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So.

The apocalypse is apparently imminent.

The end of the world is supposedly about to happen in the building right behind Klaus. In a concert hall in the middle of the city. In the building where all his siblings are currently trying to subdue their gone-off-the-rails sister. While Klaus himself has been relegated to lookout duty.

Lookout. During the apocalypse.

Honestly, how does that even make sense, Luther?

Klaus sighs, letting his head fall back, eyes closed, too tired to even drum up any real annoyance at not getting to join in on the let’s-save-the-world-effort. He’s been too tired for a lot of things, recently. And he’s sure his exhaustion has absolutely nothing to do with his recent, involuntary stint in a war and losing the love of life not even three days ago. But no, that couldn’t possibly be the reason for Klaus’ utter mental, physical and emotional exhaustion. Surely not.

He wants to sigh.

Well, if the world is ending today, then at least Klaus can say that he truly made the most of his last few days on earth.

Seriously, what a week he’s had.

Several deaths in the family, Klaus himself dying and being kicked out of the afterlife, timetraveling assassins, a bit of torture for variety, Klaus himself timetraveling to a war - because that’s clearly the sort of trauma Klaus needed on top of everything else – and back again, falling in love and losing the love of his life, and his supposedly ordinary sister suddenly developing apocalypse-causing powers.

Somehow in all of that, discovering that his own powers might be much more versatile than Klaus had ever thought they could be, that he can apparently bring the dead back to life – at least for a certain value – isn’t even anywhere near the top of the list of the craziest things that have happened to him just this week.

He heaves another sigh, eyes still closed. Honestly, his life is absolutely ridiculous.

He feels Ben step up next to him and a slight smile flits over Klaus’ face as he finally opens his eyes to join his brother in staring up at the night sky.

“I need a vacation, Ben,” he says, not looking away from the dark sky. “Once this is over, let’s go on a vacation, yeah? Somewhere nice and warm and without even a single one of our nutcase siblings.” He lets his head roll sideways to look at Ben. “You wanted to go see the ocean, right? Yeah. Let's go see the ocean when all this is over."

His brother just looks at him and smiles his special Ben-smile. Quiet, as always. Right at his side, as always. The only one with him, as always.

Dead, as always.

Klaus smiles back.

If the world is going to end in a few minutes anyway, then at least he has Ben with him. Klaus really doesn't think he could ask for anything more.

Which is when he spots the food truck across the street and promptly revises that statement.

Ben at his side and some food in his stomach to make it stop eating itself, that's all Klaus needs.

And if he’s just going to be sitting on his hands while his siblings save the world, then he might as well get something to eat while he waits.

“Dinner?” he asks cheerfully, already starting across the street.

Ben easily falls into step with him. “Sure. As long as you don’t get any feta.”

“Wouldn’t dream of it,” Klaus grins.

When he asks the food truck woman for extra feta cheese barely a minute later, Ben just rolls his eyes at him in exasperation.

Klaus smirks back at him with a dramatic eye roll of his own, opening his mouth for a truly witty comment.

But he never gets the chance, as someone’s absolutely incredulous-sounding voice sadly interrupts his and Ben's eye-rolling contest.

“Klaus?”

Klaus flips around – so what if the past week has maybe made him a little twitchy? – and immediately fixates at the couple standing only a few steps away from them on the sidewalk, holding hands and looking like they had just been casually strolling along, both of them now focused on Klaus.

Ben immediately steps up next to him, assessing the two men, asking quietly, "Who is that?"

Klaus shrugs slightly in honest confusion as he squints at the two strangers, trying to see whether he can in any way place either of their faces.

Well, he definitely doesn’t know the tall, tattooed, frowning one. But the other one looks familiar somehow…

Then, it clicks.

And Klaus almost loses his grip on his burrito in surprise.

Because standing right there is someone who by all rights shouldn’t be here, can’t be here.

It takes him several seconds before he finally chokes out an incredulous, "Magnus?”

Because that right there is Magnus Bane, looking just as surprised to see him here as Klaus himself feels and far more alive and definitely much younger than he by any rights should be, considering he looks exactly the same as he did fifty years - but also just three days - ago.

Magnus who when Klaus saw him last was wearing a military uniform, leaning over a cot in a medic’s tent, blood up to his elbows as he tried to help save yet another soldier’s life. Magnus who might not have ever stepped out onto the battlefield with them but who helped save the lives of about half of their unit at one point or another. Magnus who he thought he’d left behind somewhere in the middle of the Vietnamese jungle along with everyone else he met in 1968, when Klaus decided to travel back to his own time.

Magnus who is standing right there, looking exactly like he did before but somehow also entirely different. Jewelry, make-up and expensive clothes instead of a blood-spattered uniform, casually strolling along instead of treading through the mud lining the trails running through their camp.

Klaus stares.

Maybe he’s just hallucinating. His grip on what is and what isn’t real has never been the best anyway, something which certainly hasn’t improved ever since his visit to Vietnam.

Yeah, Klaus hallucinating seems far more likely than Magnus actually, physically being here right now.

But then, the other man seems to finally recover from his own shock, a bright smile overtaking his face as he swiftly crosses the distance between them in a few quick steps, before he simply, unceremoniously, easily reaches out to pull Klaus into a warm, tight hug.

And for a breathless second Klaus simply expects the other man’s touch to pass right through him, to be intangible, yet another spirit of someone he used to know reaching for Klaus.

But then, Magnus’ arms settle around him. And Klaus can feel the hug, the tangible warmth of it.

Magnus is solid and real and warm and alive.

It’s the exact same warm hug the man used to give him while they had been stuck in the middle of a war, whenever the shadows of the mutilated, devastated spirits of friends and enemies alike gathering around them, got too pressing. Whenever Klaus felt like he was simply drowning in others’ sorrow and grief and pain and fury.

Klaus has always absolutely adored Magnus’ hugs.

It’s that same enveloping warmth now, not only physically but Magnus’ presence itself almost feeling tangible, seeming to mute the world around them, like a sort of muffling, warm blanket settling around Klaus’ shoulders, a shield.

Because even back in the war, the countless spirits – of soldiers, heroes, traitors, innocents, deserters, murderers that forever surrounded Klaus – always just seemed to simply hush around Magnus.

And it’s the same now. The ghosts are quiet and Klaus can see Ben look around himself with wide eyes at the sudden silence that has fallen around them. Because even now, the few ghosts which had been babbling at Klaus before are suddenly, entirely, almost eerily silent.

Klaus knows, the spirits can still talk, but around Magnus they just always seem to really prefer not to. Almost like they don't want to risk disturbing the man with their wailing. Like there is something about Magnus they respect, something they are possibly even afraid of.

It’s a respite, just a moment to breathe, a few seconds of the world around him being suddenly and miraculously quiet.

The hug is still exactly the same.

And Klaus inhales, a shuddery breath, and then his arms finally come up to return the embrace, fingers curling into the fabric of Magnus’ jacket at his back, holding tight, just for a few moments letting himself revel in the contact and the quiet and the peace and in having one of his brothers in arms here.

How?” he finally asks, or rather mumbles into Magnus' shoulder, even as he tightens his arms further. “How are you here?” He feels stumped at this turn of events but also grateful and excited and confused and kind of just all over the place.

“I could ask you the same thing,” Magnus laughs, easily, cheerfully, evasively, before he is pulling back a little – not entirely, his hands remaining warm on Klaus' shoulder – just enough to meet his eyes. Klaus can see something worried bleed into his eyes the longer they stay like this, before Magnus finally asks quietly, “How have you been, Klaus?”

The honest concern in his voice almost makes him want to close his eyes. No time for that though, so instead he replies with sarcasm heavy in his voice and his best, sparkling grin on his face, “Oh, I’ve been brilliant.”

Going by the look in Magnus’ eyes he doesn’t believe it for a second. “I’m sure you have been,” he says, but he also doesn’t prod Klaus for answers, which he can only be grateful for.

Another few seconds and then finally Magnus lets his stare relent a little and lets go of one of Klaus’ shoulders to turn slightly towards the man who he had been walking with before and who has by now stepped up next to him, watching them attentively but not necessarily unkindly.

Then, he promptly proceeds with introductions.

“Klaus, this is Alec Lightwood, my husband.” The smile on Magnus’ face at the last word is so blinding, it almost makes Klaus want to squint a little to fight off its brightness. "We just got married last year."

A slight turn towards said husband, “Love, this is Klaus Hargreeves. We met during the Vietnam War when I used to help out Catarina from time to time. I’d just skip to her medic tent whenever my duties in Brooklyn would allow me to.” A brief pause, then a shrug. “Well, mostly I just lent her some strength when her reserves were running a little low, maybe helped out a little here and there. But you know how much better she is at healing than I am.”

The newly introduced Alec nods a greeting at Klaus, while also looking as though what Magnus just said made any sense whatsoever.

Not that Klaus is particularly surprised by the hints at so many things that sound fairly non-normal that were included in that statement. It’s not like it’s any sort of surprise to him that Magnus might have a few less-than-ordinary things up his sleeve.

The two of them might not have ever truly discussed their individual abilities in detail but they very much bonded over being not-quite-normal-in-any-sense-of-the-word.

Not to even mention the fact that everyone in their entire camp had known that there was something off about Catarina and Magnus.

Well, not so much off, but everyone certainly knew to bring those soldiers who were too injured, the ones who wouldn't - couldn't - possibly make it, to Catarina's tent. That she would pull off literal miracles, even more so if Magnus was with her.

Everyone had known but no one had ever so much as whispered a word about it, lest the commanding officers got wind of it.

It had been war, friends and comrades dying in droves. So, no one ever questioned how Magnus and Catarina were able to save anyone brought to them as long as they were not quite beyond death’s door yet, how the two of them saved limbs and lives that were so very obviously impossible to save.

No one ever asked, simply grateful to not have to mourn yet another brother in arms.

Quite honestly, there were a lot of things about Catarina and Magnus that made absolutely no sense, starting with that previously mentioned ghost-muffling power of Magnus’, and how the two medics always looked freshly showered and perfectly groomed in a place where even the bath water was dirty, and all the way to Magnus’ rather strange tendency of just disappearing for days on end despite the fact that they were in the middle of the jungle and that there wasn’t anywhere to disappear to.

So, yeah, Klaus knows full-well that Magnus might be less-than-ordinary.

He still hadn’t expected to meet the man again about fifty years into the future, seemingly unaffected by the passage of time, though.

Klaus thought he’d given that up – given up on ever having someone who lived through that hell on earth with him– around again, the moment he decided to return to his own time.

And as if on cue, he watches Magnus’ eyes flick down his chest, unerringly landing on Dave’s dog tags around Klaus’ neck. He barely keeps himself from flinching in anticipation of the question he knows Magnus wants to ask.

Because Magnus also met Dave, had actually walked in on Dave and Klaus - doing something two men definitely shouldn’t be caught doing in the 1960s, much less while also in the military – at one point and just laughed at their panicked faces, told them to maybe find a better hiding spot next time, before turning around and wandering off again. Like it was simply a non-issue to him.

Klaus had been absolutely delighted to find someone with a twenty-first century mindset towards sexuality in the sixties, had sought out Magnus afterwards and they hit it off immediately.

Although right now, Klaus doesn’t think he can take being asked about Dave, doesn’t think he’ll be able to keep himself from falling apart if he actually lets his brain go there, is forced to actually say the words. He just can’t. Not yet.

And clearly, Magnus seems to get it - not only the implications of Dave’s dog tags around his neck but also that Klaus himself just cannot yet bear thinking about why he is the one wearing them – and his eyes turning so incredibly sad, his hand squeezing Klaus' shoulder in pure sympathy. But he doesn’t ask, doesn’t make Klaus think about it, doesn’t make him say the words out loud.

And, damn, is Klaus grateful for the understanding.

So, grasping around for another topic, Klaus’s eyes once more fixate on Magnus’ entirely unchanged features. “So,” he says. “Time travel, huh? How come, everyone seems to be a time traveler these days?"

Magnus' reaction however isn't quite what Klaus is expecting. Instead of commiseration, the other man just blinks before tilting his head, suddenly something rather intent in his eyes as he says almost humorously, “Yes, pesky, all those time travelers.”

His apparent amusement is mirrored in the expression on his husband’s face and Klaus squints at both of them, knowing there is something he is missing.

Magnus gives in after a few seconds, laughing, “But no, it has actually been fifty years for me.”

Klaus blinks

“As in actually fifty years having passed?" he asks. So, not another time traveler then? But still looking exactly the same? Well, isn’t that just fucking wonderful. More supernatural shit. Because that’s clearly what Klaus needed in his life.

So, he decides to ignore the implications of Magnus’ claim and just says, “Try less than three days on my end.”

There is a brief pause as Magnus blinks at him. Then his expression sobers as he nods, slowly, carefully, the look in his eyes turning even more worried, once more fully focused on Klaus. “Oh my.”

There is clear concern directed at him, Magnus just immediately understanding how disorienting it has been to go from constant death and destruction and gunfire everywhere to the almost idyllic, calm and far-too-quiet peace of the here-and-now.

And Klaus just sighs, trying to ignore the exhaustion that is suddenly making his eyes a little blurry. “Yeah, got back here three days ago. Of course, only to then find out that I made it just in time for the apocalypse.”

Magnus raises his eyebrows slightly at that as his husband – Alec, remember, his name is Alec – tilts his head, suddenly looking a whole lot more intent on their conversation as well.

“Oh? There is an apocalypse coming?” Magnus asks after a second of watching him, clearly gauging just how serious Klaus is being. And apparently not only deciding that Klaus is in fact not joking but then also just proceeding to believe him with truly impressive – almost alarming – nonchalance.

Because humor, hysteria, disbelief. Those, Klaus could understand. But this sort of nonchalance, just a vague sort of interest coming from Magnus and his husband?

That’s odd. And also rather disconcerting.

Especially, if combined with the fact that Magnus just said ‘an’ apocalypse. Why is it ‘an’ apocalypse?

At his side, he sees Ben tilting his head, watching the two men across from them closely. Clearly, his brother finds their nonchalance just as unsettling as he does.

But Klaus is nothing if not great at ignoring the elephant in the room. So, he just waves his hand vaguely at the building behind himself and answers, “Yeah, my siblings are in that building over there, trying to stop the apocalypse from happening right now.”

“Oh?” Magnus glances past him at the concert hall looming behind Klaus. “Are they, now?”

Alec sounds entirely casual as he asks, “What sort of apocalypse are we talking about here?”

Klaus just blinks at him. Seriously, what’s with the damn nonchalance?!

And next to him, Ben chokes. “Wait, what does he mean by ‘what sort’?” his brother asks incredulously. "Oh, please don't tell me apocalypses actually happen so regularly that there is an end-of-the-world-classification system in place somewhere."

Klaus so doesn’t even want to think about that. Nuh uh. Klaus is excellent at denial. Just ask the ghosts currently looming around them.

Yes, go with the flow and pretend they are having just a normal, everyday conversation. Good? Good.

So, he gives a shrug and says flippantly, “Oh, you know, the world-ending-eradication-of-all-life-on-earth kind.”

Magnus hums consideringly. “So, a real apocalypse then?” he asks, looking pensive. Then, he shrugs in a rather disturbing well-what-can-you-do manner. “Well, it has been a while since we had one of those. The last one was around 1850 somewhere in Russia, I think. So, we’re about due another one.”

Nope. Klaus didn’t hear that either. He heard nothing.

Across from him, Alec suddenly gives a huff and immediately Magnus' entire focus switches to him.

“Oh, don’t be cross, darling,” Magnus smiles at him. “I know we just saved the world from another demon invasion, but those are so frequent, they count as a small apocalypse at best.”

Klaus can admit that Alec’s frown is really rather impressive, as he grumbles, “Sure. But how come the world can’t stay fixed for a few weeks for once? Or at least wait with the next catastrophe until we get back from our vacation?”

Magnus just laughs warmly, before turning back towards Klaus, smile still on his face.

Klaus just looks over at Ben, meeting his eyes, neither of them sure whether to feel confused or terrified at what they are hearing. Another few seconds, before Ben just sighs, shrugs and then, the two of them just simultaneously give up.

Not because of what is being implied about the frequency of end-of-the-world events or even that he is pretty sure that he just heard them talk about demons of all things - because if demons are an actual thing, then Klaus is going on strike, he already has enough weird shit in his life without introducing actual supernatural creatures into it, thank you very much.

No, there just seems no use in worrying about the end of the world if these two – who are apparently rather used to dealing with various cataclysmic events – don’t really seem all that concerned. So, best just leave it to the experts and hope for the best.

“So, how is this apocalypse happening, exactly?” Alec finally turns towards Klaus again, still wearing an annoyed scowl but using the same tone one would use to inquire after tomorrow’s weather forecast.

“Well, we don’t actually know exactly.” Klaus spreads his hand in his best don’t-ask-me-I’m-just-here-for-the-popcorn gesture. “We just know Vanya is somehow involved.” He pauses, turns towards Magnus. “Vanya. My sister. I told you about my siblings before, right?” Klaus asks frowning slightly, sure he must have at least mentioned his screwed-up family to Magnus at some point.

“Indeed, you did,” Magnus nods. “Though forgive me if I don’t remember their names. It has been a while for me.”

Klaus nods with another shrug. “So, we think the apocalypse will be caused by my sister’s powers that no one actually knew she had until… what was it, yesterday? The day before that?... Well, anyway her powers are out of control and supposedly about to start the apocalypse. But all things considered we might also be entirely wrong about that because we actually thought we had already saved the world yesterday when this one guy who was being protected by these weird timetraveling assassins ended up dead and we thought that was it. But apparently not, because the apocalypse is still very much on. Supposedly.”

And something in what he just said finally got him Alec’s full attention.

“Timetraveling assassins?” he asks, his eyebrows raised. “You mean the Commission?”

Klaus blinks. “You know them?”

Alec nods, "Mundanes meddling in things they know nothing about.” And wow, so much derision packed into so few words.

Klaus can see Ben grin in satisfaction beside him. His brother has developed a rather impressive hatred for anything that involves the Commission ever since Klaus got to involuntarily spend some time in the company of two of their employees while tied to a chair in a hotel room. 

Magnus rolls his eyes as well. “Can’t stand them. Far too convinced they got the world figured out for my taste. Conceited bunch, they are. The amount of times we have to jump in to fix their records just so they’ll leave well enough alone is ridiculous.”

So, apparently the Commission is well-liked everywhere, then.

Then, Magnus tilts his head slightly in consideration, looking up at his husband. “On the other hand, if it’s really just the Commission making a mess, then this should at least be an easy enough fix.”

Alec nods in easy agreement. And the brief discussion between the husbands that follows includes so many things Klaus has never so much as heard of that he can’t even follow half of what is being said.

But he can't help but grin when the conversation concludes with Alec saying, “I mean, it’s just the Commission. What in the world would we even need the reinforcements for? I’ll just send the local Institute a quick Fire Message as per protocol and that should do it.”

Magnus grins. Then, he tilts his head as though listening to something. “Well, best make it a quick message. The gunfire points to the fact that the fight might already have started.”

“Gunfire?” Klaus asks confused.

Ben promptly throws him an impressively incredulous look at that.

What? Klaus blinks back at him.

And that’s when he suddenly hears it. Gunfire. A lot of it. Coming from the building that also has their siblings in it.

He twitches forward, his eyes widening slightly.

Klaus is supposed to be the lookout, supposed to watch his siblings' back. How had he missed the gunfire?

“It’s because you just got off the battlefield,” Magnus speaks up from right beside him as they all start making their way towards the concert hall’s doors. It’s said kindly, his voice calm and reassuring. “It will take a bit for the peace to become the norm again and for the chaos and noise of battle to seem out of place instead. You will get there. Just give it some time."

Klaus blinks. Huh. That’s reassuring at least, knowing that at some point the world around him will stop seeming so very unnaturally, alarmingly, disconcertingly silent all the time.

And as they enter the building, he sees Ben watching Magnus, something attentive and intent and almost grateful in his brother's eyes.

+++

They get to the concert hall and are promptly greeted with absolute mayhem.

Gunfire from every direction, Vanya at the front still playing her violin – why in the world is she still playing? – and his siblings cowering in the aisles and between seats, seeking cover.

Klaus immediately joins them with Magnus and Alec following easily behind him, the two men looking perfectly graceful while doing so, especially compared to Klaus’ enthusiastic jump-dive into the aisle across from Luther.

“Klaus!” Luther exclaims as soon as he sees Klaus, reprimand harsh in his voice. “You were supposed to be the lookout!”

Klaus just ignores him. Who knows how all these gunmen got in here. Klaus and Ben were out front, being lookouts. Well, Klaus might have been distracted a little and he also might have entirely missed the sound of the gunfire…

But hey, it’s not his fault Luther decided to put the one guy, who can barely distinguish between real and dead people on lookout duty. Not Klaus’ fault that Luther’s plan has gaps so wide and entire battalion of gunmen could slip through.

So, he just smiles winningly at his brother.

“I brought backup!” he instead exclaims cheerfully, loudly.

A second of pause.

“Backup?!” Diego calls back incredulously from where he is squeezed between two rows of seats, even as all of his siblings immediately turn to glance over at Alec and Magnus, who are crouching with Klaus and looking calm as you please in the midst of this chaos.

“Hello,” Magnus immediately greets brightly, giving a little wave, though there is something really damn intent in his eyes as he watches them right back. And Klaus suddenly remembers that he had told Magnus more than one less-than-flattering story about his siblings over a bottle or two of rum that Magnus always seemed to have handy despite the definite alcohol shortage in the middle of a war.

And Alec barely gives everyone a scowl in greeting, clearly more concerned with assessing the room - and the numerous gunmen scattered around - than formalities.

His siblings blink at Magnus’ overly bright smile and Alec’s dismissive scowl for a few seconds before their heads swing back around, directing rather incredulous glares at Klaus.

Luther sounds annoyed as he reprimands, “Klaus! You can’t ju-“

“So, that’s your sister?” Magnus asks Klaus cheerfully gesturing at the stage, cutting right across whatever Luther was about to say, making their oh-so-vaunted leader sputter.

“Yup," Klaus confirms, glancing at the stage as well. "That's Vanya."

Magnus eyes her for a few seconds. “Hm, that’s quite a bit of repressed power she’s got there.” Then, he sighs in exasperation, “Honestly, who ever had the bright idea to make her to keep those powers suppressed for so long? That sort of thing never ends well.”

A second of silence all around.

“Let’s just say we all got impressive daddy issues,” Klaus finally replies cheerfully.

“Ah,” Magnus nods in prompt commiseration. “Well, I certainly understand what that’s like.”

Klaus smiles brightly. “Thankfully, daddy dearest recently kicked the bucket, so at least he’s finally done making a mess of things.”

“Oh, same!” Magnus exclaims cheerfully and over his shoulder Alec’s frown suddenly looks so viciously satisfied that Klaus almost wants to hide behind Magnus a little. Clearly, not a fan of the in-laws then.

And suddenly, in the middle of their pre-battle banter – the lightheartedness of which is clearly making Klaus’ siblings rather twitchy – Magnus just sobers, turning slightly to quirk a brow at his husband. “So, what do you say, darling? Split it down the middle? I take the one with the out-of-control powers and you take everyone else?”

“Sounds good to me,” Alec says, suddenly holding an actual bow in his hand, a quiver on his back, neither of which had been there before and Klaus isn’t even going to ask where either of those came from.

Then, Alec reaches out, grips the front of his husband’s shirt to pull him in for a quick kiss before he – with a rather disturbingly enthusiastic glint in his eyes – just flips around to throw himself into battle.

And, boy, can he fight.

It’s a flurry of glowing blades and arrows flying everywhere – and where in the world did the sword come from? – and Klaus kind of wishes he had some popcorn to be able to enjoy the show a bit better.

“What the…” he hears Diego ask incredulously from beside him, his brother now sitting up from where he had been crouching, the gunmen suddenly and very effectively distracted. Diego looks entirely transfixed by watching someone fight, whose arrows apparently always land true, not missing even once.

Klaus is so absolutely distracted by the spectacle that is Alec in-fight - and since when are people able to just jump two stories up into the air? - he kind of forgets to watch what Magnus is doing for about a minute.

Until he hears a sort of choked noise from Luther, making Klaus immediately flip around, eyes searching for Magnus.

And then he just stares at the sight of Magnus almost casually - if carefully - wandering up to the stage, one hand spread out to the right, fingers in constant twirling, winding motions as he clearly manipulates some sort of energy forming a glowing shield around him.

His other hand is stretched out in front of him and due to the angle of where he is sitting, Klaus can’t really see what that hand is doing. Well, aside from the fact that he seems to somehow be diverting the swirling bright light around Vanya, seeming to almost siphon it off, redirecting it to send the energy right into the floor where it disappears harmlessly, almost as though Magnus is simply feeding the energy to the ground.

He knows his mouth is hanging slightly open in surprise. Because, sure, he was aware that Magnus isn’t entirely normal, but Klaus certainly hadn't expected anything like this.

His siblings around him are just as silent, staring.

“What exactly is it that Magnus can do again?” Ben asks almost absently from where he is sitting cross-legged beside him, clearly just as mesmerized.

“I honestly have no idea,” Klaus replies, not looking away from where Vanya has now apparently noticed Magnus and what he is doing and seems to be consciously targeting him, diverting more and more of her power towards him, lashing out, doing her best to overwhelm him.

Magnus however seems entirely unaffected, just redirecting as much of her power as he can into the ground, any power he isn’t able to redirect just glancing off the shield surrounding him.

Ripping gauges into the walls, tearing apart entire rows of seats, but not so much as touching Magnus.

From somewhere behind them, there is the familiar fwump sound of Five’s power.

The fact that they can hear it at all making Klaus suddenly aware of how quiet the room has become, the gunfire having pretty much stopped, only here or there a single gunman remaining at this point. Alec certainly works efficiently.

And now it seems like their little psychopath finally decided to join them as well.

There is a second delay and then, “Just what in the world is going on here?” Five sounds caught somewhere between annoyed and incredulous.

No one even bothers to turn and look at him as they all continue watching the spectacle in front of them.

“Klaus brought backup,” Diego only says absently, clearly still distracted with watching Alec fight.

And Luther just makes a vague humming sound in agreement, entirely distracted as well.

There is a pause.

“What do you mean 'backup'? How is this backup? You are the ones not doing anything,” Five notes sarcastically, but even he sounds a little distracted now.

“Well, at least we were here from the start and didn’t show up when everything was already pretty much done,” Diego remarks acerbically, eyes tracking Alec across the room.

Ben snorts a laugh and Klaus grins, even as he watches the light around Vanya finally starting to waver and wane, another few seconds and then the last of it just blink out. Magnus quickly takes the last few steps, reaching her just in time to catch her before she hits the ground.

And then it’s just over.

Klaus blinks once and suddenly Alec is standing next to his husband on the stage, casually holding on to a fiercely struggling Cha-Cha, seemingly unbothered by her attempts to get loose, just calmly assessing the destruction of the room around them. He doesn’t even look all that winded despite having just fought off numerous gunmen all on his lonesome.

Well then.

So, that’s superspeed, superstrength, superaccuracy, superstamina and super-glowing-swordsmanship for the husband and at the very least ghost-silencing, non-aging, power-shiphoning, swirly-power-shield-istry for Magnus.

And as he follows after Allison - who is now scrambling up onto the stage, immediately reaching out to take Vanya off Magnus - Klaus can’t help but think cheerfully that he had certainly been wrong to ever think that he and his siblings were about as weird as it could possibly get.

Turns out, they don’t even come close.

+++

Alec makes Cha-Cha call the Handler.

Klaus honestly doesn’t understand half the threats he uses to do so but Five almost chokes when Alec brings up some sort of Council.

“Wait, you two work with the High Council?” Five asks, sounding rather incredulous.

Alec and Magnus turn towards him with raised eyebrows but not actually answering. Klaus is starting to get the very clear impression that whatever world these two are involved in, it’s far more secretive than anything they’ve encountered before.

There are a few seconds of silence.

“What’s the ‘High Council’, Five?” Luther finally asks in his usual I-expect-an-answer voice he copied from their father years ago, but apparently not quite daring to direct that voice at Magnus or Alec. Turns out, Number One has more survival instincts than Klaus had given him credit for.

Five scowls up at their brother in irritation but he still answers, “I only ever heard about them. Some of the Commission’s files are sealed with their stamp, and those binders are literally impossible to open. I thought they were some sort of overseer committee for the Commission’s decisions.”

“That’s accurate enough,” Alec shrugs casually but the amusement in Magnus’ eyes tells Klaus that that’s barely scratching the surface. “And we very much disapprove of someone deciding to just let an apocalypse proceed without informing us.”

Us? As in you not working for them but actually being part of them?” Five’s voice sounds even more incredulous than before.

Once more, there is no actual answer forthcoming but the ‘duh’ is rather heavily implied in Magnus’ expression, while his husband is clearly entirely unwilling to deal with any more questions they might throw at him and just turns back towards Cha-Cha.

She folds like a house of cards.

A phone call later and the Handler appears while attempting to freeze time all around them as Five warned them she might, but a single twirly hand gesture from Magnus just has everything continue on as normal. So, does that mean Klaus should add time-manipulation to the ever-growing list of Magnus’ skills, then?

"Missy," Magnus greets her almost casually.

They all watch her eyes widen slightly when she sees them standing there, but when she focuses on Magnus and Alec, her surprise gives way to something that definitely looks caught somewhere between grudging respect and definite dislike and more than a healthy dose of fear.

Magnus watches her right back, as he slightly tilts his head, suddenly giving off the impression of a cat watching a particularly slow mouse, his expression something between bored and predatory and impressively patronizing. "I have just been informed that the Commission has once more been meddling with things it shouldn’t. I thought it had been made absolutely clear last time that any world-threatening events are to be immediately brought up with the High Council. No exceptions.” He watches her for a few seconds. “Please be so kind as to call one of your superiors here. Or all of them, for all I care. Myself and the Inquisitor would very much like to express our displeasure at their handling of this situation directly. Please do so promptly."

She doesn’t even try to argue.

And the dressing down of the two middle-aged men in fancy suits who appear at her call - and who are apparently two of the leaders of the famed Commission - that Klaus and his siblings get to witness is just plain beautiful.

Magnus looks entirely friendly, his tone almost cheerfully amicable, as he tears into them. Although, there is no need for him to seem particularly menacing, seeing as the threat is more than implied by his husband's glower. Alec doesn’t even really move, just a dark, silent shadow at Magnus' shoulder, standing with the posture of a soldier, expression serious but unmoving. Somehow just his presence implies an unmistakable threat that can still be felt from where Klaus is standing.

Magnus and Alec certainly make for a rather intimidating couple.

The two men from the Commission seem to agree, as their eyes keep nervously flicking between Magnus and Alec, clearly unsure who to focus on. The friendly looking one who is currently tearing them apart verbally or the entirely silent one who manages to convey his unspoken threat just by merely standing there.

It’s honestly rather entertaining to watch. And by the end of it Klaus is grinning at the spectacle and most of his siblings - Five especially - are wearing similarly satisfied, vindicated smirks.

“The High Council will discuss this during the next session,” Magnus finally concludes, still looking and sounding entirely cheerful. “So, please be prepared for the delegates that will be sent to check any irregularities in the running of your little… club.” And then suddenly, Magnus' previously so friendly expression simply drops away, something dark and threatening bleeding into his eyes. “Unless there is something either of you would like to add to this.”

Alec’s mouth ticks up in a smirk.

And the two men across from them flinch – whether at Magnus’ suddenly threatening expression or the fact that Alec is smirking, Klaus doesn’t know – and promptly start shaking their heads at the question.

Magnus nods magnanimously. “Glad you see it that way. Off you go then,” he says, making a vague shooing motion at them.  

And then, he is already spinning around, clearly having entirely dismissed the two men - who don't waste a second before they disappear so fast, Klaus is almost expecting the comic-version of the proverbial dust cloud to appear in their wake - and by the time Magnus is facing Klaus and his siblings again, he has gone from looking menacingly threatening to smiling brightly within an instance.

And throughout it all, Magnus never once let go of his husband’s hand.

Klaus desperately needs to learn how to do what Magnus just did.

Not the swirly light show from earlier – he's already got enough powers he doesn’t know what to do with, thank you very much – but rather what came after. How to shut down people so effectively, how to make everyone else seem like utter morons, how to tear people verbally apart on a level that has them flinching every time you so much as open your mouth.

And how to look so fucking fabulous while doing it.

Yeah, I gotta get me some of that.

And Ben clearly agrees with Klaus as well, his brother giving a sigh of pure happiness at his side. “I want to be just like him when I grow up.”

Klaus promptly snorts a laugh, gaining himself confused glances from his siblings, a raised eyebrow from Alec and a delighted smile from Magnus.

Today could truly have gone so much worse than this.

+++

Of course, even with the apocalypse handled, there is still a bit of back and forth, mostly about Vanya and her powers. Finally, Magnus just hands Allison a card and tells her to give him a call once Vanya wakes, so he can help her figure out what to do with her powers.

Klaus can also see Luther and Diego and Five practically vibrating in place with all the questions they want to ask but apparently something about Alec's glower is keeping them in check for now. Which however only means that his brothers will promptly start burying Klaus in questions as soon as Magnus and Alec are gone.

He wants to sigh.

With the whole apocalypse business being finally done, Klaus can feel the utter exhaustion settling back into his bones, making it a little hard to even keep standing entirely straight and his hand automatically comes up to reach for the dog tags hanging around his neck, his heart squeezing in pain at the reminder.

He just can’t deal with his siblings' relentless questioning right now. All three of his brothers are like a dog with a bone once they find something worth their interest, it will take hours until they are either satisfied with his answers to their questions or accept that he doesn't have any more answers to give them.

Klaus just wants some rest. Maybe some food first and then sleep for a week or two. That sounds nice.

And finally, Magnus is turning towards Klaus - clearly having finished his discussion with Allison - focusing fully on him, “So, now that the world isn't ending any longer, do you have time to catch up for a bit? I would love to hear what you’ve been up to.” The expression on his face is warm and open and, yeah, Klaus actually would much rather go with the one person here who gets exactly what he is currently struggling with.

Ben takes another step closer to him, eyes catching him, something imploring in his expression, urging Klaus to go with the less stressful version of tonight, worry for him clear in his favorite brother's eyes.

So, instead of telling Magnus that there is really nothing to tell on his end - seeing as it’s been a grand total of three days since he saw Magnus last - he pulls up his brightest, most sparkling grin as he replies, “Well, I didn’t make any plans if that’s what you are asking what with the world supposedly ending today.”

Magnus smiles back just as brightly, concern for Klaus clear in his eyes. “Wonderful, because I'm absolutely starving,” he says cheerfully, smiling quickly up at Alec before casually checking the watch on his husband's arm by pulling on their still laced hands. “Hm, this didn’t take too long, so our reservations should still be good. And I’m sure they won’t mind adding a plate to our table." He turns back towards Klaus. "How do you feel about some martini and steak?”

Klaus just nods with a slight shrug, glancing at Ben to get his approval as well. He has no idea why it has to be specifically martini and steak, but he long since gave up being picky over what he eats. A full stomach, that’s what counts.

He sees Luther opening his mouth – most likely to protest or ask questions or make demands of some sort – and Klaus just waves vaguely at his siblings, “I’ll catch up with you guys later.”

Then he just turns, lets himself be drawn into a conversation with Magnus, happy to ignore everything else. Just for a little while.

And as they finally make their way off the stage, he can see Ben watching Magnus attentively, silently observing as always, but there is something intent and strangely relieved in his brother's entire demeanor as he regards Magnus. He is also very actively ignoring the fact that the only reason for his other siblings' current silence is probably the rather intent scowl Alec is still directing at them all. Because who would want to piss off the guy who just took out an entire squad of gunmen all on his own without any apparent struggle?

Klaus cheerfully ignores it all, simply happy for the brief reprieve, for now just wanting to focus on Magnus’ stories about their other comrades and what happened to those who actually made it out of the war, just wanting to hear about something nice and hopeful for a bit before he has to deal with everything else again. He can always argue with his siblings later.

 

+++

 

Alec watches the group of strangers still gathered on the stage with them.

They are all clearly rather baffled at most of what just happened, but overall they seem quite content with the assurance that the apocalypse has been averted, no matter how its end came about. Which is good enough for him.

So, he throws another glance at them all for good measure, before finally turning away, pulling Magnus in closer by the hand still held in his and then proceeds to wrap an arm around his husband’s waist. Magnus just immediately, happily, easily leans into his side, busy chattering to – or rather at – his friend from a lifetime ago.

A friend who is smiling brightly at Alec's husband but also looks so fragile around the edges, dark circles under his eyes, grief in his whole demeanor, utter exhaustion in every line of his body, that Alec already knows there is simply no way Magnus will just let this one go, that he’ll want to keep him and help him back on his feet.

Because when his warlock sees someone who hurts like this – especially those surrounded by people who should care, but completely and utterly alone in spite of it – his soft heart simply won’t let him not help.

It’s not like this would even be the first time they go out for dinner and come home with a stray to add to Magnus’ ever-growing collection. It’s become something of a pattern actually.

Alec calls it 'the Lightwood-Bane collection of strays in trouble', a title which still makes Jace scowl every time.

Well, initially Jace thought it was funny. Until Alec pointed out that he very much counts Jace amongst those strays, seeing as he has more than once made use of Magnus’ tendency to help out anyone in need.

Honestly, sometimes it feels like about half of New York has shown up on their doorstep at one point or other, asking Magnus for help. Something which definitely hasn’t changed ever since their move to Alicante. So admittedly, it is a rather large club.

He glances at this apparent newest stray of theirs, who currently appears to be mediating a conversation between Magnus and a spot of empty air beside him. Alec watches the rather odd but definitely spirited discussion for another few seconds, and then he just shrugs internally.

He loves Magnus and adores his husband’s ridiculously soft heart and it’s not like he actually minds the strays.

So, really, what’s one more?

 

+++

 

And thusly, the apocalypse is called off.

There is no bang, but there might have been a whimper or two.