Actions

Work Header

We only see as far as the headlights

Chapter Text

“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.

Chapter Text

Magnus gets to work with a smile plastered on his face.

It might be connected with a tall, handsome, dark haired stranger he’s just dropped off at the college’s driveway. When he enters the lab, he lets himself think about Alec a bit more.

He saw him at the hospital a few times earlier. He comes there every Wednesday morning, as being a part of the Idris charity organisation. His friend Luke started the organization a few years ago, after his wife Jocelyn died of cancer. He’s been doing a great job, and Magnus decided to join the project, so he became a volunteer and comes to the hospital every Wednesday before work, to spend some time with the patients, cheer them up, help with something or just be there for them when they don’t have anyone else. Luke’s stepdaughter, Clary is also involved and Magnus became quite good friends with her and her best friend Simon, who she dragged into the volunteering too.

Magnus really enjoys it. It’s a way to help people, and show them that they’re not alone in their suffering. It’s the least he can do to make them feel a bit better.

He knows how it feels not to have anyone. And, to lose someone.

It’s not like he’s alone now. He has great friends, who became his family. The times he gets lonely are rare, but they happen. Sometimes Magnus longs for someone to just be with him, someone, who he can share his day with. His loft just feels empty most of the times, it’s quite depressing…

But it’s not like he’s looking for love. No. Not after what Camille did to him, he still needs time to recover, after finally ending things with her for good.

But also there’s just something about Alexander. Something… intriguing. Magnus can’t really find a right word to describe it. He’s shy, but not that much to actually restrain from any conversation. His rumbling is cute, and he’s just so damn handsome. He might be the most beautiful man Magnus has ever seen.

He gets to the elevator and soon it stops at the seventh floor, so he gets out, heading to the lab. Of course, Dot is already here, since there is never a time when she’s late, or even when Magnus isn’t, she’s just always early.

Of course she notices the soft smile, playing at the corner of his lips.

“Good morning,” She says as she looks up from a microscope, watching some sample. “did something happen today?” She asks with a smile.

Magnus has always been thankful for working with Dot. The atmosphere around her is just so relaxed, there’s no pressure and it’s just amazing to work with a friend. They met back in collage, both studying chemistry and somehow, fate wanted it for them to end up in Alicante Cosmetics together.

Before Magnus gets to answer her question, another voice speaks.

“Good morning, Magnus.” Raphael’s mocks in an annoyed tone. “I see you decided to show up just three minutes late today.”

“I knew you already missed me, Raphael.” Magnus turns, from where he’s seated at his stool and smiles brightly at his friend.

Raphael just replies with an eye roll, and then he’s back to checking some stuff on his tablet.

Even when Raphael comes across as a bit harsh, deep down he has a soft heart. But he does keep up his demeanour of the ruthless boss, so all of the workers know, to just do their job, and not get in his way. But Magnus and Dot can allow themselves to get a bit mocking with him, since they’ve been friends for quite some time now. While Dot and Magnus were studying chemistry, Raphael studied business, and they all met as some reconnaissance party their freshman year. Even Raphael’s scowling glare was not too much to get them acquainted. And with more time, they’ve grown closer to each other.

Mostly, Magnus is really thankful for college. These were actually the best times of his life, since he got to do what he likes and he met amazing friends in a process.

Raphael had always been talking about becoming a CEO, of a big company. Back in university they even joked about how they all should start a cosmetics company. After college, they parted ways with Raphael, since he went to Spain to spend some time with his family, but when he came back he actually started the preparations to set the firm. Both Magnus and Dot were surprised, that he decided on that kind of business, but they did not question it, just happy to be in touch with their friend again, and to get to work with him.

When they asked, why did he choose for it to be a cosmetics company, he just brushed them of and said that he could get cheap workforce, in a form of them.

Magnus is not sure if that was actually a joke. He never is sure with Raphael.

But still, working with the two of them is a total bliss.

After Raphael announces some news about the sale increases and decreases, and then he disappears back into his office. Probably with no intention of showing up today, expecting them to do their job. Which of course they will deliver.

“So,” Dot starts again, when Raphael is out of the room. “What is this smile about?”

“Nothing…” Magnus teases, feeling his grin becoming wider.

“Okay, that means I’m guessing then.” Dot resorts, her own smile getting bigger, and then she scrunches her face in thought. “Hmm, it’s not your ‘I just got laid’ smile, it’s too soft-“

“I do not have that kind of a smile!” Magnus huffs offended, to which Dot only raises her eyebrows at him. Magnus sighs, but admits. “Okay, I do have it, but not today.”

“I know.” Dot agrees and get back to thinking. “You’ve met someone…” Magnus nods slightly confirming her words. “Some attractive stranger…”

“Okay, are you a psychic?” Magnus points an accusing finger at her, to which he only shrugs.

“Some say that I’m a witch.”

They both laugh briefly, but then Dot speaks again.

“Okay, so details, now.”

So he tells her about Alec, how he saw him in a hospital a week earlier, but didn’t really get a chance to talk to him, and about their drive to the university. He leaves some parts out, like how incredibly beautiful his smile is, or how astonishing is the sound of his laugh, or how they palms fitted so well together when they greeted…

But he made Alec certainly attractive during his speech.  

Dot hums appreciatively as he goes on and when, he’s finally finished, his friend smiles at him she asks.

“So, what now?”

“What do you mean ‘what now'?” Magnus answers with a question, a bit confused.

“Well, you clearly like him. And I’m sure you’d like to see him again…”

“Even if, it’s unlikely.” Magnus resorts a bit sadly. “There’s a slight possibility, that he’ll be at the hospital the same time as me.”

Of course he’d like to see Alec again. No doubt about it. He curses himself for not asking for his phone number, but they’ve known each other for like twenty minutes tops, and he didn’t want to overstep, or scare him off. But somewhere in his mind, or in his heart, he dreams of meeting Alec again.

“I think there’s a big possibility.” Dot smirks lightly, and Magnus eyes her curiously again. “Eh, Magnus!” She grunts and throws he hands in the air.

“What?” He asks, still confused.

“You can’t be more clueless, can you?” Magnus wants to argue with her statement, but he knows that he tends to not notice the obvious, so he lets it go. “Okay, let me explain.” She begins again, as he gives no intention to answer. “You saw him in the hospital last week, right?” He nods. “And you saw him again today, at probably similar hour.” He more states than asks, but Magnus nods anyway. “So, there’s a great possibility that-“

“Oh my God, you’re right!” Magnus exclaims a bit too loud, causing Dot to jump in surprise, as he finally realises what her point is. “He might be seeing Ragnor.”

Dot nods again, leaning into her chair.

“It’s possible.” She resorts. “Or he just visits someone pretty often. But there’s only one way to find out.”

“Ask the man himself.” Magnus asserts. “But Ragnor can’t really talk about that stuff, can he? I mean, there needs to be some rules about confidentiality.”

“True.” Dot agrees. “But I’m sure he’d make an exception for his good old friend.”

The smirk comes back to her face, and Magnus can’t help his own, slowly making its way to his face.

 

After their conversation they get back to work. They’ve been occupied with making some new shades of eye shadows for Alicante’s new palate, and they’re still in process of developing a functional skin care.

So, the day passes by fast, and then Magnus finds himself leaving the company’s building. He quickly heads to his car. It’s a chilly day, and Magnus is not wearing a right coat for that, but sacrifices needed to be made in the name of fashion.

He wastes no time, hurriedly getting into the car, starting it, and turning the heat on. As he backs off from the parking lot, he throws a glance at the passenger seat, reminded of how Alec occupied that place, just a few hours ago. He can’t help another smile, as it paints his face. He’ll talk to Ragnor, but there’s no rush. It’s not like he’s desperate.

Not yet, at least.

Entering his loft he sheds of his coat and makes his way to the drink cart, pouring himself a glass of whiskey. He slumps down on the couch, enjoying the late afternoon.

Every day is the say. In the morning, he gets to work, besides Wednesdays, when he head to the hospital first, it’s the only day he starts work at 9am, so he can allow himself an hour there. He knows he wouldn’t be able to do the volunteering after work, since mostly he’s just too tired to be helpful and cheerful around people.

So he gets to work, leaves at 4, or 5pm, sometimes if there’s a lot to do he stays a bit later. Then he comes back home, has a drink, cooks or orders some food and often falls asleep on the couch during his marathon of Project Runway.

It’s incredibly boring, and he needs it to change. But at the same point, routine is good. Something to hold on to, just everyday life. Something steady. Something he was lacking so much during his years back in college…

He’s life has been hectic. All into parties, always the one present everywhere. One nights stands were a common use. He couldn’t really keep a relationship, not after Camille, but he can’t say that their relationship had actually been stable.

It’s been good, ending things with her. Refreshing, even. He was excited to start a new chapter in his life. Without being manipulated and used. No matter how boring it is now, he would never want to get back to how it was before he got settled.

The only thing that sometimes breaks his routine, are his friends. They go out quite often. Just to catch up on each other’s lives, or they go clubbing. But in a week, mostly they’re all busy. And Magnus gets it, they all do work quite hard. But sometimes, it just get lonely.

He should get a cat, or something.

As he feels his eyelid begin to fall, he decides to get to the bedroom and catch some good night’s sleep.

There’s another not so exciting day waiting for him tomorrow.

 

And just as his every single day, the rest of the week was dull as well. He did meet with Catarina on Friday. They got drinks, and then Raphael and Dot had joined them. He bumped into Luke on his way to go shopping on Saturday and they ended up getting coffee, Luke updated him on some new stuff in Idris, while Magnus had a few stories from the lab to share. It was all nice, he loves to listen to Luke sharing the experiences form his organization with him. It always warms his heart.

Wednesday comes before he even knows it, and then he’s back at the hospital again. The hour that he spends there always passes by too fast on chatting and some helping. He sees various people here, older, younger. Some are just kids, and it hurts Magnus to see them suffering so much. So if he’s able to make them feel a bit better, after he lets them win in their favourite video game, Magnus will gladly accept the failure.

As he makes his way out, as always, he stops at the nurses’ duty office, to catch up with Catarina. She’s been working there for what seems like forever and Magnus even remembers her from when she was doing her internship here, during college. The only thing was, that Magnus wasn’t a volunteer back then, only a visitor…

He shakes of the thoughts that he definitely doesn’t want to recall now, and focuses as Cat rumbles about some patient. But still, he can’t give her his full attention, since he finds himself scanning the hallway, looking for a tall, dark haired man. And of course Catarina notices.

“What is up with you?” She asks, eyeing him curiously.

“What do you mean?” Magnus replies without thinking, not even turning, eyes still back on the hallway.

Catarina spats him on the arm, harder than he deserves, to which he actually switches his gaze back at her.

“Hey!” He pants offended. “What was that for?”

“You’re completely somewhere else today.” She states. “Ragnor has a session now, so if you want to wait just sit and wait.” She sighs.

“Thank you, my dear. But I’m not actually looking for Ragnor.” He answers simply and focuses on every person passing through the hallway. 

“Who then?” Cat asks, and Magnus just throws her an unimpressed glare. They talked about Alec on Friday, and Catarina is not the one to forget things. She’s just busy, and has a lot on her mind, but she never forgets and always listens very carefully. So he waits, and soon a look of realisation covers her face. “Oh, that handsome stranger of yours!” She exclaims. “Alec, wasn’t it?”

“Yes, and keep quiet.” Magnus scowls her. “He can be here.”

“So?” Catarnia prompts.

“So…” Magnus thinks a little and shrugs. “I’m sure he wouldn’t appreciate strangers calling out his name. He’s shy.”

“Magnus, you’ve known him for twenty minutes. I’m sorry, but you can’t be sure about what he is.” Catarina states with a sympathetic smile.

“Yeah, I know. But I’m planning to change that.” Magnus resorts and Cat raises her brows at him. “What?”

“Nothing, I just thought it’s still too soon for you, after Camille… You’ve always claimed that it is. For like more than a year now, almost two…”

“A year?” Magnus questions. It can’t be a year. Or can it?

Catarina just nods, slightly pouting her lips.

“But I think it would be good for you-“

“I’m not saying I’m going to date him.” Magnus interrupts. “Like you said, I don’t know him-“

“Yeah, so you’ll get to know him-“

“And we’ll see how it goes then. Let’s not jinx it.”  He knows there’s something about Alec, that something’s just there, but still, he may just appear nice on the outside and be completely different on the inside. Somehow Magnus is willing to take a chance to get to know him. If nothing else develops, then he’ll just leave it. It’s not like they’d need to avoid each other. They barely see themselves, they probably wouldn’t even met in the hospital if they didn’t try to. And maybe Magnus will just gain himself another friend, if it doesn’t work out in any other way? “If there’s nothing there, then maybe we’ll just become friends.”

Catarina snorts to that, and Magnus throws her another glare.

“I’m sorry, Magnus, but with the way you talk about him, there’s no way you’d want to be just friends with him.” She shakes her head, amused.

“And in what way do I talk about him?” Magnus mocks.

“Like you’re falling in love.”

It’s Magnus’ turn to snort.

“I’ve known him for like twenty minutes, I can’t be falling in love.” He resorts with a laugh.

“I know, Magnus.” Cat starts. “That’s how you always find new ways to surprise me.”

He tries to glare at her, annoyed, but can’t help the chuckle that escapes his lips. He really tends to be a hopeless romantic.

At that, Magnus spots Ragnor leaving his office, and decides it’s time for some catching up with his old friend. Of course, not only for the reason of Alec.

Just mostly.

He and Ragonr have been best friends, for as long as he can remember. When Magnus was sixteen, and moved to New York from Indonesia with his mother, he had quite a hard time adjusting. But then, in high school he met Ragnor, and they immediately became friends. Their situation was similar. Ragnor moved here a year before, from London. To be honest, they’re completely different, and that’s probably why they get on so well. Ragnor did help him through his rough times, always been a great listener and adviser he is. Deep down, Magnus always knew, that Ragnor would make a perfect psychologist, even when he’s friend wasn’t so sure of that at the beginning.

Catarina just rolls her eyes, but a smile is still present on her face, when Magnus backs off, and makes his ways towards Ragnor’s office.

“Hello, my friend.” He announces and as Ragnor turns, a smile is beginning to pain his face.

“Hello, indeed.” He greets. “How is it going?”

“All well, thank you.” Magnus admits, and fires back a question. “And you?”

“Well, besides dealing with all this,” he gestures at the stack of files in his hands. “everything is great.”

Magnus just nods in answer and Ragnor eyes his curiously.

“Do you need anything?” He asks carefully then.

“Why would I need anything?” Magnus chuckles nervously. He doesn’t really know how to bring it up to Ragnor. For sure, he can’t just speak about his patients. They’ve actually been through this a few times, when Magnus’ curiosity took the best of him. Sometimes he just can’t see to shut up. “I just wanted to talk to my best friend.”

“Are you sure? You’re unusually quiet, for someone who wanted to talk…” Ragnor states, and a smirk is tugging up at the corners of his lips.

“Okay,” Magnus gives in. Trying to hide anything from Ragnor is pointless, he sees through everything. “I do need something. Some info…”

“On what?” Ragnor questions, truly enjoying the way Magnus can’t find his way with words. It’s surprisingly hard to talk to him about Alec. Maybe because in the back of his mind Magnus knows, that if Alec has been seeing Ragnor, then his friend knows a lot about him. But it might actually help. If Alec is an ass, then Ragnor would tell him, and he wouldn’t get any of his hopes up.

“I was just wondering,” Magnus starts. “About a patient of yours-“

“No, Magnus we’re not doing that.” Ragnor states firmly and starts walking down the hallway. Magnus briefly catches Cat’s amused smile from the nurses’ office as he begins to follow his friend.

“I’m not even sure if he’s your patient actually, but if he is then-“

“If you don’t know, that why don’t you ask him yourself?” Ragnor fires back, as he stops and turns to face Magnus.

“I…” Magnus’ lips form into a straight line as he thinks. “I don’t really know him.”

“So, what is this all about?” Ragnor asks, with a confused expression.

“Look, I just wanted to know, if he’s your regular, and if he comes here every week, so then I might get a chance to see him again-“

“Oh lord,” Ragnor interrupts. “are you having a crash or something?”

Magnus’ mouth hangs open for a few seconds, before he actually gets to speak.

“What?” His voice comes out higher than usual. “No, of course not. I’m way too old to have a crush.”

Ragnor raises his brow in questions at him. God, he’s really getting sick of that expression. Why is everyone looking at him like that?

“Are you?” His friend questions in an accusing tone. “Are you really?”

Magnus just shrugs, and stand there, in the middle of the hallway, thinking of a good come back for him, but his mind is empty.

“So what if I have one?” He sighs. “Are you jealous?”

Ragnor snorts.

“Jealous? Of your unknown even by you crush? No, I don’t think so.” He shakes his head.

God, why is he even doing that? He should never listen to Dot. Ragnor is right. Of course he’s saying these all beyond the lines, but Magnus knows the moral: if you want to know him, then get to know him. But to be honest, he’s scared. Scared of getting hurt again. But he can’t keep thinking, that everyone will turn out to be Camille. If he continues to do so, he won’t ever find anyone.

“Magnus, you know I can’t do this.” Ragnor resorts in his reassuring tone. “Even if I wanted too. It would be breaking the confidentiality rules. And I quite like this job.” He adds with a smile. “But if that man of yours was here at least once, that there is a possibility he’ll show up. And you’re here every Wednesday, so I’d say the odds are good.”

Magnus lets out a long exhale but nods. Ragnor mirrors the gesture and pats him on the shoulder.

“I have to go now.” His friend states then. “I have another patient coming up. I’ll see you soon, Magnus.”

He quickly waves as a goodbye, Magnus does too, and then he’s left in the middle of the hallway, letting out another sigh. He’s just about to make his way back to Catarina, but something catches his eye.

Or more, someone.

He only sees a flash of black hair, but the man is tall, and well-built, as he leaves a hospital room where Magnus knows kids are settled. But he doesn’t think about it now, as he quickly catches up to that man.

“Alec!” He calls out, and when the man turns, Magnus can’t help but smile.

He looks incredibly beautiful, same as the last time. Gorgeous hazel eyes staring right back at Magnus, with a  bit of surprise in them, but that good kind. And when he smiles, Magnus feels like he could just melt. His outfit today is simple, but somehow so well fitting. Black jeans, paired with a dark green shirt and the same leather jacket as the last time. It’s a bit too cold for a leather jacket now, but Alec doesn’t look like he is making a fashion sacrifice. The jacket suits him, and maybe he just runs a little hot. Magnus would like to find out himself.

God, Magnus focus. He scowls himself in his mind, as he realises that they’ve been just standing there and staring at each other for quite some time, but he notices, that Alec’s gaze lingers on him too, as if taking him in.

Alec blushes slightly, as if he’s been caught.

“Hey,” he starts, but his voice comes out hoarse, so he clears his throat and speaks again, softly. “Hi.”

“Hi, how have you been?” Magnus asks, with a soft smile.

“Great.” Alec nods and sighs. “Kinda busy, but fine. What about you?”

“Same, everything is good.” Magnus states and gets another nods from Alec in answer.

There are a few seconds of silence, when Magnus desperately tries to come up with some topic, ‘cause he’s afraid Alec might just consider the conversation done, and he really doesn’t want it to end yet. Not when the thought of meeting Alec again was what has been his driving force through the last week.

“How was the exam?” He prompts then, and Alec looks truly surprised that he might remember this from their conversation last week.

“It went okay, I passed.” Alec admits and smiles again. “And how is work going?”

“Oh, just the usual.” Magnus waves his hand dismissively.

It’s so weird. He longed for Alec’s company for so long, and now that he finally has it, it’s hard to just talk. He constantly finds himself just staring at Alec, and he knows that’s inappropriate, but he just can’t help it. He’s too damn attractive. But fortunately, Alec doesn’t seem to notice.

“Are you heading to the university again?” Magnus asks then.

“Yeah, I have classes a bit later today, but I guess I still have to.” He admits to which they both chuckle briefly.

“Need a ride?” Magnus blurts out before he actually gets to think. But it’s a good idea. If they get away from the prying eyes of the hospital patients and visitors, maybe Alec will feel more relaxed.

“Thanks, Magnus but I actually have time today, so I can just take a bus-“ Alec stats, but Magnus just shakes his head, as he interrupts.

“Nonsense, Alexander.” He resorts. “It’s too cold and this jacket,” he sooths his fingers down the material “is not a great choice. But I get it, sacrifices need to be made for fashion.”

Alec laughs and Magnus can’t help but join him.

“And,” he picks back up a bit later. “if you catch a cold, because you’ll need to get to school by that hideous bus, you’ll regret not agreeing to my offer. We’re not strangers anymore, so you can’t use that excuse.”

Alec smiles a bit wider as he chuckles and rolls his eyes, but still he hesitates, so Magnus adds.

“I assure you, it’s not a trouble. It’s the same direction, don’t worry.”

Alec bits his lower lip, which is way more attractive than it should be, and then he asks.

“You sure?”

“Of course.” Magnus replies with no hesitation.

“Okay.” Alec answers finally and Magnus feels his grin widening.

“Okay.” Is his only reply as they begin to walk towards the exit.

 

As they get seated in the car and Magnus turns the key in the ignition, Alec rubs his palms in an attempt to make them warm. Magnus observes him and then he forces himself to focus back on the road, switching the heating on, to which Alec smiles at him.

“You were right.” He says then. “It’s freezing.”

“Yeah, the weather hasn’t been treating us nicely lately.” Magnus agrees.

They both laugh again, and Magnus is grateful that the atmosphere for their first meeting his already back.

“So your brother took the car again?” Magnus asks, after the laughter dies down.

“I mean, he takes it all the time he wants.” Alec resorts. “I guess he claimed Wednesday as his own too now. But it’s fine. It’s a longer way to his work than to the university or the hospital.”

Magnus nods, eyes fixated back on the road. They sit in silence for a little while, but it’s a comfortable one. But Magnus’ thoughts wander back to when he spotted Alec leaving one of the hospital rooms. He wonders who does he visit there. The room was definitely the children’s one, Magnus knows that, because he comes there regularly, to play with the kids. He desperately tries to remember if any of the patients there may resembling Alec at some point. What if he has a child? Or maybe he is just visiting his family, a younger brother or sister…

There’s too many possibilities, but it would probably be inappropriate to ask about such things now.

“It’s weird, don’t you think?” Alec’s voice brings him back to reality as he speaks. Magnus dares a glance at him, but Alec’s eyes are focused on the road ahead of them. Before Magnus gets to question what he means, the younger man elaborates. “I mean, how exactly a week later we meet again.”

And as he says it, Magnus feels like he too is trying to seek a reason of Magnus’ often visits to the hospital.

Maybe if he starts, Alec will also tell him his own?

“Actually, I go there every Wednesday. I’ve been for about a year now.” He admits, and catches in the corner of his eyes, as Alec’s gaze returns to him. But before he asks, something, Magnus picks back up. “I’m a volunteer at my friend’s charity organisation, and as part of that, I come to the hospital to spend some time with the patients. You know, just help them if they need it, or do something fun. Wednesdays are the only ones I have work at nine, so I decided it’s a good day.”

“This is so kind of you.” Alec resorts, with an honest awe in his voice. “Really, taking your own time to make someone’s day a bit better. I’m sure you get busy with all the work, but still, you’re doing that. That’s just amazing.”

Magnus feels himself blush at the prise from Alec’s mouth. He heard it lots of times, when he admitted to being a part of the organisation. But it is truly an amazing work and always admired the volunteers.

“I figured, that if I have some time, I can use it somehow. Not only for my personal benefit.” He shrugs.

“Don’t be so modest.” Alec asserts. “The world needs more people like you.”

Magnus chuckles briefly, but Alec’s next words come out in a firmer tone.

“Really. It’s great to know that there are actually some good people left, that are not blinded by money and fame.”

Magnus nods in agreement. He’s always been sick of how this world is corrupted. He hates how he was one of those people who only care for themselves, but he’s changed. Maybe it was too late, and he learned the hard way how it feels to lost something, before actually getting to appreciate it, but he’s better now. Or at least he hopes so.

“So, maybe…” Alec clears his throat awkwardly and stats again. “Maybe you know my brother? Since you come there every week. His name is Max…”

Magnus quickly scans his brain, in search of that name, and he does remember.

“Yeah, I think I do know him.” Magnus nods, more to himself, but Alec mirrors the gesture anyway. “We often play video games.”

“He loves those.” Alec says and smiles.

“’Mario Kart’, right?” Magnus recalls playing that one with that boy. He actually was quite good at that.

“Yes, he’s kind of obsessed with it now.” Alec chuckles.

“I also remember an impressive collection of books.” Magnus adds with a grin. “He mentioned something about his brother feeding it regularly…”

And if Magnus looks deeper into that, there really is something similar about them. Maybe a bit of facial features, or the eyes. Max often speaks about his brother. Always highly.

“Yeah, it’s sort of our thing.” Alec says, with this kind of private smile, probably only reserved for his baby brother.

At the back of Magnus’ mind, there’s a voice that says, thank God, he doesn’t have a child. It wouldn’t be actually bad if he did. Just complicated. Alec looks like a reasonable man, he’s twenty three tops, and seems like he’s more focused on college than anything else.

“So yeah,” Alec continues after a moment. “I visit him quite often, and my classes start later on Wednesday, so I have some time to drop by.”

“That’s nice of you. I’m sure he appreciates it.” Magnus flashes him a quick smile.

He doesn’t want to ask anything more. He knows Max has leukaemia, and he’s not doing quite well recently. He’s pretty surprised Alec has just admitted the reason of his visits, considering how much Magnus knows about the patients there. Maybe he hoped Magnus didn’t recognize his brother? Either way, he’s quite happy to know. It does decrease some part of his curiosity, but makes him realise that it must be hard for Alexander, dealing with his brother’s illness. Magnus finds himself wanting to help, to just be there for him.

“You said you also have a sister?” Magnus recalls, trying to change the subject, showing Alec that they don’t need to speak about it anymore. “And there’s also your unreliable brother…”

Alec chuckles lightly, and he does seems quite more relaxed at the change of topic.

“Yeah, we all live together.” Alec states. “It’s both fun and terrifying at the same time.”

They laugh again, and soon, way too soon find themselves at the driveway of the college again.

Magnus wants to linger the moment. Share a few more minutes with Alexander, and as the younger man turns to probably thank for the ride again, Magnus catches his forearm. And he swears he can feel the shiver running down Alec’s skin.

“Look,” Magnus starts as an idea is forming in his brain. It’s nuts, and Alec probably will not agree, but still, you never know if you don’t try. “What if I offered you a deal?”

Alec just looks back at him, his expression turning more and more confused.

“What do you mean?” He asks with a hint of laugh in his voice.

“I mean,” Magnus begins to explain. “that we both are at the hospital on Wednesdays, basically the same hour. So, what if I kept driving you to the university?”

Alec’s eyes widen, and Magnus knows that it isn’t a usual proposition you wouldn’t get every day, from a man you met a week ago. But still, Magnus tries.

“It’s beneficial for everyone. You get to go to school by this amazing, contented car, instead of a bus, which by the way can often be late, and I get the feeling you don’t like being late.” Alec lets out some sound between a snort and a chuckle at that. “And, your brother would just take the car on Wednesdays, without your disapproval.” Magnus sums up and shrugs.

“Okay, these are valid points.” Alec agrees. “But what would you get from that?”

Magnus chuckles lightly at his words, because with that deal, he would get exactly what he wants, which is simply Alec’s company.

There’s no point in hiding it.

“I would get to spend twenty minutes of my week with you.” He resorts humbly and the blush that covers Alec’s face is a beautiful shade of red.

“Why would you want to spend time with me?” He only asks, with an unsure smile.

“Because I think you’re a truly interesting person, Alexander.”

Alec’s eyes widen again, and he ducks his head to hide even more blush creeping onto his cheeks.

“I’m not interesting.” He shakes his head lightly.

“I’d like to find that out myself.” Magnus resorts and Alec looks back at him then, and they share one of the softest smiles.

“If I agree,” Alec starts, and Magnus’ heart actually starts to beat a bit faster. “I’d give you some money for the petrol or something-“

“Alexander,” Magnus swiftly interrupts. “I’m only dropping you off, not driving around the city. It’s on the way to my work. I told you, it takes two seconds.”

“You said the same thing the last time.” Alec begins. “And again, we’re ending up sitting here like five more minutes at least.”

“Are you complaining?” Magnus asks with a smirk, which to his surprise Alec reciprocates.

“No.” He states softly. “Of course not. I actually enjoy your company too.”

Magnus’ heart might burst now any second as Alec throws another smile at him.

“I know we’ve basically just met, but…” Alec lets the sentence trail of, but Magnus nods.

“I get it.”

The few next moments pass by in silence, until Magnus finally breaks it.

“So do you agree?”

Alec lets out a long exhale and closes his eyes briefly as if trying to compose himself.

“Yeah, let’s do this.” He settles and Magnus smiles wider at him, trying to hide his excitement, but he knows it’s somehow showing.

“Great, so maybe…” Magnus begins. “we could exchange phone numbers? Just so you know, I’ll text you if something happens and I won’t be able to drive you, or you’ll let me know if you’re not coming. Just for emergencies.”

“Yeah, sure.” Alec already pulls his phone of out his pocket. “It’s a great idea.”

They exchange the numbers and now, as it’s time for Alec to leave, Magnus doesn’t feel the longing that much, knowing he’ll see him just next week.

“So thanks again, and I guess, I’ll see you next Wednesday?” Alec asks, as he gets ready to get out of the car.

“Yeah, you will.” Magnus resorts with a smile and Alec reciprocates. Then he’s out of the car, throwing a little wave in Magnus’ side.

He’s never been looking forward to Wednesday as much as he does now.

Chapter Text

Alec never thought Wednesday would become his favourite day of the week.

He finds himself always waiting for this day to come. Their deal has been going on for about four weeks now, and Alec is delighted with it.

He has no idea why Magnus came up with it, but how could he refuse him? When he was looking back at him, with those beautiful eyes, and when he gripped his arm… Alec actually felt the electricity rushing through his skin from the touch.

And to be honest it’s a great deal. But he hasn’t really told anyone about it yet…

Only Lydia knows, since she sees him on the campus, and of course she noticed Alec leaving the same car every Wednesday. He’ll never hear the end of it, but he’d be lying if he said it doesn’t feel good to share a bit about Magnus with someone. And Lydia has always been a great listener. She doesn’t mind hearing about him, actually she’s very happy to see Alec happy.

But still, he doesn’t tell his siblings. Jace would get overprotective again, and no doubt he’d go and interrogate Magnus, since he’s a man, and he’s spending a bit of time with Alec. He’d tell Izzy, but his sister lacks the ability to keep her mouth shut sometimes, so if she knows, Jace knows too.

And it’s way too soon for that. He still doesn’t know Magnus very well.

But somehow, he still finds himself wanting to share something with him. Like he did on their second drive. When he told him about Max. He’s not sure how it came up, but it just feels easy to talk to Magnus. Easier than to anyone else. He wasn’t sure if Magnus would know his brother, but turns out he did, so he for sure knows about Max’s illness. And Alec is grateful that he didn’t push the subject more, didn’t ask how Alec feels about this whole thing. That’s what Mr Fell is for, what Alec needs is just a friend.

At least for now.

There’s no doubt that he’s developing some kind of crush on Magnus. He can’t help it. This man is handsome, well spoken, has an actual heart of the angel and for sure a lot things more, that Alec wants to find out about him.

They keep their conversations light, not diving into some existential shit, not trying to think deep. Just some words about work, college. Alec tells him about his siblings, Magnus shares some stories from his first year as a volunteer, and Alec is truly amazed by it. How Magnus is selfless and caring for others. For people that he doesn’t even know. Alec’s sure he wouldn’t be able to willingly watch some strangers suffering. To just hold their hand when every breath might be the last. He’s barely dealing with seeing Max being so miserable. But it’s different. Max is his family, he’ll always be the most important. It just hurts more to see your family in pain. Knowing, that there’s really nothing more you can do for them.

On their fourth drive, Alec admitted that he works as a writer for the local newspaper. That it’s his way of earning some money, so he and his siblings can pay for the apartment they share. He explains that Jace works in an advertising company, and Izzy has her own little business with jewellery making. And somehow they manage.

Magnus takes it all in, but doesn’t ask about his parents. And Alec’s glad he isn’t, since he’s in a such a good mood while being with Magnus, that he doesn’t want the conversation about his parents to ruin this.

Magnus tells him a bit about his friends from work. About his scowling boss, who is not so scary when you get to know him (but to Alec he seems terrifying, from the stories he heard from Magnus). He works with a lovely woman Dorothea, who sounds like an angel and Alec’s sure he would like her.

They continue to get to know each other better, and Alec’s not sure where this is going, but he’s glad with how things are escalating.

 

Tuesday drags on for like forever, and Alec is almost falling asleep during his family law class as he watches the cars slowly passing by the streets outside the window, it’s raining and the weather isn’t making Alec feel any less tired then he is.

He basically jumps as the bells sounds and everyone starts to quickly gather their stuff and leave the room. That’s when Lydia turns to him.

“Already excited for tomorrow?” She prompts, and Alec sighs. Sometimes he does wish he could keep this all from Lydia, she’s getting annoying with this teasing. “You practically zoned out during the entire class.”

“I’m just tired.” Alec admits and moves to put his things into his backpack.

“Are you okay?” Lydia asks, now in pure concern, gripping his arm lightly.

“Fine.” Alec exhales heavily. “I just stayed up late writing some articles.”

Lydia smiles understandingly and nods.

“You need rest too, remember that.” She advices, as she always does, when she notices that Alec is way too overworked.

He just nods, and then they get out of the class and stroll to the bus stop together.

When he gets home, he finds Isabelle sitting nervously on the couch, clearly awaiting his return.

“Hi Iz.” He greets and his sister and she flashes him an uneasy smile. “What’s up?”

“Our parents want to meet.” She replies bluntly. Like she always does. Izzy’s not the one who prepares you for any kind of confession, she just fires it at you. But also, she knows Alec will see right through her, if she even tries to lead him on, or refuse to say anything.

Alec just exhales heavily and closes his eyes briefly, as she sits in the armchair in from of the couch, where Isabelle is settled.

“What for?” He asks, still not opening his eyes.

“I don’t know.” Izzy resorts, and Alec’s gaze focuses at her to see her shrug. “They just said they want to meet. With all of us.”

“Why would they want to see me?” Alec questions, and Isabelle sighs. “What, you know they would never speak to me willingly again.”

“Alec, maybe they figured out their wrongs, and just want to talk-“

“Like hell they did.” Alec snorts. “I don’t want to see them, and the last time I checked, the feeling was mutual.”

Isabelle is actually the only one who keeps in touch with their parents. She’s always been their father’s favourite, just like Jace was their mother’s. He was the golden boy, he was perfect to them, until he decided on his career path, and they didn’t quite like his idea of making a living. The only jobs that seem to be approved form them are lawyers, doctors, engineers, or other that would bring you a lot of money. Izzy still fits in. She’s going to become an amazing forensic pathologist, Alec’s sure of that. And their parents accept that. More than, they’re even proud of her. She was the only one they said they will actually miss, when she left home. But Isabelle was aware of how her parents treated her brothers. It was never that bad with Jace. They were easy on him, mostly because he had a hard time adjusting, after they adopted him, when his parents died in a car accident. They did want him to feel good. At some point, they succeeded. The only problem was, he decided to stand up to their idea of perfection, of a successful job. He had it his way, because it’s just the way Jace is. And deep down, Robert and Maryse knew that, so they just let their son get away with it.

It’s completely different with Alec.

He is their first born and they always expected nothing less than perfection from him. He needed to be the best in class, the greatest role model for his siblings, a perfect brother, flawless son.

And Alec did deliver, through more than a half of his life.

And somehow it was never good enough.

His parents always found some mistake. Something he missed. And he picked up on it. Tried even harder, but deep down he knew, that he would never make it up to his parents standards. Not with being who he is. Not with the way he is.

Still, he decided to come out to his parents. And it might have been the worst decision of his life, because with that, he destroyed every little ounce of love his parents might have felt for him. He ruined the perfect image he created, became a completely different person in his parents eyes. They didn’t see their son, they saw someone who used to be him.

And the years that followed were just awful.

His father acted like Alec never existed. He threw insults on every step, like Alec wasn’t even in a room. His mother was just quiet, basically didn’t speak to him. He couldn’t decide if it was better or worse.

He came close to ending it all, more than a few times. But something was always holding him back. The thought of his siblings, or of the life he could have if he finally cut this parents off. Just start to live on his own.

But he couldn’t just leave. Not with Max still being there. He would never leave his baby brother, he needs to be close to him, always. The only good thing, is that with their parents being lawyers, they spend most of their days in the office. So it was mostly Alec who took care of him, as the oldest. And he wouldn’t have it any other way. He loves him, and to be able to watch him grow was a joy. Isabelle and Jace helped a lot too. And with their parents out, and his siblings close, Alec finally had some time to breathe.

But still, most of the time, he felt like he was suffocating. Breathing only felt a little bit easier when he finally moved out.

He’s glad Jace and Izzy came along. It’s great to have them around. Even if they get a bit annoying at times. They all hated the way their parents treated Alec, but back then it was nothing they could do, but to offer words of reassurance. And they were sick of the atmosphere in the house, and if there was a side to opt for, it was always their big brother’s.

Isabelle still stares at Alec, expression turning pleading and he exhales slowly.

“What do you want me to say?” He asks resigned.

“That you’ll come to the meeting.” Izzy pleads. “I know that you don’t want to see them. I know it’s hard for you, but think about Max, if this is something about him-“

“If this was something about Max I would know.” Alec resorts. “I’m signed into the hospital’s data base as the contact info too.”

“Okay.” Isabelle starts again. “So just do this for us, please. I swear if you’ll get uncomfortable, or they’ll dare to insult you again, we’re all leaving. I promise.”

He sees how important it is for his sister, so there’s only one thing he can do.

“When is the meeting?” He asks shortly, and a bit of smile is creeping onto Izzy’s face.

“Tomorrow, 5pm.” Izzy announces.

“Does Jace know about this?” Alec continues. Jace is probably still at work, but his brother needs to know what’s going on.

“He does, I called to tell him.” Isabelle says. “He said he’ll go if you go.” She adds with a smile, and Alec feels as his own is making its way up to his face, at how he and his brother are in tune with each other.

“So I guess he’s going then.”

 

Alec almost forgets it’s Wednesday when he wakes up. He’s still buzzed from the conversation he had with Izzy last light, that brought back some his worst memories of their home. And he’s quite nervous about today’s meeting. But somehow, the thought of seeing Magnus kinda sooths him.

Since he started driving with Magnus, even his sessions with Mr Fell don’t feel that bad now. He feels like they’re actually making some progress. His psychologist is not aware of the source of his sudden better moods, but he doesn’t ask. Not now, at least. But today, he must have noticed something is different.

“Is everything all right?” He asks, after they’ve been through a few questions, but Alec still must appear tensed and nervous.

“My parents want to meet with me.” He admits. “All of us, I mean. The rest of my siblings too, but also me.”

Mr Fell nods, and then they don’t speak for a moment.

He knows a bit of how his parents treated him. Not everything, but enough to give him a solid picture of how Alec’s childhood was like.

“So you’re nervous about it.” He states, and Alec just nods. “Do you know what they would like to talk about?”

“I have no idea.” Alec resorts. “I guess that’s what scares me.”

“Why would it scare you?”

“I don’t know…” Alec sighs as he tries to form his words. “I think I’m more afraid of meeting them. I’m scared that all those bad memories will come back when I see them.”

“When did you see them last?”

“A few months ago… we see each other briefly, when they visit Max or something, but we never actually talk.”

“It’s your choice.” Mr Fell reminds him. “You can choose just not to go.”

“I know, but…” Alec breathes in a few times to compose himself. “it’s just important for Jace and Izzy…”

“Yes, I’m aware it is.” Mr Fell agrees. “But I’m sure they wouldn’t want to make you feel uncomfortable.”

Alec just nods in agreement and the doctor smiles gently at him.

“Just remember, that no one can force you into this, if you’re not ready.”

And with these words their time basically runs out.

 

He meets Magnus in his car, quickly sliding the passenger’s doors shut, not to let any more of the cold air get into the warm space.

“Hi.” Magnus greets enthusiastically, and when he smiles Alec feels a bit more relaxed. “How are you?”

“Good.” Alec replies and nods, more to reassure himself that he is. Which is not exactly true. “You?”

Magnus eyes him cautiously for a moment, but then starts the car as he answers.

“Everything’s fine.” He’s still smiling, but as Alec tries to reciprocate, he can’t quite let himself do that. He doesn’t want to fool Magnus, but at the same time, he doesn’t want to bother him with his stupid worries.

They drive in silence for a while, but then it seems like Magnus can’t stand it, so he asks.

“Are you sure you’re okay?” He briefly glances at him with concern in his eyes. “You just seem… I don’t know, tense? Are you nervous about something? Is it another exam…” He trails of, as if giving Alec an option to say what’s on his mind, or to just brush him of.

“No, it’s not an exam.” Alec states, not actually meeting his eyes, when Magnus looks at him again. He takes another breath and then speaks, deciding to let it out. “It’s about my parents.”

Again, he realises how easy it is to just vocalize his thoughts in Magnus’ company. How he finds himself trusting this man, that he shares about twenty minutes with weekly. He spends more time with his psychologist, and he still hasn’t opened up to him as he does it with Magnus. It’s not like him. It’s scary. But somehow, not as scary as it should be.

Magnus doesn’t say anything, but Alec knows he’s listening, like he always does, so he continues.

“They want to meet with me, and let’s just say…” He pauses, searching for the right words. “that we don’t get on well. Never really have.”

Magnus hums, in a thoughtful tone, and then speaks.

“You never really talked about them.” He points out. “You talk about your siblings all the time, but not a word for your parents. But I didn’t want to ask, I didn’t know if you’d like to-“

“It’s fine.” Alec interrupts. “That’s true. I don’t speak a lot about them, ‘cause there’s nothing to talk about really. I became someone they never wanted me to be. I guess I always was, but for more than a half of my life I pretended otherwise.”

“I’m sorry.” Magnus begins. “We don’t need to talk about it, but if you’d ever want to… I’m here.”

Alec smiles lightly at that statement.

“Thanks.” He says. “I’m just quite nervous about tonight, since we don’t see each other often.”

Magnus nods understandingly, and then there’s another thought forming itself in Alec’s brain, and he feels quite guilty for it.

“I’m sorry.” He starts, and Magnus throws him a confused gaze. “I’m just putting all of my worries on you, and you probably have enough of your own-“

“Hey, stop this. I told you I’m here. It’s fine, we can talk about anything you want.” Magnus stops as if hesitating to say the next words. “That’s what friends do, right?”

So they’re friends. It’s some kind of a progress in their relationship. But does it mean Magnus wants to be only friends? Is he giving his some weird signals?

Alec, stop overthinking this, you’re friends. Just friends. Alec’s brain tells him, but he’s not sure if it’s the whole thing…

“Yeah,” Alec agrees after he shakes of his thoughts. “exactly. So you can talk about anything you want too.”

Magnus turns and smiles at him, as they stop at a red light. Alec can’t help but smile wider too.

“Can I give you an advice then?” Magnus asks, and Alec nods in answer. “I may not know, what exactly happened between you and your parents, but try to give them a chance. Maybe they want to make things better with you? Who knows. But, you might regret it, if you don’t do it now. One day it might be too late.”

He adds the last words in an incredibly sad tone, as his eyes wander back to the road, face twisted in some emotions Alec has never seen there yet. It’s weird to see him like this. He’s always so cheerful, enthusiastic, full of life, and now he looks just… hollow.

He did recovers from it quite quickly, as he shakes his head and adds with a smile.

“But you’ll do what you want to. I’m sure it’ll be fine.”

“Thanks, I…” Alec nods lightly. “I’ll think about it.”

They drive in silence then, and Alec can’t help the strange feeling again. Can’t help the ease he feels while watching Magnus as he drives. He’s just steady. And Alec needs steady in his life. Something to hold on to. He catches himself staring at his lips way to often than it is appropriate, and if Magnus’ eyes weren’t focused on the road, it would get totally awkward.

He can’t help it, but he hopes, even after Magnus words, that they could be more than friends. Sometimes, at the corner of his eyes he sees Magnus looking at him, as if taking him in, but his gaze lingers a bit too long for it to be just that. Like this time back in the hallway when they first met.

And Alec not only lets himself hope, but also want, and he hasn’t wanted anything that much for a very long time. Maybe even ever.

And as he thinks of his words, then maybe Magnus as well as Izzy are right. Maybe his parents finally came to their senses and they want to make it all better? Alec is willing to try, to give them this chance.

When leaves Magnus’ car this time, he just feels a bit lighter.

 

Classes fly by pretty fast. He tells Lydia about the meeting with his parents tonight, and she offers basically the same advice as his sister and Magnus. In the end he decides to go, so after classes he quickly hops on the bus and gets to the restaurant Izzy send him an address of. It’s a fancy one, it always is. As if only to show the power and success by how stuffed their wallets are. But Alec tries to let go of the negativity. He enters the restaurant and almost immediately spots Isabelle, as she waves at him to join them at the table.

On her left, there’s Jace, offering Alec a reassuring smile when he see his brother letting out a shaky exhales. Opposite him, at the table, there’s his mother, and she stands from her chair, something maybe even resembling a smile on her face as Alec makes his way closer to them.

“Alec,” she starts and moves to hug him. Hug him. She hasn’t done that in years. He lets her, but can’t help the look on surprised on his face when they pull back.

Maryse doesn’t notice. Or pretends not to.

Another surprise is the lack of their father’s presence. And as if seeing the question written on Alec’s face, Maryse speaks to clear everything out.

“Your father get held up in work, he’ll be there soon.”

Alec manages a slight nod, and then he slides into a chair next to his brother. Jace claps his hand lightly on his shoulder.

“How have you been?” Maryse speaks again, and Alec’s not sure if the question is directed to him, but as no one else speaks he thinks that it might. Which is weird. His mother didn’t care about how he is, not for the last four years at least.

“I’m good.” Alec states and nods. Izzy smiles at him brightly, kind of like she is saying I told you so, but something is still weird, and Alec can’t let himself relax just yet.

“How’s school?” Maryse prompts again.

“Great.” Alec resorts. “Challenging and busy, but it’s fine. I know that’s what I want to do so… I’ll get through this.”

Maryse nods and Alec swears he can see a glimpse of smile on her face.

Maybe Jace and Izzy talked to her before. Told her that his mental health wasn’t in the best condition recently. That he’s been seeing a psychologist. Maybe that’s why his mother is trying to be gentle? But deep down he knows, that his siblings wouldn’t just spill those information. They know that Alec is not proud of how things turned out. That he feels weak, and ashamed of needing this help. About not dealing with something that is supposed to be simple. It’s not. Once it’s better, sometimes it’s worse, and Alec couldn’t be more thankful for his siblings, that they noticed the problem, when he just couldn’t bring himself up to speak about it, and that they got him help, when he couldn’t ask for it himself. Even if he was sceptical at the beginning, it was a good choice to accept the help.

And he lets himself hope. That Izzy, Magnus and Lydia were right. That his parents will try to fix it. Fix them. And Alec will try to forgive them all these years of insults and basically avoiding each other.

But he also let himself hope before. That maybe such an important matter as Max’s illness is would get them all closer again. But it was exactly the opposite, it only made them drift apart even more.

And now, as his father enters the restaurant, all the hope disappears again.

He doesn’t spare a glance at Alec. Moves to greet Isabelle with a hug, and Jace with a handshake. It’s like Alec isn’t even there, which is basically same as always. He doesn’t feel bothered. Not anymore. It became normal to him after a few meetings in this atmosphere. He just hangs his head down and stares at the table. If his father doesn’t care, he doesn’t either.

Robert sits down next to Maryse, asks a few questions about Isabelle’s studies and Jace’s work. His brother glances at Alec worriedly, but Alec just shrugs, as if trying to tell him to let go. There’s no point in making a scene. Nothing is going to change anyway.

But something still feels different. And when he looks up from the table, he catches him mother staring at him. Almost worry, showing in her eyes.

They both quickly look away, but it’s obvious he saw it.

Then, they order some dinner, conversation still floating mostly between Isabelle and Robert. After their food is served, Jace begins to speak, knowing that their parents didn’t want to meet for a friendly chat. He’s probably getting sick of the small talk.

Well, he’s not the only one.

“So, is there any particular reason you wanted to meet?” Jace asks, and both Maryse and Robert slowly nod.

“There is.” Their mother states and clears his throat as she begins to explain. “We got a big deal, from a client in work. We decided to take it, but it compels us to get away for a while. To Chicago.”

“What?” Alec stars and it’s probably the first word he said after Robert entered this place. “What about Max?”

“That’s why we need to ask you to take care of him.” Robert states calmly and Alec feels the anger boil up inside him.

“So what do you think we were doing this whole time?” He asks, to which Robert only glares at him in confusion. “We’ve always been taking care of him, you don’t need to ask us to do this. Each of us is in a hospital day after day. We go see him more than you do.”

Robert’s gaze turns sharp, as he looks back at Alec, but when he speaks, his voice is calm.

“That’s because we have our job. We’re busy-“

“And you think we’re not?” Alec fires back. He’s never spoken to his father with his attitude, with this kind of judgement. He’s been on a receiving end of that tone lots of times. But this whole thing is just stupid. He and his siblings take better care of Max than them. They always did. It was always Alec who sang or read him to sleep, carried him to bed after he felt so bad he could barely walk, Izzy who rumbled to him about every subject she could find only to take his mind of the obvious, and Jace who played with him in every stupid game he could find to make him stop worrying. At least for a bit of time.

Maybe their parents where there, but they never actually got to know their own son. Any of their children. In Izzy, they only see a future forensic pathologist, not a young independent woman, who loves fashion and is so passionate about the jewellery she makes that she spends a whole night creating it. In Jace, they saw a promising lawyer, not a sport loving man, that wants to choose his own path. And in Alec…

They've probably never seen anything in him. Maybe once, their son, but now…

“You think we’re not busy,” Alec continues. “with school, and our jobs, so we can pay for our apartment-“

“Nobody asked you to move out.” His father interrupts, but Alec only snorts to that.

“But not everyone was welcomed to stay.” He says and glares with his father with just as much heat as he does.

Silence falls around them. An uncomfortable one. Robert looks like he wants to say something, but he has got no words. Maryse stares down at the table, her head hang down, same as Izzy, but Alec catches a little smile on her face. Same with Jace.

“How long will you be gone?” Alec asks, when nobody decides to.

“Two months.” Maryse answers. “Maybe less.”

Alec nods and suppresses the urge to snort. It’s so their parents style to just go away. Put money and career first, before their own, sick child. But to be honest he’s not surprised. Not anymore.

“Does Max know?” Alec questions next, and his mother nods again.

“Yes. We told him today.”

“What does he think about it?”

And as Maryse struggles to find her words, Alec can already figure out the answer and before he knows it, a hollow laugh escapes him.

“Right,” He starts. “You haven’t even asked about his opinion. You just informed him that you’re leaving.”

“Alec, it’s not like we really had a choice-“ His mother tries to justify, but Alec cuts her off.

“You said you decided to take the offer. You could refuse.” He states firmly. “What if Max needs you?”

He doesn’t see the reason why he would, but he still asks, just hypothetically.

“Then we’d get on a plane instantly.” Maryse claims, her expression serious. “Look,” she starts and turns to look at all of her children. “we would never leave if, we knew Max didn’t have anyone that could take care of him. But he has you. And I should probably thank you for being there for him much earlier, but I’m doing it now.” Alec feels a bit taken aback at her words, since she looks right at him as she says it. “So thank you. I know you take the best care of him. We just wanted to inform you that we won’t be that available in the next two months, but still, if anything happens inform us instantly. If not you the hospital will.”

The siblings nod at her words, and she mirrors the gesture as she leans back in her chair.

“It was nice catching up with you.” She states then. “But we need get going. We have a flight tomorrow night.”

They all get up and exchanges goodbyes. Maryse hugs Alec again, and her sight lingers on him a bit longer than the rest of her children, but she doesn’t say anything more. Neither does Alec.

Soon they’re all out of the restaurant and they part way.

That’s it for seeing their parents for another two months. Or even longer.

Jace lets out a long exhale, as he starts to lead them all in the direction of the car.

“Well, that was kind of unexpected.” He states and the rest nods in agreement.

“Yeah, I can’t believe they chose to just leave.” Alec shakes his head again, as if trying to get these thoughts away.

“I didn’t exactly mean that.” Jace says, and he looks at Alec now. “I mean your talk with Robert. You never really raise your voice or anything, and you sounded furious.”

His brother’s tone isn’t accusing or judging. Maybe it’s even a bit proud. Alec decides it is, when he sees that smirk on Jace’s face.

“Well, our brother never ceases to amaze us.” Isabelle states as she hooks her hand around Alec’s arm. “But seriously, he deserved that. They’re stupid to leave now.”

“Yeah, but we wouldn’t convince them otherwise.” Alec replies, after hearing the sight guilt in his sister’s voice. Isabelle just nods and she snuggles closer to Alec. “It’s not like a lot will change. We’re at the hospital every day anyway. But we need to talk to Max, about how he feels with all this.”

They all agree with a nod and soon they reach the car.

As they get settled in, Jace in the driver seat with Alec next to him, and Isabelle in the back, Alec rests his head against the window and can’t help the thoughts of his mother returning to him. The way her expression changed, when she was looking at him. He hasn’t seen her looking at him like that, probably since he was a child. It was almost loving. He kind of wishes he could talk to her more, and finds himself hoping, that there will be another occasion for an honest conversation. And hopefully without his father around.

“Hey, you okay?” Jace nudges him with his elbow, and Alec realises that they’re already back home.

He quickly shakes of his shock and clears his throat before answering.

“Yeah, fine.” He smiles and his brother reciprocates.

Then they all get into their apartment, and Alec feels the exhaustion setting down on him. All he wants to is to go to bed, and get some sleep before tomorrow’s long day. So he kisses Izzy’s forehead goodnight, and clasps Jace on the shoulder on his way to the bedroom.

And when he finally slumps down on the bed, face-first, he can’t help his thoughts from wandering to Magnus again.

Because at some point, he was right. Judging by his mother’s expression something broke in her. And Alec will find out what, but it’s something good. He can feel it.

He also thinks about the courage and fearlessness he felt when he spoke to his father. He doesn’t know what brought that up, but he hopes the rush will stay with him for a bit longer.

But for now it’s enough emotions for one day.

Chapter Text

“So… you are friends now?”

Catarina asks as she sips her drink. It’s a savoy margarita tonight. One Magnus knew she would enjoy, so he convinced her to order it as they got seated in Pandemonium tonight.

His friend doesn’t drink very often. She’s way more preoccupied with her work as a nurse, and she likes to stay alert all the time.

But tonight, however, Magnus just needed a drink, and Cat being the great friend she is, agreed to join him.

“I mean, we are. For now.” Magnus states, sipping his own martini, a second one that night.

That’s good. They’re friends and that’s a progress. But what if by that statement Magnus has ruined it? Sent false signals, that he wants to be only friends? He does want it, but he also wants much more.

After his talk with Alec about his parents, Magnus tried not to go to deeply into that. But he’s curious, he can’t help it. It’s in his nature. He wonders what happened between Alec and his parents that he doesn’t even want to see them. That he’s scared to see them.

“That’s good, right?” It’s not exactly a statement, but also isn’t a question, so Magnus just shrugs at Catarina’s words.

“Yeah, it’s good.”

“But you want more.” This time she states, just like she was reading Magnus’ mind.

“I do.” He admits with a sigh. “But it’s way too soon.”

It came kind of hard to him, to realise that he indeed wants to be more than Alec’s friend. And that’s just weird, because they barely know each other. They talk, but only about the regular stuff. Work, college, the occasional anecdote about Alec’s siblings. But recently Alec started opening up more. And Magnus wants to do that to, but he can’t find himself to, because it’s still too soon. Maybe he just should ask Alec out, and if he refuses then he’ll get over it, and being Alec’s friend will need to be enough.

“It can be a good tactic tho,” Catarina starts. “You know, you’re friends now, you’ll build your way up to gain his trust, and in the end there’s no way he won’t fall in love with you.” She says, if that was so simple.

It kinda is, since Alec doesn’t really show any resistance. Magnus asks, and he just answers. He never once refused to reply, even about his parents, and somewhere deep down, Magnus knows that Alec might even trust him a bit now. Which kinda makes it worse.

Because Magnus doesn’t. No matter how much he wants to, it’s too early.

Magnus just shrugs at Cat’s words again and drowns the rest of his drink.

“To be honest, I’m just glad you’re over Camille.” Cat continues. “You always said it was too soon for a new relationship, but it’s been almost two years…”

And it’s been a time. Since he cut her off, it just feels… lighter. But he catches himself thinking about her. And usually those aren’t good memories.

Magnus and Camille met back in college, sophomore year. She studied business, after she transferred from San Francisco. She might have had a lot in common with Raphael, as a business student, but these two didn’t really get along. Raphael only endured with her for the sake of Magnus. And it was basically the same with the rest of his friends.

But Camille was the one everyone wanted. Everyone longed for her to just look at them, not even wishing for something as simple as a conversation. Magnus was alongside them. Maybe not so deep, but he would be lying, if he said he didn’t want her.

And she chose him. Of all the people she could have. Magnus still doesn’t know why. Looking back now, it might be that, that he was an easy target. That maybe somehow she knew how simple it would be to play with his emotions.

But the beginning was great. They got together and she was sweet and caring. But now, Magnus wished he listened to his friends, when they told his something was off about her. If he only knew.

It started to get worse during their junior year. She dragged Magnus into a wrong crowd. They were partying all the time, to this point that they were both basically failing a year. But Camille didn’t care, and as long as Magnus was with her, he didn’t care too.

But the parties themselves weren’t so innocent later on. Not only alcohol, but drugs got involved, and since Magnus hadn’t developed an ability to say no to Camille, he tried everything along with her. Now, he can’t even count how many times Ragnor needed to drag him from these parties, until things would become quite messy. Not in any good way.

He was getting so high and drunk, that he practically didn’t know what was going on with him, or around him, but somehow, he had never missed the way Camille acted around other men. How close to them she was getting, but every time he tried to talk to her about it, she just brushed him off.

Turned out, she cheated. Not once, not twice, but repeatedly. Magnus saw a few times at his own eyes. But she convinced him, that he was nothing without her. That he only exists here, because of her. That he’s no one, and he doesn’t have anyone. And Magnus believed it was true.

He stopped seeing his friends since Camille consumed all of his time. And he knew they wouldn’t want him back, when he pushed them away. So she was right, all he had was her.

So when she kept coming back, he let her.

He doesn’t know how many times he let her lure him back. Deep down he knew that their way of solving problems with sex and only a few words that can’t even be called a conversation, wasn’t a good way. It was a terrible way.

But when they got back together, every time it was like at the start of their relationship. But always only at the beginning.

And if not Ragnor, Dot, and even Raphael. He would never get a grip.

But he wishes he did it earlier, because if he knew… if he only knew what was going on back in his home, with his mother, he would have sobered up a lot sooner.

But that didn’t mean Camille wasn’t back later. After he cut her of the first time, for longer, they were avoiding each other till the end of college. He heard that she went to France after the graduation. She didn’t pass the last year, but for her there was nothing money couldn’t buy.

Then she came back, found him, and again it started. And year later again, and next year too.

Because he couldn’t blame his friends for being busy. They had their lives, their jobs, their relationships. He was thankful enough that they even talked to him, after how he treated them while being with Camille. And there were times when Magnus just felt alone. And he knew Camille would take him back, if he came crawling to her.

He tired being with other people. When through his one night stands phase, but he did love Camille. Even though she didn’t love him. Never did.

It took him way too long to realise that.

So after he finished with her. This time for good. He stopped with relationships. And occasional one night stand was fine, when he needed it, but no commitment, no effort. No one was worth it.

But he has the feeling Alec might be.

“Magnus.” Cat’s voice shakes him of his thoughts, as she puts her hand on his forearm and sighs. “You’re thinking about her again, right?”

Magnus exhales heavily, but nods.

“You can’t keep doing that.” Catarina carries on firmly. “You and her, it’s all over. And what happened with your mom isn’t your fault.”

“Cat, don’t.” Magnus shakes his head. “Maybe if I knew sooner… if I paid more attention or just cared more-“

“You cared for her so much, Magnus.” Cat squeezes his arm. “We all know that. You can’t beat yourself up with this.”

He can and he will, but he nods at Cat’s words.

“And coming back to our previous subject,” she smiles a bit, softly. “Alec is not Camille-“

“You can’t be sure, Cat.” Magnus states sadly.

Because if Alec turned out to be as bad as she, Magnus wouldn’t be able to stand it. What if he’s cursed? What if he only draws this kind of manipulating people-

“Magnus stop thinking about it this way!” Cat scowls. “What happened? You were so eager to try it out and now…”

“I don’t know Catarina!” Magnus whines. “It’s scary.”

“Love usually is.” She states with a smile. “But it’s also amazing, so you should try.”

“I know.” Magnus nods slightly. “But not yet. I still need a bit of time, to get to know him.”

“Fine.” Catarina’s gaze lingers on him a bit longer. “But just so you know, you can always talk to me.”

Magnus smiles, and covers her hand on his forearm with his own.

“Thank you.”

“What are friends for?” She grins and then adds. “Now, be a good friend and order me another drink.”

 

He expects the headache he gets on Saturday morning.

It’s a usual consequence of drinking with Cat. Maybe she doesn’t drink often, but when she does, she goes all the way. Sometimes it’s hard to catch up, even for Magnus.

The only good thing about this, is that Saturday is his day off, so he doesn’t need to worry about work. He groans as he stretches out in his king-sized bed, and reaches from his phone from the nightstand, where he knows he’ll probably see a message from Cat.

And he’s not wrong.

Message received: Cat

I’m glad I don’t have a shift today. My head hurts like a bitch. 

He quickly taps a reply, that it’s no better with him, and then he moves to the kitchen to get some good, greasy, hangover cure breakfast.

And in moments like this, as he emerges from the bedroom and sees the big, open space of his loft so empty… that’s when he feels the most lonely.

His friends are amazing, no doubt. But none of them will be able to give him this feeling of waking up to a warm body next to his, or to someone humming in the kitchen as their preparing breakfast. Or just someone constantly being here. With him.

He misses it, but he also realises, that he's never really had this. His most serious relationship was with Camille, going on and off for about three years, but it was not as serious as he wanted it to be. They never actually moved in together, or talked about any future of them. Maybe it was for the best? If they made any plans, Magnus would only mourn them now.

But recently, he can’t stop thinking of Alec occupying the space of the loft. He can imagine him here, studying for his exams, or them eating dinner together, curled up on the couch…

He quickly shakes off these thoughts. It’s way too soon. Even if something escalates between them, it’s no time for thinking of some big steps. He just wants to enjoy it.

He wants to do it, he wants to ask Alec out, but he’s afraid of the reaction. Because still, he might be wrong. He’s pretty sure Alec isn’t straight, because he sees how sometime his gaze lingers on Magnus’ own lips, or he can feel the shivers running through his skin every time they touch.

Magnus doesn’t know why he hesitates. These are pretty serious signs, for someone who can read them. And Magnus usually can. But after a bit of time they've spent together, he also knows Alec at some point. And he figured out that he’s cautious. With the way he chooses his words, or the way he thinks them through. It’s good, but it also can mean he’s cautious in life too, with who he is allowing into it. And if Magnus scares him off somehow, by moving too fast, he would probably lose his chance.

Sometimes he finds himself thinking, that maybe Alec’s homosexuality was the bone of contention in his relationship with his parents. He wants to know, but he won’t just ask, Alec will tell him, if he’s ready. But if it’s true, then he’s really sorry for Alec, if he needed to grow up with this kind of attitude around him. Magnus was lucky enough that his mother accepted his bisexuality. It just never really mattered to her.

She just wanted a good life for her son. A better one, than he couldn’t have back there, in Indonesia. That’s why she left him in New York, to go to college, get a good job. To do everything he would want, and he wouldn’t be able to at home. Magnus wishes he could have been better to her. But he was too late.

He tries get rid of these memories. At least for now. He needs to keep going. This is what his mother would have wanted for him. The least he can do for her is live by her will.

He switches his thoughts back to Alec, to what they can have, when he finally finds the courage to reach for it. When he’ll be sure and ready.

It’s only Saturday, which means he won’t see Alec in another four days. He needs to get himself occupied somehow.

So he texts Luke, to see if he’s got a free hour. Or a few.

 

Luke is probably the only person he doesn’t rumble about Alec to.

Now, Magnus is seated in his favourite coffee shop, just around the corner from his loft. He’s waiting for Luke to show up, since the man claimed he has some free time before coming back to Idris.

He and Luke met back when Magnus was still in college. Similar to Catarina, they met in the hospital, where Magnus was constantly visiting his mother. Luke noticed how distressed he was, and offered help. Maybe it was only a few words of reassurance, but it was enough to make him feel a bit better. They kept in touch ever since. Magnus witnessed how Luke started forming Idris, and was there for him, when his wife, Jocelyn passed away.

He doesn’t wait long, till he sees the man showing up at the door. He gives a little wave, and then Magnus notices, that his not alone. Clary follows right behind him.

“Hi,” Luke says as he sits down in a chair in front of Magnus, Clary settling on his right. “I hope you don’t mind I brought Clary, we had some father-daughter bonding time.”

“No, of course not.” Magnus assures with a smile. “I just hope I haven’t interrupted any of your plans.”

“No, no worries.” Luke guarantees with a dismissive wave of hand.

As much as Luke claimed Clary as his daughter, he’s not her biological father. She’s Jocelyn’s daughter, but her father, Valentine has been in prison for more than twenty years now. She basically haven’t known him, but he wasn’t one of the bests. He was involved in some shady business, Magnus doesn’t know the details, but it clearly didn’t end up well for him.

So Clary has only ever known Luke as her father. These two were always close, but after Jocelyn’s death over two years ago, they seemed to become even closer. Clary is a regular in Idris. She studies art, and every Tuesday comes to the nursing home, to conduct an art lesson with the seniors. Her best friend Simon is also involved, but he prefers working with children. Idris offers various volunteering programmes. Luke and Clary always promote their organization among their friends, and it’s still gaining new members.

“How are you doing?” Magnus asks both Clary and Luke, as they all finish with ordering their drinks.

“Good,” Luke replies, looking at his daughter to which she nods. “a lot of work in Idris, but it’s fine. Better to have some work filling in the paperwork for new volunteers than lacking them.” He states with a smile and Magnus reciprocates. “What about you? How’s work?”

“Work’s pretty well. The usual.” He states with a shrug. “Raphael keeps talking about collaborating with some another large cosmetics company, but he’s been saying this for the past six months, so I’m not sure if I should believe him.” They all chuckle briefly, and then Magnus turns to Clary. “How’s Simon?”

“Great.” She replies. “Busy with his girlfriend today.” She smirks.

Magnus got to know Simon quite well, but still hadn’t had the pleasure of meeting his lovely girlfriend, but from what Clary’s told him, they’re good together, they make each other happy, and that’s all that matters.

“I really hope to meet her soon.” Magnus says, and Clary nods enthusiastically.

“Yeah, we should organize something soon.” She agrees and smiles.

And so the small talk goes on. They enjoy their drinks, talk about daily life and the future of Idris and a possible collaboration of Alicante with some other firm. It’s nice, and Magnus lets himself forget about everything else, just living the moment. Not worrying of what he needs to do, or what he should do.

 

Wednesday comes sooner than he expected, and he finds himself rushing into the hospital in the morning. As he gets there, he waves at Catarina and makes his way to some patients rooms.

He helps some elderly lady bride her hair, quickly goes shopping for another patient, and decides to go check on the children. For a moment he totally forgets about Alec’s brother, but as soon as he enters the room, and sees him, he can’t deny the resemblance now. They have the same eyes, and there’s something about their facial features. The other kids in the room are still asleep so he makes his way to the boy and he smiles when he notices him.

“Hi,” Magnus greets softly. “how are you doing today?”

“In a mood to kick someone’s butt in Mario Kart.” Max smiles and Magnus’ grin widens.

“Well, my butt’s ready. But I won’t go easy on you this time.”

Max laughs as he gets up from the bed and they make their way to the TV room, to play some games. The boy kicks his ass again, and Magnus was really trying hard this time. As he loses another round, he drops the controller on the floor and just shakes his head.

“Have you been practicing? I swear to God, you’re better with every round…”

“Practice makes perfect.” Max grins at him, as he hands him back the controller, and Magnus ruffles his hair.

At that, suddenly Alec emerges into the room.

“Max, I was-“ He starts, but then spots Magnus sitting on the floor with his brother and his surprised expression quickly turns into a smiles. “Hi.”

“Hi.” Magnus offers a little wave, and Alec’s smile widens.

Magnus didn’t really know how much he missed him, until he saw him now. And again, they just stare at each other, for God knows how long, till Max clears him throat, and Alec shakes his head lightly, turning his attention back to his brother, but Magnus swears he can see this cute blush making its way to Alec’s cheeks.

“You two know each other?” Max gestures with his hand between the two men, and his brother nods.

“Yeah, we do.” He just answers simply, and Max eyes him curiously.

Magnus takes it that Alec hasn’t told his brother about their deal, but it’s not his thing to reveal so he gets up from the floor, and turns to Max.

“Till next week, I’ll practice myself, so be wary of the next round.” The boy grins at him and they high five.

As Magnus turns to leave the room, he briefly whispers to Alec.

“I’ll wait outside.”

Alec nods and gives him a genuine smile, as he goes to sit down next to his brother on the floor.

Magnus leaves the room with a smile on his face, which of course doesn’t escape Cat’s notice.

“Saw your boy coming in.” She states when Magnus gets to lean on the counter in front of her.

“He’s not mine.” He says, but the smile is still plastered on his face.

Catarina rests her elbows on the counter too, and she leans in, adding in a lower voice.

“So, Ragnor still didn’t spill anything?” She ask, curiosity in her eyes.

“No.” Magnus whines. “He kept talking about the confidentiality rules and shit.”

“Well, but you seem to be doing a good job in getting to know him.” She continues with a grin.

“Yeah,” Magnus admits. “It’s quite nice.”

Catarina is still wearing this knowing smile, as she straightens from the counter and gestures with her head lightly forward, so Magnus turns to see Alec emerging from the room.

“Hi,” Alec repeats as he reaches him and sighs. “I’m sorry that you needed to wait-“

“Alexander, don’t worry. I had a great company.” Magnus assures swiftly. “This is my friend, Catarina.“

“Hi,” Alec extends his hand with a smile. “it’s nice to meet you.”

“Pleasure is mine.” Cat states as they shake hands. “I see you around quite often, I saw you with Max, so I assume you’re the big brother he keeps talking about?” She asks, and Alec blushes slightly.

“I guess that’s me.” He states simply. 

“You just look alike.” Catarina smiles at him softly and Alec reciprocates.

“Okay, shall we?” Magnus gestures with his hand down the hallway as the conversation dies down, and Alec chuckles as he starts walking in a pointed direction. Magnus throws Cat one last smile, and she gives him her thumbs up, then he follows Alec back to his car.

 

“So you made friends at the hospital, during your time as a volunteer?” Alec questions as they get settled into the car.

“Yeah, a few.” Magnus answers and Alec simply nods.

They exchange their usual small talk when they get settled in the car. Magnus tells him about the new formula for skin care, that they are trying to acquire back in Alicante. Alec rumbles about his upcoming exams, and then a comfortable silence falls between them again. Which Alec decides to break soon.

“So I mhm,” He starts and clears his throat. “I met with my parents.”

Magnus nods in acknowledgement. He didn’t want to bring it up, since he wasn’t sure if Alec wanted to talk about it, but if he’s starting the topic himself, that means he wants to share, so Magnus lets him.

“How did it go?” He prompts.

“Partly, you were right.” He states and Magnus looks at him briefly. “You said that maybe they want to make things better. My sister said the same, and also my best friend. And at some point it turned out to be true. At least I think so.”

“Did… something happen or…” Magnus trials off, waiting for Alec to elaborate.

“My mom actually talked to me.” He laughs sadly. “She showed interest in my life, which she hasn’t done for the last two years. I guess it’s a progress.”

Magnus nods again, but focuses his eyes back on the road, as Alec continues to speak.

“My father was basically the same as always.” He shrugs. “Which was expected.”

Magnus doesn’t asks what Alec means as ‘same as always’, he’s pretty sure it doesn’t mean tender behaviour towards him.

“So, what are you going to do next?” Magnus questions since Alec’s hasn’t said anything for a while. “Are you going to continue seeing them? Or at least your mother?”

“Yeah, I think I’d like that.” Alec states. “To see if she has something more to say.”

They stop at a red light, so Magnus turns to look at him, and smiles.

“And also, I wanted to thank you.” Alec carries on, now meeting his gaze.

It always fascinated him, how Alec is eager to maintain eye contact. How he isn’t scared of it. Eyes say a lot about a person, if you can read them correctly. He wonders if Alec does, and if so, what does he see in his eyes…

“For what?” Magnus speaks, but he’s still smiling.

“For your advice.” Alec says, his hazel eyes still focused on Magnus’. “You know, about going to see them. So thank you.”

He smiles that genuine smile again, and Magnus’ own widens.

“You’re welcome.” He answers simply.

“So what about you?” Alec questions a bit later when they’re driving again. “Do you have any siblings?”

“Nope.” Magnus shakes his head. “An only child.”

Alec nods, but he looks like he wants to say something more. Magnus can see the struggle in his eyes, so he decides to make it easier for him.

“Alexander, whatever it is, just asks.” He says. “If I don’t like it, then I just won’t answer.” He resorts simply, because he feels like he owes it to Alec, after all the questions he asked, and Alec always answered. He’s scared of what he will ask, but he knows he needs to be fair to him. He wants to open up, but it’s just not so simple.

“I don’t want to make you uncomfortable, so you really don’t need to answer. I won’t be mad or anything.” Alec says, and Magnus flashes him a smile.

“Ask away.” He throws simply.

“So, you know I always talk about my siblings and stuff,” Alec starts. “but we never really talk about your family. We don’t need to, if you don’t want to… but I was just wondering about it, you know…”

This isn’t really a question, so Magnus is not sure how to answer, is not sure if he wants to answer, because talking about his parents, especially his mother, still comes hard to him. But he figures out, that by not actually asking a question, Alec gives him a chance to speak whatever he wants, or to refuse to speak at all.

“I was born in Indonesia.” He starts and Alec looks a bit surprised, probably more at that, that he decided to speak.

“Really?” He questions and Magnus nods. “So, when did you moved here?”

“I came here for the last year of high school, with my mom. Then stayed for college to study chemistry.” Magnus begins. “That was what I wanted to do, and I quite couldn’t back at home.”

Alec nods and none of them speaks for a while, until he starts again, a bit nervous.

“So, is your family still back there or…”

Magnus exhales heavily, and Alec quickly carries on.

“You don’t need to answer, God I’m sorry, I didn’t want to-, you don’t need to feel like you owe me anything, because I speak a lot about my family-“

“No, it’s fine.” Magnus quickly interrupts. It takes a lot of courage to talk about this, but some part of him, a little one, deep down is building up to trust Alec, and it might be the first step to make it bigger. “My parents are not back there. In fact, I have no idea where my father is, and my mother…” He takes another deep breath. “she’s dead.”

Alec doesn’t speak for a while again, but Magnus can see that he’s searching for the right words.

“I’m sorry, Magnus.” He says, and as he puts his palm on Magnus’ thigh in a reassuring gesture, that actually brings a bit of comfort. “Really, I’m sorry I brought it up. It must be hard for you-“

“It’s fine.” Magnus repeats. “It was quite some time ago, but yes, it’s still hard sometimes.”

Alec nods, his palm still resting on his thigh, and he starts to rub it soothingly, as if not actually acknowledging him doing that. When he does, he pulls back and runs a nervous hand through his hair.

“Yeah, I…” He tries again. “I’m sorry. But you can always talk to me. When it gets hard or something. I know you have other friends, who you see much more often, but… I’m here too, just in case.”

Magnus turns to him as they reach the driveway of the university again, and smiles. Somehow, he knows he can count on Alec. That if he wanted to, he could talk to him about anything. Maybe one day he will.

But the fear is still here. That Alec might use it all against him one day. It scares him, but not so much not to try. He wants to try.

“Thank you, Alexander.” He just says. “I’ll remember about that.”

“Yeah,” Alec smiles at him. “So, I’m just gonna…” He gestures at the door and Magnus nods, as he climbs out of the car. “Thanks for the ride. And have a great day at work.”

“Have a good time in your classes.” Magnus smiles back and waves him goodbye, already waiting for next week, to see him again, as he disappears in the building.

 

Magnus growls he enters the lab in Alicante’s building. Dot nearly jumps from her chair as she hears his voice, and he throws her an apologetic look, before sitting down next to her.

“What happened?” She asks, when Magnus lays hi head on the table. “It’s Wednesday today. This is not how you act on Wednesdays.” She states, and they both know the reason behind it. “Did something happen with Alec?”

It causes Magnus to let out another groan.

“Why does he need to be so perfect?” He says as Dot runs her hand down his back.

He tells her briefly about their conversation. Dot doesn’t interrupt, just waits until he’s finished to ask questions.

“Okay, so what’s exactly stopping you from asking him out?”

“I…” Magnus begins. “don’t know.”

Dot sighs and her hand returns to his back.

“Magnus, if you’re scared that he’ll turn out to be Camille… I’m sorry, but you won’t find out if you don’t try. And you’re smarter now, you’ve grown, you’ll notice the symptoms and back off immediately then. I believe you will. You’re stronger.”

Magnus turns to her and sees her smiling softly.

“So, you say I should go for it?” He asks.

“Yes, basically.” She resorts simply. “And if it’ll go wrong, we’re all here for you. If it doesn’t… we’ll then we’re also here for you.”

They both laugh briefly and then Magnus nods firmly.

“Okay, you’re right.” He lets out a long exhale. “I will try.”

Dot beams at him as she moves to hug him.

He hopes he won’t regret this decision.

Chapter Text

Their exchanged phone numbers, in case of emergencies, turn out to have a total different purpose.

It starts one morning when Magnus sends him a picture of what probably is his counter at work in the lab. It’s covered in various samples and some potions Alec has no idea what are called. The caption under the photo say:

Message received: Magnus

Should have chosen law…

Alec laughs as he taps his reply:

Message sent: Magnus

Trust me, you wouldn’t like it.

He chuckles to his phone, as he makes his way to the kitchen, pulling out a carton of orange juice from the fridge, waiting for a reply.

Message received: Magnus

I look forward to you telling me more about it. Then I’ll decide. It’s never too late to change a career path…

Alec smiles again as he shakes his head lightly.

Message sent: Magnus

I don’t think we should choose my law studies as our conversation topic. I’d just bore you…

The reply comes almost instantly.

Message received: Magnus

I don’t think talking to you could ever get boring, Alexander ;)

Alec’s grin widens as he reads the text again, and he leans against the counter, not sure how to reply, but before he gets, to his sister’s voice reaches him.

“What are you smiling about?” She asks, letting her own smile paint her lips, as she joins him in the kitchen.

“Nothing…” Alec blushes as he hides his phone back in his pocket, but Isabelle just eyes him curiously. He knows she won’t let go, so he tries to figure something out. “Lydia sent me a… cat video.”

Izzy just throws him a resigned glare.

“Alec, you don’t find this kind of stuff funny.”

“What?” Alec exclaims offended. “Everyone finds cat videos funny!”

“Okay,” Isabelle agrees. “But that wasn’t a funny smile.” She states.

“Okay, so what kind of a smile was it?” Alec questions and Izzy actually doesn’t answer immediately, needing to think of an answer for a little while.

“I don’t know.” It’s what she comes up with. “And that’s what I’m curious about.”

Her sight lingers on him, and Alec pulls away from the counter, trying to quickly make his escape.

“So, let me know when you figure it out.” He starts to walk faster, trying to back out of the kitchen as soon as possible, but Isabelle easily catches up, and grabs his forearm.

“Wait, wait, wait.” She tugs at his sleeve until he turns to face her. “I think we need to talk, big brother.”

“I can’t, Izzy.” He answers, but she gives no intention of letting his arm go. “I’ll be late for the bus-“

“Alec, your bus doesn’t leave in another half of an hour.” She states simply and leads him back to the living room area, so they sit on the couch together.

Curse Isabelle for knowing his schedule.

“Okay, so what’s up?” She asks, when they’re settled. Jace is already at work, so it’s only them in their apartment now.

“Nothing’s up.” Alec says simply. “I means everything is great, you know just the usual…”

Izzy looks at him cautiously again, and Alec just lets out a longs exhale, knowing that she doesn’t buy it. She doesn’t say anything, but he knows she waits for him to talk.

He managed to hide his deal with Magnus for two month. It’s surprising good anyway.

“Okay,” He starts, and Isabelle’s lips form into a small smile. “something is up.”

“What is it?” She questions gently.

He takes another deep breath as he starts explaining.

“Remember when Jace messed up, and I got a ride to the university by this guy, Magnus.” He says, and Izzy probably feels what’s going on, letting her smile grow a little bigger, but she just nods, and lets him continue. “So, he’s been driving me to school ever since.”

“What?!” Isabelle exclaims.

“And I think I have this big crush on him.”

“Okay, hold on.” Isabelle shakes her head as if trying to assimilate these information. Her face is still scrunched up in shock. “So, how long has it been going on?”

“For about two months…” Alec says in a lower voice.

“What?! And you haven’t told me anything!” She raises her voice.

“I didn’t-, I mean it was nothing… I, I thought it would just pass, but now, I find myself waiting for this stupid Wednesday morning to come just to see him and… I don’t really know what to do.”

“Okay, so it was he, who was texting you today. It was Magnus?”

Alec nods.

“Yeah, and I like him.” He admits. “Like very much. But I’m not sure if he likes me back in that way.” He sighs and leans on the back of the couch. “I haven’t told you, because I knew somehow Jace would find out, and you know how he would get…”

Isabelle nods, and rests her hand on Alec’s thigh.

“I get it.” She resorts. “I won’t tell him. For now, at least, but Alec, are you sure that he… that he might be, you know, good for you?”

“I know it, Izzy.” Alec starts. “He has a kind heart. Actually, he's a volunteer at the hospital, he knows Max, they often play video games. We got to know each other a bit. But even if he turns out different… I want to try.”

Isabelle smiles at him gently.

“So go for it.”

Alec snorts.

“You say it like it was so simple.”

“Well, it is.” She shrugs. “Just ask him out, if he’ll agree then great, if not, then he’s an idiot.”

They laugh briefly, but then she continues.

“It’s been long enough after Raj, Alec.” She begins. “You know I’m worried, we all are, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. From what you’re saying he seems like a decent guy. I just don’t want you to get hurt again, but you can’t keep shutting everyone out. You just need to be careful.”

“I know.” Alec agrees.

“You know, that whatever it is, you can always talk to us. So if anything goes wrong, we’re here.”

Alec nods and then Isabelle pull him into a hug.

“So,” She picks back up again, after they part from each other. “Tell more about him.”

 

So Isabelle joins the inner circle of knowing about him and Magnus. She’s not surprised to hear that Lydia knows, but she gets quite taken aback when she finds out Max also is aware of that. Alec wouldn’t actually tell his baby brother if he didn’t make an idiot out of himself last week, when he found Max and Magnus together in the TV room, and he just couldn’t stop staring at him. Well, it was mutual, so of course Max noticed. And Alec was never able to lie to him, or hide anything from him for long, so he told him what’s been going on.

He and Magnus texted for quite some time during the rest of the week. Alec seriously thinks of asking him out, but he doesn’t want to do it via text, so he decides to do it next Wednesday.

And for the first time Wednesday comes to soon for his liking.

He’s nervous. He put more effort into his outfit today. It’s still cold, so he dresses in black jeans, dark blue button up shirt, and a longer coat, that Isabelle gave him for Christmas last year. His sister seems to notice the work put into his clothing today, as he fixes his hair in the hallway mirror, but she doesn’t say anything. Probably because Jace is still here, and she promises not to tell him yet. She just throws him a wink over her shoulder as she heads in the direction of her bedroom.

“You can take the car today.” Jace says casually as Alec is ready to leave their apartment. “There are some meetings at work, and I don’t need to be there till almost 11am.”

Alec’s mouth just hangs open before he gets to come up with some reply. Of course of all days it needed to be Wednesday, that Jace suddenly has no work.

“Thanks.” Alec starts as he gathers up his stuff, throwing his backpack over his shoulder. “But I’m… I feel like taking the bus today.”

“What?” Jace questions surprised. “You hate driving by bus.”

“Well, things change, I actually grew to kind of enjoy it.”

“Yeah, sure.” His brother eyes him carefully. “So, you’re not taking the car?”

“No,” Alec shakes his head. “All yours. I gotta go now.”

He quickly heads through the front door, but catches Jace still staring after him.

That was close. He knows he’ll need to tell him sooner, or later.

But just not today.

 

Max of course has the same perceptive eye as Isabelle, so he immediately notices that his big brother changed something about his appearance. As Alec gets settled in the chair next to his bed, he can’t really stand the quizzical gaze, so he asks.

“What?”

“Nothing.” Max answers. “You look handsome today.”

“Thanks.” Alec replies, not really meeting his eyes.

“You got all dressed up for Magnus, right?” His brother questions with a grin.

“Keep quiet, Max, he might already be here.” Alec silences him, and can’t hide the blush creeping on his face.

“So, planning to ask him out today?” Max wiggles his eyebrows.

“God, stop.” Alec whines, but then actually answers his question, with a little smile. “Maybe.”

“You should go for it.” Max adds, his words lacking the teasing note now. “He really is a great guy.”

Alec looks up and him, and they share a smile. With that kind of pep talk, he’s sure he can do this.

But it’s still scary tho. Because if Magnus refuses, then Alec will practically ruin everything. If he read it all wrong… he’s not good at this. He had only one boyfriend, who turned out to be a dick, so his relationship experience is definitely lacking.

“Okay, enough talking about my love life.” Alec states. “Let’s go play so Mario Kart.”

“I already played with Magnus.” Max states with a smirk, and Alec can’t help his smile from widening a bit.

“You’re gonna switch me for him soon, aren’t you?” He asks, but there’s no heat behind it. if Magnus will become someone closer to Alec, then he’s glad he and his brother would get along. Same with Izzy, he’s sure she’d like Magnus. The tricky part is Jace, but he’ll worry about it later, if all works out.

“Never.” Max answers with honesty in his voice. “You’re the best brother I could have. Magnus is awesome, but he’d never be you.”

Alec reaches out to ruffle his hair, and for a moment they just grin at each other, till Alec looks at the clock on the wall and realises, he should keep going. Max’s sight follows his movement and then he speaks.

“Go, get your man.”

Alec just rolls his eyes, as he feels the corners of his lips quirking up.

 

Every time Alec gets into Magnus’ car, he’s reminded of the conversation they had here the last time. He really thought he messed up then. He shouldn’t have asked about Magnus’ family, but he didn’t know it was such a fragile subject. He should have figured this out, because Magnus just never brought it up, and he had a lot of chances. But Alec was just curious, and he really hopes Magnus didn’t mind. By his reaction later, Alec’s pretty sure he didn’t.

As Magnus is half-way through telling him some story about when he, Raphael and Dot went to Peru for vacation, but they’re almost at the destination of their drive, and Alec feels, that he if won’t get it out now, he’ll lose his chance.

And he’s not sure if he’ll survive waiting another week.

“Are you okay?” Suddenly Magnus’ voice sounds, as he turns to look at Alec, their eyes meeting.

“Me? Yeah, fine.” Alec quickly shakes off his thoughts.

“You weren’t really listening, were you?” Magnus questions, but his tone doesn’t say that he's mad. It’s soft, and concerned.

“No, I…” Alec starts, but there’s no point in lying, so he just shakes his head lightly. “I wasn’t, I’m sorry.”

“Hey, don’t worry.” Magnus assures simply. “But I get a feeling that something is on your mind. Wanna share?”

Alec chuckles briefly, but nods. He lets out a long exhale before beginning.

“Look, Magnus.” They stop at a red light, and Alec is not pleased, because that means Magnus turns to look at him again. And it’s not helping to form his words. “We’ve been… I mean, you know-“

“Alexander,” Magnus starts gently, putting his hand on his thigh. “Calm down, it’s fine. You can tell me anything.”

He must have noticed Alec’s trembling hands, as he sooths them down his thighs. He just smiles at him encouragingly and nods, letting him know to continue.

Alec takes a few deep breaths again, and tries to continue.

“We’ve been doing this quite a while…” He starts again. “And you’ve never, ever wanted anything from me in return.” Magnus opens his mouth to interrupt, but Alec gestures him with his hand to just let him continue, so he does. “And I feel like I should repay you somehow, so…” He breaths out again. “What would you say about dinner? Maybe on Friday?”

Magnus’ eyes widen and his mouth hangs open for a few seconds. Alec bites his bottom lip, anticipating his answer, and then some car behind them honks, since the light is already green, and they’re still just seating and staring at each other. Magnus quickly focuses back on the road, but instead of going straight, like they’re supposed to, he just drives a few more meters, and pulls over, stops, and turns to face Alec again.

“Alexander,” Alec is pretty sure his heart has never beaten so fast. It’s so loud that Magnus can probably hear it. And he waits, and just waits, slowly regretting asking this question, but then a smile is creeping onto Magnus’ face, as he looks back at him, and all of Alec’s worries disappear. “I’d like that, very much.”

Alec releases a breath, he didn’t even knew he was holding, and lets his own smile paint his face. And they just sit, grinning at each other like idiots, but none of them seems to mind.

“Great,” Alec states after a minute. “So, Friday?”

“Yeah,” Magnus’ smile extends. “Works for me. I can come pick you up-“

“No,” Alec shakes his head with a laugh. “this time, I’ll be doing the driving.”

Magnus laughs briefly, as he turns his attention back to the road, and then they’re back on track again.

“As you wish.” He says, the smile never leaving his face.

“Does 6 sounds okay?” Alec asks, to which Magnus nods.

“Sounds perfect.”

They’re basically reaching the driveway to the university, so Magnus turns to him again, and Alec smiles as he speaks.

“I’ll see you on Friday then.”

“Can’t wait.”

His smile only grows bigger as he leaves the car.

 

Alec marches into the class, still dazed because how the hell did this happened? He has a date, with an amazing man, he agreed to go out with him. Him of all people.

He sits down at his usual place, and replays their conversation in his head. He has two days to figure something out. To come up with a wonderful date. Hopefully first of many.

“Alec, are you okay?” Abruptly Lydia appears in front of him, eyeing him up and down with a serious expression, as he still can’t shake off of what just happened.

“He agreed.” Alec just says to which Lydia looks even more confused.

“What are you talking about? Who?”

“I asked him out and he agreed.” He adds, and his eyes snap back to Lydia’s to see the exact moment when she understands.

“Oh my God! This is so amazing Alec!” She moves swiftly to throw her arms around Alec, and hug him tightly, not really restraining from showing her excitement. She keeps squeezing him, and when he finally comes back to his senses, he hugs her back.

“Okay, when is it?” Lydia questions when they part. “The date, I mean.”

“Friday.” Alec states and smile again.

“All right.” Lydia pulls out her phone, and starts typing something. “Then we better look for the best restaurants in New York.” She grins at him.

And if they don’t pay attention to the whole lecture, searching online for some of the best and affordable restaurants, no one can blame them.

 

Friday comes sooner than expected. Alec was busy with both studying and writing articles. He and Magnus texted a bit, and they decided that Alec will pick him up, and then they’ll drive to the restaurant that he had chosen. It’ll be a surprise. Magnus agreed and without hesitation sent him his address.

And now he finds himself in front of the hallway mirror again, with Isabelle trying to help him fix his hair.

“Stop fidgeting.” She scouts, as she runs her hand through his locks again. “I don’t think we can make it any better, but messy is your style so…” She combs his hair again and then states. “There, you look perfect.”

Alec turns to face the mirror and can’t help but agree. He does look good. The restaurant isn’t anything fancy, since it’s not kinda his thing, and he’s doesn’t feel the urge to impress Magnus with his money, which he couldn’t even do, since he’s not rich like his parents. He chose something simple, but with a great vibe. He and Lydia spend quite some time at finding the perfect location, but in the end, he’s happy with the choice.

He’s wearing a simple black shirt, paired with his favourite black jeans and the long coat. Isabelle popped two buttons of his shirt open, because apparently it looks better and more relaxed. And he can’t fight with his sister’s advices.

“You’re lucky Jace is out with some girl tonight.” Izzy resorts as he sooths the front of Alec’s coat. “I wonder how you would explain it to him.”

“If the date goes well, I’ll tell him, Iz.” Alec resorts and his sister smiles at him.

“No pressure.” She says and steps back to evaluate Alec’s look, and she nods to herself.

“I’m nervous.” Alec admits and Izzy comes closer again.

“You have a right to be.” She responds and takes his hand to give it an encouraging squeeze. “It’s a big deal for you. But I’m sure it’s gonna be fine. Try not to worry too much.”

“Easy for you to say.” He lets out a shaky exhale. “Were you that nervous before your first date with Simon?”

“No.” Izzy answers simply, shaking her head a little. “But that was totally different. He asked me out, and he’s, you know, Simon.”

Alec laughs briefly and his sister joins in.

“My point being,” She continues after a moment, way more serious now. “That it’s okay to be nervous. You want this to work. But try to let go a little, and just enjoy yourself tonight, okay?”

Alec nods and Isabelle leans in to kiss him on the cheek.

“Good luck,” She says as he heads to the door. “love you.”

“Love you too.”

He hopes Magnus’ company will relax him, because right now he’s kind of a mess.

 

Getting to Magnus’ place doesn’t take as long as he presumed, so he sits in a car for a few minutes, before heading to the apartment building and pressing the button next to his name. He doesn’t even need to say anything, as he gets let in immediately.

He climbs up the stairs and gently knocks on the door, trying to prevent his hands from shaking. It doesn’t help, but he hasn’t got too much time to think, then the door burst open.

“Alexander,” Magnus smiles as he opens the door wider and gestures him in. “Come in.”

“Hi.” Alec greets as he gets into the apartment.

The first thing that hits Alec is that this place is huge, comparing to his flat. He hasn’t seen that much of an open space in long. The design of the whole place is fancy, but not too fancy. There are a few paintings on the walls and an impressive bookcase they pass by, while Magnus leads him into the living room.

“You have a nice home.” Alec turns to Magnus again, looking around, taking in the whole place.

“Thank you.” Magnus smiles. “I’ll be ready in just a minute. In the meantime, make yourself at home.” He gestures for Alec to seat down on the couch. “I’d offer you a drink, but I suppose you’re driving today. Maybe you’d like something else-“

“No, I’m good.” Alec reciprocates his smile, and then Magnus heads back in direction that Alec assumes is his bedroom.

He looks around again. It is indeed a nice home. There are huge balcony doors on Alec’s left, and he’s pretty sure the view needs to be amazing, since the apartment is located in Brooklyn, which is a lovely district. He wonders if he’ll get to see it one day…

“Okay, I’m ready to go.” Magnus emerges from his bedroom and buttons up his jacket, while Alec just stares at him again, actually taking him in for the first time tonight.

He’s wearing tight black pants with some chains hanging loosely around his waist. His shirt is dark green, paired with a black waistcoat, and he’s just put on a long navy blue coat. His eyes are underlined with some black eyeliner, and there a few rings are adoring his fingers, that are painted a dark blue colour.

“Ready?” He questions and Alec snaps out of his daze.

“Yes, sure.” He smiles at him.

“Great.”

He follows Magnus as they leave his apartment, and realises that it’ll be really hard to keep concentrated tonight.

 

It feels weird to have Magnus in a passenger seat of his own car, after two months of being a passenger in his car. It’s new and exciting, in a good way.

“So, will you tell me now where we’re going?” Magnus turns to his as he starts the car and turns the heating on.

“There's this nice Mexican place in Soho.” Alec announces. “So I hope you like Mexican cuisine.”

“I’ve been craving enchiladas for a week now, so you’ve definitely hit the jackpot.” Magnus states and Alec feels relief pooling in his chest.

It’s going good, for now.

He swiftly backs out of the parking lot, and heads in the direction of the restaurant.

“Your car is nice.” Magnus says after a while. “I get why your brother fancies it some much.”

They laugh briefly and it just feel amazing, how relaxed the atmosphere is. Alec feels a bit of tension leave his body. It’s just he and Magnus, in a car, like always. The only exception is that Alec is the driver now.

“You’re car’s much better.” Alec resorts, eyes focused back on the road.

“Oh, I get it now.” Magnus starts in a teasing tone. “You’ve only accepted to my deal because of my car, since it’s nicer then yours!”

Alec laughs again as he just shrugs.

“Busted, I guess.”

He already knows he’ll never get tired of Magnus’ laugh. It’s soft, and sounds so pleasant in his ears. And somehow, being the cause of Magnus’ laugh makes him proud, makes him happy.

“You know what I just realised?” Alec asks a while later when the laughter dies down. Magnus quirks a quizzical eyebrow at him, so he continues. “That all the time we've been driving together, we’ve never listened to the radio.”

“Mhm, I guess it’s true.” Magnus agrees and hums. “But I just prefer to listen to you talk. It’s better than music.”

Alec doesn’t really know why, but he feels his cheeks getting red. Him talking, shouldn’t be even compared to any music. He misses his way with words all the time, thinks them through way too much, and rumbles about some unimportant stuff. But he knows it’s no use to argue with Magnus, so he just smiles.

Soon, they reach the destination. Quickly beating the distance from the car to the restaurant. Alec holds the door open for Magnus and he swiftly gets inside, Alec following right behind. They get seated at the table near the window, watching the busy streets of New York. The restaurant itself is cosy, and warm. It’s kept in a Mexican style. It’s colourful, but not too much. There’s a bar near the entrance, where a few people are seated, but the place isn’t too crowded. There’s not much of a noise, which is good, because you don’t need to shout to keep the conversation.

“It’s nice.” Magnus states, as he also looks around the place, appreciating the design.

“Yeah.” Alec exhales, but instead of admiring the view, his gaze lingers on Magnus.

A while later a waiter shows up. They order their food, and continue to talk.

“So, how did you come up with this place?” Magnus asks.

“Me and my friend, Lydia did some digging, and it’s seemed like a good choice. personally I love Mexican food, but I have never been here myself.” Magnus nods, and then Alec carries on. “So, what’s your favourite food?”

Magnus thinks for a little, before speaking.

“I don’t think I can choose one thing. Probably something back from home. There’s this kind of fried rice that my mom used to make for me. I haven’t actually had it in ages, but no matter how many other’s I tired here, none of them tasted like my mom’s.”

His tone turns dreamy and Alec finds himself getting drowned in his voice. He could listen to him talk for hours. So he’s glad when they continue. The talk is light, as always. Soon their food arrives and they both compliment the taste. When they’re done, they get back to talking. Magnus finishes his story about the vacation in Peru, which Alec interrupted earlier. And Alec tells him about the time Jace broke the living room table, for the first time.

“So he got pissed off, because this girl hasn’t called back, and when he called it turned out she’s already has a boyfriend. He needed to release some energy and the poor table didn’t make it.” Alec finishes and Magnus laughs again.

“Your brother has got quite the temper.” He resorts with a giggle and Alec nods.

“Yeah, but he’s a great guy. It’s good to let your emotions go lose. Sometimes it just gets too much.” He looks down as he says it, because he himself knows how it feels. He’s been there a lot of times. He wishes that back then he would just break things, instead of breaking himself, all over again.

Magnus clearly notices they change of the atmosphere when Alec still looks down, so he attempts for a change of subject, to which Alec is really glad.

“Have I told you already about my trip to London?” He prompts and Alec shakes his head. “Good, so you’re in for a treat.”

And as he starts recounting, Alec feels this weird sense of ease floating over him, all thanks to his voice.

 

None of them is really eager to leave. They stay and just talk for a few more hours, but when it’s really 11pm, they decide to call it a night. Alec pays, before arguing with Magnus that if he invited him, he should be the one to pay. After about ten minutes he finally agreed, saying that it’s on him the next time.

Alec really hopes the next time will be soon.

They get back to the car, and this time Alec actually turns the radio on, but turns the volume down, so it doesn’t interrupt their conversations. When none of them says anything for a few moments, Alec decides to break the silence.

“Why exactly did you propose me this deal?” He asks out of nowhere, and Magnus’ gaze turns back to him, looking slightly confused.

“I told you, because I wanted to spend some time with you.” He shrugs lightly.

“I know, but why?” Alec inquires.

“Because you’re interesting.” He says simply and Alec snorts. “What? It’s true.”

“I have no idea what you find interesting in me.” Alec starts. “I’m just a law student, nothing less nothing more. You’re the one who’s interesting here.”

“And why is that?” Magnus asks with laugh in his voce.

“Because you have this cool job, you visited places, actually have stories to tell, when all I can talk about is my family, since I have a boring life and nothing fun ever involves me.” He sighs. “God, I’m sorry. I’m such a mess.”

Magnus leans in a little bit closer, putting his own hand on Alec’s, that’s resting on the stick shift.

“But you’re a beautiful mess.”

Alec laughs, the blush reappearing on his cheeks. Magnus pulls back then, letting out a chuckle as he focuses him eyes back on the road in front of them.

“To be honest, I was surprised that you agreed.” Alec raises his brows at him. “Seriously.” Magnus continues. “You didn’t really strike as a risk taker.”

“Oh, and am I taking a risk with you?” Alec questions, his tone playful.

“You kinda did.” Magnus states. “We barely knew each other back then.”

Alec hums, but then dares to say something more.

“I did want to get to know you.” It’s Magnus’ turn to raise his eyebrows at him. “Yeah… you’re an interesting person too.”

“So you were secretly hoping, that this stranger would offer you a ride more often?” Magnus asks in a teasing tone, nudging him with his elbow and giggling lightly.

“No,” Alec starts. “well maybe… kind of… I don’t know. Maybe I just hoped we’d meet sometime in the hospital again. I wasn’t expecting that kind of offer, but… yeah it happened.”

Magnus just hums and there’s a few moments of silence before he speaks again.

“I’m glad it happened.”

“Yeah, me too.” Alec replies without hesitation.

 

When they reach Magnus’ apartment building, he’s not sure what to do. The evening has been perfect. Alec was kind of afraid of how they would act around each other for longer than twenty minutes weekly, but it turned out to be a delightful time.

“I had a great time tonight.” Magnus says when Alec stops the car. “Thank you, Alexander.”

“I had a great night too.” Alec answers and the silence falls between them again.

Magnus doesn’t actually move to leave the car, but he doesn’t really lean closer, or tries to indicate that he might want to kiss him. And Alec doesn’t too. Not because he doesn’t want it, he does want it, but because he isn’t sure if Magnus does.

God, this is confusing. He’s not good at confusing.

But then Magnus speaks.

“Do you want to come in?” He gestures lightly with his head to the building, but Alec freezes for a moment.

Deep down he knows Magnus doesn’t mean it in any bad way, not like that. That he wouldn’t just use Alec and play with him like this, but there’s also a part of him that knows what these words meant before, and he doesn’t won’t to find out if they could mean the same now. Those memories seem to start to come back in these kind of flashes and he shakes his hed, trying to supress them. No matter how much he’s attracted to Magnus, how he begins to trust him and care for him, he’s not ready for anything more. 

Magnus seems to notice the panic in Alec’s eyes, because he speaks almost immediately.

“God, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to... I swear-“ He says rapidly, but Alec quickly interrupts him.

“No, I know.” He exhales shakily. “I know I just,” It’s way too soon to tell him about Raj. Maybe one day… if Alec hasn’t just ruined everything now, and they’ll get to grow closer together. “I think I should go back home.”

“Alec, I’m sorry if-“

“No, it’s fine.” He turns to face him again, resting his palm on Magnus’ thigh, but not actually looking him in the eye. “It really is. I had an amazing night, and I hope we’ll get to do it again soon.”

Magnus smiles at him, but it doesn’t quite reach his eyes.

“I’d like that too.”

“Good.” Alec states and nods. “So I guess I’ll see you on Wednesday, right?”

“Yeah,” Magnus answers instantly. “Of course.” Now he moves to get out of the car, throwing one last smile in Alec’s direction.

“Goodnight, Magnus.” Alec says when he leaves the car.

“Goodnight, Alexander.”

Alec watches him until he disappears in the building, then letting out a long exhale and rubbing a hand through his face, before starting the car again.

He really hopes he hasn’t just messed up everything.

Chapter Text

The night has been perfect. It really was.

And he messed up.

The need to have Alec for himself for a little longer overtook him, and he really wanted a few minutes more. But he didn’t think his words through.

He didn’t think that Alec would interpreted them like this. He would never use him like this. He wouldn’t do that to anyone. If it was a simple no strings attached deal than yeah, but that’s not what he wants from Alec. It’s terrible to toy with someone like this and it’s totally not how he plays it. He hoped Alec would have figured that out.

And maybe he did. Because Magnus believes him when he said he knew. But he couldn’t just demand an explanation from Alec. Not when he saw the look of panic in his eyes. Not when he didn’t look him in the eyes. And Alec has always been maintaining eye contact. He knows him enough to know that if he plans to confess, he’ll do it fully, truly, not avoiding his gaze. But Magnus can’t help to try to come up with an explanation himself. Maybe Alec has been in this kind of situation before, and these words became some kinda trauma for him? Maybe someone used him like this… He wishes he could explain to Alec more, but he didn’t want to push. He thinks of calling him now, but it’s late and he needs to rest.

So he makes his way to the drink cart and pours himself a glass of whiskey.

So yes, the whole night was perfect.

Besides the ending.

Magnus did think of kissing him. He’d been thinking about this for the whole night. Staring at Alec’s lips when they were back in the restaurant. He wanted to do it. But what if Alec thought it was too fast?

He growls in frustration as he slumps down on the couch. It’s too confusing. That’s why he stopped doing relationships. Figuring out what the other person feels it the trickiest part. Allowing yourself to make a move is even worse, because you never know if the other person will approve it.

He thinks of calling Cat, or Dot, or even Ragnor, but it’s getting late. Catarina probably has a shift at the hospital, but he doesn’t want to disturb her anyway. And the rest deserves their beauty sleep.

So he drowns the rest of his glass in one go, before heading to bed.

But he knows he’ll need to talk to someone tomorrow. Before it kills him from the inside.

 

Catarina comes by on Saturday morning, probably right after her shift, since she slumps on the couch and gestures for Magnus to get her a drink. He does. And then he tells her everything.

“So, why exactly didn’t you kiss him?”

“What if he thought it’s too fast? And then I stupidly offered-“

“Magnus,” Cat interrupts. “you had no idea he would react like that. And you didn’t mean anything wrong. He knows it.”

“Yes, but what-“

“Look,” She sighs before speaking again, Magnus sits down on the couch next to her and she takes the hold of his hand. “I think I need to break something to you.” She exhales again. “You know that he probably sees Ragnor, regularly.” Magnus nods. He’s pretty sure of it. Besides he saw Alec leaving his office a few times before. “So if he’s seeing him,” Catarina continues. “then it means he probably had some issues in the past, or that he’s still having them now. I know his brother is sick, and that’s probably part of that, but judging by his reaction after your offer last night…” She pauses as if to search for the right words. “he might not be experienced in this kind of stuff. He’s young.”

Magnus nods slowly, because it all makes sense. He’s got a fair idea, that Alec’s childhood wasn’t all unicorns and rainbows, since something was wrong it the relation with his parents. But he didn’t really thought of how inexperienced Alec might be. True, he is young, but he’s just gorgeous. He could have anyone if he wanted to. They never really talked about their past relationships, and Magnus is glad they didn’t, because he doesn’t want to tell him about Camille. If he did, he would appear weak in his eyes, vulnerable, exposed. It’s not how he wants Alec to picture him.

“The question is,” Cat says after a moment. “are you willing to take him with everything he has? As he is? Even if it means he may be complicated.”

And is he?

He’s pretty sure he’s never met someone like Alec. Someone so caring, and kind, and wonderful. But is he willing to take complicated now? He wants simple. After Camille, he finally wants something simple. So is he willing to risk getting into something complex again?

“You have time to figure it out.” Cat states with a smile. “There’s no rush.”

“Yeah.” Magnus agrees.

But for the rest of their meeting he can’t quite pay his full attention to Cat. His thoughts keep wandering to Alec. He just can’t help it.

 

He’s thankful for Monday to come, since now he can get his mind occupied a bit. He shortly tells Dot about the date, to which she offers a few words of reassurance. Even Raphael notices something is off, and that Magnus isn’t fully focused, so he asks if he’s fine. Magnus dismisses him with a wave of his hand, but actually appreciates the concern.

And when Wednesday comes, he’s quite nervous to meet Alec again. Not because he hasn’t missed him. He did. But, because he’s afraid of saying something wrong again. And he still hasn’t answered himself the question Cat asked him. Is he willing to take him fully as he is?

He relaxes a bit, when Alec enters the car and just smiles at him. Magnus easily reciprocates and they start their weekly conversation like nothing has happened. But Magnus can’t quite take it, because something did happen between them. He’s not sure what, and he doesn’t know where they stand now. They had been on one date, and… nothing more for now.

Are you sure you want more?

“Look, Alec” Magnus starts after Alec finishes explaining something about his exam, that is coming up next week. He turns to him with a patient expression, waiting for Magnus to elaborate. “about Friday night-“

“Magnus I really had a great time.” Alec interrupts with a smile. God he wishes he could see this smile all the time. Alec has a few kinds of smiles. This one is soft, and true, so Magnus knows he’s honest.

“Me too.” Magnus smiles himself, but then turns more serious. “But at the end, you know-“

“Magnus, you-“ Alec sighs. “I’m sorry for how I reacted. I know what you meant but I just…”

Magnus sees the way Alec struggles to find the right words. And he doesn’t want that. He doesn’t want an explanation when Alec isn’t ready to give him one.

“We don’t need to talk about it.” He says quickly. “Really, I get it. Why you might have think that, I just didn’t think-“

“Magnus, it was a normal question. It was me who freaked out. Who messed up. You don’t need to apologize-“

“I just don’t want you to think that of me-“

“I don’t.” Alec states firmly. “I really don’t.”

And then again, there is this honest smiles, and somehow it decreases Magnus’ worries to that point, that he just needs to smile himself.

“I don’t think you messed up.” Magnus admits after a while, not taking his eyes away from the road. “You have your reasons, and you don’t have to tell me what they are. We only needed to explain, I’m glad we did.”

“You’re right.” Alec admits, and for a moment looks like he wants to say something more, but he doesn’t. And Magnus doesn’t push.

“So, if we both enjoyed Friday night, maybe we could repeat it sometime soon?” Magnus offers when they reach the university driveway.

“Yeah, that would be great.” Alec turns to him as he undoes his seatbelt and smiles again. Then he moves to get out of the car, and before Magnus really thinks, he grabs him by the forearm.

“Alec…”

Tell him, kiss him, do something so he knows you’re thinking about this seriously, that you’re ready to take him as he is, even if it means complicated.

Because he really wants too. He wants to try.

“Yeah?” Alec prompts, looking slightly confused, but not fighting the hold on his arm.

But Alec is vulnerable. He showed it back there, in the car, on Friday night, and Magnus can see it in his eyes when he talks about his brother or his parents.

And he can’t let himself make a mistake with him.

“Have fun at school.” He just says, letting go of his arm, and forcing on a smile.

Alec probably notices, but doesn’t say anything about it.

“Enjoy work.” He resorts with another smile, and then he’s out of the car.

When he disappears in the college building, Magnus bangs his head onto the stirring wheel and growls. Why can’t he just reach for what he wants. For this once?

 

Work is just terrible today, since he can’t focus. Dot tries to help as much as she can, but when he almost mixes glycolic acid and retinol she tells him to take a break, go for lunch and come back when he’s more conscious and sane.

He doesn’t even have the strength to argue.

Thankfully, Catarina has a break at the hospital the same time he does. So of course they meet.

The weather is actually really nice today, so after getting lunch, they decided to take a walk in the nearest park. Now they’re seated on a bench and Magnus finishes talking about his earlier conversation with Alec.

“So you’re good?” Cat inquires when he’s done.

“Yes.”

“Then, what’s wrong?”

“I want to try, Cat.” Magnus starts and she just listens patiently. “I’m willing to take him as he his, all past or present issues. I think he’s worth the effort, and I haven’t felt like that about anyone for a long, long time.”

“But you’re scared.” Catarina states as if reading his mind, and he nods.

“Because what if I,…” He sighs. “what if I’m reading something wrong, and he doesn’t want it?”

“Magnus,” Catarina begins firmly. “You won’t know if you don’t try.” Magnus shakes his head, but she continues regardless. “Look, we talked about this, about how he can be not so experienced.” Magnus nods. “So didn’t you think that he’s scared too? If he’s been hurt before, based on his reaction on Friday, he might have been, he’s afraid to reach for what he wants. And if you keep going like that, when both of you are scared to take the first step, you might lose each other before you even begin.”

Magnus hangs his head down and exhales long.

“So spear him the worry,” Catarina carries on. “make the first step. I’m sure he’ll appreciate that, and then you can finally start building something more, something serious.”

“You can’t be-“ Magnus tries, but Cat cuts him off, as she shakes his head.

“Don’t say I can’t be sure.” She starts. “It took me two minutes in the hospital to see that he’s head over heels for you. It’s the look in his eyes, when he looks at you. Similar to yours though.” She smirks as she leans back on the bench.

She’s right.

They’re something special for each other. There’s no doubt about it. And if he needs to be the one to take the risk for Alec, he’s willing to do this.

“You’re right.” Magnus vocalizes his thoughts. “I’m gonna do it. I’ll tell him and we’ll try.” He continues with determination.

“That’s the spirit.” Catarina states and claps him on the shoulder. “You can ask him out on your second day next week.”

“No,” Magnus states firmly. “next week is too far away.” He says as he pulls out his phone.

“What are you doing?” Cat asks curiously.

“I’m texting him to meet.”

Because he can’t let the new gained courage escape. He should have told him this morning in the car. He needs to tell him today.

Message sent: Alec

Hi, are you free today?

Alec probably has a break between lectures, because a reply comes almost immediately.

Message received: Alec

Sorry, classes till 7pm, my brain will probably go offline around 5.

Curse Alec and his need to be the great student he is.

“Damn it.” Magnus swears out loud, when he thinks of a reply.

Catarina looks over his shoulder, probably catching up on the messages.

“Ask him about tomorrow then.” She suggest.

“No, I need to do it today.”

He texts back a simple: okay, another time then, but he’s not backing out so fast. Then, he gets up from the bench and straightens his jacket, ready to say goodbye to Cat, as she does the same.

“What are you doing?” She asks, eyeing him with a stern expression.

“I’m going back to work.” Magnus states enthusiastically. “And then I have a handsome man to pick up from university at 7pm.”

Cat smirks back at him and as he gets another clap on the shoulder, he knows he can make it.

 

He’s not sure how he goes through all the work today. He stays longer, and decides to go straight to Alec when he’s finished. Dot doesn’t question his choice as she leaves at 4, only mumbles a quick good luck on her way out, since she’s smart enough to figure out that Magnus’ determined behaviour has something to do with Alec.

At exactly 6:57pm he leaves the car at the driveway, leans against it and waits.

It’s really quiet, and the university is basically empty, probably only Alec’s class left. Magnus fidgets nervously, before the clock finally announces 7pm, and some students start to float out of the building. He tries hard to spot Alec and finally, he sees him.

He’s walking towards Magnus, but not noticing him yet, since he’s engaged in some conversation with a blond girl on his right. Magnus straightens a bit, as the girl seems to notice him first as they make their way closer, then Alec’s gaze follows.

His eyes widen in surprise for a few seconds, but then a soft smile appears and he speak.

“Hi.” He greets simply, face still scrunched up in surprise, but that good kind. Magnus can’t help but smile back, as they continue to stare at each other.

“Hey.” He lets out a short exhale.

Then the girl next to Alec clears his throat, and Alec seem to snap out of his bemusement.

“Yeah, um, Magnus, this is my friend Lydia.” He gestures at the girl, and she smiles, offering a little wave. “Lydia, this is Magnus, the guy who I’ve been driving with for quite some time now.”

“Hi, it’s nice to meet you.” Magnus extends his hand and the girl, Lydia, gladly shakes it.

“The pleasure is all mine.” She states when they pull back.

There’s a few minutes of silence, when no one is quite eager to speak, until Lydia does again.

“So, I’m gonna go get a bus.” She points in a direction, which Magnus assumes is the bus station. “I see you’ve got a ride, Alec.” She smirks lightly, and Magnus resorts he might like her very much. Alec just rolls his eyes as she continues to walk past him. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”

“Yeah, bye Lydia.” Alec’s gaze follows after her for a moment.

She throws another glance at Magnus before disappearing down the street.

When Alec is sure he’s far away, he begins.

“Is everything okay?” He asks, truly concerned, and Magnus takes a deep breath to compose himself.

He’s been thinking about what to say, but somehow all of the speeches he prepared left his brain, and he comes out empty. He shakes his head a few times, before his eyes return to Alec’s again, and the younger man looks even more confused and worried

“What is it?” He prompts again as he crosses his arms tightly onto his chest.

“Alexander,” Magnus finally starts, deciding to just lay it all out. “I…it’s been a great time, since we met, and I really enjoy being your friend. In your company I just.. I know I can speak about everything I want, and” He chuckles lightly. “the twenty minutes we spend together is actually the best time of my week, and I just can’t help…” Alec smiles softly, but still looks confused, so Magnus sighs and continues. “I can’t help but want more.”

Alec’s eyes widen again, and his mouth hangs open, but he doesn’t say anything. Which gives Magnus another pretext to keep going.

“So if you want to,” He didn’t even realise he was stepping closer to Alec, but he’s at arm’s reach now, so Magnus steps even closer. And Alec doesn’t pull back. He still, looks at him. Gaze fixated at his eyes, and Magnus finds it quite overwhelming, but upholds the contact. “Maybe we could try…”

Alec still doesn’t give any reply, but Magnus hasn’t really asked any question.

“Tell me to pull back, and I will.” Magnus states, but instead lays his palm gently on Alec’s arm, and feels the pleasant shiver running down his skin. “Just tell me to stop and-“

“I don’t want you to stop.” Alec whispers into the limited space between them, and his sight falls briefly to Magnus’ lips, before returning to his eyes again.

If this isn’t enough of an invitation, then he doesn’t know what would be.

The palm that rested on Alec’s arm wanders to cup his face, and Magnus closes his eyes as he connects their lips together.

Alec’s lips are soft, moving gently against his, and it just feels right. It feels better than he expected, it’s light, and none of them tries to deepen it, but still it’s full of emotions. It’s a reassurance. Something he didn’t even know how much he was craving, until he finally got it. Alec’s places his hands on Magnus’ waist, as he moves his own to Alec’s neck, creasing the sides of it softly. He doesn’t know how long they stay like this, with their mouths still together, until Alec pulls back to take a breath. 

His eyes are still closed, but he smiles this amazing smile again, and Magnus just rests their foreheads together, chuckling briefly when Alec does.

“I should have done it back on Friday.” Magnus says as he his eyes meet Alec’s beautiful hazel ones. “Or this morning.”

“Then why didn’t you?” Alec asks, still smiling at him when Magnus strokes his neck.

“I wasn’t sure if you’d approve.” He replies. “I guess I was scared you wouldn’t.”

Alec’s smiles widen a bit, when he speaks again.

“It might sound funny, but that’s exact same reason why I didn’t kiss you on Friday.”

They both laugh again, the sound vibrating against their chest, since their pressed so close together.

“God, we’re such idiots.” Magnus resorts after a moment.  

“We are.” Alec agrees with another chuckle. “Or maybe we’re just careful? That’s good if we are though. It means we… that’s it’s serious. That we take this seriously. Us, I mean.”

“Yeah,” Magnus nods, because it is true. They care for one another, and are important for each other. They’re careful because they don’t want to get hurt. “You’re right.”

“I usually am.” Alec states teasingly with a grin. “Just a warning, for the future.”

Their future.

“I’ll keep that in mind.”

With that, he puts his palms on Alec’s cheeks and leans in to kiss him again. Short and sweet, but it makes them both grin at each other even wider.

“Come on,” Magnus starts as he intertwines their fingers together. “I’ll take you home. You’re probably exhausted.”

Alec just nods, not showing any resistance when Magnus tugs at his hand to lead them back to the car.

 

They both basically can’t stop smiling the whole way to Alec’s apartment. Even when Alec looks back at the road, the soft smile is still playing at the corner of his lips. Same with Magnus. But when they glace at each other, their grins only get wider again.

And Magnus just feels lighter. Like all of the worries and doubts about Alec are gone now. Because he wants him back. They want each other back. And that’s all that matters. They can work from that. Continue to get to know each other better, and now they’ll probably get more than twenty minutes weekly for that.

“So…” Alec starts and Magnus turns to him, as he stops the car at a red light. “We’re boyfriends, right?” He asks and scrunches his nose adorably, so Magnus can’t help, but answer with a laugh.

“Yes, Alexander. We definitely are boyfriends.”

“Okay.” Alec exhales slowly, but his smile fades a bit, as he bites his bottom lip to try to hide it, and again, he looks like he wants to say something, but doesn’t, so Magnus prompts.

“Is something wrong?”

“No!” Alec exclaims instantly. “No, everything is great, just…oh, turn right here.”

Magnus swiftly turns and waits for Alec to continue.

He’s never actually been to Alec’s apartment before, so the whole drive Alec keeps giving him directions. Magnus tries to memorise the road as neatly as he can, because he’s sure there will be more times when he’ll be driving Alec back, or picking him up. But it’s hard when Alec is being kinda distracting.

“So, what’s up?” Magnus asks again, when Alec doesn’t speak.

He gives him all the time he needs, and they basically reach the building, so Magnus stops, and turns to him, taking the hold of his hands.

“Come on, talk to me.”

“Okay, I…” Alec plays with their fingers, lacing and unlacing them. “Look,” He finally fixes his gaze back at Magnus’ eyes, as he continues. “I know you told me we can talk about everything, and I do appreciate that, but there’s… there just are some things that I’m not ready to talk about. Not just yet. I… I’m not exactly experienced at this, relationships, I mean. I’ve only had one boyfriend actually.” He chuckles hollowly before adding. “So I just… yeah, I don’t know if you-“

“Alexander,” Magnus squeezes his hands a bit tighter. “that’s totally fine. Relationships need trust. And trust takes time. And it’s okay. I want you as you are. With all the insecurities and doubts. We can work them out. At our own time.”

Alec smiles again and brings their joined hands to his lips, to kiss Magnus’ palm.

“Thank you.” He says then. “It’s really important to me… you are important to me.”

“As you are to me, Alexander.”

Alec blushes slightly again, and ducks his head, shaking it lightly, as if trying to see it this for sure isn’t a dream.

“So I…” He starts and clears his throat. “When will we see each other again?”

“Tomorrow?” Magnus asks hopefully.

“Works for me.” Alec answers with another smile.

“All right, so I’ll text you, okay?”

“Sure,” this time none of them hesitates to lean in and kiss each other softly. “so, till tomorrow.”

“Can’t wait.” Magnus says when Alec climbs out of the car, and gives him one last smile.

This whole thing feels like a dream and Magnus nearly pinches himself to make sure it’s real. He already can’t wait to see his boyfriend tomorrow.

 

When he gets home his phone is already buzzing with messages from Catarina, asking how it all went. As he starts to type a reply, he decides that it’s too difficult to put it into a message, so he calls her, and tells her everything. Of course, he’s met with a lot of I told you so, but mostly Cat is just happy for him. It’s a new start. It feels refreshing and he already can’t wait to see Alec again. He can still remember how Alec’s lips felt against his, how his hands hold onto his waist and how he smiled, with closed eyes after they pulled apart. He looked so content and just happy.

Magnus wants to continue to make him happy.

There’s still a lot to figure out between them, but for now, it’s good as it is.

He already gets to planning their date tomorrow. They already did dinner, so it should be something else now. Magnus thinks of a picnic is Central Park, but it’s still a bit too cold for that. He knows Alec enough, to know that he’s not a fan of fancy restaurants, so that’s out too. He considers just inviting him over, so they can watch some movie or something, but is also not sure if it’s a good idea. He still remember his reaction from Friday, and even though they explained it to each other, he still doesn’t want to be too forward.

So he settles on a walk. They will stroll down some allies, maybe get drinks later, and just see where it goes. There’s no point in overthinking it. They should see where the night leads and not rush anything.

 

The next day he texts Alec and they establish to meet at 5pm, since Alec’s at the university till 4, and if Magnus actually makes it to work at 8am, he can leave around 4 too. They’ll meet at Riverside Park and start their stroll from there.

Of course as soon as he gets to the lab, Dot notices how cheerful he is, and he recounts the story from yesterday again. They manage to go through all of the assignments quickly, and he gets to leave a few minutes after 4pm, so he makes his way to their meeting point.

Alec is already there, punctual as always and a soon as Magnus reaches him, he greets him with a kiss.

“So, what are we doing today?” He asks, when they part.

“We walk.” Magnus announces simply to which Alec raises a questioning brow at him. “Let’s just see where it leads us, hm?”

“Sure,” Alec agrees. “The weather is nice.”

“So, shall we?” Magnus extends his hand, and Alec laces their fingers together as he nods.

They walk for a bit, telling each other about their days. It’s nice, there’s no rush and they actually have nowhere to go, just taking random turns and walking down the streets. Soon, Magnus tugs Alec a bit closer, since it’s starting to get cold, as the evening breeze begins to engulf them.

“Do you want to go grab a coffee?” Magnus asks then. “There’s a nice coffee shop around the corner.”

“Yeah,” Alec approves. “That would be nice.”

They continue to walk for a bit, before reaching the coffee shop. Alec again holds the door open, and the slide inside.

“Okay, so how do you take your coffee?” Magnus asks as they make their way to the counter to place the order.

“Black.” Alec replies and Magnus throws him a glare.

“Alexander, seriously?”

“Told you I’m boring.” Alec states with a chuckle.

“No, no, no.” Magnus starts as he bars Alec’s way to the counter, before they get to order. “You’re just basic, because you haven’t tried any other coffee.”

“Well, that’s kinda truth.” Alec agrees after thinking for a while. “The first coffee I drank was black, and I guess I just stuck to it.” He shrugs lightly.

“So here’s what we’re gonna do,” Magnus begins, as he gently places his hand on Alec’s chest, pulling him back a bit. “You will got and take a seat, while I will order us some drinks. Let me surprise you.”

Alec smiles and nods .

“Okay, but the next time we get coffee I get to choose for you.”

“Fine.” Magnus sides with the offer. “But I swear to God, if you’ll order me a black coffee-“

“You already agreed.” Alec smirks as he back of to get the table.

This man will be the end of him.

 

Alec doesn’t really enjoy his white chocolate mocha, claiming that it’s too sweet, and that Magnus only wanted to order something as far away from black coffee that he could, so he chose to serve him a white drink. Magnus just chuckles lightly, but doesn’t really deny his words.

“So,” Alec starts when they’re half-way though their coffees. Well at least Magnus is, since Alec practically stopped drinking his own. “I already told you, that I had only one boyfriend before you-“

“Which is totally okay.” Magnus states, not really sure where Alec is going with time, but expressing once again, that there is nothing wrong with that. He gets that Alec might feel kind of weird with it, since he’s twenty two, and probably most people his age, or his friends and siblings had already been dating lots of people, so he just feels odd. But there really is nothing wrong with that. Sometimes it’s just better to be alone, than to just be with someone because it might seems as some kind of a rule.

“Yeah, I know.” Alec agrees. “The point is, that I don’t have much of a past love story so… what about yours?”

“Is that your way of asking about me exes?” Magnus asks, quite taken aback at Alec’s question. He definitely wasn’t expecting to talk about that tonight.

“Well, yeah kinda.” Alec shrugs.

“And, why does it really matter?” Magnus question, maybe a bit too sharply.

“It doesn’t, not really, but I…” Alec states shyly, his voice uncertain.

And then a realisation hits him.

“You want to know how many partners I had before you, to see how experienced I am?”

“No,” Alec rubmles. “I mean, maybe.  I don’t know, just forget it, okay? That was stupid-“

“Alec, a number of partners doesn’t really show how experienced you are. You could meet the love of your life at first try and not look for anyone more. Or your relationships can be just a fling, not something serious. That doesn’t make you experienced.”

He had a fair amount of lovers, but still his most serious relationship was with Camille. But there’s no way he’ll tell Alec about her now. If he ever will.

“I told you I’m not good at this.” Alec says after a while, not meeting his eyes.

“No, look.” Magnus starts and puts his palm on Alec’s forearm that’s resting on the table. “It’s okay to ask questions. And I did say we can talk about everything. So yes, I did have some partners before you.” Some, if counting the linger lasting relationships, because he doesn’t count in all of the one night stands he’s been through, he’s not sure if he even knows the number. “But nothing was really serious between us. It just didn’t work out.” He shrugs. “You’re the first person I’m dating in a year, actually.”

“Really?” Alec questions with a bit of disbelieve in his eyes. “How?”

“What do you mean?” Magnus asks with a chuckle, taking a sip of his drink.”

“I mean, look at you.” Alec gestures at him with his hand. “You’re just gorgeous.”

“Thank you, darling.” Magnus laughs again. “But I guess I just…” was totally wrecked after things ended with her, couldn’t really get a grip, thought I was no one and that no one would ever want me. “I hadn’t find someone worth building a real relationship with.” He just says. “Until I met you.”

He swears he can hear Alec’s breath hitch in his throat, but then his boyfriend just smiles softly and blushes slightly before speaking.

“Well, it’s been basically a year for me too.” He nods to himself, and Magnus just waits for him to continue. “After my break up… I kind threw myself into studies, and work. I just wanted to forget. But when you came along… I don’t think I can explain it, I just felt like… I knew I wanted to build something with you. No matter if it was gonna be just friendship. I wanted to have you close.”

Magnus reaches out and brushes Alec’s hair out of his forehead, smiling at him and then lacing their fingers together.

“I’m glad we got the same feeling then.”

They sit like this for a while, finishing their drinks, till Magnus’ phone buzzes in his pocket, and he pulls it out to check out the message.

Message received: Clary

I set up  a meeting with Simon and his gf for tomorrow night. Pls tell me you can make it!!!

Magnus rereads the text, and an idea comes to his mind.

“What’s up?” Alec asks, since Magnus sight is still focused on the phone.

“How would you feel about meeting some of my friends tomorrow night?” Magnus suggest, hoping that Alec will agree, because everyone would be delighted to meet him, since Magnus has been rumbling about him for the last three months. “If you think it’s too soon or something just say it.” He adds, sensing that Alec is still thinking this through. “It’s fine, really-“

“No, I’d love to meet them.” Alec states. “But what if… you know, what if they don’t like me?”

Magnus reaches with his hand to touch Alec’s again.

“Alexander, there’s literally no way they wouldn’t like you. You’re just wonderful.” Magnus says, to which Alec ducks his head. “But even if they somehow didn’t.” He starts as Alec looks back at him. “Then I don’t care. It’s not them who’s dating you. I like you, that’s enough.” 

Alec smiles again and nods slightly.

“Okay.” He announces as he exhales and Magnus beams as he starts typing a message back to Clary.

Message sent: Clary

I’ll make it. Just one question tho, can I bring my boyfriend? ;)

A reply comes not even a minute later.

Message received: Clary

WHAT?! A BOYFRIEND!?! Sure, bring the boyfriend, I see we have a lot catching up to do ;)

Oh, they definitely do.  

Chapter Text

Things are escalating pretty fast.

Not that he minds now, not really.

He and Magnus started dating like yesterday, but they both know that they could have been together for months now if not their stupid insecurities and fear of being rejected.

After their first date, Alec really thought he messed up. He totally overreacted and got scared for nothing. He knows Magnus is different, special, he’d never try to just use him…

So yeah, everything is going fine between them and finally it seems they’re heading the direction they both wanted to from the start.

That doesn’t change that he’s scared of meeting Magnus’ friends. Maybe not scared, nervous. Yes, definitely nervous.

 Magnus is important to him, and he knows that only his opinion should matter. Still, he can’t help but think, that he wants his friends to like him. And with him being his usual self… it might be hard.

He decides to play it cool. Just not worry too much. Magnus will be there with him the whole time.

Well, it’s easier said than done…

After he got home from the coffee date with Magnus, he was planning to study, but nothing is getting into his head. He keeps thinking about tomorrow. He already wants to see Magnus, he misses him.

He checks out his phone and when it shows that it’s been an hour since he started studying and he still hasn’t finished reading the first page of his notes, he decides to give it a rest. The test isn’t in another three days anyway.

He actually hasn’t told anyone about him and Magnus yet. There wasn’t really a chance. He knows he should. But Jace will get into his protecting mode all over again and go to interrogate him. And Alec doesn’t want to tell Izzy, if he doesn’t tell Jace.

Only Lydia knows now, since he couldn’t hide this giddy feeling and happiness written on his face all day in class. And of course she asked about last night when she saw Magnus at the university and left them there. And Alec couldn’t really say no to her. Never could and never will.

As he goes to the kitchen to make himself a coffee, his phone buzzes in his pocket and he can’t help but smile when he sees it’s a message from Magnus.

Message received: Magnus 

Is it okay if I pick you up at 6pm tomorrow and we head to the bar to meet with my friends?

Message sent: Magnus

Yeah, sure. 6pm is fine. I have classes till 4, so no worries.

He doesn’t need to wait long for a reply.

Message received: Magnus

Great! Can’t wait to see you.

Alec smiles as he looks down on the message. He doesn’t expect any other text, thinking that the subject is done, but what his boyfriend send next sets the giddy feeling in his all over again.

Message received: Magnus

I miss you already.

He feels the blush creeping onto his face. It’s weird. Magnus isn’t even here and he makes him feel all those things anyway.

Message sent: Magnus

Miss you too. But we’ll see each other tomorrow!

Message received: Magnus

I know, but I can’t help it L

Before he gets to reply, he nearly jumps as his sister’s voice sounds through the kitchen.

“What do you have there that’s got you so blushed, big bro?” She asks as she casually steps to open the fridge.

Alec’s first instinct is to lie, because he’s just decided not to tell them all yet. He opens his mouth to reply, but before he gets to say anything, Isabelle interrupts, pointing an accusatory finger at him.

“Don’t say it’s a cat video again.” She scowls. “Because first, I wouldn’t believe you anyway, and second, you’ve already used that excuse.”

Alec sighs and shakes his head a little.

He’s always been a terrible liar. Just like his sister has always been irreplaceable at reading him. And she does it again now.

“Magnus texting you again?”

Alec nods.

“How are things between you two?” She asks as she props herself at the kitchen counter with a glass of orange juice. “You haven’t really said anything recently.”

He did tell Isabelle about his fail at their date. Of course she understood and didn’t think he was crazy. He just got scared and it happens. She assured him that Magnus wouldn’t take it in a bad way if he explained. At least at some point. He’s not ready to tell the whole true yet. And she was right.

“We’re good.” Alec resorts simply.

Isabelle raises her brows at him.

“Seriously, ‘we’re good’? That’s all you’re gonna tell me after almost a week of silence?”

Alec just shrugs awkwardly and Izzy rolls her eyes. But then her expression softens a bit.

“Alec, you know you can tell me everything, right?” She inquires. “I won’t tell anyone. Even Jace, if you ask me not to.”

Alec lets out a long exhale and nods lightly.

He’s always found shelter in his sister. He knows he can confide in her anytime, and she’ll never find his worries dull or stupid. When Alec’s mental health got worse, Isabelle had been blaming herself for not caring about him enough, not matter how much Alec assured her that it’s not her fault. She was always there for him, but he just couldn’t open up about this. Not even to her.

And it would actually feel great to talk about Magnus to Isabelle. He knows his sister is experienced, and she might help him with this whole get together tomorrow.

“So yeah, we…” Alec starts and clears his throat uncomfortably. “We’re kind of… boyfriends?”

Isabelle nearly chokes on her orange juice.

“You what?” She clogs out. “Since when?!”

“Last night.” Alec admits. “He went to pick me up after my classes and it just sort of happened?”

“Oh my God, why didn’t you say anything earlier?” Izzy beams enthusiastically.

“Iz, it was only last night. I came back late and we were all busy today.”

“You’re right.” She agrees. “Were you busy with Magnus though?” A smirk creeps its way onto her face.

Alec roll his eyes but can’t help to smile himself.

“Yes.” He confesses. “We went for a walk and got coffee.”

“Alec, I’m so happy for you.” Isabelle speaks. She hops down from the counter and goes to rest her hand on Alec’s arm. “Really. I’m glad it’s all working out for you. From what you’ve told me he sounds like an amazing guy.”

“He really is, Iz.” Alec declares. “I mean, he felt bad after the first date and he’s the one who started the subject to explain it, when it was clear I didn’t know how to approach it. He’s just… I don’t know, we feels so in tune with each other. Maybe it’s too early to say this, but it’s been a few months since we met and… I just feel safe when I’m with him.”

Isabelle sends him a soft smile at this words.

It’s basically opposite to what he felt like during his relationship with Raj.

“And that’s the most important thing.” Izzy resorts. “If you feel good in his company, then you should just roll with it.” She smiles again as Alec nods. “So, when am I meeting him?”

“Jeez, Izzy, we’ve been together for like two days.” Alec whines.

“Yeah, but you’ve just said you’ve known each other for months before that. So I want to meet him.”

“I’m sure I can arrange it somehow. But I actually do need your help with something.” He admits.

“Sure, anything.” Izzy says simply.

“He asked me to go meet his friends tomorrow and I agreed, but I’m kinda nervous.”

“Alec, it’s fine.” Isabelle starts. “I’m sure his friends are good people.”

“Yeah, I don’t doubt that.” Alec states. “But what if they… you know, what if they don’t like me?”

Isabelle sends him a glare.

“And does Magnus like you?” She asks as she clasps her hands on her hips.

“I mean, he kida does, right? Since he wanted to be with me-“

“Alec, of course he does!” Izzy spats him on the arm. “And that’s all that should matter to you.”

“I know, but it’s hard. I want to make a good impression.”

“So just be yourself then.”

Alec snorts.

“Yeah, like it got me anywhere.” He mumbles.

“It got you to dating Magnus.” Isabelle smirks knowingly.

Shit, she’s right. As always.

He’s really begin himself with Magnus. He never hid or pretended. And it seems that Magnus doesn’t mind his rumbling or blushing or all the other clumsy things he does sometimes.

“I hate it when you’re right…” He whines again.

“I thought you already got used to it.” She winks at him.

And he really should.

“Will you help me to choose some outfit please?” Alec asks then.

“Dear lord, you’re really making an effort, brother.” Izzy’s eyes widen a bit.

Alec just rolls his eyes yet again.

“Yeah, I try, okay? So will you help me or-“

“Of course I will! You don’t even know how long I’ve been waiting to be your stylist for some date!” She exclaims happily. “But we should do it today though. I’m going out with Simon tomorrow, so I’ll probably be gone all night.”

“Speaking of which, how is he?” Alec asks. Isabelle’s boyfriend is quite all right to be honest. For sure one of the best she’s had. He really cares about her and that paired with making his sister happy is all that matters for Alec. They haven’t really been together for that long, and Alec had only met him a few times, but he’s a fair guy, he knows it.

“He’s great.” Isabelle replies and smiles softly. “He’s rumbling about trying to pull out some gig all the time. I really hopes he makes it, it’s very important to him.”

“Make sure to let us all know.” Alec says. “I’d love to finally see him perform.”

Simon has been trying to do some gigs for quite some time now, and his music is really nice. Even though he studies accountancy, music is what he loves doing.

“Oh, I will. I’m sure he won’t shut up about it anyway.” She chuckles. “And speaking of us all. Are you going to tell Jace about you and Magnus?”

“I mean, of course I will.” Alec resorts with a sigh. “But not just yet. I want to enjoy my time with him and Jace would just go and interrogate me about him. Or worse, go and interrogate him. I know he’s worried after what happened with Raj, but I’m all good. And I’ve learnt for that.”

“I know you did, big brother.” Izzy’s tone is calming and reassuring. “Yeah, I think he should let you loose a bit too, but you know how it is with him. He’s really worried-“

“More like overprotective.” Alec chimes in and Izzy rolls her eyes.

“Yeah, maybe.” She continues. “But don’t wait too long to tell him. He still doesn’t even known you’ve been keeping in touch with him since that ride from the hospital.”

“I know, I know.” Alec nods lightly, letting out another heavy exhale. “I’ll tell him after tomorrow’s meeting, I promise. He’s staying late at work today anyway.”

“And I hold you to that.” Isabelle resorts. “Now let’s go choose that outfit of yours. You’ve got an impression to make.”

She winks again and leads him towards his bedroom.

 

Alec finds out more and more things about himself every day.

The thing he leart today is that just as he’s a terrible liar, he’s even a worse one when it comes to Magnus.

His boyfriend picked him up at 6, just like they’ve established, but Alec’s failing at hiding how nervous he is.

“We really don’t need to do this, if you don’t want to.” Magnus resorts as they’re walking to the bar, The Hunter’s Moon. Apparently their usual spot. It’s not that far away from Alec’s apartment, so they decided to just stroll from down there. “It was just a loose suggestion. We can go grab dinner or anything-“

“No, I want to. I told you.” Alec tries for his voice not to sound to stressed. “I just… I don’t really know.” He sighs. “I’m nervous.”

“I can see that, darling.” Magnus speaks softly. “There’s no reason for you to be. But we don’t need to stay long, or if you’ll feel uncomfortable, we’ll just leave.”

Alec nods lightly.

How did he deserve someone like Magnus? He’ll never know. It’s just like he knows all the right answers, always knows what to say to calm him down. He never wants to let go of that feeling, that kind of safety he brings.

“And for the record,” Magnus starts then. “they’re really excited to meet you. Let’s just say I kind of couldn’t shut up about you recently…” He laughs lightly and Alec joins along.

“I’m flattered.” Alec resorts and smiles.

“And hey, I can’t wait to meet those amazing siblings of yours!” His boyfriend exclaims then. “Hopefully soon, if you want to.”

“Yeah, my sister has actually been wanting to meet you, so I’m sure we can set it up some time soon.” Alec replies.

“And… your brother?” Magnus asks then, a bit insecurely.

“I kind of haven’t told him about us yet.” Alec confesses, slightly ashamed.

“Oh,” Magnus starts surprised. “don’t you live together though?”

“Yeah, we do.” Alec starts as he tries to form his words somehow. “But it’s just… complicated. I mean, he gets kind of overprotective and he’s really overworked now, so I’m just waiting for the right moment.”

Magnus nods as he acknowledges his words and then they take the last turn, coming around the corner to spot the neon announcing the place’s name.

“I hope you’ll find one soon then.” He smiles and leans in to place a chaste kiss to Alec’s lips.

And he longs for it to last, so he brings Magnus closer with a hands on the nape of his neck. He doesn’t seem to complain and just leans into him a bit more. Soon they both pull back.

“Let’s go.” Magnus whispers against his lips and Alec nods.

Seems like all the negative emotions vaporize a bit when he has Magnus by his side.

 

They’re sitting at the bar, Alec is kind of more relaxed as Magnus keeps his arm around him all the time. It’s this kind of soothing touch that he’s been craving the most. He feels grounded and settled. It’s crazy how many feelings can a little gesture bring him.

“What would you like to drink, darling?” Magnus asks then, and Alec shrugs lightly.

“I don’t really know. I’m not much of a drinker.”

“Hmm, okay. Let me choose something for you then?” His boyfriends suggests.

“Oh, like the one time you chose a coffee for me…” Alec starts and Magnus glares at him playfully. “I  think I’ll just grab a beer.” He decides.

“A beer it is then.” Magnus declares and turns to the barman to order their drinks. Turns out the woman is his friend, since Magnus is a bit of a regular here. He introduces her as Maia, and they exchange some small talk, as she takes the order for their drinks.

Magnus settles for a martini, apparently his favourite, and soon they get their drinks and sip them lazily.

“So, who exactly am I meeting today?” Alec asks and turns to face his boyfriend, leaning his side at the bar to look at him comfortably.

“There will be my friend Clary, and her father who founded Idris Organization, the place where I’m a volunteer.” Magnus starts.

“That’s cool.” Alec says. “I’d like to find out more of how that all works actually.”

“I’m glad, you do.” Magnus speaks in a genuinely happy tone. “It’s ton of hard work, but it’s all really interesting.”

“I don’t doubt it.” Alec agrees and Magnus smiles at him sweetly.

“Okay, so moving forward, there’s also Dot, I’m working with her.” He carries on. “Sadly Raphael, our boss, couldn’t make it. Same with Cat and Ragnor, just some stuff at work.”

Alec tries not to flinch as he recognizes Ragnor’s name. He’s pretty sure that his theapist's name is Ragnor Fell, and considering the fact that Magnus mentioned both him and Catarina, a nurse who also works there, in one sentence is making him feel like he’s right. Does Magnus knows he’s seeing a psychologist? Alec’s pretty sure that some rules apply to doctors and that Mr Fell can’t just go and throw around his patients’ names, even to his friends. But you never know…

And he doesn’t want Magnus to know. Not yet at least. What would he think? That Alec can’t get a hold of his own problems. He’s always been ashamed of needing this kind of help. He doesn’t want to appear weak in Magnus’ eyes.

“Darling, you okay?” Magnus speaks as he can clearly see how tensed Alec got. He runs his hand up and down his boyfriend’s back trying to relax him.

It does help a bit.

“Yeah, everything is fine.” Alec say and half forces on a smile. “Still just a bit nervous. So, anyone else?” He prompts to change the subject. Magnus catches that attempt and he swiftly comes along.

“Clary’s best friend, who’s also a volunteer at Idris, Simon.” Magnus picks back up. “And he’s bringing his girlfriend who I haven’t met yet actually, but I heard she’s a lovely woman, so don’t worry. She’s great for sure, Simon speaks very highly of her.” He assures and then Alec’s mind starts to pick up the pieces of his words, forming some kind of vision into his brain. It would all be such a funny coincidence… “Oh, look” Magnus’ voice pulls him out of his thoughts. “there they are.”

And indeed, there they are.

Because he sees Simon and his sister.

“You’re right.” Alec begins then, and Magnus turns to him, form where he’s been trying to catch Simon’s attention by waving at him. “She is a lovely woman.” Alec resorts with a tight smile.

“What? What do you mean?” Magnus eyes him curiously. “Do you know her?”

“Yeah,” Alec admits. “she’s my sister.”

Magnus’ eyes widen for a second, like he doesn’t believe his words, but then the shock slightly passes.

“You’re serious.” He more states then asks. “How didn’t you pick up on it? You didn’t know she has a boyfriend?”

“Well, you didn’t actually tell me your friends’ names, and even if you did, I’m sure there are a lot of Simons in New York. I know she has a boyfriend, I’ve met him too, but I probably wouldn’t have assumed anyway.”

“I didn’t tell you?” Magnus frowns. “Shit, I must have forgot. Sorry, angel. I was just excited for us all to meet-“

“Hey, don’t worry about it. It’s fine.” Alec resorts simply and tries not to let it show that after Magnus called him ‘angel’ his heart started beating a hundred times faster.

He’s no angel, but he’ll take it from Magnus’ mouth.

“Are you sure it is? Do you want me to meet her? I mean, we’ve just talked about-“

“It’s okay, really.” Alec repeats again. “Izzy’s great, I hope you two will get along.”

At that, after what feels like hours, Simon spots them at the bar and he waves at Magnus, then heading their direction.

Then Isabelle seems to spot Alec. Firstly, she almost stops at the spot, just looks surprised. Like he’d just came around for a drink in a bar, but then her gaze wanders to his left, where Magnus is seated and a grin is making its way to her face.

Alec can’t help but to smile back a bit.

And Simon continues to be his oblivious self, greeting Magnus and completely not noticing Alec.

“Hey man, long time no see!” He exclaims and he and Magnus hug briefly.

“Yeah, good to see you, Simon.” He turns to Alec, and then Simon’s sight falls on him too.

“Oh, Alec, what are you doing here?” He questions in a surprised voice. “And since when do you drink? Izzy, you didn’t say anything that Alec was coming-“

“Because I had no idea, Simon.” Isabelle smiles lightly and turns to Magnus. “You must be Magnus, right?” She asks and Magnus smiles back.

“Yes, I am.” He extends a hand to greet her. “A pleasure to meet the famous sister.”

Isabelle chuckles lightly as they shake hands.

“I hope he didn’t really exaggerated about me.” She states with a laugh.

“Oh, don’t worry. I’m sure all of the things Alexander said are true. And he only describes you in superlatives.”

Izzy laughs again and then she sends Alec a look, her eyebrows raised and she mouths ‘Alexander’?

Alec shrugs and lets it go for now.

“I’m sorry, but what the hell is going on now?” Simon asks, looking totally confused and it makes everyone chuckle.

“Simon,” Magnus starts as the laughter dies down a bit. “Clary told you that I would be bringing my boyfriend, right?” He asks and Simon nods.

“Yeah, she did.” He agrees. “Where is he by the way?” He asks while looking around. Isabelle clasps a hand over her eyes as she shakes her head lightly.

“Babe…” She trails off and Simon sends her a confused look again.

“Simon,” Magnus goes on and his friend turns to him. “Alec is my boyfriend.”

Simon frowns, but then a look of realisation covers his face, as his gaze switches form Alec to Magnus, as if connecting the facts.

“Oh,” He starts. “Oh, cool, yeah.” He exclaims. “Alec is your boyfriend.”

“Yes.” The rest replies in tune.

“Well, congratulations then!” Simons smiles and pats Alec on a shoulder.

“Thank you, Simon.” Alec replies kindly, while Izzy is still dying from laughter of her embarrassment of a boyfriend.

“How do you know each other anyway?” Simon questions then.

“I think we should head to the table.” Isabelle starts then. “It’s kind of a long story, right Alec?” She turns to her brother.

Alec nods lightly and when she smiles at him, he smiles too.

“Drinks on me then.” Magnus announces and turns to the Maia to order.

 

Not long after they moved to the table, Dot joins them. She’s a lovely person, Alec resorts. Kind-hearted and with an open soul. She tells Alec a bit of how it is to work with Magnus. He’s already heard a bit from his boyfriend, but it’s certainly interesting to hear the other sides of the stories. To be honest, Dot is just the way Magnus had described her. Someone you’d like to have as a friend.

They go again through the story of their first meeting, the rest of the audience awing and Izzy keeps sending him soft smiles all the way.

Maybe he didn’t want his siblings to meet Magnus yet, but he decides he doesn’t really mind. Izzy has always been opened for new people and he’s pretty sure she and Magnus will find a mutual ground. They’re both scientists, which brings them and Dot together not long later when they start discussing some chemicals. Also Magnus works in the cosmetics industry and Isabelle is always the one with flawless make-up. He’s sure this subject will come up pretty soon.

Clary and Luke appear when they order another round of drinks. Alec sticks to beer, but promises himself that it’s his last one. He’s not used to drinking and he doesn’t want to make a full of himself by getting drunk now.

“Hey, sorry we’re late.” Luke announces when he and his daughter get seated. “We had some business to settle in Idris.” He smiles and when his eyes find Alec he extends his hand towards him. “You must be Alec. Magnus told us a lot about you. I’m Luke.”

“Yeah.” Alec agrees with a light smile. “It’s really nice to meet you.”

Luke’s hold on his hand is firm, but not too much. Alec can feel that he’s this kind of a father figure he’d like to have. Someone who always has your back. He’s hardworking and committed. That he knows from Magnus’ stories of how he founded Idris.

“Hi, I’m Clary.” Then the girl next to him speaks and also pulls out her hand. Alec shakes it lightly and reciprocates her smile.

“Alec.”

Clary sends a knowing smile towards Magnus to which he only rolls his eyes, but his expression is fond.

Then they dive into a comfortable conversation again. Clary can’t stop laughing at Simon’s reaction to finding out about Alec and Magnus. But it’s not unkind. From what Magnus had told him, Clary and Simon have been friends since childhood and some bickering is a normality between them.

“How come we’ve never met before?” Clary asks then. “I mean, it’s your fault Simon, you should have introduced Izzy to all of us a lot earlier so Magnus could get a chance at meeting her gorgeous brother a lot sooner.” She smirks.

Magnus and Dot were actually the last ones to meet Simon’s girlfriend. Clary already knew Izzy, same as Luke. It must be some kind of faith that brought them all together in such a funny and accidental way.

Alec blushes lightly at Clary’s comment, but Magnus ducks in to place a quick kiss on his cheek, which only resolves in him blushing even further.

“He’s cute.” He hears Dot’s warm voice as she whispers to Magnus.

“Well, I guess me and Alexander needed to find our own way to each other.” Magnus resorts and Alec nods in agreement.

The evening passes by really fast and fun. Soon Alec finds himself indulged into a conversation with Luke about this whole volunteering thing. It’s basically an option for everyone. Idris proposes a lot of offers for both young and elderly people. It’s all about helping and bringing some joy to the patients’ lives.

“Would you like to try it?” Luke asks a bit later.

“I don’t really know.” Alec admits. “I mean, I love what you do and it really is a genuine gesture. But I’m not sure if I have the time for something like this now.”

“Dude, I used to say the same.” Simon chimes in. “When Clary dragged me in I thought there is no way I could reconcile college, my band and this. But it’s been about six months and I’m doing great.”

“Yeah.” Alec says lightly. “You’re right, but I’m just not sure…” He trials off, not really certain of how he wants to end that sentence, but Luke comes to his rescue.

“Don’t push him, Simon.” He speaks. “It’s not some kind of duty. Alec can join any time, if he decides too.”

Luke smiles warmly and Alec easily mirrors the gesture.

He couldn’t do it now even if he wanted to. There’s not only college and job. There’s also Max, and Alec needs to set his priority on his younger brother. Needs to take care of him first. He has his troubles either way, and he probably couldn’t be a happy spirit for all of the people suffering from some illnesses right now.

“So, Simon” Isabelle starts as she spots that her brother is drifting of somewhere else. Alec is thankful for her notice. “any news about the gig?”

“Well, not yet.” Simon answers. “But this time we might actually make it. Me and Maia have been talking to her bosses and it’s really possible they will let me play a few songs here sometime next week.” He beams enthusiastically and Izzy kisses his cheek lightly.

“It’s so great.” She resorts softly. “I’m proud of you babe.”

“Well, say that after I make a complete fool out of myself on stage.” Simon groans at his own words.

“You’d be the cutest fool out there.” Isabelle replies and Simons grins at her with pure affection in his eyes.

Alec can’t help but smile at this little display as he drowns the rest of his beer.

“Do you want another one, darling?” Magnus leans in and asks him, lightly putting his hand on his forearm.

“No, I’m good. Thanks.” He smiles and Magnus pecks him on the lips lightly.

“Everything okay?” He asks then, one arm wandering around Alec’s back, running up and down in a comforting way.

“Yeah, everything is great. Why?” Alec replies with a question, a slightly confused expression making its way up to his face. Did he give Magnus the impression he wasn’t having a good time? He did dozed off a bit while talking to Simon and Luke, but Isabelle quickly came to his rescue.

“No, nothing. I’m just making sure everything is good.” Magnus smiles warmly, but then his face turns a bit guilty. “Sorry, if they’re being a bit teasing and all. That’s just how they are. But if you start to feel uncomfortable we can leave-“

“Magnus, it’s fine, really.” He places one of his palms on his boyfriend’s cheek. “I’m great. Your friends are amazing. Don’t worry.” He smiles and Magnus nods a bit.

“Good. I just wanted to make sure-“                                       

“Thank you.” Alec replies and kisses him lightly again.

No one has ever taken care of Alec in such way. He’s not really an expert when it comes to relationships, but what he had with Raj can’t be even compared to what he has with Magnus. Raj didn’t care. When they’d go out he would brush off any of his worries, leave him alone at the bar or ignore any of his pleads to go home. And now, Magnus is making sure he’s comfortable and giving him an out if he’d need one. But he doesn’t. For the first time in really long, he’s having a good time.

“Easy on the PDA there!” Dot exclaims jokingly as they pull off from the kiss and Magnus turns to glare at her, but it’s lacking any kind of heat.

Dot sends him and innocent expression, and continues to lazily sip her drink.

Alec shakes his head lightly, filled with amusement and they his eyes catch Izzy staring at him.

She just smiles softly, her gaze wondering from him to Magnus and it seems like they can communicate without words.

He’s good for you. Her expression seems to say.

Alec can’t really do anything else than agree with another fond smile.

 

When the evening comes to an end, Alec realises he could stay even a bit longer. But he has classes tomorrow, same as his sister and Simon, Clary probably too, since he found out that she studies art at the Brooklyn Academy. And the rest of the crew has work tomorrow.

“Can I walk you home?” Magnus asks when they’re leaving the bar. “Or we can get a taxi?”

“Alec, are you coming back with us?” Isabelle asks as she and Simon are standing hand in hand on the curb.

Alec considers his options. Magnus’ loft is at the other side of town, when his apartment is just a few blocks away. He wouldn’t like for his boyfriend to come back home alone, it’s better if he goes with the rest since they live in Brooklyn too.

“I think I’ll just go back with Izzy.” Alec resort as he intertwines his and Magnus’ hands. “It’s late. You have work early tomorrow, go home with the rest and get some sleep, huh?”

“You’re sure?” Magnus asks softly. “It really isn’t a trouble-“

“No, it’s okay.” Alec smiles at him. “Just text me when you’ll get home.”

“Sure thing, angel. Let me know you got back safely too.” His boyfriend places a quick kiss on his lips. “Maybe we could go and grab dinner sometime in the week?” He offers.

“Yeah, I’d like that.” Alec resorts and brings Magnus closer with hands on his waist. “I’ll text you?”

“Mhm.” Magnus makes an approving sound against Alec’s lips and then he connects them. They kiss for a few long seconds, before Isabelle’s amused voice sounds.

“Alec!” There’s a hint of annoyance in her tone, but Alec doesn’t really mind. Not with Magnus this close.

With one last kiss they part and Alec heads towards his sister, still glancing at Magnus when they go separate ways.

When his sight finally returns to Isabelle, he sees her eyes lacking of any annoyance that might have been present in her voice. She doesn’t say anything though. But that smile is enough to know.

Half way to their apartment, she begins to speak.

“Simon will be staying the night.” She informs to which Alec nods.

“So, what do you think about Magnus?” He asks when they took a few more steps forward.

“He’s great.” She resorts and nods approvingly at her brother. “Really. You seem like you fit together. You’re perfect for each other.”

Alec takes in her words with a smile.

“Look, I know that maybe you weren’t ready for us to meet yet…” Isabelle starts then. “But you have nothing to worry about, really. He’s amazing. Just the way you described him. And he makes you happy, I could see that. So that’s all that matters.”

“Thanks, Iz.” Alec replies softly.

“Can I just add that I haven’t seen Magnus so happy in a long time too?” Simon chimes in the they all chuckle. “Really, dude.”

They don’t say anything more the whole way home, but Alec can clearly live with the conviction that he makes his boyfriend happy.

The feeling is mutual.

 

They get home around midnight, laughing softly at some silly thing Simon said a moment earlier. The sense of relief swiftly leaves Alec’s body as he sees his brother sitting on the living room couch, clearly waiting for them.

Through his whole night he forgot about Jace, that he has to tell him about Magnus and all. But now the reality comes crashing down on him.

“Hi.” Jace greets when they all emerge to the living room. “I didn’t know you were hanging out together.” He adds as he stands up from the couch, crosses his hands on his chest and sends them a confused glare. “Don’t worry, I couldn’t join even if I wanted to. Work.” He resorts with a bit of a teasing note in his voice.

Simon lets out a small laugh, which sounds too loud in the silence of their flat.

“Where have you been?” Jace asks casually.

Izzy glances at Alec and he nods at her lightly. It really is the time to tell him.

“Out with Simon and his friends.” Izzy starts and Jace eyes her curiously before turning his gaze to Alec.

“Together?” His brother asks, chuckling a little.

“Look, Jace…” Alec starts and pauses, not really able to find the right words. His brother just raises his eyebrows at him, clearly waiting for an explanation.

“I’ll just go to your room.” Simon whispers to Izzy, probably noticing the tension between the brothers and he sends Alec an encouraging smile on his way.

“Izzy you can go too.” Alec says to his sister.

“No, it’s fine. I’ll stay.” She replies and squeezes Alec’s hand briefly.

“Okay, maybe you could tell me what’s going on now?” Jace urges, clearly getting impatient. “You’re making it look like it’s some kind of big deal.” He adds, his voice now more serious.

“Jace, do you remember the time, when you were supposed to pick me up from the hospital a few months ago, but you got held up in work?” Alec asks, looking down at their feet.

“Yeah…” Jace answers hesitantly. “But why are you bringing this up? What does it have to do with-”

“This guy, who gave me a ride then, Magnus.” Alec sighs as he looks up, only to see his brother’s confused and slightly wary expression. “We’ve been keeping in touch ever since.” He confesses.

“Okay…” Jace lets the word slowly roll off his tongue. “So you’ve been, what? Texting or-“

“He’s been driving me to the university every Wednesday for the past four months.” Alec admits, the sentence trailing of way to fast.

Isabelle stands quietly next to him, but her presence is this kind of comforting gesture, that Alec needs right now. He knows she’ll come to his defence if he needs her to.

Jace however, is looking kind of taken aback, his eyes widen a bit, but he quickly recovers and asks the next question, but his sight remains on the floor between them.

“There’s more to this story, isn’t it?” He questions and again his intuition is telling him the right thing.

Alec nods, before he begins to speak.

“We got together two days ago.” Alec states as his gaze wanders to settle on the same point as Jace’s. “We’re dating.”

“What?” His brother questions now, a hint of disbelief an anger in his voice. “Why didn’t you tell me sooner? Why didn’t you tell me any of this?”

“I didn’t want you to worry.” Alec starts calmly. “At first it was nothing, I thought we could just be friends, but then…” He sighs heavily. “I had this crush on him, and turned out that he likes me back, so we tried-“

“A total stranger, Alec.” Jace reminds him. But it isn’t true. Magnus is not a stranger. It feels like they’ve known each other half of their lives. He feels safe with him. “What do you even know about him, huh? From spending like what, twenty minutes a week together?”

“He’s not a stranger.” Alec vocalizes his thoughts. “Not anymore, we got to know each other. He’s a good person-“ He tries, but Jace interrupts him with a snort.

“A good person?” He snarls. “Alec, you can’t know that, it’s not enough time-“

“He’s right, Jace.” Suddenly Izzy cuts in.

“And how would you-“ Jace starts but cuts himself off, his gaze turning to his sister now. “Wait, you knew about this? Since when?” Now he sounds even more angry.

“Since two months ago.” Isabelle admits.

“Great.” Jace says bitterly. “And none of you decided to let me know.”

“Because I knew this would happen.” Alec snaps. “Because you’d get-“

“What, worried?” Jace questions, his tone is implying he’s more angry than worried now. “Yeah, sorry for carrying about my brother, I guess.”

“Jace, I don’t mean it like that.” Alec tries, a bit more calmly.

“Well then what do you mean?”

“That you get overprotective! I’m not five, Jace I can make my own decisions.” Alec lushes out in frustration. He hates it when his brother gets like this. It wasn’t a lot of times he got to witness such a scene, but Jace is crossing the line. He’s not the one to tell him what to do.

“Yeah, do you want me to remind you how your decisions had turned out?” Jace speaks again in this bitter tone.

He doesn’t need a reminder, he remembers it more than he’d like to admit.

“Jace, you can’t judge all of my relationships by the prism of the first one.” Alec speaks as calm as he manages to. “You don’t know Magnus like I do. In fact you don’t know him at all-“

“And whose fault it that, huh?” Jace snaps again. “You didn’t tell me anything!”

“Yes, because I wanted to prevent something like this from happening-“

“And how is that working out for you?” His brother sends him a tight, bitter smile.

“Jace, stop. When you’ll meet Magnus, you’ll see that he’s great for Alec-“ Isabelle speaks in a composed tone, trying to appease the situation a bit, but Jace interrupts yet again.

“Oh, so you’ve also already met him?” Jace laughs hollowly. “What a surprise!”

Izzy’s mouth hangs open for a second, before she regains her composure and starts again.

“It was a coincidence-“ She tries, but Jace doesn’t let her finish.

“Yeah, everything seems to be a fucking coincidence with you recently.” He directs his words to the both of his siblings.

“It doesn’t matter now.” Izzy shakes her head and attempts again. “What does, it that Magnus really cares about Alec, I could see that by spending only a few hours with them today. He kept asking if Alec is comfortable enough and offered to take him home more than a few times.” She resorts. “Have you ever heard of Raj doing that for him?”

“So?” Jace questions again. “You’re together for what, like two days? Wasn’t Raj all sweet and kind at the beginning too?”

He might have been, but not the way Magnus is. No one is the way Magnus is.

“Stop comparing them.” Alec starts, his voice low. “This is completely different-“

“Different how?” Jace is almost yelling now, his voice gaining the anger and maybe even a bit of hurt. There’s still a hint of concern, but it gets covered by the rest of these emotions. “Because he’s a ‘good person’? You thought Raj was too, even when he tried to rape you-“

“Jace, enough!” Isabelle stops him, before he gets to say too much.

But for Alec, he already did.

At that an overwhelming silence falls between them. Alec stares in his brother’s eyes for a while and can see the exact moment when something shifts in them and Jace realizes what memories he’s just brought back.

But Alec doesn’t want to hear him anymore.

“I don’t need to listen to this.” He says and makes his way past his brother to his bedroom.

“Alec, I’m sorry-“ Jace starts, but it gets lost somewhere between the sound of the door of Alec’s room slamming shut.

 

He immediately throws himself on his bed and groans. This the reason why he left home. The constant interrogations and accusations. He gets that Jace is worried, but this? Reminding him of what might have been the worst night of his life was crossing the line. Alec knows that it just slipped from his mouth, but he should be more careful, especially since he knows how hard this subject is for Alec.

He pulls out his phone as an attempts to distract himself from all of that and sees a few unread messages.

Shit, he was supposed to text Magnus when he gets home.

He quickly scans the messages that his boyfriend has left him in the meantime.

Message received: Magnus

Did you get back home safely?

Darling, are you home yet?

Alexander, seriously let me know. I’m getting worried.

The last one was send just a few minutes ago, so he doesn’t waste his time and replies instantly.

Message sent: Magnus

I’m home.

A reply comes not even a second later.

Message received: Magnus

Thank god, I was getting worried. Is everything okay?

He considers lying. He really does, but he knows it won’t work out with Magnus.

Message sent: Magnus

Can I call you now?

Almost instantly his screen lits up and revealing an incoming call from his boyfriend.

“Hi.” Magnus speaks at the other line when he picks up. His voice is concerned and Alec can hear some the sound of keys hitting a wooden surface, so Magnus has probably just got home. “Is everything alright? Why didn’t you text me earlier-“

“I told my brother about us.” Alec says bluntly and then sighs. “He didn’t really take that well.”

“That bad, huh?” Magnus asks, probably able to hear the resignation in Alec’s voice.

“Well, a part of that might be the fact that I didn’t even tell him we’ve been keeping in touch since that morning at the hospital.” Alec resorts. “But also, he’s just worried and he activated his overprotective mode.”

Magnus chuckles at that lightly and Alec does too, feeling himself able to relax as he listens to his soft voice.

“Maybe just give him some time?” He suggests. “Let him get use to this. To the idea of you being in a relationship again.”

“Yeah, he can have all the time he wants.” Alec replies with a snort. “I don’t really plan on talking to him any time soon.”

“And why is that?” Magnus questions with curiosity.

“Let’s just say he said some things he shouldn’t have.” Alec answers carefully choosing his words not to accidentally reveal too much.

He hears Magnus let out an interested hum, but he doesn’t question anything furthermore, for which Alec is grateful.

“Alright,” Magnus resorts then. “so what can I do to distract you from the drama with your unreliable brother?”

Alec laughs lightly, before answering.

“I don’t know. I just wanted to hear your voice.”

He can basically hear Magnus’ smile over the phone.

“Then I’m glad I could help.” He replies, the grin present in his voice.

They don’t say anything for a while, but Alec is content with just being able to hear Magnus’ breath over the phone.

“Did you enjoy your evening tonight?” His boyfriend prompts then.

“Yeah, I did.” Alec starts and he really isn’t lying. It was a great night until Jace ruined it. “Your friends are amazing. Really. They seem very passionate about the stuff they do.”

“Oh, they really are. Especially Luke.” Magnus speaks. “I saw you got quite involved into the talk about Idris. He loves talking about it, it’s like his baby.” He laughs. “I really hope none of them scared you off.”

“No, don’t worry about that. Everything is great.” Alec reassures.

“I’m so glad you liked them.” Magnus exhales slowly. “And let me tell you, they are quite fond of you too.” His voice turns a bit playful.

“Oh yeah, I got that impression from Dot, who kept whispering to you how cute I am.” Alec responses in a joking tone and then hears Magnus laugh.

“Yeah, but really. They all like you too.” He adds a bit more seriously. “And your sister is lovely too. Also, very smart. Just like you, my dear.”

Alec feels himself blush and is glad that Magnus isn’t here to see him now.

“I’m glad you too got along well.” Alec says then. “She’s like the most important woman in my life, so…”

“I get it.” Magnus chimes in lightly. “I mean, I don’t. Not fully, since I’ve never had any siblings, but I could see how much she means to you. Don’t worry, I’ll keep our relation on good course.”

Alec replies with an approving hum and as he glances at the clock on his nightstand, he sees that it’s almost 1am now.

“Shit, I should get some sleep before my classes tomorrow.” He resorts, a hint of distress in his voice since he doesn’t really want to hang up on Magnus. “And you have work. Sorry for keeping you up that long-“

“Don’t worry about it, angel.” Magnus resorts simply.

“I like that.” Alec blurts out before he even gets to think, but he can’t really take his words back now.

“Like what?” Magnus asks inquiringly.

“When you call me this.” Alec starts shyly. He didn’t think pet names were his thing, but he hasn’t really had a chance to find out. But when Magnus calls him darling, or angel, he can’t stop this giddy feeling in his stomach. And he likes it. “Darling, or angel. It’s cute.” He shrugs, even though Magnus can’t see it.

“Oh, I have a few others I’d like to try out soon.” Magnus answers teasingly, but Alec can hear the hint of happiness in his voice. “Like sweetheart, or honey, panda-“

“Who would like to be called panda?” Alec questions with a snort.

“Well, turns out not you.” His boyfriend accuses him playfully. “Do you have something against pandas? They’re cute!”

“Not as cute as you.” The words slips out of Alec’s mouth before his mind registers them. Shit, he really is losing all of his self-restrains with Magnus. He can’t decide if it’s good or bad now.

“You sap.” Magnus replies in the sweetest tone. “Well, Dot wouldn’t agree. Apparently, you’re the cutest.”

“We’ll see about that I guess.”

With that, their conversations dies down a bit, but none of the is in the mood to hang up yet.

“So, dinner, later this week?” Magnus prompts after a while.

“Yes, definitely.” Alec answers without hesitation.

“Great, I’ll let you get some sleep now.” His boyfriend resorts and Alec barely resist the urge to yawn. He really is tired. “Goodnight, angel.” Magnus whispers and Alec could almost fall asleep immediately as the words sound through the speaker.

“Goodnight, Magnus.”

It takes a lot for him to finally hang up.

 

When he slips under the covers, ready to sleep, there’s a knock on his door.

He prays that it isn’t Jace, but for the sound of it, it’s not. The knocking is way to gentle.

“Come in.” Alec calls out as he already lays on his bed.

“Hey.” Isabelle perks her head inside, soon fully emerging into the room and sitting at the edge of his bed. She smiles, but Alec can see the worry in her eyes.

“Hi, everything okay?” He questions softly.

“I should be asking you.” Izzy states and shakes her head lightly.

Alec sighs, but doesn’t really know what to say.

Talking to Magnus helped him distract, but he knows the thoughts would be back as soon as he’d get settle to sleep.

“Alec, I’m sorry-“ His sister starts, but Alec doesn’t let her finish.

“Isabelle, it’s him who should say this to me, not you.” He says firmly. “It’s not your fault.”

“I know, but…” Izzy sighs as she fumbles with her hand nervously, clearly struggling to find the right words. Alec catches her palm when it repeatedly sweeps over his sheets. “You know he didn’t mean to, right?” She asks, her gaze returning to her brother instead of the bed. “It was just a moment, I’m sure he didn’t want to bring it up again-“

“Iz, I know.” Alec says, because he does. But it doesn’t make it any better, because the memories are already here, and Alec will need to spend a great amount of time at trying to erase them again. “But still… I just hate it. I hate that it all got this far back then. That I let it get that far-“

“Hey, it was a rough time for all of us.” Izzy resorts and squeezes his hand lightly. “You just needed a person to be there for you, it’s not your fault he turned out to be a dick. I’m sorry I wasn’t there for you-“

“Izzy, you were. You always are.” Alec interrupts as he sees tears glistening in his sister’s eyes. “Hey, we talked out this. A lot actually. You’re always there for me, but you know I didn’t want to worry you back then. When we found out about Max… it was a hit for all of us, so my relationship drama wasn’t the most important thing-“

“But it should be more important, Alec.” Isabelle states firmly. “If I knew earlier, how he treated you…”

“It’s no time for what ifs, Iz.” Alec says, his voice soft. “Besides, I’m to blame too, I let him-“

“No, Alec, you were in a vulnerable state and he took advantage of you. We talked about this too. You can’t blame yourself.”

He wishes for it to be true and he really tries to think of it that way. But at the back of his head, he knows he’s the one to blame too. He was weak. Probably still is, but he tries so goddam hard to strong. But it’s easier said than done.

Isabelle leans in and places a soft kiss to his forehead, running a hand through his hair and brushing some of the strands from his forehead. It’s such a motherly gesture, something he didn’t realises he missed a bit.

“I’m always here.” She whispers against his skin. “Please, remember that.”

Alec nods as she pulls back and squeezes her hand one more time, before she gets up and heads to the door.

“Goodnight, big brother.” She calls out softly, her hand already on the doorknob.

“Night, Iz.” Alec replies and Izzy answers with a smile.

And even when sleep doesn’t come for some more hours, when he’s daunted with the ghosts of the past, he knows he has people he can always count on.

 

Morning comes way too soon for his liking, but at 7:30am he gets up and decides to make coffee. He wants to be bitter and take the car today, forcing Jace to give it up as a part of their peace deal, but he’s not actually that bitter. He’ll take a bus as he always does. God, he wishes it was Wednesday.

Alec quickly gets to the kitchen, makes himself a cup of steaming fresh coffee and stands for a minute, taking a breath and smelling the aroma of coffee, before his hectic day starts again.

Izzy is probably still asleep, same as Jace. He’s off to work around 8 or 9 usually and Isabelle has some late classes today, so she promised to go visit Max in the morning. Still, morning for her revolves around 11.

As he leans onto the kitchen counter, he can hear steps. God, he hopes it’s not Jace, he doesn’t feel like having this encounter that early in the morning.

To his surprise, it’s Simon. Alec kinda forgot about him last night, there were more important things to worry about, but he does appreciate Simon’s departure to Izzy’s room last night. It was awkward and uncomfortable anyway. He’s pretty sure Simon heard most of that, since Jace was basically yelling and Alec hadn’t been able to keep his voice down too.

“Hi.” Alec greets as Simon paddles sleepily into the kitchen area. His hair is a mess and his eyes are barely open, but he does seem to notice Alec.

“Oh, hey,” He starts as he moves next to Alec to grab another mug. “sorry, I’m just gonna make myself some coffee if you don’t mind-“

“Help yourself.” Alec gestures at the counter and moves slightly on the left to give Simon more space.

“Thanks.” Simon mutters, which is followed with another yawn. “This is my only way at surviving eight hours of classes today.” He sends Alec an amused smile and he reciprocates.

They don’t talk a lot. Simon doesn’t bring up his and Jace’s fight last night. But Alec feels like he should. He should at least apologize for himself, since he didn’t keep composed too. Simon just came to visit his girlfriend, not to witness one of the greatest arguments between the Lightwood siblings.

“Look, Simon,” Alec starts and clears his throat awkwardly as the other man turns to look at him from his coffee cup. “about last night-“

“Alec, you don’t need to say anything, really.” Simon interrupts instantly. “I mean, I get it, Jace is worried, but-“

“How much exactly did you hear?” Alec asks, not unkindly, but he’s just realises what exactly they’ve been talking about last night. He’s sure Izzy hasn’t told Simon about Raj…

“Well, I really tried not to, but it was kind of easy to hear all of that.” Simon replies with a nervous expression.

“God, I’m sorry…” Alec sighs and runs a hand over his face.

“No, Alec really. It’s your home and-“ Simon starts, but Alec shakes his head.

“Yeah, but you’re a guest here, and we totally snapped-“

“It’s okay, seriously. Me and my sister fight all the time.” Simon adds with a small smile, as if trying to loosen the tensed atmosphere a bit. “And besides, I think it’s Jace who snapped more.”

Alec let out a small laugh at that, and Simon joins in.

“Oh, and don’t worry. I won’t tell anyone what I’ve heard. It’s your personal stuff. ” He says with a friendly smile.

Alec nods lightly and lets the silence wash over them for a moment.

“Hey, was Izzy okay after all this?” He asks then. When she came to his room last night she was pretty shaken up and nervous. He knows it wasn’t all easy for her too. “She came to my room last night, but-“

“She’s fine.” Simon replies and nods to himself. “Yeah, she got pretty upset, she really hates when you guys fight. But yeah, she’ll be okay.”

“Thank for, you know, being there for her.” Alec starts. “With all this stuff with Max and everything-“

“Alec, it’s nothing seriously. If I she needs me to be just a shoulder to cry on, then I’ll happily oblige.”

Simon knows the situation with Max well. And Alec is glad Isabelle has someone, who she can talk to if she don’t want to talk to him or Jace. He’s really glad Simon is there for her. He really is a great guy.

Alec sends him as smile and Simon mirrors the gesture. Then they sip their coffee silently, until his sister’s boyfriend speaks again.

“Look, if it comes to this whole thing you argued about yesterday…” He begins, a bit insecurely, but this is how Simon is, sometimes he can’t help to speak up about something he’s not always supposed to. But this time Alec lets him, because Simon truly just tries to help ease things up. “Magnus really is a great guy, he cares about the people the closest to him. He won’t hurt you, in any way,” Alec can see how carefully he tries to choose his words. “I’ve known him for a half of a year now and have nothing but good to say about him. He cares about his work and Idris… Really, he’s amazing. I wonder why he’s been single for so long…” He trails off with a thoughtful expression and Alec’s chuckle brings him back. “Anyway, Jace really shouldn’t worry that much. I can talk to him, if you’d like-“

“No, Simon, it’s fine.” Alec declines gently. “It’s just something he needs to deal with on his own.”

“Okay,” Simon replies and flashes him another smile. “but if so, I’m always willing to help.”

“Thanks, I appreciate that.”

“Yeah, I need to keep the good relations with my sister’s big bro.” Simon nudges him with his elbow lightly.

“Please, don’t ever call me that.” Alec resorts with a laugh as he shakes his head.

“Yep, sorry. Got it.” The other man reports simply. He checks the time on the clock at the wall and grimaces, letting out a groan. “Crap, I gotta go. Otherwise I’ll be late.” He quickly drowns the rest of his coffee and puts the cut into the sink. “I’ll see you later, Alec.”

“Yeah, good luck at school.” Alec speaks as Simon backs out of the kitchen, flashing him one last smile.

Chapter Text

He really hasn’t been happier in a long time.

After yesterday’s meeting with Alexander and his friends, he’s in good spirits. Sure, he got worried when Alec hadn’t replied if he got home, but fortunately everything ended up fine. Magnus really hopes that Alec’s brother won’t stay mad at him for long. His boyfriend did sound quite upset over the phone last night.

Of course, Dot notices his good mood at work and knows exactly where it comes from. Soon they indulge into some talk about last night, his friend reminding him again of how amazing she finds Alexander.

After he and Alec said goodbyes last night, they all ordered a cab and started their route home. Magnus couldn’t get this happy grin off his face. The meeting really went amazing. Alec liked his friends, and as they sent him soft smiles through the whole way home, Magnus is sure they liked him too.

Luke told him that Alec seemed very interested in what everyone has to say and is a great listener. Magnus could only agree, because after spending what feels like hours talking with Alec in the car, he knows exactly what he means.

Clary had been beaming the whole way home, telling Magnus how cute and comfortable they are around each other only after two days of dating. She said that it’s really meant to be. Magnus hopes so. They time they spend being friends months earlier clearly prepared them for this whole ‘being together’ thing. Magnus is so glad that things haven’t changed between them, that they are still so contented in each other’s company. He really feels like he could tell Alec everything sometimes.

“So, when are you seeing your boyfriend again?” Dot asks with a teasing grin as they are looking over some samples under the microscope.

“Hopefully soon.” Magnus replies, smiling himself. “But Alexander is quite busy with school this week and we also have a lot of work.”

“Ugh, tell me about it.” Dot groans. “Raphael is serious about this collaboration this time.”

“Has he mentioned anything to you?” Magnus asks. The talks about the collaboration have been held for a long time. Alicante is doing great, but they need a new boost and some more advertising that other companies can grand them. Raphael has been trying to find a right one for the past few months.

“No, he haven’t really.” Dot shakes her head lightly. “He just said that it’s getting closer.”

Speaking of the devil, just as Magnus places on another sample, Raphael enters the lab, his face not giving up any emotions, but Magnus can sense that he feels tensed.

“Good morning.” He announces and both Dot and Magnus turn from their chairs to face him.

“Morning.” Magnus replies. “Everything okay?” He asks, eyeing his friend curiously. 

“I need to speak with you.” Raphael answers still looking at Magnus. He keeps up his poker face, but something in it breaks a little, revealing a bit of concern.

Magnus haven’t seen Raphael like that in what feels like ages.

“Sure.” He says as he gets up from his spot. Dot sends him a smile as he turns to her, but it also comes out kind of concerned. She too, has no idea what’s going on.

They move to Raphael’s office on the eight floor, not speaking the whole way up there. Magnus feels nervous and he doesn’t know why. It’s not like something is up with his work. He’s pretty sure he’s done everything his boss ever asked for. Sure, he’s been late a few times, but it’s only a couple of minutes, and Raphael has always let it slide. It’s not like he’s gonna fire him. Raphael is fully professional, but also loyal to his friends, and Magnus has done nothing to be fired.

When they finally got seated in the office, Magnus fidgets nervously. Raphael notices and eventually begins to speak, choosing his words carefully.

“So, you know how we’ve been working on the collaboration?” He asks and Magnus nods.

“Yeah, you’ve been rambling about it for a few months now.” He lets out a bit of a nervous chuckle and his friend sends him a flash of a smile.

“I’ve finally found a suitable company.” Raphael states. “And they are willing.”

“That’s great, Raph.” Magnus answers, but he doesn’t seem what the big deal is about. Shouldn’t his boss be happy, instead of looking like he might have seen a ghost before they came here. “I know how long you’ve been working on it.”

“Yeah, it is great.” Raphael agrees. “But there’s just one problem.” He begins and takes a deep breathe.

“What is it?” Magnus inquires, now truly concerned of the look on his friend’s face.

“The company is Yin Fen.” Raphael announces, not quite looking in Magnus’ eyes, and he lowers them even more when he adds a bit quieter. “Camille’s business.”

Magnus gapes at him for a moment, not such how to react or if he even heard right. He hasn’t seen Camille for more than a year now, and he wasn’t planning on ever doing that again. He gets so lost in the thoughts that he doesn’t even register that Raphael is speaking again.

“They proposed the best offer.” He continues. “The profits are shared fifty- fifty, they offered to provide their own scientists to work on the new line, and you how much I appreciate you and Dot, but this is big, and even you can’t handle this alone. But if it works out, we’ll climb up on the lists of the best prospering companies.”

Magnus listens now, paying a bit more attention and nodding at Raphael’s words lightly. He tries to sort out things in his mind. It’s not like Camille will have to be back. If she owns this company she can simply assign someone to this project who will supervise-“

“I haven’t agreed yet.” Raphael’s words bring him out of his thoughts. “They offered the best terms, but I wanted to talk to you first.”

“Why?” Magnus blurts out without thinking, still a bit too lost in his head.

“Because it’s Camille, Magnus.” His friends exhales heavily. “I know what she did to you, so I wanted to see-“

“You should go for it.” Magnus interrupts him and surprises himself with how sure he is about it. Raphael looks taken aback too, and it says a lot, since he’s never that easy to read.

“Are you-, are you sure?” He questions. “I can keep searching, some other companies will come around-“

“I’m sure.” Magnus declares, but his friend’s expression stays wary. Magnus rolls his eyes lightly as he continues. “Look, there probably won’t be a better offer. I can be professional about it. Sure, seeing her won’t be pleasing, but I work at the lab and she handles business, so I guess we won’t be seeing each other that much. I’ll be fine.”

Raphael’s expression softens a little, but still remains cautious.

“I mean it.” Magnus picks back up to reassure him. “I know how much it means to you-“

“Well, not as much as your comfort.” Raphael cuts in. “You’re my best friend, Magnus. I don’t want to be the one to bring those memories back, when I know how long you had spent trying to forget them-“

“And you’re not.” Magnus resorts simply. “Really. I’ll be fine.”

It’s not that he’s worried about falling back for Camille. Not after all she’s done. Not when he has Alec and he knows he wouldn’t give him up, especially for someone like her. He’s scared of seeing her again, but maybe it will be freeing? Like letting go of your past, facing it one last time to move on…

“We’re over.” Magnus starts again when none of them says anything. “Camille and I. End of the story. And like I said, I’ll be professional about this. I just hope she can be too.”

Raphael manages something resembling a smile and then looks down on some papers on his desk.

“So I guess I’ll let them know about our decision.” He informs, already searching for some documents. “We’ll announce it as official soon.”

“Great.” Magnus resorts as he moves to stand up. “But I can tell Dot though, right?”

Raphael sends him a glare, but its lacking any sort of heat.

“Like you could ever keep something from her.” He just says and shakes his head lightly, smiling a bit.

Magnus reciprocates as he leaves the office.

 

Dot is not convinced it’s such a good idea like he was.

“I mean, it’s Camille. We all know she’s awful.” She states when Magnus tells her everything during their lunch break. “What if it’s her other sort of plan to get her claws back into you?”

“Dot, I’m smarter now. I won’t let her get into me.” Magnus reassures simply, but it doesn’t fully convince his friend. “You know how important this is to Raphael. He’s been working on this for months. We all were.”

“I know, but I’m sure he could find some other company-“

“But this one is the best. He’s right, we won’t find a better offer.”

Dot sighs, but nods lightly, hanging her head down.

“But I swear to God, when I’ll see Camille’s up to something… either with the company or you-“

“Don’t you worry about me, my dear.” Magnus resorts as he reaches for her hand across the table they’re sitting at. “Besides, I have Alexander now. There’s no way Camille could do anything to win me back, when I have the most amazing man I wouldn’t trade for anyone ever.”

At that Dot raises her head and smiles at him softly.

“You’re sappy.” She says. “I’ve missed sappy Magnus.”

“Well, you’ll probably get sick of him pretty soon.” He assures, but she only laughs in answer.

 

It hits him when he gets home. When he finally has the time to think.

At work he’s been occupied and his mind was pretty much shut down. But now the thoughts are back.

He's never wanted to have anything more to do with Camille. After he broke it all for good, he just hoped they’d never see each other again. Now they’ll have to.

The things Camille did to him… how she wrecked him and he was left unable to love. He doesn’t think he’s fully healed. He hates that he wasted so much time on her. There were more important things and he focused on some fling, something that could never work out in a longshot.

Now he doesn’t want to waste more time even thinking of her. He needs something to do, to distract himself.

As if he’s prayers have been answered, his phone rings, and he’s pleased to see it’s the person who he wanted to speak to the most.

“Alexander.” He picks up and already feels himself smiling.

“Hi.” Alec’s soft voice sounds at the other line. “Sorry, if I’m interrupting something. Are you still at work?”

“No, I’ve just got back.” Magnus replies as he sprawls himself more comfortably on the couch. “What’s up?”

“Oh, nothing really.” Alec answers and Magnus can imagine him shrugging his shoulders. “I’ve just finished one of the most boring business law classes and now I have an hour break.”

“And what are you planning on doing with that break?”

“I’ll probably just go and grab some food with Lydia.” Alec resorts. “But I miss you, and I wanted to hear you again, so…”

He trails of and Magnus feels himself blushing. Alexander truly is the sweetest.

“Sorry, I’m being too much, right?” Alec starts nervously when Magnus haven’t spoken for a while, charmed by his boyfriend’s straightforwardness. “We saw each other like yesterday, I’m really-“

“Alexander,” Magnus interrupts swiftly, his tone amused. “we literally said we miss each other last night. It’s not too much.”

“Yeah, right. I just wanted to-“ He rumbles and Magnus laughs lightly.

“I miss you too.”

He can hear Alec let out a relieved sigh and he’s pretty sure he’s smiling.

“So, how are you?” He picks back up after a few seconds. “How’s work?”

“Everything’s good.” Magnus resorts. “We’re finally setting up for the collaboration.”

“That’s great.” Alec exclaims. “I guess you’re gonna be busy now, right?”

“Don’t worry, darling.” Magnus swiftly reassures. “I’m not planning on taking any extra hours unless it’s necessary. I’ll always make time for you.”

It’s Alec’s turn to laugh and the sound pleasantly rings in Magnus’ ears. He resolves he’ll never grown tired of it.

“How are things with your brother?” Magnus asks then, carefully.

“We haven’t spoken since the fight.” Alec exhales heavily. “But there wasn’t really time. Maybe when I’ll get home…”

“Sorry, if you don’t want to talk about this we can  just drop it.” Magnus adds concerned. He doesn’t want to ravel Alec’s head with unpleasant thoughts now, and the fight for sure wasn’t a blissful experience.

“No, it’s fine.” His boyfriend replies. “But there’s not much to talk about. We’ll figure it out, don’t worry.”

“I know you will, angel.” Magnus resorts.

“Look, babe, I really gotta go now.” Alec starts, sounding truly inconsolable that he needs to go. “Before Lydia starts to yell at me for being on my phone all the time.”

Magnus laughs a little. He really can’t wait to meet Alec’s friends. He’s pretty sure he’ll like this Lydia. And Isabelle is great. She and Alec are totally different, but somehow they fit. Magnus can see how much she means to Alexander. This sibling love is truly a beautiful thing.

Magnus is ready to say his goodbye to Alec, until one think hits him.

Babe.

It’s the first time Alec had ever used a pet name for him.

“Magnus,” His boyfriend’s voice sound through the phone. “you there?”

“Yeah, yes. I’m here.” He rumbles.

“Everything okay?” Alec inquires.

“Yeah, it’s just…” He wonders if he should bring it up. It clearly just slipped and maybe Alec didn’t even mean it. But then he remembers how Alec told him yesterday that he likes it when he calls him angel or darling. And Magnus would take any pet name from Alec’s mouth.

“What is it?” Alec questions again, clearly getting impatient.

“You’ve just called me ‘babe’.” Magnus replies finally.

There’s a moment of silence at the end of the line.

“Oh, yeah. I just thought that since you call me darling and angel so I could-, wait you don’t like it?” He can hear the hint of panic in Alec’s voice and dismisses it immediately.

“No! No, I like it. Very much actually.” Magnus reassures. “It’s cute.”

“Good.” Alec breaths out again. “Then I’ll talk to you soon, babe.”

“Bye, darling.”

The smile doesn’t come of Magnus’ face for a long time later.

 

The next day passes by normally, same as yesterday. Except that they spend almost 3 hours in a morning meeting regarding the collaboration with Yin Fen, they announce it officially and work on some details about the contract. Dot keeps sending him worried looks, but he swiftly dismisses it with a few smiles, and she seems to relax a bit too.

Later, they need to keep up with the actual work, so both him and Dot stay a few hours late, and it resolves in Magnus getting home at almost 8pm. To be honest he’s exhausted and just wants a drink and some good sleep.

He almost falls asleep on the couch, but when his phone buzzes, he startles up awake grabbing it from the coffee table.

Message received: Alexander

Hey, are you free tonight?

Magnus sighs. He really is exhausted and he doesn’t want to tire Alec with his down mood.

Message sent: Alexander

Sorry angel. Just got of work and I don’t feel like moving anytime soon. A rough day.

A reply comes a few seconds later.

Message received: Alexander

Everything okay?

Magnus smiles at the concern from his boyfriends as he types a reply.

Message sent: Alexander

Yeah, just boring meetings the whole morning. We needed to catch up on work later.

Alec doesn’t text anything more, so Magnus just assumes to drop it, only write that he’s free tomorrow and they should go and grab dinner, but suddenly he receives another text.

Message received: Alexander

Since you don’t want to move, what would you say if I came over?

Magnus stares at the message for a few seconds to make sure he’s read it correctly. He didn’t really expect for Alec to offer that, not after he freaked out at their first date when Magnus invited him over. But this surprise is indeed a pleasant one.

Message received: Alexander

It’s fine. You’re probably tired, I should let you rest. Sorry if I was too forward.

He receives the text a bit later, and he realises the hasn’t really replied to Alec’s offer. Before he gets to, there’s another message from his boyfriend.

Message received: Alexander

I just miss you

Magnus grins down at his phone for yet another confession from Alec, and this time wastes no time in replying.

Message sent: Alexander

Darling, of course I’d like it if you came over. That would be great.

No reply for a few seconds.

Message received: Alexander

Are you sure?

Magnus snorts. How could he be not.

Message sent: Alexander

Of course! I miss you too, I can’t wait to see you.

He wants to add something like ‘only if you’re sure you’re comfortable with that’, but again, Alec is ahead of him.

Message received: Alexander

Okay, I’ll be there soon 

Magnus flops down on the couch, his grin even wider.

 

Alec arrives about half of an hour later. Magnus instantly lets him in and smiles at the view of his boyfriend in the doorway, hands flooded with bags full of take-out containers.

“I recall you saying that you love Thai food.” Alec speaks. “So I got us some Thai food.”

Magnus pecks him on the lips, right here in the hallway, just because he can and he feels Alec smile against his lips.

“Thank you.” Magnus says when they pull apart. “You truly are an angel.”

Alec snorts.

“I just know you enough to know that you don’t eat properly when you’re overworked.” He resorts simply and moves to hang is jacket on the hanger.

“And here I was, just trying to be cute.” Magnus sighs dramatically and can hear Alec laugh as he follows him into the kitchen.

They grab some plates and cutlery, but actually move to the living room to eat on the couch, with the TV playing faintly in the background.

Magnus didn’t know who hungry he was until he put some food into his mouth. The taste is just divine, and even though he knows that he could probably eat everything now, he really appreciates Alec remembering that he’s fond of Thai food.

He keeps glancing at Alec when they’re eating. He’s sitting crossed legs on the couch, facing Magnus who mirrors his position, the food container in his lap. He doesn’t look uncomfortable, which Magnus was worried about, since it’s only a second time he’s been in his loft, while the first one was a short visit. But he catches Alec glancing around, as if admiring the design.

“Your home is really great.” Alec nods to himself as he’s finishing the food.

“Thank you, darling.” Magnus replies and smiles lightly.

“I mean, it’s totally different from my tastes to be honest.” Alec admits with a laugh. “But I like it. It suits you.”

“And what are your tastes?” Magnus asks, now intrigued.

“Well, I like minimalistic things.” Alec starts. “Not too much colours, not to bright, only the occasional patterns. But here… I don’t know, everything feels in place. Have you been living here for long?”

“It’s been quite few years.” Magnus answers. “We rented a small place down town during my last year of highs school. Then I lived in the dorms the first years of college. I got this place when I decided for sure, that I was staying.”

“Did you consider coming back to Indonesia?” Alec asks, his eyes now settled on Magnus, not all around the room.

“Only for a bit.” Magnus admits. “But I had more opportunities here.”

Alec nods and his sighs drops to his lap again.

“Do you want a drink?” Magnus proposes as he reaches for his own half-full glass of whiskey, but Alec shakes his head.

“No, I drove here, actually.”

“Oh, your brother finally let you take the car?” Magnus questions with a chuckle and Alec mirrors the sound.

“He doesn’t know. He’s out with some girl and probably won’t be back till tomorrow.” Alec explains. “So he won’t even notice.”

“Did you two talk about the fight?” Magnus tries then, but his boyfriend shakes his head again.

“No. It feels like we’re avoiding each other.” Alec starts with a sigh. “Either he’s at work and I’m in school, or he’s out somewhere, while I’m studying with Lydia.”

Magnus reaches out with his hand and creases Alec’s forearm gently.

“I don’t know.” He speaks after a while. “Maybe we need a bit more time? But our parents are coming back in a few days, and I’d like to figure it out before then.”

“You just need to find the right moment.” Magnus beings. “It’s probably hard for you both to even approach the subject, since you told me you barely ever fight, but I’m sure it’s gonna be fine.”

“Yeah, thank you.” Alec replies softly and smiles. “But okay, you better tell me more about this big collaboration you have coming up.”

Magnus groans.

“Ugh, angel. We literally spend like three hours talking this out today. Besides, it’s still in the early stages. There’s a lot of time before some cosmetics from that line come out. Can we please talk about something else? I’m really done with work for today.”

“Sure.” Alec replies without any hint of hesitation and Magnus is grateful for that. He doesn't really think he should tell him about Camille. Not now. There's no point in that. They're not even sure if she is coming to supervise the project, so it's pointless to start this subject now. And besides, Magnus just doesn't want to speak about her.

“Okay, so maybe we could watch some movie, huh? What do you think?” He offers then.

“Yeah, that would be nice.”

When Magnus puts something he immediately forgets the title of on, he decides that whatever they would be doing, it’s always nice with Alexander.

 

Half-way through the movie, Alec moves a bit closer to him, and shifts so that his head falls on Magnus’ shoulder. Magnus smiles and his arm wanders around Alec lightly as he feels him settle more comfortably. They stay like for basically the rest of the movie, but when it ends, none of the makes any intentions to move.

“Magnus,” Alec starts as the credits roll on. “can I ask you something?”

“Sure, darling.” Magnus creases his arm with his hand lightly, as it’s wrapped around his shoulders. He wishes he could see Alec’s face, but he doesn’t shift so they could face each other.

“Did you like me when we first met?” Alec asks and Magnus looks down on his boyfriend, waiting to look up to him. “I mean, like like me. In this way.”

Alec doesn’t look up and Magnus actually thinks about this question, before choosing his words carefully while answering.

“Well, it hadn’t escaped my notice that you are a handsome man.” Magnus starts and Alec chuckles lightly, finally shifting to look at him, then Magnus continues. “So yes, there might have been some physical attraction at the beginning-“

“Might have been?” Alec mocks and smirks, which makes Magnus snort lightly with a happy grin.

“Alright, for sure there was.” He clarifies and Alec nods in agreement. “But I think it was quite a process. We started talking, get to know each other and with every next conversation, every time you started to open up a bit… I guess I started to like like you with the more time we’ve spent together. First as a friend, but not after long as something more.”

Alec nods again and smiles lightly.

“I was actually planning to ask you out too. But you got ahead of me.” Magnus adds with a warm laugh.

“Really?” Alec questions, surprised.

“Yes. I just wasn’t sure if this is something you would want. I was building up my courage and then you just blurted it out.”

“I was nervous too, but Izzy told me to go for it. Same as Lydia, and it gave me the boost I needed.” His boyfriend resorts.

“I guess I’ll need to thank your sister and friend for that.” Magnus says with a smile.

“Well, it was still me who did most of the job…” Alec trails of jokingly.

“Of course.” Magnus agrees and leans in to brush his lips against Alec’s lightly, and then feels his boyfriend smile against his lips.

“I would say,” Alec starts, the grin on his face getting wider. “that there was chemistry between us right since the first day.”

Magnus laughs alongside with him, the sound of their mixed laughter sounding happily around the room.

“No phun intended, of course.” Alec adds, when they both catch their breath and their chuckles die down.

“No, of course not.” Magnus replies and moves in to connect their lips again.

 

Soon, it’s time for Alec to leave and Magnus can’t really stop the pout crawling onto his face as he walks his boyfriend back to the front door. They stay in the hallway for a while, just holding each other tightly, hugging.

“I have to go.” Alec says as he pulls back lightly and cups Magnus’ face, trying to kiss away the sad expression and he chuckles when Magnus pouts even more.

He doesn’t even consider inviting Alec to stay the night, he knows it’s too soon. And it was Alec who suggested he should go now, since he’s got morning classes tomorrow and it’s almost midnight now. Magnus would never make him leave, if it was up to him, but he respects Alec and won’t make him do anything he’s not ready for.

“I’m glad you came over.” Magnus speaks then, and receives a smile from his boyfriend.

“I’m glad I did too.” Alec agrees and pecks him on the lips again. “Even if just for a little while. I’ve missed you.”

“Me too, darling.” Magnus tightens his arms around him and kisses him softly, but for a while longer now.

“I’ll see you soon?” Alec moves to the from door and rest his hand on the doorknob.

“You will.” The other man replies and it earns him another smile for his boyfriend.

“Okay, bye Magnus.” Alec speaks as he swiftly moves out of the apartment.

“Bye, darling. Let me know you got home safely!” Magnus calls out after him and Alec turns from down the hallway to send him one last smile.

Magnus closes the door and leans against it, the smile never leaving his face. He’s still amazed by how comfortable they are around each other. How, Alec can just blurt out some romantic stuff without even realising it. How he is funny, and kind and so thoughtful of him. Magnus resorts that he’s never really felt like that with any of his partners. That his opinion matters, that he’s important. Alec seems to be noticing every single movement that might show that Magnus is uncomfortable and drops every subject he might consider rough.

Magnus wants to hold on to this feeling. To never let Alec go, because this is something new. Being close to Alexander makes him feel things. He hasn’t let himself just feel for such a long time. He was afraid of getting hurt. Still is, but he thinks that Alec would never hurt him intentionally.

Maybe it’s a stupid hope, maybe he’ll end up broken again. But he’s still willing to take the risk. Alexander is worth it.

Chapter Text

Alec gets back from Magnus’, lost in the thoughts the whole way home.

He felt nervous, asking him if he could come over, but he really wanted to. He missed him and he knows Magnus enough now. Feels safe with him. There’s nothing wrong with coming to visit him.

And it was great. They haven’t done anything more than just talking and kissing, and Alec is grateful, because he’s not ready for anything more.

But still, he longs to be close to Magnus. And it felt so great to be held in his arms, or to have his arm wrapped around his shoulders, being pressed tightly to him.

Alec smiles as he leaves the car and moves to the apartment building. God, he really won some kind of a lottery with finding Magnus. He would never give it up.

He swiftly unlocks the door, then drops them on the cabinet in the hallway, heading to the kitchen. He should already be asleep, but he doesn’t feel too tired. He can still feel Magnus’ lips against his, hands running up and down his arms.

He flinches up when he hears another voice as someone enters the kitchen behind him.

“Hey.”

Alec turns to see Jace, leaning at the counter at the other end of the kitchen. As far away from Alec as he can.

“Hi.” He greets his brother simply and then there's this awkward silence settling around them. Jace looks down, rubbing nervously at the nape of his neck, a gestures that implies he’s nervous. Alec’s eyes rest on him, but when he looks up, his sight drops to the floor.

“Look, Alec…” Jace starts and pauses almost immediately, searching for the right words. “I’m sorry, really.” He takes a few steps closer. “I shouldn’t have said anything. I should have shut up, and instead I just let it slide. I’m sorry, I didn’t want to bring that up again. I’m just so worried something like this might happen again. I wish I could do something to erase this memories for you-“

“Well, you could start with not bringing that up ever again.” Alec cuts in, a bit too sharply.

“I know, I know.” Jace’s voice is still calm, dripping with guilt. “I'm really sorry about that. And I shouldn’t have judged Magnus. You’re right, I don’t know him. And I do trust you Alec, I know you’re smarter now when it comes to this. So I’m sorry.”

“I’ve never heard you say it so many times.” Alec starts, a smile making its way up his face when he looks up at his brother.

Jace smiles a little tentative smile, but it’s enough to let him know that things are okay between them.

Alec could never stay mad at Jace for long. Sure, his words hurt, but he knows that his brother’s intentions are always good when it comes to him. That he’d do anything for Alec in a blink of an eye. The feeling is mutual.

“Yeah, I’m pretty sure it still doesn’t make up for what I said.” Jace speaks then, shaking his head lightly. “A million ‘I’m sorry’ wouldn’t be enough.” He adds sadly.

“Hey, it’s alright.” Alec resorts, his tone soft now. “I know you didn’t mean to bring it up. I get that you’re worried, but you can trust me not to make the same mistakes. And if I make some new ones, well then I will learn from them too.”

“I trust you.” Jace repeats. “I really do.”

“Well, in that case, we’re all good.” Alec reaches out and squeezes his brother’s shoulder lightly, as he releases a relieved breath.

“Good.” Jace resorts and nods to himself.

Alec considers the conversation done, so he proceeds to grab a glass of water and intends to leave to go to his room, but then Jace asks.

“So, where have you been? Studying with Lydia again?”

Alec doesn’t really turns to him, when he answers.

“No, actually I was at Magnus’.” He replies and bites his lip nervously as he turns.

“Oh,” Jace looks a bit surprised, but then a small smile replaces this expression. “that’s nice.”

“Yeah, it was.” Alec agrees, letting his own smile paint his face.

None of them speaks further on, so Alec decides the conversation is done.

“Alec,” Jace calls out after him again, and he turns. “I’d really like to meet him at some point.”

Alec nods, smile growing even bigger, and his brother mirrors the expression.

 

“Okay, you look like death.”

Are the first words he hears from Lydia, when their first lecture for today ends. He growls and hits his head against the desk, a bit too hard, which only resolves in yet another groan.

“Hey,” Lydia continues and urges his head back up. “you okay?”

“Fine.” Alec replies as he starts to gather up his stuff so they can leave the hall. “Just didn’t get enough sleep.”

He came back home at midnight, then spoke with Jace, needed to finish some homework and only then he could fall asleep. He almost run out late and didn’t even greet Lydia before their classes.

But he wouldn’t change a thing. Last night at Magnus’ was nice, and Alec is glad they got to spend some time together. Even if it was only for a bit.

“Stayed up all night writing articles again?” Lydia asks, but Alec shakes his head as they march to the exit.

“No.” He says, and Lydia sends him an intrigued gaze. “I was with Magnus.”

“I knew it.” Lydia resorts and Alec rolls his eyes. “Even though you look like death, there’s something cheerful about it. Only Magnus can bring it out.”

Alec smiles as they continue to walk. He thinks the subject is done, but of course, Lydia wouldn’t be herself if she didn’t start her interrogation.

“So, what did you do?”

Alec knows better than try to lead her on. And besides, it’s cool to talk about this with Lydia, she’s his best friend. She probably knows the most about his relationship with Magnus, besides maybe Izzy.

“We hung out at his place.” Alec replies and shrugs lightly.

“Cool.” Lydia nods. “But what exactly did you do?” She inquires.

“Well, I got us dinner and then we watched some movie, talked…” Alec trails off.

“Sounds nice.” Lydia resorts. “I’m glad you had fun.”

Alec sends her a smile and she reciprocates, but then her expression turns a bit concern.

“But just remember to take care of yourself, okay?” She starts. “Maybe if you don’t feel like it, you shouldn’t come for those lectures-“

“Lydia, what are you talking about? I’m fine.” Alec reassures her. He appreciates her concern, but a small lack of sleep hasn’t killed anybody yet. “I’m just a bit tired-“

“I’m not talking only about today, Alec.” Lydia interrupts. “We’ve been studying practically the whole week, and when you come back home you stay up and write those articles-“

“I need to get money somehow, Lydia.” Alec cuts in and sighs. “The apartment won’t pay for itself.”

“I know.” Lydia picks up again. “And I’m really glad you took your time with Magnus yesterday to relax. I’m just saying, that if it feels like too much sometimes, I’m here. I’ll get you notes from this lectures or something. Just don’t overwork yourself.”

Alec eyes her curiously for a bit. She really looks worried, but he doesn’t know where this sudden speech came from. He knows he can always count on Lydia, but it is actually nice to hear it again. He really had a week from hell. The stress before meeting Magnus’ friends, the fight with Jace, exams, looking out for Max, and writing for the newspaper. Alec is kind of wary that it might become too much soon, and he’ll need to take break from something at some point.

He sighs again, and moves to embrace his friend. Lydia goes willingly and hides her face in his chest.

“I’m just worried.” She repeats and Alec hugs her a bit tighter.

They’ve been friends enough for her to notice when it’s getting too much. She witnessed a few of Alec’s breakdowns or panic attacks, but she never made him feel bad about it. He really couldn’t have a better friend. He doesn’t really have a lot of friends on the campus, but it’s better to have one, such good as Lydia, than tons of them, that wouldn’t understand and be there for him like she does.

“Thank you, Lyds.” He says as they’re still hugging. “I really appreciate that. I promise you, I’ll take care of myself.”

“Good.” She says as she pulls back and smiles at him lightly. “Now, let’s go. You need coffee, you zombie.”

 

A few days later he comes back home and finds Izzy sitting on the floor at the coffee table, working on her jewellery.

“Hi, Iz.” He greets and she looks up from her current task sending him a smile.

“Hello, big brother.”

Alec moves to sit beside her, dropping a kiss on top of her head as he goes.

“What are you working on?”

“Some client asked for a bracelet that would match her burgundy dress, so I’m going with the simple silver pattern. It basically matches everything.”

Alec hums, continuing to watch his sister do the work. Izzy started her little business back in high school, when she began making herself some jewellery. She was a popular kid and soon her friends started asking where did she got it from. And of course being Izzy, she saw an opportunity in this and started selling her makings. It actually helps them quite a lot now. Only Jace has a stable job, Alec takes as many articles as he can write and Izzy’s taking orders for personalized jewellery, but also has a fair collection of her products on a website, which Simon helped her with. And somehow, they’re managing.

“Actually, I need to talk to you.” She says then, placing the unfinished bracelet on the table. She doesn’t look really nervous or anything, so Alec doesn’t think it’s something bad.

Before she gets to say anything, the front door bust open and Jace emerges in the entrance.

“Great, you’re here.” Izzy exclaims and Jace sends her a confused look.

“I live here, right? Of course I’m here.” He says.

“It’s not what I mean.” Isabelle sighs. “I need to talk to the both of you.”

The brothers look at each other, but both just shrug as Jace gets out of his coat and slumps down on the floor at the opposite side of the coffee table.

“It’s about our parents, isn’t it?” A sudden thought hits Alec and he speaks out loud. Of course it is, it need to be. They should be back from Chicago any day now.

“Yes.” Isabelle replies. “They want to meet. They got back yesterday.”

“Have they seen Max already?” Jace asks. “He probably missed them.”

“Yeah, they went there the first thing when they came back.” Izzy sends her brothers a small smile.

“Do they have another news they want to tell us?” Alec questions and his sister sends him a glare. “What? They only want to meet us all when there’s something important we need to know about!”

“I think this time they just want to talk.” Isabelle resorts. “We haven’t seen each other for more than two months.”

“Yeah, we had gone more without seeing each other.” Jace replies and then he receives a glare from Izzy, but just shrugs in answer.

“Okay, what will it take to convince you to go?” She asks as her sight switches from one brother to another.

“You know my deal.” Jace starts. “I’ll go if Alec goes.”

They both turn to look at Alec.

He thinks for a little, and then he remembers the way his mother acted towards him the last time. The way they hugged, the way her eyes lingered on him a little longer, with something resembling concern in them.

He thinks of Izzy’s, Lydia’s and Magnus’ words that he should give his parents a chance. And then he thinks of himself, and how he decided he’ll try to make things right. At least with their mom. His father has been a lost cause for long now.

“I’ll go.” Alec answers and see surprise flash in the eyes of both of his siblings. “What?”

“Nothing, I thought it would take more convincing.” Izzy answers with a shrug. Alec mirrors the gesture and for a moment they just sit in silence.

“So, when and where are we meeting this time?” Jace asks then.

“Mom told me she’ll text me the address of some restaurant tomorrow.” Isabelle responds. “I’ll let you know.”

They all nod at each other and both Jace and Alec get up then and head to their rooms.

“Hey, do you want to take the car tomorrow?” His brother offers, but Alec turns to him to shake his head.

“No, it’s Wednesday tomorrow. Magnus is driving me.”

“Oh, okay.” Jace resorts and sends him a smile. “I guess I’ll take it then.”

“Like you always do…” Alec teases.

“Hey! It’s not true-“ His brother starts, but Alec’s already slipping into his room, hearing the sound of Jace’s laugh as he walks down the hallway to reach his bedroom.

 

Wednesday means not only seeing Magnus, but also visiting his brother. Alec marches into the hospital in the morning, sending Catarina a smile on his way and she waves at him from the nurse station.

“Hi, buddy.” Alec calls out as he enters Max’s room. His brother is sitting on the bed, currently reading a book.

“Hey!” He greets and looks up from his task.

“How are you doing?” Alec asks as he slumps down on the chair next to his bed.

“Pretty good.” Max nods lightly.

Alec smiles a bit at the answer. Max looks way better than when he saw him a few days ago. Less pale, an actual, happy smile on his face.

He reaches up to smooth a hand down his brother’s hair and they smile at each other for a bit.

“That’s great.” Alec says then.

“Okay, but since life is pretty boring out here,” Max starts, and Alec rolls his eyes. His brother pretends he doesn’t notice and continues regardless. “How are you and Magnus?”

Of course Alec told him about him and Magnus, basically right after they hit it off. Max wasn’t very surprised. He said he could see it when he first saw them interact a few weeks ago. There was something about the two of them being together, the way they look at each other.

But Alec glares at him as he asks. His brother made it his favourite subject ever since he found out.

“We’re good.” Alec answers with a smile, tugging at the corners of his lips.

Max sends him and unimpressed gaze.

“Details.”

“Why is my love life such an interesting subject for you?” Alec asks annoyed.

“Because you’ve never actually had one before, bro.”

Alec sighs. Max doesn’t know about Raj. Only bits, but he never told him the full story. When they were together, the timing wasn’t right. For anyone actually. They found out about Max’s illness back then, and Alec didn’t want to daunt him with his relationship drama. It wouldn’t make him feel any better, so there was no point.

“Why don’t you ask him?” Alec fires back. “He’ll be here soon.”

“Because I enjoy tormenting you.” Max resorts simply with a shrug.

“You’re the worst.” Alec mutters, but smiles at his brother and begins to tell him about his recent dates with Magnus. He likes seeing the spark in Max’s eyes when he talks about it. He looks really happy to see his brother happy.

Later, they talk about all sorts of stuff, avoiding the matter of Max’s illness, as always. If Alec wants to know more about it, he simply goes and asks the doctors. Max doesn’t understand half of the doctor’s cant anyway.

So they rant about books, video games, Jace and Izzy, and Simon’s very possible chance at throwing a concert this time. Alec promise to take a lot of videos if that actually happens. They speak a bit about their parents. Max had been quite upset with them leaving, but since they’re back now, he seems in much better spirits now.

And soon, the time runs out. Alec gets up and hugs his brother goodbye, but then suddenly Magnus emerges into the room.

“Hello youngest Lightwood.” He greets and high fives Max, then turning to Alec. “Hi, darling.” He leans in and place a chest kiss to his mouth. “Ready to go?”

“Yeah.” Alec nods and smiles at his boyfriend. He turns to Max and sees him grinning at the both of them. “Jace will come by tomorrow.”

His brother nods at his words and then Magnus laces their fingers together and they move out of the room, as he drops a wink to Max on their way.

 

He starts speaking almost immediately as they get settled in the car. Magnus barely gets to start the engine, when he announces.

“We’re meeting my parents today.”

There’s a moment of silence, while Magnus seems to be trying to register his words.

“Okay,” He begins as he backs out of the parking lot. “and you’re nervous?”

“Not that much.” Alec admits. “There’s only one thing bothering me.”

“Which is?” The other man inquires.

“I don’t know what they want.” He starts. “I mean, the last time we met, they announced that they’re leaving. And now since they’re back… I just don’t know what to think.”

“There’s isn’t really much of advice I can tell you for this, darling.” Magnus sighs, his tone a bit tentative. “You just need to wait and see. But you said things were a bit better with your mom?”

“Well, that was two months ago.” Alec resorts, not unkindly. “And it was just some little things.”

“Baby steps, I guess?” Magnus turns to him and smiles as they stop at a red light. Alec nods at him and brings his hand to rest on his boyfriend’s thigh lightly, needing to ground himself on something still.

The rest of the drive passes by quickly. Magnus tells him about their current task at work, which is mixing a new eye shadow palette. Alec mostly doesn’t understand a word as he rumbles about some pigments and creating new colours, but he lets himself get lost in his soft voice.

When they reach the university driveway, Magnus turns to him again and laces takes the hold of the hand that’s been resting on his thigh.

“Let me know how the meeting went?” He asks and brings their intertwine hands to kiss his knuckles lightly.

“Yeah.” Alec nods and cups Magnus’ face with his other hand, connecting their lips. They stay in the car for a longer while, just trading kisses and tender touches. Something that Alec has been needing very much right now to relax a bit.

“I’m gonna make you late again.” Alec states in between kisses, but Magnus only chuckles against his mouth.

“Well, Raphael can deal with it.” He resorts and just kisses him again.

“But I’m also making myself late.” Alec starts and pulls back again. “Which is both gonna piss of both Lydia and my teacher.”

“Alright, go be the perfect student you are.” Magnus replies and waves his hand dismissively.

Alec laughs lightly and presses one last kiss to his cheek.

“Thank you for the ride, babe.” He lingers against his soft skin and Magnus smiles as he turns his head to steal on more kiss from his mouth.

“My pleasure, Alexander.” He says when they pull apart.

“Have fun at work.” Alec calls out as he leaves the car and Magnus sends him another smile.

He tries to focus on that, the image of his smile in his mind, not on what’s to come later today.

 

This all looks so familiar to the last time they saw each other.

After classes, he instantly heads to the restaurant, already spotting Izzy and their mom at the table. Jace mentioned that he might be a bit late.

Maryse gets up as she sees him and moves to hug him. Alec spots his sister sending him an encouraging smile and he can’t help but smile a bit too.

“Alec, it’s so good to see you.” His mother speaks and he nods in answer, sitting down at the spot next to Isabelle.

“So, how are things?” Maryse questions and Izzy turns to Alec, clearly indicating that they’ve already been through this talk, so these words were directed at him only.

“Good.” He starts. “Busy.”

“And besides school?” His mom inquires.

Alec sends Izzy a look, as if she might have spilled something about him and Magnus, but she shakes her head discreetly.

And should he tell his mom? It’s not like she really cares about his love life. Especially that he’s gay. He knows that this fact disguises her. 

“It’s all great. I’ve been writing a lot recently.” He decides for that. He really tries to make some decent conversation with his mother, because he did promise himself to try. And to his surprise, Maryse is quite eager herself.

“For the newspaper? She asks and Alec nods. “Isabelle told me about it.”

“Yeah, I actually enjoy it.” Alec says and his mother flashes him a smile.

Soon, Jace arrives and receives the same set of questions. Then they move on to order their food.

“Actually,” Jace starts when their dishes arrive. “where’s dad?”

Maryse clears her throat awkwardly before she starts.

“He got held up in work.” She states. “He won’t be able to make it.”

Basically all of the siblings notice how uncomfortable their mom looks when she answers. They all exchange worried glances, but let the subject drop for now.

“How was Chicago?” Alec prompts then, and Maryse looks relieved at the change of subject.

“It was okay. We got all the things settled. There are no trips coming up for us anytime soon.”

“That’s good.” Alec starts, but lowers his gaze to the table. “Max missed you. He looked happier today, that you came back.”

“We missed him too.” Maryse resorts immediately. “All of you.”

Alec finds it hard to believe, but he lets it go.

Later they speak a bit about college, Izzy’s jewellery making business and Jace’s job. He doesn’t really hide it, that he hates it, and their mom seems to pick up on it.

“Maybe you should try to search for something different then?” She suggests, but Jace just sends her a confused look. “You shouldn’t waste your time on something, that you don’t even plan to see yourself doing in the future.”

“But that’s it, mom.” Jace starts and sighs. “I don’t really know what I want to do. I mean, I’m taking these business classes and stuff, but… I just don’t know.”

Maryse reaches with her hand across the table to catch her son’s palm.

“That’s okay.” She says softly. “You’ll figure it out, sooner or later.”

They all seem to be shocked at her gesture, but do their best not to let it show. At least Alec thinks so.

Maryse has never been very affectionate. They only received hugs, or comforting touches, while being babies, and now… it is quite a nice gesture. Very motherly.

Later they talk a bit more. About Max this time. All of their conversations for the last few months seem to always lead to him. But that’s good. They need to settle some things when it comes to him.

“Do you think we could get Max out of the hospital at least for a day?” Isabelle asks their mom.

“Well, I’m not sure, but why?”

Izzy shrugs as if trying to find the right words, but then Alec begins.

“He’s just really bored there. He told me himself today. Maybe a day away could do him better?”

“I should speak to the doctors about it, but I’ll try to. If you think this may do some good.” She resorts and smiles lightly.

“We could just take him to dinner, spend some time all together…” Alec trails of, but his mom picks up on it.

“I think it’s a lovely idea.” She agrees and looks truly pleased that this offer comes from her eldest son. “I’ll see what I can do and let you know.”

They all nod and then begin to get up from their table.

“It was really great to see you all.” Maryse speaks then. “I think we should do it more often.”

“I agree.” Izzy smiles at their mom. Jace and Alec don’t say anything, but the youngest brother sends their mom a small smile too.

“The next time I’ll be at the hospital I’ll speak to the doctors about that day off.” She declares and moves to hug their children. Again, lingering a bit longer at Alec.

“And thank you for proposing the dinner. I’m sure your Max would appreciate us all getting together.”

When they pull back Alec mirrors her smile.

“Yeah, we should try that mom.” He resorts.

And when Maryse’s smile widens it seems she too interprets it as more than just a dinner.

They should try to fix it all. Not only for Max’s sake, but for all of them.