Back to Back
Alec has barely a moment to register the demon rushing at him, a snarling mass of fangs dripping an alarming amount of venom, before the creature is swallowed up in a searing rush of blue flame.
He meets the glowing amber of Magnus’s eyes a ways across the park, grinning as Magnus gives him a teasing wink before turning back to the other demons. Alec does the same, allowing himself to get lost in the repetitive draw-release-thwack of battle. He still can’t get over how good it feels.
Alec isn’t an adrenaline junkie like Jace, doesn’t move with the smooth dance-like quality that Izzy does when she fights. He fights to protect, to support the people he loves and to save innocents from threats most of them aren’t even aware exist. Nonetheless, he’d be lying if he said there wasn’t satisfaction to be had in the solid thunk of an arrow meeting its mark.
Draw. Release. Thwack.
Fighting side by side with Magnus is something else, something more. The two of them fit effortlessly together. Magnus complements him in a way that he never thought to feel outside his bond with his parabatai. It isn’t precisely the same. He can’t tap into what Magnus is feeling in the middle of a fight, doesn’t feel their heartbeats sync until they are all but one. The connection he shares with Magnus is different but no less compelling.
It’s a connection that is strengthened by nothing but the fact that they have worked to learn the important things about each other. Magnus understands his unwillingness to rush into things, his desire to protect above all else. Alec knows that Magnus does not fight unless he must, not out of fear but out of a desire to use the power rushing through him to help and to protect first and foremost. Neither of them shies away from a fight, they just prioritize others where necessary. What he feels when fighting beside Magnus, this wordless understanding and compatibility…Alec sometimes imagines that he can reach into himself and follow a tether until he feels a fluttering warmth that can only be Magnus.
Alec pulls another arrow from his quiver and flips it in his grip, jabbing behind him into demon that was trying catch him unawares before and releasing the same arrow into another demon on his left. The area goes quiet after that, as if the park is holding its breath in wary anticipation. But nothing else materializes and slowly, the ambient sounds of the evening begin to return.
“So,” Magnus says from behind him. Alec does not jump in surprise. Magnus grins knowingly. “So, can we get back that picnic under the stars we were having?”
Alec laughs and nods, linking their hands as they head off to a different area of the park to continue their night.
Alec may not be crazy about celebrating his own birthday, but Izzy’s is a different story. They’ve developed a tradition of sorts for her birthday. Alec always makes sure they both have the day off, barring world-ending emergencies, and they do an outing of Izzy’s choice no matter how ridiculous. The last couple of years, she’s been on a Broadway kick. Simon may mock him for his lack of TV and movie trivia, but Alec will never tell him that can sing a perfect Defying Gravity duet with Izzy or that he tears up a little every time he hears Can You Feel the Love Tonight.
This year they’re just getting back to the Institute, the remnants of and three cheese pepperoni pizza closely guarded by Alec as Izzy practically bounces, singing out as much of My Shot as she can wrap her tongue around. He is confident she’ll have it down pat by the end of the week.
Magnus is there to meet them at the door, smiling as he takes in Izzy’s enthusiasm and Alec’s own grin.
“If it isn’t my two favorite Lightwoods,” he greets, giving Alec a quick peck on the cheek before turning to Izzy. “I hear a birthday wishes are in order.”
Magnus sweeps her into a tight hug, before stepping back and producing a large gift bag from nowhere with a grand flourish.
Izzy’s eyes light up as she takes the glittering red and silver bag then dragging Alec forward by the wrist. He exchanges an amused glance with Magnus who smiles and follows the siblings through the halls of the Institute until they reach Izzy’s room.
Alec makes himself comfortable on Izzy’s desk chair after placing the pizza safely on the desk and watches as Izzy pulls Magnus to sit beside her on the bed while she sets about unwrapping the gift. Izzy’s eyes widen in delight as she pulls out what looks to Alec like some kind of textbook.
“Is this the new journal?!” she asks in disbelief. “How did you…? But it isn’t supposed to be published for another four months!”
Magnus smiles and shrugs. “Catarina knows guy who knows a warlock who knows a forensic pathologist in Germany. She knows the lead researcher and long story short, I managed to procure an early copy. You’ll be the first to read it outside the project group.”
Alec feels his grin slide into what must be a stupidly soft smile, but he can’t be bothered to care. Everyone acknowledges Izzy’s prowess as a fighter, but very few understand how much she loves forensics. He’s pretty sure that if she didn’t love being out in the field kicking ass by their side, Izzy would take up the forensic pathology gig full-time.
Alec is flooded by the sudden surge of affection he feels as sister wraps Magnus in a crushing hug while he tells her about a bonus shopping trip in Barcelona when she’s next free. His heart aches in the best way because Magnus cares about Izzy just as much as Alec does. It isn’t a relationship by association. Only someone who genuinely knew Izzy could look past the gorgeous badass part of her and understand how truly brilliant she is.
That means more to Alec than he can ever put into words.
Princess for a Day
Magnus lifts his gaze from the book he’s been engrossed in at the sound of giggling and shushing coming from the kitchen. The coffee table is a battlefield, half drawn pictures and crayons and markers (and where did the paint come from?) cover most of its surface. The artists in question are missing, and Magnus rises from the couch. He stretches languidly, groaning as his spine makes its displeasure about his previous lack of movement known. It doesn’t smell like anything is burning so he makes his way quietly to the kitchen.
Magnus stops in the doorway, a small lump rising in his throat as his chest fills to bursting. There are dolls and a purple plush octopus seated around the edges of the kitchen table while Alec is seated across from them with Madzie on his lap. The two of them are leaning intently over a tray of cupcakes that are decorated in pink and blue and purple icing with yellow sprinkles in the shapes of crowns. Alec is helping to hold one of the cupcakes still as Madzie diligently spreads purple icing over the top, tongue sticking out in concentration.
When she finishes, Madzie looks to Alec as if to get is approval. The easy smile and nod of approval Alec gives makes her face light up all over again. Magnus is pretty sure that if you could die of happiness, he’d have expired in this moment. Alec adds the sprinkles on top and then they move it to join the rest of the finished cupcakes.
“That’s the last one,” Alec points out. Madzie shakes her head and Alec raises a brow in mock disbelief. “No? What’s left then?”
The answer is a glob of pink icing being smeared onto his cheek. Magnus has to cover his mouth to suppress his laughter at Alec’s playfully affronted look while Madzie giggles on.
Alec grins as he says, “Well if I’m a cupcake then there’s still one more left.”
Madzie’s giggles turn into peels of laughter as Alec hugs her close so that he can smoosh his cheek to hers, transferring the sugary mess to her and then adding a few crown sprinkles for good measure.
Madzie just laughs and laughs with Alec soon joining her.
And Magnus…Magnus just wants this moment to go on forever. This feeling of happiness and adoration, he wants it inscribed upon his heart for this day and every day after.
Wanna Be the One
I wanna be the one.
It's a nebulous feeling that crops up at random times. Alec can't define it, just knows that it's this sudden desire to just be.
It's the feeling when he wakes up to Magnus sleeping beside him and it hits him all over again that he gets to have this. It’s the smile he can’t keep off his face when he’s sitting in his office finishing up after a long day and remembers that he gets to go home and curl up next to Magnus on the couch and watch a movie. It’s the idea of having someone that he can let down every one of his guards around and just exist in safety and love and comfort.
The feeling is just Magnus and love and home. And it’s the certainty that he wants to be that for Magnus.
The next time that feeling hits, they’re in the middle of decorating the tree and Alec has a string of lights dangling around his neck like an overly festive necklace, a roll of red velvet ribbon like a bangle on his wrist, and eight of his ten fingers have ornaments hanging precariously as he waits for Magnus to request one for placement. He’s also pretty sure the flash of something every time he looks down is glitter on his nose from putting on the star earlier.
“Why not just use magic to decorate it?” he asks, genuinely curious.
“My dear Alexander,” Magnus says, “decorating the tree is the whole point. Now, hand me the one that looks like Chairman.”
Alec laughs and extends his left pinky. “Max always insists on sitting on my shoulders so he can put the star on. If any of us are on a mission when it’s decorating time, he insists on waiting until we’re all there.”
Magnus’s lips curl in a soft smile. “I must admit, it’s been quite some time since I’ve done this. It isn’t the same when you’re by yourself.”
Not for the first time, Alec feels his heart constrict at the thought of Magnus being alone in this apartment. Despite how social Magnus appears, he has few people that he considers to be close friends. He knows about Raphael, Catarina, and Ragnor, but Alec doesn’t know of too many others. A part of him hopes that it’s just that Magnus hasn’t brought those people up. But immortality means outliving most of those you care about, and Alec can’t begin to imagine the strength it would take to keep on caring anyway.
Alec knows Magnus, knows that he loves with all that he is when he finally lets people in. It’s one of the many things Alec adores about him. He just wishes it didn’t also leave him wide open to heartbreak.
“Hmm?” Alec looks up at Magnus. The look on Magnus’s face can only be described as fond.
“I lost you for a moment there. Everything alright?”
Alec responds with a soft smile. “Fine. Just thinking.”
Your amazing heart and how much I wish I could protect you and make you happy forever and think I want to marry you.
“How much I love you,” he says simply.
Magnus’s smile is blinding, and Alec feels the melancholy melt away.
I wanna be the one to be the one to marry you.
Keep Me Awake
He wakes slowly, reveling in the warmth of the sun's rays kissing his skin. Magnus allows himself a moment to hover there on the edge of sleep and waking. He loves indulging in these small luxuries. It's such a perfect moment; quiet, calm, no reason to put on a front to face the world...here, he can just bask in the simple pleasures of satin and sunshine.
The whispering shift of satin and a barely audible sigh tempt him into full wakefulness. Magnus blinks heavy lids reluctantly open, turning. And the world stops.
He hardly dares to breathe, afraid the moment will slip away. Alec is beside him, still fast asleep. His hair tousled in a way that is nothing short of adorable, his full lips ever so slightly parted as breathes. Sleep has provided a temporary reprieve, wiping the lines of care and responsibility from his face. The sunlight breaking through the curtains seems to envelope the young man beside him until he practically glows.
The effect is ethereal, Alec’s angelic heritage made manifest.
Magnus wonders if he can make this moment endless, wishes he had the power to keep them here together forever with nothing to intrude on this rare peace.
Instead, he just remains silent memorizing every line of Alec’s face, every nuance and of his expression as he dreams.
The thing about Alec, the thing that Magnus keeps getting stuck on, is how completely and inexplicably genuine he is. Shadowhunters are taught that emotions are a liability. For a time, Magnus was afraid that Alec would be unable to overcome those ingrained teachings. He is grateful every day that Alec proved him wrong. He gives and gives and asks nothing in return. It is a rare quality in anyone, but especially in Shadowhunters. It is what allows Alec to reach out to Shadowhunters and Downworlders alike in order to begin bridging the chasm that centuries of prejudice and persecution has wrought between them.
Magnus is unendingly proud of how far Alec has come and unbearably hopeful for the future to come. He wants to be there to see it, to share in the progress and the setbacks. He can’t remember the last time that he has wanted so badly to share everything he is with someone and have them share all they are in return. Magnus wants all of it, has wanted everything Alec is from the very first shy smile Alec sent his way. He thinks that maybe, with Alec, he can have that everything.
Magnus doesn’t know how long he lays there, content to just card his fingers gently through Alec’s hair as he waits for him to wake. Eventually, Alec’s brow furrows as he slowly surfaces into consciousness. Sleep heavy lids blink open until hazel eyes catch Magnus’s gold. Alec’s lips twitch into a soft smile which Magnus returns with a besotted one of his own.
“Good morning, Alexander.”