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One Gust of Wind

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Chapter 1: Everyone Has a Weakness

 

Alec ran as fast as he could, his heart threatening to burst out of his chest as the sound of pounding feet behind him urged him to use the last of his energy as he threw himself across the finish line. The crowd erupted as Alec coughed trying to get some oxygen into his lungs wheezing slightly, he hadn’t run that hard in ages and without training and building it up slowly, it probably wasn’t the best idea.

“Good job son, I knew you could do it!”

Alec looked up at his mum and smiled, “Do…you…have…” he said between broken breaths.

His mum, Maryse fumbled in her bag, handing Alec his inhaler, “There you go.”

“Thanks,” Alec said taking a couple of puffs, instantly relieved at being able to breath easily again.

“Maybe you should run with it in your pocket? I don’t want you passing out mid-race.”

Alec shook his head, “It would just fall out. I’m fine now anyway.”

“Alec!” Izzy’s voice yelled from across the crowd as she ran towards him wrapping him in one of her signature hugs, “Congratulations! You just beat Raj, and I asked the ref what your time was, you’ve beaten your record!”

“I’m not surprised, I really had to push myself,” Alec said, still slightly breathless from the race.

“Just one more race and you’ll be ready for the championship.”

Alec chewed his lip apprehensively, “Yeah, I’m not sure about that. Jonathan Morgenstern is still a few seconds ahead of me, I don’t think I’ll be able to crush my time by that much… not in a few months anyway.”

“Alec Lightwood, that defeatist attitude isn’t going to get you anywhere.”

“There’s a difference between defeatist and realistic Izzy.”

“You’ll give it a go though, right?”

Alec nodded, “Yeah. Just, don’t expect for me to win, because I might not.”

“No matter what happens, we’ll be there cheering you on,” Maryse said, patting her son on the shoulder reassuringly, “I have to get back to work now, I probably won’t be back till late, we have quite a difficult case coming up so I really need to try and crack it.”

“That’s fine, I can make dinner,” Izzy said eagerly.

“Alec?”

“Don’t worry, I’ll supervisor her, medium rare chicken won’t be on the menu again.”

“Hey!” Izzy said, punching her brother lightly on the arm, “I’m a great cook.”

“In your dreams.”

“Right, I’ll see you later then. If you see Jace tell him your father wants to speak to him tonight.”

“Will do.”

Alec grinned at his sister as their mother headed over to the car park, “So, what’s on the menu? Curdled mac and cheese again?”

“You stink, take a shower,” Izzy teased.

“Charming,” Alec said turning away dramatically, flicking his head back and smiling at Izzy who was looking at him in bemusement.

The changing rooms were empty when Alec entered them, everyone else was either out celebrating their personal wins or taking part in other races that were going on that day, which was good for Alec because he always wanted to be alone after days like today. Yes, it was nice to have people congratulate him and tell him that he’d done well, winning a big race like that was a good feeling, but he knew that experiences like that were going to be short lived from now on. He took another puff of his reliever inhaler, he’d wanted to earlier but he didn’t want to worry his mum, it wasn’t a good idea to hide that his condition had gotten worse over the past few weeks, but the unsettling feeling of letting his family down was overriding his rationality when it came to the issue. Additionally, he wanted to win the championship race, he wanted to beat Jonathan Morgenstern and if his parents found out that he wasn’t managing his asthma as well then not only would they pull him out of the race but they’d be disappointed that their ‘Star Son’ wasn’t so much of a star anymore.

Alec took his shirt and shorts off and headed into the shower, letting the hot water massage the slightly aching muscles in his back. Sometimes he did think to himself that it was this part of race day that was the best, nothing beat the feeling of the shower when you were so hot and sticky, on top of that, it gave him time to think and come up with an action plan for the next month or so. There was so much going on, it was senior year and he had to maintain his 3.8 GPA if he was going to get into Brown and that was enough pressure on its own, never mind when you added on cross country and the secret that had been eating him up inside for the whole of high school so far. He liked his life, he had a good one, nice parents, well-off but that wasn’t everything, there was pressure that came with being him and sometimes he wished that he could just block it all out.

 


 

 

15 minutes later and Alec was done with his shower and ready to head home, the changing rooms were starting to fill up and he was getting compliment after compliment which was definitely his cue to leave. There was only so many ‘congratulations’ and ‘we’re so lucky to have you as our captain’s’ that he could take, especially when half of them came from people that just wanted their coach to see them being team players.

It was slightly after 3:30 when Alec made it out of the changing rooms and into the now quiet school halls and he was grateful for the peace of it all. He headed down to his locker unpacking it into his backpack when he heard the familiar sound of the hockey team coming down the corridor. He looked over at them as they pushed each other, messing about as if they were children, reminding him why he hadn’t chosen a proper team sport to excel in. Jock culture wasn’t exactly his thing. He watched them carefully as they approached the only other person in the hall from behind pushing him into his locker aggressively, instantly sparking a feeling of hatred inside of Alec.

“You’re so fucking pathetic Bane,” the captain of the hockey team, Lorenzo, snarled.

The boy turned around, so he was facing the group of boys, “What do you want?”

There was an eruption of laughter, “What do you want?” another boy mimicked.

“What?”

The laughter continued as Alec started to walk over to them, there was no way that he was going to let this continue.

“BOO!” Lorenzo shouted into the boy’s ear making the boy cower away his hands clasped over his ears like he was in pain.

“What the fuck do you think you’re doing?” Alec said, stalking his way through the group so that he was now stood in front of the boy like he was his own personal bodyguard.

Lorenzo’s eyes went cold for a second before he backed down as he remembered who he was talking to. Just because Alec Lightwood wasn’t a footballer like his brother was didn’t mean he wasn’t any less of a person to mess with. Continuing their vendetta against the boy that Alec had decided to protect would only get him into trouble, Alec was kind of known for his all-around niceness even if he was kind of stoic about it. Starting a fight with him, well, it wouldn’t turn out in his favour.

“Nothing,” Lorenzo said, stepping back from Alec.

“Clear off then,” Alec said, his voice calm but clearly angry. “Go!” he snapped catalysing the team to saunter off back down the corridor.

“Are you okay?” Alec asked turning to face the boy, noticing the hearing aids that he was wearing, “Shit, did they hurt you?”

The boy shook his head, “No, well, it’s fine now.”

“It’s Magnus, right? We’re in AP English Lit together? And book club?”

Magnus smiled, “Yeah, I didn’t think you knew my name.”

“I can be quite observant.” He watched as Magnus continued sorting out his locker, “How long have they been doing this for?”

“Pardon?” Magnus said, his ears were still ringing from Lorenzo shouting in them and when he wasn’t paying attention properly it was hard for him to follow.

“The hockey team, have they been bullying you like this for long?”

“As long as I can remember, I’m used to it though.”

Alec bit his lip in frustration, “You shouldn’t have to be used to it.”

Magnus sighed, “Listen, I appreciate the help and all, but everything’s fine. They’re the fucked-up ones, they’re so insecure in themselves that they have to pick on the weakest person they can find, which in this scenario, is me. It’s the circle of life.”

“It doesn’t make it right though. It’s not fair-”

“-Life isn’t fair… not that you’d know about that. You are a Lightwood after all.”

Alec looked at the boy, his dark hair had a few pink highlights in it, the blazer he was wearing was lined with sequins, he definitely didn’t seem like someone who would hide away from the crowd. It was kind of admirable, to see someone who was clearly going through hell in school to still be so unapologetically themselves in every other way.

“Well, if you need anything or someone to put them in their place. Just let me know. The jock culture in this school is beyond ridiculous and it needs to be stopped.”

Magnus rolled his eyes, “Tell your sister that, she’s on the student council, isn’t she?”

 “I’m just trying to help.”

“Well, I don’t need your help.”

Alec nodded his head, “Right. Well, I’ll see you in Lit tomorrow.”

“Whatever,” Magnus said as Alec headed back down the hall.

Magnus watched as he walked away, an unfamiliar fluttering feeling in his stomach, no one ever noticed him, not like that. Yes, he’d been defensive, but Alec had just been his Knight in Shining Armour and he couldn’t deny that, he just wasn’t used to having someone so up in his business… he was attractive though.

 


 

 

Magnus headed into the apartment that he lived in with his mother, hanging his satchel up on the hook by the door and kicking off his shoes as he went in search for his mum. He’d been slightly on edge all day; they were meant to be getting a call with the results of the latest hospital appointment that Magnus had, and it determined whether surgery to improve his hearing was a possibility. For the past 12 years, hearing aids had been the only option, cochlear implants had been mentioned and quickly cast aside but now there was this new doctor who wasn’t as quick to dismiss surgery as his previous doctors had been.

“Did they call you?” Magnus said, entering his mother’s office where she was sat typing behind her desk, just like she was every day.

His mother smiled sympathetically at her son, warning him in advance that it was probably bad news, “Sit down,” she said, getting up from her desk and heading over to the sofa on the left side of the room.

Magnus sat down next to her, “It’s not going to happen is it?”

His mother shook his head, “The doctor was a trainee, he hadn’t looked through your file properly. Your hearing loss is sensorineural which means it’s permanent, surgery isn’t going to work.”

Magnus looked down at the floor, he should have known that there was something suspicious about what the doctor said, he’d never had any luck with this kind of thing before, it didn’t make sense for that to change now. “Brilliant,” he muttered under his breath.

“Hey,” his mum said, lifting his chin up so he was looking at her, “You’re alive and that’s all that matters, wearing hearing aids, no one cares about it, it’s just a thing and you’re good at dealing with things.”

“I know you’re trying to help, but people do care about it, as soon as anyone notices they treat you differently, like you’re from another planet or something.”

His mum caressed his face, soothing him gently, “Then you speak to them, they realise that you can hear most of what they’re saying and that you’re just like everyone else…” Magnus ignored the rest of his mother’s pep talk, it wasn’t helping, she didn’t know what it was really like, how could she?

“I’m going to go do homework,” Magnus interrupted.

His mum smiled at him reassuringly, “Okay, I’ll order takeout for an hour or so, we can watch a film together, like old times?”

Magnus nodded, “Okay.”

He smiled weakly back at his mother as he headed down the corridor to his bedroom, he wasn’t going to do homework, not tonight. He needed to spend some time with his own thoughts where he could get himself back into the mindset of his deafness being permanent, his previous fantasy being crushed so quickly.

He sighed to himself as he lay down on his bed, looking at himself in the mirror adjacent to him, it wasn’t being different that bothered him, you just had to look at the way he dressed himself to see that. It was the way people acted around you when they found out you were deaf, the slowing down of speech, like they’re speaking to the child, or in Lorenzo’s case using it to his advantage as a way to torment him. If it wasn’t for his stupid disability he would have heard them coming from behind, he wouldn’t have felt like his head was about to explode when Lorenzo shouted in his ear and he’d have been able to follow what they were saying so that he could stand up for himself. Instead, it made him a target. That was his options, being spoken to like a baby or being made a target… they weren’t exactly good ones.

 

 

Chapter Text

Chapter 2: Poetry and Book Club

 

Alec chewed on the end of his pen as he thought about his closing statement for his war poetry essay that discussed the history of Wilfred Owen. He wanted something punchy, succinct but impactful, for a poet that had been through so much the final line really had to resonate, it wouldn’t be doing his trajectory justice otherwise. He groaned and swung back on his chair, throwing his pen against the wall in frustration. Since he’d gotten home from school his concentration had been all over the place, his mind kept on wandering back to what had happened in the hallway with Magnus and the jerks from the hockey team. There was something about him that was infatuating and no matter how hard he tried he couldn’t get him off his mind.

He stood up from his chair suddenly and left his slightly sparse looking room and headed into Izzy’s more aesthetically pleasing bedroom. “Magnus Bane. What do you know about him?”

Izzy spun around in her chair, “I could have been naked Alec!” She exclaimed, fed up of both of her brother’s incessant need to barge into her room without knocking.

“But you’re not. What do you know about Magnus Bane?”

Izzy looked at her brother, slightly perplexed as to why he had such a sparked interest in someone that constantly flew under the radar, saying that she was interested enough to want to fuel his curiosity. “He’s quite similar to you actually. He’s hoping to go to Brown to do English Literature, he’s got a near to perfect GPA, he was on the debating society for a couple of years but dropped out for senior year. He’s the only student at Idris High with a hearing impairment, he refuses to accept any additional help to facilitate him… he was actually quite rude when I asked him about it. Oh, and I’m pretty sure he’d bi.”

“How do you know all this?”

“Student council, and I’m the secretary for disability and support services in the school.”

“Of course you are,” Alec half sighed, his sister seemed to be involved in every club Idris High had to offer.

“So, why the sudden interest in Magnus Bane, I didn’t think you knew each other.”

“We don’t, well not really. Lorenzo and the rest of the hockey team were being dicks to him outside of his locker when I left for school, I jumped in, but Magnus didn’t seem exactly grateful for my help.”

Izzy grinned internally, her unwavering pride for her brother being sparked at the thought of him helping someone in need. “I’ve only spoken to him a couple of times, but I think he’s quite independent Alec, I wouldn’t take it personally.”

Alec nodded, “I didn’t. If anything I’m more annoyed at that idiot Lorenzo, honestly who does he think he is?”

Izzy laughed slightly, “I love it when you get all protective over people.”

“I’m not protective, I’m just…”

“…protective. Exactly.”

Alec rolled his eyes at his sister, “I need to get back to Wilfred Owen,” he said heading back into his room.

Izzy smiled to herself as she muttered under her breath, “more like get back to daydreaming about Magnus’.

 


 

 

Alec watched Magnus as he scribbled down the notes from what the teacher was saying, he was sat in front of him, so it was easy enough to not look like some kind of stalker. He wanted to speak to him, to make sure that he was okay after what had happened yesterday, but he seemed so wrapped up in his own world that breaking him out of that would almost be cruel.

“Okay, we’re changing up talking partners today. Turn to the person behind you and discuss the poem ‘The Letter’, 5 minutes,” the teacher said, sitting down at her desk and starting to mark some books.

Alec swallowed down the lump in his throat as Magnus turned his chair around to face him, “So, ‘The Letter’ what did you think?” he asked, smiling at Magnus.

“I didn’t get around to reading it last night,” Magnus said, “Can I see your copy?”

“Sure,” he turned the paper around so that Magnus could see it, “I guess the main thing to note is the use of brackets to distinguish between the letter the author is writing to his wife, and the slight change in language, when he’s not writing the language is more crass, kind of laddish…” Alec looked at Magnus whose hand was rubbing his eyes “…are you okay?”

Magnus looked up, “I’m fine,” he said, even though he wasn’t. That was the thing about war poetry, especially poems like that, where the soldier dies at the end not only were they incredibly emotional, but they reminded you of how lucky you were to be alive. Not being able to have surgery wasn’t the end of the world, yes it had felt like that, but when he put it in context, he felt stupid for letting it get to him so much. It was like his mum had said, he was alive and that was what was important.

“It’s emotional, I teared up last night when I read it. When you imagine what it was like for them, it’s harrowing.”

“Yeah, it really is.” Magnus cleared his throat, “Erm, yeah, the rhyme scheme is quite interesting too, it starts with rhyming couplets then occasionally misses a line, it really effects the pace of the poem.”

“Yeah, and the pace then effects how you read it and the emotion that comes across with it.”

“Exactly,” Magnus hesitated for a second, “I’m sorry, by the way.”

“What for?”

“I was a dick yesterday I was stressed out about other stuff and I took it out on you I should have just said thank you,” Magnus said, the words pouring out of his mouth as though he wasn’t letting himself think about what he was saying.

Alec smiled, “Don’t worry about it,” he scribbled down some extra notes over the poem, “is everything okay now, you know? With the other stuff?” he said as he looked back up at Magnus.

Magnus shrugged, “Not really, but I’ll get over it.”

“Glad to hear it.”

Magnus cleared his throat, “So, are you up to date on ‘The Hate U Give’? I’ve still got a chapter to go, going to have to read it in that hour we have before book club.”

“I finished it in bed last night. We’re meeting at that indie café across from the Starbucks, right?”

“Yeah, I think it’s called YOLO and I’m not sure how I feel about that.”

Alec laughed, “That’s definitely taking the irony too far.”

“Okay class, what do we think. How did this poem make you feel? What techniques did Owen use to make you feel that way?” The teacher said, standing up from her desk.

“I’ll see you this evening,” Magnus said, deciding that having an ally in Alec Lightwood definitely wouldn’t be a bad thing for him.

“Looking forward to it,” Alec said, a smile crossing his face as his cheeks almost flushed red. He hadn’t expected it to sound flirtatious but apparently, he did, which was the last thing he wanted.

 


 

 

Unlike Magnus, Alec didn’t have the luxury of spending the spare hour reading, not when Jonathan Morgenstern was constantly pressing on his mind. He looked at his watch and switched it to the timer, composing himself as he looked at the track in front of him. He wanted to knock off some time now so he could slowly build himself up to getting faster and faster, he had to do it that way because whenever he pushed himself to far without training, he ended up on the floor having an asthma attack. Meaning that his plan of action for beating Jonathan Morgenstern was going to have to be slow and steady, although Alec had never been that could at not pushing himself to the limit.

He pressed down the button and started to run around the track, levelling out his pace so that he was going steady, his body falling into a rhythm that was now second nature to him. At first, he didn’t increase his speed, he let himself maintain his normal pace, giving him the chance to enjoy the run and remind himself of why he did it.

He looked over at the bleachers, spotting Magnus sitting down on them reading a book, probably catching up on the reading for Book Club, where they were both heading afterwards. He waved at him, getting a wave back before he picked up his pace. His rhythm became faster, heavier as the annoyingly familiar tightness in his chest presented himself, he had one more lap to go, it would be pointless to stop now. He kept going, his eyes firmly on the finish line despite the blurred vision that was starting to appear as he struggled to regulate his breathing, 50 metres, 40 metres, 30 metres, 20 metres, 10 metres, he collapsed onto the ground, his breaths heavy, wheezing as he lay there.

Magnus looked over at Alec, slightly concerned at how quickly his chest was rising and falling as he lay on the track. At first he figured he was just being dramatic finishing his race with extravagance like so many people did, but when Alec tried to sit up and ended up doubled over, his chest lurching, looking as though he was coughing his guts up, Magnus decided that it was time to go over and check that he was actually okay.

“Magnus,” Alec choked, coughing on his words, “My bag,” he said, pointing to the side of the track.

Magnus jogged over to it and handed it to Alec, watching as he searched around in it and pulled out his inhaler, taking a puff, trying to regulate his breathing then taking another until it finally kicked in. “Well that’s unexpected,” Magnus said, helping Alec up and guiding him to the bleacher’s where he was sad.

“What?” Alec said, taking a sip of his water.

“The star cross country runner of Idris High has asthma.”

Alec swallowed, “Plot twist, right?”

Magnus laughed, “Seriously though, how do you manage it? I’ve seen you race before; you don’t always finish them so breathless, do you?”

Alec shook his head, “Running used to help it, but now cross country has gotten so much more competitive, I constantly have to go faster, and my lungs are struggling to keep up. On top of that, the asthmas got worse in general, but don’t tell anyone that.”

“Surely, if it’s got worse, telling someone is exactly what you should be doing?”

“My mum will stop me racing, I’m not letting that happen, I have to beat Jonathan.”

Magnus shook his head in disbelief, “You realise how stupid that sounds right?”

Alec took another drink and looked across at Magnus, “I can’t let people down, it’s complicated I guess.”

Magnus nodded, “Well hopefully you uncomplicate it before you end up in hospital.”

“I won’t end up in hospital. I’ll be fine.”

“Famous last words.”

Alec rolled his eyes, “Are you always this brutal?”

“Pretty much,” Magnus said grinning.

“You’d get on with my sister… come on, we’re going to be late,” Alec said, still feeling weak from pushing himself so far but considerably better now that his medicine had kicked in.

“We wouldn’t want to get bad seats, would we?” Magnus said, extending his hand to Alec who was still sat on the track.

“You Only Live Once… and you probably only go to YOLO café once, so you’ve got to try and get the best ones.”

“You’re weird,” Magnus teased.

“Don’t act like you’re not too,” Alec said, taking Magnus’s hand and letting him pull him up. He glanced across at him as he slid his backpack on, an unfamiliar warmth spreading throughout his body, he’d known Magnus no more than a few days yet there was something about him that was drawing him towards him in a way that he couldn’t explain. Alec wasn’t sure if he wanted to explain it, because as soon as he untied that not, well, a lot more would come undone.

Chapter Text

Chapter 3: Opening Up

 

Alec and Magnus sat together for the first time that evening, during book club, usually they sat on their own and whilst they were vocal members of the group, they weren’t exactly the most social. They went because they both loved to read and it looked good on their college applications, which, to be honest, was why most people did most clubs.

“Are you sure you’re okay?” Magnus asked sitting down and handing Alec the coffee that he’d bought him. “You sound kind of wheezy.”

“Thanks,” Alec said, talking about the coffee, “I’m fine, I’ll do a breathing treatment when I get home if it’s still bad.”

Magnus nodded, “You should tell your parents.”

“You didn’t like it when I got up in your business the other day, so please don’t try and get up in mine now,” Alec said, annoyed at how incessant Magnus was being but instantly feeling guilty for letting himself snap.

“I already apologised for that.”

Alec sighed, “I know, it’s me that’s being the dick now, sorry.”

Magnus took a drink of his coffee, “I’ll forgive you,” he hesitated, “I am genuinely thankful for you interfering yesterday, you’re the first person to notice me as someone for something other than my hearing aids or protruding persona of ‘I’m the person you should bully’ in years.”

“You’re welcome, but I highly doubt that’s true. I mean look at you, you’re not exactly under the radar.”

Magnus laughed to himself, “The clothes?”

“Yeah.”

“They’re the ‘I’m the person you should bully’ part of my personality.”

“That isn’t a personality trait, your clothes show your personality, yes, but they don’t show you as someone who should be bullied, no one deserves that.”

Magnus smiled at Alec, surprised at how tuned in the boy was to emotions, something that he hadn’t expected from a person of such high calibre and popularity, he was honestly nice in a way that made him incredibly easy to warm to. “There’s a lot more going on in that head of yours than you’d expect isn’t there?”

Alec almost choked on his coffee, “Is that a compliment or an insult?”

Magnus shrugged, “I meant it as a compliment, but I can see why you’re confused.”

“I guess it’s my turn to forgive you now.”

“I guess it is.”

Alec grinned, “Not to pressure you into like being my friend or anything-”

“-That’s an interesting opener.”

“Let me speak!” Alec protested, his cheeks flushing red, “Do you want to come over for dinner? Izzy’s not cooking so we shouldn’t get food poisoning and my mum has this whole theory that I don’t have any ‘proper friends’ which I don’t think is true but-”

“-Alec, I’ll come. If just to shut you up.”

Alec exhaled slowly, “Okay cool,” he said looking into Magnus’ eyes for a second, finding it hard not to get lost in them as he pulled away, worried about the unsettling afterthought he had about how attractive the boy in front of him was.

“Can you send me your address? My mum is against me walking home in the dark in case someone ‘jumps out’ at me.”

“We can drop you home, don’t worry about it.”

Magnus rolled his eyes; he’d noticed the slightly too long staring contest that they’d both unwillingly had with each other. “Jesus Alec, I was trying to get your number.”

 


 

 

Alec opened up the door to the house, smiling at Magnus as he did so, for some reason he felt kind of nervous about introducing him to his family. Magnus was just a friend and he knew that, but Izzy was always on his case whenever he did anything out of character and bringing a friend home was definitely out of character for Alec.

“Just so you know, my mum, she can be quiet, intense, and… protective…” Alec said, holding the door open for Magnus.

Magnus grinned, “My mum’s exactly the same, don’t worry about it.”

Alec led Magnus through to the kitchen, “I’m home, is it alright if Magnus stays for dinner?” he said as his mum turned around at the sound of the door opening.

Maryse looked at her son slightly confused before she remembered she needed to act cool as she crossed the kitchen, “Yeah of course. It’s just pesto pasta though, nothing fancy.”

“My favourite,” Alec said.

“Erm, Nice to meet you Mrs Lightwood,” Magnus interrupted extending his hand.

“Oh, call me Maryse, what was your name again?”

“Magnus.”

“Well, Alec, you can go hang out upstairs if you want? Dinner won’t be for an hour or so, Jace is still at training.”

Alec cleared his throat, “Is Izzy home?”

Maryse raised her eyebrow in concern, “She is, are you okay? You’re not still struggling from yesterday, are you?”

“Mum!”

“Alec, you go to college in less than a year, you need to manage this by yourself. You can’t pretend that it’s not serious.”

“I’m not pretending anything. I’m sorry about this Magnus,” he said, his cheeks flushed red from embarrassment.

“Go do a treatment, you don’t need my help do you?”

“I’m 17 mum!”

“Then act like it Alec. You should be managing all this by now, I shouldn’t need to tell you when to take your medicine.”

Alec sighed, “Fine. Come on Magnus, I’ll show you my room.”

“Nice meeting you, Maryse,” Magnus said, charming as ever.

“And you Magnus,” Maryse said as she watched the two of them walk away.

Magnus followed Alec up the stairs, slightly amused by the interaction between mother and son, Maryse had definitely mastered the art of embarrassing her children but it was quite endearing to see how close they were as a family. Yes, he and his mum were inseparable, but it was just the two of them so that tight nit family environment wasn’t something that happened often.

“Welcome to my humble abode,” Alec said, heading into the first room at the top of the stairs, “I know, it’s kind of plain… I’ve never been particularly gifted at interior design.”

“It’s quaint,” Magnus said, taking in the blue and grey theme of the pretty much empty room apart from the bookshelf that gave it a bit of character. If anything, it was pretty much what he expected from someone like Alec.

“Thanks, I guess,” Alec said, heading over to a chest of drawers at the other side of the room and taking out a machine. “I’m sorry about this, if I don’t do it my mum will definitely notice.”

Magnus laughed slightly, “You’re acting like you’re just doing it for your mum’s benefit. Doesn’t it help you?”

Alec shrugged, “Well, yeah, but it’s not exactly the time or the place to be doing it.”

“Well, I’d rather you were breathing than not, so…”

Alec rolled his eyes, “I’m not, not breathing.”

“Jesus, just do the treatment. I’m kind of interested in how it works anyway.”

“It’s not that interesting to be honest,” he said, placing down the machine on his desk and turning it on, waiting for a second as it warmed itself up then wiped the mouthpiece with what Magnus assumed was a sterilising wipe. “I literally just breathe through this for 10 minutes, it’s kind of boring and not exactly a social event. Coz I can’t really speak at the same time.”

Magnus smiled, “That’s fine, I’ll just look at your book collection, you’ve got way more than I do.”

Alec nodded as he put the piece in his mouth and started the treatment, finding it hard to keep his eyes of Magnus as he watched him flick through the books on his shelf. There was something almost attractive about the way he was so intrigued by them, it was rare you found people with the same interests in you and both of them had such a strong passion for literature that it was hard not to be mesmerized by his actions.

Alec put down the machine once the medicine was gone, “All done,” he said, cleaning the piece again and putting it away. “Magnus?” he asked, not getting a response. He headed over to where Magnus was standing, so that he was in his line of vision. “All done,” he repeated.

“Huh? Magnus said, turning to face him, “Sorry, I always miss things when I can’t see the person.”

“Don’t worry about it. What do you want to do?”

Magnus walked over to Alec’s bed and sat down on it, “You know, we don’t actually know that much about each other, do we?”

Alec sat down next to him, “We’ve only known each other a couple of days.”

“Yet, we’ve been going to school together for over three years.”

“Kind of depressing, considering we get on so well,” Alec said, a slight pang of guilt hitting his stomach. They could have been friends so much earlier if he’d have just opened his eyes from his little bubble of athletics and his focus on making a good impression.

“I kind of fly under the radar, it’s understandable.”

“Well, I’m glad we’re getting to know each other now.”

“Me too,” Magnus hesitated for a second, not wanting to come across too forward or out of place but needing to confirm it for his own sake, so as not to make an idiot of himself. “You’re not straight, are you?” he said, lowering his voice slightly so no one would overhear, he didn’t want to out him or anything.

Alec froze at the question, it wasn’t that he didn’t know that he was gay, he’d known for a long time and Izzy knew too and she was convinced that the rest of the family knew as well but admitting it to himself was scary. He’d never ‘came out’ and what if his parents didn’t already know? They could kick him out, disagree with who he was and admitting that as a possibility was terrifying. Which was why he continued to keep it a secret, that way he didn’t end up hurting anyone else or himself.

He looked up at Magnus who was watching him intently, a sympathetic expression on his face that almost forced him to open up as he swallowed the lump that had formed in his throat. “I don’t know… it’s kind of confusing.”

Magnus rested his hand on Alec’s leg squeezing it reassuringly, “It doesn’t have to be Alec, you just need to open your heart up and you’ll realise-”

“-Magnus, I appreciate you being so kind about this, but it’s not that simple. There’s so much to lose, if people found out, everything would change.”

“Maybe,” Magnus said, “But at least you’d be free of everything.”

Alec sighed, “I just don’t know what I want yet.”

“You will, in time.”

“Maybe,” Alec said, allowing himself to smile at Magnus.

“Just remember, being bi?” Alec shook his head, “Okay, being gay, it’s nothing to be ashamed of, it’s just who you are.”

“I’ll bare that in mind…”

“Good.”

The two of them sat in silence for a few seconds, a new level of trust having been created between the both of them. “What were you upset about this morning?” Alec asked, Magnus had just made him feel so much better and he wanted to be able to reciprocate that.

“What do you mean?”

“In Lit, you said that there was ‘stuff’ going on.”

“It was stupid, it doesn’t matter.”

“It does matter Magnus, listen, if we’re going to be friends, we both have to be open with each other right, it’s not a one-way street.”

Magnus groaned dramatically, “Jesus, I wish you weren’t so easy to talk to.”

“What do you mean?”

“I just wouldn’t normally open up like this and here I am.”

“Well, you’re easy to talk to as well, I haven’t officially come out to anyone other than Izzy.”

“Well, I’m proud of you.”

“Thanks, but this is about you know. I just want to make sure you’re okay.”

“I am… I had some test results back, that’s all. This trainee Doctor said that I might be able to have surgery to correct or improve my hearing, but he hadn’t looked at my file properly and basically, it’s out of the question now.”

“I’m sorry, Magnus, that must really suck.”

“I should be used to it by now, everything that has been put on the table as a solution has almost instantly been knocked down. The only thing that works are these,” he said, gesturing to his hearing aids.

“Well, I don’t know how much my opinion is worth, but for me, they don’t change anything about you in the slightest, they’re just a thing that you where, like when people where glasses.”

Magnus smiled at Alec, “Your opinion does matter, it’s just a shame you’re one of the few people that think like that.”

“DINNER!” Maryse called from the bottom of the stairs.

“Come on,” Alec said, let’s go eat. I’m starving.”

Magnus’ smile turned into a grin, “Me too!” he said. The thought resonating with him that maybe he’s finally found his person. He was so used to going through life alone that now he had Alec, well it was different but it was incredibly warming.

 

Chapter Text

 

Chapter 4: Knight in Shining Armour 

 

“Jace I swear to god, if you don’t leave me alone, I’ll-” Alec swatted his brother’s hand away from his hear, refusing to let him flick him one more time.

“You’ll?”

“I don’t know, fuck you’re so annoying!”

Jace grinned at his brother, trying to flick him one more time before giving up as Alec twisted his hand awkwardly so that he couldn’t move it, “I surrender!” He exclaimed, ignoring the glare that was been given to him from his homeroom teacher.

“Alec! I was looking for you!”

Alec released Jace’s arm and looked up at Raj, a fellow member of the athletics team and a general all-round nuisance that was obsessed with him, Jace and Izzy for no apparent reason. “What is it Raj?” Alec asked, not attempting at hiding his contempt at having to engage in a conversation with him.

“I’m having a party on Saturday, my parents are away so it’s a free house, everyone’s invited, you in?”

Alec pursed his lips awkwardly. Not too keen on the idea of spending a night getting drunk and engaging in the toxic culture that high schools promoted without even trying to.

“I know I am!” Jace said, bumping shoulders with his brother encouraging him to say yes to the invitation.

“Everyone’s invited?” Alec repeated.

“Yeah, go big or go home.”

“I’ll think about it.”

“What was all that about?” Jace asked, constantly confused about Alec’s lack of enthusiasm when it came to anything other than running or the books that he so frequently buried himself into.

“Nothing,” Alec said as he shrugged his shoulders, “I just don’t like Raj.”

“Me neither, but a party is a party.”

Alec rolled his eyes at his brother, “Oh yeah, because I’ve always been such a big fan of parties,” he said.

“Why don’t you invite Magnus? You guys could sit in a corner and talk about books together whist pretending that you do actually want to be there.”

“I might do.”

Jace shook his head at Alec disapprovingly. He loved his brother but the fact that he always had this tormented expression on his face made him incredibly hard to communicate with. It had been a week since Magnus had come over for dinner and just seeing the two of them at the table together made it obvious that there was some connection between them that was more than just friendship. But, of course, Alec hadn’t brought it up, he’d just remained holed up in his room pretending to be straight despite all the people around him knowing that he wasn’t and not being affected by it at all. Jace wanted Alec to open up more than anything but getting him to do that was near to impossible, Izzy had almost managed it in the past but at the end of the day Alec wanted to keep things quiet. All he could do was hope that one day Alec would fall in love with someone so deeply that he couldn’t do anything other than shout it out to the world, little did he know that it was already happening.

 


 

 

Alec was grateful for the arrival of lunchtime, his morning lessons were always so boring, Maths, Chemistry and Physics, they weren’t exactly his forte and he much preferred his afternoon of English Literature, Geography and Creative Writing. He looked over at the clock in the cafeteria, there was still half an hour of lunch yet and Alec had been desperate to get himself stuck into the new set of war poems that they were studying in English.

“I’m gonna head,” Alec said, excusing himself from the table.

“Where to?” Izzy said, wanting her brother to stay and socialise for a little longer.

“The bathroom if you must now… then the library.”

Izzy rolled her eyes, “I don’t know how you’re not sick of that place, you may as well take up a permanent residence the amount of time you spend there.”

Alec patted his sisters’ shoulder sarcastically, “Maybe I will, at least then I wouldn’t have you and Jace bugging me all the time.”

Izzy put her hand over her mouth, pretending to be shocked, “You could never live without us!”

Alec’s lips turned up at the corners, “Hmm,” he said, trying not to laugh, “I don’t know about that,” he said, walking out of the cafeteria.

He sat in the bathroom stall for a while, enjoying the peace and quiet that came with locking yourself in such a small area when he was unpleasantly interrupted by the sound of people messing about as they entered the room. Alec listened out, instantly recognising Lorenzo’s voice, annoyed that he was going to have to engage with him again.

“Look who it is,” Lorenzo said, “He hasn’t even realised that we’re here,” he laughed.

Alec tuned in to what they were saying.

“Scare him Lorenzo, go on!”

“I can do more than that, it’s only Bane. He’s not gonna fight back is he?”

“Na, he can’t even hear us, we’ve got the advantage.”

Alec burst out of the cubicle, just in time to witness Lorenzo twist Magnus’ arms behind his back, shouting in his ear making Magnus jump out of his skin.

“Get the fuck off him!” Alec yelled, pushing through the rest of Lorenzo’s friend, grabbing him by the arm and pulling him away from Magnus. “Are you really so pathetic that the only way you can show how weak you are is by terrorising other people?”

Lorenzo rolled his eyes at Alec, “I don’t know why you care so much Lightwood, it’s not like he’s any of your business.”

Alec ran his hand through his hair in frustration, “You being a dickhead is my business,” he spat. Pumping himself up for a potential physical altercation.

“Hmm,” Lorenzo said, chuckling to himself, “That’s tough talk from someone who’s about to lose all his credibility,” he pretended to lose his breath.

“You’re a moron.”

Lorenzo smirked at Alec, “I saw you on the track yesterday, you didn’t get a fast-enough time and that asthma attack afterwards… well it’s not looking good for you, is it Lightwood?”

“Just fuck off and leave us alone Lorenzo,” Alec said, his eyes cold and glaring directly into Lorenzo who was slightly shorter than he was.

“Fine. You better watch your back though. Once you screw up with Jonathan Morgenstern no one will care what you have to say anymore. Come on guys,” Lorenzo finished, leaving the bathroom.

Alec remained fixated on the four of them until the door had closed then turned to face Magnus who was sat hunched up on the tiled flooring, his right hand supporting his left wrist and his eyes closed. Alec slid down the wall, so he was sat next to him, placing a hand on his knee so that he knew that he was there.

Magnus opened his eyes and looked across at Alec, “You really have become my knight in shining armour, haven’t you?”

“Right place, right time, I guess,” he responded, “We should go to the nurse? Is your wrist still hurting?”

“A bit, not as much as the ringing in my ears though.”

Alec nodded, “He needs to stop shouting at you like that, surely it’s not the best thing, for, you know,” he said, gesturing towards his own ears.

Magnus sighed, “Yeah, it’s not the best thing, but at the end of the day, I’m already deaf so it’s not gonna change that.”

“Couldn’t it make it worse?”

“Maybe, I don’t really know It’s not like I hear much without these anyway,” Magnus shrugged.

“Let’s go get your wrist checked out.”

“It’ll be fine Alec.”

“Better safe than sorry.”

Magnus smiled at the boy sat next to him and let himself be pulled up by him, “Okay, as long as she doesn’t tell my mum.”

“She won’t, doctor patient confidentiality and all, right?”

“I don’t know if that applies in school,” Magnus said laughing, “but I’ll give it a try.”

 


 

 

Alec sat on the chair in the nurse’s office as Magnus swung his legs nonchalantly off the bed, watching as the nurse inspected his wrist. He looked kind of cute, the way he was sat so relaxed but held himself with such poise, the perfect fit of his shirt, his hair, his eyes…he had to stop himself before he lost control.

“It’s just a bit bruised, I’ll get you an ice pack, but you should be fine in a couple of days.”

“Thanks,” Magnus said, smiling at the nurse as she headed out of the room to get one.

“How are your ears?” Alec asked.

“Not great, still ringing.”

“God, he’s such a dickhead.”

“What?” Magnus said, distracted so not paying much attention to Alec.

“You should tell the nurse, isn’t it hard to focus?”

Magnus pushed himself back onto the bed properly, “I dunno, it seems silly. Like, this is kind of just part of the cause.”

“Okay, here you go,” the nurse said, coming back into the room and handing him the icepack. “Anything else?”

Alec glared at Magnus, urging him to tell her what was going on. “His ears are ringing, someone shouted at him, and yeah…”

“Alec!” Magnus said, frustrated, “I’m fine, he’s over exaggerating.”

The nurse raised an eyebrow at the boy sat on the bed in front of her, “I’ve had enough meetings with you and your mother to know that he’s probably telling the truth Magnus.”

Magnus sighed, “Fine, they’re ringing a bit, but it’s okay, I’m used to it.”

The nurse headed over to her desk and wrote out a slip of paper, “Both of you can have the afternoon in the library to do work. I don’t want you in lessons if you’re ears are hurting Magnus; it’s only going to be uncomfortable for you.”

“I don’t need special treatment!” Magnus said, frustrated, like he always was whenever his deafness caused him any problems at school.

“Good, because I’m not giving you any. This is what I’d do for any child in the school if their ears were hurting.”

Magnus looked over at Alec who was watching him intently, implying just by the way he was looking at him that it he wanted him to listen to what the nurse was saying.

“Right, whatever, okay then.”

“The bells about to ring, you might want to turn them off for a minute,” the nurse said looking at her watch, “You’re already sensitive.”

Magnus got out his phone and opened up the app that was linked to them, turning them off, already feeling more relieved from the ringing when it was more subsided. Alec waited as the bell rang, then gave Magnus a thumbs up when it was over.

“Okay, off you both go. I’ll send an email to the librarian on duty that you’re going to be there for the afternoon.”

“Thanks,” Alec said as he stood up from the chair.

“No problem.”

 


 

 

The two of them sat down at the far corner of the library, far away from the door and in a secluded corner that meant they could focus without the interruption of other classes coming in and out to get books.

Alec watched Magnus as he opened up his satchel and pulled out the war poetry book that they were studying. It was obvious that something was bugging him, but he didn’t know how to ask, after all, Magnus wasn’t exactly that keen on talking about anything to do with his hearing aids. If that was the problem, which Alec couldn’t exactly be sure of.

“Do you fancy going to a party this weekend?”

“Huh?” Magnus said, turning his head to look at Alec.

“Raj, he’s having a party, everyone’s invited. Do you want to come?”

Magnus looked at Alec perplexed as to why he was asking him, “Are you… asking me out on a date?”

Alec’s cheeks flushed red, “No, I just… I hate these things, but Jace wants me to go and I could really do with some company to keep me sane.”

“Won’t the hockey team be there?”

Alec nodded, “Probably, but we can stay away from them, if they start anything… I’ll get Jace to beat them up.”

Magnus laughed, “I’ll come, I guess everyone’s got to try at least one high school party in their life, right?”

“You’ve never been to one before?”

“Look at me Alec,” Magnus said sarcastically, “I’m never going to be first on the guest list.”

“Well, you’d be first on mine.”

Magnus smiled at Alec who always seemed to say exactly the right thing, “That’s good to know.”

“Come on, let’s do some work.”

Alec opened up his own poetry book and flicked to the section of Siegfried Sassoon poems and started reading through them, annotating as he went and occasionally allowing himself to sneak a look at Magnus sat next to him. He was struggling to deny to himself that he fancied him, how could he when they had so much in common, when he was the first stranger that he’d opened himself up to in forever?

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

Chapter 5: Party Until You Can’t See Straight

 

Alec pulled up outside the apartment block where Magnus lived, moving the sun block down so he could check his hair in the mirror, something that he knew was out of character for him but was seemingly the right thing to be doing. He looked at himself, taking in his appearance, composing the butterflies that he wasn’t expecting to be flying around in his stomach then got out of the car.

“Hello?” A woman’s voice said a few seconds after Alec had pressed the buzzer for flat 20A.

“Hi, erm, it’s Alec. I’m here to pick up Magnus,” he stuttered, feeling even more nervous at having to speak to Magnus’ mother.

“Come up,” the woman said, pressing a button that made the downstairs door click so he could get in.

Alec approached the door, knocking on it only for it to be opened before his knuckles had hit it, revealing a tall woman wearing what he assumed to be a lace ballgown.

“Alec is it?” the woman said.

“Y-yes, nice to meet you Miss Bane.”

The woman smiled at the tall boy in front of her, “And you, honestly, I’m so grateful that Magnus has found himself a friend.”

Alec nodded in agreement, “Well, I have too… is he ready?”

“I haven’t seen him in a while, he’s best not disturbed when he’s getting ready for these kinds of things, so I tend to leave him to it. His bedroom is the first door on the left.”

“Thank you.”

“Of course, right, I have to get off to this function. I’m assuming I can trust the both of you?” she teased.

Alec’s cheeks flushed red, “Erm, yes ma’am.”

“I’m only messing with you, again, it was nice to meet you Alec.”

“You too,” Alec said as Miss Bane left the apartment.

Alec swallowed the lump in his throat as he followed the directions to Magnus’ bedroom, knocking on the door firmly before pushing it open. He looked around the room, clothes were scattered across the floor, and there was a strong scent of eau de parfume coming from the open bottle on the dresser.

“You don’t look ready for a party,” Alec said, noting the raised figure beneath the blankets of the bed that was pushed against the far wall. Magnus didn’t respond, urging Alec to walk over to where Magnus was lying as he noted the hearing aids laying on the bedside table. He sat down on the bed, placing a hand where he assumed Magnus’s shoulder would be, jumping as Magnus quickly turned around to face him. “Jesus! You scared me!”

Magnus looked at Alec, slightly amused at the shocked expression on his face but not amused enough for it to pull him out of the rut that he was in. “Sorry, one second,” he said, reaching over to the bedside table and putting them in.

Alec watched Magnus, noting that he didn’t seem as enthusiastic about the party that he had been in the texts about it that they’d exchanged. “Are you okay?” Alec asked, his face etched with concern.

“I’m fine. It’s just, this party might not be a good idea.”

Alec shook his head stubbornly, “I’m not letting you do this Magnus.”

“Do what?”

“Live your life hiding from people. Lorenzo and his thug friends are dickheads, yes, but you can’t not have fun because of them.”

“You say that, but what if they get me alone, beat me up?”

“It’s not going to happen. I won’t let it. Jace won’t let it, and if Izzy see’s anything she’ll be reporting them to the principle first thing in the morning.”

Magnus smiled slightly, “You constantly surprise me Alec.”

“I do?”

“Who’d have thought you’d be the vigilante for the pathetic people of Idris High.”

Alec rolled his eyes, standing up from the bed and taking Magnus’ hands, “Firstly,” he said as he pulled Magnus up out of bed, “You are far from pathetic, and secondly, I’m not the vigilante, I’m just not a dickhead like the others… at least I hope I’m not.”

“You’re not,” Magnus said, looking Alec firmly in the eyes.

“Good. Well then, get yourself dressed or we’ll be too late for it to be fashionable.”

Magnus laughed, “Speaking of, you’re looking particularly nice tonight Alexander.”

“Alexander?”

“That’s your name isn’t it?”

Alec raised an eyebrow at Magnus, “It is.”

“I like it.”

Alec chuckled to himself, “Whatever, come on, get dressed!”

 


 

 

The music coming from inside of Raj’s house was audible enough to be heard from inside the car as Alec parked up, instantly getting the fear that he always had when he came to these events. The fear that came from being forced to socialise with fake people and having practical strangers come up to him and act as though they were best friends. He was incredibly glad that Magnus was with him, because at least then there was an excuse for them to do their own thing and not partake in forced socialization.

“You ready?” Alec said, turning off the engine.

“Yeah,” Magnus said, getting out of the car.

“Is it alright if we get a taxi home? I can’t do these kinds of parties without some alcohol to get me through.”

“That’s good with me,” Magnus said as he walked around to the pavement where Alec was now standing, “You seem jittery?”

Alec smiled at Magnus, “Parties aren’t really my thing, I’m just here to keep up appearances.”

“Well, let’s make this one fun!” Magnus said, taking Alec’s arm and dragging him inside of Raj’s house.

Alec hesitated for a second but quickly followed, deciding to take advantage of Magnus’ shift in attitude about the party. If Magnus was willing to enjoy himself, then maybe he should be to, after all, it wasn’t often that he let himself let his hair down. Alec took the lead as he dragged Magnus through to the kitchen managing to avoid any awkward conversations before, they got there. He looked around, finding two red cups and filling them up with the fishbowl of what looked like lemonade and fruit juice combined with a concoction of spirits and handing a cup to Magnus.

“To first parties?” Alec suggested, moving his cup towards Magnus.

“To us,” Magnus responded, clashing their classes together and taking a drink, laughing at Alec’s expression of disgust from the slightly ‘off’ taste that came from the mysterious bowl beside them.

Alec swallowed down the concoction before pouring the remainder into Magnus’ cup, “You can finish that, I’m going to stick to beer,” he said, taking out a bottle from the bucket next to the bowl of cocktail.

“ALEC! COME DO SHOTS!!!!!”

Alec turned his head at the sound of Raj’s very drunk voice, buckling slightly as he shook him by the shoulders, “I don’t know, we’ve only just got here…”

“…Oh come on Alec, let’s do it!” Magnus said, mainly to wind him up.

“SHOTSSSSSS, you should listen to your friend!” Raj yelled, “What’s your name Mr Shot Man?”

Magnus downed the rest of the cup, “Magnus.”

“Perfect, well Magnus, let’s go do shots with ALECCCCCC LIGHTWOOOOOOD! This way amigos!!” Raj exclaimed, pushing through the crowd and out onto the patio.

“I hate you,” Alec said, his eyes sparkling with unspoken excitement.

Magnus grinned, “No you don’t. Drink up,” he said, tipping Alec’s beer bottle so he nearly choked on it. “Idiot!”

“Hmm, yeah, whatever,” Magnus said, taking a shot from the table and handing it to Alec then getting one himself.

“Okay, let’s go! Shot roulette ladies and gents!” Raj said from the opposite end of the table. “It could be vodka, gin, sours, sambuca or tequila… so buckle up. THREE. TWO. ONEEEEEEE!”

Everyone around the table took shots together, the jocks clearly trying to pretend that their 17-year-old selves weren’t that bothered by the neat alcohol, the girls coughing over dramatically and Alec and Magnus looking at each other like they were the only important people at the whole event. Alec cleared his throat, “No more for me, I’m already feeling it,” he said, watching as Magnus swayed slightly in front of him.

“Let’s dance!” Magnus said, hanging on to Alec’s shoulders.

“I don’t dance,” Alec said, a slight moan in his voice.

“Yes you do! Embrace the day! Carpe diem!”

“No way!”

Magnus turned at the voice of another person that was strangely familiar.

“Fuck, is that Raphael Santiago?!” Magnus exclaimed, embracing a boy who was probably a year or two younger than they were. “No way?!” he said, pulling away, taking in the appearance of the person who he hadn’t seen in years stood in front of him.

“What are you doing here? I can’t believe it’s actually you Magnus!”

“What am I doing here? What are you doing here more like!!”

Alec cleared his throat from his position slightly behind Magnus.

“Who’s this, you’re new boyfriend?” Raphael teased.

“We’re just friends,” Alec said, despite the unnerving feeling of jealousy he had at this new friend of Magnus’ that he’d been introduced to.

“This is Alec, we go to school together, with Raj as well, which is why we’re here.”

“Alec Lightwood?” Raphael repeated.

“That’s me,” Alec said, smiling awkwardly.

“Jonathan Morgenstern goes to my school; he’s shitting it about that race he has against you in a few months.”

Alec looked at Raphael confused, “He is? I thought he’d be confident; he’s seconds faster than me.”

Raphael shrugged, “I don’t know why, just heard it through the grapevine.”

“See! You’ve got nothing to worry about Alexander!” Magnus encouraged, knocking Alec on the shoulder slightly.

“We’ll see,” Alec said, smiling. “So how do you know each other?”

Magnus grinned as he looked over at Raphael, “We went to like deaf kid rehab together, Raphael got lucky though, I’m guessing surgery worked?”

“It did indeed, get the occasional bit of tinnitus but, hey ho, it’s better than…” he trailed off, not wanting to upset Magnus. He looked at the time on his phone, “…Okay, it’s been great seeing you, but I must go check on Camille, she’s been at the bathroom for ages.”

“You too, Raphael, keep in touch.”

Alec looked at Magnus as he waved goodbye to Raphael, noticing the slightly deflated expression on his face. “You okay?” he asked.

“Let’s dance,” he said, plastering on a smile and taking Alec by the hand as he pulled him back into the house.

 


 

 

Alec groaned as he let Magnus take the lead, the alcohol running through his veins making him forget about the potential stares and judgements he could be getting from the people around him. Not that anyone was paying attention, because like at all great house parties everyone was dancing with each other, their bodies hot, sweaty, pressed up against each other as the music pulsated through the walls, the air, everything. Alec looked at Magnus who was moving naturally to the beat, his body graceful, majestic, impossible to take his eyes off.

He forced himself to look away, coughing slightly, as he breathed in, before looking back up at Magnus who was watching him. Magnus took hold of Alec’s hand and span him around, causing Alec to break into laughter which digressed into a coughing fit.

Alec looked up at Magnus, slightly breathless, “I’ll be back in a second,” he yelled over the music, not expecting him to hear him as he headed into the garden.

Magnus watched as Alec walked away, unsure of whether to go after him but then remembering that Alec was his personal bodyguard. He’d already clocked Lorenzo and co at the other end of the room and he didn’t fancy them clocking him as well so followed Alec’s tall, commanding figure into the garden.

“Everything okay?” he asked, sitting down next to Alec on the bench at the far side of the garden.

“Yeah, fine,” Alec said, throwing his inhaler up in the air and catching it before putting it in his pocket, “I’m not really supposed to drink alcohol.”

“Ah, I see,” Magnus said, looking over at Alec who was shivering slightly, it was only February, so the weather wasn’t exactly warm for 11 at night. “Are you cold?”

“A bit,” he said, glancing at Magnus out of the corner of his eye.

“Come here,” Magnus said, noticing Alec looking around the garden for anyone watching them, “Everyone’s inside, where it’s warm… like normal people.”

Alec buckled, sliding over to Magnus and letting him wrap his arms around him, appreciating his warmth as he rubbed his hands up and down his arms. He swallowed, he’d never been touched like this, with so much affection laced behind it and his entire body felt as though electricity was pulsing through it. He looked over at Magnus, his expression slack from the alcohol but his mind more confident and truer to himself than it had been his entire life.

“You’re not upset, are you?” Alec said, pushing his body closer to Magnus’.

“What would I be upset about?”

“I saw you when Raphael mentioned his surgery, it was like-”

“-A punch to the gut?” Magnus said light-heartedly.

“…Yeah?” Alec questioned.

Magnus ran his hand through Alec’s hair, “It was an unwelcome reminder, but I’m not upset. How could I be? I’ve currently got the hottest boy at Idris High resting against me and, you know, I’m happy for Raphael.”

Alec laughed slightly then sat himself up so he could look Magnus directly in the eye. He chewed on his lip apprehensively before he took the plunge, plucking the confidence from somewhere he didn’t know he had… “Can I kiss you?” He asked in barely a whisper.

“I thought you’d never ask,” Magnus said, his eyes glistening as Alec’s lips connected with his own, working each other out as they let themselves be absorbed in the moment. The sound of the music from inside of the house seemed thousands of miles away as they sat there together, the two of them, accepting themselves as themselves properly from the first time in forever.

Chapter Text

 

Chapter 6: We Should Talk

 

A groan escaped Alec’s lips as he woke up to the sound of pounding on his bedroom door which seemed twice as loud than usual which was probably related to the hangover that he’d given to himself the night before. He rolled over, reaching for the glass of water on his bedside table and drinking it quickly, his dry alcohol ridden mouth craving hydration.

“Come in,” he said, propping himself up in his bed. Whatever this was, he was not ready for getting out of bed.

His bedroom door burst open as Jace and Izzy stormed into his room, both of them looking incredibly on edge. “Have you looked at your phone this morning?” Izzy said, climbing onto the bed and sitting next to him.

“No, I just woke up. Why?” Alec said, rubbing his forehead.

“You look rough,” Jace said from the foot of the bed.

“I feel it.”

Jace grinned, “Look at you, getting your first hangover, I’m so proud!”

“Jace, this isn’t the time,” Izzy said, clearly more concerned about whatever was going on than Jace was.

“What is it Iz?” Alec said, an uncomfortable feeling aching inside of him.

“There’s a photo, Lorenzo Rey posted it on Instagram last night… it’s of you and Magnus.”

Alec froze, in fact, everything froze around him as the words Izzy said sunk in, “W-what kind of photo?” his heart started racing.

“You’re kissing in it…”

Alec bent over his head between his knees as he tried to remember how to breathe, something that seemed impossible when his cover had completely been blown, when he knew that he was now going to be a target, that no one would take him seriously anymore. His school wasn’t exactly forward thinking, it was too hierarchal for that and the thought of everyone knowing, of a picture of him and Magnus being spread around the school like chewing gum made him feel physically sick.

“Alec, it’s going to be okay,” Jace said, rubbing his brother’s back, “No one cares about what gender you like and if anyone says anything, they’ll have me to answer to.”

The words went in one ear and out the other as Alec’s chest rose and fell irregularly, he needed to calm down, compose himself but he couldn’t. The combination of the alcohol trigger from last night, his asthma which he hadn’t taken his preventer inhaler for that morning or the night before and the anxiety that was pulsating through him was stopping him from taking any normal breaths.

“Alec, you need to breathe, where’s your inhaler?” Izzy said, opening up his bedside drawer and looking around for it.

“I, I don’t know,” Alec choked, “I can’t breathe.”

“Yes, you can. Just, calm yourself down.”

“What’s going on?” Maryse’s voice said from the door.

“Show her Jace,” Izzy said, wrapping her arm around Alec and hugging him towards her.

Jace got up and showed his mother the picture that was being sent around, “He’s freaking out, we can’t calm him down.”

Maryse nodded, “Okay, out, the both of you. I’ve got this,” she said, putting the load of laundry she was carrying down on the floor and shooing Alec’s siblings away.

She opened up the chest of drawers and took out Alec’s preventor inhaler and sat down on the bed next to him, pushing him into a more upright position and helping him take it, pushing his hair back and holding him against her until he’d calmed down a bit. “Talk to me son,” she said, kissing him gently on the forehead.

“I’m sorry,” he croaked.

“You’ve got nothing to be sorry for, nothing at all, okay?” She said, sitting him up again so that he had to look at her.

“This isn’t what you wanted for me.”

Maryse shook her head, “All a mother ever wants for her child is for them to be happy. Magnus makes you happy, right?”

“I guess.”

“Then this is exactly what I wanted for you.”

Alec sighed, “I don’t know what to do mum… everyone at school…”

“Alec, I know you better than anyone and you’re made of tough stuff, if anyone says anything to you just walk away. They’re not worth your time, okay?”

“It’s easier said than done.”

“Maybe, but Magnus, he’s been out a while, hasn’t he?”

Alec nodded, “He gets bullied every day.”

Maryse gritted her teeth annoyed at the school’s inability to stop anything that was to do with bullying mainly to protect themselves. If they expelled some of the known jocks the school would be sued so they let any bad behaviour slide, it was a never-ending cycle and it had always driven Maryse mad whenever any of her kids told her about the latest drama.

“If you were to punch one of them… I wouldn’t be mad,” Maryse said,

Alec smiled slightly, “I don’t think you’re supposed to be giving me that kind of advice.”

Maryse laughed, “Probably not, but at the end of the day, you’re my son and if worst comes to the worst, I want you to protect yourself, and Magnus, okay? Apart from that, all you can do is try and show them that you’re the same person you were yesterday and on top of that, you’re a better person than them anyway.”

Alec wrapped his arms around his mum, hugging her for the first time in years, “You’re really good at this,” he said.

Maryse kissed her son on the forehead, “I know, but this laundry isn’t going to do itself,” she said, getting up off the bed, “You should speak to Magnus, invite him over if you like?”

“I will.”

“Also,” Maryse picked up the laundry, “I know you were drinking last night; I don’t want to hear of that again.”

Alec nodded, “I won’t,” he said, not too sure if he was telling the truth on that one.

 


 

 

Alec typed a message on his phone to tell Magnus that he’d arrived. He’d asked if he could come over earlier that day and with Magnus’ mum being away on a business trip, he’d somehow managed to persuade his mother to let him spend the night. Something that was very rare not only because it was clear that Magnus was a potential romantic interest but because it was a Sunday night, a school night. He knew he was being given special treatment so that he didn’t have another meltdown like he did that morning and he was grateful for it, him and Magnus needed to see each other and Alec more than ever needed Magnus’ advice on how to deal with the whole ‘coming out’ ordeal.

“Hey,” Magnus said, opening the door to his apartment, a sensitive smile coming off him as he expected Alec to be feeling particularly vulnerable.

“Hey,” Alec headed into the apartment and straight through to Magnus’ room.

Magnus followed him, joining him as they both sat with their backs up against the wall on his bed, their legs intertwined. “I don’t know what to do with this,” Alec admitted.

“I know,” he paused, “If it helps, neither do I.”

“How would that help?”

Magnus laughed, “I don’t know. I’m just trying to make you feel better.”

Alec exhaled slowly, “What do you think will happen?”

“Maybe nothing.”

“But maybe something.”

“True, but there’s no point thinking the worst.”

“Isn’t there? What about Lorenzo? How am I going to stand up to him now? I can’t protect you-”

“-Okay. Stop spiralling,” Magnus commanded, resting his hand on Alec’s knee, “Lorenzo’s a dick, you’ve told me that enough times. He’s not worth your time and he’d be stupid to start a fight with someone so calm and composed as you Alexander.”

“I don’t feel that calm or composed.”

“Just because you don’t feel it doesn’t mean you can’t be it. Walk away from him, that will bother him more than anything else… he just wants attention, he always has.”

Alec nodded, “I know that, it’s just…”

“… the tables have turned?”

“Yeah,” Alec said playing with the skin between his thumb and finger.

Magnus took hold of Alec’s hands, holding them tightly in his own, “We’ll get through this. Together. Okay? Anyway, I can look after myself.”

“I hope so,” Alec said, staring at Magnus, letting himself be reminded of why he kissed him in the first place, jumping slightly at the sound of the buzzer. “The doorbell just went.”

“You hungry? I ordered pizza.”

“Sounds great,” Alec said as Magnus jumped up from the bed and headed out of the room. It did sound great, not only was pizza the perfect hangover food but he was safe here, just him and Magnus, a place where he could be exactly who he wanted to be.

It was later that evening when Alec started to fall asleep, they’d been sat on Magnus’ bed watching film after film all afternoon and the late night was catching up on him as he almost dozed off onto Magnus’ shoulder.

“Let’s turn this off, we should sleep anyway,” Magnus said, grinning at Alec whose eyes looked heavy with sleep.

“Where should I sleep?” Alec said, standing up off Magnus’ bed.

Magnus grabbed Alec’s hand and pulled him back down, “You can share with me if you want?”

Alec pondered for a moment, “No funny business.”

“No funny business,” Magnus repeated. “The bathroom’s over there if you want to get yourself ready.”

“Thanks,” Alec said, taking out a grey t-shirt, a pair of shorts and his preventor which he took quickly before getting his toothbrush and heading to the bathroom.

“You can take the wall side, I’m not generous enough to give up my side of the bed yet.”

Alec laughed, “That’s fine with me, I’m just grateful you let me stay,” he said as he pulled back the covers and slid underneath them.

“Anything for you Alexander.”

“So smooth.”

“I’ve been told,” he paused, “I have to take my hearing aids out when I sleep by the way…just, in case I don’t hear you, which I won’t… I’m not ignoring you.”

“I wouldn’t think that anyway.”

“You’re so sweet,” Magnus said, lying down so he was facing Alec, “I’m so glad you’re in my life, you know, that right?”

“I’m glad you’re in my life too,” Alec said, instigating a movement as he caressed Magnus’ cheek.

“You know,” Magnus started, “You’re the only person that hasn’t asked me how it happened.”

“How what happened?” Alec said, wriggling himself so he was closer to Magnus, feeling his breath as it tickled his nose.

“How I became deaf.”

“Oh,” Alec said, the question hadn’t really crossed his mind, “Do you want me to ask?”

Magnus wrapped his arm around Alec’s waist, wanting to open up fully to the boy, “Meningitis, I was 6, but they caught it early.”

Alec nodded, surprised at the revelation, “So you could hear before?”

“Yeah, that’s why my speech isn’t bad… I was old enough to remember most sounds so with a fair amount of speech therapy, well, you know.”

“That must have sucked to go through.”

“It did, but I’m used to it now. I just…” Magnus sighed to himself, not sure of how to phrase things.

“What’s wrong?”

“I’ve never really taken my hearing aids out in front of anyone other than my mum or the doctors… I don’t want you to think it’s weird.”

“Why would it be weird? You took them out at the nurses office.”

“That wasn’t for long…Alexander, I really can’t hear anything without them, apparently it’s best described as being deep underwater… I don’t want you to be put off-”

“-Magnus,” Alec said, kissing him on the forehead, “Nothing is going to put me off you.”

“Are you sure?”

“Positive,” Alec said, “Now let’s sleep.”

“Okay,” Magnus said, taking out the hearing aids and letting the silence cover him up as he looked over at Alec who was smiling at him. He pulled him closer, so that he was hugging him and nestled his head in the crook of Alec’s neck… he wasn’t sure if it was too much too soon, but Alec didn’t complain.

Chapter Text

 

Chapter 7: Time to Face the Music

 

Alec headed around to the other side of the car where Magnus was standing, he’d been waiting for Alec to get out of the car for the past minute or so, hoping that if he made the first move that he would swiftly follow. They were at the far end of the parking lot, which was a good thing because it meant no one had noticed their arrival but also a bad thing because it meant they had to walk a longer distance through the stares of their peers.

“So, I had an idea last night,” Magnus said, trying to distract Alec.

“What was it?” Alec replied, trying to bring himself back to where they were and not everything else that was happening in the parking lot.

“That we should go on a proper date.” Alec smiled at Magnus, wanting to kiss him but fear holding him back as he grazed his hand gently instead, “That sounds perfect,” he whispered.

He cleared his throat, “Come on, we should get to class. We don’t want to draw attention to ourselves.”

“Do you want to walk in separately?” Magnus asked, noting the worried expression on Alec’s face that was painful to look at.

“No,” Alec said, shaking his head adamantly. “I’m out now, I’m not going back in the closet…”

“Alexander,” Magnus said reassuringly, “You don’t have to do anything for me, we can take things slow, go at your pace.”

“I’m fine. All we’re doing is walking into school together, it’s not a big deal, right?”

“Right,” he paused, “What are you doing lunchtime?”

“Training.”

“Can I come watch?” Magnus proposed, one because Alec was incredibly attractive when he was putting his muscles to work and secondly because he wanted to make sure he wouldn’t push himself too much.

“I’d like that.”

“Then I’ll be there.”

Homeroom brought very different things for Magnus and Alec, they were in separate classes and whilst Magnus got a few more stares from the ‘popular’ kids they didn’t really make much of a fuss over it. Yes, he was now associated with someone a lot more influential than he was but it wasn’t enough for anything to change in his life. On the other hand, Alec knew that everyone was talking about him from the minute he entered the room, the hushed voices as he walked past then that turned back up again when he sat back in his seat, the stares, the questions everyone was asking each other, it wasn’t what he was used to in the slightest.

“You okay?” Jace asked as he slid into the seat next to his brother.

“Yeah, it’s all just talk.”

Jace nodded, “It’ll blow over in a couple of days.”

“Is it true?” Alec turned around at the voice behind him, it was Heidi, captain of the cheerleading team and straight up bitch that no one really liked but everyone was scared not to like.

“Is what true?” he asked, panic starting to rise in his throat. “That you’re gay and you’re fucking that deaf kid.”

Alec swallowed down the panic, “That ‘deaf kid’ has a name, why don’t you try learning it before you ask me about him?”

Heidi rolled her eyes, “Oh wow, that sensitive side really has been hiding away.”

“Grow up Heidi,” Jace inputted.

“I’m sure you brother can speak for himself can’t he… oh wait, he’s not really your brother, is he?” Heidi taunted.

Jace stood up quickly, his chair pushing back against the table behind him as he saw red at the personal attack that was completely unnecessary.

“Sit down,” Alec commanded, pulling Jace back into his seat, “Don’t give her the attention, she’s not worth it.”

“I can’t believe I slept with her homophobic ass.”

Alec laughed to himself, “Jace, you’ve slept with everyone.”

Jace punched his brother lightly on the shoulder, “Not quite everyone,” he said as he eyed up the red-haired girl sat two rows in front of them, Clary Fairchild, the latest girl that Jace had been swooning over for the last few weeks.

 

The repetitive feeling of his feet on the track was incredibly stress reliving for Alec as he let his mind be drifted away into the focus of what he was doing. One foot after another, a steady pace, round and round the track, routine, a taste of normality that he hadn’t had all day, not really. No one else had said anything to his face, but that hadn’t stopped him from noticing the looks he was getting all day and, yes, he could put them to the back of his mind but it wasn’t the easiest thing to do, not when it was so relentless.

“Did you beat your time?” Magnus said, jogging up to the finish line as Alec regained his breath.

“No, but I wasn’t trying to. I just needed to get out there, you know?”

Magnus nodded, “Has anyone said anything to you?”

Alec picked up his water bottle and took a sip then squirted it on his forehead,

“Heidi was a bitch this morning, but apart from that it’s just been stares and hushed comments.”

“Well that’s good, I’m glad you’ve not been given too much grief.”

“Yeah, it could be worse.”

“And I’m proud of you. This is a big thing for you and you’re smashing it.”

Alec nodded, “What about you? Has anyone said anything?”

“No, although I do feel considerably less invisible than I did last week… which I haven’t figured out is a good or bad thing yet.”

“Well, I hope it’s a good thing? If anyone does anything-”

“- Alexander, I can look after myself, you don’t have to worry about me.” “I know you can, I’m just worried about Lorenzo. You of all people know he’s not the most accepting, shit he targets you because you wear hearing aids, he literally is almost guaranteed to be homophobic as well.”

Magnus placed a hand on Alec’s shoulder smiling at him, “So what if he is? Fuck him Alexander, he’s not worth our time remember?”

“I just don’t want you to get hurt.”

“I know, and I don’t want you to either, but we can’t live our lives in fear of one stupid kid that’s probably more lost than he’s letting on.”

“Well, that’s true.”

Magnus grinned, “There’s still half 15 minutes left of lunch, have you eaten yet?”

“No, I’ve got a granola bar in my bag though.”

“I figured as much,” Magnus said taking a sandwich out of his bag and chucking it at Alec, “Turkey’s your favourite right?”

“How did you know?”

Magnus sighed dramatically, “You just look so much like a turkey kinda guy.”

Alec laughed as he unwrapped his sandwich, “I didn’t know there was such a thing.”

“Well, what kind of sandwich do you think I like?”

“Sausage?” Alec teased.

“Well then… that lowers the tone, but I kind of like this sexual side of you Alexander, so much so that I definitely need to get this date arranged between the two of us.”

“What are you thinking?” Alec asked, his eyes twinkling with an excitement that he didn’t know he had.

“I dunno, we could do dinner, or something more exciting.”

Alec raised his eyebrow, “What does something more exciting entail?”

“Let’s go to Coney Island, go on some rides, get ice-cream…”

“Sounds very romantic.”

“That’s me.”

“This Saturday?”

“Sounds good to me.”

“Sorted then?”

“Sorted.”

The two of them both cracked into laughter at the speediness of the conversation and how quickly they’d both decided what to do. The afternoon went relatively quickly as they both had their afternoon of lessons that they actually enjoyed and they were in smaller classes.

 

After English Lit the two of them headed to their lockers together, still discussing the latest Wilfrid Owen poem they were analysing, ‘Disabled’, embracing their nerdiness over the subject without fear of any negative comments from their classmates about being ‘too into’ the lesson.

“Alec, Magnus! Wait up!” They both turned around at the sound of a boy that Magnus recognised but Alec didn’t.

“Meliorn, what can we do for you?” Magnus said, standing closer to Alec as he had a pretty clear idea of what was going to come next and knew that it had the potential to make Alec feel under pressure.

“Well, it’s not so much what you can do for me Magnus, it was actually Alec that I wanted to speak to.”

“Me?” Alec questioned.

“Yes you,” Meliorn repeated. “I have a proposal for you.”

“Meliorn, leave him alone,”

Magnus interrupted, “You’re being to pushy.”

“I’m still here you know. What’s this proposal?”

Meliorn smiled at Magnus a slightly condescending look on his face as he returned his gaze back to Alec. “I’m president of the LGBTQ+ Society for the school and we would love to offer you a place at our table. In all honesty we need someone like you on our side.”

“Someone like me?”

“Is he always this oblivious?” Meliorn directed at Magnus.

“Pretty much.”

“Again, still here.”

“We need someone with credibility, someone popular who everyone knows. You coming out like that, it’s a big thing for this school.”

“I didn’t exactly have a choice,” Alec mumbled.

Magnus looked over at Alec, it was blatant that he’d clammed up at the suggestion and Magnus couldn’t blame him, he’s barley been given a chance to come to terms with his sexuality and now he was being harassed into being a voice of the people. “Give the guy a second to breathe Meliorn, he’s just been outed to the whole school, joining the LGBTQ society is like asking him to scream ‘I’M GAY’ from the rooftops.” Meliorn rolled his eyes, “Come on, it’s not like it’s a big deal. Everyone will be over it in a few days, your popularity will be restored-”

“-I don’t know if I have the time. With training and schoolwork…” he trailed off, not wanting to admit that he just wasn’t ready for such a big commitment. Yes, he was out in the open now, but he hadn’t had a choice in that, he needed time before he decided how involved he wanted to be. He also needed to educate himself on the community that he’d only just become a part of.

“That’s a shit excuse. You could really make a difference if you wanted to, but I guess your reputation is more important to you than anything else. It’s sad really.”

“That’s uncalled for,” Magnus said, “You don’t know what he’s going through Meliorn, so don’t call him out on things that you don’t understand yourself.”

Meliorn shrugged, “You weren’t at the meeting last week or the week before Magnus, so it’s not like you care about the more important issues pressing our society.”

“I was at the hospital, you know that,” he paused, he hadn’t wanted to think about those two appointments not after how disappointing they were, yet here he was getting angry with Meliorn because he wanted to protect Alec to the extent that he’d tell someone about his appointments in the heat of the moment.

“And what a surprise, the appointment was pointless. You’re deaf Magnus, get over it,” Meliorn said as he turned to walk away.

“I’d love to know when you turned into such a dickhead,” Magnus yelled after him before turning to Alec, “Are you okay?”

Alec nodded, a concerned expression on his face as he looked at the boy in front of him, “Are you? I’ve never seen you pop off like that.”

“I’m fine, Meliorn used to be a decent person… I don’t know what’s happened to him.”

“Maybe there’s something going on?”

“Yeah maybe…”

Alec reached down to Magnus’ hand and squeezed it tightly, “You don’t have to get over it,” he said softly, kissing him on the forehead.

“Thanks,” Magnus said, smiling up at Alec.

“Let’s go get a coffee, I feel like we deserve one after that encounter,” Alec instigated putting his backpack on then taking hold of Magnus’ shoulder. “A pre-date, before the weekend?”

“Sounds wonderful,” Magnus said, “Let’s not go to YOLO though.”

Chapter Text

 

Chapter 8: First Dates and Fun Fairs

 

Alec couldn’t help but be overly excited at the prospect of his first official date with Magnus, not only were they going to be away from the glaring eyes of everyone at school, but it was a chance for the two of them to just have fun together. Additionally, the race before the big race was taking place the day after so it gave Alec a chance to calm himself down and relax beforehand. The weekend had the potential to be the best weekend in a long time and both of them were ready to fully enjoy themselves.

“Hey,” Alec said as he approached Magnus who was resting casually against the fence of the pier.

“Hey,” Magnus responded pushing himself away from it and leaning in, pecking Alec on the lips gently. “How are you feeling about tomorrow?”

Alec smiled, “Let’s not talk about the race. Today is all about you, okay?”

“It’s all about us,” Magnus corrected, lacing his fingers through Alec’s. “What should we do first? You hungry? Or maybe we should do rides before we eat?”

“I’m happy with anything Magnus.”

“Let’s go on the cyclone,” Magnus insisted, pulling Alec in the direction of the theme park, “I already got us tickets for the rides.”

“I could have gotten my own.”

“My treat,” Magnus said, squeezing Alec’s hand, “You do like rollercoasters, right?”

“Love them.”

Alec waited for a second before he let Magnus’ pull drag him through the gate and the crowds over to the line for the ride. The sound of the amusement park pulsing through his veins as the adrenaline of being somewhere where everyone had fun, no matter the circumstances, took over.

Magnus turned to look over at Alec as the rollercoaster slowed down and pulled up into the boarding area, grinning at he took in his very windswept appearance, “Honestly, you could pull anything off?”

“What do you mean?” Alec said, grinning back at him.

“Your hair has never been more of a mess, yet you still look incredibly attractive.”

“Well,” Alec paused, “You can fix it if you want?”

Magnus laughed as he ran his hand jokingly through Alec’s hair then kissed him on the cheek, “It doesn’t need it, handsome.”

“Stop it, you’re making me blush!” Alec quipped, “Anyway, everyone knows that you’re the looker out of the two of us,” he said, taking Magnus’ hand as he climbed out of the cart.

“That, my friend, is a blatant lie…”

“Friend?” Alec questioned; his eyebrow raised in curiosity.

“I couldn’t think of a word that describes somewhere in between friend and boyfriend…” Magnus said, his cheeks flushing in embarrassment.

“Well maybe by the end of today it could be boyfriend?” Alec flirted, kind of surprised at his own confidence.

Magnus laughed, “You know? I’m quite liking this cocky version of you Alexander.”

“Cocky?” Alec insinuated.

“And apparently incredibly dirty minded as well.”

“I just want to make sure that you know I like you.”

Magnus reached up and caressed Alec’s cheek slowly, “You’re making it very clear; you have nothing to worry about.”

“That’s good,” Alec said, wrapping his hand around Magnus’ waist. “Let’s go on the Wonder Wheel.”

“A Ferris wheel on a first date, what a cliché,” Magnus teased.

“I just want to have my own ‘Love Simon’ moment.”

“I can’t believe I’m dating a soppy boy,” Magnus said, nudging Alec teasingly.

“I am far from soppy! I’m just a sucker for a love story, you may not have noticed but my love life has been non-existent thus far, so films are my only source of romance.”

“Come on,” Magnus said, even more smitten by the outburst, “Wonder Wheel it is. You’ll have to hold my hand though I don’t really like heights.”

“You just went on a rollercoaster?”

“Yeah, but you go up and down quickly, it’s not the same.”

“I’ll hold your hand the whole way then,” Alec said smiling as they entered the line.

Alec didn’t break his word as they sat down in their seat, his hand already locked with Magnus’, he wasn’t even phased by the slightly clammy texture of it. If he was honest with himself, he’d take any excuse to hold Magnus’s hand, clammy or not.

“I can’t believe you’re scared of heights,” he said as the ride started to move.

“Everyone’s scared of something Alexander.”

“True, I just didn’t picture you as a heights guy.”

Magnus forced himself to look around him, checking that he was in fact still scared of heights which was very quickly confirmed, “Definitely a heights guy,” he muttered. “What about you, you must be scared of something?”

“Clowns,” Alec stated, “Never liked them, never will.”

“So a date to the circus is out of the question?”

“Definitely.”

“Or a movie night to watch a Pennywise movie.”

“You wouldn’t catch me dead.”

“Well that’s good to know.”

“Can I be even more of a cliché?” Alec asked as they started to approach the top of the wheel.”

“Go on,” Magnus said, intrigued.

“Can we kiss? When we get to the top.”

Magnus chuckled at the question, “I don’t know, I’m going to have to move and actually look-”

“-You’d be looking at me…” he trailed off, he didn’t want to pressure him.

“Always a positive,” Magnus squeezed Alec’s hand, “Okay then.”

Alec looked around him, waiting a few seconds till they were at the highest point then shuffled in his seat, so he was almost facing Magnus. He reached for his jaw, caressing it and gently turning his head towards him before leaning in for the kiss. Yes it was cold at the top of the wheel, the wind whipping around them both, their hands cold from the harsh February day but that didn’t really mater as they let themselves be warmed by each other. Their lips moving in synchrony until they were almost back down at the bottom.

Magnus pulled away as he sensed their departure, “I have to say, you certainly made that a whole lot easier for me.”

Alec laughed at the comment, “Any time Magnus, anytime.”

“You hungry? We could get pizza or something?”

“I am, but scrap the pizza,” Alec said, “I packed us a picnic. I thought we could eat it on the beach?”

“How romantic,” Magnus said, “Honestly, keep on pulling surprises like this out the bag and you’ll have me smitten in no time.”

“I better keep pulling them out of the bag then.”

 


 

Alec lay out the picnic blanket against a sandbank, hoping that it would protect them slightly from the wind and spread out the sandwiches that he’d made, handing one to Magnus before hastily sitting down on the blanket to stop it from blowing away.

“Maybe this wasn’t the best of ideas,” he said as he tried to hold everything together.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about. I love a bit of sand in my sandwich, adds texture.”

“Very funny,” Alec quipped as he poured Magnus a glass of sparking grape juice, “I would have brought wine, but we’re driving,” he said as Magnus took a sip.

“This is perfect Alexander,” Magnus said, clinking his plastic cup with Alec’s.

“I don’t know. I think I should have thought it through better.”

Magnus sighed, “Alec, I promise you, this is perfect,” he said, resting his spare hand on Alec’s knee.

“You’re sure? we can-”

“-Shush,” he said, silencing Alec with a finger over his lips which he moved away dramatically revealing the smile that he was beginning to fall for. “I don’t want to do anything else right now. Eat your sandwich.”

Once they’d finished eating, Magnus lay down on the sand his back propped up against the bank and encouraged Alec to lay down on his chest. The two of them warm enough in each other’s body heat and content to just lay there for ever.

“What were you like as a kid?” Magnus asked, breaking the quiet between them.

“What do you mean?”

“I don’t know, I just can’t imagine you as like, a little boy.”

Alec laughed at the remark, “I don’t know really. I was always the quiet one out of the three of us, especially after we adopted Jace.”

“Jace is adopted?”

“Didn’t you know that?”

“I don’t really get linked in on most things to be honest.”

“Well, he joined us when I was about seven. He was very much a boyish boy, I could be if I wanted to be, but I always preferred reading rather than playing sports. I tried soccer and football and all that, but I was no good. It’s hard to manage asthma with sports like that because there’s more sprinting involved which fucks me up a bit.”

“So, you’re like the nerdy one of the family?”

“Maybe, I dunno, Izzy get’s better grades than me in most things… I guess I don’t really have a title, I just kind of float along.”

Magnus nodded to himself, “Well, I don’t think you need to be anything. You’re kind and generous and you’re actually really interesting.”

“So many compliments,” Alec said, rolling over so he could see Magnus, his hand draped around his waist. “What about you? What were you like as a child?”

“Dare I say it, before I got sick, I used to be pretty popular for a 5-year-old, Lorenzo used to be my best friend,” he said, his tone becoming slightly bitter the words came out of his mouth.

“Lorenzo Rey? Like the Lorenzo who’s a complete dick to you now.”

“The very one. Anyway, he stopped talking to me when I came back to school with these in,” he said, gesturing to his hearing aids, “and I didn’t adjust very well either. That’s when my mum sent me to this school for the deaf and by the time, I came back to normal school all my friends had moved on and I was no longer worthy of anyone’s time.”

“Why are little kids so cruel?”

“I mean, I get it. I wasn’t great at lip-reading and I didn’t have the right hearing aids in back then. It takes a lot of patience for an 8-year-old to sit through a conversation with someone who keeps making mistakes.”

“It’s still not right though.”

“Yeah, but it is what it is. And, like you, I had books to absorb myself in and when I came out, I was kind of friends with the LGBTQ+ groups for a bit, but honestly, they’re kind of annoying sometimes.”

Alec leaned over Magnus, “Well, you’ve got me now, hopefully I’m not annoying,” he said, kissing him on the lips.

“Definitely not,” Magnus said smiling.

“Oh shit!” Alec exclaimed as a gust of wind suddenly blew a load of sand into them, “It’s gone everywhere,” he said as he rubbed his ears to get it out.

“This is gross,” Magnus said laughing, “I can feel it in my hearing aid.”

“Do you need to get it out?” Alec asked, brushing some of the sand off Magnus’ t-shirt.

“Yeah, but there’s no point doing it here.”

Alec nodded, “Let’s go to the car for a minute. Take this stuff back before it all blows away.”

“Okay,” Magnus said, shaking his head slightly to try and get rid of some of the excess sand, only to notice things becoming more muffled in his right ear, the ear where the sand had prime entry too. “Fuck, I think the sand might have damaged them,” he said, as they climbed up the steps to the car park. “Everything’s gone muffled in my right ear.”

Alec looked over at Magnus slightly concerned, and slightly guilty that he’s caused the problem for Magnus, it was his idea to have a picnic on the beach after all. “Are you okay?”

“Huh?” Magnus said, distracted.

“Are you okay?”

Magnus looked at Alec and nodded, “Yeah, they might just need cleaning,” he said sliding into the passenger seat, “I’m going to take them out for a bit, okay?”

“Whatever you need,” Alec said, chucking his sandy bag into the backseat.

He watched as Magnus used a kit he’d had in his backpack, already worried about the potential damage he’d caused. “Fuck my mum’s going to kill me,” he said.

“What’s wrong?”

Magnus looked up at Alec, “The sand has kind of fucked up this one, I don’t know if it’s fixable,” he sighed, “My mum got this ear gear stuff that you wear at the beach and things like that to stop this from happening but I never wear it because… well it’s just very obvious. Now she’s going to kick off that I’ve ruined them.”

“This is my fault,” Alec said, as he started the car, “I should have thought about this when I said we should eat on the beach.”

Magnus held his hearing aid in his hand then put it back in the case, glancing over at Alec who seemed to be stressing out about something. “Before you say that this is your fault, it’s not, it’s mine. I didn’t look after them properly when I should have.”

Alec smiled weakly at Magnus, “I’ll take you home. Try and explain to your mum.”

Magnus registered the word home, “Okay,” he said, “If I don’t respond it’s because…”

“…I know,” Alec said, kissing Magnus on the cheek before driving out of the parking lot. Trying to push away the guilt that he had and annoyed at how their first proper date had ended so abruptly and unpleasantly for Magnus.

Chapter Text

 

Chapter 9: One Foot After the Other, Then Breathe

 

Thankfully, Magnus’ mother had been in a late-night meeting when they got home, so there was no need to explain things to her straight away. In fact, Magnus tried to hide it for as long as possible, which didn’t make much sense and wasn’t exactly for very long when his mother came into his room the next morning to tell him to get up… which he already had been for hours.

“I’ve been calling you for ages Magnus,” she stopped, “Why are you only wearing one?”

Magnus cleared his throat, “About that…” he paused, “I think it’s broken,” he rushed the last words, already obtusely aware of the slightly colder expression on his mother’s face.

“Start talking, how on earth have you broke them?”

“I went on a date with Alec yesterday… to Coney Island. He set up this really sweet picnic, on the beach.”

“Let me stop you there. I’m assuming you didn’t wear the ear gear I got you?”

Magnus looked down at his feet, “Not exactly, no.”

“Not exactly?”

“No, I didn’t wear it.”

His mother sighed, “Well, you’re going to have to use your old one’s for now. It’s Sunday, I can’t bring them in till tomorrow.”

“Mum-”

“-No Magnus. If you’re not going to look after them properly, it’s your own fault. They’re expensive, I know you don’t like the gear, but we can’t afford for you to break them whenever your vanity gets in the way.”

“I’m not wearing my old ones to school, no way.”

“Yes you are.”

“They’re so obvious and they’re not strong enough, there’s no point.”

“I’m not arguing with you about this Magnus. You broke them so you deal with the consequences. I’m not having you miss school.”

“You’re being unfair. You wouldn’t wear them either.”

“I wouldn’t be careless enough to break them in the first place.”

“This is ridiculous!” Magnus said, already panicking about the thought of going to school with them on. He wished he wouldn’t panic about it, but he already got so much negative attention, he didn’t want to bring anymore onto himself.

His phone vibrated in his pocket, which he opened – ‘Are you still coming to the race? X – it was from Alec.

“I have to go,” he said to his mum, sitting on his bed and pulling his shoes on.

His mum headed over to her son’s closet and pulled out the box where his old hearing aids were and sat down next to him. Her expression softening slightly. “You’re not going out with one in Magnus, it’ll effect your balance and it’s not safe.” She tilted his head towards her, “I know you don’t like it and you’re right; I probably wouldn’t like it either, but it’s nothing to be ashamed of. This is who you are, but it certainly doesn’t define you.”

Magnus leaned back on his bed, staring up at the ceiling, “I’m sorry for getting mad,” he mumbled, because he was. He was so close to his mother that he hated it whenever he took his frustrations out on her, “I just wish I wasn’t so affected by it.”

“Well, maybe one day you won’t be. If you think it’ll help, you can start seeing Mr Starkweather again?”

Magnus shook his head, “I don’t think I need to.”

“Well, the options there. I’ll let the school know that you might be struggling this next week, maybe they can sort you out with a partner in lessons, so you don’t miss things?”

“It’ll be fine,” Magnus said, sitting back up and taking the box out of his mums’ hands.

“It’s up to you son. Where are you off too today anyway?”

“Alec has a big race, it’s the one before the final one of the season or something. He’s kind of bricking it so I wanted to cheer him on.”

“You really like him, don’t you?”

Magnus nodded, “I think I do, yeah.”

“I’m glad. Hey, maybe you could invite him over for dinner sometime?”

Magnus laughed, “It’s a bit soon for that. We’re not even official yet.”

“Well, he’s welcome whenever.”

“Thanks,”

“Do you need a lift to this race?”

“No, I could do with the walk.”

“Okay then, I’ll see you later.”

“Bye,” Magnus said buckling as he took his hearing aid out and replace it with his old ones.

 


 

Alec was completely bricking it as he waited by the start line for the race to begin, he’d seen Magnus briefly and handed him his bag to look after, but he hadn’t had time to stop and speak to him for more than a few seconds, as he was planning on waiting for him at the finish line. He looked around at the competition, Raj was still against him as his time was only a few seconds behind his own, the rest of the faces were unfamiliar, which kind of made things less daunting for him. If he didn’t know who he was up against there was less pressure that they’d be someone really well known in the cross-country circle, it increased his chances of winning.

“Racers to the line please,” Coach Garraway said through his megaphone.

Alec hopped between his feet, looking over at Izzy and Jace who were waiting at the front of the line then cycling to the end. They were already cheering, and the race hadn’t even begun. He swallowed the lump in his throat.

“On your marks… get set… Go!”

He started to run, evening out his pace which set him just at the front of the pack, only just, but if he could maintain it and if no one else had a game plan to overtake last minute, he’d be fine. He settled into the race, the nerves starting to disappear as the focused on the next 20 minutes of his life, one foot after another, rhythmic, one foot after the other, remember to breath, he repeated it in his head. He had to remember to breathe, he was going at a slightly faster pace than usual, just like he’d been training to do, all he needed was for his lungs to hold out. He was fine keeping it like that, the oxygen was flowing well, and he was comfortable in his pace, he kept focused on the path in front of him, 500 metres left.

The pressure returned then, the crowds cheers heated up and he could feel someone’s presence pushing him forward, catching up to him in a way that was uncomfortable. He knew he had to go faster, if he didn’t go faster, whoever it was would overtake him. This wasn’t what he was expecting, he should win this race, he was supposed to win this race and now he wasn’t sure if it was going to be possible. He breathed in heavily, knowing it was a mistake to do so and powered forward, it was only 500 metres, he could pick it up for that, right? The burning sensation in his chest started to appear, 250 metres to go, but the person behind him was hot on his heels, he had to push through it as his breathing became irregular. He looked in front of him, he could see Magnus now, he was cheering for him, he just had to make it for him. He kept going, going, going, the crowd erupted into cheers… he’d done it. But only just.

“Congratulations! You did it! I told you there was nothing to worry about!” Magnus said, bounding up to him and wrapping an arm around him.

“I can’t,” he coughed trying to get any oxygen into his lungs, “I’m going to pass out.”

“Shit, where’s your inhaler, wait, I have your bag,” Magnus said, slightly flustered.

“No,” Alec said, bent over himself, “Not here, in the bathroom. Coach can’t see this.”

“Alec, you need it now,” it was too late as Alec started heading to the changing rooms and Magnus hastily followed after him. “You’re being an idiot!” he yelled as he watched Alec struggle.

Once he’d made it to the changing rooms, he took the inhaler off Magnus and had a puff, waiting for a few seconds for it to kick in before deciding he needed another as he bent over. “Sorry about this,” he mumbled.

“You need to tell your parents Alec.”

“No, I don’t… fuck, this isn’t working,” he said, his chest still tight.

“Should I go and get someone?”

“No!” Alec snapped, “Sorry, I just, there’s one more race of the season, I can’t stop now.”

“Yes you can, look at yourself Alec.”

“I won… that’s all that matters,” he said coughing. “Can you drive my car?”

“Yeah, where to?”

“My house, a treatment might help.”

“And if it doesn’t?”

“It will.”

“Alec,” Magnus protested.

“I know my body, it’ll be fine, don’t worry about me.”

“Fine,” Magnus said, still worried, “Drink some water though,” he said handing him the bottle from his bag.

 


 

The drive home was somewhat awkward. Magnus was tempted to change direction and take Alec to the hospital instead but also didn’t want to jeopardize their relationship. He wasn’t really sure what the best thing to do was, Alec was still wheezing and coughing in the seat beside him, he just had to take Alec’s word for it. That going home was the right thing to do and that the treatment he had there would help.

“You don’t have to stay,” Alec said as Magnus followed him through the door.

“I’m staying,” Magnus said stubbornly, “Are your parents in?”

“They’re at work,” Alec said, coughing.

“Come on, upstairs.”

“So suggestive,” Alec teased.

“God, how can you still be so flirtatious when you can’t even breathe.”

“Sex right now would probably kill me, you’re right.”

Magnus laughed at the comment, “Come on wheezy,” he joked.

Alec grabbed his heart, pretending to be offended as he followed Magnus into his room, letting Magnus get his treatment out for him as he sat down on the bed. “You honestly don’t have to be here.”

“I want to be,” Magnus said, handing him the equipment as Alec sorted it, “It’s a good opportunity to browse your books again.”

After ten minutes or so, Alec cleaned up the equipment and headed over to Magnus, “Come sit on the bed with me,” he whispered, taking his hand, not expecting to make him jump.

“Jesus, you scared me then. Are you feeling better?”

“I’m just tired now.”

“You’re also very sweaty.”

“Worth it for the win.”

Magnus rolled his eyes as he joined Alec on the bed, “I’m starting to think anything would be worth it for you, as long as you won.”

“You’re probably right.” The two of them lay there for a few moments. “What did your mum say about your hearing aid, was she mad?”

“Yeah, she’s making me go to school in these while they get fixed.”

“What’s wrong with them?”

“Have you seen them?”

“Magnus, I’m literally looking right at you, yes I’ve seen them, and I don’t see the problem.”

Magnus sighed, “It’s cute that you don’t. They’re so in your face though, the hook is like 100 times bigger than the other ones… sometimes people don’t notice, with these, everyone will freaking notice. Lorenzo will have a field day.

“100 times bigger is a slight exaggeration, isn’t it?”

“I just hate them, that’s all,” Magnus said, slightly deflated.

“Well,” Alec said, snuggling into Magnus’ neck and kissing it, “Why don’t we make them look prettier? Not that there’s anything wrong with how they are now, but if you don’t like them, why don’t you try make yourself like them.”

“How would I do that?”

“I was actually watching a video on decorating hearing aids last night.”

Magnus laughed, he hadn’t been expecting that to be Alec’s response, “How on earth did you get onto that?”

“I was researching stuff about hearing loss, I don’t know why, I just wanted to understand what it’s like for you. It came up in my recommended.”

Magnus rolled onto his side and placed a kiss on Alec’s lips. “That’s kind of sweet,” he said, “No one’s ever thought to do that before.”

“I just wanted to be able to help you, know what to do if something went wrong, I dunno. Anyway, point is, Izzy has some washy tape in her room. You could pick a pattern and then you can stick it on the beige bit, jazz them up a bit, if you wanted.”

“Okay…” Magnus said.

“I’ll go get the tape.”

“Wait,” Magnus interrupted grabbing Alec’s arm to stop him from going, “Are you sure you’re okay, you still seem like your struggling.”

Alec’s attention drifted to the lingering tightness in his chest for a few seconds before he pushed it away, “I’m fine.”

“Alexander, you don’t have to-”

“-Magnus, I’m fine,” he said firmer.

Magnus nodded his head in agreement, it wasn’t worth pushing any further. “Go get the tape then,” he said, a grin plastered across his face.

Alec came back in with a few rolls of tape and a couple of pairs of scissors and sat back down on the bed. “Pick a colour, or two, or three. I just need to tell Izzy I’m alive, she’s been texting me for ages.”

Magnus looked through them as Alec made the quick call then waited for him to hang up, “Let’s do these two, alternate stripes, go big or go home, right?”

“Sure thing,” Alec said, taking the metallic silver and metallic pink off him, “Do you want me to help?”

“Can do,” he stopped for a second, “This has to be the strangest second date I’ve ever been on,” he joked.

“Well, it’s the only second date I’ve ever been on.”

Magnus smiled at Alec, “Come on then, let’s get decorating.”

Chapter Text

 

Chapter 10: The Big Question

 

It had been just over a week since Alec’s race and the weather was almost starting to warm up as the leaves started to grow back on the trees and flowers buds started to appear. It was the time of year where everything seemed to be heading along the right track, keep their grades up, enjoy their last few months of school and they’d be at college in no time. Thus far, the two of them had even managed to avoid any major dealings with Lorenzo and his crew, apparently consistently being attached to each other’s hips made the both of them considerably less vulnerable. That with Alec forbidding Magnus to go the toilets alone meant that it was hard for any solo attacks to take place.

It was the middle of the week, hump day, but also the best day of the week as Magnus and Alec had unofficially claimed it as their date night. Mainly because it was the only night of the week that didn’t clash with training or book club commitments and also because everyone needs some mid-week excitement.

“Are you ready?” Alec asked, slightly jittery as he waited for Magnus to sort out his locker. “We’re going to miss our reservation.”

“Chill, I’m ready,” Magnus said, throwing his satchel over his shoulder, “What’s with all the jumping about?”

“I’m not jumping about,” Alec denied.

Magnus raised an eyebrow, “You’re nervous about something. The race isn’t for another two weeks is it?”

“Two and a half, and I’m not nervous. I just don’t want to miss our reservation,” Alec lied, urging Magnus to start walking.

“We won’t,” Magnus said taking Alec’s hand and giving an equally dirty look back at Heidi who had been staring at the two of them since they’d arrived at his locker. “God, I don’t know how she’s so popular, she’s so… salty.”

Alec laughed, “Salty?”

“Maybe she’s secretly into girls and just jealous of our open love,” Magnus joked quickly kissing Alec on the cheek making him blush and also making sure that Heidi would see it.

“Get a room!” She yelled after them.

Magnus shrugged, “She’s probably just jealous, all her friends have coupled up but she’s all alone, not that she helps herself.”

“You’re funny.”

“I am? I’ll take it.”

“No, it’s just you act like you’re not bothered about the stares and stuff, but whenever it comes up you always have to jump on it.”

“What do you mean?”

“You speculate, hold my hand, kiss me, make it obvious that we’re there.”

“Is it a problem?” Magnus said, slightly concerned at the direction the conversation was heading in.

“No, it’s kind of cute. I wish I had the confidence.”

Magnus smiled at Alec, nestling into him so their shoulders were now touching, “You don’t reject it, that’s just as confident as I am.”

“Maybe, either way… you’re pretty cool.”

“Cool?” Magnus scoffed, “I have never been called cool in my life.”

“I was trying to flirt with you!” Alec said defensively.

“Ahh, I see…” Magnus responded, his words laced with sarcasm.

“So mean,” Alec muttered, holding his hand even tighter.

 


 

Once they’d arrived at the restaurant that Alec had booked Alec pulled out Magnus’ chair for him and tucked him in, his eyes sparkling with a combination of excitement and nerves. It wasn’t often that he was the one to make the big move, in fact, he’d never had to do it before, so all this was completely new to him. As was the feeling of knowing exactly what he wanted, but that feeling was what made things a lot easier for him.

“How chivalrous of you,” Magnus said, “and this is place is ridiculously fancy, I feel underdressed.”

“Magnus, you’ve never been underdressed a day in your life,” Alec said smiling, “I just thought we should treat ourselves.”

“Is Hallie’s Diner not good enough for you anymore?” Magnus teased.

“Hallie’s Diner will always be the best place in the entire world,” he paused, “but, I wanted to treat you. I know you’ve had a rough week or so, I thought this would cheer you up.”

“Damn, and I thought I was hiding it well…” he trailed off, “I’m sorry if I’ve been a bit of a bummer.”

“Far from it, I get it, I think, but you know you can tell me how you’re feeling right? I don’t want you to pretend that things are okay if they’re not.”

“I know I can, I’m just not used to it. Anyway, my mum was picking up my other pair from the shop today, I don’t know why it took so long for them to get fixed but at least I’ll be able to hear a bit better and not have to wear these things.”

Alec nodded, “Not that there’s anything wrong with the ones you’re wearing now.”

“Such a charmer,” Magnus said, not ready to agree with that statement quite yet.

The two of them ordered their drinks with the waiter before returning to look across the table at each other, completely smitten, as they had been pretty much from the moment they met. Even if both of them would deny that. “How are you finding the new book for this week?” Magnus asked, “My copy hasn’t arrived yet.”

“It’s good, I’d almost go as far to say that it’s better than the Handmaids Tale, which I wouldn’t normally consider for a sequel.”

“Seriously? The Handmaids Tale was incredible though!”

“Yeah I know. Margaret Atwood though, she could write a story about a worm and it would probably win every literary prize under the sun.”

“Well that’s true.”

Alec took a sip of his drink, “So,” he said his heart rate increasing as he brought up the reason why he’d brought the two of them there in the first place, “I wanted to ask you something.”

“Mysterious.”

“I know we’ve only been dating slash we’ve only known each other for a few weeks, but…” he hesitated, doubting himself for a second, “I was wondering, if, erm, do you want to like, I dunno, make this… official?”

Magnus couldn’t help himself but to laugh at the question, he knew it was a big thing for Alec to ask and that clearly, he was shitting himself over it, but the stuttering and awkwardness of the way he’d asked was kind of hilarious.

“Is that a no?” Alec said, his heart racing even more as he waited for Magnus to calm himself down, “Shit, I knew it was too soon.”

“No, no, sorry. I don’t mean to laugh,” he took a drink himself, “I just wasn’t expecting that.”

Alec sighed, “Can you just answer the question. This is more stressful than the thought of racing against Jonathan Morgenstern.”

Magnus reached across the table and took a hold of Alec’s hand, “I would love nothing more than to make things official and exclusive and to call you my boyfriend.”

“Good, I mean, that’s great,” Alec smiled, “You’re my boyfriend.”

“And you’re mine. Have you stopped stressing now?”

Alec nodded, “Yeah.”

“I have to say though, you’ve kind of stolen my thunder.”

“How come?”

“I had this whole thing planned, I’d okayed it with your parents and everything.”

“What thing?”

“It was supposed to be a surprise, but I suppose that doesn’t matter now,” he said as he started tracing random patterns over the palm of Alec’s hand. “I booked us in for a spa weekend in this lakeside lodge upstate. We’re off on Friday because of the inset day so I figured we could make the most of the long weekend. Is that okay?”

“Magnus,” Alec exhaled, “of course it’s okay. I just, wasn’t it expensive?”

“I had savings, anyway, it’s worth it to get away from things for a minute. Out in the spring air, evenings in the hot tub, couple’s spa treatments.”

“You don’t need to persuade me, I’m down.”

“Only thing is, it’s a four-hour drive away, and I don’t have a car.”

“I love a road trip. As long as you can keep feeding me snacks. I’m happy to drive.”

“Sounds perfect, you’ll get to hear my wonderful singing voice.”

“Was that sarcasm?”

Magnus grinned, “You’ll find out on Friday.”

“Hmm… you ready to order?”

 


 

Alec didn’t get much time on his own until he was bombarded by Izzy bursting into his room to interrogate him about how it went.

“You can’t get mad at me for not knocking when you never knock either,” Alec reprimanded.

“Knocking doesn’t matter when it comes to things like this?”

“What things like this?”

“You’re so frustrating. How did it go? Did he say yes?”

Alec smiled at his sister, “Yeah, he did… and we’re going on a spa weekend on Friday.”

“A spa weekend!” Izzy exclaimed excitedly.

“That’s what I said, isn’t it?”

“Damn, I need to get my love life more on track, you’re outshining me Alec.”

Alec rolled his eyes, “You and I both know that I could never outshine you Izzy, you are literally good at everything.”

“Hey,” Izzy said, sitting down on his bed, “enough of that please. You’re GPA is incredible, you’re going to Brown to study something you really care about, you’re probably going to win the championship for the state in cross-country and you have a boyfriend that you really care about and that really cares about you. That, my brother, is shining.”

“Fair enough, but if I started listing your achievements, I’d be here all day.”

“You know it’s not a competition, right? Mum and Dad don’t care, they just want us to be happy.”

“Yeah, I know that,” Alec mumbled.

“Do you?”

“Yes,” he said, clearer.

“Good because all three of us are smashing it right now.”

Alec grinned at Izzy, “I know you want to be a lawyer, but inspirational speaker could easily be a back up for you.”

Izzy flipped her hair dramatically, “Why thank you. Anyway, I’m off to go think of debate topics for debate team. See you later, tell Magnus that I love him.”

Alec laughed, “Okay,” he said waiting for her to leave his room before getting up from his desk and flopping down on his bed.

Today had been a great day, one of the best, but speaking to his sister about things, thinking about his future was terrifying. He knew his parents didn’t care about him being gay, yet he was still worried that they did, he knew they were happy with his choice of course to study, but he was still worried that they weren’t. It was irrational and it didn’t make sense, it wasn’t worth his time to worry over, yet he did, he always would. The fear of letting the people you love down is the worst of all.

Chapter Text

 

Chapter 11: It’s Just Me and You

 

Alec rolled his eyes for the majority of the car journey at Magnus’ awful singing and refusal to stop singing for the whole 4 hours… although secretly he quite enjoyed it. He knew that Magnus had been struggling with his hearing aids breaking and felt insecure about wearing his old ones, he’d been slightly deflated ever since. Although as was typical of Magnus he’d refused to acknowledge it and had continued to act like everything was fine. This weekend though, was a chance for the two of them to be alone together, where Alec didn’t have to worry about keeping up appearances and Magnus didn’t have to worry about people judging him or not being able to follow the lesson. It was a weekend for the two of them to be themselves and continue to fall in love.

“Honestly Magnus, if you don’t shut up, I’m gonna-”

“-Sorry? I can’t hear you!” Magnus yelled over the music that he continued to turn up before turning it down quickly as the sound became too loud. “Okay, I think I’m getting carried away.”

Alec laughed at the change of heart, “We’re here now anyway. Do you want to go check in? I can find a parking spot.”

“Yeah, sounds good.”

“I’ll meet you at reception, I can get the bags.”

Magnus grinned, “Oh so macho.”

“Ha, ha, very funny. Go on, clear off,” he said brushing him away sarcastically and getting out of the car.  

The walk to their lodge was picturesque to say the least, they were on the edge of Sleepy Hollow Lake and the forest paths that led to it were full of blossoming trees, the crisp cool air, not to cold but the perfect temperature to fit the atmosphere. It was exactly what the both of them had imagined and the thought of spending the entire weekend together in such a beautiful place was particularly wholesome.

“The sun should be setting soon,” Alec said as Magnus unlocked the door to the lodge, “I bet it’s amazing to watch over the lake.”

“I guarantee it,” Magnus said opening the door and heading inside the wooden cabin in the wilderness themed lodge that they’d hired out, “We’ve got a patio that looks out onto it, come see,” he encouraged, taking Alec’s hand and dragging him through the living room and kitchen out on to it. “Are you okay? Here, let me get the bags.” He said, noticing that his boyfriend was slightly out of breath from the walk.

“This is ridiculous Magnus I can’t believe it’s ours for the weekend.”

“The bags Alexander,” he said taking them off him, “you need your inhaler.”

“I don’t, you’ve just over packed that’s all.”

“Hmm,” Magnus said suspiciously but not wanting to ruin the moment, “It takes effort to look this good. Should I make us something to eat? We could have it outside whilst the sun goes down.”

“You always look good,” he grinned at Magnus. “Food sounds good but there’s something I have to do first,” he taunted.

“What’s that?” Magnus asked innocently, despite knowing exactly what was on Alec’s mind.

“This,” Alec said, wrapping his arm around Magnus’ neck and pulling him towards him, kissing him with as much intensity as he could, unafraid of anyone seeing them and completely happy as the two of them felt as one.

“Okay, okay, before things get waaay too steamy in here. Let’s eat, where’s the grocery bag?” Magnus said pulling away, his cheeks slightly flushed.

“Buzzkill,” Alec joked handing him the bag, “I’ll go unpack our stuff,” he said placing one last kiss on Magnus’ forehead.

It was only 15 minutes later when Alec was back from unpacking, slightly drowsy from the long car journey as he crept up behind Magnus and laced his hands around his waist as Magnus continued to stir the pasta sauce.

“What’s cooking good looking?” Alec rhymed, kissing him, again, in the crook of his neck before resting his chin over his shoulder sending shivers down Magnus’ spine.

“I can’t believe you just said that,” he said laughing, “Creamy pesto pasta, I figured something quick would be best.”

“Sounds delicious, I can’t cook for shit so at least one of us can.”

Magnus patted Alec’s cheek like he was a baby, “Aww babes, I can teach you.”

“That was weird.”

“Grab some plates, it’s pretty much ready.”

Alec did what he was told and grabbed some, putting them down on the counter as he watched his boyfriend, his boyfriend, plate up. Mesmerized by the simple movements that were so graceful and perfect… he was falling, he needed to calm himself down.

 


 

The sunset was as beautiful as expected. The way the orange hues glistened over the lake that was shimmering in the moonlight. The stars started to come out, the sky it’s deep blue as all the sunlight eventually disappeared, it seemed impossible to break away from looking at how incredible the whole thing was.

“Should we go in the hot tub? It’s getting cold but I don’t want to ever stop looking at the stars,” Alec suggested, glancing over at Magnus.

Magnus hesitated at the suggestion, the hot tub meant being shirtless but then again, he was going to have to get over it eventually. Exposure therapy was supposed to be effective, wasn’t it? “An excellent suggestion!” he exclaimed getting up from the patio chair and pulling Alec up with him.

The two of them headed into the bedroom to get changed, Magnus insisting to go into the bathroom because in his own words ‘he wouldn’t be able to control himself if he saw Alec’s bits’, although that was just an excuse to not have to undress in front of him.

“Magnus, you ready?” Alec asked from outside the locked bathroom door.

Magnus paced up and down the bathroom, deciding to wrap a dressing gown around him before stepping out. “Erm, is this a good idea?” he questioned nervously as he approached Alec who was now sat waiting for him on the bed. He wasn’t even phased by his incredibly ripped torso that was staring right at him, he was too wrapped up in his own head for that.

“Why wouldn’t it be?”

Magnus ran his hand through his hair in frustration at himself, “I-I don’t know…”

Alec got up from the bed and placed a hand on Magnus’ shoulder, “Magnus, what is it?”

He sighed, “I have this scar, on my side, it’s kind of ugly-”

“-Magnus, nothing about you could ever be ugly, you’re beautiful. I don’t care about some scar, honestly, you have nothing to worry about.”

“I know you don’t, but what if you did? How do you know you don’t find it ugly?”

“Because I care way more about what’s inside here,” he said putting his hand on Magnus’ heart, “than anything else. Also, you’re ridiculously attractive anyway, a scar isn’t going to change that.”

Magnus smiled up at Alec, “You always know exactly what to say, don’t you?” he said taking hold of Alec’s hand and walking with him back outside to the patio towards the hot tub.

“I speak the truth and nothing but the truth.”

“I mean, even that was perfect.”

Alec chuckled, “Do you want to get in first?” he asked, still sensing some insecurity from Magnus.

Magnus nodded, “Look away?” he asked.

“Okay,” Alec replied turning around until Magnus was submerged in the water then getting in next to him. “This is so nice,” Alec said, lifting his legs up onto the seat so that he was now opposite Magnus.

“This has to be top of the list of most romantic things we could be doing.”

“Definitely,” Alec paused for a second, “I really want to hold you right now, but if you don’t want to…”

“Do you honestly not care?” Magnus said, still insecure, still annoyed at himself for being so insecure when Alec was being so god damn perfect.

“Not one bit, I promise.”

“Okay then.” He stood up and stepped over to Alec sitting down beside him and letting his head rest on his boyfriend’s chest.

Alec kissed the top of his head, wrapping his hand around Magnus’ waist so he wouldn’t slip, his hand unintentionally brushing against the scar that Alec didn’t know the location of. Magnus flinched slightly at the contact. “Sorry,” Alec whispered, “I didn’t mean-”

“-It’s okay,” Magnus interrupted, taking hold of Alec’s hand and placing it over the scar, “Exposure therapy,” he said taking hold of Alec’s other hand with his own.

“I wish you didn’t feel like this, if I could take away your insecurities, I’d do it in a heartbeat,” Alec said, letting Magnus nestle into him more.

“You already are Alexander,” he cleared his throat, “the scar,” he said, “it was from a kidney transplant another effect of the meningitis.”

Alec nodded, “You know there’s no pressure to tell me this stuff, right?”

“I know. I just, I want to be an open book with you. I should have told you about the transplant ages ago, it’s been eating me up, but I’ve never been good at sharing my feelings. You’re kind of teaching me to do that though.”

“I just want you to be happy,” his mind wandered for a second, “Can you drink with a kidney transplant? I thought that would be a no no, but you drank at Raj’s party.”

Magnus laughed at the question, “I couldn’t drink every day, but the occasional party is fine. I’ve had this kidney for nearly 12 years, as long as I take my immunosuppressants, I shouldn’t have any more problems.”

“When do you take them?”

“Morning and night.”

“Look at us, we can have medicine club together!” Alec joked, causing Magnus to laugh even more than he already was.

“You know what, I think that’s more romantic than a lakeside hot tub if I’m honest.”

“I think you’re right,” Alec said, laughing as well.

“God, we really do have this all figured out, don’t we?”

“Definitely.”

 


 

After turning into prunes from the excessive amount of time they’d spent in the hot tub, the two of them had headed into bed, their bodies tired and lethargic from the heat but content as they lay side by side, reading paragraphs from their latest book club novel to each other.

“Once I’d finished being angry,” Alec read, “I felt as if a piece of me had been cut off – a piece of my heart, which was surely now dead as well. I hoped that the four angels round her bead were real after all, and that they had watched over her, and that they had carried her soul away, just as in the song. I tried to picture them lifting her up and up, into a golden cloud. But I could not really believe it.” Alec closed the book, “That’s the end of part 2.”

“Her writing really is like butter,” Magnus said, rolling over underneath the covers so he was looking at Alec.

“I couldn’t describe it better myself… it’s a heart-breaking story though but beautifully written. I can’t even imagine living in a world like that, but this is supposed to be in the future… it’s terrifying.”

“Well Atwood said that ‘history doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme’ but, you know, our generation, we’re fighters, hopefully we won’t let anything like this happen anytime soon.”

“Hopefully,” Alec said, turning over onto his side, mirroring Magnus’ position. “I’m so glad we’ve been able to do this,” he said, taking hold of Magnus’ hand.

“Me too, we needed the space to just be ourselves together. Without worrying about what everyone else thinks.”

Alec nodded, “I’m sorry I’m not quite there yet, you know, when we’re at school.”

Magnus shook his head stubbornly, “You’re doing great Alexander, and you’re more reserved than me anyway. Even if you had been out for ever like I have, I doubt you’d be someone that would want to make out in the corridors.”

Alec laughed, “You’re not wrong.”

“Things are going splendidly.”

“Indeed they are,” Alec said, yawning.

“I’ll turn the lights off, it’s been a long day.”

Alec nodded, “Spoon me?”

A grin spread across Magnus’ face, “I’d love to,” he said, opening up the bedside drawer and taking out his meds, “But first.”

“Oh shit, I almost forgot.”

Magnus rolled his eyes, “No wonder your mum doesn’t trust you to look after yourself.”

“I was just to infatuated looking at you,” Alec flirted as he took out his inhaler. “The first meeting of medicine club,” Alec said enthusiastically.

“This is so sad,” Magnus laughed, swallowing down the pills, “I’m taking my hearing aids out now,” he said. “Goodnight Alexander.”

“Goodnight Magnus.”

The two of them lay in bed, their bodies intertwined as they drifted off into a sleep where they didn’t have anything to worry about other than how happy they were and how perfect the weekend ahead of them was going to be. It was just the two of them, as one, sleeping away any negativity in the comfort of each other’s arms.

Chapter Text

 

Chapter 12: It’s Not All Sunshine and Rainbows

 

The cafeteria was busy as usual, if anything it seemed busier with the cheerleaders and events team decorating in preparation for the big race, the final of the cross-country tournament that was happening that weekend. Everyone was so excited, not only for the biggest sporting event of the year so far (Hockey hadn’t had its final yet, neither had football), but also because they actually had a chance of winning. Which meant that everyone was enthusiastic, apart from Alec who felt as though he could collapse with nerves at any given minute.

“Yo, Alec!” Raj said, approaching the table where he was sat with Magnus, Izzy and Simon. “How are you feeling about Saturday? Two more days till the biggest day of your life!”

Alec nodded, “I just need to focus,” he mumbled, taking a bite of his sandwich.

“You’re not wrong. You have to win this for us Alec, and you will I’m sure of it,” Raj said enthusiastically, apparently over the cold shoulder he’d given him since he’d come out.

“Okay,” Alec said under his breath, “I’ve got to go,” he said getting up and walking out of the cafeteria.

“Did I say something wrong?”

Izzy rolled her eyes at Raj, “You always say something wrong.”

“Well that’s uncalled for.”

“I’m going to go after him,” Magnus said, wrapping Alec’s sandwich back up for him and taking it with him. Following Alec’s tall figure down the corridors and out onto the track.

Magnus didn’t say anything at first, just handed him the rest of his sandwich and let him eat it as they sat on the bleachers, waiting for Alec to break the silence, which as expected he didn’t.

“This isn’t just about the race, is it?” he asked, wanting to wrap his boyfriend up in the biggest hug possible but knowing that he was already on the edge of freaking out and that if he did, he’d break down.

“I don’t know if I can do it,” he said. “I’m not going to win, what’s the point if I’m not going to win?”

“You got the same time as him a few days ago, didn’t you?”

Alec nodded, “I’ve not hit it again though, it’s too hard… and he’ll have been practicing. I need to be faster, but there’s no time to get faster and everyone is relying on me to win… I’m screwed Magnus.”

“Okay,” Magnus said, placing a hand on his shoulder, “You’re not screwed. You run because you like to run, do this for you Alexander, no one else.”

Alec sighed, “It’s not that simple Magnus.”

“What is it?”

“I have to win this, running is the only thing I have to make my parents proud of me, if I don’t win, I’m going to be left as their most boring, unsuccessful son and I can’t be that.” He stopped Magnus from interrupting, “I know they won’t say anything, but that isn’t the point, I’ll still know and-”

“-Okay, stop it Alexander,” Magnus said pulling him in, so his head was resting on his shoulder as he massaged the back of his neck gently, “getting yourself into a state isn’t going to make this easier for yourself. I know, whatever I say isn’t going to change your mind on this, but you are so special. You just don’t see it.”

“I just want this weekend to be over. Waiting for it to happen, it’s torture.”

Magnus guided Alec’s shoulders away from him so he could look him in the eye, “My mums on another business trip tonight. Stay over, we can read to each other like we did at the lake. Keep you busy. Then tomorrow we’ll go out for food or something, the day after, I could come to yours watch movies with you until you fall asleep, then it’ll be race day.”

Alec nodded, “I’m just terrified.”

“I know. But I also know that once you’re out on that course, you’ll be having the time of your life, this is your thing Alexander. Enjoy it.”

The bell rang for the end of lunch, “Come on, let’s go to class.”

 


 

Alec had training before he could go to Magnus’, the final session before the race, it wasn’t a serious one though. It never went well to push to the limits in the day before. Although the lingering ache in Alec’s chest seemed to make everything ten times harder than it used to be. Saying that though, everyone on the team needed to rest their bodies a bit, so they’d just gone for a team jog around the school grounds, keeping their bodies moving but not exerting themselves too much. There were other events going on in the athletics team that day, but it was the cross country that had the most attention on it because that was the one, they could actually win. Idris High’s athletic team wasn’t exactly known for its success, until Alec joined.

           - I’m here -

Alec sent the text, waiting for the buzzer to go before heading up to Magnus’ apartment and heading through the door.

“Magnus?” he called, expecting him to be waiting for him but getting no reply. He quickly scouted around the kitchen and living room before heading to the bedroom, “Magnus?” he called again, peering his head through the door to see Magnus laying underneath the covers, his head buried in the pillow.

“What’s wrong?” Alec said, sitting down next to him, his hand resting gently on Magnus’ back, rubbing it softly.

“Lorenzo,” Magnus said, the words muffled from the pillow.

Alec gritted his teeth instantly, anger filling his body, “What’s he done? Honestly, I’m going to fucking kill him, the fucking…”

“…Stop it Alec,” Magnus said, rolling over to look at him, revealing a large bruise on his jawline and a black eye.

“Magnus, your face… he-he can’t get away with this. I won’t let him,” he slowed down, he knew that Magnus didn’t like it when he got himself wrapped up in the things Lorenzo did. It was more important that he focused on how Magnus was feeling, even if he did want to go knock Lorenzo out.

“He hasn’t, the principle saw what happened, he’s been suspended.”

“I’m going to get you ice,” Alec said, “Don’t move.”

Alec was back in a couple of minutes with a freezer bag of ice wrapped in a tea towel. He climbed over Magnus and propped himself up against the wall, encouraging Magnus to rest against him, a similar position to how they were in the hot tub. “It’s going to be cold.”

“Ice tends to be,” Magnus quipped, still flinching as Alec held it against his jaw.

“Alright smart ass,” he held the ice with one hand, massaging Magnus’ hair with the other, “How did it happen? I thought you were heading straight home after school?”

“I was. He cornered me at my locker… it was the usual stuff. I’m just glad my mum isn’t here to see me.”

“I don’t think this is going to go down over night,” Alec said, resting his head on Magnus’ “Did he shout in your ear again?”

“It doesn’t matter.”

“Yes it does, I know that it hurts when he does that.”

Magnus nodded, “It’ll be fine,” he paused, “I’ve booked an appointment with my audiologist just to double check things anyway.”

“Are they hurting?”

“Alec,” Magnus protested.

“I just want to help you Magnus, let me.”

“Tonight was supposed to be about me helping you.”

“No, it was supposed to be about you distracting me, and this is pretty darn distracting. If they’re hurting, you can take the hearing aids out if you want. I don’t mind, we could talk to each other by writing on each other’s backs.”

“You really are a sucker for a cliché, aren’t you?”

“I can’t help myself.”

Magnus took the ice of Alec and turned to face him, “Just because they’re oversensitive, I’ll succumb to the trope.”

Alec grinned, “I’m sorry Lorenzo did this. Today has apparently been shitty for the both of us.”

“Well, at least we’re in it together,” Magnus said, taking his shirt off, forgetting that this would be the first time Alec had seen his scar in clear light.

“That’s true,” Alec responded taking his shirt off, not bringing up the scar, because what was the point?

“You go first,” Magnus said, taking his hearing aids out. Grateful for the lack of ringing he was getting from the noises around him as Alec started to write on his back.

Alec grinned to himself as he wrote the letters slowly to spell out ‘You are gorgeous,’ laughing as Magnus squirmed whenever he hit a sensitive spot, apparently, he was quite ticklish.

“I have no idea,” Magnus said, rolling onto his back, “Maybe this doesn’t pan out like in the movies.”

Alec smiled as he looked down at Magnus, “I have a better idea,” he said. Earning himself a perplexed look from Magnus who couldn’t work out what he’d said, not that he had much time to think about it as he found his lips suddenly locked with Alec’s.

He wanted to laugh, but if he was going to laugh, he would have to pull away which he really didn’t want to as Alec’s body moved in rhythm with his as they made out, kissing every inch of each other’s bodies until their lips became numb. Alec pulled away, breathless from the extended kissing session they’d just had as he flopped down next to Magnus, waiting for a minute to restore the oxygen in his lungs.

“Have I taken your breath away Alexander?” Magnus teased.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do when we take the next step?” he flirted back.

“I have no idea what you just said, but that glint in your eye suggests it was dirty.”

“I”

Magnus raised his eyebrow at Alec, “I” he repeated.

“Could,”

“Could,”

“Lay,”

“Lay,”

“Here,”

“Here,”

“With,”

“With,”

“You,”

“You,”

“Forever.”

“Forever,” Magnus smiled at Alec, “I could too. Although, this would be easier if I just put my hearing aids back in.”

Alec shook his head, then snuggled into the pillow, “Cuddle?” he said.

Magnus’ eyes crinkled in adoration of the boy that was so curled up in his bed, he looked so content, but so small at the same time. He liked that being with him was the place where Alec felt the most comfortable, it confirmed that they were meant to be together, that being together was right. He rested his head on the pillow next to Alec, kissing him one last time on the lips before pulling his body next to him and wrapping his arms around him, enveloping him in the hug that he had wanted to when they were sat on the bleacher’s earlier that day.

Alec appreciated it, the warmth, the security blanket that was Magnus’ arms wrapped around him. His mind did keep wandering back to the thought of losing, his heart rate increasing whenever he thought about the weekend, it made him want to be sick. He wasn’t though, because Magnus was right there with him, his arms around him keeping all the negativity from spilling out, replacing it with a love and protection that he had never had before. In all honesty, Alec wasn’t sure what he’d be doing if he didn’t have Magnus by his side, he needed him to talk to him, to tell him it was alright and to stop him from spiralling, Magnus was the only thing that had kept him grounded the past week. Without that he was sure he’d have gone insane, ran away and never looked back, disassociating himself from running entirely. He didn’t do that though, because he knew that with Magnus, he was safe, deep down he knew that Magnus would care about him no matter what, just like he would him, because ultimately, they were each other’s people.

 

Chapter Text

 

Chapter 13: Everything Happens for a Reason

 

It was the morning of the big day and Alec couldn’t help but feel as though his whole world was about to turn upside down. How could he not when he was the only person that knew that he really didn’t have a chance, that he was either going to lose, or lose and collapse at the finish line. He was a wreck and the overwhelming desire to stay in bed and miss the race was about to take over.

“Morning,” Izzy said, coming into his room without knocking as usual.

“Is it?” Alec asked, turning himself over so his face was no longer buried in the pillow.

“Isn’t Magnus going to be here soon?” Izzy asked, heading over to Alec’s wardrobe and pulling out a pair of black thermal leggings, black running shorts and a long-sleeved t-shirt, “You need to get ready,” she said, throwing them over to her brother.

“We don’t have to be there for an hour,” Alec said, still getting out of bed anyway.

“Have you eaten yet?” Izzy said.

“Magnus is bringing breakfast,” the doorbell rang, “Can you let him in, I’ll get dressed, promise.”

Izzy sighed, “Alec, you’ve got this, okay?”

“It’s the biggest race of my life Izzy, it’s not as simple as that.”

“I’ll go get Magnus, maybe he can talk some sense into you.”

Alec quickly got himself ready as he waited for Magnus to enter his room, he was glad that he had decided to travel with them to the race. He needed him as his anchor before he completely freaked out, he’d stayed late last night to keep him on track and was arriving early in the morning. Supportive boyfriend was an understatement.

“Hey, my very own Flash,” Magnus said, placing a smoothie and breakfast sandwich on the dresser, “These are for you.”

“Thanks,” Alec said, his voice quivering slightly.

Magnus kicked the door shut gently, noticing the waver in his boyfriends voice and walking towards him, wrapping his arms around his waist. “If you need to cry, do it now. With me here.”

Alec shook his head, “If I let myself cry, I don’t think I’ll ever stop.”

Magnus reached up, cupping Alec’s jaw in his hand, “This isn’t the end of the world. Everything happens for a reason, if you win or lose, it doesn’t matter.”

“Do you really believe that?”

“I do,” Magnus said, quickly kissing Alec, “Let’s eat. You don’t want to leave it too late or you’ll get a stitch… that’s the only thing I know about running by the way.”

Alec laughed slightly, “I’m very impressed,” he said, catching the sandwich that Magnus proceeded to throw at him and sitting back down on the bed. “Thanks for travelling with us.”

“Of course. Anything to support my perfect boyfriend.”

“Stop it,” Alec said, blushing, “There’s only one perfect boyfriend in this room, and it’s you. Honestly, you’ve really been here for me this week.”

“So have you, you’ve not left my side since Lorenzo attacked me.”

Alec shrugged, “Can you blame me? After what he did?”

“No,” Magnus said, “It’s actually kind of adorable.”

 


 

Magnus waited at the start line with the rest of Alec’s family, they’d loaned him a bike and the plan was to cycle ahead to cheer him through the midway point, then cycle ahead again so they would see him cross the finish line. He looked over at Alec who always seemed nervous before any race, but this time seemed as though he was ready to pass out right in front of him. Alec looked over at Magnus smiling weakly as Magnus mouthed the words ‘you got this,’ to him and shaped his hands like a love heart so that he could see.

Alec reciprocated the emotion, wishing he could have one last hug from him but knowing that it would make him lose his focus.

“You know, I’d heard that you were a gay boy, but I didn’t think it was actually true.”

Alec grimaced at the slur and turned around to be faced with a boy that was a similar height to him with sandy blonde hair and cutting blue eyes. His jawline was sharp and he gave off an aura of intense competition, they’d never met before, but Alec knew exactly who he was. “You must be Jonathan Morgenstern,” Alec said confidently, not wanting to come across as nervous.

“The one and only,” he smirked at Alec, “You know you’re not going to win this, don’t you Lightwood?”

“We’ll see about that,” Alec said, the nerve that Jonathan had to try and put him off before the race only made him more determined to win, even if the odds weren’t in his favour.

Jonathan laughed; it was cruel like a villain from a movie. “So confident for someone that hasn’t made it up to my time yet.”

“I have in training. I wouldn’t be so cocky.”

Jonathan’s expression faltered for a second, “Well, training’s not a race and we’re on my turf, home court advantage.”

“RACERS TO THE LINE!” A coach said over the megaphone.

“Good luck,” Alec said, taking the approach of killing them with kindness as Jonathan headed over to the other side of the line. Alec couldn’t help but be relieved about that as the last thing he wanted was a messy start with his main competition.

Magnus watched the interaction between Alec and who he assumed to be the notorious Jonathan, surprised at the obvious shift in Alec’s expression from nervous to determined. He’d seen him walk over and was worried it would cause him to panic, apparently there was still some faith left in his boyfriend though as he geared up on the start line and smiled over to Magnus.

“ON YOUR MARKS,” the coach said, “GET SET,” a pause, “GO!”

“GO ALEC! YOU’VE GOT THIS!” Magnus started yelling immediately as Izzy and Jace joined in with them, “ALEC, ALEC, ALEC, ALEC,” they all chanted together. The adrenaline of the sporting event taking over them as they watched Alec and Jonathan lead the pack, their pace almost matching.

“Come on, we need to get ahead,” Izzy said, patting Magnus on the back encouraging him to get on the bike, “You know how to ride, right?”

Magnus nodded, “Yeah sorry, this is just so exciting.”

Izzy grinned, “I know, right?”

 The race went on as expected, the two of them still level as they crossed the midway point and Alec’s pace still looking pretty steady from Magnus’ perspective, not that he knew much about it. They cycled to the finish line, it was quieter as people waited for the runners to come into sight and there was an unprecedented nervousness that filled the air.

“I’m shitting it for him,” Magnus said, rubbing his hands together trying to warm them up after resting against the cold metal barrier.

“It’s Alec, he’ll win,” Jace said. “You’ll see.”

“He has to win, he’s worked so hard for this,” Maryse said.

“He will,” Robert, Alec’s father confirmed.

The comments left a slightly bitter feeling in Magnus’ stomach. The Lightwood’s were a great family, they supported each other through thick and thin, that was obvious, but what was also obvious was why Alec felt so much pressure. The words were supportive, but they were laced with so much weight towards winning that there was no wonder Alec felt as though there was no other option.

“There they are!” Izzy yelled, pointing in the direction of the track as Jonathan came running around the corner quickly followed by Alec.

“Shit, he’s not in front,” Jace said, “COME ON ALEC!”

Magnus looked over at Jace who was practically falling over the barrier as he yelled for his brother.

“COME ON ALEC! YOU CAN DO IT!” Magnus yelled; he didn’t want to pressure him but if he didn’t say something, he would look unsupportive.

“PUSH THROUGH! 100 METRES TO GO!” Robert shouted.

“YOU’VE DONE IT BEFORE; YOU CAN DO IT AGAIN!” Maryse yelled.

“GO ALLEEEEEEC” Izzy screamed.

Magnus watched as Alec came closer to him, he looked a mess like he was about to collapse completely as his pace slowed down.

“What’s he doing?” Jace questioned, “There’s barely any race left.”

“He can’t breathe,” Magnus muttered to himself.

He took Alec’s inhaler out of his backpack and ran to the finish line, Alec needed to see his face, he had to have somewhere to run to when he crossed the line. He looked over at the rest of his family who were still cheering for him to keep going, a contradictory behaviour for Maryse who was constantly on Alec’s back to look after himself.

Alec looked forward, his lungs ready to explode, grateful for Magnus staring right at him as he tried to block out the cheers for his name. He’d given it all he’d got, he’d pushed too hard and now he could barely even jog, never mind run over the finish line as more people overtook him. He inhaled sharply, pushing himself the last few metres, collapsing into Magnus’ arms.

Magnus wrapped his arm underneath Alec’s, pulling him away from the crowded finish line and handing him in inhaler which Alec took before sliding onto the floor, just wanting the pain to stop and to feel like he could breathe again.

“You need to sit up,” Magnus said, “I was researching last night, and-”

“Magnus,” Alec said, he was barely breathing, he couldn’t even take his inhaler.

Magnus sat down next to him, propping him up against him so he was semi-upright and not completely flat on the ground, helping him take it. Instantly worried as even after a few minutes Alec was still struggling more than he’d ever seen him struggle before. “Alec, what do you want me to do?” he said.

“I- I can’t,” he started coughing then wheezing almost to the extent that he was hyperventilating.

Magnus had done his research just in case this ever happened. He’d known that Alec wouldn’t be bothered about pushing himself this far, that he’d sacrifice his health to win which was why he’d prepped himself on what to do in the case of a more severe asthma attack. “You need an ambulance,” Magnus instructed, ignoring Alec’s attempt to shake his head, “CAN SOMEONE CALL AN AMBULANCE?!” Magnus yelled, gaining attention from a random spectator who promptly called one.

“Alec?” Maryse said, finally managing to get her way through the crowd that had quickly formed as soon as Jonathan had crossed the finish line. “Son, it’s going to be okay,” she said, placing her hand on his forehead and brushing his hair back.

“An ambulance is on its way,” Magnus said.

“How many times has he taken his inhaler?” Maryse asked, her face laced with concern.

“Three times, it’s not doing anything.”

“Alec look at me,” Maryse commanded only for Alec to turn away.

“You, you,” he coughed again, “Go to Jace.”

Maryse sighed, they were supposed to go straight from cross country back to Idris High for the football game that Jace was playing in. That didn’t seem overly important now though. “Alec, I’m with you right now.”

“D-disappointed. I- I have Magnus.”

Maryse looked up at Magnus whose arms were wrapped tightly around her son, protecting him at all costs. “What do you think?”

“I can take care of him, update you every 15 minutes, whatever you want.”

“I want to be alone, with Magnus,” Alec blurted out, before his breathing became even more intense as he tried to roll over.

“You have to sit up Alec,” Magnus said, fighting against him.

“Take your inhaler again,” Maryse said, helping him, grateful at the sound of the sirens pulling up.

“Okay, who do we have here?” A paramedic said, pushing through the crowd.

“This is Alec, 18 years old, he has asthma and he’s just finished the race, he’s taken his inhaler but it’s not working,” Magnus said, nodding at Maryse, signalling to her that he could look after Alec perfectly fine if it was what the both of them wanted.

“He’s my son, will he be okay?”

“Let’s get you some oxygen,” the paramedic said, opening up the green bag she was carrying, “Then we’ll take you to the hospital, you must have been pushing yourself pretty hard?”

“Is he going to be okay?” Maryse repeated.

“He should be. We’ll just do some obvs back at the hospital, the attack does seem to be quite severe… you can ride with him in the ambulance.”

“No, Magnus is his boyfriend, he’ll ride with him. Alec doesn’t want me there, but I’ll be there later on.”

The paramedic nodded at Maryse before directing her attention back to Alec. “Come on son, let’s get you on board,” she said, helping Magnus lift him up.

“I’ll call you as soon as we know more,” Magnus said. “I’m sorry he doesn’t want you there, I think he’s worried-”

Maryse shook her head, hugging Magnus before he climbed into the ambulance. “-He’s freaking out about losing the race, if I come it’s going to cause him more stress, he doesn’t need that. Just keep me updated.”

“Of course.”

“Thank you, Magnus.”

Magnus nodded and climbed into the ambulance, sitting down next to Alec and holding his hand, “You’re going to be okay.”

Alec lifted up the oxygen mask, “I don’t know if I am.”

Magnus stood up and kissed him on the head, “Yes you will be. Put the mask on, focus on breathing.”

He watched as Alec erupted into another coughing fit, the paramedic stood right beside him as she tried to stop him from falling off the bed. Something was wrong, Magnus knew that, this wasn’t just an asthma attack, he’d been with Alec through them before and this was entirely different. He swallowed the lump in his throat, regret at telling Maryse he would be alright on his own already forming as he sat down by the bed in the ambulance, holding his boyfriends’ hand. He didn’t ever want to let go.

Chapter Text

 

Chapter 14: Make Me Feel Better

 

“Alec? Alec!”

“What’s going on?” The paramedic said, getting up from her seat and rushing over to where Alec was sat as the boy in front of her started to lose his breath even more. “He’s going into acute respiratory failure! What’s the ETA?”

“5 minutes!” The driver yelled back.

“What’s happening, what does that mean?” Magnus said, the words rushed as Alec’ breaths became quicker and harsher like he wasn’t getting any air at all.

The paramedic undid Alec’s seatbelt and strapped him into the bed so that he was lying on his tummy she then hooked him up to a machine. “I’ve put him in prone!” she yelled to the driver, “Try speed up if you can! Okay Alec, try not to panic, just let the machine do it’s job,” she said softly.

“What’s acute respiratory failure? Just let me know what’s going on!” Magnus said, almost beside himself.

“Alec’s lungs aren’t exchanging enough oxygen so they’re starting to fail. We just need to make sure that his body is still getting oxygen, this position and machine helps that, it’s called prone ventilation.”

Magnus nodded, “Is he going to die?”

The paramedic hesitated for a second, “It’s unlikely,” she said because it was unlikely but was still a possibility.

Magnus sighed in exasperation, his heart racing unnaturally fast, he wanted to break down, he didn’t know what to do and part of him blamed himself for not stopping Alec from pushing himself too far. “He’s such an idiot, I told him not to push himself that it wasn’t worth it, now look at him.”

“What do you mean?”

“The race was the final one of the season he was tipped to win it, but he needed to make up 3 seconds or something. He’s had a few asthma attacks the past month or so trying to make it up… he didn’t think he’d win, but he still pushed himself.”

The paramedic nodded, “That explains why it’s so severe now. I’m guessing he didn’t go to hospital about the other ones?”

“No, he said he was fine.”

“Well, that’s good information. Thank you for telling us.”

“We’re here,” The driver said, pulling up. “I’ve called through to let them know the situation.”

“Thanks Tim, right, come on then. Follow me.”

Magnus followed the paramedic as she wheeled Alec out on the bed, he seemed to be barely conscious anymore, his eyes drooping as they raced down the corridor of the hospital.

“Catarina, this is Alec. 18 years old, he just finished competing in a race, he was having a severe asthma attack but has slipped into type one acute respiratory failure,” the paramedic said quickly, “This is his boyfriend, Magnus, he said that Alec’s been having more asthma attacks as of late due to pushing himself in training for the race but refused to go to the hospital,” she paused for a second, “if it get’s worse,” she said quietly, “You have to get him a transplant.”

Magnus looked up at Catarina, the new doctor, a transplant? That seemed too extreme, too sudden for something that had happened only 40 minutes ago. “Is it that bad?” Magnus said quietly.

Catarina placed a hand on Magnus’ shoulder, “Not yet,” she said instantly recognising the boy from 12 years ago, her heart softening at seeing him again.

“I need to call his mum.”

“Okay. Everyone, into the cubical, I want a breathing tube inserted asap and an IV…” Magnus zoned out as they started working on Alec, he had to stay calm, composed, if he freaked out, he’d only make things worse.

 


 

It was half an hour later, Magnus had rung Maryse, but they were stuck in rush hour traffic in the middle of New York, she’d cried on the phone which had only stressed out Magnus more. Now he was stuck in the waiting room, with no news and not knowing what the best thing to do was. The whole thing didn’t seem to make sense, Alec’s asthma existed, yeah, but he had been managing it, at least he had seemed to be managing it and now after one severe attack he apparently was going into lung failure. Things had escalated so quickly and, in a way, that he didn’t even know how to comprehend.

“Hey,” Catarina said, sitting down on the chair next to him. “How are you doing?”

“Has something happened?” Magnus said, his heart rate increasing at the Doctor’s presence.

Catarina shook her head, “We’re doing all we can to restore lung function, we’ll monitor him for the next hour or so, if things don’t improve after that we may have to consider surgery.”

“A transplant?”

“Possibly, yes.”

Magnus ran his hand over his t-shirt that covered his own scar. “Is this normal? For an asthma attack to turn into this?”

“No, not at all. Alec has been unlucky, perhaps if he’d have come in earlier when he was struggling with his training, we might have spotted the signs. If it’s any consolation, I don’t think this was all asthma, his lungs could have been at reduced functioning for some time. If he’s stubborn, like you said, he might have just brushed it away as his asthma getting worse.”

“I told him it wasn’t a good idea, that it wasn’t worth it.”

“Sometimes it’s harder to listen to the people that we love the most,” Catarina said. She looked over at the boy whose eyebrows were furrowed in concern. “Do you remember me by any chance?”

Magnus looked at Catarina, a flashback from what seemed like another life creeping up on him, “The ice chips,” he whispered.

“Catarina, if you could sit with him for a few moments. His mother has popped out and I don’t want him waking up alone.”

Magnus woke up to warm brown eyes starting down at him, a soft smile that instantly stopped him from panicking about what had happened. The woman reached over to his ears and turned the hearing aids on for him. “You’ve been asleep so long we were worried you wouldn’t wake up.”

Magnus laughed slightly making him aware of the ache over his whole body and the sharper pain on the side of his stomach, “Did I have surgery?” he croaked, his voice was high but sweet his eyes wide in curiosity but resilient to the pain that he’d become so used to in his 7 and a half years.

“You did, and it all went well,” Catarina said.

“Where’s my mum?” Magnus asked, his eyes wavering as they looked for her around the room.

“Well, she’d been waiting here for hours and hours and hours, so we told her to go get some food and a change of clothes. She’ll be back soon.”

“Okay,” Magnus said, his stomach rumbling, “What’s your name?”

“Catarina,” the woman replied, “Would you like some ice chips?”

Magnus nodded, “Thank you.”

“I’m surprised you remember you were pretty conked out on meds.”

Magnus smiled, “I was just glad to wake up with someone there.”

Catarina smiled, jumping slightly as her pager went, “Catarina,” she answered.

“Alec’s slipping, an emergency donor has come through and he’s been boosted to the top of the list. Are we ready to act now?”

“Has he consented?”

“Yes.”

“Then let’s go.” Catarina squeezed Magnus’ hand, “It’ll be a long recovery, but this should work,” she said.

Magnus nodded, “I just wish his parents would get here.”

 


 

Magnus couldn’t sit still knowing that Alec was in surgery, he knew all to well that there could be a lot of complications when it came to transplants and he’d spent the past half an hour researching lung transplants specifically. Even if the surgery went well, so much could happen afterwards, infections, rejection, diabetes, kidney disease, BOS, lymphoma, osteoporosis, the list was endless.

“Magnus!” Maryse exclaimed as she burst through the doors of the waiting room, Izzy, Jace and Robert all following behind.

“I’m so glad you’re here,” Magnus said, embracing Maryse in a hug and letting himself cry for the first time.

“It’s okay, we’re here now,” Maryse said, soothing the back of his head, “What’s going on?”

“He’s in surgery, they’re giving him a transplant he went into respiratory failure, it’s all been so confusing.”

“Okay, okay,” Maryse said, pulling away, “Thank you for being here Magnus.”

“Have you spoken to him?” Izzy asked, her eyes red and puffy as Jace held her, his arm wrapped over her shoulder.

“Not since the ambulance, he was in and out of consciousness, they wouldn’t let me in.”

“I’m going to go find out what’s happening,” Robert said.

“I’ll come with you,” Jace said, following him.

Maryse reached up and cupped Magnus’ face, “Your mum wants you to come home, she’s worried about you.”

“Why would she be worried about me, I’m not the one…” he paused, of course. “She told you about the kidney transplant?”

Maryse nodded, “She did. She doesn’t want you to have to relive this right now and Magnus, you look like you’re about to crumble. Take some time away, Izzy will let you know how things are.”

Magnus shook his head, “No, I can’t.”

“Yes, you can sweetie. It’s okay, everything will be okay. I’m sorry for letting you deal with this all alone. There’s a taxi outside for you.”

Magnus ran his hand through his hair, Maryse was right, this was too much for him, but he hated that it was stopping him from being there with Alec. He didn’t have a choice though and he didn’t want to worry his mum.  

He sat in silence the entire taxi ride home, normally he was one for talking to the driver, but what was there to talk about when he’d just been picked up from the hospital, he probably thought he was completely deaf anyway. Most people did when they first met him. Once he got home, he practically ran up the stairs to their apartment, he didn’t like to admit it, but he needed his mum, he needed a hug as he burst through the door to the apartment and into her office.

“Magnus,” his mum exhaled standing up from behind her desk and heading towards him.

“I don’t know what to do Mum,” he whispered, collapsing onto her, his body shaking as he finally let out all the tears that he’d been holding inside of him.

“Sit down, come on,” his mum said, taking him over to the couch and letting him lie in front of her like he used to when they were little. She stared playing with his hair, something that had always soothed him until he got all of his tears out. “How did it happen?” she asked quietly.

“He had an asthma attack after the race, but it was like he couldn’t breathe at all Mum, still though… everything happened so quickly. Like, he hasn’t had time to prepare for it, what if something goes wrong?”

“All we can do is hope Magnus. He’s in good hands, his family are around him and you will be too, and hey, you’ve got experience you can help him through it.”

Magnus sighed, “I just didn’t think asthma could be so serious.”

“I was doing some research, it can be, but it’s likely that his lungs were struggling in other ways as well. Did he ever mention anything to you?”

Magnus shook his head, “He was struggling decreasing his time for the race, having asthma attacks and stuff but he just brushed them off… I should have been more forceful.”

“He’d have listened to you if he wanted to Magnus. Sometimes people just get carried away with their dreams and don’t think about the reality.”

Magnus reached behind him taking hold of his Mum’s hand, “can we watch movies till I fall asleep? I don’t think I can sleep on my own.”

His mum nodded, “Of course,” she said, soothing his hair again.

She looked down at her son, his eyes were bloodshot and heavy, like the weight of the world was resting on his shoulders. He cared so much about everything, he always had done and probably always would, this was bound to be hard for him, but she knew that he would stick by Alec no matter what. They may not have said it to each other yet, but Magnus’ mum was pretty sure that her son had fallen in love.

Chapter Text

 

Chapter 15: “Hey”

 

It had been nearly two weeks since Alec had the transplant, he’d been out of intensive care for 5 days and was now in the high dependency ward. The surgery had seemingly gone successfully although Alec did still have an IV of pain medication and had a few episodes during the night where he’d had to go back onto oxygen. Apparently, that was normal though, the most important thing was that he hadn’t rejected the organ and he hadn’t caught any infections, despite the immunosuppressants.

“Magnus is here again,” Izzy said, handing Alec the cup of jelly that he’d requested.

Alec sighed, “I don’t want him to see me like this. What if it’s too much, he’s already gone through this once, he doesn’t need to go through it again.”

“You’re being ridiculous Alec. It’s been 12 days and he’s come to see you and waited outside every single day, for hours, he wants to see you Alec, I promise.”

“I know, it’s just…” he stopped himself, “Bring him in, but can it just be us two?”

Izzy nodded, “Of course, I have homework to do anyway.” She headed back out onto the corridor and told Magnus to go in.

There was an underlying feeling of apprehension for Magnus as he headed into the ward, he understood why Alec hadn’t wanted him to see him. It was similar to the reasons that he hadn’t want Alec to see his scar or see him without his hearing aids, all he wanted though was for Alec to be comfortable and for him to be better of course.

“Hey,” Magnus said quietly as he opened the curtains that segregated Alec’s bed.

Alec smiled, his eyes suddenly brimming up with tears that he wasn’t expecting. “Hey,” he said, reaching his hand out, wanting to feel it’s familiar hold on Magnus’.

“Why are you crying?” Magnus asked, ignoring the hand and gently wrapping his arms around Alec, careful not to knock any of the tubes or touch his stomach.

Alec half laughed, half sobbed his answer, “I don’t know,” he rubbed his eyes as Magnus took a seat on the chair by the bed. “I’m sorry I didn’t let you in to see me.”

“Don’t be, I get it,” he grinned, “Anyway, you’re still looking pretty hot for someone who just had a lung transplant.”

“Always a charmer,” Alec said. “I’m sorry for all the stress I caused you as well, I know it mustn’t have been easy for you.”

“I was fine Alexander. Did they ever find out if it was more than just the asthma attack?”

Alec nodded as he took a bite of the jelly, “Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma, apparently it’s a lethal combination,” he joked. “It’s something to do with the air sacs in my lungs, well my old ones. It kind of slid under the radar because of the asthma but it was getting progressively worse, the asthma attack after the race was kind of a catalyst for my lungs to give up.”

“I thought they were only transplanting one lung?”

Alec shook his head, “Both of them.” He looked down at the bed, “I don’t think I’ll ever be running competitively again though.”

Magnus picked up Alec’s hand and squeezed it, “Probably not,” he said, “Buuuuut, we can be immunocompromised transplant survivors together. Medicine club is going to be lit.”

Alec laughed, “We really do know how to make the most romantic situations don’t we?”

“We do indeed.”

“So,” Alec said, taking another bite, “Tell me something good that’s happened since I’ve been in here.”

“I went to the audiologist.”

“And?”

“Lorenzo hasn’t damaged my hearing by his incessant shouting. Although he did say to be careful if it happened again because it’ll affect my balance, but everything’s all fine at the moment.”

“That’s great news Magnus! How is Lorenzo? Has he been leaving you alone now that he’s back from suspension?”

Magnus nodded, “It’s been weird, he even asked how you were doing, maybe he’s finally learned his lesson. If I’m honest everyone’s just concerned about you Alexander.”

“Going back to school will be fun then” he said sarcastically.

“What are you going to do about that?”

“I don’t want to miss too much, not with college being around the corner.”

“Alec,” Magnus protested, “Don’t push yourself, not with this.”

“I won’t, but I can’t sit in the house forever. The doctor said I can go home in a week then depending on my check-up the week after that I can go back to school… in a wheelchair, but, it’s better than nothing.”

“I’ll push you around,” Magnus said.

“Thanks,” Alec said laughing, “It’ll certainly be an odd first impression back. What did people say about the race? Were they annoyed?”

“Are you seriously bothered about the race?”

“I just want to know what to expect.”

“They’re fine with it, the fact that you were willing to hospitalise yourself for a race has kind of boosted your reputation.”

“That’s surprising,” he said yawning.

“You need to rest,” Magnus said, kissing Alec’s forehead, knowing better than to kiss him on the lips with his weakened immune system. “I’ll be back tomorrow, okay?”

Alec nodded, “I’ll ask the doctor if I can kiss you properly when she comes around tonight.”

Magnus laughed, “the longer we wait, the better it will be though.”

“But I’m so deprived!”

“You’ll survive,” Magnus said as he left the ward.

Alec watched as his boyfriend headed out of the room, overwhelmingly grateful that he was in his life. He was dealing with things well, yes, his whole body ached like hell, but he just wanted to recover, get things back to normal so that he’d be ready for college in September. That way he could have a clean slate, a chance to begin again somewhere else without the pressures of high school but whilst still keeping the best thing about high school right beside him, Magnus. Maybe they could even be in the same room together. The future seemed perfect, waiting for it to come though, that was the hard part.

Chapter Text

 

Chapter 16: The Next Step

 

There was a level of apprehension in the Lightwood household the morning that Alec was heading back to school, everyone was walking on eggshells not wanting anything to go wrong, not wanting Alec to get hurt again. It had taken longer than expected for Alec, he’d managed to catch some sort of infection at the hospital which had prolonged his stay and his long-term recovery which was why it was a month later than expected when he was finally allowed back to school.

“Can I go wake him up?” Magnus asked from his seat around the kitchen table. He’d arrived at Alec’s house early that morning to help him prepare for the day, but everyone seemed reluctant to push Alec to go. “We’ll be late if we don’t go soon,” Magnus said again.

The rest of the Lightwood’s looked around the room before Maryse made eye contact with Magnus, “You’ve been here every day, do you really think he’s ready for it?”

Magnus took the last mouthful of his coffee, “When I had my transplant all I wanted was to get back into society. He’s bored out of his mind, he needs this,” he said, unafraid of offending anyone.

Izzy nodded, “He’s right Mum, we can’t keep him wrapped up in cotton wool forever. He’s going to college in less than 4 months.”

Maryse sighed, “I know, I know, I just worry…”

“…We’ll look after him,” Jace said entering the conversation. “If anything happens, which it won’t. We’ll call you straight away.”

“Okay,” Maryse said almost reluctantly, “Go get him ready Magnus.”

Magnus put the mug down on the table and got up, “He’ll be fine,” he said reassuringly as he patted Maryse on the shoulder and headed upstairs to Alec’s bedroom.

Magnus knocked on the door tentatively and opened it slowly half expecting to see Alec asleep in bed and surprised to see him sat on the edge of it in his underwear, his clothes thrown across the room. “Well isn’t this a sight for sore eyes,” Magnus said walking towards him, annoyed at himself for the comment as he noticed the puffiness of Alec’s eyes. “Hey, what’s wrong?” he said hurrying towards him and wrapping an arm around his shoulder.

“I can’t fucking even put my own fucking clothes on Magnus! That’s what’s wrong!” Alec said, his voice cracking before he started to cry again.

“Just give it a few more weeks, you’ll get there,” Magnus comforted as he pulled Alec towards him and hugged him as tight as he could without hurting him. “Let me help you.”

“I feel so pathetic, I was supposed to be able to do everything by now.”

Magnus shook his head in disagreement as he picked up Alec’s t-shirt from the floor. “These things take time Alec. I know it’s frustrating but you’re not pathetic, far from it actually,” he said as he pulled the t-shirt over Alec’s head and carefully helped him put his arms through the holes. “And you’ve come a long way, you’re not using the chair to get around anymore, you’re walking pretty much fine, it’s just the superficial wounds that are still hurting and they’ll go soon, then you just need to build up some stamina.”

“I’ve still got a crutch,” Alec mumbled as Magnus put his sweats on for him, even though he knew he could do them himself.

“Well I’d rather you didn’t fall… although, I’d catch you if you did.”

Alec couldn’t help but laugh at the comment, “Well that’s reassuring.”

“Come on,” Magnus said standing up and taking Alec’s hand, “Your mum said I could drive you to school.”

“From what I remember, your driving’s terrible?”

“Well don’t tell her that. She won’t let me.”

Alec smiled, squeezing Magnus’ hands tightly in his own, “Do you think it’ll be okay?”

Magnus nodded, “Everything will be fine, and if it isn’t, you’ve got me and Izzy and Jace. You’re going to have a great last few weeks at school then we’ll have a great summer together then we’ll both be at Brown. Together.”

“You make it sound so simple.”

“It is. Come on, we need to go, or we’ll be late.”

“I can do this.”

“You can do this,” Magnus reassured, taking Alec’s hand as he helped him out of the room and to the car.

 


 

For the first time in his life Alec was actually grateful for arriving at school a few minutes earlier than the morning rush. Magnus had walked him into homeroom, the biggest challenge of the day as it was the longest walk, he would have, but now he was left with Jace as the class started to fill up. He swallowed the lump in his throat as people stared at him as they walked past, similar as to when he’d came out except there was an underlying theme of sympathy behind everyone’s faces. He wasn’t sure how he felt about the looks, but he knew he didn’t like the attention, he’d never liked attention unless it was him winning a race.

“You okay bud?” Jace said, noticing Alec’s intense focus on the table that they were sat on.

“Yeah, it’s just weird being back is all,” Alec said, looking up at his brother. “Everyone’s staring.”

“No one was sure when you were going to be back, they’re just relieved to see you here.”

“I wonder what-”

“-Alec! Dude! You’re back!”

“Raj will be like,” Alec finished underneath his breath. “Erm, yeah, I’m back,” he directed at Raj.

“Ready to get back on the track?”

“What?” Alec said, surely Raj wasn’t that stupid.

“Was that supposed to be funny?” Jace inputted his tone instantly defensive.

Raj stood awkwardly for a second, “Chill, it was a joke. Although you don’t really look like you’ve just had a lung transplant.”

“What was I supposed to look like?” Alec said, irritated at Raj already, apparently somethings really didn’t change.

“I dunno,” Raj lingered, “Did it hurt?”

“The transplant?”

“Raj you’re sounding like a fucking idiot,” Meliorn inputted from his seat behind Alec and Jace. Surprising Alec as he figured he wouldn’t be the first person to jump to his defence.

“How come? I just want to know what it was like.”

Meliorn rolled his eyes, “Of course it fucking hurt he had a freaking lung transplant, he’s been off school for months… are you stupid?”

“Meliorn, it’s fine,” Alec said, “I was asleep for the transplant, obviously. The recovery was painful though, now let me sort out my diary.”

Raj nodded, “Can I see the scar?”

“Fuck off Raj,” Jace snapped. “It’s none of your business.”

“Raj you should be in your seat. Good to see you back Alec,” the teacher said, bringing order to the class and a wave of relief to Alec. The situation had been intense in a way that he wasn’t quite expecting.

 


 

Magnus had been waiting for Alec to arrive in the cafeteria for about 10 minutes before he started to become concerned for his boyfriend’s whereabouts. Alec was known for being punctual and the fact that he wasn’t and that he was still recovering from a lung transplant was particularly worrying.

“What lesson did Alec just have?” Magnus asked, getting up from the table and swinging his satchel over his shoulder.

“Chemistry I think, room 102,” Izzy said, “Everything okay?”

“He was supposed to be here by now. I’m going to go look for him.”

“Do you need help?”

Magnus shook his head, “He probably just didn’t want to face the cafeteria, I’m sure he’ll be fine.”

“Okay,” Izzy said smiling, “He’s so lucky to have you.”

“I know,” Magnus said allowing himself to lighten up a little. He was right, chances were Alec just didn’t want to go to the cafeteria, not that Magnus could blame him. He would end up being an exhibition if he did.

He headed down the corridor and into the science wing of the school, hoping he wouldn’t find Alec passed out or anything like that and instantly relieved as he saw him sat down at a desk in the Chemistry classroom. He opened the door quietly, not wanting to make him jump as Alec looked over at Magnus.

“I thought I’d find you here,” he said, pulling a chair back and sitting down next to his boyfriend. “Everything okay?”

Alec sighed, “I’m just tired is all. The thought of the cafeteria was too much.”

“I should have thought about that, I’m sorry.”

“It’s not your fault, I’ll get there eventually.”

“I know,” Magnus scooted the chair next to him, kissing Alec on the cheek, “Did you eat?”

Alec shook his head, “I don’t feel like eating.”

“Tough shit,” Magnus said, opening his satchel and pulling out his sandwich and handing it to him. “You’ll keep on getting lethargic if you don’t eat.”

“It hurts though.”

“It won’t forever, and this is turkey your favourite, surely that’s better than all the soup you’ve been living off.”

Alec laughed at the comment, wincing at the pain, “You’re not wrong there.”

Magnus unwrapped the sandwich and handed a half to Alec, “Just one half, deal?”

“Deal,” Alec said, taking it from Magnus and having a bite. “Magnus?”

“Yeah?”

“I,” he hesitated, “It doesn’t matter.”

“What is it?” Magnus said, his heart race increasing as the possibility of the words being said out loud came into vicinity.

“I love you.”

Magnus’ eyes twinkled as he cupped Alec’s jaw, “I love you too,” he said jumping as the door opened to the classroom, startling them both.

“Oh for fucks sake,” Magnus said as Lorenzo entered the room, “What do you want?”

Lorenzo stood awkwardly in front of the two of them looking surprisingly small without the rest of his team around them. It was strange how someone could look so different when they were alone, he didn’t seem so threatening anymore.

“I got kicked off the hockey team,” he said, sitting down on the desk.

Alec looked Lorenzo up and down, unsure of what his next move would be, “So you came to take it out on us?”

Lorenzo shook his head, “No,” he stopped, fiddling with his hands, “I came to apologise to Magnus.”

Magnus almost choked as he registered what Lorenzo was saying, “You what?”

“My mum was fuming when she found out why I was suspended, sent me to therapy told me that there must be some reason why I had been such a dick to you…she was right, and I’ve realised now. I was wrong.”

“10 years Lorenzo, 10 years of hounding me, you don’t get to come in here and apologise and think that makes everything better.”

Alec slid his arm underneath the table, squeezing Magnus’ leg reassuringly. “He’s not wrong Lorenzo, there’s no excusing how you’ve treated him,” he said, his eyes firmly locked on the boy in front of him.

“I know,” he cleared his throat, “I just, I, Magnus, you’ve always been this put together guy, despite everything you’ve been open with yourself and everyone around you, done well for yourself and just powered on through. Whereas I’ve always been this pathetic insecure shit bag, I’ve always ran away from who I am and you’ve always embraced who you are, which was why I had to take it out on you because in my warped way of thinking, your hearing was your only weakness and it was the only thing that I was better at than you.”

“You’re not making any sense Lorenzo,” Magnus said, apparently articulation and clarity weren’t Lorenzo’s strengths, as was being a decent human.

Lorenzo sighed, “I’m gay,” he said, exhaling slowly, “I just didn’t want to admit it. You’ve been out and proud for so long-”

“-That’s a bullshit excuse,” Alec inputted.

“I know it is… listen, I’m trying to better myself, I know that you can never forgive me for how I’ve treated you, but it all came from jealousy.” He ran his hand through his hair impatiently, “I’ll leave you guys alone now. I just wanted to say my peace, for what it’s worth, I am truly sorry Magnus.”

Magnus nodded, “Okay,” he said, “Leave us be now.”

The two of them sat in silence as Lorenzo left the room, both breathing a sigh of relief as the door closed behind him. “Well that was unexpected,” Magnus said turning in his chair, so he was facing Alec.

“He’s still a dickhead.”

“Oh god, I know. At least the last few weeks of high school will be bully free though.”

“Well that’s true.” Magnus watched as Alec rubbed his eyes, he looked exhausted as though he’d been awake for hours, “Hey, maybe I should take you home?”

“I want to make it through a whole day Magnus.”

“You’ve got your final weekly appointment tonight haven’t you?”

“Mmhmm.”

“Then rest up before it. Then you’ll smash the 6-minute walk test, I know that’s the one you want to nail the most.”

Alec laughed, “God our lives are so bizarre.”

“Can I take you home then?”

“Okay, but tomorrow-”

“-We’ll do a full day. I know.”

“I love you,” Alec said again as he let Magnus help him up.

“I know. I love you too,” Magnus said, kissing Alec on the lips properly, moving against him for a few seconds before pulling away. “Things are going wonderfully Alexander.”

“That they are,” Alec said, taking Magnus’ hand rather than the crutch as they headed for the parking lot. The two of them even more content than they thought possible as their love for each other was finally out in the open.

 

 

Chapter Text

Chapter 17: Happiness

 

The kitchen was all set up, the butter, flour and sugar all laid out in bowls and a cupcake decorating station on the island counter, Alec had to admit that he was proud of his work. Hopefully Magnus would be down for making cupcakes, who isn’t down for making cupcakes?

“Jeez Alec, it looks like a bakery in here!” Izzy exclaimed as she came into the kitchen, “Sometimes I think you’ve turned into a completely different person.”

“What do you mean?” Alec said, mixing some red food dye into a bowl of frosting.

“You’re so romantic these days, I didn’t know you could be.”

“I’m full of surprises.”

“That you are. Anyway, I’m off to Simon's, Jace is already at Clary’s so the place is yours. Use protection!” Izzy said throwing her coat on and leaving the kitchen.

“VERY FUNNY!” Alec yelled after her, getting no response as the front door closed behind them.

He sat himself down at the island checking the time on his watch, Magnus was 5 minutes away and 5 minutes seemed like a long time to wait around doing nothing when he had all this stuff planned. He got back up from the island, heading over to the cupboard and taking out two wine glasses then heading to the fridge and pouring them both some non-alcoholic cider, since alcohol wasn’t on the cards, they could at least pretend.

The doorbell rang, bringing Alec a sigh of relief, or stress, or nervousness. He wasn’t sure which, he just wanted this to go perfectly, get the big part out of the way so that the two of them could just curl up and watch tv for the rest of the night.

“Hey,” Alec said, opening the door and hugging Magnus, allowing his familiarity to comfort him.

“You okay?” Magnus asked, instantly noticing the slight shiftiness in Alec’s demeanour.

“Why wouldn’t you be?”

“You seem on edge, that’s all.”

“Must be because I’m talking to someone incredibly attractive,” Alec rushed, impressed at his own ability to come up with a lie so quickly.

Magnus grinned, “I see,” he said, he couldn’t lie, he liked that he still occasionally made Alec nervous, it confirmed to him that he still liked him. “So, why are we spending the weekend at yours?”

“Come to the kitchen,” Alec said taking Magnus’ bag off him then taking his hand and pulling him through. “I thought we could make cupcakes.”

Magnus laughed at the comment, “Wow, erm, I certainly wasn’t expecting that!”

“Do you want to?”

Magnus turned around and kissed Alec gently on the lips, answer enough to the question, “What flavour?”

“Whatever you want,” Alec said as he grabbed the mixer down from the top shelf.

Magnus raised his eyebrows at Alec, “I’m impressed.”

“At what?”

“You just reached like really high above your head Alexander.”

Alec smiled, “The scars are fully sealed now, I don’t feel like I’m gonna pass out whenever I reach up anymore… you were right. It just needed time.”

“I’m always right,” Magnus said wrapping his arms around Alec’s waist, “Go on babe, mix that butter and sugar up.”

“Did you just call me babe?”

Magnus chuckled, “Apparently so, did you like it?”

Alec shrugged, “I prefer it when you call me Alexander.”

“Me too,” Magnus said kissing Alec’s neck as he turned on the mixer.

45 minutes or so later and the cupcakes were made, Alec and Magnus were covered in flour and the decoration process was about to commence.

“Let’s make one for each other,” Alec suggested, acting as though it wasn’t something that he’d been thinking through all week.

“Okay, what are you going to make for me?” Magnus said, side glancing at Alec who quickly turned away from him.

“It’s a surprise!” he exclaimed, “Focus on your own work!”

“Jesus, so tetchy.”

Alec laughed, “I just want to blow you away with my amazing cup cake decorating skills.”

“Hmm, I’m not going to lie Alexander, I didn’t peg you as the cupcake decorator type. I don’t have high hopes.”

“Well looks like you’re in for a surprise,” Alec said grabbing a plate and starting to finish his design on there, “You ready?”

“Yeah, who’s going first?”

“Me,” Alec stated.

“Oh, okay then,” Magnus said, not expecting such an authoritative response. “Fire away.”

Alec turned around and handed Magnus the plate, watching him carefully as Magnus read the message scribed underneath the heart shaped cupcake. “So?” Alec said impatiently, waiting for the response, “Will you?”

Magnus almost teared up as he put the plate on the side and wrapped his arms around Alec almost knocking him out. “Of course, of course, of course,” he said, his head nestled into the crook of Alec’s neck.

“Are you crying?” Alec asked, running his hand through his boyfriend’s hair.

“I’m just surprised, that’s all,” Magnus said pulling away, wiping the few remaining tears from underneath his eyes.

“I mean, surely you knew I was going to ask you?”

“I had a hunch… but I wasn’t thinking now!”

Alec laughed pulling Alec back into a hug, “Well it was supposed to be a surprise. So, I’m glad it worked.”

“Definitely.”

“That’s not all either,” Alec said as he opened up the cupboard and pulled out the snacks he’d prepared. “I wanted to make the perfect night for us both.”

“So you bought Doritos?”

“No,” Alec said, a grin plastered over his face, “I just wanted to make sure we had snacks. Take the cupcakes,” he instructed. “Come to my bedroom.”

“So suggestive.”

“Stop it!” Alec teased. “You’re ruining the moment!” he said, pretending to be annoyed despite the fact that he was laughing along with Magnus.

“Okay, okay. Lead the way Alexander.”

 


 

Alec opened the door to his bedroom apprehensively, covering Magnus’ eyes before turning the light off then removing his hand so that Magnus could see.

“What the fuck?” Magnus said in shock and half bemusement.

Alec’s bedroom had been completely transformed into some sort of fairy-tale enchanted forest den thing that was clearly quite hard to describe. There were bed sheets creating a kind of tipi in the middle of the room, fairy lights scattered all around lighting it up and Alec’s mattress was on the floor, covered in cushions and blankets like something out of the movie.

“Bed’s are just so mainstream,” Alec said, taking the cupcakes off Magnus and putting them on his bedside table. “I thought it would be nice to spend the night like this.”

“I’ve never made a den before,” Magnus muttered, for some reason ready to tear up again.

“Not even as a kid?” Alec asked.

“I kind of missed out on that chunk of my childhood.”

Alec nodded, “Well, not anymore. Come on, I know it’s early, but I’m gonna get ready for bed.”

“Sounds perfect.”

The two of them quickly got themselves dressed before getting under the blankets, propped up against the pillows their shoulders touching. “I think I underestimated how hot it would be under here,” Alec said. “I’m going to take my top off, is that okay?”

Magnus nodded, “Alexander, we have been dating for what? Nearly four months now. I think it’s okay for us to be shirtless in front of one another.”

Alec took his shirt off pulling the blanket over him so that his scars weren’t on show, “I think I was asking more for me than you,” he said honestly.

“What do you mean?”

“You were so nervous to be shirtless in front of me when we were at the lodge and I got it, but I didn’t like get it… now I think I do.”

Magnus turned over and pulled away the blanket, staring intently into Alec’s eyes, “If you didn’t have these scars,” he said, running his hand gently over them, “You’d probably be dead. They’re beautiful, okay?”

“I mean, beautiful is a bit of an overstatement, but thanks.”

“God I really fucking love you Alexander.”

Alec laughed at the aggressiveness of the statement, “I love you too,” he paused, “I wish I could you know, do it, with you, you know?”

Magnus grinned, his hand wrapped around Alec’s waist, “There’s no rush Alexander.”

“2 months? Maybe I’ll be fit enough then?”

“Don’t put a time stamp on it…anyway, we can always do other stuff…”

Alec grinned as he slid his hand down Magnus’ torso running his fingers underneath his pant line, “Like?”

Magnus’ cheeks flushed red, “I think you know exactly what I’m talking about.”

Once the two of them had exuded all of their incredibly horny energy that had been building up for god knows how long they lay there, the two of them, wrapped up in the sheets, their bodies resting against each other as Alec spooned his boyfriend. Alec nonchalantly ran his hand through Magnus’ hair playing with it like it was some kind of stress ball as it took him away from any negativity in his life.

“My mum always does that,” Magnus said.

“Does what?”

“Plays with my hair. It’s always calmed me down.”

“It’s calming to do as well.”

“I like it,” Magnus said, taking hold of Alec’s hand, “Just like you like this,” he said as he traced the palm of it with his finger.

“You know exactly what I want.”

Magnus breathed out a sigh of contentment, “You know, I never thought anyone would ask me to the end of year ball.”

“I never thought I’d be asking someone.”

Magnus grinned, “Oh come on, you’re Alec Lightwood literally one of the hottest guys in the school, you’d have found someone.”

Alec shook his head, “I was in the closet, I’d have had to go with a girl, forced myself… I dunno, this whole year it’s-”

“-Been a rollercoaster?”

“Exactly,” it was Alec’s turn to sigh, “I never dreamed of meeting someone like you.”

“Why not?” Magnus said, rolling over so he was facing Alec.

“Because I never thought I could have what I wanted…. I was fully prepared to live my life pretending to be straight, then you came along and… here we are.”

Magnus smiled, leaning into kiss Alec, “You deserve all the happiness in the world.”

“So do you.”

“Let me plan the end of year ball? I want to make it the best night ever, for the both of us.”

Alec nodded his head in agreement, “If you want to, go for it. Did I tell you Izzy got rid of the prom king and queen this year and changed it to a ‘couple of the year’ award instead?”

“Did she actually?” Magnus said, laughing slightly.

“She seems to think we’re going to win it.”

Magnus shook his head, “The deaf kid that no one knows the name of and the cross-country superstar that ended up coming out and having a lung transplant all in one year? Seems unlikely to me.”

“That’s what I said.”

“Still though, I guess it’s a good thing, to be honest, it’s quite progressive for Idris High.”

“That’s true.”

Magnus stretched out his arms and flopped down on top of Alec’s chest, “I’m tired,” he said, his arm draped across his boyfriend’s body.

“Me too,” Magnus said as he snuggled into his boyfriend. “We need to take our meds,” he whispered at risk of ruining the moment.

Alec chuckled, “For fucks sake, I was so comfy!”

Magnus laughed, “Who said romance was dead?”

“Me, I’m saying it now.”

Magnus grinned and leaned in to kiss him, “Does that make it better?”

“A bit,” Alec replied, the two of them gazing into each other’s eyes like there was no one else but them left on the earth.

 

Chapter Text

 

Chapter 18: A Night to Remember

 

Everything seemed to be moving slower than usual as Alec prepared himself for the evening ahead, time slowed down as he buttoned up his shirt and waistcoat, doing up his tie, putting on the suit jacket. Every small movement seemed to take ten time longer than it actually was because if he was honest with himself, he couldn’t believe that this was happening that he’d actually made it to the end of year dance. More importantly, that he was actually going to be able to enjoy it properly, he’d thrown himself into physiotherapy and he’d not missed a day of school since in weeks. He was finally starting to feel as though he was back to his old self, but perhaps a better version of his old self.

He took one final look in the mirror, running his hand through his hair in an attempt to style it, allowing himself to smile, to appreciate how far he’d come in the last few months. It had felt like the longest recovery ever but according to the doctors it had been quite quick in comparison to other people, he was young and healthy, and it had helped him and now he was ready. Standing in front of a mirror waiting for his boyfriend, the love of his life to pick him up and take him to their end of year prom.

There was a knock Alec’s bedroom door causing a shiver to run down his spine in excitement as he walked over to it, pulling it open slowly. “Hey,” he said his voice low, sultry in a way that he wasn’t expecting.

“Hello Alexander,” Magnus said eying his boyfriend up and down, the simple black and white tuxedo that he more than rocker. “Don’t you look dapper?”

Alec’s cheeks flushed red, “I tried,” he said as he took in the deep burgundy coloured tux that Magnus was wearing and the matching reddish streaks in his boyfriend’s hair. “I don’t compare to you though,” he said awkwardly. They’d been together for some time now, but Magnus still had the ability to make him feel as though they were on their first date again every time that he saw him.

“I don’t know about that,” Magnus said removing his hands from behind his back revealing a bouquet of matching burgundy roses. “For you,” he said as Alec took them off him.

“They’re beautiful Magnus… as are you,” Alec said.

“Here,” Magnus reached into the bouquet and pulled one out, adjusting it in the pocket of Alec’s suit jacket. “We’re matching now.”

“We are indeed,” Alec said heading over to his desk and placing the flowers down on the side then heading back over to Magnus. “Honestly, I could just make out with you, who cares about the end of year dance?”

Magnus laughed, kissing his boyfriend on the lips, his hands tugging gently at the hair by the nape of Alec’s legs. “I could as well. However,” he said, planting one last kiss on Alec’s lips, “We have the rest of our lives to make out and only one night to go to this wonderful dance.”

“You’re right,” Alec said, kissing him one last time.

“I know and anyway, our ride is here,” he said as he checked his phone. “Come downstairs,” Magnus said enthusiastically taking Alec’s hand and pulling him out of the bedroom.

Magnus stomach started to flutter with nerves as he approached the front door and opened it, he knew that Alec was more of an understated guy than he was, so he wasn’t entirely sure this would be up his street. Saying that though, didn’t everyone need a little but of glitz and glamour at least once in their lives?

“And voila!” Magnus said dramatically as he let Alec step through the door onto the porch where he could finally see their ride for the night. “Do you like it?”

Alec grinned as he took in the presence of the silver glittering limousine that was parked on the street. It was a very Magnus mode of transport, but it couldn’t be more perfect for a night that was meant to be special for everyone their age but for them just seemed like normal after what they’d been through together. “I love it,” Alec said, turning to face Magnus and holding both of his hands.

“Your siblings are in there with Simon and Clary. Tonight should be about more than just the two of us, the end of year dance is about reflecting on all the memories from high school. Your family is a big part of that for you.”

“You’re making it really hard for me not to just make out with you right now,” Alec said, squeezing his boyfriend’s hands tighter in affection.

“You can stay at mine tonight if you need to relieve yourself,” Magnus said suggestively.

Alec laughed, “I might have to take you up on that offer.”

“I’d love it if you did,” Magnus said leading Alec down the stairs and into the limo, “This is going to be a perfect night,” he said as he greeted the rest of their friends and sat down next to Alec letting him rest his head on his shoulder.

 


 

The set up for the end of year dance was magical to say the least. Fairy lights lined the walls, with a silver and black theme making the event seem classy and sophisticated but also slightly mystical and incredibly romantic. The room was bustling with chatter and laughter that instantly made any negativity slip away as you entered it, everyone was there to have fun to remember the good parts of their high school career and reflect with the friends that they had made. It was the perfect place to be.

“I can’t believe we actually made it through high school,” Izzy said as their group propped themselves up against the bar, “Especially after this past year.”

Alec nodded, “It’s been a ride,” he said, “But we’re here.”

“Well, I for one am proud of you all… even if I’ve only been here a few months,” Clary said putting up her glass of punch for a toast.

“To making the best of everything,” Magnus said as their glasses all clinked together in the middle. He turned to Alec a smile on his face, “And to us,” he said under his breath as the two of them made their own private toast.

“You two are ridiculously romantic. Honestly, I think I need to take lessons from the both of you,” Simon said, his arm wrapped around Izzy’s waist.

“Don’t worry, you’re doing a pretty good job,” Izzy responded, kissing Simon gently. “Oh look, Coach Garraway is setting up the mike, do you think it’s-”

“-Good evening class of 2019!” Coach Garraway said from the stage causing the chatter to slowly fizzle down to silence. “I hope you are all enjoying the end of year dance, before the festivities well and truly begin it is time to announce the couple of the year.”

“It’s going to be you and Clary,” Alec said to Jace as Coach Garraway opened up the envelope, “Everyone’s been so happy to see you finally settle down.”

“Hey!” Jace said nudging Alec at the slightly backhanded compliment. “It won’t be me and Clary, we’ve not been together long enough.”

Coach Garraway smiled as he read the names on the paper, a warmth spreading through him as he registered how much the school, he’d been working at for so long had changed, and for the better. “The couple of the year is… Alec Lightwood and Magnus Bane!”

The two of them froze for a second, not comprehending that it was their names that had been read out because it didn’t really make sense. Magnus had spent his whole high school career in the shadows or being beaten up which didn’t exactly scream popularity and Alec had barely been there for the end of the year and if anything had let the school down. What neither of them realised though, was how the school had watched the two of them stick by each other through thick and thin and how everyone, including the likes of Lorenzo had decided that the two of them deserved to be appreciated for something more than what they were used to.

“Come up here and make a speech!” Coach Garraway said, beckoning the two of them to move from their frozen positions by the bar.

“This is crazy,” Alec said taking Magnus’ hand. “They must have got it wrong.”

“They definitely didn’t get it wrong,” Izzy said, “I didn’t just change the award from prom king and queen to couple of the year because I wanted to. Loads of people wanted to vote for you, they wanted me to change it.”

“Come on,” Magnus said, snapping out of his state of bemusement, “Let’s go make a speech? I guess.”

“Shit what do we say?”

“You’ll think of something, you’re Alec Lightwood,” Magnus said, cupping Alec’s jaw and kissing him gently before walking up to the stage.

They clasped at each other’s hands as they headed up to the stage and received the crowns that were placed on their heads by Coach Garraway who congratulated them both, giving them some time to compose themselves as they looked around the room at the sea of people in front of them. “You go first,” Alec said into the mic as he looked across at his boyfriend.

“Seriously?” Magnus said earning himself a laugh from the crowd. “Erm, hi. This is unexpected to say the least. Thank you for this, I never expected to find a boyfriend during high school never mind win couple of the year, so yeah, thank you.” He looked at Alec, “Alexander, you’re better at this than me. Take it away,” he said moving away from the mic.

Alec wrapped his arm around Magnus’ waist, it was obvious that being up on stage in front of the people who had ignored him or tortured him for most of his school life was messing with his head a bit. Not that Alec could blame him, this was progressive for the school, but it was slightly tainted by all that they had been through. The contact of Magnus’ body against his own as he moved closer to him encouraged Alec to start speaking.

“Magnus is right, this is really unexpected,” he paused for a second before continuing. “It’s been a tough year for me, as most of you know, I’m not sure I’d have made it through it if it wasn’t for my friends and family and of course Magnus. I came out, I got sick-”

“-That’s an understatement,” Magnus interrupted.

Alec laughed at the comment, “Maybe it is, anyway. What I’m trying to say, is that this year may have been one of the hardest of my life, but it has also been one of the best years of my life because I’ve met the love of my life. I can’t imagine not having of met Magnus and I’m glad that you can all see now what an amazing person he is, he’s definitely not someone to be overlooked. He’s incredible. Voting us as couple of the year is a big thing for Idris High, a school that not so long ago I was terrified to come out too has now voted for an openly gay and bisexual couple. That’s progress. If things keep heading in this direction hopefully no one else will be made to feel like they can’t be who they are in this school because no one should feel like that.” Alec sighed, “I’m going on a tangent. Thank you,” he said turning and hugging Magnus tightly.

The crowd erupted into applause making the both of them blush with embarrassment, “That was a pretty good speech,” Magnus whispered into Alec’s ear.

“I don’t know where it came from, it just flooded out.”

“It’s just what happens when you’re as amazing as you are,” Magnus said taking Alec’s hands and staring intently into his eyes.

“Head down to the dance floor for the couples dance everyone! Enjoy the night” Coach Garraway said, “And congratulations to the couple of the year!”

 


 

Magnus reached up and laced his arms around Alec’s shoulders and neck, swaying gently as Alec held his hips Magnus leading the way slightly as Alec had to admit that he had no idea what he was doing. It was a strange feeling for the both of them, to know that the majority of people around them had voted for them, a stark contrast from how they both felt everyone felt about the two of them. It was nice though, somewhat comforting that they no longer had anything to worry about. That they could be themselves, open and romantic and in love.

“Come closer to me,” Magnus whispered over the music playing in the background, “I want to feel you against me.”

Alec smiled as he stepped forward, their stomachs touching as he pulled Magnus against him suddenly, “Is that better?” he asked.

“Much.”

“How about now?” he asked again as his hand slid down Magnus’ back so that his left hand was now placed over his ass.

“Much, much better,” Magnus said grinning before resting his head on Alec’s shoulder. “I don’t think I’ve ever been happier.”

“Me either,” Alec said using his free hand to hold the back of Magnus’ head noticing the slight shake coming from him, “Are you crying?” he asked.

“Definitely not,” Magnus mumbled into his shoulder.

Alec pulled away, wiping away Magnus’ tears with his thumbs, holding his face as he looked directly into his eyes. “What is it?”

Magnus sighed, “I just never want us to end, I can’t imagine-”

“-Magnus, I want to be with you for as long as I live.”

Magnus smiled, “I know,” he grinned, “god you’ve actually turned me into an emotional wreck.”

Alec laughed at the comment, “I love you, forever.”

“I love you forever too.”

The two of them watched each other for a few seconds before moving together, their lips making contact creating fireworks like they had the first time they kissed. A dance that never needed to be rehearsed because it had always been so innate in them, as if they were soulmates that had connected together like two missing jigsaw pieces. The room spun around them, eyes watching them as everyone knew that the two of them were expertly crafted for each other and that no matter what they would always be together. Magnus Bane and Alec Lightwood were the epitome of the love that everyone craves, a love that had built up it’s walls so high that nothing could ever tear them down or apart from each other.