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Once I Fell In Love With Rain

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Alec Lightwood could remember the exact day he fell in love with rain. He had never really looked at it as anything more than a nuisance. When he finished battling a nest of Shax demons, it rained. When he had to walk home from mission because he was exhausted and couldn't handle another speed rune, it rained. When he was weighed down by a bow, arrows, stele, and seraph blade, it rained. The rain exhausted him. It reminded him he had to hurry home or he'd be prone to mundane illnesses; it reminded him that he would need a warm shower once he was home to regenerate his body.

He didn't hate the rain, just found it rather annoying. The problem was just that it never seemed to rain when he was in the institute. Then again, now that he was thinking about it, the institute was quite loud and had almost no windows to tell whether it was raining or not. Still, his point stood. Rain was bothersome, an inconvenience; and, really, if he was saving silly mundanes couldn't the Heavens just do one thing for him and make it not rain.

But Alec wasn't repressed anymore. He was the head of the institute, and didn't even live at the institute anymore. He could hardly find it in himself to care about the weather when demons were disappearing into thin air on the institute radars. Alec also had a wonderful home waiting for him every night to come to after he finished the last of his reports and orders. He still didn't like the rain very much, but he hardly paid it any attention.

So here he was, walking with his home. So his home wasn't a place, well it was, but it was also a person.

Magnus Bane.

Since Valentine’s death there had been an increased amount of time for Alec to spend with Magnus. Though a few rogue demons still popped up now and then, the city was a relatively safe place. The institute was still trying to figure out how demons simply vanished, but it wasn't of their highest concern, so they trained and fought rogue demons, and at the end of the night they got to sleep. At the end of the night, Alec got to go home. Things had been a little tense between him and Magnus the night of Valentine’s death celebration. While Alec had followed him home on his request, he had no idea how to act once they arrived. Alec didn't know where they stood in terms of being together, but he knew he absolutely wanted to be by Magnus’ side forever. Magnus eased his worries. They spent the entire night talking and sprinkling kisses between declarations of love. It was amazing, and Alec realized in that moment how much he missed Magnus; how much he loved Magnus.

Magnus had helped Alec to be himself, to realize that who he was, was a good thing. He saved Alec from eternal damnation in a loveless, heterosexual marriage. Magnus is someone he could talk to when he felt like there was no one, which was how he felt his entire life. Alec never opened up to anyone about his insecurities and needs the way he did to Magnus. He knew the same went for Magnus and his personal emotions. Alec felt entirely comfortable around Magnus, like he was a best friend more than anything. He just happened to be lucky enough that he also got to fall in love with him.

Alec hissed as a droplet of rain dropped on their intertwined hands. “That was cold.”

“Oh, relax. We're almost home.” Magnus swatted at him playfully.

I am home, Alec thought.

“Rain is so inconvenient to the world. Why does it exist?” Alec pouted. Magnus stopped walking and Alec froze, worrying he had done something wrong. “What?”

“You're telling me you don't like rain?” Magnus asked. “I'm dating someone who hates rain. This will not work.”

“What's so great about rain?” Alec wondered.

Magnus gasped in offense. “Alexander Lightwood, what has that institute deprived you of?”

Alec was perfectly aware of the rain starting to pick up around them. It was more than just a few drops and turning into a full on drizzle.

“Nothing. It's just that anytime I'm on a mission I always end up getting rained on. It’s a bit of an annoyance is all.” He defensively argued.

“Rain is wonderful. It gives things life, it washes things clean, it’s relaxing and peaceful. How can you not love rain?” Magnus countered.

“It never comes at a convenient time.” Alec said, pulling Magnus into his arms.

Though he might not personally love rain, he loves anything that makes his boyfriend smile like that. All the life rises to his eyes and his entire face lights up like he's just been shined down on by the sun. His eyes crinkle at the edges, and he smirks happily. He's absolutely stunning when he's happy.

“We should get back to the loft before the rain ruins your hair. You did spend two hours on it.” Alec teases, grabbing Magnus’ hands. The rain began to pour down more and more with each passing moment, but the longer Alec stared at Magnus, the less he cared.

“It was twenty minutes, and wait a second.” Magnus said, using their joined hands to draw Alec closer to him. He put Alec’s hands on his waist and his own on Alec’s jacket, drawing him in for a kiss.

Alec could feel the rain pick up full speed. Pellets began attacking them, but the cold feeling of them sinking into his skin was a wonderful mixture of the feeling of Magnus’ soft, warm lips on his own. Alec felt a bubbly, calm sensation take over his body. It felt like he was floating. Just a few months ago he never would’ve imagined he could one day stand in the middle of New York, holding a man he loved so much it made his chest ache, and kiss him as the world rained down around them. Maybe Magnus was right. The world did seem peaceful like this.

Magnus began pulling away from the kiss, but Alec pulled him right back in, unable to let go of the exquisite moment he had been granted. Magnus was a romantic, and Alec just as much, but there were certain things in their relationship that Magnus was overly excited about. He liked doing cliche couple things, like kissing in the rain, and Alec was happy to give him whatever he wanted. He loved seeing his face light up in happiness and joy. Magnus hummed against his lips softly. They finally parted when Alec was certain they might drown in the rain and suffocate from lack of oxygen all at the same time.”

“You're soaked.” Magnus teased, flicking Alec’s wet hair back from his forehead.

“So are you.” Alec reminded him.

“Guess you'll just have to warm me up then when we get home.” Magnus smirked.

“I'm already home.”

The words fell from his mouth just as many others had. Whenever he was around Magnus, he was incapable of holding his emotions back; and he didn't feel the need to hold anything back. Magnus was the one person he trusted to never judge him. They were together all the time. Still, he hid away in shame, gazing at the pavement beneath them. Alec hadn't meant to tell him something that makes him feel so vulnerable. How was he supposed to tell Magnus home didn't feel like the institute anymore; in fact, home had never felt like the institute. Alec had never felt what it was like to be home until Magnus held him in his arms for the first time. Since when was home a person and not a place.

“Alexander,” Magnus whispered.

“Sorry, that was cheesy. I-”

“Alec,” Magnus interrupted him. “It's not cheesy. It's very kind of you to say that.”

Alec chanced a glance up at Magnus’ face and all of his insecurities melted away as soon as he saw a bright smile shining.

“You make me feel safe and more at ease and free than anyone or anything has ever been able to do before. I’ve never felt at home ever before, but I do now. I do with you.”

“I feel the same way.” Magnus twisted his hands in Alec's shirt and pecked his lips lightly. “Come on, let's get to the loft before we freeze to death.”

Alec’s heart skipped a beat. He wondered briefly if he would start referring to Alec as home in casual conversation; if this conversation would mean anything on a deeper level to them. He supposed he might find out, but for now he was content to just follow his boyfriend to their loft and cuddle under blankets all night after showering. The weeks to follow, they spent rainy days together, appreciating the warmth their bodies provided each other.


 "Alexander, don't you think you're being a little ridiculous?” Magnus cried out in frustration, following his boyfriend to the door of their loft.

I’m being ridiculous?” Alec “You’re the one who was being ridiculous!”

“Do you really think I'm supposed to just drop everything I have going on?”

“It’s pathetic.” He huffed, slipping his shoes on his feet. “It shows them you're immature and a child.”

“I’m a child? ” Magnus’ eyebrow rose. “I happen to have a job, Alec. You know I’m not just some housewife who's ready to run to the institute at any given moment, right?”

“That doesn't make it okay, Magnus. You made me look like an idiot. I thought I could depend on you.” Alec bitterly remarks, yanking the door open and walking down the hall.

Neither of them were quite sure how the argument escalated this far or how they ended up yelling at each other, but both were too stubborn to back down.

“I’m sorry?” Magnus questioned. “I didn't realize allowing you to depend on me meant I had to completely give up my work and my people to help yours. There's plenty of capable warlocks out there you could've called. Or, hey, here's an idea: teach your people how to solve their own damn problems. Maybe if you all weren't so damn incompetent, then-”

“This isn't about competency! It's about you not being there. You’re never here anymore. There's always some party, some friend you have to see, some client you have to deal with.”

“Seriously?” Magnus’ face scrunched up in hurt. “Are you really that self-centered that you think you're the only one who has a job to do? I’ve been dealing with clients that you know I've been neglecting to meet for months so I could help you guys at the institute, and the only ‘party’ I've been to is the reopening of pandemonium, you know, my business . I do own that club. I've been busy with repairs and reopening.”

“I know you're busy, but it doesn't make what you did any less shitty. You could've been there instead of standing me up like an idiot.”

“I was fucking busy!” Magnus shouted. The pent up anger burst out around him causing the entire building to shake as a blast of magic raged out of him.

Alec paused briefly in his rush to the front door. He shook his head and walked outside. Normally, Alec would have noticed the rain coming down around him, but not this time. He didn’t need to rain to blind him because his anger-induced tears were already clouding his vision enough. Magnus chased after him, grabbing his arm and twisting him around. Alec’s foot slid on the wet pavement, aiding him in this task. The intense flash of lightning matched Magnus’ irate expression.

“Are you seriously doing this?” He asked.

Alec ripped his arm out of Magnus’ grasp. “I need space.”

And it was true. When he and Magnus got into arguments, he always ended up regretting what he said. It was a heat of the moment, who can hurt who more, who will be the winner, type thing. They were both too stubborn to find a compromise until hours after their fight when they were trying to sleep in beds on opposite sides of the city without each other and couldn’t stop tossing and turning. Alec typically ended up being the first one to call Magnus, but occasionally it was a flopped scenario in which Magnus would call him and apologize. Still, Alec didn’t want to fight anymore. He was tired and he had exhausted his runes that day which made him slightly cranky. He couldn’t stand to be around Magnus if they would just end up fighting.

“Clearly you're upset that you had any space to begin with.” Magnus remarked.

“Seriously? Stop being so over dramatic.” Alec huffed.

It was the first drop; not the first thing he’d regret saying that night, but certainly one of the more harsh comments. He had claimed it before when they fought over the DNA sample, almost as a go-to response to their arguments. Alec didn’t mean it; couldn’t ever mean any of the hurtful things he spouted off at Magnus. Yet he remained bitter and hurt in the moment, unable to close his damn mouth and calm down.

“Me, over dramatic? You're the one who started this argument, Alexander. I apologize that I was busy with clients and missed out on a few dates, but how you're treating me isn't alright. You've missed dates for work too, and you really can't expect me to be able to just portal into the institute at the blink of an eye because your shadowhunters don’t know how to use a tracking rune and need help.”

“Because it's always about you right? There always has to be someone worrying about you, someone arguing with you, someone putting up with your bullshit. Right? Because you crave attention and thrive on it. Because at least for once in your life someone gives a damn about you, but you can't bother showing up to anything because you're too busy . It's pathetic; you're pathetic. All you do is trot around, pretending you're some superior thing that’s been damaged and deserves love, but you're not! Maybe the reason shadowhunters treat you like shit is because you're too pathetic to function on your own. If you even bothered trying to be there for anyone instead of needing everyone to be there for you, you'd realize that.”

Magnus’ jaw dropped. “Excuse me?”

Alec looked just as surprised, snapping his mouth shut. His throat formed a lump. He was unsure of half of what he had just said, and what he did say, he knew he didn’t mean. The anger had festered in him, but that was no excuse. “Magnus, I-”

“No,” Magnus deadpanned, withdrawing his hand to his side. The rain was weighing down his clothes, and he felt a sudden heavy burden on his shoulders. Magnus thought he could always depend on Alec, that he was different than everyone else, and yet here he was, spewing things at Magnus just like every other person had before. Magnus decided maybe everything Alec had ever said was wrong. Magnus wasn’t lovable, he wasn’t special; he was nothing. He had finally started to love himself, and now he wasn’t so sure he should. “If that's what you really think about me then get the fuck away from me and never speak to me again.”

“No, I didn't mean that. Any of it.I'm so sorry.” Alec replied, reaching for his boyfriend. When things got too intense, when one shouted an exceedingly cruel remark, they immediately softened. Some of their most hurtful arguments were the shortest because they couldn’t stand the other thinking they truly thought those things for hours on end. It was an immediate catalyst to the argument to be hurtful. However, what Alec had just found himself saying was by far the most hurtful things either of them had ever said. “It was in the moment. I-”

“I don't care. Clearly you feel that way to some extent so leave. I should've known better than to think a shadowhunter would ever truly care about someone other than their own pompous ass.”

“Magnus,” Alec choked out, trying to grab a hold of him as he shuffled away, seeming uncertain and scared of his own self.

“Fuck you, Alec.”

The use of his shortened name felt like a sharp slap to his face.

“I didn't mean it!” He cried out.

“Well I mean this: don't ever come to me, or any of my people again for help with your mundane bullshit. You want to hear pathetic? Pathetic is not being able to survive demon attacks; pathetic is always depending on someone else to ‘show up’ because you're incapable of taking care of your own people. I might need support sometimes, but at least I can take care of my own people. You're a pathetic leader, Alec. You all pretend you want to advance society, yet you never will because your heads are too far up your own asses.”

“Magnus, you don't mean-”

“You will never care about a downworlder. You just want someone you can use like a toy to do all your deeds. I should've never helped Jocelyn. At least then I never would've met you.”

And that hurt more than anything else Magnus could've ever said about Alec’s leadership. He was throwing their entire relationship back in Alec’s face. And worst of all, Alec deserved it.

Magnus stomped angrily back into his building. He made his way upstairs as Alec stood frozen in his place. He heard his heart thudding in his ears. Alec could feel his entire being shaking in anxiety. How could he ever let it escalate to that large of an argument? Nothing he said was true and yet he said it anyway. Alec tried clenching his eyes shut and breathing, but he couldn't. Only when he opened his eyes did he process the rain pouring down around him. He wasn't sure when the rain had started or if it had already been raining when they first found their way outside. Regardless, he tried to blink the tears out of his eyes. Rain always came at the worst times, that he was right about.

He begged himself to chase after Magnus, to run inside the apartment, to pound on the door until he could hold his boyfriend -could he even call him that anymore- in his arms and whisper everything he loved about him into his ear. He was right after all, Alec had missed out on just as many dates as Magnus had, and he certainly didn’t owe it to Alec to always be ready to drop his work and come help the shadowhunters. Magnus wasn’t some puppet to Alec. That was the last thing Alec ever wanted him to think about himself.

He stayed, rooted in his spot on the sidewalk, begging any part of him to move, to get to Magnus. Alec didn’t. He sunk to his knees; he held his head in his hands, and he let out a pitiful cry. He couldn’t lose Magnus. Magnus was his everything, but he had treated him like nothing.

Alec prayed to any angel in the sky to come down and erase this day; to change the events of the day. He cried, hoping to think of someway to fix everything, but he couldn’t. How was he supposed to fix what he broke. There was no way Magnus would ever forgive him.

No , his mind supplied. Magnus would forgive him. He’d allow Alec to knock on his door, get on his knees, do anything to apologize. Then he would let Alec kiss him, hold him, earn his trust back -the trust Alec had promised to never destroy again. He would love Alec just as much as he did before all of this. And if Alec did that, he would be taking advantage of the kindness in Magnus’ heart. He would be just as bad as some of Magnus’ other exes. He would be hurting Magnus over and over again, expecting him to forgive Alec every single time. Alec could never do that to him. He already had too many times. Magnus deserved more.

So Alec wouldn’t do anything. He would pick himself up off his feet. He would carry himself back to the institute and he would sob his heart out. And when tomorrow came, and the next, he would pretend to be okay. He would dedicate his life to bridging the world between shadowhunters and downworlders, to making a better life for all those around him. He wouldn’t do anything. He would take the fact that he had messed up so badly, and he would live with it, let it consume him every night, and pretend it didn’t exist when daylight struck, when duty called.

And this? Him curled in on himself on the pavement, body growing increasingly cold and wet: it was the worst he had ever felt in the rain. When it rained he felt exhausted, but this? He felt ruined, more so than he had ever felt, even during his and Magnus’ first break up. He shakily pushed himself off the ground, breathing deeply to slowly stop the sobs racking through his body. Alec wrapped his arms around himself and began to move toward the institute. By the time he reached the entrance Izzy and Jace used to sneak out of when they were younger, he had become one with the rain. He was almost certain it had begun to seep into his skin, having no material left of his clothes to dampen. Alec’s throat remained closed off and his entire being ached, just like the rain used to feel before Magnus, before he was happy. This day reminded him of the many times he would come home after a mission and crash on his bed in hopes that tomorrow his parents might love him more, that they might find a reason to praise him rather than scold him. This day reminded him of how alone and lost he was without Magnus; how he had never appreciated the nature of earth until he had met the warlock. He hoisted himself up to the ledge, pushing open a window and tumbling inside the institute. He remained still on the floor, watching as the rain continued littering the ground with every droplet that poured down.

And this? Well this was the day he began to despise the rain and every ounce of love it had ever made him feel.

 

Chapter Text

Alec sighed, pushing the covers off his body. This was the eighth day he had slept in his old bedroom at the institute. He realized he'd have to go back to Magnus’ loft at some point because most of his things were still there. He also needed to check in on Magnus to make sure he was alright. Logically, Alec knew Magnus was as devastated as him, but part of him hoped he wasn't. Alec struggled out of bed each morning, was unable to focus his mind throughout the day, and found himself having random bouts of sadness.

He plodded out of his room, to the shower, and figured he might as well get an early start on the day. This is what he always did when he couldn't sleep. It was easier to distract himself with busywork and training than it was to lay in his bed and stew until everyone else woke up. After his shower, he made his way to the office and started putting together the patrol schedules for the day. A soft knock sounded on his door a couple of hours later. He glanced at the clock on his computer, noting that it was 7:00 AM.

“Come in!” He called.

The door opened and Izzy appeared. “I’ve set up breakfast for the trainees, and they'll begin sparring after. Everyone else is on their way to the center. Do you want me to take schedules?”

“No, I've got an announcement to make. I'll be out in a few minutes.” He states, printing a few copies of the schedules. Alec stood up and grabbed the paper off the printer and followed his sister out of the room. Everyone quieted down once he entered the room. “I've got new schedules. Most patrol teams are the same as yesterday; however, I’ve moved some of you to institute clean up duty. In light of recent events, the New York warlocks are no longer working with us.”

He ignored the few whispers among the crowd, spreading rumors about what happened between him and Magnus.

“The Italian warlocks are open-minded about filling in for our council representatives. We will be hosting a party this Saturday night to welcome them to our institute, and the High Warlock of Rome, Romano Masini, will be meeting with me on Sunday morning. I expect everyone to be open to them as they could help bridge tensions. Take a schedule, find your group, and get started. Institute cleanup will be led by Raj and the party decoration group will be led by Isabelle. Report to me any suspicious activity you see today. You're dismissed.”

They all stalked off, a few grumbling about another high warlock coming in. Alec made a mental note to speak to them later.


Saturday snuck up on Alec before he knew it. There had been a demon sighting and it had vanished again before they had been able to track it and take it down. The party was well put together by Isabelle and more than prepared. All that was left to do was set up the name plates at dinner and make sure the desserts were laid out.

“Fray, I need you grabbing dishes.”

“I'm busy! I have the wall dec-”

“I don't care. Hand it off to Raj and grab these dishes.”

“Why can't Raj grab them?”

“Just do your damn job!”

She groaned, thrusting the wall decorations into Raj’s hands and chased after the dishes. Alec followed closely behind with a tray of small sandwiches to be set up. The long table of food was set out in shifts with everyone constantly trading off jobs. By the time seven o'clock came around, everything was perfectly set. Alec began greeting warlocks at the door to the institute. It didn't take long for the High Warlock to portal in.

“Mr. Masini.” He took his hand, shaking it. “Thank you for coming.”

“I look forward to seeing what you've put together Mr. Lightwood.” Romano replied.

Alec nodded, briefly glancing him up and down. His skin was white yet tan and he stood at about Alec’s level. Romano’s hands were smooth, and reminded Alec much of how graceful and gentle Magnus’ had been. He wondered briefly if it was a Warlock thing. Romano had dark black hair and his face was lined in stubble. His outfit included a black button up, black pants, and black shoes, with a single, gold necklace lining his chest. He looked nice, Alec wouldn't deny it. For a moment, he briefly wished things with Magnus were alright because he missed his overly stylish boyfriend.

“We look forward to forming connections with you.” He grinned and then waved his hand in a sign of dismissal. “But let's not worry about that tonight. Refreshments are to the right and you'll find a makeshift dance floor on the right. Enjoy yourself.”

Romano nodded simply and then wandered off. Alec sighed deeply. He just had to get through the weekend and hopefully form new ties.


Romano had long since disappeared from the institute party. Several shadowhunters had been kind, but it didn't take him being centuries old to realize it was a front they were forced to put up for the sake of making small talk. Which left him wondering why exactly the Brooklyn warlocks had broken ties with the institute. At least they could appear to enjoy conversing with downworlders.

That's why he found himself outside of the High Warlock of Brooklyn’s door. Magnus Bane. He knocked and a moment passed before the door opened. Magnus stood, eyes heavy with black eye shadow, mirroring his spiked up dark hair. There were streaks of red, matching his almost-sheer, burgundy top that was unbuttoned to his chest. He had tight black pants on. Silver rings lined his fingers, making the entire outfit pop.

“Do my eyes deceive me or is that Romano Masini?” He teasingly smirked.

“Magnus Bane,” Romano greeted, walking into the space Magnus had created. He closed the door behind Romano, and immediately walked to his cart of drinks to begin mixing something.

“Sex on the Beach still your favorite?” Magnus asked.

“Wouldn't you like to know.” Romano teased back.

“As a matter of fact I would.” Magnus grinned and handed him the orange drink. “So what are you doing in America?”

“I have a meeting with the New York Institute tomorrow and they held a party tonight. It was a bit too quiet and too full of false pleasantries for my tastes.” Romano shrugged.

Magnus rolled his eyes. “Figures it would only take them a couple of weeks.”

“I was actually wondering why you stopped working with them.” He wondered aloud. “Did something happen?”

“They're ignorant, liars, and their Head is an asshole.” Magnus stated simply.

“How so?” Romano asked.

“Well they had the soul sword and lied to their downworld council about it, threatened the lives of our people many times by putting theirs first, and they just genuinely hate us. Most of them at least.”

“And what's so bad about the Head? He seemed rather nice to me.” Romano commented.

“Sure, I thought so too. Until I dated him and then he told me I had to be ready to drop my work to help his people and that I'm pathetic, attention seeking, and can't function on my own. To which I politely told him to fuck off.” Magnus looked down at his own drink.

“Funny, he seemed the most progressive out of them all. I thought he'd be different.” Romano pointed out.

“So did I. That's why I made the mistake of falling in love with him.” He bitterly remarked.

“Oh, please. As if a shadowhunter would ever be worthy of you .” Romano rolled his eyes, stepping forward. He used his pointer finger to tilt Magnus’ chin up.

“Flattery will get you nowhere, Masini.” Magnus joked.

“Who says I'm trying to flatter you.” Romano smirked. “Do you just assume anytime we're together I'll try to get you into bed.”

“I can't say I would blame you. I happen to be excellent in bed.” Magnus boasted.

“You are, but you're also astonishingly beautiful .” Romano whispered.

The air around them felt thick. Romano’s finger was still under Magnus’ chin, reminding him of just how close they were to each other. They were breathing heavily into each other’s spaces and Magnus thought briefly to the last time this happened, 250 years ago.

“It's been a while.” He whispered back.

“Too long if you ask me.” Romano said.

“Mm, I suppose.”

With that, Romano pressed their lips together. He kissed quickly, but with an air of passion and desire. With a brief wave of his hand, their glasses were gone. He hastily gripped Magnus’ shirt, pulling it up to slip his hands under the material. Magnus cupped his face with one hand to deepen the kiss and used his other to grip Romano’s hair. He pulled their mouths as close as possible, reaching for Romano’s top to untuck it from his pants. His hastily undid the buttons, shoving the button up onto the floor. Romano followed his lead, yanking apart the button’s on Magnus’ burgundy top,

Magnus broke apart from the kiss, muttering, “do not drop that on the floor. It's designer.”

He quickly brought their lips back together as Romano tossed the top toward Magnus’ couch. He pressed Magnus closer with his hands and started guiding them back toward his bedroom. Magnus ended up being pushed onto the bed and smirked.

“Surprised I can still find your bedroom?” Romano asked.

“As if you could forget how to find it.” Magnus teased.

He reconnected their lips once more and allowed himself to be consumed by Romano’s entire being.


“Sorry for being a tad late. I stayed with an old friend last night and we were awake slightly too long catching up.” Romano apologized as Alec greeted him in the institute foyer.

“No worries.” Alec smiled. “We'll get started as soon as we get into the room. I have a few proposal ideas as far as teams and aid groups. I figured we could run through them and then you could decide if you wanted to actually partner up.”

“Mm, I'm just forewarning you that I'm not fully committed to the cause yet. You'll have to do some damn good convincing if you want to join forces.” Romano said.

“Good thing I love a challenge.” Alec smirked, grabbing his tablet to scroll through the slides on the screen of the room they had just entered.

“So I've heard.” Romano offhandedly commented.

“My proposal is this: we can send forces to Italy, but right now we have a potential threat. Demons keep appearing and then disappearing like they've been banished only they haven't. They just fall completely off our radar. We need help locating them, and once we have located them, we might need help taking them down. In return, we’re offering generous amounts of money and jewels, and we’ll send our forces to your country to ease the Italian institute’s tensions with your people. We'd be able to help you make treaties with them and therefore put your people into better conditions.” Alec explained.

“And what of my people, Mr. Lightwood? Are they to fight in your war and die for your people? You think money is worthy of the lives of my people?” Romano remarked.

“Certainly not. The ideal situation would be receiving your help in fighting but if circumstances prove to be out of our favor we'll retreat before any lives can be lost.” Alec clarified.

“That's the ideal situation, you say. What of the not-so ideal situation? Can you guarantee that no one in party will die?” Romano’s voice held more seriousness than it had before.

“No, I can not guarantee anything, unfortunately.” Alec sighed.

“Then why should I agree to your proposal?” Romano asked simply.

“Well, with the treaties we would be helping you and your people.” Alec said. “In Italy, the times are rather fractious and if we start the movement for downworld justice, we can-”

Romano put his hand up to stop Alec from speaking anymore. “I've heard all I need to hear.”

“I encourage you to consider-”

He interrupted again. “Relax, shadowhunter. It's not a no, it's just not a yes. I will get back to you. See you around Mr. Lightwood.”

“And you, Mr. Masini.” Alec nodded, showing him to the front of the institute before wandering off to find Izzy.

“Iz,” Alec called out, running up to his sister.

“What?” She asked, glancing at her brother.

“I need you to come out with me tonight.” Alec said. “I really need a drink.”

Izzy grinned at him. “Did you just ask me to come out and drink with you tonight, big brother? I never thought this day would come.”

“Shut up.” He rolled his eyes. “Will you?”

“Did the meeting go that badly?” She wondered.

“No, I don't know what he'll say. But I'm stressed and I want alcohol.”

“Alright, but only if you let me dress you in something nice.” Izzy proposed.

“Fine.” Alec sighed.


“Maia, can I get a Screaming Orgasm and a Tequila Sunrise?” Magnus requested.

“I would imagine this angel face here would know all about your screaming orgasms.” Maia said, smirking at Magnus’ eye roll.

“More like the other way around.” He grinned. “And if you bring it to us I'll tip you extra because I want the pool table before anyone else claims it.”

“Fine,” Maia dramatically sighed. “Go!”

“Thank you, darling.” Magnus grinned before walking off toward the pool table.

“I forgot how much you love vodka.” Romano remarked, tossing a pool stick to Magnus, which he caught in one hand.

“I usually only drink it when I've just gotten out of a bad break up, but sometimes I just crave a Screaming Orgasm.”

“I'm sure you do if last night is anything to go bye.” Romano set up the table with a wave of his hand. “Now let’s get this game started, shall we Bane?”

“You're on, Masini. Show me what you've got.”


Magnus was on his fourth Screaming Orgasm, and was admittedly a little drunk. Romano, on the other hand, hadn't drank more than half of a second Tequila Sunrise.

“You definitely cheated.” Magnus mumbled, pushing Romano’s shoulder lightly. “I always win at pool.”

“Someone's a sore loser.” Romano teased.

“Am not.” Magnus whispered, pressing their lips together.

Romano pushed him against the pool table, holding him close as he kissed him. He broke apart briefly, whispering, “you look stunning tonight” before reconnecting their mouths in a more heated kiss than before. Magnus ran his hands up Romano’s biceps, pulling him closer by his shoulders. They stood there, lost in each other, for what seemed like all of eternity.

Maia stood at the bar, making drinks for the people surrounding her. It had been a rather busy night, but she didn't mind. Busy nights brought more tips. A tall man walked her direction, and she grinned. "Hey, Alec!"

“Hey Maia.” He greeted. “Can I get a beer?”

“Same brand as usual?”

“Yes, please.”

“You here alone tonight?” Maia asked.

“No, Izzy’s here but she had to go to the bathroom.” Alec shrugged.

“You just out for a drink?” She asked.

“Pretty much. It's been a stressful day. Maybe a game of pool, too.”

“Pool table has been occupied for about two hours. Give or take.” Maia informed him, handing him a beer.

“I'm sure whoever would be willing to share for a round or two.” Alec suggested, chugging a sip of his beer, not taking in the look of concern on Maia's face.

She never had a full length conversation with Alec, but she knows this bar had been one of his and Magnus' favorites to come to. The pool table was practically their spot. She wondered how he would feel if he saw Magnus playing pool with someone else.

Izzy bounced up to them before Maia could say anything to Alec. “Hey, where's my drink!”

“Looking lovely, as always, Isabelle. What would you like?”

Izzy considered her options momentarily before deciding on a fruity cocktail.

“Let's go play pool,” Alec nudged Izzy after Maia handed her a drink.

“Alec, I wouldn't-” Maia began, finally looking behind him to see the two bodies she'd been serving for a couple of hours pressed together, kissing in between quiet whispers.

“I'm sure they'll share.” Alec mumbled, waving Maia off. He grabbed his beer and walked toward the pool table, turning to his sister. “I don't understand why she thinks sharing a pool table is so hard.”

Alec looked at the table, prepared to ask for a chance at the game, but froze in his spot. “Oh,” he whispered, feeling his chest drop. Izzy seemed to see the sight just at the same time.

“Alec,” she whispered softly.

“I guess this is why you didn't want to commit to the deal?” Alec said aloud, making his presence known.

Romano and Magnus broke apart. Magnus' posture immediately turned cold and rigid.

“Excuse me? Hello, Mr. Lightwood.” Romano said, his brow twisted in confusion. "I'm sorry, but I seem not able to make a correlation to your comment and what I was in the middle of doing."

“Oh, so you expect me to believe he didn't tell you something to make you reject the deal?”

“I have not yet rejected it. Though your fragility makes me wonder if perhaps I should? I didn't accept the deal because you are incapable of guaranteeing my people safety. My history with Magnus has nothing to do with the matter.” It sounded threatening, like a challenge.

“So what history do you two have together exactly?” Izzy chimed in. “Fuck buddies?”

“Something of the sort. Though my sexual life is not something either of you need to concern yourself with.” Magnus finally commented. “I'm allowed to do whatever I want with whoever I want.”

“You just broke up two weeks ago.” Izzy reminded him.

“Yes, which is making me wonder if you are hard of memory. Do you not recall me saying to leave me the fuck alone.” Magnus directed the statement toward Alec.

“That's a little harsh, don't you think?” Izzy rolled her eyes. “You two could've talked about it.”

“No, I think what's harsh is telling someone they're too pathetic to function on their own and belittling them to a service the institute can just call for anytime they need help, which is at least once a day might I add.” Magnus remarked.

Izzy’s gaze whipped to her brother’s face. “You said that? What the hell, Alec?”

“It was a mistake. I didn't mean it. It was in the heat of the argument.” Alec explained.

“Funny, because I’d never say that to you. Even if we were in the middle of arguing.” Magnus reached for his glass and chugged it down before slamming it on the table. He turned to Romano. “I'm heading home, come back to mine whenever you want.”

“You shouldn’t be making portals while you're drunk.” Romano said, reaching for Magnus’ arm. “I'll help.”

“I'm fine!” Magnus snapped, yanking his arm out of the grasp. “When will you all stop treating me like I'm made out of fucking glass!” Silence spread across the bar at the sudden outburst. People glanced over at the group, despite trying to appear as if they weren't eavesdropping. “I'm not a fucking puppet. I'm not just going to go around doing whatever someone asks of me. I'm done being that to people. I've spent centuries being used and still being naive enough to believe the person using me really loved me. I don't need another person to feel fucking valid about myself. I know I'm a good person, even if I don't always feel it. I don't need you by my side telling me I'm special, Alec. I don't fucking need you. I don't need anyone, and I certainly don't need someone to make me a portal. I can handle myself!”

He stalked out of the bar without speaking another word, ignoring the following gaze of bystanders.

“What are you staring at!” Izzy shouted to everyone. “Go back to your drinks. This doesn't involve you!”

Romano stepped in toward Alec. “Magnus is one of closest friends. I will not let some useless shadowhunter make him like he's less of a person. You claim to want advancement in society, but you're no better than the rest of your people. In fact, you might be worse. At least the rest of them don't hide behind a false pretense that they want change. They're just outright ignorant. You're the worst of your kind. You claim to want change for the sake of luring others into your false sense of security. Well here's a tip shadowhunter. Figure out how to survive without magic because by the end of the week, not a single High Warlock is going to be willing to negotiate with you. And that's a promise from your’s truly.”

Alec stood, silently, as Romano exited the bar, following after Magnus. He bit his lip, trying to keep his composure together. Magnus had every right to be angry and upset, but Alec had never known he made him feel like he was less of a person or overly dependent. He thought back to all the times he tried being helpful and supportive and was filled with immense insecurity. Had he always made Magnus feel worse about himself? Maybe he had never been the supportive boyfriend he wished to be. 

Chapter Text

Magnus had finished changing into his pajamas by the time Romano opened a portal to his loft. He tried his best not to roll his eyes; he might've secretly been hoping he wouldn't come back.

“Hey,” Romano softly greeted. “Are you alright?”

“I'm fine.” Magnus muttered, sitting on the bed.

“I spoke with Alec. I told him he needs to listen to you about staying away and that I’ll make sure no high warlocks allow their people to communicate with his institute.” Romano explained. “He needs to remember he can't just expect to hurt whoever he wants and get away with it.”

“Romano,” Magnus snapped, his head darting up to look at him. “Why the hell would you do that? It's not your place to threaten him like that.”

“It's our people Magnus. He's trying to take advantage of us and hurt our people. He's no better than Valentine!”

“Don't!” Magnus shouted. “Don't compare him to that monster . He might've been a bit misguided, but he wouldn't ever intentionally hurt our people. He's trying his best. You don't know anything about him Romano!”

“I'm just trying to be a good friend to you Magnus.” Romano shrugged. “I didn't realize that was such a bad thing.”

“You're trying too hard. You always try too hard. This is why we could never be more than friends. You're so, so-”

“So what?” Romano shouted.

“Overprotective! You act like I'm incapable of taking care of myself!” Magnus finished. “I don't know why everyone thinks I'm so helpless.”

“Well, I'm sorry for trying to be a good friend. Next time I'll just let someone walk all over you.” Romano sighed, losing the anger in his voice.

“I don't need to worry about people walking all over me because I have my own voice. I can stick up for myself.”

“Why are you being so defensive over this?” Romano asked.

“I'm being defensive because it's insulting how incapable you think I am.” Magnus defensively remarked. “Why can't you just leave it be?”

“You still love him, don't you?” Romano sighed.

“Of course I do. We only just broke up. It was different; he was a good person. I don't know what happened.”

“Fine, I'll let it go.” Romano sighed. “Just do me a favor Magnus?”

“What?” He said sharply.

“Don't let him turn into Camille. Don't forgive him just because you love him and think he's going to change. If he truly proves himself to be worthy of you, then I'll understand, but don't let him walk all over you. Because from the way you made it sound, that's all he ever did.” Romano declared.

“He's not Camille.” Magnus sighed. “He hurt me and upset me, but he's not her. He's far from it.”

“Take care of yourself, alright?” Romano said.

“I will.” Magnus agreed.

“I'll see you around Magnus.” Romano stepped forward for a moment, embracing Magnus in his arms. They remained silent for a few seconds before breaking apart. Romano opened a portal and didn't hesitate another second to step through it.

Magnus ran his fingers through his messy hair, sighing and dropping down onto the bed again. He stared at the ground before the weight of the past few weeks finally caught up to him. Ever since their fight, he had been moving in autopilot. He acted on behalf of desperation to prove to himself he could be in control of his own life. Truth be told, Alec had been the best support system he had, had in a long time. It's why his words cut deeper than anyone’s ever had, and Magnus’ solution was to act reckless, wild, yet put together. He wanted to seem like he was in control, but he hadn't stopped for a moment to hurt, to cry. Magnus blinked the tears in his eyes away, turning to stare at the sheets and comforter beneath him. He was well aware the closet still held some of Alec’s button ups, and the dresser drawers held his pants, socks, and boxers. The foyer had a pair of Alec’s boots on the floor and a leather jacket hung up on the coat rack. Several pictures of them were in frames scattered across the apartment in varying locations. His favorite mug -solid white except for where a heart sat in the middle, the word forever written in script through the center- that Magnus had gifted him, was in the cabinet, waiting for the next time he'd use it. Yes, the weight of it all finally came crashing down on him. This loft was filled with everything that was Alec’s, Magnus having been in too much denial to get rid of it, and he'd brought another man in, welcomed him even. It was too much like trying to keep the essence of his old lover around while playing pretend with a new one. He felt disgusted with himself, thinking back to just a night ago when he had slept with Romano in the bed he and Alec shared for months. He felt sick. Magnus held a hand to his mouth as a choked sob formed its way out of his throat. The tears were back, and he was unable to blink them away. Alec had messed up, and he was pissed, but the way he had reacted wasn't fair. He was too consumed in his own self pity, and god he hated himself.

Magnus stood up abruptly, yanking the sheets off the mattress and throwing them across the room. He chucked the pillows behind him into the heap and stared silently for a moment at the empty bed. Magnus clenched his eyes shut and felt the tears seeping out beneath his eyelids. It didn't feel like enough. It felt dirty, wrong, like worse than anything Alec had done. He hated it. Magnus collapse on the floor beside his bed -Alec’s bed too- because despite kicking him out, Alec lived here. It was as much of his home as it was Magnus’ and just because he had somewhere to go after being kicked out didn't change that. He had violated Alec’s space. Knowing that felt worse than the words Alec had spewed at him the night of their fight. It sank deeper into his skin than any hurtful expression could. Words could be a mistake; they could cause pain and hurt, but at the end of the day, if they weren't said with serious intent then they meant nothing. But actions, they couldn't be undone. They remained in the back of a person’s memory, haunting them until the day they died. Actions spoke so much louder than words ever could.

That was something Magnus knew well.


“I can't believe you guys!” Izzy shouted, chasing after Alec as he tried to slam his bedroom door shut. “I can't believe you said those things to Magnus. What were you thinking? I've never seen someone more in love than you when you look at him, and you said that .”

“It was a mistake , Isabelle!” Alec shouted out in frustration. “I was angry and we were yelling and it was fucking raining and nothing good ever happens in the rain, and I just said it! I didn't mean it. I would never mean those things about Magnus, but I was angry, and it just slipped out. I tried apologizing to him, but he told me to get away. I thought he'd just need a few days to cool down and he might let me talk to him. I know he's been told terrible things in the past, made out to doubt himself, but I couldn't stand the idea of him thinking I could ever mean what I said. I see he didn't need a few days, though. He's clearly moved on.”

Isabelle sighed. “Listen, I’m upset by what you did, but you're my big brother, Alec, and I’m going to stand by you. Just because you're in the wrong, doesn't mean he isn't too.”

“I just thought he'd at least wait.” Alec choked out, wrapping his arms around himself and trying to blink tears back. “This room is so fucking bare . Everything I have is at his, and I don't even know if it still is, but I thought he'd at least wait until I got my things out to bring anybody else home. This place has always been so empty, it's never felt like home, but he did, that loft did, and he just- he replaced me. Like I didn't even matter, like the conversations we had about feeling like each other’s homes didn't matter.”

“I'm sorry, Alec.” Izzy pulled him onto the bed and wrapped her arms around him tightly.

“It hurt to see them like that, Iz. It hurt more than anything I've ever felt.” Alec whispered hoarsely, his voice cracking from the cries he withheld.

“It's going to be okay, Alec. You guys will fix things. You don't even know for sure that they slept together. You need to talk to Magnus.” Izzy suggested.

“He hates me, Iz.”

“Magnus could never hate you. He’ll be hurt and angry, but he will never hate you. You guys love each other too much to turn into spiteful exes. I promise things will work out.” Izzy reached for his hand and squeezed it tightly. “You're both stubborn, but your love will outweigh that stubbornness eventually.”

“Yeah, I hope.”


“Listen, Magnus. I know you're not on good terms with my brother, but I could still really use a shopping buddy.” Izzy explained into her phone. “And you did promise like three weeks ago that we'd go out together.”

“I guess why not.” Magnus agreed. “I could use the retail therapy.”

Izzy grinned. “Great! Meet me at the institute in like ten minutes? You can just portal to my room.”

“Give me twenty. I'll be there.”

Izzy hung up her phone and tossed it down. Sure, it probably wasn't ideal to lie to Magnus, but the bachelorette party she'd thrown Alec had helped immensely between him and Jace. And if there was anything Izzy was exceptional at, it was locking people in a room until they made up. It also helped that Clary had recently invented a lock rune stronger than the one they currently knew about. This meant they wouldn't be able to leave until she undid the rune.

“Isabelle, do you really need more clothes? Your closet is overflowing.” Magnus teased, startling the girl. She hadn't even realized he'd portaled in.

“As if you're one to talk.” She hugged Magnus.

“Touché.” He grinned. “Shall we go? I know this amazing mall in London.”

“Yeah,” She patted her pockets. “Shoot, I left my wallet on the table in the Screen Room after my briefing earlier. Can you run and grab it? I have to tell Alec where I'm headed, and I don't think you'd want to switch jobs.”

Magnus winced. “Yeah, I think I'll pass. Meet you back here?”

“Yep, give me five minutes.” Izzy said, hurrying out of the room.

Magnus followed her lead and walked to the Screen Room. He opened the door and was met with darkness. There was a large table in the center and a screen with a PowerPoint pulled up to alert the crew of their duties for whatever assignment Izzy had been assigned to. Magnus glanced around in confusion. He didn't see her wallet on the table.

“Hey, Alec. We have an issue! Lucas just fainted in the Screen Room and I'm not sure what's wrong with him. He doesn't show any symptoms I'm familiar with. It's like he's passed out, except he won't wake up.” Izzy explained in rushed breaths. “Can you come look?” Alec looked panicked and followed her quickly. “He's face down on the table.”

Izzy pointed inside, allowing Alec to enter first. “Lucas isn't in-” He turned as the door slammed. Alec stared in confusion. “Izzy, what the hell?” He pulled on the doorknob but it wouldn't budge. Alec tried to use his stele but that wouldn't work either. What the hell?

“I really shouldn't have put this past her.” Magnus muttered from the corner.

Alec jumped and turned to face him. “By the Angel, Izzy. I'm going to kill her.”

“I'll help.” Magnus said. Alec gave him a confused glance which Magnus immediately recognized as a how did she trick you , but he tried to ignore how well he knew Alec. “She told me her wallet was in here. We were going to go shopping.”

“Glad to know you still plan dates with my sister.” Alec mumbled, turning back to the door. He began banging on it. “C’mon Izzy let us out!”

“I'm not opening the door until you two talk. Sorry but you're both avoiding your feelings and it's not healthy. You need to have a discussion.” Izzy called through the door. “I'll be back in an hour.”

“I guess we have to talk.” Alec sighed, pulling out a chair and sitting at the table.

“I don't think either of you realized I can still portal out.” Magnus mentioned, raising an eyebrow.

“I will literally pay you all the money to take me with you. I hate-”

“-Small rooms.” Magnus finished for him. “I know.” Alec smiled at him briefly, and he tried to ignore the ache in his heart. “Yeah, you know what. Let's talk.”

“Where do we start, exactly?” Alec asked, knowing there were many things for them to discuss.

“You hurt me, Alec. In a way I never expected you too. I know the clave has trained you all to be rude and conceited, but I never imagined I'd hear any of the things I did come from your mouth.” Magnus immediately said. “I know I've been in the wrong too, in recent days, but you treated me horribly Alec. I have every reason to be upset.”

“I know, and I agree that you do. But Magnus, I would never mean any of those things. I was angry and I let myself be stubborn and unwilling to just stay and have a regular conversation. That’s no excuse for what I said, but I love you Magnus, so much. I didn't mean it. I wish I could take it back and never have said those things. I didn't realize you thought I was using you for your magic. I never should've let it get that far, I'm just not used to you not being there, you know? You're always there for me, anytime I need you. I guess for whatever reason I just assumed that meant anytime I need you as a warlock too, but that was selfish of me to assume. I know you have long days at work with your clients and drain yourself of magic sometimes. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to be so selfish.”

“I appreciate that, thank you.” Magnus sighed and glanced down at his hands. He was nervously twisting his M ring on his finger. “I know I've been in the wrong too. What happened with Romano,” He clenched his eyes shut, and forced the words out. “That was such a mistake. It wasn't fair. I wanted to feel like I was in control of my life, and I went about it in the wrong way. I shouldn't have done that with him.”

Alec stood up and hesitantly moved closer to Magnus. “Did you guys sleep together?” Magnus nodded, remaining silent. He refused to meet Alec’s eye, and Alec sank against the table in defeat. “I haven't even gotten my stuff out yet, Magnus. I still technically live there. I know I don't have any say over who you sleep with, but you should've waited until I was at least gone. It feels like you just replaced me, like some other guy just came in and took over our home. This is my first relationship, and I know I screw up a lot, but I'm trying my best. I wouldn't have done that to you. I would've waited. I wasn't trying to make you feel dependent on me, either. I was just trying to be a good boyfriend. I'm sorry if I made you feel like less than me. That was never my intention.”

“I know, I'm sorry, Alec. I shouldn't have let him in. It was wrong of me.” Magnus stood from his chair, moving to stand in front of Alec. “I didn't mean to hurt you Alexander. You've been there for me when I need you, and I know I said I don't need you, but you're the closest thing I've had to a support system in a long time. I have Catarina, and even Raphael, and I used to have Ragnor. They're too overprotective though, and with you it's never like that. You're protective, but in a good way. You don't invalidate my feelings. At the Hunter’s Moon I felt cornered, though. I shouldn't have had an outburst like that at you. You're a wonderful boyfriend. You've never been anything but good to me. We both should've been more clear headed that night.”

“I know you're saying this, but I can't get past the fact that you slept him sleep with you in our bed. That hurt more than any other pain I've ever felt. I know I can't control your sex life, but you just so easily replaced me. I don't understand how you could do that.”

“I don't know what else to say other than the fact that I'm sorry.” Magnus whispered, looking down at his shoes shamefully. “I don't want you to feel like I replaced you because I couldn't ever possibly replace you Alec. I love you so much more than I've ever loved anyone. I know I can't take back what I did, but I want to fix it. I want to fix us. I miss you a lot, and I know you. I know you're better than what you said, and I know the Alexander I love would never intentionally hurt me.”

“Yeah, I want to fix this too. I guess it'll just take me some time? I'd also very much appreciate it if you got rid of that bed, and Romano. I guess he's still there?” Alec wondered.

“I already have gotten rid of the sheets and the bed. Romano has been gone since that night at the Hunter’s Moon. He told me what he said to you after I left and I told him to leave.” Magnus explained.

“So it only happened once?” Alec questioned.

“Yeah, and even that was quick. I didn't really enjoy it. As far as sex goes, it was fine, but emotionally it just didn't feel right. It doesn't feel right when it's not with you.”

Alec nodded, taking in all the information. There was plenty more to be discussed. They needed to talk about how they'd go about fixing things and what they could do to earn each other’s trust back even if it did take a while. He felt immense relief, however, knowing that Magnus regretted what happened with Romano. It did happen, and it made Alec feel like shit, but knowing Magnus wasn't too pleased about what he did either gave Alec some comfort. He hoped Magnus felt the same, knowing how guilty he was for the words he'd blurted out that night.

“I know we still have a lot to discuss. How about you come over Friday night? I'll make dinner and we can talk more about what exactly we need from each other in order to be okay again.” Magnus promoted.

Alec agreed quickly. “Yeah, I think that’ll be good.”

“Alexander,” Magnus whispered quietly, cupping the other boy’s cheek. “I'm going to try.”

“Me too.” He whispered back, leaning into Magnus’ familiar, warm touch. It was ridiculous how such a small touch could fill his entire body with the warmth he was so used to feeling around Magnus. He loved the man in front of him and wanted nothing more than to reverse time and pretend their argument never happened, but that was impossible. And he smiled in relief up at Magnus. They were stubborn, and stubbornness wasn't entirely bad. They were too strong-willed to give up on each other. They'd fight for what they had. It was comforting to know that.

Magnus pulled his hand away, dropping it to his side. “Think Izzy will let us out now?”

“Hopefully,” Alec grinned up at him. He walked over to the door and banged loudly on it. “Iz, let us out.” There was no reply and he remembered she wandered off earlier. “Not to reopen a freshly closed wound, but would you mind opening a portal to get us out of here?”

Magnus chuckled softly. “I’d be happy to.” He opened a portal in the center of the room and gestured for Alec to go through first. “After you.”

“No, I forgot you have magic.” Izzy whined as they stepped into the command center. “Did you guys at least talk a little?”

“We talked, Iz, but I’m still putting you on sword cleaning for a week as punishment for locking me up.

Izzy smirked. “I can live with that.”

“And you two are going to go on your retail therapy trip. I'm releasing you for the day to do so.” Alec explained. “I'll cover your duties.”

“Are you sure?” Izzy asked. “I had a lot to do, and-”

“I’ve got it, Izzy.” Alec grinned at his sister. “Go have fun.”

“Thank you, big brother.” She hugged him quickly. “I really do need my wallet now, though.”

Magnus rolled his eyes and snapped his fingers, making her wallet appear in his hand. “I don't trust you anymore. You're in charge of grabbing your things if it requires leaving the room.” He turned to Alec. “See you Friday.”

Izzy looked between them, her smiling growing impossibly larger. “You guys are going on a date?”

“No, we’re having dinner and talking about what to do to fix us.” Alec explained.

“So a date?” Izzy supplied.

Alec rolled his eyes. “We’re not going to rush anything.”

“Okay, okay.” She said, putting her hands up defensively. “Let's go Magnus!” He opened a portal and stepped through and Izzy paused to talk to Alec. “I'm happy for you big brother, and don't worry. I'll get something for Friday that he'll look great in.”

“He looks great in everything, Izzy. Just take care of him.” Alec sighed, pushing his sister toward the open portal.

“See you later.”

“Bye.” Alec mumbled, shoving her through.

The portal closed and Alec stood, smiling at the space it had existed in just before. He knew things were far from all right between him and Magnus, but it felt like they were in a good place and would make it through this. He was vaguely aware of the people around him, staring in confusion as to why he and Magnus were suddenly talking again. Alec decided he didn't care. People could judge him all they wanted, but that wouldn't change the fact that he knew Magnus was right.

Certainly, they made some mistakes, and it would take a long time before they would go back to how they were before -maybe they would never be like before. But they would talk and they would be open about their feelings until they were both okay around each other again. Friday night felt like a faraway dream and Alec shook his head, the grin never leaving his face. Just last night he had laid awake the entire night, sure that he'd be miserable for the rest of time. Yes, they were both still upset and angry, but above all else they were both adults. They were capable of holding discussions, of talking to each other. Alec was hurt, yes, so was Magnus. That much didn't change. But they were willing to try, and that was enough to make Alec think he might not be so miserable; that maybe things wouldn't be so bad after all. He wandered through the institute to grab his bow from the weaponry. He had a patrol to lead and thinking about Magnus wouldn't get it done any sooner.

Chapter Text

Alec stood at Magnus’ doorway nervously shuffling on his feet. He had to knock at some point, but he was putting it off for as long as possible. They hadn't spoken much since they agreed to dinner aside from Magnus texting him that morning to make sure he was still coming. Alec raised his hand to knock and dropped it again before carrying out the action. He had no idea how to act tonight. They were going to talk, but he was finally back home and it felt like he didn't even belong anymore. His mind reminded him that Romano had been here just a little while ago knocking on the door as well. He shook that thought from his head. Alec finally raised his fist and knocked on the door.

Magnus opened it just moments later and smirked at him. He stood tall in a sheer, blue button up -clearly he was trying to torture Alec as much as possible- tightly fitted, black pants, and several pieces of jewelry hung around his neck as well as several rings taking up space on his fingers. Alec briefly noted that Magnus had blue streaks in his hair. He sighed, knowing that dressing up was his cover mechanism for hiding behind his walls.

“I was wondering when you'd finally knock.” Magnus commented, the smirk lingering in his face.

Realization crossed Alec’s face. “You have your wards up, don't you?” Magnus nodded in response. “I really hate you.”

“And here I was thinking you had come here to tell me you were sorry.” Magnus dramatically sighed, stepping aside to allow Alec in.

“How many times have I stood out there not realizing you could sense me?” Alec asked, suddenly feeling self-conscious.

“Probably about ten, but it's a very endearing quality.” Magnus said, closing the door and turning to face Alec.

“I take it back. I'm leaving and never coming here again.” Alec stepped forward, pretending to leave.

Magnus grinned up at him brightly, and he felt his insides twist. “Better yet, how about we get started on dinner?”

“Yeah, that sounds good.” Alec moved to the side to allow Magnus to lead the way. Just a month ago he would've entered into the loft without hesitation, greeting Magnus with a kiss, and lied down on the sofa with him to cuddle. Alec felt his heart yearning for those simpler times.

“How do you wanna do this?” Magnus asked as he poured them both wine. “Ease into conversation or jump straight in?”

“I'm not sure I could ease into it if I tried.” Alec pointed out. “I just stood outside your door trying to encourage myself to knock for ten minutes.”

“And what a great ten minutes it was.” Magnus chuckled. “So we jump straight in?”

“I suppose.” Alec agreed, picking a knife up to cut into his steak.

“All right. Tell me what you've been thinking about then.” Magnus prompted, mirroring Alec’s actions as he began to eat his steak.

“I don't know. Everything? I know that I'm upset at myself for what happened that night, but I'm also upset about Romano. I know that with everything that's happened, I don't feel like I was ever the good boyfriend I thought I was. I thought I had been supportive, and yes, a bit misguided at times, but I never thought I was a completely terrible boyfriend before all of this. It's all just a frustrating mess, and I can't focus, can't think straight.” Alec explained.

Magnus nodded along, not speaking until he was certain Alec had finished. “I think it's not far out of the picture to say I'm also upset about that night. And, as I said before, I can't do anything to switch what happened with Romano. It was a mistake, yes. If I could go back and not have it happen I would, but I can't change that. The best I can do is get rid of any trace of him having been here and try and forget about it. I know that doesn't necessarily work in anyway to fix it, but it's the best I can offer. I can't fix what I did, Alec.”

“It’s not about fixing it.” Alec interrupted. “If it was about fixing it then I would've never told you I want to try us again. I know there's nothing you can do to reverse it, but I just need to know that I'm not that easily replaceable, that you weren't trying to play house with someone else while all of my things were here, that it was just a stupid, one time thing.”

“Alec, you're not a terrible person. A lot of what I said that night wasn't all right either. You're a good person at heart, and I know that. I really do, but that doesn't change the fact that you hurt me in the way I least expected to ever be hurt by you. We worked so hard to build back up that trust and you just, shattered it. What happened with Romano, yes, it was a mistake. In centuries before we've spent a few nights together. He's an old friend, someone who helped me with my Camille break up, but he's not someone I could ever try and use to replace you. I was hurt and desperate to prove to myself that I could function just fine without you in my life. It wasn't my goal to make you feel like you're easily replaceable. But what happened, it made me realize that I can't just exist without you, and I hate that. I hate being reliant on someone, but these past few months with you have been the best for me. It's hard to say, to come to terms with, but you're the most important person in my life, possibly ever, and having that person hurt my trust broke my heart a lot. You're not a terrible boyfriend, or a terrible person. You're amazing, the best person I know, but you're so stubborn and it's not a bad thing, but it leads to these kinds of arguments where we're both too stubborn to quit. I don't think I can spend my life fighting with you. I don't want to waste what time we have together like that.”

Alec nodded, staring at his fork silently as he twisted it between his fingers. “I don't want to fight with you either, or make you feel like I'm using you. I just want to be with you and make you happy.”

“That’s what I want, too.” Magnus said.

“So do we just move on?” Alec asked. “Forget it happened? I feel like that's the only way to move past this.”

“I'm not going to forget this happened.” Magnus shrugged. “I wish I could, but I'm still hurt.”

“Magnus, I didn't meant any of what I said. You're not pathetic. You're far from it and you're important to me too. You're as important to me as my family is and I love you. All of you.” Alec sighed heavily. “No matter if you need emotional support or not. What I said wasn't fair in the slightest. You mean everything to me. I'm always going to be here for you. Always .”

“I know.” Magnus dropped his gaze to his plate.

“What do we have to do to fix this?” Alec asked.

“Continue taking things slow. Be honest to each other if we're uncomfortable, upset, or insecure. That's really the only way to go about this.”

“Okay,” Alec sighed. He poked at his steak silently for a minute before looking back up into Magnus’ eyes. “What you said before, in the Screen Room, about how it didn’t feel right with Romano, did you mean that?”

“Of course I did.” Magnus said, reaching his hand across to squeeze Alec’s. “Like I’ve said, I can’t do anything to change what happened, but being with Romano reminded me of what I’ve always kind of known. Being with you is so different than anyone else I’ve ever been with. I’ve never felt this intensely for someone before and no one is ever going to compare to you or replace you. I want you to be it for me.”

Alec smiled softly. “I want that too.”

He properly laced their fingers together and took another bite of his steak. It was a small start, but it was a start nonetheless. Alec knew it would take months before either of them were fully themselves again, and he knew he’d go to Magnus with bouts of insecurities, which he was sure would be met with Magnus’ own insecurities. They had a lot to deal with, but Alec wouldn’t give up for anything else in the world. He’d always been one to put all of his effort where it mattered most, and he knew Magnus would do the same.

But for the first time since their fight, as Alec sat eating dinner with Magnus and making small conversation, he felt the small pit in his stomach ease up and a beacon of hope shine through.


“Hey,” Magnus tugged at Alec’s hand to get him to pause in the middle of his walk to the loft.

They were hand in hand, walking home from a date night at their favorite restaurant. Magnus was tipsy, as was Alec, but Magnus couldn’t find it in himself to care. For the first time in a couple of months he felt like things were back on the right track. It had been difficult, at first, opening back up to each other. They persevered through the difficulty and were probably closer than before. Magnus felt happy. It was stupid to think, but he ached for things to be back to how they were before. Alec kept his boundaries, they had yet to kiss again, but Magnus was tired of holding back. He wanted Alec to come back home.

Alec stared at Magnus now, wondering why they had stopped. “What?”

“It's raining.” Magnus commented, and Alec looked around him, as if taking in the world for the first time.

“Yeah, I guess it is.”

Magnus grinned, stepping closer. “You're not complaining about it."

“Well the last time it rained while we were together was in very different circumstances. I think I’m-”

Magnus tried to listen as Alec spoke, he truly did, but Alec’s eyes were glowing just the right way under the moonlight and his small smile as he glanced at Magnus made Magnus’s heart skip a beat. “I think you should kiss me.” He blurted out.

“What?” Alec asked for the second time, shocked by Magnus’ outburst.

“As you said, it was very different circumstances. Kissing me would be polar opposite of last time.” Magnus remarked, using the words as more of an excuse than a pleading. He longed to feel Alec against his own skin again, the warmth he provided a distant memory to Magnus’ mind.

“You're sure?” Alec nervously wondered. He hadn’t expected Magnus to let him kiss him again anytime soon.

“If you want to as well, then yes. I couldn't be more sure.”

And Alec didn't need to think about it. He cupped Magnus' cheek and leant down to connect their lips, softly before allowing himself to kiss deeper and harder. The rain pellets were dropping on his thumb but in that moment he didn't mind all too much. It was intense, the taste of Magnus' lips against his own. The steak and wine from earlier at dinner were still present in his breath, but Alec wouldn't have changed it for the world. He brushed his thumb across Magnus' cheek, wiping a droplet away. He remembered the last time he had been able to kiss Magnus -it felt like an eternity ago, even if it was only two months. The morning before their fight he had quickly pecked his lips and wished him a good day before rushing off to the institute, having already been ten minutes late due to their morning cuddles. He'd missed holding the older man in his arms so much he felt his heart clench inside his chest. He grasped Magnus closer, still not breaking the kiss.

Alec didn't care that it was raining. The rain was like a storybook. It laid out the foundation of their relationships, remained present throughout the joyous times and the hardships. It cooled their skin in the heat of a passionate moment, and attacked them just as violently as their words in the heat of an argument. The chilliness of the rain was something Alec decided he didn't mind feeling all too much.

Because in that moment, he decided that holding Magnus in his arms and kissing him as the rain pushed them closer, desperate to give each other warmth, felt more like coming home than anything he'd ever experienced.

And he felt himself falling in love with the rain all over again.