yooo I saw you were accepting prompts! Can you do a role reversal (simon as the clan leader and raphael as the fledgling) saphael fic? I've seen some posts about it and I can't get it out of my head 😅 thanks!
yes!!! i was so excited to get this prompt!! so its not really included much, but in this magnus would be in clary’s role and raphael is of course in simon’s
Raphael misses his heartbeat.
If he’s going to have a nightmare, he prefers to have the rapid beating of his heart when he wakes up to remind him that he’s alright. He’s okay.
But now he wakes up in the Hotel Dumort, forcing himself to breathe in and out, with no heartbeat to reassure him. In fact, the lack of movement in his chest makes the whole situation worse. It’s a painful reminder of the night before, when dirt and panic and fear were all beating down on him as he clawed his way up.
Coincidentally, that’s what the nightmare had been about.
He rolls over in bed and spots a thermos and a little slip of paper propped against it. He knows there’s blood in the thermos, despite Simon’s attempts to hide it with the solid metal of the cup. He reaches for the paper, which has Simon’s room number scribbled on it in a hasty, messy scrawl.
Raphael does not want to ask for help. Raphael Santiago never asks for help. He takes care of his brothers without help, he balances school and work without help, and he manages himself without help.
The thought of his family and his responsibilities make another flare of panic rise in his chest. How is he going to take care of his brothers? His mama can’t do it alone, she needs someone to help run things. But the sun will apparently burn him to a crisp and the crosses that deck out the Santiago house will apparently scar him. Which is a whole other problem. He needs to go to church on Sundays, he needs to pray at altar, he needs to wear his cross around his neck like he did every day before yesterday.
So he’s going to ask for help. Because being a vampire is not something he can figure out through his own craftiness and the internet.
He gets up and shuffles down the hall to room 210, where Simon is clearly still awake despite it being mid-afternoon. Raphael can hear a television running and loud guitar music being played and he briefly pauses outside the door, unsure.
He doesn’t know Simon. All he knows is that after Louis Karnstein bit him and Magnus and his newfound Shadowhunter companions rushed him to the cemetery, Simon had shown up with instructions on how to carry out the process. Simon had also held Raphael’s head while he drank blood for the first time, and then held his head again when he inevitably threw it up.
Simon had been nothing but kind to Raphael through the first couple of hours. He’d been soothing and understanding and he’d promised that he would help Raphael every step of the way.
But Simon’s clan has something like 200 vampires in it. He’s probably too busy to even learn Raphael’s last name.
“Raphael Santiago as I live and breathe!” Raphael looks up with a start to see Simon draped in the doorway, a smile on his face. “Well not live and breathe, but, you know. Everything okay?”
“Uh,” Raphael is suddenly overwhelmed with emotions that hadn’t been there only seconds ago. He’s not going to cry in front of Simon, though. So he just shakes his head. “Can I ask you some things?”
Simon’s smile is gone and he looks much more serious. With a nod he heads back into his room, leaving the door open for Raphael to follow at his own pace. The room almost looks like they’re in a different building. The ancient-looking wallpaper is covered up with band posters, some signed by bands who he probably met in person decades ago. He has blankets thrown around, clothes on the floor, water bottles of half-drank blood scattered around various surfaces.
He clears a space on his messy couch for Raphael, who sits stiffly beside him.
“What’s up?” Simon asks.
“I do not know how to do this.” Raphael sighs, clenching his jaw to keep his face composed. “I need to know how I can see my family. And go to church. And wear my cross.”
Simon blinks. “Very ambitious. When I was turned, I stayed in bed for three days.”
“I’m not like that.” Raphael says shortly. He wants answers, not personal anecdotes and caring advice.
“Listen, I’m going to be honest. For a while, life is going to be terrible. You won’t be able to see your family, you won’t be able to go to church, and you’ll probably hate…everything. Everyone does, at first.”
“I don’t want to feel sorry for myself, I want to figure out a way around it.” Raphael insists, immensely frustrated. He doesn’t care how everyone else reacts to it. He is not everyone else, and getting back to normal as soon as possible is all he wants.
Simon puts a hand on Raphael’s shoulder. “There are ways around it, but they take time. Just to say God took me months, and it’s a painful process. I only recently learned how to walk on consecrated ground.”
Raphael shrugs Simon’s hand off. “Well maybe I’m better than you at it.”
Simon’s lips press together and he’s clearly attempting to swallow a laugh. “Yeah, maybe. Go ahead and say it, if you think it’s so easy.”
Raphael doesn’t hesitate. He forces the word out of his mouth, but the only noise that comes out is a choked cough. He’s alarmed to taste a pooling of blood in his mouth and suddenly Simon’s shoving a cup under his chin. Without thinking, Raphael spits and watches in horror as his blood fills the bottom of the cup.
“Oh my–” He’s about to finish the sentence with the very word that just scorched his throat, but he stops himself. When he looks back up, there’s nothing taunting in Simon’s eyes. He looks sad.
“See?” He says softly. “It’s not what you think.”
Raphael never cries in front of people, but he’s never been a vampire before so he’s allowing himself to make an exception. His life is centered around family and faith. Now both of those are gone for who knows how long, and Magnus is off with a handsome black-haired demon killer and Simon is looking at him with so much pity in his eyes that it’s physically painful.
“I know it’s horrible.” Simon says. “But things get better. I can enter my synagogue again, and there are ways to see your family. How do you think your family will react to this?”
“My mama will accept it.” Raphael immediately says, because he knows it’s true. Guadalupe Santiago would never turn away one of her sons, alive or dead. “But I don’t know if I can–control myself–”
“I know.” Simon cuts off his rising panic. “I can bring them food and money and whatever they need until you feel safe around them. Just tell me where to leave it and I’ll get it done. And we can practice with your faith, together. Whenever you’re ready.”
Raphael wipes at his eyes and looks up. “Aren’t you too busy?”
Simon shakes his head, a determined glint in his brown eyes. “You’re family now. I’m going to do everything I can.”
“Because you seem like a good person.” Simon answers with a broad grin, which makes the pain in Raphael’s heart ease a bit. “And I think you’d do the same for me.”