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And They Were Roommates

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Everyone had warned him.  When Alec and Jace had made plans to move into an apartment together, Alec had heard from just about everyone that living with your best friend was a bad idea.  That it would make them hate each other.  And being an idiot, Alec hadn’t listened.  He figured that he’d already been living with Jace in their parents’ house for so long and it had been going fine, this would be the same. 

It wasn’t. 

 

Sure, it had started off fine.  The idea of getting to live together just the two of them had sounded exactly like the freedom and relaxation Alec needed after living with his controlling parents for so long.  And it really had been fun the first month or so.  They both picked up after themselves, they were both courteous of each other’s belongs and schedules, they both put an equal amount of effort into cleaning the apartment and splitting any of the costs that came with renting an apartment. 

But it wasn’t long until Jace started slipping into some less than favorable habits and Alec realized that Jace had been on his absolute best behavior in the beginning so now the more comfortable he got, the less he tried.  Without the strict hand of their parents, Jace got lazy.

 

It had started with small things.  Jace stopped washing dishes after cooking and Alec found himself picking up fast food wrappers and empty beer cans.  He tried to gently remind Jace to wash his dishes, but the response was almost always Jace saying he’d do it later or that they needed to sit in the sink and soak. 

Then Jace stopped being courteous of Alec’s possessions.  Alec would be rushing out the door to get to class and reach for his headphones, but they would be gone from their usual position because Jace had borrowed them without asking.  When Alec would pull open one of his drawers to get new batteries for his wireless laptop mouse, there would just be an empty package because Jace had taken the last few for his x-box controller.  On more than one occasion Alec would get home from a long day of classes and an eight-hour shift, just wanting to eat and relax.  He’d pull open the fridge only to discover that Jace had eaten his leftovers or the meal prep he had done the night before.  Alec even went as far to start labeling his food, but it didn’t help. 

One of the worst parts was some of Jace’s friends.  Early on, Jace had been good about giving Alec a heads up when they were going to come over and about keeping the volume down if they stayed late into the night.  Jace knew that Alec had classes that started as early as seven in the morning some days.  After a while, though, they had stopped trying to be quiet, instead playing video games in the living room, getting drunk and yelling.  Not to mention the yelling occasionally included certain choice slurs from Jace’s friends that had Alec cringing.  Alec had even gotten into the habit of buying a whiteboard for their fridge and leaving notes for Jace. 

“I have a midterm on Thursday, please don’t have people over Wednesday night.”

“Food in the green Tupperware container is mine, please don’t eat.”

It didn’t help.

 

Alec knew he was being too passive about this but Jace proved difficult to talk to about these things, getting irritated and defensive, almost always shutting Alec down right away.  He’d always wave him off and claim to do better or that he’d stop engaging in whatever particular habit Alec was trying to talk to him about.  He never did.  Sometimes he’d try, and things would be better for a few days, but it only took a few days until Jace got lazy again and stopped caring.

As bad as things were getting, Alec wasn’t pushed too far until Jace started being consistently late on his share of the bills, just assuming Alec would cover for him.  Alec didn’t have the money to cover him every month, if he did, he wouldn’t need to be living with a roommate to begin with.  He couldn’t pick up any more hours at work without his schoolwork suffering.

But talking to Jace about money was even harder.  He’d always claim he was good for it as soon as he got paid, then Friday would roll around and instead of contributing to rent, the new dishwasher they desperately needed, or paying Alec back for all the money he’d already borrowed, Alec would come home to see a new case of beer in the fridge and a new bong on the coffee table.  Whenever he tried to awkwardly broach the subject of the money that Jace owed him or how Jace hadn’t really paid his fair share of rent, Jace claimed to be strapped for cash, that he was putting in as much money as he could manage despite two new x-box games sitting on top of the console. 

Of course, Jace didn’t care about getting a new dishwasher.  He wasn’t the one handwashing all of their dishes.  And why would he want to contribute more than he currently was to the rent or pay Alec back when he knew Alec would let him take advantage of him?  It was at the point where Jace was paying barely a third of the rent and Alec was doing the other rest.  This wasn’t the 50/50 split they had agreed on, it was more like 70/30 now.

 

Finally, after another conversation quickly turned into an argument, Alec finally suggested that maybe they should start considering living with other people.  And even though it was Alec’s idea, he felt a bit hurt by how quickly and eagerly Jace agreed to it.  But since they had decided to give this at least one more month, Alec hadn’t really started looking yet. 

 

---

 

His feet hurt, his back hurt, his head hurt, and all Alec wanted to do was take a shower and go to bed.  Maybe just go straight to bed.  It was already past eleven at night and he needed to be up at 5:45am tomorrow.  But as he started up the stairs that led to the third floor he stopped and groaned.  He could hear the shitty music coming out of his apartment from here.  Jace had friends over.  Again. 

Alec resumed his climb up the stairs, his aching feet reminding him to nag their landlord about getting the damn elevator fixed as soon as he had a free moment.  The sound of the music got louder as he got closer.  He had been at school since seven in the morning and at work since four in the evening without a single stop home in between.  He didn’t have the energy to deal with this. 

 

The apartment reeked of weed and Alec felt a tight knot of frustration in his chest.  He didn’t care if they did it, but he had lost track of the amount of times he’d asked Jace to at least not do it indoors in their apartment.  The three boys were focused on the video game they were playing so Alec didn’t bother greeting them.  He walked over to the nearest window and pulled it open, doing the same to the one in the kitchen.  He had left his own door closed to here’s to hoping that helped prevent the smell from seeping into his room too much.  He knew he’d have to crack a window open in there too.

While he was in the kitchen, Alec double checked the whiteboard to make sure he had left a message this morning.  He had.

“Please no loud friends over after 11 tonight.  Have test tomorrow.”

Alec glanced back over to where the men were sitting, a beer next to each of them.  So Jace had definitely been to the fridge and seen it.  Typical.

They still hadn’t noticed him until Alec walked over to the speaker to turn the volume down quite a few notches. 

“Aw come on man.”  Complained Jordan and Alec gestured to the open windows.

“Sorry, it’s late and we need to air the place out.”  He didn’t feel even remotely sorry, but this was easier than arguing.  Jordan and Brad were probably Alec’s least favorite combination of Jace’s friends.

 

“I’m going to bed, just try and keep it down, okay?”  The words felt pointless as they came out of his mouth and he could tell Jace wasn’t even listening to him.

“Yeah, yeah, will do.”

 

They didn’t. 

It was past midnight when Alec finally got out of bed again.  He pulled on a pair of sweatpants and a tee shirt before walking out into what he knew was most likely going to be a fruitless attempt.  He had been listening to their voices for the past hour, yelling at the game and at each other, steadily getting drunker and louder. 

“Guys.”  Alec said wearily but it didn’t get any of their attention. 

“Guys.”  He repeated himself louder this time and Jace glanced back at him before heaving an overly dramatic sigh and pausing the game.  He exchanged looks with both of his friends before finally looking at Alec.

“Yeah, what’s up?”  There was a slur in Jace’s words and it didn’t take a genius to see that all three of them were drunk.

 

“Can you guys please stop yelling?  I’m sorry, I have to be up for class in less than six hours.”  He didn’t even know why he was apologizing, he wasn’t asking for anything unreasonable. 

“Oh, come on, we’re not yelling.  We’re just having fun loudly.”  Jace gave him a smile that he probably thought was charming, but Alec just thought it made him look like an idiot. 

“I’m serious.  I have-“

“Should we just whisper then?”  Jordan interrupted him, and Alec wanted to punch him.

“No, I’m just asking for you guys to talk at a normal volume.  I’m tired and I have a test tomorrow.”  This wasn’t the first time Alec had made this exact same request.

 

“If you’re so tired, then why don’t you just go to sleep?”  Brad asked drunkenly and the other two both burst out into laughter.  Alec wondered if there was a way for him to punch all three of them at the same time.  Being drunk didn’t give them an excuse to be this loud.  And stupid. 

“I’m trying.  You guys are being way too loud.  My room is right there, I can hear you guys loud and clear.  I’m sure our neighbors don’t appreciate it either.”

“Oh my god.”  Jordan groaned as if Alec was asking them to do hard physical labor.  “Why are you always like this?”

Jordan turned to look at Jace.  “It’s like you still live with your parents.  No fun allowed.”

“Jace, can you tell your brother to stop being such a faggot and just let us have fun?”  Brad turned to Jace and asked, and Alec felt everything inside of him tense. 

Jace didn’t even hesitate.

“Alec stop being such a faggot and let us have fun.”  The word came out so easily like Jace had said it a thousand times before.  His words ran together with the alcohol, and he tripped over them a little, but the slur was loud and clear. 

 

“Fine.  Have fun.”  Alec tried to keep his voice as devoid of emotion as possible despite the anger and hurt bubbling up inside of him.  He didn’t care how drunk Jace was.  For fucks sake, Alec had wanted to move out to avoid hearing shit like this from his parents.  Maybe Jace had always been a little weird about Alec’s sexuality and Alec had always had his suspicions that Jace used some of those words behind his back, but never to his face before. 

Alec forced himself to shut his door quietly and calmly.  He sat down on the side of his bed and scrubbed at his face with his hands.  He felt way too keyed up to sleep now, regardless of the noise level.  It shouldn’t bother him this much.  He had heard multiple gay slurs from both Jordan and Brad- though never directed at him.  But he had never heard one from Jace since he had come out. 

 

Alec could still hear them in the other room, talking as loudly as ever. 

 

“Dude why does your brother always have to be such a killjoy?”  Jordan’s voice carried through the unfortunately thin wall. 

“I told you man, that’s just how he is.  Hey, pass that, will you?” 

“Hey, isn’t your brother like, you know, actually a fag?”  It was Brad’s voice this time.

“Yeah, he’s gay and shit.”  Coughing accompanied Jace’s response.

 

Awesome.  While Alec was technically out of the closet, he was still selective about who he came out to.  He wasn’t ashamed of it like he used to be, but it was his own private information that was up to him who he wanted to share it with, when he wanted to share it, and if he even wanted to share it at all.  And if it had been up to him, Jordan and Brad were absolutely not people that Alec would have wanted to know. 

Jace knew that.  So, to hear Jace in such a flippant manner just telling whoever he wanted made the knot of anger and hurt tighten even more.  Not to mention it was pretty clear that Jace had already told them and was just confirming the information for them. 

 

“Isn’t that to weird to live with him?  Doesn’t he like,”  There was a pause in which Alec was sure Jordan was taking a hit.  The coughing in his next words confirmed that.  “Like, try to make everything pink or try to, I dunno, give you makeovers?” 

This sent all three of them spiraling into intoxicated laughter. 

“Nah, he’s not like, a faggot faggot, he’s just like, I dunno, gay.”  Jace finally said once he had recovered from his laughter. 

 

Alec didn’t give a shit about how many influences Jace was under right now.  Whether it was the alcohol, the weed, or just the desire to seem macho and cool in front of his friends, nothing gave him the right to do what he was doing right now.  Alec had overheard several conversations between the friends, but they were usually about girls, some stupid drunk night out one of them had, or a rather stereotypical sounding stoner or drunk conversation.  A large chunk of the time they were just yelling at each other and the tv screen about whatever video game they were playing.  Nothing ever worth paying attention to. 

Fuck, this wasn’t worth paying attention to.  He felt furious with Jace’s friends for talking about him like this, furious with Jace for encouraging it and even joining in, and he was furious with himself for letting it upset him this much.  It wasn’t like he hadn’t heard his parents talk about him like this, whether in front of him or behind his back when they thought he was out of earshot but hearing it from Jace was different. 

 

Sleep seemed like a far-off fantasy now and Alec glanced at the clock.  It was almost 12:45am.  He knew that it would take him at least an hour to fall asleep and that was only permitting if the noise quieted down. 

Alec got off of his bed and pulled out his desk chair.  He opened up his laptop, wincing a little at the bright light that greeted him.  Alec pulled up his email and sent one to the professor that was administering the test tomorrow. 

 

Professor Warner,

Sorry to email you so late but something has come up and I’m most likely going to be unable to make it to class tomorrow.  Is there any possible way I could take the test on Thursday instead of tomorrow?  I would greatly appreciate it.  If not, would I be able to do any extra work to make up for missing the test?  Again, sorry for how late notice this it.

Thank you,

Alexander Lightwood

 

After rereading it about three times and making small edits here and there, Alec sent the email.  He was fairly confident that his professor would let him take it on Thursday.  Alec had never missed a class or was even late to one, he always turned in his assignments on time, and he currently had a 98% in the class.  Plus, the professor liked him.  Alec was fairly certain he could make up the test but if he couldn’t, he’d have to decide if it was worth taking the loss or if he should just drag himself to class on very little sleep and perform poorly on it. 

Probably the latter.  Some points would be better than no points. 

 

He felt another pang of anger towards Jace and his friends as he noted that they were making his schoolwork suffer.  He never had to ask to postpone tests or any other sort of work.  If it had been just the noise, he probably could have managed to fall asleep anyways.  But it was their stupid words and the way Alec was letting them affect him. 

Alec grabbed his noise canceling headphones off of his desk after he shut down his laptop and put them on.  He laid on his back on his bed, listening to music to drown out any more of that conversation he didn’t want to hear but he just stared at his ceiling.  He was going to have to talk to Jace tomorrow.  It wasn’t going to go well, Jace was hard enough to talk to about this sort of thing as it was and now he was going to be hungover. 

He spent almost two hours mentally trying to draft out this conversation with Jace, trying to think about the different possible outcomes and responses Jace could have and what Alec could say back to him.  It was a little after three in the morning when Alec finally took the headphones off somewhat tentatively but thank god, it sounded like Jace and his friends had finally gone to bed. 

 

It still took Alec a little longer to fall asleep and he felt like he had only just closed his eyes when his alarm went off.  He had to prepare for his professor denying his request to taking the test another day, so he had still set it to its usual 5:45am time.  Feeling like he could already barely keep his eyes open, Alec grabbed his phone, turned off the alarm, then pulled up his email account.  There was a response from his professor. 

 

yeah no problem just come to my office hours on thursday

 

Letting out a long sigh of relief, Alec reset his alarm for nine.  His next class wasn’t until 11:30 so that gave him time to get ready and talk to Jace.  It only took him about fifteen minutes to get to school but he always gave himself half an hour in case the train was running late.  So as long as he was out of here by eleven, he was fine. 

 

The next time Alec’s alarm went off, he felt much less groggy.  He turned it off and got up, starting his usual morning routine since Jace was no doubt still asleep.  Alec pushed his way into the bathroom almost cautiously but was relieved when neither Jace nor his friends were passed out on the bathroom floor. 

Alec had time to shower, get dressed, drink two cups of coffee, and even force down a little something for breakfast despite the fact his stomach was tied in knots.  Jace came trudging out of his room a little after ten, no doubt having smelled the coffee.  He went straight for it, pouring himself a cup before turning around and noticing Alec at the table.  Jace casually pulled out a chair and sat down across from him.

“Hey, morning.  Thought you had class.  Some big test or something.”  Jace said as he lifted his free hand to rub at one of his temples. 

“Got moved to Thursday.”  Alec said shortly.  He wasn’t going to tell Jace that Alec had actually moved it because of him. 

“Okay.  Hey, do we have more Tylenol?  My head is killing me.”  Jace questioned, obviously not sensing the tension radiating from Alec. 

“Top left cabinet.” 

“Thank god.”  Jace got up from the table to get it, shaking out a few pills into his hand and Alec didn’t fail to notice the way Jace just set the bottle back down on the counter instead of putting it back where it belonged.  Jace sat back down and washed two tablets down with coffee. 

 

“Big night, huh?”  Alec asked dryly and, still, Jace seemed oblivious.

“Yeah man, it was fun.  Jordan brought over this killer weed and finally broke in my new bong with it.  You totally missed out.”

“Oh, did I?”  Alec’s tone stayed flat, but he was feeling more irritated with him as it was clear Jace either didn’t remember or wasn’t going to acknowledge what had happened last night.  Jace frowned a little.

“Uh, yeah.  I know it’s not your scene, but you might’ve had fun.” 

“I actually stopped by for a few minutes.  That was plenty.” 

 

Jace set down his cup of coffee on the table with a loud thud.

“Okay dude, what is your problem?  What, did you have to clean Jordan’s puke up in the bathroom again?”

Alec grimaced with the memory of the morning he had gone into the bathroom to take a shower before class and there had been vomit on the floor and down the side of the toilet.  He had been forced to forgo his shower in order to get the mess cleaned up as best as he could before leaving for class.  He had nearly been late but if he hadn’t cleaned it up, it would have sat there all day.  That was even confirmed now by Jace’s word choice.  He hadn’t asked if it had happened again, he had asked if Alec had cleaned it up again.

 

“Do you really not remember?  You can’t think of any reason I might be mad at you?  Any at all?”  Alec asked and Jace shifted uncomfortably. 

“Clearly I can’t so if you could stop acting like a passive aggressive girlfriend and just tell me, that’d be nice.”  Jace rolled his eyes and lifted a hand to massage at his temple again.  Alec suddenly felt viciously glad that Jace had a headache. 

“You called me a faggot.”  After the words left his lips, Jace seemed to suddenly relax. 

“Oh, that’s it?  Sorry man, I was drunk.”  Jace picked up his coffee mug again, as if that half assed apology and excuse meant anything. 

“What do you mean that’s it?  You and Brad both called me it to my face, then once I left the room you guys both did it again.  I can hear you through the wall, you know.  I’ve heard your friends say it plenty of times but never you.”  Actually, he had heard Jace’s friends use just about every gay slur under the sun, not just the one in particular. 

“Dude, I’m sorry.  I was drunk.  What’s the big deal, it’s just a word.”  Jace clearly wasn’t understanding why Alec was upset and it made the whole situation all the more frustrating.

“You get that I moved out to get away from hearing shit like that, right?” 

 

By no means had Alec expected this conversation to go well, but he hadn’t expected it to go this poorly either.

“Calm down, dude.  We didn’t even mean it in a gay way.” 

“Hey isn’t your brother actually a fag?” Alec did an impression of Brad’s voice, clearly exaggerated to show his distaste for the man.  “Not to mention, when did I ever say it was okay for you to tell them that I was gay?  That’s not your business to share.”

Not bothering to address his friend’s words, Jace focused on the second part of what Alec had said. 

“I’m sorry, did you or did you not come out of the closet already?”

“Jace, you don’t get it.  I get to choose who I tell.  Some people I don’t want to know, like your shitty homophobic friends.”  He didn’t know how to explain this in a way that Jace would actually understand. 

“How the fuck am I supposed to keep track of who you’re in the closet to and who you’re openly a f- gay to.”  Jace caught himself but it was too late. 

 

The two of them sat there in silence for a long moment, both of them drinking their coffee and not looking at each other. 

 

“I really think we should go through with this whole ‘you moving out’ thing.”  Alec finally broke the silence.  “I don’t think we need the extra month to decide.”

Jace looked up at Alec, confusion flashing across his face.

“Extra month?” 

“Yeah, remember, we talked about this.  Said we were going to try it out for another month and see if we could make this work and then we could both start looking for new roommates.”

Jace was quiet for a moment and Alec suddenly felt anxious, unsure of what to expect.

“I didn’t realize we were doing that.  I actually already found a new roommate.  Jordan’s roommate is moving out on Thursday and I was planning on moving in with him this weekend.”  Jace explained and Alec stared at him.

“Sorry man, I thought we had made the decision right then and there.”  In his defense Jace did seem to be apologetic but that didn’t mean this screwed over Alec any less. 

 

“What am I supposed to do?”  Alec asked and Jace shrugged.

“Find a new roommate, I guess.  I thought you were already looking.  It can’t be that hard, it took me less than a week.”

“It is that hard when I don’t want to just go on the internet and spin the wheel and decide to start living with the first random person I see.”  If he had known Jace already had plans to move out, he would have been looking too.  There was no way he could find a roommate that quickly. 

“I guess you are pretty picky.”  Jace mumbled and Alec decided to let that one slide.

“I don’t suppose you’re going to pay your half of the last month’s rent, even though you’re conveniently moving out just a few days before it’s due.  Or pay me back any of the money you owe me?  Jesus Christ, Jace, I can’t afford this place on my own.”

“Look I told you I don’t have the money, sorry man.  I’ll pay you back when I have it.”  Jace sounded far less apologetic this time.  “I guess you should either downgrade or find a new roommate fast.” 

 

That wasn’t realistic.  Alec didn’t want to move, and it wasn’t because he didn’t want to ‘downgrade’.  It was because he was so close to both his work and school here.  He was far enough away from his parents where he’d never run into them randomly but close enough to stop by and pick up Izzy or Max to spend the day with them. 

 

“Jace you are unbelievable-“  Alec was cut off as an alarm on his phone sounded.  It was his alarm to leave for class.  Alec swore and stood up. 

“Shit.  I have class, I have to go.”  He didn’t wait for Jace’s reply before leaving. 

 

---

 

Alec rubbed face as the bright light of an almost empty text box shined brightly in his eyes.  He had gotten home from work close to ten and even though he had only gone to one class today, he was exhausted.  But he still needed to write this ad tonight.  He needed to start looking for a new roommate as soon as possible.  So far all he had done was type where his apartment building was located.  He needed to start adding actual details now.

Male, 22, looking for roommate

Two bedrooms, one bathroom.  Kitchen and living room.  Fully furnished.

Third floor.

Previous roommate is leaving with only a few days’ notice so I’m looking for someone who can move in ASAP.

I’m looking for someone who can share rent and housework 50/50 (no gender preference)

I work and go to school so I’m not home very often, I don’t play loud music or throw parties

So, if you’re looking for a peaceful, mutually respectful environment to live in, this is for you.

Please contact me for more details and we can arrange a meeting time/tour.

 

Alec stared at his screen some more, unsure if this was good enough.  He didn’t want to sound picky or like he needed quiet at all times.  Or like he was some sort of neat freak by mentioning housework, but he didn’t want to end up with someone like Jace.  As much as he needed a new roommate, a lot of the stuff he put in here was stuff that were all things that were the opposite of Jace. 

He felt like he should add more but left it as is.  Simple was probably better, right?

 

---

 

Alec got a few hits faster than he thought, but a simple Facebook search of each person’s name quickly disqualified them.  He knew he was in no place to be picky, but he couldn’t help it. 

The day after Jace moved out, Alec was getting nervous.  He was starting to consider answering one of the people he had previously discounted when a new message came in. 

 

Hey there, still looking for a roommate? 

I’m Magnus, I’m 25 and male.  I’m also looking for a roommate asap.

I clean up after myself and I promise I’m not loud.

My job keeps me busy, so I won’t be home to bother you too much either.

Let me know if you’re interested and still looking.

 

Okay, just based off of the man’s short message, Alec was already considering him.  Grabbing the man’s full name off of his username, he typed ‘Magnus Bane’ into the Facebook search bar.  And his account was private.  Alec tried to make out his profile picture but- son of a bitch.  It was one of those ones with like five different people in it, so he couldn’t make out any of them very well let alone tell which one Magnus was.  Not that it mattered, Alec just would have liked to know. 

This sounded like the best option so far and he really did need a roommate, so he might as well respond. 

 

Hi Magnus, I actually am still looking. 

Would you rather meet in person first or just go straight into having a tour of the place?

Let me know when you’re free.

Here’s my cell.

 

Alec hovered over the send button for a minute, wondering how smart it was to give this random guy his number right after inviting him to his place but, fuck it, what was the worst that could happen?

 

 

Chapter Text

With his loaded work and school schedule, Alec wasn’t able to have Magnus over to see the place until Wednesday.  Which, actually, sort of worked out for Alec because it gave him time to clean the place until it was sparkling.  Especially Jace’s old room.  It was the only room in the apartment Alec didn’t clean on a regular basis and it very quickly became clear that Jace didn’t either.  He had to empty the vacuum cleaner twice just while vacuuming the room.  Luckily Jace had left behind most of his furniture since the apartment he had already moved into was already furnished.  But it was all covered in dust and spots where something had clearly been spilled and never properly cleaned up. 

Alec spent almost an entire evening cleaning that room, trying to make the dresser, the desk, and the floor look clean.  He even brought in the carpet cleaner to try and remove a few stains- which he was able to for the most part.  The only problem was the bed.  Jace had left his disgusting sheets on it and Alec could only hope the smell hadn’t set in.

Alec had already stripped off the sheets Jace had left and opted to throw them in the trash instead of washing them.  They had never been washed before, why start now?  He replaced them with a clean set of his own.  He figured that if Magnus did move in, he’d bring his own sheets, Alec just wanted to make the bed look presentable. 

 

Alec was so anxious about meeting a potential new roommate that every inch of the apartment had been cleaned by Wednesday.  There were at least a few perks about being a stress cleaner. 

Class wasn’t over until 1pm so Alec wasn’t home till 1:30pm.  Magnus was set to come over at three.  Alec sat down to work on some homework until Magnus came over, but he couldn’t focus so he paced around his apartment instead, trying to spot anything he had forgotten to tidy up.  The only thing that was out of place was a cardboard box sitting on the side table near the door.  It was some of the stuff Jace had forgotten and hadn’t yet come to pick up. 

 

3pm snuck up on him.  The knock on his door made him jump and he walked over to his front door, trying to remind himself that he didn’t actually need to be nervous.  He just really fucking needed a roommate.

Alec put a hand on the doorknob but before he opened it, he quickly looked out the peephole.

 

No.

No.

Absolutely not.

If this man looked this hot through a slightly blurry peephole, Alec had no idea how he could co-exist with this man in his direct sight.  Alec even considered not opening the door for a brief moment before deciding that he was being stupid. 

Alec opened the door even though his heart felt like it was beating out of his chest and the way the man smiled brightly at him made his knees weak. 

 

“Hey, I’m Magnus.”  Magnus extended his hand to shake Alec’s, rings glittering in the light, but Alec was frozen.  And apparently, he had forgotten every single word in the English language.

“You’re looking for a roommate, right?  I have the right place?  This is 3D?”  Magnus looked a bit uncertain in Alec’s silence and Alec forced himself to respond.

“Yes, sorry, yes.”  He hurriedly reached out to take the extended hand that Magnus had started to lower and shook it.  “I’m Alexander Lightwood.”  Christ why on earth had he used his full name?  He couldn’t focus on anything than the feeling of the cool metal of the jewelry decorating Magnus’s fingers and the way it felt against his own. 

“It’s nice to meet you, Mr. Lightwood.”  His tone was playful, and Alec knew that there was no way he could have this man as his roommate.  There was no way he was going to be able to function with him around. 

“You can just- Alec.  Alec is fine.”  Alec stepped back, releasing his grip on Magnus’s hand and opening the door wider to let him in.  It wasn’t like he could just cancel the tour based off of the fact that this was literally the most beautiful man he’d ever seen.  He still had to be polite and go through with it. 

 

What was he going to do?  Tell Magnus that he was too attractive and shut the door in his face?

 

“I like Alexander better.”  Magnus commented as he stepped into the apartment.  Alec stepped back so Magnus could walk in front of him and he could shut the door behind him.  His eyes were drawn to the red jacket the man was wearing accentuated his shoulders and biceps in the most delicious way and Alec was captivated.

Magnus turned around to look at Alec and he felt the full force of attraction slam in to him again.  He met the dark brown eyes lined with black eyeliner and glitter, his mouth feeling dry.   

“Would you like to give me a tour or shall I explore on my own?”  Right.  The tour.  Alec cleared his throat and nodded. 

“Yeah, of course, let me show you around.”  Looking away from Magnus allowed him to regain most of his composure.  There.  He’d just give the tour without looking at Magnus the entire time. 

“The kitchen is right here, everything works.”  He gestured to the various appliances before pausing at the dishwasher.  “Most of them work.”  He couldn’t exactly lie.  “The dishwasher is kind of shit, so I hand wash most stuff but fridge, oven, microwave- everything else works.”

 

“Not a problem.”  Magnus’s voice from behind him reassured him and Alec nodded.  That was good. 

Alec turned to walk in the opposite direction though he avoided looking at Magnus.  He felt like he was settling back into himself again.  He’d just keep looking at Magnus out of the corner of his eye.  Looking at him directly was like looking at the sun- it was just too much.

“Here’s the living room.  Tv works, we have cable and all that.”  There wasn’t much to say about the small room however.  It was furnished simply with a couch, an end table, and a coffee table in front of the couch.  “It’s not much but the couch is really comfortable.”

“Looks good to me.”  The voice came from almost right behind him and he realized Magnus was leaning over his shoulder a bit to get a better look at the couch.  He was so close Alec could feel Magnus’s breath ghosting against his neck.  Alec stepped to the side and turned to look at him.  Fuck he was handsome.

 

“Let me take you to the bedroom.”  This was the part Alec was the most nervous about since it was Jace’s old room. 

“Oh, why Alexander, usually people buy me dinner first.”  His tone was more playful than flirty, like he was testing out his sense of humor on Alec in a sort of compatibility test. 

Again, Alec was rendered speechless.  That absolutely hadn’t been what he meant.  Well, okay, maybe a little.  Magnus smiled at him, laughing a little.

“I’m sorry, you can’t set me up like that and not expect me to take advantage of it.”  He said, and the sound of his laugh was infectious and despite the twinge of embarrassment at his own poor wording, Alec started laughing too, which only seemed to make Magnus smile brighter. 

“You’re right.  Let me show you to your potential bedroom.  Is that better?”  He was starting to feel more comfortable around Magnus already though the fierce attraction hadn’t lessened. 

Magnus pretended to think about it.  “For now it is but I’ll work on thinking of an innuendo.”  He said as he followed Alec over to the bedroom. 

 

“So, I cleaned it as best I could, but my old roommate was a bit of a slob so, I’m sorry about that.”  Alec said as he led Magnus into the room. 

“I’ve been sleeping on a couch for the past two and a half weeks.  Any room with a bed is strongly preferable.”  Magnus said as he looked around the room.  “Besides, it looks like you did a great job.”

 

Alec went on to show Magnus the bathroom and his own bedroom which pretty much concluded the tour.  They would up back in the living room and Magnus went ahead and sat down on the couch. 

“You said it was comfortable, I’m testing it.”  Magnus explained, and Alec smiled before sitting down next to him though he left as much space between them as he could without being obvious about it. 

 

“So, if you don’t mind me asking, what was your reason for needing a roommate right away?”  Alec asked, partly because he wanted to make conversation to continue to test their compatibility but also because he was curious.  Magnus had mentioned sleeping on someone’s couch and it was hard not to ask about it.

Magnus leaned back against the couch and let out a sigh.  Alec was suddenly worried he had asked too personal a question but before he could apologize and tell Magnus he didn’t have to answer that, Magnus started talking. 

“I was living with my girlfriend, we broke up, her name is on the lease, and I think my friend was getting a little tired of me sleeping on his couch.”  Magnus paused.  “Not to say that I’m not a delight to be around, he just wants his living room back.” 

 

Alec was a little surprised to hear the word ‘girlfriend’ come out of Magnus’s mouth, then mentally chastised himself for assuming.  Just because Magnus was wearing makeup didn’t mean he was gay.  He could be bisexual, hell, he could even be straight. 

“That’s…shitty, I’m sorry.”  He wasn’t sure what else to say but Magnus waved him off. 

“It was for the best.  Except sleeping on that couch.  That was not the best for my back.”  He said, and Alec smiled.  He liked Magnus.

 

“What about you?”  Magnus asked, turning to meet Alec’s eyes.

“Huh?”  For a moment, Alec had forgotten what question he had just asked Magnus, too distracted by admiring his eyes again.

“ASAP roommate.  What happened to your old one?”  Magnus asked before leaning in conspiratorially.  “I won’t tell if you killed him.”  He said in a hushed voice and Alec laughed.  Magnus managed to keep the serious face up for another second before laughing with him. 

“I think if he had lived here another month, I would have.”  Alec said, and Magnus raised his eyebrows, clearly curious for more.

“He’s my brother.  And he’s an asshat.”  Alec stated simply, and Magnus looked amused. 

“What did he do?”

“I once saw him make a sandwich directly on the counter, leave a knife covered in mayonnaise sitting next to the sink but not in it, then brush all the crumbs off the counter and onto the floor.  That was his idea of cleaning.”  Telling the story to Magnus, Alec actually felt amused telling it as opposed to the irritation he had felt at the time.  He was pretty sure the look of exaggerated horror Magnus was giving him had something to do with it. 

 

Disgusting.  Already he sounds terrible.”  Magnus declared, and the smile remained on Alec’s face. 

“He was the worst roommate.  We had already talked about him moving out, but we were going to give it another month, then less than a week later he told me he was moving out.  I hadn’t even started looking yet so, hence the ASAP roommate thing.”

“Why’d you move in with him in the first place?”  Magnus asked, and Alec shrugged. 

“I don’t know.  I just got tired of living at home and he wanted to move out too.  I never noticed how much of an inconsiderate slob he was until it was too late.”  Even though he was pretty sure he could trust Magnus with it, Alec didn’t feel like now was the right time to share exactly why he had left home, so he redirected the conversation’s focus back on Magnus.

“How long were you with your ex?”  It was the first question that popped into his head and Alec didn’t realize how invasive it was until he asked it. 

 

Magnus paused.

“Six years.  On and off.”  Magnus had stopped looking at him and was now letting his gaze dance across the room like he was just now taking it in. 

“Oh.  Wow.  That’s- that’s a long time.”  Alec wasn’t sure what answer he had been expecting, but it wasn’t that one.  Magnus shrugged.

“It was.  But that’s a story for a different time and over some cocktails.” 

 

“You said you go to school, right?  What for?”  Magnus smoothly changed the subject as his eyes settled back onto Alec.  Alec felt a little too warm under his gaze and it was him who looked away this time. 

“English.   I should be graduating next semester.”  Usually the question that followed the admission of his major was someone questioning what on earth he planned to do with an English degree, so he asked one of his own before Magnus could.

“Are you still in school?  Or just working?” 

“Just working.  I’m about to start an internship at a law firm, Garroway & Fell.”  Magnus said the words casually enough but that didn’t stop Alec from finding them wildly impressive.  And hot.  God, Magnus was a lawyer?  Alec had always assumed lawyers were assholes but now all he could think about was Magnus in a suit, pacing at the front of the courtroom, boldly stating some point, and looking stunning while doing it.

“You’re a lawyer?”  He sounded more impressed than he meant to, and Magnus laughed.

“Not quite yet, just an intern.”

 

“What do you do?”  Magnus asked, and Alec looked down at his hands for a moment.  Great.  He was going to have to follow fucking ‘lawyer’ with his shitty food service job. 

“I’m just a server.  I’m trying to just get through school.” 

“Oh!  I was a barista when I was going to school.”  Magnus shared, and the simple bit of information somehow made Alec feel considerably better. 

 

The two of them continued talking for far longer than either of them realized.  At some point Alec had gotten up to get them both waters, apologizing that he didn’t have anything better to drink, he hadn’t been grocery shopping in a while and Jace had taken all the alcohol when he had moved out.  Magnus hadn’t seemed to mind and the two of them talked, neither of them noticing when the sun went down. 

It wasn’t until Magnus’s phone buzzed with a text than he even realized the time. 

“Oh, wow.”  He commented, and Alec looked at him, puzzled.

“It’s already after eight.”  He turned his phone screen to show Alec the time and the surprise on Alec’s face matched Magnus’s.  Had Magnus really been here for five hours?

“I didn’t realize-“

“Neither did I.”

 

They both just looked at each other for a minute, smiling until Magnus’s phone buzzed again. 

“Listen, I have to get going but, what do you think?”  He asked and though Alec knew what he was asking, he couldn’t help but to give Magnus a once over, as if that was what Magnus had been asking about.

“I think we’d be a really good match.”  He said, and Magnus beamed. 

“I do too.  I’ll email you my details and we can figure out a date.  Sound good?”  Magnus pulled on his previously discarded jacket as he spoke, and Alec nodded, standing up as well to walk Magnus over to the door.

“Sounds great.  The sooner the better”

“Good.  I’ll see you very soon then, Alexander.”

 

As soon as the door was shut behind him, Alec went to his own bedroom to lay on his bed, pulling out his phone to text his main confidant: his sister. 

 

Alec (8:13pm): Iz
Alec (8:13pm): I found a new roommate
Izzy (8:13pm): tell
Izzy (8:13pm): me
Izzy (8:13pm): everything
Izzy (8:14pm): boy or girl???
Alec (8:14pm): Boy
Alec (8:14pm): *Man
Izzy (8:14pm): MAN?
Izzy (8:14pm): alexander gideon lightwood u tell me everything right now
Alec (8:14pm): He came over around 3 and he literally just left
Alec (8:15pm): we get along really well and he seems like a really good match
Izzy (8:15pm): as a boyfriend or a roommate?
Alec (8:15pm): ROOMMATE
Alec (8:15pm): just one that happens to be very good looking
Izzy (8:15pm): show me???
Alec (8:15pm): it’s not like I took a picture of him
Izzy (8:16pm): >:(
Izzy (8:16pm): and ur telling me u have no way of accessing any pictures of him?
Alec (8:16pm): ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Izzy (8:16pm): is he gay?
Izzy (8:16pm): did u tell him ur gay??
Alec (8:17pm): didn’t come up. 
Alec (8:17pm): he did mention a very long-term ex-girlfriend though
Izzy (8:17pm): bi people exist, alec
Alec (8:17pm): I know that.  But if we’re going to be roommates I can’t be hooking up with him
Alec (8:17pm): Plus, that would require him to actually be interested in me.
Alec (8:17pm): But.  Fuck.  He’s just so hot.
Izzy (8:18pm): i demand to be updated with every single new development
Alec (8:18pm): Will do.
Alec (8:18pm): Maybe.

Chapter Text

“Here, let me help you with that-“  Alec abruptly stopped talking as he watched Magnus lift the heavy box almost effortlessly.  Magnus adjusted his grip on the box and Alec had a genuine moment on concern that the flex of his biceps was going to rip through the sleeves of the dark blue button down he was wearing.  Though that’s not to say Alec would have been complaining.  He’d only seen the outlines and bulges of the muscles through the tight long sleeves of Magnus’s shirt and that was enough to make his mouth water.

“I got it.  Can you grab that one?”  Magnus nodded in the direction of another box and Alec pulled his gaze away from Magnus’s arms to do so. 

“Of course.”  Alec lifted the box and followed Magnus into the building, setting it down on top of the stack they had made in the newly repaired elevator.  Magnus’s friend Raphael, was waiting in the elevator for them, keeping the door open button held down while Magnus and Alec walked back and forth between the elevator and Raphael’s car.  He hadn’t helped carry anything though, claiming that letting Magnus stay at his place and use his car to get all of his belongs from there to here was more than enough. 

 

“Almost done?”  Raphael sounded bored as he asked, and Magnus nodded. 

“Just a few more.”  Magnus assured him.  “Oh, and I can still use your car next weekend?”

“If it gets me my living room back.”

“Thank you, my darling boy.”  Magnus exaggerated the pet name and Raphael moved out of the way to avoid the over the top cheek caress Magnus had been reaching over to do.

 

Magnus had already let Alec know that he would be needing to make an unfortunate trip to his ex’s place next Saturday to pick up the last of his things. 

Alec could understand the reluctance.  He wasn’t exactly looking forward to Jace coming to pick up his belongings after the way they had left things between them.  Of course, seeing him again was unavoidable considering the occasional family dinners and gatherings.  And while things would never be the same in their relationship, it wasn’t like he never wanted to see his brother again.  Things were just going to be incredibly tense between them for a long time. 

Though he assumed that the tension between Magnus and Camille was going to be very different.  Magnus hadn’t told him much about her yet since all of their conversations since Magnus visited last time had been mostly text based and more focused on figuring out the actual moving in, but Alec definitely got the sense things had been bad between them for quite a while. 

 

The two of them carried the last two boxes to the elevator and Alec shifted a box to one arm so he had a free hand to press the button for the third floor. 

“You picked a perfect day to move in, they just fixed the elevators.  When Jace moved out, the elevators were still broken.  It was great.” 

“I’m going to wager a guess that you didn’t offer to help him carry everything down all three flights of stairs?”  Magnus grinned as he spoke, and Alec returned the expression. 

“Well, I supervised all of those trips he had to make to get everything out.”  Alec laughed. 

“Oh, and I’m sure that was just to make sure he was safe, not to enjoy getting to watch him go up and down flights of stairs all day.”

“Exactly.”

 

Talking to Magnus was already feeling easier.  After spending so much time with him on Wednesday and the small jokes added into their conversations about moving in, Alec found words coming to him a lot more naturally.  Of course, it hadn’t lessened his attraction to the man anymore, if anything it had increased it, but Alec was pretty sure he could learn to live with this. 

 

Alec had considered inviting Raphael to stay and have a drink- he had gone grocery shopping before Magnus had moved in- and it seemed like what you were supposed to do when someone helped you move.  Though Raphael hadn’t done much work and Alec barely knew anything about the man.  But he was saved the awkward invite by the man excusing himself before Alec could even ask. 

 

“Don’t take it personally, he’s a man of few words.”  Magnus explained his friend’s abrupt exit while Alec walked over to the fridge.

“I got that sense from him.”  Alec pulled open the fridge and grabbed two waters, offering them in Magnus’s direction.  “Did you want to unpack now or relax for a bit?” 

“Let’s relax.  I seem to remember the couch being comfortable enough to travel through time.”  Alec smiled at the memory of how the hours had flown by the last time they had sat on it but was too distracted by the way Magnus’s fingers brushed against his when he accepted the offered water bottle to say anything else.  It made his breath catch in his throat just a little. 

He could do this.  He could definitely do this. 

 

---

 

The first morning with Magnus was not something Alec had been prepared for.  It was about nine in the morning when Alec came out of his room.  It was later than he usually slept but he had been up late losing track of time yet again, talking to Magnus throughout the night on what they had both decided to deem the “The Time Traveling Couch” and he still had about an hour and a half before he had to leave work. 

He was on his way to the kitchen for coffee when he stopped.  Something was off.  The smell.  It smelled like bacon.  Like someone was making breakfast.  After living with Jace for so long, Alec couldn’t remember the last time he had woken up to the smell of someone cooking breakfast. 

 

Alec resumed a faster pace and sure enough, Magnus was standing at the stove with his back to him.  Already he was turning out to be an incredible fit. 

“Morning.”  Alec greeted, walking over to the counter to pour himself a cup of coffee, noticing with pleasure that Magnus had already made a pot. 

“Good morning Alexander.”  Magnus turned to face him, and Alec nearly dropped the coffee pot. 

 

Magnus had clearly already showered, his hair styled immaculately, and his makeup done in what Alec was starting to recognize as his usual style.  And as much as Alec enjoyed admiring his face, his gaze dropped lower way quicker than he would have been willing to admit.  Despite the shower, it seemed as though Magnus had changed back into pajamas.  Pajama pants and an open robe, the shine of the dark material patterned with gold suggested silk.  The robe wasn’t obscenely open, but it exposed enough skin for Alec’s mind to go completely blank save for thoughts that involved getting his hands on that toned chest. 

Alec had enough presence of mind to set the coffee pot back on the counter before taking a few steps towards Magnus, a sudden irrefutable impulse to pull the robe open further so he could get a better look at the sculpted stomach that the robe was hiding just a bit too much of. 

 

“Need a mug?”  Magnus had noticed him moving and turned around again to face cabinets, taking a moment to remember which one the mugs were in before pulling one out and turning back around to hand it to Alec. 

As disappointing as it was to lose the view for even a second, Magnus turning away was just enough to snap Alec out of his trance.  He stopped moving, suddenly astounded at himself for barely having enough self-control to stop himself from trying to feel up his new roommate on his first morning here.

 

“Yeah.  Thanks.”  His voice was a bit gruffer than usual and he quickly took the mug from Magnus and turned away from him to pour coffee.  God, he hoped Magnus hadn’t noticed the momentary staring.  Alec had been so lost he couldn’t tell if he had been looking for just a few seconds or a full minute. 

He wondered if he should say something, maybe make up an excuse.  Ask Magnus where he had gotten the pajamas so he could pretend he had been admiring the clothing.  But he decided against it.  He didn’t want to draw attention to his own lapse in concentration. 

 

“How’d you sleep?”  He asked instead, sitting down at the kitchen table and focusing his gaze on his coffee.  Just when he thought he was starting to get his fierce attraction for the man under control, he had to go and dress like that.  How was Alec supposed to survive mornings?

“I slept well.  It’s going to take me at least a few days to get used to a new place but it’s so much nicer having a bed again.” 

“I can imagine.  How long have you been up?”

“Not too long.  Tested out the shower and then I thought I’d make breakfast for us.”  Alec was still looking at his coffee as Magnus spoke but out of the corner of his eye, he could see Magnus gesturing to the stove.  “I’d ask you the same thing, but you look like you just woke up.”

 

The comment was said with a teasing inflection but suddenly Alec was hyperaware of how he must look.  He hadn’t looked in a mirror before coming out of his bedroom, but he had seen himself enough times in the morning to know that his hair had to be a disheveled mess of a bedhead and the black tee shirt and gray sweatpants he had thrown on before leaving his room most certainly paled in comparison to what Magnus was wearing.  At the very least he was glad he had taken the time to put on clothes over his boxer briefs before walking out of his room. 

“What gave it away?”  Alec risked a glance up at Magnus but looked away again before his eyes could linger. 

“Just a guess.  I must say, I’m really loving the new hairstyle.” 

“Hey, I’ve been in bed and I wanted coffee before my shower.  Besides, I’d like to see how you look when you’re in bed.”

“Alexander!”  Magnus put a hand over his heart.  “You still haven’t bought me that dinner yet.” 

 

Alec choked on his drink, coughing.  He really needed to start thinking his sentences through much more completely.  This was the second time he’d made a comment that had been far too easy for Magnus to turn into something suggestive.  And even though Magnus was very clearly teasing with his interpretation of Alec’s statement, he wasn’t exactly wrong.  But Alec couldn’t be blamed for that.  He was only human. 

“Though, I am making you breakfast.”  Magnus added as an afterthought. 

 

“Thank you for that, by the way.  You didn’t have to do that.”  Alec took the statement as an out instead of playing along with the joke.  It was a little too real to think about when Magnus was standing there dressed like that. 

“I wanted to celebrate our first official day as roommates.”  Magnus scooped scrambled eggs and bacon onto two plates while he spoke. 

 

This was absolutely worlds away from what living with Jace had been like. 

Of course, this was still in the very early stages, but it was impossible for Alec to picture Magnus becoming anywhere near as bad as Jace.  Already he was proving to be considerably more thoughtful.  Alec was already noticing the little things. 

Like how Magnus had clearly been putting away ingredients and washing dishes while he cooked instead of just leaving it all for Alec to do at the end.  Though Alec without a doubt would have offered to do the dishes since Magnus had been the one to cook. 

And how when Alec walked into the bathroom after breakfast for his shower and there weren’t any puddles of water on the floor or damp towels on the ground. 

 

If things stayed like this was confident that things between them were going to work. 

 

---

 

Alec (10:40am): Magnus made breakfast this morning
Izzy (10:46am): omg!!
Izzy (10:46am): that’s so sweet
Alec (10:46am): He also walks around in an open robe
Alec (10:46am): With no shirt on
Alec (10:46am): In the mornings.
Izzy (10:47am): breakfast and a show
Izzy (10:47am): how was it?
Alec (10:47am): Pretty good, he’s a good cook
Izzy (10:47am): alec i swear to god
Izzy (10:47am): you know what i meant
Alec (10:48am): Just got work, I’ll text you later.
Izzy (10:48am): i know your shift doesn’t start till 11
Alec (10:48am): Got to go, bye!
Izzy (10:48am): this so doesn’t count as keeping me updated.
Izzy (10:50am): >:(

 

---

 

Any relaxation Alec found when he got home from work was short lived.  He had only been on the couch for about fifteen minutes when the sound of a key turning in the lock on their front door drew his attention.  Magnus was definitely home already and neither of them had plans to have anyone over.

His shoulders tensed as he got up from the couch, preparing to defend himself if he had to. 

 

“Hey Alec, you home?  I’m here for my stuff.”

It was just Jace, but that didn’t lessen the tension in his shoulders. 

“Have you ever heard of knocking?  Or texting?  I thought someone was breaking in.”

Jace rolled his eyes at his brother.  “Why would a burglar have a key?”

“That’s not the point- Why are you still using your key?  You don’t live here anymore.” 

“Didn’t think it’d matter.  Stop being such a drama queen.”

 

Alec sighed in frustration.  It didn’t seem like Jace cared at all about even trying to repair the tenuous relationship between them.  There was no point in getting into another argument with Jace.  It would just leave him feeling bitter and upset. 

“How’s living with Jordan?”  Alec forced the topic change, unsure as to why he was even bothering to make awkward small talk with his brother instead of just giving him his stuff to make him leave.  It was clear that neither of them was ready to try to start repairing things.

Jace seemed a little surprised at the sudden change, clearly having expected Alec to reply with a biting line, but he accepted it.  “It’s great, actually.  We get along really well.”

That wasn’t surprising.

 

“How about you?  I mean, you found one, right?”  His tone almost suggested that Alec hadn’t.

“Of course, I did.  Moved in yesterday.”

 

Almost as if on cue, Magnus strode in, looking between the two men in front of him, clearly a little confused.  But before he could say anything, Jace snorted loudly, stifling a laugh. 

“What’s so funny?”  Alec asked, instantly feeling defensive.

“Nothing, nothing.  I just think it’s fitting that you found a roommate who is, you know, like you.” 

 

At that moment, there was nothing more Alec wanted than to punch Jace in the face.  It was bad enough that he was once again, sharing information that wasn’t his to share.  But now he was making assumptions about Magnus too.  He shot Jace a glare, urging him to shut the fuck up.  At this point, things were still salvageable.  It wasn’t like he planned on keeping his sexuality a secret from Magnus, he just didn’t want him to find out like this.

 

Honestly, he didn’t know why he had expected that to work because Jace went on to make things worse. 

 

“What?”  Jace asked, defensive about the look Alec was giving him.  “Does he not know that you’re gay?”

“Shut up, Jace.”  There was slightly more of a bite to his voice than he had intended and Jace held his hands up in surrender. 

“Sorry man.  Look at him, I just figured the two of you met on Grindr or something.”  The attempt at a joke fell flat.  And in his usual Jace style, he continued to make things even worse. 

 

“I’m sure he’s cool with it, man.  He’s wearing makeup and jewelry and all that stuff that girls wear for Christ sakes.”

“I wear makeup to enhance my natural good looks.  And given that you weren’t blessed with any, I’d suggest you try wearing it sometime too.”  It was the first Magnus had spoken since he’d entered the room. 

 

It took Jace a moment to recover, clearly stunned into silence by the comment.  And Alec didn’t blame him.  Alec had always heard people tell Jace how attractive he was and to hear something different, no matter who it was coming from, had to be a shock for him. 

 

“I don’t need that girly shit.  I’m not like you.”  Jace finally got out.  Then turned to face Alec.  “Just give me my stuff.”

Alec glanced around for where he had put the box, but Magnus was closer.  Magnus picked it up and held it out to Jace who seemed reluctant to come near him but did so anyways.  Jace reached out for the box but just before he had his grip on it, Magnus let go. 

The box crashed to the floor between them and Jace jumped back a little. 

“What the fuck, man?”  He asked angrily as he knelt down to pick up the box, shaking it to try and assess if anything was broken. 

Magnus shrugged.  “Sorry, my dainty, gay fingers couldn’t hold on.”  He said casually and that only seemed to annoy Jace more.

 

“Whatever.  I’m out.”  He grumbled but Alec reached out to grab his arm and stop him.  Jace stopped in his tracks but still yanked his arm out of Alec’s grip.  “What?”

“The key.  I don’t want people who don’t live here to have keys.” 

Rolling his eyes, Jace shifted the weight of the box to one arm so he could dig the key back out of his pocket.  Instead of handing it to Alec, he simply tossed it, letting it land and slide on the floor. 

“You guys seem perfect for each other.”

“I feel the same way about you and Jordan.” 

“That wasn’t a compliment.”

Alec shrugged.  “Neither was that.”

 

There was something so satisfying about getting in the last word as Jace shut the door loudly behind him.  Alec turned to look at Magnus. 

“So.  That was my brother.”  Suddenly Alec felt nerves wash over him, as though it was somehow his fault that Jace had acted like that in front of Magnus.  He wanted to tell him that Jace’s temper wasn’t usually that bad but at the moment, he couldn’t bring himself to defend him. 

“I absolutely see what you meant when you told me he was an asshat.  And just for the record, I technically meant my strong, bisexual fingers but he seems easily confused so I was trying to stay on his level.” 

 

There it was.  Alec had guessed at it, but he hadn’t actually had any confirmation that Magnus was bisexual until now.  Of course, it didn’t mean anything, it shouldn’t mean anything.  That didn’t change the fact that they were roommates and new roommates at that. 

 

“I honestly don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone shut him down like that.”

“I’m sorry if it was too much.  I didn’t like the way he was treating you.  Or me, for that matter.”

No, not at all.  But as incredible as that was, you didn’t have to do that.”

“And he didn’t have to out you.”  Magnus paused, shaking his head.  “I’m really sorry, that should have been your choice.” 

 

Magnus had lived here less than a day and Alec was pretty sure he was already in love with him. 

 

“I wasn’t trying to hide it from you.”  Alec explained and Magnus nodded understandingly. 

“I know that.  Alec, we still pretty new to each other.  I wouldn’t have expected you to tell me right away.  Besides, I hadn’t told you either.”

 

Fuck ‘pretty sure’, Alec was definitely in love with him. 

Chapter Text

This was the second time this week that Alec had felt overwhelmingly relieved by the knowledge that the elevators in his building had been fixed.  Thanks to some public holiday, his classes for the day had been cancelled and he had decided to take advantage of that to go for a run. 

Caught up in thoughts about his current fight with his brother, his pressing responsibilities with school, and how exactly he felt about his new roommate, Alec had definitely overdone it.  He had left his apartment around 7:30am, around the same time he would have for class and he was just now getting back as it neared 10:00am.  Having to go up three flights of stairs would have been too much.

 

He was drenched in sweat, headphones around his neck as he pushed the button for the elevator, already feeling the soreness in his legs.  He still had to work tonight but he could spend the next several hours relaxing after a shower. 

Alone in the elevator, Alec lifted his shirt to wipe his face, not concerned about the amount of skin the action revealed.  The air conditioning in the building was on and he was suddenly aware of how overly warm he was.  Even as he walked out of the elevator, Alec was already in the process of taking off his shirt.  It didn’t matter, his apartment was just a few doors down anyways. 

 

The door was still unlocked like he had left it and Alec pulled it open, vision momentarily obscured while he used his shirt as a rag to continue to dab sweat off of his face. 

 

“Well, good morning to me!”  Magnus’s voice caught him off guard and Alec quickly pulled the shirt away from his face.

Alec wasn’t sure if he was grateful or not that Magnus was actually wearing a shirt this morning, but he didn’t have much time to dwell on it before realizing that now he was the shirtless one.  He spent time at the gym on campus fairly often and even though he hated himself for it, he had definitely started flexing the moment he had heard Magnus’s voice, so he knew he didn’t look bad.

“I was running.”  Alec said lamely.  He was still getting used to Magnus’s playful flirting.  It didn’t bother him, but it probably would have been easier to respond to if Magnus didn’t manage to look this incredible in the morning.  His make up wasn’t done yet and he was wearing a loose black tank top with pajama pants but all that did was prove that Magnus didn’t need the eyeliner or the tight-fitting clothes to look incredible. 

 

“School and work, where do you find all this time to go to the gym?”  Alec could feel Magnus’s gaze sweep over his body again and suddenly he felt even hotter than before he had taken his shirt off.  Even though he knew Magnus was just teasing, the idea that Magnus could actually be admiring his body made his heart race. 

“There’s a gym on campus.”  Alec said and before he could think better of it, added, “I could ask the same for you.  Your ar- you’re busy too.”  He managed to stop himself just in the nick of time of telling Magnus that his arms were incredible. 

“I don’t have school, so I make time.”  Magnus shrugged and Alec couldn’t tell if Magnus let his eyes sweep over him one last time or if it was his imagination.  “If you’re interested, I wouldn’t mind joining you on a run sometime.  Though I do know some people prefer to go alone so no pressure.”

 

Against his better judgement, Alec answered.  “No that’d be great.  I didn’t want to wake you up or anything this morning but you’re more than welcome to join next time.” 

“Excellent.  I find it’s always more motivating to get out there and do it with someone else.”

“Yeah.”  Working out with Magnus was going to be distracting.

 

There was a brief pause between them where Alec didn’t see Magnus’s eyes flick down to his body but there was a still a seemingly strong air of desire between them.  Alec lifted his damp shirt to his sweaty face again.  It wasn’t doing much to actually wipe off the sweat anymore or anything, he just wanted to break the tension between them, he didn’t know what else to do with it. 

“Well, I need to get in the shower.”  Alec finally said once he pulled his shirt away from his face. 

“Of course.  Coffee is already made for when you get out.”

“Perfect, thanks.”

 

---

 

“So, I’ve been wanting to ask you something.” 

The words yanked Alec’s attention from the show they had been watching and he looked at Magnus.

“What’s up?”

“If I’m overstepping just let me know.  But, your brother.  You two…don’t seem related.  Is it a close friend thing where you just call yourselves brothers?  Or,”  Magnus leaned in conspiratorially, “Is it a fraternity thing?  I promise I won’t judge you if you’re in a frat.  Well, maybe a little.”

 

Alec couldn’t help but to laugh. 

“Do I really strike you as someone who is in a frat?  I mean, I can see how you’d get that impression from Jace.”

“Anything is possible.”

 

“Jace is adopted.  Our parents took him in when we were ten.  So, he wasn’t there my whole life and even though he can be an asshole, he’s my brother regardless.”  Alec explained. 

“Is he your only sibling?” 

“No, I have three.  A younger sister and brother as well.  Izzy and Max.  You’d definitely get along with Izzy.”

“I take it that means you get along with her well?  Or should I be offended?”  Magnus teased.

“Oh no.  Actually, she’s even worse than Jace.”  Alec paused, taking in Magnus’s surprised face for a moment but it was impossible to keep his own expression serious for more than a second.  “Kidding.  She’s the best.”

 

“I swear, Alexander.  Don’t scare me like that.”  Magnus had a hand over his heart and Alec laughed. 

“Sorry, sorry.  But, yeah.  We don’t really have similar personalities, but we get along well.  You know how siblings are.”

“I’m actually an only child.” 

“Oh.  I can’t even imagine that.”

 

“What about your parents?”  The words were out before Alec could even think about them.  He didn’t know why he was even bringing up the topic when he knew he wouldn’t want to answer that question. 

“Not to be morbid but they’re both dead.”  Magnus said it casually enough.

“Oh.  I’m so sor-“

“Don’t, don’t.”  Magnus waved off his apology before Alec could complete it.  “My mom died before I can remember, and my dad died when I was sixteen.  I’m over it by now.” 

“Still.” 

 

There was a beat of silence between them before Alec’s curiosity got the best of him. 

“What did you do?”

“Hmm?”

“I mean, we took in Jace because my parents were his godparents and both of his parents died.  Did you have a similar situation?”

“Not exactly.  I didn’t-“  Magnus paused, and Alec was about to tell him he didn’t have to talk about it when Magnus started talking again. 

 

“I wound up living with one of my close friends, Catarina, for a few years.  Her family is wonderful.  Then I moved out as soon as I was old enough to and worked some shit jobs and lived with weird roommates ever since.  Well, until I moved in with Camille.”  Magnus met Alec’s eyes, smiling.  “Not to say that you’re weird but…I did just meet you.”

“Rude.”  Alec was grinning in contradiction to his word. 

 

“How about you?”

It was the question Alec had been dreading. 

“Uh, they’re alive.” 

 

Fuck.  That sounded insensitive. 

“Sorry, I didn’t mean it like that.”

“Alexander, how dare you have parents who are alive.  I expected you to kill them yourself the second you found out mine are dead.”  Magnus pushed his shoulder against Alec’s playfully and Alec had to force himself not to focus on the fact that Magnus remained pressed against his side, shoulder to shoulder. 

 

“I actually moved out because of them.”  Alec hesitated.  “My dad is incredibly homophobic.  And my mom, well, she wasn’t making it too easy either.”  Alec was looking down at his lap as he spoke but Magnus reaching over to rest his hand on Alec’s knee still surprised him. 

“I’m so sorry.”

“It’s okay.  It’s better living on my own.  Well, with a roommate, but you know what I mean.”

“Oh definitely.  I know I’ve only been here a short time, but this is already way better than living with my ex.” 

 

“I can imagine.”

 

The conversation dropped off again as Magnus suddenly seemed incredibly interested in the rings on his fingers. 

“Do you want to talk about it?”  Alec almost winced at how cliché he sounded.  Magnus pulled his attention away from his hands and smiled at Alec. 

“We’re going to need a substantial amount of vodka before I tell that story and if I remember correctly, you have to work soon.”

 

Alec quickly glanced up at the clock and was on his feet in seconds. 

“Shit.  You’re right.”  He needed to get ready to leave.  “To be continued?”

“Absolutely.”

 

---

 

Was it 1:30 in the morning?  Yes.  Did Alec have to get up 5:45am for his class tomorrow?  Yes.  Were either of those things stopping Alec from laying on his bed, scrolling through Magnus’s Instagram?  Absolutely not.

Alec had been showing Magnus a picture on Instagram earlier and when Magnus had pulled out his own phone to follow him, Alec hadn’t objected to that at all.  Of course, it wasn’t like he had been able to go through it right there in front of him and since they had spent all of the time leading up to Alec having to leave for work talking, he hadn’t had a chance.  Then on his commute to work, it had felt wrong to go through it on public transport in front of other people.  After that, he had just forgotten about it. 

It wasn’t until he was tossing and turning in bed that night, unable to sleep that he remembered. 

 

Alec’s phone was the only light source in his room, illuminating his face as he slowly scrolled.  While he couldn’t fully admire Magnus in person without blatantly staring at him, he could with these pictures. 

There were plenty of pictures of Magnus with his friends.  A few with the man, Raphael, who Alec had met on Saturday.  Several with a woman Alec noted was Magnus’s close friend Catarina, and several group shots with people Alec had never heard of.  Those ones were all nice and the genuine smile on Magnus’s face in a lot of them was beautiful, but there were some others than were drawing his attention.

Magnus had been kind enough to upload multiple shirtless ones of himself. 

 

Finally, Alec was allowed to admire that amazing body without worrying about Magnus seeing him stare.  He lingered on one of Magnus at the beach that someone else had clearly taken.  A deep purple towel was laid out on the sand and Magnus was on his back on top of it.  A pair of rather short swim trunks and a pair of sunglasses were the only things covering anything on his body, stretched out on the towel. 

Magnus had mentioned the gym and something about dance once or twice, but it was incredibly clear from his body that those weren’t just once in a while things. 

 

Without thinking about anything other than how incredible his body was, Alec double tapped the picture.  It wasn’t until the white heart popped up on his screen a second later that he realized what he had just done. 

He had just liked a barely clothed picture of Magnus at 2am.  Quickly, Alec scrolled up to check the date.  If it was a recent picture, he could pass it off as just late-night Instagram browsing.  The picture had been posted almost six months ago. 

Fuck.

 

Alec (2:04am): IZZY
Alec (2:04am): IZZY ARE YOU AWAKE
Alec (2:05am): IZZY THIS IS AN EMERGENCY
Izzy (2:05am): ?????
Izzy (2:05am): what’s going on?  Are you alright?
Alec (2:05am): I was going through Magnus’s Instagram pictures
Alec (2:05am): And I accidentally liked one
Izzy (2:06am): …..
Izzy (2:06am): alec i love you but i don’t see how this is an emergency
Alec (2:06am): Izzy
Alec (2:06am): It’s 2am
Alec (2:06am): It was a shirtless picture
Alec (2:06am): From almost six months ago.
Izzy (2:07am): ALEC
Izzy (2:07am): OMG ALEC
Izzy (2:07am): WHAT ARE YOU DOING DEEP DIVING HIS INSTAGRAM
Izzy (2:07am): AND LOOKING AT SHIRTLESS PICTURES AT 2AM
Alec (2:07am): It wasn’t like that!
Izzy (2:07am): sureeeeeee
Alec (2:07am): I couldn’t sleep, he just gave me his Instagram today, and I didn’t realize how far back I was
Izzy (2:08am): i’m going to pretend i believe you
Alec (2:08am): What do I do?
Izzy (2:08am): i mean, u can unlike the picture but he already got the notif soooooo
Izzy (2:08am): ur kinda screwed here
Alec (2:08am): Thank you so much for your help.
Izzy (2:09am): anytime! 
Izzy (2:09am): now go to bed!

 

Alec groaned as he set his phone back down on his nightstand and closed his eyes, dropping his head back against his pillow.  He knew he had to be up for school in less than four hours, but sleep seemed even further away than before. 

He rolled over, pressing his face into his pillow for a moment before grumbling, “I’m an idiot.”

Chapter Text

This had to be intentional.  Magnus had seen the late-night notification and now he was teasing him.  There was no other reason for him to walk into the kitchen this morning looking the way he did.

 

Alec was sitting at the kitchen table doing his best to not fall asleep again when Magnus walked in.  He had heard the shower running but didn’t think much of it until Magnus appeared. 

“Good morning Alexander.”

Alec looked up to return the greeting and then froze.  Magnus wasn’t dressed yet.  He had a towel wrapped around his waist.  That was it. 

 

“Wow.”  Alec blurted out before he could think about it, too distracted by a remaining water drop that was running down Magnus’s chest and the heat Alec felt rushing through him at the sight.  The sight of him did more to wake Alec up than any cup of coffee could have.

 

“What?”

“Just, you’re up early.”  It was the first thing Alec could think of. 

“I start my new job soon and I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to wake up at five to get there in time and still look this good.  I have to get used to it. 

 

“Is it hot?” Magnus continued.

Alec froze at the question, involuntarily sweeping his gaze over Magnus’s body. 

“What?” 

“The coffee.  Is it still hot?”  Magnus gestured towards the coffee pot.

 

Oh.  The coffee.  Of course, he meant the coffee.  Why on earth would Magnus have been asking him if he was hot?  Then again, Alec couldn’t be expected to think clearly when Magnus was looking like that.

“Yes.  Very hot.”  He confirmed, eyes following Magnus as the man reached up to open the cabinet and grab a mug.  The muscles in his back flexed with the movement and Alec really, really wished he wasn’t wearing sweatpants. 

Magnus turned around again, and Alec’s gaze was instantly back on the expanse of skin on display, his eyes drawn down to the spot where the low-slung towel was tied.  That was a mistake. 

Magnus’s back was to him again while he poured his coffee and even though Alec knew he was making his situation worse, his eyes remained glued to Magnus half naked form.  He had seen Magnus mostly shirtless before with the open robe he had chosen to don on his first morning here, but that had still covered his back, shoulders, and most of his chest.  The towel left a lot less to the imagination.  And god, Alec’s imagination was running wild. 

 

Before Magnus could turn around again, Alec quickly put both of his hands in his lap.  He was definitely not sitting at the breakfast table with an erection.  And said erection definitely wasn’t caused by the sight of his roommates mostly naked body.  And there was absolutely no possible way that Alec was going to spend the duration of both of his classes today distracted and only able to think about Magnus.  Nope.  No way. 

The sound of a chair scraping the floor pulled Alec out of his denying thoughts and he looked up to see Magnus sitting down at the table across from him and setting his mug of coffee down on the table. 

“Hey so I wanted to ask you about something from last night.”  Magnus’s tone was casual, and Alec thought his heart was going to beat out of his chest.  Was Magnus really going to bring up the Instagram thing?  Now?  This early in the morning? 

Trying his best to act casual, “What’s up?”

“Was that you walking around at like, two in the morning?  Or was that the upstairs neighbor stomping around?  I couldn’t tell where the sound was coming from.”

 

A wave of relief ran over Alec at the question. 

“Oh, no, I was in bed.  Must have been the upstairs neighbor.”  Alec paused for a moment though, suddenly not sure if it was a real question.  The fact that the timing coincided with the same time as the Instagram incident seemed a little too convenient.  And even if it was a real inquiry, it confirmed that Magnus had been awake around the time Alec had liked the picture. 

“Ah okay, I was just wondering.”  Magnus relaxed back in his seat with his mug. 

 

“Shower’s all yours, by the way.  I still need to do my makeup but I know you need to shower before class so I can do it later.”  Magnus gestured vaguely in the direction of the bathroom. 

Alec didn’t move.  Getting up wasn’t exactly an option at the moment.  Not in front of Magnus. 

 

“Yeah, thanks, I’ll use it when I finish my coffee.”  He glanced down at his cup, cursing the fact that he was already almost done with it.  He really did need to shower before class and that coupled with the fact that now Magnus was waiting on him so he could finish his own routine only put more pressure on the situation. 

“What time is your class again?” 

“It’s at seven so I need to head out around 6:30.”  Alec glanced at the clock on the microwave.  6:02am.  Fuck.  He looked up at Magnus who had turned to glance at the clock too.  Fuuuuuck.  “I guess I should probably get in then.”  Alec hesitated, desperately not wanting to stand up but not wanting to act suspicious.  His brain was working a mile a minute trying to figure his way out of this situation. 

 

A loud ringtone sounded from down the hall and Magnus glanced behind him, pushed his chair back from the table, standing and grabbing his cup of coffee. 

“Oh, that’s my phone.”  Magnus pushed the chair back in.  “That’s probably work- God knows who else would call me this early.  Have a good class, Alexander!”  Magnus spoke as he walked away, giving Alec a little wave with his free hand before pulling the door shut behind him.

 

A huge sigh of relief rushed out of Alec.  He finished the rest of his coffee and quickly washed the dish, trying to get out of the open space as soon as possible.  Then he just had to make a quick trip to his room to grab clothes before locking himself in the bathroom. 

 

Once the door was locked behind him, Alec stood with his back to it, thudding his head against the door.  That had been way too close of a call. 

The air in bathroom was still warm from Magnus’s shower and Alec had to actively force himself not to think about that exact scene.  Magnus parading around in a towel definitely wasn’t helping. 

Cold shower.  He needed to take a cold shower before class because he was not going to do what he desperately wanted to do while thinking about Magnus.  Magnus was his roommate and that was inappropriate.  Alec sternly repeated the thought to himself as he got undressed, flinching when he stepped underneath the cold spray. 

 

---

 

As it turned out, the cold shower wasn’t quite enough to get Alec through the day without thinking about Magnus.  He found his thoughts drifting to him instead of focusing on the lecture his professor was giving.  The words about medieval english literature were tuned out in favor of imagining how running his hands down Magnus’s chest would feel.  Or those strong arms pinning him down.  Or running his tongue over hard abs. 

Of course, Alec had never done any of these things before, but he couldn’t help but to imagine doing them with Magnus.  God, he had known the man for a week or so and he already couldn’t stop thinking about him.

 

“Mr. Lightwood?  Are you with us?”  His professor’s voice cut through the air, jerking Alec out of his current daydream of Magnus on top of him. 

Alec cleared his throat and sat up straighter.  “Yes ma’am.  Sorry.” 

She nodded and went on with her lecture and Alec sighed quietly but deeply.  He needed to focus, to actually type up the notes that were on the board. 

 

After class, Alec texted Izzy while he headed over to the library. 

 

Alec (9:02am): Izzzzzzzy
Izzy (9:10am): alecccccccc
Alec (9:10am): Magnus is too hot
Alec (9:10am): And it’s ruining my life
Izzy (9:11am): i swear, it is so unfair that u won’t stop talking about how hot he is
Izzy (9:11am): but u refuse to show me what he looks like
Izzy (9:11am): u make it sound like u just nut on sight when u see him
Izzy (9:11am): and i NEED to know what he looks like
Alec (9:11am): I do not.
Izzy (9:11am): hmmm okaaaay
Alec (9:12am): Izzy.
Alec (9:12am): Focus.
Alec (9:12am): It is ruining my life
Izzy (9:12am): how so?
Alec (9:12am): I kept zoning out in my medieval lit class
Alec (9:13am): I took down the notes but I’m going to have to study them later
Alec (9:13am): Because I didn’t retain a single piece of information
Izzy (9:13am): omg alec
Izzy (9:13am): u got it bad
Izzy (9:14am): u got it so bad
Alec (9:14am): In my defense, he was walking around the place in just a towel this morning
Alec (9:14am): It’s hard to not think about.
Izzy (9:14am): is it hard alec? 
Izzy (9:15am): is it hard?
Alec (9:15am): I swear I don’t know why I text you
Izzy (9:15am): bc you love me
Izzy (9:15am): and u can’t stop yourself from talking about how hot ur roommate is
Izzy (9:16am): and u gotta tell someone about it or else you’ll explode
Izzy (9:16am): and not the fun kind of explode
Alec (9:17am): I swear to god Izzy
Izzy (9:17am): okay i’ve officially decided
Izzy (9:17am): i refuse to give u anymore advice until u show me what he looks like
Alec (9:17am): You do realize that you have yet to actually give me a single piece of helpful advice, right?
Izzy (9:18am): pics
Alec (9:18am): Bye

 

Alec set his phone down on the table and covered his face with his hands, stifling a groan in the mostly silent library.  He had no idea how he was going to do this. 

 

---

 

To Alec’s surprise, the next few days actually went by pretty smoothly.  It might have had something to do with he fact that Magnus had apparently taken mercy on him and had remained fully clothed when he was out of his room.  Though that little detail wasn’t stopping Alec from falling more and more for him. 

He was trying so hard to just look at Magnus as his roommate.  His new roommate.  His new, very hot roommate.  It would be one thing if he just found Magnus attractive, but Alec was catching himself thinking about the way Magnus’s eyes lit up after telling a joke or how expressive he was with his face and hands whenever he was telling a story.  How beautiful he looked when he smiled and how he just seemed to have this spark inside him that lit up a whole room.

To be honest, he sort of wished he could go back to just daydreaming about Magnus’s body. 

 

Alec was usually busy with school and work, but Wednesday was his day off from work and he was done with classes by 1pm.  He got home around 1:30pm and looked around for Magnus.  He spotted him on the couch, stretched across it like a cat, the tv playing some show that currently had two people in white lab coats making out on the screen.

“Hey.”  He said, grabbing Magnus’s attention while Alec passed him to drop his backpack off in his room. 

“Well hey yourself.”  And the simple phrase made Alec’s heart flutter. 

 

Alec stepped out of his room and approached the couch, expecting Magnus to move and make room for him.  Instead, Magnus just curled his knees up and when Alec sat down, draped them over Alec’s lap.  Alec swallowed hard. 

“What are you watching?”  Alec inquired, feeling butterflies again at the intimacy of their position.  It seemed normal for Magnus but casual intimacy, especially with another man, wasn’t something Alec was used to.  He certainly wasn’t complaining.  He liked the way it made him feel.  Warm.  Though it definitely wasn’t helping him distance himself from his feelings for Magnus. 

“Grey’s Anatomy, there’s a rerun marathon right now.  It’s a trash medical drama but I refuse to apologize for watching it.”  Magnus said defiantly and Alec laughed. 

“Hey I’m not judging.  I just don’t have a lot of time for TV, you know?”  Alec said, absentmindedly resting one of his hands on Magnus’s leg. 

“Busy man.”  Magnus commented with a smile and Alec felt one of his own tug at the corner of his lips. 

 

A comfortable moment of silence passed between them as the show unfolded on screen, Alec trying to make sense of what was happening on the show until Magnus started explaining things to him.  It made him understand a little bit more, but also confused him even more. 

 

“Hey, when do you start work?”  Alec asked as a commercial played in the background. 

“Weirdly enough, this Sunday.  I guess they want me to come in on a day where the office is mostly empty so they can show me the ropes without all the day to day chaos.” 

“That makes sense.  Less stressful.”  Alec commented, “Man I wish they had done that for me.  My first night as a server my first shift was on a Friday night.  It was a mess.” 

“Oh my god I can imagine.  Why would they do that to you?”

“I guess they just wanted for me to dive in headfirst.” 

“How’d you do?”

“I blanked on several menu items, spilled a drink on a woman, and dropped a tray.”

“That was graceful.”

 

Alec gave Magnus’s legs a shove though not hard enough to actually push them off.  He liked the heat of Magnus pressed against his body. 

“Hey, I’m great now.  I give good service, so they give me good tips.”  He said and Magnus snorted.  “What?”

“Alexander.  You made good tips because you’re pretty.”  Magnus said it like it was the most obvious thing in the world and Alec’s brain momentarily stopped working.  He had gotten compliments from customers before but pretty wasn’t one he heard too often.  And it sounded so wonderful coming out of Magnus’s lips. 

“Yeah yeah.”  Alec finally came up with, knowing that it was a lame reply. 

 

Magnus pulled his legs off of Alec and swung them onto the floor, sitting upright. 

“Have you eaten lunch?  Well, I guess it’s closer to dinner now.”  He asked and Alec was grateful for the change in topic. 

“Uh, no.  I meant to when I got home but then I got trapped watching your show.”  Alec said, watching as Magnus stood up to stretch his back, both of his hands on his lower back as he pushed his chest out. 

“Excuse me.  Trapped?  I seem to recall you gasping- and rather loudly at that- when you found out Meredith had her hand on a bomb.” 

“You had me physically trapped with your legs.  There was nothing else I could do.”  Alec claimed and Magnus gave him a light shove.

 

“A likely story.  Come on, let’s get something to eat.”

 

---

 

It was disappointing to not have time to see Magnus for most of Thursday.  They’d only been living together for a short while and Alec was already getting used to his company.  He loved having him around, even if he did turn Alec into a bit of a mess at times. 

But today Alec had to spend the whole day at school, work on homework in the library, then go straight to work.  It didn’t leave him with any gaps in the day to spend time with Magnus. 

And, yes, he knew it was a little pathetic to only know someone for less than two weeks and already spend this much of his time thinking about them, but he couldn’t help it.  He didn’t understand how anyone could know Magnus Bane and not constantly have him in their thoughts.

 

Alec wasn’t off work till after 10pm that night.  Around 9:30pm, he texted Magnus.

 

Alec (9:31pm): Hey I’m almost off work. 
Alec (9:31pm): On the off chance you haven’t eaten, do you want me to bring you anything?

 

It was an offer he had used to make for Jace, but it went without saying that the man quickly took advantage of it.  Alec hadn’t minded buying him dinner every once in a while, but he had quit offering when Jace had stopped saying thank you and started trying to get food for his friends too. 

With Magnus, however, Alec wanted to do it.  It was what friends did for each other, right? 

 

Magnus (9:34pm): I already ate :(
Magnus (9:43pm): Dessert?
Alec (9:44pm): Absolutely

 

Alec punched the order into the screen, the rest of his shift somehow feeling lighter and easier now that he knew he was going to see Magnus when he got home.

“Hey!  Someone’s in a good mood!”

Alec looked in the direction of the chipper voice and saw one of the busboys, Simon Lewis, a few feet away, looking at him. 

“Do you need something?”  He asked dryly and Simon shook his head.

“Nope!” 

 

It seemed like it was Simon’s life goal to become his friend.  And he was a nice enough guy, but he was just too much.  Especially at work.  Alec already had to put on a big smile for rude customers and the last place he needed Simon coming up to him was when he was hiding in the kitchen, trying to take a short break.  Simon was just too high energy for him to deal with

“Well?”  Simon prompted, moving closer to him.

“Well what?”  Alec asked, sounding tired. 

“What’s got you smiling?”  Simon paused, “Or should I say who?” 

“You should say neither.  Instead you can go bus table twenty-two.  They just left.”

“Aye aye captain.”  Simon saluted him but was on his way out too quickly to catch Alec’s eye roll. 

 

When Alec finally got home, he had a bag of food in tow.  He let himself in to find that Magnus had already set the table for the both of them.  God, did he have to keep doing these small gestures that made it so hard to not fall in love with him? 

“Food’s here!”  Alec announced, setting the bag down on the table. 

 

Magnus came out of his room, immediately looking delighted as he saw the chocolate lava cake Alec had brought him.  Though he did give Alec’s food a look.

“What’d you get?”

“Bacon burger.”  He looked at Magnus defensively.  “What?  It’s not half bad.”

“Whatever you say, darling.”  Magnus said, waving a hand at him and even though Alec was getting used to it by now, he still almost choked on his food at the pet name.  Magnus’s casual terms of endearment were going to be the death of him.

 

---

 

Alec was at work for almost the entirety of the day on Friday, so it was a relief when Saturday rolled around.  Except that it wasn’t completely.  Today was the day Magnus was going to his ex’s house to pick up the rest of his things.  Alec had offered to go with him, but Magnus had declined, saying he was going with Raphael and Catarina for moral support. 

“Besides, I have to stop by work to straighten some things out before tomorrow and I have no idea how long that will take.”  Magnus explained as he gathered up his jacket.  “I’ll text you when I’m headed back.  Let you know if everything went alright with her.”

 

Maybe it was for the best.  Alec had been spending so much time with Magnus lately, his schoolwork had fallen a little bit.  He usually finished assignments in advance but now he found himself doing them the night before.  He could use today to catch up on everything. 

Alec settled at his desk with his laptop and textbooks, fully intending to work until Magnus got back.  And he did.  Up until Izzy texted him.

 

Izzy (5:43pm): so the new roomie still working out?  still crazy hot?  and when do i get to come over and meet him?
Alec (5:43pm): It’s still working out really well, actually.  I forgot how nice it is to live with someone who isn’t an asshole. 
Alec (5:43pm): Also, never.
Izzy (5:44pm): whyyyyyy
Izzy (5:44pm): i NEED to see what he looks like
Izzy (5:44pm): you’ve mentioned how hot he is like 700 times and you’ve only known him for a like, a week
Izzy (5:44pm): and that’s 100 times a day u have thought about him being hot
Alec (5:45pm): That is exactly why you can’t meet him. 
Alec (5:45pm): And I do NOT talk about him that much.
Izzy (5:45pm): i can and will pull out receipts on u

 

Fully knowing that this was something Izzy would do, Alec decided not to deny it.  God knew he had sent her plenty of texts that she could screenshot for proof.  He got up from his desk to lay on his bed while he texted her, holding his phone over his face.

 

Alec (5:46pm): …Fine
Alec (5:46pm): I guess I’ve mentioned it once or twice.  Maybe seventeen times at most.
Izzy (5:46pm): 17?  1,700?  17,000??
Izzy (5:46pm): i think you’ll find that those are more accurate estimates
Alec (5:46pm): Fuck offfff
Alec (5:46pm): He’s just.  So hot.
Alec (5:47pm): like it should be a crime to be that hot.
Izzy (5:47pm): SHOW
Izzy (5:47pm): ME
Izzy (5:48pm): honestly the real crime is that ive been listening to u talk about how hot he is for a week and you still haven’t sent me a picture
Izzy (5:48pm): i know where u live and i will show up uninvited when you’re not home and gossip w/ him about you
Alec (5:48pm): NO
Alec (5:48pm): If I give you his Instagram will you absolutely promise to not do that?
Izzy (5:49pm): YES

 

Alec sighed.  He didn’t know why he was being so reluctant.  It felt like matching this guy he had been talking about with a face and a name made it too real.  Regardless, Alec pulled up Instagram, noting with a bit of embarrassment that Magnus was the first suggestion in his search bar before he even had time to type any letters.  Alec opened the page and took a screenshot, then moved back to his conversation with Izzy.

Alec (5:50pm): Here
Izzy (5:52pm): ALEC
Izzy (5:52pm): YOU’VE BEEN KEEPING THIS ALL TO YOURSELF THIS WHOLE TIME?
Izzy (5:52pm): how are u even alive?
Alec (5:52pm): it’s been a struggle
Alec (5:53pm): Like, he’s a great roommate but he’s so hot and it’s just

 

Alec backed out of the conversation to look at the Instagram profile again as if he needed to prove his point to himself.  Christ, one of the most recent posts was a shirtless picture Alec had already spent far too much time looking at.  Alec backed out of the app and went back to his messages. 

At the same time, he opened his messenger app, a new text came in and it moved to the top, placing itself above the conversation with Izzy.  Alec tapped the first conversation without even looking at it, instead looking down at his keyboard to type immediately. 

 

Magnus (5:54): Hey I’m heading back soon, you eaten dinner yet?  I’m thinking about picking up a pizza.
Alec (5:54): DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW HARD IT IS TO LIVE WITH A ROOMMATE THIS HOT?

 

Alec looked up at the conversation the moment his thumb hit the send button.  He froze.  No.  No way.  There was no way he had just sent that to Magnus.  Undo.  Why wasn’t there an undo option for texts?  He hadn’t even realized he was in the wrong conversation and this was the worst way possible to find out.  How in the hell was he supposed to play this off?  He needed to think of something as fast as he could.

 

Alec (5:54pm): SORRY WRONG PERSON
Alec (5:54pm): THAT WAS MEANT FOR IZZY
Alec (5:54pm): WE’RE TALKING ABOUT A SHOW

 

Alec typed the words so quickly and frantically; he didn’t even think to turn his caps lock off until he had already sent them.  Fuck, that desperation conveyed in the capital letters made the already weak lie even less believable.  He was just making this worse.

 

Magnus (5:55pm): What show?  Sounds like something I’d be interested in checking out.

 

Fuck his life. 

Alec took a screenshot of the conversation and, making sure that he was in the right chat this time, sent it to Izzy.

 

Alec (5:55pm): IZZY I FUCKED UP. 
Alec (5:55pm): IZZY WHAT DO I DO
Izzy (5:55pm): OH MY GOD
Izzy (5:55pm): I’M DYING
Izzy (5:55pm): A TV SHOW
Izzy (5:56pm): ALEC YOU GAY DISASTER
Alec (5:56pm): YOU’RE NOT HELPING
Izzy (5:56pm): WHAT’S THE SHOW, ALEC?
Izzy (5:56pm): WHAT’S THE SHOW?
Izzy (5:56pm): listen this can go one of three ways
Izzy (5:57pm): he gets home and you guys just laugh it off
Izzy (5:57pm): he gets home and u guys just don’t talk about it
Izzy (5:57pm): or he gets home and throws you down onto his bed and u two make passionate love all night
Alec (5:57pm): IZZY
Izzy (5:58pm): fingers crossed for option three
Izzy (5:58pm): listen my shift is about to start so i gtg
Izzy (5:58pm): but you absolutely HAVE to text me the outcome
Izzy (5:58pm): also if i don’t hear from u within an hour i am fully going to assume it was option 3

 

Alec groaned and dropped his phone onto the bed, not even bothering to try and text Magnus anything else than what he had already said.  He didn’t need to look in a mirror to know that his face was red and would probably stay that way until Magnus got home.  Maybe he could just hide in his room for the rest of his life.  That was a feasible option, right?

Chapter Text

When Alec heard Magnus’s key turn in the lock, his entire body tensed, not moving at all.  Maybe if he just laid here really still, Magnus would forget that he existed.  He was straining to listen as he heard the door open and shut, then the sound of footsteps.  First away from his room, then towards his room.  He was wound so tight he nearly jumped out of his skin when Magnus knocked on his closed door. 

“Alexander?  I brought pizza.”  Magnus said, his voice not indicating that there was anything amiss between them. 

 

Okay.  Maybe they were going with option two.  They were just going to pretend it hadn’t happened.  And the longer Alec stayed in his room, the less likely he was going to be able to pretend that that was the case.  So, Alec sat up, glancing at the small mirror in his room to fix his hair a little then try and stretch the wrinkles out of his shirt.  He’d been laying down too long. 

Finally, Alec opened his door and walked into the kitchen, doing his best to act like nothing had happened.  Magnus was already at the table, the piece of pizza in his hand half gone. 

“Sorry, I was starving”  Magnus said through a mouthful of pizza and while Alec would have found that annoying with anyone else, when Magnus did it it was endearing. 

“No worries.  Did you get your stuff?”  Alec asked as he pulled up a chair, reaching for any topic that wasn’t the text he had sent. 

Magnus nodded, gesturing to a cardboard box that he had clearly set down by the front door when he had come inside in favor of eating the pizza first. 

“Yeah.  She was a little difficult about it, but I think she took Cat’s threats seriously so in the end I got it.”  Magnus paused thoughtfully.  “Though, I think Cat’s threats might have actually been serious.” 

 

“She sounds like Izzy.”  Alec laughed before taking a bite of his own slice. 

“When do I get to meet your darling sister?  She sounds delightful.”  Magnus inquired and Alec suddenly found staring at the pizza box very compelling.  “You two seem so close.” 

Alec waited, waiting to see if Magnus said anything else about the text but he didn’t.  Instead he was just looking for a response. 

“Well it’s hard with work and school schedules…”  Alec left the answer open ended until he saw the disappointment on Magnus’s face.  “But I’m sure we can figure something out soon.  Maybe dinner this week?” 

“That sounds lovely.” 

 

The rest of their meal was spent sharing stories about their sisters.  Even if Cat wasn’t actually related to Magnus, she may as well have been.  Finally, Magnus got up, taking both his plate and Alec’s to the sink to wash and Alec moved to throw away the pizza box. 

“Sorry to cut tonight short but I have my first day of work tomorrow.  I’ve got to get some sleep.”  Magnus said and Alec nodded.

But Magnus paused as he was passing Alec, just slightly in front of him, their shoulders almost touching.

“And, Alec?  I think I know exactly how hard it is.”  The words were said close to Alec’s ear, he could feel his hot breath.  Despite the heat, it sent chills down his spine.  Even as Magnus continued walking, Alec remained rooted to the spot.  He heard Magnus’s door open and shut but he still didn’t move, instead replaying those words in his head again and again.  He genuinely couldn’t tell if Magnus was actually flirting with him or just teasing him about the text.  Sure, he flirted with him all the time, but Magnus had never deliberately gotten so close to him to do so.  If he was teasing, why hadn’t he made the comment when they were sitting across from each other at the table?

Finally, Alec shook his head, coming back to the realization that he was still standing dumbstruck in the kitchen.  Getting himself moving again, Alec clicked off the kitchen light and made his way to his own bedroom.  He paused a moment in his doorway, looking at Magnus’s closed door.  What if he followed him in there?  Would anything happen between them? 

Alec took one step before he stopped in his tracks.  No.  Magnus was his roommate.  Definitely the best roommate he’d ever have and likely the best he’d ever have.  He wasn’t going to ruin that by trying to make advances that Magnus might not even want.  The thought of going in only to be rejected by Magnus and having the Magnus explain to him that, no he wasn’t actually flirting with Alec, that was just his personality, was more than enough to have Alec turn around and walk into his own room, shutting the door behind him. 

 

---

 

Sundays were one of the few days Alec could actually sleep in.  His shift didn’t start till 11am and he didn’t have class.  But that didn’t stop Alec from still setting his alarm early so he could wake up in time to make breakfast for Magnus.  When he woke up, the shower was already running.  Perfect. 

Alec pulled on sweats and a tee shirt before heading out of his room into the kitchen.  Magnus had made him breakfast on his first morning here, so it seemed only fitting that Alec made Magnus breakfast on his first day of work.  The shower turned off while he was still mixing the batter, but Alec knew he still had plenty of time. 

 

“Are you up already?”  Magnus’s voice came from down the hall when he finally exited the bathroom, hair and makeup done.  “Something smells good.”  He added. 

“Yup.  Making pancakes.”  Alec called back and laughed as he heard Magnus sniff the air in an exaggerated manner. 

“Wonderful, I’ll be out once I’m done getting dressed.”

 

Alec was on the last bit of batter when Magnus arrived in the kitchen. 

“This is so sweet, Alexander.  You shouldn’t have.  You could have slept in.”  Magnus said fondly.

“You made breakfast last time so I thought-“  His breath caught in his throat. 

 

If Alec had thought that Magnus in a towel was distracting, he didn’t even know what to call this.  The black suit and tie Magnus were wearing was far simpler than his usual style, toning it down for his first day of work, but he looked absolutely stunning in it.  Nobody had any business looking that sexy in a suit.  The jacket seemed to accentuate his broad shoulders perfectly and Alec had no doubt that if he took off the jacket, there would be a dress shirt struggling to keep its seams together underneath. 

“Well it’s very sweet of you.”  Magnus had waited a moment for Alec to continue speaking but evidentially had decided that Alec had left the sentence open ended on purpose, even if it had been an abrupt stop.  “My original plan was to just grab a cup of coffee and go, maybe try and grab a doughnut on my way.  This is much better.”  Magnus spoke as he walked over to the cabinet, about to open it before realizing that Alec had already gotten out a mug for him, sitting next to the coffee pot. 

“You know I thought I’d be a lot more nervous for today, but I actually feel ready.  I will say I’m glad they decided to start me on a Sunday.  I’ve already met some of the people and I know where I’ll be working but it still feels so new.”  He poured himself a cup of coffee while he talked.  “I also think-“  Magnus paused to sniff the air. 

“Is something burning?” 

 

Alec finally looked away from Magnus and, yes, the pancake on the frying pan was most definitely burning.

“Shit.”  Alec had been too preoccupied with ogling Magnus in his suit that he had entirely forgotten to take the last pancake off the grill.  He did so now but as he flipped it onto the plate of pancakes, one side was almost completely blackened. 

“No worries, it looks like you made plenty.”  Magnus said and slipped off the jacket for the time being, hanging it on the back of the chair before taking a seat at the table.  Alec carried the plate of pancakes over, still feeling a little dazed as he set it down.  It was like Magnus found new ways every single morning to ruin him. 

 

Magnus continued to talk about his first day, obviously more nervous than he was letting on given the amount of rambling he was doing but Alec didn’t mind.  He liked hearing Magnus talk.  That and he had been absolutely right about the dress shirt.  Every time Magnus would reach across the table for something or even when he was cutting his pancakes, he could see the sleeves of that light blue shirt fighting to contain the flex of his muscles.  It was so distracting Alec had to keep reminding himself to eat.  Magnus had been talking almost nonstop and had still managed to eat more than Alec had. 

Finally, Magnus looked at his watch, seemingly surprised by the time. 

“I’m so sorry, I hate to leave you with the dishes but-“

“No problem, go to work.  I’ll clean up here.”  Alec shook his head at the apology.  The whole point of making breakfast was to save Magnus the time before work and he wasn’t about to make him late by insisting he stay to wash dishes. 

“Thank you, Alexander.  You’re a doll.  I’ll let you know how it went next time I see you.” Magnus said as he pulled his suit jacket back on. 

 

Alec watched Magnus until the door was shut behind him.  Quickly, Alec moved to put away the leftovers and wash the dishes as quickly as he could before getting back to his room and shutting the door behind him.  He wasn’t fixing this with a cold shower this time. 

He collapsed into his desk chair and opened his laptop.  While he waited for it to start up, he couldn’t help but reach down, rubbing himself through his sweatpants.  He closed his eyes, unable to keep his thoughts from straying to Magnus. 

Magnus kissing his neck, running his hands down his chest, leaving marks on him.  Different images flashed through his mind.  Magnus in the open robe, The pictures on Magnus’s Instagram, Magnus in the towel, Magnus in a suit.  It was the last one that kept coming back to him though. 

Alec pushed his hand underneath the waistband of his sweatpants and boxer briefs, wrapping his hand around his hardening cock, imagining it was Magnus’s hand touching him instead. 

 

The start up sound of his laptop pulled him out of the fantasy and Alec opened his eyes, using his free hand to type in his password and the screen went black for a moment and Alec’s own reflection looked back at him.  Was that really how he looked right now?  Already desperate with want? 

Alec pulled his hand out to push both his sweatpants and boxer briefs down his legs.  Without giving it much thought, Alec pulled off his shirt as well, tossing it onto his bed behind him.  His entire body felt hot and clothes weren’t helping.  He pulled open one of his lower desk drawers to grab a bottle of lotion, pumping some into his right hand before wrapping it around his dick again. 

That was better. 

 

Forgetting about his laptop again, Alec closed his eyes, tilting his head back against his chair.  Magnus in that suit was all he could think about.  Alec unbuckling his belt for him, on his knees, undoing his pants just enough to get his cock out.  Alec had never wanted to put anything in his mouth so badly before.  He’d never given a blowjob in his life, but he couldn’t help but wonder what kind of sounds Magnus would make when he took him into his mouth. 

The sound of Skype automatically starting up jerked Alec out of his fantasy again and he glared at the program, quickly exiting out of it.  But it reminded him of what he had told himself earlier.  That he wasn’t going to think about Magnus like that. 

He wiped his hand off on his chest, smearing the lotion on his skin so he could free up his hands to use his laptop.  He pulled up an incognito browser, knowing exactly what he was looking for. 

 

It was frustrating how long it took to find it, unable to resist reaching down to stroke himself a few times while he searched, but finally he found what he was looking for.  A man with dark hair blowing a man in a suit who may or may not have looked a decent bit like Magnus.  Of course, he was nowhere near as hot, but this was close enough.  It was a loophole.  Technically he wouldn’t be thinking about Magnus.  Or at least this way he could pretend he wasn’t thinking about Magnus. 

Alec plugged his headphones into his laptop and put them on, hit play on the video, and added more lotion into his hand. 

 

Alec was lying to himself.  He wasn’t even trying to pretend to not think about Magnus.  He pumped his hand up and down on his cock as he watched the two men on screen.  Would it be like that with Magnus?  Would Magnus guide him and tell him what to do?  He thought about Magnus tangling his fingers in his hair, looking down at him as Alec sucked him.  Magnus swearing loudly when Alec flicked his tongue along the underside of the head and Alec did the same thing to himself with his thumb while thinking about it, making one of his legs twitch and his breath stutter.

Somewhere in the back of his mind, the student in him was taking notes while he watched. 

 

“Yes, that’s it.  You’re doing so well.  Good boy.”

The words from the video sent an electric shock through him and Alec nearly came on the spot.  He pulled his hand away for a moment, staring at the two men on screen, feeling slightly dazed with how much that had turned him on.  His chest was moving up and down rapidly as he panted, moving one of them to rewind the video about a minute.  He closed his eyes, just listening to the audio and resumed stroking himself, keeping himself at a pace where he knew he’d be pushed over the edge when that part hit again.  He was already close. 

 

The problem with noise cancelling headphones were just that.  They were noise cancelling.  Which meant Alec didn’t hear Magnus’s key in the lock, the apartment door open, or the apartment door close.  He didn’t hear Magnus call out his name and he didn’t hear his footsteps coming down the hall.  The first hint of sound he detected was a light thumping and while he figured it was nothing, he still opened his eyes though he didn’t stop what he was doing. 

It wasn’t until he caught the movement of his door opening that he pulled his hand off of himself and yanked his headphones off.

 

“So, I got all the way there and then they told me I didn’t need to come in till…Mon…day”  Magnus had already been speaking as he opened the door, so Alec only caught the second half of his sentence, but it was more than enough.  Alec turned his chair so that his back was to Magnus so quickly, the cord plugged into his laptop was yanked out and the sound started playing from his laptop speakers.  Though currently Alec was too busy getting his boxer briefs back on to deal with that. 

 

“Yes, that’s it.  You’re doing so well.  Good boy.”

Then he turned back towards his desk to slam the spacebar on his laptop to pause the video but not before the line he had been waiting for came up.  Why was Magnus still standing there? 

“I’m so, so sorry, I knocked, you must not have heard- I am so sorry.”  Magnus seemed just as caught off guard as Alec and considerably embarrassed as well.  Though Alec saw his eyes drift to Alec’s laptop screen and Alec realized he had paused it on a still of the man receiving the blowjob.  The one who looked like Magnus. 

Alec slammed the lid of his laptop down.

“I thought- I wasn’t- You’re supposed to- Work.”  Sentence fragments spilled out of Alec and it suddenly seemed to click with Magnus that he probably shouldn’t still be standing there. 

“Again, so sorry.  I’ll be in my room.”  Magnus quickly stepped out and shut the door behind him. 

 

Who?  Who had he wronged in a past life to deserve this? 

Alec had spent his entire life without getting walked in on and the first time it happens it’s by the most attractive man he’s ever met in his life?  And happens to live with?  And happened to be while he’s watching what might as well be look alike porn of said man? 

This was hell.  Alec had died and gone to hell because there was no way this sort of thing just happened.

 

Fuck.  He couldn’t even text Izzy on this one.  Talking about how hot he thought Magnus is was one thing, but never in a million years would he tell his sister that Magnus had just walked in on him jerking off.  For one, that topic just wasn’t on the table.  And another thing, she’d never, ever let him live it down. 

 

Alec exited out of all of his tabs, closing his laptop before getting dressed again.  He sat down on his bed but instantly stood up again, pacing his room.  He tried sitting in his desk chair again but that only lasted about ten seconds before he was on his feet again.  He spotted the lotion still sitting out in the open and moved quickly to hide it back in a desk drawer though he knew there was no point now. 

Should he go talk to Magnus?  No, no, absolutely not. 

Instead he should just wait here until the floor opened up and swallowed him down into hell.  

 

Around an hour later, much to Alec’s disappointment, the floor had remained solid and he was still here on earth.  Magnus hadn’t come back to his room and while Alec was grateful for that, he wondered if that meant he had to go to Magnus.  This wasn’t exactly like the Instagram thing or the wrong person text message thing.  Even if Magnus hadn’t noticed that the guy in the porn had looked like him, he had still walked in on what Alec was doing.  And heard the video. 

Had he seen anything?  Alec felt his face burn hotter at the thought of it.  He had turned around and put his back to Magnus the moment he had seen him, but he didn’t know if he had in time. 

He didn’t want to ask, but he had to know.   He needed to go talk to Magnus.  Alec looked at his phone and swore.  He had to work soon.  There was no way he was going to be able to focus on anything at work with this hanging over his head.  He sent a message into his group chat with the other servers.

 

Group text: Everyone who sits at 56 is an asshole
Alec (8:40am): Any chance someone wants my 11am shift?
Clary (8:42am): I’ll take it! 
Clary (8:42am): I need the hours so thank you lol
Alec (8:42am): It’s all yours

 

Another full hour passed before Alec finally decided he’d go talk to Magnus.  If they didn’t address it, it would be the elephant in the room, keeping them from getting close to each other.  Alec knew that Magnus was giving him space and let him address it on his own terms, but he almost wished he wasn’t.  It was harder to actually make himself get up and go to Magnus. 

He wasn’t going to tell Izzy what happened, but Alec knew he needed the little kick of encouragement.

 

Alec (9:45am): Something kind of awkward happened between me and Magnus
Alec (9:45am): We haven’t talked about it yet
Alec (9:45am): Should I ignore it and just pretend it didn’t happen
Alec (9:46am): Or go talk to him about it.
Izzy (9:47am): this is such a stupid question i almost don’t even want to answer
Izzy (9:47am): like
Izzy (9:47am): what do you think big brother?
Alec (9:48am): …Talk to him
Izzy (9:48am): will you tell me what happened if i ask very nicely?
Alec (9:48am): Can’t.  Too much of his personal business.
Izzy (9:48am): alright for once, i’ll take no for an answer
Izzy (9:48am): as long as you go talk to him

 

So maybe Alec was lying a little, but he knew Izzy was more likely to respect Magnus’s privacy than his own. 

 

Forcing himself to his feet, Alec walked over to his still closed door.  He shifted his weight from foot to foot, taking a deep breath before opening it. 

And he almost walked directly into Magnus who had his fist raised to knock on the door.  They both stopped just short of hitting each other. 

“Sorry!”  They both said in unison, each taking a step back from the other. 

 

“I’m sorry, I was just coming to apologize.”  Magnus spoke first.  “I wasn’t supposed to be home and I shouldn’t have come in anyways after you didn’t say anything when I knocked.” 

Alec stepped aside to let Magnus in his room.  “It’s- it’s okay.”  Alec’s voice was gruffer than he intended, unable to meet Magnus’s eyes. 

“I’m also sorry I didn’t just shut the door right away, I wasn’t thinking.”  Magnus added as he sat down on the edge of Alec’s bed. 

“Did…you see anything?”  The question was asked quietly, Alec clearly nervous about the answer. 

“No, honest to god.”  Magnus said sincerely and Alec relaxed a little, sitting down on the bed next to Magnus though he still left a decent amount of space between them. 

 

As much as Alec would have loved to let this conversation die, he had to know. 

“The, uh, video?”  There.  He said it.  He needed to know if Magnus had realized the connection or not. 

“Alexander, you’re gay.  It’s not exactly a shock that you watch gay porn.”  Magnus said it so casually Alec flinched.  Magnus moved a little closer to him, looking a little concerned at the reaction.  “Alexander, is this…new for you?” 

Alec looked up, confused for a moment. 

“No, I’ve done that before.” 

 

Magnus was biting back a smile. 

“No, I meant the gay thing.” 

“Oh.”  Alec paused, feeling like an idiot for misinterpreting the question.  Why on earth had he assumed that Magnus was asking about his masturbation habits? 

 

“It’s not- It’s hard to explain.  I’ve known for a long time, Izzy’s known for a long time, but I didn’t actually tell her until I was around sixteen.  I didn’t come out to the rest of my family until I was twenty and it didn’t go over well.  So, it’s not new it’s just.  I don’t know, I guess I’m not used to hearing people be so casual about something I had to hide for such a long time.  Especially the sexual portion of it.”

“There’s nothing to be ashamed of, Alec.”  Magnus said and gently placed his arm around Alec, his soft tone was enough to make Alec forget why Magnus had even come in here to talk in the first place. 

“Thanks, Magnus.”

 

“Also, if you want a hand next time, my room is right there.”  Magnus added casually and Alec looked up at him, his expression somewhere between shocked, indignant, and embarrassed.

“Magnus!”

“Sorry, sorry, are we not joking about this yet?”  Magnus pulled his arm away to hold up both of his hands up in surrender and Alec shook his head.  The fact that Magnus wasn’t making a big awkward deal out of it helped him to feel the same way about it.  Well, not exactly the same way but at least less embarrassed. 

“Okay, I’m sorry, I didn’t realize it was still a touchy subject.” 

 

The pun took a moment to register with Alec and he wasn’t sure if it had been intentional or not until he saw the grin on Magnus’s face.  Alec took that moment to shove Magnus off of his bed but Magnus was laughing as he stumbled to his feet. 

“That was the last one, I promise.”  He said and Alec took a moment to scan his sentence for any more puns but once he cleared it, he shook his head. 

“Thanks for not making it weird.” 

“Oh, Alexander, you want weird?  You should hear some of the stories from my old roommates.  They were weird.”

Chapter Text

Alec had never really considered himself warm and fuzzy.  Actually, he had never really been big on physical contact at all.  From anyone.  The only exception he ever really made was for Izzy who liked to try to fix his clothing and was definitely a hugger.  He’d hug his mom, high five his brothers, and occasionally shake hands with his father, but Alec never sought out the physical affection. 

But over the course of the last few weeks, Magnus had changed that.  It seemed to come so easily to him.  Sometimes they were simple things like lightly brushing his hand over Alec’s shoulder in a gesture of thanks, sitting close enough to him on the couch for them to be touching, or grabbing his arm to lead him somewhere.  But other times it was Magnus resting his legs on him on the couch, Magnus pulling him into a hug after a long day, or even the time they’d watched a horror movie together and Magnus had spent part of his with both his arms wrapped around Alec’s and his face buried in Alec’s shoulder. 

Alec didn’t know what any of it meant.  If Magnus liked him, if he was flirting with him, or if this was just how Magnus acted with all of his friends.  He had gone through Magnus’s Instagram enough times to see plenty of pictures of him quite close to his friends.  There was one with him kissing Catarina on the cheek, one of him and two people Alec had never met before all snuggled on a couch together, and even one of Magnus behind Raphael, holding the clearly reluctant man in a prom pose. 

So, Alec didn’t know what to make of their interactions.  It felt like relationship stuff to Alec, but he had never been in a relationship before and he knew it had different connotations for Magnus.

 

At one point while they were watching TV, Alec decided to test the waters, just a little. 

“There’s a new busboy at work.”  Alec kept his gaze on the TV but was studying Magnus as best he could out of his peripheral vision.

“Yeah?”

“Yeah, he’s really hot.”  Alec glanced at Magnus trying to look for any hint of jealousy or disappointment.

“Oooo are you gonna go for it?” 

 

Alec tried not to feel disappointed with the response.  It was what he had expected after all. 

“Maybe, maybe not.  You know what they say about dating coworkers.” 

“Who said anything about dating?”  Magnus nudged Alec’s shoulder playfully and Alec forced a smile. 

 

---

 

Alec (9:31pm): Izzy
Alec (9:34pm): Izzy
Alec (9:38pm): Izzy
Izzy (9:40pm): jesus christ alec what
Alec (9:40pm): Fine I won’t tell you then
Izzy (9:40pm): ok

Alec stared at his phone screen for a moment.  She’d called his bluff.  He moved his phone slightly, getting it out of the way to make sure Magnus was still asleep before responding

Alec (9:41pm): Magnus and I were watching TV and he fell asleep
Izzy (9:41pm):……
Izzy (9:41pm): alec we’re going to have to sit down and have a talk about what counts as news
Alec (9:42pm): He’s asleep with his head in my lap
Izzy (9:42pm): !!!!!!!
Izzy (9:42pm): why didn’t you lead with that???
Izzy (9:42pm): how did this happen
Izzy (9:42pm): i need to know everything
Alec (9:43pm): You know how I told you he’s really affectionate?
Alec (9:43pm): Well he fell asleep with his head on my shoulder
Alec (9:43pm): And then just kinda
Alec (9:43pm): Slid
Izzy (9:44pm): that’s so precious omg
Alec (9:44pm): What do I do?
Izzy (9:44pm): what do you mean what do you do?
Izzy (9:44pm): you sit there and let the handsome man sleep on you

 

---

 

Izzy wasn’t scheduled to show up until seven, so it came as a surprise to both him and Magnus when a there was a knock on their door at about 5:30pm. 

“Your sister?”  Magnus questioned and Alec shook his head.

“No way.  She’s never been early in her life and I promise she’s not starting now.  Especially not an hour and a half early.”  Alec got up from where he had been studying at the kitchen table and looked out the peephole. 

 

He wasn’t sure who he had expected but it certainly hadn’t been Jace.  Alec undid the chain and opened the door, cautiously looking at his brother.  They hadn’t spoken since Jace had come to pick up his things. 

“Hey Alec, can I come in?”  Jace asked and Alec stepped back to make room for him.  Jace spotted Magnus sitting on the couch and looked back at Alec.  “Does he have to be in here?”

Alec frowned at that, but Magnus stood up. 

“It’s fine, I know when I’m not welcome.”  He said calmly. 

“Magnus you don’t have to-“ But Magnus waved him off, walking away to disappear in his room though he kept his door open. 

 

“What is it, Jace?”  Alec asked as Jace took a seat at the table and Alec sat across from him. 

“You have to let me move back in.”  The words were a shock to Alec, and he stared at Jace in disbelief as he went on.  “We’re getting evicted.  Jordan never cleans up anything and he has no money and it’s not working out.” 

Alec continued to stare at Jace. 

“Doesn’t that sound like someone you know?”  He finally said and when Jace looked confused, Alec sighed.  “You, Jace.” 

“Well I’ll do better.”  Jace spoke like it was already a done deal. 

“You’ve said that before so excuse me if I don’t buy it this time.  Besides, I already have a roommate.  No available rooms.” 

 

“You can just kick him out.”

“Absolutely not.” 

“Come on Alec.  What, is he your boyfriend now or something?  Should have figured.”

“You know Jace, I actually thought you were here to apologize to me.”  Alec knew he should have known better than to believe that. 

“Why?”  

 

Alec rubbed his temples. 

“Forget it.  You can’t stay here.” 

“Why?  I was here before him.”  Jace sounded petulant.

“Why?”  Alec repeated.  “Jace, are you forgetting how things worked out last time?  You never paid your share of the rent, you never picked up after yourself, and you moved out with barely any notice.  You really think I want you back here after you screwed me over like that?” 

 

Jace huffed and leaned back in his chair, clearly not used to Alec denying him anything. 

“Then where am I supposed to go?  You’re just gonna let me be homeless?  Your own brother?”  Alec knew exactly what Jace was doing but there was no way Jace was going to guilt trip him into letting him stay here.

“Home.”

“What?  I just told you we’re getting evicted-“

“No, I mean home.  With mom and dad.” 

 

“You’ve got to be joking.”  Jace was indignant.  “I don’t want to go back there.”

“Why?  Because they won’t let you smoke weed in the house?  Because you can’t stumble in drunk at 4am, waking everybody up?”  Alec refused to budge and something in his gaze seemed to make Jace realize that. 

 

“Fine.  Thanks for nothing.”  Jace finally said, pushing his chair back hard as he got up from the table. 

“You’re welcome.” 

 

Jace slammed the door behind him and Alec remained seated, enjoying the sense of satisfaction he felt by treating Jace the same way Jace had always treated him.  He didn’t hear Magnus come out of his room until Magnus’s hands were on his shoulders. 

“You know, that was kind of hot.”  Magnus leaned in as he spoke, giving Alec’s shoulders a squeeze. 

“What?”  Alec felt his heart rate increase. 

“You not taking any of his shit.  Proud of you.”  Magnus removed his hands and walked over to the fridge.  “I’m going to start on dinner.”

 

---

 

 “You must be Magnus!”  Izzy pushed past her brother to embrace the man standing a few feet behind him and Alec closed his eyes.  He was finally making good on his promise to introduce the two of them and it already felt like a bad idea.

“And you must be Izzy.”  Magnus laughed as he hugged her back. 

“Don’t make me regret this.”  He mumbled, shutting the door and turning to face the two of them. 

“Oh stop.  Here, take this.”  Izzy let go of Magnus to hand Alec a bottle of wine. 

 

“And she brought wine?  I like you.”  Magnus commented and Izzy beamed at him. 

“Thank you.”  Izzy said as she walked further into the kitchen.  “Alec didn’t want me over because he thought I’d embarrass him.” 

“I can’t imagine why I thought that.”  Alec mumbled as he followed the two of them.  He walked over to the counter to uncork the wine.  Alcohol was definitely going to be needed tonight. 

 

“You know,”  Izzy leaned against the counter while Alec poured the wine and Magnus checked on the lasagna in the oven.  “You’re even more attractive in person than Alec said.” 

Alec paused mid-pour to close his eyes.  This was exactly why he hadn’t had her over sooner.  He figured Magnus knew he was attracted to him by now- he’d be an idiot to not think Magnus knew- but he didn’t need Izzy to announce it. 

“You undersold me, Alexander?”  Magnus shut the oven and put a hand on his chest. 

“Alexander?”  Izzy sounded absolutely gleeful.  “He lets you call him Alexander?”

Magnus cocked an eyebrow and Alec was deeply invested in making sure there was an even amount of wine in each glass. 

“Does he not usually?” 

“He-“ Izzy started but Alec spoke over her. 

“Who wants wine?”  Alec asked loudly, holding out two glasses. 

 

Magnus accepted his with a wink and Alec shifted his gaze to Izzy, giving her a look.  She returned a bright smile as she took her glass and then turned her attention to Magnus. 

“So, Magnus.  What do you do?  Alec’s been so secretive about you.” 

“Only so you’d have something to talk to him about that wasn’t me.”  Alec cut in before Magnus could comment on it. 

Magnus smiled at that. 

“I intern at a law firm.” 

“Oh?  Which one?  I mean I don’t know a lot of them but if it’s a big name I might recognize it.”

“Garroway and Fell.  I just started about a week ago.”  Magnus said casually.

“Oh!  I’ve actually heard of that.  Impressive.”  Izzy said approvingly.  “He’s a keeper.”  She added to Alec who was downing his wine at an alarming pace. 

 

“How about you?  Still in school?”  Magnus questioned, lips quirked up in a smile as he watched Alec refill his own wine glass. 

“Yup.  Forensic science.” 

“Equally impressive.”  Magnus said approvingly.  “Brains and beauty.  Just like your brother.”  And Izzy laughed. 

 

Once the food was ready, Magnus insisted both of them sit down while he got it out of the oven, and Alec chose that moment to have a silent conversation with Izzy. 

“What are you doing?”  He mouthed and Izzy shrugged. 

“Having fun, Alexander.”  She mouthed back.

“Stop.”

 

“Alec said you like Italian?”  Magnus confirmed as he sat down the lasagna in the middle of the table then walked back over to the oven to retrieve the garlic bread.  There was already a salad waiting on the table. 

“Oh absolutely.  This looks fantastic.”  And though she was talking about the food, her eyes weren’t on the food.  Instead she watched the way Magnus brushed Alec’s shoulders with his hand as he passed by him to get to his seat.  Izzy was sitting across from Alec, and Magnus was next to Alec.

 

“So, Magnus.  Girlfriend?  Boyfriend?”  Izzy already knew the answer, but she asked anyways. 

“Neither at the moment.  Enjoying the single life.”  Magnus didn’t seem bothered by the question though he avoided mentioning his recent breakup. 

“How about you, Izzy?”  Alec finally cut into the conversation.  He knew Izzy had been about to loudly announce that Alec was single too and he wanted to avoid that very much.  That was already information Magnus already had and Izzy didn’t need to shout it across the table. 

“Single for the moment.  I’ve been texting a pretty girl at Alec’s work though.” 

“Izzy.  Can you not date my coworkers?”  Alec groaned and Izzy shrugged. 

“I mean.  Technically I’m capable of not doing it but that doesn’t mean I won’t.” 

 

“I really like her.”  Magnus said, laughing.  “Much better than the other one I met.”

“Let me guess, Jace?” 

“That’d be the one.” 

“Well, I am the best out of the four of us.”  Izzy tossed her hair over her shoulder, shooting a smile at Alec who rolled his eyes. 

 

“Oh, Izzy, I’ve been meaning to ask you, there was something about a show you and Alexander were talking about the other week that sounded really interesting.  Something about two hot friends or something?  I don’t remember exactly.  What show was it?”

Alec and Izzy both had very, very different reactions to this.  Izzy started laughing so hard Alec was surprised wine didn’t come out of her nose.  Alec, on the other hand, winced and shut his eyes, shoulders going up.  Magnus already knew what that had been about.  Did he really have to get confirmation from his sister too?

“Oh, that show!”  Izzy started but laughter overtook her again.

“I’m never letting you two in the same room together ever again.”  Alec grumbled, reaching for the second bottle of wine they’d opened, one of Magnus’s this time, to pour what might have been his fifth glass of wine.

 

The conversation turned back to their careers and Alec was finally able to relax, watching as Magnus and his sister spoke.  Their careers were different, but the paths did cross so it made sense why they were so interested in each other’s. 

As they finished eating, Magnus reached over and put his hand on Alec’s upper arm to get his attention. 

“Dessert?”  He questioned and Alec nodded. 

“Yeah.” 

He could feel Izzy’s eyes on him as he got up to get it but ignored her. 

 

There was nothing Alec could do to prevent Izzy and Magnus from exchanging numbers.  He was feeling fairly tipsy, maybe even a little drunk, from the amount of wine he had had but still made Izzy to promise to text him when she got home. 

“So wonderful meeting you!”  Magnus hugged her again before she left.  Once the door was shut, he turned to Alec.  “Your sister is an absolute delight.”

“That’s one word for it.”  Alec said, more than a hint of a slur to his words. 

“And you, my dear, have had far too much wine.  It’s bedtime.” 

Alec tried to protest but Magnus herded him into his room anyways, reminding him that he had class tomorrow.  Fuck.  That was right.  Class.

 

“Are you gonna stay with me?”  Alec asked as he sat down heavily on his bed.  The room was spinning a little and, okay, maybe he was more than a little drunk.  He didn’t even think about the question before he asked it, just wanting Magnus to stay near him. 

“Not tonight.”  Magnus replied, tracing a hand down one of Alec’s alcohol flushed cheeks.  Alec closed his eyes at the touch.  Magnus’s hand felt cool against his warm skin.

“Okay.” 

“You stay here, I’m going to get you some water.”  Magnus said and Alec nodded.  He started taking off his shoes and had both off before his phone buzzed.

 

Izzy (11:03pm): what the fuck alec
Alec (11:03pm): ???
Izzy (11:03pm): when did this go from
Izzy (11:03pm): he’s so hot
Izzy (11:03pm): to you two just
Izzy (11:04pm): fucking dating??
Alec (11:04pm): We’re nt datng
Izzy (11:04pm): i felt like i was at a married couple’s dinner party tonight
Izzy (11:04pm): i mean i approve, but own up to it at least
Alec (11:04pm): nahhh
Alec (11:05pm): wish we were though
Izzy (11:05pm): alec don’t do anything stupid tonight

 

Alec dropped his phone as Magnus walked back in, handing Alec a glass of water. 

“Is your alarm set?”  Magnus asked, picking up Alec’s phone to check for him, then set it back down.  “You’re going to be so hungover tomorrow.”  He commented, shaking his head. 

“I’ll be fine.”  Alec argued, setting the empty glass on his nightstand. 

“You won’t and I’m going to refill that for you and you’re going to thank me in the morning.”  Magnus plucked up the empty glass and walked out again. 

 

Alec (11:07pm): I’m not I’m going to bed
Alec (11:07pm): Tried
Izzy (11:08pm): i’m gonna assume that was supposed to say tired. 
Izzy (11:08pm): goodnight, i’ll text ur boo when i’m home safe

 

Alec set his phone down on his nightstand, at least having the presence of mind to plug it into his charger.  He was swept by a strong wave of exhaustion as the alcohol continued to work its effect.  Alec pulled off his shirt and yawned, throwing it on the floor where he could deal with it tomorrow.  He was halfway through taking off his jeans when Magnus came back in with the full glass of water. 

“Oh.  Sorry.”  Magnus made to turn around but at the moment, Alec couldn’t be bothered. 

“S’ fine.”  Alec kicked off the rest of his jeans before laying down on top of his covers.  Comfortable. 

 

Magnus sighed and set the glass of water down on the nightstand before reaching for Alec. 

“Come here, up.”  Magnus sounded fondly amused much to Alec’s confusion.  Magnus had just been telling him to go to bed.  But he took Magnus’s hand anyways and let him help him to his feet again.  He watched as Magnus pulled back his comforter and sheets. 

“You really don’t drink often, do you?”  Magnus commented and as tired as he was, Alec felt incredibly aware of how close to Magnus he was.  Magnus put a hand on Alec’s bare chest and Alec’s heart started to race but Magnus was only pushing him back down onto his bed.  “You’re very drunk, darling.  Go to sleep.” 

 

Alec nodded, getting under the blankets. 

“Thanks Magnus.”  He mumbled and his eyes were closed too quickly to see the way Magnus smiled at him. 

 

---

 

Alec didn’t fully recover from his hangover until Tuesday.  Monday was spent emailing his professors that he was sick, then laying in bed all day.  He remembered most of the night, but the end got a little fuzzy.  All he knew was that he drank way, way too much. 

 

Magnus (11:34am): Did you go to class?
Alec (11:35am): Never let me drink again
Magnus (11:35am): I’ll take that as a no? 
Alec (11:35am): I feel like garbage
Alec (11:35am): Thanks for the water
Magnus (11:36am): You’re very welcome
Magnus (11:36am): You’re a very cute drunk, by the way

 

Alec closed his eyes against the bright screen of his phone.  His blinds were drawn, and his lights were off.  His phone was the only light in his room and the brightness was all the way down.  He was too hungover to know how to deal with Magnus’s flirting right now.  His head was pounding but the message was still enough to make him smile.

 

Magnus (11:38am): You also took your pants off in front of me.
Alec (11:40am): Magnus I am way too hungover for this
Magnus (11:40am): Okay okay
Magnus (11:40am): Feel better
Magnus (11:41am): Let me know if you want me to pick you up anything on the way home.

 

Honestly, Alec was too hungover to be embarrassed by that tidbit of information.  It could have been worse.  He was just glad he hadn’t thrown himself at Magnus.  Or at least, he was pretty sure he hadn’t.  Oh god.  What if he had? 

Alec set his phone down again to roll over and groan into his pillow.  He found himself doing that a lot these days. 

 

Magnus would have told him if he had done something like that, right?  Alec searched his memory.  He remembered Izzy leaving and looking at his texts, he had gone to bed shortly after.  There was maybe fifteen minutes he didn’t really remember from last night.  That didn’t leave much time for him to do something stupid.  Or at least he hoped so. 

 

Alec managed to fall asleep again, drifting in and out of sleep until his phone went off with a text from Izzy.

 

Izzy (3:33pm): A L E X A N D E R
Alec (3:36pm): ……..
Alec (3:36pm): You woke me up
Izzy (3:36pm): hey i had the good grace to not text you till after 3pm
Izzy (3:37pm): skipped class?
Alec (3:37pm): Called in sick to work too but it’s fine
Alec (3:37pm): Clary always wants my shifts anyways
Izzy (3:37pm): >.>
Izzy (3:37pm): i’ve been meaning to stop by
Alec (3:38pm): I don’t know why I even told you that
Izzy (3:38pm): last night was so much fun
Izzy (3:38pm): i love seeing u drunk
Izzy (3:38pm): and i LOVE magnus
Izzy (3:38pm): also i can’t believe u let magnus call u alexander
Izzy (3:38pm): you two are waaaay too cute
Alec (3:39pm): We’re just friends
Alec (3:39pm): And I fucked up and introduced myself with my full name
Alec (3:39pm): And you try saying no to that face
Izzy (3:40pm): awwwwwwwww
Izzy (3:40pm): and bullshit you’re just friends
Alec (3:40pm): He just has a flirty personality Izzy
Alec (3:40pm): It has nothing to do with me
Izzy (3:41pm): alec please.  i know you aren’t this dumb
Izzy (3:41pm): also when were u planning on telling me that you’re in love w/ him?
Alec (3:41pm): I’m not in love with him
Izzy (3:42pm): you’re in love with him
Alec (3:43pm): You’re in love with him
Izzy (3:43pm): ohhhh my god alec
Alec (3:43pm): I’m going back to sleep
Izzy (3:44pm): ok but i’m bringing this up again later lover boy

 

“Alec?”  Alec woke up to Magnus shaking him gently.  “Hey, sorry to wake you up.  I brought you soup.” 

Alec sat up in bed, reaching over to turn on his bedside lamp so there was more light in his room aside from the light from the hallway.  And there was Magnus, looking as handsome as ever in a charcoal suit, holding a takeout bag. 

“Oh.  Thank you so much.”  He looked at his clock.  It was past 6pm.  He really had slept all day. 

“Do you want to eat in here?” 

“No, no, I’ll eat at the table.  I’m feeling a lot better after sleeping all day.”  He admitted and Magnus nodded. 

“Okay.” 

 

Alec waited a moment, but Magnus was still standing there.

“I’ll meet you in the kitchen.  I’m not wearing pants, so I need to get dressed.” 

“That didn’t seem to matter to you last night.”  Magnus teased but still left Alec to get dressed in private. 

 

---

 

“It’s still not working.”  Magnus sighed as he smacked the side of the DVD player again while Alec sat on the couch, cleaning off the back of the DVD as best he could.

“Try putting in a different movie.  I can’t tell if it’s the player or your disc.”  Alec suggested, holding the disc in his hand up to the light to better examine it for scratches or smudges. 

Magnus walked over to Alec’s DVD collection, shaking his head a little. 

“I never would have pegged you for someone who owned this many action and fighting movies.”  Magnus commented as he plucked Cinderella Man from the shelf and inserted the disc into the player.  They were greeted with the same blank screen. 

“I used to do MMA.  Bit of jiu jitsu, bit of boxing.”  Alec didn’t look up as he said it, but he saw Magnus whip around to look at him.

“What?”

“What?  What’s so surprising about that?”  Alec almost felt defensive, but the look Magnus was giving him was far from judgmental. 

 

“Nothing, I just always assumed you were the gentle giant type.”  Magnus gave him a quick once over before turning back to the malfunctioning DVD player. 

“There’s a lot you don’t know about me.”  Alec commented as he put Magnus’s DVD back in its case.

“I intend to find out.” 

 

“It looks like the DVD player is busted.”  Alec said with a sigh and Magnus sat down on the couch next to him. 

“I’d say we could just rent it on Amazon or something, but someone doesn’t have a smart tv.”  Magnus pushed his shoulder against Alec’s. 

“Hey, you try living with Jace for six months and see if you have any money to replace an old tv.”  He pushed against Magnus back, trying not to enjoy the feeling of pressing against him as much as he did. 

 

“How about we watch it on my laptop?”  Magnus suggested and Alec shrugged. 

“You really want to watch this movie, don’t you?” 

“Alexander it’s completely unacceptable that you’ve gone twenty-something years without seeing Toy Story.”  Magnus said firmly.  “I’d be an awful friend if I didn’t make you watch it.” 

 

That was how they wound up sitting on Magnus’s bed, shoulder to shoulder, with Magnus’s laptop balanced between their legs.  Alec had been planning on suggesting they watch it on the couch but before he could, Magnus had settled onto his bed and looked expectantly at Alec and he hadn’t been able to resist. 

 

Alec wasn’t sure what time he had dozed off, but it had definitely been before the movie ended.  Actually, it was probably before the middle of the movie.  Maybe even towards the beginning.  When he opened his eyes, the credits were rolling down Magnus’s laptop screen and Alec could feel a hand gently moving through his hair.  As he blinked the sleep from his eyes, he became aware that his head was on Magnus’s chest and Magnus had one arm around him, his hand running through his hair. 

“Hey there sleepyhead.”

“Mm.”  Alec was well aware that this felt a lot more than friendly but he didn’t want to move.  He was too comfortable to be nervous.

“I can’t believe you fell asleep during Toy Story.”

“It’s long.”

“Alexander, it’s not even an hour and a half.”  Magnus laughed, shutting his laptop, leaning over Alec, and setting it on his nightstand, the only light now filtering in Magnus’s open door from the hall. 

“Who won?”  Alec asked, lifting his head a little to look at Magnus. 

“What?” 

 

“The cowboy or the astronaut.”

“How early did you fall asleep?”  Magnus’s chest was shaking with laughter and Alec sat up a little bit more. 

“What’s so funny?”  Alec asked and Magnus shook his head. 

“You’re lucky you’re so pretty.” 

 

It was in that moment Alec suddenly became aware of how close their faces were.  This was much, much more than friendly, platonic contact.  He could pretend the cuddling was just them being comfortable with each other. 

“Magnus.” 

“Alec.” 

“I want…”  Alec couldn’t seem to find the rest of the words. 

“Yes?”  Magnus was even closer to him now. 

 

“I want-“  Alec started again, close enough to Magnus’s lips to feel his breath. 

“Take what you want.”  Magnus breathed. 

 

It didn’t matter that they were roommates.  It didn’t matter that this was probably purely physical on Magnus’s end.  It didn’t matter that Alec had never done any of this before.  Right now, the only thing that mattered was closing the slight distance between their lips.  Alec leaned in to do just that and then he was doing it, he was kissing Magnus. 

Alec didn’t know what he had expected from his first kiss, but this was better than he could have imagined.  Magnus’s lips were soft and eager against his and Alec leaned into him more, not wanting Magnus to pull away anytime soon.  Magnus didn’t seem to want that either, his hand rediscovering its place in Alec’s hair, gripping it lightly instead of simply running his fingers through it this time. 

Alec lifted one of his own hands to put it on the side of Magnus’s face, trying to get as close to Magnus as he could.  They broke apart for just a moment, foreheads still pressed together as they both caught their breath, then the distance was closed again.  This time Alec felt Magnus’s lips part against his and Alec followed his lead, losing himself in the taste of Magnus. 

 

A sudden gasp left Alec’s lips as Magnus pulled back to lightly nip at Alec’s lower lip.  Alec could feel a smile on Magnus’s lips as he deepened the kiss again, clearly pleased with Alec’s reaction. 

Magnus shifted next to him and Alec felt Magnus’s hand on the thigh that wasn’t pressed against Magnus, grabbing it and pulling in his direction to clearly indicate what he wanted.  Before he let himself think about it, Alec went with the motion, moving his body so he was on top of Magnus, one leg on either side of one of Magnus’s.  He didn’t think to tell Magnus that he didn’t know what he was doing, instead he just kept kissing him, needing him. 

 

Magnus ran a hand up Alec’s back, underneath his shirt, coming to a rest between his shoulder blades and the feeling made Alec shudder.  Alec shifted his weight to one of his elbows, resting more of his body against Magnus’s so he could free up a hand to finally feel up the muscles in Magnus’s chest though quickly pressed his hand against it to brace himself and regain his balance.  Magnus laughed softly into the kiss but there was no mocking intent behind it.  Just playfully amused. 

“Would you like me to be on top?”  Magnus broke the kiss long enough to say and words deserted Alec.  Instead he just nodded and moved off of Magnus and onto his back and let Magnus climb on top of him instead.  “Are you okay with this?”  Magnus was straddling him, looking down at him. 

“Yes.  Yes please.”  Alec reached up to try and pull Magnus back down to him and Magnus leaned down to kiss him again, shifting his position to get one of his legs between Alec’s. 

 

This was even better than what Alec had imagined between them.  Magnus pushed his thigh against Alec and Alec groaned, the friction catching him off guard. 

More.  He needed more. 

Alec copied Magnus’s motion from earlier, running his hands underneath Magnus’s shirt except he caught the hem with his fingers and yanked it up.  Magnus broke the kiss just long enough to sit up, pull the shirt the rest of the way off, then his lips were against Alec’s again. 

Alec ran his hands down Magnus’s back then up his chest, finally able to feel the muscles he’d been staring at the last few weeks. 

“God.”  Alec mumbled against Magnus’s lips.

“You can call me Magnus.”

 

Alec’s laugh was cut off as Magnus dipped his head low to nip at the skin on Alec’s neck.  Alec gripped Magnus’s arms as he felt his teeth scrape against him and he jerked his hips up, trying to get more friction from Magnus’s thigh. 

Magnus pulled back and Alec moved his hands, pushing himself up on his elbows to try and follow Magnus’s lips.  His heart was pounding as Magnus grabbed the hem of Alec’s shirt and pulled it off him, Alec having to shift his weight again to help Magnus get it off. 

Alec laid back again and each press of Magnus’s bare chest against his own sent another ripple of electricity though his body.  Then Magnus pushed his hips down against Alec’s, grinding their erections together and the electricity turned to fire and Alec dug his nails into Magnus’s biceps.   

 

“Fuck.”  Alec hissed.  In a sudden, lust fueled moment of boldness, Alec moved one of his hands off of Magnus’s arm and pushed it underneath the waistband of Magnus’s sweatpants and briefs and Magnus gasped this time. 

“Alexander.”  Magnus groaned but then pulled away from Alec.  Alec wanted to reach out and grab him again, but Magnus was getting off the bed.  Had that been too much?  Alec opened his mouth to apologize but Magnus spoke before he could. 

“Get your pants off.”  The commanding tone went straight to his dick. 

 

Alec yanked his pants off as Magnus stepped out of his own, leaving Alec in a pair of black boxer briefs and Magnus in a pair of red briefs that clung to his body in the most entrancing way.  Alec stared at him as Magnus pulled open a drawer, committing the image to memory. 

When Alec saw what Magnus pulled out, nerves suddenly flooded through him.  Lube.  Did Magnus think they were going to have sex?  His mind was racing, trying to think of the best way to tell Magnus that he was a virgin. 

But Magnus climbed back on top of him, squeezing some into his own hand before holding it out to Alec and Alec realized with relief that they were just using it for the same thing Alec used lotion for. 

 

Alec copied the amount Magnus had used but it was hard to concentrate when Magnus tugged down Alec’s boxer briefs just enough to start stroking him.  The feeling of the lube was cold at first but with Magnus’s hand, it quickly warmed up and Alec could only describe the sensation as blissful.

Still following Magnus’s lead, Alec did the same thing.  Magnus’s cock was hard and heavy in his hand as Alec curled his fingers around it and started stroking him.  The only thing that stopped Alec from finishing right away was the focus he was placing on what he was doing to Magnus.  Trying to learn what got which reaction out of him.  Though Magnus was far from shy about what he wanted. 

“Tighten your grip a little, darling.  Just like that.”  Magnus had dipped his face low again to press kisses against Alec’s neck the murmured the words by his ear. 

 

Alec didn’t need to give Magnus any instruction.  Magnus seemed to already know exactly how to touch him.  The right grip, the right speed, and Alec was trying not to squirm too much underneath him. 

“Fuck.”   Alec moaned again.  He didn’t have the words to tell Magnus how good it felt so he settled on the single swear word.  His body was tense underneath Magnus’s and each pump of his hand sent another jolt to the tightly coiled heat inside him.  He was trying to focus on Magnus and getting him off, but he was so fucking close. 

 

“You can come, pretty boy.  No need to wait for me.” 

If Alec wasn’t gone before that, he was now.  Magnus continued stroking him as Alec came, his own rhythm on Magnus stuttering as his body shuddered, pleasure coursing through his entire body.  Magnus waited until Alec was completely finished before taking his hand off of him and putting it over Alec’s own hand, helping Alec keep up the pace on Magnus’s cock in his post orgasm haze. 

It wasn’t long before Magnus moaned loud and Alec felt the heat of Magnus’s cum on his chest.  Magnus let go of Alec’s hand and Alec’s arm dropped limply to his side.  Magnus got off of him, laying next to him instead.  Alec figured they were supposed to clean up now, but he couldn’t be expected to move after that. 

 

“God I’ve wanted to do that ever since I first saw you.”  Magnus was still catching his breath as he turned on his side to look at Alec. 

“Same.”  Was all Alec managed.  Magnus sat up and leaned over Alec to grab the tissue box off of his nightstand. 

“Sorry, you’re probably gonna need a shower but this is all I have for now.”  Magnus said as he offered the box to Alec.  Alec still felt a little dazed as he grabbed a few of the tissues, realizing that they had both finished on Alec’s torso.  He started wiping himself off, trying to clean off as best he could.

 

“You okay?”  Magnus’s voice sounded concerned and Alec realized he had only said one word in the past few minutes. 

“Yeah.” 

“You sure?  You seem a little out of it.”  Magnus put a hand on Alec’s shoulder, rubbing it gently. 

“Yeah I’m okay.  You’re just really good at that.  And hot.”  Alec finally got more than one word out and Magnus smiled. 

“I could say the same for you.” 

 

Once they had both done as much clean up as they could do without a shower, Magnus surprised Alec by laying back down and pulling Alec close to him.  It felt warm and comforting against Magnus’s chest and Alec closed his eyes. 

 

And that’s where the overthinking came in.  Magnus seemed perfectly content, but Alec’s brain was running double time.  He had just hooked up with Magnus.  He had just experienced so many firsts and he was pretty sure Magnus had no idea that they were firsts for Alec.  God he probably saw this as just a hookup, a friends with benefits thing.  What on earth was Alec doing?  He already had feelings for Magnus and this, without a doubt, intensified them even more.  He wasn’t sure he could handle Magnus holding him now but then treating him like a friend again later.  Sure, a friend he flirted with, but he would still be just a friend. 

Great.  His first sexual experience and now he was panicking about it.  Alec didn’t know what to do.  He couldn’t just roll over and tell Magnus that he didn’t want this if it was just going to be a physical thing, that if they were going to do this then Alec wanted the real thing.  He didn’t think he could handle the rejection.  No part of him wanted to do this whole friends with benefits thing, no matter how attracted to Magnus he was.    He needed to process this without the intense distraction of Magnus’s body heat behind him.  He knew they’d have to talk about it eventually, but right now Alec wanted to put off the rejection as long as he possibly could and if he woke up next to Magnus tomorrow morning, they’d have that conversation. 

 

He wasn’t sure how long he laid there, overthinking the entire situation, but he was pretty sure Magnus was asleep by now.  So, Alec disentangled himself from Magnus as gently as he could, grabbed his clothes, and quietly moved back to his own room, shutting the door behind him.  His thoughts were too loud to hear Magnus’s mumbled

“Alec?”

Or to see the way Magnus’s expression fell when he realized Alec was sneaking out like this was a one-night stand. 

Chapter Text

There were much more mature ways to handle this and Alec knew it.  He lived with Magnus for Christ’s sake; they were going to have to talk about it at some point.  He needed to just sit down with Magnus and have this conversation.  But as much as Alec knew they needed to talk about it, the looming axe of rejection hung over his head and he wanted to avoid it at all costs.  And to be perfectly honest, he knew that putting it off was making it worse.  It was just giving him more anxiety and it would better to just rip the band aid off and get it over with.  But that didn’t mean he was actually going to do that. 

 

Magnus had already left for work when Alec woke up on Wednesday morning.  He didn’t even hear from him till later in the afternoon, which Alec guessed was his lunch break. 

 

Magnus (1:34pm): Are you home for dinner tonight?
Magnus (1:34pm): We should probably talk about what happened

 

Alec stared at his phone for around ten minutes before finally replying. 


Alec (1:45pm): I picked up a shift tonight
Alec (1:46pm): Sorry
Alec (1:46pm): Need the money

 

He knew he was fucking up as he sent it.  But he needed more time to think about what he was going to say to Magnus when they did talk.  Besides, he wasn’t lying.  He had called off more than few shifts lately and he needed to make up the missed hours.  He just left out the detail that he was doing it to avoid this conversation with Magnus as well. 

Alec could all but hear Izzy’s voice in his head, yelling at him to just talk to Magnus.  That he couldn’t avoid this conversation forever.  Which was exactly he hadn’t told her about any of it yet.  He knew he was being an idiot without her telling him too.  

 

Magnus (1:50pm): Oh, okay
Magnus (1:50pm): Tomorrow night?
Alec (1:52pm): I’m closing
Magnus (1:52pm): I might still be up when you get home
Alec (1:54pm): Okay
Alec (1:54pm): Sounds good

 

Alec closed his eyes.  So, he had an extra day to think about everything.  To figure out some sort of way to explain to Magnus why he had sort of freaked out and left.  To find the right words to tell Magnus that he wanted more from him without setting himself up for rejection.  Maybe he could get Magnus to say what he wanted first and then Alec could agree to whatever Magnus said. 

If Magnus said it was just a hookup, then Alec could agree and say it shouldn’t happen again.  It would suck, but it was the situation Alec needed to prepare himself for.  He knew he needed to stick to his word about it not happening again if that was the case.  He wasn’t sure how he’d be able to turn down a friends with benefits arrangement when he was looking right at Magnus.  He knew it wasn’t what he wanted between them, but Magnus tended to make his rational thought go out the window. 

In the unlikely event that Magnus did want something more, then they could figure it out from there.  Alec didn’t let himself think this scenario through though.  He didn’t need to get his hopes up like that. 

 

---

 

Alec took his time heading home after work on Thursday night.  He had rehearsed what he was going to say so many times he may as well have made flashcards or an entire PowerPoint presentation.  Maybe Magnus would already be asleep when he got home.  But Alec had a strong feeling that that wasn’t going to be the case. 

He took a moment outside their apartment door to collect his thoughts and take a deep breath, then headed inside. 

 

“Hey Alexander.”  Magnus greeted him from the couch.

And, fuck, Alec should have actually made flashcards because everything he’d been rehearsing the past few days was now just blank. 

“How was work?”  Magnus went on and, honestly, Alec just wanted to get the conversation over with, skip the small talk.

“It was fine.  How about you?”  His mouth felt dry.

“Good.  We’re wrapping up a case tomorrow.  I think we’re all going to go out and celebrate.” 

 

Alec sat down on the couch next to Magnus though his posture was stiff, and he was perched on the edge of the couch, clearly not relaxed. 

“Are you okay?”  Magnus moved closer to Alec on the couch. 

“So, we hooked up.  It wasn’t a big deal.”  The words were out of his mouth before he could stop himself.  He didn’t know what had possessed him to say them but once he started talking, he just kept going. 

“I mean these things happen between friends sometimes, right?  A one-time thing, you know?”  Alec would have loved nothing more than to shut up.  He didn’t even know why he was saying what he was.  It wasn’t how he felt all.  “We don’t have to make a big thing out of it or anything.”

 

“Well, if that’s how you feel about it, then that’s what it can be.”  Magnus’s expression was impossible to read as he spoke.  “We don’t have to talk about it again if you don’t want to.”

“Perfect.  Great.  Excellent.”  Alec stood up from the couch and this time he caught the slight flicker of surprise on Magnus’s face before he suppressed it. 

“Okay then.”  Magnus’s tone was even as he spoke, standing up as well. 

“Goodnight-“

“Alexander, wait just a minute.” 

Alec froze, feeling his heart rate increase even more than it already had at the start of the conversation.  Well, if you could call Alec rambling the opposite of his feelings a conversation. 

“What’s up?” 

“Did you want to join us tomorrow night?” 

“What?” 

“Me and some of my co workers and some of their friends, going out tomorrow night.”

“I work.”

“You could stop by after work.”

“I won’t be off till after eleven.”  Alec knew he was being a jerk.  Magnus was clearly trying to get things back to normal between them.  “I’m sorry.”  He added and Magnus nodded.

“No worries, I just thought I’d extend the invitation.  I invited Cat too.”  Magnus was still hard to read, and Alec couldn’t figure out if Magnus was disappointed or not.  “Goodnight.”  Magnus added, resting his hand on Alec’s shoulder for a beat as he passed him, and Alec closed his eyes. 

 

He had really fucked that up. 

 

---

 

Friday morning, Alec finally caved.  He had spent all night last night and most of this morning thinking about the mess of a conversation they’d had.  He needed advice. 

 

Alec (11:23am): Hey so
Alec (11:23am): I might have fucked something up
Alec (11:23am): But you can’t be mad at me.
Izzy (11:30am): what did you do??
Alec (11:30am): I’d really like to put an emphasis on you not being mad at me
Izzy (11:30am): what
Izzy (11:30am): did
Izzy (11:30am): you
Izzy (11:30am): do?
Alec (11:32am): So the other night I sort of hooked up with Magnus
Izzy (11:32am): ALEXANDER GIDEON LIGHTWOOD
Izzy (11:32am): WHEN EXACTLY DID THIS HAPPEN?
Izzy (11:33am): WHAT EXACTLY DO YOU MEAN BY HOOK UP?
Izzy (11:33am): ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT HAVING SEX?
Alec (11:34am): Tuesday night, I’m not telling you that, and no, I’m talking about hooking up
Izzy (11:34am): This happened on Tuesday night and this is the first I’m hearing about it?

 

Alec could already tell by the sudden switch in Izzy’s casual texting style that he was in trouble.  She definitely wasn’t going to like this next part. 

 

Alec (11:36am): There’s more
Alec (11:36am): I haven’t really gotten to the bigger fuck up yet
Izzy (11:37am): ………
Alec (11:37am): I might have left and gone back to my room once he fell asleep
Alec (11:37am): And then avoided him for two days
Izzy (11:38am): Oh my god.
Alec (11:38am): We talked about it last night and I told him it wasn’t a big deal
Alec (11:38am): I think I told him that it was
Alec (11:38am): Just a thing friends did sometimes
Izzy (11:39am): Do you have a single functioning brain cell? 
Izzy (11:39am): You are the stupidest smart person I’ve ever met.
Izzy (11:39am): There aren’t enough words in the world to tell you what an idiot you are.
Alec (11:40am): Are you done?
Izzy (11:40am): Not even close. 

 

Alec waited, looking at his phone screen, waiting for the dots to pop up to indicate that Izzy was typing but there was nothing.  After a few minutes of waiting, Alec set his phone down on his desk and tried to focus on homework.  It took him a while, but he was finally able to get about a paragraph of work done on his essay before he was interrupted by the sound of someone knocking loudly and impatiently on his front door.

He would have bet his entire college tuition on that being Izzy.  Which explained why she had stopped texting him. 

 

Alec shut his laptop and got up, making his way towards the rapid knocking that was still coming from the door. 

“What in the actual fuck is wrong with you?”  Izzy pushed past him once he opened the door, not giving him the chance to invite her in or move out of the way.  “Why?” 

Alec sighed as he shut the door. 

“I said you weren’t allowed to be mad at me.”  Alec said weakly and Izzy reached up to smack him in the back of the head. 

 

“I never agreed to those terms.”  Izzy retorted.  “You have so much to explain.”  She said, sitting on the kitchen counter, arms crossed as she looked at Alec. 

“Have at it.”  Alec waved his hand in a defeated gesture. 

“Did you or did you not have sex with him?”

“Izzy!”

“Look I’m just trying to figure out how badly you fucked up by leaving and you won’t tell me your definition of hooking up.”

“We didn’t.  We just- Look we didn’t have sex sex but we did more than make out.  And that’s all I’m telling you.”

 

Izzy paused for a moment and Alec cringed a little at the thought that she was clearly trying to decode that.  This was definitely one of the biggest downsides to having the person he was closest to be his sister. 

“Okay.  So, why’d you leave?” 

“I don’t know.  I just panicked and I needed to think about things.”

“You like him, what did you need to think about?”

“A lot of things, Izzy.  I don’t know what it meant to him, we’re roommates, what I’m supposed to do now-“

“All things that can be figured out with a simple conversation.”  Izzy cut him off. 

 

“So, you avoided him for how long?”  She continued.

“I didn’t talk to him about it until last night.”  He admitted and Izzy reached out to punch him in the arm. 

“God you’re an idiot.  And you told him it wasn’t a big deal?  He believed that?  That your first time wasn’t a big deal and just something friends do?”  Alec shifted uncomfortably and Izzy reached out to hit him again.  “You didn’t tell him, did you?”

“There wasn’t really a good time to bring it up.”  Alec mumbled. 

“Alec, I feel like this conversation is making me dumber.  You need to talk to him and tell him the truth about how you feel.  I saw you guys on Sunday night; he likes you too.  The longer you let him think that this meant nothing to you the worse it’s going to get.”

“I work tonight and he’s going to some party with his coworkers.”

“So, talk to him when you get home.  Or he gets home.  Or tomorrow.  But I swear Alec, if you don’t do it soon.”  Izzy left her sentence open ended and Alec didn’t need her to finish it.

 

---

 

It wasn’t till around midnight when Alec actually got home on Friday night.  He wasn’t sure if Magnus was home yet or not, but he knew he needed to talk to him.  He needed to apologize, do his best to clear things up.  He’d been thinking about what Izzy had said all day and as much as he didn’t want to admit it, she was right. 

Alec noted Magnus’s set of keys on the side table by the door and his work bag on the floor, leaning against the table.  So, he was home already.  That was good.  Alec set his stuff down on the kitchen table and turned to head to Magnus’s room, then changed his mind.  He turned back to the kitchen and went over to the counter, using Magnus’s liquor collection to make himself a drink.  He had no intention of getting drunk, he just wanted the bit of liquid courage before this conversation. 

Drink in hand, Alec resumed walking over to Magnus’s room.  He lifted his free hand to knock on the door but froze before he could.  He could hear laughter on the other side of the door.  He couldn’t make out what was being said, but there were two distinctly different male voices.  Alec could identify one of them as Magnus’s but the other one wasn’t recognizable to him.  All he knew was Magnus wasn’t alone in there. 

 

Alec stepped back, staring at Magnus’s door for a second. 

Oh. 

Magnus was in his room with the door shut, around midnight, with another person, after having just spent several hours at a bar.  It wasn’t exactly hard for Alec to figure out what was going on. 

 

Feeling like he was moving in slow motion, Alec walked back into the kitchen.  He toyed with the idea of pouring more whiskey into his glass despite not being a fan of the taste, but he decided against it.  He had made enough stupid choices lately and he wasn’t going to add alcohol into the mix.  So instead he dumped his glass out in the sink, reflexively rinsing out the glass. 

 

It wasn’t until he was back in his own room that the disappointment hit.  So Izzy had been wrong.  Magnus didn’t like him like that at all.  It really had just been a hookup.  Alec sat on his bed, pulling his phone out. 

 

Alec (12:03am): Just got home.
Izzy (12:05am): did u talk to magnus?
Alec (12:05am): He’s in his room
Izzy (12:05am): annnnnnd?
Alec (12:06am): He has a guest.
Izzy (12:06am): what sort of guest?
Alec (12:06am): It’s after midnight on a Friday night
Alec (12:07am): And he’s been at a bar since he got out of work
Alec (12:07am): I think it’s pretty obvious what kind of guest
Izzy (12:07am): oh alec
Alec (12:07am): It’s fine.  I’m the one who told him what happened between us was no big deal
Alec (12:08am): And it clearly didn’t matter to him either.
Izzy (12:08am): do you think maybe this is because you told him it didn’t matter?
Alec (12:08am): I don’t really think that matters anymore
Izzy (12:08am): are you okay?
Alec (12:08am): I’m fine.

 

Alec set his phone aside again, closing his eyes as he laid back on his bed.  He couldn’t tell if this would have happened regardless of his conversation with Magnus yesterday or if it was Alec’s fault entirely.  Afterall, he was the one who told Magnus that it wasn’t a big deal.  But if Magnus had ever actually had feelings for him, why would he be hooking up with someone else less than a week later?  Either way, it felt shitty.

He knew he had no business being upset about this.  If there had ever been even a chance of Magnus feeling the same way about him, Alec had ruined it with their conversation last night.  He might have been able to come back from leaving that night and even from avoiding Magnus afterward, but Alec had absolutely sabotaged himself. 

Izzy was right.  He was an idiot.

 

Of course, Alec didn’t completely know that Magnus was hooking up with someone tonight.  Though about fifteen minutes later, Alec’s suspicions were confirmed. 

 

Alec (12:26am): I can hear them
Alec (12:27am): Thank god for noise cancelling headphones. 
Izzy (12:27am): :(
Izzy (12:27am): Do you want me to call?
Izzy (12:27am): I’d offer for you to come stay here but I know how you feel about being back
Alec (12:28am): I’m just going to put headphones on and go to bed
Alec (12:28am): I’ll talk to you tomorrow
Izzy (12:28am): Okay
Izzy (12:28am): Love you

 

---

 

“With the rate you’re drinking at you’re either very excited it’s Friday or you invited that cute roommate of yours you always talk about and he isn’t coming.”  Cat sat down on the barstool next to Magnus. 

“The second one.”  Magnus sighed, turning on his barstool to look at her.  “He’s working.” 

“How are things going after what happened?” 

“You mean after we hooked up and then he left once he thought I was asleep and then ignored me for two days?  Splendid.”  Magnus had been keeping Catarina updated as much as he could but there were still some parts, he hadn’t been able to fill her in on.  Like their conversation last night.

 

“Yes, that’s the situation I’m referring to.  Last time I talked to you, you said you two were talking on Thursday night.”  She went on.  “I never heard anything from you about it.” 

“It went in a different direction that I thought.  Apparently, it was ‘not a big deal’ and ‘a one-time thing’ and, my personal favorite, ‘something friends just do sometimes’.”  Magnus set his drink down on the bar top to add air quotes as he spoke. 

Catarina winced in sympathy and Magnus picked his drink back up to drain it. 

 

“You know, it was a bad idea anyways.  Hooking up with your roommates is never a good idea.  I’ve heard plenty of horror stories about it.  It’s for the best we just pretend that is didn’t happen.”  Magnus went on though he could tell Catarina didn’t believe a word he was saying. 

“And you’re okay with that?” 

 

Magnus delayed his answer by ordering another drink. 

Honestly, he wasn’t sure how he felt about it.  He really had thought Alec liked him for more than just how he looked.  But now it seemed like Alec only acted the way he did around him because he thought he was hot.  And of course, Magnus was incredibly attracted to Alec as well but apparently the emotional connection Magnus felt was one sided.  He didn’t want to admit how disappointed he had when Alec had tried to sneak out.  How Alec avoiding him hurt.  But their conversation yesterday was probably the worst.

 

“It doesn’t matter, Cat.  It’s too soon after her to get emotionally attached to anyone new anyways.”  Magnus accepted another martini from the bartender. 

“Magnus, darling, I’ve heard you talk about him.  I think it’s a little late to avoid getting emotionally attached.”  Cat pointed out and Magnus waved a hand at her. 

“Nonsense.  We’re just good friends.  Sometimes good friends make out and jerk each other off.  It’s friend stuff.”  Magnus said, his tone blasé. 

“How much have you had to drink?” 

“Why?”  Magnus squinted at her.  “Are you judging me?”

 

“No, just reminding you that you’re talking a little loudly about sex and I’m pretty sure both of those two are some of your new coworkers.”  Catarina gestured at a man and a woman just a few barstools down and Magnus glanced at them, then shrugged. 

“I see your point.”  Magnus looked at the clear liquid in Catarina’s glass.  “Is that water?”

“I’m on call tonight so I’m not drinking.  I just came by to see you.  And I’m glad I did because someone needs to stop you from getting too drunk and saying too much in front of these people you have to work with.” 

“I’m not that much of a sloppy drunk, give me some credit.”  He said and Catarina cocked an eyebrow at him, saying nothing as she sipped her water. 

 

He was allowed to get drunk tonight.  It was Friday so he didn’t have to work for another two days.  And he didn’t want to deal with the confusing signals and feelings Alec was sending his way.  So, drinking it was. 

Magnus talked with Catarina for a while, pleased for the distraction of both the company and the alcohol.  Some of his coworkers drifted in and out of their conversation and after a while Catarina left so Magnus put more of his attention on the coworkers he was still befriending and kept the drinks flowing.

 

As the night went on, more and more of Magnus’s coworkers left and before he knew it, he was the only one left.  Well, not the only one.  There were still plenty of other people in the bar.  Attractive people, too.  That would be a perfect distraction from Alec. 

“Can I buy you a drink?”  Magnus looked up at the voice, smiling at the handsome man who had approached him.

Magnus checked the time on his phone.  10:45pm.  The night was still young, and he was drunk. 

“Yes, you may.”  And it was probably the alcohol talking, but Magnus couldn’t bring himself to care.

Chapter Text

Aside from one very quick and daring trip to the bathroom early in the morning, Alec wanted to stay in his room until he knew for sure that Magnus’s overnight guest was gone.  He didn’t want to see who Magnus had hooked up with last night.  He didn’t want to talk to him, and he didn’t want to see what he looked like.  Though there was a part of him that wanted to know if he looked anything like him.  If maybe Alec had been on Magnus’s mind when he picked someone else to hook up with.  Honestly Alec wasn’t sure if it would be better or worse if the guy looked like him at all. 

Alec’s stomach growled loudly, and he glanced at his clock.  It was almost nine in the morning.  He still hadn’t heard the guy leave.  This sucked.  He hated feeling like he was locked in his room, not allowed to go into his own kitchen. 

Fuck it.

 

Alec got up again and paused by his door, listening carefully for any sound but there was nothing.  Maybe they were both still asleep.  Taking a deep breath, Alec opened his door, sticking his head out and looking around to check that the coast was clear.  He walked out of his room, heading into the empty kitchen. 

It felt too quiet in their apartment and just the sound of pouring cereal into a bowl seemed to thunder through the place.  And because it was just his luck, Alec was only a few bites into his breakfast when he heard the sound of Magnus’s bedroom door open.  Alec sat up straighter, not sure if it was going to be Magnus or the mystery guest. 

 

Never in a thousand years would he admit it, but Alec had purposely only dressed in a pair of sweatpants, not bothering with a shirt.  He wasn’t sure if he was trying to show off for Magnus or his guest.  Or both.

He felt an odd rush of disappointment when a blonde man Alec had never seen before walked past the open area of the kitchen, clearly taking great care to be as quiet as he could.  The man looked nothing like him.  He was headed towards the front door when Alec decided to speak. 

“I take it Magnus is still asleep?”  The man jumped at the sound of Alec’s voice and spun around to look at him.

“He, uh, yeah.”  The man said, seeming a little embarrassed to have been caught.  Though the moment of embarrassment was only brief as the man took a moment to run his eyes over Alec.  “Though I wish I had known you were here too last night.”

 

With the way Magnus’s guest was looking at him, Alec suddenly regretted not wearing more than the pair of sweatpants. 

“Weren’t you leaving?”  Alec’s tone was an obvious shutdown and the man shrugged. 

“Just saying.  I think you could have made things a lot more fun.” 

“You’re not my type.”  Alec did his best to make the words sound like they implied he wasn’t into men.  Which of course was a lie, but this guy didn’t need to know that.  Besides, the words were still true, the man’s personality and looks overall weren’t particularly attractive to Alec.  Not to say that he wasn’t handsome, but Alec didn’t like blondes and the arrogance he spoke with was far too large of a turn off. 

With another shrug, the man pulled open the front door and, much to Alec’s relief, left the apartment without another word.  Honestly, where did Magnus find this guy? 

 

Alec was washing his bowl in the sink when he heard Magnus’s bedroom door open again and had a brief moment of panic where he imagined another random guy or some girl walking out next.  But the door was left open behind him and a few moments later, Magnus emerged into the kitchen. 

“Good morning.”  Magnus yawned, heading straight for the coffee and some Tylenol. 

“Morning.”  Alec greeted curtly but Magnus seemed a little too distracted to fully register his tone.  He looked like he had just woken up. 

“What time did you get in last night?”  Magnus turned to lean against the counter, looking at Alec.

“Little after midnight.”

“How was work?”

“Fine.”  Alec was making fast work of drying the dish in his hand, not having looked up at Magnus once. 

 

Magnus looked quizzically at Alec. 

“I wish you had been able to make it last night.”  Magnus tried to keep the conversation going despite Alec’s short, blunt answers. 

“Seems like you had plenty of fun on your own.  I met your friend on his way out this morning.”  He finally looked up and felt the irritation in his chest sway a bit as he took in Magnus’s appearance.  His eyeliner was smudged from clearly having slept with it on, his hair still messy from sleep.  He was wearing that loose fitting blank tank top again and pajama pants and everything about the way he looked right now made the sensation of butterflies want to overtake any jealousy and hurt he was feeling. 

Magnus looked away at that. 

 

“Sorry.  I was drinking and you weren’t home when we- I got back so I didn’t even think to let you know ahead of time.”

“You knew I was coming home eventually.” 

“You’re right.  I should have texted you a heads up.  I’m sorry, that was rude of me.” 

 

Alec actually did appreciate the apology, but it wasn’t the lack of warning that had made him upset and he wasn’t quite sure how to express that.  He had already made things clear to Magnus that their encounter had been a one time thing. 

“He seemed like a real winner.”  Alec couldn’t stop the snide comment from slipping out.  Magnus reached out his free hand to place on Alec’s shoulder, a gesture that had become all to familiar between them, but without thinking, Alec shrugged off his hand and Magnus frowned.

 

“Alexander, are you mad at me?”  Instead of the passive aggressive technique Alec hated himself for using, Magnus just came right out and said it.  Alec felt at a momentary loss for words, not having expected Magnus to be so direct. 

“Because if it’s because I didn’t warn you, that’s one thing and I understand.  But if you’re mad at me for finding someone else after what happened between us, might I remind you that you were the one to tell me that that wasn’t a big deal.”

“I’m not.  It wasn’t.”  Alec’s heart was beating hard in his chest. 

“Then you have no right to be mad at me for this.”  Now Magnus sounded irritated and Alec could feel himself slipping into a defensive mode. 

“I’m not.”  Alec crossed his arms over his bare chest.

“Then why are you acting like this?”

“Like what?”

 

“You’re the one who said it was a one time thing.”  Magnus added, taking on a defensive stance as well. 

“Well maybe I didn’t mean that.”  Alec blurted out and the comment threw Magnus off guard. 

“Well maybe you should have been honest about that in the first place.  I’m a lot of things but a mind reader isn’t one of them.” 

“And say what?  Hey Magnus, it was really hot when you climbed on top of me and jerked me off, I’d love to do it again sometime?”  There was still anger in Alec’s voice but just recalling the event from a few nights ago made an entirely different feeling surge through him. 

“Yes.”  Magnus was closer to him now, clearly feeling the strong change in the atmosphere as well.  “You could have told me that you wanted it to happen again.  But you’re the one who said it was a one time thing that happens between friends sometimes.” 

 

Alec could feel the cool edge of the counter digging into his back and Magnus was standing much closer to him than before. 

“Well, we’re friends, aren’t we?”  Alec didn’t know where the boldness was coming from.  Perhaps it was just a desire to try and prove himself after Magnus had been with someone else. 

“Oh?”  Magnus didn’t make any further moves towards him though he remained close to him. 

“Yeah.”  His irritation at Magnus had turned further into jealousy, a desire to make Magnus want him again.  Just him.

 

Alec reached out to hook an arm around Magnus’s waist, pulling him so close their chests were nearly touching before leaning in to kiss him.  And for a few blissful moments, Magnus was kissing him back.  But then Magnus pulled away.

“Alexander, we need to talk about this.”  He said, gently placing a hand on Alec’s chest, his palm feeling cool against his hot skin. 

“We did.”  Alec said simply before trying to pull Magnus in to kiss him again. 

 

And, again, Magnus kissed him back, longer this time.  Magnus’s hand slid slowly down Alec’s chest to rest on his hip.  Alec wrapped his other arm around Magnus’s back, sliding his other hand up the back of Magnus’s tank top.  Magnus put his other hand on Alec’s chest, digging his nails in a little this time, making Alec groan into the kiss.  But then Magnus pulled away again.

“Alexander.”  It was obvious that Magnus was trying to make himself sound firm but the resolve behind it was weak. 

“What?”  The word was almost a whine and Alec’s breath came out as a hiss when Magnus dug his nails into his chest a bit harder upon hearing the tone. 

 

Magnus didn’t answer him.  Instead he moved in again, kissing Alec on the lips before moving to his jawline, then making his way down Alec’s neck. 

“Fuck.”  Alec moaned as Magnus bit down on the skin and pulled one of his hands away from Magnus to grip the counter behind him.  Magnus bit down harder at a spot a little lower on his neck and Alec swore again, digging his nails into Magnus’s back as he sucked on the aching mark, gripping the counter tightly with his other hand.

 

Magnus started to move lower, kisses dotting along Alec’s collarbone, then his chest.  Alec moved his hand from Magnus’s back and instead reached down to grab Magnus’s chin, urging his face back upwards.  Magnus seemed a little surprised by this, but he didn’t complain.  Instead he went with the motion, pressing his lips to Alec’s again, lips parted against his. 

As much as Alec would have loved to let Magnus’s mouth continue its journey down his body, something in him- maybe nerves- told him that right here and now wasn’t the ideal place to receive his first blowjob.  So instead he grabbed Magnus’s hips again to grind them against his own. 

“Alexander.”  Magnus groaned against his lips at the unexpected movement from Alec and pushed back against him. 

 

Alec wasn’t quite sure how he had gone from being angry with Magnus a few minutes ago to kissing him and grinding against him in their kitchen.  All he could really focus on now was a sort of desire to prove himself and how good it felt to have a firm grip on Magnus’s hips, able to pull him closer and increase the friction between them. 

Magnus ran his nails down Alec’s chest with a little more bite and Alec shuddered.  Magnus’s hands found their own way to Alec’s hips and gripped them in return and Alec was sure Magnus could feel how hard he was through his sweatpants.  He would have been embarrassed if he hadn’t been able to feel Magnus stiffening beneath his pajama pants. 

There was a certain ferocity that hadn’t been there the first time, an underlying tone of both of them still harboring some anger for each other that had both of them grinding against them harder. 

 

Magnus adjusted their position a little, grabbing the underside of one of Alec’s thighs and pulling it up, forcing Alec to switch his balance to one leg while Magnus silently encouraged Alec to wrap the leg around his waist. 

Which had absolutely no right to be as hot as it was.  Alec complied, making a sort of desperate noise into the kiss.

 

“Alexander.”  Magnus broke the kiss to speak and Alec wanted to groan with frustration.  “Are you sure?” 

He understood what Magnus was trying to do but at the moment, he couldn’t help but be a little more annoyed with the man for stopping again.

“Do I feel sure?”  Alec grabbed the wrist of the hand that was on his hip and moved it to rest against his clothed erection.  Almost as if on instinct, Magnus squeezed the hard length beneath his hand and Alec moaned. 

 

Then Alec paused.  “Wait, are you-“  He didn’t get a chance to finish before Magnus’s lips were against his again and Magnus was grinding against him again.  Alec closed his eyes, moan mingling with Magnus’s as they rutted against each other. 

 

Alec had hoped that after having experienced his first handjob the other night, his stamina just dry humping might have lasted longer, but he was already close.  He moved one hand off of the counter, letting it dig into his back some more and he wrapped that arm around Magnus, keeping him close. 

“Fuck.”  He hissed and Magnus seemed to take that as encouragement.  “Magnus, I think-“ 

“Me too.”  Alec was surprised by how gone Magnus sounded.  He had expected to be much closer to the finish line than Magnus was. 

 

Magnus’s nails dug into the material of Alec’s sweatpants and Alec ducked his face down lower to press it into Magnus’s neck, biting down on the skin as he felt the tension in his body ready to snap.  The sound Magnus made when he did so was what sent Alec over the edge and he gripped Magnus tightly as he shuddered against him.  He was so gone in his own euphoria that he almost didn’t notice the bite had done the same thing as Magnus until he heard the harsh way Magnus was breathing, body shaking as well. 

Both of them panted in the brief silence that followed.  Finally, Magnus let go of Alec’s leg and put a little distance between them.  They both glanced down at the same time and Alec was instantly jealous of Magnus’s black pajama pants.  It was considerably harder to see the wet spot on those, especially compared to the light gray ones Alec had on. 

 

“I needed to do laundry anyways.”  Magnus finally broke the silence and Alec just nodded weakly.  He wasn’t quite sure what he had just done. 

He had made a firm promise to himself that he wasn’t going to do this friends with benefits thing.  But that promise was so much easier said than actually kept. 

“I can add yours in too.”  Magnus added, reaching down to squeeze Alec through the sweats again and Alec’s entire body twitched. 

“Magnus.”  Was all he could manage, feeling breathless. 

 

“We’re going to talk about this this time.”  Magnus said almost sternly, and Alec looked at him in surprise.  He thought they had.  Well, no, they clearly hadn’t since Alec had already gone back on one of the things, he had said the other day.

“Okay.”  He said instead. 

 

Alec went back to his own room to change and clean up as best he could.  And even though he knew Magnus was in the same situation, he couldn’t help but feel a little embarrassed walking out of his room with his boxer briefs and sweatpants clutched in a tight ball to hide the reason they needed to be washed. 

Magnus was already in the process of loading the washer and what he saw made Alec stop walking.  Magnus had thrown his sheets in as well.  Magnus turned to Alec and held out his hand for the clothing, but Alec walked closer and dropped them in himself. 

 

The sheets.  Of course, Magnus needed to wash his sheets after his guest last night.  God.  Not only had Alec completely gone back on his one time thing promise and his refusal to let this turn into friends with benefits, he had gone back on them less than twelve hours after Magnus had slept with somebody else.  How could he have forgotten that?

Magnus followed Alec’s stare and seemed to read his mind. 

“I didn’t have sex last night.”  He stated, again catching Alec off guard with his directness. 

“What?” 

“That guy.  I didn’t actually sleep with him.  Well, I did, but only in the most literal sense of the term.”

“Magnus, you know I could hear you, right?”  Alec felt irritation flaring up inside him again, but Magnus was patient. 

 

“How long did you listen?”  The question made Alec’s cheeks flush.

“It wasn’t like that-“  He tried to rapidly get the words out, but Magnus silenced him by lifting a finger to his lips. 

“I know, that’s not what I’m asking.  You told me you used to use your noise cancelling headphones when your brother would have girls over.  I’m just asking how much you heard before you put them on.” 

“Why does that matter?”  Alec couldn’t explain why he felt so defensive at this line of questioning, the patience in Magnus’s voice was almost frustrating. 

“It matters because I was wondering if you just listened to the part where we started messing around or if you got to the really thrilling part about five minutes into anything happening when he learned that tequila and vodka is a bad mix and threw up in my trashcan.” 

 

Alec stared at him. 

“I’m washing my sheets because I’m pretty sure he used them to wipe his face after puking.” 

Alec felt like an idiot.  So, he’d been jealous over nothing.  Well, no, there was still the fact that Magnus had intended to hook up with this guy whether it had actually it had actually been successful or not.  But for what felt like the fiftieth time that day, he had to remind himself that he had no right to be jealous anyways. 

“Oh.” 

 

It should have been good news to hear that nothing had actually happened between Magnus and his mystery guest last night but Alec being Alec, immediately made another connection.  That was probably why Magnus had been down to hook up again this morning.  He hadn’t gotten any last night.  It had nothing to do with how he felt about Alec or being attracted to specifically him, it was just still being horny from the night before and Alec making himself incredibly easy.

 

“You should have told me you wanted this to be more than a one time thing.”  Magnus went on Alec glanced away, inwardly cringing at his outburst from earlier, about lying about how he had felt about the entire thing.  “We can be friends and still do this.” 

Again, Alec thought back to some of the things he had mentioned.  In the kitchen.  He had specifically made a comment about them being friends almost directly before kissing Magnus.  Fuck.  He could completely understand why he had clearly given Magnus the impression that he was angling for a friends with benefits situation. 

 

“In fact, I had known that in the first place, I wouldn’t have bothered looking for someone to bring home when I have a much better looking man at home.”  Magnus leaned against the washer as it started to life. 

“You’re allowed to bring people home.”  The words were out before he could stop them, like he was trying to apologize for acting jealous earlier.  “I mean, not that I’m saying what you are and aren’t allowed to do or anything like that.”  He added quickly. 

“And you’re okay with that?”  Once again, Alec couldn’t read Magnus’s expression. 

 

Of course, Alec wasn’t okay with that.  But it seemed like Magnus wanted him to be.  It seemed like Magnus was pushing for a non-committal thing between them and as much as Alec didn’t want that, he suddenly couldn’t bring himself to turn it down.  Having something with Magnus was better than nothing, right?  At least then Alec could have him some of the time instead of none of the time.  Sure, it’d hurt whenever Magnus hooked up with someone else, but he’d burn that bridge when he came to it.

“Yeah.”

“You didn’t seem very okay with it earlier.”  Magnus remained hard to read and Alec knew exactly how he had been behaving in the kitchen had made it very obvious he was angry with Magnus. 

“I’m sorry.  I’m just-“  He paused a moment.  What was he supposed to say?  That he was in love with him?  “I’m stressed.  I have this family dinner tomorrow and there’s schoolwork and work and I shouldn’t have taken it out on you.”  It wasn’t a full lie.  He was just leaving out the part about how he’d love nothing more than to be in a committed relationship with Magnus.  But that didn’t seem to be what Magnus wanted and the fear of rejection was bubbling far too close to the surface. 

 

It was hard to tell if Magnus fully believed him but finally the man nodded. 

“Well, I’m around if you want to talk about any of it.  Or if you just want to relieve some stress.”  Magnus said the second bit with a wink.

 

---

 

Alec (12:13pm): Hey I have a question for you
Izzy (12:24pm): oh?
Alec (12:25pm): You’ve been in those, you know
Alec (12:25pm): Friends with benefits sort of relationships before, right?
Izzy (12:25pm): alec if you’re about to say what i think ur gonna say
Izzy (12:26pm): then i’m going to kick your ass
Izzy (12:31pm): ur lack of response speaks volumes
Izzy (12:31pm): i’m coming over
Alec (12:32pm): I don’t trust you
Alec (12:32pm): Public place
Alec (12:32pm): I want there to be witnesses to my murder
Izzy (12:33pm): Fine.  Our usual spot in twenty?
Alec (12:34pm): Sounds good

 

Alec sighed as he tucked his phone into his pocket.  What was he getting himself into?

 

---

 

“What did you do this time?”  Alec hadn’t even had time to fully sit down before Izzy started in on him. 

“I didn’t do anything.  Well, I did, but I didn’t do anything wrong.” 

“Last time I talked to you, he was having sex with someone else in the room next to you and then you text me about friends with benefits?”  Izzy wasn’t wasting any time. 

“He didn’t have sex.  The guy was too drunk, threw up in his room, it was a whole thing.”  He explained quickly and Izzy didn’t fully look like she believed him. 

 

“So why are you bringing up FWB now?” 

“We, uh, sort of hooked up this morning.”  Alec admitted, refusing to look at Izzy but was still ready for the punch she aimed at his shoulder. 

“Alec.  You know I love you, but I’ve done the friends with benefits thing before.  You’re not cut out of it.” 

“You don’t know that.  I could be.”  He didn’t even sound convincing to himself. 

“Alec.”  She repeated.  “Most of the time those sort of set ups don’t work because one person develops feelings for the other.  You’re telling me you want to start this already having feelings for Magnus?”

 

“I can separate-“

“No, you can’t.  I know you.  You’re a romantic.  You’re monogamous.  When you love, you love.  And there’s no possible way that this sort of arrangement isn’t going to end with you getting your heart broken.  I know it’s harsh, but it’s true.” 

 

Alec stared down at the table as a waitress came by to drop off the two cups of coffee Izzy had ordered for them before Alec had arrived. 

 

“So how did this come up?  Did you guys actually talk this time?  I mean, I know you couldn’t have been completely honest because Magnus doesn’t seem like the type who would suggest this if he knew how you felt about him.”

“I just- it’s hard to explain.”

“Try.”

 

Alec sighed heavily and picked up his cup of coffee, taking a sip of the scalding liquid to put off answering.

“We were kind of arguing this morning because I was upset about his overnight guest and Magnus pointed out that I was the one who said we were just friends and it was a one time thing that happened between us, between friends-“

“Still one of the dumbest things you’ve ever done.”  Izzy cut in. 

“And then I don’t know.  It just sort of happened.”  Alec finished lamely and Izzy rolled her eyes.

 

“You would skip the good stuff.”  She grumbled.

“And then afterward I saw him washing his sheets and then he told me about how he didn’t fuck that guy last night.  And- don’t you fucking say I told you so- but he told me I should have just told him I didn’t want it to be a one-time thing-“

“I fucking told you so.”  Predictably, Izzy couldn’t resist.

“Do you want to hear more or no?”

“Sorry, sorry.”

 

“I think we just said the word friend too many times and now it looks like we’re, uh, friends that hook up.  We didn’t really put a label on it.”

“Did you talk to him about how you feel?”

“Not exactly.  I sort of told him I didn’t care if he slept with other people.”

If they weren’t in the middle of a café, Alec was pretty sure Izzy would have decked him. 

 

“And, why, for the love of god, Alec, would you have said that?  You live with him!  You’re going to have to be around when it happens!”

“I don’t know!  I don’t know what I’m doing.  If he wants to keep sleeping around, he can, at least this way I’ll get some of him.”

 

Izzy was quiet for a long moment and Alec fidgeted in his seat. Saying it loud made him feel and sound pathetic.  He couldn’t have all of Magnus, but he was so desperate, he was willing to just take what Magnus was willing to give him.

“It’s gonna be fine, Iz.”  He finally said and the sad look Izzy gave him was worse than anything else she could have said. 

Chapter Text

Alec may have been lying about the way he really felt about Magnus, but he hadn’t been about that family dinner.  It was all he could think about on his Sunday shift.  Sure, it was great to see Max and Izzy, but his parents and Jace would be there too.  And given his last confrontation with Jace, he highly doubted Jace had said anything positive about him since he’d been home. 

Tonight was going to be a nightmare.  Even more so than usual. 

 

He wanted to have to stay late at work.  He wanted his train to get delayed.  He wanted anything to happen to postpone this dinner. 

But of course, none of those things happened.  And honestly it was for the best that they didn’t.  Because as much as Alec didn’t want to go to this dinner, he wouldn’t be able to avoid it forever and he could do without being reprimanded for being late.  He could already hear the monologue his father would give him.  He was a Lightwood.  He was supposed to be punctual. 

And he was. 

 

Despite the fact he had grown up in this house and lived there for most of his life, he knocked instead of letting himself in.  His chest felt tight and he wasn’t aware he was holding his breath until he let it out in a rush at the sight of Izzy on the other side of the door. 

“Ready for a night filled with fun?”  Izzy asked, clearly able to see the tension her brother was carrying in his body. 

“You know it.”  Alec grumbled as he let Izzy pull him in for a hug. 

 

“Any updates?”  She kept her voice low even though they were alone in the entryway. 

“Yeah.  We went to Vegas and got married and I just decided not to tell you.”  He kept the same low tone, rolling his eyes before shutting the door behind him. 

 

And the night was just about as much fun as Alec had assumed it would be.  Actually, it was probably worse.  This was the first time he had Jace actively mad at him and Jace clearly hadn’t held back venting about Alec to their parents. 

 

“Alexander.  I would like to ask you a question.”  The words were out of his mother’s mouth before Alec had even been able to take more than a few steps into the large house.  And the tone of her voice eviscerated any trace of appetite he had managed to hold on to.   He watched her walk towards him, heels clicking on the floor, then passed him, and Alec knew he was meant to follow her. 

“Hello to you too.”  He mumbled under his breath as he followed her into the next room. 

“As I’m sure you very well know, Jace has moved back home.”  She started and Alec nodded.  “Would you like to explain why you kicked your brother out of an apartment the two of you had agreed to share?” 

“I didn’t kick him out, he chose to move out.  He had another friend he wanted to live with.”  Alec started to explain but Maryse spoke over him. 

“Yes, he told me about Jordan.  About how he took him in after you made Jace leave, such a sweet boy.” 

 

Alec was clenching his jaw so hard it hurt. 

“That’s not what happened.”

“He also told me about how you refused to let him move back in when his friend lost his apartment.”

“I have a new roommate.”

“Yes.  Jace told me about this Magnus.”  Her tone showed a clear lack of approval at whatever Jace had told her about the man.

“Mom, listen.  Jace didn’t pay his share of the rent, he never cleaned up after himself, he was incredibly inconsiderate-“

“So, you did kick him out?” 

 

Alec wished he could just bury his face into his pillow and scream in frustration. 

“I didn’t.  I just told him he couldn’t move back in.  Position was filled and it’s not like I was leaving him on the street.  I would have helped him if I knew he didn’t have anywhere else to go.”  It was like talking to a wall.  Clearly his incredibly valid reasons weren’t going to change anything. 

 

“Dinner’s ready.”  Jace’s voice came from behind Alec and Alec turned around, trying to read Jace’s expression to see how long he’d been listening. 

And even though Alec was pretty sure this conversation wasn’t over, his mom started towards Jace anyways.  To be continued. 

“It is nice to have you back home, no matter the circumstances.”  She said to Jace as she moved past him. 

 

The simple comment forced an unpleasant cocktail of emotions to run through Alec.  It wasn’t fair.  He hadn’t done anything wrong yet here it was, Jace still being the golden boy.  It didn’t matter to his mom that Alec was the victim in this.  She had heard Jace’s side of the story and she was all too ready to take his side over Alec’s. 

“Why’d you tell her I kicked you out?”  Alec demanded of his brother once his mom was out of earshot.  Jace shrugged.

“You may as well have.  You wouldn’t let me stay when I had nowhere else to go.”

 

Nowhere else to go?  The urge to punch Jace was hard to repress.  He knew full well that their parents had welcomed Jace back into their house with open arms.  Hell, they were probably thrilled when they heard the news.  He wanted to grab Jace by the shoulders and shake him, remind him that this was a luxury Alec didn’t have.  In order for Alec to move back home, he’d have to agree to going on dates with women his parents picked out for him.  He’d have to endure the homophobic comments- intentional or not.  If he ever- by the grace of god- got a boyfriend, he’d have to keep him a secret from his parents.  Their parents hadn’t directly kicked him out, but they made the conditions of staying there too unbearable to give Alec much of a choice.  He didn’t have this same safety net that Jace had. 

Alec had moved out because he had had to.  Jace had moved out because it was his choice. 

 

“That’s bullshit and you know it.”  Alec’s voice was low, tense with anger. 

Jace just shrugged again.

“Just telling you how it seems from my point of view.”  Jace didn’t even have the decency to allow Alec a reply.  Instead he turned to follow his mom, clearly done with the conversation. 

 

Alec remained behind for a few moments, taking slow, deep breaths.  He just had to get through tonight.  Just tonight and then he could go back to avoiding all of them (with the exception of Izzy and Max) until the next family event he was required to attend. 

Without thinking, Alec pulled out his phone.

 

Alec (6:07pm): Update
Alec (6:07pm): Asshat brother is still an asshat
Alec (6:07pm): Stay tuned for more.
Magnus (6:08pm): Would you like me to teleport you out of there?
Alec (6:08pm): God yes
Alec (6:08pm): Don’t tease me like that

 

Alec put his phone back into his pocket, a feeling of warmth spreading through his chest just from reading one text from Magnus.  He couldn’t help but feel pleased with how quickly Magnus had texted him back.  Alec had texted him without even thinking about it.  It had just felt natural. 

Another deep breath.  Just had to get through tonight.  Feeling sufficiently calm for the time being, Alec headed to where he knew the dining room was.

 

---

 

The dinner wasn’t great, but it was bearable.  One of the plus sides to having three other siblings was that he could more easily avoid being the topic of communication.  That was until Robert decided to fill a brief pause in conversation to turn his attention to his oldest son.

“So, Alec, any special ladies in your life?”

It didn’t seem to matter how many times Alec had told him he was gay.  That he was only into men.  That he had no sexual or romantic feelings towards women.  It didn’t matter how many ways he phrased it.  It seemed impossible for his father to accept that this wasn’t just a phase.  That there was never going to be a special lady

 

“As always, no.”  His tone was flat.  At this point, Alec knew to expect the question from his dad and he just didn’t have the energy to get upset about it. 

“Well in that case, one of my associates has a daughter who is single.  Very smart girl, doing well in life.  I think you and her should meet.” 

“No thanks.”  It didn’t seem to matter though, Robert bulldozed on. 

“I can arrange a dinner for the two of you sometime next week.  Her name is Lydia, she’s a business major-“

“I said no thank you.”  Tension flooded the room at Alec clipped words. 

 

“Alec.  I really think you should give her a chance.”  Robert’s tone had darkened.

“A chance for what?  Still gay over here.”  Alec didn’t miss the look that passed over Robert’s face at the use of the simple word, like Alec had said something filthy at the dinner table. 

“You haven’t met the right woman yet.  That’s no reason for you to be a homosexual.”

 

He was never going to get it. 

“You’re too picky.  The number of beautiful women we’ve set you up with and you’ve rejected is ridiculous.”  Robert went on. 

 

“It’s probably because he’s banging his new gay roommate.”  Jace spoke out of nowhere and everyone flinched at the sharp sound of Robert’s knife scraping against his plate in his shock. 

 

“That’s not true.”  Alec said, voice bordering on urgency.  “Magnus isn’t even gay-“

Jace overrode him.

“Not gay?  You should see the guy,”  Jace was addressing their parents now.  “He wears makeup and jewelry.  Dresses too I bet.” 

“Is this true?”  Maryse spoke now, looking at Alec. 

“No!  Well I mean, yes, some of it.  I’m not doing that with him.  And he’s bisexual.”

 

Before Alec could say anymore, he was interrupted by a loud snort from Robert.  Alec didn’t have to guess at his father’s opinion on bisexuality but of course Robert told him anyways.

“That just means he’s gay.”

“I’ve met him.”  Izzy cut in.  “He’s a lawyer.  He’s really nice, really social.  I’m sure he has lots of friends he could introduce Alec to.”  She didn’t bother to specify gender.  She’d let her dad pretend she meant female.  “He actually got out of a super long relationship with a girl before moving in with Alec so I’m sure he knows a thing or two about dating.” 

Alec loved her so much right now. 

 

Obviously, his parents couldn’t actually do anything about it if they disapproved of who Alec was living with, but he was sure they’d find a way to make things more difficult.  Izzy selling Magnus as someone who could introduce Alec to potential women was the perfect way to phrase it. 

Both Robert and Maryse seemed to think this over and as much as Alec appreciated it, there was still a pang of hurt as he watched his parents put more value into anyone else’s word as long as it wasn’t his. 

 

“Maybe I’ll date him.  And how come you guys never ask me about my love life?”  Izzy went on to take the heat off of Alec and Alec made a mental note to treat her to dinner another night. 

Luckily it seemed like Robert and Maryse weren’t too keen on discussing the possibility of any of their children dating the man Jace had described and even less happy to talk about the prospect of Alec, as Jace had so gently put it, banging him.  So, it wasn’t hard to sway the conversation towards Izzy who immediately began to talk about the last man she had been dating. 

 

---

 

Though Izzy’s animated stories, Max’s tales from school, and Jace bragging about himself succeeded in taking attention off of Alec and the horrible subject of his love life, the tension never quite left the room.  Even during dessert, it still felt like one wrong word could send this into a shouting match. 

Alec couldn’t wait to say goodbye. 

 

“Alexander.  You really should give Lydia a chance, she’s a very nice girl.”  Maryse said to him as he put his jacket back on though her voice lacked the conviction his father’s had. 

“Please.  Just stop.”  Alec sighed and hugged his mother, nonetheless.  “I’ve really got to get going.  Class tomorrow.”

He said goodbye to his other siblings, a hug for Izzy, a fist bump for Max, and a curt nod to both Jace and his father.  He just wanted to get home and vent to Magnus.  He just wanted to see him.  Even if Magnus didn’t want to talk, Alec just felt the desperate need to be around him after all of this. 

 

He didn’t think to check his messages until he was on the train home.  He noticed he had several texts when he had pulled it out to check the time but wasn’t eager to try to read them while walking. 

 

Magnus (6:09pm): Okay, I’m doing extensive research on teleportation now
Magnus (6:09pm): >image attached<
               A screenshot of Magnus’s phone with the phrase “How to teleport my friend away from his awful family???”  Typed into the google search bar
Magnus (6:11pm): I’m not finding results but I’ll keep looking
Magnus (6:45pm): I hope it’s going alright
Magnus (6:45pm): Also give Izzy my love
Magnus (7:22pm): If things get too bad, just remember
Magnus (7:23pm): My promise to help you bury the body still stands
Magnus (7:57pm): Just to keep you updated, I made dinner here
Magnus (7:57pm): Got sucked into a Youtube wormhole
Magnus (7:58pm): Forgot I was cooking
Magnus (7:58pm): Severely burned it
Magnus (7:58pm): Then talked Cat into bringing me pizza

 

It took Alec a moment to realize he was grinning at his phone like an idiot.  He quickly glanced up from his phone to look around him, but no one was paying him any mind.  He felt such a strong wave of affection for the man that he felt lightheaded.  Magnus had been sending him texts all night just to try and cheer him up. 

 

Alec (8:39pm): On my way home now
Alec (8:39pm): Managed to not murder anyone so you’re off the hook for the body hiding
Alec (8:40pm): It sounds like your dinner was VASTLY better than mine
Alec (8:40pm): I’ll talk to you when I get home.

 

Alec’s thumb was over the send button to send a fifth message when his brain comprehended what he had just typed.  “Love you”.  Quickly, Alec hit the delete button and locked his phone, sliding it into his pocket where it was safe from his impulsive idiocy. 

 

Either it was just his luck or because he had wished for it earlier, the train did indeed break down.  Alec fired off another text to Magnus to let him know.  He didn’t reply.  Alec groaned as he thumped his head back against the wall.  What a perfect way to end the night. 

 

By the time he got home, it was past 11pm.  He felt exhausted as he dragged himself up the apartment stairs.  He was beyond ready for this night to be over. 

 

Alec entered the apartment quietly, guessing that given the late hour and how early Magnus had to be up for his job, he assumed he’d be asleep already.

And he was right.  Well, in a way. 

 

Alec had expected Magnus to be asleep in his room.  He hadn’t expected to notice the glow of the TV and Magnus’s sleeping form on the couch illuminated by it.  Alec flipped on one of the dimmer lights, slowly approaching him, trying not to wake him.  All of his makeup and jewelry were still on as was his outfit from earlier that day.  Alec felt his heart flutter at the idea of Magnus staying up for him. 

As much as he didn’t want to wake Magnus, Alec knew he’d be more comfortable in his own bed.  Alec knelt down in front of the sleeping man, planning on shaking him awake, but he paused.  He found himself about a foot away from Magnus’s face and just looking at him. 

It was unfair that any one person could be this beautiful.  It never seemed to matter what lighting Magnus was in.  Natural sunlight or only lit up by the tv and a dim bulb.  He never ceased to be the most gorgeous man Alec had ever seen. 

There was a part of him that felt a little creepy for staring at Magnus while he slept but Magnus was a work of art that should never go unappreciated. 

 

After a few long moments, Alec finally reached out and gently shook Magnus’s shoulder. 

“Magnus?”  Alec kept his voice low despite the fact he was trying to rouse the man. 

Sleepily, Magnus’s eyes opened and again, Alec was struck by the beauty of those eyes. 

 

“Mm.  I fell asleep.”  Magnus said though it wasn’t a fact that needed to be stated.  Alec stood up as Magnus sat up and stretched his arms over his head, yawning.  “How was your dinner?”

“A nightmare.  But I’ll tell you about it tomorrow.  It’s late and we both have to be up early tomorrow.”  As much as Alec would have loved to stay up talking to Magnus, he knew they both had to go to bed.  Besides, Magnus didn’t even look fully awake at the moment. 

For a moment Magnus looked like he was going to protest, but finally nodded his head in agreement.

“Help me up.”  He held his hand out to Alec who took it, the movement pulling Magnus up towards him and close to his chest. 

 

Alec didn’t let himself think about it.  Maybe it was because he was tired.  Maybe it was having his sexuality disrespected all night.  Or maybe it had been the long moments of gazing at Magnus’s peaceful sleeping face. 

All he knew was that one moment he was helping Magnus to his feet, the next his lips were on his.  It wasn’t desperate or feverish like before.  It was slow, soft.  Magnus wrapped his arms around Alec and Alec did the same in turn.  He briefly wondered if Magnus could hear how hard his heart was beating. 

How long they stayed like that, Alec didn’t have a clue.  All he knew was that he was lost in the feeling of Magnus’s soft lips moving against his own, Magnus’s muscular arms wrapped around him.  And if Magnus hadn’t finally pulled away, Alec would have been content to stay like that all night.

 

“Bed.”  Magnus said softly and the surprise on Alec’s face must have been apparent because Magnus quickly amended.  “We need to go to sleep, darling.”

Oh.  Yeah, that made a lot more sense.  Alec nodded. 

“Yeah, we do.”  As much as he didn’t want to admit it, Magnus was right. 

“You can tell me about everything tomorrow after work.”  Magnus had dropped the embrace and Alec did as well. 

“Yeah, sounds good.”  He felt like he was only half listening to Magnus, still caught up in the warm feeling of that kiss.  So, he didn’t say much as he followed Magnus down the hall in the direction of their rooms. 

 

“Goodnight Alexander.”  Magnus said as he crossed over the threshold into his own room.  Alec nodded.

“Night, Magnus.”

 

---

 

Magnus (7:25pm): Something terrible has happened
Magnus (7:25pm): A tragedy has befallen me
Cat (7:26pm): Are you okay?
Magnus (7:26pm): I burned my dinner
Magnus (7:26pm): And now I’m far too distressed to cook
Cat (7:27pm): Does your darling Alexander cook?
Magnus (7:27pm): He’s not home
Magnus (7:27pm): So not only am I hungry
Magnus (7:27pm): I’m terribly lonely
Cat (7:28pm): Is that so?
Magnus (7:28pm): If only there was someone who could help me
Magnus (7:28pm): Some beautiful girl who could bring me food and her exceptional company
Cat (7:28pm): Only if the dramatic boy has a strong cocktail waiting for me when I get there
Magnus (7:29pm): I’m offended you thought I wouldn’t
Cat (7:29pm): Be there in 20.

 

Magnus tossed aside his phone, pleased with himself for scoring both food and company.  And there was maybe a slight chance he wanted to talk to Catarina about Alec.  And not so much talk to her but vent until he was out of breath. 

Alexander Lightwood was a lot of wonderful things, but he was also an absolute mess of mixed signals.  Especially what had happened yesterday.  The jealousy in the morning had been clear.  Alec had been visibly irritated at the idea of Magnus sleeping with someone else.  But after hooking up again, Alec had claimed not to care if Magnus slept with other people. 

 

It was especially frustrating because Magnus liked Alec.  Magnus wasn’t particularly interested in sleeping with other people and if the stranger he had brought home the other night hadn’t killed the mood, Magnus had a feeling he would have done it himself. 

Then there was the thought of Alec being with someone else that made Magnus’s stomach tighten with anxiety.  Alec never mentioned dates or exes or about his sex life in general.  But maybe that was intentional.  True he’d never brought anyone home or stayed the night elsewhere, but they hadn’t been living together too long and it was possible Alec was just in a bit of a rut. 

 

At the very least Alec had seemed incredibly open to the idea of friends with benefits.  Which wasn’t exactly what Magnus wanted, but to be perfectly honest he had been so pleased by Alec’s claim of ‘one time thing’ being a lie, he hadn’t fully thought this through. 

There was still the chance of this going somewhere.  But the idea of telling Alec, of putting himself out there, telling him how he felt.  It was too high risk.  Not after everything that had happened with Camille.  He couldn’t do it.  No matter how much he might suspect Alec’s feelings towards him.  It was easy to confuse love with lust. 

 

A knock on his door pulled Magnus out of his thoughts and he got to his feet to let Catarina in, trading her a cocktail glass for the pizza box in her hands.

“My hero.”  He pressed a quick kiss to her cheek before they made themselves comfortable on the couch. 

 

“Okay.  Go ahead.”  Catarina said, unprompted and Magnus feigned innocence. 

“With what?”  Magnus asked casually as he flipped open the lid of the box to grab a slice.

“I’ve known you forever, Magnus.  I know your looks.  And right now, you look like you might literally burst if you don’t talk about something.”  She took a large gulp of her drink.  “So, let’s hear it.”

 

“Okay, so, Friday night, after you left, this guy started hitting on me.”  Magnus jumped right into it, words leaving him quickly.  “And I was a little bit drunk and maybe just a little bit upset about Alec, so I took him home.  And- don’t make that face at me.  We didn’t actually do anything.  We just made out.  Everyone’s pants stayed on.  He did, however, throw up into my trash can.” 

“You really know how to pick them, Magnus.”

“Anyways.  I let him stay the night because frankly we were both too drunk and tired to bother with getting him an Uber.  He left in the morning before I was gone, so that was fine.  Except remember how I told you how Alec said things between us weren’t a big deal, we’re just friends, it was a one time thing?  I know for sure he was lying about at least one of those things.”

Magnus paused to take a breath before continuing. 

 

“He was acting really weird yesterday morning.  Like, aggressively washing dishes weird.  He was clearly upset that I had someone spend the night and at first, I thought it was because I didn’t think to text him a warning or something.  But I’m pretty sure he was jealous which completely negates the stuff he said before.”

“Did he know you didn’t have sex with the bar stranger?”

“Not yet.  We started arguing and I reminded him about his whole one-time thing spiel, and he admitted that he lied about that.”

“Don’t tell me you blew him in the kitchen.”  Catarina narrowed her eyes at Magnus. 

“Who do you think I am?”

“Magnus Bane.”

 

“I did not in fact blow him in the kitchen.  Well, I might have tried to a little, but he pulled my face back up.  Which- side note, weird thing for him to do.  Who doesn’t want a blowjob from me?  But we just made out and dry humped till we both came.”

Catarina sighed though she was fully used to the amount of detail in Magnus’s stories by now. 

 

“So yeah.  Now I guess we’re in this friends with benefits situation?  But I’m not even sure on that.  Cat, this man is impossible to read.  One minute we’re just friends, the next we’re making out, then it’s a one time thing, then he wants it to happen again.  I don’t know what he wants.”

Catarina was silent for a moment before speaking.

“Have you considered asking him?

“He gets evasive.”

“Have you tried telling him what you want out of this?”

 

At that, Magnus went quiet, staring down at the food in his lap. 

“You know I can’t do that.”  He said simply, the high energy that had been present while catching up Catarina on all the details had been sapped from his voice. 

“Magnus.”  Catarina reached over to rub his arm gently. 

 

“You really like him, don’t you?” 

“I really hadn’t planned on it, but I think I do.  I just wish I knew what he wants.”  Magnus let himself fall back against the couch, feeling like he’d exhausted himself with his story. 

“Do you really think it’s a good idea to keep hooking up with him if you feel this way about him?  You two live together.  I’m worried you’re setting yourself up to get hurt again.”

 

Magnus shrugged. 

“Whatever happens, happens I guess.”

Chapter Text

“Hot date tonight?”  The chipper voice came from behind him and Alec considered it far too close into his personal space.  He heaved a sigh and turned around. 

“Do we really have to have the personal space talk again?”  At Alec’s words, Simon quickly took a few steps back.  “And what is that supposed to mean?”  Alec added.

“You’ve been staring at the clock like, all night.”  Simon said and Alec felt himself flush a little.  He hadn’t noticed he’d been doing that.  Especially doing it enough to attract notice. 

 

“Yup.  Real hot date with keeping my personal life to myself and not bothering people.”  He didn’t mean to snap at Simon, he knew the kid meant well.  And it wasn’t Simon’s fault Alec was carrying so much pent up anxiety and tension from his interaction with his family last night. 

“Alright, alright, my bad.  I was just asking.”  Simon held up his hands and Alec immediately felt guilty. 

“Sorry.  Just, weird night last night and I just want to be home.”  Alec felt a little reluctant to share any personal information with the overeager kid, but it was better than feeling bad for being rude to him. 

 

“You need to talk about anything?”  The question caught Alec off guard but not as much as the sincerity in Simon’s voice.  Alec had always been a little short with Simon and he knew he hadn’t exactly responded to Simon’s attempts at a friendship with him.  So, hearing such a genuine offer of kindness from the busboy in question surprised him into answering with the truth. 

“I’m- I had to have dinner with my family last night and it didn’t go well.  And I’m just waiting to get home so I can talk to my roommate about it.”  The words were out before he could really think about them. 

“What’s up?”  Simon leaned against one of the counters like he had all the time in the world and they both didn’t have tables to check up on. 

“My parents won’t stop trying to set me up with different girls.”  Why?  Why he was telling Simon- Simon- of all people this, he had no idea. 

“Do they just have like, really bad taste?”

 

For a few moments, Alec had forgotten how closely he guarded his sexual identity.  Of course Simon had no idea.  Alec didn’t think anyone at work did aside from a coworker or two he had gotten close with.  He glanced around to make sure no one else was in earshot before he spoke.

“I’m gay.”  Alec was painfully aware of the way he lowered his voice to share the information, like he was telling Simon a secret. 

“But you’re so tall.” 

 

Alec had gotten a lot of different reactions from a lot of different people, but this was a new one.  He cocked an eyebrow at Simon, staring at him.

“I don’t- What?” 

“Sorry, I was quoting- never mind.”  Simon shook his head. 

“I just want to make it clear that you are aware tall people can be gay.”  Alec said, speaking slowly. 

“Yes.  You are very tall and very gay, got it.”  This sentence was embellished with finger guns and Alec looked up at the ceiling.

 

“Why do you say the things that you say?”  Alec spoke to Simon, but he was still looking up. 

“Honestly I don’t know.”  Simon shrugged.  “Really though, I’m sorry about your situation.  Do your parents know?”

“Yeah.  They’ve known for about three years but they’re in denial so every time I see them, my dad has another woman he wants to set me up with.  It’s exhausting.”  Alec looked back at Simon again.  This was probably the longest conversation he’d ever had with him before and Alec was surprised by how personal it was. 

 

“Listen, Simon, can you keep this to yourself?  Clary and Maia know and that’s it.”  Alec continued and Simon nodded. 

“Of course, you got it my man.”  Simon nodded and posted up for a high five.  With a bit of reluctance, Alec complied. 

 

“Alec table fourteen is asking for you.”  Clary had poked her head around the corner and Alec almost jumped. 

“Yeah, thanks.”  Alec said back and started walking away though he caught Simon mouthing ‘he’s gay?’ to Clary. 

 

“I saw that.”  Alec said on his way out, rolling his eyes. 

 

---

 

Alec was off at nine and made it home before ten.  He felt a rush of relief when he walked into the apartment and saw Magnus’s bedroom door open, his light still on.  He was still up. 

“Magnus?”  Alec called out as he walked further into the room.

“In here, Alexander.”  Magnus called back and just the sound of his voice made Alec feel warm.  He stopped in his own room for a second, taking off his shoes and changing out of his work clothes into something more comfortable before heading into Magnus’s room. 

“How was work?”  Magnus asked, patting the spot on the bed next to him. 

 

Alec sat down on it heavily, leaning back against Magnus’s headboard. 

“Long.”  He sighed and Magnus scooted closer to Alec, leaning into him. 

“Boo.  Mine too.” 

“I came out to one of my co-workers.  Still not sure why I did that.”  Alec murmured, his eyes shut.  Magnus was fully aware of how selective Alec was when it came to his sexuality.  And Alec definitely was incredibly selective when it came to the people at his work. 

“Which one?”  Magnus leaned his head against Alec’s shoulder as he spoke. 

“You’re not going to believe this, but it was Simon.” 

 

Magnus snorted with laughter. 

“Really?  The busboy you always complain about being too nice to you?”  Magnus sounded amused.

“I never said that!  He’s just a lot to deal with and I refuse to believe that anyone is that positive all the time.”  Alec said over Magnus’s laughter. 

“Why’d you tell him?”

“I don’t know.  He asked me if I needed to talk about anything and I guess I did.” 

 

Magnus lifted his head off of Alec’s shoulder to look at him. 

“Was it because of last night?” 

“Yeah.”  Alec let out a long breath. 

“Give me the scoop, darling.” 

 

“Well, highlights of the night include Jace completely twisting the story and making my parents think I kicked him out, my parents still thinking that being gay is a phase, and my dad having yet another lovely young lady he wants to set me up with.” 

“Yikes.  That sounds awful.” 

“It was.  Being around them is exhausting.  I love seeing Max and Izzy but the rest of them are-“  Alec didn’t bother finishing the sentence with words, ending with a sigh instead. 

 

“I should be used to it by now, it happens every single time.  No matter what I do or say, my dad won’t just accept that I’m never going to go on one of his little set ups.  I used to have to go when I still lived there.  That was part of why I moved out.”

“The dates?”

“Yeah.  Agreeing to go on dates was one of the conditions of living there.  Basically, if I wanted to stay living there, I’d have to pretend to be straight.  And for a while I thought I could do it.  I tried.  But I couldn’t even bring myself to kiss a girl at the end of the date.  The amount of awkward hugs goodnight I’ve given.”  Alec chuckled a little at the memory.  Of walking a girl to her door, an expectant look on her face, waiting for her kiss.  And then Alec would go in for the hug, leaving the poor girl disappointed. 

“Oh Alexander.”  Magnus couldn’t help but to laugh at the mental image of those awkward hugs.  “I’ve been on a few dates that ended like that and given how handsome you are, I’m sure those girls wanted much more than a hug.” 

“Towards the end, after I came out and my dad still kept setting me up on dates, I’d just come out to the girl the moment I met her.” 

“The moment you met her?”

“Yup.  I’d shake her hand and just say ‘Hi, I’m Alec, I’m sorry but my dad set this up, and I’m gay.’” 

 

Magnus laughed again and a smile crossed Alec’s lips at the sound of it. 

“How’d they take it usually?”

“Not too bad, actually.  I actually made a few friends.  One of the girls was actually a lesbian who was also there against her will.”  Alec paused, thinking back to how delighted Aline had been when she had responded to Alec’s declaration with her own. 

 

“Oh my God.  That’s fantastic.”  Magnus paused, seeming to think about it.  “Well, no, it’s not fantastic that either of you were put in that position but fantastic that you both turned out to be gay.”

 

“They didn’t all go quite so well though.  And once my dad found out that I’d been telling them I’m gay, he didn’t react well.  He almost kicked me out then.  For embarrassing him like that.  Most of the girls he was setting me up with were the daughters of his coworkers or associates and he was horrified that one of the girls had told their dad and now it was being more widely spread that he has a gay son.  He was furious.  And at that point, I just knew I had to move out.  I couldn’t keep going on those dates and pretending to be straight.”

“I completely understand.” 

“I’d been saving up for a while, but I didn’t have enough money yet.  When I brought up the idea of moving out, Jace said he wanted to too.  We were getting a lot a lot better at that point, so it was the perfect solution.”  Alec sighed, thinking back to how Jace had used to be. 

 

“He changed when he moved out.  He started hanging around sketchy people and it was like he realized he didn’t have to follow my parents’ rules anymore, so he just started acting out.  But, of course, he’s still perfect in my parents’ eyes.  He can do wrong when it comes to them.  The amount of times they’ve asked me why I can’t be more like Jace.” Alec shook his head.

“I for one am very glad you’re not more like Jace.”

“I don’t want to be more like Jace.  I mean, I did when I was younger.  And when I first realized I was gay.  I just wanted them to be proud of me the way they’re proud of him.  And that’ll never happen unless I suddenly become straight.  But I’m okay with that.”

“Very unlikely that’ll happen.  From what I’ve seen, you’re very gay.”  Magnus gave him a teasing nudge. 

 

“Very.”  Alec confirmed.  “As much as they don’t like it, that’s not changing.  Jace made a stupid comment implying that I had a boyfriend and you should have seen their faces.  They were horrified.”  Alec wasn’t sure but he thought he felt Magnus tense just a little. 

“What’d he say?”  Magnus asked and Alec hesitated. 

 

“Uh, he made a dumb comment about how I’m probably, as he put it, banging someone.”  Alec admitted and Magnus cocked an eyebrow. 

“Oooh.  Are you?”  Magnus asked playfully and Alec let out a humorless laugh. 

“Definitely not.  I’ve never even done that before.”  Alec didn’t think about the words before he said them.  Magnus sat back up, looking at him. 

“What?”

“What?”  Alec interlaced his fingers as he spoke, looking down at his hands. 

 

“Done what?”  Based on the tone of Magnus’s voice, Alec was pretty sure Magnus already knew the answer. 

“That.  Banged someone.”  Alec stuck with Jace’s vulgar phrasing, mumbling as he said it. 

“Oh.”  The surprise in Magnus’s voice was clear.  “You’ve done other stuff before though, right?” 

“Uh.  Twice.” 

“Like, twice aside from what you’ve done with me?” 

 

Alec didn’t answer.  There wasn’t any need to.  Magnus clearly already knew.  And a silence settled over the two of them for a moment and Alec held his breath.  He could tell that Magnus was working things out in his head. 

 

“Why didn’t you tell me?”  Magnus finally asked, affectionately brushing his hand against Alec’s cheek. 

“I don’t know.  There just never seemed to be a good time.  Why does it matter?”  Despite the soft touch from Magnus, Alec still felt defensive. 

“I wouldn’t have rushed things so much if I’d known.  If I made you feel like you had to-“

“Magnus.”  Alec interrupted.  “I’m the one that kissed you.”

“I know but-“

“I’m the one that stuck my hand in your pants the first time.  You didn’t make me do anything I didn’t want to do.”  Alec blurted, desperately not wanting Magnus to feel guilty for something Alec had done. 

 

“Okay.”  Magnus’s voice was soft, vastly different in contrast to Alec’s.  He wasn’t being defensive or trying to start a fight.

“Okay.”  Alec still felt stiff despite Magnus’s docile tone. 

 

“You’re weirded out.”  Alec broke the next moment of silence. 

“Who says I’m weirded out?” 

“You didn’t have to say it.”

“Alexander, I promise I’m not weirded out.  I’m just surprised you didn’t tell me ahead of time.”

“It just never came up and I didn’t want you think something’s wrong with me.”  Alec mumbled.

“Hey.”  Magnus reached to put his hand on Alec’s cheek and turn Alec’s face towards him.  “There’s nothing wrong with this and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with you.”

 

It was like Magnus was actively trying to make Alec fall even more in love with him. 

“Thanks.”  He said simply and softly in return.  He relaxed against Magnus again, relief flooding through him. 

 

“I was always just so worried about my parents finding out.”  Alec added, then paused before asking, “Can I ask you something?”

“Of course.” 

“How were your parents when you came out to them?”  Alec asked, letting himself slide down to a more comfortable position on the bed and it seemed without a thought, Magnus slid with him. 

“Well, I never had the chance to tell my mom.”  Magnus gently reminded Alec and Alec felt a brief rush of guilt for forgetting how young Magnus had been when his mother had died.  “But my dad?  He wasn’t the best about it.  I think he only tolerated it because he always saw it as there still being a chance of me ending up with a woman.” 

 

Alec wasn’t really sure how it happened.  At some point while Magnus was talking, they had both settled into the bed even more and Alec’s head was on Magnus’s chest again.  Only this time he was awake. 

“My dad thinks bisexual is just a fancy word for being gay so I doubt he would have taken any comfort in it even if I were bi.”  Alec admitted and closed his eyes as he felt Magnus’s fingers start to run through his hair. 

He pushed himself closer to Magnus.

 

“What happened?”  Alec didn’t think about it.  All he knew was he felt a desire to get closer to Magnus.  Physically, emotionally, anything.

“With my parents?”

“Yeah.  Is that okay to ask?  You don’t have to answer if you don’t want to.” 

“My mother killed herself when I was very young.”  The words made Alec sit up, surprised. 

“Magnus, I’m so sorry.”  Alec was about to say more but Magnus was shaking his head. 

“It’s okay, Alec.  It was a long time ago.”  He said before reaching out for Alec.  “Come back here.” 

 

At the words Alec laid back down, letting himself resume his earlier position with his head on Magnus’s chest.  He even draped an arm over Magnus’s torso.  It was the best he could do for a hug in their current position, but he didn’t bother to move it off of him after a few moments. 

Magnus’s fingers found their way into Alec’s hair again. 

 

“I found her body.” 

Alec could feel the tension in Magnus’s body as he spoke those words and Alec tightened his grip on Magnus’s torso. 

“I don’t have a lot of memories of her but that’s one of them.  I try not to think about that one, though.  I try to focus on the good few that I have.   Like her singing to me before I went to sleep.” 

“How’d your dad handle it?”  Alec asked softly and Magnus sighed. 

“Blamed me.”

 

At that, Alec sat bolt upright again.

“He- what- you were a child!”  Alec knew Magnus’s father had been dead almost ten years, but he still felt anger and indignation upon hearing Magnus admit this. 

“Alexander, I’m not going to finish the story if you won’t cuddle me during it.”  Magnus said firmly and Alec flushed a little but immediately moved back to his previous position.

 

“My dad was a bad person.  He drank a lot; he yelled a lot.  I understand now that it wasn’t my fault.  Both his habits and what happened to my mom.  If anything, I think she was trying to get away from him.”  Magnus continued once Alec was settled on his chest again.  “He died in a car accident.  Drunk driver.  And to clarify, he was the one who was drunk.  I’m just grateful he swung off the road and didn’t hurt anyone else.” 

Alec wasn’t sure what to say.  Sure, his own dad was an asshole, but it was in a different way than Magnus’s was. 

“Honestly I think I sort of felt relieved when I heard.  I know that’s awful but it’s the truth.  Even if it meant I didn’t have anywhere to go, at least he was gone.”

 

“Is that when you moved in with your friend?  Catarina?” 

“Yes.  Her family took me in when I had nowhere else to go and I’ll always love her and her family for it.  I lived there for a few years, but I moved out as soon as I was able to.”  Magnus went on. 

“Why?  Was living there not good?” 

“No, no, they were wonderful.  I just wanted to be able to take care of myself.” 

Alec could relate to that. 

 

“I lived with roommates in a couple different places over the span of about a year and a half and then I met Camille.”  Magnus sighed.  “It was so exciting.  I was nineteen, she was twenty-five.  I think the idea of someone so much older than me wanting me blinded me to her flaws.  So, when she asked me to move in with her after only a few months of dating, I didn’t even hesitate.  I thought she was perfect, and I was desperate to get out of the place I was living in at the time, so I just said yes.”

Alec was quiet, softly tracing patterns onto Magnus’s chest while he listened. 

“She changed after that.  Or at least I think she did.  I don’t know if she’d always been cruel and I’d just never noticed or if she knew I was in deep enough for her to show her true colors.  She did her best to isolate me from my friends- I’m lucky Cat and Raphael stuck around for me.  She had me so convinced that she was the best thing to ever happen to me and I’d never find anyone who loved me the way she did.  It’s funny, looking back on it, I was miserable, but I really did believe her.  Somehow, I was deeply unhappy yet convinced that ending the relationship would be the worst mistake in my life.  I thought I could make myself be happy with her because that was what I was supposed to do.  The first time I broke up with her, I called her ten minutes later because I was sure I had just made a huge mistake and asked her to take me back.” 

 

“I’m sorry, you didn’t ask for all of this.  You just asked about my parents.  I’m monologuing.”  Magnus suddenly stopped to apologize, and Alec shook his head, not bothering to lift it from Magnus’s chest.

“No, I want to learn more about you.  Even the bad stuff.”  Alec said and Magnus’s fingers paused for a moment in Alec’s hair as if he was considering something, then his hand resumed its movements. 

“We broke up and got back together more times than I can count.  Usually I stayed with Cat during the periods where we were broken up, but she finally told me that if I got back together with Camille one more time, she wasn’t going to let me stay with her when we broke up again.  And, stupidly, I did get back together with Camille and Cat stayed true to her word and refused to let me stay at her place when we broke up for the last time.  The final time.  That’s why I was at Raphael’s before I moved in with you.” 

 

“I’m glad you’re here now.”  Alec said, his words muffled as he pushed his face into Magnus’s chest even more.  “I’m sorry you had to go through that.  All of it.” 

“Me too.  But I’m here now with my wonderful new roommate because it takes a lot more than that to break Magnus Bane.”  Magnus said his name with such authority Alec couldn’t help but laugh before another comfortable silence fell between them.

 

“I’ve never been in a relationship.”  Alec admitted hesitantly after several long moments of enjoying the feeling of Magnus playing with his hair.  “My first kiss happened on this bed.” 

“With Jace?”  Magnus was teasing him.

“God no.  With you.” 

 

Alec wanted to tell him.  In that moment he wanted to tell Magnus how much he liked him, but he couldn’t find the words.  Magnus had already told him so much tonight.  And given what Magnus had told him about his ex, he didn’t exactly sound like he was looking for a new relationship anytime soon.  Alec didn’t want to give him the burden of trying to let him down gently.  So, he stayed quiet. 

 

“You’re sweet.”  Magnus leaned down to press a kiss into Alec’s hair. 

 

“How was it?”  Magnus asked and Alec lifted his head a little. 

“What?”

“Your first kiss.  Was it good?” 

Alec pushed his face back into Magnus’s chest. 

“It was incredible.” 

 

The two settled into another silence and Alec thought he could stay like this forever.  He closed his eyes, comfortable laying with Magnus.  He wasn’t sure how much time had passed when he found himself sleepily blinking himself awake from the doze he had slipped into.  He needed to go to bed. 

Alec started to sit up, but Magnus grabbed his arm to halt him. 

“Stay.”  He said in a soft voice and Alec did. 

 

---

 

Alec (9:21am): So, I slept with Magnus last night
Alec (9:21am): WAIT NO
Izzy (9:21am): OH MY GOD WHAT
Alec (9:21am): FUCK
Izzy (9:22am): you guys fucked????
Izzy (9:22am): for someone who tells me VERY LITTLE about his sex life
Izzy (9:22am): that is one hell of a way to put it
Alec (9:22am): No, I meant fuck I phrased that wrong
Alec (9:22am): I slept in Magnus’s bed last night
Alec (9:22am): We were both fully clothed
Izzy (9:23am): did u finally tell him
Izzy (9:27am): alec i know ur not in class rn so respond to me
Alec (9:28am): I didn’t
Alec (9:28am): But in my defense
Alec (9:28am): We were in his bed together because he was telling me about his awful ex
Alec (9:28am): Felt weird to bring up my feelings
Izzy (9:29am): fineeee i’ll let it slide
Alec (9:30am): Don’t make it weird but I did tell him about other stuff
Izzy (9:30am): what stuff??
Alec (9:30am): That he’s my first everything
Izzy (9:31am): !!!!!!!!
Alec (9:31am): He was really good about it
Izzy (9:31am): okay so next step is telling him you’re in love with him
Izzy (9:31am): and that you want to be boyfriends and/or husbands
Izzy (9:31am): and not fwb
Alec (9:32am): Iz I just asked you to not make it weird
Izzy (9:32am): alec.
Izzy (9:32am): you like him
Izzy (9:32am): he likes you
Izzy (9:33am): you two are p much dating already
Alec (9:35am): We’re not
Izzy (9:35am): you ‘hook up’, cook for each other, and cuddle
Izzy (9:35am): if someone was doing all that with me, we’d be dating
Izzy (9:43am): alec don’t ignore me
Izzy (9:49am): Fine.  Be in denial all you want.  But you two have feelings for each other
Izzy (9:49am): I’m right and I should say it

Chapter Text

It was like a weird twilight period where Alec had no idea where he stood with Magnus.  The night Alec had slept in Magnus’s bed with him had felt more intimate than either of the times where they had messed around.  They both had had places to be early that morning so there was no time to talk and try and figure out what exactly this was between them.

And to make matters worse, Magnus had to leave the city for a few days for work.  It wasn’t like they could have this conversation over text.  He had apologized to Alec over the phone as he hurriedly packed for his trip.  Magnus had just started working there and he was in no position to turn down the last minute trip. 

He’d be back in a few days but still.  Alec was going to miss him. 

 

Wednesday
Alec (7:16pm): It’s quiet around here without you
Magnus (7:20pm): You should sing while you do things
Magnus (7:20pm): Pretend you’re in a Disney movie
Alec (7:21pm): Implying I haven’t already been doing that?
Magnus (7:21pm): I know you’re joking but I’m going to pretend you actually are doing that
Magnus (7:21pm): Are the squirrels and birds helping you with household chores?
Alec (7:22pm): What?
Magnus (7:22pm): Alexander
Magnus (7:22pm): Did you watch a single movie as a child?
Alec (7:22pm): I can think of one
Alec (7:23pm): But to keep things exciting I won’t tell you till you’re back
Magnus (7:23pm): :((((((((
Magnus (7:23pm): Not fair
Alec (7:23pm): Sorry, information is reserved for people who are actually here
Magnus (7:24pm): Rude!
Alec (7:24pm): It actually got me into some of my old hobbies
Magnus (7:24pm): Oh???
Alec (7:24pm): Yup.  I’m holding the dvd right now
Alec (7:25pm): If you were here, you’d be able to see it
Magnus (7:25pm): You are a tease of a man

 

---

 

Thursday
Magnus (2:19pm): Hey you know what I weirdly miss
Alec (2:21pm): What?
Magnus (2:21pm): The click clack sound of you typing on your laptop
Alec (2:22pm): >Audio clip attached<
               Fifteen seconds of Alec keysmashing on his laptop
Magnus (2:23pm): Ah yes
Magnus (2:23pm): Sweet bliss
Magnus (2:23pm): Were you actually typing
Alec (2:24pm): Magnus
Alec (2:24pm): I was just hitting random keys
Alec (2:24pm): No one can type that fast
Magnus (2:25pm): Sometimes you sound like you can
Magnus (2:25pm): How fast do you type?
Alec (2:28pm): Not crazy fast
Alec (2:28pm): I just took a typing test and got 92wpm
Magnus (2:28pm): “Not crazy fast”
Magnus (2:28pm): Fuck offfff
Magnus (2:28pm): Stop bragging
Alec (2:29pm): You asked! 
Magnus (2:29pm): You know I always wondered if maybe you were just keysmashing this whole time
Magnus (2:29pm): But apparently you are the Flash
Alec (2:30pm): I’m an English major and an aspiring writer
Alec (2:30pm): I type a lot, Magnus
Magnus (2:30pm): Nerd <3

 

---

 

Friday
Alec (1:42pm): When are you getting back?
Alec (1:42pm): I thought 1pm?
Magnus (1:43pm): Bit of a delay
Magnus (1:43pm): I won’t be there till after three
Alec (1:43pm): I’ll be at work :(
Alec (1:43pm): And I’m closing
Magnus (l:43pm): I’ll try to stay up but I already feel exhausted from traveling
Alec (1:44pm): Don’t do that
Alec (1:44pm): We both have tomorrow off
Alec (1:44pm): I’ll see you then
Magnus (1:45pm): I’ve been missing you
Alec (1:45pm): You too. 

 

---

 

This wasn’t the first time Alec had gotten home from work to find Magnus asleep on the couch.  He smiled at the sight, his heart fluttering.  He knew he had told Magnus not to wait up for him, but he was secretly thrilled that Magnus had tried.  

It had only been a few days, but Alec felt like he hadn’t seen him in ages.  He walked slowly over to the couch, letting himself drink in Magnus’s sleeping form.  He looked so pretty when he slept.  When he was waking up.  When he was awake.  Alec refused to believe that Magnus could ever look bad. 

 

“Magnus?”  Alec shook him gently, trailing his hand down Magnus’s bicep. 

“Hmm?”  Magnus returned to consciousness but was clearly still tired. 

“Sorry to wake you.  I-“

“I’m sorry I fell asleep.”  Magnus cut him off.

“I told you not to stay up for me.”  Alec said though there was a smile on his face. 

 

Alec reached a hand out to Magnus to help him up.  Magnus took his hand but instead of letting Alec help him to his feet, he yanked on Alec’s arm much harder than Alec was expecting and Alec stumbled onto the couch, on top of Magnus.  He managed to absorb most of the impact of his own weight with his free hand, quick reflexes allowing him to grab the edge of the couch and find a position where he was inadvertently straddling Magnus.   

He was still in his work clothes.  He still had his shoes on.  But Magnus let go of his hand and wrapped his arms around him instead, pulling him down, pulling him closer. 

“Missed you.”  Magnus’s voice was muffled against Alec’s shoulder as he hugged him tightly.  Alec sighed happily.  With the combination of Magnus’s affectionate personality and their recently formed friends with benefits situation, he could almost pretend they were dating. 

Fuck. 

That was pathetic. 

Alec pushed the thought away, instead enjoying Magnus’s tight embrace. 

 

This was just a hug.  A hug where they happened to be laying down.  And, okay, Alec didn’t even believe the lies he was trying to tell himself. 

He relaxed against Magnus’s body, letting more of his weight settle onto Magnus. 

“Am I too heavy?”  Alec asked, his voice low. 

“Alexander.  I could carry you if I wanted to.” 

 

That had absolutely no right being as hot as it was. 

Alec’s entire body tensed at the idea. 

Magnus felt it. 

 

“I like that.”  Alec’s words were a whisper, images of Magnus picking him up and pressing him against a wall flashing through his head.  “I’d like that a lot.”

“I’ll keep that in mind.”  Magnus said, the tired quality of his voice seeping away as he ran a hand through Alec’s hair and Alec closed his eyes.  This was nice. 

Alec pushed himself up onto his elbows to look down at Magnus, meaning to ask him about his trip, but the strong urge to kiss him made the words die on his lips. 

 

Even though they had already kissed on multiple occasions, Alec wasn’t exactly sure what was allowed in a friends with benefits thing.

“It’s okay that I’ve been kissing you?”  He blurted and hated himself for not being able to think of a more suave way to ask that. 

Magnus’s eyes gleamed with amusement. 

“A beautiful man like you?  You can kiss me anytime, Alexander.”

 

Alec leaned down to kiss Magnus, confident in the motion now. 

 

God, he loved this.  Magnus’s lips parted against his, kissing him back fiercely, reminding him how much he had missed him.  He tasted like everything Alec wanted. 

Alec shifted his weight to one of his arms, still letting part of himself be pressed against Magnus.  He took his free hand and pushed it up Magnus’s shirt, almost moaning when he felt the muscular body underneath him, pushing Magnus’s shirt up to expose all of his chest. 

Alec pulled back from the kiss, sitting up on Magnus’s lap to look down at the skin he had exposed. 

“Fuck.”  Alec whispered and leaned down to kiss Magnus again. 

 

It completely threw him off guard when his lips met Magnus’s cheek instead of his mouth.  Magnus had turned his head away. 

“Magnus?”

“Movie.” 

 

Alec sat back up, confused, looking down at the beautiful man beneath him. 

“What?”

“Tell me what the movie was.  The one you said you got hobbies from.” 

 

Alec sat back further and groaned.  Of course Magnus would bring this up now. 

“Can we talk about it later?”  Alec asked, hating the edge of neediness in his voice.  He leaned over Magnus again, rolling his hips to grind against Magnus, more than pleased to feel how turned on Magnus was too.

“You already made me wait like three days.”  Despite his words, Magnus was slowly undoing the button on Alec’s pants. 

 

Magnus pulled down his zipper so slowly, Alec could practically hear each metal clasp parting. 

“Magnus.”  He couldn’t even manage to disguise the whine in his voice. 

“Alexander.”  Magnus’s voice sounded much more even than his, taking advantage of Alec’s position hovering over him to slide Alec’s pants partway down his thighs.

 

“Get these off.”  Again, Alec felt Magnus’s commanding tone run like electricity through his veins.  “Shirt too.  And then sit back down.” 

Magnus didn’t have to ask twice. 

 

Alec started to yank down his pants before remembering he still had shoes on.  He was sure he was the opposite of graceful, trying to get his work shoes off with his pants halfway down his legs already.  He stumbled but he succeeded, both his shoes and his work pants tossed aside.  The shirt was much easier.

He hadn’t even thought to pay attention to Magnus while he had done so but when he turned back to face him, Magnus was still laying back on the couch, his shirt gone, and he had gotten rid of his pants much quicker than Alec had. 

 

“Fuck me.”  Alec whispered to himself as he stared at the bulge straining against Magnus’s briefs. 

“Maybe another night, darling.”  Magnus said and Alec felt heat in both his stomach and his face. 

“What are we doing tonight?” 

“I don’t know.  It depends.  Tell me the movie.”

 

Alec closed his eyes for a moment and when he opened them, Magnus had gotten up and was standing right there, facing him. 

“Tell me.”

“Magnus I would have told you either way.  You didn’t have to- fuck!”  Magnus’s hand was inside his boxer briefs, teasing.  He wrapped his hand around Alec firmly, stroked him a few times, then just brushed his fingers against Alec’s dick for a moment.

Alec inhaled sharply as Magnus teased the head of his cock without warning. 

“Oh god.” 

 

“What was it?”  Magnus asked, leaning down, pressing a kiss to Alec’s neck, his collarbone, his shoulder. 

“Mulan.”

 

Magnus stopped in the middle of the hickey he had been leaving on Alec’s chest to laugh. 

“Oh my god are you serious?”

“I’ll tell you more about it later.  You can’t do this to me and then expect me to tell you childhood stories.”

 

It seemed like Magnus was considering his words for a few moments, then Magnus pushed him. 

Alec fell back onto the couch, desire coursing through his veins.  He needed this.  He needed Magnus. 

 

Alec watched as Magnus sank to his knees on the floor, between Alec’s legs. 

“Can I do this?”  Magnus asked and his implication was obvious. 

“I think I might die if you don’t.” Alec was already panting.

“Let me know if you want me to stop.”  Magnus ran a hand down Alec’s inner thigh and Alec shivered but nodded.

 

Then there was heat.  Warm, wet heat.  Magnus was mouthing at Alec through the black boxer briefs he was wearing and Alec himself didn’t even recognize his own voice when the moan was dragged out of him. 

“Magnus.  God.  Magnus.”  Alec gripped the couch cushion with one hand, the other one reaching out to grip Magnus’s hair.  It was already mussed from sleeping.  Alec couldn’t possibly mess it up too much more. 

“I’m getting these off of you.”  Magnus said as he hooked his fingers inside the waistband of Alec’s boxer briefs. 

 

It was like a splash of cold water.  Alec suddenly realized that Magnus had never properly seen him.  Their first time had been in a dark room with only a hallway light and the next encounter they hadn’t even taken clothes off.  He was about to be fully naked in front of Magnus for the first time in decent lighting.  What if he didn’t like what he saw?

His breath caught in his throat.  Magnus had pulled down the boxer briefs and hadn’t said a word.  Instead, Magnus pulled back, letting his eyes run over Alec sitting on the couch.  He wasn’t even remotely sitting up straight, his legs were spread to give Magnus room to be between them, and he didn’t think he’d ever been this hard in his life. 

 

“Alexander.”  Magnus pushed himself up higher on his knees to get closer to Alec’s face.  “You’re beautiful.”  He breathed.  Then paused. 

“You’re tense.  Are you okay?  Is this okay?”

Magnus checking in on him only made him feel more love and affection towards the man. 

“I’m okay as I can manage when you have your mouth right there.”  He admitted.

“Alexander.  It’s taking all of my self-control to not put your cock in my mouth right now.” 

 

Magnus was going to be the death of him. 

 

“Please.”  Alec’s voice already sounded wrecked and Magnus decided to run his tongue along Alec, making him gasp and tighten his grip in Magnus’s hair. 

“Magnus.”  Alec could barely get his name out. 

“I’m going to make you feel so good, pretty boy.” 

 

At the words, Alec reached down, pushing Magnus’s face away from him. 

“I’m sorry, was that too much?”  Magnus looked concerned as sat up straighter, searching Alec’s face.

“No, no.”  Alec was still panting.  He couldn’t catch his breath.  “I just really like when you say that, and I don’t want this to be over yet.”  Alec looked at Magnus’s amused expression.  “I don’t want to finish before you’ve even started.” 

“Well then.  Let me get started.” 

 

Alec knew he didn’t have anything to compare this to, but he was pretty sure Magnus was fantastic at this. 

 

Magnus looked up at him, keeping one hand on Alec’s thigh while the other stroked him slowly.  Alec’s chest was rising and falling quickly as he watched Magnus slowly drag his tongue along the length of Alec’s cock.

“Please.”  The whimper was out before he could stop it.  He closed his eyes.

“Please what?” 

 

“Magnus please.  I want- I need- your mouth.” 

 

Magnus took Alec’s cock into his mouth so quickly, Alec wasn’t ready. 

“Oh god.  Oh fuck.  Magnus.” 

 

Alec now had a new definition for the word blissful.  It was Magnus’s mouth.  Hot, wet heat.  His hand stroking what he hadn’t taken into his mouth yet.

“Magnus.”  Alec breathed heavily, gripping the man’s hair harder than he meant to.  “Getting close.”

Magnus pulled back but not before smacking Alec’s wrist and Alec let go of his hair, squeezing his eyes shut and gripping the couch with everything he had to not tip over the edge. 

 

“I haven’t even deep throated you yet, darling.” 

Alec’s entire body tensed again.  The idea of that sensation over his entire cock was almost enough to make him lose the thin thread of control he was maintaining. 

 

Magnus got to his feet and Alec made a sound of disappointment.  Magnus climbed onto his lap, straddling him but avoiding touching his dick at all. 

“Let me know if it’s too much.”  Magnus said softly into his ear before kissing him again. 

 

“It’s incredible.”  Alec breathed when they broke apart.  Honestly, he sort of appreciated the break but he knew the moment Magnus was back on his knees he’d be on the edge again.

 

Without warning, Magnus ducked his head down to start teasing one of Alec’s nipples with his tongue.

Again, his fingers ghosted over Alec’s cock, making his entire body jerk. 

Alec hadn’t realized how much of a tease Magnus could be.

“Magnus?”  Alec was digging his nails into Magnus’s shoulders. 

“I’m getting there.  Patience.”  Magnus murmured against Alec’s chest and was rewarded with a shudder before getting off of his lap and sinking back down to his knees. 

 

Magnus did it slowly.  Alec felt like he was burning up with desire as Magnus took more and more of him into his mouth until he had all of him. 

“Not gonna last.”  Alec managed, both hands tightly gripping the couch. 

 

“Tell me, Alec.  Do you want to finish on my face?  In my mouth?  On my chest?”  Magnus pulled off of him to ask.

“In your mouth- fuck oh my god, please.  In your mouth.”  Just the idea of it was pushing him closer. 

“Whatever you want, pretty boy.”  And Magnus went back to work.

 

Never once in his life had Alec imagined that he’d be so vocal.  Even his first two experiences with Magnus he had surprised himself a little with moans and curses.  But he had never considered that Magnus’s mouth would make him sound like this.

“Fuck.  Oh fuck.  Magnus.  Please, just like that.  Fuck.” 

 

Alec’s entire body was trembling.  He knew he was on the verge of the best orgasm of his life.  Everything inside him was lit up.

Alec opened his eyes to say something but stopped in his tracks.  Magnus had one hand down the front of his own briefs, getting himself off while he got Alec off.  Magnus’s eyes met his. 

 

“I’m- fuck.”  Was all Alec managed as he came, doing his best to not jerk his hips but there was only so much he could do.  Everything in his body felt like it had been overcharged. 

The orgasm made him see stars.  It was too much, and it was perfect at the same time.  He could hear Magnus moaning around his cock, the intensity of the sound increasing.

Magnus’s mouth was still on him. 

 

“I can’t-“  Was all Alec could choke out, but Magnus got the message. 

He pulled off, gently rubbing Alec’s thighs with one hand while he slowly pulled the other out of his briefs. 

 

“How was that?”

“Minute.”  He had meant to tell Magnus to give him a minute, but he could only manage the one word.  Magnus seemed to understand anyways.  He got up off the ground and sat down next to Alec on the couch, his arm around him, pressing soft kisses to his shoulder and cheek from time to time. 

 

“Fuck I’m sorry.”  Alec blurted and Magnus looked surprised. 

“Why?”

“I’ve just been sitting here.  I want you to get off too.” 

“Alexander.  I did.”

 

Alec realized several things at once. 

 

He’d just gotten his first blowjob.

Magnus had fully seen him naked and he was still fully naked.

Magnus had gotten off by jerking himself off while blowing him.

They both came within seconds of each other and-

 

“Fuck.”

“What?”

“Did you swallow?” 

“Of course.”

 

If he hadn’t just finished a few minutes ago, that would have been enough to get him going again. 

Alec groaned. 

“Magnus that was incredible.”

“I like to think I do good work.”

 

“Do you want to sleep in my bed tonight?”  Magnus broke the calming silence between them, and Alec turned to look at him. 

“No.”  He said simply, planning on teasing Magnus a little before inviting him to sleep in his own bed, and instantly regretted his joke when he saw the look of disappointment flash across Magnus’s face.  “Sorry, I meant no, come sleep in mine.  It’s more comfortable than yours.” 

“You gave me the worse room?”  Magnus sounded offended.

“Hey, I’ve had this room since I moved in and I was here first.” 

 

“You’re lucky you’re so pretty.”  Magnus turned again to kiss Alec’s neck. 

“I’m lucky for a lot of reasons.” 

“Alexander?” 

“Yeah?”

“Would you mind terribly if I got up now and we met up in your bedroom?  I need to change.”  Magnus’s hand found his and guided it down to his briefs so Alec could feel what he had done to Magnus.

 

Alec couldn’t help himself.  He looked down and again, if Magnus hadn’t finished him off so thoroughly, he would have gotten hard again.

There was also a spark of pride at knowing Magnus had actually gotten off blowing him. 

 

“No, no, of course.”  Alec said and Magnus kissed him. 

“See you in a few minutes?”

“Yes please.” 

 

---

 

He wasn’t coming.  Alec laid on his back on his bed, a fresh pair of black boxer briefs the only thing covering his body aside from his comforter and sheets.   

What if Magnus wasn’t coming?  What if he was just going to sleep in his own room tonight and ignore Alec’s invitation?  He should have known.  Despite the fact that Magnus had been the one to ask if they could sleep together tonight and the obvious disappointment when Alec had denied his request to sleep in Magnus’s room, Alec found himself convinced Magnus wanted to sleep alone.  This whole friends with benefits thing probably didn’t include cuddling. 

What had just happened between then had felt incredible, but Alec felt the doubt sinking back in.  He wanted Magnus more than just physically.  He wanted all of him.  He didn’t want to go to bed alone after messing around with him. 

Fuck.  This was exactly why he had told himself he wasn’t going to do this stupid friends with benefits situation.

 

“Hi.”  Magnus pushed Alec’s partially open door all the way and Alec’s mouth felt dry at the sight of Magnus.  Just in a pair of dark red briefs, hair messy, eyeliner smudged.  The light from the hallway was behind him so he was almost a silhouette, but Alec could still make out the details of his body. 

“Hi.” 

He changed his mind.  He loved this friends with benefits thing. 

 

Magnus climbed into Alec’s bed and Alec knew he was an idiot for thinking Magnus wouldn’t come. 

“Your mattress is better than mine!”  Magnus sounded indignant as he settled under the covers, pressing himself against Alec. 

“Not my fault I was willing to pay more money than Jace was for a mattress.”

“Ew don’t remind me he used to sleep there.  I’ll have to sleep in your room all the time.”

“Jace used to sleep in there.” 

 

Alec was tired but he still felt a rush of heat when Magnus pressed a kiss to his cheek. 

“You’re gonna get yourself stuck with me.”  Magnus put his head on Alec’s chest, one of his legs draped over Alec. 

“Good.” 

 

“You know, you make a lot more noise than I expected.”  Magnus said, so casually that for a moment Alec didn’t know what he was talking about.  Then he realized, flushing.

“Shut up.”  He mumbled and felt Magnus’s chest shaking with laughter.

“What?  I’m not complaining.  It was hot.” 

Alec couldn’t think of a retort. 

“Also I think you said fuck more times than any other time I’ve ever heard you say it combined.”

Magnus.”  Alec knew that he was right.

 

Magnus felt warm and comforting against him.  Alec couldn’t deny how tired he felt. 

“I’m exhausted.”  Magnus murmured against his chest and Alec felt relieved to hear it. 

“Me too.” 

 

---

 

“Where are you going?” 

Alec halted.  He thought he had been doing a great job getting out of bed without waking Magnus. 

“It’s Saturday.  I usually go for a run.”  Alec was only wearing a pair of gym shorts.

Magnus yawned, clearly trying to wake himself up. 

“Can I take you up on your offer to join you?  I promise it’ll only take me about ten minutes to get ready.” 

 

Alec’s heart started pounding. 

“Okay.  You have five minutes.”  Alec smiled as he watched Magnus get out of bed, his hair even messier than it was last night. 

 

Magnus caught him off guard.  He grabbed Alec and pulled him close, kissing him.  And, god, this was all Alec wanted.  He was so glad he had asked about the kissing last night, no matter how clumsy it had been.

“I have fifteen minutes.”  Magnus whispered against his lips and Alec nodded. 

 

Alec (8:08am): I’m about to go for a run with Magnus
Alec (8:08am): I know you’re asleep, but I have so much to tell you later

 

Alec sent the texts to Izzy while Magnus got dressed.  He still wasn’t quite sure where he stood with Magnus.  Was this what friends with benefits was?  The blowjob fit in to what Alec had assumed the arrangement was going to be but the cuddling he hadn’t quite expected.  He was going to have to ask Izzy. 

 

“Ready!” 

Alec looked up at the sound of Magnus’s voice, letting himself run his eyes over Magnus’s body.  There was that black tank top again and Alec wasn’t sure how to not stare at Magnus’s arms. 

 

“I don’t know how I’m going to be able to focus with you next to me.”  Alec blurted and Magnus looked pleased with himself. 

“Alexander are you going to put on a shirt?  I need to be able to focus too.”  Magnus traced a finger down Alec’s bare chest. 

“Magnus if you keep doing that, we’re not going to be able to go.” 

 

It was almost thrilling to be able to admit these things out loud.  To openly express how attracted to Magnus he was.  Especially since Magnus usually had a similar response. 

Magnus stepped back as Alec reached for one of his running shirts, pulling it over his head, covering the bare skin Magnus had been very obviously looking at. 

 

---

 

“I suppose we both have a healthy dose of the competitive spirit.”  Magnus said as the two of them waited for the elevator. 

What had started as a casual jog had quickly turned into a race, seeing who could run longer.  Which of them had more endurance. 

“That’s one way to put it.”  Alec grumbled, hitting the elevator button again.  He intentionally wasn’t looking at Magnus, staring straight at the silver doors. 

Magnus pushed against his side. 

 

“Are you grumpy because you lost?”  Magnus teased and Alec rolled his eyes. 

“I didn’t lose.” 

“Alexander.  You stopped running first.  And I beat you to the building.  I won.  You lost.”  Magnus was rubbing it in. 

“It wasn’t a race.”

 

The elevator doors slid open and Alec stepped in.  Magnus didn’t follow him right away, too busy gloating about his victory.  Alec hit the third floor button before rapidly pressing the door close button while Magnus still stood on the other side.

“It’s okay Alexander, you can’t win them all.”  Magnus was grinning at him.  “It’s okay that I’m better at you than this.  Sometimes you lose-“ 

 

Alec saw the moment Magnus realized that Alec wasn’t holding the elevator for him and the doors were sliding shut.  He was standing too far back to make it in time. 

Ha.  At least Alec had won that one. 

 

“Still beat you.”  Magnus was leaning against their apartment door when the elevator doors slid open and Alec started down the hall towards him.

“Did you really sprint up the stairs?”  Alec asked in disbelief though he could see a new sheen of sweat on Magnus and he was breathing heavily.  “You only got here first because the elevator stopped on the second floor.” 

“Doesn’t matter.  I won.” 

 

Alec didn’t know how to explain the feelings that smug grin sent through him. 

He had never wanted anyone as badly as he wanted Magnus.  Of course there was the physical attraction, but it ran so much deeper than that.  He loved everything about Magnus.  He loved the way Magnus had picked up the pace to match him until they were both running.  He loved the way Magnus pushed against him and teased him.  He loved the expression on Magnus’s face when those elevator doors had shut.  The smug grin on Magnus’s face now.  The way he had still raced up the stairs to beat Alec to the apartment. 

 

“You looking for a prize?”  Alec asked as he approached him.  It was so much better being able to openly admire Magnus’s body, not have to steal looks. 

“Depends on what it is.” 

 

Alec knew Magnus was waiting for him.  Alec was the one with the key to get in.  Except as he reached Magnus, he didn’t reach for the key.  Instead he reached for Magnus, pushing him against the door, kissing him. 

He could feel Magnus’s heart beating hard against his chest and he knew it was from running up the stairs, but he liked to think it was partly for him.  Alec knew his own was for Magnus.  And the fact that this was the first time he’d ever kissed a man in public.  The hall was empty, but it still counted. 

Magnus made a surprised, pleased noise against his lips, wrapping his arms around Alec. 

 

Heat spread through Alec’s body, not just from the physical exertion of the run.  He pressed his body into Magnus, kissing him hard.  If he couldn’t tell Magnus how he felt, he could at least do this.  Try to express how much he liked him with physical affection. 

He felt Magnus’s hand slide up the back up his shirt, sliding up his sweat soaked skin and Alec shuddered.  His own hands were still pressed against Magnus’s chest, gripping the fabric of his tank top. 

 

“Get a room.”  A voice from down the hall made them break apart.  One of their neighbors had just stepped out of their apartment and was eyeing them with amusement.   

Alec felt himself flush even hotter.  He knew Meliorn and he honestly would have preferred a stranger to walk in on this. 

 

“Hey.  Sorry, Meliorn.”  Alec took a few steps back from Magnus as he gave a halfhearted wave.

“No need for apologies, you looked like you were having a great time.”  The man was grinning at him as he locked his apartment door.  “Carry on.  Just maybe inside your apartment.”

“We were getting there.”

“Have fun, Lightwood.”

“We will.”  Magnus answered for him.  “I’m Magnus Bane, by the way.  Moved in a few weeks ago.  Good to meet you.”

 

Alec had no idea how Magnus managed to keep his composure at all times. 

“Meliorn.  I was wondering why the noise level had died down.  I take it Jace moved out?”

“Yeah.”  Alec answered, feeling incredibly awkward standing in the middle of the hall having been caught in a make out session with his- well his friend with benefits. 

 

“Nice meeting you, Bane.”  Meliorn gave them a final nod before heading to the elevators. 

 

Alec didn’t move until he was out of sight. 

“Fuck me.”

“I might be a little too worn out for that.”

Alec huffed. 

“You know what I meant.”

 

Alec finally pulled his key out of his pocket to let them both inside.  

“He’s one of the only people I like in this building.  So of course, it’d be him.”  Alec grumbled. 

“Are you out to him?”  Magnus asked, his voice gentle. 

“Yeah.  He dated Izzy for a while.  Things ended but they ended well.”

“Is he bi?”

 

Magnus asked the question as Alec walked into the apartment and Alec felt his entire body tense. 

Sure, Meliorn was attractive but Alec hadn’t expected this. 

 

He had been trying to prepare for Magnus sleeping with other people, but he hadn’t expected Magnus to ask him for possible hook ups. 

“Why?”  Alec did his best to keep the bitterness out of his voice, but he kept his face turned away from Magnus, knowing he couldn’t hide the emotion there.  He needed a few moments to get himself under control.

“Just curious.  You said he dated your sister and you tend to only actually talk about your sexuality with other people who aren’t straight.  Aline, Clary, Izzy, me.” 

 

Magnus was right.  Aside from the girls he had been forced to date and close family and friends, Alec didn’t tell people about himself.  It would make sense for Magnus to assume that Meliorn wasn’t straight. 

“Are you into him?”  Alec hated that he was asking but he had to know. 

“Nah.  I just like figuring you out.” 

The answer surprised Alec and he turned around to face Magnus, meeting his gaze. 

 

“I need a shower.”  Alec finally broke the moment. 

“So do I.”  Magnus paused.  “So, don’t take too long.” 

 

Now it was Alec’s turn to pause.

“Would you maybe want to-“

“Yes.”  Magnus cut him off before he could finish, and Alec had to remember how to breathe. 

 

---

 

He had to be dreaming.  There was no way that he was in the shower with Magnus right now. 

Alec gripped Magnus’s body tightly, wanting to pull him closer but also wanting to admire him. 

Right now they were pressed close, Magnus’s hand was on his ass and Alec could feel Magnus’s hard cock pressed against his stomach.  He was in the same state, both of his arms draped around Magnus’s neck, tugging at his wet hair. 

 

Magnus was closer to the showerhead, most of the hot water falling on him but Alec didn’t care.  There was enough steam in the room to keep him warm.  As if the heat Magnus was sending through him wasn’t enough to keep him warm. 

“Magnus.”  Alec pulled away from their kiss, resting his forehead against Magnus’s shoulder.  Without thinking, Alec dragged his tongue over the bronze skin, finding his way from his shoulder to his neck.

“Alec.”  Magnus moaned as Alec reached down to wrap his hand around Magnus, stroking him a few times. 

 

Alec changed direction, moving his mouth lower, making his way down Magnus’s body. 

“Alec you don’t have to-“

“I want to.” 

 

Alec was too distracted by what he was about to do to pay attention to the begging note in his voice.  Magnus definitely noticed it though and he let out a hiss of breath. 

 

Alec was on his knees, ignoring the uncomfortable hard feeling of the shower tile underneath him.  All of his focus went towards what he was about to do.  He wrapped his hand around Magnus’s cock again, stroking him, trying to remember the grip and speed Magnus had enjoyed last time.

“You’ll tell me if I do anything wrong, right?” 

“No such thing.”  Magnus’s voice was low with lust and leaned back a little to brace one of his arms against the shower tiles behind him. 

 

Alec blinked some of the water out of his eyelashes.  The spray of the shower was mostly hitting Magnus but that didn’t prevent some of it splashing onto Alec. 

He moved his hand to the base of Magnus’s cock and ran his tongue up it, tentative at first.  Magnus reached down with his free hand to give Alec’s hair an encouraging tug.  Alec repeated the motion again.  And again, trying to find the sensitive spots.  He focused on the head, reveling in the sounds Magnus made, the way his fingers tightened in his hair every time Alec flicked his tongue a certain way. 

“Alexander.”  The tone of Magnus’s voice, moaning his name like that.  It was beautiful and Alec felt even more encouraged. 

 

“Alexander.”  Magnus moaned again as Alec continued.  “Alec, you’re being a tease.” 

 

Alec had gotten so caught up in coaxing more sounds out of Magnus with his tongue, he had almost forgotten what he had meant to do.  He pulled back a little to look up at Magnus, meaning to apologize, but with the way Magnus was looking down at him, Alec decided to just get back to the task at hand.  The idea that he was the one causing those noises and that expression from Magnus made it so ridiculously hard not to touch himself. 

He took Magnus into his mouth without hesitation, moving too quickly in his eagerness.  He choked a little and Magnus’s fingers tightened in his hair to pull him back, off of his cock and then hold him in place, preventing him getting Magnus into his mouth. 

“Slow down.”  Magnus’s voice sounded rough, like it was hard for him to remind Alec to not try to take him all at once. 

 

“I can do it.”  Alexander Lightwood was nothing if not determined. 

Magnus loosened his grip and Alec moved slower this time, taking Magnus into his mouth an inch at a time. 

“Alexander.”  Magnus moaned as Alec used one hand to copy Magnus from last night, stroking what wasn’t in his mouth yet.  “You’re doing so well.” 

 

Alec couldn’t help it and used his free hand to wrap around his own cock, startling himself by how good it already felt, how much he was enjoying this.  He moaned around Magnus’s dick. 

Magnus jerked his hips a little and Alec took it in stride, not slowing the bobbing of his head as he increased the speed on himself. 

“God yes, that’s it.”  Magnus moaned and Alec took Magnus as deep as he could manage. 

 

“If you want me to- fuck- finish somewhere other than your mouth, you should stop soon.”  Each word sounded like it was taking Magnus a great deal of effort to get out. 

Alec ignored the warning.  Magnus’s hand pulling at his hair was a background sensation, all that mattered were the sounds Magnus was making.  The way Magnus said his name.  His hand jerking his own cock. 

 

“Alexander.”  His voice was strained. 

Alec opened his eyes to look up at Magnus, meeting those golden brown ones. 

 

Magnus’s eyes closed and his hips jerked again, and even though he had been expecting it, Magnus coming in his mouth caught him off guard. 

Alec had wanted to try to swallow all of it but he couldn’t help what dripped down his chin.  His body tensed as his hand brought him to his own orgasm, shuddering and pulling back from Magnus’s cock. 

His knees spread a little more, letting him sink low enough to put both of his hands behind him to rest on the tile floor, needing the support. 

 

“Was that okay?”  The only sound between them had been panting and the sound of the shower running until Alec broke the silence.  Alec was still on the floor, Magnus still leaning against the wall, eyes closed.  He opened them at that and reached out a hand, encouraging Alec to his feet. 

Instead of answering him, Magnus pulled him close, kissing him hard.  Magnus turned them so that Alec was under the spray of the hot shower water.  Alec wrapped his arms around Magnus, doing his best to kiss him and still manage to catch his breath. 

Finally, they broke apart, but their foreheads were pressed together. 

 

“You’re a natural, darling.”  Magnus murmured and Alec couldn’t help the grin that came with the pride he felt at the words. 

“I learned from the best.”  Alec said against his lips. 

They stayed there a moment longer before Magnus finally spoke again.

“We should probably get out.” 

“Yeah.”

Chapter Text

Both of them had returned to their respective rooms to dress.  Even though Alec knew Magnus would probably pick something much more flattering than he was, Alec still pulled on a plain black tee shirt and a comfortable pair of gym shorts.  He didn’t plan on leaving the house again today, so he was dressing for comfort. 

But holy shit.  He had just given his first blowjob.  Alec couldn’t identify how he felt.  He was excited and hot over what had happened, but he hated the knowledge that it definitely meant more to him than it did to Magnus.  He wanted all of him so badly it hurt.

 

Alec got up and opened his door, noting that Magnus’s was still closed.  That wasn’t a surprise.  Alec had gotten dressed in just a few minutes and he knew it would take Magnus longer.

Leaving his door open, Alec walked over to his nightstand, picking up the phone he’d left there.  A jolt of panic shot through him as he saw an email from one of his professors, a reminder the class that they had first drafts of their papers due on Monday.  Alec had barely finished his outline.  Fuck.  He was never this far behind on his assignments.  He’d been so distracted by his feelings for Magnus lately, even when the man wasn’t even home, he was falling behind.

He sat down at his desk and turned on his laptop, trying to stave off the panic he felt realizing how much work he had to do.  Any relaxation the shower had given him was gone; the good memory pushed to the back of his mind so he could worry about this.

As much as he would have liked to spend the day with Magnus, he needed to get this done. 

He was still rereading his outline when Magnus came into his room, leaning against his doorframe and looking at him. 

 

“You should probably eat something before you get into your writer mode.”  Magnus voice was teasing, but there was a slight seriousness behind it.  “I know this place not that far away-“

“I can’t, I forgot about this paper and I need to get it done.” 

“I can cook-“

“Magnus I really just need to work on this.”  The tension in his voice wasn’t for Magnus, it was for his own irresponsibility.  His stress about his grades.  He wasn’t thinking about how Magnus couldn’t possibly know that. 

“Okay.” 

 

Magnus’s tone finally made Alec look away from his laptop. 

“I’m sorry.  That,”  Alec struggled for words, “was great but I got an email from one of my professors and I completely forgot this assignment- this paper for one of my classes is due on Monday.”  Alec’s eyes were already back on his laptop. 

“No worries.  What kind of friend would I be if I let you fail your assignments?  I’ll message Cat and see if she wants to get lunch.  Don’t work too hard.” 

 

Something was off but Alec couldn’t focus on that right now. 

 

---

 

“Is it too early to start drinking?”  Magnus questioned as he looked over the drink menu. 

“Is it ever too early for you?”  Cat rolled her eyes, but she was smiling. 

“I’m going to start drinking.  It’s past noon.”  Magnus declared, setting down the menu. 

“That’s the Magnus I know.”  She said and Magnus knew she was hinting at the way he had looked when he had first sunk into the opposite side of the booth.

 

“Are you going to ask?” 

“I was waiting for you to tell me.” 

“It’s about-“

“Alexander?”  Catarina finished the sentence for him. 

 

“He’s somehow found a way to make things even more confusing.  I can’t figure out what he wants.  For a while there I thought we were in the same place and we just needed to talk, and we just hadn’t found the right moment.”

“With the screenshots you sent me, I thought you were too.”  She said and Magnus looked a little guilty.  He knew he probably shouldn’t have sent her screenshots of some of his texts with Alec while he had been away, but he had been too excited to keep them to himself.  Besides, he could trust her not to bring it up to Alec.  Or to anyone.

“I got home on Friday while he was at work and I waited for him, but I fell asleep on the couch because he doesn’t get home till after eleven.  And he woke me up when he got home and went to help me up so, naturally, I pulled him on top of me.”  Magnus never spared detail when he was talking to his best friend. 

“Naturally.”

 

“He asked me if I was okay with him kissing me as much as he did- which was sweet.  And then I gave him his first blowjob.” 

“Uh.  Can I get you guys something to drink?”  Their server had stopped by their table just in time to hear Magnus’s last sentence and his face was flushed. 

“Please.  Vodka tonic.”  Magnus wasn’t phased by the fact their waiter had overheard what he had said. 

 

“And then-“  Magnus started up again once the server had walked away but Catarina held up her hand to stop him. 

“Stop.”  Magnus shut up, realizing exactly what he had said. 

He hadn’t been planning on keeping that detail from Cat, but he wasn’t exactly sure how Alec would feel about him sharing it. 

 

Fuck it.  If Alec wouldn’t talk to him, he needed to talk to someone.

“Yes?”

“First?”  Catarina eyed him.  “You’re telling me you’re his first and you don’t think he has feelings for you?” 

“Please don’t tell him I told you that.”

“Magnus you’ve never even introduced me to him.” 

 

That was a good point. 

“I would if you two were ever free on the same day.”

“Fair enough.” 

“Anyways, are you going to let me finish?”  Magnus asked and Catarina gave him ‘go on’ hand gesture. 

 

“So, I asked him to sleep in my bed, but he said no, but only because he wanted me to sleep in his bed.  Which, by the way, is because he has a way better mattress than me.” 

“You can’t blame him for having the better room when he lived there first.”  Cat pointed out.

“That’s exactly what Alec said.”  Magnus huffed. 

 

“So, we slept together, just sleeping and cuddling.  Honestly that night, he felt like my boyfriend.  I know we’re just supposed to be friends with benefits but that just felt like so much more.”

“Did you talk to him about it?”  It was obvious by the look on her face that she knew he hadn’t. 

“I was tired!  He was tired.  I would have talked to him in the morning-“

“Liar.”

“Hush.  You’re ruining a good story.”

 

“I would have talked to him in the morning, but I woke up to him getting ready to go for a run.  He was already out of bed.  God, Cat, you should see how good he looks shirtless.  That chest hair.  Those abs.”  Magnus closed his eyes and Catarina reached across the table to gently smack him. 

“Sorry.  Well I went with him for his run and when we got back, he suggested we shower together and then he blew me in the shower.” 

 

A glass filled with clear liquid was set in front of Magnus and he looked up to see their server again.  The man wouldn’t meet his eyes. 

“I promise I talk about things other than blowjobs.”  Magnus picked up his drink to take a sip. 

“I wasn’t judging.”  The server finally looked at him, suddenly a goofy smile on his face.  “I was just trying to pretend I didn’t hear anything.” 

“I like you.”  Magnus pointed at him as if everyone didn’t clearly know who he meant. 

 

“Does that mean you’re going to give me a good tip?” 

“He’s already in love with someone.”  Catarina informed the server who flushed a little. 

“Oh, I wasn’t hitting on him, I have a girlfriend.”  He quickly looked back to Magnus.  “Not to say that you aren’t very handsome.  You are a very good looking man.  Top tier.” 

 

“Cat, shush.  I already knew-“  He made a motion at the server to fill in the blank.

“Simon.”  He supplied.

“I already knew Simon wasn’t hitting on me.  You think I can’t tell when someone is hitting on me?” 

Cat rolled her eyes at him again. 

 

“Can I get you guys something to eat?”  Simon asked, pen in hand. 

“To be quite honest with you, Simon, I haven’t even looked at the menu yet.  I’ve been catching my friend here up on all of my recent blowjob stories.” 

“I’ll come back.”  Simon paused.  “Sorry, just so I know how long I should wait before coming back, do you have a lot more blowjob stories to tell?” 

“I’m wrapping it up.” 

 

“He’s fun.”  Magnus commented before taking another drink of his vodka tonic, a deeper swallow this time. 

“Where was I?” 

“He blew you in the shower.” 

“Yes, okay, we showered together, and he blew me.  Honestly Cat, that man is a natural.  It was incredible.  We were making out and he just got on his knees and-“

“Magnus.”  Catarina cut him off again.  “I’m sure his blowjob skills were great but where does the part about you being unsure about his feelings come in?” 

 

“Sorry, sorry.  I went to go talk to him after and he was in his room on his laptop and just being weird.  I tried to ask him to lunch but before I could even finish, he turned me down, he said he had an assignment he needed to do but the way he talked about it.  He got an email from one of his professors and he had to do this paper for one of his classes.  I’m used to him doing schoolwork, but he was so vague about it.  It sounded like he was making it up as he went.  He wouldn’t even look at me.”

“Is it possible that he really had a paper to write and you’re overthinking this?” 

“I offered to cook at home, and he turned me down there too before I got the full sentence out.  He was incredibly…dismissive.” 

“Is he normally like that after you two hook up?” 

“Last night I blew him and then we cuddled all night.” 

 

“I’m guessing I’m back too early.” 

“I’ll get the cobb salad.”  Catarina said in response and Magnus looked mildly offended. 

“You were looking at the menu during my story?”

“I was looking at the menu when you were talking to Simon.  Also, we’ve been here before, Magnus.” 

 

Magnus picked up his own menu, skimming it before ordering as well. 

“Can I get another one of these too?”  Magnus tapped the side of his drink. 

“Of course.”  Simon nodded.  “It sounds like you need one.” 

“No truer words have ever been spoken.”

 

“I still think he likes you, Magnus.”  Catarina said after Simon had walked away and Magnus was finishing off the rest of his first drink.

“Why?  He said he has a girlfriend.”

“Not him.  Alec.”

“He all but asked me to get out.  I think not wanting my company after sex means he just wants that.”  Magnus shook his empty glass, looking at the ice in the glass instead of his friend. 

“Magnus do you know what would be a good idea?”

“If you say talking to him, I’ll leave this restaurant and you with the check.”

 

Catarina didn’t say it but she gave him a knowing look. 

“It’s not that easy.  Alexander can be…difficult.”  He set down the glass he was playing with only for it to be picked up again by Simon who switched it out with a fresh drink. 

Magnus just nodded his thanks, no longer in the mood for banter. 

 

“Magnus.  I’m begging you.  Just talk to him.” 

“I’m telling you Cat, it’s not that simple.”

 

---

 

Alec had no idea how long Magnus had been gone.  He was completely wrapped up in what he was doing.  Books were scattered across his desk, different passages highlighted for reference.  His hands weren’t on his keyboard at the moment.  He felt sick. 

One elbow rested against his desk and he had his hand tangled in hair in a gesture that had clearly already been done several times given the disheveled state of it.  The other hand was on his thigh, fingers kneading against his skin without thinking about it. 

He stared at his laptop, the word document that had far too few words on it.  He wasn’t going to be able to finish this.  He had tomorrow to work on it, but he worked.  It wasn’t enough time.  He needed to get it as close to finished as he could tonight. 

 

But he couldn’t focus.  It was taking him several rereads to absorb any of the text he was trying to read. 

He knew it wasn’t just the paper. 

As much as he could pretend that he was okay with the situation with Magnus and as much as he enjoyed being with him in the ways that he could, it was stressing him out and he knew it. 

He kept thinking back to when he told Magnus he didn’t care if he slept with other people.  Why the fuck had he said that? 

He wanted to go back in time and strangle himself. 

 

As far as he knew, Magnus hadn’t hooked up with anyone since him.  Magnus hadn’t spent the night anywhere else and he hadn’t brought anyone home.  The thought comforted Alec a little.

Until he remembered that Magnus had just gotten home from a trip.  He had been gone for, what, three nights?  Anything could have happened.  Would Magnus have told him if something had? 

 

He needed to focus on this paper.  He needed to. 

Maybe if he got this paper done, he’d stop feeling stressed. 

 

“Alexander?”  Magnus sounded surprised and Alec jerked to attention at the sudden voice, sitting up straight.  He looked back to his laptop.  It was already past five. 

“How was lunch?”  He asked, almost in a rush. 

“It was good.  I went to Cat’s for a while afterward.”  He eyed Alec cautiously.  “Are you okay?” 

“I’m fine.  Just a little stuck.”  He answered, hyperaware of the way his right leg was rapidly bouncing up and down.

 

“You don’t seem fine.”  Magnus walked further into his room and Alec’s fingers resumed the motion on his left leg.  “I think you need a break.” 

“I have to get this done.” 

“You really do have a paper.”  Magnus’s voice was soft, and Alec wasn’t sure if he had been meant to hear it or not. 

 

“I- what?  Did you think I didn’t?”  He looked at Magnus in confusion and based off of the look on Magnus’s face, he hadn’t been supposed to hear it. 

“I thought you might have made it up.”  Magnus admitted.

“Why would I do that?”  Alec felt bewildered, his surprise taking precedence over his anxiety for a moment.  He’d never do something like that to Magnus. 

“I don’t know.  We’ve been spending a lot of time together.  Thought you might have been sick of me.”  Magnus was hesitant and Alec could tell how difficult that had been for him to admit. 

 

Alec was shocked by the confession.  It was the last thing he could imagine coming from Magnus.

“No!  Not at all!”  Alec answered too quickly to think about toning down the enthusiasm in his voice.  He desperately needed Magnus to know that this wasn’t true.  “I could never.”

A look of affection crossed Magnus’s face as he smiled at Alec. 

“You’re sweet.”  Magnus walked over to where Alec was sitting, leaning down to kiss him on the cheek, placing both of his hands on his shoulders, squeezing them a little.  He lifted his head to press a kiss into Alec’s hair and Alec’s shoulders relaxed. 

Magnus rubbed his thumbs into Alec’s shoulder blades, clearly expecting the tension Alec was carrying. 

“Have you ever gotten a proper massage?” 

 

The question caught Alec off guard. 

“Why?”  Alec paused, taking a moment to just enjoy the feeling of Magnus’s hands.  “Are you offering?” 

“I am pretty good at it.”

 

Fuck.  As good as that sounded, Alec couldn’t spare the time. 

“Can I take a rain check?” 

“Absolutely.” 

 

Despite the words, Magnus continued to move his hands, massaging Alec’s shoulders.  He let out a hiss of breath each time Magnus hit a knot, working it away.  Alec closed his eyes and let himself just enjoy this, even if it was just for a minute. 

“You’re really good with your hands.”  And even though Alec had set him up perfectly, Magnus didn’t take the bait.  Instead he leaned down to kiss the top of Alec’s head again. 

“I should let you focus on your paper.”  Magnus said a little regretfully. 

Alec turned in his chair to look at him, fingers moving against his leg again.

“Oh.  Yeah.  Probably.” 

 

Magnus paused a moment to look over Alec, then walked out. 

Alec watched him leave, fingers worrying more frantically at his thigh as he tried to figure out if he had done something wrong. 

But it was less than thirty seconds before Magnus was walking back into his room, a book in his hand. 

Without asking, Magnus made himself comfortable on Alec’s bed. 

“I won’t bother you.  I’ll just hang out while you work on your paper.  Bounce ideas off of me if you want to.  I’ll be here.”  Magnus said and Alec was at a loss for words. 

 

Just Magnus’s presence in the room made Alec feel calmer.  He couldn’t explain it.

“Okay.  Thank you.”  Alec said, feeling some of the fog clear from his brain. 

He turned his attention back to his laptop and suddenly the next sentence he wanted to write popped into his head.

 

The next few hours were spent mostly in silence, Alec occasionally speaking to ask Magnus if a sentence structure made sense or if he thought he was being too repetitive.    Magnus answered every time, more than happy to help.  He turned out to be a great soundboard for Alec.  And, fuck, that shouldn’t have made Alec fall even more in love with him. 

 

“Okay.”  Alec finally pushed his chair away from his desk.  “I still have a little bit of work to do but I can do it tomorrow.”  He felt too burnt out to try and write anymore tonight.  Besides, this was just supposed to be a first draft, it didn’t have to be perfect.  And if he wound up not having time to work on it tomorrow, this was still good enough to turn in. 

“Yeah?”  Magnus folded the corner of the page he was on and shut his book. 

 

Magnus.”  Alec stared at him.  For the most part, he tried not to push his own habits on other people, but he couldn’t let this one slide.  Finally, he had found a flaw with this man.

Magnus looked up, surprised at Alec’s aghast tone. 

“What?”

“They make bookmarks for a reason.”

“This is easier.”  Magnus shrugged.

 

Alec got up from his desk and walked over to his bookcase.  He picked the most brightly colored one he had out of the small pile of bookmarks he kept there, then he walked over to Magnus, holding his hand out with authority. 

Magnus was looking at him, clearly amused as he handed his book over.  Alec’s eyes flitted over the cover.  Last Days was printed there.  He didn’t recognize it.  Still, he opened the book to the page Magnus had folded over and smoothed out the corner as best he could, shaking his head, then tucked the bookmark into place.  He shut the book and flipped it over, reading the description on the back. 

“I thought you didn’t like scary stuff.”  Alec commented as he handed the book back to Magnus. 

“Why?”

“Magnus I’ve watched a horror movie with you.  You clung to me the entire time.”  Alec pointed out. 

“Did you ever consider that I’d seen that movie before, and I was just finding an excuse to feel you up?”

 

Alec had absolutely not considered that.  But now he was. 

 

Before Alec could think of anything to say, Magnus was getting up from his bed.  He stretched and Alec’s eyes darted down to the slight bit of skin the motion exposed before looking back up at Magnus. 

“I saw that.”  Magnus commented and Alec flushed a little. 

“No idea what you’re talking about.”

“Sure, I totally believe you, Alec.”  Magnus still had his book in his hand, the bright bookmark standing out. 

 

“I’m going to get ready for bed.  Thank you very much for the bookmark.  I’ll take care of it like it was my own.”  Magnus kissed Alec on the cheek again before walking out and back into his bedroom. 

Alec got to his feet as he watched Magnus walk out.  He looked back at his laptop, surprised by the amount of work he had gotten done.  How much just Magnus’s presence had helped him calm down. 

He knew he had plenty of time since Magnus’s getting ready for bed routine was much more extravagant than his own.  All he had to do was brush his teeth and strip off his clothes.  It only took a few minutes.

When Alec came back into his room, he grabbed his phone.  He had completely forgotten he had texted Izzy earlier.

 

Izzy (10:12am): oh????
Izzy (10:13am): i need to know all of the things
Izzy (10:18am): there is no way you’re still out on a run
Izzy (10:27am): alecccccc
Izzy (10:34am): you can’t tell me you have so much to tell me
Izzy (10:34am): and then not tell me anything
Izzy (10:55am): i’m disowning you
Alec (12:31pm): Sorry
Alec (12:31pm): I just realized that I have an assignment due on Monday
Alec (12:32pm): And I really need to work on it
Alec (12:32pm): I promise I’ll update you later tonight. 
Izzy (12:33pm): u better

Alec (9:36pm): Hello
Izzy (9:36pm): FINALLY
Izzy (9:36pm): UPDATE ME
Alec (9:37pm): Things have happened
Izzy (9:37pm): things?
Izzy (9:37pm): what things?
Alec (9:37pm): Magnus slept in my bed last night
Alec (9:37pm): And some other stuff happened last night as well
Izzy (9:38pm): oh?????
Alec (9:38pm): There is one specific detail I’m considering giving you
Alec (9:38pm): But you have to promise to not make it weird
Izzy (9:38pm): I promise. 
Izzy (9:38pm): I promise x10
Alec (9:39pm): It took me so long to reply to your text this morning because I was in the shower
Izzy (9:39pm): there better be more to this story
Alec (9:40pm): I was in the shower with Magnus
Izzy (9:40pm): !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Izzy (9:40pm): ohmygod
Izzy (9:40pm): what happened? 
Alec (9:41pm): Nope. 
Izzy (9:41pm): what if i guess it? 
Izzy (9:41pm): will you tell me then? 
Alec (9:41pm): Fine. 
Izzy (9:41pm): did you guys have sex in the shower?
Alec (9:42pm): No
Izzy (9:42pm): did you guys have sex the night he got home?
Alec (9:42pm): No
Izzy (9:43pm): blowjob?
Izzy (9:49pm): ohmygod
Alec (9:49pm): I didn’t say anything
Izzy (9:50pm): oh
Izzy (9:50pm): my
Izzy (9:50pm): god
Izzy (9:50pm): can i just ask one question
Izzy (9:50pm): i promise it’ll be just the one
Alec (9:51pm): You’re gonna ask anyways so go for it
Izzy (9:51pm): did he blow you or did you blow him?
Alec (9:55pm): Yes.
Alec (9:55pm): That’s all the information I’m giving you.
Alec (9:55pm): Goodnight

 

Alec plugged his phone into his charger and set it on the edge of his nightstand.  He climbed into his bed, settling himself under the covers just as Magnus came back into his room.  His makeup had been removed along with most of his clothing. 

“Your bed really is a lot more comfortable than mine.”  Magnus commented, lingering in Alec’s doorway.  The way those purple briefs clung to his body was almost sinful. 

Alec from the middle of his bed to the left side, freeing up the right for Magnus.

He knew he didn’t need to say anything; the gesture would be enough. 

 

Magnus settled himself into bed and against him like it was something he had been doing his entire life.  Alec pulled him close.  He wished they could spend every night like this. 

“You smell good.”  He mumbled and Magnus laughed. 

“Thank you.  It’s sandalwood.”

 

---

 

It was the feeling of warmth leaving his side that pulled Alec out of sleep.  He sat up groggily in time to see Magnus disappearing out of his bedroom door though he left it open behind him. 

Alec felt his shoulders sag in disappointment.  He supposed he deserved this after how he’d left Magnus that one night.  Or how he had sort of ditched him yesterday.  Besides, it wasn’t like they had messed around last night.  Well, they had yesterday morning but that was beside the point. 

Magnus had probably only slept in here because Alec had been a nervous wreck last night.

 

Then Alec heard the sound of the bathroom door shutting.  A few minutes later, there was the sound of it opening again and Magnus was sliding back into bed with him.

“Sorry, didn’t mean to wake you."  His voice was soft but still weighed down with sleep.  Alec was so pleased to see Magnus had come back that he couldn’t bring himself to feel even a little annoyed. 

“It’s okay.  My alarm to get up for work would have gone off in about half an hour anyways.”  He said as Magnus wrapped himself around Alec again, fingers tracing intricate patterns on his chest. 

 

“So, what you’re telling me is that you have an extra half hour?”

Alec couldn’t tell if Magnus’s voice was low because it was the morning, or the tone signified something else. 

“I am.”  Alec felt Magnus’s hand sliding down his chest now, lower, dipping below the sheets. 

 

“Good morning to me.”  Magnus’s voice was in his ear as his fingers brushed against the half erection Alec had woken up with. 

“Magnus.”  Alec breathed. 

 

Magnus pulled his hand away and moved their position.  He climbed on top of Alec, straddling him and Alec grabbed his hips as Magnus leaned down to kiss him. 

God he could get used to waking up like this. 

He ran his hands up Magnus’s bare back, fingers admiring the muscles as his lips parted against Magnus’s and Magnus kissed him deeper. 

 

It felt far too soon when Magnus pulled away from the kiss, but Alec was not complaining when he felt Magnus’s lips on his neck, gasping as Magnus bit down, harder than Alec had expected.  But any pain was quickly soothed by the feeling of Magnus sucking a mark onto his neck. 

“Magnus.”  Alec repeated.  He was enjoying it too much to think about how he had work later and his work uniform didn’t exactly cover his neck. 

Alec continued to feel as much of Magnus’s body as he could with his hands while Magnus worked on leaving his mark. 

 

Magnus finally pulled back, sitting up on Alec’s lap to admire his work. 

Alec had a view to admire too.  The covers were pooled around Magnus’s hips and Alec thanked the lord for the rather tight briefs Magnus favored. 

Magnus leaned back down to kiss him, and Alec wrapped his arms around him, encouraging him to press his body further into him as he kissed him hungrily. 

 

From the floor, Alec’s phone buzzed with a call from Izzy but neither of them heard it.  Alec’s phone had gone off several times that morning, but it had fallen off the nightstand and onto the carpet and he didn’t hear the vibration from the messages or calls. 

And, god, he was going to regret that. 

 

The two of them were too wrapped up in each other to hear the sound of a key unlocking their apartment or the sound of heels clicking against the kitchen tiles.  Neither of them noticed anything until Alec’s already partially open door was flung all the way open.

 

“Alec!  You need-“ 

 

The very last thing in the world Alec wanted right now was to hear his sister’s voice. 

He froze and Magnus sat up again, looking to the side. 

“Hi Izzy.” 

Alec closed his eyes, but he could hear his sister laughing. 

 

“So sorry, didn’t mean to interrupt.”  She sounded delighted. 

Alec gave Magnus a nudge and he climbed off of him, making sure to keep both of them covered as best as he could but it was obvious, they were both in their underwear. 

“What?”  Alec snapped, yanking the covers up further, practically to his chin. 

“Not my fault you weren’t answering your phone.  I’ll wait in the kitchen till you two are done.”  She shut Alec’s door behind her and headed towards the kitchen.

 

“Fuck my life.”  Alec groaned. 

“So, I’m guessing we’ll continue this later.”  Magnus sounded understanding but there was a hint of disappointment in his voice.

“Yeah.  Nothing kills the mood like knowing my sister is sitting in the kitchen.” 

Magnus got off the bed and stretched. 

“Worse than your parents sitting in the kitchen?”  And Alec cringed. 

“For the love of god, why would you say that?”

“Verbal equivalent of a cold shower, darling.” 

 

Okay.  That was fair.  And it had certainly worked. 

“I don’t know whether to be mad at you or thank you.”  Alec mumbled as he got out of bed, locating a clean pair of boxer briefs,  pair of jeans and a black tee shirt before looking over at Magnus who was still mostly naked. 

“Thank me.” 

“Magnus you’re going to have to get dressed.”

“I don’t have clothes in here.  Besides, she’s here to talk to you.  You go talk to her and I’ll go back to my room and change.”

 

“You could wear something of mine.”  The offer made his heart beat faster and Magnus looked delighted at the prospect of going through Alec’s wardrobe, though Alec was pretty sure he’d be disappointed by what he found.  Alec didn’t have a lot of color. 

“Okay.  Meet you in the kitchen?” 

“Yeah.” 

 

Alec grabbed his phone off the floor before he left his room and shut his door behind him, heading to the kitchen.  He didn’t bother to check the messages; they were probably all from Izzy and he was sure she was about to explain. 

 

“This better be good.”  Alec grumbled, sitting down in the chair across from Izzy.  “Stop looking at me like that.”

“Is this how you start all your mornings?”

“I hate you.”

“You weren’t lying, his body is incredible.” 

“Stop.”

“Nice hickey.” 

“Shut up.  I regret ever giving you a key.  I want my spare back.” 

“If you had just answered your phone, I wouldn’t be here, so this is on you.  And I’m keeping the key.”  

 

“I didn’t hear it.  I was-“  Alec had been going to say ‘sleeping’ but Izzy cut him off.

“Busy getting some?” 

Asleep.”  She just smirked.  “My phone was on the carpet; I didn’t hear it.”

 

“Seriously Izzy, what’s going on?” 

“You’re not going to like it.”  She said and Alec just looked at her. 

 

“Mom is-“  She stopped as Magnus walked into the kitchen, fully dressed in one of Alec’s only tee shirts that had any color, the green one that brought out his eyes, but tight pants from his own wardrobe.  She smiled at him, then glanced at Alec. 

He knew Izzy knew the shirt was Alec’s.  She had gotten it for him. 

“It’s fine, he can hear whatever it is.”  Alec said without thinking about it and Izzy nodded. 

Magnus sat down at the table, reaching over to give Izzy’s hand a quick squeeze in greeting. 

 

“Mom and dad put together another family dinner for tonight.  I’m pretty sure at least three of your missed calls are from mom telling you to be there.  So, I’d call her back ASAP.”

“Fuck me.”  Alec groaned and he could almost feel the restraint it took Magnus not to make a comment back. 

 

“That’s shitty but that didn’t exactly warrant a visit down here, Iz.”

“There’s more.”  She said reluctantly and Alec tensed. 

Without thinking, Magnus reached over to put his hand on Alec’s arm, rubbing it gently in a comforting gesture. 

 

“Dad sort of invited a date for you.” 

“What?”  Alec tensed further. 

“Remember the Lydia he brought up last week?  She’s going to be there.  I wanted to catch you before work, so you didn’t get completely blindsided by it.”

“Fuck.”  Alec slid down his chair, closing his eyes. 

 

He couldn’t use his old method of just coming out right away.  Not in front of Robert. 

“Of course, I wouldn’t have come if I had known you were in the middle of something.”  She added and Alec kept his eyes closed. 

“That one was my fault.”  Alec opened his eyes at the sound of Magnus’s voice.  He was half raising his hand. 

“Oh?  The other times were Alec’s fault?”  She asked, amused as Magnus’s attempt to take the attention off Alec backfired. 

 

“Izzy.  Can we please focus on the matter at hand?”  Alec knew he was never going to hear the end of this, but for now he needed to focus on what he was going to do at dinner tonight. 

“If I can get her alone, I’ll tell her that you’re gay.”  Izzy offered, “Very gay.”  She added, glancing from him to Magnus. 

“God why do people keep saying that?” 

“What?”

“Never mind.”

 

“I just wanted you to know ahead of time because I know dad is planning it as a surprise attack.  This way you know it’s coming.” 

“Thanks, Iz.  I appreciate it.” 

“Also, you might want to cover up that hickey tonight.  I know you’re not the type for scarves or turtlenecks so makeup might be the best choice.” 

“I don’t know how-“  Alec started but Magnus cut him off.

“I can help you with that.”  He offered and Alec couldn’t help but to smile. 

“Yeah?”  Alec forgot Izzy was in the room for a moment as he looked at Magnus who smiled back at him.

“Alexander, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I do my own makeup almost every single day.  I think I can manage yours.” 

 

“Perfect.”  Izzy clapped her hands together and Alec jumped.  “Alec, you should call mom back.”  She said and Alec stood up, grabbing his phone, then paused.

“Are you just trying to get alone time with Magnus so you can gossip about me?”  He asked, suspicious and Izzy rolled her eyes. 

“Please.  I have plenty more interesting topics.”  She said and Alec looked at her a moment before turning to Magnus. 

“Do not give her information.”  He said and Magnus laughed. 

“Of course, Alexander.”  He replied and Alec walked out of the room, back into his bedroom to listen to the voicemails and then call his mother back. 

 

“So.  You and Alexander, huh?”  Izzy said the moment Alec was out of earshot. 

“I have no idea what you’re talking about.”  Magnus replied, loyal to Alec.  He had known Izzy was going to ask as soon as her brother was out of the room. 

“Magnus.”  She complained.  “We both know what I just walked in on.” 

“You, Isabelle, should have knocked.”  Magnus said back, using her full first name for the first time but it only seemed to amuse her more. 

“You, Magnus, should have shut the door.”

 

Okay, she had a point there.  Magnus had left the door partially open behind him when he had come back from the bathroom instead of shutting it.  He still thought Izzy should have given a little knock, he couldn’t blame her for just walking into Alec’s room when the door was already open. 

 

“You, Isabelle, shouldn’t just walk into people’s apartments.”

“You, Magnus, should be aware that Alec gave me a key.” 

 

Magnus really liked Alec’s sister.  She kept up with his banter well. 

“Can I ask you something?”  Magnus said and Izzy sat up straight. 

“Anything.”

“Does he really not let other people call him Alexander?”  Magnus lowered his voice as he asked.  Technically he wasn’t going against what Alec had said.  He had just told him not to give Izzy information, not that he couldn’t get information from Izzy. 

 

“The only people who call him Alexander are our parents and he hates it.”  The answer surprised him and suddenly he felt guilty.  Alec seemed like the kind of person who wouldn’t correct him out of politeness. 

“Should I stop?”  Magnus asked and while he loved Alec’s full name, he would switch to his nickname if he was making Alec uncomfortable, though it hadn’t seemed like he had been uncomfortable with him using it.  In fact, he had seemed to like it a lot.

“No, no.  I just meant he hates it when our parents use it.  He lights up when you use it.  Never stop.”  Izzy reassured him and Magnus couldn’t stop himself from smiling. 

 

“Can I ask you a question?”  Izzy asked and Magnus gave her a look. 

“I’m not telling you anything about our sex life.”  He absolutely hadn’t thought that one through. 

“But there is a sex life.”  Izzy looked pleased with herself. 

“I said nothing.”

 

“No but really, the question isn’t about Alec.” 

That surprised Magnus but he nodded. 

“Are you hooking up with people other than my brother?” 

 

The question caught him completely off guard. 

“What?”

“Are you-“

“No I heard you.  I just wasn’t expecting that.” 

Izzy didn’t give him any further explanation, instead just leaned back in her seat, looking at him.

 

He didn’t know what to make of the question. 

“At the current time, no.  Just your brother.”  Magnus paused for a moment, listening close to make sure he could still hear Alec on the phone in the other room. 

Izzy seemed pleased with that answer. 

“If I tell you something will you promise not to tell Alexan- Alec?”  Magnus asked, voice hesitant. 

Izzy held up a hand, clearly thinking it over. 

“Is it going to be something I’m going to desperately want to tell him?”

“Most likely.” 

 

“Then no.”  Izzy said with a disappointed sigh.  “I want to know so badly but I can’t keep anything secret from him.”  Izzy almost glared in the direction of Alec’s bedroom as if she was angry that her loyalty was keeping her from learning Magnus’s secret.  “He’s my best friend.”  Izzy’s voice got softer. 

“He talks about you all the time.  I’m pretty sure you’re his too.”  Magnus told her.  He wished he could have told her just how much he liked Alec, but he couldn’t blame her for needing to stay loyal to her best friend. 

 

In the other room, Alec sounded like he was wrapping up the conversation with his mother.  Both of them glanced towards the bedroom before Izzy leaned across the table, beckoning Magnus to lean towards her.  Clearly there was something Izzy needed to tell him before Alec got back but he had no idea what.

Confused, Magnus leaned in. 

“You hurt him, and I’ll kick your ass.” 

 

This was a first.  Magnus had never gotten a shovel talk from someone’s sister before.  Especially when that person wasn’t even his boyfriend or girlfriend. 

“I’m not going to hurt him.  I-“

 

“What are you two whispering about?” 

Alec was back and looking at them both with distrust. 

“Nothing.”  They both said in unison. 

Alec rolled his eyes.  He didn’t believe either of them for a second.

Chapter Text

“Oooh looks like someone got lucky last night.” 

Alec jumped at the sudden voice.  He had been too focused on the computer screen to notice Simon walk up next to him.

“Excuse me?” 

“Dude.  Come on.”  Simon gestured at Alec’s neck as Maia pushed through the doors of the kitchen. 

“I think you might have sweat or rubbed off whatever you were covering that up with.”  She looked amused too as stood next to Simon, gently bumping against his side, neither of them bothering to hide the fact they were staring at Alec’s neck.  “Did you have concealer on it?”

 

Alec pulled his phone out of pocket and quickly opened the camera app, flipping it around so he could see himself. 

Son of a bitch.  Maia was right. 

“He said it was foundation.”  Alec mumbled.

Magnus had covered Alec’s mark with foundation that he had insisted on buying. 

“Darling, we’re not exactly the same shade.” 

Magnus’s words danced through his head and Alec smiled just a little at the memory. 

 

It hadn’t been expensive foundation.  They didn’t exactly have time to go to an actual nice store when Alec had to leave for work so soon.  But Alec still felt a little warm about Magnus’s insistence on finding him the perfect shade to match his skin tone and how he had refused to let Alec pay him back for it. 

And how close to him Magnus had been when he had applied it to Alec’s skin, covering the deep red mark.

“Sorry about this by the way.  I couldn’t help myself.”

 

“Fuck me.”  Alec groaned. 

He hadn’t considered the possibility of the effect sweat would have on the makeup.  Going from table to table, carrying heavy trays, and just being inside the hot kitchen in general, of course he was going to sweat.  The hickey was still partially covered in some spots, but it was fairly obvious what it was.

“Looks like someone already did.”  Maia grinned at him. 

“I didn’t-“  Alec started before deciding that it wasn’t worth it.  He still had a few more hours on his shift and he needed to figure out a fix for this quickly. 

 

“Shit.  I need to cover this.”  Alec was still looking at the mark.

“You could just say you burned yourself with a curling iron.”  Maia said, clearly more amused about the situation than Alec was. 

“You could say that you fell.”  Simon suggested. 

Alec just looked at both of them, shoving his phone back into his pocket. 

 

“How long has it been like this?  Fuck, I’ve had so many tables.”  Alec elected to ignore their suggestions. 

“I didn’t notice it till just now.  But then again, I’ve been in the bar.”  She shrugged. 

“I saw it about twenty minutes ago, but you were taking orders.”  Simon added. 

Alec was just grateful that Simon had had enough sense to not approach him at a table full of people to inform him that his hickey was visible.

 

“Did you bring the foundation with you?”  Maia asked and Alec shook his head, feeling stupid.  He really should have brought it with him; there was no reason to leave it with Magnus.  He had no use for it. 

“No.  Someone else did it for me and I left it with him.” 

 

“Well, I have some foundation in my bag but,” She gestured to herself and then to Alec.  “You’re pale as shit.” 

“Thanks for that.”

 

“Fuck.  I shouldn’t have left it with Magnus.”  Alec groaned, not thinking about using Magnus’s name.

 

Simon was looking at him strangely. 

“You left it with Magnus?” 

“There must be an echo in here.”  The embarrassment of the mark being visible while he was at work hadn’t left him with much patience for Simon. 

“Hey, Clary is pale too.  Let me go ask her if she has some you can use.”  Simon suggested though he was still looking at him a little strangely and Alec nodded his head.

 

Again, Alec felt guilty for being short with him.  He was just trying to help. 

Simon kissed Maia on the cheek before walking out of the kitchen in search of Clary. 

 

“I’ll never understand why you’re with him.”  Alec said once Simon had left. 

“You don’t need to.” 

This was exactly why Maia had been the first person Alec had befriended when he had first started here. 

 

“What about you?  You finally found yourself a man?”  She asked, reaching out to push his shoulder playfully. 

“It’s complicated.”  Alec sighed, turning back to the computer to finish inputting the order. 

“Oh?”  Maia leaned against the counter. 

“Friends with benefits.”  Alec didn’t exactly feel the desire to explain that the man in question was also his roommate.  And that Alec was in love with him. 

 

Before Maia could respond, Simon reentered the kitchen with Clary following him. 

“I have emergency makeup in my bag!”  She informed him, seeming excited she got to help.  “Come on, I’ll help you, let me grab my bag and we can go to the employee bathroom.”

 

The fact that they were at work suddenly hit Alec. 

“Shit.  I have tables-“

“I’ll take care of them.  There’s no one in the bar anyways and I’ve been bored out of my mind.”  Maia said and Alec felt deeply grateful towards her.  “Of course, you’re going to have to give me my share of the tips.”  She added and Alec laughed. 

“Will do.”  He paused, glancing at Clary. 

 

“What about your tables?“ 

“I’m not even clocked in yet.  My shift doesn’t start for another twenty minutes.”  Clary said and Alec nodded his head.  He never thought he’d see the day where he was this happy that Clary was early to work.

 

---

 

“I think this is the first time I’ve ever spent time with you.”  Clary commented.

“We’ve been working together for months.”  Alec’s head was bent at an awkward angle, giving Clary full access to cover up the mark on his neck. 

“I know but I don’t know you know you.  I’ve never been alone with you before, really.  And now here we are, locked in the bathroom while I’m putting makeup on your neck to cover a rather impressive hickey.”   

 

Alec decided to ignore that last part. 

“We’ve been alone together before.  When you asked me about my sister.” 

 

Izzy had come into his work to pick up to-go food.  The two of them had talked for a while, laughing until Alec had to get back to work and she left.  This was something that happened fairly often.  Sometimes it was just Izzy dropping by to see him. 

Clary had approached him later to ask if Izzy was his girlfriend and Alec was so completely caught off guard by the question, he almost dropped the tray of waters he was carrying. 

Once Alec informed her that Izzy was his sister, Clary looked excited. 

Alec made the excuse of needing to go drop off the drinks while he mentally worked out a way to turn Clary down gently.  Why else would she have asked about his relationship status?

 

He had managed to avoid Clary for the rest of the night.  Saying he was too busy with a table to stop and talk or he needed to start his side work.  He kept his distance, but it didn’t matter.  Clary caught him in the parking lot later. 

He had been filled with dread when he heard her voice and he knew he couldn’t ignore it. 

He had been so ready to turn her down, so he had no words when she asked about Izzy instead. 

 

“That was one time.”  Clary complained.  “It doesn’t count.  Besides, you avoided me all night and I had to corner you in the parking lot.” 

“That’s because I thought you were trying to ask me out.”  And despite how awkward the memory was, Alec couldn’t help but smile. 

Clary was too. 

 

Clary leaned back for a moment, getting a better look at Alec’s neck.  She had wiped off the makeup Magnus had applied to get a fresh start. 

There was a moment where he thought Clary was fucking with him when she started with something light green, but it was turning out alright.  The color she was putting on top of it wasn’t a perfect match for his skin tone, but it was close enough. 

“The green will cancel out the red.  Don’t worry, I know what I’m doing.”  She had reassured him, and it turned out she was right. 

 

“Do you have a boyfriend?”  Clary’s voice was soft, like she wasn’t sure if she was allowed to ask the question or not. 

“I have,”  Alec paused, trying to think of the right word.  “A friend.”  He knew she was asking because of the mark she was covering up.  And, god, he wished so badly that he could say yes to her question.  But him and Magnus were just friends.  Friends that hooked up a lot but just friends. 

“Just a friend?”

“It’s complicated.”  Alec repeated the same words he had said to Maia. 

“Well, your bruise is covered up.”  Clary stepped back from him and Alec looked in the mirror. 

 

It was like it had never been there in the first place. 

Alec turned away from the mirror to face Clary. 

“Thank you.” 

“Anytime.” 

 

Alec hesitated for a moment, then spoke again. 

“Italian.” 

“What?”  Clary was staring at him in obvious confusion. 

“My sister’s favorite is Italian.” 

The confusion changed into a bright smile. 

“Thanks.”

 

Alec unlocked the door and the two of them headed out, nearly colliding with Raj. 

“What were you guys doing in there together?”  He asked, eyeing both of them with suspicion.  It was pretty clear what he thought they had been doing. 

“Telling secrets about you.”  Clary said promptly and walked past him.  His gaze shifted to Alec, clearly looking for any physical evidence and Alec was really glad Clary had done such a good job covering the mark. 

“Really?  At work, Lightwood?”  He said, shaking his head.  “Aren’t you on right now?  You have tables.” 

 

“I had something to take care of.” 

 

Alec didn’t bother to specify what the actual thing had been, and he knew Raj was still thinking the same thing. 

“Can you move?  I have tables to get to.”  Alec said and when the other man didn’t, Alec just pushed his way past, not caring he had to shoulder Raj out of the way to get past him. 

 

---

 

Izzy (12:21pm): hey i just wanted you to know
Izzy (12:21pm): i’m never letting you live this down
Alec (12:37pm): I have no idea what you’re talking about.
Izzy (12:37pm): is he normally on top? 
Alec (12:40pm): Do you normally barge into people’s rooms without knocking? 
Izzy (12:40pm): your door was open!
Izzy (12:40pm): also is that a yes? 
Alec (12:53pm): It’s a mind your own business
Izzy (12:53pm): so definitely a yes
Izzy (1:34pm): how’s your makeup holding up? 
Alec (1:49pm): Don’t worry about it. 
Izzy (1:50pm): omg
Izzy (1:50pm): you sweat it off, didn’t you?
Alec: (1:59pm): Another one of the servers helped me out
Alec (1:59pm): You know, the one with the red hair
Alec (2:00pm): Talked a lot. 
Izzy (2:00pm): Clary? >.>
Alec (2:00pm): Don’t know. 
Alec (2:01pm): Maybe I’ll find out later if someone stops bringing up this morning. 
Izzy (2:01pm): i’ll let you win just this once

 

It wasn’t just Izzy teasing him throughout his shift. 

 

“Hey, I know you already made them but table fourteen changed their drink order again.”  Alec leaned against the countertop of the bar as he spoke to Maia. 

“Oh man.  That sucks.”  She rubbed her hand against the side of her neck as she spoke, pretending it was a casual gesture.  Though it was far too over the top to actually be one. 

“Stop.” 

“So, I guess if you don’t bring these ones, you’ll get some biting remarks?”  She said as she examined the new ticket, reaching for a new glass to start over with another drink.

“Maia.” 

“It might bruise your reputation.”

Maia.” 

“I just don’t want you to have to cover anything up.”

 

“You know I’m blaming Simon for this.  You never used to make this many puns.” 

“I’m a great influence.”  And for the second time that day, he was startled by the sound of Simon’s voice.  Simon seemed to have a penchant for sneaking up behind him. 

“Jesus Christ.  I swear, you need a bell.” 

 

Simon didn’t respond, instead he very unsubtly leaned around Alec to get a better look at where Clary had covered up the mark. 

“She’s good.”  Simon commented and as much as Alec wanted to shield the spot with his hand, he didn’t want to risk messing up the makeup. 

“Stop looking.”

 

---

 

Finally, his shift was over. 

The entire afternoon had been nothing but Simon, Maia, and Clary giving him knowing looks.  They didn’t even have to say anything, though that didn’t stop them from occasionally brushing by him to make another pun. 

Who would have known someone could make that many puns about a hickey? 

Alec was in the kitchen, finishing up his side work when Simon approached him.

 

 

“Hey, Alec?”

“What?”  Alec sighed, glancing over his shoulder at Simon.

“Is that a nickname?” 

“What?”  Alec repeated, confused by the question.  He had expected Simon to ask him something about his relationship status or make a dumb pun about his hickey. 

“Alec.  Is that your full name or is it short for something?”

 

Alec set down the knife he had been using to slice lemons and turned around to look him over. 

“It’s short for Alexander.  And before you even think about it, no you can’t call me that.” 

“That’s not why I was asking.” 

Alec only stared at him, so Simon continued. 

“You know how I’m a server at my other job?” 

“Yes.”  Alec had no idea where he was going with this.  He didn’t know what the hell Simon’s second job had to do with his full name. 

 

“I’m pretty sure one of the tables I had yesterday was your boyfriend.” 

Alec opened his mouth to say something, then realized he had no idea what to say. 

“He’s very attractive.”  Simon added. 

 

“I don’t have a boyfriend.”  Alec finally said and Simon looked skeptical. 

“Asian, black hair, broad shoulders, eyeliner, jewelry.”  Simon listed off details and Alec knew he was right. 

“Doesn’t ring a bell.” 

“Come on, you’re telling me that there is another person in this city with the name Magnus talking about blowjobs and someone named Alexander?”

 

Fuck his life. 

Of course, it was Simon.

 

Alec looked around to double check that there was no one near them before moving closer to Simon so he could talk in a low voice. 

“What did he say?”  It wasn’t the question Alec had planned on asking, but it was the one that came out of his mouth anyways. 

Simon raised an eyebrow at him.

“I thought you didn’t know him.” 

 

The burning curiosity won over his desire to keep this a secret.

“Just tell me.”

“Well I wasn’t trying to eavesdrop, so I don’t have much context for anything.”  Simon paused.  “But there were mentions of a first blowjob and a shower blowjob.  Honestly most of the time I came to his table he was talking about blowjobs.” 

Alec knew Magnus had been with Catarina and given that he had shared details with Izzy, he couldn’t be mad at Magnus for sharing them with his own best friend.  But fuck his life.  In no universe was Simon supposed to hear about any of this. 

 

“It sounds like you’ve been busy lately.”  Simon nudged him and Alec closed his eyes. 

“What else?”  Alec was trying to pretend that Simon hadn’t heard any details of his sex life. 

“Uh, he said that you could be difficult.” 

 

Alec felt his heart sink.  Difficult.  Magnus thought he was difficult.  That wasn’t the first time Alec had heard that about himself, far from it.  He heard it from his dad when he had refused all of the girls his dad set him up with.  He’d heard it from his mom when he didn’t want to do whatever it was she was telling him to do.  He’d heard it from Jace and Jace’s friends when they had been living together. 

He hadn’t expected to hear it from Magnus.  Well, from Simon who had overheard it from Magnus.  This detail was worse than Simon overhearing about his sex life and Alec really wasn’t sure why Simon had bothered to include it in the first place.

He was doing his best to disguise his emotions but apparently, he wasn’t doing a good enough job because Simon clearly seemed to read the disappointment and hurt on Alec’s face. 

“He wasn’t insulting you!  He didn’t sound like he was, at least.  More exasperated.”  Simon quickly added. 

Alec wasn’t sure if that made it better or worse.  Was he annoying Magnus?  He had known he was doing something wrong, but he didn’t know what. 

 

“Alright.  Well.  Just keep it to yourself, okay?”  Alec hated how defeated he sounded, and he turned away from Simon to pick up the knife and go back to cutting lemons again, pretending the busboy wasn’t still right behind him until Simon started speaking again. 

“Wait.  There was a moment where his friend thought I was hitting on him- and I promise I wasn’t- and she told me that he was already in love with someone else.” 

 

The knife slipped and Alec swore loudly, dropping the knife to grab the cut finger with his other hand out of reflex, then swore again and quickly let go of his injured finger when he was very unpleasantly reminded that he had lemon juice on his hands. 

Simon scrabbled in his apron to pull out a wad of napkins, offering them to Alec who snatched them out of his hand and pressed them to the cut. 

“How bad is it?” 

“It’s fine.  I just nicked it.”  Alec said through gritted teeth, then walked away from Simon and over to one of the sinks.  He hadn’t gotten a good look at it yet, but he was pretty sure it wasn’t too bad.  But he certainly hadn’t made it any better by getting lemon juice on it.  His finger stung and throbbed and all he could think to do was wash it off. 

 

Alec turned on the sink and moved the napkins to put both of his hands beneath the spray, wincing as the water hit the cut, while trying to wash his right hand to get the lemon juice off of it though that wasn’t easy to do one handed. 

“Here, let me help.”  Simon had followed him over to the sink and before Alec could protest, Simon was already pumping soap into his hand and grabbed Alec’s uninjured one, lathering it up with soap. 

“What are you doing?”  Alec looked away from his hands to stare at Simon.

“Helping you get lemon stuff of this hand so you can touch that hand.”  He said like it was a perfectly normal thing to do while he rubbed Alec’s hand.  He was tempted to jerk it out of Simon’s grip but he sort of did have a point.  It was going to be a challenge to do all of this one handed. 

 

“Are we doing a spa day back here?  Hand massages?”  Maia had come around the corner and both men looked at her. 

“Alec cut his hand slicing the lemons.  I’m helping.”  Simon answered and the teasing smile on her face turned to worry as she approached the two of them.  Simon had finally let go of Alec’s right hand and Alec ran it under the water to get the soap off before tentatively touching his left hand. 

“Are you okay?”  She asked as she looked over Simon’s shoulder. 

“I’m fine.” 

“I’ll get bandages.”  Maia hurried off. 

 

Alec turned off the water and held napkins over the cut again.  He had gotten a better look at it when he had been cleaning it and while it wasn’t bad enough to require stitches, it was more that just a little nick. 

“I’m so sorry.”  Simon said quickly, hovering around Alec, trying to find other ways he could help.

“Why are you sorry?” 

“Well it happened right when I told you what Magnus’s friend had said about him-“  Alec stopped pressing down the napkins to hold up that hand, halting Simon.

 

“Coincidence.” 

“Alec I’ve never once seen you slip up like, the entire time we’ve been working together.” 

And that was true.  Alec had started before Simon, so Simon hadn’t witnessed the awkward first few weeks of Alec working there, but his point still stood.  Mistakes at work were incredibly rare for Alec.

 

“Give me your hand.”  Maia had returned and Alec did so, letting Maia use what she needed from the first aid kit to bandage the cut on his finger. 

“Let me finish your side work for you!”  Simon said quickly and Alec rolled his eyes. 

“It’s not like I cut my finger off, I can manage.” 

“Actually, you better let him finish it.  You’re still bleeding and I’m pretty sure it’s several health violations to let you near food.” 

 

“Fine.”  Alec reluctantly agreed and Simon was already on his way over to where Alec had been cutting the lemons. 

“You should head home.  You’re already off, right?”  She asked and Alec nodded. 

“Yeah.  Just need to get paid out.” 

 

---

 

All the lights were off in the apartment when Alec got home, and he felt disappointment rush through him.  He had no idea where Magnus was, but it wasn’t here. 

He was tempted to text him, but it wasn’t like Magnus had any obligation to tell him when and where he was going.  Besides, maybe this was better.  It gave Alec time to think about what he had heard from Simon.  Especially that last part. 

 

Stripping off his work clothes and shoes, Alec laid down on his bed, on top of the covers in just a tee shirt and boxer briefs.  He plugged his phone into his charger, made his alarm was set to remind him to start getting ready for dinner tonight, and closed his eyes.

 

For the first time, he let himself consider that maybe Magnus was feeling what he felt too.  Or at least something similar to it.  If Catarina had really said exactly that, Alec was sure it was an exaggeration, but either way, Alec felt his heart beating faster at the thought.  He knew there was the slight chance that Catarina had meant someone else or even that she had been lying entirely just to prevent Simon from hitting on Magnus. 

He knew that these weren’t the likely scenarios, but they were the two his brain latched onto. 

As far as he was concerned, aside from the three nights Magnus had spent out of town, Alec was fairly certain he hadn’t seen Magnus go on any dates or anything like that.  Or maybe Magnus was still in love with his ex.  Yes, he had told Alec how awful she had been, but he also knew that you couldn’t just force yourself not to be in love with someone. 

 

And then of course there was the chance that Catarina had been lying about Magnus already being involved with someone.  Izzy had done the same thing for Alec before, telling persistent girls that Alec was already in a relationship to get them to leave him alone. 

 

If Magnus really did have feelings for him, why had he seemed so perfectly fine with it when Alec told him he could sleep with other people?  Why had be brought that guy home from the bar the other week?  Why hadn’t he just told Alec? 

Okay, no, that was hypocritical of him and he knew it.  At any point he could have told Magnus how he felt too.  And Alec had been the one to completely downplay how much this thing between them meant to him.  And, yes, he’d also been the one to tell Magnus he was welcome to sleep with other people. 

 

It was hard.  Alec wanted to believe it so bad but at the same time, he knew it was dangerous to get his hopes up when there was any sort of chance that things might crash and burn. 

 

His phone buzzed on the nightstand and Alec sat up, grabbing for it, hoping it would be from Magnus. 

It wasn’t. 

 

Maryse (3:56pm): Don’t forget, 6:30pm tonight
Alec (3:56pm): I know.
Maryse (3:57pm): Wear something nice
Maryse (3:57pm): A button down
Alec (3:57pm): Why?
Maryse (3:58pm): Don’t be difficult, Alexander
Alec (3:58pm): Fine.  Okay.

 

Alec set his phone back down and sighed.  They weren’t even trying to be subtle that this was an arranged date for him tonight.  He figured he could just not go, lie about being sick or something, but they’d just try again next time.  Might as well get this one over with tonight. 

Alec laid back down and closed his eyes, trying not to think about the dull throb of pain in his finger, the word ‘difficult’, and the dinner he had to go to tonight. 

Instead he tried to think about Magnus.  About Magnus liking him the same way he did. 

 

---

 

“Alec?”  Magnus was shaking him gently and Alec blinked up at him groggily.  “Your alarm has been going off.  I just now got home so I don’t know how long-“

Alec sat up quickly, snatching his phone and checking the time.  It was already 5:40pm.  He had to be there in less than an hour. 

“Shit.”  Alec got out of bed, quickly searching his dark room for a pair of dark jeans. 

Magnus flicked on his light and Alec located the black pair that were dark enough to pass for something nicer than jeans.  His mother had told him to dress up, but this was as good as she was getting.  He stumbled a little as he pulled them on in a hurry and looked up when he heard a small muffled laugh. 

“Sorry.  You’re cute.”  Magnus said and Alec didn’t even know what to do with that right now. 

 

Alec pulled open his closet, looking for the shirt his mom had requested.  He grabbed a black long sleeved button down.  He tossed it on the bed before pulling off the tee shirt he had been wearing.  It still smelled like the kitchen from work. 

“Oh, going fancy tonight?”  Magnus was leaning against his doorframe in a pose Alec had become pretty accustomed to. 

“Mom texted me.  Told me to dress nice.”  Alec explained as his fingers worked at the buttons. 

 

“Alexander!  What happened?”  Magnus was across the room before Alec could even look up and grabbed his left wrist to examine the bandaged finger. 

“It’s nothing.  Cut myself at work.”  Alec tried pull his hand back so he could continue buttoning up his shirt, but Magnus held on to his wrist just a moment longer.  He leaned down and pressed a kiss to the bandage and Alec could have melted on the spot. 

 

Magnus let go of his wrist and Alec had to remember just exactly what he had been doing with his hands a moment before. 

“How long till you need to leave?”

“Normally I’d want to be out of here at 5:50pm just in case the train is running late, or anything happens but,”  He made a futile hand gesture.  He still needed to make his hair look presentable.

 

“Okay.  Meet me in the bathroom when your done getting dressed and I’ll cover that up again for you.”  Magnus gestured to Alec’s neck where most of the makeup had rubbed off during his accidental nap.  Alec had almost forgotten about it. 

“Thanks.”  Alec said as he sat down on his bed to pull on a pair of socks and black boots. 

Then he followed Magnus out of the room. 

 

It was brightly lit in the bathroom and the makeup wipes Magnus was using against his neck felt cold on his skin, sending a chill through him. 

Alec was doing his best to style his hair, taking tips from Magnus as he offered them. 

 

“So, how’d the makeup hold up at work?”  Magnus asked as he pulled his makeup kit closer and started work on covering the mark. 

“I sweat it off about two hours in.”  He admitted and through the reflection of the mirror, he saw Magnus grinning. 

“It’s not funny!  Do you have any idea how many hickey based puns I had to listen to today?”  He said and he could practically see Magnus’s mind working.  “No!  Not you too.  This is your fault to begin with.”  He said before Magnus could think of a good pun and nodded his head. 

“Fine, fine.” 

“Clary had some makeup in her bag, and she helped me cover it up again.  Though now I’m pretty sure Raj thinks we’re hooking up since he saw us walk out of the bathroom together.”  He said and Magnus snorted.

“I can see it now.  The gay man and the lesbian in an illicit work romance.”  He said and Alec couldn’t help but to laugh. 

 

Magnus leaned back to examine his work on Alec’s neck.  He had taken more time than he had this morning. 

Once he was satisfied, he turned back to his bag to dig something out. 

The sudden cold spray caused Alec to make a sound of surprise before looking at Magnus, betrayed. 

“What are you doing?” 

“Setting spray, darling.  It’ll help the makeup last longer.  Sorry, should have warned you.”  Though Magnus didn’t seem sorry. 

 

Magnus stood up and pulled open a drawer, putting out a can of something that Alec recognized as something Magnus used, but not want it was. 

Magnus shooed Alec’s hands away from his hair and took over for him.  It took Magnus just a matter of minutes to get Alec’s hair to look how Alec had wanted.  Actually, better than he had wanted. 

 

“Thanks.”  He said and left Magnus in the bathroom to wash his hands. 

 

Standing by the door, Alec was doing his regular inventory check.  Keys.  Wallet.  Phone. 

“Good luck tonight.  I hope it’s not as bad as you think.”  Magnus was walking towards him and Alec sighed. 

“I have a feeling it might be worse.”  He said and as Magnus reached him, he cupped Alec’s face and kissed him. 

 

Alec was surprised but by no means complaining as he kissed Magnus back, wrapping his arms around Magnus, reveling in the feeling of Magnus’s soft lips moving against his.  Alec tried to deepen the kiss, pull Magnus closer to him, kiss him harder, but Magnus pulled back.

“Just something to help you get through the night.”  Magnus explained and Alec was out of breath, so he just nodded. 

That would help him get through the night, at least a little. 

At the very least, it kept him feeling much lighter as he made his way to the train station. 

Chapter Text

He was late.  He wasn’t incredibly late, but he knew his dad would consider even five minutes to be way too late.  Alec’s fingers moved in an anxious motion on his right thigh, keeping his left hand still as to not irritate the bandage.

He was seventeen minutes late. 

To his parents, that may as well have been two hours. 

 

Taking a deep breath, Alec knocked on the door.  God, he hoped Izzy answered it.  Please be Izzy. 

“Alexander Gideon Lightwood.”  His mother’s voice was tight with annoyance when she pulled the door open.  “You’re late.” 

“I’m sorry, the-“  He started but Maryse cut him off. 

“No excuses.  You know you should always plan for delays.  Come inside.  You’ve made everybody wait long enough.” 

 

Alec wanted to remind her that seventeen minutes wasn’t the end of the world or even that long to wait, but he bit his tongue, following her inside the house. 

 

“You’re late.”  Were the first words out of his father’s mouth. 

“I’m sorry, sir.”  The words burned as Alec forced them out. 

“We’ve been waiting.”  He chastised Alec and Alec knew better than to try and defend himself. 

 

“I wanted to introduce you to my colleague here, Mr. Branwell.”  He gestured to the blonde man standing next to him and Alec took the extended hand and shook it, maybe a little harder than he’d meant to.

“Good to meet you, sir.  I’m Alexander.” 

 

He knew what was coming next.  He had noticed the pretty blonde young woman as soon as he had walked into the room. 

“Alexander, this is my daughter, Lydia.” 

She smiled brightly at Alec and Alec shook her hand more gently than he had her father’s. 

 

“It’s nice to meet you, Alexander.” 

“You too.  And just Alec is fine.”  He knew neither of his parents were particularly fond of the nickname, the same way they were with Izzy, but Alec wanted Magnus to be the only one to use Alexander. 

 

“Okay, just Alec.”  She held onto his hand just a beat too long and Alec knew that Izzy must not have gotten a chance to talk to her before Alec had shown up.  He hadn’t expected her to be able to get enough alone time away from their parents with Lydia to warn her, but he had still hoped. 

 

“They make a good looking couple, don’t you think?”  Robert commented to Mr. Branwell who nodded in agreement. 

It felt like an arranged marriage. 

He had only met the girl a moment ago and his dad was already trying to enforce the idea that they were together.  Did he think if he said it aloud enough times, Alec would suddenly agree with him? 

 

Lydia gave him a smile at the words.

“Well you are very handsome.”  She said and Alec wanted nothing more than to go home.

Instead Alec gave her a weak smile before looking around the room, eyes landing on Izzy. 

“Excuse me for a moment.  I haven’t seen them in a little while.”  He said.  No one needed to know he had seen Izzy this morning.  Just because his parents wanted him to spend the whole night getting to know Lydia, he wasn’t going to let that stop him from saying hi to his siblings. 

“Of course.”

 

He approached Izzy and pulled her in for a hug, though it was more so he could talk in a low voice next to her ear than desire for a hug. 

“How fucked am I?”  His voice was barely audible.

“You being late moved it from very fucked to super fucked.”  She said back before Alec let go of her and backed up. 

He didn’t know what else he expected. 

 

“Hey Max, what’s been going on?” 

 

Alec was only able to spend a few minutes talking to his siblings before he felt his mom’s hand on his shoulder. 

“Alexander.  Your father invited Lydia here to get to know you.  You’re being incredibly rude.”  Alec looked behind him at where he had left Lydia.  “Your brother has been keeping her company while you’re over here ignoring her.” 

“He’d be a better fit for her than me.”  Alec said, already annoyed with the situation.  His mom should know that there was no chance Alec would end up with her, so she might as well let him say hi to his siblings first.    

But with the look his mom gave him, Alec sighed, resigned to his fate for the night.

 

Alec walked over to where Jace was talking to Lydia.  It was obvious that Jace was trying to hit on her and, honestly?  Alec didn’t mind at all.  Though he did feel bad for Lydia.  She was being set up with a gay man and her only other choice for the night was someone who would only be interested in sleeping with her. 

“Hey Jace.”  Alec greeted Jace like there was nothing wrong between them.  There was no reason they had to drag Lydia into it. 

“Sup Alec.” 

At least Jace seemed to be on the same page as him.  Though his reasons were probably different from Alec’s considering that Jace was attracted to her and Alec wasn’t.  He probably just didn’t want to make himself look bad in front of an attractive woman.

 

“I was just talking to Jace about-“  Lydia started then stopped, reaching out to gently take Alec’s left hand.  “Oh, what happened?”  She asked, looking at the way his finger was bandaged.  Alec had been trying not to draw attention to it, but the white bandaging wrapped around it was a little hard to hide. 

“Oh, it’s nothing.  Cut my finger at work.”  Alec pulled his hand back. 

“How’d you manage that?  It’s not like being a waiter is a dangerous job.”  Jace commented, his voice was light, teasing, but Alec knew it was just a show for Lydia.  If she wasn’t there, his tone would have been different. 

“With a knife.”  Alec said a little dryly and Lydia laughed. 

 

---

 

As always, Robert sat at the head of the table and Maryse sat at the other end.  Alec found himself between Lydia and Jace, but at least Izzy was across from him. 

It was hard to find a balance between not being rude to Lydia, but also not trying to flirt with her. 

Jace kept trying to get her attention even though Alec was sitting between them until Maryse leaned towards Jace, motioning for him to lean in too. 

“Jace.  Stop.  She’s here for your brother.”  Her voice was low, but Alec still managed to catch the words. 

 

One of Alec’s fists was clenched underneath the table.  It almost made him want to actively flirt with Lydia, just to prove that he wouldn’t necessarily lose in a head to head with Jace. 

But leading Lydia on felt cruel. 

Besides, Alec wasn’t particularly good at flirting with men, so he had no idea how he’d manage with a woman.

 

“So, you’re going to school right now, right?”  She asked him and Alec nodded. 

“Yeah.  English major.  Should be graduating next semester.  How about you?” 

“Business.  I want to work at my dad’s company once I get my degree.  I might go back for my masters too; I haven’t decided yet.  I know it’d be a lot of work, but I really think it could help me move up.”

 

Most of their conversation was going along those lines.  Lydia asking him questions, Alec answering them but not giving her any excess information, then Lydia answering the same question with plenty of excess information. 

It went on like that throughout all of dinner.  Izzy would jump into their conversation to distract Lydia from time to time, but it was hard when both of their parents clearly only wanted Alec and Lydia to talk to each other. 

She seemed smart, pretty, driven.  Alec liked that about her, but he would never like her in the way his parents wanted him to.  

 

---

 

It wasn’t until they had moved on to dessert and after dinner drinks and Max had been excused to go do homework that someone other than Lydia directly addressed Alec.

 

“You don’t say much, do you?”  It took Alec a moment to realize that Mr. Branwell was talking to him. 

Alec hadn’t realized how much of his conversation with Lydia he had been following. 

“Guess not.” 

“He’s always been awkward around girls.”  Robert cut in and Alec looked over at him sharply.  That was one way of putting it. 

“He’s never had a girlfriend before.”  Jace commented and Lydia misread the tension in Alec’s expression.

“I think it’s sweet.”  She offered and Alec gave her a forced smile.  Jace knew full well why Alec had never had a girlfriend before, but he knew Alec couldn’t defend himself right now.

 

“Alec’s so busy with school and work, it’s hard to find the time for dating.”  Izzy spoke this time, trying to come to Alec’s defense, and Alec bumped her foot with his under the table in a gesture of appreciation.  That was the perfect excuse. 

“Well that’s why we invited the lovely Miss Branwell to come here instead.”  Robert said loudly, then looked at Mr. Branwell.  “We keep trying to set him up with girls but none of them are ever good enough for him.  He’s very difficult.”  He said this part more quietly, but everyone could hear. 

 

Alec wanted to put his head in his hands.  He knew that Robert was only saying that to further guilt Alec into agreeing to date Lydia.  Now when he rejected her, the idea that she wasn’t good enough for him would be in her head and Alec knew all too well how that felt.  He didn’t want to inflict that feeling on Lydia, but he also didn’t want to lead her into thinking he was interested in her.

 

“Really?  You better be careful, son.  People are going to start thinking you’re a homosexual.”  The words were directed at Alec and could think of so many things he’d love to say. 

“Could you imagine?”  Alec’s tone was more sarcastic than he’d meant it to be. 

“That’s why he’s looking for a nice girl in his life.”  Robert said, first speaking to Lydia’s father, then to Alec.  “Alexander doesn’t want anyone to get the wrong impression, right?”

“Right.”  His voice was tight, the hand that was under the table digging nails into his leg out of frustration and the need to alleviate it somehow. 

 

The wrong impression?  Everything Robert was trying to sell about him was the wrong impression.  All Robert wanted was for Alec to give everyone Robert’s impression of who he should be.

 

“Did you hear about Underhill’s son?  Andrew?”  Lydia’s father shook his head in distaste.  “Apparently he’s been seen out in public several times with men doing…unsavory things.” 

“Where, truck stops and public parks in the middle of the night?”  Robert said and both men broke into laughter.  Jace chuckled a little but it sounded a bit forced.  It seemed like Robert and Branwell were the only two actually enjoying the conversation though everyone at the table had fallen into silence and was listening.

“Who knows what those faggots get up to.”

The alcohol both men had consumed was only seeming to fuel the fire.

 

Alec could feel Izzy’s eyes on him, but he stared down at the table instead.  He knew his father, and clearly Lydia’s father, were both homophobic but was all of this really necessary?  It was downright crude. 

It was one thing for Lydia’s father to make these comments but his own father?  Robert knew he was gay, even if he refused to accept it.

 

“You know, Robert, I was a little surprised when you invited us over this evening.  I’d heard rumors about your son too.”

“What rumors are those?”  Robert sounded casual but Alec could hear the edge of tension in his voice. 

“I’ve heard from a few of the men that their daughters were set up with Alexander and as soon as he turned up to the date, he told them he was gay and left.”    

Robert waved him away. 

“That’s his ridiculous idea of turning down a girl without hurting her feelings and get out of a date if he doesn’t find her attractive enough.  He’s just picky.  None of them have any merit.”  Robert assured him before looking at Alec.  “You’ve stopped using that awful method now though, haven’t you?” 

“Yup.” 

 

Alec was seething.  He felt close to snapping.  Not only were the comments demeaning and ignorant, it was infuriating to watch his father blatantly lie about his sexuality right in front of his face.  And encourage Alec to participate in the lies.  Everyone at this table knew that he was gay aside from the Branwells. 

Alec closed his eyes for just a moment, trying to calm himself down.  He just had to make it through this dinner.  He just had to endure maybe another hour of personal insults while staying silent.  Maybe if they could change the topic he could manage.  They couldn’t stay on homophobic trash talking forever, could they?

 

“Good, good.  I can’t imagine what I’d do if I had a son who turned out to be a faggot.”  Mr. Branwell said, and Robert laughed. 

“Could imagine what you’d do, dad?”  Alec’s voice was sharp as he cut in and Robert gave him a warning look. 

“It’s a good thing I don’t have to.” 

“What would you do though, dad?”  Alec knew he should just bite his tongue, stay quiet and just suffer in silence like he always did.  But even he had a breaking point.  “I’m curious.”

 

“Then I wouldn’t have a son.”  The words were cold and harsh. 

 

That was it.  In that moment, Alec decided he was done.  He was done with trying to please his parents.  What was the point?  They’d been at a stalemate for years.  All he was doing was exhausting himself and beating himself up over something that was never going to change. 

 

Alec turned to Lydia. 

“Listen you seem like a great girl but,”

“Alexander.”  Robert growled, a warning. 

“I’m gay.  Very gay in fact, as three different people this week have pointed out.”  Alec said, voice loud.  “And he was lying, I don’t use it to get out of dates because I don’t think the girl is attractive, I say it because I’m not attracted to girls.  Period.” 

 

There was a moment of silence, all eyes on Alec.  The room was filled with tension before Maryse broke it.

“He’s just joking.”  She said.  She’d been quiet for most of dinner, but Alec knew it was because she had been observing. 

“I’m not joking.  Stop pretending like I didn’t tell you guys two years ago.  Stop pretending like you didn’t know even before that.”  It was all rushing out of him at once, all the pent up things he’d been wanting to yell at his parents for years.  He didn’t care that there were other people at the table. 

“I like guys.  I always have.  I’m so tired of you two trying to set me up with girls.  It’s not fair to them and it’s not fair to me.”

The silence remained and Alec still couldn’t stop.

“What’s it going to take for you to just accept that I’m never going to have a girlfriend?  I already have a boyfriend.” 

The lie came out of nowhere in his desperation to prove his point to his parents.  He'd worry about it later.

 

Alec could feel Izzy’s eyes on him again, clearly confused but she didn’t say anything.   

“In fact, I can bring him to the next family dinner if you’d like.”  Alec went on.

“Alexander, stop this now.”  Maryse said, her voice low. 

Alec ignored her, instead he looked at Lydia.

“I’m sorry you got dragged all the way out here to be set up with a gay guy.”

“It’s okay.  You deserve to be happy.”  She smiled at him despite the situation and Alec had a feeling he’d be keeping in contact with her. 

 

“Alexander.  May I see you in the other room?”  Robert’s voice was dangerously quiet.

“No.” 

Robert was already partway to standing up when Alec answered.  He looked shocked and even angrier than before. 

“Excuse me?”

“No.”  Alec spoke slower this time. 

 

“You can’t speak to me like that.  Do you have any idea how much you just embarrassed this family?” 

“How much I’ve embarrassed you, you mean.”

Alec didn’t think he’d ever seen his dad so angry. 

“After everything I’ve done for you.  I asked you to do one thing and you couldn’t even manage that.”  Robert ranted. 

 

“One thing?”  Alec asked incredulously.  “One thing?” 

Alec took a deep breath to steady himself before continuing. 

“We both know that isn’t true.  And if it was, the one thing you’re asking me to do is asking me to devote myself to a life of- of,”  For a moment, Alec struggled to find the words. 

“Of loneliness and unhappiness and constantly having to hide who I am or how I feel.  That’s not one thing, that’s my entire fucking life.”  The words burst out of him and for a moment, Robert was too shocked to say anything.  Alec had never so much as said a minor curse word around his dad, let alone swore directly at him. 

“And you know what?”  Alec continued,  “I tried.  Despite how miserable it made me, I tried.  I went on dates with girls, I let you guys lie about me to your friends, I avoided relationships for years.  I was ready to resign myself to a life of disappointment and never having what I wanted just so you guys would be proud of me.  But you know what, it’s not worth it.  I don’t care anymore.”

 

“I expected so much more from you.”  Robert’s voice was a mix of anger, shame, and disappointment. 

“Well, I guess that’s why you have your backup son, isn’t it?”  Alec gestured at Jace without even looking at him.

 “You’ve turned out to be such a disappointment.”  The words were cold and as much as Alec wanted to this to not matter to him anymore, it sent ice through his veins to hear.  Twenty-two years of being terrified of hearing that phrase from his father and there it was. 

 “Just because I’m gay?” 

“You know why.”

 

“Well I guess you don’t have a son anymore then, Robert.”  Alec’s voice was flat. 

Robert said nothing. 

Alec stood up from the table.

 

“Great meeting you.”  He paused to say to Lydia. 

 

“Alexander.”  His mother’s voice rang out behind him, but Alec was already walking out of the room.

“Alec!”  Izzy’s voice followed but Alec didn’t slow his stride. 

 

He didn’t look back as he yanked open the front door and then slammed it behind him.

 

---

 

Alec kept his hood up and face down on his commute home.  His eyes burned with angry tears, but he refused to breakdown on public transport. 

His phone had been vibrating like crazy with texts, mostly from Izzy. 

 

Izzy (8:19pm): are you okay???
Izzy (8:19pm): i’m so sorry
Izzy (8:20pm): lydia and her dad left and mom and dad went upstairs and dad is still yelling
Izzy (8:22pm): alec are you okay? 
Izzy (8:22pm): that was awful i’m so sorry
Izzy (8:25pm): alec even jace is worried about you
Izzy (8:26pm): you know that there’s nothing dad could ever do or say to make you less of our brother
Izzy (8:26pm): we love you
Izzy (8:28pm): can I do anything? 
Izzy (8:28pm): do you need anything?
Izzy (8:33pm): alec please talk to me
Izzy (8:37pm): or at least please tell me if you need anything
Izzy (8:40pm): I’m really worried about you
Izzy (8:45pm): just let me know that you’re okay

Jace (8:25pm): hey man are you okay? 
Jace (8:25pm): that seemed pretty harsh back there
Jace (8:26pm): what dad said was fucked

Maryse (8:30pm): We need to talk about what happened.
Maryse (8:31pm): Can you meet me tomorrow evening?

 

Alec didn’t reply to any of them.  He didn’t want to talk to any of them right now.  He didn’t want to talk to anyone. 

Well, maybe there was one person. 

 

Alec (8:32pm): I’m on my way home
Alec (8:33pm): Are you home? 

 

His fingers were trembling almost too much to get the messages out and he just stared at Magnus’s contact name, ignoring any of the other texts that came in.  He’d apologize to Izzy tomorrow for worrying her, but he couldn’t talk to her about this now.  He didn’t really want to talk to Jace about this at all but there was a part of him that appreciated the concern.  And of course, one of the last people he wanted to talk to about anything was his mother. 

He just wanted Magnus. 

 

But Magnus never replied and when Alec got home, only the hall light was on in the apartment. 

Magnus wasn’t home. 

Alec shut the door behind him and walked into his own room.  He needed to change.  He didn’t want to wear the outfit his mom had insisted on anymore. 

He kicked off his shoes and unbuttoned his shirt with shaking fingers, fairly certain he just ripped off a button or two before throwing the shirt on the ground. 

He found a pair of sweatpants to change into and was about to turn to his closet for a shirt when he saw the folded green shirt with a short note on top of it on his bed. 

 

“Thanks for letting me borrow it!
XOXO Magnus”

 

Alec picked up the note and for the first time all night, felt a genuine smile on his face, even if it was small.  He tucked it safely into one of the notebooks on his desk, not wanting to lose it.  Then he pulled the green shirt over his head and walked into Magnus’s room. 

 

Even though he had known that Magnus wasn’t going to be home, it was still a pang of disappointment to flip on the light and see the room empty. 

Instead of going back to his own room, Alec walked over to Magnus’s bed and sat down, looking around.  Magnus may not have been here too long, but he had already put so much of his own personality into the room. 

The sheets he had brought with him were gold and soft, the jewelry box on the dresser that couldn’t shut fully because there was too much in it, the bright array of colors visible through Magnus’s open closet door.  All of it suited Magnus perfectly. 

 

Alec laid down on Magnus’s bed, pulling out his phone. 

He skimmed the texts from his family members again but still didn’t feel up to replying to any of them.

Instead he opened his conversation with Magnus, hesitating.  He didn’t know what to say.  He closed the conversation and set his phone down on Magnus’s bed. 

 

He thought back to his dad’s words, everything that had happened, and let out a shuddering breath. 

Despite what he had said to Robert about not caring anymore, it was hard to turn off that feeling.  He had been working so hard for his parents’ approval for years. 

The word ‘disappointment’ cut into him like a knife and Alec closed his eyes to try and blink away the hot tears again.  He wasn’t going to let his dad win.

And he knew he had every right to be upset about this, but he hated himself for feeling this awful about it. 

 

“Then I wouldn’t have a son”

The words echoed in his head. 

Alec had always thought he’d been prepared for the eventuality that one or both of his parents would stop loving him because of his sexuality, but the actual feeling was much different. 

His own father didn’t want him as a son unless he was pretending to be straight in public.  And Alec couldn’t keep doing that anymore. 

 

Part of him felt good for finally letting it all out, for finally telling off his dad, finally standing up for himself.  But there was doubt.  Had that been the right thing to do?  What if he never got to see his family again?

He needed someone to tell him that he’d done the right thing tonight.  That he hadn’t just destroyed his relationship with his parents for petty reasons. 

He knew Izzy would tell him that he’d done the right thing.  Any of his friends would, hell, even Jace would.  But since Alec didn’t feel up to talking to any of them right now, he just stayed where he was with his eyes closed. 

 

---

 

There were three things that Alec became aware of as he slowly came back into consciousness.  One being that the lights were off.  He was sure he had fallen asleep with them on.  Two, there was a warm body pressed against his back, close enough that Alec could feel the rise and fall of each breath.  And three, someone was running their fingers through his hair in a soothing motion.

Magnus

 

A wave of comfort rushed through him so strongly that his breath caught in a gasp of relief. 

Alec rolled over so he could face Magnus. 

“Hey you.”  Magnus said softly, reaching to brush Alec’s hair out of his eyes. 

“Hey.” 

 

“Are you okay?”  Magnus was looking at him with concern. 

“Yeah.”  They both knew he wasn’t, but it was still Alec’s first instinct to pretend he was okay. 

“Alexander,”  Magnus’s voice was still soft but laced with concern.  “You were crying in your sleep.” 

“Oh.”  So that might have been a bit of a giveaway then. 

He didn’t want to admit how upset he was but it was hard to hide, especially with Magnus. 

 

“I take it tonight didn’t go well?” 

“Not even a little.” 

“Do you want to talk about it?” 

 

Alec was quite for a few moments and Magnus held him close, one arm draped over him, rubbing his back. 

“You don’t have to.”  He reminded Alec and Alec closed his eyes, just wanting to enjoy the warm safety of Magnus for a few minutes. 

 

“I wasn’t going to say anything.  Or at least I was trying not to.  I was just going to be polite towards Lydia through the night, tell her I wasn’t interested, then come home.  That’s what was supposed to happen.”  Alec stopped and Magnus softly encouraged him.

“What happened?”

“My da- Robert and Lydia’s dad just kept making all of these awful homophobic comments, he kept lying about my sexuality and making me confirm it, and I just sort of snapped.  I made it very clear to everyone that I was gay, I even said I had a boyfriend just so they’d back off.  Got into an awful fight with Robert and I left.”  Alec moved his head down so that he wasn’t looking at Magnus and Magnus pressed a kiss into his hair. 

 

“They were talking about what they’d do if they found out their son was gay and my- Robert said that then he wouldn’t have a son.  So, that’s that.”  His breath hitched a little as he tried to downplay both the situation and his emotions. 

“Oh Alexander.  I’m so sorry.  He sounds like a cruel man.  He doesn’t deserve someone as wonderful as you as his son.” 

Alec stayed quiet for a moment.

 

“They’ve known I’m gay for a few years now, but I guess they could ignore it as long as I let them pretend I was straight.  Now that I’m not, they don’t want anything to do with me.”  Alec paused, thinking of the texts from his mother.  “Well, he doesn’t.  I’m not sure about my mom.” 

Alec pulled away from Magnus a bit to search for where his phone was laying on the bed. 

 

He opened his messages, ignoring the conversations between Izzy and Jace to open the one with his mom that he hadn’t replied to. 

“She sent me this.  I don’t really know what to make of it.  I don’t know what she wants to talk about.  Things got made pretty clear at dinner.” 

“Are you going to go?” 

“I guess.  I don’t want anything to do with Robert, but I don’t want to lose contact with my siblings.  Izzy has a lot of freedom but I’m sure they could make it a lot harder for her to see me since she still lives there.  And Max?  I’d never be able to see him.”    

 

“Do you want me to come with you?”  Magnus asked, almost tentatively. 

“What?”

“You know, as backup.  I can be your boyfriend.  Help you out if things get too bad or she starts trying to talk you into pretending to be straight again.” 

 

For a moment Alec forgot that he had mentioned a pretend boyfriend and he froze. 

“You told them you have a boyfriend, right?” 

Oh.  Right. 

“Yeah.  You’d really do that?” 

“Of course.  I can meet you after work.”

“Magnus it’s not going to be fun.  She’s going to be on edge.”  Alec warned him.

“That’s why you need backup.”  Magnus kissed Alec’s forehead gently. 

 

“Can I see your phone again?”  Magnus asked and Alec handed it to him.  Magnus opened Alec’s message app again, locating the message he had spotted when Alec had first pulled it up to show him the ones from his mother.  It was the one from Izzy, the most recent one in his inbox. 

“You should tell her you’re okay.”  Magnus told him, handing him his phone back.  Alec shut off the screen and shook his head. 

“I can’t talk to any of them right now.”

“Okay.  I’ll tell her.”

 

Magnus (12:02am): Alec is okay
Magnus (12:02am): He’s with me
Izzy (12:04am): thank you so much!!
Izzy (12:04am):tell him i love him
Magnus (12:04am): Will do

 

Magnus kept his screen in Alec’s view while he texted his sister.  He had been feeling a little guilty he had never gotten back to Izzy, so it made him feel better to see Magnus do it for him.

“Thanks.” 

“Of course.”  Magnus put his phone down and moved to wrap his arms around Alec again.  “It’s late, we should get some sleep.” 

 

Alec pushed his face against Magnus’s neck, nodding.    

The offer to show up as his boyfriend tomorrow was so kind.  Magnus knew full well that this dinner with Maryse wasn’t going to be fun and she wasn’t going to be particularly nice to either of them, but he was still willing to do it. 

 

“Thank you so much.”  Alec said softly against his skin. 

It had been a rough night and while this didn’t fix it, it made it a whole lot better. 

Chapter Text

Alec didn’t want to make the call, but he knew he had to.  He’d have to do it sooner or later so he might as well do it before class, so he had an excuse to get off the phone if he needed to.  He held his breath as the line rang. 

“Alexander?  Why didn’t you respond to me last night?”  Maryse’s tone was concerned but sharp.

“I was tired.  I didn’t want to talk to anyone last night.  I’m responding now.”  He was actually still tired, and he knew it was clear in his voice. 

“I need to meet you and talk about what happened last night, where we go from here.”

“What do you mean where we’re going from here?  Dad made it clear he that if I’m openly gay, which I am, I’m not his son.  I left.  What more can he want?”

“He regrets what he said,”

Alec interrupted her with a snort. 

 

“He does.” 

“You know I don’t believe that for a second.” 

“Alec, please.” 

Alec was surprised by the softer tone his mother’s voice had taken on.  It was rare she used it. 

“Okay.”  At least he knew his mom didn’t want to lose him, no matter how rough things were between them right now. 

 

“Can you meet me for lunch?” 

“No, I have class.”

“Dinner?”

“Not at the house, right?” 

“No, I’ll make reservations for tonight.” 

“For three?” 

“Your father isn’t coming.” 

“I know.  I’m bringing my boyfriend.” 

 

There was a long beat of silence. 

“Alexander-“

“I’m not getting ambushed again.”

“We didn’t ambush you.”

“Really?  Then why didn’t you guys tell me you were inviting Lydia?  Or her dad?” 

 

Another moment of silence and he knew his mom was trying to think of an excuse but was coming up short. 

 

“What if I bring Izzy with me?”  Maryse finally asked and Alec rolled his eyes.

“Then you can make the reservations for four.  My boyfriend is coming.”

“Alec-“

“I’m not compromising.”   

“Fine.  I’ll give you the address later.”

“Text it to me, I’ll be in class.  Bye.” 

Alec didn’t wait for a response before hanging up. 

 

Alec (7:50am): We’re on for tonight
Alec (7:50am): I’ll text you the information once I get it
Alec (7:51am): Are you still sure you want to do this?
Magnus (7:58am): Of course I am, darling
Magnus (7:58am): Have a good class and I’ll see you tonight <3

 

---

 

Izzy (4:34pm): your bringing your boyfriend to a dinner with mom tonight???
Izzy (4:34pm): what’s happening?
Alec (4:36pm): Magnus is coming with me
Izzy (4:36pm): why didn’t you tell me you guys finally got together???
Izzy (4:36pm): I was wondering who you were talking about last night!
Alec (4:37pm): Izzy no, we’re not together
Alec (4:37pm): I made up the boyfriend thing last night
Alec (4:37pm): And he offered to be my fake boyfriend
Izzy (4:39pm): ……
Izzy (4:39pm): you two are killing me
Izzy (4:39pm): here’s an idea
Izzy (4:40pm): ask him to be your boyfriend for real
Alec (4:40pm): That certainly is an idea
Izzy (4:41pm): think about it
Alec (4:41pm): I’ll do that.

 

---

 

Of course, Maryse was the first one to arrive.  Alec had tried to get there early, but when he gave his last name at the front desk, they informed him one person in the party was already here. 

Alec had wanted to walk in with Magnus, but his mom had insisted on making the reservation for 5:30pm even though Magnus didn’t get off work until five.  Magnus had told him to go in without him, no point in waiting and making both of them late. 

 

“Alexander.”  Maryse sounded different than Alec had expected.  Almost relieved.

“Mom.”  Alec felt stiff.  He suddenly wished he had waited for Magnus and just let his mom be annoyed with them for both being late. 

“Thank you for coming.”  She said as Alec pulled out the chair across from her and sat down. 

“Sure.” Alec glanced around a little nervously, suddenly half expecting his dad to be somewhere here. 

 

Then he noticed his mom was doing the same thing.

“Where’s your…friend?”  She asked, and Alec rolled his eyes at her phrasing. 

“My boyfriend is on his way.  He’s coming from work.”  He informed her. 

“Of course he is.” 

 

She didn’t believe him.  She thought he was making his boyfriend up. 

Which, okay, technically he had, but now that he had someone to play the part, he felt mildly offended that his mom assumed he wasn’t real. 

 

“I wouldn’t have told you I was bringing him if I was making it up.  Then I’d just be making a fool out of myself.”  Alec pointed out and Maryse nodded with what felt like was sympathetic understanding.  She still didn’t believe him. 

“I didn’t say anything.”  She said.  “Though, given last night you don’t seem to mind making a-“

Alec stood up, the sound of his chair on the tile floor loud. 

“Okay you know what.  I’m leaving.” 

 

Maryse reached out and grabbed his arm. 

“I’m sorry.  That was in poor taste.” 

Alec hesitated.  He might have left right then and there if he hadn’t known Magnus was on the way. 

“It was.”  Alec said as he slowly sat back down. 

 

Neither of them spoke for a moment and Alec wondered if his mom was trying to think of how to bring up the subject of last night without offending him. 

 

“Would you like to get drinks?”  She asked instead and Alec, feeling a little confused and caught off guard by the question, nodded.  A drink would probably help make this conversation less awkward that it already was. 

“Yes.” 

 

Maryse flagged down their waiter to take their drink orders.  Alec waited while she ordered a wine he’d never heard of, then the server turned to him.

“Vodka martini please, and-“

“Since when do you drink vodka martinis?”  Maryse interrupted him. 

“I don’t.  It’s not for me, it’s for Magnus.” 

 

Maryse looked like she wanted to say something in argument.  Instead she just nodded at him, an expression on her face that Alec recognized but couldn’t quite place. 

“And a rum and coke.”  He wasn’t particularly fond of the alcohol, but the soda did a pretty good job of masking it. 

The server walked away, and Alec looked over at his mom again. 

“Your friend drinks martinis?”  She asked and Alec suddenly placed her expression. 

 

He hadn’t seen it in a long time, but he recognized it.  It was the one she had always worn when they were younger, and she was indulging Izzy in pretending one of her imaginary friends were real. 

She was indulging him now by not protesting when he ordered a drink for someone she didn’t think existed.

 

“My boyfriend does, yes.”  He was feeling more and more annoyed with his mother and the evening was still incredibly young. 

Alec slid his phone out of his pocket to check if he had any updates from Magnus, but there was nothing. 

What if Magnus didn’t actually show up?  Alec didn’t think Magnus would do that to him, but there was the chance he had gotten held up at work and wouldn’t be able to make it.  He couldn’t blame Magnus if that happened, but it would only strengthen his mom’s belief that he was making up his boyfriend entirely. 

 

“Alec, listen, I understand that you’re upset about last night.”

“I have every right to be.”  Alec refused to let her downplay what had happened. 

“We shouldn’t have set you up like that.  I understand now that you need time to prepare for these things.” 

 

Alec wasn’t quite sure what to make of that. 

“What’s that supposed to mean?” 

“Well you weren’t able to prepare yourself to be romantically involved with a woman like you usually are.”

“That’s-“  Alec took a deep breath.  “That’s not at all why that happened.  It doesn’t matter if you guys had given me six months to prepare for it.  I don’t want to date women.  I want to date men.  I am dating a man.  I thought I made that very clear to everyone last night.” 

 

“Alexander, I think a lot of things were said last night that people didn’t mean.”

“The only things I said that I didn’t mean were the things dad pressured me into saying.”  Alec was pretty sure that everything else that had been said last night still stood. 

 

Maryse had been about to say something when her eyes fixed on a spot over Alec’s shoulder. 

“Excuse me sir-“  She started as Alec felt a hand on each of his shoulders.  He didn’t have to look to know it was Magnus behind him.  Maryse clearly thought it was a stranger approaching them. 

 

Magnus ignored her, instead leaning down to kiss Alec on the cheek. 

“Sorry I’m late.  I got out as soon as I could.”  Magnus gave his shoulders a squeeze before going around to take the seat next to Alec. 

 

Magnus looked stunning.  He wore a dark red shirt underneath a black suit and while he was still wearing makeup, it was the toned down version that he wore in professional settings.  Which, honestly, was probably for the best considering who he was about to meet.  The familiar ear cuff was still in place along with the many rings that usually adorned his fingers.

Both him and Maryse were staring though Alec guessed for very different reasons. 

 

“I’m Magnus.  You must be Maryse Lightwood?”  Magnus was nothing but polite as he held his hand out to Maryse who only stared at it for a second before slowly reaching up to take it, but only briefly.  She looked between the two men, the shock on her face clear. 

“She thought I was making you up.”  Alec informed Magnus who smiled. 

“I am very real.” 

 

“Here you are.”  All three of them looked up as their server returned with their drinks and Magnus turned to Alec again as he noticed Alec had already ordered one of his usual drinks for him.  Magnus leaned forward and pressed a quick kiss to his lips. 

“Thank you, darling.”  He said and Alec didn’t know how to keep the smile from his face. 

 

“You’re Alec’s…” 

“Boyfriend.”  Magnus supplied the word when Maryse failed to say it.  “Yes I am.”  

 

“You were serious?”  She was staring at Alec now who nodded. 

“That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you.” 

 

Despite the fact that Alec’s sexuality hadn’t been a secret to her for a long time, it seemed to be taking her a long time to process this. 

Deciding to give his mom time to process this evidently new development, Alec took a sip of his drink and then turned to Magnus. 

“How was work?”  He asked and Magnus picked up his own drink to take a large swallow, answering Alec’s question that way. 

“Long.  I’m so tired, we stayed up way too late last night.” 

 

It made sense that Magnus was more tired than Alec was.  Alec had gotten in a few hours of sleep before Magnus had gotten home last night whereas Alec was sure Magnus hadn’t gotten any sleep until after the two of them had talked and that had been around midnight.  Then Magnus also had to get up an hour earlier than Alec did. 

“Sorry.”  Alec said but Magnus waved it away. 

“It’s fine, I made it through the day.  Besides, you know I’d do it again.”  Magnus said, brushing Alec’s shoulder affectionately and Alec pushed back against him. 

 

“I’m sorry, I don’t understand.”  Maryse interrupted and both men looked at her.  “You actually have a…boyfriend.  That you brought with you.” 

“What’s not to understand?  I told you I was bringing my boyfriend, you agreed to it, and now he’s here.”  Alec explained a little more slowly that his usual speaking pace. 

“That’s when I thought you were making it up!  I wouldn’t have agreed to it if I had known you were serious.” 

“That sounds like more your fault than mine.”  Alec shrugged, picking up his drink again. 

 

Honestly it felt good to talk to his mom like this.  He wouldn’t have dared to before but now that everything was out in the open, he figured he didn’t have much more to lose. 

 

“Alexander can I have a word with you alone?”  Maryse asked and Magnus made to stand up, but Alec reached out to stop him. 

“No.”  At his words Magnus sat back down, taking his hand.  "Whatever shitty thing you want to say about Magnus you can say with him sitting right here." 

He knew he was right when he saw the expression on Maryse's face.  He knew her too well. 

He didn't look at Magnus, but he squeezed his hand and Magnus returned the gesture. 

 

Maryse looked irritated with him but didn’t argue. 

“You said over and over that you’re not attracted to girls yet you’re here with such a…feminine man.” 

 

Both Alec and Magnus looked shocked at that.  Alec turned to look over Magnus and Magnus just silently pointed to himself and mouthed the word “me?” at Alec. 

“Mom he’s in a suit, he has facial hair, and his shoulders are broader than mine.  Where exactly are you reading feminine?”  Alec asked though he knew exactly what she meant. 

“The jewelry, the nail polish, the eyeliner.  I thought that sort of thing bothered you.  You are gay, aren’t you?” 

 

That might have actually been the first time Maryse had said it herself.  And of course, the context was shitty, but it was a start. 

“I am gay.  And it doesn’t bother me in the slightest when it’s on him.”  Alec said, looking at Magnus again who looked fondly at him. 

 

God.  Magnus was a hell of an actor.  The way he was looking at Alec was enough to convince anyone that they were in a real relationship. 

Alec then realized that he could drop his usual shield.  They were supposed to be in love, after all.  He didn’t have to pretend like he wasn’t head over heels for Magnus. 

 

“Also- did you think that was my problem with girls?  The makeup and the jewelry?” 

“Straight people.”  Magnus muttered so softly only Alec could hear and he did his best to bite back a laugh. 

 

Maryse looked between the two of them, recognizing that there was some joke she wasn’t getting but not what the joke was.  She picked up her wine glass to drink and she looked like she was thinking something over. 

 

“Listen.  Alexander.  I don’t exactly approve of this.”  She gestured to him and Magnus and the mood dropped into something far more serious.  “But one of the things your father and I disagree on is that I don’t want to lose you over this.” 

Alec stared at her.  He hadn’t been expecting that, but then again, why else would she have wanted to talk to him. 

“I don’t want to lose contact with the family over this.  I want to spend time with Izzy and Jace.  I don’t want to miss out on Max growing up.”  Alec said, naming all three of his siblings without thinking and he felt Magnus squeeze his hand.  “But it’s not something I can change or hide just so I can be a part of the family.” 

“I’m trying to understand that.” 

 

Alec glanced at Magnus out of the corner of his eye and had to hold back a smile when he saw that Magnus was slowly downing his drink in an attempt to pretend he wasn’t listening to them. 

“I’m happier like this, mom.  I’m happier than I’ve ever been in my life, regardless what you think about it, what dad thinks about it.  He makes me happy.” 

“Alec-“

“It’s not something I’m willing to compromise on.  Not anymore.”  He said firmly and she sighed. 

 

Again, he glanced at Magnus and this time he saw a look of adoration on Magnus’s face.  Alec looked away, the look filling him with more warmth than he knew what to do with. 

He picked up his drink to finish it, just needing something to do with his free hand. 

 

“Well.  Maybe if things don’t work out with him, then you can consider women again.” 

The sentence shocked Alec into silence.  Just when he thought they might be getting somewhere. 

“If things don’t work out with him then I’ll date a different guy.  If things don’t work out with him, then a different guy.  It’s never going to be a girl, so you need to get that out of your head.  There is no possible chance I’ll ever end up with a girl.”  He paused.  “And what do you mean again?  I’ve never once in my life been attracted to women.” 

“Are you sure though?” 

“I’m positive.  I can tell you I’m very attracted to men.  I know that for a fact.” 

 

Alec hadn’t meant the implication the words carried but there it was.  His mom stared at him and Magnus held back a laugh. 

 

“Excuse me?”  Maryse asked slowly and Alec was quick to change the subject. 

“Listen, mom.  All I want is to be able to live my life as myself and not get completely cut out of the family.  Does that sound reasonable to you?” 

“Alexander, I don’t want to cut you out.”

“But you also don’t want me to be gay.” 

Maryse didn’t answer but she didn’t have to. 

 

“I’m not going to try and stop you from seeing your siblings.” 

The words filled him with relief.  He was already resigned to both of his parents wanting nothing to do with him.  But he couldn’t stand getting cut off from everyone else. 

“Good.”  He had almost thanked her, but what for? 

“But I think it’s a good idea that you don’t come around the house for a while.  We, especially your father, need time to process this.” 

 

Alec bit his tongue.  They had had years to process this.  Was it a new thing just because he wasn’t going to pretend to be straight anymore? 

“Sure.” 

 

Maryse pushed her chair back. 

“I better get going.  They have my card on file, don’t worry about the drinks.”  She said and gave both of them one last glance.  “I still can’t believe you were serious.”  The words were quiet but both of them still heard her. 

 

Before he could talk himself out of it, Alec turned to Magnus, grabbed the front of his suit jacket, and pulled him in for a kiss. 

Magnus was surprised but he certainly didn’t complain as he slid one of his hands up Alec’s neck and into his hair, responding with the same enthusiasm. 

Somewhere in the background, he heard his mother gasp, but he didn’t care.  Instead he just kissed Magnus more eagerly, more intensely. 

While kissing Magnus in the hall the other day had technically been his first time kissing a man in public, this was on a much larger scale.  In the middle of a decently crowded dining room.  Not to mention in front of his mother.  But none of that bothered him right now.

 

Alec kissed Magnus for longer than he had meant to, and he would have continued but Magnus pulled back.  Alec wanted to pull him back in, but the quick break reminded him of where they were and why exactly he had done that. 

Maryse was still sitting there, staring at the two of them with an expression that Alec couldn’t identify. 

 

“I’m very serious.”  Alec informed her.  “Thanks for the drinks, mom.”  Alec got up from the table and Magnus followed suit. 

“Lovely meeting you, Maryse.” 

 

---

 

Alexander.”  Magnus let out, the moment they were back outside. 

“Yes?”

“You are full of surprises.” 

“Good ones I hope.” 

 

Without thinking about it, Alec’s fingers intertwined with Magnus’s as they headed towards the train. 

“I don’t know exactly what you were expecting, so how did that go?”  Magnus asked. 

“Honestly, that’s about what I was expecting.  I just wasn’t sure if she was on the same level as Robert or not.  She seems a little better than him but not by much.”  Alec said, shrugging.

“You held your ground well.  I was ready to jump in if you needed me, but you looked like you had it handled.”  Magnus commented. 

 

“I needed you there though.  I think if you hadn’t been there, she wouldn’t have taken me seriously at all.”

“Even with me there as your boyfriend, she was still trying to talk you into dating women.”  Magnus shook his head.  “I can’t imagine what it would have been like if you had been alone.”

“Thanks for doing that.”  Alec said and without thinking, lowered his head to kiss Magnus on the cheek. 

“Of course, Alexander.”

 

“You deserve an Oscar, by the way.”  Alec thought back to the way Magnus had been looking at him, how well he had played the role of his boyfriend, of someone who was in love with him. 

Magnus looked away at that. 

“If I do then you do too.” 

Alec didn’t have the heart to tell him it wasn’t acting. 

 

“You did a good job with your makeup, too.”  Magnus teased, using his free hand to poke the side of Alec’s neck.  Since Magnus hadn’t been home, Alec had had to put on the makeup to cover the mark himself.  He hadn’t exactly wanted to show up to dinner with his mom rocking a hickey.  He’d already forgotten about it that morning and had to sit through his classes knowing it was visible. 

“I learned from the best.” 

 

They were still holding hands when a sudden voice came from his left side, slightly behind him. 

“I knew it!” 

Alec spun around and groaned.

“Jesus Christ, Simon.  Are you following me now?” 

“No, I was having dinner with my mom and sister down the street.  I just walked out and recognized you two.” 

Alec looked skeptical. 

 

“And you felt the need to approach because…?”  Alec left the sentence open, his tone mildly annoyed.  But Simon didn’t seem phased in the slightest.  Clearly, he was already used to the way Alec spoke to him. 

“Because I knew it!” 

“Knew what?”

“Magnus is your boyfriend!”  Simon said excitedly.  “And before you try and deny it, keep in mind you guys are literally holding hands.” 

Alec had barely even realized that they were still holding hands.  But at Simon’s words he broke the contact. 

 

“Where do I know you from?”  Magnus was squinting at Simon, trying to remember.  It was clear he recognized the face and the name.  

“I was your server the other day!  Remember, you kept talking about blowjobs.”

 

Alec looked up at the sky as if that could somehow get him out of this conversation.    Did Simon have to keep bringing that up? 

Magnus seemed unphased by it though.

 

“Oh!”  Then he looked at Alec.  “This is your Simon?” 

Alec groaned. 

“Don’t call him ‘my Simon’.”

“I didn’t realize he’s the same Simon you work with.”  Magnus explained.

“That’s me!”  Simon added cheerily, ignoring the look Alec gave him. 

 

“Hey, speaking of work, why aren’t you there?  Don’t you work Monday nights?”  Simon asked and Alec shrugged. 

“I had a dinner thing with my mom.”  He said then at the expression on Simon’s face added, “What?” 

“So, he’s not your boyfriend but you just introduced him to your mom?” 

 

Alec looked to Magnus for help, but he just shrugged at Alec, giving him nothing. 

To be fair, this was Alec’s coworker, so it made more sense for him to handle the complicated topic of their relationship when they were talking to him. 

 

“He was pretending to be my boyfriend so my mom stops setting me up with girls.”  Alec had been trying to think of something to say, a good lie, but he couldn’t think of one, so he settled on the truth.  He had already told Simon a little bit about his situation with his family so this shouldn’t be that big of a surprise. 

“Oh.”  Simon looked between them for a moment before raising another question.  “Why were you guys still holding hands if it was just for show?  Are you guys method actors?”  Simon raised his eyebrows at them, grinning. 

“Why do you ask so many questions?”  Alec felt his face get hot.  He didn’t even have an answer for that question. 

 

“You’re so secretive.  I feel like I’m solving a mystery.  Cracking a case.”  Simon said and Magnus couldn’t hold back a laugh. 

“You think Alexander is secretive?  Mysterious?”  Magnus couldn’t say it with a straight face and Simon looked like he had about fifty questions he wanted to ask Magnus. 

 

Before he could however, there was a loud screech behind them as the bus pulled up to its stop and Simon swore under his breath. 

“That’s my bus, I have to go.  But this conversation isn’t over.”  He said, pointing at Alec as he walked away.

“Yes it is!”  Alec called back. 

 

Magnus was still laughing when Alec turned his attention back to him. 

“What are you laughing at?”  He wanted to glare at Magnus but that was impossible to do when Magnus was laughing like that.  It just made him want to smile.

“Darling, you are not mysterious.”  Magnus finally said, wiping the corner of one of his eyes. 

“I could be.”  Alec did his best to sound insulted, but he knew exactly what Magnus meant. 

 

He had known Magnus for less than an hour before he had started opening up to him and at this point only a few weeks in, Magnus knew almost everything there was to know about him, save for a few things.  Alec’s feelings being one of those things. 

 

“It’s different with you.”  Alec tried to make the words sound nonchalant as they resumed their walk towards the train, though now both of Alec’s hands were in his jacket pockets.  “I act different at work.  Different with coworkers, different with customers.”

“And with your family?”  Magnus’s hand still remained by his side and Alec was tempted to take it again, but he kept his hands in his jacket.  He wouldn’t have the excuse of not noticing this time. 

“Different there too.”  Alec sighed. 

 

“That sounds exhausting.”

“What?”  Alec glanced at him quickly before looking ahead again. 

“Juggling all of those different personas.” 

 

Alec didn’t answer for a moment.  Of course Magnus didn’t think he was mysterious.  Magnus understood so much about him without Alec even having to explain it. 

Even though Magnus was like Izzy or Simon, someone who could wear the same mask no matter where they were, he still understood the way Alec had to cycle through different ones to get through different situations. 

The perfect child when he was around his parents.  The closed off, professional when he was with most of his coworkers.  The friendly, cheery waiter when he was with customers.  Even with some of his closer friends he wasn’t able to let his guard down completely.

 

“It can be.”  Alec finally said.  “Not around you though.  Or Iz.”  Alec added his sisters name almost as an afterthought, not wanting to be too obvious about how comfortable he felt with Magnus. 

“We get the real deal?”  Magnus teased and Alec nodded. 

“You two mainly.  A few other people too.” 

“And here I thought I got you all to myself.”  Magnus complained and Alec just smiled as they boarded the train. 

The words ‘you do’ wanted to escape but Alec kept his mouth shut.  He knew he’d already said too much as it was. 

 

---

 

“So, can I say,”  Magnus started as he slid off his suit jacket and started towards his bedroom to hang it up, speaking louder so Alec could still hear him by the front door where he was hanging up his own jacket.  “That was incredibly hot.” 

Alec looked up at that, but Magnus was still in his room. 

“What?”  Alec took his shoes off to leave by the front door as well before walking down the hall into Magnus’s room where he stopped in his tracks. 

 

Magnus had already taken off his shoes, tie and was in the process of unbuttoning the dark red dress shirt he had on. 

“That kiss.”  Magnus said it casually, like it should have been obvious.  “I mean, everything, the way you stood up for yourself and the way you spoke, but especially that kiss.  I love the way you prove a point.”  Magnus spoke while he pulled off the shirt and hung it over the back of the desk chair. 

“Yeah.”  It didn’t seem to matter how many times Alec saw Magnus shirtless.  He could look at him as long as he lived and never get used to the sight. 

 

“Sorry, I know I look great in them, but suits are only comfortable for so long.”  Magnus said, undoing his belt as he spoke. 

Alec was pretty sure Magnus was moving slower than he needed to.  Taking his time to slide the belt out of the belt loops on his dark suit pants. 

“Magnus Bane if I didn’t know any better, I’d think you were trying to seduce me.”  Alec said, his eyes tracking the movements of Magnus’s hands as he dropped his belt on the floor and unbuttoned the pants. 

“Is it working?”  Magnus’s moved his hands away, pants unbuttoned but the zipper still up.  He stepped over the belt on the floor to get closer to Alec. 

“Very much.”  Alec couldn’t take his eyes off of Magnus as the man walked over to him.  He wanted to memorize every curve and dip of Magnus’s muscles with his hands, his mouth, everything. 

 

“Good.”  Magnus was close enough now that he pinned Alec to the wall beside the door, both of his hands on Alec’s hips, before he leaned in to kiss him. 

It was so much better now than it had been in the restaurant.  Which was probably due to the fact that Alec got to run his hands up Magnus’s bare, muscular back.  One of Magnus’s own hands slid under Alec’s shirt and up his side, making him shiver despite the heat it sent through him. 

His lips parted against Magnus’s and he tried to pull Magnus closer to him, wanting to feel more of him.

 

The moment was interrupted by a buzzing coming from Alec’s front right pocket.  Magnus pulled back.

“Already bringing toys into it?”  Magnus teased and Alec flushed at the idea. 

“Just ignore it.”  He said and urged Magnus’s back into the kiss, letting the call go to voicemail. 

 

Magnus trailed his hand back down Alec’s side and then gripped the hem of his shirt, pulling away from Alec again to pull it over his head and toss it carelessly aside.  They could worry about that later. 

Magnus ran his hands up Alec’s chest before slowly dragging them back down, digging in his nails just enough to make Alec’s breath catch in his throat. 

He barely registered the dull thud as he thumped his head back against the wall and Magnus took advantage of the angle to press kisses down Alec’s neck. 

 

“No marks this time.”  Alec managed as he felt Magnus nip at his skin. 

“What if they can be covered by your shirt?”  Magnus barely pulled away from his neck to ask, his breath hot. 

“Then yes.”  Afterall, he liked the marks.  He just didn’t like having to put in all the extra effort into covering them up at work and school. 

 

“Good.” 

Magnus had just dipped his head lower when Alec’s phone started vibrating again. 

“Ignore it.”  Alec said again.  He didn’t care who was trying to call him right now.  They could wait.  This was all he wanted right now. 

Magnus lifted his head to look at Alec. 

“You sure you don’t want to answer it?”  He teased, dragging his nails down Alec’s chest again.

“Positive.” 

 

Magnus leaned in to kiss him again and Alec kissed him back hungrily.  He lost himself in the feeling of Magnus’s lips moving against his, the feeling of Magnus’s hands on his body and the way Magnus felt underneath his own hands. 

Alec felt his hands drop down to the waistband of his pants, Magnus rubbing a thumb over the skin right above it.  There was a slight moment of pain as Magnus bit down on his lower lip as he pulled away from the kiss, but Alec moaned at the feeling. 

“Fuck, Magnus.”  Alec tilted his head back again as Magnus started undoing his pants for him. 

 

Alec’s phone started buzzing again. 

“Jesus fucking Christ.”  Alec groaned and Magnus pulled back. 

Alec finally pulled his phone out of his pocket.  It was Izzy. 

As much as he didn’t want to answer his phone right now, if she was calling him this many times in a row it might be an emergency. 

 

“Are you dying or in danger?”  Alec answered the phone with, and Magnus smirked at him, then ducked his head down to start pressing kisses to Alec’s chest again. 

“Uh, no.  I just wanted to talk to you about last night and figure out how dinner with mom went tonight-“

“I’ll call you back later, I’m really busy right now.”  Magnus was working his way up slowly to Alec’s neck again.

“Doing what?”

“Don’t worry about it.  I’ll call you back.”  Alec said in a rush.  

“So, would now be a bad time to tell you I’m outside?” 

“What?  You can’t be serious.”  Alec was going to kill her.  Magnus didn’t seem to care as he grazed his teeth against Alec’s neck. 

“Just kidding!  Man, you must be really busy.”

“I hate you.  I’m hanging up now.”

 “Okay.  Tell Magnus I say hi.” 

“I’ll tell him next time I see him.”  Alec said, trying to pretend like he wasn’t up to exactly what Izzy thought he was. 

 

Unfortunately, Magnus was right by his ear and heard Izzy, and took it upon himself to answer at the same time.

“Hi Izzy.” 

Alec hung up on Izzy’s laughter and leaned over to set it on Magnus’s dresser, out of the way. 

 

“She sure does love to interrupt, doesn’t she”  Magnus said, amused. 

“Yup.” 

“Right as things were getting good, too.”  Magnus sounded like this meant they had to stop and even though Alec knew he was just teasing, he still lowered his hands to Magnus’s pants, unzipping them for him, then grabbed one of Magnus’s hands to guide it to his own, urging him to go back to what he had been doing before the phone call. 

“Yeah and it can still get better.”  Alec said and Magnus laughed. 

“I love how determined you are.”    Magnus commented as his free hand joined his other in undoing Alec’s jeans.

 

Alec didn’t respond to that.  Instead he just pushed his right hand down the front of Magnus’s pants to touch him.  Magnus groaned softly and closed his eyes.  Alec took advantage to lean in and kiss Magnus’s neck this time, trying to remember all the spots Magnus had hit on him that had felt good. 

Once he was pretty sure he was in the same spot Magnus had been in the other day, he bit down on the skin to start sucking a mark onto it. 

Magnus wrapped his arms around Alec, not seeming to mind at all that Alec was giving him a matching hickey. 

 

Alec made to slip his hand underneath the black briefs Magnus was wearing but he had barely made contact with Magnus’s cock before Magnus suddenly pulled away from him. 

“Wait.” 

“What?”  Had he done something wrong?  He was fairly certain he hadn’t.  This wasn’t anything they hadn’t done together before. 

Magnus seemed to recognize Alec’s concerned expression. 

“You’re fine.  Just, these pants are dry clean only.”  Magnus explained as he carefully stepped out of the pants he was wearing, draping them over the chair with his shirt and Alec stared at him. 

 

“What?”  Magnus asked and Alec started laughing. 

“Only you, Magnus.”  That shouldn’t have been endearing as it was. 

“I don’t want to get anything on them!”  He defended himself and Alec reached out for him again to pull him close. 

“Come here.” 

 

By the time they would up on Magnus’s bed, neither of them were wearing anything.  Alec’s clothes were discarded somewhere around Magnus’s room but that was something for him to worry about later.  Later when Magnus’s lube slicked hand wasn’t partially wrapped around both of them because right now, that was the only thing he could think of. 

Alec’s head was pushed back into the pillow, gripping the sheets with one hand and Magnus’s thigh with the other.  He wanted to keep his eyes open and look at how beautiful Magnus looked straddling him like that, jerking them both off, but it was too much. 

“Fuck, Magnus.  Fuck.”  Alec jerked his hips up to try and match the rhythm of Magnus’s hand, each motion causing him to rub against Magnus, making them both moan. 

 

“So beautiful, Alexander.”  At the words, Alec chanced a quick look at Magnus and immediately met his eyes.  He quickly closed his again, the quick glimpse more than enough to remind him why he had closed them in the first place. 

“Magnus.”  Alec groaned again, each stroke of Magnus’s hand making the tension in his body coil tighter, his nerves burn hotter. 

 

Without a word, Magnus used his free hand to grab the hand Alec had gripping Magnus’s thigh and guided it to where his own was, on the other side. 

“Fuck.”  Alec groaned, pushing his head back into the pillow even more as he tried to fuck up into both of their hands. 

“You close?”  Magnus asked, sounding out of breath and Alec couldn’t find the words to answer.  Magnus had clearly already learned his tells by now.  The way his voice changed, the different ways his body tensed. 

 

Alec’s free hand was still digging into the sheets, gripping them tightly, trying to ground himself with something as pulses of pleasure started to overwhelm him.  His hips jerked involuntarily and somewhere in the back of his mind, he was aware of the feeling of his release on his stomach, but he was too focused on the euphoric feeling rushing through him to care. 

His hand dropped to his side as he panted and moments later, he felt Magnus finish on his chest, moaning Alec’s name.  He had never loved the name Alexander more than he did in that moment. 

 

Not caring about the mess, Magnus leaned down so his body was mostly flush with Alec’s and kissed him.  There was less urgency than before.  This was soft and slow.  Alec wrapped his arms around Magnus, holding him even closer, the kiss tender but deep. 

Finally, Magnus rolled off of him, laying on top of his covers.  He looked down at his own body, then at Alec’s. 

“I think we might need to clean up a little.”  He said and Alec pushed himself up onto his elbows to copy what Magnus had done.  First looking at himself, then at Magnus. 

 

“I’d invite you to shower with me, but I think we all know what happens when we do that.”  Alec said and Magnus grinned at him. 

“Oh, you don’t want round two?” 

 

---

 

After their shower- because honestly, who could say no to Magnus?- Alec was settled in his bed, moved over to one side to keep the other side open for Magnus.  He was waiting for Magnus to finish taking off his makeup. 

He picked up his phone.  He had had to fetch it from Magnus’s bedroom earlier. 

 

Alec (9:04pm): Is it cool if I call you tomorrow?
Izzy (9:05pm): oh my god alec. 
Izzy (9:05pm): i called you like.  2 hours ago. 
Izzy (9:05pm): have you two really just been getting it on this whole time? 
Alec (9:06pm): How I spent my night is none of your concern
Izzy (9:06pm): so that’s a definite yes
Alec (9:06pm): Don’t worry about it
Izzy (9:06pm): oh my god alec
Izzy (9:06pm): yes you can call me tomorrow but i expect at least a few details
Alec (9:07pm): You can have one detail
Izzy (9:07pm): 5
Alec (9:07pm): Two
Izzy (9:07pm): 3?
Alec (9:08pm): Fine. 
Izzy (9:08pm): did you tell him how you feel yet?
Alec (9:10pm): Well it was great talking to you Iz, gotta head to bed now.
Izzy (9:10pm): i’m going to kill you with my bare hands

 

Alec grinned at the last text before setting his phone aside, just as Magnus walked in. 

“I’m gonna have to wash my sheets tomorrow.”  Magnus complained, yawning after he spoke. 

“Mine are clean.”  Alec pointed out and Magnus smiled at him. 

“I know they are.  Is that why we always mess around on my bed?  So your sheets can stay clean?”  He asked playfully as he slid under the covers next to Alec. 

“Maybe.” 

 

Magnus yawned again and Alec a few moments after. 

“I’m exhausted.”  Magnus said as he made himself comfortable in Alec’s bed. 

“Me too.  

“I had only planned on the one time, but somebody just had to shower with me.”  Magnus commented and Alec rolled his eyes. 

“Don’t even try to pretend that wasn’t your idea.” 

 

Magnus was already snuggled up against him, eyes closed. 

“I had a really good time tonight.”  Alec said softly and Magnus didn’t open his eyes. 

“Mmm.”  Was the only response Alec got in return and Alec knew Magnus was already halfway to falling asleep. 

 

He couldn’t blame the man.  He had spent the day running off of somewhere between four and five hours of sleep and after their activities, it wasn’t a surprise he was ready to fall asleep right away. 

 

Alec stayed awake a while longer, thinking things over. 

He hadn’t thought he’d be able to do this friends with benefits thing but being able to share a bed after and be casually affectionate with each other throughout the day, even holding hands in public.  If was enough to make Magnus feel like his boyfriend. 

 

“I really like you.”  Alec whispered against Magnus’s neck. 

“Mmm.” 

“So much.”  It was easier to talk to a sleeping Magnus.  To whisper the confessions against his warm skin. 

 

Alec waited a moment but there was nothing but the sound of Magnus’s relaxed breathing, the occasional soft snore interrupting the steady rhythm. 

“I love you.” 

Alec kissed his neck one more time, then settled in next to Magnus to go to sleep. 

Chapter Text

“You need to tell me everything.” 

Izzy didn’t wait for Alec to invite her inside.  She just pushed past him into his apartment and made herself comfortable on his couch. 

 

“Hi Izzy.  Great to see you.  Please, come in.”  Alec said to the empty hallway, sarcasm heavy in his voice. 

“Hey at least I knocked instead of using my key.”  She pointed out, resting both of her feet on the coffee table in front of the couch. 

“Yeah, thanks for that.”  Alec rolled his eyes as he shut his door, then walked over to the couch to sit next to Izzy. 

 

“Well, after last time I figured it was safer to knock.”  She teased and Alec rolled his eyes. 

Never in his life was Izzy going to let him live that one down. 

“I’m glad you’re learning.”  Alec said dryly. 

As much as he had enjoyed what had been happening the other morning, Izzy’s interruption wasn’t something he liked to think about.  He guessed he should count himself lucky that she had walked in when she had.  A few minutes later and she might have walked in on something a lot more intimate than just making out and Alec didn’t even want to consider that. 

 

“I mean, who knows what I might have walked in on this time.”  Izzy continued, looking around Alec’s place like she was expecting Magnus to be hiding somewhere partially clothed. 

“Magnus is at work.”  Alec informed her. 

 

Magnus’s absence was one of the reasons why Alec had suggested Izzy come over in the first place.  That and the fact that talking about any of this in a public place ran the risk of someone overhearing.  Simon overhearing Magnus was proof of that and with Alec’s luck, he didn’t want to chance it. 

 

“Speaking of Magnus,”  Izzy jumped on the first chance she got.  “How is he?” 

“He’s fine.”  Alec said slowly, looking at his sister with suspicion.  There was no way she didn’t have an ulterior motive. 

“No, I mean, how is Magnus?”  Izzy’s implication was clear.  But in case it wasn’t, she went on to clarify herself.  “In bed.” 

“Yeah no, I got what you meant, Iz.”  

 

It felt strange.  He had never really had a sex life to talk about before. 

Izzy and Jace had never really been shy about their own sex lives, often giving Alec details he absolutely hadn’t asked for.  He had never really been all that interested. 

Izzy had tried to get details from Alec before, but she had stopped asking once he had admitted that he didn’t have anything to tell her. 

But evidently, she was planning on making up for all that lost time now. 

 

“And he’s just fine?”  Izzy looked doubtful. 

Alec hesitated.  He wanted to keep it to himself, but he’d be lying if he said there wasn’t a part of him that really wanted to talk about it. 

“If I was going to rate him out of five stars,”  Alec paused, a small smile stealing over his face as he saw the eager way Izzy was leaning towards him.  “I’d just give him the whole fucking galaxy.” 

 

“Oh my god, Alec.”  Izzy looked absolutely delighted.  “It’s that good?” 

“You have no idea.”  Even though he was talking about Magnus, Alec felt a certain burst of pride in talking about him.  “I know I don’t really have anything to compare it to, but I’m pretty positive he’s ruined all other men for me.” 

“Alec.”  He was pretty sure he’d never seen Izzy smile wider than she was right now.

“The things he can do with his hands.”  The look on Izzy’s face only encouraged him to say more.  “And mouth.” 

Alec” 

“He’s a man of many talents.”  Alec couldn’t keep the smile off of his face.

 

“So,”  Izzy started, adjusting her position so she was sitting cross legged on the couch, facing Alec. 

“So?”

“So, you owe me five details.”  She stated plainly and Alec gave her a look.

“I’m fully aware we settled on three and if you keep that up, it’s going to get knocked down to two.” 

 

“Fine, fine.  It was three.”  She sounded a little disappointed that her attempt at tricking him hadn’t worked, but she was clearly still excited to hear what he was willing to share. 

“What do you want to know?”  Alec asked.  “And just because you ask something doesn’t mean I’m going to answer it.”  He reminded her. 

“I know, I know.”  Izzy rolled her eyes and settled against his couch more, leaning against the arm so she could still face him. 

 

“What were you two doing last night when I was trying to call you?” 

That was an easy one. 

“Making out.”  Alec answered simply but Izzy looked at him dubiously.  “What?”

“Alec.  He was right by the phone.  I could hear him doing something while you were talking to me.  And you can’t say it was just making out because you were talking to me.” 

“Is this really what you want to use one of your three on?”  Alec asked and Izzy nodded enthusiastically.  “You only get the three.”  He reminded her but Izzy kept nodding. 

 

Alec sighed, then reached for the collar of his shirt.  He tugged it down enough to expose part of his chest and three hickies decorating the skin right around his left collarbone. 

“Does this answer your question?”  He asked and Izzy clapped her hands together. 

“Oh absolutely.”

 

Alec let go of the collar and his shirt pulled itself back into place, but Izzy had other plans. 

Without warning, she leaned over and grabbed the hem of Alec’s shirt, yanking it up. 

“Izzy!”  Alec moved to pull his shirt back down, but it was a little late for that. 

 

Once he had confirmed with Magnus that marks that could be covered by his shirt were okay, Magnus had taken full advantage. 

He had left several light marks to decorate Alec’s torso.  A pattern of marks down his ribs, a few darker marks by his hipbones.  He had only meant to show Izzy the few by his collarbone. 

“Oh my god, Alec.” 

Izzy had only had a moment to look but it had been enough. 

 

“Is that why it took you like two hours to get back to me last night?”  Izzy asked, laughter mingling with her question. 

“Maybe.”  Alec said evasively. 

“What did you guys do last night?”

“Do you want that to be your second question?”  Alec asked and Izzy hesitated. 

 

“What’s the furthest you guys have gone?”  Izzy asked instead and Alec found himself wishing he had just answered the original question. 

“I’ve already told you.” 

“Blowjobs?” 

“Yes.”  Alec avoided eye contact with her. 

 

“Do you want to do more?”  Alec still wouldn’t look at Izzy as she asked. 

“Maybe.  I don’t know.  Probably.”  His fingers finding their usual place, nails digging into the fabric of his jeans. 

 

“Hey.”  Izzy reached out to grab his wrist, pulling his hand away from himself and interlacing her fingers with one of his hands, then grabbed the other to do the same.  “We don’t actually have to talk about this if you don’t want to.” 

 

Alec finally looked at Izzy, but he didn’t fight her grip. 

“It’s not that I don’t want to talk about it, it’s just complicated.  I want more with him in more than just that sort of way.  I’ve never felt like this about anyone before.  Last night at dinner, he really felt like my boyfriend.  He didn’t say much but I didn’t need him to.  He just held my hand and I don’t know.  Just him being there made it a lot easier to talk to mom.” 

It actually felt good to have someone to vent to, to verbalize how he felt about Magnus. 

 

“And after we left the restaurant, there was this moment when we were just walking and holding hands.  It felt so real.”

“That sounds a lot like a date.”  Izzy pointed out and Alec gently pulled his hands back. 

“It felt like one.  Then we ran into one of my coworkers on the street so that sort of shattered the moment.” 

“Which one?”  Izzy asked and Alec rolled his eyes. 

“Not Clary.”  And before Izzy could try and claim that wasn’t why she had been asking, Alec continued.  “It was probably the last person I wanted to see.”

 

“It was Simon, wasn’t it?”  Izzy guessed instantly and Alec nodded.

“It was.”  Alec sounded defeated.  “And to make matters worse, apparently Magnus and his best friend had lunch at Simon’s second job a few days ago and he was their server.”

“How does that make things worse?”  Izzy was doing her best not to smile and Alec appreciated the effort. 

“He overheard some of their conversations and the main topic was apparently blowjobs.”  There wasn’t much he could do to make the situation more embarrassing, so he figured he’d just tell Izzy.  

 

The laugh she had been holding back burst out and honestly, Alec couldn’t blame her.  

“Oh my god.  And he put two and two together?”  Izzy said through her laughter and Alec nodded.

“I mean, how many people do you know named Magnus?  Besides, even if he hadn’t heard his name, Magnus isn’t exactly a forgettable face.” 

“A rare and beautiful name for a rare and beautiful man, huh?”  She said, reaching over to push his shoulder playfully and Alec just nodded. 

 

“So yeah.  Simon popped up out of nowhere and pointed out that we were holding hands and it broke the illusion.  But it was nice to be able to pretend Magnus was my boyfriend for a while.  Especially in front of mom.”  Alec said and Izzy sat up straighter. 

“I wanted to ask you last night how that went, but someone was busy.”

Alec ignored that little comment. 

 

“It went pretty much how I thought it was going to go.  I got there before Magnus and she wasn’t even trying to hide the fact that she thought I was making Magnus up.  And as annoying that was, it was almost worth it for the look on her face when he did show up.” 

“I wish I could have seen it.”

“But even with Magnus there, mom was still trying to talk me into dating girls.  She said that if things didn’t work out with Magnus, maybe I could go back to dating women.  She said she didn’t approve of our relationship, but she didn’t want to lose me over it, so she wasn’t going to try to stop me from seeing all of you.  Minus dad, but it’s not like I want anything to do with him anyways.”

“So good news and bad news?”  Izzy said, voice sympathetic. 

 

“Pretty much.  She still doesn’t want to accept that I want to date men but she’s not willing to disown me over it like dad apparently is.” 

“I’m sorry, Alec.”  She said and Alec shrugged. 

“Like I said, it went pretty much how I thought.  Though it might not have if Magnus hadn’t been there with me.  I think her seeing me with another guy helped her realize that this part of me isn’t something that’s going to go away.” 

“And since you two already act like boyfriends all the time, I’m sure it was easy to sell.”

 

Again, ignoring Izzy’s comment, Alec continued. 

“Do you want to hear the best part?” 

“Oh?” 

“I kissed Magnus in front of her.”  Alec said, unable to keep the pride out of his voice. 

 

Izzy leaned in. 

“You did?  Okay, are we talking like, a quick peck or a full on kiss?” 

“Both, actually.  He kissed me when he first got there but that was just a quick one.  The one I’m talking about is right before we left.  Mom made another comment about how she couldn’t believe I was serious about having a boyfriend, so I kissed him.” 

“More details.”  Izzy urged and Alec indulged her.  And maybe himself a little. 

“I grabbed him by his suit jacket, pulled him towards me, and kissed him like I’d never see him again.”

“Oh my god, Alec.  I am so proud of you.  What did mom do?”  Izzy was beaming at him.

“She just stared.  I think she was speechless.  Then Magnus and I left.” 

 

“It felt incredible.”  Alec admitted and Izzy pushed his shoulder again.

“Kissing him in front of mom or the kiss itself?”  She asked, teasing.

“Yes.”  Alec answered her simply and laughed a little at how pleased with him Izzy seemed to be. 

 

“So, timeline.  You get to dinner, mom acts like Magnus is fake, Magnus shows up, mom still tries to talk you into dating girls, you kiss Magnus in front of her,”  Izzy tapped her finger against her other hand with each point. “You and Magnus leave holding hands, Simon finds you guys, you guys get home, and then you spend the next two hours occupied.” 

“You got it.”

 

“I think I have my last question.”  Izzy said unexpectedly and Alec waved his hand in a ‘go on’ gesture, assuming she was going to ask another question about what had happened between him and Magnus last night. 

“What in the actual fuck is keeping you from asking him out for real?”

 

The question caught him off guard and Alec found himself speechless, just looking at her.  He had been ready for a sexual question, not one like this. 

“You two literally do everything that boyfriends do.  You introduced him to mom.  You held hands walking down the street.  You kiss him whenever you want.”

“Iz, it’s not that simple-“  Alec started but Izzy wouldn’t let him talk.

“He literally offered to be your boyfriend.”

Fake boyfriend.  We’re just friends with benefits.” 

 

“Okay, let me ask you something else.  After you guys hook up, do you go back to your own rooms or do you sleep together?  Not counting the first time when you ditched him.” 

Alec cringed a little at that memory.  He still regretted doing that. 

“Uh.  He sleeps in my bed most nights.”  Alec admitted.  “Sometimes we sleep in his.” 

“Is it always after hooking up or does he casually sleep in your bed?”  Izzy went on and Alec was willing to look anywhere but at her. 

 

“You’ve asked way more than three questions.”

“Answer the question.” 

“A few times it’s been casual.”  Alec finally said with reluctance. 

“How many?”

“Jesus Izzy, is this an interrogation?”

“Yup.” 

 

Alec didn’t try to fight her.

“I don’t know, maybe three?  There was the night where we got into stuff about his ex and we both talked about our parents and we just fell asleep in his bed.  Then there was the day I was sort of freaking out about my paper and he came to sleep in my room but that was only because I was stressed out.”  Alec almost felt defensive, like he needed an excuse for wanting to sleep in the same bed as Magnus.

 

“And then when I got home from dinner the other night, I might have fallen asleep in his bed waiting for him and then he got home, and I just stayed with him.  But that was because we talked about everything that happened with dad and-“

Izzy cut him off again.

“So, you also sleep together whenever one of you is having a rough emotional time?  You know who does that, Alec?  Boyfriends.” 

 

Alec was having a hard time coming up with a counter argument. 

“We’re just- it’s not like that- he doesn’t like me like that.” 

“It is literally taking all of my self-control to not punch you.  Alec, you like him.  He likes you.  He offered to be your fake boyfriend.  You said he was the one who kept holding your hand at dinner.  He’s not hooking up with anyone else.  He likes you, Alec, and you’re both being way too big of idiots to realize it.” 

 

One particular part of Izzy’s rant stuck out to him.

“How would you know he’s not hooking up with anyone else?”  Alec looked at her suspiciously.

“I asked him.”  Izzy said without an ounce of shame. 

“When?”  Alec stared at her.

“When I came over the other morning and you were on the phone with mom.”

Izzy.” 

 

“Someone had to ask.  And stop looking at me like that, I didn’t say you told me to ask or anything like that.  He actually seemed surprised I thought he’d be hooking up with anyone else in the first place.” 

Alec groaned, feeling embarrassed at the idea of Izzy interrogating Magnus like that but at the same time, feeling relief to hear that he was the only one Magnus had been with lately. 

“Alec.  He has feelings for you.  It’s so obvious.  The fact that you can’t see it makes you absolutely the dumbest smart person I’ve ever met.  You need to tell him how you feel.”

“I sort of did.”  Alec mumbled. 

 

Izzy sat bolt upright again. 

“What?”

“He was asleep.”  Alec added and Izzy groaned. 

“Alec, I swear to god, if you don’t tell him soon, I’m going to-“

“Kill me?  Yeah, I know.”  Alec cut her off. 

 

“You can’t just spend your entire life being afraid of rejection.”

“Watch me.”  Alec mumbled.  Without thinking about it, his right hand started towards his thigh again with the familiar anxious motion of digging his nails into himself, but Izzy grabbed his hand before he could, intertwining her fingers with his again.

“No.”  She said firmly.  “I’m not about to let you throw something amazing away just because you’re being too much of an idiot to see how much Magnus likes you too.”

“Izzy-“

“Promise me.”

“Promise you what?”

“That you’ll at least try to have a conversation with him about this.  You need to talk to him.” 

 

“And if he doesn’t feel the same way?”  Alec knew Izzy wasn’t going to drop this. 

“Then I’ll pay off all of your student loans.”  The confidence in her voice was loud and clear and Alec sighed heavily. 

“Can I get that in writing?” 

 

---

 

“So, do I finally get to meet your darling Alexander?”  Catarina asked as she stepped inside the apartment, already looking around for Magnus’s roommate. 

“My darling Alexander is at work.”  Magnus set his keys down on the side table after shutting the door behind them. 

“I’m starting to think you’re making him up.”  She teased, following Magnus down the hall and into his room so he could change out of his work clothes while talking to her. 

 

“Yup.  See that room?”  Magnus gestured to Alec’s open door across the hall from his.  “I’m paying for a two bedroom place by myself and I just decorated that room to give the illusion that someone lives in it.”  Magnus looked away from the bedroom and back at Catarina and was mildly offended to see that she actually seemed to be considering this possibility. 

“Well…”  She let the sentence trail off and Magnus pointed to his own room, then back over to Alec’s. 

“Does it look like the same person decorated both of these rooms to you?” 

 

After their activities from the night before, Magnus had put his usual golden sheets into the wash and now his bed was a bright shock of crimson.  Alec’s uniformly made bed was covered in a navy blue comforter and dark gray sheets. 

While Magnus hadn’t been there long, his room already exploded with color.  It was a stark contrast to the almost monochrome theme in Alec’s. 

Magnus had added several personal touches to his new room whereas Alec’s could have passed for a hotel room. 

 

“That’s a fair point.”  Cat admitted, looking between the rooms.  “Are you sure he’s been living here longer than you?”

“We have different taste when it comes to decorating.”  Magnus said as he walked into his room to hang up his suit jacket. 

 

Undressing in front of Catarina was incredibly different than undressing in front of Alec.  Magnus didn’t bother to make a show out of it this time, and Cat had no interest in seeing that show anyways. 

“Or maybe you decorated that room like that just to throw me off and this whole thing is an elaborate scheme.”  Cat suggested while Magnus slipped off his tie. 

“I swear, you sound like his mom.”  Magnus rolled his eyes. 

 

“His mom?” 

“I have so much to catch you up on.”  Magnus shook his head, making quick work of unbuttoning the deep green dress shirt he was wearing to switch it out for something much more comfortable. 

“Shall I make drinks?”

“You are a mind reader and I adore you.” 

 

By the time Magnus was done getting changed and removing his makeup, Catarina had already settled on the couch, one drink in her hand, another sitting on the table. 

“Okay.”  Magnus said as he sat down on the couch next to Catarina.  He grabbed the drink she had made him but before he could take a sip, he felt Catarina’s hand on his neck.

“How did I not notice this earlier?”  Her voice was amused, fingers cold from gripping her drink.  “I take it it’s a gift from your Alexander?”

 

It took Magnus a moment to realize what she was talking about. 

The hickey Alec had left on him last night.

“I had it covered with makeup earlier.  I haven’t been working at Garroway and Fell long enough to walk in showing off a hickey.”  Magnus explained.  “And it was a gift from my Alexander.  A matching one.” 

He’d never admit it to her, but Magnus loved the way Catarina referred to him as ‘his Alexander’. 

 

“You two.”  Cat shook her head and Magnus feigned innocence as he finally tried his drink. 

“I have no idea what you could possibly mean.” 

“Okay.  Catch me up.”  Cat put her feet up on the coffee table and Magnus paused for a moment to think about when he had last updated her. 

 

“What were you saying about me sounding like his mother?”  She prompted.

“Oh, that was because his mom thought he was making me up.”  He said and noting the look of confusion on Cat’s face, he continued.  “He got in a really big fight with his family over his sexuality, so he lied and said he had a boyfriend.  And since I’m a wonderful friend, I offered to be his pretend boyfriend when he met his mom for dinner last night so she’d take him more seriously.  Apparently, she thought Alec had been lying about having a boyfriend.  Which he technically was, but that’s neither here nor there.” 

 

“Magnus.  What on earth are you doing?”  Cat finally asked after taking a long drink from her glass. 

“What?” 

“Pretend boyfriends?  Do you really think that’s a good idea?”  There was a note of concern in her voice and Magnus tried to wave it off. 

“It’s fine.  It was just the one dinner.” 

“I’m not even going to pretend I believe that.”

“Okay.  One dinner.  And the occasional hooking up, sleeping in the same bed, and holding hands and kissing in public.”  Magnus admitted. 

 

“This doesn’t sound very pretend.”  Cat pointed out and Magnus didn’t want to admit that she was right. 

“It was though.  He only kissed me in front of his mom to prove a point.  And he stopped holding my hand the moment we ran into someone he knew.”

“Maybe it was someone he wasn’t out to?”  She suggested and Magnus shook his head. 

“No, Alec specifically told me he came out to him about a week ago.”  Magnus sighed, leaning back before remembering another detail he hadn’t yet filled her in on.

 

“Oh.  You remember that waiter we had last time we went out to lunch?” 

Catarina seemed thrown off by the question but went with it anyways. 

“The one you kept talking to?”

“Yes, him.  Simon.”  Magnus clarified.  “Well it turns out, he has more than one job.  He works at two restaurants.”

“Don’t tell me he works with your boyfriend.”  Cat groaned and Magnus ignored the way she had referred to Alec. 

 

“As it turns out, he absolutely does.”

“This is why you shouldn’t talk about your sex life loudly in public, Magnus.” 

“How was I supposed to know he was Alexander’s coworker?”  But Magnus knew what she meant.  “So it was someone he was out to and someone who already thought we were dating, but Alec still put his hands in his pockets and made sure Simon knew we were only pretending to date.”

 

“What you’re trying to do for him is sweet, but it’s a bad idea.  You already have strong feelings for him and acting like you’re in a relationship with him isn’t going to do anything to help that.  I don’t want you getting in even deeper when you’re already so clearly in love with him.  I don’t want you to set yourself up to get hurt.” 

 

Now it was Magnus’s turn to take a long drink. 

 

“I have something else to tell you.”  Magnus finally said, refusing to look over at his friend.  He already knew the exact expression she was wearing. 

“What did you do now?”  She asked with a sigh and that did make Magnus look at her. 

“Excuse you, it was actually something he did.”  He hesitated.  “Or something I think he did.  Either way it just adds another layer of confusion on top of everything else.” 

 

“Explain.”  Catarina said firmly and Magnus set his mostly empty glass down on the table. 

“Top me off first?” 

 

“So, what was it you think your Alexander did?”  Cat asked once they were both settled back on the couch again, drinks full. 

“It was last night.  After dinner we got home and, well, you know how we get.”  Magnus spared Catarina the details this time.  It was obvious she knew exactly what he meant.  “So, my sheets weren’t exactly clean, and we slept in his bed.”  Magnus explained. 

 

“I was so exhausted, I started falling asleep pretty much the moment I was in his bed.”  He continued.  “And you know that twilight phase where you’re not awake but you’re not asleep?” 

“Yes.”

“I think I was in that because he was talking to me, but it was soft and quiet and honestly, I think it’s highly possible I might have dreamed it.” 

“What did he say?” 

 

Magnus picked up his new drink, putting off answering for just another moment.  It had been on his mind all day and this was the first time he was going to get to actually tell anyone about it. 

 

“He said that he had a really good time with me.  And that he liked me a lot.”  Magnus took another sip before continuing.  “And that he loved me.” 

 

The words had been on Magnus’s mind all day.  It was incredibly frustrating to not know if they had been real or some part of a hopeful dream and it wasn’t like he could just walk up to Alec and ask. 

“He what?”  Cat set her drink down to stare at him. 

“I don’t know, I think I dreamed it.  And I can’t just come up to him like, hey Alec did you by any chance say you loved me last night?  No?  Cool.”

 

“Magnus.  It is so deeply infuriating how so many of your problems could be fixed by just having a conversation with him.  I’m about ready to lock you two in a room together and not let you out until you’ve talked this out.  I love you, but you’re being an idiot.” 

“I see we’re going with brutal honesty here.”  Magnus commented dryly. 

“Someone has to since you refuse to tell him how you feel.” 

“What if I tell him and he just gets freaked out?  I like what we have now, I don’t want to risk that.” 

 

And while it was true that Magnus did like what they had now, it would be a complete lie to say he was satisfied with what they had now.  He wanted Alec.  He wanted to be able to hold hands with him while walking down the street.  He wanted to go with him to family dinners.  He wanted to kiss him in public and let the world know that Alexander Lightwood was his boyfriend. 

He wanted what he thought he had heard last night to be true so desperately that he didn’t know how to express it. 

 

“I don’t think you were dreaming.”  Catarina finally said.  “Magnus.  You’ve never been afraid to take risks before.”  She said and Magnus didn’t say anything, so she continued.  “You’re never going to be happy settling for this when you want so much more.” 

Still, Magnus remained silent. 

“I’ll take your silence as a confirmation that I’m right.” 

“You are right, and I hate you very much.”  Magnus finally said. 

“Are you going to talk to him?” 

“If the right moment arises.”  Magnus said vaguely. 

 

Magnus.” 

“Fine.  I’ll talk to him.  But I’m going to take my time, don’t expect me to have done this by tomorrow.  Or even this week.  Maybe not even this month.” 

“Rip the band aid off.  Don’t overthink it.” 

“You know, I really, really hate when you’re right.”

Chapter Text

“Have you talked to him yet?”  Izzy asked instead of a hello.

“Hey Iz, hello to you too.  I’m doing great, thanks for asking.”  Alec rolled his eyes.  It didn’t matter that she couldn’t see him, Alec knew she heard the action in his voice. 

“You made the same joke yesterday.”  Izzy’s tone returned the gesture. 

“I wouldn’t have to make that joke if you ever greeted me like a normal person.” 

“I wouldn’t have to greet you like this if you weren’t a moron.” 

 

“Well, good talk.  Call back again in a few months.” 

“Okay, okay, I’m sorry.” 

“I haven’t talked to him yet but before you yell at me, he has to be at work at 7am.  I closed last night, I wasn’t home till around eleven so he was asleep when I got home.  Then today, I had to be in class by 8am.  We don’t have a lot of talking time in the morning. 

“Yeah I know, too busy staying up all night fu-“

“Well good talk Iz-“

“Sorry, don’t hang up.”

They were taking turns cutting each other off. 

 

“I’m going to talk to him.”  Alec finally said after a long moment of silence.  “But it can’t be some weird, rushed morning conversation or one we have while he’s half asleep.  I can’t tell him how I feel about him when we barely have a moment to ourselves.”  

 “You have tonight off.”  Izzy pointed out. 

“He’s at work and I just got home literally ten minutes ago.  And I can’t just blurt it out the second I see him.  I need to figure out what I’m going to say.”

“Oh my god.  Please don’t tell me you’re going to sit at your laptop and write out a draft of what you’re going to say.”

 

Alec’s silence spoke volumes.

 

Alec.” 

“Listen I either do this my way or I don’t do it at all.”  To be perfectly honest, he still didn’t feel like he wanted to do it at all. 

 

“Your life is the most frustrating romantic comedy I’ve ever seen.” 

“How so?”

“Don’t try to front like you don’t know exactly what I’m talking about.  Give me five minutes and I could come up with about 200 movies that mirror your situation almost perfectly.  Minus the scene where the protagonist sits down, outlines, and writes out several drafts of his ‘I love you’ speech.” 

“Ha ha.”

“Is there a word count minimum?  Are you docked points for grammar?  Gonna cite your sources?”

 

Even though he knew he’d pay for it later, Alec pulled the phone away and hit the end call button.

Not even ten seconds later, Alec’s phone was buzzing in his hand again.  Alec sent her to voicemail. 

 

Izzy (1:44pm): asshole
Alec (1:45pm): You were the one making fun of me
Izzy (1:45pm): not forgetting this
Alec (1:45pm): Love you

 

Alec grabbed his laptop off of his desk and dropped heavily onto his bed, dropping his phone next to him. 

Hating that Izzy had been completely right about what he was about to do, he started up his laptop.

What was he even supposed to say to Magnus?  How was he supposed to tell him what he needed to tell him? 

 

Draft one

Hey so even though I knew I had feelings for you within moments of meeting you I still thought it was a good idea to hook up with you since you’re insanely hot and that I wouldn’t get even more attached, but it turns out that I was completely wrong and now I can’t stop thinking about you being my boyfriend so what do you think?

 

Alec stared at his screen.  This was a great start.  He needed to take this seriously.

 

Draft two

Ever since the day I met you, I started developing feelings for you.  I was so taken by your looks at first, I almost said no to moving in with you.  But then we started talking and I knew there was no way I could say no to you, that I needed you in my life no matter what.  I’ve never clicked with someone the way I have with you.  Nothing like this has ever come so easily to me. 

The more I got to know you, the more I started falling for you.  Every little thing you’d do just made my feelings stronger and stronger.  The first time we kissed, everything else in the world stopped existing. 

 

Alec stopped again.  No, no, that was just too much. 

 

Draft five

Magnus, I need to talk to you about something.  You might know this already and you might not feel the same way, but it’s something that I have to tell you.  I love the relationship we have now, this friends with benefits thing, but it’s not enough for me.  I want to be with you in more than just a physical way.  I don’t want either of us to see either people.  I can’t even think about being with anyone other than you.

 

Draft nine

So according to Izzy and pretty much everyone else I know, we already act like boyfriends, and my parents think we actually are boyfriends.  So, let’s just do this shit for real, yeah?

 

Draft sixteen

Shit bitch you is fine

 

Draft twenty

So as it turns out, I have very strong feelings for you.  Not just ‘I want him to fuck me’ feelings, but real love feelings.  I want to hold your hand and kiss you in public and introduce you to people as my real boyfriend.  Of course I also want you to fuck me, but I want all the other stuff that comes with it too.  All the boyfriend stuff.  My boyfriend.  I want you to be my boyfriend.  Let’s be boyfriends.  Boyfriends.  Boyfriends.  Boyfriends.

 

This was impossible. 

Izzy was right.  He didn’t know why he thought he was going to be able to write any of this out ahead of time.  It was like the last time he had tried to talk to Magnus and he had rehearsed all of it in his head, but then as soon as he had gone to talk to him, all of that careful rehearsing had just flown out the window and Alec had wound up blurting out a bunch of nonsense that had all amounted to the exact opposite of what he had been planning on saying. 

Maybe he’d do better if he just decided to wing it. 

 

Alec closed the lid of his laptop, hiding the damning documents from even his own eyes.  He set it next to him on his bed, sighing. 

 

Alec reached for his phone instead, checking the time.  He still had a while to kill before Magnus got home from work and he didn’t want to spend the whole time just stressing out this. 

It was true that they didn’t have to have this conversation tonight, but if not tonight then when?  They barely saw each other on Thursdays- if at all- and Fridays were hard to make work as well.  Part of him definitely wanted to push the conversation off until Saturday but he wasn’t sure he could handle the stress of overthinking all of this over the next few days.  He knew Izzy was right.  He just needed to do this. 

He was making his stress worse by overthinking it.

He needed to find a way to try and destress and relax before Magnus got home. 

 

---

 

Destressing and relaxing. 

It had started by going through Magnus’s Instagram pictures, evolved to Alec pushing a hand down his pants, and progressed into what it was now, which had the be the exact opposite of separating his sexual feelings and his emotional feelings for Magnus.  If anything, it was just blurring the lines more and making things even more confusing. 

 

That was how Alec found himself on his bed with his clothes on a pile on the floor, a bottle of lube stolen from Magnus’s room open on his nightstand, Magnus’s Instagram pulled up on his phone, and one of his hands around his cock while he focused on working a second finger into himself with the other.

 

He’d only tried this a handful of times before, but he found that thinking about Magnus made it so, so much better. 

His phone had slid off his chest and onto the bed next to him, but Alec could still turn his head and see one of his favorite pictures of Magnus.  The shirtless beach one with his entire upper body on display. 

Alec wished he had pictures that Magnus had taken just for him, pictures that showed more, but Alec had seen the real thing in person to be able to conjure it up in his imagination fairly well. 

 

Magnus slowly working him open with those long slender fingers, getting him ready to take his cock. 

It wasn’t something they had done before and while Alec was sure Magnus would be more than open to doing it, he hadn’t been able to find the nerve to ask him. 

Besides, it felt so much more intimate.  Having Magnus inside him or even just his fingers.  But it was perfect for his current fantasy because in his current fantasy, Magnus was his boyfriend. 

 

Alec could feel sweat dripping off one of his sides as he got the second finger in, taking a moment to catch his breath.  It hurt but not exactly in a bad way.  For one, he was using actual lube instead of lotion this time and holy hell what a difference that made.  Another, thinking about Magnus doing this to him just made him feel hotter. 

He stroked himself faster while he got used to the feeling of having two of his fingers inside of himself, glancing at the picture of Magnus again before closing his eyes, wanting to picture the fantasy of Magnus, leaning over him, naked and hard, telling him what a good job he was doing. 

How pretty he looked doing it. 

 

Alec started moving his fingers, trying to find the spot he was looking for.  He wasn’t sure if it was the angle or just his lack of experience, but he had only managed to locate it successfully a handful of times. 

But there it was, and Alec moaned loud.  There was no one home, he didn’t have to worry about anyone overhearing him.

“Fuck.”  He gasped, letting go of his cock for a moment so he could tangle his fingers into his sheets. 

Fuck.”  He breathed as he moved his fingers in what he hoped was the exact same motion and was rewarded with another wave of pleasure so strong it was electric. 

 

He felt like he didn’t have enough hands.  He needed to keep his fingers inside himself, but he also needed to wrap his hand around his dick again, but that took away the option of holding onto his covers to help ground himself. 

“God, Magnus.”  Alec’s eyes were still shut as he thrust into himself again. 

His angle had shifted though and while it still felt good, it wasn’t that bright shock of pleasure he had been searching for.

Alec started stroking himself again. 

 

If Magnus was fucking him, Alec would have had both of his hands free.  He could have stroked himself and grabbed onto Magnus.  Magnus could have touched him, whispered dirty things into his ear while he did. 

 

The sound of the front door opening pulled Alec out of his fantasy and he let go of his cock quickly though eased his fingers out of himself.   Had he actually heard that?  How much time had passed? 

The next sound was of the front door shutting and Alec could confirm that he had indeed heard that. 

 

Trying to move quickly even though his brain was a haze of lust, Alec grabbed for the tissues on his nightstand to try and wipe the lube off of himself though he did a far from through job.  He was scanning his floor for his clothes and had just located his boxer briefs when there was a knock at his door. 

“Alexander?”

“Don’t- uh- One second!”  He hated how frazzled his voice sounded and he almost fell as he pulled his boxer briefs back on.  “Just, just one moment!”  He continued and felt mild relief as he saw the way his door remained closed. 

Alec pulled on a shirt, glanced in the mirror quickly, and realized any chance he thought he had of playing this off was probably nonexistent.  Not with the way he looked right now.  There was no hiding what he had been doing or how hard he was, for that matter.   

 

Angling his body to keep his lower half hidden by the door, Alec partially pulled open his door to see Magnus standing on the other side.  If Magnus’s smile was anything to go by, Alec wasn’t hiding anything from him.

“What’s up?”  Alec almost cringed at how hard he was trying to force himself to have a casual tone. 

 

“Darling, you know you don’t have to open your door every time I knock, right?”  Magnus’s voice was teasing, and Alec knew he hadn’t gotten away with anything.  “If you’re having some alone time, you can tell me to go away.”  Magnus said though he made no movement to step away from Alec’s door. 

“I know that I just-“

“Unless you wanted some help.”  Magnus spoke over him.  “Because I was going to suggest dinner, but this sounds fantastic too.”

 

Alec didn’t think there was a single universe in which he could actually bring himself to say no to Magnus.  Fuck, he had just been getting off thinking about the man and now here he was, right in front of him, offering himself to him.  He’d be out of his mind to say no.

Fuck actually working on his emotions, he was horny and Magnus was ridiculously hot. 

 

“Don’t you need to change out of your suit?”   Were the words that left his mouth instead and Magnus grinned at him. 

“Good thinking, darling.  Why don’t I go do that and you get back to whatever it was you were doing?” 

 

Alec’s heart was pounding.  Exactly what he had been doing? 

Before he could overthink it too much, Magnus’s hand was at the collar of his shirt, pulling him out of his hiding stance, and Magnus’s lips were on his. 

But it was far too brief. 

Alec had to break away with a gasp as he felt Magnus’s fingers trace over his barely concealed erection. 

 

“Yes sir.”  Alec spoke before he thought, and Magnus tensed. 

Fuck.  He had done something wrong. 

He opened his mouth to blame it on how professional Magnus looked in his suit, how good Magnus was with that commanding tone, but Magnus beat him to it. 

“You’re going to be the death of me.”  Magnus leaned in and kissed him again before letting go of him to move into his own room, already in the process of taking off his suit jacket. 

 

Alec stared at him, stunned, for a moment before walking back into his own room though he left his door open this time.  He laid back down on his bed but hesitated. 

It was one thing to do that to himself when he was alone but doing it with the knowledge that Magnus was coming in in just a few minutes was different. 

 

So, he just stayed where he was, propped up by his pillows, still dressed in a tee shirt and underwear, not sure what to do.  Cautiously, Alec rested a hand over his clothed erection, touching himself lightly while he waited for Magnus.

He was in the same position when Magnus came into his room, dressed only in that pair of crimson briefs Alec secretly considered his favorite. 

 

“This is what you were doing when I knocked?”  Magnus teased and Alec flushed. 

“Yeah.”  He lied.  It wasn’t even a convincing lie and they both knew it. 

“See, I thought you were more of a lotion man.”  Magnus’s voice continued with the teasing inflection as he picked up the bottle of his own lube from Alec’s nightstand and secured the lid with a loud snap. 

“It depends on what I’m doing.”  Alec admitted and Magnus moved closer, crawling up on his bed to join him. 

 

“And what were you doing?”  Magnus asked, trailing a hand down Alec’s chest as he spoke. 

“Getting off.”  He said vaguely and Magnus’s teasing touches turned into him digging his nails into Alec’s chest, making Alec gasp. 

Magnus climbed on top of him and leaned down to kiss him deeply, like he had been thinking about this all day, not just now because of what he had known Alec was doing. 

 

“Just getting off?”  The tease went on as Magnus broke the kiss, starting to press kisses to Alec’s neck.  “How?”  Magnus continued and Alec licked his lips. 

“Touching myself.”  Alec tried to urge Magnus’s face back up to kiss him again, but Magnus was too busy pushing Alec’s shirt up his chest, coaxing it off of him. 

“Thinking about me?”  Magnus purred and Alec nodded. 

 

Magnus slid a hand down Alec’s boxer briefs and surprised him by only stroking him once before his hand dipped lower and Magnus rubbed a finger over Alec’s hole. 

Despite the attempt at cleaning up before he had let Magnus in, Alec definitely hadn’t gotten everything, and he knew Magnus could feel how slick with lube he still was. 

 

“Oh darling, if you wanted me to finger you sooner, all you had to do was ask.” 

 

It hadn’t been something they had discussed yet and Alec knew that Magnus wouldn’t try something like that without permission, but it had been pretty clear what Alec had been up to before Magnus had come in.  Even now after seeing that it was clearly something Alec wanted done to himself, Magnus was still asking permission in that ridiculously hot way he did.  Making sure things were okay with Alec without killing the mood. 

 

“Fuck, Magnus.”  Alec groaned.  The words were an invitation on his lips. 

Magnus pulled his hand out of Alec’s boxer briefs and reached for the bottle of lube he had recently closed. 

“Take these off for me.”  Magnus told him and when he used that tone, Alec was powerless to resist even if he wanted to.  And absolutely no part of him wanted to resist. 

 

Alec hooked his fingers into the dark waistband of the briefs he had grabbed to put on in his earlier haste and tugged them off of himself. 

He watched in something like awe as Magnus applied a liberal dose on his hand, for now just reaching out to start stroking Alec’s cock.  Alec groaned and closed his eyes.  He let his body fall back against the pillows behind him as Magnus started a maddingly slow pace. 

 

“Do you do that to yourself a lot?”  Magnus asked and Alec gave a sort of half shrug. 

“Sometimes.”  Alec managed.  “It’s a lot better with lube.”  He admitted it. 

“It’ll be even better when I do it.”  Magnus urged Alec’s legs apart with his knees as he added more lube to his fingers this time. 

 

And holt shit Magnus was right.             

 

“Jesus Christ.”  Alec groaned and Magnus leaned down to kiss his neck. 

“How many times do I have to tell you?  You can call me Magnus.” 

Every motion of Magnus’s fingers made Alec’s body twist and thrum with pleasure and his eyes were shut tightly, hands above his head, gripping the pillow his hand was resting on.  It was all he could do to keep himself from touching himself.  As badly as he wanted to and as much as he had been thinking about it earlier, if he did it now he was going to finish and there was still more he wanted to do with Magnus tonight. 

 

“I want you.”  Alec moaned, finally able to catch his breath when Magnus pulled back a little, clearly able to tell how overwhelmed Alec was starting to become. 

“Alexander-“

“I want it to be you.  I want you to be my first.”  Alec didn’t specify exactly what he meant by that, but Alec could tell by the surprise on Magnus’s face that he took Alec’s meaning. 

“Alexander, are you sure?”  Magnus was hesitant but Alec nodded vehemently .

“Yes.  I trust you, Magnus.  All of my other firsts have been with you.  My first kiss, the first person I’ve been with, the first person-“  Alec stopped himself just short of saying that Magnus was the first person that Alec had ever loved.  It was true but it wasn’t exactly the right moment for him to say it.

“I want you to be my first everything.”  He said and after Magnus hesitated another moment, Alec added, “And you seem to be really, really good at this.”

 

Alec reached up and pulled Magnus back down to kiss him hard, trying to pull him on top of him, pull him closer.  He kissed him deeply, pressing his body as close up against Magnus’s as he could. 

Then another thought struck him. 

“Unless you don’t want to.  That’s completely fine.  You can just keep doing what you’re doing.  Or stop what you were doing.  You don’t have to-”  Alec was quick to say, and Magnus shook his head. 

“No, I’d very much like to.  I just want to make sure that you’re okay with it.  Magnus said, pulling away from Alec far enough to stroke his cheek gently and Alec closed his eyes.

“I trust you, Magnus.”

“I trust you Alexander.”  Magnus’s lips found his again and Alec clung tightly to him, trying to rock his body against his. 

 

“Alec.”  Magnus murmured against his lips before Alec felt the push of Magnus’s fingers into him again. 

“Please.”  Was all Alec said in return as Magnus started working him open again.  Even though it was clear that Magnus was a little more focused on stretching him out instead of just stimulating his prostate, the sensations still made Alec moan Magnus’s name breathlessly. 

“I want you.”  Alec repeated again, finding it easy to relax his body underneath Magnus.

 

 “Shit.”  Magnus suddenly swore and pulled his fingers out of Alec.  Alec felt a strong jolt of nerves. 

“What is it?”  Without the sinful sensation of Magnus’s fingers inside him, it was a lot easier to let nervous feelings take over.  Had Magnus changed his mind?

“I should have brought a condom.  I’ll be right back.”  Magnus was clearly reluctant to get out of bed and Alec reached out to grab him arm and stop him from leaving. 

“Bottom drawer.”  Alec said simply, gesturing to his nightstand and Magnus raised an eyebrow at him. 

 

“Izzy got them for me as a sort of gag gift.”  He admitted and Magnus grinned. 

“Remind me to thank her later.”

“I absolutely will not.” 

 

Alec laid back again as Magnus leaned off of Alec’s bed to pull open the specified drawer, digging around for a few moments before he found what he was looking for. 

The sudden burst of laughter from him startled Alec and Magnus moved his body back into a sitting position. 

“Alec,”  Magnus read from the sticky note that was attached to the box.  “Here, in case you ever get that stick out of your ass and put it in someone else’s.”  Magnus barely got through it before he started laughing again. 

 

Alec had completely forgotten about the little note attached from his sister. 

“I hate her.”  He groaned. 

“It looks like she was wrong when she guessed who was going to be on the receiving side of things.”  Magnus teased and Alec rolled his eyes. 

“Are you going to actually open the box or just read all day?”  Alec asked, impatience clear in his voice and Magnus quickly got his laughter under control. 

 

Magnus tossed the box to Alec, motioning for him to open it while he took off his briefs.  Alec snatched the post it note off of the box and crumpled it, tossing it in the direction of his trash can.  Then started to tear the plastic off of the unopened box but his hands froze as he looked up at the sight of Magnus. 

Despite Alec running his hands through it so many times, it was still beautifully styled and his makeup only slightly smudged.  Standing there naked next to Alec’s bed was enough to make Alec forget about the box completely and instead lower a hand to start stroking himself. 

 

“Alexander.”  Magnus teased him.  “You’re too easily distracted.”  Magnus climbed back onto the bed, settling himself on his knees in between Alec’s legs.  He reached out for the box to take from Alec’s hands and Alec gave it to him willingly.  He laid back again, but propped himself on one elbow so he could still use his other hand to reach out to touch Magnus, a jolt of pride to see how hard Magnus already was for him. 

 

Magnus made short word of opening the box and tearing open a condom.  He gently nudged Alec’s hand away and Alec let himself fall back onto the pillows behind him completely, breathing hard. 

This was it. 

Magnus grabbed his hips and pulled him down lower, then leaned down to kiss him.  Alec wrapped his arms around Magnus, pulling him close, kissing him hard. 

 

“Are you sure, Alexander?”  Magnus broke the kiss to check in again and even though Alec knew deep down that this was most definitely going to enhance his already out of control feelings for Magnus and it was probably a mistake, he didn’t hesitate in his answer.  He wanted this too badly right now.

“Yes.  Yes please.”

 

---

 

“Fuck.  Oh god, fuck, Magnus.”  Alec was positive he was digging his nails into Magnus’s back far too roughly, but Magnus didn’t seem to mind.  “So good.” 

Any pain had melted away into pure pleasure and Alec wasn’t sure how much more of it he could take. 

Magnus grabbed his hips tightly and yanked his body into his next thrust and Alec clung to him tighter, one of his legs wrapped around Magnus. 

 

“You okay?”  Magnus stopped for just a moment and Alec whined. 

“Don’t fucking stop.”  He managed and Magnus quickly complied, and Alec closed his eyes, letting the bliss engulf him.  “Too good.” 

 

It was clear in Alec’s body language and the tone of his voice that he was close to breaking.  He wanted this to last as long as possible, but he wasn’t sure how much longer he could handle it. 

Then one of Magnus’s hands moved off of Alec’s hip to wrap around his cock and start jerking it in time to his thrusts. 

“Fuck.  Fuck.  Magnus.”  Alec moaned and before he could stop himself, “God, I love you.  I love you.”  He didn’t have a coherent thought in his brain at the moment.  “I love you so fucking much, Magnus.”  Was the last thing he remembered saying before his world exploded in complete euphoria. 

 

Somewhere in the fog of his mind he was aware that Magnus was still fucking into him while Alec’s body shook with aftershocks.  It was all he could do to just hold onto Magnus and ride out the incredible waves of pleasure Magnus was sending through him. 

 

It wasn’t until after Magnus had rolled off him, tied off the condom to throw away, and grabbed a few handfuls of tissues to clean them off that it suddenly hit Alec what he had said. 

Magnus settled in bed next to him and Alec could tell something was off.  Magnus wasn’t pulling him into his chest right away like he usually did.  Instead he seemed to be studying Alec. 

 

“Magnus, I-“

“Don’t worry about it, Alexander.”  Magnus waved him off.  “People say things they don’t mean during sex all the time.” 

Magnus was giving him an out and as much as Alec wanted to take it, to brush it off as something he had just said because he had been on the verge of orgasm, he couldn’t. 

 

“I did though.”  Alec’s voice was quiet as he pulled his sheets over his lower body. 

“What?”

“I did mean it.  I have- I have really strong feelings for you.  And I know I should have said something earlier.  I should have said something before we had sex because I know that might’ve made you feel differently about doing this.  I’m sorry, that was selfish of me.  I should have said something a while ago, when things first started.  I know I agreed to this whole, no strings attached, friends with benefits thing so I have no room to complain and I only have myself to blame for letting my feelings get so involved.”  The words were pouring out of him like a floodgate had opened and all Magnus was doing was staring at him, so Alec just kept talking. 

 

“I’ve liked you since the day I met you and I just didn’t know how to tell you.  I wanted to keep you as a roommate, so I thought it’d be easier if I just kept my mouth shut.  Then we hooked up and things just got more complicated so I told myself it wouldn’t happen again, but it did anyways.  I know you aren’t looking for a relationship so I thought I could keep things casual, but I can’t, Magnus.  I’m sorry, I know this puts you in a weird position, but I don’t think I can keep doing this if it’s just going to be a physical thing.  I need more and I understand if you don’t-“

“Alexander, you’re an absolute idiot.”  Magnus finally interrupted him, and Alec fell into a shocked silence. 

 

That was how Magnus was going to respond to his love declaration?  Alec wasn’t sure if he should be more insulted or hurt. 

 

“Actually, I’m an idiot too.  We’re both idiots.”  Magnus continued and Alec only felt more confused.

“What?”  Alec stared at him and Magnus started laughing. 

Alec pulled the sheets up against his body tighten, feeling even more defensive. 

 

“I’ve been wanting to say the same thing to you for weeks.”  Magnus finally said and Alec repeated himself. 

“What?” 

“I like you too, Alexander.  I thought you were the one who didn’t want more.”  Magnus explained.  He continued talking but Alec didn’t hear anything past those first five words. 

 

“Wait, really?”  Alec interrupted whatever it was Magnus had been saying and Magnus nodded. 

“Yes really.” 

“Why didn’t you tell me?”  Alec asked, sounding almost betrayed that Magnus had withheld this information from him. 

“Why didn’t you tell me?”  He countered.  “God, I’m going to have to tell Cat she was right.  The amount of times  I’m going to have to hear her say ‘I told you so’ is going to be unbearable.” 

 

This wasn’t happening.  This was some vivid, post orgasm hallucination. 

No matter what Izzy had been trying to convince him of, it still felt impossible to believe that Magnus Bane wanted him too.  As more than just a friend.  As more than just a friend with benefits.    

 

“Alexander?  You with me?”  Magnus’s voice pulled him out of his daze, and he nodded. 

“Yeah, sorry.  I’m just surprised.” 

“Really?  I actually thought I was pretty obvious about it.”  Magnus admitted. 

“I guess I just didn’t want to get my hopes up.”  Alec shrugged.  “Izzy kept telling me but I didn’t want to risk what we already have.” 

“Same with Cat.”  Magnus said and he smiled, scooting closer to Alec and getting underneath the sheet with him, holding his arms out to coax Alec to come lay on his chest. 

 

“You want to take that risk?”  Alec asked as he settled into Magnus’s arms and Magnus nodded. 

“Absolutely.”