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“I don’t think it’s working, Mr Fell.” Alec says as he begins to get up from the chair, but Mr Fell stops him with his hand movement.

“Just sit down for one more minute.”

Alec sighs and rolls his eyes but does as he’s told. Slumping back down on the chair opposite the doctor, he raises a questioning eyebrow at him. Their time is over for this week session, and Alec has no idea what more does he want him to say. They’ve already been through all the kinds of ‘how you’re feeling today?’ questions.

“Why do you think that?” His therapist asks then. “It’s only our second session.”

Because it doesn’t make me feel any better, Alec thinks, but doesn’t say.

Deep down he knows it will take time, before he opens up fully. It’s been hard enough to expose him to his siblings like that, and he still gave him only a part of his worries, since they were pushing. It’s a totally different thing doing it with a stranger.

Maybe it is a little easier.

But it’s not like he’s doing it willingly. Isabelle insisted on him to go and get some help, since she could see that this whole thing was bringing him down a little bit more with every day. Jace instantly agreed, and that’s why he’s here. On his second session with a psychologist, but not actually to make himself feel better, but his siblings.

At least he can do something to make Izzy and Jace feel better.

He wishes he could do the same with Max.

He knows that it’s getting worse. Can see it with every day he comes back here to the hospital. But there’s not much he can do, besides being there for him. He won’t magically invent a cure for cancer, no matter how much he’d love to.

But he also knows, that it’s been like that before. Even worse. And since Max is a constant patient in this hospital for basically two months, it’s been better. He has someone watching over him all the time, someone will notice if something is wrong and will inform them instantly. They take better care of him here, than Alec and his family back at the house. Even though it was five of them there, they’re always busy. His siblings and him have college to attend, plus their casual jobs, and their parents are mostly out in their law’s firm. Sure, it’s an important work, but is it more important than your own child...

Max was actually the only thing that kept Alec home. He didn’t want to be away from him, but since they were forced to hand him away to the hospital anyway, Alec took a chance at leaving their family home too.

Isabelle and Jace came along. They rented an apartment mostly using Alec’s savings, all of them got casual jobs, and somehow they manage. Even when it’s hard, it’s still better than living with his father back at the house…

“Alec.” Mr Fell’s voice brings him out of his thoughts.

“Yeah, sorry I…” He starts, but the doctor only waves his hand dismissively and repeats the question instead.

“Why do you think it isn’t working?”

Alec shrugs, but after only one hour spend with this man, he knows he won’t take this as an answer, waiting for the younger man to elaborate.

“I just…” Alec starts and exhales. “I don’t feel like I need to talk to someone. I’m doing fine. I have my siblings-“

“But you still refuse to talk to them about this.” Mr Fell gently interrupts.

“Because I don’t feel the need to.” Alec resorts quickly.

The therapist lets out a long exhale and nods, scribbling something in his notebook.

“You know it’s your choice, but I’d like to continue seeing you.” He states a little while later. “I’m sure we can work everything out.” He smiles a soft smile, and Alec reciprocates a bit.

Do it for them, Alec’s subconsciousness is telling him. They need you to do this more than you do.

So he just nods in answer and Mr Fell goes back to writing in his notebook before speaking again.

“Great, same time next week then?”

“Yeah.” Alec replies shortly, relieved that it’s finally time to get out of here.

“I’ll see you next week then. Take care, Alec.”

Alec nods again on his way out and lets out another breathe as the door shut behind him.

He quickly makes his way to Max’s room, which he shares with three other kids. Now, they all recognise Alec, since he’s a constant visitor here. As he comes through the entrance, he spots his brother and the way he lits up at the sight of Alec makes him smile.

“Hey, buddy.” Alec greets as he sits down on the chair near his bed. He waves his hand to the other children and they answer with some cute smiles. “How are you feeling today?” He asks then, running a hand through Max’s hair.

“A bit better than yesterday.” He replies. “But everything still kinda hurts.”

Alec nods and places a kiss to his forehead.

“I know,” He speaks then. “But it’ll get better. You just need to get through this.”

He doesn’t want to give him false hope, and believes he doesn’t. He’s not letting any thought about losing his baby brother creep into his mind. If he did, he’d completely broke.

They just sit in silence for a while, Alec’s hand still in his hair and then Max speaks again.

“Don’t you have school today?”

“I do.” Alec smiles as he answers. “But I’ll always find some time for you.”

The quirks of Max’s lips lift up a bit at Alec’s words.

“Okay,” Alec starts. “do you want to play some video games, or we could take a walk-“

“Actually, I don’t think like moving from bed today.”

Alec tries to hide his worry behind a smile. As he always does, when Max is feeling particularly bad, like today. He looks down at his brother, as the boy slowly closes his eyes and exhales heavily.

“What would you like to do then?” Alec asks, delicately sweeping hair from his brother’s forehead.

“Can you read me?”

Alec smiles at his request. Being 12, Max is more than old enough to read himself, but he still loves it when Alec does it for him. He used to read him to sleep when Max was just a baby, and somehow it became their routine. Every time Max had a nightmare, or just wasn’t feeling okay, Alec would come to his room and read him to sleep. When he was diagnosed with leukaemia, and then transported to the hospital the reading didn’t stop. Actually, it became more constant, since Max was feeling bad almost all the time, and it seemed like the only thing to lift him up a bit.

“Sure,” Alec answers without hesitation. “Which book?”

“’The Little Prince’?”

It’s their book. The one Max chooses the most often, but none of them is bored of it. Rereading it only makes the story more special and with every year, Max seems to understand it better, find out new things about it. Which both makes Alec proud and worried. But he doesn’t let it get too much to his head as he answers.

“You’ve got it.”

 

Soon, he needs to leave since he has an exam in business law today, and can’t mess it up. He exchanges his goodbyes with Max, and promises to be back soon, like he always does, and then he’s heading to the exit, where Jace should be already waiting for him.

But he doesn’t spot him anywhere on the parking lot. He checks the time again. 9:21, they set up for 9:15. It’s a really important exam, and if Jace forgot…

With a heavy sigh Alec dials his number and waits till his brother picks up. When he does, Alec doesn’t really let him finish his ‘hello’ as he asks.

“Jace, where the hell are you?”

“I was just about to call you.” His brother states and Alec can hear some background noise coming for the other line. “It’s frantic at work today, I can’t get out.”

“What do you mean? We set up for you to get me a ride to the university, I have an exam in half of an hour!”

“I know, but I’m sorry I really can’t. It’s a mess up here.” Jace sighs and Alec can imagine him rubbing his finger over his brow, as he always does when he’s thinking. “Can’t you take a bus?”

“A stop is like 20 minutes away from here, and another 20 to get to the university.” Alec resorts with frustration creeping into his voice. He understands that Jace works hard, and does appreciate it. He’s a busy man, with working for the advertising agency and studying business on the weekends. Jace’s job is nice, but it’s not really for him. He wasn’t made for sitting behind a desk. That’s why he took business classes after a year of studying physical education. His dream is to open up his own gym, and Alec does believe he can make it. He and Izzy do. Their parents don’t matter. They stopped awaiting any support from them a long time ago.

So Alec lets out another exhale, tone shifting from frustrated to resigned as he adds.

“There’s no way I’ll make it there on time.”

“I’m sorry Alec, really. Can you take the exam another day?”

His teacher is going to kill him for missing another test, but what else is there left to do.

“I knew sharing a car with you is the worst idea ever.” Alec grunts, scowling himself for not just taking the car anytime he wants, like Jace does. Their schedule only seem to work when his brother feels like it.

“Hey, you know way better than anyone that we can’t afford two cars.” Jace resorts.

“Then I should be the one taking it to school.”

“You have like 20 minutes to the university by bus-“

“Well, not from here! From home!” Alec raises his voice slightly, but then adds more calmly. “I get it, Jace, but next time just let me know earlier, so I can figure something out.”

“Yeah, sure. Sorry.” Jace answers, actually sounding a bit guilty.

“Just… get back to work.” Alec states. “I’ll manage. I’ll see you tonight.”

They quickly exchange goodbyes and as Alec hangs up, he growls in frustration and goes to rest is forehead against the cold wall of the building.

“Fuck.” He murmurs to himself and a few seconds later, he feels a hand on his shoulder.

“Are you okay?” Says a man’s voice. It’s a nice voice, Alec resorts and he almost turns around to face the stranger, but he doesn’t feel like taking out his anger on an innocent person, and right now he feels like he’s going to blow up with frustration if he even opens his mouth.

“Fine.” He manages, and then the hand on his shoulder disappears, but he doesn’t hear any footsteps that may announce the stranger is walking away, so what’s left for Alec to do, than to face him.

As he turns around and is ready to reassure again that he’s perfectly fine, but then, he finds himself face to face with probably the most beautiful man he’s ever seen.

And then the man smiles at him, and Alec decides that he’s definitely the most beautiful. His black hair is perfectly styled, dark brown eyes, lightened with some black shiny eyeliner at the edges. His outfit leaves no other impression than fabulous. Dark red shirt, peeking out of the long burgundy coat, paired with tight black trousers and simple black boots.

Alec finds himself lost at his words, and he just stands there with mouth slightly open, not able to choke out any other words.

After what feels like a lifetime for Alec, the stranger chuckles lightly, and then his voice sounds again.

“I’m sorry, but I kind of overheard your conversation on the phone.” He states, still smiling softly when he offers. “Do you need a ride?”

Alec blinks a few time a bit taken aback at the offer, but when his brain actually come online, he manages a response.

“You expect me go get into a car with a total stranger?” He asks with a stern expression.

The man shakes his head lightly and chuckles again, before extending his hand.

“I’m Magnus.” He says, and before even thinking, Alec slides his palm into his. “See, not a total stranger anymore.”

Alec laughs briefly, before reminding himself that he hasn’t actually introduced yet.

“Alec.”

“Well, Alec” Magnus starts again. “I might have heard that you’re headed in the direction of a university. Colmubia?”

“Yeah.” Alec nods and when they finally let go of each other hands, he finds himself surprised at how well they fitted together.

“Great, turns out I’m going in the same direction.” Magnus resorts and his smile brightens a bit. “And since we’re past the formalities, there’s no objection for you to accept my offer.”

“I don’t think that is how it works.” Alec says with a grin, and Magnus laughs again.

“Whoever told you that, lied.”

They laugh again, and there’s a moment of silence, before Alec speaks again.

“Look, Magnus it’s really nice of you to offer, but I don’t want to make you any trouble-“

“Nonsense.” Magnus interrupts gently. “It’s on my way Alec, I’ll just drop you off, it’ll take like two seconds. You won’t be taking basically any of my time, if that’s what you’re worried about.”

Alec just shakes his head a bit.

“No, Magnus, it’s fine. I’ll take a bus, or something-“

“Alec,” He begins again. “is that short for Alexander?” He asks, and Alec nods in answer. “Okay, so Alexander, can I call you that?”

“Sure.” Alec replies before he actually gets to think about it. there’s just something in a way his full name slips of Magnus’ tongue. Without any reprimand or accusation, like it always did when his parents were calling him by his full name. He longs for the word to be spoken again by Magnus, and he doesn’t need to wait long when Magnus picks back up again.

“Alexander, you’re not making me any trouble. Really. And, as I’ve heard, you’ve got an exam, which you definitely shouldn’t miss. Come on, you can’t be late.”

Magnus waves of his hand in the direction of where his car must be and as he throws Alec one last look he thinks.

Fuck it.

He’ll be as good as dead if he misses the exam. Better to get murdered by a beautiful man than your teacher.

So he finally nods, releasing a breath and Magnus beams at him as he leads them in a direction of his car.

A few steps later, they find themselves in front of an elegant black car. It’s simple, not too big, but not too small, just a perfect kind. Alec doesn’t know shit about cars, but this one looks like a one he’d like to own himself.

Magnus opens the door to the passenger’s side and gestures Alec in, to which he blushes slightly at the polite gesture. He quickly gets in, and Magnus swiftly circles the car to soon settle himself in the driver’s seat.

“Here we go.” He turns the key in the ignition and backs out from the parking lot.

 

They drive in silence for a bit, and Alec just feels weird. He’s known Magnus for like ten minutes, tops, and somehow he finds himself relaxed in his company. Maybe it’s the smile he flashes him every time they stop at a red light, or the way his eyes are focused on the road when he drives. Alec doesn’t know. But he’s never felt something quite like this before.

He looks around, taking in his surroundings. The inside of the car is just as nice as the outside. The seats are a light-maroon leather, with an stylish cockpit and steer wheel in black. Alec’s gaze wanders to Magnus’ hand on the stick shift, and that’s when he notices his neatly painted fingernails, an elegant dark blue with a bit of shiny glitter.

He realises that he got too caught up in his thoughts as he hears Magnus say his name, probably repeating it, assuming from his tone.

“Sorry, I zoned out for a moment.” Alec resorts as he shakes his head, as if trying to get the thoughts away.

“That’s all right.” Magnus just shrugs lightly. “Are you okay, tho?”

His eyes are still focused back on the road, but Alec swears he can see a glimpse of worry in them.

“Yeah, I’m fine.” Alec nods reassuringly, more to himself, since Magnus is still looking back on the road. “Maybe just a bit nervous.”

“What is this exam about?” Magnus asks and he sounds truly curious.

“Business law.” Alec exhales as he answers.

“Oh, a law student.” Magnus throws him another smile as he nods. “Did you study a lot?”

“Yeah, I did.”

“No worries then. You’ll pass.” Magnus assures.

Alec just lets out another breath, feeling a bit more calm. It sound so simple when Magnus says it.  He doesn’t know how he does it, but he actually believes his words.

Silence falls between them again, but it’s not that kind of uncomfortable one. It in fact feels a bit soothing, and Alec finds a moment to just breathe, before he’ll need to get out of this car to face the word again.

“So, your brother is not very reliable?” Magnus asks, breaking the silence and Alec laughs briefly at his words.

“It’s not one of his greatest qualities.” He states and Magnus hums in answer. “But he got held up in work, it isn’t really his fault.”

“So you share a car?” Magnus question next.

“In theory we do, but it doesn’t really work like that.” They both laugh briefly at his words. “We also live together. With my younger sister.”

“Must be fun.” Magnus resorts and Alec nods as a reply.

There are another few moments of silence, before Alec finally builds up a courage to ask.

“Do you study at the university too?”

“Oh, no.” Magnus makes a sound between a snort and a chuckle. “I’m way past that.”

“What do you do then?” Alec questions interested.

“I’m a chemist.” Magnus states. “I work in a lab nearby your college. We mostly make cosmetics for some firms, but it’s a nice job. I did study chemistry at your university some time ago.”

“Sound nice.” Alec resorts with a smile.

“It is, really. The atmosphere is nice, I actually get to work with some of my friends. And I get to do something I truly like. I couldn’t really dream of a better job.”

Alec hums in answer and finds himself amused, listening to Magnus talk with such passion about his work. He might get a little lost in his thoughts again, but Magnus’ voice brigs him back to reality again.

“So you study law?” He prompts. “Any particular reason for it?”

Alec seems to think a bit about the answer. As a child, he always thought of becoming a lawyer. He wanted to be like his parents. But now, it’s not really the thought of making his parents proud that’s driven him into this. In some small part it might still be the urge of his parents, the fear of letting them down even more. But mostly it’s another thing.

“I guess I just want to do something good for people.” He finally replies. “Help them, you know?”

“Yeah, I get it.”

With that words, they basically reach the driveway of the university, and Alec realises he doesn’t really want to leave. He could stay with Magnus here and just talk. It’s nice, and Alec hasn’t felt like that in… ever really.

Magnus doesn’t push him to get out, he just turns to him and smiles softly.

“Don’t worry about the exam. I’m sure it’ll be fine.” He comforts again and Alec nods letting out a nervous breath. “But you do need to get going, if you want to make it.”

“Yeah, right I-“ Alec rambles again and Magnus chuckles. “I-, thank you, you really did save my life I-“

“It’s fine, really.” Magnus says, and as he puts his hand on Alec’s thigh in a reassuring gesture he can feel electricity and the pleasant fire caused by the touch. Alec does his best to supress the gasp, that wants to escape his lips.

“Thank you.” Alec just repeats at one exhale.

“Good luck on the test.” Magnus states then and Alec eventually moves to get out of the car.

“Yeah, I- , thanks.” Alec scowls himself for how much he can find his way with words now. “Have a good day at work.” He settles for that and for the last time, catches Magnus’ smile as he closes the door and heads to the building.

 

He quickly climbs the stairs to reach the hall, but before he gets to open the door to enter, a slim figure with long blonde hair is barring his way.

“Who drove you here?” Lydia asks, simply cutting to the point, not even bothering with ‘hello’. A stern expression on her face, hands clasped on her chest as she eyes Alec curiously.

“Hello to you too, Lydia.” Alec flashes her a tight smile.” What are you talking about?” He tries to circle his friend, but she doesn’t let him.

“I mean,” She puts a hand on his shoulder to stop him, pushing him back. “who gave you a ride?”

“How do you know I didn’t take the bus?” Alec questions as he finally looks down at her.

Actually, he knows why she does. After two years of friendship he learnt that Lydia sees everything, and hears everything. She knows every gossip going around the campus, every person. She’s the leader of the student council and pays attention to every single detail. Alec teases her that she doesn’t have a life, always stalking her friends, but he adores her for caring so much. When they found out Max was sick she’s been there for him. And even when they tease and poke at each other, he knows he can always count on her.

“You know, how I know.” She just states with a grin, and then continues. “I saw you getting out of that car, and I know it wasn’t yours and Jace’s, it wasn’t even your parents’, which would be rather concerning too-“

“You know what my parents’ car looks like?” Alec asks, his eyes widening. Lydia truly has eyes and ears everywhere, not only the campus it seems.

“Of course I know, but it’s not the point now, Alec.” Lydia carries on. “The point is, who drove you today.”

She just stands there and continues to look at him. He knows she won’t let go. She never does, but still, he tries to lead her on.

“It was a friend.”

Lydia only snorts to that.

“Alec, you and I both know that you don’t have any other friends, besides these ones I know.”

“Wow, thank you for believing in my social skills, Lydia.” Alec replies jokingly.

She rolls her eyes and picks back up regardless his comment.

“Why don’t you want to tell me? Who the hell was that?” She wonders, more asking the questions to herself, than to Alec, and as he tries to get past her once more, she stops him again. “Wait! Black car, mysterious person… Alec I swear to God, if you got yourself into some shady business-“

“You really think that less of me?” Lydia opens her mouth to reply, but he interrupts again. “No, I don’t do drugs or any other stuff, I’m not a part of any gang, I’m not selling myself.” He sighs. “What other worries of yours can I decrease, Lydia?” He adds more teasingly, but Lydia’s expressions turns more serious.

“Alec, of course I don’t think that of you. You know I’m just worried, with… everything that’s going on in your life.” She gently rubs his arm with her palm. “And, you can decrease my worries, but telling me who this mysterious person is.” She adds, already brightening up.

“Fine.” He finally gives in. “It was a guy I met at the hospital today. Jace messed up, and he offered me a ride, so I took it.”

Lydia’s expression turns even more suspicious, with a hint of fear behind it.

“Okay, who are you and what did you do to the Alec Lightwood I know?” She asks holding out her hand in a ‘hold up’ gesture, and Alec’s only answer is to roll his eyes at her.

“What the hell are you talking about?”

“Alec, I love you, but you don’t talk to people.” She shakes her head. “There’s no way you would talk to some stranger on the street, you would just brush him of.” A glint lits up in her eyes, and Alec sees the thoughts running through her brain in her eyes. “Unless…”

“Unless, what?” Alec asks unenthusiastically.

Lydia straightens herself and a playful grin is playing at her face as she prompts again.

“Was he hot?”

“Lydia!” Alec just grunts and finally circles her to enter the class. She chuckles as she follows close behind.

“Alec, that’s the only explanation. Are you lonely?” She teases. “Do you need some love in your life?”

“There’s no time for love in my schedule, Lydia.” Alec states simply as he pulls out his notes from his backpack to look through them again. “But business law exam is.”

“I don’t think love really cares about your schedule.” Lydia whispers, as she slides into a chair next to him.

He throws her one last glare as she grins back at him and then a teacher enters the hall.

 

For the first time in his life Alec was thankful for an exam, ‘cause Lydia didn’t get a chance to interrogate him even more. Unless for an hour. Right after the class ended she jumped on him with another wave of questions he really didn’t feel like answering.

So mostly, he didn’t.

Somehow he managed to go through the rest of the classes, and it was finally time to go home.

“I’ll see you tomorrow, Lydia.” He says when they leave the campus, and he turns to head in the direction of a bus stop.

“Wait!” Lydia calls after him, after he takes a few steps. “You forgot?”

“Forgot, what?” Alec frowns. He quickly scans his daily agenda in his mind, trying to recall something other than the usual.

“We were supposed to study together today. For the law ethics exam?” Lydia reminds him.

Shit, he did forget.

Seems like his head is in totally different place today. He tries to reason with himself, that it has nothing to do with a handsome stranger he met this morning, but it’s a pointless fight. In every class today he caught himself thinking of Magnus. Of the way his eyes were focused back on the road, or the words of reassurance he offered him, or that smile he gave him when Alec was leaving the car…

“Alec!” Lydia’s yell pulls him out of his thoughts. “Too busy thinking of that hot stranger?” She teases and Alec just rolls his eyes.

“I wasn’t thinking about him.” He states, but by the way this words come out, he’s pretty sure he’s betraying himself.

“Sure you weren’t.” Lydia resorts sarcastically, of course hearing the change in his voice, then she comes closer to him. “But seriously, if you’re busy tonight we can reschedule. The exam isn’t in another week-“

“No, it’s fine. It just completely slipped my mind.” Alec admits. “Let’s go to my place.”

“Okay.” Lydia answers simply and together in comfortable silence they march to the bus stop. Then Lydia eventually breaks the silence, when they enter the bus. Her tone teasing and light, as she leans in to Alec. “So are you going to tell me more about that guy of yours?”

He grunts again. Lydia seems to enjoy this too much. He wishes he was able to keep his mouth shut around her. But her questioning eyes and stern expression are enough to make him talk. Lydia can be terrifying when she wants to. That’s how Alec knows she’s going to be an amazing lawyer.

But he doesn’t speak, when Lydia still rumbles about that guy, with an amused grin on her face.

 

Soon, they reach Alec’s apartment. He quickly unlocks the door, and lets Lydia in.

The flat itself isn’t much. They didn’t really afford a lot, when they decided to move out. But all Izzy, Jace and Alec have separate bedrooms (thank God, because Jace tends to bring girls home quite often). There’s a living room connected to the kitchen area, and one bathroom. It’s enough. If someone wants to stay over, there’s always a couch in the living room. They don’t really need anything more.

“Hi!” Isabelle speaks when they enter the apartment. “Lydia, it’s so good to see you!” She exclaims and moves to hug her. “What brings you here?”

“Hi, Izzy. Long-time no see.” The blonde girl states with a smile. “We’re going to study.”

“Of course you are.” Izzy puts her hands on her hips. “You always are. Seems like Alec only brings you here for you to be his teacher.”

The girls laugh as they all move to the kitchen, and Alec puts some drinks out of the fridge.

“We’ll see who’s going to be teaching who.” He mocks, and Lydia throws him a glare.

“So,” Isabelle prompts as he leans on her elbows against the kitchen counter. “How was the exam today?”

Alec doesn’t know how she does it, but Izzy seems to remember everyone’s schedule, with her own not being very carefree. She’s studying forensic pathology, first year, and she’s still getting used to all of the collage stuff. But that doesn’t make her any less observant. Maybe she just always notices how nervous Alec becomes when the exams are coming up…

“It was good.” Alec answers her question after a while, looking at Lydia who nods in confirmation.

“Wait, you got to take it today?” Suddenly Jace’s voice sounds as he makes his way to the kitchen to join the rest. He quickly greets Lydia, but mostly, his gaze remains focused on Alec. “You said there was no way you’d make it on time.” He adds with curiosity in his eyes.

“Alec got a ride...” Lydia begins in a chanting tone. “From a man…”

And here it goes.

“What?!” Isabelle exclaims, straightening from the counter. “From who? Do I know him? How does he look like? Is he handsome?-“

“Maybe one question at a time Izzy.” Alec scolds, not exactly meeting her eyes, but also turning from Jace’s inquisitive gaze.

At first sight, Jace may appear as the type of careless, irresponsible bad boy, who can have anything he wants. But it’s not exactly true. He does care about a lot of things, his family the most. He worries too, even when he tries not let it show. And since Alec’s mental health has been getting quite worse considering Max’s current state, he’s become rather overprotective. True, he is irresponsible sometimes. Especially after a night out, including a few drinks and a fight with some girl. He did broke the living room table (twice), but still, he’s a good person.

Another thing about the Lightwood siblings, is that they have developed some kind of obsession with Alec’s dating life. Growing up, he didn’t really have any love life. He realised he was gay around the age of fifteen, told his siblings a year later, which they all accepted with no judgement. He decided to come out to his parents at his eighteen birthday, and he did. That’s when hell broke loose. His father had nothing else to say, than that Alec’s a disgrace to his family. That he’s no man, and he’ll never be, unless he stops fooling around and gets a grip. He even threatened to throw him out of the house, and if not his mother, he probably would have. But she wasn’t very pleased with Alec either. They hadn’t even spoken for about a month, later they only talked to each other when they needed something…

He spend most of his life just being scared of who he is, and trying to repress all of these feelings. He was never really looking for love, always too busy with studying. He wanted to make his parents proud, and they hated him as a person, so he thought maybe he would be able to impress them with his achievements.

It didn’t work, but still he needed to keep his mind occupied.

He did have one boyfriend when he was starting college, Raj, but things between them didn’t really go so well…

After their break up, Jace became even more concerned and overprotective.

But earlier whenever there was an occasion, Alec’s siblings liked to take it. They tried to set him up a few times (to which he either refused, or it ended up being a total disaster), but mostly they just need to know everything to make sure Alec is okay. And he loves them for that, but can’t help the feeling that it’s him who's supposed to protected them, he’s their big brother, and they shouldn’t worry about him so much. He can handle himself. He just  needs to take care of his siblings first, that’s his job…

“So, who was he?” Jace asks, when Alec still refuses to meet his eyes.

“Come on, Alec, tell us!” Izzy beams enthusiastically.

Alec lets out a long exhale, but he knows there’s no point in trying to lead them on. They’ll find out anyway. Either from Lydia, or somehow from him.

“It was just a guy I met at the hospital.” He begins. “He offered me a ride, so I took it.”

“A total stranger?” His brother prompts.

“Well… yeah, I guess so.”

“Alec, you realise-“ Jace tries again, to which Alec jus growls in frustration.

“God, Jace I’m not five. If he had been a serial killer I would just run off or something.”

“I know,” Jace attempts with a little less judgement now. “I know, but you know I’m just worried.”

“Yeah.” Alec sighs. “But you don’t need to. I’m okay, and I’ll probably never see him again, so really, no worries.”

Jace still eyes him cautiously, but after a while nods, and lets it go. For now.

“Okay,” Isabelle starts now. “Since we can be done fearing for your life, now get to the details.”

She smiles teasingly, joining Lydia at the other end of the counter, and they both wait for him to elaborate.

“There’s nothing more to talk about.” He just states solely. “We drove, talked a bit and that’s all.”

“That’s all he’s been telling me the whole day!” Lydia grunts. “Seriously, it’ll be a miracle if you’ll get something more out of him.” She turns to Izzy with a resigned expression.

“Oh, don’t worry.” A smirk is creeping onto his sister’s face. “I have my ways.”

Alec just looks at her with brows raised in question to which she shrugs.

“First, what did you talk about?” She asks, and somehow Alec knows he doesn’t want her to get to that part when she’s threatening to embarrass him with their childhood stroies in front of his only friend, so he bends. 

“Just work, and school.” He shrugs.

“Okay, what’s his name? You did get a name, right?” Isabelle continues.

“Yeah, I’m not stupid.” Alec snorts. “It’s Magnus.”

He feels his cheeks reddening with even a mention of his name. This isn’t normal, he thinks. Thinking about him, gives him this weird feeling in his stomach. He’s not sure if it’s good or bad yet.

Isabelle just smiles, less jokingly this time, as she prompts another question.

“Would you like to see him again?”

Alec doesn’t really need to think as his mind slips him an answer immediately. Yes, of course yes, a million times yes. And to be honest, it’s scary. Because Alec hasn’t let himself want something so much in a very long time. Or probably ever.

“It doesn’t matter.” He resorts firmly. “Even if I wanted to, it’s unlikely that we will ever meet again.” He swiftly turns to Lydia and adds. “Come on, we need to study.”

With that, he drags her out of the kitchen, ignoring any words of protest, and they head to his bedroom to study.

He needs to take his mind of off thinking about Magnus.

 

The rest of the week passes normally. He goes to classes every day, writes a few articles and sends them to a local newspaper, so he can get at least a bit of money. Before he knows it, it’s Wednesday again, which means it’s time for another session with Mr Fell.

It also goes smoothly, they talk, sit in silence, anything that makes him comfortable. Mr Fell doesn’t push, and Alec is glad he doesn’t. They both know it will take time for him to open up. Or at least Alec hopes so, he really wouldn’t like to waste Mr Fell’s time.

Soon, the session is over and when he heads out after briefly visiting Max, he hears his name being called. He turns and he’s met with that handsome face again.

So when a not so unfamiliar stranger offers him a ride again, he doesn’t really hesitate to say yes.

Chapter Text

Magnus gets to work with a smile plastered on his face.

It might be connected with a tall, handsome, dark haired stranger he’s just dropped off at the college’s driveway. When he enters the lab, he lets himself think about Alec a bit more.

He saw him at the hospital a few times earlier. He comes there every Wednesday morning, as being a part of the Idris charity organisation. His friend Luke started the organization a few years ago, after his wife Jocelyn died of cancer. He’s been doing a great job, and Magnus decided to join the project, so he became a volunteer and comes to the hospital every Wednesday before work, to spend some time with the patients, cheer them up, help with something or just be there for them when they don’t have anyone else. Luke’s stepdaughter, Clary is also involved and Magnus became quite good friends with her and her best friend Simon, who she dragged into the volunteering too.

Magnus really enjoys it. It’s a way to help people, and show them that they’re not alone in their suffering. It’s the least he can do to make them feel a bit better.

He knows how it feels not to have anyone. And, to lose someone.

It’s not like he’s alone now. He has great friends, who became his family. The times he gets lonely are rare, but they happen. Sometimes Magnus longs for someone to just be with him, someone, who he can share his day with. His loft just feels empty most of the times, it’s quite depressing…

But it’s not like he’s looking for love. No. Not after what Camille did to him, he still needs time to recover, after finally ending things with her for good.

But also there’s just something about Alexander. Something… intriguing. Magnus can’t really find a right word to describe it. He’s shy, but not that much to actually restrain from any conversation. His rumbling is cute, and he’s just so damn handsome. He might be the most beautiful man Magnus has ever seen.

He gets to the elevator and soon it stops at the seventh floor, so he gets out, heading to the lab. Of course, Dot is already here, since there is never a time when she’s late, or even when Magnus isn’t, she’s just always early.

Of course she notices the soft smile, playing at the corner of his lips.

“Good morning,” She says as she looks up from a microscope, watching some sample. “did something happen today?” She asks with a smile.

Magnus has always been thankful for working with Dot. The atmosphere around her is just so relaxed, there’s no pressure and it’s just amazing to work with a friend. They met back in collage, both studying chemistry and somehow, fate wanted it for them to end up in Alicante Cosmetics together.

Before Magnus gets to answer her question, another voice speaks.

“Good morning, Magnus.” Raphael’s mocks in an annoyed tone. “I see you decided to show up just three minutes late today.”

“I knew you already missed me, Raphael.” Magnus turns, from where he’s seated at his stool and smiles brightly at his friend.

Raphael just replies with an eye roll, and then he’s back to checking some stuff on his tablet.

Even when Raphael comes across as a bit harsh, deep down he has a soft heart. But he does keep up his demeanour of the ruthless boss, so all of the workers know, to just do their job, and not get in his way. But Magnus and Dot can allow themselves to get a bit mocking with him, since they’ve been friends for quite some time now. While Dot and Magnus were studying chemistry, Raphael studied business, and they all met as some reconnaissance party their freshman year. Even Raphael’s scowling glare was not too much to get them acquainted. And with more time, they’ve grown closer to each other.

Mostly, Magnus is really thankful for college. These were actually the best times of his life, since he got to do what he likes and he met amazing friends in a process.

Raphael had always been talking about becoming a CEO, of a big company. Back in university they even joked about how they all should start a cosmetics company. After college, they parted ways with Raphael, since he went to Spain to spend some time with his family, but when he came back he actually started the preparations to set the firm. Both Magnus and Dot were surprised, that he decided on that kind of business, but they did not question it, just happy to be in touch with their friend again, and to get to work with him.

When they asked, why did he choose for it to be a cosmetics company, he just brushed them of and said that he could get cheap workforce, in a form of them.

Magnus is not sure if that was actually a joke. He never is sure with Raphael.

But still, working with the two of them is a total bliss.

After Raphael announces some news about the sale increases and decreases, and then he disappears back into his office. Probably with no intention of showing up today, expecting them to do their job. Which of course they will deliver.

“So,” Dot starts again, when Raphael is out of the room. “What is this smile about?”

“Nothing…” Magnus teases, feeling his grin becoming wider.

“Okay, that means I’m guessing then.” Dot resorts, her own smile getting bigger, and then she scrunches her face in thought. “Hmm, it’s not your ‘I just got laid’ smile, it’s too soft-“

“I do not have that kind of a smile!” Magnus huffs offended, to which Dot only raises her eyebrows at him. Magnus sighs, but admits. “Okay, I do have it, but not today.”

“I know.” Dot agrees and get back to thinking. “You’ve met someone…” Magnus nods slightly confirming her words. “Some attractive stranger…”

“Okay, are you a psychic?” Magnus points an accusing finger at her, to which he only shrugs.

“Some say that I’m a witch.”

They both laugh briefly, but then Dot speaks again.

“Okay, so details, now.”

So he tells her about Alec, how he saw him in a hospital a week earlier, but didn’t really get a chance to talk to him, and about their drive to the university. He leaves some parts out, like how incredibly beautiful his smile is, or how astonishing is the sound of his laugh, or how they palms fitted so well together when they greeted…

But he made Alec certainly attractive during his speech.  

Dot hums appreciatively as he goes on and when, he’s finally finished, his friend smiles at him she asks.

“So, what now?”

“What do you mean ‘what now'?” Magnus answers with a question, a bit confused.

“Well, you clearly like him. And I’m sure you’d like to see him again…”

“Even if, it’s unlikely.” Magnus resorts a bit sadly. “There’s a slight possibility, that he’ll be at the hospital the same time as me.”

Of course he’d like to see Alec again. No doubt about it. He curses himself for not asking for his phone number, but they’ve known each other for like twenty minutes tops, and he didn’t want to overstep, or scare him off. But somewhere in his mind, or in his heart, he dreams of meeting Alec again.

“I think there’s a big possibility.” Dot smirks lightly, and Magnus eyes her curiously again. “Eh, Magnus!” She grunts and throws he hands in the air.

“What?” He asks, still confused.

“You can’t be more clueless, can you?” Magnus wants to argue with her statement, but he knows that he tends to not notice the obvious, so he lets it go. “Okay, let me explain.” She begins again, as he gives no intention to answer. “You saw him in the hospital last week, right?” He nods. “And you saw him again today, at probably similar hour.” He more states than asks, but Magnus nods anyway. “So, there’s a great possibility that-“

“Oh my God, you’re right!” Magnus exclaims a bit too loud, causing Dot to jump in surprise, as he finally realises what her point is. “He might be seeing Ragnor.”

Dot nods again, leaning into her chair.

“It’s possible.” She resorts. “Or he just visits someone pretty often. But there’s only one way to find out.”

“Ask the man himself.” Magnus asserts. “But Ragnor can’t really talk about that stuff, can he? I mean, there needs to be some rules about confidentiality.”

“True.” Dot agrees. “But I’m sure he’d make an exception for his good old friend.”

The smirk comes back to her face, and Magnus can’t help his own, slowly making its way to his face.

 

After their conversation they get back to work. They’ve been occupied with making some new shades of eye shadows for Alicante’s new palate, and they’re still in process of developing a functional skin care.

So, the day passes by fast, and then Magnus finds himself leaving the company’s building. He quickly heads to his car. It’s a chilly day, and Magnus is not wearing a right coat for that, but sacrifices needed to be made in the name of fashion.

He wastes no time, hurriedly getting into the car, starting it, and turning the heat on. As he backs off from the parking lot, he throws a glance at the passenger seat, reminded of how Alec occupied that place, just a few hours ago. He can’t help another smile, as it paints his face. He’ll talk to Ragnor, but there’s no rush. It’s not like he’s desperate.

Not yet, at least.

Entering his loft he sheds of his coat and makes his way to the drink cart, pouring himself a glass of whiskey. He slumps down on the couch, enjoying the late afternoon.

Every day is the say. In the morning, he gets to work, besides Wednesdays, when he head to the hospital first, it’s the only day he starts work at 9am, so he can allow himself an hour there. He knows he wouldn’t be able to do the volunteering after work, since mostly he’s just too tired to be helpful and cheerful around people.

So he gets to work, leaves at 4, or 5pm, sometimes if there’s a lot to do he stays a bit later. Then he comes back home, has a drink, cooks or orders some food and often falls asleep on the couch during his marathon of Project Runway.

It’s incredibly boring, and he needs it to change. But at the same point, routine is good. Something to hold on to, just everyday life. Something steady. Something he was lacking so much during his years back in college…

He’s life has been hectic. All into parties, always the one present everywhere. One nights stands were a common use. He couldn’t really keep a relationship, not after Camille, but he can’t say that their relationship had actually been stable.

It’s been good, ending things with her. Refreshing, even. He was excited to start a new chapter in his life. Without being manipulated and used. No matter how boring it is now, he would never want to get back to how it was before he got settled.

The only thing that sometimes breaks his routine, are his friends. They go out quite often. Just to catch up on each other’s lives, or they go clubbing. But in a week, mostly they’re all busy. And Magnus gets it, they all do work quite hard. But sometimes, it just get lonely.

He should get a cat, or something.

As he feels his eyelid begin to fall, he decides to get to the bedroom and catch some good night’s sleep.

There’s another not so exciting day waiting for him tomorrow.

 

And just as his every single day, the rest of the week was dull as well. He did meet with Catarina on Friday. They got drinks, and then Raphael and Dot had joined them. He bumped into Luke on his way to go shopping on Saturday and they ended up getting coffee, Luke updated him on some new stuff in Idris, while Magnus had a few stories from the lab to share. It was all nice, he loves to listen to Luke sharing the experiences form his organization with him. It always warms his heart.

Wednesday comes before he even knows it, and then he’s back at the hospital again. The hour that he spends there always passes by too fast on chatting and some helping. He sees various people here, older, younger. Some are just kids, and it hurts Magnus to see them suffering so much. So if he’s able to make them feel a bit better, after he lets them win in their favourite video game, Magnus will gladly accept the failure.

As he makes his way out, as always, he stops at the nurses’ duty office, to catch up with Catarina. She’s been working there for what seems like forever and Magnus even remembers her from when she was doing her internship here, during college. The only thing was, that Magnus wasn’t a volunteer back then, only a visitor…

He shakes of the thoughts that he definitely doesn’t want to recall now, and focuses as Cat rumbles about some patient. But still, he can’t give her his full attention, since he finds himself scanning the hallway, looking for a tall, dark haired man. And of course Catarina notices.

“What is up with you?” She asks, eyeing him curiously.

“What do you mean?” Magnus replies without thinking, not even turning, eyes still back on the hallway.

Catarina spats him on the arm, harder than he deserves, to which he actually switches his gaze back at her.

“Hey!” He pants offended. “What was that for?”

“You’re completely somewhere else today.” She states. “Ragnor has a session now, so if you want to wait just sit and wait.” She sighs.

“Thank you, my dear. But I’m not actually looking for Ragnor.” He answers simply and focuses on every person passing through the hallway. 

“Who then?” Cat asks, and Magnus just throws her an unimpressed glare. They talked about Alec on Friday, and Catarina is not the one to forget things. She’s just busy, and has a lot on her mind, but she never forgets and always listens very carefully. So he waits, and soon a look of realisation covers her face. “Oh, that handsome stranger of yours!” She exclaims. “Alec, wasn’t it?”

“Yes, and keep quiet.” Magnus scowls her. “He can be here.”

“So?” Catarnia prompts.

“So…” Magnus thinks a little and shrugs. “I’m sure he wouldn’t appreciate strangers calling out his name. He’s shy.”

“Magnus, you’ve known him for twenty minutes. I’m sorry, but you can’t be sure about what he is.” Catarina states with a sympathetic smile.

“Yeah, I know. But I’m planning to change that.” Magnus resorts and Cat raises her brows at him. “What?”

“Nothing, I just thought it’s still too soon for you, after Camille… You’ve always claimed that it is. For like more than a year now, almost two…”

“A year?” Magnus questions. It can’t be a year. Or can it?

Catarina just nods, slightly pouting her lips.

“But I think it would be good for you-“

“I’m not saying I’m going to date him.” Magnus interrupts. “Like you said, I don’t know him-“

“Yeah, so you’ll get to know him-“

“And we’ll see how it goes then. Let’s not jinx it.”  He knows there’s something about Alec, that something’s just there, but still, he may just appear nice on the outside and be completely different on the inside. Somehow Magnus is willing to take a chance to get to know him. If nothing else develops, then he’ll just leave it. It’s not like they’d need to avoid each other. They barely see themselves, they probably wouldn’t even met in the hospital if they didn’t try to. And maybe Magnus will just gain himself another friend, if it doesn’t work out in any other way? “If there’s nothing there, then maybe we’ll just become friends.”

Catarina snorts to that, and Magnus throws her another glare.

“I’m sorry, Magnus, but with the way you talk about him, there’s no way you’d want to be just friends with him.” She shakes her head, amused.

“And in what way do I talk about him?” Magnus mocks.

“Like you’re falling in love.”

It’s Magnus’ turn to snort.

“I’ve known him for like twenty minutes, I can’t be falling in love.” He resorts with a laugh.

“I know, Magnus.” Cat starts. “That’s how you always find new ways to surprise me.”

He tries to glare at her, annoyed, but can’t help the chuckle that escapes his lips. He really tends to be a hopeless romantic.

At that, Magnus spots Ragnor leaving his office, and decides it’s time for some catching up with his old friend. Of course, not only for the reason of Alec.

Just mostly.

He and Ragonr have been best friends, for as long as he can remember. When Magnus was sixteen, and moved to New York from Indonesia with his mother, he had quite a hard time adjusting. But then, in high school he met Ragnor, and they immediately became friends. Their situation was similar. Ragnor moved here a year before, from London. To be honest, they’re completely different, and that’s probably why they get on so well. Ragnor did help him through his rough times, always been a great listener and adviser he is. Deep down, Magnus always knew, that Ragnor would make a perfect psychologist, even when he’s friend wasn’t so sure of that at the beginning.

Catarina just rolls her eyes, but a smile is still present on her face, when Magnus backs off, and makes his ways towards Ragnor’s office.

“Hello, my friend.” He announces and as Ragnor turns, a smile is beginning to pain his face.

“Hello, indeed.” He greets. “How is it going?”

“All well, thank you.” Magnus admits, and fires back a question. “And you?”

“Well, besides dealing with all this,” he gestures at the stack of files in his hands. “everything is great.”

Magnus just nods in answer and Ragnor eyes his curiously.

“Do you need anything?” He asks carefully then.

“Why would I need anything?” Magnus chuckles nervously. He doesn’t really know how to bring it up to Ragnor. For sure, he can’t just speak about his patients. They’ve actually been through this a few times, when Magnus’ curiosity took the best of him. Sometimes he just can’t see to shut up. “I just wanted to talk to my best friend.”

“Are you sure? You’re unusually quiet, for someone who wanted to talk…” Ragnor states, and a smirk is tugging up at the corners of his lips.

“Okay,” Magnus gives in. Trying to hide anything from Ragnor is pointless, he sees through everything. “I do need something. Some info…”

“On what?” Ragnor questions, truly enjoying the way Magnus can’t find his way with words. It’s surprisingly hard to talk to him about Alec. Maybe because in the back of his mind Magnus knows, that if Alec has been seeing Ragnor, then his friend knows a lot about him. But it might actually help. If Alec is an ass, then Ragnor would tell him, and he wouldn’t get any of his hopes up.

“I was just wondering,” Magnus starts. “About a patient of yours-“

“No, Magnus we’re not doing that.” Ragnor states firmly and starts walking down the hallway. Magnus briefly catches Cat’s amused smile from the nurses’ office as he begins to follow his friend.

“I’m not even sure if he’s your patient actually, but if he is then-“

“If you don’t know, that why don’t you ask him yourself?” Ragnor fires back, as he stops and turns to face Magnus.

“I…” Magnus’ lips form into a straight line as he thinks. “I don’t really know him.”

“So, what is this all about?” Ragnor asks, with a confused expression.

“Look, I just wanted to know, if he’s your regular, and if he comes here every week, so then I might get a chance to see him again-“

“Oh lord,” Ragnor interrupts. “are you having a crash or something?”

Magnus’ mouth hangs open for a few seconds, before he actually gets to speak.

“What?” His voice comes out higher than usual. “No, of course not. I’m way too old to have a crush.”

Ragnor raises his brow in questions at him. God, he’s really getting sick of that expression. Why is everyone looking at him like that?

“Are you?” His friend questions in an accusing tone. “Are you really?”

Magnus just shrugs, and stand there, in the middle of the hallway, thinking of a good come back for him, but his mind is empty.

“So what if I have one?” He sighs. “Are you jealous?”

Ragnor snorts.

“Jealous? Of your unknown even by you crush? No, I don’t think so.” He shakes his head.

God, why is he even doing that? He should never listen to Dot. Ragnor is right. Of course he’s saying these all beyond the lines, but Magnus knows the moral: if you want to know him, then get to know him. But to be honest, he’s scared. Scared of getting hurt again. But he can’t keep thinking, that everyone will turn out to be Camille. If he continues to do so, he won’t ever find anyone.

“Magnus, you know I can’t do this.” Ragnor resorts in his reassuring tone. “Even if I wanted too. It would be breaking the confidentiality rules. And I quite like this job.” He adds with a smile. “But if that man of yours was here at least once, that there is a possibility he’ll show up. And you’re here every Wednesday, so I’d say the odds are good.”

Magnus lets out a long exhale but nods. Ragnor mirrors the gesture and pats him on the shoulder.

“I have to go now.” His friend states then. “I have another patient coming up. I’ll see you soon, Magnus.”

He quickly waves as a goodbye, Magnus does too, and then he’s left in the middle of the hallway, letting out another sigh. He’s just about to make his way back to Catarina, but something catches his eye.

Or more, someone.

He only sees a flash of black hair, but the man is tall, and well-built, as he leaves a hospital room where Magnus knows kids are settled. But he doesn’t think about it now, as he quickly catches up to that man.

“Alec!” He calls out, and when the man turns, Magnus can’t help but smile.

He looks incredibly beautiful, same as the last time. Gorgeous hazel eyes staring right back at Magnus, with a  bit of surprise in them, but that good kind. And when he smiles, Magnus feels like he could just melt. His outfit today is simple, but somehow so well fitting. Black jeans, paired with a dark green shirt and the same leather jacket as the last time. It’s a bit too cold for a leather jacket now, but Alec doesn’t look like he is making a fashion sacrifice. The jacket suits him, and maybe he just runs a little hot. Magnus would like to find out himself.

God, Magnus focus. He scowls himself in his mind, as he realises that they’ve been just standing there and staring at each other for quite some time, but he notices, that Alec’s gaze lingers on him too, as if taking him in.

Alec blushes slightly, as if he’s been caught.

“Hey,” he starts, but his voice comes out hoarse, so he clears his throat and speaks again, softly. “Hi.”

“Hi, how have you been?” Magnus asks, with a soft smile.

“Great.” Alec nods and sighs. “Kinda busy, but fine. What about you?”

“Same, everything is good.” Magnus states and gets another nods from Alec in answer.

There are a few seconds of silence, when Magnus desperately tries to come up with some topic, ‘cause he’s afraid Alec might just consider the conversation done, and he really doesn’t want it to end yet. Not when the thought of meeting Alec again was what has been his driving force through the last week.

“How was the exam?” He prompts then, and Alec looks truly surprised that he might remember this from their conversation last week.

“It went okay, I passed.” Alec admits and smiles again. “And how is work going?”

“Oh, just the usual.” Magnus waves his hand dismissively.

It’s so weird. He longed for Alec’s company for so long, and now that he finally has it, it’s hard to just talk. He constantly finds himself just staring at Alec, and he knows that’s inappropriate, but he just can’t help it. He’s too damn attractive. But fortunately, Alec doesn’t seem to notice.

“Are you heading to the university again?” Magnus asks then.

“Yeah, I have classes a bit later today, but I guess I still have to.” He admits to which they both chuckle briefly.

“Need a ride?” Magnus blurts out before he actually gets to think. But it’s a good idea. If they get away from the prying eyes of the hospital patients and visitors, maybe Alec will feel more relaxed.

“Thanks, Magnus but I actually have time today, so I can just take a bus-“ Alec stats, but Magnus just shakes his head, as he interrupts.

“Nonsense, Alexander.” He resorts. “It’s too cold and this jacket,” he sooths his fingers down the material “is not a great choice. But I get it, sacrifices need to be made for fashion.”

Alec laughs and Magnus can’t help but join him.

“And,” he picks back up a bit later. “if you catch a cold, because you’ll need to get to school by that hideous bus, you’ll regret not agreeing to my offer. We’re not strangers anymore, so you can’t use that excuse.”

Alec smiles a bit wider as he chuckles and rolls his eyes, but still he hesitates, so Magnus adds.

“I assure you, it’s not a trouble. It’s the same direction, don’t worry.”

Alec bits his lower lip, which is way more attractive than it should be, and then he asks.

“You sure?”

“Of course.” Magnus replies with no hesitation.

“Okay.” Alec answers finally and Magnus feels his grin widening.

“Okay.” Is his only reply as they begin to walk towards the exit.

 

As they get seated in the car and Magnus turns the key in the ignition, Alec rubs his palms in an attempt to make them warm. Magnus observes him and then he forces himself to focus back on the road, switching the heating on, to which Alec smiles at him.

“You were right.” He says then. “It’s freezing.”

“Yeah, the weather hasn’t been treating us nicely lately.” Magnus agrees.

They both laugh again, and Magnus is grateful that the atmosphere for their first meeting his already back.

“So your brother took the car again?” Magnus asks, after the laughter dies down.

“I mean, he takes it all the time he wants.” Alec resorts. “I guess he claimed Wednesday as his own too now. But it’s fine. It’s a longer way to his work than to the university or the hospital.”

Magnus nods, eyes fixated back on the road. They sit in silence for a little while, but it’s a comfortable one. But Magnus’ thoughts wander back to when he spotted Alec leaving one of the hospital rooms. He wonders who does he visit there. The room was definitely the children’s one, Magnus knows that, because he comes there regularly, to play with the kids. He desperately tries to remember if any of the patients there may resembling Alec at some point. What if he has a child? Or maybe he is just visiting his family, a younger brother or sister…

There’s too many possibilities, but it would probably be inappropriate to ask about such things now.

“It’s weird, don’t you think?” Alec’s voice brings him back to reality as he speaks. Magnus dares a glance at him, but Alec’s eyes are focused on the road ahead of them. Before Magnus gets to question what he means, the younger man elaborates. “I mean, how exactly a week later we meet again.”

And as he says it, Magnus feels like he too is trying to seek a reason of Magnus’ often visits to the hospital.

Maybe if he starts, Alec will also tell him his own?

“Actually, I go there every Wednesday. I’ve been for about a year now.” He admits, and catches in the corner of his eyes, as Alec’s gaze returns to him. But before he asks, something, Magnus picks back up. “I’m a volunteer at my friend’s charity organisation, and as part of that, I come to the hospital to spend some time with the patients. You know, just help them if they need it, or do something fun. Wednesdays are the only ones I have work at nine, so I decided it’s a good day.”

“This is so kind of you.” Alec resorts, with an honest awe in his voice. “Really, taking your own time to make someone’s day a bit better. I’m sure you get busy with all the work, but still, you’re doing that. That’s just amazing.”

Magnus feels himself blush at the prise from Alec’s mouth. He heard it lots of times, when he admitted to being a part of the organisation. But it is truly an amazing work and always admired the volunteers.

“I figured, that if I have some time, I can use it somehow. Not only for my personal benefit.” He shrugs.

“Don’t be so modest.” Alec asserts. “The world needs more people like you.”

Magnus chuckles briefly, but Alec’s next words come out in a firmer tone.

“Really. It’s great to know that there are actually some good people left, that are not blinded by money and fame.”

Magnus nods in agreement. He’s always been sick of how this world is corrupted. He hates how he was one of those people who only care for themselves, but he’s changed. Maybe it was too late, and he learned the hard way how it feels to lost something, before actually getting to appreciate it, but he’s better now. Or at least he hopes so.

“So, maybe…” Alec clears his throat awkwardly and stats again. “Maybe you know my brother? Since you come there every week. His name is Max…”

Magnus quickly scans his brain, in search of that name, and he does remember.

“Yeah, I think I do know him.” Magnus nods, more to himself, but Alec mirrors the gesture anyway. “We often play video games.”

“He loves those.” Alec says and smiles.

“’Mario Kart’, right?” Magnus recalls playing that one with that boy. He actually was quite good at that.

“Yes, he’s kind of obsessed with it now.” Alec chuckles.

“I also remember an impressive collection of books.” Magnus adds with a grin. “He mentioned something about his brother feeding it regularly…”

And if Magnus looks deeper into that, there really is something similar about them. Maybe a bit of facial features, or the eyes. Max often speaks about his brother. Always highly.

“Yeah, it’s sort of our thing.” Alec says, with this kind of private smile, probably only reserved for his baby brother.

At the back of Magnus’ mind, there’s a voice that says, thank God, he doesn’t have a child. It wouldn’t be actually bad if he did. Just complicated. Alec looks like a reasonable man, he’s twenty three tops, and seems like he’s more focused on college than anything else.

“So yeah,” Alec continues after a moment. “I visit him quite often, and my classes start later on Wednesday, so I have some time to drop by.”

“That’s nice of you. I’m sure he appreciates it.” Magnus flashes him a quick smile.

He doesn’t want to ask anything more. He knows Max has leukaemia, and he’s not doing quite well recently. He’s pretty surprised Alec has just admitted the reason of his visits, considering how much Magnus knows about the patients there. Maybe he hoped Magnus didn’t recognize his brother? Either way, he’s quite happy to know. It does decrease some part of his curiosity, but makes him realise that it must be hard for Alexander, dealing with his brother’s illness. Magnus finds himself wanting to help, to just be there for him.

“You said you also have a sister?” Magnus recalls, trying to change the subject, showing Alec that they don’t need to speak about it anymore. “And there’s also your unreliable brother…”

Alec chuckles lightly, and he does seems quite more relaxed at the change of topic.

“Yeah, we all live together.” Alec states. “It’s both fun and terrifying at the same time.”

They laugh again, and soon, way too soon find themselves at the driveway of the college again.

Magnus wants to linger the moment. Share a few more minutes with Alexander, and as the younger man turns to probably thank for the ride again, Magnus catches his forearm. And he swears he can feel the shiver running down Alec’s skin.

“Look,” Magnus starts as an idea is forming in his brain. It’s nuts, and Alec probably will not agree, but still, you never know if you don’t try. “What if I offered you a deal?”

Alec just looks back at him, his expression turning more and more confused.

“What do you mean?” He asks with a hint of laugh in his voice.

“I mean,” Magnus begins to explain. “that we both are at the hospital on Wednesdays, basically the same hour. So, what if I kept driving you to the university?”

Alec’s eyes widen, and Magnus knows that it isn’t a usual proposition you wouldn’t get every day, from a man you met a week ago. But still, Magnus tries.

“It’s beneficial for everyone. You get to go to school by this amazing, contented car, instead of a bus, which by the way can often be late, and I get the feeling you don’t like being late.” Alec lets out some sound between a snort and a chuckle at that. “And, your brother would just take the car on Wednesdays, without your disapproval.” Magnus sums up and shrugs.

“Okay, these are valid points.” Alec agrees. “But what would you get from that?”

Magnus chuckles lightly at his words, because with that deal, he would get exactly what he wants, which is simply Alec’s company.

There’s no point in hiding it.

“I would get to spend twenty minutes of my week with you.” He resorts humbly and the blush that covers Alec’s face is a beautiful shade of red.

“Why would you want to spend time with me?” He only asks, with an unsure smile.

“Because I think you’re a truly interesting person, Alexander.”

Alec’s eyes widen again, and he ducks his head to hide even more blush creeping onto his cheeks.

“I’m not interesting.” He shakes his head lightly.

“I’d like to find that out myself.” Magnus resorts and Alec looks back at him then, and they share one of the softest smiles.

“If I agree,” Alec starts, and Magnus’ heart actually starts to beat a bit faster. “I’d give you some money for the petrol or something-“

“Alexander,” Magnus swiftly interrupts. “I’m only dropping you off, not driving around the city. It’s on the way to my work. I told you, it takes two seconds.”

“You said the same thing the last time.” Alec begins. “And again, we’re ending up sitting here like five more minutes at least.”

“Are you complaining?” Magnus asks with a smirk, which to his surprise Alec reciprocates.

“No.” He states softly. “Of course not. I actually enjoy your company too.”

Magnus’ heart might burst now any second as Alec throws another smile at him.

“I know we’ve basically just met, but…” Alec lets the sentence trail of, but Magnus nods.

“I get it.”

The few next moments pass by in silence, until Magnus finally breaks it.

“So do you agree?”

Alec lets out a long exhale and closes his eyes briefly as if trying to compose himself.

“Yeah, let’s do this.” He settles and Magnus smiles wider at him, trying to hide his excitement, but he knows it’s somehow showing.

“Great, so maybe…” Magnus begins. “we could exchange phone numbers? Just so you know, I’ll text you if something happens and I won’t be able to drive you, or you’ll let me know if you’re not coming. Just for emergencies.”

“Yeah, sure.” Alec already pulls his phone of out his pocket. “It’s a great idea.”

They exchange the numbers and now, as it’s time for Alec to leave, Magnus doesn’t feel the longing that much, knowing he’ll see him just next week.

“So thanks again, and I guess, I’ll see you next Wednesday?” Alec asks, as he gets ready to get out of the car.

“Yeah, you will.” Magnus resorts with a smile and Alec reciprocates. Then he’s out of the car, throwing a little wave in Magnus’ side.

He’s never been looking forward to Wednesday as much as he does now.

Chapter Text

Alec never thought Wednesday would become his favourite day of the week.

He finds himself always waiting for this day to come. Their deal has been going on for about four weeks now, and Alec is delighted with it.

He has no idea why Magnus came up with it, but how could he refuse him? When he was looking back at him, with those beautiful eyes, and when he gripped his arm… Alec actually felt the electricity rushing through his skin from the touch.

And to be honest it’s a great deal. But he hasn’t really told anyone about it yet…

Only Lydia knows, since she sees him on the campus, and of course she noticed Alec leaving the same car every Wednesday. He’ll never hear the end of it, but he’d be lying if he said it doesn’t feel good to share a bit about Magnus with someone. And Lydia has always been a great listener. She doesn’t mind hearing about him, actually she’s very happy to see Alec happy.

But still, he doesn’t tell his siblings. Jace would get overprotective again, and no doubt he’d go and interrogate Magnus, since he’s a man, and he’s spending a bit of time with Alec. He’d tell Izzy, but his sister lacks the ability to keep her mouth shut sometimes, so if she knows, Jace knows too.

And it’s way too soon for that. He still doesn’t know Magnus very well.

But somehow, he still finds himself wanting to share something with him. Like he did on their second drive. When he told him about Max. He’s not sure how it came up, but it just feels easy to talk to Magnus. Easier than to anyone else. He wasn’t sure if Magnus would know his brother, but turns out he did, so he for sure knows about Max’s illness. And Alec is grateful that he didn’t push the subject more, didn’t ask how Alec feels about this whole thing. That’s what Mr Fell is for, what Alec needs is just a friend.

At least for now.

There’s no doubt that he’s developing some kind of crush on Magnus. He can’t help it. This man is handsome, well spoken, has an actual heart of the angel and for sure a lot things more, that Alec wants to find out about him.

They keep their conversations light, not diving into some existential shit, not trying to think deep. Just some words about work, college. Alec tells him about his siblings, Magnus shares some stories from his first year as a volunteer, and Alec is truly amazed by it. How Magnus is selfless and caring for others. For people that he doesn’t even know. Alec’s sure he wouldn’t be able to willingly watch some strangers suffering. To just hold their hand when every breath might be the last. He’s barely dealing with seeing Max being so miserable. But it’s different. Max is his family, he’ll always be the most important. It just hurts more to see your family in pain. Knowing, that there’s really nothing more you can do for them.

On their fourth drive, Alec admitted that he works as a writer for the local newspaper. That it’s his way of earning some money, so he and his siblings can pay for the apartment they share. He explains that Jace works in an advertising company, and Izzy has her own little business with jewellery making. And somehow they manage.

Magnus takes it all in, but doesn’t ask about his parents. And Alec’s glad he isn’t, since he’s in a such a good mood while being with Magnus, that he doesn’t want the conversation about his parents to ruin this.

Magnus tells him a bit about his friends from work. About his scowling boss, who is not so scary when you get to know him (but to Alec he seems terrifying, from the stories he heard from Magnus). He works with a lovely woman Dorothea, who sounds like an angel and Alec’s sure he would like her.

They continue to get to know each other better, and Alec’s not sure where this is going, but he’s glad with how things are escalating.

 

Tuesday drags on for like forever, and Alec is almost falling asleep during his family law class as he watches the cars slowly passing by the streets outside the window, it’s raining and the weather isn’t making Alec feel any less tired then he is.

He basically jumps as the bells sounds and everyone starts to quickly gather their stuff and leave the room. That’s when Lydia turns to him.

“Already excited for tomorrow?” She prompts, and Alec sighs. Sometimes he does wish he could keep this all from Lydia, she’s getting annoying with this teasing. “You practically zoned out during the entire class.”

“I’m just tired.” Alec admits and moves to put his things into his backpack.

“Are you okay?” Lydia asks, now in pure concern, gripping his arm lightly.

“Fine.” Alec exhales heavily. “I just stayed up late writing some articles.”

Lydia smiles understandingly and nods.

“You need rest too, remember that.” She advices, as she always does, when she notices that Alec is way too overworked.

He just nods, and then they get out of the class and stroll to the bus stop together.

When he gets home, he finds Isabelle sitting nervously on the couch, clearly awaiting his return.

“Hi Iz.” He greets and his sister and she flashes him an uneasy smile. “What’s up?”

“Our parents want to meet.” She replies bluntly. Like she always does. Izzy’s not the one who prepares you for any kind of confession, she just fires it at you. But also, she knows Alec will see right through her, if she even tries to lead him on, or refuse to say anything.

Alec just exhales heavily and closes his eyes briefly, as she sits in the armchair in from of the couch, where Isabelle is settled.

“What for?” He asks, still not opening his eyes.

“I don’t know.” Izzy resorts, and Alec’s gaze focuses at her to see her shrug. “They just said they want to meet. With all of us.”

“Why would they want to see me?” Alec questions, and Isabelle sighs. “What, you know they would never speak to me willingly again.”

“Alec, maybe they figured out their wrongs, and just want to talk-“

“Like hell they did.” Alec snorts. “I don’t want to see them, and the last time I checked, the feeling was mutual.”

Isabelle is actually the only one who keeps in touch with their parents. She’s always been their father’s favourite, just like Jace was their mother’s. He was the golden boy, he was perfect to them, until he decided on his career path, and they didn’t quite like his idea of making a living. The only jobs that seem to be approved form them are lawyers, doctors, engineers, or other that would bring you a lot of money. Izzy still fits in. She’s going to become an amazing forensic pathologist, Alec’s sure of that. And their parents accept that. More than, they’re even proud of her. She was the only one they said they will actually miss, when she left home. But Isabelle was aware of how her parents treated her brothers. It was never that bad with Jace. They were easy on him, mostly because he had a hard time adjusting, after they adopted him, when his parents died in a car accident. They did want him to feel good. At some point, they succeeded. The only problem was, he decided to stand up to their idea of perfection, of a successful job. He had it his way, because it’s just the way Jace is. And deep down, Robert and Maryse knew that, so they just let their son get away with it.

It’s completely different with Alec.

He is their first born and they always expected nothing less than perfection from him. He needed to be the best in class, the greatest role model for his siblings, a perfect brother, flawless son.

And Alec did deliver, through more than a half of his life.

And somehow it was never good enough.

His parents always found some mistake. Something he missed. And he picked up on it. Tried even harder, but deep down he knew, that he would never make it up to his parents standards. Not with being who he is. Not with the way he is.

Still, he decided to come out to his parents. And it might have been the worst decision of his life, because with that, he destroyed every little ounce of love his parents might have felt for him. He ruined the perfect image he created, became a completely different person in his parents eyes. They didn’t see their son, they saw someone who used to be him.

And the years that followed were just awful.

His father acted like Alec never existed. He threw insults on every step, like Alec wasn’t even in a room. His mother was just quiet, basically didn’t speak to him. He couldn’t decide if it was better or worse.

He came close to ending it all, more than a few times. But something was always holding him back. The thought of his siblings, or of the life he could have if he finally cut this parents off. Just start to live on his own.

But he couldn’t just leave. Not with Max still being there. He would never leave his baby brother, he needs to be close to him, always. The only good thing, is that with their parents being lawyers, they spend most of their days in the office. So it was mostly Alec who took care of him, as the oldest. And he wouldn’t have it any other way. He loves him, and to be able to watch him grow was a joy. Isabelle and Jace helped a lot too. And with their parents out, and his siblings close, Alec finally had some time to breathe.

But still, most of the time, he felt like he was suffocating. Breathing only felt a little bit easier when he finally moved out.

He’s glad Jace and Izzy came along. It’s great to have them around. Even if they get a bit annoying at times. They all hated the way their parents treated Alec, but back then it was nothing they could do, but to offer words of reassurance. And they were sick of the atmosphere in the house, and if there was a side to opt for, it was always their big brother’s.

Isabelle still stares at Alec, expression turning pleading and he exhales slowly.

“What do you want me to say?” He asks resigned.

“That you’ll come to the meeting.” Izzy pleads. “I know that you don’t want to see them. I know it’s hard for you, but think about Max, if this is something about him-“

“If this was something about Max I would know.” Alec resorts. “I’m signed into the hospital’s data base as the contact info too.”

“Okay.” Isabelle starts again. “So just do this for us, please. I swear if you’ll get uncomfortable, or they’ll dare to insult you again, we’re all leaving. I promise.”

He sees how important it is for his sister, so there’s only one thing he can do.

“When is the meeting?” He asks shortly, and a bit of smile is creeping onto Izzy’s face.

“Tomorrow, 5pm.” Izzy announces.

“Does Jace know about this?” Alec continues. Jace is probably still at work, but his brother needs to know what’s going on.

“He does, I called to tell him.” Isabelle says. “He said he’ll go if you go.” She adds with a smile, and Alec feels as his own is making its way up to his face, at how he and his brother are in tune with each other.

“So I guess he’s going then.”

 

Alec almost forgets it’s Wednesday when he wakes up. He’s still buzzed from the conversation he had with Izzy last light, that brought back some his worst memories of their home. And he’s quite nervous about today’s meeting. But somehow, the thought of seeing Magnus kinda sooths him.

Since he started driving with Magnus, even his sessions with Mr Fell don’t feel that bad now. He feels like they’re actually making some progress. His psychologist is not aware of the source of his sudden better moods, but he doesn’t ask. Not now, at least. But today, he must have noticed something is different.

“Is everything all right?” He asks, after they’ve been through a few questions, but Alec still must appear tensed and nervous.

“My parents want to meet with me.” He admits. “All of us, I mean. The rest of my siblings too, but also me.”

Mr Fell nods, and then they don’t speak for a moment.

He knows a bit of how his parents treated him. Not everything, but enough to give him a solid picture of how Alec’s childhood was like.

“So you’re nervous about it.” He states, and Alec just nods. “Do you know what they would like to talk about?”

“I have no idea.” Alec resorts. “I guess that’s what scares me.”

“Why would it scare you?”

“I don’t know…” Alec sighs as he tries to form his words. “I think I’m more afraid of meeting them. I’m scared that all those bad memories will come back when I see them.”

“When did you see them last?”

“A few months ago… we see each other briefly, when they visit Max or something, but we never actually talk.”

“It’s your choice.” Mr Fell reminds him. “You can choose just not to go.”

“I know, but…” Alec breathes in a few times to compose himself. “it’s just important for Jace and Izzy…”

“Yes, I’m aware it is.” Mr Fell agrees. “But I’m sure they wouldn’t want to make you feel uncomfortable.”

Alec just nods in agreement and the doctor smiles gently at him.

“Just remember, that no one can force you into this, if you’re not ready.”

And with these words their time basically runs out.

 

He meets Magnus in his car, quickly sliding the passenger’s doors shut, not to let any more of the cold air get into the warm space.

“Hi.” Magnus greets enthusiastically, and when he smiles Alec feels a bit more relaxed. “How are you?”

“Good.” Alec replies and nods, more to reassure himself that he is. Which is not exactly true. “You?”

Magnus eyes him cautiously for a moment, but then starts the car as he answers.

“Everything’s fine.” He’s still smiling, but as Alec tries to reciprocate, he can’t quite let himself do that. He doesn’t want to fool Magnus, but at the same time, he doesn’t want to bother him with his stupid worries.

They drive in silence for a while, but then it seems like Magnus can’t stand it, so he asks.

“Are you sure you’re okay?” He briefly glances at him with concern in his eyes. “You just seem… I don’t know, tense? Are you nervous about something? Is it another exam…” He trails of, as if giving Alec an option to say what’s on his mind, or to just brush him of.

“No, it’s not an exam.” Alec states, not actually meeting his eyes, when Magnus looks at him again. He takes another breath and then speaks, deciding to let it out. “It’s about my parents.”

Again, he realises how easy it is to just vocalize his thoughts in Magnus’ company. How he finds himself trusting this man, that he shares about twenty minutes with weekly. He spends more time with his psychologist, and he still hasn’t opened up to him as he does it with Magnus. It’s not like him. It’s scary. But somehow, not as scary as it should be.

Magnus doesn’t say anything, but Alec knows he’s listening, like he always does, so he continues.

“They want to meet with me, and let’s just say…” He pauses, searching for the right words. “that we don’t get on well. Never really have.”

Magnus hums, in a thoughtful tone, and then speaks.

“You never really talked about them.” He points out. “You talk about your siblings all the time, but not a word for your parents. But I didn’t want to ask, I didn’t know if you’d like to-“

“It’s fine.” Alec interrupts. “That’s true. I don’t speak a lot about them, ‘cause there’s nothing to talk about really. I became someone they never wanted me to be. I guess I always was, but for more than a half of my life I pretended otherwise.”

“I’m sorry.” Magnus begins. “We don’t need to talk about it, but if you’d ever want to… I’m here.”

Alec smiles lightly at that statement.

“Thanks.” He says. “I’m just quite nervous about tonight, since we don’t see each other often.”

Magnus nods understandingly, and then there’s another thought forming itself in Alec’s brain, and he feels quite guilty for it.

“I’m sorry.” He starts, and Magnus throws him a confused gaze. “I’m just putting all of my worries on you, and you probably have enough of your own-“

“Hey, stop this. I told you I’m here. It’s fine, we can talk about anything you want.” Magnus stops as if hesitating to say the next words. “That’s what friends do, right?”

So they’re friends. It’s some kind of a progress in their relationship. But does it mean Magnus wants to be only friends? Is he giving his some weird signals?

Alec, stop overthinking this, you’re friends. Just friends. Alec’s brain tells him, but he’s not sure if it’s the whole thing…

“Yeah,” Alec agrees after he shakes of his thoughts. “exactly. So you can talk about anything you want too.”

Magnus turns and smiles at him, as they stop at a red light. Alec can’t help but smile wider too.

“Can I give you an advice then?” Magnus asks, and Alec nods in answer. “I may not know, what exactly happened between you and your parents, but try to give them a chance. Maybe they want to make things better with you? Who knows. But, you might regret it, if you don’t do it now. One day it might be too late.”

He adds the last words in an incredibly sad tone, as his eyes wander back to the road, face twisted in some emotions Alec has never seen there yet. It’s weird to see him like this. He’s always so cheerful, enthusiastic, full of life, and now he looks just… hollow.

He did recovers from it quite quickly, as he shakes his head and adds with a smile.

“But you’ll do what you want to. I’m sure it’ll be fine.”

“Thanks, I…” Alec nods lightly. “I’ll think about it.”

They drive in silence then, and Alec can’t help the strange feeling again. Can’t help the ease he feels while watching Magnus as he drives. He’s just steady. And Alec needs steady in his life. Something to hold on to. He catches himself staring at his lips way to often than it is appropriate, and if Magnus’ eyes weren’t focused on the road, it would get totally awkward.

He can’t help it, but he hopes, even after Magnus words, that they could be more than friends. Sometimes, at the corner of his eyes he sees Magnus looking at him, as if taking him in, but his gaze lingers a bit too long for it to be just that. Like this time back in the hallway when they first met.

And Alec not only lets himself hope, but also want, and he hasn’t wanted anything that much for a very long time. Maybe even ever.

And as he thinks of his words, then maybe Magnus as well as Izzy are right. Maybe his parents finally came to their senses and they want to make it all better? Alec is willing to try, to give them this chance.

When leaves Magnus’ car this time, he just feels a bit lighter.

 

Classes fly by pretty fast. He tells Lydia about the meeting with his parents tonight, and she offers basically the same advice as his sister and Magnus. In the end he decides to go, so after classes he quickly hops on the bus and gets to the restaurant Izzy send him an address of. It’s a fancy one, it always is. As if only to show the power and success by how stuffed their wallets are. But Alec tries to let go of the negativity. He enters the restaurant and almost immediately spots Isabelle, as she waves at him to join them at the table.

On her left, there’s Jace, offering Alec a reassuring smile when he see his brother letting out a shaky exhales. Opposite him, at the table, there’s his mother, and she stands from her chair, something maybe even resembling a smile on her face as Alec makes his way closer to them.

“Alec,” she starts and moves to hug him. Hug him. She hasn’t done that in years. He lets her, but can’t help the look on surprised on his face when they pull back.

Maryse doesn’t notice. Or pretends not to.

Another surprise is the lack of their father’s presence. And as if seeing the question written on Alec’s face, Maryse speaks to clear everything out.

“Your father get held up in work, he’ll be there soon.”

Alec manages a slight nod, and then he slides into a chair next to his brother. Jace claps his hand lightly on his shoulder.

“How have you been?” Maryse speaks again, and Alec’s not sure if the question is directed to him, but as no one else speaks he thinks that it might. Which is weird. His mother didn’t care about how he is, not for the last four years at least.

“I’m good.” Alec states and nods. Izzy smiles at him brightly, kind of like she is saying I told you so, but something is still weird, and Alec can’t let himself relax just yet.

“How’s school?” Maryse prompts again.

“Great.” Alec resorts. “Challenging and busy, but it’s fine. I know that’s what I want to do so… I’ll get through this.”

Maryse nods and Alec swears he can see a glimpse of smile on her face.

Maybe Jace and Izzy talked to her before. Told her that his mental health wasn’t in the best condition recently. That he’s been seeing a psychologist. Maybe that’s why his mother is trying to be gentle? But deep down he knows, that his siblings wouldn’t just spill those information. They know that Alec is not proud of how things turned out. That he feels weak, and ashamed of needing this help. About not dealing with something that is supposed to be simple. It’s not. Once it’s better, sometimes it’s worse, and Alec couldn’t be more thankful for his siblings, that they noticed the problem, when he just couldn’t bring himself up to speak about it, and that they got him help, when he couldn’t ask for it himself. Even if he was sceptical at the beginning, it was a good choice to accept the help.

And he lets himself hope. That Izzy, Magnus and Lydia were right. That his parents will try to fix it. Fix them. And Alec will try to forgive them all these years of insults and basically avoiding each other.

But he also let himself hope before. That maybe such an important matter as Max’s illness is would get them all closer again. But it was exactly the opposite, it only made them drift apart even more.

And now, as his father enters the restaurant, all the hope disappears again.

He doesn’t spare a glance at Alec. Moves to greet Isabelle with a hug, and Jace with a handshake. It’s like Alec isn’t even there, which is basically same as always. He doesn’t feel bothered. Not anymore. It became normal to him after a few meetings in this atmosphere. He just hangs his head down and stares at the table. If his father doesn’t care, he doesn’t either.

Robert sits down next to Maryse, asks a few questions about Isabelle’s studies and Jace’s work. His brother glances at Alec worriedly, but Alec just shrugs, as if trying to tell him to let go. There’s no point in making a scene. Nothing is going to change anyway.

But something still feels different. And when he looks up from the table, he catches him mother staring at him. Almost worry, showing in her eyes.

They both quickly look away, but it’s obvious he saw it.

Then, they order some dinner, conversation still floating mostly between Isabelle and Robert. After their food is served, Jace begins to speak, knowing that their parents didn’t want to meet for a friendly chat. He’s probably getting sick of the small talk.

Well, he’s not the only one.

“So, is there any particular reason you wanted to meet?” Jace asks, and both Maryse and Robert slowly nod.

“There is.” Their mother states and clears his throat as she begins to explain. “We got a big deal, from a client in work. We decided to take it, but it compels us to get away for a while. To Chicago.”

“What?” Alec stars and it’s probably the first word he said after Robert entered this place. “What about Max?”

“That’s why we need to ask you to take care of him.” Robert states calmly and Alec feels the anger boil up inside him.

“So what do you think we were doing this whole time?” He asks, to which Robert only glares at him in confusion. “We’ve always been taking care of him, you don’t need to ask us to do this. Each of us is in a hospital day after day. We go see him more than you do.”

Robert’s gaze turns sharp, as he looks back at Alec, but when he speaks, his voice is calm.

“That’s because we have our job. We’re busy-“

“And you think we’re not?” Alec fires back. He’s never spoken to his father with his attitude, with this kind of judgement. He’s been on a receiving end of that tone lots of times. But this whole thing is just stupid. He and his siblings take better care of Max than them. They always did. It was always Alec who sang or read him to sleep, carried him to bed after he felt so bad he could barely walk, Izzy who rumbled to him about every subject she could find only to take his mind of the obvious, and Jace who played with him in every stupid game he could find to make him stop worrying. At least for a bit of time.

Maybe their parents where there, but they never actually got to know their own son. Any of their children. In Izzy, they only see a future forensic pathologist, not a young independent woman, who loves fashion and is so passionate about the jewellery she makes that she spends a whole night creating it. In Jace, they saw a promising lawyer, not a sport loving man, that wants to choose his own path. And in Alec…

They've probably never seen anything in him. Maybe once, their son, but now…

“You think we’re not busy,” Alec continues. “with school, and our jobs, so we can pay for our apartment-“

“Nobody asked you to move out.” His father interrupts, but Alec only snorts to that.

“But not everyone was welcomed to stay.” He says and glares with his father with just as much heat as he does.

Silence falls around them. An uncomfortable one. Robert looks like he wants to say something, but he has got no words. Maryse stares down at the table, her head hang down, same as Izzy, but Alec catches a little smile on her face. Same with Jace.

“How long will you be gone?” Alec asks, when nobody decides to.

“Two months.” Maryse answers. “Maybe less.”

Alec nods and suppresses the urge to snort. It’s so their parents style to just go away. Put money and career first, before their own, sick child. But to be honest he’s not surprised. Not anymore.

“Does Max know?” Alec questions next, and his mother nods again.

“Yes. We told him today.”

“What does he think about it?”

And as Maryse struggles to find her words, Alec can already figure out the answer and before he knows it, a hollow laugh escapes him.

“Right,” He starts. “You haven’t even asked about his opinion. You just informed him that you’re leaving.”

“Alec, it’s not like we really had a choice-“ His mother tries to justify, but Alec cuts her off.

“You said you decided to take the offer. You could refuse.” He states firmly. “What if Max needs you?”

He doesn’t see the reason why he would, but he still asks, just hypothetically.

“Then we’d get on a plane instantly.” Maryse claims, her expression serious. “Look,” she starts and turns to look at all of her children. “we would never leave if, we knew Max didn’t have anyone that could take care of him. But he has you. And I should probably thank you for being there for him much earlier, but I’m doing it now.” Alec feels a bit taken aback at her words, since she looks right at him as she says it. “So thank you. I know you take the best care of him. We just wanted to inform you that we won’t be that available in the next two months, but still, if anything happens inform us instantly. If not you the hospital will.”

The siblings nod at her words, and she mirrors the gesture as she leans back in her chair.

“It was nice catching up with you.” She states then. “But we need get going. We have a flight tomorrow night.”

They all get up and exchanges goodbyes. Maryse hugs Alec again, and her sight lingers on him a bit longer than the rest of her children, but she doesn’t say anything more. Neither does Alec.

Soon they’re all out of the restaurant and they part way.

That’s it for seeing their parents for another two months. Or even longer.

Jace lets out a long exhale, as he starts to lead them all in the direction of the car.

“Well, that was kind of unexpected.” He states and the rest nods in agreement.

“Yeah, I can’t believe they chose to just leave.” Alec shakes his head again, as if trying to get these thoughts away.

“I didn’t exactly mean that.” Jace says, and he looks at Alec now. “I mean your talk with Robert. You never really raise your voice or anything, and you sounded furious.”

His brother’s tone isn’t accusing or judging. Maybe it’s even a bit proud. Alec decides it is, when he sees that smirk on Jace’s face.

“Well, our brother never ceases to amaze us.” Isabelle states as she hooks her hand around Alec’s arm. “But seriously, he deserved that. They’re stupid to leave now.”

“Yeah, but we wouldn’t convince them otherwise.” Alec replies, after hearing the sight guilt in his sister’s voice. Isabelle just nods and she snuggles closer to Alec. “It’s not like a lot will change. We’re at the hospital every day anyway. But we need to talk to Max, about how he feels with all this.”

They all agree with a nod and soon they reach the car.

As they get settled in, Jace in the driver seat with Alec next to him, and Isabelle in the back, Alec rests his head against the window and can’t help the thoughts of his mother returning to him. The way her expression changed, when she was looking at him. He hasn’t seen her looking at him like that, probably since he was a child. It was almost loving. He kind of wishes he could talk to her more, and finds himself hoping, that there will be another occasion for an honest conversation. And hopefully without his father around.

“Hey, you okay?” Jace nudges him with his elbow, and Alec realises that they’re already back home.

He quickly shakes of his shock and clears his throat before answering.

“Yeah, fine.” He smiles and his brother reciprocates.

Then they all get into their apartment, and Alec feels the exhaustion setting down on him. All he wants to is to go to bed, and get some sleep before tomorrow’s long day. So he kisses Izzy’s forehead goodnight, and clasps Jace on the shoulder on his way to the bedroom.

And when he finally slumps down on the bed, face-first, he can’t help his thoughts from wandering to Magnus again.

Because at some point, he was right. Judging by his mother’s expression something broke in her. And Alec will find out what, but it’s something good. He can feel it.

He also thinks about the courage and fearlessness he felt when he spoke to his father. He doesn’t know what brought that up, but he hopes the rush will stay with him for a bit longer.

But for now it’s enough emotions for one day.

Chapter Text

“So… you are friends now?”

Catarina asks as she sips her drink. It’s a savoy margarita tonight. One Magnus knew she would enjoy, so he convinced her to order it as they got seated in Pandemonium tonight.

His friend doesn’t drink very often. She’s way more preoccupied with her work as a nurse, and she likes to stay alert all the time.

But tonight, however, Magnus just needed a drink, and Cat being the great friend she is, agreed to join him.

“I mean, we are. For now.” Magnus states, sipping his own martini, a second one that night.

That’s good. They’re friends and that’s a progress. But what if by that statement Magnus has ruined it? Sent false signals, that he wants to be only friends? He does want it, but he also wants much more.

After his talk with Alec about his parents, Magnus tried not to go to deeply into that. But he’s curious, he can’t help it. It’s in his nature. He wonders what happened between Alec and his parents that he doesn’t even want to see them. That he’s scared to see them.

“That’s good, right?” It’s not exactly a statement, but also isn’t a question, so Magnus just shrugs at Catarina’s words.

“Yeah, it’s good.”

“But you want more.” This time she states, just like she was reading Magnus’ mind.

“I do.” He admits with a sigh. “But it’s way too soon.”

It came kind of hard to him, to realise that he indeed wants to be more than Alec’s friend. And that’s just weird, because they barely know each other. They talk, but only about the regular stuff. Work, college, the occasional anecdote about Alec’s siblings. But recently Alec started opening up more. And Magnus wants to do that to, but he can’t find himself to, because it’s still too soon. Maybe he just should ask Alec out, and if he refuses then he’ll get over it, and being Alec’s friend will need to be enough.

“It can be a good tactic tho,” Catarina starts. “You know, you’re friends now, you’ll build your way up to gain his trust, and in the end there’s no way he won’t fall in love with you.” She says, if that was so simple.

It kinda is, since Alec doesn’t really show any resistance. Magnus asks, and he just answers. He never once refused to reply, even about his parents, and somewhere deep down, Magnus knows that Alec might even trust him a bit now. Which kinda makes it worse.

Because Magnus doesn’t. No matter how much he wants to, it’s too early.

Magnus just shrugs at Cat’s words again and drowns the rest of his drink.

“To be honest, I’m just glad you’re over Camille.” Cat continues. “You always said it was too soon for a new relationship, but it’s been almost two years…”

And it’s been a time. Since he cut her off, it just feels… lighter. But he catches himself thinking about her. And usually those aren’t good memories.

Magnus and Camille met back in college, sophomore year. She studied business, after she transferred from San Francisco. She might have had a lot in common with Raphael, as a business student, but these two didn’t really get along. Raphael only endured with her for the sake of Magnus. And it was basically the same with the rest of his friends.

But Camille was the one everyone wanted. Everyone longed for her to just look at them, not even wishing for something as simple as a conversation. Magnus was alongside them. Maybe not so deep, but he would be lying, if he said he didn’t want her.

And she chose him. Of all the people she could have. Magnus still doesn’t know why. Looking back now, it might be that, that he was an easy target. That maybe somehow she knew how simple it would be to play with his emotions.

But the beginning was great. They got together and she was sweet and caring. But now, Magnus wished he listened to his friends, when they told his something was off about her. If he only knew.

It started to get worse during their junior year. She dragged Magnus into a wrong crowd. They were partying all the time, to this point that they were both basically failing a year. But Camille didn’t care, and as long as Magnus was with her, he didn’t care too.

But the parties themselves weren’t so innocent later on. Not only alcohol, but drugs got involved, and since Magnus hadn’t developed an ability to say no to Camille, he tried everything along with her. Now, he can’t even count how many times Ragnor needed to drag him from these parties, until things would become quite messy. Not in any good way.

He was getting so high and drunk, that he practically didn’t know what was going on with him, or around him, but somehow, he had never missed the way Camille acted around other men. How close to them she was getting, but every time he tried to talk to her about it, she just brushed him off.

Turned out, she cheated. Not once, not twice, but repeatedly. Magnus saw a few times at his own eyes. But she convinced him, that he was nothing without her. That he only exists here, because of her. That he’s no one, and he doesn’t have anyone. And Magnus believed it was true.

He stopped seeing his friends since Camille consumed all of his time. And he knew they wouldn’t want him back, when he pushed them away. So she was right, all he had was her.

So when she kept coming back, he let her.

He doesn’t know how many times he let her lure him back. Deep down he knew that their way of solving problems with sex and only a few words that can’t even be called a conversation, wasn’t a good way. It was a terrible way.

But when they got back together, every time it was like at the start of their relationship. But always only at the beginning.

And if not Ragnor, Dot, and even Raphael. He would never get a grip.

But he wishes he did it earlier, because if he knew… if he only knew what was going on back in his home, with his mother, he would have sobered up a lot sooner.

But that didn’t mean Camille wasn’t back later. After he cut her of the first time, for longer, they were avoiding each other till the end of college. He heard that she went to France after the graduation. She didn’t pass the last year, but for her there was nothing money couldn’t buy.

Then she came back, found him, and again it started. And year later again, and next year too.

Because he couldn’t blame his friends for being busy. They had their lives, their jobs, their relationships. He was thankful enough that they even talked to him, after how he treated them while being with Camille. And there were times when Magnus just felt alone. And he knew Camille would take him back, if he came crawling to her.

He tired being with other people. When through his one night stands phase, but he did love Camille. Even though she didn’t love him. Never did.

It took him way too long to realise that.

So after he finished with her. This time for good. He stopped with relationships. And occasional one night stand was fine, when he needed it, but no commitment, no effort. No one was worth it.

But he has the feeling Alec might be.

“Magnus.” Cat’s voice shakes him of his thoughts, as she puts her hand on his forearm and sighs. “You’re thinking about her again, right?”

Magnus exhales heavily, but nods.

“You can’t keep doing that.” Catarina carries on firmly. “You and her, it’s all over. And what happened with your mom isn’t your fault.”

“Cat, don’t.” Magnus shakes his head. “Maybe if I knew sooner… if I paid more attention or just cared more-“

“You cared for her so much, Magnus.” Cat squeezes his arm. “We all know that. You can’t beat yourself up with this.”

He can and he will, but he nods at Cat’s words.

“And coming back to our previous subject,” she smiles a bit, softly. “Alec is not Camille-“

“You can’t be sure, Cat.” Magnus states sadly.

Because if Alec turned out to be as bad as she, Magnus wouldn’t be able to stand it. What if he’s cursed? What if he only draws this kind of manipulating people-

“Magnus stop thinking about it this way!” Cat scowls. “What happened? You were so eager to try it out and now…”

“I don’t know Catarina!” Magnus whines. “It’s scary.”

“Love usually is.” She states with a smile. “But it’s also amazing, so you should try.”

“I know.” Magnus nods slightly. “But not yet. I still need a bit of time, to get to know him.”

“Fine.” Catarina’s gaze lingers on him a bit longer. “But just so you know, you can always talk to me.”

Magnus smiles, and covers her hand on his forearm with his own.

“Thank you.”

“What are friends for?” She grins and then adds. “Now, be a good friend and order me another drink.”

 

He expects the headache he gets on Saturday morning.

It’s a usual consequence of drinking with Cat. Maybe she doesn’t drink often, but when she does, she goes all the way. Sometimes it’s hard to catch up, even for Magnus.

The only good thing about this, is that Saturday is his day off, so he doesn’t need to worry about work. He groans as he stretches out in his king-sized bed, and reaches from his phone from the nightstand, where he knows he’ll probably see a message from Cat.

And he’s not wrong.

Message received: Cat

I’m glad I don’t have a shift today. My head hurts like a bitch. 

He quickly taps a reply, that it’s no better with him, and then he moves to the kitchen to get some good, greasy, hangover cure breakfast.

And in moments like this, as he emerges from the bedroom and sees the big, open space of his loft so empty… that’s when he feels the most lonely.

His friends are amazing, no doubt. But none of them will be able to give him this feeling of waking up to a warm body next to his, or to someone humming in the kitchen as their preparing breakfast. Or just someone constantly being here. With him.

He misses it, but he also realises, that he's never really had this. His most serious relationship was with Camille, going on and off for about three years, but it was not as serious as he wanted it to be. They never actually moved in together, or talked about any future of them. Maybe it was for the best? If they made any plans, Magnus would only mourn them now.

But recently, he can’t stop thinking of Alec occupying the space of the loft. He can imagine him here, studying for his exams, or them eating dinner together, curled up on the couch…

He quickly shakes off these thoughts. It’s way too soon. Even if something escalates between them, it’s no time for thinking of some big steps. He just wants to enjoy it.

He wants to do it, he wants to ask Alec out, but he’s afraid of the reaction. Because still, he might be wrong. He’s pretty sure Alec isn’t straight, because he sees how sometime his gaze lingers on Magnus’ own lips, or he can feel the shivers running through his skin every time they touch.

Magnus doesn’t know why he hesitates. These are pretty serious signs, for someone who can read them. And Magnus usually can. But after a bit of time they've spent together, he also knows Alec at some point. And he figured out that he’s cautious. With the way he chooses his words, or the way he thinks them through. It’s good, but it also can mean he’s cautious in life too, with who he is allowing into it. And if Magnus scares him off somehow, by moving too fast, he would probably lose his chance.

Sometimes he finds himself thinking, that maybe Alec’s homosexuality was the bone of contention in his relationship with his parents. He wants to know, but he won’t just ask, Alec will tell him, if he’s ready. But if it’s true, then he’s really sorry for Alec, if he needed to grow up with this kind of attitude around him. Magnus was lucky enough that his mother accepted his bisexuality. It just never really mattered to her.

She just wanted a good life for her son. A better one, than he couldn’t have back there, in Indonesia. That’s why she left him in New York, to go to college, get a good job. To do everything he would want, and he wouldn’t be able to at home. Magnus wishes he could have been better to her. But he was too late.

He tries get rid of these memories. At least for now. He needs to keep going. This is what his mother would have wanted for him. The least he can do for her is live by her will.

He switches his thoughts back to Alec, to what they can have, when he finally finds the courage to reach for it. When he’ll be sure and ready.

It’s only Saturday, which means he won’t see Alec in another four days. He needs to get himself occupied somehow.

So he texts Luke, to see if he’s got a free hour. Or a few.

 

Luke is probably the only person he doesn’t rumble about Alec to.

Now, Magnus is seated in his favourite coffee shop, just around the corner from his loft. He’s waiting for Luke to show up, since the man claimed he has some free time before coming back to Idris.

He and Luke met back when Magnus was still in college. Similar to Catarina, they met in the hospital, where Magnus was constantly visiting his mother. Luke noticed how distressed he was, and offered help. Maybe it was only a few words of reassurance, but it was enough to make him feel a bit better. They kept in touch ever since. Magnus witnessed how Luke started forming Idris, and was there for him, when his wife, Jocelyn passed away.

He doesn’t wait long, till he sees the man showing up at the door. He gives a little wave, and then Magnus notices, that his not alone. Clary follows right behind him.

“Hi,” Luke says as he sits down in a chair in front of Magnus, Clary settling on his right. “I hope you don’t mind I brought Clary, we had some father-daughter bonding time.”

“No, of course not.” Magnus assures with a smile. “I just hope I haven’t interrupted any of your plans.”

“No, no worries.” Luke guarantees with a dismissive wave of hand.

As much as Luke claimed Clary as his daughter, he’s not her biological father. She’s Jocelyn’s daughter, but her father, Valentine has been in prison for more than twenty years now. She basically haven’t known him, but he wasn’t one of the bests. He was involved in some shady business, Magnus doesn’t know the details, but it clearly didn’t end up well for him.

So Clary has only ever known Luke as her father. These two were always close, but after Jocelyn’s death over two years ago, they seemed to become even closer. Clary is a regular in Idris. She studies art, and every Tuesday comes to the nursing home, to conduct an art lesson with the seniors. Her best friend Simon is also involved, but he prefers working with children. Idris offers various volunteering programmes. Luke and Clary always promote their organization among their friends, and it’s still gaining new members.

“How are you doing?” Magnus asks both Clary and Luke, as they all finish with ordering their drinks.

“Good,” Luke replies, looking at his daughter to which she nods. “a lot of work in Idris, but it’s fine. Better to have some work filling in the paperwork for new volunteers than lacking them.” He states with a smile and Magnus reciprocates. “What about you? How’s work?”

“Work’s pretty well. The usual.” He states with a shrug. “Raphael keeps talking about collaborating with some another large cosmetics company, but he’s been saying this for the past six months, so I’m not sure if I should believe him.” They all chuckle briefly, and then Magnus turns to Clary. “How’s Simon?”

“Great.” She replies. “Busy with his girlfriend today.” She smirks.

Magnus got to know Simon quite well, but still hadn’t had the pleasure of meeting his lovely girlfriend, but from what Clary’s told him, they’re good together, they make each other happy, and that’s all that matters.

“I really hope to meet her soon.” Magnus says, and Clary nods enthusiastically.

“Yeah, we should organize something soon.” She agrees and smiles.

And so the small talk goes on. They enjoy their drinks, talk about daily life and the future of Idris and a possible collaboration of Alicante with some other firm. It’s nice, and Magnus lets himself forget about everything else, just living the moment. Not worrying of what he needs to do, or what he should do.

 

Wednesday comes sooner than he expected, and he finds himself rushing into the hospital in the morning. As he gets there, he waves at Catarina and makes his way to some patients rooms.

He helps some elderly lady bride her hair, quickly goes shopping for another patient, and decides to go check on the children. For a moment he totally forgets about Alec’s brother, but as soon as he enters the room, and sees him, he can’t deny the resemblance now. They have the same eyes, and there’s something about their facial features. The other kids in the room are still asleep so he makes his way to the boy and he smiles when he notices him.

“Hi,” Magnus greets softly. “how are you doing today?”

“In a mood to kick someone’s butt in Mario Kart.” Max smiles and Magnus’ grin widens.

“Well, my butt’s ready. But I won’t go easy on you this time.”

Max laughs as he gets up from the bed and they make their way to the TV room, to play some games. The boy kicks his ass again, and Magnus was really trying hard this time. As he loses another round, he drops the controller on the floor and just shakes his head.

“Have you been practicing? I swear to God, you’re better with every round…”

“Practice makes perfect.” Max grins at him, as he hands him back the controller, and Magnus ruffles his hair.

At that, suddenly Alec emerges into the room.

“Max, I was-“ He starts, but then spots Magnus sitting on the floor with his brother and his surprised expression quickly turns into a smiles. “Hi.”

“Hi.” Magnus offers a little wave, and Alec’s smile widens.

Magnus didn’t really know how much he missed him, until he saw him now. And again, they just stare at each other, for God knows how long, till Max clears him throat, and Alec shakes his head lightly, turning his attention back to his brother, but Magnus swears he can see this cute blush making its way to Alec’s cheeks.

“You two know each other?” Max gestures with his hand between the two men, and his brother nods.

“Yeah, we do.” He just answers simply, and Max eyes him curiously.

Magnus takes it that Alec hasn’t told his brother about their deal, but it’s not his thing to reveal so he gets up from the floor, and turns to Max.

“Till next week, I’ll practice myself, so be wary of the next round.” The boy grins at him and they high five.

As Magnus turns to leave the room, he briefly whispers to Alec.

“I’ll wait outside.”

Alec nods and gives him a genuine smile, as he goes to sit down next to his brother on the floor.

Magnus leaves the room with a smile on his face, which of course doesn’t escape Cat’s notice.

“Saw your boy coming in.” She states when Magnus gets to lean on the counter in front of her.

“He’s not mine.” He says, but the smile is still plastered on his face.

Catarina rests her elbows on the counter too, and she leans in, adding in a lower voice.

“So, Ragnor still didn’t spill anything?” She ask, curiosity in her eyes.

“No.” Magnus whines. “He kept talking about the confidentiality rules and shit.”

“Well, but you seem to be doing a good job in getting to know him.” She continues with a grin.

“Yeah,” Magnus admits. “It’s quite nice.”

Catarina is still wearing this knowing smile, as she straightens from the counter and gestures with her head lightly forward, so Magnus turns to see Alec emerging from the room.

“Hi,” Alec repeats as he reaches him and sighs. “I’m sorry that you needed to wait-“

“Alexander, don’t worry. I had a great company.” Magnus assures swiftly. “This is my friend, Catarina.“

“Hi,” Alec extends his hand with a smile. “it’s nice to meet you.”

“Pleasure is mine.” Cat states as they shake hands. “I see you around quite often, I saw you with Max, so I assume you’re the big brother he keeps talking about?” She asks, and Alec blushes slightly.

“I guess that’s me.” He states simply. 

“You just look alike.” Catarina smiles at him softly and Alec reciprocates.

“Okay, shall we?” Magnus gestures with his hand down the hallway as the conversation dies down, and Alec chuckles as he starts walking in a pointed direction. Magnus throws Cat one last smile, and she gives him her thumbs up, then he follows Alec back to his car.

 

“So you made friends at the hospital, during your time as a volunteer?” Alec questions as they get settled into the car.

“Yeah, a few.” Magnus answers and Alec simply nods.

They exchange their usual small talk when they get settled in the car. Magnus tells him about the new formula for skin care, that they are trying to acquire back in Alicante. Alec rumbles about his upcoming exams, and then a comfortable silence falls between them again. Which Alec decides to break soon.

“So I mhm,” He starts and clears his throat. “I met with my parents.”

Magnus nods in acknowledgement. He didn’t want to bring it up, since he wasn’t sure if Alec wanted to talk about it, but if he’s starting the topic himself, that means he wants to share, so Magnus lets him.

“How did it go?” He prompts.

“Partly, you were right.” He states and Magnus looks at him briefly. “You said that maybe they want to make things better. My sister said the same, and also my best friend. And at some point it turned out to be true. At least I think so.”

“Did… something happen or…” Magnus trials off, waiting for Alec to elaborate.

“My mom actually talked to me.” He laughs sadly. “She showed interest in my life, which she hasn’t done for the last two years. I guess it’s a progress.”

Magnus nods again, but focuses his eyes back on the road, as Alec continues to speak.

“My father was basically the same as always.” He shrugs. “Which was expected.”

Magnus doesn’t asks what Alec means as ‘same as always’, he’s pretty sure it doesn’t mean tender behaviour towards him.

“So, what are you going to do next?” Magnus questions since Alec’s hasn’t said anything for a while. “Are you going to continue seeing them? Or at least your mother?”

“Yeah, I think I’d like that.” Alec states. “To see if she has something more to say.”

They stop at a red light, so Magnus turns to look at him, and smiles.

“And also, I wanted to thank you.” Alec carries on, now meeting his gaze.

It always fascinated him, how Alec is eager to maintain eye contact. How he isn’t scared of it. Eyes say a lot about a person, if you can read them correctly. He wonders if Alec does, and if so, what does he see in his eyes…

“For what?” Magnus speaks, but he’s still smiling.

“For your advice.” Alec says, his hazel eyes still focused on Magnus’. “You know, about going to see them. So thank you.”

He smiles that genuine smile again, and Magnus’ own widens.

“You’re welcome.” He answers simply.

“So what about you?” Alec questions a bit later when they’re driving again. “Do you have any siblings?”

“Nope.” Magnus shakes his head. “An only child.”

Alec nods, but he looks like he wants to say something more. Magnus can see the struggle in his eyes, so he decides to make it easier for him.

“Alexander, whatever it is, just asks.” He says. “If I don’t like it, then I just won’t answer.” He resorts simply, because he feels like he owes it to Alec, after all the questions he asked, and Alec always answered. He’s scared of what he will ask, but he knows he needs to be fair to him. He wants to open up, but it’s just not so simple.

“I don’t want to make you uncomfortable, so you really don’t need to answer. I won’t be mad or anything.” Alec says, and Magnus flashes him a smile.

“Ask away.” He throws simply.

“So, you know I always talk about my siblings and stuff,” Alec starts. “but we never really talk about your family. We don’t need to, if you don’t want to… but I was just wondering about it, you know…”

This isn’t really a question, so Magnus is not sure how to answer, is not sure if he wants to answer, because talking about his parents, especially his mother, still comes hard to him. But he figures out, that by not actually asking a question, Alec gives him a chance to speak whatever he wants, or to refuse to speak at all.

“I was born in Indonesia.” He starts and Alec looks a bit surprised, probably more at that, that he decided to speak.

“Really?” He questions and Magnus nods. “So, when did you moved here?”

“I came here for the last year of high school, with my mom. Then stayed for college to study chemistry.” Magnus begins. “That was what I wanted to do, and I quite couldn’t back at home.”

Alec nods and none of them speaks for a while, until he starts again, a bit nervous.

“So, is your family still back there or…”

Magnus exhales heavily, and Alec quickly carries on.

“You don’t need to answer, God I’m sorry, I didn’t want to-, you don’t need to feel like you owe me anything, because I speak a lot about my family-“

“No, it’s fine.” Magnus quickly interrupts. It takes a lot of courage to talk about this, but some part of him, a little one, deep down is building up to trust Alec, and it might be the first step to make it bigger. “My parents are not back there. In fact, I have no idea where my father is, and my mother…” He takes another deep breath. “she’s dead.”

Alec doesn’t speak for a while again, but Magnus can see that he’s searching for the right words.

“I’m sorry, Magnus.” He says, and as he puts his palm on Magnus’ thigh in a reassuring gesture, that actually brings a bit of comfort. “Really, I’m sorry I brought it up. It must be hard for you-“

“It’s fine.” Magnus repeats. “It was quite some time ago, but yes, it’s still hard sometimes.”

Alec nods, his palm still resting on his thigh, and he starts to rub it soothingly, as if not actually acknowledging him doing that. When he does, he pulls back and runs a nervous hand through his hair.

“Yeah, I…” He tries again. “I’m sorry. But you can always talk to me. When it gets hard or something. I know you have other friends, who you see much more often, but… I’m here too, just in case.”

Magnus turns to him as they reach the driveway of the university again, and smiles. Somehow, he knows he can count on Alec. That if he wanted to, he could talk to him about anything. Maybe one day he will.

But the fear is still here. That Alec might use it all against him one day. It scares him, but not so much not to try. He wants to try.

“Thank you, Alexander.” He just says. “I’ll remember about that.”

“Yeah,” Alec smiles at him. “So, I’m just gonna…” He gestures at the door and Magnus nods, as he climbs out of the car. “Thanks for the ride. And have a great day at work.”

“Have a good time in your classes.” Magnus smiles back and waves him goodbye, already waiting for next week, to see him again, as he disappears in the building.

 

Magnus growls he enters the lab in Alicante’s building. Dot nearly jumps from her chair as she hears his voice, and he throws her an apologetic look, before sitting down next to her.

“What happened?” She asks, when Magnus lays hi head on the table. “It’s Wednesday today. This is not how you act on Wednesdays.” She states, and they both know the reason behind it. “Did something happen with Alec?”

It causes Magnus to let out another groan.

“Why does he need to be so perfect?” He says as Dot runs her hand down his back.

He tells her briefly about their conversation. Dot doesn’t interrupt, just waits until he’s finished to ask questions.

“Okay, so what’s exactly stopping you from asking him out?”

“I…” Magnus begins. “don’t know.”

Dot sighs and her hand returns to his back.

“Magnus, if you’re scared that he’ll turn out to be Camille… I’m sorry, but you won’t find out if you don’t try. And you’re smarter now, you’ve grown, you’ll notice the symptoms and back off immediately then. I believe you will. You’re stronger.”

Magnus turns to her and sees her smiling softly.

“So, you say I should go for it?” He asks.

“Yes, basically.” She resorts simply. “And if it’ll go wrong, we’re all here for you. If it doesn’t… we’ll then we’re also here for you.”

They both laugh briefly and then Magnus nods firmly.

“Okay, you’re right.” He lets out a long exhale. “I will try.”

Dot beams at him as she moves to hug him.

He hopes he won’t regret this decision.

Chapter Text

Their exchanged phone numbers, in case of emergencies, turn out to have a total different purpose.

It starts one morning when Magnus sends him a picture of what probably is his counter at work in the lab. It’s covered in various samples and some potions Alec has no idea what are called. The caption under the photo say:

Message received: Magnus

Should have chosen law…

Alec laughs as he taps his reply:

Message sent: Magnus

Trust me, you wouldn’t like it.

He chuckles to his phone, as he makes his way to the kitchen, pulling out a carton of orange juice from the fridge, waiting for a reply.

Message received: Magnus

I look forward to you telling me more about it. Then I’ll decide. It’s never too late to change a career path…

Alec smiles again as he shakes his head lightly.

Message sent: Magnus

I don’t think we should choose my law studies as our conversation topic. I’d just bore you…

The reply comes almost instantly.

Message received: Magnus

I don’t think talking to you could ever get boring, Alexander ;)

Alec’s grin widens as he reads the text again, and he leans against the counter, not sure how to reply, but before he gets, to his sister’s voice reaches him.

“What are you smiling about?” She asks, letting her own smile paint her lips, as she joins him in the kitchen.

“Nothing…” Alec blushes as he hides his phone back in his pocket, but Isabelle just eyes him curiously. He knows she won’t let go, so he tries to figure something out. “Lydia sent me a… cat video.”

Izzy just throws him a resigned glare.

“Alec, you don’t find this kind of stuff funny.”

“What?” Alec exclaims offended. “Everyone finds cat videos funny!”

“Okay,” Isabelle agrees. “But that wasn’t a funny smile.” She states.

“Okay, so what kind of a smile was it?” Alec questions and Izzy actually doesn’t answer immediately, needing to think of an answer for a little while.

“I don’t know.” It’s what she comes up with. “And that’s what I’m curious about.”

Her sight lingers on him, and Alec pulls away from the counter, trying to quickly make his escape.

“So, let me know when you figure it out.” He starts to walk faster, trying to back out of the kitchen as soon as possible, but Isabelle easily catches up, and grabs his forearm.

“Wait, wait, wait.” She tugs at his sleeve until he turns to face her. “I think we need to talk, big brother.”

“I can’t, Izzy.” He answers, but she gives no intention of letting his arm go. “I’ll be late for the bus-“

“Alec, your bus doesn’t leave in another half of an hour.” She states simply and leads him back to the living room area, so they sit on the couch together.

Curse Isabelle for knowing his schedule.

“Okay, so what’s up?” She asks, when they’re settled. Jace is already at work, so it’s only them in their apartment now.

“Nothing’s up.” Alec says simply. “I means everything is great, you know just the usual…”

Izzy looks at him cautiously again, and Alec just lets out a longs exhale, knowing that she doesn’t buy it. She doesn’t say anything, but he knows she waits for him to talk.

He managed to hide his deal with Magnus for two month. It’s surprising good anyway.

“Okay,” He starts, and Isabelle’s lips form into a small smile. “something is up.”

“What is it?” She questions gently.

He takes another deep breath as he starts explaining.

“Remember when Jace messed up, and I got a ride to the university by this guy, Magnus.” He says, and Izzy probably feels what’s going on, letting her smile grow a little bigger, but she just nods, and lets him continue. “So, he’s been driving me to school ever since.”

“What?!” Isabelle exclaims.

“And I think I have this big crush on him.”

“Okay, hold on.” Isabelle shakes her head as if trying to assimilate these information. Her face is still scrunched up in shock. “So, how long has it been going on?”

“For about two months…” Alec says in a lower voice.

“What?! And you haven’t told me anything!” She raises her voice.

“I didn’t-, I mean it was nothing… I, I thought it would just pass, but now, I find myself waiting for this stupid Wednesday morning to come just to see him and… I don’t really know what to do.”

“Okay, so it was he, who was texting you today. It was Magnus?”

Alec nods.

“Yeah, and I like him.” He admits. “Like very much. But I’m not sure if he likes me back in that way.” He sighs and leans on the back of the couch. “I haven’t told you, because I knew somehow Jace would find out, and you know how he would get…”

Isabelle nods, and rests her hand on Alec’s thigh.

“I get it.” She resorts. “I won’t tell him. For now, at least, but Alec, are you sure that he… that he might be, you know, good for you?”

“I know it, Izzy.” Alec starts. “He has a kind heart. Actually, he's a volunteer at the hospital, he knows Max, they often play video games. We got to know each other a bit. But even if he turns out different… I want to try.”

Isabelle smiles at him gently.

“So go for it.”

Alec snorts.

“You say it like it was so simple.”

“Well, it is.” She shrugs. “Just ask him out, if he’ll agree then great, if not, then he’s an idiot.”

They laugh briefly, but then she continues.

“It’s been long enough after Raj, Alec.” She begins. “You know I’m worried, we all are, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. From what you’re saying he seems like a decent guy. I just don’t want you to get hurt again, but you can’t keep shutting everyone out. You just need to be careful.”

“I know.” Alec agrees.

“You know, that whatever it is, you can always talk to us. So if anything goes wrong, we’re here.”

Alec nods and then Isabelle pull him into a hug.

“So,” She picks back up again, after they part from each other. “Tell more about him.”

 

So Isabelle joins the inner circle of knowing about him and Magnus. She’s not surprised to hear that Lydia knows, but she gets quite taken aback when she finds out Max also is aware of that. Alec wouldn’t actually tell his baby brother if he didn’t make an idiot out of himself last week, when he found Max and Magnus together in the TV room, and he just couldn’t stop staring at him. Well, it was mutual, so of course Max noticed. And Alec was never able to lie to him, or hide anything from him for long, so he told him what’s been going on.

He and Magnus texted for quite some time during the rest of the week. Alec seriously thinks of asking him out, but he doesn’t want to do it via text, so he decides to do it next Wednesday.

And for the first time Wednesday comes to soon for his liking.

He’s nervous. He put more effort into his outfit today. It’s still cold, so he dresses in black jeans, dark blue button up shirt, and a longer coat, that Isabelle gave him for Christmas last year. His sister seems to notice the work put into his clothing today, as he fixes his hair in the hallway mirror, but she doesn’t say anything. Probably because Jace is still here, and she promises not to tell him yet. She just throws him a wink over her shoulder as she heads in the direction of her bedroom.

“You can take the car today.” Jace says casually as Alec is ready to leave their apartment. “There are some meetings at work, and I don’t need to be there till almost 11am.”

Alec’s mouth just hangs open before he gets to come up with some reply. Of course of all days it needed to be Wednesday, that Jace suddenly has no work.

“Thanks.” Alec starts as he gathers up his stuff, throwing his backpack over his shoulder. “But I’m… I feel like taking the bus today.”

“What?” Jace questions surprised. “You hate driving by bus.”

“Well, things change, I actually grew to kind of enjoy it.”

“Yeah, sure.” His brother eyes him carefully. “So, you’re not taking the car?”

“No,” Alec shakes his head. “All yours. I gotta go now.”

He quickly heads through the front door, but catches Jace still staring after him.

That was close. He knows he’ll need to tell him sooner, or later.

But just not today.

 

Max of course has the same perceptive eye as Isabelle, so he immediately notices that his big brother changed something about his appearance. As Alec gets settled in the chair next to his bed, he can’t really stand the quizzical gaze, so he asks.

“What?”

“Nothing.” Max answers. “You look handsome today.”

“Thanks.” Alec replies, not really meeting his eyes.

“You got all dressed up for Magnus, right?” His brother questions with a grin.

“Keep quiet, Max, he might already be here.” Alec silences him, and can’t hide the blush creeping on his face.

“So, planning to ask him out today?” Max wiggles his eyebrows.

“God, stop.” Alec whines, but then actually answers his question, with a little smile. “Maybe.”

“You should go for it.” Max adds, his words lacking the teasing note now. “He really is a great guy.”

Alec looks up and him, and they share a smile. With that kind of pep talk, he’s sure he can do this.

But it’s still scary tho. Because if Magnus refuses, then Alec will practically ruin everything. If he read it all wrong… he’s not good at this. He had only one boyfriend, who turned out to be a dick, so his relationship experience is definitely lacking.

“Okay, enough talking about my love life.” Alec states. “Let’s go play so Mario Kart.”

“I already played with Magnus.” Max states with a smirk, and Alec can’t help his smile from widening a bit.

“You’re gonna switch me for him soon, aren’t you?” He asks, but there’s no heat behind it. if Magnus will become someone closer to Alec, then he’s glad he and his brother would get along. Same with Izzy, he’s sure she’d like Magnus. The tricky part is Jace, but he’ll worry about it later, if all works out.

“Never.” Max answers with honesty in his voice. “You’re the best brother I could have. Magnus is awesome, but he’d never be you.”

Alec reaches out to ruffle his hair, and for a moment they just grin at each other, till Alec looks at the clock on the wall and realises, he should keep going. Max’s sight follows his movement and then he speaks.

“Go, get your man.”

Alec just rolls his eyes, as he feels the corners of his lips quirking up.

 

Every time Alec gets into Magnus’ car, he’s reminded of the conversation they had here the last time. He really thought he messed up then. He shouldn’t have asked about Magnus’ family, but he didn’t know it was such a fragile subject. He should have figured this out, because Magnus just never brought it up, and he had a lot of chances. But Alec was just curious, and he really hopes Magnus didn’t mind. By his reaction later, Alec’s pretty sure he didn’t.

As Magnus is half-way through telling him some story about when he, Raphael and Dot went to Peru for vacation, but they’re almost at the destination of their drive, and Alec feels, that he if won’t get it out now, he’ll lose his chance.

And he’s not sure if he’ll survive waiting another week.

“Are you okay?” Suddenly Magnus’ voice sounds, as he turns to look at Alec, their eyes meeting.

“Me? Yeah, fine.” Alec quickly shakes off his thoughts.

“You weren’t really listening, were you?” Magnus questions, but his tone doesn’t say that he's mad. It’s soft, and concerned.

“No, I…” Alec starts, but there’s no point in lying, so he just shakes his head lightly. “I wasn’t, I’m sorry.”

“Hey, don’t worry.” Magnus assures simply. “But I get a feeling that something is on your mind. Wanna share?”

Alec chuckles briefly, but nods. He lets out a long exhale before beginning.

“Look, Magnus.” They stop at a red light, and Alec is not pleased, because that means Magnus turns to look at him again. And it’s not helping to form his words. “We’ve been… I mean, you know-“

“Alexander,” Magnus starts gently, putting his hand on his thigh. “Calm down, it’s fine. You can tell me anything.”

He must have noticed Alec’s trembling hands, as he sooths them down his thighs. He just smiles at him encouragingly and nods, letting him know to continue.

Alec takes a few deep breaths again, and tries to continue.

“We’ve been doing this quite a while…” He starts again. “And you’ve never, ever wanted anything from me in return.” Magnus opens his mouth to interrupt, but Alec gestures him with his hand to just let him continue, so he does. “And I feel like I should repay you somehow, so…” He breaths out again. “What would you say about dinner? Maybe on Friday?”

Magnus’ eyes widen and his mouth hangs open for a few seconds. Alec bites his bottom lip, anticipating his answer, and then some car behind them honks, since the light is already green, and they’re still just seating and staring at each other. Magnus quickly focuses back on the road, but instead of going straight, like they’re supposed to, he just drives a few more meters, and pulls over, stops, and turns to face Alec again.

“Alexander,” Alec is pretty sure his heart has never beaten so fast. It’s so loud that Magnus can probably hear it. And he waits, and just waits, slowly regretting asking this question, but then a smile is creeping onto Magnus’ face, as he looks back at him, and all of Alec’s worries disappear. “I’d like that, very much.”

Alec releases a breath, he didn’t even knew he was holding, and lets his own smile paint his face. And they just sit, grinning at each other like idiots, but none of them seems to mind.

“Great,” Alec states after a minute. “So, Friday?”

“Yeah,” Magnus’ smile extends. “Works for me. I can come pick you up-“

“No,” Alec shakes his head with a laugh. “this time, I’ll be doing the driving.”

Magnus laughs briefly, as he turns his attention back to the road, and then they’re back on track again.

“As you wish.” He says, the smile never leaving his face.

“Does 6 sounds okay?” Alec asks, to which Magnus nods.

“Sounds perfect.”

They’re basically reaching the driveway to the university, so Magnus turns to him again, and Alec smiles as he speaks.

“I’ll see you on Friday then.”

“Can’t wait.”

His smile only grows bigger as he leaves the car.

 

Alec marches into the class, still dazed because how the hell did this happened? He has a date, with an amazing man, he agreed to go out with him. Him of all people.

He sits down at his usual place, and replays their conversation in his head. He has two days to figure something out. To come up with a wonderful date. Hopefully first of many.

“Alec, are you okay?” Abruptly Lydia appears in front of him, eyeing him up and down with a serious expression, as he still can’t shake off of what just happened.

“He agreed.” Alec just says to which Lydia looks even more confused.

“What are you talking about? Who?”

“I asked him out and he agreed.” He adds, and his eyes snap back to Lydia’s to see the exact moment when she understands.

“Oh my God! This is so amazing Alec!” She moves swiftly to throw her arms around Alec, and hug him tightly, not really restraining from showing her excitement. She keeps squeezing him, and when he finally comes back to his senses, he hugs her back.

“Okay, when is it?” Lydia questions when they part. “The date, I mean.”

“Friday.” Alec states and smile again.

“All right.” Lydia pulls out her phone, and starts typing something. “Then we better look for the best restaurants in New York.” She grins at him.

And if they don’t pay attention to the whole lecture, searching online for some of the best and affordable restaurants, no one can blame them.

 

Friday comes sooner than expected. Alec was busy with both studying and writing articles. He and Magnus texted a bit, and they decided that Alec will pick him up, and then they’ll drive to the restaurant that he had chosen. It’ll be a surprise. Magnus agreed and without hesitation sent him his address.

And now he finds himself in front of the hallway mirror again, with Isabelle trying to help him fix his hair.

“Stop fidgeting.” She scouts, as she runs her hand through his locks again. “I don’t think we can make it any better, but messy is your style so…” She combs his hair again and then states. “There, you look perfect.”

Alec turns to face the mirror and can’t help but agree. He does look good. The restaurant isn’t anything fancy, since it’s not kinda his thing, and he’s doesn’t feel the urge to impress Magnus with his money, which he couldn’t even do, since he’s not rich like his parents. He chose something simple, but with a great vibe. He and Lydia spend quite some time at finding the perfect location, but in the end, he’s happy with the choice.

He’s wearing a simple black shirt, paired with his favourite black jeans and the long coat. Isabelle popped two buttons of his shirt open, because apparently it looks better and more relaxed. And he can’t fight with his sister’s advices.

“You’re lucky Jace is out with some girl tonight.” Izzy resorts as he sooths the front of Alec’s coat. “I wonder how you would explain it to him.”

“If the date goes well, I’ll tell him, Iz.” Alec resorts and his sister smiles at him.

“No pressure.” She says and steps back to evaluate Alec’s look, and she nods to herself.

“I’m nervous.” Alec admits and Izzy comes closer again.

“You have a right to be.” She responds and takes his hand to give it an encouraging squeeze. “It’s a big deal for you. But I’m sure it’s gonna be fine. Try not to worry too much.”

“Easy for you to say.” He lets out a shaky exhale. “Were you that nervous before your first date with Simon?”

“No.” Izzy answers simply, shaking her head a little. “But that was totally different. He asked me out, and he’s, you know, Simon.”

Alec laughs briefly and his sister joins in.

“My point being,” She continues after a moment, way more serious now. “That it’s okay to be nervous. You want this to work. But try to let go a little, and just enjoy yourself tonight, okay?”

Alec nods and Isabelle leans in to kiss him on the cheek.

“Good luck,” She says as he heads to the door. “love you.”

“Love you too.”

He hopes Magnus’ company will relax him, because right now he’s kind of a mess.

 

Getting to Magnus’ place doesn’t take as long as he presumed, so he sits in a car for a few minutes, before heading to the apartment building and pressing the button next to his name. He doesn’t even need to say anything, as he gets let in immediately.

He climbs up the stairs and gently knocks on the door, trying to prevent his hands from shaking. It doesn’t help, but he hasn’t got too much time to think, then the door burst open.

“Alexander,” Magnus smiles as he opens the door wider and gestures him in. “Come in.”

“Hi.” Alec greets as he gets into the apartment.

The first thing that hits Alec is that this place is huge, comparing to his flat. He hasn’t seen that much of an open space in long. The design of the whole place is fancy, but not too fancy. There are a few paintings on the walls and an impressive bookcase they pass by, while Magnus leads him into the living room.

“You have a nice home.” Alec turns to Magnus again, looking around, taking in the whole place.

“Thank you.” Magnus smiles. “I’ll be ready in just a minute. In the meantime, make yourself at home.” He gestures for Alec to seat down on the couch. “I’d offer you a drink, but I suppose you’re driving today. Maybe you’d like something else-“

“No, I’m good.” Alec reciprocates his smile, and then Magnus heads back in direction that Alec assumes is his bedroom.

He looks around again. It is indeed a nice home. There are huge balcony doors on Alec’s left, and he’s pretty sure the view needs to be amazing, since the apartment is located in Brooklyn, which is a lovely district. He wonders if he’ll get to see it one day…

“Okay, I’m ready to go.” Magnus emerges from his bedroom and buttons up his jacket, while Alec just stares at him again, actually taking him in for the first time tonight.

He’s wearing tight black pants with some chains hanging loosely around his waist. His shirt is dark green, paired with a black waistcoat, and he’s just put on a long navy blue coat. His eyes are underlined with some black eyeliner, and there a few rings are adoring his fingers, that are painted a dark blue colour.

“Ready?” He questions and Alec snaps out of his daze.

“Yes, sure.” He smiles at him.

“Great.”

He follows Magnus as they leave his apartment, and realises that it’ll be really hard to keep concentrated tonight.

 

It feels weird to have Magnus in a passenger seat of his own car, after two months of being a passenger in his car. It’s new and exciting, in a good way.

“So, will you tell me now where we’re going?” Magnus turns to his as he starts the car and turns the heating on.

“There's this nice Mexican place in Soho.” Alec announces. “So I hope you like Mexican cuisine.”

“I’ve been craving enchiladas for a week now, so you’ve definitely hit the jackpot.” Magnus states and Alec feels relief pooling in his chest.

It’s going good, for now.

He swiftly backs out of the parking lot, and heads in the direction of the restaurant.

“Your car is nice.” Magnus says after a while. “I get why your brother fancies it some much.”

They laugh briefly and it just feel amazing, how relaxed the atmosphere is. Alec feels a bit of tension leave his body. It’s just he and Magnus, in a car, like always. The only exception is that Alec is the driver now.

“You’re car’s much better.” Alec resorts, eyes focused back on the road.

“Oh, I get it now.” Magnus starts in a teasing tone. “You’ve only accepted to my deal because of my car, since it’s nicer then yours!”

Alec laughs again as he just shrugs.

“Busted, I guess.”

He already knows he’ll never get tired of Magnus’ laugh. It’s soft, and sounds so pleasant in his ears. And somehow, being the cause of Magnus’ laugh makes him proud, makes him happy.

“You know what I just realised?” Alec asks a while later when the laughter dies down. Magnus quirks a quizzical eyebrow at him, so he continues. “That all the time we've been driving together, we’ve never listened to the radio.”

“Mhm, I guess it’s true.” Magnus agrees and hums. “But I just prefer to listen to you talk. It’s better than music.”

Alec doesn’t really know why, but he feels his cheeks getting red. Him talking, shouldn’t be even compared to any music. He misses his way with words all the time, thinks them through way too much, and rumbles about some unimportant stuff. But he knows it’s no use to argue with Magnus, so he just smiles.

Soon, they reach the destination. Quickly beating the distance from the car to the restaurant. Alec holds the door open for Magnus and he swiftly gets inside, Alec following right behind. They get seated at the table near the window, watching the busy streets of New York. The restaurant itself is cosy, and warm. It’s kept in a Mexican style. It’s colourful, but not too much. There’s a bar near the entrance, where a few people are seated, but the place isn’t too crowded. There’s not much of a noise, which is good, because you don’t need to shout to keep the conversation.

“It’s nice.” Magnus states, as he also looks around the place, appreciating the design.

“Yeah.” Alec exhales, but instead of admiring the view, his gaze lingers on Magnus.

A while later a waiter shows up. They order their food, and continue to talk.

“So, how did you come up with this place?” Magnus asks.

“Me and my friend, Lydia did some digging, and it’s seemed like a good choice. personally I love Mexican food, but I have never been here myself.” Magnus nods, and then Alec carries on. “So, what’s your favourite food?”

Magnus thinks for a little, before speaking.

“I don’t think I can choose one thing. Probably something back from home. There’s this kind of fried rice that my mom used to make for me. I haven’t actually had it in ages, but no matter how many other’s I tired here, none of them tasted like my mom’s.”

His tone turns dreamy and Alec finds himself getting drowned in his voice. He could listen to him talk for hours. So he’s glad when they continue. The talk is light, as always. Soon their food arrives and they both compliment the taste. When they’re done, they get back to talking. Magnus finishes his story about the vacation in Peru, which Alec interrupted earlier. And Alec tells him about the time Jace broke the living room table, for the first time.

“So he got pissed off, because this girl hasn’t called back, and when he called it turned out she’s already has a boyfriend. He needed to release some energy and the poor table didn’t make it.” Alec finishes and Magnus laughs again.

“Your brother has got quite the temper.” He resorts with a giggle and Alec nods.

“Yeah, but he’s a great guy. It’s good to let your emotions go lose. Sometimes it just gets too much.” He looks down as he says it, because he himself knows how it feels. He’s been there a lot of times. He wishes that back then he would just break things, instead of breaking himself, all over again.

Magnus clearly notices they change of the atmosphere when Alec still looks down, so he attempts for a change of subject, to which Alec is really glad.

“Have I told you already about my trip to London?” He prompts and Alec shakes his head. “Good, so you’re in for a treat.”

And as he starts recounting, Alec feels this weird sense of ease floating over him, all thanks to his voice.

 

None of them is really eager to leave. They stay and just talk for a few more hours, but when it’s really 11pm, they decide to call it a night. Alec pays, before arguing with Magnus that if he invited him, he should be the one to pay. After about ten minutes he finally agreed, saying that it’s on him the next time.

Alec really hopes the next time will be soon.

They get back to the car, and this time Alec actually turns the radio on, but turns the volume down, so it doesn’t interrupt their conversations. When none of them says anything for a few moments, Alec decides to break the silence.

“Why exactly did you propose me this deal?” He asks out of nowhere, and Magnus’ gaze turns back to him, looking slightly confused.

“I told you, because I wanted to spend some time with you.” He shrugs lightly.

“I know, but why?” Alec inquires.

“Because you’re interesting.” He says simply and Alec snorts. “What? It’s true.”

“I have no idea what you find interesting in me.” Alec starts. “I’m just a law student, nothing less nothing more. You’re the one who’s interesting here.”

“And why is that?” Magnus asks with laugh in his voce.

“Because you have this cool job, you visited places, actually have stories to tell, when all I can talk about is my family, since I have a boring life and nothing fun ever involves me.” He sighs. “God, I’m sorry. I’m such a mess.”

Magnus leans in a little bit closer, putting his own hand on Alec’s, that’s resting on the stick shift.

“But you’re a beautiful mess.”

Alec laughs, the blush reappearing on his cheeks. Magnus pulls back then, letting out a chuckle as he focuses him eyes back on the road in front of them.

“To be honest, I was surprised that you agreed.” Alec raises his brows at him. “Seriously.” Magnus continues. “You didn’t really strike as a risk taker.”

“Oh, and am I taking a risk with you?” Alec questions, his tone playful.

“You kinda did.” Magnus states. “We barely knew each other back then.”

Alec hums, but then dares to say something more.

“I did want to get to know you.” It’s Magnus’ turn to raise his eyebrows at him. “Yeah… you’re an interesting person too.”

“So you were secretly hoping, that this stranger would offer you a ride more often?” Magnus asks in a teasing tone, nudging him with his elbow and giggling lightly.

“No,” Alec starts. “well maybe… kind of… I don’t know. Maybe I just hoped we’d meet sometime in the hospital again. I wasn’t expecting that kind of offer, but… yeah it happened.”

Magnus just hums and there’s a few moments of silence before he speaks again.

“I’m glad it happened.”

“Yeah, me too.” Alec replies without hesitation.

 

When they reach Magnus’ apartment building, he’s not sure what to do. The evening has been perfect. Alec was kind of afraid of how they would act around each other for longer than twenty minutes weekly, but it turned out to be a delightful time.

“I had a great time tonight.” Magnus says when Alec stops the car. “Thank you, Alexander.”

“I had a great night too.” Alec answers and the silence falls between them again.

Magnus doesn’t actually move to leave the car, but he doesn’t really lean closer, or tries to indicate that he might want to kiss him. And Alec doesn’t too. Not because he doesn’t want it, he does want it, but because he isn’t sure if Magnus does.

God, this is confusing. He’s not good at confusing.

But then Magnus speaks.

“Do you want to come in?” He gestures lightly with his head to the building, but Alec freezes for a moment.

Deep down he knows Magnus doesn’t mean it in any bad way, not like that. That he wouldn’t just use Alec and play with him like this, but there’s also a part of him that knows what these words meant before, and he doesn’t won’t to find out if they could mean the same now. Those memories seem to start to come back in these kind of flashes and he shakes his hed, trying to supress them. No matter how much he’s attracted to Magnus, how he begins to trust him and care for him, he’s not ready for anything more. 

Magnus seems to notice the panic in Alec’s eyes, because he speaks almost immediately.

“God, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to... I swear-“ He says rapidly, but Alec quickly interrupts him.

“No, I know.” He exhales shakily. “I know I just,” It’s way too soon to tell him about Raj. Maybe one day… if Alec hasn’t just ruined everything now, and they’ll get to grow closer together. “I think I should go back home.”

“Alec, I’m sorry if-“

“No, it’s fine.” He turns to face him again, resting his palm on Magnus’ thigh, but not actually looking him in the eye. “It really is. I had an amazing night, and I hope we’ll get to do it again soon.”

Magnus smiles at him, but it doesn’t quite reach his eyes.

“I’d like that too.”

“Good.” Alec states and nods. “So I guess I’ll see you on Wednesday, right?”

“Yeah,” Magnus answers instantly. “Of course.” Now he moves to get out of the car, throwing one last smile in Alec’s direction.

“Goodnight, Magnus.” Alec says when he leaves the car.

“Goodnight, Alexander.”

Alec watches him until he disappears in the building, then letting out a long exhale and rubbing a hand through his face, before starting the car again.

He really hopes he hasn’t just messed up everything.

Chapter Text

The night has been perfect. It really was.

And he messed up.

The need to have Alec for himself for a little longer overtook him, and he really wanted a few minutes more. But he didn’t think his words through.

He didn’t think that Alec would interpreted them like this. He would never use him like this. He wouldn’t do that to anyone. If it was a simple no strings attached deal than yeah, but that’s not what he wants from Alec. It’s terrible to toy with someone like this and it’s totally not how he plays it. He hoped Alec would have figured that out.

And maybe he did. Because Magnus believes him when he said he knew. But he couldn’t just demand an explanation from Alec. Not when he saw the look of panic in his eyes. Not when he didn’t look him in the eyes. And Alec has always been maintaining eye contact. He knows him enough to know that if he plans to confess, he’ll do it fully, truly, not avoiding his gaze. But Magnus can’t help to try to come up with an explanation himself. Maybe Alec has been in this kind of situation before, and these words became some kinda trauma for him? Maybe someone used him like this… He wishes he could explain to Alec more, but he didn’t want to push. He thinks of calling him now, but it’s late and he needs to rest.

So he makes his way to the drink cart and pours himself a glass of whiskey.

So yes, the whole night was perfect.

Besides the ending.

Magnus did think of kissing him. He’d been thinking about this for the whole night. Staring at Alec’s lips when they were back in the restaurant. He wanted to do it. But what if Alec thought it was too fast?

He growls in frustration as he slumps down on the couch. It’s too confusing. That’s why he stopped doing relationships. Figuring out what the other person feels it the trickiest part. Allowing yourself to make a move is even worse, because you never know if the other person will approve it.

He thinks of calling Cat, or Dot, or even Ragnor, but it’s getting late. Catarina probably has a shift at the hospital, but he doesn’t want to disturb her anyway. And the rest deserves their beauty sleep.

So he drowns the rest of his glass in one go, before heading to bed.

But he knows he’ll need to talk to someone tomorrow. Before it kills him from the inside.

 

Catarina comes by on Saturday morning, probably right after her shift, since she slumps on the couch and gestures for Magnus to get her a drink. He does. And then he tells her everything.

“So, why exactly didn’t you kiss him?”

“What if he thought it’s too fast? And then I stupidly offered-“

“Magnus,” Cat interrupts. “you had no idea he would react like that. And you didn’t mean anything wrong. He knows it.”

“Yes, but what-“

“Look,” She sighs before speaking again, Magnus sits down on the couch next to her and she takes the hold of his hand. “I think I need to break something to you.” She exhales again. “You know that he probably sees Ragnor, regularly.” Magnus nods. He’s pretty sure of it. Besides he saw Alec leaving his office a few times before. “So if he’s seeing him,” Catarina continues. “then it means he probably had some issues in the past, or that he’s still having them now. I know his brother is sick, and that’s probably part of that, but judging by his reaction after your offer last night…” She pauses as if to search for the right words. “he might not be experienced in this kind of stuff. He’s young.”

Magnus nods slowly, because it all makes sense. He’s got a fair idea, that Alec’s childhood wasn’t all unicorns and rainbows, since something was wrong it the relation with his parents. But he didn’t really thought of how inexperienced Alec might be. True, he is young, but he’s just gorgeous. He could have anyone if he wanted to. They never really talked about their past relationships, and Magnus is glad they didn’t, because he doesn’t want to tell him about Camille. If he did, he would appear weak in his eyes, vulnerable, exposed. It’s not how he wants Alec to picture him.

“The question is,” Cat says after a moment. “are you willing to take him with everything he has? As he is? Even if it means he may be complicated.”

And is he?

He’s pretty sure he’s never met someone like Alec. Someone so caring, and kind, and wonderful. But is he willing to take complicated now? He wants simple. After Camille, he finally wants something simple. So is he willing to risk getting into something complex again?

“You have time to figure it out.” Cat states with a smile. “There’s no rush.”

“Yeah.” Magnus agrees.

But for the rest of their meeting he can’t quite pay his full attention to Cat. His thoughts keep wandering to Alec. He just can’t help it.

 

He’s thankful for Monday to come, since now he can get his mind occupied a bit. He shortly tells Dot about the date, to which she offers a few words of reassurance. Even Raphael notices something is off, and that Magnus isn’t fully focused, so he asks if he’s fine. Magnus dismisses him with a wave of his hand, but actually appreciates the concern.

And when Wednesday comes, he’s quite nervous to meet Alec again. Not because he hasn’t missed him. He did. But, because he’s afraid of saying something wrong again. And he still hasn’t answered himself the question Cat asked him. Is he willing to take him fully as he is?

He relaxes a bit, when Alec enters the car and just smiles at him. Magnus easily reciprocates and they start their weekly conversation like nothing has happened. But Magnus can’t quite take it, because something did happen between them. He’s not sure what, and he doesn’t know where they stand now. They had been on one date, and… nothing more for now.

Are you sure you want more?

“Look, Alec” Magnus starts after Alec finishes explaining something about his exam, that is coming up next week. He turns to him with a patient expression, waiting for Magnus to elaborate. “about Friday night-“

“Magnus I really had a great time.” Alec interrupts with a smile. God he wishes he could see this smile all the time. Alec has a few kinds of smiles. This one is soft, and true, so Magnus knows he’s honest.

“Me too.” Magnus smiles himself, but then turns more serious. “But at the end, you know-“

“Magnus, you-“ Alec sighs. “I’m sorry for how I reacted. I know what you meant but I just…”

Magnus sees the way Alec struggles to find the right words. And he doesn’t want that. He doesn’t want an explanation when Alec isn’t ready to give him one.

“We don’t need to talk about it.” He says quickly. “Really, I get it. Why you might have think that, I just didn’t think-“

“Magnus, it was a normal question. It was me who freaked out. Who messed up. You don’t need to apologize-“

“I just don’t want you to think that of me-“

“I don’t.” Alec states firmly. “I really don’t.”

And then again, there is this honest smiles, and somehow it decreases Magnus’ worries to that point, that he just needs to smile himself.

“I don’t think you messed up.” Magnus admits after a while, not taking his eyes away from the road. “You have your reasons, and you don’t have to tell me what they are. We only needed to explain, I’m glad we did.”

“You’re right.” Alec admits, and for a moment looks like he wants to say something more, but he doesn’t. And Magnus doesn’t push.

“So, if we both enjoyed Friday night, maybe we could repeat it sometime soon?” Magnus offers when they reach the university driveway.

“Yeah, that would be great.” Alec turns to him as he undoes his seatbelt and smiles again. Then he moves to get out of the car, and before Magnus really thinks, he grabs him by the forearm.

“Alec…”

Tell him, kiss him, do something so he knows you’re thinking about this seriously, that you’re ready to take him as he is, even if it means complicated.

Because he really wants too. He wants to try.

“Yeah?” Alec prompts, looking slightly confused, but not fighting the hold on his arm.

But Alec is vulnerable. He showed it back there, in the car, on Friday night, and Magnus can see it in his eyes when he talks about his brother or his parents.

And he can’t let himself make a mistake with him.

“Have fun at school.” He just says, letting go of his arm, and forcing on a smile.

Alec probably notices, but doesn’t say anything about it.

“Enjoy work.” He resorts with another smile, and then he’s out of the car.

When he disappears in the college building, Magnus bangs his head onto the stirring wheel and growls. Why can’t he just reach for what he wants. For this once?

 

Work is just terrible today, since he can’t focus. Dot tries to help as much as she can, but when he almost mixes glycolic acid and retinol she tells him to take a break, go for lunch and come back when he’s more conscious and sane.

He doesn’t even have the strength to argue.

Thankfully, Catarina has a break at the hospital the same time he does. So of course they meet.

The weather is actually really nice today, so after getting lunch, they decided to take a walk in the nearest park. Now they’re seated on a bench and Magnus finishes talking about his earlier conversation with Alec.

“So you’re good?” Cat inquires when he’s done.

“Yes.”

“Then, what’s wrong?”

“I want to try, Cat.” Magnus starts and she just listens patiently. “I’m willing to take him as he his, all past or present issues. I think he’s worth the effort, and I haven’t felt like that about anyone for a long, long time.”

“But you’re scared.” Catarina states as if reading his mind, and he nods.

“Because what if I,…” He sighs. “what if I’m reading something wrong, and he doesn’t want it?”

“Magnus,” Catarina begins firmly. “You won’t know if you don’t try.” Magnus shakes his head, but she continues regardless. “Look, we talked about this, about how he can be not so experienced.” Magnus nods. “So didn’t you think that he’s scared too? If he’s been hurt before, based on his reaction on Friday, he might have been, he’s afraid to reach for what he wants. And if you keep going like that, when both of you are scared to take the first step, you might lose each other before you even begin.”

Magnus hangs his head down and exhales long.

“So spear him the worry,” Catarina carries on. “make the first step. I’m sure he’ll appreciate that, and then you can finally start building something more, something serious.”

“You can’t be-“ Magnus tries, but Cat cuts him off, as she shakes his head.

“Don’t say I can’t be sure.” She starts. “It took me two minutes in the hospital to see that he’s head over heels for you. It’s the look in his eyes, when he looks at you. Similar to yours though.” She smirks as she leans back on the bench.

She’s right.

They’re something special for each other. There’s no doubt about it. And if he needs to be the one to take the risk for Alec, he’s willing to do this.

“You’re right.” Magnus vocalizes his thoughts. “I’m gonna do it. I’ll tell him and we’ll try.” He continues with determination.

“That’s the spirit.” Catarina states and claps him on the shoulder. “You can ask him out on your second day next week.”

“No,” Magnus states firmly. “next week is too far away.” He says as he pulls out his phone.

“What are you doing?” Cat asks curiously.

“I’m texting him to meet.”

Because he can’t let the new gained courage escape. He should have told him this morning in the car. He needs to tell him today.

Message sent: Alec

Hi, are you free today?

Alec probably has a break between lectures, because a reply comes almost immediately.

Message received: Alec

Sorry, classes till 7pm, my brain will probably go offline around 5.

Curse Alec and his need to be the great student he is.

“Damn it.” Magnus swears out loud, when he thinks of a reply.

Catarina looks over his shoulder, probably catching up on the messages.

“Ask him about tomorrow then.” She suggest.

“No, I need to do it today.”

He texts back a simple: okay, another time then, but he’s not backing out so fast. Then, he gets up from the bench and straightens his jacket, ready to say goodbye to Cat, as she does the same.

“What are you doing?” She asks, eyeing him with a stern expression.

“I’m going back to work.” Magnus states enthusiastically. “And then I have a handsome man to pick up from university at 7pm.”

Cat smirks back at him and as he gets another clap on the shoulder, he knows he can make it.

 

He’s not sure how he goes through all the work today. He stays longer, and decides to go straight to Alec when he’s finished. Dot doesn’t question his choice as she leaves at 4, only mumbles a quick good luck on her way out, since she’s smart enough to figure out that Magnus’ determined behaviour has something to do with Alec.

At exactly 6:57pm he leaves the car at the driveway, leans against it and waits.

It’s really quiet, and the university is basically empty, probably only Alec’s class left. Magnus fidgets nervously, before the clock finally announces 7pm, and some students start to float out of the building. He tries hard to spot Alec and finally, he sees him.

He’s walking towards Magnus, but not noticing him yet, since he’s engaged in some conversation with a blond girl on his right. Magnus straightens a bit, as the girl seems to notice him first as they make their way closer, then Alec’s gaze follows.

His eyes widen in surprise for a few seconds, but then a soft smile appears and he speak.

“Hi.” He greets simply, face still scrunched up in surprise, but that good kind. Magnus can’t help but smile back, as they continue to stare at each other.

“Hey.” He lets out a short exhale.

Then the girl next to Alec clears his throat, and Alec seem to snap out of his bemusement.

“Yeah, um, Magnus, this is my friend Lydia.” He gestures at the girl, and she smiles, offering a little wave. “Lydia, this is Magnus, the guy who I’ve been driving with for quite some time now.”

“Hi, it’s nice to meet you.” Magnus extends his hand and the girl, Lydia, gladly shakes it.

“The pleasure is all mine.” She states when they pull back.

There’s a few minutes of silence, when no one is quite eager to speak, until Lydia does again.

“So, I’m gonna go get a bus.” She points in a direction, which Magnus assumes is the bus station. “I see you’ve got a ride, Alec.” She smirks lightly, and Magnus resorts he might like her very much. Alec just rolls his eyes as she continues to walk past him. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”

“Yeah, bye Lydia.” Alec’s gaze follows after her for a moment.

She throws another glance at Magnus before disappearing down the street.

When Alec is sure he’s far away, he begins.

“Is everything okay?” He asks, truly concerned, and Magnus takes a deep breath to compose himself.

He’s been thinking about what to say, but somehow all of the speeches he prepared left his brain, and he comes out empty. He shakes his head a few times, before his eyes return to Alec’s again, and the younger man looks even more confused and worried

“What is it?” He prompts again as he crosses his arms tightly onto his chest.

“Alexander,” Magnus finally starts, deciding to just lay it all out. “I…it’s been a great time, since we met, and I really enjoy being your friend. In your company I just.. I know I can speak about everything I want, and” He chuckles lightly. “the twenty minutes we spend together is actually the best time of my week, and I just can’t help…” Alec smiles softly, but still looks confused, so Magnus sighs and continues. “I can’t help but want more.”

Alec’s eyes widen again, and his mouth hangs open, but he doesn’t say anything. Which gives Magnus another pretext to keep going.

“So if you want to,” He didn’t even realise he was stepping closer to Alec, but he’s at arm’s reach now, so Magnus steps even closer. And Alec doesn’t pull back. He still, looks at him. Gaze fixated at his eyes, and Magnus finds it quite overwhelming, but upholds the contact. “Maybe we could try…”

Alec still doesn’t give any reply, but Magnus hasn’t really asked any question.

“Tell me to pull back, and I will.” Magnus states, but instead lays his palm gently on Alec’s arm, and feels the pleasant shiver running down his skin. “Just tell me to stop and-“

“I don’t want you to stop.” Alec whispers into the limited space between them, and his sight falls briefly to Magnus’ lips, before returning to his eyes again.

If this isn’t enough of an invitation, then he doesn’t know what would be.

The palm that rested on Alec’s arm wanders to cup his face, and Magnus closes his eyes as he connects their lips together.

Alec’s lips are soft, moving gently against his, and it just feels right. It feels better than he expected, it’s light, and none of them tries to deepen it, but still it’s full of emotions. It’s a reassurance. Something he didn’t even know how much he was craving, until he finally got it. Alec’s places his hands on Magnus’ waist, as he moves his own to Alec’s neck, creasing the sides of it softly. He doesn’t know how long they stay like this, with their mouths still together, until Alec pulls back to take a breath. 

His eyes are still closed, but he smiles this amazing smile again, and Magnus just rests their foreheads together, chuckling briefly when Alec does.

“I should have done it back on Friday.” Magnus says as he his eyes meet Alec’s beautiful hazel ones. “Or this morning.”

“Then why didn’t you?” Alec asks, still smiling at him when Magnus strokes his neck.

“I wasn’t sure if you’d approve.” He replies. “I guess I was scared you wouldn’t.”

Alec’s smiles widen a bit, when he speaks again.

“It might sound funny, but that’s exact same reason why I didn’t kiss you on Friday.”

They both laugh again, the sound vibrating against their chest, since their pressed so close together.

“God, we’re such idiots.” Magnus resorts after a moment.  

“We are.” Alec agrees with another chuckle. “Or maybe we’re just careful? That’s good if we are though. It means we… that’s it’s serious. That we take this seriously. Us, I mean.”

“Yeah,” Magnus nods, because it is true. They care for one another, and are important for each other. They’re careful because they don’t want to get hurt. “You’re right.”

“I usually am.” Alec states teasingly with a grin. “Just a warning, for the future.”

Their future.

“I’ll keep that in mind.”

With that, he puts his palms on Alec’s cheeks and leans in to kiss him again. Short and sweet, but it makes them both grin at each other even wider.

“Come on,” Magnus starts as he intertwines their fingers together. “I’ll take you home. You’re probably exhausted.”

Alec just nods, not showing any resistance when Magnus tugs at his hand to lead them back to the car.

 

They both basically can’t stop smiling the whole way to Alec’s apartment. Even when Alec looks back at the road, the soft smile is still playing at the corner of his lips. Same with Magnus. But when they glace at each other, their grins only get wider again.

And Magnus just feels lighter. Like all of the worries and doubts about Alec are gone now. Because he wants him back. They want each other back. And that’s all that matters. They can work from that. Continue to get to know each other better, and now they’ll probably get more than twenty minutes weekly for that.

“So…” Alec starts and Magnus turns to him, as he stops the car at a red light. “We’re boyfriends, right?” He asks and scrunches his nose adorably, so Magnus can’t help, but answer with a laugh.

“Yes, Alexander. We definitely are boyfriends.”

“Okay.” Alec exhales slowly, but his smile fades a bit, as he bites his bottom lip to try to hide it, and again, he looks like he wants to say something, but doesn’t, so Magnus prompts.

“Is something wrong?”

“No!” Alec exclaims instantly. “No, everything is great, just…oh, turn right here.”

Magnus swiftly turns and waits for Alec to continue.

He’s never actually been to Alec’s apartment before, so the whole drive Alec keeps giving him directions. Magnus tries to memorise the road as neatly as he can, because he’s sure there will be more times when he’ll be driving Alec back, or picking him up. But it’s hard when Alec is being kinda distracting.

“So, what’s up?” Magnus asks again, when Alec doesn’t speak.

He gives him all the time he needs, and they basically reach the building, so Magnus stops, and turns to him, taking the hold of his hands.

“Come on, talk to me.”

“Okay, I…” Alec plays with their fingers, lacing and unlacing them. “Look,” He finally fixes his gaze back at Magnus’ eyes, as he continues. “I know you told me we can talk about everything, and I do appreciate that, but there’s… there just are some things that I’m not ready to talk about. Not just yet. I… I’m not exactly experienced at this, relationships, I mean. I’ve only had one boyfriend actually.” He chuckles hollowly before adding. “So I just… yeah, I don’t know if you-“

“Alexander,” Magnus squeezes his hands a bit tighter. “that’s totally fine. Relationships need trust. And trust takes time. And it’s okay. I want you as you are. With all the insecurities and doubts. We can work them out. At our own time.”

Alec smiles again and brings their joined hands to his lips, to kiss Magnus’ palm.

“Thank you.” He says then. “It’s really important to me… you are important to me.”

“As you are to me, Alexander.”

Alec blushes slightly again, and ducks his head, shaking it lightly, as if trying to see it this for sure isn’t a dream.

“So I…” He starts and clears his throat. “When will we see each other again?”

“Tomorrow?” Magnus asks hopefully.

“Works for me.” Alec answers with another smile.

“All right, so I’ll text you, okay?”

“Sure,” this time none of them hesitates to lean in and kiss each other softly. “so, till tomorrow.”

“Can’t wait.” Magnus says when Alec climbs out of the car, and gives him one last smile.

This whole thing feels like a dream and Magnus nearly pinches himself to make sure it’s real. He already can’t wait to see his boyfriend tomorrow.

 

When he gets home his phone is already buzzing with messages from Catarina, asking how it all went. As he starts to type a reply, he decides that it’s too difficult to put it into a message, so he calls her, and tells her everything. Of course, he’s met with a lot of I told you so, but mostly Cat is just happy for him. It’s a new start. It feels refreshing and he already can’t wait to see Alec again. He can still remember how Alec’s lips felt against his, how his hands hold onto his waist and how he smiled, with closed eyes after they pulled apart. He looked so content and just happy.

Magnus wants to continue to make him happy.

There’s still a lot to figure out between them, but for now, it’s good as it is.

He already gets to planning their date tomorrow. They already did dinner, so it should be something else now. Magnus thinks of a picnic is Central Park, but it’s still a bit too cold for that. He knows Alec enough, to know that he’s not a fan of fancy restaurants, so that’s out too. He considers just inviting him over, so they can watch some movie or something, but is also not sure if it’s a good idea. He still remember his reaction from Friday, and even though they explained it to each other, he still doesn’t want to be too forward.

So he settles on a walk. They will stroll down some allies, maybe get drinks later, and just see where it goes. There’s no point in overthinking it. They should see where the night leads and not rush anything.

 

The next day he texts Alec and they establish to meet at 5pm, since Alec’s at the university till 4, and if Magnus actually makes it to work at 8am, he can leave around 4 too. They’ll meet at Riverside Park and start their stroll from there.

Of course as soon as he gets to the lab, Dot notices how cheerful he is, and he recounts the story from yesterday again. They manage to go through all of the assignments quickly, and he gets to leave a few minutes after 4pm, so he makes his way to their meeting point.

Alec is already there, punctual as always and a soon as Magnus reaches him, he greets him with a kiss.

“So, what are we doing today?” He asks, when they part.

“We walk.” Magnus announces simply to which Alec raises a questioning brow at him. “Let’s just see where it leads us, hm?”

“Sure,” Alec agrees. “The weather is nice.”

“So, shall we?” Magnus extends his hand, and Alec laces their fingers together as he nods.

They walk for a bit, telling each other about their days. It’s nice, there’s no rush and they actually have nowhere to go, just taking random turns and walking down the streets. Soon, Magnus tugs Alec a bit closer, since it’s starting to get cold, as the evening breeze begins to engulf them.

“Do you want to go grab a coffee?” Magnus asks then. “There’s a nice coffee shop around the corner.”

“Yeah,” Alec approves. “That would be nice.”

They continue to walk for a bit, before reaching the coffee shop. Alec again holds the door open, and the slide inside.

“Okay, so how do you take your coffee?” Magnus asks as they make their way to the counter to place the order.

“Black.” Alec replies and Magnus throws him a glare.

“Alexander, seriously?”

“Told you I’m boring.” Alec states with a chuckle.

“No, no, no.” Magnus starts as he bars Alec’s way to the counter, before they get to order. “You’re just basic, because you haven’t tried any other coffee.”

“Well, that’s kinda truth.” Alec agrees after thinking for a while. “The first coffee I drank was black, and I guess I just stuck to it.” He shrugs lightly.

“So here’s what we’re gonna do,” Magnus begins, as he gently places his hand on Alec’s chest, pulling him back a bit. “You will got and take a seat, while I will order us some drinks. Let me surprise you.”

Alec smiles and nods .

“Okay, but the next time we get coffee I get to choose for you.”

“Fine.” Magnus sides with the offer. “But I swear to God, if you’ll order me a black coffee-“

“You already agreed.” Alec smirks as he back of to get the table.

This man will be the end of him.

 

Alec doesn’t really enjoy his white chocolate mocha, claiming that it’s too sweet, and that Magnus only wanted to order something as far away from black coffee that he could, so he chose to serve him a white drink. Magnus just chuckles lightly, but doesn’t really deny his words.

“So,” Alec starts when they’re half-way though their coffees. Well at least Magnus is, since Alec practically stopped drinking his own. “I already told you, that I had only one boyfriend before you-“

“Which is totally okay.” Magnus states, not really sure where Alec is going with time, but expressing once again, that there is nothing wrong with that. He gets that Alec might feel kind of weird with it, since he’s twenty two, and probably most people his age, or his friends and siblings had already been dating lots of people, so he just feels odd. But there really is nothing wrong with that. Sometimes it’s just better to be alone, than to just be with someone because it might seems as some kind of a rule.

“Yeah, I know.” Alec agrees. “The point is, that I don’t have much of a past love story so… what about yours?”

“Is that your way of asking about me exes?” Magnus asks, quite taken aback at Alec’s question. He definitely wasn’t expecting to talk about that tonight.

“Well, yeah kinda.” Alec shrugs.

“And, why does it really matter?” Magnus question, maybe a bit too sharply.

“It doesn’t, not really, but I…” Alec states shyly, his voice uncertain.

And then a realisation hits him.

“You want to know how many partners I had before you, to see how experienced I am?”

“No,” Alec rubmles. “I mean, maybe.  I don’t know, just forget it, okay? That was stupid-“

“Alec, a number of partners doesn’t really show how experienced you are. You could meet the love of your life at first try and not look for anyone more. Or your relationships can be just a fling, not something serious. That doesn’t make you experienced.”

He had a fair amount of lovers, but still his most serious relationship was with Camille. But there’s no way he’ll tell Alec about her now. If he ever will.

“I told you I’m not good at this.” Alec says after a while, not meeting his eyes.

“No, look.” Magnus starts and puts his palm on Alec’s forearm that’s resting on the table. “It’s okay to ask questions. And I did say we can talk about everything. So yes, I did have some partners before you.” Some, if counting the linger lasting relationships, because he doesn’t count in all of the one night stands he’s been through, he’s not sure if he even knows the number. “But nothing was really serious between us. It just didn’t work out.” He shrugs. “You’re the first person I’m dating in a year, actually.”

“Really?” Alec questions with a bit of disbelieve in his eyes. “How?”

“What do you mean?” Magnus asks with a chuckle, taking a sip of his drink.”

“I mean, look at you.” Alec gestures at him with his hand. “You’re just gorgeous.”

“Thank you, darling.” Magnus laughs again. “But I guess I just…” was totally wrecked after things ended with her, couldn’t really get a grip, thought I was no one and that no one would ever want me. “I hadn’t find someone worth building a real relationship with.” He just says. “Until I met you.”

He swears he can hear Alec’s breath hitch in his throat, but then his boyfriend just smiles softly and blushes slightly before speaking.

“Well, it’s been basically a year for me too.” He nods to himself, and Magnus just waits for him to continue. “After my break up… I kind threw myself into studies, and work. I just wanted to forget. But when you came along… I don’t think I can explain it, I just felt like… I knew I wanted to build something with you. No matter if it was gonna be just friendship. I wanted to have you close.”

Magnus reaches out and brushes Alec’s hair out of his forehead, smiling at him and then lacing their fingers together.

“I’m glad we got the same feeling then.”

They sit like this for a while, finishing their drinks, till Magnus’ phone buzzes in his pocket, and he pulls it out to check out the message.

Message received: Clary

I set up  a meeting with Simon and his gf for tomorrow night. Pls tell me you can make it!!!

Magnus rereads the text, and an idea comes to his mind.

“What’s up?” Alec asks, since Magnus sight is still focused on the phone.

“How would you feel about meeting some of my friends tomorrow night?” Magnus suggest, hoping that Alec will agree, because everyone would be delighted to meet him, since Magnus has been rumbling about him for the last three months. “If you think it’s too soon or something just say it.” He adds, sensing that Alec is still thinking this through. “It’s fine, really-“

“No, I’d love to meet them.” Alec states. “But what if… you know, what if they don’t like me?”

Magnus reaches with his hand to touch Alec’s again.

“Alexander, there’s literally no way they wouldn’t like you. You’re just wonderful.” Magnus says, to which Alec ducks his head. “But even if they somehow didn’t.” He starts as Alec looks back at him. “Then I don’t care. It’s not them who’s dating you. I like you, that’s enough.” 

Alec smiles again and nods slightly.

“Okay.” He announces as he exhales and Magnus beams as he starts typing a message back to Clary.

Message sent: Clary

I’ll make it. Just one question tho, can I bring my boyfriend? ;)

A reply comes not even a minute later.

Message received: Clary

WHAT?! A BOYFRIEND!?! Sure, bring the boyfriend, I see we have a lot catching up to do ;)

Oh, they definitely do.  

Chapter Text

Things are escalating pretty fast.

Not that he minds now, not really.

He and Magnus started dating like yesterday, but they both know that they could have been together for months now if not their stupid insecurities and fear of being rejected.

After their first date, Alec really thought he messed up. He totally overreacted and got scared for nothing. He knows Magnus is different, special, he’d never try to just use him…

So yeah, everything is going fine between them and finally it seems they’re heading the direction they both wanted to from the start.

That doesn’t change that he’s scared of meeting Magnus’ friends. Maybe not scared, nervous. Yes, definitely nervous.

 Magnus is important to him, and he knows that only his opinion should matter. Still, he can’t help but think, that he wants his friends to like him. And with him being his usual self… it might be hard.

He decides to play it cool. Just not worry too much. Magnus will be there with him the whole time.

Well, it’s easier said than done…

After he got home from the coffee date with Magnus, he was planning to study, but nothing is getting into his head. He keeps thinking about tomorrow. He already wants to see Magnus, he misses him.

He checks out his phone and when it shows that it’s been an hour since he started studying and he still hasn’t finished reading the first page of his notes, he decides to give it a rest. The test isn’t in another three days anyway.

He actually hasn’t told anyone about him and Magnus yet. There wasn’t really a chance. He knows he should. But Jace will get into his protecting mode all over again and go to interrogate him. And Alec doesn’t want to tell Izzy, if he doesn’t tell Jace.

Only Lydia knows now, since he couldn’t hide this giddy feeling and happiness written on his face all day in class. And of course she asked about last night when she saw Magnus at the university and left them there. And Alec couldn’t really say no to her. Never could and never will.

As he goes to the kitchen to make himself a coffee, his phone buzzes in his pocket and he can’t help but smile when he sees it’s a message from Magnus.

Message received: Magnus 

Is it okay if I pick you up at 6pm tomorrow and we head to the bar to meet with my friends?

Message sent: Magnus

Yeah, sure. 6pm is fine. I have classes till 4, so no worries.

He doesn’t need to wait long for a reply.

Message received: Magnus

Great! Can’t wait to see you.

Alec smiles as he looks down on the message. He doesn’t expect any other text, thinking that the subject is done, but what his boyfriend send next sets the giddy feeling in his all over again.

Message received: Magnus

I miss you already.

He feels the blush creeping onto his face. It’s weird. Magnus isn’t even here and he makes him feel all those things anyway.

Message sent: Magnus

Miss you too. But we’ll see each other tomorrow!

Message received: Magnus

I know, but I can’t help it L

Before he gets to reply, he nearly jumps as his sister’s voice sounds through the kitchen.

“What do you have there that’s got you so blushed, big bro?” She asks as she casually steps to open the fridge.

Alec’s first instinct is to lie, because he’s just decided not to tell them all yet. He opens his mouth to reply, but before he gets to say anything, Isabelle interrupts, pointing an accusatory finger at him.

“Don’t say it’s a cat video again.” She scowls. “Because first, I wouldn’t believe you anyway, and second, you’ve already used that excuse.”

Alec sighs and shakes his head a little.

He’s always been a terrible liar. Just like his sister has always been irreplaceable at reading him. And she does it again now.

“Magnus texting you again?”

Alec nods.

“How are things between you two?” She asks as she props herself at the kitchen counter with a glass of orange juice. “You haven’t really said anything recently.”

He did tell Isabelle about his fail at their date. Of course she understood and didn’t think he was crazy. He just got scared and it happens. She assured him that Magnus wouldn’t take it in a bad way if he explained. At least at some point. He’s not ready to tell the whole true yet. And she was right.

“We’re good.” Alec resorts simply.

Isabelle raises her brows at him.

“Seriously, ‘we’re good’? That’s all you’re gonna tell me after almost a week of silence?”

Alec just shrugs awkwardly and Izzy rolls her eyes. But then her expression softens a bit.

“Alec, you know you can tell me everything, right?” She inquires. “I won’t tell anyone. Even Jace, if you ask me not to.”

Alec lets out a long exhale and nods lightly.

He’s always found shelter in his sister. He knows he can confide in her anytime, and she’ll never find his worries dull or stupid. When Alec’s mental health got worse, Isabelle had been blaming herself for not caring about him enough, not matter how much Alec assured her that it’s not her fault. She was always there for him, but he just couldn’t open up about this. Not even to her.

And it would actually feel great to talk about Magnus to Isabelle. He knows his sister is experienced, and she might help him with this whole get together tomorrow.

“So yeah, we…” Alec starts and clears his throat uncomfortably. “We’re kind of… boyfriends?”

Isabelle nearly chokes on her orange juice.

“You what?” She clogs out. “Since when?!”

“Last night.” Alec admits. “He went to pick me up after my classes and it just sort of happened?”

“Oh my God, why didn’t you say anything earlier?” Izzy beams enthusiastically.

“Iz, it was only last night. I came back late and we were all busy today.”

“You’re right.” She agrees. “Were you busy with Magnus though?” A smirk creeps its way onto her face.

Alec roll his eyes but can’t help to smile himself.

“Yes.” He confesses. “We went for a walk and got coffee.”

“Alec, I’m so happy for you.” Isabelle speaks. She hops down from the counter and goes to rest her hand on Alec’s arm. “Really. I’m glad it’s all working out for you. From what you’ve told me he sounds like an amazing guy.”

“He really is, Iz.” Alec declares. “I mean, he felt bad after the first date and he’s the one who started the subject to explain it, when it was clear I didn’t know how to approach it. He’s just… I don’t know, we feels so in tune with each other. Maybe it’s too early to say this, but it’s been a few months since we met and… I just feel safe when I’m with him.”

Isabelle sends him a soft smile at this words.

It’s basically opposite to what he felt like during his relationship with Raj.

“And that’s the most important thing.” Izzy resorts. “If you feel good in his company, then you should just roll with it.” She smiles again as Alec nods. “So, when am I meeting him?”

“Jeez, Izzy, we’ve been together for like two days.” Alec whines.

“Yeah, but you’ve just said you’ve known each other for months before that. So I want to meet him.”

“I’m sure I can arrange it somehow. But I actually do need your help with something.” He admits.

“Sure, anything.” Izzy says simply.

“He asked me to go meet his friends tomorrow and I agreed, but I’m kinda nervous.”

“Alec, it’s fine.” Isabelle starts. “I’m sure his friends are good people.”

“Yeah, I don’t doubt that.” Alec states. “But what if they… you know, what if they don’t like me?”

Isabelle sends him a glare.

“And does Magnus like you?” She asks as she clasps her hands on her hips.

“I mean, he kida does, right? Since he wanted to be with me-“

“Alec, of course he does!” Izzy spats him on the arm. “And that’s all that should matter to you.”

“I know, but it’s hard. I want to make a good impression.”

“So just be yourself then.”

Alec snorts.

“Yeah, like it got me anywhere.” He mumbles.

“It got you to dating Magnus.” Isabelle smirks knowingly.

Shit, she’s right. As always.

He’s really begin himself with Magnus. He never hid or pretended. And it seems that Magnus doesn’t mind his rumbling or blushing or all the other clumsy things he does sometimes.

“I hate it when you’re right…” He whines again.

“I thought you already got used to it.” She winks at him.

And he really should.

“Will you help me to choose some outfit please?” Alec asks then.

“Dear lord, you’re really making an effort, brother.” Izzy’s eyes widen a bit.

Alec just rolls his eyes yet again.

“Yeah, I try, okay? So will you help me or-“

“Of course I will! You don’t even know how long I’ve been waiting to be your stylist for some date!” She exclaims happily. “But we should do it today though. I’m going out with Simon tomorrow, so I’ll probably be gone all night.”

“Speaking of which, how is he?” Alec asks. Isabelle’s boyfriend is quite all right to be honest. For sure one of the best she’s had. He really cares about her and that paired with making his sister happy is all that matters for Alec. They haven’t really been together for that long, and Alec had only met him a few times, but he’s a fair guy, he knows it.

“He’s great.” Isabelle replies and smiles softly. “He’s rumbling about trying to pull out some gig all the time. I really hopes he makes it, it’s very important to him.”

“Make sure to let us all know.” Alec says. “I’d love to finally see him perform.”

Simon has been trying to do some gigs for quite some time now, and his music is really nice. Even though he studies accountancy, music is what he loves doing.

“Oh, I will. I’m sure he won’t shut up about it anyway.” She chuckles. “And speaking of us all. Are you going to tell Jace about you and Magnus?”

“I mean, of course I will.” Alec resorts with a sigh. “But not just yet. I want to enjoy my time with him and Jace would just go and interrogate me about him. Or worse, go and interrogate him. I know he’s worried after what happened with Raj, but I’m all good. And I’ve learnt for that.”

“I know you did, big brother.” Izzy’s tone is calming and reassuring. “Yeah, I think he should let you loose a bit too, but you know how it is with him. He’s really worried-“

“More like overprotective.” Alec chimes in and Izzy rolls her eyes.

“Yeah, maybe.” She continues. “But don’t wait too long to tell him. He still doesn’t even known you’ve been keeping in touch with him since that ride from the hospital.”

“I know, I know.” Alec nods lightly, letting out another heavy exhale. “I’ll tell him after tomorrow’s meeting, I promise. He’s staying late at work today anyway.”

“And I hold you to that.” Isabelle resorts. “Now let’s go choose that outfit of yours. You’ve got an impression to make.”

She winks again and leads him towards his bedroom.

 

Alec finds out more and more things about himself every day.

The thing he leart today is that just as he’s a terrible liar, he’s even a worse one when it comes to Magnus.

His boyfriend picked him up at 6, just like they’ve established, but Alec’s failing at hiding how nervous he is.

“We really don’t need to do this, if you don’t want to.” Magnus resorts as they’re walking to the bar, The Hunter’s Moon. Apparently their usual spot. It’s not that far away from Alec’s apartment, so they decided to just stroll from down there. “It was just a loose suggestion. We can go grab dinner or anything-“

“No, I want to. I told you.” Alec tries for his voice not to sound to stressed. “I just… I don’t really know.” He sighs. “I’m nervous.”

“I can see that, darling.” Magnus speaks softly. “There’s no reason for you to be. But we don’t need to stay long, or if you’ll feel uncomfortable, we’ll just leave.”

Alec nods lightly.

How did he deserve someone like Magnus? He’ll never know. It’s just like he knows all the right answers, always knows what to say to calm him down. He never wants to let go of that feeling, that kind of safety he brings.

“And for the record,” Magnus starts then. “they’re really excited to meet you. Let’s just say I kind of couldn’t shut up about you recently…” He laughs lightly and Alec joins along.

“I’m flattered.” Alec resorts and smiles.

“And hey, I can’t wait to meet those amazing siblings of yours!” His boyfriend exclaims then. “Hopefully soon, if you want to.”

“Yeah, my sister has actually been wanting to meet you, so I’m sure we can set it up some time soon.” Alec replies.

“And… your brother?” Magnus asks then, a bit insecurely.

“I kind of haven’t told him about us yet.” Alec confesses, slightly ashamed.

“Oh,” Magnus starts surprised. “don’t you live together though?”

“Yeah, we do.” Alec starts as he tries to form his words somehow. “But it’s just… complicated. I mean, he gets kind of overprotective and he’s really overworked now, so I’m just waiting for the right moment.”

Magnus nods as he acknowledges his words and then they take the last turn, coming around the corner to spot the neon announcing the place’s name.

“I hope you’ll find one soon then.” He smiles and leans in to place a chaste kiss to Alec’s lips.

And he longs for it to last, so he brings Magnus closer with a hands on the nape of his neck. He doesn’t seem to complain and just leans into him a bit more. Soon they both pull back.

“Let’s go.” Magnus whispers against his lips and Alec nods.

Seems like all the negative emotions vaporize a bit when he has Magnus by his side.

 

They’re sitting at the bar, Alec is kind of more relaxed as Magnus keeps his arm around him all the time. It’s this kind of soothing touch that he’s been craving the most. He feels grounded and settled. It’s crazy how many feelings can a little gesture bring him.

“What would you like to drink, darling?” Magnus asks then, and Alec shrugs lightly.

“I don’t really know. I’m not much of a drinker.”

“Hmm, okay. Let me choose something for you then?” His boyfriends suggests.

“Oh, like the one time you chose a coffee for me…” Alec starts and Magnus glares at him playfully. “I  think I’ll just grab a beer.” He decides.

“A beer it is then.” Magnus declares and turns to the barman to order their drinks. Turns out the woman is his friend, since Magnus is a bit of a regular here. He introduces her as Maia, and they exchange some small talk, as she takes the order for their drinks.

Magnus settles for a martini, apparently his favourite, and soon they get their drinks and sip them lazily.

“So, who exactly am I meeting today?” Alec asks and turns to face his boyfriend, leaning his side at the bar to look at him comfortably.

“There will be my friend Clary, and her father who founded Idris Organization, the place where I’m a volunteer.” Magnus starts.

“That’s cool.” Alec says. “I’d like to find out more of how that all works actually.”

“I’m glad, you do.” Magnus speaks in a genuinely happy tone. “It’s ton of hard work, but it’s all really interesting.”

“I don’t doubt it.” Alec agrees and Magnus smiles at him sweetly.

“Okay, so moving forward, there’s also Dot, I’m working with her.” He carries on. “Sadly Raphael, our boss, couldn’t make it. Same with Cat and Ragnor, just some stuff at work.”

Alec tries not to flinch as he recognizes Ragnor’s name. He’s pretty sure that his theapist's name is Ragnor Fell, and considering the fact that Magnus mentioned both him and Catarina, a nurse who also works there, in one sentence is making him feel like he’s right. Does Magnus knows he’s seeing a psychologist? Alec’s pretty sure that some rules apply to doctors and that Mr Fell can’t just go and throw around his patients’ names, even to his friends. But you never know…

And he doesn’t want Magnus to know. Not yet at least. What would he think? That Alec can’t get a hold of his own problems. He’s always been ashamed of needing this kind of help. He doesn’t want to appear weak in Magnus’ eyes.

“Darling, you okay?” Magnus speaks as he can clearly see how tensed Alec got. He runs his hand up and down his boyfriend’s back trying to relax him.

It does help a bit.

“Yeah, everything is fine.” Alec say and half forces on a smile. “Still just a bit nervous. So, anyone else?” He prompts to change the subject. Magnus catches that attempt and he swiftly comes along.

“Clary’s best friend, who’s also a volunteer at Idris, Simon.” Magnus picks back up. “And he’s bringing his girlfriend who I haven’t met yet actually, but I heard she’s a lovely woman, so don’t worry. She’s great for sure, Simon speaks very highly of her.” He assures and then Alec’s mind starts to pick up the pieces of his words, forming some kind of vision into his brain. It would all be such a funny coincidence… “Oh, look” Magnus’ voice pulls him out of his thoughts. “there they are.”

And indeed, there they are.

Because he sees Simon and his sister.

“You’re right.” Alec begins then, and Magnus turns to him, form where he’s been trying to catch Simon’s attention by waving at him. “She is a lovely woman.” Alec resorts with a tight smile.

“What? What do you mean?” Magnus eyes him curiously. “Do you know her?”

“Yeah,” Alec admits. “she’s my sister.”

Magnus’ eyes widen for a second, like he doesn’t believe his words, but then the shock slightly passes.

“You’re serious.” He more states then asks. “How didn’t you pick up on it? You didn’t know she has a boyfriend?”

“Well, you didn’t actually tell me your friends’ names, and even if you did, I’m sure there are a lot of Simons in New York. I know she has a boyfriend, I’ve met him too, but I probably wouldn’t have assumed anyway.”

“I didn’t tell you?” Magnus frowns. “Shit, I must have forgot. Sorry, angel. I was just excited for us all to meet-“

“Hey, don’t worry about it. It’s fine.” Alec resorts simply and tries not to let it show that after Magnus called him ‘angel’ his heart started beating a hundred times faster.

He’s no angel, but he’ll take it from Magnus’ mouth.

“Are you sure it is? Do you want me to meet her? I mean, we’ve just talked about-“

“It’s okay, really.” Alec repeats again. “Izzy’s great, I hope you two will get along.”

At that, after what feels like hours, Simon spots them at the bar and he waves at Magnus, then heading their direction.

Then Isabelle seems to spot Alec. Firstly, she almost stops at the spot, just looks surprised. Like he’d just came around for a drink in a bar, but then her gaze wanders to his left, where Magnus is seated and a grin is making its way to her face.

Alec can’t help but to smile back a bit.

And Simon continues to be his oblivious self, greeting Magnus and completely not noticing Alec.

“Hey man, long time no see!” He exclaims and he and Magnus hug briefly.

“Yeah, good to see you, Simon.” He turns to Alec, and then Simon’s sight falls on him too.

“Oh, Alec, what are you doing here?” He questions in a surprised voice. “And since when do you drink? Izzy, you didn’t say anything that Alec was coming-“

“Because I had no idea, Simon.” Isabelle smiles lightly and turns to Magnus. “You must be Magnus, right?” She asks and Magnus smiles back.

“Yes, I am.” He extends a hand to greet her. “A pleasure to meet the famous sister.”

Isabelle chuckles lightly as they shake hands.

“I hope he didn’t really exaggerated about me.” She states with a laugh.

“Oh, don’t worry. I’m sure all of the things Alexander said are true. And he only describes you in superlatives.”

Izzy laughs again and then she sends Alec a look, her eyebrows raised and she mouths ‘Alexander’?

Alec shrugs and lets it go for now.

“I’m sorry, but what the hell is going on now?” Simon asks, looking totally confused and it makes everyone chuckle.

“Simon,” Magnus starts as the laughter dies down a bit. “Clary told you that I would be bringing my boyfriend, right?” He asks and Simon nods.

“Yeah, she did.” He agrees. “Where is he by the way?” He asks while looking around. Isabelle clasps a hand over her eyes as she shakes her head lightly.

“Babe…” She trails off and Simon sends her a confused look again.

“Simon,” Magnus goes on and his friend turns to him. “Alec is my boyfriend.”

Simon frowns, but then a look of realisation covers his face, as his gaze switches form Alec to Magnus, as if connecting the facts.

“Oh,” He starts. “Oh, cool, yeah.” He exclaims. “Alec is your boyfriend.”

“Yes.” The rest replies in tune.

“Well, congratulations then!” Simons smiles and pats Alec on a shoulder.

“Thank you, Simon.” Alec replies kindly, while Izzy is still dying from laughter of her embarrassment of a boyfriend.

“How do you know each other anyway?” Simon questions then.

“I think we should head to the table.” Isabelle starts then. “It’s kind of a long story, right Alec?” She turns to her brother.

Alec nods lightly and when she smiles at him, he smiles too.

“Drinks on me then.” Magnus announces and turns to the Maia to order.

 

Not long after they moved to the table, Dot joins them. She’s a lovely person, Alec resorts. Kind-hearted and with an open soul. She tells Alec a bit of how it is to work with Magnus. He’s already heard a bit from his boyfriend, but it’s certainly interesting to hear the other sides of the stories. To be honest, Dot is just the way Magnus had described her. Someone you’d like to have as a friend.

They go again through the story of their first meeting, the rest of the audience awing and Izzy keeps sending him soft smiles all the way.

Maybe he didn’t want his siblings to meet Magnus yet, but he decides he doesn’t really mind. Izzy has always been opened for new people and he’s pretty sure she and Magnus will find a mutual ground. They’re both scientists, which brings them and Dot together not long later when they start discussing some chemicals. Also Magnus works in the cosmetics industry and Isabelle is always the one with flawless make-up. He’s sure this subject will come up pretty soon.

Clary and Luke appear when they order another round of drinks. Alec sticks to beer, but promises himself that it’s his last one. He’s not used to drinking and he doesn’t want to make a full of himself by getting drunk now.

“Hey, sorry we’re late.” Luke announces when he and his daughter get seated. “We had some business to settle in Idris.” He smiles and when his eyes find Alec he extends his hand towards him. “You must be Alec. Magnus told us a lot about you. I’m Luke.”

“Yeah.” Alec agrees with a light smile. “It’s really nice to meet you.”

Luke’s hold on his hand is firm, but not too much. Alec can feel that he’s this kind of a father figure he’d like to have. Someone who always has your back. He’s hardworking and committed. That he knows from Magnus’ stories of how he founded Idris.

“Hi, I’m Clary.” Then the girl next to him speaks and also pulls out her hand. Alec shakes it lightly and reciprocates her smile.

“Alec.”

Clary sends a knowing smile towards Magnus to which he only rolls his eyes, but his expression is fond.

Then they dive into a comfortable conversation again. Clary can’t stop laughing at Simon’s reaction to finding out about Alec and Magnus. But it’s not unkind. From what Magnus had told him, Clary and Simon have been friends since childhood and some bickering is a normality between them.

“How come we’ve never met before?” Clary asks then. “I mean, it’s your fault Simon, you should have introduced Izzy to all of us a lot earlier so Magnus could get a chance at meeting her gorgeous brother a lot sooner.” She smirks.

Magnus and Dot were actually the last ones to meet Simon’s girlfriend. Clary already knew Izzy, same as Luke. It must be some kind of faith that brought them all together in such a funny and accidental way.

Alec blushes lightly at Clary’s comment, but Magnus ducks in to place a quick kiss on his cheek, which only resolves in him blushing even further.

“He’s cute.” He hears Dot’s warm voice as she whispers to Magnus.

“Well, I guess me and Alexander needed to find our own way to each other.” Magnus resorts and Alec nods in agreement.

The evening passes by really fast and fun. Soon Alec finds himself indulged into a conversation with Luke about this whole volunteering thing. It’s basically an option for everyone. Idris proposes a lot of offers for both young and elderly people. It’s all about helping and bringing some joy to the patients’ lives.

“Would you like to try it?” Luke asks a bit later.

“I don’t really know.” Alec admits. “I mean, I love what you do and it really is a genuine gesture. But I’m not sure if I have the time for something like this now.”

“Dude, I used to say the same.” Simon chimes in. “When Clary dragged me in I thought there is no way I could reconcile college, my band and this. But it’s been about six months and I’m doing great.”

“Yeah.” Alec says lightly. “You’re right, but I’m just not sure…” He trials off, not really certain of how he wants to end that sentence, but Luke comes to his rescue.

“Don’t push him, Simon.” He speaks. “It’s not some kind of duty. Alec can join any time, if he decides too.”

Luke smiles warmly and Alec easily mirrors the gesture.

He couldn’t do it now even if he wanted to. There’s not only college and job. There’s also Max, and Alec needs to set his priority on his younger brother. Needs to take care of him first. He has his troubles either way, and he probably couldn’t be a happy spirit for all of the people suffering from some illnesses right now.

“So, Simon” Isabelle starts as she spots that her brother is drifting of somewhere else. Alec is thankful for her notice. “any news about the gig?”

“Well, not yet.” Simon answers. “But this time we might actually make it. Me and Maia have been talking to her bosses and it’s really possible they will let me play a few songs here sometime next week.” He beams enthusiastically and Izzy kisses his cheek lightly.

“It’s so great.” She resorts softly. “I’m proud of you babe.”

“Well, say that after I make a complete fool out of myself on stage.” Simon groans at his own words.

“You’d be the cutest fool out there.” Isabelle replies and Simons grins at her with pure affection in his eyes.

Alec can’t help but smile at this little display as he drowns the rest of his beer.

“Do you want another one, darling?” Magnus leans in and asks him, lightly putting his hand on his forearm.

“No, I’m good. Thanks.” He smiles and Magnus pecks him on the lips lightly.

“Everything okay?” He asks then, one arm wandering around Alec’s back, running up and down in a comforting way.

“Yeah, everything is great. Why?” Alec replies with a question, a slightly confused expression making its way up to his face. Did he give Magnus the impression he wasn’t having a good time? He did dozed off a bit while talking to Simon and Luke, but Isabelle quickly came to his rescue.

“No, nothing. I’m just making sure everything is good.” Magnus smiles warmly, but then his face turns a bit guilty. “Sorry, if they’re being a bit teasing and all. That’s just how they are. But if you start to feel uncomfortable we can leave-“

“Magnus, it’s fine, really.” He places one of his palms on his boyfriend’s cheek. “I’m great. Your friends are amazing. Don’t worry.” He smiles and Magnus nods a bit.

“Good. I just wanted to make sure-“                                       

“Thank you.” Alec replies and kisses him lightly again.

No one has ever taken care of Alec in such way. He’s not really an expert when it comes to relationships, but what he had with Raj can’t be even compared to what he has with Magnus. Raj didn’t care. When they’d go out he would brush off any of his worries, leave him alone at the bar or ignore any of his pleads to go home. And now, Magnus is making sure he’s comfortable and giving him an out if he’d need one. But he doesn’t. For the first time in really long, he’s having a good time.

“Easy on the PDA there!” Dot exclaims jokingly as they pull off from the kiss and Magnus turns to glare at her, but it’s lacking any kind of heat.

Dot sends him and innocent expression, and continues to lazily sip her drink.

Alec shakes his head lightly, filled with amusement and they his eyes catch Izzy staring at him.

She just smiles softly, her gaze wondering from him to Magnus and it seems like they can communicate without words.

He’s good for you. Her expression seems to say.

Alec can’t really do anything else than agree with another fond smile.

 

When the evening comes to an end, Alec realises he could stay even a bit longer. But he has classes tomorrow, same as his sister and Simon, Clary probably too, since he found out that she studies art at the Brooklyn Academy. And the rest of the crew has work tomorrow.

“Can I walk you home?” Magnus asks when they’re leaving the bar. “Or we can get a taxi?”

“Alec, are you coming back with us?” Isabelle asks as she and Simon are standing hand in hand on the curb.

Alec considers his options. Magnus’ loft is at the other side of town, when his apartment is just a few blocks away. He wouldn’t like for his boyfriend to come back home alone, it’s better if he goes with the rest since they live in Brooklyn too.

“I think I’ll just go back with Izzy.” Alec resort as he intertwines his and Magnus’ hands. “It’s late. You have work early tomorrow, go home with the rest and get some sleep, huh?”

“You’re sure?” Magnus asks softly. “It really isn’t a trouble-“

“No, it’s okay.” Alec smiles at him. “Just text me when you’ll get home.”

“Sure thing, angel. Let me know you got back safely too.” His boyfriend places a quick kiss on his lips. “Maybe we could go and grab dinner sometime in the week?” He offers.

“Yeah, I’d like that.” Alec resorts and brings Magnus closer with hands on his waist. “I’ll text you?”

“Mhm.” Magnus makes an approving sound against Alec’s lips and then he connects them. They kiss for a few long seconds, before Isabelle’s amused voice sounds.

“Alec!” There’s a hint of annoyance in her tone, but Alec doesn’t really mind. Not with Magnus this close.

With one last kiss they part and Alec heads towards his sister, still glancing at Magnus when they go separate ways.

When his sight finally returns to Isabelle, he sees her eyes lacking of any annoyance that might have been present in her voice. She doesn’t say anything though. But that smile is enough to know.

Half way to their apartment, she begins to speak.

“Simon will be staying the night.” She informs to which Alec nods.

“So, what do you think about Magnus?” He asks when they took a few more steps forward.

“He’s great.” She resorts and nods approvingly at her brother. “Really. You seem like you fit together. You’re perfect for each other.”

Alec takes in her words with a smile.

“Look, I know that maybe you weren’t ready for us to meet yet…” Isabelle starts then. “But you have nothing to worry about, really. He’s amazing. Just the way you described him. And he makes you happy, I could see that. So that’s all that matters.”

“Thanks, Iz.” Alec replies softly.

“Can I just add that I haven’t seen Magnus so happy in a long time too?” Simon chimes in the they all chuckle. “Really, dude.”

They don’t say anything more the whole way home, but Alec can clearly live with the conviction that he makes his boyfriend happy.

The feeling is mutual.

 

They get home around midnight, laughing softly at some silly thing Simon said a moment earlier. The sense of relief swiftly leaves Alec’s body as he sees his brother sitting on the living room couch, clearly waiting for them.

Through his whole night he forgot about Jace, that he has to tell him about Magnus and all. But now the reality comes crashing down on him.

“Hi.” Jace greets when they all emerge to the living room. “I didn’t know you were hanging out together.” He adds as he stands up from the couch, crosses his hands on his chest and sends them a confused glare. “Don’t worry, I couldn’t join even if I wanted to. Work.” He resorts with a bit of a teasing note in his voice.

Simon lets out a small laugh, which sounds too loud in the silence of their flat.

“Where have you been?” Jace asks casually.

Izzy glances at Alec and he nods at her lightly. It really is the time to tell him.

“Out with Simon and his friends.” Izzy starts and Jace eyes her curiously before turning his gaze to Alec.

“Together?” His brother asks, chuckling a little.

“Look, Jace…” Alec starts and pauses, not really able to find the right words. His brother just raises his eyebrows at him, clearly waiting for an explanation.

“I’ll just go to your room.” Simon whispers to Izzy, probably noticing the tension between the brothers and he sends Alec an encouraging smile on his way.

“Izzy you can go too.” Alec says to his sister.

“No, it’s fine. I’ll stay.” She replies and squeezes Alec’s hand briefly.

“Okay, maybe you could tell me what’s going on now?” Jace urges, clearly getting impatient. “You’re making it look like it’s some kind of big deal.” He adds, his voice now more serious.

“Jace, do you remember the time, when you were supposed to pick me up from the hospital a few months ago, but you got held up in work?” Alec asks, looking down at their feet.

“Yeah…” Jace answers hesitantly. “But why are you bringing this up? What does it have to do with-”

“This guy, who gave me a ride then, Magnus.” Alec sighs as he looks up, only to see his brother’s confused and slightly wary expression. “We’ve been keeping in touch ever since.” He confesses.

“Okay…” Jace lets the word slowly roll off his tongue. “So you’ve been, what? Texting or-“

“He’s been driving me to the university every Wednesday for the past four months.” Alec admits, the sentence trailing of way to fast.

Isabelle stands quietly next to him, but her presence is this kind of comforting gesture, that Alec needs right now. He knows she’ll come to his defence if he needs her to.

Jace however, is looking kind of taken aback, his eyes widen a bit, but he quickly recovers and asks the next question, but his sight remains on the floor between them.

“There’s more to this story, isn’t it?” He questions and again his intuition is telling him the right thing.

Alec nods, before he begins to speak.

“We got together two days ago.” Alec states as his gaze wanders to settle on the same point as Jace’s. “We’re dating.”

“What?” His brother questions now, a hint of disbelief an anger in his voice. “Why didn’t you tell me sooner? Why didn’t you tell me any of this?”

“I didn’t want you to worry.” Alec starts calmly. “At first it was nothing, I thought we could just be friends, but then…” He sighs heavily. “I had this crush on him, and turned out that he likes me back, so we tried-“

“A total stranger, Alec.” Jace reminds him. But it isn’t true. Magnus is not a stranger. It feels like they’ve known each other half of their lives. He feels safe with him. “What do you even know about him, huh? From spending like what, twenty minutes a week together?”

“He’s not a stranger.” Alec vocalizes his thoughts. “Not anymore, we got to know each other. He’s a good person-“ He tries, but Jace interrupts him with a snort.

“A good person?” He snarls. “Alec, you can’t know that, it’s not enough time-“

“He’s right, Jace.” Suddenly Izzy cuts in.

“And how would you-“ Jace starts but cuts himself off, his gaze turning to his sister now. “Wait, you knew about this? Since when?” Now he sounds even more angry.

“Since two months ago.” Isabelle admits.

“Great.” Jace says bitterly. “And none of you decided to let me know.”

“Because I knew this would happen.” Alec snaps. “Because you’d get-“

“What, worried?” Jace questions, his tone is implying he’s more angry than worried now. “Yeah, sorry for carrying about my brother, I guess.”

“Jace, I don’t mean it like that.” Alec tries, a bit more calmly.

“Well then what do you mean?”

“That you get overprotective! I’m not five, Jace I can make my own decisions.” Alec lushes out in frustration. He hates it when his brother gets like this. It wasn’t a lot of times he got to witness such a scene, but Jace is crossing the line. He’s not the one to tell him what to do.

“Yeah, do you want me to remind you how your decisions had turned out?” Jace speaks again in this bitter tone.

He doesn’t need a reminder, he remembers it more than he’d like to admit.

“Jace, you can’t judge all of my relationships by the prism of the first one.” Alec speaks as calm as he manages to. “You don’t know Magnus like I do. In fact you don’t know him at all-“

“And whose fault it that, huh?” Jace snaps again. “You didn’t tell me anything!”

“Yes, because I wanted to prevent something like this from happening-“

“And how is that working out for you?” His brother sends him a tight, bitter smile.

“Jace, stop. When you’ll meet Magnus, you’ll see that he’s great for Alec-“ Isabelle speaks in a composed tone, trying to appease the situation a bit, but Jace interrupts yet again.

“Oh, so you’ve also already met him?” Jace laughs hollowly. “What a surprise!”

Izzy’s mouth hangs open for a second, before she regains her composure and starts again.

“It was a coincidence-“ She tries, but Jace doesn’t let her finish.

“Yeah, everything seems to be a fucking coincidence with you recently.” He directs his words to the both of his siblings.

“It doesn’t matter now.” Izzy shakes her head and attempts again. “What does, it that Magnus really cares about Alec, I could see that by spending only a few hours with them today. He kept asking if Alec is comfortable enough and offered to take him home more than a few times.” She resorts. “Have you ever heard of Raj doing that for him?”

“So?” Jace questions again. “You’re together for what, like two days? Wasn’t Raj all sweet and kind at the beginning too?”

He might have been, but not the way Magnus is. No one is the way Magnus is.

“Stop comparing them.” Alec starts, his voice low. “This is completely different-“

“Different how?” Jace is almost yelling now, his voice gaining the anger and maybe even a bit of hurt. There’s still a hint of concern, but it gets covered by the rest of these emotions. “Because he’s a ‘good person’? You thought Raj was too, even when he tried to rape you-“

“Jace, enough!” Isabelle stops him, before he gets to say too much.

But for Alec, he already did.

At that an overwhelming silence falls between them. Alec stares in his brother’s eyes for a while and can see the exact moment when something shifts in them and Jace realizes what memories he’s just brought back.

But Alec doesn’t want to hear him anymore.

“I don’t need to listen to this.” He says and makes his way past his brother to his bedroom.

“Alec, I’m sorry-“ Jace starts, but it gets lost somewhere between the sound of the door of Alec’s room slamming shut.

 

He immediately throws himself on his bed and groans. This the reason why he left home. The constant interrogations and accusations. He gets that Jace is worried, but this? Reminding him of what might have been the worst night of his life was crossing the line. Alec knows that it just slipped from his mouth, but he should be more careful, especially since he knows how hard this subject is for Alec.

He pulls out his phone as an attempts to distract himself from all of that and sees a few unread messages.

Shit, he was supposed to text Magnus when he gets home.

He quickly scans the messages that his boyfriend has left him in the meantime.

Message received: Magnus

Did you get back home safely?

Darling, are you home yet?

Alexander, seriously let me know. I’m getting worried.

The last one was send just a few minutes ago, so he doesn’t waste his time and replies instantly.

Message sent: Magnus

I’m home.

A reply comes not even a second later.

Message received: Magnus

Thank god, I was getting worried. Is everything okay?

He considers lying. He really does, but he knows it won’t work out with Magnus.

Message sent: Magnus

Can I call you now?

Almost instantly his screen lits up and revealing an incoming call from his boyfriend.

“Hi.” Magnus speaks at the other line when he picks up. His voice is concerned and Alec can hear some the sound of keys hitting a wooden surface, so Magnus has probably just got home. “Is everything alright? Why didn’t you text me earlier-“

“I told my brother about us.” Alec says bluntly and then sighs. “He didn’t really take that well.”

“That bad, huh?” Magnus asks, probably able to hear the resignation in Alec’s voice.

“Well, a part of that might be the fact that I didn’t even tell him we’ve been keeping in touch since that morning at the hospital.” Alec resorts. “But also, he’s just worried and he activated his overprotective mode.”

Magnus chuckles at that lightly and Alec does too, feeling himself able to relax as he listens to his soft voice.

“Maybe just give him some time?” He suggests. “Let him get use to this. To the idea of you being in a relationship again.”

“Yeah, he can have all the time he wants.” Alec replies with a snort. “I don’t really plan on talking to him any time soon.”

“And why is that?” Magnus questions with curiosity.

“Let’s just say he said some things he shouldn’t have.” Alec answers carefully choosing his words not to accidentally reveal too much.

He hears Magnus let out an interested hum, but he doesn’t question anything furthermore, for which Alec is grateful.

“Alright,” Magnus resorts then. “so what can I do to distract you from the drama with your unreliable brother?”

Alec laughs lightly, before answering.

“I don’t know. I just wanted to hear your voice.”

He can basically hear Magnus’ smile over the phone.

“Then I’m glad I could help.” He replies, the grin present in his voice.

They don’t say anything for a while, but Alec is content with just being able to hear Magnus’ breath over the phone.

“Did you enjoy your evening tonight?” His boyfriend prompts then.

“Yeah, I did.” Alec starts and he really isn’t lying. It was a great night until Jace ruined it. “Your friends are amazing. Really. They seem very passionate about the stuff they do.”

“Oh, they really are. Especially Luke.” Magnus speaks. “I saw you got quite involved into the talk about Idris. He loves talking about it, it’s like his baby.” He laughs. “I really hope none of them scared you off.”

“No, don’t worry about that. Everything is great.” Alec reassures.

“I’m so glad you liked them.” Magnus exhales slowly. “And let me tell you, they are quite fond of you too.” His voice turns a bit playful.

“Oh yeah, I got that impression from Dot, who kept whispering to you how cute I am.” Alec responses in a joking tone and then hears Magnus laugh.

“Yeah, but really. They all like you too.” He adds a bit more seriously. “And your sister is lovely too. Also, very smart. Just like you, my dear.”

Alec feels himself blush and is glad that Magnus isn’t here to see him now.

“I’m glad you too got along well.” Alec says then. “She’s like the most important woman in my life, so…”

“I get it.” Magnus chimes in lightly. “I mean, I don’t. Not fully, since I’ve never had any siblings, but I could see how much she means to you. Don’t worry, I’ll keep our relation on good course.”

Alec replies with an approving hum and as he glances at the clock on his nightstand, he sees that it’s almost 1am now.

“Shit, I should get some sleep before my classes tomorrow.” He resorts, a hint of distress in his voice since he doesn’t really want to hang up on Magnus. “And you have work. Sorry for keeping you up that long-“

“Don’t worry about it, angel.” Magnus resorts simply.

“I like that.” Alec blurts out before he even gets to think, but he can’t really take his words back now.

“Like what?” Magnus asks inquiringly.

“When you call me this.” Alec starts shyly. He didn’t think pet names were his thing, but he hasn’t really had a chance to find out. But when Magnus calls him darling, or angel, he can’t stop this giddy feeling in his stomach. And he likes it. “Darling, or angel. It’s cute.” He shrugs, even though Magnus can’t see it.

“Oh, I have a few others I’d like to try out soon.” Magnus answers teasingly, but Alec can hear the hint of happiness in his voice. “Like sweetheart, or honey, panda-“

“Who would like to be called panda?” Alec questions with a snort.

“Well, turns out not you.” His boyfriend accuses him playfully. “Do you have something against pandas? They’re cute!”

“Not as cute as you.” The words slips out of Alec’s mouth before his mind registers them. Shit, he really is losing all of his self-restrains with Magnus. He can’t decide if it’s good or bad now.

“You sap.” Magnus replies in the sweetest tone. “Well, Dot wouldn’t agree. Apparently, you’re the cutest.”

“We’ll see about that I guess.”

With that, their conversations dies down a bit, but none of the is in the mood to hang up yet.

“So, dinner, later this week?” Magnus prompts after a while.

“Yes, definitely.” Alec answers without hesitation.

“Great, I’ll let you get some sleep now.” His boyfriend resorts and Alec barely resist the urge to yawn. He really is tired. “Goodnight, angel.” Magnus whispers and Alec could almost fall asleep immediately as the words sound through the speaker.

“Goodnight, Magnus.”

It takes a lot for him to finally hang up.

 

When he slips under the covers, ready to sleep, there’s a knock on his door.

He prays that it isn’t Jace, but for the sound of it, it’s not. The knocking is way to gentle.

“Come in.” Alec calls out as he already lays on his bed.

“Hey.” Isabelle perks her head inside, soon fully emerging into the room and sitting at the edge of his bed. She smiles, but Alec can see the worry in her eyes.

“Hi, everything okay?” He questions softly.

“I should be asking you.” Izzy states and shakes her head lightly.

Alec sighs, but doesn’t really know what to say.

Talking to Magnus helped him distract, but he knows the thoughts would be back as soon as he’d get settle to sleep.

“Alec, I’m sorry-“ His sister starts, but Alec doesn’t let her finish.

“Isabelle, it’s him who should say this to me, not you.” He says firmly. “It’s not your fault.”

“I know, but…” Izzy sighs as she fumbles with her hand nervously, clearly struggling to find the right words. Alec catches her palm when it repeatedly sweeps over his sheets. “You know he didn’t mean to, right?” She asks, her gaze returning to her brother instead of the bed. “It was just a moment, I’m sure he didn’t want to bring it up again-“

“Iz, I know.” Alec says, because he does. But it doesn’t make it any better, because the memories are already here, and Alec will need to spend a great amount of time at trying to erase them again. “But still… I just hate it. I hate that it all got this far back then. That I let it get that far-“

“Hey, it was a rough time for all of us.” Izzy resorts and squeezes his hand lightly. “You just needed a person to be there for you, it’s not your fault he turned out to be a dick. I’m sorry I wasn’t there for you-“

“Izzy, you were. You always are.” Alec interrupts as he sees tears glistening in his sister’s eyes. “Hey, we talked out this. A lot actually. You’re always there for me, but you know I didn’t want to worry you back then. When we found out about Max… it was a hit for all of us, so my relationship drama wasn’t the most important thing-“

“But it should be more important, Alec.” Isabelle states firmly. “If I knew earlier, how he treated you…”

“It’s no time for what ifs, Iz.” Alec says, his voice soft. “Besides, I’m to blame too, I let him-“

“No, Alec, you were in a vulnerable state and he took advantage of you. We talked about this too. You can’t blame yourself.”

He wishes for it to be true and he really tries to think of it that way. But at the back of his head, he knows he’s the one to blame too. He was weak. Probably still is, but he tries so goddam hard to strong. But it’s easier said than done.

Isabelle leans in and places a soft kiss to his forehead, running a hand through his hair and brushing some of the strands from his forehead. It’s such a motherly gesture, something he didn’t realises he missed a bit.

“I’m always here.” She whispers against his skin. “Please, remember that.”

Alec nods as she pulls back and squeezes her hand one more time, before she gets up and heads to the door.

“Goodnight, big brother.” She calls out softly, her hand already on the doorknob.

“Night, Iz.” Alec replies and Izzy answers with a smile.

And even when sleep doesn’t come for some more hours, when he’s daunted with the ghosts of the past, he knows he has people he can always count on.

 

Morning comes way too soon for his liking, but at 7:30am he gets up and decides to make coffee. He wants to be bitter and take the car today, forcing Jace to give it up as a part of their peace deal, but he’s not actually that bitter. He’ll take a bus as he always does. God, he wishes it was Wednesday.

Alec quickly gets to the kitchen, makes himself a cup of steaming fresh coffee and stands for a minute, taking a breath and smelling the aroma of coffee, before his hectic day starts again.

Izzy is probably still asleep, same as Jace. He’s off to work around 8 or 9 usually and Isabelle has some late classes today, so she promised to go visit Max in the morning. Still, morning for her revolves around 11.

As he leans onto the kitchen counter, he can hear steps. God, he hopes it’s not Jace, he doesn’t feel like having this encounter that early in the morning.

To his surprise, it’s Simon. Alec kinda forgot about him last night, there were more important things to worry about, but he does appreciate Simon’s departure to Izzy’s room last night. It was awkward and uncomfortable anyway. He’s pretty sure Simon heard most of that, since Jace was basically yelling and Alec hadn’t been able to keep his voice down too.

“Hi.” Alec greets as Simon paddles sleepily into the kitchen area. His hair is a mess and his eyes are barely open, but he does seem to notice Alec.

“Oh, hey,” He starts as he moves next to Alec to grab another mug. “sorry, I’m just gonna make myself some coffee if you don’t mind-“

“Help yourself.” Alec gestures at the counter and moves slightly on the left to give Simon more space.

“Thanks.” Simon mutters, which is followed with another yawn. “This is my only way at surviving eight hours of classes today.” He sends Alec an amused smile and he reciprocates.

They don’t talk a lot. Simon doesn’t bring up his and Jace’s fight last night. But Alec feels like he should. He should at least apologize for himself, since he didn’t keep composed too. Simon just came to visit his girlfriend, not to witness one of the greatest arguments between the Lightwood siblings.

“Look, Simon,” Alec starts and clears his throat awkwardly as the other man turns to look at him from his coffee cup. “about last night-“

“Alec, you don’t need to say anything, really.” Simon interrupts instantly. “I mean, I get it, Jace is worried, but-“

“How much exactly did you hear?” Alec asks, not unkindly, but he’s just realises what exactly they’ve been talking about last night. He’s sure Izzy hasn’t told Simon about Raj…

“Well, I really tried not to, but it was kind of easy to hear all of that.” Simon replies with a nervous expression.

“God, I’m sorry…” Alec sighs and runs a hand over his face.

“No, Alec really. It’s your home and-“ Simon starts, but Alec shakes his head.

“Yeah, but you’re a guest here, and we totally snapped-“

“It’s okay, seriously. Me and my sister fight all the time.” Simon adds with a small smile, as if trying to loosen the tensed atmosphere a bit. “And besides, I think it’s Jace who snapped more.”

Alec let out a small laugh at that, and Simon joins in.

“Oh, and don’t worry. I won’t tell anyone what I’ve heard. It’s your personal stuff. ” He says with a friendly smile.

Alec nods lightly and lets the silence wash over them for a moment.

“Hey, was Izzy okay after all this?” He asks then. When she came to his room last night she was pretty shaken up and nervous. He knows it wasn’t all easy for her too. “She came to my room last night, but-“

“She’s fine.” Simon replies and nods to himself. “Yeah, she got pretty upset, she really hates when you guys fight. But yeah, she’ll be okay.”

“Thank for, you know, being there for her.” Alec starts. “With all this stuff with Max and everything-“

“Alec, it’s nothing seriously. If I she needs me to be just a shoulder to cry on, then I’ll happily oblige.”

Simon knows the situation with Max well. And Alec is glad Isabelle has someone, who she can talk to if she don’t want to talk to him or Jace. He’s really glad Simon is there for her. He really is a great guy.

Alec sends him as smile and Simon mirrors the gesture. Then they sip their coffee silently, until his sister’s boyfriend speaks again.

“Look, if it comes to this whole thing you argued about yesterday…” He begins, a bit insecurely, but this is how Simon is, sometimes he can’t help to speak up about something he’s not always supposed to. But this time Alec lets him, because Simon truly just tries to help ease things up. “Magnus really is a great guy, he cares about the people the closest to him. He won’t hurt you, in any way,” Alec can see how carefully he tries to choose his words. “I’ve known him for a half of a year now and have nothing but good to say about him. He cares about his work and Idris… Really, he’s amazing. I wonder why he’s been single for so long…” He trails off with a thoughtful expression and Alec’s chuckle brings him back. “Anyway, Jace really shouldn’t worry that much. I can talk to him, if you’d like-“

“No, Simon, it’s fine.” Alec declines gently. “It’s just something he needs to deal with on his own.”

“Okay,” Simon replies and flashes him another smile. “but if so, I’m always willing to help.”

“Thanks, I appreciate that.”

“Yeah, I need to keep the good relations with my sister’s big bro.” Simon nudges him with his elbow lightly.

“Please, don’t ever call me that.” Alec resorts with a laugh as he shakes his head.

“Yep, sorry. Got it.” The other man reports simply. He checks the time on the clock at the wall and grimaces, letting out a groan. “Crap, I gotta go. Otherwise I’ll be late.” He quickly drowns the rest of his coffee and puts the cut into the sink. “I’ll see you later, Alec.”

“Yeah, good luck at school.” Alec speaks as Simon backs out of the kitchen, flashing him one last smile.

Chapter Text

He really hasn’t been happier in a long time.

After yesterday’s meeting with Alexander and his friends, he’s in good spirits. Sure, he got worried when Alec hadn’t replied if he got home, but fortunately everything ended up fine. Magnus really hopes that Alec’s brother won’t stay mad at him for long. His boyfriend did sound quite upset over the phone last night.

Of course, Dot notices his good mood at work and knows exactly where it comes from. Soon they indulge into some talk about last night, his friend reminding him again of how amazing she finds Alexander.

After he and Alec said goodbyes last night, they all ordered a cab and started their route home. Magnus couldn’t get this happy grin off his face. The meeting really went amazing. Alec liked his friends, and as they sent him soft smiles through the whole way home, Magnus is sure they liked him too.

Luke told him that Alec seemed very interested in what everyone has to say and is a great listener. Magnus could only agree, because after spending what feels like hours talking with Alec in the car, he knows exactly what he means.

Clary had been beaming the whole way home, telling Magnus how cute and comfortable they are around each other only after two days of dating. She said that it’s really meant to be. Magnus hopes so. They time they spend being friends months earlier clearly prepared them for this whole ‘being together’ thing. Magnus is so glad that things haven’t changed between them, that they are still so contented in each other’s company. He really feels like he could tell Alec everything sometimes.

“So, when are you seeing your boyfriend again?” Dot asks with a teasing grin as they are looking over some samples under the microscope.

“Hopefully soon.” Magnus replies, smiling himself. “But Alexander is quite busy with school this week and we also have a lot of work.”

“Ugh, tell me about it.” Dot groans. “Raphael is serious about this collaboration this time.”

“Has he mentioned anything to you?” Magnus asks. The talks about the collaboration have been held for a long time. Alicante is doing great, but they need a new boost and some more advertising that other companies can grand them. Raphael has been trying to find a right one for the past few months.

“No, he haven’t really.” Dot shakes her head lightly. “He just said that it’s getting closer.”

Speaking of the devil, just as Magnus places on another sample, Raphael enters the lab, his face not giving up any emotions, but Magnus can sense that he feels tensed.

“Good morning.” He announces and both Dot and Magnus turn from their chairs to face him.

“Morning.” Magnus replies. “Everything okay?” He asks, eyeing his friend curiously. 

“I need to speak with you.” Raphael answers still looking at Magnus. He keeps up his poker face, but something in it breaks a little, revealing a bit of concern.

Magnus haven’t seen Raphael like that in what feels like ages.

“Sure.” He says as he gets up from his spot. Dot sends him a smile as he turns to her, but it also comes out kind of concerned. She too, has no idea what’s going on.

They move to Raphael’s office on the eight floor, not speaking the whole way up there. Magnus feels nervous and he doesn’t know why. It’s not like something is up with his work. He’s pretty sure he’s done everything his boss ever asked for. Sure, he’s been late a few times, but it’s only a couple of minutes, and Raphael has always let it slide. It’s not like he’s gonna fire him. Raphael is fully professional, but also loyal to his friends, and Magnus has done nothing to be fired.

When they finally got seated in the office, Magnus fidgets nervously. Raphael notices and eventually begins to speak, choosing his words carefully.

“So, you know how we’ve been working on the collaboration?” He asks and Magnus nods.

“Yeah, you’ve been rambling about it for a few months now.” He lets out a bit of a nervous chuckle and his friend sends him a flash of a smile.

“I’ve finally found a suitable company.” Raphael states. “And they are willing.”

“That’s great, Raph.” Magnus answers, but he doesn’t seem what the big deal is about. Shouldn’t his boss be happy, instead of looking like he might have seen a ghost before they came here. “I know how long you’ve been working on it.”

“Yeah, it is great.” Raphael agrees. “But there’s just one problem.” He begins and takes a deep breathe.

“What is it?” Magnus inquires, now truly concerned of the look on his friend’s face.

“The company is Yin Fen.” Raphael announces, not quite looking in Magnus’ eyes, and he lowers them even more when he adds a bit quieter. “Camille’s business.”

Magnus gapes at him for a moment, not such how to react or if he even heard right. He hasn’t seen Camille for more than a year now, and he wasn’t planning on ever doing that again. He gets so lost in the thoughts that he doesn’t even register that Raphael is speaking again.

“They proposed the best offer.” He continues. “The profits are shared fifty- fifty, they offered to provide their own scientists to work on the new line, and you how much I appreciate you and Dot, but this is big, and even you can’t handle this alone. But if it works out, we’ll climb up on the lists of the best prospering companies.”

Magnus listens now, paying a bit more attention and nodding at Raphael’s words lightly. He tries to sort out things in his mind. It’s not like Camille will have to be back. If she owns this company she can simply assign someone to this project who will supervise-“

“I haven’t agreed yet.” Raphael’s words bring him out of his thoughts. “They offered the best terms, but I wanted to talk to you first.”

“Why?” Magnus blurts out without thinking, still a bit too lost in his head.

“Because it’s Camille, Magnus.” His friends exhales heavily. “I know what she did to you, so I wanted to see-“

“You should go for it.” Magnus interrupts him and surprises himself with how sure he is about it. Raphael looks taken aback too, and it says a lot, since he’s never that easy to read.

“Are you-, are you sure?” He questions. “I can keep searching, some other companies will come around-“

“I’m sure.” Magnus declares, but his friend’s expression stays wary. Magnus rolls his eyes lightly as he continues. “Look, there probably won’t be a better offer. I can be professional about it. Sure, seeing her won’t be pleasing, but I work at the lab and she handles business, so I guess we won’t be seeing each other that much. I’ll be fine.”

Raphael’s expression softens a little, but still remains cautious.

“I mean it.” Magnus picks back up to reassure him. “I know how much it means to you-“

“Well, not as much as your comfort.” Raphael cuts in. “You’re my best friend, Magnus. I don’t want to be the one to bring those memories back, when I know how long you had spent trying to forget them-“

“And you’re not.” Magnus resorts simply. “Really. I’ll be fine.”

It’s not that he’s worried about falling back for Camille. Not after all she’s done. Not when he has Alec and he knows he wouldn’t give him up, especially for someone like her. He’s scared of seeing her again, but maybe it will be freeing? Like letting go of your past, facing it one last time to move on…

“We’re over.” Magnus starts again when none of them says anything. “Camille and I. End of the story. And like I said, I’ll be professional about this. I just hope she can be too.”

Raphael manages something resembling a smile and then looks down on some papers on his desk.

“So I guess I’ll let them know about our decision.” He informs, already searching for some documents. “We’ll announce it as official soon.”

“Great.” Magnus resorts as he moves to stand up. “But I can tell Dot though, right?”

Raphael sends him a glare, but its lacking any sort of heat.

“Like you could ever keep something from her.” He just says and shakes his head lightly, smiling a bit.

Magnus reciprocates as he leaves the office.

 

Dot is not convinced it’s such a good idea like he was.

“I mean, it’s Camille. We all know she’s awful.” She states when Magnus tells her everything during their lunch break. “What if it’s her other sort of plan to get her claws back into you?”

“Dot, I’m smarter now. I won’t let her get into me.” Magnus reassures simply, but it doesn’t fully convince his friend. “You know how important this is to Raphael. He’s been working on this for months. We all were.”

“I know, but I’m sure he could find some other company-“

“But this one is the best. He’s right, we won’t find a better offer.”

Dot sighs, but nods lightly, hanging her head down.

“But I swear to God, when I’ll see Camille’s up to something… either with the company or you-“

“Don’t you worry about me, my dear.” Magnus resorts as he reaches for her hand across the table they’re sitting at. “Besides, I have Alexander now. There’s no way Camille could do anything to win me back, when I have the most amazing man I wouldn’t trade for anyone ever.”

At that Dot raises her head and smiles at him softly.

“You’re sappy.” She says. “I’ve missed sappy Magnus.”

“Well, you’ll probably get sick of him pretty soon.” He assures, but she only laughs in answer.

 

It hits him when he gets home. When he finally has the time to think.

At work he’s been occupied and his mind was pretty much shut down. But now the thoughts are back.

He's never wanted to have anything more to do with Camille. After he broke it all for good, he just hoped they’d never see each other again. Now they’ll have to.

The things Camille did to him… how she wrecked him and he was left unable to love. He doesn’t think he’s fully healed. He hates that he wasted so much time on her. There were more important things and he focused on some fling, something that could never work out in a longshot.

Now he doesn’t want to waste more time even thinking of her. He needs something to do, to distract himself.

As if he’s prayers have been answered, his phone rings, and he’s pleased to see it’s the person who he wanted to speak to the most.

“Alexander.” He picks up and already feels himself smiling.

“Hi.” Alec’s soft voice sounds at the other line. “Sorry, if I’m interrupting something. Are you still at work?”

“No, I’ve just got back.” Magnus replies as he sprawls himself more comfortably on the couch. “What’s up?”

“Oh, nothing really.” Alec answers and Magnus can imagine him shrugging his shoulders. “I’ve just finished one of the most boring business law classes and now I have an hour break.”

“And what are you planning on doing with that break?”

“I’ll probably just go and grab some food with Lydia.” Alec resorts. “But I miss you, and I wanted to hear you again, so…”

He trails of and Magnus feels himself blushing. Alexander truly is the sweetest.

“Sorry, I’m being too much, right?” Alec starts nervously when Magnus haven’t spoken for a while, charmed by his boyfriend’s straightforwardness. “We saw each other like yesterday, I’m really-“

“Alexander,” Magnus interrupts swiftly, his tone amused. “we literally said we miss each other last night. It’s not too much.”

“Yeah, right. I just wanted to-“ He rumbles and Magnus laughs lightly.

“I miss you too.”

He can hear Alec let out a relieved sigh and he’s pretty sure he’s smiling.

“So, how are you?” He picks back up after a few seconds. “How’s work?”

“Everything’s good.” Magnus resorts. “We’re finally setting up for the collaboration.”

“That’s great.” Alec exclaims. “I guess you’re gonna be busy now, right?”

“Don’t worry, darling.” Magnus swiftly reassures. “I’m not planning on taking any extra hours unless it’s necessary. I’ll always make time for you.”

It’s Alec’s turn to laugh and the sound pleasantly rings in Magnus’ ears. He resolves he’ll never grown tired of it.

“How are things with your brother?” Magnus asks then, carefully.

“We haven’t spoken since the fight.” Alec exhales heavily. “But there wasn’t really time. Maybe when I’ll get home…”

“Sorry, if you don’t want to talk about this we can  just drop it.” Magnus adds concerned. He doesn’t want to ravel Alec’s head with unpleasant thoughts now, and the fight for sure wasn’t a blissful experience.

“No, it’s fine.” His boyfriend replies. “But there’s not much to talk about. We’ll figure it out, don’t worry.”

“I know you will, angel.” Magnus resorts.

“Look, babe, I really gotta go now.” Alec starts, sounding truly inconsolable that he needs to go. “Before Lydia starts to yell at me for being on my phone all the time.”

Magnus laughs a little. He really can’t wait to meet Alec’s friends. He’s pretty sure he’ll like this Lydia. And Isabelle is great. She and Alec are totally different, but somehow they fit. Magnus can see how much she means to Alexander. This sibling love is truly a beautiful thing.

Magnus is ready to say his goodbye to Alec, until one think hits him.

Babe.

It’s the first time Alec had ever used a pet name for him.

“Magnus,” His boyfriend’s voice sound through the phone. “you there?”

“Yeah, yes. I’m here.” He rumbles.

“Everything okay?” Alec inquires.

“Yeah, it’s just…” He wonders if he should bring it up. It clearly just slipped and maybe Alec didn’t even mean it. But then he remembers how Alec told him yesterday that he likes it when he calls him angel or darling. And Magnus would take any pet name from Alec’s mouth.

“What is it?” Alec questions again, clearly getting impatient.

“You’ve just called me ‘babe’.” Magnus replies finally.

There’s a moment of silence at the end of the line.

“Oh, yeah. I just thought that since you call me darling and angel so I could-, wait you don’t like it?” He can hear the hint of panic in Alec’s voice and dismisses it immediately.

“No! No, I like it. Very much actually.” Magnus reassures. “It’s cute.”

“Good.” Alec breaths out again. “Then I’ll talk to you soon, babe.”

“Bye, darling.”

The smile doesn’t come of Magnus’ face for a long time later.

 

The next day passes by normally, same as yesterday. Except that they spend almost 3 hours in a morning meeting regarding the collaboration with Yin Fen, they announce it officially and work on some details about the contract. Dot keeps sending him worried looks, but he swiftly dismisses it with a few smiles, and she seems to relax a bit too.

Later, they need to keep up with the actual work, so both him and Dot stay a few hours late, and it resolves in Magnus getting home at almost 8pm. To be honest he’s exhausted and just wants a drink and some good sleep.

He almost falls asleep on the couch, but when his phone buzzes, he startles up awake grabbing it from the coffee table.

Message received: Alexander

Hey, are you free tonight?

Magnus sighs. He really is exhausted and he doesn’t want to tire Alec with his down mood.

Message sent: Alexander

Sorry angel. Just got of work and I don’t feel like moving anytime soon. A rough day.

A reply comes a few seconds later.

Message received: Alexander

Everything okay?

Magnus smiles at the concern from his boyfriends as he types a reply.

Message sent: Alexander

Yeah, just boring meetings the whole morning. We needed to catch up on work later.

Alec doesn’t text anything more, so Magnus just assumes to drop it, only write that he’s free tomorrow and they should go and grab dinner, but suddenly he receives another text.

Message received: Alexander

Since you don’t want to move, what would you say if I came over?

Magnus stares at the message for a few seconds to make sure he’s read it correctly. He didn’t really expect for Alec to offer that, not after he freaked out at their first date when Magnus invited him over. But this surprise is indeed a pleasant one.

Message received: Alexander

It’s fine. You’re probably tired, I should let you rest. Sorry if I was too forward.

He receives the text a bit later, and he realises the hasn’t really replied to Alec’s offer. Before he gets to, there’s another message from his boyfriend.

Message received: Alexander

I just miss you

Magnus grins down at his phone for yet another confession from Alec, and this time wastes no time in replying.

Message sent: Alexander

Darling, of course I’d like it if you came over. That would be great.

No reply for a few seconds.

Message received: Alexander

Are you sure?

Magnus snorts. How could he be not.

Message sent: Alexander

Of course! I miss you too, I can’t wait to see you.

He wants to add something like ‘only if you’re sure you’re comfortable with that’, but again, Alec is ahead of him.

Message received: Alexander

Okay, I’ll be there soon 

Magnus flops down on the couch, his grin even wider.

 

Alec arrives about half of an hour later. Magnus instantly lets him in and smiles at the view of his boyfriend in the doorway, hands flooded with bags full of take-out containers.

“I recall you saying that you love Thai food.” Alec speaks. “So I got us some Thai food.”

Magnus pecks him on the lips, right here in the hallway, just because he can and he feels Alec smile against his lips.

“Thank you.” Magnus says when they pull apart. “You truly are an angel.”

Alec snorts.

“I just know you enough to know that you don’t eat properly when you’re overworked.” He resorts simply and moves to hang is jacket on the hanger.

“And here I was, just trying to be cute.” Magnus sighs dramatically and can hear Alec laugh as he follows him into the kitchen.

They grab some plates and cutlery, but actually move to the living room to eat on the couch, with the TV playing faintly in the background.

Magnus didn’t know who hungry he was until he put some food into his mouth. The taste is just divine, and even though he knows that he could probably eat everything now, he really appreciates Alec remembering that he’s fond of Thai food.

He keeps glancing at Alec when they’re eating. He’s sitting crossed legs on the couch, facing Magnus who mirrors his position, the food container in his lap. He doesn’t look uncomfortable, which Magnus was worried about, since it’s only a second time he’s been in his loft, while the first one was a short visit. But he catches Alec glancing around, as if admiring the design.

“Your home is really great.” Alec nods to himself as he’s finishing the food.

“Thank you, darling.” Magnus replies and smiles lightly.

“I mean, it’s totally different from my tastes to be honest.” Alec admits with a laugh. “But I like it. It suits you.”

“And what are your tastes?” Magnus asks, now intrigued.

“Well, I like minimalistic things.” Alec starts. “Not too much colours, not to bright, only the occasional patterns. But here… I don’t know, everything feels in place. Have you been living here for long?”

“It’s been quite few years.” Magnus answers. “We rented a small place down town during my last year of highs school. Then I lived in the dorms the first years of college. I got this place when I decided for sure, that I was staying.”

“Did you consider coming back to Indonesia?” Alec asks, his eyes now settled on Magnus, not all around the room.

“Only for a bit.” Magnus admits. “But I had more opportunities here.”

Alec nods and his sighs drops to his lap again.

“Do you want a drink?” Magnus proposes as he reaches for his own half-full glass of whiskey, but Alec shakes his head.

“No, I drove here, actually.”

“Oh, your brother finally let you take the car?” Magnus questions with a chuckle and Alec mirrors the sound.

“He doesn’t know. He’s out with some girl and probably won’t be back till tomorrow.” Alec explains. “So he won’t even notice.”

“Did you two talk about the fight?” Magnus tries then, but his boyfriend shakes his head again.

“No. It feels like we’re avoiding each other.” Alec starts with a sigh. “Either he’s at work and I’m in school, or he’s out somewhere, while I’m studying with Lydia.”

Magnus reaches out with his hand and creases Alec’s forearm gently.

“I don’t know.” He speaks after a while. “Maybe we need a bit more time? But our parents are coming back in a few days, and I’d like to figure it out before then.”

“You just need to find the right moment.” Magnus beings. “It’s probably hard for you both to even approach the subject, since you told me you barely ever fight, but I’m sure it’s gonna be fine.”

“Yeah, thank you.” Alec replies softly and smiles. “But okay, you better tell me more about this big collaboration you have coming up.”

Magnus groans.

“Ugh, angel. We literally spend like three hours talking this out today. Besides, it’s still in the early stages. There’s a lot of time before some cosmetics from that line come out. Can we please talk about something else? I’m really done with work for today.”

“Sure.” Alec replies without any hint of hesitation and Magnus is grateful for that. He doesn't really think he should tell him about Camille. Not now. There's no point in that. They're not even sure if she is coming to supervise the project, so it's pointless to start this subject now. And besides, Magnus just doesn't want to speak about her.

“Okay, so maybe we could watch some movie, huh? What do you think?” He offers then.

“Yeah, that would be nice.”

When Magnus puts something he immediately forgets the title of on, he decides that whatever they would be doing, it’s always nice with Alexander.

 

Half-way through the movie, Alec moves a bit closer to him, and shifts so that his head falls on Magnus’ shoulder. Magnus smiles and his arm wanders around Alec lightly as he feels him settle more comfortably. They stay like for basically the rest of the movie, but when it ends, none of the makes any intentions to move.

“Magnus,” Alec starts as the credits roll on. “can I ask you something?”

“Sure, darling.” Magnus creases his arm with his hand lightly, as it’s wrapped around his shoulders. He wishes he could see Alec’s face, but he doesn’t shift so they could face each other.

“Did you like me when we first met?” Alec asks and Magnus looks down on his boyfriend, waiting to look up to him. “I mean, like like me. In this way.”

Alec doesn’t look up and Magnus actually thinks about this question, before choosing his words carefully while answering.

“Well, it hadn’t escaped my notice that you are a handsome man.” Magnus starts and Alec chuckles lightly, finally shifting to look at him, then Magnus continues. “So yes, there might have been some physical attraction at the beginning-“

“Might have been?” Alec mocks and smirks, which makes Magnus snort lightly with a happy grin.

“Alright, for sure there was.” He clarifies and Alec nods in agreement. “But I think it was quite a process. We started talking, get to know each other and with every next conversation, every time you started to open up a bit… I guess I started to like like you with the more time we’ve spent together. First as a friend, but not after long as something more.”

Alec nods again and smiles lightly.

“I was actually planning to ask you out too. But you got ahead of me.” Magnus adds with a warm laugh.

“Really?” Alec questions, surprised.

“Yes. I just wasn’t sure if this is something you would want. I was building up my courage and then you just blurted it out.”

“I was nervous too, but Izzy told me to go for it. Same as Lydia, and it gave me the boost I needed.” His boyfriend resorts.

“I guess I’ll need to thank your sister and friend for that.” Magnus says with a smile.

“Well, it was still me who did most of the job…” Alec trails of jokingly.

“Of course.” Magnus agrees and leans in to brush his lips against Alec’s lightly, and then feels his boyfriend smile against his lips.

“I would say,” Alec starts, the grin on his face getting wider. “that there was chemistry between us right since the first day.”

Magnus laughs alongside with him, the sound of their mixed laughter sounding happily around the room.

“No phun intended, of course.” Alec adds, when they both catch their breath and their chuckles die down.

“No, of course not.” Magnus replies and moves in to connect their lips again.

 

Soon, it’s time for Alec to leave and Magnus can’t really stop the pout crawling onto his face as he walks his boyfriend back to the front door. They stay in the hallway for a while, just holding each other tightly, hugging.

“I have to go.” Alec says as he pulls back lightly and cups Magnus’ face, trying to kiss away the sad expression and he chuckles when Magnus pouts even more.

He doesn’t even consider inviting Alec to stay the night, he knows it’s too soon. And it was Alec who suggested he should go now, since he’s got morning classes tomorrow and it’s almost midnight now. Magnus would never make him leave, if it was up to him, but he respects Alec and won’t make him do anything he’s not ready for.

“I’m glad you came over.” Magnus speaks then, and receives a smile from his boyfriend.

“I’m glad I did too.” Alec agrees and pecks him on the lips again. “Even if just for a little while. I’ve missed you.”

“Me too, darling.” Magnus tightens his arms around him and kisses him softly, but for a while longer now.

“I’ll see you soon?” Alec moves to the from door and rest his hand on the doorknob.

“You will.” The other man replies and it earns him another smile for his boyfriend.

“Okay, bye Magnus.” Alec speaks as he swiftly moves out of the apartment.

“Bye, darling. Let me know you got home safely!” Magnus calls out after him and Alec turns from down the hallway to send him one last smile.

Magnus closes the door and leans against it, the smile never leaving his face. He’s still amazed by how comfortable they are around each other. How, Alec can just blurt out some romantic stuff without even realising it. How he is funny, and kind and so thoughtful of him. Magnus resorts that he’s never really felt like that with any of his partners. That his opinion matters, that he’s important. Alec seems to be noticing every single movement that might show that Magnus is uncomfortable and drops every subject he might consider rough.

Magnus wants to hold on to this feeling. To never let Alec go, because this is something new. Being close to Alexander makes him feel things. He hasn’t let himself just feel for such a long time. He was afraid of getting hurt. Still is, but he thinks that Alec would never hurt him intentionally.

Maybe it’s a stupid hope, maybe he’ll end up broken again. But he’s still willing to take the risk. Alexander is worth it.

Chapter Text

Alec gets back from Magnus’, lost in the thoughts the whole way home.

He felt nervous, asking him if he could come over, but he really wanted to. He missed him and he knows Magnus enough now. Feels safe with him. There’s nothing wrong with coming to visit him.

And it was great. They haven’t done anything more than just talking and kissing, and Alec is grateful, because he’s not ready for anything more.

But still, he longs to be close to Magnus. And it felt so great to be held in his arms, or to have his arm wrapped around his shoulders, being pressed tightly to him.

Alec smiles as he leaves the car and moves to the apartment building. God, he really won some kind of a lottery with finding Magnus. He would never give it up.

He swiftly unlocks the door, then drops them on the cabinet in the hallway, heading to the kitchen. He should already be asleep, but he doesn’t feel too tired. He can still feel Magnus’ lips against his, hands running up and down his arms.

He flinches up when he hears another voice as someone enters the kitchen behind him.

“Hey.”

Alec turns to see Jace, leaning at the counter at the other end of the kitchen. As far away from Alec as he can.

“Hi.” He greets his brother simply and then there's this awkward silence settling around them. Jace looks down, rubbing nervously at the nape of his neck, a gestures that implies he’s nervous. Alec’s eyes rest on him, but when he looks up, his sight drops to the floor.

“Look, Alec…” Jace starts and pauses almost immediately, searching for the right words. “I’m sorry, really.” He takes a few steps closer. “I shouldn’t have said anything. I should have shut up, and instead I just let it slide. I’m sorry, I didn’t want to bring that up again. I’m just so worried something like this might happen again. I wish I could do something to erase this memories for you-“

“Well, you could start with not bringing that up ever again.” Alec cuts in, a bit too sharply.

“I know, I know.” Jace’s voice is still calm, dripping with guilt. “I'm really sorry about that. And I shouldn’t have judged Magnus. You’re right, I don’t know him. And I do trust you Alec, I know you’re smarter now when it comes to this. So I’m sorry.”

“I’ve never heard you say it so many times.” Alec starts, a smile making its way up his face when he looks up at his brother.

Jace smiles a little tentative smile, but it’s enough to let him know that things are okay between them.

Alec could never stay mad at Jace for long. Sure, his words hurt, but he knows that his brother’s intentions are always good when it comes to him. That he’d do anything for Alec in a blink of an eye. The feeling is mutual.

“Yeah, I’m pretty sure it still doesn’t make up for what I said.” Jace speaks then, shaking his head lightly. “A million ‘I’m sorry’ wouldn’t be enough.” He adds sadly.

“Hey, it’s alright.” Alec resorts, his tone soft now. “I know you didn’t mean to bring it up. I get that you’re worried, but you can trust me not to make the same mistakes. And if I make some new ones, well then I will learn from them too.”

“I trust you.” Jace repeats. “I really do.”

“Well, in that case, we’re all good.” Alec reaches out and squeezes his brother’s shoulder lightly, as he releases a relieved breath.

“Good.” Jace resorts and nods to himself.

Alec considers the conversation done, so he proceeds to grab a glass of water and intends to leave to go to his room, but then Jace asks.

“So, where have you been? Studying with Lydia again?”

Alec doesn’t really turns to him, when he answers.

“No, actually I was at Magnus’.” He replies and bites his lip nervously as he turns.

“Oh,” Jace looks a bit surprised, but then a small smile replaces this expression. “that’s nice.”

“Yeah, it was.” Alec agrees, letting his own smile paint his face.

None of them speaks further on, so Alec decides the conversation is done.

“Alec,” Jace calls out after him again, and he turns. “I’d really like to meet him at some point.”

Alec nods, smile growing even bigger, and his brother mirrors the expression.

 

“Okay, you look like death.”

Are the first words he hears from Lydia, when their first lecture for today ends. He growls and hits his head against the desk, a bit too hard, which only resolves in yet another groan.

“Hey,” Lydia continues and urges his head back up. “you okay?”

“Fine.” Alec replies as he starts to gather up his stuff so they can leave the hall. “Just didn’t get enough sleep.”

He came back home at midnight, then spoke with Jace, needed to finish some homework and only then he could fall asleep. He almost run out late and didn’t even greet Lydia before their classes.

But he wouldn’t change a thing. Last night at Magnus’ was nice, and Alec is glad they got to spend some time together. Even if it was only for a bit.

“Stayed up all night writing articles again?” Lydia asks, but Alec shakes his head as they march to the exit.

“No.” He says, and Lydia sends him an intrigued gaze. “I was with Magnus.”

“I knew it.” Lydia resorts and Alec rolls his eyes. “Even though you look like death, there’s something cheerful about it. Only Magnus can bring it out.”

Alec smiles as they continue to walk. He thinks the subject is done, but of course, Lydia wouldn’t be herself if she didn’t start her interrogation.

“So, what did you do?”

Alec knows better than try to lead her on. And besides, it’s cool to talk about this with Lydia, she’s his best friend. She probably knows the most about his relationship with Magnus, besides maybe Izzy.

“We hung out at his place.” Alec replies and shrugs lightly.

“Cool.” Lydia nods. “But what exactly did you do?” She inquires.

“Well, I got us dinner and then we watched some movie, talked…” Alec trails off.

“Sounds nice.” Lydia resorts. “I’m glad you had fun.”

Alec sends her a smile and she reciprocates, but then her expression turns a bit concern.

“But just remember to take care of yourself, okay?” She starts. “Maybe if you don’t feel like it, you shouldn’t come for those lectures-“

“Lydia, what are you talking about? I’m fine.” Alec reassures her. He appreciates her concern, but a small lack of sleep hasn’t killed anybody yet. “I’m just a bit tired-“

“I’m not talking only about today, Alec.” Lydia interrupts. “We’ve been studying practically the whole week, and when you come back home you stay up and write those articles-“

“I need to get money somehow, Lydia.” Alec cuts in and sighs. “The apartment won’t pay for itself.”

“I know.” Lydia picks up again. “And I’m really glad you took your time with Magnus yesterday to relax. I’m just saying, that if it feels like too much sometimes, I’m here. I’ll get you notes from this lectures or something. Just don’t overwork yourself.”

Alec eyes her curiously for a bit. She really looks worried, but he doesn’t know where this sudden speech came from. He knows he can always count on Lydia, but it is actually nice to hear it again. He really had a week from hell. The stress before meeting Magnus’ friends, the fight with Jace, exams, looking out for Max, and writing for the newspaper. Alec is kind of wary that it might become too much soon, and he’ll need to take break from something at some point.

He sighs again, and moves to embrace his friend. Lydia goes willingly and hides her face in his chest.

“I’m just worried.” She repeats and Alec hugs her a bit tighter.

They’ve been friends enough for her to notice when it’s getting too much. She witnessed a few of Alec’s breakdowns or panic attacks, but she never made him feel bad about it. He really couldn’t have a better friend. He doesn’t really have a lot of friends on the campus, but it’s better to have one, such good as Lydia, than tons of them, that wouldn’t understand and be there for him like she does.

“Thank you, Lyds.” He says as they’re still hugging. “I really appreciate that. I promise you, I’ll take care of myself.”

“Good.” She says as she pulls back and smiles at him lightly. “Now, let’s go. You need coffee, you zombie.”

 

A few days later he comes back home and finds Izzy sitting on the floor at the coffee table, working on her jewellery.

“Hi, Iz.” He greets and she looks up from her current task sending him a smile.

“Hello, big brother.”

Alec moves to sit beside her, dropping a kiss on top of her head as he goes.

“What are you working on?”

“Some client asked for a bracelet that would match her burgundy dress, so I’m going with the simple silver pattern. It basically matches everything.”

Alec hums, continuing to watch his sister do the work. Izzy started her little business back in high school, when she began making herself some jewellery. She was a popular kid and soon her friends started asking where did she got it from. And of course being Izzy, she saw an opportunity in this and started selling her makings. It actually helps them quite a lot now. Only Jace has a stable job, Alec takes as many articles as he can write and Izzy’s taking orders for personalized jewellery, but also has a fair collection of her products on a website, which Simon helped her with. And somehow, they’re managing.

“Actually, I need to talk to you.” She says then, placing the unfinished bracelet on the table. She doesn’t look really nervous or anything, so Alec doesn’t think it’s something bad.

Before she gets to say anything, the front door bust open and Jace emerges in the entrance.

“Great, you’re here.” Izzy exclaims and Jace sends her a confused look.

“I live here, right? Of course I’m here.” He says.

“It’s not what I mean.” Isabelle sighs. “I need to talk to the both of you.”

The brothers look at each other, but both just shrug as Jace gets out of his coat and slumps down on the floor at the opposite side of the coffee table.

“It’s about our parents, isn’t it?” A sudden thought hits Alec and he speaks out loud. Of course it is, it need to be. They should be back from Chicago any day now.

“Yes.” Isabelle replies. “They want to meet. They got back yesterday.”

“Have they seen Max already?” Jace asks. “He probably missed them.”

“Yeah, they went there the first thing when they came back.” Izzy sends her brothers a small smile.

“Do they have another news they want to tell us?” Alec questions and his sister sends him a glare. “What? They only want to meet us all when there’s something important we need to know about!”

“I think this time they just want to talk.” Isabelle resorts. “We haven’t seen each other for more than two months.”

“Yeah, we had gone more without seeing each other.” Jace replies and then he receives a glare from Izzy, but just shrugs in answer.

“Okay, what will it take to convince you to go?” She asks as her sight switches from one brother to another.

“You know my deal.” Jace starts. “I’ll go if Alec goes.”

They both turn to look at Alec.

He thinks for a little, and then he remembers the way his mother acted towards him the last time. The way they hugged, the way her eyes lingered on him a little longer, with something resembling concern in them.

He thinks of Izzy’s, Lydia’s and Magnus’ words that he should give his parents a chance. And then he thinks of himself, and how he decided he’ll try to make things right. At least with their mom. His father has been a lost cause for long now.

“I’ll go.” Alec answers and see surprise flash in the eyes of both of his siblings. “What?”

“Nothing, I thought it would take more convincing.” Izzy answers with a shrug. Alec mirrors the gesture and for a moment they just sit in silence.

“So, when and where are we meeting this time?” Jace asks then.

“Mom told me she’ll text me the address of some restaurant tomorrow.” Isabelle responds. “I’ll let you know.”

They all nod at each other and both Jace and Alec get up then and head to their rooms.

“Hey, do you want to take the car tomorrow?” His brother offers, but Alec turns to him to shake his head.

“No, it’s Wednesday tomorrow. Magnus is driving me.”

“Oh, okay.” Jace resorts and sends him a smile. “I guess I’ll take it then.”

“Like you always do…” Alec teases.

“Hey! It’s not true-“ His brother starts, but Alec’s already slipping into his room, hearing the sound of Jace’s laugh as he walks down the hallway to reach his bedroom.

 

Wednesday means not only seeing Magnus, but also visiting his brother. Alec marches into the hospital in the morning, sending Catarina a smile on his way and she waves at him from the nurse station.

“Hi, buddy.” Alec calls out as he enters Max’s room. His brother is sitting on the bed, currently reading a book.

“Hey!” He greets and looks up from his task.

“How are you doing?” Alec asks as he slumps down on the chair next to his bed.

“Pretty good.” Max nods lightly.

Alec smiles a bit at the answer. Max looks way better than when he saw him a few days ago. Less pale, an actual, happy smile on his face.

He reaches up to smooth a hand down his brother’s hair and they smile at each other for a bit.

“That’s great.” Alec says then.

“Okay, but since life is pretty boring out here,” Max starts, and Alec rolls his eyes. His brother pretends he doesn’t notice and continues regardless. “How are you and Magnus?”

Of course Alec told him about him and Magnus, basically right after they hit it off. Max wasn’t very surprised. He said he could see it when he first saw them interact a few weeks ago. There was something about the two of them being together, the way they look at each other.

But Alec glares at him as he asks. His brother made it his favourite subject ever since he found out.

“We’re good.” Alec answers with a smile, tugging at the corners of his lips.

Max sends him and unimpressed gaze.

“Details.”

“Why is my love life such an interesting subject for you?” Alec asks annoyed.

“Because you’ve never actually had one before, bro.”

Alec sighs. Max doesn’t know about Raj. Only bits, but he never told him the full story. When they were together, the timing wasn’t right. For anyone actually. They found out about Max’s illness back then, and Alec didn’t want to daunt him with his relationship drama. It wouldn’t make him feel any better, so there was no point.

“Why don’t you ask him?” Alec fires back. “He’ll be here soon.”

“Because I enjoy tormenting you.” Max resorts simply with a shrug.

“You’re the worst.” Alec mutters, but smiles at his brother and begins to tell him about his recent dates with Magnus. He likes seeing the spark in Max’s eyes when he talks about it. He looks really happy to see his brother happy.

Later, they talk about all sorts of stuff, avoiding the matter of Max’s illness, as always. If Alec wants to know more about it, he simply goes and asks the doctors. Max doesn’t understand half of the doctor’s cant anyway.

So they rant about books, video games, Jace and Izzy, and Simon’s very possible chance at throwing a concert this time. Alec promise to take a lot of videos if that actually happens. They speak a bit about their parents. Max had been quite upset with them leaving, but since they’re back now, he seems in much better spirits now.

And soon, the time runs out. Alec gets up and hugs his brother goodbye, but then suddenly Magnus emerges into the room.

“Hello youngest Lightwood.” He greets and high fives Max, then turning to Alec. “Hi, darling.” He leans in and place a chest kiss to his mouth. “Ready to go?”

“Yeah.” Alec nods and smiles at his boyfriend. He turns to Max and sees him grinning at the both of them. “Jace will come by tomorrow.”

His brother nods at his words and then Magnus laces their fingers together and they move out of the room, as he drops a wink to Max on their way.

 

He starts speaking almost immediately as they get settled in the car. Magnus barely gets to start the engine, when he announces.

“We’re meeting my parents today.”

There’s a moment of silence, while Magnus seems to be trying to register his words.

“Okay,” He begins as he backs out of the parking lot. “and you’re nervous?”

“Not that much.” Alec admits. “There’s only one thing bothering me.”

“Which is?” The other man inquires.

“I don’t know what they want.” He starts. “I mean, the last time we met, they announced that they’re leaving. And now since they’re back… I just don’t know what to think.”

“There’s isn’t really much of advice I can tell you for this, darling.” Magnus sighs, his tone a bit tentative. “You just need to wait and see. But you said things were a bit better with your mom?”

“Well, that was two months ago.” Alec resorts, not unkindly. “And it was just some little things.”

“Baby steps, I guess?” Magnus turns to him and smiles as they stop at a red light. Alec nods at him and brings his hand to rest on his boyfriend’s thigh lightly, needing to ground himself on something still.

The rest of the drive passes by quickly. Magnus tells him about their current task at work, which is mixing a new eye shadow palette. Alec mostly doesn’t understand a word as he rumbles about some pigments and creating new colours, but he lets himself get lost in his soft voice.

When they reach the university driveway, Magnus turns to him again and laces takes the hold of the hand that’s been resting on his thigh.

“Let me know how the meeting went?” He asks and brings their intertwine hands to kiss his knuckles lightly.

“Yeah.” Alec nods and cups Magnus’ face with his other hand, connecting their lips. They stay in the car for a longer while, just trading kisses and tender touches. Something that Alec has been needing very much right now to relax a bit.

“I’m gonna make you late again.” Alec states in between kisses, but Magnus only chuckles against his mouth.

“Well, Raphael can deal with it.” He resorts and just kisses him again.

“But I’m also making myself late.” Alec starts and pulls back again. “Which is both gonna piss of both Lydia and my teacher.”

“Alright, go be the perfect student you are.” Magnus replies and waves his hand dismissively.

Alec laughs lightly and presses one last kiss to his cheek.

“Thank you for the ride, babe.” He lingers against his soft skin and Magnus smiles as he turns his head to steal on more kiss from his mouth.

“My pleasure, Alexander.” He says when they pull apart.

“Have fun at work.” Alec calls out as he leaves the car and Magnus sends him another smile.

He tries to focus on that, the image of his smile in his mind, not on what’s to come later today.

 

This all looks so familiar to the last time they saw each other.

After classes, he instantly heads to the restaurant, already spotting Izzy and their mom at the table. Jace mentioned that he might be a bit late.

Maryse gets up as she sees him and moves to hug him. Alec spots his sister sending him an encouraging smile and he can’t help but smile a bit too.

“Alec, it’s so good to see you.” His mother speaks and he nods in answer, sitting down at the spot next to Isabelle.

“So, how are things?” Maryse questions and Izzy turns to Alec, clearly indicating that they’ve already been through this talk, so these words were directed at him only.

“Good.” He starts. “Busy.”

“And besides school?” His mom inquires.

Alec sends Izzy a look, as if she might have spilled something about him and Magnus, but she shakes her head discreetly.

And should he tell his mom? It’s not like she really cares about his love life. Especially that he’s gay. He knows that this fact disguises her. 

“It’s all great. I’ve been writing a lot recently.” He decides for that. He really tries to make some decent conversation with his mother, because he did promise himself to try. And to his surprise, Maryse is quite eager herself.

“For the newspaper? She asks and Alec nods. “Isabelle told me about it.”

“Yeah, I actually enjoy it.” Alec says and his mother flashes him a smile.

Soon, Jace arrives and receives the same set of questions. Then they move on to order their food.

“Actually,” Jace starts when their dishes arrive. “where’s dad?”

Maryse clears her throat awkwardly before she starts.

“He got held up in work.” She states. “He won’t be able to make it.”

Basically all of the siblings notice how uncomfortable their mom looks when she answers. They all exchange worried glances, but let the subject drop for now.

“How was Chicago?” Alec prompts then, and Maryse looks relieved at the change of subject.

“It was okay. We got all the things settled. There are no trips coming up for us anytime soon.”

“That’s good.” Alec starts, but lowers his gaze to the table. “Max missed you. He looked happier today, that you came back.”

“We missed him too.” Maryse resorts immediately. “All of you.”

Alec finds it hard to believe, but he lets it go.

Later they speak a bit about college, Izzy’s jewellery making business and Jace’s job. He doesn’t really hide it, that he hates it, and their mom seems to pick up on it.

“Maybe you should try to search for something different then?” She suggests, but Jace just sends her a confused look. “You shouldn’t waste your time on something, that you don’t even plan to see yourself doing in the future.”

“But that’s it, mom.” Jace starts and sighs. “I don’t really know what I want to do. I mean, I’m taking these business classes and stuff, but… I just don’t know.”

Maryse reaches with her hand across the table to catch her son’s palm.

“That’s okay.” She says softly. “You’ll figure it out, sooner or later.”

They all seem to be shocked at her gesture, but do their best not to let it show. At least Alec thinks so.

Maryse has never been very affectionate. They only received hugs, or comforting touches, while being babies, and now… it is quite a nice gesture. Very motherly.

Later they talk a bit more. About Max this time. All of their conversations for the last few months seem to always lead to him. But that’s good. They need to settle some things when it comes to him.

“Do you think we could get Max out of the hospital at least for a day?” Isabelle asks their mom.

“Well, I’m not sure, but why?”

Izzy shrugs as if trying to find the right words, but then Alec begins.

“He’s just really bored there. He told me himself today. Maybe a day away could do him better?”

“I should speak to the doctors about it, but I’ll try to. If you think this may do some good.” She resorts and smiles lightly.

“We could just take him to dinner, spend some time all together…” Alec trails of, but his mom picks up on it.

“I think it’s a lovely idea.” She agrees and looks truly pleased that this offer comes from her eldest son. “I’ll see what I can do and let you know.”

They all nod and then begin to get up from their table.

“It was really great to see you all.” Maryse speaks then. “I think we should do it more often.”

“I agree.” Izzy smiles at their mom. Jace and Alec don’t say anything, but the youngest brother sends their mom a small smile too.

“The next time I’ll be at the hospital I’ll speak to the doctors about that day off.” She declares and moves to hug their children. Again, lingering a bit longer at Alec.

“And thank you for proposing the dinner. I’m sure your Max would appreciate us all getting together.”

When they pull back Alec mirrors her smile.

“Yeah, we should try that mom.” He resorts.

And when Maryse’s smile widens it seems she too interprets it as more than just a dinner.

They should try to fix it all. Not only for Max’s sake, but for all of them.

 

Chapter Text

It makes more time to settle these thing that they’d imagine.

The collaboration with Yin Fen is a constant subject at work, even though it haven’t really properly began yet.

For the past two months, they’ve all been preparing, to finally start creating the actual products. They worked on recipes, but still, none of Yin Fen representatives has arrived yet.

Which actually suits Magnus.

Two months might seem as enough of a time to get ready to see your vicious ex. But none time in the world could prepare Magnus to face Camille again.

So he’s pretty glad about the delay.

Raphael has been working none stop, carrying on with video calls and emails. And it’s clear that this whole thing is pissing him of, and he’s been scowling even more. He really thought he chose the best offer, but not it’s not exactly paying off. The project is still somehow moving forward, but not as fast as they’d all liked to.

But work isn’t what’s on Magnus’ mind constantly. It should be, since it’s important. But his main focus is always on Alexander.

The past months had been wonderful. They’re doing great. Both of them are buys, but still try and find sometime for each other during the week.

The movie nights at Magnus’ became a bit of a tradition, and that’s why Magnus finds himself sitting on his couch, with Alexander pressed tightly next to him now.

“Next time, I’m choosing the movie.” Alec speaks from where his head rests on Magnus’ chest.

“Why, you didn’t like it?” Magnus prompts, running his hand through his boyfriend’s hair delicately.

“I mean, I did.” Alec starts, but doesn’t bother to look at Magnus, way too comfortable on his spot. “But the ending? I’d like to see what happens next. They just cut it short.”

“Maybe they’ll make a sequel?”

“Yeah, and I’d need to wait a year to see it. I’ll forget. This movie wasn’t that good to drill itself in my brain forever.”

Magnus chuckles and drops a kiss on top of his head. He really loves Alec’s straightforwardness, the fact that he won’t hide opinion only to please Magnus.

“Well in that case, I can’t wait to be amazed by the masterpiece you’ll chose the next time.” Magnus resorts teasingly and Alec turns to face him with a grin.

“You don’t believe in my move skills?” He teases.

“Oh, of course I do, angel.”

“Mhm.” Alec hums and brings his hand to rest at the nape of Magnus’ neck to pull him down for a kiss.

He melts immediately, when their lips touch. Moving slowly, he cups Alec’s face and deepens the kiss a little.

It got heated between them quite a few times. Magnus was barely able to take control of the desire raging in his veins, but there’s no way he’ll scare Alec away with moving too fast. This thing that they have is too good to let it go by such mistake. First they need to talk about taking another step.

There was a lot of opportunities to take things further, but none of them is too eager for it now.

Soon, Alec pulls back, a little breathless, his eyes still closed, but a smile tugging at the corners of his mouth.

“I should go.” He resorts and kisses Magnus again. This time, short and sweet. “It’s getting late.”

And Magnus had thought about inviting him to stay the night, but he’s afraid Alec might interpret it in a bad way. So he stops himself from asking this time. Maybe the next. There’s no rush.

“I can drive you home.” Magnus proposes, but Alec shakes his head.

“No, it’s okay. I can take the subway.”

“That late?”

“Magnus, I’ll be fine.” Alec says softly and pecks his lips again.

“Are you sure?” He tries to be certain. “It’s not a problem-“

“It’s late. You need sleep too.” Alec cuts in. “I’ll let you know when I get home.”

He really tries not to baby Alec, but he’s worried. Always has been and always will. Alec is more than capable of taking care of himself, but as his boyfriend, Magnus feels like it’s his duty to make sure he’s safe.

Alec gets up from the couch and heads to the hall, but Magnus immediately follows him and hugs from behind. They both laugh softly as they stumble into the hallway. Then Alec turns in his arms and kisses him again.

“I’ll see you soon.” He says against his lips and Magnus nods, before connecting their mouths again.

Alec breaks of the kiss and smiles lightly, as he puts on his jacket and gets the door open. Magnus barely gets to open his mouth, when he speaks.

“Yes, I’ll let you I got back safely.” He repeats, predicting his boyfriend’s words.

Magnus sends him one last smile as he leaves through the door.

 

“Thank God, you’re finally here.” Dot exclaims the next day as he enters the lab in Alicante’s building.

“What a welcoming, my dear, but I’m not actually late today.” Magnus resorts as he puts on his smock and sits down next to his friend.

“Yeah, I know. But I need to tell you something.” She says and Magnus studies her with serious expression, as she takes a deep breath and starts. “Camille’s here.”

Magnus’ eyes widen just for a short second. He knew this day would come, sooner or later. Even though he preferred later, there’s no way he can delay it forever. So he exhales himself and nods to Dot. 

“That’s good, right?” He speaks and his friend throws him an unimpressed glare. “What? It means the project is moving forward.”

“Yes, but it also means, that she’ll come here in a few minutes to introduce her team of scientist.” Dot resorts again, and sighs, when Magnus doesn’t really show any concern at her words. “Look, I’m just making sure you’re okay with seeing her again. She’s in Raphael’s office with the newbies now.”

“Dortothea, I’m completely fine. We’ve talked about this.” Magnus reaches out and puts his hand on Dot’s forearm reassuringly. “Besides, I have you, don’t I? You’re my rock.”

His friend smiles softly at his words, but soon it turns into a smirk.

“I think you’ve got yourself another rock…” She trails of, a teasing grin on her face.

“Fine, you’re my work rock, Alexander is my rock in everything else.” He rolls his eyes, but can’t resist the smile, paining on his face.

Dot chuckles, the sound soon ripping off, as the doors to the lab burst open, and Raphael with Camille are entering, alongside two unknown women, sympathetic smiles on their faces. The one on the left, has dark hair, pinned up in a ponytail. She has Asian features and her eyes crinkle when she smiles. The other, is paled skinned and has long blonde hair. They’re both really beautiful.

And as Magnus sees Camille, he’s surprised to realise, that he feels nothing.

He thought, that the memories and feelings would come back. And they do, but not as strong, just in faint touches and it’s easy to supress them. Their good times are overshadowed by all the bad ones anyway, so the sensation he feels the most now is anger.

Dot sands by his side, squeezing his shoulder reassuringly, as the new arrivals approach them.

“Magnus,” Camille comes up with a smile on her face. She looks stunning, as always. Tight black dress, neatly red painted nails, longs dark hair falling on her shoulders. Magnus has always found her beautiful, he can admit that. “it’s been so long.”

He expects an official handshake, but instead Camille moves to put his arms around him, and caught by surprise, Magnus lets her. He can see Dot and Raphael rolling their eyes in sync and he barely supresses a chuckle.

When Camille finally pulls back she greets Dot with a handshake, and Magnus can see the forced smile on his friend’s face.

“Alright,” Raphael clears his throat. “Dot, Magnus, I’d like to introduce you to your new collaborators, Aline and Helen.”

The women pull out their hands to shake.

“Hi, I’m Aline.” The dark haired woman starts, when she shakes Magnus’ hand. “Me and my friend, Helen are really excited to work with you.” She states and Helen nods in agreement, as she slides her palm out of Dot’s and switches to greet Magnus.

“Oh, it’s our pleasure.” Magnus resorts. “We’re always happy to welcome some new blood.”

“Great,” Raphael starts again as all the formalities are done. “we’ll let you get settled, while me and Camille get the business done. You can show them around, right?” He asks Magnus and Dot.

“Sure,” Dot answers and smiles at the women.

“That would be lovely.” Helen resorts with another smile.

“Make yourself at home.” Raphael adds as he begins to head to the exit. “There’s a lot work to be done.”

“Charming and positive as always…” Magnus says as he and Camille leave, which make the rest of the company laugh.

 

They show around the building to Helen and Aline, but also tell them, that they’ll probably be spending most of the time in the lab, or cafeteria either way. They find out that they’ve been working for Yin Fen for the last two years, and both met there. Magnus and Dot share a story how they met, while studying chemistry, which starts the spiral of sharing college stories and lots of laughter. Soon they decide to go back to the lab, since as Raphael said, there’s a lot things to be done.

But there’s something about those girls, Magnus resorts as he observes them when they walk by. In the way they look at each other, sometimes a bit too lingering for it to be appropriate. Magnus doesn’t know what’s going on between them, but makes it his personal mission to find out at some point. Right now, they really need to head back to work.

And of course, as they head to the elevators, they meet Camille.

“Magnus, it’s so good we ran into each other.” She starts. “I was actually headed to find you and ask you something. Can we talk?”

Magnus sees Dot shaking her head lightly with a stern expression, but he dismisses it with a lazy eye roll.

“Go, I’ll be right behind you.” He tells his co-workers and they come into the elevator. Dot doesn’t look willing, but in the end, she does too.

When they’re gone, Magnus turns to Camille.

“I was wandering if you’d go and get dinner with me tonight?” His ex smiles at him and reaches with her hand to touch his arm, but Magnus subtly backs out.

“I already have plans, Camille.” He answers. He doesn’t really have them, but everything is better than having dinner with her.

“So, can’t you cancel?” She questions insistently.

“No, I really can’t.” Magnus resorts and is ready to turn and leave, but then decides to add one more thing. “And I would very much appreciate it, if we kept our conversations professional, only about work and business.”

At that, he turns and heads back to the elevators, but Camille’s voice reaches him again.

“But why?”

Magnus shakes his head lightly, as he turns and smiles at her while responding.

“Because we’re co-workers, Camille. Nothing more, nothing less.”

He doesn’t even wait for her answer as he comes into the elevator.

He barely gets to enter the lab, as he gets bombarded with questions from Dot, who stands in the doorway.

“What did she want?”

“To get dinner with me.” Magnus replies as his friend sends him another glare. “And I denied, of course.”

At that Dot smiles.

“Told her I had other plans.” Magnus adds as he moves to fully enter the room.

“Did you tell her about Alec?” Dot asks in a whisper as they head to their station, where Helen and Aline are already located.

“No, she doesn’t need to know.” Magnus answers simply. “It’s none of her business.”

“But wouldn’t it be better to let her know that you’re taken?” Dot inquires. “Maybe she would back of then?”

“Dot, you don’t know Camille like I do. It’s better to leave this be like this right now.”

“Okay, I trust you on this.” She states and they all get back to work.

 

The thing with Camille shouldn’t bother him. He had a lot of time to prepare to see her, but still, he can’t help but feel a bit uncomfortable with seeing her pretty much every day for the next few months. He’ll need to get used to it, but he really hopes that she can be as professional about this as he is.

Her today’s behaviour proves otherwise. Magnus hopes that those informal invitations won’t become a regularity.

On the good side of the day, Helen and Aline turn out to be amazing chemists, very hard working and responsible. Magnus already can tell that working with them will be a bliss.

They don’t talk much during the following hours, focusing more at work, and with the help of the girls they manage to finish all today’s assignments earlier. So with an hour or so in stock, Magnus decides to meet his boyfriend. As he leaves the company’s building he texts Alec, in case he’s still at some lecture.

Message sent: Alexander

Hello darling, are you done with school for today?

If he’s not, Magnus would be happy to pick him up, and they could head somewhere for dinner, but as he gets a reply, his plans get kinda ruined.

Message received: Alexander

Yep, just got back home.

Magnus settles into his car as he types another message.

Message sent: Alexander

So are you free for the rest of the day?

He sighs heavily as he gets another message.

Message received: Alexander

Sorry babe, got a date with industrial law.

It seems like Alec never takes a break. He’s studying nonstop, so much that Magnus isn’t sure if it’s healthy anymore. He really should stop at times, and focus more on himself. It’s not like the world will fall apart if he messes up one exam.

Magnus resorts, that he should tell him this in person. So that’s why he types another message. It might be a bit too forward, but he really misses Alec and after today’s situation with Camille he needs him to sooth is nerves, and besides, his boyfriend really needs to take a break.

Message sent: Alexander

What would you say if I joined you on your date?

He waits for a reply a bit longer, and almost wants to take back the previous message.

Message received: Alexander

You mean, you want to come over?

Message sent: Alexander

Only if you want me to.

There’s silence for a while, so Magnus adds one more text.

Message sent: Alexander

I promise, I won’t be too distracting ;)

He can imagine Alec rolling his eyes at this message.

Message received: Alexander

Do you remember the address? :)

He smiles as he starts the car and makes his way to his boyfriend’s apartment.

 

Not even a half of an hour later, he arrives at Alec’s place. He stopped at one of the pizza places near and got some food, since he knows too well, that when Alexander gets caught up in his studies, he basically functions only on coffee, so Magnus makes sure he’ll eat some proper food today.

He quickly climbs up the stairs and knocks on the door. To his surprise, it’s Isabelle who opens them.

“Hi!” She greets him happily and gestures him to come in.

“Hi, Isabelle. Great to see you.” Magnus says and the girl smiles at him. “I come bearing gifts.” He hands her two pizza boxes and she gladly takes them.

“Thank God, she was about to start cooking.” Alec’s voice sounds from the living room as he heads to greet his boyfriend. When he gets closer he leans in and kisses Magnus softly on the mouth. “Hi.”

“Hello, darling.” Magnus pecks him on the lips again, and Alec relaxes visibly, a smile climbing onto his face.

Isabelle stands near, observing the scene with a grin, but then she shoves her brother lightly on a shoulder.

“You and Jace are the only ones who don’t approve of my cooking.” She glares at Alec, but he only chuckles in answer.

“Yeah, because Simon is too scared to tell you that it’s awful, and you’ve never really cooked for anyone else than us.” Alec resorts simply with a shrug as his sister sets their dinner on the living room table. She sends him a sharp look, but there’s no real heat behind it.

Magnus has never really been in Alec’s apartment, so he gets a minute to take a look. It’s small, but with this kind of cosy vibe. The living room is connected to the kitchen area, and there are four doors down the hallway, probably bedrooms and bathroom.

Alec takes his hand and leads them to sit on the couch, making some space, by neatly putting down his notes and textbooks on the floor. There’s really a lot of stuff. He wasn’t kidding about this date.

The get settled on the couch, with Isabelle in the armchair next to them.

“How was work?” Alec asks as they get to eating the food.

“Good. We met the new chemists which will help with the collaboration.” Magnus replies and smiles at him. “They’re both really smart, I can tell that we’ll enjoy working with them.”

“That’s great.” Alec states and places a kiss to his cheek.

“And how was your day?”

“Fine. We got excused from two last lectures, since the professor didn’t show up.” Alec explains. “But I have this exam tomorrow, so I came back home and began to study.”

Magnus nods lightly.

“Where’s your brother?” He asks as he looks around. He hasn’t met Jace yet, there just wasn't an occasion, or time, but he knows that things between him and Alec had been tensed, when he found out they were dating. They got it all figured out, but still, Magnus isn’t sure how to feel with the possibility of meeting him today. It’s been really easy to get along with Isabelle. She’s such an open and sympathetic person. But he’s not sure if Jace’s the same…

“He’s still at work.” Alec answers as he reaches out for his notes again. “Don’t really know when he’ll be back.” He turns to look at Magnus now. “Wait, are you nervous about meeting him?”

“What? No, I was just wondering.” Magnus replies as truthfully as he can and Alec studies him curiously, but before he gets to say something more, Magnus decides to change the subject for now.

“And how is everything going, Isabelle?” He turns to his boyfriend’s sister.

“Oh, everything is great.” She resorts simply. “Well, college’s a bitch, but it’s nothing I can’t handle.” She winks and smiles as she finishes her food. “Thanks for the food. We’ve been starving in here.” She laughs. “God, big brother, your boyfriend is amazing.”

“Don’t I know it.” Alec whispers and Magnus can feel himself blush.

“Okay, I actually have some work to do,” Izzy starts as she gathers up the empty pizza boxes from the table. “but do you mind if I hang out here? There’s much more space.”

“Iz, why are you even asking.” Alec says and shakes his head lightly. “I’m sure Magnus doesn’t mind.” He turns to him and Magnus nods.

“Sure, it’ll be nice to spend some time together.” He resorts and Izzy smiles. “Besides, I promised not to distract Alexander too much…” He trails of, which earns him a chuckle from Izzy.

Soon, Alec gets settled with his books again, but he leans into Magnus a bit more, and the older man brings his arm around him, running it up and down Alec's arm, as he reads some paragraphs form the textbook.

Isabelle gets seated on the floor, at the coffee table and Magnus sees she puts out some projects of designs and various chains and other parts of jewellery. He recalls Alec telling him, that his sister has her small business of making this kind of stuff.

What catches his eye, is a bracelet, one already made. It’s silver, with a few red rubies set around it.

“Isabelle, did you make this?” He asks as he points out the piece of jewellery and leans in to pick it up from the table.

“I was so comfortable…” Alec murmurs when he moves, but Magnus dismisses him with a quiet laugh.

“Yeah, I did.” Izzy answers his question, paying no attention to her brother. “It’s one of my basic designs.”

“Alec told me that you make this kinds of stuff, but wow, these are amazing, really.” Magnus states as he examines other parts of Izzy’s handmaids.

“Thank you.” The woman replies with a genuine smile.

“You take orders for these?” Magnus questions furthermore.

“Well, there are some designs on my website, but I also take requests, if I have enough materials to make them.”

“Well, now I know who do I turn to when I need a new piece of jewellery.” Magnus resorts and Izzy flashes him another smile.

They continue their conversations, about all sort of stuff. Make-up, fashion, science. Isabelle really is a great companion. Magnus doesn’t know how did an hour already pass. He feels relaxed in the company of his boyfriend and his sister. It’s really nice. He basically forgets all about work. About Camille, that he’ll need to see her again. It doesn’t matter. He shouldn’t care about it at all.

But the one thing that still concerns him, is how Alec is still glued to his books and notes. It’s been more than an hour since Magnus came here, and his boyfriend hasn’t basically looked up from his studies.

A while later, Isabelle excuses herself to her room, since she received a call from Simon. Alec claims that they tend to talk for hours, so Magnus should prepare for not seeing her again today, as she disappears into her room.

Alec ends up with his head in Magnus’ lap, and he runs his hand through his hair soothingly. But really, it’s time for a break.

“Alexander.” He says softly, not stopping the ministrations with his hand.

“Hm?” Alec makes a questioning sound, but still doesn’t look up.

“Alec,” Magnus tries a bit more firmly. “You need a break.”

“What? I’m not tired.” His boyfriend resorts and Magnus rolls his eyes.

“But you’ve been studying the whole hour I’ve been here, and the time before I came.”

“So what?” Alec questions and his eyes finally find Magnus’. “I want to pass this exam.”

“I know, sweetheart, but you’re exerting yourself.”

“I’m fine.” It’s Alec’s turn to roll his eyes.

“You’ll pass anyway, a half of an hour break won’t hurt anybody.” Magnus resorts. “It’ll only do some good, clear your head a bit…”

“I’m almost done.” Alec says as he gets back to the reading.

“Alec, there are literally fifty more pages you need to get through.”

“Well, then there’s no time for a break then.”

Magnus barely resists the urge to growl.

“Why are you so stubborn?” He asks instead.

“I could ask you the same.” Alec fires back. “What do you keep urging me to take a break?”

“Because it’s not healthy to study this much.” Magnus responds, the concern slipping into his voice. “You’re a great student. You’d pass even if didn’t study, so why are you pushing yourself so hard?”

Alec sighs and moves up, shifting till he faces Magnus as they both sit on the couch.

“Can I tell you something?” He asks, and Magnus nods instantly.

“Anything you want.” He says and takes a hold of one of Alec’s hand and squeezes it lightly, earning him a small smile from his boyfriend.

“Remember, when you asked me why I chose to study law, on one of our first drives?” He asks as his sight wanders to the limited space between them on the couch.

“Yeah, I do.” Magnus answers and eyes him cautiously.

“I told you that I did it to help people, to do some good.” Alec continues and Magnus nods. “It isn’t fully the truth.”

Magnus doesn’t speak, and waits for him to elaborate.

“I mean, I want to help people. I really do.” Alec still isn’t meeting his eyes. “But a part of me did this to please my parents.” He sighs heavily. “I’ve been nothing but a disappointment to them for my whole life, so I thought that if I study law, like they always wanted me to, and I’d be the best, they will finally accept me.” He shakes his head, a hollows laugh escaping his lips. “It’s stupid. Whatever I did, it was never good enough.”

“Hey,” Magnus reaches to cup his face. “I’m sure it’s not the truth.”

“It is.” Alec speaks and finally looks at him. His eyes glistening with tears. “Since I came out… my father can’t stand me. It’s better with mom, but still. They hated me. I moved out as soon as I could, because I couldn’t stand the atmosphere at home. And I try my damn hardest to impress them with this studies, but I don’t know why. They shouldn’t matter to be, but there’s still this voice at the back of my head that’s telling me to make them proud, but I could never do that. They expect nothing but perfection, and I’m not able to deliver it.”

“Darling, look at me.” Magnus says, when Alec’s gaze hangs down again. “It’s not stupid.” He begins when his boyfriend’s eyes settle on him. “I didn’t know it was that hard for you. Thank you for telling me. But baby, you do your best, and if this isn’t good enough for them, then they should not matter to you. Do it for yourself, study for yourself, not to please them-“

“I know, and I’m really trying.” Alec interrupts gently. “I keep telling myself that. I know law is something I want to do, and I know I don’t need to be the best. I know I should let go sometimes, but then I hear my father’s voice in my head and I just can’t-“ His voice breaks towards the end and Magnus pulls him into his arms, waiting till his calms a bit and then he speaks.

“I’m proud of you.” He says as he runs his hands up and down Alec’s back. “For everything you do. For being such a good student, taking such a great care of your brother, being there for me, when I need you. Alexander, what you do, is more than enough, and you deserve a break once in a while, really. Your parents are stupid by pushing such an amazing son away. They don’t deserve you.”

Alec pulls back from his embrace, but remains close. Their chests pressed nearly flush together.

“And I’ll be here to remind you to let go sometimes, okay?” Magnus continues. “When it gets too much, I’ll be here to tell you to slow down, and you’ll need to listen. It really isn’t good for you, angel, to push yourself so hard.”

Alec nods lightly and hooks his hands around Magnus’ neck.

“Thank you.” He says and leans in to kiss him lightly. Magnus gladly accepts, lingering against his lips for a while. “I just-,” Alec sighs as he tries to find the right words. “I really need something like this. Sometimes I get caught up in all this and don’t know when to stop. I know I’m wearing myself out.”

“Hey, it’s okay.” Magnus starts. “I promise I’ll be here, alright? To remind you, or urge you to stop. It’s fine.”

Alec nods again and Magnus hugs him tightly.

“So now, you’re taking a break.” Magnus says then. “We can do whatever you want.”

“I just want to stay here with you, for a while.” Alec resorts and Magnus drops a kiss at the top of his head.

“Whatever you say, angel.”

 

He manages to persuade Alec to take almost a forty minutes break, which he counts as a success. They spend the time just talking and putting on some mindless movie to distract Alec’s brain. Soon his boyfriend gets back to studying, curled up onto Magnus’ chest. He gladly accepts the warmth he provides.

He feels this weird need to protect Alec and to make sure he’s always fine. He can’t really stand the thought of him being distressed with something. He knows that Alec’s life is pretty hard now, with Max still in the hospital and the relation with their parents. It’s good that Alec opened up and told him about his situation with them after coming out. Magnus did have his suspicions, that Alec being gay may be the thing that came between him and his parents, but he never really asked directly. He knows Alexander doesn’t like talking about his parents, so there was no good in bringing this up. However, it’s good to know now.

And maybe the need to protect him comes from that, the knowledge that he lacked this kind of sense of safety when he was younger, that he needed to leave his own house because he didn’t feel loved and safe there. This whole thing makes Magnus even more grateful for Alexander’s siblings, because he knows how much they’ve been there for him, and it’s good that he wasn’t alone in all this.

To be honest, Magnus is quite bored, but being close to Alec kinda makes up for it.

They’ve changed positions so it’s now Magnus who’s more leaning into him, but Alec doesn’t mind. For the angle that Magnus’ head is settle onto his boyfriend’s shoulder he has a perfect view for Alec’s attractive jawline, and he can really resist to lean in and place a soft kiss there, following with another to the side of his neck, his pulse point, his cheek.

“Magnus…” Alec starts, a smile tugging at the corners of his lips, but he tries for his expression to stay unamused.

He’s failing, but Magnus does appreciate the spirits.

“What?” He asks innocently, as he continues to nuzzle against Alec’s skin.

“You promised not to be distracting.” Alec says with a sigh.

“And I’m not…” Magnus trails of, kissing his neck again.

“This is distracting.” Alec resorts, but doesn’t pull back, and neither does Magnus.

“Do you want me to stop?” Magnus teases, and as Alec shakes his head lightly, he chuckles.

Alec drops the pen that he’s been writing something with, and his hand wanders to cup Magnus’ face. He looks at him for a few longs seconds, smile on his face as his eyes sweep over his boyfriend’s face, until he finally leans in to kiss him on the lips.

Minutes and even hours might have passed, and Magnus would not care, not when Alec’s lips are pressed to his. They both smile and soon need to pull back a bit, to take their breathe, smiles too big to kiss, but then Magnus dives in again, connecting their lips firmer, deeper.

Alec’s hands wander to crease the sides of his neck and Magnus places his on his boyfriend’s waist.

“Oh my God, guys!” Suddenly Isabelle’s voice sounds as she makes her way into the living room, but stops in her tracks as she sees them pressed tightly to each other. They pull away, and Izzy’s resisting the grin forming on her face. “Sorry, I didn’t want to interrupt anything…”

“It’s fine.” Alec clears his throat. “What’s up?”

She looks hesitant for a second, but then begins to speak.

“Simon booked a show at The Hunter’s Moon!” She exclaims happily. “Next Friday!”

“That’s amazing.” Magnus resorts and can’t help the proud grin covering his face.

“Finally, we’ll get to see him preform.” Alec adds and smiles at his sister.

“And of course, he wants all of us to be there, so make sure your Friday night is free.” Isabelle says, the smile never leaving her face.

“We’ll be there.” Alec replies for the both of them, and Magnus nods in agreement.

“Great! He’s so excited about it-“ Izzy begins, but then the door to the apartment gets open, and Magnus assumes, that it’s Alec’s brother who enters.

“Hi.” He calls out and both Alec and Magnus make themselves get up from the couch.

Jace turns and his sight hoovers around them for a second, before Alec begins to speak.

“Jace, this is Magnus.” He introduces and Magnus extends his hand to the other man.

“Hi, it’s really nice to meet you.” Magnus starts as Jace looks a bit hesitant before sliding him palm into his. “Alec has told me a lot about you.”

“Well, he didn’t really speak much about you…” Jace trails of, and Magnus is not sure if he’s joking or not. “I’m Jace, as you probably know.”

Magnus nods as they let go of each other hands. That’s when an awkward silence settles in the room, but fortunately Isabelle is the one to put it to an end.

“Simon’s having his first gig next Friday!” She says excitedly, but Jace doesn’t really spare her a gaze, as he continues to eye Magnus cautiously.

“Really? That’s great.” He just shoots and Magnus finds his gaze intimidating.

Alec seems to notice, since he intertwines their fingers and tugs him in the direction of the hallway, probably his bedroom.

“I need to keep studying, so we’re just gonna…” He gestures towards the hallway and soon they both disappear into Alec’s room.

His boyfriend throws his belongings on the bed and growls as he closes the door, leaning up against them.

“Your brother doesn’t like me.” Magnus resorts. He doesn’t know if he sounds sad, or just surprised. Jace doesn’t really strike as a friendly person to be honest.

“No,” Alec shakes his head as he comes closer to him, placing his hands on his waist. “no, he does, he’s just… he needs time to adjust to this.”

“I know.” Magnus sighs.

“I’m sorry about him-“ Alec starts, but Magnus cuts him off.

“No, don’t worry. It’s not like he’s done anything.” He says. “I just got this weird vibe from him. Not very friendly. Total opposite to your sister.

Alec chuckles lightly as he leans in to peck him on the lips.

“Most of the people say this too.” He smiles. “But when you’ll get to know him more, you’ll find out that he’s a decent person, really.”

Magnus just nods in answer, because he doesn’t know what else to say.

Jace has no reason to not like him. He doesn’t know him. The only thing he knows, is that he’s dating his brother.

“Come here.” Alec says as he gets himself comfortable on the bed and holds his arms open from Magnus.

He smiles as he gets settled into his boyfriend’s embrace.

“Your room is nice.” Magnus speaks after a while. It’s simple, but so very Alec. The walls are painted grey and there’s basically only a bed, desk, closet and a few bookcases filled with textbooks and  some other titles. Everything is neatly organized and the room brings some sort of sense of ease.

“Thanks.” Alec drops a kiss at the top of his head.

Magnus hopes he’ll get to spend some more time here.

 

“Ugh, I need coffee.” Alec growls a while later as he goes through one of the last pages of his notes. He moves to get up from the bed, but Magnus stops him with a hand on his chest.

“I’ll go. I'm sure I can manage.” He says with a shrug. “You’re almost done, right?”

“Yeah, but-“ Alec begins to protest.

“So you finish it, while I get us coffee, and we’ll drink it together, without any further interruptions from industrial law tonight, huh?”

Alec sighs and studies him for a few long seconds, before eventually nodding, and then receiving a kiss from his boyfriend.

Magnus quickly moves to the kitchen. He swiftly finds a pair of mugs and sets the coffee machine. It’s not complicated and the kitchen itself is quite small, so he finds everything he needs without any troubles.

He’s currently waiting for the drinks, when Jace enters the kitchen.

“Hi.” Magnus greets, as the other man moves past him to get to the fridge.

“What are you doing?” Jace asks as he leans at the counter, his gaze settled on Magnus.

“Some coffee…” Magnus trails of, as if it isn’t obvious. “I hope you don’t mind, but Alec’s busy, so I thought-“

“How great that it’s the first time you’re here and Alec’s already letting you walk around like you own this place.” Jace says bitterly and Magnus’ jaw nearly drops.

He gets a feeling that he and his boyfriend’s brother won’t set their relation on a good course. At least not tonight.

“Look, if you’ve got any problem with me, then just say it.” Magnus starts as he turns fully to face Jace. “But the last time I checked, it’s also Alec’s home, so he can invite whoever he wants.”

“What’s your deal with my brother?” Jace asks, clasping his hands on his chest and raising his brow in a questioning expression.

“What do you mean? We’re together…” Magnus answers with a hint of confusion in his tone.

“Yeah, I can see that.” Jace starts. “But what I mean, is what are your plans with him. Is this just some kind of a fling, and you’re going to leave him heartbroken soon?”

“I’m sorry, what the hell are you talking about?” Magnus asks, taken aback and the shock must be written on his face. “Okay, first of all, I’m not planning on leaving Alec, not that it’s any of your business, and second of all, I don’t know who gave you the right to interfere in your brother’s love life, but Alexander is an adult and he can make his own decision. So if he chose to be with me, and even if you don’t like me, which I have no idea why by the way, you need to deal with his decision.”

“Yeah, well my brother isn’t really good at making his own decision.” Jace resorts with a tight smile, but then his expression softens a bit. “I don’t know how much Alec has told you about his last relationship-“

“He can tell me anything he wants, when he’s ready.” Magnus interrupts swiftly. He doesn’t want for Jace to tell him anything. It’s not a right way to know. He needs to find out from Alexander, and he can wait for it.

“I’m just looking out for him, okay?” Jace’s tone turns more calm and even now. “I just want to make sure he doesn’t end up with another jerk that’s gonna break his heart-“

“Then maybe you shouldn’t judge before you get to know me.” Magnus cuts in, in a sharp tone. Jace’s attitude really isn’t the best one. He should try to talk to him first, Magnus wouldn’t mind because he gets that Alec’s siblings are worried. But instead Jace came here and snapped at him, judging him before even starting a decent conversation. And Magnus is not the one to let this go so fast, he’s been through a lot and he knows life can be a bitch sometimes.

He doesn’t really wait for Jace’s reply as he grabs the mugs and heads back to Alec’s room. When he enters, he puts them on the nightstand next to the bed with a bit too loud thump, the frustration boiling but inside him, so Alec looks up from his notes.

“Are you okay?” He asks as he reaches for his hand when Magnus sits down at the edge of the bed. Before he even gets to speak, Alec continues. “Oh no, you talked to Jace, right? What did he say? I swear to God-“ He moves as if trying to get up from the bed, but Magnus stops him.

“Stop, it’s fine.” He tries, but Alec’s having none of that.

“What did he say to you?” He inquires.

“Nothing really, he’s just worried about you.”

Alec snorts.

“He’s not worried, he’s overprotective. And I want to know what he said to you, that got you so railed up.”

Magnus sighs, but after a moment begins to explain.

“I just hate it, when people judge when they don’t know anything.” He admits. “And how he dares to think that you’re some kind of a fling to me, when I-“

Love you.

He almost says it, he almost lets it slip, but this might be too fast.

Alec looks at him, as if waiting for him to continue, so he does.

“I care about you, so much.” He resorts. “You’re very important to me.”

His boyfriend continues to study his expression, and then he leans in to place the softest kiss to his lips.

“You’re important to me too, baby.” Alec states against his lips. “I’m sorry about him. I promise, I’ll talk to him and make sure he apologizes to you.”

“It’s not your job, Alexander.” Magnus shakes his head lightly. “It’s him who should know he messed up and come to apologize without you telling him too.”

“I know, but Jace isn’t really good at human relations…” Alec says and Magnus chuckles briefly. “I’m sorry.”

“It’s not your fault.” Magnus resorts and kisses him again sweetly. “Besides, I’m dating you, not him, and you don’t need his approval or permission.”

Alec nods and moves to sit more comfortable on the bed.

“I promised you to drink the coffee in peace.” He reaches for the mugs and hands one to Magnus, he accepts with a smile.

“I knew you are the man of your words, Alexander.”

Chapter Text

As soon as he lets Magnus out that evening, kissing him goodnight and making sure he’ll let him know when he gets home, Alec turns in his tracks and bursts into Jace’s room without even knocking.

“What the hell, Jace?!” He almost yells and his brother’s eyes widen at his sudden appearance.

“Dude, I think we established the knocking rule.” He says, and his calm tone makes Alec even more furious.

“Why for fuck’s sake did you say all of those things to Magnus?” Alec asks furthermore. “You don’t think he’s taking me seriously? That we take each other seriously? God, Jace you don’t even know him.”

“He came to complain about me to you.” Jace states with a brief laugh and Alec can stand it.

“Why the hell are you acting like this?! What’s your problem with Magnus?” He keeps questioning. “Didn’t we agree that you’ll give him a chance?”

“Look, I had an awful day at work. And him coming here like that wasn’t exactly how I wanted to meet him, without any sort of announcement.” Jace explains, but his tone is still angry. “Besides, I just don’t think he’s right for you, Alec.” He growls. “He doesn’t exactly strikes as your type.”

“And what makes you think that?” Alec clasps his hands on his chest.

“I don’t know, I just have this kind of a feeling.” His brother shrugs.

“So your feeling gives you the right to insult my boyfriend?”

“He took it way too personally.” Jace resorts. “It wasn’t really pointed at him.”

“But you did suggest that he might be a jerk.” Alec states and Jace nods after a second.

“Well… yeah.”  

 “I can’t with you anymore.” Alec sighs heavily and shakes his head as he looks down. “I thought you wanted to meet him, you told me yourself. Why can’t you just accept that we’re happy together-“

“I’m looking out for you, Alec.” Jace tries a bit more calmly, but Alec can see how he’s boiling up inside.

“No, you’re not.” Alec resorts in a resign tone as he looks back at his brother. “You’re trying to control me,” Jace shakes his head, a bitter laugh escaping his lips. “to ruin my relationship-“

“I was the one to get you out that night, Alec!” Jace lashes out, and when his head snaps back up, Alec can see the tears welling up in his eyes. He  continues a bit more coolly. “I never want to see you in such state that back then, never again.”

“So what, you’re saying I should just avoid any relationship, because of what happened with my first one?” Alec prompts, his voice more and more resigned. “That I should just abandon all of my chances to be happy with someone?”

“I don’t know.” Jace throws his hands in the air in a surrounding gesture and huffs out an angry breathe.

“You know this isn’t fair, Jace.” Alec states, now perfectly calm. At some point, he tries to understand his brother, but again, he’s reminding him of the bad times, just like he did before. And Alec just wants to be done with it. “It isn’t fair to Magnus, and for sure it isn’t fair to me.”

Jace just shrugs, his expression defeated as he sits back down on his bed.

“And you promised not to bring it up ever again.” Alec adds in a lower tone.

With these words, he heads to get out of the room, but turns to say one more thing. “Do me a favour and just don’t speak to Magnus the next time, you decide to judge him without any grounds.”

He doesn’t wait for the reply as he sharply shuts the door on his way out.

 

Alec always looks forward to Wednesday and has this warm feeling in his stomach every time he remembers he’ll get to see Magnus today, even for a few minutes. Mr Fell seemed to notice the change of his behaviour in the recent weeks when he got together with his boyfriend, and today, he decides to bring it up.

“You seem happier recently.” He begins carefully when they’re hallway through their session. Alec hangs is head low as the blush is creeping onto his cheeks and he feels himself smile. “And particular reason for it?”

As he looks up, he sees his psychologist smiling softly at him.

Alec finds it easier to open up recently. Not about everything, but he feels like he got better at talking about his current feelings. It’s probably Magnus’ doing, since he knows he can talk about everything with him. That's why he told him briefly about his parents. He knew Magnus wouldn’t judge, but just listen to him and reassure.

To be honest, he’s not sure if he still needs Mr Fell’s help, but Isabelle keeps urging him to go. Apparently, it’s bad to stop therapy halfway through, even if you feel great at this very moment. You can easily slip again, by just a little thing that upsets you. And Alec doesn’t want to risk it.

“Maybe…” Alec starts, his smile widening a bit.

“Care to share?” Mr Fell asks.

“I met someone.” Alec begins to explain and Mr Fell nods to imply that he’s listening. “I mean, it was a long time ago, but him and I… we got together some time ago, and it just… it’s been nice.”

“So, he makes you happy?” The doctor inquires.

“Yeah.” Alec nods.

“Well, it’s a big step.” Mr Fell continues. “I mean considering what you’ve told me about your last relationship. It didn’t end up pretty well, did it?”

Alec shakes his head.

“No, but… I think I’m ready to try again. My sister said that I can’t keep closing myself, and she’s right.  And it’s completely different now, with him.” He speaks. “I feel safe with him and he’s not pushing me to do anything I don’t want to.”

“That’s great.” The psychologist sums up. “The feeling of safety is very important in every relationship and considering what you’ve been through, he needs to be very special, since he’s already made his way with your heart in such a short time.”

“Yeah, he is.” Alec nods again.

“And how are your siblings taking that in?” The doctor questions next. “You said your brother, Jace, can get quite overprotective?”

“He is overprotective.” Alec rolls his eyes. “I know he’s worried, but he’s crossing the line. I can handle myself.”

“Maybe try and tell him that?”

“I’m doing it, but it’s not working.” He exhales heavily. “He’ll just need to get used to it.”

Mr Fell nods and scribbles something down in his notebook, before speaking again.

“And your sister?”

“Izzy’s amazing.” Alec smiles. He recalls every time she offered advice, or was just there to talk. He’s really lucky to have such a great sister. “She’s rooting for us, I guess.” He chuckles. “If not her, I don’t know if I would be able to ask him out. She’s worried too, but has a better way of showing it.”

“And what about Max? Does he know?”

“Of course he does. It’s not like I could hide anything from him.” Alec laughs lightly. “He even met him, and thinks he’s cool, so that’s great too.”

“So, the only problem is Jace?”

“I wouldn’t call him a problem, but he’s just…” He pauses to find the right words. “He needs to let me go a bit. I’m not the same person I was a year ago, I learnt a lot since then.”

The doctor nods and smiles at him lightly.

“Well, I wish you and your boyfriend all the best.”

Alec wonders if he knows. Because he remembers Magnus mentioning Ragnor as one of his friends. Would it be unprofessional to ask? Probably yes, so he doesn’t say anything. Doesn’t even reveal Magnus’ name, just in case.

Later, after he’s caught up with Max and now is with Magnus in his car, he decides if he should bring it up to his boyfriend. But what if he’s wrong? Magnus might have meant another Ragnor. Well, the name’s not popular, but still. He chooses to let this go for now, instead, he listens to his boyfriend’s rumbling about the new skin care formula.

“So, movie night at my place tonight?” Magnus asks as he stops at the driveway. “You’re choosing.”

“Mhm,” Alec agrees. “can’t wait.”

“You want me to pick you up?” His boyfriend proposes, but Alec shakes his head.

“No, I’ll take the subway. Don’t worry.”

“Okay, in that case I’ll see you tonight.” Magnus resorts and kisses him goodbye softly.

 

“You know what, I hate you.” Lydia starts as she takes a sit next to Alec in the lecture hall.

“Not that I didn’t know that, but to remind me why?” Alec asks, and his friend shoots him a sharp glare.

“You and Magnus have been together for like two months now, he drives you here every Wednesday and I still didn’t get to meet him?” She whines and Alec laughs at her tone, the sound quickly ripping of as she spats him on the arm. “It’s not funny! I’m your best friend.”

“We’re just busy, Lydia. It’s hard to find time for ourselves, the more to meet the friends.” Alec resorts simply.

“But Isabelle has met him like two times! Even Jace did!”

“Yeah, but those were kinda accidents.”

“Accidents or not,” Lydia starts, her tone firm. “I need to meet him.”

“You will.” Alec sighs, and then he remembers the perfect opportunity to get them all together. “Actually, are you free next Friday?”

“Yeah, probably.” Lydia answers with a hint of a smile.

“Good. Simon’s having a gig at The Hunter’s Moon, and everyone will be there, so you should come too.”

“So, Magnus will be there?” She inquires.

“Yes, he’ll be there.” Alec answers with an eye roll.

“In that case, I won’t miss it.” She declares, a full smile on her face now. “And wow, Simon’s finally getting that gig, right?”

“Yeah, tell me about it.” Alec snorts. “He won’t be able to shut up about it, same with Izzy.”

“They are so cute.” Lydia states and Alec sends her a glare. “What? I can’t delight you and your boyfriend, since I don’t know how you act around each other!”

Alec laughs at that, the sound of the bell announcing the beginning of the lecture soon interrupting, but he leans in as the professor enters the hall and whispers to his friend.

“I assure you, we’re the cutest.”

Lydia sends him a bright smile, that basically doesn’t come off for the whole lecture.

 

He arrives at Magnus’ loft around 8 and his boyfriend greets him with a smile on his face, kissing him as he steps through the door. Alec will never get tired of this small, kind of domestic gestures. He missed the intimacy of a relationship, but also this, just being cute and feeling valued and important. Every time Magnus delicately puts his arms around him, or cups his face, Alec’s heart swells for the gentle movement, as if Magnus was afraid he could shatter him.

The get settled on the couch, talk about their days a bit and put on the movie. But somehow, none of them seems quite interested in it tonight. Magnus plays with the hair at the nape of Alec’s hair, as Alec laces and unlaces their fingers, and then as if in unison, they both raise their head and look up at each other in the exact same time.

Alec’s not sure who surges to the kiss first, but the next thing he knows, it that they’re melting against each other.

His hands wander to Magnus neck, as his boyfriend settles them around Alec’s waist. Every time they kiss, it always feels different for Alec. They’re always exploring something more, take things a bit further every next time, and when Alec feels Magnus tongue against his lips, practically begging for entrance, he lets him in.

Their tongues crash together, fighting for dominance, but Alec’s not even ashamed that he’s losing. He’s lost in the sensation in the best way. The kiss is hot, demanding, but not too much. He doesn’t feel crowded, he feels taken care of, and he can almost feel the desire flowing through Magnus’ body as he places his palm on his boyfriend’s faster beating heart.

Alec doesn’t know how this happens, but soon he finds himself laying with his back on the couch, with Magnus settled between his legs. Somehow, they managed to change their position without interrupting the kiss. Alec can’t help but gasp into his boyfriend’s mouth as they pull back lightly to get some air. But he doesn’t have much time to breathe as he feels Magnus’ lips at the side of his neck. He inhales sharply and slides his hands down to his boyfriend’s hips.

Magnus’ mouth soon returns to his, and they just keep kissing. They’ve had a few make out session before, but this one now is the hottest. Soon the kisses turn sloppy and open mouthed, and Alec is tempted to take things further, wants to rip the shirt from Magnus’ shoulder to feel his skin on his.

But he can’t. He doesn’t feel ready. Not ready for Magnus to see him whole. Not ready to get this intimate, he never was and it makes him angry, but he can’t help himself and he doesn’t want to regret it later.

So when Magnus’ hands wander underneath his shirt, panic sets in his body and memories of that night at Raj’s apartment come to the surface. He pulls back from the kiss, and Magnus quickly withdraws his hands from under his shirt.

“Sorry.” Magnus pulls further back, his breath coming out in short pants. “I’m sorry, Alexander, I didn’t want to-“

“It’s fine.” Alec says when Magnus tires to pull back more, but he stops him by lacing their fingers and tugging at their intertwine hands. Still, he needs Magnus close and after all this time, he knows his boyfriend won’t force him to do anything. He saw it a lot, during their time together. Magnus always makes sure he’s comfortable, asks if he’s okay, offers to take him home. He never once proposed for Alec to stay the night, probably being afraid of it being too much. And at that concern something in Alec breaks, and some voice at the back of his head tells him that it’s okay, that he trusts him, and is ready to share, even the ugly parts of his past.

“I’m sorry,” Magnus keeps repeating, guilt written on his face, even though Alec shakes his head and tries to interrupt. “I just got-“

“Caught up in the moment, I know. We both did.” Alec smiles at him and Magnus manages to reciprocate o bit. “I get it.”

“But I promise, I wasn’t going to take this any further.” Magnus continues. “Not when you’re not ready. We have all the time in the world, I would never-, God I’m sorry.” He rumbles and Alec reaches with his hand to cup his face.

“Magnus, it’s okay.” He nods as their eyes meet. “I know.”

But he gets where the panic came from. Alec freaked out after their first date when Magnus only offered him to come upstairs with him. But it sent this goddamn spiral of memories flowing. So he gets why Magnus is so tentative. He’s scared of doing the wrong thing, of taking things too far.

“Look,” He takes a deep breath as he begins to speak. He wants to share, because Magnus deserves an explanation for all of his odd behaviours. He doesn’t want for Magnus to see him as weird or pathetic for being afraid of a simple touch. He knows that this story might paint him as weak, knows that Magnus might decide this, them, isn’t something he wants, because Alec isn’t able to give him what he should, can’t fulfil his needs, give out this part of himself. But if he doesn’t tell the truth now, with this sudden outburst of courage, he might never do it.

He trusts Magnus. Maybe he’s just understood in fully now, but he really does. More than probably anyone.

“Do you remember when I freaked out after our first date, when you proposed me to come home with you?” He starts with that, because he’s not sure how, but this makes a good entry point.

“Yeah,” Magnus nods. “but we explained it. You don’t need to tell me anything, Alec.”

“I know. I know, you never push me to do anything, but…” He exhales heavily again. “I think I want to.”

Magnus studies his expression carefully, but it gets kind of too much from Alec, so he drops his eyes and stares at their intertwined hands.

“I want to tell you.” Alec repeats and nods to himself lightly. “I want you to know, why I might be acting weird sometimes.”

“Darling, it’s not weird-“ Magnus tries to reassure, but Alec cuts him of as he shakes his head, but still doesn’t look back at him.

“I know. I just mean…” He pauses, searching for a way to explain it, but he comes out empty. “I don’t really know how to explain it, so could you please just listen to me rumbling for a while?” He asks with a nervous chuckle.

“Of course, angel.” Magnus answers almost instantly and they shift a bit more comfortable on the couch, hands never leaving each other’s.

It’s the worst to begin. He knows that when he’ll find a good way to start, it will just float out. Magnus’ hand in his is a good reassurance that it’s all in the past. That he’s here, now, with him. And as his thumb starts to crease soothing circles at the back of his palm, he begins.

“When I started college, there was this guy, Raj,” He begins, still not quite able to meet Magnus’ eyes. “we just kind of hit it off, I guess. He attempted to woo me, and I let him. Because it felt nice, being wanted by someone. And after my parents basically despised me… it felt good.” He clears his throat and continues. “So when he asked me out, I agreed. I’ve never had a boyfriend, never was in a relationship, so I didn’t really know how this whole thing worked. But we went out, it was nice, and afterwards he invited me to his place. I said yes, because I didn’t see a reason why to say no. So we got there, had a few drinks and…” He pauses and tries for his voice not to break. “I guess he wanted more of that night that I could give.” He still doesn’t look up, but Magnus’ hold on his hands tightens a bit. “And when he started kissing me, touching me, I… I totally freaked out. I wasn’t ready and he kept pushing. I just pulled him away and run out.”

“Alexander-“ Magnus starts when Alec takes a break to inhale and exhale slowly.

“It’s not the whole story.” Alec cuts in, daring a glance up at his boyfriend and receiving a nod. He can see the concern and fear in his eyes, and drops his gaze immediately. Magnus doesn’t say a word further, just listening as he promised.

“We didn’t talk for a few weeks after that.” Alec continues. “But later, he reached out to me and apologized. Said it was the heat of the moment and a few drinks too many. So we met up again. Started over, I guess. And it was lovely.” He nods lightly to himself, but bites his lip, considering his next words. “It really was. He was all sweet and kind at the beginning… and then we found out about Max’s illness.” He can feel the tears in his eyes and desperately tries to hold them back. “I broke down. Because he’s my baby brother and…” His voice breaks a bit and he takes a deep breath before carrying on. “I didn’t want to put all of my worries on my family. I had Izzy and Jace, but they were just as broken as me. So I thought I could at least confide in my boyfriend. I needed something stable, some shelter. I didn’t find that in him.” He shakes his head a little. “Raj started becoming controlling. He demanded more and more of my time, but only when it was him that needed me. When Max’s tests started to give worse results and I couldn’t stop crying for the whole night he wouldn’t even pick up the phone when I called. I couldn’t give him as much of my time as before, because I had Max to take care of. And he wouldn’t have this. He became more jealous and possessive. He started to throw some insane accusations, that I’m neglecting him, always running around and trying to please my family… One night, when I was at his apartment and Izzy called me that Max has gotten worse, I knew I needed to go. But Raj tried to stop me… he even,” Alec exhales again, and knows that he won’t be able to keep composed for long now. “He hit me.” He admits and Magnus squeezes his hands even tighter. “And it wasn’t only this once. I knew I should leave him, but somehow…I couldn’t. He was this stable thing in my life and I… I didn’t want to let go of that. But it started to get worse. He became more aggressive. And there was still this thing about us not getting intimate… But I couldn’t even think of being close to him. Not with everything that was happening, not with Max getting worse… He tried to force me, more than a few times, but I always managed to somehow refuse. But then, one time when we were at his, he just wouldn’t stop.” His voice trembles again and the tears slowly stain his cheeks. “He pushed me up against the wall, gripped my hands so hard that I had bruises… he kept kissing me, pulling his hands under my shirt, even when I told him to stop…”

“Alec-“ He hears Magnus’ panicked voice, but just shakes his head.

“He didn’t-“ He exhales. “nothing more happened. I managed to push him away, I run out and called Jace to come get me. But I couldn’t stop shaking the whole way home. He kept asking what happened, but I just couldn’t speak… Later I told him and Izzy. I haven’t spoken to Raj ever since. He tried to contact me again, but I blocked him everywhere and avoided him on the campus. I think he transferred after the first year, since I don’t even see him there anymore. Which I’m more than relieved about, actually.”

There are a few moments of silence after that. None of them speaks. Alec still doesn’t look up, but then begins, not very surprised at how weak his voice sounds.

“So, I-, I just-“ He doesn’t really know what to say, what he even wants to say, but Magnus stops his rumbling.

“Alexander…” He starts and tentatively reaches to crease his arm, the touch so delicate that Alec feels more tears in his eyes. “I am so sorry.”

Alec manages to nod and then finds himself in Magnus’ arms, more tears floating out. He hides his head in his boyfriend’s chest and lets Magnus just hold him as he calms down.

Those memories are awful. He hates that he remembers so much, hates how he can’t forget. How he can feel the death grip on his wrists and the cold, calloused hands roaming around his chest. He would give up almost everything to get rid of that night from his brain.

Magnus runs a soothing hand through his hair and kisses the top of his head lightly.

“Darling, I’m so sorry you needed to get through this.” He whispers.

“It’s my fault.” Alec blurts out, before really thinking. These words are always on his lips when he speaks to either Izzy or Jace about this. Because he should have been smarter, should have known, that his is now how a healthy relationship looks like. “I should have ended it much earlier.”

“Hey,” Magnus pulls back lightly to look at his face. Alec raises his head, reluctantly but he does, eyes focusing on those beautiful brown orbs. “It is not your fault.” Magnus’ voice is firm, but yet still soft. “You’re not to blame for his disgusting behaviour.”

“Yeah, but I should have known better-“

“You were broken down, darling.” Magnus interrupts gently. “You needed someone to pick you up, and your boyfriend should be the person to do that. To support you. You put your trust in a wrong person, but how could you know, that he was going to be so awful. He took advantage of you, repeatedly. And none of this is your fault, okay?”

Alec nods lightly, but doesn’t meet his eyes.

He’s heard those words so many times, but still, it’s hard to actually believe them.

“You’re so brave for telling me this, angel.” Magnus starts as he hugs him again. “I know it must be hard for you. Thank you.”

“I just don’t want you to think that I’m pathetic.” Alec shakes his head. “I know you probably see me as weak now, and I am-“

“Alexander,” Magnus looks down at him again. “by any means you are not weak. You’re so strong, darling. You got through this. You ended things. Baby, I could never see you as weak. You have so much courage to speak about that. Nothing could make you look pathetic or weak to me.”

Alec looks up at him and smiles lightly. These words help. He was so scared to tell this to Magnus, but he does feel better now. Magnus knows, and it doesn’t change anything between them. At least he thinks so.

“I don’t want you to treat me differently because of this-” Alec says then, but Magnus cuts him off.

“But you are different.” He resorts. “Everyone is, and I am so sorry if I made you feel uncomfortable or scared, I should have more control-“

“How could you know?” Alec just speaks reassuringly, but Magnus still looks hesitant. “Look, Magnus,” Alec sighs. “I know you’re different. Different than him. I know you won’t force me into anything, I know you’ll take care of me, even when I can’t do this myself. And I appreciate it so much. I just want you to know, that it might take some time for me to… you know, to be ready to get intimate. I know it was long ago, but I still just can’t-“ He doesn’t even need to finish as Magnus already speaks up.

“Angel, we don’t have to do anything.” He cups his face. “We’ll wait till you’re ready, even if it takes years, even if you decide this isn’t something you want, I’ll still be here, okay? I won’t leave you because of something like this. There’s no rush, Alexander. We have all the time in the world.” He smiles and Alec finds himself nodding again.

And then he leans in and places the softest kiss to Alec’s forehead. The tender skin of his thumbs rubbing over his cheeks. His lips linger against his skin and Alec takes a few seconds to just breathe.

He feels safe. Taken care of.

He feels loved.

Even if it might be too soon to say it out loud, he knows. He loves Magnus. He trusts him, and couldn’t really feel more understood than now.

They stay silent then. The weight of Alec’s words still above them. He knows it’s a lot to take in. Knows that it might be too much, and it isn’t even the whole thing. It's a lot of baggage, and he's never really put it on anyone yet, becasue after Raj, he hasn't been in a relationship. Didn't feels safe enough for it. Not untill he meet Magnus. But, somehow he knows Magnus will help him carry it all. And it puts off some weight of his shoulders. For now, it’s enough. And he couldn’t be more positively surprised by his boyfriend’s reaction.

Now, even thinking that Magnus would see him as weak, leave him over such reason… it’s pure ludicrous. It might have been a bit too fast to reveal it, but Alec feels lighter without this secret upon him. He’s glad Magnus knows.

They’re still curled up on the couch, Magnus’ hands creasing his back and suddenly Alec finds himself speaking.

“He kept saying, that I’d do it with him, if I loved him.” He tightens his hold around Magnus’ middle a bit. “I guess I never really loved him then.”

“You never have to prove your love in such way, darling.” Magnus starts. “It’s not a matter of love. You can love someone, but still not be ready to take things further. You need to feel safe with this person to want to take another step. He should have never make you feel bad about wanting to take your time with this.”

“I feel safe with you.” Alec speaks and feels Magnus’ smile in his hair. “I’m not ready yet, but I do feel safe with you.”

“I’m glad you do, darling.” Magnus resorts. “It means a lot to me.”

Everything feels different with Magnus. His touches are soft and lingering, not demanding and fast. The kisses they share are both delicate and hungry, but never too much, never absorbing. His hands on Alec’s body are always tender, always in the right places, with the right amount of pressure. All the soothing gestures and reassuring touches are something Alec doesn’t know how much he’s been craving, because he never really had this.

He’s always had Isabelle and Jace, but they are not able to bring this kind of comfort. They do bring a lot of calmness and reassurance, but not in this way. Not in the way only Magnus can.

They don’t speak a lot later. Just content in each other’s arms. The feeling of safety overcoming Alec. Then Alec’s phone buzzes in his pocket, and he pulls it out with a sigh, reading an incoming text.

Message received: Izzy

where are you? Is everything ok?

Alec frowns as he reads through the message, but then notices the time. It’s almost 1am and Alec gets why Izzy is worried, he hasn’t been out that late in a long time. He quickly types a reply back to assure that he’s okay.

Message sent: Izzy

All good. I’m still at Magnus’. Be home soon.

The next text comes back shortly after.

Message received: Izzy

Ok, just checking in. Take your time and say hi to Magnus :)

“Everything okay?” Magnus asks after he notices that Alec has been caught up in his phone.

“Yeah,” Alec replies simply. “Izzy says hi, by the way.”

“Give her my best.” Magnus resorts and smiles at him. And Alec starts again, a bit hesitant.

“Could you drive me home?” He asks, and bites his lip in a nervous gesture. “I don’t feel like taking the subway and it’s getting late… if it isn’t too much of a trouble for you, of course-“

“Angel,” Magnus begins and pecks him on the lips lightly. “it’s no trouble at all. I’ll be happy knowing you got back home safely. I don’t really like it, when you go back all by yourself that late.”

Alec smiles and nods at him.

“Thank you.”

Alec noticed that Magnus has stopped drinking during their movie nights. At the beginning, there always was the occasional glass of whiskey, but since Alec started staying at the loft longer and longer, he found out that his boyfriend had totally reduced his drinking. Alec asked him about this one night, and he just said that he wants to be able to get him home if needed. He really appreciates the gesture, especially today. But it means so much to him, that Magnus can abstain from something he’s very much fond of, for the sake of his safety and comfort.

“I’ll just grab my stuff and we can go.” Magnus resorts with another sweet kiss placed on his lips as he gets up from the couch.

Alec is glad, that Magnus isn’t suddenly all afraid of touching him. He was scared, that with knowing Alec’s past relationship, he would be anxious to do something wrong, but there’s nothing bad in those light, comforting kisses in touches. In fact, Alec feels like he needs them. He’ll let Magnus know if something is too much, even if he knows his boyfriend will be careful, just like he’s always been.

He’s not scared of his touch. He knows what he can handle and what makes him feel uncomfortable. He’s learnt a lot, and one of those things, is that communication is key. And they do talk a lot, about everything, so Alec will try and tell him every time something feels wrong.

But right now, he believes that everything will be okay.

Chapter Text

He drives Alec home, his words still hovering above them.

Not in a bad way. Magnus is glad Alec told him. It feels good to know, but he can’t stand it.

Can’t stand the thought of someone hurting Alec in this way.

“Babe, the light’s green.” Alec speaks and Magnus shakes his head, still a little overwhelmed and lost in the thoughts.

He really thought he messed up. He lost control. The desire and want overtook him for a few short seconds, but it was enough. It was too much and he curses himself for not being able to keep composed.

His first instinct, was to reassure Alec, and that’s what he did. Because there’s nothing wrong with not being ready for sex, especially after such trauma Alec needed to endure.

But now, as he actually starts to think about what his boyfriend was through… it’s scary. Magnus knows the controlling part, he’s been through this with Camille, but no one ever even tried to force him to things like sex. No one has ever hit him. He doesn’t even want to imagine the impact this must have had on Alec’s life.

No, he does want to imagine that, to understand it better. To help Alec through this, every time the memories will come back and haunt him. But he’s not gonna ask, not when he saw how hard it is for Alec to talk about this.

He’s glad to have the explanation, but angry that such an awful thing happened to Alexander.

He’s shaken out of his thoughts again as Alec sighs and leans further onto the passenger seat.

“I’m sorry, if it’s too much.” He speaks clearly referring to his confession from before. “But I just-“

“Hey, stop this.” Magnus starts, his eyes still focused on the road. “I’m glad you told me… I just hate that this happened to you.”

He wishes he could protect Alec from this, even though they didn’t even know each other back then.

“I hate it too.” Alec starts slowly. His eyes closed, head tiled up, resting on the bolster. “It’s… hard. To even talk about it. Always has been, but I moved on. At least at some point. I know these memories will be stick with me forever…”

Magnus nods, not really knowing what to say. He just keeps his eyes on the road and drives, as if hoping he could get them so far away, for the memories never to reach Alexander again.

When they get to Alec’s flat, he knows he should say something more, but he still feels lost in the thoughts. So he takes Alec’s hands in his, just like he did back at the loft when he told him, and they stay like this for a while, before he begins.

“I just want you to know, that I’m here. If you ever want to talk, or just for me to hold you… I’m not going anywhere and we can talk about everything, okay? You’re not too much, darling, and I’m glad you told me about this. I think I understand you a bit better now. There’s nothing wrong with taking our time, Alec. There’s no rush.” He repeats again.

When he raises his head, he’s found with those beautiful hazel eyes staring at him. Alec just smiles and cups his jaw with one hand, leaning in to kiss him softly.

“Thank you.” He says against his lips.

It’s not a lot. He wishes he could do something more for Alec, but he can’t. It is in the past, but still, it hurts to see his boyfriend so broken.

“That’s the least I can do.” He resorts, his voice sounding a bit guilty.

“Hey,” Alec searches his eyes, ducking his head lightly. “I’m okay.” He reassures.

But you weren’t.

Instead of saying that, Magnus just nods.

“I’ll see you soon.” Alec resorts and kisses him on the cheek. “Thank you for the ride. Goodnight Magnus.”

“Night, darling.” Magnus manages a small smile and then he watches Alec climb out of the car and entering his apartment building.

He can’t stop thinking the whole way back home.

Alexander. His sweet Alec. How could anyone hurt him like this? If he ever saw this Raj guy, he probably wouldn’t be able to control himself.

When Alec broke down at the loft, while telling him all this… it was one of the most heart-breaking things Magnus has ever seen. His boyfriend, so vulnerable, scared and distressed. He just wanted to keep his arms around Alec and shelter him from this world.

With Alec going on further with his revilement, Magnus felt panic raise in his chest. He almost breathed a relieved sigh, when it turned out that Alec wasn’t raped by his boyfriend. But it doesn’t make it better. Still, attempted rape is no better, when someone says no, it means no.

He sighs heavily as he leaves the car. He already knows that these thoughts will consume him now. Sleep might be a struggle tonight.

 

He doesn’t get to see Alec for the next few days after that. They talk on the phone and text, but it still doesn’t feel the same. They both have a lot to do, and Alec’s having a busy weekend apparently, meeting up with his mom again. So Magnus just focuses on work. Or at least tries to. The weight of Alec’s confession still on his mind.

Monday morning at work isn’t pleasant. He didn’t get enough sleep, and when he arrives, there’s an already too long list of assignments they need to do today.

Dot notices that something has been off for a few days, but Magnus just brushes her off, saying that everything is fine. Because it is, and he’s not gonna share Alec’s private stuff with her.

Aline and Helen are a great help and it’s really good to have them around. It’s been quite some time and now they’re all acquainted with everything, including their co-workers.

And of course, being Magnus and Dot, they notice how there’s this weird tension between the girls sometimes. Like, when Aline’s hand brushes lightly down Helen’s spine. Or how their hands just casually rest against each other when they read through the list of assignments. There’s something going on, and even though the four of them knows this, none comments on it yet.

As if the day couldn’t get any worse, when they finish getting some samples for the new foundation formula, it’s Camille who enters the lab.

“Magnus, I need to speak with you.” She announces as she comes around their work station to face him, her tone firm, but some glint in her eyes.

“I’m busy now.” Magnus lies, because he doesn’t like the perspective of talking to her now. Besides, he made himself clear when he said, that from now on, they’re only going to talk about business.

“It’s important.” She urges. “About work.”

Magnus sighs heavily. Dot sends him a resentful look again, but he’s already heading Camille’s way as she leaves the lab.

If it truly isn’t a business matter, then she’s gonna regret it.

 

Camille takes him to the cafeteria, which Magnus already doesn’t like, and when she takes the liberty of ordering their lunch, he resist the urge to growl.

“Can you just tell me what the business is?” Magnus asks, not too unkindly. He knows that this deal is big, and he’s not going to ruin Raphael’s business because some drama with his ex-girlfriend.

“I want updates from the lab from you.” She replies, and Magnus is positively surprised to find out that it is truly about work. The whole sheath of lunch and stuff is pretty unnecessary, but it is about work, after all.

So he tells her everything they have for now. How they’re almost done with the eye shadow palette, and that the foundation formula is almost finished too. But Camille looks like she’s listening, only to let the words go the second later, so when Magnus stops his rumbling, she speaks almost immediately.

“Alright, that’s good work.” She resorts and smile. “For now on, I’d like you to update me every week. We could just get lunch and talk like today. This is nice, right?”

Magnus supresses the urge to roll his eyes.

“Can’t Raphael do that?” He asks instead. “We’re handing in our reports at the end of every day. They’re way more detailed and-“

“Oh, but these are so boring!” Camille lets out and exaggerated, dramatic sigh. “I prefer sitting here and listening to you much more.” She reaches across the table for his hand, but he quickly takes it away.

“Camille-“ He starts, but she cuts him off.

“Now, to the important matters.” She begins. “What was so urgent that you couldn’t get dinner with me the day I arrived?”

“We agreed to only discuss business-“ He tries, but Camille shakes her head and interrupts yet again.

“Oh no, my dear. You agreed. I haven’t said a word.” She smiles again.

Magnus just shakes his head.

“So?” She prompts then, clearly waiting for an answer to her earlier question.

“Camille-“

“Oh, come on Magnus. We both knew that life would bring us together somehow sometime soon.” She starts. “Why to stall and act like we feel nothing towards each other?”

“But I feel nothing for you.” Magnus says bitterly.

“What are the lies for, my darling?” Her voice sounds teasing.

“Look, I really-“

“If you don’t want dinner, we can already get to the main course…” She smirks at him. “I rent a lovely apartment downtown…”

“Camille, I don’t want to-,” He starts and exhales shakily. “I want nothing to do with you.”

“And why is that?” Camille leans in on the table, studying his expression. “We used to have so much fun. Don’t you want to go back to that…”

“I have a boyfriend, Camille.” He blurts out, because he’s sick of it. Sick of the things they’ve ever done together. He wants these memories out of his head, even though he’ll never get back the time he had wasted with her.

If Camille’s surprised, she doesn’t really show it. Instead she just shrugs and leans back into her chair.

“So?” She prompts again, as it not seeing any obstacles.

“So, I’m taken. We’re not getting back together.” He resorts with another sigh.

“What’s his name?” She asks then, something cold and dangerous about her tone.

“It doesn’t matter-“ He tries, but she cuts him off with a bitter laugh.

“Oh, I just want to know if he treats you right.” She resorts, with fake concern written on her face. “Does he fulfil all your needs like I used to? Is he better-“

“Stop.” Magnus grits out. “It’s none of your business.”

Camille eyes him curiously for a few seconds, before speaking again.

“I pity that poor thing.” She starts then. “He’s probably gonna be so heartbroken after you break up with him, when you finally realise, that we belong together. Always have, always will.”

“No we don’t, Camille.” Magnus shakes his head again. This is just getting ridiculous. He can’t believe that he spent almost three years of his life this this woman. He must have really been young and dumb.

“You’ll see.” Camillle resorts as he gets up from the table. “I might even take you back if you come begging. I’ve always had a soft spot for you.”

With that and another smirk, she walks away, and Magnus hasn’t felt this sudden urge to punch something in a long time.

 

When he comes back to the lab, he’s surprised to see only Aline at their work station. At least it means no questionings from Dot now. He goes to take a sit next to his co-worker and Aline smiles up at him, looking up from some sample she’s been studying.

“Where’s the rest?” Magnus asks her.

“Raphael needed something from them. You and I are supposed to finish the formula.” She answers and gets back to work.

Magnus really admires how devoted she is. She basically never takes breaks and even stays late hours. That at some point reminds him of Alexander and his devotion for law.

“Hey,” Aline starts hesitantly after a while, when they’re mixing some products. “What’s your deal with Camille?”

Magnus looks up at that, but sees that his friend is still occupied with the task.

“What do you mean?” He prompts as he also gets back to work.

“I mean, first the hug when we arrived, then the talk at the elevators, and now she gets lunch with you…” She counts out. “And to be honest, you look pretty annoyed with her.”

Magnus chuckles at that.

“You don’t need to answer.” Aline adds then. “I’m just curious.” She shrugs.

Magnus thinks for a while. There is no actual harm in telling Aline. She’s a great co-worker and colleague. And he gets why she might be wondering. His relation with Camille must look quite weird, and if it might disturb her work, Magnus is ready to decrease Aline’s worries.

But then an idea hits him.

“Well, I can tell you.” He starts and at that she looks up. “But only if you tell me what’s your deal with Helen.” He smirks and when Aline looks away, he can see the blush on her cheeks.

“I asked you first.” She mumbles and then they both laugh.

“Alright.” Magnus starts then. It’s only fair if he begins, that’s true. “Camille’s my ex.” He resorts. “We have a… complicated history.”

“I’m sorry.” Aline’s voice is genuine now. “Must be hard working with her now.”

“I’m managing.” Magnus declares, ending the topic at this. “Now your turn.”

Aline seems hesitant, but then finally begins to speak.

“Fine,” She rolls her eyes. “Me and Helen have been together for almost a year now.”

“What?” Magnus exclaims and Aline looks up at him again, slightly confused. “I thought you were into each other, but the both of you too afraid to make a first move and that shit. Why didn’t you say from the start?”

“We didn’t know if we could.” She resorts a bit sadly.

“Why?” Magnus questions then with a frown.

“Camille banned relationships between co-workers in Yin Fen.” She replies.

“Wait, what?” Magnus tries to register her words. “Can she do that?”

“It feels like she can do whatever she wants there.” Aline sighs. “So yeah, me and Helen, we immediately started liking each other, but we hid it. If she caught us flirting or something, she would have fired us. And we both needed a job.”

“So you’ve been hiding this for almost a year?”

“Yeah,” Aline nods. “and coming here… well we didn’t find any rules about not dating co-workers in your status, but still, we couldn’t be sure. And also, we don’t want Camille to see us…”

“Aline,” Magnus puts his hand on hers lightly. “maybe you need to hide from Camille, but not from us, really. Me and Dot are totally okay with that. Same as Raphael. There are no policies about dating here, you can date whoever you want.”

“We just…” Aline starts then. “We just didn’t want to risk it. But thanks, it’s really hard not to just lean in and kiss her sometimes.” She chuckles.

“Hey, but easy on that PDA, we do still work here.” Magnus jokes and laughs along with her now. “But I get that. If I worked with my boyfriend, we probably wouldn’t be able to keep our hands of each other.” He resorts. Having Alec so close on daily basics would probably drive him crazy. The best kind of madness, of course.

“So you have someone now?” Aline inquires then and Magnus nods. “What’s his name?”

“Alexander.” Magnus responds and can’t help but smile, Aline mirroring the expression and nodding lightly. “We’ve been together for about two months, but we had been kind of dancing around each other before.” He says with another chuckle, reminiscing about the time before they got together.

“Same was with me and Helen.” Aline starts. “You were right about the ‘being afraid to take the first step’ stuff. I wasn’t sure if she liked me back, and she wasn’t sure if I liked her.”

“Yeah, same with me and Alec.” Magnus agrees. “So, who finally started it?”

“Helen.” Aline admits with a grin. “She asked me out and the rest is a history, I guess.” She shrugs. “What about you?”

“Well, Alec asked me out first, but the date… things didn’t end up like we both thought they would. We both did mess up a bit. But a few days later I came to pick him up from the university, we kissed and it just happened.” He recounts with a soft smile.

“How did you two meet?” Aline questions with curiosity in her voice, still smiling warmly at him.

“Oh, you’re in for a treat, my dear.” Magnus starts as he recalls the tale of their first meeting again. He’ll never get tired of saying it.

 

Not long later, Helen and Dot get back, only to see them indulged in a conversation about how their relationships have developed. Aline and Helen officially tell Dot about them, and she’s not too surprised about that either.

“I’m sorry, but you’re not the best at hiding it, you love birds.” She just jokes and they all laugh.

When they get back to work again, Dot comes closer to Magnus and asks, when they’re both busy with their tasks.

“I heard you got lunch with Camille.” She more states than asks, but Magnus nods anyway.

“Yeah, but she wanted to talk business…”

Dot raises an unamused brow at him.

“Only?”

“No, not only.” Magnus admits with a sigh. He shortly tells her about their conversation and Dot’s expression turns even more hateful as he speaks further.

“So you told her about Alec.” She resorts when he’s done.

“Yeah,” Magnus starts. “I didn’t actually mean to, but I snapped. She’s really getting on my nerves.”

“And does Alec know about her?” Dot questions then and Magnus looks up at her.

“No. Why would he?” He answers with a question and gets back to his task at hand, but Dot doesn’t let him, as she grabs his arm so he finally looks at her.

“Don’t you think you should tell him?” She asks seriously.

“Why?” Magnus frowns. “This is work. She’s a co-worker like any other.”

“No, Magnus.” Dot shakes her head. “She’s your ex. And she’s clearly trying to win you back.” Magnus wants to interrupt, but his friend doesn’t let him. “A task which I know she won’t succeed at, but still. Alec deserves to know.”

“I don’t think I see your point here.” Magnus admits. “Why should I mess with his head now, and tell him my ex is back? Wouldn’t it make him feel threatened or something, that I’m bringing it up?”

“Look, does it bother you, that Camille works here?” Dot sighs heavily before asking.

“Of course it does. I hate it that she’s here, but-“

“You and Alec talk about everything.” Dot just carries on regardless his interruption. “So why won’t you talk to him about this, if it bothers you?”

It’s true, they can talk about everything, but Magnus has never felt the need to tell him about Camille. It doesn’t bother him that much, but also it’s a bit more complicated.

“Look,” He starts and lowers his voice a bit. “even if I tell him about Camille, it’s not the whole thing. He’ll ask questions and I’m not ready to answer them. I don’t want to talk to him about her, I’m not ready. And if the Camille subject flows out, then it’s also my mom’s and-“

“I get it.” Dot squeezes his forearm lightly, her expression soft now. “I know you don’t like to talk about this. I just mean that… I think Alec would understand. He’s a great guy, and I just thought it might make you feel a bit relieved if you told him. But if you’re not ready than there’s no rush…”

“I’m not saying I won’t ever tell him.” Magnus resorts. “Just not now.”

Dot nods at him with a small smile.

It all feels to fresh now that Camille is back. He can kind of admit that some memories are out when he sees her, and not the pleasant ones, if there even were any.

He knows, now better than ever that he can tell Alec everything. After he opened up about his ex-boyfriend… Magnus knows that he wouldn’t judge, but still, this situation is different, and it would probably change Alec’s whole perception on him.

And just like he’s told Alec, there’s no rush.

 

Time always elongates at work, but finally after what feels like forever, they’re done with their assignments for today and ready to leave the lab.

As Magnus makes his way to his car, he definitely does not expect the surprise that awaits him there.

Alec is leaning against the car, and he smiles as he spots his boyfriend heading his way.

“What are you doing here?” Magnus asks with his own smile overcoming his expression. But Alec speaks only after he greets him with a soft kiss on the lips.

“Surprise.” He murmurs when they part. “We got excused from our last lecture so I thought I’d come visit.”  

“Well, that certainly is a surprise.” Magnus resorts as he’s still smiling. “A great one, of course.”

“I hope so.” Alec agrees and pecks him on the lips again. “Everything okay at work?”

“Yeah, it’s fine. But I’m exhausted.” He admits.

“I thought we could go grab dinner tonight, but if you’re tired we can head back to yours or mines and cook? What do you prefer?” Alec questions.

“I don’t feel like cooking.” Magnus replies and Alec nods. “Let’s go somewhere.”

“You want me to drive?” Alec offers, but Magnus shakes his head.

“I’m just tired, Alexander. I’m okay, I can drive. You choose some restaurant, okay?”

Alec agrees with yet another kiss and then they both climb into the car.

Soon, they are settled in a lovely Italian place down town, food already ordered. They talk about their days, exchange some small talk before Magnus finally builds up the courage to ask.

“How was the meeting with your mother?” He bites his lip nervously as Alec looks down on his plate and stays silent before answering.

“It went well.” He admits. “We talked a bit, just about everything.”

Magnus nods, taking in his words and smiling lightly.

“Yeah, we uh,” Alec clears his throat. “she talked to the doctors. We tried to get Max out of the hospital, at least for one day, but they won’t allow it.” He drops his gaze again, before adding in a lower tone. “It got worse recently.”

Magnus reaches with his hand across the table and rests it lightly on Alec’s.

“I’m so sorry, darling.” He speaks as Alec sighs heavily.

He doesn’t really know what more to say. It must be so hard for Alec, watching his brother grow miserable, when he’s supposed to have fun, like all the other kids his age. Magnus also checks on Max every weeks he’s at the hospital, and he noticed the sudden change in his moods. He really wishes he could do something more than just try to cheer him up and play video games.

But he knows the feeling too well. The helplessness and hurt, even anger for the injustice of this world.

“He just needs to get through this.” Magnus tries to reassure as Alec looks up to him and attempts a smile. “It’ll get better soon.”

“Yeah, I hope so.”

“And what about your mom?” Magnus changes the subject to get Alec’s mind of the obvious. “Will you be meeting her again soon?”

“I’d like that.” Alec admits. “I really think she’s trying to fix this. Fix us, a bit. Baby steps, right?”

Magnus chuckles lightly as Alec’s smiles widens a bit.

“Okay, but enough about me.” Alec shakes his head, as if trying to get the thoughts away, and then turns all of his attention back to Magnus. “How have you been doing?”

They haven’t seen each other in only few days, but Magnus felt like he’s grown even more attached to Alec in the recent weeks. Especially after his confession at the loft a few nights ago.

He doesn’t bring it up. Not now. It’s such a pleasant evening, and Alec clearly has a lot on his mind right now, and Magnus is not planning to confuse him with prompting those painful memories of his last relationship.

“I’m fine.” Magnus answers simply. “A lot of work, as always.”

“But everything is okay at the company?” Alec asks and eyes him cautiously.

He thinks of Dot’s words, that he should tell Alec about Camille, but what for? Only to bring more confusion and mess to his life? To make his somehow doubt their relationship. Having Camille around is not pleasant, but he can deal with it. There are more important things than his bitch of an ex.

“Everything is okay.” Magnus states with a smile. “And having too much work is better than lack of it, I guess.” He adds jokingly.

“Yeah, maybe.” Alec smiles as he turns his palm to intertwine his fingers with Magnus’. “But you need rest too. Don’t overwork yourself.”

Magnus’ heart swells for the concern and worry in Alec’s tone. He really appreciates it, loves that Alec tries to take care of him, even when he has a lot of troubles of his own.

“Don’t you worry about me.” Magnus gives his hand a reassuring squeeze.

“You know I will, that’s what boyfriends do.” Alec says, his tone a bit more serious now, but his expression still soft.

Magnus smiles at him and creases his palm gently.

“I know you’re busy, but you’ll still make it to Simon’s gig this Friday, right?” Alec prompts then, after the conversation dies a bit.

“Of course, I wouldn’t miss it.” He answers without any hint of hesitation. He’s excited for Simon and proud of him for finally reaching out for his dreams. He would never miss a chance to finally see him perform.

“Good.” Alec states. “He’s so nervous about it, that it’s starting to make Izzy nervous too.” He admits with a chuckle.

“I’m sure he’ll do great.” Magnus’ tone is covered in a bit of a laugh.

“You and I both know that, and probably the others do too. But it’s not so easy to convince Simon himself about that.”

At that, Magnus laughs out loud. Their friend can truly be ridiculous sometimes.

 

Surviving work thorough the next few days is not pleasant, but Magnus somehow manages, and when Friday finally comes around, he’s relieved to leave Alicante’s building and head to The Hunter’s Moon for Simon’s show. He’s been really looking forward to it, plus the perspective of seeing his friends and his boyfriend is just the best one for Friday night.

When he arrives, Luke, Clary and Dot are already settle at one of the tables and Magnus swiftly goes to joins them.

“Simon’s backstage, getting all the gear ready.” Clary announces, visibly beaming with excitement for her best friend. “He’s so nervous.”

“He’s been for the whole week.” Luke adds. “Don’t know why though, he’s gonna be amazing.”

“Yeah, but I guess we all know how he gets.” Magnus states with a teasing grin which makes the rest laugh.

“Do you know when the others are arriving?” Dot asks him then.

“Alexander texted me a few minutes ago that they’ve just left. They should be here soon.” He answers and smiles at his friend.

They all dive into some small talk, and a while later, Magnus can spot his boyfriend emerging through the door. Jace and Isabelle by his side, along with some other blond woman, and it takes Magnus a bit of time to recognize her as Alec’s friend from the university, Lydia.

After a wave of introductions and greetings, Isabelle excuse herself to join Simon at the last moments before his big performance, probably trying to relieve at least some bit of the stress.

“Alright, I’ll go get us some drinks. What does everyone want?” Magnus offers and takes orders to soon slide out of the table, ready to head to the bar.

“You need some help?” Alec asks, but as he’s about to reply, Jace cuts in.

“I’ll help.” He announces and joins Magnus at the side of the table.

Magnus is not too eager to speak to him, not after their last encounter, but he’ll accept the help. He knows it means a lot to Alec for them to get along, so he’ll try to at least tolerate Jace.

They head to the bar and Magnus swiftly greets Maia, the bartender, with a nod, as she quickly takes off, busy with another orders.

He’s met her a few years ago, when he and his friends found this place, and it became kind of their go to pub. He spent some nights just rumbling about all sorts of things with Maia, and that basically how this acquaintance was born.

Magnus quickly places the orders to the bartender present at the bar, and he and Jace just wait in silence for their drinks to be served, until the younger man decides to speak.

“Look, Magnus.” He clears his throat awkwardly as Magnus turns to face him and leans against the bar. “I just… I had no right, you know, to just judge you like that back then. I’m just really worried about Alec, but it’s not a good enough of excuse to just snap at you like that, when you mean no wrong. So yeah, I’m just, I’m sorry, okay?”

Maybe the apology doesn’t sound the most sincere, but Magnus can see how much Jace tries. To be honest, he’s a bit surprised at this turn of events. He’s not sure what brought that up on his brother’s boyfriend, but it might be a good first step to a better relation between them.

“It’s alright.” Magnus can forgive him, give a second chance at this.

Jace nods lightly, and then the silence falls between them again, so Magnus decides to start.

“I know you’re worried about your brother, and I appreciate that.” Jace eyes him curiously as he speaks. “Really. It’s good to know Alexander has such loving siblings. And I promise you, that I would never hurt him. I care about him too.”

Jace takes his words in, nodding yet again, but his expression stays sharp and alert.

Magnus hasn’t really thought of the impact that Alec’s last relationship must have had on his siblings. Jace was the one to get him out that night and he must have been terrified to see his brother in such state. Magnus can’t blame him for Begin protective. He might have just understand it now, but if this kind of situation happened to one of his friends, he would perceive with caution too.

Maybe it’s not perfect, but it’s okay. They’re better for now. Him and Jace. They can work with that. The situation is not one hundred percent resolved, but Magnus won’t hold grudges. It can be a new start for them. He can let their last conversation slide.

A while later, with drink in hand they’re all settled back at the table. Magnus is squeezed between Alec and Dot, but it’s not like he minds. He places his arm around his boyfriend’s waist lightly, which makes him turn to him, after he finishes some conversation with his friend, Lydia. He smiles and leans in to place a soft kiss to Magnus’ cheek, so Magnus can’t help but to reciprocate the expression, then he asks.

“Did you talk to your brother?”

“To Jace?” Alec inquires, look on his face growing slightly more serious, and as Magnus nods his head to confirm, his boyfriend’s shakes his. “No, not after I snapped at him that night when you left.” He admits. “We haven’t actually talked since then. Is everything okay? Did he say something again?”

“Actually, he apologized to me.” Magnus reveals and can see Alec’s eyes going wide for a second. “Yeah, about judging me so fast, you know.”

“That’s good, right?”

“Of course, that’s great.” Magnus reassures him. “I just wasn’t quite expecting that.”

“Me neither.” Alec confesses and Magnus laughs briefly at this surprised expression. “I guess I underestimated him a bit.”

Magnus hums and brings Alec closer to kiss him softly, until they both smile against their lips.

When they part, he glances at Jace, seated opposite of them at the table. He studies Magnus carefully, but doesn’t really say anything, just sips his drink, but Magnus turns away from his inquisitive gaze.

He doesn’t have much time to think about that, when some wrenching sounds come from the direction of the stage, and soon, Simon’s voice travels through the room.

“Hello, I’m Simon Lewis.” He starts and clears his throat. “I’m going to play some of my songs for you. I hope you’ll enjoy them.” He smiles nervously.

It’s Isabelle who screams the loudest and it makes the rest of group chuckle.

The gig goes mostly smoothly. Simon nearly throws over his keyboard only once, but it makes the audience chuckle sympathetically. He dedicates one of his songs to Isabelle, and they all witness her nearly crying as she listens to her boyfriend sing. It’s a beautiful view, and one more conviction of how strong Simon’s love is for Isabelle.

Magnus gaze wonders to Alec then, when he looks at her sister with so much love in his own eyes. It’s a beautiful thing to see. Alec holds so much care for her, his eyes brightening up every time he sees her happiness flowing.

The place is actually packed tonight, and it’s easy to see that they do enjoy Simon’s music. People are swaying in tune with the songs, whispering to each other with approvable smiles. That’s what Simon deserves. He’s been working so hard on his music and it’s great to see at least some part of his dreams come true.

Magnus leans in and rests his head on Alec’s shoulder as they continue to listen Simon sing, soon receiving a kiss on the top of his head, when his boyfriend’s arm wonders around his shoulder.

Even if he could write songs, he’s sure he wouldn’t be able to pour all of his feelings for Alec into words.

After the gig ends, Simon joins them and they continue to celebrate all together. Isabelle kisses him right as he goes off the stage and then he receives a wave of congratulations from his friend. A few people even come up to him to ask where they can listen to his music online.

Soon Magnus finds himself indulged into a lovely conversation with Lydia, who’s been actually very excited to finally meet him. They talk about all sorts of stuff, from the latest trends to politics and local news that it turns out both of them follows quite precisely. Magnus likes to keep up with all of this stuff, likes to know what’s happening around him, and it’s only one of many things he and Lydia have in common.

“You know what, you’re a terrible friend.” Lydia turns to Alec as she speaks. “Keeping me waiting so long to finally meet your amazing boyfriend.”

Alec rolls his eyes, but a fond expression covers his face when his gaze settles at his friend and he shakes his head amusingly.

“Well, then he must be much better of a boyfriend than a friend then.” Magnus resolves and places a lingering kiss to Alec’s cheek.

Lydia smiles warmly at them, and Magnus can feel Alec cheeks getting heated, while this wonderful blush appears.

And Magnus resorts the keeping Alec close all night and hearing his friends laughing around them might be one of his favourite ways to spend his nights. 

Chapter Text

Alec’s not exactly hangover when he wakes up, but his head definitely hurts.

But he’s not gonna complain, he had an amazing time yesterday, surrounded by his friends and family. It was the most fun Alec had in a few weeks.

And of course Simon did incredible, like he would ever doubt that. Isabelle couldn’t stop beaming with pride the whole way home, and he couldn’t help but find it equally cute and amusing.

He’s glad it’s Saturday, because he’s pretty sure he wouldn’t be able to go through a whole day of classes today.

As he gets up, he decides to head to the kitchen and make some coffee, as always. He groans as he stretches out in bed and paddles sleepily out of his room.

When he gets to the kitchen, he can already smell the fresh aroma of coffee and then he spots his brother, leaning against the counter, mug in his hand, savouring the drink.

“Hi.” Alec greets and then Jace seems to notice him.

“Hey,” He speaks softly. “I made you coffee.” He reaches for another mug, placed on the counter on his left and hands it to his brother.

As Alec mumbles a short thanks, they just stand in silence and enjoy the quiet morning, drinking coffee.

“Heard you talked to Magnus.” Alec prompts then, and his brother turns to fully face him.

“Yeah,” Jace starts slowly, his gaze still glued to the coffee mug. “you were right. I shouldn’t have judged him.”

Alec nods, taking in his words, but before he gets to reply, Jace picks back up.

“You know I do all this because I care about you, right?” He questions, his voice firm, but expression remaining gentle. “I get that I might have overstepped and overreacted, but I just… I’m worried.”

“I know.” Because Alec does. Really. He might get mad at his brother, quite often recently, but he knows Jace means no harm. He appreciates it, all of the concern and worry, but it also gets overwhelming.

“But like I said, I trust you.” Jace continues. “I really do, and I know you care about Magnus, so I’m willing to give him a chance.”

Alec smiles lightly at him and clasps a hand over his shoulder.

“I get that it’s important to you.” His brother adds, his tone lower, but still honest. “And I don’t want to fight anymore. It’s literally killing me.”

“Me too.” Alec admits. There had been way too many fights recently, all launched with care and worry, but still, those were pretty serious arguments. One of the most heated they’ve ever encountered, where both of them got too riled up and said some wrong words. “I’m done with the fights.”

“I promise, I’ll try not to give you a reason to start one.” Jace’s voice is laced with a teasing note now. “But still, if he hurts or upsets you in any way, I’m going to kick his ass.”

Even if that might come out a bit jokingly,  Alec knows that the message still stands.

But instead of saying anything, he just shakes his head amusingly and looks at his brother as he reciprocates his smile.

“Isn’t that a lovely view to start your morning with?” Isabelle’s voice sounds through the kitchen as she emerges from her room. She smiles warmly and Alec beckons her closer with his hand.

“Come here.” He says and Izzy doesn’t waste a moment, sinking into her brother’s warm embrace, burring her face in his chest. “You too, come on.” He gestures for his brother, and Jace rolls his eyes, not quite able to fake the annoyed expression, as it swiftly turns into a grin. A moment later they all find themselves squeezed into a big family hug.

Alec holds his siblings close and knows that with them by his side, he’ll be able to get through anything.

 

He meets Magnus on Sunday, they get lunch and take a stroll down the nearest park, hands intertwined, shoulders brushing against each other.

And Alec has been thinking. For quite some time actually, but every time he digs deeper into this, he comes to the same realisation. Every time Magnus is close to him, this feeling that he couldn’t quite recognize overcomes him, fills him and makes him feel warm inside out. Maybe he’s not ready to say it out loud yet, wants to wait for some special, right moment, but he knows.

He loves him.

He loves Magnus.

He doesn’t know the exact moment it happened. It’s been a bit more of a process, but something clicked in him that night, when he confessed to Magnus abut Raj. He felt so safe in his arms, when he just let him cry, told him it’s not his fault and that he’s here. He’s his shelter and Alec wishes for nothing more, than to hold him close and protect him from all of the wrongs of this world. He feels safe, and taken care of when he’s with him. The comfort he brings is overwhelming in the best way, and Alec has never known this feeling, because he’s never been truly in love.

Until now.

“What are you thinking about, angel?” Magnus asks, hand running up and down his arm lightly, as it’s draped around his shoulders when they sit on a bench.

“Nothing.” Alec speaks quietly and turns to smile at his boyfriend.

Magnus just hums in answer, but doesn’t push, leaning down to kiss him on the forehead.

“Any plans for this week?” He asks then, but Alec just shakes his head.

“Nothing special. You?”

“God, I don’t even want to think about work tomorrow.” Magnus groans.

The don’t really speak about Magnus’ job a lot. Alec’s not even pretty sure what exactly his boyfriend does in the lab, but he gets that coming up with new products everyday might get exhausting. But still, he remembers their first drive, when Magnus spoke about his work, the glint in his eyes, the passion. It’s been lacking recently, and it feels more like he’s avoiding conversations about his job.

“Are you sure everything’s okay there?” Alec asks as he pulls his head back from his shoulder to look at him.

“Yeah.” Magnus studies him and frowns lightly. “Why?”

“I don’t know.” Alec sighs. “You always said how lovely it is to work with Dot and everything, and now you just seem quite annoyed-“

“It’s not her, who’s the problem.” Magnus interrupts gently, closing his eyes briefly and exhaling slowly.

“Then who?” Alec prompts. “The new scientists? You said they’re great to work with-“

“It’s not them either.” Magnus denies.

“What is it then?” Alec looks at him concerned, but his boyfriend just shakes his head lightly before cupping Alec’s face and smiling at him as he speaks.

“There’s no problem.” He assures. “Everything is fine.”

He leans in an kisses him softly, but Alec can’t quite find himself to reciprocate.

When they part, he takes a moment to look a Magnus, before wrapping his fingers around his wrists gently and speaking.

“You would tell me if something was wrong, right?” He sounds both concerned and serious.

“Yeah.” Magnus states lightly and as if to assure him.

Alec smiles then and drops his head on his shoulder again, as they return to the content silence, the calming, soothing feeling overcoming him as he feels Magnus’ steady heartbeat under his palm.

Magnus brings him closer and holds him a bit tighter.

 

“Did I miss a lottery, or something?” 

Lydia asks as she slides into the seat next to Alec in the lecture hall on Monday morning. Her smile is teasing, but somehow genuine, as she tries to hide it into her take-out coffee cup.

“What the hell are you talking about, Lydia?” Alec asks with a hint of laugh in his voice.

“When they were giving away boyfriends.” Lydia specifies, but Alec still looks at her confused. “Because you totally got the best one out there.”

At that, Alec laughs out loud.

“I must have you got lucky then.” He smiles and turns his gaze down, pretending to read through his notes as he feels his cheeks reddening.

“Really, Alec, he’s amazing.” Lydia says not teasingly anymore as she rests she hand gently on Alec’s shoulder. "You’re a match, totally. I mean, he literally has the heart eyes going on when he looks at you, same as you, by the way. God, I wish I had this kind of love-“

She cuts of suddenly like she might have said something wrong.

“What?” Alec questions as his friend looks like she’s cursing herself mentally.

“Nothing.” She says, but Alec just gives her a pointed look, to which she rolls her eyes at herself and finally answers. “I just said ‘love’. And I know you’re not there yet…”

She trials off, but then notices Alec smiling as he looks down again, trying to avoid her gaze.

“Or are you?” Lydia asks, the spark of excitement swiftly returning to her eyes.

“Well, we haven’t actually said anything yet.” Alec starts and can hear the smile in his voice as he goes on. “But I think… Yeah, I love him.”

He expects Lydia to jump enthusiastically and scream like an idiot for such confession, because that’s totally a thing his friend would do, but as he looks back at her, he sees nothing but pure happiness in her glistening eyes.

“That’s amazing, Alec.” She squeezes his shoulder lightly. “I’m so glad you’re happy.”

“Thanks Lyds.” Alec easily reciprocates her smile.

After that, their conversation dies down slightly, but he can still catch Lydia smiling softly in the corner of his eye.

“Oh, I almost forgot to tell you,” She begins then, when the professor enters the class, so she lowers her voice. “We’re getting to go home one hour earlier today, the professor is sick or something.”

“Good to know.” Alec throws her a grin as a plan is already forming itself in his brain. He doesn't intend to go back home. At least not straight away.

 

After the last class, he hops on the subway and gets to Alicante’s company building. It’s not that far away, so he gets there shortly and makes his way inside, to try and look for his boyfriend.

With an hour in stock, he decided to surprise Magnus. It’s pretty early, but maybe he could take a break and they would go get lunch, or maybe he’ll be able to persuade Raphael to give him the rest of the day off? Alec doesn’t really care, but he really wants to spend some time with Magnus. They’re both pretty busy recently, so he’s gonna take all the time he can to spend it with his boyfriend. He decided to try and put himself first, rather than school or work, and as the first step in doing so, he’s planning on devoting his time to one of his favourite people.

It’s not like they’re actually going to let him somewhere into the actual work area, especially the lab, so he only enters the lobby and pulls out his phone as he heads to the waiting area to take a sit, but as he looks down on the screen and begins to type a message, he bumps into someone and stumbles a bit.

“Sorry.” He apologizes as he turns to see a woman he’s just crashed into. He puts his phone down in his pocket as she eyes him curiously. He’s ready to apologize again, not sure if the woman is mad or something, but before he gets to, she begins to speak.

“You’re looking for Magnus, right?” She asks, a sly smirk climbing onto her face.

“Do I know you?” Alec answers with a question, and he doesn’t like something about the cold chuckle the woman lets out.

“No, you probably don’t.” She shakes her head, amused, before speaking again. “I’m Camille. Magnus’ girlfriend.”

Alec’s brain suddenly comes offline, and he’s sure he must have misheard that woman, because what she says makes no sense at all, so she must be joking.

Not a really funny joke.

“I’m sorry… His what?” Alec blurts out, because his mind hasn’t caught up with his mouth yet.

The woman, Camille, chuckles again.

“He hasn’t told you, has he?”

“Told me, what?” Alec looks at her, eyes wide, but he sees nothing but that calm, kind of knowing expression on her face.

“That we’re together.” She states simply, as if it was the most obvious thing in the world. “We’ve been for a good while now. You see, I was away for some time, and we didn’t part in a very good way, but now that I’m back, we’re together.” She shrugs. “I’m sorry, but everything he told you, was a lie. It’s sad, but it’s true, and it’s not the first time he does something like this. He gets crazy when I’m away, always looking for some kind of distraction-“

“I, I don’t think I understand.” Alec stumbles.

“There’s not much to understand, my dear.” Camille replies. “Everything you thought you were building together was a lie. You were his distraction, nothing more. He’s never really cared for you. It’s cruel, I know, but you’re not the first one to fall for his lies.”

Alec just stands there, speechless, because this is ludicrous, everything this woman says is insane. It’s not his Magnus that she’s talking about. He would never do something like this, he would never use him, or anyone. And if he was supposed to be his distraction… why would Magnus spend so much time taking care of him, comforting him? None of this was a lie, Alec can feel it.

“I’ll give you an advice.” Camille’s voice pulls him out of his thoughts. “You should stay away from him, from us. It will be better this way. Get out of this, before more even people get hurt.” Her tone is serious, sounding more like a thread than an advice.

With that and another smirk, she backs out and leaves him, standing in the middle of the lobby with nothing but mess in his mind.

And he knows that the only person who can clear it out, is Magnus.

 

He can’t speak to him. Not yet, not at his work, not when he’s too railed up and feels like he might blow up every fucking second.

He doesn’t believe this. Any word, but who is she to lie like this? To put such a mess in his mind, to make him feel like he’s no one. He is, but he thought that at least for Magnus he wasn’t.

Not sure how, but he manages to get through a few more hours, before heading the way to Magnus’ loft when he should be home. He’s glad Jace and Izzy were away when he got back home, because he basically couldn’t stop pacing the room as the thoughts were raging in his head, and it would be hard to explain why he’s in such state.

But still, he can’t get Camille’s voice out of her head. These awful things that she said.

Everything you thought you were building together was a lie.

You were his distraction, nothing more.

He’s never really cared for you.

He shakes his head, and before he knows it, he’s at Magnus’ door. Panting and breathing hard, while his limbs feel like lead, because he didn’t even realise we was running the whole way here.

Hesitating only a few seconds, he finally knocks on the door.

Magnus opens, his expression surprised, but soon forming into a soft smile.

“Hi, darling.” He greets and moves slightly away to let him into the apartment. “What are you-“ He cuts of, probably noticing the state Alec’s in. His voice turns even more concerned when he speaks again. “Alexander?”

Alec enters the loft, closes his eyes briefly as he hears his soft voice saying his name. He starts pacing the living room back and forth, just like he’s done back at home, and he can’t stop until he hears Magnus’ voice again.

“Alec-“

He hates to interrupt him, because he’d love nothing more than to sink into his warm embrace and let him hold him until all of those thoughts would go away. But still, he does, and he asks bluntly, not really able to maintain any sort of small talk with his whole chaos in his head.

“Who’s Camille?”

He stops and looks back at his boyfriend, but Magnus freezes and Alec can see his eyes going wide and the shock that paints its way on his face. For a long moment they just stare at each other.

Alec longs for him to say that she’s no one, to somehow reassure him, but he doesn’t rush to do any of this things.

“How-, how do you know her?” He just chokes out, voice barely audible, but somehow the fracture in it is unpleasantly loud in the silence of the apartment, where Alec can hear nothing more than his own hard breathing and Magnus’ hesitant words.

“I’m asking who she is.” Alec states, and Magnus’ sight drops to the floor as he answers this time.

“She’s my ex.” He admits.

So she wasn’t totally crazy.

“Do you…” Alec struggles with the next words, praying that an answer will be honest, and that it will be what he hopes for. “Do you still feel something for her?”

“No.” Magnus answers and looks up to him, taking one step closer, but still too far away to reach Alec. They’re basically at the other ends of the room, as if suddenly afraid that even the slightest touch can set something going in the wrong direction. “Of course not. Nothing at all.” Magnus reassures again, and when Alec looks him deep in the eyes, he sees that it’s true. The sight panic, and confusion on his boyfriend’s features tell his that even though he doesn’t know what’s going on and he’s scared of Alec not believing him, he’s being truthful.

“I met her.” Alec picks back up and Magnus’ eyes stay glued to him, but his they grow wide again. “Today, at your work-“

“What did she say to you?” Magnus’ voice is firm, so serious it catches him by surprise, and he struggles with an answer, but finally he manages to speak up again. There’s no point is stalling, hiding it and pretending that he’s okay, when clearly he’s not. He’s always been completely honest with Magnus anyway.

“She said that you’re together. That what we’ve built together is a lie. That I’m nothing, but a distraction from her to you.” He counts out, his voice breaking at some point, but the lump forming in his throat, because it still hurts to recall these words.

“Alexander, whatever she said to you, it’s a lie.” Magnus speaks firmly, the hint of desperation in his tone, not because he lies, but because he’s afraid Alec won’t believe him. “I would never use you. Not just you, no one-“

“I know.” Alec says and nods lightly, but his gaze falls on the floor as Magnus takes another step closer.

“I swear, I feel nothing for her. She’s no one. I care about you and I would never-“ He sounds like he’s grasping at straws, voice urgent and even a bit pleading.

“I know, Magnus. I believe you.” Alec interrupts.

Because he does. He knows it’s not true, and he’s never believed any word she said. He knows Magnus enough not to trust those lies. What he doesn’t know is why Magnus hasn’t told him anything about her. They could have avoided this whole situation if she knew that his boyfriend works with some kind of crazy ex of his. And now she’s messed with his head. And it’s not a pleasant place, even without all of these lies.

None of them says anything more, so Alec decides to speak again.

“Why didn’t you tell me about her?” He turns his head to face him again, but only to see his eyes dropping to the floor again. “You said you’d tell me if something was wrong.”

“But nothing is wrong.” Magnus insists, but Alec knows better. Can see how miserable he got only after he mentioned her name.

“Really?” He barley resists the urge to snort, and Magnus’ heads snaps back up at his tone.

But there’s no response.

“Why didn’t you say anything?” Alec inquires, his tone more pleading now, he’s just a few more words away from begging, if he’s not gonna get the truth soon. He pretends he doesn’t hear the hint of anger in his own voice. “We could have avoided this whole situation. She-, she put this mess inside my head and I just-, I can’t hear my own thoughts. Why you’ve never said anything about it?”

“I couldn’t.” Magnus’ voice sounds weak, and it nearly breaks Alec’s heart to see him so small and vulnerable.

“Why?” He takes a few steps closer. They could touch if they wanted to now, at each other’s arms reach, but no one seems eager to stretch out and make contact.

“I just…” Magnus starts after one more moment of too long silence. This one is not soothing, as it always used to be. It’s full of tension and fear. Both of saying the wrong words, or no words at all. “I just can’t.” His voice nearly breaks again.

“Magnus…” Alec tries again, but he’s still looking down. He feels tears building up in his eyes as a sudden realisation forms in his brain, and he hates it. “Please, just tell me. You know I won’t judge. I’ve opened my heart for you. And I don’t want to make you feel like you owe it to me too, but I just… I just want to understand, so please explain that to me. I’m here, whatever you’ll say I won’t run. I’m not going anywhere.”

“I don’t…” Magnus starts after another stretched moment of quiet. “I can’t.” He repeats and it breaks something in Alec.

“Because you don’t want to, or because there’s no answer?” He asks, but there’s no reply. He’s never seem Magnus so speechless like he is today. His boyfriend usually is the one to have an answer for everything. But not this time. And then it hits him, the real reason. “Or because you don’t trust me?”

At that, Magnus looks up at him. Eyes wide again, mouth slightly open, as if some response was trying to make it out, but nothing comes out.

“It’s not about that…” Magnus trails off, and Alec feels more tears burning his eyes as he sees Magnus’ glistening too. Like he’s been hiding it, trying for Alec not to find out, but here they are, and there’s only one thing left for Alec to ask, so he does.

“Do you trust me, Magnus?” Looking deep into his eyes, he searches the answer himself, and finds none.

“Alec…” Magnus says in that sweet tone, but it comes out a bit wet, and Alec nearly lets a sob of his own escape.

But he just nods, bites on his bottom lip hard not to let the sob get out and he prays somewhere deep inside that Magnus will say something more, reassure him at any point.

But there’s no response. No other words.

“Can you tell me anything? Something about this?” It’s the last resort, a question just for the sake of asking, and Alec’s not even bothered with the bitterness in his tone, because he wants more, he wants to hear him, wants to understand, because nothing of this previous mess is cleared out yet, and he can’t stand it.

And as Magnus still doesn’t answer, there’s nothing more he can do.

“Call me when you’ll figure out something to say.” He says and walks past him to the front door.

He doesn’t look back as he hears them slam shut.

 

The tears feel hot on his face as he leaves the building and heads straight to his car to get home.

He doesn’t remember most of the journey, still lost in the thoughts. Not only Camille’s words lingering on his mind now, but also Magnus’, or more precisely, the lack of them.

Opening the door with his trembling hands, he goes forward to his bedroom, not really caring or acknowledging anything that’s happening around him, vision still blurred and wet form tears.

“Hey, Alec. Where have you-“ He doesn’t spear his sister a glance as she speaks for the couch, only speeding and pretending not to hear the concern in her voice as she notices his state. “What happened?”

He’s partly aware of her following him, but still as he gets to his room he slams the door shut, almost right in Isabelle’s face.

He doesn’t want to speak to her. To anyone, he needs to be alone.

“Alec, what’s going on?” Izzy questions from the other side of the door, knocking furiously. Even though her voice is muffled by the surface, Alec can hear the slight panic and worry in it.

But there’s nothing she can do about it, none of them can. He just falls down on the bed an tries to hide his tears in the pillow.

“Alec I’m coming in.” Isabelle states seriously before entering the room. Alec doesn’t care anymore. She’d seen him in much worse states.

But still, he wishes he could be stronger than this.

“What is it, big brother?” Izzy asks gently as she sits at the edge of the bed, her hand wondering to comb lightly through Alec’s hair, as he continues to cry. “Hey, I’m here. You can tell me.”

And the whole dam breaks.

He tells her everything. About Camille, his talk with Magnus. Fight. Argument. His mind slips him these word, but he shakes his head. Was it really their first fight?

It was a hard hit, to realise that Magnus doesn’t trust him. At least now fully, not like Alec does. Not enough to share, to explain. As he thinks, he comes to the realisation that Magnus had his trust from the very beginning. From basically day one. And Alec knows that he trusts way too easily, that it can lead to many messy situations and unrequired feelings, but he really hoped it would be different with Magnus.

Izzy holds him tight as he speaks, lets him cry into her shoulder, making these soft, comforting noises at times, but Alec still feels like a mess. His head hurts from the thoughts still racing and he wants nothing more than to just fall asleep and forget this horrible day. But he knows that sleep won’t come easily to him, not when his brain is still so damn loud.

“I’m so sorry, big brother.” Isabelle speaks after he’s finished and calmed down a bit, her fingers still gently tangled in his hair. “I know it hurts now.”

“I just thought…” Alec starts and sighs. “I thought we had something. That we’ve built something real, steady-“

He really thought so. That maybe it wasn’t love yet, but at least it was trust. And right now it feels like some foundation of their relationship has just crumbled down. He assumed too much. Magnus has never actually told him how he feels in this. When Alec spoke about safety, when he started to open up, Magnus was there, always supportive, but never really reciprocating.

“Alec, what you and Magnus have, it is real.” His sister rushes to reassure. “It’s special. And I get why you might feel like you’ve been betrayed now, but…” It’s her turn to let out a heavy exhale. “Trust takes time. And it’s different for every person. I’m not trying to defend him, he should have said something more and explain, but… you can’t just let this whole thing go, because he needs a bit more time to trust you fully.”

“I’m not letting him go, Izzy.” Alec speaks firmly. It might hurt now, but he’s not planning on leaving it all like this. It means too much to him not to try and fix it. But he has to give Magnus space now, because they need to have a conversation. And today, it for sure didn’t feel like one. “I’m not, but I just… God I just don’t understand.”

“I know.” Izzy repeats. “Me neither, but give him some time. You probably caught him off guard today. There’s nothing you two can’t work you.” She smiles down at him and then they stay silent for a while.

“I love him, Iz.” Alec says bluntly, and can hear Isabelle’s breath hitch in her throat. “I love him, but there’s no way he feels the same-“

“You don’t know that.” His sister shakes her head. “And you won’t, if you don’t talk to him.”

He will, but not yet. It’s all still too fresh.

They stay like this for a long time, not talking furthermore, but content with each other presence, until they can hear the familiar click of the front door being open.

“Shit.” Alec courses under his nose and rapidly wipes at his eyes to get rid of the residues of tears. But still, his eyes are probably puffy and bloodshed, so there’s no actual chance he’ll get to hide it from his brother.

Not even a minute later, Jace appears at his doorway, expression slightly confused as he sees him and Izzy pressed together.

“What are you doing?” There’s a hint of smile on his face, but it quickly fades as he seems to notice Alec’s state. “What happened?” He asks concern laced with fear in his voice as he goes to kneel in front of Alec’s bed.

Before any of them gets to answer, Jace starts again, fury raising in his tone.

“What did Magnus do?” He accuses. “Has he done something to you? Hurt you-“

“Jace, I’m fine.” Alec tries, but his brother is having none of it.

“What did he do? I swear to God, if he-“

“It’s nothing.” Alec claims as he looks down on him, deep in the eyes, trying to convince him to believe him. “It was just a misunderstanding.”

Jace eyes him curiously for a little while, till his sight falls on Izzy.

“Did he tell you what happened?”

Isabelle nods lightly, and Jace releases an uneven breath.

“Alright, you don’t need to say.” He resorts as he turns back to his brother. “But you can, if you want to. I’m here, and I can still kick his ass-“

“It’s okay, Jace.” Alec reassures and nods. “Thank you.”

Jace rests a hand on his thigh and tries to smile, but it still comes out quite worried.

As much as he hates this whole situation, he’s glad he has his amazing siblings to get his through that.

Chapter Text

Magnus stands frozen in the middle of the living room, the sound of the door closing echoing through the silence.

He messed up, and he hates himself for it.

But he couldn’t say anything. He’s still not ready, doesn’t want to be. It hurts more than ever now, as the memories make their way back to the surface, and then new ones of Alec’s teary eyes, practically begging him to say something.

He should have, he knows he should.

Anything. Because it’s not that he doesn’t trust Alec. At some point, he does, but not in a way Alec would like that. Mostly, he doesn’t trust himself. Not with this, not with Camille. He’s scared, that if he opens up, people will use it against him.

Because he hates his past so much and doesn’t recognize the person he was before, doesn’t want to, wants to forget and it’s not helping.

He was thinking of telling Alec about Camille. Baby steps, slowly, and now it just came crashing, when he wasn’t ready for it, none of it, any part.

And who does she even think she is? How does she dare to even speak to Alec? To confuse him in such way, put this mess in his head. Magnus knows that Alec has problems and it’s ruthless to mess with it in such way. To make him somehow doubt their relationship now. And it’s all because of him, because of Magnus.

He could take a lot from Camille, but he won’t let her get away with hurting Alec like that.

But right now, he doesn’t want to think. His mind is a mess, the conversation floating in his brain, analysing every word, or what he should say. God, he’s so stupid. He’s just ruined the best and most stable thing in his life.

He should have seen it coming, though. Alec is right, he should have told him from the start about Camille, because it was sure that it would get complicated with her later on. But he dismissed that, didn’t want to think about it, because he had Alec then, and he wanted to forget everything about Camille, especially when he’s with him.

Moving to the drink cart, he sighs and pours himself a whiskey. There’s nothing better he can do. He wants to share this with Alec but still, it hurts, and how will Alec see him, when he knows? He doesn’t want to see that look in his eyes when he’ll admit everything. Alec considers him a good person, gentle, kind soul and by telling him, he would ruin it.

With glass half-way up to his mouth he stops as a sudden need hits him. He puts the drink back on the table, swiftly grabs his keys and coat and leaves the apartment.

There might be one place where he can stop the thoughts from racing.

 

He still remembers the way, even though it was quite a long time since he visited last. With his frantic life it’s not easy to find time for these kind of visits. He stops at the florist’s, grabbing her favourite flowers, peonies, on the way and the he absently makes his way down the paths till he reaches the right one.

Squatting down and gently tracing the letters engraved on the gravestone he put the flowers there and just exhales.

It’ll never hurt any less, and he knows it.

“Hi, mom.” He says as he brushes away some dried leaves from the grave.

After she died, he used to come to the cemetery quite often, just to speak to her. It used to help, at some point, but he knew it was just a temporary solution. He needed real help, because he was broken, and again he found shelter with his great friends. They put him back up, and he could never be more grateful for them.

“So… I messed up.” Magnus says with a hollow chuckle, his eyes filling up with tears. “Again.”

He’s insane. Deep down, he knows it. Because he’s got amazing friends who he could talk to, but instead he chose to speak to his dead mother. Because he’s scared. Dot told him that he should tell Alec, and he should have listened. Then, they would probably avoid this situation, just like Alec said. And even though he knows that he probably wouldn’t receive an ‘I told you so’ from Dot nor any of his friends, he’s still ashamed of his mistakes.

“I had the most amazing man, and now I’ve lost him.” He speaks further, looking down at the gravestone as if waiting for an answer. He knows he won’t get one.

He misses her. So much. Especially in moments like these, when he just feels so vulnerable and guilty. She was always a person who could pick him up, encourage him to keep going. That’s partly the reason why she had done everything in her power to make sure he’ll have a good life here, in New York, where he could practically be whoever he wanted.

Still, he didn’t fully use this chance. Maybe he did, but too late. She didn’t get to see it.

He gets startled when he feels a hand on his shoulder and turns to see his friend with a sympathetic expression on his face.

“You haven’t done that in a while.” Ragnor speaks as Magnus turns his gaze away to look down on the grave again. “It used to help you in the past.” He recalls.

There’s some familiarity in this. Ragnor had come to the cemetery multiple times to find Magnus talking to his mom. But he never judged, never interrupted, but was there, as supportive and caring as always. Even when he doesn’t let it show, he cares for his friends deeply.

“Why are you here?” Magnus just asks simply.

“Well, we were supposed to get drinks tonight, to finally catch up.” Ragnor replies but there’s no heat in his tone like he’d be mad Magnus forgot. Because it did totally slip his mind. After this fight with Alec he completely lost any other thoughts. “And you’ve turned down your phone, which you never really do, unless you come here.”

“Sorry-“ Magnus starts, but Ragnor just waves his hand dismissively.

“Don’t worry about it.” He reassures. “But you look like you could really use that drink now.” He adds which makes Magnus let out a quiet chuckle. “Come on.” Ragnor gets up and hold his hand to him. “Let’s get you home.”

Magnus doesn’t even have any strength to argue, when he lets his friend pull him up and lead him to the car.

 

Soon, they’re settled back at the loft. Ragnor prepares them drinks, still moving around the apartment like it hasn’t been so long since he’s been here last.

They really haven’t had a moment to enjoy each other’s company in a long time. Ragnor is very devoted to his job, same as Magnus and it often resolves in them not seeing each other for a while. They run into each other briefly at the hospital, but that’s it. Ragnor is a workaholic, even if he doesn’t want to admit it, but he also thinks that Magnus is one, and he won’t admit it either so…

Ragnor doesn’t ask about anything. Not yet, and Magnus knows that he’s just trying to find a way to gently approach the subject. He knows it’s pretty bad, if Magnus came back to his old ritual at the cemetery.

They sit in silence for a while, sipping their drinks. Magnus is seated on the couch, when Ragnor finally sits down in the armchair opposite to it and speaks.

“When was the last time we did this?” He prompts with a smile, gesturing around meaning their little gathering.

Magnus just shrugs and takes another sip of his whiskey.

“We’re both busy.”

“Right.” Ragnor swirls his glass around in his hand. “You’re either at work, or running around with that boyfriend of yours.” He states teasingly, but of course notices when Magnus seems to sink down more into the couch only at the mention of Alec.

“Hey,” Ragnor starts again with a sigh, leaning in closer and when Magnus looks up at him he can see that he’s clearly done with the small talk. “what happened?”

And maybe Magnus would tell him, if he only knew exactly.

He manages another shrug and drinks the rest of the whiskey in one go.

“I don’t want to bore you with my relationship drama.” He’s trying to deflect.

Ragnor snorts.

“Oh, please. My work is dealing with all sort of dramas. I can make some room for yours.” He resorts and Magnus feels the corners of his lips quirk a little.

But it would be just… weird. To talk to Ragnor about Alec, since his friend probably knows a lot about him. Alec is his patient and it’s Ragnor’s job to get him to talk about his issues, both past and present. It’s probably the reason why he doesn’t vent to him about Alec or isn’t even eager for them to meet. He doesn’t want to make it uncomfortable for Alec.

“Come on,” Ragnor picks up again. “Talk to me.”

“I can’t.” Magnus sighs as he moves to make himself another drink.

“Why?”

“Because that would be weird.” He resorts with a shrug.

Ragnor quirks an eyebrow at him.

“Why would that be weird?”

Magnus turns back to him, resisting the urge to roll his eyes as he speaks again.

“He’s your patient.” He explains. “You probably know all of his deepest and darkest secrets and I don’t want to find out like that. I need him to tell me if he wants to and is ready to.”

“Wait, you think I would spill something?” Ragnor interrupts. “I can be professional, my friend.” He huffs as if offended.

“I just don’t want to make it weird.” He rumbles. “Both for you and Alec-“

Shit.

He cuts himself too late and of course Ragnor picks up on it.

“Alec?” He asks. “As in, Alec Lightwood?”

There’s actually nothing else to do for Magnus than to nod.

“Huh,” Ragnor lets out a contented sound and Magnus throws him a confused glare. “I should have figured.” His friend just shrugs.

“What?” Magnus questions. “Why?”

“Well, you did insinuate that you have a crush on one of my possible patients.” Ragnor clarifies slowly. “And Alec has been happier than ever recently, which makes him easier to work with, and let me tell you, he’s a tough one-“

It’s Ragnor’s turn to cut off.

“I probably shouldn’t be telling you this.” He resolves as Magnus hides his smirk in his glass as his friend’s eyes begin to mirror slight look of panic.

“We can always blame it on the whiskey.” Magnus suggest jokingly and Rangor lets out a chuckle.

“Look,” He begins, more serious now. “patient or not, you’re my friend. And I can see something’s bothering you. And it just happens that I’m a therapist, so as you probably already know, I’m a great listener.”

Magnus laughs lightly at that.

“I’m here, you can tell me whatever you’d like.” Ragnor adds, way less jokingly now.

And Magnus finds some piece in him that wants to release some of the emotions from today. He knows from experience that talking to Ragnor might be the best way.

So he does. He tells him everything. From the start. About Camille and Alec. Ragnor listens, doesn’t interrupt, for which Magnus is grateful, because it’s hard enough to recall this whole thing. It still feels too fresh, but he does feel some of the tension sliding as he speaks. It’s good to talk to someone about it.

When he’s done, he reaches for another drink.

“Why didn’t you tell me Camille is back?” Is the first thing Ragnor says then.

Magnus shrugs again.

The reason is probably similar to why he didn’t tell Alec. Because it would make it real, make Camille storm into his life again, even the private one. He thought that if he just avoided talking about her, she would somehow go away. He can be professional, and has been from the start of their collaboration, but it’s Camille who’s trying to ruin everything, again. He should have seen it coming, but looks like he’ll never learn.

But it’s slightly different with Ragnor than with Alec. Because he’s been there, saw everything he and Camille had done together, tried to drag Magnus away from it multiple times, before he finally managed to cut her off.

Ragnor still stares at him, waiting for an answer. He doesn’t look mad, more like concerned.

“I don’t know.” Magnus finally speaks. “That would make it more real I guess.”

“Magnus…” The names sounds more as an exhale as Ragnor breathes out. “You should have told me.”

“What would it change?” Magnus prompts.

Because the answer is nothing. It’s Magnus who assured Raphael that he’s fine with Camille working with them. He should have said no, but he knew how important it is to his friend, so again, he put himself second, swallowed it up and now it’s ruining his life.

Ragnor just shakes his head a little, probably realising that he couldn’t actually done anything to prevent it.

The silence stretches out between them for a few long moments, before Ragnor begins again.

“Look, I’m gonna be honest with you.” His tone turns serious, but also reassuring, probably the one he uses with his patients. “You should have told Alec, that’s true. At least some part of it. But he can’t blame you for needing more time.”

“I hurt him, Ragnor.” Magnus interrupts as he shakes his head. “He trusted me so much, and I can’t-“

“And you don’t trust him?” His friend questions gently.

“It’s not like that…” Magnus sighs heavily. “I don’t know. I trust him, at some point, but not with this. I don’t trust myself with this.”

“Why?”

“Because I don’t want him to see me any differently. And when I tell him… Ragnor I, I’m so ashamed of all the things we did together. I wish I could take it back…”

Ragnor places his hand gently on Magnus’ knee as he hangs his head down.

“He has this whole idea of me.” Magnus continues. “That I’m this amazing guy, who’s always ready to help, to be there and-“

“Because you are-“ Ragnor tries to assure.

“But I wasn’t.” Magnus’ eyes snap back to him. “Not always-“

“But it doesn’t matter.” Ragnor attempts, more firmly. “It’s in the past. He can’t judge you for all of these things that happened years ago.”

“How do I know he won’t?” Magnus questions, which makes Ragnor let out another heavy exhale.

“Alright, look.” He starts as he makes sure he has Magnus’ attention when they look at each other. “Alec is a smart man. I know this, okay? He’s not the one to judge, and you know this too, he told you himself. You can’t bottle this whole thing up, Magnus. Not if you want to build something more with him. He trusts you, so you need to learn to trust him too. And it will take time, for sure it will, but if you assure him, that you’ll try you damn hardest, there’s no way he won’t understand.”

“He probably doesn’t want me anymore.” Magnus blurts out.

“You don’t know that.” Ragnor resorts. “And you won’t, if you don’t talk to him. I’m sure you’re not willing to just give up on your relationship that easily. That’s not the Magnus I know.”

“Well, maybe he’s changed.” Magnus says bitterly.

“Yeah, maybe.” Ragnor leans back in the armchair. “But I don’t think he would, not about this.”

And he’s right. Magnus isn’t going to let Alec go like that, not because of this.

“So you think I should tell him everything?” Magnus prompts after a while.

“Only if you want to.” His friend replies simply. “Only if you’re ready, and if he pushes, then push back. Explain. If he doesn’t understand, which knowing him is unlikely, then it’s his loss.”

Magnus smiles lightly at that.

“And just remember,” Ragnor starts more seriously again. “What happened with your mom is not your fault. You did all you could. She didn’t want you to know-“

“Ragnor, even if I did all I could,” Magnus sighs heavily. “it was too late. I can’t take back the time I wasted-“

“Stop.” His friends interrupts him quickly. “We’ve been through this. You can’t keep blaming yourself, it will destroy you, Magnus.”

Magnus just nods, but still isn’t fully convinced. Can’t take in his words, no matter how many times they went over the same talk. He messed up either way.

There’s a few moments of silence, before any of them speaks. The thoughts of Alec reappearing in his mind, to take it of his mother. God, he really needs to fix this.

“I think I love him, Ragnor.” He says after a while, which catches his friend’s attention again.

“You do?”

“Yeah, I do.” He admits.

He’s felt it for a pretty long time. And every time Alec opened up to him, he wished he could do the same. He’s angry at himself that he couldn’t, tried to tell himself that it’s not his fault, but whose is it then? He’s a coward, and he’s scared. There’s no way he’ll tell Alec how he feels and risk his heart getting broken again. He would shatter if he lost Alec, he knows it. What they have is special, more than he’s ever felt before, and maybe that’s what loves feels like.

But after today, he’s pretty sure Alec won’t reciprocate.

“That’s great.” Ragnor’s voice pulls him out of his thoughts. “I’m happy for you, my friend.”

Magnus sends him a tight smile.

“There’s no way he feels the same. Not after today.” He says sadly.

“There’s only one way to find out.” Ragnor speaks gently, and Magnus’ eyes go wide.

“No,” He shakes his head. “there’s no way I’m telling him. Not now-“

“You’re right.” Ragnor assures quickly. “First things first. You need to resolve this. So, when you’re ready, talk to him and explain. You can start from that.”

Magnus nods lightly. He will, he just needs a bit more time, to clear his head. To figure out the best way to tell him.

“Thank you, Ragnor.” He smiles up at his friend. It does feel better to have some of his consuming thoughts out.

“Always at your service.” His friend smirks and clinks their glasses together.

 

The next morning he’s not even hangover, but doesn’t really feel like going to work, so he decides to call in sick. He rarely does that, so it shouldn’t be a trouble if he takes this day to rest and sort the mess in his mind out.

He calls Dot to inform her, and tells her not to worry, that he’s fine, just tired. He can feel she doesn’t believe him, but doesn’t question anything furthermore. She’ll probably interrogate him the next day, when he shows up for work, but that’s not something he wants to think about now.

So he spends half of the day in bed, watching crappy TV, just trying to ease his mind a bit. It doesn’t exactly goes as planned, because he can’t quite stop his thoughts from returning to his conversation with Alec, replaying it all over again, rerunning every mistake he’s made, every silence that lingered too long, every lack of response he gave.

Alec caught him off guard. He was planning to tell him about Camille, but not like this. Now it’s all ruined. Every bit of courage Magnus tried to build up is now crumbled, and still he knows he needs to find strength to explain everything to Alec.

He knows it should be him, who makes the first step. He remembers Alec’s words: call me when you’ll figure out something to say. But the problem is, he still haven’t figured it out. He may know what to say, but doesn’t know how to say it.

So if he can’t make things right with Alec yet, he should speak with the one who caused this whole mess.

Without much of a thinking he finally gets up, makes himself at least half presentable and heads out. Camille should be just finishing work, so he might make it and see her there. As much as he tried to avoid her, he needs to talk some sense into her. She probably doesn’t even know how much she’s messed up. Not that she cares, but if that’s her way to win Magnus back, than she’s even more stupid than he thought.

He gets to the company building just as she exits it. He follows her quickly to her car and not really bothering with any small talk, starts before she even gets to turn around.

“Why did you say all of those things to Alec?”

Camille slowly turns around, a smirk still present on her face as she eyes him up and down, before letting out a sigh and speaking.

“Well, hello to you too, Magnus.” She smiles even more bitterly. “And what the hell are you talking about-“

“Oh, stop this.” He basically rolls his eyes. She doesn’t get to play the innocent now, the oblivious one. “You know what I’m talking about. You told Alec that we’re together. Why did you lie?”

She must have noticed that she’s playing a losing game with being oblivious, so she exhales again.

“Was it really a lie, my dear?”

“Yes, of course it was.” Magnus snaps. “What do you think gives you the right to interfere in my life? In Alec’s life. You-, you put all of those lies in his head, this whole mess. You thought that, what? I will come crawling to you just as soon as it gets bad between us?”

“If he believed those lies, than he doesn’t really know you at all, Magnus.” Camille speaks instead and Magnus snorts to that.

“Of course he didn’t believe that!” He almost yells. It was a bad idea, to come and see her. She’s terrible and Magnus should have known that it’s pointless to make her realize her wrongs.

“I’m just trying to show you,” She starts, her voice firm. “that he’s not good enough for you. That you deserve much better than-“

That’s enough.

“You don’t get to tell me who or what is right for me!” He states, as his blood is starting to boil. “Stay away from me. And especially, stay away from Alec. If I’ll ever hear that you even dared to stand too close to him, I swear to God I won’t vouch for myself.”

Camille just shakes her head amusingly at him, and he’s done. He turns on his heels and begins to walk away, but then she speaks again.

“You know he doesn’t love you, right?” She asks bitterly. “He never could. No one could.”

He doesn’t turn to face her, just keeps walking away, gritting his teeth. It’s been too many times he let her mess with his head. He won’t get fooled for her lies.

“I would rather him tell me this.” He shouts back as an answer and doesn’t hear anything back from Camille, maybe too far away to do so, or she doesn’t come up with anything to say.

This whole conversation just made him too riled up again. He can’t speak to Alec like that. He needs to let go of some of the tension. He really hopes Catarina is done with her work for the rest of the night.

 

They meet up at The Hunter’s Moon, and Magnus is already half-way through his second glass of whiskey when she arrives, to his surprise along with Ragnor, both of them already looking concerned.

“Did you tell her?” Magnus glares at his friends as they go to sit down at the bar next to him.

“A bit.” Cat admits and Magnus laughs hollowly at that. “You know he’s just worried about you.”

“Yeah, for a therapist you’re quite eager to spill details about your patients’ problems.” He speaks more jokingly and they smile, even though their expressions are still quite worried .

“You’re actually not my patient…” Ragnor trails of just as Magnus finishes his drink and orders another one along with a margarita for Cat and another whiskey for his friend.

Then they just talk. He tells them about this attempt to make things better with Camille, or at least let her know that what she did was awful, but it didn’t really go as planned.

“I don’t know how I am supposed to stand her at work now.” He shakes his head.

“Maybe take a few days off?” Cat proposes.

“Can’t do.” Magnus rejects the suggestion immediately. “Not now. We have too much work.”

“I’m sure Raphael would understand-“ Ragnor tries.

“No.” Magnus states firmly. He can already feel the alcohol working as he finishes another drink. “I am stronger than this, and I’m not giving up so easily.”

“Of course you are.” Cat agrees, but there’s an alarmed look in her eyes as she probably notices the way her friend’s words come up a bit tangled up. “Maybe you should just slow down a bit.” She tries to pull the glass out of his hand, but he refuses to let go.

“I am perfectly fine.” Magnus assures and smiles at her.

She doesn’t reciprocate, only exchanges a concerned look with Ragnor.

But he does feel fine. He feels amazing, finally the thoughts of Camille fly out of his head, and some of his worries vanish. If he knew this way would be so effective, he would get drunk earlier.

But right now, he just plans to enjoy this feeling for as long as it lasts.

Chapter Text

Alec doesn’t really feel okay when he wakes up.

He didn’t get a lot of sleep, the thoughts of yesterday keeping him awake. But he can’t let his relationship drama overshadow everything, no matter how miserable he feels, he still has a lot of things going on, like for example today’s classes.

Groaning as he gets up of his bed, he makes his way to the kitchen, maybe some fresh coffee will clean his head and make him feel alive enough to survive the day.

As he enters the kitchen, he sees his siblings there. They’re indulged in some kind of conversation, their voices hushed but urgent and Isabelle cuts of mid-sentence as she sees Alec coming up.

“Hi.” He says as his sight sweeps over Izzy and then Jace. His sister sends him a smile, but it looks quite nervous, and Jace just looks away, finding a sudden interest in his coffee cup.

Alec eyes them curiously for a few seconds, and is about to question their odd behaviour when he sits down with them, but then Isabelle speaks.

“We made you coffee.” She says and presses a steaming mug into his palm.

“I made it.” Jace clarifies, as if reminding Izzy of her infamous cooking skills and she glares at him, but he only shrugs.

There are a few moments of silence, when Alec thinks of what to say, but again, this time his brother beats him to it.

“So, how are you?” He asks as he looks up at Alec.

“Fine.” Alec answers and takes a sip of his own coffee, the pleasant warmth starts coursing through his body.

“Good.” Isabelle says and nods to herself lightly. Alec studies her carefully, but this time it’s she, who looks away.

He’s about to ask why the hell they are acting so weird, but Jace’s long sigh stops him.

“Look, we just…” He lets out another exhale and his sight rests on Isabelle as if looking for some clues. She only shrugs, but then begins to talk.

“You just looked pretty down yesterday…” She starts carefully, and Alec still doesn’t really know what’s going on. Of course, he looked miserable as hell, but he thought that’s to be expected when you just had a fight with your boyfriend. “So we were just wondering if you, did you…” It’s her turn to pleadingly look at her brother as she makes a gesture with her hand that he clearly doesn’t get. But then Jace starts speaking.

“We were wondering if you wanted to, I mean… did you feel the urge to, the need to…”

And there’s something about the way he says the word need, that makes it click for Alec.

They’ve always struggled to talk about it. But Jace and Izzy have seen Alec’s scars, and they know his tendencies when things get worse. Did they really think that he was about to hurt himself after his fight with Magnus? Was it that bad? Did he look that miserable, that bad?

“No.” Alec shakes his head, putting an end to the torment that was his siblings trying to approach this topic gently. “No, I didn’t feel the need to.”

He can hear them both letting out relieved breaths.

“Actually, I didn’t feel the need to in a long time.”

He really hasn’t. Since he moved out and he didn’t need to listen to his father’s insulating comments every day, it’s been better. He’s been clean for almost a year or something like that. It’s probably a good reason to be proud of himself, but he knows there is still a long way. He has these thoughts sometimes, but always manages to somehow pull through.

“That’s great.” Isabelle says, her smile more genuine now. “I just… we were worried-“

“I’m alright, Iz.” Alec assures again and smiles at her sister. “But thank you, for you know, yesterday and everything…” He trails off.

Isabelle just waves her hand dismissively.

“I’m always here.” She states simply. “We both are.” She adds, receiving a nod from Jace.

He hates that he made them so worried. That’s why he used to hide all of his troubles, because he didn’t want to see the distressed expression on his siblings' faces. He knows that they’re there for him, just as he’s here for them, but still, he can’t quite break it in himself to burden them with his worries. It’s just hard for him, even though he wishes it was different.

Izzy moves to squeeze his hand, as if confirming her words, that she’s here, not going anywhere and always ready to listen. Jace joins shortly and claps Alec on the shoulder lightly. He smiles at them to reassure, because right now, he almost forgets about everything. Just entirely grateful that these incredible people are there for him.

 

Lydia notices that something is wrong right as she sees him. So he tells her, not a very detailed version, but it’s enough to make her understand. She offers words of reassurance and a hug, that makes Alec feel a bit better, but still, he’s not quite okay and doesn’t think he will be, unless he talks to Magnus again.

He thinks of calling, but he did say for Magnus to call him. He doesn’t want to push, but this situation is just so confusing and he wants to know. If this whole Camille somehow hurt Magnus in the past… He just needs to know, he doesn’t want to come up with any more dark scenarios. He just needs the truth. But he’s willing to give Magnus more time if he needs it. The unawareness kills him, but he’s been stupid enough to push yesterday.

He shouldn’t have reacted like that. Shouldn’t have assumed that the trust he holds for Magnus is mutual. He really thought that if they talked a lot, like they do, then the trust would just somehow build itself. He felt it. That’s why he began to open up, and thought he gave Magnus chances to do so too, but maybe he was wrong.

They’re currently sitting at the campus with Lydia, when he gets startled by the sound of his phone. He quickly pulls it out, thinking that maybe Magnus decided that he’s ready to say something more, but he sees a total different id of the caller.

“Hello.” He picks up and hears and woman’s voice at the end of the line.

“Hi, Alec.” Doctor Penhallow starts.

She rarely calls him, so he knows it must be something serious with his brother. She’s a lovely woman, very good at her job. One of the best oncologists in the whole city and she takes good care of Max. But still, Alec can’t help but feel tensed as he hears her voice.

“Is everything okay with Max?” He asks immediately, and the woman doesn’t stall to reply.

“Everything is fine.” She reassures quickly and Alec lets out a relieved breathe. “I’m actually calling with another matter, concerning your brother of course.”

“What is it?”

“We received some news from a pharmaceutics company in San Francisco.” Doctor Penhallow begins. “They’re realising a new medication for patients like your brother. It’s a brand new treatment. It’s been tested by a few, and the results are promising, but still not all of the tests have been run yet. But I have a fair conviction that it might work on your brother. At least help with reducing some symptoms. If you’re free today, you could come to the hospital and we can discuss this whole thing, bring your siblings too. Of course, I already informed your parents, but I thought you’d like to know too.”

“Yeah, uh, thank you, so much for letting me know.” He does appreciate it. She could just inform his parents, since they’re Max’s legal guardians, but Alec made sure he’s in the hospital's contact data base too, because he was scared his parents would conceal some information from him. “I’ll talk to my siblings. What time should we come?”

“Around 6pm would be okay.” Dr Penhallow informs. “My shift ends then, and I can find some time to speak with you and explain everything.”

“Okay, I’ll be there.” Alec agrees simply. “Thank you again.”

“It’s no problem.” The woman assures. “I’ll see you at 6.”

They quickly exchange goodbyes and then he hangs up, releasing a heavy sigh.

“Everything okay?” Lydia asks, gently resting a hand on his shoulder.

“Yeah, it was Doctor Penhallow.” He tells her. “Something about some new medication for Max, she wants to talk about it.”

Lydia smiles at him reassuringly and creases his arm delicately. He’s not too eager for the possible encounter with his parents today, but it’s for Max’s sake, and he’ll do everything when it comes to his brother, so he tries not to let it get to his head too much. He’s got other things to worry about too.

 

He’s thankful that Jace let him take the car today, so right after classes he drives to the hospital. Jace has too much work to get out now, and Izzy’s currently writing an important exam, so they won’t make it today, but Alec promised to inform them about everything. He’s a bit early, so decides to go visit his brother, heading straight to his room. He sees Max lying down on his bed, like he is asleep, so he sits down and runs his hand gently through his hair, the touch so soft it doesn’t even make Max stir.

Alec just looks down on his baby brother and sighs. He really wishes to do something more. To erase at least some part of his pain. He would immediately take it all on himself, if he only had a chance.

He’s still combing his fingers thorough his brother’s hair, and after a moment, Max opens his eyes.

“Hi, buddy.” Alec smiles at him and Max winces a bit as he tries to move. “Shh, it’s okay.”

He helps him turn fully on his back, hiding his worry behind a smile. He really hates to see him so distressed.

He doesn’t ask how he’s doing, he knows Max would probably lie anyway and tell him that he’s fine.

“What are you doing here?” Max asks as he rubs sleepily at his eyes.

“I just had some time, thought I’d drop by.” Alec answers with a casual shrug. “What do you want to do? We can play some video games, read, or go-“

“I think I just want to lie down for now.” Max interrupts weakly. “If that’s okay.”

“Of course. Whatever you want.” Alec smiles lightly, his hand still in his brother’s hair.

Max closes his eyes and relaxes a bit into his touch. They stay silent for a little while, until Max starts.

“How’s Magnus?”

He’s always interested in what’s going on in Alec’s life. Especially his relationship with Magnus. But as Alec doesn’t answer for a bit, he cracks one eye open and stares at him.

“He’s fine.” Alec finally manages to answer, but fails to smile.

“What’s wrong?” Max questions.

“Nothing for you to worry about.” Alec replies in a soothing tone.

And Max must be really tired, because he just sighs and doesn’t drill into this, which both fills Alec with relief and sadness.

“You can sleep if you’d like.” Alec adds in a lower tone, when he notices that it’s getting hard for Max to stay awake.

“Sorry. You came all the way here and I just-“ Max starts, but Alec shakes his head and interrupts gently.

“Hey, don’t ever apologize for that, okay?” He speaks firmly. “Get some rest, alright?”

Max nods and closes his eyes again.

“Thank you, big brother.” He says in almost a whisper, but enough for Alec to hear. “Love you.”

“Love you too.” Alec leans in and kisses his forehead, lingering against his skin for a bit, until Max’s breath evens out, and he’s sure he’s asleep.

He takes one last look on his baby brother, sighs heavily and leaves the room. There, he immediately spots his parents and goes to join them.

“Hey,” He greets and them both turn to him, Maryse’s expression morphing into a soft smile, Robert’s glare remaining on his features. “Max has just fallen asleep if you wanted to see him, so maybe you could do it after we talk to Doctor Penhallow.”

“Sure, we should let him rest.” Maryse agrees and moves to hug Alec now. “Hi son.” She whispers as she embraces him. Alec smiles at her lightly when they part.

Robert stands next to her all the time, but doesn’t make any move towards Alec, which he’s actually grateful for. He’s already lost all the hope for mending the relation between him and his father.

But it’s been better with Maryse. They spoke a few times, not only about school or work, but also about their feelings regarding Max’s situation. They all want what’s best for him. And Alec is really thankful that this whole fixing things is not one sided. That they both try. Something like this could never happen with his father.

“Hello Mrs and Mr Lightwood.” Doctor Penhallow appears in front of him as she leaves her office to greet them. “Alec.” She nods at him and smiles.

They all move to the office listening carefully as Doctor Penhallow explains how the medication actually works. It’s still in the testing phase, but based on Max’s tests results, it might help with some symptoms, such as the exhaustion. Dr Penhallow answer their questions, listens to their concerns and tries to decrease them.

“It’s your decision.” She says at the end. “I know it might sound risky, so I’m not pushing. Take a few days to think this through and let me know the decision later.” She flashes them one last smile as they move to leave the office.

“So, what do you think?” Maryse prompts as they start to walk to Max’s room. “Do you think we should do it?”

“It’s not his decision to make, Marsye.” Robert cuts in and glares a his son. “I don’t even know why you’re asking for his opinion.”

“Robert,” Maryse scolds. “this is a family matter and Alec as well as the rest of our children has a right to be part of this, or at least express his opinions and concerns.”

“Whatever you say.” Robert replies bitterly as he eyes Alec up and down. “But it’s not like his opinion will be considered.”

Alec chooses to ignore it, because he’s used to this, but still, every single one of his father’s words hurts. Only the tone he uses when he speaks to Alec is painful.

“I’m sorry-“ Maryse starts as Robert starts to walk away to Max’s room, but Alec just waves his hand dismissively, and his mom stops and shakes her head a little to regain some of the composure. “So what do you think?’

“I think it’s worth a shot.” Alec admits. “Let’s be honest, Max isn’t getting any better now and it might be a chance to ease at least some of his pain.”

Maryse nods lightly and rests her hand on Alec’s shoulder lightly.

“But we should also speak with Izzy and Jace.” He adds.

“Of course.” His mom admits immediately. “I should go check on Max.” She gestures towards the room and Alec nods, smiling softly. “Take care, Alec.” She hugs him tightly and Alec hugs her back.

“Bye, mom.” He says as he backs out and catches his mom smile.

 

He takes a minute to breathe as he gets in the car again. There’s so many thoughts on his mind right now, but one begins to rage so much that he can’t supress it anymore.

He misses Magnus. So much.

His company, his reassurances, his support. It might be selfish, but Alec needs it right now. His arms are his shelter and he wants nothing more than to hide in them now and avoid everything else, stop the thoughts from raging. Even if he’s mad at him at some point, he forgets it now.

Without really knowing how, he finds himself driving to his place. He knows he should call, or wait for him to call, but he can’t stand it. Too many things are wrong now, and he needs to fix at least some of them. He’s gonna start with Magnus.

Quickly getting to his apartment building, he hesitates, but soon knocks on the door and waits.

As there’s no answer he tries again, more firmly, but still, there’s nothing, so he pulls out his phone and dials his number.

He waits a few signals and then when it goes to voice mail, he decides to leave a message.

“Hi, Magnus. I… I want to talk to you. So if you’re home, could you please let me in? I’m at your door.”

Waiting another few minutes he starts pacing the hallway, anticipating any sort of reply. He calls another time, and one more, but there's still no response. 

Maybe Magnus is still at work? It’s pretty late, but if he got caught up in his work he might still be there. But as he’s not answering his phone, Alec decides to choose another number now.

“Hi, Dot.” He greets as the woman’s voice sounds from another line. “Is Magnus still at work?”

“Hi, Alec. I wouldn’t know, since I’m not there anymore, but he hasn’t been at work at all today, so I don’t think so.” She replies, sounding quite worried.

“He wasn’t at work?” Alec inquires, because there’s some weird tense feeling building up in his stomach as he listens to his friend’s concerned tone.

“No.” Dot confirms again. “He called in sick, and he rarely does that. I was actually going to call you too. Did something happen? Is everything okay between you two?” She questions.

Alec stays silent for a while, a his brain goes short circuit, but then he remembers that Dot is still waiting for a reply.

“Look, Dot I gotta go now. Bye.” He says quickly and hangs up, not waiting for any other words.

He dials his number again, and as it switches to voicemail once more, he can hear his voice more urgent as he speaks.

“Magnus, please, can we just talk? I’m sorry for how I reacted yesterday, I was… Just let me know where you are.”

He waits again, but nothing happens. Maybe Magnus is in some sort of meeting and he can’t pick up his phone, so Alec changes techniques and chooses to text him.

Message sent: Magnus

Please call me back as soon as you can.

Magnus, where are you?

Just let me know you’re okay, alright?

Please, I’m getting worried.

His breathing comes out in short pants as he receives no answer to any of his way to communicate with his boyfriend. He runs a nervous hand through his hair as he tries to think of anything more he can do. Where should he look for him? He ponders and comes up empty, his whole brain is starting to get overcome by dark scenarios, and if anything happened to Magnus because of their fight yesterday, Alec’s not gonna be able to forgive himself.

He gets pulled out of his consuming thoughts by the sound of his phone, and he lets out a relieved breath as he answers immediately.

“Magnus, thank God.” He says, unable to hide the relief in his tone. But the feeling quickly disappears when he doesn’t hear his boyfriend’s voice at the other line.

“Hi, Alec.” A woman’s voice starts. “It’s Catarina.”

And Alec thoughts might be racing, but he quickly connects the dots. Catarina. Magnus’ friend. A nurse at the hospital.

The hospital.

“Is Magnus okay?” He asks, panic clearly audible in his tone.

“Yeah, he’s fine.” Catarina answers and Alec feels some of the tension slide. “I mean, he’s totally drunk and to be honest I’m not sure what to do.”

“What?” Alec questions confused.

“We tried to get him home, ordered a cab, but he refused to leave.” She sighs. “We drank ourselves so we can’t get him home, I-“

“Where are you?” Alec asks then.

“The Hunter’s Moon.” She replies.

“Okay, keep him in there. I’ll come and get him.” He resorts and already moves to get out of the building.

“Alec, I don’t know-“ Catarina tries, but he just cuts her off.

“Just keep an eye on him, okay? I’ll be there soon.”

“Alright.” He hears her let out a long sigh. “Thank you.”

He hangs up and speeds to his car.

 

He doesn’t know why he’s driving so fast. Magnus is safe, he’s okay, just drunk and with his friends, so nothing bad is actually going to happen. But he can’t stomach the idea, that it’s all because of him. If they didn’t fight, if Alec hadn’t accused him of the lack of trust, Magnus wouldn’t have a reason to go and get so stoned that he’s probably half unaware of what’s going on.

Swiftly finding some parking spot he switches off the car and quickly enters the bar, looking around and soon enough spotting his boyfriend.

He’s seated at the table with Catarina, who’s trying to plunge a glass out of his hand, but he doesn’t let her. At Magnus’ right there’s a man who’s looking like he’s trying to talk some sense into him and-

Shit.

That man, Alec realises, is Mr Fell.

How funny that his boyfriend is friends with his therapist and that he needed to get drunk in his company tonight. He’s had his suspicions, and now they’re just confirming. But does Magnus know he sees a therapist? He’s pretty sure Mr Fell can’t walk around and just spill the list of his patients, but it’s… confusing. He hasn’t told Magnus yet, because he still doesn’t feel quite alright with needing this kind of help, but what if Magnus knew all along…

There’s nowhere to run, and Alec’s not planning to, but it’s gonna be so weird.

He comes up closer to the table and as Catarina seems to notice him, her expression transforms from annoyance into a softer one.

“Alec, thanks for coming-“ She starts, but then Mr Fell, Ragnor if Alec recalls correctly, speaks to her in a low whisper, but still it’s enough for Alec to hear.

“You called him?” His voice is not really mad, more like surprised and a little panicked.

“Alexander…”

Alec forgets about their little conversation as Magnus’ voice rings in his ears. God, he missed the way he says his name.

“Hi.”

Magnus moves, glass already forgotten almost dropping to the floor if not Ragnor’s quick reflex in catching it. He stumbles, almost falling over two times as he circles the table, waving of Catarina’s stretched out in help hand, basically falling into Alec’s arms as he steadies him with one around his waist.

“You came.” Magnus stares at him with wide eyes and Alec gets lost in a moment. “Let’s have a drink together.”

“Magnus, I think you’ve had enough drinks.” Alec tries, but Magnus turns in his arms and attempts to reach the table again.

“Nonsense, I’m perfectly fine.” He begins as he stretches out to get his glass again, but Ragnor swiftly pulls it out of his reach, which makes him glare at his friend. “Besides, you hate me anyway, so let’s at least end this on a pleasant term.”

“Magnus, I don’t hate you.” Alec says immediately. He knows it’s the alcohol talking, but even the thought of Magnus thinking that he hates him… He’s never wanted for him to feel like this.

Alec shakes his head, regaining his composure and he drags Magnus back from the table, placing his arm around his waist again, as he turns him around to make him look at him.

“We’re going home, Magnus.” He states firmly.

“I don’t want to go home. I want a drink.” Magnus mumbles and Alec lets out an annoyed sigh. He really hates dealing with drunk people.

“No more drinks tonight.” He says and shakes his head. “Come on.” He throws one of Magnus’ arms over his shoulder and takes another step.

But as Magnus starts to lean on him fully, Alec finds it kind of hard to move, and it’s him who begins to stumble now.

“I’ll help.” He hears Ragnor’s voice and a moment later the weight his being lifted of his shoulders, as Ragnor places the other of Magnus’ arm around his shoulders, and they begin to drag him out of this place.

Alec turns to Catarina, throwing her one last reassuring smile, as she mouths a ‘thank you’ at him.

The walk in silence, only Magnus' murmurs breaking it once in a while. It’s way easier to move with Ragnor’s help, but still Magnus is a dead weight and Alec wishes he parked his car closer.

But somehow, they finally reach it. Alec manages to open the passenger’s door and he sits Magnus there, gently manoeuvring him inside, but then he grabs tightly onto his shirt, before he gets to close the door.

“Alexander, I’m so sorry…” He mumbles. “It’s my fault, I shouldn’t-“

“Magnus, I’m not having this conversation with you while you’re drunk.” Alec resorts and Magnus resultantly nods, and lets go of his shirt, so he finally gets to close the door.

He turns to see Ragnor, watching the scene from the curb, and for a moment none of them says anything.

“Thank you for…” Alec stars and gestures at Magnus back in the car. “everything.”

“Of course.” Ragnor replies simply and there’s a moment of silence before he speaks again. “Go, take care of him now. We can talk about…” He swirls his hand in the air, as if lack of any words to describe this whole situation. “everything, later.”

Alec nods and is about to circle the car, but then Ragnor speaks again.

“He kept talking about you.” He lets out a quite chuckle. “Mumbling, should I say.”

Alec finds himself smiling lightly. He wishes he could see it himself, his boyfriend’s drunk escapades.

“Only good things, I hope.” He replies jokingly and Ragnor laughs.

“The bests.”

They both share a smile before Alec climbs into a car.

Magnus looks like he’s asleep already, so Alec reaches and fastens his seatbelt, but then his boyfriend is grabbing his hand in his own.

“You came for me.” He murmurs, basically half asleep.

“Of course I did.” Alec answers softly, giving his hand a little squeeze. How could he be mad at him when Magnus is begin so cute?

“My hero.” Magnus speaks again, and places a wet kiss to Alec’s palm.

Alec sighs, but then withdraws his hand and begins to drive.

“I’m tired.” Magnus mutters after a while.

“Then sleep.” Alec reaches out and runs his hand through his boyfriend’s hair lightly. “I’ll wake you, when we’ll get home.”

In the corner of his eye, he can see Magnus nod, and he’s sure that he’s asleep, but then he hears him again.

“I don’t deserve you.” His voice is low, barley a whisper, and before Alec gets to answer, he resolves how he’s breathing has evened out and that now he’s definitely asleep.

So he focuses back on the road, glancing at the passenger’s seat every now and then, just to see Magnus peaceful in his sleep.

 

Shortly, they’re finally reaching the loft, and as he parks the car, he turns to Magnus and squeezes his shoulder gently.

“Babe, we’re home.” He says in a lower tone.

“Mhm.” Magnus murmurs again, and Alec sighs. He moves to get out of the car and goes to open the door at the other side, reaching for his boyfriend.

“Come on, you’ll be asleep in your own bed in a few minutes.” He offers and Magnus pulls out his arms to him, and somehow he manages to manhandle him out of the car. Magnus is still leaning on him heavily, but he somehow stumbles to the apartment building, taking the lift upstairs and finally they get to the front door.

Alec searches Magnus’ coat pockets and finds the keys, placing them into the lock and opening the door, heading straight for the couch and gently lowering Magnus on the furniture.

He takes a second to breathe, the exhaustion settling on him as he moves to close the door and drops the keys to the cabinet next to them.

“Magnus, come on-“ He stars as he re-enters the living room, but only to find his boyfriend asleep on the couch, letting out this cute little snores at times.

Alec sighs heavily, but he can admit he finds this view a bit endearing.

With nothing else to do, he moves to the couch, strips Magnus out of his coat and shoes, and reaches for the blanket draped at the back of the couch to cover his boyfriends’ form with.

He kneels in from of the couch, looking at Magnus’ peaceful face, brushing some hair out of his forehead and leaning in to kiss it softly. Magnus smells like whiskey and his sandalwood cologne, and Alec finds this smell more than familiar now.

And as he looks at him, he doesn’t really have a heart to leave him now. He looks so small, vulnerable, that all Alec wants to do is put his arms around him and hide him from all the dangers of this world, protect him from all of the people who ever caused him harm.

He doesn’t want to move to the bedroom, because it would be totally weird if he slept in his boyfriend’s bed with him on the couch. So he stays here, in front of the couch, he settles himself on the floor and observes his boyfriend, forgetting al of their worries and troubles now, being reminded once more how much he missed him.

Chapter Text

Magnus groans as he wakes up, not daring to open his eyes yet. His head hurts like hell and he winces as his eyes flutter open, already blinded by the sunlight. He has no idea what time is it, or if he should already be at work, but he doesn’t really care. He should call Alec, and finally talk to him, but not when he’s in such state-

But as he sits up on the couch and his eyes finally adjust to the light, he sees his boyfriend by the balcony doors, turning around to face him as Magnus lets another groan.

And that’s when memories of last night hit Magnus’ mind.

He got stoned after his attempt to talk to Camille. Fuck, he was supposed to talk to Alec and instead he got drunk. He vaguely remembers what happened at the bar, can recall Cat and Ragnor trying to make him slow down, but he didn’t listen, and then he remembers Alexander showing up…

After they got into his car, Magnus can’t really place the road back home. He can’t even make out why did Alec come and get him, but he is thankful for that. But hell, he’s a grown ass man and he can’t even take care of himself. What will Alec think of him now?

“Hi.” Alec’s soft voice rings in his ears. It’s only a little louder than a whisper, but Magnus’ head bangs at even the slightest sound. Before he gets to reply anything, Alec is moving to sit down on the couch next to him and he hands him a glass of water with two pills of aspirin. “I found it in one of the kitchen cabinets, I hope you don’t mind I-“

Magnus only waves his hand dismissively and takes the glass with a grateful nod. He swallows the pills and drinks almost the whole thing, and that’s when a realization occurs to him.

It’s morning and Alec is still here, which means he probably stayed the night.

“Did you stay here the whole night?” Magnus asks to makes sure and Alec ducks his head but nods in answer, and Magnus hates himself even more.

“Yeah, sorry, but I just-“ Alec tries, but Magnus interrupts swiftly.

“Where did you sleep?”

Alec shrugs in answer, lightly pointing at the armchair at the other side of the coffee table, and Magnus lets out a long sight.

“You could have used the bedroom.” He mumbles.

“That would be weird.” Alec answers and shakes his head a bit, to which Magnus sends him a confused glare, but he only shrugs, lips forming into a thin line.

And Magnus is so mad at himself. It wasn’t supposed to be like this. Maybe it’s not a big deal, but when he imagined Alec spending the night at the loft for the first time, it was always them together. Falling asleep and the couch, watching another terrible movie that is just an excuse to snuggle close to each other and cuddle. Or them in the bedroom, legs intertwined under the covers, Alec's head resting on his chest or in the crook of his neck. Magnus definitely hasn’t imagine that, him stoned on the couch, when Alec spends the night in that uncomfortable armchair, probably sleeping less than more.

“I’m sorry.” Magnus shakes his head and hides it in his hands letting out another sigh.

“It’s okay.” Alec says simply. “I just didn’t want to leave you. And it wasn’t that bad-“

“No, Alec. I’m sorry about everything.” He cuts in and looks back at his boyfriend. Alec eyes him curiously, but then lets his gaze drop when he speaks again.

“Do you remember everything from last night?” He asks.

“Most of it.” Magnus admits. “I kinda lost it when we got to your car.”

Alec nods lightly and then Magnus is hit with a wave of panic again.

“Did I say something… God, Alec I’m sure I didn’t mean it, I was drunk as hell-“ He tries, but Alec only shakes his head.

“No, no you weren’t actually speaking a lot.” He replies.

Okay, one embarrassment is of the list, Magnus concedes to himself mentally.

But still, he’s so freaking mad at himself. To get himself to such state that not only Alec needed to drag him out of the bar, but also Ragnor-

Fuck, Ragnor.

He and Alec must have spoken and God, he probably made it so weird for them.

“Magnus,” Alec’s voice pulls him out of his thoughts and he looks up at his boyfriend, seeing him biting his lip nervously. “did you… was it because of me that you got drunk? Because of our talk?”

Magnus looks at him for a few seconds, because fuck, he can see the guilt written on his face, and  none of this is his fault, so Magnus can’t stand it.

He remembers his talk with Ragnor and hell, he’s so done with pretending, hiding and lying to the man he loves, he needs to explain.

“No.” He starts and takes a deep breath. “It’s not your fault.” He can hear Alec let out a relieved exhale. “I went to see Camille yesterday.” He admits, but doesn’t look up at Alec.

“Why?”

Magnus resist an urge to snort.

“Because of what she did.” He says. “She had no right to tell you all of these lies.”

He knows Alec didn’t believe it and it makes something warm bloom into Magnus’ chest. That someone like Alec knows him so well, that he knows all of those lies were fake as hell. He really wishes he said something more to Alec that night, but he felt paralyzed. The memories of Camille, his mom all coming back and he felt incredibly exposed, and totally not ready for it.

But he thinks he is now.

“Magnus, I’m sorry.” Alec speaks before he gets to say anything. “I shouldn’t have pushed, shouldn’t have assumed that the trust we hold for each other is mutual, and if you need more time to trust me fully I… I really shouldn’t have reacted like that-“

Magnus can’t have this.

How can Alec blame himself for this? It’s him who messed up, even if he didn’t trust him like Alec does, then he should have said something, anything to reassures him that it isn’t complete lack of trust. Because he does trust him, but not with this, because he doesn’t trust himself with this.

“Alec, stop.” He says quietly as Alec keeps rumbling. “It’s not your fault, it’s mine. I should have said something more. Because it’s not that I don’t trust you.” He decides to lay it all out. If not now, then when. “I just don’t trust myself with this. With everything that happened with Camille…”

“I don’t understand.” Alec resorts and Magnus sighs again.

He knows it’s gonna be hard, to say it all, but… no one has ever shown such a care for him as Alec does. And he’s terrified of losing him, that all that he’s done in the past will make Alexander leave, but he knows they can’t build their relationship on hiding and lies. And Alec is doing great at this part. It’s Magnus who’s the problem.

So taking another breath, he starts. From the very beginning.

“I moved here with my mom, during the last year of high school.” He begins and can’t express how grateful he is, when Alec reaches with his hand to lace their fingers together. It’s actually the first time they touched in what seems like forever and even thought Magnus still feels tensed and nervous, something inside of him relaxes. “We didn’t have a stable situation back in Indonesia, so she thought she could give me a better life here. But still, it was hard, and she didn’t really feel good here. Opposite to me. So when high school finished, and I got a scholarship to study chemistry at Columbia, we decided that she will go back home, to the life she knew, and I will stay and go to college, like I 've always wanted to. I wish I could stop her, and keep her with me, but… we both thought it would be better.” He resorts, but feels the lump forming in his throat. “And I loved it here. I met so many amazing friends in college, passed the first year with flying colours and then came a sophomore year.” He pauses, bracing himself for the next words. “That’s when I met Camille.”

He doesn’t dare to look at Alec, not yet. “She was the one who everyone wanted. Beautiful, strong, fearless… And she chose me. Of all of the people she could, she chose me. And it was great. We worked so good together… I only wished for my friends to like her more, but they always said something was off about her.” He chuckles hollowly. “And of course they were right. Soon it all started to get ugly. Camille dragged me into a wrong crowd. We ended up at a party almost every night, getting drunk or high… I… I had quite a problem with that, with drugs I mean… if it wasn’t for my friends, who I have no idea why the hell stuck with me when I treated them so badly, I probably wouldn’t be able to get out of that. I can’t be more thankful for them, even when I stood them up so many times for Camille, they were still there for me.” Alec’s hold on his hand tightens a bit, and Magnus can see him smiling sadly at him in the corner of his eye. “But yeah… me and Camille, she tried to control my every move. And I let her. I couldn’t say no to her, I agreed to everything she wanted to try… I was so stupid.” He shakes his head. “It turned out she cheated on me. Repeatedly, but still, somehow I couldn’t leave her, because every time she told me she loved me, I believed her. She kept saying no one will ever want me, and she was right. I was such a mess… We kept partying, only that seemed to matter. We were both failing our last year. I forgot everything around me when I was with her. Nothing else mattered and,” He takes another deep breathe before speaking, tears making their way to his eyes and he desperately tries to suppress them. “and that’s when I found out about my mom.”

Alec ducks his head and tries to make eye contact, but Magnus swiftly avoids it.

“One day I got a letter.” He continues. “It was from a hospital, back in Indonesia. They said that my mom has been accepted to the hospital and they’ve done some test regarding her health condition… Turned out she had lungs cancer and it was in a serious stage. I didn’t even know she was sick, that she felt bad, I didn’t contact her for such a long time, because of Camille consuming all of my time and maybe if I did-“ He can’t stop the sob that escapes his throat. “Maybe if I did notice something  earlier I could save her.”

“Magnus…” Alec starts carefully, but regardless that, Magnus continues.

“I messed everything up. My mom let me stay in New York because she wanted a better life for me, and I ruined it. I let her down, and while I was having a fucking time of my life partying, she was back home suffering, and I didn’t give a damn about that.” He pauses for a moment to compose himself. “But I got a grip. If not Dot, Raphael and Ragnor I wouldn’t, but I did. I got my mom back in New York, where she had better care and they could offer her treatment. I cut off Camille, focused on studying so I could make my mom proud. I read all of her letters I missed during my time with Camille, and she never really mention anything about her illness. She probably didn't want to worry me, but it not like I’d ever asked how she was doing. I barely even wrote back.” He exhales heavily again. “Do you remember when I told you, that I became a volunteer because I wanted to help people?” Alec nods, but Magnus still isn’t really looking at him. “It wasn’t entirely true. I met Luke at the hospital, when I was visiting my mom almost every day. He was already planning to start Idris then. He actually helped me a lot during the time when my mom was sick. And when she died… I thought that by volunteering at the same place when she was might help me redeem myself, that I could somehow make up for the time when I wasn’t there for her, but it was foolish… It’s all my fault, because I didn’t care enough, I let her die, because I was consumed by my worthless relationship. I didn’t get to make her proud… I let her down, so much.”

And then he breaks. He’s crying, exposed right here, on his couch, clutching onto Alec’s hand like it was the only thing keeping him in the real world. He doesn’t even realize it at first, but suddenly he’s in Alec’s embrace, as his boyfriend keeps murmuring reassurances into his hair.

“I’m so sorry, baby.” Alec keeps whispering, holding him tightly. “I’m sorry.”

“It’s all my fault. How could I just leave her like this-“

“Magnus, it isn’t your fault-“ Alec tries, but Magnus shakes his head, more tears flowing down his cheeks.

“It is.” He pulls back, but Alec doesn’t let him get away too much.

“No, it’s not.” Alec speaks firmly. “She clearly didn’t want you to know. She didn’t mention it in any letter. But even when you found out, you did all you could to save her.”

“But it wasn’t enough.” Magnus sobs.

“But it was all you could do.” Alec whispers, his eyes now glistening too. “And I am sure she was proud of you, she has such an amazing son-“

“I let her down, Alec.” Magnus cuts in sharply.

“You made a mistake.” Alec resorts. “A terrible one, but you tried to fix it. You did everything to fix it. And I’m sure she loved you deeply. You can’t blame it all on yourself, baby.”

“I can. I didn’t care enough-“

“You did. You just got lost.” Alec tries and hugs him again.

How can Alec not see it? How can he not see the terrible person he was? He lost sight of what matters in life, wasted so much time on Camille, and she didn’t even love him. It was never worth it, no matter how great life would feel sometimes with Camille, it was never worth it.

“I can’t forgive myself for that.” Magnus admits as he buries his head into Alec’s chest. “I feel so ashamed of all the things I did with Camille. But she was right.” He laughs hollowly. “When she said I’m nothing without her, that no one will love me. That’s why I let her come back, so many times, even after everything. She always pretended to love me, just when I needed someone to tell me that, and I guess that was enough. We always somehow ended up together, then broke up again. And it was going on and on, and on. It was only a year ago, when I ended it for good.”

He remembers the talk he had with Ragnor then. How he’s burning himself up with her, how scared he is that no one will love him, that he’s afraid of even trying and finding luck with someone else. And when his friend mentioned that this isn’t a life, that his mother would want for him, something snapped in Magnus, because he was right. Even after her death, he kept letting her down. And he couldn’t stand it. So he got a grip, ended this whole thing, and he never felt more free than then.

“And after that.” Magnus continues and Alec just keeps listening patiently. “I couldn’t really hold a relationship. When I told you I haven’t been with anyone for about a year, it wasn’t because I hadn’t find anyone, I wasn’t even looking. I thought it’s pointless, after all the effort I put into my relationship with Camille, it just wasn’t worth it-“

“Magnus-“ Alec tries to interrupts, but he keeps rumbling.

“Because what was the point, right? When no one would ever love me back, when I just keep messing up, when I can’t trust and demand for others to trust me, even with you, I messed up so much-“

“Magnus, I love you.”

When the words leave Alec’s mouth, Magnus completely freezes. He stares at his boyfriend, mouth slightly open, but nothing comes out. Alec snuggles even closer to him, and cups his face gently, when he speaks again.

“I love you.” He repeats slowly. “And I can’t just sit here, and listen to you rumbling about how no one will ever love you, because I’m here. And I love you, so much. No matter what you did in the past, I know you. The real you, and you’re the kind, selfless, caring man I fell in love with. I don’t care, about who you were, I care about who you are now. Because you were able to change, to get a grip and it requires so much courage to do that. So, I love you, Magnus Bane, and I’m not going anywhere. No matter what happens, we will figure it out, together.”

Alec looks him deep in the eye, and Magnus can notice a certain fear in them, that maybe he said too much. And Magnus wants it gone, now.

“You didn’t let me finish.” He starts as he curls his fingers around Alec’s wrists. His boyfriend sends him a confused glare, but he just smiles softly at him. “It was never worth it, until you came along.” Alec relaxes a bit as he speaks further. “You are the first person, who actually made me feel like it might be worth it, you are special and somewhere deep down I’d like to believe that I knew it was pointless to build anything with anyone else, when you were waiting for me. When we were actually waiting for each other. And it could only be real with you.”

He moves even closer to Alec, and rests their foreheads together.

“I trust you.” He speaks, his voice quiet, but more than enough for Alec to hear. “And I will share everything with you. Even the darkest parts of my past, because I know you won’t judge. And I’m not going anywhere too. I love you, Alexander, and I think I have for a very long time.”

Alec’s smile is as bright as the sun, and Magnus can’t wait to cover it with his own, so he does.

And when their lips connect, Magnus realizes how horrible those days without Alec were. How something was missing in his heart, how much he feared that he messed up, and how scared he was of messing up further, if he tried to tell him everything. And now, Alec is still here. Past doesn’t matter, and they will live in the present, together, because they love each other, and it’s enough. It’s more than enough.

When they part, Alec lets his eyes stay closed, and when Magnus looks at him, it reminds him so much of that night when they first kissed.

I don’t want you to stop, Alec said then, right before Magnus put his lips on his, and Magnus doesn’t thinks he wants to stop, not ever when he has Alec by his side. He will keep moving further.

“I love you.” He repeats and Alec opens his eyes.

“I love you, too.” He gently wipes the residues of tears on Magnus' cheeks with his thumbs. 

“I’m sorry about everything, darling.” Magnus resorts, because it feels like he hasn’t said it enough yet. “You caught me off guard back then, with Camille, and I know it’s not enough of an excuse, so I’m sorry. And I hope you understand, that by telling you all this, I mean that I trust you, entirely. No matter that I might had not hold as much trust for you, as you did for me, right now I trust you more than anyone ever. I just needed a bit more time to figure it out.”

“I know, baby.” Alec speaks in his soft tone. “And I was ready to give you all the time, you would need, but I’m glad you trust me, and I do too. And thank you for telling me all this. I understand you now, and I can’t even imagine, how hard it was for you. But it’s fine now. We’re fine. Let’s just leave the past in the past.”

He's right. He can't continue to live the past, it's just gonna break him all over again. What's done is done, and he can't change it. It may still hurt, but he can get through this, when he has such an amazing love right in front of him.

Magnus agrees with a nod, and places a quick kiss to his lips again.

“And now you’re going to take a shower, while I will make us breakfast, because I can still smell the whiskey on you.” Alec resorts as he pulls back smiling.

“Shit, sorry.” Magnus shakes his head a little.

“That’s okay.” Alec leans in to kiss him on the cheek lightly.

Magnus takes his phone from the coffee table to finally check the time and he realizes it’s way past midday.

“Wait, shouldn’t you be in class?” He turns to Alec with a bit of panicked expression, but his boyfriend just shrugs.

“There are more important things than classes.” He resorts with simply.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t want to take you time-“ Magnus starts only to get cut off by Alec.

“Magnus, it’s fine.” He states. “I wanted to be here. I just wanted to be with you.”

Magnus smiles at that and Alec reciprocates.

“Shit, but I should be at work-“ Magnus frowns and Alec laughs lightly as he speaks again.

“I called Dot to tell her you won’t be in today.”

“You truly are an angel.” Magnus moves closer in an attempt to kiss him, bit Alec pulls back.

“Shower first.” He orders and Magnus rolls his eyes. “And don’t forget to brush your teeth.” He gets up from the couch and drops a kiss to the top of Magnus’ head. “I’ll help myself to the kitchen.”

Magnus shakes his head with an amused smile as he watches him go.

 

When Magnus emerges from the bathroom almost half of an hour later, he does feel a bit better. There’s still a headache, but it’s not banging, only trimming now. He quickly puts on some sweatpants and a simple t-shirt. It’s the plainest he’s ever looked while spending time with Alec, but it’s not like he cares. Not after he already exposed himself so much during their talk, not when Alec had seen him in worse state.

He quickly goes to join his boyfriend in the kitchen, smelling the aroma of bacon from the doorway. Alec stands by the stove, stirring some scrambled eggs on a pan, he doesn’t notice Magnus yet, but he decides to just take a look. As much as he hates the way Alec spent his first night at the loft, he can’t help but smile at the sight of him now. So domestic, just cooking breakfast for them. Magnus imagined it quite a lot of times, just Alexander occupying his space. He loves having him here and couldn’t be happier that he decided to stay. Magnus still feels a bit tensed from their talk earlier, because it was very hard to confess all of this to Alec, but yet again, his boyfriend surprised him in a good way. He was scared that Alec might see him totally different, through the prism of his past. A drug addict, not caring about anything but himself and a stupid relationship, but no, Alec only sees the real him, the Magnus that Magnus himself wants to be, the one that he became when he decided to cut off his old ways of living.

Finally, he decides to make his way fully into the kitchen, and wraps his arms around Alec’s waist, wanting to have him the closest he can. Alec immediately turns his head and places a soft his to his mouth.

“Much better.” He mumbles against his lips and Magnus chuckles. “I didn’t know what you’d like to eat, but I heard some greasy breakfast is the best kind of hangover cure.” Alec admits and Magnus hums lightly in answer. “Not that I’d know. Actually, I only got drunk once.”

“Oh, really?” Magnus questions, as he nuzzles into the crook of his boyfriend’s neck.

“Yeah, it was at Jace’s birthday party one year.” Alec details.

“Well, then we’ll need to fix that.” Magnus resorts and Alec laughs. “I can get you drunk at your very consent anytime you want.”

“Oh, how thoughtful of you.” Alec says and Magnus reaches to place a kiss to his cheek.

They stay in silence for a little while, still wrapped around each other as they finish preparing the breakfast.

“I missed you.” Magnus speaks after a while as he tightens his hold on Alec’s middle.

“I missed you too, babe.” Alec replies with a sigh and turns to face him. “Let’s eat.”

They move to the table, while Alec also brings two cups of freshly brewed coffee. And if Magnus ever was wondering, if his boyfriend can cook, he finally finds that the answer is yes, because the food really is delicious.

“You know what,” Magnus starts when they’re almost done with the food. “I still actually have no idea how did you find me at the Hunter’s Moon last night.” He admits, and Alec ducks his head lightly as the smile falls from his face, as if trying to hide it.

“I went to your place.” Alec starts, but still doesn’t look up. “But you weren’t answering the door. Same with my calls and texts, so I called Dot to ask if you’re still at work…” He sighs, but quickly continues. “Turned out, you weren’t, and I kinda freaked out something might have happened to you. But then Cat called me from your phone, she probably saw all of the messages… And yeah, I came and got you home.”

“Darling, I’m sorry.” Magnus reaches for his hand across the table which makes their eyes finally meet. “I didn’t want to worry you, but I just… got drunk, I had no idea you called me, I’m sorry-“

He really feels guilty. Not only he let Alec walk away that night without saying a word, but when he wanted to make things better and talk, Magnus got stoned and didn’t really acknowledge anything that was going on around him.

“It’s fine.” Alec resorts simply and smiles lightly. “I’m just glad you’re okay.”

Magnus smiles back a bit and caresses his palm delicately. None of them has mentioned Ragnor yet, and Magnus is not sure if he wants to bring it up now. This is complicated, because Alec hasn’t actually told him that he’s seeing a therapist yet, and he probably shouldn’t know. And if not Ragnor, he wouldn’t be sure. He decides to let it slide now. If Alec isn’t bringing it up, it might mean he just doesn’t want to talk about it. Magnus makes sure to talk to Ragnor about how they should handle it out, before Alec’s next session with him.

“But enough about me.” He starts then, snapping out of all of the consuming thoughts. He cuts them off for now, focuses on Alexander, because that’s what he should do. “Besides all of the drama I caused for you,” Alec looks like he wants to interrupt, but Magnus swiftly continues. “What have you been doing? How are you feeling? I feel like we haven’t talked enough about you and-”

“This isn’t about me, Magnus-“ Alec tries, and Magnus nods, but picks back up.

“I know, but I just… If you want to talk about anything… Even if you were mad at me, you can tell me. Just lay it all out… You can.”

Alec looks like he wants to say something, his face scrunched up in thoughts for a few seconds, but he decides to say nothing, as his expression relaxes a bit. There are a few more moments of silence, before he begins to speak.

“I spoke with my parents again.” He admits. “About Max. We need to decide if we want to sign him up for some new treatment.”

Magnus nods understandingly and listens as his boyfriend explains something about this new medicine his brother will probably start taking. He squeezes Alec’s hand a bit tighter, because he knows it’s hard to talk about it, but somehow, Alec manages, and Magnus is grateful he does, because he never wants him to think that he needs to hide his feelings or anything that’s on him mind while he’s with him.

After Alec’s finished talking, they just sit in silence for a while, but now it’s a comfortable one, none of the tense atmosphere from the last time they spoke at the loft. And then, Magnus decides to breaks it, after finally building up the courage to ask.

“Don’t you need to go to at least some of your classes today?” His sight drops from Alec’s face in a nervous gesture, and he starts to play with their intertwined fingers, lacing and unlacing them, but he can still see him shake his head.

“No, it’s not worth it.” Alec replies simply.

“So would you…” Magnus clear his throat and looks up at him. “would you like to stay here, or do you want to go home?”

“Do you want me to stay?” Alec asks, holding up the eye contact.

Magnus sighs. Why is it so hard for him to voice what he wants. He needs to work on that, and this might be the first step.

“I’d like that, very much.” He admits, and Alec’s face lits up. “But, if you’re busy-“

“You want me to stay, then I’m staying.” Alec states simply.

Magnus lets out a relieved breath and manages to reciprocate his smile.

 

They move to the couch, put on some movie, that’s just faintly playing in the background of their talks. Somehow they end up with Alec settled on top of Magnus, his head to his chest, and Magnus’ hands wander to his hair, running through it soothingly. He likes the way Alec relaxes when he does that.

“You like this, don’t you?” Magnus asks with a hint of amusement in his voice, and Alec rests his chin on his chest to properly look at him.

“Like what?”

“This.” Magnus runs his hand thourgh those dark locks again to clarify and Alec hums.

“Mhm.”

Magnus answers with a smile, but before he gets to say something more, there’s a knock on the door and they both look at each other with confused gazes.

“You’re expecting someone?” Alec asks as he moves to let Magnus get up, but he still lays down, letting out a long exhale, but then shaking his head. He’s not in the mood for any gusts. These past days wore him off, and he just wants to stay where he is, with Alec’s grounding weight on top of him.

“I can answer and just tell whoever it is that you’re sick, or not in the mood for any visitors.” Alec suggests and Magnus feels the smile tugging at the corners of his lips. Alec’s got quite good at reading him, but shakes his head again anyway.

“No, angel.” He replies. “I’ll be fine, I’ll just get rid of whoever it is.”

Alec still doesn’t look fully pleased, but moves completely of off him to let him get to the door, and just then, the knocking gets quite urgent.

He opens the door, expecting probably Catarina, or Ragnor asking how he is after last night, but he’s met with someone who he’d never actually thought it would be.

“How are you feeling? Are you ill?” Raphael asks as he moves past the doorway without the actually invitation, while Magnus is too surprised not to let him. “Because even if you’re ill, you don’t call in sick. And you just did. Twice.”

“Raphael-“ Magnus starts, but his boss already makes his way to the living room, but abruptly stops, when he sees Alec there.

And for the moment, all of them seem frozen. Magnus too startled to what’s happened in that short amount of time, and it’s Alec who’s the first to break of the daze.

“Hi,” He moves closer to Raphael and extends his hand in greeting. “I’m Alec.”

At that, a look of realization covers Raphael’s face, as if he’s placing a name he’s heard many times before, to a face he’s actually seeing for the first one.

“Raphael.” He answers shortly, his poker face coming back up as he shakes Alec’s hand. Then he sends a pointed look to Magnus, as if saying they should talk in private, but before Magnus gets to find his voice, it’s Alec who speaks again, probably stroked by the awkwardness of the silence and the way no one is really eager to speak.

“Maybe I’ll just…” He points to the direction of the kitchen, and all Magnus manages is a nod. Then Alec sends him on last smile on his way out.

Raphael looks after him and when he’s sure he’s not in the hearing distance, he starts, still in a lower voice.

“So you take two days off to fool around with your boyfriend?” He questions, but his tone is not teasing, and instead of letting his face soften, Magnus can see it get even more tensed.

“What?” Magnus asks, after finally registering his words, quite taken aback at first. After all those years Raphael should know how seriously he’s treating his job, and he wouldn’t just not show up if it wasn’t something serious. “Of course not! What makes you think that?”

“Well, it quite looks like it.” Raphael’s eyes trail of to the direction where Alec disappeared in the kitchen.

“It’s not the reason why I didn’t show up.” Magnus admits.

“Then, what is?”

Magnus sighs and moves to sit back down on the couch before answering.

“Camille.” He resorts.

“What did she do?” His friend moves to sit next to him, his tone way less sharp now than it was just a few seconds ago. And even if it’s still angry, Magnus can feel that it’s not targeted towards him, but towards Camille.

“She just…” Magnus lets out another exhale. He’s really not in the mood for the repetition of this conversation. He’s already done it with Ragnor. “She said some things she shouldn’t have, lies actually, and it became quite of a mess after that.”

“Did it happened at work? Can I report her for that? What did she say?” Raphael inquires.

“No, it didn’t happen in actual work, so there’s nothing you can do about it.” Magnus explains. “I just needed some time to figure it out, and I didn’t really want to see her… so I called in sick.”

It’s Raphael’s turn to let out a long breath, before he shakes his head and speaks.

“Magnus, I’m sorry.” He looks back at him now. “I shouldn’t have assumed anything. I’m just… I’m really stressed about this whole project, and not to have my best chemist on board was kind of a stress buster… But I get it, of course I do. You could just tell me the real reason. I’m sorry, it’s all my fault. I knew I should never allow this collaboration-“

“Raphael, stop.” Magnus cuts in. “It’s not your fault.” But it also isn’t mine, Magnus thinks. “It’s Camille’s. She’s the one who’s trying to ruin everything. Maybe I shouldn’t have let her get into my head-“

“Magnus, you’re right. It’s on her. And I should have never agree on this, when I knew what she did to you.”

“I told you it was fine.” Magnus recalls and his boss nods, but the guilt is still written on his face. “And it will be fine.”

“Will you be able to still work with her, after whatever she said?” Raphael questions.

It will be hard, but what else can he do? They’re way too into this to let this whole project go now. There’s still a ton of work to do, but they’re in too deep to let it loose now. And Magnus can be a professional, and after what he said to Camille, he hopes she will be too now.

“I’ll be fine.” He assures. “I’ll just try to stay as far away from her as possible.”

“And I’ll try to make sure she won’t bother you.” Raphael promises and Magnus nods at him as he clasps his hand over his shoulder. They sit in silence for another few seconds before Raphael starts again, as he gets up from the couch. “I should go. Sorry for barging in like that, by the way.”

“It’s okay.” Magnus reassures as he walks him back to the front door.

Raphael steps over the threshold and Magnus is about to close the door, but then his friend turns and says.

“Alec seems nice.”

Magnus can see a faint smile on his face as he reciprocates and nods. For Raphael, it’s a lot of approval.

When he gets back to the living room, Alec is already back there. Hands clasped tightly onto his chest as he bites his lip nervously and asks.

“That was your boss, right?” Before Magnus gets to do more than nod, Alec is already rumbling again. “He doesn’t like me. I could see it in the way he looked at me.”

“Alexander, he likes you.” Magnus reassures. “It’s just… It’s Raphael, he has that face on all the time.”

“Yeah, you’re just saying it to make me feel better.” Alec mutters.

“He told me you’re nice on his way out.” Magnus quotes his friend’s words.

“He did?”

Magnus comes closer to him, resting his hands on his boyfriend’s waist as he feels him relax into the touch a bit.

“Mhm.” He hums lightly. “You’re impossible not to like, Alexander. I know it myself.”

“Like?” Alec huffs as if offended. “I thought we established that it’s something more than liking each other…” He trails off teasingly.

“Oh, it’s much, much more,” Magnus’ smile brightens as he adds the last part. “my love.”

 

They spend the rest of the day just being lazy on the couch. Watching movies, ordering take out, and talking about all sorts of stuff. None of them notices how fast the time passes, and soon, it’s close to midnight again, when Magnus feels Alec dozing off from where he’s head is resting onto Magnus’ chest. Seems that they favoured this position today.

“Darling,” Magnus starts quietly and Alec stirs at his soft tone. “it’s getting late.”

“Yeah.” Alec replies and then attempts to get up, but Magnus is catching his forearm and stopping him, to which he sends him a confused look.

“Do you…” Magnus begins, the uncertainty climbing into his voice. “do you want to stay the night? I mean, properly. Not in an uncomfortable armchair…”

He can almost see the thoughts racing in Alec’s mind through his eyes and he’s just about to take it back, when he’s boyfriend finally speaks.

“I don’t want to make you any trouble…” He trails of, but it doesn’t sound very convincing. “Besides, I don’t have anything with me-“

“You can borrow anything you need.” Magnus declares and then after a moment adds. “You’re no trouble. I want you to stay, but if you’re really-“

“I’d love to.” Alec doesn’t let him finish as he looks up on Magnus and nods. “I’ll stay.”

“Great.” Magnus resort and can’t help the smile painting onto his face. “So we can move to the bedroom…” He suggests lightly, but doesn’t really wants his words to be interpreted wrong so then adds. "Or just stay here. Or I can stay here and you can, well no, you said it would be weird. So I can-“

“Magnus, it’s fine. We can move to the bedroom.” Alec stops his rumbling, a hint of amusement in his tone, but then it swiftly disappears when he speaks again, much more insecurely. “It’s not like we need to do anything.”

At that, Magnus cups his face and makes him look up.

“Of course not.” He makes sure he has all of Alec’s attention and only lets his gaze drop when he sees him nodding back to him. “I just want to be able to hold you. Nothing more.”

Alec nods again, and soon they get up and head to the bedroom. Magnus realizes then, that Alec hasn’t actually been in his bedroom yet. They always spend time in the living room, on the balcony or today in the kitchen, but never the bedroom.

And Alec looks kinda lost, when Magnus reaches his closet to find him something more comfortable to sleep in.

“Do you want a t-shirt to sleep in?” He asks as he scans the shelves, searching for something that might fit his boyfriend, but at the long silence he gets in answer, he looks back to Alec to find him still in the same place, observing the room. “Darling?” He prompts and it seems to get him back.

“Hm?”

“A t-shirt?” Magnus holds up the clothe he’s just found and raises his eyebrows questioningly at him.

“Yeah, sure.” Alec steps closer and takes the t-shirt with a grateful nod.

But Magnus still doesn’t like something about his expression. He feels tensed and nervous, and it’s not how Magnus wants him to feel here. He eyes him cautiously for a few more seconds, but then drops his gaze, when Alec finds a sudden interest in the t-shirt in his hand, as if it was the most interesting thing in the world.

Maybe he’ll relax once, they’ll get settled in bed? Magnus thinks. It’s been a pretty rough day for all of them.

“Do you want to…” Magnus gestures to the en-suite bathroom, but Alec shakes his head lightly.

“You go first. I’ll call Izzy I won’t be back home.”

“Alright.” Magnus agrees as he moves past him, reaching out to place a quick kiss to his cheek on his way.

He gets ready pretty fast. Changes into his silk pyjamas, leaves Alec a toothbrush on the sink and gets him a towel. Soon he emerges out of the bathroom, and sees his boyfriend sitting at the edge of the bed, phone in his hand.

“Everything okay?” He asks, to which Alec looks up and smiles lightly.

“Yeah.” He nods and gets up. “I’ll be back in a minute.” He rushes to the bathroom, and before Magnus gets to say another word, he’s already closing the door.

With a heavy sigh, Magnus moves to lay down on the bed. Something just doesn’t feel right, and he hopes he it’s not his fault, and that he didn’t somehow make Alec uncomfortable again. He means nothing wrong, and no matter how glad he is, that Alec decided to stay, he wouldn’t be mad if he didn’t. He just hopes Alexander isn’t doing it only to please him, that his isn’t forcing himself. Magnus did say he wants him to stay, but it was no order, and Alec is free to refuse any time.

Soon, he gets pulled out of his thoughts as Alec emerges back from the bathroom, wearing only the t-shirt Magnus gave him and his boxers. And then Magnus is hit with a sudden realization, that he’s never actually seen Alec so bare yet. He always wears long sleeved t-shirt or these loose jumpers he seems to favour so much. It’s not that Magnus mind, Alec has got his own style, and maybe he just runs a little cold. He probably does, because he’s hands are freezing most of the times. And it’s not like he couldn’t really see Alec’s body shape through some of the tighter shirt he wore on a few dates. Magnus is in no doubt that Alec’s build like a Greek god, and besides it isn’t what really matters.

Alec puts the rest of his clothes in the armchair near the bed and then turns to Magnus.

“Can I turn the lights off?” He asks.

“Yeah, sure.” Magnus easily agrees and then adds in a joking tone, with a smile. “Just come here already.” He opens his arms in a welcoming gesture.

Alec chuckles lightly as he turns the lights off and finally moves to join him in bed. Magnus lays on his side, and Alec mirrors the position, facing him as he gets under the covers and pulls them till they almost reach his chin.

“Sorry, I get quite cold.” He admits.

“Do you want some other thing to wear?” Magnus suggests, but Alec shakes his head, a hint of a smirk covering his face.

“I heard sharing body heat is one of the most effective ways to get warm.”

“Did you now?” Magnus asks light-heartedly.

“Come here.” Alec opens his arms and Magnus wastes no time in settling in his boyfriend’s embrace. He rests his head under Alec’s chin as he feels his arm coming around his middle. This is what he’s always imagined falling asleep with Alec would feel like. This kind of safety he feels in his arms, the steady beat of his heart underneath Magnus’ palm. He just loves to have him close. All the other thoughts get forgotten as Magnus loses himself in the sound of Alexander’s heartbeat.

“Goodnight, Magnus.” Alec speaks the words into his hair, kissing the top of his head lightly.

“Goodnight, darling.” Magnus replies and snuggles even closer to him.

This night is the best Magnus has slept since he can remember.

Chapter Text

When Alec wakes up, he feels some kind of foreign feeling rushing over him. It’s not just that he’s in totally different place, definitely not in his bed, but it’s another thing: a pair of arms locked securely around him, as if holding onto a dear life.

Alec can’t help but smile.

Somehow, they shifted during the night, and Alec can feel steady raises and falls of Magnus' chest, from where he’s pressed tightly behind him. Without untangling himself from his boyfriend’s embrace, Alec reaches for his phone on the nightstand, checking the time. It’s already 7:40am, and he’s supposed to be at the university at 9am…

The problem is, he doesn’t really want to get up. It feels nice, warm, and safe. For as long as he can remember, he considered Magnus’ arms his shelter, and today only proves it more.

But he did freak out yesterday, and he hopes Magnus didn’t notice.

He really wanted to stay the night, and agreed without even thinking this thorough. Alec’s thoughts started racing, but not because he was scared Magnus might want something more from him than just sleep, but because getting closer to Magnus meant uncovering more of himself. So when Magnus tossed him the t-shirt, he realised, what his boyfriend will be able to see.

His scars.

And he’s been really careful with hiding them from Magnus. He never actually wore anything short sleeved for their dates, or if so, he’s always kept the jacket on, so his wrist wouldn’t come out on display. He’s used to it. It’s not like he’s ashamed of his body, but the scars just… he knows people would ask, Magnus in the first place, and he doesn’t want to answer any of these questions.

They’re not big, or very outstanding, but they’re a reminder of those times, when he got the lowest, the weakest. He doesn’t want to remember it, but it’s too late now, as they’re literally curved onto his bare hands.

He doesn’t get much more time to think, as he feels Magnus stir awake behind him. He buries himself even more into Alec’s body, nuzzling his head into the crook of his neck, and placing a soft kiss there.

“Good morning, darling.” He whispers, his voice hoarse from sleep. Alec finds it one of his favourite sounds already. “How did you sleep?”

“Great.” Alec answer shortly and turns his head to look at Magnus properly. “You?”

“Amazing.” Magnus admits as he stretches out in bed. “Better than ever, actually.”

“Really?”

“Yeah, must be something calming about you, my dear.” Magnus resorts and leans in to kiss him on the cheek. “Do you know what time is it?”

“7:40.” Alec replies and Magnus groans in answer.

“As much as I’d love to stay here with you for the whole day, I need to get to work. Raphael really needs my help in there.”

Alec nods lightly, but bites his lip nervously. He doesn’t really like the thought of Magnus going back to work, where Camille is. He hates what she did to him, and how Magnus blames himself for all of the things that happened because of her. And now, she’s back in Magnus’ life, and he hates it even more. What else will she try to ruin? She already messed with their relationship…

“What is it?” Magnus asks as he moves to get out of bed, but probably notices the expression on Alec’s face.

“I just…” Alec sits up and crosses his arm across his chest. “Are you sure you want to? I mean, get back to work… where Camille is…”

“I don’t really have a choice, Alexander. It’s my job.” Magnus answers, matter of factly.

“I know.” Alec continues, trying to find the right words to voice all of his thoughts. “But after what she did… I don’t want you to feel uncomfortable and-“

“Angel,” Magnus gets closer to him and cups his face lightly. “I’ll be fine. I spoke with Raphael yesterday and he’ll try to keep her as far away from me as possible. Thank you, for worrying about me, but there’s really no point.”

Alec can’t really agree with the last statement, and opens his mouth to protest, but Magnus picks back up then.

“We’re co-workers. We need to be professional about this, and if she can’t, then I’ll tell Raphael to speak with her about this, okay?”

Magnus looks at him with those honest to God eyes and waits for Alec’s answer, only letting go of his face when he receives a nod.

“Great.” Magnus resorts and this time moves to actually get out of bed. “What time does your classes start today?” He asks on his way to the closet.

“9am.” Alec replies as he observes the graceful way his boyfriend moves.

“Perfect, I can drive you.” Magnus sends him a wink.

“But my car is still here.” Alec remembers.

“Oh, does it mean you’ll have to get back here after your classes, have dinner with me and go back home by your car in the evening?” Magnus suggests teasingly and Alec can’t help but laugh at his antics.

“I supposed there is logic in that.” He admits and moves from the bed to the armchair, where he left his clothes yesterday night, but turns as he hears Magnus exasperated sigh, and raises a quizzical eyebrow at him.

“Are you seriously going to wear this again?” Magnus snorts. “It probably smells like whiskey from where I’ve been draped all over you.”

“It’s fine.” Alec resorts with a shrug. “It’s not like I have anything else with me.”

“Keep the t-shirt.” Magnus suggests. “It’s warm.”

Alec is grateful that Magnus had already turned back to the closet and can’t see the way he flinches. Yes, the concept of wearing the same loose sweater for the third that in the row, that does actually smell like whiskey, is not appealing. But there’s no way he’ll leave just in a t-shirt, that’s uncovering way too much.

“I can find you something else if you’d like.” Magnus proposes in a careful tone, as if sensing Alec’s hesitation.

It takes a lot of courage for Alec to voice what he actually wants right at this moment, but he turns to face his boyfriend as he does.

“Yeah I… I just run a little cold.” He tries and clears his throat as his voice comes out a bit rough. “So if you’ve got anything else-“

“I might have a hoodie that will fit you.” Magnus offers with a smile and then is back to shuffling in his closet. “Here.” He pulls out a grey hoodie and tosses it in Alec direction, and he catches it.

“Thank you.” He lets out a little relieved breath.

“No problem.” Magnus resorts simply, but his eyes linger on Alec a bit longer than they need to, and it makes Alec drop his gaze. “I’ll get started on the breakfast while you’ll be getting ready.” He adds and Alec nods lightly as Magnus moves past him, but before he gets to leave the room, Alec finds himself clutching onto his forearm. His boyfriend sends him a confused gaze, but Alec just tugs him a bit closer and kisses lightly on the mouth.

“I love you.” He murmurs against this lips, the confession still feeling somehow fresh and exciting, to be able to voice it, when it’s been in his head for so long.

Maybe it wasn’t the best way to confess his feelings to Magnus. It wasn’t perfect, for sure, he didn’t actually mean to blurt it out like that, but he couldn’t just listen to Magnus rumbling about how none will ever love him. He found it the best way to prove him wrong.

Magnus smiles softly and reaches with his hand to caress his cheek. Alec loves the way his whole expression seems to soften at these three worlds, how this smile immediately paints his face.

“I love you too.” He answers without any hint of hesitation. “Take all the time you need.” He adds on his way out.

Alec makes his way to the bathroom, letting out another relieved exhale. That was close. Too close. He needs to find a way, and courage, to tell Magnus.

 

Stepping into the kitchen, hair still a bit wet from the shower, he can smell the aroma of fresh coffee. He smiles at the sight of his boyfriend, humming along some song on the radio, preparing breakfast. Magnus notices him almost immediately and turns to face him with a smile. He gestures to the table, an indication for Alec to take a seat, and he does, but still asks, just as Magnus places another two slices of bread into the toaster.

“Do you need any help?”

“Just sit and look pretty.” Magnus waves his hand dismissively and Alec chuckles.

They eat and talk about the upcoming struggles of the day. But Alec’s mind seems to wanders elsewhere, to last night. As he looks as Magnus now, he can’t quite believe that it’s the same man who broke down in his arms just yesterday. Now, he looks happy, full of energy and light. Considering all that he’s been through, now that Alec knows about it, it must have been really hard for him, and here he is, being the most amazing and positive person Alec knows. He’s so glad Magnus trusted him with this. Alec’s not the one to judge. He made some questionable choices in the past himself, and he’s not proud of everything he’s done. But they can’t change the past, no matter how hard they would want to. They need to focus on the here and now, and the future they will create together.

Alec can’t deny that it felt good, to have Magnus open up like that. Because of that, he could see that now their trust is mutual, and they have something real. They love each other, and they’re there for each other, always.

He wishes he could tell Magnus everything, about his past, his parents, but he has his troubles now. With Camille and everything… Alec’s sure Magnus wouldn’t mind to listen to his confessions, but still, he has a lot on his mind, and Alec doesn’t want to worry him. It’s not like he’s having these trouble now. He wasn’t thinking about hurting himself in what feels like ages, and it’s good, he knows it is. He spoke with Mr Fell about it-

And there’s also this case, that Magnus seems to be friends with his therapist.

He didn’t want to bring it up, and doesn’t want now. What can he say? Hey, Magnus I know you’re friends with my therapist, so has he ever told you anything about how fucked up I am? It doesn’t make sense, and he might be just overreacting, and Magnus still might now even know he’s seeing this kind of a doctor.

He really hopes it’s like this.

Shortly after Magnus goes to get ready, they head to the car and drive. It’s a sunny day, and Alec just closes his eyes and lets his head fall against the window, enjoying the warmth on his skin. Then, he feels a hand on his thigh, rubbing it soothingly and he turns to Magnus with a smile.

“You’re okay?” His boyfriend asks as he glances at him, still focused on the road.

“Sure, why?” Alec inquires gently.

“Nothing.” Magnus shrugs lightly and then sighs. “I don’t know, you just seem a bit off, since yesterday.”

“What do you mean?” Alec tries not to let the tension show in his voice. If Magnus noticed all of his efforts to hide since yesterday… it might not bring anything good.

“Okay, I’m just gonna lay it all out, since I already promised myself that I won’t lie to you, because we know that it’s never ending well.” Magnus starts, his tone serious and he turns to Alec as the light turns red. “Did you wanted to stay the night, or did you do it because I said I want you to?”

Alec looks at him for a few seconds, his eyes widening a bit, because that thought is ridiculous. He doesn’t want Magnus to think that it’s his fault he got so weird yesterday, so he wastes no time to speak.

“Magnus, of course I wanted to stay.” His boyfriend attentions shifts back on the road, but Alec can see the way he relaxes a bit. “I wouldn’t just force myself, I… I really wanted to, and I’m glad that you asked me. Everything is fine, and I’m sorry if I gave you the impression that-“

“No, it’s okay.” Magnus resorts with a little headshake. “I just… it’s probably my insecurities getting the best of me again…” He trails off.

“Hey,” Alec starts and laces his fingers through Magnus’, resting their joined hands on his thigh. “remember how you always tell me we can talk about everything?” He questions, and his boyfriend nods. “That also applies to you. You can tell me everything. Insecurities, or not, good, or bad. I’m here to listen.”

At that, Magnus brings their intertwined hands to his mouth and kisses Alec’s palm lightly, which makes Alec’s smile widen.

“Thank you, angel.” Magnus says and they continues to drive in content silence, pleased smiles plaster on their faces.

 

“Look who do we have here?”

Alec first hears Lydia’s voice as she makes his way to sit next to him in the lecture hall. She grins widely as he looks up from his notes, just the moment she slides into a chair next to him.

“So,” She begins as she rests her chin on her hands and studies him carefully. “I take it you and Magnus are okay?”

Alec did text her yesterday, so she didn’t worry he hadn’t showed up in classes. He didn’t really explain, just said he and Magnus need to talk, so Lydia either saw them in the car together again, or can just tell from Alec’s expression.

“Yes, I saw you in the car.” She admits with an eye roll. “And you stopped moping, so there’s that.”

Alec laughs lightly and then finally answers her.

“Yeah, we’re good.” He states and Lydia sends him another smile, and then she narrows her eyes as she eyes him curiously. “What?” Alec questions.

“Is that yours?” She points at the hoodie he’s wearing, and Alec tries to hide his smile as he ducks his head, pretending to be reading through his notes again.

“No,” He answers. “it’s Magnus’.”

When he dares to look up at his friend again, she’s wearing a smirk no her face.

“Okay, details now.”

So he tells her. Not all details, but enough to let her know that they’re okay. More than okay, actually.

Lydia listens, takes everything in with a nod, and a smile and Alec knows that she’s been worried about him, so it makes him feel better to finally sooth her nerves.

When it turns out, they have an hour and a half break in between lectures, Alec decides to call Isabelle, because there are still things on his mind that he can’t bring himself to talk about to anybody, but her.

“Hello, big brother.” Izzy greets as she picks up. “Did you sleep well?” Alec can hear the smile in her voice. He called her last night to let her know he’s staying the night at Magnus’ and told her briefly about everything that happened, but he knows she’s still waiting for the details.

“I did, thank you.” Alec replies, smiling himself.

“So, everything okay?” Isabelle asks then.

“Yeah, everything’s fine, I just…” Alec sighs heavily and continues. “Are you free now? I’ve got an hour break and I actually feel like I need to talk to you.” He admits.

“I’m at Simon’s but, I can get out-“ Izzy starts, but Alec firstly shakes his head and then speaks.

“No, it’s fine. You don’t have to. We can talk when I’ll get home-“ He tires, but then his sister interrupts.

“Meet me at the café near the campus, you know which one.” Isabelle states firmly. “I’ll be there in ten.”

“Izzy-“ Alec attempts again, but she’s already hang up.

Alec sighs, but starts to move towards the place where they’re supposed to meet.

 

Nearly fifteen minutes later, Izzy strides into the little café, where Alec already has her drink ordered and he himself is sipping his coffee. His sister quickly joins him at the table, greeting him with a hug and then slumping down on the chair at the other side of the table. They exchange small talk for a moment, but Izzy’s usually the one to cut straight to the point, so she does.

“Okay, so is there anything specific you’d like to talk about?” She asks and eyes him curiously. “Everything okay with Magnus?”

“Yeah, we’re great.” Alec states and smiles at her. Actually, he can start with a good news, before they’ll turn on a road of his insecurities and fears. “We, uhm… I told him I love him.” Alec confesses and can hear Izzy’s breath hitch in her throat. “And he said it back.” He looks up at her with a smile, which his sister easily mirrors.

“That’s great, Alec.” She states and squeezes his forearm lightly. “I’m so glad you figured it all out.”

“Me too.” Alec admits. He feels so much better knowing he and Magnus are good, When they were fighting, there was just some part in him that felt this kind of emptiness, something only Magnus could fill.

“So, is something wrong?” Isabelle notices the way Alec’s expression falls, as he struggles to approach the topic he actually wanted to talk about.

“Nothing’s wrong, it’s just…” He take another deep breath before starting to explain. “Since we’re back on the right track, I think that… I think we both want to kind of explore this relationship. I mean, I stayed the night for the first time, we actually spent a whole day together, made breakfast and all this stuff. And I love that, I really do. I love being close to him, but I just can’t help… I guess I’m just scared of, I don’t know, it’s stupid-“

“You’re afraid of him seeing you.” Isabelle perfectly sums up. “All of you.” She clarifies in a tone that makes them both understand what she means.

“Yes.” Alec agrees as he plays with the rim of his coffee cup, tapping his fingers onto it lightly. “I know I can tell him, and I want to. At some point. I want to explore what we have, but… I’m not sure if I’m ready.”

Izzy studies him carefully for a few seconds before she speaks.

“Look,” She starts her tone calm and hinted with reassurance. “you know Magnus won’t force you into anything. We already talked about. You trust him, and now you know he trusts you. I’m not saying you should rush into everything now, because you’re good, and sickeningly in love. You’re right about the exploring part. Every relationship goes through that phase, and it’s as beautiful as it’s exciting and somehow scary. So I’m saying, take things slow, one step at a time.”

“I know.” Alec cuts in gently. “I don’t want to rush it, but I feel like anything we’d like to do for now on, requires me to tell him about my struggles. I mean, it’s hard to hide it. We slept in the same bed, and when the thought of that hit me I almost got paralyzed because he might have seen them.”

Isabelle sighs, but nods, indicating that she understands.

“No one’s gonna pressure you into telling him.” She begins slowly. “You can do it at your own time, but when you tell him, I’m sure he’ll understand. It won’t change the way he sees you, if that’s what you’re afraid of. None of this is your fault-“

“It is, Izzy. I was weak.” Alec shakes his head. “I did this to myself and I hate it, but I can’t change it.”

“I know, Alec. But everyone has their moments of weakness.” Isabelle rushes to reassure. “And what’s important, is that you always got back up after that.” It’s her turn to shake her head now. “I’m not sure what to tell you, Alec.” She admits. “But whatever you’ll choose to do, it’s gonna be okay and we’re all still here for you.”

“I know, Iz. Thank you.” Alec resorts gratefully and squeezes his sister’s hand. “Sorry for dragging you here from your date with Simon, just so you could listen to me rumbling.”

“Don’t mention it.” Izzy replies simply and smiles. “You would have done the same. Actually, you did. More than once.”

“Yeah, if you want to call it dragging me out from my dates with business law…” Alec trails of to which she laughs.

“You’re coming back home tonight?” Isabelle asks after a while, when she’s finishing her coffee.

“Yeah, but I’m meeting Magnus for dinner after school. My car is still at his place.”

Isabelle nods, lets his words sink in and then she smiles.

“I’m really glad you found each other, you know?”

Alec nods and lets a smiles spread over his face, as he watches his sister literally beaming at him. Glowing with her own happiness, but also, from the one that Alec can feel radiating from him.

 

When he gets to the loft after classes, Magnus quickly ushers him in inside and swiftly turns back towards the kitchen, gesturing Alec to follow.

“Something smells lovely.” He exclaims and Magnus turns to him with a smile, from where he’s stirring something at the stove.

“I hope you like lasagne.” He says and Alec nods in answer. “Great.” Magnus focuses back at the dish.

“How can I help?” Alec asks, but before Magnus can reply, he adds. “If you’ll say ‘sit and look pretty again’ I swear to God…”

“I was gonna say ‘just stand and look handsome’.” Magnus teases back and makes them both laugh. “But seriously, darling, I have everything under control.”

“If you say so…” Alec trails of and moves to drape himself over Magnus’ back, hugging him tightly from behind to which Magnus hums and leans a bit more into him. He quickly finishes preparing dinner and soon they’re back in the living room, settled on the couch and eating. Alec resolves that Magnus indeed is an amazing cook, the food is divine and he can’t really remember the last time he had a homemade meal, so it only makes it better. Magnus surprises him even more, when after they’ve done eating he brings to plates of pie as a dessert, and even thought Alec is full, he can never really say no to sweets.

The end up just talking, shooting questions back and forth, about literally everything and nothing, and Alec loves how relaxed and comfortable it all feels.

“Okay, what’s the place you’d like to visit the most?” Magnus fires another questions and Alec swallows the mouthful of pie before speaking.

“In the whole world?”

“Mhm.”

He thinks for a little. He’s always been fond of travelling, but never really had the time, or the means to.

“Italy.” He resorts after a few moments and Magnus smiles as he inquires.

“Why?”

“Don’t know.” Alec shrugs. “I just always loved the architecture and the roman culture. The mythology, all of those legends… it’s fascinating, I’d like to see it all myself one day.

Magnus hums in answer and for a moment they just sit and relish in the dessert, before he speaks again.

“Your turn.” Magnus resorts and points with his spoon at him.

Alec considers the question. The whole mood tonight was relaxed and easy, so he doesn’t want to ruin it, but there are a lot of questions he’d like to ask Magnus that are more serious, but he settles at the one which he’s been the most curious about recently.

“When did you realise you were in love with me?” He bites his lip nervously as Magnus looks up at him, clearly surprised at the question, but still, something soft about his expression.

“Do you remember the time I met Jace?” He asks, corners of his lips quirking a little. Alec nods.

“Not the fondest memory, but I do.” He resorts and Magnus lets out a chuckle.

“Yeah,” He picks up again. “so when we were talking, I mean, when he called me out for not treating you seriously, and when he said that you were just a fling to me…” He pauses for a few seconds, as if searching for the right words. “I don’t know, something inside of me snapped. I just couldn’t stand it, when he said it, because I care about you, so much, because I… love you.” He finishes and looks up at Alec again, a fond look on his face, eyes lighting up with pure adoration. “That’s when that thought occurred to me, that you’re indeed it for me. That I love you.”

Alec smiles at him, he remembers that day. Can recall how pissed of Magnus was after the conversation with Jace… but it was so long ago, and they weren’t together for long then, and still, Magnus already loved him…

“Maybe I wasn’t ready to say it, back then.” Magnus adds. “But that was the moment when I realised.”

Alec nods again, and they share one more smile, before Magnus picks up again.

“What about you?” His expression turns a bit insecure. “When did you realise?”

It’s simple to pick a moment. Even if he thinks, that it was a bit of a process, falling in love, he knows the moment when he first realised it might be something as strong as love, something he’s never felt before.

“It was when I told you about Raj.” Alec admits and Magnus’ hands finds his to give it a reassuring squeeze, which makes Alec smile a bit, and gives enough strength to continue. “After I told you, and you just held me, let me cry in your arms… I realised I’ve never felt so safe, so taken care of and just… loved. That’s when it hit me, that I love you.”

Magnus smiles at him, eyes glistening a bit, and Alec can feel his own turning glassy. Without any other words, they both rush further and their lips meet in a kiss. Alec breaths in against his mouth when they part, and can feel Magnus’ smile on his cheek, when he places a soft kiss there.

Alec takes another deep breath, as he shifts onto the couch and grabs their plates, the dessert already finished, and puts them back on the coffee table. Magnus eyes his with a cautious gaze, as he makes his way closer again, his hands wandering to cup his boyfriend’s face, and he just takes a moment to look at this beautiful man in front of him, his eyes sweeping back and forth over his features.

“You’re so beautiful.” He speaks in a low whisper, and before Magnus gets to reply anything, Alec’s covering his mouth with his own.

It’s lazy and unhurried. A slow exploration, but Alec dares to step up a bit, as he nips at Magnus’ bottom lip, until he opens up, and Alec can slide his tongue into his willing mouth. But still, it’s slow, sensual in some way. Alec slides one of his hands down the sleeves of Magnus’ silk shirt, till it reaches his wrist, and he intertwines their fingers. They stay like this for a while, still kissing and becoming breathless, but only after a short break to get some air, their mouths return to each other. Alec lets out another shaky breath, as he gently untangles their fingers, and slowly guides Magnus’ palm underneath his hoodie.

“Alec-“ Magnus tries to pull back, but Alec doesn’t let him. Not this time. He wants to explore, and he might not be ready to take this very far, but it’s enough for now. He wants to try and have all of this with Magnus, open up in front of him and seek the pleasure.

“Shh, it’s okay.” Alec murmurs against his lips and nods lightly, indicating that it is indeed okay. It’s Magnus’ turn to let out an exhale, and it sound a bit nervous, but Alec just smiles and leads Magnus’ hand a bit further, till it creases the muscles of his abdomen.

Alec sights softly as the coolness of Magnus’ ringed fingers connects with his heated skin. He breaks of the kiss, to breathe out and opens his eyes to meet Magnus’ ones staring back at him, so full of desire, but also a hint of nervousness behind it. Alec smiles again, cups his face and shifts, until Magnus is settled between his legs. His boyfriend leans in to kiss him again, but Alec moves down, until his back is resting on the couch and he pulls Magnus on top of him. He goes willingly, but Alec still can feel this slight bit of tension in his body. He sooths his hands down Magnus’ arms again, his boyfriend’s hands still resting on the bare skin of his stomach. Alec kisses him again, and again. One corner of his mouth, than the other, until he can feel him smile against his lips. Then he dares to take another step, and swipes his hands over Magnus’ back, till he reaches the hem of his shirt, then he pulls back from the kiss and asks.

“Can I?” His hand lazily climbs underneath the shirt, as Magnus nods eagerly. Alec places his other palm onto the hot skin of his lower back, and presses them even closer, and Magnus sighs against his mouth, the sound so lovely and relieved.

The continue like this. Slowly caressing the skin, not fully on display, but the touch of Magnus hand is enough like this. After a while, he slides the other palm under the hoodies, reaching a bit higher, and Alec can’t help but let out a quite moan.

“Is this okay?” Magnus asks, and Alec realises he’s nearly as breathless as he is. He nods and Magnus lets his hands roam over his chest, when his mouth moves onto his neck, to place gentle kisses to the side of it. Alec moans again, and withdraws on of his hand from underneath Magnus’ shirt, to rest it in his hair, keeping him in place as he feels him lick his neck. Alec feels his whole body trembling. Magnus’ hands slide lower, tracing his ribs lightly and he turns his head to catch Alec’s mouth in a kiss again. Magnus’ hands keep moving lower, till they almost reach the waistband of his jeans, so Alec delicately pulls back from the kiss, and speaks a little breathless.

“Just,” He breathes out to compose himself. “nothing further, okay?”

“Of course.” Magnus resorts with a smile, and one of his palms goes to swipe some loose hair from Alec’s forehead. “We can stop anytime you’d want.”

Alec nods and lets his hand scratch the hair at the base of Magnus’ neck lightly.

“This is nice.” He says and brings Magnus down for another kiss, as he agrees with a low hum.

“Yes it is, my love.” Magnus purrs into his ear, and kisses his neck again.

He doesn’t even know how much of an effect these words have on Alec. He loves them all, darling, angel, but my love, it has something to it. Magnus has only called him it twice, but he resolves he loves it. It holds so much meaning, so much affection that Alec can’t help but smile.

He has no idea how much time passes, how long they’ve been kissing, he doesn’t really care. Magnus weight on him brings some kind of a comfort, and his hands on his body feel tender, and oh, so lovely. He doesn’t want to stop anytime soon, but the lack of air is becoming a problem, and when they pull back after quite some time, it takes more than a few minutes to actually settle their breathing.

Magnus laughs lightly as he tries to even out his breath, and Alec joins in shortly. They stay like this, pressed together, staring into each other’s’ eyes, and Alec resorts one more that he’s never, ever felt like this before. So if this is, what being in love feels like, he never wants to stop.

“I love you.” He says, eyes still fixated on Magnus. “So much.”

Magnus answers him with another smile and a quick kiss.

“And I love you, darling.”

 

It takes a lot of them to actually untangle their bodies and move from the couch, where they spent what feels like eternity. But Alec resorts that he does need to get home, even when Magnus proposes him to stay, Alec refuses, because he did promise Izzy he’d be back tonight. Magnus understands, just like he always does, and after a few more long and lingering kisses in the hallway he lets him go, and they decide to meet for lunch tomorrow.

He gets home with a smile on his face. These past days with Magnus have been lovely and he’s really happy with the direction their relationship his heading with. He feels safe enough to try and take things to the next level. It might take some time, but there’s no rush, never was, and the both of them are happy with where they are now.

As he enters the living room, he spots his brother on the couch, TV playing in front of him, but his expression is kinda empty as he takes another sip of the beer in his hand.

“Hi,” Alec greets as he makes his way to sit next to Jace. His head snaps up to look at him, an even though he tries to smile, Alec can see that something is wrong. “Everything okay?”

Jace’s fake smile falls immediately and he shakes his head. He’s never been good at hiding his feelings, and it’s easy for Alec to notice when he’s upset or angry.

“They fired me.” He admits and his eyes drop to the floor.

“What?” Alec questions with disbelief in his voice. Jace has never said anything about any troubles at work. The truth is, he didn’t really like this job, but it wasn’t that bad. “Why?”

“Just a reduction of employees. And I got out.” Jace shrugs.

“I’m sorry, man.” Alec wraps his arm around his brother’s shoulder and gives it a reassuring squeeze.

“It’s fine.” Jace resorts with an exhale. “It’s not like I actually enjoyed this job.”

“I know, but still isn’t nice to get fired.” Alec says gently to which the other man nods. “So how are you doing?”

“I’ll be fine.” Jace states and nods lightly. Alec can tell that he will be, his brother is not the one to stay upset long about such things. He’ll get back on his feet and start to search for a new job to distract himself before Alec even realises. “Just let me mope for one evening and tomorrow I’ll be as good as new.”

“I don’t doubt it.” Alec laughs lightly and Jace joins in. They stay silent for a while, Alec’s arm still wrapped around his brother’s shoulder as a reassurance, and he can feel him relax a bit. “We can go out tomorrow if you’re still feeling down?” Alec offers, knowing that Jace likes to keep his mind of things when he’s like this, and a trip to the bar downtown might be a perfect solution.

“No, it’s fine.” Jace just assures, and wave his hand dismissively, but then adds. “Actually, I have plans for tomorrow night.” He smiles lightly.

“A date?” Alec inquires, the corners of his lips quirking a little.

“Yeah.” Jace agress, but there’s something weird about his expression. He seems almost excited, but also maybe a slight bit nervous? Alec has never seen him like this about any girl.

“Is she someone special?” He asks and nudges him with his elbow, till Jace laughs lightly.

“I hope so.” He admits and Alec sends him a warm smile. “Actually,” Jace picks up, but taps his fingers against his knee nervously. “it’s Clary.”

Alec’s eyes widen.

“Clary?” He inspects. “That Clary? From Idris? Magnus’ friend?”

“Yeah.” Jace speaks softly.

“Okay, but how did that happen?” Alec questions furthermore, some kind of a shock still present on his features.

“I don’t really know.” Jace admits with a shrug. His smile widening. “I think we kind of hit it off at Simon’s show, then went out, now we’re going out again-“

“Wait,” Alec stops him. “Simon’s gig? Why didn’t you say anything earlier?”

“Maybe I didn’t want to jinx it?” Jace’s voice comes out more questioning than stating. “I don’t know. I really like her… I want this to work, like for a long shot.”

Alec smiles again. He didn’t think Clary might be Jace’s type, but he hopes it will work out for both of them. All that matter, is for Jace to be happy, and right now, he’s looking just so joyful while talking and thinking about her. He must be over the moon when they meet.

“Okay, enough about me. How are you, man?” Jace asks then and turns to him, shaking out of his thoughts. “Feels like I haven’t see you in ages.” He jokes lightly and they laugh again.

“It was like two days.” Alec states with a smile then.

“Yeah, maybe.” Jace admits. “But it’s been a long time since you went out like this.”

It’s true. Alec’s never been the one who favoured going out or partying all night. He always preferred to stay at home, enjoy a quiet evening. So he was a constant habitant at the flat. He’s heard a lot from both Izzy and Jace that he should go out more, have some fun, that college is supposed to be the best time of their lives. They never pushed, but he did let them drag him out a few times. He can’t say that it wasn’t nice. It was good, but still, he very much more enjoys an evening in with a good book.

“Don’t miss me too much.” Alec advices and Jace chuckles again.

“Planning on leaving for more nights?” He teases.

“Maybe.”

Jace takes his words in with a nod, and then asks.

“How’s Magnus?” He smiles lightly. “Izzy told me you figured out what you needed to.”

“Yeah, we did.” Alec agrees. “We’re doing great.”

“That’s good.” Jace admits.

“Alright,” Alec starts after a while as he gets up from the couch and heads to the kitchen. “since it’s your moping night, I wouldn’t be a good brother if I didn’t join you on your beer.”

“You know me so well.” Jace sends him a grin as he walks to the kitchen. Alec shakes his head with an amused expression, and then his brother’s voice sounds again. “I got the mail today. There’s some letter for you. It’s on a counter.”

“Thanks.” Alec calls back and swiftly finds the envelope on the kitchen counter.

They don’t get a lot of mail these days, but he can’t say he isn’t surprised. He grabs the letter and tears it open, eyes quickly scanning it’s content.

He’s not happy with what he sees.

“Fuck.” He curses lowly, but it’s enough for his brother to hear as he call from the couch.

“What is it?”

Alec lets out a tensed sigh and closes his eyes briefly to compose himself, and before he even realises, Jace is next to him, leaning against the counter.

“What’s in it?” He inquires.

“They’re increasing the rent for the apartment.” Alec explains as he reads again.

“What?” Jace questions surprised. “How much?”

“Almost 15%.”

“What?! Can they do that?” He sounds a bit angry now. “We have a deal.”

“From the legal point of view, they have the right to do whatever they want.” Alec tries to clarify. “We’re not the owners. We’re just renting the place.”

“Okay, but will we be able to pay for next month?”

Alec stays silent for a while. Without Jace’s salary, which covered most of the rent and was the constant in their house budget, it won’t be blissful. Alec can try and take up more articles for the newspaper, with Izzy’s business it all depends on the clients… things are not looking good.”

“Alec?” Jace inquires, impatience in his voice.

“I’m not sure.” Alec admits.

“Fuck.” His brother breathes out. “So what do we do?”

“I don’t know.” Alec shrugs, feeling the stress boiling up inside him. “Where’s Izzy?”

“Out with Simon.” Jace replies. “Do you want me to call her?”

“Yeah, we should all discuss what to do next.” Alec resorts and his brother nods back at him.

“Okay.” He says as he heads back to the living room to grab his phone.

Alec tries to think of a way out of this. Why all of this needed to impose on each other on such an unfortunate time? Jace has just lost his job, Alec hasn’t been actually writing a lot, and Izzy’s business is doing okay, but it’s not enough for them to keep the apartment. They have two weeks till the next deadline to pay and they don’t have enough money now. They can’t dedicate themselves fully to work, there are studies, taking care of Max… how are they supposed to find some time for themselves in all this.

They need to figure something out.

 

Izzy looks at him, hands on her hips, nervous expression on her face as he ends the call with the tenant. Jace’s look is similar from where he sits down on the couch.

“So?” Izzy prompts.

“The raise has to do something with renovating the building.” Alec explains. “And there’s no way we can stay by our old price.”

Jace and Isabelle both sigh heavily and she slumps down on the couch next to her brother.  

“Okay, so what do we do?” Jace prompts then, and all eyes turn to Alec again.

He gets it. He’s the oldest and he’s supposed to take care  of them and make the decisions, but now… He can’t even provide them with a home. A place where they’re supposed to live.

“We can try to search for a cheaper apartment?” Izzy proposes.

“We’re already renting one of the cheapest.” Alec resorts and his sister lets out another heavy exhale. “Besides, there’s no time. We have two weeks, and even if Jace finds a new jobs soon, what about the next month? When the price will only get higher?”

He knows he might be pessimistic, but that’s the reality. They need to be pragmatic about this, because this is serious.

“Okay, so what if we’ll just keep searching for an apartment, I’ll try to find a new job as soon as possible and if they’ll throw us out now, we can crash at some friends?” Jace puts forward as he looks up at his siblings.

“Jace, we can’t just crash with our friends for God knows how long.” Izzy states, her tone firm. “We have no idea how the situation will pull through.”

Jace nods and he and Alec both resort that her words do make sense. It would be irresponsible, and Alec himself would hate to be a bother for anyone else, if he didn’t know for how long. He’s sure Lydia wouldn’t mind for him to stay a few nights, or Magnus, but still, too long would be too much.

“I think I might have one solution.” Isabelle starts then and her brothers focus on her, but she bites her lip in a nervous habit as she looks back on Alec. “But you might not like it.”

Alec sends her a confused gaze and she sighs before beginning to explain.

“So I spoke with mom recently.” She admits. “Like a really honest talk. You probably both noticed how she’s changed recently.” Jace and Alec both nod. “Yeah, so she told me she actually regrets that she let us leave the house back then. She said she can see how we struggle now, and that it wasn’t the best decision to just let us live on our own, without any actual support. So I thought that maybe… maybe if we asked her, she would let us get back to the house.”

Isabelle was right, Alec indeed doesn’t like the idea.

The silence falls again as they all try to think. Then it’s Izzy who speaks again.

“It might be the only way. At least for now, until we’ll get a stable situation again-“

“If she’s so willing to help us now, why won’t she just lend us the money?” Jace starts. “I mean, that would help.”

“I don’t think it’s about the money, Jace.” Isabelle rushes to explain. “It’s more about how she wasn’t there for us. I think she’s trying to fix that.”

“Well, it might be a bit too late for that.” Jace adds, a hint of bitterness in his voice.

Alec just faintly listens to the conversation as the thoughts rush through his head again. Isabelle is right, this would be the best option, but not the brightest one.

“Alec?” Izzy prompts then. “What do you think?”

“Look,” He sighs as he begins. “you’re right. It might be our only way for now. But there’s no way they’ll let me move back in there. Maybe mom would be okay with that, but dad-“

“She’ll talk to him. We all will.” Izzy tries.

Jace still doesn’t look convinced as Alec glances at him. He himself isn’t. It’s true, it would be good to spend some more time with mom, since Alec can see that she really is trying to mend the relationship between them. But his father… if living in the house would look the same as it did… he’s not sure he’ll be able to handle it. Not right now, when he was making progress with coming to terms with his mental health issues, when he really got it under control.

“I think we should try, big brother.” Izzy tries to convince him further on. “You said it yourself, you wanted things to get better.”

“Yeah, but I’m not sure if me living there again would make things better.” He admits. “With mom, yes, but with dad… I don’t know.”

“Look, maybe he’s finally going to realise he needs to change-“ Izzy attempts again, but Alec cuts in.

“No, he won’t.” He resorts with a hollow laugh. “I don’t even care about him anymore. I don’t need him to speak to me, as far as I’m concerned he can avoid me. Just like he always does. If he only has bad things to say about me, then it’s better if he doesn’t speak at all.”

Izzy sighs again, but nods.

But what other choice do they actually have? They’re their parents after all, and even if they might be adults now, they should still be there to help them. And if they weren’t back then… maybe it really is time to try and fix this. And besides, maybe everything will be solved pretty soon, they’ll get back on their feet… this might be just temporary.

“Let’s talk to mom first.” Alec resorts and both Jace and Izzy turn to him surprised. “Make sure she meant it, and that she’s really willing to let us move back in.”

“Alright.” Izzy states and Jace nods alongside her. “We can meet tomorrow. I’ll text her.”

Alec releases a long breath and nods himself.

It’s gonna be a long night, and even a longer day tomorrow.

 

He needed to call back his lunch date with Magnus, so they could all meet his mother at his break between lectures. Alec didn’t really give him the reason, just texted that they’ll talk tonight, and that he can come over later this evening. Magnus instantly agreed.

Now they’re all seated at the restaurant, waiting for Maryse to arrive. And shortly she shows up and smiles from the doorway as she heads to greet her children.

They exchange some small talk, she asks about school, as always but then it’s time for the serious conversation, which Maryse herself provokes, probably curious of the reason for this sudden meeting.

“So, was there anything specific you wanted to talk about?” She prompts as they’re half way through their dinner.

Isabelle clears her throat, but looks knowingly at Alec, and he knows it should be him to start.

“Yes, actually.” Alec answers his mother’s question. “Something happened.”

“Is everything okay?” Maryse asks, now the concern creeping in her voice.

So Alec exhales and begins to explain everything. Maryse listens patiently, nodding her head at certain information, but she doesn’t interrupt, until Alec is completely finished. Then she seems to think for a minute, before trying to sum up her son’s statement.

“You’d like to move back in?” She questions, studying her children’s expressions one by one.

Alec wants to add, that it’s not like they really have other choice, and that it’ll only be temporary, but before he gets to, Isabelle interrupts.

“We thought that maybe you’d agree.” She starts hesitantly. “You know, after our talk the last time…”

Maryse takes her words in with a nod.

“Look,” She begins after a few more moments. “ of course I won’t leave you in a situation like this. You really have your back up against the wall here, but I want you to know, that I’m not doing this only because of it, that it seem to be your only choice. I’d really love you all to move in, because I’ve missed my children. And I know I’ve been a terrible mother, I can’t take back the time, but just as I had told you the last time, Isabelle, I really want to try and be better, to fix this.”

“So, you’re agreeing?” Jace tries to recap.

“Of course I do.” Maryse smiles lightly, but then it falls a bit. “But I need to talk to your father too.”

At that, Alec’s eyes drop back to the table instead of his mother’s face.

“I’m sure he won’t mind.” She desperately tries to catch her son’s gaze, but Alec only snorts and shakes his head lightly.

“Tell him it’ll be only temporary, at least if it comes to me.” He says and Isabelle throws him an alarmed gaze, but he continues regardless. “As soon as I’ll get back on my feet, I’ll get out of his hair. I don’t know about you,” He turns to his siblings. “but I don’t want to be a bother for you and dad, mom.” The last words are directed towards Maryse.

“Alec, you won’t be a bother-“ She tires, but Alec cuts her off again.

“Yeah, try to tell it to dad.”

Maryse sighs heavily and hangs her head low for a moment.

“Isabelle, Jace, could you give us a moment alone?” She asks and turns to Alec’s siblings. They both throw a glance at Alec, but nods at their mother’s words and move out of the table, which leaves Alec and his mother alone.

“Alec, look-“ Maryse attempts again as they’re gone now.

“No, mom.” Alec starts in a lower voice now. “I appreciate you doing your best to help us, I really do. Same as all of your efforts in trying to fix this relationship between us. But as if for dad… I thinks it’s a lost cause.”

“Don’t say that.” Maryse shakes her head and reaches with her hand to rest it gently at Alec’s forearm. “You’re still his son.”

“But I don’t feel like it anymore.” Alec admits.

He hasn’t had a proper conversation with his father since he was sixteen. And even before that, their relation never was the best. Sometimes he felt like he didn’t really had a father, because not only he was never there for him, but even when he was, he never paid attention to Alec. Especially after he came out. It was like he totally disappeared, not counting the snarky comment he would chime in during the rare conversations with his son.

Alec supposes now, that the silence and avoiding were better than any words he’s ever said to him.

Maryse squeezes his arm gently and smiles at him sadly.

“Maybe this will be a breakthrough?” She tries, but Alec only shakes his head again. “Hey, I promise I will talk to him. It’s gonna be fine.”

No matter how hard he’ll try to believe it, he can’t. But still, he nods at his mother’s words, and lets himself hope. Which, as life has already taught him, never ends well.

Chapter Text

Magnus can’t say that he’s not worried after Alec cancelled their lunch date and didn’t really give him a concrete reason. But he did promise for them to talk tonight. And even though he’ll stress even more through his whole day at work, he’ll handle it, if it means he gets to see his boyfriend tonight.

He’s really happy with how it’s all turning out for them. These past days, they spent so much time together and Magnus wouldn’t have it any other way.

But still, he couldn’t help but notice Alec’s weird behaviour the night he stayed and the morning after.

And he did ask, but Alec denied that he would force himself to stay, so Magnus believes him. He has no reason not to trust Alec, but he’s just concerned. He wishes he knew what this all was about, because if it was his fault, that he somehow caused this kind of behaviour in his boyfriend, he’d like to know, so he can avoid making this mistake again.

Dot notices something is wrong as he locks his phone after receiving one last text from Alec, so instantly she asks.

“Is everything okay?” She turns to him concerned.

“Yeah, fine.” Magnus exhales and tries to smile at her lightly.

“Everything fine with Alec?” She questions then. Magnus told her about this whole situation with Camille, because she deserves to know. She’s been the one to help him a lot with Camille, and even if she could just throw an ‘I told you so’ in his face, she didn’t, because she could clearly see how hard this was on him and his relationship with Alec.

“Everything’s good.” Magnus answers. “I’m seeing him tonight.”

“That’s good.” Dot smiles. “You seem to be spending quite a lot of time together recently.” She adds teasingly.

They really do, and it’s great. He loves spending time with Alec, and loves the way he feels with him. Just relaxed and comfortable, like they’ve known each other for their whole lives. He feels like he can actually tell him everything, without the fear of being judged.

And Alec just keeps surprising him. First it was with the way he took all of the information about his past, and then last night.

It was amazing to feel Alec’s heated skin underneath his palms, and his body pressed so tightly next to him. Magnus admits, that after all Alec had told him about his past relationship, he’s kind of scared of moving forward in the physical area, so he never really indicates anything, too afraid that Alec might interpret it in a bad way. But to have Alexander open up like that, to watch him just going for what he wants, it’s a beautiful view. Something he wants to see more of.

He himself is ready for everything with Alec. But he won’t push, and he wants it to be Alec to tell him when he’s ready for something more. Just like last night, he just needs to set the boundaries and Magnus will keep in check, and stop if anything gets too much. He believes, that Alec will tell him if he ever does something wrong. One word from him will be enough to make him stop.

“Making up for the lost time, I guess.” Magnus jokes back and Dot laughs lightly.

“But seriously, I’m so happy for you.” She speaks way more serious now. “I’m glad you figured it all out.” She smiles again. “And work hasn’t been the same without you. Raphael was more stressed and scowling than ever.”

Magnus smiles and chuckles in answer. But still, it’s hard to be back at work. He’s afraid Camille is waiting for him at every corner, and he really does everything not to leave the lab and run into her. It’s been going great for the past few hours, but he knows it’s just a matter of time before things will go downhill with her.

Still, he needs to survive it somehow. He wishes they would just be done with his collaboration.

“Well, now I’m back, so he can relax.” Magnus resorts. “We’ve got everything under control.”

“Yeah, as long as the love birds won’t set our lab on fire or something.” Dot adds teasingly and Magnus looks up just in the right moment to see Helen placing a kiss to Aline’s cheek and then both of the girls just smile at each other.

It’s truly marvelling to see them so happy, and for them not to need to hide it.

Magnus just sends Dot another grin and then focuses back at work. He needs something to take his mind of from worrying about Alexander too much. He’ll know what is it about tonight, there’s no need to panic now.

 

Right after work Magnus drives to Alec’s place. It’s nearly 6pm, but Alec did say he’s free after 5, and Magnus basically can’t wait to see him again. So after a short waves of goodbyes to Aline, Helen and Dot, he quickly gets to his car and heads to the Upper East Side.

Alec greets him at the door with a short, sweet kiss and gestures him inside. He grabs his hand and on their way to his room, Magnus swiftly waves to Jace who’s seated on the couch, and his boyfriend’s brother reciprocates and smiles a little. Magnus supposes that’s progress in their relations.

Closing the door, Alec briefly leans against it, as Magnus goes to sit down on the bed. He’s been to Alec’s apartment and his bedroom a few times, but they spend way more time at Magnus’ loft. Not that he minds. It’s more comfortable. And he gets that Alec might want to get away from his siblings a bit. No matter how much he loves them, Magnus knows they can be a bit annoying at times. And at the loft, there’s the strong conviction that nobody will bother them at least something important happens, so they can just enjoy their time together.

“Where’s Isabelle?” Magnus prompts as Alec gets settled next to him. He hasn’t noticed her yet, and his boyfriend’s sister is always a good company.

“She’s out with Simon.” Alec replies and then goes silent as Magnus nods.

“Did something happen?” Magnus questions then, after a few more moments of silence.

“Jace got fired.” Alec blurts out completely out of the blue, but Magnus takes his words in.

“Okay…” He starts slowly. “I’m sorry for him.”

“It’s fine, he never really liked his job.” Alec says with a little shake of head.

Which is making Magnus even more confused, because Alec looks really nervous and unsettled, so it can’t truly be only about his brother’s unlikeable work. He’s just about to question the situation furthermore, but then Alec grabs his hand again and starts to play with their fingers, lacing and unlacing them, as if in attempt to ground himself. Magnus lets him, and then Alec starts to speak.

“Also, they raised our rent for the apartment.” He sighs. “And without Jace’s job, we don’t have enough money to pay for next month.”

This explains way more.

“Dalring-“ Magnus starts, but Alec shakes his head again and continues.

“We’ll try to find some other flat. Jace is already looking for a job, but we have two weeks until we need to leave this place.”

Magnus can’t deny he’s a bit shocked. And it’s such a bad luck that it all came together at such an unfortunate time.

“What are you gonna do then?” He asks instead as Alec’s eyes drop.

“I was thinking I’m just gonna crush at Lydia’s for a while… but I don’t really know how long it will take for us to gain some money to get back on our feet.”

And then, right there Magnus is ready to offer Alec to just stay at his place. He won’t be a bother, they’d spend even more time together. True, it might be too soon for moving in together, but it’s just such a bad situation that there might be no other way. And he’s really willing to propose that. He’s not gonna just leave Alec with this problem. But also, Alec’s not alone in this, because there are also his siblings involved. And Magnus knows Alec enough to know that he won’t leave them like this.

“So yeah, this idea wasn’t the brightest.” Alec picks back up. “And we were kinda left with only one option.”

“Which is?” Magnus inquires.

“Move back into our family house.”

“What?” Magnus can’t even hide the surprise in his voice.

He might not know the whole story about Alec’s relationship with his parents, but he knows that they didn’t really accept him. It’s better with his mom now, but still, Alec’s father is not the pleasant, kind one. Magnus recalls Alec saying, that he never considered him good enough, no matter how hard he tried, or that he always demanded nothing but perfection.

“We spoke with mom today.” Alec carries on. “That’s why I couldn’t make it to lunch. I’m sorry again. And sorry for not telling you earlier, I just didn’t feel like doing it over the phone.”

“It’s okay.” Magnus squeezes his hand a little. It’s a totally valid reason to cancel on their date. This matter his far more important.

They stay silent for a little while, until Magnus prompts again.

“So, how are you feeling with that?”

“With what?” Alec questions but finally looks up at him.

“Well, going back to living there.” Magnus specifics. Even if he knew nothing about Alec’s situation with his parents in the past, he can see how tensed he is now, just talking about it. “I mean, I might not know a lot, but your parents…” He trails of.

“It’s fine with mom.” Alec admits and nods to himself. “The tricky part is my dad… I’m not even sure if he’ll let me move back in.”

“Why?”

“He hates me.” Alec lets out a humourless laugh.

“I’m sure he doesn’t-“ Magnus tries, but gets cut off by his boyfriend.

“No, Magnus. You don’t know it.” He shakes his head. “He does, he really does.”

“Why?” Magnus inquires again. “Why would he hate you?”

“Because of who I am.” Alec throws his hands up and sighs as he gets up from the bed and starts pacing the room. “He hates the person I am. And I can’t do anything to change that. I can’t change me, I just-, I can’t.” His voice breaks towards the end and Magnus moves up from the bed too, to reach for him, and stop his frantic pacing by grabbing his forearm and tugging him closer to him.

“Hey, it’s okay.” Magnus tries, but Alec only shakes his head.

“I don’t know, Magnus. I really don’t.” He stars, his voice shaky. “I don’t know if I can do this. If I can come back to living in this house, with him. I promised Izzy I’d try, I promised mom, but I… I don’t know.”

“Shh, it’s fine.” Magnus hushes him and bring his arms around him to embrace him. Alec is literally shaking, and it takes another few minutes for him to settle, as Magnus keeps running his hands up and down his back.

“I’m sorry.” Alec whispers then, but Magnus shakes his head.

“Stop this. You have nothing to be sorry for.”

“I-, I want to try this. I really do.” Alec says, his voice still small. “But I’m scared.”

Magnus tightens his hold on him a bit, as Alec buries his head deeper in the crook of Magnus’ neck. They stay like this for a while, until he can feel Alec’s breathing has evened out and he’s not shaking anymore. Then Magnus pulls back lightly, but only to cup his face gently between his palms, which makes him look up at him.

“Listen to me, darling.” Magnus starts as Alec’s eyes focus on his. “You’re so brave for wanting to try it. To fix it. But I want you to know, that my doors are always open for you. No matter the time, day or night, you’re always welcomed. So if anything happens, or you’d just want to get away, I’m always there, okay?”

Alec nods lightly and then smiles at him, which comes out pretty genuine.

“Thank you.” He leans in to peck him on the lips gently. “I’ll remember that.”

Magnus reciprocates his soft expression, and then they move back to the bed. Alec holds his arms open, till Magnus marches into them, and leans back onto his chest, his head resting on his shoulder. Alec’s embrace tightens around him, and they just lay like this for several moments, enjoying the closeness.

Even though they haven’t spent a lot of time in Alec’s house, Magnus will somehow miss it. This bedroom is actually a place where he where he came to the realization, that he loves Alexander. He can’t even imagine what Alec is going through, he spent here quite some part of his life and to lose the place where he felt free for the first time is probably very painful for him.

But they don’t bring it up in the next conversations. Magnus can see, that Alec doesn’t want to speak about it furthermore, so he doesn’t push. They talk about every other kind of stuff, and then the topic goes off to Magnus’ work when Alec asks.

“Everything okay at work?”

Magnus nods, but then Alec leans in to actually look at his face, to see his expression.

“Seriously, it’s fine.” Magnus rolls his eyes, but his heart swells at the concern written on his boyfriend’s face.

“Did Camille bother you?” Alec questions then.

“No, I haven’t seen her the whole day.” Magnus replies, truthfully.

“Okay, just tell me if she ever does something again.” Alec answers shortly, but then Magnus turns to him.

“Why?”

“What do you mean ‘why’?” His boyfriend sends him a confused gaze.

“I mean, that if she speaks to me, that’s fine. I just don’t want her anywhere near you…” Magnus trails off.

“Yeah, but you don’t find talking to her pleasant, do you?”

“Of course not.” Magnus almost snorts.

“So I think we established that we’re telling ourselves about everything that bothers us.” Alec states. “So when she ever does, you have to tell me, alright?”

“Okay.” Magnus agrees, but stares at him for a few longer seconds.

No one has ever really cared for Magnus in such way. It might seem like a little thing, but it appears that Alec sees every single one thing that has ever annoyed or upset Magnus. He remembers everything, knows which subjects not to push, or how to push them in the right way. It’s truly heart-warming.

“And besides,” Alec starts as he leans back to rest himself against the headboard again. “sometimes you forget you’re dating a future lawyer. So if she ever validates any of the work rules, you’ll be able to sue her and win with me by your side.”

Magnus lets out a laugh at that and is happy to see Alec in a lighter mood than this one he was in when he arrived. He leans a bit more onto his boyfriend’s chest, and feels Alec press a lingering kiss to the top of his head.

None of them says much after that. But the silence itself is soothing.

 

The next few days pass by without any unexpected events. Magnus still manages to avoid Camille, and does actually some effective work on the new line of cosmetics, since he’s not much of a distraction anymore. He doesn’t see Alec much during those days. He’s busy with preparing to move out and is working hard himself, to try and gain as much money as he can, already wanting to leave the family house, before actually moving in.

Magnus isn’t pleased with his decision to stay at the family house, but it’s his choice. He did all he could, told Alec he’s always welcomed at the loft and he hopes his boyfriend will take this invitation to his heart.

Magnus gets shaken out of this thoughts by the sudden arrival of Ragnor, who he’s been waiting for in their favourite café. After his friend helped him during the time of his fight with Alec, they both decided to try and make more time for each other. They’re both terrible when it comes to their jobs, and when they get invested, it’s like nothing else matters.

But still, they managed to meet up tonight.

They spoke briefly on the phone, since the last time they saw each other. Magnus called Ragnor to make sure that his friend won’t bring him up at his next session with Alec, because they still haven’t got to this part yet, and this whole situation is way too confusing. Besides, Alexander has more important things on his mind now, then some speculations about his boyfriend’s relation with his therapist.

“So, I take it you and Alec are okay now?” Ragnor questions as they both lazily sip their drinks.

“Yeah, we’re fine.” Magnus agrees and nods. “All figured out. And thank you, for you know, our talk the other night-“

“Don’t mention it.” Ragnor just waves his hand dismissively.

Magnus thinks a little before asking the next question, because he’s pretty sure he knows what his friend’s reaction is going to be.

“So…” He starts and clears his throat. “How was your last session with Alec?”

At that, Ragnor looks up from his coffee cup and sends him a glare.

“Magnus, you know I can’t talk about those things with you.” He resorts, but Magnus only snorts to that.

“Oh, please. After all that we’ve been through, I think you can tell me.”

“No, Magnus I can’t. It’s private.” Ragnor states firmly.

“Okay, I just want to know if he brought me up?” Magnus asks then. “Did he mention anything about that night? You spoke then. And I’m so sorry I made it so weird for you-“

“Magnus, it’s fine. You were drunk, it happens.”

“Well, I don’t think it happens to everybody to drag out your stoned boyfriend out of the bar with your therapist.” Magnus trails of, and Ragnor laughs briefly, but then turns more serious, as Magnus sends him another pleading glare.

“Look, has Alec told you that he’s seeing me?” He questions then, but Magnus shakes his head. “You see, maybe it would have been a bit different if you knew from him that he’s seeing me. And I take it, you’re pretending you have no idea about this before him?”

Magnus nods this time.

“I just don’t know if I should bring this up.” He admits then, his tone resigned. “I mean, he hasn’t explicitly told me, and I don’t know if he knows I know, because now he knows we’re friends, and he might think you told me, but actually I figured it out myself-“

“Alright, I can see what you mean.” Ragnor stops his rumbling. “This truly is confusing.”

“So what do you think I should do?” Magnus asks.

“Personally, I think you should wait till he brings it up.” Ragnor resorts. “And when he somehow approaches the subject, ask him about this gently. Alec is a smart man, he might know more than you think.”

And that’s what Magnus is afraid of. But still, he nods at his friend in a thanking gesture for his advice.

“But to decrease your worries.” Ragnor picks up then. “No, he didn’t even mention that night the last time we spoke.” He admits and Magnus doesn’t know if he should feel relieved or not. “In fact, what still is weird to me, is how he never mentions your name. When he speaks about you, he always says ‘boyfriend’, even now, when we both know that it’s you.”

Magnus doesn’t know too. Because it’s not like Alec is trying to play oblivious and deny his relationship with Magnus now, not when Ragnor already saw them. Maybe if the subject ever floats out, Magnus will ask.

“So he does speak about me.” Magnus says out loud with a smirk and Ragnor rolls his eyes.

“Of course he does, you idiot.” He resolves and Magnus' grins only widens. “But that’s enough. I already said too much, we need to quit discussing it.”

“Oh, I’ll get something out of you sooner than later.” Magnus smirks and sends him a wink. He’s always loved teasing his old friend.

 

When he gets back home, it’s to receive a call from his favourite person. He smiles as he pulls out his phone and picks up.

“Hello Alexander.” He greets and can imagine his boyfriend smiling as he speaks.

“Hi, babe.” He says in his soft voice. “How was your day?”

“Pretty good.” Magnus admits. “Tiring, but everything is fine. What about you?”

“I’m good.” Alec replies and it’s quiet for a moment before he speaks again. “I’m basically done with packing.”

Magnus takes in his words with a low hum as he nods to himself. He can’t really make out Alec’s feelings right now, it would be much easier if he saw him. He doesn’t know if he sounds actually sad, or just stressed.

“So yeah,” Alec’s voice pulls him out of his thoughts. “I thought that, since I’m done with that, maybe I could come over? I know it’s been only a few days, but I miss you.”

“As I miss you, my darling.” Magnus replies warmly. “Of course you can come over.”

“Great.” Alec lets out a short exhale.

“Will you stay the night?” Magnus asks then. It’s quite hard for him to believe, that a question he’s been so scared of, now slips out of his tongue so easily.

“I’d like that.” Alec admits. “I think I need some time alone. I mean, with you, just away from my siblings. Nothing happened, but I just feel like… I don’t know, my head’s a bit of a mess with everything that’s happening.”

“You don’t need to explain, angel.” Magnus resorts simply. “Just come over. Have you eaten?”

“Yeah, we got dinner.” Alec replies. “But I can grab something on my way if you’d like-“

“No, it’s fine. I ate.”

“Okay, then I’ll see you soon.”

“Can’t wait.” Magnus says and then hangs up.

He did miss Alec, and he thinks that with everything that’s been going on, some alone time might do them good.

 

Alec shows up after another half of an hour, and they spend the evening on talking, debating what movie to see next, and basically just being sprawled on the couch and relaxing.

Magnus finds it quite amazing, that they never really run out of subjects to talk about. Every new one tends to bring up another, and they could spend hours just talking.

“Will you need any help with the move?” Magnus asks at some point. “I can get Simon, Raphael and Luke if you need someone to bring some furniture or-“

“No, it’s fine. Thank you.” Alec refuses kindly. “We’ll handle it. It’s not like we have a lot of things anyway.” After another pause he adds. “Dad declared to help.”

He looks down as he says those words, and Magnus notices how his expression changes.

“Did you talk to him?” He questions, but Alec shakes his head.

“No, that’s just what mom said.” He speaks. “He agreed for me to come home, but mom said he didn’t want to see me.”

“I’m sorry.” Magnus says as he reaches for his hand and intertwines their fingers.

“Don’t be.” Alec looks up and tries to smile. “I’ll be fine. I don’t need him. It’s for the best if we just try to stay out of our ways.” He admits. “Besides, it’s only temporary. As soon as I get some more money and find another apartment, I’m out of there.”

Magnus nods, reciprocates his smile and squeezes his hand a little. It seems to be enough of a reassurance for Alec now, as his smile comes out more genuine.

“Well, but it you’ll ever need any help, just let me know, okay?” Magnus makes sure he realises he can always count on him and Alec nods.

“You’re the best, you know that?” He says with a hint of laugh in his tone, and it makes Magnus let out a chuckle.

“Well, thank you, my love.” Magnus smiles at him.

“By the way, I have to tell you something.” Alec starts and there’s a grin making its way on his face. Magnus just sends him a curious gaze. “Did you know Clary is dating Jace?”

“What?” Magnus feels his eyes widen. Biscuit? Dating Jace? It’s not like he’s totally against the idea, but… he didn’t imagine him as her type. True, she always had something for bad boys, but… Jace? Magnus certainly needs some time to process that.

“Yeah, he told me yesterday.” Alec continues. “They’re going out on their second date tonight.”

“Well, that certainly is a surprise.” Magnus admits as he tries to shake off his shock.

“I thought the same, but what matters the most is if they’re happy, right?” Alec questions lightly.

“Sure.” Magnus admits. He’s never wanted anything more for Clary. And if this is what she wants, then he trusts her on this.

Still, he makes a mental note to get every detail about this out of her when they meet again.

 

Later that night, they get settled to sleep, and when Magnus emerges out of the bathroom, he finds his boyfriend already in bed. He’s wearing the same t-shirt that Magnus has iven him the first, well actually the second time he stayed the night. He seems to be slowly claiming it as his own, but Magnus doesn’t mind in the slightest bit. He loves seeing this. Alec so comfortable in his space. He’s been missing sharing it with someone. This house has been feeling empty for enough time, and he couldn’t be happier for someone to finally make it feel more like home again.

Alec puts down his phone on the nightstand as he sees Magnus approaching. He smiles and settles more comfortably on the bed, laying on his side, and Magnus goes to mirror his position, facing him and looking at this beautiful man in front of him. Alec moves closer to him, brining one arm to wrap around his middle. He shifts till their faces are only a breath away from each other, and Magnus suddenly can’t stand that their mouths still aren’t connected. He swiftly fixes this mistake and places his lips on Alec’s, feeling him smile into the kiss. He rests his palm on his boyfriend’s neck, to keep him in place as they continue to kiss. Alec’s hand squeezes at his side and slides down to his hip. Then he pulls back from the kiss and pants against his lips as he whispers.

“Turn off the lights.” His voice is rough from the kissing and Magnus finds himself nodding, before he even fully registers his words. Then he rolls onto his side to switch the lamp on the nightstand off, and when he returns to his previous position, Alec’s already attacking him with his lips. He bites gently onto his bottom lip till he opens up, and then slides his tongue in. Magnus lets out a small moan at the sudden change of events. Everything feels faster now, their kisses grow sloppier. Alec fights for dominance with his tongue, but gives up as soon as he feels Magnus invading his mouth. Rapidly Alec tears of from the kiss, and Magnus is about to question if something is wrong, but before he gets to, he can see Alec sitting up on the bed and pulling his t-shirt over his head. Magnus can’t see much since the room is bathed in almost complete darkness, but he can hear Alec’s heavy breathing, as he goes to lay on top of him now. He presses closer to him, his skin soft and heated, but Magnus hesitates, and Alec seems to notice, since he pulls back with a sigh and rolls to lay down on his back.

“You’re doing this again.” He resorts and Magnus’ face scrunches up in confusion, even if Alec can’t see it in the darkness.

“Do what?” He questions instead.

This.” Alec’s shining eyes focus on Magnus now. “You… I don’t know, Magnus. You always seem to hold back. If you don’t want me like this, I mean… in any kind of this, just tell me, because I don’t want to make a complete fool of out myself-“

Magnus doesn’t let him finish as he shrugs forward and kisses him again, but this time softly, lingering, but short and when he pulls back, he cups Alec’s face so he can look him in the eye.

“Alexander,” He starts. “of course I want you.”

“It doesn’t feel like it sometimes.” Alec admits and Magnus’ heart almost breaks at the small sound of his voice.

The thought of Alec thinking he doesn’t want him is so ridiculous to him. How could he not, when he’s right there, his body amazingly curved, way too tempting, and when he’s kissing him like that… Magnus just loses his mind. The problem is, he wants him too much.

“Darling, look.” Magnus begins to explain. “Me coming across as… hesitant sometimes, or as you say, me holding back, it has nothing to do with me not wanting you. Because I do want you, probably much more than I should. But I’m just…” He sighs as he pauses and tries to search for the right words. It’s hard to voice it all, because he doesn’t want Alec to take them in a bad way. “I’m just scared of moving this too far, losing control, doing something you might not like-“

“I know, but…” It’s Alec’s turn to let out a heavy exhale now. “don’t you trust me on this? I would tell you if something was wrong.”

“I know, and I do trust you, but still… I don’t want to make you uncomfortable or-“

“It has to do with what I’ve been through, right?” Alec questions then.

And of course it does.

Because the truth is, he has no idea how he should act. Should he go for what he wants too? Or should he be slowing them down? Sometimes the desire he feels for Alec feels like freaking fire under his skin, and he doesn’t know how to release it, because he doesn’t want to go too far. He knows he should trust Alec on this, but he won’t be able to forgive himself if he commits any mistake with him.

He only nods in answer at Alec’s question.

“That was one of the reasons I was scared to tell you.” Alec admits then. “That you would treat me totally differently, suddenly be afraid to touch me-“

“I’m not, darling. I’m not.” Magnus tries to reassure, sweeping his hand along Alec’s arm.

“But I get why you’re worried.” He says then. “And thank you. For considering me so much, for being able to hold back. I’m really trying to work this all out, but it will take time-“

“And there’s no rush.” Magnus assures him. “I’m perfectly fine with what we have now.” Alec doesn’t look convinced, so Magnus leans in and kisses him again. “I promise you, this is enough.”

Alec sighs, but eventually nods. But what bothers Magnus, is that he looks guilty and mad. Not at Magnus, but at himself. And he shouldn’t feel like this. Because this is not his fault, and nobody is blaming him for anything. They are taking their time, and this is fine, because when they’ll finally be able to do something more, Magnus wants Alec to be one hundred percent sure and ready.

“Listen,” He starts then. “I love you.” He says slowly as he flips one of his legs over Alec’s hip and goes to straddle him. “So, so much. And having you here, being able to hold you, kiss you,” He puts his lips on his for a brief moment again, as if only to confirm his message. “this is enough. But we can continue to explore. Go as far as you want to, because I, Alexander, am ready for everything with you, and I’m more than willing to wait till you’ll be.”

Alec smiles lightly at that, and rests his hands on Magnus’ hips.

“Will you trust me on this?” He asks and looks up at his face. “That I will tell you if it goes too far, or if I don’t like something?”

“Of course I will, love.” Magnus smiles then. “One word from you will be enough.”

Alec nods again and Magnus goes to kiss him then, taking the chance to slide his tongue into his warm mouth as Alec sighs against his lips. Alec’s hold tightens on his hips, but Magnus’ doesn’t care. He’s lost in the taste of Alec, his hands begin to roam over his broad chest, tracing the muscles on display. He breaks of the kiss, only to slide his own shirt over his head and then he feels Alec’s palms pressing onto this new exposed skin. His mouth returns, but this time to Alec’s neck. He moans, as Magnus licks all the way from his neck down to his collarbone and bites it gently. Alec starts panting again, as Magnus places delicate kisses to the undersides of his jaw, Magnus finds himself breathless as Alec slides his palms to rest at his lower back and presses them closer to each other. The rate of their kisses returns to a slower one now, but they’re deep and open mouthed, teeth and tongues clutching against each other.

“Magnus” Alec breathes out as they pause to exhale. He sounds wrecked and Magnus loves the sound of his own name from his mouth so much that he kisses him even harder. Alec lets out a noise that resembles a groan, and Magnus swallows it with his mouth.

“I love you so much.” He whispers in between kisses and Alec nods franticly against him.

“I love you too.”

These words set another line of fires inside Magnus’ body and it’s getting harder and harder to contain them. They continue to kiss, Magnus barely resist the urge to grind his hips a little, but Alec’s hand pressing on his chest stops every other thought from rushing in his head, and he focuses on the here and now again.

“Thank you.” Alec whispers as they break of the kiss completely. “For taking such a good care of me.”

Magnus can only smile in return as he pulls back lightly and sweeps Alec’s hair out of his forehead.

“Thank you for letting me, Alexander.”

Chapter Text

Everything goes fairly smooth with the move. Within the next week they’re already living at the family house. They managed to pack everything into their car, which only proves that they don’t own a lot stuff. They didn’t take any furniture from the apartment, it wasn’t theirs anyway, so it was just their personal stuff.

The first day was probably the worst.

They got home, where Maryse welcomed them with open arms. She’s really being great, even slowing down her work to spend more time with them. They talked for hours the first night, and that was lovely, but still the problem is their father.

He did welcome Isabelle warmly, shared a handshake with Jace, but as Alec tried to approach, he swiftly turned away as if he wasn’t even there. Alec wants to say that he’s really used to this, because he thought he was, but not at this rate. Every time they’re in the same room, Robert makes some kind of excuse to leave. It’s just childish. Alec gets that he might not like him, hate him even, but the way he acts is not how an adult should act. Alec tries to avoid him as much as he can. He spends most of the time in his room, at the university, with Lydia, or at Magnus’.

He’s basically the only thing that’s keeping him sane now.

Magnus has been really supportive through this whole move and everything. Alec could see that he wasn’t actually against the idea, but also not fully for it. He gets that, he’s worried, and Alec is thankful  for that, for someone to care for him so much. And he’s so grateful for Magnus providing him with the shelter he needs sometimes.

And he’s glad they’re talking. That whatever comes up, they can just talk in out and explain. Alec does feel insecure about the physical area of their relationship, but he tries to push his boundaries a little more with Magnus. So it was a relief, to hear that Magnus wants him back, because he was getting quite confused with the signals he was sending sometimes. But now Alec’s heart swells at the concern from Magnus, how much he considers his comfort and safety first. In the darkness of his bedroom, Alec feels like he can let himself step a bit further. It’s fine then, Magnus can really see any of the flaws on his body and they can still feel their skin pressing together.

For now, it’s enough. But Alec feels more and more ready to take another step.

But at the same time, he feels terrible. Like he’s using him at some point. Barging into his home when he feels like it… Magnus did say he’s welcomed, but still, it bothers him to be constantly invading his space.

And it becomes harder and harder to come up with explanations to his mother, where he spends his nights.

He knows he can tell her about Magnus, but he just doesn’t feel like it. She might have accepted the fact, that he’s gay, but for him to be in a relationship… that’s sort of a different thing. He’ll tell her at some point, but right now, Magnus is his steppingstone from the new family life, and he feels that if he shares something about him with his mother, the spell will break and it won’t remain as private as Alec wants it to. True, his mother has changed, a lot, but still he’s not fully comfortable with sharing these kind of information with her. She never really found out about the situation with Raj, she didn’t care back then, and Alec’s not gonna bring it up anytime soon. Nor ever.

So besides his father’s childish behaviour, it’s not that bad. He still has Jace and Izzy, sees Max all the time, and his mom is a great supporter recently, which fills him with joy to see her accepting all of them.

“No, I’m really doing fine.” He says with a hint of amusement at Magnus’ concerned tone when they’re talking on the phone.

“You’re sure?” Magnus inquires still. “You can always come and spend the night.”

“I spent the night yesterday.” Alec reminds, but Magnus only snorts.

“And why does it matter?” He questions swiftly.

“Look, baby I’m really doing okay.” Alec resorts again. “Thank you, but I’m staying here tonight. Please, stop worrying so much. I told you it’s not that bad here.”

“I know, I know.” Magnus sighs and there’s a slight pause before he speaks again. “I’m just making sure. And you know I’ll always worry.”

“As will I.” Alec replies. “But I promise, I’m okay.”

“Fine.” Magnus finally lets go. “But if anything happens, call me, okay?”

“I will.” Alec smiles, but rolls his eyes again. “Love you.”

“Love you too, angel.”

They hang up with short goodbyes and Alec comes back to writing an article he’s been working on the whole evening. He really got out of practice.

At some point, he feels like he failed. Not only himself, but his siblings the most. It was Alec’s idea to move out, he didn’t really ask them to come along, but was grateful when they did. And now he couldn’t even provide a home for them. He should have done more. Find a serious job, not a casual one that doesn’t even provide a constant salary. And it’s not like he really paid attention to writing recently. He’s been too selfish, too focused on himself and his relationship.

He gets startled when there’s a knock at the door.

“Come in.” He calls out, looking up from the screen.

“Hi.” Jace comes in to sit at the edge of his bed.

Alec has to admit, that he’s kind of missed his old bedroom. It’s simple as his room at their apartment, but holds some nostalgia to it. Alec’s always loved the view from here. The room is settled in the attic, and though the window you can see a forest settled on the horizon. This view always brings him some kind of calm of mind. He used to stare at it a lot when he was a kid, especially during his panic attacks. He would just observe the forest, how the trees are bending under the wind, and he’d try to breathe in deeply and exhale slowly. Sometimes, it helped.

“Hey,” Alec closes his laptop and turns his attention to his brother. “Everything okay?”

“Yeah, fine.” Jace answers simply with a shrug. “Just wanted to see how you were doing.”

“I’m good.” Alec replies and his brother nods.

“What are you working on?” He asks then and gestures to the computer now resting down next to Alec.

“Just writing some piece.” He shrugs.

Silence falls between them for a few moments, until Alec decides to break it.

“I was actually thinking about getting some job.” He says and Jace turns to him with eyebrows raised. “I mean, like a real job. Because writing those articles is clearly not enough…”

“Alec, you can’t have a job.” Jace shakes his head lightly and Alec sends him a confused gaze. “What about school?”

“I’d manage somehow.” Alec replies casually. “I can work afterwards.”

“Yeah, and when would you rest?” Jace inquires then. “Spend some time with Magnus, just relax, take care of yourself?”

“I…” Alec starts and shakes his head a bit. “I’d figure something out.”

“Alec…” Jace trails of resigned.

“Look, I just want to move out of here.” Alec admits. “I’m not saying it’s bad, but I can feel that the atmosphere is tensed with me here. You don’t have to come with me this time. I get that I couldn’t really provide you with anything the last time-“

“Alec, what are you talking about?” Jace questions.

“That I failed you.” He sighs heavily. “As a big brother, I was supposed to take care of you, and I just-“

“And that’s what you’ve been doing.” His brother cuts in.

“Well, clearly not good enough.” Alec says sharply. “I messed up.”

“You didn’t-“

“I did.” He resorts firmly. “I’m sorry, Jace.”

“Stop this.” His brother shakes his head.

“I put too much of this on you.” Alec hangs his head low as he speaks.

“What are you talking about?” Jace repeats, clearly confused.

“I mean, that you were the one actually working on our living. Me and Izzy never helped a lot. We prioritized school and I feel like we, like I, haven’t done enough to help you with that. I let you keep a job that you hated only for us to have a place to live in. I was the one who wanted to move out the most. You would have been okay with living here, but me-”

“Alec, listen.” Something about his tone makes Alec look up at him. “This isn’t your fault, you know that, right? True, I was the one with the job, but it's because that was what was better for me. I had no idea what I wanted to do, what to tie my future with, in fact I still don’t. It was better to earn some money than go study some pointless subject I wouldn’t even be sure I liked. It was different with you and Iz, you knew what you wanted, so there was no time to waste. I feel like I needed this time to figure things out. And I would have hated to just sit around and do nothing, so getting a job was the best solution.”

“I know this, but-“

“Stop, brother.” Jace shakes his head and smiles. “None of this is your fault.”

Alec nods lightly even if he doesn’t fully believe it. He knows that Jace will let this go now. He loves his brother, and knows that Jace is telling the truth. That this was what he wanted, so Alec wouldn’t really be able to convince him otherwise. But still, at some point, it all feel like a failure.

“How’s Clary?” He tries to change the subject and manages a small smile.

It’s a good step, since Jace’s face immediately gets overcomed by a grin.

“Good.” He admits. “Slowly, but we’re getting somewhere.”

“That’s great.” Alec nods. “When are you seeing her again?”

“I hope soon.” Jace says simply. “But she’s quite busy with school now. I don’t want to distract her too much.”

“How thoughtful of you.” Alec teases and it prompts out a laugh from his brother. “You really care about her, don’t you?” His voice is a bit more serious when he asks.

“Yeah, I do.” Jace agrees with a warm expression. “I really do.”

Alec looks at his brother for a few more seconds. He’s never seen him so invested before. It makes him truly happy to get to witness it. He hopes everything will work out for them.

“Okay, I’m gonna let you get back to work.” Jace states as he gets up and head to the door, sending him one last smile on his way out as Alec nods.

 

Soon after Jace leaves, he gets ready for bed, but sleep doesn’t come so easily. His mind is just preoccupied lately with a lot of things. First the move, now school, job, relationships, Max… Deep down Alec knows that he’s heading towards some dark places that he will have troubles crawling out of, but he brushes it off now. He has his siblings, he has Lydia, Magnus… he can make it. He will.

But still, sleep doesn’t come. He trashes around in bed, but he just can let himself rest. So he gets up, stares out of the window for a few moments and then leaves the room.

He doesn’t really know where he’s going, but when he’s just about to head downstairs, he passes a door and remembers where they lead to.

Max’s room.

He hasn’t been here since he moved out. But no one has actually been there since that time. At least he thinks so. That’s when Max went to the hospital and even though his stuff is probably still here, most of it must be there with him.

Without really thinking, he turns the knob and enters.

A wave of memories floats through his as soon as he steps over the threshold. He remembers spending his nights here, watching over Max, singing, or reading him to sleep. He remembers carrying him to this very bed, when he was too exhausted to move himself. Remembers just holding his hand, and telling him that everything will be okay, kissing his forehead softly and smiling just to conceal his worry.

The shelves on the walls, once filled with books, video games, or sketchbooks, are now empty. All of these stuff is back at the hospital. The room itself feels hollow. Not much is left here. Some clothes are hanging loosely in the closet, the curtains are flowing under the light night breeze, Alec can feel the soft rug underneath his feet. But the room is lacking life, energy, everything that Max is, and now he’s not here to provide it.

Alec sighs heavily as he sits down on the bed and looks around one more time. Then his eyes rest on the nightstand, where he sees a framed picture.

It’s dusty and he wipes it gently, to reveal a photo of him and his siblings. He smiles at the wide grins plastered on their faces. He remembers that day. It was a long time ago, during a family vacation when they went to Florida. There’s to ocean behind them, the weather is sunny, but windy as Isabelle has got her hair in her face. Alec is next to her, one arm wrapped around her shoulders, the other holding up Max, with some help from Jace at the other side of their baby brother. Alec can’t have been more than sixteen there. They all look so happy.

He knows he wasn’t really happy at that time. Can barely recall some memories from his childhood when he truly was. But there are a few. Isabelle being born, Jace’s arrival, then Max. Everything happy revolves around his siblings.

“Can’t sleep?”

Alec shakes out of his thoughts as he hears a voice from the doorway. He looks up to see his mother leaning against the doorframe, watching him with some kind of a sad, but soft smile. He nods lightly and then she goes to join him on the bed, her eyes briefly focusing on the photo in his hand, but then coming back to rest on Alec.

“Everything okay?” She asks then.

“Yeah.” Alec replies quietly, his thumb swiping at the frame in his hand. “Just restless.”

“You’re worrying too much, Alec.” His mother says then. “You should rest more.”

“I’m fine, mom.” He tries, but even he can hear that his voice comes out tired as he looks down on the picture again

“No, you’re not.” Maryse speaks sadly and shakes her head. “And what hurts me the most, is that I’m only seeing it now.”

These words make him look up at her, and he swears he can notice tears in her eyes as she stares into the void darkness in front of them.

“Mom-“ Alec starts only to get cut off by Maryse again.

“I’m sorry, Alec.” She begins as her eyes turn back to him. “That I haven’t noticed anything before.”

“What are you talking about?” He questions confused.

“Everything.” Maryse gives a little shrug. “You weren’t happy.” She points with her head lightly at the photograph in his hand. “Not even then.”

He doesn’t say anything, because he doesn’t want to deny the truth.

“I guess I’ve only realised it when we left for Chicago.” She picks back up then. “Your words at the dinner, before we left… they gave me a lot to think about. You never really said anything, you were the quiet one, but when you speak… your words always hold so much power, like you thought everything through hundreds of times before speaking.” She chuckles lightly. “Which is impossible, but that’s what they sound like. And you were right, we didn’t care enough for our children. Not when you were young. We’re really trying with Max, we know he needs us, but your father… He still feels like his career is more important. You know him, no matter what I say, how hard I try to convince him, I’m not able to change his mind, no one is.” She takes the hold of his hands and he feels like her eyes are driving into him. “So I’m sorry, son, for not being there for you. I promise you, I’ll try to be better, for all of you. I can’t speak for your father, but I promise you, I will try.”

Alec smiles lightly at her, as he feels tears pricking into his own eyes, and squeezes her hands a bit tighter.

“Thank you, mom.” He resorts and Maryse reciprocates his smile. “It means a lot.”

“I just wish I realised it sooner.” She shakes her head again.

“What matters is that you did.” Alec states and then his mother nods.

They stay silent for a while, weight of Maryse’s confession still in the air, but something just feels lighter between them. Like some tension has been released. And Alec is thankful for that.

“Do you come here often?” He asks after another few moments.

“No.” Maryse replies and looks around, as if she hasn’t seen the room in a long time too. “I was here only a few times since he got to the hospital. I just find this place so lifeless without him.”

Alec nods, because he can totally understand this feeling, he himself felt it when he entered.

“When you moved out.” Maryse says then. “And Max was accepted to the hospital, the house just became so… empty. And I guess we didn’t care back then, we were still spending most of the time at the office, but now, since I’m trying to slow down a bit with work… I guess it really hit me how much I miss you.”

Alec takes in her words with another nod, and then his mother adds.

“I’m glad to have you back here. All of you, I hope we can somehow make up for the lost time.”

“I hope we will, mom.” Alec turns to her with a smile.

A wider grin is forming onto Maryse’s face as she speaks furthermore.

“Maybe we would, if you weren’t disappearing every other night.” She says, her voice a little teasing.

Alec ducks his head and is grateful for the darkness, because his mom can’t see the blush spreading on his cheeks.

“What’s his name?” She asks, her tone now soft, without any kind of tease.

And Alec thinks, screw this. If his mother can confess her feelings like that, he can for sure tell her about his boyfriend.

“Magnus.” The corners of his lips quirk a little.

“How long have you two been together?” Maryse questions next.

“Around three months.” Alec replies softly.

“Three months?” Maryse exclaims surprised. “That’s long. How come you didn’t say anything sooner?”

“I…” Alec struggles with the answer. He doesn’t want to upset his mom, but the truth is, he didn’t tell her because he didn’t trust her. And he knew her reaction to his coming out, so why would she react any better when he told her he has a boyfriend?

“I know why.” Maryse resorts herself as she hangs her head down again. “I wasn’t actually supportive of you.”

“Mom, it’s-“ He tries, but Maryse interrupts swiftly.

“Don’t say it’s nothing.” She shakes her head. “I can’t believe how terrible I was to you for being yourself. Who you love, boy or girl, it should never matter. I don’t know why I took it so badly. I guess I just saw someone completely different in you. I guess I never saw my real son.”

It’s true. He hid who he was from his parents. Only showed them the parts they wanted to see, so he understands that it might have come across as a bit of a shock when he came out.

“I didn’t want you to see this.” Alec finds himself speaking, and his mother looks up at him. “To see me. I knew it would disappoint you-“

“Alec, I’m so sorry.” Maryse’s voice sounds wet through the tears. “I’m so sorry, we made you feel like you were never good enough, that I made you feel like it. You’re an amazing, strong man, the most caring big brother, and the greatest son I could ever have. I am proud of you, sweetheart, so proud that even with us being so terrible to you, you managed to accomplish all of these amazing things.”

Alec doesn’t even realise that tears are running down his cheeks, until Maryse wipes them away with her thumbs.

“I love you, son. I want you to know that.” She says as his eyes find hers.

Alec nods, at first not being able to get any words out, because of the lump in his throat, but then he manages.

“I love you too, mom.”

He can feel Maryse relax, as she pulls him into her embrace. She hugs him tightly, as tight as she can, as if trying to make up for all of the hugs he’s never received. Alec hugs back, and they stay there, on the bed, for a really long time, until they can untangle themselves from each other.

She doesn’t ask anything further about Magnus, not now at least. They’re both pretty tired, but they both can feel something clicking right between them. Not all the wrongs are forgiven, not all of the mistakes are undone, but for now, what they have is more than enough.

 

The next day starts with his weekly session with Mr Fell. Or Ragnor. He’s still not really sure how to play this card.

Mr Fell doesn’t push. They didn’t even mention that night when they dragged Magnus out of the bar. Alec knows that his therapist is waiting for him to bring it up, to make sure he’s comfortable, but the truth is, he’s not sure if he is.

So they continue to speak about anything else.

“How is living with your parents?” Mr Fell prompts after a few routine questions.

“It’s fine.” Alec admits and then continues, knowing that this isn’t a satisfying answer for the doctor. “I’m managing. Still not talking to my father, but I actually had quite an honest conversation with my mom last night.”

“About what exactly?”

“About everything.” Alec shrugs. “She kept apologising for not begin there for me, for us, actually. I guess we just explained some things to each other. I didn’t know how much I needed it, until it happened.”

Mr Fell nods, as he writes something down in his notebook.

“So, the problem is your father.” He more states than asks, but Alec knows it’s a sign for him to elaborate.

“The problem is I don’t want anything to do with him. And he doesn’t want anything to do with me. But still, we need to endure each other. There’s no other way for now.”

“You didn’t try to talk to him?”

“There wasn’t really a chance.” Alec snorts. “He keeps avoiding me, and I’m not planning on following him around. If he doesn’t want to talk, we won’t. That’s it.” He shrugs again.

The doctor nods again, and doesn’t speak for a few more moments. Alec glances at his watch, there is still a few minutes left till they need to wrap up, but none of them is eager to speak. So Alec decides he will.

He clears his throat a bit awkwardly, which makes Mr Fell look up at him, with a confused expression.

“So, we never… I guess we never really…” He pauses and exhales to try and find the right words. “We never spoke about that night.”

Mr Fell closes his notebook and leans in a bit, resting his elbows on his knees.

“I wasn’t sure, if you’d like that.” He admits.

“I wasn’t sure myself.” Alec replies. “But I just… is it awkward now? I mean, I know you’re friends with Magnus… But did you tell him I’m seeing you?” He finally asks.

“No, I didn’t.” Mr Fell answers, and Alec feels some kind of weird relief rush through him. That’s good. He wants to be the one to tell Magnus, when he’ll be ready. “I can’t just go and throw around my patients’ names.”

“Yeah, I figured.” Alec speaks lightly. “But you’re friends, and I thought… I don’t know I guess I thought you’d tell him, I don’t know why… it’s stupid I’m sorry.”

“It’s okay.” The doctor assures, but as Alec looks at him this time, there’s something distant and unreadable about his expression.

“I think our time is over for today.” Mr Fell announces then, and Alec doesn’t know if it’s a convenient coincidence, but he can see how relieved the psychologist seems now. Alec lets it go for now, but there’s something unsettling about this conversation. “I’ll see you next week.” The doctor smiles, and Alec reciprocates as he leaves the office, but something still doesn’t feel right.

 

“So, how’s living with the fam again?” Max grins at him when he turns from the TV and yet another won round of Mario Kart.

Alec’s just distracted. That’s why he keeps losing.

Or at least he tells himself that.

“I swear to God, if I hear this question one more time…” He groans, but his brother just laughs. “What? Magnus keeps asking, Mr Fell, and now you. I’m done.”

Max keeps laughing, but then turns a bit more serious.

“I’m just curious.” He informs, but Alec knows that it’s more than that. Max can’t remember much of how Alec was treated at the house, but he knows how quick he was to move out.

“It’s fine. Don’t worry about it.” He replies as he ruffles his hair, which makes him smile. “I’m staying at Magnus’ place a lot anyway.” He shrugs.

“Oh, you’re in this phase now.” Max teases as he nudges him with his elbow.

“What are you talking about?” Alec asks with a chuckle.

“What is it called?” Max snaps his fingers as he tries to recall something. “The honey moon phase?”

“I have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about.” Alec admits which resolves with another burst of laughter from his brother, and Alec joins in shortly. “You should ask Izzy about that.” He adds as the laughter dies down.

“I will.” Max states. “Don’t know why though, it’s not like I’ll ever live through something like this.” His voice turns sad towards the end.

“Hey, don’t say that.” Alec tries, but his brother shakes his head.

“Let’s be real, Alec. I won’t experience an epic love story. If any love story ever, not here.” He sighs. “And it doesn’t seem that I’ll be leaving anytime soon.”

Alec opens his mouth to say something, but he doesn’t really know what. He hates this. Hates how many things will Max miss out on. Sometimes he feels terrible for having all of these things in his life. Being able to study, experience love, with someone such amazing as Magnus… He doesn’t feel like he deserves it. Max for sure does, more than him.

“It’s fine.” Max says when Alec gets lost in his thoughts again. “I’m glad I can at least hear about yours.” He smiles and claps Alec on the shoulder. “I’m happy you found him. You deserve it, Alec.”

No, he doesn’t. He really doesn’t.

But still, he nods and smiles back at his brother.

After another grand failure from his side in Mario Kart, Magnus shows up, quickly greets Max, they speak for a brief while and then he escorts them both himself and Alec to his car.

Alec finds himself kissing him goodbye a little harder. As if trying to convey the gratefulness he feels for him. Magnus doesn’t mind.

 

Family dinners were always unpleasant.

Alec can’t recall if it’s better now, but for sure it’s not good. The atmosphere is just tensed. Alec much more prefers the dinners when his father isn’t around, because he needs to stay longer at work, but it’s Sunday today, and Maryse is trying to make those Sunday family dinners kind of a thing. And she’s succeeding at that, when it comes to carrying them out. The vibe isn’t exactly family, but that’s not her fault.

They’re all seated at the table in the living room. Awkward silence has fallen over them, and Alec can see how desperately his mother is trying to come up with some subject just to put it to an end. So Alec decides to speak himself.

“Hey, mom,” He starts and Maryse turns to him, already looking grateful, small smile on her face. “How was the last case at work? Did you wrap it up?”

He knows that talking about work might not be the best idea, but it’s better than nothing. And Maryse visibly brightens a bit, since the silence is finally slipping away.

“Mostly, yes. But there is also some stuff we need to-“ She begins to answer only to get cut off by Robert.

“We can’t speak about that.” He scowls not even looking up from his plate. “It’s private. Classified. You’re not part of the company.”

Alec sends him a bitter smile that he doesn’t even notice and turns back to his food.

Well, he tried.

Maryse looks a bit more put down again as she sighs heavily.

“Isabelle, how’s school?” Robert asks then.

“Oh, it’s fine.” She says and Alec can hear how much she’s forcing on the cheerful tone. He knows her too well. “Some new projects came up and I’m excited to take them up, but I also try to be there for Simon, since he’s-“

“That’s great.” Robert interrupts again, appearing totally uninterested after the topic of her studies is done.

Isabelle freezes with mouth open half-sentenced, but then finally closes it and just stares down at her food.

“Simon’s what, honey?” Maryse prompts then and as Izzy looks up they share a soft smile.

“He booked some more gigs. And he’s really nervous.” She explains with a chuckle. “I just try to be there for him to kind of ease him up. He’s a really great musician and has nothing to worry about, but still, it’s stressful for him.”

Maryse nods understandingly as Isabelle finishes.

“Would you mind if we came to see him perform one day?” She asks then and Robert turns to her with an alarmed expression, but she only shrugs. “What? He haven’t actually met him, and it would be lovely to see him sing.”

“I think that would be great.” Isabelle resorts and then her smile and tone are completely genuine. “Thanks, mom. I’d really like for you to meet-“

“I don’t know if we’ll be able to make it. We have work.” Robert informs, his tone firm. “Besides, this kid should focus on school, not chasing some dream of pursuing this worthless career. Didn’t you mention he studies accountancy?”

“Well, yes. He does.” Isabelle answers, a bit taken aback at the sudden harsh accusation from her dad to her boyfriend. “But music is what he really loves-“

“A shame.” Robert resolves shortly. “He would do way better with accountancy, that’s a future profession.”

Izzy looks like she wants to say something more, but before she even gets to, Robert speaks again.

“Jace, have you found any job yet?” He asks.

Jace, who’s been unusually quiet during the whole dinner, finally looks up and studies them all for a moment before answering.

“Well… no, not yet.” He admits and sounds a bit ashamed. “But I’m still searching-“

“It will be hard for you.” Robert starts before he even gets to finish. “You don’t have any degree, no higher education. Employers don’t look for uneducated kids those day. It’s a shame your brother had made you work for your living for the past few months, so you couldn’t actually attend school.”

Alec flinches at his father’s words. If he didn’t feel guilty before, he for sure does now. He seems to sink even deeper into his seat, but doesn’t say anything. Instead, it’s Jace who does.

“Alec didn’t make me do anything.” He starts, his tone harsh. “That’s what I wanted. I didn’t know what I wanted to do in the future. And I couldn’t just sit around.”

“I still think you should get some proper education first.” Robert cuts off the discussion short.

Jace glares at him, but then decides to drop it with and rolls his eyes.

They don’t really speak after that. Alec doesn’t know if it’s better or worse.

After the disastrous dinner is finally done, Maryse begins to clean up, but as she grabs some plates, Alec stops her with a hand on her forearm and tells her he’ll handle it. He can see that his mother’s quite put down after yet another attempt she thought would fix something in the family relation, so Alec advices her to get some rest, and she thanks him with a soft smile and a nod, moving aside to her bedroom.

Jace and Izzy are both back in their rooms. Nobody really wanted to stay at the table any longer than they had too, so Alec doesn’t blame them. And it’s nice to keep occupied with some simple tasks for now.

Just as he enters the kitchen with a stack of plates in hands, he spots his father preparing himself a drink. Barely resisting an eye roll, he quickly moves past him, and without any words puts the plates down, swiftly heading back out to get another dishes. But somehow he and Robert move at the same time, and they bump into each other on the way out.

“Sorry.” Alec murmurs out quietly and tries to leave as fast as he can, but hears his father literally groan behind him. Something about it makes him stop.

“If you really have to be here, at least watch where you’re going.” Robert’s tone is sharp and Alec stirs again, not quite finding himself to turn and face him.

“I said sorry.” He just shoots back, and Robert laughs hollowly.

“Sorry is not enough.”

Alec knows he means much more than their little setback a while before.

And somehow, he feels like he’s had enough.

“Why?” He asks as he turns to face him. “Why do you hate me so much?” His voice is calm, but there’s some edge to it. He knows he shouldn’t ask, but somehow, just can’t stop himself.

“What’s there not to hate?” His father eyes him up and down.

It stings more than it should have.

He can’t have this. Doesn’t have to listen to this. It was a mistake to try and confront him in any way. With a heavy sigh, Alec turns to walk away, but then Robert speaks again.

“You will never get a grip, will you?” He starts, and Alec just sends him a confused glare. With another groan, Robert speaks furthermore. “Maybe I would have tolerated it, if you didn’t drag your siblings down with you. Especially Isabelle, she doesn’t deserve this.”

Alec doesn’t want to believe it’s true, but there’s some voice at the back of his head, that tells him that it is. And that voice, which has been locked out somewhere deep in his mind, now is beginning to break free.

“It’s all your fault.” Robert speaks again. “First you made them move out with you, from a place where they could have much more comfort, then you couldn’t provide them with a home, made Jace work-“

“I didn’t-“ Alec tries, but is voice comes out much weaker, and his father only snorts and continues.

“You’ll mess up their lives without even noticing it. You’re weak, always have been. And I think it’s time somebody finally tells out this, so you can stop living in denial. You were pathetic, thinking you could do this, live on your own. I knew it was just a matter of time, before you came crawling back here for help. If it wasn’t for your mother, begging me to let you stay here, you’d be homeless now.”

He should leave, right now. Alec knows it, but somehow, he finds himself frozen. Because it’s true, he was foolish thinking he’d handle it. And now not only he is paying the price, but his siblings. And he can’t have that.

“You will achieve nothing, because you’re way too powerless and vulnerable.” He pauses and lets a vicious laugh escape him. “If you ever thought my company would take you in, you couldn’t be more wrong. Somebody like you, representing us? You’d be a disgrace. You’re no man, Alexander. This thing you became...” He spits the words bitterly. “I once had big hopes for you. Who knew you’d turn out such a disaster. You’re only proving it now.”

Alec realises there are tears in his eyes, and desperately tries to hold them back. His father is right, he is pathetic, he can’t get a grip, it’s all true. And all this time he tried to fool himself that he could be someone. He needs a fucking therapist, he shouldn’t be that weak not to handle his problems. He’ll drag down everyone around him. Izzy, Jace, Max, Lydia, Magnus. He doesn’t deserve any of their love and support, he’s a burden to them. He should leave them, just disappear from their lives. Disappear from everything. It would be better for everyone.

It’s itching. His skin, his scars, like they’re just begging to be reopened. He’d do it now. Just grab a razor blade and cut them open, let the steady flood of blood calm him, make him numb. God, it hurts, but he needs to make it hurt more. He doesn’t deserve a release.

He turns to leave. He can’t do this right in front of his father. He’s already shown how weak he is, Robert would just laugh at him. Before he gets to take another step, his father is grabbing his arm. Way too tight.

“I’m not done talking to you.” He snaps.

“Let go of me.” Alec’s voice is much quieter that he’d hope for.

Robert opens his mouth to speak again, but before he gets to, they can hear another voice.

“Robert.” Maryse sounds both surprised, shocked an even a bit of scared as she stand in the doorway and sees her husband holding his son’s arm in a death grip.

Alec uses the moment of surprise drawling on his father and rips his hand away, only to walk past his mother as quickly as he can and head out of the kitchen.

He just needs something to ease those fucking voices in his head. They’re too loud.

He can faintly hear his mother say something to his father, but it sounds like from underwater. They might be screaming, but it’s not like Alec cares anymore.

“Alec.” He only shakes out a bit as he feels a hand on his shoulder, much more gentle than before. Then his mother comes around in front of him and puts the other palm on his shoulder. “What happened?”

Alec only shakes his head, not trusting his voice. It betrayed him way too many times tonight. The tears sting even stronger in his eyes now.

“Hey, what’s wrong?” Maryse’s voice is warm as she places her hands on his cheeks and tries to make him look up, but his sight still remains glued to the floor. “Talk to me, son.” She sounds worried now, as if realising she can’t get him out of this weird trance.

No one can, not even he himself.

“I…” Alec tries to speak, but still doesn’t fully look at her. “I can’t be here.” With that words, he breaks out of her gentle grip and head towards the stairs to get to his room. He needs to leave. He’s worked too hard for it. To make himself better. He can’t ruin it now. He’s been clean for so long. His father’s words should not have this effect on him, but somehow they do. Way more than he even likes to admit.

Getting to his room, he takes a few deep breathes, stares out of the window. It doesn’t help. He’s into deep now.

“Alec.” His mom tries again as she reaches his bedroom. “Sweetheart, what’s going on?”

“I can’t be here, mom.” He starts to move franticly around the room, grabbing some stuff and throwing them into his bag. “I can’t. Not with him.”

“Okay, let’s just calm down.” Maryse attempts and tries to come closer to him, her hands outstretched like she’s approaching a wild animal. “Sit down, and tell me what happened.”

“I can’t.” Alec shakes his head wildly. “I don’t want to.”

He can’t repeat it. No matter how true it feels, he can’t bear to recall it.

“Alright, just calm down then-“ Maryse starts, but gets cut off but Isabelle, who suddenly shows in the doorway.

“Alec, what happened?” She’s in full alarmed mode, as she steps closer to her brother, probably noticing his miserable state. She tries to cup his face and make him slow down and look at her, as she always does when something like this happens, but Alec doesn’t let her this time. He’s her big brother, he should be the one to take care of her not the other way around.

But something about her worried and scared face, makes Alec a bit more conscious.

He closes his eyes. Takes a deep breath, then another, and another.

As he opens them, he can see Jace in the doorway too. He’s keeping his distance, but it’s clear how concerned he his.

He doesn’t deserve any of this. Never did.

“I can’t stay here.” He finally says and grabs the bag, on his way out of the room. The rest is a bit too shocked to follow right out.

“Wait, what do you mean?” Isabelle asks as they catch up to him. “What happened?”

“I just can’t, Iz.” Alec resolves and turns to her. “It was a bad idea.”

“What did Robert do?” Jace’s voice is firm, and he already sounds angry.

“I have to go.” Alec simply states and heads for the front door.

“Alec, please.” His mother concerned voice reaches him, which makes him turn once again.

She looks at him with pleading, glistening eyes, worry present in her expression.

“Thank you, mom.” He comes a bit closer to her as he speaks and squeezes her arm. “I appreciate all you’re trying to do to fix it.” His voice begins to break as he shakes his head. “But you can’t fix everything. Not this.”

He gets to the door, and puts his hand on the doorknob, just to hear his sister’s voice again.

“Where will you go?” She asks concerned, and Alec can’t bear to see her face twisted in that emotion, so he doesn’t turn when he answers.

“I’ll figure something out.”

He leaves before any of them gets to say anything more, only letting his tears float when he can hear the front door slum shut behind him.

And in the night time, he just runs away.

Chapter Text

“You have to talk to him.”

Magnus barely gets to greet him, as Ragnor’s slightly panicked voice sounds over the phone. It’s getting late, and Ragnor is probably in the middle of reading through his patients’ files. It’s Sunday, and Magnus has no idea how many times he’s told his friend that he should not work the weekends, but it seems to be pointless. It’s been a busy week for the both of them, and they haven’t really been about to talk until now.

“Hello to you too, my dear friend.” He doesn’t hide the bitter note in his tone. “Talk to who, and about what?”

“To Alec.” Ragnor says and Magnus feels himself more alert at his words.

“What happened?” He questions, and it’s his turn to let the panic slide into his voice.

“We talked about that night.” His friend explain. “I mean, only a bit, but it got awkward.”

“What did he say?” Magnus moves to the drink cart and prepares himself a whiskey, when he listens to Ragnor talk further more.

“He asked if I told you that he’s seeing me. I said I didn’t, and to be honest he looked quite relieved.”

“That’s good, right?” Magnus asks as he slumps down on the couch, drink in hand.

“Not quite.” Ragnor exclaims with a sigh. “It mostly looks like he’d want to be the one to tell you. But what he doesn’t know, it that you’re already aware about that fact. I didn’t lie to him, because he only asked if I told you. He didn’t explicitly asked if you knew.”

“Couldn’t you just tell him?” Magnus questions gently.

“Would you like me to?” Ragnor’s tone isn’t accusing, but there’s some edge to it. “It’s something you should tell him himself, since you’re the one who figured it out in the first place.”

“So I should just tell him I know?” Magnus considers then. “What happened to ‘wait until he approaches the subject’?”

“I didn’t say you have to tell him right away.” Ragnor clarifies. “I’m just saying you should do it, because from how things are looking now, it might disturb the work I’m doing with him. And I guess none of us would want it.”

“Of course not.” Magnus replies without hesitation. He’s wouldn’t want to ruin all of the progress Alec has made, and make him feel uncomfortable in his therapist presence. He’s worked too hard, and Magnus knows it’s not easy for him. “Maybe I should just pretend I don’t know? And wait until he tells me?” He suggests.

“I don’t know, Magnus.” Ragnor admits with defeat in his voice. “It’s not like lies will get you anywhere…”

“It isn’t technically a lie…” Magnus trails off, but he knows it’s wrong. He can’t lie to Alec, he already promised himself he won’t. “You’re right, I need to figure out how to do this.”

“I would appreciate it if you did before our next session.” Ragnor adds then. “Of course, no pressure. But that would be helpful.”

“Okay, I’ll try.” Magnus promises. “Thank you for letting me know.”

“Yeah, no problem. Take care, Magnus.”

After their exchanged goodbyes, Magnus hangs up and lays back down on the couch. He knew this situation would catch up to them sometime, but it will be quite weird to explain it all to Alec.

It’s not like he’s done something wrong. He had every right to just figure it out. It was quite simple, ‘cause he’s been watching Alec, and he knows where Ragnor’s office is located at the hospital. It was easy to put two and two together.

But maybe he should have told Alec he knows. But the topic never really came up, and he doesn’t want to bring it up, because he knows it’s probably hard for Alec to talk about.

Magnus decides to just enjoy his Sunday evening for now. He’ll think about this tomorrow, maybe it will came up at some point. He’s not sure when he’ll see Alec again, knowing them probably soon, but he decides to speak to him about this before Wednesday. He can’t wait forever.

 

Glass of whiskey in one hand, a book in the other, Magnus is sprawled on the couch, wood cracking in the fireplace, rain tickling gently against the window, and he can’t really recall when was the last time he felt so relaxed. The most at ease he gets recently is with Alec, but he can’t deny that it’s nice to have a moment for himself. There are still worries in the back of his head, but he tries not to let them get to him too much now.

He gets startled when he hears a knock on the door. Closing his book, he gets up and attempts to remember if he had someone coming over, but comes out empty. It’s late, Sunday evening, and he doesn’t recall inviting anyone over, especially at this hour.

Not wasting any more time, he moves to open the door, and the view he sees on the other side is quite unexpected.

“Alexander.” Magnus greets and can’t help but smile, but it swiftly fades as he gets to take in the sight of his boyfriend.

Alec is all drenched from the rain, he’s panting like he’s run all the way here, a bag is hanging loosely on his shoulder, and Magnus can see his eyes are red and puffy, like he’s been crying.

Quickly shaking of his surprise and shock he ushers Alec inside, asking.

“Darling, what happened?”

Alec wastes no time as he marches right into Magnus’ arms, dropping the bag on the floor. Only when Magnus closes his embrace around him, he can feel how hard he’s shaking. His clothes are getting wet, from where Alec is tightly squeezing him, but it’s not that he minds, what matters is if Alec is okay, and what the hell happened that left him so shaken up.

So many questions are gathering up in Magnus’ mind, but considering Alec’s current state, he’s not voicing any of them. He just runs his hands up and down his boyfriend’s back in an attempt to sooth him, patiently waiting for him to calm down.

“It’s okay, angel.” He whispers into his hair as Alec hides his face in the crook of his neck. “You’re safe. I’ve got you.”

He feels him nods lightly, and after a few moments Alec pulls back a bit, still stays close. Magnus can notice new wave of tears in his eyes, some of them already running down his cheeks.

“I’m sorry.” He whispers and shakes his head, rubbing a hand over his face in an attempt to stop the tears. “I just… I couldn’t be there. I couldn’t stay in that house.” He shakes his head and looks down, so Magnus gently guides him back into his arms, hugging him tightly.

He goes willingly.

“It’s okay, darling.” Magnus assures once again. “Can you tell me what happened?” He tries now gently, but then can feel Alec shake his head a bit. “Okay, alright.” He whispers again.

They stay like this for a few moments more, just curled up together in the hallway, and Magnus feels that if he let go of Alec now, he’d totally crumble. So he holds him a bit tighter.

“I’m sorry.” Alec repeats once more as he pulls back. “God, I ruined your clothes, I’m sorry, Magnus-“

“Hey, it’s fine.” Magnus speaks softly and cups his face. Alec closes his eyes, but lets him. “Don’t worry about it.”

Alec nods again, and takes a few deep breaths, but doesn’t say anything furthermore.

“Here’s what we’re gonna do,” Magnus starts slowly and waits till Alec opens his eyes and focuses at him. “we’ll get you out of these drenched clothes, and you’ll go take a warm shower, while I’ll make us some tea. Then, if you want to, you can tell me whatever happened. Okay?”

Alec doesn’t look convinced as he looks down again, and starts in a weak voice.

“Maybe I should just go. I already made too much of a trouble-“

“Nonsense, darling.” Magnus doesn’t even let him finish. “You’re no trouble. Okay, love? Just let me take care of you, huh?” He caresses his cheeks lightly and finally receives a nod from his boyfriend.

They gently untangle themselves from each other, but Magnus still keeps his arm around Alec’s waist as if to steady him if he falls, when he leads them to the bedroom. When he makes sure Alec is seated at the edge of the bed, he goes back to the hall and brings back Alec’s disregarded bag from the floor.

“Go to the bathroom, sweetheart.” He tells Alec then. “I’ll leave you some dry clothes here.” He leans in and kisses him lightly on the forehead as he feels him nod again. “Call out if you need anything.”

Without any more words, Alec disappears through the bathroom doors.

And only then Magnus lets out the breathe he didn’t even know he was holding.

He’s terrified. Seeing Alec in such state… The question that’s raging in his head is what the hell happened, to leave him like this. Magnus is pretty sure it has something to do with his father, and he already can feel the anger boiling up in him. He’ll need to have a chat with Robert Lightwood at some point.

After he prepares clothes for Alec and changes himself into some dry ones, he makes his way back to the living room, where his phone begins to buzz from the coffee table. Picking it up, he sees it’s Isabelle.

“Hello.”

“Magnus, is Alec with you?” His boyfriend’s sister’s panicked voice sounds through the line. Magnus has never heard her sound like that yet, so he wastes no time answering.

“Yeah, he’s just showed up at my door.” Before she gets to question anything more, she speaks again.

“Is he okay?”

The answer to this question will be harder, but still, he tries not to sound to morbid, no matter how terrified he feels inside.

“Well… not quite.” He says and Isabelle lets out an uneven exhale. “Isabelle, what happened?”

“I’m not sure.” The woman admits. “He just… I don’t know, I guess he and dad talked, but he refused to say anything and just left. He didn’t look okay, and God, I’m just so worried-“

“Isabelle, calm down.” Magnus gently cuts in as she starts to rumble. “He’s with me now, he’s taking a shower, and I’ll try to find out what’s going on, okay?”

“Yeah, okay.” She answers a bit more relieved now. “Thank you. I just don’t know-“

“I’ll take care of him, don’t worry.” He repeats. “He’s safe here, I promise.”

“Thank you.” Izzy echoes her words from before. “Really, thank you… just let me know if you find anything out, okay?”

“I will, I swear.” He assures and Isabelle lets out one more calmed breath. 

They quickly exchange goodbyes and then Magnus moves to the kitchen to prepare some tea for them. He emerges back to the living room, just in time to see Alec leaving the bedroom. He sets the cups down on the coffee table, sits himself on the couch and gestures for Alec to take a seat too.

He looks a little better now, and is not shaking anymore. His hair is dripping wet, but not from the rain, but from the shower now. Magnus left him the same grey hoodie he gave him the first time he stayed the night, and found some sweatpants in his bag.

“How are you feeling?” Magnus asks with a warm smile as Alec tucks himself into the other end of the couch and brings his knees to his chest. He shrugs lightly in answer, but then begins to speak.

“A bit better.” He doesn’t exactly look him in the eye as he talks. Magnus picks up a cup from the coffee table and gently places it into Alec’s hands. “Thanks.” He sends him a flash of as smile  as he curls his fingers around the steaming mug.

“No problem.” Magnus replies and then none of them speaks. Magnus lets Alec have this. Just a few moments of silence, to sort out his thoughts, when they just sip their teas. No matter how worried he is about what happened, he won’t push Alec to tell him right away.

“I’m sorry.” It’s the third time Alec’s said it today, and Magnus hates to hear these words from him, because he has nothing to apologize for. “I’m sorry for barging in like that, I-, I can leave if you want me to-“

“Darling, why would I want you to leave?” Magnus replies, truly sad at the scared tone Alec’s using. He’d never let him go, especially when he’s in such state. “I told you, you’re always welcomed here. Day or night.”

Alec just nods lightly, but doesn’t appear convinced as he looks down at the tea in his hands. It’s quiet for a few longer moments, while Magnus tries to figure out something to say, but to his surprise, Alec starts then.

“I talked to my father and…” He begins insecurely, and Magnus moves a bit closer to him to squeeze his arm lightly. “I guess he was to one who said more. And I just…” He pauses and sighs heavily. Magnus can see how hard it is for him to put himself and his words together.

“It’s fine, angel. Take your time.” He smoothly pulls the mug out of Alec’s shaking hands to wrap them around his own and caress soft circles at the back of his palm with his thumbs. “Just calm down, and tell me what happened from the beginning. I’m here to listen.” He encourages.

“Okay.” Alec closes his eyes again and breathes a few steady exhales before speaking again. “I guess what he said was the truth.” He says and Magnus can see a new wave of tears gathering up in his eyes.

“Baby, what exactly did he say?” Magnus inquires gently and tightens his hold on his hands a bit.

“That I’m a disaster.” Alec starts with a sniffle. “And look at me, of course I am. It’s all my fault. It’s my fault we lost the apartment, my fault Jace won’t find a job. I’ll drag everyone I care about down with me. He was right, I can’t get a grip, I’m fucking pathetic.”

Alec doesn’t even seem to care about the tears that are floating down his cheeks now. For a moment, Magnus is way to shocked at the sudden outburst, but when he recovers, he quickly interrupts.

“Darling, you are not-“ He tries, but Alec cuts him off.

“I am, Magnus.” He sobs again. “I can’t do anything right. I’ll never achieve anything. I should disappear, leave you all alone, you’re better off without me.” He shakes his head franticly.

“Alexander, stop. This is not true.” Magnus tries to reason with him.

“It is. I don’t deserve any of this. I don’t deserve you.” Alec continues his rumbling.

“Hey,” Magnus begins as he get even closer to him. “hey, look at me, darling.” He delicately cups his face till Alec actually looks at him. “I love you, okay? I do, so much. I need you. I am better with you, love. I would go out of my freaking mind if you just disappeared. Don’t ever say, that you’re not important.”

Alec only shakes his head once again, and Magnus tries one more time, his voice even more firm now.

“Listen to me. Whatever your father said, this isn’t true. You are not weak, or pathetic. You are so strong, angel. You keep proving it every day. No matter how hard it is, you always get back up. You take the best care of your siblings. You have the biggest heart I’ve ever known. Please, love, don’t let any of his words get into your head. He doesn’t know you at all. He can’t judge you. No one can, okay?” He nods and after a moment, Alec begins to mirror the gesture slowly. “I love you. Please, darling, don’t let him put yourself down. You’re stronger than this.”

Alec smiles sadly at him now.

“No, I’m not.” He admits, his voice soft, but incredibly miserable.

“Angel, of course you are-“ Magnus doesn’t get to finish as Alec shakes his head and starts again.

“I’m not, Magnus. I’m weak.” Magnus tries to interrupt, but Alec doesn’t let him as he continues. “If it comes to this, I am.” He pauses to take a breath, but Magnus is sure he wants to say something more, so he waits. “When he said all of those things… I just felt… I haven’t felt like this in such a long time. I thought I was okay, but turns out I’m not.” His voice breaks towards the end. “I thought I can fight this, but then I just… I wanted it to stop, everything to just…” He shakes his head again and his breathing turns heavy. “God, I can’t say this.”

“Calm down, baby, it’s okay.” Magnus sooths lightly. “Just breathe, it’s fine.”

“Every time it got too much, I used to…” Alec begins after a few more deep breaths. “I used to hurt myself.” He scrunches his eyes shut as if he was in pain now. “I just couldn’t handle it. I thought it might help, and at some point it did, but I knew it wasn’t a good way.”

Magnus listens to him, but at the same moment, something inside him breaks when he fully registers his words. Alec hurt himself. Probably mostly because of his father. Magnus tries to wrap his head around that information and it just hurts. It pains him that he ever got to this point where he thought self-harm might help, where someone pushed him into that direction.

“I haven’t felt like this in such a long time.” Alec continues, his voice wet through the tears. “But today… I just felt the need to do this.” He admits and breaks all over again, letting out a horribly pained sob.

Magnus quickly gathers him up in his arm, as if trying to shelter him from the world, to take his pain away, just protect him. He holds him tightly as Alec cries. A million thoughts is rushing through his head, but he tries to supress them. What matters, is that Alec is here, he’s okay, safe. Magnus will make sure it remains like this.

How could he not notice anything? He’s been with Alec for three months, and he never saw anything, that would imply how bad it might have been in the past. Maybe he just wasn’t paying attention?

“I’m so sorry, Magnus.” Alec whispers again, and his small voice bring tears to Magnus’ eyes. He brings him even closer, no matter how close they are it’s never enough. “I’m sorry I didn’t tell you earlier. I was ashamed.”

“Darling, stop apologizing.” Magnus replies as strongly as he can. “It’s not your fault. It’s only the ones how pushed you to do this.”

“But still, I did it.” Alec says sadly. “I was supposed to be stronger than this.”

“You are strong.” Magnus resorts again. Alec looks up at him from his chest and then he continues. “Sometimes we break down. But what’s important, is to get back up. And you did it, always. That’s what makes you strong. Stronger than anyone I know. You are not weak. No matter how many times I will need to repeat it to you, I will.”

Alec stares at him, his eyes wide and bloodshed, but he still look so damn beautiful. Magnus doesn’t know how anyone could ever break him down so much. He’s such a kind, caring person. Magnus will find everyone who ever caused him any harm and talk some sense into them. Starting with his father.

“I really don’t deserve you.” Alec speaks, eyes still fixed on him.

“You do.” Magnus whispers, struggling through the lump in his throat. “You deserve everything, angel.”

Alec smiles lightly and hides his head in his chest again. Magnus feels it becoming soaking wet.

They stay like this until Alec calms down a bit, but even then, Magnus is not letting go. He runs his hand through Alec’s damp hair, remembering how much his boyfriend enjoys this soothing touch. Alec indeed relaxes a bit more, and slumps down against his chest. After another few moments, Magnus carefully prompts a question.

“Does anyone…” He pauses and searches for the right words. “Does anyone know about your troubles with that?”

He feels Alec nods.

“Izzy and Jace.” He says, but doesn’t look up. “But not right away. Not until-“ He hesitates, but after another exhale continues. “Not until they saw the scars.”

Magnus tries not to flinch. But some pieces sort into a whole image into his mind now. He remembers how weird Alec was acting when he was staying the night. He thought he might be insecure about his body, but maybe Alec was insecure about the marks on it. God, he saw him shirtless and never noticed anything. How could he? It was always dark at night, but… Alec always wears long-sleeve t-shirts or jacket. Magnus can’t believe he’s missed it.

“And I actually…” Alec pulls back a bit to look at his face now. “I’ve been seeing a therapist about it. I mean, not only about it, also about all of the stuff with Max, but… yeah we’re talking about this too.” He nods to himself lightly and then his eyes focus on Magnus. “Actually, you’re friends with him. It’s Ragnor Fell.”

Magnus looks back at him, but then drops his gaze. He wasn’t ready for it today.

“You don’t look surprised.” Alec states after a while. Magnus opens his mouth once, twice, but can’t really sort out his words to say something. “Did you know?” Alec questions then, and Magnus can’t quite make out a tone of his voice. “Mr Fell said he didn’t tell you about this-“

“He didn’t.” Magnus informs and their eyes meet now. He can see a hint of hurt behind Alec’s and wants it gone. “I figured it out myself.” He admits.

“How?” Alec questions shortly.

“I saw you at the hospital.” Magnus begins. “I know where Ragnor’s office is and I saw you leaving it quite regularly. So I just assumed you’re seeing him. I spoke to Ragnor first, and tried to get information of out him. Not about any of the private stuff you talk about, I swear, only if it’s true you’re seeing him, because I wanted to know if I had a chance to see you at the hospital again. But he didn’t tell me anything. Our meetings always were coincidences.” He explains. “We never talked about anything you confined in him, I promise. And after that night at the bar I was so scared I made things weird for you… But I also didn’t even want to approach the subject, because I wasn’t sure if it’s something you’d want-“

“Magnus, it’s fine.” Alec resorts with a small smile. “It’s true, I wanted to be the one to tell you about this, but again… I was ashamed of needing this kind of help. And then at the bar… don’t worry, it’s not weird, at least from my side. We spoke about it briefly and I think it’s fine, really.”

“Darling, you don’t need to be ashamed of this.” Magnus takes the hold of his hand again. “I was seeing a therapist after my mom too. It helped me a lot, actually.”

“Yeah, it kinda helps.” Alec agrees. “I mean, it’s better for me to confide in someone who’s not Izzy, or Jace, or even you, because I hate that feeling that I’m putting all of my worries onto you-“

“You know I don’t mind.” Magnus cuts in gently, but Alec only smiles and continues.

“I know, but that’s just how I feel.” Alec admits. “It wasn’t easy at the beginning… but yeah, I’m coming to terms will all of it. Slowly, but going. Baby steps, right?”

“Yeah.” Magnus smiles back at him and caresses his hands gently. “I’m proud of you.” He speaks then. “Really, for dealing with this, and for telling me. I can't even imagine how hard it must be.”

Alec nods as his sight drops again.

“Yeah, I’m sorry I didn’t told you earlier about all this.” His voice sounds guilty again. “I didn’t know how. I guess I was just scared and ashamed.”

“There’s nothing to be ashamed of, Alexander.” Magnus says, his tone firm, but still remaining warm. “I’m not mad at you for not telling me. It’s good you took your time with this.” If so, he’s mad at himself for not noticing.  “And you know I’m always here, right? No matter what, you can tell me everything.”

Alec smiles through his tears again and nods.

“I know. Thank you.”

Magnus opens his arms again, and Alec lets himself be engulfed by their warmth.

“I love you.” Magnus whispers. Kissing the top of his head.

“I love you too.” Alec’s voice is muffled from where he’s pressed tightly against Magnus’ chest, but it’s enough to hear.

And somehow, they hold on. Clinging onto each other, being each other’s rocks. They can make it through the worst. Magnus believes it. If they stick together, nothing can put them down.

 

Alec slowly drifts of to sleep in his arm, as Magnus continues to comb his fingers through his hair lightly. When he’s sure he won’t wake up any time soon, he carefully untangles himself from the embrace and places a kiss to Alec’s forehead. Then he grabs his phone from the coffee table and goes to the kitchen to make sure he won’t disturb Alexander’s sleep, and picks Isabelle’s number. It’s late, but she told him to call her if he knew anything, so he does. She picks up after two rings.

“Did you find anything out?” Her voice is not that panicked as earlier, but still, not calm enough.

“Yes, we talked.” Magnus admits. “It’s because of your father. He said some things that got to Alec’s head.”

“I knew it.” Isabelle says, her voice a bit mad. “We asked him about this too, but he told us that nothing he said was a lie.”

“Well, let me tell you, that everything was actually a lie.” Magnus explains with annoyance.

“What did he say?” Izzy prompts.

“Isabelle…” Magnus begins hesitantly. “I don’t know if I should tell you. Maybe you should speak to Alexander about this-“

“You’re right, I’m sorry.” She admits. “I was just worried.”

“I get it.” Magnus resorts. “I was too. When he showed at my doorstep… He looked devastated. I’ve never seen him in such state.”

Isabelle lets out a heavy sigh and there’s a pause before she continues.

“How is he now?” She questions.

“Better.” Magnus says and glances back to the living room, where Alec is sleeping soundly. “We talked, and now he’s asleep. He was exhausted, I could tell.”

“Yeah, I get it.” Her voice is a bit more soft now. “Thank you, Magnus. For taking care of him.”

“Isabelle, there is nothing to thank me for.” Magnus resorts simply. “I’m always there for your brother.”

“Thanks.” She repeats, the relief present in her tone.

Before she gets to end the call, Magnus begins to speak again.

“Look, Izzy. I don’t think Alec should come back home anytime soon.” He says. “He can stay at mine's as long as he’d like to. And when he feels better we’ll figure something out.”

“Yeah, of course.” Isabelle admits immediately. “You’re right. I don’t think it’s a good idea for him to come back too. Thank you for letting him stay.”

“It’s not a problem.” Magnus states. “Get some rest, Isabelle, and don’t worry. I’ll keep an eye on Alec.”

“Okay, thank you.” She repeats one more time and then hangs up.

Magnus marches back into the living room and squats down in front of the couch, just taking a minute to look at his boyfriend. He looks so peaceful in his sleep, so beautiful. His hair a mess, his cheeks flushed. Magnus leans in and brushes some loose lock from his forehead. Alec stirs a bit at the touch and his eyes flutter open.

“Let’s move to the bed, darling.” Magnus whispers and Alec nods. He gets up slowly and Magnus extends his hand to help him. Lacing their fingers together they walk to the bedroom.

Alec sits down on which he’s already claimed his side of the bed, takes off the hoodie to remain only in his t-shirt and moves to lie down. Magnus joins him shortly, pressing his chest to his back and throwing an arm over his middle. Alec settles comfortably into his embrace and lets himself relax as Magnus presses a soft kiss to the back of his neck.

“Goodnight, angel.” He whispers when Alec dozes of to sleep again.

“Night, Magnus.” He murmurs back and then his breathing evens out as he lets sleep overcome him.

Magnus snuggles closer to him, offering all the comfort and warmth he can. He hopes it will be enough.

 

The sun blinds him as he opens his eyes. It’s probably his fault, because he forgot to pull down the blinds last night. To Magnus’ defence, there were much important thing last night. For example, the man lying in front of him now.

Alec’s still asleep, mouth slightly open and Magnus basks in the sound of his steady breathing. Somehow, they shifted during the night, and now they’re lying on their sides, facing each other. Magnus brings his hand to brush it lightly against Alec’s hair, it doesn’t wake him, but Magnus smiles as he scrunches his nose adorably.

However, his smile swiftly falls as he notices something.

One of Alec’s hand is resting under his head, but the other is bend in front of him, and it’s actually the first time Magnus can see the whole length of his hands and arms on display.

That’s when he notices them.

A few straight lines, a little above his wrist. The scars do look old, but it doesn’t change a thing, they’re still there. And it still hurts Magnus to see them.

He didn’t really have time to think about this fully yesterday, but now as he looks at the face of the man he loves, he feels furious. He should have never endured such pain, to this point that he found self-harm an only solution for a release. What hurts Magnus the most, is that he can’t fully understand what he felt during that moments. He was low himself, but never this low. He’d want to talk to Alec more about this, to understand it a bit better, but at the same time, he doesn’t want to bring out those memories. He saw how hard it was to tell him yesterday.

Magnus reaches with his hand and delicately outlines the skin above his wrists, but this time, Alec stirs at the touch and basically yanks his hand away, hiding it under the covers.

“I’m sorry-“ Magnus starts, but Alec cuts him of.

“I don’t want you to see them.” He says sharply.

Magnus smiles at him sadly and cups his face with one palm. Alec lets out a long exhale.

“You don’t have to be ashamed of them.” Magnus speaks gently, his tone soft. “You’re beautiful, angel. Inside and out.”

“Yeah, well, they’re not.” Alec snorts and resorts shortly.

“They’re part of what you’ve been through.” Magnus continues thoughtfully. “You’re a survivor, love.”

Alec doesn’t say anything after that, just stares blindly into the limited space between them, where his hand’s been resting only a few moments ago.

“I can’t believe I haven’t noticed anything.” Magnus shakes his head and speaks with a hint of disbelief, more to himself, but also being aware that Alec hears. “How could I never-“

“I hid it well, Magnus.” Alec’s still not meeting his eyes as he speaks. “I’ve never wanted you to see them. Don’t blame yourself for not noticing.” He offers in some kind of a more gentle tone now.

“You don’t need to hide anymore.” Magnus resorts and reaches for his hand that he placed under the covers. Alec lets out another sigh, but allows him to lace their fingers and rest them between them. “I love everything about you, darling.” Magnus adds and delicately kisses the scars. Alec’s breath hitches in his throat, but he relaxes a bit into the touch of Magnus’ soft lips.

“Even the broken parts?” Alec asks when their eyes meet again.

“There are no broken parts.” Magnus shakes his head with a warm smile. Alec’s not convinced as he rolls his eyes, but Magnus can see the corners of his lips quirking a little. “And even if there were,” Magnus adds after a while. “we’d fix them.”

 

“I spoke with your sister yesterday.” Magnus announces over breakfast. “She was very worried.”

“Yeah,” Alec glances at him from above his steaming mug of coffee. “I should probably call her.”

Magnus nods thoughtfully, but then speaks again.

“You can tell her to come over.” He suggests. “Explain everything.”

Alec seems to be thinking his answer through as his fingers curls around his mug tighter.

“That’s if you want to, of course.” Magnus adds then.

“I think I want to.” Alec admits with a small nod as he finally meets his eyes. “If it’s not a problem for you.”

“No problem, my dear.” Magnus reaches with his hand and lays it down gently over Alec’s. “Jace is welcomed too.”

Alec sends him an unimpressed glare, but a faint smile is painting his face.

“Really?”

“Of course.” Magnus answers with a shrug. “He’s your brother. He’s worried too.”

“I guess you’re right.” Alec resorts and takes another sip of the coffee.

Magnus wonders if he should tell him about his talk with Isabelle yesterday, regarding him coming back home, or wait till she arrives so they can talk it out together. But then he decides, he should let Alec know. No matter how much he doesn’t want him to go back to the family house, it’s still his decision.

“Look, Alexander.” He stars and his boyfriend sends him a questioning gaze. “When I spoke with Izzy last night, we resolved that it might not be the best for you to go back to your family house.”

Alec looks down again and lets out a heavy exhale.

“To be honest, I don’t want to go back too, Magnus.” He admits. “It was a bad idea from the start. I thought I could handle it, but there’s too many memories there, that I don’t want to relive.”

“Of course, darling.” Magnus agrees instantly. “I get it.”

“But what am I supposed to do now?” He questions, his tone dripping with defeat. “I don’t have anywhere to go-“

“Alexander, you can stay at my place as long as you’d like.” Magnus offers and sends him a genuine smile.

“No, I don’t want to use you like this-“ Alec shakes his head, but Magnus swiftly interrupts.

“You’re not using me. I’m offering.” He speaks in a gentle tone. “I want you to be safe and comfortable. And I don’t think it’s how you felt in that house.”

Alec agrees with a nod.

“See? Problem solved.” Magnus says with a triumphant smile. “You’re staying here.”

“Only if you’re sure about it.” Alec tries to reason.

“Of course I am.” Magnus answers as he looks into his eyes, to show him that he truly means it.

Alec releases another breath and some tension visibly leaves his body.

“Thank you.” He says and Magnus’ smile only extends. He brings their laced fingers to his mouth and kisses Alec’s palm lightly.

“You’re welcome.” He adds and gets up to start cleaning up after their breakfast. Alec tries to follow, but Magnus gestures for him to stay. He needs all the rest he can get after how yesterday wore him out. Magnus is glad he didn’t need to reason with him not to go to any classes today. But at the same time, it worries him that Alec doesn’t even show interest in that, that he must feel so miserable and exhausted that he can’t bear to think about school.

“Call Izzy,” Magnus tells him from where he’s putting the plates into the dishwasher. “tell her she can come over anytime she’d like. I’ll call Dot and tell her I won’t be at work today.”

“Magnus, you don’t have to-“ Alec tries, but Magnus only shakes his head and looks back at him.

“I know I don’t have to, but I want to. Let me just stay with you.” He pleads. “I don’t want you to be alone today.”

Under the perceptive look he sends him, Alec finally gives up with a nod.

“Great.” Magnus resorts. “Now, I’m going to finish up here, and you go relax on the couch.”

“Magnus, I’m fine. You don’t need to baby me.” Alec rolls his eyes lightly.

“I’m not babying you.” Magnus denies with a sweet smile and comes closer to him. “I’m simply taking care of my boyfriend.” He shrugs.

Alec doesn’t look convinced, so Magnus bends down and kisses him lightly. When he pulls back, they both smile.

“I love you so much, you know that, right?” Alec asks with those heart eyes staring back at Magnus.

“I might have heard it once or twice.” Magnus teases and kisses him again. “And I love you too.”

It doesn’t fix everything. Magnus wishes their love would be enough to fix all of their problems, but there’s still the past, which they can’t change. He can’t take away Alec’s pain he must have felt then, and can’t do much besides the reassuring words and touches to ease it now. But he’ll try his damn hardest make sure his boyfriend will never suffer again.

Chapter Text

Alec has no idea what was thinking.

Coming to Magnus, that late, totally shaken up and drenched wet from where he’s run to his loft. His brain was telling him it’s a mistake, but he couldn’t stop himself from knocking on his boyfriend’s door.

It’s the one place where he feels safe, Magnus’ arms, and he felt a tiny bit better as soon as he found himself in his embrace. But still, he’s ashamed that Magnus had to see him like this. He probably made him so worried and that’s not what he wanted to do.

But also, he needed the voices in his head to stop, and recently Magnus was the only one able to quiet them. Even if he doesn’t know it yet.

Alec hates that he almost broke again, that he was ready to hurt himself. After all the hard work he’s been doing with Mr Fell, he thought he’s better, but him father’s words proved him otherwise.

But still, he was able to hold on. Izzy’s concerned and Magnus’ care for him made something in him snap, and some small voice at the back of his head began to whisper that what his father said wasn’t true, that he’s loved and cared for, and needed. It took a lot for him to listen to this one particular voice, to focus on it among the other ones screaming inside his mind. But he did it, and for that part he can be proud of himself.

Nevertheless, none of it would have happened if not Magnus.

The way he spoke to him, how he made him sure that he’s important, that he needs him and loves him… Alec felt guilty for the thought of leaving him, just disappearing from his life. Magnus was basically begging for him to believe him, so that’s what he did. He’s never felt someone needing him so desperately, wanting him to stay so bad.

He feels bad for staying at his place, taking more and more of his time, for Magnus to need to take care of him. But he can’t be at that house, that’s a fact. And a part of him is being selfish, actually wanting for Magnus to take care of him, because that makes him feel safe and protected. He doesn’t know how Magnus does it, but with him, it’s just easy to let go, for Alec to show his vulnerability and weaknesses. He knows Magnus won’t judge. He’ll just hold him in his arms and let him cry it all out.

Alec feels kind of relieved that he finally told him about his issues with self-harm. He’s been looking for a way to do that for quite some time now, and just kind of let it slip last night. He didn’t miss the way Magnus had flinched at his words, and his disbelieving expression. But still, he took it with such patience, just let Alec explain all he could, and then he just held him. Alec can’t feel more grateful for his reaction.

It doesn’t change, that he’s still insecure about his scars. They’re still there, and he's glad he doesn’t need to hide them from Magnus, but still, he doesn’t want for Magnus to look at them. It’s not a pleasant thing, and even though Magnus claims that there’s nothing broken about him, Alec feels otherwise.

He leaves Magnus in the kitchen after their breakfast and marches back into the living room, while grabbing his phone. His siblings do deserve an explanation, and he feels bad for leaving them so worried last night, but the truth is, he was exhausted. He’s glad Magnus contacted Izzy and at least let her know that he was okay.

He knows he should have done it himself, and it’s yet another situation where Magnus needs to fix something for him being a mess.

Without hesitating furthermore, he dials Izzy’s number. She answers almost immediately.

“Alec, are you okay?” She asks, her voice filled with concern.

“I’m fine.” He answers and hears his sister’s relieved sigh.

“Thank God, I was so worried.” Izzy sounds much calmer now.

“I’m sorry, Iz-“ Alec tries, but his sister swiftly interrupts.

“Don’t apologize. It’s not your fault.” She resorts simply. “What matters, is that you’re okay.”

Maybe not fully, but he’s better, for sure.

“Yeah, I’m good.” He echoes his words from before. “But I still think I should explain-“

“You don’t have to.” Isabelle cuts in gently. “I mean, if you don’t want to…”

“I want to.” Alec admits. “I shouldn’t have left you like this. I’m sorry for making you so worried-“

“Alec, it’s okay.”

“Would mind coming over to Magnus’ tonight?” He asks as he runs his hand through his hair in a nervous gesture. “I want to talk to you, but I don’t want to come back home yet…”

“Yeah, I get it.” Isabelle agrees, her tone soft. “I can come over after my classes, just send me the address.”

“Okay.” Alec exhales heavily. “Bring Jace with you, if he’s not busy.”

“Of course, we’ll be there.” Izzy states. “He’s been very worried too.”

Alec doesn’t have to imagine. Jace became quite overprotective, and since it got better with him and Alec’s relationship with Magnus, his brother still tries to protect him when it comes to different things. It probably kills him that he couldn’t this time.

“Okay, so I’ll see you later.” Alec tells his sister.

“Yeah. Love you, Alec.” Isabelle says at the end.

“Love you too.”

After that he hangs up and releases a long sigh. Then he feels strong pair of arms wrapping around him from behind and Magnus nuzzles his head into the crook of Alec’s neck.

“Everything okay?” He asks lightly and Alec nods in answer.

“Yeah, everything is fine.” He replies and turns in his arms to face him, Magnus welcomes him with a soft smile. “Izzy and Jace will come over after her classes.”

“Great.” Magnus runs his hands up and down Alec’s arms in a soothing gesture. “What do you want to do till then?”

Alec lets out a long breath again.

“You’re sure you don’t need to go to work today?” He questions a bit nervously.

“I just called Raphael. He said it’s fine.” Magnus answers with another smile. “We can do whatever you’d like. I’m all yours today.”

Alec nods and reciprocates his smile a bit.

“I just don’t want to… do anything demanding?” He admits in a bit of questioning tone. To be honest, he still feels exhausted after last night. All these confessions wore him out, and he feels like he could sleep for at least a week now. “I want to take my mind off things. Just not think too much.”

“Alright,” Magnus agrees, his palm sliding down to lace their fingers as he leads them towards the couch and they both sit down. “maybe we can just put on some mindless movie and try to relax, huh?” He proposes.

“Yeah, that would be nice.” Alec approves, the corners of his lips quirking a little.

“Or you can go back to sleep, if you want to.” Magnus adds as he reaches for the remote.

“No, I don’t think I want to.” Alec shakes his head. “Not now.”

Sleep does seems a bit appealing, but it also leaves him kind of unsettled. He can’t really call them nightmares, but those dreams he’s been having recently aren’t pleasant. He feels like there’s always something creeping onto him, every time he closes his eyes. He should probably speak about it with Mr Fell.

They settle more comfortably on the couch, Alec resting in his favourite place again, Magnus’ arms. His boyfriend puts some movie on, but it’s not like any of them cares what it is. He just wants to bask himself in the warmth of Magnus’ body close to him, and his steady heartbeat underneath him palm. That calms him, and he can feel himself relax almost immediately.

 

Alec is at a verge of sleeping, when he feels Magnus moving from the couch. He groans as his boyfriend gets up and leaves his side. Magnus seems to notice, since he turns to him and runs a hand delicately through his hair.

“Sorry, did I wake you?” He asks tentatively.

“I wasn’t asleep.” Alec answers and shakes his head, to which Magnus raises his eyebrows accusingly at him. “Almost asleep.” Alec admits.

Magnus leans in and kisses his forehead gently.

“Your siblings can be here any moment now.” He announces. “Still sure you want to tell them?”

Alec nods, but is actually grateful for the question. He knows that if he only said a word, Magnus would call this off without hesitation. But he doesn’t want to. He needs to talk to them.

Magnus only nods in response, and when there’s a knock at the door, they both look at each other.

“I’ll open.” Alec announces and moves to the hallway to answer the door.

He’s met with his sister’s now relieved face, and his brother smiling lightly at the sight of him. Before he even invites them inside, Izzy’s already throwing herself into his arms. She clings onto him and Alec hugs her a bit tighter.

“Hi, Iz.” He says in a soft tone and Isabelle’s hold on him only tightens.

“Hi.” She whispers into his neck.

When they finally pull back, she takes a moment to look at him, taking his face between her palms and carefully studying his features. Finally, she smiles lightly and steps back, giving Jace his moment to greet his brother.

“Hey.” Jace speaks tenderly as he walks into his brothers embrace.

“Hi.” Alec says again and lets himself be hugged. When they pull back, Alec gestures towards the living room, and they follow. As soon as Magnus comes in sight, Izzy rushes to him and throws herself into his arms. Magnus, a bit surprised, returns the hug, and Alec’s pretty sure he can hear his sister whisper a ‘thank you’ to his boyfriend. He can’t help but smile a bit.

Then they get seated. Alec on the couch, in his usual spot, with Magnus on his right, and Izzy on his left. Jace takes a seat in the armchair in front of the couch. He rests his elbows onto his knees, and Alec can see his leg bouncing in a nervous habit. Izzy gently takes his hand between hers, Alec supposes not only to comfort him, but also to ground herself. He can’t blame her.

Magnus keeps close to him, and when Alec turns to him, he offers an encouraging smile.

No one is pushing, but Alec knows he’s supposed to start explaining. Before he gets to, it’s Magnus who starts.

“Do you want something to drink?” He addresses Alec’s siblings, but they both just shakes their heads. There’s a moment of silence, before he adds. “I can leave, if you want to privacy.”

“No.” Alec finds himself saying, before he really gets to think. “I mean, please stay.” He clarifies, and can hear the hint of panic in his voice. “Unless, you don’t want to…”

“If you want me to stay, I’ll stay.” Magnus whispers quietly to him in answer and runs his hand delicately up and down his back. Alec nods again, and Magnus smiles at him lightly. He really appreciates his presence. It’s soothing, and he knows that what he’s about to say is not simple.

He hates that he needs to tell them about his almost ‘relapse’ into self-harm. But he knows he has to. It’s the right thing to do. They deserve to know.

“So I…” Alec starts finally and clears his throat. As all eyes turn to him, he drops his gaze down. “I talked to dad, as you probably already know.”

He receives nods from both Izzy and Jace.

And then he tells them. About everything their father said, how he believed that it was true. He basically can see Jace itching to interrupt and scream out that none of this is correct, but he sits mostly still, letting him continue.

It wasn’t really the worst part. What comes now will be.

“So yeah, when he said all of this…” Alec begins and feels Isabelle’s hold on his hand tightening. “I just felt the need to do that again.” He knows they probably understand what he means, but still, he clarifies. “To cut myself.”

Izzy’s breath hitches in her throat and Jace flinches in his spot. He remembers the talk they had a few weeks ago, after his fight with Magnus. How he admitted that he didn’t feel the need to in such a long time. They were proud of him, and now… it’s all ruined.

Alec spots his sister throwing a tentative glance at Magnus, and then he realises what she means.

“It’s okay. Magnus knows about everything.” He says and in the corner of his eye sees his boyfriend smiling sadly.

Isabelle squeezes her eyes shut as if she was in pain and lets out a long exhale.

“I’m gonna kill him.” Jace states and gets up from his spot to start pacing the room. “He had no right. I swear to God-“

“Jace, calm down.” Alec tries, but his brother snaps again.

“No, Alec. He needs to pay for this.” He starts his voice filled with anger. “You came such a long way. He doesn’t get to just get away with ruining your recovery!”

Alec sighs and lets his head drop.

“Did you…” Isabelle starts carefully then, and Alec looks up to see her face. “Did you actually do something? Hurt yourself?” He can see her eyes glistening with tears.

“No.” He answers immediately and shakes his head as he squeezes her hand again. “No, I didn’t. I came to Magnus’ and we just… talked, I guess? But it helped. A lot.” He turns to his boyfriend now. “But if it wasn’t for him… I don’t know what could have happened.”

“Don’t go that way, darling.” Magnus advices and shakes his head lightly.

“Alec, I’m so sorry.” Izzy starts then and Alec turns to see more tears present in her eyes now. “It was my idea for us to move in. I-, I thought it was our only solution, but I, I’m so sorry. I never wanted you to feel like this again. This is all my fault-“

“Hey, Iz, stop this.” Alec takes her face gently between his hands when she starts crying. “It isn’t your fault. No one could know something like this would happen. I agreed to this, you’re not to blame.”

“Neither are you.” Jace speaks from where he stands in front of them now, hands clasped tightly onto his chest. “You’re right. No one knew. But I just want to make sure you don’t believe any of those things dad said. They were all lies, okay?”

“Yeah, I know, Jace.” Alec resorts. “I just… it was a moment. I forgot myself and I don’t know. It just sort of happened.”

Jace nods and smiles at him sadly. Alec brings his arm around Isabelle and hugs her lightly as she places her head on his shoulder.

“What matters, is that everything is fine now.” Alec says then. “I’m okay. I’m so sorry for worrying you, but I just wasn’t in the right state of mind. But I swear, I’m better now.”

Mostly thanks to Magnus, he thinks.

“And I decided I will stay at Magnus’ for now.” He speaks and Isabelle raises her head to properly look at him. “I know you spoke about this yesterday,” He turns to his sister. “and you’re right. I shouldn’t come back home now. It’s true, I wasn’t feeling okay there. And I think I just need some time to recover now.”

Izzy starts to nod before he even gets to finish. He knows that will be for the best. He feels much better here, and he needs a safe environment to get well now.

“You can visit anytime you want.” Magnus informs with a soft smile. “I know it might be hard, living apart, since you’ve been together your whole life. But I think right now, we all want what’s the best for Alexander.”

“Yeah, of course.” Jace agrees instantly.

“But my doors are always open.” Magnus adds. “Feel free to come by all the time.”

“Thank you, Magnus.” Isabelle looks at him with pure gratefulness in her eyes. “Really.”

“It’s no problem.” He assures her and then his phone buzzes from the coffee table. He quickly grabs it and checks the id of the caller. “It’s my boss.” He announces as he frowns down at the phone. “I have to get this. I’ll be right back.” He adds, more to Alec than to the rest and he nods.

Alec’s sights lingers on him as he disappears into the kitchen to answer the phone. When he turns back to his siblings, they both wear warm smiles on their faces.

“What?” He asks, but can’t help his own smile climbing on his face.

“I was never that happy that I was wrong about someone.” Jace admits shaking his head lightly as he stares at the direction where Magnus disappeared. Alec’s smile widens a bit.

“You’re really happy with him, aren’t you?” Isabelle asks then.

“I am.” Alec admits without a hint of hesitation. “Really. Everything just feels so… right, when I’m with him. I don’t know how I would have survived this whole thing if it wasn’t for him.”

“That’s what love is.” Izzy smiles a bit wider as she throws her arm around Alec to hug him. “It makes everything better.”

Alec can’t help but agree with another nod.

“I know I already said this,” His sister speaks then. “but I’m really glad you found him.”

“Me too.” Jace adds, just the moment Magnus emerges back from the kitchen.

Me too, Alec thinks to himself as Magnus joins him back on the couch and sends him a smile.

“So,” He starts then. “want to stay over for dinner?”

 

Izzy and Jace stay for basically the whole day, but Alec sees that Magnus doesn’t mind. They order from Alec’s favourite Mexican place, talk, laugh, share stories and it all feels so right, that Alec’s heart might burst. He can see that all the wariness and hesitation Jace might have felt towards Magnus slowly disappears, and he couldn’t be more happy.

So the rest of the day goes by rather pleasantly. They keep their conversations light, nothing serious, and Alec is thankful for that. He doesn’t want to get wrapped up in his thoughts tonight, and his siblings' company is truly helping.

When Alec walks them out to the door later tonight, Izzy starts to speak a bit insecurely.

“You should talk to mom sometime soon.” Her voice turns out concerned again. “She was really worried too.”

“You can tell her that I’m okay.” Alec won’t forget his mother’s worried face when he left the house for long, but he doesn’t feel ready to speak to her, not yet at least. “And I’ll talk to her. Soon, but not just yet.”

“Of course, take your time.” Jace claps him on the shoulder lightly.

Isabelle squeezes his arm gently one more time, letting out a long exhale when he opens the door for them.

“Call us anytime you’d like.” She says and smiles at him. “We’re always here, remember that.”

“I know, I will call.” He promises. “Thank you. For everything.”

“Thank you for telling us.” Jace starts. “We know it can be hard.”

Alec nods lightly.

“I’ll see you soon.” Alec resorts. “Love you.”

“Love you too, big brother.” Izzy kisses his cheek gently and then they leave through the front door. He locks them and turns to see Magnus, leaning onto the doorframe of the living room, smiling at him, with his arms crosses over his chest.

“How are you feeling?” He asks.

“Good.” Alec resolves with a nod. He really is fine.

“That’s good.” Magnus opens his arms for him and Alec lets himself be engulfed in his boyfriend’s embrace once more.

They stay like this for a few moments, just holding each other.

“I should talk to mom.” Alec says into his shoulder as Magnus’ hands start to crease his back.

“Whenever you feel like it.” He responds gently. “I’m always here.”

Alec will never know, how he deserved all of this amazing support from his siblings, his friends and his boyfriend. He’ll be forever grateful for that.

“Can we go to bed?” Alec asks as he finds himself growing more tired with every second. This day wasn’t nearly as much exhausting as the last, but he still doesn’t feel fully at his best.

“Sure.” Magnus resorts simply and pulls back to smile at him. “It was nice to spend some time with your siblings.” He says on their way to the bedroom.

“I’m glad you enjoyed it too.” Alec smiles back. “I saw you and Jace are getting better.”

“Yeah, we’re quite alright.” Magnus nods to himself. “He’s not that bad.”

“I guess he could say the same about you.” Alec says jokingly and Magnus laughter rings pleasantly in his ears as they march into the bedroom.

 

Alec spends the next day mostly alone at the loft. Magnus has to catch up on work, and he decided to not attend classes just one more day. He feels better, he really does, but when he’s alone, everything is a constant blur between restless sleep and the hours where he tries to work on some articles. He loses the track of time, and maybe it’s for the better.

He talks to Izzy, calls Lydia and fills her in a bit on the situation, and why he hadn’t showed up in classes. Of course she understands, sends him some notes from the lectures and Alec tries to read through them some time in the afternoon. Magnus returns in the evening, brings them both dinner and they stay cuddled on the couch until it’s time for bed.

Next day is Wednesday, which means seeing Max and a session with Mr Fell. Alec’s glad he and Magnus talked about the relation with the therapist. He feels that he’s done a really good work with Mr Fell, and would prefer not to change the doctor for another, since he’s already began to trust him. He hopes his and Magnus’ friendship won’t disturb their work.

Magnus insists on driving him, even though it means he needs to get up an hour earlier. He says that this way he can fill in for two hours of his volunteering and he’s totally okay with that. He claims he can wait till his session with Ragnor is over and then they could just visit Max together. Alec agrees easily.

“You’re sure you want to go to classes today?” Magnus asks when they’re on their way to the hospital.

“Yeah.” Alec nods, although Magnus can’t see it, since he’s focused on the road ahead. “I’m fine, really.”

Magnus still doesn’t look convinced as he bites his lower lip, a gesture Alec now recognizes for when he wants to say something, but restrains hard from doing it.

“Just say it.” Alec prompts with an eye roll.

“I’m just not sure if you’re ready to go out to the world yet.” He admits with a persistent sigh. “It just… it was serious, Alec. And I’m just worried-“

“Well, you don’t have to be.” Alec starts with a reassuring smile. “Magnus, I know myself, and believe me when I say I know my limits. It’s not the first time something like this happened, ask Izzy or Jace if you want to. I just always need a few days to lay low, gather up my strength and then I’m okay. So when I’m saying I’m ready, it means that I really am ready. You have to trust me on this.”

“I trust you.” Magnus speaks in a genuine tone. “I really do. But it isn’t stopping me from being worried…”

“I know and thank you for doing that.” Alec says as he leans in to place a sweet kiss to his boyfriend’s cheek. “Thank you for everything you’ve done for me. I don’t know what I would do without you.” He declares in a serious tone.

Magnus turns to face him as the light switches from green to red and he cups Alec’s cheek, gently caressing the skin with his thumb.

“You would have done the same for me.” He resorts as he looks him in the eyes.

The truth is, he would. But he’s not sure if it wouldn't break him to see Magnus as broken down as he was. At some point he is weak, he doesn’t handle mental health issues well, his own or others. He would do everything in his power to put Magnus back on the right track, but he’s not sure if that would be enough.

But he forgets about that now. Right now, they’re both okay. Magnus is always able to pull him above the surface when he’s drowning. It wasn’t the first time, and he’s certain it won’t be the last.

“I’m just glad you’re okay.” Magnus fixes his eyes back on the road. “And I like having you close.” He adds after a little while, inducing a smile on Alec’s face.

“I’m not such a terrible flatmate, am I?” Alec questions with a teasing note in his voice.

“Oh, you’re one of the bests!” Magnus exclaims happily. “Always keeping me warm with those cuddles.”

Alec bursts out laughing and Magnus joins in not even a second later.

To be honest, he hasn’t quite thought about moving in yet. He knows their deal is temporary and it’s way too soon to officially move in. But they’ve been together for three months, and sometimes Alec finds himself thinking about his future with Magnus. He wants a future with him, so bad. He’s never felt so good since when he’s with him. Sure, there had been ups and downs, but they always figure it out together.

They’re a nice match. Him and Magnus. Alec can’t help but smile at that thought.

He laces their fingers with Magnus’ hand resting on the stick shift and doesn’t let go until they need to get out of the car.

 

Mr Fell greets him with a warm smile, just as he always does when he enters the office. They get seated in their usual spots, and the therapist begins with a few routine questions. But when he asks how he’s been doing these last few days, he kind of struggles with the answer.

He could lie. Say that he’s been working, or studying, but he chooses not to. He’s been opening up, and recently it got quite better. He’s not planning on ruining that.

“To be honest, I wasn’t doing quite well.” He starts and if Mr Fell is surprised at his answer, he doesn’t really let it show. Only leans in a bit closer and studies him carefully.

“Did something happen?”

Alec clears his throat and begins to explain.

It’s a bit better this time, since he’s already told Jace and Izzy everything. Mr Fell listens, doesn’t interrupt, writes a few things in his notebook, and nods at certain information. 

“I know you might feel like you failed now, Alec.” The doctor speaks when he’s sure Alec’s finished. “But believe me, you didn’t.”

Alec doesn’t say anything, just looks at him. Mr Fell maintains the eye contact, and soon elaborates.

“You would have, if you actually spiralled back your way into self-harm again. But you didn’t. You restrained, found release in something different. In this case, it was talking to your boyfriend. It’s important to talk to someone, when you feel like this. The people who care about you will always bring you back from the darkness. I’m glad he was able to help.” He smiles lightly and Alec reciprocates.

For a moment, no one speaks furthermore. Alec takes the therapist words in with a nod, and carefully thinks them through. It’s true, he didn’t actually ‘spiral down’, as Mr Fell put it. He hadn’t reached the rock bottom.

If he’s being honest, it feels quite weird for him to talk to Mr Fell about Magnus. It’s not that he’s scared that he will reveal some stuff to his boyfriend, more like a fear of what is Mr Fell thinking, when he describes Magnus. Does he see him the same? Or is it completely different when you’re friends with Magnus.

“Can I ask you a question?” Alec finds himself saying and Mr Fell shoots him a confused glare, but allows with a nod.

“Usually I’m the one asking questions here, but sure, go for it.” He says with another smile.

“You don’t need to answer if it’s too personal.” Alec clarifies and receives another nod. “How long have you known Magnus?”

Mr Fell looks a bit taken aback at the question, a low chuckle escapes his lips, and Alec bites his lip nervously. When he’s sure the doctor won’t answer, to his surprise, he starts.

“We met senior year in high school.” He replies. “Right after he moved here.”

“That’s quite long.” Alec resorts and the doctor nods.

“I take it you spoke to him about all this?” He questions, but his tone remains warm.

“Yeah, we talked about everything and it just came up.” Alec admits.

“Look, Alec,” Mr Fell starts more serious now. “if the fact that I’m friends with him puts you in uncomfortable position in any way, then we don’t have to do this. I can recommend you another therapist, what matters the most is for you to feel relaxed here-“

“I know, and do feel comfortable here.” Alec rushes to reassure. “I don’t want anyone different. I feel like we’ve been doing some progress, and you know better than anyone else how hard it was for me to open up in the beginning.” He speaks a bit insecurely. “But if it makes you uncomfortable we can think about-“

“No, no, there’s no need. I’m fine with it.” Mr Fell shakes his head. “I can be professional, I won’t speak about this with Magnus. To be honest, I’m proud of how far you’ve came under my wing, and I wouldn’t like to change it too.”

“Great.” Alec releases a relieved breath.

“Then I’ll see you next week.” Mr Fell resorts and walks bit back towards the door. Alec opens them and smiles as he sees Magnus already waiting for him on the other side.

Chapter Text

Magnus watches as Alec leaves to join Ragnor in his office. It’s the first time he can actually witness this moment, and not feel like he’s prying, like it’s something he shouldn’t have access to. His boyfriend sends him one last reassuring smile as the door closes behind him.

Magnus lets out a heavy exhale and makes his way to the nurse office station, where Catarina is already sending him a curious, but still warm look.

“Long time no see.” She announces as he leans his elbows on the counter in front of her.

“Yeah, I guess we’ve both been kind of busy.” He resorts with a smile.

Cat just throws him an unimpressed glare.

“More like you’ve been busy.” She points with her head lightly to the direction of Ragnor’s office, where Alec has just disappeared behind the door.

 Magnus can’t help, but smile as his sight follows after her. Catarina’s sigh brings his out of his momentary daze and he turns back to see her resting her hands on her hips and shaking her head lightly.

“You’re totally gone for that boy.” She tries to sound annoyed, but the soft smile is betraying her.

“Like that’s something new.” Magnus just resorts with an eye roll, which bursts a laugh out of his friend.

“But seriously,” She starts, her voice more solemn now. “I’m glad you’re all okay.”

Magnus nods lightly. Catarina is not aware of everything. He didn’t have a chance to tell her about Alec’s recent break down, and doesn’t plan on it. Not now. It’s Alec’s thing to tell. But Cat knew about their fight, and that’s probably what she’s referring too.

He wishes he’d spent more time with his friend recently, but it’s true, they’ve both been busy. Cat’s at the hospital basically all the time, since she works full time job and often stays overtime. She’s devoted to her patients’ lives. Even too devoted, if you ask Magnus. His last days were eventful too. He needed to find balance between work, avoiding Camille and taking care of Alec.

Still, he wouldn’t change these last days, he knew he needed to be there for Alexander.

It was hard for him to hear about his experiences, but they both seem to be coming to terms with the fact that they can’t change their past. What matters is now.

And he was honest when he said he loves having Alec close. His boyfriend insists on it being only a temporary solution, but to be honest, he wouldn’t really mind if Alec moved in permanently. He knows that it might be too fast, but still, maybe this whole thing was a sign for it? He certainly wouldn’t be opposite to that. He’s missed someone occupying the space of the loft, someone to wake up to and a warm body to fall asleep next to. He hates that such a horrible circumstances brought Alec to him like this, but he’s gonna cherish the moments they have now.

He was also honest when he told himself, that he’s never going to let anyone hurt Alec in any way. And he plans on fulfilling this promise. Starting today.

He chats with Cat a little more, and then goes to fulfil his rightful duties as a volunteer. It’s been a long time since he stated doing this, but it still brings him much joy, to light up the patients’ days a bit. He loves working with children the most, even though he hates to watch them suffering from illnesses. So if there’s something he can do to make it better he will.

The hour passes by quickly and soon his finds himself waiting in front of Ragnor’s office for Alec to finish their session. Soon enough, the door opens and he smiles at the sight of his boyfriend. Alec easily reciprocates and then Magnus locks eyes with Ragnor and the doctor follows behind as Alec leaves the office.

“Hi.” As Alec comes closer to him, Magnus’ arm immediately wraps around his waist in a protective gesture.

He can see Ragnor smile as his sight follows.

“Everything good?” Magnus asks as Alec leans into him a bit more.

“Yeah, all good.” He answers with a smile and turns to Ragnor who nods in agreement.

“Great talk, Alec.” Ragonr resorts in his professional tone and claps him on the shoulder lightly. “Same time next week.” He checks in and Alec nods as Ragnor turns to leave.

“Ragnor, wait.” Magnus speaks and steps away from his boyfriend. “I’d like a word.”

His friend sends his a quizzical expression, but nods.

“Go see Max.” Magnus turns to Alec as he speaks. “I’ll join you in a minute.”

“Okay.” Alec agrees and moves past him to get to his brother’s room.

Magnus’ sight trails over Alec as he leaves. When he’s sure he’s far away enough not to hear, he focuses back on his friend.

“What is it?” Ragnor asks as he crosses his hands over his chest.

Magnus sighs and then begins to speak.

“You knew about Alec’s tendencies to self-harm, didn’t you?” He asks and his tone comes out a bit more accusingly than he wanted to.

Of course, Ragnor picks up on it.

“Well, I’m his therapist, so yeah, I did.” He answers with a hint of bitterness in his voice.

“Why didn’t you tell me?”  He questions bluntly and can see that Ragnor is actually taken aback at this question.

“I couldn’t.” He replies when he recovers. “It’s private, I told you-“

“Yeah, but didn’t you think it would help a bit?” Magnus drills into the subject.

“With what?” Ragnor prompts amused.

“I don’t know,” Magnus admits with a shrug. “our relationship? If I knew more about him-“

“Magnus, listen.” His friend interrupts, his voice still patient, but with some edge to it. “You’re my best friend and I love you, really. But my job here, isn’t to help your relationship grow, even if I’d want it to be. My job here, is to make Alec comfortable enough to confess all of his worries and concerns, to help him feel better with himself and come to terms about the things happening around him. And let me tell you, that it really is ton of hard work. Also, a part of this job is confidentiality, and no matter how much I want to tell you things, I can’t. It wouldn’t be fair to my patients, and in this case, it for sure wouldn’t be fair to Alec.”

Magnus knows all of these things and he’s not sure why he’s even bringing up this topic. Some sick part of him is jealous of Ragnor knowing this before him. Which is crazy, because Alec has every right to tell whoever he wants about his problems. Especially his psychologist. He’s being paranoid and stupid and he only realises that when he nods at Ragnor’s words.

“Magnus, I know these last days been rough on you.” He reaches and squeezes Magnus’ shoulder gently. “But you really helped Alec through the worst, he told me himself. I’m proud of you, for sticking by his side through all that. That requires a lot of strength.”

“I love him, Ragnor.” Magnus speaks simply. “I’ll stand by him, no matter what.”

He truly means it.

“So you see, that there are things for Alec, that are just hard to share. That he feels ashamed of.” Ragonr continues then. “But he loves you too, and he really tries to open up. Remember, he will tell you everything at his own time, just like he did with this.”

Magnus nods again and Ragnor lets his expression soften.

“Yeah I…” Magnus shakes his head a bit to regain his focus. “I’m sorry for jumping on you like that.”

“It’s fine.” Ragnor resorts simply. “I know it’s been quite hard recently.”

It might have been, but it doesn’t really require for him to snap at his friend. But he doesn’t dwell on that. It’s pointless to argue with Ragnor either way.

“Thank you.” Magnus says at last and his friend offers a light nod again. “I should go and join Alec.”

“Don’t keep your lover waiting.” Ragonr throws in answer as he makes his way back to his office.

Magnus shakes his head amusingly and goes straight for Max’s room.

 

He finds Alec at Max’s besides, his hand resting lightly in his brother’ hair, running through it soothingly. Magnus loves watching Alec with him, how he takes care of him and expresses his love in all these reassuring gestures.

What he doesn’t like, is the look on Alec’s face now, all scrunched up in worry and fear. Magnus can hear them talking in faint whispers, too quiet to make anything out of the conversation, but he’s sure Alec is just trying to make his baby brother laugh, considering the not so genuine smile forcing his way on his face.

Then he turns and spots Magnus, expression softening a bit, but still laced with too much concern.

“Hi.” Magnus says softly in a low voice as he approaches. Max turns and lits up a bit as he sees him. Their relation is definitely on good course, build on many rounds of Mario Kart and conversations mostly about how amazing Alec is. Magnus truly adores Max, and it pains him even more to see him suffering. "How are we doing today, master?” He questions and smiles gently at Max, but he only answers with a grimace.

“Not too good.” He says faintly.

Magnus nods, smile remaining on his face, but he knows it doesn’t come out as honest as he’s like to.

He glances at Alec as he releases a heavy sigh at his brothers words. Then Magnus brings a chair next to Alec’s beside the bed and sits down next to his boyfriend.

“How are you guys?” Max tries for a bit more cheerful tone, but doesn’t manage it as good as he thinks.

“Pretty good.” Alec answers shortly, but the swiftly changes the subject, and Magnus knows that he’s not going to tell his brother about all of his recent struggles. Not when he’s in such state, and not when Alec’s probably sick of repeating it again. But to be honest, Magnus doesn’t think he’d tell him about everything anyway. “So, what would you like to do today?” Alec prompts. “We have an hour before I have to get to classes, and Magnus to work.”

Max closes his eyes for a brief second and exhales heavily, before managing to speak.

“Can you read me?” He turns his pleading eyes on Alec, and the man instantly nods.

“’The Little Prince’?” Alec inquires and Max nods in answer. Then Alec reaches for the book form the bedside table.

“I’m sorry if I fall asleep, I’m quite tired-“ Max starts, but Magnus begins to wave his hand dismissively, when he sees that Alec’s struggling with an answer, his eyes turning a bit glassy.

“Don’t worry about it.” Magnus just asks and caresses the boy’s arm gently.

Alec gets settled next to Magnus again and opens the book. He clears his throat and takes a deep exhale, but still doesn’t say anything yet.

“Maybe I could-“ Magnus tries to propose, but Alec shakes his head.

“I’ve got it.” He says, his voice small, but Magnus nods anyway and lets him do this. He clears his throat once more and starts reading.

Max has his eyes closed, his breathing steady, but heavy in the room. Magnus can see the way Alec’s restarting for breaking into pieces as he looks down on his brother. He gently intertwines his hand with Alec’s and give it a reassuring squeeze. Alec turns to him for a brief second with a grateful smile.

But Magnus still sees the pain in his eyes, and it hurts him that he can’t do anything about it.

So he only tightens his hold on his lover’s hand as Alec reads, gets lost in his voice and looks down on the boy who definitely didn’t deserve this fate.

 

Alec doesn’t speak basically the whole way to the university. Magnus tries to prompt a conversation, but he only gets a few nods or shakes of head in answer, or a word, maximum two. All he wants to do, is to drive Alec home and let him cry this all out. He seems like he needs it, but he knows Alec won’t let himself release until he’s in a comfortable place. And a university driveway for sure isn’t one.

He wants to say something more as Alec pulls the door open and mumbles a faint ‘bye’ in his direction, but he knows he can’t make it any better, not matter how much he wishes to.

As the door closes behind his boyfriend, Magnus gives up after one second and leaves the car too.

“Alec!” He calls out and Alec turns from where he’s only managed to take a few steps away from the car. He raises a questioning eyebrow at him and then Magnus begins to walk towards him, straight into his arms.

He doesn’t know who needs the hug more, him or Alec.

But judging by the way Alec’s hands begin to clench onto his jacket, the need for this gesture may be equal from both sides.

“You’re still sure it’s a good idea?” Magnus asks as Alec buries himself a bit more into his embrace. He means going back to classes. One word would be enough and Magnus would get him back in the car and drive him home, no matter how late for work it’s gonna make him.

“I’ll be fine.” Alec assures and pulls back to look at him, taking his face between his palms. “I love you.” He says, his voice quiet, nearly a whisper, but it’s enough for Magnus to hear from where they’re pressed tightly together.

“I love you too, sweetheart.” Magnus answers and leans in to brush his lips against his. It’s sweet and short, but it’s still a reassurance of what they need to hold on to. “If you feel like you’ve change your mind, call me, okay?”

“I won’t change my mind, Magnus.” Alec resorts with a small smile. “But thank you.”

Magnus nods and finds himself unable to let go of him just yet. He doesn’t really care that they’re in the middle of a university driveway, but neither does Alec.

“Do you want me to pick you up?” Magnus asks then, but Alec shakes his head.

“No, I’m going to catch up on some school work with Lydia after classes, I might be back late.”

“I can still come-“ Magnus prompts, but his boyfriend interrupts.

“It’s fine.” He kisses him briefly again. “I’ll manage, I promise.”

“Okay.” Magnus sighs lightly against his lip and closes the little distance between them one last time. Alec pulls back and with one last swipe of his thumbs against Magnus’ cheeks, he’s marching into the college building.

 

Magnus really thought Alec was doing better. That they both were. But after seeing his miserable expression as they were living Max’s room, he can’t help but feel a bit put down himself.

And the last thing he needs right now is to desperately avoid Camille at work. He’s worn out, both emotionally and physically from the last few days. She really doesn’t need to add up to it.

Entering the Alicante’s building, he heads straight to the lab, not even sparing a glance towards anything else, than the elevator button he presses on.

He speaks briefly to Dot, explains his absence at some point and gets to work. He has a lot to catch up on, and the sooner he starts, the sooner he’s gone.

Raphael shows up sometime in the afternoon, and looks apparently relieved to see him.

“Magnus,” He begins and throws him something resembling a smile. For Raphael, that’s a lot. “glad to have you back. It’s good you sorted everything out.” He admits and Magnus smiles in return.

“Thanks for understanding.”

He didn’t tell his boss everything. Just said some things came up with Alec, and he needed to figure it all out, that's why he needed a day off. Raphael didn’t question anything, just agreed, and Magnus is truly thankful for that.

“No problem.” Raphael speaks. “But as you probably know, I’m here to talk some business.”

“You rarely come for a friendly chat.” Dot resorts with a teasing grin and it starts a laugh along the rest.

“Well, you’re right.” Raphael states and then sighs as he starts. “Camille needs updates from the lab. She specifically asked for Magnus,”

Magnus opens his mouth to interrupt, but Raphael holds up his hand, a gesture to let him continue, so he does.

“But I told her you’re not available.”

Magnus sends him a relived expression. Thank God.

“So, I need another two of you to go to her, and give her a report about your recent doings.”

“I’ll go.” Dot volunteers and soon Aline raises her hand too.

“I’ll come with you.”

The women share a smile and soon Raphael gestures for them to follow him and they both leave the lab.

When they're gone, Magnus finally focuses on work. He really has some catching up to do, and he’s aware he’ll need to stay overtime. It’s not a very pleasant thought, considering he doesn’t want to leave Alec alone for the whole evening. But then he remembers, that he’s boyfriend probably won’t be back till late too. And there’s still another thing he has to do later.

“Hey, you okay?” Helen’s voice pulls him out of his thoughts and he looks up.

“Yeah, all good.” He smiles, but then turns back to work. “Just a rough day.”

Or week, or month.

Helen stays quiet for a while, just lets it go with a nod, but then seats herself next to him, on Dot’s spot and starts, a bit insecurely.

“I just can’t help but notice, that you’re… a bit down, recently ?” She says in more of a questioning tone. “Sorry if I’m prying, but I’m just worried. You’re the one who always lightens up the atmosphere here, and recently, either you’re gone or just… down.”

Magnus smiles at her comment, and also at the concern in her voice. Maybe he didn’t get to know her and Aline very well, but they’re good colleagues. Devoted to their job, focused, and very caring. Magnus finds another proof in this today.

“Does it have something to do with your boyfriend?” Helen questions lightly and Magnus sends her a confused glare, but before he gets to speak, she continues. “Aline told me.” She admits. “Please, don’t be mad at her, she didn’t mean anything bad, she’s just really shitty at keeping anything from me.” She adds with a chuckle and Magnus laughs lightly too.

“It’s okay.” He quickly dismisses her worries. “It’s no secret.”

He’s so happy with Alec, that sometimes he’d like to shout it from the rooftops.

Helen still studies him carefully and he realises he hasn’t really answer her first question yet.

“Yeah, Alec, he…” He pauses, searching for some right words to put it. “Well, he’s having a rough time recently. And I’m trying to be there for him as much as I can.” He finishes and Helen nods at him understandingly. She doesn’t ask furthermore, but a bit later she speaks.

“You’re a good boyfriend, you know?” She sends him a sincere gaze, but he still doesn’t fully get her, so she elaborates. “I can see, that you’re clearly concerned for him. Even if the situation doesn’t affect you personally… it affects you at some point because of how it makes him feel. Because you care about him. And you’re by his side at this rough time. He’s really lucky to have you.” She squeezes his shoulder lightly.

“Well, I’m the lucky one.” Magnus resorts and let a smile creep onto his face. “Even with all his… issues, I would never trade him for anything else.”

Helen’s smile’s only widens at his words. Magnus knows he’s being sappy, but he can’t help it when it comes to Alexander.

 

After all that’s happened today with Ragnor, and Max, Magnus had almost forgot his plan for today. Of course, he didn’t say anything to Alec, but he already promised himself to not let anyone hurt him. And Robert Lightwood might be the first one on his list to talk some sense into.

Alec doesn’t need to know that he’s planning on having a little chat with his father. It’s not a lie, not a secret, if he asks, Magnus will tell him, but for now, he needs to focus on work, so he can visit Lightwood LLP headquarters.

He finds the address online, as he sets in his car after work. But before getting to drive, he decides to check on his boyfriend first.

Message sent: Alexander

How is my perfect student doing?

He can imagine Alec blushing at that message.

Message received: Alexander

Remind me to never miss classes again. It’s tons of hard work to catch up now.

Magnus shakes his head amusingly. He knows Alec’s kidding, they both agreed that it was what he needed at that time.

Message sent: Alexander

Who’s gonna handle it if not you? ;)

A reply comes a bit later.

Message received: Alexander

I suppose you’re right

He sends another text.

Message sent: Alexander

Do you know when you’ll be back?

Message received: Alexander

Probably still a few more hours. Don’t worry, I’m with Lydia all the time.

It gives him some kind of reassurance, to know that he’s not alone.

Message sent: Alexander

Just checking in. Have fun and remember to take a break every now and then.

Message received: Alexander

I will, don’t worry. Love you.

As he types and sends a love you too, he starts the car and drives.

 

The building is huge and Magnus resorts that he’s actually seen it a thousand times while driving through the city, but never figured out, that it was Alec’s parents’ company building. He wastes no time and comes in.

If he wasn’t already furious, he’d admire this spectacular, fancy design of the of the building itself. Everything is kept light, the insides are white, marble and clean, a golden statue of Themis shines in the middle of the waiting hall.

But he’s not here to do that, so he simply marches for the reception

“Hi, I’m here to see Robert Lightwood.” He announces the girl at the receptionist’s desk.

“What’s your name, sir?” She questions without even looking up from some documents she’s studying. “Did you have an appointment planned?”

“Well… no.” He says before it even crosses his mind to lie.

“Then, I’m sorry, sir, but he won’t be able to see you.”

“But it’s important.” Magnus tries and the girl looks up at him, probably sensing the desperate note in his tone. “It’s about his son.”

It isn’t even a lie.

She considers him with a thoughtful expression, and then picks up a phone at her left.

“Mr Lightwood, there’s a man here asking to see you.” She says and there is some voice telling her something at the end of the line. “No, sir, he doesn’t have an appointment, but says it’s important. Something about your son.”

Another shuffling over the phone and Magnus gets impatient, his leg bouncing nervously as he waits.

“He’s asking which son.” The girl prompts then and snaps Magnus out of his daze.

“Sorry?” He doesn’t fully register her words at first.

“Which son?” She questions. “Is it about Maxwell?”

“Yes.” Magnus lies. He hates to do it like this, but it’s the only way to get to Robert. And he has plenty of things he wants to throw him in the face. “I’m a volunteer at the hospital where he’s a patient.”

The girl repeats what he’s said over the phone and then nods at something Robert must have said.

“Alright, I understand, Mr Lightwood.” She gets up from her spot gestures on her left and then turns to Magnus. “Take the elevator to the eleventh floor. Mr Lightwood’s office is at the end of the hallway.”

“Thank you.” Magnus manages and heads the direction she pointed.

Well, that was easier than he thought.

Quickly taking the elevator, he finally gets to the right floor, exits and heads for the door.

He hasn’t really been thinking about facing him yet. It still was kind of an impulse to come and see him, but as he stands in front of his door now, of a man, who could hurt someone, such a lovely person as Alexander is, drive him to this kind of suffering… Magnus wouldn’t be himself if he hadn’t spoken a few words about it.

With one last exhale he knocks on the door, and receiving some murmur in answer, he comes in.

Robert’s Lightwood office is even fancier than the hall below. He’s sitting at his glass desk, a line of documents stretches in front of him. He doesn’t even look up as he addresses Magnus.

“Who are you and why aren’t you talking to my wife about this?” He demands, is tone sharp. “She’s the one who handles things with the hospital.”

Magnus finds himself not knowing what to answer for more than a few seconds, and it makes Robert look up at him. He eyes him up and down, he clearly isn’t pleased with what he sees, as his face scrunches up in a grimace.

“Well it’s…” Magnus clears his throat when his voice comes out a bit hoarse. “it’s sort of a different matter.”

“Just get to the point.” Robert gestures impatiently.

“The point is,” He starts, not bothering for a polite tone anymore. Robert doesn’t deserve this. He takes another exhale and picks up. “the way you’re treating your children.”

“Excuse me?” Robert asks, actually quite taken aback.

“Yeah, you heard right.” Magnus comes a bit closer to him. “Telling your own son his no one, that he’s a disaster. Who gave you a right to say those kind of lies?”

“Who the hell are you?” Robert questions, his expression furious.

“It doesn’t matter.” Magnus snaps. “What does, is that you’re pathetic. You don’t even know your own children, you have no right to judge them-“

“I suggest you stop right now and leave.” Robert gets up from his desk and point towards the exit. “Before I call security.”

“Call whoever you want.” Magnus is way too worked up now, not caring about the angry tone he’s using now. “It changes nothing. You think you have the power, but you don’t. Not over them, especially not over Alexander. If you ever stopped and tried to see how much of an amazing man he is… but you didn’t because you don’t care. Never did, they hate you-“

“That’s it. You’re getting out of here. Now.” Robert spats and calls security over the phone on his desk.

“You don’t want to acknowledge it, because it’s the truth.” Magnus nearly screams. “Deep down you know it-“

At that moment, the security barges into the room and tries to drag Magnus away, but he fights against their hold.

“If you’ll ever say anything to Alexander again, if you even come close to him, I swear to God-“ He attempt one more time, but Robert actually laughs at his words and surprised by the reaction, Magnus lets the security guards take the hold of him.

“Don’t worry about that.” Robert’s amused tone sounds. “I don’t want him anywhere near me, he’s a disgrace.”

Before Magnus gets to say another word, he gets dragged out of the room.

“Let go of me.” Magnus struggles against the guards hold. “I can find my way out.”

He starts to march towards the elevator when they let go. In moments like this, Magnus doesn’t regret basically not knowing his father. If he’d turned out someone a Robert Lightwood kind, Magnus would consider he doesn’t have a father.

Magnus is not sure if he feels better after screaming into Robert’s face. His first plan was to keep a civil conversation, but he just couldn’t help himself, when Robert already started with that attitude. He’s about to step into the elevator when the door opens, but stops when he hears a voice.

“Wait!” A woman calls after him as she leave a room which probably is her office. As she comes closer, Magnus notices something familiar about her features. “Are you Magnus?” She asks.

Magnus looks at her wide eyed.

“Who’s asking?” He prompts.

“I’m Maryse Lightwood.” The woman extends her hand in greeting. “Alec’s mother.”

A bit hesitantly, Magnus slides her hand into hers and shakes lightly. Maryse doesn’t explicitly smiles, her expression is more concerned, but something about it relaxes a bit just now.

Alec does have her eyes, Magnus resorts as he looks at her.

“I’m sorry, but I heard you speak something about Alec and just assumed…” She trails off, but Magnus nods.

He wasn’t actually aware Alec told his mother about them, but he recalls how Alec told him about all of these efforts to fix their relation. He himself appreciates it. Maybe it’s another step.

“Yes, I’m Magnus Bane.” Magnus introduces himself properly. “Alec’s boyfriend.”

Maryse studies him and smiles more genuinely now. Then her sight wanders to the security guards next to him.

“You can leave, everything is fine here.” She dismisses them. They look wary at the begging, but then just nod and get into the elevator. “Sorry about them.” Maryse says when they’re gone.

“I’m the one who should be sorry.” Magnus resorts quickly. “I made quite a scene-“

“It’s okay.” Marsye waves her hand dismissively. “You were you trying to protect Alec. I appreciate it.” Her voice is honest.

Magnus tries to hide his surprised expression finds himself nodding lightly.

“Still, I apologise.”

Maryse just smiles again.

“How is Alec doing?” She asks with a hint of nervousness now. “Isabelle and Jace told me he’s staying at your place now, but he hasn’t called me yet to say anything more. I get it, and I try not to pry, but still, I can’t help but being worried.”

“I understand.” Magnus assures quickly and flashes her a smile. “He’s doing fine, really.”

“That’s good.” Maryse states with a nod. “I’m sorry about anything that Robert said. I tried talking to him, but he just can't see where he wnet wrong-“

“Mrs Lightwood, you’re not the one who should be sorry.” He shakes his head. “It’s your husband’s’ doing.”

“I know.” She replies, but then shrugs. “I just feel guilty.”

None of them says anything for a few moments then. Magnus can somehow sympathize with her. She tried to do her best, invited her children to live with them again, and then her husband pulls out something like this. He gets why she feels guilty. And after everything Alec’s said, she really seems to deserve a chance.

“Do you think…” Her voice brings Magnus out of his thoughts. “that I could visit Alec at some point? Only if it’s okay with you of course. I’m not talking anytime soon, but just sometime…”

“How about now?” Magnus questions without quite thinking this thorough. It’s his impulses taking over. He sees a guilty woman and feels every need to fix it. Talking to Alec might help, but he’s not quite sure if he’s boyfriend is ready for it. Also, he finds himself wanting to get to know that woman. She and Alec seem to grow closer recently, and she’s still his mother.

“Are you serious?” She asks with disbelief.

“Yeah.” He replies. “Alec's studying with his friend now, but he should be back sometime soon. My loft is actually nearby, and in the meantime I invite for a cup of coffee while we wait.”

“That’s so kind of you, really.” Maryse says with her eyes bright. “But are you sure Alec would be okay with that?”

“He's been meaning to talk to you, that I know.” Magnus resorts and sends her a reassuring smile. “This might be a first step for it.”

“Only if you’re certain.” Maryse inquires.

“I insist.” Magnus decides.

“Lead the way then.”

 

They’re seated in Magnus’ living room, sipping the coffee he’s just made. It’s not like he regrets his decision to invite Maryse in, but to be honest it’s quite awkward and uncomfortable when none of them speaks for a longer while.

“You have a lovely home.” Maryse prompts as she looks around with an approving nod.

“Thank you.” Magnus appreciates her words and the attempt to at least start a conversation. He himself doesn’t really know which subject he can bring up with her, since he has no idea how much Alec has told her. If anything at all.

“So,” Maryse clears her throat and her eyes settle on Magnus instead around the room. “Alec told me you’ve been together for around three months. How exactly did you meet?”

“We met at the hospital.” Magnus begins and his boyfriend’s mother sends him an intrigued gaze. “I’m a volunteer at this place and we just… it just all sort of happened.”

Maryse smiles gently now with a nod, but then her expression falls a bit.

“I appreciate all you’ve done for Alec.” She speaks, but looks down this time. “Isabelle told me a bit. Thank you for being there for him.” She adds, eyes fixed on his face again.

“It’s nothing, really-“ Magnus tries, but the woman firstly shakes her head and then interrupts.

“No. It’s a lot.” She states seriously. “I’m his mother and I was never able to provide him with a home where he’d feel safe enough. And I’m just realising it now.”

Magnus doesn’t know what to say. It’s good that Maryse is aware of her mistakes in the past, but it doesn’t change them. But she truly looks ashamed, and tries to fix them, so that’s what matters.

“So to know that he’s found some kind of shelter here, with you…” Maryse continues, her expression thoughtful. “it means a lot. I wish I could do something more for him, but I know that I’m not quite able to bring him any kind of comfort. But I’m aware that it’s only my fault. I never was a person he could rely on.” She sight heavily. “So thank you again.”

Magnus finds himself quite speechless at her sudden confession, and only nods lightly. It says a lot about her raging conscience that she just confides like that in a total stranger. Magnus won’t use it against her, and is actually glad to hear her sound like she truly regrets it.

He doesn’t get to voice his reaction, since they both can here the front door opening now.

Magnus excuses himself, leaving Maryse on the living room’s couch and going to greet his boyfriend in the hall.

“Alexander.” Magnus enters the hallway the moment Alec closes the door behind him, and they both smile.

“Hi.” Alec says and comes closer, greeting him with a sweet kiss on the lips.

“How was studying?” Magnus asks as he holds onto his waist lightly.

“Good, but I’m exhausted.” Alec admits with a heavy sigh, gently untangling himself from his embrace and heading towards the living room. “All I want to do I curl up on the couch and-“

“Yeah, about that…” Magnus lets the sentence trail of, since Alec is already stopping in his tracks, his eye wide.

“Mom?” He prompts with disbelief.

Maryse had now stood up from the couch, and she fidgets nervously with her hands when she sees her son.

“What are you doing here?” Alec asks, his tone not actually harsh, more like shocked.

Maryse opens her mouth, but then closes it, probably not sure how to explain it. That’s when Magnus comes in.

“Well, that’s quite complicated, darling.” He says, wrapping his arm around still shocked Alec. “Maybe we should all just take a seat, and I’ll explain.”

Alec studies him for a few seconds, his eyes cautious and sharp, but after what feels like eternity, he finally nods.

 

Maryse sits in the armchair, while Magnus and Alec settle themselves on the couch. Magnus wastes no time to explain. He’s aware that he could just come up with some other story, but he doesn’t lie. He tells Alexander everything about his plan to confront his father, their conversation and them meeting his mom.

Alec stays quite most of the time. His eyes widen even more when Magnus mentions seeing Robert. He can see that Alec’s not pleased with his whole idea to even come and see him, but he restrains from talking until Magnus is properly finished.

“I can’t believe you went to see my father.” Alec shakes his head as he speaks. “What were you thinking?”

Magnus feels his eyes piercing a hole in his soul.

“I couldn’t just sit around, darling.” Magnus resorts and squeezes his hand a bit. Alec doesn’t fight the hold. “I was worried. What if something like this happened again? I had to make sure he’ll stay away from you. And I had a few things I wanted to say to him anyway.” He shrugs.

“Magnus…” The name comes out more of an exhale, as Alec closes his eyes.

“Luckily, your mom was there to save the day.” Magnus exclaims cheerfully. “Or me from the guards.”

“This isn’t funny.” Alec resorts as he looks back at him with pleading eyes. “This is serious, Magnus. It could get you in real trouble-“

“But I didn’t and I’m fine.” Magnus assures simply. “I just hope Robert got the massage.”

“I think he did.” Maryse cuts in and all gazes wander to her now. “Otherwise, I’ll make sure he will.”

“Mom,” Alec starts a bit insecurely. “I’m sorry I haven’t called you to explain yet. I just wasn’t quite sure-“

“It’s okay, Alec.” Maryse interrupts gently. “I didn’t want to push you too, but Magnus just offered and I… I wanted to see if you’re okay. Nothing more, you don’t need to tell me anything…”

“I’m alright, mom. Really, all good.” He reassures with a small smile when Maryse doesn’t look convinced. “I just let dad’s words get into my head too much. But Magnus helped me realise that they were all lies.”

“Yeah, Isabelle’s told me a bit about how much he’s helped you.” His mother states. “We already talked about it, but thank you again, Magnus.”

Magnus just shakes his head and dismisses her words with a wave of hand.

“Yeah, it’s been hard, but I promise you, I’m okay.” Alec resorts and Maryse nods lightly, taking in his words. “Actually, I’m glad you came. I’ve been meaning to talk to you.”

“It looks like Magnus really knows what’s the best for you.” Maryse lets a smile crawl onto her face.

“He really does.” Alec switches his gaze from her to his boyfriend, and Magnus finds himself blushing a bit.

“I should go.” Maryse glances at her watch. “Let you relax a bit, you probably had an exhausting day. And I have a few things to do too anyway.” She resorts as she gets up from her spot. “Thank you for the invitation again, Magnus.”

“You can visit anytime you’d like.” Magnus informs her and receives a nod in agreement from Alec.

“Thank you.” Maryses echoes her words. Then she comes closer and hugs Alec briefly and they both smile when they pull back. “I’ll see you soon, okay?”

“Sure, mom.” Alec approves. “Bye.”

With another wave a farewells, Maryse leaves through the front door, sending them one last smile. Magnus closes the door behind her and as he turns back, he sees that the smile has disappeared from Alec’s features, replaced by a sharp glare.

“Seriously, Magnus? Going to my father?” He crosses his hands tightly onto his chest. “Are you out of your mind? I didn’t want to make a scene in front of mom, but seriously, what did you think you’d accomplish with this, huh?”

“I told you.” Magnus starts calmly as he sees how worked up Alec is getting. “I wanted to make sure you’ll be okay, and that he will never get near you-“

“He doesn’t want to be anywhere near me!” Alec snaps. “He hates me. The feeling’s mutual, by the way. He wants me as far away from him as possible. You could have just asked about more info on our situation, not go to him-“

“I didn’t want to pry.” Magnus tries. “I know it’s hard for you to talk about this. And Robert needed to hear some truths about himself.”

“Like what?” Alec asks resigned.

“Like that he’s a terrible father, and his children hate him.” Magnus replies with shrug. “He lives in denial.”

“Magnus…” Alec starts with a sigh. “It wasn’t responsible to do it. Jace and Izzy still live in his house. How do you think they will feel about this situation?”

Shit. Magnus didn’t actually think about Alec’s siblings. He knew that what he said was true, but Alec’s right. Jace and Isabelle are still there and it affects all of them now.

“I’m sorry.” Magnus resorts and comes a bit closer to Alec, reaching out with his hand to caress his arm. “I didn’t really think about it. I was just furious with him, for how he made you feel, I’m sorry.”

Alec smiles lightly and brings him closer by his waist.

“Thank you, for doing that.” He says. “It was stupid, but I appreciate the gesture.”

Magnus reciprocates his smile and brushes some loose hair from his forehead.

“I can talk to Jace and Izzy-“ He tries, but Alec shakes his head.

“They’ll be fine.” Alec states. “Nothing you said was a lie. And I’m pretty sure dad won’t even bring it up. He’s always liked to keep these kind of incidents quiet.”

Magnus nods. Some part of him still thinks, that Robert does it because deep down he knows it’s true, but he doesn’t want to hear it from his children, so he won’t search for a confirmation in them. He himself feels quiet relieved at that thought, but thinks that Robert should hear it from them one day.

“Thank you.” Alec says again and kisses him lightly on the mouth. He can see the pure love and affection in his eyes. “For protecting me.”

“It’s all my pleasure, Alexander.” He whispers against his lips and the closes the distance between them.

Chapter Text

Two weeks of living with Magnus, and Alec feels better than he can ever recall.

He feels safe at his loft, comfortable, and he gets to be close to Magnus all the time. They don’t grow tired of each other, no matter how much time they spend together. Everything is going fine between them. Sure, they bicker about stuff like loading the dishwasher, or taking the trash out, but it’s normal, and it makes Alec experience even more of a proper relationship.

There still are days when they barely see each other. When Magnus works late, or Alec has to study. They only come together when they settle in bed for sleep.

The loft really feels like his home, but Alec doesn’t want to get quite used to it and must remind himself that it’s only a temporary solution.

Jace and Izzy visit a lot, but Magnus is not complaining. They’re mostly here when he’s at work anyway. Even Maryse comes over a few times and they talk some more about what happened and all other stuff. It all feels nice, Alec feels better than ever, the events of living back in the family house already blurred in his memory. He can enjoy his relationship growing.

And what a growth it is.

They continue to explore. More nights than not they spend just lazily making out on the couch or in bed. Hands become bolder, more needy, reaching for more skin, drawling out more pressure. Things are still kept slow, and as Magnus promised, it only takes one word from Alec to make them stop.

But recently, he finds himself more unable to stop.

It just all feels so good. To have Magnus so close, be able to taste him, feel him. Alec gets lost in him, and it gets harder and harder to pull back from that feeling. But he realises he doesn’t want to pull back, and that maybe, he doesn’t have to.

He’s been thinking a lot recently. About the physical area of their relationship, how good they feel together. Magnus had already confessed that he wants everything with Alec, and he’s been very patient with him, willing to wait till he will be ready.

And he thinks he finally is.

Since he doesn’t feel like he has to hide, he is more relaxed when he and Magnus get intimate. He’s still insecure about his scars, but Magnus pays no attention to them, and doesn’t even mention them when they undress. It’s nice not to be judged and Alec does appreciate everything he does for him.

And Magnus is just being way too tempting. He’s shaped like a Greek God, body curved in all the right places. His kisses are sweet and hungry, his hands on Alec’s body are tender and loving. He's beautiful, not only on the outside. All of the praise he showers Alec with, the nice words and gestures, how he encourages him… Alec has never felt so good.

“Alexander…” The words are more of an exhale from where Magnus is sprawled beneath Alec’s body, his legs tangled lightly with Alec’s own, keeping him in place from where he’s ravishing Magnus’ neck with kisses.

Alec has his forearms braced at the sides of Magnus’ head, fingers laced with his hair as he connects their lips again. Magnus lets out another moan, his hands on Alec’s lower back, urging him to press even closer, till there’s no space between their bodies, hips grinding lightly against each other.

Alec complies.

“Magnus,” He starts against his lips, eyes closed, thoughts racing in his head, all dimmed with this raging desire in his veins. He wants more, wants to say it, but… he doesn’t know how. His mouth hangs open as if he wants to speak, but no words come out

Magnus’ hand runs delicately through his hair, waiting for some response. Alec looks at him, and he just smiles lightly, but the want in his eyes is more laced with worry at Alec’s lack of words.

“I…” Alec tries again, lost in those beautiful eyes, that are tracing his features with such concern. God, Magnus is so astonishing. “I love you.” He finally gets out, because he does. But it wasn’t what he was intending to say.

“I love you too, sweetheart.” Magnus replies softly, brushing some hair out of his forehead, he leans in to kiss him. Alec reciprocates, but deep down feels like an idiot.

He always considered that communication in their relationship is on good level. And probably is, but they haven’t actually talked about stuff like sex yet, so it’s a new subject, and it’s hard for Alec to introduce it. He needs to work on in, promises himself he will.

After that, the mood kinda dies down, and Alec climbs of off him with a sigh. If Magnus notices something might be wrong, he doesn’t question it. Alec can always blame it on the tiredness.

So with no more words, Magnus plasters himself to Alec’s back, throwing and arm around him. Alec laces their fingers and rests them against his stomach.

Tomorrow. He’ll try to talk to Magnus tomorrow.

 

He wakes up before Magnus, and decides to make them breakfast. Placing a soft kiss to his boyfriend’s forehead and smiling down at his cute, sleepy expression, he finally gets out of bed and marches into the kitchen.

He’s become quite familiar with the loft during his time here. He knows where everything is located, so he has no trouble in finding all of the needed products to prepare breakfast. He brews so fresh coffee, settles on making toasts and leans against the counter as he waits for his boyfriend to join him.

Soon enough, Magnus emerges into the kitchen. His hair still not styled yet, shirtless, only in his boxers and one of his silk robes. He smiles at the sight of Alec and rubs sleepily at his eyes.

“What a lovely sight to wake up to.” He says as he comes closer to him, wrapping his arms around his waist. “Good morning, darling.”

“Morning, babe.” Alec replies and brings their lips together softly. “I made coffee.” He announces and presses a mug into his boyfriend’s hands.

Magnus smiles gratefully and takes a sip, humming at the taste on his way to the kitchen table. They settle together and eat breakfast as they do most of the mornings. They talk about the upcoming struggles of the day. Magnus offers to drive him to the university, but his classes start late today, so he refuses. Then they get ready for the day, and Magnus leaves, with one more kiss pressed to his lips.

So much for talk over breakfast.

Alec sighs and moves to sit down on the couch. It’s not like talking about wanting to take the next step over breakfast might have been his brighter idea. They wouldn’t just jump into it then. Alec sucks at relationships, he realises, not for the first time over the course of these few last day. He needs some piece of advice on how to do this, and he knows just the right person to turn to.

Without over thinking this more, he grabs his phone and dials Isabelle’s number.

 

“So, how’s living with Magnus?” Izzy prompts when they’re seated in their favourite little café on the campus. She’s sipping her cappuccino and looks at him over the rim of her mug.

“Great.” Alec resorts as he drinks his own coffee. His second today, he should slow down.

His sister sends him a curious gaze, and eyes him curiously, but he just shrugs, so she adds.

“Maybe some details?”

“It’s amazing, okay?” Alec sighs, but Izzy just smirks at him. “I haven’ felt this good in a long time.” He admits and this time, Isabelle’s expression softens a little, as she reaches for his hand across the table.

“I’m pretty sure it’s mostly Magnus’ doing.” She prompts lightly, smile still present on her features.

Alec nods and ducks his head, as he feels himself blushing.

“Alright,” Isabelle starts a while later. “was there something specific you wanted to talk about? You sounded pretty strange on the phone.” The last part comes out a bit more concerned.

“I just…” Alec begins. It’s time to bring up the thing he actually wanted to talk to Isabelle about. He knows he can tell her everything, so if he can’t talk to Magnus yet, he’ll talk to her. “I’ve been thinking recently. A lot.”

“About what?” She asks lightly.

Alec takes a deep breath and tries to explain.

“About me and Magnus.” He pouts his lips. “Our relationship.”

Izzy just shoot his another quizzical glare, her eyebrows raised.

“I was thinking about taking the next step.” Alec continues, but can tell from her expression that Isabelle still doesn’t get what he means. “In our relationship. You know…” He makes a vague gesture with his hand that he himself doesn’t know what means, so is not surprised when his sister doesn’t get it. He lets out a frustrated groan. Why is it so hard for him to just say it.

But suddenly, it clicks for Izzy.

“Oh my God,” She begins with excitement, but then lowers her voice a bit. “you’re talking about having sex?”

He doesn’t know how his sister can understand him without any words, but he’s grateful for it.

“Yeah,” He nods and bites his lip in a nervous habit. “basically.”

“Alec, it’s a big deal.” Izzy’s tone is a bit more serious now. “It’s your first time.”

“Yeah, I’m aware.” He says with an exhale.

“Are you sure you’re ready?” Isabelle questions then and searches his eyes.

Alec takes a minute to think. But that’s basically all he’s been doing for the past week. To be honest, he doesn’t have a reason to hesitate now. He knows what he wants, knows that Magnus wants the same, he feels safe, comfortable, they love each other. He really wants it to be Magnus.

“I am.” He finally replies and when he looks her in the eyes, he can see something relax in them. “As I said, I’ve been thinking a lot, and yeah, I’m ready.”

“That’s great, big brother.” Izzy squeezes his hand lightly, sending him a genuine smile. “So, have you spoken to Magnus yet?”

“No,” Alec admits and shakes his head. “that’s kind of the problem.”

“What’s the problem?” Izzy asks then.

“That I don’t know how.” Alec confesses. “I have no idea how to approach this subject with him.”

“Alec, he’s your boyfriend, it’s normal to talk about his kind of stuff.” Isabelle tries gently.

“I know, but…” He lets out another frustrated breath. “I’ve never done this before. I don’t know what to say. How to start this conversation with him.”

Sometimes he wishes that Magnus would just propose for them to go forward, but deep down he knows he won’t. Because after everything that Alec has told him about his past relationship, he’s scared of moving too far, and too fast, he admitted it himself. Alec knows he needs to be the one, and it shouldn’t be that stressful. He knows they want each other, but the truth is, he’s never had something like this. Never spoke about those subjects. What if he says something wrong? Embarrass himself even more?

“Alec, it’s…” Izzy starts and then shakes her head a little as if gathering up her thoughts. “you and Magnus talk about everything. Just roll with it like it was any other subject.” She suggests.

“But it’s not like talking about what we should order for dinner, Izzy.” Alec points out. “It’s not that simple. What, am I supposed to just come up to him and simply ask: ‘hey, babe, do you want to have sex with me’?”

“Yeah, basically.” Izzy shrugs. “That would work.”

“There’s no way I can be that straightforward with him.” Alec shakes his head. “I just can’t. I don’t know how.”

“Okay, first of all, calm down.” Isabelle starts and Alec realises that he’s really getting pretty worked up by this whole things. God, what’s wrong with him? People have sex on daily basis, and he can’t ask his amazing boyfriend if they could just try and do something more than make out?

He takes a deep breath and nods at his sister.

“Second, stop overthinking it.” She advices then. “You know Magnus wants you back, so you don’t need to worry about that. And from what I can see, you already did a lot of thinking on this case, I think it’s enough.”

Alec nods again.

“And third,” She begins then. “remember, that it’s Magnus. When he’ll see you’re trying to indicate something, he’ll help you out. It takes two people, Alec.”

“Okay, you’re right.” Alec admits, because she really is. Magnus always knows what he’s thinking of, or what he’s about to say. He picks up on these things, and they always work them out. Why this case should be different?

But there’s another thing bothering him.

“What if I’m terrible at it?” He questions and bites down on his bottom lip. Izzy sends him a sympathetic smile, and squeezes his hand once more.

“Alec, it will be you’re first time. There’s gotta be a time when you just figure it out.”

“Yeah, but what if I do something wrong, or I don’t know-“ He starts to rumble nervously.

“That’s the point of learning.” Isabelle interrupts him gently. “You’ll find out what you enjoy, what Magnus enjoys, you’ll figure it out together. That’s what it is about.”

Alec still doesn’t feel convinced, so Izzy continues.

“Magnus would never make you feel bad about it, even if you’d make some sort of mistake. You should know that, big brother.”

Deep down, he knows. But it’s hard for his to make sense of it, when all he can think about, is the fear of messing up. He doesn’t want to lose Magnus because of such thing.

“Okay, so basically your advice is to relax, stop overthinking and just go for it?” He sums up and his sister nods, but something about her expression is softer now.

“If it’s what you want, and if it makes you happy, then yeah. That’s my advice.” She smiles again.

“Yeah, okay.” Alec nods and manages to reciprocate her smile a bit.

That’s what he wants, so maybe he should really just go for it?

 

Alec has seen enough movies in his life to know how to create a romantic set up.

And some cliché part of him wants his first time to be special at some point. He already has that special person, but it won’t hurt to put some effort and make this night special for them both.

Thoughts are still racing through Alec’s mind as he moves frantically around the loft, setting up the candles. He also thought of rose petals, but that would be way too cheesy for his tastes. But he’s got other things at hand. He bought their favourite wine, began to prepare dinner, got some flowers. It’s all coming together perfectly.

The only thing that he’s worried about, is if Magnus will for sure want to do it.

He knows Magnus wants him, but he’s not obligated to want to do this with him today. As far as Alec knows, he might just come back home and be exhausted, with nothing more than a need to sprawl out on the couch and not do anything.

So yeah, he might be an idiot for preparing this thing, but at least they’ll have a romantic dinner. They both deserve an evening to relax.

He’s barely made it thought classes today, unable to concentrate. Even Lydia couldn’t get through him and she decided to give up during the third period, when she needed to repeat her whole monologue for the fourth time.

He’ll tell her he’s sorry. Maybe even send her a gift basket or something, if tonight goes well.

Fuck, this feels like a freaking proposal, he thinks.

It might be stupid, to make this kind of a big deal about it, but he can’t help it. He’s nervous as hell, almost burnt the whole pasta sauce and broke the wine glasses when he put them out of the cabinet. He just wants Magnus to get home, his presence is always soothing.

As if his prayers were answered, he hears the familiar click of the front door, and a second later, his boyfriend’s voice sounds through the loft.

“Hello, darling.” He calls out a he enters the living room, where Alec is currently standing. “Something smells lovely-“ He begins, but cuts off as he sees the whole romantic set up Alec prepared. A soft smile slowly covers his face, and it only widens when his eyes finally settle on Alec. “What is all that?”

Alec shrugs, comes closer to him, and as he places his hands gently on his waist, he feels himself relax a bit.

“I just thought we could have a nice dinner, and some time to relax.” He speaks when Magnus’ arms hook around his neck. “And besides, I haven’t basically done anything to thank you for letting me stay here. So, consider this the first step.”

“Oh, there’s gonna be more?” Magnus asks, his tone a bit playful, but not indicating anything.

“Yeah, maybe.” Alec’s voice comes out a bit more hesitant than he wished for, but Magnus doesn’t comment on it.

Alec takes his hand and leads him towards the kitchen, where he finishes making dinner, and tells Magnus to just sit and relax. Alec feels his boyfriend’s drilling eyes on him, observing his every move. He barely stops his hands from shaking, but with one more deep exhale, finally settles at the table with his boyfriend and serves their meal. Magnus welcomes him with a warm smile.

“You know you don’t need to do anything to thank me, right?” He questions then gently. “It’s my pleasure to let you stay here.”

“I know.” Alec replies lightly, but ducks his head. “You’re just… you’re doing so much for me, and I thought I could do something for you.”

Magnus reaches for his hand and laces their fingers together, resting them on the table.

“And it’s a lovely idea.” He says with another smile. “Thank you, love.”

Alec only smiles in return and they continue to eat their dinner. They talk a bit about their days, as always. Magnus began to tell him more and more about his work, since they’re already over this mess with Camille. She hasn’t bothered him ever since, and that’s good, because Alec isn’t sure what he’d do if that woman ever got close to Magnus again.

When they’re done, Alec gets up and begins to clean up, again urging Magnus to let him, since he really feels like he needs to keep himself busy somehow. Magnus agrees unwillingly, but finally marches back to the living room, after pouring them a glass of wine. Alec takes this moment to try and relax. He flexes his shoulders in an attempt to release some of the tension, but it doesn’t help too much.

Still, he plasters a smile on his face when he joins his boyfriend on the couch, Magnus already handing him a wineglass. 

“Who knew you could cook like this.” Magnus exclaims and then takes a sip of his drink, humming at the taste. “Seriously, that was delicious darling.”

“I guess I didn’t pick up on Izzy’s cooking skills.” He says and Magnus laughs lightly. Alec told him stories about his sister’s adventures with cooking. None of them ended up good.

Alec feels himself a bit more relaxed, the more they talk. It’s just basic conversations, but he’s always loved talking with Magnus.

But somehow, he feels the anticipation in the air. He just looks at Magnus and can’t deny himself wanting him so bad. He’s waited long enough. For it, for him, for them. He wants this, more than anything, and he rarely lets himself want something, but this time, he hopes it will all turn out the way he wants.

After they’re half-way through the second glass of wine, Alec reaches out and gently places it out of Magnus’ hand. His boyfriend looks at him curiously, but lets him, a small tentative smile playing on his lips. Alec’s glass shortly joins his on the coffee table, and then he wastes no time in bringing their lips together. He kisses slowly, savouring the taste of wine from Magnus’ lips. His hands wander to grab his boyfriend’s shoulders, and he steadies himself before sliding into his lap. Magnus welcomes him, spreading his hands on his hips and pressing him a bit closer. It’s good, it’s still familiar for both of them, and Alec feels a bit of tension leaving his body, when Magnus licks over his lips, asking for entrance. He easily compiles, his hands cupping Magnus’ face, fingers lacing in his hair. But it’s still slow, tentative, and Alec wants more. He presses even closer to Magnus, whose hands now on his lower back, underneath his shirt. Alec breaks of the kiss to inhale sharply against his lips, already diving in again. He hopes he can deliver the words he can’t speak through his actions. He tries to speak with his body, tries to say want me, take me, I’m yours to do as you please. Damn him for not being able to voice it. He kisses even harder, fighting for dominance with his tongue. He swallows Magnus’ surprised moan and reaches, a bit too eagerly, to start unbuttoning his shirt. But then Magnus pulls back and gently rests his hands on Alec’s chest, pushing him back lightly.

And it sends all new panic flowing through Alec’s body.

He read it all wrong, Magnus doesn’t want him, he’s being too needy, it’s too fast. He wants to question what’s wrong, but his mouth hangs open, and he just can’t get any words out.

“Alexander…” Magnus still has his eyes closed as he tries to control his breathing.

“Am I doing something wrong?” Alec finally manages to get out, and Magnus’ eyes snap open, a soft smile creeping on his face as he shakes his head and sooths his hands down Alec’s thighs. “Then why did you stop?” He asks a bit breathlessly.

“Darling,” Magnus’ palms wander to cup his face lightly. “everything is perfect, but I just have one question.”

Alec carefully traces his boyfriend’s features, looking for any signs of discomfort or displeasure, but he’s met only with want and desire in his eyes, but still, there’s something uneasy in them.

He shrugs lightly, indicating for Magnus to go on, and he does, looking him deeply in the eyes, as he asks.

“How far do you want to take this, love?”

And turns out, Magnus was sensing something that Alec tried to say through his movements. It gives Alec a perfect entry, he just has to say what he wants. It can’t be that hard.

But still, he finds it quite difficult.

Letting out another exhale, he begins to play with the collar of Magnus’ shirt, tracing his fingers on it lightly. Magnus waits patiently for his response, trying to duck his head to make eye contact, but Alec avoids it as he looks down. It would be too much now.

“I…” Alec begins, one more deep breath. He can do this. “I want to go all the way.”

He bites his lip, but looks up at Magnus just as he says it. His boyfriend’s eyes widen a little, thumbs begins to caress his cheeks lovingly from where he’s still holding his face. He doesn’t say anything for a while, as if speechless at Alec’s confession.

“Alexander,” He starts then, his tone soft. “are you sure?”

Alec looks him right in the eyes and nods.

But Magnus releases an uneven breathe and begins to shake his head a bit. Alec feels like a fucking idiot for assuming way too much things, but then Magnus speaks again.

“Angel, I don’t want you to feel like you owe me anything,” His eyes fall to the very limited space between them. “that you need to somehow replay me-“

“Magnus, what are you talking about?” Alec questions, truly confused. He’s not doing it because of that. True, Magnus had done a lot for him, but he’s never feel the need to pay, and especially like that. “I want to do this, because I love you, and I-, I want to have this with you-“

“I’m sorry, Alexander.” Magnus cuts in and kisses him lightly on the mouth. “I’m sorry, I just want to be sure that you want this. That you’re not only doing this to try to please me somehow. Because I’m totally okay with what we have-“

“Babe, I want this, really.” Alec assures again, a small smile creeping onto his lips. There Magnus is again, making sure that he’s comfortable, that this is something he truly wants. “I thought about it. A lot, actually. I’m not just jumping into it.”

Magnus nods, but then there’s this thought in the back of Alec’s head so he speaks.

“Do you not want to…” He lets the sentence trail of. He took in this possibility, but really hoped that Magnus would agree. However, if he doesn’t feel like it tonight, then they’ll stop right away.

“Of course I want this with you, angel.” Magnus reassures with a smile. “I want everything, I’ve already told you.”

Alec nods again, reciprocating his smile. Magnus’ hands slide back underneath his shirt to rest on his lower back, but his expression is still quite nervous when he speaks.

“Only if you’re ready.” He repeats, but brings him closer, making Alec gasp in response. “And one hundred percent sure.”

Alec cups his face again, thumbs sweeping on his cheeks delicately. He leans in and kisses him softly.

“I’m ready.” He states in between another kiss. “I want this.” Another. This one’s more lingering. “With you.” He continues and Magnus begins to nod at his every word. He kisses him again, long and deep, only pulling back not even an inch to whisper against his lips. “Make love to me, Magnus. Please.”

He barely gets to finish, before Magnus’ lips are on his again. His boyfriend tightens his hold on him, so there’s no space between them, chests pressed flush together. Tongues clash against each other, kisses turn more sloppy and open mouthed. Alec brings his hands between them to pick up his task of undoing the buttons on Magnus’ shirt. He breaks of the kiss to move onto his neck. Magnus gasps and squeezes his hips, drawing out a moan from him. He continues to unbutton his shirt, his fingers following the path on his chest. Alec pulls back to admire the exposed skin. Magnus smiles at him and his hands slide to the back of his thighs.

“I suggest we take this to the bedroom, darling.” He offers and Alec nods. “I want this to be special for you.” He whispers against his lips and Alec smiles. He tries to climb of his lap, so they can continue this in the bedroom, but Magnus shakes his head and tightens the hold on his legs. Alec sends him a confused gaze, but before he knows it, Magnus stands up from the couch and Alec instinctively locks his legs around his hips, and his arms tighten around his neck. Magnus places his laugh into Alec’s neck, and Alec finds himself laughing too, as he’s being carried into the bedroom.

Magnus kicks the door open and the closes them. Maybe Alec shouldn’t find is as such a huge turn on, but his boyfriend is freaking strong, and it sends a way of heat up and down his spine.

Before he knows it, he’s being gently places down on the bed. Magnus hoovers above him, and the next moment, he’s taking off his shirt from his shoulders. Alec reaches out and sooths his hands down the skin of his chest, now on display. Magnus tugs onto the hem of his t-shirt and soon Alec raises his hands up, so he can slide it over his head. He can see the hungry expression on his boyfriend’s face, but appreciates that he’s able to hold back. But they’ve been waiting long enough. And now, it’s all finally happening.

Magnus leans down and kisses him again. Alec’s lost in the best way possible. Then Magnus’ lips slide lower, placing a few lingering kisses to his jaw, then his neck. Next he feels him sucking on his collarbone, and he can’t help but moan again. Magnus’ mouth follows down, kissing all over his chest, everywhere he can reach. Alec lets out a noise resembling a whine, when Magnus mouths over his nipple, than switching to the other. His hands tangle themselves in his hair, and as he tugs lightly, Magnus lets out an appreciative hum. Then he pulls back and Alec wants to wail, but his boyfriend only smirks down on him and begins to work on his belt buckle, eyes still focused on Alec. He climbs off of  the bed and gets out of his jeans. Alec lets out a shaky breathe and still observes him, biting his lip in anticipation.

Soon, Magnus is back on him. Ravishing his neck with kisses, and Alec begins to feels selfish, that he only lies there and takes. Is he supposed to do something more? It all feels so good, but is Magnus enjoying it too. Should he just ask?

“Darling,” Magnus pulls back lightly, probably sensing the bit of tension settling in Alec’s body again. “everything okay?”

Alec nods, but still looks at him, and Magnus most likely notices that he wants to say something more, so he waits.

“All good,” Alec begins, but then exhales heavily. “I just have no idea what I should be doing.” He admits and closes his eyes, too overwhelmed by this whole thing.

“Alexander,” Magnus starts slowly and cups his cheek with one hand. Alec leans into the touch and opens his eyes, to see his boyfriend smiling softly at him. “are you enjoying yourself?”

“Of course.” Alec almost snorts. How could he not?

“Then it’s all I want you to do tonight.” Magnus says and brings their lips together for a while. When he pulls back, Alec eyes him curiously.

“But, what about you-“ He tries, but Magnus shakes his head lightly.

“Tonight,” He starts and kisses down his chest again. “is all about you. I told you, I want this to be special for you. It’s your first time, darling.” He states softly. “So let me just take care of you, okay?”

Alec still doesn’t feel quiet convinced, and of course Magnus picks up on it.

“You don’t think I’m enjoying it?” He asks, a hint of disbelief in his voice.

“I, I don’t know.” Alec replies, and Magnus almost laughs.

“Oh, darling.” He shakes his head amusingly . “To have you like this… It’s what I’ve been dreaming of. So let me assure you, that I’m enjoying myself, very much.” He licks all the way from Alec’s collarbone, to his neck, only to seal their mouths in a filthy kiss. Alec hisses from the pleasant coldness of his tongue, contrasting with his heated skin.

“Can we continue?” Magnus purrs into his ear seductively, and Alec nods eagerly.

Magnus slides between his legs delicately, and Alec shivers as their hips rest even closer now. Magnus hands rest on his hips now, and he slowly moves them to the front of his pants. Then he looks up.

“Is this okay?” He asks, as he unhurriedly begins to undo it.

“Yeah.” Alec nods and Magnus takes his time, mouthing at his hips, before undressing him out of his pants fully.

Alec shivers again. He’s never been this close with anyone yet. Nobody has ever seen that much of his body. He barely resists the urge to reach for the sheets beneath him and cover himself from his boyfriend’s starving look.

“Darling, you’re exquisite.” Magnus speaks as he moves back in between his legs, admiring Alec’s body, and he feels himself blushing at the praise. “There it is.” Magnus smiles as he reaches to touch his cheek lightly, noticing the redness.

Then, they just continue to kiss, but soon Magnus grinds down on his hips lightly, and a surprised gasp falls from Alec’s lips.

“Sorry,” Magnus tries to pull back, but Alec places his hands on his back and urges him to stay. “is this alright?” He asks and rolls his hips again.

“It’s good.” Alec’s voice comes out breathy as he nods. “Just caught me by surprise.” He smiles and Magnus reciprocates.

“Remember, one world from you and we can stop.” Magnus reminds him.

“I don’t want to stop.” Alec tilts his chin up and Magnus takes the hint and kisses him. Long and deep, grinding down with a bit more force. Maybe if he wasn’t so lost in this amazing feeling of pleasure, he would have been embarrassed by all of the noises he makes, but they seem to make Magnus even more eager, as he gladly swallows them.

Soon the kissing becomes too much, and Alec can’t breathe as Magnus continues to roll his hips, the sensation too much, and he turns his head, so his boyfriend begins to mouth on his neck instead. He bits down lightly, inducing another moan from Alec.

“How do you want to do this?” Magnus’ breathless voice brings him out of his daze and he looks back at his boyfriend with a questioning gaze. “You said ‘make love to me’, but I just need to be sure.” Magnus clarifies. “So, top or bottom?”

“I…” Alec starts, but words die down in his throat again. It’s embarrassing to say all of those things out loud. How does Magnus do it?

“Darling,” Magnus takes his face in between his palms delicately. “there’s nothing to be ashamed of in voicing what you want. I don’t have any preferences in this sort, so we can do it however you like. Just tell me what you want, baby. We’ll take it slow.”

Alec nods as a sign that he understands. He thought about this too, but it’s just too awkward to voice it out loud for him. He knows what he wants. He wants Magnus inside him. For now. They can try the other way later, but for his first time he wants to feel him in him.

“It’s okay, baby.” Magnus rests their foreheads together and kisses him gently, then whispers against his lips. “Just say it.”

“I want you inside me.” Alec breathes out, his voice nothing more than a whispers, eyes closed, cheeks burning, but he can feel Magnus smile. “Please.”

Magnus kisses him again, harder, his hands tightening on his hips. They rock together for a little while again, until Magnus reaches behind himself and begins to pulls his boxers down. Alec’s breath hitches in his throat, because there Magnus is, right in front of him, on top of him, in his full glory, and his so damn beautiful that Alec can’t help but say it out loud.

“You’re so beautiful.” His eyes keep tracing his form, but Magnus just smiles.

“Thank you, darling.” He says and slides lower, placing kisses to his chest and hips. Alec throws his head back, hands in Magnus’ hair again, keeping him in place as he mouths at the waistband of his boxers.

“Can I?” Magnus prompts, his hands crawling leisurely under his boxers. Alec nods.

And then he slowly, oh so slowly, begins to pull them down. Alec’s eyes wander to the celling. He’s burning under Magnus’ gaze and he can’t look down, on the shameless sight right there. He feels like he’s gonna burst any second.

“Angel, you are stunning.” Magnus comments and it makes Alec look down.

He moans only at the view. Magnus settled between his legs, both of them naked, slight traces of sweat already on their skin. It’s sinful in the best way. Now that he’s looked, Alec doesn’t think he can turn away.

Magnus only smiles and climbs up to kiss him again. They’re naked, grinding on each other. Alec begins to match his movements, and both of their breathings become heavier, and louder. Alec lets himself just take that in, that they are closer than ever, he’s closer than he’s ever been with anyone. He might be nervous, but not scared, no, he feels safe with Magnus, he knows he can let go.

Not long later, Magnus stretches out to the bedside table. Alec uses their change of position and places kisses from his neck to his shoulder. Magnus pulls out a small bottle and a condom from the drawer and places them on the bed next to them. Alec feels himself tense a bit, since he realises what’s about to happen. He lets out and uneven breathe and tries to ground himself by grabbing Magnus’ shoulders. His hands move to the nape of his neck, and back into his hair as he slides down. He spreads his legs a bit wider, and Alec breathes out again, becoming more tense with each moment. He tries to relax, he knows what’s about to come, but what he doesn’t know, is how it feels, and to be honest, it scares him a bit.

“Alexander, are you sure?” Magnus asks as he settles himself comfortably. He can probably feel him becoming tense. “We can stop. Just continue to kiss, or stop with everything. Whatever you need, angel.”

“No, I want to.” Alec nods while exhaling again. “I don’t want to stop. I’m just a little nervous.”

“I know baby, that’s okay.” Magnus assures and kisses the inside of his thigh, making him shiver again. He’s so close, but yet so far away from where Alec wants him the most. “I need you to tell me, if I do anything you don’t like, okay? Tell me immediately.”

“Okay, I will.” Alec promises and tries to smile reassuringly.

“Just try to relax, love.” Magnus says softly, sweeping his palms along his thighs. “I’m gonna prep you now, okay?”

Alec nods and runs his hand through Magnus’ hair, brushing some loose strands from his forehead.

“If it hurts, or if you want to slow down, just say a word.” Magnus reaches for the bottle of lube he prepared earlier. Alec lets out a few more exhales, trying to relax and let as much of the tension go. 

"But first, maybe let's get you to relax a bit..." Magnus trails off as he switches from kissing one of his hipbones to another. 

Alec's pretty sure he knows what he's indicating, but it still takes him a bit by surprise when Magnus leans in and takes him into his mouth.

Alec groans, as his back arches from the bed, but he feels Magnus’ hands pressing his hips back on the mattress. It feels amazing. Alec has never felt so much pleasure in his life. It gets hard to breathe, when Magnus hollows his cheeks and sucks, he nearly screams. His breathing his coming out is short pants as he focuses on the sensation of Magnus’ mouth on him, on the way he worships him with his tongue. His hands tighten in his boyfriend’s hair, drawing out a moan from him, that sends pleasant vibrations coursing through his whole body.

“Magnus” He almost doesn’t recognize his own voice, how needy and pleading he sounds.

Magnus pulls off, and Alec dares to look down on him and he just smiles.

“I think you’re relaxed now.” He states, his voice rough. Then Alec sees Magnus pouring a big amount of lube on his fingers. “Ready?” He questions, and Alec can feel a tentative finger playing at the edge of his entrance. “It might be a bit uncomfortable at first, but I’ll be gentle.”

Alec nods again and breathes out steadily.

“I’m ready.” He announces and Magnus slowly slides his finger in, eyes still focused on his face, searching any signs of discomfort.

Alec tenses slightly as he feels the finger moving inside him. It’s not bad, just a bit uncomfortable. But they go slow. Magnus withdraws his finger delicately, only to move it back in. Alec whimpers and closes his eyes, trying to focus on the faint pleasure he begins to feel.

When Magnus feels him stretched enough, he thrusts in another finger. Alec lets out a sound, something between a whine and yell, and Magnus stops immediately, fingers unmoving.

“You okay? Do you need to slow down?” He asks, but Alec shakes his head, eyes scrunched shut.

“No, it just feels a bit weird.” He manages to get out.

“It’ll get better soon.” Magnus assures and kisses his stomach.

“Keep going.” Alec orders, and Magnus picks back up at his task. Slowly scissoring him open with two fingers. Alec keeps making those noises in the back of his throat, and he can’t really stop himself. “Can you come here?” He asks and tugs lightly at Magnus’ hair. Without any other words, Magnus moves up on the bed, fingers still working their way inside, but right now, they are able to kiss, and Alec wastes no time in bringing their lips together. He sighs into the kiss, as he feels Magnus working in a third finger. He keeps moaning into his mouth and Magnus swallows the sounds.

Most traces of any pain are gone now, as Alec adjusts the feeling inside him. It’s not the worst, but also, not amazing and he shifts a bit uncomfortably on the bed. But then Magnus hits some spot inside him with his fingers and he basically screams out in pleasure.

“Magnus” His fingers tighten in his hair, from where he’s sucking at his neck. “oh, God.”

“Good?” Magnus questions as he keeps rubbing against that spot.

“Yes.” He moans out. “Please.”

Magnus only kisses him hungrily and Alec almost wails when he delicately withdraws his fingers. He feels so empty inside, but then remembers what comes next, and no matter how relaxed he is, there’s still a hint of nervousness. Magnus rolls of off him for a second and reaches for the condom, tearing it up with his teeth and swiftly rolling it on, then pouring some more lube on it. Alec observes his every move, and then he’s back, settling between his legs.

“You’re sure?” Magnus asks again and Alec nods.

He’s never been more ready.

Magnus braces his forearms at the side of Alec’s head, and Alec’s hands wander to rest on his back.

“Just go slow, okay?” He bites his lip as he questions and Magnus ducks his head to kiss him lightly, still staying close to his lips.

“As slow as you need.” He whispers softly.

He begins to press in and instantly swallows the whimper Alec lets out. It feels different than the fingers. Alec begins to breathe heavy, not able to focus as the pain dimes everything else. He scrunches his eyes shut and tries to exhale, but it feel like all the air is out of his lung, he almost sobs when Magnus presses deeper.

“Slow down.” Alec pleads, tears welling up in his eyes. “Please.”

“Shh, it’s okay, darling.” Magnus stops immediately. “Do you need to stop?”

Alec shakes his head, but doesn’t open his eyes.

“Baby, look at me.” Magnus tries and Alec feels his palm resting gently on his cheek. He opens his eyes to his worried face. “Do you need to stop?” He repeats. “Don’t force yourself through it, love. Not for me.”

“I don’t want to stop.” Alec evens out his breathing a bit. “I just… I don’t know. Sorry-“

“Don’t apologize, darling.” Magnus combs his fingers through his hair soothingly. “Just relax, and tell me when you’re ready.”

Alec nods and breathes out a few more times, until he can do it much steadier. Magnus preps his face with soft kisses all the time, trying to ease him up. It helps, and after a few more minutes, he decides that he can’t wait any longer. He wants this, he needs this.

“Okay, I’m ready.” He says and Magnus begins to push in again.

He relaxes as much as he can, fingernails digging into the skin of Magnus’ back, mouth open in a silent scream.

“You’re doing amazing, angel.” Magnus whispers to him, his moves so tentative and caring. “So good, baby.”

Alec lets go as much as he can. He feels like he’s burning, his inside muscles protesting against the intrusion. But Magnus is careful, as gentle as he can, moving slowly, taking breaks at times to murmur words of praise into his ear. Alec can feel the effort he’s holding back with, the way his body trembles. He sooths his hands down the muscles of his back, feeling them move, mapping his lover’s body as much as he can.

When Magnus is finally settled all the way inside him, he stills. Alec takes a few deep breaths trying to get used to the feeling.

“You feel great.” Magnus moans as he struggles not to move. “So tight, so hot.”

Alec lets out a shaky exhale at the praise, but pleasant shivers begin to run down his spine and a delicious heat is building up in his stomach. The feeling of bliss starts to overcome is body and when Magnus slowly withdraws his hip, sending him a questioning look, asking if he’s ready, he nods.

The first few push and pulls are the worsts. Alec whimpers again, trying to control himself and not let out those pained noises gathered up inside him. Magnus moves gently, bit by bit, building up a rhythm. His eyes are still fixed on Alec’s face, that much he can notice, but his own eyes mostly stay closed as he tries to focus on the sensation. They keep kissing, moaning into each other mouths, grinding their hips together. Soon, they fall into a steady pace, Alec used to feeling him inside, and he finally manages to open his eyes for longer, watching as Magnus’ face morphs into a look of full pleasure. Alec moves his hands to his front, tracing the muscles of his chest, amazed by their movements. He looks down to the place where they’re joined together, groaning as Magnus grabs his legs and locks them around his waist, which changes the angle of his thrusts, again rubbing against that magical slot of nerves that brings him so much pleasure he almost screams it out.

Magnus keeps hitting the spot dead on now, barely containing himself, moaning helplessly. Alec takes his face in between his palms, breathing coming out heavy and low, he connects their lips together until another wave of pleasure hits him and he throws his head back with a moan.

“Magnus,” His voice is pleading, be begs, but he doesn’t know for what. Wanting to draw out the feeling the most he can, but also craving release. “please, fuck.” He’s babbling, not even caring about how wrecked he sounds. Magnus kisses him again, not able to do it for long, since they both groan at another change of position. “I love you.” Alec murmurs against his lips, tracing them with his tongue.

“Alexander, I love you too.” Magnus breathes heavy as he speaks. “Oh, you’re a dream.”

Eyes rolling into the back of his head, Alec lets go. He wraps his arms around Magnus’ shoulder blades and lets him drive into him, his thrusts becoming more erratic, but Alec feels nothing but content now.

“Magnus,” He keeps moaning his name, like it was the only word he knows, everything else vaporized from his mind. “I can’t-, please I need to-“ He doesn’t know what to say, how to say it, but Magnus only nods, understanding without any words as always.

“I’ve got you, baby.” He whispers into his neck, hand sliding down between their sweaty bodies, wrapping around him and stroking in tune with his thrusts. Alec is getting louder and louder, he can’t help it now. It’s too much and not enough, he needs more, he needs release. “Let go, love.”

And Alec does. His words bring him over the edge. He arches his back, moaning out of control, Magnus’ name slipping from his lips like a prayer. He’s vaguely aware of Magnus still moving inside him, of him reaching his climax himself, riding it out with a few deep rolls of hips, but the pleasure still runs high into him. Breathing coming out in heavy pants. Magnus collapses on top of him, not paying no attention to the mess between them. He kisses all the way from Alec’s collarbone to his neck, his jaw, the last, his lips. Alec smiles tiredly against his mouth. He’s melting, his whole body feels liquid. They stay like this for a while, not that Alec cares about time now. Hands are caressing each other’s skin softly, they are everywhere savouring the afterglow.

“I’m going to pull out now.” Magnus informs, his own voice still breathless. He slowly withdraws his hips, kissing Alec a bit harder to appease any discomfort. Then he rolls of off him and disposes the condom.

Alec doesn’t think he’s able to say anything. Still panting, he shifts until he can place his head on Magnus’ chest, and feels his arm wrapping around him, and a kiss being placed into his hairline.

“Everything okay, darling?” Magnus asks softly, palm sweeping all along his spine. Alec nods before he gets to say anything.

“Perfect.” He states when he finally retrieves his ability to speak. He kisses his chest lightly and throws and arm around his middle, hugging him tightly. “Thank you.”

“It was all my pleasure, Alexander.” Magnus assures, his hand not stopping his ministrations, still sweeping over his back softly. “It was an honour to be your first.” He says ad Alec looks up on him to see him already staring down.

“I wouldn’t want it to be anyone else. I never thought anything can feel like this.” He admits, his eyes radiating pure love. He can see it mirroring in Magnus’. “It was better than I could ever imagine.”

Even in his wildest dreams, he’s never seen someone like Magnus. Someone so caring, so considerate, so affectionate, paying so much attention to his comfort and feelings, and pleasure. He loves him with his whole heart, he never wants to let go, he wants everything with him.

“I love you,” Alec whispers, eyes closing at the verge of tears. “so, so much.”

“I love you too, angel.” Magnus hugs him a bit tighter and the words are pressed into his hair. “so, so much.”  

Chapter Text

Magnus resorts that waking up with Alec’s arms wrapped around him, is the best way to wake up, ever.

He’s not even minding the wave of tangled, dark hair that’s currently in his face, only reaching with his hand and running it through it soothingly, hearing Alec sighing softly in his sleep from the touch.

Memories from last night begin to flood Magnus’ mind. The truth is, he hasn’t felt that good with anyone in a long time. If ever. Being with Alec is truly magical, and having him so close, connected… the pleasure was almost overwhelming in the best way.

He can’t say he’s not surprised by how yesterday’s evening turned out. He wasn’t expecting it. They haven’t really talked about sex, only a bit, when Alec told him about his past relationship. They were waiting, and it was fine. But to finally have this with Alexander, was truly an honour.

He was nervous himself. Knowing it was Alec’s first time, especially after what he’s been through when it comes to the sexual area of a relationship. If he made any mistake, he wouldn’t be able to forgive himself. So he asked a lot of questions, made sure this is something Alec really wanted, and they went slow. There was no way he would rush this, regardless the desire raging in his veins. This was about Alec, about making him comfortable in this aspect of their relationship, and Magnus hopes he did well on this job.

And Alec was just so beautiful, so responsive… He truly was a dream. Magnus trusted him to say if anything was wrong, and he’s glad he did. No matter what, if something made Alec feel uncomfortable, they would stop right away. But Magnus is happy that everything went fine, because it was such an amazing experience. Being able to watch Alexander like this, lost in pleasure, giving himself to it, letting it take control… Magnus wants that image to be burnt into his memory, with the hope of seeing it again sometime soon.

He gets pulled out of his thoughts as he feels Alec stir awake. His arm tightens around Magnus’ stomach, and he nuzzles against his chest, burring himself there even more.

“Good morning, my darling.” Magnus speaks softly, hand still combing through his hair.

“Morning, baby.” Alec mumbles, but makes no intention of getting up. Magnus is more than okay with it. He drops a kiss on top of his boyfriend’s head and can’t help but smile.

“Everything okay?” Magnus asks and Alec braces his chin on his chest to look at him as they talk.

“Yeah, why?” His eyes shine beautifully in the morning sun, the most adorable sleepy expression still on his face.

“You know,” Magnus starts and indicates with his hand, but then continues. “after last night? Are you feeling okay?”

He really wants to talk about this with Alec. At some point last night, they both got lost in the pleasure, and his mind might be a bit dimmed. He wants to be sure Alec enjoyed it at its finest. And besides, they need to work on communication in this area. Alec clearly has troubles with voicing what he wants, and Magnus wants him to feel free about it. There’s no judgement in bedroom, and whatever Alec may want to try, Magnus is sure will always be welcomed. They just need to talk it through first.

“Everything is perfect.” Alec resorts with a smile. “Really, I feel amazing.”

“You’re sure?” Magnus inquires gently. “You’re not sore, or anything.”

“Magnus, I’m great.” Alec resorts, a hint of blush covering his face, but he leans in and pecks Magnus on the lips. When he pulls back, he bites his lip nervously, and Magnus knows he wants to say something, so he waits. “And did you…” Alec starts and clears his throat, looking down as his fingers begin to trace random patterns on Magnus’ chest. “did you enjoy it? Was it… was I okay?”

“Darling,” Magnus cups his face and makes him look up until their eyes meet. “You were amazing. Seriously, I haven’t felt that good in a very long time.”

Alec looks at him, as if in awe, a shy smile creeping onto his face. Magnus can’t even believe he’s asking. He can get so insecure at times, but the truth is he’s got nothing to worry about. It was his first time, and his body already seemed to be made for it. The way their movements matched, how much pleasure they both brought themselves, it’s only a prove of that. He was absolutely exquisite.

But then Magnus resorts, that there might be another thing that made it so good.

It was love.

He hasn’t slept with someone he loved in ages, or ever really. Not that kind of love they share with Alec, never like this. Everything before was just sex, and last night, was not the same as anything. It was making love, at its purest and the most beautiful form.

“Really?” Alec questions with a loop side smile, still doubting himself.

“Of course, love.” Magnus replies with an amusement in his tone. “I wouldn’t lie to you, I swear. You were perfect.”

“Stop.” Alec shakes his head and rest his forehead against his chest now.

“What? It’s truth.” Magnus drags on. “So beautiful, sinful at times, and those sounds you were making? Oh, literally music to my ears-“

“Shut up.” Alec groans, and slaps his palm against his chest lightly, but he looks up and just smiles, laugh present in his voice.

“Make me.” Magnus jokes, but kisses him either way. Alec’s palm wanders to the back of his neck to keep him close as he deepens the kiss. Magnus’ hands traces Alec’s spine up and down, which makes him gasp softly against his mouth. They keep this going for a while longer. Just lazy and unhurried exploration, but this time, both of them still naked, bodies heated and the skin on skin contact is oh, so pleasing. Magnus might get addicted to it, he wants Alec all the time, and now as he got him in this way, he’s sure he’ll never want anybody else like this. The raging desire is harder and harder to control.

His hand slides lower, and lower, resting on Alec’s hip for a bit, before moving further down, but then Alec breaks off the kiss and just smiles, eyes still closed.

“I need to get to classes.” He resorts in a thoughtful tone.

“Seriously?” Magnus groans and it makes Alec chuckle softly. “You’re thinking about classes now?”

“Well, I see where you’re going with all this.” He gestures between them and points with his head lower, to where his palm is resting on Alec’s naked ass now. “And I’m just trying to tell you, we don’t have time for this now.” He shakes his head amusingly.

“Are you sure?” Magnus starts playfully. “I assure you, that morning sex in truly a bliss, especially with someone like you.” He emphasizes his words by squeezing his ass cheek and Alec yelps in surprise.

“I don’t doubt it.” He resorts then, but attempts to get up from bed. “And I’m sure we'll test it out one day.”

Magnus doesn’t let him get too much away, keeping him close with his arm wrapped around him .

“Just five more minutes.” He pleads, showing of his best puppy eyes, but Alec only rolls his eyes. He switches tactics and begins to ravish Alec’s neck with kisses, moving on to his collarbone, where he left a pair of hickeys yesterday. There’s also one at the side of his neck, and Magnus kisses it gently, then sweeping is tongue over it.

“Magnus, I’m serious.” Alec tries, but is voice is breathy, followed by a soft moan.

He’s way too tempting, it’s his fault.

“Mhm.” Magnus just murmurs against his skin.

“We need a shower.” Alec attempts to reason with him, but at the same time turns his head to gain him more access. “And breakfast…”

“Yeah, in a minute.” Magnus resorts, but Alec pulls back, a grin spreading on his face.

“You insatiable, you know that?” He states with a laugh.

“Only when it comes to you, my dear.” Magnus replies and smiles at him sheepishly. “Once I got a taste, now I want the whole meal.” He jokes and Alec rolls his eyes yet again, but then quickly sits up on the bed, reaching for his boxers that somehow ended up on the floor last night, swiftly putting them on and getting up before Magnus gets to catch him.

“I’ll start on the breakfast, while you take a shower.” Alec decides and leans in to place a soft kiss to Magnus’ forehead.

He watches him go with a wide smile plastered on his face.

 

Alec leans back against the counter when Magnus emerges from the bathroom. A cup of coffee in one hand, his phone in the other. He stares down on it, a frown creasing his forehead, and Magnus wants nothing more than to come closer to him and smooth it.

“What’s up?” He asks and gestures lightly at his phone when Alec looks up.

“Oh, nothing.” Alec shakes his head and smiles. “Just Izzy texting me.”

Magnus hums and comes closer to him, placing his hands on his waist. Alec puts the phone down on the counter and takes a sip of his coffee, reaching behind him to give Magnus his own. It became quite a routine for them. Since it turned out Alec is kind of an early bird and he always gets up first, Magnus is always welcomed in the kitchen by the amazing coffee his boyfriend makes.

But this time Magnus takes the offered mug only to put it down on the counter next to him, placing Alec’s out of his hand and setting it down next to his. Alec looks at him confused, eyes tracing his movements.

“If the coffee is terrible, you could have just said-“ Alec begins but Magnus shakes his head with an amused smile and cuts him off with a kiss, swallowing his surprised gasp.

Alec’s arms hook around his neck, Magnus sliding down to his hips, pressing them closer together. And they just stand like that, in the kitchen, making out. Alec has put on a t-shirt, but is still only in his boxers beside that. Same with Magnus, who’s only put on his underwear after the shower. Magnus’ hands move lower, to the back of Alec’s naked thighs, till he swiftly lifts him up and sits him on the counter behind him, devouring his startled moan as he goes.

He switches to Alec’s neck now, placing soft, lingering kisses there, tongue sweeping over the love bites from last night. They look sinful against his skin, but are the prove that Alec’s a taken man, that he’s Magnus’, and his only. Magnus can’t help but smile at the thought.

It seems that they can’t just get enough of each other. Magnus has never quiet believed the myths that sex would bring them closer and such. He thought they’re already the closest they can. But maybe there’s something in it. Maybe they got closer, but also more needy, starving for each other’s bodies. With Alec so compliant under his palms it’s a very hard job to contain himself.

“Magnus…” Alec gasps, his hands now on Magnus’ chest. The man unclenches his mouth from his neck and pulls back to look at him. “I really have to go soon.” Alec resolves, his lower lip trapped between his teeth, his pupils slightly dilated.

Magnus whines, throwing his head back and groaning. He’d really give up anything for some more time with Alec, but he still needs to go to work too.

Alec laughs lightly, placing a soft, short kiss to his mouth.

“Baby, it’s just like any other day.” Alec resorts, but Magnus only tightens his hold on his waist.

“Well, I don’t want to let you go any other day too.” He pouts and Alec chuckles again.

“You have work either way.” Alec reminds him, his palms caressing his cheeks lightly now.

“I know.” Magnus nods sadly. “Can I drive you, though?” This way he’ll get to spend at least a bit more time with him.

“If you insist.” Alec rolls his eyes playfully, and kisses him yet again as he hops down the counter. “I’m gonna hit the shower.”

Magnus nods again and lets go of his hand only when the distance gets too much, still smiling to himself.

 

Alec holds his hand or either plays with his fingers the whole way to the university. Not that Magnus minds, he misses his touch the moment he gets deprived of it. Alec is still wearing that soft smile, which doesn’t seem to come off any time soon. Every time Magnus glances at him to the passenger seat, he can’t help but smile himself, when he and Alec lock eyes.

The drive ends up way too early, and Magnus wants to whine when he pulls onto the driveway. Alec turns to him with an intention to kiss him goodbye, but before he gets to, Magnus abruptly escapes the car, leaving his boyfriend with a confused look inside. He quickly comes around it, and opens the door from the passenger side, to see Alec’s still puzzled expression. Then Magnus extends his hand, like the true gentleman he is, and Alec laughs, but intertwines their fingers when he gets out of the car.

“Why, thank you.” He resorts as Magnus closes the door, their hands still clasped together. “Who knew you are such a gentleman?” Alec adds jokingly.

“Oh, darling.” Magnus shakes his head, palms settled on Alec’s hips now. “I’m a lot of things.”

Alec hums in answer, his eyes tracing Magnus’ face. The urge becomes too much, and Magnus asks himself why the hell they aren’t kissing yet.

He easily fixes that and connects their lips.

Alec’s hands are on his shoulders now, and Magnus steers his boyfriend backwards, till they hit the outside of the car. He traps Alec between it, and himself, blocking any escape way as he places his palms flat on the car door. Alec lets out a soft gasp as Magnus’ tongue slips in between his lips, kissing even more eagerly.

“Magnus,” Alec breaks of the kiss, his arms now hooked around his neck. He laughs lightly as Magnus tries to dive into another kiss. “we’re gonna be late.” He whispers and Magnus snorts.

“Like I’d care.”

Alec lets him kiss him one more time, but then pulls back and cups his face.

“I love you.” He states and pecks him on the lips. “So much. And I’ll see you at home, okay?”

Magnus nods, but pouts his lips, his expression pleading, nearly begging for Alec to just kiss him again. His boyfriend rolls his eyes, but complies.

Then Alec manoeuvres himself out of Magnus’ small trap, but before he gets to walk away too far, Magnus grabs his hand, spins him and pulls back, till he ends up flush against his chest.

Alec inhales sharply from where they’re pressed so close together now, bracing his hands on Magnus’ chest. Magnus ducks his head and kisses him again.

“I love you too.” He says softly and is rewarded with yet another smile from his gorgeous boyfriend. “See you soon, at home, love.”

This time he lets Alec goes, and watches as he blushes beautifully, a shy smile on his face. Magnus will never get tired of him calling the loft home. That’s really what he wants it to be for Alec.

Only when his boyfriend disappears into the college building, Magnus turns back with a sigh and gets back to his car.

He really doesn’t care that he’s late.

 

“So what’s the smile about today?” Dot questions when they get settled at their usually work spots. Helen and Aline are already engaged in overlooking some samples next to them. Magnus did come in late, but only a bit, because of Alec’s responsible thinking.

“What do you think it is about, my dear?” He shoots back and his friend only offers a grin.

“Alec.” She answers as if she already had a reply prepared, and of course she’s not mistaken. Magnus confirms with a nod.

Before she gets to ask more prying questions, not that Magnus minds, he feels so happy that the need to share the joy with someone gets overwhelming, Raphael is emerging into the lab.

“Good morning, team.” He starts and all of them look up to see him enter, something resembling a smile on his face, and Magnus feels himself quite stunned at his boss’s expression. “You’re all here, that’s great.”

Magnus is even way too surprise to answer with some sassy comment.

“Alright, so I have news.” Raphael continues. “The collaboration is reaching the last phase, which means we’re almost ready to launch the new line of cosmetics.”

And it is indeed a great news. They all have spent so much time on this, Raphael probably the most. He’s been working very hard, firstly to make it happen, then to follow the process and make sure everything goes rather smoothly. It wasn’t an easy job, but he managed. They all spend long hours at the lab, coming up with new formulas, mixing new colours to achieve perfection. To hear it all is reaching its closing phase, it feels fulfilling, like the whole work is paying off. No matter how hard it might have been at times.

Also, for Magnus it means another thing.

Getting rid of Camille.

If the collaboration is done, she doesn’t have any place to be here. Their cooperation is done, and Magnus feels more than relieved about her leaving. He’ll finally be able to enjoy his job, without the fear of Camille lurking at every corner.

“That’s great.” Magnus states for all of the rest and they nod, smiles growing even wider.

“I know.” Raphael pick back up. “You all should be really proud, you did such a good work. Within the next two months everything should be settled and the line will be out. But in the meantime, there’s a convention in two weeks which we need to attend and present the test version of the line, to see if the people from the industry find it appealing.” He explains. “So, I need you all there, to tell them about all the chemical stuff, like the composition, the ingredients… you know all the stuff you’ve been doing here. Me and Camille will prepare the presentation and send it to you, so you can get ready. Alright?”

“Sure boss.” Dot answers and the rest of them simply mirrors her response.

“Great. So it’s all settled.” Raphael sums up and clasp his hands excitedly. Then his gaze goes to rest on Magnus. “Can I have a word?” He asks and Magnus nods.

“Yeah.”

He goes to join his friend on his way to the office.

“Look, I know it’s been hard with Camille.” Raphael starts when they’re walking. “I know you don’t want to even see her, but the presentation is important, and I really need you there-“

“Raph, I’ll do it, don’t worry.” Magnus begins to reassure. His friend turns to him with an uncertain expression. “Seriously, I know how important this is. We all worked so hard on that project. I can handle being around her for one day, really. Besides, I won’t be alone. I have you, Dot, Helen and Aline. I don’t even need to speak to her.”

“You’re right, I’m sorry.” Raphael speaks and shakes his head lightly. “I just don’t want to make you uncomfortable. But like I said, it’s important, and I need you there-“

“So I’ll be there.” Magnus declares and smiles at him. “You have my word.”

“Okay.” Raphael exhales with relief. “Thank you.”

Magnus just answer with another smile and pats him on the shoulder lightly.

“Now get back to work.” Raphael adds in his professional tone now, but the hint of smile is still present on his features.

“Yes, boss.” Magnus grins as he starts his way back to the lab.

 

When the whole lab team goes to get lunch at the cafeteria later that day, Magnus can’t help but notice something is wrong. He himself feels better than ever, with the news of Camille being gone soon, and memories of his lovely night and morning with Alec. Today just keeps getting better and better. The rest is happy about the collaboration news too, but there’s some edge to it when it comes to Aline and Helen.

“Hey, are you girls alright?” Magnus asks when they’re half through their meal.

“Yeah, it’s fine-“ Helen starts, but Aline cuts her off with a glare. “Okay, actually it’s not.”

“What is it?” Dot inquires. She sends Magnus a worried look.

Aline clears her throat and starts.

“Well, with our collaboration ending, we need to go back to Yin Fen soon.” She says.

Helen turns to her and tries to give her a smile, but it doesn’t come out quite genuine.

And Magnus feels like an idiot. He’s been so happy with the thought of Camille being gone, that he didn’t even think of them. Aline and Helen became really great colleagues, friends even. They are such an amazing pair of young, dedicated women. It’s been truly a pleasure to work with them.

Magnus also remembers how not quite fond of their job there the girls were. Camille is not such a great boss as she might appear to be.

“I’m sorry.” Magnus says and they send him a pair of sad smiles. “I wish you could stay.”

“We too.” Helen speaks for them. “It’s not only that we’ll miss you guys, badly. It’s also about how we feel. Here we could just be ourselves. We actually feel good when we work here, like the work is actually fun. And back at Yin Fen… We’ll need to get back to pretending…”

“This isn’t fair.” Dot picks up. “You shouldn’t have to hide your relationship.”

“I know.” Aline comments sadly. “But we need a job, and there’s nothing we can do. Camille won’t listen to us, she’ll fire us immediately.”

Magnus feels anger boiling up inside of him. Who does Camille think she is? What does she have to do with their employees' personal life? It’s not like being together interferes with Aline’s and Helen’s work. They’re still great chemists, focused on their job.

Helen sighs heavily and hangs her head low. Dot looks back at Magnus again, and he can see how this whole situation is making her mad too. They really wish there was something they could do.

“Hey,” Dot starts after a moment, her face brightening up a bit. They all settled their eyes on her. “how about we go out for drinks on Friday?” She suggests. “To celebrate the news of the collaboration’s final phase?”

“And out farewell?” Aline adds.

“No, I didn’t mean it-“ Dot tries to explain, but Aline waves her off.

“I’m kidding. I think it’s a great idea. We did a lot work on that. It calls for a celebration.” She states and Helen agrees with a nod.

“Right?” Dot picks up. “I mean, maybe we won’t work together, but that doesn’t mean we can’t stay in touch.”

“True.” Helen approves simply.

“So, everyone’s in?” Dot asks and looks around to see the rest nod.

“We could invite Raphael.” Magnus proposes. “That boy deserves a break…” He adds in a thoughtful tone and it prompts a laugh from the rest.

“You could bring Alec.” Dot turns to him with a smile.

“I thought it was going to be a work gathering?” He frowns, but his friend waves it off dismissively.

“We’d love to meet him.” Helen says with a smile.

“Yeah, don’t we get to have the honour of meeting the man who makes you smile like this?” Aline inquires teasingly and Magnus feels himself blush.

“We could also ask Cat and Ragnor to join.” Dot offers and Magnus agrees with a nod. “It’s been a while since we caught up. There our friends from college, they work in a hospital nearby.” Dot turns to Aline and Helen and explains.

“Sure, I can’t see why not.” Helen shrugs. “I’ll be nice to meet someone new.”

Magnus takes a moment to consider if inviting Ragnor won’t be somehow uncomfortable for Alec, or for Ragnor himself. But he tries not to overthink. He just needs to speak to them and make sure if it’s fine. There’s no point in speculating. Right now, he’ll just enjoy the lunch with his friends.

 

Magnus gets home pretty early. The atmosphere had died down a little, when they all realised that in a short time they’ll need to part with their co-workers, but the promise of drinks and catching up on Friday still sounds quite nice and put them all in better moods. And Magnus is still relieved about wrapping up the whole collaboration process.

Entering the loft, he can see Alec, who’s settled on the couch, surrounded by various books and notes, clearly indulged into his studies.

“Hi, darling.” Magnus greets as he makes his way to the living room. Alec looks up and smiles at him, tilting his chin up, so when Magnus gets closer he places a sweet kiss to his lips. “How was your day?”

“Pretty good.” Alec answers when Magnus slumps down on the couch next to him, carefully avoiding crashing any of his notes. “How’s work?”

“Great.” Magnus smiles and Alec reciprocates as he gets back to reading from the pile of notes on his lap. “Actually, very great.” Magnus adds and his boyfriend’s gaze comes back to him.

“Did something happen?” Alec inquires, a slight frown covering his features.

“Well, Raphael came in today with some good news.” Magnus begins to explain. “We’re finishing up the collaboration and within two months it all should be ready.”

“That’s amazing, babe.” Alec’s smile widens, his eyes shining with something very much resembling of pride. “It was tons of hard work, right? I bet it’s so good to see it finally becoming real.”

“It is.” Magnus agrees. “And it also means Camille will be out of our lives again.” He states cheerfully.

“I can’t say I’m not relieved.” Alec admits. “I hate that you need to be around her.”

“Well, not anymore. I mean, only a bit longer and I will be free.” Magnus breathes out and stretches on the couch.

“I’m proud of you.” Alec leans in and steals another kiss from his mouth. “For all of the work you’ve done and that you’ve been enduring her for so long.”

“Just a little while longer.” Magnus reminds both him and himself.

“I know, you can do this.” Alec reassures swiftly.

“With you by my side, I’m pretty sure I can do anything.” Magnus says and can see Alec blush when he tries to duck his head and hide it. “What are you studying?” He questions as he rests his head on Alec’s shoulder to take a look at his notes.

“Business law…” Alec sighs and turns the page. “I have an exam tomorrow. It’s pretty basic, but the definitions are killing me.”

“You’ll handle it.” Magnus assures and places a kiss to the side of his neck. “You’re pretty smart.”

“Yeah, thanks.” Alec laughs lightly.

Magnus looks down on his boyfriend’s notes and studies them a bit.

“Don’t you know who an ‘employer’ is? Or ‘establishment’?” He asks as his eyes settle on the definition written in Alec’s notes. “It’s simple.”

Alec turns to him with an amused expression.

“Well, for you an employer is someone who gets you a job,” He starts and Magnus nods. That’s what it is. He really thought law is a bit harder, but this really seems like basic stuff. “but I need to know the definition by law, and it has like three definition of ‘employer’, like that it’s a ‘legal representative of a deceased employer. Thus, one who inherits the estate of deceased, is made liable for payment of compensation under the act. However, he is liable only upon the value of the estate inherited by him’.” Alec recites, all from his memory and Magnus’ jaw drops. Alec looks down on his notes, checking if he’s correct and smiles to himself when it turns out than he is. “And there are also various kinds of employers, so it’s not all…” He trails off and then seems to notice his boyfriend’s expression. “What?”

“You’re so hot when you’re confident like this.” Magnus blurts out and Alec laughs lightly as his cheeks get red again.

“If I knew it turns you on, I would have recited law terms to you much often.” Alec replies teasingly, not looking up from his text book, but Magnus can see his smile and can’t help but smile back.

“And I take it back, by the way.” Magnus starts as he holds up his hands in a surrendering gesture. “It’s not simple at all.”

Alec just shakes his head lightly as he continues to read.

“Okay, what would you like for dinner tonight?” Magnus questions as he gets up from the couch.

“I don’t know.” Alec shrugs. “I’m not really hungry.”

“Darling, you need to eat. I’m not letting you study on an empty stomach.” Magnus simply says, and Alec sighs, but looks up from his notes.

“Are you cooking?” He asks.

“I may.” Magnus replies humbly. “I feel like it today.”

“In that case, I’ll eat whatever you’ll make.” Alec speaks with a smile. “Just something that won’t take long to prepare. I missed you.”

“I’ll just be around the corner in the kitchen.” Magnus chuckles at his boyfriend’s needy tone.

“Still too far away.” Alec shakes his head and Magnus laughs out loud now.

“Okay, I’ll be back soon.” He settles and leans in to kiss Alec one more time before disappearing in the kitchen.

 

Over dinner, Magnus decides to bring his conversation with the girls during lunch.

They’re seated on the couch, since it’s really hard for Magnus to pull Alec away from his notes and books. But he did take a break to help him with dinner and talk some more, so that’s alright, Magnus is glad he’s at least eating something, and he knew he could persuade him with his fried rice.

“Darling, could you spare me a moment?” He asks when he reaches out to put his now empty bowl on the coffee table.

“Sure.” He can sees Alec’s eyes tracing one last sentence on his notes before he looks up and his eyes settle on him. “All yours now. What’s up?”

“I was wondering…” Magnus starts. “Since we got the news at work today, we decided to celebrate and grab some drinks on Friday. It will also be kind of a farewell to Helen and Aline, since sadly they are leaving us too.” He admits, his voice twisting in some kind of sadness. “And yeah, I was thinking, if you’d like to join us?”

“I’d love to, babe.” Alec answers with a smile. “But isn’t think kind of a work thing? Are you sure you want me to go?”

“I’m sure. Actually, it’s Dot who suggested it.” Magnus speaks softly. “Plus, Helen and Aline would love to meet you too. Sometimes I might talk about you at work, so…”

“Only sometimes?” Alec questions teasingly, then his expression morphing into pretended hurt. “I’m offended.”

“Okay, more than sometimes.” Magnus rolls his eyes, but can’t help the grin creeping up on his face.

“So, anyone else coming to this little gathering?” Alec questions furthermore.

“Actually, yes.” Magnus replies and his boyfriend sends him a curious gaze. “And that’s the part where I want to ask you if you’re comfortable with that, because we were thinking of inviting Ragnor, and I just want to know-“

“I’ll be fine with it.” Alec interrupts gently and just shrugs. “We talked, and we’re not uncomfortable with this.”

“I know, but I wasn’t sure if you’ve ever considered seeing him outside of his office-“

“Of course I did. He’s your friend.” Alec cuts in. “It’s fine, really. But thank you for asking.” He smiles and kisses Magnus’ cheek lightly. “So, anyone else?”

“Well, there’s gonna be Raphael, Dot, Cat, Ragnor and Aline and Helen.” He states.

“Alright. I can’t wait to meet those girls.” Alec sends him another smile. “And find out more dirty secretes from your colleagues.” The look on his face is dangerously mischievous.

“You know what, I think I begin to regret inviting you…” Magnus trails off teasingly.

“No, you don’t.” Alec just shakes his head and lowers himself till he can rest it in Magnus’ lap.

“No, I don’t.” Magnus admits in a whisper, his hand wandering to comb through Alec’s hair, as he picks up with his task on studying.

Magnus is more than pleased with watching him.

Chapter Text

Alec feels kind of exhausted towards the end of the week.

He’s been writing, a lot. Studying, even more. And trying to keep up with his basic life. Magnus is always around, being the grounding and soothing presence, just when he needs it. Alec really wishes they could explore some more, especially after how amazing the first time felt, but most nights he’s too tried to do anything more than just kiss for a few shorter or longer moments.

Magnus doesn’t mind. He never does. He’s not pushing, still claims that there’s no rush in moving this further, that as long as he’s allowed to fall asleep and wake up next to him, it’s enough.

Most days, Alec still can’t believe his luck.

Everything feels so amazing with Magnus. Just having him close, it really is enough. Magnus isn’t like anyone he’s ever met. He’s amazed by him every day, and he never wants to let go of that feeling.

Deep down, he know he should be looking for an apartment to get out of Magnus’ hair, but he finds himself not wanting to do that more times than not.

It’s selfish and it does feel like he’s using him sometimes, still he can’t help but want this for himself. He just feels so good here, and Magnus is not complaining, looking quite pleased to have him at the loft himself, but he can never be sure. They should talk about that, but Alec’s not sure how to bring it up.

On Thursday, Izzy asks him to meet and catch up after classes at their favourite café. After not seeing his sister for almost the whole week he agrees instantly.

Sometimes it’s still weird for him not to have her and Jace around. They used to always be around the corner, always close. He knows he can still count on them, but living apart for the first time ever still feel kind of odd at times.

When he enters the café, he’s quite surprised to see that Izzy’s not alone. He immediately recognizes their brother next to her, and then, there’s Clary.

This thing with her and Jace has been going on for quite a while now. Alec feels kind of guilty for not paying this too much of attention. He’s been busy, it’s true, and he had some issues, but still, his brother deserves more of his support. He tries to show it every time they speak about him and Clary.

She and Izzy became quite good friends recently. Isabelle has been saying a lot about her, and Clary even helped her design some of new projects for her jewellery, since she’s an artist and has a pretty good eye for fashion and all sorts of stuff like that.

“Hi.” Alec greets as he joins the table.

“Hello, big brother.” Izzy smiles at him as he sits down. “I hope you don’t mind me bringing some more people.”

“Of course not.” Alec almost snorts and sends her a glare. “It’s lovely to see you all.” His sight sweeps over Clary and Jace, his arm resting around her shoulders and they all smile. “How are you guys?”

Izzy tells him about her recent days in college, about Simon’s gigs that are coming soon, and she expects all of them to be there. Jace says he’s still looking for a job, but something about his expression seems unsettled.

“Okay, what’s up?” Alec interrupts him mid-sentence.

“What do you mean? Nothing’s up.” Jace tries, but Alec sends him an unimpressed glare.

“I can see something is on your mind.” He says simply and takes a sip of his coffee that Isabelle had already waiting for him. “So spill.”

“Okay.” Jace sighs and begins. “I was actually thinking of going back to school.” He states and Alec’s eyes widen in surprise for a second, because he wasn’t quite expecting that kind of confession.

“Really?” He inquires lightly. Izzy on his left is looking quite as shocked as he is. “You mean like college? To study business?”

“To college, yes.” Jace answers. “But no to business.” He admits.

“Then, what?” Izzy questions curiously.

“Physical education.” He replies in an exhale, and both of his sibling look even more surprised. He rolls his eyes and just continues. “I was just thinking, how much I enjoy the physical stuff, you know? Like the boxing classes we took a few years ago?” He turns to Alec and he nods. “Yeah. Or even just doing training. I feel like I want to… I don’t know, be able to do something about that. Maybe teach kids some stuff, or train some people. We’ll see, but I feel like this is actually something I want to do.”

“Then that’s great.” Isabelle says and Alec nods along her.

“Yeah, if this feels right for you, then go for it.” Alec agrees. “I’m glad you figured it out.”

“Yeah, me too.” Jace lets out a relieved breath, as if he was quite afraid of his siblings' reactions. They would never judge him, he should know that. Clary smiles at him lightly from his side. “So yeah, I’m filling in the documents to apply next semester.”

“I’m really happy for you.” Alec says again, because he deserves to hear that, and squeezes his shoulder lightly.

“Thanks, it means a lot.” Jace smiles at him. “It was actually Clary, who helped me figured it out.” He admits.

“You don’t give yourself enough credit.” She comments and they all laugh. “You just needed a little push.” She places a soft kiss to his cheek.

After that, the conversations shits a bit more to the topic of their relationships. Izzy asks about living with Magnus again, he tells them about tomorrow’s little gathering. He doesn’t feel as nervous as he was the first time he was meeting Magnus’ friends. This time, he already knows most of them, and Magnus will be there all the time, there’s nothing to worry about.

Even Clary says a word or two about her new art project. She seems really passionate about it, and it’s a joy to listen to her. Alec promises himself to try and spend more time with her, to get to know her better. But for now, she seems just as lovely as Jace described her.

It’s truly great to see how they have their lives sorted out now. Everything is coming up perfectly recently, and Alec tries to ignore the prying feeling at the back of his head that begins to tell him that it can’t last long. There’s no point in thinking about the future, or trying to predict it, they never know what’s going to happen, he’s made his peace with that.

So he focuses on here and now. On his siblings, and their happy, laughing voices surrounding him. On Magnus, waiting for him, or coming back home to him every day. That’s all he needs to know.

 

On Friday, he reluctantly drags himself out of bed, away from the warmth of Magnus’ body, and makes them breakfast. Their routine continues, with them eating together and talking, then getting ready and leaving to face their daily struggles. Magnus drives him today, since he has classes at 9am. They part at the driveway as always, and his boyfriend promises him to pick him up, so later they can meet his friends at The Hunter's Moon.

Classes are extending like forever, talking with Lydia helps a bit, but still, it’s just boring. He misses Magnus, even if he saw him just a few hours ago. Alec is happy that the weekend is just around the corner and hopes they’ll get to spend some more time together during it.

He wonders that he should talk to mom sometime soon. It’s been quite a while since they saw each other last, and Alec does appreciate that she’s not prying, but still, she checks on him quite often. Either via text, or a phone call, but none of it can replace the face to face contact.

Max still isn’t doing too good, so Alec promises himself to visit over the weekend, Maybe Magnus would like to join.

He loves the way his little brother and his boyfriend get along together. It was important for him that his siblings and Magnus remained on good relations, it just would be hard to see them not liking each other. But deep down he feels, that it’s impossible not to like Magnus. He’s such an honest, caring and selfless person. Alec definitely needs more people like him in his life.

At 5pm, as promised, he meets Magnus at the driveway and climbs into his car, greeting him with a kiss.

“How was school?” Magnus asks when they get back on their way “Aced any exams today?” He teases.

“No.” Alec laughs. “I didn’t have any today. School was fine. I don’t know why, but recently I find these classes so entirely boring.” He sighs.

“Maybe because you have better things to do than classes?” Magnus suggests and sends him a quizzical gaze, but Alec only answers with a confused expression.

“What do you mean?”

“I mean, that you were always so focused at school and stuff, that you never took a break to, I don’t know just have fun? And since you met me, I don’t want to flatter myself,” He smirks. “and since we got together, you realised that there are better, and more important things than classes. You said it yourself.”

It’s true, he remembers. That night when he first stayed at Magnus’ apartment, with him drunk on the couch. When he woke up, Alec told him that there are more important things than classes, and he meant it. Magnus is for sure more important than that.

“Maybe you’re right.” Alec resorts in a thoughtful tone. “But it still is important. I do want to graduate.”

“And you will.” Magnus assures simply. “And then, you’ll become the best lawyer New York has ever known.” He throws him a smile when they stop at the red light.

“Only New York?” Alec teases with a grin.

“Fine, the whole United States of America, happy now?” Magnus rolls his eyes, the bright smile still present on his face.

Alec nods in answer and leans in to kiss him on the cheek. The rest of the ride is spent mostly in silence, but it’s soothing. Alec’s palm is resting above Magnus’ from where it’s laid on the stick shift, and he gently traces his fingers on it. Magnus doesn’t mind, he just smiles softly and lets him do as he pleases.

 

After a short trip back to the loft, they order a cab and head to The Hunter’s Moon. Magnus looks around the place when they arrive, swiftly noticing his friends, and he tugs on Alec’s hand to go and join the table.

Dot and Catarina are already sitting at one of the booths, smiles creeping onto their faces when Alec and Magnus come closer. They cut of their conversation to greet them.

“Hi, it’s so nice to see you, Alec.” Dot speaks as she moves to give her a hug. Alec smiles. He really likes her, and is glad Magnus gets to work with such a kind person. He knows she’s always there for him at work, and mostly thanks to her Magnus managed to somehow survive this whole scheme with Camille.

“Nice to see you too, Dot.” He agrees as he and Magnus take a seat.

“You’re seriously happier to see my boyfriend than to see me.” Magnus mocks and sends her an unheated glare.

“Oh, you stop this.” Dot waves her hand dismissively. “I saw you like three hours ago. I didn’t even get to properly miss you. But if feels like it’s been ages since we all saw Alec.” She adds.

“True.” Cat approves. Alec does see her briefly at the hospital, but there’s not much time to talk then. He’s always in a rush, either for classes and just to see Max. “So, how’s everything, Alec?” Catarina asks and takes a sip of her margarita.

“Everything’s fine.” Alec admits with a bit of a shrug. “I mean, it’s busy, with school and all…” He trails off.

“You definitely worry too much, my darling.” Magnus says and wraps his arm around Alec’s shoulders. “That’s why we’re taking tonight to relax. No more thinking about school or exams, okay?” He prompts and Alec nods with a smile.

He feels like he needs to let go, even if for just one night. He deserves it, after all the hard work he’s put into school those previous weeks.

“Alright, so where’s everyone?” Magnus asks then as he looks around for their other companions.

“Well, you know Ragnor, he’s probably still working…” Catarina explains with a knowing expression.

“And as for the rest,” Dot begins. “They should be here anytime now. Aline said they have some matter to settle, but it shouldn’t take long.”

Alec finds himself nodding alongside with Magnus at the new information. Then his boyfriend claps his hands and stands up from the table.

“Okay, what are we drinking, darling?” He questions, but Alec just shrugs.

“Surprise me?” He’s feeling kind of adventurous tonight.

“I hope you won’t regret this at the end of the night.” Magnus states teasingly and moves to the bar, dropping a wink to him on his way.

Alec shakes his head amusingly, but his sight still lingers on him.

“You’re so sickening in love it should make me sick.” Dot resorts with a smile and Alec’s eyes snap back to her. “But it doesn’t, since I love seeing Magnus so happy.”

Alec just sends her a soft smile.

He knows he makes Magnus happy. They make each other happy, that’s a fact. But to hear it from his friends, that they’ve also noticed how pleased he is since he and Alec got together… it just feels nice. Sure, there’s been more than a few bumps along the road, that put both of them down, but still, they got through it all together.

“Really, Alec.” Catarina’s voice pulls him out of his thoughts and he turns to her. “I’ve never seen Magnus like this. He’s never been like that with anyone else, just so… happy and in love, I guess.”

“I assure you, I feel exactly the same.” Alec states and it only makes the smiles at the women’s faces widen.

“Already gossiping about me?” Magnus teases as he slides back into his place next to Alec, placing a glass in front of him. Alec can see that he’s settled on his usual, a martini. His own glass, however, is full of a pinkish liquid.

“We haven’t even started yet.” Cat says and grins mischievously. “Don’t worry, we wouldn’t deprive you of this embarrassment, when we recall some of your best ideas.” She winks at him.

“Don’t believe a word they say.” Magnus whispers to him, but he’s still smiling at his friend. He turns and places a sweet kiss on his cheek, his arm returning to rest lightly around his back.

“Alright, what am I drinking?” Alec prompts and gestures at the cocktail glass.

“This, my dear, is a cosmopolitan.” Magnus explains. “A total classic, with some fruity tastes that I think you may enjoy. It’s pretty sweet, just like you.” He smiles and Alec ducks his head as he feels his cheeks heating. “Try it.”

Alec takes a sip, and he’d actually lie if he said it didn’t suit his tastes. It’s indeed sweet, but not too much and the alcohol his pretty well dimed with the taste of orange and cranberry.

“It’s good.” He admits and turn to Magnus with an approving nod.

“I knew you’d like it.” His boyfriend grins proudly.

“How do you know so much about drinks?” Alec asks. Magnus has a pretty decent knowledge about this kind of stuff. He’s often mixing them drinks at the loft, and somehow always knows what to order, and what a certain drink contains.

“Oh, you haven’t heard about Magnus’ attempt at bartending?” Dot asks, her expression already amused when Alec just shakes his head. “Then you’re in for a treat.”

Soon, they begin to share all sorts of stories. Magnus goes through all of the phases of embarrassment, but there’s still a hint of laugh in his expression, as his friends talk furthermore. Alec laughs more than he probably should, only ducking his head to kiss his boyfriend on the cheek at times, when he sees how blushing he gets.

“I guess whatever you’re talking about, it must be about Magnus, since he’s the one who always gets laughed at the most.” Suddenly a voice speaks on Alec’s left and he sees Ragnor, grinning down at Magnus after his sarcastic comment.

“Look who’s finally decided to show up.” Magnus mocks back when his friend sits down.

“I’d like to point out, that I’m not the one who showed up the last, since we’re still lacking a few people.” Ragnor fires back. “But it is lovely to see you all.” He admits and sends everyone a smile.

Alec did tell Magnus that he’s fine with Ragnor being here, and he really is. But the truth is, he just doesn’t know how to act. It feels weird to suddenly have this kind of friendly relation with his therapist. How is he supposed to address him? Still as Mr Fell? That would be awkward. But if he calls him Ragnor now, then what should he say in their sessions…

He doesn’t get to think too much, since there are already new people showing up at the table. Alec recognizes Rapheal, Magnus’ and Dot’s boss, as he’s walking towards them with two other girls in tow, who Alec assumes are Aline and Helen.

“Sorry we’re late.” One of them announces. “But we did have a good reason.” She moves around the table to greet everyone, the blond girl following behind. She extends her hand when she reaches Alec.

“Hi, I’m Aline.” She says when Alec slides his palm into hers. “And this is my girlfriend, Helen.” She points at the blonde woman behind, who then greets Alec with a handshake. “Magnus has told us a lot about you.”

“Like, a real lot.” Helen echoes. “Like, sometimes he just can’t shut up-“

“Okay, since when did this night turn into an ‘embarrassing Magnus fest’?” Magnus himself comments, prompting a laugh from the others.

“Don’t worry, I think it’s cute you speak about me so much.” Alec whispers to him, earning himself a soft smile. “It feels nice.”

“You’re cute.” Magnus resorts and pecks him on the lips lightly just after he rolls his eyes.

“I’m Alec, it’s nice to meet you.” He replies to the girls and they both smile as they go to introduce themselves to Cat and Ragonr, then taking a seat next to Alec.

“Alright, so” Dot starts when they all get settled around the table. “care to share the mysterious reason of your late arrival?” She directs the question to the girls and Raphael.

Aline and Helen look at each other for a brief moment, before their gazes shift to Raphael.

“Can we?” Helen asks, earning herself a simple shrug from her boss.

“By all means.” Raphael gestures forward with his hand and both Helen and Aline turn to face the rest, wide grins making their way onto their faces.

“Okay, so you know how upset we were with leaving the company soon.” Helen starts. “Well, turns out, we don’t have to anymore.”

Everyone at the table eyes them curiously, confusion making its way up to their faces.

“Wait, does it mean you’re staying?” Magnus inquires and the girls both nod enthusiastically.

“What? How?” Dot prompts, but she’s already smiling.

“We came to Raphael and told him a bit about this whole situation with Camille and Yin Fen.” Aline carries on further. “And asked if there are any chances we could stay here.”

“And I just thought that after we launch this new line, we might need some more help, since it will really bring our company on top.” Raphael explains simply. “So Alicante just gained itself two chemist.”

“This is amazing.” Magnus announces, a big smile spreading on his face.

“But wait, what about Yin Fen?” Dot cuts in lightly. “Does Camille know?”

“Not yet.” Helen shakes her head. “It’s not official yet, since we need to wait for the collaboration to launch, but after that, we are both quitting Yin Fen, and Raphael promised to employ us.”

“You’re literally stealing Camille’s best chemists.” Magnus turns to Raphael and clasps him on the shoulder. “I knew you are my best friend.”

“Well, I don’t want to say that I do not take joy in doing this…” Raphael trails of, taking a sip of his beer. “But I was kind of thinking of a way to get back at her after what she’s done to you. It was the perfect opportunity. We just need to play this right, to not put the company in bad light.”

“Thank you.” Magnus speaks to him with a genuine expression. Alec can see that he’s relieved. He was pretty helpless when it came to this whole Camille situation, and it pained Alec himself that none of them could do something more about it. Camille always got away with everything, no matter how hard she hurt Magnus, and Alec can’t agree more that it’s about time to show Camille were her place is. At least at some point.

Raphael just shrugs again, but smiles at his friend.

“She’s gonna be so pissed.” Dot chuckles. “Good.” The rest of the group laughs at her words.

“Well, that’s definitely something she deserves.” Ragnor states and nods approvingly at Raphael.

“I second that.” Cat agrees simply, glancing at Magnus.

Just then, a new wave of drinks appears and they all find themselves with glasses in hands.

“So instead of our farewell,” Aline raises her glass, everyone mirroring the gesture. “let’s drink to new beginnings.” She toasts.

“To new beginnings!” They all echo and clink their glasses together before taking a sip.

To new beginnings it is then.

 

The night is going pleasantly well. Everyone is talking and laughing. Aline and Helen indeed turn out to be amazing women. Alec finds himself engulfed in a conversation with them, as they recall a story of how they got together. They share tales about their relationships, college and a whole lot of other things that only get to their head.

Alec’s not really surprised to realise he’s feeling quite alright himself. He’s grown so fond of Magnus’ friends that he knows he can just relax with them. The fact that Magnus himself is not leaving his side, also makes him feel much better.

“Everything alright, darling?” Magnus asks lightly when they get another round of drinks. Alec himself has stopped after his second, but needs to admit, that Magnus’ choice was very on point.

“Yeah, everything is great.” Alec tells him with a smile.

“If you feel tired, just tell me, and we can head home.” Magnus offers. “You did have a day full of classes, it’s okay if you’re-“

“Magnus, I’m good.” Alec swiftly reassures. “You had a day full of work too. I’ll tell you if I want to go home. Stop worrying, baby.”

“Okay, I just can’t help it.” Magnus says lowly and Alec smiles before kissing him softly.

“Thank you.” He caresses his cheek lightly. “I love you, you know that?”

“Of course I do.” Magnus rests his head on Alec’s shoulder and turns his attention back to the rest of the group, but still adds. “I love you too, angel.”

Alec can’t even count how many smiles and compliments about his and Magnus’ relationship he’s received tonight. He’s just so glad, that his boyfriend’s friends accepted him. He knows that they’re like family to Magnus, knows how much they helped him through some of the worsts times.

He and Magnus continue to speak about their pasts. His boyfriend has been opening up a bit more, when he realised that Alec indeed will not judge, and that he’s here to listen. He’s been telling Alec more about how Camille always lured him back in, how stupid he was to fall for her lies every single time.

Alec knows that it’s hard to speak about it, so he never prompts that conversation. But he’s glad that it’s Magnus who does, because he really wants him to feel that he doesn’t need to hide, that he can just say everything that’s on his mind. So he never complains, when they’re settled in bed at night and Magnus just recalls some of his memories. He’s never bothered by it, he just lies there, holds him, listens and offers reassuring words. Even if he wished he could do something more. He can’t. It’s all in the past.

Soon enough, Raphael and Ragnor announce that it’s time for them to leave. Something about needing to catch up on some work. They pretend not to see Magnus’ glare and not to hear his scold about tonight being a Friday night and that they should let loose. Dot and Cat decide to call it a night too, and they all leave after the cab arrives. Alec and Magnus stay with Aline and Helen a bit more, but then the girls decide to head home too, since it’s been a day full of emotions and they feels exhausted. They part with hugs, and Magnus telling them again how happy he is that they’ll still get to work with them. Alec orders an uber for them, and before they know it, Magnus is already sliding a key into the loft’s lock.

Magnus stretches out as they enter, tossing his keys on the cabinet next to the door. Alec goes to hang his jacket and toes off his shoes, following his boyfriend further into the apartment.

“Did you enjoy your night, love?” Magnus asks as he comes closer, resting his hands on Alec’s hips.

“I did.” Alec replies simply, his arms hooking behind his boyfriend’s neck. “Aline and Helen really are amazing. The rest was nice too.”

“I’m glad to hear that.” Magnus smiles and kisses him delicately. “Even Raphael wasn’t in one of his scowling moods.” He says with a chuckle.

“I guess he was happy about the news too.” Alec resorts, referring to Aline and Helen. Magnus nods.

“Yeah, it is indeed great news.” He agrees. “The more that it’ll also hit Camille at some point.” He adds and Alec agrees with a nod, as Magnus tightens his hold around his waist and brings him closer into a hug, burring his head in Alec’s neck, as he lets his own arms hold him closer.

“Are you tired?” Magnus asks with a kiss to his neck.

“No, not that much.” Alec shakes his head, and feels another kiss pressed into the skin above his collar bone. A few more follows, to the side of his neck, his jaw… Alec can’t help but smile.

“Do you want to…” Magnus suggests lightly as he pulls back, a knowing smirk creeping onto his face.

“Yeah.” Alec nods, already beginning to feel the pleasant sensation of anticipation building up inside his whole body.

“Yeah?” Magnus inquires, cupping his face and resting their foreheads together for a while. Alec nods again. “You’re sure?”

“Just kiss me already.” Alec whispers amusingly and Magnus easily complies, as he begins to steer him backwards towards the bedroom.  

Alec feels himself gently pressed into the bedroom door, Magnus’ hands back on his hips as he kisses his deeply, tongue slipping into his mouth, making Alec moan softly. His hands tighten behind Magnus’ neck, bringing him as close as he can.

They kiss for several moments. Alec brings his hands between them, beginning to undo the buttons of Magnus’ waistcoat, then simply sliding it down his shoulders till it drops to the floor.

Magnus doesn’t seems to mind.

Just as Alec starts to work on his shirt buttons, Magnus breaks of the kiss and pants against his lips.

“Maybe we should… you know, actually get inside?” He suggests, lightly pointing with his head to the door.

“Yeah, sure.” Alec laughs alongside with him, pressing the door knob and they stumble into the room, still pressed tightly against each other.

Alec’s past being uncomfortable with Magnus. After their first time, he thinks that everything is out in the open, and they’ve seen each other in some most intimate ways. But it doesn’t only refer to the sexual area of their relationship. He feels free with Magnus, ready to share, to give and to take.

And Alec would lie, if he said he hasn’t been thinking about doing this again after their first time.

Because it was just perfect, gentle and attentive. They went slow, just like Alec wanted to, for their first time. But he wants to continue to explore, if Magnus is also ready for it.

His moves are definitely indicating he is.

Alec’s not sure how, but they’ve moved onto the bed now. Magnus on top of him, hips grinding against each other. He returns to his task of unbuttoning his boyfriend’s shirt, soothing his hands down the exposed skin, and leaning down to place, wet, open-mouthed kisses onto his chest.

Magnus moans softly, fingers tangling themselves into Alec’s hair. They shift until Magnus is straddling his lap, and Alec prompts himself against the headboard of the bed, lips tracing the paths from Magnus’ collarbone, to the side of his neck, and finally sealing their lips in a kiss.

Alec feels bolder tonight. At some point, he knows what to expect, and he can focus more on the sensation of lips and hands on his skin, on the pleasure building up, as Magnus rocks into his lap a bit harder.

They’re both so needy, starving for each other’s skin, craving the touch and the closeness of their bodies, like they’ve been deprived of it for ages. Alec has never stopped wanting him, since the first time he’s touched him in this way. He thinks the feeling’s more than mutual.

Magnus tears away from their kiss, only to reach for the hem of Alec’s t-shirt, so he gets the hint and raises his arms up, letting his boyfriend slide it off of him, and toss somewhere away. Alec brings him closer, his palms pressing onto his lower back, until they’re flush together, mouths returning to each other, tongues clashing together.

They rock together, the pleasure building up. Alec separates their lips, when it gets too much and it’s hard to breathe. He takes a moment to stare at the beautiful man in front of him, his fingertips tracing the lips of his lover lightly, as they look into each other’s eyes.

“I was thinking,” Magnus starts quietly, as if trying not to disturb the silence that’s fallen around them, but from where they’re pressed together, it’s more enough for Alec to hear. “would you like to try it the other way?” He asks, his hands brushing gently through the hair at the nape of his neck.

Alec swallows and exhales before speaking.

“You mean, with me inside you?” He inquires and Magnus nods as he bites his lip, something that Alec can already recognize as a nervous habit.

“It’s totally fine if you don’t.” Magnus speaks furthermore. “If you don’t feel like-“ He begins to rumble and Alec shuts him up with a kiss.

“I want to.” He says, lips still gently brushing against each other. He looks up at him again and smiles. “I want everything with you.”

He really does. He’s been thinking about it, about all the things they could try when they’re together like this. And this, being connected in this way, was definitely something he was considering, to get to know how it feels, how different the sensation is from what they had done the first time. And he is more happy to hear that is something Magnus wants too.

“Okay.” Magnus smiles and sweeps some hair from his forehead, looking at him with those loving eyes. “I want everything with you too.”

“I know.” Alec says and kisses him again.

Hands are mapping each other’s bodies, lips tracing paths on the exposed skin. Alec whines when Magnus climbs off of him, but it’s only for a few short seconds to deprive them both of the rest of their clothes. Alec lets out a trembling breath, still feeling insecure sometimes about being this naked and bare, but he knows that he’s safe with Magnus, tries to focus on this, while their bodies connect in the skin on skin contact.

“Everything okay?” Magnus asks as he cups his face, the movements of his hips slowing down a bit, from where they’ve been grinding against each other, reducing the delicious friction.

“Yeah.” Alec answers and confirms with a nod. “You?”

“Perfect.” Magnus smiles and leans in to kiss him.

Alec’s hands slide down to grip his hips, guiding his movements, and they both groan. Magnus brings their lips together, swallowing the gasp that escapes Alec’s lips. Soon he stretches out to the bedside table, pulling out the lube and condoms from one of the drawers, dropping them on the bed next to them, somehow not interrupting their kiss.

“Should we…” Alec trails of gesturing for change of position, but Magnus shakes his head.

“No.” He says and rolls his hips again, extracting a moan from both of them. “Like this, okay?”

Alec nods and leans in to press kisses to his neck, tracing a path with his tongue lower, sucking lightly on his collarbone.

Half of the time, he doesn’t even know what he’s doing. Sometimes he tries to mirror the things Magnus does to him, which bring so much pleasure. He hopes to make Magnus feel as good as he does it to him, and judging by the shuttering breathe he lets out, when Alec continues to prep kisses all over his chest, he must be doing something right.

“God, you’re so good, darling.” Magnus says at an exhale, his hands clutching Alec’s shoulders. Alec pulls back to look at him, face already showing the pleasurable expression. Magnus looks down on his and smiles as he asks. “Do you want to prep me, or should I do it?”

Alec’s eyes widen at the question, because he’s still not used to Magnus speaking about such intimate things so bluntly. Which is kind of crazy, considering his boyfriend is currently sitting naked in his lap.

He gapes at him for a few more second, before Magnus chuckles and kisses him again.

“It’s okay.” He says simply.

“I don’t want to hurt you.” Alec clogs out, but Magnus only shakes his head and brings their lips together in a deep kiss again.

“You would never.” He whispers and Alec resists the urge to roll his eyes.

Of course he wouldn’t, but he’s just scared of doing something wrong. He’d never hurt him intentionally, but he’s just not experienced in this kind of stuff.

But also, he’ll never learn, if he doesn’t even try.

“I’ll tell you, if something is wrong.” Magnus assures. “But it’s okay, if you don’t want to.”

“I do.” Alec blurts out. “I mean, I want to. But I might need some guidance.” He admits.

“I’ll walk you through it.” Magnus resorts and Alec nods. “Okay?”

“Yeah.” Alec continues to nod, more to prepare himself, as he feels some tension setting into his body.

“Relax, baby.” Magnus tries and nuzzles against his cheek, pressing a gentle kiss there. “Are you sure?”

“Are you?” Alec pulls back to look at him again, to see Magnus actually rolling his eyes. He shoves him on the chest lightly to which he chuckles. “Stop it, I’m just making sure.”

“I know.” Magnus leans in to kiss him. “I love you so much.” He states in between a few more kisses and Alec nods.

“I love you too.”

“And I am sure.” He reassures again. “I wouldn’t offer it, if I wasn’t.”

“I know, I just still-“ Alec tries, but this time it’s Magnus who shuts him up by sealing their lips together.

“Thank you.” He speaks and pecks his lips again, then smirking down at him when he pulls back. “Now, grab the lube. I need you inside me, angel.”

Alec feels his cheeks reddening, but does as he’s told.

“Okay, you need to-“ Magnus begins as he opens the cap.

“I think I know how to pour it on my fingers, babe.” Alec resorts and Magnus laughs again.

He’s found it quite pleasing, that sex is not always serious business. That together they just laugh, smile, kiss, make each other feel good. He was scared that he’d just overthink it too much, focus on it, like it was some kind of a task, and that he’d forget about the pleasure on the way. But with Magnus here, it’s impossible, because he makes him feel so amazing every time they’re close.

He pours a good amount of lube onto his fingers, some of it dripping onto the bed sheets, but Magnus just says not to worry, since sex is a dirty business, as he puts it.

Alec rolls his eyes at the smirk on his face.

Then he reaches behind and nudges first finger inside, observing Magnus’ face for any reaction. His boyfriend gasps, hands tightening the hold on his shoulders.

“Just go slow.” He instructs and Alec nods, even though he can’t see it, since his eyes shut close, pure expression of pleasure overcoming his features.

He gently slides the finger inside and out, guided by Magnus’ words of praise and instruction. When he feels he’s loose enough, he adds another finger, earning himself a moan from his boyfriend.

“Good?” He asks and Magnus nods.

“So good.” He breathes out.

Alec continues to stretch him, crossing his fingers and pressing them a bit deeper, smiling at the low noises of pleasure Magnus lets out at times.

“Another.” Magnus demands after sometime and Alec simply complies, sliding in the third finger. Magnus’ fingers dig into his shoulders almost painfully, but he welcomes the slight burn without any complaints.

He leans in to press kisses to his boyfriend’s neck, underneath his jaw, the sensitive spot under his ear, drawing out a soft gasp out of him, still working his fingers inside him.

“I’m ready.” Magnus breathes out and looks down at him with a nod. He himself reaches for the condom, tears it open and helps Alec roll it on, after he gently withdraws his fingers, he positions himself to take him in. Alec stops him with hands on his hips.

“You’re sure?” He inquires one last time.

Magnus smiles and kisses him, resting their foreheads together as he speaks.

“Yes. I can’t wait to ride you.”

Alec lets out a trembling exhale, but nods as Magnus begins to lower himself into his lap.

And as always, Alec wasn’t sure what to expect, but as Magnus takes him in deeper the pleasure gets almost overwhelming. He moans, hands tightening on his hips, but still guiding him down. Their foreheads are still pressed together, they kiss, but their mouth mostly hang open in constant gasps and moans. Alec tucks his head into Magnus’ neck, pressing kisses to every part of his skin he can reach. Magnus’ palms slide into his hair, fingers tugging lightly, drawing out another groan out of him.

“Fuck, you feel so good.” Magnus moans out and when he’s fully seated back in his lap, he stills, giving himself a few moments to adjust. “Kiss me.” He breathes out, and Alec finds his lips with his own again.

Then he begins to move. First slow, gentle, moves, giving them both time to get used to the feeling, but the pace gradually increasing. He throws his head back with a low moan, and Alec just finds himself amazed by the view of his stunning man, so close to him, connected, drawing out so much pleasure he can’t help but moan again.

Magnus continues to move faster, both of them running out of breath, needing to break of the kiss, gasping into each other’s mouths.

“Oh, God… fuck.” Magnus whimpers as he starts to roll his hips more than moving up and down.

“Don’t stop.” Alec pleads as the moves only seem to heighten the pleasure. He feels the pleasant warmth building up low in his stomach, knowing that he won’t last much longer. “Please, Magnus I need to-“

“Yes.” Magnus says breathlessly, not stopping his movements, bringing a hand between them to stroke himself, as Alec is too lost to do anything than lay here and take it. “Come on, baby.”

Alec feels every single muscle in his body tightening, and then turning liquid as he lets go, breath coming out in short pants. He joins Magnus’ hand on him, and they stroke together, in tune, and after few more tugs, Magnus reaches his climax, spilling onto their joined knuckles. He slumps against Alec’s chest, his body trembling. Alec brings his arms around him, holding him tightly as he feels kisses being pressed onto his collarbone, he smiles.

None of them says anything for a long while, basking in the afterglow, the only sounds are their heavy breathes as they try to even out their breathing. Alec gets lost in the bliss, inhaling Magnus’ scent as he places a kiss to the side of his head, running a hand through his dump hair.

“I think I have to…” Alec trails of and Magnus nods, slowly climbing out of his lap, letting him slide out of his body. “You’re okay?” He asks as Magnus flops down on the bed next to him, his chest still heaving, and it actually takes him a few more moments to say anything.

“I’m amazing.” He resorts and nods to himself, eyes still closed, face mirroring the pleasure. “Come here.” He gestures feebly with his hand and Alec chuckles as he quickly removes the condom and plasters himself to his side, Magnus’ arm instantly coming around him. “You’re good?” Magnus asks after he mostly gets his breathing under control.

Alec nods from where his head is buried against his neck, smelling the faint essence of sandalwood, still present on Magnus’ skin.

“I’m great.” He basically whispers, and can feel Magnus’ smile on his forehead, when he presses a kiss there and lingers against the skin.

“You were amazing, love.” Magnus says as Alec throws his arm over his middle, snuggling even closer to him, even though it seems they would merge into one, if he got any closer. There’s no room between then, all of their limbs tangled together, pressed flush. That’s what Alec needs now.

“Says you.” Alec chuckles and Magnus mirrors the sound. “You’re the one who’s incredible.”

Magnus only hums as he begins to combs his hand lightly through Alec’s damp from sweat hair. He immediately relaxes even more, and his eyelids begin to drop.

“Now I’m tired.” Alec mumbles and Magnus laughs again lightly.

“I’ve worn you out?” He asks, his hand not stopping his ministrations.

“Mhm.” Alec agrees and lets his eyes fall close.

“Then sleep, my love.” Magnus whispers and drops another kiss to the top of his head.

“Goodnight, babe.” Alec murmurs, already feeling half asleep. “I’m glad it’s the weekend.” He admits and faintly hears Magnus’ chuckle.

“Me too.” His boyfriend admits, his tone laced with a hint of amusement. “Goodnight, Alexander.”

Alec’s pretty sure he can hear another whispered ‘I love you’, as the sleep overcomes him fully.

Chapter Text

The next two weeks roll of quite quickly. Spend on more lazy explorations, spending time with friends, and family, and also trying to focus at work.

Which might be the hardest part for Magnus now.

All because of Alexander.

Not that he complains, Alec is a rather good distraction for all of this stress that’s slowly crashing upon Magnus. They have this presentation for the new line tomorrow, and Magnus currently flips through the material Raphael sent him to prepare something to say.

He thought that it would be quite easy. He’ll just go out there, speak a bit about his work, what they’ve done for the collaboration… but he doesn’t want to go completely unprepared, he knows that it’s important.

Alec has been busy too. Magnus doesn't know much about law, but considering the amount of time Alec puts into those studies, it can’t be anything easy.

But during the recent week he also got to catch up with his mom again, they visited Max together at the weekend, met up with Izzy, Jace and Clary. Magnus makes sure that Alec won’t get overwhelmed, too caught up into his brain, to just go out and enjoy sometime.

Magnus is now seated on the couch, already back from work, his laptop settled on his lap the presentation still passing through. And just then, he hears the familiar click of the front door’s lock, and a few seconds later, his boyfriend emerges into the room.

“Hi, babe.” Alec greets and Magnus smiles at him as he comes closer.

“Hello, love.” Magnus says just as Alec leans down to kiss him softly. “How’s Max?” He asks, since Alec’s just came back from visiting his baby brother.

“Surprisingly good.” Alec admits with a thoughtful nod. It wasn’t quite blissful recently. Max got onto this new treatment, that might have seemed to help at the beginning, but then it started to get worse, and lately Max hasn’t been feeling too well. But Magnus is glad to hear that he seems better now.

“That’s great.” Magnus states as Alec sits down next to him. He just nods again, but Magnus can see how he nervously rubs his palms against each other, eyes fixated on his hands. “Are you okay?” He asks, which makes Alec look up at him.

“I’m fine.” He begins, but Magnus can feel a ‘but’ coming, so he waits for him to elaborate, which he does after a few seconds. “It’s just… I have this weird feeling, like… I don’t know how to explain it, I just feel… unsettled?” He adds in a more of a questioning tone.

Magnus sends him a worried look.

He’s so glad Alec’s just able to talk about his concerns like this. But that doesn’t mean it’s not worrying him. Alec’s been doing great recently, figuring out all of his issues. Both on his own, and with Magnus. And it’s been really good. He’s been happy. Magnus doesn’t want him to spiral back into some dark places again.

“It’s nothing. I’m sure it will go away.” Alec tries to reassure. “It’s not the first time, it just gets like this sometimes.”

Magnus reaches for his hand and intertwines their fingers gently.

“Is there anything I can do to help?” He questions and Alec turns to him with a smile, but it comes out a bit sad.

“No, I don’t think so.” He shakes his head. “But thank you. I’ll let you know if I need anything.” His hand wanders to cup Magnus’ face, thumb brushing delicately against his cheek.

“I’m always here.” Magnus resorts simply and places a kiss to the inside of Alec’s palm, which makes his smile only widen.

“Okay, so how is it going?” Alec prompts as he looks over his shoulder, pointing at the screen lightly.

Magnus sighs.

“I mean, it’s going.” He admits reluctantly. “But I’m just not sure what to say.”

“You’re just supposed to speak about work, right?” Alec inquires to which Magnus nods. “So it’s gonna be fine. You love your job, and it’s always easier to speak about something you like.”

“Well, that’s true.” Magnus admits. It’s not that he’s really worried he’ll mess something up, but it just feels kinda weird for him, since he rarely does such things. “I guess I’m just kind of scared of speaking publically.” He admits. “I haven’t done that in a long time.”

“I get it.” Alec resorts and rubs his arm up and down gently. “I still get nervous when we do the recreations of court room scenes in classes. I should get over it, since I’ll literally need to do it on daily basis soon, but I guess there’s still some part of you that's doubting, no matter how well you think you’re prepared.”

Magnus nods and rests his head on Alec’s shoulder, as he feels his arm coming around him.

“Do you have any tips, on how to handle it, Mr Future Lawyer?” He asks, a playful note in his tone and Alec chuckles.

“Just speak from the heart I guess.” Alec begins. “Be enthusiastic, try not to bore your listeners. Even if you’re speaking about the most tedious subject in the world, which you’re not by the way, but even if, when you speak energetically and you’re able to keep their attention, that’s a win.” He states simply and Magnus pulls back lightly to look at him.

“You’re so smart, you know that?” He questions, and Alec just rolls his eyes.

“You might have told me once, or twice.” He replies laughingly. “Or five thousand times…” He continues and they both burst out laughing. “By the way, look how the roles have reversed. Usually it’s me, who’s curled up here studying.”

“I’m not studding.” Magnus protests, but Alec just waves it of dismissively.

“You know what I mean.” He resorts and Magnus nods, placing his head back on his boyfriend’s shoulder.

“Well, since you’re so smart, any more advices on how to decrease the level of stress?” Magnus asks furthermore.

“I suggest a glass of wine, some warm cuddles and a goodnight’s sleep.” He instructs and Magnus lets out a brief, but warm laugh.

“I could roll with that.”

Alec hums and presses a kiss to the top of his head.

“Are you up for takeout tonight? I don’t feel like cooking.” Alec offers and Magnus nods again, eyes focused back on the screen.

“Sure.” He answers softly and sends him a smile.

“Pizza?” Alec proposes and Magnus makes an approving sound.

“You read my mind, darling.”

 

Later, after a delicious dinner, topped with a glass of his favourite wine, and a pretty comfy cuddling session on the couch, Magnus takes a long relaxing bath, soaking up his skin and feeling some of the tension leave his body.

He doesn’t know why he’s so nervous. But it truly has been a long time since he spoke in front of people. The fact that Camille will be there too, and he actually might need to face her does not sound appealing at any bit. But he’ll also have Raphael, Dot, Aline and Helen with him, so that’s what brings him up a bit. It’s gonna be fine. He knows it, Alec continues to say it, and deep down Magnus even believes it will. They all worked so hard for this, there’s no way this new line won’t work out.

Quickly drying his body, he slips into his pyjamas and leaves the bathroom only to spot his boyfriend already awaiting him in their bed. He smiles beside himself. Sometimes it still blows his mind that he manages to hold something like this. His relationship with Alec, it just seems too good to be true at times, and he’s scared that one day he’ll wake up and Alec will be gone. He knows this fear is totally irrational, but some insecurities catch up to him sometimes.

Wasting no more time, he climbs on the bed behind Alec, as he throws him a smile over his shoulder. Magnus’ arm settles in its favourite position, draped around Alec’s middle as he hugs him tightly, nuzzling his head into the crook of his neck.

Because God, he just can’t help but to want this man all the time. Alec is so amazing at everything he does, that Magnus doesn’t want to be deprived of any moment with him, intimate or not. But he can’t deny that he just adores being close to Alec. Feeling his skin on his own, bringing out the pleasure.

He places a kiss to the side of Alec’s neck, then another, one more lower. His hand lazily crawls underneath his shirt, caressing the muscles on his stomach.

“You know, I can think of another way to release some tension…” He trails of, his breath ghosting against his ear, prompting a shiver from Alec.

Magnus’ lips move back down to his neck, ready to mark it, as his kisses turn more sloppy. Alec cranes his neck to gain Magnus more access, but the he feels his hand on his, the one underneath his shirt.

“Magnus” Alec starts and gently withdraws the hand, breaking the contact, and he still doesn’t turn to face him. “I’m just kinda not in the mood.” He sighs. “I’m sorry-“

“Hey, it’s okay.” Magnus swiftly interrupts, because it’s a thing he never has to apologize for. But as Alec still doesn’t shift to look at him, Magnus can already imagine the guilt that must be written on his face. “hey, come here.” He raises on his elbows and gently tugs onto Alec’s shoulder still he turns around, lying on his back. And as expected, he indeed looks guilty. “It’s completely fine.” He assures one more time. “Are you okay though?”

He still asks, because it’s the first time any of the turned down sex. It’s not bad, of course not, Alec has a full right not to want to do it, but Magnus could see how eager he always was anytime Magnus initiated something. How he wanted to try more and more things and now… Magnus knows him too well not to notice that something’s bothering him.

“I’m okay.” Alec assures with a sigh and Magnus hand wanders to cup his cheek. Alec rests his own palm upon his forearm form where it’s laid onto his chest and caresses it softly with his fingers, as if trying to ground himself. “It’s just…” He trials off, annoyance forming on his face while he can’t find his words.

“This feeling?” Magnus prompts regarding to their conversation earlier this evening.

“Yeah.” Alec nods, but his sight drops. “I’m sorry, I just-“

“Hey, you don’t need to be sorry for that.” Magnus states with a smile, but his voice still somehow firm. “You have every right not to want to do this.”

“I know, but I just…” He sighs again, trying to form some words to express his thoughts. Magnus continues to rub his thumb against his cheek delicately, patiently waiting for more words. “I want to do it, but I just feel like I can’t ease my mind, and I don’t think I would fully enjoy it…” He continues and bites his lip when he’s done.

“And that’s okay.” Magnus ducks his head, trying to make eye contact, but failing. “Hey, look at me.” He commands softly and Alec obeys.

“I don’t know what’s wrong with me, I’m sorry-“ He shakes his head a bit, but his sight finally focuses on his boyfriend, as he cuts in before Alec gets to finish.

“Nothing’s wrong with you.” Magnus speaks firmly. “That’s totally normal not to be in the mood, angel. Don’t worry. I’m not mad, I could never be mad at you for something like this.” He resorts with a smile and Alec slowly mirrors it. “Okay?” Magnus inquires and Alec nods.

“Okay.” He exhales.

“Good.” Magnus leans in and kisses him on the lips sweetly.

“So can we just…” Alec starts as he turns to lay on his side instead of his back, facing Magnus as he mirrors this position. “cuddle?” He asks with a soft smile.

“I’ll be more than happy to, my love.” Magnus resorts and opens his arms. Alec wastes no time in making himself comfortable in his embrace, tucking his head under Magnus’ chin, arms wrapping tightly around his middle. 

With one more kiss dropped on top of Alec’s head, and hearing his breathing even out, Magnus lets sleep overcome him.

 

When he wakes up, he can already tell that something is wrong. Not only the sun isn’t creeping into the room through the blinds, so it must still be the middle of the night, but he also can’t feel Alec’s warm presence and his body pressed next to him.

With some kind of fear beginning to bloom inside his stomach, Magnus raises on his elbows on the bed, his eyes scanning the bedroom, which his still covered in half darkness. Then he hears Alec’s voice, but before he gets to let out a relieved breathe, he feels another wave of dread overcoming him, at tone his boyfriend is using.

“Yes, I’ll be there as soon as I can.” Alec speaks nervously, his voice basically trembling. Magnus sits up on the bed, trying to fully acknowledge the situation, his eyes adjusting to the darkness, but then Alec switches on the lights and Magnus squints, but after a few seconds his eyes finally adapt. “I will, yeah. I’m leaving in a minute.”

Alec hangs up on the phone, begins to pace the room nervously, before he gets to the closet and pulls out some clothes.

“Alexander,” Magnus starts, more aware than a few seconds before, when he finally finds his voice. “what’s going on, darling?”

“They called from the hospital, there’s something wrong with Max.” Alec rushes to explain as he puts on one of his sweaters. “I need to get to him.” He says. His breathing already coming out in short pants, and Magnus can see how hard it is for him to keep it together. “Can I borrow your car?” He asks as he rubs his palms together, a bit too hard for Magnus’ liking.

“Angel, calm down for a moment-“ Magnus tries, but Alec already begins to shake his head before he finishes.

“No, there’s no time, Magnus. I have to-“

“I know.” Magnus reaches for his hand and tugs him till he sits down on the bed. He knows it’s serious, if it wasn’t the hospital wouldn’t call in the middle of the night. But there’s no way he’s letting Alec leave when he’s on the verge of a panic attack.

“Magnus, I can’t now-“ Alec attempts, but Magnus cuts him of as he cups his face.

“Take a deep breath.” He instructs and Alec follows, but the exhale he lets out feels ridged. “You can’t drive like this. Give me two minutes to get dressed, I’ll drive you.”

Before Alec gets to say anything, Magnus already untangles himself from the bed sheets and marches to the closet to put on whatever clothes he pulls out first. Not even five minutes later they are already walking down to his car in the parking lot.

Alec’s still breathing hard, but a bit better since Magnus keeps repeating to him to calm down and take some deep breathes. He can still see his hands basically itching when he rubs them together, and when he glances at them on more time, while they’re already on their way in the car, he reaches with his hand and laces their fingers, stopping the nervous movement.

“It’s gonna be fine, darling.” Magnus tries to reassure, his eyes still focused at the road, but not really caring about the speed limit. He tries to believe it himself, but can’t deny the panic rising in his gut.

“How can you know that?” Alec asks in that small voice that Magnus hates so much. It signalizes that he feels helpless and weak. He squeezes his hand in an attempt to reassure him, but it doesn’t help a lot. “What if…” Alec begins with another heavy exhale and turns to him. “what if this thing I was feeling, what if I was sensing something-“

“Baby, don’t think like this, try to stay calm, we’re almost there.” Magnus says and catches Alec nod in the corner of his eye. “What did they say on the phone?” He prompts.

“That his vitals were suddenly dropping, and they don’t know why.” Alec recalls. “They’re working on it.”

“It’s gonna be fine.” Magnus repeats as he takes a few last turns, and then they’re pulling out on the hospital driveway.

Not wasting any time, they get out of the car, marching to the building. Magnus spots Catarina at the nurse station, but only gives her a quick glance, since Alec’s already rushing in the direction of Max’s room, not stopping to acknowledge anything around him.

Magnus follows in tow, as Alec joins his family in the waiting room. Izzy, Jace and their mother are already here. As soon as his sister’s eyes settle on him, she meets him halfway, walking straight into his arms. Alec hugs her back tightly, considering the worried look on her face for a few seconds.

“How is he?” Alec asks when they catch up to the rest.

“It’s better now.” It’s Maryse who speaks and begins to explain. “They still don’t know what caused the drop, but he’s stable now.”

Alec lets out a relived breathe, and Magnus rests his palm lightly on his back in reassurance.

“Can I see him?” Alec questions and his mom nods.

“Sure, we’ve already came in briefly. He’s asleep though.” Maryse resorts, but manages a small smile for her son.

“Okay.” Alec murmurs and exhales again. His hand swiftly finds Magnus’ and he tangles their fingers together as he turns to him. “Will you come with me?”

“Of course.” Magnus replies quickly sends a reassuring smile to the rest of the family members as Alec tugs him towards the room.

They enter to the sound of various machines beeping, but besides that, the room would probably be overwhelmingly quiet. Alec walks to his brother’s bed, and sits down on the chair next to it. Magnus stands next to him, placing his palm on his shoulder in a grounding presence.

Max has got the nasal cannula attached under his nose, helping him breathe. He looks peaceful in his sleep, but something about his expression unsettled. Alec reaches out with his hand, running a hand through his brother’s soft hair, just as he always does. Magnus looks down on his face, seeing the pain painting its way there, tears building up in his eyes.

For a few moments nothing happens, but then slowly, Max blinks his eyes open.

“Hi.” Alec speaks softly in a low whisper, his lips forming into a small smile.

“Hi.” Max whispers back weakly, attempting to smile, but it comes out as more of a grimace. “What are you doing here?” He asks and tires to move, but lets out a hiss as he does.

“Shh, it’s okay.” Alec caresses his arm gently, stopping his movements. “We just came to visit.”

Max’s sight falls on Alec, then on Magnus, and a few times back again. Magnus smiles as he runs his palm up and down Alec’s back gently.

They sit in silence for another minute or two, Alec’s hand still combing soothingly through his brother’s hair.

“I’m tired.” Max admits after a while, his tone laced with slumber.

“Then get some rest.” Alec mutters.

“I don’t want to. Not when you’re here.” His brother says and they all chuckle.

“But you should.” Magnus bends down and advices in a soft tone. “Who’s gonna beat me up at Mario Kart if you’re not rested enough to play?” He asks teasingly prompting another laughs of the young boy. “Come on, get some sleep sweetheart.” He brushes his thumb against his cheek lightly as Max closes his eyes.

“I love you so much, okay?” Alec leans in and places a kiss to his brother’s forehead. “We both do. Stay strong, buddy.”

Max nods lightly, as Alec still lingers against his skin, pressing another kiss there.

“I love you too.” Max says and Alec smiles as he pulls back, his palm dropping from his hair.

Alec sighs as he gets up, Magnus’ arm immediately wandering around his waist, offering him a bit of guidance and comfort. He can see how much he hurts now for his brother, and it breaks his heart.

They get out of the room and quickly sum up the conversation with the youngest Lightwood to the rest. Tears begin to glisten in Maryse’s eyes, Isabelle already has hers on her cheeks. Jace is trying to stay strong, but his failing miserably, not that Magnus blames him.

He himself doesn’t step back from Alec for any second, knowing that something stable might be what he needs now.

After a while they get seated on the line of chairs in front of the room. Magnus keeps his and Alec’s fingers laced together, his thumb rubbing soothing circles at the back of his palm. It’s so quiet here at this hour. It’s nearly 3am already, but seems like none of them is going to get any sleep anytime soon.

“Where’s dad?” Alec prompts suddenly and turns to his mom.

“He was on a business trip out of town, but he’s already on his way.” Maryse replies. Alec resist the urge to snort, but only nods, his face frowning.

Nobody says anything. Nobody knows what. Magnus can’t think of any way to start a conversation. Doesn’t want to say something wrong, or either disturb the silence for now.

After another half of an hour, Robert shows up, he goes briefly to see his youngest son with Maryse and then they both march to see the doctors. Magnus can help but recall his last encounter with Alec’s father. When he called him out on all his bullshit. But it’s clearly not time to bring this up, and Magnus is not planning on it. Robert seems to have enough decency to do them same, as he only speared Magnus a glance and a once over when he arrived.

Soon enough, they both come back. Alec instantly hops back on his feet and approaches his mother as the rest follows.

“Any news?” He prompts.

“They say it’s good for now.” Maryse begins, her expression a bit more settled now as she exhales. “He should be better by the morning. The doctors still aren’t sure what caused the drop in his vitals, they need to take some tests, but right now, the situation is under control.”

Alec breathes out and nods at his mom, as she goes back to sit down. She does look exhausted. She runs her hand over her face and leans back against the wall. Alec looks at her for a brief second and his expression drops again.

“You should go home.” Alec says and Magnus turns his attention back to him. “I think I’ll stay here a while longer, just to make sure it’s okay.”

“Then I’ll stay with you.” Magnus resorts as Alec rests his palms on his arms and rubs them gently, but shakes his head.

“You have this presentation tomorrow, it’s important.” He speaks softly. “You need to get some rest before-“

“Alexander, don’t worry about this stupid presentation.” Magnus cups his face. “It’s not that important.”

“It is.” Alec sighs. “You promised you’d be there. You can’t let Raphael down.” He insists.

The truth is, he wasn’t very reliable when it comes to his job recently. He took a lot of days of, kept showing up late… it’s not that he doesn’t care, he does, but there are more important things than a job. No matter how much he loves his, he still has his priorities.

And Alec is one of them.

“I don’t want to leave you, darling.” He admits, but Alec manages to smile at him a bit.

“I’ll be fine.” Alec tries to reassure, but doesn’t sounds very convincing and Magnus gives him a persistent look. “I will, I have Izzy, Jace and mom, I won’t be alone.”

That is even a valid argument, Magnus has to admit.

He is tired, and he knows he won’t be able to make himself presentable tomorrow if he doesn’t get a few more hours of sleep.

“Besides, I think we need some family time together now.” Alec states and places his palms on Magnus’ shoulders, bringing him a bit closer. “Just get some rest, and kill it tomorrow.”

Magnus sighs, but brings his arms around Alec’s waist to hug him.

“You’re sure?” He whispers and feels Alec nods into the crook of his neck.

“I am.” Alec confirms once more and when they pull back, he nods.

So Magnus gives in eventually. Alec will be fine with his family. There’s not much Magnus can do than be there for him. Max is better now anyway.

“Alright, but you have to call me if anything changes, okay?” He speaks firmly and his boyfriend nods again. “Or if you decide to go home, I can come and pick you up, alright? Just let me know.”

“I will.” Alec promises and then kisses him softly. “I’ll try to be home by the morning.”

“Alright.” Magnus reluctantly pulls further back and takes his palm in his to hold the contact for a few more seconds, only letting go when the increasing distance gets too much.

He throws Alec one last reassuring smile as he makes his way to the exit, and Alec back to his family.

 

Magnus doesn’t remember a lot from the way home. He drove like on autopilot, climbed onto the bed and didn’t even realised when we fell back asleep. Thoughts were still daunting him, but he managed to get past through it, fulfilling Alec’s advice to get some rest. The presentation is set on 9am, but they all decided to meet earlier to make sure everything is well prepared. However, when Magnus wakes up again, the clock on the nightstand says it’s only 6:15am. That doesn’t stop him for reaching for his phone and checking in for any news from Alexander.

There’s nothing.

He chooses to call him, bothered that he still hasn’t returned back home, and for any lack of some kind of response or update. He dials the number, but after waiting what feels like an eternity it switches to voicemail.

That’s even more disturbing.

He tries one more time, already getting up from the bed and getting ready to leave. The dreadful feeling is back again, growing inside his stomach from the worry. He switches techniques and picks another number, someone that might help.

“Hey, Cat.” Magnus greets as his friend picks up.

“Hi, Magnus.” She starts and clears her throat, something weird about her tone, but Magnus continues otherwise.

“Is Alec still at the hospital?” He asks. “I haven’t heard from his since I left, and he’s not picking up my calls, so I’m getting quite worried.”

There’s silence at the other line for more than Cat’s ever let it linger on, and it does nothing to decrease Magnus’ worries.

“Catarina?” He inquires, another wave of panic sliding through him. A thought he doesn’t even want to consider creeping back in his mind.

“Yeah, he’s still here.” Catarina finally speaks, but her voice not louder than a whisper.

Magnus feels tears building up in his eyes.

“Cat?” He prompts again. She sighs heavily at the end of the line.

“Magnus, I’m so sorry…” She trails of, but then picks up after a lack of his response. “God, I’m sorry.” She nearly sobs.

“Oh, God.” Magnus whispers, more to himself than to Cat. He sits back down on the bed as he feels dizzy. His hand wanders to cover his mouth in an attempt to stop the sob that’s trying to escape.

This can’t be truth. This can’t be happening.

He sits down for a few more seconds, trying to calm down. Cat doesn’t say anything more, but he can hear another heavy exhale coming from her.

For now, Magnus switches off some part of his emotions. He needs to get to Alec, because if he’s shaken up, he can’t even imagine what he’s boyfriend is going through. All he knows, it that he has to be there for him.

“I’m on my way.” Magnus says and hangs up, leaving the apartment and basically running all the way to his car.

Not carrying about any speed limits, he drives to the hospital again, cursing himself for leaving Alec in the first place. What was he thinking? Did he put his work above his boyfriend? How stupid must he be to do such thing?

Trying to shake of his thoughts, he enters, his eyes already scanning the space for his boyfriend, but when he can’t spot him anywhere, he makes his way to where Catarina is, at her usual workplace.

“Cat-“ He begins as he walks towards her, but she quickly cuts in.

“He’s sitting by his room.” She says and wipes at her cheeks, trying to get rid of the residues of tears, but her eyes are still red and bloodshed. “The rest of the family is at the cafeteria, but he refused to leave.”

“When did it happen?” Magnus questions, struggling to keep his own tears from flooding. He needs to be strong. For Alexander.

“The announced the time of death around an hour ago.” Cat replies and Magnus nods. “I’m so sorry, Magnus.” He hears her words faintly, but already walks away in search for his boyfriend.

He gets to the corridor and sees Alec. He’s sitting in front of the room, eyes staring blankly at the wall in front of him. He just looks so lifeless, his body slumped down on the chair. Magnus’ heart breaks all over again.

Cautiously, he makes his way closer and sits down on the chair next to him. Alec doesn’t turn to look at him, Magnus doesn’t see any tears on his cheek, only the empty expression in his eyes. Magnus follows the line of his of his sight, and sees that it’s not settled on the wall, but at the entrance of the room.

It’s already empty.                 

Magnus leans back on the chair, not sure what to do. He feels everything crumbling down, right in this moment, when he looks at the men he loves and can’t recognize his expression, because it’s so covered up with this hurt and pain. He hates it. Hates that he can’t do anything about it.

He reaches for Alec hands, tangling their fingers together, like he’s done when they were sitting right in the same waiting room only a few hours ago. But Alec doesn’t relax, when he caresses his skin with his thumb. He only tenses up, his breathing becomes shorter and Magnus knows that he’s been restraining from crying for the past hour, probably to try and be strong for his family.

Well, with Magnus he doesn’t need to hide.

The sob that escapes his throat is the most painful thing Magnus has ever heard, and it bring tears to his eyes all over again.

Alec cries, clutching onto Magnus’ hand, he slumps even further down the chair. Magnus brings his arm around him and hugs him, his own cheeks becoming wet. Alec hides his face in the crook of his neck, his whole body shaking. Magnus holds him tighter as his shirt becomes soaking wet, but he can feel that it doesn’t bring any comfort.

“He’s gone, Magnus.” Alec weeps, his voice damp through the tears and muffled from where his face is pressed into Magnus’ neck. “My baby brother is gone.” He cries.

Magnus has no words. Doesn’t know what to say to make it better. Because there are no words to make it better, no gestures to soothe it. Alec’s world is falling down around them, and there’s nothing he can do.

He just holds him, but it doesn’t help.

 

Magnus has no idea how long they’ve been sitting there like this. But he lets Alec have this, lets him let it all out, pour out all of these emotions that’s been locked up inside. He can feel tears on his own cheeks, as he holds tightly onto Alec, but he quickly wipes them away, remaining strong for the man that’s breaking down in his arms.

Soon, he can hear footsteps, the familiar click of heels echoing down the hallways. He looks up and sees Isabelle. She stops as she notices them, leaving a few more steps of distance between them.

Magnus looks at her face, make up all smudge, eyes red and bloodshed. Her expression, besides twisted in hurt, same as Alec’s, also flashes surprised for a short moment, as if she wasn’t expecting to walk on to such a scene. Maybe it’s because she rarely sees Alec like this. He always refuses to break down in front of his family, that Magnus knows. It has to be really bad for Alec to show the evident pain in such way.

Isabelle’s face softens a bit after a short moment, but she looks so unsure of what to do. Hesitantly, she begins to take a step back, but then Alec is slowly untangling himself from Magnus’ embrace. He wipes at his eyes, trying to stop the tears from flowing. Magnus doesn’t protest when he gets up, but he gets scared that Alec might just run away and hide again. However, he just takes a few deep breaths and turns away from his sister. Isabelle still stands frozen, when Magnus gets up and gives Alec a moment to compose himself. He steps closer to Izzy and then she begins to speak, her voice small and unsure.

“I’m sorry… I just wanted to check on Alec…” She trails of, but Magnus only waves his hand dismissively, and goes in to hug her.

She returns the tight embrace, tries to muffle the sniffle that escapes her, but fails.

“I’m so sorry, Isabelle.” Magnus whispers, his hand running delicately through her hair. He can feel her nod, and after a moment, she pulls back, attempting a smile, but it comes out only as a grimace. Her sight wanders back to Alec, and she seems hesitant if she should come up to him, so instead, Magnus does. 

“Darling…” Magnus starts as he reaches him, placing a gentle palm on his forearm. He goes around Alec to face him again.

But he doesn’t know what to say.

It’s okay. No, he can’t say that, because it’s not. Nothing is okay, everything is falling apart, and there’s no way any of them will be okay anytime soon.

But somehow, Alec seems to understand him, as he nods, his eyes focused down on the floor. But he turns away and walks closer to her sister, wrapping her up in his arms. Magnus can see Izzy relax a bit, as Alec whispers something to her, and she answers in a low tone. Magnus can’t make up their words, but is not going to interrupt this intimate moment.

Then, Jace comes up from around the corner, and without much of a hesitation, joins in onto the family hug. They stay like this for quite a while, enveloped into a tight embrace, more low sobs coming out, and Magnus can’t even make out from who exactly.

After what feels like forever, they untangle themselves from their arms, and just stand quietly, the silence in the room almost overwhelming.

Magnus can see the way Alec’s basically trembling, how vulnerable he looks. He comes up closer again, and drapes his arm around his waist gently.

“Do you want to sit down?” He asks quietly,