A knock at the door brought Magnus from the intense concentration of his homework. He frowned looking at the clock on the mahogany end table said 2:51 AM got up from the dark brown leather lift chair to the door not expecting what he saw when he opened the door.
Joshua Bane, his younger half-brother, with cuts and a bruise on his left cheek was held on the arm in a gentle but firm grip by his neighbor from across the hallway to his apartment wearing clothes like a detective, like he had just come from a Halloween party but Magnus knew he was a cop because the badge of his jacket said detective Alec Lightwood in official gold and carved letters.
"I believe this is yours," Detective Lightwood said pushing the teenager towards Magnus, the sixteen-year-old wore an expression of almost guilt but with tight anger in his eyes refusing to look at his brother.
"Joshua," Magnus said shocked. "I thought you said you'd stay out of trouble?" Magnus glared in anger at his brother. "What do you have to say for yourself Joshua Wilbur Bane-Bagley."
Joshua ignored his brother trying to walk by him but Detective Lightwood took his arm firmly but not hard pulling him back to him. "This young man had a fight with some kids at his school in front of the flower shop of Mrs. Elaine Lewis, breaking two if the windows and making gardening supplies. This might not matter to you but Mrs. Lewis is the mother of my sister's boyfriend."
Magnus looked at his brother no longer in anger because Joshua acted negatively whenever someone looked at him in anger but in concern. "Is that true?"
Joshua still refused to look at him but mumbled softly but still clearly for both grown-ups to hear. "True and I'm sorry." Magnus was unsure if he meant sorry to him or about Mrs. Lewis.
Magnus sighed looking at Detective Lightwood in the eye and almost showed he was taken aback by the intensity of hazel eyes staring right back at him. "I'm sorry about this usually he doesn't do things like that."
Detective Lightwood smiled making his eyes shine shaking his head. "Not a problem Mrs. Lewis isn't holding any charges."
Magnus nodded. "Good but tell Mrs. Lewis she'll expect him helping around the shop to repay for the damages."
Joshua looked up with a look of disbelief. "What no way, they started it first make them help around."
Detective Lightwood nodded. "I'll be sure to tell Elaine about that," letting Joshua go who now knew that he could go now walked past Magnus stomping in a tantrum like way. "Well, I have to leave to go back to work. Have a nice day Mr..." he looked at Magnus expectant.
"Magnus, Magnus Bane." Magnus smiled. "Thank you for bringing him home."
"My pleasure Mr. Bane." Detective Lightwood tipped his cop hat and walked away as Magnus closed the door.
It was 10:21 AM after Officer Lightwood brought Joshua home and Magnus was tired as he put the clean dishes where they ate Italian sausage and Cheese Alfredo pasta.
He shut the dishwasher door after putting the dishwasher soap in and turned the machine on turning the light switch of the fan of the kitchen and went to the living room to see Joshua watching his favorite anime Boku no Hero Academia/My Hero Academia while petting Chairman Meow who was laying in his lap, Church was on the back of the couch next to his head sleeping contentedly, on the couch. His face was still littered with cuts that would heal for some weeks, but the bruise clear of purple would need to be healed in a month. Magnus couldn't help feel brotherly overprotectiveness at seeing his vulnerable-looking brother in cuts and bruise.
It felt like it was only yesterday but only had been three weeks ago when his mother came to his apartment to let Josh stay with him after he got out of juvie for vandalism so their mother and his step-father, Magnus's second step-father, could go to the airport to Paris for a business trip.
Three Weeks Ago
Magnus woke up to the sound of his front door being knocked lightly but loud enough for him to hear and knew it was his mother.
Magnus got up from his bed putting on his sweatpants and tank top to seem descent and got to the door from his room.
The appearance of his mother Magda and half-brother Joshua was a surprise but not an unwelcome, he hadn't seen them for a while, and Magnus could only remember seeing Joshua when he was twelve-years-old after he left for college when he was eighteen, that was four years ago. He occasionally visited them on holidays when there is break for classes in college but after that hadn't seen them since, only talking to them both over the phone.
"Mum this is a surprise," Magnus said looking to the both of them. "What brings you here."
Magda Bane smiled at her eldest son. "I and François have to go to Paris for a business trip so I was wondering if you could take care of Joshua when we're gone."
Magnus looked to Joshua who had a big yellow duffle bag over his shoulder and a Jansport backpack on his back wearing a black hoodie and jeans with Yeezy shoes that must have been a gift by François and looking bored. He stared back at feeling being watched and smiled but it didn't reach his eyes that were not smiling.
"Yeah sure," He took the duffle bag from Joshua's arm who walked past Magnus into the living room.
Magda looked into the living room and then looked back to Magnus giving him a grateful smile. "Thank you. It's been hard to find someone in the family to take care of Joshua after the vandalism thing." She sighed. "He just got out of juvie as well."
Magnus blinked in disbelief at the news. Joshua was not one to fo anything rebellious and destructive. "That's not like Joshua."
His mother nodded in agreement with her face holding a careworn expression. "I know. The only thing I feel must have made him act in the way he's been doing. I think slapping on the start dating card has made him upset. I love François like I loved your father and Edward."
"No we're glad your dating again," Magnus said in disagreement. "Me, Addie and Joshua, maybe he just needs to get used to the idea of you dating."
Magda nodded. "Your right. You'll take care of him will you?"
"I'll take care of him," Magnus promised to smile.
Magnus shook himself from his musings to Joshua who was looking at him with worry. "What's wrong big brother?"
Before Magnus could answer him the door opened to reveal Ragnor Fell, his roommate and an old friend wearing a gray knitted beanie, blue heavy coat and ski pants the ends of it tucked into the snow boots he was wearing. Joshua wrinkled his nose, eyes pinched looking like Ragnor distasted him, his lips turned into a tight, thin line and looked back at the Tv like he didn't just ask Magnus if he was okay before Ragnor came.
"It's way too cold out there," Ragnor complained taking off his coat, to show a t-shirt with a cartoon cow on the front with the words in regular text lettering that said MOOVE THE COW and the color of the shirt was a bright and dark baby blue. "And It's only the beginning of October."
"Where have you been?" Joshua asked in a rude tone. "Your past the curfew limit."
"I'm twenty-seven," Ragnor said annoyed looking at Joshua in distaste. "I don't have a curfew."
Joshua scoffed still watching the television Chairman Meow no longer on his lap but eating his leftover cat food in the kitchen. "You act like you're a teenager than an old man that makes you need one."
Ragnor scowled pissed at being called an old man. "You are a rude child. Teenagers need to show people older than them some respect." He put his coat on the coat hanger where Magnus trench coat and Joshua's heavy windbreaker and backpack.
When Ragnor came closer into the living room frowned at the cuts and bruise on his cheek. "Well now, how did you get these." He grabbed Joshua's chin gently but firmly tipping so he could look at his face.
Joshua blushes at the concern action that he jerks his head away from his hand. "It's nothing. I just remembered I need to finish my homework." He got up taking Church with him the blue Persian not minding the rough handling who was giving Magnus a What can you do when it's a teenager look.
The sound of Joshua's bedroom door slamming and of old lady Dorinda from next door yelling "keep it down" was heard in the quiet room but the sound of the Tv was still on. Ragnor picked up the remote turning it off and turned to his friend-raising an eyebrow. "Mind telling me how he got those."
Magnus sighed. "He got in a fight with some kids from his school and I'm pretty sure I know who they are. That Ayers boy and his friends have been bullying him since he became the new kid at the school."
Ragnor shook his head. "I know the Ayers kid's parents, lovely folks they are but that boy is a way to mean to come from those two."
"It's the only thing he's told me about his time at school." Magnus sighed. "When I promised our mother that I'd take care of him, but it seems I'm failing at that."
"It's not easy taking care of a teenager, especially if it's your brother while your mother and her boyfriend are in Paris for business my friend," Ragnor assured putting a soothing hand on his shoulder. "It's time for bed. I need to be up bright and early for my clients. Goodnight." He moved out of the living room into his room.
Magnus sighed taking his homework he finished during dinner putting it in his brown worn shoulder messenger bag, closing the flap over his textbooks and papers. Walking over the coat hanger putting his bag with his trench coat. He turned the light off illuminating the living room in darkness but the light of Ragnor and Joshua's rooms gave him a sight to see where he was going. Arriving at his own room, Magnus took off his black sweater and his jeans, leaving him in only his boxers and shirtless. Groaning Magnus landed on his bed face first, his face landing on the soft pillows and turning his lamp off.