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If These Old Eyes Could See

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Two years.

Had it really only been two years?

Something ached inside of Alec as he stared at the calendar on his tablet. The Head of the New York Institutes office was quiet, the noise that usually came was none. Eerily quiet was how Alec would describe it sometimes. He rarely ever heard music playing, and when there wasn't people complaining or discussing with him, no noise was ever heard. There were several agendas marked for the day, nothing that would make anyone else looking at think it wasn't an ordinary day. But Alec knew.

Two years.

Twenty four months.

One hundred and four weeks.

Seven hundred and thirty days.

It certainly hadn't felt like it was that long. That long since he last spoke to the love of his life under non-professional circumstances? That was impossible. His thoughts were broke by the sound of fingers rapping against the door. He sighed, placing his tablet down.

“Come in.” He said, a smile growing at the sight of his beloved sister.

Isabelle smiled back, shutting the door behind her. “Good morning big brother.” She greeted. “How are you on this fine day?”

Alec frowned at the fake cheeriness in her usually happy tone. He knew that she knew. Of course she knew. Alec remembers that day vividly, remembers the tears, the hugs. He remembers stumbling into his little sisters room, hot tears rushing down his face. Remembers how she had wrapped him in her arms and let him sob his misery and heartbreak into her shoulder. How she had whispered sweet nothings to him, in a failed attempt to calm him. She knew about today. She knew how hard it was every time this day passed.

Alec was forever grateful to her. But he hated pretending. Had stopped long ago.

“Iz,” he started. “You know exactly how I am feeling right now.” He tilted his head, regretful of the shame on her face.

She stepped closer. “I know big brother.” She said. “And you know that all I want is for you to be okay.”

Alec sighed, lips twitching at the sentiment. She had always seemed more like the older sibling, guiding him just as much as he did with her. There were things that she had experienced that he knew he'd never get to, things that he would never understand. She somehow always knew how to say things better than he did. But he was trying. Just like had promised.

“I know, Izzy. And I will be. Maybe not today, definitely not tomorrow. But one day.” He replied, speaking the truth.

The last two years had been harder than he could have ever imagined then to be. He'd spent too much time tossing and turning in bed, only getting a select few hours of sleep every now and then, only to wake up reaching for a warm body that wasn't there. Hadn't been there for awhile. Sometimes he'd find little things, a piece of paper with his handwriting on it. A ring, a bottle of nail polish, a robe. Things that would take him back, have him imagine ringed fingers running through his hair, silk against his skin, soft lips against his own. Things that he knew he'd never have with anyone else.

After all, nephilim only truly loved once.

He'd never forget that day. Sometimes thinking about it had his heart ache, the phantom pain of that day returning briefly. Nothing had hurt more. No demon bite, wound or word could ever compare.

Walking through the Halls of the Institute felt like trying to wade through water. His feet felt heavy, the memory of speaking with Asmodeus, the deal that they had made slowing him down. His heart had felt like it was split open as the demon spoke the words. 

“End your relationship. Break his heart to save his life.”

His first though had been to deny, scream at the man before him. How could he? How could he take his sons magic? How could had take more from him now?

But then he stopped. He knew what he was going to do. His words repeating in his own head.

“All I ever wanted was for you to be happy.”

Nothing stung more than knowing that the love of his life, the man that made his heart soar, smiles that could never be tamed grow, the man that had changed his life was unhappy. Some part of him knew that it wasn't the whole truth. Magnus had been drunk, words he would have never said; were. Alec knew that some part of Magnus was happy. Happy in their moments. His eyes had been sad and tired, but the smiles, while they were small, were genuine. He was happy in their little moments. But he wasn't happy after them.

Alec knew of the frowns that would replace the smiles. How they would fade, only brought back fake in front of people that didn't care for them.

Alec had known. No matter how much it would break him.

Walking into his room, the door creaked, like it knew what was being held. Like it wanted to add to the white noise in his ears. Magnus had looked beautiful, radiant in a way that only he could be. The man was on the other side of the room, back to him, watching the birds fly by, bathing in the sun of the beautiful day. Alec could see how tense he was, arms crossed on his chest, back straight, shoulders hard. He could almost see the crumbled walls trying to rebuild themselves around Magnus. The sounds of his sobs echoing in Alec ears.

He swallowed as the door shut behind him, Magnus startling at the sound, but a soft closed mouth smile tugging at his lips.

“Alexander?”

“Have you heard from him recently?”

Alec startled from his daydreaming, wincing at the pounding in his head from zoning out too long. He slapped himself mentally and focused back on his darling sister.

“Uh,” he paused. Repeating the question to himself. “No. No I haven't talked to him in quite awhile. Not since the last meeting with the council.”

That had been five months ago.

Izzy took a seat on one of the chairs on the other side of the desk, crossing her leg over the other before settling. “I spoke to Raphael and Catarina the other day. They say that he's going well.”

The words eased the phantom ache a little, a little smile tugging at the corners of his lips. He was happy as long as Magnus was. For the most part at least.

“I'm assuming you haven't heard what he's up to in London though?” She asked, continuing after he shook his head. “Alec, hes- he's changing the world. Catarina said that he opened two different establishments, huge ones. For downworlders and Shadowhunters.”

The smile on her face had grown to be genuine and quite bright. Alec on the other hand found himself frowning. A new establishment for Shadowhunters? How had he not been informed by the London Institute? Surely they would tell him about Shadowhunters living elsewhere.

Izzy couldn't help but laugh at the utterly lost look on her older brothers face. Had he really not been informed about this? She stood, grabbing the chair by the arms, ignoring her brothers exasperated grunt of disapproval. She sat the chair next to his and pulled his tablet closer to herself. She pressed a few things, rolling her eyes at the numerous times the thing asked for security clearance, almost opting to use Google instead. She smiled triumphantly when the information showed up, tapping the screen a few more times before a few images zapped into the air. Holographs floating in front of their faces.

“Look,” she began, pointing at one of the pictures. “That is the old London Institute, the one that was closed down in 1940.”

She swiped, a new and improved version of the building appearing. It clearly had glamours over it, disguising it to the outside world, but through the glamour you could see high pillars, large windows that once contained images of their Angels, now just plain glass. There was a little sign above the door that read “M.B.s Home for Wayward Shadowhunters.” The initials stole his breath away.

Izzy smiled at him. “He opened a home for homeless Shadowhunters. Ones that had nowhere to go, not being accepted in their own homes. Not just lgbt members, ones who defend downworlders, fight the clave. He's given our people a place where they can be accepted, Alec.”

The words had Alec's heart racing in his chest. Of course he would. That was the man that Alec had known. It shouldn't have surprised him as much as it did, Magnus was the most selfless person he'd ever met. But who would have thought he'd open a home for the people who'd hurt and destroyed him out of prejudice.

Izzy continued, “That's not all though.” As she spoke, she pulled up a few more pictures, one containing a building he'd never seen before, and others had pictures of children running around, some poised for the photos.

If you looked closely enough you could see that they were clearly downworld children. Some with marks that identified them as warlocks, a few with glowing green eyes, some with smiles that contained fangs. Even a few with pointed ears. What really made him look closer was what could only be a few children with runes. They were clearly young, just old enough to have passed their lessons and gain one or two. He couldn't stop the smile that appeared on his face. Downworld and Shadowhunter children playing together? Living in the same place? He quickly put two and two together.

“It's an orphanage?” He asked just in case he was wrong.

Izzy nodded excitedly next to him. “Yes! An orphanage for not only downworlders but Shadowhunters alike. All that have been abandoned to war or hate. He's teaching them a world where they don't have to be different. They can live accepted and loved. He's giving them a chance. Something he never had.” She spoke wistfully and he could hear the adoration she had for his ex.

“Alec, he's doing wonderful things.” She said. “Catarina says that both buildings have only been open for a few months, but there's already over 100 children living there and a few hundred young Shadowhunters at the old institute. They're all old enough to move from their original institutions and also train and fight demons. Apparently Magnus has a few older Shadowhunter friends running it for him, because he spends most of his time with the children.”

She swiped through a few more photos, the both of them smiling at how happy all the kids looked. “Raphael lives there with him for the most part, a warlock named Tessa also. Catarina says she visits as much as she can, Madzie has plenty of friends there apparently.”

Alec smiled wistfully at the pictures. He wished that he could have been there. Could have watched Magnus rebuild their world.

As they were looking through the photos, a particular one had caught their eyes. It was Magnus standing in a bedroom that could only be his. The thing that made them stare though was the fond look he was giving the new born baby in his arms. It had Alec's heart skip a beat. He remembered at one point thinking of a future with Magnus, one that included children. Seeing Magnus holding baby, his smile soft, had him thinking again. If only.

When he looked over Izzy was smiling fondly. “Catarina says that I could portal with her to London the next time she's free and I have time.” She said. “I'd love to meet the kids there, Alec.”

Alec could only hum, a part of himself wishing for the same and something else too.

**

Alec found himself lying in bed later that night, exhaustion clear in his body, but his eyes unwilling to stay closed and his thoughts refusing to stop. He took another look at the clock, sighing at the bright red numbers. 1:38. He needed to sleep. You couldn't be the Head of the New York Institute on no sleep and a lot of coffee. He'd tried that already, had failed miserably in fact. Heartbreak couldn't even keep him from sleep.

Staring up at the ceiling had him thinking of past events again, despite it being a new day. The phantom ache in his heart returned again, his fingers rubbing against his chest as if it would help ease the pain. His eyes drifted shut as another memory focused in his head.

“You did what?”

The fear and betrayal in Magnus’ voice made him stutter, wanting to step forward and simply hold him. Though life was never that kind.

“I summoned your father through a warlock. She helped contain him and I made a deal with him.” Alec said simply, like that had explained everything.

He could see the tears in Magnus’ eyes. “How could you even consider saying yes Alexander. Breaking up isn't going to solve anything.”

Alec swallowed, a failed attempt to keep his own emotions under control. “Of course it will. You'll have your magic back Magnus.”

Alec sighed, looking down at the ground. His heart felt weak, remembering Magnus’ words from a few nights ago, the night he was supposed to change their lives. “Well I'm not.” Simple words, that held so much meaning behind them. Magnus had given up everything, had ripped himself apart to assure that Alec stayed in one piece. So that he wouldn't have to lose the ones he loved. He owed it to Magnus, he owed this to Magnus.

“Nothing hurt me more than seeing you unhappy Magnus.” He said, voice cracking at the end. “Hearing you sob, hearing you beg me to let you go? After you have practically told me that you would die for your magic? Magnus, I told you. I can't lose you.”

“If you do this Alexander, then you will.” Magnus cut him off harshly.

Alec looked down, defeated. “I think I will either way. But at least this way, we both have a chance at happiness Magnus.”

Magnus seemed to deflate at that, breath heavy, tears in his eyes. He took a few steps closer, cupping Alec cheeks, forcing Alec to look at the broken man before him. “I don't want to lose you Alexander.”

“I know, Magnus.” He sobbed, letting go of the tight hold on his emotions at the tears in Magnus’ own eyes. “I don't want it either, but I want you happy.”

Magnus pressed their foreheads together. “I never wanted you to feel like you don't make me happy.” He whispered, tears finally falling.

Alec wrapped his arms around Magnus’ waist, leaning close until their lips brushed, the tears on both of their cheeks mixing. “I know. Magnus, I know.”

The kiss that they shared was heart shattering. Magnus had sobbed against his lips, unwilling to break them apart as he cried. They held onto each other for dear life, their lip lock lasting until they couldn't breathe. Until they had no choice but to move away. Both of their hearts broken but beating, they hugged each other. Each crying against the other, Alec silently against Magnus’ hairline, hoping to drink in his scent one last time. Magnus’ loud but muffled in his neck, fingers beginning to tingle against Alec's shoulders.

They held each other, knowing that when they let go, it would be the end.

Alec sighed, rolling over onto his side, eyes opening and automatically drawn to the side of the bed he almost never occupied anymore. One that had once held a scent he'd never want to forget, memories of a time he wished he could have back. It would forever belong to someone else.

**

Magnus stared out the window, unseeing, remembering the days when he hadn't known heart break to the extent that he did now. When his heart didn't ache at the thought of certain names, old homes. The date on the calendar had startled him earlier in the morning, he'd forgotten that it was rolling around, busy with the children that he loved dearly. Every day for the past few months, every child that was found, taken in, cared for, loved, made Magnus heal a little more. Made it easier for him to roll out of bed in the mornings. Each one had a special place in his heart, even the ones he'd have yet to meet.

A lot had changed in the past two years. Since he had decided to fled New York, the memories it held being to much for him at the time. In fact, he wondered if there would ever be a time when stepping foot into New York wouldn't hurt. Wouldn't remind him of the streets they would walk down together, streets he had protected people closest to him for years. And then people closest to him, if only for a few months. He knew he wouldn't step foot into the loft, without sorrow pulling at his heart.

But he knew someday, possibly even soon, that he'd have to return. One day he'd have to take someone with him. Show them his home. His heart.

The only thing that made him eventually focus, was the sound of people talking amongst themselves, magic that would sizzle in the air and children's laughter echoing through the building.

Oh, but how could he ever forget what led him to where he was?

A smile tugged at his lips the familiar presence coming  behind him. It wasn't hard to recognize Tessa's magic, she'd been a great friend of his for long now. The others magic however was one he was still growing used to, especially as it great in power with each passing day. He hummed, stepping to turn just as a babies voice shouted one of his new found favorite words, echoing throughout the hall.

“Ayah!”

Chapter Text

Magnus felt like he couldn't breath as he walked down the Institutes halls. He couldn't believe what had just happened. He understood why Alec did what he did, he could never deny loving the feeling of his magic dunning through his veins, but it didn't make his heart hurt any less.

It had been almost a week since Alec and him broke up. Magnus couldn't find himself being all that mad. He had ended relationships with people on horrible terms, ones that left him damaged and heartbroken. Him and Alec had ended on greater terms than he had thought possible. Alec whispering; “We'll always find our way back to each other. One day Magnus, one day.” Had helped Magnus keep himself together. The feeling of his magic sparking at his fingertips, felt nothing like hugging Alec did. Nothing would ever compare.

Magnus was still in and out of the Institute. It had been the most surprising that as soon as his magic returned so did everyone's need for his help. He'd already healed a handful of shadowhunters, fixed wards, made potions and assisted Isabelle with Heavenly Fire. He'd only had his magic back for a week and already felt drained.

But today that would end. In between helping everyone he had taken a few moments to think about himself. Seeing Alec every day was hard. It was earth shattering to not be able to hug him when he walked into a room, kiss him before he left on a mission. Hard to not look at him. But when he did his heart would ache again, so he'd have no choice but to tear his eyes away. So he had made a decision for himself, only after a surprise happened though.

Magnus had just been finishing up a few things with Isabelle when they entered the Institute. He had not seen or heard from the Warlock council since his dismissal and while they were known to go to a warlock every now and then, they usually choose to stick to their quarters.

Their presence had quickly attracted an audience, Jace and Clary taking a place next to Isabelle. The fuss had drawn Alec out of his office, and he'd been the only one to send everyone back to work.

“Mr. Bane.” One greeted.

Their robes had hid them from everyone. They were some of the most feared out of the warlocks, but they rarely showed their faces to anyone.

Magnus bowed his head politely, “Warlock Council.” He greeted.

One stepped forward, likely the head, speaking for the rest of them. “Mr. Bane, it has been brought to our attention that Mr. Rey can not handle the position as High Warlock of Brooklyn. There have been too many complaints, some even describing times that he's refused to intervene when needed. It has also been brought to our attention that he unlawfully banned all warlocks from helping you, is that correct?”

“Yes, it is.” Magnus answered simply. He knew that there was no point in explaining himself, if it need be.

“Despite your loss in powers, we all had still considered you a warlock, one of us, and his ban was unnecessary and unhelpful. We have officially dismissed him from High Warlock.” The Head said.

Another stepped forward, her voice much softer than the heads. “We sincerely apologise for our mistake, Mr. Bane.” She said. “You have always been a valuable asset to the warlock community, we acted wrongly and for that we apologise.”

Magnus took a deep breath, a smile smile tugging at his lips and a small piece of his soul coming back to life. “Apology accepted.” He breathed.

“We have come here to formally ask you if you would like the position of High Warlock back? It is still yours if you want it.” The Head asked.

Magnus’ breath had wooshed out of him. Somehow he'd not been surprised by this turn of events. A lot had gone to hell since he lost his magic, and Lorenzo had been no help to prevent it. But while one part of him wanted his job back, wanted to continue his life where it had left off, to keep helping his people, another part of him simply didn't.

Magnus sighed, the small group of Shadowhunters behind him were quiet, and he was sure they thought they knew what his answer would be. He had also. But things had changed. He could feel Alec's eyes burning holes into the back of his head, and that was what made him choose.

“No.”

Magnus was tempted to laugh at the four gasps behind him, but the three Warlocks hasn't seemed fazed or even surprised. They had always been able to read him.

Alec appeared next to him. “Magnus, if-if this is because what happened to us, don't let that be your deciding figure. Please.”

“Alec,” he started, tilting his head fondly with a little smile. “It's okay, I'm not letting that make my decision for me.”

That was a little bit of a lie, but he wouldn't tell Alexander that. He turned back to the council, giving them his full attention again and standing with his head held high.

“A lot had happened to me in these past few months. I lost a dear friend of mine, I got body swapped with a murderer. Went to Edom, faced my father. I lost my position, my home, my magic.” He sighed, finally noticing just how worse for wear he was. “I think I need to take it all in.”

He took a step back from the council, turning his body to face the shadowhunters too. “I am leaving. I don't know for how long, or even where I'll be going. I just need some time to figure out my place in this world again.” He looked at the Council. “As much as I love the position of High Warlock, and being able to help my fellow downworlders, my answer is no.”

“We understand Mr. Bane. Please do keep in mind that the position is always there if you decide you want it back.” The Head replied.

Magnus felt like he could see him smiling.

The three Warlocks bowed forward, Magnus following to do it back, before they turned and made their leave. Not even seconds later he was bombarded by Shadowhunters. Clary and Isabelle had wrapped him in a hug, a smile tugging at his lips.

“Oh Magnus, we're going to miss you so much.” Clary said, voice muffled into his shirt.

He smiled and wrapped his arms around the both of them. “I'll miss you all too, Biscuit.”

Isabelle looked up at him from under his arm, “Promise you'll visit so we can go shopping sometime?” She asked.

The tears in both of their eyes made his own sting. “Yes, yes of course I will. I'll visit as much as possible, I promise.”

They both nodded and only pulled back from the hug when they were ready. He placed a kiss on both of their heads before they stepped back to stand next to the other two shadowhunter men. Jace smiled, patting his shoulder.

“You'll be missed, Warlock.” He teased.

“Thanks, Shadowhunter.” Magnus rolled his eyes, zapping Jace with a little of his magic, snickering at the yelp that he got in response.

Nothing could have possibly prepared him for how stuck and unsure he felt when he looked at Alec. But he was surprised, oh how he'd always be surprised by the younger man. There was a sliver of sadness in his eyes, but they mostly shined in happiness and pride, and a smile tugged on his lips. Good lord, he really was beautiful.

Magnus sighed, attempting to memorize Alec's features. “Alexander.”

It was like something had snapped in Alec then, the younger man had almost been pulled in by his voice. “Magnus.” His reply was breathy, and he seemed to stumble a bit before Magnus was being pulled into a crushing hug.

It was the first time the two of them had touched in the last week. Magnus felt familiar tingles in his body at the places they touched, making him feel warm. He would certainly miss this man. More than anything.

Alec's arms were strong around his waist, his breath warm where his face was buried in his neck. Magnus felt like he could melt into a puddle, pressing his face into Alec's chest. Somehow goodbye was harder than their break up.

Magnus felt like he could glare holes into the giant wooden doors in front of him. There were only a few reasons that he ever returned to New York, one being to keep his promise and go shopping with Isabelle and Clary. But he rarely ever needed to come back for an urgent matter. Of course Magnus would never hesitate to come if needed, Catarina had promised that the matter was serious but not necessarily urgent. That he wasn't required but his help could be used.

She had taken the place as temporary High Warlock until he either decided to take the position back, or the council found someone suitable for the place. Magnus was thankful for his long time friend, and how she would try to keep him up to date on the happenings in New York. For the most part nothing too serious had happened, only a few demon outbreaks and such.

He was glad that she still felt like she could ask for his help, but what he didn't understand is why he was needed at the Institute of all places. It had been two years since he stepped foot in that place. He had almost hoped it would be a little longer.

Magnus slapped himself mentally, telling himself to stop whining about it like a child, before taking a deep breath.

Walking into the Institute had unleashed a flood of memories, ones that brought tears to his eyes and some anger to his heart. It certainly didn't help when his eyes landed on the one person that still made his heart race.

Alec looked almost exactly how he remembered him to be. But there was something, different. He held himself a little differently, like he was more relaxed and content to just be. He still stood tall and straight, screaming strength and Head of the Institute. He made something melt in Magnus and something that he hadn't felt in years, come alive.

Catarina spotted him first, bringing Alec's attention to him also, a smile growing at the sight of her closest friend.

Magnus smiled back, ready to step forward and hug her, when a small portal opened up over his head, and a little blue baby practically dropped into his arms. He squeaked in surprise, quickly tightening his hold on the baby, before his small but surprisingly loud voice rang out.

“Ayah, ayah, ayah!”

Magnus couldn't help but chuckle a bit before attempting to speak in a stern voice. “Blueberry, we really got to get your random portaling under control.”

The four month old baby just babbled into his shirt, Catarinas laugh bringing his attention back to the present.

“Still a little trouble maker, is he?” She asked, stepping forward to give him a side hug.

Magnus snorted, “Of course. He reminds me of Ragnor sometimes.”

His reply had Catarina laughing loudly, causing the baby in his arms to start giggling too. He hadn't noticed the group of shadowhunters that were watching both surprised and adoringly, until two of his favorite cooed at the baby.

“Awh Magnus, he's adorable.” Isabelle said, Clary nodding along beside her.

Alec stepped up behind his sister, a little fond smile tugging at his lips as he watched Magnus. He hadn't realized that seeing him again would make his heart feel like it was going to pound out of his chest. He certainly didn't know that seeing Magnus with a baby warlock would make him want to bundle them both up and keep them safe with him for the rest of their lives.

“What's his name?” Alec asked, startling Magnus.

Magnus swallowed, glancing over the the tall shadowhunter. “His name is Max.” He kissed the babies head. “He was one of the first orphaned children I took in. He was just a newborn when he was left on our doorstep.” He took a deep breath, never thinking he'd be so nervous to say these words. “He's my son. I adopted him.”

Alec had almost wished that he could say he was surprised, but the way Magnus kept looking at Max, the way the baby seemed to absolutely adore him back, it had only made sense. Of course Magnus would adopt a baby warlock. Before he could say anything else, Catarina poked at Magnus.

“Okay dad,” she said fondly. “We have some work to do.”

Magnus sighed and nodded. He took one last good look at Alec before nodding to all the shadowhunters and following Catarina and Isabelle through the Institute. Max's laugh echoing through the halls again.

**

Alec sat in his office, slowly beginning to get mad at himself because all he could think about was Magnus Bane and his adorable baby boy, Max. The two had been at the Institute all day, Max's laugh could be heard every now and then when Magnus would carry him by the door of his office. Once or twice the baby would be crying and there would be nothing that Alec wanted more than to help. Which was weird. He wasn't really sure what he felt the need to help Magnus with something he was clearly already good at. Maybe it was the older brother instinct.

Alec had been in the middle of going over the day before's patrol reports, or at least trying to, when a light knock came from the door.

He sighed and closed the tab. “Come in.”

The door opened, Alec a little surprised to see Magnus, baby free, and holding a folder. It reminded him of a different time. “Hey.”

Magnus smiled softly at him, and it made his heart race in his chest. He didn't know how Magnus still had all these affects on him.

“Hello Alexander.” Magnus replied, the use of his full name making him nervously play with one of the pens on his desk. “I have a question for you, about the serum I'm helping Catarina and Isabelle make?”

There had been a random series of Edomite demon attacks recently that they almost lost a few good soldiers to because they didn't have the proper potions to cure the venom. Catarina hadn't been able to do it herself because she didn't have the same extended information on the demons that Magnus did. At first Alec had refused to ask the older warlock in for help, he didn't want to bother Magnus. Catarina said he was always busy with the kids in his orphanage. But then they had another attack and Catarina had insisted on getting Magnus.

Alec sat up straighter, tapping the screen of his tablet a few times before waving Magnus over. He had expected the other man to just hand him the folder, instead he walked around the desk, set the folder down and bent over right next to him. Alec blushed when he felt Magnus’ arm press to his own, wanting to sigh happily at the warmth warlock provided. He shook himself a bit and looked down at the pictures Magnus was pointing at.

“So, I noticed something while re-examining the wounds on some of your shadowhunters. The wounds contained traces of dark magic, meaning the-”

Alec cut him off, frowning at the photos. “Venom they contain was dosed with dark magic.”

“Wow,” Magnus chuckled. “You really haven't changed. Always figuring things out yourself.”

Alec look up at Magnus, attempting to hide his fond smile. “Is that a bad thing?” He asked, breathy.

“No, no,” Magnus turned his head, stuttering when he noticed how close they were. “No of course not.”

Magnus swallowed, looking into Alecs hazel eyes, searching for who knows what. A trace of love, maybe? Something that would tell Magnus if Alec still thought he was his one or not? Lilith, had he missed those eyes. Magnus wasn't sure who started leaning closer first, but before he knew it their breaths were mingling. Just before they could kiss though, Magnus jumped away, trying to ignore the hurt in Alec's eyes.

“Um,” Magnus cleared his throat, looking back at the pictures. “I, uh. I need to get back.”

He stood up straight, fumbling to pick up all his papers and pictures and place them in the folder correctly. He heard Alec laugh under his breath, rolling his eyes a bit at himself before bolting towards the door. Before he could step out into the hall, he stopped with his hand on the door handle. And before he could change his mind Magnus turned his body, pleasantly surprised to see Alec already looking at him.

Magnus bit his lip. “Maybe I'll let you kiss me on a first date this time.” He said quickly, before rushing out the door.

The hope in Alec's eyes was worth it.

**

Alec didn't know how he hadn't noticed it before, but Magnus was less dressed than he remembered him always being. Of course, Alec does remember the times when Magnus felt comfortable enough to dress down around him, taking off his armor, times he felt lucky to experience. But now, with little Max back in his arms, sleeping on his shoulder, he looked less, well, Magnus.

Of course, he still looked gorgeous as ever to Alec, but he knew he could be a little biased. Some of the looks other shadowhunters gave him confirmed Alec's assumptions. Magnus was dressed down. He was wearing what was definitely still a delicate shirt, it was black, long sleeved and the shoulders had lace over them. The shirt itself was thin, not quite sheer, but also allowing you to see the outline of Magnus’ torso, if you looked hard enough. Alec, of course, had.

The shirt was paired with black skinny jeans, and he still had hundreds of necklaces laying on his chest, rings adoring his fingers. Alec, as he was mostly definitely checking Magnus out now, noticed that the older man was missing a specific ring. His “B” ring that usually sat on his pointer finger was now replaced with the “M” ring and nowhere to be found. Alec wanted nothing more than to ask where it had gone, but couldn't quite bring himself to accidentally disturb the child in Magnus’ arms.

So, naturally to Alec, Magnus still looked gorgeous, because he was Magnus. He could make any outfit look good.

He stood to the side, in his Head of the Institute pose of course, watching passing shadowhunters do their jobs, answering questions when asked and helping the two warlocks in the building. A few times Catarina or Magnus had a question about a file or something that Izzy didn't know how to find. Though, she was definitely too focused on the potion.

He couldn't help but glance over at Magnus every now and then, their almost kiss making his heart race when he thought about it. There was something so soft and different about the warlock, minus the child sleeping in his arms. Maybe he had done what he said he wanted to do when he'd left. Maybe he had really taken in all that had happened to him in those past few months, maybe he had finally been able to make peace with all of it. There was nobody that deserved it more than him.

Max snuffled into his father's shoulder, a few baby like murmurs leaving his lips in his sleep and Alec felt his whole posture soften as he watched Magnus look down at the tiny warlock, the fondest smile he'd ever seem making an appearance on the older ones face. He watched as Magnus pressed a soft kiss to Max's head, the baby almost instantly relaxing and falling to sleep. Alec knew the feeling.

Catarina stepped up next to him, Magnus had taken her place using one hand to examine the potion Isabelle had, and she nudged his arm.

“He's quite the sight with Max, huh?” Catarina asked in a soft voice, quiet so the conversation stayed between them.

Alec hummed and responded, “He's gorgeous. They both are.”

Catarina laughed softly at the look on his face, asking herself when the two lovesick fools would get back together.

“He was so scared at first,” She said. “Him and Max had bonded faster than anyone else in the orphanage. Max would cry and cry and cry until Magnus finally held him. It scared him because he'd grown to love the baby so much, but he didn't want to be like any of his other parent figures. It took Tessa and I weeks to convince him that he was a better father than a lot of people we'd known. It took Raphael telling him that he was the best “papá” anyone could have before he decided to adopt. Max was a month old, I think?”

Alec smiled, “He's a great father. I can tell already.”

“Oh yes, Max adores him. Sometimes I wonder if they were meant to be.” Catarina responded before walking back over to Magnus.

Alec kept his eyes on the older man, frowning when he saw a look of fright register on Magnus’ face. Catarina saw it at the same time, placing a comforting hand on her old friends shoulder, and Alec took a step closer. Magnus seemed to clutch Max closer to himself, like he was protecting the baby from something.

Magnus swallowed visibly, looking around the room. “It's my father. The dark traces of magic are my fathers. He's escaped edom.”

Alec felt his heart stop.

Clary and Izzy had looked concerned, they hadn't known who Magnus’ father was until after Alec had told them about their break up. Max seemed to startle from his sleep, despite Magnus’ attempts to soothe the child.

Clary inched closer, the need to comfort her friend over powering. “How do you know that Magnus?”

“The uh-” Magnus struggled to find the words, half his attention on the baby in his arms, bouncing gently to keep him calm. “The dark magic in the venom contained traces of greater demon magic, at first I thought that it was Lilith again, but then something kind of pulled at my magic. Like a beacon of sorts.”

Magnus sighed, shook his head rapidly. “Only my fathers magic would have that effect on mine. Especially after he.” He paused. “After he utilized it all those years ago.”

Alec felt a old but familiar pull of guilt in his chest. A swarm of old “what ifs” flooding his mind. What if he had stopped Magnus from going to edom? He supposes the two of them wouldn't be here now, Max wouldn't be in Magnus' arms, lost like so many other kids that would have still been suffering. In a cruel way, it was still worth it. Even with all the pain it costs.

Magnus took a deep breath, collecting himself. “Well as much as I'd like to continue this conversation, Blueberry here is getting fussy.” As those words were said, a whimper left the child. “Baby's probably hungry again.”

The rest of the group seemed to melt again, a few coos being let out from Izzy and Clary again, Max's brown eyes peeking out from Magnus’ neck. It took everything in Alec to not join his sister and Clary. Magnus smiled at all of them, something about it still sad, before promptly turning on his heal and stalking away. Catarina seemed to almost follow like a magnet, but Alec stopped her with a hand on her shoulder.

“Wait,” He paused unsure of himself. “Can I?”

Catarina smiled brightly up at him, nodding and stepping back politely. “Of course. I'm sure Magnus is looking forward to introducing you two.”

Alec felt his heart skip a beat, smiling thankfully at Catarina before walking in the direction that Magnus had gone. Something like hope making him step faster than normal.

**

Magnus cooed at Max as the baby warlock squirmed on the table top, little sparks of blue magic flying from his tiny fingertips. The kitchen was empty and silent, Magnus was glad, the baby hadn't need to be startled anymore. Being far away from home was making him fussy enough, a random group of unknown shadowhunters wouldn't help. Magnus cupped the small hands in his own, soothing the babies magic with his own as he cooed again.

“Oh my darling little Blueberry.” He spoke softly, a gentle ring in his voice. “Always surprising me. Hopefully we'll find a way to slow down your ever growing magic, you're the most developed little warlock I've ever seen.”

Despite not knowing what he was saying, Max's giggles erupted out of nowhere, as if he found Magnus hilarious. He tended to laugh at most of the things that Magnus said, Tessa had explained multiple times that if was likely just that he liked the sound of the older warlocks voice. Though they didn't know, Magnus was glad, he'd rather have a happy baby than a sad one.

Little onesie clad feet flew through the air, a light laugh leaving Magnus’ mouth as he watched the baby grab at them, mesmerized by his own limbs. He was the most endearing little thing.

He was Magnus’ heart.

The fear that had punched his stomach, when he discovered the traces of demonic magic belonging to Asmodeus, had been for the people around him, the people he still considered dear family to him. But it had mostly been for the warlock child in his arms. He hadn't had Max for long, hadn't been a father for long, but he felt a never ending need to protect him. All he wanted was for his son to be safe, to be loved, to never experience half the hurt that he had growing up. He knew instantly that he would do anything to protect his child.

Magnus sighed, tickling the feet that we're still in the air, smiling at the giggles he received, before his thoughts were cut off by a soft knock on the door frame of the kitchen. Magnus lifted his head, pleasantly surprised to see Alexander and briefly wondered just how much of the interaction the other had seen.

Magnus smiled softly at the Shadowhunter, watching as he walked closer to the two of them. “Hello Alexander.”

Alec seemed to stop in his tracks at that, taking a second to watch Magnus before huffing out a soft laugh. “God, I've missed you calling me that.”

Magnus’ eyes widened as a light blush spread on his cheeks. He turned his head to look down at the baby, wondering how it was still possible for Alec to make his cheeks heat up. He'd hadn't had the time to search for anyone else to steal his heart, honestly hadn't wanted to even try, despite Catarina and Tessa's attempts. Some part of him knew that Alec would always hold his heart in his hands, how there would be nobody else for him. Simple words keeping him strong through all of his troubles.

“We always find our way back to each other. One day Magnus, one day.”

Whenever Magnus could feel himself crumpling, the walls he'd spent time and gentle hands in rebuilding over the past two years chipping away, he remembered those words. He'd always believed that one day they would find their way back to each other. One day.

Magnus felt Alec's warm body step close to his, watched as Max's eyes trailed over to him curiously. There was a brief pause, he saw Alec make a silly face from the corner of his eyes, and suddenly Max squealed loudly, his giggles filling the kitchen once again. The baby waved his hands around, his feet kicking out with them, and blue sparkles tickled their skin.

Magnus laughed, “I think he likes you.” He said, repeating the gesture from earlier, soothing Max's erratic magic with his own.

“Well that's a relief.” He heard Alec whisper to himself, smiling because he knew he probably wasn't supposed to hear.

Magnus leaned down a blew a raspberry into the babies cheek, the warlock child squealing once again. He felt tiny hands on his cheeks, one pulling at an earring dangling for his ear. He nuzzled the babies cheek, placing a sweet kiss there, before sitting back up again. With a wave of his hand a bottle appeared, he shook it gently before pressing it to his wrist to check the temperature. He watched as Alec let Max hold onto one of his fingers, smiling down at the baby. Magnus felt his heart melt, a smile tugging at his lips.

Magnus pretended to be distracted with the bottle, watching Alec stick his tongue out at Max, crossing his eyes and smiling big when the baby warlock responded happily to the gestures. Magnus shook his head at himself before turning on his heel. He took the baby back into his arms, smiling as he almost instantly latched onto the bottle before letting his attention go back to Alec. He was surprised to see so much fondness in the others posture.

“You really are great with him, Magnus.” Alec whispered, taking a small step closer, his chest brushing against Magnus’ arm.

Magnus felt his heart flutter, taking a small breath, returning his eyes to his son. “All I want is to be everything that my parents were not.”

He sighed, watching at Max closed his eyes. “I don't want to him to ever feel unloved or lost like it did. I don't want to him to hurt. I, Alexander, I never want him to feel even a fraction of the way I did growing up.”

And as if he could tell that Magnus was getting a little distressed at even the thought, a gentle hand was placed on the dip of his back. A comfort but also a support. The message rang loud and clear between them. “I'm here. I'll be here when you need me.”

Hope bloomed in the both of their chests.

Chapter Text

It had been obvious, since the moment that Magnus figured out it was Asmodeus' dark magic in the venom of the demon wounds, that his father was planning something. While he had no idea what that something could be, Magnus still did everything in his power to prevent it. He finished up the potions with Isabelle before deciding that it was time to take Max to a very special place of his.

"Are you sure about this Magnus?" Catarina asked after Magnus had told her his plans. "It's been years since you last stepped foot into the loft."

Magnus smiled, rocking his sleeping baby, ignoring the looks from the shadowhunters he was receiving. Some of them were polite, continuing on with their day jobs, but the same could not be said about them all. A few would just glare as if having not one, not two, but three warlocks in the building together were the end of the world. Magnus understood that change was being made, that as hard as Alexander worked, he could not change the minds of all shadowhunters. But anyone that even breathed negative air towards Max would suffer Magnus' wrath.

"Hm, yes I am Cat." Magnus sighed. "As much as I would love to go back to the orphanage, it is not my home, it never was, and I believe that it is time that I returned. Besides, Tessa and Raphael can handle it, and I'll portal there as much as they need me to. I want Max to grow up here, in my home. New York is a fabulous place, and maybe I could open another orphanage here too."

Catarina smirked knowingly. "Perhaps those aren't the only reasons you're choosing to stay?" She asked.

"I have no idea what you're talking about, " Magnus hummed.

"Of course not." Catarina agreed sarcastically, a giggle escaping her lips at the blush on her best friends cheeks. "I'm sure Madzie will love having Max around more often anyway."

Magnus hummed in response before the two of them decided it was time to make their leave. They had both been working hard all day, both were drained and exhausted and both had children to take care of. Once Magnus had known for sure that he was not needed for the rest of the night, he portalled himself and Max back to the loft. It was like his magic had known it was home, the buzz in his veins seemed to die down and his headache eased a bit. He took one little second to take a deep breath, before making his way back to his room.

Stepping inside had been hard, trying not to relive the memories that were held in the room. He shook his head before waving his free hand, blue magic sparking at his fingertips, and a wooden cot magicked itself into place a few feet from Magnus' bed. Soon he would put together a nursery, but he already knew that he'd feel better with Max sleeping in the same room as him for a few weeks before feeling comfortable enough to move him.

Magnus gently placed the sleeping baby into the cot, brushing a soft kiss to his forehead before whispering. "Selamat malam cintaku."

Stepping away from the cot, Magnus flicked his wrist setting up several different wards in the room itself. One being to alert him when Max stirred and another if anyone tried to enter the room. He walked out of the bedroom, taking a deep breath as he looked around his home. Something settled in his chest, a knot loosening at the comfort of his loft.

He took a look around, sighing at the particles of dust that were visible atop of each flat surface. Magnus rolled his eyes a bit, snapping his fingers to clear away all the dust. He plopped himself down onto his favorite chair and took a deep breath, allowing himself to relax. One glance to his left brought his attention to the drink card that had not moved an inch since the last time he stayed here. The warlock council were kind enough to restore his loft to its former glory after they booted Lorenzo out, every last piece of furniture was in its place.

Magnus sighed, longing for a drink, but remembered the promise that he had made himself after that fateful night with Alec. He'd promised himself to get in control of his drinking problem and had stuck to it. He had no plans to ruin his progress today. With one last flick of his wrist he banished all alcohol in the building. Magnus then proceeded to retreat to his bedroom, his sleepy brain making his body feel sluggish.

 

When Magnus woke up the next morning, he was surprised that Max had slept through the night. He figured that it was probably from the stress of being in a new environment that kept him restless the day before. He was less surprised though to find the baby babbling in his cot, little giggles leaving his lips as he watched his own magic sparkle around himself.

Magnus chuckled, picking Max up, "Good morning, sayangku." He cooed.

The baby almost instantly brightened at the sight of his father, screeching happily. The older warlock laughed again, Max was one of the loudest infants he'd ever met, making his way into the kitchen. He quickly set to preparing a bottle for the little one, listening to his ramblings and responding when appropriate. When it was ready he adjusted Max in his arms before feeding him.

As he was eating Magnus started thinking. He could ask Catarina to watch Max for him for the day while he investigated a few things related to the demon attacks. Madzie adored Max and would probably love the idea herself. His thoughts drifted a little; when was the last time Alec had gone to see her? Magnus hoped their break up hadn't stopped the shadowhunter from visiting.

The little girl had grown so much in the past two years. There was a few months where he had not gotten the chance to see her after leaving and he recalled how much older she seemed. Madzie was definitely still a little girl, still loved her dolls and nightlights, but she was 10 now. She'd become more social with other kids, trusted a little easier and now loved showing off her warlock mark when given the chance. Magnus was glad that she was growing up in a better world than he did. Happy that her and Catarina had each other.

Even after all these years, Magnus could still remember how devastating Ragnors death had been for the two of them. While both he and Catarina knew that there was always the possibility of losing each other due to war and death, they all thought that the day would be years and years away. They'd spent so long having each others back that it was a complete shock to lose Ragnor. Madzie seemed to have eased the ache for Catarina.

Leaving the two of them behind was one of the hardest things he did. But Catarina understood, he'd been through so much in such a short period of time. She thought he deserved the time to recover.

Looking down at the baby in his arms, he remembered the first time he'd met Max and how he instantly loved him.

Tessa's fire message had come right in the middle of a meeting with a new group of Shadowhunters. They consisted of a young boy and girl. They were orphaned in the war with Edom and had been desperately trying to navigate their way through life without their parents. Magnus had spent some time getting to know them, letting them know that were welcome into his Institute, and that they had a family again. The young woman had burst into tears at his words, and then proceeded to hug him tightly for a few moments. The fire message flew into his hand right after the hug, he excused himself before moving away.

Magnus,

Although this is not entirely urgent, we all figured you would have preferred to hear about this as soon as possible. A young warlock was dropped on the doorstep of the orphanage last night. He was left with a note with only his birth date, name, and a request you take good care of him.

See you soon.

Tessa.

Magnus had spent only a few more hours at the Institute, helping the Head organize new rooms for the two shadowhunters before excusing himself. Within minutes he was back at the orphanage, children of all shapes and sizes barrelled into him, making him laugh in delight. Once he had finished greeting all the children he made his way back to his office, giving hello to some of the older kids, and the adults that worked there. Tessa and Raphael were waiting in his office.

Magnus smiled at his two friends. "Well? Where is our newest addition?" He asked, grabbing a water bottle from his mini fridge, taking a sip.

"Actually, Magnus. He's in your room." Tessa answered, a small smile growing on her face. Like she knew something he didn't.

Magnus hummed, "And why is that, my dear?"

Raphael stepped close to his side, resting a hand on his shoulder in greeting. Magnus almost instantly relaxed at the familiarity of it, leaning into the warmth that his now human son provided.

"We spent all morning trying to get him to stop crying," Raphael began. "We fed him, gave him a bath, changed his clothes, but no matter what we did, he wouldn't stop crying." He paused, Magnus rolling his eyes at how dramatic the former vampire could be.

"Until Tessa carried him into your room. She was searching for a way to get him to calm down, hoping that maybe you had something for one of the other kids. When she laid him on the bed, he stopped crying and fell asleep."

Tessa led them out of his office and towards his bedroom. "He'd woken up a few times, mainly when someone attempted to move him, but would usually calm down for the most part in your bed."

When they entered the room, Magnus was delighted to see Catarina and Madzie snuggled on his small couch and asleep.

"They've been watching over him for us while we worked." Tessa explained.

Raphael walked over to the two warlocks, gently waking them up. Upon waking up, Madzie had realized that Magnus had arrived, she claimed off of Catarinas lap and sleepy stumbled into his arms. Magnus couldn't stop the smile on his face even if tried, Madzie held a special place in his heart as his niece. They hugged for a few moments, Magnus laughing as he felt her delighted magic brush over his skin. When they finally pulled away, he hugged Cat briefly, before a cry broke their moment.

Magnus had not been expecting a new born baby to be in his bed. He'd been under the impression that the new warlock was a little on the older side, like most of the toddlers they had. His magic on the other hand had longed to shoot out to the baby, sooth his cries with gentle sparks. Him and his magic had always shared the same feelings.

Magnus watched as Tessa picked up the baby, also grabbing a note off of his bedside desk. He winced at the sounds of the babies wails, wanting nothing more than to comfort the young warlock. Tessa passed him the note, while gently shushing the baby and bouncing him in her arms. Magnus concentrated on the letter as well as he could, frowning at the words.

Hello Mr. Bane,

I'm sure you don't remember who I am, and that benefits me fore I will not reveal myself to you. I have an important request for you as you are the only person I believe I can trust with this. I made a grave mistake in the war with Edom, and I will soon be sentenced to death. In my death I will hope for only one thing, something I think that the former High Warlock of Brooklyn, someone who's helped me on several occasions, could accomplish.

There is nothing more that I want more than my son to be happy. You've begun to change the world in ways that I thought were not possible. Shadowhunters and Downworlders living under the same roof? Safe? I never thought that I would see the day. You are changing our world, Magnus Bane, and I hope you will make sure that my son lives happily in our ever evolving world.

I am trusting you to take care of my beloved boy. I understand if you will choose to treat him as all of the other children in your establishment, looking for a home for all. But I hope you will raise him as your own.

Please take care of my boy.

His name is Max. He was named after my father who died long before I got the chance to know him. There is nothing I will regret more than leaving him as early as my father left me.

His date of birth is February 19th, 2021.

Thank you for everything you've done for us Magnus. I will forever be grateful.

Magnus sighed. Three weeks. The baby was only three weeks old. Something in the words reminded him of someone, but he could not quite figure out who it was. A mystery for another time, he supposed. With a deep breath Magnus took a few steps towards Tessa, banishing the letter to one of his desk drawers before holding out his hands.

"May I?" He whispered.

Tessa shrugged, gently placing the child in his arms. He adjusted his grip and only a second later did the baby stop crying. Everyone in the room looked at him in surprise, Max had cried no matter whose arms he was in, so it was a shock when he stopped crying in Magnus' arms. He had not noticed though, too focused on the baby in his arms. Max's blue skin reminded him so much of Catarina, the tiny nubs that would one day be horns made him think of Ragnor. His heart clenched.

"Wow." Catarina breathed. "Who would've thought."

Magnus glanced at her quickly before focusing back at the baby. He watched silently as the child looked at him back, before a smile broke out on his face, a happy gurgle leaving his lips. Magnus felt tears prickle in his eyes, his own lips tugging up at the corners. He heard Tessa, Raphael and Catarina laugh at the happy noises the baby made, the joy being contagious.

Magnus hadn't known yet that Max, had instantly, became his world.

Looking down at his child, Magnus smiled at the memory, before moving to put him in the playpen that he'd summoned from his office in London. The baby squealed at the sight of his toys, throwing a few things before settling to babble and play to himself. Magnus chuckled at the babies antics before spinning on his heel.

Magic sparked on his fingertips. "Well, my baby Blueberry." He smiled at the squeal he got in response. "I think it's about time I redecorated this place."

**

Arranging Catarina to babysit for Magnus went faster and smoother than he thought it would. He thought that she'd have to clear things up work wise, but it was like she was expecting him. In fact, she probably was.

Magnus decided, after Catarina picked Max up, that he wasn't really going to dress up again. A part of him enjoyed seeing all the shadowhunters surprised to see him in something so simple. Or course it was still elegant, but he tried to wear clothes that were a little more comfortable, and wouldn't be ruined by accidental baby mishaps. He'd learned that quickly enough. He decided on a red silk shirt, that had simple black square patterns on it, and a low hanging bow around the neck, and black skinny jeans once again.

His usual jewelry sat in their places, ear cuff on his ear, three necklaces around his neck, one being a choker, and a few rings adoring his fingers including the classic "M" ring. The matching "B" had gotten misplaced somewhere in the orphanage, but Magnus could never made himself worry about it too much.

After he added a few finishing touches to his make up, he portaled out of his loft and into the Institute. A lot must have changed in the past two years because no shadowhunter in the room even flinched. They just continued on with their work, as if warlocks portaling in and out was normal now. With how hard Alec had worked, he wouldn't be surprised if that really was the case.

Magnus heard the tall tale sounds of heels clicking on the ground behind him, expecting to see Izzy, he spun on his heal and was delightfully surprised to see Maryse.

"Magnus!" She said, walking up to hug him. "Nobody told me you were back in New York."

Magnus chuckled, retuning the hug. "I only just arrived yesterday. It's good to see you," he responded.

When they pulled away, she smiled brightly at him. The two had really managed to clean up their relationship before Magnus left, to which he was grateful for. While him and Alec were no longer an item he was glad that she hadn't decided to dislike him due to the circumstances. She actually seemed to understand better than anyone, and had promised her full support to both of them. He was eternally grateful.

"Oh Magnus, you look," Maryse paused, trying to find the right word. "Happier. More content."

Magnus hummed, "I spent months sorting out my feelings, traveling and figuring out just exactly what my place was in this world. It was hard but I managed. I do in fact feel much more content. I don't feel like I have the world upon my shoulders anymore."

Maryse smiled, rubbing his arms in such a motherly way that it pulled at his heartstrings. "I'm glad Magnus." Her smile turned a little mischievous. "I've also heard rumor that there's a baby portaling randomly into the Institute?"

"Oh, yes." Magnus couldn't help but giggle quietly. "He really is quite the handful sometimes. But he has a bright and magical future ahead of him."

"So it's true then?" She asked. "You have a child?"

Magnus nodded, smiling fondly at the thought of his son. "Yes, it's true. He's adopted, but he is indeed mine in every way except blood."

Maryse could help but pull him into another hug. "Oh Magnus, I'm so happy for you. I'm happy that you're happy."

"As am I, dear."

Magnus held onto to Maryse tightly for a few extra seconds, enjoying the hold of his motherly figure. When they pulled away, Maryse straightened out his shirt, patting his shoulder lightly before the two Lightwood siblings they were both there to see emerged from around the corner.

"Mom, you're here!"

Magnus turned his body a bit, stepping away just in time for Isabelle to practically fall into her mother's arms. He smiled as he watched the two women interact, glad that their relationship was still stable also. He briefly wondered how Simon and Luke were, deciding that he may go visit both later, before turning towards Alec. The younger man was watching his sister and mother, a fond smile on his pretty face. Magnus sighed, taking in his features and before he knew it Alec was looking right back at him.

Magnus blushed upon being caught staring at his ex, quickly looking away and missing the knowing smile that appeared on Alec's face and the hope in his eyes.

After everyone's greetings were done, Alec and Maryse left to go do who knows what, and Magnus followed Isabelle back to her lab. There had been an attack the night before while some young shadowhunters were patrolling. They managed to get out with only a few minor injuries and even killed one of the demons. He was there to examine the body and see if he could get any more leads on his father's whereabouts.

It was only about an hour later when a portal was made in the middle of the lab, and Catarina stepped through with Madzie trailing behind. He instantly perked up at the sight of his little boy, and the tiny warlock squealed upon seeing him.

Magnus quickly removed all of his equipment, flicking his fingers to rid himself of any ichor or bodily fluids that might have gotten on him, before walking over to them. Max leaned out of Catarinas arms and towards him, making him smile in delight. He picked up his son from his best friends arms and spun him around.

"Oh there's my little Blueberry." He exclaimed, Max giggling loudly as Magnus pressed loud kisses to his cheeks.

"Ayah!"

Magnus chuckled, "Yes, it is I, your Ayah."

He heard Isabelle and Catarina laugh, before turning to look at his other favorite little warlock.

"Oh and if course. How could I forget my favorite niece."

He hadn't even finished his sentence before Madzie barrelled into his legs, making him laugh once again. He kneeled down to her level, hugging her with one arm. Magnus watched Madzie patt Max's head, placing a kiss to his cheek which made him giggle before she leaned over and kissed his cheek also.

"Hello Uncle Magnus, hi baby Max."

Magnus smiled, watching the two interact with each other. Madzie used a little bit of magic to tickle Max and the babies response was immediate. He squealed loudly before a burst of his own magic erupted from his hands. Magnus jumped at the sudden tingles on his arms, listening to everyone laugh at him. He tsked to himself before quickly getting the babies magic back under control. As Madzie was giggling with the baby, Alec stepped through the doorway.

"Hey, I recognize that laugh!" He said, drawing the little girl's attention to him.

Madzie jumped up and ran straight into his arms. "Alec!"

Magnus stood back up, watching as Alec picked up Madzie and spun her around, just like Magnus always remembered him doing. He suddenly felt a certain fondness that he hadn't felt in a few years, and then it hit him.

Magnus was definitely still in love with Alec Lightwood.

Some part of him couldn't believe that it was the case, but another bigger part of him was not at all surprised. Alec had stolen his heart with ease all those years ago. Had torn down his walls like they were made of paper. Alec hadn't just held his heart in his hands, he had it in a cushioned box for safe keeping. The shadowhunter had mended his heart, bandaged the bleeding areas. Had taken care of it when Magnus didn't have the strength to do it himself. And Magnus had never been able to ask for it back. Had never really wanted to.

Isabelle stepped up next to Magnus, and hand on his shoulder. "Magnus are you busy tonight?"

From the corner of his eye he could see Alec shaking his head at his little sister, mouthing something that he couldn't quite make out.

"No, I don't believe I am deary." He shrugged, putting his whole attention on Isabelle.

"Well," she said. "How would you feel about coming to dinner with us tonight? Simon, Luke, Clary and Jace will all be there. You could even bring Max if you'd like. Maia just recently opened a place called Takis, we're going to show our support for her."

Magnus smiled, "I would love to attend. I'm sure Blueberry here would also love to be there."

As if he knew that they were talking about him, the baby started clapping, a huge gummy smile on his face. Magnus watched his child fondly, giving in to the urge to kiss his blue forehead.

"Yes, he seems ecstatic." He said.

"Great!" Izzy exclaimed. "We're all meeting up there at 7:00. It's where the Jace Wolf used to be."

Magnus nodded his in acknowledgment, turning just in time to see Alec finish mouthing something towards Isabelle. The younger one blushed upon being caught, quickly looking away. Magnus laughed softly to himself, before flipping through his folder, listening to Max's babbles and responding when appropriate. He was too focused to notice how everyone else in the room, minus Catarina, was delighted to watched Magnus interact with his child, making it clear that he'd gotten good at fatherhood. Though out of them all it surprised Alec the least.

How would he survive dinner, he had no idea.



Magnus spent a good majority of the afternoon both taking care of Max and examining certain things from the venom. He was able to go as far as tracking his father's last known whereabouts. He had no idea what Asmodeus needed in Oregon of all places, but he was glad to know that his father was last seen on the other side of the country. Still, he couldn't help but hold Max a little closer to himself.

After finally wrapping up a few things with Isabelle, he briefly portalled back to his loft in order to redress himself and Max. Magnus dressed himself in an older midnight blue button up, a black vest to go over it and a clean pair of black jeans to match. He added a few blue streaks to his hair and tidied up his makeup.a bit, before moving on to his son. He dressed Max in a cozy onesie that Tessa had gotten him that had the words "Straight Outta Diapers" printed on the back. Magnus had almost cried laughing after he read it, Tessa was more humorous than some tended to believe.

By the time 6:55 rolled around Magnus had gotten a few bottles prepared in the fridge, ready for him to conjure if needed, but he also had a one or two in his diaper bag. He grabbed the carrier that Max was dozing in before opening a portal. Stepping through, they landed right outside of the old building that was once The Jade Wolf now restored and redecorated to be Takis. Magnus hummed, hoping to be able to catch up with Maia before he made his way inside.

The atmosphere was cozy, he was surprised to see downworlders of all kinds and also a few shadowhunters here and there. Most were there in groups, some in twos and a few alone, but everyone seemed pretty content. Maia had really brought them together. Pride swelled in his chest. He was happy for her. Would have to remember to congratulate her soon.

Magnus looked around the slightly crowded area, smiling when he spotted the group he was looking for. Simon was the first to notice him, most likely by smell, and also the first to greet him.

"Magnus, wow. It's so good to see you. How have you been? I've heard that you've been pretty busy in London, y'know with the orphanage and what not. Raphael's told me a bit here and there-" As Simon began to rant a bit, Magnus chuckled.

"Sherwin." Simon almost instantly quieted down, though Magnus could see the happy smile tugging at his lips. "It's good to see you too."

Magnus was a little surprised by the hug Simon gave him, but happily returned the hold back. When they both sat down is when Magnus beamed upon seeing Luke sitting comfortably next to Maryse. He was more than ecstatic knowing that the two of them had decided to pursue a relationship and that they'd shared it with their children.

Luke shook his hand when he offered his own. "Magnus, good to have you back."

"Good to be back Lucian." He responded.

A burst of magic popped in front of Magnus' face, starling everyone but him. He huffed fondly, looking down at his child, who was now giggling to himself, blue sparks flying around. From the corner of his eye, Magnus saw the flowers in the middle of table change color and he quickly took the baby out of his carrier, getting control over the magic Max was flinging around.

He heard a gasp, turning to see Maryse watching him. "Oh Magnus! Is that him?"

Magnus chuckled at her enthusiasm, nodding. "Yes. Maryse this is Max." He replied.

Maryse cooed at the baby from across the table and Max lit up from the attention, squealing and clapping his hands. Everyone at the table laughed at the baby which only encouraged him to clap more.

Dinner when pretty smooth after that. Everyone ate the amazing food, chattering in between and getting Magnus caught up on some things that had happened. He explained some of the adventures he had after he left New York a few years ago, his rare run ins with demons, and then told them what pushed him towards rebuilding the old Institute in London. Told them a little bit of information on Will Herondale, which Jace got excited over knowing he wasn't the only one who knew ducks were dangerous. Magnus told them about the first group of children he'd found alone and starving, and then how the orphanage came to be.

Everyone listened intently, asking questions when they all felt appropriate. Magnus was acutely aware of Alecs eyes boring into his face, and the warmth that his body provided where they were pressed against each other in the booth. He watched for a few minutes as Maryse held Max, Luke and Jace playing with baby in her arms before excusing himself. He'd planned to just step outside for a few moments, taking a little moment to himself and a chance to relish in the view of the bridge and what was New York. The smells were almost exactly how he'd remembered, brought back a few pleasant memories. He was surprised when Alec stepped outside with him, though.

"Hey," he said, reaching up to play with his ear cuff, a nervous habit that he sometimes wished he could break.

Alec smiled down at him, before taking place at his side, keeping a few feet in between them. "Hey. Is everything okay?"

Magnus hummed, "Actually yes. I just wanted to take a quick breather. Being back has proven to be a little overwhelming."

Alec frowned at that, turning to get a good look at the warlock. "I hope it hasn't been too overwhelming."

"No, no. Of course not." Magnus laughed, "I expected it. Prepared for it even. I just don't think I realized how much I missed New York until I returned."

Magnus shuffled on his feet for a second, slowly turning his body towards Alec. "How much I've missed you. And your family, but mostly you."

He knew by the look on Alec face that he could see how vulnerable Magnus felt. Yes, they might have had a few moments here and there since Magnus had returned, but that didn't mean that Alec felt the same as he did still. Of course he'd hoped, but he also wouldn't hold it against Alec.

He also however, failed to notice how fondly Alec was looking at him until, "I missed you too Magnus. So much."

Magnus jerked his head up, meeting Alec's eyes that were open and honest. He was telling Magnus the complete truth without even having to open his mouth. He knew that Magnus would be able to see how in love he was with the warlock. How he was still his one and only. Magnus felt choked up all a sudden, not really sure what to do with the information that he now had. His body, though, had apparently knew. Before he knew in his face was pressed into Alec's neck. He had a brief moment of panic that was settled when Alec's arms wrapped around him, his nose buried in Magnus' hair.

The two of them stood in their embrace, relishing in the way holding each other even after all this time still made both of their stomachs flip. How almost nothing had changed between them. Alec's heart stopped when he heard Magnus sniffle, pulling away just enough to look at the warlock, who now had a few tears running down his face and was clearly embarrassed by it.

"Sorry. Sorry I don't-" Magnus stuttered. "I-i I didn't think-"

"Hey," Alec stopped him. "Hey. It's okay, I understand." He cupped Magnus' cheeks in his hands, wiping away the tears. "Magnus I-." He paused.

Was it really a good time to say those words again? They had so much to work through, so much to talk about, but there was nothing Alec wanted more than to reassure Magnus. Shadowhunters only truly loved once and Magnus. Magnus was always going to be it for him. How the older one still didn't know that, Alec didn't know.

"I love you." He sighed, brushing some hair away from Magnus' eyes. "I'm always going to love you."

Magnus couldn't help but sob, a laugh mixed somewhere in between. He had hoped and hoped and hoped. Wanted nothing more than for Alec to still feel the same, hoped that he hadn't found someone else, even if I he deserved it. Hoped that maybe, just maybe, he wanted him still. To know now, for sure that he did, made something light up ain Magnus and shatter at the exact same time.

Magnus smiled up at him, eyes blurred with tears. "I love you too. So much, Alexander."

"Yeah? You still do?" Alec asked, a little hesitant.

Magnus nodded furiously, "Yes, yes I still do. I never stopped." He replied.

That was all Alec needed to lean down and capture Magnus' lips in his own. He felt the earth tip on its axes his center becoming Magnus once again. His lips were just as soft as Alec remembered, tasted the same. He felt something lock back into place, something that had felt out of reach for the past two years. The feel of Magnus hands on his neck, in his hair, brought back feelings that he had buried deep inside, his own resting on the warlocks cheek and hip. When they pulled away, Magnus kept his eyes closed, savoring the moment, and Alec couldn't help but press a soft peck to his lips again.

"This isn't going to, like, reverse the deal I made with your father right?" Worry made a lump grow in Alec's throat. He'd do anything to make sure Magnus never felt empty like that again.

Magnus chuckled, willing away the tears that we're still slowly falling. "No, no. Once my father returned my magic to me it was rightfully mine once again. He can't take it from me without my consent."

Alec sighed in relief, pressing his forehead to Magnus'. "That's good. Marvelous even."

Magnus giggled at the word choice, and Alec heart soared at the sound. He swallowed, trying his hardest to fight the smile creeping up on his face, but failed. He had missed Magnus so much, while he had recovered quicker than anyone had thought he would, there was still something that was missing in his life. He ground felt uneven too often without Magnus around. But he had learned to keep his balance knowing that Magnus was safe and getting the chance to find himself again. Glad that he'd gotten the chance to do the same.

Magnus cleared his throat silencing Alec's thoughts. "You do realize that I have a child now, correct? We're a package deal Alexander."

Alec laughed softly, "Yes. The most amazing package deal I've ever met. I've only known know Max for a few days, but if anything were to happen to him I would kill everyone in this world and then myself."

Magnus gasped, "Was that a Brooklyn 99 reference?" He asked.

"Yeah, Izzy, Jace and I have all been forced to watch all kinds of movies and TV shows by Clary and Simon lately." He explained. "Though now that I think about it, I'm not sure how them being completely whipped got me roped into it."

Magnus giggled, pressing a soft kiss to Alec's cheek, the younger one blushing at the gesture that was so familiar to them. "Now you're a man after my heart."

Alec hummed, agreeing completely with the statement even if he knew it was just an idiom.

"But on a more serious note, Max is my world now and I wouldn't give him up for anything, but I'd like to try. If you still want me, if you want us?" Magnus asked, voice quiet and shaky with emotion.

Alec smiled, nuzzling their noses together. "I do. There's nothing I want more Magnus."

One day he'd convince the older man that he'd always want him, always want his child too. Like he had said, they were the best package deal. Alec was always going to love Magnus, every part of him, including the part that now held Max so dear. He'd just have to figure out what to do when the baby and his own brother were in the same room as each other.

As they were too caught up in their moment, finally deciding that it was probably time to go back inside. Seeing as they were out longer than originally planned, they failed to notice fiery gold eyes watching them from a distance, a devilish smile appearing on the face that held them.

Chapter Text

Magnus hadn't expected Alec to offer to accompany him home, which he should have this was Alexander they were talking about, but he couldn't say that he was disappointed that the shadowhunter chose to do so. Magnus had made sure to portal them a few blocks away from the loft, just in case Alec decided that he wanted to go back to the Institute instead.

As they walked Alec held the baby carrier for him, Max was sound asleep in his arms, face tucked into Magnus' neck. Alec's other arm, however, made itself comfortable around Magnus' waist, the shadowhunters hand was tucked into his back pocket (not that he minded at all).

Magnus' heart had skipped several beats during that few blocks.

When they stopped outside of the building the loft was now located in, Magnus didn't even get the chance to ask if Alec wanted to come inside, he just stepped forward and opened the door for the warlock. He found himself smiling, brushing his fingers over Alec's elbow before stepping through the doorway. Max snuffles a few times through the elevator ride but stays asleep for the most part, still peacefully tucked into Magnus' neck.

Magnus let's Alec into the apartment first, unloading the diaper bag with a flick of his wrist, then tells Alec to make himself comfortable while he puts Max to bed. He decides to redress himself in something more comfortable before joining Alec. He tucks Max in, wishing him sweet dreams in Indonesian, changes into a cozy pair of sweats and a sweater before exiting the room, putting his wards in place with a whisper under his breath. He finds Alec sitting comfortably on the sofa, seemingly texting someone.

Magnus fiddles with his fingers for a few seconds before plopping down onto his favorite chair, allowing himself to relax, and Alec puts his phone away.

They're quiet for a few moments, both taking a moment to stare without regret. Magnus watched Alec's eyes trail over his body, his cheeks heating up in response, watches the shadowhunter examine his now makeup free face and does the same back to him. Alec seems so different, but yet the same to Magnus. He's a little more built, the fact that he's spent plenty of time training and on the field shows in his shoulders and biceps. His hair is cut a little differently from what Magnus remembers. The warlock remembers wild curls that Alec always complained about never being able to tame. The hair in now shaved close on the sides, the top longer, but more groomed and still a little curly.

Oh, but those eyes, they were the same. Magnus had spent many nights dreaming about those eyes, remembered every speck of color. He had unfortunately forgotten the color of many lovers and friends eyes, but he was sure he'd never forget Alec's.

Alecs lips twitched, eyes crinkling in the corners a little. "So," he said. "Would it be completely inappropriate for me to ask to kiss you again?

Magnus couldn't help but giggle, his shadowhunter had definitely changed. "I suppose not." He answered, hiding his own bashful smile behind his sleeve.

He watched silently as Alec rose from his seat, taking a few steps forward until he was standing in front of Magnus seat. Only then did he fall to his knees, his bones making a "thud" against the carpet. Magnus' breath hitched as Alec moved in between his legs, his large hands splaying gently on his thighs. He stopped a few inches away from the warlock, eyes moving over his face once again, before he closed the distance, pressing a soft kiss to Magnus' lips. His heart soared at the familiarity of it all. The gentle weight of Alec's fingers spread out on his thighs, the warmth of his body pressed close, the soft slope of his lips. Magnus wanted the moment between them to never end.

Alec used the hold on Magnus' thighs to pull him a little closer, the older man sliding to the edge of his seat with ease. He sighed happily when he felt Magnus' fingers run through his hair, tilting his head to deepen their kiss when his heart tugged at the feeling. He'd missed Magnus' hands on him, missed them in his hair, on his shoulders, on his neck. Missed the way Magnus' nose felt pressed to his cheek and the way his lips always tasted sweet. He'd missed everything about Magnus, and having him back in his arms felt surreal.

His hands seemed to have a mind of their own, sliding up Magnus' thighs, stopping for a second to squeeze his hips before sliding around to his back, arms wrapping securely around the warlocks waist. Alec pulled away from the kiss, allowing them a breather, relishing in the smacking sound that came with their lips parting. His licked his, chasing the lingering taste of Magnus' mouth before deciding that he wanted more of the real thing, diving in for another one.

Magnus whined into the second kiss, humming as his and Alec's bodies melded together like they used to. He couldn't believe he was in Alecs arms again, the pleasant weight of Alec's strong arms around his waist was one that he had missed dearly. One he'd only dared to dream of every so often. He hadn't been held the way that Alec was holding him now in years, and his heart pulled at the familiar warmth that grew in his chest.

They only pulled away when it was strictly necessary, only when the both of them couldn't go another second without breath but even then they stayed close. Their breaths mingled between them, noses brushing together in a few soft eskimo kisses.

One of Magnus' hands landed on Alec's cheeks, his thumb caressing the skin. "I missed you, Alexander."

"And I missed you, Magnus. So much more than you'll ever know." Alec replied, pressing closer to rub their noses together right.

Magnus seemed to melt at that, the same way he used to when Alec would do it, or how when Alec would press a soft kiss to his forehead or his nose. The warlock blinked once, twice and then bright golden cat eyes were staring back at him, his ability to breath disappearing for a moment. The golden color always projected a hue over the tops of Magnus' cheeks and the bridge of his nose, adding to the already stunning affect the slitted eyes had.

" Oh, " Alec breathed. "I really missed those too."

The blush that painted Magnus' cheeks made him smile brightly, remembering how it used to always be the other way around, his own cheeks heating up at every little flirty comment Magnus would make. Even after they got together. Now though, Magnus seemed different. Younger. Like he hadn't experienced years upon years of heartbreak, or he had and finally learned to move forward with them. Learned to forgive, but not forget, and allow that more bashful, youthful side show more often. Alec couldn't believe that he still had the privilege of being trusted by Magnus that deeply.

Magnus buried his face into Alecs shoulder attempting the hide away the heat on his cheeks. He'd allowed himself to heal enough over the past two years, that being with Alec made him feel like he was a teenager again. That he was the blushing, stuttering mess not the other way around like they used to be. He felt Alec move underneath him, hands sliding under his thighs.

"Hold onto me, okay?" Alec whispered, making Magnus stutter, but do as he was told.

"W-what why?"

Alec's only response was to laugh lightly before standing, bringing Magnus with him and also making him squeal in surprise. Magnus had apparently forgotten about the shadowhunter strength but the sudden turn of events had reminded Magnus like it was no problem. The said shadowhunter plopped himself down onto the sofa, Magnus landing comfortably on top of him. The warlock sat stunned for a moment before shrugging and pressing close to the shadowhunter, Alec's arms wrapping tightly around his waist and his own around Alec's neck.

The two of them sat wrapped up for awhile, Alec's nose buried in Magnus' hair bathing in the familiar scent of sandalwood and flowers, the one that he missed so much. He relished in the feeling of Magnus' head resting on his shoulder, his breath fanning over his neck. Something he thought he wouldn't have ever had again. His heart was pounding, wondering if this was all some twisted dream; Magnus was still in London and not in his arms. If it was a dream, Alec hoped he'd never wake up.

Magnus was slowly drifting off, focusing solely on the feel of Alec's body pressed against his and trying not to let his eyes a fall shut. Alec smiled against his shoulder when he realized how relaxed the warlock was getting.

"Magnus, sweetheart, maybe you should go to bed." Alec suggested, but made no attempt to move him.

Magnus' heart fluttered at the old (but familiar) nickname, nuzzling into Alec's neck he replied sleepily. "Will you stay?"

Alecs lip twitched, "Do you want me to stay?"

Magnus lifted his head out of where he had if fairly comfortably buried, pressing his forehead to the shadowhunters to make eye contact.

"I want you to stay." He whispered, shy.

Alec smiled, "Then I'll stay."

Alec discovered the next morning that there was nothing he missed more than waking up in gold silk sheets with Magnus still asleep half on top of him. Then decided that he didn't mind the quiet noises coming from the cot on the other side of room either.

**

The next week was full of kisses in between meetings, hugs upon entering the same room and fingers brushing in the middle of hallways. Magnus couldn't believe that even after all the time they spent apart, Alec was still able to make him feel so giddy and young. He couldn't get over how much Alec had grown either. While the young shadowhunter had been gaining confidence towards the end of their relationship, he'd still hesitate in public, unsure of what was considered too much.

Now Alec didn't seem to care.

When Magnus walked into a room a bright smile would take over his face, he'd stop what he was doing in order to kiss Magnus hello or even simply hold his hand, no matter who was in the room and who might be watching them.

Magnus loved it.

Well, Magnus found himself being the one glancing up to see who was watching and blushing when noticing Isabelle's smirks. He knew that some part of himself, the old more fun and confident part, loved it. He now appreciated the gestures and happily hid his face in Alec's shoulder if he needed to.

One of his favorite things though, Magnus has quickly learned, was how much Max seemed to like him. Sometimes the baby could be weary of new people, even at such a young age he had his family and knew who they were. Sometimes trying to get him comfortable with new people was hard. Nobody blamed him, of course, most could understand, but he'd taken to Alec faster than Magnus had seen him take to anyone other than himself. Alec was always able to pull smiles and laughs from the baby, he'd often distract him while Magnus made bottles so he wouldn't get fussy.

It might have only been a week, but Magnus was more than glad that Alec had accepted (which, again, he shouldn't have been surprised. This was Alec after all) that Magnus wouldn't give up Max for anything. Even as much as he loved the shadowhunter, Max was his priority. Alec understood that and for that Magnus couldn't be more thankful.

The week had also been full of Magnus keeping an eye out for the whereabouts of his father, doing his best to assure that they all steered clear of the greater demon. There had been a brief report that Asmodeus was seen in New York which had Magnus' heart racing for a moment before, not even an hour later, a new report came in that he was in Kansas. Only then did Magnus take a breather. Alec had stood by, a hand on his lower back, comforting him through the panic.

"Are you sure he's not in New York anymore?" Aslec asked, still concerned. "Because I can send out extra patrols. In fact I will. He could have left a few lingering demons."

Magnus leaned into Alec side, sighing as he studied the map on the screen in front of them.

"No," he sighed. "Don't do anything you don't have too. I don't want you exhausting your men just because I'm a little paranoid."

Alec's body turned to him. "Hey," he breathed, hands landing gently on Magnus' cheeks, forcing Magnus to look up at him.

"You have every right to be paranoid, Magnus. You're one of the few people in the world that know what you father is really capable of. If anyone has the right to be paranoid it's you." Alec pressed a soft kiss his his forehead making Magnus' heart flutter and his cheeks heat up.

When Alec pulled back he pressed their foreheads together and Magnus marvelled in how much he'd changed. Comfortable with being so intimate in the ops room, where many of his shadowhunters could be looking. Magnus was a little sad he didn't get to see Alec grow so comfortable and confident.

"I'm going to set up a few extra patrols, just simple routine ones, just in case there's a flare of demons in the city. I feel a lot better knowing that my men are safer, thanks to you." Alec murmured. "It would be different if you weren't here to make those potions and help enhance their armour and weapons. But you are here. You have helped. So I'll help you. I'll keep you and Max safe."

Magnus heart fluttered (if would have to stop doing that, Magnus was worried it might just stop at this rate). "Thank you, Alexander."

He knew that there wasn't any point in arguing with Alec about this. The shadowhunter was protective and would do anything to keep his people, and those he loved, safe. Magnus was honoured to be apart of that list, and glad Max was there too.

"Anything for you, Magnus." Alec whispered, pressing a soft peck to Magnus' lips.

Just as Alec started to deepen the kiss, alarms blared through the institute, forcing the two of them to pull away from their kiss. Isabelle came around one of the corners, Max babbling happily in her arms, just as the Institutes main doors flew open. Magnus' heart stopped as he watched his father walk casually through the hall, like his blood wasn't made of demonic entity. Magnus felt Alec tense up beside him, placing a hand on Alec's when it went for his seraph blade.

"Father." Magnus said, voice trembling. "Why are you here?"

Magnus took a few steps forward, putting himself in between the greater demon and his family. His hands itched with the need to unleash his magic, use every ounce of his power to force Asmodeus out. But he held back, not willing to risk the lives of all the fearful shadowhunters in the building.

Asmodeus smirked devilishly as he looked around the room. "My dear boy," he sang. "It seems that you've forgotten that your father has angelic blood."

Magnus heard a few gasps from the shadowhunters around the room. So much for his father being the king of edom staying a secret. And the fact that he had fallen angel blood running through his own veins. He chanced a glance towards Alec, heart speeding up at the death glare his (boyfriend? Lover?) Shadowhunter was directing towards his father. He whispered a quick protection spell under his breath, and one for Isabelle and Max, as his father continued speaking.

"But, that is not what I've come here to discuss." Asmodeus glared right back at Alec, before placing his attention back onto Magnus. He looked like a predator eyeing it's prey.

"Oh my boy, how good it is to see you again. I would have visited earlier, after your dear shadowhunter summoned me through that filthy warlock. But I had a little bit of fun watching you in London."

Magnus shuddered at the knowledge of his demonic father following him around, watching his every move. Angered soured after the disgust soon after though, because that had meant that his father had also watched Tessa, Raphael, the kids. Max.

Magnus sneered, "Why? What could you possibly be hoping to gain from me?"

Asmodeus smirked, "Well, originally I had hoped that after your shadowhunter broke your heart, that you would be willing to come home with me. But, I failed to remember a key component in our deal. I forgot to have Alexander here to agree to keeping our deal secret." Magnus felt his stomach churn at Asmodeus' use of Alec's full name. Only he was allowed to use it. "While you had been devastated about losing the shadowhunter, you were not heartbroken enough for my plan to play out. So, I decided I would just have to wait. And oh, how my patience has paid off."

Magnus felt uneasy at the look his father was giving him, one of power, one he had not seen since he was younger. Then his heart dropped to his stomach as he watched Asmodeus' eyes shift in the direction he knew that Lightwoods we're at. Where Max was currently being hidden behind Alec, still in Isabelle's arms.

"Now Magnus," Asmodeus hummed. "When were you planning to introduce me to my grandson?"

Magnus felt like he could start hyperventilating at any given moment. His heart was racing in his chest and he could feel sparks on his fingertips even if he was trying his hardest to keep his magic under control. He fortunately was able to keep his face blank, not allowing his father to see his panic.

Magnus took a deep breath and relaxed his fists. "Honestly, I had no plans to do so." He answered calmly.

"Hm, that's just too bad, now isn't it?" Asmodeus mumbled, taking a step closer to him.

Magnus could practically feel Alec tensing with him and for completely different reasons. "You keep your disgusting hands away from my son."

He knew the moment the words left his mouth that he had made a mistake. He could see it in the was his father's eyes flashed and filled with something evil. Magnus had just given away his biggest weakness and he knew that moment his father smirked at him again that he was was going to use it to his advantage. Asmodeus cupped his chin, fingers curling around his jaw, and ignoring Magnus' full bodied flinch.

"How about you and I make a deal?" Asmodeus asked, tilting his head like a curious puppy. Or a hellhound.

"Magnus, no!"

Magnus swallowed, ignoring Alec's pained shout. "What kind of deal?" He whispered, feeling defeated already.

"Well," Asmodeus said. "Either you can willingly come with me, rule edom as you were meant to, or." He paused, nails digging into Magnus' cheek. "I can kill everyone in this room and make you watch. Including your precious shadowhunter, and your son."

Magnus felt his eyes sting with tears, lips trembling as his tried to push away the picture of Max dead in his arms. Of Alec, Isabelle and now Jace, who'd entered the room and was holding Alec back, on the floor, blood surrounding them and hearts silent. He knew his fate was decided, because there was absolutely nothing he wouldn't do to keep the people he loved safe. If that meant going to edom with his father to ensure their safety then he would. He'd do it a thousand times over. Especially for Max.

His voice shook as he whispered his answer, "Okay. I'll come with you."

Asmodeus let go of his chin, satisfied with the answer that he got. "Now go say your goodbyes. We have a one way ticket to hell."

Magnus turned around slowly, eyeing all the shadowhunters looking at him in wonder. They were probably wondering why he was willing to sacrifice himself for them, a race that had been nothing but unforgiving to him for as long as he could remember. But they didn't know that their deaths wouldn't sit well with him. They were not worth his own life.

The look on Alec's face was heartbreaking. It reminded him of their first fight, that helpless look that he gave him when Magnus was forced to choose his people over love. It was hopeless. But as Magnus stepped closer to him, it became clear that there was determination hidden behind the sadness.

Magnus opened his mouth to say something and when no sound came out Alec stepped forward, enveloping him in a breathtaking hug. Only then did Magnus let his fear set in and a few tears to escape.

"Don't do this Magnus. Please, it's not worth it." Alec begged, face pressed into the warlocks shoulder. "I know going to edom with your father is a nightmare to you. Please."

Magnus choked back a sob because yes, it really was a nightmare, something he feared most out of everything. But it was a nightmare we was willing to live for the sake of his child.

Magnus pulled back enough to look at Alec, cupping the shadowhunters cheeks in his hands and wiping the few tears he was sure Alec wasn't even aware of. "Take care of him."

Alec shook his head rapidly at the request, a denial on the tip of his tongue, but Magnus held his head still.

"Please Alexander," Magnus choked again, "Please. Just take care of him for me. I'll find a way back, I always do. But just, just. Promise me you'll keep my baby safe."

Alec sobbed brokenly, nodding in defeat. "Okay, okay I promise. But only if you promise to come back."

Magnus knew if wasn't fair, he couldn't make that promise because he knew that there might be no way of coming back. But he'd try.

"I promise."

Stepping away from Alec was hard, but it wasn't as hard as kissing Max on the forehead knowing that it might be the last time.

"Ayah!" Magnus' heart broke at the familiar word, watching Max's lip begin to tremble. He shushed the baby gently.

"Hush sayang." Magnus whispered, voice trembling. "Alexander and your aunty Izzy are gonna take care of you." Isabelles eyes filled with tears at being called Max's aunt.

Magnus kissed Max's head again. "Aku cinta kamu. Aku sangat mencintaimu, sayangku. Ayah mencintaimu."

Magnus' hands trembled as he stepped back, watching with sad eyes as Isabelle held Max closer to her and a few tears fall down her face. Alec grabbed his hand, pulling him back before he could walk back to his father, landing another kiss on to his lips. It was desperate, reminding Magnus of their break up, tears smearing on each others faces. He kissed back with all he had, wanting to memorize Alec's taste. Magnus didn't know he could tremble harder until he pulled away.

He heard Asmodeus clear his throat impatiently, stepping away from the small group. He nodded respectfully to Jace, who returned the gesture, before turning back to his father.

It took everything in him to not look back as he followed Asmodeus into the portal, knowing that if he did he wouldn't be able to keep going.

**

Edom had not changed since the last time he visited, but the fact that his father now held more power over Lilith did. There were far less Dragonidae flying in the sky, not half as many demons skittering aimlessly around. In a way, it seemed more organized, more under control. Magnus hated the way the demonic magic in the realm sang through his veins, urging him to use it for it was now his.

He watched silently as his father took a seat on his throne, refusing to make eye contact. The greater demon was radiating confidence and power. If there was one thing that Magnus ever believed about his father, it was that his place truly was in Edom. Even as a child Magnus never thought that Asmodeus fit in in his realm, it was always too mundane for him, too messy. But Edom had always suited him well.

"Now, my boy," Asmodeus said. "How shall we start our rule together?"

Magnus glared at his father, swallowed down his rage. "I'm not going to rule with you. I'm only here to keep my family safe."

Asmodeus glared right back. "You see, I am the king of Edom. I hold all power here, besides yours. But what makes you think that I wouldn't be able to force you to cooperate?" He asked, his voice turning more demon-like. The tone that had always frightened Magnus as a child.

"I'm sure you could," Magnus responded, shoulders slouching. "But you already know that I will right with every cell in my body to resist you."

Those words seemed to be the ones that made up Asmodeus' mind, because Magnus had seen the twitch of his finger from the corner of his eye. But he had not seen the pain coming. A cry left his lips as he fell to his knees. It felt like the fires of edom were now running through his veins, scorching every single muscle in his body. There was ringing in his ears, tears stung in his eyes as he attempted to grip into the sandy floors beneath him.

Fighting through the pain, Magnus managed to look to up at his father who was now standing in front of him. His fiery cat eyes were on full display, a satisfied smirk on his face.

"Now, how about we turn your own mind against you."

He felt the tap of a hand against his forehead, another wave of pain rushing through his body with it.

It didn't matter how many times Magnus had to relive this moment, no matter what body he was in, it would never get easier. He had dreamt about it thousands of times but there were only three instances where it was real or felt real.

The first was when he was a child. Just shy of 7 years old, he could remember how bright of a day it had been, but also how sad he had felt. He didn't understand why his eyes scared his mother so much, but he hated them. She wouldn't look at him anymore, when she did it was never in the eyes. She never sang to him anymore, barely even spoke a word to anyone, especially him. He had learned quickly after spending hours upon hours of time staring at his reflection in the river that he could hide them.

He had been so excited to show him mother, because maybe she would look at him again. Maybe she would smile and sing to him like she used to.

It had been the reason he was looking for her in the first place.

He knew that she was in her bedroom, had been for several hours, but he only dared to step inside when her constant sobbing had suddenly stopped. He remembered wondering if she had finally fallen asleep.

He remembered his mother's room always being a place where he found comfort, a place that he would escape to when the kids at school were being mean or when nightmares would plague his mind as he tried to sleep. She had held him under her window, told him stories of her family, myths that were told around the village, and what the stars were said to mean. She would hold him in her bed, soft sheets caressing his skin, helping him relax as she played with his hair and sang lullabies to him until he could sleep again.

Now those sheets were stained red, his mother lying in her bed unmoving. He remembered calling out for her, tears gathering in his eyes when he still didn't get a response. The sheets were wet when he pulled them back, a sob leaving his lips at the sight of the keris covered in blood.

The second time he had been in Valentine's body. The difference was that he was watching his child self enter the room. He had called out desperately wanting to spare himself the grief that he knew would come with walking into his mother's bedroom. He had gone unheard. He watched with tears streaming down his face as the child found his mother death, helplessly calling out for her once again.

The third time had been now.

Now he was in his current body, sobbing on his knees because now he was one the holding the keris, his mother still lifeless and covered in her own blood. Now he was also covered in her blood, his hands drenched and dripping.

Magnus gasped brokenly as he got a moment of relief, unable to stop the loud sob the bursted from his mouth. He cried, refusing to look back up at his father and the evil look he knew was in his eyes. The satisfaction he was getting from knowing how to break Magnus so easily. He attempted to get control over himself, heaving his breaths as he couldn't seem to get control over his cries.

It felt like he only had a second to breath before he was being pushed head first into the pain.

 

Magnus didn't know how long it had been, whether it was minutes, hours, days, weeks. All he had known was there was nothing but pain, physically and mentally. He'd get a few moments of relief but those he'd been half delirious during. Moments he could only remember crying and sometimes even begging. He could remember once waking up curled up on the sandy floors of Asmodeus' home. His father had been nowhere to be seen, but that didn't mean anything, because he'd been knocked back into it like a never ending spell.

He had been forced to relive every painful moment of his life. His mother's death. Killing his stepfather. Watching George walk into battle. Imasu breaking his heart. Camille ripping it to shreds. Ragnors last breath. But each one had been a little twisted then he remembered. He could remember holding the keris in his own hand. Smiling at the smell of burning flesh. Glaring at the back of a soldier, hoping his own gun misfired. Telling his lover all of the bad things he'd done, purposely pushing him away. Giving his heart to Camille and telling her to rip in as many directions as she wanted to. Pushing red magic into the chest of his best friend, whispering dead languages in spells he'd never heard before.

Each time he'd come to, something felt different. Like he'd perhaps relived something wrong or that a piece of himself was missing. He never had much time to figure it out though.

There was one memory though that Magnus knew was wrong. Not a single second of it had felt right, everything down to the outfit he had been wearing. But he couldn't seem to remember how the moment had actually went. Something about felt artificial, like it had been make up and put inside his head, replace a different memory.

It didn't matter whether or not it was fake though because it had ripped through his heart, had been the most excruciating pain he'd ever felt.

Every time he'd think about it it would make him shiver, his heart ache and break a little more than the last.

"I've been feeling a little bit overwhelmed."

"I think I need a break."

"I need a break from us."

"It's about what you said."

"There is no fixing this."

"Days ago I didn't know the spark inside you, the one I fell in love with, was out for good."

"Magnus. I can't. I'm sorry."

Magnus had spent what he was sure was hours analysing the moment, trying to figure out what was wrong about it. But he couldn't seem to even remember what happened before he came to edom. Every time he did it was the same. A memory he couldn't even remember living was provided in his mind. Trying to erase his memories of Alec? Meeting up with Jem? Seeking comfort in his father? None of it seemed to make any sense. He couldn't even remember why he agreed to come to edom in the first place.

The worst part was that he felt angry. Fueled more and more by rage every time he'd open his eyes again. It didn't feel right. He could feel a darker side coming out, filling the veins in his body and running through his heart. It was like a beast that he could not control was coming out of hibernation.

"Magnus, my boy. I need you to do me a favor." His father bursted through the doors, addressing him like he wasn't covered in dirt and chained to the wall.

Magnus glared. "Why would I do you a favor?" He asked.

Asmodeus hummed, looking him over slowly before a sinister chuckle left his lips. "Because you're ready for the final step I have planned for you, my son."

"What final step?" Magnus asked, haring how his voice trembled.

What else could his father possibly do to him?

Asmodeus didn't answer. All his did was take a few steps towards Magnus, making the younger one flinch. Asmodeus smirked down at before kneeling in front of him. His hand curled under his chin, pulling him close and giving him no choice but to look his father in the eyes.

"Yes, the final step. You may be good at hiding it Magnus, but I can tell you're close to breaking. But I don't even need you completely broken. I just need you cracked enough. Now all you need is a little push."

Magnus swallowed, "A push towards what?" He hated how he didn't have any answers.

"Why, a push towards being a prince of hell, my boy. I know he's in there and I know exactly how to get him out." Asmodeus' voice rumbled in pride.

Magnus was stunned. Maybe that's he had been feeling over the past few waking moments. He wasn't unfamiliar with the beast, in fact, he knew it quite well. And he was terrified of it. But he also knew that his father was right. The cages that he'd been locked up in for centuries was now broken down and crumbled to pieces because Magnus had been fighting his memories so hard that he had forgotten about the thing he'd spent forever keeping locked up.

Asmodeus' hands moved to with side of Magnus' head, a boat of panic building in his chest as it happened. He heard his father begin whispering, mumbling a dead language that Magnus had no heard in years, and he watched with wide eyes as black traveled down Asmodeus' veins. Fire consumed his body once again, but this time it was 100 times worse. He couldn't heard his own screaming, didn't register his body attempting to fight away from the touch that was harking him, or his magic going haywire on his fingertips.

There was darkness consuming the corners of his sight, he squeezed his eyes shut in an attempt to stop it. He tried to think of things that made him happy, like Catarina and Madzie but it only held off the darkness for a few extra moments. The resistance only made Asmodeus push the corrupted magic into Magnus faster. Magnus could tell there are tears steadily running down his face.

As a last resort he tried to think of Alec. Tried to use his happy memories against the magic but the only thing that seemed to come to mind was that one moment. All he could hear was Alec telling him that he didn't love him anymore and all he could see was Alec leaving him in the store that Maryse bought. The anger in the back of mind flared again and before Magnus knew it the darkness consumed.

Then it was quiet.

**

Alec couldn't believe that it had already been two weeks since Asmodeus took Magnus. He remembered Magnus once saying that time moves differently in Edom and he had hoped that it wouldn't make any of the situation worse for Magnus. A part of him had hoped it would be like last time. Magnus had only been gone for s day the last time he went to Edom.

Max had surprisingly been easy to take care of for the most part. Catarina had been a huge help, but they all knew that it would have been significantly easier if Magnus was with them. For such a young child he was very aware of his surroundings and knew who a lot of familiar faces were. He was restless for the most part though. It sometimes seemed like he knew Magnus was gone, and Alec didn't know if it was because of his magic or maybe because of how close Magnus' magic and Max's magic were. After all, Max probably would have blown up half the Institute if it weren't for Magnus being able to soothe the outbursts.

The worst part was when Max would become fussy and tired. He'd call out for Magnus sometimes, whenever Catarina visited he'd look up at her and say "Ayah?" It broke his heart every single time. He could only hope that they'd figure out a way to bring Max's Ayah back sooner rather than later.

Luckly, he seemed to calm down really easily around Alec which is why the baby had been sleeping in his room with him over the past few nights. He originally had plans to stay over at Magnus' place but everyone was constantly looking for Magnus at the Institute so he decided to stay there too, felt that it was easier for Max instead of bouncing back and forth.

Despite the circumstances Alec was really glad that he was given the chance to bond with Max. The baby seemed to like him a lot, which made him very happy considering he was dating the baby's father. They were a package deal after all.  

Alec had been in the middle of some research when Izzy and Clary had interrupted him. He had barely gotten any sleep in the past two weeks and somehow he knew the looks on their faces meant that the information they had would keep him awake that night too.

"Alec you're not going to like what we just found out from the seelie realm." Clary spoke, wincing as she recalled the information.

Izzy nodded in agreement, "Yeah, at first we didn't think it was true."

There had been a few random demon attacks in several parts of the world over the past week that had left nothing for the shadowhunters to work off of. All they knew was the demon was able to portal, had been using some very demonic magic and had killed a handful of mundanes, shadowhunters and downworlders. It clearly didn't have an agenda against any race, just whatever got in its way was killed. Each victim had been killed in different ways, some burned, some stabbed, some choked even one or two had their hearts ripped out of their chests.

The most confusing things about the demon though was that it killed other demons too. The Paris Institute had reports of a Raum demon wondering the streets but by the time the nearest patrol got to the scene the demon had been killed. It's tentacles spewed around the street and it's heart severed from its body. The remnants contained the same presence of magic as the victims they had found and studied.

Alec had sent Izzy and Clary to the Seelie court because there had been rumor that the Queen knew what or who the demon was. Meliorn was not able to provide the information to Izzy but had offered to set up a meeting.

"Well?" Alec asked. "What is it?"

Izzy broke their eye contact, something she rarely did, and he knew he wasn't going to like the answer. "Its-"

She was cut off by alarms blaring through the Institute and another Shadowhunter bursting through his office door. "Mr. Lightwood?"

Alec sighed. "Yes Anne?"

The shadowhunter, Anne, took a second to glance at Izzy and Clary before speaking. "The demon is in New York, sir. Just around the block. Reports say that mundanes may be in danger."

Alec stood from his chair quickly, almost knocking it over in the process. "Thank you Anne. You're dismissed." Once she left he looked back at Izzy. "Tell me later."

"Wait Alec." Izzy called as he began to walk out of the room. "It's Magnus."

Alec stopped halfway to the door, turning around slowly to look at his little sister and Clary. "What?" His heart was pounding in his chest, the name making his heart race.

Izzy looked conflicted and upset. It made Alec want to comfort her. "The demon is Magnus. The Queen doesn't know why or how, she just knows that it's Magnus."

"Are you," Alec shook his head in denial. "Are you sure she wasn't lying?"

Clary stepped up next to Izzy. "Alec, she looked scared. Just mentioning who had been doing all of this scared her. You could see it in her eyes."

Alec clenched his jaw, spinning on his heel and marching towards the weapons room. He heard Izzy's heels and Clarys boots sound behind him as they followed. He didn't even have to stop anything, they had started getting ready the minute they entered the room. He felt concern flash through his parabatai bond and not even five minutes later Jace was entering the room. Alec left the explaining to Clary and Isabelle focused on enhancing his arrows in any way he knew. He was glad that they followed him without question.

Alec used one of the computers in the weapons room to search the exact location that they needed. After about two minutes he'd gotten what he needed and left the room without another word.

Getting there had taken about five minutes, Anne was right when she said the demon was just around the block. Some part of Alec had been expecting to see a massacre, bodies lining the road, but that wasn't the case. Some of the block was a mess, some chairs thrown about and a hot dog stand burnt to pieces but nobody had gotten hurt.

Alec couldn't bring himself to believe what the Seelie Queen had told Izzy and Clary, didn't want to think about Magnus doing any of those things to people but it was clear now that what she had said was true.

The sound of boots crunching over rocks on the road had Alec's stomach churning. They were tattered, worn from the scorching sands of Edom and had dried blood on the toes. Alec eyes trailed up to a familiar pair of legs clad in black leather pants and a body covered in a black silk shirt that also looked to be somewhat covered in blood if the occasional shine of red had anything to day about it. Alec briefly wondered how he wasn't burning in the heat of the sunny day.

Alec eyes tailed up to a familiar face, one that he had missed in the two weeks that he hadn't seen it. He had been expecting to see brown eyes, or even golden cat eyes looking back at him, but what he had found was pools of black and his heart stopped. Alex hadn't realized he was crying until a tear hit his hand that was hovering in the air, wanting to touch more than anything.

"Magnus?"

The look that Magnus gave him made his heart stop for a moment. It was full of heartache and anger, because even possessed Magnus' emotions were still clear as day to him. Alec's heart raced a little faster, surprisingly not out of fear, as red and purple magic started to spark on Magnus' fingertips.

"Why isn't it my dear Alexander." He sneered and Alec's heart plummeted to his stomach.

Magnus had been angry with him several times over the course of their relationship, over big things and small things, but he had never been able to stay mad at Alec. He'd glare from the other side of the room and then five minutes later be snuggling into Alec's side like nothing had happened. But now all Alec could see was pure hurt and anger. All he could think about was what Asmodeus could have possibly done to him.

"Baby, what's going on? What did your father do to you?" Alec asked softly, taking a step closer.

Izzy gasped behind him, "Alec what are you doing? He might hurt you."

"No," Alec shook his head, not even looking back at her. "No. Magnus would never hurt me." He directed the conversation back to Magnus. "And I know that he didn't want to hurt any of those other people. Because I know you."

He could see a few cogs turn in Magnus' mind but he shook his head. "You broke my heart."

"What are you talking about? Magnus I-"

The next thing seemed to happen in slow motion, Alec watched as a little blue portal opened up about five feet in front of himself and had about two seconds before Max dropped through it. Alec was extremely thankful for his runes when he managed to bolt forward just in time to catch the baby. Max giggled loudly in his arms and he saw Magnus tilt his head from the corner of his eye.

He also saw Jace, who was slowly creeping up behind the warlock, take the opportunity he had to slam the blunt part of his blade to the back of Magnus' head. Alec winced at the crack it made and the "thud" Magnus made as he hit the floor.

"Sorry Magnus."

Alec just rolled his eyes at his parabatai and held Max a little closer to himself, pressing a kiss to the baby's head.

"Magnus really needs to get that portalling problem under control." He sighed.

Max just babbled uncontrollably.

Chapter Text

There were several times when Magnus' eyes would send shivers down his spine. Delighted ones when he'd look at him with his bright cat eyes, love clear in them. When he'd stare at Alec with so much lust and desire that it shook Alec to his core.

But right now, the deep pools of black in Magnus' eyes sent unpleasant ones through him.

In the back of his mind, Alec knew that it wasn't really Magnus looking at him just some confused different part of himself. A possessed side. The warlock had spent the first hour in the Institute tied to the chair that pained Alec to see him in. He could read Magnus well enough to know what fear looks like in his eyes. It was well hidden but even this different part of Magnus shared the same memories, for the most part, and he remembered the chair well.

Alec had fought hard to keep Magnus out of the cellar under the Institute. The minute they'd portalled back to New York with an unconscious Magnus Jia Penhallow didn't hesitate to throw out the order to put Magnus in the cellar. He had practically begged, summarized what had happened with Valentine and Azazel, explained Magnus' past experience with the cellar but nothing seemed to change her mind.

Now it physically hurt him to see Magnus in the chair, hands bound on the arm rests. Luckily they hadn't gagged him this time around, but even with black demon eyes Alec could still see an ounce of fear in the warlocks eyes.

He knew from the moment the order was out down that Magnus would subconsciously be reliving those moments. He had no control over his own body and basically no way of letting anyone know that.

It took them an hour and a half to get Magnus to start talking, ignoring the sneers he threw even though they hurt a little, and everything he said just didn't make any sense.

"Magnus," He sighed, shifting in the chair he was sitting in, Jace by his side. "Please try to remember. Everything you're saying didn't happen."

Magnus scoffed. "Of course it did. You broke my heart. You couldn't handle me as a mundane, you couldn't handle my pain, so you broke up with me."

Talking about it clearly disheartened him, eyes growing cold at the memory.

"I was too much for you. So you left. You told me my spark was gone and then you left."

Alec shook his head, "Magnus that doesn't make any sense. We broke up on good terms, better than I ever imagined we could."

Jace stood up next to Alec, shaking his head in confusion. "Okay, let's go over this again. You say that Alec was perfectly fine to you one morning, sent you to have a bonding day with our mother and then upon returning broke up with you." He spun towards Alec, pointing a finger. "And you say that didn't happen at all."

Alec nodded an affirmative never taking his eyes off of Magnus. "Our break up was years ago Jace. You remember him leaving? We weren't necessarily upset at each other, just the situation."

"Yeah, I do remember that." Jace said, rubbing his forehead, their bond flaring with confusion.

There was silence for a few moments before a light bulb seemed to go off in Jace's mind, head snapping up. "Wait- wait. Magnus did your dad do something to you?"

"My father would never hurt me." Magnus sneered again and Alec was suddenly the one that was confused.

Magnus had told him stories from his childhood involving his father and Asmodeus hadn't been the worlds greatest dad.

"Magnus, your father has been horrible to you. Don't you remember? You used to tell me stories of how he'd nurse your bad side and encourage you to do bad things. He's wanted nothing more than for you to live in Edom with him, but you always stayed strong. You never wanted this Magnus, why can't you remember that?"

Magnus started shaking his head rapidly, squeezing his eyes shut. "Shut up. I don't know what you're talking about. My father and I have never been the closest but he's never hurt me unless I deserved it."

"Oh Magnus," Alec spoke softly. He moved off of his chair to kneel in front of the warlock. "Nothing you've ever done, or ever will do, will make you deserve anything that your father has ever done to you."

An idea snapped him into action.

"Magnus what year is it?" He asked, voice still soft.

Magnus' looked at him puzzled. "2019, I believe. I-i I left only a few weeks after losing my magic. After you broke up with me.*

"Honey," the pet name slipped past his lips without thought. "It's 2021. We broke up and then you left for a few years. What's the last thing you remember? Before going to Edom?"

"I-i." Magnus swallowed and Alec could see it in his eyes that he might have been getting through to him.

"I remember crying on the roof of a building, i-i." He paused, breaking the eye contact that they had held.

"I had just returned from visiting Je- Brother Zachariah. I wanted to know h-how-" he stuttered, the unfamiliar memory hitting him again, pain filling his heart. "how to rid you from my memories. I had to be the one to do it, and just as I was about to cast the spell my father showed up and stopped me. My- My time in Edom is a blur."

Alec sighed, a small part of himself sad that if they'd broken up on worse terms Magnus would have been heartbroken enough to erase their memories together. In a way though, he thinks he could understand that also. He was immensely happy that they did end on good terms.

Alec leaned a little closer, "Magnus, the last thing that happened here was your father forcing your hand. He threatened Max."

Magnus frowned, more confusion growing in his eyes. "Why would I sacrifice myself for your brother? I know he's important to you, but-"

"My brother? What, Magnus, no." Alec scrambled for an explanation, now confused himself. "Max is- he's. He's your child."

Magnus shook his head more, his head being to pulse as an ache developed. "I dont- I don't have a child."

Alec watched with wide eyes as Magnus' fingertips began to spark with purple magic again, his eyes flickering to normal for a split second. Hope bloomed in his chest.

"Yes, you do Magnus. He's 4 months old, you-you told me that you rescued him after he got abandoned on the doorstep of the orphanage you opened. He calls you "Ayah" because it means papa in Indonesian and you want him to be able to speak some of your native tongue, which is why you also talk to him in Indonesian and not just English."

Magnus shook his head a little more, tears welling in his eyes as they flickered to his soft brown eyes over and over again.

"I-i dont-"

Magnus' breath began to heave a bit, hands clenched under the binds. Alec could see that he was having a war with himself, the brainwashed side trying to stay present while the real memories tried to fight their way forward. Alec could feel the power of demonic magic building in the room, not quite Magnus' but something stronger, more forceful. The magic sparking on Magnus' fingertips flared and brightened for a second before his whole body tensed.

A small cry left the warlocks lips and Alec watched in horror as something black crawled up his arms. He jumped up at the same time Jace stepped forward, the both of them reaching for Magnus' arms. Their eyes met when they discovered that the black substance was inside on Magnus' veins. Alec panicked when a loud scream of pain left the warlock, his back arching off the chair like he was trying to run from the pain.

"What the fuck is that?" Jace asked, watching as Alec tried to push Magnus back onto the chair.

Alec shook his head. "I dont- I don't know." He replied, heart breaking as another yelp left Magnus. "Jace go find Izzy, have her call Catarina, something's not right."

There was a pause, Jace hesitating before Alec sounds his head toward his parabatai. "Go!"

He watched his parabatai run out of the cellar, glad that they left the door open and he didn't have to stop to type in any passwords. Alec gently grabbed Magnus' face, blinking away the tears that built in his eyes from the sight of Magnus writhing in the chair again.

"Magnus. Magnus, please. Can you hear me? I know it hurts but-but. You need to fight it, okay. Please baby, please." Alec begged.

A sob ripped through Magnus, his eyes opening long enough for Alec to see bright gold cat eyes slowly being swallowed by black.

Alec scrambled for words, cupping Magnus' cheeks in his hands. "No, no Magnus. Please come back to me."

Minutes passed with Magnus squirming and crying out in pain on the chair. Alec had no choice but to sit and quietly beg the warlock to stay with him. This game that Asmodeus was playing on the both of them was working better than Alec ever wished it would. Some part of himself wanted nothing more than to go back and never make the deal with the greater demon if it avoided Magnus going through this, but he knew that would never happen.

Suddenly as if nothing had been happening the warlock slumped down into the hair, chest heaving from the relief of pain disappearing. Alec's only seemed to grow more as he stared into Magnus' black eyes again. He let his hands slide from Magnus' face, moving to flop back down onto his own chair. He leaned his elbows into his knees, rubbing his face and attempting to will away the tears building in his eyes.

"Sorry, Shadowhunter. But it's gonna take a little more than that to bring your precious Magnus back."

Alecs head shot up at the words, a chill running down his spine at how cold and almost dead Magnus' voice sounded. It reminded him of the body switch, how Valentine spoke so differently from Magnus, how hard his voice was even with the warlocks face, instead of soft and kind.

Alec tilted his head curiously, "Why do you seem so much different? What did I say while breaking up with you in that memory that broke you?" He asked, almost afraid of the answer.

Magnus' eyes seemed even more distant, his face contouring in a wince. " Days ago I didn't know the spark inside you, the one I fell in love with, was out for good."

Alec frowned, "What?"

Magnus sniffled a bit, glaring at the glass behind Alec. "That's what you said. You didn't just break up with me, you took the words that were meant to reassure me and twisted them. You took my biggest fear and used it against me. I became a burden."

Before Alec could even try to form words that would tell Magnus differently, a portal opened in the middle of the room. Alec's heart stopped again when he watched Asmodeus step out of it wearing a huge smirk on his face. He could practically feel Magnus tense in the chair.

"Magnus, my boy, you were supposed to avoid being caught."

As he spoke, the greater demon waved a hand and Alec watched speechless as all of the binds holding Magnus down dropped to the group and the love of his life stood up and walked to his father.

"Sorry father, I had a run in with one of Lilith's play toys." Magnus mumbled, avoiding eye contact with anyone.

Alec saw the elevator open from the corner of his eye. Panic set in again when he watched Asmodeus smirk, flinching when the greater demon waved his hand and the steel door slammed shut behind him. He heard Jace shout through the glass wall calling for backup and his heart heaved at the thought of his soldiers dying because they were protecting him. He shook his head frantically in Jace's direction, glad when his parabatai sensed his panic and followed his order.

"Mr. Lightwood, what a pleasure." Asmodeus smirked, hand curling around the back of Magnus' neck.

Alec glared at the demon, glancing at his love. "I can't say the feeling is mutual."

There was something off about Magnus again but he couldn't quite put his finger on it, too focused on Asmodeus. The greater demon turned to Magnus, his hand landing on the warlocks cheek, Alec wanted to pull out his bow, to shoot an arrow through Asmodeus' hand, anything to get his filthy hands off of Magnus. The warlock lifted an eyebrow up at his father, silence filled the room.

Alec stood tensed, waiting for whatever would happen next. He was desperately trying to come up with some plan to help Magnus, anything to get him away from the greater demon but nothing that would actually be successful came to mind.

"Did you find what I sent you for Magnus?" Asmodeus' voice was calm, but Alec could hear the threat hidden behind the words.

Magnus rolled his eyes, replying, "No father. As I said; I ran into one of Lilith's demons and haven't had the chance to find the exact location of it."

Asmodeus was quiet for a few seconds before he hummed softly. Alec watched in horror as Magnus' father pressed a hand to his shoulder making him fall to his knees with a small cry. Alec's heart lurched as his love yelped in pain once again instinctively twitching towards him.

It lasted only a few moments but soon Asmodeus was lifting his hand and Magnus' cries faded. Alec swallowed as he watched Magnus heave attempting to gather a breath.

"I won't wait forever Magnus." Asmodeus said, calm as if he didn't just spend the last few seconds torturing his son.

The next thing seemed to happen in slow motion for Alec. He watched Magnus' hand inch down his own thigh where a glint caught Alec's eye. He quickly figured out what Magnus has summoned and frantically tried to distract Asmodeus by taking a small step forward.

Soon enough Asmodeus' eyes shifted to him and Magnus took that as his que. The warlock quickly spun around, a small sword like blade slid out of what Alec guessed was a glamoured thigh holster and straight into Asmodeus' thigh. The greater demon let out an ugly roar, cat eyes flashing. Before Alec could even think about getting his bow out Magnus had pulled out another small blade that landed right in the greater demons neck.

Magnus removed both blades throwing them to the side before summoning a magical whip that wrapped around Asmodeus' body and held him down on his knees.

"One day I'll find a way to keep you in hell forever, father." Magnus sneered.

In one fluid movement, Magnus opened a blazing red portal, one that looked to be on fire, sending his father right through it. The portal slammed shut and suddenly it was quiet.

Alec took another small step forward, "Magnus?" He whispered.

The warlock spun on his heel and Alec's heart soared when he discovered soft brown eyes and not black pools.

"Alexander?" Magnus' voice ripped into a sob as he stumbled towards the shadowhunter.

Alec breathed out a sigh of relief, catching Magnus before he could hit the ground. The warlock clung to him desperately making his stomach sink and giving him a bad feeling.

Magnus pulled away enough to look at him, "A-alexander. I don't have much time."

Alec frowned, shaking his head and asked, "What? Magnus, what do you mean you don't have much time."

Tears built in Magnus' eyes, "My father, he–he has me under a spell it's power full and–and I don't think I can fight against it for long."

"No, no Magnus I can't–I can't lose you." Alec got frantic, clutching Magnus closer to himself. "Not again, please."

Magnus sobbed again, shivering as he felt the spell begin to reactivate. "I'm sorry. I'm so sorry, Alexander. But you have to promise me something okay? My father is looking for a very powerful weapon. There's a stone, almost like an orb–"

Alec shook his head rapidly, hoping with everything he had that this was just some dream. One that he would wake up from soon. Magnus gently grabbed his cheeks, stopping the movement and pressed their foreheads together. Alec held on to the back of Magnus' shirt like it was a lifeline.

"–I know, I know, I'm sorry Alec. The stone is an ancient weapon of Lucifer's. It's not as powerful as many of his other weapons but if–if my father gets his hands on it he will be unstoppable. So please Alexander, just don't let me find it." Magnus begged, "This spell holds some kind of power over me, one that makes me follow every order my father tells me. I'll stop at nothing to find that stone."

He jolted forward a little more into Alec arms when a wave of pain ran through him, the spell was being to work again, searing pain running through his veins. His breath hitched and he gripped at Alec's shoulders.

"Promise me," He sobbed. "Promise you'll do anything to stop me."

Suddenly it clicked just what Magnus was asking him to do. Alec shook his head again, holding back his own tears. "Magnus, no I can't. You know I couldn't–"

"–Please Alec!" Magnus hissed in pain.

"Please," He whispered. "You promised to keep my baby safe. If it get that stone and I return to my father he will destroy me, Max, Izzy, Jace. Anything that breathes in this realm. I'll cast a sleeping spell at the last second but it won't last forever."

Alec sobbed as he watched Magnus' eyes begin to flicker to black again, and finally he nodded. "Okay, I promise."

As soon as the words left his lips, Magnus pressed their lips together in a short but frantic kiss. When they pulled away Magnus' eyes were swallowed in darkness once again. Then he fainted right in the shadowhunters arms, just as he said he would.

And Alec cried.

**

"The spell he cast on himself will wear off sooner rather than later, but the one that Asmodeus made is like nothing I've ever seen before," Catarina explained. "It's clearly dark magic, magic that's centuries upon centuries old. I think the only way to stop it is for Magnus to fight with every ounce of willpower he has."

Everyone in the room let out a collective sigh, few looking over to where Alec was sat next to Magnus' bed Max sleeping soundly on his shoulder.

Izzy pursed her lips, "Alec said that the spell seemed to be able to reactivate itself when Magnus began to either remember correct memories or fight against it. It's like it's on a constant loop, it's one goal to make Magnus forget his memories replacing them with false ones that leave him heartbroken."

" That's precisely the point. Heartbreak fuels the rage. Let's the magic run its course. Magnus needs to fight against the magic if we're going to have any chance of undoing it. That and it will take a lot of power to undo it." Catarina sighed, doubtful that she could get the help of other warlocks. Most were currently in hiding.

Clary stepped forward, determination on her features. "We'll help, if you need our strength we'll gladly give it to you."

Catarina felt her heart swell as the others in the room nodded in agreement, they all owed their lives to Magnus and would do anything to assist in helping him rid of Asmodeus' influence.

Alec pressed a lingering kiss to Magnus' hand, getting up to gently place Max in his cot before turning to the rest of the group.

Izzy was pressed into Simon's side, her eyes full of grief for her brother and friend. Jace and Clary were standing next to each other standing as guards in front of the bedroom door. His parabatai looked pained as if he could feel every ounce of Alec's heartache, every little throb of his heart when he looked at Magnus. Catarina sat on the other side of Magnus, weary eyes watching her oldest friend.

The shadowhunter took a deep breath, gathering all the strength he had left. He had to do this for Magnus.

"Magnus once told me that the stone Asmodeus is looking for is located somewhere here in New York. He just doesn't know the exact location."

Alec looked back at his love before continuing, "He said something about there being a spell that will help lead us to it."

Catarina stood from where she was sitting and Alec followed her into the other room. She waved her hand a few times, mumbling a few different spells before books began to poor from their spots on Magnus' book cases until there were a few neat piles in the middle of the room.

"These are all of Magnus' books on Lucifer's weapons, they may contain information on the stone you're looking for along with the spell." She sat down next to one of the piles and grabbed the book on top.

Alec almost instantly followed her lead, grabbing one of the piles before sitting down in Magnus' favorite armchair. He watched the rest of the group start reading too before diving into the first book hoping they'd find the spell sooner rather than later.

Alec had gotten up once or twice to check up on Magnus and Max, stopping for a few moments to get a bottle for the baby but then returned to their searching like he hadn't left. Magnus had only stirred once, breaking into a sweat that had Catarina have to put him into a deeper sleep. The warlock had tossed and turned a few times in the few minutes, his skin looking pale and sickly. It reminded Alec too much of Izzy's withdrawals during her yin fen addiction.

It physically pained him to see Magnus helpless under the spell his father had cast.

Alec didn't know how much time had passed when he finally found something that might help them.

"Wait, Cat. Does this sound like what we're looking for?" Alec asked, lensing forward.

"Lucifer had many weapons in the war against Michael and Heaven, though he chose to only use very few in his fight. The stone, also known as lapis autem exitium , holds power of the seven realms in it. While it doesn't hold much power, when wielded by one of fallen angel blood it gives them the ability to hold the power of a whole realm sometimes even several. But when held by the wrong being the stone will destroy them within minutes while also taking all their power."

Catarinas eyes seemed to light up in what Alec recognized as hope. He wished he could will some into his own heart.

"Yes! Does it say anything about how to locate it?" She asked, the rest of the group leaning closer.

Alec looked back down to the pages he was on, reading little farther. Just when it seemed like he wasn't going to find anything the last few paragraphs had what he was looking for.

" Lapis autem exitium can be located through a series of spells. The spell will create a string like guide that will lead the desiree to the location of the stone. The only catch is that in order to locate the stone, the stone has to want to be found. If the stone doesn't want to be found, it will use it powers to push away any misguided beings."

Alec looked up at Catarina, "Do you think that's why Asmodeus is forcing Magnus to find the stone for him? Because he's misguided and the stone doesn't want to be found by him?"

Catarina looked to be deep in thought, slowly reading over the spell until she was sure they could pull it off before looking at Alec. "That might be very likely. Asmodeus wants to cause pain to the whole world, even Lucifer just wanted to be accepted. He only used his weapons in defense. The stone may want Magnus to find it but not Asmodeus."

Alec rubbed the bridge of his nose, "That would explain why Asmodeus is usi–"

There was a loud crashing noise that came from Magnus' room, Max started to wail and alarm bells went off in Alecs head. The whole group dropped everything they held in their hands but Alec was already at the door by the time they started to move. When he burst into the room Magnus was nowhere to be found.

Alec felt his stomach drop but ignored it to pick up Max and comfort him. Catarina hurried in after him, her magic scanning the room for any demonic magic before her face seemed to fall.

Alec felt his stomach drop too, "Cat what's wrong?" He asked.

"Magnus he– the spell must have reactivated again. He's gone." Catarina answered and he could see the devastation setting on her face.

Alec held Max closer and tried his hardest to keep his tears at Bay. "We're going to have to perform that spell sooner rather than later."

Catarina seemed to snap out of it when he spoke. "Yes," she said. "Yes, of course. He can only get so far. I'll go set up the ritual now."

Alec took another deep breath, pressing a small kiss to Max's head. He carried the baby to the front room, thankful when Izzy gently took him from his arms. When he was sure that Max was going to stay calm is his sisters arms he turned to where Catarina was lighting some candles.

"Luckily," she breathed. "Magnus has all the ingredients that's needed for this spell. I just have to mix a few things then im going to begin, you'll feel some tingling and maybe even a little sting but nothing should hurt too much. If it does you tell me right away, understood?"

Alec nodded rapidly. "Understood."

Catarina finished mixing things up then out of nowhere she walked up to Alec and smeared something that didn't smell all that great onto his forehead. She just shrugged when he raised an eyebrow at her. Catarina lead him into a circle of burning candles and began to recite the spell.

"Omnia regna Edom

tenet imperium omnium

et requiem tibi dabit fati filum.

potentiam quaerenti

et ita solum reddent

uno modo quod est bonum fidei."

The candles seemed to burn brighter the further she got into the spell, lights around them flickering a few times. Alec felt his eyes get heavy, his body swaying a little as he got a little dizzy. It felt like the stuff on his forehead was beginning to burn a bit, but it didn't hurt so Alec didn't say anything. Catarina flicked her hand towards him and as suddenly as the tingling began it stopped. Alec closed his eyes for a moment, taking a deep breath to center himself again.

When he opened his eyes he couldn't help but gasp. It was faint, he had to really focus on it but there was a red string. It looked like it was lying on the ground, flowing on the floor around the living room and went under the front door. Alec swallowed, apparently he was worthy of finding the stone. He let out a breath suddenly feeling like they actually had a chance of finding Magnus, helping him and stopping Asmodeus.

It took them another two hours to come up with a plan, one that guaranteed success because Alec didn't know what he'd do if they couldn't win.

Catarina took Max with her again deciding that he'd be comfortable with Madzie and that the two deserve to spend some time together. Clary and Simon went back to the Institute, promising that they'd keep Alec updated on anything that looked to be Magnus or Asmodeus. Jace and Izzy stayed with him, two reassuring pair of eyes on his back. He was putting his trust into his siblings, knowing that they had his back through this whole adventure.

Following the string had been relatively easy, if Alec found himself stuck or lost the string would redirect itself around the obstacles and if Alec tried to go in the opposite direction the string would disappear until he was centered again. Before they knew if they were at the edge of Brooklyn in the middle of absolutely nowhere.

Buildings seemed to be few where they were, you could still see the city from a ways away but for the most part the area was dead. It was clearly an abandoned part of Brooklyn, one that Alec had never seen before.

The perfect place to hide one of Lucifer's weapons.

The red string disappeared under a building a few meters away from the three, Alec heart was pumping in his chest. The chances of them running into, a still possessed, Magnus were high and he wasn't sure what he would do if Magnus got his hands on that stone with intent of taking it back to his father.

They made their way inside of the building, it seemed to creek around them the walls moaning with every breeze of air and the floors groaning in complaint as they walked silently. The building was clearly old, the walls were covered in mold and moss and the floor lined with deadening plants and weeds. The further they went the more uncomfortable Alec got.

The string led them down a spiral set of stairs, still blazing red and Alec was curious if the trail would ever end.

As if to answer his question, the moment they got the bottom of the stairs into a large open room the string seemed to burn out in the middle. If Alec looked hard enough he could still see it's faint traces but for the most part it was signalling that they were exactly where they needed to be.

Upon entering the room Alec was reminded that if this plan failed, if they weren't able to break Asmodeus influence off of Magnus, that he'd promised to end it in whatever way possible. He'd have to keep telling himself that killing Magnus would also but him out of his misery. He'd have to find a way to recover.

"This looks to be the place," Alec breathed, letting some of his tension go.

Jace and Izzy stood beside him, the two of them covering his sides.

Izzy tilted her head, kicking at the hard floors. "Well?" She asked. "How do we get to it?"

Just as Alec opened his mouth the answer a strong force propelled the three of them away from the middle of the room. Alec crashed into a wall a few feet away, head spinning from the impact.

"That, my dear Isabelle, is for me to worry about." Magnus' voice sounded through the room, making Alecs stomach lurch.

When Alec looked up it took all his power not to jump up because Asmodeus was back, his spell at full power on Magnus if the warlocks black eyes had anything to say about it. The greater demon had his hand on Magnus' shoulder, a twisted smile on his face. Magnus' hands flowed a faint purple, a color Alec had never associated with the warlocks magic. Alec looked past the two to find his sister and parabatai passed out on the other side of the room.

Asmodeus removed his hand from Magnus' shoulder. "My boy, would you please take care of that filth while I get the stone?"

Magnus looked as if he wanted to fight the command, but it was a losing battle as he turned towards Alec. "Yes father."

Asmodeus leaned close to Magnus and whispered loud enough for Alec to hear. "Do whatever it takes."

Alec had just gotten to his feet when he felt Magnus' magic wrap around him. It felt different, more hostile, not the soothing weight that it once was. This had the intention to hurt. But even as it wrapped around him, it didn't seem capable of actually causing him harm and he wasn't scared. He didn't think there would ever be a time when he'd fear Magnus. Even in the state he was in.

"Magnus," Alec pleaded as the warlock stalked closer. "Please. I don't want to fight you."

Magnus flinched at the words, "I have no choice." His voice was choked and his eyes full of sadness.

Like he had no control of his body.

As the words left his mouth a swift kick to Alec's stomach had him stumbling back against the wall as pain bloomed in his abdomen. Alec tasted blood in the back of his throat but ignored it, looking back into Magnus' eyes once his own focused.

"Fight back!" Magnus cried as he landed a punch to his jaw.

The crunch had his stomach lurching again but he managed to keep his pained hiss to the minimum. He spit out a little blood and shook his head, meeting Magnus' eyes again.

"No," he coughed. "I'm never going to hurt you. Never again"

Something seemed to crack in Magnus' eyes, his magic tightening around Alec's ribs sending his breath whooshing out of his body. The magic kept him pressed against the wall as Magnus stepped close to him, eyes still black as night.

"Fight. Back." He sneered, voice wavering.

He could see it in Magnus' eyes, the war that he was having with himself. He knew that Magnus was also pulling his punches because that party of himself that was fighting was trying his hardest to not hurt Alec.

Alec managed to shake his head, "No. You can kill me if you want," he whispered. "But I'm not going to hurt you."

Magnus' eyes seemed to flicker back to gold for a split second just as his magic seemed to wrap around Alec's neck tightening with every passing second.

"Magnus," he choked. "Please, come back to me. I can tell you're fighting."

Magnus cried out suddenly when the black began to fill his veins again, filling Alec with panic again even as the vine like magic around his throat loosened. He practically caught Magnus when he fell forward, ignoring the throb in his ribs and the way his legs protested the extra weight.

"Fuck–" Alec held Magnus closer as the warlock cried out in pain again. "Magnus– Magnus listen to me, please. You have to keep fighting–"

"H-hurts," the warlock wheezed, his hands gripping painfully at Alec's arms.

Alec felt his heart break a little more. "I know, I know. I'm sorry, baby but please keep fighting. Only you can break the spell Asmodeus has on you."

As if the greater demon had been waiting for his que, Magnus was suddenly flung across the room, hitting the wall with a sickening crack and the demon replaced him in front of Alec. Magic wrapped around him again but this time it wasn't familiar and it hurt the minute it made contact with his skin. Alec groaned as his chest seemed to squeeze and his lungs seemed to smallen in size.

Asmodeus got close to his face, "God, it's always you. I would have already had my hands on that stone if it weren't for you and your annoying love for my son."

"You're like a parasite," Asmodeus chuckled darkly. "Just when I think I've gotten rid of you, you suddenly appear again. But I'm not playing games anymore shadowhunter. I'm going to get rid of you once and for all."

Alec felt his stomach flip before his lungs seemed to collapse on themselves again. He choked out another breath, squirming against the attack of magic. He could see Magnus slowly getting up off the ground and he tried to ignore the black spots growing in his vision. He sucked in another small breath but it quickly turned into a coughing fit as his lung capacity lessened.

Magnus was still on the other side of the room, struggling against his mind. He kept having flashes of blood, bodies surrounding his own, their faces belonging to all the people he couldn't save. Pain was rushing through his veins again, making him want to tear them out of his body to make it stop, blood dripped from between his teeth as he struggled against his father's powerful magic. He hears a choking sound, looking up to find his father slowly killing Alec.

Something seemed to snap back into place, the pain lessening in his veins and the stripes of black fading a bit. Magnus gasped at the relief, getting onto his feet as fast as he could, which really wasn't that fast. His magic crackled red at his fingertips, the color it was supposed to be. Panic rose in his chest as he watched Alec's eyes begin to droop closed. He then looked down at the giant hole in the middle of the room and gasped at the red glow that seemed to call out to him.

Magnus was suddenly taking steps without a second thought, eyes staying trained on the powerful weapon, astonished by the acceptance it seemed to show towards him. There was a voice whispering inside the back of his head. Touch it, it breathed. We won't hurt you.

Magnus tilted his head curiously, reaching forward with a trembling hand. He heard his father shout but nothing registered as his hand touched the stone and power soured through his veins.

The moment Asmodeus' magic let go of Alec, he decided that he would never take breathing for granted again. He wheezed a few times, his knees aching at the sudden contact they made with the ground. He only looked up at the sound of the greater demon shouting, horror filling in his chest.

"Wait, no Magnus!" He yelled

Magnus' hand made contact with the stone and red was suddenly filling the room.

**

"Are you sure you're feeling okay?" Alec asked, nose pressed into his sleepy warlocks temple.

Magnus hummed, keeping his eyes closed, "Yeah. I'm okay."

Magnus didn't know why it looked like red lights were flashing behind his eyes or why he couldn't feel his magic like he usually could. He was desperately hoping that it was because he was exhausted and drained and not because he'd lost his magic again. There were stories of the Stone draining beings of their magic while trying to absorb the power from it but there was no way to tell at the moment.

He barely remembered what happened after touching the stone. There was a surge of power from inside him, and then suddenly his back was against the wall and his father was gone. Alec, Izzy and Jace had been climbing to their feet by the time his head stopped spinning. Jace had looked at him like he'd grown a second head.

If he focused really hard he could remember bits and pieces of what happened.

Magnus' ears were ringing, uncontrollable magic sparking at his fingertips. It felt different, more or less powerful than he remembered, but the magic didn't hurt like he thought it would. It didn't feel like a foreign substance crawling under his skin, it felt familiar like an old friend that he hadn't seen in a long long time.

His father was clearly pissed at what he had just done. Magnus felt his body surge once again, wanting nothing more than Asmodeus' presence gone for good, then there was the feeling of static electricity, someone screaming and suddenly he was flying across the room.

Magnus felt Alec nuzzle further into his messy hair, understanding the need to feel close. The time they'd spent broken up had yet to be made up for and now they had two weeks of problems to work through now. Magnus had murdered people, his stomach lurched unpleasantly at the thought, and he'd have to pay for it.

The van that they had all packed into screeched to a stop outside of the Institute only a few minutes later, Raphael and Catarina were waiting for them at the front doors and when they finally made their ways towards them the former vampire practically plowed into him.

"Dios, I'm so glad you're okay, Papá," Raphael mumbled into his shoulder.

Magnus sighed heavily, hugging him back, "Me too Raph, me too."

Catarina had hugged him and then proceeded to zap him with her magic and he knew that he was in for a nice long lecture about how self sacrificing he was when they would get some time alone. He expected nothing less from her.

Magnus' body seemed to be gaining more fatigue the more he walked but it woke up with a snap when he saw Tessa standing in the ops center holding his little blue baby.

Tears sprung to his eyes at the same time Max found him with a loud yell of his name. The baby leaned out of Tessa's arms with a squeal and Magnus sped up. Relief filled his veins when his child was in his arms again, the tears spilling over his cheeks.

"Oh, sayang, my dear sweet boy. I've missed you so much." He couldn't help but pressed his nose into the baby's cheek, relishing in the gummy smile that was aimed his way.

Max squealed again, his magic practically exploding around them, "Ayah!"

Magnus couldn't help the trembled giggle that left his mouth as he quickly took to soothing the younger warlocks magic, allowing some of it to sparkle around them. As he was pressing a kiss to Max's forehead he felt a small bump on the baby's head right under his hairline.

"Oh my," Magnus breathed, "It seems that you'll be taking after your uncle Ragnor."

He saw that catch Catarinas attention beside him, he smiled softly in her direction, "His horns have begun coming in."

Catarina smiled sadly back, the two of them remembering their old friend together.

Alec walked up behind him allowing Magnus to lean his weight back onto him. He smiled wider when he felt a soft kiss be pressed to his shoulder.

"I noticed that his head seemed a little tender recently. It's kept him up the past few nights." Alecs breath fanned over his neck as he spoke.

Magnus hummed and let his magic sooth the baby's head. "Oh sayang, I'm so happy to be home."

Magnus pressed another kiss to Max's head and then leaned his own back against Alec's chest. He didn't need to worry about the clean up that needed to be done or the several meetings he'd be attending or that Catarina would most likely want to run some tests on him once she heard what he'd done. For now he was going to bathe in the relief of being in Alec's arms again and having Max in his own. His little family.

 

The rest of the day went almost exactly as Magnus thought it would. Catarina offered to take Max for the night because Magnus had no idea when he would actually be able to go home. It took a lot of coaxing from her for him to actually let her leave with his child but Alec's reassuring whispering in his ear helped ease some of the anxiety he had gotten.

The Clave worked very fast to get a representative to the New York institute to question him, Alec's daily report would not please them this time around. They spent hours arguing Magnus' side of the story, Alec had managed to reduce any sentence that they wanted to set on Magnus with the help of Clary and Izzy. Explaining what had happened with Asmodeus was harder than any of them expected because of the need to leave certain details of Magnus' experience in Edom hush hush, but they had managed.

While the Representative ended up leaving back for Idris by the end of the night, she certainly didn't seem all too happy with their half assed explanation of the situation, Magnus was more than happy to be promised that he would indeed be going home and not to a cell in Alicante.

Before she left with Max, Catarina did run a few tests on him with the help of Isabelle. They'd discovered that the power from the Stone seemed to be sitting dormant in his blood. Like it was only there to protect him and only intended on coming out when he was in danger until he learned to control it again. His own magic was still there, of course not as bright as usual due to his exhaustion but definitely still there and unaffected from the power of the Stone.

By the time it was all over, Magnus was significantly more awake despite how surprising that was. He was definitely ready to get back home and sleep but he wasn't really in a hurry for it either. He probably would sleep well for the next few days anyway.

Unsurprisingly, Alec came home with him. Magnus' magic had replenished enough for him to summon something to eat for them. While they scarfed down their food Magnus was trying to figure out just what happened before he blacked out.

"Alexander?" Magnus asked, lifting the remote to turn down the volume of the movie that was playing.

Alec looked more relaxed than Magnus had seen him in a long time. He was stretched out on the large sofa that Magnus had gotten for that reason exactly, his head resting on the arm rest and his plate sitting on his chest. Magnus had forgotten what a goober he was when not surrounded by people that looked up to him. The chow mein noodles hanging from his fork in the air had a lot to say about said gooberness.

Magnus was curled up on his favorite chair, legs dangling over the armrest comfortably, a blanket wrapped around his shoulders.

As if sending the seriousness of Magnus' question, the shadowhunter sat up and put his plate on the coffee table. "Yeah, babe?"

"What happened today? I can remember touching the stone but it all seemed to blur after that." He asked.

"Well," Alec sighed. "I looked up right as you touched the stone and then the room seemed to turn red. It was like a bright light was shining in the room."

Magnus watched as his eyes seemed to unfocus as he remembered the events of the day. His own stomach twisted uncomfortably.

"When the light finally dimmed out, you were surrounded by deep red magic. It was like it was bouncing right off of your body. The black stuff began to fill your veins again, I think your father was trying to corrupt you again in order for you to use the power for him. But the magic seemed protective off you, like it had a mind of its own. The minute you fell to your knees screaming it shot out and hit your father right in the chest."

Alec looked over to him, eyes searching for something. "Then your eyes bled this bright red color, only for a split second, and Asmodeus tried one last shot and the next second you were flying across the room. The magic unleashed again at your father, then suddenly he was gone and you were waking up dazed like you'd just slept for a few hours."

Magnus frowned, glancing down at his own hands that seemed to tingle with power. "My eyes turned red?"

"Yes, red cat eyes." Alec answered.

Before Magnus could think harder on that, a violent shiver ran through his body along with goosebumps. He whined a bit and pulled the blanket tighter around his body.

"Are you okay?" Alec asked, ready to get up and get Magnus whatever he needed.

Magnus simply hummed, curling up a little more. "Yes, I'm just a little cold."

Alec stood up from where he was perched on the edge of his seat, coming to stand right in front of Magnus' chair. "I bet I can help with that?"

Magnus had no time to answer or even think about what that had implied before Alec's arms were sliding under his knees and shoulders and he was being lifted off of the chair. A little squeak left his lips but he didn't complain, knowing from past experience that wouldn't do anything to help his situation.

Alec carried him back into his bedroom, gently setting him down on the bed. He disappeared for a few moments only to come back with some of Magnus' makeup remover.

"You don't have to-"

Alec cut him off, "Yeah, well, I want to."

Magnus blushed and stayed quiet after that, sighing in relief as soon of the dirt came off with his makeup, helping feel a little more cleaned up. Alec finished up quickly, throwing away the used cotton pads before coming back over to Magnus. He untied the warlocks shoes gently tugging them off, placing them neatly next to the bedside table.

The two of them stared at each other for a few moments before they seemed to move at the same time. They met in the middle in a soft kiss, one that quickly progressed into something harder, more desperate as time went on.

When they had broken up they both knew that not only would it not be the last time they saw each other, but they both were open to potentially trying again in the future. This time around though neither of them were sure that they'd see each other again. Now they were home, safe. Magnus still felt a little chilled to his bones but Alec was quickly helping solve the problem.

The two of them slowly started to undress each other, Magnus relished in the feel of Alec's chest against his, remembering how much he loved the feel of the shadowhunters chest hair.

Their pants had come off right after their shirts, Alec had pressed as close as he could with the position they were in. Magnus was glad that the shadowhunters lips muffled his little moans not having been this close to anyone since their break up. Having a baby kind of put people off. Not that he'd been looking for anyone to sleep with.

Alec's hands were all over him, like the shadowhunter wanted to memorize his body all over again. One minute they were in his hair, tugging softly at the strands then they were on his back, fingertips brushing the knobs of his spine. They traveled to Magnus' hips, squeezing, then his ass which was kneaded for a few moments before he was lifted and moved further onto the bed.

In the back of his mind Magnus registered the color of his red sheets turning gold but he could care less as Alec made himself comfortable between his thighs.

Magnus had forgotten the way it felt to have Alec's lips on his skin, how goosebumps always rose after each kiss and how the desire to arch his back off the bed arose when a nip was placed to his thighs.

He'd also forgotten just how much he loved Alec's hands that always caressed his waist softly and long fingers that could always reach deeper than he ever could. How he always knew exactly how to get Magnus to squirm and whimper on the sheets. Alec had quickly learned how to tease Magnus in some of the best ways possible, he sometimes hated himself for teaching the shadowhunter but now was not one of those times. He wanted to stay in this moment forever.

Alec had made slow work of prepping Magnus, setting the mood for the rest of the night. Both of them felt a deep hunger to jump straight into it, to make it fast and hard until they couldn't take it anymore but something more prominent made them go slow.

Their bodies pressed close, Alec's heat had quickly warmed up Magnus until he was no longer shivering from the cold but from the ecstacy running through his veins. Alec's fingers twisted with his next to his head on the pillow as the shadowhunter slid home, filling him in a way he hadn't felt in literal years.

Magnus could feel Alec's steady heartbeat against his chest, felt it in the pulse of his fingers and the lines of his neck where his face was buried. Alec's hips grinded heavily in a way that Magnus had always loved, sent sparks flying through his body, making his stomach twist pleasantly. Alecs free hand stayed steady on his thigh, pulling it up whenever he felt like going deeper or when Magnus was too out of it to realise it was slipping.

It was as gentle as Magnus thought it would be. Alec had whispered that he loved Magnus over and over again when his hips began to stutter the further they rose, and he had done his best to gasp out the words back wanting Alec to know just how loved he was in return. How Alec had been the one to bring him back every single time.

Eventually the pleasure rose as high as it could and the pressure in both of their stomachs snapped. Alec had groaned into his neck and Magnus practically screamed his loves name as magic sparked at his fingertips.

As the two of them were coming down, Alec had began to laugh quietly, the soft sound made a smile tug at Magnus' own lips until he'd opened his eyes to find his once white ceiling now a vibrant shade of purple. As he looked around he discovered both of the bedside lamps flickering, the mirror on his desk was shattered and his curtains looked like they'd been burnt to a crisp.

A soft laugh escaped his lips as it all registered. "That–um hasn't happened for a while."

Alec grinned proudly, "Not since our first time?" He asked.

Magnus cleared his throat in embarrassment as his cheeks flushed. "No," he answered. "Not since our first time."

Magnus wanted to ignore just how smug Alec seemed to look from that but he decided that he'd give the shadowhunter his moment. After all he was the first and only person to ever make Magnus lose control like that in bed. It deserved a little recognition.

**

The next day had been a complete mess.

Catarina had brought Max back home early in the morning, where she stayed for breakfast, chatting with Alec about some downworld business that Magnus had been gone for, while he fed Max who had happily used his magic to fling his applesauce in the air. Catarina had dropped a bomb on him right before she left, leaving him speechless as she quickly portalled.

Magnus stared at the spot that she had been standing on for a few moments before spinning on his heel to look at Alec.

"Did she just–" He shook his head in disbelief. "Say my son can turn into a bat?" He asked.

Max decided that was the perfect time to demonstrate.

After spending a good few hours trying to coax Mac out of his strange bat state, he'd spent a little more time cleaning up any other magical bursts the baby had. He'd explained to Alec that since Magnus had not been around for the past two weeks, Max's magic was a little more crazy than usual and he would probably continue to have little bursts here and there for the next few days.

Which had turned into exactly what had happened. Every now and then Max would be quietly playing with his toys and then suddenly blue magic would be popping in the room and the toys would be gone.

He'd even turned the chairman pink for a few minutes. The cat spent three days in hiding after that. Magnus thought it was quite dramatic.

Other than having to constantly deal with his son turning into a bat, Magnus would say that things seemed to settle down.

He had resumed his position as The High Warlock of Brooklyn, slowly taking on clients and more than happy to start helping people again. He'd gone in and out of the Institute for check ups from Catarina and Isabelle, which they had yet to find anything out of the ordinary. The magic inside him still seemed dormant and it wasn't hurting him in any way so they all had concluded that it was not there to be harmful.

They also found out during one of the tests that the magic from the stone had indeed made it so that his once gold cat eyes turned bright red when he used the foreign magic.

Magnus had spent a few nights having nightmares, waking up drenched in sweat from the familiar feeling of Edoms burning skies. Sometimes he'd be woken up by Alec sobbing from the phantom pain flowing through his veins. Others he'd scream himself awake after watching Alec die from his own hands.

He'd decided to move Max into his own room after the third time that had happened.

Alec had been the one thing keeping him sane during those nights. The shadowhunter would wake him up as gently as he could, and when he would awake it would be to Alec slowly rocking them on the bed. Sometimes Magnus would sit quietly as he processed the events of the dream and others he'd explain to Alec why he woke up screaming. Either way Alec was always there to hold him.

But most nights Magnus would sleep peacefully curled up in Alec's arms. His days were always always busy and filled with taking care of baby messes and the occasional bleeding shadowhunter or downworlder, so by the end of the day he'd be exhausted and would be asleep as soon as his head was pillowed on the shadowhunters chest.

Alec on the other hand had assigned Isabelle as his second, so he was able to spend a little more time out of the Institute. He'd spend a few days of the week helping Magnus at the loft and entertaining Max whenever he had a client over. The two of them had gotten close over the two weeks that Magnus had been in Edom.

It had only been about two weeks before Max had began trying to say dad whenever he'd see the shadowhunter. Alec had cried the first time he'd successfully said it.

Magnus had taken a few trips back to London to see the kids at the orphanage and deal with any paperwork that needed to be done at the new home for young shadowhunters. Isabelle had come with him the second time around, which she discovered that she loved the kids and the shadowhunters that lived in the old institute so much that they made plans together to bring up something similar in New York.

The plans for that had been finished and started not even a week later. Magnus with the help of some other warlocks had a new orphanage up and running within a few days and downworlders all over the country were starting paperwork to relocate any children that had been found and others were looking to help take care of them.

The next "big bad" as Simon liked to call it happened only a few weeks after Magnus had returned from Edom. It was just a small variety of demons that had managed to escape the now unruled lands of edom, where they wrecked havoc until the shadowhunters were able to eradicate them. Magnus had quickly learned that Lilith had yet to take the throne, which made him wonder if his father had been killed or just simply banished again.

But to simply put it, life continued on.

And Alec proposed to Magnus with the Lightwood ring on the three year anniversary of their first meeting.