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~I~

 

“Tell me again,”

“I told him—Fuck—Off,” Magnus preens as he snags away one of the dulcet treats baked by Raphael—The head chef of the prestigious hotel holding this year’s correspondence dinner.

Clary nearly cowers over with the laughter wracking her dainty form.

“Your idiocy does realize that such crassness will not help you in your business endeavors, si?”

“Ouch, Hey!” Magnus pouts as he rubs the hand his so called friend had just smacked away from a new tray of goodies. “That wasn’t very nice Raphe. And yeah but I don’t give one single fuck if my whole website goes under. I refuse to perpetuate that garbage man’s propaganda about how we as a society should be deathly afraid of “the gays,” and “Women having a mind.” As if we’re meant to be stuck in the 1950s for the rest of our lives.”

“Dios Magnus it’s not like I believe a fuck of that bullshit, But I’m just saying that the revenue from Morgenstern’s adverts could’ve taken Downworlders to the same status as one of those snooty Harolds.”

“Well I think you made a brilliant decision Mags!” Clary crows in contrary.

“I can always rely on you being on my side biscuit.”

“Fine, don’t listen to the accounting major,” Raphael snarls while lifting a newly completed tray for the wealthy guests meandering around the flamboyant ballroom.

“Which you promptly quit to pursue your culinary dreams. Admit it Raphe your secretly proud of my impeccable ethics” Magnus waves a finger around his face, sporting a cheerful grin all the while.

He only just misses Raphael’s snapping teeth.

“Well I should mosey on out, and leave you to your quarrels.” Clary attempts to sneak away leisurely as she pecks a kiss onto her de facto brother’s Cheek, running a hand down to smooth down her ruffled, black dress.

“Off too chat up that delightful Lightwood girl whom you continue to pretend as if your not enthralled with,” Raphael leers—Just slightly avoiding the punch Clary aims at his retreating back.

“God he’s such a dick! Why are we even friends with him again?”

The ghost of a grin flickers across his face, but Magnus opts to only give her a noncommittal shrug. “Everyone needs the brooding, emo kid in their group.”

“Well I think I can get Simon to adopt the skinny jeans and Noreen has the snark down pat.”

“Come on Clary it’s not like I believe him,” Magnus snickers with a jostle of her shoulder. “I mean if you had any contact with the worst family to have ever lived—I think you’d tell me.”

“Ah right—Of course, the Lightwoods are just a bunch of spoiled, closed minded jackoffs.”

A flush of pink colors her cheeks, but for Clary’s sake Magnus takes it as a trick of the light, and waves her off to conduct whatever it was that she needed to head off too. He slips out his sleek laptop from his satchel—IF he’s gonna be stuck helping Raphael here all god damn night he might as well get some work done for himself while he was at it.

Humming to life, Magnus opens a tab to the front page of Downworlders. scanning over the most recently published column by one of his most decorated investigative reporters—Dot Rollins—A peace exposing the hazardous conditions of a significant portion of the state’s Foster care system. (A tucked away travesty that has touched Magnus personally.)

Moving to shoot Dot an email, one praising her once again for what she has worked to uncover, Magnus startles back by the sound of an interloper.

“Cool,” the shaggy haired child marvels as he basks in the sight of the array of immaculately decorated sweets and delectable hors d’oeuvres which are stacked up against the walls of the imposing kitchen.

Magnus narrows his eyes towards the nuisance—If the golden cufflinks or embroidered pocket square are anything to go by, this is inevitably one of the all too snotty douches kid—And Raphael may be one of his best friends, but Magnus never agreed to baby sit some cretin in training.

“Hey pipsqueak, I assume you can read. So you do understand that this room is off limits for non employees.”

His nostrils flare in the sort of way that only happens when someone is rarely told “no.” (If this small burst of asswholeness performed by Magnus helps sculpt this kid’s outlook in life to realize that he may not get any little thing he’d like just because of the amount of zeros in his trust fund—Well Magnus is more than proud to do his civil duty.

Skewering Magnus with a look that he swears was perfected by the ancient monks of yore. He parts his lips to surely bombard him with a whole array of expletives that a child of his age should never even be privy to, but then a moment passes and his big, caff like eyes widen in realization.

“I know you!”

“No, I’m quite positive you don’t.”

“No, no dude I do!” The now far too excitable kid squawks with a manic gleam in his round orbs. “You’re Magnus Bane! My mom hate’s your guts!”

Magnus can’t say he wasn’t more than a bit smug knowing that some old, rich twat spent her days lamenting over his editorial. “Is that right?”

he bounces into the stool besides Magnus. “I’m Max!”

“Ah right—Well Max what I said before yet stands, you aren’t allowed to be back here.”

“Ah come on Magnus,” he pleads with a pout—And sure the kid is cute but he’s also a rich brat, and Magnus holds no patience for anyone who would throw a fit if their father accidentally bought them a red Mercedes Benz over a black one.

“But what of your mother! What would she do if she were ever to find out that you’re speaking with a abomination such as myself?”

“I dunno…But she also hates my Mangas,” Max tacks on frankly. “And besides Izzy always talks about how mom’s probably wrong about 110% of the things she makes laws about.”

Shut up, Magnus did not chuckle at that—He is most definitely not forming some sort of weird kinship with this Max kid.

“Izzy?”

“Yeah she’s my sister. She’s how I know about you. She thinks your awesome and really pro-prago-prog”

“Progressive?”

“Yeah! That!” Max exclaims. “She thinks it’s really funny when you make fun of our parents especially.”

Magnus parts his lips to ask Max who exactly his ominous parents are—Maybe he can give him a shout-out the next time he’s ripping either of them to shreds.

“Max!” someone yells out as he clammers into the kitchen, (And honestly does no one understand the word’s off limits.”

But then Magnus glances over to the door—And hello—

Magnus’s mouth runs dry.

That “someone,” was more specifically, a 6’3, 180 pound adonis who is currently panting in a way that makes Magnus react unfairly quick.

“Max what the hell, I was worried sick.” The aforementioned adonis straightens—And well yup—He’s all long limbs, and Kaleidoscope eyes, and lips that really honest to god should be outlawed to being placed on such a glorious creature.

“Alec! Alec look! I met Magnus Bane! Izzy is going to be so jealous!”

At that, Alec jerks back, as if personally fronted by the introduction.

“Oh yeah, I forgot you think he’s cute—“

“Max!” Alec interjects crossly, his cheeks blazing with a fetching scarlet. “Come on. You’ve bothered Magnus enough for one night, and besides Senator Branwell wants to say hi.”

“More like he wants dad to sign him some stupid bill,” Max scoffs—And yeah, Magnus really might kinda like this kid.

“Come on smart ass, if you play nice I’ll take you and Jace for ice cream later tonight.”

“Oh cool!” Max leaps from his chair, a halfhearted wave and promise to see him around tossed Magnus’s way. effectively leaving him alone with whom Magnus can only assume is his gorgeous older brother.

“I’m really sorry if he bothered you,” Alec ducks down sheepishly, scratching the back of his head as he averts his gaze. “He’s to smart for his age, and too stubborn for what’s good for him.”

“A lethal combination,” Magnus quips. And if he feels butterflies when Alec matches him with a splendid grin of his own—Well that is just for him to know.

“Alec,” he holds out his hand.

“Magnus.”

They don’t move for a long while—They just stand their, hands interlocked, and breaths hitched—And if Magnus were given the choice to just stand their for the next eon, counting out each fleck of green that dances in Alec’s hazel eyes…Well Magnus wouldn’t be opposed to the thought.

“Am I interrupting something?”

Magnus really, really hates Raphael sometimes.

“Oh, ah no, no.” Alec flusters, and Magnus thinks it might be cuter than him being all strong and protective over his younger brother. “I ah should go check if Max hasn’t burned down the hotel yet.” With a flimsy chortle, and longing look directed towards Magnus—The far too charming Alec stumbles out.

Magnus nearly leaps right out of his pants in his hurry to cuff Raphael in the back of the head.

“Ayyyy!”

“Watch if I ever cover for you eye-fucking Simon again you ungrateful little prick!”

“hey I was just looking out for you—I mean I’m surprised you didn’t tear out the bastard’s throat with your teeth.”

“And why pray tell would I ever do that when I would much rather be using my teeth too do other things with that gorgeous man!”

“Dios, you don’t know, do you?” Raphael is practically gleaming with smugness.

“Know what?”

“That was Alexander Lightwood—The heir of the Lightwood dynasty—Ya know your sworn enemies?”

Magnus practically deflates in an instant.

“Oh—“

 

~II~

 

“You’ll be on Maher on the 19th, I’ll send you the info about the topic and other guests,” his agent informs Magnus through the phone.

“Ah come on Imogen, he’s such a dick. Can’t you land me on Colbert or The Daily Show.”

“Just focus on one thing at a time Bane,” Imogen fumes shrilly, cutting the line before Magnus could even think of a worthy retort.

It still makes Magnus’s head hurt thinking of just how extensively Downworlders has grown sense it was leaked that he refused the business advances of media tycoon Valentine Morgenstern. And suddenly in a years time his ragtag team of freshly graduated communication majors, and a webpage he pleaded for Ragnor to build him was now one of the most visited cites in America, and five other European nations—It gives Magnus vertigo if he thinks of it for too long—All he knows is now people refer to him as Mr. Bane more often than not, and now he needs a scheduling assistant, an agent, and a publicists. (Once he had Tessa to do all of that for him while juggling med school and two boyfriends.)

“Are you gonna finish that?”

With a start, Magnus finds Max Lightwood pointing at his freshly purchased tater tots.

The light tuffs of early snow fall flies around the thirteen year old, but through the myst Magnus supposes he looks much of the same. (Save for the holiday hat obscuring his messy locks, and his face losing a layer of that endearing baby fat.

“Max?”

With a peevish role of the eyes, the youngest Lightwood child snatches the tray and begins devouring Magnus’s lunch. “You look like you’ve scene a ghost…Are you taken aback to how handsome I’ve become?”

“Ah…Not quite,” Magnus deadpans.

“Whatever,” Max sneers. “Amelia Wayland thinks I’m the cutest boy in our class.”

“Lovely—But may I ask what you’re doing here eating the food that I paid with my well earned money. (Not that you know anything of that of course.)”

“Izzy said that after her karate class she’d take me to Rockefeller to go iceskating.” Max explains, obviously disregarding his snide quip.

“And you decided to bother me because…”

“Didn’t ya miss me?” His smile is all teeth and sparkling eyes. “And besides Iz is gonna freak when I bring you with me to meet her after her lesson.”

Magnus cranes his brows in shock. “And who ever claimed I was to do such a thing?”

Max peers up at him through his long lashes—And seriously fuck all the Lightwood’s for looking like actual god damn angels. (Even the blonde, arrogant one who once offered to give Magnus his autograph during a luncheon.)

“Everyone loves Izzy.”

“Well forgive me if I’m not quite so inclined to gallivant with the Lightwood clan.”

At that Max’s expression widens in shock, as if Magnus had just smacked him senseless. But then it hardens almost immediately, a feral sort of snarl taking over his once open and playful expression. “You know you talk a big game, but it looks like you judge people for their name just as quickly as how the people you criticize do it with skin color or religion.”

“Excuse me—“

“Izzy’s the best person in the world and now you’ll never know!” Max all but shouts with a flailing of the arms. And with that he pivots around to march away.

And yeah.

Magnus feels like complete and utter shit.

 

~III~

 

“I’ll be right back with your drinks,” the waitress chirps as she shuffles back to place their orders.

Magnus slouches back in his seat as his gaze glides over the posh decorations adorning the walls of Alicante—Only the most esteemed dining establishment in all of New York.

The pale light from above pours over Camille’s face. And Magnus absently thinks of how pretty she is. The sort of pretty that’s timeless. With her aristocratic brows, oval face, and bow shaped lips—Camille Belcourt is surely the closest amalgamation of every little girl’s fantasies of a real life princess—Now if only she shared the kind spirit and scintillating brilliance that the Disney ingenues are idealized for.

Camille is the new, fresh face of mainstream, establishment media, so but of course Imogen had thunk it brilliant for he and the brunette to be photographed together—And perhaps even start up some rumored attraction. The only problem with the plan being how unbearably pretentious and entirely dull he finds her.

“Magnus dearest, don’t slouch in public. It’ll make you seem pudgy in the photos that the paparazzi take.” She croons, her voice ringing in his ears as the exact antithesis of something wonderful.

“Christ, what a travesty that would be.”

She sneers at his dry wit, Camille subscribing to the way of thought that believes sarcasm to being the lowest form of comedy. “I’m going to the pouter room, don’t start dinner without me love.”

Her kiss leaves a scorching mark, as if he could feel every falsehood she has ever uttered, and the phantom of her morals that she had readily tossed away for the spotlight.

Magnus scrubs his cheek until it’s raw.

“You can do better.”

Magnus almost double takes at the sound of Max, who collapses into the seat that had once been occupied by his “date.”

It’s been months sense their spat outside Grand Central Terminal, and sure he’s seen the now fourteen year old in a couple soiree speckled here and there, thanks to his new found fame, but he’s never had a chance to apologize. (And the kick is Magnus doesn’t even really realize why he feels so indebted to the kid.)

“Tell me about it…So, you’re not still mad?” Magnus surmises, watching as he butters a roll.

“You’re still a dick, but I get it. The Lightwood’s aren’t exactly known for our charitable givings.”

“Yes, well I’d say your more synonymous with prejudice and hate speech.”

“Hey,” Max gesticulates with the knife he was in the midst of using. “Just cause I forgive you doesn’t mean you can keep on being a dick.”

Magnus throws his arms in surrender. “Right, I get it, my bad.”

The little bastard leers and goes back to partaking in the appetizers.

“So can I ask what you’re doing here, considering that I think you’re still a bit young to be on a hot date yourself…Unless of course things with little Ms. Amelia have gone well.”

“Ew no way, It’s all about Marcy Cartwright now. And no I’m not here with her, my dad’s schmoozing some prick to donate more money to his campaign. But I don’t see why, I mean Raj is gonna give him all the money in the world considering how bad he’s got it for Alec.”

Magnus chokes down the tonic he was drinking—He’s known about Robert Lightwood’s intentions for running for office for months at this point. He’s personally eviscerated the very thought, rebuking the abhorrent ways that the Lightwood family—The epitome of the one percent of one percent—Has donated an exuberant amount of money to groups whom supported the repugnant bathroom laws commanding for one to only identify as the sex on their birth certificate, (As if the “heathens” intended on doing more than shit and go,) and efforts to shut down Planned Parenthood clinics all across the country—No it wasn’t the fact that Robert Lightwood was meeting with one of his wealthy benefactors , Magnus should expect as much considering America’s fucked up election laws, but it was the fact that Max had so blatantly commented on that donator’s attraction towards his brother—As if it was not one of the things the Lightwood dynasty has built their name upon going against.

“Ah, so how is your eldest brother.”

Max’s eyes shone with something mischievous. “You like him don’t you.”

“Ah-what-Who—What—How“

“it’s fine,” Max waves away his sputtering. “Alec gets heart eyes whenever he watches you on TV or reads your work.”

“Wait—-Really? Is he here?” God damn Max Lightwood for giving Magnus the idea that there could actually be something with Alec.

“Yup,” he pops. “But he’s gonna be real depressed when he finds out your here on a date with some mean broad. Oh look he’s coming our way now.”

Magnus swivels back, and sure enough, there he was. Small smile playing on his sultry lips, and dressed to the nines—God help Magnus with this far too etherial man who’s walking his way right now.

“Hey big bro, Bye Magnus. Be sure not to drool to hard dude,” he mutters conspiratorially with a patting on his back.

Magnus flips him off.

Alec’s peal of laughter is worth the little shit’s teasing.

“Max really likes you,” he tells him once reaching the table.

“You could’ve fooled me.”

Magnus almost staggers back at how warm the smile Alec’s giving him is, and it’s like something blossoms in his chest. And god damn Alexander Gideon Lightwood could probably be the death of him.

“Ah so your hear to help haggle with your dad?” Magnus tries to ignore how his skin is prickling by merely the close proximity of him.

“Depends,” he snarks. “Will it be on the front page of Downwolrders if I say yes?”

“Alexander I think you know as well as I that that America’s corruption has become a non story at this point.”

“I never took you for a cynic Bane.”

“I prefer realist.”

“Well it’s a good thing we have people like you to keep us on our toes then.”

“Or knees, if you prefer.”

Magnus hates himself, he does. But it was right there, and Alec is just so god damn pretty. And how could he not make the innuendo…It’s not as if he even feels the same sort of raw attraction—Besides, it’ll probably b for the better if he never speaks to Magnus again for what must be considered sexual harassment.

But then his flabbergasted expression melts into a real, voice rippling, eyes shining laugh.

So but of course Camille decides to strut there way that exact moment. “Alexander Lightwood,” she pers. “What an honor.” And just as quick as it took for Alec to melt into a comfortable camaraderie with Magnus, it took just as quick for him to stiffen, and fall back to the shadows.

“Camille Belcourt, you may recognize me from being the third most watch anchor in all of primetime news.”

“I’m sorry, I’ve never really busied myself with watching diatribes against my family.”

“But you recognize my date?” She needles.

Magnus caught the slightest shutter passing through Alec, (Something that was barely imperceptible if one was not looking as closely at him as Magnus was—And shut up he wasn’t being a creep Alec is just extremely pleasant too look at. sue him.) Magnus really, really wants to correct her, and tell Alec how he doesn’t even really like Camille and how he would much prefer sneaking into the middle of the woods with some Ben and Jerry's and ride each other’s dicks all night long with the moonlight accentuating his angelic face—Okay maybe not that last part but something close.

“I suppose I prefer my news sources to have their own voice rather than being speaking puppets,” Alec informs her without even a flinch. “Magnus maybe we can get a drink sometime?”

Fuck—There was no way around it—Alec Lightwood was asking Magnus out in front of his current date right after he exalting Magnus’s work.

“I’d love to.”

“Great.”

Magnus promptly relishes in watching Alec’s ass, (One chiseled by the god’s,) walking away, asks for the bill, and never speaks to Camille again.

 

~IV~

 

Sometimes Magnus ponders to himself what kind of person his mother was before her death. He remembers snippets of her singing to him, and swinging around their cramped Brooklyn apartment with him on her feet. He remembers the pretty headscarfs she dawned, and her melodic laughter. And sometimes when he visits an authentic Indonesian restaurant, he’s thrusted back into a time where the aroma of spices and vegetables made it so a warmth spreads through his body while she would regale Magnus of stories of how good of a man his father had once been, and how he had his same brown eyes.

It was those memories of his small, poor family that had gotten Magnus through even the most brutal of times in his numerous Foster homes—Her loving grin always puts Magnus into perspective. And now, as he looks down at the contract in his hands, Magnus thinks of what his mother would think—And whether or not she’d be proud of the man he has become.

“It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity,” Catarina pipes out, sitting opposite him in the corner office.

“Yeah, but my own show.”

“You’d be brilliant at it Mags, I’ve known that you’re destined for greatness since we were in the fifth grade and you first moved in with the Garroway-Frays.”

He gives her a tepid grin. “Thanks Cat, but it’s just a lot.”

She levels him with a look of understanding—Because Catarina Loss has always been the guiding light in Magnus’s mess of a life. “Whatever you choose Mags, I’ll always be here for you.”

“I know,” he sits besides her on the love-seat and squeezes Catarina’s hand, hoping to distill into her all the love and support she has given him over the years of their friendship.

“Ah Magnus you have a visitor,” his assistant interrupts before scurrying away, and Magnus really shouldn’t be surprised in finding Max Lightwood standing their in all his teenage smugness.

“Do I need to get a restraining order?”

“Please,” he scoffs. “You love me Bane.”

“Oh dear boy you really should invest in a dictionary.” Catarina chuckles before kissing him farewell and promising to continue their conversation after her rounds at the hospital.

“What conversation?” Max prods while collapsing into the seat in front of Magnus’s desk—And really do all Lightwoods have to have impossibly long legs—It’s honestly not fair for all the other lowly mortals.

“None of your business pipsqueak.”

“You can’t call me that anymore Bane! I’m almost taller than your ass now.”

“The operative word in that sentence is almost Lightwood,” Magnus jeers while lounging back in his seat.

“Whatever bastard, I’m actually not hear to add onto your already extensive collection of gray hairs.”

It’s a primal instinct when Magnus runs a hand through his yet thick strands—Damn that fucker who’s got him doubting himself now. “Max I’m about to press a button so that the floor opens up and you fall into my pool of alligators if you don’t tell me why the hell you’re hear in the next five seconds.”

“Wait!”

“Five.”

“You have one of those?”

“Four.”

“Magnus!”

“Three.”

“Oh fine you prick, I have a school project.”

“And this effects me how?”

“Cause—It’s something where we have to interview someone—For something—You know—“

“Wait!” Magnus’s eyebrows shoot up in shock. “Wait-Wait! This is one of those fluff pieces where you have to interview someone you admire!” He cackles.

“Whatever ass.”

“OH my god, you admire me?” Magnus manages out amidst his booming laughter—And swears that tears are starting to form.

“Fucker are you gonna help me out or not!” Max fumes.

“okay, okay I just need a minute.”

“Yeah it’s not like you're a CEO or anything—Take all the time yo need to mortify me.” Max mutters disdainfully.

“Okay—Okay,” he chuckles out. “I’m ready.”

“Finally,” Max huffs while preparing to articulate his first question.

“NO! Wait! I Just need to hear you say it!” Max hikes up a brow in question. “You know, say that you admire me.”

“Fine never mind I’m over this shit, I’ll go interview the god damn ice cream man down the street.”

“Okay fine, Fineeee, just ask.”

He eyes him steadily, ensuring that Magnus actually means it this time—Which he does—In truth Magnus is kind of flattered that the kid actually chose him.

“Okay, so what made you choose journalism.”

“Hmmm, I dunno…I guess it was after I saw this jack ass get away with beating up my pal Raphael and I just couldn’t believe that this man who was suppose to be a Foster parent could get away with something so awful—So I just wanted to see to it that the truth is exposed always.”

“Woah, intense,” Max gawks.

“I’m an intense kind of guy.” Magnus snarks.

“huh—I’m just gonna say that you liked pretty magazine covers when you were a kid, until you discovered that you’re secretly a Russian spy who was brainwashed into destroying American institutions from the inside out.”

“Well I find that only fair,” he deadpans. “Honestly, I don’t even see why I bother being serious with you.”

Their repertoire continues on throughout the hour, with Magnus tossing him a satirical response, and Max embellishing it with whatever risibly insane idea he wishes—That is until he dictates the final inquiry of his report.

“Are you happy with your current job.”

Magnus freezes, because yeah sure he’s happy. He has amazing friends, he’s gone out on more than a few tentative dates with the delectable Alec Lightwood, and he’s just been offered a weekly show on HBO where he can commentate on current events with no filter—So why the fuck can’t he just say yes.

“So I’ll take that as an I don’t know?” Max questions after a minute too long silence.

Magnus looks anywhere but at Max—He’s not sure if he’s ready to admit to himself how unhappy he’s been, and how much he’s come to hate the very thing he has built from the ground up.

“Right, well I’ll leave you to stew in that on your own—But you should maybe look up what Alec’s been doing in his career—I think he’s pretty happy with his job.”

As Max strolls out of the office, Magnus idly wonders if the teen had advised this whole thing just to get Magnus to realize something he has long ago detected.

And yeah, okay he might like Max Lightwood more than he leads on.

Magnus does a quick Google search of Alec’s name, cause sure they hang out as more than friends—And They’ve held hands just about at every chance they get—and even once under the starlights of his family cottage in the south of France Alec kissed him like his very life depended on just how perfectly his lips fit against Magnus’s own—And yeah so what if Magnus thinks he might be totally, and irrevocably in love with the man that should stand for every injustice Magnus has fought so hard to push against—But they had made a vital rule on their very first date where they would do anything but discuss their careers with one another. It was working swimmingly.

But then Magnus reads the first headline. “Alexander Lightwood Set Free.”

Apparently his dumb, diffident, doofus of a boyfriend held a press conference earlier that day where he admonished his family’s staunchly conservative views on both social and fiscal concerns, and then graciously accepted a partnership and job with the Southern Poverty Law Center where he promises to fight for the rights of all races, sexual orientations, genders, and faiths while joining the movement against wealth inequalities.

Magnus thinks he falls in love with him all over again, and he wants to yell through the comments on the screen that it wasn’t the rumored fling their having that had spurred this on. He wants to tell everyone in the world that Alec Lightwood is the purest of heart, and most honorable man he has ever known in all his years.

Magnus settles for just telling Alec himself while kissing him breathless that night in their shared apartment.

 

~V~

 

Magnus eventually just ends up shutting off is phone. It’s all just a bunch of frantic last minute calls from Imogen and a bunch of other reps trying to get his final parting words, but honestly Magnus has no fucks to give at this point.

He signed the final papers relinquishing all his responsibilities to Downworlders, and he’s never felt so liberated. He knows it was the right choice, and now he can touch back to what had first ignited his journalistic passions.

Magnus feels like he may just burst from all his untempered joy at any moment—No way he deserves all this.

“Hey fuck face.”

“And there goes my quiet and peace,” Magnus sighs mockingly as Max collapses onto the couch besides him.

“Where’s my big bro?” He asks while finishing off the half drunken beer on the coffee table.

“Off resting after my vigorous love making,” Magnus preens.

“I can hear you douche!” Alec exclaims from the bathroom. “You forget to mention I’m in the bathroom cleaning up after you came to early!”

“Hey! You know what the fiancé word does to me you bitch!” He throws a disregarded sneaker onto the bathroom door as if he were a temperamental three old again.

“You guys are grossly domestic,” Max sneers.

“Yeah, yeah we are…Aren’t we?” Magnus grins stupidly, as he gazes at the very same door that hides Alec’s jaw dropping naked physique from sight. Eventually he remembers Max. “What are you doing here again?”

He shrugs. “I just got back from a date with Elijah.”

“And how’s that going?”

“We’re still figuring that part out I think.” But the smile tugging on his lips tells another story—More like he likes this boy way to fast and way too much—Magnus knows that look all too well, it is after all what he wore throughout the whole first half of he and Alec’s own relationship.

“Yeah, well the hickey on your neck tells another story sport. You really should tell the amateur to be more discrete next time.”

“Bastard,” Max cuffs him in the back of the head.

“So why are you really here Lightwood?”

“I just thought—You know you’re leaving tomorrow morning—“

“Aw,” Magnus crows. “Is this the part where you tell me how I’ve become a mentor to you and helped you not become the total asshole you were destined to be, and I tell you how your the younger brother that I never knew I wanted.”

“Fuck you.”

“Hey come on Lightwood, I’m gonna miss you.” He drapes an arm around the teenagers shoulders.

“Yeah, well just don’t get killed reporting in Syria yeah? It’s pretty rough there right now.” Max mutters out, and if Magnus didn’t know better he’d swear that Max was holding back a sob.

“I will—But don’t worry about me. This is what I love—Making a difference.”

“You’re such a fucking sap Bane.”

 

~+I~

 

“Hey! That’s mine you ugly fat face!” Gigi squawks as she clammers for the toy that her elder brother holds out of her each.

“Maxie,” Magnus warns. “DOn’t be a jerk to your sister or else she’ll shave off your eyebrows while your asleep.” Magnus calls out for his kids, (Never make a bet with a snotty 19 year old Max Lightwood, because he will keep you to your promise and make you name his first born after his fat face.)

“But dad she broke my Power Ranger!” Max cries indignantly.

“I did not!”

“Ah huh!”

“Nuh ah!”

“Ah huh!!!”

Whoever said that fatherhood came naturally needs to go fuck themselves.

Magnus is about to toss down the photographs he was sifting through for his next editorial when Alec crosses the threshold, dinner in hands. And honestly he’s practically a savior.

“Hey, can you guys help Daddy set the table while Ayah finishes up his work.” He calls out with a dopey grin—The same one Magnus gets whenever he looks at their lovely family.

“I call pouring the orange juice!” Gigi exclaims while racing passed him.

“NO way dweeb, that’s my job!”

“Remind me love, why did we have two?” Magnus sighs.

“I’m pretty sure we’re masochists,” Alec chuckles while pushing his glasses further up his nose.

“Makes sense—So how was the meeting?”

“Okay, you were right…They want me to run for the presidency.” He says it as if Magnus was right that Mrs. O’Leary’s mole looks like a teddybear over a butterfly, and not like he were asked to fight for the opportunity to run one of the most influential countries in the world.

“Alexander! That’s amazing!!”

“Is it? I mean I don’t know anything about administration—I mean especially heading a whole god damn country.”

“Oh please, you’ve been running your own non-prophet, successfully, for over a decade—And besides your parents practically pruned you since infancy for this role.”

“But that’s just it Magnus! What if I can never move past my family’s hateful shadow?”

He smiles ruefully at his husband’s panicked disposition. “Love what you and your siblings have been doing for your entire adult lives has changed your name in the public conversation immensely—I mean even Jace helped out.”

“Really?” Alec asks hopefully.

“I mean do you think I would have actually tacked your name next to mind if I thought otherwise?”

“You’re awful.”

“I love you too,” he presses a kiss to his lips. “Now come on, I can finish this up later, let’s go make sure that the munchkins haven’t burned down our home quite yet.”

Walking through the threshold of their kitchen door, the pair find their children doting over their Uncle Max. “Hey Bros,” he greets with a wave.

Magnus smiles at his now younger brother.

“I knew we should’ve gotten that pest repellent.”