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'm not sick!

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Izzy laughed and took another sip of her drink, eyes sparkling. She hadn't felt this comfortable in a long time. These were all the people she knew she could be herself around. Clary and Jace had been talking about going out on a date, and Izzy had mentioned that she would love to get out of the Institute to spend some time with Simon. Most - in not all - of the awkwardness between Jace and Simon was gone by now, and the girls were hoping this evening would help clear the rest of it. They had invited Alec and Magnus to come as well, but Alec had 'much more important things to get done then going out and getting wasted'. Sometimes her big brother could be a real buzzkill.

The group had been laughing and exchanging somewhat embarrassing stories for a couple of hours. In true form, the tales got worse the more alcohol they consumed. It was safe to say that the stories were pretty bad. Jace was in the middle of a riveting tale involving Alec, a flaming arrow, and a flock of ducks, when he suddenly frowned.

"Jace?" Clary put a hand on her boyfriend's arm, concern flooding her features. "Is everything alright?'

The blonde nephilim blinked slowly, taking a sip of the water the waitress had left on the table. "Is it just me, or is it really hot in here?"

Izzy and Clary exchanged a worried look. They were both rather chilly, and Jace had already given up his coat to keep Clary warm. Not to mention that they were sitting on a patio at eleven thirty at night. In New York. In March.

"Jace, you good?" The vampire shifted hesitantly. "I can't really feel temperatures anymore, but it doens't exactly seem like a toasty evening..."

Nodding slowly, Jace's eyes cleared a bit.

"You aren't seriously hot, right?" Clary was starting to look nervous, touching a hand to Jace's forehead. It was cool.

"I... I think it's Alec..."

"Alec?"

Simon stifled a laugh. "So that's why he blew us off. Had some *heated* plans with his boyfriend?"

"No, it's not that." Passing up the opportunity to make a joke was very unlike Jace, which instantly caused Isabelle to worry.

"Jace, is Alec alright?'

"I...I don't know. I just... he's definitely hot."

"I know of a certain warlock who would agree."

"Simon, now's not the time." Isabelle shot her boyfriend a pointed look and turned back to her adopted brother. "Try focusing in on the sensation. Is he in trouble?"

Jace's brow furrowed for a moment, then his eyes shot open. "I think we should go back to the Institute. I want to check on him. Just in case, you know?"

"Of course." The group stood up and gathered their things, calling a taxi to take them back to the Institute as quickly as it could.

~

"Alec?" Izzy softly knocked on the door to her brother's office, turning the handle and easing it open. Her heart melted when she saw him. He was curled up at his desk with a chunky blanket over his broad shoulders, staring blankly at a stack of paperwork while he shivered. "Oh..."

The young man's head popped up, eyes taking a moment to focus in on the figure in the door frame. "Izzy? I thought you were going out..."

"We were," explained Isabelle, walking determinedly over to the desk and testing Alec's temperature with her palm. "Jace felt something strange through your bond, so we came back to check on you. Alec, you're burning up."

"I'm fi-" He was cut as he aggressively sneezed into a tissue, adding it to the growing pile in his desk's bin. "-fine."

"No, big brother, you're sick."

"I'm not sick." Alec scooped up a pen and began to work away at the forms in front of him. "I don't get sick. I'm a Lightwood."

"I'm a Lightwood, and I get sick." Izzy crossed her arms.

"That's different."

"How, exactly?"

"I don't get sick!"

It was true. In fact, Alec had only been sick twice in his life. Once, when he was four. He got the flu and was out for two weeks. They had been some of the longest weeks of his life. The other time was when he and Jase had both managed to get pneumonia. They had been twelve at the time. Those three weeks of recovery had been when they really started to connect. And now, at age twenty-three, he was hunched over his desk with a fever and chills, refusing to give in. One thing could be said for sure, Alec Lightwood never did anything half way, including getting sick.

"Like it or not, Alec, you're sick."

"'m not sick!" insisted the shadowhunter, sniffling.

"That's it," commented Izzy, as Alec doubled over, hacking. "I'm calling Magnus to come get you."

Alec dropped his head to the desk, letting out a low groan. "I don't wanna..."

"Don't want to what?" Izzy tapped out a message to Magnus before closing her phone and starting to rub circles on her brother's back.

"Be sick..."

"I know, big brother. Let's get you to the couch, okay?"

It took two or three minutes to get the tall shadowhunter to the couch, but once he was there he promptly crashed onto it, eyes half closed. "'ve got work..."

"I know." Izzy rolled her eyes and took a long breath. Alec had never been good at taking care of himself, but it seemed to get on her nerves today. Something about seeing him so weak and vulnerable...and yet their parents' training still shone though. Shadowhunter first. Work first. Suffering or not. "But you won't be any help if you're in this state."

"'m plenty help!" Gesturing weakly to the stack of papers on his desk, the elder Lightwood twisted up his face in concentration. "I finished around....a lot of those...."

It only took a quick glance to tell Izzy that her night would consist of fixing the reports that Alec had 'filled out'. The spelling alone was atrocious.

At that moment, a portal popped open in the office, and a rather concerned looking warlock stepped though. Alec's face broke into an oversized grin as he locked eyes with his boyfriend. "Magnus!"

"Hey there, Alexander. Your lovely sister informed me that you may not be feeling so great." Magnus stepped forward and felt Alec's forehead, brushing some dark locks out of the hunter's face. "And it seems that she was right. Come on, darling. Let's get you home."

"'ave to work..." Alec murmured as he buried his face in the warlock's neck.

Magnus and Izzy connected eyes over his head and shared a nod. "Isabelle will finish up here. The Institute will be in more than capable hands until you're feeling better, alright love?"

Reluctantly, Alec sighed. "...fine..."

"Good."

In one fluid motion, Magnus scooped Alec into his arms and stepped through the portal, delivering the younger man onto their shared bed back at the loft. He moved toward the kitchen to grab some supplies, but a hand shot up and caught his sleeve. "Mags? Stay."

By the Angel, he couldn't resist those big brown eyes. "I want to. And I will, as soon as we do something about this fever. Does that sound alright?"

Alec pouted, and Magnus couldn't help but think about how badly he wanted to kiss those beautiful lips - once they were done being sick, of course.

"I'll be right back. Promise. I'm just grabbing a cool cloth and some water."

~

It took four hours for the fever to break. Magnus had been getting quite concerned about the climbing temperature, but a cool bath had seemed to do the trick in bringing him back down. Now all that was left to deal with was the exhaustion, the nausea, and the grumpy shadowhunter. Magnus would have gladly taken on the first two himself to avoid the third.

"Mags, I swear I'm fine." Alec was climbing out of bed, already attempting to get out of his pyjama pants and into work clothes.

"Not going to happen, Alexander. You need rest. Isabelle has everything handled at the institute, and she won't be happy if you come back any sooner than Thursday."

"Thursday? Alec wailed. "That's in three days!"

"Exactly." Tugging his (still most definitely ill) boyfriend back into the large bed, Magnus smiled. "You need rest. And I am not leaving this loft until I'm sure you've had it."

Alec paused for a moment, seeming to consider his options before defeatedly shifting back into his pillow.

"Good." Magnus pressed a slow kiss to Alec's forehead and slid from the bed, making his way into the kitchen. "I'm making toast, do you want herbal tea or green?"

"Black coffee."

"Not an option right now. Pick a tea."

Alec huffed. "Fine. Green."

"Your wish is-"

Alec didn't hear the last part of the overused statment, he flopped face-first into the duvet and covered his head with a pillow.

When Magnus came back from the kitchen with a tray of breakfast, he couldn't help but chuckle. "As adorable as you look, Alexander, you need to get up and eat. You can't get better on an empty stomach."

~

Wednesday night couldn't come fast enough. Magnus loved soaking up time with Alec, but he quickly learned that, without an outlet for physical exertion, the shadowhunter got incredibly antsy. He was fairly certain the tall man had worn a hole his in favourite rug with all the pacing he had achieved over the last three days. But it was all worth it when Alec came over and put his arms around Magnus, dropping a kiss into his hair.

"Hey. Thank you for taking care of me. I know it can't have been easy...I tend to be a burden when I get sick."

Magnus grabbed Alec's arms and held on tight, dropping his glamour and making sure they had strong eye contact before speaking. "Alexander, my love. You are never a burden. Difficult, perhaps, but never, ever a burden. Do you hear me?"

The shadowhunter nodded softly, a pink tinge climbing his cheeks.

"Good. And I love you. No matter how many times you kicked me in your sleep this week."

"No!" Alec buried his face in his hands, shaking his head.

"Oh yes. Quite aggressively, I might add. You have incredibly strong legs."

"I'm so sorry, Magnus. I didn't-" He was cut off with a rather deep, lingering kiss.

"It's alright," said Magnus with a wink. "You can make it up to me later."

Alec raised an eyebrow. "Did you have something specific in mind?"

A hand worked it's way to the base of Alec's shirt, thumb tracing over his promise rune. "Oh, I can think of a few things..."