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Finding your place

Chapter Text

“That’s a bad idea, Alec, a really bad idea.”

“No it’s not, Izzy. You don’t understand. Nobody may know.”

“Nobody will care. Believe me, big brother. Just be yourself!”

“I can’t, Izzy, it’s not that easy. If they knew the whole truth – “

“Well just tell them part of it then. I’m sure no one will have a problem with you being gay.”

“But I would have a problem with them knowing. Please, Izzy, I know what I’m doing.”

“Fine, but if you ever change your mind, I’ll be there for you.”

____________________

Alec got out of the car, Jace had been driving. It was a warm summer day in Idris, his new home. Idris was the opposite of New York, where he had lived before. It was a small village with only 5,000 people living there. The Lightwood siblings would go to a high school with not even 200 students. In New York, there had been twice as many only in Alec’s grade.

The whole family had decided to move to Idris after the accident. The accident no one ever talked about, but that was hanging above them all the time. Their parents had decided a change of surroundings would be best for all of them. Alec didn’t agree, in New York he had felt so close to Max, here it was more like a part of him was missing.

Alec got ripped out of his thoughts by Jace calling for help with the boxes full of their stuff. Obediently he grabbed some boxes and carried them into the big house, an actual villa, they would be living in.

The villa actually belonged to Jace. When he was little he lived her with his parents, but after the car accident and the adoption he hasn’t been here again. He didn’t remember much about it as well.

He put the boxes with his stuff in the biggest bedroom, the one with its own bathroom. Sometimes being the oldest brother was actually quite profitable. Jace would have to share a bathroom with Izzy and Alec pitied him for that.

When all the boxes were in the right rooms – Alec had to help Izzy because she had that much stuff – Maryse prepared a little snack. After they started unpacking the boxes.

Alec actually finished that day, he didn’t have many things. His clothes, which fit in the closet easily and even left space for more, some books and stuff he would need for school.

Since he didn’t want to help Izzy sorting her make-up, Alec decided to just read for a while.

____________________

When he finally took a break the sun had already set and dinner was ready. Alec was hungry, but couldn’t really get himself to eat something. Since the accident there was always that depressed undertone when the whole family got together.

“So, Alec?” Jace asked maybe halfway through dinner. “Izzy and I found that club, Pandemonium, and wanted to pay it a quick visit tonight. Do you want to join us?”

“No, thanks. I want to finish my book.”

“God, Alec, you’re so boring sometimes.” Jace mocked.

“At least you’ll have a drive home. Just give me a quick call.”

“Thanks Alec, you’re the best big brother ever!” Izzy exclaimed happily.

“I know, little sister.” Alec smiled a little.

“So are you kids looking forward to school? It starts next week, are you prepared?” Maryse joined the conversation.

“Yeah of course.” Jace and Izzy answered quickly. Alec was pretty sure neither of them had looked in even one book. Probably they didn’t even know the name of their new school, which was just Idris High School.

Alec didn’t say that though. He just excused himself to continue reading his book.

____________________

When Alec picked up Jace and Izzy from the club later it was already after 3 am. He felt like he would fall asleep the second they got back home, but first he had to find his siblings. They were not standing outside the club as expected.

Alec sighed and went into the club. It was too loud and there were way too many people for his liking. He didn’t even know that that many people lived in the small town of Idris.

Alec sighed and went to the bar. There it was a little bit quieter and he could get a good overview of the club. He wasn’t even surprised when he spotted his siblings in the VIP area, chatting and laughing with people Alec didn’t know.

Alec wasn’t really disappointed in them, he was used to them forgetting about him from time to time. But he was really tired and just wanted to go home.

So he went to the VIP section. Before he could enter though, he was stopped by a bodyguard.

“I’m here to pick up my siblings, Jace and Isabelle Lightwood.” Alec explained quickly, nervously stumbling over his words.

“Show me your ID and you may enter.”

Alec did and a second later he stood in the big, but less crowded VIP section, which was separated from the normal club by a wall of glass.

Quickly Alec went to the couches standing in the middle of his area, where he had seen his siblings. When he came there they were nowhere to see.

There were only three persons sitting on the couch, a girl and two boys. All of them looked slightly… different. The girl had white hair with blue strands, the boys both had dark hair, one with green and one with pink strands. The one with the pink strands was wearing loads of jewellery as well, Alec counted at least six rings.

He seemed to be the leader of the little group because he was the one who talked, when they noticed Alec. “Who are you? What are you doing here?” He didn’t sound mad about him being here, just curious.

Still Alec Suddenly couldn’t think straight. Somehow he managed to stutter: “I’m… Alec.”

“Alec? As in Alexander Lightwood, the famous big brother?” Magnus looked interested.

“Yeah… where are my siblings? I saw them here, but now they are gone.” Alec could feel heat rising up his cheeks. Obviously they were gone or they would still be here right? He felt like an idiot.

Magnus seemed to sense his discomfort, since he explained quickly: “Your siblings went to the bar to get one last drink. Why don’t you sit down with us and wait for them here? I’m Magnus by the way, and these are my friends Ragnor and Catarina.”

“Hi, nice to meet you!” Alec said awkwardly and sit down on the opposite couch.

“So, why didn’t you come to the club with your siblings?” Catarina asked curiously.

“I… I just didn’t… feel like… going out. It has been a long day… all the moving and stuff.” Alec felt like dying. His cheeks must be crimson read by now.

“That’s totally normal!” Magnus was fast to ensure him though. “I know how exhausting moving can be. I moved here from Indonesia, when I was ten.”

“Indonesia… wow! That must have been hard, learning a new language and stuff.”

“Yeah, it was.” Magnus looked sad, but he was fast to put his charming smile back on.

Alec felt like there was more to the story but it wasn’t his place to ask about. He barely knew Magnus after all.

They chatted a little about school, obviously Alec would be in the same grade as Magnus and Catarina, but Ragnor was a year above. Jace would be in their grade too, while Izzy would be in a lower grade.

Alec soon relaxed a little, while the others told him about the teachers, subjects and the horrible food in the cafeteria.

He was nearly sad when his siblings came back and he had to leave.

Chapter Text

Magnus decision to visit the club today was spontaneous.

He had been helping his stepdad in the store all day and it had been really tiring. He had met his new neighbours though, or at least one of them, Maryse Lightwood, the mother of the family. She seemed strict but nice and Magnus wasn’t sure what to think about her.

After he had just wanted to hang out with his friends. But then he found out that Tessa had just broken up with Will so they went for the club to distract him.

Will didn’t stay long though. He got drunk really fast and Raphael had to carry him home.

The two of them were replaced by two unknown people very fast, the Lightwood siblings.

Magnus immediately took a liking in Isabelle. Finally there was someone else with a taste of fashion in this town.

He didn’t like Jace that much though. On the first look he seemed loud, arrogant and straightforward. The second look wasn’t much better.

All in all the two of them were great company though, they brightened up the mood a lot.

For a second he wondered where the third Lightwood child was, but he forgot about him soon.

Magnus enjoyed the evening though. They haven’t had such a great party in the VIP section for long. Magnus liked partying here, but sometimes there were too many old people – friends of his dad, the owner of the club – and the teens had to be all quiet and it was just boring.

Even now some of them were here, so he exclaimed: “Hey, what do you think about a real welcome party? Without these boring adults?”

“Great idea!” Izzy grinned happily. He had known that he would like her and he wasn’t wrong. “I’ll make sure Alec comes too!”

“Alec?” Catarina asked, sounding puzzled.

“Our big brother” Jace explained. “He isn’t really a party person.”

“Talking of who, we should text him. He is staying awake just for us and we don’t want to push our luck and have to walk home right?” Izzy said and took out her phone.

“Yeah sure. But I want one last drink before!”

“Well, better finish your recent one first.” Izzy laughed and the others joined in.

Just when they went for their drink, Magnus spotted another stranger, making his way towards the couches, where he and Cat and Ragnor, who both had a little bit too much to drink were sitting, while all the others were at the bar.

The stranger was different to anyone Magnus knew. He was nearly impossibly tall, but looked like he wanted to do nothing more than disappearing into thin air. He had dark hair and beautiful blue eyes that wouldn’t meet Magnus gaze though. His clothes were all black and definitely not what you would expect to see in a club like this one.

Was this the famous Lightwood sibling? Magnus intended to find out. “Who are you? What are you doing here?”

____________________

After Alec and his siblings left Magnus and Ragnor had to escort a very drunk Cat back home.

Since they knew her parents wouldn’t mind, the boys decided to stay the night.

As quietly as possible they got the old sleeping bags from the attic and brought them in Cat’s room.

Cat seemed to have sobered up a little. She was sitting in her bed with clean clothes and brushed teeth, when they came back.

As soon as they were all comfortable, Cat asked: “What do you think about the Lightwoods. They seem very nice to me.”

“I don’t know, Jace is kind of a dick.” Ragnor said.

“Well, don’t forget his tragic backstory.” Cat remembered.

“What backstory?” Magnus asked confused.

“Oh, right that was before you moved here!” Cat remembered. “Well, Jace used to live here with his parents when he was younger. They died in a car accident, when he was only five or something though. The Lightwoods, old friends of the family – Maryse Lightwood visited high school with Jace’ mom before going to college in New York and meeting her future husband there – adopted the little Jace and took him to New York.”

“And now they returned.” Ragnor added. “Does anybody know why?”

Magnus and Cat just shook their heads.

“Maybe Maryse missed home and wanted to live here for a while.” Cat suggested.

“There must be more to it. Some deep dark secret or something.” Ragnor disagreed.

“You watch too many horror movies! Anyway, why don’t we just ask them about it?” Cat answered.

“And that from you, with your cheesy love stories!” Ragnor exclaimed.

“That would be tactless. Get to know them better first, at least! And don’t you think the party we will throw for them will be the perfect opportunity?” Magnus interrupted before they could argue about their taste of movies.

“Good idea, everyone should talk to one of the siblings alright?” Cat suggested.

“Great, I want Izzy!” Magnus said immediately.

“No, I’ll take her! I’m a girl she will open up to me faster.”

“I beg to differ! Many women open up to me.” Magnus winked.

“Oh, Magnus, I didn’t need those pictures in my head!” Ragnor protested. “I guess I’ll go with Jace, he needs a strong man to get handled.”

“Hey!” Magnus cried. “I’m very strong too.”

“Yeah sure, glitter boy! You will work better with Izzy though. And Cat, just flirt with Alec a little; that way you’ll get a nerd boy like him.”

“Who said he’s a nerd?” Cat asked curiously.

“I did. Only nerds stay at home while their little siblings go partying.”

“Well, fine. Operation Lightwood can start.”

Chapter Text

“Alec! Alec, wake up! Please!”

Alec’s eyes shot open. The first thing he saw was Izzy, a crying Izzy. He hated it when she cried.

The next thing he noticed were the tears on his own cheeks and a dull itching pain on his lower lip.

Finally everything made sense. Another nightmare. Probably he had bitten his lip to stop himself from screaming, but obviously it didn’t work and he woke up Izzy.

“I’m sorry” he whispered hoarsely. He was just glad that the house was so big, so that his parents didn’t hear him, and that Jace had such a sound sleep.

“Don’t be sorry, Alec, it’s not your fault and you know that.”

“I…“ Alec’s voice cracked. “I just thought maybe they… would stop. In a new environment and all.”

“We all hoped that.” Izzy tried to reassure him. “And for Jace it got much worse, being at the place where his parents died. And for me it got worse because I miss New York and all my friends. But this moving was still a good thing. Think about it, a new start, not forgetting, but learning to live with it, that’s what we have to do.”

“Thanks, Izzy.” Alec smiled sadly and allowed her to hug him, both of them crying.

Nevertheless, Alec was all in big brother mode now and did everything he could to calm her down. And if that meant to promise her to go to that party he would do it.

____________________

The next morning Alec regretted his decision.

He was in a bad mood anyways because he got way too little sleep and had a headache. Adding up to that he now had to go to a party this evening. He just hoped it wouldn’t take too long because he knew his siblings would stay till the end.

Izzy couldn’t have got much more sleep, but still she was full of joy, laughing and joking with Jace during breakfast, while Alec just grumpily drank his coffee.

After Alec’s second cup of coffee Maryse entered the kitchen, looking like as if she just fell out of her bed.

“Hey, mom!” Izzy greeted her enthusiastically.

“Hey, Maryse, did you sleep well?” Jace joined in.

Alec mumbled something close to a “morning”.

“Good morning, children!” Maryse said, obviously in a good mood too. “How was the club?”

“Great! We already made some friends and they are throwing a welcome party today. Is it okay with you if we go there?” Izzy looked at her mom pleadingly.

“Of course, I’m just glad you found friends that fast. Will you go there too, Alec?”

Alec shrugged his shoulders. “Yeah, I think so.”

“That’s great!” Maryse exclaimed. “Make sure he gets under people, will you, Izzy?”

“Of course, mom!”

“Hey, I am right here and can hear you!” Alec protested but he just got ignored.

Sighing he started sipping his coffee and ignored the happy chatter of his family.

____________________

Alec knew the party would be a disaster the second he entered the cabin where the party would be.

It was located a twenty hour drive out of town and surrounded by forest. As Izzy had told him the cabin belonged to Magnus’ stepdad and the two of them went here together in summer. The rest of the year it was free and Magnus’ stepdad allowed the teens to have as many parties as they wanted there.

Maryse had been driving them here and would pick them up later so that “they all could have fun at the party”, though Alec already knew, he wouldn’t drink anything. Jace and Izzy had been chattering excitedly the whole way while Alec had been sitting in the car in silence. He didn’t want to go to that party. There would be so many people Alec didn’t know.

They were greeted by people they knew though. Magnus, Catarina and Ragnor were standing in the driveway to greet their guests. When they saw the Lightwoods, Magnus greeted them enthusiastically. “Come in, there are already many guests. Let me introduce you as our special guests.”

The cabin seemed even more crowded than the club yesterday but maybe that was just because it was a little smaller. Still every teenager in town seemed to be here.

“Listen up, everyone!” Magnus screamed when they reached the living room. He turned the music lower. “These are the people we are throwing the party for. The Lightwood siblings, Jace, Alec and the charming Isabelle!”

The crowd cheered. Alec wanted to be anywhere else than here.

As soon as possible he excused himself from the crowd and fled into the less crowded kitchen. He found himself followed by Catarina though.

“Hey” she said smiling. “I thought I should better look out for you. At least you are new and don’t know the rules.”

“What rules? I didn’t even know there were any.”

“Well, of course there are. We are a bunch of teenagers all alone out here.” Catarina explained helpfully. “So there only three really important ones. First, no drugs. Second, know your limit. Third, don’t go upstairs that’s private area.”

“Yeah sure, noticed. I don’t want to drink anything anyway.”

“Should I get you a coke then?”

“Yes, thank you.” Alec was relieved, when she was finally gone. Constantly smiling and looking like he was having fun, was really hard. Still he didn’t want to show Cat, she had been nothing but nice so far.

When she returned with his coke and a beer for herself Alec put his smile back on.

After some small talk she finally left him alone to greet some friends. Alec was more relieved than he should.

He went back to the living room then to look for his siblings. Izzy was on the dance floor with Magnus, both of them laughing and being in their element. Next to the dance floor he spotted Jace and Ragnor, each holding on to a bottle of beer, in a pretty big crowd. They looked like having a good time.

Alec didn’t really knew what to do. He saw Catarina joining Magnus and Izzy on the dance floor, so going back to her wasn’t an option. He hadn’t really wanted to do that anyway. His only problem was that he didn’t know anyone else.

So he decided to find himself a quiet corner and just wait for the evening to be over. He found his corner outside. The only people being here were some couples, most of them making out. Alec closed his eyes and tried to ignore them.

He must have fallen asleep because when he opened his eyes the sun had set and stars were sparkling all over the sky.

“Beautiful, isn’t it?” The unexpected voice startled Alec and he flinched.

When he turned around and saw Catarina, he tried his best to relax. “Yeah, it is. In New York you could never see that many stars.”

“What was New York like? I’ve never been to such a big city.”

“It’s… different. Always busy, crowded and full of people. That’s why I always liked the nights better.” Alec bit his tongue. He shouldn’t have said that, if he didn’t want anyone to find out about the accident.

“What changed?”

“Except moving to the other side of the country? Nothing…” Alec chuckled, even though it felt forced, and Catarina joined in.

It could have been romantically, if Alec hadn’t felt that much at unease and not a spark of attraction.

He fell silent and obviously Catarina took that as a sign to lean closer. Alec knew she wanted to kiss him.

That was the moment he panicked.

Mindlessly he jumped up and ran back in. The crowd and the noise hid him like a brick. He needed silence, he needed to think, but he couldn’t go back outside because Catarina was there.

In the back of his mind Alec knew he was breaking the rules, but he couldn’t bring himself to care. All he could think about was that he needed to be alone. Unnoticed he climbed up the stairs.

Reaching the top and entering the first room he found Alec broke down and let his tears flow.

Chapter Text

Cat interrupted Magnus and Izzy for a second time that evening.

He was just about to ask Izzy about their reasons for their moving, but he should never do that.

Cat looked slightly distressed when she approached them. Quickly she began talking. “I kind of tried to kiss Alec and he ran away and now I can’t find him.”

Magnus knew what she wanted to tell him next to the obvious. Their plan didn’t work, she couldn’t get any information out of him.

“Oh my god, we need to find him!” Izzy looked concerned, more concerned than Magnus would have expected.

“Alright!” Magnus decided to take hold of the situation. “Why don’t you two look outside in the garden? There are many places where he could hide out there. I will look if I find him somewhere in the house.”

Izzy and Cat ran away.

Magnus didn’t believe Alec would be here. He didn’t like being around people and if he was distressed he would probably hide somewhere quiet.

And as expected he couldn’t find him, even though Jace and Ragnor joined in.

He went out of the kitchen, when his gaze fell at the stairways leading upstairs. He had made sure that all the guests knew that they couldn’t get up there, so it probably looked like the perfect hideout to Alec. Breaking the rules was for sure not a problem for this guy.

Slightly annoyed he made his way upstairs. He was surprised not to see Alec in the hallway, but then he noticed that the door to his room was off the latch.

Angrily he stomped in, but stopped dead in his track, when he heard the sobs. It were heart-wrecking, frightened sobs that made Magnus want to run away and forget he ever heard such an awful sound. He couldn’t believe Alec, strong, quiet Alec, would even be able to make sounds like that.

And yet it was him, who Magnus spotted, when he entered the room. Alec was curled up in a tight ball, hiding in the corner nearly invisible because of Magnus’ big closet, his whole body shivering by the force of the sobs.

Magnus knew he should run and get help. Izzy probably knew what to do, things like that were never just a one-time-occasion. Still he couldn’t bring himself to move. He just couldn’t leave that poor, frightened boy alone.

Carefully Magnus stepped closer, but Alec didn’t seem to notice him, not even when he knelt down centimetres next to him. Magnus guessed touching him wouldn’t be a good idea and just scare him away. So he decided to just call his name. “Alec… Alexander… Please, listen to me!”

Alec curled up further and started whimpering. Between his loud sobs, Magnus could hear him begging someone who obviously wasn’t here. “No… no… please, no… please… not him… please…”

Magnus knew he had to do something. He just hoped he wouldn’t make everything worse. Shortly he wondered who Alec had been talking about when he said not him, but then he pushed the thought away. There were more important things right now.

Taking a deep breath, Magnus determinedly grabbed Alec by his shoulder and shook it slightly. “Alexander, sweetheart, I know you can hear me. You need to do exactly what I say, can you do that for me?”

There was no real reaction from Alec, but his sobs lessened a little. Magnus took that as encouragement.

He felt like talking to a wounded animal, when he soothingly explained Alec what to do. “I will help you sit up now. Right behind you is a wall, you can lean against it for support.”

With lots of help Alec was actually sitting only a minute later. He was hiding his face behind is knees though, and his breath was still going way too fast.

Remembering what he had read in a book once, Magnus started speaking again. “Please, darling, look at me. You need to slow down your breathing. It will be hard but I can help you. I promise. Now just do, what I do. Breath in deeply… and out… and in again… and out.”

They did that for what felt like hours. Then Alec was finally breathing normal again. Magnus was glad it had actually worked. He had no idea, what he should have done otherwise.

Alec in front of him looked completely exhausted. His eyes were closed, there were dark circles under them and his cheeks were covered with drying tear strains. He looked really vulnerable and so, so young.

It made Magnus want to take care of him. He couldn’t believe he had ever thought Alec was boring – he was just hiding some deep dark secret. Magnus was determined to find out and help him through it.

Gently he took the boy into the bathroom. There he hesitated. He knew a hot shower or even a bath would be the best to relax Alec. Yet he wasn’t sure if the boy would break down again, if he was left alone.

Finally he decided that it was up to Alec. “Do you want to take a shower? Or should I just quickly clean you and let you sleep then?”

Alec stayed quiet for a nearly unbearably long time. “Sleeping sounds great.” He exclaimed with a small smile then. Magnus couldn’t help but wonder, how good a real smile would look on him.

He then helped Alec clean his face from the tears, gave him a spare toothbrush and some of his own sweatpants. Because he was so tall the pants didn’t even cover Alec’s ankles.

“Do you need more clothes?” Magnus asked. He had noticed Alec’s insecure look, when he left his bathroom without a shirt. Furthermore the boy was shivering slightly, but that could be the aftermath of the panic attack too.

Alec looked slightly embarrassed, yet he managed to ask. “Do you have socks? My feet… always get cold easily.”

Magnus chuckled softly and gave Alec his thickest pair of woollen socks. Alec smiled thankfully and put them on. Then he got into bed and let Magnus cover him with the blanket.

“Thank you. For everything.” Alec said, voice quiet and hoarse from crying. “I don’t know what would have happened if you hadn’t found me.”

“It was no problem, really. I’m just glad I could help. If you ever need me again, just call me, okay?”

Alec nodded as an answer and closed his eyes.

“Well I should probably go back to the party. If you need anything, just call me or your sister, okay?”

Alec opened his eyes abruptly. “Magnus…?”

He sounded so young, it made Magnus’ heart bleed. “Yes, sweetheart?”

“Would you… stay here? Just for a while, till I’ve fallen asleep… I don’t know if I could stay having a nightmare right now.”

Nightmares? That poor boy for sure had some crosses to bury.

“Of course, sweetie. Do you mind if I read a little? I could read out loud, if you want?”

“That would be… nice.” Alec smiled, then yawned.

Magnus chuckled lightly and slid under the covers next to Alec. He then reached for the book on his bedside table and started reading.

The boy next to him visibly relaxed soon, and after not even one chapter Alec was softly snoring.

Quietly, Magnus put away the book and instead grabbed his phone, sending a quick message to Izzy and Cat that he found Alec and that the boy was safe.

Izzy answered nearly immediately. Thank god, is he okay?

Magnus sighed. She probably knew more about the circumstances. He had a panic attack in my room. He is asleep now, I could calm him down.

Izzy’s answer came quickly again. Good. Whatever happens, don’t wake him up. You will stay the night anyway, right? Take him home tomorrow, okay?

Fine. You owe me an explanation though. Magnus texted back.

Then he let himself be guided into sleep by the soft snoring next to him. The party going on in his own house was long forgotten.

Chapter Text

Alec felt light, as light as he hadn’t in a long time. He was sitting on the bench next to the cabin again. The stars seemed to be watching him thousand eyes making sure he was fine.

Then Alec noticed someone sitting next to him.

“Beautiful, isn’t it?” Magnus recognised his calm soothing voice. Magnus.

“Yeah, it is.” Alec breathed out slowly.

He saw Magnus leaning closer, his intention clear in his eyes.

It was the same situation, yet it was so different.

Alec leaned in and closed his eyes. The moment their lips met everything seemed to explode in a shower of colours. Yellow and green – his eyes. Red – his soft lips against Alec’s. Pink – the tip of his hair Alec was playing with. Blue – the colour of his shirt that Alec just wanted to be gone.

And yet Alec couldn’t see. His eyes were still closed. But he didn’t need to because it was Magnus and it felt safe.

When Magnus started to undress Alec, he opened his eyes again. It wasn’t Magnus hovering over him.

Alec screamed.

____________________

“Shh… it’s alright… you’re safe, Alexander… everything is fine… it’s just me, Magnus… we’re in my father’s cabin… there is nothing to worry about… to be scared of.”

Magnus calming voice took a while to make its way into Alec’s sleep clouded mind. Then he abruptly opened his eyes and sat up, nearly knocking Magnus over, who had leant over him.

“What… what happened?”

“A nightmare I guess. You were sleeping quite peacefully, and then you suddenly started screaming.”

“Yeah, I figured that much.” Alec was blushing and focussing on his lap. It was really embarrassing. “I meant yesterday. The last thing I remember is Catharina trying to kiss me. How did I end up… here?” Alec made a vague gesture involving the two of them in the same bed, neither of them wearing a shirt.

“No it’s nothing like that, we didn’t do anything, I promise.” Magnus was nearly stumbling over his words, trying to reassure Alec. He probably just didn’t want him to think he was gay or something like that. It was actually pretty amusing for Alec.

“Well, basically you had a panic attack when Cat tried to kiss you. I found you here and helped you to calm down. Then I put you into bed and read something for you, until I fell asleep myself. I promise, there was nothing inappropriate happening here, I’m sorry if I made you uncomfortable sleeping in the same bed.”

Alec didn’t know, what to say. The only person that had ever managed to get him down from a panic attack was Izzy. And yet there was this stranger who made Alec feel so safe, that he even had subconsciously trusted him at his weakest.

“I… thank you.” He finally stuttered.

“As I told you yesterday already, it’s really no problem. If you ever need me again, just call me. My number is saved in your phone already.”

“How?”

“Izzy gave me your code.”

“What a traitor!” Alec cried fake-hurt. “I will never drive her to any parties ever again!”

Magnus laughed. “She just wanted to make sure you’re fine.”

“I know, I know.” Alec was smiling too and hold his hands up in defeat. “I’ll drive her to all the great parties she will have with you.”

“I would be really happy if you would actually join her sometimes.” Magnus suggested carefully.

Alec eyed him suspiciously, yet he couldn’t find anything than hope and curiousness in Magnus’ eyes.

“I will think about it.” He finally said warily.

“Great!” Magnus smiled widely. “Do you want any breakfast?”

Enthusiastically, Alec nodded. He suddenly realised, how hungry he was.

“Perfect, just stay here, food will be here in a minute!”

And with that Magnus rushed out of the room, still only wearing pyjama pants.

____________________

Magnus kept his promise. He was merely gone when Alec heard him coming back up the stairs. In his hand he was holding a tablet and Alec couldn’t help but think how sexy Magnus looked just like that. Sleepy, without any make-up, hair sticking in all directions.

Somehow it remembered him of his dream, the good part of it. Alec blushed heavily.

Magnus smirked contently and Alec felt like he knew exactly, what he had been thinking. It made him blush even more.

“Breakfast is ready, sweetheart!” Magnus placed the tray on Alec’s lap and got into the bed next to him again.

“Sweetheart?” Alec echoed disbelievingly, yet the pet name made him feel slightly warmer.

“You didn’t seem to mind yesterday.”

“Well, I was kind of… out of my mind.”

“Whatever you say, sweetheart!” Magnus grinned at Alec challenging.

Alec really tried to resist, but he couldn’t help but smile back. There was just something about Magnus that made him feel safe.

Before he would do anything stupid – like laying his head on Magnus shoulder – Alec quickly grabbed the first thing he found from the tray and bit into the sandwich Magnus had made. It was delicious, with ham and cheese and Alec ate three of them, while downing two cups of coffee and a glass of juice.

The dessert was another challenge. It was a plate with different fruits – grapes, strawberries, cut pieces of apple and pear, and Alec’s favourite: blueberries.

When they both reached for the strawberry at the same time, their hands brushed against each other and Alec felt like as if he just got an electroshock. Quickly he pulled back his hand. Where their fingers had met it was still tingling warmly.

Pouting he watched Magnus, who was just about to eat the strawberries. Then he made the mistake to look at Alec, who immediately put on his best puppy look. Luckily Magnus couldn’t resist that. Instead of handing the strawberry over, Magnus leaned closer and held it in front of Alec’s mouth. It was such a cheesy move, yet Alec couldn’t help but smile. In a sudden rush of boldness, Alec leaned in and took the strawberry with his mouth. His cheeks were probably crimson red, when Magnus’ thumb brushed over Alec’s lower lip, before the latter quickly recoiled.

Looking at Magnus sitting on the bed next to him, Alec wondered if he had ever been that comfortable with anyone who wasn’t family ever before. He could think of no one.

Chapter Text

The warm feeling didn’t leave Magnus all morning. It was there during breakfast, while they tidied the cabin from the party, during the car drive back home, during the lunch they had in town as a thank you for Alec helping him tidying up.

When Magnus finally dropped Alec at home, he was nearly sad to let him go. In all his rather active dating life, he had never felt something that strong after only a few hours, and they hadn’t even kissed yet.

And Magnus was nearly sure Alec felt the same. The scared boy from yesterday nearly felt like a bad dream by now. All day Alec had been joking and laughing with him – and what a wonderful laugh he had. Magnus wasn’t sure, but he felt like Alec might have actually tried to flirt back once or twice. The poor boy seemed rather inexperienced though, more often than not he probably didn’t even notice Magnus flirting like there’s no tomorrow. He wasn’t even sure if Alec accepted his sexuality – Gay? Bisexual? Whatever it was Magnus would help him figure it out.

When Alec got out of the car, he turned around and awkwardly said. “Thank you for the ride. And for lunch. And for everything. I guess, we will see each other at school on Monday, have a nice week, bye!”

“Have a nice week, sweetheart!” Magnus answered cheekily. Alec just rolled his eyes and ran off. Magnus couldn’t help but grin. Alec definitely liked pet names, no matter what he said.

Magnus watched Izzy letting Alec in and hugging him. After a small wave towards Izzy he restarted the car and drove back home.

____________________

Soon Magnus found himself in a group video call with Ragnor and Cat.

Of course they were curious about last night. At least Magnus had left his own party not even an hour in and hadn’t shown his face all night after. They wanted to know everything about Alec too, since neither of them could find out anything about the reasons for the moving yet.

Magnus didn’t know what to tell. He was sure Alec wouldn’t like the whole school to know about this so he decided to leave out some crucial facts.

“Well, I found Alec in my room. He obviously knew nobody would be there because of the rules. He was pretty tired so I let him sleep in my bed. Somehow I fell asleep next to him.”

Magnus was glad it was just a video call. Otherwise the others would have caught him lying immediately.

“So you didn’t find out anything?” Ragnor sounded disappointed.

“No, sorry.”

“I still don’t know what went wrong. Why didn’t he want to kiss me?” Cat seemed kind of distressed.

Well, maybe you’re not his type, Magnus thought. Maybe he just doesn’t like girls. That was up to Alec to tell them though, so he settled for another and probably not less true answer. “He didn’t look like a person kissing strangers at parties, don’t you think so?”

Cat and Ragnor agreed, then changed the topic.

“You missed so much!” Cat exclaimed.

“Tell me everything!” Magnus had always been proud to know the latest gossip. He needed to get the current state of information.

“Well looks like the Lightwoods are trouble makers.” Cat smirked. “Jace was seen making out with Maia, which caused Jordan to break up with her again. Jace then left her alone with the situation with the excuse of a girlfriend in New York!”

“I told you he’s a dick.” Ragnor remarked calmly, nearly bored.

“No really, Jace should follow his sister’s example. Isabelle told everyone from the beginning about her boyfriend Simon back in New York, and that she wouldn’t cheat on him. And she didn’t not even in the end when she was pretty drunk. And yet by the end of the evening half of the boys swore her their undying love. I don’t know how she could walk straight after all the free drinks they brought her.”

“I didn’t took her for a cheater anyway. Izzy is a nice girl!” Magnus explained. “And finally someone with a taste of fashion in this boring town!”

“Yeah right, because that’s so important!” Ragnor rolled his eyes.

Magnus just laughed. “Yeah it is. Finally I will have someone to go shopping with. Someone, who won’t complain about me wanting to visit more than one shop.”

“Well, take her shopping then. You can be beauty king and queen of the school!” Cat laughed incredulously.

“I intend to. That will be so much fun!” He wouldn’t make her his queen though. She had a boyfriend already and Magnus was much more interested in her brother anyways.

“Whatever you say, Magnus!” Cat just shrugged her shoulders. “Listen, it’s lunchtime for me now, see you later!”

“Bye!” both boys said.

“So!” Ragnor said when she was gone. “Why did you lie to us about Alec? And don’t try to deny it! I’m your best friend, I know you well enough by now.”

“Why didn’t you say anything before then?”

“Because I know how noisy Cat can be. I thought you would maybe have a good reason for lying.”

Magnus shifted in his seat uncomfortably. “I just don’t think it’s my place to tell. I don’t really know that much anyway. Alec is… different. And he has that secret and I won’t destroy his trust by telling you the little things I know.”

“Yeah sure, I understand. Listen, I have to go now too. See you.”

Magnus got once more proven right with choosing Ragnor as his best friend. He knew, when to drop a topic. If Cat were here she would probably ask if he had a crush on Alec. Which was ridiculous. Magnus just cared about Alec, he wanted to protect him and have fun with him like today. He wanted to take his broken pieces and put them back together to that beautiful picture that would be Alec. And Magnus promised himself he would do anything it took to help Alec finding his place.

Chapter Text

Alec didn’t know how he managed to hide from Izzy all day. After she had let him in, Alec ran off in his room without more words than a short greeting and stayed there all day. He probably just didn’t get disturbed because both his siblings were really hungover.

When he left his room to get dinner, he didn’t have any luck though. Jace and Izzy were already in the kitchen, silently eating lasagne.

Alec took a step back, but Izzy had already spotted him. “Hey, big brother! Come on, join us, we left you some food!”

“Thanks, Izzy!” Alec said in a pained voice. He took his usual place, Izzy on his left, Jace on the right. He was trapped.

As an excuse for not having to talk Alec started eating, even though he wasn’t really hungry after the lunch with Magnus yet. When the lasagne was gone and Alec had drunk two glasses of water there were no more excuses though.

It wasn’t like he didn’t trust his siblings. He knew they only wanted the best for him. Looking back it was just embarrassing how easily Alec had allowed a stranger to see him at his weakest.

With a defeated sigh Alec spilled everything about last night. It left them looking at him with open mouths. He knew what they thought. Alec usually wasn’t someone to admit his feelings, yet here he was, telling them how safe Magnus made him feel.

“Awww” Izzy cooed. “Do you have a crush, Alec?”

“No!” Alec said defensively. “I can’t!”

“Why not?” Izzy asked really gently.

“You know what happened the last time. He deserves better!” Alec suddenly felt tired. He just wanted the conversation to be over now.

His siblings were having none of it though. When he tried to get up they just used their bundled force to keep him there. Maybe Alec would have been stronger than one of them, but against both he had no chance.

“Alec, buddy, listen!” Jace sounded so serious. Alec liked it much better when he was laughing and happy. “What happened wasn’t your fault. Only his.”

Alec didn’t want to think about him. It made him weak, so weak and Alec hated being weak.

“Please, just let it be, okay? I’m just not meant to be with someone happily like you two are, okay?”

“But you are, Alec!” Izzy looked like she was about to cry.

“Just leave me alone!” Alec stormed off, he didn’t want his siblings to see his tears.

____________________

In his room Alec curled up on his bed. He knew he was acting pathetically, but he couldn’t help it. At least he wasn’t crying, even though he felt like having to.

The morning with Magnus had been so, so good, better than anything Alec deserved. He had been so happy, but he had known it was only temporary. It was just not meant to be for him.

Suddenly his phone beeped. A message. It was from someone saved as ‘The one and only’. It said: Hey, sweetheart! I was wondering if you want to join me watching some movies. It’s so boring to do it alone! Xoxo, Magnus

Alec couldn’t help but chuckle. Magnus was definitely one of a kind, making him happy even when he had just felt like crying before. Spontaneously he accepted the invitation.

First he wanted to leave right now, but when he saw his reflection in the window he decided against it. Instead he went into the bathroom, took a quick shower and put on some clean clothes that looked just like the one he wore before.

He then quickly ran downstairs, nearly crashing into Jace.

“Hey, buddy, what’s up?” Jace looked irritated. Usually Alec would lock himself in his room all night and let nobody in, yet here he was.

“Nothing really. I’ll just go to Magnus and watch some movies.” Alec knew he was probably grinning like an idiot, but he couldn’t help it.

“Well…” Jace seemed even more perplexed. “Have fun then, I guess.”

“Yeah, we will, bye!”

____________________

“Hi!” Magnus smiled brightly at Alec, when he opened the door.

“Hey!” Alec smiled back. “You missed me already?”

“But of course, sweetheart!” Magnus answered playfully.

Alec felt himself blush. Quickly he changed the topic. “So, what movies will we watch?”

“I wanted to re-watch the ‘Lord of the Rings’ movies, but we have many others too. It’s up to you.”

“Lord of the Rings sounds great. All three of them though? That will take hours!”

“It’s vacation, isn’t it? My dad won’t mind if you stay here.”

“True. Do you have snacks and everything?”

“Whatever you want, darling. Popcorn, nachos, chocolate. And what do you want to drink? Coke, cocktails, beer?”

“Just a coke please. And just bring all the snacks, I couldn’t really enjoy dinner.”

Magnus frowned. “Why not?”

“It’s nothing, just a bad choice of topic. Let’s get our food now.”

That effectively distracted Magnus, although he still looked kind of worried.

____________________

“So, what do you think, Alec? Did you like the movies so far?”

They were sitting on the couch, most of the food gone, Magnus sipping his second cocktail, Alec his third can of coke. The second movie had just finished.

“Yes, I did. I’ve already watched them a while ago, but I forgot most of it. It was great to watch them again.”

“Are you ready for round three then?”

“I don’t know, I’m getting pretty tired. Maybe we should call it a day.” Alec was insecure. On the one hand, he enjoyed watching movies with Magnus. On the other hand, it really was pretty late, nearly midnight, and it had been a really long day.

“We could watch the last movie in my room, I’ve got a TV there. I won’t be mad if you fall asleep, I promise.” Magnus offered.

“Are you sure?” Alec asked still insecure. “Sometimes I… I get nightmares. I don’t want to wake up you or your dad.”

“I know, sweetheart.” Magnus soothed him. “I’ve been there last night, remember?”

“True.” Alec blushed in shame. “Just wake me up when I start screaming, okay?”

“Of course, darling, whatever you want.”

Alec didn’t know why he felt so comfortable close to Magnus. There was no logical reason, yet he always felt better when Magnus was there.

And that was how he found himself in bed with Magnus, wearing borrowed sweatpants from Magnus and his own shirt, the third movie playing on TV.

And that was how he woke up the next morning, having slept without a nightmare for the first time since the accident.

Chapter Text

“Slept well, darling?”

A mocking voice woke up Magnus.

He blinked confused, trying to remember what had happened yesterday and who the hell was in bed with him.

Then he remembered. Alec. Watching movies. Alec falling asleep in the most dramatic scene. Looking down at that innocently sleeping boy and wondering what had happened to him that made him so broken. Promising him to keep him safe, even though Alec couldn’t hear him. Finally falling asleep too.

He couldn’t help but smile lazily. “Good morning sweetheart! I slept well, what about you?”

“Me too. Should I make us breakfast?” Alec grinned down at him.

“That would be great. What time it is?” Magnus noticed how tired he was.

“Nearly eight o’clock.” Alec shrugged his shoulders. “You want eggs and bacon?”

“Eight o’clock?” Magnus asked incredulously. “Why are you even up yet?”

“I always get up early. It’s the best time to go for a run.”

“Yeah, whatever.” Magnus said yawning. “Bacon and eggs sounds great, sweetheart. Everything you need is in the fridge, wake me up when food is ready.” He closed his eyes again.

“Sure, sleep well, Magnus.” Alec covered him properly with the blanket, then left the room.

____________________

The smell of bacon and eggs woke Magnus up again.

“Good morning, sleepyhead. It’s nearly ten, time for breakfast.”

“You needed two hours for that?” Magnus asked, rubbing the sleepiness out of his eyes.

“Not exactly, but Izzy called on your phone and she was pretty nosy. It took me nearly an hour to get rid of her.” Magnus noticed the warm smile on Alec’s face, when he talked about his little sister. He obviously liked her really much.

“Oh, and she told me to remember you about your shopping tour today. She will probably drill you with questions.”

“Well, that’s fine. Do you want to join us?”

Alec looked mortified. “On a shopping trip? No, thank you!”

“Why not?”

“I’ve grown up with Izzy. I went shopping for a lifetime already.”

“Probably.” Magnus chuckled. “Well, maybe another time.”

“Maybe.” Alec said laughing. He obviously didn’t believe it. “Better start eating now, the food is getting cold!”

____________________

Magnus picked Izzy up at the agreed time, 2pm.

They drove to a bigger city, so the drive took nearly an hour. All the time they were chatting about everything and nothing – New York, Izzy’s boyfriend, fashion, make-up, Indonesia and much more, but not about the one thing Magnus couldn’t stop thinking about: Alec.

The shopping tour was really fun. Magnus was used to going shopping with people who didn’t really liked it and just wanted it to be over. Izzy was just like him, visiting one store after another, trying clothes she knew she wouldn’t buy just because it was fun, buying loads of things (luckily none of them had to think about the money too much, they both got more than enough from their parents), and still wanting to do more when it was finally time to go.

On their way out of the mall they passed a bookstore. Izzy stopped and asked: “Could we get in? I wanted to bring Alec something and he just loves books?”

“Yeah, sure. What kind of books does he read?”

“Everything really. Thriller, action, fantasy, he’s not really picky. But his absolute favourites are classics, I don’t understand why.”

“Hmm, interesting. Let’s get him some nice books then.”

They couldn’t decide which one to choose though, so they bought five different books in the end, hoping that Alec didn’t know them already.

____________________

On their way back they stopped in a smaller town to catch some dinner. The restaurant was small and cosy and their burgers were great.

Finally they somehow reached the topic Magnus had waited for all day –Alec.

“He’s not like me and Jace you know? He’s always been an introvert, but it wasn’t as bad in New York. Sometimes we actually managed to get him out.”

“What changed?”

“There was an accident. Alec thinks it’s his fault.”

“Is that why you moved here?”

“Yes. There were too many memories in New York for all of us.”

“What happened? I’m sorry if I sound too nosy.”

“No, I understand. You saw how Alec acted at the party and he seems to like you, so I guess you should know at least the basics.”

Izzy looked like she was far away, reliving some sad memories. When she talked her voice quivered a little.

“It wasn’t that long ago, in June. Life was perfect, all three of us in happy relationships. Or at least we thought so.”

“Alec had a boyfriend before? I thought he’s still deep down in the closet.”

“He had. The brother of Jace’ girlfriend. He was openly out back then. My parents weren’t very happy about it, but he was okay with that.”

“What happened, why is he hiding now?”

“Then there was this accident. It wasn’t really an accident, it actually was murder.”

Izzy started crying and Magnus pulled her into his arms quickly. “You don’t need to tell me, if it’s too hard for you. I totally understand that.”

“No, no, I’m fine. I’ll be fine. Summing up, Jonathan, Alec’s boyfriend, killed our little brother Max.”

“What?” Magnus couldn’t believe it. “Why would he do that? That’s just cruel!”

“I don’t know. I think Alec does, but he refuses to talk about it.”

“He thinks it’s his fault because he brought Jonathan in your house.” Magnus guessed.

“Exactly. The first week after he wouldn’t talk to anyone, then only to Jace and me. He’s not himself anymore and that scares me so much. I don’t want to lose another brother!”

“I don’t know what to say. I’m so sorry for your loss.” Magnus said while still holding Izzy. Comforting the Lightwoods seemed to become a habit by now.

“Thank you. Really Magnus, I’m so glad, I finally had someone to talk to. Usually that would be my siblings but this is something which is way too close to both of them too.”

“You never talked about it? Not even with, you know, someone professional?”

“No. Our parents were too busy drowning themselves in work to take care about that.”

“Well, we have a really friendly school therapist. Maybe you should visit them.”

“Yeah maybe. Let’s go home, it’s getting really late.”

“Of course. And Izzy, if you need someone to talk, I’m just one call away – and also live next door.”

“Thank you, Magnus. And thank you for being there for Alec too.”

“Always.” Magnus promised. Then they headed home.

Chapter Text

Alec spent his weekend without doing anything. He read the books Izzy and Magnus had bought him, prepared everything for school for him and his siblings because they were out making friends constantly, and texted Magnus a lot.

They couldn’t see each other the whole weekend though, because Magnus had to help his father in the store and met Ragnor and Cat on Sunday. Alec couldn’t wait to see him again in school.

Despite seeing Magnus again he wasn’t looking forward to school. He could already see the weird looks he would get for leaving his own party so early. He was also scared of someone finding out his secret – nobody could know he was gay or everything would repeat itself. He knew that this was irrational, yet he couldn’t stop himself from thinking like that.

____________________

In the night from Sunday to Monday Alec couldn’t sleep. As soon as he closed his eyes his mind wandered into directions it wasn’t supposed to go. He knew that sleeping would mean another nightmare. So he stayed awake, distracting himself with books, since his siblings and Magnus were asleep already.

At 5 am Alec decided to get up. A run and some litres of coffee should get him through the day, his first day at school.

____________________

From the beginning everything went wrong.

Alec had been nervous and anxious all the way to school and he nearly jumped when someone called his name – a voice he couldn’t match to a person.

It was only a girl that would be in Izzy’s grade, who was supposed to show them around. Her name was Lydia and she looked actually really nice.

After shortly greeting the director, Lydia showed them around. Thanks to his detailed preparation Alec knew most of the thinks she told them and didn’t have to pay much attention. He was glad when they reached the cafeteria on the tour, where he could get himself a coffee, his third one that day already.

They finished the tour with Lydia showing Alec and Jace the room where they would have their first lesson, Maths, and then disappearing with Izzy to their own classes.

Alec was a little disappointed that Magnus wasn’t in his Maths classes. That would have at least made it less boring. But Jace was quite a good distraction too, talking non-stop about stupid stuff.

From the beginning, Alec didn’t like his teacher though. He was an old, quite little man and he told him and Jace to introduce themselves. For Jace that was easy, but Alec was just glad when it was over and he hadn’t embarrassed himself too much.

The teacher then started with normal classes, although it was only the first day of school. Luckily it was a topic Alec and Jace had already learnt about back in New York, so it was quite relaxing for them, even though the teacher was so strict.

After Maths Alec and Jace parted, because they had different classes. After giving Jace the directions to his History classes, Alec made his own way to Literature. In the classroom was no one he knew, so he took a free chair in the back and tried not to attract attention. Luckily, the chair next to him stayed free.

Alec liked his Literature teacher, a friendly woman around thirty, instantly. She didn’t made him introduce himself, just greeted him in class before she started talking about the plan for the year. In this first lesson she asked everyone to write a poem about their holidays though.

Alec stared at his sheet blankly. Whenever he thought back to the holidays, he either thought about Magnus or the moving and the reasons for it. None of it would be appropriate for reading out to anyone.

Taking his pen, he started writing about his siblings. That was easy, safe territory. He also involved the moving a little bit and how easy they were accepted here. When he read it out the other students clapped politely. The poem was in no way standing out, exactly what Alec had aimed for.

The next class, biology, he finally shared with Magnus. The other boy was already there when Alec entered and luckily the chair next to him was free. He was talking with some of the other students though and didn’t saw Alec coming in.

Cautiously Alec got closer. What if Magnus didn’t want him to sit next to him? What if he pretended not to know Alec? Thought that he wasn’t cool enough for them to be seen together in public? He knew he was overthinking things and that there was no reason for Magnus to act like that but still he couldn’t stop his doubts.

His doubts were for nothing though. When Magnus noticed him, he waved and smiled at him. “Come, sit next to me, Alexander! And let me introduce you to some friends!”

Smiling shyly and probably blushing Alec sat down. “Hi, I’m Alec!” He said awkwardly.

Magnus introduced the people he had been talking to. “Those are Will, Tessa and Jem. And that grumpy guy back there is Raphael, the girl next to him is Maia.”

Alec nodded politely and then listened to their conversation, until the teacher came, an old man with a bald head, but a really big moustache. Alec had heard Magnus making fun about it before.

Contrary to his funny looks the teacher was scary. By the end of the lesson three students had to write an essay because they had talked. Therefore Alec and Magnus had no chance to talk about anything.

Luckily they had their next lesson together too, Art. Jace was also there and between these two Alec actually managed to relax a little.

He couldn’t help but notice how sad Jace looked. His girlfriend back in New York was great at art and it probably reminded him of her.

“Hey, are you okay?” Alec asked him quietly, so that nobody else would hear them. “Is there anything I can do to make you feel better?”

“No, Alec, thanks. I’ll be fine, buddy.” Jace didn’t look fine though. He seemed hurt and vulnerable and young.

Alec knew better than to push though. He just shrugged and said. “Whenever you need me, I’m here. You can always talk to me.”

Jace just nodded, then he started to chat with the girl next to him. He soon looked much better.

Alec wished it would be that easy for him to get over things. It usually took him hours and some person to get him out of his panic attacks. He hated himself for being so weak.

The Art class was pretty nice though. Their teacher allowed them to talk as much as they want as long as they get their work done. That meant that Alec could spend lots of time just joking and talking with Magnus.

His last class before the Lunch break was Science. The only person he knew was Catarina and he remembered there last meeting way too good and didn’t want it to repeat itself. So he took a spare seat in the back.

Catarina was having none of it though. She came over immediately and started to apologize and promised that it wouldn’t happen again. Alec believed her. He just couldn’t be angry at her, not when she was looking like she was about to cry. He hated making people cry.

So he told her it was fine and he wasn’t angry with her and he would love to sit next to her. He was glad this problem was out of the world.

Chapter Text

Alec and Cat went to the Cafeteria together. It was time for lunch and Alec had felt like he needed another coffee for the whole science Class. He was glad to get some soon.

The food was typical High School food, nothing anybody would eat by choice, but Alec didn’t care. It probably wouldn’t get him a food poisoning and he was way too tired to care about anything else.

Not even sitting next to Magnus could get him out of his dizzy state. He saw the worried looks both, Magnus and Izzy, sent him, but all he managed was a weak smile and a “Don’t worry, I’m just tired.”

“You didn’t sleep well last night? Did you have nightmares?” Magnus asked gentle and slightly concerned.

Alec laughed humourlessly. “I didn’t sleep at all. It was too much a risk.”

Izzy looked sad and even more concerned than Magnus. “Why didn’t you say something? You could have stayed home?”

“No, I had to do this. It’s only two more hours anyway.”

“Yeah, but one of them is sport!” Magnus reminded him. “I don’t want you to hurt yourself because you’re too tired.”

“Seriously, guys, I’ll be fine!”

“Yeah, whatever!” Magnus didn’t look convinced, but changed the topic.

Alec spent the rest of the break half-asleep and then drank two cups of coffee.

In the next school lesson, History, Alec was alone again. He chose a table in the back and – like most of the other students – took a nap when their teacher started his monologue about World War I.

The school bell woke him up and he felt ready to face his last lesson, Sport, without falling asleep. He was also kind of excited because Magnus would be there too.

When he reached the locker room, he noticed he had a problem. It was just impossible for him to change in front of the other guys. He couldn’t do that.

Alec felt his breath coming faster, backing out of the room as fast as possible – just to bump against someone who was just about to enter. Unknown hands grabbed his arms to keep him from falling. When he looked up, he saw a tall, blonde guy towering over him. He didn’t know him.

Alec wanted to scream, but his voice didn’t work. He wanted to fight, to push the stranger away, but he found himself out of control over his body. He wanted to breathe, but even that was too hard. He just wanted to be alone, but he had no way to express that. He went limp, in the strangers arms.

“Alec? Alec! Let go of him!”

____________________

Alec opened his eyes. He couldn’t remember closing them.

The first thing he saw was Magnus smiling down at him. They were still in the locker room, but luckily it was empty. Relief washed through his body. He was with Magnus now. He was safe.

“Hi.” He croaked, smiling as convincing as possible.

“Are you okay?” Magnus looked concerned.

“Yeah sure, I’m fine. It’s nothing.”

“Are you sure? You nearly had a mental breakdown in front of everyone.”

Alec flinched, but nodded. “I’m fine, promise.”

“Fine. Let’s get ready then. The others probably started already.”

Alec blushed. The others probably thought he was a freak, blacking out in front of everyone because he wasn’t even able to change in front of them. He wanted to die of shame.

Magnus must have seen something in his expression, because he quickly soothed him. “I told them, you were really tired. They were really understanding and could relate, don’t worry.”

“Good. Thanks, Magnus!” Alec said, taking a deep breath.

Then he turned towards his locker, biting his lip. He couldn’t just Magnus to leave. That would be just rude after he basically saved him from the others. But he also felt way too unsettled to change in front of him.

“Alec!” Flinching he turned around. While he had been debating Magnus had completely changed, wearing his sports gear now. “I’ll wait outside for you, okay?”

“Yeah sure” Alec quickly responded, probably with way too much gratitude in his face.

____________________

Magnus kept his promise, waiting right next to the door. Together they entered the hall, just when the coach finished his inspirational speech. About fifteen boys were standing in front of him and they all turned around when Alec and Magnus approached them.

The coach played it cool and acted like he didn’t know what had happened, although he looked at Alec with a hint of pity. “Great! Now that we’re complete, let’s choose teams! We will play some basketball today.”

That was the part Alec hated. He was never really popular, so he was usually one of the last persons to be chosen, although he was quite athletic.

Standing in the background he watched Will, the boy he had met in Biology, and Josh, the one that he had run into in the locker room, picking their teammates. He wasn’t surprised when Will chose Magnus in the second round, Magnus was the embodiment of popularity.

He was the more surprised when Josh picked him right after. With a disbelieving look he joined him and his team.

Josh explained carelessly: “You look like a good athlete. Also you’re tall, that’s the perfect combination for basketball. I couldn’t let your friend over there snatch you for his team.”

Alec looked over to Magnus. Something in his face showed Alec that this had been exactly his plan. With an apologetic smile in his direction Alec watched while the other students were chosen.

The game was actually pretty fun. Alec had always been good at basketball and somehow he managed to throw many baskets, but still be in the background.

After the game Alec went back to the locker room with Magnus. His team had won easily and Magnus was still grumpy about it.

When they were about to enter the room, the coach called him back. “Alec, can I talk to you for a second?”

“Sure, coach!” Alec jogged back to him, while Magnus entered the locker room.

“You played really good today!” The coach started. “I thought maybe you want to join the school team?”

“I don’t know, coach.” Alec squirmed uncomfortably. “I would like to, but I have lots of stuff to learn, entering a new school and all.”

“I’m sure, you will manage. Your teammates will help you catch up on it.”

“Okay, then… I feel really honoured for thee invitation. Thank you, coach!”

“Great! Training is on Tuesday and Thursday, there might be more training before games. It will be a lot of work, but it will be worth it.”

“Okay, thank you!”

“Wait… one more thing” The coach looked uncomfortable. “About what happened in the locker room… what was that about?”

Alec was equally uncomfortable. “Oh… just… I don’t like… changing… in front of people.”

The coach nodded thoughtfully. “Yeah I figured it would be something like this. Would it make you more comfortable to change in the girls’ room? I guarantee you it’s empty during training and this lessons.”

Alec blushed deeply. “I think… it really would. If it’s not too much to ask.”

“No, that’s not a problem. I’ll get you the key till tomorrow.”

“Thank you, Coach, I really appreciate that!”

“Show me your gratitude with a great season of basketball, boy! See you tomorrow at the training.”

“Bye, coach!”
¬
____________________

“What did he want?” Magnus asked curiously, when Alec finally entered the empty locker room.

“He offered me a place in the basketball team! And also the key to the girls’ locker room.”

“Wow, congrats!” Magnus looked impressed.

“Yeah, whatever! That whole day went way better than I thought.”

“It went fantastic. You will be the king of the school in a week!”

They were entering the parking lot, when everything fell apart.

Someone behind them screamed: “Watch it, fag!” He then ran past them, nearly knocking Magnus over.

Everything after was a blur. He somehow managed to say good bye to Manus, get into the car, drive home and go straight into his room.

He fell asleep still wearing his clothes, one word echoing through his mind.

Chapter Text

Magnus woke up disoriented. Something told him it was way too early to be awake. A look at his alarm clock confirmed it: 2 am. He had just slept for an hour or something.

Then he noticed what had woken him up. His phone told him that someone saved as “Sweetheart<3” had tried to call him just a minute ago.

Why would Alec call him at a time like this? Magnus thought he would be fast asleep by now. Maybe another nightmare? Magnus was about to find out. Quickly he called Alec back.

He didn’t answer his phone. Why did he tried to call him but wasn’t answering his phone now? Maybe he called someone else? Or talked to one of his siblings? Magnus wanted to let it go and go back to sleep, but then he noticed the message Alec had sent him before he tried to call. It sounded desperate: Please, Magnus, are you awake? Call me, I need you to help me! I need to feel safe! Magnus, please!

It nearly broke Magnus heart. He couldn’t let it be. He needed to make sure Alec was okay.

Groaning he got out of bed, getting dressed in the first clothes he found, leather pants and a glittering shirt – he had taken them out for a party going on tomorrow night – then he ran out of his house and to the Lightwood villa next door.

Luckily, there was light in the kitchen. Looking in Magnus saw Izzy skyping with someone, a nerdy boy with glasses and a star wars shirt. Their conversation would have to wait. Magnus knocked on the window.

Izzy turned around, looking bewildered, but then quickly opened the window so they could talk.

“Have you heard something from Alec the last hour?” Magnus asked breathing heavily from his little sprint. Maybe she talked to him already. Maybe everything was fine.

“No, I haven’t, he went to bed early. Why?”

“He tried to call me. Can you let me in?”

“Of course, I’ll show you his room.”

“Thanks Izzy, I don’t know what I would do without you!”

“Just make sure he’s okay!”

Not even one minute later Magnus knocked on Alec’s door gently. “Alexander, sweetheart! Are you here? Can I come in?”

There was no response, but after what felt like an eternity Alec opened the door. He looked nearly as bad as back at the party, bloodshot eyes, tearstained cheeks, fast breathing, looking young and vulnerable. His body was shaking slightly too.

But Magnus couldn’t understand why. The day at school went good, Alec said so himself. Maybe his parents made problems? Or his siblings? That guy Izzy had been skyping with.

Magnus shook his head. He needed to focus. Alec needed his help and he would make sure he would get what he needed.

“Alright, sweetie, I’m here now! I’ll take care of you.” Magnus tried to sound as gentle as possible. Alec visibly relaxed, his shoulders slumping and his breath slowing down a little. Magnus felt honoured that such an amazing person as Alec was willing to let him see him at his most vulnerable.

Gently he guided Alec to his bed, tucked him in, went into the bathroom and got him a glass of water. He never stopped talking, knowing what an effect his voice had on Alec when he was like this.

It worked. Alec drank the water, then they just sat there for a while, Magnus petting Alec’s hair reassuringly and talking about everything and nothing, not really paying attention what he said, just talking to calm Alec down.

After a while Alec opened his eyes and looked at Magnus. The latter interrupted his story about some party he had been at recently and said smiling: “Hey, you’re back! How are you feeling?”

“I’ve been better.” Alec admitted quietly. “How did you know what was going on?”

“You tried to call me.” Magnus said surprised. Didn’t Alec remember? “And you also sent a message.”

Alec looked panicked. “Did I wake you up? I’m so, so sorry!”

“Don’t worry, sweetheart, I was just heading to bed.” Magnus knew lying was bad, but right now he needed Alec to calm down.

“Have you been at a party?” Alec asked curiously, gesturing to his clothes.

“No” Magnus answered, quickly thinking of an adequate answer. “I’ve been trying on outfits for one tomorrow.”

“Okay” Alec said quietly and shifted a little closer.

Magnus didn’t want to make Alec panic again, but he really needed to know, what had happened. So he started to play with Alec’s hair again and asked as calmly as possible: “Can you tell me what happened? Did you have another nightmare? What was it about?”

Alec looked up at him, and there was so much fear in his eyes that Magnus just wanted to pull him close and never let anyone close to him again. But there was also a tiny but of trust in there. Magnus didn’t know how he earned it, but he would protect it at all costs.

“It wasn’t really a nightmare. Do you remember that guy after school that nearly knocked you over? He said… he said…” Alec started crying again.

Magnus pulled him in a hug. “I remember” he assured the boy. He didn’t want Alec to have to say it. Watch it, fag! What an ugly, ugly word. Magnus was disgusted that some people still thought people were less valuable because of the people they loved. Of course it unsettled Alec, who was in the closet.

“How did they know?” Alec asked quietly. “I tried so hard to hide it. Is it really that obvious?”

“Oh, no, no, sweetheart, he wasn’t talking about you!” Magnus reassured Alec. He had totally forgotten that the boy didn’t know his own orientation. “He was talking about me. I’m bisexual, and out of the closet for quite a long time, so everybody knows.”

Alec stared at him in disbelief. “You… like boys?”

“And girls, yes.”

“Do you… like me?” Alec looked up at him with big eyes.

“Yes, I do, sweetheart. I really like you. But I won’t do anything you’re not comfortable with. I’m fine with us being friends, if that’s all you want.”

“Promise?”

“Promise!”

Chapter Text

Alec’s mind was racing. Magnus liked boys, liked him. Maybe it was obvious to others, but Alec had always been bad at reading other people’s emotions. He didn’t know what to do with this information. He didn’t know what to say, how to act. Fact was, he liked Magnus too, very much. But he also knew he wasn’t made for a relationship, Magnus deserved much, much better. Alec would never be normal, be enough. He didn’t want to lose Magnus and failing to be in a working relationship with him would do exactly that.

Magnus finally ripped him out of his thoughts. “Alexander, sweetheart, are you still with me?”

Alec nodded weakly.

“Good, that’s good, sweetie. I want you to listen really carefully. I know you had some bad experiences in the past and I totally would understand if you are not ready. Just don’t let it define you forever. It may sound cruel, but your life goes on. Don’t waste it!”

Alec stared at Magnus blankly. “You don’t know what you’re talking about. You don’t know half of this.”

“Izzy told me some things.”

“She did?”

“Yeah, you know we are friends.” Of course Alec knew that, he just hadn’t known how close they were.

“Well, Izzy doesn’t know half of it either.” Alec swallowed nervously. “She wasn’t there.”

“You don’t have to talk about it. You’re not ready yet.” Magnus sounded so gentle and it was the only reason, why Alec wasn’t sobbing because of all the memories.

“Thank you, Magnus! Can you… stay tonight? I know it’s a lot to ask for, but if you go I’ll end up with a nightmare I know it. I don’t want to do anything… just… hold me?” Alec hated how his voice wavered at the end.

“Of course!” Magnus said instantly. There was no sign of insecurity in his eyes, no doubt.

“Thank you” Alec said again. “For everything.”

“You’re welcome. Now shuffle over, or I won’t fit into that bed.”

“Don’t you… want to undress?” Alec blushed. “It’s just, it can’t be comfortable in those pants.”

“Of course, if you don’t mind.”

“I don’t. You can borrow one of my sweatpants. They are in the second drawer of my closet.” Alec would have got them for Magnus himself, but his bed was way too comfortable.

He was already half asleep when Magnus got into bed next to him and pulled him into his arms.

____________________

“Alec, get up, we’re going to be late!”

Without an invitation Jace pushed open Alec’s door. The latter only shuffled, it was way too comfortable to leave already.

Then he noticed the situation. He was lying practically on top of Magnus their feet tangled together. Jace was standing at the door in stunned silence. Then he turned around and left without another word.

Alec looked down to Magnus, who lazily blinked his eyes open. “Sorry about that. Jace is just sometimes a little bit too much.”

“That’s fine, it’s time to get up anyway.”

“Good. Will you stay for breakfast?” Alec offered. “My parents are working already, so it’s just Izzy and Jace and they both know you’re here anyway.”

“Fine, but I need to catch some different clothes before school!”

“You better!” Alec joked. “I can’t believe you actually leave the house like that, my parents would disown me.” He pointed over at Magnus clothes still lying on the floor.

“Hey!” Magnus said fake-hurt. “That’s fashion, you uncultured bastard!”

“Yeah whatever!” Alec laughed and Magnus joined in.

They were still lying in bed, Alec on top of Magnus, incredibly close. Suddenly Alec had to think about kissing Magnus. Would it be nice? Magnus wouldn’t hurt him, would he?

Alec pushed the thought far away. Where did that even come from?

Instead he jumped up and grabbed some clothes. Then he quickly showered while Magnus stayed in bed.

He was nervous, when he and Magnus finally entered the kitchen. Izzy and Jace were already sitting there. They wouldn’t judge him after what had happened, would they?

Magnus squeezed Alec’s shoulder reassuringly, then he said down while Alec went to the coffee machine, making coffee for both of them.

When he turned around, he saw Izzy smiling predatory at Magnus. She had obviously lots of questions for both of them, which would make Alec die in shame. Jace on the other hand was pointedly disinterested. He was probably still ashamed for walking in on them. Neither of them seemed angry or disappointed. Alec probably shouldn’t be as relieved as he was.

“So…” Izzy started the conversation once Alec sat down next to Magnus. “How are you, Alec? Could you get some sleep?”

Alec took a deep breath. He hated talking about this, especially in front of so many people. He nearly jumped, when he felt Magnus’ hand on his knee, squeezing reassuringly. He looked over and gave Magnus a grateful smile. Then he answered Izzy. “I’m fine, Izzy, thanks. I actually slept quite well once Magnus was here.”

“I’m glad. So did you two… you know…?”

“No, no!” Magnus interrupted her quickly. Alec was thankful, he wasn’t sure he could hear himself being called someone else’s boyfriend so soon already. “We are just friends”, he added, just to make sure.

“So how is your boyfriend, Izzy? You talked with him yesterday, didn’t you?” Magnus changed the topic quickly and Alec could finally relax and just drink his coffee without having an active part in the conversation.

Shortly he wondered if it would be like that to be in a relationship with Magnus. He liked the thought, being able to stay out of the focus was all he wanted, and Magnus had said he liked him like that, but there were all this reasons, why they couldn’t be together, even if Magnus didn’t realize that he was way out of Alec’s league.

He did his best to push the thought away, but from then on it kept lingering in the back of his mind.

Chapter Text

Alec met him buzzing with joy. Magnus had decided to pick him up after his first basketball practice and Alec had happily agreed.

Magnus nearly couldn’t believe his eyes, when he saw Alec leaving the boys’ locker room chatting easily with some of the most popular guys in school. First of all, how did Alec, shy insecure Alec manage to befriend those people? And why was he using the boys’ locker room with everyone else, when he couldn’t even change in front of Magnus yesterday? Something was definitely off.

Intrigued Magnus got out of his car and walked over.

“Hey Magnus!” Alec smiled at him widely. “Meet my teammates! We wanted to grab some burgers, you want to join us?”

“Yeah sure.” Magnus answered puzzled. This were probably the most words in a row, he had heard Alec saying ever. He would just have to stick with him probably.

And that’s what he did all day. Alec stayed in his good mood, smiling a lot and making funny comments, although he was rather shy in comparison to the others. Yet he seemed to fit in perfectly.

After a while Magnus relaxed. Alec was obviously having a good day, a really good one. Magnus couldn’t help but ask himself if Alec had always been like this before the accident. He really liked this Alec.

____________________

The weeks went by rather smoothly. Sometimes Alec would have panic attacks or bad dreams, but not very often since Magnus stayed with him most nights. Still they never did anything else, then cuddle, no kisses, only rarely holding hands and never in public. All in all, Alec was fine. He made good friends in the Basketball team and they also won their first games. He was quite popular and Magnus had seen many girls looking after him or trying to flirt, but he never noticed. He also didn’t tell them he was gay though. Magnus didn’t really understand why. He knew none of his friends or teammates would judge him for it, but there was more to it for Alec. Magnus just didn’t know what.

Of course everything good had to end, Magnus knew that. From one day to another the joyful Alec was replaced by the sad and broken one again.

____________________

Magnus noticed something was off, when Alec didn’t come to school one day. He hadn’t stayed with him the night before, because his father had needed his help in the club and he didn’t want to wake Alec up late at night.

But he didn’t show off at Magnus’ to get a ride to school the next day like usual. First Magnus thought he drove with Izzy and Jace, but those didn’t know anything. They had thought he went with Magnus as usual. Alec also didn’t send a message, neither to Magnus nor Izzy, which was odd.

When he confronted Izzy, she got really worried. “Oh my god, that’s all my fault!”

“Hey, Izzy, calm down and tell me what happened! I need to know so I can help you, yeah?” Magnus quickly pulled her into an empty classroom.

“Okay… okay…” Izzy took some deep breaths. “It’s just… Simon and Clary will visit us next week.”

“Your boyfriend and Jace’ girlfriend?”

“Yeah… Alec said he was fine with it, but he obviously isn’t and now he’s all alone at home and what if something happens… it’s all my fault!”

“It’s not your fault, Izzy, stop saying that! If there’s a problem he should have told you, but I understand why he didn’t. You deserve to be happy too. So, let me just drive home and talk to him, okay?”

“Okay… thanks, Magnus!”

“No problem, Izzy!”

____________________

“Alec, sweetheart, it’s me, Magnus! Will you let me in?”

Magnus was glad he had the key to the front door, so he could always get to Alec, but he still needed the boy’s permission to enter his room, he didn’t have that key.

“What do you want?” Alec asked. He sounded grumpy, but still let Magnus enter his room. It always surprised Magnus how tidy the room was, the desk empty, the bed made, no clothes lying around. But now he had other things to focus on.

“So, sweetie, Izzy told me that Clary and Simon will visit you soon. Is that why you skipped school?”

“Yes.” Alec said quietly. “I just know they will bring memories I won’t be able to handle. And I’m scared of that, Magnus, so scared. The last weeks have been great, I don’t want this to ruin it.”

“Sure, I understand that, sweetheart, but why didn’t you tell Izzy and Jace? You could have figured out a way to make this acceptable for everyone together.”

“I know, I’m sorry. I just… didn’t want to be a burden.”

“Oh, darling, you’re not! Not to me and not to your siblings, never forget that.”

“Okay.” Alec sounded quiet and unsure. Magnus wanted the happy Alec back so bad.

“So… you’re scared you won’t be able to cope with the memories connected with Clary and Simon, right?” Alec nodded. “I have an idea. If you don’t think it will help, we don’t have to do this, but I think it might make next week actually better for you. Well, first of all, I’ll try to be there with you as much as possible. And if I’m not and you can’t stop the memories, I want you to text me. You can talk about your memories or about something totally unrelated, whatever works best for you, but talk to me, darling, okay?”

“Okay, Mags! Sure, I can do that!”

Alec looked so relieved that someone had taken the lead, it made Magnus’ heart clench. He wanted to take care of that boy, keep him safe, make his nightmares disappear forever and more than he did for now. He wanted to be Alec’s boyfriend.

Chapter Text

Alec stayed in his room when he heard the doorbell. From downstairs he could hear the excited chatter of his siblings and their significant others. He put on his earphones, turned on music and grabbed a book.

Dinner was awkward. Alec stayed out of the conversation and tried not to look at Clary too much. They didn’t look very similar, but all Alec could think about was that she was HIS sister. He was glad when the doorbell rang and got him out of the situation.

It was Magnus and Alec had never been so happy to see him. He was standing in the doorway, smiling slightly and wearing even more glitter than usual. “Am I late for dinner, darling?”

“No, no, we just started. Come in. I didn’t know you were coming over.”

“Izzy invited me. I thought you wouldn’t mind so I took her invitation and decided to surprise you. Did it work?”

“Well, I’m glad you’re here now, Mags. I’m feeling lonely with all this couples out there.” Alec couldn’t help but smile. Maybe it wouldn’t be such a bad evening after all.

Together they entered the kitchen and Alec introduced everyone.

“So are you two together?” Clary asked curiously.

“No, no, of course not!” Alec quickly said. He didn’t want her to judge him. Having a boyfriend hadn’t turned out that well the last time and Clary and Simon knew that way too good.

“Alec…” Clary looked at him full of pity.

“You know, if you want to be with someone that’s totally cool, man!” Simon interrupted her.

“Yeah, we don’t blame you for what happened, you know that, right?” Clary took over again.

“Yeah sure” Alec mumbled, avoiding to look at anybody.

Then he and Magnus took a seat next to each other like usually. Alec nearly jumped when Magnus squeezed his hand reassuringly. Glancing around to make sure no one had noticed, he squeezed back and gave Magnus a little smile.

____________________

After dinner they all went to the living room. Alec barely spent time here, it was way too huge and impersonal. They only ever were here when they were with their parents and that usually was no fun at all.

But now it was different. Jace and Clary had taken one of the couches and Izzy and Simon the other one. So there was nothing left but a huge armchair, Magnus and Alec would have to share. They ended up with Alec half in Magnus’ lap.

“I can sit on the floor, if you’re uncomfortable.” Magnus offered quietly, he didn’t want Alec to feel uncomfortable and Alec appreciated that.

But he wouldn’t let him do that just to make Alec feel better. “Oh no, I’m fine like this, it’s actually quite comfortable.”

“That’s nice, darling, we should do this more often!” Magnus teased.

“Oh, that sounds great!” Alec said smiling ironically. But he can’t keep himself from thinking that it actually sounds good. He just wished they could be together without all the demons of Alec’s past.

The movie they wanted to watch started to play and Alec snuggled into Magnus a little more.

____________________

Alec must have fallen asleep halfway through the second movie, because when he opened his eyes again the TV screen was dark. He was lying on Magnus’ chest, but the latter didn’t seem to mind, in fact he had his eyes closed and was asleep himself.

When Alec shifted in his arms, Magnus lazily opened one eye, looked at Alec and then fell asleep again. It filled Alec with pride how much trust that simple thing showed.

Looking around he saw that the others were still in the room, making out on their separate couches as if they were alone in the room.

“Disgusting!” Someone voiced his thoughts, even though he would never say that, his siblings could do whatever they want. “What do you think you’re doing?” It was Robert, Alec’s dad.

Both couples separated in the speed of light.

“I…” Izzy started, while trying to fix her hair, but Robert interrupted her immediately.

“I’m not talking to you, princess.”

“What…?” Jace started, but Robert ignored him and turned to Alec. Alec – the only person in the room who had not been making out with someone and had done nothing wrong.

Except that sitting in another boy’s lap was something very wrong in his father’s eyes, much worse than his children nearly having sex on the couch.

“Alexander! Get off from there right now!” Robert spat out. Alec jumped to his feet immediately, it was just in his DNA to obey Robert and not make him angry, even if his father was wrong. And this time he was so, so wrong.

Magnus followed him not even a second later and Alec was grateful that he wouldn’t have to face his father alone.

“Well, Alexander,” Robert started deadly calm. “Why don’t you explain me what exactly you think you were doing there?”

“I…” Alec started nervously. “We were watching a movie and there wasn’t enough space, so Magnus and I shared the armchair.”

“You could have asked Simon and Izzy or Jace and Clary to change with you. I’m sure they wouldn’t have minded.”

“I wanted to leave them some space. They haven’t seen each other long enough.” Alec defended himself.

“And whose fault is that?” Robert snarled.

Alec gulped. He knew the answer but couldn’t voice it. “It was Sebastian’s fault and only his!” Magnus spoke up for him.

“Stay out of his!” Robert snapped at him. “If Alec were normal, none of this would have happened!”

“I am!” Alec argued. “Just because I like boys…”

“What? You’re not a failure? Not disgusting? You don’t make the people around you suffer? Or die?” Alec watched numbly how Robert screamed more insults. He knew them all way too well from the time after the accident.

“STOP!” The voice was loud, intimidating, and it made Robert stop midsentence. Alec had never seen something like this. He watched in awe how Robert flinched back, when the voice started yelling at him. Alec couldn’t understand everything, his head was way too dizzy, but he caught some glimpses and they felt him with a light feeling.

“… NOT HIS FAULT… WORST FATHER EVER… YOU ARE THE ONE; WHO FAILED… SHOULD BE PROUD THAT YOUR SON IS GAY… NOT BEING STRAIGHT ISN’T A DISEASE… IT’S PERFECTLY NORMAL… GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE NOW!”

Absently Alec saw Robert rushing out of the room, then he stumbled, the edge of his vision getting dark.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you, sweetie. Sleep now, I’ll be there when you wake up.”

Magnus’ lips on his hair was the last thing he felt before he blacked out.

Chapter Text

Magnus tried hard to understand what had just happened. One moment he had been sleeping with Alec in his arms and the next Robert was there yelling at his son and calling him lots of ugly things. Magnus had been unable to hold himself back and yelled at that stupid man how wrong he was. Then Alec had blacked out and Magnus carried him to his room.

And that was where he was now, watching over the sleeping Alec and thinking. He just couldn’t understand people like Robert. How could he blame his son’s sexuality for what had happened? Of course, it was his ex-boyfriend who had killed Max, but he couldn’t see how Alec should have known that before. And Robert didn’t seem to hold a grudge against Clary, who was literally Sebastian’s sister.

“Mags?” Alec’s sleepy voice ripped Magnus out of his thoughts.

“Oh, sweetie, you’re awake! How do you feel?” Magnus rushed to Alec’s side immediately and couldn’t stop himself from grabbing the other boy’s hand. Alec didn’t look mad about it, so Magnus stayed like that on the edge of Alec’s bed.

“I’m fine, Magnus, I promise. I’m used to it, don’t worry about me.” That was not what Magnus liked to hear, especially not in such a resigned tone.

“I always will, sweetheart. You’re important to me and I will always worry about you.”

Alec blushed heavily. “You shouldn’t. I’m not worth it.”

“Oh Alexander, you’re worth everyone’s caring. What your father said is not true. It was NOT your fault!” Magnus tried to convince him, even though he knew it probably wouldn’t work.

“BUT IT WAS!” Alec suddenly shouted and yanked his hand back from Magnus violently, trying to get away as far as possible without leaving the bed, since Magnus was unconsciously blocking him.

Magnus stared at him in disbelief. In all the time he knew him, he had never seen Alexander shouting at anybody, not even that one time when he picked Izzy up late at night and she was so drunk she could barely walk.

What he did next was much worse though. Alec curled up into a tight ball and started crying, nearly as heavenly as during his panic attacks. Then he started apologizing and it was worse than being yelled at. “I’m sorry… so sorry… please don’t be mad… let me make it up to you… anyhow… please…. I’m sorry… I’m sorry… I’m sorry…”

“Shh, Alexander, sweetheart, relax. Please, calm down. You’re with me, you’re safe. I’m not mad at you, I could never be mad at you. And you don’t need to be sorry. Everybody gets angry or scared and defensive from time to time and then they yell. It’s perfectly normal and nothing I would ever hold against you.”

“I… just don’t want to be… like him.” Alec was still crying, but he was calmer now, sitting in his lap and clinging to Magnus with all he had.

“Like who, darling?” Magnus asked, curious, but also worried if talking about it would make everything worse.

“Dad. I hate it when he stats yelling. He does it so often. And always at me.” Alec answers. Magnus hated the effect that man had at his boy. One day he would make him pay for it.

“Why?” Magnus asked, not willing to let Alec see his anger. He would only think Magnus was angry at him for yelling.

“Because I am… different. He has something he can blame.”

“Your homosexuality.” Magnus stated. That was just disgusting. Making Alec believe that there was something wrong with him. Magnus couldn’t understand why Robert did this and he didn’t want to. He just wanted him to stop.

“Yeah. And he is right. Kind of. If I hadn’t been with Sebastian, Max would still be alive.”

“You don’t have to talk about it, if you are not ready yet.” Magnus could feel Alec’s whole behaviour changing, like he was steeling himself for something. But did he do this, just so he could proof Magnus something? That it was his fault? That he was strong enough to handle his past? Or did he really want to tell him? Either way this was Alec’s decision to make.

Alec took a deep breath. “I am ready.”

Chapter Text

*11 months earlier*

Alec used to like his birthdays. He would get lots of presents, his siblings would throw a party for him and his parents would take a day off to spend it with Alec.

That changed when his eighteenth birthday turned into the worst day of his life.

It had started really good though. A really excited Izzy had woken up him and the whole family early in the morning. Jace was always grumpy, when he had to get up that early, but because it was Alec’s birthday he didn’t complain.

First he unwrapped his gifts. He got really nice things this year: new clothes from Izzy, a sports club membership by Jace and some comic books by Max. His parents gave him books that would be useful in school, some money and two plane tickets to Florida. This last present meant the most for Alec. It showed him that in their own way his parents accepted him and his homosexuality. He couldn’t wait to visit Florida with his boyfriend Sebastian.

After an extensive breakfast cooked by Maryse and some family time, Clary, Simon and Sebastian showed up, each of them bringing more presents. The teens spent most of the day preparing everything for the party that was supposed to be held in the evening, making jokes, talking and laughing a lot.

Even though Alec wasn’t a great fan of parties he always enjoyed that one party a year. It meant spending great time with his siblings, his friends and the other people Jace and Izzy invited. And this year he would finally be able to celebrate it with a boyfriend by his side.

He had been together with Sebastian for a quite a while now, nearly five months. They had met when Jace and Clary became a couple and something between them had just clicked. Sebastian needed some months of flirting before Alec finally agreed to come out to everyone – his family had known before – and to be his boyfriend. The first two months it had felt like heaven for Alec. The two boys went on dates, did stupid but funny couple activities with Jace and Clary or Izzy and Simon and walked around the city holding hands.

They never did anything really intimate though because Alec was really insecure. On their three-months-anniversary they finally had their first kiss. After Sebastian had started pushing for more, more than Alec had been willing to give. Lately they had argued about it a lot and it kind of stressed Alec out. Maybe he should just give in, maybe not all the way just a little, today was a special occasion after all.

Alec took a deep breath and got ready to seduce his boyfriend.

____________________

The party was great like always when Izzy organized it. Alec was glad that their house was so big because otherwise the around one hundred guests would have never fit in. There was a great buffet and somehow Izzy managed to get them lots of alcohol – beer and a punch with a secret ingredient that made really drunk really fast.

Alec stayed away from the alcohol though. He wanted to be sober when doing whatever he was about to do for the first time today. So he only drank one beer. He saw Sebastian get new punch at least twice though. Alec knew he needed to stop that soon, because Sebastian could get really rough and demanding when he was drunk and Alec didn’t want it to be like that.

So he went over to Sebastian, who was about to get punch for the third time, and asked him to dance. Alec didn’t like dancing, but it was better than drunk sex. In the end it was actually quite nice to dance with Sebastian, showing everyone that they belonged together. And nobody was complaining about them being two boys – in fact he saw his cousin Aline dancing with another girl on the opposite side of the room.

Sebastian and Alec stayed at the party till the end. Izzy and Jace left with the last guests, they would be having a sleepover with Clary and Simon. Max was sleeping at one of his friends’ house too, so that he would be able to catch enough sleep despite the party, and Robert and Maryse were out working all night because they couldn’t in the day. They wouldn’t be home before 4am. They had at least two hours for themselves.

Rather excited Alec grabbed Sebastian’s hand and led him into his room. He didn’t bother locking the door, they were alone anyway.

It was Alec, who started to kiss Sebastian. It was him, who deepened the kiss. It was him, who removed Sebastian’s shirt and his own. Then he stopped, panting, not sure what to do.

Sebastian leant back disappointed. “Are you serious? Making me horny as hell and then stop? Why won’t you let me make you feel good?”

“I…” Alec blushed and swallowed nervously. “I want to… make you feel good… just not all the way yet.”

“Why don’t you suck me off and I’ll return that favour?”

“Okay” Alec breathed, relieved Sebastian wasn’t mad that he still didn’t want to go all the way. Maybe on their vacation in Florida.

Sebastian took over from them, but Alec was fine with it, he wanted it, he wanted to stay with Sebastian. Sebastian took off both their pants, then his own underwear. Then he invitingly spread his legs. Alec did what Sebastian wanted as good as he could, which wasn’t really good because he was so inexperienced, but Sebastian didn’t complain.

That was how Max found them. Max, whose friend was sick, so he decided to stay at home and read comics. Max, who had had a dream so he went for his big brother. Max, who looked at the scene in front of him, without understanding.

Sebastian was pissed for being interrupted, Alec could tell. He quickly pushed Alec away, pulled up his underwear and walked towards the little kid standing in the doorway. “Never heard of knocking before, kid?” he snarled.

“I… I didn’t know you were here. I thought Alec would be alone.”

“Well, he isn’t. Now get out of here!”

“But I had a bad dream! I need Alec!”

“Yeah, but he’s mine now. You can’t have him anymore!” Sebastian was close to shouting now, his drunk side showing through.

Alec quickly got up and tried to calm everyone down. “Hey guys, calm down, both of you! I’ll bring you to bed, Max yeah? Seb, I’ll be with you in five.”

“Fine” Sebastian grumbled and watched them leave.

When Alec came back neither of them was in the mood anymore, so they just cuddled and fell asleep. Sebastian seemed a little bit cold and dismissive, but Alec figured it was just because he was disappointed that nothing really happened. Maybe it would in Florida.

When Alec woke up the next morning Sebastian was gone and Max dead.

Chapter Text

Magnus knocked on Alec’s door. It was Friday afternoon, one week after Alec had told him about what had happened and Magnus was still shocked. Still he had promised Alec that they would work this out together and that was exactly what he was about to do.

He just hoped his idea would be a step in the right direction. At least Izzy seemed to think that too, so Magnus would just have to see if it worked.

“Hey, Mags!” Alec smiled at him widely.

Magnus was glad that everything was nearly like always. That Robert’s outburst didn’t scare Alec away from Magnus. Even though he didn’t want to think about what that meant, how Alec was probably used to it. Magnus wanted to do worse things than just yelling at Robert.

“I’ve got a surprise for you. I hope you don’t have anything planned this weekend.” Magnus gave Alec his best smile, he knew the boy was free, but still wanted him to have the chance to back out if he didn’t feel comfortable. Magnus would understand after what he had heard from Alec last week.

“No, I’m free, do I need anything?”

“Don’t worry, Izzy packed you a bag already. We’re ready to leave right now!”

“Leave? Where are we going?”

“I told you it’s a surprise, sweetheart.”

“Fine” Alec grumbled, but he didn’t look mad.

So Alec just grinned, grabbed his hand and pulled him down the stairs.

Downstairs they met Jace. He looked a little bit like a zombie, he hated to be separated from Clary again, but still managed to give them a smile and wish them fun.

Oh, they would definitely have that. Magnus would make sure of it.

Saying good bye to Jace he pulled Alec towards the car.

____________________

With Alec a car drive could never be boring, Magnus was sure of it. Even though Alec wasn’t big at talking, with Magnus he always did. All the way to the surprise they talked about everything and nothing.

When they arrived after twenty minutes, Alec finally figured out where they were going. “Is this… your cabin? Is there a surprise party for me or something?” He didn’t seem too eager at that thought.

Magnus couldn’t help but chuckle. “No… no, sweetheart, I promise. It’s just the two of us. Just getting out from all this stress and do exactly nothing or whatever we want.”

“That sounds great! Thank you, Mags.” Alec smiled at him genuinely happy and Magnus knew he had done the right thing.

____________________

The rest of the day they did literally nothing, just talking listening to music and generally just hanging out together until it was time for dinner. Ordering takeout wasn’t an option out here, but Magnus had taken care of everything, so they could cook by themselves.

The only problem was that Magnus couldn’t cook. His father usually did that for him and if not he ordered takeout.

Alec was his knight in shining armour. As Magnus found out Izzy was a terrible cook and Jace was just too lazy, so Alec had to learn so he and his siblings wouldn’t starve when his parents were working.

They didn’t cook anything special just spaghetti with tomato sauce from a glass, but still Magnus couldn’t help but admire how sure Alec moved in the kitchen, like it was all his and he knew every move to make.

And the food he cooked was truly delicious, one of the best Magnus had ever eaten, even if it was so simple. Magnus wondered what he would be able to do with the other ingredients.

After dinner they cuddled up in the bed in Magnus’ room, the one where they had slept together for the first time, after Alec’s panic attack at the party. This felt so different, it was just all cosy and relaxed and in the end they both fell asleep over the movie they were watching on Magnus’ laptop.

____________________

Magnus didn’t really have a plan for the weekend, he had thought he would just go with whatever Alec would come up with.

He regretted that the second Alec found swimming gear in his bag and his whole face lit up. “Is there a lake close by?”

“Yeah, it’s only a ten-minute-walk into the woods. Do you want to go there?” Magnus decided to put on a brave face. Everything to make Alec happy. That was what this weekend was about after all.

“Yeah sure. I’ll make us some sandwiches, we can have a picnic there.”

Now that actually sounded much better. His smile was less forced this time. “That’s a plan. I’ll get changed and meet you in the kitchen in five?”

“Okay.” Alec grabbed his swimming gear and disappeared into the bathroom on the opposite side.

Magnus quickly closed the door behind him and turned to his closet. He knew that somewhere deep down he had swimming gear, which he had never used but owned anyway. He found it surprisingly quickly, a short red piece of clothing.

He quickly put it on and added a glitter top and a black ripped jeans to his outfit.

Then he went into his bathroom to grab a towel. Looking in the mirror he couldn’t believe he was actually doing this. But then Alec knocked on the door and asked if everything was okay and suddenly it didn’t seem that bad anymore. Taking a deep breath, Magnus opened his door and followed Alec into the kitchen.

____________________

The way to the lake would have been nice if Magnus had been in a better mood. Although it was already the beginning of September it was still warm and sunny, the trees were giving them shadow, birds were singing, Alec was carrying the basket with their sandwiches – and Magnus was wondering why the hell he had agreed to this.

Still he was enjoying the time with Alec and talking to him kept Magnus from thinking too much about what was about to come soon.

Way too fast they reached the lake. It wasn’t very big and you could stand everywhere except in the very middle, Magnus had made Ragnor test that. Also the water was quite warm, so it were practically perfect conditions.

The only problem was Magnus.

Sighing he turned away from the lake and towards Alec, who had gotten rid of his shirt and was only wearing shorts now. He had laid out a picnic blanket and was now preparing everything for the picnic for when they came back out of the water.

“Alexander”, Magnus started nervously. “There is something you should know.”

“What’s it Magnus, is everything alright?” Alec asked worriedly.

“It’s just… I can’t swim.”

“You…?” Alec gasped at him open-mouthed. “You can’t swim? Why didn’t you say anything?”

“You looked so excited. I didn’t want to ruin it.”

“Mags, hey, this is just as much about you as it is about me. If you’re uncomfortable with anything just tell me. I would never be mad about something like that, I promise.”

“Thank you! Do you still want to get in there?”

“Do you?”

“Only if you stay close to me. All the time. Promise?”

“Promise.”

Magnus got rid of his pants and shirt, the Alec grabbed Magnus’ hand and softly pulled him into the direction of the lake.

Magnus couldn’t help but shiver a little. It was actually quite cold and he was also nervous. Alec noticed and pulled him closer, laying an arm around his shoulders. At least it wasn’t cold anymore.

They had reached the lake and stopped. Magnus knew what Alec was doing, waiting for him to take the first step. So he did.

The water was cold around his feet, but not uncomfortably so. And with Alec next to him he felt even safe.

So he took another step. And another.

They were halfway in, the water playing around their hips. Alec was smiling at him with a hint of pride in the eyes. “You are doing so well, darling. Wanna get in a little more, get all wet? You’ll get cold otherwise.”

Magnus blushed. Alec never used pet names and it was quite a nice change. That did it to him. Carefully he sunk down into the water, holding on to Alec’s hand with all he had. Alec smiled at him approvingly and let himself down into the water as well.

____________________

They stayed like that for what felt like hours. Magnus actually enjoyed the time, Magnus couldn’t believe that he had been missing this all the time.

Then they got out, had their picnic and sunbathed for probably the last time this year.

Way too soon they realised it was nearly dawn and they had to go back to the cabin. Back to reality. Alec would want to talk about it. And Magnus knew this talk was necessary, he was all in for honesty and openness, but that didn’t mean he liked it.

They had the talk over a delicious plate of homemade hamburgers and fries, not very fancy but their means were restricted.

Magnus started the topic himself. “I’m sorry I didn’t tell you earlier.”

“Don’t be. I think I understand.”

“Tell me. And I won’t be mad if you’re wrong.” Magnus winked at him and it helped lifting the tension between them a little.

Alec stayed serious. “Until now, you’ve just been there for me. Always. I was relying on you all the time. And today that changed. You showed me a more vulnerable side of you. And you didn’t want to ruin the perfect image of you I had in my head.”

Magnus could only nod. How did Alec know him that well?

“Just know, that for me you’ll always be perfect, with all your flaws. You have dealt with so many of my struggles and insecurities and you’re still here and I want to do the same for you. So please stop hiding and let me be there for you just like you are for me.”

Magnus could feel actual tears in his eyes. He wouldn’t cry, not now. This was probably the nicest thing he had ever been told. “I… thank you, Alexander. I’ll try to be more open about my imperfection, I guess.”

“Be whatever you want, Magnus.”

“Your boyfriend?” Magnus could have bitten his tongue. It had just slipped out, not even slightly as romantic and well-thought as he had wanted.

“Yes. I would love that!” Alec smiled at him widely.

Magnus stared at him wide-eyed trying to understand what was happening. Then his brain started working again and he got the message. “You… you want to? Be my boyfriend?”

“Yes, I want to try at least. I can’t let my past define me forever.”

“We can work on that, sweetheart. Together.”

“I know. Thank you so much, Mags. For everything.”

Magnus could feel the tension between them, but it was a different kind of tension than before, it felt good like electricity but in a good way. He leaned in a bit, waiting for Alec to make the move. He would always let him have his pace.

Alec’s eyes locked with his when he leaned forward as well, until there were only centimetres between them. Then he closed his eyes and their lips met.

If someone would have asked him to describe the kiss later, he would be at a loss of words. It felt amazing, better than any kiss he had ever had and it moved something deep inside of him.

It made him feel complete, like he and the boy opposite of him had finally found their place: together.

Chapter Text

Alec closed his eyes, taking a deep breath. He wasn’t sure why he was doing this, but he knew it had to be done. Giving Magnus one last quick kiss he turned and entered his house, returning from the trip to the cabin he and Magnus had been taking.

His family was sitting together in the kitchen over dinner, a rare occasion that only happened on few Sundays. Probably that was a good thing but it made Alec way more nervous.

“Hey, Alec! How was your trip?” Izzy, who saw him first, greeted him.

“Pretty good. It was nice to have some days off.”

“You went to Magnus’ cabin with him, right?” Maryse asked.

“Well, his father’s actually, but yeah.”

“You went away with another boy for the whole weekend?” Robert looked shocked.

“Yeah. You have a problem with that?” Alec shot back defiantly.

“Well, actually I have.”

“Why? Because I’m gay?”

A shocked silence filled the room. It wasn’t like they didn’t all know very well, it was just that nobody ever spoke about it.

“So what? I am gay. It’s time you come to term with that. Max’ death was tragic and will haunt me forever, but he didn’t die because of my homosexuality. You need to start to accept that – to accept me.” Alec really didn’t know where he took that courage from, but once he started he couldn’t stop. “And speaking of acceptance, I want you to accept my boyfriend too.”

“Boyfriend?” Robert echoed stunned.

Izzy squealed happily and Jace said: “I’m so happy for you buddy. I’m glad you and Magnus finally found together.”

Alec gave the two of them a weak smile. He was really glad to know they would always have his back, even if it meant to stand against their own father.

Talking about whom, he looked like he had seen a ghost, still totally stunned, but Alec could see the rage starting to build under the surface.

“Quit it, father.” Alec said, suddenly feeling really tired. “I know you don’t agree but I’m really happy to be with Magnus. I won’t let you ruin this for me.”

Robert’s death glare bored into Alec’s back as he turned and left the room without another word.

____________________

“Hey, dad, I’m home!”

Magnus lazily kicked off his shoes and walked into the living room, where he had heard the TV. His father was there watching some show, but he turned it off when he saw his son.

“How was your trip?”

“Really good. We went swimming in the lake.”

“Swimming? You? You must really like this boy.” His father joked.

“Yes, I do.” Magnus answered.

“And does he like you?” Magnus’ father looked way more interested in the topic than appropriate for a father.

“Well, otherwise he wouldn’t have agreed to be my boyfriend, right?”

“Your boyfriend? Congrats! When will I meet him?”

“Dad!” Magnus screamed fake-annoyed. “You know Alec. He slept here quite often the last months.”

“Fine. But I haven’t met him as your boyfriend yet. Make sure to invite him over for dinner please.”

____________________

Alec was the first person up on Monday. That wasn’t unusual itself, but something about him was really different today. First of all he actually spent some time to select his clothes, not just taking the ones that was lying on top. Instead he chose an outfit Magnus and Izzy had bought for him a while ago, and even tried to comb his hair.

He also didn’t drive to school with Magnus today. Since he had been gone with Magnus all weekend, his siblings – especially Izzy – had demanded his attention, so he had agreed to drive them to school. It was actually quite nice, listening to his siblings chatting about some party, but somehow he missed Magnus and his jokes that made him laugh no matter how grumpy he was in the mornings.

He couldn’t arrive at school early enough. He knew Magnus would be there, already waiting for him.

As fast as possible Alec got out of his car, locked it and entered the school building. And Magnus was right there, just as he had said. He looked beautiful, just like always. But the most beautiful thing was his smile, when he spotted Alec.

It made Alec’s brain turn into jelly and before he could think about it, Alec threw his arms around Magnus and kissed him.

For a moment, it was just the two of them, sharing a sweet passionate kiss. Then the world broke down over their heads. When they parted everybody was staring at them. Alec blushed fiercely, he hadn’t wanted everyone to know.

But just how happy and surprised Magnus had looked made it kind of worth it. And who cared what the others thought anyway. Should they gossip till they die, Alec promised himself that he would never care about it.

____________________

Low murmurs followed Alec and Magnus through school all day, but nobody addressed them directly about it. Some of their friends congratulated them and wished them good luck and stuff, but the other students mainly acted normal.

As Magnus said, he probably had got them all used to it by now. When he came to school with a boyfriend first it had been a bi scandal, but that was years ago. Somehow he had managed to stay popular, and to use that to spread some acceptance under the students. It wasn’t perfect, but most students were way more open-minded than average.

____________________

“I didn’t know you were gay.”

Alec looked up from his bag with his sports stuff. “So what?”

They were in the boy’s locker room, getting ready for the basketball training. Magnus had gone home already, but he had promised to come over later today to spend some more time with him.

“Well, maybe… maybe it would be better if you would not use this locker room.” Ray, one of his teammates said.

Alec sighed. In the beginning it had been hard for him to change in front of the others but they had all encouraged him to try and stay, until it felt normal again. And now they wanted to take that away from him. Alec didn’t know what to do. Did they all felt like that about him now?

“Cut that crap!” Alec looked up surprised. It was Josh, who had been his first friend in the team. He stepped in front of Alec in a protective position and Alec was surprised to see how many people followed him, clearly more than half of the team.

Luckily, it was enough for Ray to back down and even apologize to Alec half-heartedly. But for Alec that was enough. He had never been really close with Ray anyway, he was just too loud for Alec’s liking.

But in the end he was just glad that most of his team was fine with him being himself. And what else did he need, having his siblings, friends, teammates and most of all Magnus by his side?

Chapter Text

Alec knew he should be happy about his relationship, it should be perfect. But somehow he couldn’t help but feel like he was always just taking, asking Magnus for help, for guidance, being invited over and taken on dates by Magnus, never giving anything back.

Luckily, Izzy had given him some really helpful advice about it.

And that was how he ended here, in front of Magnus’ front door about to ask Magnus for a date.

Alec had never taken anyone on a date before. The only person he had been on dates with – except Magnus of course – was Sebastian and he had always wanted to be “the guy in the relationship”. Alec had been fine with it, but now with Magnus it felt different.

Magnus’ father opened the door. Alec liked him, he was always really friendly to Alec. He just wished his own father would be more like him.

After some small talk with Magnus’ father Alec went to Magnus’ room, where the boy was doing some homework at the moment. He immediately stopped it when he spotted Alec though.

“Hey, Alec! What are you doing here? I wasn’t expecting you today!”

“Hey, Mags! I… I really don’t know how to do this… but I would like to take you out today.”

“As in a date?” Magnus looked so excited, it made Alec immediately feel less nervous.

“Yes, a date. If you want to.” Alec smiled lightly.

“I would love to! Where will we go?” Magnus jumped up and reached for his jacket.

“I thought we could got to the movies. The new Marvel one is supposed to be really good. And after we could get dinner somewhere.”

“That sounds amazing!”

“Great, then let’s go.”

____________________

“The movie was amazing!” Magnus whole face was glowing from excitement.

“Yeah, it was definitely worth watching it!”

They continued chatting about the film while waiting for their food in the Chinese restaurant Alec had chosen. It was quite small and a little bit out of town, nothing fancy.

Alec’s parents wouldn’t even consider going here and that had been the main criteria. Since he told his family about his relationship to Magnus they had been acting quite frosty towards him, ignoring him most of the time. Seeing him with Magnus, Alec feared, would make them finally explode.

But right now he was on a date with an amazing person and he wouldn’t let anything ruin that, especially not his faraway parents.

With Magnus it was easy to forget them, talking about everything and nothing over their food, joking, laughing and just being two teenagers in love.

____________________

Following that cliché they ended up on Magnus’ bed. His father wasn’t home and they had all time in the world.

Alec was lying on top of Magnus, both fully clothed, but kissing wildly. Alec knew Magnus wanted more than that and he was deeply grateful that Magnus still always respected his boundaries and went with Alec’s pace.

But today it just kind of felt right. Alec wanted to give him more. So he carefully reached down and started to unbutton Magnus’ shirt. The other boy didn’t try to stop him, he just looked up at him trustingly and asked: “Are you sure?”

Alec nodded. It was a big step for him, but he was willing to take it. Of course he had seen Magnus in only his boxers more than once already, they actually slept like that quite regularly. But this, somehow, was a totally different situation.

Alec continued with his own shirt then, pulling it over his head. Magnus looked at him full of love and desire and it made Alec feel so, so good.

But they didn’t go any further that day.

Still half naked thy cuddled on the bed till they fell asleep. Maybe it hadn’t been the perfect date, but Alec couldn’t help but think that it could have been so much worse. Taking Magnus out had been so easy, just as easy as being taken out by him.

All in all, it had been one of the best days of his life, not exactly reaching the day where Magnus asked him to be his boyfriend, but coming quite close to it.

Chapter Text

There was no party this year and Alec was glad about it. The Lightwoods’ birthday parties used to be the event of the year back in New York, but today nobody felt up to celebrating. It had been one year ago now and still it haunted Alec more nights than it didn’t.

There were also no presents, at least not from his parents, not even money. Of course his siblings got him something, but Alec had managed to keep his birthday hidden from the rest of his friends, even Magnus. Alec was glad about it, he didn’t want to fake happiness for anyone.

There was no school, at least not for Alec. That morning he just woke up and decided he couldn’t get up and go to school. So he told everyone he was ill. Of course his siblings knew what was going on, but they wouldn’t push it. Alec knew they were having a hard time themselves.

There was no Magnus, and that was maybe the hardest thing. Of course, it had been Alec’s own choice not to tell him, but he had been sure he could handle it. As it soon turned out, he had been wrong.

____________________

Magnus found out something was wrong, when it was already too late.

Alec had texted him in the morning, telling him he was ill and couldn’t go to school, which was unusual, but not necessarily a bad thing. Therefore, Magnus had to drive to school alone.

The first contact he made with Alec’s siblings were the Art classes he shared with Jace and usually Alec. Jace looked pretty miserable. Magnus didn’t think much about it, maybe he was getting ill just like Alec.

When he met Izzy during lunch break she looked even worse. When he asked her about it, she just said something about “a hard time for the family”.

That made Magnus think. He knew the accident had been around a year back by now, he just didn’t know the exact date. It made sense though.

Magnus felt like an idiot for not noticing earlier. He should have been worried the moment Alec told him he was ill, or at least he should have realized when seeing Jace.

Magnus was determined to skip classes to look after Alec, but on the parking lot a teacher caught him, so instead he got an extra detention after school.

When he finally got out of school it was already 5pm. He was surprised to meet Izzy at the parking lot.

“Izzy! What are you doing here this late? You didn’t wait for me, did you? Is everything okay with Alec?”

Izzy looked kind of guilty. “I haven’t heard anything from him. And I’ve been staying longer in school today.”

“Why that?”

“I…” Izzy hesitated. “I’ve taken your advice and went to the school therapist. She’s really amazing.”

“So was it your first session today?”

“No, I’ve been going for around a month. It’s really helping. I don’t know how to thank you for your advice.”

“Help me to make sure Alec is doing ok. I’m really worried!”

“Sure, let’s go!”

____________________

Alec couldn’t believe his eyes. He had decided to go down in the evening to get some food and there was a party in his house. Partying was the last thing he wanted to do right now though. He didn’t feel like he deserved it.

The guests didn’t care though, burying him in congratulations and presents. Then the music started and it was just too loud, too much. Suddenly, Magnus stepped out of the crowd, smiling widely and pulling Alec into a hug before the latter could pull away.

“Happy birthday, Alexander! I can’t believe you didn’t tell me!”

“I…” Alec was at a loss of words.

“You were just trying to hide away all day, I know! Well, I hope this cheers you up!”

Alec smiled weakly, his eyes darting to the saving stairs that would bring him up to his room, where he would be safe. Next to it, he could see Izzy and Jace with Clary and Simon. They must have planned for this for quite a long time already.

Before he could escape though, Magnus grabbed his hand and took him to the bar. Numbly, Alec took the drink Magnus handed him and allowed him to lead him through the crowd and into the slightly quieter kitchen.

They stayed there for quite a while and Alec was actually starting to relax, mostly because of the alcohol – and Magnus of course. At some point Magnus started kissing Alec and just then did Alec realize that the room was empty and it was quiet in the house. The party had to be over. Finally.

Alec was so relieved he even forgot that Magnus was there with him for a second – that was until he suddenly felt Magnus’ hands at the hem of his shirt.

“Magnus… wh… what are you doing?”

“Getting to the real fun of the night. Come on, Alec, it’s your birthday! Can’t you give me this present?”

“Magnus… no… you know I’m not ready!”

“We don’t have to move all the way, Alexander, don’t worry. You can just suck my dick, I know you’ve done that before already.”

“Magnus… I’m tired. Can’t we talk about that tomorrow?”

“But I want it now. Come on, what are you afraid of?”

Alec pushed away Magnus hands. “Right now? You! If you want it that way, look for another boyfriend! Come and talk to me when you get back to your senses!”

“Don’t talk to me like that! I am not the one, who is crazy in this relationship and doesn’t even want sex!”

Magnus looked really angry now, so Alec decided to retreat, but before he could leave the kitchen, Magnus grabbed him by the wrists and pressed him against the fridge.

That was the moment when Alec completely lost it.

Chapter Text

“Alec! Alexander! Come on, open the door, please!” Magnus knew he sounded desperate, but he had been hammering at Alec’s door for at least five minutes straight and there was still no answer.

Finally, Izzy came back with the spare key that she kept in her room. Opening the door Magnus was first of all relieved to see that Alec was actually in his room and not walking around anywhere else, where he could hurt himself or others.

On second sight, the situation was far from good. Alec was lying in his bed curled up into a ball, crying and whimpering while being fast asleep.

As gentle as possible Magnus shook Alec’s shoulder. The boy did wake up, but that just seemed to make everything worse. The second he laid eyes on Magnus, his whole body recoiled and he tried to put as much space between them as possible without leaving the bed.

Magnus watched him worriedly. “Alexander, please, let me help you.”

Alec looked at him with a suddenly fierce look. “Leave me alone, Magnus! You’ve done enough!”

“Alec, what are you talking about?”

“Leave!” Alec screamed, then he started sobbing.

Every fibre of Magnus’ body was screaming at him not to do it, but Magnus knew that Alec would get worse if he didn’t do as asked. So he silently left the room, sliding down the wall next to it.

He just didn’t understand what was going on. Alec had never – never, not even, when they didn’t know each other – denied Magnus’ help. So, what had changed?

Magnus didn’t know how long he sat there, but at some point, Isabelle left the room completely furious. “How could you?” she screamed at him.

“What? Would you please tell me what’s going on? I have no idea what you all are talking about!”

“I am talking about the party you took Alec to, where you tried to get into his pants even though he had told you he didn’t want it!”

“What party? I haven’t been on a party with Alec since the one we threw for you, when you first arrived here!” Magnus defended himself. “And there I definitely tried to get in his pants, remember?”

“Yeah, I do. Then what is Alec talking about?”

“I don’t know. Maybe he had like a flashback or something and is mistaking me for Sebastian. You know, because we are in a similar relationship like they used to be.”

“No, you’re not. Looking back, there has always been something off about their relationship. It’s like… like Sebastian never really cared about Alec, he just wanted a perfect little boyfriend. You are like the complete opposite. You are always there for him and you make him so, so happy. He’s really glad to have you.”

“Well, then it’s time I get him back, I guess.” Magnus said determined and stood up.

“Be careful, he doesn’t trust you at the moment.”

“I know, but he will soon hopefully.”

With that Magnus entered Alec’s room and closed the door behind him.

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At first sight, the room looked empty. But then Magnus spotted Alec curled up under his desk, wrapped in a blanket. He looked better than before but still far from fine.

When Alec spotted Magnus, he visibly flinched. “What are you doing here? Izzy said she would throw you out.”

“Well, I convinced her not to do that.” Magnus informed Alec. “There was no party, Alexander. Moreover, I would never hurt you like that.”

“But… That can’t be true! You must be lying!”

“I’m not.” Magnus answered, trying to be as calm as possible so that he wouldn’t scare Alec further. On his inside Magnus’ feelings were a mess. He knew he was way too close to losing Alec – something he had wished would never happen.

“Proof it.”

“Okay. How?”

“I don’t know.” Alec looked insecure. “But if you can’t proof it you’ll have to go. I don’t want you to, but if I can’t trust you –”

“No, wait. I think I have an idea.” Magnus quickly interrupted him, the thought of leaving Alec alone like this not being one he wanted to think about too much. “Tell me about that party.”

“You want me to relive that ugly memory?” Alec shuddered, he obviously didn’t like the idea.

“No, I want you to go through that bad dream or flashback or whatever you had, so that we can see if we find things that don’t add up. Are you okay with that?”

“I don’t know, but I guess it needs to be done. I hate not being able to trust my own memories.”

“Thank you!” Magnus let out a relieved breath.

“I… well… it was my birthday, so I didn’t go to school and stayed in my room all day. When I went down there was the party.”

Magnus furrowed his brows. TODAY was Alec’s birthday. His story wasn’t making any sense.

Alec continued. “You were the one to throw the party. It was a really big event, everybody was there, even Clary and Simon. How did you know when my birthday was anyway? Did Izzy tell you?”

“No” Magnus explained calmly. “I only found out that your birthday was today when I met your siblings at school.”

“Today.” Alec echoed faintly.

“Yes, today, Alexander. It’s September 12th.” Magnus pulled out his phone, showing Alec the date as proof.

“Also, Clary and Simon are not here. Do you want Izzy or Jace to come in and confirm that?”

Alec only shook his head. He looked quite pale and miserable.

“What’s it, Alexander, my love? What are you thinking?” Magnus questioned, concerned that Alec still didn’t believe him.

“I… you were right. You probably think I’m crazy now.”

“No, not at all, sweetie! You are having a bad day and with your past experiences, seriously, I would be more surprised if you wouldn’t.” Magnus assured him. “When I asked you to become me boyfriend, I asked for all of it. The fun days, where you always make me love. The cozy days, when all we do is cuddling and watching movies. But also the bad days, because I know you won’t just magically stop having them just because I’m in your life now. Please remember that, Alexander. Just because somebody treated you bad in the past that doesn’t mean that I will too. You mean everything to me and I would do anything, everything to make you feel better.”

Alec blushed, trying to take it all in. After a while he found his words again. “Thank you, Magnus! For everything. I don’t know what I would have done if you hadn’t been here.”

“Shh, don’t think about it, darling. I’m here and I will always be there for you.”

Magnus pulled Alec close to his chest and hugged him tight. He was well aware just how close he had been to losing Alec today. He never wanted to let him go again.

Chapter Text

Alec really hated the Sunday night dinners his father insisted on having with them.

They had started maybe two months after Alec and Magnus started dating and at first Alec had thought his father really wanted to build a better relationship to his children. That was until the Branwells entered the picture. Mr Branwell was a business partner of Robert and the two of them usually spent all dinner talking about work. Mrs Branwell got along quite well with Maryse too, which left the children to talk to their daughter Lydia. Lydia was actually a really nice girl. Alec could remember her showing them around school the first day and his first impression hadn’t been wrong.

Since Lydia and Izzy had become friends, he hadn’t suspected anything about her being at the dinners. That was until his father took him to the side after the second dinner with the Branwells and asked him what he thought of Lydia. When he said that she seemed really nice – which was only the truth – his father told him not very subtle that Lydia was single and that getting together with her would his business.

Of course Alec had told him no, but his father would be going on and on about it. As Lydia once told him after dinner, her parents were doing the same – just that it was different for her. She wasn’t in a relationship and also wouldn’t mind being with Alec, as she had said it.

The problem was that Robert had become were insisting lately. He and Mr Branwell were about to settle quite a big deal and nothing would secure that more than their children being a couple.

That was also the reason why they were having an additional dinner on Wednesday. Alec hadn’t thought much about it, but when someone rang on the door and Alec opened it to see Magnus on the other side he knew he had fucked up.

Alec had never bothered to tell Magnus about the family dinners. Of course Magnus knew they were having them, which was the reason why he couldn’t meet Alec on Sunday evenings, but he didn’t know about the Branwells and Robert’s attempts on getting Alec a girlfriend. He just hadn’t wanted to admit how weak he still was, how he still couldn’t stand up to his father. And now it was too late, Magnus would find out everything and probably hate him after.

“Hey, Magnus” Alec greeted him a bit belatedly.

“Hello, darling, is everything okay?” Magnus asked concerned. “I know I said I would be learning today, but I finished early and thought I would come over.””

“Actually, now is really not a good time, family dinner.” Alec said without meeting Magnus’ eyes.

“But it’s not Sunday. Did something happen?”

“No, nothing special, just my father’s business deal.”

“Oh, okay. Should I come over later?”

“That would be nice. I will text you?” Alec was starting to think that maybe Magnus wouldn’t find out about it after all and could finally breathe again.

That’s when the door to the kitchen opened and Lydia entered the hallway. “What’s going on out here? You know I would take anything as an excuse to escape those dinners!”

Alec’s whole body froze. He didn’t know what to do.

“Hello, Lydia.” He heard Magnus greet her, like from under water. “What are you doing here?”

“Hey, Magnus, I’m here for family dinner, didn’t he tell you?”

“So, are you two, like related or something?” Magnus asked and Alec wanted to die of shame.

“No, we are not.” He answered quietly.

“Then what is she doing here, Alexander? I don’t understand.”

“Can I… explain it later? We really have to get back to dinner.”

“Sure thing, just text me when you’re free. Or come over yourself, I don’t care.”

They said their good byes and then Alec and Lydia went back to dinner. Alec didn’t say one more word that evening.

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Alec was pacing his room, thinking about what to do. He didn’t want to get over to Magnus’ house, because if they should fight and break up he knew he wouldn’t make it through without a panic attack and then he wanted to be able to lock himself in his room. But calling Magnus over just didn’t seem right.

Nevertheless, in the end he decided for the latter and he knew it was a good decision the second he saw him. Magnus looked curious and a little concerned and only seeing him like that made Alec want to die of shame. He really had been a lousy boyfriend.

The two of them went into Alec’s room, then Magnus couldn’t keep himself back any longer. “Alexander, please tell me what’s going on!”

“It’s just… I don’t know where to start.”

“What was Lydia doing at your family dinner?”

“Our fathers work together. He often invites them over.”

“Since when? But more importantly why? Can’t they talk about business somewhen else?”

“Maybe one month after my dad started the dinners. And why… yeah well, my dad seems to think Lydia would be an appropriate girlfriend for me.”

“But… what about us?”

“You know my dad, he ignores everything connected to me being gay.”

“So… are you and Lydia… dating?”

“No, of course not, Magnus! I am dating you and I don’t want to be with anyone else!”

“Then, why didn’t you tell me?”

“I… because…” Alec couldn’t speak. He was just so scared that Magnus would hate him.

“That’s what I thought.” Magnus sounded sad. “Remember on your birthday, when you had that dream? You said you couldn’t trust me and I had to leave.”

“But you didn’t.” Alec stated quietly.

“I didn’t. But that’s not my point. How am I supposed to trust you after this? I know this is a big thing for you. What if you had a panic attack about it and I would be the one to calm you down? How should I have known what to say? Also, as your boyfriend, don’t you think I should at least know that you’re father is trying to set you up with someone?” Magnus wasn’t screaming, but Alec knew he was hurt. Hurt and angry. And it was all Alec’s fault.

For some reason, Alec got defensive. “It wouldn’t have let to anything anyway, so I didn’t want to bother you.” He knew it wasn’t the right thing to say, when he saw Magnus’ expression, like stone bare of any emotion.

“Maybe I should leave then, so that I don’t bother you.”

“No, Magnus, please…” Alec stopped midsentence. Magnus had left the room.

Chapter Text

Alec was devastated. He had locked himself in his room all day and the guilt was killing him. Only when Izzy knocked on his door he finally got out.

After he had told her everything she considered everything for a while and then said: “You have to make up with him! There’s no way you can break up over this, you two are meant to be!”

“I know, I just don’t know how. No matter what I do it will never be enough to make up for this.”

“I wouldn’t be too sure about that. Call him, invite him over for dinner so that you two can talk!”

“He probably won’t even pick up his phone. I really fucked up this time.”

“Don’t worry, he will be here and if I have to trick him into it, I will. You guys deserve a second chance.”

“Thank you, Izzy.”

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As it turned out tricking wasn’t necessary. Magnus answered the phone on the first ring.

“Alexander, what do you want?” Alec cringed. Magnus sounded so distanced and cold.

“Magnus, listen, I’m really, really sorry for what I did. I know it was wrong and I would like to make up for it.”

“I don’t know. I think I need some time to overthink everything.”

“Please, Magnus” Alec was practically begging by now. “Would you come over for dinner? We should really talk about this!”

“Fine, I’ll be there.” Magnus said and hung up.

Alec chewed on his bottom lip, then he told Izzy: “He will come, but he hates me.”

“That’s a start. And by the end of the evening he won’t hate you anymore, I promise. Just be yourself.”

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Magnus rang the doorbell. He wasn’t even sure why he had agreed to come in the first place, he was still feeling so betrayed. Why couldn’t Alec have just trusted him? Was he that bad as a boyfriend?

His thoughts were disrupted by Alec opening the door. “Magnus! I wasn’t sure you would actually come!” Alec sounded relieved.

“Of course I came Alexander. When did I ever lie to you?”

Alec flinched, obviously remembered of his own lies. Magnus couldn’t help but feel a little satisfied at that even though he knew it was cruel.

“Do you… want to come in?” Alec asked awkwardly. “The lasagne needs to be taken out of the oven.”

“Sure. Did you cook dinner for us?”

“Yeah. That was the least I could do.”

“I appreciate it. I always liked your cooking.”

Alec led Magnus into the kitchen. The table was set for the two of them. Alec had bought flowers – not roses, but tulips. Magnus smiled at that; roses would have been just a bit too much. On the table stood also a candle and Magnus’ romantic side would be overflowing with joy if he weren’t still mad at Alec. But at least he was trying to make everything better.

Magnus took a seat and watched Alec taking the lasagne out of the oven. Alec put each of them some on a plate and placed one in front of Magnus. Then he poured him some Coke into his wine glass, before finally sitting down himself.

They ate mostly in silence. Magnus missed the easy chatter that usually went along with Alec’s presence.

Magnus ate two pieces of lasagne. Alec was really a great cook, you had to leave him that. The boy didn’t enjoy his own food that much. When Magnus put away his fork, Alec had barely finished half of his first piece. Magnus assumed it was because of nerves.

“This was really delicious. Thank you, Alexander”, Magnus started the conversation.

“Thank you for coming. I guess… it’s time to talk.”

Magnus just nodded.

Alec cleared his throat and then started what sounded like a well-practiced speech. “Magnus, I know you are mad at me and you have every right to be. What I did was wrong. I should have told you about Lydia right away, or at least when my father started pressuring me to date her. There no excuse for what I did, as you said I should have trusted you. I was just scared – scared that you would think I’m too much work, scared that you would think I’m cheating on you, scared that you would leave. I didn’t want to lose you and that’s why I never told you. And now I lost you because of this and it’s killing me. I’m really sorry, Magnus.”

Magnus smiled sadly. He couldn’t deny that he was touched by Alec’s little speech. Of course it didn’t make up for what he had done, but it was a step in the right direction. They could work with that. Because really, Magnus didn’t want to lose Alec over this. He had just been so angry when Alec got all defensive and both of them said things they shouldn’t have.

“I accept your apology, Alexander. I don’t want to fight with you. Please just tell me the next time.”

“I will. But there won’t be a next time.”

“What do you mean?” Magnus asked puzzled.

“I talked to my dad after our fight. I told him I wouldn’t attend the family dinners if you weren’t there. It’s either both of us or nobody.”

“Wow, that must have taken lots of courage, I appreciate it.”

“So, we’re okay?” Alec sounded insecure, biting on his bottom lip.

“Yes, Alexander, we will be okay.”

“Great!” Alec said relieved. “Do you want desert?”

“Always! You know me.”

And over the course of the desert, there familiar joking came back. Magnus felt like floating, when he finally left.