“For the last time Alec, we are not playing fucking pictionary,” Izzy chuckles as she sips her margarita, swaying on the spot. Alec rolls his eyes as he hears a chorus of agreements to Izzy’s statement rise around him.
“Didn’t we play that last time?” Clary asks as she sits on the couch, her drunken gaze glancing between Alec and Jace, squinting as if trying to remember. Jace, who sits next to her, puts a hand on Clary’s shoulder, though to help support her or to just help himself stay upright, Alec can’t tell.
“Yeah man, we played pictionary last time. And it’s boring,” Jace slurs, dragging out the “o” in “boring” and laughing giddily at that. Pretty much after that, Izzy and Clary join, gasping with laughter. Alec shakes his head.
Why do these idiots always manage to get so drunk before game night has even started?
As if he can hear Alec’s thoughts, Simon interrupts. “Actually I think we did monopoly last time. I’d personally be up for pictionary.” Alec’s mouth quirks up, silently feeling thankful that at least one other person is of sound mind, and he slaps Simon on the back in gratitude for the solidarity. The guy is his little sister’s boyfriend, and by all means and accounts he should dislike the guy, but Simon is too likeable and agreeable to ever dislike.
“But pictionary won’t work! Teams would be uneven,” Izzy whines, stumbling towards Simon before letting herself practically fall into his hold. “Come on Simon, Cluedo would be better, right?” Simon shrugs, but before he can retort in any way, Izzy grabs him by the front of his t-shirt and kisses him hard.
When Simon breaks away, his gaze looks a little dazed. He looks at Alec and shrugs. “She has a point.”
“Fine, I concede,” Alec puts his hands up in mock surrender, causing Clary and Jace to giggle from their spot on the couch. Izzy and Simon seem to be in their own little world. “Cluedo it is.”
The five of them sit around on the floor, forming a small circle as Alec brings out the game board. He can’t help but wonder how any deductive reasoning will be achieved with three of them already totally wasted. The game goes far longer than it should, though Alec can’t tell if it’s because Clary and Jace can barely string two words together, or because Izzy and Simon find every opportunity to make-out.
It’s become a tradition at this point, this ragtag family coming together every fortnight on a Friday night for game night. No matter how busy they get, they always find time for game night. Considering he usually works on Saturday mornings, Alec is usually the most sober one at these events. It usually doesn’t help him when he sees himself surrounded by the two most affectionate couples on the planet.
Couples that become way more affectionate after a few shots of alcohol.
Somehow, despite her inebriation, Izzy manages to win Cluedo after what feels like hours. “This is why she was so desperate to play it,” Jace mumbles, sulking, after Izzy is declared the winner. Laughing, she throws her arms up wildly as she downs the rest of her millionth margarita and kisses Simon on the cheek. He just smiles brightly, almost as if he himself had just won.
When Alec checks his phone after Cluedo and realises it’s already past midnight, he begins the process of cleanup. Simon helps out, but the other three are much too drunk to be of much help. Jace stumbles from the couch in an attempt to help, and instead ends up doubled-over. Alec can only remember the time a few months ago when Jace had been so drunk he had thrown up all over his new rug, and he pushes his brother back onto the couch without a word.
Soon after, Simon and Izzy leave the apartment, Izzy still hollering about her victory whilst Simon just chuckles, propping her up with an arm around her waist as he salutes everyone before they both back out of Alec’s apartment. Alec is not so worried about them, considering Simon still doesn’t seem very drunk, though he decides to call a cab for Clary and Jace to take them back to their place.
“You know, if you brought someone along to game night, it would solve the whole uneven team thing and we’d play pictionary,” Clary suddenly blurts as the three of them wait in the living room.
“That’s true,” this is all Alec supplies. He’s far too tired to have this conversation now, especially when Clary and Jace seem far too out of it to even properly discuss this. The whole conversation around relationships is something he has never been well-versed in, even after coming out five years ago. Alec frowns as he stares at a fixed spot on the ground, and he has the odd feeling that Clary and Jace are both looking at him. Before anything else can be said, Alec’s phone beeps, alerting Clary and Jace of their cab.
The three of them get up, with Alec leading the couple towards the front door. As he opens it, he leans against it, hugging his brother and his brother’s fiancée as they both babble on about next game night. Before the two of them slip away to take their cab home, Jace comes close for a moment. Alec tries to ignore the alcoholic stench emanating from his breath.
“We’re serious, you know. If there’s ever anyone you want to bring along, that’s cool,” almost within a moment of clarity, Jace speaks, and with those words, he practically falls into Clary’s embrace as the two leave Alec’s apartment. Alec smirks as he hears garbled shouts of goodbyes from the couple, before he shuts the door. He leans back on it, closing his eyes for a brief moment.
He loves game night. Izzy, Simon, Jace, Clary. After all he’s been through, they’ve always been there for him. They are his family. And he loves seeing all of them, all together, especially with how busy their lives have gotten. But game night always seems to be a bit of a painful reminder. Simon and Izzy have been together for 3 years, Jace and Clary for 4 years, and now they are engaged. And then there’s Alec. Just Alec. All alone.
“You’re a real piece of shit, you know that Bane, right?” Ragnor groans as he holds up Magnus’ sketchbook to the light. “Calling me over at 3am for a consultation is just fucking rude.”
“You can insult all you wish after you tell me what you think,” Magnus shrugs. He doesn’t care how much his good friend wants to insult him. A bout of inspiration had struck him just after midnight, and he needed the designs to be checked over by someone experienced other than himself before he submits it all to Imogen tomorrow. Or more like later today. Now, Magnus nurses a drink in his hands, glancing at the nail polish on his nails. Should he change the colour up? This navy blue colour is beginning to look a little old.
“Fine, I’ll admit. You may be a piece of shit, but this design isn’t,” Ragnor frowns at Magnus. “And that means a lot considering I’m grumpy and sleep-deprived, you know.”
“Yes, Ragnor!” Magnus jumps up, setting his glass down and grabbing his good friend by the shoulder. He knows that a description of his design not being “a piece of shit” is the equivalent to praise when it comes from Ragnor. Especially considering how unhappy he is right now. He glances at his friend now, noticing the set of his brow and his tapping foot.
“Oh Ragnor, you know the only reason I would call you up like this is because you love me and this design is needed by today,” Magnus attempts to smile in Ragnor’s direction, though Ragnor just frowns even more. “And I needed the best fashion designer in New York to help me, of course.” Ragnor’s expression softens at that. Magnus chuckles. Appeasing Ragnor’s ego always makes him feel a little better, even though Magnus knows he himself is the best.
“I know what you’re doing, Bane,” Ragnor murmurs as he places the sketchbook back down onto the coffee table. Magnus thinks that Ragnor is talking about appealing to his ego, but Ragnor’s expression shifts into something more serious. “Today’s the day, isn’t it?”
Magnus tries not to dwell on the connotations of Ragnor’s words. He just nods slowly.
“The fact that it’s been a year and -”
“I’m well aware, Ragnor,” Magnus interrupts, because he doesn’t need this discussion now. Any discussion surrounding Camille always leaves a sour taste in his mouth. He’s suffering from sleep deprivation and stress over his meeting later today. The meeting that will determine if he will get a shot at launching his own line or not.
“If you couldn't sleep because you were thinking about it...” Ragnor trails off. Magnus shakes his head, adamant.
“No, of course not,” Magnus tries to explain, though even then, he’s not so sure himself. He couldn’t sleep due to stress from his deadline, he knew that. But a part of Magnus wonders if maybe, subconsciously, he couldn't sleep because of Camille as well.
A year later and she's somehow still ruining his life.
Ragnor just clicks his tongue, but he doesn't continue the subject. Magnus feels grateful for that. It’s one of the best parts of Ragnor. He cuts the bullshit but he also knows when not to push too far.
“Well, I’d love to stay and chat, except I don’t. I’m going to fucking bed now, and you better hope for your own sake that Cat doesn’t wake up,” Ragnor puts a hand up in some kind of wave, before turning away and leaving Magnus’ apartment.
“Go! Run to your precious bed,” Magnus yells in irritation after him. And your precious wife. Magnus groans as he grabs the sketchbook from the table and shuts the door behind Ragnor, before practically crumpling onto the floor. He leans his head back against the wood and breathes deeply, clutching the sketchbook to himself.
The grogginess hits him now, and Magnus groans, not even feeling the energy to crawl back to bed. He slowly drags himself along the floor until he reaches the plush couch in the living room, pulling himself up onto it with his sketchbook still held within his grasp. He shifts on the couch, trying to find some position that’s comfortable enough, before he lets his eyes fall shut.
It blows Magnus’ mind that it’s been a year since his terrible relationship with Camille ended so horrifically.
Magnus thinks of how he had been unable to sleep at all for most of the night, and how all he could really do was read a book before he’d been struck with inspiration just after midnight. He thinks about Ragnor, on his way home now to his sleeping wife. He thinks about how later today, he will change the significance of this day. It will no longer be the day where he got his heartbroken, but will be the day that he was officially given the green light for his fashion brand to officially launch. Hopefully.
Magnus thinks all these things as he spirals into sleep. There’s only him now, and he’s suddenly struck with a feeling of loneliness. As sleep pulls him under, he can’t help but think that he’s alone. It’s only him.