The air was thick with smog, as it was in the city.
There were beggars of all kinds, even children begging, poverty sticking to people like a second skin.
Everything was bartered, or sold, nothing was free because when you were poor, you didn’t have the luxury to be picky.
Where most men were at an advantage to the women, but going hungry did not discriminate no matter gender or age. Every street corner a person or child either begged, traded, or tired to sell something for a penny.This was home to Magnus Bane. He grew up in Brooklyn, was known as the Thief of Brooklyn and he could steal anything. His house also had the best view in Brooklyn, people would pay money just to enter their house and see the ‘show’ Magnus’ father, Asmodeus had taught him, never turn down what someone is offering to pay you. There is always value in something someone is willing to pay. And their house had the best view of gallows, his window to be exact.
The hangings were the best sort of entertainment for their depressing street corner in Brooklyn, where many weren’t sure where their next meal was going to come from, many made sure to spend their last penny on the best view of someone being hanged.
Magnus had been begging for years for his father to let me watch. He’d always tell him to collect the money, keeping him busy elsewhere, or to go put the kettle on. Magnus was always so disappointed, he wanted to see what all the fuss was about.
His mother had been hung herself. For murder. His father would tell him how brave she was. Asmodeus never went into detail over the murder charges. Rumors around the city were she took the fall for her husband. Finally, at age thirteen, Asmodeus let him watch.
Magnus stood there, looking out his window with his father’s hand on his shoulder, watching as the floor disappeared below the man’s feet. He didn’t even flinch.
Magnus felt nothing.
He used to wonder what his mother’s was like, now all he could think about was how rough the rope must of felt like around someone’s neck and if he was to ever be hung, he’d want a big send off, with everyone watching, just like now.
“Three go in and three come out!” Izzy hissed, hidden behind the big barn at the Lightwood estate. She was grasping each of her brother’s hands tightly.
Alec gulbed, a lump forming in his throat, he couldn’t speak.
“Don’t worry Iz, we will be back! You just make sure to stay away from all the boys; I don’t want to have to beat anyone up!” Jace nudged her with his shoulder.
Izzy rolled her eyes. “Please, mother and father would not be pleased, and I don’t even like boys! Ew!” Izzy made a disgusted face.
Alec knew she was lying. Izzy liked boys, she had been talking more and more about the boy next door, always saying how cute Simon’s dimples were.
Izzy stomped her foot, “Why can’t I go to school with you!” She whined.
“I’m sorry Iz, but you know boys and girls can’t go to school together. It’s not allowed.” Alec said, as if Izzy didn’t already know this.
Izzy huffed, “But I want to be with my brothers and learn what my brothers learn. Mom seems to think I need to learn how to be a lady.”
Jace laughed, “Well, they do have a point.” Jace nods towards the dirty dress Izzy’s wearing.
Jace looks over at Alec, thinking he will laugh with him. Alec knows better. He’s not looking to get slapped.
Izzy smacks Jace on the arm, “You watch your mouth! I'm older than you by 3 months, Jace, and I can whoop you!”
Jace holds up his hands in surrender. He knows when to back off.
Izzy glares for a minute. Once she’s satisfied she’s knocked Jace down a peg or two, she gets over it, eyes welling with tears. “I’m going to miss my brothers. I don’t want leave you again. At least you two have each other. All I have is snotty nuns who like to use their rulers as beating sticks.”
“What about Clary?” Alec asks, remembering a friend Izzy talked about frequently before break.
Izzy wipes her eyes, nodding slightly, “Yeah, Clary is lovely, you guys would like her.”
“You’ll get to see Clary again, and before you know it, it will be winter break and you will see us again.” Alec takes her hands and squeezes them tightly. Alec and Izzy have always had a special bound. Jace wasn’t adopted until three years ago, and before that it was always just him and Izzy.
Izzy grabbed her brother’s hands again, holding tight, “Remember…”
“Three go in, and three come out.” They said together.
Magnus entered the busy kitchen, it’s where everyone seemed to migrate. He handed Asmodeus the coins he had stolen for the day. He tried to make sure he stole from those he thought had plenty; he was getting better at spotting the difference. Most importantly he made sure to pickpocket from those who wouldn’t catch him, and if he did get caught, he needed to be able to outrun them. “Here you go, father.”
“Oh, my dear boy. Honest as the day you were born.” He praised. “You’re going to make us a fortune, I say! Ain’t he Lilith?” He beamed proudly taking the money from Magnus’ outstretched palm.
“I am?” Magnus asked, innocently.
The Institute Boarding School was miserable for Alec. He made sure to stay close to Jace as often as possible because he looked out for him, helped him when he saw anyone bullying him, but he couldn’t be with him every second of every day.
Alec was hiding in the bathroom with is friend Raj; he liked Raj, liked the way he smelled and he made him laugh, not as much as Jace made him laugh, but it was nice having someone make him laugh other than Jace and Izzy. Alec knew Raj got bullied too; although, he tried to act like he didn’t, or that it was no big deal.
Alec wanted to ask him why they were hiding in the bathroom stall together if it wasn’t a big deal, but the words froze on his tongue, afraid of upsetting him.
“How long do you think we will have to wait here?” Alec asks, breaking the silence.
Raj shrugs, “Shouldn’t be too much longer before they get bored.”
Alec sighs, leaning his head back.
Raj does the same.
“You heard what they called us…?” Alec gulps. “Said about us.” He whispers.
Raj puts his hand over Alec’s mouth, preventing him from saying anything further, “Shhh, Lightwood. I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Raj takes his hand away from Alec’s mouth, his hand leaving his skin red.
Alec starts to breathe more rapidly, noticing that Raj is staring at him intently, and he can’t help but wonder what it would be like to smell him up close. Raj’s head starts making its way closer to him. Alec’s heart starts to pound ferociously in his chest.
“What are you two doing in here?” Principal Valentine thunders, causing the door to bang loudly when he opened it. Alec jumps back, banging his head hard on the bathroom wall. Raj jumps back as well. Alec's never seen Raj scatter so fast, like he’s been burned. If Raj hadn’t already peed, Alec’s sure he would have wet himself.
“Speak you idiots!”
“W..we, we are hiding, sir.” Alec stammers.
Principal Valentine laughs evilly, “From what?”
“Bradley and his friends.” Alec thinks he manages the word friends with only a slight grimace.
Principal Valentine pulls Alec and Raj out of the stall by their ears. “Why doesn’t it surprise me that you two girls can’t take a little school-yard fun? You make me sick. I know your kind and I won’t have it here!” Principal Valentine turns to Alec, glaring with extreme hatred, as if his stare alone could cause Alec to disintegrate right on the spot. Alec’s breathing becomes more shallow; he wants the floor to swallow him.
“And don’t think just because your father and I are friends that’s going to make a difference. I’ll just do him a favor by contacting him myself.” Principal Valentine starts walking out of the bathroom. Alec and Raj knew to follow behind. “The least he deserves is to hear from me what his son is.”
Alec’s whole body trembles in fear. He can’t believe this is happening. He didn’t actually do anything wrong, but he knows if Principal Valentine does what he thinks he’s going to do, and tells his parents, Alec’s life if is ruined. Raj is crying next to him, but Alec doesn’t have it in him to care. He is too focused on his impending doom, and what will Jace and Izzy think of him…
Alec walks down the hall of The Institute, to Professor Valentine’s office. He knew his life was about to change forever.
Alec sighed as he saw his house coming into view. The journey had been long. He can still hear Jace’s angry screams as he told him that mother and father had sent for him, wanted him to come home. Jace couldn’t understand why, wanted to know if their parents sent for Izzy too, if it was just him that they were sending away to boarding school.
Alec explained how it was just him they wanted home. He desperately tried to explain, but he was failing miserably. He thought of telling him he was bullied too much but then he was afraid Jace would feel guilty, thinking he didn’t do enough. So he stayed silent. Alec was always staying silent. His world full of things he didn’t and couldn't say out loud. Alec just ended up apologizing over and over, leaving a confused and hurt Jace behind. He’d rather have him hate him for this than hate him for the truth.
Alec’s servant helps him get down from the carriage. “Your father’s waiting for you, sir.” He says, before making his way to get his bag out of the back of the carriage for his luggage.
Alec is trembling in fear. He made his way to the door. Taking a deep breath, he entered.
Alec didn’t see his father anywhere, so he made his way to his study. His father was at his desk doing paperwork.
“That was your first mistake, thinking you could enter my study without knocking.” Robert says, without lifting his head.
Alec gulped, throat so thick with fear he could hardly swallow. “Where’s mother?” He asks because that’s what children do when they’re afraid, they want their mothers.
“And that’s your second mistake...thinking you can speak without being given permission.” Robert gently sets his pen down, and gets up grabbing a long stick behind him, similar to the ones they use in a game of pool. Alec backs up. “Your third mistake is thinking someone like you gets to ask me any questions, ever.” And that’s the first of many beatings Alec recieves from Robert Lightwood.
10 years later
“Magnus I got this book here! The pictures sure are nice!” Catarina beamed.
“Whole lot of good that’s gonna do ya! You don’t know how to read!” Dot laughed hysterically.
Catatrina frowned. “Shut it.”
Magnus shook his head, continuing to knit his scarf.
“Do you ever wish you could read?” Cat asks him.
Magnus shrugged. “What good’s reading going to do a thief like me?”
Cat and Dot hummed in agreement.
“And who needs to be able to read when you’ve got pictures!” Ragnor says while trying to light the stove, a gush a flames rising high enough to almost singe his eyebrows off.
“What are you kids talking about?” Asmodeus asks as he makes his way into the kitchen.
“Oh, I was just asking Magnus if he ever wishes he learned to read.” Cat continues to flip through her new book.
Asmodeus chuckles in amusement. “My dear, why would Magnus ever need to learn to read? He’s a treasure, and he will make us a fortune doing what he does best!”
Alec stood straight, dressed in a black and white suit, hands behind his back, as he walked behind his father. “You will be getting a new servant tomorrow.” His father says, leaving no room for argument, but Alec didn’t argue, he never does.
“You will also be entertaining a lady and her maid. You will not embarrass me.” And Robert walked away.
Alec blew out the long breath he had been holding.
“Let me get this straight...” Magnus says skeptically. He’s not sure he’s understanding. “You want me to be a servant to some reach knob, and convince him to fall in love with this…” Magnus points to this Camille person he just met, “Camille and marry her. Then once you’re married you will send him to the madhouse and keep all his money?”
Camille nods, “It should be no problem, he’s a bit emotionally stunted.” She states as if this is a minor detail, a small inconvenience, “This should not take long at all to bring him out of his shell, he just needs a woman’s touch.” Her confidence is high.
Magnus laughs, “And you believe you'll even get him to rewrite his will for you so you’ll have access to all his money?” Magnus shakes his head in disbelief. “Are you forgetting what you’re lacking between your legs?” Magnus couldn't understand how this woman thought she was going to get a gentleman to not only fall in love with her, but rewrite his will for her, so that when he is sent to the madhouse, she has access to freely do what she wants with the money. Women don’t have many rights by the law, and no matter if Magnus agreed or not with the injustices of the world, she seemed overly confident in her abilities.
Camille gets up from her chair, making her way over to Magnus, right in his face, “Oh believe, me dear Magnus, I know exactly what’s between these legs.” Camille says suggestively before pulling back, “Plus how does 2, 000 dollars sound to you?
Magnus’ eyes widen. He’s never even seen that much money, “Make it 3,000 and you have yourself a deal.”
Alec sharpened the blade on his arrow. He felt the tip, testing it’s sharpness. Blood trickled out from the tip of his finger.
“They’ve arrived.” His father says.
Deep breath. Nodding, Alec made his way into the training room with his sharpened arrow, ready to put on a show for his father’s associates.
Alec pulled back the arrow, letting it hit the target right in the center. Bulls-eye. His father and his business associates looked on, drinking their liquor.
Next Alec brought out a pair of knives, throwing them into the targets, hitting the bulls-eye
each time, like a machine.
Once Alec was finished with his demonstration, he stood waiting for his father’s associates to take their leave, before being the last one to make his exit.
“Servants don’t wear jewelry, Magnus.” Camille sneered in annoyance, “And you’re supposed to be a man, act like it!”
Magnus frowned, eyeing the cords he made on his wrists. He was rather fond of them. He was always making things, clothing, jewelry, using kohl for his eyes, no one minded in these parts, and if they did, they didn’t dare speak it for fear of what the rough locals might do to them.
Magnus rolled his eyes, “Well, I’ve never been a servant. I’m the Thief of Brooklyn.”
Camille eyed Magnus up and down, “Yes, we are aware..but now you are to act the role of the servant and do it well. You can’t let me down. If you do, there won’t be a a city big enough for you to hide.” Camille’s threat was genunion. Magnus could see it in her eyes. It was the first time he felt a sense of fear towards of Camille and couldn’t help but wonder what he was getting himself into.
Camille tossed Magnus his servant uniform. Black and white….boring. Reluctantly he tried it on.
“My, my, Magnus….who knew under all that….” she waved her hand at Magnus, “this was hiding underneath.” Camille took her pointer finger and slowly traced it down his cheek. Magnus whole body stiffened. Sure, Camille was beautiful, long dark hair, flawless skin, but her soul was as black as the night.
Camille took her hand off Magnus’ face, making her way to the door. “Right, Heidi will be accompanying me as my maid while Alexander courts me.”
Magnus knew that Camille would need to bring a maid along with her, as she would need a chaperone when being courted.
“You’ll meet her when we pick you up tomorrow.”
“I can’t wait.” Magnus said, sarcastically.
The next morning, Magnus was waiting for Camille and her maid to pick him up. He stood staring out his window, out at the gallows, feeling melancholy.
“My dear son, your carriage is here.”
Magnus nodded, still not moving.
“I’ll see you in two month's time” Asmodeus said, straighten Magnus’ bow-tie, “You look dashing, like a gentleman.”
“I don’t want to do it anymore. Isn’t it too mean of a scheme to play on that gentleman?” Magnus was feeling guilt. He knew they needed the 3,000 dollars. It was more money than any of them had ever seen, but his conscious was already eating away at him. He found himself hoping the man was a horrible person, so that it would make it easier.
Magnus’ father patted his cheek gently, before looking out the window at the gallows, “Your mother would have done it without giving it a second thought.” He looked back a Magnus. “And she would have been so proud of you.”
“Are you coming!” Camille screeched from downstairs, causing Magnus to jump.
“If they catch me will they hang me?” Magnus asked, tears in his eyes.
Asmodeus hugged Magnus then, “I’ll see you in two months. Safe travels, my boy.”
Magnus hugged back, closing his eyes tightly, “You think it hurts?” He asked.
Asmodeus breathed in deeply, “Only a bit and just for a second. Asmodeus shook his head, “What is this talk! It won’t happen! You’re going to make us all rich! You’re a treasure!.” He beamed at Magnus with pride.
Magnus managed a smile. “I am, aren’t I?”
The ride to the Lightwood estate was long, cold, and bumpy. Magnus was already feeling homesick. He longed for the smoggy air of the city and beggars on every street corner.
They arrived at nightfall, greeted by more maids and servants, but being Alexander’s own personal servant, he was given a special living quarters closest to his room.
Camille and Heidi were dropped off at a relative close by. Or so they said.
Magnus was overwhelmed with the scenery of the country, he’d never been out of the city or to a house so large and extravagant. His room alone was larger than most of his house back in Brooklyn. If Magnus would have known how to get out of there and back home, he would have left that night and not looked back.
The next morning, Magnus was greeted by a handsome man who was tall, with dark hair, dark brows, and deep green eyes. He had a scar on his eyebrow that Magnus instantly wanted to know how he got.
“Sir.” Magnus says as he awkwardly tries to remember all his training and quickly bowed.
“May I call you Magnus?” The Master got straight to the point.
“Ah..yeah, I mean yes, sir.” Magnus wanted to hit his head against the wall. Why was he acted like such a fool?
“You read of course?”
Magnus was trying to catch his barings. Master was very direct, and Magnus wasn’t sure why he wanted to know if he knew how to read.
“A bit.” He lied.
“Here read this to me.” Alec walks up to Magnus hands him a book. “I enjoy the places a book can take a person.” Alec explained.
Magnus lets out a shaking breath. He doesn’t take the book. Why couldn't the Master of the house ask him to prepare him a meal or perhaps fetch him his things. Why must he ask him to read to him? He hasn’t even been in his presents more than ten minutes and he’s about to be found out for a fraud.
Magnus hesitantly reaches for the book. “Err...”
“Please, read me something.”
Magnus looks at the words, none of them making any sense, and he's cursing his inability to make his mind do what it needs to. His skill of being the best thief in Brooklyn doing him no good now. Sighing, Magnus does the only thing he can think of.
“Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name…” Magnus pauses, looking at the Master of the house. “I’m sorry sir.” He slams the book shut in shame and anger. He’s failed. Failed his father and his mother, “My mother taught me it…”
“You can’t read.” Alec replies as a matter of fact, almost as if he cannot comprehend this fact. “This won’t do.” He stands up straighter, “Collect me from my room at one.” He says before turning and abruptly making his exit.
Magnus stares as he makes his abrupt exit, still process the recent turn of events, and the complexity that is Alexander Lightwood.
I can do this, Magnus thinks to himself. He just needs to remember it’s not that much different than preparing things at home in Brooklyn. He needed to warm up the room, he needed to warm up the water, he needed to warm up his clothes, empty the chamber pot, and needed to shine his shoes. Sure, his things are fancy and high end, and most of which cost more than the whole of everyone’s wardrobe at his home, but the basics are still there.
Magnus notice a nice pocket watch on his bedside table. Magnus quickly snatched it, putting it in his pocket...(he was a thief after all). In his urgency it fell onto the floor. The watch fell open and he noticed there was a picture inside.
Magnus recognized Master as a small child, maybe twelve years old with two other children around the same age, perhaps a little younger, a boy and a girl. Were they his siblings, Magnus wondered.
The girl looked a lot like the Master, but the boy not so much. Magnus clutched the pocket watch in his hands, his conscience rearing its head. He heard voices coming from the hall. Quickly, Magnus set the pocket watch back on the table where he found it.
“Mr. Row! You frightened me!” Magnus screeched, as he pretended to be straightening the Master’s wardrobe. “Just straightening, Mr. Lightwood’s wardrobe.” Magnus notice this was the butler that greeted him on the first night he arrived.
“So it seems.” He didn’t so much as crack a smile. “The pieces of soap Mr. Lightwood leaves on his washstand you may keep.”
“Thank you Mr. Row, but I couldn’t. It would be like thieving.”
“As you wish.” He says before turning and walking away.
Magnus blows out a long breath. That was close.
Magnus makes his way into the basement. It’s large, large enough to fit two of Magnus’ houses in it, maybe more. There’s targets set up everywhere. Weapons of every kind along the walls Many weapons Magnus has never seen before. Magnus notices in a corner of the room there is a blade sharpening machine and that is where the Master is right now. He’s at a loss for words at what he’s seeing, a bit confused. Magnus also notices the Master is not in his usual suit. His clothes are much looser, untucked, and his hair is mess
“Who is this?” Someone asks from behind Magnus.
“This is my new head servant, father.” Alec says as he sets his blade down.
Alec’s father looks Magnus up and down with a look that makes Magnus want to disappear from this dudgen of war. He’s looking at him with so much disgust and hate and he’s not sure why.
“When do you see Lady Camille?” His father asks.
Robert Lightwood turns away, leaving Alec to usher Magnus out of there as quickly as possible.
Magnus adds another log to Alexander’s fire. He thinks that should about do it.
Magnus clears his throat, “So you like weapentry?” He asks nervously.
Alec makes his way over to stand in front of the fire. Magnus knows that’s his cue to start undressing him. He begins with the buttons on his wrists.
“I like archery…”
Magnus waits because it seems like he’s not finished.
“I like when I let the arrow go, for a few seconds there’s this freedom, it’s like…” Alec motions with his hands in air, “ the arrow is free in the air. I also like that I have a say in how the story plays out. I get to decide where it begins and where it finishes.”
Magnus pauses with the unbuttoning of his shirt. He’s looking at his Master like he’s never seen him before. “Is that why you like books so much?”
Alec smiles fondly, “I get to go anywhere and be anyone when I read books.”
Magnus doesn’t ask anymore. He finishes his task of undressing him and helping with his night garments.
Magnus is laying in bed almost asleep when hears screaming.
“Stop! No! Please no! Mmm no more!”
He makes his way into the Master’s room. “Sir, please wake up!” Magnus gently shakes him. “You’re having nightmare.”
Alec jolts up. He grabs Magnus’ arm for dear life, hyperventilating.
“It’s alright, sir.”
Alec points to his bedside table. There is water and what looks to be sleeping drops. Magnus adds a couple drops to his water. He hands him the glass, sitting beside him on his bed.
Alec takes the glass from Magnus, their fingers brushing briefly.
As Alec drinks from the glass, Magnus rubs his back trying to sooth him.
Alec looks at Magnus then he averts his gaze to his lap, feeling embarrassed he says, “I’ve taken them since I was a child.”
Magnus doesn’t say anything just continues to rub his back.
“I’m still afraid of my own dreams.”
Magnus can see the pain his Master’s eyes, as if there are a million haunted ghosts in there. He wants to know what haunts him, but he’s afraid to ask, afraid to care too much.
Magnus goes to turn away and put the sleeping drops back, but Alec desperately grabs his arm again, “Stay with me.” He pleads.
“I can’t do that, sir…”
Alec looks at Magnus with frightened eyes, “please.” He begs.
And that’s how it was, that night, and all the following nights, he needed drops and Magnus to help him sleep.
Magnus would sneak out every morning with the utmost care as to not wake Alexander Lightwood, who would hold his hand in one hand and clutch his arm in the other, as if he was afraid Magnus was going to disappear.
Magnus took a deep breath, he really hated coming down to the ‘dudgeon.’ However, Master asked him to get him promptly at ten, so here he was like a good servant. Grumbling Magnus pressed on.
Magnus entered, seeing Master over by the wall rearranging the weapons.
Alec looks over and sees Magnus has just entered. Alec had to force himself not to smile as he set his blade down.
His father is talking to one of his fellow associates, so he doesn’t even bother trying to get his attention.
Alec quickly grabs the bow and arrow and makes his way over to Magnus and make their leave.
As they exit the doors, they walk faster and faster as if they are both thinking the same thing, running from the evils that lurk in the basement, laughing the farther away they get..
“So sir, are you going to explain to me what exactly we are doing out here and why you wanted me to come get you?”
Alec shakes his head, “Right...yes, I wanted to show you something.”
Alec keeps walking, picking up his speed, “Follow me, Magnus.”
Magnus curiously follows.
Once they are a ways into the forest there is a small clearing with trees all around them. Magnus notices there are a several targets set up on the trees, as if Alexander has come here many times before.
“You come here often?” Magnus questions.
Alec confirms Magnus’ suspicions with a shrug.
Alec motions for Magnus to come stand beside him. Quirking his eyebrow, Magnus doesn’t argue, but goes obediently.
“This right here is your handle,” Alec begins, pointing out all the parts of the wooden contraption.
Magnus begins to realize his Master is about to show him how to shoot a bow and arrow, and he’s both intrigued and touched.
When Alexander gets to the arrow, Magnus is mesmerized, instead of listening he's watching Alexander’s lips and fingers.
“This right here is the shaft,” Alec’s long fingers slide along the object obscenely and Magnus begins to feel hot all over.
Magnus hears something about a fletching and a knock and his heart begins to beat faster.
Alec finally points to the arrow head and Magnus wants to ask him to repeat it again, so he can watch his mouth say the words one more time. He’s not sure what’s happening here. Why his body and mind are thinking such things, but he can't seem to control it.
“Hmm? What?” Magnus asks, snapping out of his daze.
“I asked if you got it?”
“Oh yeah! Yep...arrow-head, shaft, and something about a knock!” Magnus has to be as bright as a tomato. He can’t believe he just said that.
Luckily Master doesn’t seemed fazed. He just shakes his head slightly and Magnus thinks he sees a smile. Is he blushing?
Alec gets behind Magnus. “You’re right handed, correct? Alec is practically breathing the question in Magnus’ ear, so all he can do is nod.
“You’re going to want to is put your feet about…” Alec pauses, instead of finishing he moves in closer and uses his feet to spread Magnus’ legs for him.
Magnus feels like he's dying. He’s having trouble breathing. Where is this feeling coming from? He needs it to go somewhere and he’s not sure where.
“Use your left hand to hold it like this and your right to pull back like this.”
Magnus tries to do as he’s told, but with the Master’s breath in his ear and his fingers touching his the way that they are is making it hard to concentrate. He takes a deep breath.
Alec does the same. Being this close to Magnus, he's having a difficult time focusing on the task at hand. “On the count of three, release. One...two...three.”
When the arrow is out, Alec quickly steps back, putting some distance between himself and Magnus.
Magnus almost feels dizzy. He looks to see where his arrow landed. It didn’t land close to the bullseye, but at least it landed in the tree.
“Not bad for your first try.” Alec says proudly.
“Want to keep trying?”
Magnus nods enthusiastically.
“How was your visit with Lady Camille today?” Magnus knew Master and Camille had been courting for while now, but he had never mentioned it. Never said a word about it. He’d see them taking walks in the countryside or carriage rides, as she was staying with a relative not far from here. Magnus would see and quickly advert his eyes, going to do something else.
He knew that was not what he was supposed to being doing. He needed to be asking his Master more about it, getting the details so he could help persuade him to fall in love with her, but for some reason, Magnus was having a hard time bringing himself to do so.
Magnus and Alec were seated at the table reading “Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland.” Magnus loved the premise of it when Master told him about it, and they'd read it together everyday; his Master taking the time to show him simple words and letters, but mostly Magnus listened, listened to his Master's smooth and confident voice as he read to him.
Alec stiffened beside Magnus. He looked at Magnus, looked at his dark hair, brown eyes, and golden skin that showed flawlessly as the sun hit it through the window. He wanted to see how Magnus would react, so he replied, “She seems lovely. In fact, she will be here tomorrow, I want you to accompany us.”
Magnus squirmed uncomfortably in his seat. “That’s good, sir.” Magnus sat back in his chair, then turned his head to look out the window. “I don’t wish to read anymore.”
“Alexander! My dear! It’s so good to see you!” Camille greeted Alec.
Magnus felt his stomach twist. He all of a sudden he felt nauseous.
Alec forced a smile, and took the hand she offered and gave it a kiss. “It’s good to see you Camille.” The words felt like poison.
Magnus had to turn away.
“Magnus where are your manners?” Camille sneered.
“I do hope your new servant is treating you better than this, Alexander.” Camille got in closer patting his shoulder, intimately.
Magnus wanted to rip her hand off.
Camille laughs, “Oh yes, I keep forgetting.”
“Shall we take a walk?” Alec motions to the door.
Camille smiles, strutting out the door.
Magnus follows, remembering the request Alec asked of him.
Magnus stands back as Alec and Camille walk ahead of him, her arm hooked in his. He tries to stand far enough back he can’t hear them. He can hear Camille’s giggles from here, and he wishes the wind would drown them out. Heidi is off to his right, not walking too close to him as she can probably sense his foul mood and knows to steer clear.
When Alec has to attend to a matter with his father he quickly excuses himself, leaving Camille and Magnus a minute alone. Magnus groans internally.
“Does he talk about me when I’m not around?” She questions.
Magnus wants to laugh, but self preservation keeps him from doing so. He does the next best thing...he lies. “Of course.”
“Has he started talking about marriage?”
Magnus puts his head down, so she can’t see the annoyance on his face. “I’m sure it won’t be much longer.”
Camille gets up close to Magnus. “You better hope not. You have 3,000 dollars riding on it.”
“Everything okay?” Alec asks from behind them.
Camille turns around. “Of course, dear. Just discussing how I wish my stay was longer.”
Alec eyes them for a little longer before turning to make their way into the house.
“We’re going to be having four more guests for dinner.” Alec says on his way into the dining room.
“Alexa-- Alec, if I may be bold as to ask who is joining us?”
Alec pulls out her chair for her.
“My siblings and their significant others.”
Camille beams at this. She must see this as a good sign. She will be eating dinner with the family. Surly, that has to mean Alec is close to proposing.
Magnus heart clinches. He’s not sure why. This is good news. Alec’s siblings will be meeting Camille, surly this is a step in the right direction.
“Will your father be joining us?” Camille questions.
It doesn’t escape Magnus’ attention how Alec’s jaw tenses and his voice is strained.
Mr. Row makes his way in with four people. “I know my way around, you old hoot!” A woman with long black hair who looks so much like Alec, Magnus is sure it’s his sister.
“Izzy!” Alec beams. He quickly walks over and hugs her.
“I’ve missed you brother!”
When Alec lets go of her, he looks over to the man standing beside her and nods. “Simon.” He says.
“Alec.” Simon says nervously.
A man with broad shoulders and blonde hair gives Alec a big hug. “I can see the place hasn’t changed much.” He murmur in Alec’s shoulder.
Alec shrugs, “You know how father is, Jace.”
Jace laughs, “Yeah, and I know how you are.”
Magnus notices a petite girl with the brightest red hair he’s ever seen next to Jace.
“Good to see you again, Clary.”
She smiles kindly. “It’s been too long, Alec.” And she hugs him.
As everyone is making their way to the table Magnus swears he hears Simon mutter to his wife Izzy about being left out of a hug.
Magnus is about to make his leave; however, before he can, Camille clears her throat bringing the attention back to her.
Everyone turns to look.
Alec stands there for a moment before he starts making his introductions.
Once everyone says high, they take their seats.
Magnus slips out to help the rest of the servant staff prepare the meal, happy for the escape.
“Magnus?” A maid who can’t be much out of her teens catches his attention as he is doing the dishes. “Will you please bring out the caramel sauce. Master doesn’t like butterscotch, he prefers caramel.” Magnus pauses….wanting to deny her request, but she asked so nicely and can’t seem to refuse her. Sighing he shakes his head, yes in defeat.
Magnus dries his hands on his apron before taking it off. He tries to fix his hair a bit before laughing at himself...what was the point? Who was he trying to impress?
Magnus makes his way to the table and sets the caramel sauce down next to Alec. He doesn’t say a word. He tries desperately not to look at Alec but ends up doing so as he turns to make his way back into the kitchen. As their eyes lock, Magnus forgets how to breathe, just for second he wonders if his Master does too.
Once the dishes are done, Magnus, feeling tired, is about to make his way to his room for lay down. He knows he will still need to make his way to Alec’s room to help him with his nightly routine, and of course, to help him sleep, but he’s exhausted and he figures he will be with his family and Camille for awhile.
Just as he starts making his way down the hall to his room, he’s stopped by Alec.
“Where are you going?” Alec asks.
“Just to my room, sir. I mean...just for a bit. I figured you are going to be a while yet, and all my chores are done.”
Magnus is still looking at the ground, a bit worried Alec might be angry with him, at least that’s the reason he keeps telling himself why he won’t look at him.
Alec frowns, not because Magnus is going to his room. Because he is avoiding looking at him.
“Magnus...look at me.”
Magnus can’t refuse Alec when he pleads with him.
“I want you to sit with us tonight.”
Alec is looking at Magnus in a way that is making his heart happy and hurt at the same time. It’s a complicated emotion and Magnus isn’t sure how to process it.
“But why, sir? I’ll only be in the way...why would you want a servant there? It will be improper.”
“Camille’s maid will be there.” Alec looks down at the floor at his shoes. “And I want you there.”
Magnus closes his eyes tightly.
“How many years has it been since we’ve seen you, brother!” Izzy cries, the pain of missing her brother still raw. Alec’s seclusion became more and more evident the older he got. Their visits from boarding school became less frequent.
Alec became so isolated, he didn’t even attend Izzy or Jace’s wedding. He was a shut-in. Izzy blamed the fact he was home-schooled, bullied when he went to school, and the fact their mother had left them at such a young age. Izzy always felt like she should have been able to do more for Alec.
“Four.” Alec says, as he sips his wine.
Magnus is sitting on a chair closes to the piano. No one has questioned his presents, and he badly wishes for some wine.
“Why don’t you let us visit more?” Jace asks, as he gets up to stand next to the fire and add a log.
Magnus briefly wonders if he should have done that.
“You should let the servants do that.” Camille says from the couch in the center of the room.
Magnus rolls his eyes.
Five sets of eyes look at her briefly before looking away and ignoring her.
“I don’t see the point, Jace. You both have your lives, and I’ve got mine.” Alec clears his throat. “I’ve been busy.”
“Doing what?” Jace is frustrated.
“How can being the son to an owner of a trading company keep you from visiting your family?”
Clary grabs Jace’s arm to try and calm him.
“Is anyone here going to play me some music?” Camille asks, as she motions to the piano next to Magnus.
“You still play, Jace?” Alec questions.
Jace’s scoffs. The earlier tension seeping away. “I haven’t in years, and I wasn’t that good to begin with.
Camille smiles evilly. “What about you Magnus? You look bored over there. Why don’t you make yourself useful. Play us something.”
Magnus wishes he had magical powers to make Camille lose her voice.
Magnus looks at his companions in the room, they’re all looking at him now.
“You don’t have to, Magnus.” Alec says, kindly.
And he looks back at Camille who’s got a wicked grin on her face and all Magnus can think about doing is whipping it right off her face.
Magnus gets up and makes the short distance to the piano and sits. He spreads his fingers out on the keys, trying to remember the days in the church next to his house when he’d get bored and teach himself how to play. Taking a deep breath he begins.
Alec’s breath catches as he listens to Magnus play the piano. He slowly starts walking closer, needing to see how his fingers dance on the keys. By the time Magnus is finished, Magnus could feel the body heat radiating from Alec on his back.
“That was brilliant, Mangus!” Izzy shouted. Her enthusiasm elevated because it didn’t escape her notice the way her brother looks at his head servant.
Clary is clapping her hands. “Yes, that was lovely.”
“You play beautifully Magnus.” Alec says before turning around and making his way back to his siblings.
Magnus beamed with pride. His heart filled with so much happiness he couldn't stop smiling, even Camille’s glare couldn’t sour his mood just then.
“You seem to be getting along with Lady Camille?” Robert states.
Alec knows better. There’s no kindness in is observation, there’s only mockery.
Alec nods, “Yes, father.”
“She hasn’t figured out you’re a fraud yet?”
Alec doesn’t react. He’s grown used to these taunts from his father. He’s learned to never react, it only fuels the fire.
“Give it time,” he smiles. “She will.”
Magnus brings Alec his lunch. He can see Alec is deep in thought. “Is everything alright, sir?”
“Do you think Lady Camille would make a good wife?”
Magnus nearly drops the plate he’s carrying. He manages to set it down on the table with only a slight wobble. “Errr...of course, sir. Lady Camille seems…” Magnus gulps, “lovely.” He tries to hide his grimace by turning his face away.
“Do you think she’d make a good wife for me?”
Magnus frowns. Didn’t he just answer that. “As I said sir--”
Alec interrupts Magnus.
“I’m not asking if you think she would make a good wife. I’m asking if you think she’d make a good wife for me?”
Magnus looks at Alec’s face. He doesn’t answer answer at first, he just stares. They are both staring at each other for so long, he’s not even sure he’s supposed to answer the question anymore.
Magnus is finding it harder and harder to remember his reasons for being here, but he remembers his father, his mother, and how 3,000 dollars could keep them from going hungry and cold in the winter and answers, “Yes.”
“I don’t have an appetite.” Alec says, before he makes his leave.
Magnus finishes putting one last log on the fire, there is a chill in the air. Alec is already in bed. They’re both laying there awake. Magnus can almost hear Alec’s brain overthinking beside him.
“Just tell me what you’re thinking, sir.”
Alec sighs heavily. “I wish you wouldn’t call me sir...I know it’s a formality and all, but I hate it.”
Magnus smiles, not sure what he thought Alec was thinking, but it wasn’t that. “What would you like me to call you?”
“Well...I know when we are in public you still have to you sir, but my name’s Alec…”
Alec looks at Magnus in confusion. “What?”
“That’s not a full name…” Magnus quickly adds, “no offense.”
Alec laughs softly.
“How about Alexander?” Alec suggests.
Magnus looks at Alec. He can see the conflict in his eyes. “Or Alec is fine…”
“No...Alexander is fine. It’s just my mom used to call me that. It’s...it’s nice hearing you say it.”
Alec turns over on his side, looking at Magnus with so much insecurity, Magnus wants to hold him. “Can I tell you a secret Magnus?”
“Course.” Magnus is facing towards Alexander now, face only inches apart.
“I’ve only ever wanted to kiss one person in my life.” Alec takes a deep breath, scared that he might scare Magnus away and never see him again. “He was a boy in my class when I was thirteen years old…” Alec can see kindness in Magnus, who’s looking at him with so much emotion he can hardly speak. “Until you.”
Magnus isn’t sure he can take the way Alexander Lightwood is looking at him. “I want to kiss you too.”
Magnus isn’t sure who leans in first. He thinks they lean in at the same time. When their lips touch both of them gasp for breath. The first kiss, they are both testing the waters. When they pull apart, Magnus can see how terrified he is but also how much Alexander wants him. Magnus takes the initiative. He leans over Alec, cradling his face between his hands, and kissing him once more.
This time their lips part, and Alec slips his tongue into Magnus’ mouth, making him moan. Alec reaches up and runs his fingers through his hair. The kiss becomes deeper, as if they are kissing life into each other.
Alec’s hands begin to roam down Magnus’ neck, arms, and back. Magnus breaks the kiss, panting. His whole body is on fire and he’s hard.
Magnus rests his forehead on Alec’s. They’re both breathing in each other’s air.
“Will it be like this….?” Alec asks, as he takes in big gulps of air.
“What?” Magnus is dazed.
It takes Magnus a second to realize what Alec is asking. And reality comes crashing down around him.
Magnus pushes the sweaty hair from Alec’s forehead. “Of course it will be.” He lies.
And they both go to sleep that night, dreaming of things they can’t have.
Magnus wakes the next morning and he’s spooning Alexander. Cursing quietly, he slowly makes his way out of bed. The memories from last night come crashing back. He can’t believe he did that. What was he thinking? This not what he is supposed to be doing! He is supposed to be convincing Alexander to marry Camille and send him to the...(Magnus can’t even go there). He just needs to not think about it. What happens to him after is not his business. He needs to think of his family.
They were so close. He could feel Alexander was close to proposing. He just needed to keep things professional.
If only he could convince his heart of that.
Alec could tell Magnus was avoiding looking at him.
“Look at me Magnus.”
“Your shirt should be plenty warm. Might actually be a bit too hot because I placed it too close to the fire.” Magnus rambled.
“Look at me!” Alec shouted.
Magnus does. He’s never heard Alexander shout before.
“I’m eloping with Camille the day after tomorrow.”
Magnus didn’t say anything. He knows he should be encouraging this. Happy about this. But he's not. Magnus just wants to scream. What did he want him to say. “What do you want me to say?”
Alec laughed, but there was no humor in it. “Nothing.” He said sadly.
“I do have one question...Why do you need to elope?” Magnus couldn’t understand why Alec couldn't have a traditional wedding.
“If you stick around long enough and listen hard enough you will see the evils the lurk in the walls of this house.” Alec says. Leaving Magnus more confused than ever.
They all left in the middle of the night. Magnus wanted to ask Alexander how he managed to get away, sensing that he must of had to lie to his father.
They booked a church, were married by a Catholic priest Camille paid off. Magnus even wondered if he was legit. The whole time Magnus watched in a daze. He couldn’t help but think Alec deserved better. He deserved more than this.
Camille didn’t even deserve the ring she was going to eventually sell for less than the ring was worth.
Magnus wanted to scream, punch, kick. He hurt.
After the wedding Alec, Camille, Magnus, and Heidi made their way to an Inn nearby. As per tradition, they needed to consummate their marriage, and Heidi was going to prepare Camille and Magnus was going to prepare Alec. Magnus felt like he was going to be sick.
As he was making his way into the bedroom to help Alec he was stopped by Camille. “I must say, I didn’t think you had it in you. I thought for sure, you’d fail, but it turns out you got him to elope with me instead! I’m very impressed Magnus!”
Magnus looked at Camille is disgust. “You disgust me.”
“Who do you think you’re talking to?” Grabbing Magnus’ arm with so much force her nails dug into Magnus’ arm, almost breaking the skin. She gets up closer to his face. “Aw, have you grown a conscious? Little late for that now.”
Magnus rips his arm away.
“I’ll make sure to give him a good time tonight.”
“I could tell him everything.” Magnus threatens, jealousy and heartache eating away at him.
Camille lets out one her evil laughs that Magnus is sure is as black as her soul. “You could, but you won’t. Don’t think I haven’t seen the way you look at him, Magnus. You might want to tell him...but the fear of him hating you keeps you from it.”
Magnus’ eyes fill with tears. He can’t bare looking at her any longer, knowing she’s right.
Magnus doesn’t dare look at Alexander when he’s dressing him. He doesn’t dare look at the bed either. He keeps taking deep breaths too, trying to keep the tears from falling, and he hopes and prays Alexander stays silent until he leaves because once he leaves this room he’s going to lose all the self-control he has.
Magnus is just about finished, but Alec blocks him from taking another step forward. Magnus tries again. Alec doesn't budge. Still Magnus refuses to speak.
Alec gently puts his hand on Magnus’ cheek, lifting his head to look at him.
Alec can see tears and pain in Magnus is eyes, and he continues to feel like his heart is being ripped apart.
“Kiss me.” Alec whispers.
Magnus squeezes his eyes shut and purses his lips together tightly.
“I don’t want my first time to be with her!” Alec shouts.
Magnus looks at Alec then, can see the pain and longing in his eyes. Before he can think too much about it, he grabs Alec, kissing him roughly.
They’re both kissing each other like they’re starving. They suck and nibble each other's lips. Magnus turns Alec around walking him to the bed. The back of Alec’s legs hit the bed, causing him to fall back. Magnus still has a hold of his head with his left hand. With his right he takes one of Alec’s hands and brings it crouch. Magnus moans.
“Oh god.” Alec groans.
This is what Alec has dreamed about, the feel of another man, and not just any man, Magnus.
They both start undoing each other's buttons on their shirts, but they become too impatient and end up ripping each other's shirts off, the buttons flying everywhere.
“I’m so hard, Magnus. I can’t…”
“I know, baby.” Magnus pulls Alec’s breeches down, not even bothering with his own. He takes a look at Alec’s shaft, the beauty of it, and wonders how he went so long without it. He licks it first, from balls to tip.
Alec arches up, hands grabbing onto the headboard. “I….oh my god...Magnus!”
Magnus takes Alec’s member into his mouth, first the tip then gradually adding more. He’s never seen Alec like this. Quiet, reserved Alec is falling apart, moaning and cursing.
Magnus keeps going. He can’t stop.
Alec comes into Magnus’ mouth. He swallows it all. Before Magnus can even get his bearings, Alec flips him onto his back, kissing the life out of him.
Alec groans deep and loud. “I can taste myself.”
Smiling Magnus starts kissing Alec’s neck. He wants to mark him. Magnus bites him. Alec gasps then Magnus starts licking and sucking his bite and in his head he’s screaming, mine, mine, mine.
Alec knows Magnus is marking him, gladly letting him. Wearing his mark with pride. Once Magnus is finished, Alec starts kissing his way down Magnus’ body, stopping at his nipples. He lightly kisses one. Magnus arches off the bed. Alec bites it and Magnus groans obscenely. He starts sucking on it, and he notices how tented Magnus’ breeches have become. Giving the other one some attention briefly, Alec starts making his way South once more.
As soon as Alec reaches the hem of his breeches, he can’t resists biting his bellybutton. “You’re killing me, Alexander!” Magnus is exacerbated, ready to burst out of his skin.
Alec can’t help but laugh softly.He pulls Magnus’ breeches off, giving Magnus cock some much needed relief. Alec takes it in his hand. It’s hot and rock hard, and he can tell Magnus is ready to explode. Before he can even taste, Magnus has moved out of his grasp and his head has now moved to the end of the bed.
Magnus’ member is still near Alec’s face, only now Magnus has access to Alec at the same time. Magnus starts playing with Alec’s balls with his hand and licking the tip of his cock. Groaning, Alec does the same to Magnus.
It doesn’t take long for Magnus to come. Most of it ends up on Alec’s chin and neck. Alec follows a second time right after Magnus.
“I don’t want me first time to be with her!” Camille watches as Alec shouts at Magnus. She sees the pain and passion in their eyes. Next they’re kissing each other, quickly turning more heated by the second.
She makes her leave, thinking how she’s underestimated Magnus Bane and needs to step up her game.
Magnus can see Alec seated in a chair looking out the window the next morning. He tries hard not to think about the pain that was in Alexander’s eyes as he got dressed and left his room. How he knew Alexander needed to get dressed and meet Camille in her...Magnus shakes his head, he couldn’t go there. Couldn't think about it.
He went to grab the bed sheets for washing, catching his breath as he saw the blood stains on the sheets. Magnus knew that consummating their marriage was apart of this, but the pain was excruciating.
Alec never once turns around and acknowledges him. As Magnus makes his way outside of the Inn to do the washing, he’s stopped by Camille. “So it turns out Magnus’ feelings for our dear Alexander go deeper than previously thought.”
Magnus tires to walk around her.
“I’ve discovered your dirty little secret.” Camille narrows her eyes, “don’t forget you still have work to do Magnus.”
Magnus knew a threat when he heard one.
Magnus was doing up the washing when Mrs. Rivers, the Lady Innkeeper asked how the newlyweds were.
With Camille’s threats fresh in his ear Magnus replies, “Oh, I don’t like to gossip.”
Mrs. Rivers stopped feeding the chickens. “Oh you don’t need to worry about me, I won’t gossip.”
Magnus took a deep breath, as if he was trying to gather up the strength to do what he had to do next, “Mr. Lightwood is quite troubled.” Magnus points to his head, “Lady Camille is very worried.”
“How do you mean?”
Magnus’ heart continued to break but he pushed through, “Ya know….disturbed. That’s why Lady Camille suggested coming here to this nice quiet Inn, to help calm him.”
“Calm him?” Mrs. Rivers became alarmed. “He’s not going to start throwing things around and become violent is he?”
Magnus shrugs his shoulders, “Let’s hope not.”
Alec could be seen looking out the window, hearing the gossip below.
Magnus prepared breakfast the next morning.
Alec didn’t touch his.
“Dear, you need to eat.” Camille said.
“I’m not hungry.” Alec managed to mumble.
Magnus’ heart clinched. He hated seeing Alec’s like this and he was as much to blame as Camille.
“Stop calling me that!” Alec screamed, slamming his fists on the table. He glanced at Magnus briefly before getting up and walking out.
Magnus knocked on Alec’s door. Alec was once again looking out the window with hardly any expression on his face.
Magnus wasn’t sure what to say. He just wanted to see if Alec was okay, and the irony was not lost to him.
“I sometimes think what it would be like to write my own novel...perhaps then our story would be told so much differently.” Alec says, voice barely above a whisper.
Magnus is sure that Alexander Lightwood might just be the only person in the world who can cause his heart feel immense joy and heartache all at the same time.
“You need a different suit.” Alec says, changing the subject abruptly.
Magnus looks down at his clothes. They’re not the nicest but they’re designed for a servant and he only has two.
Alec grabs one from his wardrobe. “This one is small for me, but it should fit you.”
Magnus wonders how that could be because he knows he is shorter than Alec but he’s broader. He wonders if Alec had this suit specially made for him. He thinks about asking, but he doesn’t. He feels touched, tears forming in the corners of his eyes and threatening to fall.
Magnus thinks about leaving to get changed but decides against it. He slowly gets undressed, and he wonders if Alec will turn away. He doesn't. Alec watches Magnus, intently. Can’t take his eyes off him. It’s as if he’s memorizing every single piece of Magnus.
“Perfect fit.” Alec says hoarsely.
“Turns out all I have to do is threaten to expose you to his father and he just starts signing over his will and everything in it to me, like the little sissy he is!” Camille’s crackling, loving the pain she’s inflicting.
Magnus can’t stand it. “You’re so fucking heartless! How are you even human?” He hisses.
“Oh I’m heartless? Who’s willing to send the man who’s in love with him to the madhouse for 3,000 dollars?”
Magnus looks away. His guilt eating away at him, evading his insides like poison.
“There’s medical doctors here. They’re willing to take him today if they’re sure he’s mad. So you better play your part well, unless you want to go back to your father with nothing...other than me telling him what you really are.”
Camille goes to touch Magnus’ face. Magnus pushes her hand away.
Magnus makes his way into the house to meet the medical examiners with Camille, each step like he’s walking to his death.
The first examiner is old and grey, with a handlebar mustache. “We are friends of Mrs. Lightwood and we would like to ask you a few questions about her marriage.” Magnus takes a seat.
He’s starting to get dizzy watching the the guy walk around the room in circles. “Her new husband…” He begins.
“Yes, my Master sir, Mr. Lightwood.”
Both the medical examiners look at each other, one of them makes a couple of notes in his notebook.
“Your Master? Please refresh my memory. Who is your Master?”
Magnus looks at the medical examiner like he can’t be serious. “Alexander Lightwood, of course.”
“Right….of course.” More writing. “And you are?”
“Magnus Bane.” Magnus looks at Camille who has started walking around the room. She gives him a look that says keep talking. “Alexander’s head servant.”
“You seemed to hesitate. That is your name, correct?”
Magnus laughs, “I may be a bit confused as to what is going on here, but I know my own name.”
The medical examiner looks at Camille, and they give each other a look.
“And how did you meet Mr. Lightwood?”
Magnus starts talking about Alexander, how he met him, how he fears for his life and safety, all the things he’s rehearsed for this day, the lies pour out and he cant stop them. He is crying now, unable to stop his tears, everything hurts.
After he’s finished he pleads, “Please look after him...keep him safe.” He sobs brokenly.
They all nod in agreement, even Camille.
“He’s so kind, soft, gentle. It takes some time for him to come out of his shell, but when he does…” Magnus wipes his eyes.
“He loves to read books. Please let him have books.” Magnus gasps for air. “You must let him have books.”
“We will keep him very safe. You don’t need to worry about a thing anymore. He’s in good hands.” They reassure.
As the medical examiners leave, Camille goes with them, leaving Magnus to sink to the floor, alone in the room with nothing but his guilt and miserly for company.
Alec is still looking out the window, almost like he hasn’t moved in years and has begun to fossilize.
Camille makes her way over, wrapping her arm around his waist. “Can we go to London tomorrow, dear?”
Alec doesn’t reply.
“I’m thinking the nice city air will do you some good. Don’t you think the city will do my husband some good, Magnus?”
Magnus doesn’t reply either.
Camille laughs as she makes her way out of the room.
Magnus doesn’t say anything as he pulls up a chair next to Alexander. He grabs his hand, entwining their fingers. Magnus’ heart shatters even more as Alexander squeezes back tightly, and they sit in silence, looking out the window together.
As Magnus is packing Alexander’s bag he makes sure to keep a copy of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. He needed something to remember him by.
“Are you ready Alexander?”
Alec doesn’t even give Magnus a glance as he made his way out of the room.
When they’re both seated in the carriage to the madhouse, Magnus thinks he’s going to be sick. The bumpy road is not helping, making his stomach turn incessintly. He contemplates stopping right then and there and making a run for for it with Alexander.
“Hello Mr. Lightwood.” Says the medical examiner Magnus recognizes from the day before, mustache and all.
"Mr. Bane.” They nod, and Magnus notices how they don’t greet him, but Alexander.
Alec’s still looking straight ahead, he hasn’t once looked at Magnus the whole journey.
“Mr. Lightwood?” The medical examiner has his hand out towards Magnus, expecting him to take it.
Magnus is confused. “What?”
A second man comes forward, stepping into the carriage, Camille gives him room. “Mr. Lightwood, I was hoping to do this the easy way.” He grabs Magnus by the arm lifting him out of the carriage.
“But it’s not me you want!” Mangus yells. “My name is Magnus Bane!”
He’s fighting against the two men. Another one must come forward and help.
“Tell them!” Magnus roars at Camille.
Camille wipes at her eyes, pretending to cry. “Please don’t make this harder than it is, dear. I can’t bare to see you like this.”
“There’s no need for that kind of language, Mr. Lightwood.”
Magnus struggles harder, kicking one guy in the crouch. He makes it closer to the carriage so he can see Alexander and he still hasn’t moved, he's still looking straight ahead, like he's frozen.
Just as he’s getting pulled back again, Alexander finally looks at him. His gaze is hard and unyielding. Magnus stops fighting, heart shattering. His world comes crashing down. Reality hitting him.
A man tugs Magnus’ arm roughly, “What are you staring at. Surly you know your own servant?”
Alec’s face doesn’t change, still as hard a stone. “My poor Master.” He says.
He knew, Magnus thinks. He knew from the start.
“No!” Magnus screams. “No! Alexander!” He’s being dragged away again. He tries to get to Alec, struggling harder, screaming harder with every failed attempt.
Alec’s face finally cracks then. Seeing Magnus being dragged away, screaming his name in pain. He could almost forget that Magnus planned to do the same thing to him.
Magnus thought he knew him.
Alec knew everything, yet nothing of what the future would hold.
Alec was made to test out new weapons for his father, sometimes Robert Lightwood would even bring in other people to spar with him, like he was a Roman Gladiator, a source of entertainment for his father and his colleagues. Once the weapons were tested and decided on, they’d be sold and traded on the black market.
Alec was holding a short sword in his hand. If he couldn’t have his bow and arrow, he preferred a sword.
He hated when his father made him try a new gun, often they were unpredictable, and he had gotten hurt more times than he cared to remember. Alec was counting his blessings, at least he was wielding a sword and not a gun.
Today he was made to perform in a real fight. Alec knew there was no other reason for this, other than for his father’s amusement. He could easily examine the weapon himself, throw it a few times, and explain exactly why the weapon is banned and unsafe for purchase, but it was useless. It brought money and entertainment. It didn’t matter how many lives this weapon cost people once it’s in the wrong hands, and it certainly didn’t matter that it was putting Alec’s life in danger by using it.
A man entered; he was shorter than Alec, but broader. He reeked of overconfidence and arrogance.
Alec took a deep breath, preparing himself for what was to come. He didn’t particularly like fighting. Sure, he was good at it, and he had been fighting most his life, with himself, his father, bullies at school, but all those things didn’t make doing this any easier.
Alec’s opponent has a long handled ax. He was smiling at him tossing his ax from hand to hand. Alec gave nothing away, refusing to be riled, to show any emotion.
Alec was patient, it was something he has always been, refusing to strike first. He knew if he waited, his overconfident opponent would inevitably strike first. When he did, Alec was able to evade him, kicking him hard in the thigh.
It caused his overconfidence to slip, and he charged again. Alec shook his head he was making it too easy. When his opponent rammed him like a bull, he was slammed into the wall, but Alec knew he made a fatal mistake, his anger got the best of him, leaving himself unguarded. And with that, he was able to bring his sword down on his thigh. Alec knocks his ax out of his hands and kicks. His opponent staggers back, clutching his bleeding thigh.
With his opponent beaten on the floor, wailing in pain and blood loss, Alec gives nothing away, he can’t. He steps around him, grabbing a cloth to wipe his weapon off before setting it down on the table. He does not give his father or his colleagues a glance before he exits, needing to wash the blood of his hands as quickly as possible.
Alec feels like he can’t breathe. He hates when his father makes him fight. Testing the weapons is one thing, but to have to fight someone, it felt like a little piece of him died each time. It was worse than the ridicule, worse than the beatings he endured from his father throughout the years.
“For someone who just claimed victory, you’d think you’d at least smile.”
Alec spins around, startled by the presence of a woman. She has long dark hair. She’s dressed nicely, if not a bit provocatively. She looks familiar, but Alec can't quite place her.
“Something tells me that was as much fun for you as a root canal.” She laughs at her own joke, touching Alec’s shoulder.
Alec moves out of her grasp. He still hasn’t wiped the blood off his hands; he can’t be touched.
“What do you want?”
“I like you...Alexander is it?”
Alec shakes his head, “Alec.”
“I feel we could be of help to each other….”
Alec looks puzzled. “Who are you?”
“I’m Camille and I have a feeling you are dying to get out of her Alec, and I can help you do so.”
Alec knows he’s lived a sheltered and hard life. He knows his life is made up of a few defining moments and this is one of them. In this moment, at this particular time, with blood drying on his hands, Camille could have been the devil herself, and he would have agreed to anything.
“Doesn’t that seem a bit cruel?” Alec questions. He’s feeling guilty. If he does this than his old servant's life is over. He doesn't have it in him.
“Do you want to get out of here or not?” Camille's back, having just witnessed another one of Alec’s “shows.” At least it was not a fight this time.
“I don’t agree to you saying he molested you.” Alec is adamant.
Camille rolls her eyes.
“I’m serious Camille. We do this my way...we will say he was caught stealing but we won’t press charges, then in a few weeks I will send his family some money.” Alec knew that it wasn’t ideal, Mr. Owens will most likely have a hard time finding employment again, but he hoped to be able to send enough money to compensate for it. He knew it was going to be hard to do with his father not finding out, but hopefully he would be long gone before that happened.
Camille huffed, her annoyance evident. “That’s your problem Alec, you’re too nice. Always letting people walk all over you!.”
Alec laughs with no real humor, “Yeah...I guess I should stop letting people walk all over me." Alec stares vehemently at Camille, " How about I start with you?”
Camille walks close to Alec, “Why change the habit of a lifetime, my dear.”
Alec remembers meeting Magnus for the first time. He remembers the first thing he noticed were his eyes. They were so dark, like there was so many stories to tell. Then Alec became upset, because he couldn't understand how this person who looked so innocent and kind could really be scheming to send him to the madhouse?
In his anger he asked him to read. He knew Magnus couldn’t read, so he wanted to humiliate him. When he started reading the Lord’s Prayer, and he said his mother taught him, Alec felt guilty. Then he felt an overwhelming need to teach him how to read.
“How did you get your scar?” Magnus had asked him one night while they were laying in bed. Alec’s heart skipped. He didn’t like thinking about this. It was not a pleasant story. Sure Magnus and him had kissed, and they obviously had feelings for each other, but neither one of them were willing to address it. They were both lying to each other, deceiving one another and themselves.
“My father…” Alec whispered into the room.
Magnus didn’t say anything for awhile. He reached over and started lightly touched Alec’s face, running his thumb over the scar.
“He hurt you...yeah?”
Alec couldn’t speak, the lump in his throat too large. He simply nodded.
“When I was a child, I used to miss my mother and my father would say, don’t be sad, son you’re a treasure.” Magnus kissed Alec’s scar. “Don’t be sad Alexander, you’re a treasure.”
Alec couldn't help it, he weeped with sorrow because he knew...he knew then even though he refused to admit, that he loved Magnus Bane, but living in this house a moment longer would kill him. What was he to do?
“You have to start showing me some affection!” Camille and Alec were walking. Her hand was hooked in his and it felt like his skin was crawling from the touch.
“What do you call this?” Alec questioned.
“This is nothing!” Camille sneered. “I do this kind of touch with my maid!”
Alec snorted because what he did with Magnus just a few days ago was nothing like this. Alec could still feel Magnus' kiss on his lips, the feel of his body pressed down on his and how it made him hard.
“Alec...if you want to make Magnus believe we are going to elope you need to make it believable.”
Alec took a deep breath. He stopped walking. He pushed the hair out of Camille’s eyes with his fingers then forcing himself to, he gave her a kiss on the cheek, counting to five as he did so. He didn’t dare look back to see Magnus’ face. He couldn’t bare it.
Camille seemed pleased. She smiled brightly, hooking her arms in with his as they continued their walk.
“I don’t care what the fuck you do or how believable it is. Leave me alone.” Alec was done. He wanted to be left with thoughts of Magnus and the passion they shared earlier. Remember Magnus’ touch and the feel of his kisses still on his lips. He didn’t want everything ruined by Camille and what was enviably coming. He just wanted to remember the good. He didn’t want this anymore, none of it.
“You act like you’re getting cold feet, dear.”
Alec didn’t say anything.
Camille took out a knife, taking it to her palm, she sliced it, the drops raining down on the bed.
Alec wanted to be sick.
“Let’s not forget that your father now knows of your plan, so I can’t even imagine what he would do to you now. And I now know about you and Magnus’....”
Alec didn’t react.
“Don’t think I won’t tell his father what you two are. They’ve put people in prison for less. Trust me a madhouse will be like a vacation compared to what prison would be like for someone like him.”
Alec looks at Camille then, eyes blazing. He gets up, backing her into the wall. He doesn’t lay a finger on her, but his hands shake at his sides.
Camille smiles, her white teeth shining.
Alec knows then and there he actually did make a deal with the devil.
“I finally get a reaction...And all it took was threatening Magnus. You must really love him. Huh...too bad it’s not going to matter in the end.” She shrugs her shoulders, leaving Alec to punch an empty wall.
“Does he like to read books?” The medical examiner asked.
Alec swallows hard, his breathing becoming harder as he tries to answer their questions. “Yes...my Master loves to read. It’s his passion.” Alec's heart continues to break, knowing this is part of the plan. He knows Magnus can't read. Alec was starting to teach him, but he knows his learning and skill is still very premature, and he's exploiting it, using it to his advantage.
Camille walks over to Alec just then. “It’s okay Magnus.” She can see that Alec is getting increasingly upset. She comes to pat his shoulder, but grabs it instead, digging her nails in, as a warning to get it together. “It’s not your fault. You did everything you could for your Master. You were a great and faithful servant.”
It’s making everything worse. Camille’s touch, her words. Men aren’t meant to cry, but Alec can’t seem to keep the tears from falling.
Alec can only go through the motions when they’re riding to the the madhouse. When Magnus is being dragged away screaming he can't move, can hardly blink.
Camille has to get in his face, telling him to, “fucks sake speak will you.” She seethes, pinching the side of his leg.
“My poor servant.” And a head turn is all he can manage.
When the carriage pulls away Alec pulls the wedding ring off his finger, throwing it on the floor of the carriage. Camille picks it up of course, sliding it on her finger, most likely so she can sell it somewhere.
Magnus roared with anguish and anger, but mostly anger. He was angry at himself for trusting someone like like Camille. He was also anger at himself for letting himself fall for Alexa--Alec. He should have known better than to let his heart rule over his brain.
“Mr. Lightwood!” Handlebar Mustache continued to scream at Magnus, but he did not listen, he continued to fight everyone who was holding onto him.
Handlebar Mustache grabbed Magnus’ face, firmly squeezing his cheeks together. Magnus tries to pull his face away, but his hold was too strong. “Mr. Lightwood...sit down!”
Magnus refused, he would not cave because as soon as he did, that would be like admitting defeat and he mustn’t to that! He was pulled roughly back, his feet dragging on the cold concert floor as he was dragged to the chair behind him. “They tricked me!” He screamed. “I’m Magnus Bane!”
Handlebar Mustache grabs his jaw, forcing it open, “I will not have you lying here, Mr. Lightwood.”
Magnus spits in his face. He waits for him to strike him, but the hit never comes. He walks out.
Magnus is taken to a padded room. The walls are covered in it. They tell him if he spits again, he will be given a mask.
Magnus didn’t spit again.
In the padded room there are two men who help him undress, while one is at the door, watching, as if making sure he doesn't need to intervene. He was huge, almost like a bodyguard. His clothes were being roughly ripped from his body. As they get to his pants, Magnus wanted to wail in mortification. “I can do this myself!” He screams.
They laughed cruelly. “Yeah...you could choke yourself and it’s no business of ours. Chew your tongue off if you like. We prefer them quite.” The worker to his right who wasn’t talking, smacked his butt hard. Causing Magnus to whimper pitifully. He tired not to...really he did. And as much as he wanted to hate Alec in that moment, push all of his hate onto him, he couldn't help but think, he was thankful he hadn’t sent Alec to the same fate.
“As part of the deal…” Camille drops him off at the door. With only two suitcases, one in each hand, Alec makes his way into a small apartment that Camille arranged for him. He was almost certain that he would be homeless. However, to his surprise it was a small one room apartment in Brooklyn. The street was busy with people on every corner. Many were begging, lots of them children.
Alec makes his way around the small room. There is a bed in the corner. There isn’t even a bedroom. He goes to the window, opening up his book and reads the Lord’s Prayer, regrets heavy in his heart as he thinks of Magnus and how he wishes things could have been different.
“Where is my son!” Alec is startled by a man barging into his apartment. He sleeps most of the day, not even caring about his appearance.
Momentarily confused all Alec can do is stare.
“What happened to my son?” He asks again.
Alec begins to connect the dots, the resemblance is evident. This is Magnus’ father. He wants to desperately run away because he is ashamed, or ask for his forgiveness, but then he remembers what Magnus and his father wanted to do to him and his anger returns.
“What makes you think I’ll tell you anything?” Alec voice is as cold as ice.
Asmodeus is taken aback, “You remind me so much of your father..it’s uncanny.”
Alec’s eyes grow wide. How does Magnus’ father know his father?
“W..what?” His voice wavers in shock and confusion. “How do you know my father?”
Asmodeus smirks, “You didn’t think I just met Camille out of the blue did you?” He shakes his head. “No my dear boy, I hand picked you because of your father. See me and Robert Lightwood go way back...Have quite the history me and him.”
Alec’s face must say a lot because Asmodeus stops talking.
“And…?” Alec questions.
Asmodeus doesn’t say anything.
“He’s at Brooklyn East Asylum.” Alec explains.
“That bitch...she doubled crossed me.” Asmodeus chuckles. “She’s good. I’ll give her that.”
Asmodeus gets up to leave.
“Wait, I...I didn’t want to do it...see, my father, he’s not a kind man. He...you don’t understand what it was like living there...with him. It wasn’t like what Magnus had with you...A father like you.” Alec takes a deep breath, “It broke my heart doing that to Magnus, it killed me, but I couldn’t live another day in that house.” Alec left out the part about Camille blackmailing him about him and Magnus.
Asmodeus took a seat in one of the two chairs in Alec’s apartment. “I was your father’s servant. He’s always been a hard man but he hasn’t always been cruel. I was barely out of my teens then. One thing led to another and we became involved….” Asmodeus looked at Alec to see his reaction. It wasn’t one of disgust, more shock.
“That’s impossible, my father despises people like…” Alec couldn't wrap his mind around this. It couldn't be true...could it?
Asmodeus laughed, “Yeah, that doesn’t surprise me. We carried on for a few months, but it was almost like each time he gave in, he became more and more cruel after. Then one day, he beat me black and blue and sent me on my way, out in the middle of the night, in the freezing cold. I’m not even sure how I made it out alive. Luckily there was a nice Innkeeper who took me in and fed me and warmed me up.”
Alec isn’t even sure how to respond. His shock still very much evident. Maybe this all made perfect sense. His father’s hatred for him. Everything all coming together. “So you’re….?”
“Man or woman...doesn’t really matter to me.” Asmodeus shrugged like it was no big deal.
Alec let out a long sigh, not sure why he needed this confirmation in the first place.
“So you swore revenge?” Alec asks.
“Look around…” Asmodeus waves his hand around.
“I’m sure you’ve noticed we are not living a grand life. I do the best I can, but it’s not been easy. I want the best life for my son, and hitting Robert Lightwood where it hurts, is an added bonus. You were just collateral damage…”
Alec wants to be angry again, but he doesn’t have it in him.
“You’re mother never ran away.” Asmodeus is looking out the window now.
Alec looks up at this.
“How do you know this!” Alec roars. He’s standing now too.
Asmodeus is toe and toe now with Alec, “You think I planned all this overnight? No, I did my homework. Your mother was sent to a madhouse right before you turned thirteen. Six months later she hung herself with her bed-sheet.”
Alec can’t stand anymore. This would have been right before he was sent home from boarding school. He remembers wondering where his mother was. He remembers a few months later, (was it six months?) His father telling him she ran away. He remembers him leaving for short while and being happy when the maids and servants took care of him. He remembers how awful things where when his father returned. How horrible his temper became, and he remembers that’s when he started making him clean weapons.
Asmodeus goes to Alec who’s now sitting on the floor, back against the wall. His eyes are dull, as if he can’t take one more thing. “We all have a demons to bare, Alec. Magnus’ mother...I loved her so much. She was a great mother, would play the piano for Magnus when he was a baby.”
Alec hears Asmodeus breath hitch, “I made the wrong person angry this time, they came looking for me one night. I killed him. Only my dear Mae took the blame and was hung for it…And I still let Magnus believe she did it. Can't bare for my boy to look at me with anything other than love.“
Alec looks at Magnus’ father, can see the pain and anguish in his eyes. He can see the hardships this life has given him, but most of all he can see a man who has loved fiercely and Alec wishes to love half as much as he has.
“I’m in love with your son.” Alec confesses because he doesn’t have anything else to give.
Asmodeus doesn’t look at Alec, just asks, “What are you going to do about that?”
“I’m going to get him back.”
Each plunge Magnus knew he was mad. Sanity was overrated. As the the board was lowered again, Magnus lost count the number of times. What did they call this method of torture? Magnus tried to blow the water out through his nose so that it didn’t go in, causing him to choke, but the need for air made it almost impossible. When the board rose once more, he could hear the laughs in his ears.
“How exactly do you expect to get him out? You just planing on walking in there? You’re supposed to be nothing more than a servant!” Ragnor shouts from the table, exasperated.
Alec is leaning on the door, hands in his pockets, “Aren’t all of you professional schemers...I mean don’t you do this for a living?” Alec questions.
Cat chimes in, “Yes, but this is a madhouse! Heavily guarded and we might be good, but we ain’t THAT good.”
Alec blows out a frustrated breath. “Then what am I even doing here!”
“You’re the reason he’s there!” Dot yells.
“Oh really? I chose to handpick myself, did I?”
“Everyone settle down!” Asmodeus takes a seat at the table. “We have some great minds at this table. With Alec’s financial resources and our crafty minds, we can surely find a way to break my boy out!”
“Jace and Izzy.” Alec whispered.
“Speak up, I’m hard of hearting these days!” screeched Ragnor.
Asmodeus looked at Alec.
“My brother and sister….I can write to them, ask them for help. My brother is a Lawyer and my sister’s husband is a Jewish doctor. Maybe they can get in there and then once we're in, you guys can get Magnus the rest of the way out.”
“My son, didn’t I tell you we’d find away.”
Alec smiled, feeling like his heart had finally started beating again since Magnus had been taken away.
"What's him being Jewish got to do with anything?" Asks Ragnor in confusion.
Cat glares at Ragnor, "Shut up, will ya!"
Magnus was willing to be anyone they wanted him to be after the plunge.
Only the thought of seeing his father, his friends Cat, Dot, and Ragnor kept him going. He'd even be nice to Lilith if he ever got home. His father once told him that people weren’t interested in the truth, but only in what they wanted to hear.
Magnus sat in a chair across from Handlebar Mustache, “I am Mr. Alexander Lightwood.” He said.
“This is truly remarkable.” He said.
“I have you to think for this Doctor. You’ve looked after me…” Magnus swallowed hard. “So well.” Magnus was thankful Mustache couldn't read his mind. He would surly never get out of this godforsaken place.
“You would like to see Mrs. Lightwoood?”
Magnus nodded his head fiercly, “Yes, I’d like to see her. Oh my poor wife...and my servant, Magnus. Who has put up with so much. How I long to see them again.” Magnus tried not to spit the words out like poison. Thoughts of Alec making him hurt more than he wanted to acknowledge.
“And so you shall.”
Magnus smiles, his first real smile in weeks.
“Doctor Graves.” Handlebar motions for the other doctor sitting beside Magnus, “but first a little test Mr. Lightwood. Please, write your name.”
A small chalkboard is set in front of Magnus, and a piece of chalk is placed in his hand.
Magnus’ breathing becomes more rapid.
Magnus slowly places the chalk on the board and begins to write an M, one of the few letters he knows.
“I believe it begins with a different letter, doesn't it?” Handlebar's tone was condescending and mocking.
Magnus erases it with his finger. He tries again, only he doesn't know any other letters. He can’t even begin to know how start to write Alexander's name.
His hands shake.
“Outstanding. His illusions even extends to his motor functions. It’s there. We will break him. Once your own writing comes back to you, your wife will be here to sign you out.”
“Camille has to sign me out?!” Magnus screams as he’s being dragged away, fear and agony causing him to become hysterical.
“Why didn't you tell us sooner?” Izzy hugged Alec tighter.
Head buried in her shoulder, Akec mutters, “I didn’t want you to worry.”
“It’s our job to worry about you!” Jaced slammed his fist on the table. “Now you’re living in filth and Robert just gets away with everything...how is this right Alec!”
Alec’s eyes filled with tears, “I don’t know Jace. All I know is, I just want Magnus back.”
“Of course we will help you.” Izzy assured.
“This conversation is not over...but I agree, let’s get Magnus back.” Jace got up, giving Alec a hug. He knew Jace wasn’t going to drop this, but all that mattered was they were going to help bring Magnus home.
"Three go in three come out." They said.
They were all walking the yard, when one of the workers comes up to Magnus. “Mr. Lightwood, you have a visitor.” Magnus didn’t say anything. He almost didn't believe them.
“Mr. Lightwood! Are you here today or not?” He asked annoyed.
Magnus shook his head, yes.
As Magnus made his way into the visiting room, he immediately recognized it as Simon, Alec’s sister’s husband. He almost turned around, but out of the need to be around someone from his former life he sat down.
Magnus didn’t say anything. He just sat there, waiting. Simon waited for one of the workers to pass. “Magnus.” He said quietly.
Magnus eyes filled with tears. Hearing someone call him by his name, the feeling was indescribable. “I’m here on behalf of your father…”
Magnus was confused. Why would Simon be here because of his father. “I’m here on behalf of your father and….Alec.”
Magnus tensed. He couldn't understand how his father and Alec could go in the same sentence. “I don’t understand. What do my father and Alec have to do with each other?" Magnus’ voice rose.
Simon looked around, making sure they didn’t draw attention. “You’ll have to ask him.”
Magnus sneered, “I don’t plan on having anything to do with Alec ever again.”
“I’m a psychiatrist and the plan is to come here as your doctor. Jace will also come as your lawyer, effectively keeping most of the personal busy in two days time. Your friends will meet you just after 3pm to escape, outside the wall. Be ready.” Simon grabbed Magnus’ hands, he felt him put something in them. “They said you would know what to do with these.” Magnus didn’t dare look. He quickly hid them in the sleeves of his shirt. When Magnus got time to look he saw it was a one inch blank key and file. He knew just what to do.
Finally, Magnus was in his element.
“My neck is killing me and now I’ve got to listen to yous winning fools all night! Shut up, will ya!” Yelled Big Ears.
“I can rub the cream on your neck,” Magnus offered.
Sighing, Big Ears waved his hands at Magnus, “Small key.”
Magnus grabbed the keys from his belt, using them to open the cabinet. He laid the keys on top of the cabinet. Then gave big ears a message, making him forget all about his keys. Magnus used the bottom of the lotion jar, which was soft to make an impression of the key. Once the impression was made he laid the keys on the bed next to Big Ears.
He used the file to shape the blank key into the impression while everyone slept.
It’s close to 3pm, because that’s when everyone comes in from the yard and goes to take showers. Magnus can see the staff rounding everyone up. Jace, his lawyer must be talking to Mustache, and Simon must be distracting the others because the hall is empty. Magnus can see from the window. He was told to wait in his room and someone would be there to get him shortly. Magnus uses his key, opening it with ease. He quickly makes his way down the empty hall. He can hear everyone in the showers. He doesn’t look back.
He’s met with a giant wall, and even though he’s lost some weight over the last few weeks, he hasn’t lost all his muscle, or perhaps its sheer determination and will that gets him over the wall. Magnus isn't sure but he's grateful for it.
He climbs. He’s exhausted, and he wants to collapse, but he keeps going. He makes it over the wall and down the end of wooded path.
Magnus is startled. Losing his footing, he falls.
Cat comes running towards him. “Cat!” He collapses in her arms, the relief and joy overwhelming.
“There's a carriage waiting for you, just at the end of the path here.”
Magnus doesn’t argue or question it, he just follows.
There is a carriage and Magnus all but collapses once he reaches it. There is food and water waiting for him as well as a change of clothes.
Dot and Ragnor are in the carriage, helping him change and shoving things in his mouth. He doesn’t fight, he lets them, happy to be treated with love and kindness and most of all, happy to be going home.
Alec continues to drive the carriage back to Brooklyn. He briefly worries about Jace and Simon, hoping that they didn’t get into any trouble, but he can’t dwell on that too much because his mind is too focused on Magnus. He saw how awful Magnus looked when he was running to the carriage. How scared he looked. It was as if the life had been beaten from him. It was how Alec looked living with Robert all those years. Alec wanted to wale from the heartache and guilt he felt.
Alec knew that Magnus may never forgive him, but at least he was no longer in that prison. At least he was going home to his father and friends.
As they arrived home, it was completely dark out. Magnus slept most of the way. He saw his home in view and the excitement he felt was indescribable. He lept up, opening the door, as he was making his way in he noticed a figure exiting the carriage at the same time. He would recognize that figure anywhere.
Alec had been driving the carriage the whole time. Before Magnus could react, his father came out of the house, he engulfed Magnus in a tight hug. “Magnus, my boy! My dear boy, I’ve missed you!”
Magnus closed his eyes, tears escaping from the corners.
Asmodeus pulled Magnus the rest of the way into the house. “Let me look at you...you’ve lost weight.”
Magnus wiped at his eyes. He noticed how his father looked over at Alec. There was no contempt or anger at what he did to his son, it was…. affectionate. Magnus wanted to scream, his anger and resentment at all that he had been there rearing its head at that exact moment.
Magnus turned to Alec, “What the fuck are you doing here?” He roared.
Alec didn’t flinch. He had been expecting it, almost hoping for it. “I actually don’t live far from here...and well, isn’t it obvious I helped you escape.”
Magnus laughs manically, perhaps his time at the madhouse made him a little mad. “And who’s fault is it that I needed to escape?” Magnus was in Alec’s face now.
“You really want to go there Magnus?” Alec asks, almost like he can’t actually believe the hypocrisy.
“Were you not planning on sending me there for just 3,000 dollars? I mean I thought I’d at least be worth more than that?” Alec sneers, he’s not backing down. The hurt and anger rising full force.
Magnus shoves him in the chest. “I hate you!”
“I hate you too!” Alec screams.
“Boys!” Asmodeus interrupts. “Lets just calm down.”
“Am I interrupting something? A lover’s spat?” Camille says from the doorway.
Alec thinks things couldn’t possible get any worse, but he’s wrong.
“What are you doing here?” Alec asks.
“I need more money.” She says.
Alec laughs in disbelief. She really is unbelievable.
“More money...how can you possibly need more money!”
Camille anger is evident, she yells, “I have debts to pay! And as my husband, you will pay them!”
Alec can’t believe this. Who knows what she did with the money, probably gambled most of it.
Alec shakes his head. “No.” He says.
Camille laughs, “No?”
“Are you forgetting I know about your little secret?”
Alec shrugs his shoulders, "They already know." He motions to everyone in the room. "And go ahead and try and tell everyone else about me and Magnus, we will deny everything...see if anyone believes you.”
Camille becomes enraged, grabbing a knife from the kitchen, waving it around erratically. “You think I won’t! Look at your mother, a madwoman herself. And Magnus his own mother taking the blame for his own father being a murderer!”
“SHUT UP CAMILLE!” Alec screams. He doesn’t want Magnus to find out this way.
“What is she talking about?” Magnus asks.
“What a pathetic lot you are!” Camille looks over to Magnus, “your father never told you...Your father h---” but she was unable to finish before Asmodeus drove a knife right into her stomach.
Magnus stood there in shock, Alec too. No one had seen Asmodeus pick up his own knife.
“Father, the police will be here soon! What are we going to do!” Magnus was starting to panic.
“My brother is a lawyer, sir. He can help you.” Alec offered.
Asmodeus shook his head.
“Listen to me boys, what’s done is done. She will no longer torment you two. You’re free.”
“Father what did she mean about mother?”
Alec couldn't bare it. “Camille is always making up lies. She heard a rumor your mother took the blame for someone else. She wanted to hurt you Magnus...that’s all.”
“My dear boy, you’re my greatest treasure.”
When Magnus arrived at the Lightwood estate he was shocked to see the house was no longer there. Everything was flattened by charred remains of a house that was once there.
Magnus could hardly breathe. What did this mean? Where was Alexander? Magnus got back in his carriage.
“If you’re looking for Mr. Lightwood, he resides a few miles away in a new house he built.” His driver says.
“Why didn’t you say something earlier?”
His driver shrugs, “Didn’t seem important at the time, but you look like someone died, so I thought you might want to know,”
Annoyed Magnus asks, “Please take me there.”
They arrived awhile later. The house was much smaller, but it reminded Magnus a lot of Alexander. Tall, modest, and proud. Smiling, Magnus made his way inside.
He found Alexander in the library. He had a book open. Magnus knocked lightly, making his presence known.
Alec looked up. He rarely got visitors and when he did, it was only Izzy and Jace.
“Are you really here?” Alec asks, almost like he’s afraid it was a dream.
Magnus doesn't speak, he just walks closer. Once he’s standing in front of Alexander he takes the book out of his hands. He touches the scar on his eyebrow with his thumb. “I know everything now.”
Alec shakes his head, “No...you don’t.”
Magnus is confused. The look on his face shows that.
“My father used to beat me physically and abuse me mentally for who I was. Then to top it all off he would use me to test illegal weapons and sometimes…” Alec looks away, unable to look at Magnus. Magnus tells hims it’s okay, touching his cheek gently to have him look at him.
“He would make me fight people with them, hurt them. And I came back here to confront him only the fucker died on me before I had the chance. Heart attack. So I burnt that place to the ground. ”
“I’m sorry, Magnus. I’m sorry about your father.”
Magnus shakes his head. “No...none of that. We both did things we aren't proud of.”
Alec knocks over the book on his desk, it falls to the ground, opening up. Magnus and Alec both go to grab it at the same time. Their hands touching. “What does it say?” Magnus asks.
“It’s says how I want you...and how I love you.”
Magnus smiles, taking Alec’s face between his hands, kissing his lips. “I love you too, Alexander.”