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Whumptober 2019

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Whumptober 2019 – Prompt 1: Shaky hands

 

They were all waiting, Clary, Izzy, Jace, Meliorn and Alec. They were all waiting for Magnus to return from the mission with tense shoulders. No one felt like speaking. Even the girl was shutting up for once, which Alec was grateful for. He couldn’t deal with Clary's high-pitched, self-absorbed yapping at the moment. He was grateful that his parabatai could feel intense emotions but couldn’t read his thoughts. Or he’d be in a lot of trouble.
Jace crossed his arms in an all-too-familiar gesture. The broad-shouldered, straight stance was second nature to him. It went hand in hand with the brooding look, the intense eyes and the crossed arms, which made his biceps bulge. Part of his “ultimate protector” scheme. That, in combination with his classically handsome features, was the reason he could pull off the “polished-biker”-look without seeming ridiculous.
Jace’s posture was so familiar to Alec, at the same time cool as well as defensive, strong but also wary, that it made him smile. As usual, Jace stood closer to Clary than he had to, but she didn’t seem to mind. She seemed to just expect him there. Internally, Alec rolled his eyes, even though he knew he hadn’t been much different than her when it came to this. He'd also always wanted to be close to Jace back before Magnus had come into his life.
Something glimmered in the air, and everyone started looking around. Alec half-reached behind him to be ready to grab his bows and arrow if necessary. Jace uncrossed his arm and placed his hand on the hilt of his weapon, Meliorn raised his arms. Izzy had her whip in hand. Only Valentine’s daughter didn’t do anything but look around the room. Alec thought Jace probably imagined he was being subtle when he moved in front of the girl, but he wasn’t. Another eye roll followed.
The air glimmered in a rich purple, spiralling dizzily, and suddenly Magnus stepped out. He was alone and after a second, the portal disappeared behind him. Alec looked him up and down to check for injuries. Magnus’ shirt was torn at the shoulder but there was no wound that he could see. Alec released a breath he hadn’t known he was holding.
“Did you get it?” Jace asked at the same time as Alec said:
“Are you okay?” They glanced at each other, then simultaneously turned back to the warlock.
“I could get used to all this attention,” Magnus said airily when he noticed everyone staring at him. He waved his hand about in his customary manner with a flourish. One hand was still in his pocket. Something about how he stood was off, Alec thought, but clearly Magnus didn’t want to talk about it with an audience. So Alec would have to wait.
“So?” Jace, never one to be patient except when it concerned the girl, asked. Alec shot him a look, but his parabatai’s eyes were focused on the warlock.
“Patience, young grasshopper,” Magnus mumbled, but he reached into his coat and produced the stone. Without a word, he passed it to Izzy, who nodded once and left in order to bring the stone to safety. Meliorn was on her heels.
“We’ll go get your payment then, warlock,” Jace said, a hand on the girl’s lower back and led her out of the room. As soon as the door had fallen shut, Alec rushed forward to Magnus, to make sure he was alright. He seemed to be right on time, as the warlock had slumped forward when the other two had left the room. His head fell to Alec’s shoulder and he sighed shakily.
“Are you okay?” Alec asked again, urgency strong in his voice. Magnus nodded, but when he raised his hands to put them on Alec’s waist, they were shaking.
“What’s the matter? What happened?” His concerned tone made Magnus look up, and he managed a weak smile:
“Really, Alexander, much as I am touched by your concern, I’m okay. I just had a close encounter with a rather crafty demon who took me by surprise.”
“Are you hurt?” Alec asked urgently, looking Magnus over once again.
Magnus shook his head.
“It's already healed. Pesky adrenaline leaving the body of someone who isn’t a Shadowhunter is what you’re seeing here, nothing more,” Magnus reassured Alec and let himself be led to the couch.

Chapter Text

Whumptober – Prompt 2: Explosion

Warning: Injury and Pain.

This was the biggest operation Magnus had ever been a part of in all his centuries on this earth. While a close-knit community, warlocks usually preferred to work alone or in tiny groups. And because he himself wasn’t really a team-work guy, he didn’t work in groups bigger than three people. But this was…something else. He and Meliorn were leading a group of at least 80 people. He could hear their steps, their murmurs, the rustle of their clothes, the clinks of their weapons behind him.
Why could these missions never be in bright daylight? That was the real question. It was the shared penchant for drama among supernatural beings, he thought idly, trying to distract himself from the fact that he was heading into a life-threatening battle. And that Alexander was also leading a group into this fight. That he was far too close to the front lines in Magnus’ opinion. Alexander was supposed to be near him, at least, so he could protect him. But he wasn’t. He was approaching from the other side with a delegation of Shadowhunters and vampires. Lucian Garroway had had his pack cover the other two directions so they were encircling Valentine’s lair.
Jace is with him, Magnus tried to tell himself, It’s fine. He’d rather die than have anything happen to Alexander. Still, what wouldn’t he have given to be with Alec.
As if they had practiced this, Magnus and Meliorn slowed down simultaneously, scanning the perimeter. Meliorn with his acute sense of the nature surrounding them and Magnus with magical feelers. Everything was silent as they waited for the Clave’s signal to attack. Even the murmurs behind them had died down to nothing. The air was cold, but there was no wind whatsoever, as if the world had stopped spinning to see what would happen here.
What would happen now? Magnus had never been this anxious to enter into any battle. This unusual alliance of Shadowhunters and Downworlders outnumbered Valentine and his Circle members, but Valentine was clever, experienced and cunning. Not to mention ruthless. And Magnus cared about quite a few people who were part of this battle, people who could get injured. Or worse. And what if the delegation of warlocks responsible for healing couldn’t get to them on time? What if people got taken hostage? What if –
Don’t think about it. Don’t think about everything that could happen. Don’t think about Alexander, he tried to tell himself. There was a horrible feeling in Magnus’ gut that he couldn’t ignore. He tried to feel for all the protective charms the community had cast around them, but it didn’t seem to be enough.
“Something is not right,” Meliorn said suddenly, only echoing what Magnus had already been thinking, “It’s too quiet.”
And then suddenly interrupting the eerie silence, there was a massive explosion, louder than anything he’d ever heard. It threw Magnus and the rest of his delegation backwards off their feet and onto their backs. And everything went black.
---
When Magnus came to again, he was on the ground on his back, several feet from where he’d stood earlier. Around him, it was absolute mayhem and he was disoriented. What the hell had happened? His head was ringing as if someone had punched him. It smelled like fire, singed cloth and hair, and blood. His eyes were stinging, but he forced himself to look around anyway. He could only make out shapes, it was too dusty everywhere. All he could hear was a painful ringing in his ears, and nothing else. It made his surroundings look unreal. But he knew they were very real, there was no doubt about it.
Everything around him was chaos. There were bodies on the floor around him; twitching bodies, unnaturally positioned bodies and, what was worse, eerily still bodies. The blast had knocked everyone out, the air was so hot it hurt, the ground was shaking.
Next to him, Meliorn was lying on his side, curled up on himself, his dark hair singed and spread over his face, which was twisted in pain. Magnus pushed himself up with some difficulty. He felt so dizzy he had to pause or he would have vomited. When he felt sure he wouldn’t empty the contents of his stomach right there and then, he bent over Meliorn to examine him. He was still not able to hear anything but the consistent, painful ringing in his ears, which made it hard to focus. There was a nasty, profusely bleeding gash across the left side of Meliorn’s chest. It stretched all the way to his shoulder and arm. The outside of his left leg was torn open.
Ignoring his racing heart and the pain he was feeling all over his body, Magnus tried to focus enough to magically scan Meliorn for internal injuries – there didn’t seem to be any – and slow some of the bleeding. It hurt to breathe, and he wasn’t sure if that was from any injuries sustained in his fall, or if it was from the heavy dust in the air that made him break out into a nasty cough every other minute.
He sent a message to the healing warlocks, who were sure to have witnessed what had happened, and tied some strips of Meliorn’s t-shirt above his leg wound. Then, he attempted to lift himself from his feet, struggling and stumbling. He saw more and more of the “healing” warlocks appear, carrying heavy bags, and knew there wasn’t much else he could do for the injured at the moment without weakening himself to a dangerous level.
The ringing still in his ears, his throat parched and almost doubling over from the blinding, stabbing pain he felt when he coughed, Magnus looked around. There was still so much dust in the air to only see the outlines of debris, parts of buildings, broken trees and Downworlder bodies. It went as far as his eye could see.
But where was Alexander? Had he been closer to the explosion? Was he hurt or even…no, he couldn’t even think it; the thought of any harm coming to Alec caused his chest to constrict and heart to speed up so much, he thought he would faint from the pain in his ribcage.
He tried to numb his pain, and the ringing in his head, but his body seemed too weak to obey his commands. Nonetheless, he had to find out where Alexander was, he had to. Fingers gingerly holding his ribs on either side, Magnus fought himself forward, step by step, checking to see if he could see anyone from their team upright who might be able to give him any information. A vampire, for obvious reasons, or a wolf, since they’d been too far away to be hit as badly.
Seeing Alec’s smiling face in his mind to distract him from the pain, Magnus fought to stay on his feet and stagger in the direction where he figured Alexander and his delegation had to be. The ringing had begun to make his head hurt on top of everything else, and not being able to hear anything else made Magnus feel defenceless. The pain in his chest got so bad, he had to stop walking. If he could just lie down for a minute…
Magnus swayed on the spot, staggered, his eyes closing, and he felt himself fall, unable to do anything about it. But before he hit the ground, there was a swooshing sound, and someone had caught him, lowering him to the ground instead. The person’s face swam so much in Magnus’ vision that it took him almost a minute to figure out who it was. Raphael was crouched on the floor next to him, holding his upper body and head up. He asked something, but Magnus couldn’t make out what it was over the ringing in his head.
“Where’s Alexander?”, Magnus croaked, imploring his vision to stay focused on Raphael, who seemed to be checking him for injuries. He again couldn’t hear the answer, but Raphael’s facial expression told him all he needed to know; the vampire didn’t know. Magnus’ heart started racing again, he couldn’t help it. The more time went by without knowing something of Alexander, the heavier his heart and stomach felt. And all of a sudden, with no warning whatsoever, everything went black again.

Chapter Text

Whumptober – Prompt 3: Delirium (continuation of Prompt 2)

TW: Injuries and Pain

“Alec! Come back, man! Alec!” Jace’s panicked voice was the first thing Alec heard, but he had some difficulty placing it. It seemed to come from very far way. His head felt like it was filled to the brim with cotton, so he couldn’t form a clear thought, let alone words. He tried to command his body to lift his head, but he didn’t seem to be able to figure out how.
“Jace, look, his hand!” Was that the ginger girl’s voice? But before he could wonder what that meant or even be glad that they both seemed to be alive and well, Alec lost consciousness again. He drifted in and out a few times, catching snippets of conversation whenever he woke up. The periods of consciousness were getting longer and longer. He could hear Jace’s voice and Izzy’s, as well of that of the Fray girl. If he didn’t misinterpret them, he was the subject of their worried, hushed conversation. He longed to reach out, to tell them he was alright, but he lacked the motor skills.
Slowly, very slowly, Alec began to feel more like himself again. With every passing second, he became increasingly aware of his body and realised he was lying on his back on a relatively hard surface, but his head was slightly elevated and resting on something soft and warm. He blinked his eyes open; his vision was blurry around the edges, but he could make out Jace’s blonde head to his left.
“Alec!” He’d seldomly heard Jace’s voice like this before. So raw, so tense, but yet also hopeful. Alec put all his effort into focusing his vision and turning his head towards his parabatai, feeling their bond flood with warm relief in reaction.
“Oh, thank god!” That was Izzy’s voice, as relieved as he’d ever heard her, and it came from above his head. With some effort, he moved to look at her, and saw her face was upside down. After a brief moment of panic where he wondered if his vision or brain were impaired, he realised that her lap was what his head was resting in, which was why it was perfectly normal to see her upside down. In fact, strands of her long, raven hair were tickling his face.
Alec suddenly noticed that Jace had both his hands firmly grasped around Alec’s left, holding on so tightly it almost hurt. A part of Alec rejoiced at this, but he didn’t focus on it.
“What happened?” he asked. His own voice sounded croaky and weak to him.
Jace, Izzy and the girl exchanged looks, then they told him the story. There had been a huge explosion of so far unknown origin, and Alec had been hit in the chest by a flying piece of concrete, which had propelled him backwards into a tree trunk behind him. He’d been unconscious for long enough to seriously worry everyone, and enough for Hodge to have run for one of the healing warlocks. That man had mended the wound on his chest and the broken collar bone and checked him for internal or brain injuries, but hadn’t found anything. He said all there was to do now was wait for Alec to come back around, then the warlock had rushed off to another patient.
Speaking of warlocks…
“Where’s Magnus?” Alec asked, anxiously. They exchanged another look.
“We don’t know,” Izzy said softly, “I’m sorry, Alec.”
“I have to find him!” Resolutely, Alec began to push himself of the ground, but before he could get up, Jace grabbed him by the shoulders and pushed him back down, his grasp gentle but firm.
“No, Alec, you’re hurt. And you only just woke up!” Izzy’s voice was pleading. He understood their worry, just as he understood that it probably wasn’t a good idea to get up and run around right now, but he couldn’t help it. He had to. Which was what he told them, and something in his eyes must have been so convincing, Jace and Izzy begrudgingly helped him to his feet.
“I’m not leaving your side,” Jace said unnecessarily and Alec smiled fondly to himself at his protectiveness. Now that he was standing, he could feel his injuries, in his back, his shoulder, his chest and his head, but the pain had a numbed quality to it, the works of the warlock, and it was tolerable for now.
Izzy and the girl were going to go check on the others. Alec could tell how conflicted Jace was about letting his duckling out of his eyesight, but his parabatai insisted on going with him. Izzy implored them to check for any news of Meliorn, which they promised to look out for.
With one last brooding look at the girl, Jace turned his back and led the way through the chaos. People, trees and parts of buildings were lying strewn all around them as Alec tried to focus on his path, but it was hard to see and hear the pain surrounding them. His only consolation was that he wasn’t able to help them, that the warlocks were there for that, and he was propelled forwards by his anxiety about how Magnus was doing.
They reached the healing tents in 10 minutes, which felt like an eternity to Alec, whose hands had begun shaking and whose stomach was cramping badly from fear of what could have happened to Magnus. His imagination was running wild. These minutes were some of the most horrible moments of Alec’s life; the unknown was terrifying him.
Jace didn’t give him time to gather his thoughts or even take a deep breath when they reached the tent. He just barged in like he owned the place, as was his way. The inside of the tent looked like what Alec imagined a war infirmary to be like. Makeshift beds had been conjured up all around them, and Downworlders in various stages of injury and pain were in them, most of them with vials of weird looking liquids on the floor next to them and warlocks bent over their forms. Alec’s eyes were sweeping over them in search, when he saw Meliorn.
“I’ll go, you look for Magnus,” Jace said decisively and took a few steps in the direction of Meliorn’s bed. Alec looked around in search for the High Warlock, when suddenly a flash of purple caught his eye. There was Magnus! Relief flooded Alec so intensely that he had to lean against a table by his side to keep from being overwhelmed. Magnus, alive and standing. In fact, what was he doing? It almost looked like Magnus was…could he be dancing?
Alec thought his eyes were playing tricks on him at first, but it soon became clear that Magnus was in fact using all the space he could to dance around the room. He had a far-away, dazed look on his face and swished about, humming to himself. Alec approached and saw Raphael towards the back, making a half disgruntled, half begrudgingly amused face. His shirt was torn and covered in blood and he had dark streaks across his face and arms and dust in his hair, but he looked uninjured.
“Magnus?” Alec asked, carefully. Magnus didn’t seem to hear him, he just kept dancing through the small available space to a melody only he could hear. When a few repetitions of the High Warlock’s name didn’t warrant any reaction either, Alec gave up and asked Raphael what was happening.
“They had to give him quite a big dose of pain-reducing medicine and magic to fix his broken ribs and pull the shrapnel from his arm,” the vampire explained matter-of-factly as Alec flinched from hearing about these injuries, “And it seems that he’s having a delirious episode as a result. He spent twenty minutes hiding under the bed from attacking mushrooms, so this is progress.”
Alec raised an eyebrow, but he let his eyes wander up and down Magnus’ body to check for any injuries. He could now see the top of a band-aid peeking out under Magnus’ sleeve, and if he focused, he could tell there was dried, crusted blood in the warlock’s dishevelled hair. It made Alec’s heart clench to see the evidence of this pain.
On a twirl, Magnus turned in Alec’s direction. His eyes focused, and Alec thought he was about to be recognised and greeted, but then Magnus let out a cry and jumped backwards, shoving Raphael in front of him in a panic. Alec, who had flinched from the sudden loud noise, backed away. Magnus was looking at him without recognition, but he seemed frightened, the look in his wide eyes suggesting he was scared for his life. Alec lifted his hands, backing further away.
“Magnus, it’s me, Alec,” he pleaded, pained, “I won’t hurt you.”
“He can’t hear you right now,” Raphael said, shaking his head but staying where Magnus had placed him. Magnus’ hands were clutching desperately at the vampire’s shoulders. It hurt Alec more than his injuries had to see Magnus looking at him with so much fear and mistrust in his eyes and he had to look away. He lowered his eyes to the floor. He knew he’d never forget the expression in Magnus’ eyes when he’d looked at him.
“Look, he’ll come back around soon,” Raphael said with sympathy in his voice, “but maybe right now it’s for the best that you leave. He needs to heal, he’s not supposed to get agitated.” Alec knew what the vampire was saying made sense. He knew he should leave and come back later when the delirium had worn off. But that didn’t mean it was easy. He was hurt and Magnus was hurt and he didn’t want to leave the warlock’s side. But he also never wanted to see Magnus look at him like that ever again, so he nodded and dejectedly turned away to go to where Jace was bent over Meliorn’s bed. When he looked back, Magnus was dancing again, looking like he didn’t have a single care in the whole wide world.

Chapter Text

Whumptober – Prompt 4: Human Shield

TW: Violence, Injury and Pain.

It was nearing midnight on a weekday, but because they were in New York, the city was still buzzing rather than getting quiet. Jace, Clary, Izzy, Magnus and Alec were on their way from Magnus’ apartment to the Institute on foot. It was a mellow, nice night and they had all preferred walking over a portal. As they walked, Jace was watching his parabatai and his interactions with the High Warlock of Brooklyn with a newly wary and sceptical eye. He had to be honest, he hadn’t been as quick as Izzy and Clary to notice that there was something between the two of them, but now that it had been pointed out, he didn’t know how he could have been dense enough to miss it.
Magnus’ expression whenever he looked at Alec was almost indecent; as if he was starving and had laid eyes on a huge piece of steak. It was uncomfortable to witness. And Alec…while nowhere near as extreme or visible from the outside, Alec was being just as weird. He suddenly smiled a lot, got somehow starry eyes and had recently developed a tendency to blush and stutter as if he was lacking a solid portion of his brain cells. Honestly, Jace was a little embarrassed at how little game his parabatai currently seemed to possessed.
“Are you seeing this?” Jace asked through clenched teeth, lowering his voice enough for Magnus and Alec not to hear. Magnus was laughing his unique laugh at something Alec seemed to have said, waving an empathic, nail-polished hand around. And Alec was grinning like a loon at having gotten this reaction. Alec looked even more whipped than – dare he say it? – bloody Simon?!
Suddenly, Izzy called out to them and they all automatically stopped in their tracks. All the light-heartedness disappeared from the air in an instant, and was replaced with tension as they stood completely still, listening out. There was the familiar hissing sound of a demon coming from the darkness somewhere in front of them. Instinctively, Jace moved so he was positioned slightly in front of Clary without blocking her view. Without letting go of his weapon, Jace used his other hand to activate the vision rune on his arm. He was still staring into the darkness, but now he could make out the shapes of two demons, tensed and ready to pounce.
Alec’s bow and quiver had appeared and he was holding his weapon up, prepared to let his arrow go. Izzy’s whip was at the ready and Clary had her weapon out, standing in well-practiced stance that made Jace kind of proud. Magnus, who was standing between Jace and Alec, had raised both hands and conjured up some magic in the palms. They had all instinctively moved closer together so they could defend each other better.
Everything was quiet and tense, nobody moved. They waited for stretched-out seconds.
And then everything happened very fast. With a lunge, the two demons had propelled forward towards the Shadowhunters and the warlock. Two, three and then six more appeared from out of nowhere, hurtling themselves through the air towards the group, and an intense and chaotic fight began. Clary and Jace’s blades slashed through the air almost in sync, accompanied by Magnus’ quiet, focused murmurings of incantations as well as the swooshing of his magic, and the whizzing sound of Izzy’s whip. The demons shrieked, the humans groaned and grunted. They attacked and dodged in equal measures.
Jace managed to stab one of the things so fiercely, it exploded into a shower of sparks near him and burnt the back of his hand. He barely had time to check the injury before the next one came at him. Subconsciously, him and Clary had moved so they were back to back, fighting attacks off from all sides. Izzy swung her whip around so deftly and fast, she caught two of them at once. And Alec stood a few feet away, his exact aim never once missing the demons, even though some of his arrows flew dizzyingly close to the other Shadowhunters’ heads. Magnus threw protective charms between his friends and the long sharp claws and pincers of the demons with amazing accuracy.
This combined team effort meant that it didn’t take long for the Shadowhunters and the warlock to be left on the road, surrounded by nothing but ashes. Jace was, like everyone else, breathing heavily and the adrenaline was rushing through his veins, but he couldn’t help a huge grin when he’d looked around to make sure no one was injured.
“That was good work,” he congratulated, exchanging a proud, joyful look with Alec, who was still stood a little further away. His quiver and bow had already disappeared again.
“But where did they come from? Who sent them?” Izzy asked. She looked around with a concerned expression on her face, “What are they doing so far out of their comfort zone?” Jace shrugged.
“Maybe –“, Alec began but he was interrupted by a high-pitched screech. To everyone’s shock, another demon was flying way too fast at Alec, who was defenceless and unprepared. It was going to hit Alec right in the chest and abdomen, and its pincers –
Before Jace could so much as cry out or move a muscle, the demon was only half a foot away from his parabatai. Jace was absolutely helpless and could do nothing but watch in horror. Alec didn’t stand a chance, he’d only managed to throw up his hands in an instinctive but useless gesture of protection. Everything was happening so fast.
A flurry of movement, a high-pitched hiss and a thud and before Jace could comprehend what had happened, Magnus screamed in pain. He’d thrown himself in front of Alec to block the attack and had been bitten by the demon, which he’d taken down to the floor with him.
Jace jumped forward before he could think, raised his sword arm and propelled the blade into the demon with all his might, aiming his blow so it would shatter into sparks in the direction away from Magnus’ face. When he’d made sure there was no more demons and turned around, Alec was already kneeling beside a writhing Magnus with a gaping, vehemently bleeding wound to his side and abdomen. Broken rib bones were sticking sickeningly out of his front. Alec was pale as a ghost and covered in blood, and his hands were shaking as he pressed the fabric of his jacket onto the wound around the splintered bones to cover the blood flow. Izzy was activating runes at the same time as hissing fast words into her cell, and Clary stood over Magnus with her blade held high as if to guard him from any more attacks.
Jace’s heart was still beating too fast from the momentous shock of witnessing this attack and feeling so power- and helpless. He knew that would haunt him, but it was the least of his problems. Now the warlock was in serious danger. He tore off his jacket and ripped the t-shirt from his head, balling it up and helping Alec to apply pressure and stop the blood flow. Even though they were both careful to avoid jostling the bones, Magnus was whimpering and screaming in turn from the unimaginable pain.
While Jace had had his fair share of experiences with wounds and injuries, this one was especially gruesome. His hands were warm and slick with blood, Magnus’ eyes were rolling wildly in their sockets as he whimpered in agony, and he didn’t feel like their four hands were enough to even begin to cover all the areas the blood was streaming from. He couldn’t look at Alec’s face, because he knew he wouldn’t be able to take it. The fear, the guilt, the pain of his expression would have been too much. He’d been worried about Alec’s life, but maybe he should have thought about what would happen to his parabatai if Magnus lost his life tonight? He didn’t dare think about it.
“His two most powerful warlocks are on their way, trying to portal themselves somewhere near here. Hodge is also en route,” Izzy informed them, already dialling another number. Magnus had protected Alec and it would now be a team effort to save his life. And if it took everything they had and more.

Chapter Text

Whumptober – Prompt 5: Gunpoint

 

“Don’t move or I will shoot.” The voice was sweet in Alec’s ear, contrasting with the forceful words, and he froze immediately in response. He could feel cold metal pressed against the back of his neck. The tell-tale, eerie sound of the safety clicking off echoed through the quiet room. Alec didn’t dare move and even tried to breathe as shallowly as possible, frozen in place. His mind, however, was racing.
Who was this? What did they want? How many were there? How had they found them? Who were they working for? Was there any way out? Without moving his head, Alec looked around to determine different exit paths should he manage to free himself and Magnus of the holds they were currently in.
Across the room, another kidnapper was holding a knife to Magnus’ throat. With his free hand, he handed the warlock rune-inscribed shackles to put on; they would bind his magic and make him basically mundane for the time he was wearing them. As his magic was already bound in this room, that must mean that they were planning on taking him somewhere else. His stomach clenched with fear. Magnus was pressed closely to his attacker and felt the sharp edge of the metal against his throat, so he had no choice but to put them on. His panicked eyes were focusing on Alec, his gaze flickering between his face and the gun held to his head.
“Now walk slowly forward until I tell you to stop,” the disembodied voice ordered from behind Alec. Alec swallowed, gritted his teeth and took slow, deliberate steps until he was told to stop. The gun remained in touch with the back of his neck and he prayed it didn’t accidentally go off with the movement. The kidnapper’s heels clacked loudly on the concrete floor with every step. Who in their right mind wore heels to a kidnapping, Alec thought absent-mindedly. As he moved through the room, Alec’s eyes never left Magnus. The warlock was also being ordered to move, following them.
When Alec was told to stop, his attacker slowly went around him, moving into his field of vision but out of his reach while keeping her eyes on him focused like a laser pointer. She was covered from head to toe in black clothes, had her light blonde hair drawn back into a ponytail and moved with the gun like someone whose first rodeo this was not. Reaching into her pocket, she took out another pair of hand cuffs and handed them to Magnus. Her eyes were steel grey, hard and pitiless.
“Put them on him. Now. I will check them and you don’t want me to find out you were trying to play a trick on me,” she said to the warlock without ever taking her eyes off Alec, to whom she said:
“Put your wrists out in front of you.” Alec obeyed. Magnus’ attacker let go of him and the warlock approached. His eyes were pleading and apologetic, as if this was even remotely his fault. Alec was glad his hands were steady in front of him, he didn't want Magnus to see his fear.

Chapter Text

Whumptober – Prompt 6: Dragged away (continued from Prompt 5)
Warning for violence, injuries and pain.

 

Slowly and very awkwardly due to the shackles binding his wrists together, Magnus got to work on putting the hand cuffs on Alec. His fingers were gentle and his touch was soft. Alec could tell Magnus’ hands were trembling. He’d ensured not to pull the shackles too tight, but tight enough so Alec would never be able to get his hands out. They had both believed the kidnapper's threat that they would be checked; and neither one of them wanted to risk making her angry. Magnus looked pained, and Alec tried to reassure him wordlessly that it wasn’t his fault, that he was scared, too, but that everything would somehow be okay.
While his body was shielding their hands from the kidnapper’s view, Magnus took Alec’s hand in his and squeezed it, gently, putting more into this simple touch than he could have ever said in words. Alec, who felt a huge lump in his throat from fear and desperation, swallowed hard and tried to put everything he couldn’t say into the touch of his hand and into his eyes. Magnus' hand was soft and warm, and Alec could feel his racing pulse in his wrist. They stared at each other for a loaded moment as they held hands, while Magnus smartly clanked the cuffs together so it would seem like it was taking him a while to secure them. Alec’s heart was racing along with his thoughts and he didn’t feel like he was getting enough air. He just couldn’t have anything happen to Magnus. They had to get out of here! Magnus' brown eyes were wide but also tender and full of emotion. There were no tears in them; he didn't want to give the attacker's the satisfaction.
“Now, give me everything he has in his pockets, especially phone and wallet,” the kidnapper's impatient voice interrupted their moment harshly.
Obediently but still very awkwardly due to his shackles, Magnus reached into Alec’s jeans, pulled out the requested items and handed them backwards. She also made Magnus pass her Alec’s stele and put it all in her pockets. Then, she told Magnus to “step away”.
Magnus stepped back, lowered his head and awaited further instruction. The man who’d been holding him hostage went back into his earlier position, raising the knife to Magnus’ throat again. He was so careless with it that there were already two scratches in Magnus’ tan skin by his throat. Alec’s eyes were focused on these little incisions and they more than anything fuelled his rage. He had to find a way to get himself and Magnus out of these cuffs, and he would make sure that that man would die a slow and painful death at his hands.
The kidnapper with the gun now made Alec stand against the wall while she checked that the cuffs had been fastened properly. Alec didn’t dare move a muscle. Had he been by himself, he may have attempted to surprise his attacker and get her to drop the gun before it fired but he knew that even if he were successful, there was a knife at Magnus’ throat and he didn’t put it past those two to use it before he could even pick up the gun.
The situation felt hopeless, he couldn’t think of a plan to save them both, and a constricting feeling began to take hold of his chest, causing difficulty to breathe. He tried his best not to let it show, but it felt like a metal band was slowly being pulled tighter and tighter around his chest.
“I think it’ll be better to take them both out before we go,” the woman said to her companion, who wasted no time before brutally grabbing Magnus by the hair and knocking his head into the concrete wall beside them with a sickening crack. Alec screamed, instinctively rushing forward, but was stopped by the gun appearing threateningly in his path. Magnus had been knocked out immediately, his body collapsing limply to the floor. Blood was trickling from the wound on the side of his head. In his panicked state, Alec couldn't even tell if the warlock was breathing or not. The attacker stepped over him, kicking him carelessly in the process. Alec had never felt this much hatred before in his entire life and glared defiantly at the man, now more angry and helpless for Magnus than frightened for himself.
Without warning, a fist hit him in the temple, knocking his head backwards into the metal pipe next to him. Blinding pain shot through his skull and his vision blurred as Alec fell to the floor, unable to catch himself or even lift his cuffed hands to his head. The last thing he saw before he lost consciousness was Magnus’ seemingly lifeless body being dragged away.

Chapter Text

Whumptober – Prompt 7: Isolation (continuation of prompt 6)
TW: Suicidal thoughts

Everything was cold and dark around him as Magnus regained consciousness. The air felt damp and stale and immediately unpleasant. He was leaning in an uncomfortable position against a concrete wall, which was cold and hard against his aching back. His neck had been bent forward, his chin resting on his chest, as he’d lain there unconsciously for who knew how long. Everything hurt and his thoughts and memories were distorted and blurry.
Around him, the room (was it even a room?) was dark and he could only just make out the shapes of his body and a pillar somewhere to his right. Where was he? How had he gotten to this place? How long had he been down here? How big was this room? Was there anything in rooms above, beneath or around him? Who was responsible for bringing him here? Would they come back or leave him here to starve? He could tell there was no one else in the space with him, but that was about all he could determine about his surroundings.
What he knew immediately and with certainty was that he couldn’t feel his magic and wasn’t able to conjure it up at will as he normally was. It made him feel instantly power- and helpless. He’d of course seen immediately that his hands were shackled and bound together in front of him. There were runes on the shackles that bound him and he recognised enough of them to know they were meant to stop him from using magic. And now what? What could he do? Without his magic, his options were severely limited.
Magnus climbed uncharacteristically clumsily to his feet. His knees buckled, threatening not to support his weight, and he felt immediately so dizzy, that he had to lean against the wall to keep himself upright. When he was sure he was not going to faint or throw up, he walked carefully along the walls of the room, trying to get a feeling for the space by touch. His dungeon seemed to be a room of maybe 10 square meters with a high ceiling, thick concrete walls and one heavy steel door. No windows, no light, no furniture. Just oppressing darkness. And that odd and seemingly purposeless pillar to his right, as well as a bucket in another corner. He felt sick to his stomach when he figured out what that would be for.
As he was still exploring the room, Magnus’ memories rushed back into his head and he gasped. He had to sit, sinking down the wall back to the cold, hard floor. Clear as day he could remember now. Shackles. Alexander held at gunpoint. Two kidnappers. The knife pressed right to his throat. Merciless, hard eyes. Crippling fear. Powerlessness. Being forced to put cuffs on Alexander. The look on Alexander’s face. Blinding pain in his head. A narrow hallway. Nausea. Gruff voices. Darkness.
As his thoughts cleared and the circumstances came back to him, his breathing began to accelerate. He was absolutely and without a doubt trapped in this room. His heart was racing in his chest as he became aware how dependent he was on the goodwill of his kidnappers, and that he couldn’t seem to think of anything that he could do for himself. He didn’t seem to be able to get enough air in his lungs! What if he suffocated in here? What if they had just left him to die? He would die shackled, cold and all alone, and no one would ever find him!
Breathing in shallow gasps, Magnus tried to recollect tips from his therapist who’d told him how to avoid the onset of a massive panic attack. He lowered his head to his knees and attempted to focus on taking deep, slow breaths while touching both of his hands to the floor between his legs. Breathing in and out. Making himself feel the grounding floor beneath his hands. In and out. A panic attack wouldn’t help anyone right now. It was a painful and slow process because breathing hurt and scared thoughts kept threatening to intrude and overwhelm him, but eventually he managed to regulate his breathing and heartbeat.
Undetermined amounts of time passed as Magnus sat on the floor of the dark room, just waiting. He couldn’t tell if it was hours or days. It was cold, he was hungry, his entire body and especially his head hurt constantly and his throat felt parched. It was the most horrible thing Magnus had ever experienced.
He spent his time either remembering the past or imagining a future, or he took slow walks across the short length of the room. He tried to avoid thinking about his situation, even though that was of course not possible. He tried at least, to stop himself from contemplating the hopelessness of it. Even though he attempted to be realistic, Magnus couldn’t help but cling with his whole being to the hope that somebody, somewhere, would find and rescue him before it was too late, no matter how unrealistic this hope may be. He slept a lot, curled uncomfortably on his side or leaning against the wall. He began to live with the constant pain in his limbs, head and back.
At seemingly random intervals, the door opened minimally, and a bottle of disgusting-tasting water and some dry, stale bread were kicked into the room. The first time that had happened, Magnus had felt hopeful, grateful for not being left down here to die and rot. He’d tried to make for the door, but he hadn’t been able to fast enough. By the time he had gotten to his feet, the door had already fallen shut with a heavy clunk again. He rationed his bread and water but it still never seemed to be enough, so he felt himself grow more and more physically and psychologically weak. As indeterminate amounts of time passed, he found himself repeatedly considering the possibility of just stopping to drink the water or eat the food. It would be difficult for a few days or hours, he was sure, but then it would all be over. He wouldn't have to be in this cell anymore, wouldn't have to be at the mercy of these people, wouldn't have to dread a life locked in a cold hard cell with only a bucket for company.
But something stopped him, even in this isolation, even when his hope became desperate. Something always managed to ease the ache in his mind and even in his body. It was the thought of Alexander. Alexander, he had no doubt, would be found by his Shadowhunter friends. These kidnappers wanted something, they hadn’t targeted them but then left them alive for no reason. And Alexander, of that Magnus was also certain, would not rest until he had found a way to find Magnus. It wasn’t statistics or reason he found himself listening to most and strengthened by, it was the belief in Alec.
Magnus saw Alexander’s face in his mind a lot, in happier moments. That wide, unguarded smile that had taken his breath away the first time they had met. Those careful but passionate blue eyes. The kindness, strength and loyalty he embodied.
One memory, even though it was a small and insignificant one, kept resurfacing in his thoughts. The two of them had been sitting on Magnus' couch, watching TV, their entire sides touching. Magnus remembered as if it was yesterday the warmth of Alexander's slender body by his side, the content feeling that had spread through his body, the way Alec had absently been drawing soft lines over Magnus' palm with his fingertips. Magnus hadn't even been sure that Alec noticed he was doing it. His eyes were fixed on the screen where Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen was staring at his own grave stone behind his house. Magnus, who'd seen this episode already, was watching Alec instead, taking in his familiar features and admiring his profile. Alec spoke without turning away from the screen, his voice soft, his hand still caressing Magnus'.
"Magnus?"
"Mhm?"
"I'd never stop looking for you."
As time went on in Magnus' cell, he began imagining conversations and scenarios in which he interacted with Alec, and found himself speaking out loud to an empty room. Found that sometimes, impossibly, he was smiling. He took strength from the thought of Alexander, from the idea and imagination of a future together, from the memory of their eventful past. It was all that helped him through when it got unbearable in the emptiness and darkness of his room. And Magnus managed to hold on to hope.

Chapter Text

Whumptober – Prompt 8: Stab Wound
TW: Injury and Pain.

Alec put as much force as possible behind his fast punches; he tried to channel all his anger into them. This couldn’t be happening, couldn’t be true. It couldn’t really be all over, not after everything. It couldn’t, he wouldn’t let it. And yet it seemed like he didn’t have a choice but to accept that this was the end of their relationship. A frustrated, pained grunt escaped as his fist collided violently with the punching bag and he heard an ominous click from his wrist.
Alec lowered his hands unwillingly. He could tell he wasn’t focusing on the training like he should, and distraction could lead to injuries. He couldn’t afford that right now, and much as he wanted to do nothing but punch the life out of the thing, he knew it was for the best that he didn’t. It had been only 5 days since that fateful conversation, but it somehow simultaneously felt like it had been months as well as just minutes. He could recall it so clearly, it was as if he was in the situation right now, but he also missed Magnus like they hadn’t seen each other in weeks.
The first two days after the talk, he’d thrown himself into his work and training and missions with unthinking, reckless abandon. Even ever-so-adventurous Jace had had to slow him down. The third day, he hadn’t gotten out of bed; he’d locked his room door, invented a story about a sprained ankle that no one believed, and stayed inside. He’d noticed that he’d felt progressively worse as the day went on and so the next day, he’d forced himself to work again. But he’d made a mistake; in a weak, unobserved moment, he’d given in and let himself call Magnus. There had been no answer, which had felt like a punch in the gut. Thankfully, he’d had the good sense to hang up before he left a rambling voice message, but still. Maybe it was the anger about that situation and his own stupidity that had led to all the pent-up aggression of today. He looked down to see his right hand balled into a fist while the left was rubbing the painful wrist.
Just when his breathing had slowed down and he’d decided to call it a day with the training, his phone rang. Alec physically jumped and made such a fast grab for it that it slipped through his fingers and onto the floor. But it was just Izzy’s name was flashing on the screen. Wasn’t she on a mission? Alec’s stomach twisted in fear as he hastily accepted the call.
“Hello?”
It was loud where ever Izzy was and he could make out a hysterical voice in the background, as well as what sounded like groans.
“Alec, thank god! Look, you have to get here right away. Something’s happened to Jace, he’s hurt. I’ll send you the coordinates. And call Magnus, we need his help! I gotta go, I need to help him.” And then there was only the beeping sound of a disconnected phone line.
For a brief moment, Alec stood frozen in shock, his sister’s words echoing in his head over and over again:
“Something’s happened to Jace, he’s hurt.” His parabatai was hurt. Alec's stomach clenched so hard he thought he was going to be sick as he stood, immobile, in the middle of the empty training room. He didn’t notice his phone dropping out of his hand again and hitting the matt with a dull thud.
Only when the rest of Izzy’s words got through to his thoughts and his phone beeped with the location she’d sent him, did Alec spring into action. In one fluid movement, he grabbed his phone, jacket and stele. Dialling Magnus’ familiar number one-handed, he shoved his other hand into the sleeve of his jacket.
The line beeped.
“Please pick up, please pick up, please pick –“, Alec mumbled to himself, carelessly pushing past anyone in his way in his haste to get to his parabatai. He was interrupted by Magnus’ familiar voice:
“Alexander, look, this is – “
This time, Alec did the cutting off.
“Magnus, this isn’t about me. Or you. Jace is hurt and I need your help. Right now.” A brief moment of silence at the other end of the line.
“Where do you need me?”, the warlock asked.
Gratitude briefly overpowering his panic, Alec swallowed a lump in his throat and told Magnus that he would send him the location and that he was also on his way.
“I’ll pick you up at the Institute now and portal us both there. It’s quicker that way.” With that, Alec was hung up on for the second time in two minutes. He forwarded the location, sped up, and raced along the hallway and outside, where Magnus was already waiting. Beside him, the portal glowed in its fluorescent purple light.
“I can get us quite close to him,” was all he said, his voice serious yet calm, and he took Alec by the arm and led them into the portal. Almost immediately, they stepped out into a crowded street. By magic, none of the mundanes seemed to have noticed them appearing beside them out of thin air. Magnus, who was still holding Alec by the arm, his grip firm but gentle, pulled the Shadowhunter along the street.
“Do you know what happened? What type of injuries?” he asked, manoeuvring them swiftly. It seemed like subconsciously, everyone on the street made way to let him through. Alec shook his head no. His heart was beating so fast and loud, he had trouble hearing anything else. Suddenly, they made a sharp right turn into an alley and Alec could hear Clary’s scared voice. He started to run towards it, a hand placed on the stele by his hip. And then, behind a dumpster, he saw them. The handle of a knife was sticking out of Jace’s abdomen. Jace was on the ground, his face hidden from view by Clary’s body. She seemed to have his head in her lap and was talking to Izzy. Both women were pressing fabric, presumably their jackets, onto either side of the knife.
“Oh god, Jace!” Alec gasped, rushing forward. Jace seemed to hear his voice and turned his head in Alec’s direction. There was a trace of blood trickling out of the corner of his mouth and he looked pale and pained. Leaning past Clary, Alec bent down to take Jace’s hand, laying the other one on his shoulder.
“Alec,” Jace croaked. His eyes were unfocused and kept drooping shut.
“Stay with me, Jace. I’ve brought help. We’ll fix you.”
Absently, Alec heard Magnus’ footsteps behind him. Izzy looked up, relieved but still scared. There was blood on her face and she was pale underneath her tan skin.
“What happened?” Magnus asked matter-of-factly as he bent over the wound to inspect it.
“We thought the attack was over, but a demon came out of nowhere and threw a knife. Jace jumped in front of me to shield me and so -,” Izzy swallowed but couldn’t finish the sentence. She looked so pained, as if this was her fault.
“It’s not your fault. This is who Jace is,” Clary said to her. Alec barely heard any of this, he was focusing on Jace, on his breathing, on his eyes, on the feeling of his parabatai’s cold hand in his.
“I have to get him to my loft, I have all the equipment there,” Magnus said calmly but with such an air of authority that no one would ever think to doubt him, “I will portal us all there. Alec, Izzy, help me get him up, but keep the pressure around the wound. Don’t move the knife. Clary, hold his hand and mine.” Glad for something useful to do, Alec instructed Izzy to hold the fabrics to Jace and lifted him effortfully to his feet. This seemed to drain all of Jace’s energy and his eyes shut while his chin sank to his chest.
“Jace!” Alec called out, groaning under the effort of holding his parabatai up and relatively still so Izzy could keep stemming the blood flow. There was no more reply, and Alec knew he was supporting all of his parabatai's weight because Jace had lost consciousness.
Within a few moments, all of them were at Magnus’ loft and Alec lowered Jace onto some cushions on the floor Magnus had directed him to. With a movement of Magnus’ hand, all his supplies flew to him and assembled around him. Magnus began mixing, stirring and mumbling to himself, all the while keeping one hand hovering above Jace’s body with magic flowing from it.
“No major organs were hit,” he said. Alec released the breath he’d been holding. Surely, that was good, but he didn’t like standing helplessly around while Magnus did all the work. While Jace got paler by the second, losing more and more blood.
“Do you need help? Strength?” he asked the warlock. He remembered when they’d been healing Luke, how he’d had to provide some energy. For a moment, Magnus looked up and Alec knew he was remembering it, too. Then he shook his head.
“It’s not a huge wound, I think I’ll be okay.” A few more minutes passed as Izzy paced back and forth and Clary and Alec were holding one of Jace’s hands each. While Clary had tears in her eyes and was watching Magnus’ every move, Alec’s eyes were fixed on his parabatai. He tried to focus and send all the strength he could into their bond, trying to make it flow through that as well as the touch of their hands.
“Almost ready. On the count of three, Alec, please very carefully remove the knife,” Magnus instructed, tearing him out of his trance. When he was told, Alec carefully but with steady hands began to pull the knife from Jace’s abdomen. Jace woke enough to groan in pain and writhe, and it took Izzy, Clary and Magnus to hold him in place so he wouldn’t cause any damage.
When he’d gotten the blade out, Alec held it tightly in his hands, which were now drenched in his parabatai’s warm blood. Izzy pulled Jace’s t-shirt up and Clary gasped and looked away. The wound looked dreadful. The cut was dirty, torn and a lot wider than the blade had been and blood was now flowing freely from it. Magnus began his rituals, a mixture of incantations, fluorescent magic and strange slimy substances, and all the others could do was watch. The warlock was breathing more and more heavily and Alec saw him sway on his feet, but his jaw was gritted and his eyes determined. Alec held out his hand as he had done once before, and felt Magnus take it. Once again, it felt very peculiar when Magnus began accessing his strength but it wasn’t anything he couldn’t handle.
Later, when they were done, Alec's thoughts would return to the loaded moment of their eyes meeting, to the familiar feeling of Magnus' hands in his that he would probably never feel again, to how connected they felt when Magnus accessed some of his strength. But at that moment, he had other things on his mind.
Sooner than Alec would have thought, Magnus was done. The wound was still visible, but no more blood was flowing from it and it looked like it had already scabbed over. And within seconds, Jace opened his eyes. Now, they were clear and while he was obviously still weak, he didn’t seem to be in pain anymore. Izzy, Clary and Alec crowded around him in relief as Magnus withdrew. The warlock sat down, still breathing heavily. He allowed himself to watch Alec in this unguarded moment. Now that the adrenaline was fading and Jace was safe and well, he felt the pain return to his heart.

Chapter Text

Whumptober – Prompt 9: Shackled
TW: Adult themes and sexual content

Alec Lightwood leaned forward, pressing his lips softly to those of his boyfriend. He could feel Magnus’ hands on his waist, pulling him closer so that their warm, heavily breathing bodies were pressed tightly against each other. They kissed and kissed and kissed. It was clear neither of them wanted to stop. As they stood there, chests touching, with Alec’s hands on Magnus’ neck and hair, their kisses moved from being chaste to open-mouthed, tongue-tangling making out and became more passionate, more frantic, more urgent. Alec was shoving Magnus’ jacket off his shoulders almost roughly while Magnus wound his hands under Alec’s shirt. His hands were warm and welcome and sent pleasant shivers along Alec’s spine. The warlock could feel the goose bumps that had risen on Alec’s skin and smiled softly against his lips.
Magnus pushed Alec backwards down on the bed – Alec hadn’t even realized they were so close to it – and climbed on top of him, hardly breaking the kiss at all. Alec could feel the other man’s erection press against his upper thigh as the warlock started placing hot, open-mouthed kisses down the side of his neck, his breath ghosting over the sensitive skin and making him shiver pleasantly. They were both breathing heavily, their warm exhales mingling, and Alec closed his eyes in ecstasy. The hot kisses trailed down his neck, along his throat and down to his nipple. Alec didn’t remember even taking off his shirt. He moaned softly at the soft touch of Magnus’ mouth there.
But suddenly, the kisses stopped. There was an unexpected, intense pain in his temple, and shortly thereafter, everything went black.
When Alec woke up, his head hurt and he was shackled and bound to the bed. Everything around him was in half-darkness and looked blurry, but he was still in Magnus' bedroom. He blinked repeatedly to clear his vision and realised he was on the bed he’d been in with Magnus, and that Magnus was nowhere to be seen. Panic grabbed at his throat and clenched his stomach. Had he been knocked out and had Magnus been kidnapped? Alec struggled against his holds, but his wrists were shackled together and his feet were cuffed to both sides of the bed, and it was to no avail. Why was he only wearing boxers? He’d had his jeans on before, he knew that. Cold dread spread through his insides when he realised that someone must have undressed him while he was out cold. Before he could even think of anything else to try, the door opened and Magnus strolled in with a drink in hand, looking for all the world like Alec almost naked and bound to the bed was what he’d been expecting to find.
“Alexander,” he purred with a smile, “I see you’re awake.” And he took a sip from his martini glass. Alec blinked in confusion. Something wasn’t right about this scene. Magnus looked like Magnus but something was off in his eyes. They were still the same chocolate brown, but there was no warmth in them anymore.
“Magnus, what’s going on?”
Magnus didn’t answer. He was observing Alec and absently stirring his drink as he took very slow steps towards the bed. Alec’s heart began to race. Something was not right here.
“Magnus!” Alec could hear the urgency and panic begin to creep into his voice. A part of him was still hoping Magnus would suddenly smile and kiss him and tell him he’d just wanted to try something more adventurous. And he’d untie him and they’d be back to normal. But Alec had a feeling that this was a different sort of situation altogether, and it terrified him.
“Not to worry, darling, I’m not going to hurt you. Much,” Magnus said and his voice was like ice. He set down the drink and picked up a knife, then he unhurriedly advanced on the bed. Something about the way he walked was predatory, and not in a good way. Alec thrashed furtively against his restraints again. He was completely vulnerable and exposed, there was nothing about this that he could control, Magnus had all the power. His increasingly shallow and rapid breaths threatened to overwhelm him as he struggled in vain, his wide eyes fixed on the warlock.
“What’s happening? Why are you doing this?” he asked very loudly as Magnus produced a silk handkerchief from his pocket. The warlock didn’t reply. With the knife still in hand, Magnus walked to the side of the bed and tried to tie the silk around Alec’s head to cover his eyes. Alec thrashed his head around, trying to escape or bite the warlock’s hand. Cold, terrifying anger flashed in Magnus’ eyes and he brought the knife closer to the side of Alec’s neck.
“I wouldn’t struggle like that if I were you, my dear, it’ll definitely hurt more.” Alec couldn’t see the blade but he felt it pressed against the side of his neck and immediately stopped his resistance.
“There’s a good boy.” Magnus smiled, but it looked enigmatic and devoid of any emotion. He covered Alec’s eyes with the silk and tied it at the back of his head. If it had been bad for Alec before, it was now so much worse. Devoid of his eyesight, he didn’t know where Magnus was in the room anymore and that was infinitely more terrifying than before, even though it made no difference to his abilities to defend himself. He could hear the warlock’s soft breathing by his side and every hair stood up on his body.
“Now, let’s you and me have some fun,” Magnus’ voice whispered in his ear, sending chills down Alec’s spine. Two hands grabbed his shoulders and suddenly, Magnus’ weight settled on his hips, straddling him. Alec didn't dare struggle. The warlock’s finger ran softly down his chest and while it didn’t hurt, it was the most horrible touch Alec had ever experienced. Then he felt the cold blade on his sternum and Alec screamed.
**
He awoke with a gasp in the dark, sitting up abruptly and immediately checking his wrists and ankles for shackles. There were none, he was free. He was still in Magnus' bedroom. His heart was beating so fast and loud, he could hear it in his ears. When he wiped a hand across his forehead, he realised he was covered in a sheen of sweat.
“Alexander?”
When he heard Magnus’ voice, Alec instinctively flinched and jumped out of the bed. He was still disoriented and the sight of Magnus terrified him. He was also only wearing his boxers and felt exposed in a way he hadn't ever felt around Magnus.
“It was just a dream, Alec, whatever it was,” Magnus said very softly. He sat up in bed, making slow and deliberate movements so as not to scare Alec. He looked nothing like the Magnus in the dream; his face was devoid of makeup, his hair tousled and falling into his soft sleepy eyes and, most importantly, his expression was one of compassion, warmth and worry. His eyes were kind and concerned. But Alec noticed he himself was still in a defensive stance by the side of the bed. He tried to take a deep breath and remind himself that it had all been a dream, that nothing was real, but he couldn’t shake his fear and the feeling of powerlessness. He did the only thing he could do: he picked up his t-shirt from where it had been discarded carelessly on the floor and slipped it over his head. Magnus was watching him silently, but he looked taken aback. The T-shirt made Alec feel a little better, and as a few more moments passed, his heart rate slowly calmed.
“Shhh, Alec. It’s okay. Come back to bed.” It took Magnus almost ten minutes to convince his boyfriend to come back into bed, and the Shadowhunter still looked truly shaken. His hands were trembling, he was sweating and pale, and he flinched when Magnus reached out to touch his shoulder. Alec would think of the look on Magnus’ face when he’d tried to touch him and Alec had flinched for weeks to come. But he couldn’t help it. The memory of his dream, the bad touch and most importantly the powerlessness and lack of control were still more than vivid in his mind.
They both lay on the opposing sides of the wide bed, the biggest possible distance between them, each awake with their own thoughts.

Chapter Text

Whumptober – Prompt 10: Unconscious

Magnus wasn’t answering his calls. He didn’t call back. There was only silence from his end, despite the increasingly worried voice messages and texts Alec had left, despite the time that had passed. Alec knew they hadn’t parted on the best of terms, but this had never happened before. Magnus had so far always responded in a way, and if it was only to make sure that there was no emergency. Something wasn’t right.
“Jace, come with me to Magnus’ loft tonight. I need to make sure he’s okay,” he told his parabatai. Jace nodded, but said:
“I’m sure he’s fine. He’s probably just giving you the silent treatment. He does seem like the type.” There was a grin on Jace’s face, but underneath it, Alec thought he could detect a hint of worry. It unsettled him. Jace was usually so assured and optimistic. The fact that he was showing signs of worry or fear freaked him out.
He tried to push any thoughts about Magnus out of the way during the day, but it didn’t really work. He was not exactly what they'd call a carefree or optimistic person, and imagining worst case scenarios was his thing. But then again, he was right more often than not, so no one could blame him. He had his phone next to him and for the life of him couldn’t resist checking it at least every five minutes. But nothing, just silence.
By the time Alec and Jace arrived in front of Magnus’ loft, Alec was a mess on the inside, trying his best to stop the crazy from reaching outward. If the looks Jace kept giving him were anything to go by, he wasn’t doing a very good job. Nothing felt right to him, but he couldn’t distinguish if it was his paranoia or a trustworthy gut feeling. His hands were sweating, his breathing was shallow and he’d run his hands through his hair so many times, he was sure it was a mess.
They knocked once, twice, three times, but there was no answer. Alec's hand was shaking where it was balled to a fist to knock. When Alec called Magnus’ cell again, he could hear it ring inside the apartment. His stomach clenched. This couldn’t be right. Magnus wouldn’t ignore him like this. So either Magnus was in there, unable to answer his phone, or he had been seperated from it and was somewhere else entirely. Jace and Alec exchanged a loaded look, having a silent conversation, then Alec produced the spare key from his pocket that he’d been given for emergencies and unlocked the door. Luckily, there didn’t seem to be any magic in place that stopped him, and his shaking hands had granted them access in no time.
What he saw then made Alec’s breath catch in his throat. The apartment was in complete disarray. There was barely an inch of floor not covered in upturned furniture, random objects, tons of ancient-looking books or shards of glass. In the middle of the room, half on, half off, the coffee table and with a chair on his feet, was Magnus’ body. Alec froze in the doorway as he looked at the scene. From the periphery of his vision he saw Jace raise his blade, advancing slowly into the room as if he was expecting someone to jump out at him any second.
“I’ll make sure we’re alone, you check on him!”, Jace ordered, which finally shook Alec out of his trance. Following orders was familiar. He ran immediately towards the warlock, kneeling beside him and only realised he’d been holding his breath when he released it upon seeing Magnus’ chest heave and feeling the weak but steady pulse in his wrist. There were no visible injuries. Alec shook him gently.
“Magnus? Magnus, can you hear me?”
There was no reaction. Magnus’ phone was lying next to him, flashing with many missed calls and texts, most of them from Alec. A guilty feeling hit him like a ton of bricks as he thought about how long Magnus’ may have been lying there and how long he, Alec, hadn’t thought to check on him. The relief he'd felt earlier faded, replaced by more worry and dread. Surely, it was not normal to be unconscious for this long.
“Call other warlocks, Alec, now!”, Jace commanded from where he was checking the other rooms, “And the Institute!” Still in shock but somewhat glad of getting clear instructions, Alec followed as if on auto-pilot, not taking his eyes off Magnus’ face. He made both calls with a voice that sounded more composed than he felt, and both the other warlock as well as Izzy promised to come by as soon as possible. They sounded worried, even though he could tell they were trying not to show it.
Alec moved the furniture off of Magnus, then he lifted the warlock up and placed him on the sofa before sitting down next to him and taking his hand. He was staring into Magnus’ unresponsive face and clutched the limp hand in his own. That was how Jace found him.
“Alec, he’ll be okay,” he said softly, lowering his warm, reassuring hand onto his parabatai’s shoulder, “He’s not hurt physically. I’m sure he’ll come around. They will know what to do and how to help him.”
Alec managed a weak nod, but his insides were clenched in fear. Jace walked away, as if sensing that Alec needed a moment.
“Magnus. Come back. Please come back,” he urged and now his voice was hoarse, “I’m sorry. Sorry about our fight. Sorry that I didn’t come to look for you sooner. I will make it up to you. Just please, please come back.”

Chapter Text

Whumptober – Prompt 11: Stitches
No-magic Magnus
TW: Injury

The wound was in a really inconvenient place. Alec could just about see it if he craned his neck, the deep cut and the blood flowing from it, but he couldn’t properly reach it. At least not so that he could stitch it up. His needle-hand was steady as he’d done this plenty of times before, but the placement of the wound was problematic. It was located so awkwardly on the back of his right shoulder, between the spine and the shoulder blade, that he had difficulties working on it. It wasn't particularly painful as long as he didn't move or cover it, but it was deep enough to need stitching and bandaging. So, he sat there, his back to the mirror, his neck already aching, with blood running down his bare back and into the waist of his trousers. The light was dim in his bedroom, but he could have worked with that.
There was a soft knock on the door. Alec didn’t respond. He didn’t want to be disturbed and hoped that whoever it was would get the hint if he didn’t say anything. It was probably Jace, but he wasn't in the mood to face his parabatai right now; he didn't really feel like talking to anyone at the moment.
The person knocked again and Alec rolled his eyes. It wasn’t Jace, that was for sure. Jace would have just burst in instead of knocking a second time. He turned his head towards the door to listen, but again he didn’t say anything.
“Alexander?” That was Magnus’ voice. "Isabelle told me you were in here."
“Come in,” Alec said immediately upon recognition and sat up straighter. Softly, Magnus pushed the door open and took a step inside. This was the first time he'd ever been in Alec's room. Alec could tell he was fighting the urge to look around in curiosity, but his manners stopped him. When Magnus’ eyes fell on Alec’s shirtless body, he looked him up and down unabashedly and there was a slightly dazed look to his eyes. Alec fought the urge to tense his abs and puff up his chest, but just because he knew Magnus would be able to tell and that would have been embarrassing.
There was a moment of almost awkward silence.
“What are you doing?” Magnus asked eventually.
“I, um,…” Suddenly, Alec didn’t want to say, but Magnus had already seen the needle in his hand and looked confused for a moment.
"Have you taken up sewing? Seems like an unlikely hobby," he teased lightly. But then he looked to the mirror behind Alec and he froze. He moved a few more steps into the room, seemingly on auto-pilot, without taking his eyes off the reflection of Alec's back.
“What happened?” he asked.
“It’s nothing,” Alec shrugged and resisted the urge to grimace at the pain it caused when the skin – and the wound – stretched at this movement. Magnus tilted his head, wordlessly raising an eyebrow as if to say “evidently not nothing, dear”.
“Small injury on a mission,” Alec mumbled, “It’s nothing. I was just trying to stitch it up, but it’s in an awkward place, so it’s a bit of a mess.”
Magnus waved his hand around with a tense smile, but his gaze didn’t move from the mirror.
“Looks like it needs some warlock TLC,” he said quietly, referencing the conversation they had had what seemed like decades ago. Alec smiled weakly, but he felt awkward. Magnus didn’t have his magic anymore, so he couldn’t really help him, could he? But even Alec’s direct nature shied back from pointing that out. Instead, he waited, looking at the powerless warlock with what he was sure was pity in his eyes.
“Don’t look at me like that, I can help even without my magic,” Magnus said with a smile, waving his hand around again carelessly, but there was an edge to his voice that stopped Alec from refusing like he normally would have. Magnus approached. He stopped directly in front of him, close enough for Alec to have to look up at him. Alec wanted to say he was sorry that Magnus didn't have his powers anymore, wanted to voice anything that could make this better, but found himself again - frustratingly - at a loss for words. Magnus had built up walls around himself and despite his efforts to seem nonchalant, it was clear that the situation really got to him.
“May I?” he asked delicately now. Suddenly, he looked uncharacteristically shy, holding his hands aloft as if he wasn’t sure where to place them. One was open, waiting for the needle to be placed in the palm. Alec’s heart beat faster as he handed Magnus needle and thread and turned around. Very softly, the warlock placed his warm hand on Alec’s bare shoulder, sending shivers up his spine in reaction to the contact.
“Let me know if it hurts,” Magnus mumbled softly. In the mirror, Alec could see the concentrated look on his face. Despite the pain of the wound, he felt like he had goose bumps all over his body in reaction to Magnus' touch. It hurt, of course, but the Shadowhunter tried his very hardest not to flinch as Magnus slowly and a little clumsily – he probably hadn’t had a lot of practice in the last century (or ever) – sewed his wound. The pain of the needle was familiar and he thought he did a good job of hiding his reaction to it, as he instead focused on watching the warlock. His expression was one of concentration, brow slightly furrowed, and his nimble fingers worked as gently as possible.
When he was done and carefully tore the end of the thread, Magnus let his hands linger and ran his fingertips softly along the skin of Alec's shoulders and the back of his neck. They left goosebumps in their wake as Alec contently closed his eyes. Maybe, he thought to himself, this wound wasn't in such an inconvenient place after all.

Chapter Text

Whumptober – Prompt 12: “Don’t Move”

Alec was sleeping in Magnus’ bed and Magnus was watching him, unashamed. His sleep was peaceful in ways that Magnus’ never was. He slept like someone who never had to worry about being attacked in the night, about being snuck up on and caught unprotected or unawares. Despite his powerful magic, Magnus had never been able to shake that feeling and he just didn’t sleep peacefully like this. This deep, untroubled sleep was the sleep of the young, he supposed.
Like most people, Alec looked even younger than he was in his sleep when all the tension had left his face. His face was buried deep in the pillow and his full lips had an adorable pout in their relaxed state. His hair was tousled and fell into his forehead. Magnus wanted to reach up and run his hands through Alec’s thick black hair, but he restrained himself. He didn’t want to wake him. It was a rare opportunity to see Alexander like this, he hadn’t been able to come over much lately and usually they went to sleep and woke up at roughly the same time.
Magnus let his eyes trace the outlines of Alec’s face, from his pronounced jaw, over the full lips and the long, straight nose, the high cheekbones and the thick sweep of his dark eyebrows. The blanket was only pulled up to under his arms so Magnus was able to take in the tan skin, broad chest and shoulders and the strength of the arms and hands. The hands. They did something to Magnus’ insides. They were big, strong hands with long, deft fingers, but they could also be ever so gentle. Even the parts of Alec he could see were covered in different runes, elegant, thick-lined swirls, one stretching all the way up to the side of his neck.
He never would have dreamed that he could ever fall for a Shadowhunter, and still sometimes he found it hard to believe it had happened. Normally, they embodied so much negativity for him, so much coldness, rigidness and arrogance. But Alec…Alec was different, he was none of these things. He had a big, compassionate heart, he was loyal to a fault, honest and sometimes stubborn, he was wiser than his young years, he was sweet and always so motivated to do the right thing. He’d changed and challenged Magnus’ definite worldview, which the warlock wouldn’t have thought possible.
Alec now started to wake and blinked sleepily at Magnus. He looked absolutely adorable.
“Shh, don’t move,” Magnus whispered, “I just want to enjoy this moment a little longer.” The hint of a soft smile tugged at the corner of the younger man’s mouth. He closed his eyes again even though it was clear that he was no longer asleep.
Very gently, Magnus placed his hand on Alec’s, palm to palm, and felt Alec thread their fingers together. His hand was warm and it felt right entwined with his own. A few moments passed in harmonious silence between the men, Magnus gazing lovingly at Alec’s face and Alec smiling with his eyes closed. Magnus tried to memorise this moment; he didn't want it to end, wanted to be able to look back on the peacefulness of it in the future. Magnus propped himself up on his ellbow and leant over to press a kiss to Alec's cheek. He could feel his eyelashes brush against the skin. When he sat back up, Alec was smiling widely.
“Can I move now?”
“No,” he said with a smile and started peppering soft kisses all over Alec's face, neck and shoulders.

Chapter Text

Whumptober – Prompt 13: Adrenaline

“You have to kill him before he reaches Max. Run, Alec!” Izzy's voice was urgend behind him, but Alec was already running, going as fast as his long legs would take him. The cold air was rushing around his face and into his hair, and blowing into his jacket so it was billowing out behind him. It made his eyes sting and water, but he couldn’t afford to wipe them for fear that it would slow him down or make him lose his balance.
He had never run so fast in his life. In front of him he could see the shape of the demon, rushing along the otherwise empty road. Was he imagining things or was he losing ground? Alec put everything he had into his strides, pushing his legs to their limits and running so fast, he sometimes feared he’d trip over his own feet and fall on his face. It didn't feel like he was in full control of his legs anymore. His eyes were fixed on the demon in front of him, never once letting it out of his sight. Alec could hear his pulse thumping loudly in his ears, felt the adrenaline make him faster and more focused.
Suddenly, the demon turned a corner in front of him and Alec felt a brief moment of panic when he couldn’t see it. He skidded around the corner so fast in his pursuit, he very nearly lost his balance, but caught himself on a wall, before pushing off the ground just as quickly again. The demon had gained some distance and Alec once more put everything into his sprint. He felt his lungs begin to protest and his throat hurt from the cold air, but he ignored it like he ignored his burning thigh muscles.
“Get to Max,” was the only thought on his mind. The demon went around another corner and Alec heard it screech in its high pitch. At that sound, his heart stopped and the blood froze in his veins.
“MAX!”, he called, lunging forward around the corner. What he saw there wasn’t what he’d expected. Max was there, that much was true, but he was fine. Magnus was standing in front of him, arms raised and firing magic at the demon, which was winding around on the floor in apparent agony. Alec stopped and bounced rather harshly into the wall because he couldn’t slow down enough, but he didn’t take his eyes off Magnus, who in that moment drew himself up to his full height and sent a blue-violet stream of magic onto the demon, which collapsed into a million sparks.
Alec bent over, unable to breathe, and sank to the floor, gasping desperately for air that didn't seem to get to his burning lungs fast enough. What he hadn’t felt earlier due to the adrenaline now came to him full-force; his lungs were on fire and every single one of his desperate breaths hurt, his head felt like it was about to explode, his throat was parched and his legs were burning but simultaneously felt very weak and shaky. Despite the relief and gratitude flooding his entire body, Alec couldn’t lift his head off the ground for the moment. As if from far away, he heard Magnus talk to Max in a gentle, calming voice and then a few minutes later heard Izzy arrive. There was as much relief in her voice as there would have been in Alec’s had he been able to talk. Her and Max left, presumably to bring their little brother back to safety.
Alec finally felt okay enough to sit up and he propped himself against the wall behind him, still breathing hasty, shallow breaths and feeling his heart pump too fast, but finally able to move again. He was way too warm and was sure the sweat was dripping down the sides of his face. Magnus was watching him. Silently, the warlock handed him a bottle of water that he’d conjured up out of thin air. Alec took it and drank, reminding himself not to wash down too much too fast or his stomach wouldn’t thank him. The cool water felt like liquid heaven on his dry throat. Magnus slid down the wall next to him rather less elegantly than he usually did, close enough for their arms to touch.
“Magnus, I don’t know how to thank you,” Alec began when he thought he could talk again, looking earnestly into the warlock’s enchanting dark eyes. His voice came out croaky and hoarse and he almost immediately had to cough. Magnus made a sweeping, dismissive movement with his hand.
“Don’t worry about it, Alexander, you don’t need to thank me.”
“I don’t know what would have happened if you hadn’t been there. What would have happened if –“, Alec started again, but he was unable to finish the sentence and shuddered. The thought of that thing getting to Max before he did…it was unbearable.
For a moment, the two men sat there in silence. Finally, Alec made an effort to get to his feet, but his legs seemed wobbly and unwilling to support him. The loss of adrenaline now made him feel shaky and off-balance. As he supported himself on the wall beside him, he could see Magnus instinctively reaching out, but then hesitating before touching Alec, as if he didn’t know his rights anymore. The look on his face tugged at Alec’s heartstrings, and his love and gratitude for this man overwhelmed him all of a sudden. Before he knew what he was doing, Alec pulled Magnus to him with both hands, and kissed him as passionately as he never had before.

Chapter Text

Whumptober – Prompt 14: Tear-stained

“Magnus?”
Alec’s voice echoed into the empty room of Magnus’ loft, but there was no reply. And while the furniture was still in place the way it had always been, something was different about the flat. It felt colder, somehow. It took Alec only a moment to realise that Magnus’ personal artefacts that were missing.
Alec felt a strong sense of ill foreboding as he looked around. The bookshelves were only partly filled, the box in which Magnus had kept items from his former lovers had disappeared and only left a dusty outline of where it had stood. With a short look, Alec confirmed that the open closet was also empty. The end table which was usually cluttered with all sorts of alcohol paraphernalia was cleared, except for a rolled-up piece of old parchment and the glass vile of Magnus’ shampoo. Next to them Alec could see Magnus’ favourite ring. The sight of these things made Alec’s stomach clench painfully.
With great reluctance, Alec took a few careful steps into the room and picked up the parchment. On the outside, it said “To Alec”, and when he unrolled it, there was a page of writing filled with Magnus’ elegant, cursive script. On different parts of the parchment, the material was wilted and the ink smudged where what Alec thought looked like tears had dropped onto the page. Holding his breath with a pounding heart and painfully clenching insides, Alec began to read:

Dearest Alexander,
I’m usually an eloquent person. But right now, I don’t even know where to start. I’ve had to leave. And in all likelihood, I’m not coming back. I’m sorry for leaving and I’m even more sorry for not telling you in person, but I couldn’t. I couldn’t stand in front of you, look into your eyes and say the words. One look at you would have changed my mind. It would have made me think that you and me together could overcome all obstacles. But we can’t. I have to make very hard decisions for the survival of my people and I’ve realized there has been one thing holding me back from doing that: you. And my love for you. I’m not saying this to hurt your feelings, I’m saying it because I feel like I owe you at least that much of an explanation. I’m aware it’s next to nothing, but I’ve been sworn to secrecy and it is all I can divulge other than the fact that I have to go. Please, Alexander, know that I love you like I’ve never loved anyone in my entire long life and that this is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. Know that I meant it when I said you unlocked something in me. Know that for the rest of my immortal life, I will cherish the memories of us. Know that while this is incredibly painful, I will never regret us. So, from the bottom of my heart I want to thank you for everything, I want to wish you all the best for your life and future and most of all, I want to apologise for hurting you this way. Where ever I am in the world, I will forever live in hope that one day you will find it in your heart to forgive me and that you will remember me as fondly as I do you.
Eternally yours,
Magnus
P,S.: I hope you don’t mind that I took one of your arrows for my box, even though I don’t seem to have the heart to add it to my collection yet. So for now, I am carrying it around on a necklace close to my heart.

Alec’s knees gave out under him and he sank into the armchair beside him without even really realising. At that moment, a bomb could have gone off and he would not have noticed. There was a huge lump in his throat. And Alec, who hadn’t cried since he was a small child, didn’t even feel the tears running down his face and dropping onto the paper to mix with those of the love of his life.

Chapter Text

Whumptober – Prompt 15: Scars

Upon closer inspection, Magnus realised that Alexander’s body was covered in scars of starkly varying sizes and visibility. Since he hadn’t been allowed this close before and usually focused on Alec’s face, he hadn't noticed. But now that he did, he flinched and asked, before he could stop himself:
“What happened to you?” Magnus could hear the strain in his own voice, but he wasn’t able to look away from the Shadowhunter’s marred body. Alec seemed to hear it, too, because he propped himself up on his elbows and fixed his eyes on the warlock’s face. The dark violet, silk blanket slid down to his waist with the movement.
“What do you mean?” he inquired in return.
“I mean all of these,” Magnus replied, waving his hand in a vague notion across Alec’s upper body, arms and hands, “The scars.” When he finally looked up at Alexander’s face, the Shadowhunter seemed almost confused.
“They’re just what happens. I’m a Shadowhunter,” he shrugged as if that was obvious. This nonchalance didn’t surprise Magnus, but it angered him; how could a society of beings who called themselves superior to everyone else raise children for battle and teach them that getting hurt didn’t matter, that wounds and scars were normal and expected? Intense anger at Marysse and Robert Lightwood and their parenting style flashed through Magnus once again, but he ground his teeth to stop himself from voicing anything along those thoughts. It would lead to a discussion he didn’t want to have with Alec again.
“Where did you get this?” Magnus asked instead, pointing at a faded scar between Alec’s collarbone and his arm. Alec actually smiled as he looked down.
“Me and Jace were maybe fourteen and thought we were old enough to go on a mission by ourselves, so we snuck out. I fell on some glass when we were surprise-attacked. It was my own fault, really.” Magnus didn’t agree. It was the fault of their parents and the clave. If people raised children in a world where risking one’s life for certain purposes was glorified as heroic and scars were carried like badges of honour, they didn’t have to wonder that children would strive to one day do the same. It was a recipe for the glorification of violence as something much bigger than it was and consequently, more pseudo-justified brutality and less compassion and kindness in the world.
But he swallowed all of this, gesturing to another scar. This one looked newer and stretched along the underside of Alec’s muscular forearm.
“Motorcycle accident during a chase,” Alec shrugged nonchalantly, “Why do you want to know all this?”
“No reason.” Magnus took a deep breath before asking about the next one, which looked particularly gruesome. It was a cluster of scars on Alec’s upper back that he had noticed before Alec had woken up earlier and that he could just about see now that Alec had raised himself up. This seemed to be the only one Alec had any sort of reaction to. He swallowed visibly and his jaw tensed as he lowered his gaze onto the blanket covering the lower half of his body.
“This is from when Izzy and I were captured and held hostage by some rogue vampires. We were maybe twelve,” he explained quietly. He had to swallow and take a deep breath before continuing, “They made Izzy watch as they, um, hit me with their whips. If she tried to look away or close her eyes, they would bite me and start to drain my blood until she looked again.” As he said that, the pain raw in his voice, Alec was rubbing absently along his neck where Magnus could see multiple sets off vampire teeth puncture marks. The sight of that in combination with the Shadowhunter’s emotional reaction made Magnus’ stomach churn. He tried very hard not to picture Alexander and Isabelle as children, terrified and held hostage by ruthless vampires, having to watch the other be tortured, but he wasn’t able to push all images from his mind.
“We weren’t rescued for two days, and they, um…they really made the most of their time.” Alec’s voice was steady but his eyes were glazed as if he was back there again in his mind. He was still staring unseeingly at the foot of the bed.
At that moment Magnus would have given anything to take the Shadowhunter’s pain away. He placed a hand on Alec’s arm to help him escape from the painful memories. It seemed to be enough to shake Alec out of his trance. When Alec looked at the warlock, something in his expression seemed to surprise him, and Magnus suddenly noticed that there were tears running down his own cheeks.

Chapter Text

Whumptober – Prompt 16: Pinned Down
No-magic Magnus

When Magnus didn’t answer his phone for two hours in a row, Alec couldn’t handle it anymore; he grabbed his bow, his quiver and his stele, and quickly made his way to Magnus’ apartment. The door was shut, but he could hear noise inside. As he concentrated and pressed his face against the wood, he realised it was the sound of shuffling and groaning. For a moment, he deliberated on what to do. If he called out to Magnus, he might alert someone who could be in there with the warlock.
Very carefully and with one hand aloft holding his blade, Alec tried the door handle. It opened with a soft click. Bracing himself for an attack, he quickly opened the door, his stance defensive and prepared. Nothing jumped out at him. On the floor on his left was Magnus, and his legs and a part of his torso were pinned under a great wooden shelf. Clutter and the contents of the shelf were strewn around him. Magnus was in the process of awkwardly attempting to empty the rest of the shelves. He only very briefly looked up from what he was doing, his arm reaching and stretching uncomfortably.
“Magnus, are you okay?” Alec asked hastily, still surveying the room for any unexpected presence or surprise attack. His eyes were flickering around while he slowly walked in Magnus’ direction. Magnus gave him a look.
“I’m trapped under a book shelf, Alexander,” he said with snide sarcasm in his voice that Alec wasn’t used to. It took him so much by surprise that his reply came out stuttering:
“I, um, I can see. I just meant, uh, are you hurt?”
Magnus shook his head, but even from many feet away Alec could tell his jaw was tense and his brows were furrowed.
“What happened?”
“I tried to move the bookshelf to do some of the tedious cleaning that now seems to be necessary and the thing fell over,” he explained; his hands were still grabbing blindly for items in the upturned shelf. Before either of them could say anything else, Alec realised Magnus’ phone was on the floor right next to him, and it was blinking with Alec’s calls and messages. The sight infuriated Alec. He’d been worrying himself sick and there Magnus was, just disinclined to answer his damn phone, when that was all it would have taken to take Alec’s worries away!
“Why didn’t you answer your phone?”, he asked, attempting to keep his voice even and the accusations out of his tone, “I was worried.” He didn’t think he was succeeding all too well in his attempt as Magnus’ eyes flashed in response.
“As you can see, I was busy,” was all he deigned to reply. Alec swallowed. He didn’t know how to deal with Magnus when he was like this; he’d never really seen the other man act in such a way. Usually Magnus was so composed, self-assured and spirited. Now, he looked dejected, used snide sarcasm and seemed extraordinarily ill-tempered. Alec did his best to swallow his anger and walked the rest of the way over to assist. In silence, the two men emptied the shelf. Alec tested the weight of the shelf and immediately texted Jace; there wasn’t a chance he would be able to lift this off Magnus by himself, not even with Magnus helping.
When Jace knocked on the door and called for Alec, they had just finished and Alec was clearing the space around the shelf.
“You called Jace?” Magnus asked, but he looked so angry that Alec didn’t dare reply with the obvious answer. Instead he just called “come in!” in the direction of the door. Jace came in, nodding at them both. To his credit he didn’t comment on the situation. Immediately him and Alec got to both sides of the shelf and tested the best places to grab it.
“On the count of three,” Alec instructed and added, without looking at Magnus, “Magnus, just try to get your legs out as soon as possible. One,…two,….three!” The damn thing was incredibly heavy! Jace and Alec both groaned under the effort and Alec thanked the stars for their Institute-provided sturdy boots which afforded them a good grip on the floor and the leather gloves that prevented their hands from slipping on the slick wood. With their combined effort they put the shelf back into its standard position, both breathing heavily. Magnus had slid away from under it and was now sitting on the floor; Alec could tell he wanted to rub his legs, but didn’t want to seem undignified.
“Thank you,” Magnus said through gritted teeth and Alec knew that the words came to him very difficultly. What was his problem? Jace nodded, stretching out his shoulders.
“I’ve got to get back to the Institute,” he said unconvincingly, but neither of the other men stopped him. Alec walked him to the door and thanked him, trying to convey with his eyes that he had no idea what was going on with the warlock. Jace seemed to understand him and gave him a pat on the shoulder and a “What are you going to do”-shrug. When his footsteps faded down the corridor, Alec forcefully shut the door and whirled around to give Magnus a piece of his mind. But Magnus looked so pitiful and so defeated that his tirade stuck in his throat. The former High Warlock of Brooklyn was trying to get to his feet, but his legs didn’t seem to be ready to carry him yet.
“What were you thinking, Magnus?” Alec asked softly, walking over to help him to his feet and into an armchair. Magnus closed his eyes and Alec knew it was to stop himself from crying.
“I can’t do anything without my magic, I’m pathetic. I can’t even clean my own home without needing help.” The pain and sadness in his voice broke Alec’s heart. He hadn’t realised this was hitting the other man so hard.
“Magnus-“ he began.
“No, you don’t understand,” Magnus interrupted and his voice was cracking, “I’m nothing without my magic.”
Alec hesitated before reaching out his hand to put it on Magnus’ shoulder, but Magnus turned his head and moved away from the touch. Defeated, Alec lowered his hand again. He felt so helpless. He couldn’t think of anything he could do to help the other man. And that was a terrible feeling.

Chapter Text

Whumptober – Prompt 17: “Stay with me”
Human AU

Alexander didn’t look well, Magnus observed when Jace let him into their shared apartment.
“Hey, don’t take it personally if he kicks you out. Or worse,” Jace said apologetically while he shut the door, “He gets unbearable when he’s sick. Thank god it happens only once every hundred years.”
“I can hear you,” came Alec’s hoarse, nasal voice from underneath what looked to be a pile of all the blankets in NYC. Merely his face and hair were poking out from under it. Jace shrugged, unapologetic.
“Want a drink, Magnus?” he asked after a moment while Magnus politely took off his shoes. He nodded and asked for a soda. His gaze followed Jace into the kitchen. He was so glad the young man had finally warmed up to him. At the beginning Jace hadn’t liked or trusted him and put no effort into hiding this fact. Alexander would never have admitted this, but Magnus knew it had been putting a strain on him that his best friend/brother and his new partner didn’t like each other.
“How are you doing, my dear?” Magnus asked Alec with a smile, slowly approaching the couch.
“How does it look like I’m doing?” Alec gave him a look that spoke volumes. And then he sneezed three times in a row, pressing a tissue to his mouth. He looked miserable and grumpy. Jace appeared next to Magnus again, handing him the can.
“Isn’t he a joy to be around?” Jace grinned, ruffling Alec’s sweaty hair that had matted to his damp forehead. His skin was deathly pale except around his nose, which was red and looked very painful. Magnus suppressed a smile as he saw Jace grimace and subtly wipe his hand on the sofa behind Alec’s head. Alec looked like he wanted to throw a pillow backwards at his best friend, but it seemed like he lacked the energy.
“Go away,” he mumbled weakly, closing his eyes. Magnus thought maybe he’d go to sleep, but a nasty coughing fit wracked his body so much, he was scared Alec would fall off the sofa with the force of it. It sounded a little like he was coughing up a lung. Jace took a few steps back.
“You heard him. I’ll leave you with our little ray of sunshine for a while,” he told Magnus, “I’ll be on my phone if you need anything.” And he was gone.
“I brought you a homemade remedy, Alexander. It’s like magic,” Magnus said when the coughing finally stopped, waving a hand at the container with flourish to emphasise his point. There was no reply from the pile of blankets on the sofa. He made himself busy rushing around to put the last of his ingredients together and heat up the soup.
“You don’t need to take care of me, I’m not a child,” Alec said when Magnus knelt next to him with the steaming bowl of soup in front of him. He said it so pathetically Magnus couldn’t resist the urge to roll his eyes and brush a strand of hair from Alec’s forehead. Christ, his skin was absolutely on fire! Magnus wriggled his fingers and wiped them on a tissue before he took the spoon.
“Say Ahhh,” he joked, still on his knees next to the couch, as he held the full spoon over the bowl. The glare Alexander gave him in return could have killed people. But he struggled more than he seemed to have expected to make himself sit upright enough to eat soup. Magnus put the bowl aside and manoeuvred Alec and himself so he sat behind him and propped him up with his upper body. He was so warm! Magnus immediately felt too hot when Alec sagged back against him, leaning on him with his full weight.
Magnus smiled to himself when Alexander began to eat the soup without protest. It took him very long to eat it, since his arms seemed occasionally too weak to continue, and he didn’t eat a lot, but at least he was eating. When he was done, Magnus put the bowl back on the coffee table. Alec leaned his head backwards against Magnus in exhaustion from this small task. Magnus made to get up so that Alec could lie back down more comfortably again, but a barely-there touch of a burning hand on his arm stopped him.
“Um, could you maybe, uh…,” Alec began and Magnus was sure he knew where the other man was going with this, but decided to make him say it, “Maybe could you, um, stay? With me?” His voice had gotten very quiet towards the end of the sentence and it was barely audible. Magnus smiled. The sweat was pooling at the sides of his head and neck and his back was at such an awkward angle that he could already feel the pain and tension. But of course, he stayed right where he was. How could he not.

Chapter Text

Whumptober – Prompt 18: Muffled Scream
TW: Violence, Injury and Pain

“They can NOT know we’re here. So, no one moves until they get the signal. Is that understood?” Marysse’s voice was steely, and she fixed her eyes on each of them in turn. Was Magnus imagining that her gaze lingered on him the longest? Everyone but Magnus nodded, clearly used to an unquestioned command-hierarchy. He inclined his head and trusted Marysse knew he would have made it known if he didn’t approve of this plan and his silence was enough. It seemed to be.
“Now, get to your positions. Jace, Izzy, stay back a moment.” Magnus raised his eyebrows and if it hadn’t been such a tense situation with such high stakes, he would probably have rolled his eyes. Undoubtedly – Magnus knew Marysse well enough for that - she was instructing her children not to let the Downworlder out of their sight. He waved his hand in a gesture he hoped said “I know what you’re doing but I won’t get into it right now because I’m clearly more mature”, turned around and walked away. At the end of the hallway, he waited for his two bodyguards. Isabelle and Jace joined him a minute later, Izzy looking annoyed and Jace stoic as he usually did when Clary wasn’t around.
Isabelle assertively led the way and they walked in silence for a few minutes through dark corridors. Then, she stopped and turned around to the two men:
“From here, complete silence. They can’t know we’re here or this entire rescue mission was for nothing. When we get the signal, we know what to do, right?” Magnus was beginning to get even more anxious than he had already been. He had difficulty stopping himself from snapping at Isabelle. Impatiently, he waved a hand around:
“Look, let’s just go. We all know what to do, and I’m sure Alexander won’t thank us for wasting even more time.” Jace gave him a look, but Magnus could see the tension under his well-practiced poker face. They slowly edged forward to their position, careful to not make any more noise than absolutely necessary. Magnus heart was beating so loudly in his chest that an irrational part of his brain thought it might give them away all by itself.
In front of a side entrance door with a wide window at eye level, they stopped. Isabelle retrieved a mirror and angled it so that they could see what was going on inside without being observed. Three breaths simultaneously got stuck in throats as they laid eyes on the scene. Alexander was bound with his hands behind his back around a metal pillar, shirtless. Blood was flowing uninterrupted from wounds at his temple, on his arm and at his collarbone. He was clearly conscious, but he was gagged with a dirty white cloth. Magnus couldn’t breathe. Two men were in front of Alec with self-satisfied grins on their faces, one with a gun at his hip and a long blade in his hand, the other with a piece of iron and a pocket knife. Maybe the worst things about this scene were the sadistic, cold-hearted smiles on their faces. The men were talking, but none of what they were saying was audible outside the door.
Magnus realised he’d clenched his jaw so hard it hurt and his hands were balled to fists at his side with magic flickering angrily around them. Isabelle looked almost frozen in shock and Jace looked ready to murder someone. Magnus could still see the pain in his mismatched eyes underneath the anger. This was an impossible situation for all of them.
One of the men approached Alexander with a predatory prowl, holding his blade aloft. He seemed to ask something. Alexander didn’t reply and his jaw remained shut, his expression defiant. That only made the man raise an eyebrow. Then, without warning, he punched him right in the stomach. Hard. Outside the door, the three rescuers all flinched and instinctively looked away. Magnus felt sick to his stomach; it was almost like he could feel the pain of the punch, too.
The man asked again. Alexander shook his head. Blood was now trickling out the side of his mouth, but he didn’t look any less stubborn. Magnus was torn between pride for Alexander’s strength and the wish that he’d give them what they wanted to they would stop hurting him. The other man now approached, too, and he pushed the tip of his blade into Alexander’s bare chest. A drop of blood ran down Alexander’s tense abdomen. The man began to edge something into the skin with the knife, taking his time as he went. And now, they heard Alexander scream, muffled by the gag in his mouth and heart-wrenching nonetheless.
It took Magnus everything and more not to run in there, not to fight his way in and rescue Alexander and slay these monsters; the only reason he managed to hold himself back was the knowledge that the plan was a lot safer and guaranteed to be successful than anything he could do right now. That, and Jace’s and Izzy’s hands, holding onto his arms with a vice grip on both sides. At first, he thought this was only to stop him, but then he realised they also seemed ready to join him and were holding themselves back physically, too. Magnus couldn’t look but he also couldn’t not look, and he knew he wouldn’t be able to sleep well for months to come with this memory in his head.
And then finally, the signal came.

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Whumptober – Prompt 19: Asphyxiation
Human AU

This was without a doubt the most amazing thing Magnus Bane had ever laid eyes on in his entire life. He didn’t even want to blink because that would mean a millisecond of not looking, it would maybe mean missing something unique and rare. People had warned him about the pressure on his ears, but if there was any, he couldn’t feel it as he glided effortlessly through the water with slow, energised strokes. It was so peaceful and tranquil down here, but at the same time, the visual stimulations were overwhelming, there were endless things to observe. The only noise around him was the regular, mechanic sound of his oxygen tank circulating the air into his mask, and he’d grown so used to it that he didn’t hear it anymore.
The water was so very clear down here and the colours were more intense, glowing and almost fluorescent than Magnus had ever seen before. If he held very still, he could see the plants and algae moving slowly with the current, could fixate his eyes on the small fish and creatures swimming in and around them. From above, the sun was shining, but it seemed a lot further away than it did on land, even though the difference was merely a few meters. Magnus felt completely detached from land, from his life, from his problems. He was only in this very moment. And though he could see some of the other divers in the periphery of his vision, they were now as much part of this underwater world as he was.
Magnus didn’t know how long he spent gliding about weightlessly, eyes fixed on the wonders of nature around them, when suddenly he froze mid-movement. Something was different, it wasn’t right. It took him a moment, but then the panicked realisation hit him: he could no longer hear the whooshing sound of the air in his tank and mask. Magnus gasped in a hasty breath, pressing the mask closer to his mouth with both hands. But it was no use, there was no more new air coming through.
Panicky and very awkwardly, Magnus grasped backwards toward the tank, attempting to reach anything that would reactivate it, but his fumbling fingers only brushed the smooth metal surface of the tank. His thoughts raced. The surface was too far away to reach. In preparation for the impending lack of air, Magnus instinctively took the deepest breath he could and held it with his cheeks puffed, then he looked around and headed towards the nearest diver. They were further away than Magnus would have liked and he pushed his feet and arms as forcefully as he could. His thundering heart didn’t help the oxygen preservation, but he wasn’t able to do anything about it.
As he began to feel the familiar, uncomfortable pressure on his throat and chest which was the first symptom of no longer breathing, Magnus felt himself begin to panic. Even though he was clearly advancing, swimming through the smooth water around him suddenly felt like he was trying to dig himself a tunnel with his bare hands. The other diver had seen him now but was still what felt like miles away. Magnus began to gesture wildly as his chest and jaw began to hurt, fighting the urge to just breathe in. He pointed hastily at his tank, then shook his head, attempted to mime airflow but struggled to remember anything from their class, let alone form coherent thought patterns. His vision narrowed to a tunnel, in which he was just about to make out the other diver now approaching him. He could no longer resist the reflex to inhale, but he could tell there was very little oxygen getting to his lungs in his hyperventilating, hurried breaths.
Black spots were dancing through Magnus’ vision as he gasped desperately for air. His lung was burning like it never had before, like someone was pouring lava down his airways; it was going to burst, he felt like he couldn’t contain it in his chest any longer, like it would be torn apart and exploding all across his insides. He wasn’t going to get any air, he wasn’t going to get to the surface on time. He was going to die down here. Frantically and instinctively, Magnus waved his arms and legs about in desperation even though he knew that would not get any air in his lungs. Then, everything went black as he lost consciousness.
He didn’t know how long he’d been out, but when he came to with a gasp, there was suddenly oxygen in his airways and he was wearing a mask, but it wasn’t his. Next to him was the diver from earlier, bare-faced, and pressing his own mask onto Magnus’ mouth. Magnus breathed in so deeply he coughed, but he couldn’t help it. One, two, three breaths which hurt, but were at the same time the best feeling in the world after he had feared he’d never breathe again. His heart was still racing, but it had lost some of its panicked mania.
Magnus inhaled once more, than he moved the other man’s hand with the mask gently away from his mouth and gestured for him to breathe, too. In sync but without having arranged it, Magnus and the other man started ascending very slowly. They had soon figured out a pattern with switching the mask back and forth, every three breaths. Underneath the diver’s scuba goggles, radiantly blue eyes were looking back at Magnus with concern, their colour emphasised by the sea around them. They took his breath away once more.

Chapter Text

Whumptober – Prompt 20: Trembling
TW for this prompt: Major Character Death

“He didn’t make it.” With tears in her eyes, Clary watched as Alec heard the words. Alec froze. His knees gave out under him and he stumbled, reaching out reflexively, but it didn’t seem to make a difference to him whether or not he fell. Jace caught him before he could hit the ground, but Alec didn’t look like he’d even noticed his friend there. Raj had been about to say more, but he stopped, probably because he knew there was no point, that he’d already said more than Alec could handle and that nothing else would get through to him.
Jace, with one arm around Alec’s torso and the other holding his parabatai’s arm, led Alec over to the plush red couch and sat them both down. Alec let himself be led, his eyes were lowered and staring unseeingly at the ground, his face pale and rigid. He was breathing heavily and Clary instinctively wanted to go over to him, to attempt to help somehow, but she knew that even in this state he wouldn’t want that. They’d never been that close, and Alec was a private person. She felt the tears slide down her cheeks and didn’t bother wiping them away.
She could see on Jace’s face that this situation was impossible for him, to see and feel his parabatai hurt this much and not being able to do anything about it was unbearable. And yet he had to be strong and be there for Alec and not increase his pain. He was sitting closely beside Alec, one arm around him and the other holding his limp hand.
Raj was helpless, too, he’d advanced a few steps in the direction of the couch, but didn’t move. The cloud of agony around Alec was impenetrable, and yet it permeated the whole room.
“Tell him to give me a call if he wants to know anything else or if he needs anything,” Raj said quietly with a concerned look at the other Shadowhunter, “And I’ll make sure no one from the Institute bothers any of you.” Clary nodded in thanks, but didn’t reply. They were the first words spoken since he had given Alec the news and he spoke very softly as if he was trying not to frightened a wounded animal. Raj left with a last look at Alec over his shoulder. Alec’s hands, one in Jace’s and one resting on his knees, had begun trembling as Alec was still staring at the coffee table blankly. Clary busied herself with making two mugs of tea in the kitchen and carrying them back to the sofa, then she organised a blanket that she helped Jace put around Alec’s shoulders. All the while, their position on the couch remained unchanged, but her tears were still flowing freely down her cheeks.
---
The phrase kept echoing through Alec’s brain. “I’m so sorry but he didn’t make it.” He didn’t make it. He didn’t make it. He didn’t make it. He. Didn’t. Make. It. Nothing had gotten through to him after that sentence, not any elaborations, not any condolences, not any pity or questions about his well-being. He hadn’t felt Jace put his arm around him, hadn’t heard the words spoken to him, hadn’t seen what was going on right in front of his eyes. After an undetermined while he noticed he was trembling like a leaf, shaking all over as he was flooded with an overload of emotion after the shock. Disbelief. Pain. Fear. Desperation. Crippling sadness. Pain. Disbelief. Fear.
Magnus – gone. No, it just couldn’t be. He’d just seen him. Alec felt himself begin to spiral, he couldn’t breathe, couldn’t get enough air into his lungs. Fear grabbed him like a vice grip around his stomach. He started to breathe faster and faster, desperately gasping for air that didn’t seem to come. On every intake of breath, a steel band was clamping shut around his ribcage so that he couldn’t get the oxygen he so desperately needed. His throat closed up. Alec shook everything off himself, the blanket someone had put around his shoulders as well as Jace’s arm, in a desperate effort to breathe. It didn’t seem to work. His chest hurt and he was beginning to feel dizzy and nauseous. If he didn’t get air soon, he would die. That thought only made him breathe faster and more shallowly. His mouth was dry, the throat closing up and there was an uncomfortable tingling sensation his legs as he kept gasping for air. His head was ringing.
“Alec!” Jace’s voice got through to his ear from far away, muffled as if through layers of cotton over the sound of his own gasps, “Clary, he’s hyperventilating. We need a paper bag! Alec, listen to me, you’re having an anxiety attack. Focus on your breathing, try to slow it down. You’re safe, you’re with us, you’re okay. Try not to panic, I know it’s hard but you can do it.” Alec coughed repeatedly and then a bag appeared in front of his face.
“Breathe into the bag, Alec, deep, slow breaths,” Jace said, his voice calm but authoritative, “You can do this, you can make yourself stop panicking.” It took all his effort, but Alec put everything into making himself take deep and slow breaths, no matter how desperately he wanted to gasp rapidly for air. Almost immediately he began to feel a difference, so he concentrated solely on his breathing, regulating it with the bag in front of his mouth and Jace’s soothing voice in his ear. His breathing very slowly returned to normal and the tingling sensation and chest pain faded. His heart was pounding and he was drenched in sweat from the panic he’d worked himself up in, but he was finally able to get air again. For a blissful, brief moment, he felt relief; relief that he hadn’t died, relief that he could breathe again. And then he remembered what had happened, and it knocked him out all over again.
Later, he didn’t know how he’d gotten to the couch and the foetal position he found himself in. He hadn’t even heard Izzy arrive, whose lap he was resting his head on. Jace was sitting on the floor in front of him, holding both of his shaking hands. His head hurt like it was going to explode, his throat was parched and his jaw in pain, but it was all nothing compared to the agony on the inside. He’d never ever felt pain like this. And Alec couldn’t handle it anymore, it was intolerable. He started to cry uncontrollably, the sobs wracking his entire body and not stopping. He thought he was going to be torn apart from the inside. And right now, he welcomed the idea, because then at least he wouldn’t feel like this anymore.

Chapter Text

Whumptober – Prompt 21: Laced Drink
Human AU

Magnus couldn’t find Alexander Lightwood and it unsettled him. He didn’t know why this was the case, but it did. He didn’t have any reason to worry about the guy’s whereabouts; they barely knew each other and this wasn’t even a mandatory event for Alexander. It was just that he’d seen him earlier and Alexander had said they’d talk about the upcoming scenes in a bit. In all likelihood, he’d planned on staying but something had come up, or he’d just changed his mind and left. But these explanations didn’t seem right; a gut feeling told Magnus that something wasn’t right, that Alexander should still be here and the fact that he wasn’t was a cause for worry.
Nipping from his elegant, long-stemmed martini glass, Magnus once again surveyed the room, eyeing everyone closely. Everyone but Alexander was here and accounted for. Lydija, Luke, and Raj were involved in what looked like an animated discussion among themselves and some of the camera team, while their PAs stood awkwardly by their sides, not knowing what to do with themselves. Magnus remembered that time in his life well; too much work and zero appreciation, feeling everywhere like you didn’t have the right to be there, trying so hard but never achieving to impress inscrutable, ill-tempered bosses.
The hair, makeup and costume people were stood in a gaggle by the bar, looking fabulous and laughing amongst themselves. Most of the other crew members were stood around in small circles towards the back of the room, joking and laughing, pointedly ignoring the actors like the actors did to them every day of their professional lives.
The protagonist actors were keeping to themselves in a group of blown-out hair and stylish, expensive clothes, oozing superiority and coolness. Jace Wayland, Clary Fray, Camille and Simon Lewis had all appeared with their agents, sending a strong message that this was a work event for them. The agents were standing around a table next to them, acting important. Clary’s agent still had his Bluetooth headset in his ear and made it a point to loudly answer the phone every few minutes with a “I’m so important, what can you do, sorry not sorry” look on his face, the others had their phones either in hand or on the table in front of them and replied to messages on the regular. None of the actors seemed to give any thought as to where their colleague and leading role was. As far as Magnus knew, Alexander had come without his agent, which had immediately earned him brownie points from Magnus and maybe even some of the crew, even though they’d never admit it.
Magnus sat down his glass when it was empty, his thoughts still on Alexander and where he could possibly have disappeared to. When he saw Carter Johnson approach him with what he probably thought was a charming smile on his face, he made a snap decision. Pretending not to have seen Carter, he ducked out of the room. He was going to look for Alexander. He had his agent’s number, but not Alexander’s, and he wasn’t going to make a fool of himself just yet. So he walked down the corridor, feeling incredibly stupid, looking around, peeking into empty rooms and listening out for any familiar voices. On the floor in front of him, he suddenly saw a wallet, and feeling a little like a detective in a low-budget mystery tv-show, hastily bent to pick it up and inspect it. Simple, standard black leather and inside, an ID card that belonged to one “Alexander Gideon Lightwood” and a few credit cards to the same name.
Magnus began to feel even more uneasy. Could Alec have just dropped this without noticing? It seemed possible but, for Magnus, unlikely. He had to go look outside.
When he got to the parking lot, immediately flinching from the unexpectedly cold draft in the air, his eyes fell on Alexander’s black R8, parked towards the side and uninhabited. For a moment, Magnus admired the car; it was by far and large the flashiest thing about Alexander that he had seen. It didn’t really seem to go with his understated, quiet ways, but then again, who could resist this beauty? But all wistful feelings about the car aside, this just was getting stranger and stranger, and the nagging feeling in Magnus’ stomach only intensified. He looked around, scanning the half-darkness for any sign of the actor.
Suddenly, his eyes fell upon two figures just turning around the corner and out of sight, and Magnus instinctively followed, rushing but making sure not to give himself away with loud footsteps. When he reached the corner, he held his breath and slowly peaked around the hedge. They hadn’t advanced far and it was immediately clear what the reason for that was; the smaller of the figures was staggering under the weight of the taller one, struggling along with an arm around their midsection. The taller figure was swaying, the head hanging forward and just barely seemed to be able to stay on his feet. He looked incredibly familiar.
“Almost there, my love,” a strangely high-pitched male voice said.
“Where, whazgoinon?”, another voice, his speech so slow and slurred that it was hardly understandable, replied, and Magnus froze where he was; that was Alexander Lightwood. But what was happening? Who was this other person, and how did they know Alexander? Alexander hadn’t been drunk when Magnus had seen him mere 20 minutes ago, and he recalled him saying that he didn’t really like to drink much alcohol. The feeling of unease in Magnus’ stomach was turning into a cold knot of dread and fear.
“Shhh,” was all the other voice said and began to turn around. His heart leaping into his chest, Magnus jumped backwards and into the hedge again, reflexively holding his breath. His heart was racing in his chest.
“Whazhapnin? WhycanInotsee?” That was Alexander’s voice again and after a minute when he heard the footsteps continue, Magnus dared to peak past the hedge again. He strained his ears for the reply.
“Just some benzodiazepine, don’t worry,” the other voice replied in a calm, soothing tone, “You’ll sleep it right off.” It almost sounded like they had a smile on their face. Benzodiazepine. Where had Magnus heard this before? Benzodiazepine.
And suddenly like a lightning bulb igniting in his head, Magnus remembered. Oh god! Benzodiazepine was what could be used as a so-called knockout drop, a date-rape drug. Oh god, what the fuck was happening? Who was that guy, and what the hell were they doing with Alexander? Magnus heart and mind were racing so fast he was beginning to feel light-headed. Before he could think of the consequence of his actions, he dialled 911 with shaking fingers, but came around the corner without pressing the call button. His knees shook so violently he wasn’t sure if they would do their job of keeping him upright.
“Hey, Alexander!”, he called out. His voice sounded steadier than he felt. The man next to Alexander flinched and whirled around so quickly, he took Alexander’s balance away and they tumbled to the ground together in a heap of entangled limbs. Alexander, Magnus saw, didn’t do anything to stop himself from falling and landed right on his face. Magnus advanced, the phone held high so the other would see he had the emergency number dialled. The unknown man sprang hastily to his feet, but Magnus couldn’t make out his face as he was wearing a hood that he had pulled deep into his eyes.
For a moment, they stared at each other. Magnus was sure the other man would attack him. His finger hovered over the call button as he waited, breathless and prepared to run for his life if needed. But after a tense second, the man turned and sprinted away without a look at Alexander who was still lying on the floor, unmoving. Magnus let out a breath he didn’t realise he’d been holding; his heart was still racing and everything about him felt shaky, so it was a relief to sink to the floor next to Alexander. His legs would probably have given out otherwise. Magnus inspected Alexander’s face. His mouth was open and slack and there was a bleeding wound to his temple from where he’d hit the concrete floor, but it didn’t look too bad. Magnus put all his effort into getting the unconscious man upright and into a sitting position, leaning him against the wheel of the car parked next to them. Looking around over and over again, he finally dialled 911, his hands still shaking.

Chapter Text

Whumptober – Prompt 22: Hallucination

It had been too long since Alec had last drunk any water and his body was beginning to protest noticably. His head hurt, his throat was parched and it was agony to swallow. His mouth was as dry as sand in the desert. His skin itched and his body felt incredibly weak and tired, which was a sensation he was not used to. But what was infinitely worse than any of the physical sensations, was that he could feel it affect his mind. Not always, but at times. Alongside the very realistic fear of dying from dehydration, he also got more paranoid each day. He now saw figures, shapes or plants in the periphery of his vision and when he turned his head, nothing was there. Sometimes he heard voices. And he had begun to talk to himself. What was even worse, most of the time what he said didn’t even make sense!
Reality blurred, and forming coherent thoughts or memories became a thing of impossibility. He couldn’t say how much time passed or even how he spent it. In his clear and lucid moments, which were getting fewer and further in between, this realisation terrified him. In all the physical violence and torture he’d experienced in his life, he’d never lost control of his mind – and not being sure if what he was experiencing was real or not, living in constant fear of his own brain, second-guessing everything and still finding his own mind had fooled him, was the worst experience of Alec’s life. Sometimes, he slept, but he could no longer tell his dreams apart from his waking hours, they were all a state of blurry semi-consciousness.
At some point, Alec woke up someone bending over him, inspecting him closely. It was Magnus! Thank God! He was going to be rescued. The sight of the other man immediately calmed him; the reassuring, warm brown eyes were fixed on his face and Magnus was smiling.
“Thank god,” Alec croaked through the dryness of his throat and mouth, “I’m so glad you’re here!” He eagerly but effortfully stretched out his hands in front of him to feel the warlock’s face. Strangely, he couldn’t reach it and the more he stretched the further the face seemed to move from his grasp. The face blurred in and out of focus. Suddenly, something poked him rather sharply in the arm. When he looked down, a huge red drop of blood ran down his arm from where a syringe was protruding out of it.
“Ow, Magnus, what are you doing?” Magnus’ face looked confused for a moment, then he smiled even wider than before. And something about this smile made his features blur around the edges and morph into those of a bald man with his chubby, round face contorted into a grimace. Alec flinched back and blinked repeatedly, but whenever he opened his eyes again, the features on the face had changed. Sometimes it was Magnus’ familiar, smiling face, sometimes it was the stranger, and sometimes it was an odd and ever-changing mixtures of the two. Alec’s heart raced and he breathed rapidly. What was going on?
“Just giving you something to help you sleep,” Magnus’ face said, but with a voice that wasn’t his. Alec could only watch, scared and deathly pale, when the man got up. It was Magnus, in a purple shirt and wearing a load of necklaces at once. And, strangely, a lab coat. Alec felt drowsy again and fought against the urge to close his eyes and give in to sleep. The last thing he saw before he sank into unconsciousness was the strange man’s face on Magnus’ body, walking out and closing the door behind him. When he woke up an indetermined amount of time later, there was no injection mark on his arm.

Chapter Text

Whumptober – Prompt 23: Bleeding Out
TW: Injury and Pain

There was too much blood. Alec didn’t have to look at his torn stomach to know that, he could feel it. The pain was intense, but it paled against the knowledge that he would bleed out here in this random alley, on the dirty pavement, all alone. He couldn't call for anyone or alert someone to his presence due to the spell the warlock had put on him. He knew he’d been glamoured invisible, too, so there was no one who could help him. His phone had been soaked in blood and didn’t turn on, his stele was gone.
Amidst his panic, Alec was beginning to feel the cold seep all the way to his bones, but despite that, he mustered up his rapidly dwindling strength to shrug awkwardly out of his denim shirt so that he could press it to his wound. He shivered in the cold wind, now just in a thin t-shirt. In an attempt to stem the overwhelming flow of his own warm, dark red blood, he bunched up the material and pressed it to is stomach with cold, shaking hands, flinching and wincing in pain when it made contact. As he knew he would freak himself out if he did, Alec tried not to look at the wound the sharp fangs had left in him.
At first, having it covered felt like a small victory because it seemed like the blood flow had slowed down somewhat. But then, at first in one place but rapidly expanding, the blood soaked his shirt, terrifyingly fast. His hands were slick with blood and so cold, the liquid felt hot against them as he tried desperately to press the shirt to the skin even though it felt like he was pouring acid over it. Alec could no longer feel his legs and his vision was impaired by dancing black spots and blurry edges.
Suddenly, Alec could hear familiar voices shouting his name in the vicinity. Suddenly, relief flooded through him and he had hope. They would come into this alley, they would somehow find him. Jace would feel him here through their bond and Magnus would be able to figure out what magic had been used and reverse it. Now, he didn't feel the cold anymore, and the pain had a dulled quality to it. The voices came closer and Alec squinted, trying to focus his vision and fight the blurriness. He could make out shapes at the end of the alley, a man and a woman.
They were calling his name repeatedly and Alec opened his mouth, trying fiercely to respond, but no sound came out no matter how hard he tried. Part of the warlock's spell.
"I want to know you died suffering, screaming screams that nobody heard," he'd said sadistically as he bent over Alec to check him for weapons, "I want them to be so close they're almost stepping on you, and still too far away."
Their voices identified the people near him as Izzy and Magnus. Magnus! Magnus would be able to tell he was here, would sense the magic that had been used to hide Alec, and know what to do! Just lifting his head had exhausted him and Alec was no longer able to hold himself up. With a dull thud, his head hit the wall behind him. He didn’t feel the impact. He was so dizzy, he had to close his eyes because he would have thrown up otherwise. Izzy and Magnus seemed to have entered the alley. Alec noticed almost idly that he couldn’t feel his legs anymore and his hands and arms were starting to feel heavy and numb. Every movement was tiring and even just holding the material to his stomach was so exhausting, it took everything he had to keep his hands in place.
“This is the last place his phone was switched on,” Izzy said. His sister’s voice was scared, and Alec wanted nothing more than for her to notice him. He called out again, as loudly as he could, but no sound came out of his mouth. He was here. He was right here! He waved a hand around, tried to bang it against the floor or the wall to make them see him, but it was no use. Footsteps were audible.
“Have you found him? This is where my rune tracking led me!” That was Jace’s voice, and Alec felt himself hope once more. Jace would find him, Jace knew he was here.
“But he’s not here,” Clary’s voice said as more footsteps approached. Despite the intense dizziness and everything spinning around him, Alec forced his eyes open. Izzy and Jace were coming closer to where he was, looking around and right through him. Alec tried once more to yell, thrashed around as much as he could, even when he could feel it accelerating the blood flowing out of his body in an unending warm wave. They did not seem to hear or see anything. It drove Alec crazy. Jace and Izzy walked away again, still looking around. All four of them moved away from him, slowly but surely leaving the alley to look for him somewhere else where they would never find him. And Alec couldn’t do anything to stop them.
When he saw Magnus as the last of them turn the corner, Alec felt desperation made his heart race. In a last attempt to make himself be noticed, he tried to scream and wave his hands around like crazy, but it was no use. There was no sound coming from his lips, and from weakness he was only able to raise his hands a few centimetres. The movement had dislodged the shirt on his wound and Alec felt so dizzy, his vision went black, first around the edge, then completely. He was cold and he was all alone. Everything was spinning in front of his closed eyes. Alec’s last thought was that he was so close to his friends and family, but the warlock had gotten exactly what he'd wanted. Then he lost consciousness.

Chapter Text

Whumptober – Prompt 24: Secret Injury
TW: Injury and Pain

Alec struggled with keeping himself on his feet; the pain in his side made him want to sink to the floor and curl up on himself. It took all his willpower not to. Magnus would be here any minute and the warlock could not under any circumstances see that he was hurt, or he would use his magic to heal him and that would be dangerous. It could drain him of all of his remaining energy or, even worse, strip him off his power, and Alec did not want to be responsible for that.
Alec thanked the heavens that the shard of glass was still embedded in his wound because it blocked some of the blood flow, and that he was wearing a dark leather jacket over his shirt, so any evidence of the wound was not visible from the outside. And now it all depended on his acting skills. Alec inspected his hands to make sure there was not any blood on it. They were shaking slightly, but he was sure he'd be able to hide that fairly easily. He was breathing very slow, shallow breaths because of the blinding pain that shot into his side and back whenever he moved his torso. To relieve a little bit of the pain, he carefully placed both palms against the wall and leaned on them. And that was how Magnus found him.
“Alexander,” the warlock called out as he rushed around the corner, “Are you alright?”
Alec gritted his teeth as the pain intensified in his side when he moved to stand up straight again, and did his best to smile at the other man. He wasn't sure the grin was all that convincing, but it would have to do. He nodded. Magnus came closer and placed a hand on Alec’s shoulder while his eyes roamed over him as if to make sure that he was really alright; even the impact of the palm quite some distance away from the wound itself resonated through his body and Alec barely suppressed a flinch. His teeth were ground together so hard, his jaw already hurt. Magnus didn’t seem entirely convinced by his performance.
“Are you sure? You look very pale, Alec,” he said softly. His hand was still on Alec’s shoulder and his worried brown eyes focused on Alec’s expression. Through his shallow breaths, Alec tried to unclench his jaw, with little success. Every second they stood here, it felt like the pieces of glass were digging themselves further and further into his insides.
“I’m sure, Magnus, don’t worry. It’s probably just the light,” he said. The light? Was that really all he could think of? Alec would have rolled his eyes at himself if he hadn't been in in so much pain and if everything didn’t depend on him hiding his injury from Magnus.
The warlock looked him over again and Alec smiled his most convincing smile. He longed to press his hands to the wound to attempt to ease the pain, but he just barely resisted the urge. What did he normally do with his hands when he was being natural?
Upon another inspection, Magnus didn’t seem to find anything off with the Shadowhunter’s appearance and smiled widely in relief. Before Alec could stop him, Magnus had wrapped his arm around him and enveloped him in a tight hug. Alec thought he would pass out from the pain, it was as if someone had poured acid on his already painful wound and then rubbed sandpaper over it. He briefly had white spots in his vision and this time, he couldn’t suppress the wince. Magnus let him go immediately and backed away, as if Alec was unbearably hot to the touch.
“What is it, Alexander? What’s the matter?”
“Nothing,” Alec reassured and attempted to inconspicuously press his right arm to his side because he couldn’t help it. He could feel the sweat run down his temples now, and he’d probably never be able to pry his jaws apart. His casual movement did not seem to fool the warlock, however, who was now eyeing him with scepticism and fear in equal measures.
“What has happened to you? Are you hurt? How can I help?”, Magnus asked, stepping closer again. He looked closely at Alec’s right arm, “Lift your arm so I can look at your side.”
“Magnus, no. I’m fine,” Alec replied and took a small step back. There was now also some anger in the warlock’s eyes, but worry was still the predominant emotion. He looked determined and took another step towards Alec, reaching a heavily ringed hand out for Alec’s jacket, as if to pull it away. Alec panicked and then flinched, as the sharp intake of air had caused another stab of blinding pain in his side. Magnus could not see the wound, he just couldn’t. Alec knew it had to look gruesome, gruesome enough for Magnus to feel the need to step in. There was only one thing left to do, even if it was the last thing Alec wanted.
“No, just back off! I said I’m fine,” he hissed, moving backwards again and channelling all his pain into a hateful expression. The hurt look on Magnus’ face almost killed him, but there was nothing he could do if he wanted to protect the warlock from himself. Alec turned on his heel and walked away, as quickly as his injury let him, holding his breath so he didn’t pass out from the pain with every step. He didn’t dare turn back.

Chapter Text

Whumptober – Prompt 25: Humiliation

Alec was just about to call it a day at the Institute, when he heard his mother’s sharp voice call from her office:
“Alexander, come in here for a moment.” No “please”, no reason, just a command. It had only been recently, when he had found out about her Circle-membership and allied himself with Lydija, that he had started to notice her naturally authoritative tone. And, what was more, that it had started to really annoy him. He went to her office nonetheless.
“You asked for me?”, he said when he came to stand inside the doorway. He didn’t want to come in because her office was her space, and he wanted to have a quick escape route if need be. Since his wedding, their relationship had been strained. Izzy was also there, standing by the wall right next to the door. She was clearly attempting to look relaxed, leaning against the wall, but the tension was apparent in her stance.
The office looked like it always had, bare of any décor, plants or sentimental items save for a framed family picture on the right side of her desk. The furniture was also minimalist and practical rather than aesthetically pleasing. He’d always found it as intimidating as his mother, but now he only saw how cold it looked and it made him weirdly sad.
Marysse looked up at Alec, and he could see that she had heard the sarcasm in his voice and she was weighing her options. She could point it out because she didn’t tolerate this kind of tone and risk him leaving, or she could rise above it and talk to him about whatever it is that she wanted to say.
“There is a big dinner with some of the Clave representatives tomorrow night. You are both expected to attend,” she said to her children. Her face was set and her expression was daring them to challenge her.
“Who could decline such a charming invitation,” Izzy said icily before Alec could say anything.
“Okay,” Alec said, drew himself up to his full height and waited until he saw his mother relax marginally before adding, “I’m bringing Magnus.” Alec saw Izzy turn to him from the corner of his eyes, but he concentrated only on Marysse. His mother had always had very good control over her facial expressions, but in that moment, her eyes widened.
“Alec, you can’t!”, she said vehemently when she recovered.
“I can and I will,” Alec replied. His jaw was set and he wasn’t going to budge on this. Now he only had to hope Magnus was free and willing to subject himself to this form of torture. But that was a problem for another time.
“Alec, be reasonable,” she pleaded, getting up and coming around the desk, “He’s a Downworlder.” Now Izzy stood up straight again, right next to Alec, and he imagined they must have looked very similar in that moment. Defiant jaws set, eyes fixating their mother with a stubborn expression.
“It seems you have a decision to make. Either we both come or neither,” Alec said to her.
“If you don’t allow Magnus to come, I won’t attend, either” Izzy added. Alec was very grateful to her, because even though he was mad at his mother and no longer willing to tolerate her behaviour, openly defying her like this caused him an adrenaline-reaction similar to that he got in a fight. It had been ingrained in him all his life to respect his mother and follow her orders unquestioningly, and it was clearly not easy to shake this habit from one day to the next. A part of him felt what he was doing was wrong, even though he knew it wasn’t.
And for the first time in Alec’s life, his mother looked small to him. Even though he’d outgrown here when he was only 14, she had always been a towering authority figure for him. Now, she looked like the weight of the world on her shoulders had physically shrunk her. If he hadn’t been so angry with her, he would have felt pity. It went against her every instinct, he knew, to allow them to essentially blackmail her, but she couldn’t lose face in front of the Clave representatives. Her nostrils flared and he could see a tick in her jaw, but he knew they had her. She couldn’t explain the absence of two of her children from the dinner reasonably, as especially in tumultuous times like this they needed to stand together as a family and present a strong front, and they all knew it.
“Fine,” she said coldly, then waved a hand to dismiss them and turned her back. Alec and Izzy glanced at each other, then they left. Outside in the hall, Alec noticed his hands were shaking.
----
Magnus was free, but he was not at all delighted with the prospect of “venturing into the lion’s den”, as he put it with customary dramatic flair.
“You know I’m very fond of you, my dear, but your mother despises me. I tend not to actively seek out people who dislike and disrespect me, and especially not when they're surrounded by their own people.”
“Magnus,” Alec began, but he wasn’t quite sure where he was going with this, ”I…” He cleared his throat. He didn’t want to push the warlock to do something he didn’t want to do, but it would also be beyond humiliating to show up without him after having made such a point of standing up to his mother.
“It’s…,” he started again. Why did he have to be so bad with words? Magnus looked at him patiently.
“Just…it’s…she…I told her that I wouldn’t go if she didn’t allow you there, so…,” he trailed off. Magnus took pity on him.
“Alexander," he said and then added a slight pause, "is this really important to you?”
“You know it is,” Alec replied, lowering his gaze.
“Very well,” Magnus replied with a forced smile, but there was worry in his eyes “you know that’s my Achilles’ heel. If it’s that important to you, I will be there. Marysse be damned.”
“Thank you, Magnus,” Alec said, smiling widely with relief, and hesitantly leaned forward to place a soft kiss on Magnus’ lips.
---
Alec was glad that he had Izzy and Jace to back him when he entered the room with Magnus by his side. This was nerve-wracking. Magnus would never admit it, but Alec knew he was nervous, too. He knew the warlock had put extra effort into his appearance because his fancy outfits were part of an armour for him and he felt safer and stronger in them, especially in places where his magic was severely limited.
The Clave representatives looked up when the four of them entered, and Alec saw at least two of them do a double take when their eyes fell on Magnus. You had to hand it to him, Magnus covered his nerves better than Alec did and compensated them with extra flourish in his gestures. Magnus placed his hand in the crook of Alec’s arm and he almost flinched. His cheeks coloured. Before, he had wanted this, but now he was suddenly not sure anymore, and a part of him wanted to pull away from Magnus’ grip. Ashamed of that thought, Alec fought the urge and instead turned to smile slightly at Magnus.
Izzy stepped past them with a wide smile. You’d have to know her really well to know it was fake. She greeted everyone respectfully, and Jace, Alec and Magnus followed her lead. When Alec saw his mother’s face, he knew that this was torture for her.
“Ladies and gentlemen,” she said after she’d gotten up and forced a brief smile, “as some of you may remember, these are my children Alexander and Isabelle, my adoptive son Jace Wayland, and their friend, the high warlock of Brooklyn, Magnus Bane.” There was an acid note to her voice on the word “friend”. At Magnus’ name and title, he saw a few more of the representatives look up in surprise and disdain. You could have cut the tension in the room with a knife. No one said anything. Alec felt his cheeks heat. Magnus’ hand on his elbow tensed. It was a horrible moment, one in which no one knew how to act. A few torturous seconds ticked by.
“Take a seat,” Marysse finally interrupted the silence, and the four of them sat down. Alec saw Magnus’ hand itch towards the full wine glass on the table in front of him, but since no one appeared to be drinking yet, he restrained himself. Alec felt the stares on him even though he was concentrating his gaze on his empty plate. This was going to be a tense, humiliating night, he knew that.
When the food was served, his mother didn’t waste any time in starting the conversation with the representatives, some of whom kept throwing furtive glances at Magnus, and occasionally also at Alec. Magnus, who knew this, of course, sat next to Alec with his head held high, talking to Izzy, but Alec could see the whiteness of his knuckles as they gripped onto his soup spoon. Marysse didn’t make any derogative comments about Magnus or even Downworlders as such, but she didn’t have to. The contempt dripped of her every comment, of her reaction to every story anyone at the table told, as many of them involved dealings with Downworlders. She peppered some anecdotes with so many glances at Magnus, that even Robert and some of the friendlier representatives started looking uncomfortable. Magnus got more and more quiet and pale under the bravado of his bold hair and makeup.
“I’ve had to read about an incident that didn’t occur too long ago, in my absence, when Lydija Branwell was the temporary head of the New York Institute,” Marysse began another story, and Alec looked up sharply. He was fuming with rage under the surface and only the knowledge that his intervention would make everything worse kept him from exploding. He wanted nothing more than to comfort Magnus, but the warlock’s body language was closed off and he didn’t so much at glance over, so Alec didn’t dare. It would also most likely not help the situation to do some form of PDA right here and now. He also couldn't shake the feeling that he had done something wrong, even though he didn't know what it was.
“My children, while on a mission, thought they had to seek the assistance of the vampire Camille,” Marysse continued. Alec clenched his jaw, looking at his mother like he’d never seen her before. Even Jace and Izzy had stopped eating and were staring at Marysse. At the name Camille, an audible gasp rippled through the room. They all knew Camille, as her reputation proceeded her.
“Recently, we’d had to capture Camille for one of her many violations of the law, and asked Magnus to assist, since he’d been previously intimately involved with her,” Marysse went on, arching a perfect eyebrow and pausing to let her words sink in. Many heads turned to look at Magnus, who lowered his gaze for the first time since he’d come in.
“Unfortunately,” Marysse said, ignoring Robert’s subtle hand on her arm that Alec was sure was meant to stop her, “the feelings that he’d apparently still harboured for her after all these decades, led to him releasing her. Very unfortunate.” There was an audible clink interrupting the tense silence around the table as Alec dropped his spoon back into the plate.
He knew what she was doing; she was not only achieving her goal of making Magnus look bad and humiliate him, she could at the same time assert her dominance and clear her name by making it clear this “unfortunate” incident had not taken place under her watch, but under Lydija’s. It had the additional benefits of openly making her children's judgement seem questionable. Mission accomplished on all counts. Alec thought he should have known; she wasn’t going to let him humiliate her by blackmailing her into allowing Magnus at the dinner. But before Alec could say anything, Magnus got to his feet in the pin-drop silence of the room.
“Really, Marysse, that’s enough,” Magnus said as he rose, chin raised and his gaze steadily fixed on Alec’s mother, “Because you’re forgetting that there is some information about you that I don’t think you’d want me to share here, either. Now, if you’ll excuse me, there’s somewhere else I have to be. Enjoy your meal!” Alec got up to leave with, throwing a digusted glance at his mother. Next to him, he felt Jace's and Izzy's hesitation.
“No, don’t,” Magnus told Alec; his voice was even but steely and determined, and it cut through Alec like a knife. So he had to watch helplessly as Magnus walked out of the room, back straight and head held high. When he turned around, people were staring at him. Not only had he just watched his boyfriend be humiliated by his own mother, he had the entire audience observe how Magnus had shut him out.

Chapter Text

Whumptober – Prompt 26: Abandoned

When Magnus woke up, he was all alone. He was lying on his back on the floor in a forest he’d never seen before, and his hands were cuffed in front of him with rune-inscribed, magic-binding shackles. What was going on? Where was he?
He sat up awkwardly and looked his limbs and torso over to check for injuries. He wasn’t in pain, but his mind was strangely vacant and he couldn’t pin-point his last coherent memory. How had he gotten here? Why was he alone? Even though he strained his ears, the only sound he could hear around him was the chirping of the birds in the trees. It was late afternoon, judging from the position of the sun in the sky, and Magnus didn’t know how long he’d been out cold for, but he felt groggy.
His head began to hurt from trying so hard to remember what had happened, but for the life of him he couldn’t recall anything beyond blurry shapes and vague notions of fear. His last clear memory was talking to Alexander on the phone. How long ago had that been? Where was Alexander? Did anyone know he was missing? Did anyone know he had been brought to a random forest and abandoned there? Were they looking for him? He had to get out of here, had to try to find any population. Of course, his phone had been taken from him. He needed to survive in this random forest. Without magic.
For hours, Magnus wondered about, trying to find his way to any sort of civilisation but only finding more trees. He had never felt this incapable and ill-equipped in his life; he didn’t know the first thing about hunting or gathering edible foods, but his stomach was rumbling. He attempted to make a fire, but without being able to use magic and with his hand movement restricted through the shackles, he couldn’t figure it out. He was okay at orienting himself, since he’d grown up in a different century, where navigation had been very different to what it was now. So he was relatively certain he wasn't walking in circles. But he was just so alone. There was no sign of any other people and the big, empty forest felt especially lonely.
Occasionally, at random moments, he thought he heard something rustle in the bushes, but whenever he whipped around there was nothing there. Maybe he was getting paranoid. He was cold, his stomach was grumbling like crazy, his head hurt and he was tired, but he didn’t know where to set up camp for the night, where it was safe. Were there wild animals here? People? He hadn’t slept outside in a very long time; he’d never been big on camping. He wasn’t exactly the type. He sincerely lacked understanding for voluntarily giving up luxury to sleep with the animals.
But eventually, he had to stop because his legs wouldn’t carry him any further. Darkness was slowly starting to descend upon him, so he knew he had been wandering about for hours. His throat was parched, but he didn’t know where to get anything to drink. This was a disaster. Maybe he could think better sitting down. In an area where the trees were a little lighter, Magnus sat down, leaning with his back against a tree. What on earth was he going to do? The forest getting creepier now that the night was near, and he tried very hard not to think too hard about what kind of animals walked around here. But before he could get himself worked up into a panic, his exhaustion took over and Magnus fell asleep right where he was, leaning against the tree trunk.
He woke abruptly when someone grunted near his ear. He shot up from his leaning position and opened his eyes.

Chapter Text

Whumptober – Prompt 27: Ransom

“You have 12 hours,” the disembodied voice said, then they hung up the phone. Alec sank down in his chair, trembling all over. This couldn’t be happening, he thought, it just couldn’t. Not to them, not to Max. He was just a child.
“Oh my god, I just heard,” Clary’s voice called out as she burst into the room, “What happened, what do they want?” As usual, Alec wished she’d shut up and didn’t reply, but Jace explained, of course:
“They took Max because they want the Cup. And they want Magnus Bane. Apparently, we have 12 hours.” His brow was furrowed and his expression looked stony, but Alec saw his hands were shaking, too. Max was as much a brother to him as he was to Alec. Clary looked conflicted as she came to stand beside Jace, a hand on his arm. Izzy had left to inform their mother of the kidnapper’s demands. Alec had never seen his mother like she’d been when they had learnt of Max’ disappearance. And he never wanted to see her like that again.
When Izzy came back, she was followed by their parents. They were both pale and looked more terrified than he’d ever seen them. Marysse and Robert came to a standstill in the doorway of the office, which was beginning to feel cramped.
“Any news of where they could be? Were you able to track them?” Jace asked, even though their facial expressions had spoken volumes. Robert shook his head sadly.
“We can’t find him,” he added, eyes downcast.
“Now what, what do we do?” Jace asked. Alec’s thoughts were racing. They had to get Max back; he didn’t know what would happen to him, to their family, if they didn’t. But giving them the cup and Magnus – they couldn’t just give them another person in exchange for their brother. This was impossible.
“We will of course give them exactly what they want,” Marysse said as if there was absolutely no room for discussion. And no other way to think about it. Alec flinched and looked up sharply.
“We can’t,” Alec protested, “We can’t just exchange one human being for another.” When his mother looked at him, there was fire in her eyes and a part of him wanted to cower from her intimidating gaze. But he wouldn’t. Not on this. This was not right.
“I know you’ve got it in your head that you feel something for the Downworlder, but this is about more than your silly crush. This is family, Alec, this is your brother. Your own blood,” his mother said harshly. Alec jumped to his feet, propelled by rage and desperation. How dare she?! He knew she was upset, but they all were. But before he could say anything, his father stepped forward and placed a hand on his harm.
“Alec, Magnus is a powerful high warlock, he can hold his own. Max is only a child, he can’t,” Robert said to his son, his voice determined but also soft and empathetic, “I know this is an impossible situation. I know how you feel.”
“You don’t know anything about how I feel!”, Alec snapped. His voice was louder than he’d expected and he saw Clary flinch from the corner of his eye.
“Alexander, now is not the time for your –“, Marysse began loudly. Her eyes were flashing and she looked ready to get into a fight with him.
“We can see if Magnus can help us to track him with his warlock powers. It’s worth a shot,” Izzy interrupted loudly before the two of them could scream at each other. Marysse wanted to protest, Alec could see it in her eyes, but his father stopped her.
“Marysse, she’s right. We have twelve hours, we might as well try out all of our options.” He looked at her imploringly, a hand on her upper arm, “We have to.” She didn’t say anything else, but her silence was to be taken as acquiescence, and Izzy rushed out to send a fire message to Magnus. Alec knew she liked to keep busy in times of stress. Alec’s heart was racing, his hands were sweaty and shaky. Jace had begun to pace the room, followed by Clary’s wandering eyes.
**
When Magnus got to the Institute, Isabelle was waiting for him. Her hands were balled into fists at her sides and her dark eyes even bigger than normal.
“Isabelle, what’s the matter?”, he asked. And she explained. His stomach clenched when he heard what the situation was. They wanted him. What did they need him for? And they’d taken the one thing that was most precious to the Lightwoods. What kind of monster would kidnap a child?
He followed Isabelle inside in silence, his thoughts racing. She led him down a few corridors; he could hear the emotional shouting from quite a way away from Marysse’s office. Alec and his mother appeared to be in a screaming match.
“- has nothing to do with him personally It’s just not right!”
“What’s not right is that you don’t seem to care about your brother!”
Both Izzy and Magnus flinched when they heard that. There was a moment of silence before the equally stinging response came:
“How dare you?! I’ve raised Max probably more than you have!”
Magnus winced. That was vicious.
“ENOUGH!”, Robert’s voice interrupted with surprising authority. The two of them stopped. When Isabelle and Magnus reached the door, Marysse and Alexander were standing opposite each other, staring at the other with eyes like daggers. They were both breathing heavily and Alexander’s hands were balled into fists. His hair was sticking out in all directions as if he’d run his hands through it a thousand times, and he was deathly pale. Magnus had never seen him look so unhinged and wild. Robert was standing between them, one hand held up towards both of them.
Clary and Jace were standing next to them. Jace looked conflicted, and Clary was playing with a card in her hand, her eyes lowered to the ground. There was unbearable tension in the air as Alec and Marysse stared at each other.
“Magnus is here. He said he can try to track him,” Izzy said into the room, and Marysse and Alec both whipped around. In their rage, their expressions looked eerily similar.
“Thank you for coming so quickly and agreeing to do this. We appreciate it,” Robert greeted Magnus, pointedly polite, “What do you need for your tracking?” Magnus barely heard him. His eyes were fixed on Alexander, who looked angry, but like he was only using this rage to hide the fact that he was terrified. Magnus wanted to hug him, wanted to make him feel better, but he guessed this wasn’t the time. He turned away.
“I will need some of Max’ personal things, and for you family members to stay close.”
“I will take you to Max’ room,” Izzy said, and her voice broke on the last few words. She swallowed hard, clenched her jaw and walked ahead of him. With one last look at Alec, Magnus followed. If he was honest, he didn’t think the tracking would work. The kidnappers sounded too smart for that, and he didn’t know Max that well. But he would be damned if he didn't try his hardest.
**
Not looking at his mother – or anyone else for that matter – Alec stalked out of the room, shoving past his father. He went to follow the others but at some distance. He could hear Jace’s and Clary’s footsteps behind him, but neither of them approached. He was grateful. He didn’t want to talk to anyone. He just wanted to find Max. His stomach was an endless pit of gut-wrenching fear, but his head was full of boiling rage. He couldn’t believe the things his mother had said to him, what she’d insinuated. And the worst thing was: it made him question himself. Was the reason he didn’t want to swap Magnus for Max the fact that he felt something for Magnus? Was he that horrible a person?
The thoughts, the guilt; it was unbearable. Alec sped up until he made it to Max’ room. His breath stuck in his throat when he got there. It looked as if Max had just left. The bed wasn’t made – something that regularly drove their mother up the wall –, an open book lay discarded on the desk with a notebook next to it that showed a scrawled headline and a lot of pointless, childish doodles, and a blade lay on the floor. One Alec was sure Max had snuck out, since he wasn’t allowed to train with those yet. He swallowed heavily. Max was just a child, they had to get him back, no matter what. From underneath the bed, a stuffed bear stuck out. Alec had gotten him “Power” many years ago, and Max pretended to be too old for it, but they all knew he slept with it every night.
He looked over at Magnus, who was gathering a few of Max’ personal things on the bed with Izzy’s assistance. There was something in the way Izzy was holding herself that made Alec think she was dangerously close to losing it. Like him. He moved forward, moved the bear out from under the bed, and placed it with the other things. He couldn’t look at Magnus. He was sure the warlock had heard what his mother had said and couldn’t look him in the eye.
“What can we do to help?”, Clary asked from behind him. A quick glance told Alec she was still holding the card that held the Cup magic-ed inside of it.
“Get the Cup out, dear,” Magnus instructed without taking his eyes off the array of things in front of him, “And put it on the nightstand please.” Clary looked hesitant and torn, but she took the Cup out and put it where she’d been told. Jace, Alec and Izzy stood shoulder to shoulder next to the bed, wanting to be of as much help as in any way possible.
Marysse entered the room a few minutes later with her head held high, but she wasn’t fooling anyone. She was a terrified mother who knew that her only chance was trusting an enemy to find her child. She and Robert stood opposite of their children, facing them. Magnus remained between the two sides, in front of Max’ personal things. Clary positioned herself near the wall, watching the scene with wide eyes.
Alec couldn’t take his eyes off “Power” and tears filled his eyes. He was sure he felt the warlock’s gaze resting on him, but he didn’t look up. Magnus got started, waving his hands around and murmuring incantations under his breath. Occasionally, Alec felt something cold pass through him, and felt Jace and Izzy flinch beside him as well, but otherwise, nothing happened. When Magnus was done, 6 pairs of desperate, pleading eyes shot to his face, their last hope clinging to his every moment. He shook his head very slowly, looking pained.
“I’m sorry,” he mumbled quietly.
“Oh god,” Marysse gasped, and her knees gave out under her. Robert caught her and lowered her on the bed. Izzy sank onto it, too, her eyes closed. Jace’s head sank to Alec’s shoulder, and Alec,…he couldn’t think, couldn’t feel anything but shock, couldn’t speak, was just frozen in place. What on earth could they do? Clary had come up behind them, crying, and put one hand on Jace’s and Alec’s shoulders each. For once, Alec didn’t mind. He barely felt it.
Alec didn’t know how much time passed as desperation overwhelmed the family members. When he looked up from the floor, pressing “Power” tightly to his chest, he gasped.
The Cup was gone. Magnus was nowhere to be seen.
Realisation hit Alec and he ran out of the room to look for the warlock. The Cup was gone, and so was Magnus, and there was only one explanation for this.

Chapter Text

Whumptober – Prompt 28: Beaten
College/Human AU
TW: Strong and offensive language, violence and hate crime.

The exam was harder than Alec had expected it to be. He was a hard-working student, and his exam preparation was always thorough. But the questions on this test had been tricky, full of traps and on unexpected contents of the curriculum. He wasn’t sure it had gone all that well, and if the facial expressions and frustrated exclamations of his fellow classmates were anything to go by, the feeling was mutual across the course.
“What the fuck was that?!” Jace agreed with Alec’s thoughts. He ran both hands through his hair in frustration. Alec had a feeling Jace kind of wanted to kick something. Izzy nodded; she looked thoughtful and worried.
“It was really intense,” she said, “I can’t believe they asked that all those questions about the chemical formulas. That wasn’t even in the lectures.”
“How can they even ask these things? They must know no one memorises all the pages in all the recommended literature and its small print,” Jace joined in. They walked for a moment in silence, surrounded by equally frustrated and panicked mutterings around them. This having been a late exam and it being winter, it was already dark outside. It was also so cold, their breaths fogged in the air.
Alec was lost in thoughts. He was worried about his GPA; if he’d done as badly in this exam as he thought he had, it would bring down his entire average. He’d worked so hard all year to maintain it, he really didn’t want to lose it all to that one exam. He didn’t want to bring it up, as he knew Jace was worried about failing the exam altogether. He was already, as the counsellor had put it, “on thin ice”. He couldn’t afford any more failed exams.
As they turned the next corner, the road was suddenly a lot quieter, with most of the other students having turned different ways or still discussing the exam in the parking lot in front of the building. Alec would have liked to stay and talk through some of the answers with some of them, but he knew Jace hated chewing out the details after the exam. He always reminded them that there was no point to it, that all was already said and done.
The three of them continued walking in silence, each lost to their own contemplations. Alec knew him and Izzy would talk about it some more later, when Jace was undoubtedly going to be out, either at work or drowning his frustration in parties and alcohol. Alec suddenly stopped in the middle of the pavement and strained his ears.
“What is it, Alec?” Izzy asked him. She stopped ahead of him, looking around.
“I thought I heard something,” Alec replied, still listening out.
“What kind of thing?” Jace wondered.
Scratching his head, Alec replied: “Like, a shout, or a scream, or something like that.” Jace frowned in response. When they were about to continue walking because none of them heard anything else, a terrible scream pierced the relative silence of the quiet road. They all froze.
“What the hell was that?” Jace’s voice was tense. Alec thought he heard some laughter coming from where the scream had come from. Without having to discuss it, the three of them went in the direction of the scream, looking around. Alec readied his phone in his hands in case he needed it to call for help. They all attempted to walk quietly but quickly, which proved to be a bit of a challenge for Izzy in her high-heeled boots.
When they’d turned another corner, having heard a groan followed by what sounded like laughter and a dull thud, they were suddenly confronted with a horrifying scene. Three men were standing in a circle around a figure on the ground, who was laying curled up on the floor and the source of the pained groans that were now clearly audible. Alec, Izzy and Jace froze, so far unobserved by the three men and their victim.
“You’ll think twice about wearing your gay-ass shit in public now, won’t you, you Nancy?” One of the attacker’s sneered at the figure, nudging his head roughly with his boot. Alec’s insides twisted with cold dread, experiencing at mixture of fear and anger and desperation.
“Hey!” he called out loudly before he could even think about what consequences it might have. The men, who were dressed in black and wearing hoods, all looked up in their direction. For a terrifying second, Alec thought they were going to come right at them. But then, they all looked at each other and ran.
“Until next time, fag,” the retreating voice of one of the dark-clad figures called out. The word - and the nasty emphasis on it - made Alec’s stomach clench, “We’ll get it out of you eventually.” Alec and Izzy rushed forward towards the figure on the ground, while Jace kept looking out for the attackers, making sure they weren’t taken by surprise.
The figure on the ground was curled up in pain and only wearing a thin shirt despite the icy temperatures. Alec recognised him as Magnus Bane, the flamboyant, well-known head of the Student Art Association. Alec tore off his jacket and covered the man with it. Magnus coughed, and – terrifyingly – blood sprayed out of his mouth. He didn’t seem to hear them when they spoke to him, his eyes were closed and he was clutching his stomach. He’d obviously been beaten and kicked. Alec dialled 911 on his phone, shivering from the cold, while Izzy did her best to make sure Magnus didn’t completely lose consciousness.
The wait for the ambulance was horrible and terrifying. Jace had gone to the wider street to direct the ambulance while Izzy and Alec took care of Magnus Bane. Alec had never been so scared and panicked in his life. Between the coughing-up-blood and the swollen face and the drifting in an out of consciousness, it didn’t look good. Alec’d done a first aid class, but it was like all the information had been leeched out of his brain in favour of one dominant train of thought “Oh my god, what if he dies”.

Chapter Text

Whumptober – Prompt 29: Numb

The room was silent and empty, and smelled faintly of vinegar. It was also freezing, but Magnus didn’t feel it. He didn’t feel anything. He was staring unseeingly at the wall opposite of him, perched as he was on the black stool in the middle of the room. There was no emotion on his usually so expressive face, his stare was blank.
He was going to be sentenced and stripped of his magic. An integral part of his personality would be taken away; he would no longer be the High Warlock of Brooklyn, a position he’d held for the better part of a century. It had somehow become common knowledge that he was the son of a powerful demon, and that apparently overshadowed everything he’d ever achieved in his entire century-spanning life. Maybe the fact that he’d been involved with a Shadowhunter hadn’t helped, he didn’t know.
He was going to lose most of the things that had always mattered to him: his vocation – for that was what being High Warlock was for him -, his magic and power, integral parts of his identity, his reputation, centuries of work, … What would even be left of him? He would no longer be who he was. He was no one without his magic. Magnus looked down at his hands; they were balled to tight fists. The knuckles were white.
He didn’t have the energy to start all over again. He’d worked for centuries to get to where he was now, and it would all be gone in the blink of an eye. He was overwhelmed; he couldn’t grasp the consequences of it all, but at the same time, the thought froze him in place. His body felt numb, he couldn’t feel anything but the shock.
In that moment, the door burst open and Alexander came in. He was panting as if he’d run all the way there, and his eyes were panicked. When he saw Magnus, he pressed a relieved hand to his chest. Behind him, Jace and Isabelle rushed in.
“Magnus! We were looking everywhere for you!”, Alec called out and rushed over to wrap his arms around him and press a passionate kiss to Magnus’ lips. His lips were warm, almost hot. Magnus barely even felt the kiss, and didn’t respond the way he normally did. Alec broke away from him again. Convinced as he was that Alec had been worried about him, acting this way was not the way of reassuring his partner. It was all it took to have Alec looking worried and confused again.
“Magnus, what’s the matter?”, he asked. Did he really not know? Was he honestly that clueless? Did he not grasp the importance of the situation Magnus was facing?
“The trial,” was all the warlock said, his eyes once again fixed on the wall opposite. He hadn’t gotten up from the stool, hadn’t reacted with any emotion to his partner’s entrance. It clearly freaked Alec out.
“You can win that trial. You didn’t do anything wrong,” Isabelle piped in from behind Alexander, where she was watching Magnus with wide eyes. All three of them were looking at him with hopeful determination. Oh, the naivete of Shadowhunters, who hadn't really faced much injustice in their young lives. They'd never been a Downworlder, had never experienced that life was different if you didn't have angel blood. They didn't understand that there was no way Magnus could win this trial.
“I can’t. You don’t understand. I won’t be the High Warlock anymore,” Magnus said, “I will be no one.” He could hear his own voice sounding unusually flat. He closed his eyes. There was nothing he could do; it was all over. And he only felt numb in his hopelessness.

Chapter Text

Whumptober – Prompt 30: Recovery
Human AU

Magnus was released from the hospital on the same night, after they had checked him for internal injuries. He was badly bruised (there were bruises all over his body, and two tender but painful looking ones on his jaw and temple), two of his ribs and one of his fingers were fractured, his hands scraped open and his ankle sprained, but he had no internal bleeding or injuries, and also no concussion. He'd been lucky, the doctor's said, but Izzy didn't think he had, with what he'd had to go through. Because he’d been given strong painkillers, the doctors advised that he shouldn’t be left alone on this first night. Jace had to work and left reluctantly, but Izzy and Alec promised they would look after him. Magnus seemed too out of it to protest.
Izzy looked over at her brother, who had calmed down but was still pale as a ghost. She knew the hate crime had affected him worse than her or Jace, and she also knew Alec knew Magnus a little bit. They were waiting for Magnus to sign his release forms as Alec looked up where the address was they’d been given by the hospital staff.
“He lives in Brooklyn,” Alec said quietly, “It doesn’t look like student housing.” They decided on taking an Uber and Alec ordered it when it looked like Magnus was almost finished. As it was hospital policy, they had to push a reluctant, embarrassed Magnus out of the hospital in a wheelchair. As Alec wheeled him out; Izzy saw that the knuckles of his less injured hands on the handle were white from gripping it so hard.
Even though Magnus’ eyes were glazed from the medicine, his discomfort was more than obvious. He didn’t look like himself either. Whenever Izzy had seen him around campus, he’d been dressed in flamboyant, colourful outfits, had bright, unnaturally coloured strands in his ornately styled hair and wore glittery eye-liner emphasising his almond eyes. In short, he was never caught looking anything but put-together, stylish and fabulous. In contrast, now, because his jeans had been wet, torn and filthy, he’d been given a pair of standard-issue jogging bottoms that were too big for him, was wearing Alec’s dark jacket over his bare torso and his hair was flattened and sad-looking. His makeup had been removed, and his posture was slumped. The only left-over of his usual appearance was the chipped nail polish on his cut, bruised and bandaged hands. He was a pitiful sight. Izzy felt sorry for him, and worried about his mental state as well. She couldn't imagine what it felt like outside of the physical injuries to be the victim of such an abhorrent crime.
He’d been asked if he wanted to press charges and if he wanted the hospital to inform the police, to which he’d vehemently shaken his head, saying he would do that himself when he felt up to it. Somehow Izzy doubted that he would.
When they reached the exit, Alec helped Magnus out of the wheelchair and to the waiting Uber car; Magnus didn’t protest and leaned heavily on Alec’s arm. His expression was vacant and his mind seemed far away. Izzy opened the car doors for them and helped Alec settle Magnus in the middle so he had enough room for his bandaged right foot. Then she got in at the front and instructed the driver as to where they needed to go and that he should please drive carefully, as she didn’t know how well the strong pain meds and the fading shock would mix with driving.
In the rear-view mirror, she saw Magnus almost immediately sink against Alec and lean on her brother. If Alec minded, he didn’t show it as Magnus’ head sank against his shoulder and chest.
It was a quiet ride to Magnus’ apartment, sound-tracked only by quiet Jazz music playing over the car’s tinny speakers and distant traffic noise outside. Magnus’ eyes were closed and he remained silent. So did Alec, who was sat on the back seat supporting Magnus’ weight and staring out the window. From the outside her brother looked almost bored, but if you knew him like Izzy did, you’d know he was shaken to his core even though nothing had happened to him personally and he barely knew Magnus.
When they arrived, Izzy rushed out to open the door and help Alec manoeuvre Magnus out of the car. She was carrying the ziplock bag of Manus’ personal items in her hand and retrieved his keys from it to open the door of the elegant, red brick building that bore the street number they had been told in the hospital. Magnus’ name was on one of the bells for the third floor, and she prayed there would be an elevator. Luckily, there was, but it was tiny, so after assisting Alec with getting Magnus inside, she took the stairs while her brother rode the elevator with him. She arrived almost at the same time as them and unlocked the door to an apartment on the right which bore the name “Bane” next to it.
When they stepped inside, Izzy couldn’t help but gape at her surroundings. They were in a huge loft with a wide, open floorplan, fashionably furnished in undoubtedly expensive designer furniture and bright, eye-catching décor. A plush turquoise armchair and matching couch were grouped around a mahogany and glass end table to their right, and Alec and Izzy led Magnus to the couch and helped him lay down. It didn’t feel right to enter the bedroom.
“I’ll get some water,” Izzy announced and headed towards where she suspected the kitchen while Alec moved pillows and adjusted Magnus so that he could lie comfortably on the sofa. The kitchen was also huge and looked pristine. It was weird to go through someone else’s kitchen, and it took a while to locate the glasses. The interior of this kitchen was very pretty, but not at all practical. Clearly, Magnus didn’t cook a lot.
When she came back, balancing three glasses of water, Magnus was covered with a quilted patchwork blanket that didn’t match the colour-coordinated rest of the apartment and wasn’t wearing shoes. He was clearly on the verge of falling asleep. Alec was perched on an uncomfortable-looking stool he was too tall for near Magnus’ head.
The doctors had recommended a lot of rest for Magnus, but had also said to make sure that he woke up every 2 hours to make sure he didn’t lose consciousness. Izzy set an alarm and fell asleep in the arm chair, exhausted from the exam and the night’s events, but Alec apparently stayed awake. He alternated between watching Magnus and messing with his phone. Whenever he went to wake Magnus, he looked briefly anxious until Magnus opened his eyes. He made him drink some water when he was awake, and talked to him for a few minutes to make sure he was making sense, then Magnus was allowed back to sleep. After the second time, Izzy just didn’t set her alarm again; she knew Alec had it covered.
The next morning, Magnus looked a lot better. Some colour had returned to his face, and even though he flinched frequently when he moved, his eyes were clear again and his speech no longer slurred. He’d also stopped sleeping and had propped himself up on a few cushions with Alec’s help. Now that Magnus was almost back to normal and awake, her brother didn’t seem to know what to do with himself or how to act. He looked unbearably awkward. She saw his hands itch towards Magnus whenever the other man moved or flinched, then pull them back as if he wasn’t sure if his help would be welcome. It seemed that Magnus’ observant eyes picked up on it, too, because now he occasionally said things like “Alexander, would you mind helping me move around?” or “Could you please pass me the water?”. Izzy was grateful to him for that, but she still began to feel awkward, too. When was it time to leave? Magnus seemed well enough, and it didn’t look like he needed any more help, but she didn’t know how to act now. She’d never been in this kind of situation before. Alec didn’t look like he wanted to leave despite his increasing awkwardness.
As if he’d somehow heard her thoughts, Jace called her in that moment to ask if they were coming back to have breakfast with him; he didn’t sound like he’d slept at all that night.
“Alec,” Izzy asked, holing the phone away from her ear, “Jace asks if we want to meet for breakfast?” Alec glanced at Magnus and immediately away again and shrugged.
"We'll call you right back," she told Jace, then made Magnus against his protests, call one of his friends so they could stay with him. She noticed he didn't go into detail about what had happened on the phone, but she heard someone else's voice promise that they'd be there in 20 minutes. With worried glances at Magnus, who kept switching between thanking them and repeatedly assuring them that he was fine, Izzy and Alec left, but not before they placed a piece of paper with their phone numbers on the table.

Chapter Text

Whumptober – Prompt 31: Embrace

“Oh god,” Alec mumbled, turning his back to his siblings and hurrying away before they could see the emotions all over his face. He didn’t know where he was going, all he knew was that he needed to be alone for a moment, that he needed space and time to think. Magnus hadn’t returned when he had been scheduled and no one had heard from him.
What did that mean? Where was he? Was he okay?
In his mind, a logical voice argued that he knew people were already out looking for the warlock and that there was nothing he could do, unable as he was to leave the Institute at the moment. But with every fibre of his being he itched to go and do something, to be proactive and part of the search. There was only one place he wanted to be right now that wasn’t out searching for Magnus himself; he needed to move, to somehow expel this all this energy, to channel his worries into movement. He needed to distract himself, cursing the fact that he wasn't allowed to be part of the search.
So, after stopping by his room, he went directly to the training area, where he unexpectedly met Jace. They didn’t talk, they only had to look at each other to know what they were going to do. Each of them took one of the long practice sticks in both hands and they slowly circled each other, getting closer and closer. Both of them were tense, waiting for the other to attack and ready to defend themselves. Both pairs of eyes were focused, but Jace was smiling ever so slightly. They had always loved doing this, ever since Jace had come to them and the two had started spending hours a day in this room. There hadn’t been a single day where each of them hadn’t gone to bed exhausted and covered in bruises and scrapes, but smiling nonetheless. Alec thought this may have been the room where he’d first fallen in love with Jace. It seemed like a lifetime ago now.
Suddenly, Jace pounced, jumping forward and to the right in one smooth, practiced motion, while his stick went left to catch Alec unawares. But Alec hadn’t been Jace’s daily sparring partner for years for nothing, he knew Jace too well to fall for that. He easily parried the attack, catching its force with a clank of the top end of his weapon, while aiming for Jace’s unprotected side with the bottom end. But two could play at that game; Jace knew him, too. The two of them continued their practice fight for a while, mostly in silence. It was the perfect distraction. The concentration on the quick act-react scenarios made dwelling on anything else impossible.
They called it a day when they were both breathing heavily and it became clear that neither of them would best the other that day. Alec plopped down on the bench to catch his breath, while Jace leaned against the wall. Alec's chest was heaving under the thin tank top he was wearing. As they were both catching their breaths, the thoughts he’d been trying so hard to avoid crept back up on Alec intrudingly.
“Where do you think he is?” he asked his parabatai quietly as he leaned back against the wall behind him.
“I don’t know, Alec,” Jace replied softly, “But I’m sure he’s fine.” What Jace didn’t – wouldn’t – say was that there was a harmless explanation for Magnus’ delay. Chances were, something had gone wrong. It always seemed to do. Upon Alec’s loaded silence, Jace looked down at his parabatai. Alec’s eyes were closed, but there was a worried frown between his dark eyebrows.
“Look, Alec, he’s okay. We would have heard something by now if something had gone wrong. Somebody would have heard something.” Alec wanted to be reassured by his words, wanted to believe them so badly, but he couldn’t.
“The Shadowhunters are hardly going to be the first to hear any news from Downworlders,” Alec countered. He took a deep breath and tried to unclench his jaw. He knew Jace was doing his best to comfort him, and there was nothing else his parabatai could say, but he couldn’t help it. His mind was, and had always been, a place where worse-case-scenarios felt at home. Worrying and negative thoughts were second nature to him, he knew that. Sadly, though, he was often right. Too often to be able to placate his own brain.
“Alec –“, Jace began, but they were interrupted by running footsteps in the hallway. They both stood, instinctively in a defensive stance. Instantly wary. But it was Magnus who came rushing around the corner, alive and well, followed by Izzy and Clary. A wave of relief crashed over Alec, nearly making him stagger with its force, as he lay eyes on the warlock and processed that he was in fact okay.
“Magnus!”
He rushed forward, hardly aware of what he was doing, as his eyes roamed over the warlock to make sure he was okay. He looked normal, and there was a relieved smile on his handsome face. Alec had never been this happy to see Magnus, and that was saying something. He stepped forward and hugged Magnus tightly, pressing him to his chest almost forcefully. His arms wound around Magnus’ torso, and he inhaled his familiar, calming scent. The warlock was hugging him back, just as fiercely.
“Oh, thank god,” Alec breathed quietly, almost to himself. His eyes closed. He held on to Magnus with both arms, and felt his entire body relax for the first time in days. This, right here, was what mattered. Magnus was back and he was safe and he was here. Alec’s heart rate slowed as the two of them stood locked in their embrace. He felt Magnus’ breath against his neck, the warmth of his torso and the beating of the other man’s heart against his chest, strong and steady.
He didn’t care that his siblings and Clary were watching them. He didn’t care they were in the middle of the Institute and this was not something he was supposed to do. He didn’t even care that either of his parents could walk in at any moment. All that mattered was that Magnus was back, safely here, and in his arms.
When Alec eventually reluctantly released Magnus, their eyes locked for a moment, but Jace cleared his throat. There was a sly grin on his face, but Alec could see his relief underneath the teasing expression.
Without discussing it, Alec accompanied Magnus home when he left an hour later, after following him around the Institute like a puppy. It took him until the front door of Magnus’ loft to notice that he’d been keeping his hand on his boyfriend’s lower back for the entirety of the journey. He would have been embarrassed, but Magnus was smiling a small, content smile, so he kept his hand where it was. At the loft, after conjuring up two martinis for them, Magnus wasted no time in taking off his blood-stained shirt.
“Not mine,” he’d reassured Alec previously when the Shadowhunter had first noticed the blood with a frown.
Alec couldn’t help but check the warlock out. Magnus’ build was incredibly muscular, a fact that was frequently hidden underneath his wide, flowing tops. He had broad shoulders, bulging arms and defined abs. His wide chest, unlike Alec’s own, was basically hairless.
Once against seized with gratitude that Magnus was okay and fuelled by the contents of the martini glass he’d gulped down, Alec approached Magnus and they started kissing, hungrily and a little frantic. Soon, they were a tangle of greedy hands, open-mouthed, hot kisses and eager tongues. There was a push and pull of one body against another, impatient tugs at obstructing fabrics and the sound of rushed breathing in the air. Magnus slowed them down as they were making their fumbling way towards the bedroom, still entwined in their kisses.
“Alexander,” he murmured softly between the kisses and stroked a hand over Alec’s neck. Feeling the goose bumps his fingers left in their wake filled him with a warm sensation in his stomach. Both of their eyes were closed and they paused for a moment, breathing each other in. Magnus felt himself smile.
“There’s no rush,” he said gently, “We have all the time in the world.”