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For the greater good

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"What if I told you, there is another way? Another way to make you be with him forever? "

Alexander Lightwood lay in bed in his room in the institute and stared at the ceiling, remembering the conversation he had with the vampire Camille.

"There is no way to make you immortal. Not without black magic, or changing you into a vampire, both of which you rejected."

He rolled over onto his stomach, hiding his face in the pillow. He moaned softly in pain when he felt the burning in his cheek. He wanted to live with Magnus for as long as possible, but he was well aware of his situation. Right now, people were looking at him with contempt because of his relationship with the downworlder. He couldn't count on the fact that if he decided to let Camille change him, his family and all the Shadowhunters would just accept it. However, he wanted to try to prepare his siblings and parents for this eventuality. Maybe then it would be easier for them to accept it. Maybe if he decided to do this, he could still visit them. He decided to start by talking to his parents. He didn't manage to get to the bottom of the matter when rage appeared in Maryse eyes. She reacted to his revelation with such a strong slap in the face that his head swung violently to the side. She began to shout that he wouldn't be their son anymore, that the Clave would banish him and never let him go back home again, or maybe even kill him. She said that he should either forget about this damned warlock or forget about them.

He sobbed softly into his pillow. His mother painfully reminded him that if he crossed that line, he wouldn't have any place to go back to. And Camille's words came back to him again.

"Maybe you can't give yourself immortality, little Nephilim, in a way that your family would accept. But you can take it from Magnus."

Alec jumped up from the bed. He put on his shoes and left the room heading for the gym. He couldn't sleep because of all the conflicting feelings that were in his heart. When he started to hit the bag as he did thousands of times before, the memory he was trying to forget came back to him.

He began to hit his target harder, imagining Camille's face instead. She was ready to say anything to save herself. Magnus had warned him that the vampire was an excellent manipulator. Camille knew that Alec was tormented by the thought that one day he would die and leave Magnus’ side. He always thought that the only way they could stay together would be to make him immortal. That's why he tried to find out if there was a way to do this. However, it never occurred to him to seek information on how to deprive Magnus of his immortality.

He didn’t know that there was another way. It wasn’t until Camille instilled in him that knowledge, suggesting that this is better and would be what he wanted. He hated her for this. And he hated himself for thinking about this even for a second.

Camille knew perfectly well that Alexander loved Magnus too much to ever agree to do this, but she had something that the boy wanted as much as immortality. She had knowledge about Magnus. Knowledge he didn’t have. She could torment the Shadowhunter with scraps of information about his beloved and manipulate him as long as he was useful to her. Alec obtained information for her and performed other small services as part of their agreement. In return, he was rewarded with new information about Magnus.

He still tried to find a way to gain immortality on his own, but he was disappointed every time. Camille only laughed at him, reminding him that he could always become a vampire.

After some time he understood why Magnus loved this woman. Thanks to her immortality, he was sure that she would always be with him. He was never going to be alone anymore. That's why Alec decided to accept her offer.

After an hour of intensively hitting the punching bag, he took a quick shower and dressed up. Despite the effort he put in to calm down, he couldn’t sleep and decided to go for a walk.

It was still dark when he reached the nearest park and collapsed on the bench. He didn’t know what to do with himself. He had forgotten to take his phone, so he couldn’t make an appointment to meet with Camille in her hideout. And he hadn’t been to Magnus loft for several days. When he thought about it, he realized with irony that for a long time, he preferred to listen to someone he didn’t know well and whom he knew couldn’t be trusted to get stories about Magnus, rather than to meet the man he trusted and get them straight from him.

This knowledge shook Alec deeply. He drew his knees up onto the bench, put his arms around them, and hid his face, not wanting anyone to see him crying.

Magnus always said that the past did not matter, and for a long time Alec felt the same. However, Camille told him about Magnus life, many aspects of which he had not known. Despite all assurances that the past did not matter, Alec wanted to know. When Alec asked Magnus about his past Magnus often tried to avoid an answer or change the subject. Camille instead answered him without hesitation. He loved Magnus. He really did. But he had not realised that soon, it had become a habit to just talk to Camille about Magnus rather than Magnus himself. He’d even stopped visiting Magnus unknowingly, keeping his visits to Camille like a dirty secret. However, all these secrets began to distance them from each other.

He did not realize what he was doing.

Alec had no idea how long he had stayed outside the institute. But he knew he did not care about his parent’s anger at the moment, and he wanted to see Magnus. He rubbed his eyes with his sleeve and stood up, heading for Brooklyn. He had not taken his wallet and stele, so he had to walk all the way, which allowed him to calm down a bit.

When he found himself on the street where the warlock lived, he put on his Shadowhunter mask, a self-assured warrior. Only someone who cared enough to look closely could see the eyes that were puffy and red from crying and know the truth.

He was a few steps from the gate, when the door suddenly opened and the warlock ran out. He was disheveled with no make-up and in a unbuttoned coat, under which he noticed only a thin white shirt. He had a blue satin scarf in his right hand, which he had given Alec some time ago, with his left hand, Magnus held the phone to his ear. He looked worried.

"You said I should give him some time to settle down, I agreed, because you know him longer than I. And now you call me in the middle of the night, telling me that he disappeared leaving his phone and stele at home. Of all things in the world his stele. After he argued again with his parents about ME! And you dare order me to calm down Jonathan?!”

Magnus yelled before he hung up. He put the phone in his pocket and walked towards the dumbfounded Alec, focusing all the attention on the scarf and mumbling the tracking spell. Before he finished it, he saw a shadow of a figure in front of him. He was willing to cast a curse on anyone who would try to stop him in this moment.

He raised his eyes, in which anger mixed with anxiety, and he froze when he met the familiar blue irises.

Anger disappeared, replaced by relief, but anxiety remained.

“Are you ok, Alexander?” The warlock asked quietly, making an uncertain step towards the Shadowhunter. He saw his red eyes and swollen cheek. This sight made him angry at the person who dared to hurt his boyfriend.

Alec shuddered at the sound of Magnus voice. In this moment he realized how much he missed him. All the effort he had put into calming down had been futile. The facade of the shadowhunter dropped, showing Magnus all the longing and suffering he had in himself since their last meeting.

Magnus inhaled sharply as the first tears came out of his beloved’s eyes. It took Magnus only two steps to pull him into a tight embrace. His nephilim immediately snuggled into him, and Magnus flinched when he felt the cold hands clench his shirt.

“For god's sake, Alec you are terribly cold, let's go inside.”

“No ...” he heard the choked sob.

“No? But…”

“I’m sorry.” He said in a voice full of guilt. “I'm sorry, Magnus. I'm so sorry.”

“You don’t have to apologize, Alexander. You did nothing wrong, sweetheart.”

He felt the boy shake his head and try to move away. Magnus loosened the embrace a little, but not enough to let him go.

“You’re wrong. I did something terrible, Magnus.” Alec stared at the buttons on the warlock’s shirt, just to not look at his eyes.

“That's enough Alexander.” Magnus said firmly. “Come in, then you can tell me about everything. And I want you to know that there is nothing in the world that can make me hate you.”

He felt the boy's body starting to shiver after his words. Was he afraid of that?

‘Oh, Alexander, what did you do?’ Magnus thought and embraced him again. They stood still for a moment in silence, and it was Alec who interrupted it.

“I’m so tired ..." he whispered.

Magnus laughed and put one hand on Alec's waist and began to lead him towards the entrance.

“I'm not surprised. It's 04:00 a.m. The sun will rise soon.”

“I feel like I haven't slept in ages...”

“And exactly how long has it been?” asked Bane.

“Maybe a few...” Before Alec finished, Magnus could feel that his body was starting to become heavier.

Magnus was scared. It's unlike Alec to get himself into a state that would make him lose consciousness. With one quick move, Magnus took the boy in his arms and carried him to his apartment.

When he found himself in the bedroom, he carefully put Alec on the bed. He could still feel how cold he was and covered him with the duvet. Just in case, he cast a heating spell on the room. Magnus returned to the hallway to hang up his coat. Returning, he heard Alec's sobs.

“Magnus...”

The Warlock jumped to open his bedroom door, wanting to show himself to Alec as soon as possible, who, as it turned out, was still sleeping apparently tormented by a nightmare. Magnus went to the bed and lay down next to Alec, seeing the tears running down his cheeks.

Magnus touched his forehead gently, brushing aside his bang. Alec’s skin had warmed up a little, but it was far from normal.

“I'm so sorry. I never wanted...”

Magnus rose sharply. After Max’s death Alec often had nightmares. He would cry without making any noise or suddenly wake up screaming, but he never spoke in his sleep.

“I didn’t want…” The next sob was a little louder and Alec's eyelids opened to reveal the blue eyes.

Alec rose up, clutching his shirt near his heart with his right hand, while with the other he grabbed his knees. His body shivered and he found himself struggling to catch his breath.

Magnus immediately recognized the symptoms of panic attack that Alec, to his knowledge, never had. Or he never told him about them?

Magnus didn’t know what caused the attack, so he was afraid to use magic to help him. The boy was still trying to catch his breath. Magnus put his hand on Alec’s back, wanting to show his support and spoke to the trembling boy.

“Hey, breathe. I'm here. You are safe.”

If Magnus thought it would help, he was wrong. Alec flinched and jumped out of the bed as if he was running away from something. He stopped near the wall, hugging himself so tight that his knuckles turned white. In his eyes, the warlock saw fear. His legs trembled so much that he couldn’t hold himself up any longer. Alec began to slide down the wall to the ground.

Magnus knelt in front of the boy, he didn’t try to touch him again, even though his body wanted to embrace his trembling terrified boyfriend.

“Alexander. It’s alright.” He tried to speak calmly. “It was just a dream. A bad dream. Can you hear me?”

Blue eyes moved from the ground to Magnus face. His mouth opened and uttered one word:

“Mag... nus...”

“Shhh, it’s ok. I'm here.” He hoped Alexander would not remember that he was talking to him as if he was a child. “It was just a dream. You are in my apartment in Brooklyn. It's almost five in the morning.” He whispered softly. He noticed that the trembles stopped and the panic was slowly disappearing from the boy's eyes.

“Alec?” Blue eyes rose to look at warlock face with a silent question. “Can I sit beside you?”

A slight nod was the only answer. Magnus immediately sat down against the wall, close enough to feel the coolness of the boy’s skin and at the same time far enough not to touch him. They sat like this for a few minutes. Magnus tried to breathe steadily, hoping that Alec would instinctively match his breathing with his. And that's how it happened. When Alec calmed down, he began to gather some strength to ask about what happened, but Lightwood overtook him.

“I’m sorry.” He whispered in a strangled voice.

Magnus looked at him, fearing that he would see tears in Alec’s eyes. Fortunately, he didn’t.

“I've already told you that you don’t have to apologize.”

Magnus stretched out his arm to embrace Alec, but stopped when he remembered that even if the boy looked calm, he could still return to the state he was before if he did something that crossed a line.

That's why he asked hesitantly:

“Can I hold you?”

When he saw Alec’s reaction, he was glad that he asked for permission. Blue irises stared at him with horror. Magnus didn’t understand what was happening. Many explanations passed through his head and he didn’t like any of them. So he decided to ask directly.

“I can’t help you until you tell me what happened,” he explained. “I just want you to know that I would never hurt you.”

Alec sucked in a quick breath, and Magnus could see fear in his eyes again.

“Magnus, I...”

“If someone hurt you, tell me who it is, and I will make sure that today's sunrise is the last one he sees in his life,” Magnus growled firmly and red sparks passed between his fingers.

“No, Magnus...” Alec whispered, Magnus could hear the tiredness in his voice. “It's not like that...”

“So how is it?! You weren't talking to me for a few days. Your siblings tried to convince me that you needed time after everything what happened with Camille, and later...

Magnus fell silent when he saw his young lover curl up at the name of the vampire.

“So it's about HER?” said Magnus sadly. “I thought that we had already talked about that I closed this chapter of my life. Why is it so hard for you to believe me? Why can’t you trust me?!”

“I trust you,” he whispered silently.  

“Apparently not, because if you do, why are we having this conversation again?”

Magnus got up angrily and went to the kitchen. He was agitated, and needed a moment to calm down. He didn’t want to say something that he could regret.

He had not lied when he said, that he was never going to hate Alec no matter what, but at that moment, he felt disappointed. At first, Alec jealousy pleased him. He thought it was a sign of attachment. He couldn’t remember when it start to disturb him.

Magnus sighed heavily and reached for the tall glass from the cabinet above the sink. He was going to get some water when he heard a sound he would never wanted to hear.

He put glass on the table with a trembling hand and walked quietly to his bedroom door.

Alec was sitting where he had left him, holding on to his knees with his arms and hiding his face in them, trying to suppress the sobs that shook his whole body.

Magnus hated when his boyfriend cried. This time he was doing it because of him. He wanted to hit his stupid head on the wall. Alexander came to him apparently tormented by something he did, saying himself that he did something terrible. And how did Magnus help him? He shouted and blamed him for his lack of trust.

‘Just wonderful Bane.'

"So... Are you going to tell me what you have done?" asked Magnus while standing next to the door.

Alec wiped the tears with the back of his hand, and whispered something not looking at Magnus.

"Can you repeat?"

"I drank Camille's blood." he said louder and curled up.

Magnus paled.

"You did what?!"

"I drank her..." Alec try to repeat but Magnus interrupted him.

"I’ve heard you. But why? Why in hell would you do something so stupid?"

"Because it's the only way."

"For what?" Magnus walked over to Alec and knelt in front of him. He put his hands on Alec's knees. "Darling..."

"Camille was trapped and I helped her run away, and in return she promised to tell me how I can stay with you forever." He mumbled in one breath. "Of course she lied to me. She told me that the only way is to make you mortal. And, I can't do this to you. I would be able to accept everything if I had to bear the consequences of this decision on my own. I tried to find another way. I read a lot of books, And I couldn't find anything."

Magnus was in deep shock.

"You did it for me?" He ask with the small voice.

Alec finally look at Magnus eyes.

"When I met Camille I understood why you loved her. She is beautiful, smart and immortal, just perfect." Alec counted. "You don't have to be scared that she’d get old and die. You would never have to be alone."

Chapter Text

Magnus stared at the sleeping Alec, who, after an earlier confession, had completely lost his strength.
After a while, which  felt  like  ages  for  Magnus,  Alec  finally  let  Magnus  touch  him  and  put  him
back to bed. He messaged Jace and Izzy that Alec was with him and now lay beside the  boy  thinking
about his words.

The stupid Nephilim was willing to sacrifice his career, his family,  even  his  life,  without  demanding
anything in return. However, that didn't surprise Magnus the most.

Alec, who considered Camille his rival, who was  madly  jealous  of  her  a  few  weeks  ago,  somehow
spent enough time with her to let her manipulate him.

At the thought of Alec being her subordinate for the rest of his existence,  shivers  ran  down  Magnus
back. The boy apparently didn’t realize the consequences of his decision.

Alec murmured something in his sleep, and Magnus noticed a  shadow passing  through  his  sleeping
face. A nightmare tormented him again. He gently embraced Alec, whose  skin  was  still  terribly  cold
despite the spell, one of the side effects of drinking a vampire's blood.

Magnus never heard of a Nephilim who became a vampire. After a vampire attack, bodies were  always
burnt because of the possibility of transformation. Every Shadowhunter he  knew  so  far  couldn’t  live
with the knowledge that he would have to feed on the blood of  the  innocent  that  he  was  supposed
to defend. Of all of them in the world, Magnus must have fallen in love with this one exception.

"Will you ever cease to amaze me, Alexander Lightwood?" Magnus whispered fondly, kissing the  boy's
forehead. He stared at him for a few more minutes before he drifted off to sleep himself.

***

‘What am I doing here again?' thought Alec, crossing the abandoned subway station where Camille was
hiding. He had no idea how he got here. The last thing he remembered was Magnus's strong arms that
carried him to bed.

He remembered how Raphael's blood drew  Simon  to  the  Dumort  Hotel.  And  eventually  it  became
the cause of his death.

It’s true that he drank Camille’s  blood,  but  he  didn’t  think  he  was  ready  to  exchange  his  runes
for fangs that day.

"Alexander" Camille smiled happily at his sight. "I see that the hunt was successful."

'Hunt?' At that moment he realized that he was carrying something with him all  the  time.  He  walked
toward her, his legs moving without his will. When he found himself close  enough,  he  stretched  out
his bloody hand, showing Camille his prey. The woman clapped  her  hands  in  admiration  as  a  torn
head appeared in front of her face, which Alec was holding tightly. He could hear  the  blood  that  fell
from the torn neck and hit the ground at the vampire's feet.

"I'll throw it together with the rest of your trophies." She said taking his loot from him and throwing  it
back at the pile that was next to her. Alec recognized some of the faces  that,  even  after  death,  still
looked at him as if they were incredulous that he could  do  something  like  that.  His  family's  heads
were there. Izzy’s, Jace’s, Clary’s, Maryse’s and Robert’s, and  others  he  knew,  and  some  he  didn’t
recognize.

"Now my warrior." she whispered to his ear. "Be so kind and bring me Magnus' head." Without  a  word
of protest, he began to head towards the exit.

***

Magnus woke up to the sunlight coming into  the  room  through  the  gap  between  the  curtains.  He
murmured, dissatisfied, turning to nestle his face in Alec’s neck. He sat up abruptly when it turned out
that the other half of the bed was empty.

He looked at  his  watch  and  moaned,  it  was  almost  4:00  PM.  He  reluctantly  rose  from  the  bed.
He would like to stay here, especially after what happened at night.

He reached for the phone while stretching his sleepy  muscles.  His  eyes  widened  widely  in  surprise
when he saw how many missed  calls  and  messages  he  had.  They  all  belonged  to  Alec's  siblings.
He quickly browsed the messages and was even more surprised.

Isabelle:

Is Alec still with you? He has not come home yet. Our parents are furious.

2:21 p.m.

Blondie Boy:

I don’t know what Alec and his parents had quarreled about yesterday, but I advise him to come  back.
Even if you are in the middle of SOMETHING. Maryse threatened to come for him if  he  doesn’t  return
to the institute on his own.

3:03 p.m.

Isabelle:

I'll try to cover for him for some time, but tell him to stop fooling around and come back. I understand
that he is angry but if he stays with you he will only make his situation worse.

3:25 p.m.

The last message was from just a few minutes ago.

Blondie Boy:

MAGNUS! PICK UP THE PHONE! WHAT'S HAPPENING! SOMETHING IS WRONG! CALL ME!

3:49 p.m.

The last message scared him, he got up quickly and headed  toward  the  kitchen  while  dialing  Jace’s
number.

"Alec!" He called into the apartment, but he received no answer.

"Magnus!"

Warlock jumped up at the sound of the blond's voice, he had already forgotten that he called him.

"Magnus where is HE?!"

"He had to leave, I don’t know when. I just got up," he said worriedly.

"Magnus, you need to find him, something is wrong with him. My Parabatai rune..."

Magnus went back into the bedroom and noticed shoes lying near  the  bed,  which  he  took  off  from
Alec’s legs before he put him to bed.

'You must be here' he thought and jumped  to  the  bathroom  door.  He  opened  it  and  froze  in  the
doorstep.   The   phone   fell  out  of  his  trembling  hand,  banging  against  the  floor  on  which  the
Shadowhunter's clothing was scattered.

"ALEC!" he cried running up to the bath. With one jerk  he  pulled  the  boy's  head  above  the  surface
of the water. Alec’s face was whiter than usual.

Magnus thought that his heart would break when he pulled the boy's limp body to him, wanting to get
him out of the water.

Somewhere from afar, he heard Jace’s  terrified  voice.  He  could  hear  the  daily  noise  in  the  street
in front of his apartment building. But nothing mattered to him at this  point.  He  completely  lost  his
sense of reality. He didn’t even notice that blue sparks were jumping all over his body.  Magnus  broke
out of his shock only when Alec's body shook a strong cough.

"Alexander!" he blurted out, the words getting stuck in his throat.

The boy clung tightly to his arm while constantly coughing to get rid  of  the  water  that  accumulated
in his lungs.

"W… what happened?" Alec asked  hoarsely.  His  whole  body  trembled.  When  he  didn’t  receive  an
answer, he raised his head to look at Magnus. He was scared when he see the emptiness in  the  man's
golden-green cat eyes. "Magnus..."

The Warlock blinked several times, trying to drive away the tears that gathered  at  the  corners  of  his
eyes.

"Never do this to me again." He sobbed hiding his face against the brunette's shoulder. "I thought…"

"Shhh, it's okay. I'm fine." Alec assured his voice was still  hoarse  and  he  began  to  smoothly  stroke
Magnus’ back, knowing that it could help him calm down.

Magnus broke away from the boy and snapped his fingers. In his hand  appeared  an  incredibly  fluffy
and patterned towel, which Magnus used to gently dry Alec’s face and the rest of his body.

"Can you get up?" Magnus asked quietly. Alec wasn’t sure. With the help of Magnus, he rose to his feet,
which were still trembling. Magnus quickly wrapped the towel on Alec’s  hips  and  put  his  own  arms
around his waist to relieve the pressure from Alec’s weak legs.

The Warlock led Alec into the bedroom and sat him on the bed. The boy could still see the fear lurking
in Magnus’ eyes.

Magnus was afraid if he blinked, it would turn  out  that  he  couldn’t  get  him  out  of  water  in  time.
Magnus felt a cool hand that gently grabbed  his  own  and  stroked  his  palm  with  the  thumb,  Alec
wanting to show Magnus that he was still here, that he had nothing to fear.

"I'm sorry." He heard a small voice.

Magnus looked at his lover’s blue irises.

"I have no idea what happened," he noted confused. "I woke up b ... because ..." At the memory of  the
nightmare that had wrenched him from sleep, goosebumps covered his whole body. "I saw that it  was
a warm, clear afternoon, so I decided to relax in the tub. I had to  fall  asleep.  I'm  sorry." He  finished
quietly.

"You could have died. Do you know how it would have ended?  "Magnus  asked  in  a  voice  filled  with
suffering. Alec didn’t want Magnus to suffer. Not because of him. "A vampire's blood circulates in your
veins. And it was not just any vampire. Camille Belcourt is not  Raphael,  Alexander.  She  is  cruel  and
vindictive.   After  the  transformation,  you  would  have  to  listen  to  her  orders.  You'd  have  to  do
everything that she demanded of you. Even if you don’t want to do it.”

Magnus's voice, though calm, sounded like a hurricane in  Alec's  head.  If  he  died,  his  dream  could
become a reality. He suddenly felt sick. Alec covered his mouth with his palm, and with his  other  arm
he clutched his stomach as if it could stop the bile rising in his throat.

He felt a warm hand on his face. He opened his eyes to see Magnus's worried look.

"Promise me that you will be careful. At least  until  you  get  rid  of  the  crazy  women’s  blood."  Alec
nodded his head in acknowledgment, when suddenly there was a loud knock at the door.

"If we're already talking about crazy people," Magnus muttered and snapped  his  fingers,  summoning
Alec's clothes from the institute. "Dress up before your Parabatai breaks down the door to my loft."

"Jace?! What is he doing here? "Alec was surprised quickly putting on his top.

"I talked to him on the phone  before  I  found  you."  Magnus  said,  heading  for  the  door.  "Are  you
surprised that I completely forgot about him?" Alec looked at him apologetically before Magnus added,
"It looks like he was offended."

Alec laughed, fastening his pants. "Let him in.”

"Are you sure? We can always pretend we didn’t hear him."At this point, the knocking got louder.

"MAGNUS, YOU ASSHOLE! LET ME IN! I WANT TO SEE MY BROTHER!"

"If he goes on like that, they'll even hear him at the institute," said Alec, and smiled when Magnus gave
up with sigh and went to open the door.

Chapter Text

These  hunts were not similar to the others. He had to concentrate if he didn’t want to die. His next goal was
the High Warlock of Brooklyn, who was not so easy to approach.

Camille's order kept echoing in his head, and he couldn’t disappoint her. Nothing would be able to stop him,
even his own consciousness, which begged him to come to his senses while it wasn’t too late.

The longer he remained under the control of Camille, the harder it was to return  to  his  own  consciousness,
which spoke to him from a distance with a cry of despair every time somebody he  loved  was  killed  by  him.
There was only one person left who would be able to end this madness. And that person was supposed to die
today as well.

He quickly found himself in a familiar neighborhood. The cornices, lit by lanterns, threw long shadows on the
houses. He was in no hurry, the night was still young. He still had a lot of time.

From a distance, he saw a familiar building, which he had called home for a long time. The door at the  stair-
case was open. It was a bit suspicious to him, but even if the warlock set a trap he couldn’t turn back now.

In a few seconds he stood in front of the door at the apartment's entrance, which immediately opened to him.
He went inside looking around cautiously. The room was dark, with only  the  street  lights  giving  it  a  small
glow, making the furniture in the room cast grotesque shadows on the walls.

All his muscles were strained to the limit. A sixth sense warned him of danger, told him  to  turn  on  his  heel
and run away.

"I knew you would come for me, Alexander."

When he looked in the direction from which the voice came, the  only  thing  he  saw  was  a  familiar  pair  of
yellow-green cat eyes that shone in the dark.

Against his instincts, he took a few steps further into the apartment, stepping closer to the man who sat in  a
deep chair. The closer he came, the louder the warning buzzing  sounded  in  his  head.  The  Warlock  didn’t
move even when he stood in front of him.

'Don’t do it!' He blinked in surprise when he heard a voice that somehow managed to break through the  wall
that Camille had built in his head. It's been a  long  time  since  he  heard  his  own  voice  echo  in  his  head.
Suddenly, that order was pushed into the background, drowned out by his other consciousness, which wasn't
going to give up until even one person he loved lived on the earth.

He suddenly felt a wave of fatigue and boundless despair. He fell to his knees  at  the  warlock’s  feet,  hiding
his face in his own hands. The buzz died down.

"It was not supposed to look like this,” he sobbed. "Everything was supposed to be different."

He felt warm hands covering his face with tenderness.

"I know, my love."

He uncovered his face to look once again into the eyes of the man he loved, beyond his own life, for whom he
decided to become what he was now. However, the price he had to pay was too high.

The man's face moved closer and soon their lips joined in a gentle kiss. He still  remembered  how  he  tasted,
even though a lot of time had passed since the last time they kissed each other. He tangled his  hands  in  the
warlock’s hair, which for a change didn’t bear any traces of gel or other  products.  He  broke  away  from  the
kiss only when he heard a hiss as his fangs bite the man's lip.

The blood of warlocks didn’t taste like the blood of others beings, because it was  full  of  magic,  and  it  was
different for each warlock.

His eyes immediately moved to a drop of blood, which grew on the  man's  lips  to  finally  run  a  thin  stream
down his chin.

"Alexander." The warlock’s voice reached him from a distance. The order came back to him, he didn’t want  to
do it, but he had to. "It’s alright, Alexander. You don’t have to hold back any longer. Just do it."

He tore his gaze from the red liquid to get his eyes fixed again in the yellow-green cat's irises. The man's eyes
were full of tears, love and ... Forgiveness ? If he could, he would also cry. He  slowly  directed  his  lips  to  the
warlock's neck, under which he felt the pulsing of blood.

"Magnus, please ..." He begged as the remnants of his consciousness fought with Camille's  voice  booming  in
his head. "I can’t, I don’t want to ..."

"Shhh, my love. Everything will be fine..." he paused as he felt the fangs cut  through  his  skin.  The  pain  was
quickly soothed with the help of venom, which at an alarming rate spread over the warlock’s body, making the
entire will to fight leave him. Before he fell down completely, he managed to mumble. "I love you."

He could feel the man's body go limp, when he died. He pulled away from his neck and  stared  blankly  at  the
pale face of the love of his life. Yellow-green cat eyes hid under the eyelids, never to see the light of day again.

***

Alec got up from the bed with a cry of despair and tears running down his cheeks. He couldn’t catch his breath.
'What have I done?' he thought terrified. A strangled sob escaped his lips.

"Alexander." He heard a familiar voice. He tightened his eyelids from which another tide of tears  flowed.  "Alec,
it's okay." He felt someone put his hands on his shoulders, rubbing them lightly in a gesture of comfort. "It was
a dream. Just a bad dream. "

“M… Mag…”

"I'm here. You are safe." He said without  interrupting  his  gentle  soothing.  Magnus  tried  to  breathe  a  little
deeper, hoping that Alec would instinctively match his breath with his. "Alexander,  you  have  to  breathe."  He
said when the trick didn’t work this time. "Do it for me.  Listen  to  my  breath,  baby."  For  a  few  minutes,  he
mumbled praise and encouraged him to keep trying before Alec finally managed to calm down a bit.

Alec didn’t know what caused these nightmares. He would do anything to make it end. He realized  that  it  was
just a dream, but everything seemed so real. He still felt the metallic taste  in  his  mouth,  as  if  he  was  really
drinking somebody's blood.

He was stupid to think that he ever accept that he would become a vampire. And these dreams didn’t  help  him
at all. Every time he closed his eyes, he saw Camille's smiling face and a pile of heads he collected himself.  The
vampire called them his trophies.

"Alexander." Magnus's worried voice  wrenched  him  out  of  his  thoughts.  Alec  looked  apologetically  at  his
boyfriend.

He woke Magnus up in the middle of the night  again.  The  nightmare  kept  coming  back  to  him,  sometimes
changing, showing him how he killed more people he cared about. ‘It's just a dream,’ he  repeated  in  his  mind
feeling the panic rising again.

"I would like to know how to help you so much." Magnus confessed, he never felt as  powerless  as  now.  "From
what Sheldon and Raphael said, I think that everything should pass soon."

Alec nodded. He didn’t tell Magnus yet, but after talking to Simon  and  Raphael,  he  was  becoming  more  and
more aware that his symptoms were nothing like what others were after drinking a vampire's blood.

There were of course also the normal symptoms. His skin became unnaturally cold and he was still scared every
time he sat with Magnus, Izzy or Jace, and he could hear the  blood  flowing  through  their  veins.  Their  blood
attracted him even though he was still human.

He had no idea how Simon endured it. With every passing day he felt that he was beginning to  admire  the  boy
more and more. Alec thought he would even be able to make friends with him if the vampire  had  not  tried  to
pick up his younger sister.

He shook off his thoughts, not wanting to worry the warlock  any  more.  He  looked  at  him  and  noticed  that
Magnus had apparently fallen into his own thoughts.

Alec stroked the man's chin with the tip of his nose, gaining all his attention in a second.

"Where have you been?" he asked teasingly. He was still a  little  shaky  after  the  earlier  panic  attack.  Magnus
looked surprised by the sudden question.

"Nowhere, dear. I was with you all the time," he replied, and a gentle smile appeared on his face.

Alec nudged him lightly on the shoulder. "Yes, but only with your  body.  Your  mind,  on  the  other  hand,  has
taken a trip around the world. Where have you been?"

Magnus smiled enigmatically. "I was visiting my older sister, if you had to know." He  laughed  when  a  surprise
appeared on the boy's face.

"I didn’t know you had a sister. You never told me about her before. Why? "Alec was really  curious  about  what
kind of person this woman might be. Were her and Magnus in a way similar to each other?

"There has never been an opportunity. Besides, Megi is... how  to  say  it..."  He  considered  for  a  moment  the
words that suited to describe her.  In the end, he smiled and said. "She’s very similar to you."

Alec's eyes got bigger, if that was even possible. "To me?"

"Yes. She is brave, she always puts the good of others above her own.  And  above  all,  she  loves  her  younger
brother and is ready to sacrifice her own life for him. Sound familiar?" he  uttered  every  word  with  great  love.
Even for a moment he didn’t look away from the boy's blue irises.

"She must be a wonderful person." Alec said, his face covered with a beautiful blush. "After all she is your sister."

Magnus's heart quickened when the hidden compliment got to him. He grinned and  leaned  forward  to  gently
kiss Alec’s forehead.

Suddenly the room swirled. When Magnus felt a cold mouth on his own and the softness of the  bedding  under
his back, he understood that he had just been attacked by his man, in the best possible way.

Alec had only recently stepped into the world of love making, but he was  amazingly  good  at  it.  He  had  just
needed to find some courage in himself.

Magnus had the impression that Alec would rather fight with a whole horde of demons, than take the first  step
in bed. That's why he was surprised when the boy quickly pinned him to the mattress with his own body.

A commentary on the whole situation flashed on the end of Magnus’s tongue, but before  he  could  speak,  he
bit himself.

It was not often that his charming lover took the initiative in bed, so he didn’t want to destroy with  his  teasing
the little confidence that the boy managed to collect. Especially after a panic attack  that  he  just  had.  Instead,
Magnus purred in Alec's mouth with satisfaction and tangled his fingers in the hair on  his  neck,  trying  to  get
him closer.

The boy's mouth moved to Magnus's neck alternately kissing  and  licking  the  warm  skin  just  under  the  ear.
Magnus's hands moved to the brunette's back. He wanted to touch his  naked  skin  so  badly,  but  he  had  too
much clothing in the way. Frustrated, he wanted to snap his fingers to make the  annoying  wardrobe  disappear
as his eyes widened, startled by a sudden stab of pain.

Alec bit him . Normally, Magnus wouldn’t mind, but the wave of adrenaline and excitement that  he  felt  at  first
quickly disappeared when boy's teeth pierced his skin.

"Alec!" Magnus hissed, feeling that tears were gathering at the corners of his eyes.

Shadowhunter broke away from him and looked at the yellow-green cat's iris with a question. Alec's lips took  on
a strong red shade stained with the warlock’s blood. Magnus's hand instinctively moved to his neck to  cover  the
bite mark.

"Oh my God! I'm so sorry, I..." Alec’s voice trembled when he realized what he had just done.

Magnus became alarmed when boy's face paled. However, he was even more frightened when  a  second  later  it
took on an unhealthy shade of green. Alec jumped up from the bed and ran to the bathroom.  A  gagging  sound
reached Magnus’ ears as Alec hurled the contents of his stomach into the toilet.

Magnus very slowly disentangled himself from the bedclothes, wanting to give the boy time to calm down before
he went to the bathroom door. For a moment Magnus wondered if it would be better to leave Alec alone when he
heard a muffled sob.

He opened the door gently. His heart squeezed at the sight of his boyfriend.

Alec was kneeling on the deck with both hands clutching  the  toilet  bowls.  His  whole  body  was  shaking  with
convulsions and tears ran down his cheeks. He tried to suppress hsi cries by biting his lip.

"Alexander," Magnus whispered, and with the intention of embracing the boy, he took a step forward.

"DON’T COME NEAR ME!" The Warlock flinch in surprise. Alec had never shouted at him before.

After a moment of silence, Alec said quietly, his voice breaking.

"In my dreams ... or rather nightmares, I am a vampire." He took a  deep  breath  to  regain  his  strength  before
continuing. "Camille tells me to kill people for her own sick entertainment. And I can’t refuse her."

Magnus remembered how he had told the boy a few days ago why drinking Camille’s blood was a bad idea. If he
knew that his words would haunt Alec, he would bite his own tongue.

Alec sat on the ground, leaning his back against the  wall.  When  he  looked  at  the  warlock  he  saw  the  guilt
painted all over his face. He groaned.

"Don’t do this." Magnus broke out of his thoughts, meeting the blue eyes of the boy only to escape in a moment,
unable to look at them anymore. "Magnus, look at me." Alec demanded and who he was to refuse him.

When their eyes met again, the Shadowhunter began to speak.

"These dreams began before you told me what Camille would do to me if I actually became a vampire."

Magnus knew that Lightwood was tormenting by nightmares, but for some reason, the boy never wanted to  talk
about them.

"Why did you never tell me about them?" He asked quietly, staring at Alexander's bare feet.

"I thought it was normal. Simon said that sometimes he dreamed about strange things before his transformation.
And somehow I never saw him panicking or losing control and biting people he loves. I’m so pathetic."

"Oh Alec. Stop worrying about it. You didn’t do it consciously."  Magnus  wanted  to  comfort  him,  but  the  boy
flinched at his words.

Alec got up quickly and passed the warlock trying not to touch him.

"That's the problem!" He growled.

Magnus saw that Alec was angry for some reason. He wasn’t only sure why and on which one of them.

"In this dream, Camille tells me to kill people I care about. With each person I have less and less strength to resist
her. At some point, it seems to me that everything that she told me to do, I did willingly. I stood covered in blood
with a smile, accepting her every command. And the worst part is that nobody even tried to stop  me.  They  were
bleeding in front of me, staring at me in disbelief. And you…" He groaned and turned abruptly looking at Magnus
with eyes filled with pain. "You knew I'd come after you. So of course you were waiting for  me  with  outstretched
arms and instead of stopping me, you let me kill you." Alec tightened his eyelids, feeling the tears  running  down
his cheeks. After a moment, Magnus's strong arms embraced him. "Would you really let  me  do  that?"  he  asked,
burying his face in Magnus's shirt, which smelled of sandalwood.

"I would," he whispered softly into  Alec's  hair.  Alec  immediately  raised  his  head,  staring  at  him  in  disbelief.
"I know it seems terrible to you..." he began to explain,  but  he  was  interrupted  by  the  quivering  voice  of  the
Shadowhunter.

"You'd let me live with the knowledge that I killed everyone I loved?" The boy felt that every breath he took hurting
him painfully.

"No Alexander." Magnus protested gently. "I know a spell similar to the  one  Lilith  used  on  Jace.  It's  a  curse  so
it has a bit of a delayed reaction, so when I'm gone, you'll still be alive but in the end it would work  on  you."  Alec
stared at him with wide eyes. "So answering your questions, my love.” Magnus put his hand on Alec’s face and lean
closer speaking almost into his open mouth. “Yes, I would let you kill me ‘cause I couldn’t stand to hurt you,  but  I
wouldn’t let you live forever alone with everything that Camille made you do."

Chapter Text

Magnus woke up around seven in the morning. Alec's nightmares were becoming more and more brutal each day, and it frightened the warlock. His shadowhunter didn’t tell him about every dream, but with time he could see the difference in Alec himself. Three weeks had passed, so the vampire blood as well as nightmares should soon disappear .

Magnus was afraid for Alec. The boy reminded him of a hunted animal that was afraid of its own shadow. The worst part was that he stopped eating and Magnus didn’t know what to do about it.

The warlock sighed heavily and gently brushed the black hair from the boy's forehead. Alec's skin was still very cold- he had purple shadows under his eyes, and there were also some signs of malnutrition: sunken eyes and cheeks. Alec was getting weaker every day.

Magnus closed his eyes and leaned in to kiss the Shadowhunter’s forehead gently. He felt a sudden tiredness when part of his life force was slowly moved to Alec's body. When he opened his eyes, the purple shadows and sunken cheeks disappeared and the boy's skin looked healthy again.

Magnus fell back on the pillows. Despite his fatigue, he had a wild smile on his face. He was shocked that the spell worked when he used it for the first time. He recently found this spell in the Book of White and he wasn’t sure of the effect. Once the warlock read what he could do with it, he decided to rehearse it and use it on his unruly lover. The spell had acceptable side effects for him- he could extend Alec's life by shortening his own, and since he was immortal, he was willing to do so even for the rest of his life.

Magnus knew he should first talk to the Shadowhunter about it, but he couldn’t take looking at how much he suffered, especially since he knew the way to lessen it. All this suffering just to be able to stay with Magnus forever. He had no idea what he did to deserve such a wonderful boyfriend.

The warlock’s thoughts returned to the day Alec told him what he had done. He was shocked when he realized that the boy was ready to do anything for him, even change himself into something, that his kind despised. He was pleased that the boy was ready to do it for him but at the same time he knew that he couldn’t agree to it. Alec, his strong but also sensitive boyfriend, wouldn’t be able to cope with the constant desire for blood that being vampire would bring to him, and with time, he would start to hate himself and it could only end one way. And although the vision of spending eternity with Alec was tempting, Magnus couldn’t agree to this.

The warlock broke out of his thoughts as he felt two strong arms wrap around him.

"How long have you been awake?" Alec asked with a sleepy voice. "You look tired."

"Morning," Magnus smiled as he turned to face the boy. He threw his leg over Shadowhunter's hip, pulling him even closer. When he saw his piercing blue gaze, he couldn’t resist and kissed it's owner on the tip of his nose. "I'm fine."

"Hm,” murmured the boy. Magnus had never lied to him, but he used to avoid a direct answer. "Let's establish that I believe you," he said, and stretched as much as the warlock's legs and arms wrapped around him allowed.

“You are the last person who should be talking to me about that.” Magnus muttered without thinking, remembering how Alec had looked before he had transferred some of his life force, and immediately he wanted to bang his head against the wall when he felt the boy stiffened in his arms.

"I...it's not like I was d...doing it to annoy or w…worry you." Alec stammered, trying to disentangle himself from the warlock's arms. "I...I...I am sorry I can’t control it." Alec tried to get up but the man stopped him by grabbing his hand and pulling him so that his back was against the warlock’s naked chest.

"Alexander." Magnus whispered in the boy's hair. "It's okay, I'm sorry." He laced their fingers. "I know that you're not doing it on purpose. I didn’t mean to offend you in any way. And I certainly didn’t want it to sound like I had a grudge against you. Because I don’t. I didn’t think when I said that. I know that you would prefer to have it all over. I'm sorry."

Alec took a deep breath and a gentle tremor ran through him that he tried to hide from Magnus, though it didn’t escape the attention of the warlock. Magnus gently lifted Shadowhunter's chin to look him in the eye. His heart sank to see the tears streaming down boy’s pale cheeks.

“Oh, Alec.” The warlock turned the boy in his arms. “Look at me.” Alec opened his eyes but stubbornly stared at his hands, which lay on his knee. Magnus put his hand on the boy's cheek and raised his face slightly so that their eyes could meet. “That’s better.” He smiled, when Alec's face covered with a crimson blush so visible on his pale skin. Magnus rubbed the tears from Alec's face gently and embraced him harder. "I forgot to tell you that I tried to call Megi yesterday."

"Your sister?" Alec asked hoarsely.

Magnus nodded. "Many years ago, she was friends with a girl who was Nephilim just like you." One boy's eyebrow rose up.

"She also wanted to be a vampire?" Alec guessed why the warlock mentioned her. Magnus only smiled at him.

"It was the beginning of the Shadowhunters and they didn’t have such knowledge about the Shadow World like they do now. And even now, there are areas in which they still have deficiencies. Megi explores one of them." Magnus stared at the wall with an absent gaze, at the same time subconsciously stroking Alec's arm.

“We have a lot of books about vampirology.” remarked Alec, relaxed in his lover’s arms.

"Megi studied how the blood of vampires affects the mundane, downworlders and Shadowhunters." Alec straightened up and looked at the man, his eyes radiating with curiosity.

"That's why you mentioned her then?" Magnus nodded.

"I was wondering if she could help you somehow. That's why I decided to contact her. You told me that you could handle it, but lately I think it's slipped a bit out of your control," Magnus noticed somberly. He saw the boy opened his mouth to say something, so he quickly added to avoid misunderstandings "You don’t sleep too much and you stopped eating." Alec's mouth closed and his eyes went down to hide the emotions that were raging in them. "Did you think I wouldn’t notice?"

"I feel good. Really." The boy crossed his eyes with the warlock who looked guilty. “Magnus?”

"I know I should have told you before..."

"About what?"

The warlock swallowed hard and began to play with the leg of his pajama pants. "For a week you stubbornly said that you are fine. However, I saw how you were weakening every day. I was afraid you would hurt yourself, wanting to prove something to the whole world."

"So what? You used the magic to put me to sleep? "

"I did it only once." Magnus muttered under his breath. "But it didn’t help because after ten minutes you woke up screaming."

"Magnus, just tell me. I will not get angry about something you did to help me." The warlock looked at the encouraging smile that appeared on the boy's face.

"I found a spell in the Book of White... It allows you to easily increase someone's life force." Shadowhunter thought for a moment, he seemed to be trying to remember something.

"You extended my life by shortening your own?" he states rather than asked, looking at the warlock, whose expression could be described in one word, priceless. Alec laughed at the sight. "I read the Book of White, I know exactly which spell you mean."

"You read... Wait, the book is in another language, what the hell?" Magnus was not able to process this information, which is why Alec hurried to explain.

"The first bookcase, the second shelf from the top, the green book with the golden word Dictionary . Everyone tells me I learn fast,” he shrugged.

"Alexander..." The boy put one finger on his lips.

"I have been here for three weeks because you are not letting me go anywhere. I understand, you don’t want something to happen to me when I have Camille's blood in me. However, after three days at home, I thought I would die of boredom. You have almost as many books at home as the clothes in your wardrobe, and the latter is not particularly interesting to me, so I focused on the former."

He took a deep breath to keep going, but the wizard's mouth effectively prevented him from talking. A light kiss quickly turned into a deep one. Magnus's hands embraced boy's face, trying to get him even closer. Alec instinctively followed him and after a moment he was kneeling over the man’s body, and using his hand to stroke his neck. The boy broke the kiss, wanting to catch some breath, and he almost choked on seeing the warlock's burning look. “Magnus,” Alec groaned and leaned forward for another kiss. This time, he reluctantly slipped his tongue into his lover's mouth, for which he was rewarded with a satisfied mouns.

Magnus quickly took control of the kiss. He caught a pale hip with one hand, with such force that he definitely left a mark and quickly swapped their places. Alec fell on the sheets with a quiet huff. Before he could realise it, Magnus's head was under his shirt. Alec laughed at the sight, but laughter quickly replaced his groan as the warlock's tongue slipped into his belly button to move up higher after a while.

"Magnus, please..." the boy groaned, feeling the man gently nibble his one nipple. "I want to see you…"

The warlock snapped his fingers and boy’s shirt disappeared, and with it the rest of his clothes.

"Magnus!" Alec's face became almost all red. "I told you before, not to do this." Alec didn’t mind the fact that he was naked really, but he was always a little embarrassed when Magnus made all his clothes disappear at once.

Magnus looked at the boy from under his eyelashes, his face grinning at him, he leaned over to bite his nipple again. The boy's back arched away from the sheets, as the warlock’s mouth began kissing the deflect rune on his neck.

"Magnus ... please," Alec whispered almost choking, when Magnus rubbed his body against boy’s crotch. Magnus still wore clothes that rubbed uncomfortably against his naked skin. The boy gave a groan of dissatisfaction and his hands immediately went to the warlock’s belt. Magnus, however, had other plans. He grabbed both of Alec's hands and moved them to his hair, his mouth wandering down to kiss the inner side of the boy’s trembling thigh.

"Are you ok?" the warlock asked, staring at the boy's closed eyes. "Alexander, look at me," he demanded.

Alec blinked several times, trying to focus on his lover's handsome face. The yellow-green cat's eyes stared at him with such intensity that the boy for a moment forgot how to breathe. The warlock's hot breath on his swollen member didn’t make it easier.

"Please ..." he sobbed softly. Shadowhunter's hands tangled in the black strands of the man's hair, clenched and opened, trying to stop himself from pulling his head into the place where he wanted man’s lips the most. “Magnus…”

"Shhh, my love. I'll take care of you." The warlock's mouth gently covered the sensitive part of Alec's body, making him exclaim quietly with surprise.

The Shadowhunter quickly took his hands off the hair of his lover, knowing that he wouldn’t be able to refrain from pulling him closer, just to feel even more of this wet heat.

Magnus groaned unhappily with his lips still on the boy's member, making his hips jump on the mattress.

“MAGNUS!” Alec shouted, coming in the warlock's mouth before the darkness overwhelmed him. He felt his whole body tremble, and tears flowed from his eyes, which disappeared into his black, tangled hair just under his ears.

Alec felt overwhelmed by how much control Magnus had over him. One look of his cat's eyes was enough, and Alec was ready to do anything for him, he was even willing to give up who he was. Until recently, he could not imagine his life without a fight with demons and running the institute. When he was on a mission with Jace and Izzy he always protected them, fearing that something could happen to them, that one of them could die before him.

Alec for once wanted to do something for himself, without thinking about the consequences that ultimately became a hindrance to him. He wanted to stay with Magnus forever. Love him as long as he could. However, everything he did caused his relatives only problems.

His parents were ashamed of him.

His siblings couldn’t count on him because he was too weak to go on a mission with them.

And Magnus, who had taken care of him all this time, had been shortening his own life just to extend his meaningless, worthless existence...

Alec heard loud sobs and felt warm hands tenderly covering his face before he realized that the cries belonged to him and that he totally fell apart in front of Magnus.

“Alexander.” the warlock sounded worried. Before he could say something more, the boy's hands wrapped around his body, pulling Magnus so that he could hide his face on man’s chest. "Hey, Alec. What is it?"

"I'm sorry," the boy gasped, not letting the warlock out of his grasp. "I am terribly oversensitive lately. Don’t worry. It was wonderful, thank you."

"Oh no, no, my dear. You are not going to escape that easily," Magnus gasped, trying to free himself from the boy’s iron grip.

"Please ... let us stay like that for a moment. Please Magnus."

The warlock was afraid that he had crossed some boundaries. They had never done that before and now he had a grudge against himself for not asking Alec if he wanted this.

The boy was still crying silently and Magnus couldn’t even hug him because of the position they were in. Magnus's straightened hands began to shake, trying to keep their joint weight.

"Alec, did I do something wrong?" the warlock asked in a whisper, fearful for the answer.

"By the Angel, no!" Alec dropped onto the pillows, staring at Magnus with wide eyes full of tears. His hands immediately embraced the warlock's face. "It's not your fault," he said firmly.

"But…"

"No buts. I love you. Recently, so much has happened. You were right before. I'm starting to lose control and it frightens me." The boy's words sounded sincere. "All my feelings... Fears... I have the impression that they’ve increased. I feel…" He paused, trying to find the right word.

"Overwhelmed?" Magnus suggested.

“Yeah.” Alec drew the warlock so that he would lie next to him. Their legs were still tangled. "I had plenty of time to think about what I did and how it affected my family, and especially how it affected you," he sighed heavily, staring at the ceiling. Magnus rubbed the tears from the boy's face with his thumb. Alec turned to look into the warlock's eyes. "I'm sorry that I went to Camille. I'm sorry I didn’t tell you about my fears and about what I was going to do."

“Alexander…”

"No, please. Let me finish." he said, putting one finger on the man's lips. "At first I wanted immortality because I was jealous of any person who would appear in your life after my death." In Alec's eyes, Magnus saw a feeling he couldn’t define. "Camille made me realize how childish I was… I wanted to hate her because she had two things that I wanted and couldn’t have, no matter how hard I tried."

"I understand that you mean immortality, but I have no idea what the other thing is," the warlock wondered loudly.

Alec looked at the man's yellow-green cat's eyes smiling sadly. "She knew you." He didn’t have to say more, he knew that Magnus understand. "When I came to her for the first time… Camille kept telling me about you all the time. For those who were not interested, these were minor, meaningless pieces of information, but for me… They were priceless. That's why I went back to her. I regret it more than I can express.”

"Why?" the warlock asked quietly. "It's not like you did something wrong."

"Secret rendezvous with your ex, who is chased by the Clave for breaking the Accords just to get information about you... Magnus look into my eyes and say it again." Alec grumbled gloomily. "Shadowhunters should live and fight for the greater good . And what am I doing?"

"You, my dear, are one of the few Shadowhunters who sacrifice their lives to fulfill this rule." Alec started to shake his head but Magnus didn’t give him a chance to speak. "You didn’t go to Camille to plot with her against the Clave. You did it because you wanted to get to know me better. It's only my fault that you felt like you couldn’t come to me with it and I'm sorry for that." The boy looked at him in disbelief.

"You are not angry?" he asked quietly, dropping his eyes, avoiding the warlock's gaze.

Magnus remembered Alec's words from a moment ago. Since his fears doubled, the same must apply to all his insecurities. Magnus realized painfully that at this moment, Alec was the most insecure about Magnus's feelings for him. The warlock could only blame himself for that. Since returning from their vacation, Magnus had tried to hide his past from the Shadowhunter even more, fearing that this information would badly affect his teenage lover. He didn’t notice this caused them to drift apart from each other. Magnus guessed that the boy realized it before him and wanting to somehow save their relationship, he went to the only person who could help him understand Magnus even a little.

Alec looked into the warlock’s eyes as the silence began to lengthen. He started shaking again, fearing the man’s answer.

"I am angry. But not at you, baby," Magnus said, kissing the boy's slightly trembling lips. "I'm sorry I pushed you away. I didn’t realize that I did it. I love you and I wouldn’t forgive myself if anything happened to you because of my stupidity.”

Chapter Text

Alec jumped onto the platform of the abandoned subway station and headed for the stairs. He cursed himself for the fact that after everything that happened recently, he was still coming here again. An instinct was rushing him, telling him to hurry up. His heart was pounding in his chest, making this the only sound he heard in this deserted tunnel.

He climbed the stairs, pulling out the Seraph blade from his belt. The light here was weak and flickered lazily. He headed for the platform below the station, where the darkened glass skylights threw frosty rays. He slipped the Witchlight into his pocket and raised the dagger.

" Amriel ," he whispered, and the sword flashed as if he were firing a thunderbolt from his hand.

He raised his chin, gazing at the lobby. He noticed the sofa with a high back, but Camille was not on it. He looked to the side, where in his dream, there was always a pile of heads, wanting to make sure he wasn’t dreaming this time. He breathed a sigh of relief when he found nothing.

He slowly moved closer to the sofa, trying to see if there was anything at the back of the room where Amriel's light didn’t reach.

"Camille!" he called. He was answered only by the echo of his own voice. He pulled out a telephone to text to her when suddenly loud laughter rang from the corner of the room like the sound of moving bells: laughter that didn’t belong to Camille. Alec quickly directed the blazing sword in that direction. He spent enough time with her to recognize the sound.

"I know you," he heard a small voice. A girl came out of the shadows, she could  have been no more than twelve or thirteen. "Alec Lightwood." It was more of a statement than a question. When she spoke, he saw the light reflecting from her fangs. Vampire. "You are Simon's friend. I saw you at his concerts."

Alec gave her a careful look. She was slim, wearing torn jeans and a pink t-shirt with a unicorn. The light of the Seraph blade was reflecting off the sequins on her shirt, throwing around the colored spots. A pink scarf was thrown over her neck. He saw that her clothes were stained with brown and red stains, traces of dried and fresh blood. He recognized her from Simon's story of how he had lost control over himself when he tried to overcome the vampire's nature.

"Maureen" he said. "Simon’s Maureen."

She smiled pleased like the cat who had just eaten a bowl of cream.

"Yes, it's me! Simon’s Maureen! " She looked down at her own hands that shone with blood. But it wasn’t human blood, Alec thought. A dark, ruby color, like a vampire's . "You're looking for Camill,." she said in a sing-song voice. "You're a little late. Your Mistress is dead. I killed her!" she laughed aloud.

He flinched at the sound.

"She wasn’t my Mistress."

"You cannot fool me, Shadowhunter. Her blood flows in your veins," she smiled ominously. "All those who were under her control came to avenge her. I killed everyone. You are the last one." She took a step toward him.

Alec swallowed hard and he grabbed the sword more confidently, didn’t want to drop it if the vampire decided to jump on him. Why didn’t he text Magnus as soon as he woke from the trance halfway to Camille’s hideout? At least then he would have some hope that the warlock would find him before Maureen could finish him off.

“Camille and I were just business partners. I don’t want to avenge her," he said quietly, realising his last chance for survival. The vampire stopped staring at him like a cat who’d trapped a mouse. She straightened up curiously.

"What interests could connect a Shadowhunter and a vampire?"

"I got information for her, in exchange for becoming immortal.” He knew he was taking a lot of risks by telling her about it, but he saw no other way out of this situation.

The vampire was next to him in a second, surprising him completely. She grabbed his hand in which he held the Seraph blade twisting it back and pinning him to the ground with a force he would not have expected from a thirteen-year-old girl.

"You have vampire blood in your veins. When I kill you, your dream will come true," she whispered amusedly in his ear, making his shivers run cold.

"If you do, I'll be free at last," he gasped, trying to think of a plan B. "I will not be subordinate to anyone."

"Hm. Bit of a shame. You could be useful." She sounded almost disappointed. She pulled away for a moment, loosening her grip on the Shadowhunter's wrist.

Alec took advantage of the vampire's lack of attention to free himself and knock her back onto her back with a kick in the chest. He heard the cracks of bones breaking. It was his only chance. He got to his feet quickly. He left the sword, he didn’t have time to get it back. Running toward the platform, he reached for the phone and blindly dialed a number from his speed dial. He had no time to check who he was calling on the list which consisted of his emergency numbers. It was day outside, so if he managed to reach the platform, he could calmly wait for the arrival of support, illuminated by the sun by the skylights in the roof.

"Alexander?" he heard a voice coming from the phone. He didn’t manage to say anything when, at the same moment, he felt a strong blow to his right arm and he cried when a wave of pain blinded him. He fell to the ground, the phone fell out of his hand and flew somewhere towards the corner. He hoped that the phone not disconnected. It was his only hope.

"You don’t play nicely Shadowhunter." The girl hung over him with a wide smile. The vampire squeezed his wounded arm tightly.  Alec bit his teeth to keep from screaming, not wanting to give her that satisfaction. She had thrown something at him before but he hadn’t noticed what it was then.

“Alec, Alec, Alec,” she said sounds almost like she was reprimanding him. "You haven’t chosen a beautiful place for your grave."

"The abandoned City Hall Park station has its charm!" he shouted as she pressed the wounded place again. If the phone had disconnected it would be over. The only thing he had to do was play along and delay.

"Maybe the station once had this charm. Only rats and refugees like Camille admire this place now." She grabbed him by the hair with her free hand, pulling his head away with a jerk to reveal his neck. "Don’t worry, Shadowhunter. It shouldn’t hurt. "

“No…” Alec moaned trying to break free, but the vampire trapped his left hand under her knee, preventing any movement, and she was still squeezing his right as he tried to move sending bolts of pain through him. How could such a small person with such force hold him to the ground? He still had his legs though and he waited only for a moment until she leaned low enough ...

“ALEC!” the vampire's head jerked up from his neck to see who dared to interrupt her, and Alec immediately used that to push her away.

He rolled onto his stomach and groaned as he stood up, leaning on his wounded arm. He didn’t manage to get up when he felt himself being pulled by his hair again. He fell awkwardly on his ass. A small cold hand tightened again on his injured arm, causing a strangled cry to break out of Shadowhunter's mouth.

"Let him go!" Alec opened his eyes slowly, not remembering when he had closed them. Pain and fear caused tears to flow down his cheeks, through which he could barely see the red sparks dancing between the hands of the warlock. The yellow-green cat's eyes gleamed ominously in the dark.

"Magnus ..." he tried to break out again but the vampire's hand tightened on his wounded arm.

"Shhh, where are you going, my little mouse," she whispered and licked his neck.

Alec decided that if by some miracle he survived it, he would bathe in boiling water to wash away all the dirt from the day.

"Let. Him. Go," the warlock growled through clenched teeth. He measured Maureen with a murderous gaze. Alec had never seen him like this. The vampire apparently sensed the challenge and tilted the Shadowhunter's head harder to have better access to his neck. Magnus took a step forward. "If you do anything to him, the Clave will be your smallest worry," the warlock's voice became deeper and more sinister. Alec felt goosebumps cover his whole body. He almost laughed at how his body reacted to this man even at times like this.

"What guarantee do I have that if I leave him, you will not chase me anyway?" she asked suspiciously.

"The c-clave is not interested in the vampire fight for power," Alec began quietly, knowing that the vampire would hear him anyway. "They have no evidence that you killed the mundanes. But if you kill one of them..."

"Fine then," she announced disappointedly, immediately letting him go and walking away to a safe distance. Alec gasped when he lost support and fell on his back. "If we meet again Lightwood, don’t count on mercy," he heard her voice from afar before he felt the warlock's warm hands touching his face.

“Alexander,” he heard the fear in the man's voice. Alec felt so tired. He knew he had to overcome this and opened his eyes for the good of the warlock. “There you are,” he said. Alec noticed the gentle smile on Magnus's face, which, however, didn’t reach his eyes. He could still see fear in his beloved irises.

He tried to sit up, Magnus helped him immediately, trying not to touch his wounds.

"I'm sorry," he groaned as he found himself in the warlock's arms.

“You've been doing that quite often lately. Apologies, I mean,” Magnus noticed grimly putting his hand on the Shadowhunter’s arm. Darkness was lit by the blue light of his healing magic. "How exactly did you get here?" he asked after a moment when he was sure that Alec's arm had already been healed. "From what I remember, you said that you would go to the institute."

"Because I went," Alec said with a shrug. “I have no idea how I got here. I don’t remember. My consciousness came back when I was already in the tunnels. I felt something was wrong. I knew it was dangerous but I wasn’t able to turn back. I figured it's about Camille and that her blood is calling out to me, but what I found in here..." he shivered, and it didn’t go unnoticed by Magnus. Alec looked at the warlock hoping that he could understand his nervous babble.

Magnus looked around carefully as if he was trying to see what was hidden in the dark."It will be better if we get out of here," he announced, getting up and dragging the Shadowhunter behind him, who felt dizzy from the sudden change of position. Magnus grabbed his arm, holding him with one hand as he formed the portal with the other.

"Wait," Alec said. "My sword is downstairs. If someone finds it, I can get in trouble," he said. Magnus didn’t look happy about it. "Look for my phone, it should be lying somewhere here, I'll be right back." He ran down the stairs without waiting for the warlock’s answer. From a distance he could see the Seraph blade lying on dirty ground. He picked it up and was about to come back when he sensed the smell of blood. He instinctively moved in the direction the smell was coming from. He stopped when he saw the outlines of torn bodies in the darkness. He inhaled sharply and made a sound like an animal’s whine, like a dog when someone had stepped on its tail. He turned on his heel and bumped into Magnus, who came to look after him. He had Alec’s phone in his hand.

Alec looked at the warlock's face that stared at what was left of the vampire and her followers. He saw the pain in the man's eyes. Alec dropped his gaze, staring at Magnus's purple shirt with the glittering ‘Trust me I'm a Jedi’ on it. The Shadowhunter didn’t have any feelings for the vampire, yet he stood here and felt tears running down his cheeks. He didn’t wish such a death to anyone, even his worst enemy. He tried to pull himself together because ultimately, it was Magnus who would be suffering more. Camille was once his girlfriend, and even though they were not together anymore, he knew that the feelings that had once connected them never went away completely.

"I'm sorry," Alec was surprised by the sound of his own voice. The warlock took his eyes off the macabre scene and looked intently at his boyfriend, who was shaking all the time trying to stop the tears coming to his eyes."I'm so sorry," he stammered again, clenching his hands on the material of his pants.

"Hey." Magnus embraced the boy. "It's okay."

"But…"

"No buts, Alexander," the warlock declared firmly, gently lifting Alec’s chin with his finger to look into his blue eyes full of tears. "I would be more worried if it was your body there. Let's get back, okay?"

Alec nodded, hiding his face in the crook of the warlock's neck.

Chapter Text

Last month, Alec spent most of his time in Brooklyn in his boyfriend's loft. Lightwood couldn’t stop smiling while remembering this time.Despite everything they went through, it was the best month of his life. He didn’t feel so safe anywhere, Magnus's apartment quickly replaced his home. Alec knew that he would get used to such a lifestyle without any problem.

The blood of Camille made the last week a torment for both of them, and especially for Magnus. Alec practically didn’t get out of bed, he felt like all his life forces had left him. The boy only after a long argument allowed Magnus to use the spell from the Book of White on him again. At the very thought of that argument, his stomach twisted. Alec never saw Magnus so nailed.

The man probably understood that he would achieve nothing by concealing his true feelings and let all the tiredness and pain of the last month appear on his face, immediately cutting off the further quarrel.

"I love you... Why is it so difficult to understand that I can’t ... I can’t look at how you are suffering. Especially that I know how to help you." Alec heard resignation in the warlock's voice. "Please, let me..."

Alec sighed heavily. He was glad to have it over with, and his quarantine period came to an end. He couldn’t wait to get out with Izzy and Jace. However, he had to talk to his parents first.

Alec felt uneasy standing in front of his father's office door. What parents could want from him.The last time he was in this office, he told them that he had drank vampire blood. He still remembered how the conversation ended and he would prefer to avoid this place for some time. Unfortunately, he couldn’t ignore the direct request of the head of the institute.

Alec breathed a few times and knocked. The door opened in front of him, revealing Maryse Lightwood's face. She let him in without speaking a word to him. Something was wrong. His mother didn’t look like she was content with the prospect of talking to her own son. The boy frowned, shifting his gaze to Robert Lightwood sitting behind the large mahogany desk. The man looked like he was thinking over something, not even noticing that Alec had already come.

"Robert." Maryse murmured, tearing her husband away from his thoughts. The man looked up at his son in a way that Alec couldn’t determine. He could have guessed from the way Maryse twisted her fingers nervously, that he would not like what they wanted to tell him.

“I see that you come to your senses.” Robert noticed pointing to the rune on Alec's neck. "You changed your mind about your transformation ?" The last word the older man almost spat out in disgust.

Alec didn’t have to answer it and he had no intention. He stared at his father's blue eyes, which were full of disgust.

"I talked to your mother about the future of the institute." Robert changed the subject, knowing that he would not get any answer from his son. "Together, we decided it was Isabelle who would lead the New York Conclave after me."

"Excuse me?!" Alec paled. He was preparing all his life to take over the institute after his father. He knew that his parents were mad at him for dating Magnus. He never thought that they would go down to take away something that was his purpose in life. His inheritance. "I know what I did lately was stupid and irresponsible..." said Alec, trying to hide the shudder of his voice. "I realized my mistake..." he looked at his mother who, for some reason, looked unhappy. "I am your oldest child and according to the law ..."

"You are not my son." Robert hissed through clenched teeth. His words made the boy's hands began to tremble.

Ok. Alec was prepared that his father would want to disinherit him for dating the downwolder. Recently, he made them realize that the warlock wasn’t just a momentary whim or a sign of rebellion. Alec treat him seriously and was willing to sacrifice for him. It frightened them and apparently they were going to punish him this way. Threatening him with losing his position, if he decides not to break up with Bane.

"I understand that you are not happy that I’m dating with Magnus, but don’t you think you're exaggerating, Father?" He asked with a sigh, his eyes wandering between Maryse and Robert. Instead of answering, he saw them exchange troubled glances and at that moment he realized what Robert mean

Alec looked at Maryse, not hiding the sense of betrayal that immediately filled him and he ran out of the office when the woman took a step toward him. He couldn’t stand being with them in one room.

The boy ran to his room and slammed the door behind him, praying that no one would come after him. He took a sports bag from under the bed, opened the wardrobe, and began to throw his things into it, not caring about arranging them. He didn’t care about it or where he would go. He only knew that he couldn’t stay at the institute.

Alec had the impression that the walls of the building were beginning to move closer to him, suffocating him. He felt out of place at this moment. His legs trembled as he walked toward the bathroom. He stood in the doorway, leaned against the wall keep himself from falling. He tried to calm down. Every breath caused him pain. He took another step and leaned against the sink. A choked sob emerged from his mouth. He looked at himself in the mirror and in his blue eyes he saw only pain and a sense of betrayal.

The boy wondered what Robert must have felt when he didn’t notice any of his own features in Alec, except the blue eyes that he apparently must have inherited from Maryse. He realized with a bit of bitterness that no matter what he did, he would never be able to meet Robert's sick demands. A man would never accept him as a son, he would never be proud of him. All those years of hard training, just to please the man who never cared about him.

Alec hit the mirror with all his strength, making the floor in the bathroom covered with tiny pieces of glass. He looked at the blood flowing from his slit hand. A red liquid formed a macabre mosaic on the floor. Suddenly breathing became a little easier, the pain in his chest eased.

Taking advantage of the momentary focus he acquired after the previous outburst, he quickly packed the rest of the things he needed and threw the bag over his shoulder leaving the room. Outside, he almost bump into his parabatai, who stared at him with anxiety painted on his face.

"Hey man, are you okay?" Jace asked. Alec bit his lower lip and shook his head in response.

"I'm going to Magnus’ place and I don’t know when I'll be back," he gasped and walked past the stunned blond.

"Wait! Your hand! "Jace called after him.

"I'll be fine." Alec answered him quickly. He couldn’t stay here any longer. He felt the blond grab his healthy hand.

"I’ll not stop you if you feel that you can’t stay here." Jace said seriously. "I have no idea what Robert and Maryse told you, but I want you to know that I am and always will be on your side. After all, we are not only parabatai but also brothers."

Alec felt a tightness in his chest. He wanted to tell him the truth so badly. He knew that if someone going to understood him, it would be Jace, in the end, younger boy went through it himself. However, he was unable to tell him about it without another attack. The only thing he needed at the moment was to get out of this building and get as far away from Maryse and Robert as he could.

"Thanks," he replied, wanting to free himself from the boy's iron grip. When Jace still held him, he turned to face him. "You said you wouldn’t stop me." He noticed quietly, unable to look at his golden eyes.

"I'm not going." He shrugged and added, "However, as your brother, I can not let you go with such dip a cut. Let me put iratze and you can go." Alec sighed heavily and held out his right hand toward Jace. The blonde didn’t waste time, quickly rolled up the sleeve of Lightwood's shirt and drew a suitable rune on his wrist. "Let me know when you get to Magnus, or I will have to torment him with my person, like last time."

Alec just nodded and left. He prayed to the angels that no one would stop him again.

When he was in the hall he saw Maryse approaching him. He cursed in his mind.

“Alexander…”

"Enough..." he said in a sharp voice, making her stop momentarily. She looked lost. "You should have told me about it, not HE." Her eyes filled with tears. "Or do you have something to tell me too, Mom ?" Maryse shook her head, still unable to speak. "I'm leaving. Don’t call me. I don’t want to talk to you now or never." He declared, moving toward the door. He threw on his winter coat and went out into the cool December air.

All his life he wanted to impress his father. He suffered for many years thinking that he would never meet his requirements. It was painful for Alec to see Robert praising Isabelle in front of Robert’s friends, never mentioning him. With time, Robert began to praise Max as well. Father kept repeating how proud he is of both of them.

When Jace appeared, Alec thought that something would change in his relationship with his father. In the end, Alec was his son, he couldn’t treat him worse than Wayland's son. He couldn’t be more wrong. Jace was the son of Robert's best friend, his parabatai. Of course he was more important to him than Alec, who was nothing to him. He couldn’t do anything to be a good enough son to Robert.

Alec stopped in the middle of the Brooklyn Bridge. It was several hundred meters from Magnus's apartment. He felt that he was starting to have a problem with catching his breath again, so he didn’t think twice and ran forward. He felt pain in his lungs each time he managed to catch his breath.

After a while, he climbed up the stairs to the warlock's loft. He didn’t know what he would do if Magnus wouldn’t let him stay. He felt a twinge in his heart at the thought that he might be thrown away by him. He suddenly remembered how quickly that imaginary pain in his heart had eased when he was replaced by the real one coming from his slashed palm. How his gray, hopeless life took on a wonderful ruby color. The color of blood.

He stopped in front of the door and moaned softly "No," realizing what these gloomy thoughts remind him of. Could Camill blood still flowed in his veins? But he felt much better.

Alec heard a soft thud as the bag fell from his shoulder to the doormat. He grabbed his head with both hands tangling fingers in his own hair. He wanted it to stop. He had enough. He wanted the voices in his head to stop whispering how hopeless he is, how he would never be good enough neither for his family nor for Magnus.

Alec dropped to his knees and hit his forehead on the door in an effort to drown out the raging noise in his head.

A moment later he felt two warm hands covering his face. A familiar voice came to him from a distance that he couldn’t catalog with any face. He could easily find out who it is if he only opened his eyes, but he couldn’t gather enough strength to do it.

“Alexander…” the hands gently stroked his face, he heard the voice of the person they belonged to. "Can you hear me?"

"Mag ..." he managed to gasped out not entirely aware what the word means.

"I'm here. You are safe." Slowly, more and more words began to reach him. "Alec, try to take deeper breaths." he heard a man, no , Magnus changed his breath to make it easier for him to fit his own. The first approach was not quite successful, but with every stifled breath it was getting better. Magnus was talking to him all the time, praising him for doing so well. After a long moment, he managed to open his eyes and immediately met a yellow-green cat's iris staring at him with concern.

***

Jace called Magnus, warning that his parabatai was on his way to his apartment and that he didn’t have the best humor because he had a fight with his parents again. The blonde's words were a misunderstanding of the year. When Magnus heard a bang on the door, and after it another, and another, each at an equal interval, he was not prepared for what he would find on their other side.

Alec was kneeling on the doormat, his hands were tangled in his hair, and he tightened them with such force that his knuckles turned white. Blood was flowing from his forehead, and Magnus immediately realized that the earlier sound must have been caused by the boy's head banging on the door.

The warlock immediately knelt in front of him as always trying to calm him down. At first his words didn’t reach the boy. He sighed with relief when Alec began to respond to commands and began to take deeper breaths. He noticed that the eyelids of the Nephilim began to open, and Magnus almost cried when he saw how much pain and suffering lay in his boyfriend’s eyes. He had never seen him like this before.

"I'm sorry." He heard Alec's hoarse voice. "I couldn’t stay at the institute. I didn’t know where to go. Can I stay? "

There was no problem with Alec sleeping over before, Magnus didn’t understand where this doubt came from.

He helped the boy get up and seeing how much his legs were shaking, Magnus caught his arms with one hand and put his other under his knees and with a quick movement he lift him from the ground. Alec was still not completely aware of what was happening around him because he would surely blush.

Magnus pressed his boyfriend's body against his chest and whispered, reassuringly gently kissing his forehead. "Sleep my brave Shadowhunter. You're safe here." The boy didn’t need anything more. When Magnus put him to bed, he was already asleep.

Chapter Text

Alec was awakened by the sun, which pierced through the gap between the curtains. He grunted in unhappiness and turned to embrace Magnus but the other side of the bed was empty and cold. The pillow looked as if no one slept on it.

The boy sat down, trying to remember what happened the day before. He was confused.

"Magnus!" He called out into the apartment, but only silence answered him. Could the warlock have gone somewhere?

He wanted to get up when Chairman Meow came running into the room. He jumped onto the bed, leaving red footprints behind. Blood.  

“MAGNUS!” Alec quickly jumped out of bed and ran along the tracks to the living room, where pale warlock was sitting on an armchair. His head was tilted to the side, eyes closed. His shirt was covered in blood, which oozed from the wound on his neck. “MAGNUS!” The boy jumped towards the man. He wanted to stop the bleeding, but was surprised when he saw there were only two holes- a vampire’s bite mark. "No, no, no, no, no." Alec didn’t even realise he kept repeating those words as he tried to revive his beloved. "Magnus, open your eyes! You promised me... You promised that you wouldn’t let me live with it! MAGNUS!"

***

Alec got up from the bed with a strangled cry. He was breathing heavily, his eyes wandered in panic around the familiar room. It was a dream. Just a bad dream. He repeated in his mind, trying to calm his racing heart. He looked into the place where the warlock should be sleeping and froze when he saw that the bed was empty. "No, no, this can’t be true." He grabbed his head with both hands. He felt tears streaming down his cheeks. “Magnus,” he gasped between one desperate breath and the other. “Magnus! MAGNUS!”

The bedroom door opened rapidly, revealing a worried warlock.

Alec stared at him in disbelief and horror painted on his face. "Oh, God," he sobbed, hiding his face in his hands. A moment later he felt the mattress bend under the weight of the older man, who put his arms around him and pressed him to his own chest.

"Hey, I'm here. It was just a bad dream," he whispered softly in his ear.

The Shadowhunter hid his face on the warlock's chest. He was relieved when he felt Magnus' warm hands on his skin. It was a dream. Only a dream. You didn’t kill him. Magnus is safe. He repeated in his mind, but he couldn’t calm down.

"Everything came back..." he sobbed, not breaking away from the man. "Nightmares, thirst for blood and these voices. I hear them in my head all the time." He could feel the man's body stiffened at his words.

"What voices? Why didn’t you tell me about them?" he asked worriedly.

"They are in my head all the time and they repeat the same thing over and over again..." Alec didn’t want Magnus to know about it, but at the moment he didn’t quite realize what he was saying. "They tell me that I shouldn’t fight with my new nature. That my life will be better if I stop resisting. That I will never be good enough if I reject it," he said it so quickly that the warlock needed a moment to understand.

“Alexander.” Magnus's hands went to Shadowhunter's face, lifting it so that he could look into his tearful blue eyes. "You were and always will be good enough." The boy tried to deny but the warlock's lips prevented him. "I will repeat it until you start believing it yourself," he stated smiling at Alec with love. "You don’t have to fight alone. Don’t hide your problems from me. Only together will we be able to face them," whispered the warlock, kissing the Shadowhunter’s forehead, then his eyes, nose and cheeks while rubbing his tears away with his thumbs.

"I love you," the boy said softly, his eyes filled with tears again.

"Oh, Alec. I love you too," he answered, hugging him tighter. They sat a moment without saying anything. They both thought about something else. At last Magnus broke the silence. "Alexander?"

“Hm?”

"What happened yesterday?" For a moment, Alec wondered what the warlock meant, and froze as he remembered the conversation with Robert and Maryse. His breathing quickened immediately. “Alexander…”

"No! I can’t..." he panted pressing his face to Magnus's neck.

"Hey, relax. Breathe." There was concern in the man's voice. He couldn’t imagine what the boy's parents could say to bring him to such a state. "You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to," the warlock said calmly with relief when he noticed that the boy had relaxed immediately. "If you want to talk about it, you know where to find me. I will always listen to you and I will always be on your side," he assured him and kissed the top of his head.

"Thank you."

Magnus smiled gently as he felt Alec slowly fall asleep.

***

The sunlight began to shine through the curtains, illuminating the  Shadowhunter’s face. Long eyelashes cast shadows on pale cheeks. The black hair on the boy's head in the morning light had a delicate navy blue tint.

Magnus could spend hours staring at Alexander’s sleeping face. At least he was certain that his eighteen-year-old boyfriend was safe, away from all evil in this cruel world. If he could, he would keep him locked in the bedroom and wouldn’t let anyone come near him.

Alec's forehead wrinkled, while his mouth curled in a pout. Magnus gently touched his forehead. Blue sparks that ran between the warlock fingers quickly drove away an unpleasant dream, which began to form in the boy's head. Frown disappeared.

Magnus sighed and moved closer to kiss the place he had just touched.

"Mhm." The boy turned on his back, stretching his arms and legs.

"Good morning," said Magnus pleased with the morning show.

Alec slowly opened his eyes and looked at the warlock, whose face played a mischievous smile. Cat's eyes wandered over his naked body, making him blush.

"See something you like?" the Shadowhunter asked, watching the man under his half-closed eyelashes. Magnus pupils narrowed to slits, he looked like a predator lurking on its prey. Alec yelped as the warlock’s body pinned him to bed. An efficient tongue quickly crept into his mouth, greedily sipping every groan that came out of the boy's throat every time Magnus rubbed his crotch against boy’s swollen member.

“Magn…” Alec gasped between kisses. Suddenly the doorbell rang, and they both froze. They lay listening for a moment. When they heard the bell again, they were sure that someone was standing at the door. “You have an appointment today?” Alec asked unhappy that someone interrupted them.

"I am the High Warlock of Brooklyn, I am always having an appointment with someone," he answered with a resignation and he began to rise, rubbing against the boy who covered his mouth with his hand to suppress the sound that came out of him one last time.

Magnus put on a purple satin robe and he went to open the door, wanting to tell an unwanted guest that he had interrupted them and slam the door in the person’s face as quickly as possible. But when he opened the door, he swallowed angry words and snapped his robe into a daily -suitable for Magnus- outfit. 

"Maryse Lightwood, what did I do to deserve your visit?" he asked, trying to hide the anger that was stirring in him at the memory of the state he had found his boyfriend in, due to his mother.

"I'd like to talk to Alexander," she began confidently.

"I don’t think it's a good idea," Magnus replied, lowering his voice. The blue eyes of the woman stared at him with an intensity that Magnus had previously experienced only with her son. "I think one argument is enough for him."

"I didn’t come here to argue. I just wanna talk to him, Magnus," she announced. Magnus was speechless. Maryse never referred to him by name, she was always calling him a warlock or just downworlder.

The woman looked as if she meant it. Magnus thought about letting her in when he heard Alec's indignant voice behind him.

"What are you doing here?! I told you…"

"That I can’t call you because you don’t want to talk to me," she finished, looking him deep into eyes. "You didn’t say anything about the fact that you don’t want to listen to me, just as you didn’t say I couldn’t come here. So I will talk and you will listen. Please." Magnus has never seen this woman so... vulnerable.

Alec looked at her with eyes full of anguish. However, he didn’t tell her to leave, which is why Magnus moved away, letting Maryse in. The woman looked at him with gratitude and moved toward her son who took a step back and embraced himself defensively.

"Forgive me. Yesterday's conversation was supposed to go completely differently," she said tiredly. Alec snorted tightening the fingers on his shoulders. "I know you're mad at me..."

"Are you surprised?!” He interrupted her abruptly, surprising her and Magnus, who tried to sneak into the bedroom unnoticed, leaving the mother and son alone. "Sure I'm mad, and above all I am disappointed,” he said, and each word was like a knife that sank into Maryse Lightwood heart. "I don’t understand how you could let him do it... After what he did to you. He destroyed your life... Do you really agree with that? "

“Alexander…”

"Don’t call me that..." He snapped, interrupting her. "You made me work and strive for that future. From the beginning, you knew that I didn’t have any chance, so what was it for?! Have you enjoyed looking at how much I struggled in order to meet your sick demands?! Did you enjoy it?!" Maryse was silent but her eyes were full of guilt. "ANSWER ME!" Alec shouted, his whole body shaking in anger.

“Alexander.” Magnus's voice was firm but calm. He put his arms around the boy who was shaking with rage to give him some comfort and calm him down. He didn’t understand this conversation was about, but he couldn’t see his boyfriend sinking into hatred, which wasn’t in his quiet nature. "Look at me, baby," he whispered, waiting for Alec's eyes to focus on him. "You need to breathe. Do it for me, okay?"

Alec took a few deep breaths. The tremors slowly stopped.

"Better?" the warlock asked quietly. He breathed a sigh of relief when Alec nodded, his head dropping onto Magnus' shoulder.

Maryse watched them with wide eyes full of tears. Alec was rarely angry but when he was, she knew it was difficult to calm him down. Usually it ended with a sparring session with Jace. The woman didn’t think she would ever see her eldest son giving control to someone in this way. This was a higher level of trust. Even Jace wasn’t so close to him.

"I'm sorry for hurting you... I thought that if you lived according to the Clave rules, I will be able to protect you longer," she whispered, unable to look her son in the eye. Alec looked at her in disbelief at having heard an apology from her. "I should have guessed that nothing would come of it." She smiled as she spoke and slowly raised her head to look at the couple standing in front of her. "You're so much like your father," Alec froze, still surrounded by Magnus’ arms, who could not believe that Maryse was comparing her son to Robert at such a moment. "Once you become a great leader and you will have... legions under your command. Your words will be the law, not the nonsense that the Clave orders us to follow." When she said that, her eyes shone with confidence and something that Alec always wanted to see in Robert's eyes when he looked at him. "I'm proud of what kind of man you are. I also know that I will be proud of who you will become in the future, no matter which path you choose."

"I don’t understand," Alec said, confused. "It would be easier if you told me what I want to know instead of trying to pacify me, with nice words." Maryse still smiling, walked slowly to her son. When Alec didn’t move away from her this time, she put her hand on his cheek.

"I would like to tell you everything, answer your every question, but I took an oath and I can’t break it. However, don’t worry my son, you’ll soon find out everything." She kissed him on the cheek and turned to Magnus. "I know that my behavior towards you was reprehensible. Nothing can justify what I did. I'm very sorry for that," Maryse looked as if she was speaking honestly. "Alec is my first-born child and I was sure no one will ever be good enough for him." The boy blushed at her words. "But you, Magnus Bane, have made me change my mind. I am glad that Alec met you and thank you for taking care of him." When she finished speaking, she approached the stunned warlock and kissed him on the cheek as she had her son. "I'll go now. If you need something, call me. I wish you a nice day.” After these words, she left the apartment, leaving a dumbfounded couple.

"What was this about?" Magnus asked, trying to recover from the shock.

"I have no idea," Alec replied honestly, still staring at the apartment door behind which his mother had disappeared. He couldn’t stop the gentle smile that crept onto his face.

Magnus watched him with relief. He didn’t find out what had happened between the Lightwoods and their son, but at least in these last few minutes it looked like it was good for them. The warlock shrugged and clapped his hands, scaring Alec. "How about a late breakfast?" he asked cheerfully and went to the kitchen when Alec nodded. He was in the mood to cook, so instead of using magic, he pulled the pan out of the cabinet. "French toast?"

"Sounds great."

 

***

 

A quiet music played in Magnus's apartment, and according to the musician, it was supposed to be soothing. Alec was lying on the couch in the living room trying to read the book he had found on the bookshelf in the warlock's office. When he started reading the same page for the third time, still not remembering what was written in it, he sighed resignedly and covered his face with the book.

Magnus had to go out to meet a client, leaving Shadowhunter at home. Alec had official permission to read whatever he wanted, so he read, but his thoughts kept coming back to talk he had with Maryse.

Everything his mother said was sounding like something surreal. He didn’t know what to do with this knowledge.

Robert wasn’t his father, but the man who was had to be a great leader. At least that's what he'd deduced from Maryse's words. Alec wondered if he would find anything about him in the institute's library. The person his mother compared him to had to be very charismatic. Surely something was written about him in the Shadowhunter’s Chronicle.

He stood up, put the book down on the coffee table and left the apartment, closing the door behind himself. Alec was only halfway to the institute, when he wondered if it was a good idea to come back two days after he left with the decision that he would never come back there again. What if he meets Robert? He'd rather avoid that. He began to slow down and then stop completely. You're better than him. You don’t have to be scared of him. Don’t be ashamed of who you are. He tried to convince himself. He shook his head grateful for invisibility rune. If the mundane saw him now, they would probably wonder if he needed some therapy.

Alec decided that if he met Robert, he would think about what he should do. At this point, he just wanted to find information about his biological father.

He reached the institute and entered the library unnoticed by anyone. He looked around and remembered how Hodge had always sat at the desk in the center of the library and the black crow Hugin, who, sitting on the back of his chair, watched everything that happened and reported it to Valentine later.

Although several months have passed since Hodge's betrayal, Alec was still in pain at the memory of the former teacher. He was killed by Sebastian on the same day as his little brother, Max.

Alec allowed himself for a moment to plunge his mind into grief after the loss of his brother. He couldn’t afford to fully mourn him. For Shadowhunters, there was no time for mourning, let alone during the war.

The boy breathed a few times and walked along the shelves. In the middle of the bookcase was a beautifully decorated gold book. Alec pulled it out slowly and looked at the cover. It was decorated with black letters forming the word ‘ Chronicle .’ Alec went to the desk and sat down, opening the book. 

The Chronicle was a list of all Shadowhunters and contained a brief description of each one of them. More interesting people had an entire page devoted to them, as it was with Jonathan, the first shadowhunter. 

He decided to start his search in the most obvious place and look for a part devoted to the Lightwood family. He quickly found entries devoted to his distant relatives.

Gabriel Lightwood, born in 1860, first runes ceremony in 1870, member of London Conclave, son of Benedykt Lightwood and Barbara Pangborn, husband of Cecily Herondale, father of Anna, Alexander and Christopher;

Alec turned over several pages and found an entry about his family.

Robert Lightwood, born in 1965, first runes ceremony in 1977, member of New York Conclave, son of Andrew Lightwood and Phoebe Gladstone, husband of Maryse Trueblood, father of Isabelle and Maxwell;

The boy's heart beat harder. He never looked into the Chronicle, he didn’t need to. Now he realized how much information one book could contain. 

Maryse Lightwood (from the Trueblood family), born in 1968, first runes ceremony in 1978, member of New York Conclave, daughter of Adam Trueblood and Marisa Trueblood, wife of Robert Lightwood, mother of Alexander, Isabelle and Maxwell;

He breathed a sigh of relief when he saw his name. He had no idea what he would do if it turned out that Maryse wasn’t his mother. He looked at his own entry and froze. "What the..."

Alexander Gideon Lightwood, born in 1989, first runes ceremony in 1989, member of New York Conclave, Son of Maryse Lightwood;

He never heard of any Shadowhunter who received his first rune shortly after birth. He flipped through the entire book and found no such entry anywhere. Shadowhunters children received their first rune after the age of ten. Why did someone risk putting runes on a newborn? Alec guessed what the reason might be. But he didn’t want to ask Maryse about it. He was afraid that he wouldn’t like her answer.

He closed the book and put it back in place. He heard the library door open with a bang. Alec stood behind the column that blocked him from the newcomers sight.

"Robert!" he heard Maryse's indignant voice. "You can’t do this to him. He is our son, WE raised him..."

"Enough!" Robert sounded irritated. "I agreed to pretend to be his father because you asked me to. I was stupid and I regret this decision."

The boy's heart beat harder. He felt the contents of the stomach rise to his throat. He suspected Robert would never want him, but hear it from his mouth is different, much worse. His hands began to tremble.

"You cannot protect him anymore, Maryse. You saw how the Clave treated us after we took care of Valentine's son. They wanted to take away our runes. They thought we were looking after Jace for him. "

"This is not the same!"

"You're right, it's not the same. Jace is a child of Shadowhunters and eventually it turned out that he is not the son of Valentine. That's why Clave treated us gently ," he said tiredly. "What will happen if they find out who Alec's father is? We've been hiding it from them for over eighteen years. They will never forgive such a betrayal," he hissed. "When I put a rune on him after birth, I hoped that it would kill him." Maryse let out a cry of disbelief. "Don’t look at me like this. I would only spare him from suffering. Although he carries runes, he will never be one of us fully. When the Clave finds out..."

"You cannot tell them anything!" Maryse cried.

"I have no intention. However, he turned eighteen. The protective spell that his father threw at him is slowly losing strength. How long do you think will it take before his true nature takes control of him?" Alec paled. Robert's words reminded him of what the voices kept repeating. What was his true nature? His biological father cast a spell on him? That means he was a warlock? The boy decided to postpone the analysis for later, as soon as he learned something more. Robert's next words caught his attention. "Alec will not be safe anywhere. Even the High Warlock of Brooklyn will not protect him from his destiny, at most he will die trying. We can’t do anything. Through an oath, you can’t even warn him of the threat." Maryse sobbing was spreading around the room. "Forgive me, Maryse. I had to turn him away. It was the only way. I have to protect the rest of our children. For the sake of Isabelle and Jace, for our sake, Alec should stay away." After these words, he crossed the gate, probably going to Alicante.

Maryse dropped into a chair and hid her face in her hands, still weeping loudly. 

Alec's heart was beating loudly. He only came to see the Shadowhunters Chronicle and he received more than he desired. 

His biological father was a downworlder. No. He would have lived through it, but from Robert's words he concluded that it was a very optimistic version. Alec's father must have been a demon, and not just any demon. It is possible that even the Great Demon. Only that could have brought the Clave's anger on Lightwoods.

At the very thought of being the son of the Great Demon, he was feeling sick. He fought with demons all his life. The first one he killed was one of the Great Demon. Abaddon. What if… No, don’t think about it Alec!

The boy bit his lip, wanting to somehow abdicate the sudden panic that began to overpower him. He couldn’t allow it now.

He looked out from behind the column. His mother was still sitting huddled in a chair. He pulled out the stelle and activated several runes. He walked over to the woman and hugged her, making her jump in surprise.

"Alec? What are you doing here?" she asked, terrified, wiping tears from face with the back of her hand.

"I wanted to find some information in the Shadowhunters Chronicle," he said quietly. The woman froze when she realized that the boy had heard all of their conversation.

“Alec…”

"Don’t say anything. I understand," he whispered. "Thank you for everything. I just wanted to say goodbye." After these words he run. He heard Maryse calling his name, begging him to wait. He didn’t listen.

Thanks to the speed rune after few minutes he was halfway to Magnus's loft. He stopped when he remembered Robert's words. ‘Even the High Warlock of Brooklyn will not protect him from his destiny, at most he will die trying.’ He couldn’t expose his loved ones. Magnus was also one of them. Alec had nowhere to go.

He embraced himself. He left his coat at the institute. It was the beginning of January and it was cold outside. If he wanted to run away, he would need his things, most of which were still in the bag in the warlock's loft. He considered for a moment whether he should go take it. However, he couldn’t. Magnus would immediately guess that something was wrong and wouldn’t let him go. Alec couldn’t risk it.

He shuddered and pulled out the stele. He drew a rune of warmth in his arms and breathed a sigh of relief as the cold he felt vanished.

Chapter Text

Magnus's apartment often was a starting point, when Alec's siblings decided to do something stupid. This time as well, everyone gathered at his loft, but instead of Alexander -who was often the voice of reason for the whole team- on the sofa in Magnus's living room sat his mother, Maryse Lightwood. She was shaky and very pale. She kept in her hand a silver feather-shaped pendant. Her eyes were closed, which made her look like she was praying.

Magnus' thoughts kept coming back to the moment he came home and realized that something was wrong.

It was already late when Magnus returned from his client. When he didn’t find Alec in the loft, he got scared. He tried to call him but every call was immediately redirected to voicemail.

Magnus, keeping in mind the return of Alexander's nightmares, couldn’t wait 24 hours before calling the police, just like what every show said to do.

Before he could think about what he should do, his phone started ringing. Magnus prayed it would be Alec, but one look at the phone screen was enough for all the blood to drain from his face. He picked up and put the phone to his ear.

“Jace?”

"Is Alec with you?!" Magnus didn’t know what to say for a moment. The blonde’s question sounded urgent. "Magnus! Is Alec with you?!"

"No... I came back ten minutes ago, I don’t know where he could go, he didn’t tell me he was going out," the warlock replied, surprised by the sound of his own voice.

"He was in the institute about half an hour ago," the shadowhunter informed him.

Magnus breathed deeply, surprised. He didn’t think that Alec would want to go to the Institute. "What happened?" he asked, guessing the answer.

"I have no idea," Jace announced. "I heard Maryse scream so I ran downstairs. I asked her what happened, but she only called Alec’s name and said that it was all her fault. After that she started to cry. Izzy has been trying to calm her since then." Jace sounded worried. "Maryse is the strongest woman I know. I've never seen her like this."

"I am opening a portal in the lobby. I'll prepare a potion for her to calm down."

From that moment an hour passed. They tried to get Maryse out of the numbness she found herself in but nothing helped.

Magnus tried to track Alec several times, but he hit the wall every time. Why did the boy block him? What happened? His eyes went back to the woman's huddled figure. He came to her and knelt so that he would look her in the eye.

“Maryse,” he started quietly even though he really wanted to grab her by the shoulders and shake her hard enough to make her come to her senses. He knew, however, that it wouldn’t help. That is why he continued in a calm voice. "Have you two argued again?"

Maryse shook her head and her eyes filled with tears again, her voice was hoarse when she spoke. "I was arguing with Robert in the library. He was called to Alicante. I wanted to make sure that..." her voice broke. She swallowed her tears and continued. "That he will not do anything stupid."

"Stupid? What do you mean?" Isabelle interrupted her, but fell silent when she saw the warlock's raised hand.

"Were you arguing about Alexander?" he asked, and Maryse nodded.

"I know Robert told him during the last argument that it was our joint decision, but I... I didn’t know he was going to do it. He didn’t tell me..." she sobbed loudly.

"What are you talking about?" The warlock's heart beat very quickly. After the Circle, Robert tried to do everything to please Clave. Magnus was terrified by the thought of what he could do. "Is Alec with Robert? He took him to Alicante?"

Maryse shook her head. "Alec was in the library when we argued. He heard our conversation. "

"I can guess what he heard," the warlock said bitterly. "Robert never hid what he thinks about our relationship."

"Oh, God." Maryse grabbed Magnus's hand. "He didn’t tell you? After your reaction, when I came here last time, I was sure he told you."

"About what?" Magnus felt sick.

"Robert decided that Isabelle would be the next Head of the Institute."

Everyone froze in terror. They knew what this position meant to Alec.

"No..." the girl whispered. "He can’t do this. By law, the authority over the institute will go to the oldest child... Alec is the oldest... Dad can’t..."

"He can," Jace remarked grimly. All eyes moved to him. The blonde liked to be the center of attention but not at the moment. He wished to be wrong. "If Robert disinherited Alec, then you're the next in line."

Izzy paled. "No, he couldn’t... Mom?" She looked at her mother, looking for support in her blue eyes. Maryse sighed heavily.

"He didn’t disinherit him." Everyone immediately relaxed. Maryse wanted it to be the end of the conversation, but she owed them the truth. "He didn’t do it because he didn’t have to. Alec is not his son." For a moment everyone was looking at her, as if she had two heads.

When the first shock passed, Izzy and Jace began to speak at the same time. They were shouting to get as much information from Maryse as possible. Magnus got up from the floor and sat on the chair.

Everything suddenly fell into place. The panic attack Alec had when he returned from the Institute. Maryse's words from this morning. The boy's reaction when Maryse compared him to his father. Not to Robert! His real father! But ... It was in the morning. Magnus looked into the woman's sapphire eyes.

"What did you argue about with Robert in the library?" He said quietly, but he poured some magic into his voice to get attention. Izzy and Jace immediately fell silent.

“I tried to talk some sense into him. Persuaded to change his mind... Maybe Robert is not Alec's biological father, but he's the only one he has. He raised him for the last eighteen years. I couldn’t understand how he could just abandon him."

Magnus sat staring at the wall over Maryse's shoulder with absent eyes. The warlock knew how much such a betrayal could hurt.

"Robert doesn’t know anything about Alec's biological father, he only has his suspicions. And he decided that today would be the best time to tell me about them." A grimace of dissatisfaction appeared on the woman's face.

"You spoke about the oat..." Magnus began not quite sure whether he should raise the subject in front of her children. When the woman nodded, he continued. "How firmly binding is this oath?"

The woman was silent for a moment, thinking about the answer. "It's as binding as the oath you would make to Alec." Magnus froze, remembering the promises he made to the boy. "I promised the man I love that I will never tell anyone the truth. My loyalty to him... "

"What about loyalty to your son?!" the warlock asked harshly, surprising everyone. "His son. Would you break this oath to save him?"

Maryse straightened up in her chair. "If anyone finds out... If Clave finds out who Alec is..." she shuddered at the thought. "Since the creation of the Circle, the Clave has changed. I shouldn’t tell you this, but our runes are weakening every day. The Clave Council is ready to sacrifice everything to strengthen the Shadowhunters’ position. Morgenstern's experiments on his children and the one with the Endarkened were like a wake-up call. They realized that they could be stronger if they could find out how Clary and Jace's skills worked. If they could duplicate this experiment..."

"They realize they would have to use the angel's blood?" Jace asked. Maryse looked at him with a strange expression on her face. "Unless they found a different way..."

"The Council has requested us to give you and Clary to them. I refused." She added quickly seeing the look of panic on the boy’s face. "You are my son and I will not let anyone experiment on you." The woman grabbed the pendant again. "The Clave has lost sight of the true purpose of the Shadowhunters’ existence. It is precisely through such thinking that we are losing our angelic abilities. The Shadowhunters have for centuries exalted themselves above all other races, Valentine and Jonathan are a drop that filled the cup. "

They were surprised by her words. They always thought that Maryse despised the downworlders.

"I understand, but where does Alec appear in all this?" Magnus asked, frustrated.

The woman smiled sadly. "Alec is the solution to Clave's problems. If they knew who he was, they would sacrifice him without blinking, telling everyone that they are doing it for the greater good ."

"Wait, what do you mean?!" Jace called from the kitchen, reaching for the glass from the cabinet above the sink.

"Alec..." she began but the sound of breaking glass and a loud gasp interrupted her.

Everyone's eyes went to the kitchen. Izzy went to her brother, who was frozen in place for some reason. “Jace?” The boy shuddered and looked from the broken glass to the questioning look of the brunette. He didn’t know what had happened. In one moment, everything was fine. In another, he was filled with a wave of panic that came from his parabatai rune. “Jace…” He opened his mouth to say that everything was all right, but instead of words he heard his own scream as a wave of pain pierced him. He felt the burning parabatai rune and fell to his knees trying to stay conscious. He could hear voices coming from a distance, but he couldn’t tell who was talking to him or what they were saying. He shivered, feeling the pain of his parabatai, his brother. He had never felt suffering so intense before. Another wave of pain almost blinded him.

Fear...

Suffering...

Panic...

And…

Nothing…

"Alec," Jace groaned before darkness engulfed him.

Chapter Text

When Alec decided he couldn’t return to Magnus's loft, the voices that had harassed him since he drank Camille’s blood filled his head. They used Robert's words and his own decision against him, trying to persuade him to end his life.

He couldn’t return to Magnus, and his family didn’t want him. In the end, who would want someone like him. He was a threat to his loved ones. He could spare them suffering. It would be okay if he ended his life. Then Robert could breathe with relief, knowing that nothing threatens him and his family anymore.

Alec didn't know how long he allowed the voices to lead him. When they fell silent, he was on some street that he didn’t recognize. He heard loud music coming from one of the bars and saw several people standing by the open door. The girls wore short skirts and Alec wondered for a moment whether they were freezing. Eventually, he shrugged and moved forward.

He wondered what Magnus was doing now.Had he returned home and noticed his absence? The warlock took care of him for the last month, trying to keep him alive when the vampire blood did everything to kill him. What am I doing? Alec thought. Magnus would never give up on him, no matter who he was and even if Alec was a threat to him. Magnus loved him and would do anything for him. Alec should not run away, he couldn’t leave Magnus, not in this way. Without a word of explanation or even saying goodbye. He had to go back. He had to...

"What’s a little Nephilim doing alone in the middle of the night in such a place." He heard a voice behind him that chilled the blood in his veins. It was not as if one person spoke to him but an entire chorus of voices. He had an impression that all the street lamps had gone out, but as soon as he squinted his eyes he saw that black particles like soot were flying around him.  Demon! "I asked you a question!" Alec wanted to cover his ears. Voices resonated in his head, and he felt as if he were surrounded by a swarm of bees. He wasn’t able to move from the spot. He heard the footsteps of an army or just one person? He couldn’t say. Suddenly, before his eyes appeared a man with jet black hair and irises that looked like they were filled with liquid gold. His skin looked as if he had just come back from vacation, tanned, almost shimmering with golden flecks. Alec couldn’t take his eyes off him. How could someone like him be a demon?

"We got an angel without a tongue," the man noticed and this time he spoke with a deep baritone, the rest of the voices disappeared. Alec was relieved but he couldn’t afford to relax in front of the demon, no matter how handsome the said demon was."You look at me like a deer in the headlights. Where is your Shadowhunter’s instinct?" he asked teasingly and leaned forward sniffing. "Hm, vampire blood... And now, it makes sense. You come here to seek death Shadowhunter?" he asked and a cruel smile appeared on his beautiful face, causing Alec to break free of the strange dullness that had come over him since the man spoke for the first time. "You've come to the right place at the right time."

Alec didn‘t wait for his move, he pulled out the Seraph blade and quickly named it Lotifar (check the note below).  He knew he wasn’t facing an ordinary demon and that he had little chance of surviving, which didn’t mean he was going to give up without a fight.

You only prolong your suffering. 

Don’t fight. 

Give up.

Then you will become someone better.

Let your true nature take control.

Alec tried to ignore the voices. Not letting his eyes stray from the demon he was staring at, who was watching him with fascination.

"You're very funny. Do you really think you can beat me?" he laughed, showing two rows of snow-white teeth. "Tell me Shadowhunter," he began slowly circling the boy. "Have you heard the legend about Midas?"

Alec turned with him, trying to increase the distance between them so that he wouldn’t notice.

"He was a king, a very greedy king, and what he touched turned into gold," continued the demon when he didn‘t get an answer. "You look like a wise guy, you've probably realized that you will not get out of this. So maybe, at least, let's not forget our manners. What's your name, Shadowhunter?"

“Alec,” he replied in a hoarse voice, acknowledging that this wouldn’t make his situation worse. "My name is Alec."

The demon stopped and... disappeared. Alec looked around quickly. The street was empty. He felt panic. He hated the games of demons. He knew that as soon as he moved, the man would attack, so he stayed in place. His eyes were looking from side to side trying to find the threat. He saw movement from the right side, but before he could turn around, he was pushed hard against the wall. The impact made him momentarily lose his breath. The Seraph blade had fallen where he had stood before.

The handsome face was a few centimeters from his. "Nice to meet you, Alec," he smiled, showing his teeth again and put his hand on the boy's face, covering almost the entire left side. "I am Midas."

The shadowhunter's horrified eyes met the golden irises that seemed to come alive. The hand that was on his face began to warm up and Alec already knew what it meant. He tried to break free, but one look in the man's eyes was enough for him to freeze again, unable to fight further. The hand became hot very quickly, and Shadowhunter started screaming as the burning liquid began to merge with his face.

"Don’t worry, I'm not like King Midas from legend. I will not change you into a golden statue, although I am sure that you would be beautiful decor in my room," his voice, though quiet, broke through the cry as if it were speaking directly in Alec's head. The boy was shivering and he felt his rune pulse trying to convey some of the pain to his parabatai, his brother. Alec didn’t want him to feel it...

Fear...

Suffering...

Panic...

And…

Nothing…

Midas pulled his hand from the boy's face and watched his work with satisfaction. Pain caused the Shadowhunter to lose consciousness.

***

Darkness... It was the first thing Alec saw when he regained consciousness. Pain… Was the only thing he could feel at this moment. He tried to push it back to concentrate enough to recognize where he was. Above all, he tried to remember, how it came to this- his hands were bound in chains that were pinned to the ceiling pinning him in an uncomfortable position. His feet barely touched the ground, and blood ran down his wrists.

Alec breathed a few times and looked around the room. It was probably a cell. He wasn’t sure, because the room was quite large. He could judge by the windows that were covered with heavy black curtains from under which emitted a delicate ruby glow, it still wasn’t enough to clearly see the whole room. Under his feet, Alec could feel the soft rug that was decorated with a hideous scene depicting a horde of demons tearing apart a piece of meat that once had to be a human, looking at the limbs scattered at their feet. Whoever put this carpet here must have been insane.

He wondered how long he was unconscious. After what Midas had done to him, he hoped that Jace and his friends would understand that he was in trouble and would try to find him.

Why would they do this?

Your presence is a threat to them.

They certainly relieved when they found out you were gone.

The demon overpowered you in a second.

You are weak because you reject your true nature.

Don’t fight.

Give up.

You won’t regret it…

Alec tried to focus on his parabatai bond. He could send his feelings to Jace if he focused on them enough. However, the voices didn’t give him peace, as did the pain radiating to almost his entire face. He didn’t want to think about the future. He was afraid of what it might bring.

"I see that my angel woke up." The silence was pierced by a familiar deep baritone. Alec didn’t miss his previous voice, but he didn’t enjoy this one either. He would have liked to wake up hearing the purrs of Chairman Meow, who was sleeping on his stomach when he himself lay in bed near Magnus in the warlock's loft. He wanted so badly that all this would turn out to be another cruel dream, a hallucination caused by Camille’s blood.

Alec groaned in pain as the hot fingers of the man grabbed his chin firmly, tilting his face to reveal the golden mark in the shape of a hand.

"I have never marked anyone in such a place before, especially someone with such a wonderful face." The demon's golden irises rested on Alec's blue. "I didn’t expect such an excellent effect. Your eyes beautifully emphasize my mark. Especially when they are burning with rage, as at this moment," Midas smiled, and Alec saw a change in the demon's face as the fascination turned into a cruel expectation. "I cannot wait for the moment when I will destroy your will to fight and the remnants of hope that are still smoldering in these blue irises. I want to see you fade every day when you realize that no one will come for you. Not here," he laughed and along with him the whole choir. The Shadowhunter cringed, unable to block Midas's voice in any way. The man waved his hand carelessly and all the curtains disappeared, showing him the infinite black desert over which stretched the red sky.

"Welcome to the Abyss, Lucifer’s kingdom!"

Chapter Text

Magnus walked through the portal to his living room, and only the strong arms belonging to Luke Garroway saved him from falling straight on his face.

"Rest, Magnus," the werewolf said quietly, helping him, sit in the chair.

"How can I rest when my boyfriend is out there suffering and no one can find him!" he wanted to shout but he lacked strength. "Please, Luke, tell me you have something. Anything."

The man could not look into the warlock's eyes. "I'm sorry. The pack had searched the whole city. He's not in New York."

"SO WHERE HE IS!" There were red sparks running over Magnus's body. The werewolf jerked aside as the glasses on the table shattered into millions of tiny pieces.

"Magnus, relax!" Isabelle ran into the room. She went to the warlock, ignoring the glass dust that surrounded him, and embraced him. "We'll find him, everything will be fine, Magnus," she whispered words of encouragement even though she needed them herself.

Two weeks had passed since Alec's disappearance. Two of the worst weeks of Magnus’ life, who persuaded a large part of the downworlders to help in the search. And the Clave, like the Clave, refused to cooperate with the downworlders and ultimately didn’t send anyone, despite Maryse Lightwood's pleading requests.

Izzy every now and then tried to track her brother with the help of runes, but she still hit a block. Clary tried to think of a rune that would help them find Alec, but the angels were deaf to her prayers. And Jace…

Magnus freed himself from the brunette’s embrace, he rose from a chair and dragged his heavy legs toward the guest room, where on the big bed lay the curled figure of Jace Herondale. The boy had dark circles under his eyes, and the grimace of pain that didn’t leave his face fueled them to intensify their searches. The condition of the blonde deteriorated day by day, only deepening their sense of helplessness. The worst thing was knowing that Jace's suffering was just a small part of what his parabatai felt...

Magnus sank into a chair by the Shadowhunter’s bed, hiding his face in his hands. Two weeks of constant search, two weeks of constant suffering.

The sorcerer felt a small but strong girl's hand gripping his shoulder.

“Alec…” Jace groaned, still unconscious.

Magnus unveiled his face, his yellow-green cat's eyes were burning with despair and rage.

"Whoever is responsible for the suffering of Alexander and Jace will pay dearly for it, Isabelle," the girl shuddered to hear the darkness lurking in the warlock's voice. "I will take care of it myself, even if it was the last thing I will do in my life, I promise."

***

The tension has recently been an inseparable part of Magnus's loft. They all followed the warlock's orders, preparing what he needed to summon.

"Can you explain to me why we are summoning the Great Demon again?" Simon asked. When they summoned Azazel the last time he survived only because he had Cain’s mark on his forehead.

"Try not to jump into the pentagram this time and it will go without any major problems," Clary suggested teasingly. "Besides, we’re doing it for Alec. We cannot let him suffer any longer. Three weeks passed and no one found any trace of him. We have no choice. Nobody deserved happiness more than him."

Everyone nodded, but they couldn’t stop wondering what price they would have to pay, and how mad Alec would be at them when he finds out what they've done. They must have thought he would come back, because only the whole and healthy Alec could be mad at them for summoning the Great Demon.

"Stand against the wall," Magnus muttered loud enough to be heard.

The warlock sent back almost everyone, leaving only Izzy, Clary, Simon, Maryse and Jace, who was still lying half-conscious in the guest bedroom.

Magnus folded his hands as if to pray, he could feel the gazes of other people on him. He's been hiding who he was for so long, will they still treat him like a friend after all this? He shook his head, trying to banish the bleak scenario that only distracted him.

My father, he started the incantations, he heard behind himself how someone gasped in shock. Magnus knew what his father would demand. He was ready to give it to him, if it guaranteed that Alexander would come back to him. At the same time, he knew that if he did it, the boy would never forgive him.

My father,

who are in Hell,

unhallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come,

thy will be done,

in Edom as is it in Hell.

Forgive not my sins,

for in that fire of fires

there shall be neither loving kindness,

nor compassion, nor redemption.

My father, who makes war

in high places and low,

come to me now.

I call you as your son,

and incure myself

the responsibility of your summoning. ” 

There was an unpleasant silence for a moment. Magnus closed his eyes and sighed tiredly. He wanted to get it over with. He wanted to feel the heat of Alexander's body in his arms, even if only for a moment. He heard the silent cry of surprise, and he slowly opened his eyes. Before him stood a tall man, pale as death in the white suit. Silver cufflinks in the shape of flies gleamed on his wrists. His face was human, tight skin pulled over sharp cheekbones, yellow-green eyes with slit-pupils just as Magnus’. He had black hair that looked like it was decorated with a crown of thorns.

"Hello, father," the warlock said quietly. Asmodeus's gaze ran over the gathered faces and he froze for a second, and after a moment his eyes flashed with emotion, witch Magnus couldn’t recognize. He quickly glanced behind himself, following his father's gaze, to meet blue irises that radiate with desperation.

“Maryse Trueblood,” the demon smiled broadly, showing white teeth. "How many years has it passed, twenty?"

"Eighteen," she corrected him automatically. 

Magnus' eyes widened. His gaze moved from Maryse to Asmodeus’ face. It's impossible. He knew that Alec's father was someone special, but this...  

"I understand that you have a good reason to summon me, when we saw each other last time, you were not eager for another meeting," the man turned to his son, stopping his flow of thoughts, but it was not Magnus but Maryse who answered him.

"Alexander, my son..." she began focusing the demon's whole attention on herself again. "He disappeared three weeks ago. We tried everything to find him..."

"Everything you say?" Asmodeus thought about her words for a moment. "Why don’t you summon the boy's father?" Saying this, he pointed to the feather-shaped pendant on her neck. "My brother, would be glad being able to see you again."

The woman looked unhappy, everyone stared at her as if they had seen her for the first time in life. Only Magnus was relieved. He was terrified for a moment. If it turned out that Alec is the son of his father... Blood ties meant nothing to demons, but for him... It took him a moment to realize what scared the others. Alec's father was a demon?

"Well, what do you want from me?" Asmodeus asked, belittling the woman who had crouched under the pressure of others gazes. "If you want me to bring the boy back, I have to refuse."

"Why?!" almost everyone spoke, immediately forgetting about Maryse's secrets. The man looked at them and shrugged, his face betraying nothing, as if he had put on a mask.

"Magnus..." they heard from behind, a familiar voice hoarse from pain. 

All eyes went to the bedroom door where Jace stood. He was very pale, but what drew their attention was his blank expression.

"It's too late," he said at the same time as Asmodeus, revealing the place where he previously had a parabatai rune. The rune had disappeared.

Izzy fell to her knees, covering her mouth with her hand, Simon jumped to her immediately wanting to comfort her, knowing at the same time that he would be unable to say anything that could help in this situation. 

Jace fell to the ground, sliding down by the door frame. He felt like somebody had torn from his body a part of his soul. He was unable to defend his parabatai, spent the last weeks of his life lying in bed, unable to bear some pain.

"Bring his body here," Magnus demanded with empty voice. Asmodeus looked at him carefully. The rest seemed deaf to the warlock's words blinded by their own mourning. "I will give you what you want, just bring him here, please." his voice broke, tears flowed down his cheeks. "Please, Father," he sobbed loudly, hiding his face in his hands.

"I don’t want anything..." said the demon dispassionately, his eyes didn’t leave his son’s face for even a moment. "Forgive me my son, but the boy is out of my reach. I can’t accept this deal." After these words he disappeared, dissipating into a dark fog.

Chapter Text

Less than a day after Alec's death, Maryse received information about Sebastian's attacks on other Institutes. The Clave announced the evacuation of the Conclave and ordered everyone to regroup in Alicante.

Magnus helped the Lightwoods by opening a portal on the premises of the institute and went with them to the Shadowhunters capital, as a representative of warlocks.

The war again didn’t give them time for mourning, just as it did after Max's death. Izzy and Jace let themselves be carried away by the fight, thus warding them off grim thoughts. Clary and Simon tried to make sure that they would come back in one piece from each fight. While Magnus... 

The warlock sent out fire messages to all his friends who could help him find Alexander. He lived with the hope that the boy survived. When he disappeared, Camille's blood was still circling in his veins. Magnus knew that in the three weeks that had passed since his disappearance and probable death, the vampire's blood might have faded, but as long as there was even a shadow of hope, he was not going to give up. He sent messages all over the world, asking his many friends to send them on. If anyone saw Alec, he hoped they would call him back soon.

In the meantime, the team good went to Edom, wanting to save the downworld council, that had been kidnapped by Sebastian. It was then that Sebastian Morgenstern died, killed by Clary, struck by the seraphic blade named Hesperos which was filled with heavenly fire. Unfortunately, at the same time they lost one more person close to them.

Sebastian, before he was defeated, sealed the passage between Edom and other dimensions, taking the team’s only way to go back home. Then, Magnus summoned Asmodeus again and offered him his own immortality in exchange for the unsealing of the borders.

The warlock was slowly losing hope of finding Alexander. The thought of spending eternity without his blue eyes and wonderful smile was something that terrified Magnus. By giving up his immortality, he could save his friends and at the same time end his own suffering. However, to everyone's surprise, the demon refused him again . He demanded the immortality and memories of Simon in exchange for sending everyone home and turning Simon back to being mundane. The boy immediately agreed, making his friends unable to argue with the demon.

Almost a year has passed since those events. The Shadowhunters, who suffered huge losses in the war, permanently moved to their capital, leaving the destroyed Institutes and completely cut themselves off from the rest of the world. The borders of Alicante were closed to everyone except for the Nephilim. Only a few people knew the real reason for these actions. 

***

Magnus lived in the house of his friend Ragnor Fell on the outskirts of Alicante. Through the window in the kitchen, he could see the glass spires of demonic towers that illuminated the darkness of the forest stretching around the warlock's house. Magnus called this place his home but he never felt more foreign in there than right then. Without Ragnor, Raphael, Catarina and Alexander, this place would never be his real home... Of all four of them, only Cat was still alive, but Magnus didn't want her to leave her job at the hospital for him. The world needed her more than he did. Besides, it's not like he was alone all the time. He had a reason why he lived in this place, leaving his loft in Brooklyn. First of all, there were too many painful memories in the old apartment. The second reason...

"Magnus! Are you home?!" A familiar voice pulled him out of his thoughts.

The warlock shook his head and looked back through the window, realizing that for a long time, he stood staring at the towers and didn't even notice when the darkness come.

He gasped with frustration and started toward the door. "What are you doing here, Jace? It's already dark outside. We had a deal. No unnecessary risks. If Alec finds out..."

"Alec is dead, Magnus!" called the Shadowhunter. "You cannot do this anymore. How long are you going to lie to yourself?"

There was a long awkward silence between them. Their bond with Alexander was different. Magnus could have hoped, but Jace... the blank place where parabatai rune used to be was a daily reminder to him that his brother was dead. And while for the first few weeks he let the warlock fuel the hope that Alec was still alive, but almost a year after his disappearance, even Magnus couldn't convince him. No matter how badly it hurt them, they finally had to admit that Alexander Lightwood was gone forever. Most of their friends had long ago accepted this thought and slowly moved forward, he also wanted to.

"Look at us," Jace murmured. "We tried everything, we looked everywhere, you called your father the Great Demon, and even he couldn’t find him." At these words, Magnus's gold-green cat eyes suddenly widened and shone. "What's up?"

"Jace, you're a genius," cried the warlock, pulling the confused boy into a clumsy hug and after a moment, he ran to the first floor and he entered the studio. Jace ran after him without understanding. "How could I be so stupid? He himself told us about this..." the boy has been worrying about Magnus' mental health for some time and now, the fears came back.

"What happened, what did I say?" he asked, going after the warlock to the studio. The walls up to the ceiling were covered with rows of shelves, brimming with books arranged so tightly there was no space to add another. You could find so many treasures there, from the oldest magical books to stupid children's stories. Magnus reached for one of the books that looked very old and very dark.

"When you want to make a deal with a demon, you have to ask the question precisely because you can be cheated. When we called my father, we had no chance to ask him anything, he asked us if we wanted him to bring Alec and immediately refused," he explained to Jace "When I asked him to bring Alec’s body, he replied..."

"... that Alec is out of his reach," the Shadowhunter finished. Magnus grinned, nodding his head. "I don’t get it. What does it mean?"

"My father is not an ordinary demon, he is one of the princes of hell. There are few things beyond his reach," said Magnus, opening the book, which he removed from the shelf. He turned so that the boy could see the picture in the middle of it.

"Demons have their own hierarchy. Asmodeus is one of the seven princes, under his rule is an infernal circle called Edom," he said pointing at the pyramid in the book. "The deeper you are, the more power you have."

Jace concentrated on the drawing and quickly noticed that Edom was in the middle of hell.

"Does it mean…"

“Alec was out of his reach because he had to be in a place where my father had no power." They looked into each other's eyes in which the same expression of terror appeared. If Alec was in hell all this time...

"Magnus, what if..." began the boy, but the warlock didn't give him the chance to finish.

"We'll find him..."

"But how do we get there? It's not like our trip to Edom, even I know that it's not that easy to just enter any circle of hell."

"Ragnor had the talent for traveling between dimensions..."

"If you forgot..."

"Believe me, I’ve not forgotten," Magnus answered bitterly. "I know one more person who would be able to help us, but..." he began uncertainly. "I've tried to contact her for a few months, unfortunately to no avail." Jace made a face as if he wanted to say something, but changed his mind at the last moment. "If only I knew where to find her..."

"Where was the last time you saw her?" Jace asked, trying to help.

"It's useless. She can be anywhere," he gasped and went to the door, still holding the book in his hand. "She is one of the oldest warlocks I know. Tracking her borders on a miracle."

"You have to try," said the Shadowhunter, placing a hand on the man's shoulder. "We don’t have choice." Magnus nodded his head in agreement, immediately sending a fire message. In the end, one of it must definitely reach her.

"How’s the city?" the warlock asked, looking through the spell book. Jace sighed heavily, attracting the attention of the cat's irises. “Is it that bad?"

"The Clave claims that they are still following Raziel's will. They don't see a problem in their actions…” The boy dropped into an armchair, Magnus sat beside him on the armrest and sank his fingers, shimmering with blue magic, into boy’s blond hair.

"When was the last time you ate or sleep?" he asked with concern, allowing his magic to soothe some of the blond's nerves.

"It doesn’t matter," he grunted unhappily, ignoring the warlock's questions. "It’s Jia who should become the new Consul. Why did they choose this backward old prick? It’s because of people like him that we are on the verge of collapse!" The boy's voice was full of bitterness.

Since defeating Sebastian, the Clave's council had fallen into paranoia by looking at everyone like they were possible traitors. During the war, the Shadowhunters suffered heavy losses and didn't have enough people to be allocated to the Institutes. Therefore, it was decided for them that they would take refuge in their capital city, Alicante. They didn’t respond to reports of demon attacks, they didn’t allow for an audience with the representatives of the downworld. They just cut themselves completely from the rest of the world. Jace overheard several times how Jia Penhallow argued with the current Consul regarding the plan they called the Archangel's Blessing . He didn't hear what the plan was about, but since Jia was against it, he was as well. Whatever the Clave planned, he didn’t like it.

***

Outside the window there was a chirping of birds, which slowly awakened the sleeping blonde. The boy slowly opened his eyes and smiled when he saw a couple of cats' irises staring at him. 

"Hey," he whispered in a hoarse voice and stretched out his hand to caress the place behind his ear. The eyes immediately disappeared under half-closed eyelids, and the silence was interrupted by a humming.

"Biscuit will be jealous if she finds out about it," the warlock remarked with a laugh.

"She doesn’t have to know anything," replied the boy. "But if she found out, she would definitely accept it."

Magnus grabbed the unhappy cat in his arms and dropped onto the bed, taking the cat’s place and seating him on his lap. Chairman Meow immediately settled down more comfortably and encouraged the boy with his paw to return to the interrupted activity, causing both men to laugh. The cat's gaze wandered from one face to the other as if saying: 'What are you waiting for, humans? Pet me.' The look of the golden eyes of the Shadowhunter moved from the animal to the face of the warlock, who looked different than usual.

"Did something happen?" he asked, unable to stop himself. Magnus looked at him in taken aback, but after a moment he smiled, his eyes seemed to shimmer with some inner glow that Jace had not seen in them since... "I couldn't help but notice that you look as happy as the Chairman Meow when he brought this mouse home last night."

"Do not remind me that," he shuddered at the mere mention, causing a wide smile on the blond's face. "I wanted to tell you about it at breakfast, but since you've noticed..."

"How could I not notice. You are blinding me, you radiate so much joy. What happened?"

"I've received the answer…" Magnus didn’t finish, waiting for the reaction that came almost immediately.  Jace's head jerked up, hope appeared in his eyes. "She agreed to help me. I'm meeting her tomorrow."

"Wait..." the Shadowhunter gasped, sitting abruptly up. The cat jumped scared, hissed at him and ran out of the room. “Help you? Rather help us..."

“Jace…”

"Do not start with this again!" he exclaimed. "How many times have we had this conversation? You will not go there alone." The warlock shook his head, unable to hide his displeasure. "Alec would never forgive me if something happened to you!"

"Do you think he would forgive me if something happened to you?" he murmured quietly. "Jace, I'm not doing this for Alexander. Think about it... if you get hurt or you die... I already feel terribly guilty after what happened to your brother and Simon, if something happens to you as well..." A dark note appeared in the warlock's voice, which always made the younger man shiver. He knew that Magnus had a dark side, in the end his father was one of the princes of hell, but only at moments like this he realized how little separated Magnus from crossing the border between good and bad.

“Magnus,” he said quietly, trying to get the man out of this dark place, grabbed him by both arms when he didn’t react and lightly shook him again, calling him by his name, when in the end the gold-green cat's eyes focused on him, he said quickly, "Take me to this meeting, and I promise I will not go to hell with you." Jace felt the man relax instantly.

"OK."

Chapter Text

"Magnus! It's so good to see you again!" Jace heard a joyful cry from a distance, belonging to a girl who looked like she was more or less Clary's height. Without thinking, she threw herself at the warlock's neck. Her long black hair cascaded over her shoulders and back. They seemed to be having a life of their own, waving at them all the time. When Magnus awkwardly disentangled himself from her embrace, the boy saw her beautiful golden-green eyes.

"Who is your friend, brother?" she asked, watching the Shadowhunter curiously like a five-year-old.

"B... brother?" Jace asked surprised, looking uncertainly at Magnus and the mysterious girl. "You never mentioned you had siblings," he said teasingly, giving his friend a mischievous smile.

"Well ..." Magnus began slowly, "It's been a long time since we last saw each other."

"Besides, I am not the most well-behaved," she laughed and her voice rang out in the beautiful hall like little bells. "My name is Megara, but for friends, Megi," she added, remembering her manners before holding out her right hand towards the blonde.

“Jace, Jace Herondale,” her eyes widened even more and ran over his body as if searching for something.

"You're far from home, little Shadowhunter," she noticed, tilting her head in a funny way. "Your presence provided a balance between our worlds. When the Nephilim disappeared, we felt their lack even here." Her words were filled with sadness and regret. “However, we warlocks have done the same thing more than once. Whenever the danger appeared, we used our powers to hide, abandoning those who didn’t have this ability." Her eyes seemed to see something very distant and sad. Jace could see a similar look only in Magnus's eyes. The girl shook her head,  pulling out of her thoughts and gave them a radiant smile. "Where are my manners? You must be tired. Follow me, I will show you the rooms."

Megi turned gracefully and headed towards the beautifully decorated golden elevator.

Along the way, the warlock told them about Mhapral, the small village they were in, which lay on the Savitri River in West India. There were no mundane inhabitants in the village because of the vampire clan that lived in the area. The High Warlock of Pune put a barrier around the village and a huge area beside it to chase away curious mundanes.

When the elevator door opened after a while on the fourth floor of the building, a beautifully decorated hallway leading to the rooms appeared in front of them. The warlock came to the last door on the left and opened it. Before their eyes appeared a spacious living room with large windows behind where there was a breathtaking view of the village and the river. There were several other doors on both sides of the living room.

"I hope you don't mind the company?" she asked, smiling gently. "The room on the right belongs to me and my girlfriend Laura. This one," she pointed to a second door on the same side. "Belongs to our friend Claus. You will definitely like him. This boy has gone through a lot, but he is still tender and joyful, and he wears his heart on his sleeve. You can't not love him." When she said that the door behind them opened with a bang and it felt like a strong gust of wind was blowing through the room.

“MegiMegiMegiMegiMegiMegiMegiMegi…” a little girl with delicate olive skin and large brown eyes was jumping at the warlock's feet. Her long black curls bounced with her, like springs. "Help me hide!" she said quickly, nervously looking at the door that was still open.

"What did you do this time, Kiara?" Megi asked, putting her hands on her hips.

"Nothing..." she cried outraged and looked back again as if she had heard something. "Please, Megi, he will find me in a minute," she almost squealed , grabbing the woman's sleeve, looking at her pleadingly.

"Let me think..." Megi looked around the room looking for a good place to hide.

Jace felt his hair rise at the back of his neck. Someone was approaching them, but before he could turn around, a shadow passed across the room, taking the girl.

They heard a loud cry of surprise and then laughter. When the shadow finally stopped, they saw that a tall man with pale skin and a storm of black hair surrounding his handsome face, which was adorned with a dark beard, standing in front of them, but their attention was caught most by a pair of incredibly blue eyes, which were staring intensely at the girl trying to break out of his hold.

The man leaned over and rubbed her cheek with his chin, making her scream with laughter, she grabbed his hair, trying to pull him away.

"Not the beard..." she exclaimed, still laughing.

Megi watched the whole scene with a tender smile, not noticing the reaction of her guests.

The man looked up at the warlock and froze. He carefully set the girl down, ignoring her silent protest.

When he straightened up he was almost at Magnus' height, who was staring at him with a slightly open mouth and large eyes.

After a while the warlock pulled himself from the daze and immediately moved forward, embracing the man tightly. “By the Lilith, Alexander…” he cried into his neck. After searching for so long, engulfed in suffering, guilt and loneliness, he finally held him in his arms again. Whole and healthy.

Magnus felt that all the emotions he had hidden so well over the past year suddenly exploded with double strength. He knew he was embarrassing himself in front of his older sister and friend, but he couldn't help it. All the fear, pain, and relief found an outlet from his body in the form of tears that ran down his cheeks. He felt strong arms close around him in embrace. Immediately he felt safer, as if nothing could hurt him.

"Magnus," he heard a strangled whisper. Every time Alec said something, he could feel his breath on his cheek."My dear, my love, I was looking for you for so long..."

The warlock froze.He broke away from him with eyes wide open in surprise. He needed a moment for his drunken-with-happiness mind to register what he had just heard. He was relieved that Jace's thought process hadn't suffered as much as his.

"You were looking for him?" he asked surprised. "We were looking for you!"

Alec blinked several times before speaking again. "I went to the Institute and Magnus' apartment," he whispered, pulling the warlock closer. "What I found there..." Magnus felt a shiver run through Alec's body. "The institute, was only the empty square, while the loft..." he swallowed hard. "I haven’t met anyone I could ask for help. There were only a few mundanes or shapeshifting demons. No downworlders, as if they had vanished into thin air." Alec heard the sound of his own blood in his ears and his frantic heartbeat.. "Only recently we received information about what happened... About Sebastian..."

"Sebastian is dead," Jace said quickly, in order to avoid misunderstandings. A look of surprise appeared on his brother's face. "You didn't know?"

Alec shook his head.

"The last piece of information about him, which reached us, concerned the death of downworlder representatives kidnapped by him," Megi said, putting a hand on the brunette's shoulder. "Our informant said that the Nephilim group that went to save them was also gone."

"What bullshit!" Jace exclaimed outraged, making the girl standing next to Alec squeak behind him, clenching her fingers tightly on the leg of his pants.

Alec lifted her in his arms without thinking.

"You were not supposed to have a lesson with Laura today," he asked her, making her pout with displeasure.

"I want to stay with you," she whispered, hiding her face in the hollow of his neck, wanting to hide from the strangers' eyes.

"Lessons are important," he said, bouncing her lightly in his arms, which immediately resulted in a melodious laugh. "I will help you find Laura, and if you  behave I will read you something before you go to sleep, okay?" Kiara's eyes shone with joy.

"Tale of the night pirates?" He nodded his agreement and started toward the door.

"I'll be right back," he said over his shoulder and left the room.

"Claus, tell Laura I miss her," Megi called after him and heard him laugh before he disappeared behind the door.

"Wait, Claus?!" Jace and Magnus asked at the same time.

Chapter Text

Megi served a meal in the living room, at which they sat, waiting for Alec’s return. She knew that Magnus and Jace had many questions, but she shouldn’t answer them. She breathed a sigh of relief when Alec returned and took the place next to her.

"I know you have a lot of questions..." Alec began, twisting his fork nervously when he felt their eyes on him.

"You're very perceptive," Jace noticed sarcastically, making his brother roll his eyes. "How long have you been here?"

Alec looked away, unable to look into the eyes of his former parabatai. "Megi brought me here less than a year ago." Jace gasped in surprise but Magnus was silent, he felt as if someone had tied a knot in his stomach.

"The whole damn year we thought you were dead..." Jace's voice could imitate a murmur of a storm. "It didn't occur to you to contact us in any way?!" The Shadowhunter's eyes burned with rage.

"It's not that simple..." Alec whispered.

"Why is that? There are phones here, right?" The blond remained adamant. He didn't know where his rage came from. "I thought you were dead. You have no idea what I went through when our parabatai bond disappeared!"

Lightwood curled up under the pressure of his intense gaze. There was a silence for a moment, broken by the female warlock’s angry voice.

"You say you were his parabatai, but how well do you know him, Shadowhunter?" she asked coldly, her gold-green eyes burning as she looked at him. Before Jace could speak, she continued. "You don't have to answer. If you knew him, you would know that he must have had a good reason for not contacting you."

"Maybe you will enlighten us?" he replied in the same cold tone.

Alec’s big eyes switched between both of them, not knowing what to do or say. Megi was very similar to Jace, which didn’t bode well for this conversation.

"Megi, that's enough," he said, holding her hand.

“No, Claus. I can't believe this jerk was your parabatai!” she snapped, still looking at Jace. "You're so egotistical. It's true that your Alec had no idea what you went through, but you, as his parabatai, should know what he went through! That's how this bond works, right?!"

Jace paled when memories of weeks filled with suffering and helplessness came back to him. He would never say it out loud, but he knew the warlock was right. He was terribly selfish. The only justification he had was the irrational fear that meeting Alec would turn out to be just a dream. His inner crusade was interrupted by Megi's voice.

"I saw his runes disappear one by one." Her eyes welled up with tears. Jace and Magnus stared at her in horror at what they heard. "When the parabatai rune disappeared, he repeated one word over and over again. Now I know it was your name." 

Alec sighed heavily, this is not how he imagined this conversation. 

"He has more demonic blood in his body than angelic or even human blood. I fought for a week to keep him alive. Where were you then, huh?!" Jace immediately looked at his brother, as if seeking confirmation in his eyes. Alec's face reminded him of a mask. He didn't show any feelings. "He awoke after a few days. Three months passed before he started speaking again." Megi clenched her fist, trying to hide their trembling at the memory of those days. "His memories began to come back only six months ago." Magnus's head suddenly rose, and Alec who was watching him all the time, didn’t miss it. The warlock’s silence bothered him. "Three days later he disappeared without a word..." A grimace appeared on Alec's face. He still felt guilty at the mere mention of those weeks. "He returned after a month without explaining anything to me. However, I wasn't angry at him... When I saw the look on his face... I just couldn't..." She swallowed hard, gathering strength to continue speaking. She felt a hand on her shoulder, looked into the blue eyes that were full of sadness.

"It's enough," she heard Alec's pleading voice. She nodded, sliding in her chair. Suddenly she felt very tired. "When my memories began to come back and I could remember more and more each day, I couldn't just sit. I had to find you. I wasn’t thinking about anything else at the time." He looked at the woman apologetically. "When I found out what Sebastian did..." He closed his eyes and breathed a few times, trying to calm down.

He knew that what he heard at the time was a lie, but the suffering he felt, although it didn‘t last long, didn’t want to leave him. He immediately went to Magnus' loft and quickly discovered that rumors of the warlock's death were a lie.

As soon as he stood at the door of the loft, he could sense Magnus' magic that fed the barrier. He wanted to go in, but he didn't know if the spell would let him in. He was afraid that Magnus had removed his signature after he had disappeared, almost half a year earlier. Alec wouldn’t be surprised at all. He had run without a word of explanation, leaving the warlock not knowing where he was going.

When he touched the door, something that he didn’t expect happened. Black sparks appeared in front of his eyes, which threw him away from the door with such force that when he hit the wall, the impact deprived him of all air from his lungs. He was so shocked that it took him a minute to fight for his breath.

He remembered how Magnus added his signature to the barrier while telling him how it worked. The friends it would let in without any reaction. Guests who didn't have any bad intentions could notice with a little focus, a soft blue glow. Those with hostile intentions would be greeted by red magic to scare them away. And the last barrier... It was meant for beings that didn't come from this world. It was black and treated Alec as an enemy... Like a demon...

Before his memories returned, he had no problems being different from the others. In Mhapral he met many different beings who stood out among their race. However, when he remembered that he had once been a Shadowhunter and that his task was to fight demons...

The barrier wasn’t the first proof that Alec had become what he was supposed to hunt before. Something his family thought was the worst being in the world. He became a demon.

When he was moving away from Magnus' house, from New York, as he did six months earlier, he knew that his loved ones could never know about it. This time, he said goodbye to the place forever.

After returning, he strengthened all the spells that blocked the tracking that Megi had imposed on him. If, Magnus was looking for him, he wasn't going to make it easy for him...

He knew that they would eventually meet again, however, he didn't expect it to happen so soon.

When he talked about what he found in New York, of course, he did not mention the visit to the loft or its consequences. He could feel the intense gaze of the warlock's golden-green cat eyes on him.

When he met Magnus after such a long separation, he couldn't help but be happy. Now he regretted it, because how would he explain the sudden change in behavior. He couldn't come back with him. Like, he couldn't tell him the truth. At the same time, he couldn't hide it from him. Magnus knew him too well…

"Why is Megi calling you Claus?" Magnus asked quietly.

"After she saved me, she must have called me somehow, and I wasn't very eager to talk, so she started calling me Claus," he smiled at the other warlock, she immediately returned it. "The name stuck on me, and until today, I didn't know what was my real name, so..."

Magnus looked surprised. "In most cases, their name is the first thing people remember," he noted.

"Apparently I’m not one of the most cases" Alec said with a shrug. "My memories keep coming back to me. I was convinced that I would remember the name, eventually," he finished, trying not to show any feelings.

"But you remember who I am, huh? And Izzy or Clary?" Jace interjected anxiously.

Alec laughed, but his eyes remained unchanged. "Of course I remember. You don't have to worry, Jace," 

After a short while, filled with silence, he looked at Magnus and then again at Jace. "How did you know I was here?" he asked, seemingly interested.

"We didn't know," Magnus replied. Alec looked surprised. "I came to Mhapral to meet Megi, I wanted her to help me find you. I didn't know you were here."

Alec and Megi looked at each other; the other two noticed how quickly the emotions on their faces change, as if they were communicating without words. Suddenly Lightwood stood up, his chair grinding on the stone floor. His eyes burned with anger.

"You are siblings," Alec said, more than asked, looking at Magnus' surprised gold-green cat eyes. The warlock only nodded in response. "This means that your father is Asmodeus."

Magnus froze. He didn't understand what was happening. "I'm not proud of it, but it's true," he shrugged. There was no point in hiding it any longer.

The room got brighter. “Claus,” Megi whispered grabbing his wrist. At the same time, all the bulbs in the room began to flicker and exploded a moment later. Glass shards fell on their heads.

Jace pulled a seraph blade from his belt and shouted a name. The sword immediately lit up the dark room. Next to him, Magnus summoned a blue ball of light, and Megi did the same, instantly illuminating Alec's face, causing Jace and Magnus to take a deep breath.

The brunette's eyes were black. When Bane looked at them, he had the feeling that something very dark was glancing back at him behind them.

“Alexander…”

Chapter Text

Magnus stared at his boyfriend in horror. Could he still call him that after he left him without a word? The warlock shook his head. There was no time for that. Alec looked like he was possessed. Magnus searched his mind for a spell that would help him fight the demon who had taken over Alec's body.

At the same time, Megi, to the surprise of the other two, grabbed the front of Alec's shirt and pulled him hard in her direction."Take a deep breath and try to calm down," she spoke to him in a quiet but firm voice, "You can't afford to lose control in a hotel. Do you remember how it ended the last time?”

The brunette closed his eyes and breathed as Megi advised him. When his eyelids opened a few seconds later, it was the blue irises that looked at her again.

"That's better," she approved, releasing him.She snapped her fingers and all the bulbs returned to their previous state. "I have no idea what my father did, but it's not worth you going through it again. You are above that, remember.”

He nodded in agreement and looked gloomily at Magnus. "What did you give him?" he asked quietly. Magnus didn’t understand his question. He looked at his sister questioningly, she just shrugged."Your father. What did you give him in exchange for getting me out of hell?" the former Shadowhunter said, slightly annoyed.

Magnus's pupils narrowed into slits. “How...”

"I know you," Alec snorted, "Don’t tell me that you didn’t try to find me." The warlock's expression told him everything "You summoned him to find me," he stated more than asked. "Don't look at me with such surprise. If it was you, then I would do anything to find you, especially with such connections. So what did you give him in exchange for saving me?” he asked quietly.

Magnus's heart skipped as Alec used the past tense, completely forgetting his question. The brunette's words made him feel as if the ground was sliding out from under his feet. He knew they couldn't go back to what had been before Alexander's disappearance, but he hoped that they could be together again. He wasn’t going to allow anything else. After he finally found Alexander, he couldn’t imagine losing him again.

Jace wanted to punch his brother in the face with all his strength to make him realize what an asshole he was. He couldn't watch how he thoughtlessly hurt the only person who believed to the very end that Alec was alive and was trying to find him all the time.

"It's true that Magnus summoned his father to find you," said Jace, seeing that the warlock was temporarily unable to answer Alec's question, "But Asmodeus didn’t demand anything in return." His brother looked at him skeptically, then Jace told him everything from the moment he was summoned to the moment the demon disappeared in a dust cloud.

Alec looked at Megi. They both looked at least surprised by what they heard.

"So, you didn't give him anything?" Alec asked again, staring at the warlock who was turning one of his rings on his finger, unable to look him in the eye.

"I told you..." the Shadowhunter began, but Alec waved his hand at him as if he were chasing away an intrusive fly, watching Bane all the time.

"Magnus..."

The sorcerer tightly closed his eyelids and shook his head, Alec sighed with relief. Magnus immediately opened his eyes.

"Don't do it again, okay? Not for me," brunette whispered, looking away and falling back into the chair.

"If not for you, then for whom?" Bane gasped. "Besides, how did you know I summoned him ?"

Megi looked distressed, while Alec looked like he wanted to kill someone. Magnus hoped it wasn’t him.

“Asmodeus pulled me out of hell, he saved me and called Megi to heal me,” he shrugged and continued, "I figured that since he was your father, you must have had something to do with it. I see no other reason why he would come for me.” 

“Why are you angry then?” It was not the first time Magnus found himself thinking that he had no idea who this man was. He could read Alexander as easily as a spell book, while Claus was a mystery to him. 

“Because if you called him to save me, you would have to sacrificed something and I couldn't agree to that. I'm not worth it.” Magnus wanted to protest, but the blue-eyed man didn't let him. "Don't you think it's a little weird that he saved me at the same time you asked him to, without demanding anything in return?"

Magnus's mouth closed when he realized that Alec was right. Why had Asmodeus demanded nothing in exchange for rescuing Alexander? First of all, why had he lied to him? Magnus said he would give him whatever he wanted, but he didn't demand anything. What was his purpose in this?

"I have a hypothesis," Jace began slowly, all eyes immediately focused on him, which the blond welcomed, pleased. “Asmodeus was the only person who came for you. Not Magnus, Not me, but him. What did you feel then?” he asked, carefully watching his brother's reaction to his question.

Alec immediately understood what his former parabatai was striving towards. When Midas began to torture him, Alec knew that Jace would immediately sense it and alert Magnus and the rest. The demon tried to break him for a long time, but the thought of his family coming to save him strengthened his fighting spirit. Hours changed into days, days into weeks, weeks into months, and these changed into years of suffering that he still couldn't remember. Time in hell passed much faster. When he met Asmodeus, he couldn't believe that one of the nine princes of hell came to save him. He didn’t know what a greater demon might want from him in return for such a favor.

It was a year since Asmodeus released him and he still demanded nothing in return. Alec was grateful to him for pulling him out of the abyss and this was probably the main reason Asmodeus had saved him. The brunette had a debt to him, which he will not be able to pay off too quickly. The knowledge that the Greater Demon did it only to use him at some point didn’t change his attitude. Jace was right. Alec had waited too long for someone to save him. He believed that Magnus would be the first person to come for him, but that never happened. He wasn't mad at him, after all, he'd been looking for him in this world for so long.

"I understand what you mean," said Alec firmly. "I owe Asmodeus my life, I should be grateful..."

“But?” Jace asked, raising one eyebrow.

"But…" said his brother, letting the corners of his mouth quiver slightly before he continued "When Asmodeus came for me, I didn't want his help. I didn't want anyone's help.” Jace and Magnus looked puzzled. Megi sighed heavily. "I remember I wanted only one thing at the time… I was so close. But Asmodeus appeared and took that chance away from me. And for a long time, I hated him because of it. When he spoke, he looked away. He didn't want to see their reaction when they realized what he meant.

After a short silence, he heard the creak of the sliding chair and the quickly receding footsteps. He didn't even flinch when he heard the door close with a bang.

"I don't recognize you," gasped Jace, catching the eyes of his former parabatai, "The Alec, who I knew, would never give up and would do anything to get home. To us. To Magnus.”

“The Alec you knew never left hell,” he said dispassionately, rising from the table and heading towards the exit, leaving the Shadowhunter trembling with rage and a warlock who looked like she was carrying a heavy weight on her shoulders.

Claus headed towards the hotel main hall from which the door led to the conference rooms. His brain was working at increased speed. He knew he couldn't go back to what had connected him to Magnus before. The time he spent in hell didn’t leave him without blemish. He didn’t mean the magic he gained with demonic blood. He lost his angelic soul. Shadowhunters tried to die as humans so that they could join the angelic host after death, as the historical books told them. It was taken from him along with the Shadowhunter pride. 

After months of fighting, Alec allowed Midas to break him. What he experienced that day... He didn't want to remember it, but memories began to come back. That night as well. Then for the first time, he lost control of his magic. Megi couldn’t calm him down, which forced her to summon Asmodeus, who absorbed his magic, leaving him exhausted and barely alive. He needed a few weeks to be able to use basic spells again, which turned out to be helpful because of the recurring memories.

Eventually, he asked Megi to erase his memories of hell. As a result, he stopped thinking about how much he wanted Asmodeus to let him die that night and focused on improving his magic.

He came to the huge door that led to the room that once served as a ballroom. Now it was the heart of the hotel. He didn't even have to touch them and after a while they would open before him showing him the beautifully decorated room. Few people knew the secret of this place. Claus slowly headed towards a gold star in the middle of the room. It was surrounded by three golden circles that were decorated with fancy symbols. When he crossed the first circle, the symbols began to radiate, illuminating the room with an unusual glow. The gold rim pulled away from the ground and began to spin. At first slowly. Over time, when the next two joined, faster. Claus felt his magic slowly move to the inside of the pentagram on whose edge the fourth rim appeared. After a while, this rim broke away from the marble floor, joining the others, surrounding the man standing in the middle with an impenetrable barrier.

Claus was grateful to Asmodeus for one thing. The Lord of Edom, could just get him out of hell and let the blood of demons turn him into a monster. Instead, he offered him immortal life and magic to protect the hotel and everyone he cared about. The spell, which he entangled in the floor with pedantic precision, was his greatest work.

Chapter Text

Jace couldn't believe what was happening. The shadowhunter had no idea who this man, who claimed to be his brother, was. He might look like Alec, but Jace had a feeling he wasn't him at all. His parabatai would never have treated him that way. Alec would never knowingly say anything that could hurt him, much less Magnus. Herondale decided that he would find out what the man was hiding at all costs.

After Claus left their common room, Jace decided to look for Magnus. The warlock was blaming himself for Alec's disappearance. The Team Good tried to convince him that it wasn't his fault, but even reasonable arguments didn't help. Jace could only guess how Claus's words had affected the warlock.

Over the past year, Jace had spent enough time with Magnus to know where to look for him. The elevator took him very slowly to the top floor of the hotel from which you could get to the roof by the stairs. Jace breathed in the fresh night air and looked around, immediately noticing the warlock. He sat leaning against the wall, his arms around his knees, hiding his face in them.

Jace approached the man and sighed heavily, sliding his back down the wall to sit next to him, while simultaneously throwing, seemingly nonchalantly, a hand on his shoulders. The warlock immediately tensed.

"Magnus," Jace began quietly, "it wasn't your fault." The boy felt a shiver running through the man's body. "You did everything you could and even more. Until the very end you believed that Alec was alive. If it weren't for you, we would never have found him. We wouldn't even have searched for him.” The warlock's sobbing broke the momentary silence. 

Just a year ago, Jace saw Magnus as the strongest man on earth. He was always smiling, he never showed weakness, even after they thought Alec was dead, only at first he allowed himself to cry. Later, all the gates of hell opened and none of them had time to show weakness. At first, there were Sebastian's attacks, then the kidnapping of downworlders council representatives, and finally announcement of the Cold Peace. Everything happened so quickly that no one had time to pay attention to one warlock.

***

Jace reined Firestorm, stopping her just outside Ragnor's house. He jumped off her back with the grace of a Shadowhunter. Tying the reins to the porch railing, he patted the mare's hot neck. When he made sure everything was all right, he headed for the door, going inside without knocking.

“Magnus!” he called. When he received no answer, he went upstairs.

The last time he saw the warlock was at a council, during which the Clave announced the Cold Peace, which had been a week earlier.

Jace took the steps two at a time, quickly finding Magnus in the office. The Shadowhunter froze as he looked around the room. Heaps of books were scattered on the floor and Jace noticed several photos on the desk and a blue scarf that looked as if someone had touched it too often. Magnus was sitting in the middle of this chaos. He had tousled hair and a makeupless face. He wore the same clothes as on the day of the council.

Jace carefully watched the dark bruises under the sorrowful eyes of the warlock. "When was the last time you slept?" he asked in a tone that demanded an answer. Magnus jumped in his chair, surprised, throwing another pile of books onto the floor. When he saw who had invaded his friend's house, he calmed down and put on a face that could otherwise seemed to be irritated at this interruption, but for Jace it seemed only an ugly grimace. It was new to him, because so far, even grimaces performed by Magnus seemed handsome, to which he would never admit aloud.

"What are you looking for here?" the warlock grunted.

"You. You disappeared immediately after the council and since then no one has seen you," said Jace, crossing his arms over his chest.

"Awwww, was the Herondale boy worried about the downworlder?" Jace looked at him in disbelief.

"I understand that it's hard for you, but don't push away the only person in the world who understands how you feel." The warlock laughed bitterly, making the Shadowhunter shiver. Jace had never seen him like this.

"You don't understand anything ..."

"Are you sure?" he interrupted firmly. "I feel like someone has ripped half my soul out of my body, right after he tortured it for several weeks, leaving me with pain and emptiness, after my brother, my parabatai! Is what you feel different?! You are not alone in this Magnus!" Jace was panting, trying to hide the pain he was feeling all the time.

"At least you  have Clary and Isabelle," the man whispered.

"You too, but you push us away," Jace wanted to shake the warlock so that he would finally notice that they were in this together. "It's hard for Izzy too, she lost two brothers in one month, and yet she comes here and tries to comfort you... Why can't we help each other?"

Magnus shook his head. He got up from the desk, wanting to ask the Shadowhunter to let him work in peace, but as soon as he straightened up, he lost consciousness.

Jace watched in horror as the warlock paled, and after a while slumped to the ground.

“Magnus!” The boy ran to the man, checking his heart rate, and breathed a sigh of relief, when he sensed the typical-for-a-warlock's slow heartbeat. Jace didn't have to be a healer to understand what happened. Magnus was exhausted. He probably hadn't slept in a few days and hadn’t eaten anything.

The Shadowhunter reached for the stele and activated a rune of strength to lift the warlock's limp body after a moment. He entered the bedroom, which looked as if it had been recently occupied by some giant bird. The bedding appeared to be in disarray, but on closer inspection it looked like a nest, intended to surround a person lying inside with a protective cocoon.

Jace gently laid the unconscious Magnus on the bed, but when he wanted to let him go, the warlock's hands tightened on the lap of his leather jacket. A pained moan and one word came from the man's throat. "Alexander..." Jace closed his eyes tightly. He understood perfectly what Magnus felt, but he would never be able to fully understand him. His relationship with Alec was completely different.

The Shadowhunter lay down next to the warlock, who immediately turned to cuddle him, covering him almost with his whole body. Jace lay with his arms raised, not sure what to do with them. Only after a while he gently embraced the man, praying to the Angels that after waking up, Magnus didn’t decide to turn him into a frog. He decided that he would worry about it only when this moment came.

He watched the warlock's face for some time, wondering if a nightmare would wake him up, but when the man lay motionless for a long time, Jace decided to relax. It was not over a minute and he was also sleeping.

***

When Magnus woke up the next morning, after the first full night of sleep in many weeks, he felt rested and extremely relaxed, surrounded by strong arms and a warm body. He took a deep breath and froze when he realized that the smell was unfamiliar to him. The arms covering him immediately disappeared. Magnus sat up abruptly, blue sparks ran through his hands, ready to attack the intruder.

"Hey... it's just me," Jace grunted, raising his hands up like people do in action movies when someone points a gun at them.

The warlock breath several times trying to calm his raging heart. "What are you doing here?" he gasped, rubbing his face with his hands.

"Don't you remember?" the boy seemed a little embarrassed by the whole situation. He sat cross-legged, staring at the man as if he was expecting something. When Magnus shrugged, Jace continued keeping his poker face, "you lost consciousness so I took you to bed. When I wanted to leave, you grab my hand and began to cry, begging me not to leave you alone." The warlock looked at him terrified, causing Jace to lose his temper and laughed. "Your face. I wish I had taken a picture."

“Jonathan!” growled the indignant Magnus.

"You called me differently at night," the Shadowhunter's laughter spread throughout the house. In other circumstances, the warlock would have laughed too, but the disappointment he felt when he realized that it was Jace, who was embracing him, not Alexander, was like he was hit with a bucket of cold water.

Jace immediately stopped laughing when he saw that the man's eyes fill with tears. "By the Angel, Magnus! I'm so sorry..." the boy immediately embraced him and began to stroke the man's back, wanting to offer at least a little comfort. At that moment, the dam broke and the warlock snuggled into the Shadowhunter arms, crying loudly, while praying that he would see his beloved blue irised after opening his eyes.

For a long time, the only sound in the room was Magnus's sobbing. Jace's lips formed a thin line. He would never have thought of seeing Magnus Bane, the High Warlock of Brooklyn in such a state. The Shadowhunter blamed himself for making fun at the man's expense, but that was how he was dealing with emotions.

Jace noticed that Magnus had calmed down, but he had no intention of letting him go. The warlock had been stifling his emotions for too long. "Better?" he asked after some time. In response, he felt as Magnus's head, which was still in the crook of his neck, moves from one side to the other. The Shadowhunter sighed, holding his trembling body tightly. Jace knew he couldn't do anything to ease him, it didn't mean he wasn't going to try. "Do you know what could help you? A bath. A nice long hot bath."

"I'm tired," Magnus whispered in a hoarse voice.

"You don't have to do anything. I will prepare everything, I will even carry you if you have no strength to walk. What do you think about feeling like a princess?" Jace smiled when Magnus burst out laughing. It was a kind of success. The warlock nodded, causing the Shadowhunter to jump out of bed. "Great! Give me a moment, I'll be right back. "

Magnus shook his head in delight. He always told himself that he tolerated Lightwoods and Jace because of Alexander. It was easier this way because he didn’t have to fear rejection from them. He was always afraid that if something happened to Alec, the rest of his family would simply stop being interested in him. In the end, the only person who would connect them would be missing. Magnus couldn’t hide his surprise when, after being kidnapped by Sebastian Morgenstern, he saw Simon and Isabelle in the dungeons of the fortress in Edom. They said they had come for him, but Magnus couldn't afford to believe it, he would not survive disappointment. The Team Good quickly dispelled his doubts when, after summoning Asmodeus, they firmly forbade him to trade his own live in exchange for sending them home. They stood up for him, against the Greater Demon, one of the princes of hell. He remembered perfectly well the words his father had said at the time, 'How delightful! Look at them, Magnus. Those kids love you and want to protect you! Who would have thought!' He wasn't just Alec's boyfriend to them, he was also a friend and family to them. 

The sorcerer's thoughts were interrupted by a blonde’s voice, "Your bath is ready, princess," Jace's broad smile was contagious.

"Thank you," Magnus replied, smiling as well. He got up to move towards the bathroom, but the boy blocked his way. For a moment he didn’t understand what was going on, but when the Shadowhunter's words came back to him, his face flushed, "Jace, I can go to the bathroom on my own."

“Nah, I promised you a day from the life of a princess, and a princesses are worn on hands.” Magnus shouted surprised when Herondale easily raised him from the floor. The warlock grabbed the boy's shoulders, fearing that he would drop him, but these fears quickly disappeared. Jace set him down in the bathroom. The room smelled of sandalwood and cinnamon. Magnus took a deep breath and began to undress. The Shadowhunter sat on the bathtub, checking the water temperature and trying not to look at the warlock, who after a moment sunk into the tub. Jace took some shampoo and began to massage it slowly into Magnus's scalp and hair, the man slowly relaxed.

"Thank you," he whispered again.

"It's not a problem, that's all I can do," Jace answered quietly.

*** 

"Is everything okay?" Jace broke free from his thoughts and looked at the woman who was standing looking down at him. Magnus lay with his head on Jace’s lap. It took him an hour before he calmed down enough to finally fall asleep and the Shadowhunter would prefer that nothing would not wake him up for the next few hours. The warlock needed a few hours of sleep, he himself would also enjoy a short nap.

"Megi, right?" he asked in a whisper, the woman nodded "I'm sorry I snapped at you, I..."

"You don’t have to explain," she replied quickly "Claus is still the same boy you shared the parabatai bond with, but it is easier for him to pretend to be a soulless bastard than to face his own problems."

"Do you think we are a problem for him?"

The woman shook her head, "you are a memory of his old life, which he will never get back. It’s painful for him, but it will pass. "

"Magnus didn't deserve it, he devoted the entire last year, trying to find him when everyone else gave up long ago."

"Claus also didn't deserve what happened to him, but we don't always have control over it. Everyone deals with their own suffering in however they can."

Chapter Text

Claus lay on the marble floor staring at the ceiling decorated with paintings depicting the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse of Saint John. 

The first Horseman looked more like a skeleton than a human being; he held a spear with a trident in his hand and sat on the back of a pale almost greenish horse. Claus could count every rib on his back. 

“I looked, and behold, an ashen horse; and he who sat on it had the name Death; and Hades was following him. Authority was given to them over a quarter of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by the wild beasts of the earth.”  

Claus's voice spread across the empty room, bouncing off the walls and columns. A second Horseman mounted a black horse.

“I looked, and behold, a black horse; and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard something like a voice in the center of the four living creatures saying, "A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; but do not damage the oil and the wine." 

The man looked at the third Horseman and spoke again, “And another, a red horse, went out; and to him who sat on it, it was granted to take peace from the earth, and that men would slay one another; and a great sword was given to him.”

Claus sighed heavily as his gaze rested on the last Horseman , “I looked, and behold, a white horse, and he who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.”

Claus always wondered what the final judgment would really look like. Would riders appear on their horses, ready to fulfill their duty?

The painting was obscured by a storm of black curls. "Are you here again?" he heard an amused voice belonging to his vampire protegee.

"Yes, but you shouldn’t be here," Claus laughed, rising from the floor. He looked around and was pleased to see that the number of circles had doubled. The girl's gaze also went toward the golden circles, making her gasp in surprise.

"Megi will be angry," she whispered conspiratorially, "she always gets nervous when you do it."

"Unnecessarily," he replied briefly, cutting the subject, "What are you looking for here?"

"You promised to read to me," she said in a sulky voice.

"Right, The Night Pirates," he smiled when he saw the girl's eyes brighten, "Let's go then." He grabbed her hand and headed for the door.

The little vamp, hummed under her breath and smiled broadly all the way to the room. Every now and then, she looked with big eyes at the man accompanying her, as if she didn't believe that she really had such a wonderful guardian. He never shouted at her, he always played with her and read her fairytales, just like her mother did. She was lucky to meet Claus.

The man opened the door to the apartment and froze at the warlock circling the room. Megi looked very nervous. The girl's hand clenched his hand tighter, immediately attracting his attention. Her vampire eyes seemed to say, 'I told you' and Claus rolled his eyes with a laugh.

"You are here," murmured the warlock, who had burst out of her thoughts by his laughter.

"Where else would I be?" he asked, shaking his head amused. "Go change, I will come to you soon, okay?" he turned to the five-year-old with a smile.

The girl nodded and threw Megi a short ‘good night’ before she started dancing toward the bedroom.

The warlock's eyes followed the girl to the door before immediately moving to Claus as soon as Kiara disappeared into the room, "Can you explain to me what you are doing?" she asked scoldingly, her eyes glistening with the emotions that were buzzing in her.

“I’m putting Kiara to sleep?" he knew well that she didn't mean that, but he wasn't going to make it easier for Megi. His life had already been turned upside down twice and Claus had no idea if he could recover from the next one.

The warlock groaned in displeasure "Magnus has been looking for you for over a year, you couldn't gloss over some things, such as your suicidal tendencies?" Megi sounded disappointed.

"Magnus is accustomed to the fact that I'm direct. Besides, I can't lie. In the end he would find out anyway and I think he would feel worse then," he whispered, sitting down on the couch Megi immediately sat down next to him.

"You could have gently conveyed it to them," she noticed with a sigh, making the man look at her as if she were crazy, "Okay, don't look at me like that ." She hit him lightly on the shoulder.

"Do you know what this means?" he asked quietly and quickly added seeing her questioning look, "their arrival? They'll want me to come back to New York with them."

The woman's eyes became impossibly large. "No…"

"It's not like I can refuse them," he sighed quietly, "I knew it would eventually come to this."

"You can't leave," she argued, "we need you here."

"Megara," Claus looked at her sadly. The warlock was shaking her head, she wasn't ready to part with him, "Hey, look at me." Her eyes immediately focused on his face. "It will be a long time before I'm ready to go back with them. I've got a few things to do here. Don't worry, I'll still be here tomorrow," he smiled, stroking her cheek with his fingertips. Megi tilted her head to nestle her face in his hand.

“Claus?” They both immediately looked at the little vamp who was standing at the door of the bedroom in pink bear pajamas. In her right hand she was holding a doll in a pirate costume, the other wiping her eyes wanting to get rid of the weight from her eyelids. "You promised..." she murmured.

Claus stood up and a second later he held her in his arms. He turned toward the woman and cast a quiet ‘good night’ before disappearing with the child in the bedroom. 

He went to the bed and put Kiara on the mattress, covering her with a duvet. He kissed her forehead gently and brushed the lost curl away from her face.

"You look tired," he remarked teasingly.

"Not at all," she yawned, showing snow-white fangs, "Claus, please."

"It's okay," he corrected the duvet and reached for the book that lay on the bedside table, smiled at the girl and began to read quietly, "Down, down, down, the dark, dark street they came. Quiet as mice, stealthy as shadows. Up, up, up, the dark, dark house they climbed, stealthy as shadows, quiet as mice..."

When Claus finished reading, the little vampire was sleeping soundly. Her eyes were closed, her face pale. When he took her in, the first night was like a nightmare to him.

He remembered how, after Max's birth, his mother came to check every few minutes if the baby was breathing, it was a natural maternal instinct. Claus quickly understood her fears, he took in an undead girl, and should have been aware that when she fell asleep, all other human reactions will be put to sleep as well, such as, for example, breathing. By force of will, he refrained from waking her and making sure everything was all right. After three months, he got used to it, even though he still felt insecure every time Kiara lay motionless on the bed like a beautiful porcelain doll.

The man put the book on the bedside table and bent to kiss the girl's forehead. He stroked her cheek tenderly and quietly left the room.

In the living room he found Megi, talking in a low voice with Magnus. They sat together on the couch, the warlock's arms were hunched over as if he carried an enormous weight on them. Jace settled in the window, enjoying the view of the forest and the river. Only Megi noticed that he had entered the room. She gave him a brief encouraging look before turning her full attention back to her brother.

Claus slowly walked over to the second couch and sank down on it with a sigh, drawing the attention of the other two. The warlock immediately tensed, not entirely sure if he was ready for further revelations.

"I'm sorry," the younger man began uncertainly, "I'm really grateful that after such a long time..."

"You are our family," the Shadowhunter murmured, "Did you really think we could just let it go?" Jace stood up and walked over to them, sitting in the armchair.

A slight smile appeared on Claus's face, which disappeared almost immediately, "I don't want you to misunderstand me. I was really happy when I saw you, but I..." blue eyes fell on his trembling hands before he continued in a low voice, "I’ve changed. I'm not the same person you knew anymore."

The blond snorted, getting up, "I agree with you, you've changed. You've become a terrible asshole. "

“Jace…”

"No, Magnus!" the boy's voice got louder, "You left us, Alec! You ran away without a word! I know you went through something terrible, I felt it," his voice trembled at the last words, he swallowed hard and looked at his former parabatai with eyes full of anguish, "For three weeks everyone was running around New York trying to find you when I was lying semi-conscious, trying to give you some relieve through our bond, even a bit. I’m sorry I’m not being able to help you in any other way."

Claus shook his head. He never blamed his loved ones for what happened to him. He did not realize, however, that they were blaming themselves. "Jace, I don't blame you. I did something stupid and I suffered the consequences."

"It's my fault..." All eyes shifted to Magnus, who was staring blankly at the wall above Claus's shoulder. "You drank Camille's blood because of me, everything that happened later..."

"Magnus, no ..." Jace began, but immediately fell silent when he saw his brother rise and kneel in front of the warlock grabbing his hands.

"I drank Camille's blood because I was jealous. She could give you an eternity, and I was just a moment, dust in your long life," Magnus opened his mouth to deny it, but Claus didn't let him, "I should have come to you, talk about the whole idea of becoming a vampire. Instead, I let myself be manipulated to the point that I didn't tell you anything until it was too late to fix anything," the warlock stared into blue eyes that showed no emotion, Alexander's face was like a mask. "I know that what I did back then was irresponsible and childish. I never asked you if you wanted it. I was so afraid that you would reject the idea..." Claus closed his eyes to hide the feelings that were trying to come to the surface, "That's why I left you no choice."

There was silence in the room. Nobody knew what to say. Finally Magnus raised both hands to framed Alec's face.

"Look at me," he whispered tenderly. When the eyes of both men met, Megi and Jace felt like intruders, but they didn’t want to interrupt them, so they sat quietly, trying to look at everything but not at them. "You had a lot of time to think about what you did back then and sort it out in your head so that it looked like you did it for your own selfish motives. However, I know you, Alexander. I know you put your beloved above yourself and you would never do anything to hurt me."

"I left you..." he whispered, lowering his eyes.

Magnus smiled sadly, "it's true, but you didn't do it to hurt me, just to protect me and your siblings," the blue irises rose again, "I know what you're trying to do," Magnus leaned over to kiss the younger man's forehead , "I will not let you sacrifice yourself for the greater good. So no matter what you say or do, I cannot hate you.” Claus covered the warlock’s hands with his own and snuggled his face in them even harder. “So please, don't push me away," Magnus's voice trembled at the last word, and tears rolled down his cheeks, "I can't lose you again."

The warlock froze when Alec closed his eyes and stood up pulling him up too, but when he looked at him again, his breath got stuck in his throat. His mask dropped, showing Magnus the face of a suffering boy. This sight made his heart break. In a moment, he narrowed the distance between them and joined their lips in a kiss full of previously hidden feelings. Longing, fear, suffering, joy, love. All these emotions have been overwhelming them for a long time, now they have finally found an outlet.

Magnus tangled his fingers in Alec's hair, pulling him even closer. When they finally broke apart, they looked into each other's eyes for a long time, breathing hard. Before they could do anything else, the Shadowhunter's voice broke through their bubble of happiness.

"I'm sorry to interrupt you, but for the sake of my mental health, could I ask you to transfer this joyful reconciliation to a less public place? For example... to the bedroom? " Jace said pleadingly, making Magnus chuckle, which again caught Lightwood's full attention, "But not the one here, please!? Go somewhere else. I don’t want to have nightmares later."

Alec rolled his eyes and pulled the warlock behind him. The sudden movement surprised Magnus, but when he understood what the former Shadowhunter was planning, a wide smile appeared on his face. When the door slammed behind them, Alec easily lifted Magnus from the ground and then pressed him to their wooden wall. The lips of the younger man quickly found their way around the warlock's neck, who groaned while enjoying this sweet torture. Magnus's legs wrapped around Alec's waist. The warlock gasped when the boy's hands disappeared from his thighs and after a while appeared under his neck slowly unfastening the buttons of his shirt.

Magnus stared at the man's focused face, unable to believe that they were together again. He moved his hands from Alec's shoulders to his face, lifting it up to look into his eyes, which darkened with excitement and desperation. The boy's hands stopped on the third button as they both stared at each other.

"You are here..." the younger man froze at Magnus's muffled whisper, "you are really here," Alec noticed that the warlock's golden-green cat eyes glazed with tears.

"I am," he confirmed with force. For Magnus it was the last straw before all dams would let go. Alec was surprised to hear a loud sob that came from the man's throat. He quickly abandoned his previous action, perfectly understanding that Magnus didn’t need it right now.

Magnus buried his face on the boy's shoulder. He didn't even flinch when Alec's strong arms grabbed him again, to tear them away from the door and move them to bed. "Please, don't leave me again..."

Alec felt a twinge in his heart when he heard despair in his beloved's voice, “Forgive me, I will never, ever leave you again." The boy reached out and touched the man's cheek with his fingers. The warlock was staring at him with huge and red from crying eyes, full of anguish, "Oh, Magnus..." he said quietly, "You were so sad. I didn’t know."

Chapter Text

Alec sat leaning against the headboard of the bed, staring at the sleeping warlock. Only after an hour did he manage to calm Magnus enough to make him fall asleep. First, he had to promise several times that when the man got up, Alec would still be with him.

Magnus was curled up on his side, face turned toward him. Their bodies didn't touch, but Alec could sense the warmth emanating from the warlock, which gave him a sense of security that he hadn't felt for a long time.

The former Shadowhunter ran a hand through the man's hair who sighed contentedly, smiling in his sleep. Magnus didn’t change, he still wore expensive clothes. His face thanks to a bit of magic, at the moment was free of cosmetics, but previously carefully painted with makeup, but at the same time he was completely different. Alec didn't see the glitter, which was an integral part of Magnus, his clothes and makeup were subdued, as if devoid of color. He knew that he was responsible for these changes. If he came back after these three weeks maybe then...

"Alexander?" The warlock's hoarse voice pierced his thoughts. Alec looked at him questioningly, at the same time he felt his heart clench seeing the surprise on the man's face. "You're still here..."

"As promised," he smiled sadly in response, leaned over to kiss his forehead and whispered encouragingly, "Go back to sleep, it's still dark."

"You?" Magnus asked quietly closing his eyes.

"I'm not tired," he replied, stroking his cheek with his fingertips.

"Hm," Magnus murmured contently, cuddling his face into the younger man's stomach, wrapping his arms around his waist, and stroking boy's back with his hands. Alec flinched involuntarily, cursing at the same time as he felt the warlock's body stiffen in alarm. The golden-green cat's eyes looked worriedly at the face of the former Shadowhunter, "Alexander..."

Alec closed his eyes and swallowed, causing the Adam's apple on his neck to bob. He knew there were things he wouldn't be able to hide for a long time if he was going to be with Magnus, but he didn't know if he was ready to tell him right now. On the other hand, did he have another option?

"Hey, it's all right, Alexander. You are safe." Alec didn’t even notice when his breathing quickened, while the hands that previously touched his back disappeared, "Baby, look at me."

"I'm sorry, I..."

"I don't want to hear that," the warlock interrupted him firmly, "Look at me." Alec slowly opened his eyes immediately encountering a pair of golden-green worried irises, "You know you can tell me anything, right?" Lightwood looked down, knowing perfectly well that there were things he would rather not say to anyone, “Alec…”

"Don’t... Don't call me that, please," he said pleadingly. Since Magnus wanted to know, it would be best to start with small things before he throws the rest on him, as Megi advised him, "I still..."

"I understand that you don't remember your name, but I don't understand why..." Magnus began uncertainly, staring at his boyfriend's face.

The boy pulled him closer, burying his face in the bend of his arm before he began to speak softly, "In Padwe, lives one of the largest Indian vampire clans," Alec's gaze became distant, as if he was wandering in the small town on the Savitri River, "They are responsible for the slaughter of Shadowhunters from 1723. Their leader, Faust, discovered how vampire blood affects Nephilim. He gave it to his captives, thus increasing his clan."

"That's awful," the warlock gasped, not quite sure what this story had to do with their earlier conversation.

"Transformed Shadowhunters have abilities that other vampires don't have, each one is different, but some of them..." he shook his head to chase away unpleasant memories, "There is a boy in the clan who has extraordinary power, which fascinates Faust, but at the same time terrified him. Everyone calls him Alec. When you look him in the eye, he can turn your worst nightmares into reality. He was the one who changed Kiara. Before I was able to control her, she killed half the population of Islampur."

"By the Lilith," the warlock whispered, embracing the boy's trembling body tighter. "Poor child."

"After losing the Shadowhunters, the Faust Clan took power in that part of India."

"What does the High Warlock of Pune or Mumbai say?"

"They have been skirting around the area for many years."

"I understand," he replied thoughtfully. 

Magnus knew that with this story Alec wanted to divert his attention from himself and his earlier strange reaction, but if they wanted to be together, Magnus had to know what was the reason, "Claus..."

The boy looked surprised to hear the name from the warlock’s mouth. He thought he would have to convince the man before he agreed to call him like that. He was pleasantly surprised.

"Forgive me if I make a mistake, it may take a while before I get used to it," Magnus said apologetically, "Then what else should I not do? I've noticed that you don't like when I touch your back."

"Magnus," he muttered, his body tense without his will.

"Hey, it's okay," he said quickly, seeing the boy's reaction, "I have no idea what happened to you when you were in hell, but I realize that I must be careful not to cross certain limits that we didn’t have in our relationship before. I understand that, but I need to know."

Claus looked at him with big eyes. Magnus's words reminded him why he fell in love with him. He was afraid that if the warlock knew the truth, he would always treat him like he was walking on eggshells.

"If my touch repulses you..." Magnus began uncertainly, but the boy looked at him terrified and gasped in disbelief at what he heard.

"No, it's not like that, Magnus," Claus clenched his hands on the front of the warlock's shirt, "I... I don't remember what happened in hell..." Magnus looked taken aback, "Memories of that period were the first to come back to me and I..." he swallowed, "I couldn't..."

Magnus saw how hard it was for him to talk about it, "Hey, it's alright if you don't want to..."

"There is nothing to talk about," he noted dryly, "When those memories came back I lost my temper, I was at the river then... It was the middle of the night so no one was hurt, but Megi had to summon Asmodeus to help her control me," Claus felt Magnus’ body stiffen at the mention of his father, "A few days passed before I regained enough magic to light a candle with it, but at the time I remembered more and more. I knew that if I didn't do something I would go crazy or hurt someone. That's why I asked Megi to erase those memories." 

Magnus listened with his eyes closed, trying to hide the feelings raging in them. He couldn't imagine what this boy had to go through to decide on something like that. "Then why... When I touched your..."

"Maybe I don't remember what happened then, but I know I'm not stupid, and I have scars on my body," he said quietly, "I hide them with a spell, but I know they are there."

They lay in silence for a while, they both thought about what happened and what the future would bring to them. It was Magnus who broke the silence first, his quiet, uncertain voice barely breaking through the boy's raging heartbeat.

"Could I..."

"Magnus..."

"Please, Ale... Claus..." he corrected himself quickly, seeing the young man's expression.

"Why?" He asked, not understanding the reason why the warlock might want to see his destroyed-by-torture body.

"You don't have to do it if you don't want to," Magnus finally said "You can hide your scars with a spell, but there are times when you can't keep it up. The glamour may stop working when you are weak, nervous or... aroused."

Claus cheeks were covered with blush. He knew where this conversation was heading. Magnus wanted to avoid a situation that would definitely take place in future. Lightwood knew he wouldn’t be able to save warlock suffering, he could only postpone it in time.

Claus sat on the bed watched by a confused warlock who didn't know what was going on. When the boy got out of bed, he grabbed his hand, fearing that his request scared him.

"Claus, I'm sorry..."

"Shhh..." blue eyes immediately looked at him reassuringly, "I just have to take off my shirt if you still want to see them..."

Magnus froze, staring at him with large eyes that watched every movement of his hands. Claus grabbed the edge of his shirt with trembling hands, but stopped when he felt a warm touch on them.

"I... Let me please..." the warlock whispered, his cat's eyes glowed in the dark with a golden glow, his pupils were dilated, almost like human ones. Claus nodded, his eyelids immediately obscured his beloved's face. He shuddered as the cool night air brushed the bare skin on his stomach. He raised his arms and a moment later stood shirtless in front of the most important person in his life. "Breathe," he heard a quiet request and felt the breath exhaled from the warlock's mouth hit his cheek at the same time, "you can do it, Claus. You are safe, I will not let anyone hurt you. "

His whole body was covered with goosebumps. He felt the spell slowly flowing down from him like water, leaving him more naked than after Magnus took his shirt off.

"Claus, look at me," another breeze, this time on his lips. His eyelids slowly rose, allowing the warlock to see how vulnerable he became at that moment, "If you don't want to, I don't have to look," he said uncertainly. Seeing the boy straighten up, swallowing and shaking his head, he let his gaze go slowly down.

His eyes could see perfectly in the dark, so he didn't even think about turning the light on. In this way he could offer Lightwood a little bit of comfort.

Magnus first focused on Claus's neck, which had once been decorated with a deflect rune, now was smooth.There were a few small scars on the boy's chest, shoulders and stomach, which Magnus remembered from before his disappearance. They called them battle scars. There were several new ones that could have been inflicted by the blade or demon's claws.

"You okay?" Magnus asked in a whisper, seeing how tense Claus's body was, as if he was preparing for a blow, "I don't want to hurt you," he said, trying to calm him down a bit.

"I know," Claus replied, his voice hoarse with emotion.

"Can I touch you?" he asked uncertainly, meeting his blue eyes. The younger man's head moved up and down, but it wasn't enough for Magnus, "I know it's difficult for you, but you have to say it. I would never forgive myself if I hurt you."

Claus swallowed, wanting to force his voice to cooperate, "Y... You can touch me," he stammered quietly, all the time looking Magnus in his eyes that were filled with pride as soon as the words left his mouth.

The warlock's hand slowly slid down his flushed cheek, and after a while he slid down to his pale neck and shoulder, squeezing it gently, in order to show a little support. Magnus slowly circled Claus standing in front of him, whose heart started beating faster when he heard the warlock gasp. The hand resting on the boy's shoulder trembled, but remained in place.

Magnus had already seen such scars, deep furrows that could only arise in one way. 

He once witnessed how disobedience was punished in the army. A soldier was tied to the pillory and he was whipped in front of the crowd, until his back looks like one huge wound that healed long and painfully. He considered this unnecessary cruelty, which he didn’t even wish for his worst enemy, and tried to bypass this type of execution. The very thought that Alexander, the person dearest to him in the world, has experienced something so terrible, made him want to catch the bastard who was responsible for hurting him and make him suffer.

"Y... you said you don't remember..." Claus never heard Magnus speak with this kind of voice, so he turned to see his face and froze. The warlock's eyes burned with anger. Claus knew that he wasn’t angry at him, but at the person who marked him.

"I don't remember," he replied quietly, watching how quickly the emotions on Magnus's face changed.

"There is... a certain spell that can remove these scars," the warlock said through clenched teeth, "I invented it when my friend was kidnapped by a demon who liked to mark his victims," Magnus's hands clenched into fists, "I've never met him, but I heard he was pissed off when he found out that someone managed to remove his mark."

Claus's eyes grew impossibly large, his voice trembling as he asked the warlock the question that tormented him. "That demon? What was his name? "

Magnus was surprised by the boy's sudden question. He opened his mouth to answer, when he suddenly understood, "No..."

"Magnus..."

"Tell me that's not true..." Claus stared at him with eyes full of anguish, the tears began to run down his check, "Claus, please..."

The boy bit his lower lip and let the last spell fall off him, which hid the golden scar in the shape of a hand covering his face. A pained sob escaped from Magnus's mouth.

"Midas," it was Claus who answered his own question, his voice hollowed and emotionless. 

Chapter Text

Claus's room was on the west side of the building, so that only a soft glow from the sun covered the forest stretching out behind the large window, allowing the couple lying in bed to enjoy the darkness for a little while longer.

Magnus helped Claus put his shirt back on and pulled him back to bed. The boy told him everything he remembered from leaving the institute to meeting Midas. It wasn't much, because most of his memories from before hell, were blurred, which he owed to Camille's blood.

Magnus was silent all the time, with only his arms tightly embracing Claus when he was told how the demon had marked him which showed that he was listening intently.

“Midas told me that I was in the Abyss and that’s all I can remember," Claus quietly finished his story. His head rested on the warlock's shoulder, who was sitting against the headboard, embracing him tightly, as if he was afraid that the boy would suddenly disappear. "I'm sorry," Claus whispered as the silence began to stretch.

Magnus looked at him questioningly, but Claus couldn't see it, because he stubbornly stared at his hand, which the warlock held pressed to his heart.

"You have no reason..." Magnus began, but he was interrupted by the young man's strong protest.

"I left you without a word of explanation..."

"You were terrified. I'm not surprised after what you learned at the institute, and the vampire blood was playing with your head. You said yourself that as soon as you regained consciousness you wanted to come back immediately."

Magnus couldn’t let Claus blame himself for what happened to him. The boy was just a victim. Magnus with his secrets, pushed him into Camille’s clutches, and she willingly shared with him what he couldn’t learn from him. Maryse with her lies made him afraid to trust someone, especially since Robert completely destroyed his confidence, while Midas... Magnus promised Isabelle that the person responsible for the suffering of Alexander and Jace would pay dearly for this. The man needed some time to make a plan before he decided to attack the son of Lucifer himself, but he had no doubt that as soon as the opportunity arose, he would do anything to destroy Midas.

A chuckle broke through Magnus's thoughts, catching his attention because the sound didn't fit the current situation. The warlock looked curiously at his boyfriend, who was staring at him with big blue eyes, and a shy smile that wandering on his lips.

"You look like you're planning something awful," he noted with a small smile. 

"Oh why, thank you," Magnus answered him in the same light tone. He perfectly understood the desire to relax the atmosphere. Claus didn't remember what happened to him and only thanks to that he could function normally. Magnus pushed the thought of revenge to the back with the decision that he would deal with it later. He leaned over to kiss the boy's forehead, who moaned happily.

"You should sleep more," said Claus, "Yesterday was an emotional rollercoaster and you barely slept."

As if to confirm his words, the warlock's mouth opened when he unsuccessfully tried to fight a yawn.

"Will you stay?" The question was so quiet that Claus wondered for a moment if he had imagined it, but all he had to do was look at Magnus's face, which still hid some fear to make him realize that he had no hallucinations.

"I will."

It was only after this that the warlock's eyelids slowly dropped, covering his cat's eyes. Claus watched it with fascination, realizing how much he missed it.

When he was sure that Magnus had fallen asleep, he slowly freed himself from his embrace and sat down leaning on the headboard. With a flick of his finger, he recalled the spell book he had recently found in the huge hotel library and in the soft morning light, he focused on reading.

***

The rays of the sun illuminated the sleeping warlock's figure, who turned over to the other side, annoyed that the light had the audacity to disturb his rest. Satisfied, he wanted to go back to his dream when his sleepy brain registered that Claus's place had been empty and cold. Magnus sat up, abruptly awake. Before panic swallowed him up completely, he heard a calm voice.

"Good morning," the warlock's eyes immediately went to the armchair in the corner of the room where Claus was sitting with the book in his hand. Panic was immediately replaced by relief, which the other man didn’t miss, "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to scare you," his voice was filled with guilt.

"Not your fault," he said, running his fingers through his hair, "you can't stay with me all the time," he said with a shrug.

"Who will forbid me?" he replied teasingly and laughed at the surprise on Magnus's face.

"Don't tell me you stayed here all night?" The warlock got up and went to the armchair.

"Of course, I promised," he smiled, placing the book on the table and pulling Magnus close to him, forcing him to straddle his lap. The man leaned over to kiss him, entangling his hands in his hair, "Besides, it's already 5pm," Claus whispered in Magnus's mouth.

"What?! Did we sleep all day?" he panted, pulling away from the boy who moaned, dissatisfied, squeezing his hips tighter with his hands to keep him close, "Jace..."

"I talked to Jace," Claus quickly calmed him down, "He checked around eleven o'clock to make sure we were all right. I told him we had a hard night, but for some reason he didn't want to know the details," he laughed out loud, knowing perfectly well what his brother thought.

Magnus smirked, stroking his boyfriend's neck with his thumbs. "And to think that we did nothing of what he suspected us," Claus's eyes raised to look in his cat's irises.

"We can't disappoint him, can we?" asked the boy smiling shyly.

Magnus covered the distance between them in a second, kissing him desperately. Claus' hands moved slowly from the warlock’s back, going lower to his cheeks, trying to pull him closer. They both groaned in their mouths as their crotches brushed against each other. Magnus felt Claus's hands quickly unfastening buttons on his shirt, but for him, it was far too slow. He disentangled his right hand from the boy's hair, wanting to speed up the whole process when he heard a frustrated moan and a snap of fingers. The hair on his neck rose when he felt the unknown magic surrounding him, which made all their clothes disappear in a second. He chuckled, remembering how nervous Alec was when it was Magnus who was depriving them of their clothes. 

Claus reddened perfectly knowing what made Magnus so amused, so he quickly put his tongue in his mouth, wanting to prevent the warlock from embarrassing him with some commentary, and then wrapped his arms around the man's waist, pulling him closer so that their bodies were completely adjacent, which made Magnus close his eyes and sigh happily, breaking away from Claus's mouth for a moment. His heart beat faster when he felt the warmth of second body on his skin for the first time in over a year.

Magnus's hands stroked Claus's muscled shoulders up and down, sighing in his mouth as he learned his body again. He shivered as the boy's hands sank between his ass checks, gently massaging the skin around his hole.

"Claus, please. Don't tease me. I can't..." he gasped, leaning his forehead on the brunette's shoulder, "I need ..." he cried as both hands disappeared from his body.

"Shhh," Claus whispered reassuringly, and after a moment, slipped into his hole one lubricated finger, for which Magnus moaned quietly and his hips jerked back, wanting to feel him as deep as possible.

"Please, please, please..." the warlock begged, shaking his head from one side to the other.

"Just a moment, I need to prepare you," said Claus in a voice filled with desire. 

It was Magnus who was always on top and Claus remembered how the warlock carefully and gently prepared him every time not wanting to hurt him. He was aware that Magnus is more experienced, but he still wanted to make this as pleasant as possible for him. 

Magnus's fingers tightened on the boy's shoulders with such force that they would surely leave marks. The warlock was trembling in anticipation. Finally, after a painfully long time, he felt two fingers stretch him. ‘It took him too long.’ Magnus gasped impatiently, pulling Claus's hand away from him and ignoring the boy's loud protest, he sank down on his throbbing dick with a relieved sigh, ignoring the pain that pierced his body as if he didn't feel it at all, blinded by lust.

"Magnus? Wait!” Claus cry, and grabbed the warlock's hips tightly, not letting him sink lower, while fighting the temptation to push up into this delightful warmth. "Oh god," he groaned, resting his forehead against Magnus's chest. They both breathed heavily and their bodies glistened, covered in a thin layer of sweat.

Magnus moved his hips slightly, making the boy gasp. Satisfied, he strained his muscle to repeat it, but he froze as Claus's angry voice broke through his hazy with desire brain, "Don't you dare!" the boy snapped, his fingers tightening even more on the man's body.

Magnus stared at Claus like a deer caught in the headlights. The boy breathed a few times before looking into the warlock’s golden-green cat eyes. "I know exactly how you feel," he said gently, trying to appease his earlier outburst, "but if you think that while being blinded by lust I will let you hurt yourself, then you are wrong." 

The boy's words pulled him out of his headspace, making him aware that Claus was right. The brunette's earlier sharp tone caused the lust to subside enough so that he could feel the pain he didn't notice before. At the same time, he realized that this was exactly what he needed.

He tried to move again, but the strong hands of the former Shadowhunter effectively prevented him for doing this. Magnus groaned clutching at Claus's shoulders, "You don't understand," he said shakily, "I need you to take me here and now, hard and fast. And when you're done, I want to feel it, when we sit down to dinner together, when we walk around the city illuminated by the moonlight, when I fall asleep in your arms, and when I wake up, I want this pain to remind me that this is not another dream that will change into a nightmare when I realized that I lost you forever. So please…"

Claus needed nothing more. Magnus cried when the boy filled him to the brim with one quick move. The warlock's body pierced with delightful pain, and his eyes filled with tears that immediately ran down his cheeks.

Magnus rose slowly on shaky knees before falling down again. He wanted to repeat the whole process, but Claus's strong hands stopped him again.

"No, please, I need this..." he sobbed, covering his face with his hands.

Claus snapped his fingers, causing the window to be obscured by a heavy black curtain, then he embraced the warlock and stood up. Magnus' legs immediately wrapped around his hips, but before his hands could grab his neck, Claus slowly laid him on the bed.

"It's okay," he whispered, kissing the warlock's face, "I'm here. I'll take care of you."

After a moment, which felt like an eternity for Magnus, Claus slipped out of him almost fully, only to quickly snap his hips back filling him again, extracting from him another cry silenced by the boy's mouth. The brunette moved in him strongly and quickly, exactly as he wanted. Magnus screamed every time Claus hit his prostate with all his might. The pain quickly mixed with pleasure; he needed only a few more thrusts to come untouched with the name of his lover on his lips, before the darkness consumed him.

Claus fought with an effort the need to follow his own released and gently slipped out of his lover’s unconscious body, not wanting to cause him more pain. He felt guilt consuming him when he saw Magnus wince, even though he was still unconscious.  

‘Magnus wanted it. He wanted it, he begged him,’ Claus repeated it in his thoughts, trying to calm himself down, ‘He did it for him, because he said he needs it.’ He shuddered, closing his eyes tightly. But that didn't mean he was going to feel good about it. He never wanted to hurt his love.

"I'm sorry… I’m so sorry... I love you so much," Claus sobbed. He didn't even notice that his glamour dropped as he hid his face on Magnus' shoulder.

Chapter Text

Alec clenched his teeth harder, trying to stifle the cry of pain as he felt the whip strike his bare back again. The T-shirt he had worn before lay torn on the ground, he didn't even want to imagine what his body looked like.

"I must admit you impressed me, boy." Alec shuddered when he heard Midas's voice close to his ear, "Most of my guests give up after five strikes," the man put the hilt of his whip on the Shadowhunter's chin, forcing him to raise his head up and look into his eyes. "You got four times more and I didn't hear a single scream from your mouth, not even a groan of pain."

Alec stared at the demon’s golden eyes, trying to show in his own blue irises all the hatred that he felt for him.

Alec had no idea how long he was there, he had lost track of time long time ago. His hands were numb from supporting his weight, and his legs felt like they were made of cotton, unable to keep him upright. He didn't have to look up to know that his wrists were bleeding due to the abrasion caused by the rope, as was his lower lip, which he was biting all the time, wanting to refrain from screaming. He won't give this bastard the satisfaction. If Midas thought Alec would beg him to stop, he would be very disappointed.

"You have a fighting spirit that befits a Shadowhunter," the demon murmured. Alec saw amusement in his eyes, and he wanted to wipe that stupid smile off his face. "I will be happy to break this spirit of yours. We have a lot of time," Midas laughed, releasing his chin. "Rest, I will be back soon," he said and left the room.

***

Claus sat in an armchair staring at the face of the sleeping warlock. The book was abandoned on a dresser. He couldn't focus. It'd been an hour since Magnus lost consciousness. Claus didn't worry as he could feel his breath and his heartbeat.

They hadn't eaten or drunk anything all day, and hadn't even left the room, which he realized only recently when Jace came again to check how they were doing, bringing a tray of food. They exchanged a few words before the Shadowhunter left the room, casting one last look at the still sleeping Magnus. Claus noticed the concern on Jace's face, which surprised him, because his former parabatai didn’t like Magnus. At least, Jace hadn’t liked him before his disappearance.

His thoughts were interrupted by the rustle of bedding. Claus carefully watched the figure moving under the covers, thanks to which he immediately noticed how Magnus froze and hissed in pain, only to relax and sigh happily after a moment. The younger man shook his head in disbelief and laughed, immediately attracting the attention of golden-green cat eyes.

"Here you are," the warlock smiled and sat up carefully.

"Yeah," Claus confirmed, and went to the bed. "How are you?" he asked, stroking his cheek with concern. Magnus buried his face in Claus's hand, muttering quietly in contentment.

"Fabulous," he laughed at his skeptical face, "Alexander, really ... It's alright. I'm fine."

The boy smiled shyly and leaned over to kiss the man on the lips.

He had to admit that he liked how the warlock pronounced his full name. He didn't remember Magnus calling him that before they met again in Mhapral, which was so strange.

"Is everything all right?" he heard the warlock's worried voice and blinked several times before looking into his eyes.

"Of course, It’s not me who’s going to have a problem walking and sitting all day," he joked.

Magnus frowned, looking closely at him, "Alexander ..." he said quietly, making the younger man breathe out loudly. "By Lilith, I'm sorry, Claus. I warned you that I could forge..."

Claus stopped his nervous babbling with a kiss, which completely threw Magnus off guard.

"I know that just yesterday I asked you not to call me Alec, but I don't mind when you call me Alexander," he said shyly, his cheeks covered in a delicate blush.

"Really?" The warlock murmured, hiding his face in Alec's neck.

"I never thought that with one word, you could express so many feelings. Maybe that's why I like when you call me like that," he smiled brushing Magnus' hair back from his forehead, "When you call me Claus, I don't feel it."

"I never thought about it," the warlock replied honestly, "When you love someone, it is natural that you show it in everything. Even when you say the name of the man you love," he noticed. "This is not something I can control, calling you Claus..." Magnus swallowed nervously before continuing, "It's hard for me to call you that way... I know it's you, no matter what I call you, but subconsciously..."

"It's like I never came back," the younger man finished quietly. Magnus looked at him apologetically at which Claus only shook his head. "I understand that perfectly, don't worry. Like I said, I like how my full name sounds when you say it."

The warlock's eyes shone with happiness. He pulled Alexander's head closer, wanting to kiss him again when the silence was broken by a loud rumble.

"Someone is probably hungry," said the amused boy.

Magnus moaned dissatisfied as Alec stepped away from him, "I'm not that hungry," they heard rumbling again. Magnus looked down grimly. "Traitor," he hissed at the innocent part of the body, making the boy laugh loudly.

"Fortunately, Jace foresaw it and brought us dinner," Alec snapped his fingers, materializing a tray of food on the lap of the older man. 

Magnus opened his mouth speechless at the sight of everything that his sister had to prepare. For the main course they had Goa, a pork dish with a very aromatic Vindaloo paste. On a separate plate lay pappadum pancakes and as a starter they got sambal prepared from mangoes, Thai chilli peppers, lemon and mint, while for dessert they could enjoy one of the most delicious delicacies in these parts of India. Burfi, small caramel balls concealing roasted hazelnut, surrounded by dark chocolate, coconut or crushed roasted nuts. All his favorite dishes.

Alexander sat in front of Magnus, watching the warlock taste each dish, making various noises of satisfaction.

"Megi sat in the kitchen all day preparing all of it," the blue-eyed former Shadowhunter said with a smile.

"I immediately guessed that it was her doing," Magnus replied, raising a full spoon towards surprised Alec. "Try," Magnus encouraged him, placing his other hand under the spoon so that the sauce didn't fall on the covers. The former Shadowhunter stared into Magnus' eyes for a moment before leaning over to swallow the dish that the warlock offered, "This is Vindaloo Goa, a very popular dish in this part of India, which in time has spread throughout the country in the form of curry," he explained, smiling affectionately, before adding out of the blue "I was lucky to meet Megi when I was quite young. We are a one in a million chance."

"What do you mean?" the boy asked quietly.

"There are few warlocks because our fathers are demons. The chance that a given demon will beget a child twice is very small," he answered, gazing stubbornly at the bowl. "As for the children of the greater demons..." he began and swallowed loudly. "In this case it’s completely different." Magnus played nervously with a spoon in the stew, avoiding the young man's eyes. "Greater Demons only exist because of their descendants. They extend their own lives by taking lives from their children."

"Have you had any other siblings?" the blue-eyed man asked, squeezing the warlock's left hand, which was resting on the bed next to the food tray.

Magnus shrugged, "I only met Megi."

"Your father..." Alec began uncertainly.

"He is a demon!" Magnus said sharply, raising his golden irises to the younger man's face. "As a fallen angel, he doesn't have to extend his life as often as other Greater Demons, but eventually the time will come when he will come after me and Megi."

There was an awkward silence between them for a moment, which was broken by Lightwood's muffled voice.

"Will the same going to happen to me as well?" Magnus froze at this question, "I always wondered... After all, my father is..."

The warlock stared in horror at the face of his boyfriend, not quite sure how to answer. Maryse told them that Alexander's father is not a Shadowhunter, but the thought that he could be one of the Greater Demons...

“Alexander…”

The younger man broke out of his thoughts and gasped, realizing that he had voiced his fear. "Please forget about it," he groaned, leaping from bed. Avoiding the warlock's eyes, he started toward the door.

Magnus's breath accelerated, "Where are you going?" he asked quietly, trying to hide the panic that immediately overwhelmed his entire body.

"I need some air," Alec replied, his tone hollow, closing the door behind him before the other man could protest.

***

Jace turned on the other side. For some reason he couldn't sleep. Magnus and Alec locked themselves in the room and didn’t leave it for more than a day.

Alec…

It was strange to know that his brother was alive and still didn’t feel the bond that had previously connected them. He felt that the emptiness that appeared with the disappearance of the parabatai rune was overwhelming him more and more with each passing day. He found his parabatai, but despite this, hadn’t found peace.

The Shadowhunter covered his face with a pillow and groaned in frustration.

At least Magnus looked happy. He will get used to it too. At least he hoped so.

Jace froze. He thought he heard a strange sound. He lifted the pillow from his face, listening carefully. The sound repeated, it was like a flutter of wings or a breeze. What could it be? There was silence outside, but something disturbed him. He sat up slowly looking around the room trying to see anything in these piercing darkness.

The Shadowhunter's instinct told him something was wrong. He already felt it once, but when?

"Magnus!" he called and jumped quickly out of bed. When he opened the door to the next room, he froze in the doorway, "By the Angel, Magnus!" The warlock sat hugging himself, black warning sparks whirling around his body. His cat eyes stared blankly at Jace, or rather at the door he had just entered.

The boy looked around trying to see Alec who was nowhere to be found. He cursed quietly and without a moment of doubt went to the bed, completely ignoring the pain he felt when he crossed the barrier of sparks. He tightly embraced the warlock's trembling body.

"Magnus, it's okay. You are not alone, everything is fine," the Shadowhunter repeated gently.

"Alexa...der..." Magnus choked out, squeezing his eyelids and hiding his face on the blonde's shoulder. Jace also closed his eyes and took a few deep breaths trying to calm down. He going to beat some sense to this stupid brother of his.

"Alec is safe. We found him. You found him. It wasn't a dream," Jace tried to sound confident, but the last time he found Magnus like this, it wasn't easy to calm him down.

"What the..." Jace heard a loud gasp from the door. He turned and his eyes fixed on the face of the man standing at the door of the room. His brother's blue irises stared at them in shock.

"Magnus, it's okay, look at me," Jace whispered and grabbed the warlock's face with both hands, trying to get him to look in the same direction, "Alec is safe. Look, he's fine!" Bedding and curtains caught fire. "By the Angel, Magnus! Open your eyes!” he shouted, but the warlock's eyelids only rose when he heard a moan of pain escaping from the Shadowhunter's throat.

“Jace…”

"Jace, are you okay?" Alec asked as he approached them.

"Don't touch me!" the Shadowhunter hissed, making the man stop halfway.

“Jace…”

"Stop..." he growled, glaring at Lightwood with an angry look, "I thought everything would change now..." Jace gasped, and despite his pain, he tightened his arms around the warlock's body, "You were supposed to be the solution to all of this..."