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Peculiar Things

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Alec Lightwood was drawn to incredible things. He always made it known when he found something beautiful, something worth cherishing. No one ever questioned him when it came to the simple things in life, his knack for looking at the unseen and unnoticed was far beyond any ability he had. He saw the light in people, he saw the beauty in everything.

He saw his little sister’s doll, with red hair made of simple yarn and black button eyes, the toy that secretly made his sister scared with its lifeless eyes. He gave her a new doll for her birthday and kept the used one. He put it in a drawer and never opened it. He put everything that Izzy was afraid of in that drawer and refused to open it. He collected all of the things that scared the small girl, that she would one day consider treasures.

He saw the snail that sat on a bright orange leaf in the middle of autumn. All he did that afternoon was stare at the slimy creature. He took notes of the colors of its shell, the browns and greys and yellows. He sat in the backyard looking at this snail that for some reason he deemed beautiful just because he liked the colors of its shell. Izzy came outside and saw him. She badgered him, asking him to play with her. All he said was “Look,” and pointed at the snail. She squealed and started to swat it away. Alec turned wide eyes to her and tried to stop her hands from squashing his beautiful snail. It was all in vain, as she only stepped on it, shattering the shell into a million peices.

He didn’t talk to her for a week.

Alec Lightwood was a lover of beautiful, unusual, underappreciated things. Funny how Magnus Bane was all three.

---

5 years old, and Alec still had no friends besides his sister. It made sense. He was only ever exposed to his family, his mother and father not having many friends with children. Well, there was one, but Alec didn’t know her enough to consider her a friend, besides, she was only 4, just like his sister, she couldn’t help him in this situation.

Alec was going to kindergarten, every young child’s nightmare. No one wanted to have to leave their families to go learn. He wouldn’t get to spend time with Izzy anymore. Izzy, his favorite human being on the planet. So what, he was slightly dependent on his sister. He loved her, she was always there to play with him, to make him feel better. Izzy and her two adorable pig tails and one missing tooth that was slowly erupting. She was cute in every sense of the word. People adored Izzy and her looks. Izzy adored their attention.

Alec, though, not so much. Perhaps he was considered antisocial by his father because of his lack of interest in anything that he didn’t deem amazing, which was odd because he found almost everything amazing, except, of course, his father’s favorite sport: football. He didn’t see anything interesting in big men jumping on each other, especially since he was not a big man.

His father merely sighed and ruffled Alec’s hair, telling him to go find something ‘amazing’ to occupy his time with, muttering under his breath about how odd his son was. People often found Alec odd. Sure, he was as adorable as Izzy, he was smart and funny and kind, people just didn’t understand the way he thought. Most didn’t know what Alec was talking about half the time. He was always talking about the beautiful things he saw, although when Alec was not around people he knew and was comfortable with, he tended not to do it as much.

So Alec was considered shy and antisocial around those he did not know, and odd and a rambler around those he was comfortable with. And since he didn’t know anyone that would be at his kindergarten, it was safe to assume he would be quiet most of his time spent there.

Which led him right to where he was seated in the back of his mother's’ mini-van, driving to school. Izzy sat on his lap, she said she was going to miss him so much and that she needed to spend as much time with him as possible. Alec wasn’t sure why she had to sit on his lap to do this, but she began to cry when he pointed this out to her.

“Are you excited?” Maryse asked. Maryse Lightwood was a peculiar women. She cared a great deal for her children, she always put them first, but she also cared a lot about her career. She worked extremely hard to get to where she was in her job, and she would do very little to jeopardize that. Splitting her time between her children, husband, and work was nearly impossible for Mayse, but she managed, she just cut away the time with her spouse and gave it to her children. Maryse was a wonderful mother, even if she came off as cold and mean, that was only her exterior, she showed her soft and gentle interior only around those she loved, which were a small few.

“No,” Alec replied blandly. He didn’t plan on acting any different at school, minus his ramblings of the peculiar things like his mother. Alec would still be blunt and shy Alec. He was much like his mother when it came to his exterior, nearly the exact opposite of the interior.

“Why?” Maryse may be a brilliant, 21st century women, but sometimes, she was terrible at reading people’s emotions. It was so clear that her son was struggling with transitioning from home to kindergarten, but she didn’t seem to notice. Alec wouldn’t get mad at her for this, though. She always had a lot going on. She only just got back to work a year ago, having taken off for the first three years of Izzy’s life. She maintained her position by working from home, but that was different than actually working away from your children, a thing she didn’t think would be so spectacularly hard.

“I want to stay home with Izzy and play dolls with her and not learn. What’s the point of learning when I will have no fun?” Alec asked exasperated.

“Who says you won't have fun?”

“Me. I say because I doubt there will be anything fun at that school, let alone something amazing enough to keep me interested.” Alec had always been a smart kid. He started reading young, he enjoyed it, sometimes preferring it over playing with Izzy. It was rather cliche that he enjoyed reading because he wanted to get lost into another world. Books were his escape. The cool black print on the startling light page, an odd contrast that always seemed to calm Alec down. The thought of going somewhere else just by merely reading enthralled Alec. That was why his vocabulary was so good, because when he wasn’t off looking for peculiar things, he was reading.

“You never know, Alec. You could find the most peculiar thing of them all in there,” by this time they had already pulled up to the school. His mother parked and unbuckled her seatbelt. She climbed around to get Alec and his sister from the back discovering Isabelle sitting on Alec’s lap, without a seatbelt.

You know how crazy protective mothers get over their children? Maryse Lightwood was no exception.

“Isabelle Sophia Lightwood! What have I told you about wearing a seatbelt?” Maryse screeched. She dragged Izzy off of her brother's lap, putting her on the ground.

Izzy looked down at her feet. “I’m sorry, mommy. I just wanted to be close to Alec,” tears formed in the four year old's eyes, sealing Maryse’s fate. Izzy let out a wail, being yelled at never settled right with Lightwood’s, it made them feel small and insignificant, something that a Lightwood definitely wasn’t.

Maryse cursed under her breath. “No, no, no. I’m sorry, seewtie. It’s ok, I understand. You’re going to miss your brother, it’s ok to be sad,”

Alec stared, dumbfounded. What about him? If Izzy is sobbing like a baby (which, she kind of was) how did she think Alec felt? Alec was a wreck. He watched the scene with wide eyes.

Once Maryse was done soothing Izzy, she turned to her son. Her baby. Her oldest. He was going to school. His first day of school. Maryse stared at her boy. He was biting his lip profusely, wringing his sweaty hands. Maryse eyes softened to whole new degree when she looked at her son. She had never seen Alec so nervous, he usually kept his feelings bottled up, much like his mother. Alec put on a strong front to make it seem like he was always calm. Maryse knew this, so how had she been so oblivious to her son's clear stressing over his first day of school?

“Darling,” Maryse mused. Alec looked up with worried eyes. Maryse smiled softly and took hold of Alec’s hands. “What are you so nervous about?”

“What if no one likes me?” Alec’s voice cracked in the middle of his question, but if Maryse noticed she took pity on him and didn't acknowledge it.

“That’s impossible!” she said exaggeratedly with a gasp. She got what she wanted, though, when Alec giggled at his mother's theatrics.

“Alexander Lightwood,” Maryse continued in a much more serious tone. “I love you. Izzy loves you. Your father loves you. If those kids don’t like you than, pardon my language, tell them to screw themselves,” Maryse smirked at her son’s audible gasp. “You are a Lightwood. You’re strong and caring and all you need is your family. If you make good enough friends, than they are family. Family, Alexander, is what matters, not some dumb little five year olds that decide not to like you for god knows why.”

Alec felt reassured by his mother’s words. It was times like this that he was reminded why he loved her so dearly.

He nodded and gave his mother a bright smile. Even if he was still not completely on board with the idea of kindergarten, he would pull through, for his family.

“Good boy,” Maryse said fondly. She gave her son one final hug until Alec jumped out of his seat from the car, gave a sweet kiss on the cheek to Izzy, and ran towards the school.

“Love you, Mom,” Alec yelled. He got a few odd looks from the other students his age. They were all teary eyed, saying goodbye to their parents, mourning their time before school started.

Maryse waited until Alec was all the way into the school. She stood there watching her son go into the next portion of his life, a portion he would inevitably hate, just like every other kid on the planet. And instead of crying like the other kids, he was smiling brightly, running to get started. Though Maryse did not want to be one of those mothers that cried when their child went to school, she couldn’t help but tear up at the sight of her son vanishing into the school.

“God damit, I love that boy,” Maryse whispered, not caring about Izzy over hearing her words or the dirty looks other parents who heard her shot her way.

Izzy giggled. “Mommy cursed,”

---

Alec was surprised to see many peculiar things once he entered the school. He expected boring, bland, grey walls with equally drab doors lined down them. Instead, he was met with all the colors of the rainbow decorating each hallway.

The School was split into two floors: one floor for the kindergarten through second graders and the second floor for the third through fifth graders. He was staying on the first floor, unlikely to go to the second floor unless he was visiting a classroom for the older kids, or was, himself, becoming an older kid. That thought seemed to distract Alec as he walked down the hallways.

The first floor had three sections, one for each grade. The second grade section seemed to have a green theme, green shaded doors, green colored tiles, teachers wearing green (though Alec supposed that could just be because it was the first day of school). Most of the students were taller than Alec, but none of them looked down on him for being two years younger. A few girls even gushed over him as he was passing by, acting as if they were more than a couple of years older than him.

The first grade section had the same color theme going on, except the theme in first grade was yellow with slightly smaller and younger students. The kindergarten section was just like the others with a red theme. Art work decorated large bulletin boards that seemed to surround the hall. Streamers hung from the ceiling, along with a banner welcoming kids to school.

Alec quickly became entranced by an artwork of previous kindergarteners (now first graders). Many held the red color scheme, many were messy and bright, but there were a few that stood out. There was a picture of a snail that particularly caught Alec’s attention. Of course it had to be a snail. Snails were Alec’s weakness ever since his sister squashed the one that lived on the leaf in their backyard.

This snail was not bright and colorful, though. It was black and gray, and the the tree it was somehow climbing was colorful and pink. It was an odd contrast and not at all accurate, but Alec still became captured by its diversity.

A teacher later found him, questioning what he was doing, so Alec tried to act like himself and rambled on about the art, talking about his love of snails, the snail incident with his sister, how inaccurate the picture was. The teacher must have thought he was crazy by the end of their conversation, but she didn’t show it, instead chuckling fondly and asking who his teacher was. He told her and she held out a hand for him so she could lead him to his teacher.

“Here we are,” she - Ms. Pangborn - told him. “Come to me anytime you’d like, I always love discussing snails,” she said with amusement. Was she making fun of him?

Alec decided not to let it affect him. “Ok,” he smiled brightly and spun on his heel to enter the classroom.

Right off the bat someone ran into him, knocking him over and onto the ground.

“Watch it,” the boy said haughtily. Alec looked over him. He was taller than Alec, but he was also skinnier. A golden mop of hair settled over his eyes, which were oddly colored: one blue and the other half blue half golden. Black was the only color that Alec could find in his clothes, not that Alec was much better with his black jeans and dark blue sweater. Sweaters in the end of August. Alec had found someone with just as odd choice in clothes as his were. Too bad the kid was glaring daggers at him.

“S-sorry,” Alec stuttered, getting back on his feet. He hated stuttering. It was one of his least favorite things about himself, and there were plenty of things he didn’t like about himself. Stuttering made him seem weak, and Lightwoods were not weak, as his father and mother said.

“You should be,” the boy stuck his nose up and crossed his arms over his chest. What was this kids problem? He ran into Alec.

“Well you did run into me,” Alec muttered under his breath. Apparently the boy heard, as he followed up by pushing Alec.

“You were in my way, dummy,” he came closer to Alec, and Alec began to get uncomfortable. He didn’t like this kid, so he definitely didn’t like him being all up in his face over something that was not his fault.

“Jace,” the teacher reprimanded when he saw the taller boy moving to shove Alec again. Jace turned around quickly and had the decency to look sheepishly at the teacher. He mumbled a low ‘sorry’ to Alec and left him be.

“Thank you,” Alec said in a quiet voice. Mr. Starkweather smiled gently at Alec.

“Why don’t you tell me your name and I’ll tell you where you’ll be sitting?” Alec simply nodded and told the teacher his name.

“Ok, follow me Mr. Lightwood. Lightwood, huh? I think I know your parents,” Mr. Starkweather said the last part to himself more than to Alec, but Alec heard it none the less and stored it in his brain to ask his parents about it later.

“Ah, here we are. You can put your stuff up over there,” the teacher pointed at a group of cubbies and then looked back at Alec, his gentle smile never wavering. “If you need anything before class starts, come talk to me,” He whispered the last part and sent a teasing wink to Alec. The younger boy giggled and nodded his head.

Mr. Starkweather left Alec alone to get acquainted with the others at his table. There was two boys, two girls, and two empty seats (aside from Alec’s).

“Hello,” Alec cast his gaze downward, wondering if the other children heard his whispered greeting. Apparently they had.

“Hello!” one of the girls said enthusiastically. She had wavy red hair, that made Alec gaze at her a little longer. Usually, the color would probably hurt Alec’s eyes, but he had never seen it in a hair color, so he had no choice but to admire it. The girl had a small narrow nose and thin lips pulled into a giant smile. She gave an air of comfort that had Alec feeling much more comfortable with his new table. “My name’s Clary,” she gestured down at herself, as if Alec needed conformation. Her gesture did bring his gaze down to her clothes, though. She wore an… unique outfit. The shirt seemed to be splattered in old paint, while her jeans pooled at her ankles and hung loosely on her legs. This girl was peculiar, and that was enough for Alec. “I’m four,” she said excitedly, obviously proud that she was younger than everyone else.

Wait. Four years old, bright red hair, the name did sound familiar, and that’s when Alec remembered. Clary Fairchild, his mother’s friends daughter.

“I’m Simon,” the boy to Alec’s left said. He was short, had curly brown hair and eyes that matched. A shirt didn’t seem to fit the description of what he was wearing, it was more like a dress with it’s length, once again peculiar. He also seemed to be excited. Alec wondered if him and Clary were already friends.

“Maia,” this was the other girl. She didn’t look as happy as the others to be here, something Alec found solace in. Maia had curly brown hair and dark skin. She was, in fact, beautiful, but her beauty was a different kind than Clary’s, more subtle and laid back. Alec already liked this girl. Her nerves were quite obvious and they assured Alec that he wasn’t the only nervous one. So Alec was indeed intrigued by Maia it was hard to find someone as odd as himself.

“James, but most people call Jem,” this boy screamed interesting. Silver painted his hair and eyes. His eyes were like new nickles, shiny and bright. His hair was just plain unnatural, perhaps he originally had brown hair and dyed it? Though Alec had a hard time believing a parent would let their child dye their hair, lord knows Alec’s wouldn’t when he asked. Jem was dressed eloquently. His clothes looked pristine and high end, an odd contrast between his clothes that looked like they’d be worn by a mean english man and his smile that could light a fire.

“Alec,” Alec said, his gaze lingering a little too long on Jem. He was snapped out of his daze when a loud huff came from behind him. He spun around to bet met withe same eyes covered by golden hair.

“You again,” Jace glared and took a seat next to Simon. Simon looked stunned for a moment, watching Jace move. Clary hit him in the side to bring him out of his own world and gestured from Alec to Jace.

“Alec, this is Jace. Jace, this is-”

“We know each other,” Jace interrupted, his signature glare once again aimed at Alec.

“Actually, you never learned my name. Too busy running me over I suppose,” Jem snickered behind his hand while Maia didn’t care to hide her giggles. Jace turned a hilarious shade of red. Alec would have thought that red didn’t look that good with his golden complexion, of course he turned out to be wrong about that.

Clary looked bewildered, glancing between Jace and Alec, sensing the tension. Alec learned something that day: Clary Fairchild is awful with tense situations. She let out one loud laugh and then proceed to cover her mouth once it escaped. She then began to chuckle awkwardly, her cheeks matching her hair.

“You guys are so funny!” she yelled. The entire classroom turned to stare at her. Alec would have thought it was impossible, but Clary turned even redder than her hair.

A loud clearing of the throat came from behind Alec. Alec jumped and nearly fell in his attempts to turn around.

Do you ever get a feeling? One of those feelings in specific moments in your life that you know mean something. Or when you do something and it feels as if you’ve already done it before, like you saw it in your dreams? This was one of those moments. It didn’t make very much sense, why looking at one boy would be so monumentally important in Alec’s life. One boy that didn’t just look like a blip that is Alexander Lightwoods life. It wasn’t a speck, it was a mountain. Every sign in Alec’s mind pointed towards this boy. And it was one of the most precious and terrifying moments in Alec’s life, where he felt something, something he could not determine.

He wore a crooked smile, it was small and shy, but it had the effect of a thunderstorm to Alec’s stomach. The color spectrum was on full display in the boys outfit. Unlike the rest of the kids there, aside from Jem, this boy looked like he knew what he was doing when it came to clothes. Lace covered his torso, but it didn’t look feminine, it looked stylish and brilliant. The stark white lace contrasted with the maroon undershirt he sported underneath the sheer material, it matched the red streaks that colored his hair. Another child with dyed hair. His jeans were much like Alec’s, except on the boy, they simply pulled his entire outfit together and clung to his legs with little to no breathing room. His shoes were dressy and leather brown that shined brighter than even Alec’s fathers did. There was about an inch or two that exposed the skin of his ankle, an ankle bracelet made out of black beads was strung just above the rim of his shoes.

His warm brown skin was painted with a few moles here and there. He had one above his eyebrow and near his nose. It was cute really, his nose. Small and flat, slightly scrunched up. A warm rose color painted his chubby cheeks as he took notice of Alec’s staring. Possibly, he just felt what Alec felt.

Peculiar.

Chapter Text

Alec had never really considered himself one of the interesting things he loved oh so much. He often thought of himself as boring and weird, just like the others said. He never gave himself a second glance in the mirror or another thought when he was trying to think of something beautiful. Alec always considered beautiful things interesting, and if he didn’t consider himself beautiful, he didn’t think he was interesting, it was that simple. He wasn’t conceited or anything, he knew that there was beauty on the outside as well as the inside. Being a firm believer that inner beauty is what truly matters, Alec didn’t usually make outer beauty a huge factor in whether something was interesting or not. Well, except when he thought of himself.

So, no, Alec did not consider himself peculiar, he never really did. How could an admirer of peculiar things be peculiar themselves? It just wouldn't make any sense.

But, he would admit, it was achingly different to feel like something while under the taller boys gaze.

They just stared at each other for a minute or so. Neither of them wanted to break the small bubble they made around themselves. They couldn’t hear anyone, see them, all they were aware of was each other.

He, himself, might not be that interesting, but the boy in front of him was enough for the both of them. It was almost beautiful, how their personalities were already clashing, and they hadn’t even uttered a single word to each other yet.

There the boy was, standing tall and confident, a pleased smirk playing on his face. They were five, what five year old smirked? He oozed strength and openness, two things Alec thought he was sorely lacking in. Alec was a quiet boy, never believed in himself all that much. It wasn’t a surprise that Alec was blushing, it was, though, when he continued to hold the boys eyes.

“Alright class!” Mr. Starkweather clapped his hands loudly, gathering the students attention. And just like that, the spell was broken. Their small bubble was shattered. Alec felt slightly less interesting again.

Alec sat down, allowing the boy to get to his seat (which was across from Alec). He sent a small, grateful smile Alec’s way. A herd of butterflies coursed through Alec’s stomach, a warm feeling spreading through out him. For some reason, it reminded him of toasted marshmallows. It was sweet and gooey and hot, just like everything Alec was feeling in that moment. It was a new feeling for Alec; he didn't often feel a strange attachment to the things he observed. Sure there was his snail, but the boy was different. Where the snails beauty was hidden, waiting for Alec to find it, the boy's beauty was right there, not hiding, it came effortlessly. And it delighted and frightened Alec that he was thinking this bout they boy he met a minute ago.

“We have a fairly new student today,” Mr. Starkweather continued. The children's eyes were glued to him. “I know, I know. You’re all new,” he smirked. “While you all might be new to school, he is new to the country,” the teachers smile softened as he turned to look at the boy sitting across from Alec. Of course he’s from another country, all the more interesting.

“Magnus, why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself? Or maybe about Indonesia?” the teacher gestured for the boy - Magnus - to come join him in the front of the classroom. Magnus looked a little reluctant at first, but then gave up with a strong nod and sauntered up to the front of the room.

“My name is Magnus Bane,” he said. A cute accent rolled off his tongue, but Alec had no idea where it was from. “I am from Indonesia, but my father brought me here,” explained Magnus. A couple of kids began to whisper, a few even began to giggle; Alec had no idea what they were laughing at though.

The class lapsed back into silence after a while, their gazes flicking between the new boy and the teacher. Mr. Starkweather finally took notice and let out an awkward chuckle. “Right, I wanted you all to know this because, though Magnus can speak a lot of english, it’s not his first language, so don’t give him a hard time if he doesn’t know a certain word or pronounces it wrong.” Magnus smiled gratefully at the teacher and returned back to his seat, shooting another small smile Alec’s way.

Alec blushed and looked down. Why was this one boy affecting him so much? It felt like he was on fire; every glance, every smile, it felt like he was storming his way into Alec’s heart before Alec even got to know him.

But that was the thing. As odd as it sounds, it felt like Alec had known Magnus since he was born. Like they had been bound from the womb, always doing everything together. And it left an empty feeling in Alec’s stomach when he remembered that he did not, in fact, know Magnus at all. It was all too much for Alec to be thinking this already.

---

The beginning of the day was slow, only consisting of Mr. Starkweather - who asked the students to call him Hodge when the principal wasn’t around - talking them through the year and the rules for his classroom.

Mr. Hodge was nice enough. He didn’t yell at unsubordinate students or say mean things. He smelled like library books, one of Alec’s favorite scents. Colors decorated the walls of his classroom, so it didn’t seem like a boring environment to be learning in. There was something in the way Mr. Hodge spoke, as if he was knowledgeable on the topics they were learning, but he didn’t think any lesser of his students, didn’t treat them like children. He acted as if hew were telling one of his friends about something new.

After no time, it was recess. The children bounded out of the classroom as if a monster was chasing them; everyone except for Magnus. He stayed behind, lingering by the door, an uncertain look plastered on his small face. Alec noticed him and backtracked his steps.

“Are you coming?” he whispered. His first words ever said to Magnus. It was normal, short, and something future Magnus definitely would have made an innuendo on.

“I don’t know,” Magnus mumbled, his adorable accent shining again. He caught Alec’s eye, and for a moment, the bubble of peace was back around them, no one else mattered. And then Magnus looked down to his shoes and the bubble was, once again, gone.

“What do you mean?” Alec asked, curious as to why Magnus didn’t want to go outside.

“I don’t know anyone, I’ll be lonely,” he whispered the last part, as if it was shameful of him to not know people.

“I don’t know anyone either,” Alec shrugged nonchalantly. He didn’t understand why Magnus was scared. From the little he got to know about him, Magnus Bane was one of the most interesting people Alec had ever met. What’s not to like about him? Although Alec would be a hypocrite to say anything, when only hours ago his mother was consoling him through the exact same belief.

“You know me,” Magnus said stubbornly. He made a pose very similar to Jace's when he and Alec first met.

“And you know me,” Alec said. Magnus looked defeated for a moment, his own words coming back against him. He suddenly stood straighter. Gone was the shy boy who didn’t know anyone. He seemed assured that he knew Alec, though they met hours ago. He looked confident again, and ever so snobbish, but in an adorable way.

“I suppose…” he mused. He seemed to be contemplating something in his mind. What it was? Alec had no clue.

Magnus finally seemed to make up his mind. “Very well then,” he stalked forward, grabbed Alec’s hand, and dragged him to the playground.

The shorter of the two didn’t say anything, too shocked to form words. One thing Alec hated: strangers touching him. He had always hated it, no matter how kind or innocent the unknown person looked, Alec hated for strangers to touch him. Alec thought it was rude and intrusive to touch someone without their permission.

Yet, when Magnus grabbed his hand, it didn’t feel the same as a stranger cooing over him and Izzy on the subway, leaning down to pinch their cheeks. It felt… oddly familiar. Seconds before, they made eye contact, and a safe place seemed to be established between him and Magnus from that moment forward. The bubble that had been flickering appeared again when they made physical contact. Maybe it wasn't when Magnus grabbed his hand, maybe it was when he said that Alec “knew him”. It was like Magnus was cementing their friendship without Alec's knowledge.

That was probably what Magnus was contemplating earlier: if he and Alec were becoming friends. Apparently they were.

So Alec didn’t object when Magnus continued to pull him towards the playground. Nor did he when Magnus pushed Alec onto a swing and began to push him back and forth on the seat.

They didn’t speak. Just enjoyed each other’s presence. Both of them finding comfort in the other, knowing that they wouldn’t be alone.

Alec was swinging high, giggling loudly, when Magnus stopped pushing him and sat down on the swing next to him. Alec noticed; gradually his height withered until he, too, was just sitting on the swing.

“You’re short,” Magnus observed. Alec took great offence.

“I am not!”

“You are. But it’s ok, you’ll grow. We can still be best friends,” Magnus shrugged, an easy smile etching its way onto Magnus’ face.

“We’re best friends?” Alec asked. He wouldn’t admit that he wanted to ask Magnus this question since he took his hand, but Magnus had obviously already made up his mind on the matter.

“Of course!” he said. He looked skeptical for a moment. “Unless you don’t want to be…”

“No!” Alec shouted. Magnus seemed to shrink in on himself as Alecs words caught up to him. “I mean yes,” he said in a more calm manner. Magnus looked confused for another moment and then his signature bright smile came back.

“Great! Now we can talk about best friend things,” he looked genuinely excited, something that made Alecs affection for the boy grow.

“Like what?”

“Hmm,” he mulled over his answer, tapping a red painted finger nail on his chin. “We could tell each other secrets,” he whispered, leaning closer to Alec conspiritaly.

“You first, I need to think,”

“Ok… I didn’t brush my teeth this morning, only chewed some minty gum,” Alec giggled.

“Ew. I snuck into my dad’s office yesterday to investigate,” Alec waggled his eyebrows and Magnus laughed.

Magnus’ laugh was like rain against a window. It echoed and at the same time you could hear it individually. It was at a higher pitch than his normal voice. It was such a carefree noise that Alec found himself zoning out, getting lost in the melody of Magnus Bane’s laugh.

“What were you investigating?” Magnus asked, drawing Alec out from his place deep, deep inside the bubble of comfort that floated around Magnus.

“I don’t know. Dad’s been acting fishy lately,” Magnus proceeded to blow his cheeks out, making a ‘glub-glub’ noise. Alec laughed once again.

“Boys!” Ms. Pangborn yelled, grabbing Magnus and Alec’s attention. “It’s time to go inside,”

Magnus leapt off his swing and tugged Alec off of his as well. He kept hold of Alec’s hand on the way back to the classroom. Alec didn’t really mind.

That was until he was actually in the situation where boys and girls were laughing and pointing at his and Magnus’ interlaces fingers. Magnus looked unsure of himself, squeezing Alecs hand tighter. Alec looked over to his friend, sensing his distress. He was about to say something when one golden complexed boy strode towards them and stopped right in front of Alec.

“Excuse me,” Alec tried to move past Jace, but the taller one moved to block him.

“Whatcha doing?” Jace asked innocently.

“Trying to get to my seat,” Alec said, once again trying to get him and Magnus back to their table.

“Together?”

“Have a problem with that?”

“Not at all,” Jace said. He then smirked at Alec. It made an uneasy feeling rise in Alecs stomach. “I just wanted to know when you two fell in love?” Jace sneered.

“W-what?” Alec spluttered. Why did he keep on stuttering in front of Jace?

Alecs cheeks were glowing, while Magnus just looked simply confused.

“You’re in love,” Jace stated matter of factly.

“No...” Magnus said unsurely.

“But your holding hands, it’s gross,” Jace made a disgusted face.

“Why is it gross?”

“Mommy says that boys can’t love boys,” a girl said.

And because Alec was such a momma's boy, he decided that in that moment there was only one thing to do.

“Screw yourself,” he stated simply. He didn’t know what the term meant, only that it was bad. But his mother said to say it if the children didn’t like him. And not liking Magnus was even worse.

Jace stared, dumbfounded at Alecs sudden courage. The other kids fell silent, some gasped, others began to cry. Magnus didn’t know what was going on, probably not very knowledgeable in American slang.

Alec took advantage of Jace’s shock and waltzed past him, Magnus trailing behind.

Mr. Hodge decided to finally join his class, prancing into the room, unbeknownst to what transpired while he was gone. He surveyed all of the distraught looks on the children's faces and then looked to the table where Magnus, Alec, Simon, Jem, Maia, and Clary were currently sitting. Simon and Clary looked just as shocked as the rest of the children, but not as upset. Jem didn’t seem to notice the awkward tension in the room, reading a book in his lap. Maia looked amused. Magnus and Alec were talking.

“What happened?” it was then that Ashley Green burst into tears, sobbing uncontrollably. Hodge went to comfort her. She cried in his arms, mumbling things that Hodge could not make out. “What was that?” he asked.

“Alec said something,” she sniffled. “Bad,” Hodge turned to look at Alec who was still conversing with Magnus. He must have felt Hodge’s eyes on him, as he turned and saw Ashley in the teacher's arms. Alec had the courtesy to look sympathetic for a moment, until he shrugged unapologetically and tuned back to Magnus. Hodge rolled his eyes.

“What did he say?”

It was Jace that answered this time. “He told us to screw ourselves,” Jace stated blandly, darting a glare Alec and Magnus’ way. Hodges eye’s widened, once again glancing at the raven haired boy, but this time Alec either didn’t notice or ignored his gaze.

“Why would he say that?”

“We told him that it was gross for him and Magnus to hold hands because boys can’t love boys,” Ashley replied stubbornly. She was standing now, arms crossed over her chest, a snobbish pout protruding on her lips. Hodge attempted and most likely failed at stifling a sigh and eye roll at his student’s blatant homophobia.

“I see,” was all he said, returning to his desk and ordering the students to read the book they were told to bring from home. The day went on mostly normally from there.

---

Alec was laughing at the end of the day, unable to contain his giggles at Magnus’ many jokes. He was like a comedian, never running out of material.

Mr. Hodge had let them go to sit outside, in front of the parking lot at the school. All of the student in the class were waiting there for their parents, all of them (with the exception of Jem and Maia) were also avoiding Magnus and Alec.

Eventually it was only the two boys left. From what Magnus said, Mr. Bane seemed to be just as busy as Alec’s own mother. “They’d like each other,” he told Magnus. Magnus smiled and nodded eagerly.

The taller boy had decided that he would ask his father if Alec could sleep over at their home during the weekend. Magnus was fairly confident that his father would say yes because he was desperate for Magnus to make any friends, even if said one friend was anti-social and odd.

A silver car pulled up in front of the school and an older version of Magnus stepped out of the driver’s seat. He was tall, not taller than Alec’s father, but still tall. His eyes were an emerald color while Magnus’ were bright green-golden colored. Magnus’ eyes were just as peculiar as the rest of him.

Magnus’ father strolled up to the school, noticing Magnus right away, Asmodeus smiled warmly at his son, while said child leapt into his father's arms, embracing him strongly. Alec watched the exchange, feeling awkward or like he was intruding on something. It was not that Alec’s father was awful or anything, he just wasn’t overly affectionate, something Mr. Bane clearly had no problem being.

“You can’t do this every time, you silly boy,” Asmodeus shook his head fondly, putting his son back on the ground. “And who’s this?” Asmodeus gestured towards Alec, looking at Magnus expectantly.

“This is Alec. He’s my best friend,” Mr. Bane snorted and held out a hand to Alec.

“I’m Magnus’ father, but you can call me Asmodeus,”

“Asm- Asma… Asmo?” Alec asked unsurely. Asmodeus hated when people called him that. Only a certain someone called him that, and both Magnus and Asmodeus didn’t like to think of the light of their lives when she was only a memory now. But hearing Magnus’ new friend say it, Asmodeus felt a surge of affection for the small boy. He could tell he would be important.

Asmodeus smiled warmly at Alec, almost matching the degree he did with Magnus. “Sure, you can call me Asmo, kiddo,” he ruffled Alec’s hair and the little boy giggled. Magnus watched, his mouth open in shock. Usually his father was cold to anyone but him, and here he was smiling and joking with Alec. Perhaps Alec was a Magnus expansion for affection, that’s what Magnus believed for the time being anyway.

Just as Alec finished fixing his hair - which was ruined by Asmodeus’ fingers combing through it - A tall, slender woman in black high heels and a slim fitting royal blue dress walked up to Asmodeus and the two boys. “Alec, sweetie. Hi,” she sighed tiredly and went to hug her son. The boy returned it with much more enthusiasm, surprising his mother.

“Momma, meet Magnus and Asmo. Asmo and Magnus, meet my mom,” Alec introduced them. Asmo shook Maryse’s hand kindly. They traded ‘Nice to meet you’s and Alec explained to his mother that Magnus and him were best friends and that he would like to spend the night at Magnus’ on Friday.

“I don’t see why not,” Maryse mused. She smiled gently at Magnus, who returned the smile shyly. Asmo snorted again.

“I suppose it’ll be alright,” Asmo said, faking indignation. Magnus and Alec squealed like girls and hugged each other.

They were sorting things out when Hodge came outside. Maryse seemed slightly appalled to see him at first, but then she smiled a bright, genuine smile at him and Alec felt better.

“Maryse. May I have a word?” Maryse nodded, saying goodbye to the Bane’s and followed Hodge into his office. Alec hugged Magnus one last time and shook hands with Asmo, who messed up his hair again.

Alec sat in the waiting room, observing the cars and trees and animals surrounding the school. As a lover of the little things, he enjoyed moments like this. Moments where he could just take some time for himself and admire his surroundings. He saw the gigantic oak trees that bordered the school. Alec was amazed at how they grew so big in the smog that was New York air. He saw a stray cat wandering about the sidewalks. He saw the Lime green camaro that sped by school, giving little regard to the school zone speed limit. He saw a very surprised and angered Maryse walking towards him.

Wait. He didn’t exactly enjoy this sight.

“Alexander Gideon Lightwood,” Maryse ignored her sons cringe. “Why on earth would you tell your classmates to, as you so eloquently put it, ‘screw themselves’?” she asked. Anger and fury were the only emotions Alec could see in her eyes.

“You said,” he mumbled, suddenly finding his shoes very interesting.

“Excuse me?” she asked, astounded by her sons words.

“You told me this morning, if they don’t like me I can tell them to screw themselves…” Alec paused, tears slipping from his eyes, which was odd since Alec rarely cried. “I don’t even know what that means!” Alec flailed his arms, exasperated.

Maryse contained her chuckles at her son’s obviously inherited knack for dramatics. “I forgot about that. I’m sorry, darling. Shh, don’t cry, it’s ok. I’m not mad, it’s ok,” she soothed him as he cried in her arms. She didn’t press the matter of the kids not liking him, getting the feeling that he wouldn’t want to talk about it. She wasn’t wrong.

Once Alec calmed down, Maryse looked he son straight in the eye and said, “I know I told you to say that, but I didn’t actually mean it, sweetheart,” Alec stared at her, confusedly. “I know, I know, not exactly by best parental choice of words. Just promise me you won’t say anything like that to your classmates again, ok?” Alec nodded and smiled with glassy eyes, unshed tears pooling in the corners. He hugged her tightly.

“Can I still see Magnus this weekend?” He asked in a hope filled voice.

“Of course darling,” she stroke his hair. “Of course,”

Chapter Text

“Alexander Lightwood! How many times do I have to tell you? You better be packed before we leave for school or you are not going!” Maryse screamed from across the house.

Today was the day that Alec would be staying the night over at the Bane residence. He was quite excited to get the opportunity to see Magnus over the weekend. It didn’t really matter to either of the boys that they had met only a week ago, they were fast friends and instantly connected. Alec felt comfortable when around Magnus. It reminded him of reading.

When he read, Alec got lost in the words, falling helplessly into the void that was literature. Magnus’ presence had a similar effect. The bubble that so often came when he saw or talked with Magnus always seemed to establish its residence by the taller boys side. The world of his imagination was held in his books, his feeling of comfort and safety fell with Magnus.

“I’m packing right now!” he yelled back, a tinge of worry coating his voice at the idea of not going over to Magnus’ house.

He was done packing, on his way out the bedroom door when Isabelle pranced in.

“Hello, Big Brother!” she said excitedly. She had lost one of her favorite dolls the previous day, so Alec was perplexed at her joy.

“Hello, Little Sister,” Alec said affectionately. He ruffled her hair while she squirmed under his fingers. She looked silly once he was done.

“I got a new toy!” ah, that explained it.

“Can I see it?” Izzy nodded eagerly. She skipped out of the room and returned one minute later, the same happy bounce in her step.

The toy was achingly familiar. It reminded Alec of something, but he couldn’t put his finger on it. He surveyed the gray floppy ears of the plush elephant. Its tusks were a dirtied white and its trunk was the length of its body. The inside of its ears were a bright pink, but that was not what got Alecs attention. What got his attention was one of the feet. Each soul of the feet were lined with a pink polka-dotted material, but on one of them the name ‘Alexander’ was sown into it. No wonder it looked familiar.

“Why do you have Peanut?” He asked in accusation. Peanut was the toy that Alec was given on his second birthday. He took the plush elephant everywhere he went. After a year or two, the elephant became dirty from Alec’s longing to be with it wherever he went, so Peanut was placed safely on his bed, only used when Alec snuggled with him during his sleep. He obviously missed the toys presence last night.

“You don’t even use him anymore!” Izzy cried.

“He doesn’t need to be used, he sleeps with me!” Alec shouted. Izzy began to whimper and sniffle. Well that’s just great, Alec thought, you made her cry.

Izzy let out a single sob, and that was enough for the children’s mother to burst into the room. She took Izzy into her arms and sent a questioning look Alec’s way. He glance at the elephant and recognition flickered in Maryse's eyes.

“Is that Peanut?” She asked. Izzy let out another cry at the plushies name.

“Alec won’t let me have him!” Izzy wailed. Maryse fought the urge to chuckle at her daughter's dramatics.

“Sweetie, Peanut is Alec’s toy,” she stated simply. Izzy seemed to snap out of her emotional state at her mother’s words.

“He is?” She sniffled, conveying the question through her eyes. Alec nodded. “Well why didn’t you say?” She asked playfully. Alec blinked, amazed by his sister's ability to change her mood so easily. He nearly told her that he did, in fact, say this, but he knew that in the end it would only get them nowhere.

“Right,” Maryse said, standing up and walking to the door. “School awaits you, my darling,” she looked to Alec while the little boy nodded eagerly.

“Bye, Iz,” and with that, he kissed his baby sisters cheek and ran to the car.

The car ride was peaceful. Alec’s Mother knew that Alec had a certain way he liked things to be. He enjoyed moments where he could simply sit with someone; no talking, no awkward silence, just each other's presence. He didn’t understand other people’s need to talk. It was those who don’t need to talk, the moments where all you did was sit by another person's side, that Alec felt the most important. People that didn’t need to talk were the people that Alec liked most, that’s probably why he liked Magnus so much.

After their fiasco with all of the other kids, no one talked to either of them for about one day. Everyone avoided them, except for Jem, Maia, Simon, and Clary. They didn’t really need anyone else, just the small group of friends that they had made on the first day. Once the third day of school rolled around, the other children took notice of how amazing Magnus was. Alec thought it took them long enough to notice.

The other children began to talk to Magnus, and Alec believed that he was an extension to that, since they now came as a package deal. So people talked to both of them. They realized that the other kids weren’t as bad as they seemed to be on the first day. They were actually nice, when they weren’t listening to Jace.

Jace was still a problem. He was still annoying and arrogant and unlikeable. But alas, Alec had a liking to peculiar things, and Jace was indeed one of those things. It was the way he carried himself. He was confident when in the midst of the other students. People his age were who he acted most himself with. It was how he acted with adults, that confused Alec. He was oddly submissive to the people older than him, but it didn’t seem to be out of respect, but more out of fear. But Jace was still rude and irritating Jace so Alec was planning on leaving him alone until he started acting like a semi nice human being towards Magnus and him.

Magnus brought out the awkward side of Jace and vice versa. Magnus being Magnus, was not usually a shy person. He approached everyone with a beaming personality and always gave warm smiles to others. With Jace, he acted different. Just looking at the blonde made the tan skinned boy shift almost uncontrollably. Jace often acted confidently to most, cold to Alec, and also uncomfortable around Magnus. It was odd how they brought out the weirdest emotions in each other.

“We’re here!” Maryse sang. Alec nearly flinched at her loud voice bringing him out of his thoughts. She turned to face him and smiled brightly when she saw his stunned expression. Everyone was in a good mood that day.

“Thanks Mom!” he sang back just as cheerily. He leaned over to the front seat and kissed his mother on the cheek, she smiled softly at the gesture. Leaping out of the car, he asked “Will you be here after school?” They planned on going to Magnus’ house right after school, and Alec wasn’t sure whether his father or mother would pick him up.

He hadn’t seen his father that often lately and when he was home, he usually hoarded himself in his office, only coming out to say goodnight to Alec and Izzy. He still hadn’t met either of the Banes and Alec really wanted him to.

“I will, Sweetheart,” she said gently. She could sense her son’s distress about his father. “Don’t worry, he’ll meet them eventually,”

Alec smiled at her and ran to the school's courtyard, immediately spotting Magnus in his lime green shirt and vibrant purple pants. He looked slightly uncomfortable and seemed to be looking for someone, most likely Alec. It was then that Alec noticed the blonde girl with bright green eyes draping her arm over Magnus’ shoulders. No wonder Magnus looked scared, Camille Belcourt, a girl from the first grade, was hanging around him like a lost duckling. Alec snorted at the thought.

Alec’s assumptions that Magnus was looking for him were confirmed when he finally spotted Alec and a look of relief washed over his feature. Alec snorted again.

He strolled over to Magnus and Camille, taking an extra long time so he could watch Magnus squirm with anticipation at seeing Alec and unease under Camille’s gaze; it was quite the sight when you got to see the great Magnus Bane squirm, Alec would later learn.

When he came closer Alec noticed how Camille was watching Magnus, the emotions running through her eyes: affection, curiosity, and admiration. It was a lot for a six year old to be feeling all at once. He also noted how perfectly Magnus’ shirt matched her eyes. The last thing he realised was that Magnus’ clothes reminded him vaguely of the Hulk. Alec snorted to himself for the third time.

“Alec! My best friend! How are you, Pup?” Pup? That was a new one.

“I’m good, Kitten. How about you?” he asked, a teasing edge to his voice. Two could play the game of nicknames. Camille watched the scene with limited interest, deciding to just go back to staring at Magnus.

Magnus smirked at the name. “I’m good. Excited,” Magnus was always open about his feelings, another thing that Alec adored him for.

“Hmm. Well, wanna put our stuff up?” Alec offered his hand to Magnus, who accepted way to fast to not be suspicious. Camille, who was still leaning on Magnus, stumbled onto the ground at Magnus’ abrupt decision to stand. Magnus looked sheepishly at her, his cheeks tinged with red, and went to help her up. When they were face to face, Camille blushed, mumbled out a ‘thank you’, and scampered away.

“She’s nice,” Alec commented, watching her retreating form enter the school.

Magnus rolled his eyes. “Come on,” he grabbed Alec’s hand and they both ran inside.

---

When the final bell of the day rang, chaos ensued. Sure, it was often problematic when it was the end of the day and children wanted to get home, but apparently Fridays’ were even worse. Kinder through second graders were usually first outside, waiting for the car line since they were on the first floor, but today, the fifth graders rampaged down the halls. Their bigger builds and taller heights frightened the younger students. All except for Magnus Bane of course.

“Hurry up, Shorty. Pack your things and let’s get a move on,” Magnus said in his most affirmative voice. Alec was fairly sure that Magnus was just copying it from a movie or something.

“Alight, alright,” once Alec was done putting all of his things in his backpack, they both said their collective ‘goodbye’s to Mr. Hodge and the other students, Magnus took hold of Alec’s hand and ran out of the classroom door, Alec following behind.

Alec never saw the need for rushing. They would all end up waiting for their parents outside anyway, so why did people have to shove to get there first? To be first to start waiting?

Magnus didn’t seem to see the point though, as he continued to drag Alec down the hallways among students from the second floor. Alec yelped when he ran into a second graders back and fell backwards.

The boy turned around and Alec looked him over. Platinum blonde - almost white - hair stuck up in all directions on his head. His clothes were pristine and slim fitting, much like Magnus and Jem’s, except they gave him an odd green complexion. His height was about as tall as Magnus’, maybe an inch or two taller, but other than that he didn’t look quite as intimidating as Alec expected him to be.

There was a girl standing next to him. She turned at the same time as the boy, but her gaze was more confused, but softened as she looked at Alec on the ground, her gaze almost motherly. It reminded him of the second grade girls he encountered on the first day. She had dark skin and hair like Maia’s except less curl and longer. Dark blue pants and an electric blue shirt made up her outfit, kind of making Alec think of a smurf; she didn’t seem to have the same love of fashion as her friend.

Alec was still on the ground, staring fearfully between the two, even though neither seemed mean. Magnus helped Alec up and stood protectively in front of him.

“Sorry,” Alec murmured, looking at the floor.

“It’s alright,” the girl smiled kindly and the boy glared at her.

“I don’t believe he was talking or ran into you,” he said haughtily.

“Don’t be a grump and accept his apology, Rags,” the girl elbowed him in the side, her smile still present.

“It’s ok,” Ragnor said while rolling his eyes. He did seem awfully grumpy to be a seven year old.

“My name’s Cat and this is Ragnor. Feel free to call him Cabbage or String Bean,” she said brightly. Ragnor looked horrified at his friend's words, preparing to say something when someone yelled.

“What?!” a man screamed from the car line. Alec was surprised to see the man holding up the line, his mother behind the car with a shocked look on her face, and the boy sitting in said car: Jace.

“Michael,” Jace said through clenched teeth. It was odd to see Jace talking to an adult like that, since he was always so respectful to them. “Drive,”

The man looked like he wanted to continue their conversation, but then he noticed the line he was holding up as the attention he had drawn to them. He looked reluctant but eventually drove off. The kids waiting for their parents fell silent, all bewildered by the scene that took place.

Alec shifted his gaze over to Cat and Ragnor, only to see that they had left. He then turned to look at Magnus. The taller boy was looking a little pale and uncomfortable, as he usually did when Jace was involved. There was something about his expression, though, that told Alec this was different then all of the times in school. Maybe it was the slight twitch in his eye or his mouth that formed a circle.

One of the teachers clapped their hands, trying to get rid of the awkward tension. Slowly, the kids fell back into conversations, forgetting the moment before. Magnus went back to normal and opened his mouth to say something when another teacher called Alec’s name, telling him that his mother was here.

Magnus smiled excitedly and said, “Bing swim trunks,” he hugged Alec goodbye and the raven haired boy went to get in his mother's car.

---

Both the car ride back home and to Magnus’ house was silent, but not the silence that Alec enjoyed. It was thick with tension and made Alec want to squirm. His mother had never acted this way. She looked uncomfortable in her own skin, like she was itching to get home, probably to tell her husband something. So Alec let her have her silence, allowing her to gather her thoughts about whatever Alec wasn’t aware of.

When they stopped at their house to pick up Alec’s bag, Izzy greeted them happily followed closely by her nanny, Annamarie Highsmith. Robert was also with them, immediately noticing his wife’s stricken face. He asked her about it but all she said was “we’ll talk about it later,”. Anna was eyeing them suspiciously for some reason, and Alec wasn’t all that fond of the look. She must have felt Alec’s gaze on her, as she turned to look at him. He sent a standoff-ish glare at the 29 year old.

Alec ran upstairs and threw a pair of swim trunks in his bag, then ran downstairs and tugged on his Mother’s hand. “Momma,” Alec whined. Maryse chuckled; it was so rare that Alec acted so childish, like his own age, and it was truly hilarious when he did.

“I’m going, I’m going,” she said.

And a few silent minutes later, they were pulling up to the Banes’ house. Alec squealed excitedly, running out of the car and forgetting his bag. Maryse simply whistled and Alec ran back to the car to grab his stuff, not even sparing Maryse a glance. The older woman simply shook her head fondly and made her way to the front door of the enormous house.

Alec was already there, standing on his tippy toes, trying to reach the door bell. His mother snorted and rang the doorbell for him. He sent her a grateful look and faced the door expectantly. There was an odd emotion playing in Alec’s chest, the one that he felt the first time he saw Magnus. It was warm and sweet and Alec couldn’t help but smile and crash into his friend when Asmo opened the door.

Magnus was standing behind his father, peaking out as if to make sure it was truly Alec. When Magnus deemed Alec to truly be himself Magnus squealed and opened his arms, inviting Alec in for a hug. Alec obliged without hesitation. He didn’t mean to, but he apparently used to much force, seeing as he and Magnus both ended up on the floor, Alec on top of Magnus. They still didn’t break the hug though. Asmo and Maryse broke into laughter, resulting in the women clutching at her stomach and leaning onto the doorframe for support. Mr. Bane wasn’t much better.

The two boys finally released each other and Magnus pulled Alec up by the hand. “Come on,” he said, dragging Alec towards the stairs. Alec glanced back at his Mom and unlinked his hand with Magnus’.

He ran up to his mother and engulfed her in a strong embrace. “Goodbye, Momma. See you tomorrow,” Maryse forced her tears back. Her son was going to his first sleepover after all. So much seemed to be happening for Alec this week.

“Goodbye, Love,” Maryse whispered in his ear. Alec giggled from her breath tickling his ear and pulled back. He smiled brightly, kissed his mother on the cheek, and went back to Magnus.

Alec could hear his mother and Asmo beginning a conversation, but didn’t pay any mind to them, focusing on the boy leading him to his room.

When they finally reached the top of the long stairs, Magnus turned right and stopped at the first door in sight. He ceremoniously pushed the door open, gesturing for Alec to go inside. Magnus’ room was both exactly how expected and the complete opposite.

The walls of the room were painted a light yellow, almost pastel. Alec noted how the color didn’t wash out Magnus’ complexion. His bed was a queen size, a soft pastel blue comforter draped over it with pillows a darker shade of blue thrown onto in carelessly. Alec was reminded of Cat. There wasn’t a toy in sight, probably shoved inside the treasure chest placed at the end of Magnus’ bed. From the corner of his eye, Alec spotted a bookshelf that reached the ceiling; he adored Magnus even more when he saw it. Paintings hung all over the walls, but they looked too sophisticated for Alec’s liking. Even a few pictures were scattered around the room. One caught Alec’s attention. It was a picture of three people. Alec could tell one of them was Magnus, but slightly younger, and the other man was Asmo, his face seemed a little bit brighter in the picture then it did now. There was also a women Alec didn’t recognise. He went over to the where the picture sat on a desk near the window.

She looked small and skinny, but her eyes held an immeasurable amount of strength. Her smile was happy and gave a sense that she didn’t care what others thought of her. Her skin was lighter than Magnus’, while Asmodeus’ skin was darker. The man and women contrasted sharply, but there was an elegance to their differences.

“That’s my mom,” Magnus appeared at Alecs shoulder, standing behind him, like he did with Asmodeus at the door. Alec could have guessed this, but the conformation gave a new light to the picture. He saw the similarities between Magnus and the women. Like the green of their eyes or the brightness of their smiles. They had the same dimples, same high cheekbones. Alec marveled at how alike they looked now that he knew they were related.

“She’s pretty,” Alec said. He felt Magnus getting closer to the picture, to the point where Magnus and Alec were now standing side by side. Magnus hunched over a little and put his head on Alecs shoulder. It must have looked odd, they were in an uncomfortable position because of their height difference, but Alec couldn’t have felt more comfortable than in that moment.

Sensing that Magnus’ mother wasn’t a light topic, Alec decided to push it aside. “So… what do you want to do?” he asked.

Magnus’ sad mood dissipated as he stood up straighter, taking Alecs bag from his hands and throwing it onto the bed. He began to dig through Alecs stuff as the latter watched. He felt that he should stop Magnus but couldn’t bring himself to, it’s not like he had anything to hide anyway.

A victorious fist pump came from Magnus and the next thing Alec knew, the taller boy was shoving Alecs swim trunks into his hands.

“Go change!” Magnus cried. Alec did as told and headed to the bathroom attached to Magnus’ room. When he came back, Magnus was already changed, clad in red swimming trunks, the view of his tanned skin was on a greater display and Alec felt the same feeling from waiting at the door and meeting Magnus come again.

“Well don’t just stand there,” Magnus said excitedly. He, for what seemed like the hundredth time that week, grabbed Alec’s hand and tugged him down the stairs and towards the door that led to the backyard. The backyard was massive, a vast expanse of land filled with trees and shrubs. There was a patio with a barbeque and chairs set on it, a mosquito net surrounded it. Then Alec set his eyes on the pool. It was huge, just like everything else in the backyard. A waterfall was set at the edge and slide stood beside it. Alec saw that a certain corner of the pool was closed off, bubbles fizzling in it.

Magnus squealed, and just like that, he took off. One semi-large splash later and the tan skinned boy was bobbing at the surface of the water. “Come on, Pup,” Magnus whined. Alec smiled softly and took the stairs leading into the pool. “You can’t do that!” Magnus practically screeched.

“Watch me,” Alec replied, not even glancing at Magnus as he stepped into the water. Magnus let out a huff and swam towards Alec. He waited patiently as Alec adjusted to the temperature of the pool, doggy paddling in the area that he couldn’t stand in.

Alec was finally in the pool. The water was at the middle of his neck and he refused to go any deeper, scared of drowning. Magnus complained, but suddenly his face struck with realization and he smirked at Alec. “Pup, can you swim?” he asked in a sickeningly innocent voice. Alec scowled at him, but slowly nodded. Magnus’ features softened. “I can teach you,” Magnus offered, his voice warm and comforting.

Alec looked at him, considering his options, until he realized that Magnus would only do what he wanted anyway, so he just shrugged his shoulders. Magnus smiled perhaps the biggest smile Alec had seen and swam towards Alec.

“First thing, remember you can float, you won’t sink,” Alec wanted to point out that he could, possibly, sink, but decided against it. “Ok, I’m gonna bring you deeper,” Magnus informed Alec. The shorter boy nodded. Magnus placed his hands on Alecs shoulders and walked backwards, deeper into the pool, pulling Alec with him.

Alec tried his best to look brave and unaffected. He had never really wanted to learn how to swim. He didn’t see the big deal. Water was meant for drinking, not playing in. But Magnus had asked if he wanted to learn, and Alec figured it couldn’t hurt to learn, for safety purposes.

Alec was now standing on his tippy toes, trying to keep his nose and mouth above water. “Ok, now I’m gonna put my arms under your back and you’ll float. Now lift your feet,” Magnus instructed. Alec almost yelled at him for telling him to do the one thing he didn’t want to do. Magnus felt that Alec wanted to protest so he said, “Don’t worry, I’ll keep you up, even though you’ll float on your own,”

Alec still wanted to protest but did as Magnus said. Reluctantly, he began to angle his body further back. He felt arms holding his back, pushing his body more towards the surface of the water. Alec clamped his eyes shut and slowly lifted his feet off the ground.

He was taken aback when he didn’t sink, though he knew it was silly since Magnus assured him he wouldn’t. He felt giddy, like could do anything just because he was floating on water, a hard thing not to do. He smiled brightly and opened his eyes. Magnus was looking at him with adoration and affection, perhaps even a little bit of pride. Alec squealed and Magnus laughed. “Want me to let go of you?” he asked.

Alec thought about it a little bit. Sure, he was floating now, but what if he sank when Magnus let go? And though he didn’t know why, a small part of Alec didn’t want him to let go because he liked the feeling of Magnus holding him. He wouldn’t acknowledge that though. He nodded his head and Magnus let go.

Sure enough, Alec did not sink. He stayed floating. He was proud of himself for some reason and wanted to continue learning how to swim. “Now how do I stand up?” he asked. Magnus laughed loudly and told him to just stand up. Alec did so and suddenly his head was under water. On reflex he flailed his arms and tried to move his arms like Magnus did when he was in the deep end. And he was above water again, gasping hard, over reacting by a long shot. Magnus had moved closer and was now staring at Alec with concern.

Alec wasn’t paying attention, his mind to fixed on the fact that was actually swimming. “I’m swimming!” he nearly yelled. Magnus smiled warmly.

The rest of their time spent in the pool consisted of Magnus teaching Alec how to do various strokes and styles of swimming. They headed out of the pool when both were as pruney as raisins.

---

Dinner was fantastic. Asmo was a great cook, much better than either of his parents. He made them macaroni and beef with sides of sweet carrots and mashed potatoes with brown gravy. Asmo ate with them, listening to them talking about school, telling them about work. Magnus didn’t seem as interested in Asmo’s day as Alec, probably because he heard something similar from Asmodeus’ mouth everyday. Alec found out that Asmo was just as interesting as his son. He worked at jewelry company that's expanse stretched all across the world. He told Alec that they moved from Indonesia to the U.S. because the elder Bane was offered a job in America and he just couldn’t refuse. So he uprooted both Magnus and himself to go live in New York.

Magnus was oddly quiet during dinner, only adding his input on things occasionally. He didn’t look uncomfortable like he did when around Jace, but he did look like he didn’t want to talk about Indonesia; Alec guessed it might have something to do with his mom.

All three went up to Magnus’ bedroom. Asmo waited while Alec and Magnus changed into their pajamas. They didn’t need to take bath’s or anything because they did that after they got out from the pool. After their showers they only played with Magnus’ toys, so they weren’t dirty enough for another bath.

Once the boys were done, Asmo tucked them both into the bed, kissing each of them on the forehead. “Goodnight, boys,” he said as he made his way towards the door. He turned on a small nightlight, a crescent moon hidden by clouds, and left the room.

Both of them just layed there in silence for a while. Neither tried to go to sleep, because both were not tired. The peaceful silence was interrupted by Alec when he asked, “Do you know Jace from outside of school?”

It was random and Alec had no idea why he asked it, but then he realized that he had been wanting to ask this all day, so he didn’t take it back. Magnus shifted and turned to look at Alec. He looked slightly uncomfortable, but his eyes held a softness when he looked at Alec. “Yeah,”

“How?”

Magnus didn’t look like he wanted to answer for a few moments, then he looked Alec straight in the eyes but lowered them when he whispered, “Foster care,” Alec wasn’t exactly sure what this was, but Magnus explained it. “It’s where kids go when they don’t have mommies or daddies,” he said.

“How did you meet him?”

Now, Magnus truly looked like he wanted to forget the subject, but Alec wouldn’t let him. Magnus let out a sigh. His voice wavered when he said, “When my mommy died,” he paused waiting for Alec’s reaction. Alec was slightly startled by Magnus’ blunt confession to his mother's death, but quickly he schooled his features and shifted closer to Magnus in the bed they shared. He wrapped his arms around Magnus, and the taller one leaned into the embrace. Magnus moved to rest his head on Alecs chest, still keeping his arms wrapped around Alec and keeping Alecs arms wrapped around him, and continued his story.

“When she died,” his voice was thick with sadness and lined with tears. Alec squeezed him harder. “Daddy didn’t feel good. We had just moved to America when it happened. I don’t know why, but daddy told me that older people took me away from him for a little bit because they didn’t think he felt good enough to take care of me. It didn’t last long. I was back with him in about a week or two, but during the week they placed me in a home. I didn’t like the people there. They were really mean. I didn’t understand English as good as I do now so I didn’t understand all of it, but I understood some. They made fun of me and laughed at my clothes when I got there,” Alec suddenly felt a sad feeling form in his stomach as he remembered the kids from the first day of school laughing at Magnus, possibly at his clothing choice. “I had no idea what was going on or if my dad was going to come get me. I was scared that he’d abandon me,” a single tear slipped down Magnus’ cheek, Alec felt it hit the soft fabric of his shirt and seep through to touch his skin. Magnus sniffled and continued, “When I was there I met Jace. He’s in foster care. I think when he sees me he feels weird because I’m the only one that knows. Well I was until I told you,”

Alec nodded. “I wish that hadn’t happened to you,” he stated honestly. Alec had always hated saying that he felt sorry for someone. It seemed so generic and without emotion.

Magnus nodded his head in thanks, snuggling closer to Alec. He mumbled out a “Goodnight, Pup,” signaling it was the end of the conversation.

Alec replied with a whispered “Goodnight, Kitten,” Eventually Magnus’ breathing evened and Alec could feel his hold on him lessen. Alec laid there, listening to Magnus’ breathing as he slept. He thought about Jace.

Suddenly he didn’t see Jace as mean as he did before. He saw him as a kid who was hurting, taking out his feelings on Alec. If Alec were in this ‘foster care’ he would probably feel sad too.

His eyes began to droop and Alec knew it was a sign of his exhaustion. He let himself fall into the darkness of sleep. The last thing he saw was the moon nightlight and how it gave Magnus’ skin an almost angelic glow. Unknowingly, he clung to Magnus even more in his sleep.