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Expecting the Unexpected

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/ Alec hadn’t been having the best of times lately. And it was because of a petite redhead who barreled into his life like a thunderstorm. He told himself that his hostility towards Clary had nothing to do with the way she almost immediately started sweeping his adopted brother Jace off his feet. His adopted brother, for whom he’d had improper feelings for a while already. Such he wouldn’t have admitted out loud under any amount of torture. As far as the world knew, Alec was a strong, straight alpha, and he intended to keep things that way. Because he didn’t want to lose everything and everyone he held dear.

Eventually Clary’s quest led them to a club owned by a warlock named Magnus Bane. When Alec entered he wasn’t in the best of moods. Which wasn’t improved by how painfully loud and uncomfortably crowded the place was. Having Circle members to focus on was a relieving distraction. It was actually chilling how much getting to take his bottled-up anger on someone soothed his nerves.

One arrow, and a man who attempted to kill a centuries old warlock went down.

Magnus’ pheromones hit Alec with the subtlety of a sledgehammer. It was then he realized that he’d misjudged the man upon looking at the pictures of him. Magnus wasn’t an alpha, but an omega. And the alpha inside Alec was purring as a response to the other’s scent.

“Who are you?”

Alec wouldn’t have had enough breath and sanity to answer even if he got the chance to. A blink of an eye, and Magnus had slipped away. Alec the alpha felt rejected and frustrated, Alec the Shadowhunter sighed in relief. There was no use in entertaining primal urges that’d lead nowhere.

As it turned out, fate chose differently. The second time they met Alec watched Magnus save himself. It did things to him that felt incredibly right and horribly wrong at the same time. Then the warlock turned to face him. Otherworldly beautiful, deadly, confident, sinfully alluring and magical all at once. Unlike any omega he’d ever seen before.

If the look in Magnus’ eyes was any indication, the older man was equally impressed by him. “I’m Magnus.” The warlock began to approach him. “I don’t think we’ve been formally introduced.”

Alec was powerless against the smile appearing to his lips. “Alec.” The alpha inside him was already smitten. And he braced himself for fighting those unwanted urges with all his might, because following them would ruin his life. /

/

Alec smiled, in a way he’d for a long time imagined himself unable to muster, as he watched Magnus sleeping. His omega was almost always the first one up, so it was rare treat that he got to see the warlock like that. So vulnerable, peaceful, beautiful. And all his. The ring he slipped into place almost exactly two years earlier sealed that.

Clearly Magnus sensed his appreciation. The older man emitted something that sounded distinctly like a purr. Then snuggled closer and inhaled his mate’s scent. Alec was more than happy to take the hint and hold on a little tighter. It was fairly unusual that the omega initiated displays of affection. Most of the time Alec was the one starting their kisses and softly spoken words of affection. Alec certainly didn't mind, it was just the way things were. The Shadowhunter sometimes wondered if Magnus only let him take the lead due to biology but had never asked.

At that moment all the alpha wondered was how lucky he’d gotten.

“You know... Most people would consider it creepy to wake up feeling someone staring at them”, Magnus mumbled, his voice thick from sleep.

Alec snorted. And loved how confident his husband made him feel. “I should know, after all the times I’ve woken up to that.” He loved that, too. “Besides, your face says that you’re not complaining.” His omega was... glowing, almost, and the thought that he’d helped cause it made him feel thrilled and proud beyond words.

“Hmm.” Magnus wrinkled his nose and yawned. Before slowly peeling his eyes half-open. They softened at the sight of him and the warlock brushed a strand of hair off Alec’s forehead. “Well. Maybe waking up to that face isn’t so bad.”

Alec grinned. Then frowned. “Did you get enough sleep?” His husband had been tired for a few days already. Which was bizarre, because usually the man was more vibrant than ever around the time his heat approached.

Predictably Magnus nodded with a smile. “Alexander, I’m fine. I just need my morning coffee.”

Well. Alec, who was typically grumpy and sourer than a lemon in the morning, could certainly relate to needing caffeine. But he wasn’t ready to let go of Magnus just yet. Because something he couldn’t quite identify but had him thrilled was starting to register. He inhaled greedily. “You smell good”, he murmured against his omega’s neck. “I mean... Even better than usual.”

Magnus chuckled fondly. “You’re certainly the master of unexpected compliments, darling.” The warlock proceeded to reward him for aforementioned compliment with a teasing little kiss.

Alec would’ve been more than happy to stay in that bubble of bliss and love forever. But unfortunately fate had different plans. The archer blinked from confusion and perhaps a hint of hurt when he was pushed aside roughly. Those feelings transformed to intense worry when he saw Magnus running to the bathroom. Soon enough sounds of vomiting reached his ears.

With the speed and agility of a seasoned fighter Alec jumped out of the bed, then dashed towards the kitchen to fetch a glass of water. By the time he made it to the bathroom his husband was rinsing his mouth. The Shadowhunter frowned while offering the water, which received a hero’s welcome. “Are you okay?” He’d never seen his husband get sick like that before.

Magnus gave him a tiny, almost convincing smile. “I’m perfectly fine.” The warlock grimaced. “Must’ve been that new restaurant we tried yesterday. Let’s never go there again.”

Alec bought that explanation because he wanted to. Still, he continued rubbing soothing circles across his omega’s back with gentleness only his nearest and dearest ever got to witness him display. “Is there something I can do to help?”

Magnus gifted him with the kind of a smile that almost made him swoon. (It still baffled the archer that someone loved him like that.) “You’re already helping.”

Alec was tempted to kiss Magnus, until the older man started to retch again.

/

They both chose to believe that it was something fleeting, a minor inconvenience. But over the next three days Magnus’ nausea persisted and worsened. And then Alec came home to find his husband sitting on a couch and working gingerly on a light bruise marring the warlock’s forehead.

Alec’s blood ran cold, then boiled. All his protective alpha-instincts flared to life. “What the hell happened?” he demanded more sharply than he’d intended while hurrying to inspect his beloved.

He regretted his tone and level of volume when Magnus couldn’t hold back a grimace. “I... started to feel lightheaded, and... I think I passed out for a couple of minutes. I must’ve hit my head on the way down.” The warlock scoffed upon finishing up handling the bruise. “This is embarrassing.”

Alec could come up with a few far harsher and far better fitting words. He clenched his jaw. “That’s it. If you’re not calling Catarina, I will.”

It was unnerving how Magnus, who usually loathed revealing even the slightest hint of vulnerability, didn’t object at all.

/

Catarina arrived quickly. A frown of deep concern remained on her face while she listened to the description of her best friend’s condition. The look morphed into one of astonishment when something visibly clicked into place in her head. “There’s... I want to check something. Just in case. Magnus, can you lay down and pull up the hem of your shirt for me?” She rolled her eyes when the older warlock stiffened. “Oh, stop that. I've seen you naked. This is nothing.”

Oh, Magnus remembered that she had, and not even the fun way. But his reluctance wasn’t caused solely by embarrassment. He couldn’t quite understand why he stiffened all of a sudden. He forced himself to obey Catarina when he noticed the way his mood made Alec tense up protectively as a response. Getting them both worked up when his friend was only trying to help would do no good. “Oh, yes. One unpleasant morning in Barcelona comes to mind. I’m never having sangria again”, he tried to joke but it didn’t come out quite right.

Magnus was very familiar with Catarina’s powers. But that day he fought the urge to lash out and his abdominal muscles practically cramped under the tender glow. Either his friend somehow didn’t notice or was merciful enough to not mention anything. Intense concentration filled her eyes while she sought and inspected. Soon they widened. “By the Angel...!”

Well. That didn’t soothe the couple’s fried nerves. At all. Alec grabbed Magnus’ hand and held on tight. “What is it?”

Catarina shook her head in disbelief. “A miracle, that’s what”, she managed. She met Magnus’ gaze with slightly watery eyes. “You’re pregnant.”

Magnus... zoned out. Entirely. For centuries he’d imagined that warlocks, even the extremely rare omega ones, were infertile. He’d accepted that as his fate, as bitter of a pill as it was to swallow with all his natural nurturing instincts. It was also a big reason why he never bonded with anyone before Alec. He didn’t want to rope an alpha to a life with no children biology caused them to crave for sooner or later. The archer had to work long and hard to help him past those thoughts, so they could bond officially. And now...

“But...” Alec shook his head. (Magnus was ridiculously relieved that it seemed to be with disbelief, not disgust or reluctance.) “That’s not possible. Right?”

After a second of hesitation Catarina snapped her fingers. Immediately they heard a rapid but steady beat, thrumming on stubbornly. When Magnus realized what it was he stopped breathing for a moment and felt Alec do the same.

It was their unborn baby’s heartbeat.

Catarina gave them a small smile. “What can I say? You two have made a lot of impossible things happen since you met.”

Chapter Text

/ Being an alpha was one thing. Being gay was another. Shadowhunters tended to mate young and Alec knew that his parents were looking for a suitable match for him. Which was a lovely omega girl with whom he could have plenty of children to carry on the family-name. How was he supposed to disappoint them by announcing that their firstborn, for whom they had such high expectations, didn’t want any of it? That he’d never be truly happy in the golden cage they were putting together for him?

So Alec remained quiet and told himself that his path was what it was. For the sake of his family he’d do what was expected of him. He was destined for great, honorable things. No one would have to know how fundamentally flawed he was. How frustrated, sad, angry and ashamed he was.

Hiding worked, until they tried to get back Clary’s memories and the truth came out. Embarrassment, downright shame, cut Alec like no knife could. That his most guarded, most horrible secret was revealed so violently, without his consent, worsened the pain.

Magnus came to find him, in a moment when all he wanted to do was hide and disappear. “When I first became the High Warlock, I hid the fact that I was an omega for a very long time with medicine. I worried that it’d make me seem weaker, that my people would think less of me. I worried that I’d lose everything I’d worked so hard to gain.” The older man breathed in deep, and Alec had hard time ignoring the impact the other’s scent had on him. “But I didn’t. It wasn’t easy, but in the end I realized that I would’ve suffered more living a lie. Hiding who and what I am.” Magnus gave him a moment to process those words. “A friend of mine helped me take that step, by saying something I think you need to hear now.” Against his better judgement Alec met the warlock’s gaze before the man went on. “You have nothing to be ashamed of, Alec.”

Alec had been conditioned to believe otherwise all his life. It’d take a while longer before he would believe Magnus’ statement. But those words planted a seed for something that’d one day be strong and beautiful. /

/

Fifteen minutes after hearing their child’s heartbeat for the first time Alec and Magnus were both struggling to believe it. A baby? They were going to be parents?

“This pregnancy...” Alec was clearly still trying to wrap his head around the word. “It’s supposed to be impossible. Is it safe for Magnus?”

Catarina hated giving the men even more cause for stress but she couldn’t lie. “There’s a higher than average risk for complications. But we know about them and should anything such occur, we’ll be prepared.” She held a small pause to let the pair digest the information overload. “One of my friends works at the hospital’s maternity ward. I’ll ask her if she can sneak you in at some point, so we could do a proper examination. Hearing the heartbeat only tells so much.” Catarina’s eyebrows furrowed slightly while she was deep in thought. “Do you have any idea when the baby might’ve been conceived?” She rolled her eyes at the dry looks aimed her way. “Right... Needles and haystacks...”

Magnus smirked almost proudly. Alec blushed radiantly, before the alpha inside him took over. “This friend of yours...”

“I’ve known her for a very long time. She’s as trustworthy as I am”, Catarina reassured, stemming down the young man’s natural protective instincts instantly. She was immensely glad that her best friend had a mate who cared about him so fiercely. But there were occasions when it made looking after Magnus problematic. Her eyes softened. “You know that I’d never, ever risk Magnus, or your child.” They’d have to work together a lot for the next nine months or less. To ensure that it’d go as smoothly as possible she needed the alpha’s absolute trust. Which wasn’t easily obtained, especially when he was supposed to trust her with his omega and unborn baby.

Alec nodded, and while the gesture was as slow as stiff, it was also a sign of promise.

If Catarina was able to see Magnus’ restlessness, she could only imagine how strongly Alec felt it. There was nothing further she could do for the omega at the moment and clearly the couple needed some time alone. “I know that this is a lot to take in. If you need anything, at all, call or message me, no matter what time it is.” She would’ve kissed her friend’s cheeks but didn’t think his mate would’ve taken it too kindly in his current frame of mind. “I’ll call you in the morning, to check how you’re doing. And I’ll try to come up with an herbal mixture to help with the nausea.” She gifted them both with a smile. “Congratulations, you two. You’ll be fantastic parents.”

Magnus nodded and did his best to smile. “Thank you. You’re a marvel.” Alec settled for a grateful nod, obviously speechless.

Upon leaving Catarina heard the couple whispering to each other. They just received a tremendous shock, but she wasn’t worried. Magnus was in good hands, and so was the child inside him.

/

“Are you going to tell me what’s going on in that pretty head of yours?”

Magnus huffed. “I... don’t even know where to start.” The warlock sighed and ran a hand through his hair. “I’ve lived for quite a while, and I’ve never been surprised like this. And you know how I feel about surprises.”

Truth be told, Alec’s head was still whirring, too. They’d barely talked about having kids. Partially because they were supposed to have a lot of time to figure it all out. Partially because it wasn’t an easy topic. Apparently fate had decided to solve the problem for them. “Well...” Alec shrugged. “As far as surprises go... I think this is the best one yet.”

Magnus looked at him with something like surprise and cautious hope. (The archer tried very hard to not be hurt by his beloved fearing that he might be upset about this. A stable home-life and a normal, healthy relationship were still things Magnus was getting used to.) “Really, now?” the warlock practically purred.

Alec nuzzled his head against the smaller man’s. “You’ve made me very happy”, he announced, as firmly as tenderly. He went on when his proclamation took impact. “How could I not be?” He kissed the other’s mating mark to enforce his message. “I’ve always wanted children but imagined that I’d never have any. And now you’re about to give me one.”

Magnus snorted. “I’ll bet you didn’t see that coming.” The man aimed for a joking tone but it didn’t quite work.

Alec shrugged. “I didn’t expect anything of you and what you’ve brought into my life. This just fits that pattern.”

To his delight Magnus relaxed a little. “You continue to surprise me, Alexander.” The omega’s scent, which he now identified as a promise of new life, was maddeningly alluring. "In good ways."

Alec chuckled. He fought the urge to touch the other’s stomach, because Magnus didn’t seem ready for it yet. “You know what? You continue to surprise me, too.” He pulled his husband to a hug and they were more than content to just hold each other.

Or so Alec imagined. Until he felt... certain parts of Magnus get excited. His eyebrow bounced up. But before he got the chance to ask or comment he was claimed to a kiss that drove him wild instantly.

Alec’s hands were just playing with Magnus’ belt when the warlock shoved him aside. Firmly, but with no hostility. The archer frowned and told himself that he wasn’t pouting petulantly. “What...?”

Magnus was scrambling off the couch and to motion, one hand pressed against his mouth. “Sorry, sorry”, the man managed barely comprehensibly. “... go, now ... before I vomit on you ...”

And so, on the day they found out about their child’s existence, baby Lightwood-Bane interrupted their parents’ kinky activities for the first time.

/

A few days later Magnus and Alec were equally tense while they followed Catarina to a tiny room at the hospital where she worked. A petite middle-aged woman with shoulder length dark hair and gentle hazel eyes greeted them. “You must be Alec and Magnus? I’m Annie. Since you’re not an official patient we can stick to using first names.” Making their arrangement official would’ve meant paperwork. Which would’ve led to far too many questions for anyone’s comfort. She gave Magnus the kind of a look that had a curious soothing impact. “Why don’t you lay down, and we’ll see if the little one feels like saying ‘hi’.”

Alec was practically glued on Magnus as the older man complied. While Annie prepared all necessary equipment, the warlock lifted the hem of his shirt slowly. True, his pregnancy probably wouldn’t be visible for a while. But exposing his stomach was nonetheless a ridiculously nerve-wrecking experience. Alec also stiffened from effort to control himself. Their joined hands kept both men grounded.

If Annie was aware of the tension, she didn’t let it show. “Alright, then.” Mindful to not operate too hastily for the antsy parents, she revealed a small device and a bottle of gel. “Are you ready?”

Magnus wanted to snort. Of course he wasn’t ready, for any of this! But he nodded, anyway.

Magnus shivered when some gel war smeared on his belly and again when Annie started to move the device in circles. It took longer than he’d anticipated and for a moment dread began to swell. What if something was wrong? What if...?

“There you are!” Annie sounded triumphant. “Clever child, tried to hide from me.” She looked towards the parents with a smile on her face. “As far as I can see, the baby is perfectly healthy and has developed normally. And looks to be somewhere between six and eight weeks along.” Her eyes softened still. “You’ve got a lively one growing in there.”

Magnus couldn’t produce a word. Alec’s hand tightened around his while they both stared at the screen. The precious spark of life was tiny, but very much real and visible. True to Annie’s words, a small heart was beating, fast and stubborn.

It was the most amazing thing Magnus had ever seen in his life.

Sensing that the two needed some time alone, Annie printed a picture for them to take along. Then left the room with Catarina. Their departure went unnoticed.

“Stop crying, Alexander”, they heard Magnus murmur just before closing the door. “You’re making me cry.”

/

Over the next couple of weeks Magnus’ nausea persisted and worsened. All possible herbal mixtures only seemed to encourage it. According to Catarina it was normal and hadn’t reached alarming extends. She also pointed out that if her methods as a warlock failed, mundane ways could still be used if they proved to be necessary. Alec wasn’t soothed.

His omega wasn’t feeling well, there was nothing he could do about it and he hated it.

At least that night Magnus was sleeping peacefully. On his back, with one hand placed gingerly on his abdomen while the other had played with Alec’s hair before exhaustion won. The position gave the alpha the chance to do something he’d been tempted to try for a while already.

Slowly and carefully, ridiculously worried that he’d startle the child and reasonably concerned that he’d rouse Magnus, he held out a hand. And laid it on his husband’s tummy, almost next to the warlock’s own. Of course he couldn’t feel their child yet and Magnus’ stomach was flat, far from revealing their precious secret. But just the knowledge that there was a seed of life growing inside... It thrilled the alpha to a point where he could barely contain himself.

“Hey”, Alec whispered. “You’ll hear my voice a lot, and... I want you to know that I’m your daddy. And I can’t wait to meet you. Because you, and your papa... You’re my world. Don’t you ever forget that, even when I mess up a few times. Or a few hundred times.” He glanced towards Magnus and was pleased to see that his mate was still resting comfortably. “Your papa never gave up on me, even when he probably should’ve. That’s what families are about. And we’ll do our best to give you a great one.”

/

A little later Magnus woke up groggily to pressure against his abdomen. For a moment he panicked, until he opened his eyes to discover that Alec had fallen asleep with his hand and head resting against his belly. The alpha was purring silently and smiling in his sleep. The sight made Magnus feel warm all over.

Magnus caressed Alec’s slightly curly hair, mindful to keep the touch light enough to not rouse the man. His other hand rubbed tender circles over where their child grew. “You know what, little one?” he whispered, as though sharing a big secret. He looked at Alec’s sleeping form fondly. “We got lucky, the two of us.”

The baby seemed to agree. Because for the next eight full hours he didn’t throw up. Sadly, it was progress.

Chapter Text

/ After his forced coming out, Alec did whatever he could to avoid contact with Magnus. He already felt like the life he’d built for himself was falling apart. His head was in a state of chaos while he tried to figure out what to do next. The last thing he needed was an omega around to trigger his hormones and confuse him further.

As it turned out fate was in a playful mood and Luke got injured.

While Alec felt genuine sympathy for the former Shadowhunter, current werewolf, he was determined to stay away. He fought valiantly against the urge to rush there, until a fire message announced that Magnus needed his help, urgently. Alec’s traitorous feet made the decision for him and he was running.

By the time he made it to the warlock’s loft the older man was just about to collapse. Moving without a second thought, Alec caught him easily and readily. A thud went through him when Magnus’ body slumped against him, fitting into his arms far too well. Then the omega’s scent, alerting him that the man was close to his heat, steered his mind into disarray. The alpha inside Alec was almost going mad from desire.

Magnus looked up at him with bleary eyes, visibly as close to losing control over himself as he was. The omega did his best to smile. “You came.” It was heartbreaking how surprised he sounded.

Alec nodded slowly. “Yeah. I’m here.” He had no idea why, and what he was supposed to do. His brows furrowed. “What do you need?”

Slowly, as though asking for a permission, Magnus took his hand. By then the man’s eyelids were drooping dangerously. “Your strength”, the mage mumbled.

“Take everything you need.” Alec wasn’t sure which one was more worrying. How quickly he answered, or how much he was willing to give. The sweet scent of Magnus’ oncoming heat was getting too much to handle.

Sharing strength was far more intimate than Alec had anticipated. He couldn’t only feel Magnus’ magic, tugging at him and flowing like warm, electrified water. He also felt the warlock’s very soul. For a moment he could see right into the older man’s heart, and it was the most beautiful thing he’d ever encountered. Alec didn’t want to even wonder what Magnus found from his in return.

For a little while they were one. Even their hearts beat in perfect sync. It should’ve been terrifying to share something like that with a man he only just met. But Alec wasn’t scared. Despite losing a part of his strength he felt safer than ever in his life.

Alec wasn’t startled, until the healing was done and Magnus nearly lost consciousness in his arms. “Are you okay?” He didn’t want to know what it was stirring to life between them. But he was genuinely worried, whether he wanted to admit or not.

Magnus nodded, despite seeming barely aware. Did he try to smile? “Never better.”

The pair wasn’t ready to admit it yet. But their alpha and omega parts had also harmonized during the healing. They remained connected while Magnus forgot to move away from his hold and Alec forgot to let go. /

/

Time dragged on. Eventually Magnus was roughly ten weeks pregnant. Alec was anxious to share their news. Friends and family knew that his mate hadn’t been feeling well lately and kept asking questions. How was he supposed to keep something so amazing a secret? But they made a deal to wait until the second trimester before the revelation, just in case. No matter how hard it was.

To both their dismay Magnus’ nausea remained. Catarina had reassured them that it should fade away once the second trimester started but the alpha couldn’t stand seeing the love of his life so sick. The omega was also exhausted constantly. Mood swings were the latest addition.

That early evening Alec came home from work to an apartment that was atypically quiet. Alarm went through him, no matter how well he knew on a level of reason that his husband was alright. “Magnus? Are you home?”

A beat of hesitant silence followed. Magnus’ voice didn’t sound quite right when the man called out. “Bedroom.

Confused and curious, Alec headed to the given direction. His brows furrowed when he found Magnus sitting on the edge of the bed, crying openly. Before embarrassment took over once he saw the pile of at least ten books beside his beloved. Every single one of them was about pregnancy and caring for a baby. The Shadowhunter had bought them all over the past couple of weeks.

Magnus sniffled and fought visibly to stop crying. It didn’t work out. “I, ah...” The warlock cleared his throat. “I found your stash.”

Alec grimaced. “You... were never supposed to see them. I just...” He shrugged, feeling ridiculous. “I want to know as much as possible. I want to be ready.” He took a seat beside his mate, worried once more. “Are you okay?”

Magnus nodded, which wasn’t very convincing with all the tears still leaking. “I’m... It’s baffling, that you care so much. About us both.” The warlock groaned and wiped his eyes. Which made a mess of his makeup. “I’m sorry, Alexander. This is...” The man wrinkled his nose in disgust over his own alleged weakness. “I hate all these hormones, making a mess of my head. And I hate being seen like this.”

Oh, Magnus... Alec was desperate to make his husband feel better. “Don’t hate it”, he ordered gently. “Because you’re beautiful like this, too.”

Magnus’ response surprised them both with its intensity. All of a sudden Alec had his lap full of his omega, who was kissing him with fiery passion. It tasted like tears but was also so loaded with desire that the alpha couldn’t resist.

“Take me right now... or I’ll make you sleep on the couch for a month.”

Alec didn’t need to be asked twice. Because he dreaded that in his current mental state Magnus would make good on his threat. And because he didn’t actually want to resist.

Later Alec was asleep, so he didn’t feel the kiss that was pressed tenderly on his cheek. Or hear the soft, loving words whispered in his ear. “Thank you, for being the perfect alpha and daddy. And for loving me even when I’m at my most ridiculous.”

/

Lately Jace had sensed something peculiar in his parabatai. Alec was practically sizzling with this bizarre, brand-new energy. And while the archer was incredibly gifted at hiding his emotions their bond revealed that the young man was... “You’re nervous”, Jace pointed out one sunny morning, while they sparred. (Which was something Alec was adamant to do on those precious few days when he found the time to leave Alicante and visit New York. Inquisitor Lightwood-Bane wasn’t going to let his hard-trained fighting skills drain to waste.) “Why are you nervous?” Jace could practically feel it radiating from his brother in waves.

Alec shrugged dismissively. There was a hint of tension in the gesture. “I just... have a lot on my mind.”

Jace tried to stem down his frustration. They spun around each other a couple of times, exchanging kicks and punches. “You said that Magnus has been unwell. Is that what this is about?” He wasn’t going to stop probing until he’d know what was going on with his parabatai.

Alec contemplated with himself. Then opened his mouth. Only to be interrupted by an oncoming fire message. Jace would never forget the look that appeared to his brother’s face.

“Alec?” He tried again when his first attempt had no impact. “Alec, what’s going on?”

Alec swallowed hard. “I need to go back to Alicante, right now. Magnus collapsed.”

Whatever questions Jace had, they needed to wait. Because there was no communicating with Alec in the archer’s current frame of mind. He was glad that at least his parabatai didn’t push him further away or tell him not to come along.

The infirmary they eventually reached was bustling with activity. But the area surrounding Magnus was blessedly calm. Jace breathed a sigh of relief upon discovering that the warlock was awake, far too pale and visibly drained but otherwise seemingly alright. Catarina was helping her best friend. “He’ll be okay after some rest and fluids”, she reassured as soon as she spotted them. “The idiot simply used far too much magic when his body isn’t at its best with the ongoing nausea.”

Magnus rolled his eyes. He seemed to mutter ‘And they call me a drama queen’ before adding volume. “’The idiot’ is right here listening”, he muttered, then took a deep breath. “Catarina, I’m fine. Stop fussing.”

“I’m so sorry.” It wasn’t until then the arrivals noticed two young girls stood a respectful distance away. Young warlocks, apparently. “That... That spell, it went horribly wrong... And somehow we ended up summoning a demon...”

“You... accidentally summoned a demon?” Alec’s eyes were blazing. “Do you have any idea how dangerous it is to play around with spells like that?”

The girls were clearly startled. (Jace couldn’t blame them. Even he was a bit shaken by the appearance of his brother’s protective alpha instincts at their full force.) “We... We didn’t mean...”

“I don’t care what you meant to accomplish!” By then Alec was actually growling. Like a wild beast about to go straight for the jugular. (The archer’s nostrils flared as though he’d sniffed blood.) “You two are never, ever doing anything like this again. You won’t touch any spell-book until a far more experienced warlock deems you ready for it. If you’re caught doing so, or trying something stupid again... I’ll oversee personally that you’ll be punished accordingly.”

“What?” It was the second young warlock, who’d been quiet so far. Her voice was painfully shrill. “You can’t...!”

“You could’ve gotten my husband killed!” Alec roared. And marched a threatening step forward, taking full advantage of his tall, muscular frame. “Do you have any idea how lucky you are to get away that easily? If I had my way....!”

“Alec, stop!” Magnus was using his omega-tone and the shortened name on purpose. The man’s hand took Alec’s and squeezed gently. The warlock didn’t continue until he had his mate’s undivided attention. “I’m so sorry that I worried you. I overexerted myself, and I should’ve known better. I guess I have to relearn my limits now that I share my body with another person.” The hold on the archer’s hand tightened. (It wasn’t until then Jace saw how badly it was trembling.) “I’ll be more careful in the future, I promise. For my sake and the baby’s. That anger and fear... Let it go, calm down.” When nothing else soothed the alpha, Magnus guided his husband’s fingers to his stomach and pressed them gently against it. “I’m alright. We’re both alright.”

Jace wasn’t alright – his mind zeroed on a single word.

/

To his own surprise Alec did start to calm down. Feeling Magnus and their unborn child right there with him... It helped ground him. Made it easier to breathe. Made it possible to think straight instead of reacting blindly. (Still, he was pleased that the girls had fled. He hoped to never see either of them again.)

The couple was so focused on each other that they forgot their audience. Until Jace spoke barely audibly. “What... was that about a baby?”

Well, they almost made it to the second trimester before the first person found out...

Chapter Text

/ Upon waking up with a mighty headache Alec could faintly remember consenting to a drink that was far too sweet for his taste. One drink led to another. And, definitely aided by the draining experience of helping heal Luke, he must’ve passed out. Inside the apartment of an omega who was about to be in heat very, very soon. Even the memory of that lovely scent made Alec lick his lips while a shiver of pleasure went through him.

Alec groaned and pressed both hands to his face, desperate to dull his alpha instincts before they’d get him into a deep mess. He was a Shadowhunter. He wasn’t going to... do anything with the High Warlock of Brooklyn. Who was also a man.

“Someone doesn’t like mornings”, the amused voice of the second cause behind his headache quipped.

Alec’s eyes flew open. Dread swell inside him when he realized that he was on a couch. And Magnus was sitting right beside him, wearing different clothes from the night before. “What did we do?” he demanded hoarsely, unable to put more distance between them although he wanted to.

Magnus huffed. “Do you honestly imagine that we would’ve had the energy to do anything last night?” The warlock shrugged. “We fell asleep. I woke up a couple of hours ago to check up on Luke and sent him home.”

That made Alec perk up slightly. “So he’s okay?”

The archer wondered what Magnus saw in him to make the man look at him the way he did then. Like he was something special. “He still has recovering to do. But, yes. He’ll be alright. Thanks to you.”

Alec shrugged dismissively and pushed himself to a sitting position. “I didn’t really do anything.” That was when he smelled something, or rather didn’t. The omega didn’t carry the bleach like reek of suppressants, but he’d clearly taken something. “You’re not close to your heat anymore.” He couldn’t understand why he felt a hint of disappointment. Didn’t this make things less complicated?

“Another reason why I woke up earlier. I took some suppressant my friend, Catarina, has created.” For a moment Magnus appeared almost self-conscious, until the perfectly crafted mask was once more in place. “It would’ve hit me today, and... This wouldn’t have been a good time.”

Well, Alec couldn’t exactly argue that. He cleared his throat and rubbed his face with one hand, then dragged himself off the couch. “I’m glad if I could help. But... I’ve gotta go.”

He felt Magnus’ eyes on him and wondered, despite trying not to, what the warlock was thinking. He’d almost left when the older man spoke. “Stay for coffee? I’d like to thank you properly.”

Alec wanted to decline. He should’ve. Instead his lips opened to say ‘yes’. Until he received a message from Jace. Apparently Clary’s mundane friend had been kidnapped by vampires. “Rain-check?” For some reason he felt genuine remorse over having to leave.

“Duty calls?” Magnus smiled in a way he wanted to see again. “Go do your job, Shadowhunter. I’ll see you soon.”

Alec would never know that he smiled the whole way to the Institute. /

/

Caught up in a lovely memory, Alec found himself smiling while nursing a mug of coffee. He shivered slightly, from pleasure and startle, when a pair of arms wrapped around his waistline. “The things I’d do for that drink of yours...”, Magnus sighed purposefully dramatically. And slipped his hands into the archer’s pants to demonstrate just what sort of a payment he might give.

Alec groaned and arched his head back, his omega’s touch and scent driving him wild. Until he found his resolve, with great effort. “I, ah... was supposed to pour it away.”

“Really?” Magnus sounded amused. “You made coffee for the soul purpose of... sniffing it?”

Alec shrugged. “You’re not supposed to consume caffeine, so...” (He wasn’t going to enjoy what his mate couldn’t.) It sounded so stupid, now that he was trying to vocalize it.

Magnus seemed to disagree. His husband kissed him with such fervor that the Shadowhunter nearly dropped the mug. The smaller man was purring while pressing him against a cabinet’s door and kissing his neck greedily. “You, Alexander Gideon Lightwood-Bane...” A new kiss, aimed at his Adam’s apple, followed. “... have no idea how much I love you...” The warlock’s eyes drifted towards the coffee before locking with his. “... for a million little things like that.”

The corners of Alec’s lips quirked up. “I love you, too.” His hand slid tenderly inside Magnus’ dressing gown, finding the other’s flat stomach that’d start rounding soon. (He would’ve never admitted out loud how much he was looking forward to the pregnancy showing. He didn’t want to risk being banned from the bedroom.) “Both of you.”

/

Ever since Clary started to regain her memories and make her way back to the life she was born to live, she’d had tea with Magnus on Sundays. With no exceptions. At first it was to help her adjust to the transition. Magnus also did what he could to encourage her memories to return. For months already it’d been more about rekindling their bond.

She was Magnus’ Biscuit. And he’d watched her grow up since she was a child. Their bond was special.

Clary still knew Magnus, despite the tricks petty angels had played with her head. That Sunday their tea was a different brand from the usual. And the warlock was atypically quiet. Comfortable silences between them were something perfectly common. This wasn’t that. She also noticed the way he kept rubbing his stomach soothingly, probably without even noticing it.

Eventually Clary couldn’t stay quiet any longer. “Magnus, are you...?” Before she could finish Magnus darted towards the bathroom. She followed quickly upon hearing him emptying the contents of his stomach. Worry swell inside her. “Are you still sick?”

Magnus dry heaved once more, visibly embarrassed. “Biscuit, I’m sorry but could you... take a step back? Your perfume...” He trailed off.

Clary stared at him in disbelief. Perhaps, she was forced to admit, a little offended. “Are you... saying that my perfume is making you feel ill? I’ve worn this a million times and you’ve never...” That was when it hit her, and her eyes widened to a comical extend. “Oh, Magnus...!” She waited until he’d rinsed his mouth before asking more. “How far along are you?”

“Eleven weeks, give or take.” Magnus made a face. “This wasn’t exactly how Alec and I imagined sharing the news.”

“I’d hug you if my scent wouldn’t make you nauseous. For the record...” Clary shrugged, her eyes softening. “I’m flattered to be the first to find out.”

Magnus cleared his throat. “Yes... About that...”

Clary narrowed her eyes. “Jace already knows, doesn’t he?”

Magnus nodded. “That would be another humiliating reveal story.” The man seemed to relax upon noticing that she wasn’t actually upset. His eyes twinkled from mirth. “Between the two of us? You took this far more gracefully.”

/

Jace truly felt for his parabatai while he and Alec strolled through New York to give their mates some private time. Magnus collapsing a few days ago was still a far too fresh memory even for him. He could only imagine how difficult leaving the omega even briefly was for his brother. Despite them knowing on a level of reason that the warlock had recovered well and was in safe hands.

“If you want to go home, I can call Clary...” Jace cut the suggestion short when he noticed that the Inquisitor wasn’t listening. He frowned from confusion upon finding his brother staring at something intently, until he saw what it was.

Decorating a baby shop’s window was a brown teddy-bear, very similar to what Alec had when he was a small child.

Jace smiled. He could feel his parabatai’s nervous excitement and it was infectious. “If you want to get it, go for it.”

Alec shifted from discomfort. Overthinking, as was his custom. “I know that this sounds ridiculous, but... I’m worried that I’ll jinx it, if I buy something too soon.”

Sadly, Jace understood. After everything Alec and Magnus had gone through – from Valentine to Lilith and Asmodeus, from Swords and deadly issues with magic to having to break up twice... It was hard to believe in the good times when those didn’t seem to last. “If you’re that worried, you can always hide it until you feel comfortable with giving it. But get that stupid teddy now or I will. Because the last time I saw that look in your eyes was when you planned on proposing to Magnus.”

After Alec entered the store Jace received a message from Clary. ‘You knew that I’m going to be an aunt and kept it from me?’ She sent another before he could panic. ‘I was only joking. Of course I understand. But if you feel like apologizing, there are some options I can think of...

Suddenly Jace couldn’t wait to get home.

Once Alec returned, carrying the toy like it was a treasure, Jace showed his brother the first message. “So. Clary knows.”

/

A couple of days later it took far longer than Alec would’ve liked before he finally made it home. “Magnus?” he called out while kicking off his boots. “Are you still awake?”

Some lights were on, but the apartment was silent. Following a hunch, or perhaps some mystical internal Magnus-radar, Alec made his way towards their bedroom. And encountered a sight that made all his stress and worries melt away.

Magnus lay on their bed, curled up on his side. The omega had been reading one of those books on pregnancy Alec purchased but had dozed off. Whatever Magnus was dreaming about brought a tiny smile to his face.

Alec had no idea how it was possible that the view made him fall even more in love with Magnus.

Alec did his best to slip into the bed carefully. But Magnus nonetheless stirred, bleary eyes opening less than halfway. His beloved greeted him with a sleepy smile. “’lcome home”, the man mumbled. Then nuzzled his head against him. “... had a funny dream ...”

“You did, huh?” Lately the weird pregnancy-dreams had become a source of endless entertainment for them both. Alec couldn’t resist the temptation to play with his husband’s hair. It was something Magnus only allowed him to do when the mage was out of it. Which was unfair, because those strands were pure silk and temptation. “Wanna tell me about it?” He smiled when the smaller man yawned gloriously. “Maybe after you’ve slept a bit longer.”

“Hmm.” Magnus cuddled closer still. “... you smell like tangerines ...” (He did have one for a snack, but that was hours ago. The warlock’s hormone boosted nose was magical.) “... ‘wish we had some.” And just like that the man was fast asleep once more.

With a great deal of amusement Alec figured that he should probably brace himself for oncoming cravings.

/

After the accidental reveals with Jace and Clary, Alec and Magnus were determined to get the third one right. And they agreed that someone very special was the next one who should find out. Especially because it was her birthday.

Maryse didn’t usually enjoy parties. But having her husband, as well as her children and their mates there with her... All of them happy... She decided that she had a lot to celebrate for.

While Luke headed out to spend some time with Clary and Max went to gather his things to return to Robert, two people stalled. Alec and Magnus approached her as soon as it was just the three of them. Her son cleared his throat. “There’s... another present we wanted to give you, in private.” He handed her a beautiful, small green box. His facial expression was almost shy, like after preparing her stew for the first time. “Happy Birthday, mama.”

Maryse took the offering with a surprised smile. “You already paid for that vacation. I can’t accept another gift!”

Magnus hid a nervous smile with his hand and played with his wedding-ring. Alec appeared about as excited as he did after hitting his first bull’s eye ever. Her son tried to hide it, though. “Just open it.” That tone reminded her of her oldest’s childhood, too.

Curious to see what had the pair so jittery, Maryse obeyed and pulled off the lid. At first she simply stared at the contents, uncomprehending. Until the experience of three pregnancies finally caught up with her.

She was staring at the copy of an ultrasound picture.

Dazed, Maryse lifted her gaze, moisture filling her eyes. “Is this...?” Her attention shifted to Magnus, who seemed as emotional as she felt. (Oh, those hormones...! She remembered them, too.) “Are you...?” She couldn’t quite bring herself to finish.

Magnus nodded.

“Today’s the first day when we know for sure that it’s the second trimester.” Did Alec wipe his eyes? “Great coincidence that it’s also your birthday.”

Moving slowly right then was among the hardest things Maryse had ever done. But she didn’t want to ruin the beautiful moment by triggering Alec’s protective instincts. Putting extra care into being gentle, she wrapped her arms around Magnus and pulled the omega into a hug. “Thank you”, she whispered, recalling another embrace from what felt like ages ago. “For giving my boy everything he’s ever dreamed of.”

The way Magnus held her back said everything necessary. Or perhaps not. “Well, in return he keeps giving me things I didn’t dare to even dream having.”

Alec had hard time containing his emotions while he watched the two. They’d never actually talked about it, because Magnus wasn’t comfortable with the topic. But he knew that almost any omega would want their carrying parent’s support and guidance during a pregnancy. (Even hundreds of years old ones.) Maryse Garroway, if anyone, was the perfect replacement.

Soon Maryse motioned for him to join her and his mate. “Oh, love... Come here.” Alec had never been a fan of hugs. But she didn’t have to tell him twice. “Congratulations, you two. I hope you realize that I’m going to spoil your little one rotten.”

“We wouldn’t have it any other way”, Magnus murmured affectionately.

The peace lasted until Max called out. “Mom, where’s my...?” The boy trailed off. “What’s with the hug? And why are you all crying?”

That was how planned reveal number one led to unplanned reveal number three.

Chapter Text

/ Alec shocked himself by actually finding himself from Magnus’ apartment a few days after waking up there. It was just for a cup of coffee, nothing even close to a date, but usually he would’ve been overthinking it to a painful extend. That evening, though... Alec was shocked to realize that he was at ease. Perhaps it was because of the omega’s soothing, a bit too alluring scent. Even the long silences between them were comfortable.

But of course, Alec chided himself, he had to ruin it eventually. “The day we saved Luke... Clary said that you wanted me specifically to help. Why?”

Magnus tensed up barely visibly. This time the silence was brief but loaded. “She... didn’t say why?” The warlock was quick to wave a hand. “Well, it was a lie, anyway.”

Alec tilted his head. Curious instead of awkward. “Then what’s the truth?”

Magnus met his eyes with such raw honesty and something else that took the Shadowhunter’s breath away. “For all the centuries I’ve lived, I haven’t encountered many trustworthy alphas. But, that day... I needed the help of such.” The omega looked away. For the first time since they met the smaller man was the self-conscious one. “Trust makes one do strange things, I suppose.”

Alec smiled despite trying to fight it. “Well... I trust you, too. I don’t know why, but I do.”

Something like marvel radiated from Magnus. Eventually the older man pressed their mugs together. “To unlikely alliances. In times like these, with Valentine lurking in the shadows, I’m glad to have found someone like you.”

Alec squeezed his mug a little tighter, because it was the only thing keeping him from taking Magnus’ hand. He licked his lips and did his best to not glance towards the other man’s. “To unlikely alliances.”

They parted ways with soft ‘goodnights’. It wasn’t anything even remotely romantic. But for some reason their encounter left Alec feeling like he was walking on air. He blamed it on hormones.

The euphoria lasted until his parents confronted him the following day. With solemn expressions on their faces. “Something terrible has just come out, and... We need to talk, before you have to hear it from somewhere else.” /

/

It was never an intentional decision to make Izzy the last of Alec’s siblings to know. It just... happened. And the couple was dreading the day when she’d find out, because they had a feeling that she wouldn’t be pleased. The plan was to break the news to her in a gentle and adorable way, like with Maryse. They should’ve remembered their usual luck. They also to forgot to tell those who knew that there were some near and dear ones who were still in the dark.

Alec had just wrapped up a long, tedious meeting. A phone call from Izzy brought a small smile to his lips. “Hey...”

I’d like to hear from you why Jace just yelled at me for having Magnus help out on a particularly annoying demon-hunt ‘in his current condition’.” Oh, yes, Isabelle Lightwood was definitely pissed off. “And why did he mention the ‘b’ word?

Alec’s alpha instincts flared instantly. Erasing all but one of the things he just heard. His whole body grew tense. “Is Magnus alright?” If his husband over-exerted himself again...!

He’s perfectly fine, I promise. I did make him drink orange-juice and eat a sandwich, though.” Izzy’s voice softened momentarily when she distinguished his genuine concern. Then hardened as quickly. “Now focus. I’m still waiting for an answer.

Alec grimaced. He aimed for his most pacifying tone. “Iz, I’m so sorry.” And he was. This wasn’t how he wanted her to hear that she’d be an aunt. “We were planning on telling you and Simon over that dinner today, but I guess Jace beat us to it.” He might just have to give his parabatai a light little beating for that during their next sparring session...

Izzy huffed. But it sounded like his apology had stemmed down most of her ire. “Make today’s menu good, and I may consider forgiving you.” She was just about to hang up in her usual abrupt manner, but added something on the last moment. “Just so you know... I’m happy for you, even if I’m mad at you.

Alec put away his phone with a smile on his face. Then groaned, loudly. He and Magnus would seriously have to up their dinner-game to make up for this.

/

Izzy felt calmer after the phone-call. She didn’t let it show, though, while her half-glare darted towards Jace. He looked back at her apologetically. “I’m sorry for going off on you like that.”

Izzy narrowed her eyes. “Never question my decisions and authority as the Head of the Institute like that again.” In the privacy of her office she’d already berated him for yelling at her in front of everyone. The biggest insult was Jace imagining, even for a second, that she might knowingly risk the safety of her unborn niece or nephew. Now she wanted to make sure that her message was received.

Jace nodded meekly.

The siblings had almost forgotten that they still had audience. The same man who dragged them to the office, before they would’ve had a public shouting match. “So, are we calmer, now?”

Izzy and Jace both nodded this time. It reminded her a bit too much of when they were children and Maryse berated them after they’d been fighting. Despite irritation and embarrassment, the Head of the Institute was pleased to see that the warlock had finished most of his sandwich.

“I appreciate your care, truly.” Magnus still seemed shocked by the level of heat with which he’d been protected. (It was sad to imagine how few people who would’ve genuinely cared about him the mage had encountered over his life.) “But you need to understand that a pregnancy doesn’t make me incompetent. Unlike most people seem to assume, I can take care of myself and I’d never risk my child. I need you to trust me.” That was obviously aimed mainly at Jace, who did nothing short of a full body checkup on Magnus before the warlock dragged the Shadowhunters to Izzy’s office.

Jace sighed and ran a hand through his hair. “Sorry. Must be the hormones.” Even some betas reacted to pregnant omegas. And Jace was in tune with Alec’s hyper-protective instincts.

Magnus gave the blonde a dry look. “That’s my excuse. What’s yours?”

Izzy inhaled a deep breath. “Well, today proved one thing. You’ll be a fantastic parent.”

Those seemingly innocent words brought something worrying to Magnus’ eyes. But it was gone sooner than it could be assessed further. And then the omega was pushing himself up before hurrying away.

“What’s wrong?” Izzy inquired, her stomach clenching.

“... sickness ...” The next words were barely comprehensible. “... follows me, turn them into a toad ...”

The siblings were wise enough to take that warning seriously.

/

That evening six people, not two, appeared to the Lightwood-Bane residence for a dinner. Because it’d been far too long since the three couples last had the chance to get together and they had more than enough reason to celebrate a little. The drama from earlier was forgotten and everyone enjoyed the evening.

Simon was so excited that he could barely contain himself. “This is so awesome!” The vampire was still fairly new to the world of alphas and omegas. No one had warned him of certain boundaries and precautions yet. When he reached out towards Magnus’ stomach without having asked for a permission, he had no idea that he was about to make a huge mistake. “I can’t believe...” A loud, ferocious growl of warning cut him short. And made him withdraw his hand very, very quickly.

To everyone’s surprise the sound didn’t come from Alec, but from Magnus.

The warlock appeared as taken aback by his reaction as everyone else. “I’m... sorry about that. Seems the baby brings out my dramatic tendencies.” The man cleared his throat. “Well, it’s just about time for dessert. I’ll be right back with the Panna Cottas.” With that he dashed to the kitchen.

Simon practically fidgeted while he looked warily towards Alec. He braced himself for a hostile reaction from the alpha. Nothing such happened. The archer’s whole, undivided attention was locked towards the kitchen. Before anyone could say a word the young man followed his husband, very specific determination in his steps and his pupils blown wide.

Simon grimaced. “I messed up, didn’t I?”

Izzy kissed his cheek. “Nah. But we have to go through some alpha-omega basics.”

Clary gave her best friend a look of sympathy. She moved to get up. “I’ll go check up on them.”

Jace shook his head, appearing vaguely nauseous. Was he... blushing? “With how excited Alec got... Trust me, don’t go there.”

Izzy didn’t even try to hide her smirk. “Let’s have dessert somewhere else. I don’t think we’ll get Panna Cottas here today.”

They hurried out after a moan and a crash came from the kitchen.

/

A couple of hours later Magnus and Alec sat on the kitchen floor, enjoying Panna Cottas that the warlock magicked for them. (Nothing could’ve saved the batch they... forgot.) Both men were happy, sated and relaxed. Which made it the perfect moment to bring up something Alec had wanted to talk about for almost a week.

“It’s good to see you like this.” Alec rolled his eyes at the positively filthy smirk he got from his husband. “Not naked. But relaxed.” He hesitated for a second. “You’ve... been tense lately. And I can tell that something’s bothering you.”

Magnus was suddenly very interested in his dessert. The omega’s jawline tightened. “I’m fine.”

Alec kissed his beloved’s head, then the man’s jaw. “I won’t push you.” Over the years he’d learned that such rarely led to anything good with Magnus. “But I want you to know that I love you. And when you’re ready to talk about it, I’m here. I’ll always be here for you.”

Magnus didn’t say anything. Only leaned his head against Alec’s shoulder and squeezed his hand very tightly. The huff the man eventually emitted sounded suspiciously close to a sob. “I love you, too. And I hate being a hormonal mess.”

Alec played with his beloved’s hair. Beyond thrilled that he was allowed to do so. “You’re not.”

“Alexander, I’m currently crying over the thought that after just one more mouthful I won’t have any more of this delicacy left.”

Alec shrugged. “’The love I have for you, is a love that knows no bounds.’ Remember?”

Magnus giggled. Really, honestly giggled. “Don’t get cheeky with me.”

“You adore it when I get cheeky with you.”

“I’ll admit to no such thing.”

/

Magnus and Alec agreed that there were a couple of people they wanted to share the news with alone. For the archer it was his father. After some consideration he decided to get the job done over one of the dinners they sometimes had, as a way of fixing their bond.

He’d expected Robert to react in a great number of ways. But not with the kind of a look he received. Alec frowned, confusion making him stiffen. “Dad?”

Robert swallowed thickly and blinked back tears. “Alec... You have no idea how proud I am, watching you right now.” His dad had to pause. “You fought for true love. You’ve changed our world for the better. You’re a ten times better man than I can ever hope to be. And now...” Robert’s voice cracked. “Now, I can already see that you’ll be ten times the father I’ve ever been.”

It was the first time in years, perhaps ever, Alec hugged Robert.

/

For Magnus the person he wanted to break the news to alone was Raphael. Entering the orphanage the priest had help open, he smiled affectionately while he watched the man he helped grow up playing with children. After how badly Raphael struggled and hurt to find himself, it was good to see him so happy.

“I'm telling you once more, mundane life suits you”, he complimented when the younger man made his way to him.

Raphael’s eyes narrowed slightly. “I know. Now skip the chitchat and tell me what’s wrong.”

Loyal to his ways, Raphael refused to react in any of the expected ways. Instead of something over-dramatic the priest offered a soft ‘Oh...!’ and sincere congratulations. They were walking through a park half an hour later before they actually started to talk.

“Magnus, a priest or not, I’ve known you for decades. I can see that you’re worried from a mile away.” Raphael’s tone was far softer than the one he used with most people. “Do you remember how well you did with me, although I made your life pure hell after we first met? You’ve always been there for me, no matter how many times and how badly I’ve stumbled. You’ll be a great papa.” The former vampire went on before he could ask. “I know, because you’ve been my father figure for far longer than I got to have my actual father. This child is lucky to have you.”

Magnus hoped that Raphael was right. Even if he was of demon blood, and knew that he always seemed to destroy the good and pure things he touched. (Asmodeus hammered that into his head hard enough to make it stick.) Magnus swallowed to chase away the lump sitting in his throat. “I feel like buying a mug of chamomile tea right now. Join me?”

“You know that I’m always in the mood for chamomile tea.”

/

A few days later Alec and Magnus waited anxiously while Annie started another scan. “So... How has the little one been treating you?”

Magnus groaned and tried to make himself comfortable. Based on his squirming, the man hated the situation as much as Alec did. “Quite well, aside all the nausea. But at least it seems to be easing.”

“Magnus has been a champion”, Alec announced proudly, which earned him a fond look from his mate.

Annie smiled. Despite how deliberately slow she was, both men tensed up when she smeared gel and got to work. “Last time the little one tried to hide from me. Let’s see...” She didn’t get to finish before a pleased expression appeared to her face. “Ah, there! It’s too early to tell the gender but I can see a healthy, lively...” She trailed off, her eyes widening. “Oh...!”

That, didn’t make the couple feel the slightest bit calmer. Alec had to use every ounce of his willpower to not lash out. Magnus didn’t seem to fare much better. “What’s going on?”

“You two just continue to surprise.” Still visibly stunned, Annie turned the monitor’s screen towards them. They saw a baby, a tiny human being in the making inside Magnus. And then, just barely, another one, almost completely behind their sibling. “Looks like someone’s been hiding.”

Chapter Text

/ The tricky thing with bad, scandalous news is that they tend to travel much faster than good news. And two members of a family as supposedly honorable as the Lightwoods being former Circle members... One of whom was also a former Head of the Institute, no less... It was the kind of dirty gossip that was soon on everyone’s lips. In a matter of days the Lightwood family’s diligently built reputation was in shambles. And Alec decided that he had to do something to rebuild it. The problem was that he had no idea what. The pressure ate him up from the inside.

Clary turned out to be a very useful distraction from his family’s troubles. She was a lightning rod for demonic activity and chaos, which meant that he was busier than ever. It was a blessing and a curse that more often than not those ridiculous escapades led him to Magnus. Whenever he wasn’t on a mission he worked himself to a point of pain and exhaustion in the training rooms.

It was only a matter of time before someone would notice his struggles. That someone wasn’t one of his siblings. Alec was just wrapping up a training session when he looked over his shoulder upon feeling someone’s eyes on him and found Magnus. He went crimson all the way to the tips of his ears under the appreciative stare. The warlock sighed purposefully and, he was forced to admit, adorably over-dramatically while he put on a shirt hastily. “Pity. I rather enjoyed the view.”

Alec had to admit that he also enjoyed the view of the regal-looking High Warlock far more than he should’ve. He cleared his throat and did his best to focus while his heart hammered in his chest. “What... are you doing here?” That... came out more harshly than he’d intended. But he didn’t have enough breath to apologize.

If Magnus was insulted the man didn’t let it show, instead showed him a file. “I was helping Isabelle with one of her... projects. I have the preliminary autopsy report right here.” (Well. Thinking about the corpse his sister was working on helped with a problem that’d been swelling steadily in Alec’s pants.) The omega tilted his head while approaching. “Also... Isabelle didn’t say anything, but I could sense that she’s worried about you. This has been a stressful time for your family.”

Alec colored from shame and anger. He did his best to not meet the other’s gaze while toweling his face and neck dry. “This has been humiliating for us all”, he muttered, and wondered immediately why he was sharing this with someone he barely knew. It had to be because of hormones. “I’ve aspired to be something my whole life, and now...” He shook his head. “It’s all based on a lie. And I have no idea what to do, how to fix this.”

“Your parents’ mistakes aren’t yours to fix, Alexander”, Magnus pointed out.

Which didn’t keep them from more or less directly expressing wishes that he would, Alec mused bitterly. “I know. But I have to. I want to. I can't let them down.” He was confused to find the older man watching him with the kind of warmth he didn’t know how to handle. “What?”

Magnus shook his head. “You’re so perfect that it’s ridiculous.” Fortunately the omega went on before he had to decide what in the world one was supposed to say to that. “Just listen to what your gut is telling you, do what’s in your heart. You’ll find a way.”

A few days later Alec decided that he had when Lydia Branwell arrived. /

/

With Alec and Magnus in Alicante and the rest of the archer’s family in New York, they had far too little time to spend together. Especially because they all had hectic schedules. But once a month Maryse, Luke, Jace, Clary, Simon and Izzy gathered to the pair’s loft to watch old movies. It was the perfect way to relax and enjoy each other’s company.

“I’m surprised Alec let you create a portal for us”, Jace teased.

Magnus wiggled his eyebrows. “I have my methods of persuasion.” The warlock cleared his throat and blushed barely noticeably when Maryse returned to the room with a bowl of popcorn. “Alexander... has been a little more protective of me than usual since we found out that I’m pregnant.”

Simon snorted and grabbed a fistful of popcorn. “A little? He looks at me like he’s about to kill me whenever I get closer than two steps away from you! And you’re not helping with that... growling thing!” It was hard to say which reaction scared the vampire more.

Alec rolled his eyes. “Can you blame me?” He wrapped both arms around his husband’s waistline in a gesture that was both loving and possessive. “I have three of them to protect, now.”

The room got so quiet that a penny could’ve been heard dropping. Maryse was the one who recovered first. “Three?”

And that was how they shared the news that they were expecting twins.

/

With the first trimester’s nausea easing slowly, Magnus did his best to start enjoying the pregnancy. But unfortunately an occasional tendency to overthink was something he and Alec had in common. And the more Magnus tried to visualize himself as a parent, the more concerns reared their ugly heads. It didn’t help that he was tormented by horrible nightmares of the ghosts of his mother and stepfather telling him what a disgrace he was. A failure, a monster, an abomination. In the worst nightmares Asmodeus lay a heavy hand on his shoulder and praised how proud he was of him while houses and people burned around them. Eventually Magnus was barely able to sleep at all.

For centuries he had the bittersweet comfort of knowing that he’d be a terrible parent whenever he was pained by not being able to have a child of his own. More or less subconsciously he also seemed to seek out partners who abhorred the thought of kids. (Camille was, perhaps, the most glaring and disastrous example.) Now he had a mate who wanted a family and two unexpected babies in his womb. And he couldn’t stop dreading the moment when Alec would realize how much better both the archer and their twins deserved. Understanding on a level of reason that he was being a fool didn’t help with his unreasonable fears.

He should’ve talked about it all with Alec but he knew how important family was to his husband. Having his pregnant omega announce that he wasn’t sure he could handle parenthood... No. The last thing Magnus needed was another person he loved deeming him a disappointment.

Magnus forgot the fact that secret feelings have the tendency to be revealed, sooner or later.

One evening Magnus decided to go and get his beloved home from the Inquisitor’s office. He was surprised to find the younger man packing up to leave. “I thought I’d never see the day when you finish up at five willingly.” He shouldn’t have been astonished, really. Lately ushering Alec to work in the morning had been a constant challenge because the alpha was reluctant to leave his side.

He adored the fact that there was nothing shy or self-conscious in the smile Alec gifted him with. The Shadowhunter kissed him soundly and caressed his stomach with one large, calloused and safe hand. “Look what I have to come home to.” The man’s eyebrows furrowed slightly. “Is there any particular reason why you’re picking me up?”

And there came the question that’d surely ruin the good mood. But Magnus wasn’t about to lie, so he braced himself with a deep breath. “I asked Annie if she could sneak us in today, but she’ll stop by at our place instead. She said that she’d get her hands on a portable ultrasound device because someone owes her a favor. I’d rather not wonder what that means.”

Alec didn’t respond to the weak joke. Instead the man stiffened. “Why does she need to check up on you?”

“There’s absolutely no reason to panic, alright?” A voice inside Magnus’ head laughed loudly, knowing how futile that reassurance was. “I... haven’t been feeling well today, and my stomach’s been cramping. I’m probably being paranoid, but...”

He was interrupted by voices coming from outside the room. “... that warlock has the nerve to parade here ... can’t believe Lightwood got an approval for Downworlders to invade Alicante ...”

“... gone soft since he knocked up one ...”, someone else could just be heard scoffing. “... kind of a brat is it gonna be, anyway, coming from the demon spawn ... no business being a parent ...”

Very faintly Magnus registered Alec’s low, dangerous growl. He was overwhelmed by other things. Those two Shadowhunters... They just voiced his greatest fears. Usually he had a far thicker skin against the opinions of others. But to have his worst insecurities brought up like that, while he was hormonal and not feeling so great... He couldn’t take it.

Magnus whimpered when his stomach clenched violently, becoming hard as stone. The cramps that’d already been subsiding returned. “Something’s wrong”, he managed through the tightness of his throat. Tears brought a searing sensation to his eyes. Was he losing the babies? Was this fate’s way of saying that those two idiots from just now and everyone who thought the same way were right? “Alexander, something’s wrong.”

/

Alec’s fist instinct was to maim his two subordinates for talking about Magnus like that. But very quickly it became obvious that his beloved needed him more. And it seemed like the couple of fools would get what was coming for them, anyway. Because they faced the wrath of Lydia, whom he hired almost right after earning his current position. “You two, training room three, now!

Alec was far too terrified to feel any satisfaction over justice being served. He scooped Magnus to his arms and was alarmed even further when the smaller man didn’t resist. Getting the warlock to the Institute’s infirmary seemed to take ages. Waiting for Annie to arrive and complete her checkup was pure torture.

“The twins are fine. Tiny for their age, but healthy.” Annie was still frowning, though. “My main concern is the papa here. I don’t like how stressed out he is.” She focused on Magnus. “Your blood pressure’s on the high side, and I don’t think you’ve been getting enough sleep. Why do you reckon that is?”

Alec had noticed the sleepless nights. These days he knew if Magnus so much as sneezed funnily. He’d been under the impression that the insomnia was caused by pregnancy-related restlessness. Clearly he’d been kept in the dark about how bad it was.

“I’ve... been having intense nightmares for over a week, now. And... It’s been hard to force down food”, Magnus confessed quietly and reluctantly.

“Okay.” Annie seemed to notice how on the edge Alec was. “I’ll call Catarina, to let her know what’s going on.” She didn’t touch the pregnant omega, knowing that it would’ve crossed a line at the moment. Instead she offered them both a supportive smile before walking away.

Alec’s protective arm around the smaller man tightened. He barely managed to hold his tongue until they were alone. “What’s going on? And why didn’t you tell me?”

“Because I didn’t want to disappoint you!” Magnus snapped, finally reaching his limit. The warlock looked away, pointedly not meeting his eyes, and pressed a hand against his own stomach. “Alexander, I’m... I’m not sure if I can do this.”

Alec felt cold and breathless. Like someone had slammed all air from his lungs. “What?” Perhaps it was a good thing that he wasn’t able to produce speech. Otherwise he might’ve said something he would’ve regretted.

Magnus went on with visible difficulty, still refusing to look at him. “My mother took her own life because she couldn’t life with giving birth to something like me. My stepfather despised me...” The man trailed off, there. (Alec was left wondering if there was something about that story he hadn’t heard yet.) “My father... The things he did, made me do and taught me... He almost destroyed me. And I have that vile creature’s blood running through my veins.” The omega shook his head. “Alexander, how am I supposed to be a proper parent when I only have those three for role models?” When everyone who was supposed to look after me left me traumatized instead?, was hidden behind the voiced concerns. “I’ve had two people telling me that I’ll be a good parent, but what if they’re wrong? I’ll never forgive myself if I ruin our children’s lives.”

The almost frantic confession made Alec ache. His parents... had their faults. But at least he knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that they loved him. “I’ve seen with my own eyes what you do for the people around you. How you bring out the best in everyone. You’re a thousand times better than any of those who were supposed to raise you.” He offered a small smile when a pair of hesitant eyes finally rose to encounter his. “Do you remember when I told you what made me fall in love with you? I meant every word. I still do.” He shrugged. “We’re probably horribly under-prepared for what’s to come.” (He’d never admit out loud that he’d already spent several sleepless nights mulling over just how under-prepared.) “I’m scared of this whole parenting thing, too. But we’ll face it all together.”

Slowly yet surely Magnus started to relax. Hopefully from actual ease of mind rather than exhaustion. “Together.” It sounded far more like a question than it should’ve.

“Together”, Alec affirmed firmly. It felt ridiculous that he had to do this, but if this was what his omega needed... “Every step of the way.” He inhaled a long, deep breath. And did his best to remind himself that the three loves of his life were alright. As fried as his nerves were, lashing out at the moment would’ve done far more harm than good. “And I’m not disappointed in you. I never could be. Nothing would make me love you less, or make me consider you weak.” It was important to ensure that the warlock knew as much. “But Magnus... You need to share these thoughts and feelings before they get too much.” He tightened his embrace and felt incredibly good when his stressed out, overwhelmed mate melted to it. “All I want is to support you like I swore to do in our vows. And I can’t do that if you hide when you’re hurting.”

“I’m sorry”, Magnus murmured, audibly fighting to hold back an emotional outburst.

“Don’t be sorry.” Alec narrowed his eyes at a young woman from a medical team who’d been approaching them. He felt more satisfied than he should’ve when his glare made her run the other way. With some effort he grounded himself on the feel of his husband to keep his alpha instincts from going haywire. “Just... Just let me before there for you.”

The way Magnus snuggled closer suggested that the warlock at least contemplated his plea.

Alec would’ve wanted to let the smaller man get some much-needed rest, but there was something they had to talk about first. “This stress? It can’t continue. Because it’s making you ill.” He kissed the top of his beloved’s head. “How would you feel about a vacation?”

That very obviously piqued some interest. Magnus’ eyebrow bounced up. “Is the infamous work-aholic Alexander Gideon Lightwood-Bane planning on taking time off?” the man teased.

Alec’s eyes softened. He was definitely doing the right thing. “I... actually got this idea from one of those books. This is our last chance, at least for a long time, to travel with just the two of us. The book says that the second trimester is the perfect timing.” To his confusion his husband huffed. “What?”

“You’re so perfect that it’s ridiculous”, Magnus mumbled barely comprehensibly. Around a massive yawn. And promptly fell asleep in his arms.

Whatever residual tension there’d been in Alec’s body melted away, replaced by a proud alpha’s smile he didn’t even notice. He should’ve probably tried to get some sleep, too. It’d been a long, taxing day. But he was too wired up to rest.

He had a vacation to plan. Right after he’d given a couple of bigoted Shadowhunters a piece of his mind. Listening to Magnus purring in his sleep, he decided that those two other things could wait.

Chapter Text

/ Lydia was everything Alec should’ve wanted. A beautiful omega girl who’d fought her way to a position of respect and authority. A marriage with someone like her would save his family’s reputation.

It was the only way to save his family’s reputation in sight. Wasn’t that everything Alec should’ve cared about? Going for it made perfect sense, so he proposed to her. And told himself, over and over again, that he was doing the right thing.

Yet, for some reason he felt sick to his stomach upon breaking the news to Magnus. The sadness, disappointment and a touch of heartbreak with which the warlock reacted only made him feel worse. “Marriage... is an institution I’ve never had the privilege to experience firsthand. But Alexander, even I know that it’s supposed to be based on love.”

“I didn’t tell you to hear your judgement”, Alec half-growled. And regretted his tone instantly when the omega flinched momentarily. Nonetheless he went on with similar hostility. “I... I don’t know why I’m even telling you this right now. We barely know each other.”

Magnus’ eyes grew even sadder. “Because whether I’m a stranger or not, for some reason you want me to tell you that you’re doing the right thing. Which isn’t something I can do.” The man shook his head. “You say that you’re doing this for your parents. But would they really want you to throw away your own happiness?”

“My family’s honor depends on this!”

“There is absolutely no honor in living a lie!” Magnus’ eyes flashed while the man fought to regain his composure. “If you go through with this, you’ll be lonely for the rest of your life. As will Lydia. So no. Whatever the reason behind you seeking my blessing is, I can’t give it. Because I may not know you well. But I’ve seen enough to know that you’re a good person who deserves a good life.” With that the warlock was walking away and passed him by. “Now, if you’ll excuse me... Duty calls.” Once more a voice came from behind his back. “Goodbye, Alexander.”

Listening to the retreating steps, Alec came to three terrifying realizations. This mysterious Downworlder he only just met a few weeks earlier seemed to see him for who he was and accept him like his parents never had. He might never see Magnus again after this, at least unless it was under strictly professional circumstances. And he had no idea which thing bothered him more.

By the time he whirled around Magnus was already long gone. /

/

“You actually sent them to that Institute?”

“It’s been short of staff for a while because no one seems to want to move there and they don’t seem to adjust here. Also, the little training session I gave them yesterday showed that they need the kind of special education someone I know from there can provide.” Lydia’s smirk revealed that they both knew what she meant. The idiots who badmouthed Magnus would get the character building of their lives. She then sobered. “How’s Magnus?” By then the warlock ending up to the infirmary was common gossip. Mainly because most of the medical team was terrified of Alec’s presence there.

The change in Alec’s eyes at the mere mention of his beloved’s name was phenomenal. “Much better. Annie said that I can take him home today. I... decided to do some paperwork while he sleeps.”

“He kicked you out, didn’t he?”

Was that... a pout? “He said that I’ve been growling at too many nurses.” He frowned at her. “Why are you looking at me like that?”

Lydia shook her head, her own eyes becoming warmer. “I’m so glad that I didn’t marry you.” Because the happiness that made the archer glow... She could’ve never sparked it.

After a moment of surprise Alec smiled. Understanding dawning. “I’m glad that I didn’t marry you, too.”

/

A few days later Alec wasn’t surprised when he found Magnus from his mom’s bookstore. His husband enjoyed helping her whenever he had the time, sometimes gifting her with a rare item to sell. The archer had an inkling suspicion that the two also did a lot of talking. Especially now that Magnus was pregnant. Maryse was the only person around them who’d carried children, so no one understood the omega like she did. Alec hoped dearly that his mom would help Magnus chase away those concerns and insecurities over parenthood he couldn’t help with. Because while his mate was doing a whole lot better after the something of a breakdown and the ensuing talk, it wasn’t a miracle cure.

Alec was pleased to discover that after having had a dreadfully busy day, Magnus was actually sitting and resting his feet. The two had been eating ice cream and the Inquisitor quirked an eyebrow when a chaste but pleasurable kiss revealed the flavor. “Caramel? You hate caramel.”

Magnus shrugged. “The twins seem to love it. I’m outnumbered.” The omega wrinkled his nose. “This seems to be missing something, though... Ah!” A snap of fingers later a bottle of chili sauce appeared. The man poured a generous amount of it on the ice cream. Whatever the mess of a final result tasted like, it brought out a satisfied sigh. “Perfect.”

Alec felt a warm bout of amusement. Getting a look that clearly asked ‘What?’ from his husband, he shook his head. There were no words for what he wanted to say at that moment.

Maryse had to blink away the moisture threatening to fill her eyes while she observed the duo. The love that radiated miles away... It made her thank the angels she once almost lost her faith in that her son found Magnus.

“I know that you want to pamper him. Keep your kitchen stocked up with pears and peanut butter”, Maryse hinted once Magnus had headed to a toilet. She went on at her son’s surprised expression. “He’ll need them if those if the babies take after you.”

Alec decided solemnly to follow her advice, especially after the way Magnus thanked him proved his mom right.

/

Another couple of days flew by, and it was the evening before the pair was supposed to start their vacation. Alec wasn’t surprised when he came home to find the apartment dimly lit. Lately Magnus had found it difficult to stay up long in the evening and the Inquisitor managed to leave work far later than he would’ve liked.

Deciding not to call out to his husband and risk waking the man, Alec started to tiptoe towards the bedroom. Until a candle suddenly appeared to the floor in front of him. As soon as he noticed it another showed up, immediately followed by many more. Until they created a pathway towards the balcony.

With a grin on his face Alec followed them. What had to be at least a hundred more candles illuminated the balcony. In the middle of which a beautiful dinner had been set. Magnus stood beside the table with a smile on his face, wearing an outfit they both know to be Alec’s favorite of the warlock’s massive collection. “Welcome home.”

Alec kissed his beloved. Because for several long moments it was the only thing he could think of doing. “What brought this on?” he eventually managed to utter, with some difficulty.

Magnus tightened his hold on him. “I was impatient, and decided that we could start our vacation today. Also...” The hundreds of years old omega appeared almost bashful. “Alexander, no one’s ever made me feel loved the way you do. And no one else has ever made me believe that I might deserve to be loved. I want you to know how lucky I am to have you as my mate.” Magnus snapped his fingers, and the soft melody of ‘What a Wonderful World’ filled the darkened evening.

Alec wanted to say so much that he didn’t know where to start. So he decided that actions spoke louder. He held on to Magus gently, with all his adoration, while they started to dance. Barely a minute into the song they got lost into a deep, passionate kiss.

It might’ve led to... something far more. If Magnus’ stomach hadn’t started to growl all of a sudden. Alec grinned. “Maybe we should have dinner first?”

Magnus chuckled breathily. “Yes. Dinner first.”

/

The couple decided that their destination, possibly the first of many, would be Paris. Magnus had a lot of good memories of the city of love. And Alec was eager to make memories of his own, such that didn’t involve Clary being in danger.

They portaled purposefully quite a distance away from their hotel. Which gave them the perfect opportunity to walk and admire the city in all its glory. Several people selling souvenirs by Seine gave them fond looks when they strolled by hand in hand, stealing kisses from each other every now and then. Alec and Magnus hardly noticed anyone else. Neither had felt quite so at ease in a very long time.

They had no professional responsibilities to mull over. The world wasn’t ending and people they cared about weren’t in jeopardy. Lydia would take a good care of Alec’s duties and Catarina of Magnus’. No one was even calling to disturb their peace. (They’d ensured as much with vehement threats which had been taken appropriately seriously.) All they had to do for the next couple of weeks was to relax.

They bought miniature Eiffel Towers, one blue and one golden, which they both found kitschy but couldn’t resist. Before completing their stroll they ate the best salmon pasta either had ever had. When they eventually reached their hotel Alec couldn’t help but gawk at it. It had to be the most luxurious place he’d ever been in. Their massive room was like something out of a royal palace.

“Impressed?” Magnus inquired with amusement.

“Breathless”, Alec admitted with a throaty chuckle. “I... don’t know how we’ll ever be able to leave this room for long enough to explore the ci...” He didn’t get to finish, because suddenly his mate was kissing him in a way that obviously demanded more. The archer blinked twice from surprise while a deeply appreciative groan crawled up his throat. “What...?” His line of vision tunneled and turned white from pleasure when teeth nibbled at just the right spot on his neck. “Oh...!”

Magnus’ libido hadn’t been exactly its usual with all the stress, exhaustion and nausea. But apparently it was making a comeback. Vigorously. Very faintly Alec remembered one of those pregnancy books saying that such might happen during the second trimester.

Then his husband bit a little harder, and thinking at all became impossible.

“What makes you imagine...”, Magnus whispered huskily into his ear. “... that we’d be leaving this room anytime soon?”

Alec growled while his pants grew uncomfortably tight. “Someone is being naughty”, he reprimanded with a very specific kind of heat.

Magnus glanced up at him from underneath his lashes. Very coy, for someone whose hands were inspecting Alec’s hardening problem. “And how is my alpha going to punish me?”

That alone was almost enough to send Alec over the edge. Especially with the pregnant omega’s delicious scent overtaking his whole mind. With another growl he picked up Magnus and carried the smaller man to their king-sized bed.

Over the course of three hours Magnus gave Alec a very thorough demonstration of why the warlock insisted that they needed a sound proofed room.

/

That night Alec listened contentedly while Magnus breathed slowly and evenly in his sleep. Sore in all he best ways from their earlier activities, the archer stretched before settling comfortably. Just like it very often did these days, his hand found its way to his mate’s stomach. That night he noticed for the very first time something that made his breath catch into his throat.

A clearly palpable swell.

It was still very small, especially considering that the bump contained twins. Easy to hide with clothes. But it was there as a solid proof of the lives inside. And the alpha was so excited that it made his head spin.

Slowly, savoring every little detail, Alec ran his hand across the swell. Magnus’ slight shiver made him grow bolder and he massaged lightly, experimentally. He found himself daydreaming of what their little ones would be like.

In his excitement Alec didn’t notice that Magnus was half-awake, watching him with loving eyes. He wanted to tell his beloved how beautiful the younger man looked in that very moment, but held his tongue. The utter peace, bewilderment and adoration on Alec’s face... There was no way he was going to disturb it.

Now, Magnus wasn’t a vain person. But the thought of his stomach growing, of the whole world seeing his pregnancy and strangers reaching out to touch his bump... It’d had him more restless than he would’ve cared to admit. And if he allowed himself to be a little vain for a moment, he’d been a little worried about how attractive he’d be in his husband’s eyes with the inevitable changes. He had an unfortunate feeling that the worry would continue to surface as he... grew. But at the moment... He would’ve been an idiot if he imagined, for even a second, that Alec didn’t love all three of them madly.

/

The following evening Alec stepped out of a shower and paused as soon as he opened the bathroom’s door. Because Magnus lay on the hotel room’s bed in nothing but boxers. The warlock held a tube of body lotion.

Magnus appeared disarmingly shy upon catching Alec’s eyes straying towards the curve of his belly. “Now that our little ones have decided to make their presence visible, my skin will face a lot of stretching in the near future. Of course I have magical ways for avoiding stretch marks, but this is one of those few things that’s more fun done the mundane way.” The omega offered the tube towards him. “And... This would be even more fun, if we’d do this together.” Magnus made it sound like a sultry suggestion, but it was easy to catch the far more vulnerable undertones.

Alec would’ve been a fool to refuse. Especially since every single cell of his body rejoiced of the opportunity for bonding with his mate and their unborn babies. He was far too choked up for words but a firm, amusingly eager nod seemed to do the trick.

Magnus was a little tense at first when he got started, and it wasn’t just because the lotion was cool to the touch. But with every single massaging motion the older man relaxed more. Trusting himself and the twins completely into Alec’s hands. There was nothing but trust and warmth in the eyes watching the Shadowhunter intently.

Magnus’ eyebrow rose with curiosity when the mage saw something on his face. “Now what brought on that look? I'm not complaining, of course.”

Alec shook his head and continued his delicate touches. “Nothing.” Just that I’ve never loved you more than I do right now.

The tender moment was interrupted when Magnus’ stomach grumbled. Loudly. Alec released a laugh and kissed the other's stomach. “Sounds like someone needs a snack.”

Magnus groaned. “This is getting ridiculous.”

Alec scoffed. “I’m saying what Annie and Catarina would. It’s a great thing that you’re getting back your appetite. You and the babies need to eat.” He wiggled his eyebrows in a manner he’d learned from his husband. “Besides, we did burn up a lot of calories just now.” Certain parts of him remembered it fondly.

Magnus huffed. But at least didn’t seem as self-conscious anymore. “You’re turning me into one of those pregnant people who send their partners on wild food-chases in the obscene hours of the night.” The warlock could’ve argued with him that he could get what he was craving himself or magic it. But over the past week or so they’d gone through this conversation so many times that they knew how it’d inevitably end.

Alec could only smile. (He'd found himself doing a lot of that lately. Which he would’ve considered disconcerting if he would’ve cared.) “If that’s all it takes to keep you happy, I think I can handle it.” He pressed a kiss on Magnus' lips and smirked at the deep, loud moan he earned. “Pears with chili sauce and peanut butter again?”

“And whipped cream, too?”

Alec frowned. “How do those even...?” He then decided with a shudder that he didn’t want to imagine the taste of those four together. “Never mind. Just don’t make me eat it.”

“Actually...” Magnus winked. “The whipped cream is for you.”

Alec had never made it to a grocery store as quickly.

Chapter Text

/ The day before Alec was supposed to get married Ragnor Fell died. After receiving the news of the demon attack he went to Jace despite their recent arguments. Partially because he couldn’t go to Magnus in fear of what it’d do to him, to them both. After learning the whole story, though...

“I had to get Clary home, but...” Jace frowned. “Alec, Magnus stayed there all alone. With his friend’s body. One us has to make sure that he’s okay. And I don’t think he wants to see me or Clary for a while.”

Reason be damned, Alec was almost immediately on his way.

Do his dismay Magnus wasn’t home. Alec tried to tell himself to head back to the Institute but his feet refused to listen. An hour later the warlock made an appearance the mundane way. The omega’s usually alluring scent was tainted by a combination of alcohol, blood and dirt. Tension filled the man’s muscles when a pair of bleary, suspiciously red eyes recognized him. “Make this easier on us both and go home.” There wasn’t a hint of flirtation or of the biting coldness that replaced it after his engagement. Only exhaustion and heartbreak. (It occurred to Alec that he just met the real Magnus Bane for the first time.) “My oldest friend died in my arms today and just I buried him. So, if you don’t mind...”

“Magnus, I’m so sorry about Ragnor.” Alec did his best to convey with every syllable how sorry. Because the warlock looked crushed. “Is there anything I can do to help?”

Magnus gave him a dry glance that was likely supposed to be a glare. “Why do you ask when you know the answer?” Frustrated and too tired to continue a pointless fight, the man sighed and shook his head while opening his loft’s door. “You should go.”

Now, anyone could confirm that Alec wasn’t a hugger. He hadn’t been one even as a child. But in that moment there was only one thing he could imagine doing. Jumping closer with a Shadowhunter’s speed, he grabbed Magnus into his arms and embraced the omega like someone trying to shield another person from the whole world. For a few moments Magnus didn’t react. Then, losing the battle against himself, the older man melted to his hug. Alec held back with all his might, confused by his own desire to never let go.

Harsh reality reached them a few minutes later when Alec received a message. It was from Jace, asking him to let the blonde arrange a bachelor party in effort to be a better, more supportive parabatai. His brother also inquired if Magnus was alright, and asked him to say that he was sorry.

Which Alec was hesitant to do. Especially because the mage seemed to still struggle to stay in control over his emotions. “Jace... sends his condolences.” He sighed heavily, which was a mistake. The other’s scent, tainted by other things as it was, made leaving even harder. “I’ve gotta go.” While he still could. “Are you... sure that you’ll be okay?”

Magnus’ facial expression was unreadable. “Believe it or not, but I’ve survived worse days on my own.” The man stepped away from him and started closing the loft’s door on him. “Goodnight, Alexander.”

Ragnor’s ghost appeared almost as soon as Alec was walking away. “His stubbornness rivals yours. I like him.”

Magnus huffed. “I like him, too.” Far more than he should’ve. “Unfortunately he’s stubbornly decided to marry someone else.”

“That is unfortunate.” The ghost of his friend went on at his eyeroll. “Not only him getting married. But also that you’re letting him do it.” /

/

Before the pair left Paris Louvre was something Alec absolutely wanted to see. Mona Lisa included. They didn’t go close, because the restless crowd around the pregnant omega would’ve been too much on them both. But they found a nice spot slightly further, from where they had an excellent view to the painting.

“I must’ve been here at least fifty times”, Magnus mused out loud. “And I’ve always wondered about that look on her face. What great secret she might’ve uncovered.”

“Have you figured it out yet?” Alec inquired.

“Yes.” Magnus gave his hand a tender squeeze that spoke of great love. “I’m fairly certain that now I finally know.”

They ended up needing their hotel room for another night.

/

The couple’s second chosen location was London, where Magnus introduced Alec to local theater. The Shadowhunter wasn’t sure which one he enjoyed more. The play, or how the omega leaned against him in the dark.

After the play Alec was surprised when Magnus slipped to the alley behind the theater. The mage placed a candle to the ground and, after making sure that they didn’t have audience, used magic to light it. The whispered words were too light for the younger man to hear, but afterwards Magnus wiped his eyes.

Alec tilted his head, curious and, seeing how emotional his beloved was getting, a little worried. “Magnus? What are you doing?”

Magnus chuckled the best as he could. “Apologies, the hormones made me... more emotional than I anticipated.” The man cleared his throat. “This was... a very old friend’s favorite theater. I wanted to thank him, and let him know...” The rest faded away when the ache got too much.

Unable to hold himself back for even a second, Alec knelt as well and pulled his mate to a hug. “Ragnor, right?” He knew that the late warlock used to reside in London.

Magnus nodded, by then far more composed. “You would’ve liked him. And I know that he would’ve liked you, very much.” The omega leaned his head against his shoulder. “If it wasn’t for him, I might’ve never found the will to fight for us.”

Alec wondered what that meant, but knew better than to ask. “Well... In that case I need to light a ‘thank you’ candle for him, too.”

Magnus magicked one for him. They watched in a peaceful silence how the candles illuminated the pavement they’d been placed on. Then, after once more making sure that no one was watching and strengthening the area’s glamour in case of CCTV, Magnus snapped his fingers. The candles exploded to at least twenty incredibly beautiful miniature firebirds. Which were visible for a few seconds before disappearing.

“Ragnor always enjoyed theatrics”, Magnus explained fondly.

A couple of hours later they exchanged a kiss at sunset while the famous Eye reached its highest spot. From the massive Ferris wheel they could see pretty much the whole city twinkling down below. Not that the two of them would’ve been paying a whole lot of attention.

Alec licked his lips, on which his husband’s taste still lingered pleasantly. “So, today, and Paris... They’ve been perfect.” He slipped his arms around the smaller man. Excitement bubbled inside him when he could feel their children between them. “Thank you.”

Magnus shrugged, the way the man’s eyes twinkled giving away how pleased the praise made him. “It’s my utmost pleasure to take you wherever in the world you want to go, Alexander. Because you’ve introduced me to a whole new world in return.” An elegant eyebrow rose when he huffed. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

“It’s unfair that you say things like that...”, Alec whispered in the other’s ear. “... when we’re in a place where I can’t take you.”

Magnus’ giggle made Alec’s heart take several extra beats.

They were about to kiss again. Which would’ve been a very, very bad idea, since they were incredibly hormonal and aroused at a public location. Perhaps it was fortunate that a man interrupted them with clearing his throat and announcing harshly that they had to get off.

Magnus smiled sweetly at the rude man while they stepped out. “Cheers. Getting off sounds like a wonderful idea.”

The stranger rolled his eyes and muttered something about the horny ones being the worst.

“You’re terrible”, Alec snickered barely even half-heartedly when they were out of hearing range.

Magnus shrugged carelessly. “You love me, anyway.” There was no hesitation behind the statement. Which made the alpha ridiculously proud.

Nor was there hesitation in Alec’s response. “Yes, I do.” He pulled the mage close and was pleased to feel a physical reaction. “Now let’s hurry to the hotel so I can help you with your problem.”

/

Later that night Magnus was just about to fall asleep when a fluttering sensation in his abdomen he’d felt on and off the whole day grew stronger. Earlier he’d blamed it on his stomach complaining. But now... it seemed different. Almost like movements. The realization struck him like a jolt of electricity.

The babies were moving.

“Magnus?” Alec sounded alarmed. (Magnus figured out why when he became aware of the tears in his eyes.) “What’s wrong?”

Magnus shook his head. “Nothing’s wrong. In fact...” He was barely able to produce speech from how choked up he was. “Alexander, I... The twins are kicking.”

The expression taking over Alec’s face... It was so full of joy that it rivaled the sun. “Really?” Without any warning a pair of eager hands was examining his stomach.

Magnus laughed at his mate’s enthusiasm. “As adorable as you are right now... It’s far too early for you to feel it yet.”

Alec sulked. Really, honestly sulked. “Oh.” The younger man wrinkled his nose. “I’m not adorable.”

Magnus’ eyes softened while he pushed a strand of hair from his husband’s forehead. “Yes, you are.” The fluttering intensified. “The babies agree, so it’s three against one.”

Alec huffed, then yawned gloriously. “You’re the adorable one.” While the alpha settled down once more one of the man’s hands stayed on his stomach, right next to Magnus’ own. “G’night. ‘love you.” At some point it’d become an unbreakable habit for them to end each day with those words.

Magnus closed his eyes and let himself relax entirely. “Goodnight”, he managed around a yawn of his own. “I love you, too.”

That was how they fell asleep, both excited about the brand-new evidence of the lives their bond created.

/

After the overwhelming amount of people in New York and their previous locations, the couple decided that a certain special day would take place somewhere far more private. A secluded villa with a pool of its own in a Balinese jungle was the perfect choice. Especially because they were even more unable to keep their hands off each other than usual. The scent of exotic flowers drove them both wild while they claimed each other in the pool that was surrounded by countless of candles.

Eventually they were panting heavily. Fresh out of having reached the peak of his pleasure, Alec leaned to Magnus’ ear. “Happy second wedding anniversary”, he whispered hoarsely.

Magnus nuzzled their heads together. The omega purred softly. “Happy anniversary, Alexander.”

Alec grinned and licked his lips. They were so close that he ended up licking his husband as well, which made the smaller man shiver from pleasure. “Someone sounds satisfied.”

Magnus huffed. “With the obscene noises I just made, you know that I am.” The still unglamoured eyes were also a fairly good hint. “The warm water does wonders to my backache.” At the moment all pregnancy related troubles and other worries were far away. The warlock wrapped his legs around him. “I know that we agreed to not exchange gifts.” Those growing inside the older man were more than enough. “But I’d like to demonstrate how grateful I am for the best two years of my life.” The mage snapped his fingers. A stunning, visibly old silvery lock appeared. When Magnus blew gently ‘Aku cinta padamu selamanya’ became engraved on it. “’I love you forever’.”

Inspecting the item, Alec smiled and blinked. “It’s beautiful. But... What is it for?”

“You’ll see when we next visit New York.” Did Magnus blush? “I... may have done something foolish, once. Which I’d like to fix.” The memory of said foolish deed clearly hurt.
Alec quirked an eyebrow. And decided to lighten the mood. “Is it something you feel you deserve to be punished for?”

Well. That certainly worked like magic to make Magnus perk up. “Yes, alpha”, the man affirmed coyly.

The heat of their passion led to them kissing soundly underwater. Alec wasn’t very concerned. Magnus always took his breath away, anyway.

/

At the end of their vacation Magnus suggested a location that surprised Alec. They headed to Indonesia. Of course he’d known where his beloved was from. But after the horrible memories attached to the place, of which he likely knew only the tip of the iceberg, he’d imagined that the country was too painful to visit. He wasn’t sure if it was a good idea to go at all, especially considering the fact that his mate was supposed to avoid stress. Yet there they went, because over the years he’d stopped being able to say ‘no’ to Magnus.

“We won’t stay long.” Which one of them was Magnus trying to reassure? “There’s... something I must do. Then we can head home.”

They found a house in the middle of nowhere. It’d been battered by weather and the years that’d gone by. But there it stood, abandoned yet proud.

Alec didn’t like the way Magnus stiffened and forgot to breathe for a few moments at the sight of the building. “I’m fine”, the warlock assured before he could ask. “Just... I’ve had a lot of dreams of this place. I didn’t expect it to look... the same.”

Alec could imagine that most of the dreams weren’t pleasant. He followed silently when Magnus completed the trek determinedly. A shiver crossed him when they circled the house and encountered a very old grave.

Magnus dragged in a shuddering breath and gulped loudly. “My mother... I buried her here because I didn’t have the strength to carry her anywhere else. My stepfather was dead and there was no one else to help but it had to be done, so...” The omega trailed off when the weight of that terrible day from ancient past got too much.

Unable to fight against the need to hold the other for another second, Alec wrapped his arm around Magnus. The smaller man leaned to him eagerly. In some bizarre way it felt as if they were sharing strength again, like when they were healing Luke years ago.

After composing himself for several full minutes Magnus pulled out something from the covers of his clothing. A blade. “She used this to kill herself”, the warlock revealed quietly. “I took it and kept it, so I’d never forget who and what I am.” A monster. An abomination. “But now... I think it’s time to let go.” Of the guilt and pain. Of the agony caused by a woman who couldn’t love her own child.

Alec had his hand on Magnus’ shoulder the whole time while the older man lay the weapon on the grave. Along with white lilies he magicked. Once the omega stood they held hands, both squeezing tightly.

With Alec’s comforting touch the pain that’d been Magnus’ constant companion since the day his mother died began to transform into dull residual ache. He wiped his eyes before whispering his goodbyes in Indonesian, knowing that he’d never come back again. He wouldn’t have to. A piece of him wasn’t trapped here anymore. “I promise to fight my hardest every day to be a good parent.To never give my children the kind of scars you left me with, he thought, but didn’t have the heart to say out loud. “Perhaps one day you’ll look down on me and see someone you can love.” He swallowed past the lump in his throat. “Goodbye, mother. I love you.

Alec gave his cheek a peck, kissing away a few tears. The Shadowhunter let him have a few moments before talking. “Are you ready to go home?”

Magnus nodded with certainty that came from his heart. They walked away side by side, as one. He didn’t glance back, not feeling even the slightest need to look back on the ghosts of his past. It was time to let them rest.

Chapter Text

/ Alec hadn’t given much thought to weddings and getting married. Mostly because he’d always assumed that it wasn’t in the cards for him. But the way he felt as he stood at the altar... He knew that it wasn’t right.

An overwhelming amount of people congratulated him, someone made a bad joke about expecting pups soon. Jace asked him once again if he was absolutely sure. Izzy watched him with a worried frown before smiling encouragingly. His parents declared how proud they were of him.

All Alec could think about was that he’d never get to be with someone he loved, and sorrow pressed mercilessly against his chest. He’d always known that he couldn’t get what he wanted, what would’ve made him happy. For the first time he grieved it. (Or perhaps, on some subconscious level, he’d been grieving earlier. Traditionally Shadowhunters, especially men, only wore white in times of great sorrow, not for wedding.)

Then Lydia was walking towards him, with a smile on her face and looking more beautiful than ever. Alec did his best to smile back and probably came closer to grimacing. Because it started to dawn on him that he’d never be the kind of a husband she deserved.

While the ceremony proceeded Alec followed along numbly. So resigned to his impending doom that he didn’t have the will to fight it. As it turned out someone else had the will to fight for him.

The room’s doors were thrown open dramatically and a storm of murmurs went through the crowd gathered inside. Alec knew who the arrival was long before turning his head. He would’ve recognized Magnus’ scent anywhere. The second he looked towards the omega he lost every last bit of breath he’d had.

Magnus... looked absolutely magical in his dark outfit and with a pair of smoldering eyes heavy makeup made stand out. The omega stood there in front of people he knew looked down on him because of his race and gender. For Alec.

And Alec couldn’t breathe, let alone move.

“What is he doing here?” Maryse hissed.

Magnus lifted his chin like the people glaring at him didn’t exist. “I came here because of Alec. And he’s the only one who gets to tell me to leave.”

Robert marched towards Magnus. Not exactly with hostility, but the way he grabbed the warlock’s arm definitely made a statement. (The hold wasn’t hard enough to bruise but it was most likely painful, and made Alec see red.) “Don’t you see that you’re not welcome here? What do you imagine you’re doing? Leave now and nothing irreversible has happened.” Robert’s words were said with alpha’s authority – the kind which no omega was able rebel against.

With an air of frustrated fury Magnus clenched his jaw. “I figured that at least someone here should remind your son that he deserves to be happy.” He cast a last, lingering look towards Alec. Then shook off the arm restraining him, turned gracefully and began to walk away.

“Go!” Lydia whispered, just loudly enough for Alec to hear. There was an aching amount of understanding on her face. “I know that you want to, and it’s okay. Go!”

With the help of her words, Alec decided that he was done. Done with pretending. Done with being sad and angry when someone was outstretching a hand to pull him towards something better. So he began to move, every new step forward more determined than the last. Eventually his whole tall frame was straight and proud from possibly fleeting confidence.

His mother moved to stop him. Visibly confused and disappointed. “Alec, what do you think you’re doing?”

Alec hadn’t quite found his breath yet. But he found his voice, and boomed like a proper alpha. “Enough! If Magnus leaves, so will I.”

By then Magnus had reached the door but hadn’t walked out. Alec wondered if he was about to make the biggest mistake or the best thing of his whole life. Until he decided that he was done with thinking, too.

Alec spun Magnus around, placed one large hand on each of the omega’s cheeks and crashed his lips against the surprised warlock’s. Sealing them into a long, fiery kiss that just so happened to be his first one. In a flash Magnus’ taste and scent were everything that existed to him. It was so intoxicating that he saw white even with his eyes closed.

Eventually lack of air became a serious problem. Alec panted as they broke apart. “Let’s go”, he managed. Even if he wasn’t entirely sure where, exactly, they were headed.

They walked out of the room side by side, hand in hand. Ignoring the people staring at them, some with rage, others with joy and amusement. The reality hit Alec like a sledgehammer when the doors closed, separating him from the life he’d always worked his way towards. “What did I just do?”

Magnus squeezed his hand gently, supportively. “Something amazing, Alexander. You just took the first step towards becoming who you were meant to be.”

For some reason, despite being scared out of his mind, Alec believed him. /

/

Magnus’ eyes were warm and fond as he stood outside that very same room that day, years later. It was where he nearly lost Alec to Lydia before they’d even become anything. It was where they exchanged their first kiss. And it was where they later swore to love each other forever.

A searing sensation filled his eyes while he remembered his wedding day. He was just cursing hormones mentally when he heard a familiar voice. “Magnus? Hey! I haven’t seen you here for a while.”

Magnus blinked rapidly to make it past the hormonal storm, then managed a genuine smile. He and Andrew Underhill didn’t exactly start on the best of terms. But as time passed by they became friends. (To imagine that he and Alec had been on several double dates with Andrew and Lorenzo...!) “Alec came to help Isabelle and we’ve been meaning to do something in New York. I thought I’d surprise him.”

“And you succeeded.” Alec appeared pleased and sounded even more so when Magnus turned to face his husband. Their kiss of greeting sent a nice little tingle through him and made the fluttering in his stomach come to life once more.

Magnus grinned. “Well. I do have to earn my reputation as the King of Surprises.” He licked his lips. “May I kidnap you?”

Izzy’s adoring snort cut whatever might’ve been answered short. “You two are so cute that it’s ridiculous.” She gave her brother a stern look. “Now forget about all work things... Then take my favorite shopping partner and...” She approached but knew the couple’s boundaries well enough to not touch the omega’s stomach suddenly. “... the precious little ones out and pamper them silly. That’s an order of the head of this Institute.”

It was incredibly good to see a true, happy smile on the once joyless young man’s face. (Making Alec so happy would forever be one of Magnus’ greatest and proudest accomplishments.) “Yes, ma’am.”

They’d almost forgotten their other companion until Andrew spoke. “Hang on... ‘Little ones’?” The man’s eyes widened. “Is Magnus pregnant?”

And that was how they realized that they’d somehow succeeded in failing to share their happy news with one of their nearest and dearest.

/

Alec could still remember, very clearly, the first time he and Magnus visited the LOVE-wall. He frowned when his husband took him there again. It was one of those places where a couple was only supposed to stop by once.

“When you broke up with me to get me back my magic... I was in pain.” Some of that ache still echoed from Magnus’ voice. The main emotion, however, was embarrassment. “While walking around I ended up here and did something... regrettable.”

Alec was about to ask what it was. Until he remembered the new lock Magnus created during their vacation. And noticed, after an eager glance, that the one they once fastened had vanished. His stomach clenched when he looked back on that pitch-black time of their lives. He recalled how horrible it felt to abandon Magnus when his beloved would’ve needed him the most. He could only imagine how it made the other man feel. “Oh”, was all he managed to squeeze out. What can you say when you were forced to convince the one you love the most that you didn’t love them anymore?

“We’ve talked about it. Several times. But what I did to our lock... It’s bothered me. So...” Magnus shrugged.

Alec didn’t even try to resist the urge to kiss Magnus’ cheek. “You know what? I like the idea of a second lock.” He nuzzled their heads together. “We got a second chance with each other, too.” And oh, how grateful he was for that second chance. Especially when he gave in to the temptation and placed his hand on his husband’s stomach. The swell was still small, but already more noticeable than a couple of weeks earlier. The visible proof of their children thrilled him and made him so proud that it was silly.

His pheromones clearly had an impact on Magnus as well. The warlock gave him a sweet, lingering kiss. “You still continue to surprise me.”

“In good ways, I hope?” Alec teased against his lips.

Magnus huffed. Not that he would’ve managed to be actually irritated. “It’s truly unfair how adorable you manage to be while fishing for compliments.”

“Does it work?” Alec inquired despite the smirk on his face revealing that he knew the answer.

“You know it does”, Magnus purred.

Shortly afterwards they fastened the new lock Magnus magicked in Bali. When they put the first into place they were almost at the beginning of their relationship. Since then life had mauled them and taught them a lot of lessons, in a number of ways. Now they were a married couple expecting children. This new lock was still a symbol of eternal love, but also of second chances. (Or was it third chances already?)

“Aku cinta kamu.”

“I love you, too, Alexander.”

/

Magnus had always been – in his own humble opinion – reasonably meticulous with the clothes he chose. It wasn’t vanity, per se. The way he dressed himself just happened to be a part of the package he wanted the world to see. And, if he was perfectly honest, he quite enjoyed the positive kind of the looks he got.

Until it wasn’t just him people looked at, but his unborn children as well.

Magnus had never favored the most loose-fitting of clothes. While he could easily magic the clothes to be big enough for his still rather small bump their design didn’t disguise his figure. Which turned out to be a problem when he wasn’t quite ready for the whole world to see that he had seventeen weeks old twins in his belly. It didn’t help that he lived in Alicante and most of the people around him were Nephilim who weren’t entirely sure if they could trust Downworlders.

It was that awkward ‘is that a baby bump or gained weight?’ stage of his pregnancy. Including curious glances and whispering behind his back. All that attention aimed at his midsection made Magnus intensely uncomfortable and self-conscious. Based on the restless fluttering in his abdomen the babies weren’t any happier about being ogled at.

If he and the little ones were displeased, Alec was something of a whole new level. Of protective and proud. Magnus preferred trying to hide his pregnancy. His husband did a rather poor job as hiding how pleased he was to walk around with a mate who had babies on the way. The problem was that extremely thin line between what sort of attention was acceptable and what wasn’t.

“You have to stop growling at strangers in public!” Magnus hissed while closing a portal far more dramatically than was necessary.

“Someone was trying to touch your stomach!” Somehow Alec managed to make that sound like a criminal offense. “And it made you feel uncomfortable!”

“She was a sixty-years-old woman working at Rome’s most prestigious restaurant!” Magnus gestured animatedly with his arms while marching heatedly towards the kitchen. The whole spectacle, which was equal parts humiliating and arousing, played in his head for the hundredth time. “To which we’re most likely never welcome again!”

Alec rolled his eyes. “And you think the way you growled when they grabbed me to throw me out helped? What...?” He was interrupted by the smaller man pressing him intently against the wall with such kisses that made him see stars.

“Do not... roll your eyes at me, Alexander...”, Magnus growled. (In the kind of a tone that made Alec’s pants grow painfully tight.) “... when I’m hungry and irritated.” For... certain reasons they never actually had any food at the restaurant.

“And...” Alec gasped and his vision tunneled when one kiss hit a particularly sweet spot. “... hormonal?”

Magnus shrugged. “Maybe.” A light, teasing bite followed. (By then Alec feared that he might explode from... certain tension. Or rupture.) “And mad at you. You know what your growling does to me.” He was punished with another kiss that definitely didn’t encourage good behavior in the future. “Do not... do more of that in public.”

If Alec had enough breath, he would’ve pointed out that he almost claimed Magnus right there on the restaurant’s table. “I can... make it up to you... with caramel ice-cream... and chili-sauce.” He let his eyes twinkle in a manner that was most likely to blame for the little lives growing inside his mate. “You... were looking for a bowl, right? Don’t bother.”

/

An hour later they, and especially the skin of Alec’s stomach, were sticky. They were also very, very pleased. Magnus had faced enough excitement that day to fall asleep almost immediately after their... fun. Smiling at his slumbering mate, Alec fetched a tube of body lotion and began to rub it gently on the other’s skin. He knew that Magnus wouldn’t have wanted to miss even a single evening of taking care of that particular task. The warlock had been meticulous with the use of moisturizer and there wasn’t a single stretchmark on his skin. At least yet.

Alec kissed the bump that seemed to get a tiny bit rounder each day. (Or perhaps it was just his wishful thinking.) “I’m sorry that I embarrassed and riled up your papa today”, he whispered. “Sometimes I just get a little overprotective because I love you all so much.” He looked towards Magnus’ face and had to hold back a laugh when the man giggled quietly in his sleep. “Whatever it is that you have him dreaming about... Let it continue. He needs all the rest he can get.”

Somehow he already knew that there were some turbulent times ahead...

Chapter Text

/ Leaving the interrupted wedding, the pair didn’t even consider going anywhere else but to Magnus’ apartment. They needed to talk. And after everything that just happened Alec needed to just breathe without the pressure of his family asking questions or making demands. The archer’s head was still spinning from an emotional overload while he sat on Magnus’ couch an undecipherable amount of time later. He jumped slightly from surprise when a mug of tea was offered to him.

Magnus’ voice was full of warmth and understanding. “I think you’d like to have a drink as much as I do. But it feels like a better idea to have sober heads right now.”

Alec nodded slowly. Then, finally, had the presence of mind to accept the offered beverage. “Thanks. And... I’m sorry that I’m... a mess.” How could he be so brave only a blink of an eye ago and now...?

“There’s no reason to apologize.” Magnus sat down beside him slowly, leaving a respectful distance between them. “Alexander, I’ve spent hundreds of years as a bisexual in cultures where homosexuality is considered a crime. I understand how terrifying coming out can be. It’s okay to be overwhelmed.”

“It’s... not just fear.” Alec squeezed the tea mug so hard that it burned his hands and tightened his hold still. His eyes were fixed on the dark liquid. “My parents... They’ll never forgive me for what I did.” He didn’t approve of the way they, especially his father, treated Magnus. But they were still his parents and the idea of losing their love, as well as their respect, was unbearably painful.

Very gently Magnus pried the mug from his grasp and placed it on the table in front of them. “You shouldn’t underestimate their love for you. It’s far greater than their prejudices. They just need a little time and you all need to take a deep breath before trying to talk about this.”

Alec didn’t know if he believed that reassurance. But his next few inhales were a little easier. Until he remembered that his parents weren’t the only ones he’d have to talk with. “And... What about us?” He just came out by kissing Magnus at his own wedding and basically running off with the warlock. But where did they stand?

“Do you regret that kiss?” It was the second time he ever saw Magnus openly vulnerable. Finally Alec realized fully how much the older man risked, especially emotionally, by showing up at the wedding the way he did. They were both scared of... whatever it was stirring between them.

Alec pondered his answer for a mighty while. Because he wanted whatever would come out to be honest. “No, I don’t.” Confused as he was at the moment, he couldn’t regret something that felt so right. And while he wasn’t quite sure yet whether he made a mistake, marrying Lydia would’ve been a worse one.

“Good. Because I must admit that I quite enjoyed it. You’re a phenomenal kisser.” (‘You’re something beyond that’, Alec would’ve stated if he would’ve managed to find the words.) Magnus didn’t inch closer, but the growing warmth and comfort between them made it seem like he did. “We’re in no rush, Alexander. And there’s no need to label anything yet. We barely know each other and changing that is the first step. Let’s just take this one day at a time and see what happens.” Finally their gazes met. A light playful glint appeared to the omega’s eyes. “I’d like to start with having a first date someday soon.”

On what was likely the most chaotic day of his life Alec found himself smiling a little. Which alone was a small miracle. “First date sounds like a great idea.” Honestly? It made butterflies flutter in the pit of his stomach.

For the first time in ages Alec thought about his future with excitement instead of dread, and it felt incredibly good.

Unfortunately fate didn’t allow them a longer break to bond and relax. Because just then Alec received a horrible fire message. Someone attacked Lydia and stole the Cup. /

/

Punctual was one of those adjectives that defined Alec Lightwood-Bane. So when a meeting was about to start and he was nowhere to be seen Lydia grew worried. Especially after the Inquisitor didn’t answer his phone. Eventually she decided to stop by at his and Magnus’ apartment.

Lydia was equal parts surprised and confused upon finding Alec safe and sound, fully dressed for going to work and... blushing. “Sorry I’m late. Magnus and I both slept horribly last night. I forgot my phone this morning, and returned to get it. And... something came up.”

Lydia didn’t even try to hold back a knowing smirk. Only one person in the whole world could distract Alec badly enough for him to forget his professional duties. She noticed the direction to which his gaze kept straying and grew curious. What she discovered made her whistle. “Oh, I totally understand”, she declared.

On the apartment’s balcony Magnus was doing a yoga routine. Sunlight caressed the warlock’s well-built body while he stretched, giving him a glow that was quite possibly enhanced by pregnancy hormones. Even Lydia found the sight very appealing, and she could only imagine what it did to Alec.

“He’s, ah...” Alec cleared his throat but if the way he fidgeted was any indication, the true... problem was far lower in his body. “He’s had aches lately, because of the pregnancy. I read from a book that yoga helps and he liked the idea, so we looked up moves that are safe for the babies.” (It was difficult to say which man liked it more.)

Magnus made a move that pulled a barely audible moan and a shudder from Alec. It took all Lydia had to hold back a chuckle. “As gladly as I’d leave to enjoy this... We’re about to face five Clave officials who look like they’ve swallowed a couple of lemons and had their spines replaced by metal rods.” A shiver went through her when she recalled how close she came to becoming such at one dark point of her life. “Please don’t make me meet them alone.”

Alec cleared his throat again, fighting hard to be the Inquisitor. “Right... I’m ready. But, first I... need to stop by in the bathroom.” To which he beelined immediately.

Lydia groaned. And buried her face to her hands with a long-suffering sigh. “I’m babysitting a horny teenager...” This storm of pregnancy hormones was going to drive her insane.

/

Magnus also had a meeting later that day. Once it ended he was in the massive room with just Catarina, who moved to Idris with Madzie roughly nine months earlier. (Officially because she needed change. Unofficially because she needed to be close to the one of her two best friends she had left.)

They’d been joking about how intimidating pregnancy hormones made him when she noticed how quiet he went all of a sudden. Alarm bells went off in Catarina’s head when she noticed the way he clutched at his stomach. “Magnus? What’s wrong?”

Magnus’ eyes darted around restlessly. Surprised, but not scared. “Oh, I’m fine.” He blinked twice, slowly. “So far the twins’ movements have been this... fluttering. I just felt the first proper kick.” What began to appear to his face while those words sunk in – the joy and excitement... It was one of the most beautiful things she’d ever seen.

Catarina found herself smiling, too. How could she not have? “Sounds pretty amazing.” When he seemed speechless, she nudged at his shoulder. “I know a place that sells decent caramel ice-cream. How about you join me, so we can go crazy and celebrate this milestone?”

“You’re my dearest friend for ideas like that.”

Later that evening Magnus shared the news of the latest development with Alec. Who, predictably, reacted with immense thrill. The omega chuckled at the praises his mate murmured to his belly. “They can’t hear you just yet”, he reminded fondly and caressed his beloved’s ridiculously soft hair.

Alec shrugged. “I know. I just... They’re getting bigger and learning new things. I want them to know that I’m here.”

Almost immediately after Magnus experienced an unexpectedly fierce kick. One of the twins was clearly making a statement. “I think they know.”

/

A few nights later Alec woke up to an empty bed. “Magnus?” he mumbled sleepily. A groan slipped past his lips when there was no reply and he forced himself to crawl out of the warm sheets.

The apartment outside the bedroom wasn’t warm at all. The reason became apparent when he saw the wide-open balcony door. A frown appeared to his forehead while he walked out to find Magnus sitting on the sofa placed there.

Alec took a moment to admire the sight of his husband under the night-time lights of Alicante. At first he imagined that the man was asleep, until he noticed the slightly too fast breathing pattern. “Are you having trouble sleeping?” He’d practically memorized several books on pregnancy and they all labeled sleeping problems at this stage as perfectly normal. Which didn’t make him any happier about his beloved having to suffer from it.

“Hmm.” Magnus rubbed his own abdominal area soothingly. “I was feeling restless and uncomfortable. Fresh air helps.”

Alec’s frown deepened. He sat down beside the other man, so they could press against each other. “You should’ve woken me.”

Magnus took his hand and gave it a gentle, appreciative squeeze. “Alexander, I adore your dedication. But I’m not going to wake you up every time I need to stretch my back and legs. And you have that early meeting tomorrow. You need to sleep.”

“So do you”, Alec pointed out. He pressed his hand against the warlock’s stomach and wished that he would’ve been able to feel the babies kicking already. “Besides, we have our most important meeting in a few months. I want to help you get ready for it.” He hated how little he was actually able to do. It was then he noticed the way Magnus looked at him, like seeing something utterly amazing. (That he managed to have a hundreds of years old man mesmerized flattered him so much that it was embarrassing.) “What?”

Magnus shook his head, speechless. Then settled to his lap and pressed their mouths together. Somehow that kiss spoke more than a million words.

/

Half an hour later Alec managed to coax Magnus into bed. To the warlock’s immense disappointment it wasn’t for something that’d get him even more excited. Instead the Shadowhunter made them both tea. The omega was touched to discover that it was the same brand they enjoyed after their first kiss. It’d since become both their favorite.

/

A couple of days later Alec was incredibly tense while going through a report from Luke. The whole day he’d been having the strangest feeling that something was wrong. Which didn’t bode well with his already intense protective instincts.

“Penny for them.” Luke went on at his questioning look. “I can see that something’s bothering you.”

Alec sighed and stopped trying to make sense of the report. “It’s stupid, but...” How was he going to phrase this without sounding like a fool? “I just... I keep waiting for something bad to happen. Because every time things start to seem too good to be true something goes wrong and...” He trailed off and groaned. “I thought I was over this pessimism already.”

“So that’s why it looks like you haven’t slept properly.” Luke’s face conveyed nothing but genuine sympathy. “I get why you’re afraid, I really do.” Of course the man did, after losing Jocelyn and for a while Clary as well. “You’re a good partner and you’ll be a good father, too, so of course you worry. But try to have faith. After everything you and Magnus have gone through... You deserve to get everything you’ve ever dreamed of. Fate isn’t going to rob this happiness from you.”

Alec did his best to believe the man, because he really wanted to.

/

Magnus was in the middle of preparing a particularly challenging potion for one of his warlocks, who had fallen ill suddenly. The twins weren’t making concentrating on the task easy. Now that they’d discovered the art of kicking and punching, they were eager to try it out. When the first twinge of pain came he blamed it on those movements. The second one was so sharp that he gasped and grimaced.

Now, Magnus knew that certain aches were to be expected when one was cooking up a baby, let alone two of them. If it was just his own wellbeing on the line he would’ve probably shrugged and carried on as usual. But he swore on his mother’s grave to try being a good parent and refused to take any chances when it came to his little ones. Already feeling like he was an overly cautious idiot, he sent Annie a message to ask if she could check up on him. There was supposed to be a new scan soon, anyway.

He was contemplating how to break the news to his already stressed out mate in the gentlest possible way when the apartment’s door opened. “Magnus?” Alec called out. “Are you home?”

On the edge from the painful cramps, Magnus bounced quickly to his feet. His mouth opened but he couldn’t squeeze out anything. Because the world was spinning around so badly that he stumbled as soon as he tried to take a step.

And then it was like someone had switched off the lights.

Chapter Text

/ Alec had encountered few people over the course of his life he would’ve hated like he loathed Camille Belcourt. That he had to see her kiss Magnus, then her obvious pleasure over his jealousy and the seed of doubt she managed to plant into him... Well, it certainly didn’t sweeten his feelings for her. What Alec hated the most was the way the alpha vampire made him treat Magnus. How the seed of doubt blossomed into a terrible, ugly flower with thorns.

He was cold towards the warlock, despite comprehending on a level of reason that Magnus didn’t want Camille’s kiss. When Magnus tried to talk about it, they had their first unpleasant talk about exes and immortality. After that he countered the omega’s attempts to approach him with cool professionalism and undeserved verbal attacks. It was only partially because of stress over Jace being missing and his parents’ continuing struggles to accept him for who he was.

They hadn’t even had their first date yet and he was pushing Magnus away because of a manipulative ex who definitely enjoyed what she did to them.

After recovering from his dangerous efforts to locate Jace, however, Alec couldn’t keep his distance anymore. He needed to make sure that Magnus was alright, because the whole thing must’ve taken a toll on him, too. (He was still baffled by the fact that the man refused to leave him for even a second while he was unconscious. Despite... recent quarreling.) He also decided that he had to treat better someone who fought so hard for him, Jocelyn, Jace and... everyone. They needed to talk, properly.

Magnus clearly wasn’t overjoyed that he had to tell him about Camille. “You deserve answers. But I need to know that you’re ready and willing to listen, even if you won’t like what you’re going to hear.”

Alec nodded tensely. Bracing himself for just about anything. “I’ll listen”, he promised. “After everything you’ve done for me... That’s the least I can do for you in return. Especially with the way I let her mess with my head.” He refused to let his alpha-possessiveness destroy their relationship before they’d even gotten started.

They stood on Magnus’ balcony. Wind played with the older man’s hair while he finally started talking, eyes on the street below. “Like I told you, Camille and I... We’re ancient history. When I was going through a... very dark time of my life she saved me. Back then she could still be sweet and kind when she wanted to be, and I owe her my life. I fell for her, so fast and deeply that I’m ashamed to admit it.” The omega sighed heavily. “Camille never loved me. She used me, manipulated me and eventually cheated on me.” The most horrible thing to hear was the dejected tone, like Magnus believed that he deserved to be treated in such a way. “I... haven’t opened my heart, to anyone, in almost a century because she broke it so badly. I’d made my peace with the thought that I never would. Nor have I been with another alpha. And then...” He shrugged and trailed off, but it was easy to catch the rest. (‘And then I met you.’) “Having to see her and spend time with her again, it’s... It was awful.” (Alec mused with a load of guilt that his behavior and reactions definitely didn’t make it any more pleasant.)

Slowly, as though asking for a permission, Alec approached. He lay his hand on top of Magnus’. “I know that I’ve been... horrible to you lately.” Partially because of ridiculous jealousy over a vampire who clearly caused Magnus unimaginable pain. “There’s... A lot has happened. Jace, my coming out... But that’s not an excuse.” He inhaled deeply. “I can’t believe that you haven’t given up on me entirely by now. But, if you still want me and that first date we’ll hopefully get to soon, I’m here. And... Whatever we may become, or not... I will never treat you the way Camille did.” That someone had the nerve to hurt Magnus in such a way made him see red.

Magnus was silent for a long moment. Which was only understandable, considering the emotional turmoil they’d both gone through. Eventually the man turned his hand so that it was holding his. “Yes, I still want that date. You can’t get rid of me that easily.” The warlock gave him a wary glance. “I just hope that my past and I won’t prove to be too much to handle.” The past, Alec was starting to realize, was very long. And full of people. The warlock looked away. “I’m afraid that I come with a bit of baggage.”

To not screw everything up at the start-line Alec would have to work on his jealousy and insecurity issues. As well as on his temper. And they’d both have to put some serious effort into communication and mutual trust. “You could never be too much for me to handle”, he promised.

Magnus huffed a sad, little laugh. “You wouldn’t be the first one to say that and change their mind. But... I’ll try to believe you.”

Alec nodded. “Isn’t trying our best all we can do? Besides, in case you haven’t noticed, I come with a bit of baggage, too.” He was gradually starting to understand how much of it.

Magnus looked at him with pure acceptance and affection. “Well. Aren’t you smart for someone so young?”

Alec found himself smiling genuinely and tightened his hold on Magnus’ hand. He apologized before. But it wasn’t until at the moment he felt like he earned the forgiveness. /

/

“... think he’s coming to ...” There was a hand touching his face. “Magnus, can you hear me? Open your eyes.”

Magnus obeyed as quickly as he physically could. Because he had to find out what in the world was going on. He blinked blearily, trying to make sense of things. How was he on a bed? Did he decide to take a nap in the middle of potion making?

Alec held his hand so tightly that it almost hurt. Catarina gave him a small smile but didn’t seem entirely relaxed. “There he is. Do me a favor and try not to have more beauty naps like that.”

Magnus grimaced, finally catching on. “I fainted, didn’t I?” It wasn’t exactly a surprise, since he’d been feeling lightheaded on occasion lately. But he hated startling people, especially Alec who already worried far too much. He gave his incredibly tense, pale alpha a smile. “I’m alright. It’s just the pregnancy messing with me. The books warned that this might occur, remember?”

Alec didn’t seem convinced. “I heard you fall and found you unconscious on the floor. What if those substances around you were something dangerous? Or you hit your head? Or fell on your stomach? Or...?”

“Alexander.” Magnus squeezed his beloved’s hand a little tighter. “I’m fine, I promise. I’m sorry I scared you.”

Before the warlock could decipher whether the reassurance was enough this time Catarina went on. In a tone she most likely used often at work. “He is okay, Alec." She turned her attention on him. "Try to stand up and get up more slowly. Your body is housing three people, now, and it’s a little overwhelmed. But as far as I can tell there’s nothing worse than that going on.” Her eyes narrowed with suspicion when someone’s stomach growled. It was... his. “When’s the last time you ate something?”

Magnus took his time, trying to remember the day’s events. “I... was just thinking about getting breakfast. But then there was that emergency...” His eyes widened while guilt slashed him. A very young, sick warlock was counting on his help. “Olenna... That potion...!”

“You were practically finished with it before collapsing. I had the final version delivered to her while waiting for you to finish up with the power nap. Olenna is alright.” Catarina’s eyes narrowed further. “You, on the other hand... deserve a scolding so you’ll remember the importance of a healthy diet.” She was clearly worried, but also understanding. He’d spent hundreds of years living a certain, perhaps not exactly healthy way. With Alec’s help and support he’d stopped drinking almost entirely. (For which he was more grateful than ever when he found out that he was pregnant.) And the men tried to remind each other to eat and sleep somewhat regularly. But it was deviously easy to slip back into old, deep-rooted bad habits when the pressure of duties clouded his head. “You’re the High Warlock of Alicante and a lot of people depend on you. But no one needs you more than the babies inside you. So look after yourself, too.”

By then Magnus was sitting up and focused firmly on his fisted hands because he didn’t want to look at anyone. Catarina meant well, of course she did. But she wasn’t his mate and Alec hadn’t spoken a word for a while. Against all reason Magnus began to fear that he’d turned out to be what he’d sworn to not be in his beloved’s eyes.

A disappointment, a failure, a screwup, unworthy, not enough, too much.

Alec breathed once. Sharply and loudly. “What about the babies?”

Magnus found himself tensing up even further.

“I caught two very clear, healthy heartbeats. No harm done.” Catarina gave them a moment to let the happy news sink in. “But because seeing is believing... Annie’s waiting in the living room with a portable ultrasound device. I’ll see her in as soon as you two are ready.”

Magnus managed a nod he hoped to convey gratitude. Once they were alone he swallowed thickly. He still couldn’t bring himself to look at his husband properly. “Alexander, I’m fine. The twins are fine. I’m sorry...!”

“Shh.” Alec wrapped his arms tightly around him and pulled him close. The taller man’s heart was beating incredibly fast. “You scared me. But I’m not angry, or disappointed. I just... I want to hold you. I need to hold you.”

And just like that, as though a switch had been flicked, Magnus remembered that Alec wasn’t Camille. Or one of the other sadly many lovers who’d grown tired of him. The Shadowhunter had seen him at his worst and loved him even more after.

Magnus calmed down and breathed in Alec’s arms, which helped the alpha do the same.

Neither was quite sure how long it took before they were finally ready to invite Annie to the room. She entered slowly, with sympathy written all over her face. “Life never gets boring with the two of you around, does it?”

Three pairs of eyes stared at the screen intently while Annie worked. She grinned when a flailing, stubbornly fisted hand greeted them. “Looks like someone’s in a grumpy mood.” She then focused on them, slightly more serious. “Before I go on further... Do you want to know which gender the babies are? Because it may be possible to catch a glimpse now and I can turn the screen away...”

“Don’t!” the men shouted almost as one. Their hands intertwined a little more tightly than before. Alec looked towards him questioningly. “Right?”

“You know that I hate surprises.”

Annie chuckled. “Moving on, then.” She pursed her lips. “Baby B is trying to hide, but Baby A is ready to greet us. See that? A perfectly healthy, normally developed little one. A bit small, but that’s often the case with twins and nothing to be worried about. Ten little toes and fingers... Oh.” Yes, ‘oh’ indeed. The baby had no desire to hide their gender. Due to a relaxed, stretching position they got a very good look at something telling. Annie smiled. “Congrats. You’re going to have a son.”

Magnus tried to stop himself. Because it was potentially disastrous to get ahead of himself. But he nonetheless daydreamed of a little boy who looked like Alec.

“Now let’s try to catch the more elusive one.” Annie leaned a little closer to the screen while she concentrated. Both parents’ hearts filled and swell with warmth when they saw how Baby A seemed like he was trying to shield Baby B. “Come on, sweetie”, she murmured. “I know you’re shy, but let us give you a little look.”

It could’ve all been labeled a trick of imagination. But all three adults present preferred thinking otherwise. The baby hiding behind the other seemed to place a hand on their brother’s shoulder. Slowly, reluctantly, the slightly larger twin moved out of the way. Revealing the other one fully for the first time. The second child tried to cross their legs bashfully, but didn’t manage to do that before they saw something without a shadow of a doubt. Annie’s eyes softened. “And congratulations again. It looks like you’ll have a daughter, too.”

A little boy, and a little girl...! Magnus feared that his heart might burst from joy. “Alexander...!” He had no idea what he’d been supposed to say. And as it turned out he didn’t have to figure it out.

Alec’s lips slammed against his, loving but demanding, sealing him into the kind of a kiss that took away whatever breath he’d had left.

And Magnus came to the conclusion that there were no words for that very moment. All they could do was feel, their hands right next to each other on the omega’s stomach. So feel they did.

(Neither noticed how Annie cleared her throat with a grin and left the room swiftly.)

/

An hour later the women had left and Magnus was getting some much-needed rest. Alec, who stood right outside the bedroom with his whole body shaking, tried to figure out what to do with himself. Until there was a knock on the apartment’s door.

A growl escaped the alpha. His pregnant omega was feeling unwell. With how wild his protective instincts were getting, he’d perceive just about anyone as a threat. Until he opened the door to find the pretty much only visitor whose presence he could tolerate at the moment.

Alec frowned. “Jace? What are you doing here?”

Jace struggled to speak through heavy panting. “You... were absolutely terrified... and didn’t answer your phone. I came... as fast as I could.”

Alec stared at his parabatai. With things having quieted down, he had the time to process all the stress and fear he’d gone through that day. He shuddered when the weight crashed onto his shoulders. “Magnus... He passed out. He says that he’s okay... Catarina and Annie say that he and the babies are alright, but...” He trailed off. Which was when he noticed that somewhere along the way he’d burst into tears.

Jace didn’t ask anything more despite probably having a million questions. Instead his brother wrapped him into a warm, supportive hug.

“I... I couldn’t protect or help them, and... I can’t lose them, Jace”, Alec choked out. Finally managing to put into words the shadow that’d been haunting him since he found out that Magnus was pregnant. “I can’t lose them!”

Jace didn’t promise him things he wouldn’t have dared to trust. Or tell him that he was being ridiculous. Instead his parabatai tightened his embrace and let him break down when he desperately needed to.

/

The second he woke up Magnus could tell that something happened while he slumbered. Alec lay curled up beside him, snoring softly and long limbs tangled around like the tentacles of an octopus. He would’ve smiled at how adorable his husband looked while sleeping. If he hadn’t seen evidence of cried tears on the man’s face. He frowned and caressed the alpha’s hair tenderly, to which the man leaned eagerly with a contented sigh.

Alec began to stir almost two hours later. Magnus didn’t ask what happened because he knew that he wouldn’t have gotten an honest answer. (He had a nasty feeling that the distress was caused by his dizzy spell.) Instead he offered a smile that said ‘Everything’s okay, I swear’ and they exchanged a languid kiss. No words were necessary.

When they finally emerged from the bedroom Magnus was surprised to discover that they had guests. Jace and Clary bustled around the kitchen, the blonde following the redhead’s instructions meekly. Coming closer, Magnus was touched to discover a batch of cupcakes, some of which had pink and others blue frosting.

Clary smiled softly. “Alec told us that you found out the babies’ gender and promised that you'd tell us together. We figured that this is a good excuse to celebrate a little.”

With the two of them obviously having arrived to watch over and support them, Magnus was even more suspicious than before. But he didn’t ask. Instead he hugged the couple after revealing with Alec that there'd be a boy and a girl, then they all enjoyed devouring the cupcakes.

At some point, though, he exchanged a quick little look with Jace. And nodded gratefully. Because whatever his husband’s parabatai did, it succeeded in something. For the first time since shortly after their vacation Alec seemed at least remotely relaxed.

/

A couple of days later Alec came home to find the apartment dimly lit. He frowned, until he noticed something on the floor. A bowl of rose-petals, along with a note.

Take us to the bathroom.

Which was when Alec became aware of the sound of running water. Intrigued in the certain way only Magnus was able to spark, he was more than happy to do as he was told. His excitement grew when he found Magnus drawing a bath. Whatever scented oil had been used, it smelled divine.

Magnus wiggled his eyebrows. Very aware of the impact the little surprise had on him. “Ah, I see you found the finishing touch. Would you like to join me?”

Alec certainly didn’t need to be asked twice. So eager that with anyone else it would’ve been embarrassing he undressed, then hurriedly scattered the rose petals. One of them ended up on Magnus’ hair and the cute sight made them both giggle.

The water’s temperature was perfect, of course. Alec went in first and was more than happy to help Magnus get comfortable in his arms. Even after years it still baffled him how perfectly their bodies fit together. He grinned when the omega started to purr. “Feeling good?”

Magnus sighed happily. “Amazing. I’ve been dreaming of this all day.” Several moments of silent bliss passed by. “What happened the other day... It had me thinking.” There was a thoughtful pause. “You know how important my work is to me. But this pregnancy... It’s only going to take more of a toll as it continues, we both know that. And... As much as I hate to admit this, I need to slow down. I can’t work full-time anymore. So I talked to Catarina today, and she agreed to take on some of my duties.”

Alec... was so happy that it was ridiculous. “That... That sounds great”, he managed.

Alec was no fool. He knew that half of the pregnancy was still ahead of them. And all signs pointed towards the rest of it being a rough ride. But right there, in that moment, he had his whole world safe in his arms while they shared the perfect bath. Which was why, at least for a brief moment, he did something uncharacteristic.

He chose to not worry about the troubles and sorrows of tomorrow just yet.

Chapter Text

/ Alec and Magnus’ first date was far from perfect. It started well enough, with the two of them letting their competitive natures loose at pool. Then the dreaded topic of exes was brought up and things became very awkward very quickly. Enough so to make Alec wonder if they were just too different for... whatever it was between them to ever work. But in the end they managed to find mutual understanding, as seemed to be their custom. Which was when Jace came barging in, interrupting their kiss, and Alec concluded miserably that their date was officially ruined.

Magnus, however, had other plans after leading Jace to the loft’s guest room. “Your brother could use a moment alone. And looking at you right now... I must admit that I’m not quite ready to part ways yet.”

The extraordinary omega’s words, along with the eyes that watched him with warmth and want, brought some color to Alec’s cheeks. Which were already flaming from the recent kiss. He wondered if he’d ever get used to someone desiring him so much. “What, ah... would you like to do?”

“How about a dinner?” Magnus mused for a moment. “I know this sushi restaurant in Tokyo...”

“Actually...” Alec hated shooting down such a tempting suggestion. Especially because seeing Tokyo with Magnus sounded amazing. But he could feel Jace’s distress. “Maybe we can order something? Jace isn’t ready to talk yet, but...” He trailed off. How was he supposed to explain the need to be there for his parabatai without making things awkward again? By then he knew that the feelings he once had for the blonde weren’t love but...

Magnus interrupted his chaos of thoughts with a look of such understanding that made his knees grow a little week. (Alec wondered with bafflement if he’d somehow succeeded in finding someone who got him even when he had hard time explaining himself.) “Sounds like a lovely idea. What are you hungry for?”

“Well, a bacon burger from East Village is always a sure choice.” Despite it being their first date, planning on a dinner together happened naturally. Enough so for Alec to not overthink it. He didn’t even sound hesitant or self-conscious while expressing his desire.

Magnus grinned. “Bacon burgers it is, then.” The warlock took his hand. “Let’s set the mood a little.”

Alec followed readily, far more gladly than he would’ve ever expected. They didn’t go further than to the older man’s balcony. As soon as they got there Magnus snapped his fingers thrice. The first made two very delicious looking burger meals appear. The second lit up what looked like Northern Lights, just for them to admire. The third made calm and smooth jazz music play. As soon as it was all done the man glanced towards him and was clearly pleased to see how impressed he was. “Ready to continue with our date?”

Alec nodded enthusiastically. He didn’t even try to hold back a smile. “Yes.”

It took another three hours before Alec began to head towards the Institute. He’d already reached the stairs when he remembered something important and ran back. Their fourth, or was it the fifth, kiss of the evening was the sweetest and best one yet. It made Alec’s head spin in a way that made him stumble in the stairs he finally did take.

He knew that Magnus saw. Usually it would’ve made him feel mortified. As it was he shrugged and simply carried on, his steps lighter than ever in his life. And started whistling while bits and pieces of the evening floated to his mind.

‘... relationships, they... take effort ...’
‘... all for effort ...’

So... They were officially boyfriends, now? The thought made Alec whistle louder. /

/

Focusing on work after the scare he and Magnus went through wasn’t easy on Alec. His husband swore, several times over, to call if there was anything even slightly worrying going on. It was little comfort when Magnus was notorious for never, ever admitting when something was wrong. (Not that Alec would’ve been much better. But he wasn’t the one carrying their precious little ones. Which made the warlock even more precious than he’d already been.)

A couple of days after their bath Alec came home to find Magnus on a couch with a mug of tea. (Mint? His husband only drank that brand when he was upset.) The smaller man was talking to a phone. “... wards repair ... Let’s see.” The mage flipped through his calendar. “How does next Tuesday at two sound?” There was a reply. “Excellent. I’ll see you then, ma’am.”

“Hey.” After they’d kissed Alec’s eyebrow rose all the way to his hairline. “I was under the impression that you were supposed to slow down.”

There was a time when a conversation starting like that would’ve led to a fight. But they’d learned enough of themselves and each other to do better now. Magnus gave him a disarmingly soft look. “I am slowing down, Alexander. But I refuse to stay inside these four walls for the next twenty weeks.” To prove his point the warlock showed him his calendar. Not a single day was fully packed and several days of each week had been left entirely empty. “These babies are my first priority, too.”

Alec felt a sting of embarrassment. “I know.” He sighed and ran a hand through his hair. How did it get so disheveled? “I’m sorry...”

Magnus, to his relief, shook his head in understanding. “Don’t be. It’s okay to be worried and hormonal. Isn’t that what you’ve been trying to tell me?” The warlock scowled and took another sip of tea while one of his hands flew to his belly.

The reaction made alarm speed through Alec. His whole posture tensed up. “Are you okay?”

Magnus nodded. “Just some heartburn.” The centuries old man pouted. “The twins have officially decided that they don’t like the chili sauce I keep craving anymore.”

Alec offered a sympathetic grimace. Which was when he noticed the shattered remains of two sauce bottles and a broken bowl of ice cream on the floor. “Is that what this mess is all about?”

Magnus cleared his throat, blushing lightly. “I... possibly lashed out a little. It wasn’t my proudest moment.”

Alec bit the inside of his cheek to hold back a laugh. His beloved could be quite adorable when he got unreasonable. “I’ll help you clean up.”

Magnus waved a hand. The limb found its way under the Shadowhunter’s shirt and started a merry voyage. “It can wait.”

“What about the heartburn?”

“It’s a thing in the past now that I’ve found something that’s the right kind of spicy.” Magnus kissed him, long and passionately, then licked his lips. “So shh. I have much better uses for your mouth than worrying and overthinking.”

As much as all of Alec enjoyed the moment, he couldn’t help himself. His gaze kept straying towards the still melting ice-cream. Which seemed beyond nauseating as it became one with the red sauce.

Magnus snorted. Sounding simultaneously offended, frustrated and amused. “Really? That’s how much it bothers you?” The omega rolled his eyes theatrically, dropped his glamour and snapped his fingers. The disgusting puddle vanished. A pair of cat eyes locked demandingly with his. “Now do I finally have your undivided attention?”

Alec was spellbound. “Yeah, kitten. You definitely do”, he murmured huskily.

Magnus’ eyebrow arched. “Kitten?”

Alec smirked and nuzzled his head against the smaller man’s neck. The sweet scent of his pregnant mate threatened to steer him out of his mind. “Serves you right for all those times you’ve tried to make pup a thing.”

Magnus purred and tilted his head to allow Alec’s lips an easy access to his neck. “What if I like it?” A challenging hand made its way lower, elegant fingers drumming the spot right beside his painfully tight crotch teasingly. “Very much?”

Alec was humiliatingly close to panting and keening. “In that case... kitten... Show me how much”, he ordered gruffly.

Which elicited a purr from Magnus. There was a dizzying amount of pheromones in the air between and around them. “So authoritative.” The fingers drummed faster, making the Inquisitor’s line of vision tunnel. “I do adore your Shadowhunter mode.”

Alec decided to ditch the ‘who cracks first’ game in favor of getting to the good part. So swiftly that Magnus gasped from surprise and delight he snatched his husband to his arms. Three seconds passed and they lay on the couch, the mage safely on top of him.

“Enough with the flirting. Show me”, Alec repeated his earlier command. His growl of lust made the omega shiver from pleasure.

Magnus moved very happily to obey. Until they felt something that made them both gasp and freeze. Alec’s eyes widened to a comical size. “Did... our baby just kick me for getting you worked up?”

Magnus nodded, very slowly, equally stunned by their hyper-protective child.

The parents to be stared at each other. Then broke down to a fit of giggles. Even if they both realized that it was the second time their twins interrupted their... adult activities. (And all signs warned that there’d be great many more interruptions in their future.) How were they supposed to mind when Alec just felt their children moving for the first time?

/

Maryse could tell that Magnus still wasn’t comfortable with being visibly pregnant. Which was a curious change in a man who’d always dressed himself and put on makeup in a manner that ensured he’d get attention. She felt for him every time people cooed at his still rather small bump. Some even tried to touch it without asking for a permission. Magnus did his best to meet the unwanted attention with tense but polite smiles. Sometimes he was overwhelmed and threatened enough to growl and she wondered if he’d deliver a punch.

Whenever Magnus thought that no one was looking, though... Whenever he felt safe... He couldn’t seem to stop touching the bump. Maryse remembered the urge from her own pregnancies, especially the first one.

When she first heard that she was pregnant with Alec she couldn’t quite believe it. Even when she first saw him on a screen, so tiny and helpless inside her, that she was about to be a mom still didn’t quite sink in. But when she first felt him moving... When his kicks became so fierce that even Robert felt them and burst into tears of joy... That was when her precious baby finally started to seem real. It made her happy beyond all words that her son now got to experience that same incredible journey with the one he loved. And it was almost as good to see that beloved positively glowing.

Magnus shelved the book he’d just gifted her with when he caught her watching. Mercifully he didn’t seem taken aback. “Maryse? Is... something wrong?”

Maryse shook her head and fought to not tear up. Why was she getting so emotional, she wasn’t the one carrying a child! “Pregnancy suits you.”

Magnus scoffed. “Hardly. But thank you.” The warlock shifted, contemplating. “The twins are in an active mood today. Would you like to try if you feel a kick?”

Maryse nodded enthusiastically and would’ve told him that he never had to ask if she would’ve found her voice. Slowly, not wanting to crowd him, she approached and placed a hand on his stomach. She dared to press slightly harder when he didn’t tense up or pull away.

For a while nothing happened. Maryse was about to step away when there was a thud. Then another. Solid, determined kicks.

Magnus chuckled breathily. When he spoke his voice was thick with emotion. “That’s right, little ones. Grandma is saying ‘hi’.”

It was a tragedy that the twins would never meet their other grandma. And that Magnus didn’t have his mom there to support him. Maryse was determined to do whatever she could to make up for that. Her first grandchildren and son-in-law deserved all the love in the world.

/

That was how Alec found his mom and husband, caressing Magnus’ bump with happy tears in their eyes. The sight got to him so much that he had to wait for a while before making his presence known. “Hey.” He went on after a kiss of greeting for his beloved. “Are you ready for the double date with Jace and Clary?”

Magnus nodded. Only someone he knew him well noticed how a subtle wiggle of fingers fixed slightly smudged makeup. “Absolutely.” They’d spent far more time with the other couple after the omega collapsed and Alec had his miniature breakdown. “We’re...” The sentence was cut short when the older man received a message. Which was met with a huff. “It’s Jace, asking where we are. Apparently we’re five minutes late. Since when has Mr. Fashionably Late cared about schedules?”

Alec smiled. His parabatai had been increasingly protective of them both lately. “Have you decided where you want to eat? It’s your turn to pick.”

“How do East Village bacon burgers sound?” Magnus’ eyes held mirth and fondness. “Biscuit loves them as much as you do, so I’m sure that she can persuade Jace.”

Maryse chuckled. “Right now, that boy wouldn’t say ‘no’ to anything you three might ask.” She gave them a warm hug. “Have fun. I love you both.”

Despite being already late the pair decided to walk for a few minutes before portaling. They needed a few moments together until the start of the double date. Somewhere along the way Alec kissed Magnus’ cheek. Which the smaller man accepted with a sound of delight. “Not that I’m complaining, but what did I deserve that for?”

Alec shrugged seemingly nonchalantly. “No reason.” How was he supposed to put into words how baffled he was by his amazing family?

About five minutes later Magnus gave him a look. “Alexander, are you... whistling?”

“Maybe.”

Chapter Text

/ Much like plenty of other things over the course of his life, Alec overthought his first time with Magnus.

His boyfriend literally had thousands of former lovers. What new and exciting could he possibly offer? What if he’d turn out to be a disappointment? What if he wouldn’t enjoy... it? What if Magnus didn’t? What if he’d like it too much and mess everything up? Their relationship was important to him and even the thought of endangering it with rushing made his stomach twist into knots.

Funnily enough, it was the realization that Magnus had similar concerns that helped ease his mind. What they had and their first time mattered a lot to the mage, too. He mattered a lot. Whatever doubts and fears he’d had began to fade. “It’s okay”, he murmured after their second kiss in a manner of minutes, which was fast turning into a third. “I want this.” He’d never wanted anyone like he wanted Magnus and didn’t think he ever would.

It was almost magical how naturally they got started. Eager hands and lips... Kisses neither of them wanted to break... Falling to bed... The sheer chemistry between them suggested that they’d always been meant to do all that.

Then Alec kissed Magnus’ neck and tension flooded to the omega’s body. There was a sharp, gasp like breath, this time not for all the best reasons. With a stiff motion that definitely didn’t speak of consent the warlock turned his head, exposing more of his neck.

Alec frowned. He must’ve done something fundamentally wrong, although he couldn’t fathom what it might be. “Magnus?” His boyfriend, who’d clenched his jaw, offered no verbal cues. He tried again. “Magnus, what’s wrong?”

His voice seemed to bring Magnus out of the trance. The man blinked twice, eyes focusing on his. Some of the earlier tension melted away while hands that’d been gripping his hips tightly loosened. “I’m sorry, Alexander. I just...” The omega emitted a wheezing sound of anxiety and frustration. “I haven’t been with an alpha since Camille for a reason. Some of the things she manipulated me into doing... made me feel uncomfortable. I know that you’re nothing like her, I simply got confused for a second. I’m sorry.”

Suddenly Alec remembered Magnus mentioning that he wasn’t the only one feeling vulnerable. The power alphas had over omegas was immense, and unfortunately some alphas misused it. Moving deliberately slowly and softly, the Shadowhunter kissed his boyfriend’s lips. “I swear to you that if I ever do something that makes you uncomfortable, all you have to do is tell me and we’ll stop.” It felt silly to reassure someone who could do unimaginable things to him with a snap of fingers. But he was willing to do anything the older man needed. “If you don’t want to...”

“I do want you.” Magnus watched him, in that intense moment failing to notice something. His glamour had fallen. “And I trust you.” Seeing his mesmerized stare, the cat eyed warlock frowned. “What...?” That was when it finally sunk in. Magnus shuddered from horror. “Oh...!”

“Don’t hide them”, Alec pleaded. He brushed the other’s cheek and this time earned a shiver of delight. “They’re beautiful. You’re beautiful.”

For the first time that evening Magnus initiated a kiss. And while their entire bodies melted together Alec knew that he’d done at least some little thing right. It would’ve made the alpha inside him proud. If it wasn’t for the problem that he didn’t have the faintest clue what he was supposed to do next.

Magnus seemed to pick up on his fresh bout of insecurity. And find it endearing. “Don’t worry, Alexander. I’ll tell you exactly what I want you to do.” The man’s eyes were still unglamoured and remained that way for hours.

The following morning they woke up in each other’s arms. Neither regretted a thing. Because while they weren’t an officially bonded pair yet, something had changed fundamentally. For the better. /

/

Putting on body lotion to avoid stretch marks was something Alec and Magnus both found themselves enjoying. For the Shadowhunter it was a special thrill, because he got to feel with both his hands how his husband’s bump grew. Slowly yet steadily. Their children also seemed to enjoy feeling him close. They kicked a storm whenever Alec kissed and caressed his beloved’s stomach.

Alec chuckled one evening when the twins were even more demanding than usual. “I know, I know. I love you, too. And I’m glad that you’re getting big and strong. But try to calm down, okay? Papa needs his rest tonight.” He knew that Magnus hadn’t been sleeping well lately.

Magnus hummed softly. A pair of cat eyes, free of makeup, blinked sluggishly. “Yes, papa would appreciate getting his beauty sleep.” A huff met Alec’s adoring, awestruck gaze. “I do appreciate the admiration, but I look like a mess right now.”

“Nonsense”, Alec disagreed. This time he kissed Magnus’ lips. “You’re beautiful.”

Magnus’ still unglamoured eyes softened. “I remember the first time you told me that. That was when I fell in love with you.” A hand that only carried one special ring brushed the younger man’s cheek. “No one’s ever looked at me like that before.”

Alec shrugged, his cheeks coloring slightly. “Well, I’ve never seen anyone as beautiful as you.” Despite how long they’d been together, the Inquisitor’s gaze was still positively worshipping when it was aimed at the warlock. “I think I started falling for you the second I saw you. It just took a while before I admitted it to myself.”

Magnus chuckled heartily. And didn’t resist the temptation to give another kiss. “Alexander Gideon Lightwood-Bane, that was adorably corny.”

“Hey, like you’re any better!”

“I certainly wasn’t complaining.”

/

At some point, neither mother or son was sure when, Alec had taken up a habit of going to his mom and Luke’s new apartment for coffee occasionally. They were both still eager to work on finishing closing the gap Maryse’s prejudices once tore between them. After all, the one thing they shared the most clearly was how much family meant to them.

Maryse nodded towards the plastic bag Alec had along when he came. It was from a bookstore that sold very different items to hers. “Let me guess. Another book about pregnancy and parenting?”

Alec shrugged, embarrassed. “I know, I know, I already have eleven. I just... The more weeks pass by, the more stuff I find out that I had no idea of. And... I have to be prepared. For Magnus, and the babies.” He looked down on his coffee that was quickly turning cold. “Being a parent... I can’t fail at it, mom.” He’d always been a perfectionist and parenthood was the most important thing he’d ever embraced in his life.

Maryse gave him a soft look of understanding. “I was terrified, too, when I found out that I was pregnant with you. Because I knew that I’d be a far from perfect mother. But you, Alec... You were born to be a dad. I’ve known since you were only six. You probably don’t remember that day anymore, but I’ll never forget.” Her eyes softened still. “It was a cold winter day and Isabelle had fallen badly ill. She had a raging fever that wouldn’t go down. She kept crying and whenever she tried to get some rest she had terrible nightmares. She wouldn’t stop asking for your father, but he was on a mission. I stayed up with her for two full days but eventually exhaustion got the better of me and I fell asleep. Do you know what I saw when I woke up an hour later?” Maryse wiped her eyes swiftly. “You’d somehow sensed the exact moment when your sister needed you. There you were, sitting on the edge of her bed, holding her hand and whispering softly. She was finally sleeping peacefully.” She took his hand and gave it a squeeze. “The twins are lucky to have you, and you could never let them down. Don’t ever doubt that.”

Alec was speechless, so instead of talking he wrapped her to a tight hug. Maryse’s reassurance wasn’t enough to make all his doubts evaporate, of course. But he went back home feeling lighter.

/

The more weeks passed by the more aware Magnus became of the little ones growing inside him. He dreaded to imagine how uncomfortable he’d feel when the babies would get even bigger and his stomach more crowded. Aches, swelling, shortness of breath... Reading about it all hadn’t quite prepared him for the firsthand experience.

He continued with yoga exercises in hopes that it'd make him feel better. Izzy was keeping him company for one of those sessions one morning shortly before his birthday. While bright rays of sun streamed into the apartment, they stretched themselves to identical poses.

“So...” Izzy sighed happily when the new position began to ease tension in her lower back she hadn’t known existed. (A tiny fond smile appeared to her face when Magnus uttered a similar sound far louder.) “Alec says that you don’t want to celebrate your birthday.” She peered briefly towards him. “Skipping a chance to celebrate doesn’t sound like the Magnus I know.”

Magnus hesitated. “I haven’t told Alec yet because I don’t want him to panic, but... I’ve had Braxton Hicks contractions a few times. The books and Annie say that they’re harmless, that everything’s alright, but...” The warlock groaned. “I’m happy. Things have seemed good and peaceful for a while, now. But I can’t shake off the fear that something will go wrong. It’s foolish, I know.”

“No wonder you’re in no mood to celebrate.” Izzy contemplated for a moment. “Still, we all want to honor the special day. Because you’re important to us. How about a dinner gathering? It doesn’t have to feel like a party.”

Magnus... didn’t have anything against that idea. “Alright. But no presents. And this time Simon doesn’t get to pick the post meal movie. I don’t understand where he finds all those romantic comedies from.”

Izzy groaned, switching to a new position. “Don’t ask me. I’ve been trying to hide them.”

/

Two days later it was Magnus’ birthday. He came home from meetings and consultations to find that Alec was already there. Appearing curiously nervous. The smaller man narrowed his eyes in suspicion. “Why do you look like you’ve done something naughty?” he inquired after they’d greeted each other properly.

“I know that you told me not to get you anything, but... You took me to Hawaii for my birthday and I wanted to return the favor.” Slightly hesitantly Alec pulled out a small, dark package he’d been hiding in his pocket. “Besides, this made me think of you.”

Curious, Magnus accepted the gift. What he found was a stunningly beautiful, silvery locket. The symbol of eternity had been engraved on it. When he opened the jewelry, he felt his heart stutter from affection. It contained miniature copies of his favorite of their wedding photos and a sonogram picture.

Tears filled Magnus’ eyes when he looked at his beloved. “Alexander, this is...” There were no words to fully express how touched he was. “Thank you.”

If the proud and pleased expression on Alec’s face was any indication... Perhaps he didn’t have to squeeze out anything more. “Happy Birthday, kitten.”

/

A couple of hours and a thorough make out session later a rather large gang gathered to the pair’s apartment to celebrate the birthday of a centuries old man. Since gifts were prohibited the guests brought food instead. And Jace brought an action film the blonde seemed endearingly enthusiastic about.

The loft was full of happiness, friendship and love. And such acceptance Magnus once imagined would never be possible. Perhaps the safety provided by that cohesiveness helped the mage find a peaceful slumber. In the middle of the movie’s loudest part, at which Jace and Andrew cheered while Simon whimpered.

“Is he alright?” Lorenzo inquired from where he’d wrapped an arm around Andrew. There was a frown of genuine concern on the warlock’s face. To imagine how much he once despised and envied Magnus...!

Alec nodded with a smile and kissed the top of his husband’s head. “He’s been sleep deprived lately.” He suspected that pregnancy hormones caused a great deal of the anxiety. (For them both.) “This is the best birthday present he could’ve gotten.”

Their whole gang raised a glass of lemonade. (None of them wanted to have alcohol when Magnus couldn’t consume any.) “Happy Birthday, Magnus!” the chorused, mindful to not get too loud.

Magnus caught none of it while he slumbered with a tiny smile on his face, curled up against Alec.

And if one of them noticed how Alec’s hand slipped under his husband’s shirt... Then landed on the bump to feel both the omega and the babies inside... No one would’ve been foolish enough to tease him about it.

For a few more stolen moments everything was perfect in their world.

Chapter Text

/ Maryse had never, ever been as terrified as she was after Alec almost jumped from Magnus’ balcony. And when the first shock started to fade she realized that the warlock she despised was the one who saved him. She had no idea how to fit that together with the view she had of the world.

She heard from Izzy that Alec planned to spend the night at Magnus’ apartment. Maryse and Jace were still too emotionally raw to have the proper talk they needed. So she decided to make sure that her oldest was safe and alright instead. She would’ve much rather seen Alec being cared for at the Institute than by a Downworlder. Especially after she learned of the other warlock’s attack.

The loft was in a state of chaos. A broken book shelve... Traces of magical attacks everywhere... Magnus had clearly prioritized something else over cleaning up. The bedroom door was slightly ajar. Dreading what she might intrude on, Maryse peered in despite a voice of reason screaming at her to stop.

As it turned out Alec was perfectly fine and sleeping peacefully. (She didn’t think she’d ever seen him appear so at ease.) His shirt was a wrinkly mess from how determinedly he’d snuggled against Magnus. The omega hummed softly and seemed to whisper something every now and then while combing his fingers through her boy’s already ruffled hair. As much as Maryse tried to see some vile trick or dark magic, all she found from the older man’s eyes was adoration.

Magnus truly, honestly loved Alec, and she had no idea what to make of the realization.

Although Magnus’ wards had probably reported her arrival, it wasn’t until then he lifted his gaze to meet her eyes. When they looked at each other she felt like she was seeing him for the first time. They exchanged a nod of mutual understanding before she closed the room’s door and turned to leave.

First, however, Maryse made her way to the balcony. Her stomach lurched from guilt when she found the still wrapped present Magnus gave Max on the floor, where her son left it carelessly. She picked it up and cradled it close, a searing sensation taking over her eyes.

Maryse almost lost Alec that night. Jace might never forgive her for what Max revealed. She insulted Magnus and encouraged Max to do the same after the warlock arranged a beautiful party and welcomed them to his home.

She gave the abandoned gift another sad look, then glanced towards the railing Alec nearly threw himself over, and vowed to do better as a mother.

Alec jolted awake when the apartment’s door closed. Magnus’ gentle hand in his hair helped him calm down. “Maryse stopped by. I think she wanted to make sure you’re alright.” It sounded curiously like a question.

Alec inhaled deeply, finding further comfort from the omega’s scent. He didn’t exactly want to have this talk but knew they needed to. “Magnus, I’m okay, I swear. It was just the spell. I’d never...” He couldn’t quite bring himself to finish.

Magnus was silent for a long moment. “As much as I’d want to be convinced, we both know that spells can’t create feelings from thin air. They can only strengthen emotions that are already there.” A steady, secure arm pulled him close. “I believe it when you say that you don’t experience those urges actively right now. But if you ever do, I need you to talk to me. Because... I’ve been through it myself, and I’d never judge you.”

A jolt of shock and sadness went through Alec. That definitely wasn’t what he would’ve guessed of a man who always seemed radiant and larger than life. “Magnus...!”

“I didn’t tell you because I wanted to scare you or make you feel bad.” Magnus kissed his cheek. “I just want you to know that I understand. And whatever happens, you won’t have to go through it alone.”

Alec couldn’t quite recognize the feeling swelling in his chest. He’d never experienced anything so strong. At the end of such an awful day it was like soothing balm. /

/

Magnus woke up with a loud, strangled gasp and sat up so quickly that the whole world spun in front of his eyes. No matter how many panting breaths he tried to pull in, none of them seemed to get where they were supposed to. He was a barely breathing, moist eyed, trembling mess, and couldn’t get himself under control. Inside him the twins were kicking a frantic storm.

“Hey, hey.” Of course his distress had woken up Alec when it radiated through their bond. The sleepy Shadowhunter sat slowly and wrapped an arm around him. The simple physical contact was wonderfully grounding. “What’s going on?”

Magnus shook his head. Mainly at himself and his hormones. “I just... had one of those ridiculous nightmares. I’ll be fine in a minute.”

“Okay.” Alec processed his cryptic, evasive answer for a moment. “In that case I’ll wait for you to be fine with you.”

Grateful and humiliatingly in need of comfort, Magnus leaned against his beloved’s warmth and closed his eyes. In the meantime Alec’s strong, steady hand rubbed soothing circles on his aching back. It took less than thirty seconds before the warlock was close to falling asleep. The babies also relaxed, anxious kicks transforming to far more pleasant little flutters.

“Which one was it?” Alec inquired quietly upon noticing that he’d calmed down.

Magnus didn’t want to talk about it but he was coherent enough to understand that he needed to. He nuzzled his head against his husband’s neck. “I wasn’t fast enough and you fell.”

Alec shivered barely noticeably. It took a long moment before the alpha found his voice. “It’s been a while since you last had that one.”

Magnus sighed heavily. “I know. I thought I’d never have another one of those.” He huffed irritably. “Stupid hormones.”

“It was just a bad dream.” Alec kissed his hair. “I’m not going anywhere. Ever.” That was how strong their bond was. It made the Inquisitor immortal. Not invincible – no one was – but immortal.

Magnus took his mate’s hand and squeezed it as firmly as he could without causing pain. Alec returned the gesture. The sound their matching rings made upon brushing together was like a relieved sigh. Breathing became easy again.

Alec gave him some time to unwind fully. “Your back is as hard as stone.” (Another part of the mage was hard as well, but they’d get to that later.) “Can I try something?”

“Of course.” Magnus wiggled his eyebrows suggestively. “You know that I’m never against a good bedroom experiment.”

Alec chuckled, then shifted so that the taller man sat behind him. “I’m not a massage therapist, but... Maybe I can help, at least a little.” It was adorable how someone could sound determined and shy at the same time. “You’ll... let me know if I do something that doesn’t feel right, won’t you?” That was the deal they’d had from the start, although usually it applied to far steamier activities.

“I will”, Magnus swore softly.

Alec started tentatively. The motions gained some new confidence when Magnus moaned from pleasure before realizing that the sound was coming. A knot after a knot received a tender but resolute handling. By the time Alec was done the omega was close to a state of nirvana. “That was heavenly”, Magnus slurred, his eyes closed. “Thank you.”

Alec hummed. “How many times do I have to remind you?” Those words were far too soft to be an actual scolding. “You never have to thank me for taking care of you.”

Relaxed enough to be practically boneless, Magnus melted to his beloved’s secure arms. Alec was more than happy to collect him and they made themselves comfortable on the bed. Their gently joined hands said what they didn’t quite have the words for.

I’m glad you didn’t jump.

I’m glad you didn’t, either.

/

Later that same week Jace was a little worried when Alec moved funnily during their sparring session. His brother was clearly stiff and sore. Concern turned into suspicion when he began to notice how obscenely... satisfied the Inquisitor also was. Around then he remembered a chapter from a pregnancy book he’d flipped through in order to be a better support system for Alec and his brother-in-law. “I take it you’re getting first-hand experience on the positive impacts of pregnancy hormones?”

The shy, self-conscious boy Alec once was would’ve blushed radiantly and stuttered. The man he’d grown up to be shrugged, his poker face flawless. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Jace snorted. He was barely fast enough to dodge an attack. “Of course you don’t.”

Another ten minutes later Alec received a fire message. A very telling spark lit up in the man’s eyes. “It’s Magnus.” His brother grimaced apologetically. (The reaction might’ve been caused partially by stretching of certain areas when he picked up a towel.) “Sorry to cut this short.”

“No you’re not”, Jace argued with a grin. It was good to see his parabatai so happy. He preferred not thinking about the cause of that joy further.

“No I’m not”, Alec confessed with a smirk that was only one part sheepish.

Alec hurried to leave, whistling as he did. There was a skip and a curious limp in his steps while he rushed away. Magnus’ message was definitely a booty call, Jace was sure of it.

“Have fun”, Jace couldn’t resist teasing. “Just spare me the details.”

Alec only whistled louder.

/

A couple of days later Alec was tense and in a bad mood from several endless, frustrating meetings. His temper improved immediately when he opened the loft’s door and heard laughter. Apparently they had the kind of a visitor he certainly didn’t mind.

“That’s so cool!” Max’s eyes shone from excitement while he pressed his hand just a little tighter against Magnus’ bump. “Does it hurt?”

Magnus smiled softly. “Not really, it just feels strange.” The warlock leaned closer conspiratorially. “They really like Alec. They always move differently when he’s talking or touches me.”

That revelation made a splash of warmth go all the way through Alec. The thought that their little ones already knew him and seemed to love him... It made him ridiculously proud.

Alec was about to make his presence known until his husband went on. “I’m glad that you decided to stop by. It’s been far too long from your last visit.” Magnus tilted his head. “But I have a feeling that you want to get something off your chest. And I’m guessing that it’s why you came so early that Alec wouldn’t be home yet.”

Max looked down. The boy seemed embarrassed. “I know that it was a long time ago, but... I wanted to thank you for the rune party. And for that awesome blade you got me as a gift. I’m sorry for the way I treated you back then.”

Magnus appeared surprised, amused and touched. “You’re welcome, Max. Although you hardly need to thank me for a party that ended in a disaster.” The mage mused for a moment. “And I accept your apology. We all make some mistakes when we’re young.”

Max thought about that. “Did you? I mean, make mistakes when you were young?” It was asked with utterly innocent curiosity.

Magnus nodded, and Alec was pleased to notice that his beloved didn’t look ashamed of himself. (There was no point in torturing oneself over things that happened hundreds of years ago.) “I did a lot of things I’m not proud of before I grew up and began to see the world for what it is. The important thing is that we learn from our mistakes.” A tiny smile was offered. “I’m honored that you’ve accepted me as a part of your family.”

“Of course I did.” Max didn’t seem to even consider any other alternative. “You’re the best thing that’s ever happened to Alec. Mom helped me get that.”

Magnus’ eyes weren’t dry when he hugged Max, and neither were Alec’s.

“Please don’t tell Alec that I made you cry.” Max’s eyes widened from alarm. “He’s so protective of you that Simon’s scared of him.” (Was it wrong that hearing those words pleased Alec?)

Magnus chuckled. “I doubt he could ever yell at you. But it’s a deal.”

/

The following day was painfully long. It didn’t help that through most of it Braxton Hicks contractions had plagued Magnus, making it impossible to relax for even a second. His swollen, sore feet and equally achy back made him grumpier. Eventually he admitted defeat, cancelled a meeting and headed home, where he’d hopefully get some rest.

Unfortunately fate had other plans. Almost as soon as he made it home he got a phone call that made him frown. “Lydia?” While they were on friendly terms, they didn’t exactly ring each other spontaneously. “What...?”

Oh, thank the Angel...!” Lydia’s relief was audible. “Are you okay? I thought you’d be here by now.

Magnus’ blood ran cold. “Why... would I be there?” Several unpleasant possibilities flooded to his mind.

Lydia swore under her breath. “The medical team swore that they’d let you know...!” She sighed. “Magnus, I need you to stay calm, okay? For the babies.” The pause was torturous. “It’s Alec.

Magnus wished, from the bottom of his suddenly hammering heart, that it was all just another nightmare – it wasn’t.