitting up and gratefully taking the cup from Alec's hands. "What time is it?" He asked and reached for his phone to check. It was 3pm the next day – time zones were weird, but he was too tired to care. “Is Max still with your parents?”

Alec nodded. "How are you feeling?" he asked.

Magnus shrugged. "I don't know. I basically ruined the only chance I had of finding out the truth."

"I'm sorry,” Alec kissed his forehead. "But… I actually have something to tell you…" he hesitated.

Magnus frowned. "What is it?" He hoped it wasn’t more bad news.

"While you were asleep, I called my mother. I asked if she could call in some favors to find out what was in that will… and she got it.”

“Alexander!” Magnus gasped. “Isn’t that illegal?”

Alec shrugged. “Lawyers have their ways.”

“I don’t know what to say,” Magnus felt overwhelmed by the risk Alec and Maryse had gotten themselves into just for him.

“You don’t have to say anything,” Alec smiled. “She sent it to my email if you want to read it,” he offered him his phone.

Magnus carefully took the phone, hesitating for a moment.

"I'll give you some privacy so you can decide," Alec said and started to get up, but Magnus quickly grabbed his wrist.

"No. Stay? Please?" He asked and Alec stopped for a moment, probably trying to assess if this was really what Magnus wanted.

"Okay," he nodded after Magnus kept looking at him with pleading eyes and he climbed over on his side of the bed. Magnus expected him to lean on the headboard next to him, but the other man was determined to give him as much privacy as he could while still staying here as a support, so he laid down and rested his head on Magnus’ lap.

Magnus smiled softly, gently brushing his fingers through Alec's hair. "Thank you."

Alec just hummed contently and started tracing random patterns on Magnus' leg, giving him a chance to get his attention on the phone.

He opened the app and saw the unread email. His finger hovered over it for a minute, hesitating and he wasn't sure if he could do it.

A few minutes passed when he felt something interesting on his leg. "Did you just draw A+M inside of a heart on my leg?" He asked with a laugh and Alec immediately stopped. He couldn't see his face, but he knew he rolled his eyes.

"I thought you were reading?"

Magnus chuckled. "I was just about to, but then someone distracted me…"

"Nice try. I know you're just stalling," Alec turned his head to look at him. "I can tell that you're scared and nervous, but I'm here… just open it."

Magnus looked at him for a few minutes, as if he was drawing strength from him just by looking at his warm eyes, and it was all the encouragement that he needed.

He nodded and opened the file, taking a deep breath and started to read.

 

'My dear son,

I know I lost my right to call you that years ago, but I hope you will allow this old fool to use it one last time. I know you must be wondering why I wanted you here after all these years, and I understand if you didn't want to come.

Sorry doesn't even begin to cut it for the pain and loss that I have put you through and I'm ashamed to say I have only recently come to realize that and not without help.

A few years ago, I met a young couple, two extraordinary women who would do anything for each other. They've gone through hell and back on their road to recovery, and yet when I asked them what was the hardest part they told me it was giving up on a child, and I realized what a selfish fool I had been.

Yes, losing your mother was the greatest pain I have ever felt, but my life wasn't half as hard as these two women's, and yet the first heartbreak I came across turned me into a weak, selfish man. A man that turned his back on his son when you needed me the most.

It took me 5 years to sober up and put my life back together after I left, and only then I understood what I had done. I tried to find you, I did. But you were still a minor and I wasn't your legal guardian anymore, so they wouldn't give me any information on you. I tried for a while, but eventually I gave up. I listened to my family and friends who said I should just forget you you weren't my real son anyway, and I believed them. I was disgusting.

Years have gone by and it took these two women to remind me that I shouldn't have given up on you. Ever. I should’ve fought harder. So, I found you online (I had some help from my nieces, I'm not very good at that stuff.) You've grown up into a handsome strong man, and I can tell you're surrounded by great friends. I'm glad.

I thought I could get in contact with you now. I know I could never make up for our lost time, but I thought maybe future could be different.

But life had other plans. I guess karma caught up with me after all those years of drinking and I developed liver cancer. It had progressed quickly, and I know this will sound like another excuse to you, but when they told me I've only got a few months left, I thought it was best to just let you be. It wouldn't be fair for me to try to build a relationship with you, only for you to lose me all over again a couple of months later. You were better without me.

I am a coward. I am a coward for ever leaving you. I am a coward for never coming back for you. And I am a coward for letting things end like this now.

I know you won't believe me, but I love you, son. I am so proud of you, and I want you to have the most amazing life that you could imagine.

That's why I'm leaving all my money to you. I never remarried, and there is nobody else I would want to give it to. My wish is that you give a part of it to the orphanage where you spent your youth. It's a thank you from me for taking care of my boy. The rest you can do whatever you want with. And lastly, I have bought the lake house we used to go to when you were young. I hope you remember it, and I want you to have it. It is a place I can only draw happy memories from, and I hope it will be a place where you can create new happy memories with a family of your own someday.

I'm sorry I never got to know you as an adult. Maybe I will be a better father in some other life.

Goodbye, son. I hope you find it in your heart to forgive me.'

 

A single tear rolled down Magnus' cheek when he finished and he didn't even notice when Alec had got up and sat next to him. He could only faintly feel his warm finger brushing his damp cheek.

Alec took the phone from Magnus' hand and put it aside before taking him in his arms and letting him rest on his chest. "I'm so proud of you for reading it," he whispered and Magnus snuggled closer, letting Alec's steady breathing calm him down. He didn't cry, and he didn't feel angry. He just felt… liberated. Now that he knew the truth, he could allow himself to let go of the past. However painful it might have been.

He didn’t know if he would ever forgive him, he still didn’t understand how he could’ve given up on him. But he knew his stepfather was right in one thing – he was surrounded by amazing friends. Maybe his life wasn't easy when he was young, but looking at what he had now, he wouldn't change it for the world. If he didn't have to live in an orphanage he wouldn't have ever met Cat and Raphael. And he would never have pursued a career of a caretaker which had led him to Alec and Max.

Everything that happened, happened for a reason. And he will take his stepfather's advice. He will live the most amazing life that he could imagine, and he will create many more happy memories with his friends. His family – that he had found and created all on his own.

“Are you okay?” Alec asked gently after they just laid there for a while, and Magnus nodded.

“Yes. Yes, I am,” he said. And for the first time since all of this had happened, he really meant it.

He sat up, pecking Alec lightly on the lips and smiled, determined to finally leave all of this behind. “I love you. Let’s go get Max.”

Chapter Text

"Be careful!" Alec warned his son after he sprinted into his bedroom and launched himself on Alec's bed. He shook his head fondly as the boy bounced on the mattress before settling down next to the bag he was packing looking at it curiously.

"Where are you going?" He looked up at his dad.

"We are going to spend the weekend at Magnus'," Alec said as he folded and put in another plain t-shirt. He didn't want to over-pack, so he only grabbed a few essentials.

Max tilted his head to the side. "Why?"

"Because Magnus has had a rough couple of weeks, so we're going to spend time with him to cheer him up," Alec smiled at his son. This was the first time Max would stay the night at Magnus' apartment. He had been there a bunch of times before when Magnus wanted to cook for them or they had a movie night, but Max had a hard time sleeping alone in new places, so they took things slow on that front.

Alec only spent the night at his boyfriend's house after date nights where his parents could babysit Max for the entire weekend, and on other nights, Magnus would come over to their place. Alec was extremely grateful that the other man had so much understanding and patience, and that's why he wanted to do something nice for him and finally take that next step with Max.

"Can I bring toys?!" The boy cheered up, making Alec chuckle.

"Of course. Just not too many, it's only two days," he tried to emphasize, but Max was already climbing off the bed and sprinting back to his room. Alec could faintly hear the toy box opening and toys being thrown aside and he laughed at how ridiculously adorable his son was. He knew he should hurry packing here, so he can go pack some of Max's stuff too, and also sort out which toys Max would be allowed to bring with them. (He knew he would want to bring all of them.)

 

-

 

Magnus was sitting in a comfortable lounge chair on his balcony, sipping coffee and watching the sun making its way to the highest point in the day. His other hand was occupied by his phone, and on the other side he could hear the hesitant voice of his best friend.

"Have you decided what you are going to do with the money?" She asked, and Magnus closed his eyes. No one mentioned anything about the will ever since Magnus had read it. He knew his friends were giving him time to process things, but he knew the silence wouldn't last forever.

"I don't know," he admitted. He hadn't really given much thought to it. "All I know is I'm not keeping it for myself." He didn't want pity money.

Catarina hummed in understanding. "And the lake house?"

Magnus sighed. "I don't know. I don't think I'm ready to go there and relieve the memories."

"You're right. I'm sorry I mentioned it," he could hear the regret in her voice. She always looked out for his feelings.

"It's okay, Cat. I'm fine. I'm actually really excited to spend the weekend with Alexander and Max," he couldn't help but smile.

"It's the first time you're spending a whole weekend together at your place, right?"

He nodded before realizing she couldn't see him. "Yes."

"You three form a cute little family," her teasing tone didn't slip his notice. "You think he could be… you know?"

"The one?" Magnus chuckled. "You really believe in those things?" He asked amusedly before taking another sip of his coffee. This conversation took a quick turn.

"Do you?" He could imagine her wink. She always knew how to turn things against him.

He shook his head fondly. "It's just one weekend."

"Mhm. Have fun playing house with the hubby," she laughed and Magnus couldn't help but join her.

"Shut up. You're the worst!"

"You love me," she countered and a fond smile spread across his face.

"I do."

"And I love you, too. And I'm happy for you," she said in a more serious tone. "Alec is good for you. I can tell that you're happier."

Magnus smiled. "Thank you. I am. Alec is… he's different. I really care about him."

"Sounds suspiciously like the one to me," she teased, and this time Magnus rolled his eyes.

"Stop," he laughed, and turned around when he heard the door being unlocked inside the apartment. "I gotta go. I think they're here."

"Oh. Okay. It was good catching up with you, Magnus. I hope you guys have fun."

"Thank you, dear. I'll talk to you soon."

"You better."

He smiled. "Goodbye, Cat."

He hung up the phone and walked into the apartment, rushing to the door when he noticed Alec was carrying two bags in one hand, while balancing Max on his other arm.

"That's a lot of stuff," he said as he relieved Alec of the bags and set them by the couch.

Alec shrugged. "It's mostly Max's toys," he informed, and Magnus could already guess that Max guilt tripped Alec into bringing far more things than necessary. He found it endearing how Alec was never able to say no to his son and he walked back to them with a smirk.

"He's got you all wrapped around his little finger," he teased as he greeted Alec with a quick peck on his lips.

Max scrunched up his little nose at the adults. "Yuck!"

Magnus looked at him amusedly. "Yuck?" He took the boy from his father's arms. "I'll give you yuck," he grinned and started planting kisses all over his little face. Max giggled and tossed in his arms, enjoying the attention and affection Magnus was giving him.

He put him down after a minute, not missing the soft smile on Alec's face as he watched them. The boy hugged Magnus around his legs, before running out onto the balcony. It was his favorite spot in the loft. He loved to sit out there and watch the birds, and sometimes the neighbor's cat would jump over and let him pet it.

Magnus had a surprise for him later – a wooden bird house that he'd bought for them to assemble and paint together. They can put it on his balcony and leave some food and water for the birds. He really hoped Max would enjoy that.

The sound of Alec clearing his throat brought him back from his thoughts, and he turned around with a smile. The other man was already waiting for him with his arms wide open, and Magnus molded into his embrace, giving him a proper greeting.

His arms circled around Alec's neck and he mumbled a quiet "hi" right before letting their lips meet half way. It was a slow and gentle kiss, a hint of a smile from the both of them making it just a little messy.

Alec tightened his arms around his waist, pulling him closer and deepening the kiss. Magnus opened his mouth willingly, letting the taste of his boyfriend mute everything else around them.

He continued running his finger through Alec's hair even after they'd pulled apart; he loved how the simple motion ran shivers through the other man. Alec rested their foreheads together, finally whispering "hi" back through a grin, and letting them enjoy their little bubble for just a while longer.

"Are you guys hungry?" Magnus asked as he pulled away from Alec's arms completely. He already missed the warmth of his body.

Alec shook his head. "No. We had breakfast before coming here."

"Okay," Magnus smiled and took Alec's bag to go unpack it in his bedroom. Alec followed him in, settling on the edge of the bed and giving Magnus a nod that he was allowed to go through his stuff.

Magnus opened the bag, carefully taking the clothes out and started towards the drawer. When Alec realized what he was doing he tried to stop him.

"You don't have to do that," he said. "I'll only be here for 2 days."

Magnus ignored him and still put the garments in the drawer. "I still want you to feel at home."

When he turned back around he could see Alec looking at him with a smirk. "Did you clear a drawer out for me?" He asked teasingly.

Magnus shrugged. "Maybe…"

Alec's smile grew wider. "Maybe I should leave those shirts here then..."

"Maybe you should…"

Alec gestured him to come closer, his arms circling Magnus' hips when he stood between his legs.

"Not that I don't like wearing your clothes."

Magnus smirked, his hands resting on Alec's shoulders, their faces getting closer by the second. "Not that I don't like seeing you in my clothes."

"It's really just practical," Alec shrugged and Magnus chuckled.

"Mhmm," he hummed before dipping down the rest of the way and connecting their lips. Alec moaned appreciatively, one of his hands sliding down and giving Magnus' ass a light squeeze.

He gasped in surprise, recovering a second later only to bite down on Alec's lip teasingly. "Don't be naughty. There's a child in the house," he breathed against his mouth, but Alec must've taken it as a challenge, because his other hand lowered, too and there was another squeeze.

Magnus rolled his eyes. First in a playful annoyance, and then in pleasure as Alec's lips descended from his own, down over his chin and onto his neck. He mouthed words into his skin in between kisses. "Can't… help it… love your butt."

Magnus laughed, the motion causing him to lose balance and making them tumble down on the bed. Alec caught him in his embrace, bracketing him safely in between his legs as they both giggled.

He gently brushed a few strands of hair away from Magnus' forehead and he tilted his head to kiss Alec's fingers. "I love you, you dork," he grinned, and Alec squeezed his butt in response, proving his point.

Magnus rolled his eyes again and let Alec pull his head down for another kiss.

"I love you, too," he said when they separated and his eyes shone as he looked up at Magnus.

The next time he leaned down for another kiss it felt different. Everything slowed down and they dragged their lips together in a lazy rhythm. Alec's hands roamed over his sides sending tingling pulses through his body, almost making him forget they were not alone.

He was brought back to the present when they heard Max calling for Alec from the living room.

"Daddy!?" He was clearly looking for him and Magnus knew that was his cue to pull away.

"We'll continue this later," he winked and started to climb off his lap, but Alec pulled him back by the arm for another quick kiss. Magnus smiled into it, rolling to the side and getting up when the other man released him.

He walked back to the dresser and continued unpacking his boyfriend's things, while Alec called back to his son. "In here!" He yelled as he sat up.

Max followed his voice and appeared at the door a few seconds later. "Daddy!" He rushed to him, jumping in his embrace before Alec sat him down on his knee. "Daddy, the little kitty came over again. Can we give her some milk?" He asked excitedly.

"I don't know," Alec chuckled. "You should ask Magnus."

"Magnus, can we?" He jumped down and ran to his side.

Magnus smiled at his excitement. He knew how much Max loved animals, and he could never say no to that face. "Of course, we can, Blueberry," he offered him his hand. "Come on, let's go find her a bowl."

Max squeezed his fingers over Magnus', skipping by his side as they walked to the kitchen with Alec following closely behind.

 

-

The rest of the day was spent doing different fun activities. Alec loved how thoughtful Magnus was in thinking about what Max loved doing and insuring he had all of those things at his place. He was most of all surprised with the little bird house Magnus bought.

They'd spent several hours building it and there was paint all over the balcony once they were finished, but Magnus didn't seem mad. He was too busy laughing his heart out at Alec's terrible painting skills and he and his son wouldn't stop teasing him about the flowers - yes, they were flowers, even though they might have looked like different-colored poop emojis - he painted at the base of it.

He couldn’t find it in his heart to be annoyed, though. Seeing Max laugh like that with Magnus – so natural and care-free warmed his heart, and he had a soft smile plastered on his face the entire time. Plus, he was an adult, and he embraced his unicorn poop - as Magnus called them - drawing skills. 

 

In the evening Magnus took them out for dinner. It was a cute little Italian restaurant a couple of blocks away from his apartment, and Alec was glad he brought one nice shirt. A shirt that will now have a permanent residence at his boyfriend's place, he reminded himself with a smile – this weekend was turning out perfectly. Although letting Max get dessert probably wasn't the best idea, as the boy wouldn't stop talking the whole way home and well after his bed time.

It was past 10 when the sugar-high seemed to start slowing down and Alec finally took Max to bed in the guest room. The room itself was quite big, simply decorated with only a few furniture pieces. He knew this would be the tricky part of the weekend. Max was already getting antsy about having to spend the night alone in this unfamiliar bedroom.

"Why can't I sleep with you?" He asked as Alec tucked him in, surrounding him with half a dozen of stuffed animals they brought in an effort to make the room feel more comfortable.

Alec caressed his hair. "Because you're a big boy and you can sleep alone."

"But you don't sleep alone," he pointed out and Alec chuckled at his quick thinking.

"That's different."

"Because Magnus is your boyfriend?"

Alec hummed in confirmation.

"Will you still tell me a story?"

"Of course," he smiled and knelt by the bed to tell his son a quick bedtime story.

 

20 minutes later he was in Magnus' room. The other man stood in front of the mirror, carefully taking off his jewelry and putting it into a bowl.

Alec walked behind him, hugging him around the waist and planting a soft kiss on his shoulder. "Hi."

"Hi." Magnus smiled to him in the reflection. "Has Max settled in his room okay?"

Alec nodded. "Yeah. He was reluctant at first, the room seemed a little big and scary to him, but he fell asleep eventually."

"Good."

"Are you tired?" Alec asked after planting another kiss at the back of Magnus' neck, his hands roaming freely over his front.

Magnus smirked. "Not really. I was just about to go take a shower."

Alec hummed into his skin. "How about we do that after…?"

"After what?" Magnus raised a brow teasingly.

"After what you promised we would continue…" Alec continued brushing his nose over his neck.

"Mmm. And what's that?"

"This…" Alec kissed him behind the ear, his tongue and lips gently brushing the sensitive skin as the hand on Magnus' abdomen traveled lower until it reached the line of his pant. Tips of his fingers gently slid in just enough to send the message, and he was looking at the other man intensely in the mirror.

They hadn't been intimate in a couple of weeks. First because Alec was busy with work, and then with everything that happened with Magnus' stepfather hadn't really given them time to focus on each other in that way. So, Alec wanted this – badly. But he also wanted to make this weekend about Magnus. He wanted the other man to enjoy himself, and Alec was ready to put aside his own desires in favor of fulfilling Magnus'.

To his luck, Magnus seemed to be on the same page, because the next second he was turning around in his embrace, his fingers tangling in Alec's hair and he pulled him closer, their lips barely brushing. "I like the sound of that," he grinned before eliminating all the space left between them and connecting their lips.

Alec inhaled him in, opening his mouth to taste him on his tongue. His arm snaked around his back, hoisting him up on the vanity table.

Magnus moaned, gently pulling on his hair as Alec kissed him. "I missed you," he breathed out in the space between them, trailing kisses down his jaw.

Magnus chuckled and angled his head so Alec can nibble on his neck. "You saw me yesterday at work… and we just spent the entire day together."

"Yes, but I missed you like this..." he sneaked his hands under Magnus' shirt, feeling the soft skin, "…warm under my fingers…" His lips trailed kisses down his neck and collarbone, "…sweet under my tongue…"

Magnus let out another moan and it drove Alec crazy. "I want to make you feel good," he whispered through heavy breaths and Magnus nodded his head enthusiastically.

"Yess…"

He pulled Magnus' shirt over his head, not letting their lips stay separated for too long. His hands explored the newly exposed skin while Magnus' fingers worked on the belt buckle on his pants.

"You sure Max can't hear us?" Alec pulled away for a second. He knew the guest bedroom was all the way on the other side of the loft but he needed to be sure.

"Positive," Magnus said as he finally managed to undo his pants. He started pulling them down, but Alec held his wrist, slowing him down for a moment. He searched for his eyes, needing a little more reassurance than just one word.

Magnus understood him and smiled. He pulled their joined hands up and kissed his knuckles. "Trust me. I've had enough adventurous friends stay in that room and I've fortunately never heard a thing," he smirked.

Alec grinned, the explanation good enough for him. "In that case…" his hands slid under Magnus' ass, picking him up from the desk. His legs locked around Alec's waist, a little yelp of surprise leaving his lips before his smile widened.

Alec walked them to the bed, trying to shrug his pants off as he walked and almost making them fall over more than one time. The last step made his feet tangle into the fabric and they both tumbled onto the bed a little less elegantly than he'd planned.

Magnus laughed, genuine joy and amusement crinkling the skin around his eyes as he shook his head fondly. He looked beautiful like this, Alec thought and leaned down to capture his grinning lips.

He finally shrugged his pants off all the way, making them fly across the room before he focused on Magnus'. Of course, his had to have 6 buttons that he struggled to undo with his shaky hands and Magnus had to slap his fingers away to do it himself.

"Wait, I'll do it," he laughed and Alec took that time to pull off his own shirt and make it join his pants somewhere on the floor.

When they were both left just in their underwear a shiver ran through Alec. Not because he felt cold, but from the pure desire that sparked inside his body. Magnus lay under him, his hair messy and his chest rising and falling fast with his accelerated breathing and Alec was once again reminded of what a lucky man he was.

"Are you just gonna stare at me the whole time?" Magnus teased, gently running his nails over Alec's back.

Alec snapped out of it and reminded himself what this night was all about – making Magnus feel good. He smiled and shook his head, gently lowering his body down so it was flush with Magnus'. He cupped his face with one hand while the other rested by his head for balance and leaned in to connect their lips.

It was all teeth and tongue; gentle yet forceful, slow yet determined, sweet with just enough of playful teasing – he couldn't get enough of it.

He rolled his hips down in the same lazy rhythm, rubbing their growing erections together and eliciting quiet moans from Magnus' throat. When his jaw got tired he pulled his mouth away, descending lower to leave small kisses and licks on his chest.

Magnus' back arched up when Alec's tongue enveloped one of his nipples and he doubled his efforts to cause more reactions like that. He switched from one nib to the other while his hand slid down and took Magnus' now fully hard member into a gentle grip. He stroked it slowly through the fabric of his briefs and Magnus' hips bucked into the touch.

"Alexander…" he tangled his fingers in Alec hair, slightly pulling when he started stroking him faster, brushing the sensitive tip in just the right way. "Please…" Magnus got impatient underneath him, desperate for that skin to skin contact and Alec decided to have mercy on him.

His lips pulled away from his chest and he searched for the confirmation in Magnus' eyes before he discarded him of his underwear. His length sprung free and Magnus let out a long breath of relief. Alec took him in his hand again, spreading the precum over the flesh to make the slide smoother. He set a steady rhythm while kissing his way back up from Magnus' abs all the way to his lips.

Magnus' mouth opened up gladly, letting their tongues reunite in another sweet dance. His hands slid over Alec's back to the rim of his boxers and he tugged them down as far as he could. Alec paused his ministrations to pull them off completely and finally they were both completely naked, staring at each other's flushed skins.

"What do you want?" Alec whispered, gently nuzzling his nose over Magnus' cheek.

"I want you…" Magnus pulled him closer, planting a kiss on his neck, "…to make me feel good." Another kiss. "Like you promised."

Alec tilted his head to make their lips meet again, strong and determined. If Alexander Lightwood always did one thing right, it was keeping his promises.

He pulled away and reached for the side table to take out lube and a condom, silently thanking god that Magnus had his supplies so close to the bed. It was probably because he didn't have a four-year-old who liked to open up and explore everything he was tall enough to reach living with him. At least not yet, his mind supplied helpfully.

He settled back between Magnus' legs, the other man looking up at him with the most adoring eyes. Alec smiled and leaned down for another kiss – he couldn't resist. This one was short and sweet and he quickly pulled back to open the bottle and squeeze some of the liquid out. He warmed it between his fingers and after he got a nod from Magnus brought one of them to his hole.

He teased the entrance at first, his other hand gently massaging Magnus' thigh to make him relax, before he slowly pushed one digit in.

Magnus' breath hitched and a low moan dragged out as Alec pushed all the way in. He waited for a moment to let the other man get used to the intrusion, before he started to push in and out in a steady motion. Magnus pulled him down by the shoulders, smashing their lips together and making Alec moan when their cocks touched.

He was ignoring his erection until now, wanting to make it last when the time comes, but he couldn't help but rock his hips in the same rhythm of the hand that was inside of Magnus. He was stretching out so well and soon Alec had two fingers inside of him, and then three. Magnus scratched on his back, panting in between kisses, and he whined a weak "that's enough" when he couldn't take it anymore.

"I'm ready," he breathed when Alec pulled back and he slowly slid his fingers out.

Magnus bit his own lip, looking at him in anticipation as Alec ripped the condom wrapper and hurriedly rolled it over his length. He positioned his tip in front of Magnus’ hole and started pushing in when he got an encouraging smile from the other man. As he sunk in, he lowered his body on his forearms by Magnus' head. Their noses were brushing and they shared the same air while he waited a minute for Magnus to adjust.

Magnus tilted his head up and stole another kiss before urging Alec to start moving. His thrusts were slow and shallow at first and he licked into Magnus' mouth to distract him from the discomfort he was feeling until he got fully adapted.

Alec could tell the exact moment when his thrusts turned into pleasure for the other man when he started rocking his hips up to meet him half way. Alec sped up his movements, pushing up on his hands to get a better angle and was rewarded with a deliciously loud moan when he hit that perfect spot inside of Magnus' body.

"There," Magnus grinned, running his fingers over Alec's abs and sides. He wanted to pull him closer again, but Alec had another plan. He knelt up, sliding his arms under Magnus' thighs and pushing them forward to his chest. Magnus got the idea and held on his own knees, opening up even more and making the angle raw, and impossibly pleasurable for the both of them.

Alec's thrust never slowed down, they were strong and precise and turned them both into a moaning mess. He couldn't wrap his head around how good Magnus felt around him, or how beautiful he looked with his flushed cheeks and hair glued to his sweaty forehead. He wanted to stay like this forever.

Magnus laughed, the sound a little shaky from the constant movement he was in, and he had that teasing look in his eyes again. "You're staring again," he said.

Alec couldn't help but laugh, too. Was he really going to comment on that now?

"I can't help it," he slowed down so he could lean forward and brush Magnus' hair from his eyes. "You're so beautiful."

Magnus grinned, releasing his knees and locking his arms around Alec's neck. Their bodies were flush together again, connected and intimate in every way. Magnus dragged his lips over Alec's in the same lazy way he was now rocking his hips back and forth.

The change in rhythm filled the air with heat and electricity, their love for each other almost tangible in the space around them.

"I love you," Magnus whispered against his lips and this time it was Alec who smiled.

"I love you, too," he picked up his pace again, his cock longing for release. He took advantage of Magnus' arms still being securely attached around his neck and he slid his own arms under his back and hoisted him up on his lap.

Magnus gasped in surprise, giggling into his lips before he moaned when he sat on Alec's cock, the angle making him sink even deeper.

Alec balanced him on his knees and started thrusting up. The other man panted in his ear, clawing on his back as his prostate got assaulted over and over again.

His cock bounced freely between their bodies and Alec asked him to touch himself, knowing he wouldn't last much longer. Not with the punishing speed he had set, or with the sinful noises that came out of Magnus mouth.

Alec's hands grabbed Magnus' ass, spreading the globes as he pounded into him. His thighs burned with effort and if Magnus wasn't locked around his neck he wouldn't have been able to hold his weight much longer.

"Alexander…" Magnus bounced on his lap, putting all of his effort into it, too as he kept stroking his cock, and the broken voice in which he called out his name was enough to take Alec over edge.

His hips bucked up one last time and hot spurts of come started to fill the condom. He bit down on Magnus shoulder to stifle his cry and the surprising sensation of pain mixed with pleasure sent Magnus into ecstasy as well and white semen coted his hand and both of their stomachs.

They both rode their orgasms for a few seconds longer, resting their foreheads together as they tried to catch their breaths.

Magnus spoke first. "That was amazing," he breathed out through pants, and Alec only had enough strength in him to smile.

He was still holding Magnus in his arms and he leaned back to collapse them both down on the bed. Magnus chuckled as he landed on Alec's torso, his come between their bodies making a sticky, sloppy sounds.

He kissed Alec's chin. "Shower?"

Alec nodded. "Mhm," but he squeezed his arms around Magnus' body, not letting him get up. Shower could wait another 10 minutes.

 

-

After taking quick showers and spending a questionably-healthy amount of time cuddling, they'd both finally fallen asleep. While Magnus was in the bathroom Alec went to check up on Max and he left the doors of their rooms open, so he could hear if everything was alright during the night.

It was just a precaution, but he was glad that he'd done it when distant crying woke him up. He checked his phone – it was 2 am, and he heard his son calling him through sobs.

"Daddy! Where are you?" He could hear his shaky voice and he quickly got out of bed and ran to his room.

"Hey, hey, I'm here," he rushed to his side. Max was sitting on the bed, knees pulled up to his chin and he held on Spike tightly as tears streamed down his face.

Alec sat next to him, holding him close and kissing his head. "It's okay, I'm here," he caressed his hair. Max leaned into his side, clutching on his shirt and Alec gave him a few minutes to calm down.

When his sobs died down a little, Alec tilted his head up and brushed the tear streaks from his cheeks. He smiled at him, but the boy didn't smile in return. There was fear in his eyes, and Alec held him a little tighter. "You wanna tell me what happened?" He slowly rocked their bodies in a soothing motion.

"I'm scared," it was barely a whisper.

"Of what?" Alec asked gently.

"I don't want to sleep alone," Alec closed his eyes and sighed. It was going so well – Max had fallen asleep pretty easily, and they had a deal that he was going to be a brave boy and sleep alone, but something must've woken him up and he panicked when he didn't recognize his surroundings. It had happened before when he'd spent his first night at Alec's parent’s house. They gave him the guest bedroom because it was bigger, but they didn't count that that emptiness and coldness would be scary for the boy. He'd only been able to sleep peacefully in Alec's old room, which was cozy and colorful, his youthful toys and posters still decorating it and he was able to draw comfort from them. Big, white, almost empty rooms scared him.

He'd told that story to Magnus, and they both hoped it wouldn't be like that this time, but he couldn't blame Max for having such fears, he was just a little boy.

Magnus appeared at the door a few minutes later, probably noticing Alec was gone. "Is everything alright?" He asked as he quietly approached them and sat on the edge of the bed.

Alec looked up with a sad smile. "He got scared…"

Magnus understood and turned his attention to Max. "Are you okay, Blueberry?" He asked him softly and the boy shook his head. "You don't want to sleep alone?" Max nodded and Magnus smiled. "Okay," he got up and Alec gave him a questioning look, but Magnus didn't say anything. He just turned around and left the room.

Alec wasn’t sure if he was annoyed or disappointed and his heart sank thinking Magnus was upset with Max because of this. He wanted to get up and go talk to him, but Magnus reappeared in the room just a moment later with a couple of extra pillows and a blanket.

"What are you doing?" Alec asked.

Magnus smiled and rounded the bed, arranging the pillows so there were three next to each other. "If Max doesn't want to sleep alone, then we're going to sleep with him," he said simply.

Alec couldn't ask that of him. He didn't want him to lose sleep because of his son. "You don't have to do that."

"I want to," Magnus lay on one end of the bed, seemingly having his mind already made up. He patted the space next to him and gestured for the boys to lay down, too.

Alec cleaned Max's cheeks and nose with the paper tissues he found on the bedside table, and tucked him in safely between himself and Magnus.

Max instantly relaxed, snuggling closer to his dad. Alec stretched his arm over him, opening the hand to hold Magnus'. The other man intertwined their fingers, giving them a gentle kiss.

"Thank you," Alec whispered silently.

"There's nothing to thank me for," Magnus smiled. "I love you."

"I love you, too," he brushed his thumb over the back of Magnus' hand. "So much."

They lay in silence for a while, looking at each other with heavy eyes, neither of them wanted to doze off before they were sure Max has calmed down and fallen back asleep. When his breathing evened out, and he stopped clutching on his father's shirt, Alec finally allowed himself to relax. He whispered a quiet good night to Magnus, even though he wasn't sure if the man could hear him, and let the sleep consume him.

 

-

Alec woke up early in the morning and noticed it was just him and Max left in the bed. He was still tired and his back hurt from the uncomfortable position, but he got up anyway to go and search for his boyfriend.

He found him in the kitchen. He was sitting on the high stool at the kitchen island with a cup in his hand and a laptop in front of him. When he noticed him over the screen he smiled and quickly closed the computer.

"Why are you up already?" Alec asked as he walked to him and leaned in for a kiss.

"Oh, just doing some online shopping."

"At 7 in the morning?" Alec frowned.

Magnus shrugged. "Perks of Internet shopping – it's open 24/7."

Alec chuckled, but didn't push on it. He went to pour himself some coffee, too and sat on the stool next to Magnus'. He hesitated for a moment. "I'm sorry about last night," he said quietly.

Magnus frowned. "Why? I had an amazing time last night," he paused. "Although I might have a hickey on my shoulder from that bite," he grinned and ran his fingers over the spot.

Alec shook his head, realizing they weren't thinking about the same thing. "I meant about Max… though I'm sorry about that mark, too. I-I got carried away," he blushed.

"What about Max?" Magnus frowned again.

"That– that you had to spend the rest of night with the two of us. It couldn't have been comfortable... I know my back hurts like hell, and you didn't have to do it," Alec explained.

"Alexander," Magnus took his hand. "I already told you I wanted to do it. I realize this relationship comes with the both of you in the package. I love you, and I love Max. I want him to be happy and if I can help him with something as simple as just being there next to him so he doesn't feel scared then I'm going to do so, okay? I don't care if my neck hurts for the next three days, it would've been worth it,” he smiled.

Alec didn't know what to say. Magnus truly amazed him every day. He leaned in to kiss his lips, letting his actions convey his feelings and gratitude. "Thank you…"

Magnus patted his cheek. "You can thank me by making some of those delicious pancakes of yours. It's Sunday, and you got me spoiled by always making them," he laughed.

Alec grinned. "I can do that." He stole another kiss and jumped right into preparing the mixture.

 

Even though they were all quite tired and Max was a little cranky from the lack of sleep, they still had a nice day. They went to the Zoo after breakfast, saw a kid's play in the theatre and dined in another cute restaurant that Magnus picked.

They bonded and laughed together, created some new memories and grew a little closer. And even though not everything went as planned, Alec still thought they had a nice weekend together.

At least he did, until Magnus didn't show up at work for the next three days. Alec called to see if he was okay and if he should come over, but Magnus stressed that he should in no circumstance come over. The way he'd said it made him a little concerned, especially since during one conversation he could hear another male voice in the background. He knew Magnus would never cheat on him, but it wasn’t like him to be this secretive. Alec felt a little insecure, but he trusted Magnus, and that's why he didn't question him. Not even when he told him to bring Max over for a sleepover in the middle of the week.

When he reached his apartment on Wednesday evening, he still wasn’t sure what was going on with his boyfriend. He hoped Magnus didn’t regret spending the weekend with them, and he wasn’t sure if he was welcome to just walk in. After some thought he knocked instead of using his key.

Magnus opened the door shortly after, smiling at the both of them. He quickly pecked both of their cheeks before letting them in. "Why didn't you just come in?"

"Um, I forgot my keys," Alec lied and reluctantly walked into the living room. He put Max down from his arms and didn't really know what to do with himself. It's been a long time since he felt this awkward around Magnus. "Is everything okay? You've been very distant in the last few days…"

"Yeah, I'm sorry about that, I wanted to keep it a surprise…"

"A surprise?" Alec frowned and Magnus nodded enthusiastically.

"Yeah, I have a surprise for you guys. Well, more for Max. But anyway, come on, let me show you!" He extended his hand to Max and the boy took it, letting Magnus lead all of them to where this supposed surprise was.

He took them to the guest bedroom, asking them if they were ready once they'd reached the door. Max was easily entertained by this game and he shouted an excited "yes". Alec still wasn't sure what was happening, so he just nodded, but when Magnus opened the door his jaw almost dropped.

On the other side was every little boy's dream bedroom. The walls were painted blue and red, except for the one that had a mural with all of the original Avengers painted on it. The ceiling was decorated with small stars that glowed in the dark all over it, and the carpet had a city design on it with different roads and buildings where you could drive your tiny cars on. In the corner was a shelf that could fit dozens of plush toys and a little dresser in shape of a treasure chest.

Max eyes almost popped out with excitement as he took it all in. "Is this for me?" He asked excitedly and Magnus nodded.

"Yes, this room is for you. No more boring white walls. I got all the Avenger here to protect you - Black Widow and Spider-Man will protect you from all the spiders and other bugs, Thor will protect you when there's thunder outside, Hulk will protect you from all the monsters and Iron Man? Well, he's Iron Man, he can protect you from anything," he chuckled.

"Wow!" Max beamed, running all over the room to inspect all the other cool stuff Magnus put in the room – like different-colored lava lamps or cushions shaped like animals.

Alec stood by the door speechless, until Magnus turned back to him. "You like it?" He asked with a big grin.

"Magnus…" he struggled to find words and the other man frowned at his lack of response. "Can I talk to you for a bit outside?"

Magnus nodded, walking behind him back to the living room. "You don't like it?" Alec heard the hesitation in his voice.

"No, I do. It's- it's amazing. It's just…" he fidgeted with his hands. "I'm just surprised. Is this what you were shopping for the other morning?"

Magnus nodded. "Expedited shipment," he smiled. "I know how you said Max gets scared when he feels small in a big empty room, and I also know how you said that having toys and fun colors in the room makes him forget that he's alone and he finds comfort in it. I wanted him to feel comfortable here," he shrugged.

Alec shook his head, not believing this man. "But you lost your guest room."

"People can still sleep in it, I don't see what the big deal is."

"It's a car shaped bed, Magnus," Alec rolled his eyes.

"So?" Magnus chuckled.

"You're unbelievable," Alec pulled him into a hug, and the other man hugged him back. He could feel him relax against his body, and so did Alec’s now that he knew why Magnus was acting so weird in the past few days. He wasn't ignoring him, he was just being the best boyfriend the world has ever seen, as per usual.

But this was a big step in their relationship, especially since they’ve only been together for a couple of months, and Alec wanted them to take it together. "I want you to send me the bill," he said when they pulled apart. "I'm not letting you pay for all of that, you've already done so much for us."

"Alexander…"

"No. Please let me pay for some of it. I know you did it because you love Max and you have no idea how much that means to me, but… but what if in a few months you regret it, or you decide you don't want to be with me anym-"

Magnus put his hand over his mouth to shut him up. "Don't finish that sentence, Alexander. I wouldn't have done this if I planned on getting rid of you any time soon, okay?" He smiled softly, and Alec's heart ached at how much he loved this man.

He nodded and Magnus removed his hand. "Okay. But I'm still paying for half of it," he quickly leaned in before Magnus could argue and smacked their lips together. "And now we've sealed it with a kiss, so you must honor our deal."

Magnus rolled his eyes but laughed. "Fine."

Alec grinned triumphantly and they both went back to the room to check up on Max. A matching soft smile appeared on their faces when they found him sound asleep in a sea of colorful cushions on his new bed.

Alec knew he would have a problem getting Max home now that he had this amazing room here, and all sorts of ideas for the future started roaming through his head.

He didn't seem to be the only one full of ideas as Magnus jumped beside him. "I know what I'm going to do!" He exclaimed, and Alec looked at him confusedly.

He rushed to the living room and took his phone, clicking a few buttons and bringing it to his ear. "Cat! I know what I'm going to do with the money!"