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You Are The Dreamer (We Are The Dream)

Chapter Text

"Alright, kids! Good practice. I reckon you’ll be ready by show time.” Magnus exclaimed, sitting on the chairs after the practice for their small production of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ wrapped for the day, most of the kids smiled at him and high-fived each other after he said that.

“It’s already looking much better than the last time we put this play up.” Simon laughed, walking over to Magnus. They had a good camaraderie for putting up spectacular plays together and Magnus found himself enjoying the company of an excitable Simon instead of the grumpy old music teacher. 

“Oh, I know! Most of them have a natural talent.” Magnus added with a smile, as he stood up and joined Simon. Both walked quite hastily through the empty hallways to their respective classrooms to collect their stuff. Magnus walked into his room and Simon walked ahead to go to his.

“Mr. Bane!” Magnus turned around as he heard one of the boys run towards him. “About the project… I know you said it’s a group assignment, but can I do it alone? I can’t handle the partner you have assigned me. She’s making me do the all the research and reading work.”

“Well, I can’t play favorites here Jon.” Magnus replied, trying and failing to keep a straight face as he talked to a defeated teenager, “you just have to find a way to work with her, or you can have someone trade partners with you? And you are supposed to learn it for the quiz anyway.”

“Come on Mr. Bane! Mr. Lightwood always lets me do that!”

“Well unlike Mr. Lightwood I want you to learn to work with others. And I shall talk to Mr. Lightwood about this, now that you’ve brought it to my attention.” Magnus said with a smug smile as he watched Jon’s eyes widen at his reply.

“Mr. Bane! Please don’t do that. He only agreed this time, and it’s mostly because the assignment is pretty easy, we just have to compare the GDPs of underdeveloped, developing and developed countries and write our views. It can be done alone.”

Magnus just hummed as a reply, “Well your history project will need at least two people working on it together. Remember, your GPA will go up or fall all the way down depending on your grade for this project. Now run along and get to it. It is due in a week.”

Simon entered Magnus’s room, raising his eyebrow as the kid walked away muttering curses under his breath. Magnus just shrugged as he wore his messenger bag and took his keys from his desk. “What’s your plan for the evening? Have any papers to grade? Tests to make?” Simon asked as he waited for Magnus to switch off all the lights.

“No. Thankfully today I’m free and going to enjoy a nice quiet night with my husband,” Magnus said as he walked out, locking the room behind him.

“How lucky…” Simon sighed and fidgeting with his bag strap, both hurrying through the dark corridors desperate to get out of the school.

“Missing our darling little Isabelle?” Magnus asked with a soft smile as he looked at the deserted parking lot with just his and Simon’s car occupying the space.

“Yeah. She’ll only be back from covering the Paris Fashion Week on Monday.” Simon said, checking his watch for the time as he added, “Well, she’ll be calling me in a while, I better rush home.”

“Tell her a hello for me!” Magnus called out as Simon jogged towards his car, waving at Magnus as he pulled out of the lot swiftly.

With a sigh, Magnus himself got in his car throwing his bag on the seat before starting it. It wasn’t often that Magnus got a free evening to himself, usually having one thing or the other to go over for the history classes he teaches or to help the drama club that’s under his coaching. And it’s even rarer for both him and Alec to have a free evening together. Today was one such day, so during lunch, they formed plans to have a date right in the middle of the week. Beggars can’t be choosers, and right now both are equally starving for a nice romantic time together.

When he stopped at a red light, he saw the time flashing on his dashboard and realized that he would be late for dinner if he doesn’t hurry. Though their home was only a little over ten minutes from the intersection, he decided to message Alexander that he might be a few minutes late, while waiting for the light to change. As he smiled at the ‘waiting for you’ Alec had sent with a picture of the food he was cooking, the light turned green. Throwing his phone away he took the car forward.

There is no way a person can predict when exactly their life turns upside down, for Magnus and Alec this was that earth-shattering moment. As he drove off at the green signal, a drunk teenage kid driving the car from the right side didn’t apply the brakes when he should’ve. Magnus still had a smile on his face from his husband’s message as the car crashed into his.

*********

Alec moved the dinner to the table and lit a candle about five minutes after he sent a reply to Magnus. He walked around switching off the lights as he waited. Soon enough, five minutes turned to ten and ten to fifteen. Somewhere in the back of his mind, something was nagging Alec as he sat on the couch waiting for Magnus, who should’ve been home by then. Alec tried to call him but the call kept going to voicemail. He forced himself to remain seated on their couch, the food he made growing colder with every second. The moment his phone rang Alec jumped to pick it up.

“Hey, Alec! I’ll be coming home tomorrow! The magazine sent over a senior reporter, so I’m done for now." Izzy’s voice greeted him which made Alec sigh loudly, the worry that had left him for a second came rushing back as he looked at the clock hanging on the wall, it’s been almost half an hour since Magnus messaged him. “Wow, way to sound excited for your sister! I mean I know they are acting like a bunch of assholes but this is the world of fashion bro, it’s ruthless. I’m beyond lucky they are publishing two of my articles!”

“Yeah, no. I’m happy for you Iz and I’m relieved you’ll be back soon. Your fiancé was already getting really whiny.” Alec stated in a monotone voice, trying not to sound too worried. He couldn't conjure up any excitement, still deeply concerned as he kept looking at the second hand of the clock that kept ticking, but their driveway still empty of Magnus’s car.

“You okay Alec?” Izzy asked after a few beats of silence. Alec just hummed, not focused on her words as half an hour passed in front of his eyes. “What happened? Where’s Magnus?”

“I don’t know.” Alec whispered, chewing on the inside of his cheeks as he slowly stood up from the couch.

“What?!” Izzy exclaimed, “What do you mean you don’t know?!”

“He was on his way, he sent a message he’ll be here in ten minutes and that was half an hour back.” He said as he opened his front door and briskly walked down the driveway, only to find an ambulance and a police cruiser rushing past him. Alec could feel his breaths coming in faster, he remained on phone with Izzy who kept talking but he couldn't make it out over his own loud heartbeat.

“Alec. Hey! Talk to me. What’s going on?” Izzy said loudly through the phone sensing Alec’s anxiety.

“I don't know,” Alec answered, pausing to rub his face before continuing, “something’s wrong Iz, I’ll call you later.”

He cut the call, not even waiting for a goodbye from Izzy. Alec immediately rushed back into the house to get his car keys, planning on driving the route to find Magnus, hopefully, stuck in a jam.

As he walked towards the car, his phone rang again. He instantly took the call and a frantic sounding voice came through, “Alec! Get to my hospital soon.” Catarina shouted, “Magnus has been in an accident.”

Alec could pinpoint the exact moment his heart stopped as he heard the words, he could hear loud echoing voices coming from the other side of the phone call. He physically felt a sudden coldness hit his very core as he stood beside his car, phone clutched tightly to his ears turning his knuckles white. Alec didn’t come out of his stupor until Cat’s voice pulled him out as she called out, “Alec, get here soon, it’s not looking good.”

Chapter Text

Alec doesn’t remember the drive to the hospital, but as he parked the car the unbelievable numbness aided him to walk into the hospital, with breaths coming in shaky and his hands shivering. There wasn’t a single thought in his head and for the life of him, he couldn’t recall what he is supposed to be doing next. Entering the hospital, his lanky frame remained standing near the reception in the lobby, eyes darting around as he tried to understand his own inaction.

“Sir!” The receptionist called out, making Alec hastily face her, “how can I assist you today?”

Before he could even find the words, Raphael called out as he hurried towards him, “Come on, I’ll take you.” He spoke, pointing towards the hallway as he slowed down just enough to have Alec join him.

“Yeah, okay.” Alec nodded, walking alongside Raphael who was trying his best to look unaffected but was doing a poor job so far. Both were beyond antsy as they strode down the hallway and towards the waiting room. Alec tried not to look around as he walked briskly, every step leaving him terrified, dreading the news waiting for him. Entering the room, his eyes fell on Catarina, standing near a door with a balled up fist as she stared inside. The shakes were getting more vigorous and he kept swallowing back the tears ready to break as they walked closer to her.

“Alec!” Cat walked towards them as soon as she noticed their arrival, “I called you about ten times and so did the hospital!”

“I didn’t... I didn’t hear the call.” He replied, fishing his pocket for the phone only to come up empty, “I might have left it in the car.”

Alec knew they were all trying to sound as organic as they can to prevent from breaking down, all with their own sets of pride to do that in an open space. But he needs to know something, anything, “how’s... Will he be okay?” he whispered, trying not to break down as he calmed his erratic breathing.

“I don’t know.” Cat replied, pacing in front of them as she let out a groan, “They brought him in about half an hour back. I couldn’t even gauge how serious the accident was, the head doctor kicked me out of the room.”

“You at least observed the wounds and the superficial injuries right? How bad are they?” Raphael asked, moving to stand a bit further from Alec and a pacing Cat.

“It...” Cat stopped walking. She took in a deep breath to gain courage as she turned to face Raphael, not wanting to say this to Alec, “It wasn’t good, there was too much blood and…” She couldn’t continue speaking, all three of them strongly attached to Magnus to think about his pain. So instead, she opted to stand beside the door and wait for Dr. Smith to brief them soon.

Alec couldn’t keep himself upright any longer, almost sliding down to the ground as he kept thinking about Magnus, Raphael rushed towards him and made him sit on a chair instead. Alec buried his head in his palm sniffling back the tears, his right foot tapping loudly on the floor as he waited. The sound of the door opening was almost deafening in the quiet waiting room. He instantly stood up as the doctor walked towards Catarina and Raphael, both sharing a look as they waited for the doctor to speak.

“Dr. Loss, we have Mr. Bane stable for now, but he is still in a critical stage. We have to conduct an immediate surgery.” The doctor said. Alec let out a sigh of relief, happy that Magnus is still with him. “I wanted to inform you that and to check if his family is here yet.”

“I’m his husband, Alec Lightwood.” Alec stated, rubbing his eyes to clear his vision as he walked towards them.

“Like I just said. Mr. Bane needs to be operated on at once, he’s already being wheeled into the OR as we speak. You need to sign a few forms that a nurse will give you soon.” The doctor said, turning to Alec.“It’s consent and insurance forms.”

“I will sign them,” Alec cleared his throat before adding, “will he be okay?”

“Sorry Mr. Lightwood, it’s too soon for me to give you any promises. He has a few broken ribs and his left arm is broken. We are mostly worried about the internal bleeding and his scan shows contusions and bleeding in the brain, so I really can’t waste any more time.” The doctor replied and jogged back in.

With a sigh, Alec turned to face Cat, wanting some reassurance, “We have the best surgeons. He’ll be well taken care of.”

Soon enough a nurse walked towards them, handing him the forms to fill out. As Alec sat to write, his watery eyes and jittery hands made it impossible. Letting out a groan he threw the forms on the chair beside him, the sobs that were pulled out of his chest after that was something even he couldn’t hold back. Cat immediately sat beside him, rubbing soothing circles on his back as his face stayed hidden behind his palms. He could hear her asking Raphael to fill in the forms meanwhile. Alec felt useless as he sat there crying, unable to fill even something as simple as a hospital form while Magnus was in there fighting for his life.

“Alec, hey,” Cat whispered, coaxing him out of his head, “Raph will submit the consent form, just sign it. We’ll fill out the insurance details in a while. Just sign that one for now.” she held his left forearm firmly as she spoke. Alec reached for the pen and rubbed his eyes to get it as clear as he could.

‘Just for a few seconds’, he whispered to himself, as he took the bundle of forms from Raphael’s hands, trying his damnedest to hold back the tears as he hastily signed the form.

When Raphael walked away with them, Alec leaned back on the cold wall, eyes fixated on the huge digital clock on the wall showing the time in big red letters. Alec blinked a little to clear his vision, the time coming to focus at nine-thirty pm. They should’ve been enjoying the date right now, talking and bickering. Magnus saying something snarky and Alec replying with dry humor. Instead, Magnus is in a hospital fighting for his life and Alec waiting, wishing it was him in the car. He has completely forgotten how to live without Magnus, he won’t be able to survive if Magnus doesn’t make it.

Soon enough a nurse walked into the waiting room they were sitting in, “The surgeon has just started, Mr. Bane's vitals are looking pretty good for now. So just sit tight, I’ll update you again in two hours.”

Alec went back to staring at the rapidly changing digits of the clock, hoping he can manage two hours of uncertainty.

“Alec,” Luke’s voice was what made him turn his eyes away from the angry numbers, “I came as soon as I could. The accident scene is a mess.” Luke said, sitting beside him.

“Did you tell..” Alec asked, turning towards him in hopes that he hasn’t told anyone just yet.

Luke cut him off with a sad smile,“I have not told your mom yet. But you should call her soon.”

Alec just sighed hearing Luke’s reply. He went back to staring at the clock, praying to all the Gods he never believed in to just let Magnus be fine.

“What happened?” It was Cat who asked the question Alec didn’t want to know the answer to, he tried not to listen to Luke as he spoke but couldn't tune it out.

“A drunk kid overrun the signal at the intersection near their house. He smashed into Magnus’s car.” Luke said with a sigh, his voice completely steady as he talked. Alec couldn’t hold back a quiet whimper as he kept visualizing what might have happened.

“I saw the kid being wheeled to surgery as we waited for the second ambulance,” Cat said, her hand solidly holding Alec’s as she talked to Luke, “his skull looked fractured.”

“I just came from the kid’s doctor, his chances are not that good. He wasn’t wearing a seatbelt and got thrown into Magnus’s car through his windshield.”

“Drunk?” Cat asked, one eyebrow raised as she tried not to sound too embittered.

“We believe so, Raphael should be just about done with the bloodwork by now. What’s the news with Magnus? Did the doctor say anything?” Luke asked, eyes focused on Cat knowing this wouldn’t be something Alec wants to talk about.

“Malia came out about ten-fifteen minutes back to let us know they started the operation.” Catarina replied, “We’ve got two long hours of waiting ahead of us to get an update.”

No one spoke after that, silence once again filling up the room that smelled way too sterilized. Luke’s phone rang piercingly throughout the quiet room, shocking everyone out of their own thoughts, “It’s Maryse. You want me to tell her son?” Luke asked.

The picture on the phone showing his mom and Luke, looking awfully smitten, as they sat holding hands was the only thing Alec could focus on. He knows it was taken by Magnus during one of their family trips. He could feel his heart beating painfully as he recalled a smiling Magnus, who pointed towards his mom and Luke. Both sitting on a bench underneath a huge tree, all of them enjoying the Italian summer. As Magnus took pictures of everyone, Alec hadn’t been able to keep his eyes off him. Magnus had looked beyond divine under the red of the sunset and Alec still can’t believe that he was lucky enough to have married him.

Luke took the call when Alec remained silent, his eyes glossed over. “I’m at the hospital.” He replied when Maryse asked about his whereabouts. He always made sure to call her in case he wouldn't be able to make it home for dinner, but today was different.

“What’s wrong?” Maryse asked, “you sound stressed.”

He knows it isn’t the right time to feel fortunate, but marrying Maryse was one of the best decisions he made in a long time. The fact that she can read even the slightest change in his tone was something that makes his heart sing. Hearing Alec sniffling beside him was enough to bring him out of the dreamland and back into the reality. Alec looked like a wounded puppy and Magnus was the last person in the world that deserved this fate. Luke wanted to cause some serious damage to whoever caused this to his family, but he’ll be just as happy charging the kid with prison time.

“You heard about the accident near the kids’ home?” Luke asked Maryse, still trying to figure out how to say this news. Maryse had become very close to Magnus during all their random family trips and dinners. Earlier when he walked towards the scene, his heart had almost stopped at the sight of Magnus’s car, completely wrecked as it remained lodged between a lamppost and a car. And when the paramedics slowly took out Magnus’s unconscious body Luke had to hold back nausea. He had seen many bloody scenes in his life, but he never expected to see someone he’s known for more than a decade, a good friend and now his family, bleeding out on the road.

“I did,” Maryse replied, he could hear the scrapping of the chair in the background, indicating she was still working, “what about it?” She asked sounding distracted, Luke could hear pages being rustled from her end. Though she’s almost fifty-nine years old, she isn’t even planning on retiring yet.

“Luke, can I?” Alec asked, clearing his throat. Luke handed him the phone with a sad smile and a pat on his shoulder.

“Mom." Alec whispered hoarsely, holding the phone to his ear.

“Alec?!” Maryse stated, her voice going higher as she heard him, “Why are you at the hospital?” He didn’t answer, couldn’t answer, instead just sniffled a few times as he listened to his mom’s breathing, trying to find comfort in that. “Alec, son, are you crying?” Maryse asked, her voice falling to a softer tone.

“Mom, it’s Magnus. He got in an accident.” Alec stated, tears falling quietly as he said that, finally believing that this is indeed happening and not a sick nightmare cooked up by his brain. He heard his mom say something, but he couldn’t make it out. His entire being focused on the thought of Magnus. He hated uncertainty and would happily give up everything to have Magnus safe and content. Luke took the phone from him. Alec slowly tried to control his breathing, listening to Luke letting Maryse know the hospital name as Cat held him in a sideways hug. Once Luke cut the call, Alec wanted to scream out, frustrated by the mind-numbing silence occupying the room.

“Here you go. I finished the kid’s blood work, his alcohol content was way too high.” Raphael said to Luke, handing him a closed envelope as he walked towards them. Alec wanted to thank him for breaking the stillness.

“I’ll be back soon, need to find Ollie and give this to her.” Luke said, patting Alec on the back before standing up to find his partner to get the lab report filed.

“Alec, I have to go for my rounds.” Cat spoke up, a few minutes had passed by then and though she hesitated, she eventually stood up, “I’ll come if I hear anything. Raph, you have any urgent work down at the lab?”

“No. I just had to give Luke the report, everything else is done. If not, some interns are happy to get just about any work at the hospital,” Raphael replied, “you go check on your patients, I’ll be here.”

“I’m not a kid.” Alec muttered, knowing Cat’s reluctance was because she didn't want him to be alone.

“Kid, you aren’t Alec,” Raphael said, looking at Cat who was jogging away as she muttered a few curses checking the time on her watch, “but you still need company. Hell, I need company right now and I’m not the one married to Magnus.”

Alec just sighed as he checked the time again, nine fifty-seven. “It’s almost ten. I should fill in the remaining forms.”

“I filled it all in, you just need to sign them.” Raphael said, checking beside him before scrunching up his nose, “I left them in the lab. I’ll be back soon.”

“How did you get the insurance number?!” Alec asked, looking up at Raphael as he stood up.

He hesitated a bit before answering, “They brought in Magnus’s things from the car, I kept it in my lab. Should I bring it along now?”

“Yes, please.” Alec whispered, his eyes going wide as Raphael walked away. He just needs something of Magnus’s to hold on to for the moment.

He turned to look back at the clock as he played with his wedding ring, the big red digits giving him a sense of calm that he needed right now, so as to not completely break down. His eyes darted around the waiting room only to land on four people making their way to a few chairs in the corner, all of them sobbing as they sat silently. The youngest one, a little boy looked at him as he sniffled, wiping his tears on his PJ’s sleeve. Usually, Alec would have tried to calm him down, but he couldn’t bring himself to smile right now, feeling just as helpless as the kid.

His thoughts were broken off when he saw Raphael walking towards him from the corner of his eyes. He had a big plastic bag in his hands, and Alec knew it might be everything taken out of Magnus’s car.  Raphael kept his own bag on the chair and left the plastic bag on the floor.

“The forms.” He said, taking out a pen and a filled out form from his bag, Alec signed it with a quick look at the details. “I highly recommend you to not look at this now,” Raphael said, pointing at the bag resting at his feet.

“I want to.” Alec insisted as he dragged it towards him. With a sigh Raphael stood up and removed his lab coat, throwing it on the back of his chair, leaving him in his formal shirt and pants.

Alec slowly reached in feeling the damp bag under in his fingers. Holding his breath, he pulled it out a bit, Magnus’s favorite beige messenger bag looked almost black with the amount of blood that had seeped into them. With a yelp he shoved it back in, his heart beating faster. He could no longer breathe as he held the arms of the chair firmly, making the knuckles turn white. Nausea slowly crept up as he kept seeing the amount of blood on the bag with every blink of his eye.

“Alec.” Raphael's voice pierced in through the loud rush of the blood through his ears, “Stay with me Alec, come on.” Raphael kneeled in front of him, trying to get Alec to focus rather than fall into an anxiety attack.

Even though he could breathe more clearly now, severe nausea had him rushing to a toilet close by. He promptly threw up into the first stall leaning in, images of a blood-soaked bag showing him different scenarios that he knows might not be real. He really should've just listened to Raphael and not looked at it. Soon enough he started dry heaving into the toilet bowl, making him feel both physically and mentally exhausted. With a shake of his head, Raphael let Alec lean on him, neither of them wanting to touch anything in there. Shrugging him off Alec walked to the sink to wash his face and gargle to get the taste of bile out of his mouth.

“I don’t know if it’ll help, but that probably isn’t Magnus’s blood,” Raphael said, arms crossed as he stared at Alec’s reflection in the mirror.

“Please don’t say blood for a while,” Alec replied, fighting another wave of nausea at the images Raphael’s words brought. He never had problems with blood, not until now, where the blood-soaked bag was the result of the accident his husband was in.

“Sorry.” Raphael said, opening the door for Alec to walk back out. As they walked towards the chairs, they came face to face with Maryse standing in the middle of the room. Her eyes darting around till she spotted Alec, relief was clear in her posture as she rushed towards them.

Alec moved forward and hugged Maryse, something he hadn’t done for too long. Raphael stayed quiet as Maryse let out a few tears, holding Alec tightly in her arms.

Luke had finally given Ollie the lab report and was walking back towards Alec, aware that Maryse was already with him. Having to work while trying to be there for his family was more painful than he thought it’ll ever be. But thankfully Ollie will be taking care of this herself. As he entered the waiting area, his heart broke witnessing the scene in front of him. Maryse’s eyes were red and puffy, Raphael had a faraway look in his eyes, but no one looked as wrecked and sober as Alec.

Luke sat beside Maryse, reaching from behind her to give a quick squeeze on Alec’s shoulder. Alec wanted to smile at him for the small reassurance, but he couldn’t. The seat he chose gave him a direct view of the clock every time he looked towards his mom or Luke and time wasn’t something he currently yearned to be aware of for a while.

“Detective Garroway?” Someone called out Luke’s name, making all four of them turn in the direction of the voice, coming from the family Alec saw earlier. Turning back towards Luke, Alec could see his posture becoming rigid.

“Yes, Mr. Hopps.” Luke replied, his entire face and voice going back to consummate professional as he avoided the curious glances of his family.

“I didn’t expect you to stay around…” The guy replied.

“I’m sorry, but it’s not for you.” Luke replied without missing a beat, “I’m off duty now, so please, if you need anything just find the detective who was with me earlier.”

“Oh, why are you here then?” A middle-aged lady who was hugging herself urged, her eyes looking at the four of them, hesitation clear as day.

Luke let out a sigh, looking at Alec for a brief moment before turning to the family, “The man your son hit is part of my family.”

Alec had to stop himself from glaring when he realized they were the kid’s family. It wasn’t their fault the kid crashed into Magnus’s car, surely they too were going through just as much pain as him. But that doesn't mean he could bring himself to have enough sympathy. In front of him, he saw Raphael holding the arms of his chair as he ground his teeth.

The tension that filled the air almost immediately was unbearable. When Cat came back after her rounds, the discomfort only increased as Raphael leaned in, whispering to her as she removed her coat. Both sat back down with a suppressed glare, Raphael in the chairs in front of them and Cat beside Alec. It wasn’t until Simon came running in, completely wide-eyed, did the tension ease a bit.

“Maryse, I just heard your message.” Simon said, standing in front of them, “how is Magnus?”

“In surgery,” Maryse replied. “Did you tell Izzy?” she asked after Simon sat down next to Raphael. Talking about Magnus brought all of them back into reality from their anger.

“No, no. I heard you loud and clear. She’ll land in the morning, and I’ll tell her when I go to pick her up.”

Alec tried to ignore everyone around him, finding solace at the seconds passing by on the clock. The seconds somehow turned to minutes and to hours, leaving just a few minutes before the clock strikes eleven thirty. They were all unbelievably exhausted, Alec especially so, having never felt this immense helplessness before. Everyone had drowned more than two cups of tasteless coffee by then.

Just as the clock showed 23:32:17, the nurse walked back out, “We have already closed two major bleeds. The neurosurgeon is completely focused on the brain bleed. As of now everything is going smoothly, and we expect to finish the surgery in an hour or two, so most probably the surgeon will be briefing you next.” She said, before rushing back in through the huge door.

The next two hours Alec was even antsier as a burst of energy found him. He paced around the waiting room, trying to ignore the eyes of everyone and a nurse that Alec recognized as a good friend of Cat’s briefing the other family.

By the time the clock showed 01:43:57, a little after two more hours of ruthless waiting, the doctor from earlier walked out of the door. Alec shot up from his seat, gauging the doctor’s expression as he waited for him to say something, “Your husband is going to be just fine, we’ve moved him into intensive care.” He said, with a small pat on Alec’s shoulder, “we were able to patch up all the major bleedings. He should have a proper recovery now.”

Alec let out a shaky sigh as he sat back down on the chair while everyone stood up a relieved smile on their faces. He could feel people squeezing his shoulders and hugging each other. Alec wiped the tears away from utter and complete relief and stood back up, “Can I see him?”

“Right now we have him under a medically induced coma. We want to give his brain an adequate amount of rest, as we give him medicine to stop the smaller bleeds in his brain we might’ve not gotten during the surgery. Usually, we won’t let people visit this soon, but I guess I can make an exception for Dr. Loss’s family. Just one person can come in and see him.”

“I’m going,” Alec announced, knowing very well that no one would argue against him.

“Of course,” the doctor nodded with a smile and led him inside. “Just follow the precautions. We don’t want him contacting an infection amidst the recovery.” Alec nodded, as he followed the doctor through the brightly lit hallway, stopping near the nurse's station.

“Alec right?” He nodded as the doctor talked to him, “Alright son, wear the shoe cover, hair cap, and a mask. And use that Sanitizer liberally. Mrs. Simmers will take you to your husband’s room. I need to upload a few data before joining you.”

Alec followed everything the doctor and the nurse told him to and walked behind a middle-aged nurse. He had to pause outside the door to calm his nerves while she went inside, taking in a deep breath he walked into the room. The nurse quietly shut the door behind him before walking ahead, checking the reading on the beeping machines that let out a silent hum and buzzes that resonated throughout the room.

The sight that was waiting for Alec was terrifying, he knew Magnus wouldn’t look healthy in the least. But the last time he saw him, earlier that day, he had looked so radiant and now he couldn’t have looked any less pale. Under the harsh lighting of the room, Alec could make out everything, from the bandaged head and arm, a dark swollen bruise on the left side of his face, to even the smallest of cuts littered throughout his body. There were way too many tubes attached to him, an IV in his right arm, a finger device connected to a machine showing his oxygen levels, a heartbeat monitor, a ventilator and a lot more that he couldn’t make out anymore.

“Can I just hold his hand?” Alec asked the nurse who was still meticulously checking every equipment, though Alec thinks she’s just pretending to be busy for him.

“Yes of course. Just be gentle.” The nurse replied in a quiet, soft voice as she walked towards a corner.

He approached closer to the bedside and put his hand over Magnus’s, he finally felt a smile take over his face as he held his hand. No matter how sick and tragic he looked right then, Alec knew it didn't matter because Magnus was safe. He was safe, and they were going to be just fine.

Chapter Text

As Alec drowned his ninth cup of coffee for the day, Catarina let out a grunt, looking ready to drag him out of the room. She kept coming in to check on Magnus every second she had free. Alec doesn’t blame her; he rarely leaves the room until Izzy forces him to go home and take a shower. Or Raphael drags him along to the cafeteria for food, muttering curses as they walk.

“Alec, would you please just sleep?” Cat called out, following Alec back to the chair as she walked around the room, taking notes from different types of medical equipment.

“I will.” He replied with a loud yawn, as he sat back down on the chair. He held onto Magnus’s hand, stroking below the yellowish bruise on his left cheek, glad to see it fade away.

To say the two weeks after the accident was stressful would be a gross understatement. Alec can’t remember the last time he fell asleep, so used to passing out on the chair beside Magnus’s bed. Alec isn't used to feeling helpless, but as he sits by Magnus’s bedside holding his hands, day and night, all he feels is complete and utter helplessness.

“He’s showing such great improvements internally. All his wounds are healing properly. We even removed the ventilator.” Cat said, standing beside Alec. “He’ll wake up soon Alec, stop worrying.”  

“I can’t,” Alec replied, rubbing his face as he leaned back in the utterly uncomfortable chair, which he is sadly used to by now, “not until he’s awake.”

With a sigh, Cat walked towards them and sat down on the corner of the bed, focused on Alec's hand tightly holding on to Magnus's.

“The boy’s funeral is today.” She spoke up after a few minutes of silence.

“Is it bad that I don’t care?” Alec asked, turning to face her, “He’s just a kid, and he didn’t get to live his life at all. But I can’t bring myself to care that he died during surgery.”

“You didn’t know him Alec, and he’s the reason your husband is here. You are allowed to be angry at him.” Cat answered, quickly checking her watch, “It’s time for my lunch, want to join me?”

“Later.” Alec replied, turning back to face Magnus.

“Alec...” She called out softly, worrying about Alec’s health the longer he’s here.

It was all quite sudden after that, there weren’t any fingertips moving, and then eye’s slowly peeling open. Instead, Magnus’s eyes shot open only to close immediately with a slight groan, his arms and legs jerking a little as he woke up.

“Magnus?!” Alec whispered, completely shocked as he jumped to stand; leaning closer to Magnus while Cat called the nurse to help her.

When they heard Magnus’s pained groan and the heart rate monitor beeping loudly, Cat shouted at Alec asking him to wait outside, “Give us a few minutes.”

With a reluctant nod, Alec walked outside just as Mrs. Simmers and Malia ran in Magnus’s room, closing the door on his face. As he started pacing in front of the room, Izzy came jogging towards him.

“What’s wrong?!” She asked, wholly alarmed as she looked at her agitated brother resembling a madman.

“He is awake.” Alec replied with a sigh when Izzy pulled him to a stop.  

“Isn’t that good?” Izzy asked, eyebrows raised in her confusion as she held on to Alec’s forearm.

“Yes, it is. But his heart rate was too high and…”

Alec pulled his hand out of Izzy’s hold and walked towards the door, standing in front of it, hoping that Magnus is definitely awake. Izzy moved to stand beside him; her hand hooked on his shoulder as they waited for the door to open.  

Soon enough Mrs. Simmers, Magnus’s nurse, walked out followed by Cat. Alec could plainly see the ease in her posture that she had forgotten in the past two weeks. She gave him a reassuring smile, a smile that Alec returned for the first time since the accident. Izzy was already planning a family dinner in her head during the exchange.

"He’s awake and as healthy as he can be. Go in.”

He rushed into the room immediately, Izzy and Cat stayed out with relieved smiles adorning their faces. Malia was removing a few of the tubes and monitoring devices when Alec walked in.

“Hey.” Alec whispered, reaching to hold Magnus’s hand as he came to a stop at his bedside.

“Uh... Hello?” Magnus asked, his voice unbelievably hoarse as he quickly moved his hands away with a puzzled smile.

“How are you feeling?” Alec asked with a smile, caressing Magnus’s unbruised cheek, not even noticing his confusion amidst the relief of hearing his voice.  

“I’m... I’m good.” Magnus replied, “Excuse me, who are you?” He asked, carefully moving Alec’s hand away from his face using his right arm.

“Huh?!” Alec replied, his brows drawn together and his face stuck on a smile, completely caught off guard.

“You don’t look like you work here.” Magnus stated, looking up and down as Alec stood up straight with eyes blown wide in shock.

“I’m Alec?” he replied, leaning closer to Magnus, not entirely sure of it himself for a moment. “Your husband.” he added, looking into Magnus’s eyes as he intensely hoped for some recognition before he starts screaming into the void.  

“Husband?!” Magnus exclaimed loudly, which in turn made him fall into a coughing fit. His heart rate increased exponentially, making the beeps filling the room even louder and erratic.

Cat rushed into the room as Malia tried to calm Magnus down and once again Alec was thrown out the room. He could feel all the relief and happiness slowly seep out of him with every step, leaving him plain confused.

“Alec, hey, talk to me.” Izzy asked, facing him in the busy hospital hallway, “What happened in there?”

Instead of replying, he went silent as Magnus’s confused expression kept beaming in his head.

“Alec! Come back to me. Tell me what happened?” Izzy asked a bit louder as she shook his shoulder, trying to get him out of his head.

“He didn’t recognize me. At all.” Alec finally answered after a few minutes, a gasp leaving him as the sentence sunk in.

“How in the hell did he not recognize me?!” Alec shouted, sounding thoroughly freaked out as Cat walked towards them. His booming voice was bringing in the attention of a few passerby.

“Alec…” Cat started speaking, moving away from the open door making Alec walk further into the hallway, each step intensifying the dull pain in his chest. “Maybe he’s just confused, but he doesn’t seem to be able to remember you, I had to tell him your name. Let’s try and send Isabelle in with you now.”

Alec nodded as he silently followed Cat, “Izzy, come with us. I want to see if Magnus recognizes you.” She said as they walked in. Alec could easily spot the worry on Izzy’s face.

Malia was gently helping Magnus sit upright when they walked in. He looked up to see the three of them, a frown falling on his face as he realized Alec too had come.

“Feeling better?” Cat asked as she walked to stand beside him. Alec wanted to get closer but seeing Magnus’s coldness towards him, he just stayed near the foot, letting Izzy walk ahead.

“I’m feeling much better now that I’m sitting up, very much in pain but better.” He said with a smile, his voice slowly becoming normal as he took sips of water through a straw. Seeing Magnus smile at Cat made Alec’s heartbeat a bit faster, the feeling of comfort back for a moment. He hadn’t seen that winning smile for two whole weeks.

“Do you recognize the two of them?” Cat asked, a finger pointing at both Alec and Izzy.

With a sigh, he looked at Alec and then Izzy. Alec could no longer act like he was fine when a smile spread on Magnus's face as he looked towards Izzy.  

“You are Luke’s new girlfriend's daughter. And I don't think I've ever seen the lovely man over there before, but apparently, we are married.” Magnus stated, letting out a soft chuckle. But when he noticed the grim tension in the room, he abruptly stopped.

The girl appeared horrified as she looked at him, and he can only hope, it’s just because of his injuries. Cat had the expression on her face Magnus keeps teasing her about, the one where she stops being a human and starts treating everything as a symptom. But worst of all, the guy’s eyes were filled with unshed tears as he looked at Magnus. And when their eyes met, he quickly looked down at the tiled floor. Magnus could see a teardrop falling from his face as he wrung his hands together, and it hurt him more than he could comprehend.

“What did I say?” Magnus asked Cat, who just gave him a sad smile.

“Magnus, what’s the last thing you remember?” She asked him, the concern in her voice scared him more than waking up in a hospital with his entire body in pain.

Magnus had to try pretty hard to remember the last thing he did before waking up in this room, the memories all faded into a giant mess that kept getting murkier the longer he tried.

“Dot and I,” he started speaking, making sure to avoid the glances of the guy, “we were having a drink at my apartment before her flight. Lucian came along with his girlfriend so that Maryse can meet Dot and he can say goodbye. And Isabelle, right?” Magnus asked, turning to look at her and when she nodded, still seemingly dismayed, he continued, “Isabelle here, came to tell her mom a piece of news that she had to immediately share, something about her brother, I think? I wasn’t listening to it much. Then it’s all kind of blurred together, I think I went to drop Dot. After that, it’s pretty much a dark void, with a distant feeling of bliss, but that’s about it.”

“Magnus.” Cat replied with a soft voice that had Magnus breathing in slowly, he could hear the beeps from the heart rate monitor growing erratic, “that was almost seven years ago.”

“What?” Magnus’s voice fell into a whisper when she said that, after a few moments his eyes fell on Alec who was looking at him with a face carefully devoid of emotions, “Does that mean..”

Magnus couldn't even finish the sentence as he kept watching the guy, only then did he feel the ring on his left ring finger. He looked at his hand that was hidden in the cast except for the fingers, leaving the polished golden ring in plain sight. His eyes fell on to Alec’s side which had the exact same ring, a wedding band.

“This isn't a joke, right? If so, then you are all sick.” Magnus asked in a whisper as he alternatively kept looking at the rings.

“No..” It was Alec who finally replied in a hoarse whisper, back to staring at the floor. Isabelle went to stand beside him, speaking inaudibly as Alec held back the tears welled in his eyes.

“I.. I just need some time to myself.” Magnus tried to breathe in slowly as he heard his heart beating faster, considerably worrying Cat who was standing beside him. “Please.”  

Alec promptly rushed out of the room making Izzy jog behind him. Magnus continued to stare at the door long after they walked out, a sudden emptiness filling him as he kept replaying the man’s defeated expressions.

“Magnus!” Cat called out, sitting down on the chair as she waited.

“This is real, isn’t it?” Magnus asked, a hopeless look in his eyes as they drifted back to her, “I’m married?”

“You celebrated your four year anniversary last month.”

“That’s a long time.” Magnus muttered, a sigh escaping his lips as he played with the ring. "Will I ever remember him?"

“Magnus, let us worry about all that. You just get some rest and get strong again. I’ll brief Dr. Smith and get the neurologist to look through your scans.” Cat stated as she helped Magnus lie back down.

Knowing Magnus, she’s well aware that he isn’t going to be sleeping with the information that was just provided. Finding an injection of morphine, she walked towards his drip and added a few drops to the IV. He’ll need sedatives for now, at least until he’s sound enough, physically.

Slowly stepping out into the hallway, she found herself staring at Alec who was sitting on a chair, a faraway look on his face as Izzy kept talking to him. She’s sure he isn’t listening to a single word, each and every thought on Magnus. For two polar opposites, they were strangely similar in the way they handled life.

“What’s the diagnosis?” Izzy asked as soon as she noticed Cat.

“I need to go over with the neurologist for that, look through his scans again. It might be due to the contusions.”

“Will he ever remember?”

Alec let out a pained groan as Izzy asked that, he turned to look at Catarina with a solemn expression, probably getting himself ready to accept the worst. She couldn’t help but smile a bit, just like Magnus.

“Probably yes. It’s not full-blown amnesia.” Cat replied, sitting down beside Alec as she spoke, “You know, it’s actually pretty common for survivors to forget the accident and things that usually led up to it. Magnus did have an almost close call back then, maybe his memories are just locked up because of that, brain jerking back to that point. Hopefully, everything will come back on its own, or else we can always try therapy. Well, I’ll go and discuss this with his doctors now. Alec, he’ll be ok, you both will.”  

“See Alec! It’s going to be fine.” Izzy spoke up, a small smile slipping on her face as she gave a nod to Cat who was quickly walking away. “Look on the bright side, he’s alive and well.”

Alec could only nod at that, he didn’t know what the right response to Izzy’s statement was. He is unquestionably glad that Magnus is alright, for the past two weeks that’s all he thought about. Alec took a leave of absence from his job just so he could be there with him when he woke up.

But Alec wanted to see Magnus’s loving smile, he wanted to hear him say he loves him, not look at him like he’s never seen him before. He wanted his husband, not a stranger. The conflicting emotions were ripping through him, and the one person he counts on doesn't recall him. Alec’s really starting to hate his bad luck, which he thought had left when he met Magnus. But apparently, it’s still very much here, lurking around, looking for a moment to hurt him in the worst way.

Inside the room, Magnus wasn’t having a great time either, beyond disoriented and bitter. The pain he can endure, he’s been doing that all his life. But waking up and being told that you’ve lost all memories of the past seven years, isn’t something he is currently equipped to deal with. Not when he is aware this will be painful not just for him, but for everyone he knows and loves, and most importantly, the guy he’s married to.

Alec was essentially a stranger, but Magnus had never been good at causing harm to people who never deserved it. And Alec had to be a pretty perfect guy if they have already been married for four years. Magnus is pretty sure that he had to have warned the guy about his misfortunes, that anyone who’s ever loved him always ended up hurt. Why did Alec even want to marry him after hearing that? Surely, he’s regretting it now. With wet eyes, Magnus slowly drifted into a fitful sleep, the pull of morphine overpowering his thoughts.

Chapter Text

The blinding pain was all Magnus could sense at first, silently dragging him from the darkness. The murkiness in his thoughts prevented him from being totally alert. Instead, he lied there without moving, trying to recall where he was and why he was aching all over. The conversation from the past afternoon only began haunting his thoughts after he heard the dull murmurs and buzzings of the medical devices.

He had wished it would’ve just been a dream, everyone dreams up some beautiful stranger once in a while. But as he opened his eyes, Alec was right there, fast asleep on the chair. Alec was clutching his hand pretty tightly, but Magnus didn’t have the heart to snatch it away. The sheer desperation with which he was holding on, making Magnus emphatic towards the guy, who should never have been subjected to his misfortunes. Seeing Alec’s devotion even in his sleep made Magnus’s heartbreak for him.

The stillness in the hospital was what frightened Magnus the longer he was awake, making the pain just a background hum as his thoughts overpowered once again. The curtains on the window near the bed were pulled back leaving the full moon directly in his view. He quietly fiddled with the controls to get his bed semi-upright, trying not to disturb Alec, as he stared out the window for a distraction.

He tried to ignore the heaviness of the ring every time he felt Alec move. For as long as he can remember, Magnus always longed for a calm white-picket-fence life. After years of bad luck, he became convinced that he never might get it. And now, even though he did somehow manage on turning that dream into reality, apparently he doesn’t get to be happy. A groan quietly slipped out when he felt tears on his cheeks.

“Magnus?” A sleepy voice rasped, making him jerk a bit in surprise.

A sharp pain that shot through his chest as he jumped had him coughing, which only increased the pain. Catarina did mention his broken ribs, he just hopes the pain will fade away soon. But each breath he took just made it worse.  

“What’s wrong?” Alec asked, fully awake when he saw Magnus’s distress, “Let me call in the nurse.” he added, quickly turning to press the call button.

“Don’t,” Magnus breathed, “just give me a few seconds.”

Alec’s fingers were still hovering over the button when Magnus called out, he could easily hear the pain in his voice and the tears in his eyes. But his sorrowful grimace had Alec hesitating and then eventually sitting straight up. Alec’s well aware how much Magnus hates other people seeing him broken and he knows the tears aren’t due to his physical pain.

“Thank you.” Magnus spoke up after a few minutes, he was breathing more freely now, shallow breaths reducing the pain considerably.

“Are you sure I shouldn’t call the nurse?”

“Yes, look at the readings, I’m fine now. You just took me by surprise earlier.”

“Sorry.” Alec replied, a shy smile gracing his face as he looked at Magnus.

“What are you still doing here? It has to be after midnight.” Magnus asked, knowing what the answer would be, though he isn’t sure that he wants to hear it.

“I… I couldn’t leave you alone.” Alec answered, eyes directed at the moon, avoiding Magnus.

“I’ll be fine. You probably haven’t had a good sleep in a while.”

“No, not a bit,” Alec replied with a sigh, turning back to look at Magnus. “how are you feeling?”

“I’m getting a feeling, I’ll never be able you to convince you to sleep,” Magnus replied, with a smile he just couldn’t keep away, “So, I’m in a bit of pain other than that I’m fine.”

“Magnus, are you sure?”

“Yes, I’m positive.” Magnus turned to face away from Alec as he blatantly lied.  

Alec seemed to want to say something but held himself back, a sigh leaving him as he slowly pushed the chair further from Magnus.

“I know this might be a bit bizarre for you,” Alec said, after a few minutes of tension-filled silence passed them by.

“That’s an understatement, Alexander.”

As soon as the words were out of Magnus’s mouth, Alec’s heart stopped. He couldn’t feel anything anymore as he inelegantly gaped at Magnus. It was a simple slip, Alec’s aware of that. Of course, any version of Magnus Bane would call him ‘Alexander.’ Magnus has always done that, he likes given names more than nicknames unless they are coined by him.

But, a mentally and physically exhausted Alec had just about convinced himself to be there for Magnus as a friend, until he gets back at least a fragment of memories of them. And hearing Magnus call him by his full name, with the same fond undertone that makes Alec melt, was enough to make him snap.

Alec is a realist, he always has been, which is mostly why he went through his life with fewer disappointments and a lot of regrets. But for a moment, he let himself forget the reality, for a moment he allowed himself to believe that the accident had never happened and they were both just fine.

“Alec!” Magnus called out, scared for the guy who had turned into a statue for a few minutes. “Are you okay?”

“I’m fine.” Alec said, his voice cracking as he relaxed into the chair, trying his best to seem nonchalant.

“Hey, what’s wrong?” Magnus asked, turning to face Alec as he furrowed his brows, he was getting worried about the guy. “It’s okay, you can tell me.”

“I…” Alec spoke up after a few minutes of contemplative silence, he didn’t really have anyone else he wanted to talk to about this, “I spend two weeks terrified of losing you and missing you. Now that you are awake, I still miss you, and I’m even more terrified of losing you.”

“Oh,” Magnus said, “I’m, I’m sorry.”

“Please don’t apologize, it’s not your fault.” Alec spoke up with a sigh, standing up to walk towards the window. “I never thought I’ll lose you. Ever. But, let’s not talk about that. Not now. You should have a lot of questions, ask away.”  

“Ale-” Magnus spoke up, not wanting to hurt him any more than he already has.

“Please Magnus, let it go.” Alec cut him off, walking back towards the chair.

“Alright, how long was I asleep?”

“About twelve hours, you woke up right as the sedatives wore off. Did Cat inform you about the injuries?” Alec asked as he sat down on the chair, pulling it a bit closer to the bed.

“She did. Along with details of my accident and your name. What’s the final verdict on my problem?”

“The doctors believe it’s just your brain masking away the trauma. They believe you’ll get it all back.”

“That’s good. Will I be able to leave soon?”

“Yes, I talked about that to your doctor yesterday. You will be discharged around eleven in the morning after a final checkup. He asked me to get you to walk around when you woke up, do you want to try now? I’ll call the nurse.”

“Yes absolutely, I would like to feel my legs again.” Magnus replied as he lowered the bed to sit up straight.

“That’s usually what happens when you haven’t used them for two weeks.” Alec said with a smile as he pressed the call button. “She’ll be here soon.”

“You can just go home, Alec. I’ll handle this myself.”

“You don’t have to. I don’t want you to.” Alec replied as he walked towards the bed, sitting on the corner as the nurse ran into the room.

“What’s wrong?” Malia seemed rattled as she entered the room.

“I’m awake, and Alec here suggested I should take a small walk, get my legs back in use.” Magnus answered, with a bit of hesitation he turned to Alec, “Would you mind getting me a glass of water while Malia deals with all the tubes and pieces of equipment plastered on to me?”

With a smile and a nod, Alec walked out of the room. As soon as he closed the door behind him, the smile fell off, the feeling of suffocation slowly leaving him the further he walked from the room. Alec spent the whole evening with Izzy, then Raphael, and then Cat, he even called Maia currently somewhere deep in the artics, just to have enough courage to make it through this for Magnus.

But, after just one conversation, he isn’t sure how to even go about doing that anymore. In some minute ways, things seemed the same, but the glaringly obvious differences were enough to make him lose his last bit of strength. Alec knows how Magnus is feeling right now, he is depressed and a bit in love with someone else. She had moved away before they met, but now, she is right here, and Alec can’t help but feel he might lose Magnus to her this time around. And he’s not sure how to get Magnus to remember everything before that happens.

A huge part of him is saying it’s completely irrational to worry about something so trivial. Memories or not, Magnus is still the same guy but Alec’s sure there’s always going to be a small part of him that’ll keep sending non-stop second guesses and doubts in the following days, or weeks. He just wants his husband back.

Alec got a cup of coffee for himself along with water for Magnus, he needs a few more minutes just to himself before he has to face Magnus again. As he walked back to the room with a bottle of water, Alec couldn’t help but let out a few tears. Though he has to act tough in front of others, he is allowed to be a bit broken when it’s only him around.

Magnus was standing by the window, holding on to the handles tightly with Malia standing right behind him, when Alec walked back into the room. He had already changed into his regular clothes, and for the first time in almost two weeks, Alec was the closest he could be to his husband. And for the first time after he woke up, he couldn’t help but cross the room and pull Magnus into a hug.

“I’m sorry. I just need a moment.” Alec whispered into Magnus’s shoulder as he held him delicately, careful about his fractured ribs and the arm in a cast. With a sigh, Magnus hugged Alec back with his right arm.

The familiarity and comfort of the gesture had Alec shedding a few tears, something he promised himself that he wouldn’t do. He had missed Magnus more than words could express. The fear of losing him was something Alec had every second, awake or asleep. The nightmarish thought of having to say goodbye to Magnus is something that’ll forever haunt him.

Alec reluctantly pulled back, only then could he feel the awkwardness in Magnus’s smile and his posture, “I’m sorry. I couldn’t, I just.” Alec knew he was about to start rambling again, so he just shut his mouth. He hadn’t been this uncertain around Magnus since their first date, at least then the anticipation was masking away the nervousness, but now with only dread as his ally, he could only embrace it.

“Hey,” Magnus whispered, his hand cupping Alec’s neck, forcing him to look at him, “things will get better, Alexander. Give me some time, I’ll work it all out.”  

“We will work it all out. Together.” Alec replied quietly, with a shake of his he continued speaking, “How’s walking?”

“Well, I did just change my clothes, though mostly I was just sitting in the wheelchair. Malia wheeled me to the bathroom to freshen up and then brought me to the window, and I’ve been standing here since.” Magnus answered with a weak smile.

Alec can see how much all this is affecting Magnus, from the way he’s almost always looking down, to his worn down expression. He could hear it in his fake politeness and see it in his fake smiles. It takes a lot to wear Magnus Bane down, and Alec is sure this is something that’ll test even the mightiest.

“Alright Mr, Bane, why don’t we try walking? Now that Alec is here we can just walk around the room. Alec, why don’t you just hold onto to him for now?” Malia spoke up, a yawn escaping her as she moved Magnus’s IV away from the path.

“Darling, you seem absolutely tired.” Magnus started making conversation to distract himself from the feel of Alec’s hand around his waist, the same way he tried to distract himself earlier when Alec was hugging him by focusing on the physical pain. He isn’t proud of it, but he isn’t ready to deal with the mess that is his memories like he blatantly lied to Alec earlier, not yet anyway.

“No, it’s fine. I’m still an intern, so I need the hours. I only have one other patient to look after this night, and she is still under sedation. You really shouldn't worry about it. I’m a good nurse, tired or rested.”

“Not questioning your work ethics, just worried about you. Teacher instincts, can’t help it.” Magnus stated with a pained smile as he slowly walked, the numbness slowly becoming pins and needles. He was pretty sure his leg would give out at any moment, but Alec was right there whenever he slipped a bit. It was making his heart slowly get into a war with his head. He really doesn’t need that right now.

“Well, your students are lucky to have you, and I’m sure they are aware of that.” she stated with a smile, pulling the IV with her as they slowly walked around the room. Earlier both, her and Magnus, had to go through hell to get him into the bathroom, she’s really thankful Magnus agreed to wait for Alec before trying to actually walk.

The palpable tension in the room was slowly killing Alec on the inside. When he was waiting for Magnus to wake up, he was entirely sure nothing could be as painful as the wait. But now, feeling Magnus in his arms, listening to him talk, feeling his firm warmth but not being able to tell how much he loves him and to hear it back is even more unpleasant. And Alec feels miserable for thinking like that, he should be happy Magnus is awake and recovering, but that surely isn’t stopping his heavy heart and jilted thoughts.

“Alec, I think you can let go of me now.” Magnus spoke up, and for Alec that was the problem, he really didn’t want to let go.

With a reluctant smile, Alec slowly moved his hands and started to walk backward, Magnus immediately leaned towards him and pulled on his shirt, “Stay close.”

The two words whispered by Magnus was enough to demolish most of the doubts in Alec’s thoughts, he nodded with a smile he couldn’t hide. As they slowly walked, Alec could see Magnus’s legs shaking pretty hard, he immediately took his hand, holding on tightly as Magnus smiled at his gesture.

After about half an hour of walking, Magnus was slowly able to start limping by himself, with just a minor ligament tear in the ankle, he’ll be able to use his legs just fine. Malia left them alone a few minutes back when her other patient woke up.

“Alexander, you should sleep.” Magnus spoke up, after a long stretch of silence occasionally disturbed by Alec’s yawns.

“What if you need anything?” Alec replied, already settling into the couch on the corner as his tiredness won out.

“I’ll call Malia, or I’ll wake you up.” Magnus stated, the smile slipping away as Alec closed his eyes with a hum.

The fact that he might get discharged from the hospital in the morning has lodged itself into his brain, pushing him into finding some ways to remain in that very bed. The life waiting for him outside is going to be drastically different from the one he knows, and Magnus isn’t sure he’ll fit in it anymore. He isn’t sure he’ll fit in his life with Alexander Lightwood.

 

Chapter Text

“Like I said, Mr. Lightwood. Physically, he is recovering better than we hoped. As for the memory, we’ll just have to wait and watch. All you need to do right now is to make sure that he has a complete bed rest for another week.” Dr. Smith replied as Alec caught up to him in the middle of the hallway.

“Isn’t there anything I can do to help him with the recollection?” Alec asked with a hint of hesitation, he didn’t want the doctor to feel as if that’s all he cares about.

“Talk to him about his life, his job, your relationship, maybe some trips you took. Show him something that he holds dear, something that might trigger some of the memories. A sliver of feeling is enough to get it all back. But make sure to not pressurize him, let him have his time.”

“Of course not. I’m just concerned.”

“He’ll be fine, Alec. You take care of him and yourself. I’ll see you next week for the checkup.”

Replying with a smile and a nod, Alec walked back with a discomfort settled deep within him. Raphael was already helping Magnus into the wheelchair as he entered the room.

“I really don’t get why I can’t just walk.” The positively disgruntled expression of Magnus had Alec chuckling just a bit as he walked inside to get the backpack.

“So that you don’t slow down the people with your limps. Now be thankful and shut up old man.” Raphael stated as he rolled his eyes.

“I go to sleep thirty-four and wake up forty-two. Please don’t make me think of my age anytime soon.” Magnus replied, a sigh leaving him as he tried to play it off as a joke. Alec really wants to help him with this, but he has no idea how.

“Alec, is your car out front?” Raphael asked as he pushed the wheelchair out of the room.

From where he was standing, Alec could see Magnus trying to hide his face in his palm. In all his mannerisms, Magnus hasn’t changed a bit. All that has disappeared is Alec, everything else is still the same for him. And Alec’s is pretty sure he’s never going to be okay with Magnus forgetting his existence yet being aware of everyone else including Izzy.

“Alec? Your car?” Raphael asked again, his eyebrow raised as he turned around Alec didn't reply to him.

“Simon’s waiting out with his car. Izzy dropped me off last time, so I don't have mine here." Alec answered as he looked around the room, making sure he hadn’t left anything behind. He held the backpack tighter as he followed an apprehensive Raphael.

The closer they reached the entrance the more restless Magnus grew, though he tried to hide it away feigning a little headache. He had proposed everything to hopefully stay back at the hospital for another day. Just to have enough time to talk to Catarina or Raphael about his life, wanting a heads up on how it was. But now he feels like a blind man going to climb a mountain with nothing to help him but sheer will.

“Where’s Simon?” Alec asked, startling Magnus out of his thoughts as he walked forward, wanting to leave some distance between the blanket of awkwardness Magnus was exuding.

Alec and Magnus were always tuned to each other, the slightest shift in their moods never went undetected, probably why they seemed to work well amidst their differences. Right now, all Alec can see is Magnus’s uncertainty and it’s killing him to think that it’s because Alec is taking him back home. A home that used to be their safe haven which is now entirely foreign to Magnus. He isn’t sure how to go about reintroducing Magnus to the place that held so much of them.

“There he is.” Raphael spotted him as he turned around, hauling Alec by the backpack as he pushed Magnus towards the car.

To say Magnus was embarrassed would be an understatement. He was in a very loose tank top with a jacket draped over his shoulder to avoid freezing in the wind. To top that, he isn’t used to feeling helpless and having people fuss around him while in a wheelchair was downright offensive. So, when Raphael, Simon, and Alec moved to help him out of the wheelchair, he had enough.

“Alright, I got it,” Magnus spoke up with a glare, holding up a hand as they surrounded him, noticing their reluctance he added, “I’m not an invalid, just open the door please.”

With an amused smile, Raphael moved from behind him to open the door as Alec paced towards the driver’s side, stopping to keep the bag in the backseat. As he sat down, he adjusted the passenger seat for Magnus to have more leg space.

“Comfy?” Simon asked before closing the door, as Magnus tried to find a position giving him less pain.

“Yes, I am… Simone?” Magnus replied, a frown on his face as he tried to recall the name the guys used. Magnus doesn’t recognize him at all.

“Simon!” Alec exclaimed, a smile spreading his face when he realized that Magnus doesn’t remember Simon too, only having met him when he joined the staff to be with his childhood friend about a year after Alec did. “He is Izzy’s fiancé.”

“Well, I need to head back down to the lab, you kids reach home safe. Alec, drive carefully.” Raphael said, leaning down as he spoke. He jogged back into the hospital, leaving Simon to stare at them looking aghast, which Alec could relate to. Being forgotten by Magnus isn’t a pleasant experience.

“I should leave, have to be back before this hour ends.” Simon stated as he stood by Magnus’s window.

“Should we drop you at school?” Alec asked, just out of courtesy. Simon did drive the car to the hospital in the middle of the school hours, and he'll probably have to take a cab in the evening.

“No, don’t bother, the cab is already here. Besides Magnus should go home and rest. Oh and Izzy is waiting for you guys at your place. See you in the evening.”

Magnus and Alec smiled at him as he jogged away with a wave. An intense wave of silence overtook the car as they were left alone for the first time since last night.

“He seems nice,” Magnus spoke up to dilute the discomfort as he tried and failed to put on his seatbelt.

“You adore him. Though you do enjoy having him on his toes.” Alec replied with a fond chuckle as he recalled their interactions. Magnus just hummed distractedly as he spoke.

He turned to help Magnus when he noticed him struggling with the seatbelt. The broken ribs and an arm in the cast probably not helping with his already damp mood. Alec leaned towards him to put on the belt for him, a bit too close to not feel the kick in his gut.

Amidst the cold autumn breeze, Alec’s warmth felt like a cup of hot chocolate in the dead of winter, felt like home. Somewhere, from within his soul, he felt a pull to just press a small kiss to the lips so close to him. Stuck deep in his own head, Magnus didn’t even notice Alec’s stillness and the teary eyes until the loud horn blared into their little bubble of insecurities and doubts.

“Sorry!” Both muttered at the same time. Alec, sorry for breaking into Magnus’s personal space and making his thoughts more chaotic than it already is, and Magnus, sorry for giving Alec false hopes.

“Do I still work at the same high school?” Magnus asked, wanting more than anything to stop the unpleasant silence that once again settled in the car as Alec started driving out of the hospital.

“Yeah. The same high school, you started coaching the drama club three years back, with Simon.”

“Is he the music teacher?”

“No, he teaches computer science. You are in a polite conflict with the music teacher. Simon is a far better company and an excellent musician, so you just enlisted his help instead.” Alec answered with a wistful smile on his face.

Magnus noticed they were going carefully under the speed limit, Alec’s eyes entirely focused on the road as he drove through the busy streets. So instead of distracting Alec, he turned on the car radio after a few minutes of cursing at the touchscreen.

As Alec took a turn towards the neighborhood with beautiful suburban houses complete with manicured lawns and a park for the kids, Magnus’s dismay was heavier than before. He can distinctly remember driving through this small community, wanting a home right there, with a loving hand to hold and tiny humans to cart off to the park after he comes home from work. He just wants to remember buying the house. Soon enough, Alec pulled up to perhaps the coziest house in the neighborhood.

“So… This is home.” Alec spoke up as he stopped the engine.

“It’s... It looks pretty homey,” Magnus said after a while, following a bit of wavering, he continued, “what happened with my apartment?”

He is pretty sure he would never sell it, he's way too attached to the apartment to ever have considered selling it. If things get too uncomfortable, he needs to know there is still an option to go back to his home.

“I’m sorry, but you sold it. We needed extra funds for buying our ho- this house and we didn't feel like taking it from my parents. Also, I sold my apartment when I moved in with you, so you decided it’s only fair you do the same." Alec replied, his hands tightened on the steering wheel as he spoke staring ahead, "if you are that uncomfortable, think of me as your nurse. I’ll move in with Izzy or Jace after you have recovered.”  

“Alec, don’t be ridiculous. I was just curious.” Magnus didn’t have the heart to make Alec feel worse than he already does, neither did he want to stay alone at the big house.

“If you are sure…” Alec replied, honking the car to have Izzy open the door, “I’ll help you get out. Dr. Smith made it clear to not put a lot of pressure on your foot.”

“Yeah okay,” Magnus replied with a smile, desperately craving the painfulness between them to lessen, but he isn’t sure how to achieve that. Talking would be the first thing. However, he’s scared it might drive a wedge between them rather than help. The last thing either of them needs is their situation getting worse.

“Hey, guys!” Izzy’s said with a smile as she walked towards Alec who was opening Magnus’s door. She took the bag from him as Alec held out his hands to help Magnus stand.

“Iz, the door’s closed..” Alec stated, looking behind her, at the front door. Muttering a curse under her breath, Izzy ran towards the door to open it, then walked forwards lending a hand to Magnus to climb the doorsteps and enter the foyer.

“I’m really not liking this,” Magnus spoke up as they slowly walked towards the living room, he could feel eyes on his back from the moment he stepped out of the car.

“Now you know how Alec felt after he shattered his knee from falling off his motorcycle.”

“You had a motorcycle?!” Magnus exclaimed, losing his footing in his surprise, the chest pain was almost anticipated this time around. He wants to drown himself in alcohol.

“Not after that. You made me lock it up, and I ended up giving it to Jace.”

When Magnus finally made it to the couch in the living room, he couldn't help but let out a groan, happy to have his space back. He tossed the jacket onto a nearby chair.

“I need a drink,” he stated, his head resting on the back of the couch.

The growing uneasiness made him look back at the siblings sitting on the chairs. Izzy was the one who spoke up, after minutes of Magnus looking at them for a reason.

“You quit drinking," she said, "it was one of the pacts you made for your wedding.”

Magnus could practically hear her beg. When he turned to look at Alec, he noticed him staring the wall about the fireplace. That’s when Magnus saw the large framed family picture from a wedding, his wedding. They were all in suits and dresses, the backdrop looked heavenly, but what caught Magnus off guard was his own smile, big and unrelenting. His eyes were focused on Alec’s, who was staring back at him with just as much love and bliss. Everyone in that photograph looked elated, even Raphael had a smile on his face. He will never get used to the fact that his life used to be that perfect, he hadn't ever let himself believe he might have all this.

“Umm. Alec, why don’t you bring Magnus to your room and I’ll heat up the soup Mom send?” Izzy cleared her throat and started speaking to get their attention away from it.

Without a word, Alec got up and stood beside Magnus, Izzy immediately left the room. Alec couldn’t bear being in their house together. Almost everything Magnus says is another knife to his heart, a painful reminder that the guy in that picture isn’t the one who was currently standing with him.

“So, I guess I’ll be taking the guest bedroom?” Magnus tried to sound nonchalant as he brought it up, though he isn’t sure he pulled it off.

“No please, take the master, it’s neater. I’ll probably have to dust the guest bedroom before it’s usable. And you need to take rest now, preferably in a dust-free room.” Alec replied, waiting at the bottom of the stairs just so Magnus has enough time to hype himself to limp his way up the stairs. “Ready?”

“As I’ll ever be…” Magnus replied with a sigh, his right arm tightly holding onto the railing as Alec held him around his waist. Magnus can walk a bit on his own, but climbing the stairs was a whole another level of pain, his ribs started making their presence known quite painfully as they reached the top of the staircase. “I really should just be sleeping on the couch. This is too much work.”

“Just for a few days, your ankle should heal by then.” Alec replied, letting Magnus lean on him for a few minutes before walking towards their bedroom.

When Magnus entered the room, his physical pain wasn’t sharp enough to bother him anymore with the entire bedroom reminding him of what he lost. Everything in there, from a historical nonfiction book on the bedside table; to the red satin sheets of the bed and the dark grey walls and many other trinkets he recognized. The strange ones, belonging to Alec, fit right in with his random collection. The framed pictures of him and Alec, and their family were meticulously splayed all throughout the wall above the bed, which has to be Alec's doing.

As soon as he set foot in the room, he wanted to run far away from it. This wasn’t just a room, this was a haven and Magnus is really starting to feel like he’s peeping into someone else’s life.

“I’ll go and get you that soup. Do you want anything before I go down?” Alec asked, making sure Magnus is comfortably seated in the covers.

"Could you maybe help me remove this tank top? It smells like hospitals."

Alec quickly walked up to him, slowly helping him remove the shirt and walking into the bathroom to throw it into the laundry hamper. "Anything else?" Alec added, ready to get out of the room.

“Could you maybe get me something else to eat? Like a steak?” Magnus replied, “I really don't want fluids, my body is aware it hasn’t eaten anything solid for over two weeks.”

“Which is exactly why I was asked to ease you into solids…” Alec said with a timid smile as he rushed away from the room towards the kitchen downstairs.

Both were equally under duress, Magnus feeling like a stranger in his own skin as he is surrounded by things he recognizes flowing along with the unrecognizable items around the room. And Alec, feeling lonely after Magnus looked around their bedroom rigidly, looking out of place in his chagrin. Alec had regrettably let himself hope that maybe the room they spend the last four and a half years of their lives in, will bring back at a few his memories, but no such luck.

“Alec,” Izzy called out, taking the hot soup out of the microwave and pulling off the mitts, “how’s he?”

“He’s good. He’s healing. He’ll be fine.” Alec stated, mechanically walking towards the cabinets to get a bowl out.

“How are you? How are things between you two?” Izzy asked as she leaned on the countertop. Alec didn’t even know what to answer to that. The truth was there was nothing between the two of them. Alec was still madly in love with Magnus, and for Magnus, Alec was nothing but a stranger.

Izzy just pulled him into a one-armed hug when Alec didn’t reply, instead focusing on pouring the soup into the bowl.

“Alec, if anyone can overcome this, it’s you and Magnus,” she said, looking at him. Alec tried not to break down by concentrating on the bowl of soup instead.

“Can you take this up to him? I need to change out clothes, and clean up the guest room.” Alec spoke up, pushing the bowl towards Izzy before promptly walking out of the room.

With a sigh, Izzy took it upstairs. Magnus was sitting straight on the bed, facing away from the door to stare at all the photographs on the wall. Izzy recognized Magnus’s current favorite book open beside him. Not wanting to invade into his moment, she quietly walked back out and knocked on the door.

“You didn’t have to knock, Ale- Isabelle!” Magnus exclaimed as he turned to face her. Izzy could feel Magnus's apprehension clear as day when he saw her.

“Hey, got you food,” Izzy spoke up, holding the tray a bit higher before placing it on the bedside table.

“Thank you, darling. Where’s Alec? Is he okay?” Magnus asked, not being able to keep the worry away. He never wanted anyone to end up hurt because of him.

“He’ll be okay.” Izzy spoke up, sitting down beside Magnus before opening the legs of the breakfast tray and placing it on the bed closer to Magnus.

“You look like you are trying your best to hold yourself back from speaking.” Magnus spoke up, blowing on the soup before swallowing it, “This is wonderful, did you make it?”

“Not at all, mom sent it over for you. I was in charge of heating it.” Izzy replied with a smile, which immediately fell off as she heard something being knocked over in a room close by, and Alec cursing loudly immediately after, “Magnus… I know my brother, he would never talk about his problems, always putting others in front of his own happiness. You were the only person who called him out on it and made him focus on himself first. And we all could see the difference it made. He was happier than he’d ever been after he met you. And so were you, your smiles seemed so much brighter after Alec came into your life.”

Magnus intently listened to every word Izzy was saying, her eyes glistening with tears.

After a long exhale Izzy continued, “I’m saying all this because I don’t want you to give up. He wouldn’t survive losing you. I can see that fear in his eyes. I know you’ve got your own problems to deal with now. But, don’t let go.”

“Isabelle, I was never planning on letting go without a fight. I will keep an eye on him too, don’t you worry.” Magnus answered, pushing away the tray to give her a one-armed hug.

“Thank you, Magnus. I should check on Alec. Finish your soup before it gets too cold.” Izzy stated with a smile, as she walked out of the room closing the door behind her.

Magnus let out a deep sigh as he leaned on the headboard, the tray pushed away as he lost his appetite. The itching in his cast distracted him for a while until his thoughts were back on his mess of a life. Magnus isn’t sure he knows how to let himself love anymore. He is still healing from his last relationship, and all he can remember is Dorothea helping him through it, and all he sees is her smiling face and sympathetic talks. Magnus was never good at plucking someone out of his heart.

The knock on the door and Alec’s reluctant voice was what brought him out of his own thoughts. The fake smile on his face, and the red, puffy eyes leaving Magnus more guilty on thinking about Dot instead of trying to remember everything that they built together.

“The whole family is going to be over for dinner,” Alec said, walking in the room. “They’ll be here after five.”

“Oh? Will there be someone I don’t know?” Magnus asked, sitting straight up to check the time on the table clock resting on the desk, it was almost five, Magnus hadn’t realized he was lying and overthinking for more than two hours.

“I guess you might not know Jace. He’s my adoptive brother.”

“Isn’t he Clary Fairchild’s boyfriend?” Magnus asked, having heard that name before from the very young art teacher, who seemed enamored by Jace.

“Oh, I forgot you knew Clary longer than us. Yeah, they used to date back then.”

“They broke up?! I should've known.”

“Well, I have to give her a hats-off on handling my brother for an entire year. No one's ever managed that before." Alec said as he walked closer to take away the soup, "You didn’t even finish half of it.”

“Sorry, I wasn’t hungry and got distracted. I can just finish it now.”

“No, no, it's okay. It’s gone really cold, the taste will be horrible. We are having dinner soon anyways. You can have a little bit more chewable food.” Alec stated with a smile as he held himself back at the door.

“That’s such wonderful news, Alexander! Let me just freshen up.” Magnus replied as he slowly got to stand up. He needs at least one of his body part to start healing soon, preferably his legs.

“Oh alright, I’ll just ask Izzy to take these down.” Alec said, moving to keep the tray on the desk near the windows.

“Izzy! Could you get this tray back to the kitchen?” He shouted, hoping Izzy is close by and hadn’t gone out to the backyard yet.

“It's alright, I got it. Could you just get me a shirt? It’s barely ethical to walk bare chest into a dinner.”

“I don’t think you have any loose shirts, Magnus. You’ll need to put on something without an arm.” Alec said, a few minutes after he opened the closet door and walked inside. “I found a hoodie!”

From where Magnus was standing he could see Alec’s smile, and his wistful teariness as he stood inside the closet, “You okay, Alec?”

“Yeah, I’m fine,” Alec answered with a jump, walking out to leave the hoodie on the bed. “Do you want to take a bath or..?”

“I was just planning on washing my face and getting into a shirt,” Magnus spoke up, removing the vast distance between them. Standing at arm’s length, he asked again, “Alec, what’s wrong?”

“Nothing, I was just thinking about the last time I actually walked in there.” Magnus waited for Alec to continue speaking, with a quiet groan he did, “we were already late, but you insisted on having, in your own words, ‘a little fun’ because apparently, I looked absolutely ravishing.”

“I have to agree, that absolutely sounds like me.” Magnus replied with a chuckle, but the feeling of listening in on someone else’s stories kept getting stronger.

“I pushed you away because we were already going to miss the first few minutes of our classes. You begged me to stay home for the day, but I ended up dragging you out of the house. If I had just listened to you and stayed home like I badly wanted to, this wouldn’t have happened.”

“You can’t do that to yourself, Alec. If you are looking to blame yourself, there will always be a million ways to do that. It wasn’t one small thing that led to all this. Insignificant details, about us, about the kid, it all came together at one unfortunate moment. This isn’t any of our faults, it isn’t even that child’s fault. We don’t know what drove him to get drunk.”

“Maybe he was my student.” Alec spoke up, a smile gracing his face as he argued back, just for a moment feeling comfortable in his skin.

“Or maybe he was mine.” Magnus retorted with a smirk.

Alec couldn’t hold in his chuckle, happy to finally have a conversation that didn’t seem alien and wasn’t laced with crudeness. Magnus chuckled along with Alec, at that moment he could see why he fell in love with him. It seems almost impossible to not love Alexander Lightwood.

When Izzy walked into the room, she wasn’t expecting to see them standing close with bright smiles on their faces. She was about to quietly run out, not wanting to disturb and have them go back to the awkwardness. But, the timing of her family was impeccable while being absolutely poor. Precisely at five, the doorbell rang, echoing throughout the house, knocking Magnus and Alec out of their bubble and bringing a sheepish looking Izzy into their view.

“Just came to get the tray. I’ll go and let them in, you guys continue talking or whatever.” Izzy sputtered, before snatching the tray and jogging out. Alec could see the soup splashing around and falling onto the expensive tray.

“Why don’t you help me with wearing this hoodie? You can go downstairs after that, I’ll join after washing up a bit.” Magnus spoke up, planning on ignoring the distance that came back between them.

“How will you get down the stairs?!” Alec exclaimed with a raised eyebrow, trying to hide away the anger that hit him out of nowhere as the reality came rushing back.

“I’ll call you.” Magnus insisted, he needed some space, and he really hopes Alec follows his clues.

With a grim nod, Alec walked behind Magnus to remove the sling and to slowly help him wear the hoodie without disturbing his arm or his chest much.

“Thank you. I’ll let you know when I’m ready to come down.” Magnus stated after Alec zipped up the hoodie for him and tightened the sling once again.

When Alec walked out of the room, Magnus limped towards the bathroom. He didn’t really want to face his reflection, not desiring to see the differences or imperfections. But as Magnus walked towards the sink, the huge mirror seemed to be mocking him. He wanted to close his eyes, just to be stubborn, but it definitely isn’t worth falling over or stubbing his toe. He has to be careful if he wants to get full mobility before the next checkup.

“You look like death warmed over, Bane.” Magnus stated as he finally gathered enough courage to walk in front of the mirror and look at himself.

There was a fading bruise on his cheek, his eyes seemed sunken in and surrounded by dark circles, he could see the stitches on the side of his head, a chunk of hair on that portion shaved off. His beard definitely looks beyond terrible. At least Alec can pull it off, he just resembles a homeless man.

Shaking his head, he opened the cabinet in hopes of finding any face wash or cleanser, he would definitely need Alec’s help with shaving. Thankfully, he spotted a bottle, Magnus was about to pour some out when he noticed the wedding ring on his hand. His heart started beating out of control as he removed it from his hand, a hint of relief spreading through his being while a heaviness settled in. He couldn't even separate everything he felt as he stared at the ring placed on the countertop.

After he dried off his face on the hand towel, he went back to staring at the ring, not confident on whether to wear it or to leave it. He wasn’t sure what he wanted, a few minutes back he could’ve maybe left it there. But after the small talk with Alec, Magnus doesn’t have the heart to break him any further. He never wants to see that smile leave Alec's face.

“Did you die in here?” Catarina asked, walking into the bedroom startling Magnus, who was immersed in his own thoughts. The good thing was Magnus is currently used to expecting the chest pain along with the fear. Hence, he didn’t fall into a painful coughing fit.

“I was just about to come down.” He replied. The confusion from his thoughts finding its way into his voice.

“What’s bothering you?”

“I don’t know what to do. I don’t think I’ve ever been this chaotic. Do you have any professional advice for me?” Magnus asked as he walked out of the bathroom to join her.

“I have one friendly advice for you. Don’t shut Alec out. Trust me, he’s yours just as you are his.”

“That’s a very romantic sentiment,” Magnus replied dubiously, not expecting a cheesy sentence like that from Catarina.

“I’m just quoting you and Alec. But that should be enough to get you out of your insecurities. The life you have with Alec is blissful, don’t you dare to push it away like I can see you are planning to do.” Catarina stated with finality.

“I don’t know who I am. I don’t know how I fit in here.”

“You are the same person you’ve always been, just happier. And you’ll always fit in with Alec, with us.”

Magnus nodded with a smile, “shall we go downstairs?”

“Don’t ignore what I just said.”

“I won’t.”

As Magnus and Cat turned to walk out of the room, Alec came rushing in, muttering curses under his breath and a big stain on his shirt.

“What happened to you? Did you take a bath in Marinara?!” Cat exclaimed with a chuckle, startling Alec as pulled his shirt off. Magnus had a take a moment to appreciate the scene in front of him as Alec wiped off the sauce with the bunched up shirt.

“Jace happened. I was literally shouting that I was bringing out the huge bowl of pasta, but does he stop? No. He crashed into me as he was running from Simon for whatever reason, and the pasta ended up spilling all over me. Guess we have one less item for dinner.” Alec looked beyond angry at Jace, and Magnus had to admit to himself that he definitely knew how to pick his partners.

“Did you kill him? Please tell me you did.” Catarina replied with a smirk, her eyes occasionally flicking to Magnus blatantly staring at Alec just like he used to.

“Sadly, I can’t do that, since he is my brother. But I left him there to clean up the mess.” Alec replied with a smirk of his own.

“You do realize he’ll somehow get out of it, the girls down there adore him and Simon is usually scared of him.”

“I asked Raphael to make sure he cleans it up.”

“Have I ever told how much I adore you, Alec?”

“Only when I do something evil you approve off.”

“I never warmed up to Jace, but why exactly do we hate him?” Magnus asked, cutting into their conversation.

“No one hates him, we just don’t think he should get away with all the bad things he does.”

“No offense to you Alec, but your brother is obnoxious and sometimes needs to be put in his place.”

“None taken, you are absolutely right.”

“I usually am. Magnus, you too should keep that in mind.” It doesn't take a genius to figure out that she was talking about the conversation they had before Alec walked in. “We should go downstairs, after all, they mostly came to see Magnus here.”

“Give me a few minutes to change into another shirt.” Alec said before walking into the closet.

“Catarina’s got it, you should probably get a quick shower before coming down.” Magnus stated, slowly limping out of the room followed by Cat who was glaring at him.

“I probably should.” Alec replied, closing the door of the bathroom behind him.

He was a bit hurt that Magnus didn’t want to wait for him, but he definitely needed a quick rinse. Alec’s mood had significantly increased after talking to Luke and his mom downstairs, they were right, Magnus wouldn’t just desert him.

As he quickly dried off and put on his clothes his eyes caught on the familiar ring abandoned on the countertop. His heart stopped beating the moment he spotted the ring just lying around, not even properly stored away. Maybe they were all wrong, perhaps this could be where the story of Magnus and Alec ends. If Magnus has already given up, he’s sure no matter what he does, he’ll lose him.

Alec slowly sunk down on the ground, praying, wishing, hoping that this was just a mistake, Magnus didn’t actually leave it behind, that Magnus wouldn’t leave him behind.

Chapter Text

“Where did Alec disappear off to? He went to change a shirt, and he’s been up there for over thirty minutes.” Luke said, checking his watch as they all sat around in the living room drinking wine brought over by Luke and Maryse, waiting for Alec before starting dinner.

“He wanted to take a shower.” Magnus said, taking a sip of coffee. All of them had collectively glared at him when he tried to snatch a glass of wine earlier. Izzy feeling sorry, got him a cup of coffee instead and left another one on the table for Alec.

“I’ll go get him.” Jace spoke up as he kept his empty glass on the table. Alec strolled in right as Jace was about to stand up. Magnus couldn’t stop the concern that spread through him when he saw Alec’s worn down expression, he wasn’t the only one.

“Alec, are you feeling okay?” Maryse asked, turning back on the couch to face Alec.

“Yeah, I think all the sleepless nights are finally catching up with me.” He replied, a timid smile gracing his face when Izzy pointed towards the coffee mug.

“Let’s move this towards the dining table, dinner might have gone cold.” Luke spoke up, standing up and offering his hand to Maryse. Alec walked towards Magnus to help him stand. And for the first time since he woke up, Magnus could feel Alec’s absolute reluctance in being close to him.

“Hey, what’s wrong?” Magnus whispered as Alec stood beside him, holding on to his waist with a hand and letting Magnus pull himself on the other.

“Nothing's wrong. I’m good, just a bit tired.”

“Alec, what happened in there?” Magnus asked, Alec’s hand still holding his as they slowly walked towards the table that was set out in the ample dining space beside the kitchen, leading out to the backyard deck. Magnus could see the leaves falling as he walked towards the chair.

“Maybe we should talk later when it's just the two of us.” Alec replied as he pulled out a chair for Magnus and sat down beside him.

Magnus could feel Alec’s reservations as he sat down. But he remained silent, not knowing what exactly he’s supposed to do for the guy who’s unmistakably upset.

“Alright, everyone.” Luke spoke up, standing at the head of the table, the almost empty glass of wine in his hands, “Now that we are all here, Magnus, that was quite a scare you gave us, but I’m happy you are safe and now here with us. This family would never be complete without my good friend and favorite son-in-law.” Luke was interrupted by Simon’s groan, “To Magnus Bane, in whatever form.” he added with a wink.

Magnus smirked back with a wink, and for the first time since he woke up, he didn’t feel the need to crawl out of this skin, the sense of belonging taking away the pain and confusion. When he looked around the table, he realized it’s not just him who found a home. This was a group of random people, brought together by chance and have found a haven in that small circle, a family.

Magnus turned to look at Alec, just to see the smile he thought looked like stars in the sky, but instead, was met with an Alec staring into his plate, a perfect look of melancholy amidst the glee as the others knocked their glasses together.

“I’m just going to get a glass of water.” Alec stated all of a sudden, pushing his chair back as he strode into the kitchen. To Magnus’s shock, it was Raphael who walked out behind him. Things really have changed.

“Alec?!” Raphael called out when he saw him leaning on the kitchen sink as he filled up a glass. “What was that?!”

“I just, water.” Alec replied, holding up the glass of water as he turned around to face Raphael.

“No offense, but last time you looked this miserable, we were in the waiting room.”

“Well Magnus is fine, so are everyone we know. Don’t worry your brains out.”

“I don’t even know why I decided to like you.” Raphael said with a glare, leaning on the countertop as Alec raised an eyebrow at him, “you make it really difficult when you are brooding.”

“I’m sorry. How dare I inconvenience you?” Alec shot back with a glare of his own as he left the glass beside the sink, with a sigh he turned back to face Raphael, “I really am sorry.”

“Don’t be, you are a part of my family. You don’t have to be sorry, I’m just worried.”

“I’m just tired, both mentally and physically.” Alec said in a whisper, he just wants to go to bed, and sleep with dreams of being happy and no accidents.

“Hey,” Izzy said as she walked in the kitchen, “I really don’t think you have to worry Alec, out of us all, Magnus looked visibly worried when you walked out.”

“Out of pity.” Alec muttered bitterly, shoving his hand into the pocket of his jeans, he held Magnus’s ring tightly.

“Alec!” Izzy exclaimed, “maybe, maybe not. Talk to him, I don’t have to tell you this.”

“I was going to, after dinner. I have to.” Alec answered, turning his head to look out the window into the backyard, recalling the immense fun and the most random arguments and fights they had right there. He feels like he’s mourning and that’s making him feel worse since Magnus is relaxing in the other room, safe and happy.

“Alec, what happened?” Raphael insisted, tired of seeing him mope around.

With a sigh, Alec pulled out his fist from his pocket with the ring in his hand, “he has decided and didn’t have the courtesy to say it to my face.”

“Is that your wedding ring?! Where did you find it?!” Izzy exclaimed as she walked closer to Alec to take a look at the ring.

“On the bathroom countertop, he just left it there. I know he doesn’t know any better, but he’s completely aware of how much this means to me, how much he means to me. We even had a small moment in the bedroom earlier. I felt like I got my Magnus back for a while and then I see this!” Alec exclaimed deliriously, shoving the ring on their faces as he paced around the kitchen, holding back the tears with all his willpower.

“Maybe it was a mistake, he might not have even realized it.” Izzy suggested, staying away from Alec as he paced, feeling both worried about her brother and a bit scared of him.

“He was the one who suggested I take a shower, he led me to this, Iz. He meant it!” Alec muttered in anger, only to come to a sudden stop, “he meant it.”

“Alec, hey,” Raphael exclaimed as he walked closer to him and placed a hand on his shoulder, squeezing it for comfort, “just talk it out before making up scenarios in your head. Does the person you are now describing sound like even remotely like Magnus to you?!

“How should I know?! I haven’t met this Magnus, I wouldn’t meet Magnus for another five months if we are looking through his eyes!”

“Alec, for fuck's sake, calm the fuck down.” Raphael shouted, his voice heard distinctly by everyone still sitting at the table, worrying them even more than they already were. Magnus really wanted to check on Alec, a pull from deep within stopping him from relaxing as he heard the distress. He wishes he could either stand without someone's help or at least hear more clearly what they are saying.

Soon enough, three of them walked back and took their seats. Though everyone could feel the shift in the atmosphere, they just ignored it and dug into their food. Magnus glared at the boiled vegetables on his plate.

“Are you okay?” Magnus leaned towards Alec, whispering softly as everyone kept talking amongst themselves.

“I’m fine.” Alec drifted further as he said that, clearing his throat he turned to speak to Izzy sitting beside him.

“So, how’s the wedding planning coming along?”

“Alec! Not now!” he heard Raphael groan when he brought up the topic, “I’m not drunk enough for this.”

“Why? Are you jealous of me Raph?” Izzy winked at him, making him choke on the piece of chicken he was chewing.

“On the other hand Lightwood, I feel sorry for you.” Raphael retorted after taking a few sips of wine. Simon groaned loudly as everyone around the table laughed loudly.

“Why is this amusing?” Magnus asked Alec, mostly because he wanted to talk to him rather than know the cause.

“Simon and Raphael dated for about two years.” Alec answered between chuckles.

“He dated Raphael?! And now he’s engaged to Isabelle? That guy?” Magnus exclaimed loudly, pointing his fork at Simon, forgetting all table manners as he got caught off guard.

When everyone started laughing at him again making Simon push away his plate and rest his head on the table, “I’m happy my embarrassment is amusing.”

“You bet it is.” Clary giggled, sitting opposite Simon, she extended her hand to ruffle his hair as he groaned again.

“Not you too Fray! I hate you all.”

“Alright, that’s it! Knock it off and let him eat.” Maryse exclaimed, glaring at everyone still chuckling.

“How did that even play out?” Magnus asked, leaning closer to Alec, their arms brushing as he spoke.

“Long story short, Simon met Raphael when Clary brought him along one day to the bar. He immediately hit it off with Izzy, though they remained friends. Izzy was the one who helped him woo Raphael. In the end, they were a bit too different, so they broke up around the same time Izzy did with her girlfriend. And the rest is history.” Alec said, a sigh leaving him as he remembered the tension a few years back, with everyone dating the wrong person only to fall for someone else.

“It’s not like you both found each other on the first try!” Simon exclaimed, only to shut his mouth immediately.

A direct address to Alec and Magnus's relationship was evidently being dodged, not wanting to bring up any discomfort while trying to enjoy dinner. But once it was out there, it couldn’t be ignored any longer. Alec and Magnus immediately moved apart, everyone went completely quiet as they looked at their plate of food.

“No one said love is easy.” Maryse finally spoke up, looking at everyone sitting at the table.

“That it isn’t.” Magnus had to agree. If anything, he knows a thing or two about the hardships that come with falling in love.

“Alec, how long is your leave?” Maryse asked, wanting to keep the conversation flowing.

“I have to be back tomorrow. But, it might probably be a better idea if I get it extended until after the checkup.” Alec replied after swallowing his bite, "I'll have to go and get it extended, the principal isn't the biggest fan of us."

“That’s the smart choice.” Maryse answered before Magnus could object, “Magnus, you’ll need help.”

“You’re right. Thank you.” Magnus said with a hint of hesitation, somehow he’s aware that he’ll never win an argument when the mother and son team up. After that the conversation remained amongst themselves, Alec and Magnus went back to silence, neither enjoying the food instead focused on their bitter thoughts.

As soon as the dinner was over, everyone shuffled out of the house one by one, Jace was the first one to leave, followed immediately by Luke and Maryse.

“Call us if you need anything.” Maryse said as she hugged Alec.

“See you soon bro.” Jace said zipping up his jacket.

Luke gave a small pat on Magnus’s back, who was sitting on the couch, before walking out to join Jace, Alec, and Maryse in the foyer. Alec walked back into the room, shivering a bit after the cold wind.

“Jace’s my ride! Bye guys!” Clary loudly exclaimed out of nowhere and dashed out of the room cursing at Jace before he left.

“We should leave too.” Izzy spoke up after looking at Simon, she turned to face Alec, “unless you want me to stay the night?”

“No, no way. Go home Iz, you have deadlines coming up.” Alec stated with a slight shake of his head.

“I’ll join you guys, Cat has to be back at the hospital for the night shift.” Raphael stated as he too stood up along with Izzy.

“Alright then, come on. I’ll see you soon.” Izzy said, giving a hug to Alec and Magnus before walking out, followed by Simon who waved at them before jogging behind her.

“Take care Magnus, call me anytime you need anything.” Raphael said, leaning down to hug Magnus, “and don’t ever scare me like that again.”

“I will try not to.” Magnus replied with a soft chuckle.

“Alec, talk soon.” Raphael added, giving a pat on his back before walking out to join Izzy and Simon in their car.

Catarina left after a few more minutes giving a long hug to Magnus and a quick one to Alec before she said her farewells for the night.

“Then there were two.” Magnus spoke up softly, a bit of fear and uncertainty back in the room.

“Want to go up to our room?” Alec spluttered, nervousness making him realize what he said a bit late, he was too tired to go about correcting himself after that. He’s entitled to make little slips.

“I, yes, I would.” Magnus answered, getting himself ready to stand as Alec leaned down to help him up.

The closeness brought about tactlessness and relief, and Magnus still hasn’t figured out how those two emotions could ever co-exist. The walk and the slow climb towards the bedroom felt like hours amongst the chaotic thoughts and feelings. But amidst it all, Magnus couldn’t help but focus on Alec’s unease.

“What did you want to talk about?” Magnus asked as Alec knelt on the ground to remove Magnus’s shoes before helping him remove his hoodie and pants making Magnus a bit bashful, something he rarely felt.

“I…” Alec stood in front of Magnus as he tried to get comfortable on the bed, “It’s nothing, you must be tired. We’ll talk tomorrow.” he said, turning around to walk out of the room.

“Alec! No one can sleep with thoughts running rampant, and I can practically see you fuming. What’s wrong?”

“I don’t even know if you want to even try to remember me. Everything in your life is exactly the same, forgetting me doesn’t change a thing for you. I love you Magnus, and I’ll do anything for you. Anything. But I need to know what you want.” Alec spoke up after a few minutes of complete silence, tears glistened in his eyes as he looked at the framed pictures on the wall. When Magnus remained silent, Alec proceeded to walk out of the room with a shake of his head.

“Alec,” Magnus called out, “I’m sorry about all this, I truly am. I know I never tried to assure you. All this is too chaotic for me, I woke up yesterday afternoon, and all of a sudden I have a life I always dreamt off but instead of going through the motions, I was thrust right towards the middle of it all. I was and still am completely terrified of everything that is happening to me.”

Alec sniffled as he walked back into the room, leaning on the wall beside the door.

“Spending the evening with your, our family, I know I want to try and get it all back. But I’m going to need some time. I want to get used to everything. I want to get used to my own body Alec.” Magnus sat back up as he spoke, leaning against the headboard and patting the bed to have Alec sit down beside him, wanting to talk about everything before he loses his courage.

“And you are wrong about everything in my life being the same, it couldn’t be more different. Catarina finally has people who care about her to include her while planning family dinners. Raphael was able to open up about his asexuality enough to maintain a two-year long relationship with someone like Simon. Lucian is always wearing a smile on his face, and Maryse seemed so much more relaxed than she was the last time I met her, not to mention she actually likes me now. Isabelle looks so much happier and radiant. And you, you are a huge addition, one that I plan on getting back.”

Alec could only stare at Magnus dumbfounded as he kept talking, he didn’t expect to have any conversation this soon, let alone actually have Magnus opening up to him. He knows how hard it is for Magnus to show his vulnerability to anyone.

“I’ve never been part of a family like this Alec, a part of people who love me for who I am and accepts me wholeheartedly. I just want you to not let my problems bring you down, I don’t want you to be so guarded, I assure you that I’ll try my best. Now please tell me the reason for your sudden heartbreak.” Magnus asked with a worried smile as Alec kept staring at him with wonder in his eyes, which soon turned into a disenchanted feeling as he felt the ring in his pocket.

Alec took out the ring and walked forward to place it on the bedside table beside Magnus, “I found this laying beside the sink, and I thought... I thought you wanted me to find it rather than say it to my face.”

“Oh Alec, I must admit I was a bit doubtful on whether to put it back on, I might have stared at it for a while. But in the end, I had decided that I couldn't hurt you like that, and if these pictures are anything to go by, that decision will end up hurting me just as much.”

“So you weren’t planning on…?” Alec trailed off, it pained him to even talk about divorce.

“Not at all, not without a fight. I got distracted by Catarina, that’s all it was.” Magnus stated as he wore the ring back with a sheepish smile.

“Can I hug you?” Alec asked, hand fidgeting as he kept glancing at Magnus while waiting for the answer.

Instead of replying, Magnus held his arm out, “You don’t have to be tensed around me, Alec. Just give me some time to adjust, and I promise I’ll remember how much I loved you.”

“That’s enough. That’s all I wanted to know.” Alec spoke into Magnus’s shoulder, tears wetting his bare skin. Once he held him close, Alec really didn’t want to let go, but after a few more moments he stood up.

“Goodnight Magnus.” He said as he switched off the bedside lamp and walked out of the room with a smile, closing the door behind him to a sleepy, “Goodnight Alexander.”

 

Chapter Text

“Mr. Bane, please, have a seat,” Dr. Morgenstern called out as Magnus entered the room, “so, do tell me, what brings you here?”

“I’m pretty sure you’ve been briefed,” Magnus replied, really not understanding why he agreed on seeing a psychiatrist this early in his diagnosis.

“Yes, I’ve been told your physical status, the contusions on your brain has healed rather well, which is why your neurosurgeon suggested therapy. But what I don’t know is your mental status.”

“I’m just fine.”

“I find that pretty hard to believe Mr. Bane.” Dr. Morgenstern replied, leaning closer towards her table, “you’ve survived what would’ve been a fatal accident. I’m sure it has created some sort of new unrecognizable thoughts in you.”

“Not much, I’m currently just concerned about not remembering what to teach my class when I go back to work. So, I’d just like to know is there a way I can speed up my recovery? Maybe hypnosis?”

“Hypnosis might help, or it will worsen your block, it'll be better to not take that risk. We will try to let you recover on your own.” She replied with a smile and a quick scribble on the notes.

“How can it get any worse? I can’t remember my own husband.” Magnus stated, trying to sound nonchalant as opposed to him screaming in frustration.

“Why don’t we talk about that? You both spend the whole week together. How was that for you?”

Magnus sat back with a sigh at her question. He’d agreed to this in hopes of speeding it along. He has survived a lot without the help of therapists, he doesn’t need one now.

“Magnus, it’ll help you arrange your thoughts if you speak up.”

“I am aware.” He replied with a forced smile. Magnus is wholly aware of that, he just doesn’t think it should be with a stranger.

“So, how’s Alec Lightwood?”

“He is undoubtedly something. It is an extraordinary feeling, being around him.” Magnus stopped suddenly, he couldn’t talk about Alec without feeling remarkably guilty about his thoughts regarding the guy, but as Jocelyn remained silent, Magnus forced himself to continue.

“I asked him to give me some space because every time I see him, my thoughts keep clashing with my emotions. I feel like I’m being torn apart on the inside by all the contradictions.”

“How’s that detachment working out for you?”

“We still spend a lot of time around each other. It was only around Sunday that I could start walking around on my own without help. Till then, I was very dependent on him. But now, I can do pretty much anything on my own.”

“So, you’ll isolate yourself further?”

“Not isolating, just distancing a bit. I can’t give Alec what he wants until I figure out who I am. And I’m sure he’s aware of that too.”

“And everyone knows about your condition?”

“Just close friends and family.”

“What about your colleagues and students?”

“They aren’t going to know about this. I don’t want to feed the rumor mill more.” The more questions she kept asking, the antsier Magnus got, “Well, I should leave. Thank you for your time.”

“This soon?”

“Yes, I just came here to see if we can do something to trigger my memories, but if talking is all that’ll help, I’ll figure it out.”

“I was warned that you are a very proud man when it comes to accepting help.”

“On the contrary, I just know when and where I should seek help.” Magnus stated, standing up from the chair.

He walked out of the room flashing a smile back at the psychiatrist. He never was the biggest fan of Jocelyn Morgenstern, something about her never sat right with him.

“Done so soon?” Alec asked, standing up and keeping his phone back in his pocket as soon as he saw Magnus walking towards him.

“Yes, there isn’t much we can do here.” Magnus answered, wearing his jacket he'd left with Alec “shall we go back home now?”

Alec checked his phone for the time, after a bit of faltering he spoke up, “should we get an early lunch before we go home?”

“I’d like that.” Magnus added with a smile, though he could feel his skin crawl from his blatant lie. Either Alec didn’t notice his reluctance, or he just decided to let it go because he just returned Magnus’s smile and walked ahead.

With a deep exhale, Magnus followed him with slower steps, not wanting to be beside Alec. Despite their talk last week, they couldn’t have been anymore distant. Alec had kept his promise of giving Magnus time, but Magnus isn’t entirely sure he is keeping his. It’s not for the lack of trying, he isn't even sure how many hours he spent staring at the pictures and looking around the house in hopes of a sliver of feeling, maybe to recall a blink of that smile he never did see again. But it was all to no avail, he only picked up frustrations the harder he tried.

As Alec started the car, Magnus had to stop himself from drowning in tiredness. He has always been good at being alone, he loves the silence just as much as he hates the thoughts that bubble up in it. But sharing that silence with Alec was somehow even more suffocating. They rarely conversed on anything other than mundane topics. Even when Alec would be sitting beside the bathtub while Magnus tried to take a bath, they’d still be in two separate worlds. They have yet to figure out, how to merge the two worlds. And Magnus isn’t sure if that’s even possible.

If there's one thing Magnus hates the most, it's sitting around thinking about how hard it all is, and he’s spend enough time observing the way Alec behaves to realize that he too is someone who likes to find solutions, no matter how dire the problems may seem. And between the two of them, it shouldn’t be too hard to work out an answer for his predicament. They really need to have a talk, and as they slowly entered a cafe that Magnus recognized from one of the pictures on the wall, he realized it might actually be the perfect time for that talk.

“Get us a seat? I’ll buy some food.” Alec asked, turning to face him.

He just replied with a smile and a nod before Alec walked away. Magnus can’t even blame Alec for the quick steps he took to get away from the suffocation.

He looked around until he found a place to sit towards a corner and immediately walked ahead to occupy the seat. There was still a bit of pull whenever he tried to walk faster than usual, but mostly, he's thankful for the ribs that have stopped throbbing every time he tried to breathe. He was thinking about what to say to Alec while removing his jacket when Alec walked towards him.

“I got us two sandwiches and a green salad. Do you maybe want something else?” Alec asked as he slid into the chair opposite Magnus, draping his jacket on the back of it.

“No, that’s fine. Did you-”

“I got you a bottle of water for the pills, don’t worry about it.” Alec cut him off as he removed one tissue from the stand and started picking it apart. Magnus wanted to snatch it away from Alec as they waited for the food, but instead, he focused on the streets.

Magnus has been staying in this small town for a few years from what he can recall. This was where Catarina grew up, and he fell in love with every nuance of this town, when he visited her one summer. He wishes he could remember every sweet memory this picture perfect place gave him, rather than all the anguish he strives to forget.

Alec let out a little sigh when he saw the state of the table, littered with bits of tissue. He cleaned it out gritting his teeth, angry at himself for creating a mess. As he looked up at Magnus, he saw the same solemn and distant look Magnus has been spotting for the past week. Every time he sees that expression, he can’t help the stabbing pain deep in his guts.

“Mr. Bane? Mr. Lightwood!” He heard someone call them out, making his heart beat faster, not desiring any more discomfort. He feels like it’ll be evident that they are no longer the happy couple everyone knows.

As Alec turned around, he saw Magnus jumping slightly at the loud call of his name. He met Magnus’s eyes for a moment, both in a silent agreement to act the couple they are supposed to be.

“Jon?” Alec said as soon as the teenager came to their view, wanting to let Magnus know the kid’s name.

“Mr. Bane! How are you doing? A few of us tried to visit you when you were in the hospital, but they didn’t let any of us in.”

“I’m doing good.” Magnus replied with a smile. Alec couldn’t help but focus on that, the way Magnus acts with everyone except him is still the same, he needs that familiarity if he wants to survive.  

“What are you doing out of school?” Alec scolded, just to have a distraction from the bitterness slowly spreading throughout his thoughts.

“Uhh… I… I’m sick?” Jon replied, with a sheepish smile that had Magnus laughing out loud, even Alec couldn’t stop his chuckles at that, “On Wednesdays, I only have both of your classes and gym. I hate the PE teacher, and the subs who are there instead of you makes me regret my decision to choose history and economics.”

“Well, we’ll be back tomorrow kid.” Magnus said between his chuckles, a content smile on his face that Alec most definitely missed. He tried to get it ingrained in his memories, not knowing when he’ll be able to see it again up close. He’s beyond tired of seeing just his melancholy and forced smiles.

“Really?” Jon asked, looking at Alec and Magnus with wide eyes and a huge smile, “that’s so great! Are you well enough for that? You still have an arm cast.”

“I’m sure I’ll be able to teach without my left hand.” Magnus stated with a smile.

“Can I share this news with my friends?!” He asked, excitement clouding his voice, “will you still be coaching our play?”

“Don’t tell anyone yet.” Alec stated before Magnus spoke up.

“About the play, let me see how I fare the school day tomorrow, I’ll decide after that.”

“Alright!” he replied, the waitress brought over their order as he spoke, “I’ll leave you guys alone now.”

“Take care, go home and study.” Alec said as Jon slowly began to walk back.

“Yes, sir.” He said, before running out of the cafe with a wave, not even getting the coffee he came in for.

“He’s one of our favorite students.” Alec stated with a wink, making Magnus’s heart skip a beat at that.

“It’s not good to have favorites, Alexander.” Magnus replied with a smirk, as soon as he got his thoughts back in order.

“I said ours. That includes you too, Magnus.” Alec stated, before taking out Magnus’s pills he had shoved in his jacket.

Magnus hummed, a smile still on his face as he swallowed a pill. “Did we use to quip like this a lot?”

“Enough. We are a very…” Alec stated, his eyes on the salad as he tried to find a single word, till he settled with, “very vocal couple.”

“Vocal?”

“Vocal.”

“How did we meet? Tell me the story.” Magnus asked suddenly, wanting to know the miracles that happened for them to be together.

“When I was in high school, all my teachers were terrible at their job, so I had decided that once I finish my studies, I’ll apply here. But it took a while before there was a job opening. You had moved here five years before I moved back. Mom had started dating Luke by then, and he is the one who asked you to help me navigate through the school.”

“And the rest is history?” Magnus asked, a pain settling in as he came up with a blank memory while Alec has the most nostalgic smile on his face.

“Pretty much, I was gone for you from the moment I saw you.” Alec said, his smile falling off completely, “It’s weird talking about our life to you.”

“It’s weird not having a picture in your mind as you hear your own memories. I’d kill to know what were my thoughts when I saw you for the first time.”

“You don’t have to kill for that, what were your thoughts when you saw me after you woke up?”

“I wasn’t really thinking much Alec.” Magnus replied, though in his mind he was trying to recall the exact thought he had.

When he woke up, the pain was horrible, but when he saw a glimpse of Alec as he walked out, Magnus was sure that he had died and gone to heaven because the guy who left was so much more beautiful than an angel.

Both of them, remained quiet for a while after that, marinating in their own thoughts of hopelessness and resentment.

“You don’t have to rush back to work, take another week off.” Alec suggested, hating the silence filled with only slow jazz music. They were never this quiet, not even in the past week when they’d at least try to fill in the silence with random topics, from weather to plants to work, whatever they can grasp as soon as a discomfort sets in.

“It’s better than sitting at the house all day with nothing to do. Maybe going back to familiar surroundings might help me.” Magnus shrugged as he said that, a bit hopeful in his theory.

“Sure.” Alec replied with a forced smile, he didn’t share Magnus’s optimism, still very much worried that he could easily lose Magnus.

Alec's terrified of Magnus falling back into his old life, a life which didn’t have a trace of him. He’s terrified that if Magnus found comfort in his job, he'd go searching for everything he held dear back then. And Alec is sure that he wouldn't be able to endure watching Magnus in love with someone else. He is petrified that he isn’t going to be good enough for Magnus Bane this time around.

Across the table, Magnus was pretty much in the same boat as Alec, the fear of not being good enough isn’t something that is new for Magnus. And he’s almost sure that for Alec, he is currently nothing but a dead weight. And he’s not even sure whether he wants to do something about any of this. Or to just let it all go and move far away. He’s not losing anything. He needs to go back to his job, only to find some comfort and not feel so out of place with every breath.

Chapter Text

Other than a distant feeling of terror, Magnus can’t recall what exactly woke him up drenched in cold sweat. He was trying his best to go back to sleep when he saw the time, just a little after four in the morning. With a sigh, he switched on the bedside lamp, Alec had asked him to set the alarm for seven, and that gave him almost three hours to wake up.

Magnus slowly got out of bed and walked towards the bathroom, planning on getting a bit refreshed before maybe familiarising himself with the classes he has to take today. Thankfully, his job hasn’t changed a bit, it’s the same old curriculum and the same old school. There was an excitement about having something so beloved to him remain the same amidst the strangeness, and nothing could dampen that.

After freshening up, he tiptoed out of the bedroom, towards the extra room at the corner they use as a home office. As he passed in front of the room Alec was sleeping in, he moved closer to it, maybe just to check on him. With a shake of his head, he walked ahead, looking in on a sleeping guy is in a level of creepiness he doesn't ever want to indulge in. The office door opened with a slight hesitation, the sound echoing through the hallway amidst the early morning eeriness. Magnus waited a few seconds to see if that woke Alec up, but when he found no response, he walked in.

It wasn’t the first time Magnus saw the room. Before this, Alec was standing right beside him, and he didn’t get enough time to look around before he had to walk out. Alec wanting to show him around the house before losing his calm. Magnus honestly does feel bad for the guy, he doesn't think he would’ve survived having to show his own husband around the house as if he was just a guest. So this definitely is the first time he got to sit down on the reading nook by the huge bay windows facing the backyard, he's been wanting to do that since he saw this room last week.

His broken arm gave a twinge of pain as he walked towards the table to search for his notes, Alec did tell him that he’ll find it there. As he looked through the contents of the desk, he couldn’t help but get his laptop instead. Settling down in the nook, he started it up, he had already used Alec’s laptop enough to be familiar with the working of the new software.

As it started up, Magnus could feel his palm sweating, there was a reason he had put off on opening his own computer. He didn’t need another reminder of how perfect his life used to be. Magnus regretted his decision almost immediately after seeing Alec’s and his smiling face. He could feel the strain of all this settling back in, adding to the torture of ignoring the folders clearly containing all their photographs and videos.

He wanted to change the background but couldn’t bring himself to do so. He doesn’t think he has ever looked that happy as he does in that picture.

“It was taken a few weeks before the accident, on our anniversary,” Magnus was startled as he heard Alec’s voice without catching him walk in, “sorry, the light was on, so I thought I’d see if everything was okay.”

“I’m fine, Alec. Go back to sleep.” Magnus replied with a smile, it’s not that he hates spending time with Alec, he just hates the paradoxical feeling he gets.

“I’m not really tired anymore. You should sleep though, it’s better to have good night’s sleep during your healing.” Alec stated as he sat down on the chair, turning it to face Magnus.

“I had a good night’s sleep.” Magnus replied, holding the laptop closer as he turned to look back at the screen, “anniversary huh?”

“Yes, fourth to be exact.”

“A fall wedding was always what I wanted.”

“Me too.” Alec said, his face turned away. However, Magnus couldn’t take his eyes off of him.

“Really?” Magnus insisted, wanting to get him to talk some more about it.

Alec turned back to face Magnus, his expectant eyes had Alec sputtering everything out, “I’ve always loved the way fall played with all my senses, so I wanted the happiest day of my life to be elevated by the beauty of nature itself. On our second date, we went on a walk through the park near your apartment, it was right in the middle of fall. It was those little things that brought us closer.”

Both of them, looked out the window after Alec finished speaking, the snow finally sticking to the ground making them feel even more embittered about this cruel turn of fate.

“Give me your laptop, I should probably tell you the names of those kids again.” Alec spoke up after a few minutes of silence.

“I remember them. Or do you want to quiz me now?” Magnus asked with a raised eyebrow and a quite hidden smile.

“No…” Alec replied slowly, he had to control himself from sticking his tongue out at Magnus’s teasing tone, “what’s the time?”

“Ten minutes to five, are you sure you don’t want to go back to sleep?”

“Not a bit sleepy.” Alec stated, letting out a yawn as he stood up to look through the large number of books they have shoved into the bookcase, knowing there are few he hasn’t yet read.

“Give me one of the books I loved the past year.” Magnus said as he stared at Alec’s every moment, and every expression. He doesn’t understand how someone can seem so stoic and at the same time so very expressive. Alec turned around for a moment, searching for something, looking directly at Magnus. He turned to look back at the bookcase almost immediately and pulled out two books with a soft exhale.

“Here,” Alec passed a book to Magnus before sitting down opposite from him, the book he got for himself left on the side as he got under the blanket that was neatly folded at the foot. Magnus is pretty sure Alec’s not aware of what he’s doing at the moment because for the past week he’s gotten more space than he’d asked for.

Ignoring the way, Alec’s cold foot was touching his elbow, Magnus pulled on the blanket until it covered the entirety of Alec’s feet and pulled it over his own leg after a few seconds of consideration.

“Arundhati Roy?!” Magnus exclaimed, happiness clouding his bewilderment as he read the title, "The ministry of utmost happiness."

“Yes, she finally released another book last year.” Alec said, opening his own book that Magnus was too busy fawning over his to notice, “I had no idea you loved her until you woke me up in the middle of the night exclaiming how she’s releasing a new book after twenty years.”

“Why was I even awake?”

“Grading papers, though it’s obvious you got very distracted.” Alec chuckled a bit as he said that.

“Did I like it?” Magnus asked, pointing towards the book as he turned to the back cover.

“I’d say so, especially given the number of nights we stayed up with you giving me detailed versions of your opinions on different parts of the book.”

“At least there is one small upside to my memory loss, I can appreciate all the things I’ve fallen in love with, all over again.” Magnus stated with a little smile as he gazed lovingly at the book, realizing what he said after a few long seconds of stillness.

Alec remained calm, wanting to know if Magnus will somehow try to backpedal from the heavy meaning of those words, but instead, he looked up straight into Alec’s eyes and said, “I mean it.”

Those were the three words that Alec needed right then, the heaviness he had carried within himself disappearing along with Magnus’s resolute expression.

“Thank you.” Alec breathed out, a bit shaky as he spoke. Magnus smiled at him, knowing this moment is for Alec, not for him.

They dove into their books after that, a feeling of ease surrounding them after an entire week of non-stop discomfiture. The closeness was wholly forgotten by them until Alec moved his feet a bit too hard and almost hit Magnus on his stomach, ”Oh god, was that your ribs?! Did it hurt?!” Alec jumped up straight, his book thrown to the corner as he stood up.

“No. I’m fine, It was just my hand. My good hand.” Magnus chuckled as Alec fussed over him, looking like he committed a heinous crime, “I’m fine, sit back down and enjoy your book.”

“You don’t mind me sitting here, do you? I wasn't actually thinking about it. I should've asked.” Alec said as he sat back down, waiting for Magnus's confirmation before settling in again.  

“I would’ve let you know if I had any problem with it.” Magnus replied as he went back to the novel. From the corner of his eyes, he could see the snow falling, slowly wrapping the dried up branches beside the window. Alec was focused entirely on the book in his hands, his expressions were freely falling as he lost himself in the book. All Magnus could think was the bright smiles, and just hope that this time around winter was going to be their lucky charm.

Alec’s pretty sure he’s read the same line more times than he can count. After a few more tries, he closed his book and stared out the window instead. He couldn’t make anything out other than the big branch that extends all the way to their window, the snow sticking to it as it slowly swung in the wind.

“We should cut off that branch.” Alec quietly muttered as the wind made the branch continuously scrape the window.

“Just break off a few closer to the glass.” Magnus replied, looking up from his book for the moment.

“I hadn’t realized you were listening. Liking the book so far?”

“Are you sure I’d liked it before?” Magnus finally asked, keeping the book on his lap, a finger still hooked in between the pages.

“Yes, you loved it.” Alec answered slowly, his confusion very clear as he spoke.

“I’m not sure I like it.” Magnus replied with a hint of hesitation in his voice.

Alec couldn't even correctly convey his shock as he recalled how much Magnus had loved it last year. He could only wonder how can Magnus just not like it anymore? The weight that had disappeared for a while coming back in full power as he accepted the reality of it all.

Magnus was trying so hard to love this book, it was by one of his favorite authors. He’d been waiting for a new release of hers for a very long time. But no matter how much he wished, the book just doesn't seem very inviting. He couldn’t even read it anymore, scared of what it actually means in the bigger picture. He felt a need to apologize to Alec but held it in, not wanting to alarm Alec. He just has to try harder. He opened the book again, forcing himself to concentrate on what might’ve drawn him to it last time. He just has to keep trying.

Chapter Text

His sweaty palms took him back to his very first-day teaching, back when his was still an assistant and had to stand in front of kids, not that much younger than him but wilder than he remembers being. He very clearly remembers the quiet laughs and snide whispers that kept reaching him as he tried to talk about the opium wars.

Currently, Magnus desperately wanted to open the windows as the kids started pouring in for the very first class of the day. He figures they’d make a funny view for an outsider looking in, most of the kids ready to fall asleep and the teacher looking as if he’d like to be anywhere but the class. Magnus adores the attention he receives from his students, sometimes he even thrives in it. But right now, as the kids looked at him with varying emotions, from shock to pity to annoyance, all he wanted was to run to his old apartment, his haven.

“You can do this.” he whispered to himself before walking ahead to stand in front of his desk, trying his best to force a smile onto his face as he addressed the kids, “I noticed a few projects are still missing, so please submit them before you leave the class.”

“Mr. Bane?” A girl sitting in the front row tried to get his attention, she’s one of the kids with pity clouding her expression, “are you sure you’re well enough to be teaching?”

He thought he was, but right now, he’s far from being well enough, “Wouldn’t be here if I wasn’t.” he said instead.

“When we saw Mr. Lightwood earlier, we thought it might just be because you are getting better. We didn’t expect you to be back yet.” Another boy spoke up.

“Well I am, and I’ll be needing all your projects. Tomorrow, we’ll be doing a quiz on all the chapters, starting from the ones I left you with.” Magnus stated, he was good at faking when he has to, especially so in front of teenagers, “let’s finish the remainder of the chapter. If you’ve got any doubts, you can ask after we're done with Imperial Germany.”

The more he interacted with the class, the less confined the room felt. The nervousness he felt as he waited to start the class felt silly as he talked about the exact same topic he remembers. The familiarity making him feel as if he’s finally waking up after a too long nap, and following the whirlwind of the week he had, it felt almost refreshing. As he tried to clarify the doubts, shouting over the loud voices to answer the questions, he finally realized that he still had complete control over his life. Amidst the chaos of the last few minutes, Magnus didn’t have the heart to quiet down the class, the loud laughs and arguments making him happy, making him believe maybe he does belong in the life he woke up to.  

Alec was sitting in his classroom with a rare free period to enjoy, not that he could. He hasn’t been able to enjoy anything for the past month. He really needs a break from it all, but he can’t bring himself to do that. The unfounded fear of losing Magnus keeping him a slave to his own house and thoughts. Getting beyond tired of thinking and rethinking, Alec took out his phone, wanting to talk to Maia, she’s the only person he knows that isn’t ruled by emotions.

“Hey! This is a surprise.” Maia’s distracted voice greeted him as soon as the call went through.

“You did say that I’ll be able to reach you anytime today.” Alec stated with a sigh, walking forward to stare out the window, “how’s the research going?”

“Not nearly done, though the team leader suggested taking a few weeks of break, it’s almost impossible to continue with it during mid-winter. And I miss my girlfriend too much to argue against that. So most likely I’ll be back in a week or two.”

“That’s great. We all miss you here.”

“I’m sure Magnus doesn’t.” Maia spoke up, hesitant about bringing up that topic but wanting to make Alec talk about it nonetheless.

“Maia, not now. I have class soon.” Alec answered, checking the time to see little over five minutes remaining till the bell.

“I don’t care, Alec, you need to talk. You can’t keep bottling things up and wait around with it all until Magnus gets his memories back.”

“If he gets it back.” Alec replied, lowering his voice down by a lot, not wanting to have anyone walking by learning about this.

“Alec…”

“Maia, not now, I’ll call you later. We can talk then.”

“I know you won’t, you can not fool me with this.”

“I promise I will.” Alec stated, and Maia could easily discern the finality in his sentence, so she let it go when he blatantly changed the subject, “Did you hear Jace is moving away? He got that job he’s been dying for in new york.”

“As the trainer?”

“Yes. He’s somehow got us all stuck with helping him pack this weekend.”

“Tomorrow you mean?!” Maia exclaimed with a loud laugh, Alec only groaned as his reply, “Man up Alec, and help your brother move far away from me.”

“I'll need a drink or ten if I have to survive all this. Do you think it’s okay for me to leave Magnus alone?” He whispered into the phone, eyes focused on the small window in the closed door.

“Please do, let him have some alone time. Don’t you worry about it, nothing can drive you both apart, Alec. And if I know anything about the two of you, I know you’ll make it through this and be even stronger at the end.”

“What if this time we don’t?”

“You can’t think like that, Magnus wouldn’t want you to. You know how much he’ll slave away tirelessly just to make everything right. He’s too good of a guy, you both are, and that's why I know you’ll be alright and you’ll find a way.”

“I hope so.”

“I have to go now. Please do call me. We need to talk, properly.”

“Can’t it wait until you are here? We can talk over a coffee.”

“We’ll do that and talk now. Or else I’m sending Simon your way.”

“I’ll call you.” As much as he loves the guy, he doesn't want Simon to keep grilling him over this, not to mention Simon's just as close with Magnus as he’s with him.

“You better. Take care.”

“You too.” Alec said with a sigh. He left his phone on his table and walked towards the window to take a few deep breaths.

The bell rang almost immediately, as much as his materials are ready for the next class, mentally he was the furthest from it. He had half a mind to just make them all read or give out some assignments. Sadly, his morals are too good for him to do that. As the class slowly filled up with at least half the students from his roster, he started the last class before the lunch hour.

He tried to keep his mind clear like he did earlier with another group of kids, trying to just focus on the chapter he’s teaching rather than the loud voices inside his head. But, when the bell for lunch finally rang, he didn’t even try to stop the kids who were already on their feet. He was feeling just as restless.

Magnus was putting away the papers and the markers when Alec walked into his room. Amidst the rush of being back, he had forgotten all about the guy he’s married to, for a moment he could see Alec as just another random stranger and appreciate the beauty walking in. There was a smile on Alec’s face that made Magnus’s heart skip a beat. He definitely knew why he fell for him in the first place. A smile like that is the muse for all the tortured artists.

He definitely had to calm down his heart when a shock set in that Alec is all his, he won him over, the art that people admire is just for him. And he can’t remember one bit, he can’t remember what that smile feels like against his lips, or what those hands feels like on his hips. He just can’t remember the words they spoke, the laughs they shared. And all he wanted was to just melt right into Alec to feel again as he saw it all in his eyes.

“This was a good idea.” Magnus spoke up, Alec was still standing on the other side of the room.

Alec just raised his eyebrows and hummed back as he closed the door a bit before walking towards Magnus. He started helping Magnus clean up, already well aware of the places assigned for everything.

“Coming to school, it has definitely improved my mood.” Magnus answered, a smile slowly creeping on his face as he turned to look at Alec.

“That’s great!” Alec exclaimed. He couldn’t help the bright smile that came with the awareness that all he ever wants is Magnus happy and smiling like he is now, so as Alec moved closer to Magnus, he added again, “That’s great.”

“It is indeed, this might just be the first time I am able to converse with you without overwhelming guilt.” Magnus said after a while.

“I’m sorry for not making you feel comfortable.” Alec muttered quietly, though he refused to turn away Magnus, who finally looked exactly like the person he knows and loves. From the kohl-rimmed eyes to the perfect quiff, to the impeccable dress shirt with short sleeves they both dug up from the corner of the wardrobe, most evidently the loving smile that Alec missed waking up to.

“It wasn‘t your fault Alexander, it was just me being unbelievably pessimistic until I made myself believe that I wasn’t going to get back up from this.” Magnus said as he took Alec’s hand in his.

“I could see, I just didn’t want to intrude on your emotions.” Alec whispered, his eyes trained on the ground for a moment before looking back at Magnus who was smiling brightly, radiant enough for his heart to skip a few beats, and his mind to turn into an overwhelming sap who is horribly in love with the guy.

Alec soon enough pushed away all such thoughts and took out the lunch he brought with him. For the past three years, they have been thankfully sharing the lunchtime and very rarely missed having lunch together. Alec didn’t have the heart to stop the little tradition they had now, he chewed on the food hoping that Magnus doesn’t mind the sudden intrusion.

“I really like this, as far as I can remember, this hour is usually pretty lonely.”

Alec chuckled a bit as his reply, well aware that lunch hour for Magnus was usually filled with kids before Alec, “would you be well enough to stay back for the practice?”

“Oh, the drama club.” Magnus replied after he swallowed, he had forgotten all about it, “I’d love to stick around and see the kids perform.”

“That’s good, I’ll be here then. Though tomorrow after school I’ll be going over to Jace’s to help him pack. So, rather than stay back with you, I’ll pick you up after the practice then and drop you home. I should be back before it’s too late after that.” Alec added, the decision made in the moment between realizing Magnus’s happiness was his priority and admiring the easy smile gracing his face.

“I’ll just get a cab back, don’t worry about driving me home,” Magnus hopes he hid the shock of how natural everything feels now that he’s back to feeling like himself, about how normal it is to call that beautiful house, a home, “No arguments from you. I’m more than capable of doing that.”

“At least let Simon drop you back then. Just for the sake of my sanity.”

“Alright, I can't disagree to that.” Magnus added with a chuckle, hiding the anger towards himself for avoiding something so ingrained the past week. They settled into silence as they finished up the lunch, the tension usually permeating the air slowly dissolving away.

“How did the talk with Imogen go?” Alec asked, few minutes after they were done with eating. With just a little over five minutes remaining, he’s a bit angry at how fast the time moved. Alec is finally feeling like he might be able to break the dam holding up Magnus’s memories and he doesn’t want the hope to end so fast.

“Not as bad as I thought it would. I have the doctor’s report that deems me fit for coming back to work, she can’t argue against that. Though she’s planning on sitting in on a few of my classes just so she can see it with her own eyes.”

“You’re a wonderful teacher, she’ll never get anything there either.”

“Thank you, Alexander,” Magnus replied with a beaming smile, “though we should be thankful that she is willing to let my memory troubles remain in her room.”

“We should.” Alec agreed. Though he couldn’t help the quiet groan that almost slipped past his lips as he saw the time, dangerously close to next period. Magnus pretended to not notice Alec’s disappointment in seeing the time run out, finding it endearing to see a grown man act like a lovesick young adult.

“What type of couple are we?” the question already out there before Magnus could stop himself. He cursed at himself for not wording it better. All the photographs he’s seen painted a clear image, but he is also aware that pictures can be misleading. And he’s noticed that Alec rarely lies.

Alec seemed a bit speechless at the question, caught entirely off guard by the bluntness. It took him a few minutes to gather his thoughts, but as he began to speak, the loud warning bell interrupted him. And this time, both, Magnus and Alec let their displeasure be known by a piercing glare towards the hallway.

“Later?” Magnus asked, knowing the kids will soon start pouring in one by one.

“Later.” Alec agreed, hesitating a bit, not wanting to walk out just yet. They had a very strict no-touch policy in school, especially if there are kids around. They were both a bit too professional for PDA at their workplace. However, just this once Alec wanted to let go of his stupid rule, he just wanted to hold Magnus for a bit, needing to feel his warmth again. Soon enough a group of kids walked in the classroom bringing Alec back into the reality. They have time to make everything alright, there’s no need for urgency.

*******

“Both of you should drop by soon,” Magnus said to Simon as they parted their ways in the school’s parking lot. He and Alec ended up pulling out of the school parking lot right behind Simon.

Magnus didn’t feel like disturbing Alec as he drove with considerably less speed on the slippery roads. Instead, turning to focus on the sidewalk where snow walls were starting to build up. The sky looked almost too dark for five in the evening, another perk of winter. Last he remembers is the dead summer heat, the snow and brisk wind is a welcome change to it all.

“You look content.” Alec said after he had navigated out of the evening rush. The vehicles were more spread out as they left the town behind and drove towards their home.

“I am,” Magnus replied, the itch in his arm cast distracting him a bit as he forced himself to open up to Alec, “I wanted to go back to work hoping the familiarity might help me recall anything. Even though I didn’t succeed, it definitely helped me feel much lighter. I can genuinely appreciate everything now.”

“As long as you’re feeling better.” As he said that Alec wanted to add, nothing else matters, but couldn’t bring himself to lie. The memories they shared matters to him, the emotions matter to him, their life together matters a lot.

“I’ve been meaning to thank you for being patient with me,” Magnus spoke up after a few minutes. The snow was falling pretty heavily now, with a bit of strain he could see they were near the house.

“To be honest, it’s getting difficult,” Alec replied, pulling into their driveway, he stopped the engine, but both remained sitting in the car. He chuckled a bit before adding, “There’s been a lot of moments when I just wanted to scream and run far away.”

“I apologize for making you feel that way.” Magnus replied sincerely, turning as much as he can in the car to face Alec, finding real pain masked behind the laughter.

“Please don’t apologize, it’s not your fault.  I just need to keep reminding myself it’s neither of our faults. Sometimes, it feels easier when I have something to blame, but it’s never you.”

“Alexander…” Magnus whispered, looking straight out the windshield, “I… I have no idea what I’m doing.”

Alec remained silent as he kept on looking at Magnus, forcing him to continue talking, “I promised you that I’ll try my best to get something, anything. So far, I don’t think I’m fulfilling that promise to my best.”

“What makes you think that?!” Alec asked, a bit hesitant in case the answer has something to do with Magnus’s old flame, “does it have anything to do with Dot?” the question was out there before he could swallow it down.

“What?!” Magnus exclaimed a bit shocked, making him immediately turned to face Alec again, ignoring the way his injured arm hit the seat in his shock, “you know about her?!”

“I know pretty much everything about you, Magnus. We are married, I believe there aren’t that many minute details you haven’t yet told me.” Alec replied with a laugh.

“It’s not about Dorothea. I haven’t thought about her that much, I assure you.”

“You don’t have to,” Alec interjected immediately, a part of his mind is very conscious of the fact that they’re still sitting in the driveway, “I know better than my accusations, but sadly my insecurities don’t.”

“Well then, let me assure your insecurities that I’m very much a devoted guy. And right now you are my focus.” Magnus stated earnestly, Alec could feel his heart rate going up at his declaration, leaving him a bit clammy in the frosty evening.

“I know.” Alec replied back in a quiet whisper, ashamed of even thinking a bit ill of the most perfect person he’s ever known.

“What I meant was; usually I always have an answer. No matter the problem I never rest until I figure out the solution; obviously, you know that, but here, I’m rendered useless. Everything I ever wanted is hidden behind a wall, and I am not able to break it down. The only thing I’ve managed to find is the path back to insomnia.” Magnus forced it all out, reminding himself after every sentence that they are married and that he has witnessed and learned every part of him, if anyone can help him figure it all out, it’s Alec.

“Magnus, you do realize it’s not all on you right? It’s mostly my fault too, I should’ve promptly offered my help rather than wallow in self-pity,” Alec replied, “I love you more than life itself Magnus. When I met you, when we got together, it was like a dream come true. I used to spend my teen years dreaming of the perfect guy and the perfect story, but you were better than anything my mind could even dare to make up. I’ve told you this a million times before. And when we got married I promised you my undying support, I promised you I’ll be your partner in every ordeal. And that means this is not just your problem. This is ours. We’ll share the burden together, we’ll find the solution together. But for that, I’ll need your agreement.”

“Together?” Magnus asked quietly, a bit overwhelmed at everything Alec just said as if it’s just another small talk and he didn't just break Magnus apart with his words, “I’m sorry for pushing away from you the past week.”

“I would’ve done the same thing, maybe even worse.” Alec assured Magnus, he knows he’d have taken the news much harder than Magnus did. He’d have dealt with it even more poorly.

“Together then.” Magnus added, he could hear the wind blowing loudly outside and the snow falling heavily, making the winter chill push into the car even though the warm air is circulating throughout. Amidst it all, he could only focus on the determination in the hazel eyes staring back at him, looking into his very soul. And all he could feel was the heartache of not being able to reciprocate the intimacy and love that was so clear in the gaze. Magnus desperately wanted to pull him closer, as close as they can be, to feel just as deeply in return. He wanted to love Alexander with the equal ardor, it was leaving him feeling useless. Magnus isn’t sure when they had gravitated towards each other, neither is he sure of why they both pulled away at the exact moment.

“We should get inside.” Alec spoke up, removing his seatbelt and taking out the key before opening the car door to brave the severe snowfall. Magnus joined him just as quickly, both running towards the front door. As soon as they removed their boots and jackets, Magnus was enveloped in Alec’s warmth. Startled for a moment, he melted into the hug almost immediately.

“I just..” Alec spoke into their hug, “I just miss you, so much. I can’t bear it sometimes.”

Magnus just held onto Alec tighter, not knowing how to respond to that, but his pain hurting him nonetheless, “come on, let’s have dinner and then maybe watch a movie.”

Alec pulled away slowly, a teary smile greeting Magnus. He could feel Alec’s misery, and he’d like to know how to console him. Instead of overthinking, Magnus gently cupped Alec’s face. His heartbeat getting louder as he leaned in closer, he could feel Alec’s warmth on his lips as he pressed a kiss to his cheek. Magnus couldn’t even breathe anymore in their closeness, a pleasant feeling buzzing throughout his whole being making him feel more alive than he ever had, leaving him wishing he had kissed Alec's lips instead. He definitely needs a night or two to figure out everything he felt throughout the day around Alec. But for now, he couldn’t stop the smile that spread his face as Alec once again pull him back in for a fierce hug. All Magnus could think was how he just wanted to stay in Alec’s arms forever.

“One step at a time.” Magnus whispered quietly, “I think I need you in my life.”