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Tandem Hearts

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Their bedroom was bathed in shadows, moonlight filtering through the drapes and falling on various bits and bobs. A silk robe lay strewn across an armchair, and a worn pair of boots was set neatly by the door. On the nightstand, a pair of reading glasses lay forgotten along with a bottle of water and a square of chocolate. A smile spread across Magnus’s face as he spied the rations. Of course Alec would remember his chocolate addiction at a time like this.

Physically, Magnus felt like he’d been put through a meat grinder and spit back out. He ached all over, though his arms seemed to have borne the brunt of the attack, and even his bones seemed to groan. Strands of hair still covered in gel were plastered to the side of his face, but he didn’t have the magic or the energy to do anything about them. Luckily, it felt as if the rest of his makeup had been removed.

Despite the room’s warm temperature, Magnus felt cold and bereft. He groggily remembered expending most of his magic when a group of Circle members had attacked Alec on a street corner, unaware that his overly protective warlock boyfriend was just inside purchasing herbs for a potion. Alec had defended himself well, but it had taken Magnus’s help to fully neutralize the threat. He had thrown himself in front of the Shadowhunter, a fiery ball of protection erected to protect them both as arrows shot out at their attackers. Seamlessly as the pair worked together, it still took a considerable amount of energy for Magnus to allow Alec’s arrows to pierce through his shield. However, he’d done it without thought or consideration for his own well-being.

Magnus had a constant need for Alec. They were always touching, whether it was an arm slung across broad shoulders or the tickle of a finger across blushing cheeks. As of late, Magnus had taken to grabbing Alec’s hand whenever possible. He adored the sight of Alec’s larger, scarred hand encasing his own, fingers tightening as he shared his warmth.

At his age, Magnus could recognize love when it arose. He had many times over felt the urge to protect another being and ensure their happiness. However, never before had Magnus felt a physical need like he did with Alec. Alec was both strong and vulnerable, hardened against the violence of the world yet soft when it came to Magnus. He had blossomed under Magnus’s care and attention and eagerly given back without pause or inhibitions. Alec would give up everything for Magnus and, for the first time, Magnus would do the same.

The mattress shifted, a warm hand pressing gently onto Magnus’s shoulder. “Are you awake?”

“Barely,” Magnus replied, grunting at the strength used when he turned to look at Alec. “What are you doing all the way over there?” While Magnus had been curled in a ball at the center of the bed, Alec was on the edge. He lay on his side, facing Magnus and hugging a pillow. The pair were less than a foot apart, but the distance felt miles too far.

“You were so worn out that I didn’t want to disturb you.”

Magnus met Alec’s eyes with intensity. “You could never disturb me, Alexander. Besides, that pillow seems to be hogging a spot that is explicitly mine.”

At his boyfriend’s words, Alec dropped the pillow onto the floor and scooted close. He maneuvered himself in next to Magnus, curling around his back and burying the shorter man among his own large frame. A tired head was tucked under his chin, nose buried in the matted hair, and arms slung protectively around his waist pulling the smaller man close.

Magnus felt as if he had come home. Warmth seeped into his body, thawing every limb down to his toes which were tangled among Alec’s calves.

“I got you, love,” Alec whispered, pressing a kiss to Magnus’s temple. “Go to sleep.”

The pet name caused Magnus’s heart to skip a beat, his boyfriend never having used it before. Alec disliked pet names (except for the ones Magnus called him by, of course), and never in a million years would Magnus expected one as intimate as “love.” He practically glowed in happiness, snuggling into his personal heater.

A soft kiss was pressed to tangled hands, and the two fell into a blissful sleep, dreaming only of the press of one another and two hearts beating in tandem. There was only Magnus and Alexander, Alexander and Magnus.