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“I don’t think it’s working, Mr Fell.” Alec says as he begins to get up from the chair, but Mr Fell stops him with his hand movement.

“Just sit down for one more minute.”

Alec sighs and rolls his eyes but does as he’s told. Slumping back down on the chair opposite the doctor, he raises a questioning eyebrow at him. Their time is over for this week session, and Alec has no idea what more does he want him to say. They’ve already been through all the kinds of ‘how you’re feeling today?’ questions.

“Why do you think that?” His therapist asks then. “It’s only our second session.”

Because it doesn’t make me feel any better, Alec thinks, but doesn’t say.

Deep down he knows it will take time, before he opens up fully. It’s been hard enough to expose him to his siblings like that, and he still gave him only a part of his worries, since they were pushing. It’s a totally different thing doing it with a stranger.

Maybe it is a little easier.

But it’s not like he’s doing it willingly. Isabelle insisted on him to go and get some help, since she could see that this whole thing was bringing him down a little bit more with every day. Jace instantly agreed, and that’s why he’s here. On his second session with a psychologist, but not actually to make himself feel better, but his siblings.

At least he can do something to make Izzy and Jace feel better.

He wishes he could do the same with Max.

He knows that it’s getting worse. Can see it with every day he comes back here to the hospital. But there’s not much he can do, besides being there for him. He won’t magically invent a cure for cancer, no matter how much he’d love to.

But he also knows, that it’s been like that before. Even worse. And since Max is a constant patient in this hospital for basically two months, it’s been better. He has someone watching over him all the time, someone will notice if something is wrong and will inform them instantly. They take better care of him here, than Alec and his family back at the house. Even though it was five of them there, they’re always busy. His siblings and him have college to attend, plus their casual jobs, and their parents are mostly out in their law’s firm. Sure, it’s an important work, but is it more important than your own child...

Max was actually the only thing that kept Alec home. He didn’t want to be away from him, but since they were forced to hand him away to the hospital anyway, Alec took a chance at leaving their family home too.

Isabelle and Jace came along. They rented an apartment mostly using Alec’s savings, all of them got casual jobs, and somehow they manage. Even when it’s hard, it’s still better than living with his father back at the house…

“Alec.” Mr Fell’s voice brings him out of his thoughts.

“Yeah, sorry I…” He starts, but the doctor only waves his hand dismissively and repeats the question instead.

“Why do you think it isn’t working?”

Alec shrugs, but after only one hour spend with this man, he knows he won’t take this as an answer, waiting for the younger man to elaborate.

“I just…” Alec starts and exhales. “I don’t feel like I need to talk to someone. I’m doing fine. I have my siblings-“

“But you still refuse to talk to them about this.” Mr Fell gently interrupts.

“Because I don’t feel the need to.” Alec resorts quickly.

The therapist lets out a long exhale and nods, scribbling something in his notebook.

“You know it’s your choice, but I’d like to continue seeing you.” He states a little while later. “I’m sure we can work everything out.” He smiles a soft smile, and Alec reciprocates a bit.

Do it for them, Alec’s subconsciousness is telling him. They need you to do this more than you do.

So he just nods in answer and Mr Fell goes back to writing in his notebook before speaking again.

“Great, same time next week then?”

“Yeah.” Alec replies shortly, relieved that it’s finally time to get out of here.

“I’ll see you next week then. Take care, Alec.”

Alec nods again on his way out and lets out another breathe as the door shut behind him.

He quickly makes his way to Max’s room, which he shares with three other kids. Now, they all recognise Alec, since he’s a constant visitor here. As he comes through the entrance, he spots his brother and the way he lits up at the sight of Alec makes him smile.

“Hey, buddy.” Alec greets as he sits down on the chair near his bed. He waves his hand to the other children and they answer with some cute smiles. “How are you feeling today?” He asks then, running a hand through Max’s hair.

“A bit better than yesterday.” He replies. “But everything still kinda hurts.”

Alec nods and places a kiss to his forehead.

“I know,” He speaks then. “But it’ll get better. You just need to get through this.”

He doesn’t want to give him false hope, and believes he doesn’t. He’s not letting any thought about losing his baby brother creep into his mind. If he did, he’d completely broke.

They just sit in silence for a while, Alec’s hand still in his hair and then Max speaks again.

“Don’t you have school today?”

“I do.” Alec smiles as he answers. “But I’ll always find some time for you.”

The quirks of Max’s lips lift up a bit at Alec’s words.

“Okay,” Alec starts. “do you want to play some video games, or we could take a walk-“

“Actually, I don’t think like moving from bed today.”

Alec tries to hide his worry behind a smile. As he always does, when Max is feeling particularly bad, like today. He looks down at his brother, as the boy slowly closes his eyes and exhales heavily.

“What would you like to do then?” Alec asks, delicately sweeping hair from his brother’s forehead.

“Can you read me?”

Alec smiles at his request. Being 12, Max is more than old enough to read himself, but he still loves it when Alec does it for him. He used to read him to sleep when Max was just a baby, and somehow it became their routine. Every time Max had a nightmare, or just wasn’t feeling okay, Alec would come to his room and read him to sleep. When he was diagnosed with leukaemia, and then transported to the hospital the reading didn’t stop. Actually, it became more constant, since Max was feeling bad almost all the time, and it seemed like the only thing to lift him up a bit.

“Sure,” Alec answers without hesitation. “Which book?”

“’The Little Prince’?”

It’s their book. The one Max chooses the most often, but none of them is bored of it. Rereading it only makes the story more special and with every year, Max seems to understand it better, find out new things about it. Which both makes Alec proud and worried. But he doesn’t let it get too much to his head as he answers.

“You’ve got it.”

 

Soon, he needs to leave since he has an exam in business law today, and can’t mess it up. He exchanges his goodbyes with Max, and promises to be back soon, like he always does, and then he’s heading to the exit, where Jace should be already waiting for him.

But he doesn’t spot him anywhere on the parking lot. He checks the time again. 9:21, they set up for 9:15. It’s a really important exam, and if Jace forgot…

With a heavy sigh Alec dials his number and waits till his brother picks up. When he does, Alec doesn’t really let him finish his ‘hello’ as he asks.

“Jace, where the hell are you?”

“I was just about to call you.” His brother states and Alec can hear some background noise coming for the other line. “It’s frantic at work today, I can’t get out.”

“What do you mean? We set up for you to get me a ride to the university, I have an exam in half of an hour!”

“I know, but I’m sorry I really can’t. It’s a mess up here.” Jace sighs and Alec can imagine him rubbing his finger over his brow, as he always does when he’s thinking. “Can’t you take a bus?”

“A stop is like 20 minutes away from here, and another 20 to get to the university.” Alec resorts with frustration creeping into his voice. He understands that Jace works hard, and does appreciate it. He’s a busy man, with working for the advertising agency and studying business on the weekends. Jace’s job is nice, but it’s not really for him. He wasn’t made for sitting behind a desk. That’s why he took business classes after a year of studying physical education. His dream is to open up his own gym, and Alec does believe he can make it. He and Izzy do. Their parents don’t matter. They stopped awaiting any support from them a long time ago.

So Alec lets out another exhale, tone shifting from frustrated to resigned as he adds.

“There’s no way I’ll make it there on time.”

“I’m sorry Alec, really. Can you take the exam another day?”

His teacher is going to kill him for missing another test, but what else is there left to do.

“I knew sharing a car with you is the worst idea ever.” Alec grunts, scowling himself for not just taking the car anytime he wants, like Jace does. Their schedule only seem to work when his brother feels like it.

“Hey, you know way better than anyone that we can’t afford two cars.” Jace resorts.

“Then I should be the one taking it to school.”

“You have like 20 minutes to the university by bus-“

“Well, not from here! From home!” Alec raises his voice slightly, but then adds more calmly. “I get it, Jace, but next time just let me know earlier, so I can figure something out.”

“Yeah, sure. Sorry.” Jace answers, actually sounding a bit guilty.

“Just… get back to work.” Alec states. “I’ll manage. I’ll see you tonight.”

They quickly exchange goodbyes and as Alec hangs up, he growls in frustration and goes to rest is forehead against the cold wall of the building.

“Fuck.” He murmurs to himself and a few seconds later, he feels a hand on his shoulder.

“Are you okay?” Says a man’s voice. It’s a nice voice, Alec resorts and he almost turns around to face the stranger, but he doesn’t feel like taking out his anger on an innocent person, and right now he feels like he’s going to blow up with frustration if he even opens his mouth.

“Fine.” He manages, and then the hand on his shoulder disappears, but he doesn’t hear any footsteps that may announce the stranger is walking away, so what’s left for Alec to do, than to face him.

As he turns around and is ready to reassure again that he’s perfectly fine, but then, he finds himself face to face with probably the most beautiful man he’s ever seen.

And then the man smiles at him, and Alec decides that he’s definitely the most beautiful. His black hair is perfectly styled, dark brown eyes, lightened with some black shiny eyeliner at the edges. His outfit leaves no other impression than fabulous. Dark red shirt, peeking out of the long burgundy coat, paired with tight black trousers and simple black boots.

Alec finds himself lost at his words, and he just stands there with mouth slightly open, not able to choke out any other words.

After what feels like a lifetime for Alec, the stranger chuckles lightly, and then his voice sounds again.

“I’m sorry, but I kind of overheard your conversation on the phone.” He states, still smiling softly when he offers. “Do you need a ride?”

Alec blinks a few time a bit taken aback at the offer, but when his brain actually come online, he manages a response.

“You expect me go get into a car with a total stranger?” He asks with a stern expression.

The man shakes his head lightly and chuckles again, before extending his hand.

“I’m Magnus.” He says, and before even thinking, Alec slides his palm into his. “See, not a total stranger anymore.”

Alec laughs briefly, before reminding himself that he hasn’t actually introduced yet.

“Alec.”

“Well, Alec” Magnus starts again. “I might have heard that you’re headed in the direction of a university. Colmubia?”

“Yeah.” Alec nods and when they finally let go of each other hands, he finds himself surprised at how well they fitted together.

“Great, turns out I’m going in the same direction.” Magnus resorts and his smile brightens a bit. “And since we’re past the formalities, there’s no objection for you to accept my offer.”

“I don’t think that is how it works.” Alec says with a grin, and Magnus laughs again.

“Whoever told you that, lied.”

They laugh again, and there’s a moment of silence, before Alec speaks again.

“Look, Magnus it’s really nice of you to offer, but I don’t want to make you any trouble-“

“Nonsense.” Magnus interrupts gently. “It’s on my way Alec, I’ll just drop you off, it’ll take like two seconds. You won’t be taking basically any of my time, if that’s what you’re worried about.”

Alec just shakes his head a bit.

“No, Magnus, it’s fine. I’ll take a bus, or something-“

“Alec,” He begins again. “is that short for Alexander?” He asks, and Alec nods in answer. “Okay, so Alexander, can I call you that?”

“Sure.” Alec replies before he actually gets to think about it. there’s just something in a way his full name slips of Magnus’ tongue. Without any reprimand or accusation, like it always did when his parents were calling him by his full name. He longs for the word to be spoken again by Magnus, and he doesn’t need to wait long when Magnus picks back up again.

“Alexander, you’re not making me any trouble. Really. And, as I’ve heard, you’ve got an exam, which you definitely shouldn’t miss. Come on, you can’t be late.”

Magnus waves of his hand in the direction of where his car must be and as he throws Alec one last look he thinks.

Fuck it.

He’ll be as good as dead if he misses the exam. Better to get murdered by a beautiful man than your teacher.

So he finally nods, releasing a breath and Magnus beams at him as he leads them in a direction of his car.

A few steps later, they find themselves in front of an elegant black car. It’s simple, not too big, but not too small, just a perfect kind. Alec doesn’t know shit about cars, but this one looks like a one he’d like to own himself.

Magnus opens the door to the passenger’s side and gestures Alec in, to which he blushes slightly at the polite gesture. He quickly gets in, and Magnus swiftly circles the car to soon settle himself in the driver’s seat.

“Here we go.” He turns the key in the ignition and backs out from the parking lot.

 

They drive in silence for a bit, and Alec just feels weird. He’s known Magnus for like ten minutes, tops, and somehow he finds himself relaxed in his company. Maybe it’s the smile he flashes him every time they stop at a red light, or the way his eyes are focused on the road when he drives. Alec doesn’t know. But he’s never felt something quite like this before.

He looks around, taking in his surroundings. The inside of the car is just as nice as the outside. The seats are a light-maroon leather, with an stylish cockpit and steer wheel in black. Alec’s gaze wanders to Magnus’ hand on the stick shift, and that’s when he notices his neatly painted fingernails, an elegant dark blue with a bit of shiny glitter.

He realises that he got too caught up in his thoughts as he hears Magnus say his name, probably repeating it, assuming from his tone.

“Sorry, I zoned out for a moment.” Alec resorts as he shakes his head, as if trying to get the thoughts away.

“That’s all right.” Magnus just shrugs lightly. “Are you okay, tho?”

His eyes are still focused back on the road, but Alec swears he can see a glimpse of worry in them.

“Yeah, I’m fine.” Alec nods reassuringly, more to himself, since Magnus is still looking back on the road. “Maybe just a bit nervous.”

“What is this exam about?” Magnus asks and he sounds truly curious.

“Business law.” Alec exhales as he answers.

“Oh, a law student.” Magnus throws him another smile as he nods. “Did you study a lot?”

“Yeah, I did.”

“No worries then. You’ll pass.” Magnus assures.

Alec just lets out another breath, feeling a bit more calm. It sound so simple when Magnus says it.  He doesn’t know how he does it, but he actually believes his words.

Silence falls between them again, but it’s not that kind of uncomfortable one. It in fact feels a bit soothing, and Alec finds a moment to just breathe, before he’ll need to get out of this car to face the word again.

“So, your brother is not very reliable?” Magnus asks, breaking the silence and Alec laughs briefly at his words.

“It’s not one of his greatest qualities.” He states and Magnus hums in answer. “But he got held up in work, it isn’t really his fault.”

“So you share a car?” Magnus question next.

“In theory we do, but it doesn’t really work like that.” They both laugh briefly at his words. “We also live together. With my younger sister.”

“Must be fun.” Magnus resorts and Alec nods as a reply.

There are another few moments of silence, before Alec finally builds up a courage to ask.

“Do you study at the university too?”

“Oh, no.” Magnus makes a sound between a snort and a chuckle. “I’m way past that.”

“What do you do then?” Alec questions interested.

“I’m a chemist.” Magnus states. “I work in a lab nearby your college. We mostly make cosmetics for some firms, but it’s a nice job. I did study chemistry at your university some time ago.”

“Sound nice.” Alec resorts with a smile.

“It is, really. The atmosphere is nice, I actually get to work with some of my friends. And I get to do something I truly like. I couldn’t really dream of a better job.”

Alec hums in answer and finds himself amused, listening to Magnus talk with such passion about his work. He might get a little lost in his thoughts again, but Magnus’ voice brigs him back to reality again.

“So you study law?” He prompts. “Any particular reason for it?”

Alec seems to think a bit about the answer. As a child, he always thought of becoming a lawyer. He wanted to be like his parents. But now, it’s not really the thought of making his parents proud that’s driven him into this. In some small part it might still be the urge of his parents, the fear of letting them down even more. But mostly it’s another thing.

“I guess I just want to do something good for people.” He finally replies. “Help them, you know?”

“Yeah, I get it.”

With that words, they basically reach the driveway of the university, and Alec realises he doesn’t really want to leave. He could stay with Magnus here and just talk. It’s nice, and Alec hasn’t felt like that in… ever really.

Magnus doesn’t push him to get out, he just turns to him and smiles softly.

“Don’t worry about the exam. I’m sure it’ll be fine.” He comforts again and Alec nods letting out a nervous breath. “But you do need to get going, if you want to make it.”

“Yeah, right I-“ Alec rambles again and Magnus chuckles. “I-, thank you, you really did save my life I-“

“It’s fine, really.” Magnus says, and as he puts his hand on Alec’s thigh in a reassuring gesture he can feel electricity and the pleasant fire caused by the touch. Alec does his best to supress the gasp, that wants to escape his lips.

“Thank you.” Alec just repeats at one exhale.

“Good luck on the test.” Magnus states then and Alec eventually moves to get out of the car.

“Yeah, I- , thanks.” Alec scowls himself for how much he can find his way with words now. “Have a good day at work.” He settles for that and for the last time, catches Magnus’ smile as he closes the door and heads to the building.

 

He quickly climbs the stairs to reach the hall, but before he gets to open the door to enter, a slim figure with long blonde hair is barring his way.

“Who drove you here?” Lydia asks, simply cutting to the point, not even bothering with ‘hello’. A stern expression on her face, hands clasped on her chest as she eyes Alec curiously.

“Hello to you too, Lydia.” Alec flashes her a tight smile.” What are you talking about?” He tries to circle his friend, but she doesn’t let him.

“I mean,” She puts a hand on his shoulder to stop him, pushing him back. “who gave you a ride?”

“How do you know I didn’t take the bus?” Alec questions as he finally looks down at her.

Actually, he knows why she does. After two years of friendship he learnt that Lydia sees everything, and hears everything. She knows every gossip going around the campus, every person. She’s the leader of the student council and pays attention to every single detail. Alec teases her that she doesn’t have a life, always stalking her friends, but he adores her for caring so much. When they found out Max was sick she’s been there for him. And even when they tease and poke at each other, he knows he can always count on her.

“You know, how I know.” She just states with a grin, and then continues. “I saw you getting out of that car, and I know it wasn’t yours and Jace’s, it wasn’t even your parents’, which would be rather concerning too-“

“You know what my parents’ car looks like?” Alec asks, his eyes widening. Lydia truly has eyes and ears everywhere, not only the campus it seems.

“Of course I know, but it’s not the point now, Alec.” Lydia carries on. “The point is, who drove you today.”

She just stands there and continues to look at him. He knows she won’t let go. She never does, but still, he tries to lead her on.

“It was a friend.”

Lydia only snorts to that.

“Alec, you and I both know that you don’t have any other friends, besides these ones I know.”

“Wow, thank you for believing in my social skills, Lydia.” Alec replies jokingly.

She rolls her eyes and picks back up regardless his comment.

“Why don’t you want to tell me? Who the hell was that?” She wonders, more asking the questions to herself, than to Alec, and as he tries to get past her once more, she stops him again. “Wait! Black car, mysterious person… Alec I swear to God, if you got yourself into some shady business-“

“You really think that less of me?” Lydia opens her mouth to reply, but he interrupts again. “No, I don’t do drugs or any other stuff, I’m not a part of any gang, I’m not selling myself.” He sighs. “What other worries of yours can I decrease, Lydia?” He adds more teasingly, but Lydia’s expressions turns more serious.

“Alec, of course I don’t think that of you. You know I’m just worried, with… everything that’s going on in your life.” She gently rubs his arm with her palm. “And, you can decrease my worries, but telling me who this mysterious person is.” She adds, already brightening up.

“Fine.” He finally gives in. “It was a guy I met at the hospital today. Jace messed up, and he offered me a ride, so I took it.”

Lydia’s expression turns even more suspicious, with a hint of fear behind it.

“Okay, who are you and what did you do to the Alec Lightwood I know?” She asks holding out her hand in a ‘hold up’ gesture, and Alec’s only answer is to roll his eyes at her.

“What the hell are you talking about?”

“Alec, I love you, but you don’t talk to people.” She shakes her head. “There’s no way you would talk to some stranger on the street, you would just brush him of.” A glint lits up in her eyes, and Alec sees the thoughts running through her brain in her eyes. “Unless…”

“Unless, what?” Alec asks unenthusiastically.

Lydia straightens herself and a playful grin is playing at her face as she prompts again.

“Was he hot?”

“Lydia!” Alec just grunts and finally circles her to enter the class. She chuckles as she follows close behind.

“Alec, that’s the only explanation. Are you lonely?” She teases. “Do you need some love in your life?”

“There’s no time for love in my schedule, Lydia.” Alec states simply as he pulls out his notes from his backpack to look through them again. “But business law exam is.”

“I don’t think love really cares about your schedule.” Lydia whispers, as she slides into a chair next to him.

He throws her one last glare as she grins back at him and then a teacher enters the hall.

 

For the first time in his life Alec was thankful for an exam, ‘cause Lydia didn’t get a chance to interrogate him even more. Unless for an hour. Right after the class ended she jumped on him with another wave of questions he really didn’t feel like answering.

So mostly, he didn’t.

Somehow he managed to go through the rest of the classes, and it was finally time to go home.

“I’ll see you tomorrow, Lydia.” He says when they leave the campus, and he turns to head in the direction of a bus stop.

“Wait!” Lydia calls after him, after he takes a few steps. “You forgot?”

“Forgot, what?” Alec frowns. He quickly scans his daily agenda in his mind, trying to recall something other than the usual.

“We were supposed to study together today. For the law ethics exam?” Lydia reminds him.

Shit, he did forget.

Seems like his head is in totally different place today. He tries to reason with himself, that it has nothing to do with a handsome stranger he met this morning, but it’s a pointless fight. In every class today he caught himself thinking of Magnus. Of the way his eyes were focused back on the road, or the words of reassurance he offered him, or that smile he gave him when Alec was leaving the car…

“Alec!” Lydia’s yell pulls him out of his thoughts. “Too busy thinking of that hot stranger?” She teases and Alec just rolls his eyes.

“I wasn’t thinking about him.” He states, but by the way this words come out, he’s pretty sure he’s betraying himself.

“Sure you weren’t.” Lydia resorts sarcastically, of course hearing the change in his voice, then she comes closer to him. “But seriously, if you’re busy tonight we can reschedule. The exam isn’t in another week-“

“No, it’s fine. It just completely slipped my mind.” Alec admits. “Let’s go to my place.”

“Okay.” Lydia answers simply and together in comfortable silence they march to the bus stop. Then Lydia eventually breaks the silence, when they enter the bus. Her tone teasing and light, as she leans in to Alec. “So are you going to tell me more about that guy of yours?”

He grunts again. Lydia seems to enjoy this too much. He wishes he was able to keep his mouth shut around her. But her questioning eyes and stern expression are enough to make him talk. Lydia can be terrifying when she wants to. That’s how Alec knows she’s going to be an amazing lawyer.

But he doesn’t speak, when Lydia still rumbles about that guy, with an amused grin on her face.

 

Soon, they reach Alec’s apartment. He quickly unlocks the door, and lets Lydia in.

The flat itself isn’t much. They didn’t really afford a lot, when they decided to move out. But all Izzy, Jace and Alec have separate bedrooms (thank God, because Jace tends to bring girls home quite often). There’s a living room connected to the kitchen area, and one bathroom. It’s enough. If someone wants to stay over, there’s always a couch in the living room. They don’t really need anything more.

“Hi!” Isabelle speaks when they enter the apartment. “Lydia, it’s so good to see you!” She exclaims and moves to hug her. “What brings you here?”

“Hi, Izzy. Long-time no see.” The blonde girl states with a smile. “We’re going to study.”

“Of course you are.” Izzy puts her hands on her hips. “You always are. Seems like Alec only brings you here for you to be his teacher.”

The girls laugh as they all move to the kitchen, and Alec puts some drinks out of the fridge.

“We’ll see who’s going to be teaching who.” He mocks, and Lydia throws him a glare.

“So,” Isabelle prompts as he leans on her elbows against the kitchen counter. “How was the exam today?”

Alec doesn’t know how she does it, but Izzy seems to remember everyone’s schedule, with her own not being very carefree. She’s studying forensic pathology, first year, and she’s still getting used to all of the collage stuff. But that doesn’t make her any less observant. Maybe she just always notices how nervous Alec becomes when the exams are coming up…

“It was good.” Alec answers her question after a while, looking at Lydia who nods in confirmation.

“Wait, you got to take it today?” Suddenly Jace’s voice sounds as he makes his way to the kitchen to join the rest. He quickly greets Lydia, but mostly, his gaze remains focused on Alec. “You said there was no way you’d make it on time.” He adds with curiosity in his eyes.

“Alec got a ride...” Lydia begins in a chanting tone. “From a man…”

And here it goes.

“What?!” Isabelle exclaims, straightening from the counter. “From who? Do I know him? How does he look like? Is he handsome?-“

“Maybe one question at a time Izzy.” Alec scolds, not exactly meeting her eyes, but also turning from Jace’s inquisitive gaze.

At first sight, Jace may appear as the type of careless, irresponsible bad boy, who can have anything he wants. But it’s not exactly true. He does care about a lot of things, his family the most. He worries too, even when he tries not let it show. And since Alec’s mental health has been getting quite worse considering Max’s current state, he’s become rather overprotective. True, he is irresponsible sometimes. Especially after a night out, including a few drinks and a fight with some girl. He did broke the living room table (twice), but still, he’s a good person.

Another thing about the Lightwood siblings, is that they have developed some kind of obsession with Alec’s dating life. Growing up, he didn’t really have any love life. He realised he was gay around the age of fifteen, told his siblings a year later, which they all accepted with no judgement. He decided to come out to his parents at his eighteen birthday, and he did. That’s when hell broke loose. His father had nothing else to say, than that Alec’s a disgrace to his family. That he’s no man, and he’ll never be, unless he stops fooling around and gets a grip. He even threatened to throw him out of the house, and if not his mother, he probably would have. But she wasn’t very pleased with Alec either. They hadn’t even spoken for about a month, later they only talked to each other when they needed something…

He spend most of his life just being scared of who he is, and trying to repress all of these feelings. He was never really looking for love, always too busy with studying. He wanted to make his parents proud, and they hated him as a person, so he thought maybe he would be able to impress them with his achievements.

It didn’t work, but still he needed to keep his mind occupied.

He did have one boyfriend when he was starting college, Raj, but things between them didn’t really go so well…

After their break up, Jace became even more concerned and overprotective.

But earlier whenever there was an occasion, Alec’s siblings liked to take it. They tried to set him up a few times (to which he either refused, or it ended up being a total disaster), but mostly they just need to know everything to make sure Alec is okay. And he loves them for that, but can’t help the feeling that it’s him who's supposed to protected them, he’s their big brother, and they shouldn’t worry about him so much. He can handle himself. He just  needs to take care of his siblings first, that’s his job…

“So, who was he?” Jace asks, when Alec still refuses to meet his eyes.

“Come on, Alec, tell us!” Izzy beams enthusiastically.

Alec lets out a long exhale, but he knows there’s no point in trying to lead them on. They’ll find out anyway. Either from Lydia, or somehow from him.

“It was just a guy I met at the hospital.” He begins. “He offered me a ride, so I took it.”

“A total stranger?” His brother prompts.

“Well… yeah, I guess so.”

“Alec, you realise-“ Jace tries again, to which Alec jus growls in frustration.

“God, Jace I’m not five. If he had been a serial killer I would just run off or something.”

“I know,” Jace attempts with a little less judgement now. “I know, but you know I’m just worried.”

“Yeah.” Alec sighs. “But you don’t need to. I’m okay, and I’ll probably never see him again, so really, no worries.”

Jace still eyes him cautiously, but after a while nods, and lets it go. For now.

“Okay,” Isabelle starts now. “Since we can be done fearing for your life, now get to the details.”

She smiles teasingly, joining Lydia at the other end of the counter, and they both wait for him to elaborate.

“There’s nothing more to talk about.” He just states solely. “We drove, talked a bit and that’s all.”

“That’s all he’s been telling me the whole day!” Lydia grunts. “Seriously, it’ll be a miracle if you’ll get something more out of him.” She turns to Izzy with a resigned expression.

“Oh, don’t worry.” A smirk is creeping onto his sister’s face. “I have my ways.”

Alec just looks at her with brows raised in question to which she shrugs.

“First, what did you talk about?” She asks, and somehow Alec knows he doesn’t want her to get to that part when she’s threatening to embarrass him with their childhood stroies in front of his only friend, so he bends. 

“Just work, and school.” He shrugs.

“Okay, what’s his name? You did get a name, right?” Isabelle continues.

“Yeah, I’m not stupid.” Alec snorts. “It’s Magnus.”

He feels his cheeks reddening with even a mention of his name. This isn’t normal, he thinks. Thinking about him, gives him this weird feeling in his stomach. He’s not sure if it’s good or bad yet.

Isabelle just smiles, less jokingly this time, as she prompts another question.

“Would you like to see him again?”

Alec doesn’t really need to think as his mind slips him an answer immediately. Yes, of course yes, a million times yes. And to be honest, it’s scary. Because Alec hasn’t let himself want something so much in a very long time. Or probably ever.

“It doesn’t matter.” He resorts firmly. “Even if I wanted to, it’s unlikely that we will ever meet again.” He swiftly turns to Lydia and adds. “Come on, we need to study.”

With that, he drags her out of the kitchen, ignoring any words of protest, and they head to his bedroom to study.

He needs to take his mind of off thinking about Magnus.

 

The rest of the week passes normally. He goes to classes every day, writes a few articles and sends them to a local newspaper, so he can get at least a bit of money. Before he knows it, it’s Wednesday again, which means it’s time for another session with Mr Fell.

It also goes smoothly, they talk, sit in silence, anything that makes him comfortable. Mr Fell doesn’t push, and Alec is glad he doesn’t. They both know it will take time for him to open up. Or at least Alec hopes so, he really wouldn’t like to waste Mr Fell’s time.

Soon, the session is over and when he heads out after briefly visiting Max, he hears his name being called. He turns and he’s met with that handsome face again.

So when a not so unfamiliar stranger offers him a ride again, he doesn’t really hesitate to say yes.