The train had been busy, and Magnus had been extremely close to turning around and yelling at the mother who had thought it was okay to let her two small kids run up and down the carriage screaming. It was the middle of the night. There had been an announcement telling people to be quiet so others could sleep. So that people like Magnus- who had had a working day today, and had another working day in about six hours, would be able to sleep.
He hadn’t turned around, however, and he had managed to get a couple hours of blissful unconsciousness. So at least it wasn’t too bad.
And now Magnus was walking up the platform, dragging an increasingly heavy suitcase full of clothes and christmas presents. Around him were were other tired adults, and a few children sporting santa hats and loud voices. Now he was off the train, Magnus could appreciate how cute they were being. It was cute, and it made him miss his kids even more. This week had been so hard.
Alec had sent pictures, and they’d even managed an hour face timing each other once every other day, but Magnus missed his family. Really, a week wasn’t that long in the grand scheme of things, but it felt like eternity. After all, they were only five and three years old. A week probably was eternity for them. Not to mention that he had missed their Christmas play. And now they were probably in bed, and he’d still have to wait hours to see them.
He sighed, adjusting the strap of his backpack and overtaking an older couple. Passport control, and then another train home. One hour, maximum. He could definitely do that. Then he would quietly let himself in the house, slide into the covers next to Alexander, and wake up a few hours later. Max and Raphael would be really happy to see him, but would have to go to school… Still. Being able to hug them would be enough to keep Magnus smiling for the entire day.
And as for being able to kiss Alexander…
How could the line for passport control already be this long? His daydream about being woken up by Alexander’s soft lips against his own was rudely interrupted by the sight of the mile long queue spanning in front of him. This was a disaster. It was the 20th of December. How could the train station not have realised that there would be a lot of people coming home for the holiday? How did they not prepare for this better?
To pass the time, Magnus looked down at his phone. No new texts from Alexander. The last one he’d received was at ten pm, when his husband had sent him a picture of the boys in their pyjamas and wished Magnus a safe journey. Come back to me soon xx , the last line read. Magnus would be lying if he said reading that hadn’t caused butterflies.
Finally, Magnus was through passport control and slowly making his way down the white corridors of the train station. Of course he had been pulled over for a ‘random’ search, which had taken forever. Thank god he had been relatively quick to join the queue. If he’d been at the back of the queue, and then had been pulled over? Magnus would have probably cried. Which would have sparked even more suspicion in the security guards. Fucking ridiculous.
But now he was free. Thirty minutes after getting off the train, he was actually close to the exit. Just a few more ambiguous halls to walk down with everyone else before finally, finally, being back into the open air and out of this weird, dream like reality where everyone wears sweatpants and hoodies and shuffles around like the undead.
“Papa!” He heard the voice mere moments before feeling a small body catapulting into him and holding onto his legs for dear life. Magnus looked down, his tired brain not quite computing what was happening, and saw his little blueberry hugging him. Stopping dead, he opened his mouth, but nothing came out. Max was here?
“Papa!” Came another voice, and suddenly Magnus was being hugged by both of his kids. He still couldn’t truly comprehend what was happening, but instinct had kicked in he was crouching down to properly hug them. They smelt of home, but also of car and hot chocolate. “You’re back!”
“I’m back,” was his reply, his voice embarrassingly watery. Pulling back, he finally took in the sight of his baby boys, grinning up at him. They were in pyjamas- the same ones as the photo Alec had sent- but were also wearing welly boots. Raphael’s dinosaur teddy bear lay forlornly on the floor beside them, and Max had a blanket tied around him like a cape. Adorable did not even start to describe the sight of them. “Did you miss me?”
“Don’t leave again,” Max said, words slurred. His eyelids were drooping even as he spoke, and Magnus steadied him. “Daddy can’t cook mac and cheese.” Raphael nodded seriously in agreement, and Magnus couldn’t help the small laugh that escaped his lips. His heart was bursting from the surprise of having his boys here.
“Daddy really did try though,” came a much deeper voice, and Magnus instantly looked up to see Alexander standing in front of them. A small smile played on his lips, and as Magnus looked at him, Alec mouthed, “I love you.” Magnus mouthed the same back, warmth truly spreading through his bones. Screw actual presents, this was the best Christmas present.
“Alright,” Magnus smiled, standing up. Max was clinging onto him so hard that Magnus decided to keep carrying him, and Raphael was not letting go of his leg. “Hey, Raph?” The boy looked up at him, eyes wide. Despite it being almost impossible, his arms tightened. “If Daddy can take my backpack, would you want a piggy back ride?”
Raphael’s nod was so fast Magnus giggled again.
He almost sighed in relief when Alec took the backpack off his shoulders. Raphael was on his back in seconds, however, arms wrapping around his neck in an almost choke hold. “Loosen those arms a little for me, Raph,” he croaked out, starting to stumble down the rest of the corridor. Alec was walking a little in front of them with Magnus’ bag. They hadn’t said hello properly yet, but Magnus knew that as soon as they were in the car their kids would be fast asleep. They could talk then.
“So, tell me about the school play,” Magnus said softly. He knew his boys would be able to tell him more details tomorrow, when they were fully awake, but Magnus really wanted to talk with them now. It felt like his heart had been restored. Screw the annoying children from the train. This night was the best night ever.
“It was really good,” Raphael said, right into his ear. “But Maisie forgot her lines and was crying. But then Mrs Hunter same and held up the lines she had to say. But she was crying too hard. But then Rachel took off her santa beard and read her lines for her. She’s super cool and thought my performance as narrator 4 was good.” Magnus smiled, Alec glancing back and grinning at them.
“You and Max were awesome,” he added. “And don’t worry Magnus, they promised to perform a few songs for you after dinner tomorrow.” In his arms, Max perked up at the sound of that, almost knocking into Magnus’ chin.
“Yeah!” He said loudly. “We’re gonna wear our costumes and everything. Daddy can play the piano, but he isn’t allowed to join in and sing.” His eyes were already drooping again, but Magnus smiled.
Then they were at the car, and Alec was quietly opening the trunk and putting in all of Magnus’ stuff. Magnus stayed put as his sleeping children were gently pried off him and placed into the back seats by his husband. His body ached like hell, and all he wanted to do was curl up and sleep forever.
But there was something more important to do. Before Alec could go round to the driver’s side of the car and get in, Magnus grabbed his hand. It was cold and made Magnus shiver, but he still dragged the taller man towards him. “Hey,” he whispered, almost silently.
“Hey,” Alec whispered back, placing his other hand on Magnus’ waist. “Missed you.”
“Missed you too,” Magnus said, and leant forward to kiss him. His lips were soft and warm, and Magnus melted. He was home.