Rafael sat at his desk attempting to catch up on paperwork for the fourth time that week. He look up to see the empty desk across the room again and sighed. His fathers had been away for seventeen days and counting. The annual full Clave council meeting had fallen just a week before the international High Warlock gathering, both incredibly tedious and long affairs, which left Rafael and Max without their parents for longer than they had ever gone without them.
They were both adults and Rafael didn’t need Alec there to run the Institute, however, it was nice to have an office companion to help get through the day and bounce ideas off of, especially if that person used to have his job. Of course, his fathers had been checking in with phone calls and fire messages when possible, but Rafael had realized that morning how much he actually missed interacting with his family daily.
Rafael and Emma had gotten married last year after his promotion to Head and had moved into the loft across the hall from his family home. Magnus owned the entire top floor of the building and kept the other units empty until family or friends needed a place to stay. Rafael found himself missing his family often even if they were just right across the hall which is why he had been having Max come hang out in his office everyday for the past week.
“Rafe, I think something is wrong,” his brother said quietly from his seat next to him. Rafael looked at him with questioning eyes, encouraging Max to continue that thought when the alarms started going off in the Ops center.
“What do you feel, Max? What’s wrong?” Rafael called out loudly over the ringing sirens. Since he was trained by Magnus, Max had sensational abilities in various types of magic. Rafael relied on his brother quite often just as Dad relied on Papa for the same things.
Max closed his eyes and tried to push out the rest of the environment, focusing specifically on the magical signatures in the Institute. “Oh shit, Rafe, it’s a greater demon…”
“Are you sure?” Rafael asked with wide eyes, readying his bow as he started to clear trainees from the Ops center. A fight broke loose in the training room before Max could answer, both of them immediately joining in. The more experienced hunters were quickly coming to their aid while Rafael called out orders to the younger ones, having them lock down certain parts of the Institute and get all patrol teams to return.
“Call Dad!” Max yelled out to his brother as he was trying to heal a young hunter how had taken a claw to the side.
Rafael took a deep breath and continued firing arrows into the mass of demons filling the training area. “I can handle this, Max! Just keep healing and go lock down the infirmary!”
“Rafael! Don’t be stupid, we need backup and all of our family is gone!” Max yelled back, still healing but unmoving from his brother’s glare. He knew they needed help and that was not because Rafael was a bad leader, it was because they had a greater demon and friends on their hands. Uncle Jace and Aunt Clary were away in Idris teaching a workshop for Dad and Aunt Izzy was out on a mission with Uncle Simon and Uncle Raphael.
“Dad never had to call the Inquistor for help,” Rafael pouted back while firing arrows at the demon approaching Max.
“Dad also had everyone with him when they had to fight a greater demon with minions. Plus Dad would have never called his Inquistor anyway, he hated them!”
Rafael huffed a sigh of frustration. “That’s not the point, Max! What kind of leader am I if I have to call in my superior every time it gets like this?”
“A smart one! And you aren’t calling your superior, you are calling our father who will kill us if one of us dies from your stupid way of thinking!” Max was getting angry at this point which wouldn’t be good for him and Rafael knew that.
“Fine, whatever. I’ll call him, but this conversation is not over,” Rafael replied as he switched to his blade and pulled his cell phone out of his pocket. “Come on, Dad...pick up…” he mumbled when the call went to voicemail. He knew that Alec was discussing changes to the Accords with the Warlock council today, but Rafael thought his children possibly dying would win out.
After two more full calls with no answer, Alec finally picked up. “Hijo, I can’t-”
“We need you and Papa now! Greater demon opened a rift outside the Institute and got through the wards somehow! I need backup!” Rafael cut him off as he continued to fight off the creature in front of him. “Dad, I-” he started until the phone was thrown from his hand across the room.
Alec was sitting in front of the Warlock council with his revisions to the Accords in front of him. A few week ago at the Clave meeting, he had finally gotten them to agree to his presented changes allowing warlocks to hold all downworlder trials rather than the Clave as long as they allow a seat in the trial for a Clave envoy to observe and offer input . He would have felt more comfortable with Magnus sitting beside him, however, as the US representative, Magnus had to sit across from him with the rest of the council.
As he was about to answer a question from the Australian representative, when his phone started ringing. Alec saw his son’s name and silenced the call, receiving a concerned look from Magnus which he waved off. Two calls later constituted an emergency in Alec’s mind so he answered that time. “Excuse me, I apologize, but it seems I have to take this.”
Alec stepped away from his table towards the back of the room. “Hijo, I can’t-”
“We need you and Papa now! Greater demon opened a rift outside the Institute and got through the wards somehow! I need backup!” Alec heard the frantic tone in his son’s voice along with yelling and metal clanking around in the background. His eyes immediately shot up and found his husband looking even more concerned now. “Dad, I-”
Alec’s heart dropped as he heard the clatter of his son’s phone on the other end and Rafael’s loud groan of either effort or pain, or both. “Rafe!” he called out, praying for an answer. “Rafael!”
Magnus was at his side instantly, asking what was going on. “The Institute is under attack, Rafe said a greater demon broke through and opened a rift. No one is there, I sent Jace to Idris and Rafael sent Iz on a mission with Simon and Raphael. We have to get home,” Alec rambled out, his stress rising by the second.
Before Magnus could say anything else, Alec stepped forward to address the council. “I am so sorry to cut this short, but I have an emergency that needs my attention.”
“Inquistor, I thought this was your priority,” one of the representatives replied, not inclined to let Alec leave before they worked out the Accords.
“I assure you, this is my professional priority, but my family always comes before anything else. Right now, our children need us in New York so we will continue this another day.” Alec’s voice was calm and diplomatic, always an impressive trait to others who worked with him. However, when he stepped away from the council towards Magnus, his resolve crumbled. “The boys…”
“Are strong as we raised them to be. They can hold their own and called when they needed help. You had Rafael replace you for a reason, darling. They’ll be okay,” Magnus comforted as he opened a portal for them to go through. They stepped through to find madness in the Institute, immediately searching for their sons. Alec found himself wrapped up in a fight before he could even scan the room and noticed Magnus was doing the same beside him.
Twenty minutes of fighting had passed and Magnus had still not seen his sons with his own eyes. Although he gave Alec a pep talk about their safety, he felt his hopefulness crumbling as he cleared yet another room with no sign of his children. He made his way to the front of the Institute when he heard screaming. Magnus saw Max in front of the rift closing it as Rafael covered his back. Even though it was terrifying for his children to be in danger, the sight filled him with pride.
That pride quickly shifted to fear when Rafael was pushed away leaving Max exposed to the demon creeping up beside. Magnus called out and brought his magic to his hands before a flash of gold covered Max as he finished closing the rift. Magnus blinked to clear the his eyes that had been blinded by angelic light to see his husband lying on the ground with his wings wrapped around their son.
Magnus ran to his family to see Alec’s wings uncurl, revealing an unharmed Max. Alec, on the other hand, was bleeding from his side and struggling to catch his breath. Magnus reached down and quickly started healing his husband’s side. “I should be so angry at you right now, but I can’t because you just saved our baby’s life.”
Alec gave him a soft smile followed by a few coughs to clear his chest. “I’m going to be fine, just a scratch.” Magnus continued healing him as he scoffed at the comment. Alec turned his head and saw Max knelt beside him, worried wide eyes and shaking hands. He pulled his hand up and ran it through his son’s hair. “Blue, are you okay? Did it get you anywhere?”
Max shook his head. "I'm okay, Dad. Thank you," he whispered back and helped Magnus get Alec up on his feet to drag him into the infirmary. As they stumbled in, Magnus watched his oldest son perform a similar move to Alec as he shielded a sick-looking Emma from an attack. Rafael went down to the ground, not nearly as hard as his father, but still a noticeable amount of pain from just looking at him.
“Oh God, why do you have to be so much like your father?” Magnus mumbled as he set Alec down on one of the beds and moved to his son. Max was working on closing up Alec’s wounds while Magnus started on Rafael, pulling his son up on the bed next to Alec's.
Alec sighed as Max finished closing the wound on his side. “Mags, I would apologize, but you said yourself, I was protecting our baby,” Alec said as his hand found Max’s resting on his chest.
Magnus looked over at his husband with a small as he heard Rafael mumble under his breath, “so was I.” Emma tensed beside him where she held her husband’s hand, awaiting her father-in-law’s reaction.
“As much I enjoy your and Emma’s love, Dad did not mean it in that way, Rafe,” Magnus joked with a slight eyeroll as he finished patching up his son.
“Okay, this is not how we were planning on telling you, but I guess the moment is here for a reason,” Rafael said still looking at Emma who was giving him an encouraging smile. Magnus’ magic died down as he looked between his son and his son’s wife. “Em’s pregnant, so yeah, I was protecting our baby too.”
Rafael felt all ten seconds of silence press him deeper into the bed he was laying in. He didn’t know why he was so nervous to tell his family. They loved Emma, she has been apart of the family for years. “Hijo…” he heard with a sniffle from Alec who was now making his way over to Rafael’s bed with tears in his eyes.
“That’s wonderful news!” Magnus suddenly exclaimed as he wrapped Emma up in a hug, both with teary eyes. Max came over and congratulated Emma as well, all three of them giving Rafael and Alec a much needed private moment.
“I’m sorry for not telling you sooner. I know I tell you everything, please don’t be upset,” Rafael rambled out with a shaky breath.
Alec sat beside Rafael and took his hand then leaned over to hug him. “Don’t you dare apologize, this is amazing. And no matter what Papa says, I’m proud of you for protecting both of them,” Alec said with a smile as his eyes flicked to Emma who has happily discussing baby clothes with Magnus.
Rafael nodded and looked back to his father who had a few tears resting on his waterline. “Thank you for being such a great dad. I think you are going to be an awesome grandpa,” he said, his voice thick with emotion.
“Grandpa...wow,” Alec said back with a hint of a laugh as he hugged Rafael again.
“No, no, I will not be called grandpa,” Magnus declared as he heard Alec’s words. “I am too young to be called that.”
The entire family laughed and Max replied first, “Papa, you are over 400 years old, you are not young.”
Magnus gasped and Alec jokingly whispered for Max to run away. “Maxwell, how dare you!” Magnus yelled out as he grabbed his son in his arms, tickling his sides with blue sparks of magic. Emma walked over to sit with Rafael who held her close and ran a hand across her still flat abdomen.
Alec watched his family with a warm smile before he spoke up. “Hey, Max?”
“Yeah, Dad?” Max replied as he tried to catch his breath, still in Magnus’ arms who had just relented his magic but kept his embrace strong.
“When Rafe tells Aunt Izzy that she is going to be a great aunt, make sure you don’t imply that she is old too. I can save you from Papa, but I don’t think she would let you out alive.”