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Apple Juice

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Alec is leaning against the bar at Pandemonium watching Izzy and Jace in the throngs of people on what is supposedly a dance floor. He can’t really tell over the amount of grinding bodies covering the space.

The Lightwood siblings go out most Friday nights. It’s tradition. It had started when Alec was 10, Izzy 9 and they’d snuck out to an abandoned parking lot to watch the sun rise over the city. It had become a thing then, waiting till their parents were asleep and then sneaking out into the night. A few years later Jace had joined them, and their Friday night adventures had evolved into Alec trying to stop Jace from getting himself killed while Isabelle looked on in sheer delight. Even later, it turned into this. Going to a club and dancing and drinking until they were giggling into each other’s shoulders and saying things that would absolutely be used as blackmail from then until forever. The point is, Alec has been sneaking Jace and Izzy out on Friday nights for more than a decade and they’ve always come back in one piece. He’s learned how to keep tabs on them. Tonight, that’s by sitting by the bar and watching Jace make a fool of himself trying to impress some girl.

He laughs into his glass when Jace does a ridiculous dance move that was probably supposed to look sultry but ends up making him look slightly constipated.

Alec startles when he feels an arm brushes against his and turns to look at the person who has come to lean against the bar next to him. And, well, to be frank, his entire brain shuts down.

Because standing next to him is probably, no, most definitely the most beautiful man he’s ever seen.

The man is wearing a silk purple shirt that is unbuttoned down to his navel to reveal a smooth muscled chest. To make it worse (or better, Alec can’t really decide), there are layers of necklaces draped over the exposed skin, making his chest look even more inviting.

Alec knows he’s blatantly staring, but he can’t stop. Or, probably more likely, he doesn’t want to.

The man’s lips curl slowly into a smirk and Alec stares, enraptured by the way his lips shine pink with - is that lipgloss?

“Hey pretty boy,” the man says. Alec keeps staring. It’s takes him a moment to realize that the man is addressing him.

He stupidly points at himself to confirm this and lets out a breath when the man’s smirk turns into a smile of genuine amusement.

Alec watches the way the necklaces swing and hit his chest as he leans further onto the bar, and consequently, further into Alec’s space.

“Let me buy you a drink,” he offers, eyes drifting down to Alec’s now almost empty glass, “Whiskey?”

Alec just nods because he’s not about to tell this beautiful man that he hates whiskey. Or even worse, that what he’s actually drinking is decidedly not alcohol. More like apple juice. Nope. He isn’t saying that out loud. It’s too mortifying.

He’d thought it was a good idea to stay sober tonight seeing that he has patrol at ass o’ clock in the morning the next day (yes, he did volunteer for a patrol on a Saturday morning. Yes, he does hate himself) but now, he can see that that decision had been a grave error.

The bartender drops two glasses onto the bar in front of them. Alec slowly picks up one of the glasses and sighs in resignation. He’s going to have to drink this abomination of a drink. The man sends him a heart stopping smile and Alec can’t even be mad about it. Goddamnit.

As soon as the liquid touches his tongue he recoils, grimacing. He tries to hide it by turning his face to the side but the man sees anyway.

“Are you sure you like whiskey?”

Alec contemplates lying. He even contemplates getting up and walking straight out of the club. Both options would be better than admitting to the apple juice.

For some reason he chooses the hard option. Probably because he’s an idiot.

“I don’t like whiskey,” Alec confirms, getting slightly distracted by the way the man arches an eyebrow questioningly, “I was drinking apple juice, not whiskey.”

The man’s eyes are full of amusement and Alec tries to sink into the ground so he doesn’t have to hear his answer.

“You were drinking apple juice.” he repeats slowly, looking as if he’s trying not to laugh. Alec groans inwardly. Of course the one time the most gorgeous man in the world shows interest in him, he has to fuck it up. With apple juice of all things.

“I was trying to impress you basically.” Alec blurts out bluntly, stopping and evaluating his words and then fixing them. “Or well, trying not to humiliate myself actually.”

The man laughs, loud and unabashed, head thrown back and eyes squeezed shut. Alec lets his eyes sweep over the long line of his neck and the small crinkles that form next to his eyes as he laughs.

When he’s calmed down somewhat he moves his hand to hover over Alec’s glass gracefully. Alec watches as blue sparks dance from his fingers and they move hypnotically over the glass.

Oh. Not a man. A warlock.

“It’s apple juice now, Nephilim.” The warlock says, telling him that he knows Alec is a Shadowhunter and handing the glass back.

This time Alec is the one who laughs, incredulously, but still a laugh. For some reason this warlock hasn’t left Alec’s side even though Alec has confessed to drinking apple juice at a club, and he knows Alec is a Shadowhunter. So Alec turns fully towards him.

“I’m Alec,” he ventures, taking a sip from the glass and smiling when he finds that it is indeed apple juice.

“Magnus.”

Alec watches as Magnus picks up his own glass to take a sip, staring at the way his Adam’s apple bobs as he swallows. He doesn’t manage to tear his eyes away fast enough because Magnus is looking at him with amusement dancing in his eyes when he places his glass back down on the bar.

“See something you like?” Magnus asks, eyelashes brushing against his cheeks and voice lowering to something resembling a purr.

Alec has to stop himself from nodding vehemently because that would probably be embarrassing. Though, he’s not sure he can embarrass himself more than he already has.

“Maybe.”

Alec pats himself on the back for managing to be smooth, but his victory only lasts a second because suddenly Magnus is leaning into his space and Alec can smell sandalwood and what he thinks might be the sugary scent of magic wafting off of him.

“I definitely see something I like,” he tells Alec on a sigh and Alec forgets how to breath for one long second.

For the second time that night Alec points dumbly at himself to confirm that Magnus is indeed talking to him.

Magnus eyes go from dark and mischievous to wide and fond in the space of a second as he lets out a quiet laugh and circles Alec’s wrist with long fingers.

“Yes, you, Alexander,” Magnus confirms and Alec almost spontaneously combusts at the way his full name rolls off of Magnus’ tongue as if it’s some sort of song.

Alec looks down at where Magnus’ fingers are curled softly around his wrist. His thumb has started to rub soothing circles into his pulse point and it’s an oddly intimate gesture for someone Alec literally met a few minutes ago. Though to be fair, it feels like Alec has known Magnus much longer.

When Alec looks back up at Magnus he finds him already staring back at him. His eyes are bright and his lips are quirked in a devastating half smile that has Alec’s nerves lighting on fire.

“What do you say we get out of here?” Magnus asks softly, releasing Alec’s wrist and offering his hand.

Alec looks at the hand and then turns to the dance floor where his siblings are. Jace is too drunk to notice Alec, but Izzy seems to have already been watching him. She sends him a subtle thumbs up, lips curled into a knowing smirk. Alec rolls his eyes back at her before turning away.

He turns back to Magnus’ offered hand and slips his own hand between ring clad fingers with a smile.

“I’d love to.”