Alec woke up, and frowned when he found Magnus’s side of the bed empty. He had lost count the number of times this has happened, and he was starting to get frustrated about it. While it wasn’t uncommon to find Magnus’s side of the bed empty—because the warlock was an early bird—Magnus never did it this many times in a row. Sometimes, he would wake up cuddled to Magnus’s side while the latter read, or he would wake up to a blowjob.
Thinking about the last one made him miss morning sex.
If this was like the previous days, Alec thought as he got out of bed, then Magnus wouldn’t be anywhere in the house. If he was being honest to himself, he kind of felt a little bit hurt and angry. He had came a long way from being the insecure person he was early in their relationship, but who wouldn’t get frustrated if their partner disappeared to angel-knows-where for a long period of time.
He sighed, and went to complete his morning ablution. He was still seething when he reached the kitchen and prepared his coffee and breakfast for two. Rafael was at the Paris Institute to gain some experience, so it was only Max and him in the house. Chairman Meow had, sadly, succumbed to old age a few years earlier.
It wasn’t long before fifteen year-old Max joined him, probably woken up by the smell of bacon in the air. His warlock son barrelled into the kitchen, bleary-eyed, and headed straight to the coffee machine. In some ways, Max was exactly like him.
After Max finished his first cup of coffee—and was more awake—he asked, “Where’s papa?”
“Guess.” Alec couldn’t keep the bitterness from his tone.
Max sighed. “Again?”
“Yes, again.” Alec transferred the omelettes he was cooking onto two plates—one each for him and Max—and brought it to the breakfast bar where Max was seated. The bacon was already on the table, and it appeared that Max had placed some cutlery on the table. “So, what are you up to today?”
After thanking Alec for the food, Max answered, “I’m going to the Institute. Clary’s been teaching me about runes, and there’s an experiment I wanted to try and I think Clary could help me with it.”
“It’s a surprise.”
Alec internally groaned. That was also a code for I-can’t-tell-you-because-you-might-think-it’s-too-dangerous. Unlike Rafael, who relished in demon hunting, Max was a scholar through and through. And he was notorious for working on experiments that would give Alec and Magnus gray hairs.
“Just be careful.”
Max laughed and nodded. “What about you, dad? Are you coming to the Institute too?”
“Yes. There’s something I need to ask Clary and Jace. And Izzy, if she’s there,” he added as an afterthought. “And then, I’m going to hunt down your papa.”
Max shook his head. “Papa’s going to be in the doghouse when you find him, isn’t he?”
“You have no idea.”
Magnus was in a bad mood when he crossed the Portal from Idris into his home office in Brooklyn. Damn the Consul and the stupid Clave. He had been working on this amendment with Robert—former Inquisitor—for months, and just like that, the Consul had poured their effort down the drain. It took him years in planning with Robert, and then trying to win some of the members of the Council before they actively tried to rewrite that one particular old law. And just like that, the Consul had shot down the amended law. They even had the nerve to quote ‘Sed lex dura lex’ to him. The law is hard, but it is the law.
Robert had told him to return home, and they’ll try to get another meeting with the Council next time. Magnus slumped onto his chair by the desk, and sighed. Then, he remembered the bourbon he had hidden in the drawer; took it out and poured him a drink.
Magnus gripped his tumbler tightly after he downed his drink, and he was tempted to throw it to the floor and watch it shatter. He had been alive for centuries, and he knew how the Clave was—despite them being slightly better than before. Some had changed their views about Downworlders, but most were still closed-minded as ever, especially when it came to old laws. Maybe he should rethink about getting Maia, Lily, and Kieran involved. The Consul would not be able to turn them away, not when all three Downworld representatives banded together.
Magnus sighed, pouring himself another drink. He wanted this to be approved and passed by the Consul because of Alec. His blue-eyed shadowhunter had waited so patiently for the last fifteen years. Magnus knew—he saw it in Alec’s eyes during Helen and Aline’s wedding—that even though Alec said he didn’t care about getting married in gold, the young shadowhunter wanted it.
It was probably half an hour later—his bottle of bourbon almost empty—when he heard the front door opened and closed, and he heard Alec’s voice. It took less than a minute for Alec to poke his head into the office. At first, Alec’s facial expression was unreadable, but when the latter saw the bottle of bourbon on the desk, he immediately looked worried.
Alec entered the room—closed the door behind him—and went beside Magnus. He turned Magnus’s chair so that they were face-to-face, and cupped Magnus’s face in both hands. “What’s wrong?” he asked.
Magnus turned his face away. “It’s nothing.”
Alec made Magnus look at him again, and this time, he pressed his lips to the latter. “If it was nothing, you would already have a smile on your face for me. If it was nothing, you wouldn’t have drink most of the bourbon. I know for a fact that it was still full when I left the house.”
Magnus didn’t say anything for a moment before leaning forward—Alec had stood up straight by this time—and buried his face against Alec’s stomach. He wrapped his arms around Alec’s waist. “The Consul is an ass.”
“I know he is. You’ve heard Jace’s complains all the time.”
“Your father and I worked so hard on this. I wanted it to be a surprise.”
Alec wrapped his own arms around Magnus’s shoulder, and pressed a kiss on the top of his boyfriend’s head. “I’m sorry that whatever it is you were working on didn’t work out.”
They stayed in that position for a few minutes before Magnus sighed and let go. Alec smiled at him, and straddled Magnus’s lap. “Feeling better?”
“A little bit.”
Alec pressed their forehead together. “This really isn’t fair, you know?”
“I was planning on putting you in the doghouse.” Magnus gave him raised eyebrows and he chuckled. “But now that you look so sad, I don’t know if I could do it.”
“I guess that’s a blessing in disguise.”
“Do you want to talk about it?”
“No. I think I’ve said too much.”
“Maybe.” He’d just have to ask his dad then, Alec thought. He wrapped his arms around Magnus’s neck, and started pressing kisses onto Magnus’s mouth. “Maybe we could do something else instead.” He bucked his hips, and grinned when Magnus moaned.
“Let’s go to our bedroom.”
The next morning when Alec woke up, he had a smile on his face because Magnus was still there, still asleep. They had a late night last night, and thank god Max decided to stay at the Institute or else their kid would probably be scarred for life. And that would be a long time because Max was a warlock after all.
He pecked Magnus on the cheek, and careful not to wake Magnus when he got off the bed. He had a plan in his mind, and he didn’t want Magnus to know. So, after leaving a quick note, and one last kiss for Magnus, he left the house. He used the rune that made him invisible to mundane eyes in order to arrive at his destination as fast as he possibly could.
Alec should have thought things through. And probably planned ahead. Because when he arrived at the Institute, he found out that Clary wasn’t there. She had gone out with Jocelyn and would only come home in the afternoon barring any emergencies. He was contemplating on what to do, maybe create an emergency so that Clary would return earlier—Jace had narrowed his eyes at him, asking if he was drunk when he accidentally said that out loud—when the door to the library opened and Max walked in.
“Dad? What are you doing here?”
“You’ve mastered opening Portals, haven’t you?”
Max wondered if it was a trick question, but then, decided to be honest. “I have.”
“I need you to open one for me to Idris.”
Max eyebrows shot up. His dad never let him do this before, saying it was dangerous for him, which was bull considering Clary had done the same thing when she was around his age. “Uh, okay. Do you want me to go to the other side with you?”
“No,” Alec shook his head.
“But what about when you want to go home?”
“I’ll find Catarina at the academy,” Alec said.
Jace pushed himself from the wall. “Hold on a second. The reason you came here looking for Clary in the first is so that she could open a Portal to Idris for you?” He pouted. “You wound me.” He placed a hand to his chest where his heart was, and put on a heartbreaking expression. After a moment, he added, “And why can’t Magnus do it for you?”
“Long story, but I’ll tell you everything once I get all the facts,” Alec told his parabatai.
Jace sighed and nodded. “Fine.”
It was surprisingly late when Magnus finally woke up from his slumber. It was almost noon, and so, he wasn’t surprise that Alec was not there anymore. After completing his ablution, he sauntered to the kitchen. He was famished, and he realized he didn’t have dinner. Other than Alec, his mind supplied. He shook his head at that. He was surprised to see Max sitting by the breakfast bar with ingredients for a BLT sandwich in front of him.
“Papa, you’re up late today,” Max said. “I was contemplating on waking you up, just in case.” There was an amused twinkle in his eyes.
“I think you spent too much time with Jace, Max,” Magnus rolled his eyes. With a snap of his fingers, a glass of orange juice appeared in front of him.
“This is different.”
Because he was in the middle of drinking, Magnus could only raised a questioning eyebrow at Max.
“Usually, I would be sitting here with Dad, and you’d be angel knows where.”
Magnus scrunched his face. “That’s not true.”
“You’ve been out of the house before any of us woke up these last few weeks, without a note saying where you are. Yesterday, dad said you’re going to be in the doghouse.”
“Luckily, I’m not.” And because Magnus was a bit devious, he tilted his head slightly so that Max could see the bite mark that Alec left.
There was a shade of red on Max’s blue skin. He shuddered. “You are cruel, Pops.”
Magnus laughed. “I’m sorry, I can’t help it.”
Max shook his head, and continued assembling his sandwich. Because Max was raised by mostly shadowhunters, he preferred doing things from scratch instead of just making things appear with magic, much to Magnus’s disappointment. When Max finished making one, he pushed the plate of sandwich to Magnus before starting on another one.
“Thanks,” Magnus said, to which Max replied, “You’re welcome.”
They enjoyed each other’s company in silent, just eating, before Magnus decided to ask, “So, where is your dad today?”
“Idris,” Max answered with a mouthful of sandwich. Maryse would probably pull his ears because of his lack of manners if she were there.
Magnus choke on the last piece of sandwich he was about to swallow. “What?” Oh god, did Alec go to Idris to ask his father? “Are you sure?”
“Of course I’m sure,” Max said, looking a little bit offended. “I opened the Portal that dad used.”
Magnus ran a hand down his face. ‘Is Alec playing detective?’ he thought. So much for a surprise, he added in his head. He bet Robert would crumble when Alec asked. Robert never did manage to keep anything from Alec if the younger Lightwood asked him about it directly. Suddenly, he felt something poked his side, and he jumped a little in his seat. He glared at Max, the only other person in the kitchen, hence the culprit. Max had an innocent look on his face.
“Well, you didn’t answer, so…” Max shrugged.
“What did you ask me?”
“Are you going after dad? In Idris,” Max clarified.
“Nah, I’ll just wait for him here.”
Max bit his bottom lip. “Should I sleepover at the Institute again? Just in case?”
The looked on his son’s face made Magnus barked out laughing.
Alec stumbled into Magnus’s home office—that was the only place where a portal could be opened in their home—before the behind him closed immediately. He didn’t mean to return so late, and he was lucky that Catarina really was in Idris to open up a portal for him.
Earlier that day, after Max sent him to Idris, he immediately went to his father’s house. His father was surprised to see him, of course, and he didn’t waste time with pleasantries when he asked his father about the thing that Magnus was working on.
Robert was hesitant at first, because Magnus did work on it behind Alec’s back for a reason. But when Alec mentioned that he knew about the surprise—Alec felt a little bit guilty about lying—he immediately filled his son in. Alec was astonished when he heard. Robert could swear that he was his son’s eyes shine with tears for a moment before Alec blinked it away.
“Is this why Magnus has been gone a lot?”
“It took us years to plan and implement.”
Alec could only stare at his dad for a few seconds before he demanded his dad tell him and show him everything. Alec was surprised when his father took him to the study and showed him all the notes, and how many years they had worked on amending this one law despite always getting rejected.
Alec quietly walked out of Magnus’s office. When he passed the living room, he saw Magnus there, lying on the couch. The warlock was fast asleep but the television was still on. Magnus must have waited for him to come home. He felt a pang of guilt for not sending his partner a message about him returning late.
Alec turned off the TV, and knelt beside the couch, next to Magnus. He kissed Magnus’s cheek—the one that wasn’t pressed against the couch—and pushed away the hair that fell into Magnus’s eyes. He brushed his thumb gently against Magnus’s cheek, and the warlock started to stir in his sleep. Soon enough, Magnus’s eyes fluttered open.
“Alec?” Magnus looked at his partner with bleary eyes.
“I’m sorry to wake you,” Alec apologized. “But your back wouldn’t be happy with you if you sleep on this couch all night.”
“I’ve slept at worse places,” Magnus mumbled, which caused Alec to laugh.
“I know,” he said. “But I’d like it if my boyfriend joins me in bed.”
Magnus nodded, and sat up. He stayed in that for a moment to get his bearing before he stood up. Alec stood up too, and wrapped an arm around his waist. He wrapped his own arm around Alec’s shoulder. “I miss you today.”
“Miss you too, Mags,” Alec said softly.
“Hate that nickname.”
Alec chuckled. “I know.” He wrapped the hand he had around Magnus’s waist tighter when the warlock almost tripped over nothing, and helped the latter into bed. Alec had an amused smile on his face when Magnus wouldn’t let go of his hand. So, instead washing his face like he usually does before bed, he just stripped off to his boxer shorts, and joined Magnus in bed.
“You know about the meetings with the Clave, don’t you?”
“I thought you’re asleep,” Alec told Magnus as he curled up close to the warlock.
Magnus opened his eyes, staring into Alec’s baby blues. “You went to Idris to see Robert.”
Alec contemplated lying, but that never did them any good early in their relationship, he told the truth. “I did.” He cupped Magnus’s cheek with one hand, brushing his thumb over the warlock’s cheekbone. “Thank you.”
Magnus buried his face in the crook of Alec’s neck. “I didn’t manage to do anything. Even if we win over some of the Clave members, the new law will never be passed if the Consul wouldn’t budge.”
Alec moved his hand to Magnus’s waist. “I know.” He pressed a kiss on the top of the warlock’s head, and gave a contented sigh after cuddling as close as he physically could to Magnus.
Rafael had seen them like that once, and their eldest had described it as “melting into each other”.
“Let’s think about it another day, okay?” Alec mumbled. He wanted to say that he didn’t care about being married in gold, he wanted to say that he would be satisfied even they were married the mundane way but saying all those things after all the hard work Magnus put into it would probably make it seem like he didn’t appreciate what the warlock has done. So he said nothing, and just held Magnus as they drift to sleep.
One month has passed since Alec found out about what Magnus had been doing in Idris with his dad. He was happy that Magnus no longer sneak around about it, although he had to reassure Magnus a lot that it was okay, that he didn’t need it to be a surprise.
Rafael and one other shadowhunter that had been living at the New York Institute would be returning from their journey today, so there was a welcome home party for them at the Institute. Max had been at the Institute since morning, helping out in between his studies, and Alec decided to go there together with Magnus. Besides, he had something planned.
All night long, Alec was agitated. His father said he would be there, but he was late. Besides, the thing he had planned depended on his father being there. He took a deep breath, and exhaled. It’s okay, he told himself. His dad would be there. He just hoped the Consul didn’t change his mind at the last minute.
“Hey handsome,” Magnus said with a grin. He held out a hand. “Would you honour me with a dance?”
Alec smiled. “Always.”
Jace was having a turn at the piano, and when he saw his parabatai and Magnus on the makeshift dance floor, he started playing a romantic slow song.
“It looks like your brother can be smart after all.”
Alec snorted. He knew Magnus and his brother no longer dislike each other, but their insistence on putting on a show in front of people equally amuse and exasperate him.
“You’re a little distracted tonight, darling.”
“You keep on looking at your watch, and you didn’t…well, mingle.”
Alec gave him an arched eyebrow. “You know I’m not really the type to mingle.” He smiled when Magnus chuckled. “But honestly, I was just waiting for my dad.”
Before Alec could answer, he saw his father walk into the ballroom. A wide smile appeared on his face. “I’m sorry, Mags, but can you excuse me for a moment?” He grabbed Max’s—who was just passing by—hand, and said, “Why don’t you dance with Max for a little while?”
Alec disappeared before the two of them could get a word out. Magnus and Max then stared at each other. Max was the one who broke the silence.
“Nothing against you, papa, but I don’t do slow songs with my parents.”
Magnus just shook his head and said something about spending too much time with Jace under his breath. “Let’s just get a drink, Maxie.”
Meanwhile, Alec cornered his dad. “Do you have it?”
“Hello to you too, son,” Robert said, and Alec rolled his eyes. “And yes, I do have it. Although the Consul also told me to pass a message to you.”
Alec rolled his eyes again when his father told him what the message was. Don’t you dare ambush me with the other Downworld representatives again, Lightwood.
Robert placed a hand on Alec’s shoulder after he gave his son the document. “I’m really proud of what you’ve accomplished.”
Robert gave Alec a man hug before he decided to hunt down Simon and Isabelle. Alec scanned the room and found his target. Max had already abandoned Magnus, but luckily, the warlock has found and was now chatting with Clary by the punch table.
“Oh, Alec. Do you want your man back?” Clary asked when Alec appeared next to Magnus.
Alec smiled sheepishly at her. “If you don’t mind, that would be greatly appreciated.”
“I don’t mind,” she chuckled. “I’ll just go and save Si from your father.”
As soon as Clary left, Alec took Magnus’s hand and laced their fingers together. “I need to talk to you in private.”
Before he knew it, Alec had dragged him out of the ballroom, and into the backroom.
“So, what’s so important that we have to talk about things in private?” Magnus asked.
“First, I need you to sit down.”
Magnus scrunched his face at Alec, but did as the latter asked. Then, he saw Alec placed the document he was holding on the table, and slide it towards Magnus.
So, Magnus read. He took the document out of the envelope, and Alec could see the astonished look on the warlock’s face as he read.
Magnus looked at Alec. “Alexander, this…”
Alec nodded, before he knelt in front of his lover. “You once told me that you would only marry me when we could marry in gold. Now that it’s possible,” he took out a ring from his breast pocket and held it out to Magnus, “will you marry me?”
Magnus could only stare at Alec, stunned, and the latter was afraid that Magnus was going to say no. Then, when Magnus suddenly laughed, Alec was afraid that he had broken his partner.
“Yes,” Magnus managed to rasp out. “Of course I’ll marry you. I wouldn’t have worked so hard to change the law if that wasn’t my intention.”
Alec grinned from ear-to-ear as he slid the ring onto Magnus’s left ring finger. “I know, but it makes me happy to hear it from your mouth.”
Magnus laughed, pulled Alec up and onto his lap. “You’re a dork,” he told the shadowhunter, before capturing the latter’s mouth in a kiss.
“I’m your dork,” Alec said in between kisses.
“My dorky fiancé.”
They laughed, and took the time to celebrate just the two of them. If they returned to the ballroom half an hour later, looking dishevelled with swollen lips, well, no one’s the wiser. Of course, except for Clary, Max, Rafael and Isabelle, by the looks the two of them were getting from the four of them.