"Come on, Alec."
"Please? For me?"
"Damnit Alec! Seriously?"
Alec sighed, closed his book, looked up at his brother. Jace wasn't his brother by blood, but they were brothers in every other way; as much as him and Max were brothers. Where he was dark - dark hair, dark eyes, Jace was light - light blond hair and blue eyes. They were as different as their appearance but they couldn't be closer in mind and heart.
"Why would I subject myself to an entire weekend stuck in a cabin somewhere with you and Fray? In what universe do I deserve such punishment?" Alec asked him.
Jace rolled his eyes. "Don't be over dramatic. And it won't just be me and Clary... she's bringing one of her best friends along."
Alec raised an eyebrow. "Oh excuse me. A cabin, you and Clary, and one of her best friends? Let me think... NO! I couldn't think of anything worse." He turned his attention back to his book.
Jace growled and threw his hands up in exasperation. "Alec please! Clary will only go if her friend comes along and I need you there so I can have alone time with my girlfriend."
"So basically you want me to play babysitter while you and Clary have all the fun?"
"Gee Alec, ever thought you might maybe end up enjoying yourself, and all you gotta go is take that stick outta your ass?" Jace sat on the bed, picked up the book Alec was reading, idly started flipping through it.
Alec grabbed the book off Jace. "If I say I'll go will you leave me alone?"
Jace did a little mental victory dance. "Yes! And I'll never ask you for anything ever again."
They both knew that was a lie. "Fine. But you owe me bro. Now go away." Alec shooed Jace off the bed.
"Woo-hoo! You won't regret this, Alec!" Jace called out as he left.
"I already do." Alec mumbled.
Alec and Jace took turns driving up to Clary's family cabin. He wasn't actually having a bad time... so far. He loved New York but it was nice to be away from the hustle and bustle of city life every once in a while.
He studied the cabin tucked back into the trees as he parked up. It was beautiful - two stories of dark wood with lots of glass that sparkled in the sunlight. A wide wrap-around deck carried on to the back of the building and he spied a large swing seat at the far end of the patio.
He listened with half an ear to Clary chattering away. He would never have put Clary and Jace together but they fit perfectly, and above and beyond all that, he could see that she made Jace stupid happy. And that was what was important to him at the end of the day.
"We've got the master, Jace. Mags will be here in a few hours so you get first pick of the rest of the rooms, Alec." Clary picked up her bag and pulled Jace inside.
Alec ended up picking the room at the furthest corner of the cabin. It was a spacious room with a big king sized bed dominating one wall. A lot of bed for just him but it was the view out the window that sold him - true, he was a city boy down to the bone, but that didn't mean he couldn't appreciate nature and its beauty. And then go right back to the urban jungle that was home.
There was a soft knock on his door. Alec didn't have to look to know it was Clary; Jace would never think of knocking, even if the door had been shut, he'd have just barged in. He turned around, and true enough, saw Clary standing in the doorway. "You need to teach your boyfriend to do that."
"Do that? Oh, knocking?" She let out a laugh when Alec made like he was knocking on a door. "He only does it to you. He doesn't dare with Izzy in case he walks in in the middle of something. But I guess with you he knows that he won't... that is... I didn't mean-" She trailed off, going red as she realised what she'd said, and the implication.
"Don't worry about it, Fray. He's not wrong." Clary saw Alec had gone a little sad but he was quick to cover it up. "So. What's up?" He turned away from her to carry on unpacking. Ingrained habit would never allow him to live out of his duffel - even for a weekend.
"Oh well me and Jace are gonna head out, into town, for dinner and maybe drinks... you're welcome to join us if you want."
"Appreciate the invite but I'm good." A night out with his brother (and Fray) sounded like it'd be fun, but he wasn't about to be the third wheel the entire night, no thank you.
"Oh okay, well if you want us to bring something back for you, dinner or whatever... just let us know. Or the pantry is stocked up if you rather whip something up yourself." She stood there wringing her hands.
"Is something wrong, Clary?" She looked nervous, Alec thought.
"No, nothing. I just - I wanted to thank you for coming on this trip. I'm pretty sure this is the last place you'd wanna be, but you came for Jace, because of me. So... thanks."
Before Alec could reply footsteps came echoing down the hall and Jace appeared at his door. "C'mon Clary, lets go. See ya big bro, don't have too much fun without us!" Jace saluted him and pulled Clary out and downstairs. He heard the front door slam and the car start up.
Alone at last, he thought.
First order of business? A well deserved nap. Alec fell face first onto the bed and was asleep in minutes.
Alec woke slowly and it took him a moment to orient himself - Clary's family cabin. It had gone dark while he'd slept, and he hadn't bothered to turn any of the lights on, so the cabin was pitch black. Alec looked out the window - no car, so that meant Jace and Clary still weren't back.
He scrubbed his hands over his face. He'd have a shower to freshen up then head downstairs to throw something together for his supper.
Magnus let himself in by the back door. It had taken him longer than he'd expected to get to the cabin, so much so that by the time he got there night had fallen, and he was in desperate need of a shower and some food and a big glass of wine... not necessarily in that order.
He made his way upstairs and to his room. Technically it wasn't his room as such, but it was the room he always used when he was here, so it kind of was his. Walking into the room, he threw his bag on the bed, and was about to head into the shower when the bathroom door opened and steamed poured out.
Magnus watched as Alec walked out with a towel slung low on his hips - one that left little to the imagination. This day is looking up, he thought. There was a very attractive guy who just came out of his shower looking absolutely edible. Damp dark hair fell over a pretty face and hazel eyes studied him dubiously.
"Who the hell are you?"
"I'm Mags - Magnus." He noted the flush working its way up the boy's body as Magnus continued to study him unapologetically.
"No, you're not." Alec said definitely. "Mags is one of Clary's best friends and you are not a teenage girl."
"Well that's really backwards thinking, isn't it? I'm a fair bit older than Clary; I knew her mother first then became besties with Clary. You would be Alexander, brother to Jace, though you wouldn't know it looking at you two."
Alec relaxed a fraction but remained suspicious. "Yeah well, Jace is sorta adopted, in a way." He moved to the bureau to get some clothes out. "So... is there a reason you're in my room?"
"Your room?" Magnus laughed. "This is usually my room every time I've stayed here, but since you were here first..." He picked up his bag and walked to the door. "We could always share..." He shot Alec a cheeky smile and wink. When Alec stayed silent and just stared at him, he shrugged "Your loss. Of course if you change your mind..." Magnus called out as he walked away.
Alec got dressed and made his way downstairs... he wanted supper. He stopped as he passed the only other bedroom with its door shut. Should he ask if Magnus wanted some food too? He hesitated, unsure what to do, then decided in the end to leave it be. It seemed like Magnus knew his way around just fine; he'd come down when he was good and ready.
Alec cracked open a beer and began preparing supper. About 10 minutes had gone by before he heard footsteps and Magnus walked into the kitchen bringing with him the faint scent of sandalwood, and something darker and more elemental. The combination was heady.
"That smells divine Alexander." Magnus sat across the island from him and watched Alec cook. "I admit, I'm surprised you know your way around a kitchen so well."
Alec blushed slightly from the compliment. "It was a matter of self preservation. Our sister Izzy loves to cook, though cook is probably a very loose, and generous term for what it is she does. Sorry, did you want a beer or something?"
Magnus waved Alec aside. "I prefer wine. I'll get it, I know where everything is."
For the next few moments they did their own thing in companionable silence; Alec dishing out supper while Magnus selected and opened a bottle of wine. He grabbed another bottle of beer from the fridge for Alec, popped it open, passed it to him.
"Thanks." Alec gave him a shy crooked smile. "There's enough for both of us if you're hungry. It's just something I threw together, some wild rice, chicken and vegetables. Hope you're hungry." He brought the plates over to the table, sat down, and waited while Magnus took the seat across from him.
Magnus stared at Alec over the rim of his wine glass. "I'm starved."
"Um... Great. Well dig in, I guess." Alec wasn't sure how to take Magnus. It was like he was saying one thing but really meant another. It was confusing.
They ate, talked, and laughed... and to Alec's surprise he enjoyed himself - sharing a meal and conversation with someone who wasn't a family member; It was a change for him. Alec felt like he could spend hours talking to Magnus, exchanging stories about their lives, or just listening to Magnus talk about whatever... It was nice to feel so comfortable with someone. The only other person he came this close to being himself with was Jace; of course that was because Jace was his brother. His feelings towards Magnus, on the other hand, didn't feel at all brotherly.
Magnus gathered up their dishes and pushed back from the table. "That, Alexander, was lovely. Thank you." He had his hand on Alec's shoulder and gave it a little squeeze as he was walking by. "So where are the lovebirds?"
Alec shook himself back and berated himself for putting too much thought into a simple gesture. "They uh- they went into town I think? Dinner, drinks, the whole couple thing."
"Let me guess... you stayed here because you didn't want to be a spare part?" Magnus laughed as Alec shrugged. "So why didn't you bring someone along, then it'd be like a couples getaway?
"There's no-one." Alec mumbled the words.
"No-one? At all?" Magnus was surprised. "I find that hard to believe... you seem to be quite the catch."
"I dunno... maybe there's something fundamentally wrong with me. I look at Jace and Clary, my parents, even Izzy and her boy of the week... and I realise I've never experienced that sort of connection with another person like they have. Maybe I'm just not meant to." Alec was shocked; It wasn't like him to share, let alone over share. He took a long swig of his beer.
"Alexander." Magnus wanted to comfort him, take that sadness out of his eyes, tell the boy how much he deserved to be loved. But in that moment they heard car doors slam, followed by the front door, and lots of laughing. Magnus could visibly see Alec withdraw and was sorry for it.
"MAGS!" Clary screamed his name and ran to him, enveloped him in a hard hug. She began talking fast, her worlds tumbling over each other, and gesturing widely with her arms.
Alec saw how Jace just looked at her with a sappy smile on his face as Magnus and her caught up. That's what he wanted; he wanted someone to look at him like that, he wanted to have someone to look at like that. But he'd just have to settle for being a son and a big brother. He had to be happy with that. Some things just weren't meant to be. And it wasn't like he was miserable... he was content. Maybe true happiness would elude him but he was content and he'd settle for that.
Alec slipped out quietly and left them to catch up. He went up to his room, grabbed one of his books, and decided he'd lounge on the swing and lose himself in a story. He heard footsteps on the decking and saw Jace round the corner.
"Alec. Honestly... you gotta stop living such an exciting life." He passed his brother one of the two beers he brought out with him and leaned against the porch rail to study Alec. "So what did you get up to while we were gone?"
They filled each other in on their respective days; they joked and laughed, and sat drinking their beer in comfortable silence. Hanging out with his brother, his best friend, was much better than a book.
Clary and Magnus joined them after a while, and the brothers exchanged stories with the best friends. Alec was pleasantly surprised to find he was enjoying himself; surprised at the pang of disappointment when Jace and Clary decided to turn in for the night. He waited for Magnus to leave as well but instead Magnus gestured to the swing Alec was sitting on. "Mind the company? Or would you rather be left alone?"
Alec realised he didn't mind; he didn't want to be alone. More than that... he wanted Magnus' company. The easy and relaxed mood he was in was slowly being replaced by something more exciting. He was no longer sleepy, instead he felt revved, and like it was an electrical current was travelling just under his skin. He didn't understand why he had this reaction to Magnus; he'd never felt anything like it before.
Was this... was this what it felt like to be attracted to someone? His heart was beating faster, he had butterflies in his stomach, and he was hyper-aware of Magnus - his scent wrapped around Alec like a lover, and although they barely touched as Magnus rested his arm across the back of the swing, his skin hummed.
He turned to face Magnus. "So. What's your story?" Alec was looking at Magnus, studying the features of his face, and his gaze unconsciously lingered on Magnus' lips. They looked so soft. And they were almost, almost, close enough. All Alec had to do was move in just a little... He wondered how Magnus would taste. Like the wine he'd enjoyed all evening? Or something more exotic?
When those gorgeous lips curved, Alec snapped out of his reverie, found Magnus staring at him with a knowing smile. "Curious, Alexander? Do you wonder what it'd be like?" Magnus' voice was soft, almost barely audible, and he moved just a tiny bit closer to Alec.
"I uh..." Alec swallowed. He couldn't tear his gaze away from Magnus, those lips, and those eyes that seemed like he could lose himself in.
Magnus stayed very still. He wanted, oh how he wanted to move in, but it had to be Alexander's choice. Magnus knew exactly who he was, but he suspected Alec wasn't yet sure who he wanted to be, and he wouldn't - couldn't - take that step for Alec.
Alec stared into Magnus' eyes. He had a choice to make... for once in his life, for the first time in his life, he needed to decide whether to take a risk and take something for himself or to go on as he'd always done - and let chances pass him by. He wanted this. Before he could convince himself otherwise or talk himself out of it, Alec leaned in and took Magnus' lips in a soft kiss.
He pulled back, and Magnus watched him silently, waiting. Then Alec was going back for more - his hands were in Magnus' hair, on his face, and Alec was kissing Magnus as if he needed it to live as much as breathing. He could taste the wine on Magnus' tongue, taste the meal they'd shared, and something that he could only assume was uniquely Magnus.
Alec tore his lips from Magnus'. He was breathless and his heart was racing. He stood up, walked to the porch rail, and stared out into the night. Try as he might he couldn't seem to get his breathing under control.
Magnus wasn't so steady himself. He'd kissed his fair share of people, and been kissed back, but that... that was new; it was different and it was amazing. For someone who was relatively inexperienced, be it with men or women, boy could Alexander kiss.
Before either of them could make a move the side door opened and Jace stepped out. "You guys still up?"
Jace seemed oblivious to the sexual tension in the air and Alec could only be thankful. He couldn't possibly explain to his brother what he was feeling when he had no clue himself. He needed to think. Jace would certainly say he often did too much thinking and not enough living, and he wasn't wrong. But this had been a big step for him. And he had no clue what to do now. So he would think. And evaluate. How was he supposed to make sense of all these feelings, and wants, and needs that had been awakened inside him?
"We were just heading up actually."
Magnus raised an eyebrow and looked at Alec questioningly. "So we were." He got up, waited as Jace retreated back inside, gestured Alec in.
Upstairs Jace turned to go to his and Clary's room, bid them both a whispered goodnight and a warning that Clary had big plans for all of them tomorrow.
They went down the other side of the corridor. Magnus stopped in front of his room and looked silently at Alec.
Screw it, Alec thought. He could think and evaluate until his brains bled of his ears... tomorrow. "There's plenty of space in my room." He waited for Magnus to take the hand he held out, then pulled him to the room, and for the first time in his life he locked his bedroom door.
Sunlight filtered through the open curtains. Alec turned away from the window, cursed himself for forgetting to pull the blinds down, and he opened his eyes to see Magnus sleeping... next to him. In his bed.
He recalled the night before. He'd taken a huge step for him and asked Magnus to stay in his room. They'd kissed, then talked about their lives - how Magnus ended up basically being a part of Clary's family because of her mom Jocelyn, how Alec had come to have Jace for his brother after Jace's father had passed away. They'd found out things they had in common, and things they didn't quite share the same views on. They'd laughed, shushed each other when they got too loud, kissed some more and some time in the night had finally fallen asleep.
It was strange to wake up next to someone. It was a new but not unpleasant feeling. And all these feelings he had building inside him for the man sleeping next to him... what was he supposed to do?
Magnus stirred next to him and stretched luxuriously. "I thought I couldn't enjoy this bed any more than I did before... turns out I was wrong." He smiled sleepily at Alec.
Suddenly there was a loud thump followed by a curse. "Alec? Alec what the hell, why is your door locked? Alec!"
They both scrambled up from the bed and Alec shooed Magnus into the bathroom.
"What the hell. Magnus is up and God knows where doing what and why is your damn door locked?" Jace banged on the door.
Alec yanked the door open. Jace eyed him suspiciously but was stopped from saying more as Clary came down the corridor.
"Jace leave Alec alone. C'mon, lets go into town and bring back some breakfast. I want pancakes!" She pulled Jace along and shoved him forward, then ran back to Alec, dropping her voice to a whisper. "Don't worry, Jace hasn't got a clue. Tell Mags I'll get him his favourite coffee." Then she ran off and downstairs.
Alec shut the door and turned to face Magnus and they both burst into laughter. "This is nice. It's new for me..."
Magnus walked to Alec and took his hand. "It's new for me too. I may have been with my fair share of people but I've never felt for them what I'm starting to feel for you."
Alec looked down at their joined hands. "I... I didn't think I would ever feel like this; that I would ever find someone who stirred such feelings inside me. I guess I just never found the right person... until you."
Magnus didn't know what to say to that.
"I wanna see you Magnus... I wanna see where this takes us. I wanna spend time with you, when we're back in the city, when we're home."
Magnus kissed him lightly. "I'd like that very much, Alexander. But for now I think we need to take advantage of having the place all to ourselves..." He pushed Alec back onto the bed they'd shared.