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Two weeks after the worst moment of Magnus’ life, he realizes there’s something wrong with Rafael.

Alec’s death had torn Rafael apart when Magnus first broke the news to his children. Rafael had been quick to deny it, shaking his head with all his might and repeating to Magnus that there wasn’t any way his dad was gone. He’d been angry with Magnus, shouting and banging his fists against Magnus’ chest. He’d even snapped at Max when the younger had started crying, telling him that there was no reason to cry because “Papa is lying, Max. Daddy is gonna come home.”

It was only when they had to attend the funeral and Rafael saw how lifeless his uncle Jace was that it finally sunk in, and the boy had been an absolute wreck ever since.

That is, until today.

Today Rafael is smiling, and Magnus hadn’t even realized how much he’d missed his son’s smile until he was presented with the sight of it. A piece of his shattered heart seemed to slot itself back into place every time Rafael looked up at him with that wide grin spread across his face.

Maybe, Magnus thinks, he can get through this.

The thought gets reinforced throughout the day as Rafael’s happiness seems to spread. Soon both Rafael and Max are chasing each other throughout the loft, giggling and shrieking as they go. Magnus starts smiling and doesn’t stop for what feels like hours. When Max comes barreling into his legs sometime that afternoon, Magnus even laughs.

It doesn’t strike him as off until that night when he realizes none of them have mentioned Alec once.

Rafael has made a habit of mentioning Alec at every available opportunity. He talks Magnus through making the smiley face pancakes Alec always made them every morning and he tells Max a thousand stories the younger was too young to remember throughout the day. At night he curls up beside of Magnus in the bed and whispers all his thoughts. He tells Magnus what it felt like when he first met Alec and had to put his trust into someone for the first time. He talks about how he tries so hard to keep Max happy now that their dad is gone. Sometimes he’ll bury his face into Magnus’ neck and cry, mumbling about how much he misses his dad and wishes he’d come back.

He doesn’t fall asleep easily anymore, but when he sleeps he does so on Alec’s side of the bed.

Knowing all of this, Magnus realizes something is wrong. It’s unlike Rafael to be as carefree as he has been today, and while it warms a frozen fragment of Magnus’ heart to see his son smile again, he knows something isn't right. He knows there's something more to it all.

He's proven right when Rafael doesn't climb into bed with him that night. Instead, the boy goes to his own room when Magnus declares it's time for bed. It's like an alarm ringing inside of Magnus’ head when he hears the door of the room click shut.

Rafael hasn't even dared to look in the direction of his room since he found out about Alec. It was the last place he'd seen his dad.

He'd told Magnus about it before he'd ever accepted the idea of Alec being dead. It was the first night without Alec. Rafael had gone to bed with Max, but sometime in the middle of the night he'd come knocking on Magnus’ bedroom door. When he crawled into bed and clutched at Magnus’ arm, he began to tell Magnus a story. He detailed the last time he saw Alec.

It had been the morning before Alec died. He had gone into Rafael's room to tell him goodbye before he left on a mission with Jace for the day.

Rafael's Uncle Jace had called Alec that morning requesting that he come with him because it had been so terribly long since they'd been on a mission together. Alec had been taking on a more political role, sticking with his duties as Head of the Institute and taking a step back from field work to ease Magnus’ worries. He'd never put it exactly that way to Magnus, but he knew that was what Alec had been doing. It had pleased him more than he was ever willing to admit at the time, and still did, though it proved useless in the end.

That mission was the one that would take Alec's life, Magnus’ husband, and Rafael and Max’s dad. But, as Rafael had explained to Magnus that first night, none of them had known that. And so that morning Rafael had simply allowed Alec to kiss his forehead and whisper his promises to come home to him soon, and hadn't even stopped to consider that he would never see his dad again.

“Daddy has never broken a promise, Papa. He promised me he'd come home to me soon. He's going to come home.” The desperate way Rafael had spoken those words to Magnus still leave behind a bone deep ache that he doesn't quite know how to shake. And as Magnus stares at the closed door of Rafael's room, the promise the boy had made that night to not set foot in that room until Alec came home rings in his ears.

Something is up. Magnus just wishes he knew what it was.

 

-

 

He finds out the next morning when Rafael abruptly stops whispering to Max when Magnus walks into the room.

“Okay. Something is up. Either of you care to explain?” Magnus asks, crossing his arms. He meets Max's eyes and stares. Rafael can be just as stubborn as Alec, but Max is the complete opposite.

Whether or not he'll break and tell Magnus what's going on depends on how much the secret means to Rafael. The only time Max refuses to say a word is if it means a great deal to Rafael that he doesn't.

A wave of warmth rushes over Magnus at the thought of how close his sons are, but it's gone as quickly as it comes. He's been frozen since the moment Alec's heart ceased to beat.

“Nothing is up, Papa,” Max answers. “Why would you think that?”

“I don't know, Max. Why would I think that?” Magnus teases, smiling at the way Max's face lights up in response.

“I dunno, Papa. Cause you're silly sometimes? And silly Papa's think silly things?” Max is grinning and his eyes are shining with delight.

This is a moment that would be going slightly differently if Alec was present, only because Max would be turning to him to get him to join in with the teasing. It's apparent to Magnus how empty the exchange feels without Alec's input, despite how much he loves this playful teasing with his son, but it doesn't seem like Max is affected at all.

Considering the fact that Max definitely had a preferred parent, who was definitely not Magnus, this is something to be concerned about.

It's a feeling and a thought that causes Magnus to sober. He straightens from where he'd previously relaxed, and it's obvious both of his sons notice the change. Max shoots Rafael a slightly defeated and apologetic look before lowering his head.

Magnus kneels in front of Max and tilts his head up so they're eye to eye with one another.

“I need you to tell me what's going on, Max,” Magnus says softly, giving the boy a teasing smile to lighten the mood again. “I know I'm a silly Papa, but even a silly Papa like me knows when something is going on. I need to know what it is.”

Magnus’ attempt to keep the conversation from becoming too serious must fall flat, because Max's eyes begin to brim with tears and he wraps his arms around his middle to try and hide the way his hands have begun to shake from Magnus. The hope that Magnus had that there was nothing serious going on was immediately crushed.

“I can't tell you,” Max whispers. “You can't know, Papa. Not yet.”

“I need to know when something is wrong, Max, and something is obviously wrong. Come on, Blueberry. You know you can tell me anything.”

Max shakes his head violently, navy blue hair falling into his eyes as he does so. He bites his lip as his tears begin to fall, but he meets Magnus’ gaze with a stubborn fire in his eyes. He's not going to back down.

“I can't tell you, Papa,” he repeats, this time louder than before. “I can't.”

“Max, please,” Magnus pleads. “Don't make this hard on me. Please just tell me what's going on.”

Rafael steps up beside Max, grabbing his brother's hand.

“He can't tell you, Papa,” Rafael says calmly. “But I will.”

Max turns to his brother in alarm. “Rafe -”

“No, Max,” Rafael says, meeting his brother's eyes. “He'll find out eventually, anyway.”

“But he won't believe you yet, Rafe,” Max protests. Rafael shakes his head with a small smile.

“I know,” he says simply.

“What's going on, Rafe?” Magnus asks. The oldest of his children straightens into the stance of a soldier, and he looks more like his people than he ever has. More like Alec. It's so startling that Magnus nearly flinches.

“Daddy isn't dead, Papa,” Rafael states, and Magnus’ stomach drops.

“Rafe…” Magnus trails off, unable to figure out what he could possibly say to fix this. He thought this was over. He doesn't think he can deal with this.

He doesn't think he can break his son's heart again.

“No, Papa. You may not believe me yet, but you will. Daddy isn't dead. Not forever. He's going to come home. He promised me!” Rafael exclaims, and his hands come from behind his back to flail about in the air.

“Oh, Rafe,” Magnus whispers. “We talked about this.”

“He promised me.”

“I know he did, sweetie, but -”

“No!” Rafael protests, and suddenly his son is full of rage and Magnus doesn't know how to deal with how serious Rafael is being about this. Magnus knows quite a bit about denial, but he has no idea how to deal with his son being so deeply in it.

“You don't understand what I'm telling you!” Rafael shouts, angry and desperate. “He promised me, Papa. Not then. Now. He promised me now.”

“You're not making any sense, Rafe,” Magnus says helplessly.

“He promised me. He's coming home.”

A silence takes over the room as Magnus tries to figure out a way to handle this situation. How do you convince your son that his dad is never going to come back? That he's dead and there is no way he can keep his promise this time, because he's gone to the one place that you and your sons can't follow?

How can Magnus convince Rafael that Alec is really gone when all he truly wants is to give in to the hope that maybe, just maybe, his husband could come back to him?

Denial is a dangerous path to walk down. The experience Magnus has with it is the only reason he doesn't keep denying what his son thinks he knows for a fact. Alec will not come home, despite his promises to Rafael. However, Magnus begins to nod in agreement with his oldest son.

“Okay,” Magnus says. Rafael's shoulders drop.

“Okay?” he asks. He brings his hands from behind his back again to tangle them together in front of him, twisting his fingers together repeatedly.

Magnus nods again. “Yes. Okay.”

In seconds, Rafael's arms are around Magnus’ neck. Magnus winds his own arms around his son and squeezes.

“I promise he's going to come home, Papa,” Rafael mumbles into his shoulder. “You'll see.”

“Okay,” Magnus repeats. He meets eyes with Max from where he's stood behind Rafael. The young warlock looks sad and tired, and it kills Magnus that there's nothing he can do to make it better.

“I love you both so much,” Magnus says, and he hopes it's enough for now.

“We love you, too, Papa,” Max responds in a quiet voice. Rafael nods against Magnus’s neck.

They stay like that for a long time that morning. It's a more normal day than the one before it.

Despite not knowing how to handle Rafael's denial of Alec's death, Magnus is glad that he knows what's going on now.

And if he's only able to actually fall asleep once Rafael occupies the space Alec has left vacant in their bed, then you really can't blame him.

 

-

 

It happens the next night.

It's around 8 PM and Magnus is attempting to manually make microwaved popcorn instead of conjuring the movie theater popcorn like he usually does. Both Max and Rafael are seated on top of the counter in the kitchen watching him, and Max has just finished his tirade about how Magnus is stealing because there is no exchange of money, when suddenly a bright blue portal opens in the middle of the room and a figure walks out of it.

Magnus’ heart quite literally stops at the sight of his dead husband standing in front of a glowing blue portal in the middle of their kitchen. It doesn't seem like his sons have the same problem, as they both tumble off of the counter and take off towards Alec.

It's only when Alec drops to his knees and wraps his arms around Rafael and Max that Magnus’ brain unfreezes and he begins to process what he's seeing.

“Alexander?” he whispers. Max's excited mantra of “Daddy, you're home! You're really home!” immediately ceases. The room is drowned in silence.

Hesitantly, Alec lifts his head to look at Magnus. Any part of his heart that had previously been attempting to mend itself shatters once again. This is his husband. There's no doubt in his mind about that. But something isn't making sense and Magnus can't turn off the part of his brain that's telling him this isn't real.

“Alexander,” Magnus murmurs, “you're dead.”

“I'm right here,” his husband replies. His eyes are locked with Magnus’ and it's making it hard for Magnus to breathe.

Instead of the hazel that Magnus loved so fiercely, Alec's eyes are a startling shade of blue that he hasn't seen in so long. And instead of having the lines that had begun to crease his husband’s face as the years went on, Alec appeared to be just as he was right before they'd adopted Max.

Despite those two startling differences from the Alec that he'd seen just two weeks ago, Magnus knows that he's his Alec. He's his husband.

It doesn't make any sense, but by this point Magnus is convinced he's dreaming once again.

“So it would seem you are,” Magnus mumbles in reply. Alec's face falls just slightly.

“Magnus,” he whispers pleadingly. There's something desperate in his eyes, something begging. Magnus can feel his control slipping the longer he stares at Alec's face.

The tears build and fall without his consent. By now Alec has let go of Rafael and Max, and Magnus hears one of them breathe in sharply.

“Oh, Magnus,” Alec sighs. He stands and moves toward him, stopping just short of touching him when Magnus flinches back.

“You can’t be real,” Magnus croaks. “This is a dream. It’s always a dream.”

Alec appears as though he’s been struck when Magnus finishes speaking, and that’s really the only reason that Magnus reaches out to touch him.

When Magnus’ fingers graze Alec’s cheek, it’s like a switch is flipped. He grasps desperately at Alec’s face and then winds his arms around his neck. It’s only when Alec crushes Magnus to his chest, wrapping him in a hug that Magnus couldn’t get out of if he’d tried, that it really sinks in. This is not a dream.

“You’re here,” he gasps.

“I’m here, baby,” Alec confirms with a nod.

“I don’t -” Magnus stammers, “I don’t understand.”

“It’s okay, sweetheart. Don’t worry. Everything is okay.”

“Is it?” Magnus asks, looking up at Alec with a tear stained face. “You’re supposed to be dead. How is that okay? How are you here?”

Alec opens his mouth to answer, and then seems to hesitate. The truth of the situation dawns on Magnus then.

“You aren’t here to stay,” Magnus says, staring at Alec in horror. His husband nods.

“What are you talking about?” Rafael demands, stepping forward. Max’s face has drained of color, but Rafael is red with fury.

“Rafe -”

“No!” Rafael hisses. “You promised me you were coming home to us. What do you mean you aren’t going to stay?”

“I can’t stay, Rafe. It’s not my time.”

“That doesn’t make sense! You promised!”

“I know I did -”

“You don’t belong here,” Max says quietly. “You aren’t our dad.”

Alec nods, visibly relieved. “That’s right. Well, actually it’s wrong. I am your dad. I’m Alexander Lightwood-Bane. I just don’t belong here. I’m not your Alexander Lightwood-Bane yet.”

“Time travel,” Magnus whispers.

“Yes,” Alec admits, “I’m not supposed to be here. I have to go back through that.” He points behind himself at the blue portal as he speaks, and he sounds just as agonized as Magnus feels.

“But you promised me you were going to come home to us,” Rafael repeats, staring at Alec in disbelief. “You’ve never broken a promise to me.”

“And I won’t,” Alec replies. “Two weeks, Rafe.”

“Two weeks?” he questions, shoulders losing the tension that had gathered.

“Two weeks,” Alex confirms. “I promise.”

Rafael’s eyes fill with tears and he rushes towards Alec, throwing his arms around his dad. As the boy cries, Alec runs his fingers through his hair. The heartbreak the sight brings almost makes Magnus forget the confusing exchange.

Almost.

“Two weeks?” Magnus asks, twisting his shaking hands together repeatedly. “I don’t understand.”

Alec lets go of Rafael with a ruffle of the boy’s hair and makes his way towards Magnus. With equally as shaky hands, Alec wipes the tears from Magnus’ cheeks and rubs in soothing motions. It only serves to make Magnus shake harder with the effort not to sob.

“It’s going to be okay, baby. You’ll understand everything so soon, I promise you.”

Alec leans forward and presses a kiss to Magnus’ forehead. He lingers there and Magnus allows his eyes to slip closed, tears still running down his face despite Alec’s efforts to calm him.

“Aku cinta kamu,” Alec murmurs, pulling back and resting his forehead against Magnus’.

Magnus goes to reply, but Alec places a finger over his lips before he can even begin to speak.

“Shh, sweetheart,” Alec whispers, “you can tell me when you see me again.”

“You’re gone, Alexander,” Magnus chokes out, lips trembling when he presses them together. “I won’t see you again.”

For a moment, Alec looks haunted and ashamed. There is nothing Magnus wouldn’t give to wipe that expression away, but he isn’t sure that he’ll ever know how. It doesn’t seem to matter, though, because it’s gone and replaced with a muted sadness in less than a second.

“I think you’re wrong,” Alec says quietly, running his thumb across Magnus’ bottom lip.

“I love you,” Magnus sobs, unable to stop himself. “I love you so much. I don’t know how to live without you. I can’t live without you.”

“Oh, baby,” Alec mumbles, “you don’t have to. You don’t have to live without me. It’s going to be okay. I promise you that it’s going to be okay. Please stop crying.”

“Angel,” Magnus gasps. “Angel, please. Please don’t leave me again.”

“Baby,” Alec says, pained and lost.

“Papa, he has to go,” Max speaks up, slowly approaching his fathers. “You have to let him go.”

“He’ll come back,” Rafael adds, grinning in Alec’s direction. “He promised.”

“I never break a promise,” Alec agrees, eyes still locked on Magnus.

It takes everything inside of him to stop crying, but Magnus manages to do so. He takes a deep breath and squares his shoulders before meeting Alec’s eyes once again.

“You have to go?”

“I have to go.”

Magnus nods, lowering his gaze to the floor. “Okay,” he says.

“I’ll see you again,” Alec reminds him, curling his finger under Magnus’ chin to tilt his head up. “This isn’t a goodbye.”

“I love you, Alexander,” Magnus says.

Alec smiles sadly, shaking his head. “I love you, too.”

Slowly, Alec presses his lips to Magnus’. It’s a calm kiss, and if Magnus were to torture himself he’d say that it feels a bit like a promise.

When Alec pulls away, Magnus leaves his eyes closed. He doesn’t open them when Alec strokes his cheek one last time, and he doesn’t open them when he hears Alec’s footsteps as he walks away. He leaves them closed even while Alec kisses their children goodbye, and only allows himself to look when Alec is inches away from the portal.

He locks eyes with his husband, and it’s a moment that Magnus will never recover from.

“Aku cinta kamu, Magnus Lightwood-Bane,” Alec whispers, and then he steps into the portal. He’s gone in seconds.

“Aku cinta kamu, Alexander Lightwood-Bane,” Magnus murmurs.

“Papa,” Rafael says quietly, grabbing his hand. Max latches onto the other one.

Magnus shakes his head, squeezing both of their hands. Silently, they make their way to Magnus’ bedroom.

They all sleep in Magnus’ bed that night, each of the boys curled into Magnus’ sides. If their Papa cries silently the whole night instead of sleeping, neither of them say a word.

 

-

 

2 Weeks Later

 

Magnus has been counting the days since the night Alec time traveled, but he hasn’t said a word about it. Having his hopes crushed would be nothing compared to misleading Jace or Izzy.

The boys have been quiet since that night and have both been spending their nights curled around Magnus. He hopes they’ve let go of their insistence that Alec will come home, if only to spare them when he inevitably does not, but he knows better. He hears them whispering in Max’s room during the day, talking about things that Magnus cannot decipher. He hears them say Daddy enough to clue in on the topic, though.

It’d be wrong of Magnus to insist that they let it go when even he has begun to hope, so he doesn’t say a word. Instead, he prepares himself for how it will feel to see them heartbroken for a second time, but he knows it’ll still hurt just as terribly as it did before. There is no preparing for devastation, there is only enduring.

As Magnus watches his children exchange excited looks across the table that morning at breakfast, he thinks he’s had enough of enduring.

 

-

 

Jace comes over around 3 PM, much to Magnus’ surprise,

“Uncle Jace!” Max screams in delight, dashing forward and jumping into his uncle’s arms. Jace twirls them around in a circle, clinging tightly to the small boy.

“Max,” Jace mumbles. “I’ve missed you, little guy.”

Max jerks back suddenly, startling Jace enough that he nearly stumbles. Sparks dance through the air as Max starts flailing his arms excitedly. “Uncle Jace! You’ll never guess what’s happening today!” he shouts, face lit up in glee.

Jace grins at the sight, laughing and beginning to bounce Max in his arms. “What’s happening today, little guy? Are you gonna turn into a dragon?” Jace asks playfully, causing Max to shake his head with a grin similar to the older man’s.

“Nooo, Uncle Jace,” Max says with a giggle. He shrieks as Jace digs his fingers into his right side, batting at Jace’s shoulders. “UNCLE JACE!” he screams, laughing hysterically. “Stop it! I gotta tell you something impor- important!”

“Okay, okay,” Jace says, taking his hand away and holding it up in surrender, “I’m stopping. What’s happening today that could be more important than turning into a dragon?”

Max opens his mouth, ready to tell his uncle everything, and is only just interrupted when Magnus walks into the living room with Rafael.

“Jace!” Magnus exclaims in surprise. “When did you get here?”

“A couple of minutes ago,” Jace replies, sitting Max on his feet and opening his arms for a hug from Rafael. When Rafael has pulled away and tugged Max to his side, Jace stands and smiles at Magnus. “Max here was just about to tell me what super important thing is happening today.”

“No, no,” Magnus says. His heart is racing. “That? Um, that’s a surprise. We can’t go telling Uncle Jace all of our secrets, Blueberry.”

“We can’t?” Max asks, face falling.

“We can’t,” Magnus says sternly. “Wouldn’t be much of a surprise then, now would it?”

“But, Papa -” Rafael starts.

“No, Rafe,” Magnus snaps.

Rafael shakes his head, looking up at Magnus with disappointed eyes. His voice shakes a bit when he says, “You don’t want to say anything because you don’t believe him.”

And it isn’t that. It isn’t that at all. Magnus wants to believe that what Alec said was true, he wants to believe that his husband is going to come home to him today and that everything is going to be okay. He just doesn’t know how to let himself believe the words of an Alec from the past when he knows nothing of what’s waiting for him in the future other than his inevitable death. He can’t admit that his desire to believe Alec is overpowering his logic, and he certainly can’t let that hurt Jace. He can’t do that to Alec’s brother. If Magnus’ heart is going to break all over again tonight, he isn’t going to take Jace down with him. He can’t hurt anyone else.

“Rafe…” Magnus says breathlessly.

“What am I missing here, Magnus?” Jace asks, and it’s clear from the look on his face that he’s already decided that he’s going to get to the bottom of whatever this is. There’s no point in attempting to hide it any longer.

Magnus takes a deep breath and meets Jace’s eyes.

“It would seem that something is going to occur today that will bring Alexander back from the dead,” Magnus says steadily.

It takes Jace more than a minute to process what Magnus has said, and when he does he reacts in the exact opposite way than what Magnus had expected.

“Oh,” he mumbles. “Today?”

“That’s - That’s all you have to say?” Magnus sputters, eyes wide.

“Well, the reason I came today was because my parabatai rune has come back?” Jace says, almost like he’s asking. “Like, it’s a shadow? But it is there and I thought that maybe, just maybe, that meant something. I was coming to ask you.”

“Did he promise you?” Rafael asks bluntly. Jace nods hesitantly.

“Then that’s that,” Rafael states, reaching forward and grabbing Jace’s hand to tug him towards the couch. “Wait with us.”

And so, with Magnus’ head spinning with this new information, he sits beside of Jace and listens to Max tell his uncle all about what he’s been up to the past month.

For the first time since he saw Alec’s lifeless body soaked with blood lying on a bed in the infirmary of the institute, Magnus allows himself to hope, to believe, that maybe everything is going to be okay.

 

-

 

Someone knocks on the door at 8 that night and Magnus refuses to answer it. Jace gets up without a word.

Rafael and Max had passed out a half hour earlier because they’d been awake the entire previous night. Magnus is glad they don’t have to sit through this moment with their hearts pounding like his is.

He doesn’t watch Jace go to the door. Instead, he stares at the floor and blinks back tears. He’s not sure why he’s crying, because he doesn’t know who is at the door. He doesn’t know anything.

Maybe that’s why he’s crying.

It feels like hours before he hears footsteps coming back toward the couch. He doesn’t look up. He doesn’t want to see Jace right now.

“Magnus,” a voice that is definitely not Jace’s gasps. Magnus’ head snaps up.

Standing in the middle of the living room is Alec. He looks exactly as he did when he stepped through the glowing blue portal two weeks earlier, blue eyes and young features. The only difference is that this Alec is crying.

Magnus is on his feet in an instant. Alec crashes into his arms.

“Alexander,” Magnus sobs, tightening his hold on Alec until he’s certain the shadowhunter would never be able to break away. Alec only squeezes back in response.

“Is it you?” Magnus asks, and he’s terrified of the answer he may get.

“It’s me,” Alec assures. “It’s me. I’m me. I’m home.”

“You’re home,” Magnus whispers in awe. “You came home to us.”

“I did. I came home. Please don’t let go.”

“I’m never letting go of you again, darling. I swear it.”

For ages, they stand there wrapped up in each other. It’s only when Alec stops sniffling that Magnus even dares to pull back enough to look him in the eye.

“What happened, Alexander?” Magnus asks. Alec sighs in resignation.

“I died,” Alec says. “And I thought that was it, but when I woke up I saw the Angel.”

“Raziel?”

“Yes, and he told me that there was something bigger at play. That I was needed here, and that I would be needed for a long time to come.” Alec is shaking, trying to avoid Magnus’ gaze.

“What does that mean, darling?” Magnus presses gently, bringing a hand up to trace underneath Alec’s eyes. “Why are your eyes this pretty shade of blue?”

“He made me immortal, Magnus,” Alec confesses. “He made me an angel.”

“An angel?” Magnus breathes.

“Kind of? He told me that I was as close to being an angel as a shadowhunter could possibly be. I’m not sure what that means. I don’t know anything. I just know that he told me that I’m immortal and that I could come home to you and the boys, to my family. I’m home, sweetheart.” Alec says it all in a rush and his eyes are wide as they take in his surroundings. It’s almost as if it has just sunk in to him. Magnus cannot remember ever being so in love with someone.

“Aku cinta kamu, Alexander,” Magnus says. “Welcome home, my darling.”

Alec stops looking around and settles his gaze on Magnus. All of the nerves and the tension seem to bleed out of him in that moment and he relaxes into Magnus’ hold.

“You’re everything to me, Magnus,” Alec whispers. “I’m so sorry that I was gone.”

“It’s okay, darling Alexander,” Magnus whispers back. “I’m never going to have to live without you again. Everything is okay.”

“I love you,” Alec murmurs, closing his eyes.

“I’m always going to love you, my darling,” Magnus mutters in reply, leaning forward until their lips meet.

If the kiss Magnus shared with Alec two weeks earlier felt like a promise, this one felt like coming home. This one felt like forever. He’s quite convinced it could’ve been if Max hadn’t woken up.

“Papa?” the boy mumbles from the couch, sitting up and rubbing his eyes. Magnus and Alec break away from each other, but Alec grips Magnus’ hand tightly.

“Blueberry,” Alec says. Max’s head snaps up.

“Daddy!” the boy shrieks, darting up and rushing towards his dad. Alec drops Magnus’ hand and crouches down to hug his son as tightly as possible.

“You’re home,” Max sighs, voice muffled by Alec’s skin as the boy buries his face into his neck.

“I’m home, Max. Daddy’s home.”

Magnus walks over to Rafael and quietly shakes his son awake. When the boy blinks up at him, Magnus whispers, “He kept his promise to you, Rafe.”

Rafael’s eyes widen just a fraction before he smiles up at Magnus.

“I told you that he would.”