This was inspired by the songs It Won't Be Like This For Long by Darius Rucker, and Never Grow Up, by Taylor Swift.


Terrifying


*.*.*.*.*

Alec is aware that Magnus is gone before he is even aware that he is awake, which is typically the case whenever Magnus gets out of bed in the middle of the night. His body is too used to the comfort of Magnus' body pressed against his own; his Shadowhunter instincts are too used to being constantly surrounded by Magnus' magic, even while he is fast asleep. Being without his presence is much more wrong than being awake at 2:36 in the morning is—which is coincidentally what time it is when Alec turns over in bed to grab for his cell phone to check the time to be sure that he hasn't overslept.

And thank God he hasn't, of course, but… where exactly would Magnus even be at 2:36 in—

Oh.

Alec stops that particular train of thought before it can get far at all, and moves to get out of bed, a frown on his face. He wonders, as he moves across his and Magnus' dark room, how he could be woken up by the lack of Magnus, but not by the sound that he is sure has woken Magnus up himself. He can't be losing his touch already, he thinks to himself as he pads across the hall to the room he is sure Magnus has disappeared through, he had only just started getting used to waking up to it.

The door to the room is cracked, and it is dark save for the little galaxy on the ceiling that Catarina and Madzie gifted them with when they were over earlier that week. The small, twinkling stars and the circling orbs meant to be the planets cast a comforting glow over the whole room that Alec himself finds peace in, knows Magnus does as well, and once again he is so, so grateful for Catarina, for Madzie, for their thoughtful, thoughtful gift.

"It's to make sure the baby grows up knowing that he's the center of your universe," Catarina had teased when the gift was revealed to the pair of them, winking at them, though she had smiled fondly not a moment later, to let them know it was all in good nature and that she was so, so happy for them.

Just under the galaxy, nestled safely inside the crib, is the baby in question, the very light of Alec and Magnus' life now, true to Catarina's words.

And standing just over the crib is Alec's missing husband, just as he had suspected he would be.

Alec purses his lips, and observes for a moment: the baby is sound asleep from what Alec can tell, so if he had woken Magnus up crying, then Alec has missed all the fun of getting him back to sleep, in addition to being woken up in the first place. Ah, oh well; he can get it next time, provided he wakes up to hear it, and if he doesn't, then Magnus will have to wake him up to do it; it will only be fair.

Though he hopes, for the sake of his surely exhausted husband, that he just wakes up on his own next time.

The most ideal scenario would be the baby sleeping through the whole night, of course, but Alec is no fool. He is new to this whole parenting thing, but he's no fool at all, and knows that the odds of that happening are oh so very slim indeed.

He walks over to Magnus at the crib, then, as slowly and quietly as he can, until he is standing just behind him, and he rests his head on Magnus' shoulder just so, arms coming up to wrap around his waist.

"You should've woken me up, I would have put him back to sleep," Alec murmurs, looking down at the baby's peacefully sleeping form.

He is so tiny, and so precious, and Alec thinks he would do absolutely anything for him; though they have only had him for something like two weeks now, he is their entire universe and then some. Alec didn't know he could love someone so much until he had come into their lives, and it is so overwhelming some days, to love Magnus so much, to love their baby so much, to love their family so much. He thinks some days that he will burn up from the inside out from the sheer amount of love that he feels for them both, truly. And he wouldn't have it any other way.

The baby—named Max for Alec's deceased brother—is much too much like Magnus some days already, but Alec thinks that is more to do with him being a baby warlock than Magnus rubbing off on him so much; they have both spent equal amounts of time with him, after all, it wouldn't much be fair or right for him to be taking after Magnus already. They would have to get another one, if that were the case, and as good as the pair of them are, Alec doesn't know that they could handle two babies right now.

"He wasn't crying," Magnus assures Alec then, voice just as low.

His hands come to rest on Alec's, and he leans back into his embrace, comforting Alec to make up for leaving him to being with. Alec's body sighs into him, always so relieved to be back around him, to have the comforting thrum of his magic around him in the air, constant and soft in the way that it is when they are together at home.

Alec closes his eyes, and if he focuses enough, he can feel the steady thrum of Max's magic too, though it is nowhere near as strong or as controlled as Magnus' is; it is innocent, and it is new and chaotic, and it is something to get used to still. But Alec will get used to it, with enough time. And that thought is so comforting in and of itself.

"No? So why—"

"I just… I don't know, it's still not real, I suppose?" Magnus interrupts, and Alec knows exactly what he means; even when he had woken up, it had taken Alec a moment to even remember that the baby existed, that they had a baby, a son.

It is all still so new.

"Yeah, I know," Alec agrees, squeezing him around the middle in a hug. "I don't feel like a parent, but I am one, and it's… it's weird. I never thought I would get to be a dad, so now that I am it's just... taking some getting used to," he admits almost wryly, though he knows that Magnus understands just as well as he does.

"We didn't even have the nine month warning period to get used to the idea like most normal parents do," Magnus laments, though it is all in good nature, Alec knows.

"Well, we're far from a normal family," Alec snorts. "Maybe it's better that he was just kinda sprung on us; I think it fits better with our brand, if truth be told."

Magnus lets out a thoughtful, amused hum at that, and they both watch as Max gurgles in his sleep, tiny fists thrashing about slightly suddenly. Alec frowns in the same moment that Magnus moves a hand to brush at his hair, fingers tinged with a magic that calms him back to a still slumber once again, the baby's fists loosening themselves as he sighs back to a peaceful sleep.

"Remind me again why you don't just use your magic to make him sleep through the night?" Alec teases, watching as Magnus lovingly strokes at the baby's hair for another moment.

Alec can't see Magnus' eyes at the moment, but he is already well too aware of the intense love that is hidden in his irises as he gazes at their child. He has already seen it every time Magnus holds him or feeds him or simply looks at him; it is the same look Alec has when he looks at Max, when he looks at Magnus, when Magnus looks at him. Coming from Magnus' eyes, though, it is all the more beautiful, truly.

"Far be it from me to deprive us of the total new parent experience," Magnus mutters in response finally, making a chuckle bubble from Alec's lips.

He already knows, of course, that Magnus could never and would never use his magic to make their infant child sleep if he would rather be awake. He is sure there would be some consequence or another for trying such a thing, and neither of them would rather risk it. Soothing him while he is having a nightmare, though, is an entirely different matter, as he does as much for Alec as well, when he can.

"Couldn't have that," Alec agrees, pressing idle kisses to the side of Magnus' neck, sleepy and wanting to drag him back to bed, even though he knows Magnus wishes to stand there for a while longer.

So he lets him stand there. Just for a little while longer.

"He's going to grow up one day," Magnus says suddenly, cranes his neck to give Alec better access. "He'll learn to walk and talk and cast spells…"

"He'll go to school, and make friends, fall in love," Alec continues between kisses, their son's whole future presenting itself before his very eyes as they spoke about it.

Here he is, so tiny, so unscathed by the world, his entire life in front of him. He hasn't fucked anything up yet, hasn't made any memories, hasn't found out who he is or what he likes or what he wants to do with his life. He is so full of possibility, and that terrifies Alec, truly; he is a blank slate, and Alec and Magnus are going to raise him, and God only knows what could happen if Alec fucks it up somehow—hopefully, Magnus won't let him fuck it up. Hopefully, they get this right.

"He'll do stupid things because he's fallen in love," Magnus adds, voice light with his words, amused.

"But he'll think it's worth it. And it might be, if he's lucky like his dads are," Alec says the words directly into Magnus' ear so he can hear the love and appreciation in his tone, how glad he is to be doing this with Magnus of all people, how thankful he is that he even gets to do this with Magnus, of all people.

"He'll be so embarrassed by us, when he's older," Magnus adds lowly, teasingly. "We'll be making goo goo eyes at each other when we're in public, and we'll kiss in front of his friends—we might even do worse when he's older and we want him out of the house," he says suggestively.

Alec laughs at that, though he bites his tongue to try to quiet his giggles as Max stirs ever so slightly. He feels Magnus hold his breath as they both anticipate him waking up, though, thankfully, he sighs in his sleep and stirs no more. For now.

"We'll tell him we love him every single day—and he'll stop saying it back for a few years, if he's anything like how me and Jace were when we were younger," Alec begins again when it's safe to speak, suddenly somber with the idea.

It is so far off, so many years away, but the idea of their precious baby boy hearing their fathers profess their love for him and not saying it back because he's too cool or some shit like that almost breaks Alec's heart already.

He wonders how he'll get through it, when the day finally comes. He wonders how his parents got through it in the moment before he remembers that they are shadowhunters, and they probably didn't let it phase them in the slightest. Alec is nothing like them in that aspect, though, and he knows it will absolutely kill him.

At least he'll have Magnus to help him get through it.

"He'll start saying it again though, with due time," Magnus says, reassuringly, probably sensing Alec's melancholy and dread. "That's… the thing about growing up: eventually, he'll grow up, and he won't be a child, and he won't be a teenager, he'll be this… Adult that we raised, a reflection of every single mistake we make along the way."

"And a reflection of every single good thing we do along the way, too," Alec adds, squeezing Magnus once again in reassurance.

Magnus hums in agreement, and turns around in Alec's embrace suddenly, his eyes tired and glossed over with a tenderness that Alec knows will spill over into tears if they are not careful. And if that happens, Alec fears waking Max; there is little more that he fears these days than waking their sleeping child.

Alec gives him a half smile, then leans in and kisses him without another word, because they are parents, and that is terrifying, but… at least they are terrified together. And there is solace in that fact.

When they pull back and Alec notices a tear has spilled from Magnus' eye, he unwinds his arms from around Magnus' waist and takes one of his hands instead.

"We should get some sleep while we still have the chance; either him or our alarm clocks will be waking us up soon enough, and you still need your beauty sleep," Alec says, tugging Magnus towards the door quietly, with little objection from him.

They give their son one final glance over their shoulders to be sure he is still sleeping, and, satisfied that he is, leave his room for their own, not for the last time that night.

*.*.*.*.*