Simon was absolutely bewildered. He had seen Raphael in some fairly bad moods over the few months that they had been together, but this night's seemed to top off everything. Raphael was generally sarcastic and dry; Simon knew that much. Tonight, however, it seemed as though he was just plain rude, something that Simon had rarely ever seen. And he had no idea where it was coming from.

They were supposed to be having a mini party at Magnus and Alec's. Simon saw it as a way of just celebrating the fact that they were somehow all still alive. Yet the entire night, Raphael had been extremely aggressive and generally unwilling to talk to anyone, including Simon. Magnus had thrown some concerned glances their way a few times, but he seemed to be smart enough to keep himself from asking what was going on.

Simon, however, was apparently not this smart. After over an hour of the same sort of nonsense, Simon finally got up and dragged Raphael into one of the spare rooms in the apartment. "What is going on with you?" he immediately demanded. It was only after the words were out of his mouth that he realized how harsh they sounded. He regretted phrasing it in such a way, but it was too late now, so he just stared back at Raphael, trying to read the expression on his face.

The Raphael that was staring back at Simon was so heavily guarded, so much more than usual, that Simon barely recognized him. "Why would you think there is anything going on, Lewis?" Raphael's voice was ice cold, but it was also eerily smooth. There was no emotion behind it at all, no indication that anything was wrong. And that was what worried Simon the most.

"Oh, I don't know, Santiago," Simon began, his tone equally as icy. "Maybe the fact that when Magnus asked you if he could get you another bottle of blood you told him to bite you." Raphael's emotionless expression didn't change in any way, so Simon continued. "Or maybe it was the fact that since you have said that you haven't spoken another word to anyone. Raphael," Simon hated the way his voice became gentler when he actually used Raphael's first name. "Drop the act. Whatever is going on, just talk to me."

For several long moments, Simon felt as though he was going to be the next person that Raphael told to bite him. Which, Simon considered, was not a bad idea in and of itself. He shoved that thought aside as Raphael began to speak, his earlier emotionless voice now drenched in anger. "I don't understand what the point of this 'celebrating' is." He practically spat the words at Simon.

Apparently, Simon's expression looked as confused as he felt because Raphael continued. "In case you haven't noticed, please have died, Simon." Raphael's voice seemed to fall flat on Simon's name. Despite this, he kept speaking. "We weren't the only ones in this war. We weren't the only ones who had to get through it." Simon remained silent once more, but this time it was because he had no idea what to say.

Before Simon could figure out what to say, Raphael went to sit on the green bedspread beside of him. It was then that Simon finally realized what everything was about. "Ragnor?" Simon's voice had the overbearing hint of a question, mostly because he didn't want to spark anything that he couldn't handle.

"Dios, of course this is about Ragnor," Raphael replied, his voice suddenly losing all the biting anger it had held. "He was my best friend." Simon was just as speechless as ever at this declaration. "He's gone, Simon. He died because of this war and everyone is sitting here pretending that just because we all made it through that everyone else did as well."

For a moment, Simon considered what it would be like for him to just leave without saying another word. He had never been able to easily deal with grief, and the grief of those he cared for the most was always the hardest for him to navigate. Raphael's voice might have been even, but the storm in his eyes told Simon all that he needed to know. He moved to sit beside of Raphael, trying, and failing, to figure out exactly what to say.

"Raphael," Simon knew his own voice was pretty uneven, but that was mostly out of his own confusion as to what to do. "I don't think that's what we're doing here. At least, it's not meant to be that way. Magnus lost Ragnor, too. Everyone here realizes that people have been lost in this war, everyone realizes that more people will be lost. We're here because we're celebrating the fact that somehow, we're the ones who have made it."

Raphael reached over to place his hand on Simon's. He looked as though he was going to say something in response, but before he could, the door began to inch open. Simon almost laughed at how ridiculous Alec looked when he poked his head into the room. "May I add something to that?" he asked, then began talking much quicker, trying to amend what he had just said. "Magnus sent me to make sure everything was okay because apparently I'm the 'peacekeeper' here, and I couldn't help but overhearing."

Simon was slightly too relieved when Raphael flashed a weak smile and inclined his head. "Simon's right," Alec continued. Simon was fairly certain he had never heard Alec utter those words before. "We all lost someone. I lost my little brother. And throughout this little party of ours, I've been thinking of things about it that he would have loved. Sure, it hurts. And I doubt it's ever going to stop hurting. But from what Magnus has told me of Ragnor, he wouldn't want you to stop living, to stop being happy just because he's gone."

At first, Simon tensed up, not knowing how Raphael would react to this particular mention of Ragnor. When Raphael chuckled, however, Simon gave Alec a look that said he was just as thankful as he was awed by the fact that he had even begun to fix this. "The sad part," Raphael began, his voice much less cold. "Is that I know you're right. He'd probably be telling me to go make fun of Magnus's wardrobe if I needed to cheer myself up."

Simon was surprised when Alec laughed as well. "Well, come on then, Raphael," there was an odd sort of mischief in Alec's eyes and Simon was unsure of how to deal with that. "We'd better get started on that because there's a lot to make fun of with the way Magnus is dressed today."

Finally, for the first time all night, Simon himself laughed when they heard Magnus all but scream from the living room. "I heard that, Alexander! You're sleeping on the couch tonight!" When they had all three composed themselves enough to walk out of the room, Alec looked over and winked.

"He says that a lot, but as soon as the Chairman comes to sleep with me, he's suddenly no longer angry." Simon smiled once more and slid his hand into Raphael's. He didn't know how, but Simon did know that he was going to make sure that whatever type of war or battle came their way, he and Raphael were going to make it through together.