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Accidentally Back to Back

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Alec tensed when he saw Raj in the command center. The room was empty other than him, and Alec definitely needed to be in there. He needed his tablet so he could finish his paperwork, and like a complete dumbass he’d left it on one of the workstations in command. There was no way he was going to avoid this. 

Walking purposefully, he stared at his feet and tried not to make eye contact. Unfortunately, his tablet was on the workstation furthest from the door, which meant no matter which way he went he was going to pass in front of the other Shadowhunter. He really needed to find a minion he could send out to do stupid stuff like this for him, without anyone taking notice. He’s sure Izzy would approve. 

Well, best to get it over with even though he knew what was coming. He could do this, as head of the institute it was part of his job to work through uncomfortable situations every day. Sighing he took the most direct route to his tablet and picked it up.

“Hey Man.” Raj said conversationally, straightening his jacket and standing at attention. He ignored the look on Alec’s face that clearly indicated he was busy, and stepped forward to put a hand on his shoulder. “How is everything going sir?”

"Good, just trying to finish up early tonight.” Alec said, in an attempt to brush the man’s hand off, he shrugged. He was so focused on his desire to leave, he missed the frown Raj shot him. The thing about it was, Alec actually liked Raj, sort of. He was a good guy. But here lately he’d become just a little too interested in Alec’s personal life. And he had zero respect for Alec’s personal space.  

Case in point, “Ah got a date?” The dark haired man said. Alec had to school his features to keep the complete incredulity off of his face. On what planet would he have time to be dating anyone. 

He responded with a cool, “Yeah okay.” Meant to be completely sarcastic, but he wasn’t entirely sure the man picked up on it, and he really just wanted his hand off of his shoulder yesterday. Deciding blunt was the only way to go, he picked Raj’s hand up and removed it from his shoulder. Pointedly.

Raj offered him a mildly offended look, but thankfully just got back to work. He almost asked if the man was okay, but checked himself. Here lately he’d been pushy as hell, mostly Alec noticed the increase in brief touches, but he couldn’t fathom what the hell had brought it on. His pause before exiting the command center was his mistake.

Raj had picked up his own tablet, but turned back to Alec. “So who’s the lucky guy? Is he a Shadowhunter?”

Alec had come out three years earlier when his mother had tried to marry him off. He’d been so sure it would kill his ambition to be head of the institute, but the way things had played out he’d come out ahead despite his sexual preferences. Some days no one cared, other days people asked the most asinine questions he’d ever heard. Raj was at least polite about it all, he just couldn’t seem to grasp basic social cues. He’d actually been great in the beginning, but Alec wasn’t interested and he didn’t want to hurt his associates feelings. Eventually he was going to have to ask Izzy what the hell to do about it. Until then he would just have to suffer through the horrendous awkwardness.

So impulsively he said “No, not really my type.”

“Oh.” Damn, now he felt bad, except no there Raj went pulling himself together like he couldn’t just take the damn hint. “What’s his name?”

Alec started to finally just tell the man to fuck off, because his polite head of the institute veneer could only last so long. However, he was distracted from losing his temper by the shrill ringing of his phone. Placing the tablet on the table beside him and pulling the phone from his jacket pocket, he hit the accept button with a roll of his eyes. “Yes Magnus.”

“Hmmm Alexander. So theoretically speaking, if say, I attempted to discourage a couple of out of town shadowhunters from wreaking havoc in my bar, that wouldn’t technically be in violation of the accords…..I”

“Damn it Magnus!” Alec growled. “I’m going to lock you up myself one of these days. The club or your apartment?” Snapping at Magnus kept him from imagining what sort of hell he’d already wrought. Both Alec and Raj’s tablets made a noise, which Alec knew was someone reporting Magnus. Damnit.

“The club still, and I resent…” Magnus was cut off by a shout in the background and after a few colorful words from the warlock, the phone went dead.

Alec swore and ran his hand over his face, put his phone in his pocket and turned to leave. Could the man not control his need for drama for even a day. He’d just seen him yesterday, because he’d had a near panic attack over some delivery of supplies. 

“Alec!” 

He stopped at Raj’s shout, and looked over his shoulder. “What?”

“That him?”

“What?” Alec had no idea what the man was talking about, but when he tried to keep speaking, Alec figured he was asking about Magnus because he had a report on his tablet, so he said “yes”, and ran off before Raj could say anything more.

He stomped down the hall to the portal room that Magnus had thankfully set up a few months ago, and stepped through the portal to Pandemonium. The portal deposited him in the office beside Magnus’ and Alec wasted no time opening the door to hunt down the errant warlock.

Alec’s boots could be heard stomping through the hallway of the club and all he could think was good. He hoped Magnus could hear him before he busted into what the annoying warlock affectionately referred to as the “trouble room”.

Magnus was presiding over four Shadowhunters in various states of undress. He had them sitting on the floor with their backs against the wall. The warlock was seated in a chair with a drink in his hand looking at the lot of them with fierce disapproval. He wore a red silk shirt open at the neck and black skinny jeans with a pair of sleek black boots. His usual gold necklaces hung about his neck, and Alec was happy to see the protection charm from the institute on his wrist. Izzy, Alec, Jace, and everyone had gotten together with Cat during Christmas to have it made. It was gold and had a gem that Magnus could change the color of at will without interfering with the magic. The protection charm had been Alec’s idea, the bracelet was all Izzy. Magnus was back to red tipped spikes for his hair, and some sort of fire like shimmer around his eyes, and the usual amount of glitter everywhere else. He perked up at Alec’s entrance. “Ah my favorite Shadowhunter. Please see to your riff raff.”

“We didn’t do anything wrong!.” Said one of the, and upon closer inspection Alec wanted to sigh, boys sitting on the floor. The idiots were still in the Academy. Aelc ignored Magnus for the moment, knowing it would irritate the man, but taking stock of the kids on the floor. The one on the far end was trying to hide his face. Ah he was a Branwell. One of Lydia’s cousins. The boys parents would be livid. They may not have done anything wrong in the club per se, but they were not meant to be in a New York night club period. A Downworld club was even more off limits.

He looked over them, grabbed a couple of their arms and turned them over, he wanted to see if they’d activated any of their runes. Sure enough, two of them had stealth runes activated, and one of them had a stamina rune active. Well Magnus wouldn’t be getting in trouble tonight. Activated runes were considered hostile actions and gave Magnus the right to defend his club.

Alec turned his attention to Magnus who was at the moment fit to be tied. “What have I told you about overreacting to Shadowhunter’s in your domain?” Alec said gruffly, they really were just kids. Magnus could have slapped their hands and kicked them out.

“These idiots were going to get themselves killed, I didn’t want a diplomatic incident on my hands. If I’m not mistaken the half pint on the end is a Branwell.” The boy bristled but wisely kept his mouth shut. Magnus waved a hand over his drink so it looked like liquid fire in his glass. “Like I need the Clave anywhere near my club.” He mumbled.

“Magnus, just call me next time before you corral the youth. Novel idea though it may be, I can handle a group of trainees.” He squeezed Magnus' shoulder to soothe the tension from the warlock, and he sighed but pushed back into Alec’s hand.

Then sparked up again, poking him in the chest with one of his ringed fingers as he snarked, “Anyway, what are your children doing in my club in the first place? Doesn’t your academy have wards for this kind of nonsense. Seriously Alexander.”

“Seriously.” Alec mocked Magnus’ high tone just to watch his face turn thunderous. “It’s a wonder this place still has functioning walls, what with all the tantrums you throw in it.”

“Tantrums! Tantrums! Alexander,” Magnus snarled. “I’m going show you just how well these walls function when I hit you with one of them as I throw you across the room, if you do not get these children out of my presence.”

Alec laughed, a full blown boisterous laugh and watched the anger drain out of Magnus to be replaced with a sort of fond exasperation. “Sir yes sir.” Alec said between chuckles, grabbing Magnus’ glass and taking a sip. 

Magnus gave a scandalized gasp. “Aren’t you working, Mr. Head of the Institute.”

Alec groaned. “No I’m technically off duty. Except when tetchy warlocks call, I appear as if by magic. On duty or not.”

 Magnus rolled his eyes and waved a hand towards the kids. Releasing them from whatever spell he’d been using to bind them. “Whatever Lightwood, be gone the lot of you.”

“I’ll portal them back, but you have to come with me.”

“This is the seventh time in the past four months Alexander. Mind explaining to me why I need to be there to watch you fill out paperwork?” Magnus said doing his best imitation of grumpy cat.

Alec snorted, “If you think I’m not going to make you suffer while I fill out paperwork for your illegal use of magic on Shadowhunters, you must be mistaking me with Izzy. And, if I have to listen to those idiots whine because you couldn’t just kick them out of the club like regular idiots, then so do you.”

“Oh for the, save your threats for someone who doesn’t know you actually enjoy the paperwork and after suffering Jace your whole life, those boys whining is like white noise.”

Alec almost laughed again, but refused to give Magnus the satisfaction of laughing at anything he said. “You have no room to talk, like you don’t actually enjoy visiting the institute.”

“I think if we’re going to start down this road, we’re never getting out of this room with these infants. So shut up and walk faster, that direction.” Magnus pointed to the door.

Alec jerked the boys up from the floor and herded them towards the office with the portal. Magnus shooting him a satisfied smile that Alec chose to ignore. It drove him crazy, but he just rolled his eyes in response.

Alec refused to acknowledge just how much of an affect Magnus had on him. He’d been ignoring it for years. Magnus was charismatic, gorgeous, and just this side of too much. Alec knew the minute he allowed himself to walk down that path, he might never come back. So Magnus was off limits. Period.

Back in the portal room with everyone he pushed them all in the direction of his office. Magnus waved at those he knew and smiled graciously at the ones he didn’t. Maintaining the friendly High Warlock persona was important for political reasons. 

They reached Alec’s office without further commentary. He got the boys names from them and sure enough the little scrappy one was a Branwell. He didn’t start begging for Alec not to tell his parents, which Alec had to respect. He gave them each a pen and paper so they could write out their defense, and sent them off to rooms for guests. Alec sighed in relief at seeing the backs of them, and motioned for Magnus to take a seat in front of his desk. Magnus blinked at him, but followed his direction.

“Thanks, I guess.” He said as he rearranged himself to his liking. “Again.”

Alec grunted. “Stop using magic on Shadowhunters. How hard is that?”

Magnus bristled. “Oh come on! They shouldn’t be in my club with their nonsense in the first place. I’ve made the rules very clear. In writing. In magic. How many times am I going to have to knock their heads around to get them to understand I will not tolerate nasty business under my roof?” Magnus sat in a tightly controlled posture. “Never mind that there are hundreds of clubs in the godddamn city, that they pick mine is just pure spite.”

“It’s you Magnus,” Alec said softly. “You’re a beacon for trouble. Hush” Alec held up his hand to stop him from interrupting. “I’m not blaming you for the Shadowhunter’s they damn well know better, but you run a club for downworlders and you can’t tell me they don’t do shady shit under your roof. I know they do. So you get trouble as a by product.”

“I guess that’s why I even have the trouble room in the first place. I’m tired Alexander.” Magnus said as he sank into Alec’s chair. His shirt falling open even further, the relaxed pose putting him on display. Tension began to build in the back of Alec’s neck and he had to tilt his head so he wasn’t looking at Magnus. A part of him had always wondered, but the rational part of him shut down that line of reasoning before it could start. The man was an unapologetic flirt, and Alec just shifted his gaze so he wouldn’t feel the temptation. Magnus was the definition of trouble, club or no club.

Alec pinched the bridge of his nose. “I don’t know why I bother to be honest, I should just let the riff raff tear down the walls.”

“Because you get just as much use out of my club as I do, Shadowhunter.”

“Yeah well doesn’t mean either of us have to like it.”

Magnus rolled his eyes, but his mouth twitched. “Oh cheer up puppy, your babies are safe and will live to fight another day, and you got to see me for an hour.”

“Shut up Magnus. Where’s Raphael by the way, he’s been really good about keeping you occupied lately so shit like this doesn’t happen?” 

Magnus turned completely grumpy. “He’s in Italy seeing to an old friend, the fiend.”

“Is that why you were even at the club on a Sunday night, interfering like you probably shouldn’t have been?”

“Christ Shadowhunter, I am not a child. I was working on some of my new wards, not that it’s any of your concern, and the club is always a good place to try them out. It’s not my fault your little infants wandered in looking to start trouble.”

“Whatever Magnus. It was my night off. I’d like to get back to it.”

Magnus grinned like a shark. “Like you were doing anything important.”

Alec glared at him before putting his hand on his desk where his tablet would be, noticing it was gone. Damn he’d left it in opps again before chasing after Magnus. “Some of us were doing normal life stuff not prancing…”

“Ha my ass, you were working. Night off is not a concept you can comprehend. Sadly. All this stress is going to give you wrinkles Alexander.” 

“Like I care.” A light dawned and Alec looked at Magnus appraisingly. Hmmm he though. “Regardless, you owe me,” Alec said, ignoring Magnus’ crack about wrinkles. The glimmer of an idea beginning to form and glee building inside him.

Magnus gave a huffy sigh, Alec wanted something. “You big baby.”

“You forced me to abandon what I was doing in opps. I could have been in my room right now relaxing, and you could be at home! You owe me!” Alec announced with pure exaggeration.

Magnus rolled his eyes, hard, but Alec could see the hint of a smile. “Oh my god, fine. What?”

Alec did not let the smug grin cross his face, Magnus would surely pick up on it and tell him to fuck off. He just collapsed back in his chair and pointedly glared at Magnus. “Go get my tablet out of the command center.” Hello minion he thought, hiding an evil grin was hard, but he managed. Making the High Warlock fetch was a well deserved punishment.

Magnus looked incredulous. “You are not serious right now.” He protested. “That’s like a four foot walk from  the front of your damn office. It would take you less than five minutes to walk there and back. Come on!”

Alec ignored him, and just looked down at his desk. Dismissing Magnus. Magnus was the one who had taught him how to do this. He’d been present during a clave meeting and pulled Alec aside afterward to give him some manipulation pointers. They were serving him well. 

Magnus rolled his eyes again and muttered under his breath all the way out of the door. “This is the thanks I get for not incinerating little baby Shadowhunters. Well just wait until next time. Crispy little nuggets of charcoal. I’m going to deposit them right on his stupid desk. Such an overgrown baby”

Alec did his best to hold his laughter in until Magnus slammed the door shut. He’d have to admonish him for that, wouldn’t want anyone to think the High warlock was grumpy. And thanking every Angel he knew that he wouldn’t have to see Raj again. Alec scrolled through his email on his office PC and smiled at a message from Izzy. He shot off an email to Lydia about her erstwhile cousin.

He was about half way through the paperwork on tonight’s incident before he started to wonder what in the hell was taking Magnus so damn long. Just as he was about to stand and have a look, Magnus breezed through the door with a wicked look on his face. Dropping Alec’s tablet on his desk, he collapsed in one of the chairs and began to laugh hysterically. Alec didn’t want to know, he really didn’t, but he knew Magnus wouldn’t be able to help himself so he sat back to wait.

Sure enough, after wiping away tears, he asked with a grin “Why the hell does Raj think we’re dating?”

Alec gaped. Then he gaped some more. “What?” He glared. “I just told him I had a boyfriend so he’d stop touching me. I never said who…” Alec trailed off as the last few seconds of his conversation with Raj replayed in his mind, then he dropped his head on his desk. “Damnit, that was not what I meant.”

Magnus started laughing all over again. “Poor Alec. But hey it’s okay, you valiantly rescued the Shadowhunter babies and I saved you from someone under your command. But if you ask me to fetch for you again like I’m some sort of gopher, I will fry you. Also, your tablet is dead.”

“Damnit, it wasn’t before I had to come rescue you.” Alec grouched. Not that charging it was a big deal, it was just one more inconvenience after a night full of them.

“You did not save me. There was no saving.” Magnus snapped.

“Fine next time you handle the Clave representative that will show up in my place. And you can do it without my interference. No saving my ass.” He said with a sneer.

Magnus didn’t bother to reply to that. “Whatever, I left Raj thinking you were happily seeing the most glamorous warlock in town. Raj is utterly convinced that you are deeply attached to my wonderful self, and that I was somehow blinded by your….something. However, you owe me one warlock to Shadowhunter favor without bitching. And I mean it. Not a word.”

“Ugh,” Alec grumbled, and waved a hand at Magnus. “Get out.” He’d deal with Raj later.

Magnus’ laugh trailed behind him as he left. He was already out of the office when Alec saw the glitter. Literally everywhere. On the chair, on his desk, on his tablet. Damn the man, he was going to be giving sparkle meetings for a week. Didn’t that just figure.

**

Because the universe wasn’t fair and because he had no luck to speak of, Raj ambushed him the next day.

The mess hall was his favorite place to be in the institute, well maybe it was second to his love for his bedroom. It was the one place in the institute that everyone seemed to respect. They didn’t bother him. He got his food, he sat down, he ate his food, and everyone left him the hell alone. But not today.

Alec’s glower matched his mood because looking up from his grilled chicken to see Raj standing by his table made him want to go hide in his room. He did not need this now. Today. Ever. Damnit. His face was bright with curiosity. Thankfully before he could say anything Underhill sat down at the table and gave him a sern nod. “Have you seen the inventory reports yet sir?”

Alec nodded and waved a hand over his tablet. Beyond grateful that at least someone under his command was aware that he didn’t want to be bothered with personal questions in public. “They arrived this morning. Trouble with the figures Underhill?”

“Not at all sir. We’re going to need to talk to Magnus later today though.” Well damn. And double damn. Raj hadn’t spread it around the entire institute yet. If he had Underhill wouldn’t have brought up Magnus’ name. But the twinkle in Underhill’s eyes as he looked up disabused him of that notion. Alec glared, and Andrew covered his mouth to hide a laugh. 

At that Alec was sure the universe was out to get him. Sabotaged. Everyone around him was a saboteur. They were all getting fired. Like soon. Raj piped up. “Oh yeah, I talked to your boyfriend yesterday. He’s nice.”

Alec looked at Raj incredulously. Magnus had choke slammed him into a wall. He’d been trying to save Alec’s life at the time, but still. Alec could think of about 40 different adjectives to describe Magnus Bane, and none of them were anywhere in the vicinity of nice. Magnus was intense. He was lightning in a bottle. The man was not nice. Even if he could be sweet, and he loved his cat more than life, and he took care of the warlock children, and shit. Alec shook his head. He needed to stop fucking thinking about Magnus Bane.

For some reason Raj just got on every last one of his nerves with his comment, and he felt the need to make a point. “He’s the High Warlock of Brooklyn.” Alec said with his are you stupid tone.

“Yeah he’s pretty colorful,” Raj said completely unsure of what he’d done, but picking up on something. Finally. “Um had nothing but amazing things to say about you. It was really great of him to grab your tablet for you while you were busy with the kids.”

Alec just grunted and hoped Raj would take the hint. He was over it. Underhill still had his hand over his mouth to keep himself from bursting into laughter. Alec sighed. He just had to finish eating his damn chicken and then he could escape this madness. Raj took the hint finally and walked away.

“So you and Magnus huh.” Underhill said with a smirk.

“By the Angel don’t even start.” Alec groaned.

“You want me to talk to Raj? Tell him to back off.” Underhill popped a grape in his mouth and Alec could tell he was trying his best not to outright laugh at his commander. 

Alec was resigned to the cluster that was this situation, so he said, “If you think it would actually work, by all means.” Alec watched Underhill get up and walk away and Alec grabbed his tray so he could deposit them both near the trash cans. He made his way to the lab area with a little bit of resignation. Izzy was on vacation with that ridiculous mundane, and Alec was making sure her paperwork didn’t get behind and just basically covering for her while she was gone. He missed the hell out of her, but he wasn’t going to complain about the quiet he was enjoying in her absence.

Opening up the lab door he sidestepped her somewhat gruesome assistant. Dropping his tablet on her desk he stretched preparing to sit and get to work. It was quiet in Izzy’s lab and he was thankful her team could manage without her because he had literally no idea what they were working on. A couple of the Shadowhunter’s raised their brow at his presence, but otherwise they just ignored him.

Pulling Izzy’s chocolate out of her top drawer, he glared fiercely at the nosy ones around him. He’d just unwrapped one of the little dove pieces when he felt a buzz just under his skin. Then a loud fierce exclamation, “You have got to be kidding me, you ridiculous tattooed imbeciles! I set these wards last week!”

Alec sighed, and said a quick prayer to the angel that he could ignore it, but he was the head of the institute. He was too well trained to hide from his problems. When in relation to the institute anyway, even if the distress in this case was a high strung warlock. What was he even doing here anyway? Alec didn’t remember signing off on any new ward strengthening paperwork.

Abandoning his tablet on Izzy’s desk, annoyed he’d been knocked out of paperwork mode, he stood up to make his way into the main area of the lab to see what had gotten Magnus so twisted up. Magnus was muttering and waving his arms about dramatically, but Alec could see the cool blue smoke drifting around the doors to the magically sealed chambers in the lab. One of Izzy’s assistants was standing next to him and Magnus was having none of whatever she was saying. The girl was wringing her hands and near to tears. “I don’t care if you were sure you locked the doors, I don’t care if you weren’t the one responsible for allowing your idiotic bretheren from fighting in this room like a bunch of gorillas. I wouldn’t be here if you hadn’t”

Alec interrupted him before the girl burst into tears. “Magnus stop harassing the staff. I would have thought any contractually obligated visits to the Institute would have come with a warning to myself as I’m the head of it. Since that’s clearly not the case, you were going to let this slide, bitching about it the whole time of course.” Alec watched the assistant, hell if he could remember her name, clue into the fact that Magnus was going to cover for them. Her face went from panic to a soft gentle kind of reverence when she looked at the warlock and Alec had to stifle a sigh of exasperation. How the hell Magnus inspired that kind of loyalty he would never understand. Well that was kind of a lie. Magnus was loyal almost to a fault and he...Alec cut his Magnus musings off. He really needed to stop it. He waved her out of the room.

“Of course you’re here, plaguing the lab with your presence Alexander?”

Alec snorted, “No more than you are apparently. I’m doing Izzy’s paperwork, what’s your excuse?”

Magnus shrugged, “Covering for one of Izzy’s hapless lab assistants. She really likes the girl, and I hate for her to get reassigned because one of your field guys broke her experiment and the wards while he was screwing around in here last night.”

Alec rolled his eyes and walked over to the panel by the windows and swiped his access card. He pressed a couple of buttons and the glass surrounding them shrouded over. “Honestly Magnus, if you’d wanted to be subtle, there are more progressive ways to go about it. What’s going on with your wards?”

“Be a good boyfriend and mind your own business.” Magnus said with a snap.

Alec glared and walked over to Magnus’ side getting a closer look at the warlock. He looked exhausted, his hair was just slightly droopy and he was only wearing the smallest amount of eyeliner. “You’re hiding something from me.” He said as he brought his hand up to squeeze Magnus’ neck. 

Magnus scoffed, “Of course I am. You’re a Shadowhunter and I’m a warlock, I’m hardly going to tell you everything. Stop being such a nosy boyfriend.” He said all of this from a deep well of exhaustion. A practiced response as he pushed his weight into Alec. Magnus was exhausted. More even that Alec had suspected. He carried on with their normal banter, but he was worried.

“I will remind you that you are in the Institute and I have weapons in every conceivable location that I would be happy to test out on your hide.” Alec narrowed his eyes when Magnus tried to shift into I’m just an innocent warlock mode. “Don’t even try it.”

Magnus huffed but turned his back on Alec so his hand dropped from Magnus’ neck, and Magnus snapped his fingers again to pull up his magic. “So how’s Raj? Has he tried to put his hands in your pants? Is Underhill protecting you?”

How Magnus was even aware of Underhill and his actions made Alec twitch. He knew Magnus didn’t have the place bugged, he just knew people really well, but it still made Alec want to look over his shoulder. Annoyed he just said “Yeah he’s going to talk to him.”

“Poor Alec,” Magnus said absently as he moved his hands in circular motions his magic floating around him like a cloud. 

Alec could tell Magnus was barely paying attention to the conversation he’d slipped into his magic, his attention fully absorbed. “He said you were nice, Clearly he’s been hit on the head by too many demons. I may need to remove him from the patrol rotation.”

At that Magnus’ attention got sharper, “Nice. I am amazing, I am spectacular and a brilliant boyfriend, in fact my presence in your life is solid proof that you can make intelligent decisions. Hmm, theoretically speaking…”

“Damnit Magnus, I hate those words coming out of your mouth.” Alec groaned.

“Theoretically speaking,” Magnus interjected, “if I were to tell you a delegation from a coven in Egypt were contemplating a visit in the next month…”

“I would say Raj might need to be present….” Alec cut in and crossed his arms over his chest. Trust Magnus to provide the world’s best punishment. Egyptian vampires were in a class all their own, but they would certainly put Raj in his place. Also he really could use the experience. Win win really. 

Magnus rolled his eyes at Alec’s appreciative humm, and went back to his magic. Alec did not miss the way he stumbled. Alec could smell the sandalwood scent of Magnus’ soap and see the cat hair on the man’s clothes. He wrinkled his nose and took a closer look, there were wrinkles in the jacket. Wrinkles. Something was wrong. And Alec knew from experience point blank asking the man would get him nowhere. In fact it was probably best to just let Magnus come to him. 

So he wondered back into Izzy’s office and picked up his tablet so he could finish the reports he started. While he was at it he updated Magnus’ paperwork as well. The warlock would hardly mind, he usually just waved his hand and let his magic do the work, but he looked exhausted. Alec scowled at the lab staff as they wandered around checking up on things, and made a note on his calendar to have Izzy call Magnus just in case this business wasn’t solved before she returned. If it was they could go shopping or something. He returned to Magnus’ side and pulled the man’s phone from his pocket. Setting an alarm so he wouldn’t get too far into his head and pass out from exhaustion. Adding a note that the paperwork was done. He slipped the phone back in Magnus’ pocket and the warlock didn’t even stir. Something about that made a warmth bloom in Alec’s chest.

He fiddled with a few other things in the room, placing a chair beside Magnus for when he inevitably got tired, and sat down himself to continue the paperwork on his tablet. Magnus looked up after a bit, saw the chair and sat down.

“Thanks,” Magnus said. “I apologize for snapping at the girl earlier. It’s just been a really shitty day all things considered. Like you’d think demons and warlocks and all the shadow world nonsense that we deal with on a regular basis would make simple things like apartment fires easier to deal with. But going through all of your things looking for salvageable items and the like is just really wearing.”

Ah that would explain it. Apartment fire. “Is the cat okay, and why couldn’t you just magic it back in place?”

“All the cats are fine.” Magnus said with a smile that quickly turned to a frown. “And if I knew every nuance of every nook and cranny of my apartment, perhaps. But I have books from 200 years ago that I don’t remember, and I would have to remember it to restore it.”

Alec felt a prickle of alarm along his spine. “Was it an accident? Do we need to look into it?”

Magnus shook his head, “No worries darling, I checked and Cat did too. I have wards for fire, but they were not broken just faded. I either missed it when I went over them, or I put it up wrong in the first place. The entire building is something of a hazard zone at the moment.”

“You staying with Cat?”

“No, I can’t actually.” Magnus said with a bit of a gloomy look. “She’s out of town as we speak, and her house is infested with a spell gone wrong. She’s actually staying at Raphael’s, which I absolutely refuse to do. No matter what he does that place still reeks of Camille. If I wind up at some grungy motel because of all this ridiculousness, there will be a hex party. You are cordially not invited.”

Alec snorted and looked down at his tablet. “Poor Magnus.” But Magnus was already muttering to himself over his wards. Speaking to him now would be useless as his magic just absorbed his attention. Giving up entirely on getting any more work done, Alec just sat and read a book on his tablet, making sure Magnus didn’t collapse in a heap.

After a few minutes, Magnus did take the chair again and Alec gave a small smile. He went and grabbed a couple of bottles of water, checked on opps, and gave Izzy’s staff very pointed get to work looks. He dropped the bottle of water by Magnus, poked him in the shoulder and told him to drink, grabbed his tablet again and decided he should really go back to his office. “Have fun at the motel” he said on the way out of the room.

Magnus didn’t even look up, he was so caught up in his magic.

About an hour later he got a text on his phone with. “Thank you darling!”

Alec texted back a money emoji, to which Magnus replied with a barfing emoji and Alec just laughed.

~~**~~

Alec had just gotten comfortable in bed, his hand resting on his stomach as he contemplated whether or not he wanted to slip his hand under the waist of his shorts and relieve a little stress, when he heard the tell tell woosh of a portal. Sighing, Alec rolled out of bed and padded over to the seating area in his room, Magnus was crouched on the floor smoke hanging around his clothes. Alec scrambled closer and put a hand on Magnus’ wrist to check his pulse.

Alec reached for him to catch him before he fell over, but Magnus seemed to be unmoored and simply fell into his arms. “Magnus what the hell happened.” The warlock was breathing deeply into Alec’s neck, almost as if he were trying to replace the scent in his nose with Alec’s own. “Magnus.” Alec said more forcefully, placing his hand on Magnus’ neck to try and pull him back. Magnus just shrank down a little more into Alec’s space, looking for protection and Alec couldn’t help wrapping his arms around him and pulling him closer. “Demon.” He said softly into Alec’s bare chest. Shit thought Alec. Regular demons didn’t shake Magnus up like this. 

“Alec there’s a demon at the fucking hotel. The place isn’t warded, so I was asleep. He got in my dreams, and I just.”

Alec yanked Magnus to his feet and pulled him into the bedroom slamming the door shut behind them and locking it. Needing the security of a locked door despite not being in any danger. He turned Magnus around to face him. “Was it physically present at the hotel, or did it just use the fact that the place isn’t warded to get to you?”

Magnus didn’t even look around Alec’s room to make a snarky remark about how sparsely the place was decorated. Without fail Magnus always said something about the lack of pillows. Not that he spent a lot of time in Alec’s room, but Every. Single. Time. he would say something. Magnus was beyond distracted. “It was definitely on premise. I’ve….I’m mostly drained from everything, I should have known better. I should have just stayed at Raphael’s, but I can’t sleep there.” 

Magnus was deep in self recrimination mode. Alec put his fingers on Magnus’ lips to quiet him. Magnus just looked up and glared, but Alec needed information. “What kind of demon was it Magnus?” Then removed his fingers slowly, noting that Magnus’ lips were free of his usual gloss and were very soft. He dismissed the observation. “Did you spot anymore or just the one?”

“Just the one. It’s an abyss demon. I could barely get the portal done, christ we should just take care of it in the morning.” Magnus tilted his head back and put his own hand on his neck. Alec noticed Magnus was in his pajamas, and they were ripped all to hell. Black silk pants with a tank top top that was all but falling off of him.

“You mean wait for it to move on to someone else.” Alec interrupted. “If it’s an Abyss demon it’s looking for food to carry back home. It’s going to wind up killing someone. I need to send a team out to take care of it.”

As expected Magnus frowned at him. “Give me a few minutes, I’m sure I can...”

“You’re not going anywhere Magnus, get in the bed.” Magnus dug his heels in when Alec gently pushed him towards the bed. ‘The only place you’re going is to sleep.” Alec demanded, not even letting Magnus start.

“Alexander, I am the one the demon came after.” He said as he crossed his arms. Alec rolled his eyes. Magnus was about as intimidating as a wet cat when he was free of makeup, hair flattened, and clothes not impeccably in place. Alec just nudged him towards the bed again. Magnus jerked away from him and glared. Alec’s patience was used up and he let his own temper fill him. 

“So are you ready to tell me then.” Alec asked harshly.

Magnus blinked. Then he huffed. “I don’t...”

“Do not lie to me.” Alec said with a snarl. “You know damn well I know.”

Magnus shuffled backwards just the slightest bit.  “Fine. but it’s my problem, the demon is powerful. No one is going to get hurt tonight. He has specific instructions.”

“And you thought it was a good idea to lure him out when you were running on fumes.” Alec pulled one of his shirts from his dresser and a pair of sweats, and threw them both at Magnus. They weren’t silk, but he’d worn them before when shit got dangerous and his clothes had been shredded.

Magnus was sputtering. “I didn’t know it was going to be an Abyss demon Alexander.”

“It doesn’t matter Magnus. You should have fucking told me Asmodeus put a bounty on you. I can’t resolve the damn contract, but I could have sent Shadowhunters to the hotel to kill the damn thing.” Alec turned his back to Magnus as Magnus stripped out of his smokey clothes. Alec was pulling on his own pair of sweats because he was going to have to head to opps and inform them about the demon.

Magnus grumbled at him, but otherwise kept his mouth shut. “I need a shower, I smell.”

Alec rolled his eyes. “You know where everything is, I’m going to opps to get a team together. You stay here and get some sleep, you look like hell.” Magnus glowered, but chose to ignore him and stomped off towards the bathroom. 

Alec walked barefoot down to Opps and pulled Underhill aside explaining the situation to him as succinctly as possible. Underhill listened intently and shared Alec’s glower. “He okay?”

“Yeah he’s going to stay here tonight. We’ll sort out what to do with him in the morning.”

“What was he doing with the wards in the lab earlier?”

“Best guess, he has something that Asmodeus wants and it’s in the institute. Either Izzy is watching it for him, or this is the only safe place he could stash it after his apartment burned.”

“And he’s not saying one way or another.”

“Plausible deniability. He’s big on that. I have a meeting with Cat and Raphael tomorrow. I’ll let you know what I turn up.”

“Ah just so you know, your mother called.”

“Of course she did.” Alec groaned. He shook his head and shared a sardonic look with Underhill before clapping the man on the shoulder and heading towards the kitchen. Magnus shared far more in common with his cats than most knew. Alec warmed up a mug of milk and grabbed a cinnamon roll since they were sitting there. He made his way over to the library to pick up a book that he’d seen Magnus eyeing a few times, and made his way back to his room.

He walked into the room to see Magnus standing at the foot of his bed playing on his phone. “I said get in the bed Magnus.” Alec dropped the book on the nightstand, sat the mug and pastry beside it. Magnus was still procrastinating, lord only knew why, so Alec pulled him over to the bed and pointed using his best “mind me I’m the leader” look.

Magnus huffed a laugh and crawled into the bed. “I want you to know the only reason I’m agreeing to this is because we swapped your mattress out last year for a far more comfortable version.”

“Yeah yeah, just get in and stop causing trouble.” Alec made sure Magnus was going to listen before he stepped away to head back to his sitting area.

“Where are you going?” Magnus asked in a small almost scared voice. And that more than anything made Alec want to put his fist through the wall. Magnus didn’t have to let shit get this bad before he came to him. Fucking stubborn warlock.

Alec paused but didn’t look back. “Not far, I’m just going to oversee the opp.” He heard Magnus say okay, and Alec continued on to his desk. The team Underhill had selected would be ready to go within the hour. Magnus hadn’t specifically asked him not to leave, and he hadn’t told him how long he’d stay at his desk. He listened closely for the sounds of Magnus’ even breaths. Warm milk would always knock him out. Izzy claimed it was the comfort factor. Alec still swore Magnus was half cat.

He pulled his boots on, and grabbed his gear. Slipping into the hallway he started running his stele over his runes activating them. Abyss demons were a bitch to fight because they were fast and with as dark as it was outside they would need every advantage they could get. Abyss demons were the pets of greater demons for a reason, they were just one tier below a hellhound. They could track anything, and kill it when they found it. Alec didn’t know what game Magnus was playing with Edom right now, and he wasn’t sure he wanted to know, but he’d be damned if he was going to let anyone set an Abyss demon lose in his town.

Half an hour later, he and four other Shadowhunters had the demon surrounded. Alec notched an arrow and let it fly, barely side stepping the black ball of energy the thing shot back at him. He watched as his team circled the trapped demon, and suppressed a shudder as the thing lunged and knocked all of them down.Alec pulled his blade and jumped on the shoulders of the large beast and jammed his blade into the things back. He slammed the demon up against the hotel wall and grit his teeth. 

The demon hissed and swung around, slamming Alec’s back into the wall and using the leverage to throw him to the  ground. The demon brought its foot down on Alec's stomach and he could feel something inside tear, coughing up blood, he rolled away. The demon grabbed him by the throat and shook, but Alec managed to get his hands around the things claws and break the hold. Falling to the ground he shoved himself back looking for cover. The other Shadowhunters were coming in as a distraction and Alec used it to his advantage, slinking through the shadows to get behind him. Slipping up closer he swung his sword to cut the things knees trying to immobilize it. He hadn’t counted on the thing stumbling back almost on top of him, pouring ichor all down Alec’s front as one of the others shoved a blade all the way through the demon’s thick hide.

Alec spit out more blood and tried to shove the thing off of him, when it suddenly got a second wind and shoved one of its claws into his shoulder. Alec screamed. Hot breath over his face, demon saliva in his eyes, and pain ricocheting through his body, Alec still managed to flip his blade around and shove it up into the demon’s stomach. 

The demon disintegrated and Alec breathed a sigh of relief. His team came over offering looks of utter sympathy at how banged up he was, but they helped him with the healing runes so he wasn’t too annoyed with them. All in all the fight had taken less than an hour, and they were back in the institute well before the sun rose. Alec dropped his gear and made his way to his room, practically salivating at the thought of a shower. But, when he opened his door it was to be met with a pissed off Magnus Bane. A pissed off half naked Magnus Bane, and Alec felt it in the pit of his stomach.

Damn. The adrenaline from the fight was coursing through him, and he had to resist, everything in him wanted to push Magnus back onto the bed and crawl on top of him and burn through some of the tension in his body. Fuck. Ignoring Magnus was a whole hell of a lot more difficult when the man was in his space. The faint hint of sandalwood hit his nose and Alec got hard. He was already half there, but that pushed him over the edge. He needed to get into his bathroom now.

“You are such a hypocrite! You asshole.” Magnus shouted at him. Alec felt that in his dick too. What the hell. He was not a 16 year old hormone driven child. He damn well knew how to control himself.

Alec was sore and achy, even with the healing runes, and he just flat out didn’t want to deal with Magnus in hysterics or his own desire for the man. So he ignored him and went straight for the bathroom door. The smell of Magnus’ magic crackling brought him to a dead stop.

Magnus had slipped out of Alec’s bed and was stalking toward him with a gleam in his eyes that Alec could hardly ignore. He knew. He’d always known how Alec felt. They both knew, they were just mature enough to quietly not mention it or act on it. Magnus was pissed though. And when he was pissed, he had a hard time holding onto his polite veneer. “You were not meant to be part of the team that hunted the demon Alexander.”

Alec shrugged, when Magnus was like this it was best not to engage. “I need a shower.”

Magnus glared, then raised his brow, his magic snapped crackling along Alec’s sore muscles. “Your mother came in. Honestly you’re a grown man, she should learn to knock on your door you know.”

Alec looked at Magnus with horror. “Damnit Magnus, what did you say.”

“What do you think I told her darling. You weren’t supposed to leave, but you did, so it serves you right. Go shower you smell vile.” Magnus said acidly as he flounced back around and stomped across the room to get back in bed. Alec sighed. It was one thing for Raj to think he was dating Magnus, it was an entirely separate thing for his mother to think that. Knowing he would have to deal with this as soon as he got out of the shower, and steeling himself against whatever the hell  Magnus had gotten himself mixed up in, Alec stepped into the bathroom and stripped.

Chapter Text

Stepping into the shower he turned the handle to as hot as he could possibly stand it, hoping it would relieve some of the ache in his bones. The fight hadn’t been hard and his iratze’s had healed him, but they never quite relieved all of the tension from the wounds. His mother. Jesus Magnus knew how to drive in the nails. She would be informed of his arrival back to the institute, so he had less than 30 minutes before she popped in again in all of her fury, so he stepped out of the shower sooner than he would have liked. Dressing himself in sweats, he grabbed his gear from the floor and went back into the bedroom. Magnus was bitching about something or other, but Alec ignored him and carried everything to the adjoining room. He tossed his gear on his desk and moved over to his bureau where his coffee machine sat. 

Magnus followed him.

Alec switched on the coffee maker and pressed the button to start the brew. If Magnus wasn’t so annoyed he would have asked him for the fancy stuff that only Magnus knew how to find, but knowing the warlock he’d give it to him and make sure it was stone cold so he couldn’t enjoy it, or turn it neon green so he wouldn’t want to drink it even if it tasted fine.

Magnus yawned and Alec poured two cups pushing one into Magnus’ hand. He could handle the sugar and cream on his own. Alec made his way over to the couch, Magnus trailing behind him like a sleepy kitten, and sat down on the couch. The quiet darkness of his office settled around him, and Magnus sat beside him sipping his coffee.

“Why is your office always so gloomy, you should really add some color Alexander.” Magnus said as he pulled the couch blanket over both of them. “You work in a church with stained glass windows, I know you know what color is.” He said with a huff and pulled his feet up only to shove his toes under Alec’s thigh.

Alec stared at it pointedly, and Magnus just shrugged completely unbothered. “I put my feet where I like. My hands too, so be careful or I’ll put them on you.”

Alec froze, and felt tension he was about sick of tighten his muscles. Damnit Magnus. No. He wasn’t doing this again. He’d pushed it down before, and he would damn well do it again. This was ridiculous. He was a grown man who could control himself, no matter how many times he had to remind himself of that fact. Snorting at Magnus’ innuendo, he said “Thanks but no thanks.”

Magnus’ eyes went wide, then narrowed in warning. “In your dreams Shadowhunter.”

“Yeah like I get any sleep or any opportunity to dream.” Alec settled back into the couch and pulled the blanket just a bit further over him. 

“And who’s fault is that.” Magnus said snappishly as he looked down at his coffee.

Alec finished his coffee with a large gulp and put his cup on the table by the couch, then he settled back and closed his eyes. He really just wanted to go crawl into his bed, Magnus wasn’t kidding about the mattress earlier. They’d all done a fantastic job picking it out, it was like sleeping on a cloud, and the damn thing was calling to him. He could feel Magnus as he settled beside him, and the warlock drifted easily into a light sleep. Alec could still feel the lingering traces of the demon’s claw in his body. It was like that sometimes, phantom feelings of aches and pains. It usually depended on the demon and its power.

Alec wrinkled his nose, he was going to have to shake whatever Magnus was hiding out of him. But, until that time he tried to distract himself with the warmth from his blanket, the familiar scent of coffee, and the electric feel of Magnus magic as it floated around the room. Doing whatever it was he was doing. Angel only knew, he’d probably wake up with pink walls. As a warmth filled his chest he sighed, or a completely healed wound. 

He looked over at Magnus and couldn’t keep the soft look off of his face. Luckily Magnus was asleep and couldn’t tease him for it. To be fair, the warlock was always respectful of Alec’s problem. He’d never actually made any commentary or pushed Alec in any way about how he reacted to Magnus. Alec couldn’t deny that he was a little bit grateful for it because he’d seen what Magnus was capable of, and the man could have crushed him under his incredibly stylish boot heel. Instead he either glossed over Alec’s attraction, or was kind enough to pretend it wasn’t a thing. 

Magnus slipped just a bit further into Alec, and he noticed a small burn on the Warlock’s neck. Really, if he hadn’t told him what was going on by the afternoon, Alec was definitely going to shake him. Something about everything that was going on should irritate him more, or drive him to find answers, but he couldn’t shake off the pleasant weight of sleep and Magnus dragging him under.

He snapped awake as he heard his office door open, but relaxed when he heard the clip of a heel on the floor. Alec let out a snuffle and lifted a hand to wipe the sleep from his eyes, and tried to sit up but realized abruptly that something was on him….someone specifically. Not even bothering to wonder how he and Magnus had shifted so much, he maneuvered until he managed to roll to the floor, leaving Magnus to make little kitten mews and mutter in his sleep.

Standing, Alec yawned and greeted his mother, “Mom.”

“Alexander Lightwood, would you like to explain to me why I read a report that included you in the field getting mauled by an abyss demon?”

Alec sighed. “Not really no.”

“You’re the head of the institute Alec.” His mother’s severity was no less intense even at, he checked the clock, 3:30 in the morning.

“Yes?”

His mother’s expression tightened, “By the Angel Alec, you have to be more careful, you can’t just waltz into the field without a thought for your safety.” Her words belied the stern look on her face. He knew she loved him. He knew that. But if anyone judged her on her expression alone, you’d never know it.

“It needed to be done.” Alec replied, and the tension in his mother escalated. 

“What’s going on?” She snapped, noticing Magnus on the couch finally, and raising her brow. 

Alec rolled his eyes. “I think Magnus and Asmodeus are fighting, but he won’t tell me specifically what’s going on.” Alec was worried, more worried than he’d been in a long time.

Maryse looked down at Magnus, and Alec could tell she wanted to pat his hair.She never looked at him like that, not that he saw, but his mother did genuinely like to take care of people. She’d taken a liking to Magnus 2 years ago, as much as she liked anyone anyway, and had all but adopted him. 

His mother had been hell when he first came out, and it had continued to be hell for about a year. Incidentally she and Magnus had a screaming match in the institute one day, and afterwards she had stopped looking at Alec like he was some sort of abomination. He owed his current relationship with his mother to the warlock on his couch, though he didn’t know what they’d talked about, Magnus had given his mother back to him. It was probably one of the many reasons he let the man get away with so much, it had nothing to do with how he fel…..nope not going there.

Magnus seemed to realize he was being observed, because his eyes snapped open and he jerked up right. “Maryse” he said surprised.

“Magnus,” she said dryly. “Stir up the Shadow world enough for one night?”

“You know me.” He said with a completely innocent look. 

“Yes well my son is deeply invested in keeping both you and the Shadow world safe, I’d appreciate it if you quit trying to sabotage his efforts.” She said archly.

“Hey I’m not the one who told him to join the mission to take down the demon. I distinctly remember trying to get him to not go after the thing.” Magnus said offended.

“No you’re just the one who provoked it without backup, and you’re the one who won’t level with me about what the hell is going on.”

“Well at least I didn’t let myself get stabbed through the chest with one of the stupid claws.” 

Alec blinked. Magnus had healed him, he’d felt it, but how the warlock knew he’d been injured in the first place he had no idea. He hadn’t said anything. “Yeah but I didn’t confront the thing completely drained of….”

“Boys!” Mayrse cut in. “I know how fond you two are of this nonsense, but I’m tired. I just came by to let you know that Izzy is coming back today, and to make sure you’re both okay. Clearly you are both fine.” She looked between them and then folded her arms across her chest in her best mom stare she made sure she had both of their attention, “But, while I’m here and have you both, you can explain?”

Alec frowned. What would they have to tell her? Well there were the baby shadowhunters, but he assumed that she’d seen the paperwork on that. Also damnit they were trainees, not babies, he really needed to stop letting Magnus influence him so much. He looked at Magnus, who shook his head. “Mom, did you not see the paperwork?”

“Not that. Nothing to do with work.” His mom said with that careful tone that showed she was losing her patience. Alec recognized it all too well. He came by his own tone honestly. She had used that tone liberally all his life. Coupled with the eyebrow raise and he felt his body tense with that fear that only children have of their parents disapproval.

He and Magnus exchanged a blank look, and shook their heads, “I have no idea what you’re talking about mom.” He said. “I swear we aren’t hiding anything.”

His mom huffed. “No? Because I ran into Raj, and to be honest it’s all over the institute.” Alec groaned and sat back down on the couch, shoving Magnus over. He buried his face in his hands, but Magnus shoved him back like the children they apparently were. His mother just kept right on talking though. “Everyone has been asking. I have heard nothing but incessant gossip about how thrilled and or horrified I must be that my son has managed to snag the High Warlock of Brooklyn. Underhill asked me if we’d done the whole family dinner thing yet, and just how I was going to manage the working relationship with the head of the institute and the high warlock. To be honest I’m slightly furious that you thought I wouldn’t find out. Honestly Alec, Magnus was asleep in your bed when I came by the first time and only partially clothed and happy to tell me you’re dating.” His mother’s biting tone would never fail to make him wither in shame.

Magnus flinched, and Alec finally pulled his hands away from his face. “Mom, we’re not dating. Raj misunderstood something I said, Magnus is a little shit and was just messing with you. I don’t know why everyone else is making crazy assumptions, but if I were dating Magnus” he couldn’t help the way his face scrunched up, he could barely fathom the warlock seriously dating anyone much less himself. “Mom, I wouldn’t hide it from you. He’d be the most god awful boyfriend there’s no way I could hide it.”

“Could you be any more offensive you complete jackass, I’m a great boyfriend!” Magnus said with a scowl and a huff standing up from the couch. Alec didn’t let him get far though before he pulled him back onto the couch running a soothing hand down his back and throwing the blanket back over him. Magnus took it a step further and pulled the entire blanket away from Alec.

His mother made a humming noise but otherwise just gave them a look. Alec scowled, but his mother shook her head and began tapping her heel in annoyance. “And what reason would Magnus have to lie to me, have you done something else I need to know?”

“No, because Warlock’s are jerks and he’s the highest one of all?” Alec pulled the blanket away from Magnus, who was currently in a full on pout, and smacked him upside the head.

Magnus snapped his head around to glare at Alec. “I would slap you back, but that would be animal abuse.” he sniffed and crossed his arms, leaning back into the couch with a sneer on his face. “If anyone is a jerk here it’s you for joining a damn mission you had no reason to be a part of.” Magnus moved closer to him so he could get more of the blanket. It was a little bit colder in the office than normal. Alec reluctantly conceded some of his blanket.

“Oh right I go kill the demon that’s hunting you, and you repay me by lying to my mom. Way to go Magnus, you’re a real winner in this...”

Maryse interrupted them before they could really get going, “I also heard about the fire at your place Magnus. What happened?” Her sharp tone bringing both of their attention back to her.

Magnus looked at them both and something about him became small again. Alec mentally shook himself. Magnus was not his. He didn’t belong to him. Protecting him personally wasn’t really his responsibility, but something in him wanted to kick his mom out and lock Magnus away so nothing could get to him. It was a problem. His problem. He’d been working on it. For years. And the look on his mother’s face right now said she wasn’t unaware of it. His problem that is. Damnit. 

“Asmodeus has a bounty on me as you know. He’s looking for something. Isabelle kindly offered her lab to house the artifact until Catarina figures out how to destroy it. We’ve been working on spells for the past few weeks, and one of them destroyed her place so she’s at Raphael’s. Raphael is attempting to get some info out of an old friend of ours. It’s slow going. My lab is destroyed and so is Cat’s. I’ll need to find somewhere I can work, so I’ll be calling friends all day tomorrow. I promise I’m trying to get it sorted.” Magnus snuggled a little closer to Alec, and he put his arm around him under the blanket and squeezed Magnus just the slightest in comfort. Friends could do that, this was a friends thing. Izzy would do the same for Clary.

“I can ask around Alicante.” Maryse offered but then added slyly and just the slightest bit sarcastically. ”But you’ll probably have a place to stay and work by then.” 

Alec looked at his mother like she’d lost her mind. The innuendo in her voice was unmistakable and it made him want to throw something at her. She was meddling. He definitely did not want her meddling. “Okay, clearly you need some sleep. Can you go like file paperwork or something, or better yet go home and go to bed? You’re being weird.”

“Uh-huh,” His mom said slowly nodding her head, like she knew something Alec didn’t. “Stay out of trouble the both of you, at least for a couple of days okay? Call me if there’s anything I can do, though I really wish you’d make sure there’s nothing I need to do.” She looked at both of them directly and waited for there nods of acknowledgement, and gave them a faintly amused smile before she walked out of the office.

Alec sighed and turned to stretch out on the couch, ignoring Magnus’ hiss of disapproval when he dropped his legs over his lap settling down until he was comfortable. He closed his eyes.

“You are not going back to sleep while I’m trapped under your muscly legs, Alexander!” Magnus said, and tried to shove Alec’s legs off. When Alec didn’t move he gave them a zap with his magic.

“Hey!” Alec said, his leg twitching. Magnus took his chance and shoved nearly toppling them both from the couch.

Magnus stood gracefully and smoothed his clothes. “I’m taking the bed. Don’t wake me up or I’ll zap you.”

“It’s my room,” Alec said with a grumble, but Magnus was already through the door. Heaving a sigh, Alec settled back down on the couch. He gave a huff of a laugh when he heard Magnus muttering to himself about overweight Shadowhunter egos while doing whatever it was he did before bed. Alec rolled over so his back was to the door and was asleep within seconds.

******

“Since when do you train in a private room? Magnus asked as he hoisted himself up on the half wall that divided the training area from the weapons area. Casually dressed in a sleeveless hoodie and a pair of track pants, he could almost fit in at the institute if it wasn’t for his spiked hair, glitter, and pink eyeshadow. Looked good on him though thought Alec as he wiped the sweat off of his face. He had two cups of coffee that he sat on the wall, and Alec recognized the label. His mouth watered.

Alec grunted, momentarily improved mood plummeting again as he thought about what Magnus said. “Since half the new recruits somehow got the impression that my training was a spectator sport and not in a good way.” He tensed at the memory of all the damned women that came over to chat about his technique and to giggle and flirt, like a man in a tank top beating training dummies was some strange sight. It was a shadowhunter training room for Angel’s sake. And like they didn’t all know he was gay. So very very gay he thought as Magnus shifted on the wall, his biceps tightening and drawing Alec’s gaze. Magnus liked body glitter, and the light shinning through the window was dancing across his arms. Alec gave himself a moment to just appreciate how magical one person could look under the colored lights of stained glass. 

Magnus in true form, just laughed so hard he nearly fell off the wall. He hopped down and brought over the delicious coffee. “Poor Alexander. Able to destroy demons three times his size, but soundly defeated by flirty recruits.” He looked up at Alec grinning, “Don’t worry babe, I’ll protect you from the scary lady fighters. Your boyfriend has skills.”

Lifting a hand, Alec covered Magnus glittery face with his palm and shoved him away. “I can handle people just fine.”

“Riggght, thus the need for a private training room.”

“They wouldn’t shut up and kept breaking my concentration!” Alec took a sip of the coffee and closed his eyes. He had no idea where Magnus magiced it from, he’d tried to google the label on the cup before and came up with zero results. Hell he’d even asked Izzy to try and get it out of the warlock, but she’d just come back and yelled at him because Magnus wouldn’t get it for her on demand like he did for Alec.

“Oh a little giggling breaks your ability to focus, good to know Alexander.” Magnus laughed outright and blue magic appeared around his hands.

Alec didn’t bother to reply, just grabbed the sack Magnus had materialized out of thin air, before he could open it.

“Lightwood, if you hurt that pastry in any way before I get to eat it I will set your hair on fire.” Magnus grabbed for the bag, but Alec pulled it back and held it above his head. “What are you, 12. Have the baby shadowhunters been teaching you things?” Magnus sneered. “Give it back!”

“No,” Alec said and started to taunt further when a knock sounded on the door to the room, giving Magnus an opening to grab the sack with his pastry in it. He opened the bag and shoved the scone in his mouth, crumbs falling to the floor. “You mannerless heathen.” Alec said as the shadowhunter who had the room after him came through the doors. Alec nodded to him as he ushered Magnus out of the room. 

Magnus swallowed the last bite of his scone. “I would have given you one if you hadn’t been such a brat.”

“Shadowhunter’s don’t eat junk. Our bodies are temples.” Alec said with a completely straight face.

Magnus eyes went wide and he looked at Alec like he was crazy. “You Liar.” He shoved Alec so he missed a step and stumbled just the slightest bit. “I have actually seen you eat a whole bag of chocolate. On your own. Not sharing a single piece.” That last part came out a little bit bitter. Snacks were serious business in Magnus’ house and Alec may or may not have absconded with a whole bag of Magnus’ favorite Italian chocolate. Magnus held a grudge, but Alec still thought it was totally worth it.

Alec made a face, “Why are you here again? I don’t actually need your commentary while I’m training.”

Magnus scoffed. “Apparently you do, and you know you used to say thanks for the coffee at the very least. And, I’m here because I’m waiting on my contacts to get back to me about setting up a lab space.”

“Friends in low places.” Alec shifted his hand to Magnus’ back so he could steer him down a side hall and then just didn’t remove it. “Thanks for the coffee, where do you get it again?” Alec had to at least try, it was tradition.

Magnus sighed and pushed back into his hand unconsciously thought Alec. “Nice try Alexander.” He shook his head and then clenched his fist at his side, “I tried my place again to see if there’s anything to salvage, but no dice. I should keep a back up, but a potion room is delicate. Maintaining two rooms is almost impossible with the required ingredients. I could go to the spiral labyrinth but to be honest I would expect Asmodeus to have someone there. I need a private room, so I called a few people. It’s almost like no one wants to put up with my gorgeous, sexy self.” Alec said nothing, but the look on his face was enough to inspire a murderous look from Magnus. “Shut up, you know I’m hot. You are after all dating me.”

Alec rolled his eyes. “I’ll put you in a cell for the rest of the day if you don’t stop annoying me.” Magnus laughed and put his arm around Alec’s waist giving it a squeeze as they walked down the hall. 

“Ah the romance is dead! My boyfriend treats me abysmally.” Magnus said dramatically.

“You keep making dumbass boyfriend jokes and Mom is going to keep hearing gossip about us and then we’ll both be in the cell for being pains in the asses.” Alec pinched Magnus’s side and the warlock danced away from him to avoid any more pinches.

Magnus shrugged far more blasé about the idea of being in a cell than he should be. The fact that he probably had some magical escape plan in place made Alec want to try it just to see what he would do. But then Alec imagined being in a cell and he stopped dead in his tracks. Magnus stopped beside him and looked up at his face.

Alec’s hands tightened into fists as memories rose up from the depths, his chest tightened and suddenly it was a struggle to breathe. The clank of swords from the open training room made him flinch and he jerked nearly dropping into a defensive crouch.

Long, warm fingers curled around his neck, squeezing firmly tightening with the tension inside him. With the barest surge of electric power, the world went quiet and Alec drew in a deep breath. 

“Hmm, we’ll have to work on your mind palace where cages are concerned.” Magnus said thoughtfully as he withdrew his hand. Dropping his hand to Alec’s tank top and gripping his shirt in his fist, pulling him along so Alec wouldn’t continue to stand there.

Magnus’ touch lingered. It always did on the rare occasions he put his hands on Alec. Changes had been slow to come to the institute, but one of them he had been eager to implement was mandatory visits with therapists after traumatizing events. When he’d begun therapy for everything that happened with Jace and Valentine, his therapist had suggested he talk to someone about mediation. When Izzy had brought it up in front of Magnus, he’d volunteered to teach Alec. The warlock was a surprisingly good teacher, and he’d been teaching Alec how to compartmentalize his thoughts to better handle them. They had a session every two weeks, and Magnus assured him he was getting better. Incidents like these made him think otherwise. Magnus said it was part of the process though, awakening your demons so you could fight them.

After a few minutes they began walking side by side again, Magnus no longer pulling him along. Alec took a swallow of his coffee, “You may as well stop looking Magnus. We both know I’m going to be stuck with you until you get the potion sorted out. Use whatever the institute has in its stores and make a list of anything else we need to get you. I’d be putting up with you anyway since you can’t seem to keep yourself out of trouble.”

“I can’t stay out of trouble?” Magnus said incredulously. “Am I the one that hides in the private training room at the back of the institute so they don’t have to interact with other people? And I’m not sleeping in one of those awful dorm rooms.”

Alec rolled his eyes, “One of the new recruits would probably accidentally stab you, and then where would we be. You can just stay in my room, I’ll take the couch.”

Magnus gave him a serious look, it was his ‘you’re too good for this world’ look that he sometimes bestowed on really lucky people Mostly his cat, but sometimes the occasional person got it. Fleeting though it was, Alec was a little surprised. “Honestly, you’d be lost without me, and you’d never get my delicious coffee so you should watch your words Alexander.”

“Angel forbid, this coffee is the only reason you’re still breathing.” Magnus attempted to trip Alec, but Alec just stepped around him with a slightly raised brow and made a detour to opps. He needed to check in with Andrew. It took him about a half hour to get what he needed to Underhill, and go over the teams rotations. Magnus was there by his side chatting with one of the new recruits about healing methods for different kinds of demon wounds. The recruit joined his conversation with Underhill, and he was so busy bickering with Magnus over healing methods, he didn’t notice Raj walk up. “Hey boss.”

“Hi!” Magnus greeted, and began to relate how much of a jerk Alec was for not agreeing with him about how to properly remove demon spines from wounds. ‘You don’t just jerk them out, you heathen’ they require a delicate touch. Not that you’d know anything about that.” Alec accidentally on purpose stomped on the warlock’s foot.

They both jumped a little when Raj laughed. “You two are kind of perfect together, I admit.” He tilted his head and nodded. Alec winced, because this was definitely getting back to his mother. They really needed to stop flirting with disaster, or just flirting, or carrying on this charade. He was beyond grateful that Raj was keeping his distance, but there were far more efficient ways to accomplish the same goal. Someone was eventually going to hear about it, and it was going to bite them solidly in the ass. So, he turned Magnus toward the door in the hope that he could get the man out of Raj’s presence before either of them said something they would regret, and he vowed to explain the matter to Raj later.

“Hey,” Magnus said. “I wasn’t..”

“Like I’m going to stand here and let your lose tongue cause a Clave incident.”

Magnus mouth curved into a wicked grin that screamed danger, and Alec realized too late the opening he’d given Magnus to move in for the kill. “Well well Alexander, you know how my lose tongue likes to be in a tight place, who am I to resist?”

Raj made a choking sound and his dark skin flushed red. Alec glared. Magnus just gave an evil cackle, tilting his head so the glitter on his eyes caught the light flashing at Alec. “Now darling, you’re supposed to make a joke about cuffing me.”

Alec opened his mouth to threaten him with violence, but that smirk made his skin itch. Nobody got under his skin like Magnus Bane, not even Jace. Instead of threats, he met Magnus toe to toe and accepted the challenge, the dare in the warlock’s eyes pushing him over the safe boundaries he kept between them. “Cuffing? With your behavior lately, I was sure you wanted to be spanked, but obviously we can do both.”

Magnus jaw dropped, and Alec could see the flush rising up his neck to his cheeks. Resisting the urge to grin, Alec turned away from him and walked out of opps, Underhill and Raj’s chuckles trailing him out of the room. Magnus was behind him, but he was oddly quiet as they made their way to Alec’s office. It wasn’t far, but Alec knew Magnus was bursting with the need to speak. 

The minute they stepped across the threshold into his office, Magnus let it out “I can’t believe you made a bondage joke. I literally cannot with you right now.”

Alec huffed. “I can make jokes. I do it all the time.”

“You don’t make sex jokes Alexander.” Magnus crossed his arms, and Alec was annoyed with himself for how he just couldn’t stop staring at them. He’d seen Magnus’ bare arms before. This was not something new. Heat pooled in his stomach, damnit.

“You were asking for it!” he tried to deflect, because hell and he only knew why he was provoking Magnus. The warlock always provoked him, but he had a line and most of the time he didn’t cross it. Both of them had been tipping over it lately and now here they were. Alec was a bout two seconds from throwing Magnus on the couch in the office, and he was doing his damndest to get a grip.

“Beside the point. You have a beautiful sarcastic humor that I adore, that can easily tear someone to shreds. I’ve seen it, and it’s kind of glorious, specifically when you use it on new recruits and... well... stupid people. You make people cringe with your biting remarks Alexander. You do NOT make sex jokes. EVER. What has gotten into you?” During Magnus’ little monologue he paced back and forth.

Alec rolled his eyes, “Okay drama queen.”

“You’re acting strange, confusing, I’d even go so far as to say you’re not yourself.!” Magnus was standing before Alec, and he threw his hands up in the air in exasperation.

“Calm down Magnus.” Alec said slowly like he was trying to placate someone in hysterics.

He watched Magnus’ offended face appear, before he glared. “Stop doing weird stuff. Are you possessed?”

“Now you’re just reaching. What’s wrong Magnus?”

Magnus started pacing again and bouncing a ball of magic from hand to hand, clearly distracted and thinking too hard about everything. Alec leaned against his desk and watched Magnus grapple with something. Magnus walked close to him in his pacing and Alec wanting to get this settled, grabbed his arm and pulled him close. “Magnus calm down, if you blow the institute up mom will be pissed, and as much as I like paperwork even I draw the line at that.”

“Your mother isn’t really a concern for me right now, and neither is your job.” Magnus snapped.

And that was his serious business voice. Magnus was on the edge of something. “You’re being an idiot.” Alec said falling back into the safe space of insults. He was used to thinking of Magnus in a very specific way. A few minutes of joking around and he was struggling with how to put Magnus back in the box of firmly off limits.He’d always struggled with keeping Magnus in that box, but lately is was getting god damned difficult.

Deciding that putting himself behind his desk and escaping the feel of Magnus under his hands was the best course of action, he pushed himself up and turned around only to slam into Magnus. He instinctively reached out to catch Magnus so neither one of them would fall, but they both stumbled a little as Magnus wiggled in his grip.

“Alexander,.” Magnus said with a decidedly devious scowl. “I’ve reached my limit for letting you run away from me, in fact I’ve just flat out reached my limit.”

“This isn’t going to happen.” He said and a part of him wanted to cringe because he could hear the fear, and if he could hear it so could Magnus.

“Hush darling.” Magnus said and with a firm hand he grasped Alec’s arms.

Alec made a face and tried to step around Magnus, but his hands didn’t lose their grip. And it was a grip. Magnus wasn’t even using magic, he just held Alec in place with his strength. He knew the warlock wasn’t weak, but he rarely displayed his physical prowess in such a way. Alec’s mouth went dry. He’d always thought he had simple desires, and one of those was someone at his side that could match him. He’d probably developed it from his crush on Jace to be honest, and he’d always known deep down that Magnus could be that solid strength matching him step for step.

Magnus was an asshole sometimes, but in the years they’d known each other, he’d never abused the knowledge. He’d never pushed Alec for anything more. And he could have. Easily. Pushing Alec, challenging him, it would have been so easy. But Magnus hadn’t ever stepped over the line. Until today. “It’s a bad idea.” Alec said slowly.

“Alexander wanting this doesn’t make you selfish.” Magnus tone was just about as serious as Alec had ever heard it. “There’s no reason you can’t step outside the boundaries of this job and try to hold onto something for yourself.”

“That’s funny coming from you Magnus, you hide in your tower and you don’t let anyone in either.” Alec was getting defensive, but Magnus was playing with him...maybe. Probably not.  

Magnus scoffed. “I am a magical warlock of awesome, and I am centuries older than you, I may be cautious but I do know that happiness is always a good idea.”

“I think you are not accurately representing the situation.” Alec deflected.

“Shut up Alexander and tell me you want this as much as I do.” Magnus snapped.

Alec gritted his teeth, and there it was. Did Magnus really want him, or was he just a convenience, someone around that was attractive that Magnus could flit around and leave just as easily as he came. Was that really what Alec wanted? No not at all, but hell maybe if he just gave in for a minute, this all consuming need would be satisfied and he could move the fuck on. “Yeah okay.”

“Finally.” Magnus said with a snap of his fingers the door locked and the lights dimmed. Alec had a protest ready, but it was lost in the eager press of Magnus’ mouth against his, the warm hands that slid up to wrap around his neck, fingers that tugged lightly at his hair until Alec obeyed and began to return the kiss.

Magnus was a live wire under his hands, and he kissed like a man that had zero doubt of what he wanted. Alec could barely believe he was anything that Magnus might want. Alec put his hands on Magnus’ hoodie and clenched the fabric in his fists, drawing him closer because he just wanted to feel every bit of him. Magnus was the most beautiful dangerous thing he knew, and it was shockingly easy to wrap around him and kiss him like he made the world turn.

Magnus pulled back with a loud gasp, his face flushed and his eyes bright with the energy flowing through them. His grin was wicked and sharp, Alec had never seen anything like it before, not directed at him in any case. “This is the best idea either one of us has had in a long time.”

“Shut up.” Alec said, and yanked him close again, smiling at the little giggle Magnus let out when they crashed into the desk behind them. Papers fell to the floor, Alec didn’t even care what they were, he just dove right back into the kiss. He spread his legs and pulled Magnus between his thighs so he could wrap Magnus up in his arms. 

Magnus had other ideas because he just pulled back, pushed Alec a little further onto the desk, and then hoisted himself up into Alec’s lap. Knees on either side of Alec’s hips. He was straddling him and Alec had never went from 0 to “I need you naked right now” so fast in his life. The position lifted Magnus up so he could look down into Alec’s face and he grinned mischievously, “how’s this darling?”

The door slammed open, bounced against the wall, and light from the hallway flooded into the room. Neither one of them pulled away from one another, but Magnus did deflate a little and slump into Alec’s lap. It just figured. Locked or not. It just figured. Staring into Magnus’ eyes, he rolled them hard when a feminine shout echoed through the room, “HOly shit, it’s true. You’re totally banging.” Isabelle’s heels clacked on the floor as she walked into the room without invitation. “I was sure that couldn’t be true because that would mean neither one of you jackasses talked to me.” She huffed out an annoyed breath and put her hands on her hips cocking them in that way she did where she judged every bit of him. Then her red painted lips smiled the biggest smile Alec had seen in years, “Oh my god congratulations though!!” She clapped her hands like an excited child.

“How the hell did she get the door open Magnus?” Alec growled his breath hitting Magnus’ nose from where he’d just barely pulled back from their kiss.

“Your sister is a menace.” Magnus snapped rubbing his forehead against Alec’s chin then dropping it onto his shoulder. Neither one of them was inclined to let the other go.

Izzy’s mouth dropped into a pout. “Hey, stop pretending like I’m not here.”

Alec rolled his eyes again. “Well, it’s a little less humiliating if I pretend this never happened. Also we are not banging as you so crudely implied.”

“Well I mean he’s currently draped across your lap like a high priced hooker, so if you’re not banging you’re not far from it.” Izzy said with her pointed honesty. 

Magnus didn’t even bother to turn back toward her he just said, “What is it with the women in your family just barging into your rooms? How often has your sister seen you naked darling? I mean honestly it’s like they’re asking for it.”

“Magnus that’s gross, ewww, no one wants to see their naked brother!” Izzy said with a fake gag.

“Oh on the contrary Izzy darling, I very much want your brother naked. Completely utterly wonderfully naked, and if you don’t remove yourself right this second you’re going to see it too.”

”Magnus no! Oh my god, you two need to stop. Now tell me why you’ve kept your little relationship a secret from me. Do you not trust me Alec?”

”Of course I trust you.”

”Well Magnus’ current position would really beg to differ.” Izzy said waving her hand in a dramatic fashion.

Alec looked at her incredulously, ”This just happened, we haven’t been like sneaking around or anything, also nothing is happening.” He said defensively.

”Children, while I respect your relationship as siblings, I can’t tell what’s more tragic, that you’re offended Alec or that your sister is STILL standing in the room while I’m sitting on your lap.” Magnus swung around slightly so he could glare at Izzy. He and Alec had been in the middle of something and Isabelle needed to get lost.

”Alec, did you just slide your hands up Magnus’ jacket. Stop that. I’m serious both of you. Cut it out right now.”

“Okay clothes are coming off.” Magnus unzipped his hoodie and Alec gave an interested little hum sliding his hands down to grip Magnus’ ass and pull him just a little closer. 

“Magnus, I’m both horrified and impressed by your tenacity, and don’t you dare.” She said as she turned her real pout into an over exaggerated version. “There’s a clave representative that’s about 2 minutes from striding through this door, so really I’m saving both your asses. I mean it’s one thing for it to be a rumor, it’s another thing entirely if they walk in on the High Warlock of Brooklyn’s bare ass sitting on the head of the Institutes” *ahem* she coughed as she said “desk” very suggestively. “And let’s face it, you were about two seconds from stripping and making a mess of my brother’s very official office.”

Magnus made a whining noise as Alec lifted him up off of his lap at Isabelle’s mention of the Clave. He didn’t really want to let him go because the minute Magnus was out of his sight he was going to start thinking, and the last thing he really wanted to do was think about what the hell he was getting himself into. There had been reasons, really good reasons, he and Magnus hadn’t done this in the last 3 years. He was just struggling to remember what the hell all those reasons were. Alec watched Magnus leave the room with his sister, and couldn’t help the fore lorn frown on his face. Running his fingers through his hair and pulling it together he blinked as Magnus snapped and the lights came back on, with one last look over his shoulder he said “We’ll continue this later, and do not even think you’re going to be able to hide from me Alexander because I will find you.”

It was both a promise and a threat

Magnus knew him well.

Chapter Text

“Oh thank god you’re still here.” Isabelle said frantically as she fell into his office. Alec stood up to help her but she righted herself before she fell down completely. He was nearly to her when he smelled it. 

“Have you been drinking since you left my office?” He asked incredulously. That had been hours ago. The Clave delegate had left, and he’d gone looking for Magnus but there’d been no trace of either him or his sister.

“Maybe.” She said with far more syllables than the word actually had, and he sighed looking her over for damage. She didn’t appear to be wounded, so he hadn’t the faintest idea why she’d been so desperate when she came in his office.

“What’s going on.” 

She lit up at that. “Oh right. I came back to get you because I’m pretty sure a Vampire just bought Magnus.” Her tone was far too bright for the words coming out of her mouth.

Alec wanted to shake her, but settled for snapping at her. “Izzy, what the hell is going on. Is Magnus okay?”

She gave him her patented are you stupid glare. “I just said. Some vampire bought Magnus at the club, he's fine. Sparkly.”

Alec threw his hands up. “You can’t just buy people Isabelle, for gods sake sober up.” He pulled his steele from his pocket and began drawing runes on her. He cursed as he pulled his phone from his pocket with his other hand. His first call was to Magnus, and when it went straight to voicemail he cursed again. Grumbling he scrolled through his contacts and smashed his thumb on Raphael’s name.

“What” came a terse voice over the line.

Alec replied just as tersely. “Are you aware that Magnus has been bought by a vampire. Is that a thing, and why the fuck didn’t I know it was a thing?”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about.” Raphael said through the rustling noises that had begun at the mention of Vampire. Alec figured he was probably getting ready.

“Fantastic.” He snapped.

His sister had gotten with the program and was drawing clarity runes and attempting to get the alcohol out of her system. Alec figured they were at a downworld club though, so she was fighting off whatever magic came with the drinks as well. “Izzy what club.”

“Dunno, started with an M. I feel terrible.” She said swaying just a bit. Alec pushed her toward the couch in his office and turned his attention back to the vampire.

“Raphael. Downworlder club that starts with an M where a vampire might buy Magnus.”

“Holy shit. Mystique. You want Mystique. There’s no way you’re getting in there without backup though.”

Alec sighed his long suffering sigh. “Well get your ass here, and maybe while you’re at it think up an explanation for what the ever loving hell is going on with Magnus.”

“Yeah, yeah I can do that. Be there in half an hour.”

***

“This the place?” Alec asked as they walked up to the darkened door with the blue fluttering butterflies and neon sign in a language Alec didn’t recognize.

“Yeah” Raphael said fiercely.

“You gonna tell me before we go in?” Alec asked quietly, looking up at the moon over their heads.

“Magnus created a curse, he was less than a century old and pissed at the world. The dipshit wrote it down in one of his grimoires and Asmodeus somehow discovered its existence. It’s essentially the curse of death for Nephilim. Magnus needs a specific potion to destroy the grimoire and Asmodeus is making it difficult to get the ingredients. As for what the hell he’s doing here….I have no idea.” Raphael finished his explanation and stepped towards the door.

Alec rolled his eyes, if Magnus had opened his damn mouth and said something they would have probably already have had the ingredients. Izzy was keeping the grimoire in the lab though, so that may have been what she was doing in Alicante. Well that cleared some things up a little. He was pissed Magnus hadn’t told him, but no more pissed than he was about whatever the hell this was.There was every possibility that Magnus wouldn’t be here any longer, in which case he was going to have to go beg Cat for help.

Stepping into the club, Alec was well and truly reminded why he despised the places. Every instinct in him was screaming for him to climb to the highest location away from all the bodies surrounding him. He watched quietly as Raph led him through the room, toward what he hooped was a source of information. 

Turned out it was just Magnus. Sitting on the floor surrounded by every color of glitter and wearing just a pair of silvery glitter boy shorts, and nothing else. Surrounding him were vampires with vibrant colored hair, and one of them was shouting at the top of his lungs “You’ve gotta come out Mrs. Glitter Sparkles!!”

Raphael did a complete about face, “I’m out.” he said as he walked back towards the entrance. 

Magnus looked up and spotted Alec and his eyes went wide, sparkling under the overhead lights. He grinned a sloppy drunk grin and shouted at the top of his lungs “I’m coming out” A vampire of unknown origins leaned down to pull him to his feet. He looked harmless enough, and Raph wouldn't have left if there was anything dangerous going down.

A song started to play in the background, and the whole club started jumping up and down together singing at the top of their lungs “I want the world to know!!!”. Glitter exploded over their heads and lights swirled around them. Alec groaned. Could this get any worse. Magnus danced closer to him, and the vampire holding him up stopped abruptly when he spotted Alec’s tattoos. Magnus had no such reservation, he just leaned over and said in a loud whisper. “Isn’t he so beautiful?”

Alec felt a blush ignite his cheeks. This couldn’t be happening.

“Ugh Magnus, he’s a Shadowhunter.” The vampire said like Magnus was an idiot.

“Oh I am well aware. Gorgeous delicious Nephilim. Why don’t you come here.” Magnus stumbled a little closer, and Alec reached out for him doing his best to avoid the glitter and failing spectacularly.

“Magnus didn’t I tell you to stay out of trouble.” Alec said in his best impression of a strict instructor voice.

“Trouble, who said trouble. I’m not in trouble.” Magnus looked up at Alec adoringly and lifted his finger to tap Alec's nose.

“So you’re not the property of a vampire right now.” Alec raised a brow at him.

“Oh that. That was just a friendly wager. It’s all good.” Magnus shimmied and Alec had to bite his lip to control himself. Damn desirable warlock.

“So what exactly were you doing here?” Magnus twirled in a circle pulling Alec along with him, and before he was even aware he was dancing with Magnus on a club dance floor. What the hell he thought, he indulged Magnus until the song ended and then he pulled the giggling warlock off the dance floor into a dark corner.

“Explain.” He demanded. 

Magnus didn’t deflate he just wrapped his arms around Alec and clung to him. “I needed an ingredient for the potion to destroy the thing I’m not telling you about, but to get the ingredient I needed to come here and ask an old friend for it. Pretty sure he slipped me something cause he’s a dick. Iz went to get you, she said you'd come take care of me. And here you are, it's a strong one but It’ll wear off just a little extra magic kick.” Magnus tilted his head back and grinned a little deviously. Alec was beyond distracted by a half naked Magnus and didn’t realize someone had come up behind him. Blue water cascaded over his head and he glared at Magnus as the man burst into uncontrollable laughter.

“You look like a pissed off warrior smurf, oh my god I can’t even with you.” Magnus ran his hands through Alec's wet hair and his magic poured over him drying him off. Alec would bet money he was still blue though.

“Raphael had the right idea, I’m out.” Alec abruptly whirled around to stomp out of the club and this ridiculousness, but Magnus was suddenly right in front of him.

“Alexander,” He said softly, “fun is not the anathema of life. Will you stay with me?”

And just like that every defense Alec may have had evaporated. His shoulders slumped and he heaved out a sigh. Pulling out his phone he texted his brother and sister. If he had to endure this nonsense, at least having them here would act as a barrier against all the damn people. He groaned in Magnus’ general direction. “fine.”

Magnus’ eyes widened and the manipulative little shit began to pout as he pulled back, “you’re not ashamed to be seen with me are you?”

Alec almost didn’t catch it, but just under the surface of Magnus’ flirtatious act ran a serious vein of truth.He was a little bit worried. It could be the results of whatever his so called friend had slipped him, but he could genuinely be worried that Alec would be ashamed of acknowledging them. Alec stepped closer. 

“Magnus, anyone who could call you theirs would never be ashamed of any part of you. You’re beautiful.” Alec had no idea where the words came from, usually he was shit at finding the right words, but somehow they just came out of him exactly like Magnus needed to hear. The man in his arms was about as complex a person as you could ever meet, but over the years Alec had come to know him. It wasn’t easy loving someone so reckless, but Alec was pretty damn sure he’d crossed that line far too long ago to turn back.

Magnus had tears in his eyes and he sniffled just a little bit. “If you want to go we can.” He said gently. Alec shook his head in denial.

“No you’re right, a night of fun will do everyone some good.”

Magnus’ eyes turned worried again. “Alec I’m never going to be a 9-5, sit behind a desk, calm no drama boy…” He cut himself off before he said boyfriend and Alec wanted to soothe whatever hurt had put that insecurity inside of him.

“I would never expect you to be Magnus, just like you don’t really expect me to enjoy all this fucking glitter that you will be using your magic to get rid of when we get home.” Alec gently pushed Magnus’ hair back from his forehead. “I don’t need you to be anyone but you, because I like you.” Alec said confidently with a shrug.

“So you’re not mad?” Magnus asked a little bit wonderingly.

“Magnus I knew going into this that on a scale, you are FAR more wild than I’ll ever be. I’m okay with that if you’re okay with how boring I am.” Alec shrugged.

Magnus smiled softly under the flashing glitter his eyes went liquid gold. “You are anything but boring Alexander. You are quite frankly one of the most intense men I’ve ever met in my life. I adore that about you.” Magnus stepped closer. “Are you really going to stay?”

Alec wrapped his arms around Magnus, unconcerned with the glitter sticking to both of them. “I invited everyone, and I may not dance with you, but I’ll enjoy the hell out of watching you.” Alec said with a ferocious grin. Magnus’ laughter echoed through the club  

***

Magnus had welcomed all the Shadowhunter’s into the club and, Jace had awkwardly asked if they were like “together” “together”, air quotation marks and everything Alec had shrugged and said yeah. Magnus’ eyes shining at him. Then everyone at the table had started exchanging money. It was a little embarrassing. Telling his mother had been kind of horrifying as she had called Iz right in front of him and said you owe me. His mother ladies and gentlemen, betting on his love life. It was absurd.

Underhill had just laughed and shrugged, then carried on with the briefing. Other than that, the shift in their relationship had made exactly 0 waves in the Shadow world. Magnus’ favorite had been Meliorn. “You mean they weren’t together. I thought Alec just didn’t like sex and Magnus was respecting his boundaries.” With a confused little crease in his brow. Magnus had giggled for days after that one. It had taken him exactly three days to make the potion, and in that time he’d only gotten out of Alec’s bed long enough to drop in more ingredients and stir when needed. They were making up for every single lost minute they hadn’t been together.

Magnus was finally ready though, and he pulled the grimoire out of Izzy’s lab and brought it down to one of the cells in the Institute’s basement. Alec stood beside him. Magnus was hesitating.

“Magnus destroy the damn book.” Alec said impatient.

“Hush Alec, I’m concentrating.” Magnus snapped.

“You don’t have to concentrate to pour the liquid on the object. Do it already.”

“Shows what you know about magic. Which is nothing. So shut up.” Magnus snapped back. 

Izzy, Jace and Clary looked between themselves. Clary said cheerfully, “I honestly thought this part would get better, but they’re just as bad as they were before”

Iz nodded, “Yeah it’s like foreplay. Horrid god awful foreplay. Are we going to have to deal with this for the rest of our lives?” 

Clary shrugged, “Maybe they’ll settle down after they’ve got all of the sex out of their system.”

“Could you two stop talking about my brother’s sex life. I really don’t want to hear it.” Jace said crossing his arms.

Clary giggled. But Magnus was clearly annoyed, without looking up he said dangerously. “If the lot of you do not shut up so I can concentrate, I’ll banish you to another realm.”

“I still say you don’t need to concentrate to pour the damn potion.” Alec said grumpily.

“Alexander, I am destroying a curse. A curse that I created with my own magic, I am destroying a piece of myself, and regardless of the method in which I choose to destroy that piece of my self, I have to fucking concentrate too do it, so would you all shut the hell up.” Magnus’ magic snapped through the empty cell and Alec finally caught on. He walked up behind Magnus and wrapped his arms around him gently, seeing the guilty looks on his families faces before he buried him face in Magnus’ neck. 

He said the words I’m sorry quietly into Magnus’ bare neck, and felt the warlock relax back into him. Magnus took a deep breath and poured the potion over the book, then unleashed his magic onto the cover. Purple and blue flames incinerated the pages, and in less time than Alec imagined the book was well and truly destroyed.

Jace clapped his hands, and said seriously “Now how do we get Asmodeus to stop trying to kill you?”

“Oh I already have a plan for that.” He took the ashes and  placed some of them in an envelope, then waved his hands. “Snail mail. That should settle it.”

"What about Raj, we ever going to tell him the truth?" Izzy asked the room.

"Take it to your grave Iz. I don't need anymore drama for at least a week." Alec said with an exhausted sigh from where he had his face still buried in his boyfriends shoulder. Magnus patted his head and said "there there darling. I'll protect you from the horrible excitement."

Alec sniffed. "see that you do."

Clary and Iz's laughter could be heard from the floor above them.

***

They had officially been together for just at two months, and things at the institute had settled down thank the Angel. Alec had been looking forward to this day off with a kind of glee he hadn’t felt in years. Because contrary to Meliorn’s assumption, Alec adored sex. He adored everything about every single naked minute he spent with Magnus.

Alec grinned, a wicked sort of knowing grin. Magnus was delighted, his Shadowhunter was well and truly on his way to being completely debauched, and it was glorious. They both had the day off, with zero plans and zero obligations, they had very quickly tired of snuggling on the couch and had begun a game of cat and mouse. Magnus currently had Alec pinned to the kitchen counter, doing his level best to get them both naked while still running his hands over every inch of Alec’s bare skin, and also getting closer to their bedroom. The man was distracting, it didn’t matter how long they’d been together.

Alec pushed at Magnus’s hands growing impatient with the Warlock’s distraction. He shifted, and lifted himself up on the counter behind him pulling Magnus in between his legs. Settling Magnus in where he wanted him, Alec ran his hands through Magnus’ soft black hair and kissed the hell out of him. Kissing his boyfriend was literally one of Alec’s favorite things to do in the world. 

Magnus’ hands were sliding up his thighs under his boxers so he could pull Alec closer to the edge making Alec groan with anticipation. Magnus ran his short nails against Alec’s thighs, sparking his magic against his skin, and Alec whined “Stop teasing me.”

“Never darling.” Magnus said with a grin.

Alec ducked his head again and put his mouth on Magnus’ neck, only to get a jolt through his Parabatai rune. Alec frowned and ran a hand against his stomach. The twinge quickly abated and Alec turned his attention back to Magnus who was looking at him with concern. Alec shook his head, “it’s nothing. Jace is probably training.” 

Magnus hummed in response and giggled when Alec wrapped his legs around his chest. “Just annoying, nothing that’s going to stop me from doing this.”

“Oh really Alexander.” Magnus said with a salacious raising of his brows. Alec pinched his arm, but brought their mouths back together. Alec kissed like he fought, with single minded focus drowning the rest of the world out. Breaking away from Magnus’ mouth, he brought his lips to his throat deep in the throes of marking his boyfriend’s body, his Parabatai rune flared...again.

Magnus pushed back this time. “Alexander, is something wrong?” he asked as he stroked the heated rune on Alec’s bare stomach.

Alec glowered. “No Jace is just being a baby. Ignore it.” 

Magnus shook his head concerned, “Darling, are you sure?”

Alec rolled his eyes, “Yeah, if he were really hurt it would be a steady ache. He’s doing something stupid.”

“Well if you’re sure, I’m certainly not going to object.” With that final statement, Magnus wasted no time snapping his fingers to remove Alec’s shorts. 

Alec winced at the cold sensation of the counter, and then gasped immediately afterwards. Magnus had swallowed him whole. “Fuck you’re so hot.” He gasped out in response. Alec gripped the counter, and tilted his head back against the cabinets. Hot breaths, wet licks, and Magnus’ clever fingers were making him lose his mind, it took all his concentration to keep from cuming immediately. Magnus worshiped him, he lovingly laved at Alec’s length and looked up at Alec so he could see his beautiful eyes. It never failed to drive him to complete distraction. With his incredibly sensuous eyes holding Alec’s attention, Magnus pulled back to the tip, gave it a cat like lick, wrapped his beautiful lips around him, and hummed. 

“So close Magnus, so close.” Alec clenched his eyes shut, took a deep breath, and his Parabatai rune flared. “Fuck you Jace.” He said on a loud frustrated groan. Magnus pulled off of him with an intense frown and a furious glare.

“Call your brother.” He said with a snap, Alec’s phone was in Magnus’ hand and he waved it in Alec’s face. 

Alec groaned in frustration, and hit number 4 for his brother. Jace answered the phone almost immediately, and Magnus put his mouth back on Alec’s dick not caring in the least that the other Shadowhunter could potentially hear. Alec couldn’t stop the squeak he let out in response. Staring wide eyed and mostly horrified at his boyfriend playing with his dick while his brother was complaining about being bored on the phone.

“Alec come to the institute. Clary is ignoring me, so is Izzy, and I don’t have anything to do. I never see you anymore.” Jace whined.

Alec tried to control his breathing, but Magnus was watching him and determined to drive him mad. Alec clenched his teeth. Ordinarily he’d ask Jace what he did to deserve it, but all he could manage to get out was a stuttering growl, “Stop fucking with the bond.” Alec demanded and couldn’t help the hitch in his breathing as Magnus deep throated him. Quickly hitting the mute button on his phone, he couldn’t help the intense “Fuck” he breathed out. One hand holding his phone and the other stroking any part of Magnus he could get his hand on.

“I’m bored man.” Jace continued to bitch. Alec was only listening with half an ear, but he was aware enough to unmute the phone and answer when Jace asked him again to come home. “No I’m not coming in today.” He was just barely able to grumble out around the delicious sensation of Magnus running his nails over Alec’s chest and sucking so expertly on his dick. 

“Alecccccc” Jace whined.

Magnus pulled off again, and bit Alec’s thigh right before he sucked a hickey into the muscled flesh. Alec grunted.

Jace went quiet on the phone. Took a breath. “Are you and Mangus fucking?”

“No” Alec said breathlessly.

“He’s at least blowing you. Fucking gross Alec.”

“You’re the dipshit that wouldn’t leave me alone. It’s my day off asshole.”

“That doesn’t mean you call me in the middle of your dude sex. Bro.” Jace sounded so horrified and betrayed it was kind of hilarious.

“I’m going to hang up, and in like 3 hours I’ll meet you for drinks. Invite Clary and Izzy.” Alec said in the most controlled voice he could summon, Magnus wasn’t letting up.

“I hate you and also I don’t want to know anything about this.” With those furious words, Jace ended the call.

Alec threw his phone on the counter and sank both hands into Magnus’ hair pulling him up so he could get to his lips. Kissing, biting, and liking into the warlocks mouth, Alec wanted him to feel every ounce of heat he’d inspired in him. “God Magnus. You’re so fucking beautiful.”

Magnus smirked at him. “Alexander, I want to try something.” Magnus had slowly been introducing magic into the bedroom. It was never anything extravagant, and Alec always enjoyed whatever he had in mind. The man was a literal genius at pleasure, how to create it, how to inspire it, and how to make Alec beg for it.

“Anything, you know I’m up for anything.” Alec said barely pulling back long enough to let his boyfriend breathe and to respond himself. Alec had turned kissing Magnus into an art, a beautiful passionate art.

Magnus pushed back, and Alec whined, “Hush now, I want to relax you and open you up to my magic so you can feel what I feel.”

“Like we can share our minds.” Alec wasn’t really cooperating, he pulled Magnus back into him so he could continue kissing, but Magnus turned his head. Not to be deterred, Alec just switched direction and went for his neck.

“Sort of. It’s sharing energy, you’ll feel it when I suck you, you’ll feel it when I bite you, and we’ll feel each other when we cum.” Magnus said heat dripping from his words. 

Alec didn’t even pause, just stated blandly “Do it.”

**

Alec walked into the bar three and a half hours later, lose limbed, relaxed, and with a satisfied smile on his face. Looking around he saw Clary’s hair and walked over. As soon as he approached the table with Magnus, the girls started giggling. Simon put his head down on the table, and Alec looked around for Jace wondering what was going on. 

“What’s going on?” He asked when it didn’t look like anyone was going to say anything. The girls just started laughing harder. “Where’s Jace?” Izzy lost it and Clary wasn’t far behind her. Alec was completely bewildered. The girls were holding their stomachs, cackling, laughing, and just generally making a spectacle of themselves. They’d wind down for a second, look at each other and just start right back up again. He looked at Magnus, but he shrugged having no more idea of what was going on than Alec did. Alec sighed. Simon it was then.

“What,” Alec growled and waved at the girls.

Simon swallowed audibly, and blushed to the roots of his hair. “Um I really don’t want to.”

Izzy gasped out on a laugh, “Jace is in the infirmary at the institute.”

Alec’s eyes went wide and he glared, “And that’s funny? What the hell Iz, we need to go!”

Clary piped in, “Calm down Casanova. He’s there because of the sex you and Magnus had. Like he literally couldn’t walk.” Clary tipped over and leaned against Izzy.

Alec swung toward Magnus horrified, “Do you know what?.....”

Magnus cut him off, “Definitely not the spell I used. I promise.”

Izzy wiped the tears from her eyes. “Oh no, it was the Parabatai rune. The healer said that it rarely happens, but if one Parabatai’s control was...um compromised during intercourse, then the other would be able to feel the pleasure. However, if Jace had better control he’d know how to shut the feelings out. The healer said that you were so good at controlling what came through the bond, that Jace didn’t get enough practice. Oh my god, his face.” Izzy continued giggling, slapping the table and laughing.

“We didn’t hurt him though?” Alec asked concerned.

“Oh no it was like orgasm 3 or 4 where he was like I can’t fucking take it anymore and went to the healer. He couldn’t feel what you guys were doing exactly, he could only feel the rise and fall in intensity.” Clary sniggered. 

Alec’s face had turned a little red when Clary said it was the sex, but his face was pure fire after the girls explanation. He dropped into a chair and moaned into the table where he laid his head “Oh god.”

Magnus came up beside him and stroked his hair, “there, there, darling. I’m sure it will be fine.” Magnus was just barely holding onto his own giggles.

Alec just huffed into the table, “Never doing that spell again. I can’t believe I wasn’t blocking our bond. I always block our bond.”

Magnus frowned at that. “Jace needs to learn how to carry some of the weight. The only reason I even suggested the damn sex spell is because you were so tense. You needed to relax Angel.” The girls couldn’t contain their awws and their ridiculous cooing. Alec blushed again but accepted Magnus’ petting turning into the comfort of his boyfriend’s touch. He was never going to be able to look Jace in the face again.

**

Revenge was a dish best served cold and Alec swore on his life he was going to murder his Parabatai. Jace had wasted no time whatsoever getting back at him. A lifetime of knowledge and he exactly where to drive the stinking dagger of betrayal. Alec was in Alicante and Magnus was in fuck knew where Belize. Alec was sitting in boring meetings, and his boyfriend was sunbathing on some tropical beach with oil slicked pool boys. Fucking Jace he thought as he smiled at the Inquisitor. 

Stomping down the hall to his room he passed Jace and didn’t even acknowledge his presence, just walked right passed him. Jace stopped and turned to follow him. “Alec come on man it’s been three days. You’ve got two more, stop being mad at me. You deserved it.”

Alec said nothing, just kept right on walking. Jace following behind him throwing out all the excuses why Alec shouldn’t be mad, and if this had been two years ago he probably would have caved. Alec was older. Alec was wiser. Alec was not going to cave to Jace’s bullshit. Clary came up beside him. “Still not speaking to him?” She asked diplomatically.

“Nope.” Alec said with a pop.

“You know this is childish.” She said.

Alec shrugged. “Sometimes you fight fire with fire.” Alec stepped around Clary and continued down the hall. In retaliation for his ACCIDENTAL trip to the infirmary, Jace had pulled his family strings and got Alec an extra special week long invite to Alicante to train a class of new recruits. Baby Shadowhunters as Magnus liked to call them. And while ordinarily that would be right up at the top of Alec’s list of things he didn’t mind doing, Jace had made sure it fell on Magnus’ birthday. Their planned trip out of town had turned into Magnus going by himself and being incredibly disappointed that Alec wasn’t going to be with him. 

Jace was a dick.

Not speaking to him was hardly punishment enough. Alec wanted to plant his fist in his Parabatai’s face, repeatedly. Instead he just stomped his way down the hall towards the courtyard in the back. As he walked into the garden, Jace appeared before him with a cat in his arms. 

“Stop being a bitch and listen to me." he snapped.

Alec stopped and crossed his arms. 

“I swear I didn’t know it was his birthday. I wouldn’t have done that dude. I swear. That’s like a complete dick move, and I’m only like half a dick.” Jace said almost pleadingly.

Alec rolled his eyes and said sullenly, “You have half a dick for sure.” 

Jace’s grin could light up the world, it was pure unfiltered sunshine and Alec really wanted to hate it. His Parabatai wouldn’t actually let him though. Alec broke down and shook his head smiling at his brother. “Okay fine. You didn’t know. I’m still pissed.”

Jace grinned some more. “Ha, whatever you can do without Magnus for a day. Besides you don’t even like the beach.”

Alec glared and crossed his arms over his chest. “Yeah well Magnus is on the beach alone, with other half naked men and women.” 

Jace frowned “You don’t trust him.”

Alec looked scandalized. “Of course I do, it’s not going to stop people from hitting on him though. Shit mostly I just wish I was there with him. He’s probably lonely, just as lonely as I am, and I hate that. Especially on his birthday.”

Jace nodded. “Man you two have got it so bad it’s pathetic.” He dropped the cat and a blue mist swirled around them. 

Magnus stood there grinning at him and Alec threw himself at the warlock before he’d even registered that’s what he was doing.

“How did Jace get you cleared?”

“He pulled more family strings, and he’s covering your class for you tomorrow.” Alec laughed and kissed Magnus happily, he turned around to thank Jace but his Parabatai had turned to walk away. 

“Hey what made you do this?” 

Jace winced. “Clary and Izzy screamed at me for two solid straight hours. Then I got a call from Raj, from Mom, from Meliorn, from Cat and Raphael. It was intense man. You're like the golden couple that is not to be fucked with. No one likes seeing either of you sad.” He shrugged. Alec blushed and turned back to his boyfriend.

"Hey you." Alec said softly as he gently kissed Magnus.

"Hey you back. Wanna go fool around?" Magnus asked with a mischievous gleam in his eye.

"The answer to that question will never be no." Alec said with a laugh as he drug Magnus back to his room.