Actions

Work Header

Malec Pride

Chapter Text

  1. Storm - It’s raining outside. Magnus is basically a cat while Alec and Madzie are children. Set in canon.
  2. Rainbow - Sequel to Storm
  3. First Date - Potential outcome of 1x10 when Clary and Jace go back to their world. Alternate universe.
  4. Identity Shenanigans - Alec and Magnus switch how they look to please the other for the Pride Parade. Set in canon.
  5. AU: Free For All - Alec goes to a Gladiator Pit as a bodyguard for his fellow Shadowhunter. Gladiator AU (GDOV).
  6. Discovery - Magnus gets insecure about his eyes. Set in canon.
  7. Underground - Three people go up a hill, and Alec only sees two go down. Kill Bill inspired AU.
  8. Elevator - Magnus and Alec, for the first time, share an interesting moment in Alec’s workplace elevator. Office AU.
  9. Closet - Magnus gets on Alec’s case about his style. Highschool AU.
  10. Coming Out - Alec comes out. Highschool AU.
  11. The Movies - Magnus and Alec watch Kill Bill Vol. 1 together. Set in canon.
  12. Fairytale - Alec tells his son a story, but perhaps not a Fairytale. Set in canon.
  13. Graveyard Shift - Magnus has a late night at the (literal) office, but a janitor's presence makes it not-so-bad. Office AU.
  14. Coffee Shop - Alpha!Magnus is having a bad shift. Guess who makes it better. Highschool AU.
  15. Sleepover - Izzy and Magnus are having a sleepover when they get an interesting phone call. Highschool AU.
  16. Parade - Sequel to Identity Shenanigans. (Skipped the actual #16 prompt, this is technically 17)
  17. Dance - Alec wakes up alone. Magnus has a lot of feelings. Set in canon.
  18. Mutual Support - When Omega!Alec is taken away, Alpha!Magnus won't stand for it. Omegaverse AU (GDOV).
  19. Confession - When Alec finds a baby on the steps, his parental instincts and determination burst out in spades. Set in canon, based off book-canon.
  20. Proposal - Alec is trying to ask this cute boy to their Winter Formal. He gets embarrassed, and not for the reasons you think. Highschool AU.
  21. Flowers - Magnus's thoughts on how Alec treats him. Set in canon.
  22. Intersection - An accident occurs. Modern AU.
  23. Domestic - Sequel to Intersection. Magnus recovers. It's not easy. Modern AU.

Chapter Text

Okay, so maybe Magnus shared Chairman Meow’s fear of storms. Okay? It didn’t make him any less masculine or awesome or badass. No, of course not.

 

It just made him the slightest bit apprehensive, of course.

 

There were plenty of frightening components to a storm, even a Downworlder or Nephilim could admit that much. Portals sometimes fritzed out, like mundane electronic appliances, and there were even rare cases of magic and runes failing to activate. Such phenomena had yet to be proven and published, but it was a great enough superstition that all non-mundanes dreaded the idea of going out in the rain.

 

“Magnus! It’s raining, and Madzie wants to play outside!” Alec grinned so hopefully and earnestly. Magnus was about to say no, he was that close, and then Madzie appeared behind him with endearingly big beady eyes. The kind of combination that Magnus would have to be 100% demon to say no to.

 

“Magnus, let’s go!” Madzie insisted, tugging on his pants. Alec’s smile started dissipating with every second he spent silent. Just watching him with those big blue eyes.

 

He lost. As soon as they teamed up on him, he admitted defeat with a glossed smile.

 

“Let’s go out,” he said with tired acceptance in his eyes. 

 

Alec kissed him on the cheek and grabbed Madzie. He ended up putting her on his shoulders (a second favorite position, only beaten out by Madzie resting her head against his shoulder and having Alec wrap his arms around her and carry her, but then again, that was more for when she was exhausted) and charging out the door like a horse.

 

“Here we go…”

 

The rain was only thundering against the pavement louder and louder. Central park was about a ten minute walk; a walk Magnus wouldn’t have bothered with unless there happened to be two rays of sunshine walking in front of him. Damnit. He conjured an umbrella for himself, of course, and made his death grip tighter when a gust of wind picked up.

 

Actual thunder rumbled overhead. Magnus thankfully remembered to soundproof the outside world for the Chairman's Emergency Rain Room so they could actually sleep in peace at night. He might have to use that excuse to check on him and take a break from the cold wetness seeping into his skin. Lightning followed, as it usually did, and the flash made Magnus flinch, as if it actually struck him. 

 

The city was bathed in hustle and bustle and water. Even with magic, he couldn’t see that far ahead of him. It was just grey rain and unfocused figures dodging and running and strutting. He bumped into quite a few people on his way while Alec and Madzie, with no obstructions over their heads, continued to charge forward and jump and dance in the rain. Magnus rolled his eyes. 

 

Affectionately, of course.

 

It paradoxically felt like hours and seconds later. The trio made it to the park with the occasional mundane trying to get out of the rain being the only signs of human life around. With sparkly rain boots (bedazzled by Magnus himself), Madzie kicked off the ground like a Long Jumper into the mud. Her form could actually land her in the Olympics someday.

 

Alec watched her kick around and splash, then his eyes focused on Magnus. He had some odd sense of expectation in his crystal eyes. That expectation, coupled with his nod towards Madzie, made Magnus wonder if Alec really thought he would jump into the mud with her. 

 

And of course, Alec knew that Magnus had no particular love for the rain. Of course, Alec would never actually think that Magnus was interested in getting literally down and dirty with him. Of course… right?

 

“This is Prada.” Magnus scoffed. He referred to his black shirt with red leaves and flowers across it. It was less extravagant than his normal wardrobe, but he was feeling a bit more subdued than usual. As another bolt of lightning struck overhead again, he wondered how that could be.

 

“Fine, I guess I’m the only good babysitter in this relationship.” Alec smirked before jumping into the mud puddle with her. Magnus reacted by throwing up a shield to prevent the mud from staining his clothes. She squealed and threw a glob of it at Alec’s chest, who just laughed. A clear and resonant sound through the storm and gloom. 

 

They continued like that for a while before Madzie demanded like the princess she was for Magnus to join them. Alec smiled at them, but Magnus had little interest in taking his umbrella away from his head. The wind was already blowing enough water and dirt into his skin and clothes. 

 

“Magnussssss!” Madzie insisted.

 

“Yeah, Magnusssss!” Alec taunted, a shit-eating smirk on his face. Oh, that bastard. He was more evil than a shax demon.

 

“I hate the rain. I am just supervising the children in my vicinity,” Magnus drawled.

 

Alec threw another glob of mud. It landed on his pants. Magnus resisted the urge to burn his husband’s eyebrows off. Just barely.

 

“Whoops. My hand slipped.”

 

Magnus cracked his knuckles and tackled Alec into the mud. He threw the umbrella to the winds (literally) and pinned his Shadowhunter down with ease.

 

“A familiar position, is it not?” Magnus huffed out. He slithered around Alec’s body until his arms ended up around his neck. 

 

“I don’t know what you could possibly mean!” Alec grunted out. He kicked his legs up to try to get out. Then, he did some odd twist when Magnus loosened his grip for a microsecond and managed to break free.

 

“It’s on, Shadowhunter.” Magnus manipulated the mud around him. It circled and pulsated with him as he widened his stance and steadied himself in the puddle.

 

“Bring it, Warlock.” Alec whipped out his stele. Magnus wasn’t a slouch on his learnings; he knew Alec activated Equilibrium, Accuracy, and Strength, in that order.

 

“Really, Alexander? Is that a nice way to treat your husband?” He pouted before hurling the mud at him. Alec blocked it with his hand and threw his own baseball-like mud ball. Magnus’s magic could barely stop it in time.

 

Madzie watched, utter glee in her eyes as her second-parents duked it out. Alec started doing flips and other gymnastic moves in the air, and while Magnus would normally find it sexy, he was in the middle of a war. Not just for victory, but he also wanted to prove he was the superior god-father. 

 

Well, he was, but he needed to prove it, first.

 

Any move that Alec did, Magnus made a completely ridiculous addition to it with his magic. Flight wasn’t exactly his specialty, but he could give himself enough airtime to do multiple flips.

 

“You should see my friend Elsa Coda,” Magnus said, ducking out of the way of a mud bomb. “She’s been on Broadway and can do a lot of auxiliary magic. Maybe even better than Catarina, if Catarina is having one of the worst days of her life…” He realized his mistake when he saw Madzie. “Don’t tell your moth-” Alec landed a shot right on his cheek. There went whatever was left of his makeup.

 

“Don’t get distracted while fighting, Magnus!” Alec cackled uncharacteristically. Magnus walked up to him and pushed him on the floor. 

 

“Expecting a kiss or something? Oh, wait, you must have, considering what happened last training session.”

 

“Because you’re so distracting! Trying to teach you anything is impossible, honey .”

 

“It’s not my fault you’re weak to my flirting."

 

“And it’s not my fault you’re weak to my di-”

 

“What happened last training session?” Madzie asked, sauntering over with a bright smile.

 

The two husbands paled. Magnus reacted faster, scooping her up in his arms. He didn’t really do it as often as Alec did, but he was able to make her fly above his head when no one was watching.

 

“We got distracted because we wanted to… dance,” Magnus finished lamely.

 

“Can I dance with you guys?” She poked Magnus’s non-muddy cheek.

 

Alec was somehow able to keep a straight face. Magnus snorted. “No… It’s a special dance. A special dance only Warlocks and Shadowhunters that are happily married can do.”

 

“Only when happily married?” Alec raised an eyebrow. 

 

“Shush, you.” Then, under his breath. “In front of the kid?”

 

They all stepped out of the mud puddle. Magnus was about to remove the mud off himself and Madzie (Alec could eat shit), but Madzie beat him to it. She flung the mud off of them in varying directions. In fact…

 

“We’re spotless!” Alec chuckled. The rain immediately soaked him again, as rain tended to do, but he was impressed all the same. Magnus conjured his umbrella once again for him and his favorite goddaughter. 

 

“Good job, Madzie. As a reward, we’re going to…” Magnus made his thinking face. It really made him look old with all the wrinkles. “Eat… whatever you want for dinner tonight!”

 

Madzie gasped, then her jaw nearly hit the floor. “Can we get McDonald’s?!” She squealed. Alec hated McDonald’s.

 

“Of course we can, sweetpea,” Magnus cooed. Madzie cheered and hugged him tight enough to squeeze his throat. “Oof!”

 

“You deserved that,” Alec whispered. He nudged him to make room under the umbrella. 

 

The trio walked back to their apartment. Normally, at that point, Magnus would have portalled back home, especially considering that no one was around to see them play in the raging storm. Unbelievably, Magnus smiled when he looked up at the dark grey skies. He smiled with Alec standing next to him, grumbling about mud underneath his clothes and McDonald’s. He smiled with Madzie cuddling up against him, something she enjoyed more with Alec (he couldn’t blame her; Alec did have a great chest). 

 

So, while the noises did make him jump every so often, Magnus made the executive decision as High Warlock of Brooklyn to enjoy the rainfall. As long as it made his husband and daughter happy, and as long as he got to watch Alec make a fool out of himself, too, he’d be content with taking those steps outside.

 

Magnus chuckled. The loves of his life never ceased to amaze him, did they?

Chapter Text

Alec looked sick to his stomach as they entered the McDonald’s. In all fairness, it smelled like dust, rain, sweat, and old French fries, but that was part of the charm of such a mundane place. He questioned why Magnus liked seeing weird pieces of artwork in museums, and he just never got it.

 

Well… Alec was still lovable, anyway.

 

Even when they got inside, he was still muttering about all the different restaurants and cuisines offered in New York, and she chose the most common fast food chain in the entire country? Regardless, Madzie was delighted to order her Happy Meal and Magnus loved eating their chicken nuggets, so Alec (by proxy) was content. Relatively speaking.

 

“Is there a playground here?” Madzie swiveled her head around, searching for the doorway.

 

“You just played in the mud for over a half hour, Madzie!” Alec incredulously replied. She shrugged, then made the ‘I don’t know’ sound. Were Warlock children constantly filled with adrenaline? Then again, when Max was eight, he was jumping and bouncing off the walls of the Institute. Now that he was fourteen, he settled with simply firing arrows off the walls and occasionally, setting the walls on fire with enchanted arrows. 

 

They continued eating, Alec settling with just the salad (something which the two Warlocks laughed at him for) and Magnus making easy conversation about some clients that needed wards replaced.

 

“And then!" He spread out his arms with dramatic flair. "He tried to pickpocket me the mundane way.” Magnus snorted. “Imagine his surprise when I twisted his wrist! I know all the tricks in the book; I’ve lived too long to be duped and have my wallet stolen, of all things. As, if!” Alec chuckled, having finally watched all of Magnus's favorite high-school movies. They still had to get through Legally Blonde.

 

“You have a wallet?” Alec raised an eyebrow.

 

Magnus showed him his leather wallet. Alec opened it up and investigated the driver’s license.

 

“Wow… you look…”

 

His husband didn’t have any facial hair. In fact, he looked incredibly young in that photo with no makeup and no glitter. Alec had a feeling that he would be just as attracted to that Mag-

 

“Why is your name Michael Robert Chang?” He frowned.

 

“An alias. I got this license a while ago, and it’s currently my second identity.”

 

“Your second identity for… what?”

 

“Oh, the usual. Sneaking in, undercover work-” Magnus coughed. “-Glee club.”

 

“...What’s a Glee club?”

 

“Best if you don’t ask.”

 

“Best for who?”

 

“Everyone.”

 

Alec had something to talk about with Underhill slipping on a banana peel when Madzie tugged on his shirt. When he didn’t immediately turn to her, she ran outside. Magnus didn’t react for a second, but then he pulled himself out of the chair to follow her, a nugget hanging in his mouth similar to those anime protagonists with toast in their mouth. Alec, hot on their heels, followed them out, too.

 

“It’s a rainbow!” Madzie gasped, then slapped her hands on her face.

 

“Well… Would you look at that,” Magnus sighed. 

 

Breaking through the dark clouds was the blue sky that he forgot that he missed so much. Interrupting the infinite blue was not one, not two, but three arches! People all around were clamoring and taking photos, wide smiles on their faces. Alec looked starstruck, his head tilted up and his mouth slightly ajar, like he just saw Raziel himself descend from the Heavens.

 

“You know what rainbows symbolize, Alexander?” Magnus murmured. His hands rested on Madzie’s shoulders.

 

“Is it going to be something sexual?” He muttered back, contorting his face.

 

“Nope. They symbolize hope, and to some people, happiness. Happiness in an LGBTQ relationship, in-fact.” He nudged his husband’s side. Alec pressed a kiss to the top of Magnus’s head.

 

Alec cleared his throat. “I’ve never seen a rainbow, especially not one like... like this. I’ve seen pictures, but it looks… really cool.”

 

Normally, Magnus would rag on Alec for his poor diction in describing fantastical and amazing things, but he really hit the nail on the head. The arches glimmered and burned strongly in the clearing sky. With a small hand wave and a pinch of magic, distorted the arches slightly to make them look more like waves. Rolling, pulsating, cascading, stretching, expanding, drumming. The phenomenon might be suspect to a meteorologist, but to the average person and his two loves, they would just be even more wide-eyed than before.

 

A tug on his shirt. “Magnus, it’s moving!” Madzie pointed incessantly. She kept tugging on his shirt and with a prideful smile, he agreed.

 

“Magnus, this is… That’s amazing.” Alec just turned to him, staring at him up and down.

 

“...Is there sauce on my clothes?” Magnus looked down at himself, the intense gaze almost intimidating him.

 

“I don’t know, you’re just… Amazing, too. More amazing than any rainbow.” A knowing and shy smile appeared on his face.

 

Magnus had a witty reply in mind, but it died in those ocean eyes of Alec’s. Crap, he thought, he was getting weak. His voice died when he opened his mouth and he ultimately decided just to peck Alec on the lips.

 

“Speechless?” Alec’s smile became a lot more devilish.

 

“Shut up…”

 

“I can’t unless you want this entire conversation to just be silent.”

 

It took Magnus a second. He waved his hand and Alec’s shirt became slightly more itchy. Alec glared at him. 

 

“Can’t we enjoy the rainbow?” Magnus flicked his temple.

 

They stared at it for another minute, watching it swirl.

 

“I’m bored.”

 

Surprisingly enough, it was Madzie who interrupted them with a spin on her heel. They nearly fell over laughing when she walked back inside with the determination of Alec trying to get into Edom. Magnus had to lean on his husband for support, tears streaming down his face.

 

“Are…” He wheezed out. “Are you… bored?!” 

 

“I was thinking about it!” Alec laughed back. Lord, when was the last time either of them laughed that hard? Magnus recalled when Ragnor’s potion blew up in his face and then started snorting. 

 

Still leaning on Alec, they pushed open the doors to McDonald’s where Madzie happily finished up her food, the rainbow completely banished from her memory.

 

Further down the line, he would probably cite that exact date whenever he thought of rainstorms and his family. The family he’d like to start with Alec. If they were both ready for it, then maybe… Then maybe Magnus would do something he never thought he would, and adopt a child, maybe two. Raphael and plenty of others were practically his children, but he wanted to start from the beginning. That youthful joy when looking at something as semi-normal as rainbows was a jovial light he wanted to save for his children. They deserved it.

 

A silent promise to be a good father took up the forefront of his mind. Alec, ever so vigilant, laid a hand on his shoulder and asked if he was alright; Magnus could only answer truthfully, lightly grabbing at Alec's calloused hand. The best part of it all was that his children with have an excellent father in the form of an overworked Shadowhunter.

 

A deep breath. “I don’t believe... I don't believe that I’ve ever been better.”

Chapter Text

The really, really attractive Asian man who crashed his party was nowhere to be found.

 

When Alec said he liked a challenge, he meant he was okay with people playing hard to get unless they were crystal clear in not wanting anything to do with him. He didn’t mean ‘let the hot guy run around his party and vanish into thin air seconds after letting him in.’

 

Great.

 

Raj was droning on about cleanup duties and his crazy siblings and even commented on mystery man. When he finally got Alec’s attention, he handed him a broom.

 

Double great.

 

Maybe that guy really wasn’t interested, and he simply ‘played himself’ as Izzy would usually say. It was disappointing, but it wasn’t the first and wouldn’t be the last time it happened. Whatever. Next time, he wouldn’t let the first supermodel walk in with ease-

 

“Sorry I’m late.” A baritone voice called. “May I offer a hand?”

 

Standing with disheveled clothes and slightly out-of-place hair, there was an attractive mystery man. Alec’s eyes widened a fraction before he activated his charm, hope refueling his body like a car at a gas station.

 

“I wouldn’t ask someone as otherworldly as you to strain yourself, but stay,” he requested in a low voice. “We never got to finish our conversation from before.”

 

“We didn’t even start a conversation,” he countered. His eyes travelled to the floor, a tight-lipped expression marring his beautiful face. “Sorry about leaving you behind. I’m Magnus, fortune-teller and willing to pay back a debt, if you’d like.” He stuck out his hand.


“Alec Lightwood.” He pressed a chaste kiss to his knuckles. Magnus gulped, something that made Alec chuckle. “You don’t owe me anything, by the way.”

 

Wordlessly, Magnus started grabbing at table cloths and glasses. He asked for their homes, and a few clueless blinks later, pointed him in the direction of the kitchen.

 

“I’ll return,” he said as if it were a vow.

 

Oh, wow… Alec had it bad for the olive-skinned beauty. He was able to flirt and chat up guys, sure, but he rarely met someone so… willing to help with grunt work. Especially not someone who looked like they just walked off the Red Carpet. He sort of expected him to be the slightest bit haughty when he disappeared, but it was just… the opposite.

 

Alec continued sweeping the floors, feeling the aches tumble into his back. Ugh. Izzy wouldn’t stop getting on his case about taking care of his health, and he did! He did take care of his health, but he wasn’t very good at getting treatments and checkups. Two different beasts. 

 

He focused back on sweeping, letting the repetitiveness overtake his mind. When he looked back up, Magnus was calmly pointing and guiding the other helpers to different areas. All the tables were spotless, and the chairs were all put up, too. It hadn’t been that long, had it?

 

“I regulated the rest of the tasks to your co-workers. When we’re done sweeping up the floor, you’re free to do as you may.”

 

Alec couldn’t help but smile. “We?”

 

“I don’t forget those who help me.” Magnus pointed a manicured finger at him. “I don’t forget anyone… Anyone attractive, either.” Magnus fiddled with the extra broom nearby.

 

Alec let out a deep breath and readjusted his collar. “I don’t either.”

 

Magnus snapped his head towards him. Alec fixed a piece of hair that went astray on his face.

 

“You’re handsome. Like a supermodel. And I really want to get to know you better…” Alec lightly winced. “Unless you’re straight?”

 

“I’m… Bisexual,” Magnus quietly admitted. “I’ve lived quite a while, and yet, it still seems difficult for me to say.”

 

“How old are you?"

 

Magnus’s heart skipped a beat.

 

“Twenty four.”

 

Alec shrugged. “Twenty two. You look like you could be in highschool though with the right outfit and hairstyle.”

 

Magnus wasn’t sure what to think of the taller man’s watchful gaze. He was almost certain that whenever he bent over, Alec tilted his head to stare at his ass. Admittedly, he was proud of his body, but to feel eaten alive in such a way made his spine tingle. More importantly, while Alec was definitely a flirt, he seemed genuinely interested in him. Lord knew why, but maybe he still had some charm for an old man. Maybe returning his magic helped with his demeanor. 

 

“Raj seemed too smug trying to keep you out!” Alec stretched upwards.

 

Magnus spun the broom and took up a fighting pose. “I should’ve beat him up.”

 

“Everyone can beat Raj up. My brother Max is twelve and he could beat Raj up.”

 

Maybe an hour or so later, they finally finished. Magnus wiped the sweat away from his brow and subtly evaporated it away from his suit with magic. He loved his powers. And missed them. Meanwhile, Alec looked like he just stepped out of a sauna in comparison. He could see jealousy emanating from his eyes, so Magnus cast a cooling spell on him.

 

“Did the air conditioner finally start working again?” He sounded blissful. Magnus just grinned.

 

“I suppose so, Alec.”

 

Magnus wasn’t quite sure what to say next. He’d been so focused on growing his fortune telling business and recording those awful commercials that he didn’t even hook-up with anyone in the last few years. His well of experience was currently undergoing a drought. 

 

“Magnus?” Alec gently called his name like an invocation.

 

“Yes?”

 

He held out his hand, a toothy smile on his face.

 

“Do you have anywhere to be tonight?” 

 

Magnus looked at his calloused hand, and he stared into his warm brown eyes. ‘Take the leap’ his brain screamed. His heart roared. It seemed so easy.

 

Without realizing it, his palm rested in Alec’s. The ladder squeezed it tight and quietly asked for Magnus’s consent to kiss him. He just nodded, a faint blush stitched on his face. Likely for the rest of time. Unexpectedly, Alec’s lips landed on his forehead and ghosted on his lips. He then had the nerve to chuckle and pull back.

 

“At the end of the night, I promise,” he murmured. Magnus unconsciously leaned forward, then pulled back. When did his palms get so sweaty? He pitied Alec’s hand, but then felt a tug. Out the door, footsteps pounding against the floor and pavement, he pulled the door open like a true gentleman.

 

“Thank you,” Magnus nodded. Light rain began to fall, something that made Magnus smile wide.

 

“Your smile’s beautiful. I hope this sounds better than how it does in my hand, but you should smile… all the time.”

 

It did. It did sound better, and while normally that kind of comment would get Alec’s ass kicked, Magnus felt… He felt okay with the incessant… incessantly welcome compliments.

 

“Only if you’re smiling with me.” Magnus winked. “Where are you taking me? Hopefully not a fast-food restaurant…”

 

“Okay, resetting Google Maps…”

 

They burst out laughing together. Alec sped off into the New York traffic.

 

“That old lady who just fell over? She can beat up Raj,” Alec commented, a crooked smile forming on his face again.

 

Neither of them actively noticed the obvious. They never stopped holding hands as they got ready for their second date of that magical night. Magic that didn’t just come from Magnus’s core, and magic that didn’t come from Alec’s party-planning abilities.

 

To himself, from the bottom of his heart, he thanked Clarissa Fray for her help.

Chapter Text

Surprises were incredibly fickle, in all honesty. Multiple in succession were overwhelming, bad timing could really ruin both parties' moods, and they generally backfired more than anything else. Pulled off right, they could brighten someone’s whole day, and most people focus on that part alone.

 

So while they definitely weren’t mad at each other, the Warlock and his Shadowhunter boyfriend were certainly more confused than anything else.

 

“Magnus?” Alec had called from the kitchen. Magnus stared at himself in the mirror, not just due to vanity. He was quietly painting his cheek purple, blue, and pink. It was the last touch, and always his favorite addition since the first Pride Parade in 1970. Though, that one was a lot more solemn than the 21st century version.

 

“Coming, sweetheart!” Magnus sang. He didn’t usually use his magic (half the fun of looking good was actually dressing up, unless he really was in a rush), so he spent many hours burning dawn’s light to style himself.

 

Magnus stepped out, stretching his arms up lazily like a cat. Hopefully, Alec was all ready. He entered the kitchen, yawning and scratching himself, and nearly dropped dead when he saw Alec.

 

His eyes were covered in a purple eyeshadow, complementing his gorgeous blue eyes quite nicely. In his hair were fake strands of rainbow hair that looked dyed somehow instead of completely fake and cheap. Did Izzy help him? She must have because while Magnus adored Alec with all of his heart and soul, he was not exactly an artiste by any stretch of the word.

 

He grimaced. “You hate it.”

 

Not true, he wanted to reply. Every word escaped him, though. Not a sound, not even a whisper. Hell, moving seemed out of the question. His eyes had one focal point, and in that point there were fractally infinite more spots to stare at-how could he not stare at him?

 

He wore the tight black jeans, too. The tight black jeans that Alec knew Magnus just adored because… well, it was pretty obvious. His dark work shoes were covered in rainbow spray paint, too.

 

Magnus’s favorite part? The body glitter. The rainbow body glitter, to be specific, spread across his cheeks and arms and torso.

 

Oh, right. Alec was shirtless, all muscles and chest hair on display. No biggie besides the fact that he seemed completely fine with flaunting himself to the rest of the world. Completely fine with showing off when it took them a while to be comfortable enough to start having sex (though, he supposed, Alec was the one who aggressively initiated it, a fond memory of Magnus’s.). Maybe he had grown more than Magnus thought.

 

“Alec, in all my years of living, I don’t think I’ve never been this attracted or overwhelmed at the mere sight of someone else.”

 

He even had a little rainbow flag in his hand. 

 

“I thought… You dressed a little more casually than years before, so I thought you didn’t like it…”

 

He wasn’t exactly wrong. Magnus had the bisexual flag on his face, only most of his hair in those colors, and his outfit only said ‘Fly, Bi, and quite the Guy’ on the shirt. Raphael thought he would abhor it, but he had worn the shirt every June since 2012, partially just to annoy him. 

 

“I wanted to hold back a little so I wouldn’t scare you for your first parade. You should see me in the butterfly outfit…” Magnus chuckled. “Catarina and I were a vision.”

 

Alec turned red-faced as he stared down at his chest. Magnus immediately walked up to him and kissed him on the lips. He threw his arms around his neck and tugged him close into his embrace. They must have stayed like that for at least fifteen seconds because both of them needed a decent breath of air when they pulled apart.

 

“Don’t you dare change.”

 

Magnus snapped his fingers and conjured a deep mauve eyeshadow for himself. His glamour dropped, and he shrugged, saying that he could just call them contacts. Alec seemed mystified at the prospect of Magnus showing off his Warlock Mark, but if Alec could be more out there than usual, why couldn’t Magnus? Pink glitter lined his cheeks, and he threw off his shirt and tied it around his arm, winking at Alec when he met his wandering gaze.

 

“If we’re going to a Pride Parade, we’re going as the hottest couple since Beyoncé and Jay-Z,” Magnus clarified.

 

“I take it you’re Beyoncé in that metaphor?” Alec gave him a small grin.

 

He made a dramatic turn. “Duh!”

 

Grabbing Alec’s hand, he stared up into his beautiful boyfriend’s eyes. They looked questioning, excited, and just the slightest bit fearful.

 

“Alexander, know that whether you want to go or not is up to you, and I will never judge you either way. Pride month is about celebrating: whether you’re out and proud, or a bit more shy,” Magnus murmured. “Not everyone celebrates the same. But-”

 

“I admit…” Alec started. “I only got so into it because I know you love celebrations, and I know you’re so proud of who you are. And I love that about you!” He nervously added. “I just didn’t want to make you look bad when we went. I know I take care of myself, so I thought you’d be happy if I was more… extravagant. More like you.”

 

Magnus could damn near cry and ruin all of his makeup. He nearly did. 

 

“Alexander Gideon Lightwood, you would never and could never make me look bad.” His hands landed on his shoulders. “The fact that the notion even crossed your mind means I should take you to the carpet, but since you’re so romantic, I’ll let it slide. I fell in love with you-” He poked Alec’s chest. “-Because of how adorable and honest and kind you are. The only way I’d be embarrassed to be seen with you is if you wore Pride merchandise from Target. Then , we’d have a problem.” They both laughed. “But since you look like the Greek God of Gayness, I’m more than content.”

 

Alec was speechless. Magnus had such a fiery and determined look in his eyes that Alec could probably just stare into them forever. His boyfriend was so beautiful. So gentle. So easy-going. Everything he could ever want curled up into a Warlock with golden eyes.

 

“But you thinking of me when dressing up makes me giddy beyond belief. Heh. Giddy. Gideon.” Magnus smirked. Alec groaned. “And the fact that everyone will be enviously green when they see me with you makes me even more anxious to get moving.”

 

“You obviously mean when they see me with you.

 

“Alec, I’m not starting this with you.” He grabbed his hand and marched out the door, waving his other hand in front of him. “Hottest couple since Beyonce and Jay-Z. End of discussion.”

 

Magnus opened up a portal and they stepped into the parade seamlessly. Alec let out a bubbly laugh, and kissed Magnus on the cheek as the sounds and roars of the parade crescendoed under the bright sunlight.

 

Where would he be without his Warlock, Alec wondered. 

 

The crowds in his immediate vicinity alone could take out the entirety of Edom. Technicolors, neons, and even some dark rainbows filled the streets of New York. It wasn’t as if Alec had never seen a Pride Parade before, but he never really ‘got it’ until recently. People were wearing leather and BDSM gear, something that put a twinkle in Magnus’s eye and turned Alec’s face even redder than before. 

 

“That’s on the more tame side,” Magnus pointed out. Every time someone was staring at them, Magnus would nudge his fidgeting boyfriend and make them notice the gazes that landed on his body, whether it was from the passersby or the other people marching. “I love you, my dearest, Alexander. Oh, look! Our ride is here!”

 

A float with… Warlocks?! He could see five Warlocks he recognized, including Elsa Coda with her bright white hair and a pink dress, sending waves of magic into the air. He nearly freaked out about the mundanes until he realized that they had machines firing lights into the air as well.

 

“They fake it very well.”

 

Magnus and Alec pushed past the crowd of people, utilizing Alec’s dexterity to guide them as seamlessly as one could in a sea of bodies. Elsa grabbed their hands, a cherry red smile on her face, as she got them up on the float of a large boat with a holographic rainbow behind it.

 

“Wave to the crow’, captai’s!” She saluted. Magnus returned the gesture. “It’s good to meecha, Alexanda!” She shook his hand (well, his arm with how much force she put behind her handshakes) up and down until he looked like he developed vertigo.

 

“I sent her a fire message!” Magnus shouted over the crowd. “I once was a dancer on Broadway! Look how much attention we’re getting now, isn’t it great?”

 

People were cheering when Elsa waved to them, and especially more when she grabbed handfuls of confetti and threw them up into the air. ‘Somehow,’ they showered all over the air in a number far greater than she grabbed, and Magnus gave her a faux-disapproving look.

 

“I’m kind of scared!” Alec yelled back.

 

“Oh, please, Maggie-” Elsa interrupted. “I loooove to show off!” She shrugged innocently, then did a twirl.

 

Magnus found a hand wrapped around his shoulders. Alec waved to the crowd, his arm craned slightly and a much more subdued, but not any less ecstatic, grin taking up his face. Magnus did the same, so happy to be with his boyfriend that he could explode.

 

His company and their collective joy was all he could ever ask for.

Chapter Text

The Pit of Demons was a God forsaken nightmare.

 

All were welcome to watch, all were welcome to participate, and all were welcome to bet. ‘Welcome.’ Welcome to watch their own kind slaughter or be slaughtered in an arena. Most people went for the chance to win some money, but there were definitely sadistic bastards who loved to watch blood spill across the sand. 

 

Alec gave the Vampire his ticket and returned his blazing gaze tenfold.

 

“All are welcome to the Pit of Demons,” the Vampire droned.

 

There was an open area filled with people buying concessions. Dusty. The low lights gave everything a suspicious ambiance, from the brief glances to the full on stares from the non-Nephilim there. He shrunk into himself, trying to brush through the crowd.

 

“You hear? They’re adding a new theme to the pit!” A Seelie was explaining to another Seelie with wild gestures and a crazed look in their eye. Alec stopped in his tracks, his head tilted toward them. Denying himself the chance to gain information, however small or large, wasn't really his style.

 

“They’re doing ‘Volunteers’ today, right?”

 

“I’m praying some idiot joins in. Maybe I'll die laughing.”

 

“Hi,” Alec interrupted. “I’m Xander. What’s going on today?”

 

They started explaining, wide smiles on their faces. At any point during a fight, a person from the audience could come down and join one of the contestants as an ally. Alec had to admit, the idea was ridiculous.

 

“Why would anyone do that?” He voiced his curiosity, tapping his fingers against his stele.

 

“I suppose… If your friend is in the Pit, you’d want to join?” The other Seelie frowned. “But these are to the death, and I don’t think any of the Gladiators have friends-well... How would they?”

 

“By escaping and being brought back?” The other one suggested.

 

“Wasn’t Ragnor Fell executed for that?”

 

“Oh. Right.”

 

“The point is-” the first Seelie cleared his throat. “-They don’t have friends. They have some sort of debt to the Greater Demon that runs this place, and the only real way of escaping is winning enough times to actually clear it.”

 

Alec nodded, giving them a small, but genuine, smile. “Thank you for the help. I’m only here to watch over a friend who’s betting. They don’t want to be cheated out.”

 

“Good luck, Xander… If that’s your real name, of course.” The first Seelie grinned. Alec turned a little red.

 

The second Seelie dropped a hand on Alec’s shoulder. “A pro-tip? Trying to lie to a species built around avoiding the truth is like trying to avoid water in an ocean. But you’re cute, Shadowhunter. Hope we see more of your pretty face around.” A wink. Alec could barely get another word out, so he uttered a brief ‘thank you’ and sped off, fanning himself.

 

He could hear two bright laughs behind him.

 

Moving through a dark hallway, the sudden noon’s light hung in the sky, making him scrunch up his face. Everything was covered in dust and soot, it seemed. 

 

A simple rope separated the audience from the pit below. It must have been two or three stories below them, with the arena in an odd shape. It looked as if someone splatted demon blood on the ground and designed the seating areas based around the resulting image. He saw Raj nearby, and lightly waved at him before sitting down. 

 

Something was definitely wrong with him. Not due to his current physical or mental state, but just because he was there-betting on people’s lives. People used to do that in Rome? Alec couldn’t remember; he knew there were Gladiator fights, but the avarice palpating in the stands was enough to make him sick. 

 

And he could already hear Raj whining about him being a ‘Paragon of Virtue’ with that nasally sarcastic tone of his.

 

Whatever. Alec didn’t actually have to watch. He just needed to make sure Raj didn’t die because regardless of how he felt, Raj was a good Shadowhunter. Scratch that, he was simply obligated to protect his fellow Shadowhunters, whether they were skillful or not.

 

“Fine. Fine, fine, fine,” Alec muttered.

 

A low humming noise silenced everyone. Two portals appeared in the arena.

 

On one side appeared a man with rags covering his body. Even from far away, Alec’s vision was strong enough to see a pair of golden slits where his eyes should be. A Warlock. His hair was marred down with dirt and grime, and his face was covered in scars. He looked like a wild animal with its foot caught in a trap, his eyes dancing left and right. He lacked shoes, and it was a hot day, so it must have burned. Yet, if he was uncomfortable, he showed no signs of it. Just a sense of murder emanating from every pore.

 

The people cheered and screamed, the stands becoming more and more packed with every second. The wide smiles and grins were disturbing. 

 

Another side came the rumbling steps of the Greater Demon, Horse-Face.

 

A vibrantly green body with muscles bigger than anything Alec had ever seen stomped out. “Alec!” He must have been three times the Warlock’s size… Maybe even bigger. Dragging behind him was the sound of chains attached to a brown handle. Each link was massive, about as long as Alec’s own fist. And of course, there was the head of the horse. It seemed as if the head was stitched on, considering the scars that lined his neck. It made an ugly gesture with its face as it looked at the Warlock, and then let out an eerily human laugh. “Alec!”

 

A chilling thought crossed his mind. Horse-Face was going to turn the Warlock into a bloodstain.

 

“Alexander!” Catarina was shaking his shoulder. His wide-eyes turned to her shaking figure.

 

“What are you-”

 

“That’s Magnus! Please, he’s going to die! Those chains are imbued with anti-magic-I can feel it!” She shook both of his shoulders.

 

“And for the first match of the night, we have two demons battling it out.” A dark voice chuckled into everyone’s heads. “Long time winner Magnus Bane, son of Asmodeus!”

 

The crowd roared and whistled and stamped their feet. Alec looked around, his hands and legs trembling.

 

“He’s the first person to ever make it to the end of the line. But will he be able to handle Horse-Face, with his frightening strength and equally terrifying whip?” The voice echoed. The crowd cheered even louder, and a projection appeared over everyone’s head.

 

BETTING IN PROGRESS: PREDICTED WINNER

 

Magnus Bane - 2%

 

Horse-Face - 92%

 

Undecided - 6%

 

JACKPOT: 50 Million Dollars!

 

Raziel in Heaven.

 

“Today’s theme is ‘Volunteers,’ so if you wish to join someone in the pit, simply recite these words aloud-” The dark voice’s tone shifted to a very neutral one. “I, state your name, under my own free will, would like to assist Magnus Bane or Horse-Face.”

 

A chorus of laughter echoed. He heard someone nearby say that Horse-Face would likely just kill anyone who tried to assist him. 

 

“Alec, he’s my friend,” Catarina begged him. “He’s been gone so long, and I never knew… I never knew he was here! I thought he was dead-please, help him! I will devote the rest of my life to helping the New York Institute-I can’t let him die like this!"

 

Alec was speechless. A gong sound resounded, silencing everyone once again. Horse-Face lumbered over to Magnus, chain in hand. He wasn't sure if it was a real feeling, but every footstep clanged in his body right down to the muscles and bones.

 

As if carrying a simple piece of string, he brought a downward arc over Magnus’s head. With an easy side-step, Magnus held out his hands and blue waves emanated from his palms. The chain came from the side that time, and he jumped over it, a cool expression on his face betraying the look in his eyes. He shot out an orb of magic. It clashed against the chain, and dissipated in blue smoke.

 

“I don’t have any magic left… I can’t help,” Catarina begged. “I used all of it to get here as fast as I could-I’m such a fool. Alec, you have no reason to help, but please… I owe him my life.”

 

Alec turned again, and watched the end of the chain hit Magnus’s leg. He let out a cry of pain and started putting pressure on it. The crowd’s intensity reached an apex as they chanted.

 

“Kill him! Kill him!”

 

Horse-Face looked out to the audience, garnering appeal and basking himself in the cheers and shouts.

 

“Kill him! Kill him! Kill him! Kill him! Kill him! Kill him!”

 

The truth of the matter was that Alec didn’t know that man. He had no reason to sacrifice himself for him, but… 

 

But… He owed Catarina his life, multiple times over. He took a deep breath.

 

“Kill him! Kill him! Kill him! Kill him! Kill him! Kill him! Kill him!”

 

“I, Alexander Gideon Lightwood, under my own free will, would like to assist Magnus Bane!” Alec called. His plea echoed across the stadium, rendering everyone mute once again. He pulled out his unglamoured bow and quiver. He jumped over the rope, and aimed it at Horse-Face.

 

Horse-Face turned to him, a crude yet interested gleam in his eyes. Alec returned cold disinterest.

 

“Maybe I will actually experience a challenge!” He cackled, the sound of laughter and neighing mixing into a sound belonging to his nightmares. Alec fired his weakest arrow in his leg. It landed true, and started rotting the flesh, but Horse-Face pulled it out, inspected it with mock-interest, and then tossed it away. Magnus was concentrating on healing his leg, but whenever he looked up, Alec just saw confusion and disbelief.

 

How long had he been fighting in that place? Horse-Face took his time lumbering over to him, all the time in the world. The sound of chains ringed and clattered against the sand. Alec pulled out another arrow, that time, with more runes on it. Strength and Angelic Power, specifically. He twisted it in his fingers and fired it right at his stomach. Unfortunately, his arm was in the way. It pierced all the way through. Rot. Burnt flesh. Horse-Face made an annoyed sound and pulled it out again. Alec could feel the intent to kill from a mile away.

 

Alec wrapped the bow around his neck. He could feel sand lining his mouth. He pulled out his sword and rolled underneath one of those chain swings. When he looked back up for the next attack, he had to drop back to the ground again to avoid decapitation. Similar to a helicopter, Horse-Face twisted and spun the chain around in a whirlwind of metal and death, sending it in different angles and reversing its directions like it was the easiest thing in the world. It kicked up sand and sailed across the air, his laughter accompanying the whooshing and clanking sounds. 

 

His stele. Alec pulled it out and activated Strength. He had no time to access any other runes. He clashed his sword against the chain, and ducking back, he let it wrap around the blade.

 

Horse-Face pulled. As did he. Thankfully, he didn’t let the rest of the chain hit him, or else his plan would have certainly failed. A deep breath. Alec activated Angelic Power, Equilibrium, and Subtle Change, pulling harder on the chain. 

 

And the hard truth of the stand-off was that even with the Angel’s blessings and his own power, even with the fact that he was at peak physical condition, he could barely force a stalemate. His feet dragged against the ground as Horse-Face pulled it taut.

 

Time for a new strategy. 

 

Alec let his grip loosen. Taking that as an opportunity, Horse-Face pulled as hard as he could and sent Alec flying with the sword. A motion that should have at least dislocated his arm. Preparing for it and jumping with the pull, Alec could sail across the air like a bird for a brief moment. 

 

Instead of simply falling, he pulled out his bow and strongest arrow, covered in runes he didn’t even recognize due to Clary’s influence. He trusted her knowledge. With all of his strength, he let loose the arrow straight into Horse-Face’s head.

 

It went right through him.

 

A gag. Then blood. A giant hole where his nose should be leaked a river of blood. Alec landed behind him, and aimed another one of his arrows right at Horse-Face’s heart. The smell of copper and sand irritated him.

 

Yet, he kept firing.

 

And firing.

 

Despair. Yells. Cries. Shouts. Wails. Ignored. All of them, ignored.

 

And firing.

 

And firing.

 

Until all of his arrows found their new homes in Horse-Face’s dying body. Broken and charred flesh melted off. Withered. Died. 

 

He dissipated in a black mist. No fanfare, no joy in the win. As if another demon hunt was over, Alec collected his arrow and quietly put them back in his quiver.

 

The arena was silent. Then jeers. Alec cursed at himself; he forgot that most people betted on Horse-Face. If enough people went down to take revenge, at some point, Alec would lose, and most likely, die.

 

Shit.

 

Shit. Shit. Shit.

 

“You saved me.” A low voice called from behind.

 

Alec nearly pulled back an arrow on instinct, but he saw it was Magnus, standing up tall and confused, a tentative hand on his side. His eyes were sunken in, and his breaths heavy.

 

“I-”

 

“I never forget those who help me.”

 

A portal opened in between them. Magnus grabbed his hand and silently asked his permission. Alec instinctively recoiled, but in the corner of his eye, a group of Vampires had jumped down into the pit, fangs brandished. Alec turned back to Magnus, who seemed quite beautiful beneath the blood, sweat, and grime.

 

He decided to take his chances with the Warlock.

 

When Alec opened his eyes next, he was in an apartment complex. His head spun a little bit, but it took him a brief moment to clear his mind.

 

It was quiet, and cleared out. Just a grey floor, more floor, and the occasional couch with light subtly breaking in. The sudden shift to silence made Alec’s ears ring. He glanced outside. They were still in New York, the Gladiator pit in sight. Normally, it was glamoured as an abandoned apartment complex with a huge opening in the middle. Some sort of magic covered it up even to the Downworlders and Nephilim when it was inactive.

 

Magnus, still in rags, winced as he stood up tall. Alec put a comforting hand on his back, and he flinched away. Raziel above. 

 

“I’m Alec.” He didn’t know what else to say.

 

“Magnus Bane," he coughed out.

 

“I know…” Alec hesitated. “Catarina Loss asked me to help you. Do you two know each other?”

 

His eyes snapped towards Alec’s. “Catarina sent you?” His face dropped. “Why now?” Despair. All he could feel.

 

“She… She didn’t know you were there. She came up to me, tears in her eyes. I had never seen her so desperate and dejected. She cares about you. She-she does."

 

Magnus just stared at the floor. Alec wasn’t exactly sure what to do besides rub small circles on the top of his back.

 

“You saved me,” he said again.

 

Magnus stared at the floor, then back at Alec. Out of nowhere, his muscular arms ended up around Alec’s neck, his face buried in his collarbone. Holding tight. Holding on as if it wasn’t real.

 

God. How long had he been in there? How long had he suffered? The questions echoed and crescendoed in his mind as his arms unconsciously wrapped around Magnus. He pretended as if he could squeeze the pain out of him. He was tense, and yet, Alec could feel relief spill out from every pore.

 

“You’re safe, Magnus. I promise.” 

 

He needed to call Catarina. Get him healed up. He needed to call Raphael or Simon, too. Maybe they knew some therapists for Downworlders. It didn’t really make sense, but the word ‘Protect’ was all he could think about. He didn’t truly know who Magnus Bane was, and all he needed to do was save him. The sense of nurturing and care didn’t make sense.

 

Even so-

 

“I promise,” Alec repeated anyway.

Chapter Text

They just lied in bed together, Magnus curled into Alec with his lazy arms thrown around the ladder, and it couldn’t have been more blissful.

 

Surprisingly, Magnus woke up first. He heard Alec’s light snores and nearly let out a laugh, but he decided to stay still instead. Alec’s face was free of tension, just enjoying the Egyptian Cotton sheets Magnus had. Being a Shadowhunter, had he ever gotten a peaceful night of sleep? Or even a day-off for the sake of having a day-off? Magnus needed to ask so he could pamper him for the rest of the day.

 

He stirred. Magnus lightly closed his eyes. A watchful gaze intensely focused on one point, and it felt like someone was poking him with a piece of string, for the lack of a better description.

 

“G’morning, Magnus,” his rough voice called.

 

Magnus couldn’t help but chuckle. He leaned up to kiss Alec’s cheek. He smelled like Sandalwood nowadays, and Magnus could get addicted to him all over again if he continued to make him swoon like a teenager doing the bare minimum.

 

“You knew I wasn’t sleeping?” Magnus asked as he rubbed the crust out of his eyes.

 

“Your breathing and face gave it away.”

 

“Don’t sound so smug.”

 

“Me?” A wry grin appeared on his face. “Never.”

 

Magnus pushed him onto his back. Alec looked excited for a second, then pouted when he realized they weren’t going for round two.

 

“Oh, wow…” Alec stared right into his eyes.

 

“...What is it?” Magnus looked around. He could see the sunrise behind him if he tilted his head at the right angle. It bathed everything in an orange glow, and he nodded in realization. His apartment was quite the ideal place for sight-seeing, if he did say so himself. “It’s beautiful.”

 

“No, not that.” Alec sat up, then gently turned Magnus’s head towards him. “I can’t get over how beautiful your eyes are.”

 

His heart could’ve stopped. A low pressure in his stomach knocked all the wind out of him as his face warmed up. Crap. He was falling harder and harder for Alec, and that probably just sealed the deal.

 

Magnus was, admittedly… He wasn’t confident enough to say it yet. Alec was so warm and open and gentle with him. He simultaneously expected greatness and absolutely nothing at all from him. Not to mention how gorgeous and intelligent he was.


Alec was amazing, and he didn’t want to scare him off with any passionate declarations, especially right after having sex, of all things. He put up the glamour again, then pecked Alec on the lips.

 

“Magnus, I…” He breathed out. “I care about you. You never have to worry about scaring me off; I’m never scared.”

 

He rolled his eyes. Alec made an indignant sound and Magnus fell back laughing. Alec leaned over him and pressed his full body weight on Magnus, making him laugh harder.

 

“Stop, you giant!” Magnus wheezed out. Alec rolled again and couldn’t help but laugh at himself. “Why do you weigh so much?”

 

He made a sneering expression. “Just because my muscles are so damn big.” He took on a more gravelly and deeper tone.

 

Magnus was in disbelief. No, disbelief was an understatement. He was practically in shock.

 

“Was that-” Magnus snorted. “-A Jace impression?!” He let out a howling laughing sound that echoed through the apartment. Chairman Meow came into the room, a concerned look replacing the apathetic gaze that normally took up his face. He jumped up on the bed and settled on Magnus’s continuously rising and falling chest, nuzzling at his face.

 

“Your cat is concerned about you. How are you going to make this up to him?”

 

Chairman Meow stared blankly. Magnus scratched behind his ears, then pet down his back.

 

“I’m sure he’ll make me repent for a thousand years before he forgives me.”

 

They sat in silence. Eventually, his highness had had enough and jumped off the bed. The two of them just stared in silence at each other for a while. Alec broke the silence first.

 

“Hey, Magnus?”

 

“Yes, dear?”

 

He smiled. Then dropped it. “Why… were you so scared of showing me your eyes? The first time we had sex.”

 

Magnus looked down, more interested in twiddling his fingers than maintaining eye contact. Alec moved closer in his space and tilted his head up.

 

“I’m sorry. You don’t have to tell me.”

 

“No, no… I just wasn’t sure where to start.”

 

Alec sat back, resting his hand over Magnus’s.

 

An exhale. "Okay," he started. "Long story short, most people are scared of my eyes. At minimum, they have a noticeable reaction to seeing them for the first time. That unmistakable fear that comes from having these eyes. Admittedly, they are a shock, so I don’t really mind anymore.” He let out a long sigh. “It’s when people have seen them, and then ask me to never show them again that… that weighs on me.”

 

He could feel Alec’s grip on his hand tighten.

 

He continued with, “None of my lovers ever really liked them. Tolerated them, at best. It takes a minute amount of concentration at all times to keep the glamour up, so it’s just reflex at this point.”

 

“They’re beautiful,” Alec repeated.

 

“Thank you, darling.”

 

“I mean it.” Alec cupped Magnus’s face. “Stop being an idiot sandwich, and please don’t worry about showing them to me.”

 

“An idiot sandwich… My God, have you watched Hell’s Kitchen?”

 

“You told me to.”

 

Magnus kissed him. For real that time, and pulled on his hair to bring him closer. His lips were soft and warm, and Alec couldn’t quite figure out where to put his own hands, so they ended up flat on the bed. When they broke apart, Magnus dropped the glamour again.

 

“When we’re home…” Alec brushed his thumb over his cheek. “No more glamour. I don’t want you to hide from me.”

 

“I… I will try. It’s just an instinct at this point.” Magnus stood up, and Alec joined him. He quickly put his arms around his boyfriend, craving the warmth and care from him. 

 

“That’s all I ask. Everyone who has made you feel that way can disappear for all I care.”

 

“That’s a lot of people…”

 

“And?”

 

Magnus rolled his eyes, but he was obviously thrilled. “Thank you for accepting me. It means the world to me, and you don’t make me feel ugly or overbearing in any capacity. Thank you for accepting me.”

 

“I don’t think you’re ugly in any way. Overbearing, though? Magnus 'too much' Bane, with how much of a show-off he is, however…” Alec teased.

 

“Way to execute the moment, Shadowhunter.” Despite the words, Magnus was still smiling.

 

“You’re perfect the way you are. I promise.” / “You’re amazing, and all of your dork-like tendencies are, too.”

 

They froze at their simultaneous confessions. Then laughed again, and sealed the promises with a kiss. 

 

And when they both opened up their eyes? Golden cat’s eyes met a crystal blue gaze once again. 

Chapter Text

Raziel in Heaven, what the Hell were those men doing?

 

Darkness crawled through the plains and skies, except for the occasional high-beams and a flashlight coming from up the hill. Alec stopped at a gas station nearby, just staring after a duo strutting up the hill. When he first got out of the car, he thought-no, he swore there was a third body with them, but when they went back down, they were just a duo.

 

While it was possible the other man went down the hill the other way, the most suspicious thing was that they were carrying something the size of a person and in the shape of a long hexagon. In the shape of a coffin. 

 

Alec had no reason to get involved. In fact, it would likely be extremely idiotic to get involved with whatever mafia business was going on. He got back in his car and started to press on the pedal. He could have just called the cops, but a weird notion stopped him. 

 

He had seen a lot of movies where the mafia had bought out the cops in a local area, and he didn’t necessarily like them, either, especially not in the middle of nowhere. Even so, a lot of his suspicions were based on leaps of logic. He was tired; it had been a long day, and he was probably hallucinating and imagining the worst. It happened. He needed to move on.

 

...

 

Damnit.

 

Alec got out of the car, rubbing his gloved hands together from the cold, and made his way up the hill without turning on his light. He thanked God or Raziel or whatever force was out there that he possessed some common sense while doing something absolutely stupid. 

 

His eyes landed on fresh dirt. And an unmarked gravestone.

 

Schr ö dinger’s cat had nothing on Lightwood’s tomb. Was the person he saw alive or dead underneath?

 

Ironically, a shovel was left nearby. And with that, one way to truly find out .

 

Movies and books made it look easy. Even for a body-builder, gravedigging was a strenuous effort at minimum. Throwing each pile of dirt away, and the stress that one of the men could come back and simply kill him made each motion harder. The soil was loose, having just been shoveled at, but even so, it would likely take him the rest of the hour. He exhausted himself quickly, but as most victims of the Sunk Cost Fallacy knew, he couldn’t stop helping.

 

Knocks. Desperate knocks rung out below him. Alec dug faster.

 

In total? It took him around an hour… He had no clue how long he’d just been standing there, throwing dirt behind him. 

 

Something wooden.

 

“Hello?” Alec called.

 

A muffled cry of pain replied back.

 

“Can you speak?”

 

He heard something roughly remembering an ‘Uh-uh.’ 

 

“Watch out, I’m going to try to break this coffin with the shovel.”

 

It was bolted down at the corners. Alec chose the left longest side and started piercing the cracks with the shovel. 

 

CLANG .

 

It wouldn’t budge.

 

THUD.

 

Damnit.

 

CLANG .

 

He missed. He struck the center piece by accident. Alec would have struck there, but he might really hurt the man… assumedly, a man underneath.

 

THUD.

 

Did something move? Maybe?

 

CLANG.

 

Nothing.

 

THUD.

 

Nothing. Alec raised the shovel higher and flexed hard.

 

CLANG!

 

Something broke. Alec pried, but the shovel wasn’t exactly the best at giving leeway. Eventually, he could get some sort of hold in and PULL -

 

It opened up. At least on one side, it broke off.

 

Alec realized, at minimum, he had two more sides to go. His arms ached. His legs ached. Dirt covered most of his body. He spent most of the day driving-God, he was exhausted. He wanted to stop. But he could smell the scent of desperation and sweat… Whether it was from him or the stranger, he didn’t know. He heard choked and muffled sounds below.

 

“It’ll be okay,” he murmured half-heartedly.

 

How long was it until half of it was broken off? How many failed shovel clangs and thuds and chances to be overheard and chances to die were taken? But since half of it was broken off, he settled with throwing the shovel down and pulling the man out as quickly as he could.

 

Bonds. A mouth gag. Alec removed the gag first, and then untied the rope from his feet and hands. Red angry marks marred his olive skin. He had a raggedy t-shirt and jeans on, and despite the grime all over him, he was an incredibly attractive man with dark eyes and flat hair. He looked exhausted, and ready to keel over.

 

“Hey… Let’s get out of here,” Alec whispered, his mouth hoarse. The man just nodded.

 

He didn’t have a lot of strength left in his arms, but he had enough to jump up onto the dirt. He pulled the stranger out with ease, mostly because he had a decent amount of strength of his own. 

 

“Water… in the car,” Alec awkwardly got out. 

 

Unexpectedly, the man put Alec’s arm around his shoulder. They walked carefully across the highway and nearly collapsed on top of each other once they reached Alec’s car.

 

True to his word, Alec grabbed multiple water bottles for the two of them. They just sat in silence for a while, downing and throwing empty bottles in the backseat. Around three in each, the man cleared his throat and laid back against the seat, wincing and coughing.

 

“Are you okay?” Alec slowly turned the ignition on.

 

“Magnus.”

 

“...That’s your name?”

 

“Magnus Bane. And you?” He choked out.

 

“Alec.” It felt silly to give his real name, but he wasn’t thinking of all the nuances of what he just did; he just… helped.

 

“Food…” He groaned. Alec wouldn’t say it to his face, but it was slightly pathetic. Before that, though, Alec had a thousand questions.

 

“What happened to you?” Alec wasn’t sure how he was going to concentrate on the road and whatever wild story he was about to hear, but admittedly, he would kill someone for a cheeseburger right then and there.

 

“Taking revenge on those who slighted you? Bad path. Destructive,” Magnus enigmatically replied.

 

“Are you a part of the mafia?” He couldn’t help himself. His eyes widened preemptively.

 

“Nothing of the sort. Those people who put me in the coffin work for my ex-boss, Azazel,” Magnus sighed out. “I probably shouldn’t even be telling you this.”

 

“If you don’t tell me everything, I’m putting you back in the coffin.”

 

Magnus let out a humorless laugh. “Not my finest moment.”

 

He continued to explain briefly what happened. From what Alec could gather and assume, Magnus was on a revenge quest because the Azazel-guy did something bad to him, and the lackeys who caught him decided to torture him for their own amusement instead of firing a bullet into his head.

 

 

What in the fuck did Alec get himself into?

 

“If you drop me off at a train station, I’ll make sure I never cross your path again…” Magnus stopped speaking for a moment. “The shovel.”

 

“...The shovel?”

 

“Alec, did you wear gloves digging me out? And are your prints officially recorded anywhere?”

 

“Woah, woah. Yeah, and… probably not?”

 

Magnus relaxed against the car seat, a gesture Alec suddenly felt like making himself.

 

“How did you find me?” Magnus quietly asked.

 

He recounted what he saw. Magnus couldn’t help but snort.

 

“Idiots. I suppose Raj was never smart to begin with. Aldertree must have been hyper-focused to not notice that he was using a light of all things. How did you know not to call the cops?”

 

Magnus stared at him. Then made a complex expression of intrigue and mockery.

 

“You thought they were bought out by the mafia, didn’t you?”

 

Alec nearly veered off the road at being read so easily. Magnus yelled at him, and pointed out a rest stop coming up.

 

Pulling into the dinky parking lot, the sign on the ‘Derek’s Market of Numerous Eats’ was flickering. The moon hung low in the sky, but steadily rising and bathing the void-like lot in a thin silver veil. Half of the lights were on inside, and besides a beat up truck dripping water off its side, they were the only ones there.

 

Not to mention, without the flickering letters, it seemed to read out ‘DeMoNs.’

 

“Not suspicious at all!” Magnus chirped. “Let’s eat.”

 

Magnus walked with purpose. Alec, not so much. They both head to the bathroom to scrape and claw at the dirt on their bodies. Ironically, Magnus had less grime on his body than Alec when they took good looks at each other in the mirror. Alec realized he couldn’t get everything off of his clothes, so he muttered a ‘Don’t look’ at Magnus, threw off his shirt, and rinsed underneath the sink.

 

A whistle.

 

“Magnus!”

 

“Apologies. I won’t look if you really don’t want me to, but trust me-” He winked. “You have nothing to be ashamed of.”

 

Alec rolled his eyes, praying his body wouldn’t turn his face red. He was a stranger; that was the reality. If Alec just dropped to his hands and knees for every compliment he got, then he’d be a really easy target. Desperate would be an understatement.

 

So why were his knees wobbling?!

 

Alec thrusted it underneath the air dryer and just stood there, forcing himself not to turn around. Magnus was still washing at certain parts of his body, if the running water was any indication. Alec sighed. He really just did that, did he? Saved a flirty stranger from being buried alive. 

 

He turned back. Magnus was humming to himself, as if it was just a normal Sunday night. Had that happened to him before? The notion was silly, but he seemed eager to jump back into normalcy after literally almost dying. For good. 

 

“Have I…” Magnus smacked his lips. “I haven’t. I usually never forget, but it seems to have escaped me this time.”

 

“Never forget what?” Alec asked as he threw the shirt back on. Slightly damp.

 

“Thank you. For saving my life. I don’t have a lot, but I’m sure there’s some way for me to repay you.” Magnus bowed to a ninety-degree angle. The sight alone was overwhelming, and it seemed completely out of character, despite how little Alec actually knew him. “I thought I would die there, but words alone will never express my gratitude.”

 

Alec cleared his throat. “Of course I did.” He paused, then gulped. “I know we don’t know each other, but I didn’t have it in me to watch someone be put in the ground and do nothing about it.”

 

“Even if it was to clear your conscience, which I can tell it isn’t, I’d still be thankful. Actions trounce intentions, to me.”

 

That made sense. Intentions rarely mattered when it came to helping or hindering someone. It didn’t change the fact that they did ‘it.’ 

 

“Come on, Alec-” He grabbed his hand. “-We’re going to order breakfast food at midnight, and I can tell you about all the crazy stuff that got to this point… And why I’m pretty much done with it, too.” A tired, but puppy-like smile appeared on his face. “Thank you, Alec. For saving me.”

 

“Of… Of course. It’s about your boss, right?”

 

“Ex-boss,” he chided. “Long story short, he’s a bad guy. Not just to me, but he’s a stain on society.” His jovial tone disappeared, replaced with a speaking style reminiscent of spitting.

 

Alec had a really stupid idea. Impulsive, too. Something his parents would think to disown him for, and something that would get him the most jaw-dropped looks from all of his siblings. Where did it come from? The way he looked at Alec? The way he looked, period? The utter kindness he had for his allies? The sort of ‘bad boy’ attitude he warned Izzy about and scolded Jace for? 

 

What in the world possessed him to say-

 

“When you’re done with this guy…” Alec inhaled deeply. “Do you want to goonadate?” He choked at the last minute, the tempo of his words accelerating beyond his control.

 

Magnus blinked twice. Alec waited for the resounding ‘denial.’ God, what was he thinking? Didn’t he know better than to act on his hormonal impulses at 24? Stupid, stupid, stupid, stup-

 

“I’d love that.”

 

Alec, in the middle of a dirty bathroom, nearly dropped dead on the spot. All because of a handsome man who liked him back.

 

Lord, take the wheel and help him.

Chapter Text

Alec had been fidgeting with his phone, failing to unlock it multiple times, when the sentence, “No, I did not sleep with that blonde woman!” echoed in the elevator.

 

Another man was standing nearby, looking at a pocket mirror and applying mascara to his eyes, but as the man yelled at, assumedly, his wife about how he knew it was a blonde woman, he slowly dropped the mirror, his jaw slightly ajar.

 

“Oh, right. How are you and Nathan, then?” He snarled into the phone, his hair tipping oddly forward. Was that a toupee?

 

Mascara man put a manicured hand over his mouth, stifling his laughter. They met eyes, and Alec couldn’t help but scrunch his face up like an irritated muppet. Who was this man, and why was he screaming his personal business on the public elevator where Alec worked?

 

The elevator dinged once again.

 

“Yeah, I saw you two! Sitting on my favorite couch and you two screwing each other on it? Oh, how do I know? Because you just told me!”

 

They both widened their eyes at each other. Alec rolled his eyes, meanwhile the other man looked like he was about to keel over, turning red and scrunching up his face.

 

Finally, the man got off the elevator. As it turned out each of them had another floor to go.

 

And as soon as the metal doors closed-

 

“BAHAHAHAHA!” The other man howled. 

 

It was infectious, to say the least. Even Alec couldn’t help but chuckle despite his annoyance.

 

“I need to report that guy to Lydia… Who is that oaf, and why don’t I recognize him?” He muttered.

 

“Edward Gaville,” Mascara Man answered. Alec stared at him. “He works in my office building, but I don’t claim being here with him. I’m here to see an old friend of mine, Clarissa.”

 

“...Clary Fray?”

 

“The very same. You two are acquainted?”

 

Alec thought about the time when she set some paper on fire. That time was two days ago, the first day they met. Then frowned.

 

“I suppose not, then?”

 

“No, no… I love Clary” Alec denied it, a dead look in his eyes. Magnus let out a chuckle.

 

“Magnus Bane.”

 

“Alec.”

 

They shook hands, Magnus’s smile tight-lipped, but warm. 

 

The elevator made an odd whirring sound, and stopped before the final floor. Magnus sighed.

 

“You cannot be serious,” Alec groaned, nearly choosing to slam his forehead into the wall. “I’m going to be late.”

 

“Does this happen often?” Magnus pointed. “Abra kadabra!”

 

It didn’t budge.

 

“Well, it was worth a shot. I suggest calling the military.”

 

“No, Magnus.” Alec was exhausted. He didn’t drink any coffee that morning, and his lack of caffeine started to pulse at his head like he had just been exercising for an hour. 

 

Alec turned on his phone and called Izzy. He quickly explained that he and Magnus were stuck, and she started laughing before promising to get help.

 

“Don’t enjoy your time together too much, big bro. Besides helping you get a boyfriend, the idea of His Grumpiness being stuck in an elevator is great comedy material,” Izzy pondered aloud.

 

“Seriously? I wouldn’t do that to you.” He felt his insides die. “I hate you.”

 

“Love you, too!”

 

They hung up.

 

“I hope that means she’s getting help. From what I could briefly divine, that was Isabelle Lightwood?”

 

“You know her voice?”

 

“Do I know the up-and-coming fashion designers of our generation?” Magnus’s jaw went slack. “Of course not!” He sweetly added.

 

“I’m her brother. Alec Lightwood.”

 

Magnus snapped his fingers, his half-Mascaraed eyes flying up his forehead. “The Underworld Ball. You modeled the outfit for the Demon Hunters with all those tattoos and Supernatural-esque clothes!”

 

He recognized him? Alec had to walk out in the middle of the show, dressed like that, because the actual model had caught the flu. He didn’t remember anyone being particularly thrilled or disgusted by his showcase, so the fact that he was so memorable to Mag-

 

“You looked great!” He chirped.

 

“I… Haha,” Alec gulped. He stretched the fabric of his collar. “I… Um. Thank you.” His tone became frigidly formal. “Thank you,” he repeated with more of a dry throat that time. 

 

A small grin crawled up his face, slightly predatory, but mostly enthralled. “You’re quite welcome.”

 

They stood in silence for just a moment.

 

“Alec, I have a question for you. Ah-” Before he actually asked, he pulled out a pen. “May I borrow your hand?”

 

“...Yes?” He replied with a dumbfounded look on his face.

 

Magnus clicked the pen, and Alec couldn’t breathe as he scribbled and scrunched his eyebrows with concentration. He could feel his own breath choking him, and prayed to God that Magnus couldn’t smell how sweaty he was. What was wrong with him? He hadn’t acted like that since his first date with that weird friend of Simon’s. 

 

“Call me when we get out of here.”

 

“...You couldn’t just put the number in my phone?” Alec chuckled weakly.

 

“But then I won’t get to see you turning redder than a rose, Alexander. And this puts more of an impression on you, does it not?”

 

Alexander. Nobody called him that, but all of a sudden, he was about to make an exception. As he opened his mouth, the elevator door ‘dinged’ open. 

 

“Free at last. Maybe you can put off our first date longer than expected.” Magnus smirked, so confident in himself.

 

Alec had no response, but even if he did, an unexpected interruption silenced and stopped any momentum the two of them had.

 

“Well, I’m sorry Nathan treats me better than you ever did! Crazy what people will do when someone gives them attention for the first time in five years since they started menopause !” A woman with red hair screeched into the phone.

 

Alec and Magnus stared at each other.

 

Much to the lady’s chagrin, neither of them could hold back their laughter that time.

Chapter Text

Alec stretched upwards, staring at the dark button up and dress pants sitting on his bed, silently judging him. He threw off his underclothes and quickly pulled both articles on, letting out a loud sigh when he looked back in the mirror.

 

He looked like a normal tall person. In his comfortable clothes.

 

There was a small gathering that night. The usual people: himself, his siblings, Clary, Simon, and Magnus. Maybe Catarina would show up, too, but she worked EMT shifts and the hours were more random than Simon’s pop culture references that he forced into every conversation.

 

Izzy and Jace went ahead, wanting to visit their respective boyfriend and girlfriend on a double date. Alec couldn’t think of an excursion more insufferable, so he did some homework instead. Izzy kept getting on his case about not asking Magnus to join him, and at some point, Alec slammed the door in his face.

 

He needed to talk to him, in all honesty.

 

They’d been considered ‘dating’ for about two days. Magnus had been unfathomably busy in the last few days, finishing his last two nights of Beauty and the Beast for the school musical as… Well, as The Beast. They didn’t really talk about what their relationship would entail besides a brief conversation.

 

“If we’re going to be dating-” Magnus had stuck a perfectly manicured finger in the air. “Coordinating outfits would be just fantastic and it would be so perfect if…” He trailed off. His phone buzzed, and he clicked his tongue. “What is it, dad?” He went silent for a moment. Then shut the phone off. “It seems I'm required elsewhere. Goodbye, Alec.”

 

Alec stared at his outfit once again. He briefly entertained the idea of swarming Jace’s closet, but odds were, all of his clothes were dirty or small. Maybe even both. 

 

It wasn’t intrinsically wrong for Alec to enjoy wearing black. His self-esteem wasn’t so low to think that he looked bad in his dark clothes, so why did he need the aforementioned 'shopping trip’ that Magnus brought up as if he couldn’t wait to get it off his chest? He crossed his arms. His image was fine. There was nothing wrong with it.

 

Ugh. If he really had such an issue, Alec would suggest that he deal with it.

 

Going out the door, into his car, it smelled like rain and dust. The skies were weeping for him and his town, and while normally the rain’s rhythmic chattering gave him some sense of calm, it only dampened his mood further.

 

Magnus’s house was a literal gothic mansion. With the steel-tinted light overhead, the bricks looked more imposing and the windows more foreboding. With how colorful and flamboyant Magnus was, he was surprised that the outside hadn’t been painted over. 

 

He rang the doorbell, and ‘Moonlight Sonata’ echoed with a muffle behind the door. Asmodeus opened up the door, greeting Alec all smiley with nothing behind his eyes. He gulped.

 

“Good evening, Mr. Bane.”

 

“Oh, Alexander-” The way he said his full name made his skin crawl. “-Come in!”

 

Magnus seemed to love his father despite his endless complaints, so maybe he was just eccentric and embarrassing, like most parents. Though, the fact that he was wearing Prada clothes and gaudy jewelry might have made him stand out from the rest of the strange adults.

 

Soft footsteps came down the stairs. Magnus appeared with a smile and a much more subdued outfit than usual. His pajamas were silk and flowy and sagged a bit against his lean frame. Most of his makeup was off his face except for the occasional speck of glitter. Had Alec ever seen him so... exposed?

 

“Alexander-” And comparatively, Magnus’s voice was butter calling his name similarly to a siren’s chant. 

 

“Wow, you look…”

 

“It’s a bit more exposed, but it may have slipped my mind that we were all supposed to hang out tonight.” He looked around, then tilted his head. “Where are the others?”

 

“Busy.” Alec shoved his hands in his pocket.

 

“Well, you're more than welcome here.” Magnus offered his hand. Alec gingerly took it and creaked up the stairs with him. Magnus was squinting at him for the briefest of moments, then turned back up.

 

“Hey, keep the door open!” Asmodeus called as soon as they reached the top. Magnus let out a large groan and then rolled his eyes.

 

Artwork of all kinds lined the walls of Magnus’s hallway. Some abstract, some portraits, and most drawings of dark scenery. A lake under the moon’s light, a forest with wild animals in the shadows and bushes, and one strange one. It had a man with blue waves around his palms raising his arms to the sky as if he was about to prostrate himself to the stars. Alec would have loved to analyze it, but Magnus was ushering him along like a celebrity away from his fans.

 

Magnus’s room, of course, was about what anyone would expect. It was as big as an apartment and covered in warm browns, yellows, reds, and oranges, giving it a permanent fall ambiance. Furniture and chairs lined random spots, and he had some very large screens hugging the sides and ends. His carpets were lightly heated, and he outstretched his arms with a prideful look on his face.

 

“I don’t mind you taking it all in, but please do try to pay attention to me when you’re not admiring my humble abode.”

 

If someone like Simon had said that, Alec would have punched him in the nose.

 

“It’s… a lot.”

 

Magnus patted his bed, and mentioned something about Egyptian Cotton. Whatever it was, it was, indeed, soft.

 

“So, I'm sure the eldest Lightwood had a plan of action for us this beautiful night?” Magnus batted his eyelashes as thunder cracked outside.

 

Alec tugged on his shirt. “You... Seem like you know.”

 

“Well, what I want is right in front of me, but never say I’m inconsiderate. What would you like to do?” He motioned to his room. 

 

Alec tilted his head at one of his closets. The clothes one was obviously the huge doors at the end of the room, but there were a couple of miscellaneous and conspicuous white doors, too.

 

“That’s my practicing room. All my ballet outfits sit in there whenever I want to shake it.”

 

“...Shake it?”

 

“Yes, Alexander-” / “Okay-” / “Seriously?” / “I get it, sorry.” / “Okay, moving on.”

 

“Did you ever have to wear a tutu?”

 

Magnus gave him a dead look. “No, I never got to.”

 

He led Alec inside. It wasn’t as lavish as the rest of the room, but it was a very smooth floor surrounded by full body mirrors. ‘Definitely ideal for practicing,’ Alec thought. Izzy had complained about the concrete outside not being quite right to ‘let her inner beast loose,’ whatever that meant, but he assumed something similar to that.

 

Magnus put on some socks and flat shoes and did an odd spin. Alec lightly clapped.

 

“Maybe we should try to fit you into one of these outfits? So adorable in glitter!”

 

Suddenly, he pulled out a red sparkly onesie. Alec physically cringed at it.

 

“My look is just fine, thanks.”

 

“Well, a splash of color wouldn’t kill you. Black really drains the color from your face, depending on the specific shade and person, of course. Navy, forest green, crimson would all go well with your complexion,” said Magnus.

 

“My blacks and I are fine.”

 

“Well… eh?”

 

“Eh? Magnus, what?”

 

“I disagree, but I won’t make you change if you don’t want to.” Magnus, not subtle enough, rolled his eyes.

 

“If this is such an issue, then I suggest that you burn that bridge after you get over it,” Alec scoffed.

 

“Why are you so defensive over it?”

 

“What is your deal with my clothes?”

 

“I just thought you’d look nice with some variety!”

 

“Geez, Magnus, that’s really nice of you. So considerate for the 'less fortunate.'”

 

“What are you talking about?”

 

Alec grunted. 

 

“Wow. Real mature.”

 

“Same to you.”

 

“I don’t understand what’s happening right now.” Magnus let out an empty laugh. “Is this actually about clothes? Or something else, because I don’t have to be treated like a villain for a comment about changing clothes.”

 

Alec raised his head to the sky, then dropped it down. “Do you have to look at me like that?” He asked quietly.

 

“Alec, like what?” His tone was still harsh.

 

“Like my very presence is dragging you down?”

 

Magnus’s face dropped.

 

“Like that I shouldn’t stand next to you unless I change how I look?”

 

A small curse dropped from Magnus’s lips. He took small steps forward, then put his hand on Alec’s shoulder.

 

“Hey.”

 

Alec didn’t reply, more interested in the corner of the mirror behind Magnus.

 

“I’m sorry for making you feel that way. I adore how you look, but more importantly, I like you for your personality, as uninspired and stereotypical as that sounds.” He cleared his throat. “I’ve dated a lot of people because they looked nice, and I found out quickly that if they had any nuance to them, they lost it by dating me.” His eyes were just the slightest bit hurt, but it quickly cleared away. “And then I met you.”

 

“...You met me?”

 

“A guy with a bit of a mean look on his face, but the biggest heart of gold in this whole depressing town.”

 

That got Alec to smile despite himself. “You’re exaggerating.”

 

“You’re designated driver again, aren’t you?”

 

Alec went silent.

 

“My point stands.”

 

“I…” Alec rubbed his face. “People have been telling me for as long as I’ve been alive that they don’t like how I look. That despite being what I like wearing, and despite not being an offensive color, people just get on my case all the time. Talking to you reminded me of that, and it makes me feel like something’s wrong with me-that something’s wrong with me beyond the clothes. Because clothes aren’t such a big deal, I wonder if it’s something about me that people just abhor.” He grabbed at the bottom of his shirt, his head tipped down.

 

Magnus’s palm found its way to his cheek. Not in a slap, but a gentle hold. “Nothing’s wrong with you, and I promise that if you dislike talking about it, we won’t have to anymore. I’ll tell everyone that your blacks are my favorite looks on you because, well, you like them.”

 

“...It’s honestly weird to try on different clothes.”

 

“If you feel comfortable, I have some clothes too big for me in my closet. I’d love for you to model outfits because you’re gorgeous, obviously, but as long as you’d never ask me to change how I look, then I won’t, either.”

 

“I’d never, Magnus. You’re beautiful in everything you wear.”

 

An uncharacteristic blush appeared on his face. He rubbed his forearm and bit his lip lightly.

 

“Alexander, you never cease to amaze me.” He murmured under his breath.

 

“Hmm?”

 

“Nothing, darling.”

 

“Um, so…” Alec bounced on his heels. Then sighed. “I want to impress you, though. I like you. A lot. And while it’s completely weird for me to do this, I wouldn’t hate trying on clothes in front of you as long as you promise not to make me look foolish.”

 

Magnus grinned. He kissed his cheek, too.

 

“I don’t think I could if I tried.”

 

“How do I know I’m not doing it because I feel insecure?”

 

“There’s nothing wrong with wanting to improve or change how you look. Nothing. Your look should be whatever gives you confidence and strength.”

 

Alec nodded, his throat going dry.

 

“I mean it,” he repeated softly. “You’re just fine the way you are.” Then, he pouted. “I just remembered what I said to you a few days ago. That was wrong, and you deserve respect. I promise that I just want to help you because I care, but I get too carried away sometimes.”

 

“I’m sorry for assuming the worst, too. You’re an incredibly generous and wise person, and dating you is the luckiest thing to ever happen to me.”

 

“Well, when I saw you standing there with those black sweatpants and black tank top, I thought to myself, ‘I need to grab myself a slice of beef.’”

 

“A slice of…” Alec mentally blue screened. Then, it hit him. “Oh. Oh.

 

Magnus let out a raucous laugh, then grabbed Alec’s hand with both of his own.

 

“I like you for you.”

 

“I like you for you, too."

 

Alec lightly fixed a slipping piece of fabric on Magnus’s shoulder who then led him to his walk-in closet, rapidly talking about color theory and how attractive Alec would be covered in the rainbow.

 

And for once in his life, he was just as invested in the conversation about his style. 

 

Later on, his friends would lose their minds seeing him wear a royal blue jacket with his dark shirt. Izzy called it a miracle, and Simon called it a glitch in the Matrix.

 

Alec trailed his hand over to Magnus’s and linked their fingers together, whispering some words of shy gratitude in his ear.

Chapter Text

There was an unwelcome fear rising in Alec’s chest as two words caught in his throat.

 

It was a terrible feeling; the weights and stress coursing through the upper half of his body. Sitting on top of his heart, and threatening to break it. Maybe it was more like a vow, or a promise to destroy it, but Alec wouldn’t know for sure until he just said it. ‘Just say it, just say it, just say it,’ his mind begged him. But as he sat there, eating dinner on auto-pilot, he was too much of a coward.

 

Magnus was keeping an eye on him, rubbing his knee supportively every so often. His family had no clue, unless Izzy chose not to mention it. Maybe she suspected he would finally do the deed that dinner, and stayed suspiciously quiet the whole time.

 

When they began their relationship, Magnus had been gung-ho about making their relationship known to the whole school, but Alec wasn’t… He wasn’t ready. All of his normally compartmentalized and organized thoughts flew into a chaotic void when he just wanted to say the truth. He dated Magnus so long that he fell in love with him, and there he was, still supporting him from the shadows. Still okay with Alec’s hesitance to kiss in public when, if Alec had been anyone else, Magnus would have already slept with that person.

 

What if Magnus started to get sick of him not putting out? Not even with just sex, but physical affection was something he feared and found sacred. Something he found exciting and terrifying. 

 

Alec let out a quiet sigh as he cut the chicken forcefully. The dish clattered and he muttered an apology. 

 

He’d have to just do it. There was no point in making a plan because the expectations that come with one would take their hands and choke him until his voice died. It was his antithesis, but impulsivity would be the only way to do it. His face burned.

 

Why did he tell Magnus that he wanted to do it tonight? Why did he care so much for him? Why did he want to be with him? Magnus was proud of who he was, and it was pretty clear he wasn’t straight, or at least it should be to his parents, with the eyeshadow and colorful wardrobe he had. They seemed fine with him, so… was it just a nonissue? Damnit. Damnit, damnit, damnit, damnit.

 

His boyfriend (that word sent lightning bolts coursing through his veins) was known for being extravagant. Great parties, great style, great grades, hot body, smart, and constantly cycling through partners. Magnus had been with him for a while, maybe his longest partner to date. He could already hear Izzy mocking him, asking him that ‘if Magnus really didn’t want to be with him because of a lack of physical contact, wouldn’t they have at least talked about it?’

 

...

 

Maybe in less words and more cleverly, she'd mock him.

 

Regardless, it wasn't like his brain couldn't make common sense make sense-that wasn’t the issue; it was the guilt.

 

Hiding Magnus was like taking a star out of the sky. Alec grabbed his hand under the table and squeezed it once, hoping some of that freedom and bravery would transfer over.

 

Magnus, with little hesitation, squeezed back. His silent insistence that he could do it.

 

“Hey, guys?” Alec spoke up. First step, done.

 

“What is it?” Robert blinked twice at him, mid-cut. Maryse took a sip of her wine while his siblings had half-focused gazes on him.

 

“I… Um.” Alec lost it. He looked at Magnus, who just smiled like nothing was wrong in the world. Who just smiled like he had absolute faith yet no expectations for Alec. One of those smiles that screamed 'genuine' and took it upon itself to be embedded in the recipient’s memories. 

 

One more squeeze under the table before he let go.

 

“Magnus… is my boyfriend. For a couple of months, honestly,” Alec breathed out.

 

Silence. His parents just stared at him while Jace passed Izzy a twenty. They bet on his coming out? For God’s sake. His desire to murder his siblings almost cheered him up, but he realized he still had his parents' reactions to get through.

 

“Your… boyfriend?” Robert repeated, his tone blank.

 

“Yeah…” His voice died.

 

“I’m upset-” Maryse started.

 

Alec’s breath hitched. Magnus immediately started arguing on his behalf, his face contorted and spiteful.

 

“Alec is a wonderful man.” His voice wasn’t loud, but it was forceful and even. Maryse looked shocked; no one ever interrupted her. "The fact that I am a man should not affect how you see him," he continued.

 

She cleared his throat. Alec sank in his chair, a dead look in his eyes.

 

In the same tone of voice, Maryse said, “I don’t have a problem that you’re a guy ; I dislike how long you’ve kept this from us. That’s upsetting.”

 

It took him a moment. Then, his head snapped up. “You’re not mad?” Alec nearly fell over in shock.

 

“Mad? Why would we be mad?” Dad asked as if that was the wildest thing he had ever heard. “You’re our son, and you’re old and smart enough to make these choices for yourself.”

 

“It’s not like we trust your siblings to date responsibly,” Mom said with a half-smirk. "That would be something to be mad over." Izzy gave her a dead look while Jace scowled.

 

Magnus pressed a kiss to his cheek. " I’m proud of you. That must have been terrifying, and you get full marks from me. I’m proud to be your boyfriend.”

 

They laced their fingers together. Alec scooted his chair closer to Magnus who pulled him into a quick hug.

 

“No more emotions. Just for one night,” Alec muttered. 

 

He snorted. “You have yourself a deal, my Alexander.”

 

“...Hamilton?”

 

“The fact that you understood that reference proves I’m a good influence on you.”

 

"It's nice to meet you officially, Magnus." Robert smiled.

 

They continued talking to Alec’s family, and parted ways after desert. Magnus pressed a real kiss to his lips, and winked at him. 

 

And by the time Alec got to school the next day, holding hands with Magnus and kissing his forehead before class became... not easy per se, but natural. Everyone had to deal with the fact that he was proud to be with Magnus. Proud to be himself, and proud to have the most gentle and attractive person in the world by his side.

 

And by the end of that day, Alec realized just how in love he was. Between his insecurities and fears, Magnus had some magic in his fingertips that would, at minimum, share the burden of his stress on his broad shoulders. Whatever he was doing to Alec’s heart and soul, he never wanted the feeling to go away. Alec was safe with Magnus, and now that they were officially together, Magnus couldn’t be happier to brag about him. People actually begged Magnus to stop talking about Alec, saying that they needed him to stop filling them in on the last few months.

 

With a prideful smile on his face, Alec would just reply by saying, “That’s my boyfriend, and I could probably talk longer about him than he could about me.”

Chapter Text

“And starting tonight-” Magnus snapped his fingers around the room, dimming the lights and conjuring candles, drinks, and popcorn. “-We will be honing your cinematic palate.”

 

“Quoting yourself?” Alec deadpanned. He let out a sigh. It wasn’t as if anything Magnus had shown him, whether it was music, places around the world, foods, etc. had ever been bad, but it seemed like a waste of time. 

 

They could be training, or Magnus could be teaching him about Downworld history/customs or they could even research spells together. 

 

“We should be working on the Demonic Runes spell. More strength, agility-” Marriage recognized in the eyes of not only the Downworld, but the Clave, too. “-Any of that coming to mind?”

 

“All work and no play makes Ragnor a dull Warlock,” Magnus chirped. “They totally misheard me when I first said it. It must have been a massive misunderstanding, or my diction must not have been polished as it currently is.”

 

“Well, as much as I love my Downworld husband, I feel like we could be spending our time doing better things than watching-” Alec frowned at the cover. “-Kill Bill.”

 

“Blasphemy! Even for my fellow Downworld husband-” He winked at Alec. “-Whom I adore above all else, you must watch this. I picked it out because I care about you and what you might like!”

 

“A woman with a sword?” He pointed to the cover.

 

“Just watch.”

 

And so they sat, a bowl of popcorn, wine, and Chairman Meow between them. Alec had his arms crossed while Magnus had his arm around Alec’s neck. 

 

“Only for you, Magnus,” he grumbled.

 

Gasps of breathing.

 

Shaky.

 

Unstable.

 

“Bill, it’s your baby-”

 

The gunshot scared Chairman Meow, and sent him running into their room. On instinct, Alec tensed up, but he quickly calmed down and scooched closer to Magnus, who just watched his husband.

 

‘Oh, he’s hooked,’ he thought.

 

Alec didn’t react too strongly to anything throughout the whole movie. He stayed especially silent during Copperhead’s death, but he was a bit more vocal during Cottonmouth’s assassination. Magnus could hear mumbles of ‘How?’, ‘Seriously?’, and other phrases of disbelief while she was busy killing the Yakuza members. 

 

And so concluded a very, very bloody volume one of two.

 

Magnus whisked the lights back on (slowly, of course) and finished the last piece of popcorn. He wished he knew Uma Thurman personally so he could give her all the accolades in the world just for that one performance, but alas, he didn’t. What an actress. Alec was hugging him.

 

Uma Thurman could seriously-wait, his husband was hugging him? It was as tight as the night when Magnus saved Madzie. His eyes wide and his face scrunched, he returned the hug and rubbed the top of Alec’s back.

 

“Hey, what’s all this about?” Magnus asked slowly.

 

Alec squeezed tighter.

 

“I’d… I’d do the same.”

 

...

 

‘Oh,’ Magnus realized. He wished he didn’t understand. A terrible ache wedged itself in the Warlock’s heart as he kissed Alec’s temple. He wasn’t going anywhere, and the likelihood of any angelic or demonic being taking him down was unlikely with Edom quite literally flowing through his blood, but even still…

 

“I love you, Alec,” Magnus murmured.

 

“I love you, too.”

 

Great. He upset Alec. His gentle, caring husband just watched a movie about a woman getting revenge for her husband and her baby. Then watched a mother get killed in front of her baby.

 

How was he such an oblivious jerk?

 

“Alexander, I’m so sorry.”

 

“-” He mumbled something incomprehensible.

 

“It’s a silly movie,” he hopelessly justified. “Intense, but it is ridiculous. We don’t have to watch the second volume; there are plenty of nicer movies like Love, Simon that I think you’d quite enjoy.”

 

“I didn’t mean to get like this.”

 

Magnus’s heart could have stopped.

 

“No, no…” He started. “I get it. I was so excited for you to like this action movie that I didn’t think of how you might feel. I never want to be the reason you don’t smile.”

 

“Not your fault.”

 

Arguing with Alec about matters like that would lead in an endless cycle of blame-shifting, but it was harder than maintaining a portal for hours on end than it was to say something back at that moment.

 

“I can’t lose you, Magnus. We’re going to be together forever, and I mean forever…” Alec sighed. “You, me, Izzy, Clary, Jace, and unfortunately, Simon…”

 

Magnus let out a chuckle, then broke away to look at Alec’s face. “You’ve basically adopted him as your little brother. Stop lying.”

 

“I know nothing of the sort. Is his last name ‘Lightwood’ now?” Alec weakly joked. “If so, we might just have to change our last name to the Banes.”

 

They shared a few laughs. Then they both felt a few tears come up, and laughed again.

 

“You are the best person to stumble into my four hundred years of living.” Magnus pressed a hand to Alec’s cheek.

 

“You’re the first and only person I’ve loved this much.”

 

“Always trying to one up me?”

 

“Trying? I just do.”

 

Magnus mocked him with exaggerated hand gestures. He brushed away lingering tears on both of their faces.

 

“I’ll make sure to warn you next time before I make you watch a revenge quest. You might not like John Wick, either.”

 

“Who?”

 

“Secret agent who avenges his murdered dog.”

 

“Oh… Wow…” Alec frowned. “No. I can’t lose The Chairman, either."

 

Right on cue, Chairman Meow walked out of his room to look at the looming husbands. Alec picked him up (the only allowed to pick him up, unless it was an emergency) and cooed at him like he would a baby. Magnus rubbed behind his ears and felt his heart swell when he purred.

 

“I understand,” Magnus unconsciously replied. He held Alec close in a half-hug, content to just stand there with his family. The family he’d fight Raziel a thousand times over for.

Chapter Text

“Papa!” Ragnor Gideon Lightwood-Bane called from his bedroom. The name choices were obvious to anyone who was even remotely Alec’s family. The man-in-question raised an eyebrow and quickly walked in, ready to throw a knife at a demon or turn on his night-light.

 

“Ragnor?” Alec crouched down near his bed. He noticed on his way into his room that the kid painted his room in wavy blue colors similar to that painting Magnus liked… Starry Sky? Van Gagh or whatever his name was painted the original. The ‘famous’ artist.

 

“Tell me a story!” He demanded, pout strong on his face. He had little micro-horns on his head, and they seemed to stand tall (as tall as they could, at least) with Ragnor’s chubby and determined face.

 

“I assume that you’re not going to sleep until I tell you one?” He chuckled as his son nodded vigorously.

 

“A Fairytale!”

 

Alec’s eyes darted up to the ceiling. A Fairytale? For some reason, that story about Jace’s Falcon came to mind. He figured that his six year old son wouldn’t appreciate a story about murdering his falcon and the meaning of befriending versus domination, and it wasn’t as if Alec had great lying skills to give it a happy ending.

 

“...Any other criteria?” He tried.

 

“A happy one!”

 

Definitely not the Falcon story then. Damnit, why couldn’t he have paid attention to those Disney movies Magnus showed him? If he were here, he’d be laughing his ass off and shooing him away, then he would make some magical light show as he told the story. Ragnor was definitely spoiled in that regard.

 

“I can’t do anything fancy like your father can, but I’ll do my best for my little ‘merate.”

 

Magnus coined the term, based off of the word ‘Conglomerate.’ When Alec looked up the definition, it made him laugh uncontrollably for about two minutes. Not only was it an ugly-sounding word, but it seemed too literal for a child (not that Ragnor knew better) that wasn’t even a hybrid; he was just raised by a Shadowhunter and Warlock.

 

Alec cleared his throat. Ragnor leaned back, eyes sparkling.

 

“Here’s a story about a Shadowhunter and a Warlock who exceeded expectations placed on them.”

 

The Warlock was flirty, incorrigible, wise, and handsome. The Shadowhunter was studious, uptight, shy, and good with a bow. Ragnor looked suspicious, but he didn’t interrupt at those baseline descriptions.

 

“They first met when the Shadowhunter saved him. The Warlock was fighting a mean guy, and with a WHISP -” Alec mimicked the sound of a firing arrow. “-He got the bad guy in the leg. Argh!” Alec shouted. Ragnor giggled.

 

“Then what?”

 

“The Warlock fired a wave of magic, knocking him out,” Alec finished. “They talked for a little bit, and instantly realized they liked each other. The Warlock found the Shadowhunter’s stuttering endearing, and the Shadowhunter admired the Warlock’s boundless confidence.”

 

“And they got together?”

 

“Not that easily.” Alec sadly smiled. “The Shadowhunter, due to complex reasons, was in an arranged marriage. It’s when two people marry for a reason besides love.”

 

“Are you and dad ‘arranged’ together?” Ragnor asked, his blue eyes beady and wide.

 

“Nope. We married out of love, and then we decided that a short Warlock would be an excellent addition.” Alec tickled Ragnor’s sides. He squealed and let out a small wave of magic that pushed Alec’s shirt over his head.

 

“Stop!”

 

“Okay, okay. Well… It took some time, and a lot of talking, but the Shadowhunter realized that marrying the other person wasn’t going to make him happy in any way. So, when the Warlock came to the wedding, he walked off the altar and kissed him.”

 

“You can do that?!” Ragnor gasped.

 

“Well, yes. It was quite the spectacle, and an endless gossip piece for months throughout the Clave and Downworld.”

 

“Wow…” Ragnor probably had no idea what a spectacle was, but he was enthralled nevertheless. 

 

“The Warlock and Shadowhunter ultimately agreed to go on a date together. At that time, Shadowhunters and Warlocks didn’t generally date or spend that much time together outside of Demon hunts. This was history in the making, especially because they were men from two different backgrounds.”

 

Alec brushed on the relationship problems they had, only really going in depth about the major events. Talking about the Warlock’s 17000 exes or the Shadowhunter’s general stupidity would lead to a little too many questions that he had no mental space to handle.

 

“When you love someone, lying to them about something life-changing generally doesn’t protect them. People are a lot stronger than you think, and the Warlock was very strong and frankly, offended that the Shadowhunter thought he couldn’t handle the bad news.”

 

“The Shadowhunter sounds like a jerk.”

 

Alec cackled. “He is! It came from good intentions, but the intentions don’t usually matter that much when you hurt someone.”

 

Ragnor nodded with the wisdom of a thousand sages.

 

“And then-” Alec chuckled humorlessly. “The Warlock felt that without his magic, he wasn’t good enough for anyone. He felt very depressed and disheartened. But when he finally got it back at the exchange of the Shadowhunter’s company, he realized that he loved the Shadowhunter more than anything else.”

 

“...”

 

“Ragnor?”

 

Small blue waves hovered over his fingertips. “I like my magic.”

 

Alec outstretched his arm and Ragnor rested his tiny palms on top of his calloused hand.

 

“I know. But your magic is just one part of you, and it isn’t something that should determine how you see yourself. It’s a supplement for who you are, not a personality trait. That's like saying my arms are a part of my personality. They're not."

 

“...What happened next?” He asked as if he hadn’t just experienced an identity crisis before ten years old. 

 

“The Warlock found the person who originally took his magic and kicked his butt!” Alec lightly pushed Ragnor back onto the bed and he giggled uncontrollably.

 

“Kicked his butt!” Ragnor repeated with a toothy grin.

 

“They found each other again, and Ma-The Warlock called The Shadowhunter a dumbhead for leaving him. He understood why he did it, and they kissed. Then, a few days later, they decided to have their own wedding. Right where they first kissed, and this time, with no interruptions.”

 

“And then what?” Ragnor grabbed Alec’s arm.

 

“And then… They lived happily. Ever. After.”

 

Alec pressed a light kiss on Ragnor’s forehead and pulled the covers over his body. He let out a loud yawn.

 

“G’night, papa.”

 

“G’night, Ragnor. I love you.”

 

“Love you too…” He murmured back. Ragnor closed his eyes and Alec ran his fingers through his hair for a short while before silently standing up. Thankfully, Magnus soundproofed Ragnor’s door to make sure it didn’t squeak on the way out.

 

Alec felt a presence watching him. He activated his agility rune and took up a fighting stance when he got to the source.

 

“It’s me…” Magnus said. Thankfully, he could manipulate sound enough so that the outside noise wouldn’t breach his room, but they could hear him in case he needed something.

 

“Magnus, by Raziel, I was about to put you into the ground…” Alec sighed out. “How was your day?”

 

“Fine. I’m more interested in the story you were telling.” Magnus smirked.

 

Alec rolled his eyes. “He wanted to hear a Fairytale, and I may have-”

 

“Given him nonfiction?” Magnus suggested. Alec gave him that look.

 

“I don’t know any!”

 

“Even though we watched Tangled a month ago?” Magnus crossed his arms. “Or did you doze off?”

 

He had no arguments for that. Magnus huffed at him.

 

“I did appreciate the compliments you dropped about me behind my back. I’m glad my husband isn’t making me look like an idiot in front of our own son.”

 

“And I know you would do so to me if the positions were reversed.” Alec kissed Magnus’s head.

 

“Of course, I would. And before you ask, I did hear all of it. It was adorable.” 

 

“Shower? Then sleep?” Alec kissed his neck, trying to distract him. 

 

Magnus snapped his fingers. He smelled like Sandalwood and Vanilla. Alec gave him another look, annoyed at missing out on foreplay. 

 

“Sex, then sleep?” Magnus suggested innocently.

 

Alec picked Magnus up bridal style and kicked open his door, murmuring about how much he loved ‘His Warlock’ the whole time, and especially appreciated the soundproofing abilities he had.

Chapter Text

Most people hated the Graveyard shift. Magnus might have been an exception if he had actually had a choice of whether or not he could be in the office that night.

 

He was a hard-worker, alright? He preferred to make 100% use of his day, scheduling hang-out sessions and being as mentally flexible as he was physically (his past partners have definitely appreciated how far he could spread his legs, as they should) and hated when his schedules fell out-of-line. Everything got annoying. He was thirty two, and it would just keep getting more annoying until he could get a leg-up as head of Spiral Labyrinth Co.

 

Until then, he was stuck covering Ragnor who was out doing God knew what at… Twelve past twelve. Great.

 

Magnus looked at an email, read it twice, read it aloud, and then replied in a very Ragnor fashion, one of the few pleasures of his day.

 

Ragnor: “This isn’t a deal; it’s a mockery. 10 percent of the equity is the minimum, not the max. Denied.”

 

That was the last email. Thankfully, while Ragnor and Magnus were opposites in perceived character, they had a similar intolerance for bullcrap. Honestly, Magnus could have added a couple of curse words, but if it were found out that he was forging his signature, then he’d rather not have to explain using ‘Fuck’ and ‘Bullshit’ under his boss’s name.

 

Also, he felt that curses should be used sparingly for full impact.

 

He closed his laptop. Technically, he could go home right then and there, but he was waiting on Elsa Coda on the floor below to finish up her shift so he could give her a ride home. Lord knew why she was so late. He could faintly hear operatic singing coming from below him and it took everything he had not to burst out laughing. Whatever kept her sane, he supposed. 

 

SQUEAK SQUEAK SQUEAK.

 

Oh, now what? It sounded like someone was rubbing themselves against the glass doors.

 

SQUEAK SQUEAK SQUEAK.

 

“Who is making that infernal noise?” Magnus echoed out. He was ready to throw his empty cup of coffee at some idiotic intern who most likely couldn’t find their way out.

 

“Sorry, Mister Bane,” a deep yet light voice replied.

 

“Since when do people call me Mister Ba… Hell-o.” Magnus slowed down the tempo of his words.

 

Armed with nothing but a blue janitor suit with the top button open and a mop stood a specimen. Tall (perhaps taller than him), bulging muscles, soft blue eyes, sharp jawline, short, messy hair, and a nervous half-smile that Magnus wanted to press onto his lips.

 

“Hello, sir.” He waved. “I’m finishing up, please don’t worry about me.”

 

Was Magnus getting a hard-on at being called ‘sir?’

 

“How old are you?” Okay, yeah, it was weird to ask, but Magnus thought if he was more than three years younger than, he would 100% back off. He had no interest in preying on innocent people.

 

“Twenty nine.”

 

“Wonderful.”

 

Instead of blushing or commenting on that, he just tilted his head like a puppy. Pup. Heh. Not a bad nickname.

 

“You don’t have to call me sir.” I did like it, though . “It’s just Magnus. You’re not beneath me because you clean.”

 

That got his attention more. His mouth dropped just a bit before closing back up. He shuffled the mop in his hands and moved a little closer.

 

“I apologize for the sounds.”

 

“No, no. I should’ve figured someone was out here cleaning; I wasn’t being courteous.”

 

“No, no, that’s okay… Magnus.” He tested out, wincing as if he was expecting a visceral reaction. That upset Magnus more than the informality. 

 

“Do you need a ride home…” Magnus stopped, motioning for him to give his name.

 

“Alec,” he whispered.

 

“Alexander.”

 

That time, he blushed. So, Alexander was uncommon for him to hear, was it? Magnus had plans to ruthlessly exploit it.

 

“People don’t usually call me that.”

 

“Then, I will stick with Alec.”

 

“...”

 

“What was that?”

 

“I didn’t say ‘stop’ doing it.”

 

Magnus was a half-second away from making out with him, but he was a gentleman, contrary to popular belief. He always let the other party make first moves, and when they were unsure, he would simply ask their permission (and Alec must not have been straight, right?). It was obviously crazy to him that being conscious of other people’s feelings and desires would actually get him dates more often than his coworkers. Even if they didn’t usually last too long.

 

“How did you get stuck here on the night shift? I’ve never seen you around before, and I know exactly who works here at all times.”

 

“I suppose… I’ve slipped through.”

 

With that body? Magnus called bullshit.

 

“I drew a short straw. Jace had a date tonight, and Andrew’s boyfriend is having some birthday bash. Since I actually like Andrew, I volunteered to take tonight thinking Jace would be there.” He sighed. Not with anger, but more like quiet acceptance and indignation. His face was as complex as a negative number in a square root sign. 

 

“I’m sorry that happened. Jace can be a bit of a jerk.”

 

“I’ve lived with him for a long while. I know.”

 

“Brothers?” Magnus recalled a mental picture of Jace, wondering where the similarities even began. They were both attractive, as much as the thought of telling Jace that was awful, but Jace was more of a bad-boy type while Alec seemed to be more of a... gentle giant. 

 

“Adopted.”

 

“Makes a lot more sense…”

 

Alec snorted. “A lot of people say that. I don’t think the two of us can be any more different.”

 

“Well, your attitude and overall attractiveness certainly have made a better impression on me than Jace’s has.”

 

He rolled his eyes. “As if. I haven’t been on a date in years with my ‘better’ attitude.”

 

The world must have gone blind in those last few years, including Magnus.

 

“Would you like to change that?” Magnus asked, reaching a hand forward. He cursed at himself for being so insistent all of the sudden. “If you’d like, of course. Please don’t feel pressured to give an answer right away or feel obligated to go just because I technically rank higher.”

 

Alec’s face went from fear to relief to concern in a matter of moments. What was he thinking? Was he okay? He seemed in need of a hug, but Magnus had to admit that even the best hugs were odd at best from acquaintances.

 

“I… I can’t… I don’t… Know…” He mumbled out. “Magnus, I’m sorry, I-”

 

“Alec, it’s okay,” he said in a breathy voice. “This must be quite the unique circumstance for you, to hear a dating proposal at midnight in an office building.”

 

He just nodded.

 

“I was going to take an Uber home.”

 

Magnus raised his finger and opened his mouth to argue, but then he stopped to look at a text.

 

Elsa: “Hey beautiful! Remember Alex, the nice person I met at the strip club? They’re giving me a ride home, and hopefully I’m going on a different ride later. Love you, love you, love you!”

 

“And now, you won’t have to be in a car with me and Elsa.” Magnus shoved his phone back in his pocket. “I’m more than happy to take you home.”

 

“...You sure? I don’t want to be any more inconvenient.”

 

“The fact that you think you’ve been ‘inconvenient’ once this conversation is ridiculous, to be frank. As punishment, I’m taking you home unless driving with me is something you’re not comfortable with. Then, I will respect your wishes and ask that you give me your number or for some form of communication so I can make sure you get home safe.” Magnus said in the most convoluted way possible. Not exactly his usual style of flirtation, but Alec was blushing too much to give a dignified response.

 

Eventually, he nodded again.

 

“Then let’s go. I’m sure my cats are waiting to give me the privilege to feed them treats and scratch at my mattress.”

 

“You have cats?!” Alec beamed as they walked out together. He quickly stopped at a closet to return his materials, and if Magnus took a quick glance at his butt, then no one but him and the security cameras would know.

 

“Chairman Meow and Church. My children, and my partners in crime. They are good judges of character.”

 

Seriously, they did. The only time Magnus didn’t listen to them was with Camille, and that basically kicked him into the ground, so he trusted their opinions completely. If they hissed at Alec, he would ultimately accept that they wouldn’t work out. It was the way it was.

 

“I’ve never owned a cat. I’ve never got the chance, but…” Alec smiled. “I’m happy with how things have turned out so far."

 

He knew Jace left Ragnor’s rival company, Lightwood Clave Institute, and lost a lot of money (supposedly) doing so. Wait, Jace was the son of the CEO, Robert, right? And the CMO was Maryse?

 

So… Alec was… His company’s janitor? No wonder he was trying to hide in plain sight. He was sure plenty of people would give him flack because all of the siblings left after it came out that the company donated to homophobic organizations.

 

And one of the sons was gay himself. And unless Jace’s current relationship with Biscuit was fake (for which, he might kill him), then Alec must have been…

 

Magnus opened his mouth to say something, but Alec looked content just walking by his side, their hands occasionally brushing together.

 

“Alec?”

 

“Yeah… Is something… wrong, Magnus?” Alec bit his lip.

 

“My left hand is a bit cold. May I borrow you right?” He grinned. The effects of sleep-deprivation were starting to kick in. Did he just say ‘you right?’

 

“...”

 

Wordlessly, Alec’s palm slid over his own. His hand was calloused, but warm and comforting.

 

“I appreciate it.”

 

“...Me too.”

 

Magnus snapped his head to his left. Alec refused to meet his eye, but he looked comfortable. Shy, maybe apprehensive, but definitely okay with them just being close.

 

So would Magnus, then.

Chapter Text

Coffee was so terrible for the nose, wasn’t it? No wonder everyone’s voice was nasally and strange; they were all wearing nose plugs! He had to explain that piece of information, albeit more nicely, to some middle aged woman complaining in the drive through. She needed to back-off, and she thought she could make her scent more agitated to scare the employees, well, it sucked to be her because the employees feared being alone and being considered worthless over some random Karen's blithering.

 

“Can I get a sweet vanilla cold brew, light ice?” A young girl’s voice echoed in his headset. Magnus’s eyes bulged out of his head for a microsecond before he put the customer service smile on, hoping the forced joy would bleed into the headset.

 

“Sure, will that be all?” Magnus asked into his headset.

 

She cleared her throat.

 

“Can I get an iced~ caramel~ macchi-atoooooo!”

 

Magnus blinked twice. Did… Did some girl just sing her order at him? His co-worker and best friend, Catarina, stared at him, just as dumb-founded. That was how he knew it actually happened, and it wasn't just some diabolical fever dream.

 

“I’m so confused,” she mouthed at him.

 

“Me too.” He mouthed back. “Sure thing!” Magnus replied, a desolate expression taking over his face. “That’ll be nine seventy-nine. Thank you!”

 

Thank God she didn’t sing out her ‘thank you’ or ‘goodbye,’ otherwise Magnus would have committed justifiable murder. He stretched upwards, and twisted his back to get that satisfactory CRACK . Seriously, he needed to see a chiropractor. Maybe that was why he was being an Alpha Bitch. 

 

A yawn. It spread like wildfire to the other employees who all got mad at him. His shift started at six in the morning; he didn’t want to hear it. He flipped them all off.

 

“Hi. Can I get one black coffee and one iced caramel macchiato?”

 

Already, that coffee order was giving him PTSD. He made a grunt sound, took the money, and punched it into the register. Then turned to yell at Catarina, as per usual, and she would yell back an affirmation. His head tipped down, he tapped his thumbs on the shelf.

 

But out of the corner of his eye, the man dropped a 10 dollar bill in the tip jar. Sure, the tips were split evenly, but it was certainly enough to make him feel less shitty for a moment.

 

He finally looked up at the tipper, and his jaw dropped slightly when his cute boyfriend stood there, cracking a half-smile and shifting his weight between his feet.

 

“Alexander…” He breathed out. Magnus leaned over to press a kiss to his forehead. Alec gave him a dead look.

 

“I should report your behavior to your manager. Whatever happened to service with a smile?"

 

“That was what you paid for, my darling, when you have me behind the register.”

 

“Nice nose plugs.”

 

“Thanks! They cover up your terrible scent."

 

Alec scoffed, then put his hands on his hips. If he just leaned a bit more to the right, Magnus would be able to ogle his butt more.

 

“...Are you staring at my butt?”

 

“No, I’m just lost in your eyes.” He replied while not looking anywhere near his eyes. Alec turned away.

 

“So, I guess I shouldn’t offer you that picnic date after your shift. And after all that time I spent convincing the coach I couldn’t practice today, mom and dad that I was studying with the extra time, and the fact that I picked out the most perfect quiet spot. I guess that was just a waste of time.”

 

Magnus’s ears perked up. “A picnic date? That sounds amazing right now. If you forgive me for checking out the loveliest man I’ve ever met, I promise that that date will be the best decision of your life.”

 

“Promise how?” Alec taunted.

 

“I get off work in an hour. What time do you have to be home?”

 

“They don’t know I snuck out, but I told them that I was studying reeeally hard, and that I needed all the privacy I could get. Odds are, they’ll check on me around ten.”

 

“My father isn’t home.”

 

“It’ll be four when you finally get out.”

 

“Six hours to ourselves? At least one could be spent showering the smell of coffee off.”

 

“Together?”

 

“Together.”

 

“You convinced me at ‘My father isn’t home.’” Alec shamelessly shrugged. That sort-of conversation six months ago would have turned him bright crimson, and while that was never a bad look on Alec (scratch that, he looked fabulous in everything and with every expression), Magnus adored the flirty, confident side of his Omega. He wished he could smell him but then again, suppressing himself and adhering to delayed gratification would give him an amazing and private night with his sweetheart.

 

“Alexander, wait for me? I love you, darling.”

 

His cheeks dusted pink. So, genuine heartfelt attraction still got him to blush? Magnus knew that, but it was always nice to be reminded of the effect he had on him.

 

“I love you too, Magnus. Now, go back before someone starts death metal screaming their order.”

 

“Lord in Heaven, I think I’d quit here and now."

 

Alec walked out of the store, throwing Magnus the occasional glance of longing and love. It took a lot of willpower to hold back himself from jumping over the counter and tackling Alec in a hug.

 

“Devoted, much? I’d call you a simp, but I think that’s a little bit underwhelming,” Catarina said. 

 

Translation: “You two are disgustingly adorable.”

 

Magnus rolled his eyes regardless. “Sorry that I’ve met the best person in this whole world. I love Alec Lightwood more than my cats, Catarina. I’m genuinely scared of how far I’ve fallen for him.”

 

“I’m going to tell the Chairman and Church you said that.”

 

“Go ahead: they prefer Alec to me anyway. They both love being picked up by him and snuggled. If I wasn’t a jealous bitch, my cold-dead heart would be more like a furnace.”

 

“Get a grip, Magnus.”

 

“With him?” Magnus held up a finger. “Hi, yes… Will that be all…? No…? Okay. Okay, have a nice day!”

 

“Yes, with him.”

 

“I’ll get a grip on him, don’t worry,” he muttered.

 

“Um, what?” A voice called from his headset. Magnus’s face instantly burned up.

 

“Nothing, sir! I said I’ll get a grip on the… coffee machines. They’re being a little strange, but please, what would you like to order!” The tempo of his words kept increasing.

 

And Catarina wouldn’t stop laughing for the next three minutes. In return, however, she promised to clock him out on time and told him to leave five minute early.

 

Magnus rushed out of the shop. He saw Alec waiting by his car and without any hesitation, threw his nose plugs in the garbage and wrapped his arms around him.

 

Oh, he missed that smell. Like old books, ink, and Sandalwood (“Hmm, I wonder why that is?”) and his whole body was warm and covered in muscle. Alec described his own scent similarly, but it had the smell of vanilla and new car smell in there, too. Interesting combination, especially considering Magnus didn’t like new car smell, but whatever made his boyfriend happy.

 

“You waited for me?”

 

“Why wouldn’t I? I did all my homework and studying and almost called Jace, but you spared me from that.”

 

Magnus chuckled. He kissed his neck lightly and opened the car door for him.

 

“A gentleman never lets his lover open doors on his own.”

 

“And a gentleman never makes his Omega carry him to the infirmary after he stubs his toe.”

 

“One time! Oh, you’re going to get it when we get home.”

 

“Should I keep teasing you then?”

 

Magnus shook his head ominously, then stepped on the gas pedal, ready to teach his Alexander a lesson in respect.

Chapter Text

“I’m starting to get sick of hearing the same sounds on Tik Tok. Don’t get me wrong, Olivia Rodrigo owns my soul-” Magnus slapped his chest. “-But if I hear Driver’s License one more time, I may lose it. Or if I hear ‘wise, two, three, four,’ from that harmony guy.”

 

“I know who you mean. Okay, what if I tell you that I’m not a big fan of Driver’s License… In fact, it might be my least favorite song of hers... Even when it first came out,” Izzy cringed. Magnus threw a pillow at her.

 

“I don’t think Driver’s License deserves that much slander and your opinion is wr-” Reflection from Mulan started blasting through Magnus’s phone. Izzy chuckled. “-Hang on, Ragnor is calling me. This isn’t over, Lightwood. And who dares disturb the High Warlock of Brooklyn?”

 

“Hey, Magnus… My best friend. My favorite person in Idris High. My partner in crime.”

 

“I’m not doing your chemistry homework,” Magnus coolly replied.

 

“Who said anything about chemistry? I just wanted to talk to my best friend at… two in the morning.”

 

“Ragnor, did you get drunk and lose your keys?”

 

“No! What are these assumptions-you know, I don’t assume the worst with you all the time.”

 

“No, whenever something happens and I call you, you just assume I killed someone. For some reason, you think I just do that to people. In fact, you think that’s normal , implying that that isn’t the worst thing I could do to a person? So why are you really calling?”

 

“You just… didn’t speak English in that sentence. Oh, right. Your boy toy is drunk out of his mind and I’m too tipsy to drive. Can you come get us? I think he’s ten seconds away from ripping his clothes off and then crying on the floor.”

 

Isabelle took the phone. “My brother doesn’t get drunk. It takes a village to make him even hold a bottle of alcohol!”

 

“Yeah, well, spiking someone’s drinking tends to take the ‘consent’ part out. I didn’t realize he was drunk because Dot was throwing up in the bathroom and I was there for moral support, before you unjustifiably blame me.”

 

The two looked at each other.

 

“Raj’s house, right?”

 

“Indeed.”

 

“Then let the mission begin…” Magnus muttered, morbidly curious as to what the Hell was going on, even if it did mean going to that idiot’s house.

 

They took Magnus’s Honda Civic (courtesy of one Asmodeus Bane) out. He actually felt relieved when he caught them going downstairs that they were caring enough to go grab Ragnor, and then shocked to hear Alec was a part of their recovery.

 

“Alec Lightwood?” His jaw was on the floor. 

 

“Someone spiked his drink. It might have been Raj himself,” Magnus scowled.

 

“If he’s fine, I’m going to laugh when I see him blasted out of his mind until I’m dead,” Izzy said between chuckles. 

 

“Hey, go easy on him. I like Alec, and he obviously didn’t want this.” Asmodeus crossed his arms. Izzy just shoved her hands in her pockets, and Magnus knew she was worried. She could deny it with a head-turn and biting words; it didn’t mean he would believe her.

 

Seriously, Magnus was really worried about Alec. His image was important to him, even if he claimed otherwise. He helped Alec come out in the beginning of the year, and he had been pushing himself harder to be even more of a model student. His parents... Nevermind.

 

“That idiot. That endearing idiot.”

 

He hit the gas, and got there 5 minutes sooner than he should have.

 

It didn’t take long to find the crowd because besides the stragglers, everyone was hanging around the backyard. Torches lit up, people diving and jumping into the pool, and LEDs strung around (and even wrapped around a few people), it looked like a whole fiesta. Alec was throwing golf balls in beer cups across a table, no shirt on and a wide smile on his face. Underhill, another shocking member of that fiasco, had a bright red face and a permanent frown as he missed a shot.

 

“Hehehe, you’ve gotta take your shirt off, Undy!” Alec giggled, taking a swig from a cup nearby. “Ohmygod, Magnus Bane? And my sister, welcome, welcome!”

 

The crowd cheered. Well, the crowd that was awake and responsive (less than half). 

 

“Alec, you’re really drunk. Are you okay-where’s your shirt?” Magnus ogled for a brief moment before refocusing his attention.

 

“Someone spilled beer on it!” Alec chuckled. “But everyone says I’m gorgeous! I like being gorgeous, but gorging is bad, and snoring is loud… not that I snore. But people say I’m gorgeous! They make me feel great!”

 

“Alec, can we continue the game at Magnus’s house?” Isabelle asked, delicately placing a hand on his shoulder. 

 

“Hmm…”

 

“I'd really like to have you over, Alexander.” Magnus offered his hand.

 

“...”

 

“What?”

 

“You want me ?” He pointed to his chest.

 

“I-“

 

“I want you.” Alec scratched at his head.

 

“Alec, I’m sure you don’t mean that-” 

 

“Magnus, silly, it’s how I feel! I like you so much it makes me laugh because… because well, it would be amazing.”

 

Izzy obviously knew Alec liked Magnus, but even his extensive dating experience couldn’t have prepared the ladder for that one. Alec swayed a little bit more, and Magnus put his arm around his shoulder.

 

“I like you too, Alec.”

 

“...You’re lying.” He pouted. He walked with him without a fight, thankfully.

 

“Alec, of course not.”

 

“When you call me Alec, you’re not happy. Where’s Alexander? Do you like me as Alec or Alexander? There’s a difference, y’know?” His diction kept worsening.

 

“...I’m sorry, Alexander, I don’t know what you mean.”

 

He didn’t respond. Just unskillfully stepped into Magnus's backseat.

 

Izzy didn’t talk to him either, the grave look in her eyes focusing on the road ahead of her. She occasionally turned to Magnus, but then stopped and looked in the exact same spot. Alec wasn’t much better, mumbling names and religious references every so often.

 

They finally got back, and carrying a sleepy giant was no small feat. He now understood how Percy Jackson felt holding up the sky in that one book.

 

Magnus put Alec in his bed, brushing the hair out of his eyes and taking off his shoes. He’d have to deal with sleeping in the rest of his clothes because neither of them felt comfortable undressing him.

 

“I shouldn’t say it,” Izzy said aloud.

 

“If so… Why are you saying that?”

 

She just stared at him sadly. “Do you like Alec? Do you care about him?”

 

“Of course.”

 

“Like like,” Izzy repeated like a middle-schooler.

 

He stared at the sleeping beauty, mumbling and smiling in his sleep. He must have been exhausted and was most likely going to wake up with the most painful hangover known to man. Magnus already started conjuring the ingredients in his head to replace the electrolytes in his body. 

 

“Yes.”

 

“He likes you, too. Has for a couple of months, and tonight kind of just… Well, you heard him.”

 

Magnus grimaced. “I didn’t believe it. I thought he was so out of it that he was just exaggerating.” He chuckled humorlessly. “Guess I don’t know him that well.” 

 

“Hey, what’s that all about? Did you not just hear me? He adores you, and you were able to coax him back here without knowing what he was like drunk. Give yourself a little credit, Bane.”

 

“...”

 

“Magnus?”

 

“Isn’t it a betrayal to tell me his feelings?”

 

“You don’t have to believe me,” she said with a twinkle in her eye. “Maybe I’m just messing with you for revenge because you threw that pillow. Maybe I want you to tell Alec when he wakes up that you like him so he can just laugh at you while I’m back home. That way, it’ll be in private and you can be left to silently wallow in your shame. Of course, if you bring him breakfast with bacon in it, he will hate it and make sure he never accepts your feelings.”

 

He gave her a dead look.

 

“Convoluted much?”

 

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

 

“Magnus…” Alec murmured a breathy whisper out. Then smiled. Magnus’s heart dropped to his stomach, but it was sinking fondly into a sea of love and adoration. 

 

“Let’s go to bed. My head is starting to pound, and I need to speed through time,” Izzy admitted.

 

“I’ll stay awake. Alec gets nightmares whenever he stays over at my house for some reason,” Magnus off-handedly replied. 

 

Izzy made a face, shrugged, and trusted him to take care of her brother. 

 

“Sweet dreams, Alexander. We’ll talk in the morning,” Magnus promised.

 

Alec snored lightly in response.

Chapter Text

Holding onto each other tight, Magnus and Alec eventually had to break off to get home. Odds were, every food establishment within 20 miles was packed. They decided to walk home, though, just enjoying their company together under the summer night’s warm embrace.

 

The city was even more jam packed than usual, if that was even possible. There might’ve been some charm in it if car horns weren’t blaring every moment and people weren’t cursing at each other. At some point, Magnus casted a spell that lessened the ambient noise while somehow making sure that they could hear their immediate surroundings.

 

“You’re amazing.” Alec nudged him.

 

“My eyes still fall on your muscles for far too long, my Alexander,” Magnus murmured. “Sorry, what did you say?”

 

He rolled his eyes. “You’ve seen me shirtless all day. Shouldn’t you be used to it?”

 

“Well, I am used to having the hottest man alive on my arm, but that doesn’t mean I’m not still mesmerized. Doesn’t mean I’m not still entranced.”

 

“You’re too much.”

 

Magnus had a Cheshire cat grin curling up his face. Alec rolled his eyes so hard that they must have gone into his brain.

 

“That’s my middle name. Magnus ‘too much’ Lightwood-Bane and I’m proud of it!”

 

They continued flirting, yelling, and occasionally poking and pushing each other, but before long, they settled down with their fingers intertwined.

 

The only thing that could kill their mood was-

 

“Hic-”


Someone was crying nearby. A pale young man in plain black clothes desperately clawing at his cheek. Red-faced, snot-nosed, and waterfalls cascading down his face, he seemed close to passing out where he stood. 

 

“He has paint on his cheek,” Magnus muttered.

 

Alec was already walking over when Magnus started speaking. He hurried up behind him and took a look at him. His eyes were puffy and red and he couldn’t stop hiccupping.

 

“What’s your name?” Alec asked.

 

“...” He couldn’t quite respond. 

 

“What was that?”

 

“Quinn-” He finally said.

 

“Hey, Quinn. I’m Alec, and this is my husband, Magnus.”

 

He stared at the two of them, more in shock than anything else. As if he had never heard of a man saying the words ‘my husband.’

 

“I like the rainbow flag on your cheek.” Magnus grinned, pointing at the fading bisexual streaks on his own face. “Are you trying to get it off?”

 

“My dad-” He choked out. Alec winced, Magnus just nodded understandingly.

 

“Close your eyes for me?” Magnus requested softly.

 

Quinn did, still crying and sniffling.

 

Magnus conjured a rag and wiped it over his face. The rag didn’t actually do anything; it was just for the illusion because all he had to do was snap his fingers and voila-

 

“It’s off.”

 

The kid opened his phone camera and stared into the mirror. Not even two seconds later, the two of them were pulled into a bear crushing hug.

 

“Thank you!” He hiccupped out, phlegm still stuck in his throat.

 

Subtly, Magnus cleared up the splotches on his face and any extra mucus the poor kid had built up. He looked a little confused, but he seemed to be the type that didn’t question good things.

 

“I can’t ever repay you.” Quinn grinned so wide that time. He had a fantastic smile, honestly. He even had similar traits to Alec, so Magnus might have been biased (dark hair and blue eyes were a killer, of course) and took even more pity on him than he would have otherwise.

 

“Stay safe on your way home, and I’ll consider it repaid,” Magnus replied. The kid nodded, then sped off, a lot lighter on his feet.

 

Alec was just staring after him. Magnus had to nudge him multiple times to get him to move. A faraway gaze still plastered itself on his face. Unhearing. Unfeeling.

 

“Darling?"

 

Finally, a response. It wasn’t much, but he squeezed Magnus’s hand.

 

“Are you okay?”

 

“...”

 

“What was that?”

 

“He makes me think of myself.”

 

Magnus’s face dropped any remaining annoyance and squashed it.

 

“If I never met you, maybe I would be in a similar position. Maybe I would’ve snuck out to see a parade, and then panic because my parents don’t approve of me.”

 

The last few words were biting. Even if the two of them did forgive Maryse and Robert, it didn’t make their previous homophobia and prejudices against Downworlders okay in any capacity. That was the thing about forgiveness: maybe they could choose to stop resenting them for it, but it didn’t mean that it wouldn’t try to overcome them in a moment of weakness.

 

“Wondering about ‘ifs’ might drive you mad, and I much prefer you in the moment,” Magnus weakly joked.

 

“And then I started thinking about us having kids.”

 

He turned a horrified, teary-eye expression to Magnus.

 

“I know… I know we talked about this, but I don’t know if I can be a good father. Everything the Institute beat into me as a child isn’t how children should be treated, I know- trust me , I know. But what if I do something traumatic to our own son or daughter?”

 

“The fact that you’re worrying about it means you most likely won’t. I imagine if you somehow do, it’ll be an accident-” Magnus held up a hand. “-I’m not saying it’s okay to hurt or traumatize your children in any way, shape, or form. I’m just saying that we’re only humanoid. If we mess up, we apologize to our child and make sure not to repeat our mistakes. That’s all we can do to support them and raise them. It won’t be perfect. We’ll most likely hurt them in some way, but we can do it with love, respect, and communication because we have it in spades.”

 

Magnus sat him down on a nearby bench, just rubbing small circles on his upper-back. At some point, Alec started falling over and asleep, so he used a spell to increase his lifting strength and get him into an alley. Quickly, a small portal appeared and they ended up back in their bed.

 

“Magnus… Don’t leave.” Similarly to a child, he clutched at the blankets and stared at him with wide eyes.

 

He just smiled half-heartedly, twinges of sadness lining his face. 

 

“How could I?”

Chapter Text

Alec’s favorite side of the bed wasn't warm when he woke up, and he lifted himself up, eyes loosely falling left and right. Grey light stepped inside, highlighting the burnt out Vanilla candles in an ethereal glow. He had expected Magnus to be cuddling him when he woke up, not up and out. He had taken the day off, right? No note was around, so it couldn’t have been that dire…

 

It was cold. All he could really think about. But whether that was the chilling loneliness or the literal temperature was to be decided. Alec sighed and pulled on some pajamas, not really interested in dirtying a set of clothes as soon as he woke up. Magnus had gotten him a bedazzled black shirt so that ‘their images would coalesce more naturally’ or something as ridiculous. He gently opened the door out to their kitchen, ready to call out for his husband.

 

And he was dancing.

 

Art had a tendency to be emotional (‘How else was it supposed to connect to its audience? Art is what makes us human and not just uninspired meshes of flesh.’). And how to even describe what he was seeing? Incomprehensible in the way Lovecraftian deities were and yet, so raw and simplistic that whatever Magnus was feeling, it transmitted and forced itself inside anyone watching. 

 

He did a spin in the air, and then spun on his knees (something Alec winced at, and he hoped he didn’t feel any pain) and then stopped. One second. Two. And then he continued, turning and spinning and lifting his leg high in the air and soaring.

 

Alec wanted to be mesmerized. He wanted to smile and laugh and clap when he was done, but he was just standing there, unsure of what to say. The occasional expression of pain twisting on his face, the violence with which he treated himself, and the absolute contempt in those beautiful golden eyes of him broke him.

 

Eventually, thankfully, he stopped. He was breathing as if he had just cured two Alpha bites in a row without help. Alec rushed over and helped him back up, mumbling out instructions to put his arms over his head and telling him to breathe from his diaphragm.

 

“-rry.”

 

“What?”

 

Magnus kept breathing harshly for a bit. Then gasped out, “I’m sorry.”

 

“You don’ have to apologize,” Alec muttered. Magnus stumbled and Alec pulled an arm around his waist.

 

Silence. He didn’t seem interested, or able, to go any further. Alec did what any husband would do, and just fetched him some water while keeping him upright. He seemed exhausted. Alec dipped the cup back for him and made sure he didn’t choke.

 

“I want to talk, but if you don’t…” Alec gulped. “I hate seeing you hurt.” He couldn’t just spit out the rest. Magnus sighed and crumpled in his arms.

 

“I’m sorry.”

 

“Magnus-”

 

“I’m sorry, Alexander.”

 

“It’s okay.” It wasn’t, but they could talk later. “Bed?”

 

His head moved up and down. Alec switched his grip so he could pick him up bridal style and lay him down gently. His glamour was still down, and those angel eyes looked ready to collapse.

 

“I love you, Magnus.” He sat on the edge of the bed, his own eyes drooping. “Your dancing is incredible.”

 

“...It lets me say everything without saying it.”

 

“I get it. I shoot arrows instead of talking out my problems… Then you came along. When I feel alone, I at least have the choice to talk to the love of my life. It makes me really happy that just by being near you, I feel like I can do anything. Like nothing can go wrong.”

 

Magnus blinked. Blinked again. Then sighed. He patted the seat next to him, and Alec leaned down, only an inch away from his face.

 

“I don’t think I can tell you everything just yet.”

 

“That’s okay,” Alec replied instantly.

 

“When I woke up this morning, I saw your face. You let down your guard when you’re facing, and it reminds me just how young you are. You’re twenty six, and you have the most adorable sleeping face ever.”

 

Alec crookedly smiled.

 

“When I woke up this morning, you instinctively came closer to me. As if I was a warmth slab in the middle of the Arctic, you reached out for me the moment I got out of bed. And that made me so happy.”

 

Magnus fell silent. Alec kissed him on the forehead and urged him to keep going.

 

“I walked outside, and a horrible thought overtook me. I thought about the day I inevitably lose you. Alexander, I… As an immortal, I’ve known heartbreak. I live with heartbreak everyday because so many friends have gone, but I’ve never -” Venom laced his tone. “-Thought I could marry someone. Then, you came along. The love of my whole life. You’re it for me… Alexander, you’re it and one day, you’re going to find you can’t move as well as you used to-”

 

“Magnus.” Alec sat up.

 

“You won’t be able to protect yourself like you once were able to.”

 

“Magnus.”

 

“You won’t be able to move like you once could. You won’t be able to breathe like you one could. You might not even remember our names.”

 

“Magnus!”

 

“And worst of all, you might die in the field one day without warning and without time to say goodbye.”

 

Tears had long lined Magnus’s face, but he couldn’t take it anymore. Horrible sobs ripped themselves from his throat, and Alec could do little besides let Magnus howl and cry and die just a little inside into the crook of his neck.

 

“Magnus, we’ll figure it out.”

 

“Figure what out?!” He jerked back, his face bright red. “Alec, what do you even plan to do?”

 

“I could become a vampire! Even if I wasn’t a Daylighter, we could be together forever.”

 

“And you’re going to leave everyone you love behind? Jace, Izzy, Clary, your parents?” Magnus scoffed. “The loss of a parabatai is like losing a part of your soul, and you will lose your family. You will watch them die,” he said cruelly.

 

Alec’s eyes dropped to the bed. He curled up his fist.

 

“I…”

 

“It’s an impossible choice. One that you shouldn’t make. We should just be living out our time together… Living together. Enjoying life together.” Magnus just kept repeating variations of the same phrase, tears still flowing.

 

Why would Alec choose such a life? He didn’t deny that Alec loved him, but asking a mortal to become immortal was ridiculous. Ludicrous. There were too many things to leave behind. He would watch his entire world crumble down, and while he had plenty of Downworld allies and friends, it was evil to ask him to make that choice. Lucifer below, why did he even tell him? It was going to tear him up inside. It would leave him heartbroken, no matter what he did.

 

“We have time to think about it,” Alec interrupted, tears coming down his face too. Neither of them were particularly pretty criers, something they once joked about made it hard to even want to face the other.

 

“Think about what?

 

“I don’t want to give up on you.” Alec rubbed at his eyes and sniffled. “I… I can’t choose right now, but don’t think that you’re not it for me, either. Nephilim love once. Once, and truly. When you asked me to marry you, that was the happiest day of my life because I got to spend the rest of my time with you, and you loved me so much to risk heartbreak. How could I not at least think about staying with you forever? I love you more than anyone else in the world."

 

To the average person, those were pretty words. Hearing them from Alec, Magnus was weak. Weak enough to truly believe them without any doubt that he was lying. 

 

“Alexander-”

 

“Even if it does mean I would have to put up with your constant desire to change my wardrobe…” He weakly chuckled.

 

“I’m just trying to do the world…” Magnus hiccupped. “A favor.”

 

“Jerk.”

 

Alec slowly wrapped him in his arms again. That morning, one that started with bliss and happiness, dulled into an abyss of uncertainty. Dulled into a strained love, unsure of itself and unsure of how to go forward.

 

Or if they ever could.

Chapter Text

Magnus waited in the loft, basking in the sunlight with Chairman Meow in his arms with petrichor and vanilla wafting in the air. Low purring. Nuzzling. Sleeping. His highness was a lot more amicable that day, so there was no clawing or incessant meowing when Magnus decided to just be cuddly. His husband was out on a hunt with Jace and Izzy (Heads have to keep their skills sharp, Magnus!). 

 

The thought made him frown.

 

He didn’t fall asleep. Just blankly stared at a corner with his hand brushing through Chairman’s fur. A small dark urge lodged itself inside his stomach, insisting on something interesting to happen that day.

 

His phone rang. He instantly answered it.

 

“Magnus!” Jace yelled into the phone, hoarseness overwhelming his stoic and biting tone.

 

“Jace?” He breathed out, cursing at himself. His eyes widened instantly, and he grinded his teeth. He just had to complain, didn’t he? 

 

“It’s Alec!”

 

He quickly moved to his feet, scaring the Chairman. His heart seized up, as if he were about to be killed on the spot.

 

“Where?” He couldn’t tell anything that he was feeling-what was going on with his mate?!

 

Izzy interrupted. “We don’t know! Some demon teleported him away, and Jace can’t track him! We’re at this theater, Circle in… In the Square”

 

“How did you-” Magnus growled, nearly using his Alpha Voice on them. “I’ll find him.” He hung up the phone.

 

Snatching his sweater nearby, the whole loft seemed to react to Magnus’s emotional state. All the colors became muted, and his glamour had long disappeared, revealing golden eyes that could pierce arrow holes into the next bastard that dared meet his gaze. His wards shimmered and wisped like the waves during a full moon.

 

He was a Prince of Hell, and no force from Raziel to Lucifer would stop him from raining death above and below to get to Alec.

 

His magic lit up in red sparks, bathing the sweater covered in his Omega’s scent and nearly washing it away. The worst scenarios crawled into his mind, cutting at his focus and fizzling the spell away. Was he alone? Was he scared? Was he fighting? The questions cascaded and spiraled in his mind. He raised his arms and summoned multiple articles of clothing and utensils Alec liked using. They formed a messy and disorganized pile, but that wasn’t the issue. If Magnus couldn’t find him with the items he had on hand, he would need to get Jace and Izzy’s Shadowhunter energy… Damnit, he should’ve told them to come to his loft.

 

He could only pray they were on their way.

 

Once again, the familiar tracking spell erupted in red magic. The best way to describe it was as if someone attached a virtual reality camera to the back of his head and forced Magnus to live in a third-person type of view. It started from his current location, and then it would lock in on the most recent discharges of odor from that person. Depending on the strength of the warlock, distance, and the items in hand, the most recent ‘pings’ would appear as bright bold colors.

 

The muted red near the Circle in the Square theater must have been where they just were. The only other obvious choice was a huge red circle encompassing the nearby Botanical Garden and a few other locations.

 

It wasn’t specific enough.

 

Magnus gritted his teeth so hard that a brief concern that he would shatter them came to mind. His Omega was in danger. The words ‘protect’ and ‘murder’ fired off in his head, paradoxically bringing him to the pit of endless rage and back to cold reality where he needed to be calm in order to protect his mate and to trust that he was fighting whatever took him. Alec was strong. He was strong.

 

More of his magic flared into the spell. The bold colors only shrunk slightly, and he called Jace and Izzy, sweat rubbing his makeup down his face. He could barely get a breath in-between words, but they were already on their way. Every minute he spent waiting, he felt death crawl up his back.

 

Their bond was muted. Alec and Magnus were highly in-tuned with each other, and could actually utilize each other’s abilities to a minor degree. Whatever was happening to Alec, it was closed off like a cement-sealed door on his end. No magic, no feelings, no emotions could come in or out.

 

What was happening that Alec needed to close him off? Was it to stop him from worrying, because that moron should have known he would be worried regardless. 

 

Perhaps he knew that Magnus would have immediately accessed Edom’s power to get to him sooner. If Alec’s emotions transmitted pain, suffering, or fear to a strong enough degree, Magnus would lose any reservations about using that power. Even if it corrupted his heart and mind. Even if it destroyed him.

 

Where were Jace and Izzy? Useless, useless alphas! All of them, and himself, were all useless!

 

“Alec…” Magnus called as if he would get a response. “Hold on, I’m coming. I love you.” He tried to force the message through, but it was futile.

 

What if he never got to hold him again?

 

What if he never got to tell him that he was loved and cherished again? 

 

He couldn't live without his husband. They were going to be together forever-not like this, not on some random day. They died on their own terms, and nothing more, nothing less.

 

Where were they? He cried out to the apartment, but nothing replied. He felt the tsunami of darkness start to enter his bloodstream, start to darken his breath, start to cloud his mind.

 

His wards felt two approved interferences come past. Two blurs zoomed inside his apartment, and he threw any other belongings of Alec's into a pile on the floor.

 

“Your hands, now!” Magnus yelled.

 

The two of them, dirt and grime on their faces and pure rage overtaking their scents, gave him simultaneous death grips. White energy flowed inside him, meshing with his magic almost seamlessly. He supposed that Lightwoods just had a strong disposition to Downworlders, but even combined, the power he got from Alec was leagues ahead of those two.

 

Magnus reactivated the tracking spell, and he swore to everything unholy that if he couldn’t find Alec, he was going to use Edom and bleed it dry.

 

Thankfully, he didn’t need to.

 

“I know where he is, we’re portaling!” Magnus dropped their hands, the sudden loss of power nearly making him tumble over. Blood ran down his nose, a sensation he hadn’t felt in a long time. The three stepped through, and ended up tumbling onto the top of a roof. Jace activated his strength rune, whipped out his blade, and cut a hole into the roof.

 

“It’s this building for sure?” Izzy darted her eyes all around, her whip in one hand and a throwing knife in the other.

 

“Definitely,” Magnus growled. “Mute your scents; I can’t concentrate on where he is.”

 

The two of them simultaneously activated Calm Anger. The scent of familial vengeance dissipated, and all he got was…

 

Blood.

 

“Downstairs!” Magnus panicked, grabbing onto Edom’s power. He had no idea what trying to let a sliver inside would do, but he had to get there. The sight of Alec’s corpse would destroy him, and regardless of how much they pleaded, Magnus promised to throw them into limbo after turning the culprits inside out.

 

The feeling was fire itself, coiling up his blood and into his heart, trying to let its darkness completely change him. With only a little bit of the power inside, the feeling of actually fighting it off while taking advantage was more difficult than simply letting it consume him. Whatever motivated him: love, rage, fear, it allowed him to win out in a simultaneously endless and split-second tug of war. He blasted holes through the empty building. Each floor revealed empty storage spaces, and when he opened up the basement area, the smell of blood only got bolder.

 

“Alec?!” Magnus shouted. He withdrew the power but kept it at arm’s length. 

 

“Magnus!” Alec called back from behind. 

 

He was fighting off waves of demons, ranging from Shax demons to armored, hunch-backed creatures with a plethora of limbs and talons and faces resembling bugs.

 

Disgusting, pitiful creatures.

 

His omega was fighting, switching between arrow shots and his blade with almost flawless ease. He only had a few arrows left in his quiver, and most of his clothes had tears in them. The bug demons skittered and chattered and hissed all around him. Even so, he still fought and activated runes as more and more kept coming to the cyclone of death that was Alec Lightwood.

 

Magnus couldn’t focus on that.

 

They hurt his mate.

 

His Omega had a fierce look in his eyes, his movements fast and his bloodlust palpable. If he wasn’t so concerned for his safety, he would’ve fallen in love all over again with his warrior. 

 

Even louder chattering and clicks and calls came from the back of the basement. Sitting on the ground, its posture alone excreting hubris and arrogance, was Beelzebub.

 

“Magnus Bane. I’ve missed you,” that thing chuckled.

 

“You hurt Alec.”

 

He could feel Edom pulling at him, begging for him to use it to destroy his enemy. To obliterate everything in his path in the name of love. To wage war in the name of peace.

 

“Magnus!” His Omega slashed through the armored demon, falling to one knee. “Please, listen!”

 

He ran to his lover, helping him stand and keeping a barrier up between them and Beelzebub.

 

“You can kill him… I know you can,” his Omega coughed out. Blood lined his lips and eyes. Magnus started healing the injuries, but Alec slapped his hands away.

 

“Alec, let me-”

 

“You can use Edom to kill him.” Alec’s breathing was erratic. He heard Izzy and Jace land behind him. “You aren’t Edom. You are Magnus Bane: the greatest Warlock to ever live. My husband, my mate. You’re not your power, and you never have been.”

 

Alec pressed a kiss to his cheek, an action that let Magnus drop his guard for a brief moment. He pressed his hand into Magnus’s and depleted all of his angelic energy.

 

Thud.

 

He quietly fell to the ground, his breathing hoarse and ragged.

 

 

………………………

 

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

 

His mate. He was about to stop breathing. His heart was about to give out. His parabatai and his sister were desperately activating and drawing runes on him. Eventually, Izzy had her phone out, her voice desperate and agonizing and begging. Who was she calling? Why couldn’t he hear anything besides that indomitable high-pitched ringing in his ears?

 

Then, a voice cut through his stupor.

 

“He sacrificed himself for you. How… indulgent.” That thing was speaking again. It was saying nonsense, wasting the oxygen it stole from the world. Wasting the oxygen it didn’t deserve. Calling it a pig would be a slur to the innocent farm animals. 

 

“Die and squeal like the rodent you are.”

 

The feeling of reaching for Edom was different that time. Usually, Edom begged for obliteration of everything. It begged to put the entire world to the flame. Magnus never wanted that. He was given nuclear bombs to save the ones he loved, and it took everything he had to make sure it wouldn’t go out of control.

 

That time, however? 

 

The two of them could agree on one target for extermination.

 

He stepped forward, his body moving on autopilot. No, not autopilot. He was conscious of every cell flowing through his body and highly attuned to the raw power held in each one. He went forward again. Dark veins formed at his wrists, crawling up his body and reaching up to his cheeks. The next time he blinked, the gold that formed his demon eyes became bright orange. Meeting his gaze was the same foolish equivalent of staring directly into the sun. An aura of death and disease pulsed like heartbeats from his body, rotting the walls around him and only sparing those in close proximity to his mate. The one he swore never to hurt. Glass shattered. Walls crumpled with a twitch of his eye. An intense heat rushed from his body, steaming and roasting the demon from the inside out. 

 

He would protect Alec.

 

“So, you’ve come to play, haven’t you?!” It cackled, which reminisced the buzzing of ten thousand bees and the calls of millions of cicadas. It could’ve driven any mundane mad, but nothing could ever drive him to the point of insanity like a threat to his loved ones could.

 

It couldn’t break what was already broken.

 

It vomited out more demons. The next one looked like a giant fire-ant with spikes growing out of all of its limbs. Every time it exhaled, dark fire shot out. Magnus let it hit him, and then it swirled. It swirled and twisted and delved deep into his skin, and disappeared.

 

Waving his hand, the creature exploded into millions of parts. A fountain of blood and guts splattered all over the walls. The protection over the Lightwoods, once again, spared them the carnage.

 

“What… are you?” The thing made a crude face. Magnus walked forward, and it tried backing up, but it hit a wall. Another wave of his palm, and Beelzebub instantly was forced into the ground. Then into the ceiling. Then into the walls. Over.

 

And over.

 

And over.

 

And over. And over. And over. And over. And over. And over. And over. And over. And over. And over. And over. And over. And over. And over. And over. And over. And over. And over. And over. And over. And over. And over. And over. And over. And over. And over. And over. And over. And over. And over. And over. And over. And over. And over. And over. And over. And over. And over. And over. And over. And over. And over. And over. And over. And over. And over. And over. And over. And over. And over. And over. And over. And over. And over. And over. And over. And over. And over. And over. And over. And over. And over. And over. And over. And over. And over. And over. And over. And over. And over. And over. And over.

 

Black and green blood and organs littered the walls. Any passerby would likely vomit instantly looking at the sight. Magnus snapped his fingers, and nearly every drop of demon dissipated with an intense heat.

 

Edom faded away, a lot more cooperative than usual. Magnus almost forgot the reason why he fought, the reason why he risked himself.

 

Fearing what was behind, his head slowly turned around.

 

Catarina was desperately healing Alec, Izzy and Jace looking pale as they forced more Shadowhunter Energy inside her. Skin like a ghost, blood splattered all over his clothes and the ground…

 

He was dying.

 

Magnus rushed to her side, giving Catarina any leftover magic he had. He couldn’t choke out the words and worse, Magnus was pretty sure he wouldn’t be able to handle any news she gave. She bit her lip so hard she drew blood as her hands trembled.

 

His eyes fluttered open.

 

“Alexander!” Magnus brushed his cheek gently, minding the bruise. 

 

“...Hey.” He breathed out.

 

Catarina kept working on him, and they just stayed there, time passing as slowly as possible as his whole reason to live stepped on a tightrope with Heaven on the floor and Hell on the ceiling.

 

-

 

A heart monitor monotonously repeated its beeping.

 

Alec’s eyes shot open and he lunged upwards, his eyes darting around for threats. Demons were everywhere -where was Beelzebub? The Shax demons? The smell of death and the threats of harm on him and his husband? Why was Magnus hugging-

 

Magnus.

 

Alec winced and gasped in pain when Magnus threw his arms around him, but he could more than forgive it as he needed his mate. He was here. They were safe. 

 

“Magnus…” He wheezed out. His throat was dry. Magnus conjured a glass of water and helped him sip it down. The pain of sitting up flared up, and Alec had to fall back down (well, Magnus guided him back).

 

“You’re okay. You’re safe. Oh thank God,” Magnus whispered. His eyes were bright crimson and puffy. Alec outstretched his hand and Magnus clasped it. 

 

“I’m okay… Argh, what happened?” He coughed out, his eyes shutting every so often. He wouldn’t be awake for much longer like that.

 

“Don’t worry-” The grip on his hand increased. “-I finished it. He’ll never come near you again.”

 

Alec nodded lightly. Magnus pressed a light kiss on his forehead.

 

“I’m sorry,” Alec wheezed out. “I couldn’t get a handle on the situation.”

 

“What are you talking about? You seemed to be doing a great job when I got there. Especially considering that you were portaled.”

 

“I misjudged-” Alec sighed out. “-How much power I wanted to give you. I gave you more than I had instead of almost everything, and I made you worry.”

 

Magnus’s thumb brushed his cheek.

 

“I really, really wish I could hate you for doing that, you brainlet.”

 

Alec guiltily looked away. Magnus brought his face closer to his own and leaned in for a kiss. Then buried his face into the crook of his neck again. A complex wave of despair, guilt, sadness, and relief hit his nose, and it was still one of the best things he ever smelled.

 

“And I meant what I said before… You used Edom’s power to defeat him, right?” 

 

“...Yes. We cooperated for once. I’m not sure why now, but for once, I was fully conscious of what I was doing.”

 

“You’re more than your powers. You always have been, and your willpower is indomitable in comparison.”

 

Considering he took out Prince of Hell, Alec must have been completely serious about that.

 

“If I can use it to protect you, regardless of my safety, then I will do so. Let’s be glad it doesn’t.” That last part came out a lot more bitterly than he intended it. Alec didn’t argue, and the two of them just sighed in tandem.

 

“Can we…” Alec started. He then bit his lip.

 

“Go on.”

 

“Go on a vacation?” 

 

Magnus smiled for the first time in a while. His eyes crinkled up as he held Alec tighter.

 

“I think that would be magical.”

 

“And maybe…” Alec blushed. “Can we try… I… Nevermind, we can talk later.”

 

Magnus had no idea what he was trying to say. Alec smelled like embarrassment and insecurities, and with his favorite Shadowhunter, that could mean literally anything.

 

“We can, but get better, first. Your body is on a lot of painkillers-I’m actually surprised by how much conversation we’re having.”

 

Magnus waited for a response. Then lifted his head up.

 

Alec had already fallen asleep.

 

Brushing his fingers through his hair, Magnus sat on the edge of the bed and kept a barrier surrounding them. His Omega was safe. And he was going to stay that way, Edom help anyone who dared try to take his mate away from him.

 

Magnus would have to make an official statement, using the still intact head of Beelzebub to really drive the point home.

 

That could wait, though. He had more important things to do at that moment.

 

After all, his mate was purring quite adorably in his sleep, and the default sense of pure joy and love he got simply being around his Alpha was intoxicating.

Chapter Text

“Who could ever love it?” Alec read out. He read it again. And again. Then stared into the distance, glaring at the scenery near the Institute. Without the cradle obviously right in front of him, there were no traces of another existence left behind. A portal, maybe? 

 

The baby was blue. Not with fever or sickness or cold, but it was blue in the way Catarina was without her glamour. A Warlock baby. And he was crying his eyes out. He had no blanket or toys or anything with him; it was just himself and his little soft blue pajamas.

 

Picking him out of that infernal basket (which had splinters sticking out all over it, and no linen for the baby to relax against), Alec rocked him in his arms. He had a date with Magnus, but it could most definitely wait.

 

He brought the baby inside, glaring at anyone who gave him a second look and barking out orders to Raj who made some snide comment about being a baby-daddy. 

 

“I don’t know who you think you are-” Alec’s eyes glittered dangerously. “-But talk to me like that again and I will send you to the Silent Brothers.”

 

He paled, not detecting a hint of irony or humor in his voice.

 

Turning back to the baby, Alec raided the maternity section of the kitchen. It was as sparse as one would expect from a Shadowhunter Institute without any pregnant women in it, but it had non-expired milk, baby food in a plastic container, and a pacifier that just needed cleaning. The baby… He needed a name for the baby. Calling it ‘the baby’ was already grating on him.

 

“Max would probably call him Yuji… maybe Goku.” Alec chuckled. Then, it hit him like a car crash. “Max… Do you like being called Max?” 

 

‘Max’ just stared at him, tears still in his eyes. Whatever got to stop bawling for a moment, Alec had no clue, but he took the time to put the baby food in the microwave and to fill up the bottle. Pulling Max into a new hold, he gently lowered the bottle into his mouth. Weren’t babies supposed to be more fussy? Max took the bottle with ease.

 

Then he started gasping and spluttering.

 

Thankfully, Alec wasn’t much for panicking. It took him a second to react, but he knew the baby version of the Heimlich maneuver would be utterly useless. He didn’t choke; it started seconds after he fed from the bottle-

 

Alec raised him up to his shoulder and patted his back. Max let out a loud BURP

 

“Feel better?” Alec held Max up like a puppy, staring into those thoughtless eyes. 

 

He then smiled with a tired grin on his face and babbled something nonsensical.

 

Alec did the same. Max seemed almost shocked from that reaction, then made some more gurgling and babbling noises.

 

“You’re an amazingly… easy baby.”

 

Max was staring at him again. The microwave beeped, and he sat Max on the table, trusting him not to fall over for a few moments. The baby food turned out to be carrots. He hoped Max liked them…

 

Alas, fate couldn’t be that kind to him. Even when he turned the carrots into an airplane, Max hated the taste and shook his head rapidly.

 

“Okay, okay, no carrots.”

 

He must have been hungry, right? It would only take a few more moments-

 

“WAAAAH!”

 

There it was.

 

“Okay, okay. It’s okay, Max.” Alec pulled him back into his arms, rocking him up and down.

 

A few memories came to mind for a brief second. Not long enough for him to get lost, but it was clear and prominent and, of course, memorable enough to distract himself from the crying.

 

Izzy, wielding her whip for the first time ever, cut her hand from improper use. The pain caused her to start tearing up, but then she rubbed her eyes and tried again. When it cut her, more deep that time, was when she cried out.

 

Alec saw the first failed attempt happen and ran for his stele. He sank to his knees beside her and activated her iratze while rubbing a small circle in her back.

 

“It’s okay,” Fifteen year old Alec had said.

 

Her crying turned into periodic sniffles. When she was able to ignore the pain, she wanted to get back into it.

 

Luckily for her, Alec had been studying whip techniques and handling for the last month.

 

Back to his crying baby, it was Jace who poked his head in and nearly lost his jaw from dropping it so suddenly.

 

“Alec!”

 

Max cried louder, and Alec gave him death glare number two, the one specifically meant for him and Izzy.

 

“He was on the doorsteps-go get me some baby food that isn’t carrots. He hates carrots.”

 

“What? Alec, you are holding a baby-what the Hell is going-”

 

“Stop cursing in front of him,” he interrupted. “Either help me or go away. Your choice.”

 

He raised his finger to argue again, but he faltered under his exasperated gaze. Still rocking Max, he started whispering nonsense in his ear. Something he would whisper to a dying Shadowhunter. ‘You’re okay.’ ‘Everything will be alright.’ ‘Don’t worry.’ ‘It’ll be fine.’

 

It didn’t diminish the howling, but Alec liked to imagine that he didn’t dislike being talked to.

 

“There’s nothing in here… Just the sludge they feed us in the cafeteria, and probably just those carrots…” Jace grimaced. “I’ll call Magnus.”

 

Alec bit his lip, ready to come up with some sort of argument. Nothing he had in mind made sense. Damnit.

 

“Okay,” he replied curtly. He turned away, still whispering to Max.

 

The burning sensation on the back of his neck must have been a hot iron, or maybe it was Jace’s intense gaze. He heard the WHOOSH of a fire message.

 

He didn't hear him move.

 

"You can leave, Jace."

 

Then, sneakers clacked away. Good. Stay away from his baby.

 

Alec sat back down, hoping whatever he was doing was helping. He couldn’t smell anything wrong with his pajamas, and there weren't any obvious uncomfortable stains on his clothes, either, thankfully. No splinters, either. Was the baby crying for the sake of it? The thought made him roll his eyes, but they didn’t know any better. Why should they be punished for just being a baby?

 

 

Why were they punished for just being babies?

 

“Who could love it?” Alec repeated, his arms still rocking the baby.

 

‘Who could love it?’

 

What an awful thing to say.

 

Alec knew how Warlocks were born. Based on tone, hand-writing, and the place where the baby was left, the mother must have been a Shadowhunter, or maybe a deluded mundane who thought the place was an active church. The thought that she left the baby to be killed struck dissonant chords in his brain, ones he refused to acknowledge any further.

 

Babies didn’t do anything wrong; they just existed. Warlock babies were punished for being alive, and no matter what, without exception, they grew up in horrible conditions. Conditions that would leave them jaded for a long time. Alec wanted to hunt down the mother of that child. It would be one thing if she asked them to take care of her baby, but to not even leave a name? Only leaving that note? 'It?' 

 

“I could love you,” Alec whispered. Max cried and wailed still, but he could still love it. Maybe the sound was bothersome and disruptive to the other Shadowhunters, but if they had any problems with it, he would suggest that they work around it.

 

In other words, piss off.

 

“Alexander?” A raspy voice called. Magnus wore his red-silk pajamas and slippers, an outfit almost too reminiscent of his mother. Did they have the same sense of style?

 

“Magnus. Can you conjure something easy for babies to digest? He already had some milk, and his diaper doesn’t need to be changed,” Alec absentmindedly said, still concentrating on rocking Max.

 

“Alec, wait-”

 

“Also, he needs a carriage. Err, one of those basket-things you use to carry babies in. And he’s going to need a bed, of course.”

 

“Alexander-”

 

“Maybe he should sleep in our room tonight? I don’t want to leave him alone, and I’d rather not be in this place with a baby, Warlock or not.”

 

Magnus put a hand on his shoulder. Alec stopped rocking Max.

 

“Slow down,” he practically begged. “Where did you find a Warlock baby?”

 

Alec’s bad mood must have been palpable, because Max started crying again. He explained half-heartedly while rocking and occasionally burping him. His eyes refused to meet Magnus’s…

 

An arm ended up around his shoulder. For a brief second, he forgot Magnus was right there, his glamour down and his lips pressed to Alec's cheek.

 

“Yes, of course he can stay with us…” Magnus gulped. “I think I’d get kicked out of my own apartment if I tried to convince you otherwise.”

 

He snapped his fingers and a paste in a plastic bowl appeared. Magnus explained it doesn’t really taste like much, but Catarina sometimes used it as a quick-and-easy nutritious fuel source when her shifts ran long. He made ‘choo-choo’ sounds as he fed it to Max.

 

And after only a few bites, his cries reduced to simple sniffles.

 

“If we go through a portal, odds are, he’ll vomit…” Magnus warned him.

 

Alec looked around, muttering to himself. He found an empty plastic bag (thank God for Izzy never giving up on her cooking dreams) and nodded.

 

They stepped through, and quickly, Alec pressed the bag to Max’s face. Magnus made a childish face while Alec muttered some more to himself, tied it up, and had his husband teleport it away.

 

“Tomorrow, I can tell the Spiral Labyrinth about Max and-”

 

Alec shook his head as he filled a small cup with water. Slowly, he dipped the water cup into his mouth and he received it well, not fussing anymore. Maybe he was too tired to cry anymore.

 

“Alexander?”

 

“...Him.”

 

“Sorry, I couldn’t hear you, my love.”

 

“I want to keep him.”

 

Magnus blinked twice and nearly got whiplash from how fast he twisted his neck.

 

“I know… We haven’t talked too much about a child, but you of all people should know how rare it is for Warlock babies to grow up happily. The note wondered how everyone could love it-Magnus, we could love it. I know this is a big decision, one that should have had more time and thought and planning, but we can figure it out between your magic and Izzy definitely being more than happy to lend a hand. Mom will also be thrilled, most likely.” Alec was losing his breath. “I know it makes no sense, but I don’t want to leave him in whatever the equivalent of the Warlock orphanage is. He doesn’t deserve that-not when we’re right here-”

 

“It’s okay!” Magnus finally interrupted. “I just wanted to tell them about Max so they could register him in a file. It’s more complex than that, but the chance of an issue arising with us taking care of him is… less than half a percent.” He smiled, brushing some hair out of Alec’s face. “Did you really think that I wouldn’t want a baby with you?” He made an exasperated face. “Ugh. Building a family with you. Choke me with a spoon.”

 

Alec chuckled, brushing some still-forming tears out of his eyes. “I thought you’d run screaming for the hills in my irrational brain.”

 

“That brain is quite irrational, but I fell in love with it.” He put his finger in front of Max, who snatched it with his tiny hands. “We’ll take on any challenge together and share our triumphs, too. Like how you took credit for the Ley Lines.”

 

“Okay, I get it! So… we’re okay? We’re Max’s parents?” Alec’s smile couldn’t get any wider.

 

“Max Lightwood-Bane’s parents,” Magnus corrected.

 

In the silence of their loft were four members. The cat, Chairman Meow, was curled up on Magnus’s pillow in their room. Meanwhile, the husbands shared their first family group hug with little Max in their arms.

 

Specifically, the first of many to come.

Chapter Text

Alec was not out of the closet yet, though, with Winter Formal coming up and Jessica Hawkblue giddily walking up to him after Chemistry, he seriously wished he was.

 

Magnus Bane, bachelor and glittery tornado extraordinaire (Izzy’s words, not his… Definitely), was packing up, and there she was, bouncing on the balls of her feet and smiling a trillion-watt smile at him.

 

“Hey… Jessica.”

 

“Hello, hello, Alaxander!” She beamed. “Wait… Did I just call you that? Oh my God, sorry, Alexander! I’m losing my mind today.” 

 

If only that were the first time she called him that.

 

“I can see.”

 

“So… Who are you going to the Winter Formal with? It’s in about a week…”

 

“I don’t know. I don’t think I’m going with Underhill again.” Alec smiled as he thought back to last year. He didn’t expect to be going out that night, but Underhill insisted he needed a friend for the Winter Formal and promised to pay him twenty bucks if he showed up as a ‘funny bro moment.’

 

And somehow, everyone believed it. And if they happened to share a few kisses in the limousine he rented for the two of them… well, that was their secret to tell.

 

“Ugh, Underhill. He was always clamoring for your attention back in Pre-Calculus. It was kind of sad, actually. You deserve a lot better than that.”

 

“Hm.”

 

“Anyway, who are you asking for the Winter Formal?”

 

“I think I’m flying solo.” Well, if he could ever get off his ass and tell Magnus how he felt, then maybe not.

 

“Oh my God, Magnus Bane is staring at you… Don’t look now!”

 

For once, she said something heart-stopping. He resisted the urge to turn around, but he quietly asked her if she was serious.

 

“Yeah, don’t worry. I got you.” She nodded approvingly. He instantly paled as she waved at Magnus. “Hey, Bane! Take a picture, it might last longer with how you’re burning holes in Alexander’s back!”

 

Dear. God. In. Heaven.

 

Alec couldn’t turn around. He gathered his things, muttered a goodbye to Jessica, and rushed out the door, only moving faster when she said, “Look at what you did!”

 

He managed to escape to the boy’s bathroom, and he heard his name be called every so often. It was ten twenty when he finally stopped hearing the hellish echoes reverberate in the hallway. Tiptoeing out, he slipped out the main entrance. Dark clouds rolled in from the East. Thunderstorms that night. Checking for Jessica’s Honda Civic, he pulled on his glasses and couldn’t see the crimson vehicle anywhere. Into his car he went, and phone notifications were subsequently turned off.

 

So much for his chances with Magnus.

 

Why did she have to be so embarrassing? They’ve been friends for so long, and she had never been like that… She used to be a little strange, but always well-meaning and polite. Never so… bold in the name of friendship. 

 

A terrible thought reoccurred to him. He didn’t tell anyone besides Jace, Izzy, and Underhill about his sexuality. What if she thought he was interested in her?

 

Izzy called him dense, but he could recognize when people completely changed out of left-field. The only other possible explanation was that she had a warped sense of responsibility to ‘protect’ him from Magnus, who she never really liked throughout their highschooler days. 

 

He had dated a lot of people. A lot. As in, at least half of every grade has gone on a date with him. With that kind of allure, people asked him out all the time, and he only ever said no to Jace, who did it on a dare. Magnus saw right through him before Alec could stop it and appropriately teased him for his ‘crush’ in front of all of his jock friends.

 

That might have been the first time Alec fell for him.

 

But what was the point? Who knew what Jessica had said to Magnus after he left? Odds were, at best, he wouldn’t want to come anywhere close to Alec after that fiasco.

 

Alec sank into his seat, content to be turned into a popsicle in his frozen car. His face would be the last to go if he could ever stop blushing thinking about that encounter.

 

A knock. Alec hit his head on the roof he jumped so high.

 

“Alec?” A melodically deep voice called.

 

Magnus Bane was standing outside his passenger seat window. Alec unlocked the door on instinct, and he climbed in, then complained about the lack of heat.

 

“Do you sit in cold cars for fun?”

 

“Uh… I…”

 

He shook his head. “Not the point.”

 

“Class?”

 

“Class…?” Magnus repeated. “Oh, right. I snuck out of the gym. We were meditating and Mr. Starkweather fell asleep.”

 

“...I thought he was more responsible than that.”

 

“As Student Council president, you must report him so the sanctity of gym class can be preserved.”

 

Alec snorted.

 

“You guys don’t think I’m actually like that… right?”

 

“You’ve been our president for the last three years. A record for Student Council. You got field trips reimplemented at our school. I watched the presentation you made which was excellent , if I do say so myself. So, if anyone talks badly, trust me when I say that they’re wrong.”

 

Alec rolled his eyes, but if Magnus could hear his brain, he would hear lots of monkey noises and cymbals crashing.

 

“Ah, I almost forgot.” His tone dropped to a more solemn one. The formal one he used to tell people that he wasn’t interested. The one he used to deny proposals of every sort and reject flowers found in his lockers. The one he shifted into when he was busy being polite and firm. “Alexander… Er, Alec. I’m sorry for what happened in Chemistry. I didn’t mean to make you so uncomfortable.”

 

Alec could throw up.

 

“That wasn’t… I…” He bit his lip, seemingly at a loss for words. But considering he had won Public Speaking awards in the past and played lead in the Musical since 9th grade, that couldn’t have been the case.

 

“Magnus?”

 

“I really wish I wasn’t such a coward, and you might be busy, considering that you plan your schedules to a T every week-” He chuckled. “-But I wanted to ask you to the dance in lieu of a first date.”

 

He blinked. Then again. “What?”

 

Magnus grabbed something out of his pocket. It wasn’t as grandiose of a poster as Izzy got from Simon, but it sent a million volts coursing through his nervous system.

 

A drawing of a shield with a flame in the center. Underneath, in big black letters, was:

 

Would you like to ‘Light’ the Winter Formal with me, Alec?

 

“I stared at you trying to work up the nerve, but I understand if you don’t wish to go-”

 

“No!”

 

“...I see.”

 

Magnus started opening the door, but Alec grabbed his wrist.

 

“No, I mean… Yes! Go! Me! You!” Alec swallowed. He tightened his grip. “I’d love to go.”

 

His smile was beautiful. His eyes crinkled up in the most adorable way, and Alec could see him sag with relief. They shared a quick hug inside the car.

 

“I would’ve been really embarrassed if you weren’t actually gay,” he said as they walked back to school.

 

“You knew?” Alec twiddled his thumbs. 

 

Magnus offered his hand. “Well, I had a suspicion. I didn’t buy the idea of you and Underhill going ‘as bros’ to a Winter Formal. Whatever spell you put on the rest of the school, however, please teach me. Nobody agreed with me when I asked them about it.” He dropped his smile. “Not that I was trying to out you. Not at all.”

 

“Magnus-” Alec grabbed his hand. “-It’s okay.” He looked at their palms. “This is… okay?”

 

“If it is with you. I’m in no rush. I just… like you.”

 

“So am I.” Alec blinked twice. “So do I.”

 

As one might expect from a high school of six hundred, it didn’t take long for news to spread. It wasn’t as dramatic as either of them expected, but plenty of people were wide-eyed when they saw them together and holding hands. A few brave souls asked them personally if they were dating (and would subsequently gossip), and Magnus would answer coolly, saying that they were quite happy with each other.

 

It was at the end of lunch when Alec had a thought cross his mind. He took Magnus to his favorite roof-spot, away from prying eyes, and nearly dropped his sandwich.

 

“Oh, God, I just came out, didn’t I?”

 

He nodded. “Yep. Quite boldly, too. Honestly, you don’t cease to amaze me.”

 

“I didn’t even realize I came out. We just held hands like elementary school kids…”

 

“That’s more impressive to me. You were so fearless with me next to you-I could cry.”

 

To his credit, Magnus had excellent crocodile tears. He explained that he didn’t like utilizing them unless dire because none of his makeup was waterproof.

 

“Jessica is, like, going to blow a fuse when she finds out.”

 

“So… Wait, if you weren’t upset by me staring at you, then what got under her skin?” Magnus tilted his head.

 

“Ah, you see…” Alec sighed. “I don’t know for sure, but she might like me? Or she’s just really, really protective of me.”

 

“Protective? Of a strapping young lad like you?”

 

“Emotionally. I suppose she believes the rumors about your reputation. Also, ‘strapping young lad?’”

 

“Ah, my reputation. I spent way too long tarnishing it to be offended, so it’s okay.” Magnus shrugged.

 

“Tarnishing it? I think you’re so cool!” Alec replied earnestly. “And screw everyone who makes you feel bad for dating a lot. You are not…” He was about to say ‘The reason why bisexuals get their bad rap,’ but he figured that would make him feel bad. “Promiscuous for going on so many dates.”

 

“What century are you from? Have you been talking to Hester Prynne recently?”

 

“You don’t see a Scarlet ‘A’ on my bosom, do you?”

 

“Adulterous Alexander… I knew there was a dark side. Always will be to the pretty shy boys.”

 

Alec let the thought sink in for a moment. “You think I’m pretty?” He quietly wondered.

 

Magnus put an arm around his shoulders. “Very much so. I have an image to uphold, but with you next to me, you’re doing all the carrying.”

 

He blushed again. Magnus pressed a kiss to his palm, then winked at him when they met eyes.

 

“And in case you’re wondering, I’m very interested in you. You’re barely trying, and yet, I think you’re incredibly impressive. You might be my longest partner to date. I hope you are, in fact.”

 

“You’re just saying that.”

 

“How could I prove it to you?”

 

Alec crossed his arms. “Remove all your makeup and glitter for the rest of the day.” He teased.

 

Magnus pulled out a makeup wipe from his pocket and reached for his face. He then put it down. “I need a mirror.”

 

“Wait, I wasn’t-You’re not serious?!”

 

“I don’t mind.”

 

He said that with a blank expression, but when Ragnor wiped his makeup off while he was sleeping in class, a murder was almost committed that day. 

 

“No, I like you with your makeup. Not to say that you’re ugly without it! You look gorgeous. Wait! Oh, God, if you love me, smite me down.”

 

“Gorgeous? Flattery gets you everywhere with me, Alexander.”

 

Alec couldn’t stop blushing, but it was the kind that left him breathless in all the right ways, and Magnus casually calling him by his first name didn’t help a single bit. He heard the bell ring and silently cursed again.

 

“I don’t know what to tell Jessica,” Alec admitted. “Maybe it’s best if you stay away from me for now…”

 

“Only if you want. I’m not scared of her, and she can’t scare me away from the most attractive man alive.”

 

“Are looks the most important thing in a relationship to you?”

 

“No, being kind, funny, smart, adorable, shy, dark haired, and having blue eyes are all very important, too!”

 

Alec nearly pushed him off the roof, much to his devious delight.

 

They ultimately parted ways, but not before sharing a quick hug. Alec still wasn’t used to the attention, but he decided that if he didn’t meet anyone’s eyes for too long, he’d be able to avoid any conflict and-

 

“Alexander Gideon Lightwood!”

 

Nevermind.

 

“What the Hell have I been hearing all day in school today?” She scoffed, slapping his arm. “You’re going out with Magnus Bane? When-Where- HOW? ” Jessica was practically screaming at him. “It can’t be real, right. We’ve always been a dynamic duo, even if you won’t admit it, we’re practically dating after all, right? I mean-”

 

“Wait, what? When were we ‘dating’?” Alec scowled.

 

“I thought… You led me on, you jerk!”

 

“I’m gay!” He yelled back. That last statement really lit a fire under his ass. “And I really like Magnus!”

 

“The guy who goes through people faster than I go through tissues? He’s not good for you.” Jessica seemed to take the ‘gay’ thing in stride, but not his taste in men, supposedly. “I can find you a much better guy as you’re now my GBF!”

 

“We’re done talking about this. Goodbye, Hawkblue.” He didn’t want to know what that meant. 

 

Odds were, it was something stupid.

 

Alec stormed off, ignoring any of her calls and shouts. His ears were turning just as red as the rest of his face. He already missed Magnus’s hand clasped with his own. It provided him a sense of sanity walking through that school, but his embarrassment from before returned twice as strong.

 

At least he spared Magnus the pain by sending him away.

 

Magnus didn’t deserve that crap. He should reconsider the whole dating thing. Alec wasn’t worth the absolute humiliation that came with being known as his boyfriend. If he changed his mind, he made a silent promise not to resent him. Not to be upset that the one person he had wanted for almost a year immediately slipped through his fingers.

 

As he sat through English, the white rage wasn’t simmering away. Usually, whenever she messed up, it took him less than an hour to make things up with her. Usually, whenever he got mad, he didn’t hold grudges. Usually, when people were staring at him for any reason, he just let the gazes wash over his body and pass right through.

 

With the fourth pencil he snapped within the hour, he couldn’t wait to get out of class. And ultimately, by the time he was out in the hallway, he decided to break his perfect attendance record for the year. Well, last few years, actually.

 

Signing out of the office, stamping out of the school, he told Izzy and Jace to find their own way home. He drove over the speed limit that day, trying to get home as fast as possible and trying to jump into his bed. Hopefully, the world would forget he existed soon enough. Burying his face in his pillow, he, predictably, couldn’t fall asleep.

 

“FUCK!”

 

It didn’t make him feel better, but it was nice to just curse at the world.

 

He hated his life. Of course that had to happen to him. Of course he was the one to be publicly humiliated multiple times in one day, and once everyone found out that he held the record for ‘fastest time to be dumped by Magnus Bane,’ he would go from wallflower to prime material for ridicule.

 

Ugh.

 

Maybe an hour… or whatever, did it really matter?! Alec heard a gentle knock at his door.

 

“Not now, mom,” he groaned out.

 

“That’s an interesting term of endearment for your boyfriend. I’ve certainly heard worse.”

 

Alec practically jumped out of bed.

 

“May I come in?"

 

“Yeah… Yeah.”

Magnus smiled as he stepped inside. He then held out his arms.

 

“You look like you need a hug.”

 

“I don’t-” Before Alec could finish, Magnus’s arms were already wrapped around him. Unfair. He was really good at giving hugs.

 

“You’ve had a long day. Contrary to popular belief, taking a moment to rest and gather yourself is good for your mental health.”

 

“Long day is an understatement…”

 

Alec murmured and slurred his way through an explanation of what happened after they left. He could feel his eyes rolling when he mentioned the dating thing.

 

“Do you want to talk about her? I can listen or give advice.”

 

“No… This is good.”

 

Eventually, they separated when Alec’s stomach growled. Magnus cackled and Alec lightly pushed his shoulder away. 

 

“More pressing problems like dear Alexander’s starving tummy take precedence.”

 

“Why do you feel the need to say things like that?”

 

The two of them spent the rest of the day together: an upgrade from the onslaught of moping and groaning that Alec had originally planned on. A lot of it was spent connected in some way: holding hands, hugging, putting arms around each other’s shoulders, and feeding the other snacks. He didn’t press further for details unless Alec shared first and became the most saintly high schooler Alec had ever met.

 

And when they shared an innocent peck on the lips at the door, Alec told him the plain truth.

 

“You’re worth public humiliation ten times over.”

 

Magnus replied that he had quite the way with words, not a hint of irony in his voice.

Chapter Text

A habit, Magnus noticed, was that Alec really enjoyed holding or touching Magnus in some way.

 

An arm around the shoulder, a hand on his waist, his head leaned against Magnus’s shoulder (or Vice Versa), a kiss to his temple, a random hug? All of it was quite enjoyable, if he did say so himself. Unexpected (at first), but enjoyable.

 

“Oh, right. I have to fill out some more paperwork. I’ll come back soon.” Alec had pressed a light kiss to his cheek and left him alone in the Institute. Magnus stopped by to investigate a Forsaken with Isabelle again and, in true Alec fashion, he mumbled his way in, making up an excuse to talk to Izzy as if Magnus wasn’t right there, smirking and knowing exactly what was going on. All of a sudden, he would notice Magnus’s glittery presence and then strike up a full conversation about their days and dinner plans.

 

“You two are adorable. Sickening, but adorable.”

 

Magnus turned to his second favorite Lightwood of all time and clasped his hands together.

 

“Our relationship is one for the ages.”

 

“Honestly? It is,” Izzy admitted. “I’ve never seen Alec be so gentle and touchy-feely with someone.”

 

He figured Alec wasn’t the ‘soft, huggy type,’ but really? With anyone? 

 

“Surely he is with Max?”

 

“...Nope.” She shook her head. “Alec once told me physical contact with anyone makes him want to judo flip them.”

 

Not once had Magnus’s hand on his shoulder or his unexpected kisses made Alec do something like that. He wasn’t an idiot-he could tell when his lover was tense. But never for that reason? Not to mention, he loved picking up Madzie and playing games with her and tickling her. Magnus explained that to Isabelle who looked inquisitive, then put on a knowing smirk.

 

“You two are about to make me vomit with how sweet you are.”

 

“I… Don’t understand.”

 

She sighed. “You sure you’re not an idiot?"

 

“I am the High Warlock of Brooklyn and a Prince of Hell. I’ve been alive over twenty times longer than you have, dearest Isabelle.”

 

“My apologies, Breaker of Chains, but all that proves is that you’ve lived long enough to earn your black belt in name dropping.”

 

Magnus spluttered as she sauntered away. He opened up his portal and crossed his arms like a little kid.

 

“I’m a genius… The inventor of the portal. No Shadowhunter can change that…” He grumbled.

 

About a half hour of muttering, cursing, and even more muttering, he stood up and fed Chairman Meow. He then started working on a potion for one of his clients that wasn’t due for another week, but it was relatively relaxing to make. He just had to stir the pot for ten minutes and then add the ingredients in the right order. It was supposed to speed up bone growth, inspired by Skele-Gro from Harry Potter.

 

The door opened. Magnus had a smile on his face the entire time his wards were breached; they knew as well as he who it was.

 

“Magnus?” A lovely bass voice called.

 

“One moment, darling.” Magnus sealed the potion tight and portaled it to the customer. He turned around to face a beautiful bouquet of roses. “Alexander…”

 

“For you.”

 

He happily took them off his hands, snapped his fingers, and settled them into a vase near his window.

 

“Thank you, Alexander. I love nothing more than a nice-looking plant for myself,” he said completely seriously.

 

Alec’s arms wrapped around his waist, pulling him in close. Not usually how he greeted him, but Magnus wasn’t complaining as he put his arms around his neck.

 

“Hello.”

 

“Good evening.”

 

“I love you.”

 

“Feeling particularly romantic tonight?” Magnus wiggled his eyebrows. “You’re doing an excellent job.”

 

“I want to tell you something, but… I’m kind of embarrassed.”

 

“If it’s about a kink you want to try or something to do with my magic or even both, I already told you: I am all ears and more than happy to-”

 

“No!” Alec turned bright red. “I just… I really, really love you.” In the golden light, his hair looked as if it had a halo around it. The Angels must have been feeling literal that day as opposed to cosmically unorthodox. 

 

“I know. And because I love my husband so much, I would never judge him for something embarrassing. And also, I would try to lighten the mood for my husband so he would stop worrying about what I’m going to say.”

 

He sighed, then did his classic eyeroll. “I feel safe around you.”

 

Silence. For just a moment. Magnus’s lips quirked up.

 

“I don’t know how you did it, but I always felt uncomfortable with people touching me. I have to stop myself from flipping people into the ground when they touch me in the Institute, but even before we dated, I never felt that with you. I like it when you hug me. I like being with you and cuddling-something that I would never have thought possible. You melt me down into an iron puddle,” he rambled. “I love you.”

 

Alec’s eyes were wide and vulnerable, and Magnus could feel him tremble ever so slightly in the most heart-breaking of ways. How often was he able to break down in front of people? Had he ever truly done so in front of anyone besides Magnus? He pressed his frayed husband’s face into his shoulder and held him tighter.

 

“I love all of those things, too. I’m only upset that you thought I would judge you for those things. You’re my Angel-the love of my life.”

 

He felt most of the tension leave Alec’s body. Damn Shadowhunters and their culture of ‘emotions are a distraction.’ Ridiculous. Every creature with a conscience has emotions and surprise, surprise: they rule people. Vulnerability and fear must radiate from every Shadowhunter pore in spades with how repressed they are.

 

Yet, here was his Alexander: blooming like a rose and trying to unlearn the years of ‘being strong’ that were beyond toxic for his mental health. Magnus whispered that he was proud of him and then immediately felt him breakdown into his shoulder.

 

Lucifer knew that if he had his way, he would burn the entire Clave to the ground and make a new system out of the ashes. 

 

But his righteous anger was the opposite of what Alec needed.

 

Alec needed him there. He needed him at that point to be receptive and stable. 

 

“What do you say we watch a movie on the couch with the Chairman? We never got around to watching Legally Blonde together, and I feel like you’ll love it. Or we can just cuddle. Whatever you’d like tonight.”

 

“...Cuddling.”

 

“Your wish is my command."

 

Magnus brought Alec to the bedroom. He gently laid him down and then scooched himself in. Snapping his fingers, he removed most of their clothes and pressed Alec’s temple against his chest.

 

It took a while, maybe twenty minutes, for his heartbeat to slow down enough for him to fall asleep. A lazy arm strung itself across Magnus like a guitar strap and his legs intertwined Magnus’s own. Like an oversized dog trying to nudge its way into its owner’s personal space. That thought reminded Magnus to start up the ‘Pup’ nickname, again. 

 

For the moment, however, he would just watch Alec sleep and reassure him with his words and magic that he was completely safe in his arms. He would chase the bad dreams away and crush the tension emanating in his body. A Spa day in Spain would do them both some good.

 

That was for another day.

Chapter Text

Alarms ringing. Or sirens? Something loud, high-pitched, and colorful assaulted two, perhaps three, of Magnus’s senses. He opened his eyes to a cloudy sky, the occasional yellow light shining on either side of him.

 

What…?

 

“----You---” Some voice called. He sounded worried but trying to focus on individual noises, phrases, and syllables proved too difficult. 

 

Everything was fuzzy. Was someone touching him? He wasn’t sure…

 

He wasn’t sure of anything.

 

Maybe he was floating. Floating and floating away. His eyes shut.

 

...

 

The next time he opened his eyes, he awoke to rhythmic beeping. The light made him shut his eyes tight, but after a few more attempts, he could at least squint open and get some sort of grip.

 

A hospital room. It didn’t take a genius to figure that out, but regardless, Magnus felt proud of himself. He noticed a black husk next to him… No, it was a pale man in dark clothing. He looked worried and shouted something… Nurse? A nurse. Why? He was feeling… Well, actually, he couldn’t feel anything.

 

Back to sleep he went.

 

 

……

 

Ugh.

 

Magnus pressed a hand to his forehead as he went through the process of opening his eyes again. They got adjusted to the light, and a light presence covered his hand. It wasn’t a blanket… It was that man again. Holding his hand.

 

“Huh?” That probably came out more as a, “Hngah?”

 

“Hey…” The man breathed out. Understanding him wasn’t too difficult, but making sounds with his mouth was, well, an interesting challenge.

 

Magnus motioned to his hand. The man dropped it in a hurry, quickly apologizing and stumbling over his words worse than Magnus had.

 

“It’s okay,” Magnus tried to say. He knew for sure it didn’t come out correctly, but the stranger seemed to get it when he nodded and gave him a small smile. He had dark hair and piercing blue eyes. The feeling was odd, as if someone was looking right through him and all of his defenses like they were made of glass. 

 

“Do you remember what happened?”

 

Magnus winced. Not really. He couldn’t think much of anything.

 

“Yes?”

 

Magnus shook his head.

 

“That’s okay. There was a car accident. The guy in the other car was on his phone. I was just on the street, and you were… You were dying.”

 

Dying. He felt like he should be more shocked, or more angry, but he just felt empty. Like all the emotion in his life had just been sucked out, and now everything elicited the same apathetic reaction. 

 

“Thank you for helping me then.” Magnus gave him a weak smile. Hopefully his speech was getting better.

 

“Thanks for… helping, right?”

 

Magnus nodded.

 

“You’re welcome… I’m sorry that happened to you… Um… What’s your name?”

 

“Magnus.”

 

“Marcus?”

 

“Mag-nuss.”

 

“Mag-cus?”

 

“Mag...N...Uss…”

 

“Magnus?”

 

He nodded enthusiastically.

 

“I’m Alec,” he chuckled.

 

Magnus wasn’t 100% sure of what happened, or why a beautiful stranger was standing over him, but he wasn’t one to question miracles. Perhaps God made the encounter a part of his plan. If he got out with minimal damage, he would call it the luck of a draw. And if he got a date with the beautiful man once he could reclaim his silver tongue, then well?

 

He’d simply have to call it destiny.

Chapter Text

The doctors said Magnus’s leg would take a long time to heal. He figured it would be bad, considering the shiny wheelchair he suddenly grew out of his ass. The news at first just shocked him, and he didn’t really react for a while. It didn’t feel real, to say the least. As if next day, he’d be able to jump out of bed and go out dancing.

 

“The damages were intense. You’re lucky it’s not permanent. With hopefully a year of physical therapy, you’ll be able to get back on the dance floor… My condolences, Mr. Bane.” A doctor, not Catarina, told him. Catarina would’ve told him he would be able to be fixed in three months and sent him out with a push and a lollipop.

 

A year. Jesus Christ. That was the minimum, too.

 

“Magnus?”

 

There was Alec, still with him.

 

“Why are you still here?” He snarled, the full force of his new reality hitting him like a garbage truck.

 

“I want to help.”

 

“How can you possibly help? I need to be able to dance! I have to teach a class in a few weeks, and I’m still working on getting on Broadway, Alec! This is going to destroy my career and it was all thanks to someone else’s stupidity!”

 

Alec gulped. He rubbed small circles on his back.

 

“Hey… I know how horrible this is. A few years ago, I tore something in my arm,” Alec chuckled. “I don’t even remember what it was called, but it took over a year before I could shoot a bow again. It took half a year before I could even grab things right again. And archery is-” He turned a little red. “-My thing. I love it, and it’s thanks to my brother I can even shoot anymore.”

 

“Your… brother? Jace?” Magnus raised an eyebrow, listening intently. He learned a bit from Alec’s incessant, yet endearing, ramblings about his family.

 

“My brother’s a PT, he can help. He’s the best guy I’ve ever met, and I’m sure he could help more efficiently in less time,” Alec quickly assured him.

 

“Even so, I can’t dance… God, I really can’t dance for a year...” His life’s purpose was floating away.

 

“I’ll be there for you. I can help however you like, but don’t… Don’t push me away when things get tough.”

 

“We barely know each other…”

 

“We can start to.”

 

Alec grabbed his hand. Magnus gripped it lightly. Then sighed.

 

Was there really anything else left to lose?

 

One month later…

 

“Grab the bars again. You’re doing great, Magnus.”

 

Jace was ruthless as a coach, but when Magnus thought of doing his turns and spins and splits, and how unfair his life was, he was able to draw in enough anger to push himself forward.

 

Then, he fell.

 

A strong pair of arms helped him upright, reacting quicker than last time to his distress. Alec.

 

“I’m not doing any better!” Magnus yelled out.

 

“It’s a process,” Alec whispered. “Trust me, I know. Jace knows what he’s doing, and it probably feels like the whole world is out to make you mad at every second of every day. I know too well. But please don’t give up.”

 

“Who said anything about giving up?” He scowled. “This is just… I don’t even have the words!”

 

“You are doing great. Being able to face failure and grab it by the neck everyday is part of the process. Trust me?”

 

And with those hopeful blue eyes staring at him, full of friendliness and hope, how could he not lift himself up again?

 

Another month later.

 

Damnit, he was starting to fall in love with his number one fan. Why was he even helping?

 

“Why have you been helping me… All this time?”

 

Alec shrugged. “Is it weird to help a friend?”

 

Friend. Right.

 

“Thank you, Alexander.” Regardless, he meant it. He wouldn’t have come so far without him.

 

Another month later.

 

Magnus had stopped driving. Mostly because it was his right leg that was fucked, as Ragnor put it. 

 

Alec was more than happy to help him out whenever he could.

 

Another month later.

 

Magnus hugged Alec tight when he was able to stand upright for just a few moments longer than usual. He returned it back full force.

 

“Alexander?” Magnus murmured, the laughter draining from his body. Not in a bad way. He stared deep into this beautiful blue eyes.

 

“Magnus…” He breathed out, staring right back.

 

They shared a small kiss. Then a more hungry one that only lasted a few moments when Jace came in and shooed them off each other (well, he made sure Magnus didn’t fall on his ass, too, but he still pulled them apart quickly).

 

Three months later.

 

Magnus was walking. Sort-of stumbling, still relying on Alec, but walking.

 

Three months later.

 

He could walk.

 

One month later.

 

In a record 11 months, Magnus could do his turns. Not to the exact same efficacy as before, but he could move and spin. He felt powerful again. Whole. 

 

He looked at Alec staring at him from the couch, mesmerized.

 

Well, maybe the feeling of completion wasn’t new, but it felt… Satisfying to have his groove back. Magnus’s New Groove. He would have to trademark that.

 

“You look incredible,” Alec beamed. “I… I wanted to tell you that the whole time. I think that you’ve been incredible this entire time, and… I’m glad that I met you.” He froze. “Not that I wished this accident on you! Oh God-”

 

“Alexander-” Magnus already knew he needed to cut him off. “-I understand. I love you, too.”

 

Jace somehow pulled off a miracle job, shaving months off the recovery process. And as it turned out, the world didn’t end or stop with Magnus’s injury. It moved on, and in a way, so did he. He didn’t moan and groan the whole way through (Alec told him he would feel worse about himself if he kept outwardly complaining without pause) and he constantly kept being told that his dancing career wasn’t over.

 

At that point, though? Even if he couldn’t have danced professionally anymore, he wouldn’t have minded sticking to his new gig of fortune telling. For some reason… He was good at it. Not to boast, but he had a 97% success rate with his Tarot Cards and an even higher accuracy reading with Palm Reading.

 

“Another door gets jammed open when one is shut… Or something?” Alec recited. Magnus had to give him an ‘A’ for effort.

 

But seriously, Magnus would have been nowhere without Alec’s help. He didn’t have to stay and help an unlucky stranger. He didn’t have to get Jace’s help (who he did owe a huge debt, as well). He didn’t have to fall in love with him and see his absolute worst from the start.

 

Seriously.

 

How did Magnus become the most unlucky-lucky person alive?

 

But with Alec in his arms and the occasional random ache in his legs, he was pretty content with his life. If his soon-to-be fiancé would ever let the ring Magnus accidentally found in his laundry appear, then he’d only be happier.