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One Step At A Time

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Alec was nervously waiting in the restaurant, pulling out his phone for the tenth time already, opening up his camera and he stared at himself on the screen, fixing his hair and then he took in a deep breath - he was nervous, Alec was really nervous. That was the first date in almost a year and he didn’t want to mess it up, even though he knew that Magnus was different than others. Alec cleared his throat, checking up on his teeth, just to see if they were clean, pulling funny faces in front of the camera, but he really couldn’t help himself. The other day at the mall when he and Magnus met, it was different, but this was their first official date, though Magnus liked to claim that it was their second one. Alec rubbed his palms together and then bit into his lip; okay, he looked okay. 


Isabelle was right; she was watching over Rafael for the evening, more than happy to volunteer herself for the part of a babysitter because Alec didn’t go out much and she wanted him to be happy, so she was happily looking after Rafael. Besides, Rafe loved her, the two of them got along amazingly and the little boy was happy to be spending some time with his cool aunt. But he was kind of bummed out that he couldn’t join Alec at the restaurant, for the dinner. The three year old wanted to meet again Magnus and Max, of course because he was asking constantly after Max. They’ve only seen each other once, on the day that they met, but it seemed that Rafael was really fond of the little boy, and vice versa.


It’s been almost a week since Alec has last seen Magnus in the mall - both of them were pretty busy, so they couldn’t really meet up in real life. Alec was busy with his job and Magnus with his, working long hours in the office. But still, they chatted over the phone and video calls very frequently; the video calls were on the boys’ demand and usually in was just the boys chatting or just giggling, meanwhile Magnus and Alec were left to steal glanced  at each other, send each other long longing looks, or little winks, but none of them really minded it. They were happy that their sons were getting along so well and the next time that they were going to be meeting up, Max and Rafael were going to be present as well; they needed to get to know each other a bit better in private first, though. Being with the children wouldn’t really allow them to do that much and Alec puffed his cheeks as he looked at the time; Magnus was running late.


Just in case, Alec decided to check up on his phone and he saw that there were no new messages; but then again, Magnus was running late only by a few minutes and the fact that Alec was waiting for such a long time already was because he couldn’t contain his excitement and he showed up at the restaurant more than half an hour early and he then leaned back in his chair. ‘’All is going to be okay,’’ muttered Alec to himself and then rubbed the back of his neck. Alec knew how it was with kids; you couldn’t really predict what was going to happen. He was frequently late to work because Rafael wouldn’t let go off him when he would take him to preschool. Alec leaned forward, supporting his head on top of his hand and with the fingers of the other one, he started tapping against the table; still, he wished that Magnus was going to be joining him soon in there. 


And Alec was correct, because not even five minutes later, someone came running through the front door and Alec raised his head and saw a very dishevelled Magnus at the entrance of the restaurant. Magnus didn’t want to be seen, but it was too late as Alec’s eyes located him immediately and he cursed under his breath. He quickly fixed his hair, straightened his clothes and then took in a deep breath. He wasn’t that late, only by around ten minutes or so, but he still didn’t like it. He didn’t like starting off dates with running late. He was going to apologise to Alexander properly, though! After adjusting his jacket, he was finally all set to go and he felt butterflies in his stomach; this was going to be totally different than their meeting at the mall; they were alone. It was… he was nervous! And Magnus didn’t get nervous so easily, clearing his throat. 


‘’Magnus, hi,’’ said Alec happily and his smile was bright and happy; he could see Magnus over there - fixing his clothes and hair, it made him appear adorable and Alec then glanced down because he realised that both of them were really nervous. 


‘’Yeah, uh, hi,’’ said Magnus and then glanced down at Alec, who handed him his hand - a hand shake? Magnus cracked up and then instead of shaking Alec’s hand, he went in for a hug. Alec didn’t mind it at all and he happily received that hug; it was everything and he wished that it could last much longer, but he also didn’t want Magnus to think that he was weird, so he pulled away and then just took in a deep breath. How red was his face? Did it show just how nervous he was?! Alec’s mind was racing and he had to brace himself, holding onto the chair to pull himself out of the worries. ‘’Sorry for being late,’’ said Magnus and Alec just shook his head, wanting to tell Magnus that it didn’t really matter, but to the other it did matter very much so. ‘’I was just-’’


‘’Magnus, it’s okay, no need to-’’


‘’No, no, let me apologise properly,’’ said Magnus and then took in a deep breath. ‘’I had this plan of getting here about half an hour early,’’ he said and Alec cracked up because that was exactly what he was planning on doing. ‘’But then just as I dropped Maxie over at Catarina’s,’’ he said and Alec nodded. He’s heard about Magnus’ friend; Max’s friend Madzie was Catarina’s daughter and he hoped that they could all meet up once. ‘’I was about to leave and then he just,’’ he said and smiled softly. ‘’Started asking if he could come, if Rafael was coming to this dinner,’’ said Magnus and shook his head. Alec cracked up because that was exactly what Rafe was asking before Alec left. If it wasn’t for Izzy distracting the boy, he wouldn’t be here probably as Alec had a very hard time saying no to Rafe. Or, he would end up bringing him to the dinner. ‘’It was really hard to make him realise that a grown-up, boring dinner wasn’t for him,’’ said Magnus and then rubbed the back of his neck. ‘’Ah, so yes… I’m very sorry, I don’t usually come late, I just-’’


‘’Magnus, I get it,’’ said Alec and gave him a little wink. ‘’Rafe has spent the whole week asking me why he couldn’t come,’’ said Alec and then clicked with his tongue. ‘’Yeah, I was this close to bringing him here,’’ he said and then sighed because he was already missing his son and then he rubbed his palms together. But, the date could finally start. ‘’It’s okay, calm down,’’ he said and Magnus gave him a little nod and finally sat down. Boy, he was really nervous. ‘’Then again, I’m nervous as hell too, so who am I to preach you about staying calm,’’ he said and then sighed. ‘’It’s just… a lot for the both of us, huh?’’ he asked and Magnus gave him a little nod.


‘’Yeah,’’ said Magnus and gave Alec a little understanding smile; he was glad that Alexander was such an understanding person. Camille was never like this - all that she cared about was herself and her needs. Even when it came to Maxie; he was only there to make her appear more likeable. The clicks online and the comments under the photos that she posted with him always seemed to matter more than the well-being of the child . It pissed Magnus off and he then just cleared his throat. He was just pissed off because he had the unpleasant luck of running into her. Still, he shouldn’t be worrying too much and then he clasped his hands together. ‘’Let’s, um, just take things slow; one thing at a time?’’ he asked and Alec nodded.


‘’First step; let’s finally order something because I’m starving,’’ said Alec and Magnus gave him a little nod because he was starving as well. ‘’I was so nervous that I couldn’t really eat much for lunch, but now my stomach is hating me because of that,’’ he said and Magnus chuckled softly and then sighed happily - Alexander had a surprisingly adorable side to him. He liked that.


‘’No need to be so nervous, I don’t bite… unless you want me to,’’ said Magnus and winked. Alec flushed slightly and quickly pulled the menu over his face. Magnus didn’t say much  after that, but he couldn’t stop smiling. Alexander was such an adorable guy. 



‘’And you still stayed with her even though you knew she was cheating on you?’’ asked Alec and shook his head. A sad smile spread across his face and then he slowly nodded. Magnus and Alec were slowly eating their dinner and were getting to know each other a bit more. Magnus didn’t really like talking about his exes on first dates, but he got a call from Camille right when he was on the date and the look on his face said it all, Alec knew what it meant. He was the same when he got a call from his ex-husband and he shuddered. He didn’t want to be prying into it too much, but he could see that Magnus wanted to rant about it and in the end, Magnus shared a bit about the relationship, not too much, but still enough for Alec to see just what kind of a person Max’s mother was and he was just… appalled. 


‘’I know,’’ said Magnus and then shrugged. ‘’I mean, I tried to make it work for Maxie’s sake,’’ he said and then puffed his cheeks. ‘’And I overlooked many things… too many things, either I decided not to believe it, or I let it slide past me because I just wanted a family ,’’ he said and then looked down. ‘’I wanted to give Maxie the best, but then I had to realise that staying in that kind of a household couldn’t be good for a kid. Camille and I were constantly fighting and it was just… bad ,’’ he said. ‘’So, divorce seemed like the best option and I must say that I’m much happier since then,’’ he said and Alec gave him a little nod; he knew how freeing it could be. ‘’Five months of freedom,’’ said Magnus happily and sighed. ‘’Though, she still being a pain in the neck,’’ said Magnus and rolled his eyes. Alec was just nodding along and was taking everything. ‘’I didn’t say too much, did I?’’ he asked and Alec shook his head.


‘’No,’’ said Alec. ‘’In fact, it feels good to finally meet someone that knows how it is,’’ said Alec and then chewed on his lip. ‘’My divorce was over a year ago and even if I tired to date, no one really got me,’’ he said and a sad smile spread across his face and then sighed. ‘’So, I’m glad that I met you, you get me and don’t judge me,’’ he said and Magnus gave him a little nod. Of course, he’d never judge Alec, never. Magnus’ smile was growing wider and he then glanced over at Alec. He, too, had questions and he cleared his throat.


‘’How about you? You must’ve married young?’’ asked Magnus and Alec thought about it for a few moments and in the end he nodded. Yes, he was pretty young . ‘’It’s okay if you don’t want to talk about it, I totally understand and-’’


‘’Oh, that’s not it,’’ said Alec and quickly shook his head. ‘’Yeah, I was 21,’’ said Alec and then pressed his lips together. ‘’You know, it all happened so fast that I don’t even remember how it all happened,’’ said Alec and glanced down. ‘’I met Gavin while I was attending university,’’ said Alec and then bit into his lip. ‘’I was still very closeted, but he made me realise that it was okay to be gay,’’ said Alec and then shook his head. ‘’I mean I don’t really… I think that at some point he did truly love me, but then he got tired of me,’’ said Alec and looked down. ‘’I dropped out of school because I wanted to be with him. He’s older, so he finished uni that year that we’ve met and, um,’’ said Alec. ‘’It really did happen suddenly. After month we’ve started living together, two months after he proposed and then we’ve got married,’’ said Alec. 


‘’I see.’’


‘’Yeah, but things slowly started going south; we were also at each other’s throat constantly, we were fighting and we tried to save our relationship, we thought that a child would help,’’ said Alec and held in his breath. ‘’Boy, were we wrong,’’ said Alec and looked down, biting into his lip. ‘’At first it helped, the day that Rafe was born… the happiest day of my life, truly, but it didn’t help,’’ he said and bit his lip. ‘’Gavin started drinking and… yeah ,’’ he said. ‘’After two years, I finally realised that I couldn’t carry on being in that kind of environment,’’ he said. ‘’Should’ve ended it sooner, when Rafe was younger, but,’’ he said and glanced down. ‘’I-’’


‘’You did what you thought was the best,’’ said Magnus and shook his head. ‘’Don’t blame yourself,’’ he said and Alec slowly nodded because he was working on that, yes. ‘’You’re an amazing person and an amazing father,’’ carried Magnus on and bit his lip; Alexander truly was strong. ‘’It’s okay,’’ he said and reached with his hand over to Alec, taking his hand and Alec glanced down, his smile big when he felt Magnus’ hand in his; he was glad that he got to tell that to Magnus. It made him feel… free



‘’Crepes it is then,’’ said Magnus as the two of them were picking out a dessert after the main course and Alec nodded - that would be lovely. He wished that Magnus could come over to his place to try out his crepe recipe; Alec could make a mean batch of crepes, they were Rafael approved, so of course they had to be good. Alec was smiling along and he then leaned back in his chair; the date was going good so far; the mood wasn’t serious anymore, it was relaxed and quite pleasant. Alec was having a lot of fun and he didn’t even realise that the date was soon going to be coming to an end. 


‘’I was told by quite a few people that I make crepes that are out of this world,’’ bragged Alec and Magnus chuckled. As Alec heard the chuckle, he felt his cheeks redden a little bit and he then cleared his throat - was he bragging too much? Alec pressed his lips together and then shrugged. ‘’I mean, you could come by with Max one time and-and I could make blueberry ones, just for him,’’ offered Alec and in Magnus’ eyes he became even more adorable. Magnus leaned forward and then nodded because he would like that very much - a playdate for the boys, it was an amazing idea. 


‘’I do like that idea, Maxie will be thrilled,’’ said Magnus and Alec sheepishly smiled, thanking the waitress when she brought them their chocolate pancakes and Alec took in a deep breath - he felt giddy, like a kid when he saw those pancakes. It was just… it was really nice not to be cooking for once and that the food was served by someone else; it’s been too long since he visited a restaurant. ‘’Oh, these look amazing,’’ said Magnus and Alec couldn’t say no to that; they looked rather amazing and he dragged his tongue over his lower lips, feeling Magnus’ eyes on him. 


‘’Are you checking me out right now?’’ asked Alec and Magnus snorted. Magnus shrugged because… well. Alec licking his lips like that was quite the sight and he couldn’t help but to stare. ‘’So, seeing me drool over the food is what gets you going, huh?’’ asked Alec and Magnus rolled his eyes and started laughing out loud. ‘’I mean, whatever floats your boat, I’m not judging,’’ added Alec and Magnus lightly kicked him under the table. Alec stopped laughing, but the smile on his face prevailed. And just as he was about to dig in, his phone started buzzing. Alec groaned and then looked at Magnus apologetically. ‘’I’m sorry,’’ he said and Magnus shook his head.


‘’It’s okay,’’ said Magnus. 


Alec was surprised when he saw Isabelle’s name written on the screen - he had a video call incoming and he quickly picked it up. Isabelle wouldn’t be calling him for nothing since she knew that he was in the middle of the date! ‘’It’s my sister,’’ explained Alec and Magnus nodded. Alec picked up the call and he was very surprised when he saw Rafael on the screen. He narrowed his eyes and then cleared his throat; where was Izzy then?! ‘’Rafe?!’’ shrieked Alec and the boy sighed, very dramatically.


‘’Dad, it’s not fair,’’ whined the boy and Alec glanced over to Magnus, mouthing another apology, but Magnus didn’t mind it one bit. Something like that was to be expected, in all honesty. ‘’Are gonna be home soon?’’ he whined and Alec chuckled and then glanced at Magnus, who was laughing along.


‘’Soon, Rafe, we’re having dessert and-’’


‘’Oh! Is it yummy?’’ asked the boy.


‘’Rafe, where is Izzy?’’


‘’Aunt Iz is in bathroom,’’ he said and Alec clicked with his tongue - so Rafael took Isabelle’s phone without permission and called Alec. Smart boy. “Is Mister Bane there too?” asked Rafael curiously and Magnus grinned from across the table.


“Call me Magnus, sweetpea,” said Magnus softly and Rafael nodded. Magnus was beaming because Alec’s kid was really well-mannered; Alexander definitely did a good job with raising the little boy and he then pressed his lips together. “And, yes, I am here,” said Magnus, Alec turning over the phone to Magnus, who waved to the boy and Rafael perked up, curious to see what they were eating. “Is the food yummy?” asked Rafael and Alec face-palmed himself because once Rafael started a conversation, it was hard for him to stop.


“Oh, very,” said Magnus. “Right now, your dad and I are having crepes,” said Magnus and Max’s eyes widened because he wanted crepes as well. Or pancakes!


“I want too! I love crepes, dad makes good ones. I also like pancakes and cupcakes and cereal!” said Rafael, listing his favourite food and Magnus was laughing along. “Do you like cupcakes too?” asked Rafael and Magnus nodded. “Max likes them too?” asked Rafael and Magnus nodded again.


“He adores them.”


“Dad, we have to make blueberry cupcakes next time,” said Rafael and Magnus’ heart melted. Alec chuckled and then turned the phone back to himself and then shook his head. “Max isn’t there?”


“No, Max isn’t here, it’s just me and Magnus,” said Alec. “Can you go see if your aunt is around already?” asked Alec and Rafael nodded, running with the phone in his hand and Alec shuddered - that was a recipe for disaster. “Rafe, slow down, walk, okay?” he asked and Rafael nodded, going around and he finally saw Isabelle. 


“Aunt Izzy is here,” said Rafael happily. “Izzy, look, I called dad!” said Rafe and pointed to the phone. Alec and Magnus were cracking up with laughter. 


“Rafael!” exclaimed Isabelle. “You don’t call someone when they’re in a middle of a date, it’s rude,” she said and Rafael’s jaw dropped and he glanced back to the screen - that was a date?! Alec glanced at Magnus, who knew that Alec didn’t tell Rafael that it was a date and the boy was probably old enough to kind of gasp the idea of dating. Kind of. 


“A date?” asked Rafael. “Dad, are you gonna marry Magnus?” asked Rafael. Ah, yes, it was so simple in his mind. A date equaled marriage and Magnus was biting into his lip as he tried not to laugh too hard. Alec, on the other hand, was panicking. “Max will be my brother!” cheered Rafael and Magnus was laughing even harder. 


“Rafe,” said Alec and then took in a deep breath. “Isabelle!” he then shrieked and Isabelle managed to get the phone away from Rafael. It wasn’t even that hard - the phone was no longer interesting. Rafael was running around the living room, singing the wedding song and already celebrating. Alec face-palmed himself and then shook his head. 


“Alec, I’m so sorry,” said Izzy. “I was gone for a minute, he must’ve found the phone and then… I’m sorry, I’ll make it up to you,” she said and Alec then just sighed and shook his head. He couldn’t really carry on the conversation because he was on the date, but he was going to talk to them later. He needed to focus on Magnus.


“It’s okay, I’ll… I’ll be home soon and we’ll talk later,” said Alec and Isabelle then nodded. Alec took in a deep breath and then glanced at Magnus, who was cracking up. “I am so sorry, Rafael… has a vivid imagination, in his mind we’re already married and… this is why… I’m so sorry,” said Alec because he didn’t want to scare Magnus off, but Magnus just reached with his hand over the table and took Alec’s into his own, calming him down.


“Rafael is three,” said Magnus and Alec nodded. “I think it’s adorable,” he said and shrugged. “Don’t worry, I know we’re taking this slowly… one step at a time, remember?” he asked and Alec just nodded and then gazed into Magnus’ eyes. “Amazing. Now, let’s enjoy the dessert,” said Magnus and Alec nodded again. 


Their first official date was a huge success!