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For the greater good

Chapter Text

"What if I told you, there is another way? Another way to make you be with him forever? "

Alexander Lightwood lay in bed in his room in the institute and stared at the ceiling, remembering the conversation he had with the vampire Camille.

"There is no way to make you immortal. Not without black magic, or changing you into a vampire, both of which you rejected."

He rolled over onto his stomach, hiding his face in the pillow. He groaned softly in pain when he felt the burning in his cheek. He wanted to live with Magnus for as long as possible, but he was well aware of his situation. Right now, people were looking at him with contempt because of his relationship with the downworlder. He couldn't count on the fact that if he decided to let Camille change him, his family and all the Shadowhunters would just accept it. However, he wanted to try to prepare his siblings and parents for this eventuality. Maybe then it would be easier for them to accept it. Maybe if he decided to do this, he could still visit them. He decided to start by talking to his parents. He didn't manage to get to the bottom of the matter when rage appeared in Maryse eyes. She reacted to his revelation with such a strong slap in the face that his head swung violently to the side. She began to shout that he wouldn't be their son anymore, that the Clave would banish him and never let him go back home again, or maybe even kill him. She said that he should either forget about this damned warlock or forget about them.

He sobbed softly into his pillow. His mother painfully reminded him that if he crossed that line, he wouldn't have any place to go back to. And Camille's words came back to him again.

"Maybe you can't give yourself immortality, little Nephilim, in a way that your family would accept. But you can take it from Magnus."

Alec jumped up from the bed. He put on his shoes and left the room heading for the gym. He couldn't sleep because of all the conflicting feelings that were in his heart. When he started to hit the bag as he did thousands of times before, the memory he was trying to forget came back to him.

He began to hit his target harder, imagining Camille's face instead. She was ready to say anything to save herself. Magnus had warned him that the vampire was an excellent manipulator. Camille knew that Alec was tormented by the thought that one day he would die and leave Magnus’ side. He always thought that the only way they could stay together would be to make him immortal. That's why he tried to find out if there was a way to do this. However, it never occurred to him to seek information on how to deprive Magnus of his immortality.

He didn’t know that there was another way. It wasn’t until Camille instilled in him that knowledge, suggesting that this is better and would be what he wanted. He hated her for this. And he hated himself for thinking about this even for a second.

Camille knew perfectly well that Alexander loved Magnus too much to ever agree to do this, but she had something that the boy wanted as much as immortality. She had knowledge about Magnus. Knowledge he didn’t have. She could torment the Shadowhunter with scraps of information about his beloved and manipulate him as long as he was useful to her. Alec obtained information for her and performed other small services as part of their agreement. In return, he was rewarded with new information about Magnus.

He still tried to find a way to gain immortality on his own, but he was disappointed every time. Camille only laughed at him, reminding him that he could always become a vampire.

After some time he understood why Magnus loved this woman. Thanks to her immortality, he was sure that she would always be with him. He was never going to be alone anymore. That's why Alec decided to accept her offer.

After an hour of intensively hitting the punching bag, he took a quick shower and dressed up. Despite the effort he put in to calm down, he couldn’t sleep and decided to go for a walk.

It was still dark when he reached the nearest park and collapsed on the bench. He didn’t know what to do with himself. He had forgotten to take his phone, so he couldn’t make an appointment to meet with Camille in her hideout. And he hadn’t been to Magnus loft for several days. When he thought about it, he realized with irony that for a long time, he preferred to listen to someone he didn’t know well and whom he knew couldn’t be trusted to get stories about Magnus, rather than to meet the man he trusted and get them straight from him.

This knowledge shook Alec deeply. He drew his knees up onto the bench, put his arms around them, and hid his face, not wanting anyone to see him crying.

Magnus always said that the past did not matter, and for a long time Alec felt the same. However, Camille told him about Magnus life, many aspects of which he had not known. Despite all assurances that the past did not matter, Alec wanted to know. When Alec asked Magnus about his past Magnus often tried to avoid an answer or change the subject. Camille instead answered him without hesitation. He loved Magnus. He really did. But he had not realised that soon, it had become a habit to just talk to Camille about Magnus rather than Magnus himself. He’d even stopped visiting Magnus unknowingly, keeping his visits to Camille like a dirty secret. However, all these secrets began to distance them from each other.

He did not realize what he was doing.

Alec had no idea how long he had stayed outside the institute. But he knew he did not care about his parent’s anger at the moment, and he wanted to see Magnus. He rubbed his eyes with his sleeve and stood up, heading for Brooklyn. He had not taken his wallet and stele, so he had to walk all the way, which allowed him to calm down a bit.

When he found himself on the street where the warlock lived, he put on his Shadowhunter mask, a self-assured warrior. Only someone who cared enough to look closely could see the eyes that were puffy and red from crying and know the truth.

He was a few steps from the gate, when the door suddenly opened and the warlock ran out. He was disheveled with no make-up and in a unbuttoned coat, under which he noticed only a thin white shirt. He had a blue satin scarf in his right hand, which he had given Alec some time ago, with his left hand, Magnus held the phone to his ear. He looked worried.

"You said I should give him some time to settle down, I agreed, because you know him longer than I. And now you call me in the middle of the night, telling me that he disappeared leaving his phone and stele at home. Of all things in the world his stele. After he argued again with his parents about ME! And you dare order me to calm down Jonathan?!”

Magnus yelled before he hung up. He put the phone in his pocket and walked towards the dumbfounded Alec, focusing all the attention on the scarf and mumbling the tracking spell. Before he finished it, he saw a shadow of a figure in front of him. He was willing to cast a curse on anyone who would try to stop him in this moment.

He raised his eyes, in which anger mixed with anxiety, and he froze when he met the familiar blue irises.

Anger disappeared, replaced by relief, but anxiety remained.

“Are you ok, Alexander?” The warlock asked quietly, making an uncertain step towards the Shadowhunter. He saw his red eyes and swollen cheek. This sight made him angry at the person who dared to hurt his boyfriend.

Alec shuddered at the sound of Magnus voice. In this moment he realized how much he missed him. All the effort he had put into calming down had been futile. The facade of the shadowhunter dropped, showing Magnus all the longing and suffering he had in himself since their last meeting.

Magnus inhaled sharply as the first tears came out of his beloved’s eyes. It took Magnus only two steps to pull him into a tight embrace. His nephilim immediately snuggled into him, and Magnus flinched when he felt the cold hands clench his shirt.

“For god's sake, Alec you are terribly cold, let's go inside.”

“No ...” he heard the choked sob.

“No? But…”

“I’m sorry.” He said in a voice full of guilt. “I'm sorry, Magnus. I'm so sorry.”

“You don’t have to apologize, Alexander. You did nothing wrong, sweetheart.”

He felt the boy shake his head and try to move away. Magnus loosened the embrace a little, but not enough to let him go.

“You’re wrong. I did something terrible, Magnus.” Alec stared at the buttons on the warlock’s shirt, just to not look at his eyes.

“That's enough Alexander.” Magnus said firmly. “Come in, then you can tell me about everything. And I want you to know that there is nothing in the world that can make me hate you.”

He felt the boy's body starting to shiver after his words. Was he afraid of that?

‘Oh, Alexander, what did you do?’ Magnus thought and embraced him again. They stood still for a moment in silence, and it was Alec who interrupted it.

“I’m so tired ..." he whispered.

Magnus laughed and put one hand on Alec's waist and began to lead him towards the entrance.

“I'm not surprised. It's 04:00 a.m. The sun will rise soon.”

“I feel like I haven't slept in ages...”

“And exactly how long has it been?” asked Bane.

“Maybe a few...” Before Alec finished, Magnus could feel that his body was starting to become heavier.

Magnus was scared. It's unlike Alec to get himself into a state that would make him lose consciousness. With one quick move, Magnus took the boy in his arms and carried him to his apartment.

When he found himself in the bedroom, he carefully put Alec on the bed. He could still feel how cold he was and covered him with the duvet. Just in case, he cast a heating spell on the room. Magnus returned to the hallway to hang up his coat. Returning, he heard Alec's sobs.

“Magnus...”

The Warlock jumped to open his bedroom door, wanting to show himself to Alec as soon as possible, who, as it turned out, was still sleeping apparently tormented by a nightmare. Magnus went to the bed and lay down next to Alec, seeing the tears running down his cheeks.

Magnus touched his forehead gently, brushing aside his bang. Alec’s skin had warmed up a little, but it was far from normal.

“I'm so sorry. I never wanted...”

Magnus rose sharply. After Max’s death Alec often had nightmares. He would cry without making any noise or suddenly wake up screaming, but he never spoke in his sleep.

“I didn’t want…” The next sob was a little louder and Alec's eyelids opened to reveal the blue eyes.

Alec rose up, clutching his shirt near his heart with his right hand, while with the other he grabbed his knees. His body shivered and he found himself struggling to catch his breath.

Magnus immediately recognized the symptoms of panic attack that Alec, to his knowledge, never had. Or he never told him about them?

Magnus didn’t know what caused the attack, so he was afraid to use magic to help him. The boy was still trying to catch his breath. Magnus put his hand on Alec’s back, wanting to show his support and spoke to the trembling boy.

“Hey, breathe. I'm here. You are safe.”

If Magnus thought it would help, he was wrong. Alec flinched and jumped out of the bed as if he was running away from something. He stopped near the wall, hugging himself so tight that his knuckles turned white. In his eyes, the warlock saw fear. His legs trembled so much that he couldn’t hold himself up any longer. Alec began to slide down the wall to the ground.

Magnus knelt in front of the boy, he didn’t try to touch him again, even though his body wanted to embrace his trembling terrified boyfriend.

“Alexander. It’s alright.” He tried to speak calmly. “It was just a dream. A bad dream. Can you hear me?”

Blue eyes moved from the ground to Magnus face. His mouth opened and uttered one word:

“Mag... nus...”

“Shhh, it’s ok. I'm here.” He hoped Alexander would not remember that he was talking to him as if he was a child. “It was just a dream. You are in my apartment in Brooklyn. It's almost five in the morning.” He whispered softly. He noticed that the trembles stopped and the panic was slowly disappearing from the boy's eyes.

“Alec?” Blue eyes rose to look at warlock face with a silent question. “Can I sit beside you?”

A slight nod was the only answer. Magnus immediately sat down against the wall, close enough to feel the coolness of the boy’s skin and at the same time far enough not to touch him. They sat like this for a few minutes. Magnus tried to breathe steadily, hoping that Alec would instinctively match his breathing with his. And that's how it happened. When Alec calmed down, he began to gather some strength to ask about what happened, but Lightwood overtook him.

“I’m sorry.” He whispered in a strangled voice.

Magnus looked at him, fearing that he would see tears in Alec’s eyes. Fortunately, he didn’t.

“I've already told you that you don’t have to apologize.”

Magnus stretched out his arm to embrace Alec, but stopped when he remembered that even if the boy looked calm, he could still return to the state he was before if he did something that crossed a line.

That's why he asked hesitantly:

“Can I hold you?”

When he saw Alec’s reaction, he was glad that he asked for permission. Blue irises stared at him with horror. Magnus didn’t understand what was happening. Many explanations passed through his head and he didn’t like any of them. So he decided to ask directly.

“I can’t help you until you tell me what happened,” he explained. “I just want you to know that I would never hurt you.”

Alec sucked in a quick breath, and Magnus could see fear in his eyes again.

“Magnus, I...”

“If someone hurt you, tell me who it is, and I will make sure that today's sunrise is the last one he sees in his life,” Magnus growled firmly and red sparks passed between his fingers.

“No, Magnus...” Alec whispered, Magnus could hear the tiredness in his voice. “It's not like that...”

“So how is it?! You weren't talking to me for a few days. Your siblings tried to convince me that you needed time after everything what happened with Camille, and later...

Magnus fell silent when he saw his young lover curl up at the name of the vampire.

“So it's about HER?” said Magnus sadly. “I thought that we had already talked about that I closed this chapter of my life. Why is it so hard for you to believe me? Why can’t you trust me?!”

“I trust you,” he whispered silently.  

“Apparently not, because if you do, why are we having this conversation again?”

Magnus got up angrily and went to the kitchen. He was agitated, and needed a moment to calm down. He didn’t want to say something that he could regret.

He had not lied when he said, that he was never going to hate Alec no matter what, but at that moment, he felt disappointed. At first, Alec jealousy pleased him. He thought it was a sign of attachment. He couldn’t remember when it start to disturb him.

Magnus sighed heavily and reached for the tall glass from the cabinet above the sink. He was going to get some water when he heard a sound he would never wanted to hear.

He put glass on the table with a trembling hand and walked quietly to his bedroom door.

Alec was sitting where he had left him, holding on to his knees with his arms and hiding his face in them, trying to suppress the sobs that shook his whole body.

Magnus hated when his boyfriend cried. This time he was doing it because of him. He wanted to hit his stupid head on the wall. Alexander came to him apparently tormented by something he did, saying himself that he did something terrible. And how did Magnus help him? He shouted and blamed him for his lack of trust.

‘Just wonderful Bane.'

"So... Are you going to tell me what you have done?" asked Magnus while standing next to the door.

Alec wiped the tears with the back of his hand, and whispered something not looking at Magnus.

"Can you repeat?"

"I drank Camille's blood." he said louder and curled up.

Magnus paled.

"You did what?!"

"I drank her..." Alec try to repeat but Magnus interrupted him.

"I’ve heard you. But why? Why in hell would you do something so stupid?"

"Because it's the only way."

"For what?" Magnus walked over to Alec and knelt in front of him. He put his hands on Alec's knees. "Darling..."

"Camille was trapped and I helped her run away, and in return she promised to tell me how I can stay with you forever." He mumbled in one breath. "Of course she lied to me. She told me that the only way is to make you mortal. And, I can't do this to you. I would be able to accept everything if I had to bear the consequences of this decision on my own. I tried to find another way. I read a lot of books, And I couldn't find anything."

Magnus was in deep shock.

"You did it for me?" He ask with the small voice.

Alec finally look at Magnus eyes.

"When I met Camille I understood why you loved her. She is beautiful, smart and immortal, just perfect." Alec counted. "You don't have to be scared that she’d get old and die. You would never have to be alone."

Chapter Text

Magnus stared at the sleeping Alec, who, after an earlier confession, had completely lost his strength.
After a while, which  felt  like  ages  for  Magnus,  Alec  finally  let  Magnus  touch  him  and  put  him
back to bed. He messaged Jace and Izzy that Alec was with him and now lay beside the  boy  thinking
about his words.

The stupid Nephilim was willing to sacrifice his career, his family,  even  his  life,  without  demanding
anything in return. However, that didn't surprise Magnus the most.

Alec, who considered Camille his rival, who was  madly  jealous  of  her  a  few  weeks  ago,  somehow
spent enough time with her to let her manipulate him.

At the thought of Alec being her subordinate for the rest of his existence,  shivers  ran  down  Magnus
back. The boy apparently didn’t realize the consequences of his decision.

Alec murmured something in his sleep, and Magnus noticed a  shadow passing  through  his  sleeping
face. A nightmare tormented him again. He gently embraced Alec, whose  skin  was  still  terribly  cold
despite the spell, one of the side effects of drinking a vampire's blood.

Magnus never heard of a Nephilim who became a vampire. After a vampire attack, bodies were  always
burnt because of the possibility of transformation. Every Shadowhunter he  knew  so  far  couldn’t  live
with the knowledge that he would have to feed on the blood of  the  innocent  that  he  was  supposed
to defend. Of all of them in the world, Magnus must have fallen in love with this one exception.

"Will you ever cease to amaze me, Alexander Lightwood?" Magnus whispered fondly, kissing the  boy's
forehead. He stared at him for a few more minutes before he drifted off to sleep himself.

***

‘What am I doing here again?' thought Alec, crossing the abandoned subway station where Camille was
hiding. He had no idea how he got here. The last thing he remembered was Magnus's strong arms that
carried him to bed.

He remembered how Raphael's blood drew  Simon  to  the  Dumort  Hotel.  And  eventually  it  became
the cause of his death.

It’s true that he drank Camille’s  blood,  but  he  didn’t  think  he  was  ready  to  exchange  his  runes
for fangs that day.

"Alexander" Camille smiled happily at his sight. "I see that the hunt was successful."

'Hunt?' At that moment he realized that he was carrying something with him all  the  time.  He  walked
toward her, his legs moving without his will. When he found himself close  enough,  he  stretched  out
his bloody hand, showing Camille his prey. The woman clapped  her  hands  in  admiration  as  a  torn
head appeared in front of her face, which Alec was holding tightly. He could hear  the  blood  that  fell
from the torn neck and hit the ground at the vampire's feet.

"I'll throw it together with the rest of your trophies." She said taking his loot from him and throwing  it
back at the pile that was next to her. Alec recognized some of the faces  that,  even  after  death,  still
looked at him as if they were incredulous that he could  do  something  like  that.  His  family's  heads
were there. Izzy’s, Jace’s, Clary’s, Maryse’s and Robert’s, and  others  he  knew,  and  some  he  didn’t
recognize.

"Now my warrior." she whispered to his ear. "Be so kind and bring me Magnus' head." Without  a  word
of protest, he began to head towards the exit.

***

Magnus woke up to the sunlight coming into  the  room  through  the  gap  between  the  curtains.  He
murmured, dissatisfied, turning to nestle his face in Alec’s neck. He sat up abruptly when it turned out
that the other half of the bed was empty.

He looked at  his  watch  and  moaned,  it  was  almost  4:00  PM.  He  reluctantly  rose  from  the  bed.
He would like to stay here, especially after what happened at night.

He reached for the phone while stretching his sleepy  muscles.  His  eyes  widened  widely  in  surprise
when he saw how many missed  calls  and  messages  he  had.  They  all  belonged  to  Alec's  siblings.
He quickly browsed the messages and was even more surprised.

Isabelle:

Is Alec still with you? He has not come home yet. Our parents are furious.

2:21 p.m.

Blondie Boy:

I don’t know what Alec and his parents had quarreled about yesterday, but I advise him to come  back.
Even if you are in the middle of SOMETHING. Maryse threatened to come for him if  he  doesn’t  return
to the institute on his own.

3:03 p.m.

Isabelle:

I'll try to cover for him for some time, but tell him to stop fooling around and come back. I understand
that he is angry but if he stays with you he will only make his situation worse.

3:25 p.m.

The last message was from just a few minutes ago.

Blondie Boy:

MAGNUS! PICK UP THE PHONE! WHAT'S HAPPENING! SOMETHING IS WRONG! CALL ME!

3:49 p.m.

The last message scared him, he got up quickly and headed  toward  the  kitchen  while  dialing  Jace’s
number.

"Alec!" He called into the apartment, but he received no answer.

"Magnus!"

Warlock jumped up at the sound of the blond's voice, he had already forgotten that he called him.

"Magnus where is HE?!"

"He had to leave, I don’t know when. I just got up," he said worriedly.

"Magnus, you need to find him, something is wrong with him. My Parabatai rune..."

Magnus went back into the bedroom and noticed shoes lying near  the  bed,  which  he  took  off  from
Alec’s legs before he put him to bed.

'You must be here' he thought and jumped  to  the  bathroom  door.  He  opened  it  and  froze  in  the
doorstep.   The   phone   fell  out  of  his  trembling  hand,  banging  against  the  floor  on  which  the
Shadowhunter's clothing was scattered.

"ALEC!" he cried running up to the bath. With one jerk  he  pulled  the  boy's  head  above  the  surface
of the water. Alec’s face was whiter than usual.

Magnus thought that his heart would break when he pulled the boy's limp body to him, wanting to get
him out of the water.

Somewhere from afar, he heard Jace’s  terrified  voice.  He  could  hear  the  daily  noise  in  the  street
in front of his apartment building. But nothing mattered to him at this  point.  He  completely  lost  his
sense of reality. He didn’t even notice that blue sparks were jumping all over his body.  Magnus  broke
out of his shock only when Alec's body shook a strong cough.

"Alexander!" he blurted out, the words getting stuck in his throat.

The boy clung tightly to his arm while constantly coughing to get rid  of  the  water  that  accumulated
in his lungs.

"W… what happened?" Alec asked  hoarsely.  His  whole  body  trembled.  When  he  didn’t  receive  an
answer, he raised his head to look at Magnus. He was scared when he see the emptiness in  the  man's
golden-green cat eyes. "Magnus..."

The Warlock blinked several times, trying to drive away the tears that gathered  at  the  corners  of  his
eyes.

"Never do this to me again." He sobbed hiding his face against the brunette's shoulder. "I thought…"

"Shhh, it's okay. I'm fine." Alec assured his voice was still  hoarse  and  he  began  to  smoothly  stroke
Magnus’ back, knowing that it could help him calm down.

Magnus broke away from the boy and snapped his fingers. In his hand  appeared  an  incredibly  fluffy
and patterned towel, which Magnus used to gently dry Alec’s face and the rest of his body.

"Can you get up?" Magnus asked quietly. Alec wasn’t sure. With the help of Magnus, he rose to his feet,
which were still trembling. Magnus quickly wrapped the towel on Alec’s  hips  and  put  his  own  arms
around his waist to relieve the pressure from Alec’s weak legs.

The Warlock led Alec into the bedroom and sat him on the bed. The boy could still see the fear lurking
in Magnus’ eyes.

Magnus was afraid if he blinked, it would turn  out  that  he  couldn’t  get  him  out  of  water  in  time.
Magnus felt a cool hand that gently grabbed  his  own  and  stroked  his  palm  with  the  thumb,  Alec
wanting to show Magnus that he was still here, that he had nothing to fear.

"I'm sorry." He heard a small voice.

Magnus looked at his lover’s blue irises.

"I have no idea what happened," he noted confused. "I woke up b ... because ..." At the memory of  the
nightmare that had wrenched him from sleep, goosebumps covered his whole body. "I saw that it  was
a warm, clear afternoon, so I decided to relax in the tub. I had to  fall  asleep.  I'm  sorry." He  finished
quietly.

"You could have died. Do you know how it would have ended?  "Magnus  asked  in  a  voice  filled  with
suffering. Alec didn’t want Magnus to suffer. Not because of him. "A vampire's blood circulates in your
veins. And it was not just any vampire. Camille Belcourt is not  Raphael,  Alexander.  She  is  cruel  and
vindictive.   After  the  transformation,  you  would  have  to  listen  to  her  orders.  You'd  have  to  do
everything that she demanded of you. Even if you don’t want to do it.”

Magnus's voice, though calm, sounded like a hurricane in  Alec's  head.  If  he  died,  his  dream  could
become a reality. He suddenly felt sick. Alec covered his mouth with his palm, and with his  other  arm
he clutched his stomach as if it could stop the bile rising in his throat.

He felt a warm hand on his face. He opened his eyes to see Magnus's worried look.

"Promise me that you will be careful. At least  until  you  get  rid  of  the  crazy  women’s  blood."  Alec
nodded his head in acknowledgment, when suddenly there was a loud knock at the door.

"If we're already talking about crazy people," Magnus muttered and snapped  his  fingers,  summoning
Alec's clothes from the institute. "Dress up before your Parabatai breaks down the door to my loft."

"Jace?! What is he doing here? "Alec was surprised quickly putting on his top.

"I talked to him on the phone  before  I  found  you."  Magnus  said,  heading  for  the  door.  "Are  you
surprised that I completely forgot about him?" Alec looked at him apologetically before Magnus added,
"It looks like he was offended."

Alec laughed, fastening his pants. "Let him in.”

"Are you sure? We can always pretend we didn’t hear him."At this point, the knocking got louder.

"MAGNUS, YOU ASSHOLE! LET ME IN! I WANT TO SEE MY BROTHER!"

"If he goes on like that, they'll even hear him at the institute," said Alec, and smiled when Magnus gave
up with sigh and went to open the door.

Chapter Text

These  hunts were not similar to the others. He had to concentrate if he didn’t want to die. His next goal was
the High Warlock of Brooklyn, who was not so easy to approach.

Camille's order kept echoing in his head, and he couldn’t disappoint her. Nothing would be able to stop him,
even his own consciousness, which begged him to come to his senses while it wasn’t too late.

The longer he remained under the control of Camille, the harder it was to return  to  his  own  consciousness,
which spoke to him from a distance with a cry of despair every time somebody he  loved  was  killed  by  him.
There was only one person left who would be able to end this madness. And that person was supposed to die
today as well.

He quickly found himself in a familiar neighborhood. The cornices, lit by lanterns, threw long shadows on the
houses. He was in no hurry, the night was still young. He still had a lot of time.

From a distance, he saw a familiar building, which he had called home for a long time. The door at the  stair-
case was open. It was a bit suspicious to him, but even if the warlock set a trap he couldn’t turn back now.

In a few seconds he stood in front of the door at the apartment's entrance, which immediately opened to him.
He went inside looking around cautiously. The room was dark, with only  the  street  lights  giving  it  a  small
glow, making the furniture in the room cast grotesque shadows on the walls.

All his muscles were strained to the limit. A sixth sense warned him of danger, told him  to  turn  on  his  heel
and run away.

"I knew you would come for me, Alexander."

When he looked in the direction from which the voice came, the  only  thing  he  saw  was  a  familiar  pair  of
yellow-green cat eyes that shone in the dark.

Against his instincts, he took a few steps further into the apartment, stepping closer to the man who sat in  a
deep chair. The closer he came, the louder the warning buzzing  sounded  in  his  head.  The  Warlock  didn’t
move even when he stood in front of him.

'Don’t do it!' He blinked in surprise when he heard a voice that somehow managed to break through the  wall
that Camille had built in his head. It's been a  long  time  since  he  heard  his  own  voice  echo  in  his  head.
Suddenly, that order was pushed into the background, drowned out by his other consciousness, which wasn't
going to give up until even one person he loved lived on the earth.

He suddenly felt a wave of fatigue and boundless despair. He fell to his knees  at  the  warlock’s  feet,  hiding
his face in his own hands. The buzz died down.

"It was not supposed to look like this,” he sobbed. "Everything was supposed to be different."

He felt warm hands covering his face with tenderness.

"I know, my love."

He uncovered his face to look once again into the eyes of the man he loved, beyond his own life, for whom he
decided to become what he was now. However, the price he had to pay was too high.

The man's face moved closer and soon their lips joined in a gentle kiss. He still  remembered  how  he  tasted,
even though a lot of time had passed since the last time they kissed each other. He tangled his  hands  in  the
warlock’s hair, which for a change didn’t bear any traces of gel or other  products.  He  broke  away  from  the
kiss only when he heard a hiss as his fangs bite the man's lip.

The blood of warlocks didn’t taste like the blood of others beings, because it was  full  of  magic,  and  it  was
different for each warlock.

His eyes immediately moved to a drop of blood, which grew on the  man's  lips  to  finally  run  a  thin  stream
down his chin.

"Alexander." The warlock’s voice reached him from a distance. The order came back to him, he didn’t want  to
do it, but he had to. "It’s alright, Alexander. You don’t have to hold back any longer. Just do it."

He tore his gaze from the red liquid to get his eyes fixed again in the yellow-green cat's irises. The man's eyes
were full of tears, love and ... Forgiveness ? If he could, he would also cry. He  slowly  directed  his  lips  to  the
warlock's neck, under which he felt the pulsing of blood.

"Magnus, please ..." He begged as the remnants of his consciousness fought with Camille's  voice  booming  in
his head. "I can’t, I don’t want to ..."

"Shhh, my love. Everything will be fine..." he paused as he felt the fangs cut  through  his  skin.  The  pain  was
quickly soothed with the help of venom, which at an alarming rate spread over the warlock’s body, making the
entire will to fight leave him. Before he fell down completely, he managed to mumble. "I love you."

He could feel the man's body go limp, when he died. He pulled away from his neck and  stared  blankly  at  the
pale face of the love of his life. Yellow-green cat eyes hid under the eyelids, never to see the light of day again.

***

Alec got up from the bed with a cry of despair and tears running down his cheeks. He couldn’t catch his breath.
'What have I done?' he thought terrified. A strangled sob escaped his lips.

"Alexander." He heard a familiar voice. He tightened his eyelids from which another tide of tears  flowed.  "Alec,
it's okay." He felt someone put his hands on his shoulders, rubbing them lightly in a gesture of comfort. "It was
a dream. Just a bad dream. "

“M… Mag…”

"I'm here. You are safe." He said without  interrupting  his  gentle  soothing.  Magnus  tried  to  breathe  a  little
deeper, hoping that Alec would instinctively match his breath with his. "Alexander,  you  have  to  breathe."  He
said when the trick didn’t work this time. "Do it for me.  Listen  to  my  breath,  baby."  For  a  few  minutes,  he
mumbled praise and encouraged him to keep trying before Alec finally managed to calm down a bit.

Alec didn’t know what caused these nightmares. He would do anything to make it end. He realized  that  it  was
just a dream, but everything seemed so real. He still felt the metallic taste  in  his  mouth,  as  if  he  was  really
drinking somebody's blood.

He was stupid to think that he ever accept that he would become a vampire. And these dreams didn’t  help  him
at all. Every time he closed his eyes, he saw Camille's smiling face and a pile of heads he collected himself.  The
vampire called them his trophies.

"Alexander." Magnus's worried voice  wrenched  him  out  of  his  thoughts.  Alec  looked  apologetically  at  his
boyfriend.

He woke Magnus up in the middle of the night  again.  The  nightmare  kept  coming  back  to  him,  sometimes
changing, showing him how he killed more people he cared about. ‘It's just a dream,’ he  repeated  in  his  mind
feeling the panic rising again.

"I would like to know how to help you so much." Magnus confessed, he never felt as  powerless  as  now.  "From
what Sheldon and Raphael said, I think that everything should pass soon."

Alec nodded. He didn’t tell Magnus yet, but after talking to Simon  and  Raphael,  he  was  becoming  more  and
more aware that his symptoms were nothing like what others were after drinking a vampire's blood.

There were of course also the normal symptoms. His skin became unnaturally cold and he was still scared every
time he sat with Magnus, Izzy or Jace, and he could hear the  blood  flowing  through  their  veins.  Their  blood
attracted him even though he was still human.

He had no idea how Simon endured it. With every passing day he felt that he was beginning to  admire  the  boy
more and more. Alec thought he would even be able to make friends with him if the vampire  had  not  tried  to
pick up his younger sister.

He shook off his thoughts, not wanting to worry the warlock  any  more.  He  looked  at  him  and  noticed  that
Magnus had apparently fallen into his own thoughts.

Alec stroked the man's chin with the tip of his nose, gaining all his attention in a second.

"Where have you been?" he asked teasingly. He was still a  little  shaky  after  the  earlier  panic  attack.  Magnus
looked surprised by the sudden question.

"Nowhere, dear. I was with you all the time," he replied, and a gentle smile appeared on his face.

Alec nudged him lightly on the shoulder. "Yes, but only with your  body.  Your  mind,  on  the  other  hand,  has
taken a trip around the world. Where have you been?"

Magnus smiled enigmatically. "I was visiting my older sister, if you had to know." He  laughed  when  a  surprise
appeared on the boy's face.

"I didn’t know you had a sister. You never told me about her before. Why? "Alec was really  curious  about  what
kind of person this woman might be. Were her and Magnus in a way similar to each other?

"There has never been an opportunity. Besides, Megi is... how  to  say  it..."  He  considered  for  a  moment  the
words that suited to describe her.  In the end, he smiled and said. "She’s very similar to you."

Alec's eyes got bigger, if that was even possible. "To me?"

"Yes. She is brave, she always puts the good of others above her own.  And  above  all,  she  loves  her  younger
brother and is ready to sacrifice her own life for him. Sound familiar?" he  uttered  every  word  with  great  love.
Even for a moment he didn’t look away from the boy's blue irises.

"She must be a wonderful person." Alec said, his face covered with a beautiful blush. "After all she is your sister."

Magnus's heart quickened when the hidden compliment got to him. He grinned and  leaned  forward  to  gently
kiss Alec’s forehead.

Suddenly the room swirled. When Magnus felt a cold mouth on his own and the softness of the  bedding  under
his back, he understood that he had just been attacked by his man, in the best possible way.

Alec had only recently stepped into the world of love making, but he was  amazingly  good  at  it.  He  had  just
needed to find some courage in himself.

Magnus had the impression that Alec would rather fight with a whole horde of demons, than take the first  step
in bed. That's why he was surprised when the boy quickly pinned him to the mattress with his own body.

A commentary on the whole situation flashed on the end of Magnus’s tongue, but before  he  could  speak,  he
bit himself.

It was not often that his charming lover took the initiative in bed, so he didn’t want to destroy with  his  teasing
the little confidence that the boy managed to collect. Especially after a panic attack  that  he  just  had.  Instead,
Magnus purred in Alec's mouth with satisfaction and tangled his fingers in the hair on  his  neck,  trying  to  get
him closer.

The boy's mouth moved to Magnus's neck alternately kissing  and  licking  the  warm  skin  just  under  the  ear.
Magnus's hands moved to the brunette's back. He wanted to touch his  naked  skin  so  badly,  but  he  had  too
much clothing in the way. Frustrated, he wanted to snap his fingers to make the  annoying  wardrobe  disappear
as his eyes widened, startled by a sudden stab of pain.

Alec bit him . Normally, Magnus wouldn’t mind, but the wave of adrenaline and excitement that  he  felt  at  first
quickly disappeared when boy's teeth pierced his skin.

"Alec!" Magnus hissed, feeling that tears were gathering at the corners of his eyes.

Shadowhunter broke away from him and looked at the yellow-green cat's iris with a question. Alec's lips took  on
a strong red shade stained with the warlock’s blood. Magnus's hand instinctively moved to his neck to  cover  the
bite mark.

"Oh my God! I'm so sorry, I..." Alec’s voice trembled when he realized what he had just done.

Magnus became alarmed when boy's face paled. However, he was even more frightened when  a  second  later  it
took on an unhealthy shade of green. Alec jumped up from the bed and ran to the bathroom.  A  gagging  sound
reached Magnus’ ears as Alec hurled the contents of his stomach into the toilet.

Magnus very slowly disentangled himself from the bedclothes, wanting to give the boy time to calm down before
he went to the bathroom door. For a moment Magnus wondered if it would be better to leave Alec alone when he
heard a muffled sob.

He opened the door gently. His heart squeezed at the sight of his boyfriend.

Alec was kneeling on the deck with both hands clutching  the  toilet  bowls.  His  whole  body  was  shaking  with
convulsions and tears ran down his cheeks. He tried to suppress hsi cries by biting his lip.

"Alexander," Magnus whispered, and with the intention of embracing the boy, he took a step forward.

"DON’T COME NEAR ME!" The Warlock flinch in surprise. Alec had never shouted at him before.

After a moment of silence, Alec said quietly, his voice breaking.

"In my dreams ... or rather nightmares, I am a vampire." He took a  deep  breath  to  regain  his  strength  before
continuing. "Camille tells me to kill people for her own sick entertainment. And I can’t refuse her."

Magnus remembered how he had told the boy a few days ago why drinking Camille’s blood was a bad idea. If he
knew that his words would haunt Alec, he would bite his own tongue.

Alec sat on the ground, leaning his back against the  wall.  When  he  looked  at  the  warlock  he  saw  the  guilt
painted all over his face. He groaned.

"Don’t do this." Magnus broke out of his thoughts, meeting the blue eyes of the boy only to escape in a moment,
unable to look at them anymore. "Magnus, look at me." Alec demanded and who he was to refuse him.

When their eyes met again, the Shadowhunter began to speak.

"These dreams began before you told me what Camille would do to me if I actually became a vampire."

Magnus knew that Lightwood was tormenting by nightmares, but for some reason, the boy never wanted to  talk
about them.

"Why did you never tell me about them?" He asked quietly, staring at Alexander's bare feet.

"I thought it was normal. Simon said that sometimes he dreamed about strange things before his transformation.
And somehow I never saw him panicking or losing control and biting people he loves. I’m so pathetic."

"Oh Alec. Stop worrying about it. You didn’t do it consciously."  Magnus  wanted  to  comfort  him,  but  the  boy
flinched at his words.

Alec got up quickly and passed the warlock trying not to touch him.

"That's the problem!" He growled.

Magnus saw that Alec was angry for some reason. He wasn’t only sure why and on which one of them.

"In this dream, Camille tells me to kill people I care about. With each person I have less and less strength to resist
her. At some point, it seems to me that everything that she told me to do, I did willingly. I stood covered in blood
with a smile, accepting her every command. And the worst part is that nobody even tried to stop  me.  They  were
bleeding in front of me, staring at me in disbelief. And you…" He groaned and turned abruptly looking at Magnus
with eyes filled with pain. "You knew I'd come after you. So of course you were waiting for  me  with  outstretched
arms and instead of stopping me, you let me kill you." Alec tightened his eyelids, feeling the tears  running  down
his cheeks. After a moment, Magnus's strong arms embraced him. "Would you really let  me  do  that?"  he  asked,
burying his face in Magnus's shirt, which smelled of sandalwood.

"I would," he whispered softly into  Alec's  hair.  Alec  immediately  raised  his  head,  staring  at  him  in  disbelief.
"I know it seems terrible to you..." he began to explain,  but  he  was  interrupted  by  the  quivering  voice  of  the
Shadowhunter.

"You'd let me live with the knowledge that I killed everyone I loved?" The boy felt that every breath he took hurting
him painfully.

"No Alexander." Magnus protested gently. "I know a spell similar to the  one  Lilith  used  on  Jace.  It's  a  curse  so
it has a bit of a delayed reaction, so when I'm gone, you'll still be alive but in the end it would work  on  you."  Alec
stared at him with wide eyes. "So answering your questions, my love.” Magnus put his hand on Alec’s face and lean
closer speaking almost into his open mouth. “Yes, I would let you kill me ‘cause I couldn’t stand to hurt you,  but  I
wouldn’t let you live forever alone with everything that Camille made you do."

Chapter Text

Magnus woke up around seven in the morning. Alec's nightmares were becoming more and more brutal each day, and it frightened the warlock. His shadowhunter didn’t tell him about every dream, but with time he could see the difference in Alec himself. Three weeks had passed, so the vampire blood as well as nightmares should soon disappear .

Magnus was afraid for Alec. The boy reminded him of a hunted animal that was afraid of its own shadow. The worst part was that he stopped eating and Magnus didn’t know what to do about it.

The warlock sighed heavily and gently brushed the black hair from the boy's forehead. Alec's skin was still very cold- he had purple shadows under his eyes, and there were also some signs of malnutrition: sunken eyes and cheeks. Alec was getting weaker every day.

Magnus closed his eyes and leaned in to kiss the Shadowhunter’s forehead gently. He felt a sudden tiredness when part of his life force was slowly moved to Alec's body. When he opened his eyes, the purple shadows and sunken cheeks disappeared and the boy's skin looked healthy again.

Magnus fell back on the pillows. Despite his fatigue, he had a wild smile on his face. He was shocked that the spell worked when he used it for the first time. He recently found this spell in the Book of White and he wasn’t sure of the effect. Once the warlock read what he could do with it, he decided to rehearse it and use it on his unruly lover. The spell had acceptable side effects for him- he could extend Alec's life by shortening his own, and since he was immortal, he was willing to do so even for the rest of his life.

Magnus knew he should first talk to the Shadowhunter about it, but he couldn’t take looking at how much he suffered, especially since he knew the way to lessen it. All this suffering just to be able to stay with Magnus forever. He had no idea what he did to deserve such a wonderful boyfriend.

The warlock’s thoughts returned to the day Alec told him what he had done. He was shocked when he realized that the boy was ready to do anything for him, even change himself into something, that his kind despised. He was pleased that the boy was ready to do it for him but at the same time he knew that he couldn’t agree to it. Alec, his strong but also sensitive boyfriend, wouldn’t be able to cope with the constant desire for blood that being vampire would bring to him, and with time, he would start to hate himself and it could only end one way. And although the vision of spending eternity with Alec was tempting, Magnus couldn’t agree to this.

The warlock broke out of his thoughts as he felt two strong arms wrap around him.

"How long have you been awake?" Alec asked with a sleepy voice. "You look tired."

"Morning," Magnus smiled as he turned to face the boy. He threw his leg over Shadowhunter's hip, pulling him even closer. When he saw his piercing blue gaze, he couldn’t resist and kissed it's owner on the tip of his nose. "I'm fine."

"Hm,” murmured the boy. Magnus had never lied to him, but he used to avoid a direct answer. "Let's establish that I believe you," he said, and stretched as much as the warlock's legs and arms wrapped around him allowed.

“You are the last person who should be talking to me about that.” Magnus muttered without thinking, remembering how Alec had looked before he had transferred some of his life force, and immediately he wanted to bang his head against the wall when he felt the boy stiffened in his arms.

"I...it's not like I was d...doing it to annoy or w…worry you." Alec stammered, trying to disentangle himself from the warlock's arms. "I...I...I am sorry I can’t control it." Alec tried to get up but the man stopped him by grabbing his hand and pulling him so that his back was against the warlock’s naked chest.

"Alexander." Magnus whispered in the boy's hair. "It's okay, I'm sorry." He laced their fingers. "I know that you're not doing it on purpose. I didn’t mean to offend you in any way. And I certainly didn’t want it to sound like I had a grudge against you. Because I don’t. I didn’t think when I said that. I know that you would prefer to have it all over. I'm sorry."

Alec took a deep breath and a gentle tremor ran through him that he tried to hide from Magnus, though it didn’t escape the attention of the warlock. Magnus gently lifted Shadowhunter's chin to look him in the eye. His heart sank to see the tears streaming down boy’s pale cheeks.

“Oh, Alec.” The warlock turned the boy in his arms. “Look at me.” Alec opened his eyes but stubbornly stared at his hands, which lay on his knee. Magnus put his hand on the boy's cheek and raised his face slightly so that their eyes could meet. “That’s better.” He smiled, when Alec's face covered with a crimson blush so visible on his pale skin. Magnus rubbed the tears from Alec's face gently and embraced him harder. "I forgot to tell you that I tried to call Megi yesterday."

"Your sister?" Alec asked hoarsely.

Magnus nodded. "Many years ago, she was friends with a girl who was Nephilim just like you." One boy's eyebrow rose up.

"She also wanted to be a vampire?" Alec guessed why the warlock mentioned her. Magnus only smiled at him.

"It was the beginning of the Shadowhunters and they didn’t have such knowledge about the Shadow World like they do now. And even now, there are areas in which they still have deficiencies. Megi explores one of them." Magnus stared at the wall with an absent gaze, at the same time subconsciously stroking Alec's arm.

“We have a lot of books about vampirology.” remarked Alec, relaxed in his lover’s arms.

"Megi studied how the blood of vampires affects the mundane, downworlders and Shadowhunters." Alec straightened up and looked at the man, his eyes radiating with curiosity.

"That's why you mentioned her then?" Magnus nodded.

"I was wondering if she could help you somehow. That's why I decided to contact her. You told me that you could handle it, but lately I think it's slipped a bit out of your control," Magnus noticed somberly. He saw the boy opened his mouth to say something, so he quickly added to avoid misunderstandings "You don’t sleep too much and you stopped eating." Alec's mouth closed and his eyes went down to hide the emotions that were raging in them. "Did you think I wouldn’t notice?"

"I feel good. Really." The boy crossed his eyes with the warlock who looked guilty. “Magnus?”

"I know I should have told you before..."

"About what?"

The warlock swallowed hard and began to play with the leg of his pajama pants. "For a week you stubbornly said that you are fine. However, I saw how you were weakening every day. I was afraid you would hurt yourself, wanting to prove something to the whole world."

"So what? You used the magic to put me to sleep? "

"I did it only once." Magnus muttered under his breath. "But it didn’t help because after ten minutes you woke up screaming."

"Magnus, just tell me. I will not get angry about something you did to help me." The warlock looked at the encouraging smile that appeared on the boy's face.

"I found a spell in the Book of White... It allows you to easily increase someone's life force." Shadowhunter thought for a moment, he seemed to be trying to remember something.

"You extended my life by shortening your own?" he states rather than asked, looking at the warlock, whose expression could be described in one word, priceless. Alec laughed at the sight. "I read the Book of White, I know exactly which spell you mean."

"You read... Wait, the book is in another language, what the hell?" Magnus was not able to process this information, which is why Alec hurried to explain.

"The first bookcase, the second shelf from the top, the green book with the golden word Dictionary . Everyone tells me I learn fast,” he shrugged.

"Alexander..." The boy put one finger on his lips.

"I have been here for three weeks because you are not letting me go anywhere. I understand, you don’t want something to happen to me when I have Camille's blood in me. However, after three days at home, I thought I would die of boredom. You have almost as many books at home as the clothes in your wardrobe, and the latter is not particularly interesting to me, so I focused on the former."

He took a deep breath to keep going, but the wizard's mouth effectively prevented him from talking. A light kiss quickly turned into a deep one. Magnus's hands embraced boy's face, trying to get him even closer. Alec instinctively followed him and after a moment he was kneeling over the man’s body, and using his hand to stroke his neck. The boy broke the kiss, wanting to catch some breath, and he almost choked on seeing the warlock's burning look. “Magnus,” Alec groaned and leaned forward for another kiss. This time, he reluctantly slipped his tongue into his lover's mouth, for which he was rewarded with a satisfied mouns.

Magnus quickly took control of the kiss. He caught a pale hip with one hand, with such force that he definitely left a mark and quickly swapped their places. Alec fell on the sheets with a quiet huff. Before he could realise it, Magnus's head was under his shirt. Alec laughed at the sight, but laughter quickly replaced his groan as the warlock's tongue slipped into his belly button to move up higher after a while.

"Magnus, please..." the boy groaned, feeling the man gently nibble his one nipple. "I want to see you…"

The warlock snapped his fingers and boy’s shirt disappeared, and with it the rest of his clothes.

"Magnus!" Alec's face became almost all red. "I told you before, not to do this." Alec didn’t mind the fact that he was naked really, but he was always a little embarrassed when Magnus made all his clothes disappear at once.

Magnus looked at the boy from under his eyelashes, his face grinning at him, he leaned over to bite his nipple again. The boy's back arched away from the sheets, as the warlock’s mouth began kissing the deflect rune on his neck.

"Magnus ... please," Alec whispered almost choking, when Magnus rubbed his body against boy’s crotch. Magnus still wore clothes that rubbed uncomfortably against his naked skin. The boy gave a groan of dissatisfaction and his hands immediately went to the warlock’s belt. Magnus, however, had other plans. He grabbed both of Alec's hands and moved them to his hair, his mouth wandering down to kiss the inner side of the boy’s trembling thigh.

"Are you ok?" the warlock asked, staring at the boy's closed eyes. "Alexander, look at me," he demanded.

Alec blinked several times, trying to focus on his lover's handsome face. The yellow-green cat's eyes stared at him with such intensity that the boy for a moment forgot how to breathe. The warlock's hot breath on his swollen member didn’t make it easier.

"Please ..." he sobbed softly. Shadowhunter's hands tangled in the black strands of the man's hair, clenched and opened, trying to stop himself from pulling his head into the place where he wanted man’s lips the most. “Magnus…”

"Shhh, my love. I'll take care of you." The warlock's mouth gently covered the sensitive part of Alec's body, making him exclaim quietly with surprise.

The Shadowhunter quickly took his hands off the hair of his lover, knowing that he wouldn’t be able to refrain from pulling him closer, just to feel even more of this wet heat.

Magnus groaned unhappily with his lips still on the boy's member, making his hips jump on the mattress.

“MAGNUS!” Alec shouted, coming in the warlock's mouth before the darkness overwhelmed him. He felt his whole body tremble, and tears flowed from his eyes, which disappeared into his black, tangled hair just under his ears.

Alec felt overwhelmed by how much control Magnus had over him. One look of his cat's eyes was enough, and Alec was ready to do anything for him, he was even willing to give up who he was. Until recently, he could not imagine his life without a fight with demons and running the institute. When he was on a mission with Jace and Izzy he always protected them, fearing that something could happen to them, that one of them could die before him.

Alec for once wanted to do something for himself, without thinking about the consequences that ultimately became a hindrance to him. He wanted to stay with Magnus forever. Love him as long as he could. However, everything he did caused his relatives only problems.

His parents were ashamed of him.

His siblings couldn’t count on him because he was too weak to go on a mission with them.

And Magnus, who had taken care of him all this time, had been shortening his own life just to extend his meaningless, worthless existence...

Alec heard loud sobs and felt warm hands tenderly covering his face before he realized that the cries belonged to him and that he totally fell apart in front of Magnus.

“Alexander.” the warlock sounded worried. Before he could say something more, the boy's hands wrapped around his body, pulling Magnus so that he could hide his face on man’s chest. "Hey, Alec. What is it?"

"I'm sorry," the boy gasped, not letting the warlock out of his grasp. "I am terribly oversensitive lately. Don’t worry. It was wonderful, thank you."

"Oh no, no, my dear. You are not going to escape that easily," Magnus gasped, trying to free himself from the boy’s iron grip.

"Please ... let us stay like that for a moment. Please Magnus."

The warlock was afraid that he had crossed some boundaries. They had never done that before and now he had a grudge against himself for not asking Alec if he wanted this.

The boy was still crying silently and Magnus couldn’t even hug him because of the position they were in. Magnus's straightened hands began to shake, trying to keep their joint weight.

"Alec, did I do something wrong?" the warlock asked in a whisper, fearful for the answer.

"By the Angel, no!" Alec dropped onto the pillows, staring at Magnus with wide eyes full of tears. His hands immediately embraced the warlock's face. "It's not your fault," he said firmly.

"But…"

"No buts. I love you. Recently, so much has happened. You were right before. I'm starting to lose control and it frightens me." The boy's words sounded sincere. "All my feelings... Fears... I have the impression that they’ve increased. I feel…" He paused, trying to find the right word.

"Overwhelmed?" Magnus suggested.

“Yeah.” Alec drew the warlock so that he would lie next to him. Their legs were still tangled. "I had plenty of time to think about what I did and how it affected my family, and especially how it affected you," he sighed heavily, staring at the ceiling. Magnus rubbed the tears from the boy's face with his thumb. Alec turned to look into the warlock's eyes. "I'm sorry that I went to Camille. I'm sorry I didn’t tell you about my fears and about what I was going to do."

“Alexander…”

"No, please. Let me finish." he said, putting one finger on the man's lips. "At first I wanted immortality because I was jealous of any person who would appear in your life after my death." In Alec's eyes, Magnus saw a feeling he couldn’t define. "Camille made me realize how childish I was… I wanted to hate her because she had two things that I wanted and couldn’t have, no matter how hard I tried."

"I understand that you mean immortality, but I have no idea what the other thing is," the warlock wondered loudly.

Alec looked at the man's yellow-green cat's eyes smiling sadly. "She knew you." He didn’t have to say more, he knew that Magnus understand. "When I came to her for the first time… Camille kept telling me about you all the time. For those who were not interested, these were minor, meaningless pieces of information, but for me… They were priceless. That's why I went back to her. I regret it more than I can express.”

"Why?" the warlock asked quietly. "It's not like you did something wrong."

"Secret rendezvous with your ex, who is chased by the Clave for breaking the Accords just to get information about you... Magnus look into my eyes and say it again." Alec grumbled gloomily. "Shadowhunters should live and fight for the greater good . And what am I doing?"

"You, my dear, are one of the few Shadowhunters who sacrifice their lives to fulfill this rule." Alec started to shake his head but Magnus didn’t give him a chance to speak. "You didn’t go to Camille to plot with her against the Clave. You did it because you wanted to get to know me better. It's only my fault that you felt like you couldn’t come to me with it and I'm sorry for that." The boy looked at him in disbelief.

"You are not angry?" he asked quietly, dropping his eyes, avoiding the warlock's gaze.

Magnus remembered Alec's words from a moment ago. Since his fears doubled, the same must apply to all his insecurities. Magnus realized painfully that at this moment, Alec was the most insecure about Magnus's feelings for him. The warlock could only blame himself for that. Since returning from their vacation, Magnus had tried to hide his past from the Shadowhunter even more, fearing that this information would badly affect his teenage lover. He didn’t notice this caused them to drift apart from each other. Magnus guessed that the boy realized it before him and wanting to somehow save their relationship, he went to the only person who could help him understand Magnus even a little.

Alec looked into the warlock’s eyes as the silence began to lengthen. He started shaking again, fearing the man’s answer.

"I am angry. But not at you, baby," Magnus said, kissing the boy's slightly trembling lips. "I'm sorry I pushed you away. I didn’t realize that I did it. I love you and I wouldn’t forgive myself if anything happened to you because of my stupidity.”

Chapter Text

Alec jumped onto the platform of the abandoned subway station and headed for the stairs. He cursed himself for the fact that after everything that happened recently, he was still coming here again. An instinct was rushing him, telling him to hurry up. His heart was pounding in his chest, making this the only sound he heard in this deserted tunnel.

He climbed the stairs, pulling out the Seraph blade from his belt. The light here was weak and flickered lazily. He headed for the platform below the station, where the darkened glass skylights threw frosty rays. He slipped the Witchlight into his pocket and raised the dagger.

" Amriel ," he whispered, and the sword flashed as if he were firing a thunderbolt from his hand.

He raised his chin, gazing at the lobby. He noticed the sofa with a high back, but Camille was not on it. He looked to the side, where in his dream, there was always a pile of heads, wanting to make sure he wasn’t dreaming this time. He breathed a sigh of relief when he found nothing.

He slowly moved closer to the sofa, trying to see if there was anything at the back of the room where Amriel's light didn’t reach.

"Camille!" he called. He was answered only by the echo of his own voice. He pulled out a telephone to text to her when suddenly loud laughter rang from the corner of the room like the sound of moving bells: laughter that didn’t belong to Camille. Alec quickly directed the blazing sword in that direction. He spent enough time with her to recognize the sound.

"I know you," he heard a small voice. A girl came out of the shadows, she could  have been no more than twelve or thirteen. "Alec Lightwood." It was more of a statement than a question. When she spoke, he saw the light reflecting from her fangs. Vampire. "You are Simon's friend. I saw you at his concerts."

Alec gave her a careful look. She was slim, wearing torn jeans and a pink t-shirt with a unicorn. The light of the Seraph blade was reflecting off the sequins on her shirt, throwing around the colored spots. A pink scarf was thrown over her neck. He saw that her clothes were stained with brown and red stains, traces of dried and fresh blood. He recognized her from Simon's story of how he had lost control over himself when he tried to overcome the vampire's nature.

"Maureen" he said. "Simon’s Maureen."

She smiled pleased like the cat who had just eaten a bowl of cream.

"Yes, it's me! Simon’s Maureen! " She looked down at her own hands that shone with blood. But it wasn’t human blood, Alec thought. A dark, ruby color, like a vampire's . "You're looking for Camill,." she said in a sing-song voice. "You're a little late. Your Mistress is dead. I killed her!" she laughed aloud.

He flinched at the sound.

"She wasn’t my Mistress."

"You cannot fool me, Shadowhunter. Her blood flows in your veins," she smiled ominously. "All those who were under her control came to avenge her. I killed everyone. You are the last one." She took a step toward him.

Alec swallowed hard and he grabbed the sword more confidently, didn’t want to drop it if the vampire decided to jump on him. Why didn’t he text Magnus as soon as he woke from the trance halfway to Camille’s hideout? At least then he would have some hope that the warlock would find him before Maureen could finish him off.

“Camille and I were just business partners. I don’t want to avenge her," he said quietly, realising his last chance for survival. The vampire stopped staring at him like a cat who’d trapped a mouse. She straightened up curiously.

"What interests could connect a Shadowhunter and a vampire?"

"I got information for her, in exchange for becoming immortal.” He knew he was taking a lot of risks by telling her about it, but he saw no other way out of this situation.

The vampire was next to him in a second, surprising him completely. She grabbed his hand in which he held the Seraph blade twisting it back and pinning him to the ground with a force he would not have expected from a thirteen-year-old girl.

"You have vampire blood in your veins. When I kill you, your dream will come true," she whispered amusedly in his ear, making his shivers run cold.

"If you do, I'll be free at last," he gasped, trying to think of a plan B. "I will not be subordinate to anyone."

"Hm. Bit of a shame. You could be useful." She sounded almost disappointed. She pulled away for a moment, loosening her grip on the Shadowhunter's wrist.

Alec took advantage of the vampire's lack of attention to free himself and knock her back onto her back with a kick in the chest. He heard the cracks of bones breaking. It was his only chance. He got to his feet quickly. He left the sword, he didn’t have time to get it back. Running toward the platform, he reached for the phone and blindly dialed a number from his speed dial. He had no time to check who he was calling on the list which consisted of his emergency numbers. It was day outside, so if he managed to reach the platform, he could calmly wait for the arrival of support, illuminated by the sun by the skylights in the roof.

"Alexander?" he heard a voice coming from the phone. He didn’t manage to say anything when, at the same moment, he felt a strong blow to his right arm and he cried when a wave of pain blinded him. He fell to the ground, the phone fell out of his hand and flew somewhere towards the corner. He hoped that the phone not disconnected. It was his only hope.

"You don’t play nicely Shadowhunter." The girl hung over him with a wide smile. The vampire squeezed his wounded arm tightly.  Alec bit his teeth to keep from screaming, not wanting to give her that satisfaction. She had thrown something at him before but he hadn’t noticed what it was then.

“Alec, Alec, Alec,” she said sounds almost like she was reprimanding him. "You haven’t chosen a beautiful place for your grave."

"The abandoned City Hall Park station has its charm!" he shouted as she pressed the wounded place again. If the phone had disconnected it would be over. The only thing he had to do was play along and delay.

"Maybe the station once had this charm. Only rats and refugees like Camille admire this place now." She grabbed him by the hair with her free hand, pulling his head away with a jerk to reveal his neck. "Don’t worry, Shadowhunter. It shouldn’t hurt. "

“No…” Alec moaned trying to break free, but the vampire trapped his left hand under her knee, preventing any movement, and she was still squeezing his right as he tried to move sending bolts of pain through him. How could such a small person with such force hold him to the ground? He still had his legs though and he waited only for a moment until she leaned low enough ...

“ALEC!” the vampire's head jerked up from his neck to see who dared to interrupt her, and Alec immediately used that to push her away.

He rolled onto his stomach and groaned as he stood up, leaning on his wounded arm. He didn’t manage to get up when he felt himself being pulled by his hair again. He fell awkwardly on his ass. A small cold hand tightened again on his injured arm, causing a strangled cry to break out of Shadowhunter's mouth.

"Let him go!" Alec opened his eyes slowly, not remembering when he had closed them. Pain and fear caused tears to flow down his cheeks, through which he could barely see the red sparks dancing between the hands of the warlock. The yellow-green cat's eyes gleamed ominously in the dark.

"Magnus ..." he tried to break out again but the vampire's hand tightened on his wounded arm.

"Shhh, where are you going, my little mouse," she whispered and licked his neck.

Alec decided that if by some miracle he survived it, he would bathe in boiling water to wash away all the dirt from the day.

"Let. Him. Go," the warlock growled through clenched teeth. He measured Maureen with a murderous gaze. Alec had never seen him like this. The vampire apparently sensed the challenge and tilted the Shadowhunter's head harder to have better access to his neck. Magnus took a step forward. "If you do anything to him, the Clave will be your smallest worry," the warlock's voice became deeper and more sinister. Alec felt goosebumps cover his whole body. He almost laughed at how his body reacted to this man even at times like this.

"What guarantee do I have that if I leave him, you will not chase me anyway?" she asked suspiciously.

"The c-clave is not interested in the vampire fight for power," Alec began quietly, knowing that the vampire would hear him anyway. "They have no evidence that you killed the mundanes. But if you kill one of them..."

"Fine then," she announced disappointedly, immediately letting him go and walking away to a safe distance. Alec gasped when he lost support and fell on his back. "If we meet again Lightwood, don’t count on mercy," he heard her voice from afar before he felt the warlock's warm hands touching his face.

“Alexander,” he heard the fear in the man's voice. Alec felt so tired. He knew he had to overcome this and opened his eyes for the good of the warlock. “There you are,” he said. Alec noticed the gentle smile on Magnus's face, which, however, didn’t reach his eyes. He could still see fear in his beloved irises.

He tried to sit up, Magnus helped him immediately, trying not to touch his wounds.

"I'm sorry," he groaned as he found himself in the warlock's arms.

“You've been doing that quite often lately. Apologies, I mean,” Magnus noticed grimly putting his hand on the Shadowhunter’s arm. Darkness was lit by the blue light of his healing magic. "How exactly did you get here?" he asked after a moment when he was sure that Alec's arm had already been healed. "From what I remember, you said that you would go to the institute."

"Because I went," Alec said with a shrug. “I have no idea how I got here. I don’t remember. My consciousness came back when I was already in the tunnels. I felt something was wrong. I knew it was dangerous but I wasn’t able to turn back. I figured it's about Camille and that her blood is calling out to me, but what I found in here..." he shivered, and it didn’t go unnoticed by Magnus. Alec looked at the warlock hoping that he could understand his nervous babble.

Magnus looked around carefully as if he was trying to see what was hidden in the dark."It will be better if we get out of here," he announced, getting up and dragging the Shadowhunter behind him, who felt dizzy from the sudden change of position. Magnus grabbed his arm, holding him with one hand as he formed the portal with the other.

"Wait," Alec said. "My sword is downstairs. If someone finds it, I can get in trouble," he said. Magnus didn’t look happy about it. "Look for my phone, it should be lying somewhere here, I'll be right back." He ran down the stairs without waiting for the warlock’s answer. From a distance he could see the Seraph blade lying on dirty ground. He picked it up and was about to come back when he sensed the smell of blood. He instinctively moved in the direction the smell was coming from. He stopped when he saw the outlines of torn bodies in the darkness. He inhaled sharply and made a sound like an animal’s whine, like a dog when someone had stepped on its tail. He turned on his heel and bumped into Magnus, who came to look after him. He had Alec’s phone in his hand.

Alec looked at the warlock's face that stared at what was left of the vampire and her followers. He saw the pain in the man's eyes. Alec dropped his gaze, staring at Magnus's purple shirt with the glittering ‘Trust me I'm a Jedi’ on it. The Shadowhunter didn’t have any feelings for the vampire, yet he stood here and felt tears running down his cheeks. He didn’t wish such a death to anyone, even his worst enemy. He tried to pull himself together because ultimately, it was Magnus who would be suffering more. Camille was once his girlfriend, and even though they were not together anymore, he knew that the feelings that had once connected them never went away completely.

"I'm sorry," Alec was surprised by the sound of his own voice. The warlock took his eyes off the macabre scene and looked intently at his boyfriend, who was shaking all the time trying to stop the tears coming to his eyes."I'm so sorry," he stammered again, clenching his hands on the material of his pants.

"Hey." Magnus embraced the boy. "It's okay."

"But…"

"No buts, Alexander," the warlock declared firmly, gently lifting Alec’s chin with his finger to look into his blue eyes full of tears. "I would be more worried if it was your body there. Let's get back, okay?"

Alec nodded, hiding his face in the crook of the warlock's neck.

Chapter Text

Last month, Alec spent most of his time in Brooklyn in his boyfriend's loft. Lightwood couldn’t stop smiling while remembering this time.Despite everything they went through, it was the best month of his life. He didn’t feel so safe anywhere, Magnus's apartment quickly replaced his home. Alec knew that he would get used to such a lifestyle without any problem.

The blood of Camille made the last week a torment for both of them, and especially for Magnus. Alec practically didn’t get out of bed, he felt like all his life forces had left him. The boy only after a long argument allowed Magnus to use the spell from the Book of White on him again. At the very thought of that argument, his stomach twisted. Alec never saw Magnus so nailed.

The man probably understood that he would achieve nothing by concealing his true feelings and let all the tiredness and pain of the last month appear on his face, immediately cutting off the further quarrel.

"I love you... Why is it so difficult to understand that I can’t ... I can’t look at how you are suffering. Especially that I know how to help you." Alec heard resignation in the warlock's voice. "Please, let me..."

Alec sighed heavily. He was glad to have it over with, and his quarantine period came to an end. He couldn’t wait to get out with Izzy and Jace. However, he had to talk to his parents first.

Alec felt uneasy standing in front of his father's office door. What parents could want from him.The last time he was in this office, he told them that he had drank vampire blood. He still remembered how the conversation ended and he would prefer to avoid this place for some time. Unfortunately, he couldn’t ignore the direct request of the head of the institute.

Alec breathed a few times and knocked. The door opened in front of him, revealing Maryse Lightwood's face. She let him in without speaking a word to him. Something was wrong. His mother didn’t look like she was content with the prospect of talking to her own son. The boy frowned, shifting his gaze to Robert Lightwood sitting behind the large mahogany desk. The man looked like he was thinking over something, not even noticing that Alec had already come.

"Robert." Maryse murmured, tearing her husband away from his thoughts. The man looked up at his son in a way that Alec couldn’t determine. He could have guessed from the way Maryse twisted her fingers nervously, that he would not like what they wanted to tell him.

“I see that you come to your senses.” Robert noticed pointing to the rune on Alec's neck. "You changed your mind about your transformation ?" The last word the older man almost spat out in disgust.

Alec didn’t have to answer it and he had no intention. He stared at his father's blue eyes, which were full of disgust.

"I talked to your mother about the future of the institute." Robert changed the subject, knowing that he would not get any answer from his son. "Together, we decided it was Isabelle who would lead the New York Conclave after me."

"Excuse me?!" Alec paled. He was preparing all his life to take over the institute after his father. He knew that his parents were mad at him for dating Magnus. He never thought that they would go down to take away something that was his purpose in life. His inheritance. "I know what I did lately was stupid and irresponsible..." said Alec, trying to hide the shudder of his voice. "I realized my mistake..." he looked at his mother who, for some reason, looked unhappy. "I am your oldest child and according to the law ..."

"You are not my son." Robert hissed through clenched teeth. His words made the boy's hands began to tremble.

Ok. Alec was prepared that his father would want to disinherit him for dating the downwolder. Recently, he made them realize that the warlock wasn’t just a momentary whim or a sign of rebellion. Alec treat him seriously and was willing to sacrifice for him. It frightened them and apparently they were going to punish him this way. Threatening him with losing his position, if he decides not to break up with Bane.

"I understand that you are not happy that I’m dating with Magnus, but don’t you think you're exaggerating, Father?" He asked with a sigh, his eyes wandering between Maryse and Robert. Instead of answering, he saw them exchange troubled glances and at that moment he realized what Robert mean

Alec looked at Maryse, not hiding the sense of betrayal that immediately filled him and he ran out of the office when the woman took a step toward him. He couldn’t stand being with them in one room.

The boy ran to his room and slammed the door behind him, praying that no one would come after him. He took a sports bag from under the bed, opened the wardrobe, and began to throw his things into it, not caring about arranging them. He didn’t care about it or where he would go. He only knew that he couldn’t stay at the institute.

Alec had the impression that the walls of the building were beginning to move closer to him, suffocating him. He felt out of place at this moment. His legs trembled as he walked toward the bathroom. He stood in the doorway, leaned against the wall keep himself from falling. He tried to calm down. Every breath caused him pain. He took another step and leaned against the sink. A choked sob emerged from his mouth. He looked at himself in the mirror and in his blue eyes he saw only pain and a sense of betrayal.

The boy wondered what Robert must have felt when he didn’t notice any of his own features in Alec, except the blue eyes that he apparently must have inherited from Maryse. He realized with a bit of bitterness that no matter what he did, he would never be able to meet Robert's sick demands. A man would never accept him as a son, he would never be proud of him. All those years of hard training, just to please the man who never cared about him.

Alec hit the mirror with all his strength, making the floor in the bathroom covered with tiny pieces of glass. He looked at the blood flowing from his slit hand. A red liquid formed a macabre mosaic on the floor. Suddenly breathing became a little easier, the pain in his chest eased.

Taking advantage of the momentary focus he acquired after the previous outburst, he quickly packed the rest of the things he needed and threw the bag over his shoulder leaving the room. Outside, he almost bump into his parabatai, who stared at him with anxiety painted on his face.

"Hey man, are you okay?" Jace asked. Alec bit his lower lip and shook his head in response.

"I'm going to Magnus’ place and I don’t know when I'll be back," he gasped and walked past the stunned blond.

"Wait! Your hand! "Jace called after him.

"I'll be fine." Alec answered him quickly. He couldn’t stay here any longer. He felt the blond grab his healthy hand.

"I’ll not stop you if you feel that you can’t stay here." Jace said seriously. "I have no idea what Robert and Maryse told you, but I want you to know that I am and always will be on your side. After all, we are not only parabatai but also brothers."

Alec felt a tightness in his chest. He wanted to tell him the truth so badly. He knew that if someone going to understood him, it would be Jace, in the end, younger boy went through it himself. However, he was unable to tell him about it without another attack. The only thing he needed at the moment was to get out of this building and get as far away from Maryse and Robert as he could.

"Thanks," he replied, wanting to free himself from the boy's iron grip. When Jace still held him, he turned to face him. "You said you wouldn’t stop me." He noticed quietly, unable to look at his golden eyes.

"I'm not going." He shrugged and added, "However, as your brother, I can not let you go with such dip a cut. Let me put iratze and you can go." Alec sighed heavily and held out his right hand toward Jace. The blonde didn’t waste time, quickly rolled up the sleeve of Lightwood's shirt and drew a suitable rune on his wrist. "Let me know when you get to Magnus, or I will have to torment him with my person, like last time."

Alec just nodded and left. He prayed to the angels that no one would stop him again.

When he was in the hall he saw Maryse approaching him. He cursed in his mind.

“Alexander…”

"Enough..." he said in a sharp voice, making her stop momentarily. She looked lost. "You should have told me about it, not HE." Her eyes filled with tears. "Or do you have something to tell me too, Mom ?" Maryse shook her head, still unable to speak. "I'm leaving. Don’t call me. I don’t want to talk to you now or never." He declared, moving toward the door. He threw on his winter coat and went out into the cool December air.

All his life he wanted to impress his father. He suffered for many years thinking that he would never meet his requirements. It was painful for Alec to see Robert praising Isabelle in front of Robert’s friends, never mentioning him. With time, Robert began to praise Max as well. Father kept repeating how proud he is of both of them.

When Jace appeared, Alec thought that something would change in his relationship with his father. In the end, Alec was his son, he couldn’t treat him worse than Wayland's son. He couldn’t be more wrong. Jace was the son of Robert's best friend, his parabatai. Of course he was more important to him than Alec, who was nothing to him. He couldn’t do anything to be a good enough son to Robert.

Alec stopped in the middle of the Brooklyn Bridge. It was several hundred meters from Magnus's apartment. He felt that he was starting to have a problem with catching his breath again, so he didn’t think twice and ran forward. He felt pain in his lungs each time he managed to catch his breath.

After a while, he climbed up the stairs to the warlock's loft. He didn’t know what he would do if Magnus wouldn’t let him stay. He felt a twinge in his heart at the thought that he might be thrown away by him. He suddenly remembered how quickly that imaginary pain in his heart had eased when he was replaced by the real one coming from his slashed palm. How his gray, hopeless life took on a wonderful ruby color. The color of blood.

He stopped in front of the door and moaned softly "No," realizing what these gloomy thoughts remind him of. Could Camill blood still flowed in his veins? But he felt much better.

Alec heard a soft thud as the bag fell from his shoulder to the doormat. He grabbed his head with both hands tangling fingers in his own hair. He wanted it to stop. He had enough. He wanted the voices in his head to stop whispering how hopeless he is, how he would never be good enough neither for his family nor for Magnus.

Alec dropped to his knees and hit his forehead on the door in an effort to drown out the raging noise in his head.

A moment later he felt two warm hands covering his face. A familiar voice came to him from a distance that he couldn’t catalog with any face. He could easily find out who it is if he only opened his eyes, but he couldn’t gather enough strength to do it.

“Alexander…” the hands gently stroked his face, he heard the voice of the person they belonged to. "Can you hear me?"

"Mag ..." he managed to gasped out not entirely aware what the word means.

"I'm here. You are safe." Slowly, more and more words began to reach him. "Alec, try to take deeper breaths." he heard a man, no , Magnus changed his breath to make it easier for him to fit his own. The first approach was not quite successful, but with every stifled breath it was getting better. Magnus was talking to him all the time, praising him for doing so well. After a long moment, he managed to open his eyes and immediately met a yellow-green cat's iris staring at him with concern.

***

Jace called Magnus, warning that his parabatai was on his way to his apartment and that he didn’t have the best humor because he had a fight with his parents again. The blonde's words were a misunderstanding of the year. When Magnus heard a bang on the door, and after it another, and another, each at an equal interval, he was not prepared for what he would find on their other side.

Alec was kneeling on the doormat, his hands were tangled in his hair, and he tightened them with such force that his knuckles turned white. Blood was flowing from his forehead, and Magnus immediately realized that the earlier sound must have been caused by the boy's head banging on the door.

The warlock immediately knelt in front of him as always trying to calm him down. At first his words didn’t reach the boy. He sighed with relief when Alec began to respond to commands and began to take deeper breaths. He noticed that the eyelids of the Nephilim began to open, and Magnus almost cried when he saw how much pain and suffering lay in his boyfriend’s eyes. He had never seen him like this before.

"I'm sorry." He heard Alec's hoarse voice. "I couldn’t stay at the institute. I didn’t know where to go. Can I stay? "

There was no problem with Alec sleeping over before, Magnus didn’t understand where this doubt came from.

He helped the boy get up and seeing how much his legs were shaking, Magnus caught his arms with one hand and put his other under his knees and with a quick movement he lift him from the ground. Alec was still not completely aware of what was happening around him because he would surely blush.

Magnus pressed his boyfriend's body against his chest and whispered, reassuringly gently kissing his forehead. "Sleep my brave Shadowhunter. You're safe here." The boy didn’t need anything more. When Magnus put him to bed, he was already asleep.

Chapter Text

Alec was awakened by the sun, which pierced through the gap between the curtains. He grunted in unhappiness and turned to embrace Magnus but the other side of the bed was empty and cold. The pillow looked as if no one slept on it.

The boy sat down, trying to remember what happened the day before. He was confused.

"Magnus!" He called out into the apartment, but only silence answered him. Could the warlock have gone somewhere?

He wanted to get up when Chairman Meow came running into the room. He jumped onto the bed, leaving red footprints behind. Blood.  

“MAGNUS!” Alec quickly jumped out of bed and ran along the tracks to the living room, where pale warlock was sitting on an armchair. His head was tilted to the side, eyes closed. His shirt was covered in blood, which oozed from the wound on his neck. “MAGNUS!” The boy jumped towards the man. He wanted to stop the bleeding, but was surprised when he saw there were only two holes- a vampire’s bite mark. "No, no, no, no, no." Alec didn’t even realise he kept repeating those words as he tried to revive his beloved. "Magnus, open your eyes! You promised me... You promised that you wouldn’t let me live with it! MAGNUS!"

***

Alec got up from the bed with a strangled cry. He was breathing heavily, his eyes wandered in panic around the familiar room. It was a dream. Just a bad dream. He repeated in his mind, trying to calm his racing heart. He looked into the place where the warlock should be sleeping and froze when he saw that the bed was empty. "No, no, this can’t be true." He grabbed his head with both hands. He felt tears streaming down his cheeks. “Magnus,” he gasped between one desperate breath and the other. “Magnus! MAGNUS!”

The bedroom door opened rapidly, revealing a worried warlock.

Alec stared at him in disbelief and horror painted on his face. "Oh, God," he sobbed, hiding his face in his hands. A moment later he felt the mattress bend under the weight of the older man, who put his arms around him and pressed him to his own chest.

"Hey, I'm here. It was just a bad dream," he whispered softly in his ear.

The Shadowhunter hid his face on the warlock's chest. He was relieved when he felt Magnus' warm hands on his skin. It was a dream. Only a dream. You didn’t kill him. Magnus is safe. He repeated in his mind, but he couldn’t calm down.

"Everything came back..." he sobbed, not breaking away from the man. "Nightmares, thirst for blood and these voices. I hear them in my head all the time." He could feel the man's body stiffened at his words.

"What voices? Why didn’t you tell me about them?" he asked worriedly.

"They are in my head all the time and they repeat the same thing over and over again..." Alec didn’t want Magnus to know about it, but at the moment he didn’t quite realize what he was saying. "They tell me that I shouldn’t fight with my new nature. That my life will be better if I stop resisting. That I will never be good enough if I reject it," he said it so quickly that the warlock needed a moment to understand.

“Alexander.” Magnus's hands went to Shadowhunter's face, lifting it so that he could look into his tearful blue eyes. "You were and always will be good enough." The boy tried to deny but the warlock's lips prevented him. "I will repeat it until you start believing it yourself," he stated smiling at Alec with love. "You don’t have to fight alone. Don’t hide your problems from me. Only together will we be able to face them," whispered the warlock, kissing the Shadowhunter’s forehead, then his eyes, nose and cheeks while rubbing his tears away with his thumbs.

"I love you," the boy said softly, his eyes filled with tears again.

"Oh, Alec. I love you too," he answered, hugging him tighter. They sat a moment without saying anything. They both thought about something else. At last Magnus broke the silence. "Alexander?"

“Hm?”

"What happened yesterday?" For a moment, Alec wondered what the warlock meant, and froze as he remembered the conversation with Robert and Maryse. His breathing quickened immediately. “Alexander…”

"No! I can’t..." he panted pressing his face to Magnus's neck.

"Hey, relax. Breathe." There was concern in the man's voice. He couldn’t imagine what the boy's parents could say to bring him to such a state. "You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to," the warlock said calmly with relief when he noticed that the boy had relaxed immediately. "If you want to talk about it, you know where to find me. I will always listen to you and I will always be on your side," he assured him and kissed the top of his head.

"Thank you."

Magnus smiled gently as he felt Alec slowly fall asleep.

***

The sunlight began to shine through the curtains, illuminating the  Shadowhunter’s face. Long eyelashes cast shadows on pale cheeks. The black hair on the boy's head in the morning light had a delicate navy blue tint.

Magnus could spend hours staring at Alexander’s sleeping face. At least he was certain that his eighteen-year-old boyfriend was safe, away from all evil in this cruel world. If he could, he would keep him locked in the bedroom and wouldn’t let anyone come near him.

Alec's forehead wrinkled, while his mouth curled in a pout. Magnus gently touched his forehead. Blue sparks that ran between the warlock fingers quickly drove away an unpleasant dream, which began to form in the boy's head. Frown disappeared.

Magnus sighed and moved closer to kiss the place he had just touched.

"Mhm." The boy turned on his back, stretching his arms and legs.

"Good morning," said Magnus pleased with the morning show.

Alec slowly opened his eyes and looked at the warlock, whose face played a mischievous smile. Cat's eyes wandered over his naked body, making him blush.

"See something you like?" the Shadowhunter asked, watching the man under his half-closed eyelashes. Magnus pupils narrowed to slits, he looked like a predator lurking on its prey. Alec yelped as the warlock’s body pinned him to bed. An efficient tongue quickly crept into his mouth, greedily sipping every groan that came out of the boy's throat every time Magnus rubbed his crotch against boy’s swollen member.

“Magn…” Alec gasped between kisses. Suddenly the doorbell rang, and they both froze. They lay listening for a moment. When they heard the bell again, they were sure that someone was standing at the door. “You have an appointment today?” Alec asked unhappy that someone interrupted them.

"I am the High Warlock of Brooklyn, I am always having an appointment with someone," he answered with a resignation and he began to rise, rubbing against the boy who covered his mouth with his hand to suppress the sound that came out of him one last time.

Magnus put on a purple satin robe and he went to open the door, wanting to tell an unwanted guest that he had interrupted them and slam the door in the person’s face as quickly as possible. But when he opened the door, he swallowed angry words and snapped his robe into a daily -suitable for Magnus- outfit. 

"Maryse Lightwood, what did I do to deserve your visit?" he asked, trying to hide the anger that was stirring in him at the memory of the state he had found his boyfriend in, due to his mother.

"I'd like to talk to Alexander," she began confidently.

"I don’t think it's a good idea," Magnus replied, lowering his voice. The blue eyes of the woman stared at him with an intensity that Magnus had previously experienced only with her son. "I think one argument is enough for him."

"I didn’t come here to argue. I just wanna talk to him, Magnus," she announced. Magnus was speechless. Maryse never referred to him by name, she was always calling him a warlock or just downworlder.

The woman looked as if she meant it. Magnus thought about letting her in when he heard Alec's indignant voice behind him.

"What are you doing here?! I told you…"

"That I can’t call you because you don’t want to talk to me," she finished, looking him deep into eyes. "You didn’t say anything about the fact that you don’t want to listen to me, just as you didn’t say I couldn’t come here. So I will talk and you will listen. Please." Magnus has never seen this woman so... vulnerable.

Alec looked at her with eyes full of anguish. However, he didn’t tell her to leave, which is why Magnus moved away, letting Maryse in. The woman looked at him with gratitude and moved toward her son who took a step back and embraced himself defensively.

"Forgive me. Yesterday's conversation was supposed to go completely differently," she said tiredly. Alec snorted tightening the fingers on his shoulders. "I know you're mad at me..."

"Are you surprised?!” He interrupted her abruptly, surprising her and Magnus, who tried to sneak into the bedroom unnoticed, leaving the mother and son alone. "Sure I'm mad, and above all I am disappointed,” he said, and each word was like a knife that sank into Maryse Lightwood heart. "I don’t understand how you could let him do it... After what he did to you. He destroyed your life... Do you really agree with that? "

“Alexander…”

"Don’t call me that..." He snapped, interrupting her. "You made me work and strive for that future. From the beginning, you knew that I didn’t have any chance, so what was it for?! Have you enjoyed looking at how much I struggled in order to meet your sick demands?! Did you enjoy it?!" Maryse was silent but her eyes were full of guilt. "ANSWER ME!" Alec shouted, his whole body shaking in anger.

“Alexander.” Magnus's voice was firm but calm. He put his arms around the boy who was shaking with rage to give him some comfort and calm him down. He didn’t understand this conversation was about, but he couldn’t see his boyfriend sinking into hatred, which wasn’t in his quiet nature. "Look at me, baby," he whispered, waiting for Alec's eyes to focus on him. "You need to breathe. Do it for me, okay?"

Alec took a few deep breaths. The tremors slowly stopped.

"Better?" the warlock asked quietly. He breathed a sigh of relief when Alec nodded, his head dropping onto Magnus' shoulder.

Maryse watched them with wide eyes full of tears. Alec was rarely angry but when he was, she knew it was difficult to calm him down. Usually it ended with a sparring session with Jace. The woman didn’t think she would ever see her eldest son giving control to someone in this way. This was a higher level of trust. Even Jace wasn’t so close to him.

"I'm sorry for hurting you... I thought that if you lived according to the Clave rules, I will be able to protect you longer," she whispered, unable to look her son in the eye. Alec looked at her in disbelief at having heard an apology from her. "I should have guessed that nothing would come of it." She smiled as she spoke and slowly raised her head to look at the couple standing in front of her. "You're so much like your father," Alec froze, still surrounded by Magnus’ arms, who could not believe that Maryse was comparing her son to Robert at such a moment. "Once you become a great leader and you will have... legions under your command. Your words will be the law, not the nonsense that the Clave orders us to follow." When she said that, her eyes shone with confidence and something that Alec always wanted to see in Robert's eyes when he looked at him. "I'm proud of what kind of man you are. I also know that I will be proud of who you will become in the future, no matter which path you choose."

"I don’t understand," Alec said, confused. "It would be easier if you told me what I want to know instead of trying to pacify me, with nice words." Maryse still smiling, walked slowly to her son. When Alec didn’t move away from her this time, she put her hand on his cheek.

"I would like to tell you everything, answer your every question, but I took an oath and I can’t break it. However, don’t worry my son, you’ll soon find out everything." She kissed him on the cheek and turned to Magnus. "I know that my behavior towards you was reprehensible. Nothing can justify what I did. I'm very sorry for that," Maryse looked as if she was speaking honestly. "Alec is my first-born child and I was sure no one will ever be good enough for him." The boy blushed at her words. "But you, Magnus Bane, have made me change my mind. I am glad that Alec met you and thank you for taking care of him." When she finished speaking, she approached the stunned warlock and kissed him on the cheek as she had her son. "I'll go now. If you need something, call me. I wish you a nice day.” After these words, she left the apartment, leaving a dumbfounded couple.

"What was this about?" Magnus asked, trying to recover from the shock.

"I have no idea," Alec replied honestly, still staring at the apartment door behind which his mother had disappeared. He couldn’t stop the gentle smile that crept onto his face.

Magnus watched him with relief. He didn’t find out what had happened between the Lightwoods and their son, but at least in these last few minutes it looked like it was good for them. The warlock shrugged and clapped his hands, scaring Alec. "How about a late breakfast?" he asked cheerfully and went to the kitchen when Alec nodded. He was in the mood to cook, so instead of using magic, he pulled the pan out of the cabinet. "French toast?"

"Sounds great."

 

***

 

A quiet music played in Magnus's apartment, and according to the musician, it was supposed to be soothing. Alec was lying on the couch in the living room trying to read the book he had found on the bookshelf in the warlock's office. When he started reading the same page for the third time, still not remembering what was written in it, he sighed resignedly and covered his face with the book.

Magnus had to go out to meet a client, leaving Shadowhunter at home. Alec had official permission to read whatever he wanted, so he read, but his thoughts kept coming back to talk he had with Maryse.

Everything his mother said was sounding like something surreal. He didn’t know what to do with this knowledge.

Robert wasn’t his father, but the man who was had to be a great leader. At least that's what he'd deduced from Maryse's words. Alec wondered if he would find anything about him in the institute's library. The person his mother compared him to had to be very charismatic. Surely something was written about him in the Shadowhunter’s Chronicle.

He stood up, put the book down on the coffee table and left the apartment, closing the door behind himself. Alec was only halfway to the institute, when he wondered if it was a good idea to come back two days after he left with the decision that he would never come back there again. What if he meets Robert? He'd rather avoid that. He began to slow down and then stop completely. You're better than him. You don’t have to be scared of him. Don’t be ashamed of who you are. He tried to convince himself. He shook his head grateful for invisibility rune. If the mundane saw him now, they would probably wonder if he needed some therapy.

Alec decided that if he met Robert, he would think about what he should do. At this point, he just wanted to find information about his biological father.

He reached the institute and entered the library unnoticed by anyone. He looked around and remembered how Hodge had always sat at the desk in the center of the library and the black crow Hugin, who, sitting on the back of his chair, watched everything that happened and reported it to Valentine later.

Although several months have passed since Hodge's betrayal, Alec was still in pain at the memory of the former teacher. He was killed by Sebastian on the same day as his little brother, Max.

Alec allowed himself for a moment to plunge his mind into grief after the loss of his brother. He couldn’t afford to fully mourn him. For Shadowhunters, there was no time for mourning, let alone during the war.

The boy breathed a few times and walked along the shelves. In the middle of the bookcase was a beautifully decorated gold book. Alec pulled it out slowly and looked at the cover. It was decorated with black letters forming the word ‘ Chronicle .’ Alec went to the desk and sat down, opening the book. 

The Chronicle was a list of all Shadowhunters and contained a brief description of each one of them. More interesting people had an entire page devoted to them, as it was with Jonathan, the first shadowhunter. 

He decided to start his search in the most obvious place and look for a part devoted to the Lightwood family. He quickly found entries devoted to his distant relatives.

Gabriel Lightwood, born in 1860, first runes ceremony in 1870, member of London Conclave, son of Benedykt Lightwood and Barbara Pangborn, husband of Cecily Herondale, father of Anna, Alexander and Christopher;

Alec turned over several pages and found an entry about his family.

Robert Lightwood, born in 1965, first runes ceremony in 1977, member of New York Conclave, son of Andrew Lightwood and Phoebe Gladstone, husband of Maryse Trueblood, father of Isabelle and Maxwell;

The boy's heart beat harder. He never looked into the Chronicle, he didn’t need to. Now he realized how much information one book could contain. 

Maryse Lightwood (from the Trueblood family), born in 1968, first runes ceremony in 1978, member of New York Conclave, daughter of Adam Trueblood and Marisa Trueblood, wife of Robert Lightwood, mother of Alexander, Isabelle and Maxwell;

He breathed a sigh of relief when he saw his name. He had no idea what he would do if it turned out that Maryse wasn’t his mother. He looked at his own entry and froze. "What the..."

Alexander Gideon Lightwood, born in 1989, first runes ceremony in 1989, member of New York Conclave, Son of Maryse Lightwood;

He never heard of any Shadowhunter who received his first rune shortly after birth. He flipped through the entire book and found no such entry anywhere. Shadowhunters children received their first rune after the age of ten. Why did someone risk putting runes on a newborn? Alec guessed what the reason might be. But he didn’t want to ask Maryse about it. He was afraid that he wouldn’t like her answer.

He closed the book and put it back in place. He heard the library door open with a bang. Alec stood behind the column that blocked him from the newcomers sight.

"Robert!" he heard Maryse's indignant voice. "You can’t do this to him. He is our son, WE raised him..."

"Enough!" Robert sounded irritated. "I agreed to pretend to be his father because you asked me to. I was stupid and I regret this decision."

The boy's heart beat harder. He felt the contents of the stomach rise to his throat. He suspected Robert would never want him, but hear it from his mouth is different, much worse. His hands began to tremble.

"You cannot protect him anymore, Maryse. You saw how the Clave treated us after we took care of Valentine's son. They wanted to take away our runes. They thought we were looking after Jace for him. "

"This is not the same!"

"You're right, it's not the same. Jace is a child of Shadowhunters and eventually it turned out that he is not the son of Valentine. That's why Clave treated us gently ," he said tiredly. "What will happen if they find out who Alec's father is? We've been hiding it from them for over eighteen years. They will never forgive such a betrayal," he hissed. "When I put a rune on him after birth, I hoped that it would kill him." Maryse let out a cry of disbelief. "Don’t look at me like this. I would only spare him from suffering. Although he carries runes, he will never be one of us fully. When the Clave finds out..."

"You cannot tell them anything!" Maryse cried.

"I have no intention. However, he turned eighteen. The protective spell that his father threw at him is slowly losing strength. How long do you think will it take before his true nature takes control of him?" Alec paled. Robert's words reminded him of what the voices kept repeating. What was his true nature? His biological father cast a spell on him? That means he was a warlock? The boy decided to postpone the analysis for later, as soon as he learned something more. Robert's next words caught his attention. "Alec will not be safe anywhere. Even the High Warlock of Brooklyn will not protect him from his destiny, at most he will die trying. We can’t do anything. Through an oath, you can’t even warn him of the threat." Maryse sobbing was spreading around the room. "Forgive me, Maryse. I had to turn him away. It was the only way. I have to protect the rest of our children. For the sake of Isabelle and Jace, for our sake, Alec should stay away." After these words, he crossed the gate, probably going to Alicante.

Maryse dropped into a chair and hid her face in her hands, still weeping loudly. 

Alec's heart was beating loudly. He only came to see the Shadowhunters Chronicle and he received more than he desired. 

His biological father was a downworlder. No. He would have lived through it, but from Robert's words he concluded that it was a very optimistic version. Alec's father must have been a demon, and not just any demon. It is possible that even the Great Demon. Only that could have brought the Clave's anger on Lightwoods.

At the very thought of being the son of the Great Demon, he was feeling sick. He fought with demons all his life. The first one he killed was one of the Great Demon. Abaddon. What if… No, don’t think about it Alec!

The boy bit his lip, wanting to somehow abdicate the sudden panic that began to overpower him. He couldn’t allow it now.

He looked out from behind the column. His mother was still sitting huddled in a chair. He pulled out the stelle and activated several runes. He walked over to the woman and hugged her, making her jump in surprise.

"Alec? What are you doing here?" she asked, terrified, wiping tears from face with the back of her hand.

"I wanted to find some information in the Shadowhunters Chronicle," he said quietly. The woman froze when she realized that the boy had heard all of their conversation.

“Alec…”

"Don’t say anything. I understand," he whispered. "Thank you for everything. I just wanted to say goodbye." After these words he run. He heard Maryse calling his name, begging him to wait. He didn’t listen.

Thanks to the speed rune after few minutes he was halfway to Magnus's loft. He stopped when he remembered Robert's words. ‘Even the High Warlock of Brooklyn will not protect him from his destiny, at most he will die trying.’ He couldn’t expose his loved ones. Magnus was also one of them. Alec had nowhere to go.

He embraced himself. He left his coat at the institute. It was the beginning of January and it was cold outside. If he wanted to run away, he would need his things, most of which were still in the bag in the warlock's loft. He considered for a moment whether he should go take it. However, he couldn’t. Magnus would immediately guess that something was wrong and wouldn’t let him go. Alec couldn’t risk it.

He shuddered and pulled out the stele. He drew a rune of warmth in his arms and breathed a sigh of relief as the cold he felt vanished.

Chapter Text

Magnus's apartment often was a starting point, when Alec's siblings decided to do something stupid. This time as well, everyone gathered at his loft, but instead of Alexander -who was often the voice of reason for the whole team- on the sofa in Magnus's living room sat his mother, Maryse Lightwood. She was shaky and very pale. She kept in her hand a silver feather-shaped pendant. Her eyes were closed, which made her look like she was praying.

Magnus' thoughts kept coming back to the moment he came home and realized that something was wrong.

It was already late when Magnus returned from his client. When he didn’t find Alec in the loft, he got scared. He tried to call him but every call was immediately redirected to voicemail.

Magnus, keeping in mind the return of Alexander's nightmares, couldn’t wait 24 hours before calling the police, just like what every show said to do.

Before he could think about what he should do, his phone started ringing. Magnus prayed it would be Alec, but one look at the phone screen was enough for all the blood to drain from his face. He picked up and put the phone to his ear.

“Jace?”

"Is Alec with you?!" Magnus didn’t know what to say for a moment. The blonde’s question sounded urgent. "Magnus! Is Alec with you?!"

"No... I came back ten minutes ago, I don’t know where he could go, he didn’t tell me he was going out," the warlock replied, surprised by the sound of his own voice.

"He was in the institute about half an hour ago," the shadowhunter informed him.

Magnus breathed deeply, surprised. He didn’t think that Alec would want to go to the Institute. "What happened?" he asked, guessing the answer.

"I have no idea," Jace announced. "I heard Maryse scream so I ran downstairs. I asked her what happened, but she only called Alec’s name and said that it was all her fault. After that she started to cry. Izzy has been trying to calm her since then." Jace sounded worried. "Maryse is the strongest woman I know. I've never seen her like this."

"I am opening a portal in the lobby. I'll prepare a potion for her to calm down."

From that moment an hour passed. They tried to get Maryse out of the numbness she found herself in but nothing helped.

Magnus tried to track Alec several times, but he hit the wall every time. Why did the boy block him? What happened? His eyes went back to the woman's huddled figure. He came to her and knelt so that he would look her in the eye.

“Maryse,” he started quietly even though he really wanted to grab her by the shoulders and shake her hard enough to make her come to her senses. He knew, however, that it wouldn’t help. That is why he continued in a calm voice. "Have you two argued again?"

Maryse shook her head and her eyes filled with tears again, her voice was hoarse when she spoke. "I was arguing with Robert in the library. He was called to Alicante. I wanted to make sure that..." her voice broke. She swallowed her tears and continued. "That he will not do anything stupid."

"Stupid? What do you mean?" Isabelle interrupted her, but fell silent when she saw the warlock's raised hand.

"Were you arguing about Alexander?" he asked, and Maryse nodded.

"I know Robert told him during the last argument that it was our joint decision, but I... I didn’t know he was going to do it. He didn’t tell me..." she sobbed loudly.

"What are you talking about?" The warlock's heart beat very quickly. After the Circle, Robert tried to do everything to please Clave. Magnus was terrified by the thought of what he could do. "Is Alec with Robert? He took him to Alicante?"

Maryse shook her head. "Alec was in the library when we argued. He heard our conversation. "

"I can guess what he heard," the warlock said bitterly. "Robert never hid what he thinks about our relationship."

"Oh, God." Maryse grabbed Magnus's hand. "He didn’t tell you? After your reaction, when I came here last time, I was sure he told you."

"About what?" Magnus felt sick.

"Robert decided that Isabelle would be the next Head of the Institute."

Everyone froze in terror. They knew what this position meant to Alec.

"No..." the girl whispered. "He can’t do this. By law, the authority over the institute will go to the oldest child... Alec is the oldest... Dad can’t..."

"He can," Jace remarked grimly. All eyes moved to him. The blonde liked to be the center of attention but not at the moment. He wished to be wrong. "If Robert disinherited Alec, then you're the next in line."

Izzy paled. "No, he couldn’t... Mom?" She looked at her mother, looking for support in her blue eyes. Maryse sighed heavily.

"He didn’t disinherit him." Everyone immediately relaxed. Maryse wanted it to be the end of the conversation, but she owed them the truth. "He didn’t do it because he didn’t have to. Alec is not his son." For a moment everyone was looking at her, as if she had two heads.

When the first shock passed, Izzy and Jace began to speak at the same time. They were shouting to get as much information from Maryse as possible. Magnus got up from the floor and sat on the chair.

Everything suddenly fell into place. The panic attack Alec had when he returned from the Institute. Maryse's words from this morning. The boy's reaction when Maryse compared him to his father. Not to Robert! His real father! But ... It was in the morning. Magnus looked into the woman's sapphire eyes.

"What did you argue about with Robert in the library?" He said quietly, but he poured some magic into his voice to get attention. Izzy and Jace immediately fell silent.

“I tried to talk some sense into him. Persuaded to change his mind... Maybe Robert is not Alec's biological father, but he's the only one he has. He raised him for the last eighteen years. I couldn’t understand how he could just abandon him."

Magnus sat staring at the wall over Maryse's shoulder with absent eyes. The warlock knew how much such a betrayal could hurt.

"Robert doesn’t know anything about Alec's biological father, he only has his suspicions. And he decided that today would be the best time to tell me about them." A grimace of dissatisfaction appeared on the woman's face.

"You spoke about the oat..." Magnus began not quite sure whether he should raise the subject in front of her children. When the woman nodded, he continued. "How firmly binding is this oath?"

The woman was silent for a moment, thinking about the answer. "It's as binding as the oath you would make to Alec." Magnus froze, remembering the promises he made to the boy. "I promised the man I love that I will never tell anyone the truth. My loyalty to him... "

"What about loyalty to your son?!" the warlock asked harshly, surprising everyone. "His son. Would you break this oath to save him?"

Maryse straightened up in her chair. "If anyone finds out... If Clave finds out who Alec is..." she shuddered at the thought. "Since the creation of the Circle, the Clave has changed. I shouldn’t tell you this, but our runes are weakening every day. The Clave Council is ready to sacrifice everything to strengthen the Shadowhunters’ position. Morgenstern's experiments on his children and the one with the Endarkened were like a wake-up call. They realized that they could be stronger if they could find out how Clary and Jace's skills worked. If they could duplicate this experiment..."

"They realize they would have to use the angel's blood?" Jace asked. Maryse looked at him with a strange expression on her face. "Unless they found a different way..."

"The Council has requested us to give you and Clary to them. I refused." She added quickly seeing the look of panic on the boy’s face. "You are my son and I will not let anyone experiment on you." The woman grabbed the pendant again. "The Clave has lost sight of the true purpose of the Shadowhunters’ existence. It is precisely through such thinking that we are losing our angelic abilities. The Shadowhunters have for centuries exalted themselves above all other races, Valentine and Jonathan are a drop that filled the cup. "

They were surprised by her words. They always thought that Maryse despised the downworlders.

"I understand, but where does Alec appear in all this?" Magnus asked, frustrated.

The woman smiled sadly. "Alec is the solution to Clave's problems. If they knew who he was, they would sacrifice him without blinking, telling everyone that they are doing it for the greater good ."

"Wait, what do you mean?!" Jace called from the kitchen, reaching for the glass from the cabinet above the sink.

"Alec..." she began but the sound of breaking glass and a loud gasp interrupted her.

Everyone's eyes went to the kitchen. Izzy went to her brother, who was frozen in place for some reason. “Jace?” The boy shuddered and looked from the broken glass to the questioning look of the brunette. He didn’t know what had happened. In one moment, everything was fine. In another, he was filled with a wave of panic that came from his parabatai rune. “Jace…” He opened his mouth to say that everything was all right, but instead of words he heard his own scream as a wave of pain pierced him. He felt the burning parabatai rune and fell to his knees trying to stay conscious. He could hear voices coming from a distance, but he couldn’t tell who was talking to him or what they were saying. He shivered, feeling the pain of his parabatai, his brother. He had never felt suffering so intense before. Another wave of pain almost blinded him.

Fear...

Suffering...

Panic...

And…

Nothing…

"Alec," Jace groaned before darkness engulfed him.

Chapter Text

When Alec decided he couldn’t return to Magnus's loft, the voices that had harassed him since he drank Camille’s blood filled his head. They used Robert's words and his own decision against him, trying to persuade him to end his life.

He couldn’t return to Magnus, and his family didn’t want him. In the end, who would want someone like him. He was a threat to his loved ones. He could spare them suffering. It would be okay if he ended his life. Then Robert could breathe with relief, knowing that nothing threatens him and his family anymore.

Alec didn't know how long he allowed the voices to lead him. When they fell silent, he was on some street that he didn’t recognize. He heard loud music coming from one of the bars and saw several people standing by the open door. The girls wore short skirts and Alec wondered for a moment whether they were freezing. Eventually, he shrugged and moved forward.

He wondered what Magnus was doing now.Had he returned home and noticed his absence? The warlock took care of him for the last month, trying to keep him alive when the vampire blood did everything to kill him. What am I doing? Alec thought. Magnus would never give up on him, no matter who he was and even if Alec was a threat to him. Magnus loved him and would do anything for him. Alec should not run away, he couldn’t leave Magnus, not in this way. Without a word of explanation or even saying goodbye. He had to go back. He had to...

"What’s a little Nephilim doing alone in the middle of the night in such a place." He heard a voice behind him that chilled the blood in his veins. It was not as if one person spoke to him but an entire chorus of voices. He had an impression that all the street lamps had gone out, but as soon as he squinted his eyes he saw that black particles like soot were flying around him.  Demon! "I asked you a question!" Alec wanted to cover his ears. Voices resonated in his head, and he felt as if he were surrounded by a swarm of bees. He wasn’t able to move from the spot. He heard the footsteps of an army or just one person? He couldn’t say. Suddenly, before his eyes appeared a man with jet black hair and irises that looked like they were filled with liquid gold. His skin looked as if he had just come back from vacation, tanned, almost shimmering with golden flecks. Alec couldn’t take his eyes off him. How could someone like him be a demon?

"We got an angel without a tongue," the man noticed and this time he spoke with a deep baritone, the rest of the voices disappeared. Alec was relieved but he couldn’t afford to relax in front of the demon, no matter how handsome the said demon was."You look at me like a deer in the headlights. Where is your Shadowhunter’s instinct?" he asked teasingly and leaned forward sniffing. "Hm, vampire blood... And now, it makes sense. You come here to seek death Shadowhunter?" he asked and a cruel smile appeared on his beautiful face, causing Alec to break free of the strange dullness that had come over him since the man spoke for the first time. "You've come to the right place at the right time."

Alec didn‘t wait for his move, he pulled out the Seraph blade and quickly named it Lotifar (check the note below).  He knew he wasn’t facing an ordinary demon and that he had little chance of surviving, which didn’t mean he was going to give up without a fight.

You only prolong your suffering. 

Don’t fight. 

Give up.

Then you will become someone better.

Let your true nature take control.

Alec tried to ignore the voices. Not letting his eyes stray from the demon he was staring at, who was watching him with fascination.

"You're very funny. Do you really think you can beat me?" he laughed, showing two rows of snow-white teeth. "Tell me Shadowhunter," he began slowly circling the boy. "Have you heard the legend about Midas?"

Alec turned with him, trying to increase the distance between them so that he wouldn’t notice.

"He was a king, a very greedy king, and what he touched turned into gold," continued the demon when he didn‘t get an answer. "You look like a wise guy, you've probably realized that you will not get out of this. So maybe, at least, let's not forget our manners. What's your name, Shadowhunter?"

“Alec,” he replied in a hoarse voice, acknowledging that this wouldn’t make his situation worse. "My name is Alec."

The demon stopped and... disappeared. Alec looked around quickly. The street was empty. He felt panic. He hated the games of demons. He knew that as soon as he moved, the man would attack, so he stayed in place. His eyes were looking from side to side trying to find the threat. He saw movement from the right side, but before he could turn around, he was pushed hard against the wall. The impact made him momentarily lose his breath. The Seraph blade had fallen where he had stood before.

The handsome face was a few centimeters from his. "Nice to meet you, Alec," he smiled, showing his teeth again and put his hand on the boy's face, covering almost the entire left side. "I am Midas."

The shadowhunter's horrified eyes met the golden irises that seemed to come alive. The hand that was on his face began to warm up and Alec already knew what it meant. He tried to break free, but one look in the man's eyes was enough for him to freeze again, unable to fight further. The hand became hot very quickly, and Shadowhunter started screaming as the burning liquid began to merge with his face.

"Don’t worry, I'm not like King Midas from legend. I will not change you into a golden statue, although I am sure that you would be beautiful decor in my room," his voice, though quiet, broke through the cry as if it were speaking directly in Alec's head. The boy was shivering and he felt his rune pulse trying to convey some of the pain to his parabatai, his brother. Alec didn’t want him to feel it...

Fear...

Suffering...

Panic...

And…

Nothing…

Midas pulled his hand from the boy's face and watched his work with satisfaction. Pain caused the Shadowhunter to lose consciousness.

***

Darkness... It was the first thing Alec saw when he regained consciousness. Pain… Was the only thing he could feel at this moment. He tried to push it back to concentrate enough to recognize where he was. Above all, he tried to remember, how it came to this- his hands were bound in chains that were pinned to the ceiling pinning him in an uncomfortable position. His feet barely touched the ground, and blood ran down his wrists.

Alec breathed a few times and looked around the room. It was probably a cell. He wasn’t sure, because the room was quite large. He could judge by the windows that were covered with heavy black curtains from under which emitted a delicate ruby glow, it still wasn’t enough to clearly see the whole room. Under his feet, Alec could feel the soft rug that was decorated with a hideous scene depicting a horde of demons tearing apart a piece of meat that once had to be a human, looking at the limbs scattered at their feet. Whoever put this carpet here must have been insane.

He wondered how long he was unconscious. After what Midas had done to him, he hoped that Jace and his friends would understand that he was in trouble and would try to find him.

Why would they do this?

Your presence is a threat to them.

They certainly relieved when they found out you were gone.

The demon overpowered you in a second.

You are weak because you reject your true nature.

Don’t fight.

Give up.

You won’t regret it…

Alec tried to focus on his parabatai bond. He could send his feelings to Jace if he focused on them enough. However, the voices didn’t give him peace, as did the pain radiating to almost his entire face. He didn’t want to think about the future. He was afraid of what it might bring.

"I see that my angel woke up." The silence was pierced by a familiar deep baritone. Alec didn’t miss his previous voice, but he didn’t enjoy this one either. He would have liked to wake up hearing the purrs of Chairman Meow, who was sleeping on his stomach when he himself lay in bed near Magnus in the warlock's loft. He wanted so badly that all this would turn out to be another cruel dream, a hallucination caused by Camille’s blood.

Alec groaned in pain as the hot fingers of the man grabbed his chin firmly, tilting his face to reveal the golden mark in the shape of a hand.

"I have never marked anyone in such a place before, especially someone with such a wonderful face." The demon's golden irises rested on Alec's blue. "I didn’t expect such an excellent effect. Your eyes beautifully emphasize my mark. Especially when they are burning with rage, as at this moment," Midas smiled, and Alec saw a change in the demon's face as the fascination turned into a cruel expectation. "I cannot wait for the moment when I will destroy your will to fight and the remnants of hope that are still smoldering in these blue irises. I want to see you fade every day when you realize that no one will come for you. Not here," he laughed and along with him the whole choir. The Shadowhunter cringed, unable to block Midas's voice in any way. The man waved his hand carelessly and all the curtains disappeared, showing him the infinite black desert over which stretched the red sky.

"Welcome to the Abyss, Lucifer’s kingdom!"

Chapter Text

Magnus walked through the portal to his living room, and only the strong arms belonging to Luke Garroway saved him from falling straight on his face.

"Rest, Magnus," the werewolf said quietly, helping him, sit in the chair.

"How can I rest when my boyfriend is out there suffering and no one can find him!" he wanted to shout but he lacked strength. "Please, Luke, tell me you have something. Anything."

The man could not look into the warlock's eyes. "I'm sorry. The pack had searched the whole city. He's not in New York."

"SO WHERE HE IS!" There were red sparks running over Magnus's body. The werewolf jerked aside as the glasses on the table shattered into millions of tiny pieces.

"Magnus, relax!" Isabelle ran into the room. She went to the warlock, ignoring the glass dust that surrounded him, and embraced him. "We'll find him, everything will be fine, Magnus," she whispered words of encouragement even though she needed them herself.

Two weeks had passed since Alec's disappearance. Two of the worst weeks of Magnus’ life, who persuaded a large part of the downworlders to help in the search. And the Clave, like the Clave, refused to cooperate with the downworlders and ultimately didn’t send anyone, despite Maryse Lightwood's pleading requests.

Izzy every now and then tried to track her brother with the help of runes, but she still hit a block. Clary tried to think of a rune that would help them find Alec, but the angels were deaf to her prayers. And Jace…

Magnus freed himself from the brunette’s embrace, he rose from a chair and dragged his heavy legs toward the guest room, where on the big bed lay the curled figure of Jace Herondale. The boy had dark circles under his eyes, and the grimace of pain that didn’t leave his face fueled them to intensify their searches. The condition of the blonde deteriorated day by day, only deepening their sense of helplessness. The worst thing was knowing that Jace's suffering was just a small part of what his parabatai felt...

Magnus sank into a chair by the Shadowhunter’s bed, hiding his face in his hands. Two weeks of constant search, two weeks of constant suffering.

The sorcerer felt a small but strong girl's hand gripping his shoulder.

“Alec…” Jace groaned, still unconscious.

Magnus unveiled his face, his yellow-green cat's eyes were burning with despair and rage.

"Whoever is responsible for the suffering of Alexander and Jace will pay dearly for it, Isabelle," the girl shuddered to hear the darkness lurking in the warlock's voice. "I will take care of it myself, even if it was the last thing I will do in my life, I promise."

***

The tension has recently been an inseparable part of Magnus's loft. They all followed the warlock's orders, preparing what he needed to summon.

"Can you explain to me why we are summoning the Great Demon again?" Simon asked. When they summoned Azazel the last time he survived only because he had Cain’s mark on his forehead.

"Try not to jump into the pentagram this time and it will go without any major problems," Clary suggested teasingly. "Besides, we’re doing it for Alec. We cannot let him suffer any longer. Three weeks passed and no one found any trace of him. We have no choice. Nobody deserved happiness more than him."

Everyone nodded, but they couldn’t stop wondering what price they would have to pay, and how mad Alec would be at them when he finds out what they've done. They must have thought he would come back, because only the whole and healthy Alec could be mad at them for summoning the Great Demon.

"Stand against the wall," Magnus muttered loud enough to be heard.

The warlock sent back almost everyone, leaving only Izzy, Clary, Simon, Maryse and Jace, who was still lying half-conscious in the guest bedroom.

Magnus folded his hands as if to pray, he could feel the gazes of other people on him. He's been hiding who he was for so long, will they still treat him like a friend after all this? He shook his head, trying to banish the bleak scenario that only distracted him.

My father, he started the incantations, he heard behind himself how someone gasped in shock. Magnus knew what his father would demand. He was ready to give it to him, if it guaranteed that Alexander would come back to him. At the same time, he knew that if he did it, the boy would never forgive him.

My father,

who are in Hell,

unhallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come,

thy will be done,

in Edom as is it in Hell.

Forgive not my sins,

for in that fire of fires

there shall be neither loving kindness,

nor compassion, nor redemption.

My father, who makes war

in high places and low,

come to me now.

I call you as your son,

and incure myself

the responsibility of your summoning. ” 

There was an unpleasant silence for a moment. Magnus closed his eyes and sighed tiredly. He wanted to get it over with. He wanted to feel the heat of Alexander's body in his arms, even if only for a moment. He heard the silent cry of surprise, and he slowly opened his eyes. Before him stood a tall man, pale as death in the white suit. Silver cufflinks in the shape of flies gleamed on his wrists. His face was human, tight skin pulled over sharp cheekbones, yellow-green eyes with slit-pupils just as Magnus’. He had black hair that looked like it was decorated with a crown of thorns.

"Hello, father," the warlock said quietly. Asmodeus's gaze ran over the gathered faces and he froze for a second, and after a moment his eyes flashed with emotion, witch Magnus couldn’t recognize. He quickly glanced behind himself, following his father's gaze, to meet blue irises that radiate with desperation.

“Maryse Trueblood,” the demon smiled broadly, showing white teeth. "How many years has it passed, twenty?"

"Eighteen," she corrected him automatically. 

Magnus' eyes widened. His gaze moved from Maryse to Asmodeus’ face. It's impossible. He knew that Alec's father was someone special, but this...  

"I understand that you have a good reason to summon me, when we saw each other last time, you were not eager for another meeting," the man turned to his son, stopping his flow of thoughts, but it was not Magnus but Maryse who answered him.

"Alexander, my son..." she began focusing the demon's whole attention on herself again. "He disappeared three weeks ago. We tried everything to find him..."

"Everything you say?" Asmodeus thought about her words for a moment. "Why don’t you summon the boy's father?" Saying this, he pointed to the feather-shaped pendant on her neck. "My brother, would be glad being able to see you again."

The woman looked unhappy, everyone stared at her as if they had seen her for the first time in life. Only Magnus was relieved. He was terrified for a moment. If it turned out that Alec is the son of his father... Blood ties meant nothing to demons, but for him... It took him a moment to realize what scared the others. Alec's father was a demon?

"Well, what do you want from me?" Asmodeus asked, belittling the woman who had crouched under the pressure of others gazes. "If you want me to bring the boy back, I have to refuse."

"Why?!" almost everyone spoke, immediately forgetting about Maryse's secrets. The man looked at them and shrugged, his face betraying nothing, as if he had put on a mask.

"Magnus..." they heard from behind, a familiar voice hoarse from pain. 

All eyes went to the bedroom door where Jace stood. He was very pale, but what drew their attention was his blank expression.

"It's too late," he said at the same time as Asmodeus, revealing the place where he previously had a parabatai rune. The rune had disappeared.

Izzy fell to her knees, covering her mouth with her hand, Simon jumped to her immediately wanting to comfort her, knowing at the same time that he would be unable to say anything that could help in this situation. 

Jace fell to the ground, sliding down by the door frame. He felt like somebody had torn from his body a part of his soul. He was unable to defend his parabatai, spent the last weeks of his life lying in bed, unable to bear some pain.

"Bring his body here," Magnus demanded with empty voice. Asmodeus looked at him carefully. The rest seemed deaf to the warlock's words blinded by their own mourning. "I will give you what you want, just bring him here, please." his voice broke, tears flowed down his cheeks. "Please, Father," he sobbed loudly, hiding his face in his hands.

"I don’t want anything..." said the demon dispassionately, his eyes didn’t leave his son’s face for even a moment. "Forgive me my son, but the boy is out of my reach. I can’t accept this deal." After these words he disappeared, dissipating into a dark fog.

Chapter Text

Less than a day after Alec's death, Maryse received information about Sebastian's attacks on other Institutes. The Clave announced the evacuation of the Conclave and ordered everyone to regroup in Alicante.

Magnus helped the Lightwoods by opening a portal on the premises of the institute and went with them to the Shadowhunters capital, as a representative of warlocks.

The war again didn’t give them time for mourning, just as it did after Max's death. Izzy and Jace let themselves be carried away by the fight, thus warding them off grim thoughts. Clary and Simon tried to make sure that they would come back in one piece from each fight. While Magnus... 

The warlock sent out fire messages to all his friends who could help him find Alexander. He lived with the hope that the boy survived. When he disappeared, Camille's blood was still circling in his veins. Magnus knew that in the three weeks that had passed since his disappearance and probable death, the vampire's blood might have faded, but as long as there was even a shadow of hope, he was not going to give up. He sent messages all over the world, asking his many friends to send them on. If anyone saw Alec, he hoped they would call him back soon.

In the meantime, the team good went to Edom, wanting to save the downworld council, that had been kidnapped by Sebastian. It was then that Sebastian Morgenstern died, killed by Clary, struck by the seraphic blade named Hesperos which was filled with heavenly fire. Unfortunately, at the same time they lost one more person close to them.

Sebastian, before he was defeated, sealed the passage between Edom and other dimensions, taking the team’s only way to go back home. Then, Magnus summoned Asmodeus again and offered him his own immortality in exchange for the unsealing of the borders.

The warlock was slowly losing hope of finding Alexander. The thought of spending eternity without his blue eyes and wonderful smile was something that terrified Magnus. By giving up his immortality, he could save his friends and at the same time end his own suffering. However, to everyone's surprise, the demon refused him again . He demanded the immortality and memories of Simon in exchange for sending everyone home and turning Simon back to being mundane. The boy immediately agreed, making his friends unable to argue with the demon.

Almost a year has passed since those events. The Shadowhunters, who suffered huge losses in the war, permanently moved to their capital, leaving the destroyed Institutes and completely cut themselves off from the rest of the world. The borders of Alicante were closed to everyone except for the Nephilim. Only a few people knew the real reason for these actions. 

***

Magnus lived in the house of his friend Ragnor Fell on the outskirts of Alicante. Through the window in the kitchen, he could see the glass spires of demonic towers that illuminated the darkness of the forest stretching around the warlock's house. Magnus called this place his home but he never felt more foreign in there than right then. Without Ragnor, Raphael, Catarina and Alexander, this place would never be his real home... Of all four of them, only Cat was still alive, but Magnus didn't want her to leave her job at the hospital for him. The world needed her more than he did. Besides, it's not like he was alone all the time. He had a reason why he lived in this place, leaving his loft in Brooklyn. First of all, there were too many painful memories in the old apartment. The second reason...

"Magnus! Are you home?!" A familiar voice pulled him out of his thoughts.

The warlock shook his head and looked back through the window, realizing that for a long time, he stood staring at the towers and didn't even notice when the darkness come.

He gasped with frustration and started toward the door. "What are you doing here, Jace? It's already dark outside. We had a deal. No unnecessary risks. If Alec finds out..."

"Alec is dead, Magnus!" called the Shadowhunter. "You cannot do this anymore. How long are you going to lie to yourself?"

There was a long awkward silence between them. Their bond with Alexander was different. Magnus could have hoped, but Jace... the blank place where parabatai rune used to be was a daily reminder to him that his brother was dead. And while for the first few weeks he let the warlock fuel the hope that Alec was still alive, but almost a year after his disappearance, even Magnus couldn't convince him. No matter how badly it hurt them, they finally had to admit that Alexander Lightwood was gone forever. Most of their friends had long ago accepted this thought and slowly moved forward, he also wanted to.

"Look at us," Jace murmured. "We tried everything, we looked everywhere, you called your father the Great Demon, and even he couldn’t find him." At these words, Magnus's gold-green cat eyes suddenly widened and shone. "What's up?"

"Jace, you're a genius," cried the warlock, pulling the confused boy into a clumsy hug and after a moment, he ran to the first floor and he entered the studio. Jace ran after him without understanding. "How could I be so stupid? He himself told us about this..." the boy has been worrying about Magnus' mental health for some time and now, the fears came back.

"What happened, what did I say?" he asked, going after the warlock to the studio. The walls up to the ceiling were covered with rows of shelves, brimming with books arranged so tightly there was no space to add another. You could find so many treasures there, from the oldest magical books to stupid children's stories. Magnus reached for one of the books that looked very old and very dark.

"When you want to make a deal with a demon, you have to ask the question precisely because you can be cheated. When we called my father, we had no chance to ask him anything, he asked us if we wanted him to bring Alec and immediately refused," he explained to Jace "When I asked him to bring Alec’s body, he replied..."

"... that Alec is out of his reach," the Shadowhunter finished. Magnus grinned, nodding his head. "I don’t get it. What does it mean?"

"My father is not an ordinary demon, he is one of the princes of hell. There are few things beyond his reach," said Magnus, opening the book, which he removed from the shelf. He turned so that the boy could see the picture in the middle of it.

"Demons have their own hierarchy. Asmodeus is one of the seven princes, under his rule is an infernal circle called Edom," he said pointing at the pyramid in the book. "The deeper you are, the more power you have."

Jace concentrated on the drawing and quickly noticed that Edom was in the middle of hell.

"Does it mean…"

“Alec was out of his reach because he had to be in a place where my father had no power." They looked into each other's eyes in which the same expression of terror appeared. If Alec was in hell all this time...

"Magnus, what if..." began the boy, but the warlock didn't give him the chance to finish.

"We'll find him..."

"But how do we get there? It's not like our trip to Edom, even I know that it's not that easy to just enter any circle of hell."

"Ragnor had the talent for traveling between dimensions..."

"If you forgot..."

"Believe me, I’ve not forgotten," Magnus answered bitterly. "I know one more person who would be able to help us, but..." he began uncertainly. "I've tried to contact her for a few months, unfortunately to no avail." Jace made a face as if he wanted to say something, but changed his mind at the last moment. "If only I knew where to find her..."

"Where was the last time you saw her?" Jace asked, trying to help.

"It's useless. She can be anywhere," he gasped and went to the door, still holding the book in his hand. "She is one of the oldest warlocks I know. Tracking her borders on a miracle."

"You have to try," said the Shadowhunter, placing a hand on the man's shoulder. "We don’t have choice." Magnus nodded his head in agreement, immediately sending a fire message. In the end, one of it must definitely reach her.

"How’s the city?" the warlock asked, looking through the spell book. Jace sighed heavily, attracting the attention of the cat's irises. “Is it that bad?"

"The Clave claims that they are still following Raziel's will. They don't see a problem in their actions…” The boy dropped into an armchair, Magnus sat beside him on the armrest and sank his fingers, shimmering with blue magic, into boy’s blond hair.

"When was the last time you ate or sleep?" he asked with concern, allowing his magic to soothe some of the blond's nerves.

"It doesn’t matter," he grunted unhappily, ignoring the warlock's questions. "It’s Jia who should become the new Consul. Why did they choose this backward old prick? It’s because of people like him that we are on the verge of collapse!" The boy's voice was full of bitterness.

Since defeating Sebastian, the Clave's council had fallen into paranoia by looking at everyone like they were possible traitors. During the war, the Shadowhunters suffered heavy losses and didn't have enough people to be allocated to the Institutes. Therefore, it was decided for them that they would take refuge in their capital city, Alicante. They didn’t respond to reports of demon attacks, they didn’t allow for an audience with the representatives of the downworld. They just cut themselves completely from the rest of the world. Jace overheard several times how Jia Penhallow argued with the current Consul regarding the plan they called the Archangel's Blessing . He didn't hear what the plan was about, but since Jia was against it, he was as well. Whatever the Clave planned, he didn’t like it.

***

Outside the window there was a chirping of birds, which slowly awakened the sleeping blonde. The boy slowly opened his eyes and smiled when he saw a couple of cats' irises staring at him. 

"Hey," he whispered in a hoarse voice and stretched out his hand to caress the place behind his ear. The eyes immediately disappeared under half-closed eyelids, and the silence was interrupted by a humming.

"Biscuit will be jealous if she finds out about it," the warlock remarked with a laugh.

"She doesn’t have to know anything," replied the boy. "But if she found out, she would definitely accept it."

Magnus grabbed the unhappy cat in his arms and dropped onto the bed, taking the cat’s place and seating him on his lap. Chairman Meow immediately settled down more comfortably and encouraged the boy with his paw to return to the interrupted activity, causing both men to laugh. The cat's gaze wandered from one face to the other as if saying: 'What are you waiting for, humans? Pet me.' The look of the golden eyes of the Shadowhunter moved from the animal to the face of the warlock, who looked different than usual.

"Did something happen?" he asked, unable to stop himself. Magnus looked at him in taken aback, but after a moment he smiled, his eyes seemed to shimmer with some inner glow that Jace had not seen in them since... "I couldn't help but notice that you look as happy as the Chairman Meow when he brought this mouse home last night."

"Do not remind me that," he shuddered at the mere mention, causing a wide smile on the blond's face. "I wanted to tell you about it at breakfast, but since you've noticed..."

"How could I not notice. You are blinding me, you radiate so much joy. What happened?"

"I've received the answer…" Magnus didn’t finish, waiting for the reaction that came almost immediately.  Jace's head jerked up, hope appeared in his eyes. "She agreed to help me. I'm meeting her tomorrow."

"Wait..." the Shadowhunter gasped, sitting abruptly up. The cat jumped scared, hissed at him and ran out of the room. “Help you? Rather help us..."

“Jace…”

"Do not start with this again!" he exclaimed. "How many times have we had this conversation? You will not go there alone." The warlock shook his head, unable to hide his displeasure. "Alec would never forgive me if something happened to you!"

"Do you think he would forgive me if something happened to you?" he murmured quietly. "Jace, I'm not doing this for Alexander. Think about it... if you get hurt or you die... I already feel terribly guilty after what happened to your brother and Simon, if something happens to you as well..." A dark note appeared in the warlock's voice, which always made the younger man shiver. He knew that Magnus had a dark side, in the end his father was one of the princes of hell, but only at moments like this he realized how little separated Magnus from crossing the border between good and bad.

“Magnus,” he said quietly, trying to get the man out of this dark place, grabbed him by both arms when he didn’t react and lightly shook him again, calling him by his name, when in the end the gold-green cat's eyes focused on him, he said quickly, "Take me to this meeting, and I promise I will not go to hell with you." Jace felt the man relax instantly.

"OK."

Chapter Text

"Magnus! It's so good to see you again!" Jace heard a joyful cry from a distance, belonging to a girl who looked like she was more or less Clary's height. Without thinking, she threw herself at the warlock's neck. Her long black hair cascaded over her shoulders and back. They seemed to be having a life of their own, waving at them all the time. When Magnus awkwardly disentangled himself from her embrace, the boy saw her beautiful golden-green eyes.

"Who is your friend, brother?" she asked, watching the Shadowhunter curiously like a five-year-old.

"B... brother?" Jace asked surprised, looking uncertainly at Magnus and the mysterious girl. "You never mentioned you had siblings," he said teasingly, giving his friend a mischievous smile.

"Well ..." Magnus began slowly, "It's been a long time since we last saw each other."

"Besides, I am not the most well-behaved," she laughed and her voice rang out in the beautiful hall like little bells. "My name is Megara, but for friends, Megi," she added, remembering her manners before holding out her right hand towards the blonde.

“Jace, Jace Herondale,” her eyes widened even more and ran over his body as if searching for something.

"You're far from home, little Shadowhunter," she noticed, tilting her head in a funny way. "Your presence provided a balance between our worlds. When the Nephilim disappeared, we felt their lack even here." Her words were filled with sadness and regret. “However, we warlocks have done the same thing more than once. Whenever the danger appeared, we used our powers to hide, abandoning those who didn’t have this ability." Her eyes seemed to see something very distant and sad. Jace could see a similar look only in Magnus's eyes. The girl shook her head,  pulling out of her thoughts and gave them a radiant smile. "Where are my manners? You must be tired. Follow me, I will show you the rooms."

Megi turned gracefully and headed towards the beautifully decorated golden elevator.

Along the way, the warlock told them about Mhapral, the small village they were in, which lay on the Savitri River in West India. There were no mundane inhabitants in the village because of the vampire clan that lived in the area. The High Warlock of Pune put a barrier around the village and a huge area beside it to chase away curious mundanes.

When the elevator door opened after a while on the fourth floor of the building, a beautifully decorated hallway leading to the rooms appeared in front of them. The warlock came to the last door on the left and opened it. Before their eyes appeared a spacious living room with large windows behind where there was a breathtaking view of the village and the river. There were several other doors on both sides of the living room.

"I hope you don't mind the company?" she asked, smiling gently. "The room on the right belongs to me and my girlfriend Laura. This one," she pointed to a second door on the same side. "Belongs to our friend Claus. You will definitely like him. This boy has gone through a lot, but he is still tender and joyful, and he wears his heart on his sleeve. You can't not love him." When she said that the door behind them opened with a bang and it felt like a strong gust of wind was blowing through the room.

“MegiMegiMegiMegiMegiMegiMegiMegi…” a little girl with delicate olive skin and large brown eyes was jumping at the warlock's feet. Her long black curls bounced with her, like springs. "Help me hide!" she said quickly, nervously looking at the door that was still open.

"What did you do this time, Kiara?" Megi asked, putting her hands on her hips.

"Nothing..." she cried outraged and looked back again as if she had heard something. "Please, Megi, he will find me in a minute," she almost squealed , grabbing the woman's sleeve, looking at her pleadingly.

"Let me think..." Megi looked around the room looking for a good place to hide.

Jace felt his hair rise at the back of his neck. Someone was approaching them, but before he could turn around, a shadow passed across the room, taking the girl.

They heard a loud cry of surprise and then laughter. When the shadow finally stopped, they saw that a tall man with pale skin and a storm of black hair surrounding his handsome face, which was adorned with a dark beard, standing in front of them, but their attention was caught most by a pair of incredibly blue eyes, which were staring intensely at the girl trying to break out of his hold.

The man leaned over and rubbed her cheek with his chin, making her scream with laughter, she grabbed his hair, trying to pull him away.

"Not the beard..." she exclaimed, still laughing.

Megi watched the whole scene with a tender smile, not noticing the reaction of her guests.

The man looked up at the warlock and froze. He carefully set the girl down, ignoring her silent protest.

When he straightened up he was almost at Magnus' height, who was staring at him with a slightly open mouth and large eyes.

After a while the warlock pulled himself from the daze and immediately moved forward, embracing the man tightly. “By the Lilith, Alexander…” he cried into his neck. After searching for so long, engulfed in suffering, guilt and loneliness, he finally held him in his arms again. Whole and healthy.

Magnus felt that all the emotions he had hidden so well over the past year suddenly exploded with double strength. He knew he was embarrassing himself in front of his older sister and friend, but he couldn't help it. All the fear, pain, and relief found an outlet from his body in the form of tears that ran down his cheeks. He felt strong arms close around him in embrace. Immediately he felt safer, as if nothing could hurt him.

"Magnus," he heard a strangled whisper. Every time Alec said something, he could feel his breath on his cheek."My dear, my love, I was looking for you for so long..."

The warlock froze.He broke away from him with eyes wide open in surprise. He needed a moment for his drunken-with-happiness mind to register what he had just heard. He was relieved that Jace's thought process hadn't suffered as much as his.

"You were looking for him?" he asked surprised. "We were looking for you!"

Alec blinked several times before speaking again. "I went to the Institute and Magnus' apartment," he whispered, pulling the warlock closer. "What I found there..." Magnus felt a shiver run through Alec's body. "The institute, was only the empty square, while the loft..." he swallowed hard. "I haven’t met anyone I could ask for help. There were only a few mundanes or shapeshifting demons. No downworlders, as if they had vanished into thin air." Alec heard the sound of his own blood in his ears and his frantic heartbeat.. "Only recently we received information about what happened... About Sebastian..."

"Sebastian is dead," Jace said quickly, in order to avoid misunderstandings. A look of surprise appeared on his brother's face. "You didn't know?"

Alec shook his head.

"The last piece of information about him, which reached us, concerned the death of downworlder representatives kidnapped by him," Megi said, putting a hand on the brunette's shoulder. "Our informant said that the Nephilim group that went to save them was also gone."

"What bullshit!" Jace exclaimed outraged, making the girl standing next to Alec squeak behind him, clenching her fingers tightly on the leg of his pants.

Alec lifted her in his arms without thinking.

"You were not supposed to have a lesson with Laura today," he asked her, making her pout with displeasure.

"I want to stay with you," she whispered, hiding her face in the hollow of his neck, wanting to hide from the strangers' eyes.

"Lessons are important," he said, bouncing her lightly in his arms, which immediately resulted in a melodious laugh. "I will help you find Laura, and if you  behave I will read you something before you go to sleep, okay?" Kiara's eyes shone with joy.

"Tale of the night pirates?" He nodded his agreement and started toward the door.

"I'll be right back," he said over his shoulder and left the room.

"Claus, tell Laura I miss her," Megi called after him and heard him laugh before he disappeared behind the door.

"Wait, Claus?!" Jace and Magnus asked at the same time.

Chapter Text

Megi served a meal in the living room, at which they sat, waiting for Alec’s return. She knew that Magnus and Jace had many questions, but she shouldn’t answer them. She breathed a sigh of relief when Alec returned and took the place next to her.

"I know you have a lot of questions..." Alec began, twisting his fork nervously when he felt their eyes on him.

"You're very perceptive," Jace noticed sarcastically, making his brother roll his eyes. "How long have you been here?"

Alec looked away, unable to look into the eyes of his former parabatai. "Megi brought me here less than a year ago." Jace gasped in surprise but Magnus was silent, he felt as if someone had tied a knot in his stomach.

"The whole damn year we thought you were dead..." Jace's voice could imitate a murmur of a storm. "It didn't occur to you to contact us in any way?!" The Shadowhunter's eyes burned with rage.

"It's not that simple..." Alec whispered.

"Why is that? There are phones here, right?" The blond remained adamant. He didn't know where his rage came from. "I thought you were dead. You have no idea what I went through when our parabatai bond disappeared!"

Lightwood curled up under the pressure of his intense gaze. There was a silence for a moment, broken by the female warlock’s angry voice.

"You say you were his parabatai, but how well do you know him, Shadowhunter?" she asked coldly, her gold-green eyes burning as she looked at him. Before Jace could speak, she continued. "You don't have to answer. If you knew him, you would know that he must have had a good reason for not contacting you."

"Maybe you will enlighten us?" he replied in the same cold tone.

Alec’s big eyes switched between both of them, not knowing what to do or say. Megi was very similar to Jace, which didn’t bode well for this conversation.

"Megi, that's enough," he said, holding her hand.

“No, Claus. I can't believe this jerk was your parabatai!” she snapped, still looking at Jace. "You're so egotistical. It's true that your Alec had no idea what you went through, but you, as his parabatai, should know what he went through! That's how this bond works, right?!"

Jace paled when memories of weeks filled with suffering and helplessness came back to him. He would never say it out loud, but he knew the warlock was right. He was terribly selfish. The only justification he had was the irrational fear that meeting Alec would turn out to be just a dream. His inner crusade was interrupted by Megi's voice.

"I saw his runes disappear one by one." Her eyes welled up with tears. Jace and Magnus stared at her in horror at what they heard. "When the parabatai rune disappeared, he repeated one word over and over again. Now I know it was your name." 

Alec sighed heavily, this is not how he imagined this conversation. 

"He has more demonic blood in his body than angelic or even human blood. I fought for a week to keep him alive. Where were you then, huh?!" Jace immediately looked at his brother, as if seeking confirmation in his eyes. Alec's face reminded him of a mask. He didn't show any feelings. "He awoke after a few days. Three months passed before he started speaking again." Megi clenched her fist, trying to hide their trembling at the memory of those days. "His memories began to come back only six months ago." Magnus's head suddenly rose, and Alec who was watching him all the time, didn’t miss it. The warlock’s silence bothered him. "Three days later he disappeared without a word..." A grimace appeared on Alec's face. He still felt guilty at the mere mention of those weeks. "He returned after a month without explaining anything to me. However, I wasn't angry at him... When I saw the look on his face... I just couldn't..." She swallowed hard, gathering strength to continue speaking. She felt a hand on her shoulder, looked into the blue eyes that were full of sadness.

"It's enough," she heard Alec's pleading voice. She nodded, sliding in her chair. Suddenly she felt very tired. "When my memories began to come back and I could remember more and more each day, I couldn't just sit. I had to find you. I wasn’t thinking about anything else at the time." He looked at the woman apologetically. "When I found out what Sebastian did..." He closed his eyes and breathed a few times, trying to calm down.

He knew that what he heard at the time was a lie, but the suffering he felt, although it didn‘t last long, didn’t want to leave him. He immediately went to Magnus' loft and quickly discovered that rumors of the warlock's death were a lie.

As soon as he stood at the door of the loft, he could sense Magnus' magic that fed the barrier. He wanted to go in, but he didn't know if the spell would let him in. He was afraid that Magnus had removed his signature after he had disappeared, almost half a year earlier. Alec wouldn’t be surprised at all. He had run without a word of explanation, leaving the warlock not knowing where he was going.

When he touched the door, something that he didn’t expect happened. Black sparks appeared in front of his eyes, which threw him away from the door with such force that when he hit the wall, the impact deprived him of all air from his lungs. He was so shocked that it took him a minute to fight for his breath.

He remembered how Magnus added his signature to the barrier while telling him how it worked. The friends it would let in without any reaction. Guests who didn't have any bad intentions could notice with a little focus, a soft blue glow. Those with hostile intentions would be greeted by red magic to scare them away. And the last barrier... It was meant for beings that didn't come from this world. It was black and treated Alec as an enemy... Like a demon...

Before his memories returned, he had no problems being different from the others. In Mhapral he met many different beings who stood out among their race. However, when he remembered that he had once been a Shadowhunter and that his task was to fight demons...

The barrier wasn’t the first proof that Alec had become what he was supposed to hunt before. Something his family thought was the worst being in the world. He became a demon.

When he was moving away from Magnus' house, from New York, as he did six months earlier, he knew that his loved ones could never know about it. This time, he said goodbye to the place forever.

After returning, he strengthened all the spells that blocked the tracking that Megi had imposed on him. If, Magnus was looking for him, he wasn't going to make it easy for him...

He knew that they would eventually meet again, however, he didn't expect it to happen so soon.

When he talked about what he found in New York, of course, he did not mention the visit to the loft or its consequences. He could feel the intense gaze of the warlock's golden-green cat eyes on him.

When he met Magnus after such a long separation, he couldn't help but be happy. Now he regretted it, because how would he explain the sudden change in behavior. He couldn't come back with him. Like, he couldn't tell him the truth. At the same time, he couldn't hide it from him. Magnus knew him too well…

"Why is Megi calling you Claus?" Magnus asked quietly.

"After she saved me, she must have called me somehow, and I wasn't very eager to talk, so she started calling me Claus," he smiled at the other warlock, she immediately returned it. "The name stuck on me, and until today, I didn't know what was my real name, so..."

Magnus looked surprised. "In most cases, their name is the first thing people remember," he noted.

"Apparently I’m not one of the most cases" Alec said with a shrug. "My memories keep coming back to me. I was convinced that I would remember the name, eventually," he finished, trying not to show any feelings.

"But you remember who I am, huh? And Izzy or Clary?" Jace interjected anxiously.

Alec laughed, but his eyes remained unchanged. "Of course I remember. You don't have to worry, Jace," 

After a short while, filled with silence, he looked at Magnus and then again at Jace. "How did you know I was here?" he asked, seemingly interested.

"We didn't know," Magnus replied. Alec looked surprised. "I came to Mhapral to meet Megi, I wanted her to help me find you. I didn't know you were here."

Alec and Megi looked at each other; the other two noticed how quickly the emotions on their faces change, as if they were communicating without words. Suddenly Lightwood stood up, his chair grinding on the stone floor. His eyes burned with anger.

"You are siblings," Alec said, more than asked, looking at Magnus' surprised gold-green cat eyes. The warlock only nodded in response. "This means that your father is Asmodeus."

Magnus froze. He didn't understand what was happening. "I'm not proud of it, but it's true," he shrugged. There was no point in hiding it any longer.

The room got brighter. “Claus,” Megi whispered grabbing his wrist. At the same time, all the bulbs in the room began to flicker and exploded a moment later. Glass shards fell on their heads.

Jace pulled a seraph blade from his belt and shouted a name. The sword immediately lit up the dark room. Next to him, Magnus summoned a blue ball of light, and Megi did the same, instantly illuminating Alec's face, causing Jace and Magnus to take a deep breath.

The brunette's eyes were black. When Bane looked at them, he had the feeling that something very dark was glancing back at him behind them.

“Alexander…”

Chapter Text

Magnus stared at his boyfriend in horror. Could he still call him that after he left him without a word? The warlock shook his head. There was no time for that. Alec looked like he was possessed. Magnus searched his mind for a spell that would help him fight the demon who had taken over Alec's body.

At the same time, Megi, to the surprise of the other two, grabbed the front of Alec's shirt and pulled him hard in her direction."Take a deep breath and try to calm down," she spoke to him in a quiet but firm voice, "You can't afford to lose control in a hotel. Do you remember how it ended the last time?”

The brunette closed his eyes and breathed as Megi advised him. When his eyelids opened a few seconds later, it was the blue irises that looked at her again.

"That's better," she approved, releasing him.She snapped her fingers and all the bulbs returned to their previous state. "I have no idea what my father did, but it's not worth you going through it again. You are above that, remember.”

He nodded in agreement and looked gloomily at Magnus. "What did you give him?" he asked quietly. Magnus didn’t understand his question. He looked at his sister questioningly, she just shrugged."Your father. What did you give him in exchange for getting me out of hell?" the former Shadowhunter said, slightly annoyed.

Magnus's pupils narrowed into slits. “How...”

"I know you," Alec snorted, "Don’t tell me that you didn’t try to find me." The warlock's expression told him everything "You summoned him to find me," he stated more than asked. "Don't look at me with such surprise. If it was you, then I would do anything to find you, especially with such connections. So what did you give him in exchange for saving me?” he asked quietly.

Magnus's heart skipped as Alec used the past tense, completely forgetting his question. The brunette's words made him feel as if the ground was sliding out from under his feet. He knew they couldn't go back to what had been before Alexander's disappearance, but he hoped that they could be together again. He wasn’t going to allow anything else. After he finally found Alexander, he couldn’t imagine losing him again.

Jace wanted to punch his brother in the face with all his strength to make him realize what an asshole he was. He couldn't watch how he thoughtlessly hurt the only person who believed to the very end that Alec was alive and was trying to find him all the time.

"It's true that Magnus summoned his father to find you," said Jace, seeing that the warlock was temporarily unable to answer Alec's question, "But Asmodeus didn’t demand anything in return." His brother looked at him skeptically, then Jace told him everything from the moment he was summoned to the moment the demon disappeared in a dust cloud.

Alec looked at Megi. They both looked at least surprised by what they heard.

"So, you didn't give him anything?" Alec asked again, staring at the warlock who was turning one of his rings on his finger, unable to look him in the eye.

"I told you..." the Shadowhunter began, but Alec waved his hand at him as if he were chasing away an intrusive fly, watching Bane all the time.

"Magnus..."

The sorcerer tightly closed his eyelids and shook his head, Alec sighed with relief. Magnus immediately opened his eyes.

"Don't do it again, okay? Not for me," brunette whispered, looking away and falling back into the chair.

"If not for you, then for whom?" Bane gasped. "Besides, how did you know I summoned him ?"

Megi looked distressed, while Alec looked like he wanted to kill someone. Magnus hoped it wasn’t him.

“Asmodeus pulled me out of hell, he saved me and called Megi to heal me,” he shrugged and continued, "I figured that since he was your father, you must have had something to do with it. I see no other reason why he would come for me.” 

“Why are you angry then?” It was not the first time Magnus found himself thinking that he had no idea who this man was. He could read Alexander as easily as a spell book, while Claus was a mystery to him. 

“Because if you called him to save me, you would have to sacrificed something and I couldn't agree to that. I'm not worth it.” Magnus wanted to protest, but the blue-eyed man didn't let him. "Don't you think it's a little weird that he saved me at the same time you asked him to, without demanding anything in return?"

Magnus's mouth closed when he realized that Alec was right. Why had Asmodeus demanded nothing in exchange for rescuing Alexander? First of all, why had he lied to him? Magnus said he would give him whatever he wanted, but he didn't demand anything. What was his purpose in this?

"I have a hypothesis," Jace began slowly, all eyes immediately focused on him, which the blond welcomed, pleased. “Asmodeus was the only person who came for you. Not Magnus, Not me, but him. What did you feel then?” he asked, carefully watching his brother's reaction to his question.

Alec immediately understood what his former parabatai was striving towards. When Midas began to torture him, Alec knew that Jace would immediately sense it and alert Magnus and the rest. The demon tried to break him for a long time, but the thought of his family coming to save him strengthened his fighting spirit. Hours changed into days, days into weeks, weeks into months, and these changed into years of suffering that he still couldn't remember. Time in hell passed much faster. When he met Asmodeus, he couldn't believe that one of the nine princes of hell came to save him. He didn’t know what a greater demon might want from him in return for such a favor.

It was a year since Asmodeus released him and he still demanded nothing in return. Alec was grateful to him for pulling him out of the abyss and this was probably the main reason Asmodeus had saved him. The brunette had a debt to him, which he will not be able to pay off too quickly. The knowledge that the Greater Demon did it only to use him at some point didn’t change his attitude. Jace was right. Alec had waited too long for someone to save him. He believed that Magnus would be the first person to come for him, but that never happened. He wasn't mad at him, after all, he'd been looking for him in this world for so long.

"I understand what you mean," said Alec firmly. "I owe Asmodeus my life, I should be grateful..."

“But?” Jace asked, raising one eyebrow.

"But…" said his brother, letting the corners of his mouth quiver slightly before he continued "When Asmodeus came for me, I didn't want his help. I didn't want anyone's help.” Jace and Magnus looked puzzled. Megi sighed heavily. "I remember I wanted only one thing at the time… I was so close. But Asmodeus appeared and took that chance away from me. And for a long time, I hated him because of it. When he spoke, he looked away. He didn't want to see their reaction when they realized what he meant.

After a short silence, he heard the creak of the sliding chair and the quickly receding footsteps. He didn't even flinch when he heard the door close with a bang.

"I don't recognize you," gasped Jace, catching the eyes of his former parabatai, "The Alec, who I knew, would never give up and would do anything to get home. To us. To Magnus.”

“The Alec you knew never left hell,” he said dispassionately, rising from the table and heading towards the exit, leaving the Shadowhunter trembling with rage and a warlock who looked like she was carrying a heavy weight on her shoulders.

Claus headed towards the hotel main hall from which the door led to the conference rooms. His brain was working at increased speed. He knew he couldn't go back to what had connected him to Magnus before. The time he spent in hell didn’t leave him without blemish. He didn’t mean the magic he gained with demonic blood. He lost his angelic soul. Shadowhunters tried to die as humans so that they could join the angelic host after death, as the historical books told them. It was taken from him along with the Shadowhunter pride. 

After months of fighting, Alec allowed Midas to break him. What he experienced that day... He didn't want to remember it, but memories began to come back. That night as well. Then for the first time, he lost control of his magic. Megi couldn’t calm him down, which forced her to summon Asmodeus, who absorbed his magic, leaving him exhausted and barely alive. He needed a few weeks to be able to use basic spells again, which turned out to be helpful because of the recurring memories.

Eventually, he asked Megi to erase his memories of hell. As a result, he stopped thinking about how much he wanted Asmodeus to let him die that night and focused on improving his magic.

He came to the huge door that led to the room that once served as a ballroom. Now it was the heart of the hotel. He didn't even have to touch them and after a while they would open before him showing him the beautifully decorated room. Few people knew the secret of this place. Claus slowly headed towards a gold star in the middle of the room. It was surrounded by three golden circles that were decorated with fancy symbols. When he crossed the first circle, the symbols began to radiate, illuminating the room with an unusual glow. The gold rim pulled away from the ground and began to spin. At first slowly. Over time, when the next two joined, faster. Claus felt his magic slowly move to the inside of the pentagram on whose edge the fourth rim appeared. After a while, this rim broke away from the marble floor, joining the others, surrounding the man standing in the middle with an impenetrable barrier.

Claus was grateful to Asmodeus for one thing. The Lord of Edom, could just get him out of hell and let the blood of demons turn him into a monster. Instead, he offered him immortal life and magic to protect the hotel and everyone he cared about. The spell, which he entangled in the floor with pedantic precision, was his greatest work.

Chapter Text

Jace couldn't believe what was happening. The shadowhunter had no idea who this man, who claimed to be his brother, was. He might look like Alec, but Jace had a feeling he wasn't him at all. His parabatai would never have treated him that way. Alec would never knowingly say anything that could hurt him, much less Magnus. Herondale decided that he would find out what the man was hiding at all costs.

After Claus left their common room, Jace decided to look for Magnus. The warlock was blaming himself for Alec's disappearance. The Team Good tried to convince him that it wasn't his fault, but even reasonable arguments didn't help. Jace could only guess how Claus's words had affected the warlock.

Over the past year, Jace had spent enough time with Magnus to know where to look for him. The elevator took him very slowly to the top floor of the hotel from which you could get to the roof by the stairs. Jace breathed in the fresh night air and looked around, immediately noticing the warlock. He sat leaning against the wall, his arms around his knees, hiding his face in them.

Jace approached the man and sighed heavily, sliding his back down the wall to sit next to him, while simultaneously throwing, seemingly nonchalantly, a hand on his shoulders. The warlock immediately tensed.

"Magnus," Jace began quietly, "it wasn't your fault." The boy felt a shiver running through the man's body. "You did everything you could and even more. Until the very end you believed that Alec was alive. If it weren't for you, we would never have found him. We wouldn't even have searched for him.” The warlock's sobbing broke the momentary silence. 

Just a year ago, Jace saw Magnus as the strongest man on earth. He was always smiling, he never showed weakness, even after they thought Alec was dead, only at first he allowed himself to cry. Later, all the gates of hell opened and none of them had time to show weakness. At first, there were Sebastian's attacks, then the kidnapping of downworlders council representatives, and finally announcement of the Cold Peace. Everything happened so quickly that no one had time to pay attention to one warlock.

***

Jace reined Firestorm, stopping her just outside Ragnor's house. He jumped off her back with the grace of a Shadowhunter. Tying the reins to the porch railing, he patted the mare's hot neck. When he made sure everything was all right, he headed for the door, going inside without knocking.

“Magnus!” he called. When he received no answer, he went upstairs.

The last time he saw the warlock was at a council, during which the Clave announced the Cold Peace, which had been a week earlier.

Jace took the steps two at a time, quickly finding Magnus in the office. The Shadowhunter froze as he looked around the room. Heaps of books were scattered on the floor and Jace noticed several photos on the desk and a blue scarf that looked as if someone had touched it too often. Magnus was sitting in the middle of this chaos. He had tousled hair and a makeupless face. He wore the same clothes as on the day of the council.

Jace carefully watched the dark bruises under the sorrowful eyes of the warlock. "When was the last time you slept?" he asked in a tone that demanded an answer. Magnus jumped in his chair, surprised, throwing another pile of books onto the floor. When he saw who had invaded his friend's house, he calmed down and put on a face that could otherwise seemed to be irritated at this interruption, but for Jace it seemed only an ugly grimace. It was new to him, because so far, even grimaces performed by Magnus seemed handsome, to which he would never admit aloud.

"What are you looking for here?" the warlock grunted.

"You. You disappeared immediately after the council and since then no one has seen you," said Jace, crossing his arms over his chest.

"Awwww, was the Herondale boy worried about the downworlder?" Jace looked at him in disbelief.

"I understand that it's hard for you, but don't push away the only person in the world who understands how you feel." The warlock laughed bitterly, making the Shadowhunter shiver. Jace had never seen him like this.

"You don't understand anything ..."

"Are you sure?" he interrupted firmly. "I feel like someone has ripped half my soul out of my body, right after he tortured it for several weeks, leaving me with pain and emptiness, after my brother, my parabatai! Is what you feel different?! You are not alone in this Magnus!" Jace was panting, trying to hide the pain he was feeling all the time.

"At least you  have Clary and Isabelle," the man whispered.

"You too, but you push us away," Jace wanted to shake the warlock so that he would finally notice that they were in this together. "It's hard for Izzy too, she lost two brothers in one month, and yet she comes here and tries to comfort you... Why can't we help each other?"

Magnus shook his head. He got up from the desk, wanting to ask the Shadowhunter to let him work in peace, but as soon as he straightened up, he lost consciousness.

Jace watched in horror as the warlock paled, and after a while slumped to the ground.

“Magnus!” The boy ran to the man, checking his heart rate, and breathed a sigh of relief, when he sensed the typical-for-a-warlock's slow heartbeat. Jace didn't have to be a healer to understand what happened. Magnus was exhausted. He probably hadn't slept in a few days and hadn’t eaten anything.

The Shadowhunter reached for the stele and activated a rune of strength to lift the warlock's limp body after a moment. He entered the bedroom, which looked as if it had been recently occupied by some giant bird. The bedding appeared to be in disarray, but on closer inspection it looked like a nest, intended to surround a person lying inside with a protective cocoon.

Jace gently laid the unconscious Magnus on the bed, but when he wanted to let him go, the warlock's hands tightened on the lap of his leather jacket. A pained moan and one word came from the man's throat. "Alexander..." Jace closed his eyes tightly. He understood perfectly what Magnus felt, but he would never be able to fully understand him. His relationship with Alec was completely different.

The Shadowhunter lay down next to the warlock, who immediately turned to cuddle him, covering him almost with his whole body. Jace lay with his arms raised, not sure what to do with them. Only after a while he gently embraced the man, praying to the Angels that after waking up, Magnus didn’t decide to turn him into a frog. He decided that he would worry about it only when this moment came.

He watched the warlock's face for some time, wondering if a nightmare would wake him up, but when the man lay motionless for a long time, Jace decided to relax. It was not over a minute and he was also sleeping.

***

When Magnus woke up the next morning, after the first full night of sleep in many weeks, he felt rested and extremely relaxed, surrounded by strong arms and a warm body. He took a deep breath and froze when he realized that the smell was unfamiliar to him. The arms covering him immediately disappeared. Magnus sat up abruptly, blue sparks ran through his hands, ready to attack the intruder.

"Hey... it's just me," Jace grunted, raising his hands up like people do in action movies when someone points a gun at them.

The warlock breath several times trying to calm his raging heart. "What are you doing here?" he gasped, rubbing his face with his hands.

"Don't you remember?" the boy seemed a little embarrassed by the whole situation. He sat cross-legged, staring at the man as if he was expecting something. When Magnus shrugged, Jace continued keeping his poker face, "you lost consciousness so I took you to bed. When I wanted to leave, you grab my hand and began to cry, begging me not to leave you alone." The warlock looked at him terrified, causing Jace to lose his temper and laughed. "Your face. I wish I had taken a picture."

“Jonathan!” growled the indignant Magnus.

"You called me differently at night," the Shadowhunter's laughter spread throughout the house. In other circumstances, the warlock would have laughed too, but the disappointment he felt when he realized that it was Jace, who was embracing him, not Alexander, was like he was hit with a bucket of cold water.

Jace immediately stopped laughing when he saw that the man's eyes fill with tears. "By the Angel, Magnus! I'm so sorry..." the boy immediately embraced him and began to stroke the man's back, wanting to offer at least a little comfort. At that moment, the dam broke and the warlock snuggled into the Shadowhunter arms, crying loudly, while praying that he would see his beloved blue irised after opening his eyes.

For a long time, the only sound in the room was Magnus's sobbing. Jace's lips formed a thin line. He would never have thought of seeing Magnus Bane, the High Warlock of Brooklyn in such a state. The Shadowhunter blamed himself for making fun at the man's expense, but that was how he was dealing with emotions.

Jace noticed that Magnus had calmed down, but he had no intention of letting him go. The warlock had been stifling his emotions for too long. "Better?" he asked after some time. In response, he felt as Magnus's head, which was still in the crook of his neck, moves from one side to the other. The Shadowhunter sighed, holding his trembling body tightly. Jace knew he couldn't do anything to ease him, it didn't mean he wasn't going to try. "Do you know what could help you? A bath. A nice long hot bath."

"I'm tired," Magnus whispered in a hoarse voice.

"You don't have to do anything. I will prepare everything, I will even carry you if you have no strength to walk. What do you think about feeling like a princess?" Jace smiled when Magnus burst out laughing. It was a kind of success. The warlock nodded, causing the Shadowhunter to jump out of bed. "Great! Give me a moment, I'll be right back. "

Magnus shook his head in delight. He always told himself that he tolerated Lightwoods and Jace because of Alexander. It was easier this way because he didn’t have to fear rejection from them. He was always afraid that if something happened to Alec, the rest of his family would simply stop being interested in him. In the end, the only person who would connect them would be missing. Magnus couldn’t hide his surprise when, after being kidnapped by Sebastian Morgenstern, he saw Simon and Isabelle in the dungeons of the fortress in Edom. They said they had come for him, but Magnus couldn't afford to believe it, he would not survive disappointment. The Team Good quickly dispelled his doubts when, after summoning Asmodeus, they firmly forbade him to trade his own live in exchange for sending them home. They stood up for him, against the Greater Demon, one of the princes of hell. He remembered perfectly well the words his father had said at the time, 'How delightful! Look at them, Magnus. Those kids love you and want to protect you! Who would have thought!' He wasn't just Alec's boyfriend to them, he was also a friend and family to them. 

The sorcerer's thoughts were interrupted by a blonde’s voice, "Your bath is ready, princess," Jace's broad smile was contagious.

"Thank you," Magnus replied, smiling as well. He got up to move towards the bathroom, but the boy blocked his way. For a moment he didn’t understand what was going on, but when the Shadowhunter's words came back to him, his face flushed, "Jace, I can go to the bathroom on my own."

“Nah, I promised you a day from the life of a princess, and a princesses are worn on hands.” Magnus shouted surprised when Herondale easily raised him from the floor. The warlock grabbed the boy's shoulders, fearing that he would drop him, but these fears quickly disappeared. Jace set him down in the bathroom. The room smelled of sandalwood and cinnamon. Magnus took a deep breath and began to undress. The Shadowhunter sat on the bathtub, checking the water temperature and trying not to look at the warlock, who after a moment sunk into the tub. Jace took some shampoo and began to massage it slowly into Magnus's scalp and hair, the man slowly relaxed.

"Thank you," he whispered again.

"It's not a problem, that's all I can do," Jace answered quietly.

*** 

"Is everything okay?" Jace broke free from his thoughts and looked at the woman who was standing looking down at him. Magnus lay with his head on Jace’s lap. It took him an hour before he calmed down enough to finally fall asleep and the Shadowhunter would prefer that nothing would not wake him up for the next few hours. The warlock needed a few hours of sleep, he himself would also enjoy a short nap.

"Megi, right?" he asked in a whisper, the woman nodded "I'm sorry I snapped at you, I..."

"You don’t have to explain," she replied quickly "Claus is still the same boy you shared the parabatai bond with, but it is easier for him to pretend to be a soulless bastard than to face his own problems."

"Do you think we are a problem for him?"

The woman shook her head, "you are a memory of his old life, which he will never get back. It’s painful for him, but it will pass. "

"Magnus didn't deserve it, he devoted the entire last year, trying to find him when everyone else gave up long ago."

"Claus also didn't deserve what happened to him, but we don't always have control over it. Everyone deals with their own suffering in however they can."

Chapter Text

Claus lay on the marble floor staring at the ceiling decorated with paintings depicting the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse of Saint John. 

The first Horseman looked more like a skeleton than a human being; he held a spear with a trident in his hand and sat on the back of a pale almost greenish horse. Claus could count every rib on his back. 

“I looked, and behold, an ashen horse; and he who sat on it had the name Death; and Hades was following him. Authority was given to them over a quarter of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by the wild beasts of the earth.”  

Claus's voice spread across the empty room, bouncing off the walls and columns. A second Horseman mounted a black horse.

“I looked, and behold, a black horse; and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard something like a voice in the center of the four living creatures saying, "A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; but do not damage the oil and the wine." 

The man looked at the third Horseman and spoke again, “And another, a red horse, went out; and to him who sat on it, it was granted to take peace from the earth, and that men would slay one another; and a great sword was given to him.”

Claus sighed heavily as his gaze rested on the last Horseman , “I looked, and behold, a white horse, and he who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.”

Claus always wondered what the final judgment would really look like. Would riders appear on their horses, ready to fulfill their duty?

The painting was obscured by a storm of black curls. "Are you here again?" he heard an amused voice belonging to his vampire protegee.

"Yes, but you shouldn’t be here," Claus laughed, rising from the floor. He looked around and was pleased to see that the number of circles had doubled. The girl's gaze also went toward the golden circles, making her gasp in surprise.

"Megi will be angry," she whispered conspiratorially, "she always gets nervous when you do it."

"Unnecessarily," he replied briefly, cutting the subject, "What are you looking for here?"

"You promised to read to me," she said in a sulky voice.

"Right, The Night Pirates," he smiled when he saw the girl's eyes brighten, "Let's go then." He grabbed her hand and headed for the door.

The little vamp, hummed under her breath and smiled broadly all the way to the room. Every now and then, she looked with big eyes at the man accompanying her, as if she didn't believe that she really had such a wonderful guardian. He never shouted at her, he always played with her and read her fairytales, just like her mother did. She was lucky to meet Claus.

The man opened the door to the apartment and froze at the warlock circling the room. Megi looked very nervous. The girl's hand clenched his hand tighter, immediately attracting his attention. Her vampire eyes seemed to say, 'I told you' and Claus rolled his eyes with a laugh.

"You are here," murmured the warlock, who had burst out of her thoughts by his laughter.

"Where else would I be?" he asked, shaking his head amused. "Go change, I will come to you soon, okay?" he turned to the five-year-old with a smile.

The girl nodded and threw Megi a short ‘good night’ before she started dancing toward the bedroom.

The warlock's eyes followed the girl to the door before immediately moving to Claus as soon as Kiara disappeared into the room, "Can you explain to me what you are doing?" she asked scoldingly, her eyes glistening with the emotions that were buzzing in her.

“I’m putting Kiara to sleep?" he knew well that she didn't mean that, but he wasn't going to make it easier for Megi. His life had already been turned upside down twice and Claus had no idea if he could recover from the next one.

The warlock groaned in displeasure "Magnus has been looking for you for over a year, you couldn't gloss over some things, such as your suicidal tendencies?" Megi sounded disappointed.

"Magnus is accustomed to the fact that I'm direct. Besides, I can't lie. In the end he would find out anyway and I think he would feel worse then," he whispered, sitting down on the couch Megi immediately sat down next to him.

"You could have gently conveyed it to them," she noticed with a sigh, making the man look at her as if she were crazy, "Okay, don't look at me like that ." She hit him lightly on the shoulder.

"Do you know what this means?" he asked quietly and quickly added seeing her questioning look, "their arrival? They'll want me to come back to New York with them."

The woman's eyes became impossibly large. "No…"

"It's not like I can refuse them," he sighed quietly, "I knew it would eventually come to this."

"You can't leave," she argued, "we need you here."

"Megara," Claus looked at her sadly. The warlock was shaking her head, she wasn't ready to part with him, "Hey, look at me." Her eyes immediately focused on his face. "It will be a long time before I'm ready to go back with them. I've got a few things to do here. Don't worry, I'll still be here tomorrow," he smiled, stroking her cheek with his fingertips. Megi tilted her head to nestle her face in his hand.

“Claus?” They both immediately looked at the little vamp who was standing at the door of the bedroom in pink bear pajamas. In her right hand she was holding a doll in a pirate costume, the other wiping her eyes wanting to get rid of the weight from her eyelids. "You promised..." she murmured.

Claus stood up and a second later he held her in his arms. He turned toward the woman and cast a quiet ‘good night’ before disappearing with the child in the bedroom. 

He went to the bed and put Kiara on the mattress, covering her with a duvet. He kissed her forehead gently and brushed the lost curl away from her face.

"You look tired," he remarked teasingly.

"Not at all," she yawned, showing snow-white fangs, "Claus, please."

"It's okay," he corrected the duvet and reached for the book that lay on the bedside table, smiled at the girl and began to read quietly, "Down, down, down, the dark, dark street they came. Quiet as mice, stealthy as shadows. Up, up, up, the dark, dark house they climbed, stealthy as shadows, quiet as mice..."

When Claus finished reading, the little vampire was sleeping soundly. Her eyes were closed, her face pale. When he took her in, the first night was like a nightmare to him.

He remembered how, after Max's birth, his mother came to check every few minutes if the baby was breathing, it was a natural maternal instinct. Claus quickly understood her fears, he took in an undead girl, and should have been aware that when she fell asleep, all other human reactions will be put to sleep as well, such as, for example, breathing. By force of will, he refrained from waking her and making sure everything was all right. After three months, he got used to it, even though he still felt insecure every time Kiara lay motionless on the bed like a beautiful porcelain doll.

The man put the book on the bedside table and bent to kiss the girl's forehead. He stroked her cheek tenderly and quietly left the room.

In the living room he found Megi, talking in a low voice with Magnus. They sat together on the couch, the warlock's arms were hunched over as if he carried an enormous weight on them. Jace settled in the window, enjoying the view of the forest and the river. Only Megi noticed that he had entered the room. She gave him a brief encouraging look before turning her full attention back to her brother.

Claus slowly walked over to the second couch and sank down on it with a sigh, drawing the attention of the other two. The warlock immediately tensed, not entirely sure if he was ready for further revelations.

"I'm sorry," the younger man began uncertainly, "I'm really grateful that after such a long time..."

"You are our family," the Shadowhunter murmured, "Did you really think we could just let it go?" Jace stood up and walked over to them, sitting in the armchair.

A slight smile appeared on Claus's face, which disappeared almost immediately, "I don't want you to misunderstand me. I was really happy when I saw you, but I..." blue eyes fell on his trembling hands before he continued in a low voice, "I’ve changed. I'm not the same person you knew anymore."

The blond snorted, getting up, "I agree with you, you've changed. You've become a terrible asshole. "

“Jace…”

"No, Magnus!" the boy's voice got louder, "You left us, Alec! You ran away without a word! I know you went through something terrible, I felt it," his voice trembled at the last words, he swallowed hard and looked at his former parabatai with eyes full of anguish, "For three weeks everyone was running around New York trying to find you when I was lying semi-conscious, trying to give you some relieve through our bond, even a bit. I’m sorry I’m not being able to help you in any other way."

Claus shook his head. He never blamed his loved ones for what happened to him. He did not realize, however, that they were blaming themselves. "Jace, I don't blame you. I did something stupid and I suffered the consequences."

"It's my fault..." All eyes shifted to Magnus, who was staring blankly at the wall above Claus's shoulder. "You drank Camille's blood because of me, everything that happened later..."

"Magnus, no ..." Jace began, but immediately fell silent when he saw his brother rise and kneel in front of the warlock grabbing his hands.

"I drank Camille's blood because I was jealous. She could give you an eternity, and I was just a moment, dust in your long life," Magnus opened his mouth to deny it, but Claus didn't let him, "I should have come to you, talk about the whole idea of becoming a vampire. Instead, I let myself be manipulated to the point that I didn't tell you anything until it was too late to fix anything," the warlock stared into blue eyes that showed no emotion, Alexander's face was like a mask. "I know that what I did back then was irresponsible and childish. I never asked you if you wanted it. I was so afraid that you would reject the idea..." Claus closed his eyes to hide the feelings that were trying to come to the surface, "That's why I left you no choice."

There was silence in the room. Nobody knew what to say. Finally Magnus raised both hands to framed Alec's face.

"Look at me," he whispered tenderly. When the eyes of both men met, Megi and Jace felt like intruders, but they didn’t want to interrupt them, so they sat quietly, trying to look at everything but not at them. "You had a lot of time to think about what you did back then and sort it out in your head so that it looked like you did it for your own selfish motives. However, I know you, Alexander. I know you put your beloved above yourself and you would never do anything to hurt me."

"I left you..." he whispered, lowering his eyes.

Magnus smiled sadly, "it's true, but you didn't do it to hurt me, just to protect me and your siblings," the blue irises rose again, "I know what you're trying to do," Magnus leaned over to kiss the younger man's forehead , "I will not let you sacrifice yourself for the greater good. So no matter what you say or do, I cannot hate you.” Claus covered the warlock’s hands with his own and snuggled his face in them even harder. “So please, don't push me away," Magnus's voice trembled at the last word, and tears rolled down his cheeks, "I can't lose you again."

The warlock froze when Alec closed his eyes and stood up pulling him up too, but when he looked at him again, his breath got stuck in his throat. His mask dropped, showing Magnus the face of a suffering boy. This sight made his heart break. In a moment, he narrowed the distance between them and joined their lips in a kiss full of previously hidden feelings. Longing, fear, suffering, joy, love. All these emotions have been overwhelming them for a long time, now they have finally found an outlet.

Magnus tangled his fingers in Alec's hair, pulling him even closer. When they finally broke apart, they looked into each other's eyes for a long time, breathing hard. Before they could do anything else, the Shadowhunter's voice broke through their bubble of happiness.

"I'm sorry to interrupt you, but for the sake of my mental health, could I ask you to transfer this joyful reconciliation to a less public place? For example... to the bedroom? " Jace said pleadingly, making Magnus chuckle, which again caught Lightwood's full attention, "But not the one here, please!? Go somewhere else. I don’t want to have nightmares later."

Alec rolled his eyes and pulled the warlock behind him. The sudden movement surprised Magnus, but when he understood what the former Shadowhunter was planning, a wide smile appeared on his face. When the door slammed behind them, Alec easily lifted Magnus from the ground and then pressed him to their wooden wall. The lips of the younger man quickly found their way around the warlock's neck, who groaned while enjoying this sweet torture. Magnus's legs wrapped around Alec's waist. The warlock gasped when the boy's hands disappeared from his thighs and after a while appeared under his neck slowly unfastening the buttons of his shirt.

Magnus stared at the man's focused face, unable to believe that they were together again. He moved his hands from Alec's shoulders to his face, lifting it up to look into his eyes, which darkened with excitement and desperation. The boy's hands stopped on the third button as they both stared at each other.

"You are here..." the younger man froze at Magnus's muffled whisper, "you are really here," Alec noticed that the warlock's golden-green cat eyes glazed with tears.

"I am," he confirmed with force. For Magnus it was the last straw before all dams would let go. Alec was surprised to hear a loud sob that came from the man's throat. He quickly abandoned his previous action, perfectly understanding that Magnus didn’t need it right now.

Magnus buried his face on the boy's shoulder. He didn't even flinch when Alec's strong arms grabbed him again, to tear them away from the door and move them to bed. "Please, don't leave me again..."

Alec felt a twinge in his heart when he heard despair in his beloved's voice, “Forgive me, I will never, ever leave you again." The boy reached out and touched the man's cheek with his fingers. The warlock was staring at him with huge and red from crying eyes, full of anguish, "Oh, Magnus..." he said quietly, "You were so sad. I didn’t know."

Chapter Text

Alec sat leaning against the headboard of the bed, staring at the sleeping warlock. Only after an hour did he manage to calm Magnus enough to make him fall asleep. First, he had to promise several times that when the man got up, Alec would still be with him.

Magnus was curled up on his side, face turned toward him. Their bodies didn't touch, but Alec could sense the warmth emanating from the warlock, which gave him a sense of security that he hadn't felt for a long time.

The former Shadowhunter ran a hand through the man's hair who sighed contentedly, smiling in his sleep. Magnus didn’t change, he still wore expensive clothes. His face thanks to a bit of magic, at the moment was free of cosmetics, but previously carefully painted with makeup, but at the same time he was completely different. Alec didn't see the glitter, which was an integral part of Magnus, his clothes and makeup were subdued, as if devoid of color. He knew that he was responsible for these changes. If he came back after these three weeks maybe then...

"Alexander?" The warlock's hoarse voice pierced his thoughts. Alec looked at him questioningly, at the same time he felt his heart clench seeing the surprise on the man's face. "You're still here..."

"As promised," he smiled sadly in response, leaned over to kiss his forehead and whispered encouragingly, "Go back to sleep, it's still dark."

"You?" Magnus asked quietly closing his eyes.

"I'm not tired," he replied, stroking his cheek with his fingertips.

"Hm," Magnus murmured contently, cuddling his face into the younger man's stomach, wrapping his arms around his waist, and stroking boy's back with his hands. Alec flinched involuntarily, cursing at the same time as he felt the warlock's body stiffen in alarm. The golden-green cat's eyes looked worriedly at the face of the former Shadowhunter, "Alexander..."

Alec closed his eyes and swallowed, causing the Adam's apple on his neck to bob. He knew there were things he wouldn't be able to hide for a long time if he was going to be with Magnus, but he didn't know if he was ready to tell him right now. On the other hand, did he have another option?

"Hey, it's all right, Alexander. You are safe." Alec didn’t even notice when his breathing quickened, while the hands that previously touched his back disappeared, "Baby, look at me."

"I'm sorry, I..."

"I don't want to hear that," the warlock interrupted him firmly, "Look at me." Alec slowly opened his eyes immediately encountering a pair of golden-green worried irises, "You know you can tell me anything, right?" Lightwood looked down, knowing perfectly well that there were things he would rather not say to anyone, “Alec…”

"Don’t... Don't call me that, please," he said pleadingly. Since Magnus wanted to know, it would be best to start with small things before he throws the rest on him, as Megi advised him, "I still..."

"I understand that you don't remember your name, but I don't understand why..." Magnus began uncertainly, staring at his boyfriend's face.

The boy pulled him closer, burying his face in the bend of his arm before he began to speak softly, "In Padwe, lives one of the largest Indian vampire clans," Alec's gaze became distant, as if he was wandering in the small town on the Savitri River, "They are responsible for the slaughter of Shadowhunters from 1723. Their leader, Faust, discovered how vampire blood affects Nephilim. He gave it to his captives, thus increasing his clan."

"That's awful," the warlock gasped, not quite sure what this story had to do with their earlier conversation.

"Transformed Shadowhunters have abilities that other vampires don't have, each one is different, but some of them..." he shook his head to chase away unpleasant memories, "There is a boy in the clan who has extraordinary power, which fascinates Faust, but at the same time terrified him. Everyone calls him Alec. When you look him in the eye, he can turn your worst nightmares into reality. He was the one who changed Kiara. Before I was able to control her, she killed half the population of Islampur."

"By the Lilith," the warlock whispered, embracing the boy's trembling body tighter. "Poor child."

"After losing the Shadowhunters, the Faust Clan took power in that part of India."

"What does the High Warlock of Pune or Mumbai say?"

"They have been skirting around the area for many years."

"I understand," he replied thoughtfully. 

Magnus knew that with this story Alec wanted to divert his attention from himself and his earlier strange reaction, but if they wanted to be together, Magnus had to know what was the reason, "Claus..."

The boy looked surprised to hear the name from the warlock’s mouth. He thought he would have to convince the man before he agreed to call him like that. He was pleasantly surprised.

"Forgive me if I make a mistake, it may take a while before I get used to it," Magnus said apologetically, "Then what else should I not do? I've noticed that you don't like when I touch your back."

"Magnus," he muttered, his body tense without his will.

"Hey, it's okay," he said quickly, seeing the boy's reaction, "I have no idea what happened to you when you were in hell, but I realize that I must be careful not to cross certain limits that we didn’t have in our relationship before. I understand that, but I need to know."

Claus looked at him with big eyes. Magnus's words reminded him why he fell in love with him. He was afraid that if the warlock knew the truth, he would always treat him like he was walking on eggshells.

"If my touch repulses you..." Magnus began uncertainly, but the boy looked at him terrified and gasped in disbelief at what he heard.

"No, it's not like that, Magnus," Claus clenched his hands on the front of the warlock's shirt, "I... I don't remember what happened in hell..." Magnus looked taken aback, "Memories of that period were the first to come back to me and I..." he swallowed, "I couldn't..."

Magnus saw how hard it was for him to talk about it, "Hey, it's alright if you don't want to..."

"There is nothing to talk about," he noted dryly, "When those memories came back I lost my temper, I was at the river then... It was the middle of the night so no one was hurt, but Megi had to summon Asmodeus to help her control me," Claus felt Magnus’ body stiffen at the mention of his father, "A few days passed before I regained enough magic to light a candle with it, but at the time I remembered more and more. I knew that if I didn't do something I would go crazy or hurt someone. That's why I asked Megi to erase those memories." 

Magnus listened with his eyes closed, trying to hide the feelings raging in them. He couldn't imagine what this boy had to go through to decide on something like that. "Then why... When I touched your..."

"Maybe I don't remember what happened then, but I know I'm not stupid, and I have scars on my body," he said quietly, "I hide them with a spell, but I know they are there."

They lay in silence for a while, they both thought about what happened and what the future would bring to them. It was Magnus who broke the silence first, his quiet, uncertain voice barely breaking through the boy's raging heartbeat.

"Could I..."

"Magnus..."

"Please, Ale... Claus..." he corrected himself quickly, seeing the young man's expression.

"Why?" He asked, not understanding the reason why the warlock might want to see his destroyed-by-torture body.

"You don't have to do it if you don't want to," Magnus finally said "You can hide your scars with a spell, but there are times when you can't keep it up. The glamour may stop working when you are weak, nervous or... aroused."

Claus cheeks were covered with blush. He knew where this conversation was heading. Magnus wanted to avoid a situation that would definitely take place in future. Lightwood knew he wouldn’t be able to save warlock suffering, he could only postpone it in time.

Claus sat on the bed watched by a confused warlock who didn't know what was going on. When the boy got out of bed, he grabbed his hand, fearing that his request scared him.

"Claus, I'm sorry..."

"Shhh..." blue eyes immediately looked at him reassuringly, "I just have to take off my shirt if you still want to see them..."

Magnus froze, staring at him with large eyes that watched every movement of his hands. Claus grabbed the edge of his shirt with trembling hands, but stopped when he felt a warm touch on them.

"I... Let me please..." the warlock whispered, his cat's eyes glowed in the dark with a golden glow, his pupils were dilated, almost like human ones. Claus nodded, his eyelids immediately obscured his beloved's face. He shuddered as the cool night air brushed the bare skin on his stomach. He raised his arms and a moment later stood shirtless in front of the most important person in his life. "Breathe," he heard a quiet request and felt the breath exhaled from the warlock's mouth hit his cheek at the same time, "you can do it, Claus. You are safe, I will not let anyone hurt you. "

His whole body was covered with goosebumps. He felt the spell slowly flowing down from him like water, leaving him more naked than after Magnus took his shirt off.

"Claus, look at me," another breeze, this time on his lips. His eyelids slowly rose, allowing the warlock to see how vulnerable he became at that moment, "If you don't want to, I don't have to look," he said uncertainly. Seeing the boy straighten up, swallowing and shaking his head, he let his gaze go slowly down.

His eyes could see perfectly in the dark, so he didn't even think about turning the light on. In this way he could offer Lightwood a little bit of comfort.

Magnus first focused on Claus's neck, which had once been decorated with a deflect rune, now was smooth.There were a few small scars on the boy's chest, shoulders and stomach, which Magnus remembered from before his disappearance. They called them battle scars. There were several new ones that could have been inflicted by the blade or demon's claws.

"You okay?" Magnus asked in a whisper, seeing how tense Claus's body was, as if he was preparing for a blow, "I don't want to hurt you," he said, trying to calm him down a bit.

"I know," Claus replied, his voice hoarse with emotion.

"Can I touch you?" he asked uncertainly, meeting his blue eyes. The younger man's head moved up and down, but it wasn't enough for Magnus, "I know it's difficult for you, but you have to say it. I would never forgive myself if I hurt you."

Claus swallowed, wanting to force his voice to cooperate, "Y... You can touch me," he stammered quietly, all the time looking Magnus in his eyes that were filled with pride as soon as the words left his mouth.

The warlock's hand slowly slid down his flushed cheek, and after a while he slid down to his pale neck and shoulder, squeezing it gently, in order to show a little support. Magnus slowly circled Claus standing in front of him, whose heart started beating faster when he heard the warlock gasp. The hand resting on the boy's shoulder trembled, but remained in place.

Magnus had already seen such scars, deep furrows that could only arise in one way. 

He once witnessed how disobedience was punished in the army. A soldier was tied to the pillory and he was whipped in front of the crowd, until his back looks like one huge wound that healed long and painfully. He considered this unnecessary cruelty, which he didn’t even wish for his worst enemy, and tried to bypass this type of execution. The very thought that Alexander, the person dearest to him in the world, has experienced something so terrible, made him want to catch the bastard who was responsible for hurting him and make him suffer.

"Y... you said you don't remember..." Claus never heard Magnus speak with this kind of voice, so he turned to see his face and froze. The warlock's eyes burned with anger. Claus knew that he wasn’t angry at him, but at the person who marked him.

"I don't remember," he replied quietly, watching how quickly the emotions on Magnus's face changed.

"There is... a certain spell that can remove these scars," the warlock said through clenched teeth, "I invented it when my friend was kidnapped by a demon who liked to mark his victims," Magnus's hands clenched into fists, "I've never met him, but I heard he was pissed off when he found out that someone managed to remove his mark."

Claus's eyes grew impossibly large, his voice trembling as he asked the warlock the question that tormented him. "That demon? What was his name? "

Magnus was surprised by the boy's sudden question. He opened his mouth to answer, when he suddenly understood, "No..."

"Magnus..."

"Tell me that's not true..." Claus stared at him with eyes full of anguish, the tears began to run down his check, "Claus, please..."

The boy bit his lower lip and let the last spell fall off him, which hid the golden scar in the shape of a hand covering his face. A pained sob escaped from Magnus's mouth.

"Midas," it was Claus who answered his own question, his voice hollowed and emotionless. 

Chapter Text

Claus's room was on the west side of the building, so that only a soft glow from the sun covered the forest stretching out behind the large window, allowing the couple lying in bed to enjoy the darkness for a little while longer.

Magnus helped Claus put his shirt back on and pulled him back to bed. The boy told him everything he remembered from leaving the institute to meeting Midas. It wasn't much, because most of his memories from before hell, were blurred, which he owed to Camille's blood.

Magnus was silent all the time, with only his arms tightly embracing Claus when he was told how the demon had marked him which showed that he was listening intently.

“Midas told me that I was in the Abyss and that’s all I can remember," Claus quietly finished his story. His head rested on the warlock's shoulder, who was sitting against the headboard, embracing him tightly, as if he was afraid that the boy would suddenly disappear. "I'm sorry," Claus whispered as the silence began to stretch.

Magnus looked at him questioningly, but Claus couldn't see it, because he stubbornly stared at his hand, which the warlock held pressed to his heart.

"You have no reason..." Magnus began, but he was interrupted by the young man's strong protest.

"I left you without a word of explanation..."

"You were terrified. I'm not surprised after what you learned at the institute, and the vampire blood was playing with your head. You said yourself that as soon as you regained consciousness you wanted to come back immediately."

Magnus couldn’t let Claus blame himself for what happened to him. The boy was just a victim. Magnus with his secrets, pushed him into Camille’s clutches, and she willingly shared with him what he couldn’t learn from him. Maryse with her lies made him afraid to trust someone, especially since Robert completely destroyed his confidence, while Midas... Magnus promised Isabelle that the person responsible for the suffering of Alexander and Jace would pay dearly for this. The man needed some time to make a plan before he decided to attack the son of Lucifer himself, but he had no doubt that as soon as the opportunity arose, he would do anything to destroy Midas.

A chuckle broke through Magnus's thoughts, catching his attention because the sound didn't fit the current situation. The warlock looked curiously at his boyfriend, who was staring at him with big blue eyes, and a shy smile that wandering on his lips.

"You look like you're planning something awful," he noted with a small smile. 

"Oh why, thank you," Magnus answered him in the same light tone. He perfectly understood the desire to relax the atmosphere. Claus didn't remember what happened to him and only thanks to that he could function normally. Magnus pushed the thought of revenge to the back with the decision that he would deal with it later. He leaned over to kiss the boy's forehead, who moaned happily.

"You should sleep more," said Claus, "Yesterday was an emotional rollercoaster and you barely slept."

As if to confirm his words, the warlock's mouth opened when he unsuccessfully tried to fight a yawn.

"Will you stay?" The question was so quiet that Claus wondered for a moment if he had imagined it, but all he had to do was look at Magnus's face, which still hid some fear to make him realize that he had no hallucinations.

"I will."

It was only after this that the warlock's eyelids slowly dropped, covering his cat's eyes. Claus watched it with fascination, realizing how much he missed it.

When he was sure that Magnus had fallen asleep, he slowly freed himself from his embrace and sat down leaning on the headboard. With a flick of his finger, he recalled the spell book he had recently found in the huge hotel library and in the soft morning light, he focused on reading.

***

The rays of the sun illuminated the sleeping warlock's figure, who turned over to the other side, annoyed that the light had the audacity to disturb his rest. Satisfied, he wanted to go back to his dream when his sleepy brain registered that Claus's place had been empty and cold. Magnus sat up, abruptly awake. Before panic swallowed him up completely, he heard a calm voice.

"Good morning," the warlock's eyes immediately went to the armchair in the corner of the room where Claus was sitting with the book in his hand. Panic was immediately replaced by relief, which the other man didn’t miss, "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to scare you," his voice was filled with guilt.

"Not your fault," he said, running his fingers through his hair, "you can't stay with me all the time," he said with a shrug.

"Who will forbid me?" he replied teasingly and laughed at the surprise on Magnus's face.

"Don't tell me you stayed here all night?" The warlock got up and went to the armchair.

"Of course, I promised," he smiled, placing the book on the table and pulling Magnus close to him, forcing him to straddle his lap. The man leaned over to kiss him, entangling his hands in his hair, "Besides, it's already 5pm," Claus whispered in Magnus's mouth.

"What?! Did we sleep all day?" he panted, pulling away from the boy who moaned, dissatisfied, squeezing his hips tighter with his hands to keep him close, "Jace..."

"I talked to Jace," Claus quickly calmed him down, "He checked around eleven o'clock to make sure we were all right. I told him we had a hard night, but for some reason he didn't want to know the details," he laughed out loud, knowing perfectly well what his brother thought.

Magnus smirked, stroking his boyfriend's neck with his thumbs. "And to think that we did nothing of what he suspected us," Claus's eyes raised to look in his cat's irises.

"We can't disappoint him, can we?" asked the boy smiling shyly.

Magnus covered the distance between them in a second, kissing him desperately. Claus' hands moved slowly from the warlock’s back, going lower to his cheeks, trying to pull him closer. They both groaned in their mouths as their crotches brushed against each other. Magnus felt Claus's hands quickly unfastening buttons on his shirt, but for him, it was far too slow. He disentangled his right hand from the boy's hair, wanting to speed up the whole process when he heard a frustrated moan and a snap of fingers. The hair on his neck rose when he felt the unknown magic surrounding him, which made all their clothes disappear in a second. He chuckled, remembering how nervous Alec was when it was Magnus who was depriving them of their clothes. 

Claus reddened perfectly knowing what made Magnus so amused, so he quickly put his tongue in his mouth, wanting to prevent the warlock from embarrassing him with some commentary, and then wrapped his arms around the man's waist, pulling him closer so that their bodies were completely adjacent, which made Magnus close his eyes and sigh happily, breaking away from Claus's mouth for a moment. His heart beat faster when he felt the warmth of second body on his skin for the first time in over a year.

Magnus's hands stroked Claus's muscled shoulders up and down, sighing in his mouth as he learned his body again. He shivered as the boy's hands sank between his ass checks, gently massaging the skin around his hole.

"Claus, please. Don't tease me. I can't..." he gasped, leaning his forehead on the brunette's shoulder, "I need ..." he cried as both hands disappeared from his body.

"Shhh," Claus whispered reassuringly, and after a moment, slipped into his hole one lubricated finger, for which Magnus moaned quietly and his hips jerked back, wanting to feel him as deep as possible.

"Please, please, please..." the warlock begged, shaking his head from one side to the other.

"Just a moment, I need to prepare you," said Claus in a voice filled with desire. 

It was Magnus who was always on top and Claus remembered how the warlock carefully and gently prepared him every time not wanting to hurt him. He was aware that Magnus is more experienced, but he still wanted to make this as pleasant as possible for him. 

Magnus's fingers tightened on the boy's shoulders with such force that they would surely leave marks. The warlock was trembling in anticipation. Finally, after a painfully long time, he felt two fingers stretch him. ‘It took him too long.’ Magnus gasped impatiently, pulling Claus's hand away from him and ignoring the boy's loud protest, he sank down on his throbbing dick with a relieved sigh, ignoring the pain that pierced his body as if he didn't feel it at all, blinded by lust.

"Magnus? Wait!” Claus cry, and grabbed the warlock's hips tightly, not letting him sink lower, while fighting the temptation to push up into this delightful warmth. "Oh god," he groaned, resting his forehead against Magnus's chest. They both breathed heavily and their bodies glistened, covered in a thin layer of sweat.

Magnus moved his hips slightly, making the boy gasp. Satisfied, he strained his muscle to repeat it, but he froze as Claus's angry voice broke through his hazy with desire brain, "Don't you dare!" the boy snapped, his fingers tightening even more on the man's body.

Magnus stared at Claus like a deer caught in the headlights. The boy breathed a few times before looking into the warlock’s golden-green cat eyes. "I know exactly how you feel," he said gently, trying to appease his earlier outburst, "but if you think that while being blinded by lust I will let you hurt yourself, then you are wrong." 

The boy's words pulled him out of his headspace, making him aware that Claus was right. The brunette's earlier sharp tone caused the lust to subside enough so that he could feel the pain he didn't notice before. At the same time, he realized that this was exactly what he needed.

He tried to move again, but the strong hands of the former Shadowhunter effectively prevented him for doing this. Magnus groaned clutching at Claus's shoulders, "You don't understand," he said shakily, "I need you to take me here and now, hard and fast. And when you're done, I want to feel it, when we sit down to dinner together, when we walk around the city illuminated by the moonlight, when I fall asleep in your arms, and when I wake up, I want this pain to remind me that this is not another dream that will change into a nightmare when I realized that I lost you forever. So please…"

Claus needed nothing more. Magnus cried when the boy filled him to the brim with one quick move. The warlock's body pierced with delightful pain, and his eyes filled with tears that immediately ran down his cheeks.

Magnus rose slowly on shaky knees before falling down again. He wanted to repeat the whole process, but Claus's strong hands stopped him again.

"No, please, I need this..." he sobbed, covering his face with his hands.

Claus snapped his fingers, causing the window to be obscured by a heavy black curtain, then he embraced the warlock and stood up. Magnus' legs immediately wrapped around his hips, but before his hands could grab his neck, Claus slowly laid him on the bed.

"It's okay," he whispered, kissing the warlock's face, "I'm here. I'll take care of you."

After a moment, which felt like an eternity for Magnus, Claus slipped out of him almost fully, only to quickly snap his hips back filling him again, extracting from him another cry silenced by the boy's mouth. The brunette moved in him strongly and quickly, exactly as he wanted. Magnus screamed every time Claus hit his prostate with all his might. The pain quickly mixed with pleasure; he needed only a few more thrusts to come untouched with the name of his lover on his lips, before the darkness consumed him.

Claus fought with an effort the need to follow his own released and gently slipped out of his lover’s unconscious body, not wanting to cause him more pain. He felt guilt consuming him when he saw Magnus wince, even though he was still unconscious.  

‘Magnus wanted it. He wanted it, he begged him,’ Claus repeated it in his thoughts, trying to calm himself down, ‘He did it for him, because he said he needs it.’ He shuddered, closing his eyes tightly. But that didn't mean he was going to feel good about it. He never wanted to hurt his love.

"I'm sorry… I’m so sorry... I love you so much," Claus sobbed. He didn't even notice that his glamour dropped as he hid his face on Magnus' shoulder.

Chapter Text

Alec clenched his teeth harder, trying to stifle the cry of pain as he felt the whip strike his bare back again. The T-shirt he had worn before lay torn on the ground, he didn't even want to imagine what his body looked like.

"I must admit you impressed me, boy." Alec shuddered when he heard Midas's voice close to his ear, "Most of my guests give up after five strikes," the man put the hilt of his whip on the Shadowhunter's chin, forcing him to raise his head up and look into his eyes. "You got four times more and I didn't hear a single scream from your mouth, not even a groan of pain."

Alec stared at the demon’s golden eyes, trying to show in his own blue irises all the hatred that he felt for him.

Alec had no idea how long he was there, he had lost track of time long time ago. His hands were numb from supporting his weight, and his legs felt like they were made of cotton, unable to keep him upright. He didn't have to look up to know that his wrists were bleeding due to the abrasion caused by the rope, as was his lower lip, which he was biting all the time, wanting to refrain from screaming. He won't give this bastard the satisfaction. If Midas thought Alec would beg him to stop, he would be very disappointed.

"You have a fighting spirit that befits a Shadowhunter," the demon murmured. Alec saw amusement in his eyes, and he wanted to wipe that stupid smile off his face. "I will be happy to break this spirit of yours. We have a lot of time," Midas laughed, releasing his chin. "Rest, I will be back soon," he said and left the room.

***

Claus sat in an armchair staring at the face of the sleeping warlock. The book was abandoned on a dresser. He couldn't focus. It'd been an hour since Magnus lost consciousness. Claus didn't worry as he could feel his breath and his heartbeat.

They hadn't eaten or drunk anything all day, and hadn't even left the room, which he realized only recently when Jace came again to check how they were doing, bringing a tray of food. They exchanged a few words before the Shadowhunter left the room, casting one last look at the still sleeping Magnus. Claus noticed the concern on Jace's face, which surprised him, because his former parabatai didn’t like Magnus. At least, Jace hadn’t liked him before his disappearance.

His thoughts were interrupted by the rustle of bedding. Claus carefully watched the figure moving under the covers, thanks to which he immediately noticed how Magnus froze and hissed in pain, only to relax and sigh happily after a moment. The younger man shook his head in disbelief and laughed, immediately attracting the attention of golden-green cat eyes.

"Here you are," the warlock smiled and sat up carefully.

"Yeah," Claus confirmed, and went to the bed. "How are you?" he asked, stroking his cheek with concern. Magnus buried his face in Claus's hand, muttering quietly in contentment.

"Fabulous," he laughed at his skeptical face, "Alexander, really ... It's alright. I'm fine."

The boy smiled shyly and leaned over to kiss the man on the lips.

He had to admit that he liked how the warlock pronounced his full name. He didn't remember Magnus calling him that before they met again in Mhapral, which was so strange.

"Is everything all right?" he heard the warlock's worried voice and blinked several times before looking into his eyes.

"Of course, It’s not me who’s going to have a problem walking and sitting all day," he joked.

Magnus frowned, looking closely at him, "Alexander ..." he said quietly, making the younger man breathe out loudly. "By Lilith, I'm sorry, Claus. I warned you that I could forge..."

Claus stopped his nervous babbling with a kiss, which completely threw Magnus off guard.

"I know that just yesterday I asked you not to call me Alec, but I don't mind when you call me Alexander," he said shyly, his cheeks covered in a delicate blush.

"Really?" The warlock murmured, hiding his face in Alec's neck.

"I never thought that with one word, you could express so many feelings. Maybe that's why I like when you call me like that," he smiled brushing Magnus' hair back from his forehead, "When you call me Claus, I don't feel it."

"I never thought about it," the warlock replied honestly, "When you love someone, it is natural that you show it in everything. Even when you say the name of the man you love," he noticed. "This is not something I can control, calling you Claus..." Magnus swallowed nervously before continuing, "It's hard for me to call you that way... I know it's you, no matter what I call you, but subconsciously..."

"It's like I never came back," the younger man finished quietly. Magnus looked at him apologetically at which Claus only shook his head. "I understand that perfectly, don't worry. Like I said, I like how my full name sounds when you say it."

The warlock's eyes shone with happiness. He pulled Alexander's head closer, wanting to kiss him again when the silence was broken by a loud rumble.

"Someone is probably hungry," said the amused boy.

Magnus moaned dissatisfied as Alec stepped away from him, "I'm not that hungry," they heard rumbling again. Magnus looked down grimly. "Traitor," he hissed at the innocent part of the body, making the boy laugh loudly.

"Fortunately, Jace foresaw it and brought us dinner," Alec snapped his fingers, materializing a tray of food on the lap of the older man. 

Magnus opened his mouth speechless at the sight of everything that his sister had to prepare. For the main course they had Goa, a pork dish with a very aromatic Vindaloo paste. On a separate plate lay pappadum pancakes and as a starter they got sambal prepared from mangoes, Thai chilli peppers, lemon and mint, while for dessert they could enjoy one of the most delicious delicacies in these parts of India. Burfi, small caramel balls concealing roasted hazelnut, surrounded by dark chocolate, coconut or crushed roasted nuts. All his favorite dishes.

Alexander sat in front of Magnus, watching the warlock taste each dish, making various noises of satisfaction.

"Megi sat in the kitchen all day preparing all of it," the blue-eyed former Shadowhunter said with a smile.

"I immediately guessed that it was her doing," Magnus replied, raising a full spoon towards surprised Alec. "Try," Magnus encouraged him, placing his other hand under the spoon so that the sauce didn't fall on the covers. The former Shadowhunter stared into Magnus' eyes for a moment before leaning over to swallow the dish that the warlock offered, "This is Vindaloo Goa, a very popular dish in this part of India, which in time has spread throughout the country in the form of curry," he explained, smiling affectionately, before adding out of the blue "I was lucky to meet Megi when I was quite young. We are a one in a million chance."

"What do you mean?" the boy asked quietly.

"There are few warlocks because our fathers are demons. The chance that a given demon will beget a child twice is very small," he answered, gazing stubbornly at the bowl. "As for the children of the greater demons..." he began and swallowed loudly. "In this case it’s completely different." Magnus played nervously with a spoon in the stew, avoiding the young man's eyes. "Greater Demons only exist because of their descendants. They extend their own lives by taking lives from their children."

"Have you had any other siblings?" the blue-eyed man asked, squeezing the warlock's left hand, which was resting on the bed next to the food tray.

Magnus shrugged, "I only met Megi."

"Your father..." Alec began uncertainly.

"He is a demon!" Magnus said sharply, raising his golden irises to the younger man's face. "As a fallen angel, he doesn't have to extend his life as often as other Greater Demons, but eventually the time will come when he will come after me and Megi."

There was an awkward silence between them for a moment, which was broken by Lightwood's muffled voice.

"Will the same going to happen to me as well?" Magnus froze at this question, "I always wondered... After all, my father is..."

The warlock stared in horror at the face of his boyfriend, not quite sure how to answer. Maryse told them that Alexander's father is not a Shadowhunter, but the thought that he could be one of the Greater Demons...

“Alexander…”

The younger man broke out of his thoughts and gasped, realizing that he had voiced his fear. "Please forget about it," he groaned, leaping from bed. Avoiding the warlock's eyes, he started toward the door.

Magnus's breath accelerated, "Where are you going?" he asked quietly, trying to hide the panic that immediately overwhelmed his entire body.

"I need some air," Alec replied, his tone hollow, closing the door behind him before the other man could protest.

***

Jace turned on the other side. For some reason he couldn't sleep. Magnus and Alec locked themselves in the room and didn’t leave it for more than a day.

Alec…

It was strange to know that his brother was alive and still didn’t feel the bond that had previously connected them. He felt that the emptiness that appeared with the disappearance of the parabatai rune was overwhelming him more and more with each passing day. He found his parabatai, but despite this, hadn’t found peace.

The Shadowhunter covered his face with a pillow and groaned in frustration.

At least Magnus looked happy. He will get used to it too. At least he hoped so.

Jace froze. He thought he heard a strange sound. He lifted the pillow from his face, listening carefully. The sound repeated, it was like a flutter of wings or a breeze. What could it be? There was silence outside, but something disturbed him. He sat up slowly looking around the room trying to see anything in these piercing darkness.

The Shadowhunter's instinct told him something was wrong. He already felt it once, but when?

"Magnus!" he called and jumped quickly out of bed. When he opened the door to the next room, he froze in the doorway, "By the Angel, Magnus!" The warlock sat hugging himself, black warning sparks whirling around his body. His cat eyes stared blankly at Jace, or rather at the door he had just entered.

The boy looked around trying to see Alec who was nowhere to be found. He cursed quietly and without a moment of doubt went to the bed, completely ignoring the pain he felt when he crossed the barrier of sparks. He tightly embraced the warlock's trembling body.

"Magnus, it's okay. You are not alone, everything is fine," the Shadowhunter repeated gently.

"Alexa...der..." Magnus choked out, squeezing his eyelids and hiding his face on the blonde's shoulder. Jace also closed his eyes and took a few deep breaths trying to calm down. He going to beat some sense to this stupid brother of his.

"Alec is safe. We found him. You found him. It wasn't a dream," Jace tried to sound confident, but the last time he found Magnus like this, it wasn't easy to calm him down.

"What the..." Jace heard a loud gasp from the door. He turned and his eyes fixed on the face of the man standing at the door of the room. His brother's blue irises stared at them in shock.

"Magnus, it's okay, look at me," Jace whispered and grabbed the warlock's face with both hands, trying to get him to look in the same direction, "Alec is safe. Look, he's fine!" Bedding and curtains caught fire. "By the Angel, Magnus! Open your eyes!” he shouted, but the warlock's eyelids only rose when he heard a moan of pain escaping from the Shadowhunter's throat.

“Jace…”

"Jace, are you okay?" Alec asked as he approached them.

"Don't touch me!" the Shadowhunter hissed, making the man stop halfway.

“Jace…”

"Stop..." he growled, glaring at Lightwood with an angry look, "I thought everything would change now..." Jace gasped, and despite his pain, he tightened his arms around the warlock's body, "You were supposed to be the solution to all of this..."

Chapter Text

"Solution? I don't understand," whispered the younger warlock, staring into the face of his former parabatai.

"After you disappeared..." Jace swallowed before he could continue, "We were ready to do everything... Magnus was ready to do everything to find you!"

"Jace..." groaned the warlock.

Darkness fell around them as soon as the flames that had surrounded them disappeared.

"You are a warlock now, you should understand that," the blond man continued, trying to ignore Magnus' fingers that gripped his arms painfully as well as the growing tear stain on the sleeve of his shirt.

"What's to understand?" Alec gasped.

"The darkness that lurks all the time in the furthest recesses of your soul. Just waiting for you to lose your temper."

Lightwood froze. He understood perfectly what Jace meant. However, he couldn’t imagine Magnus - the greatest and nicest man he had ever known, forgiving and helpful to friends, and even those with whom he had a grudge - as the monster he himself had become.

"No," Alec whispered, shaking his head, "Magnus never..."

"You said you changed. We have also changed this year. You may not see it yet, but it's true."

Of course he noticed. Magnus was always confident, strong and brave. Ever since they met in Maphral he began to notice every small change. Magnus' faded personality and terror in his cat eyes everytime he woke up in an empty bed before his eyes found his face. However, no matter how hard he tried, Alec couldn't remember ever seeing the darkness in his beautiful cat eyes.

"Enough, Jace..." Magnus's incredibly sad voice broke through his thoughts, "It's hard enough for him without our problems."

Alec's gaze moved from the warlock's tired face to Jace's resigned one. He didn't quite understand what it was all about.

"We don’t have time! You know that..."

"I know, but..." Magnus sigh, pulling away from the blonde, "this is not a good time."

"So when will it be?!" Jace growled angry, getting abruptly up from bed, staggering against the wall as a wave of pain passed through his body. "Damn," he gasped, waving his hand at them as they both rushed toward him, "I'm fine."

"Don't lie," Magnus said in a voice filled with guilt.

"I'm telling the truth, I'm already used to it, It's going to pass soon," he muttered, dusting off his shirt of ash.

"Used to it?" Alec muttered, drawing the attention of both men. "Do you often lose control this way?" He asked, looking Magnus straight in the eye.

"I..." The warlock looked embarrassed.

"It's my fault, isn't it?" Alec whispered, looking down.

“No…”

"This is what I was just talking about!" gasped Jace, annoyed. "You both have this darkness within you. Maybe you will stop feeding it and start working together to fight it?" There was silence in the room. None of them knew what to say. Jace, on the other hand, thought he had said enough, he snorted to himself 'just like kids' and then left the room on shaky legs.

Alec looked grimly at Magnus' face. The warlock's eyes were red-rimmed from tears, and he saw something that had troubled him since the day they met again. Usually the amused, loving cat’s irises now expressed nothing. They were empty, like those painted on a porcelain doll that Magnus reminded him of. Everything about him was perfect, refined with great care. Just ideal. Now, however, he reminded him of a porcelain doll more than ever. For the first time, under great makeup, carefully arranged hair and perfectly matched clothes, Alec saw fragility.

"Every time you look at me, you look like you don't believe your eyes. And what you told me earlier, before we..." he said quietly, knowing that under other circumstances his face would have been crimson red at the memory of that event. Now, however, the thought of what he had done made him sick. One sentence still sounded in his head. ‘You hurt the person you love the most in the world.’

"Alexander, you have done nothing wrong." The boy's eyes immediately rose to his face. "I knew it would happen sometime. I thought I was ready to lose you someday. But, how wrong I was." Magnus's voice was filled with suffering, "I have lived for so long, I know what it means to lose a loved one, but..." The warlock clenched his eyes tightly, trying to hold back the tears that launched in his eyes, "What I felt then was nothing compared to what I felt after losing you..." Magnus opened his eyes that showed so many feelings. "In the beginning, I lived in denial. With time, however, I realized that I would never see you again. As soon as I admitted this, I completely lost it. The only thing I cared about was to get the bastard who took you away from me."

"Magnus," Alec walked over to the warlock and put his hands on the man’s shoulders, "I'm sorry you had to go through this," he whispered, swallowing, "please don't interrupt me," he said pleadingly as Magnus began to open his mouth, "I believe that you are one of the strongest warlocks and that you would be able to wipe away the whole of New York, if it guaranteed that you would get me back, but..." he took Magnus's hands in his and squeezed them lightly, "I'd rather you never had to meet Midas. Promise me that you'll never go looking for him."

Magnus stood up, stepping away from him with a look Alec didn’t understand.

"You can't..." the warlock gasped, "I can't promise you that. Not after what Midas did to you, what he did to me, your family and Jace. "

Alec shook his head. "Revenge will not lead us anywhere, it is a vicious circle."

"It's easy for you to say! You don't remember what he did to you because it was so traumatic for you that you preferred to forget! But I remember Jace chained to bed because of the pain he felt through the parabatai bond! Given that this is just a drop of what you felt, I know enough to hate Midas," black sparks ran through Magnus's hands.

"I'm not asking you to stop hating him, I just don't want you to look for him," Alec slid his hand from the warlock's arm to his wrist to grab his hand again, "if something happened to you in pursuit of revenge..." with his other hand he pulled Magnus' head to him so that their foreheads met. "I cannot lose you. Midas is not worth it."

Magnus's tightened his eyes. When he opened them Alec saw that they were filled with tears.

"I promise," he whispered in a strangled voice, "but if ever..."

"If we meet him, we will face him together," he interrupted with confidence.

Magnus buried his face on Alec's shoulder, hugging him tightly, as if he was afraid that he would disappear.

"I love you so much," he whispered.

"I know," Alec answered quietly, returning his embrace.

***

Magnus was used to being awakened by the sun coming through the curtains in his loft, but this time it was something else that awakened him. Quiet laughter and amused whispers.

"Hush," he heard Alec's scolding voice followed by a giggle, "you'll wake him up."

"It's almost noon," he heard a low whisper, "is he even alive?" He doesn't move at all."

"Kiara," Alec gasped indignantly.

"What?" she asked innocently, "he smells just like you," she said cheerfully, as if she had discovered something incredibly interesting, "yesterday he smelled different, why?"

Magnus couldn't help himself and looked at Alec, from half-closed eyelids, he was leaning against the headboard of the bed, embracing the little vampire who was looking at him questioningly. The boy's pale cheeks were covered with a blush that made Magnus smile.

"Morning," he said, opening his eyes, which made the girl squeak and she immediately disappeared at a normal speed for vampires.

"Good morning," Alec replied, still flushed, "sorry, we didn't want to wake you up."

"It’s ok," he replied hoarsely, smiling as Alec leaned over to kiss him, "hey sweetie, I'm sorry if I scared you," Magnus smiled at the girl who looked out carefully from behind the former Shadowhunter knee. Her big brown eyes stared at him curiously.

"Are you an angel?" she asked quietly, trying to hide so that she could still see him.

Magnus was taken aback by her question. He looked at Alec in surprise, and noticed he was tenderly staring at the five-year-old.

"No, I'm not," he answered honestly.

A look of disappointment ran over Kiara's face. "It's a pity," she said, resting her chin on Alec's bent knee, "You look like an angel." When she smiled, charming dimples appeared on her cheeks.

Magnus laughed out loud, immediately attracting the young man's attention. Alec heard the warlock's laughter for the first time since they had met again. He also couldn’t stop the wide smile that appeared on his face.

"How many angels have you seen, sweetie?" Magnus asked, smiling at the girl.

"One," she replied, straightening up, putting her hand on her protector's knee, not wanting to lose this closeness, "He saved me," she pursed her lips, seeing the warlock’s skeptical smile, "I'm telling the truth!"

"Kiara," a warning note appeared in Alec's voice, "Magnus believes you."

"That's not true!" she pulled away from them, "He looks at me like ‘they’ looked at me."

Magnus looked at her, worried. Alec held her under her arms and raised her, ignoring the angry protest, and seated her between himself and Magnus, hugging her tightly against him.

Magnus watched as Alec rocked the girl in his embrace, while trying to alleviate her anger. If something so small could throw a little vampire off balance, what would happen if something really bad happened. Magnus wanted to meet the monster who transformed her. In the shadow world, the transformation of a child into a vampire was punishable by death. The Clave also punished those who hid such children because they couldn’t control themselves, often losing control, killing hundreds before someone could stop them.

The warlock's thoughts were interrupted by a melody that Alec began to hum trying to calm Kiara. Magnus couldn’t take his eyes off his boyfriend, who was completely focused on this one task. Alec, who was normally very shy, now didn't even blush when he started to sing softly:

“There is a house built out of stone
Wooden floors, walls and window sills
Tables and chairs worn by all of the dust
This is a place where I don’t feel alone
This is the place where I feel at home

‘Cause, I built a home
For you…”

“For me…” she finished quietly, cuddling up to Alec.

Chapter Text

Alec noticed something very interesting. Since Magnus and Jace appeared in Maphral, they had been closely watching each other, as if they were afraid that something could attack and hurt them at any moment. He had no idea what caused their fear, and apparently none of them intended to tell him anything, which frustrated him immensely. However, he couldn’t complain, because he couldn’t admit even to himself some of his own exaggerated fears. What really irritated him was the fact that none of them even mentioned what happened to the Shadowhunters, how they got information from all sides, why the institutes were falling and why the Clave had cut themselves off from the whole world and hid in Idris. What was happening? Why had Magnus and Jace came to Maphral alone? Where were Clary, Izzy and Simon? Until now, their team had been inseparable.

He had so many questions, but he didn’t know whether he had the right to ask them after his disappearance a year ago.

He stretched his legs out on the couch and leaned against Magnus' side, the warlock put his hand around Alec’s waist. They both looked at Kiara, who was sitting in the middle of the room, drawing with crayons that Alec had conjured for her.

There was no sign of her earlier outbreak of anger. A carefree smile once again appeared on the girl's face. Alec knew he would do anything to keep it that way.

Magnus felt Alec's body stiffen in his arms, "Alex..."

At that moment his sister entered the room, with Jace slipping in behind her. They didn’t look cheerful, which disturbed the idyll that surrounded them for a moment.

"Something happened?" Magnus asked, looking at Megi and Jace.

"I got a message from Izzy..." the Shadowhunter began uncertainly. Alec sat down, focusing all his attention on his brother.

"Is she okay? Something happened?" he asked, trying to hide his fear.

"She is safe and sound," Jace replied quickly, perfectly remembering that Alec could jump to the worst-case scenario in a moment, if anyone gave him a chance. 

Laura entered the living room and took Kiara to the other room.

"When we left, we warned Izzy that we didn't know how long we would be away. We gave her the address if she wanted to send us a message and we assured that if the need arises, one of us will return immediately. " Jace announced quickly as Laura left.

"Something happened in Alicante?" Magnus guessed at once.

"It's not a big deal, but I have to go back," the Shadowhunter replied evasively.

Megi immediately noticed how tense Alec's body was. Why did Jace do this to him? She couldn't understand.

Lightwood sensed the girl's gaze on himself and bit his lower lip nervously, trying to ignore her as best he could.

"Since it's not urgent, you'll have to wait until sunset," she said, rising.

"I didn't say it wasn't urgent," Jace said annoyed.

"Is someone sick or dying?" she asked dryly, glaring at the blonde.

"What? It's not your business!" he growled towards her.

"I don't care," she shrugged, Jace looked surprised, "I'm not asking because of curiosity, but only to save your brother's stress."

All eyes immediately went toward Alec, who froze up completely not expecting this, "Megi, no..." he said, shaking his head.

"Claus will never ask you what has happened over the past year because he is convinced that he has no right to do so," she said angrily, looking straight into blonde’s eyes, "Your behavior only confirms it."

Jace was speechless, he looked at Alec's face for confirmation. The older boy looked down. It was enough for him.

"Alec, you have the right to ask whatever you want," Jace sat next to him, placing his hand on the older man’s shoulder. "Neither of us blames you for what happened. You've been kidnapped, you didn't want this to happen to you, so please stop blaming yourself."

"I'm trying," he muttered in response, still not raising his head.

Magnus gently grabbed his chin, wanting to look into his blue eyes. "We'll remind you whenever you need it," he said, smiling tenderly.

"Thank you," he whispered in reply. "Then what happened in Alicante?" he asked, looking at Jace.

"Hm, the Clave is going through a small revolution," he replied with a broad smile.

"What?"

"It's a longer story, it's best if I start from the beginning. After you disappeared, Maryse asked Clave for help in finding you," he began to explain. "Of course they refused, saying it was our problem. Then Magnus organized help among his friends. I don't think there was anyone in New York who wasn't looking for you. Nymphs, faeries, werewolves and even vampires."

"You're exaggerating," muttered Magnus.

"You have many friends, great friends who were ready to get rid of prejudices to help you look for a Shadowhunter just because you asked them to. You didn't even have to explain a lot to them. However the Clave refused, as soon as they learned that the downworlders were helping us!" Jace exploded.

Alec listened carefully with his eyes wide open in surprise. He didn’t expect this. He guessed that Magnus and his siblings would be looking for him, but that they would convince almost all the downworlders from New York? He couldn't imagine it.

"My parabatai rune disappeared, so we stopped looking for you, especially since Asmodeus said he couldn't help us," Jace said quietly, apologetically. "Later Sebastian began to attack the institutes and transformed the defeated into Dark Shadowhunters. He was gaining strength, and we were losing it, that's why the Clave called all Hunters to Idris. They thought that if we abandoned the institutes, Sebastian would keep fighting with downwoulders and leave us alone- and alive.”

Alec gasped. "And you just let them do this?" he asked indignantly.

"We had no choice, we learned their intentions when it was too late. The downworlder council came to Alicante. Together with a representative from the Shadowhunters, they debated at Seelie Court about how to beat Sebastian," Jace continued.

"We heard about it," Megi exclaimed. "We have heard rumors that Sebastian has kidnapped the entire council to Edom."

"I assure you, my dear, that these were not rumors," Magnus said. “The Seelie Court was a neutral ground for us, we didn’t expect the Queen to betray us all. They gave us something to drink. When we woke up we were in Edom. Me, Luke, Raphael and Jocelyn." The warlock's face darkened as memories came back to him. Raphael's death. His own weakness caused by being in his father's dimension. The knowledge that if he stayed there too long, he would die.

Magnus shuddered when he felt someone grab his hand. He opened his eyes- not remembering when he closed them- to the three of them staring at him with a mixture of anxiety and worry. Alec squeezed his hand tighter, trying to assure him that he was safe.

“The downworld boiled as the Clave refused to help free their representatives. Together with Clary, Izzy and Simon, I went to Seelie Court to investigate what happened. Then we found out that faeries had joined Sebastian. We got to Edom through one of the passages between dimensions, which was located in the faerie realm."

"To this day I wonder how you managed to free us," Magnus laughed.

"I'm just amazing," Jace replied teasingly. He summarized the rest of the events from Edom, telling Alec how Sebastian sealed the borders between Edom and other dimensions, which made him almost indestructible. When he began to tell him how Magnus summoned Asmodeus to ask him for help in getting them out of hell, Alec gripped the warlock's hand tightly.

"We had no other choice," the warlock said quietly, interrupting Jace, "only Asmodeus can travel to Edom after closing the borders."

"And us," Megi added.

"What?" Jace looked shocked.

"We are his children, we have his blood in us, so we can also move to and from Edom whenever we want," she said, surprised by the blonde’s reaction.

Jace looked at Magnus, "Why didn't you tell us?"

"What would it change? I would never leave you there and only I could summon Asmodeus," the warlock shrugged.

"You traded your life even though you could have escaped at any time. For us."

"I was afraid to think of all of you as family. I thought you tolerated me only because of Alec, so when he was gone..." Magnus took a deep breath.

"You've always been and will always be part of our family, never doubt it," honesty flashed from the Shadowhunter's golden eyes.

"I realized this when you came to free us," Magnus smiled gently, all the time staring at his hand entwined with Alec’s. "I was weak, I could barely stand without support. You could have just left me, I was a burden to all of you after all. However, you said that we would either get out of it together or not at all. Why was I supposed to do something different?"

"You are impossible," Jace laughed aloud, drawing the warlock's amused look.

"The most important thing is that we managed to get out of it with minimal losses," concluded Magnus.

"Someone died?" Alec asked quickly, concerned about the last statement.

"Raphael, but it's a conversation for another day," Magnus's shoulders hunched slightly, which didn’t escape Alec’s attention, who was sitting next to him. Lightwood knew that the vampire was almost like a son to Magnus. He couldn't imagine what the warlock was going through back then.

"What did Asmodeus demand in exchange for his help?" That was another question that bothered him. After what he had learned the day before from Magnus about the Great Demons and their descendants, he wasn’t able to calm down and just forget.

"Magnus offered him his immortality," Jace growled, irritated by the mere memory. Seeing Alec's face, he hurriedly added, "Of course, we immediately forbade him from doing so. In the end, we had to give Asmodeus something if we wanted to get out of Edom, but we didn't get much choice. Before we could think about anything, Simon offered him his own immortality and Asmodeus accepted it."

"Simon gave his life? To save you? " Alec asked, he didn't recognize his voice. He had never been close with Simon, but the news of his death saddened him strangely. Eventually the vampire rescued his boyfriend and family.

"Not life, but immortality. It's a big difference,” Jace noted.

Alec looked puzzled.

"Stop confusing him," Magnus gasped, "After giving his immortality, Simon would just turn into a dead corpse, but my father likes games, so he added something extra this time," the warlock sighed heavily before continuing, "He turned Simon into mundane, but he took away all his memories of the shadow world. He didn't even remember Clary and the fact that they were childhood friends."

Alec was silent for a moment. By the expression on his face, they could have guessed that he wanted to say something, but he wasn’t sure if he would offend anyone.

"What is it?" Magnus asked, smiling encouragingly at him.

"Don't get me wrong ... I know Simon was important to Clary and even we got attached to him during this time," he began slowly, "but you have to admit that it was the only good solution." Magnus and Jace looked at him in disbelief. Alec hurriedly developed his thought, "Simon never wanted to be a vampire. Was this arrangement not a salvation for him?"

"He lost his memories!" Jace said indignantly.

"Are you telling me you haven't even tried to bring them back to him? And please don't tell me that the law prohibits revealing the shadow world to mundanes. You've never followed the rules, why should you make an exception in this case?” Alec looked at them, knowing that he was right.

Jace and Magnus looked at each other meaningfully.

"You're right, we've found a way. If he became a Shadowhunter, his memories would come back," Magnus said reluctantly, not wanting to say too much.

"What held you back?" the blue-eyed man asked, watching the Shadowhunter and warlock intently. "Did you not retrieve the cup after defeating Jonathan?"

“We did,” muttered Jace.

"So what?"

Alec saw how hard it was for them to talk about it. Something must have happened. Something big that they preferred not to tell him. Why?

Jace must have seen something on his face because he broke the silence that had fallen in the room.

"After defeating Jonathan, the Clave announced Cold Peace." Alec gasped. "The faerie world was divided into a Seelie and Unseelie Court, but all of them were banned from creating an army and carrying weapons. That's how Clave punished Faerie for their treason."

Alec shook his head in disbelief. "It’s not possible for the Faeries to voluntarily surrender to such a judgment. It’s just like the downworlders punishing us for the crimes of the Circle! Why did no one protest?!" Magic boiled angrily under Alec's skin, ready to spread anyone who had done such an injustice.

"Only Magnus..." Jace said quietly, "but what does the word of one warlock mean, against the whole Clave?"

Lightwood looked proudly at the warlock's cat eyes, tightening his fingers on his man’s hand when he did it, immediately feeling calmer. "The Clave always feared the strength of the Seelie Court. No wonder they wanted to control the faeries as soon as there was a reason," said Alec.

"A week after the meeting, the highest council of the Clave decided that after the losses the Shadowhunters had suffered in the war with Valentine and Jonathan, we didn't have enough people to protect the mundane world," Jace said dryly. "The Clave banned downworlders access to Alicante. We, however, were ordered to stay within the walls of the capital."

Alec sank to the back of the couch, his gaze absentmindedly on the ceiling. Throughout history, there have been several situations where Shadowhunters were on the verge of collapse, yet they never took such drastic measures. They had the Angel's Cup, so they could train and create another group of Nephilim at any time. What could lead Clave to abandon their duties? What were they afraid of so much that they decided to separate from the rest of the world and remain in their capital?

Alec looked at Jace closely. "There is something you’re not telling me," he remarked grimly. "What is it?"

Herondale looked down at the floor perplexed. He looked into the blue eyes of his former parabatai, when he spoke wearily, "There’s no more Shadowhunters."

 

Chapter Text

There’s no more Shadowhunters? Alec's heart beat painfully at the thought. What's that supposed to mean? Jace still was...

The blonde's voice trembled as he continued. "A few weeks after the announcement of the Cold Peace, for unknown reasons, all the runes began to gradually lose their power."

"All of them?" Alec asked, shocked.

"Yah. Except mine and Clary’s." Jace looked at his hands, which were trembling slightly. "It was hard for us to see how runes disappeared from the body of all our relatives and friends when ours didn't even fade."

Alec saw the pain in the eyes of his former parabatai. Although they were no longer bonded, he could still read his face, like an open book.

"Izzy..." Alec said, but he stopped not knowing if he wanted to know the answer to his question.

"We didn't leave her alone," Jace whispered, "we were with her to the very end. Me, Clary, Simon and Magnus." The older boy nodded gratefully. "You know Izzy! She didn't show for a moment how hard it was to her. She said she was born a Shadowhunter, and with or without runes, she would still be a Shadowhunter. She trains hard all the time just to be able to fight if needed."

At this point, Alec imagined Isabelle, without runes, surrounded by a horde of demons with a whip in her hand, which for some reason she couldn’t lift, as if it was attached to the floor. He quickly shook off those thoughts.

"What do you think could be the reason?" he asked straightening and looking the blond straight in the eye.

"We have no idea," Magnus and Jace said in agreement.

Alec looked from his brother to his boyfriend and back again. "You surely have some theories."

"I suspect the angels didn't like Valentine and Sebastian's antics," Jace shrugged.

"I doubt that," the blue-eyed murmured thoughtfully. "Valentine wasn’t the first Shadowhunter who disturbed the peace of this world, there must be another reason that pissed off the angels enough to punish Shadowhunters in this way." Magnus and Megi nodded in the affirmative.

"Unfortunately, we still haven't discovered it." Jace looked tired, as if he were carrying the weight of the whole world on his shoulders. "When you disappeared, Maryse told us that Clave had already seen that the runes were weakening. They wanted her to give Clary and I to Alicante as guinea pigs." Alec looked at him with huge eyes in which Herondale saw the silent question. "She wouldn't do that. Especially after the Clave refused to help her when we started searching for you. After that Dearborn appeared and chaos reigned in the Clave."

“Dearborn? Horace Dearborn?! What did he even have to say?" Alec exclaimed indignantly, as he remembered the face of a tall, bony man with blond hair and gray eyes, who looked at the downworlders as if they were disgusting bugs.

"Dearborn was elected the new Inquisitor after Aldertree’s death," Magnus told him as Jace stood up toward the window. The warlock's cat's eyes followed the blond man, "He was the one who insisted on the Cold Peace in the first place. He founded a group of perfectly trained Shadowhunters who were commanded to watch over the new rules. They called themselves the Cohort."

"And he was the one who commanded the borders to close after the runes stopped working." Jace added, staring far into the horizon, remembering that night with a lump in his throat, "At his urging, the Clave banished all the downworlders who lived in Idris. The Cohort led by Dearborn's daughter Zara, took care of their resettlement." Jace turned around and growled angrily, "They turned it into a fucking witch hunt!"

Megi gasped, remembering how, at the end of the 15th century, Laura and her had to run from witch hunters who got some information about two eternally young women who had been living in a house outside of Trier, a city located in western Germany. Those were terrible times.

"Magnus, Izzy, and Simon were in a house on the edge of the Brocelind Forest when the Cohort left Alicante." Alec saw how disturbed Jace was about this event. The Shadowhunter clenched his fists with such force that his knuckles turned white. "Fortunately Magnus had already surrounded the building with quite powerful spells, because Dearborn had imprisoned me and Clary before we got a chance to warn him. Horace said that our duty - as Shadowhunters - is to sacrifice ourselves for a greater good."

"What did he do to you?" Alec's voice sounded like an impending storm.

"Nothing. He didn't have time," the blonde replied. "I regret that I didn't catch the bastard before we ran with Clary, Luke and Jocelyn." His golden eyes burned with anger.

"That day there was a split in the Clave. Clary went along with her mother and Luke to look for downworlder allies while Jace tried to get as many Shadowhunters as possible on our side,” Magnus finished.

“You started your own revolution. Nice! I understand that Ragnor's house was the barricade?” asked Alec, getting a nod in response from Jace and a half-smile from Magnus for referring to the French Revolution."Someone should have done this a long time ago," said Alec. “When I turned eighteen and was allowed to attend the Clave meetings I tried to convince them to change some of our sick rules.”

Jace laughed aloud, remembering how irritated his parabatai was, because of the blindness of the elders. "I remember you coming back after one such meeting, so pissed, that you broke the punching bag with two blows."

Magnus looked shocked. Alec wasn’t a person who let himself be carried away. The younger man smiled sadly when he saw the look on Magnus’ face.

"The Accords undermined the dignity of the downworlders, but it exalts Shadowhunters as if they were you know what," Alec said, not for the first time regretting that he had once been one of them, "before Raziel we were just an ordinary people. What distinguishes us from the mundanes is that we have a bit of angel's blood in our veins. We should use runes to help protect the weakest from evil. Instead, the Clave barricaded himself in the City of Glass, fleeing from the threat."

What Alec said made sense. Maybe that's why they lost their runes? They didn't help anyone, so according to the angels, they were no longer needed.

"I have to think about it," said Alec, standing up. He directed his next words to Jace. "The barrier around Mhapral blocks warlocks from opening portals within the city borders."

"No problem," Magnus said quickly, also getting up, "I will take Jace to Idris. I should be back shortly after dark," he said, calculating quickly the time he needed to cover the distance between the border and the hotel, open a portal and then return.  

Alec bit his lip nervously, looking uncertainly at Megi. The warlock glared at him and stood up, raising her hands in a gesture of resignation. It was too dangerous in the forest after the sunset, even for two warlocks. The conflict with a nearby vampire clan meant that even within the barrier, they were not completely safe. And they couldn’t go together because someone needed to stay in the hotel, just in case. 

"Do what you want," she gasped as she headed for the door, "don't come crying to me later if the barrier around this city falls."

Alec laughed, throwing his head back. "I don't think I need to remind you because of who we had to put the barrier after it collapsed the last time," he teased, remembering how a few weeks ago, Megi tried to cast a very powerful spell using energy from the barrier to do this, overloading it in the proces. He moved after her, still laughing, gesturing to the other two confused men to follow them. 

They followed the same path that Megi used to lead them to the room two days earlier. When they were in the spacious hall, the woman stopped waiting for them in front of the huge door behind which the ballroom had to once be located. Magnus saw a powerful spell that was fancifully carved in wooden ornaments. The warlock who placed the spell there must have connections with Lucifer himself. Magnus would need three other warlocks to create something like that. So he was quite surprised when the door opened and when Alec approached them. He was even more surprised to see the pentagram decorating the floor. It’s impossible for Alec to create this monster himself! This kind of spell required gigantic amounts of magic.

Megi froze when she looked at the pentagram. She grabbed Alec by the lock of hair and pulled hard toward her, gesturing with her other hand.

"What is this!" she screamed, ignoring his protest. "How many times do we have to go through this before you understand that you can’t recharge the barrier ALONE!?"

"Let go! I wasn't alone," he groaned in reply, stepping away from her to a safe distance as soon as she let him go.

Jace and Magnus watched the whole scene with a mixture of amusement and confusion, not understanding what was going on.

"Don't you think entrusting your life to a five-year-old is a bit unreasonable!?" she called annoyed, "What if you lost consciousness?!"

"Then you would have an infinite source of energy?" he replied playfully and he heard three groans of protest in response.

"This is not funny!" she snapped, "when did you actually find the time to come here?"

Alec rubbed his neck in embarrassment. "Believe me, you don't want to know."

"You're impossible!" she gasped in resignation, glaring at him with a murderous look.

Alec, wanting to move away from Megi to a safe distance, moved towards the center of the pentagram. The woman stopped the other two with a gesture of the hand when she saw that they wanted to follow him.

Lightwood crossed the first circle, then the gold rim broke away from the ground and began to spin around him slowly. By the time Alec stood in the center of the star, he was surrounded by seven rings. He turned toward them and closed his eyes, directing magic into the center of the pentagram.

Magnus watched with fascination as the boy's body slowly rose above the pentagram, surrounded by gold hoops that were spinning much faster now.

On the edge of the pentagram, just before them, familiar symbols began to flicker, which soon turned into a portal. On the other side, they saw the clearing in front of Ragnor's house. Jace took a step toward the portal before he flinched when he heard Alec's voice in his head. Judging by Magnus's face, he also heard him.

‘Jace’ Alec sounded uncertain, ‘don't tell others that you two found me, okay?’

Jace looked surprised at his brother, who still had his eyes closed.

"Why?" he asked, not understanding.

'Izzy. She will want to see me immediately. You know her.’ Jace smiled when he heard a loud sigh in his head.

"I wouldn't be surprised at all," he laughed, "But when she finds out I hid it from her..."

‘Please, Jace’ the blonde boy was surprised by the tone of voice he heard at that moment. Alec was afraid. But why? The black-haired man apparently heard his unspoken question, because he answered seriously. 'Izzy is now a mundane. She may have Shadowhunter training, but it won't be useful here. I can't risk that something will happen to her. No matter how much I want to see her.’

"Okay," the blond replied. He looked at Magnus, "I'll let you know if I find out something or need anything."

Magnus nodded in response. Jace noticed that the warlock's hand was shifting one of the pendants that hung around his neck in a nervous gesture.

"You going to be okay?" asked the blond, carefully watching the emotions changing on Magnus’ face, who nodded again. If he could, he would take him with him, but he knew that the warlock couldn’t be far from Alec at this moment. He shuddered when he remembered how the day before Magnus had lost control just because Alec had left him alone for a short while. Was he doing the right thing leaving him at Mhapral?

‘I'll take care of him, I promise,’ he heard in response. Jace turned his gaze back to his brother. His head was still filled with uncertainty and memories he was trying to hide from Alec, ‘I won't let anything happen to him,’ the blue-eyed man assured him again. Jace nodded and looked into Magnus's golden-green cat eyes.

"If you need me, send me a fire message." he said in a tone that left no room for arguments.

"I'll be fine, don't worry," the warlock smiled at him.

Jace turned toward the portal. He thought of a country house with a fireplace, surrounded by a forest with a small herb garden, which Clary always looked after. With the memory of her smiling face, he took a step disappearing into the portal, which closed immediately behind him.

Magnus watched the gold rings melt back into the floor as Alec's feet touched the ground. When the boy opened his eyes, his blue irises immediately focused on him. The younger man was still moving with the grace of the Shadowhunter, drawing all of Magnus' attention immediately. Alec smiled broadly, grasping the warlock's hands in his.

"You are amazing," Magnus whispered, kissing the surprised boy with passion, "If you looked like Angel of Death with a bow in your hands before, then surrounded by magic you remind me of the Greek god named Eros!"

Alec laughed out loud.

"Sounds like the same thing for me." he answered feistyly, recalling that the one of the characteristics of Eros, the Greek god of love, was also a bow and arrow.

Magnus ignored him, drawing him back to the kiss.

"Claus!" Kiara ran into the room followed by smiling Laura. A small vampire ran up to Alec, who reached out to raise her, hiding his face in her black curls. "Where is your scary friend?" she asked, looking around the room searching for Jace. Magnus snorted covering his face with his hand, trying to suppress laughter. Kiara glared at him.

"He had to go home," said Alec.

"Oh," she gasped disappointed, "Will we see him again sometime?"

"For sure, baby," he kissed her cheek, and the girl responded with a joyful squeal. "Do you know what tomorrow is?" he asked in a conspiratorial voice.

"Party!" exclaimed Kiara, jumping in his arms excitedly.

"Magnus has great taste, maybe we'll ask him later for help in choosing the right dress, how about it?"

The girl looked at the warlock with puppy eyes, which Magnus immediately gave in.

"Don't look at me with THOSE eyes, you don't have to persuade me for a long time when it comes to fashion."

"Hurray!" Kiara exclaimed, reaching out to Magnus, who approached her, almost falling over when the girl pulled him to embrace him with incredible force. Alec laughed, putting the same kiss on Magnus's cheek that he had given Kiara earlier. "It will be the best party"

“What party?" Magnus whispered in Alec's ear. Still immobilized by Kiara's arm, he embraced the former Shadowhunter, not knowing what to do with his hands.!"

"You will see. You'll like it," Laura replied him with a smile. Magnus looked questioningly at Alec whose face flushed.

"I can't wait."

Chapter Text

After leaving the ballroom, Alec reached his hand out to Magnus and pulled him towards the exit door from the hotel.

"We should get some fresh air," he said with a broad smile on his face, "Maybe we'll sleep better after that." Magnus looked at him with love and moved closer, resting his head on Alec's shoulder, allowing him to lead him outside.

The night was beautiful. The moon and stars were not covered by a single cloud. They walked along the river talking in hushed voices, as if they were afraid to disturb the peace of the Forest Spirit that surrounded the whole city.

"Why did you stay in Idris after the announcement of the Cold Peac?" the dark-haired man asked curiously, "You always said that being near demonic towers badly affects downworlders. Why didn't you come back to your loft? To New York? "

Magnus stopped and turned to face Alec, wanting to look him in the eye.

"For many years I called the loft my home. No matter where I went, in the end I always came back to my Brooklyn apartment,” the man's golden-green cat's eyes glowed in the dark, "After you disappeared..." he swallowed, "I couldn't stay there. Everything reminded me that I’m alone.”

Alec grabbed Magnus's hand, which the warlock clenched so tightly that his knuckles turned white, and he pulled it to his lips, to gently kiss it.

"I'm so sorry I left you and hurt you," Alec whispered in a choked voice, "I have no idea what I was thinking at the time, I was so stupid."

Magnus shook his head. "You were scared. Plus, Camille's blood messed with your mind. What happened then wasn’t your fault. Please stop blaming yourself." Tears came to the warlock's eyes.

"I'm sorry," said Alec, pulling Magnus to himself so that they were touching their heads.

"You don’t need to apologize. I get it."

Magnus's hands moved over Alec's face. The warlock gently stroked his boyfriend's pale cheeks with his thumbs. They stood there for a long time, enjoying the closeness of the other. After a few minutes Magnus moved away, sliding his hands over Alec's neck, entangling his fingers in his black hair.

"Going back to your earlier question. Everyone who meant something to me was in Idris. Therefore, there was no point returning to New York at that time. I came back for a little bit after Jocelyn and Luke's wedding, just to find out that New York was gone."

Alec remembered what the city looked like when he came to Manhattan six months earlier to look for his family.

"Anyway, you were there, you saw it with your own eyes, right?" For a moment, in the warlock's eyes Alec could see all the years he had lived, which contrasted with the man’s youthful appearance. Alec nodded in confirmation. "Someone opened a rift to hell in the city. We couldn't locate it. With each passing day, more and more demons of the worst sort appeared. It was really difficult for two warlocks and a bunch of werewolves to take care of them."

"What about the Night Children? The Faeries?" Alec asked, trying to hide his feelings under the blank mask.

"The Faeries hid in their dimensions after the announcement of the Cold Peace, no one could contact them. In addition, according to the new law, they were banned from carrying weapons. Their help would have been of no use to us. However, the Night Children, who were left without a leader after Raphael's death, quickly took advantage of the fact that there were no Shadowhunters in the city and began to attack the mundanes and started to kill them for fun."

Alec closed his eyes, sighing heavily. This was to be expected.

"They didn't want to listen to me," continued the warlock, "They didn't want to hear about the unification of the shadow world, they didn't want to be subject to anyone, especially warlocks. When the werewolves began to disappear without a trace, the pack decided to leave the city. People did the same when they realized that whatever was happening had long ago gotten out of the government's control. Catarina and I were left, against the horde of demons and the entire vampire clan. The only thing we could do was to isolate the city from the rest of the world, stopping the threat within its borders. At least until the rift is located and closed."

"The surroundings of the entire city with the barrier must have absorbed enormous amounts of energy," Alec noted admiringly.

"Yes, several friends helped us. Unfortunately, despite this, we were unable to find a rift from which demons emerged. Someone had to work hard to hide it well."

"What did you do?"

"Nothing," Magnus shrugged, "the barrier feeds on the demonic energy of the beings within it. The stronger the demonic energy, the stronger the barrier holds. Therefore, we could leave without worrying that any demon would get outside. At the same time, we made sure that if the vampires came to their senses, they would also be able to escape. It was enough for them to cross the barrier with the certainty that they would never hurt anyone outside. "

"Have you tried to locate the rift later?"

"Many times," Magnus groaned in frustration. "We searched the whole city. We couldn't find it anywhere."

"It's a bit strange," said Alec.

"Not if a Greater Demon was involved."

***

Kiara spun around presenting the charming pink dress Magnus had conjured for her. The creation had several layers of frills, which made it look like a ball gown worthy of a royal palace. The warlock himself sat on the sofa complimenting every outfit, which the girl received with a joyful squeal.

Through the open door Magnus saw Alec bustling around the apothecary. The younger man looked through magic books and muttered spells, holding in his hand what seemed to be a small gold chain.

"I want this one!" cried Kiara, jumping on Magnus's lap, surprising him completely. The little vampire smiled broadly, showing her snow-white fangs.

"You have great taste, sweetie," Magnus announced, getting up with the girl in his arms. He went to the apothecary's wide-open door.

"Claus!" Kiara called as they stood in the doorway. The man didn’t respond, all his focus on the spell he was just saying.

“Salan zêde bikin… dilê lêdanê… diyariyek xwînê…” Magnus has never heard a similar language. Alec finished his recitation and sighed deeply, the golden flame that had just lit his clenched fist had faded. When he opened his eyes, Magnus had the feeling that the boy's blue irises glowed in the dark. However, this impression disappeared when Alec blinked and looked at them, smiling tenderly. "You look beautiful, Kiara."

The girl giggled and put her hands around Magnus' neck to put a quick kiss on his cheek.

"Thank you," she said cheerfully. When her small hands began to push him away, signaling that he would put her to the ground, Magnus immediately obeyed her silent demand. He leaned forward, and when her feet touched the floor, he relaxed his arms around her. "I will show the others," she cried, running out of the room. Both men’s eyes followed her.

When Magnus turned around, he saw fear and pain in his boyfriend's eyes. These were the feelings that Alec tried to hide from him by moving his eyes to the chain he held in his hand.

"Is everything okay?" Magnus asked, coming over to embrace his face with his hands. Alec's eyelids dropped as he sighed again. When he looked into the greenish gold cat's eyes a moment later, he no longer tried to hide his feelings.

"Tomorrow's ball..." Alec began, biting his lip nervously, "this is not an ordinary party." Magnus nodded encouraging him to continue. "Hotel guests gather around the pentagram once a week, transferring their energy to recharge the barrier."

"That's good, isn't it?" the warlock asked uncertainly. Alec nodded in response. "What are you afraid of?"

The younger man grabbed Magnus's hand, which still rested on his pale cheek, and pulled it away from his face. Still holding the warlock, he led him toward the table where he spread out the books and ingredients he needed for an earlier spell.

"Sometimes we use the barrier as an energy transmitter when we need to cast a stronger spell," he said, putting the chain gently into a box lined with black velvet material. Before Alec closed the lid of the box, Magnus saw the pendant. Gold wings lined with diamonds, arranged in the shape of a tiny heart. 

The warlock's cat's eyes moved to the black-haired man's face. From his expression he realized that Alec had not yet reached the heart of the conversation. "Megi often organizes the renewal of the Bond Ceremony at the same time. She claims that thanks to this we will accumulate more energy in the pentagram."

Magnus gasped. The Bond Ceremony was a sacred ritual for warlocks. Weddings between two warlocks were very rare. Throughout his life, Magnus saw only one. The culmination of the marriage was the Bond Ceremony, which connected the soul, minds and magic of lovers.

The unbreakable bond.

"I'll have to talk to her about it," the warlock growled, crossing his arms over his chest. "The bond ceremony is something special for warlocks. I don't like Megara using it that way. It doesn't matter that her intentions are good. The bond is to protect the person with whom we share the soul, not to feed the barrier," he concluded angrily.

Magnus glanced at his boyfriend, wondering if he had scared him with his outburst. Alec stood staring blankly at the pendant box, his lips tight in a narrow line.

"Alexander..." Magnus whispered, touching gently his hand, which was holding tightly the edge of the table.

The younger warlock sighed and looked at Magnus's golden-green iris.

"There is something you should..."

"There you are!" Megi called from the threshold, making them both jump. The warlock looked at them closely for a moment, then said, "Did I interrupt anything?" she asked innocently.

Alec bit his lip nervously, while Magnus looked at his sister with irritation.

"Alexander has just told me about the Bond Ceremony," he said, waiting for Megi's reaction.

Her eyes quickly shifted to the younger man's cloudy face before focusing again on Magnus.

"We need a lot of energy to power the barrier. Our guests can decide for themselves if they want to give us this kind of help. We don't force anyone to do anything.” She shrugged," we don't do anything wrong."

Magnus's eyes burned when things fell into place and he realised what happened. He asked in a serious voice, "Since you are doing nothing wrong. Why is it that for these few days, none of you told me that you are bonded?” There was an awkward silence between them for a moment, which Magnus himself broke, "Did you tell Alec what the Bond Ceremony was before you decided to use it to strengthen the barrier?"

"I..." Megi began, but quickly closed her mouth and frowned.

Now that Magnus knew what was going on, it was easier for him to understand the furtive glances that Alexander and Megi were casting towards each other. Thanks to their magic, they could talk to each other telepathically. They were doing just that at the moment. They were talking. It is a pity that they did not decide to include him in this conversation. What did they want so much to hide from him?

"Magnus..." Alec began, but fell silent as the warlock's hand lifted up, signaling him to be silent.

"If you want to lie to me, you'd better not say anything at all," he said, leaving the apothecary.

Alec stared at his back in horror.

"Magnus wait!" the woman cried, running up to her brother, "It's not what you think. Claus loves you!"

Magnus turned abruptly, "Alexander loves me," he said firmly. His heart tightened in pain when he heard the boy standing in the doorway gasp.

"What's the difference!?" Megi exclaimed, her hair rising slightly up, visualizing her rage.

"For you? Apparently none," he laughed almost hysterically, "Once upon a time Alexander could lie to only one person, himself. In contrast, Claus," Magnus's eyes moved to the suffering-filled face of the former Shadowhunter, "through the Bond that connects you, is able to lie to the whole world, if that guarantees your safety."

"We didn’t want to lie to you!" she snapped in response.

"We?" Magnus's eyebrows rose as he looked at her. In his tone came a mockery mixed with pain, "How would YOU react in my place?!"

Megi swallowed her next comment, realizing that Magnus was right. Warlocks are one of the most obsessive beings in the world. She would never forgive anyone if someone had taken her something as wonderful as the Bond with Laura.

The woman looked down, unable to look at the hatred that must have appeared on Magnus' face. He had the right to be mad at her.

"You're right," she whispered, clenching her hands so hard that her nails dug into her palms. "If you want, hate me. However, please, don't be mad at the boy. He didn't do anything wrong."

Chapter Text

Magnus's cat eyes moved from Megi's desperate face to Alec, who paled even more and looked like he was about to vomit.

Magnus knew his reaction was exaggerated, but he couldn't help it. People who were Bonded didn’t have to be married. Hell! They didn't even have to be in love. The Bond with the other warlock meant that both sides shared magic and all their memories, thoughts and feelings. Due to this, the warlock community decided that the Bond Ceremony should be limited to married couples. After all, who would like to share something so intimate with someone they barely knew?

Megi and Alec were not among those who made hasty decisions. Since they decided to have a Bond, they must have had a good reason.

Magnus sighed heavily.

"I'm not mad at him. I thought for a moment that maybe now… we..." his voice broke. He quickly looked down at his hands, which were nervously playing with the signet ring engraved with the letter M.

"Oh, Magnus!" Megi embraced him tightly. "I'm so sorry, little brother," she whispered in his shoulder, "I'll understand if you never forgive me. In the end, I took something so special from you."

Magnus shook his head, moving away from her. There was sadness in his eyes but also guilt.

"It's okay. I’m sorry for my reaction." he said quietly, "I almost immediately knew you were Bonded. I just needed confirmation. You two were acting weird at the beginning. Looking at each other as if you were talking." Megi looked taken aback. Magnus reached his hand out to Alec, who was standing paralyzed, staring at them blankly. "I'm really not angry Alexander." The boy blinked when he heard his full name. "Come to me."

Alec let out a strangled groan and walked on wobbly legs to the warlock, burying his face against his shoulder.

"I'm sorry," the boy sobbed, clenching his fingers on the front of his shirt.

"It's okay," Magnus stroked his hair with one hand and put his free arm around his waist, "I know you would never knowingly do anything that could hurt me."

"I really wasn't going to lie to you," he groaned, "I just wanted to tell you about this myself."

"In his defense, I told him about the importance of the Bond only after you came to Mhapral," Megi whispered carefully watching the embracing couple, "It didn't matter much before. After all, he didn't even remember who he was. Or that his boyfriend is a warlock..."

Magnus raised a warning look at her, causing the woman to stop her nervous babbling immediately.

"Well, maybe I should make myself scarce and leave you alone?" she stated more than she asked and began to move cautiously toward the exit.

Magnus relaxed as the other warlock disappeared, closing the door behind herself with a soft click.

Bane looked closely at Alexander's face, which was almost completely hidden behind his jet-black hair. Magnus gently stroked his back, which made the boy tremble in his arms.

"You okay?" he asked quietly. The younger man nodded in response, still not raising his head from his shoulder. "Are you crying?" Magnus asked with slight concern.

"No," Alec replied quickly, sighing slightly. He straightened up, but he still couldn't meet the warlock's eyes.

Magnus breathed a sigh of relief when he noticed that Lightwood was not lying. It was always difficult for him to bear the sight of tears flowing from the boy's beautiful eyes.

He gently brushed the forehead of the former Shadowhunter with his fingers, brushing a black strand of hair behind his ear, just to slide down from his jawline to his chin, only to raise his face so that he could look at his beloved blue irises.

"A month after your disappearance, I woke up in the middle of the night from a dream..." Magnus began quietly, gently stroking his pale cheeks with his thumbs. He swallowed nervously, trying to control the tears that were threatening to spill before he could continue. "We stood embracing on the balcony of my loft, staring at the setting sun. You told me about how Jace got you in trouble again, throwing himself right into the middle of the Raum demon horde."

The boy laughed, he didn't have to imagine it, because Jace often did something similar. 

He clenched his hands tighter on Magnus's shirt when he saw tears welling up in the corners of his glazed eyes.

"I knew you were laughing, which was what always made your eyes gleam with joy. But when I looked at you, I saw nothing." Tears rolled slowly down his cheeks. "I couldn't remember your face, the color of your eyes, how your lips curved when you were smiling at me, or how your laugh sounded."

The boy's blue eyes darkened with grief when he realized again how much Magnus had suffered because of him.

"My relationship experience has taught me one thing. When I was left alone again, the only relief for my broken heart was forgetfulness. I got rid of everything that reminded me of that person. This way, it was easier for me to forget and accept that this person was gone. You weren't the first I loved, but you were the only person I never wanted to forget." 

Alec smiled sadly, carefully watching the feelings changing on the warlock's face. He raised his hands to wipe the saline drops that slid down his cheeks with his thumbs. 

"That night I woke up scared and began to frantically browse the shelves for our photo albums. I knew where they were, but I couldn't find them. I said again and again that it was too early, that I was not ready to forget you. Then I realized that photos were not enough. They would remind me of your appearance and how you looked at me, but they wouldn't remind me of your voice, how it sounded when you scolded Jace for another stupid action that almost cost him his life. Or how it sounded when you told me that you..." Magnus tightened his eyelids as he ran out of breath not being able to say the last words.

"I love you," he heard words full of love and confidence, which he had been missing for over a year. "I love you Magnus Bane and my Bond with your sister will not change that. I will love you even if our paths diverge, even if this world ends, and if someday we die, even after death, my soul will always love you."

"By Lilith..." broke from the warlock crimped by emotions in his throat. He put his hands on the younger man's face, drawing him to a kiss, "I love you, I love you so much, Alexander..." he whispered, kissing him after each word, "That's why please, never ever look away from me. No matter what we argue about, let's keep talking to each other even when we are angry. It might be tough, but we have to support each other, otherwise it doesn't make sense. I can't lose you again."

"Okay, I promise," Alec whispered, sealing his words with another kiss. 

Magnus tangled his fingers in Alec's black hair at his neck, trying to pull him as close as possible. Lightwood took a step forward, making Magnus almost stumble before realizing that the boy was slowly guiding them toward the bedroom.

Without breaking the kiss, they slowly got rid of more clothes. Magnus' vests, a black hoodie that Alec put on when they went out for a walk. The fingers of the younger man began to frantically unbutton the buttons of the snow-white shirt that the warlock wore, to finally grab the fabric with both hands, pulling it to both sides, causing the buttons to fly in all directions. Magnus moaned in his mouth, unable to find the strength to protest. Their clothes landed on the floor, creating a path leading to the warlock's room. 

Alec used his magic to slam the door behind them with a snap of his fingers, while deepening the kiss. His hands slid down Magnus's bare shoulders to his back to finally land on his ass, which were still covered with his pants. He decided to deal with this problem later. Without pulling away from his lover's lips, he effortlessly lifted him up.

"Alexander!" Magnus cried, when his center of gravity faltered for a moment. He opened his eyes, not even remembering when he closed them, only to meet the burning eyes of the other man. "You are so sexy when you do that. You don't even know how much it turns me on."

Magnus gripped the boy's shoulders tightly, leaning over to bite his lower lip without waiting for his answer. Alec groaned, trying to take over the kiss again by slipping his tongue into the slightly parted lips of the warlock, whose legs were wrapped around his hips, relieving his arms that immediately moved to his back slowly sliding to man’s ass, wanting to touch every bit of dark, heated skin.

For a moment, all they could hear were their heavy breaths and the quiet murmurs of pleasure as their bodies rubbed against each other. Magnus flinched as a sudden buzz of water broke through his hazy, excited mind. Alec noticed this and pulled away from his mouth, wanting to see his eyes.

"It's just a shower," he assured the warlock with a hoarse voice, seating him on a wide marble countertop, right next to the stone sink. He shoved the carefully folded white towels to the side, "I remember you have an issue with water. Don’t worry," he added, moving his hands to the man's red cheeks, stroking them with his thumbs.

Magnus smiled shyly, trying to hide how embarrassed he was of his body's reaction to something so trivial. It's not like Alec suddenly put him under the stream of water. Besides, they hadn’t even entered the shower.

Alec placed a gentle kiss on the warlock's collarbone, trying to divert his attention from unpleasant thoughts. He slowly moved his lips to his neck to create a small red kiss mark just under his ear. He immediately received a low moan as a reward.

"Alexander," Magnus whispered, entangling his hands in the boy's black ruffled hair.

"Hm," he murmured in response, running his hands up and down the warlock's thighs, "better?" he asked when he felt the muscles tremble under his fingers.

"It could be even better when you finally take off these pants," Magnus grunted, pulling on the boy's belt, freeing it from the belt loop. Alec laughed, wanting to snap his fingers, but a firm, ‘No magic' from Magnus' was enough to make him give up on this idea. He sighed heavily into the warlock's mouth.

The older man's hands quickly got rid of the leather strap, and reached in to open the fly, making Alec gasp as long fingers brushed his crotch.

"By the Angel, Magnus!" he called as one of Bane's hands slipped under the elastic of his black boxer to embrace his hot dick. Alec's hips jerked forward against his will. "Please," he whispered, biting the warlock's earlobe. Alec was trembling, trying to control his body's natural reactions as Magnus slowly moved his clenched fingers up and down his dick.

"What do you want, tell me," he purred straight into Alec's ear, "Tell me and I will do anything for you."

Lightwood shuddered and turned Magnus in one move, causing the man to lean his bare torso against the marble top. The warlock hissed as his skin came into contact with the unheated stone, and then moaned, feeling Alec rubbing his hips against his still-covered ass.

"Alex..." he moaned loudly as the boy's teeth gently bit the skin at the back of his neck. Magnus almost choked when he felt Alec's hand massaging him through the pants. "Don't tease me, I can't..."

Magnus felt Lightwood's lips forming a smile on his neck. He put his hands on the counter, trying to get up, but Alec effectively prevented him by putting his free hand between his shoulder blades.

"Where are you going?" the younger man whispered in his ear in a low, excited voice, that made goosebumps cover his body.

Alec unbuttoned the warlock's pants with one hand, sliding them to his knees, not surprised that Magnus was not wearing any underwear.

"Magnus," he repeated his lover's name like a prayer, gently stroking and kissing the smooth skin on his back. "You are the most wonderful creature I've met in my entire life. So beautiful, so perfect." While saying that, he ran his right hand along the warlock's spine.

Magnus inhaled sharply, feeling thin pale fingers sink between his asschecks, gently massaging his hole.

"Are you still sore?" he heard uncertainty breaking through Alec's voice. He began to shake his head, wanting to deny it, but the younger man interrupted him sharply. "Don't lie to me, not about that. I would never forgive myself if..."

Magnus blinked at his cracking voice. He tried to get up again but had the same result.

"Alexander, please. Let me up. I want to look into your eyes," he heard the younger man take a few deep breaths and finally let him rise.

Magnus immediately turned around, completely ignoring the pants that hung at his knees when he saw the expression on his boyfriend's face.

"Alexander, last night you did everything you could not to hurt me," Magnus said tenderly, wrapping his face in his hands. "You knew I wasn't fully aware of what I was doing and you reacted immediately. More experienced people would have had a problem in such a moment to forget about their own pleasure."

"I... eventually also..." Alec began, but Magnus immediately interrupted him.

"No, you mustn't think like that," he said in a slightly raised voice. He was angry at himself for not noticing it before. Alec had always blamed himself for all the evil in the world. Why would it be different now? "You didn't hurt me. On the contrary, you did everything not to let me hurt myself. By Lilith!" he shouted, horrified when he realized something, "It was your first time!"

A crimson blush immediately covered the boy's face.

"I'm so sorry, Alexander!" Alec looked surprised at his words, but before he could say anything, Magnus continued. "I didn't want you to remember this experience that way. As something negative. I was so selfish."

"You needed it," he muttered in reply.

"It doesn't change the fact that you thought all this time that you hurt me!" Alec flinched, which Magnus didn't miss. "Great, now I'm scaring you."

"Maybe let's agree that the last time didn’t count?" Alec shrugged, "I didn't even come, so..."

Magnus froze with his mouth open. Alec laughed at the sight, guilt slowly disappearing from his eyes, replaced by a great deal of affection for this unbelievably handsome man.

"I'm the worst boyfriend in the world," the warlock moaned, banging his forehead on the younger man’s shoulder, which made him laugh again, when he embraced him around the waist.

"I promise I won't blame myself for what happened then if you promise me the same," Alec suggested, rubbing the man's hips with his thumbs.

"Okay, though I can't believe I was acting so selfish at the time," the warlock gasped in frustration. Seeing the warning look, he sighed. "I promise."

Alec beamed, as if he had already forgotten the whole event and pulled Magnus into a kiss. He ran his tongue over the warlock's lower lip, that had parted slightly from his mouth, perfectly understanding the familiar gesture. Their tongues met halfway, uniting in a passionate dance.

"May I?" Alec breathed in Magnus's mouth as he pulled away from him for a moment, wanting to take a deeper breath. The warlock looked at him, noticing that the boy's gaze was directed at his own hand ready to snap. He nodded, knowing that even Lucifer alone wouldn’t be able to tear them away from each other right now. After a second, the rest of their clothes disappeared, and Alec, remembering what Magnus had said earlier, grabbed him firmly by the hips and lifted him up without the slightest effort. 

"Embrace me," Alec whispered hoarsely, biting lightly at his neck, then kissing the place, wanting to ease the pain.

Magnus's legs immediately wrapped around the boy's waist, while his hands quickly disappeared into his tousled hair.

Absorbed in lust and conversation, they didn’t even notice that the room was filled with steam that covered everything with a thin layer of moisture. Alec, caressed the warlock's skin, carefully approaching the huge shower, which was separated from the rest of the bathroom with a glass wall on one side.

Magnus shuddered as the warm water hit his bare back, making Alec stop immediately. The warlock tilted his head, letting a stream of water run down his hair to his shoulders. Alec's lips focused on the man’s exposed throat, sucking the skin while gently biting it. When he finished, he looked at his work with satisfaction. He raised his head when he felt the dick between their bodies twitch. He smiled widely seeing the flame of passion in Magnus's eyes.

"Put me down," the warlock demanded, while lowering his legs down. Alec immediately obeyed, surprised when Magnus pulled him under the stream of water, kissing him aggressively.

Even with wet hair stuck to his forehead, Magnus was still incredibly handsome.

Alec's hands stroked the warlock's wet body, wanting to remember every curve. He ran his fingernails at his round ass checks as a reward, receiving a loud moan from Magnus.

“Alexander…”

He gently brushed the warlock’s tight hole with his fingers, making Magnus inhale sharply and clench his fingers in his hair.

Alec looked up at him. Magnus nodded seeing a silent question in his beloved's eyes.

"Tell me if it hurts."

"Okay," Bane agreed immediately and sighed as Alec carefully slipped one finger into him, "I'm fine, you can..." he whispered as the boy didn't move for a few seconds watching him closely.

Encouraged by Magnus's words, he slowly moved. He shuddered, feeling the muscles tightening around his finger.

"Breathe," Bane reminded him, brushing wet hair from his face, "you're amazing."

Alec shuddered at the praise that slipped out of the warlock's swollen lips. He probably didn't look much better. The pupils of Magnus’ cat eyes widened so that they almost completely obscured the golden-green irises.

"I love your eyes," he announced in a low voice while adding another finger, stretching Magnus even more.

The warlock moaned when he felt the younger man’s long fingers brush his prostate. He was ready, but he guessed that after the last time, Alec might be uncertain, so he whispered in his mouth, "one more," and sighed contentedly when he felt that Lightwood had obeyed him immediately.

“A… Alexander, please,” he stammered after a moment and shuddered seeing the frantick look in the blue eyes, "I'm ready."

Lightwood turned him to face the wall, without interrupting the sweet torture. In this position, Magnus didn’t see what his young lover was doing, so he shouted when he felt a wet tongue that joined his finger.

"Oh no. Alec, please. I can't do it if you’re going to... "

At the same time everything disappeared- his lips, fingers, warm body. Magnus sobbed in protest, but the sound became stuck in his throat when he felt the hot, hard head of the man’s dick pressing to his hole.

"I couldn't resist," he felt a hot breath just behind his ear, "You looked so inviting down there. I had to taste you."

"Oh God," he moaned, clenching his fingers around his cock to stop the coming orgasm, "You can't say such things..." he said in a shaky voice.

"Why? Don't you want to know how much I like your taste?"

"I don't want to come before..."

"Hmm," Alec murmured, pressing his hips slightly, making Magnus cry as his cock slowly sank into his tight hole, stretching him even more. "You okay?"

Magnus heard the concern and uncertainty in this question so he immediately answered. "Yes, please..." Another push made him lose his breath for a moment, "Oh, yes. Alexander…” he whispered, leaning his forehead against the wall that had been heated by the hot water. With one hand, he leaned against the wall just above his head, with the other he grabbed the head of his cock, trying to stop the inevitable end. He knew that as soon as Alec got into him, he couldn't fight it any longer.

Alec moved slowly back and forth, each time entering Magnus deeper and deeper. He knew the warlock was close. He could recognize it by the way his body tensed.

"Magnus," he groaned and pushed one last time, finally hitting his prostate. At the same time, the warlock shouted his name and came into his own hand.

Alec kissed Magnus’ trembling shoulders while supporting him in case his legs buckled.

"You can move," Bane muttered after a moment, which made Alec tense.

He remembered their first time, after they returned from vacation. Magnus was very gentle, remembering his inexperience. Alec, of course, finished first, which was to be expected. The warlock, however, needed a few more thrusts to follow him. The feelings that accompanied him at that time were contradictory. Pleasure mixed with discomfort when Magnus pushed again and again hitting his prostate every time, which was sensitive after his orgasm. It lasted only a moment, but this memory was enough to make him hesitate again.

“Alexander…”

"You just came..." he said panting with the effort he had to put in to keep his body in place.

Magnus gasped in frustration, pushing his ass towards Alec.

"I'll be fine," he said as Alec held his hips tight so he couldn't move, "Honey, I promised, I'd tell you if it hurts."

Alec hissed as the warlock's muscles tightened on his cock and his hips made an uncontrolled move forward.

“Yes!”

Alec turned Magnus around, sliding out of him and suppressed his moan of protest with his own mouth. He grabbed the warlock's right leg and wrapped it around his hip while sliding into him with one push. Magnus cried into his mouth. Alec pushed him against the wall, carefully watching his face, looking for any sign of pain in his eyes. He relaxed clearly when he saw nothing but love and desire in them. Only then did he bend for another hot kiss.

"Grab my arms," he demanded and purred with satisfaction as Magnus immediately obeyed.

"On Lilith!" the warlock cried again as Alec lifted his other leg, pushing even deeper into him.

"Look at yourself," whispered the former Shadowhunter, "You should be one of the sins."

"The one that puts Angels on the wrong path?" he asked and shuddered, feeling his lover’s cock twitching in him.

Alec grabbed Magnus hard by the hips, slowly lifting him up. The warlock moaned, hitting his head against the tiles as he leaned back in ecstasy.

"Careful,” Alec gasped, repeating the previous move.

In this position, he hit Magnus's prostate every time he moved. They synchronized their movements very quickly. The sound of the shower drowned out their moans, but it was unable to drown out the sound of their bodies hitting each other as the warlock's asschecks collided with the strained thighs of the former Shadowhunter.

"Alexander, I’m... going..." Magnus stammered.

"Me too..." he heard Alec's hoarse voice. "Oh God, Magnus, you're so hot and tight inside."

The warlock's eyes widened as he cried when he came. Magnus’ muscles tightened on Alec's cock, which was enough for the younger man to follow him, shouting his name in pleasure.

Magnus embraced the younger man. Suddenly he felt like he was in an elevator as his heart dropped when Alec's legs buckled, and they slid to the ground.It had been so intensely overwhelming that Alec had lost control of not only his body, but his glamour, the one that hid his scars and Midas’ mark. 

"Are you okay?" the warlock asked with evident concern.

Alec just nodded, hiding his face against Magnus’ shoulder, not wanting him to notice.

"Look at me baby," Magnus whispered, kissing his boyfriend's neck.

Alec shuddered but didn’t move. Bane considered repeating the question when he saw glamour slowly slide from the younger man's body, showing the scars on his back.

"Do you want me to remove them?" Magnus offered just like the first time. He didn't have to say anything more because Alec knew what he meant. He felt Lightwood nod. Not quite satisfied with this answer, Magnus moved his hands to Alec’s cheeks and slowly pulled his head away from his shoulder. Magnus' heart sank, like the first time, when Alec showed him the golden mark covering his face. "You have to tell me that, darling. Do you want me to remove your scars and this mark?"

Alec swallowed and looked into Magnus's cat eyes.

"Yes."

Chapter Text

Waving his hand towards the shower was enough to make the water flowing down their face disappear immediately. Magnus snapped his fingers, without taking his eyes off the man trembling in his arms, making the bathtub start to fill with water. Alec buried his face again on his shoulder, embracing him with such force, as if he was afraid that Magnus would disappear.

"Alexander," the older man murmured straight into his ear, stroking his wet hair with one hand in order to get his attention. It didn’t help. He trembled when Magnus touched his bare back with his other hand, "Don't hide them," he whispered, sensing the magic gathering around his boyfriend. "If you want to get rid of these scars, I'll have to see them anyway," he explained.

Magnus sensed the exact moment Alec gave up, completely ignoring his instincts. He heard a loud sigh and felt his tense body relax in his arms.

"Just like that. Everything will be alright," Magnus assured him, kissing his head. "I'll put my hands on your back, so don't be scared, okay?" Alec's body immediately tensed, which was the only confirmation that he had ever heard him.

Magnus's hands were surrounded by a blue glow that became more intense when it brushed the mutilated skin.

Alec jerked as he sensed warm hands and magic that slowly spread across his back.

"Shhh, my love," Magnus tried not to move his hands over the back of the apparently stressed Lightwood. He closed his eyes, trying to fill the spell with all the love and protectiveness he had for the younger man.

He imagined the scars turning into the immaculate milky skin he used to kiss each morning when Alec was asleep, his back turned to him, without fear of waking up at the disgust in Magnus's eyes. The warlock knew this feeling very well.

Throughout his life, Magnus was afraid of people's reactions to his warlock mark. Golden-green eyes with pupils like a cat were not something that, in his youth, people looked at with admiration.

When he met Alec, his fears increased. He was still wondering how an 18-year-old Shadowhunter would react by discovering who he was associated with. Would he, knowing who Magnus's father was, still look him in the eye with the same trust and love?

His eyelids rose. The skin under his fingers was almost completely healed. There were only two scars along his shoulder blades, running along the spine, which for some reason the spell could not remove. Magnus frowned. These two scars did not resemble the others. They were wider, but they looked more like skin discoloration than a scar. Could it have been done with magic, which was blocking his spell? Knowing Midas, it was very likely.

He put one hand on the golden mark on Lightwood's face, while still trying to heal his back.

Alec's eyes were tightly closed and his brow furrowed, as if he expected pain when Magnus's magic focused on Midas' Mark. Nothing like that happened.

After a few minutes, the warlock sighed and stopped the spell. His boyfriend's face was immaculate again, but he couldn’t say that about his back. 

Magnus, despite his efforts, was unable to remove these two scars. He felt his heart squeeze when he imagined Alec's reaction. He promised that he would help him.

"I'm done," he announced, embracing his boyfriend tightly before adding, "I couldn't remove the two running along the spine. "I'm sorry."

Alec looked up at his pained voice. He blinked several times wanting to get rid of the tears that had gathered in the corners of his eyes. He gasped when he met Magnus's gaze. He saw worry and guilt in the warlock’s eyes.

"Why are you apologizing?" he asked in a hoarse voice.

"I promised to remove them. Forgive me for letting you down,” he whispered, looking away, slowly removing his arms.

"Magnus, no," he groaned, wrapping his hands around the warlock's face, who stopped fidgeting. "You did everything you could. I would be an ungrateful asshole if I blame you for two small scars."

"They are not so small..." he noted subdued.

"Hush," he silenced him firmly, "Megi was unable to get rid of them. She could only remove my memories. Temporarily, but I am grateful for that. It was hard to learn how to control magic when I kept thinking about what happened to me."

“Hm.” 

Alec looked into Magnus's eyes and wiped his cheek with the tip of his nose, immediately focusing all man’s attention on him.

"What are you thinking?" he asked the warlock.

"How long did her spell hold?" he asked uncertainly, standing up, dragging Alec with him.

"We've never tested it. To be sure, we renew it every three months," he replied with a shrug, "Megi is sure that it would last longer, but I prefer not to risk it."

Magnus pulled him towards a large bathtub in which they could easily fit into. With a wave of his hand, he turned the water off and went in with a sigh, dipping into the hot water that reached a little above his nonexistent navel. When the younger man joined him, the water rose a little higher. Alec sat down opposite Magnus, embracing his knees with his arms. He looked defenselessly hunched like that. Magnus wanted to ask if he would rather lean on him, but before he opened his mouth, the silence was broken by the voice of the former Shadowhunter.

"I know I can't run away from my memories forever," he whispered, his eyes fixed on his own feet, "I need a little more time. I still can't fully control my magic. I would never forgive myself if I hurt someone."

Magnus could see in Alec's face that he wasn't entirely honest.

"I know you are afraid," the younger man shuddered at these words. "When magic awoke in me, I was still a child. I didn't understand what was happening to me, I was afraid I would hurt someone." His throat tightened as he spoke last words.

Alec looked at him sadly, remembering their vacation. The road from Venice to Rome leading through the Apennines. A bonfire and their conversation. It was the first time Magnus opened up to him, telling him what had happened to him in his childhood. He told him about his mother's suicide, about his stepfather, who blamed him for everything and almost drowned him in the river for it. Ten-year-old Magnus survived only because he lost control and burned his stepfather alive.

Alec swallowed hard. Gathering his courage, he raised his head and looked into Magnus's golden-green eyes. The man was smiling sadly at him.

"When I lost control for the first time, I was alone," Alec whispered, clenching his fingers tightly on his legs, "Megi organized a party in the hotel, and I didn't feel like attending it. I had this strange feeling, as if a colony of ants was raging under my skin."

“Oh.”

"Yes, I didn't know what that meant at the time," said Alec, slouching, "I went out to take a breath of fresh air. I was sure that nobody noticed my disappearance." His eyes started to fill with tears. "I went to the river. I walked along the shore, when my memories started to come back."

Lightwood shuddered, closing his eyelids, "It's funny that it wasn't the memories that disturbed me, but the feelings that accompanied them."

"You must have been terrified," Magnus remarked painfully.

Alec snorted. "I could deal with fear. From the moment I realized I was gay, fear had become an inseparable part of my life," he said briefly, noticing the sadness in the eyes of an older man. "I knew fear as my own sister. The resignation I felt at that moment overwhelmed me." 

The warlock's eyes widened in surprise.

"I used to try to hide all the feelings that the Clave ... that Robert thought was a sign of weakness. I hid them within me. One day I just couldn't do it anymore." The former Shadowhunter trembled when he heard Magnus gasp.

"Come here," he whispered, holding out both hands towards him.

Alec stared at him uncertainly for a moment, but the warlock's encouraging gaze made him quickly make up his mind. A moment later he was sitting between Magnus's legs tightly wrapped in his arms. He felt safe, which encouraged him to continue.

"I don't quite remember what happened then. One moment, I was throwing books around the room, and in another I was lying on the floor with a knife in one hand, and a terrified Jace was drawing an Iratze on my other bleeding wrist. He was twelve."

Which meant Alec was thirteen. Magnus thought in horror, his hands tightening on Alec's pale arms. If the warlock wasn't sure if he hated the Clave and Robert before, then after that confession all his doubts left him.

Alec felt tears running down his cheeks. He immediately wiped them away angrily with the back of his hand.

“I was lucky he found me then. After that day we got closer. As soon as I felt myself sinking into these negative thoughts again, I didn't have to say anything. Jace was right there with me. He helped me to get rid of these feelings in a safe way. Some time later, when he offered to become my Parabatai, I didn't have to think."

There was a silence between them for a moment, which the warlock broke.

"I had no idea," Magnus muttered in a shaky voice.

"I didn't want you to know," Alec replied quietly. Feeling Magnus tense, he added quickly, "When I met you I was not able to believe that someone like you could seriously be interested in someone like me . What was my eighteen years against your four hundred? I was afraid that if you found out, you would think that you got involved with some shithead kid and would tell me to leave."

"I would never do that," the warlock replied.

"I know that now, but I was scared back then. After what Robert did to my mother, I stopped believing in this wonderful love for life that the Shadowhunters supposedly feel. Meeting you made me realize that everything I heard was true. I understood why Jace behaved so strangely after meeting Clary. Suddenly she became the center of his universe. Like you have become the center of mine. When we started dating, nothing seemed scary to me anymore. So you can imagine what was going on in my head when I was alone with these feelings. I didn't remember who I was and I didn't have anyone to help me break free from this darkness. A part of my soul was missing, which was erased with the Parabatai rune, and I have a big hole in my heart that the love for you had previously filled." He paused for a moment, trying to calm his raging heart. "I needed to fill this void, subconsciously remembering that all I had to do was reach, and I did it. I reached out, with everything I had."

Magnus knew there is more to what Alec said. The younger man fell silent as if he expected some reaction from him, and he had no idea what to do or say. Then suddenly all the pieces fall in place.

"You are the one who bonded your magic to Megi’s," said the bewildered warlock.

"I didn't know what I was doing. I just wanted someone to help me. "

"Oh, Alexander."

"When her magic surrounded me, I felt even more lost." he shivered, "Despite the bond, she couldn't calm me down. At some point she had to call Asmodeus. All I can remember is tiredness."

They sat in silence for a moment, only the beating of their hearts could be heard. Alec felt Magnus's breath on his hair, which made him shiver again.

“Summoning the Greater Demon was very risky," the warlock finally said, rubbing the younger man's shoulders, mistaking his tremor as a sign of coldness, "Asmodeus may have killed you. "

"I doubted that," Alec said confidently, "After all, he helped me escape from hell."

“And that’s something I don’t get.”

Alec looked up. There was concern on Magnus' face.

"If it makes you feel better, She never has to call him again," Lightwood said, watching his boyfriend closely. The golden-green cat's eyes moved to his blue. "Thanks to the Bond, Megi senses when I lose control. That way she can react before I completely lose it. "

"That explains everything," said Magnus. Seeing the young man's questioning look, he added, smiling apologetically, "When I understood that you had a Bond with my sister, I was angry, but a moment later I realized that neither of you would do something like that without reason. That's why Megi using the Bond to help you control magic doesn't surprise me at all."

"I don't know what would happen to me if she wasn’t there for me."

They talked for a moment, about everything and nothing. They both missed this kind of closeness so neither of them mentioned that they had a party to prepare for.

When the water began to get cold and Alec shuddered violently in his arms, Magnus sighed and with a flick of his finger, uncorked the tub.

"I think it's time to get back to reality," he announced, reaching out to the younger man. Alec smiled and took the offered hand. Standing up, he pulled Magnus with him, joining their lips in a short kiss. He stepped out of the tub, recalling one of the towels that had previously been on the counter. He blushed, as if he only realized what he had done then and said. Where had his shamelessness come from? He turned to Magnus to wrap him in a towel, but the warlock's tender gaze made him freeze.

"What?" he asked briefly, sounding a little rude.

Magnus shook himself as if Alec's voice had  snapped him out of his deep thoughts.

"Oh nothing. I just ... I never thought I would get this back," Magnus said, sliding tips of his fingers over his boyfriend's flushed cheeks, "I always thought those blushes look good on your face." He laughed out loud as the blush deepened.

Alec threw a towel over Magnus's head and wiped his hair sharply. The quiet mumbling of an ungrateful old man , from the younger man was drowned out by the warlock's loud protest.

When, a moment later, they went down to the lobby, holding hands, they found total chaos there. Magnus watched downworlders run in all directions carrying various things-elegant tableware, glasses and tablecloths. Alec sighed, pulling the warlock toward the wide-open door next to the closed ballroom.

Megi stood in the center of the room. Purple sparks burst from the hands raised above her head. They could hear the commands she shouted from afar.

"No, this table doesn't fit there! Place it closer to the column!"

They heard a quiet curse from the werewolf who must have been new, and no one had apparently told him that the day before the ball would be the best day to keep away from the black-haired warlock.

Alec snapped his fingers, causing the table to move to the right place and nodded towards the unfortunate werewolf, letting him know that this was the best time to escape.

"Thanks," he whispered gratefully as he passed them at the door, quickly disappearing.

Megi used magic to decorate columns and vaults with white flowers and blue ribbons. The dining area looked wonderful. Magnus was obviously eager to help because he clenched his fingers tightly on Alec's hand and swung on his heels, sweeping the entire hall with his eyes. The younger man shook his head and pulled him toward the woman.

When Megi noticed them, she smiled broadly. Seeing their joined hands, she relaxed visibly.

"Just in time," she called toward them. "I hope you saved some energy to decorate the ballroom," she said teasingly. 

Magnus almost choked, while Alec's face took on an intense shade of red. 

"Megara..." the younger man scolded her, while Bane froze with an expression of terror on his face.

"By Lilith," he groaned, hiding his face in both hands.

Alec looked at him worriedly, out of the corner of his eye noticing that the smile on Megi's face became even wider.

"Magnus? What happened?" he asked, not knowing what to do.

"Oh, don't worry, Claus," the woman laughed coming up to them. "My little brother has only now remembered that I share with you not only magic, but also thoughts."

Magnus groaned loudly.

In a different situation Alec would have been amused to see the tips of the warlock's ears reddening with embarrassment.

"Megi stop it!" he cried, glaring at her. "I can block this part of the Bond."

The warlock's fingers widened, revealing one shiny cat's eye.

"This shameless witch didn't even give me a chance to adapt to all this mind reading when she decided to have some fun with Laura."

"Witch?!" Megi snapped indignantly, hating the word due to past witch hunts.

Alec ignored her and continued, "I had to learn quickly to block her and my thoughts because she apparently had no intention of doing it."

"You should have seen his face the next day," she laughed. "Your boyfriend can't appreciate a good show, Magnus."

"You are wrong," he denied, smiling at Alec.

"Only with the right person," the blue-eyed man finished, kissing the back of Magnus's hand.

***

Together, they quickly finished the dining area and moved to decorating the ballroom. Magnus watched with admiration as Alec and Megi worked. They stood in the center of the pentagram with their backs to each other, their hands and magic moving as if in a synchronized dance. Bane tried to suppress the sense of loss that accompanied him every time they used their Bond. He knew it would take him some time to fully accept it but before this happened he would try not to show these ugly feelings to them.

When they finished, Kiara, who had been coordinating the hall decor with Laura, ran into the room and clung to Alec's legs.

The man looked tenderly at his mentee. He grabbed her under arms and lifted her up. The little vampire immediately hid her face on his shoulder.

"Someone is tired here," he noted, brushing the black curls back from her face.

"Hm," she murmured in response, making all the adults smile.

"I'll go put her to bed," he said and looked questioningly at Magnus, "Are you coming with me?"

"I’ll stay," he replied, and his heart skipped a beat when he saw the concern on Alec's face. "I'll help Megi finish here and I'll join you in a moment."

The ex-Shadowhunter approached the warlock and placed a short kiss on his lips. He gave Megi a serious look and only then left.

***

Alec closed the door to Kiara's room quietly. The girl didn't even wake up when he changed her clothes. He stood at the door for a moment, listening intently. When he was certain that Kiara would not wake up, he turned and froze.

"I heard your little secret is no longer a secret," Laura remarked giggling. He didn't notice that she had approached him silently from behind. "I told Megi that it would be best to tell him right away. Magnus loves you, he would understand."

"I know. It wasn't about that," he sighed and bypassed the vamp. "It wasn't a good time." 

"After you drag him to bed, no time would be right," she said teasingly and laughed seeing him glare at her with intense blue eyes. "Don't look at me like that! You know I'm right."

Alec ignored her and went to the apothecary door, which he hadn’t closed after he and Megi had run after a furious Magnus. The box with the pendant was where he left it. He touched the black lid with his fingertips and gently opened it. Laura came up to him and glanced at the contents of the box before her eyes lifted to his face.

"Do you think you can end the spell tomorrow?" she whispered, as if she was afraid that someone uninvited might hear her.

"If you asked me four days ago I would say I don't know," he muttered, knowing that the vamp would hear him anyway.

"What changed?"

"Now we have Magnus to help," he replied calmly, then closed the box and looked up at her.

"Megi told me he was angry when he found out about your Bond," she cast a furtive glance over her shoulder, frowning as if she heard something in the distance. "How can you be sure that he will want to attend the ball?"

She flinched when his loud laughter broke the silence. She gave the young man an attentive look.

"It's Magnus. He would not give up the opportunity to dress up and show himself in front of the crowd," he shrugged. He leaned his left hip on the table, turning to face her.

Laura shook her head, causing short blond hair to cascade over her forehead.

"That was the old Magnus," she remarked, combing her hair with her hand, brushing the unruly strands back. "Did you tell him about the spell?"

For a moment he stood playing with the edge of his black T-shirt, which he put on after a bath, then shook his head.

"I said that sometimes we use a barrier to cast stronger spells."

"Don't you think he should know?" Laura asked, suddenly very serious. Her black eyes stared at him expectantly. When he did not respond, she added slowly. "There are decisions you cannot make without consulting him. You know how this ends."

Alec raised his glassy eyes, "What if Magnus doesn’t want that?" he asked in a hoarse voice.

"I think there is no force in this world that would make Magnus deny you anything," she laughed, wiping his pale cheek with the back of her hand. "Only a fool would refuse you," she whispered, brushing her lips on the place that her fingers previously touched. She left, leaving him alone with his thoughts.

Chapter Text

When Magnus and Alec went down the hall the next morning, there was still a lot of work. The preparations for the ball came to an end in the late afternoon. After all their work, everyone went to their rooms to prepare for the party.

Alec was sitting on Kiara's bed, helping the little vampire with the creation prepared the day before by Magnus. His boyfriend also went to prepare, knowing from experience that he needed a lot more time than Alec.

Megi and Laura disappeared into their room half an hour earlier. As he passed the door from their bedroom, he heard the loud laughter of both women. Knowing what that meant, he focused on blocking the Bond between Megi and him.

"Now your turn!" Kiara called, drawing his attention when she finished dressing, the dainty pink shoes matching the color of the dress. "I want to help you! Let me!"

Alec smiled and turned the girl back to himself. He began to untangle the tousled curls gently and pleated the braid carefully. When he finished, he conjured a mirror in front of Kiara. The little girl smiled gratefully at him, showing her snow-white fangs.

"What will you wear?"

"A tuxedo?"

"Which one, silly?!" she laughed.

Alec snapped his fingers and his worn blouse turned into a white shirt with a collar, his trousers into black elegant pants. A neatly arranged navy jacket with a silver pattern and two buttons appeared on the bed, which highlighted his blue eyes perfectly.

"Bow tie or tie?" Alec stretched out his hands in which he kept these items.

"Bow tie!"

The man threw the tie on the bed and quickly tied a bow tie around his neck, before he looked at his reflection and adjusted his shirt collar.

"How do I look?"

"Sit down." Kiara demanded, extending a tiny hand towards him. Alec sighed and conjured up a small trunk he kept carefully hidden in his room.

"I am at your disposal," he announced in a resigned tone, sitting on the mattress. He knew there was no point in fighting, he couldn't refuse her. Besides, for a five-year girl she was quite good at it. He was ashamed to admit that she was even better than himself.

***

Magnus buttoned his jacket when he heard the door to his room softly open.

"You look fantastic," a familiar warm voice murmured in his ear.

The warlock did look extraordinary. It has been a long time since he had the opportunity and the desire to dress up like this, so this time he had no intention of holding back. He decided to wear a tuxedo in a bold color. Smooth burgundy pants were emphasized by a jacket in the same color, decorated with gold patterns. A white shirt with a collar under which he tied a matching bow tie, perfectly complemented the entire outfit.

Magnus turned to thank him for the compliment, but he froze, his mouth widening when he saw the young man standing in front of him. Alec smiled shyly and placed a short kiss on Magnus' cheek.

"Alexander... Wow." Magnus said hoarsely, "You look..."

The warlock was speechless. Alec was wearing a wonderful tuxedo. However, all his attention was drawn to man’s blue eyes, surrounded by long black, underlined by eyeliner, eyelashes. The eyelids of the former Shadowhunter were covered with shades from navy blue to blue. Everything complemented his thick black hair, which was combed back making him look taller than Magnus who had to use a ton of cosmetics to achieve this effect, but in Lightwood's hair, he didn’t see a single gram of gel.

"I let Kiara go crazy," Alec explained, pointing to his face, grateful for the thick layer of makeup that obscured his flushed cheeks.

"She did a great job," the warlock replied into the other man’s mouth before sinking into the kiss, which was supposed to be short, but soon turned into something more.

Alec greedily drank every moan from Magnus's mouth, trying to keep from rubbing against the man beneath him. When the warlock bit his lower lip harder, he recovered instantly, opening his eyes and he raised on his forearm slightly off the bed, not remembering when they had even moved there, as he looked at Magnus below him catching his breath. Bane grabbed his jacket to pull him close again, but he froze when Alec shook his head.

"We can't," he only said, to which Magnus responded with a dissatisfied groan, "We must go."

"Fine," Bane grunted in response, trying to hide his disappointment.

"I will make it up to you," Alec whispered in his ear as he stood up and pulled him up.

"I will hold you to your word"

They arranged their clothes, which, as they noticed, differed practically only in colors. Magnus, with a snap of his finger, conjured a burgundy handkerchief in Alec's jacket pocket in his own, a navy blue one. Alec smiled at this petty display of possessiveness and reached into his pants pocket pulling out a small black box. Magnus opened his eyes wide and smirked before he said. 

"Oh, so it was the stuff that was poking my hip." The terror in Alec's face made Magnus laugh out loud. "If you could see your face."

"It's not funny," he said, pouting his lips imitating a dissatisfied Kiara, receiving another laugh as a reward.

He opened the box, showing the warlock it’s contents.

"You are cute," Magnus replied with love, letting Alec put gold cufflinks with the initials A.L. on his cuffs only now noting silver cufflinks with the initials M.B. on the younger man's shirt. When Alec finished, Magnus bent to kiss him again, but Lightwood's finger stopped him.

"We really need to go, and I have to tell you something very important before," said Alec, immediately serious.

"Oh, that sounds scary," the warlock remarked smiling teasingly. "Should I start worrying?"

The younger man rolled his eyes at it.

"I told you before that we sometimes use a barrier to cast stronger spells," he began slowly, waiting for Magnus to nod. "Before the ball start, we need to inform our guests about the risks involved if they decide to help us."

Magnus cat eyes watched him closely. 

"Oh, you're going to cast a spell today?"

"It depends on several things, but yes. That is our intention."

"What is the risk of something going wrong?" There was concern in Magnus's voice.

"The pentagram has a safeguard ," said Alec quickly. "It can only draw energy from people who are willing to cooperate with us. If somehow some of the guests lose consciousness, they are automatically excluded from the spell."

"What happens if you lose consciousness? You are the pentagram’s anchor. They won't cast any spells without you."

"I cast the spell..."

Magnus froze. "Seriously?"

"I've already casted stronger spells, Magnus. The entire barrier is based on my spell. I'll be fine. "

"It's not about that. I know you can do it. I just... I..." Magnus hesitated, not sure if Alec would understand what worried him. He heard the young man's loud sigh and immediately looked at him.

"You don't have to worry, Megara always makes sure I don't overdo it," Alec smiled at him, running his hand over the warlock's cheek. "Besides, you'll be there too."

"Of course," Magnus said immediately. "What is this spell actually?"

"It is a spell that lets Kiara age, and at a pace faster than normal. I've been working on it for several weeks," he began, adjusting the cufflinks nervously. "I want to finish it today."

"Alexander..."

"I do it for Kiara," Alec's voice rose slightly. "It must work. If not… she would always have to hide or be on the run. I don’t want to worry about someone killing her if we are caught by some unfriendly downworlders or someone from Clave. It must work.”

Magnus watched the feelings change on his boyfriend's face.

"Why shouldn't it?"

"It's a very old spell, I've been looking for it for two months..." Alec spoke so quickly that Magnus needed a moment to understand him. "It didn't help that the spell book in which I found it belonged to a warlock from Turkey and was written in Kurdish, which is banned in that country. I couldn't find anyone who would like to help me translate it."

 

"Hey," Magnus interrupted the nervous babble of the younger man. "Deep breath." Alec fell silent and did what was commanded from him, "Now, exhale."

They repeated the process several times.

"Well, now tell me what are you worried about?" Magnus asked, holding Alec’s face between his hands.

"I... I can't come back to Alicante with you." The warlock froze with eyes wide open in surprise, "I will not leave Kiara here, and if the spell doesn't work, I will not be able to take her with us."

Now it was Magnus's turn to take some deeper breaths. Alec watched him closely, waiting for his reaction.

"So let's make sure the spell works," the warlock said finally, smiling. "What do you need?"

"You. Just you," Alec said immediately, expecting this question. "I recalculated how much energy it takes for the spell to work and I would have to sacrifice the barrier to complete it, but it was before you found me. With your magic..."

"I know how much she means to you, so you can count on me."

Magnus noticed how the entire body of the former Shadowhunter immediately relaxed.

"So... You don't mind?" Alec asked, stunned. "You didn't sign up for all of this."

"Why would I? I love you. I knew from the beginning that you and Kiara are a package deal."

Alec groaned and pulled Magnus to him, kissing him with passion, which the other accepted with a joyful sigh.

"Did you really think I might disagree?" Magnus asked as they were descending into the lobby a moment later.

"I wasn't sure you would want to take on such a burden," Alec answered honestly. "Caring for a five-year-old vampire can be a challenge. Not only because of her outbursts of anger, but also because of how the Shadow World looks at such children and those who care for them."

"I would never ask you to choose between me and Kiara," said Magnus.

"Thank you," the younger man whispered.

Magnus took his arm and smiled tenderly.

"You don’t have to thank me."

They entered the hall where they were greeted by a whole bunch of guests dressed in elegant evening dresses.

Magnus smiled seeing Kiara running towards them. His heart sped up when he saw the joy in the blue eyes of his boyfriend who knelt down to embrace the girl. On the faces of the gathered downworlders were affectionate smiles. Magnus couldn’t help but wonder if in the other places, downworlders would react in the same way to her. He quickly chased away the thought, smiling again.

"Magnus, you look great," exclaimed the vampire as Alec straightened up holding her in his arms.

"Thank you. You look great as well, sweetie," he replied in a similar tone, brushing a black strand from her forehead that had broken free from her braid.

"Everyone is waiting for you," she announced amused, waving her hand towards the huge door leading to the ballroom.

Alec laughed and walked towards Megi who was dressed in a long flowing white dress glistening with gold flecks. She stood with her back to them so that they could see the gold chain running from the fastener at her neck, along the spine, to the end of her bare back. To her right was Laura in an equally long dress in colour of red wine, the upper part of which consisted of two scraps of material intricately intertwined so that they covered only her breasts. Both looked like they had just left the catwalk in Milan.

Laura was the first to notice them and smiling radiantly at them.

"They are already here," they heard as they came closer.

Megi turned and her smile could light even the darkest heart.

"Claus, Magnus!"

Alec nodded, putting Kiara on the ground. Together with Magnus, they approached both women and turned to the hotel guests gathered in the lobby.

Laura took a step forward and spoke in a strong melodious voice.

"The hotel in Mhapral is a place where the creatures from around the world could meet. Most stay here only once, but there are also those who often return. The hotel also has regulars and those who have never left it. In other parts of the world, such places are called a Sanctuary.

Over the centuries of its existence, the hotel was repeatedly destroyed and plundered, and the people living in it were killed or forced to flee and hide from mundanes and other downworlders.

Despite the adversity, our Sanctuary... our home has survived. All thanks to people who remembered the hospitality of the Great Warlock Paran, who took hundreds of thousands in need under his roof. Not only downworlders, but also mundanes and Shadowhunters. This way, he made this city forgotten by God become a neutral ground for creatures of all races.

At the end of the 15th century, Megi and I escaped from Germany, running away from the witch hunters. We went to India and got lost in the middle of the forest burned by the fire. We were tired and hungry after many weeks of hiking. There were a few minutes until sunrise, and we couldn't find any place to hide. I was sure it was our last moments together, so I sat down on the ground and embraced Megi, waited for the sunrise, repeating the words of the vow I had given her before I decided to become a vampire."

Laura looked at Megi with love and held out her hand, which she immediately took in her own.

" I did not fall in love with you. I walked into love with you, with my eyes wide open, choosing to take every step along the way. I do believe in fate and destiny, but I also believe we are fated to do the things that we would choose anyway. And I would choose you; in a hundred lifetimes, in a hundred worlds, in any version of reality, I would find you and I would choose you.

These words were to be the last I ever said, but thanks to the Great Paran they turned into a new beginning and a new tradition.

When Paran died two centuries ago defending the local Shadowhunters from Faust, the world lost one of the purest souls walking this land.

From that day, Megi and I continued the work of our savior, but without his powerful spells, the hotel became an easy target for Faust and his clan. We fought for many years to save this place, but despite our determination we were unable to recreate the barrier. Until one night, exactly a year ago, Megi brought to the hotel an injured young man who needed our help, like many before him." 

Magnus's hand tightened on Alec's forearm, who didn't notice it, stunned by what he had just heard.

"We didn't know who he was, he didn't know us either, but he was the one who in the first month of his stay in Mhapral spent many days in the room behind us, sacrificing his own health to surround our home with a new improved barrier that allowed only people with a pure heart to cross the hotel gates."

Megi snapped her fingers and champagne glasses appeared in the hands of all guests.

"For exactly a year, we can enjoy the peace that we haven't had in Mhapral for centuries," the warlock said, raising her glass to Alec. "Claus. Thank you for what you have done for us. To Claus!"

Everyone in the room repeated her last words tilting their glasses in the air before drinking. 

Lightwood was once again grateful for the makeup that overshadowed the blush probably covering his entire face. 

Magnus smiled in his glass when he saw his boyfriend's ears slowly turning red. He took a sip of his champagne and bent to kiss Alec's cheek. 

"I'm so proud of you," he whispered in Alec's ear as a reward, receiving the astonished look from the younger man.

When all glances shifted to him, Alec understood that they expected him to speak. He gave Megi a brief look and said in his mind, ‘You'll pay for this!’

Out of the corner of his eye, he saw the woman smile broadly in response.

Alec focused on the people around him and for a moment he felt overwhelmed with all the attention devoted to him. Magnus' fingers tightened on his hand, immediately attracting all his focus.

He can do it. Magnus is with him.

"All thanks go to Megi," he finally announced, diverting the attention of the audience. "If it wasn't because of her, I wouldn't be here."

"To Megi!" Magnus added raising the glass up, the rest immediately repeating.

Alec snorted into his glass before he got serious and continued.

"I would also like to thank all of you, because no matter how much Laura and Megi praise me, I wouldn't be able to keep the barrier up by myself." In his eyes, the downworlders gathered around could see gratitude. "You also often lend me energy so I could regenerate the barrier after I didn't get a spell right when I tried to learn how to use my magic properly. To be honest, I don't know how this place still stands after all my experiments."

The room filled with laughter.

"Thank you for the support and trust you showed me when I thought that I didn’t belong here. All of you made me call this place home." Alec closed his eyes for a moment, trying to swallow, though his throat tightened with emotions. When he opened his eyes again, everyone noticed his irises flashing intensely blue. A loud clang of the lock reached their ears, after which the door to the ballroom began to slowly open.

Kiara squealed in delight, jumping in excitement.

"Let's make a toast so that from today this place is going to be filled only with good memories." Alec finished smiling.

The guests emptied the glasses, which with the help of Megi magically disappeared from their hands.

"Have fun!" Laura called out.

Alec gripped Magnus's hand tighter, pulling him toward the wide open door. As they approached the pentagram, the older warlock loosened his grip knowing that he couldn't go further. Lightwood looked at him and let Magnus' hand slip out of his own, just so that he could embrace his waist and pull him towards himself.

"Would you like to see how the spell works from the inside?" Alec asked, muttering softly in his ear. Magnus looked at him in surprise, immediately meeting the uncertain smile of the younger man.

"I will not disturb you?"

"I will cast the spell only at the end, until then I should stick as close to the pentagram as possible. You are my date. You didn't think I could leave you alone with all these downworlders? They're just waiting for me to leave you," he whispered amused.

The gentle breath of the former Shadowhunter swept around Magnus's neck causing a shiver to run all over his body.

"Jealous?" he asked and laughed at Alec's answer.

"About you? Always."

Lightwood turned his back to him and made a gesture with both hands, which Magnus didn’t notice, causing the pentagram and the surrounding circles to glow in a golden light. His cat eyes watched with delight how the intricate spell came to life.

Megi went into the middle of the star and called out in a melodious voice.

"Let the ball begin!"

Chapter Text

On the right side of the ballroom stood a stage, on which a music band consisting of several seelies and vampires were spreading out their instruments. This ball did not remind him of the others in which Magnus had participated. There were no powdered wigs or ball gowns with heavy frames. Furthermore, he couldn’t imagine the guests running behind columns to empty their bladders or settle other physiological needs, which was what happened during the Renaissance, and even several hundred years later.

All guests were dressed elegantly and modernly. Of course, the men were wearing suits or tuxedos, some of them even outshining the women in terms of their sophistication. Magnus admired the diversity of people who had gathered. Somewhere underneath the dancing feet ran a five-year-old vampire, grinning broadly at the downworlders she passed and in return she received the same smiles. Nearby, a pale young girl with light blond hair danced tightly embraced by the arms of her partner, who was staring at her in love. They didn't mind that she was a vampire and he was a werewolf. In the middle of it all stood Magnus. Magnus Bane in the embrace of the love of his life. Once a Shadowhunter who was ready to become a vampire for him. His heart tightened as he remembered the last year he had spent without Alexander, thinking that he had lost him forever. He knew that he needed much more time for his mind to accept that he was no longer alone... And would never have to be? Alec was a warlock!

They swayed to the music for a long time, enjoying each other. However, this thought made Magnus freeze with his eyes wide open. Alec looked at him, concerned about the sudden change.

"Magnus?"

"You are a warlock," he repeated his earlier thought aloud.

Alec looked amused by this sudden revelation.

"Theoretically, yes," he confirmed, smiling gently while resuming the interrupted dance.

"Theoretically?" Magnus asked, carefully watching the younger man's face.

The former Shadowhunter winced slightly, but replied grimly.

"Megi was sure I would die when your father brought me to her. She had never seen a Shadowhunter with so much demonic blood," he announced, meeting the witch's worried look over Magnus's shoulder. She talked to a small group of guests in the second room, while casting short glances at them. "She could let me die or change me. I wasn't born a warlock, so she risked a lot when casting a spell on me," he noted, slightly shrugging. "She didn't have much choice."

"Every warlock comes to a point in his life when he must make a similar choice," Magnus said sadly. "Being immortal can be a curse. In particular, when we realize that we cannot share the eternity that awaits us with the people we love." Bane hunched slightly, hiding his face on Lightwood's shoulder. "The way Megi transformed you is the only one that allows a mortal to become a warlock. I know how this spell works and my heart is bleeding at the thought of you having to go through something like this."

"It wasn't that bad," blue-eyed answers hesitantly.

"Don't get me wrong, if it were as easy as you think, the entire Camille incident would not have happened."

Alec froze, "What do you mean?"

"I found this spell before we left for Paris," the warlock murmured, tightening his grip on the navy blue material of the other man's jacket.

"Why then..."

"You yourself said it was very risky. We wouldn't be sure it would work and I couldn't risk it." Golden-green cat eyes wandered down, focusing on the white buttons on Alec's shirt.

"It probably sounds like hypocrisy, but... why didn't you tell me? Maybe we could have thought of something together..." the former Shadowhunter whispered.

"You don't understand," Magnus replied, looking up at Alec's face. "Megi risked a lot by transforming you, but she didn't have to make the most difficult decision because your veins were already full of demonic blood. She saved your life."

Alec moved his hands to the older man's cheeks, pulling him into a kiss, then stepped back to look at the golden-green irises.

"Then I'm glad we don’t have to worry about this anymore," said the younger man, his blue eyes filled with love.

A vampire with dark hair and olive-green eyes entered the stage. Alec recognized him immediately. His name was Callum, he sang at every ball, so Lightwood immediately knew which song he would sing first. He hugged the warlock harder and kissed his cheek gently.

When the seelie girl, played on the piano first notes, Alec brought his lips close to Magnus's ear and began to sing, simultaneously with the singer, making the warlock freeze in his arms.

There goes my heart beating

'Cause you are the reason

I'm losing my sleep

Please come back now.

 

There goes my mind racing

And you are the reason

That I'm still breathing

I'm hopeless now.

 

The younger man felt Magnus's fingers tighten on his shoulders. He knew that it was because the warlock was trying to hide how much his hands were shaking.

 

I'd climb every mountain

And swim every ocean

Just to be with you

And fix what I've broken

Oh, 'cause I need you to see

That you are the reason.

 

The warlock sighed with a quiet "Oh, Alexander" hiding his face on his shoulder.

 

“T here goes my hands shaking

And you are the reason

My heart keeps bleeding

I need you now.

 

Alec moved away from his boyfriend, wanting to look at his face before repeating the next words of the song.

 

If I could turn back the clock

I'd make sure the light defeated the dark

I'd spend every hour, of every day

Keeping you safe.

 

I'd climb every mountain

And swim every ocean

Just to be with you

And fix what I've broken

Oh, 'cause I need you to see

That you are the reason!

 

Singing the last lines, he embraced the warlock's face and moved closer to him so that their foreheads almost touched.

 

I don't wanna fight no more

I don't wanna hide no more 

I don't wanna cry no more 

Come back, I need you to hold me,

A little closer now, just a little closer now

Come a little closer, 

I need you to hold me tonight.

 

Alec ignored the refrain that Callum sang in the background to wipe with his thumbs tears that fell from Magnus's eyes.

"By Lilith, you ruined my makeup," the warlock said accusingly, smiling through the tears that were still flowing from his eyes.

"It's waterproof," Alec murmured in his defense, but his last word was muffled by Magnus's mouth.

"You never told me that you can sing."

Alec shrugged, "You never asked? Also, all Nephilim are musical. You know ultimately that they came from the choirs of angels."

Magnus looked surprised at this information.

"You didn't know?"

"I had no idea," he said, tilting his head in a comical way. "But it's not like Shadowhunters talk about their vocal skills."

"That's because they think these things are a sign of weakness." Alec explained, amused.

"I think it makes sense now," said Magnus.

"Obviously."

"The song was beautiful. When you sang it, it felt as if the words were written especially for me," said the warlock looking at his boyfriend. He noticed, when younger man looked away at these words and the tips of his ears quickly reddened. He didn't need to ask to understand Alec's reaction. "You wrote it?!"

"Callum often comes to Mhapral and performs at balls. One evening, he accosted me in the lobby when he noticed me scribbling something in my notebook. He thought I was drawing, but when he saw that they were songs instead of sketches, he begged me to let him sing them."

"Alexander Gideon Lightwood, will you ever stop amazing me?" Magnus asked, his cat eyes burning with love.

"I hope not," Alec laughed in response, putting another kiss on the warlock's lips.

***

Four hours passed since the beginning of the ball. During this time, the number of circles surrounding the pentagram increased to fifteen. Alec noticed that with each subsequent minute the number of people connected to the barrier decreased.

‘If I cast a spell now, we're going to lose the barrier,’ Alec thought.

‘We can't risk it,’ he heard Megi's answer in his head, she was staring at him worriedly from the end of the room.

Alec saw that she whispered something to Laura with whom she was just dancing and after a while both were walking towards him.

Magnus, who was dancing next to him with Kiara in his arms, immediately noticed the movement in the crowd.

"What's going on?" he asked as the two women approached them, then quickly looked at Alec, who bit his lip nervously.

"It won't work," the younger man whispered and they could see panic slowly growing in his eyes.

"Everything will be fine," Megi said assuringly, grabbing his hand.

"We can't lose the barrier! Not today!" he gasped angrily, shaking his head.

Magnus put Kiara down and took Alec's other hand in his. "You can use more of my magic," he said. "I’m not tired."

Blue eyes rose on the warlock's face in which he saw confidence and love.

"I also have a lot in reserve. You don't have to save us,” Megi added, squeezing her fingers more tightly in his hand. "We can do it!"

Alec closed his eyes and breathed a few times, wanting to calm his heart that was beating wildly in his chest. When he opened them again, he saw Kiara's black eyes that were staring at him anxiously.

"Laura," he whispered pleadingly to the blonde who immediately knew what to do.

She came up to the little vampire and crouched beside her smiling.

"Claus, Megi and Magnus will cast a spell, so we must leave the circle so as not to disturb them," she told her calmly.

Kiara looked at him again. Alec nodded, and the little vampire grabbed Laura's hand and left the pentagram with her without protest.

Alec watched them until they left the pentagram,  and when he turned he saw two pairs of gold-green eyes staring intently at him.

"Are you okay?" Megi asked when her girlfriend disappeared into the crowd.

Alec nodded affirmatively. "I'll feel better when we have it over with."

Magnus reached for his sister's free hand. "Let's do it," he said smiling encouragingly at Alec, who was too nervous to smile back.

The younger man closed his eyes and breathed a few times. He sensed the magic of the people around him. Not only those who were in the ballroom, but also those outside. It was enough that they were within the barrier that ended several kilometers deep in the woods. Thanks to this, Alec knew that even with the help of Megi and Magnus, he would at least have to limit the size of the barrier.

For a split second there was silence in the room, which was broken by the familiar sound of golden rings breaking away from the floor with a quiet grinding. Alec felt the wind in his hair as the rings began to spin around the pentagram.

Magnus tightened his fingers on the hands of both companions, watching with fascination the golden light slowly surrounding Alec. The younger man's hair ruffled in the wind, which was caused by the rings that spun faster and faster. It wasn’t the first time that Magnus lent his magic to another warlock. The feelings remind him of an electric shock. Therefore, he was surprised when he felt nothing.

He turned away from his boyfriend to look questioningly at Megi, but before he could ask her anything, Alec let his own magic flow through his body. Magnus first wanted to fight it, but he suppressed his instinct and let his own magic slowly intertwine with the other, which slowly became more and more familiar to him with each passing day.

Magnus opened his eyes not quite sure when he closed them and looked at Alec, who had his brow furrowed as he muttered a spell. Between them in the center of the pentagram was a gold chain with a heart-shaped pendant. Magnus recognized him immediately.

Bila sêrbaz... Li ser vê rûkalê bisekinin… Wê hêzê bide demê ku dem biguheze! ” 

Alec recited that one sentence over and over. Louder and faster. The rings surrounding them were obviously trying to match his speed, for they were spinning so fast that they could barely see the people on the opposite side. The words he said slowly merged so much that they resembled cry more than a spell.

'Claus! The barrier!' Magnus froze when he heard his sister's warning cry. He could feel her fear.

Bane immediately understood what her fear was directed at. The number of rotating rings decreased very quickly. If the spell absorbed the accumulated magic at such a pace... They won't be able to keep the barrier.

“Qedandin!” Alec shouted. At the same time gold pendant flashed intensely with gold magic, throwing them away from the center of the pentagram.

Magnus fell on his back with such force that he lost his breath for a few seconds.

"Magnus! Are you ok!" he heard a muffled female voice. It sounded like someone was stuffing cotton wool in his ears. He felt a cold hand clamp on his shoulder. He blinked several times to clear his vision. "Breathe!" he heard more clearly. He took a deep breath and opened his eyes, meeting Laura's worried look. The woman breathed a sigh of relief, quickly looking to the opposite side of the ballroom. Magnus tried to get up and gritted his teeth as a sudden wave of pain passed through his whole body.

"Relax... You shouldn't get up."

"It worked?" he asked in a hoarse voice. When he didn't get the answer, he looked up at her. The vampire's mouth was set in a thin line, her eyes staring at something a few meters to the left of them. Magnus followed her gaze and gasped when he saw several warlocks surrounding the still body lying on the floor.

"Alec..." he whispered through his clenched throat. "Alexander..."

He tried to get up, but Laura's strong hand prevented him. His eyes burned when he felt tears welling up in them. He tried to push the vamp away, but he didn't have enough strength.

"Magnus... you need to calm down," she said to him in a low tone that she wanted to soothe him. However, he didn’t want to be calm. He wanted to scream. Begging her to let him go, but he had no strength.

"Alec..." he repeated before darkness enveloped him.

Chapter Text

Magnus was awakened by a strange sound. It was like a huge animal was sharpening its claws on the bark of a tree.

His eyelids were heavy, his whole body was one big bundle of pain. He took a deep breath and almost choked. The air around him was dry and heavy. It did not match the humid climate of Mhapral.

The warlock gathered his strength and slowly opened his eyes, blinking several times. He inhaled sharply when he realized he was no longer in India. Magnus looked nervously around the room and he felt panic rising slowly inside him.

He was pinned on chains, which someone mounted on a large wooden beam under the ceiling. His feet barely touched a dark carpet representing a horde of demons devouring a human body. There were no paintings on the mahogany brick walls. Heavy black curtains surrounded medium-sized windows, showing Magnus a black desert. The ruby glow pouring into the room came from the scarlet sky over which winged demons fly.

He was in hell.

How did he get here? The last thing he remembered was the ball in the hotel and the spell Alec cast, and then...

"Alexander!" He called, not caring that he might bring a demon attention to himself. "Alexander!"

"Look who finally woke up."

Magnus froze. A shudder ran through his whole body when he heard a voice that sounded like a monstrous chorus in his head.

Shit! This is a Greater Demon!

Could Alec have casted a spell which was used to summon a demon? He said he had difficulty translating it. Maybe someone lied to him?

"The Great Magnus Bane," he heard derisive laughter right at his ear. "The only warlock who managed to get rid of my mark. I've waited so long for our meeting."

"Midas ..." Magnus choked through the lump in his throat.

All his fear vanished into unrestrained anger when a young man with dark beige skin and coal-black hair stood before him. His golden eyes glistened in the dim light like two small suns. There was a sneering smile on his lips.

"Where is Alec!" Magnus spat angrily. He jerked violently, but the chains didn’t budge. "If you did something to him..."

The demon shook his head threatening him with a finger as if he were a naughty child. "You should worry about yourself. Don't you think you're not in a position to make threats, warlock? "

Magnus was trembling. He almost boiled with rage inside . He could hear the sound of his own blood in his ears, his heart was beating so fast. If only he had his hands free. He gritted his teeth when another tug at the chains damaged the skin around his wrists.

"Stop thrashing, you'll get your blood on my carpet," Midas said accusingly.

Magnus wanted to cast some sharp retort, but at that moment someone else appeared in the room. A man dressed in black armor made of dragon scales. He knelt before Midas on one knee. His left hand was on the hilt of a silver sword strapped to his belt, while his right was on his knee. His head, covered with a storm of black hair, was bowed. He had a long cape attached to his armor, the material of which was black from the outside and red from the inside.

"Did you call me, prince?" the newcomer asked in a deep voice Magnus would recognize everywhere.

"Alexander?" he whispered barely audibly, but the man's head jerked up as if Magnus shouted his name out loud.

Magnus stared in horror at the man’s wide-open blue eyes. He looked the same but completely different. The black hair tied at the nape of his neck was much longer than what Claus wore. The pale skin was hidden under the armor, only the milk-white face and the neck with the black deflect rune visible to the eyes. The man's left cheek adorned Midas Mark, the golden hand.

"What's this supposed to mean?" the Shadowhunter ask Midas coldly. He rose without turning his eyes from the imprisoned warlock.

Magnus gasped, noticing more differences. This man was unbelievably tall, definitely taller than he was. However, his attention was caught by delicate wrinkles at the corners of the Shadowhunter's eyes. If Magnus were to judge his age, he would give him something like thirty years.

"You have often objected to me recently, which is why I brought you a little encouragement," he heard Midas sneeringly laugh. The prince came up to Magnus, grabbed his hair and pulled his head back to be able to look into his golden-green cat's eyes.

"Midas," Alec hissed warningly, hearing the soft groan of protest from the warlock.

The Golden Mark on the Shadowhunter's face flashed for a second, causing him to cry out in surprise rather than pain.

"Don't forget your place!" the demon said, glaring at him.

"Send him away," he heard a menacing growl in response that echoed throughout the chamber.

Magnus felt his hair bristling on his neck. It must be some kind of sick joke. Bad dream. Soon he would wake up in bed next to Alec. His Alec.

Midas's mocking laughter of thousands of voices pierced the silence.

"You still don’t get it, warlock?! Your Alec has never left my kingdom!"

"No..." Magnus cried, looking into his boyfriend's face. He noticed with pain that Alexander's eyes, although they were still incredibly blue, looked as if their owner was dead inside.

"This fool loved you and his family so much that he sacrificed his own freedom to keep you safe." Midas turned to the Shadowhunter, who clenched his fists with such force that blood began to drip on the floor. "Do you know that Magnus wanted to offer the Greater Demon his immortality in exchange for bringing you home?"

Alec didn't answer stubbornly, staring into Magnus's eyes.

"Hm, are you silent?" Midas mused, letting go of the warlock's hair to approach the tense Hunter. "Do you still think I haven't found out about your little trick? Remind me Magnus, what is your lover's name? Claudius? I know! Claus, right?"

Magnus flinched when he heard that name from Midas's mouth. He couldn't know that. It was Megi, who named him that.

"Did you like a gift from your boyfriend, Bane?" Midas turned to face Magnus, throwing his arm over Lightwood's shoulders. "You fell in love with a very noble boy. Knowing that you were suffering, with the help of Asmodeus, he created from a scrap of his soul a perfect replacement. He knew that he would never leave hell, he would never see you, but he did everything so that you would never be alone. Isn't that romantic? "

"Send him away." Alec repeated again, completely ignoring the demon mad monologue.

"I just brought him here, Alexander," Midas laughed. "He is here especially for you. Isn't that what you dreamed about? To be able to embrace him again? Feel the taste of his lips? Remember the shape of his body?"

"Enough!" Alec called, pushing him away, a look of disgust on his face. It was the first emotion that appeared on his face.

"I expect obedience, Alexander," Midas said firmly, crossing his arms over his chest. "What is your answer?"

"As you wish, prince," Alec replied dryly, bowing his head.

"Fantastic," the demon grinned showing his snow-white teeth and clapped his hands happily as he headed for the door. "You have ten minutes." After these words he disappeared.

"It's impossible," the warlock still chained to the wall whispered.

Suddenly the chains let go and Magnus fell in surprise, painfully bumping his knees. He quickly looked up and flinched when it turned out that the blue irises were just in front of his face.

"Are you okay?" their owner asked with concern, reaching out to the warlock to help him up.

Magnus flinched again and pulled away from the man. How is this possible!? Alexander is safe in Mhapral. He must be. Bane clenched his eyelids harder, from under which a continuous stream of tears flowed out.

"Magnus," a familiar warm voice whispered.

"No, please," the warlock sobbed. "This can’t be true."

For a long moment, all he could hear was his quiet sob.

"I'm sorry."

Magnus suddenly opened his eyes to these words.

"This can't be true," he repeated again. He heard a violent ringing in his ear caused by a violent heartbeat. He was running out of air. He knew that this could result in unconsciousness, which he couldn't afford in the current situation.

"Breathe, Magnus," Alec's voice came to him as if from afar. "Everything will be fine." Lightwood's blue eyes darkened with sadness as he spoke his next words. "It's just a bad dream. You have to wake up Magnus. Wake up!"

***

“Magnus!”

The warlock opened his eyes and rose from the bed, gasping for breath.

"Hey, it was just a bad dream," he heard a quiet calming whisper in his ear, and only then did he realize he was in a hotel room in Mhapral. It was dark outside. Stars shone brightly in the night sky. And he sat on the bed in Alexander's strong embrace. He turned in his arms to look into the blue eyes.

"What happened?" he asked the former Shadowhunter in a hoarse voice.

"You had a nightmare," Alec said, kissing him gently on the temple. "You were tossing on the bed and called my name. What did you dream of?"

Magnus opened his mouth to answer, but then closed it. He frowned in confusion. Did he dream about something? Definitely associated with Alexander. But what?

"I don't remember," he answered honestly, shrugging. Alec stared at him with concern, he looked like he wanted to ask about the nightmare again, but Magnus headed him off saying, "What about the spell? It worked?"

"Yes, it worked. Barely," Alec replied, quickly adding. "I'm sorry."

"For what?" Magnus looked confused. "You did nothing wrong."

"I almost killed you and Megi," the younger man sighed resignedly and replied, "I was so afraid that we would not be able to keep the barrier, that I had to instinctively draw some magic from hell. The pentagram is not adapted to it, which is why it rejected it and did the same with us," said Alec in a contrite voice.

"I remember! You lay still on the ground. I thought you were dead!" cried Magnus accusingly, hitting his chest. He didn’t put too much strength into it.

"I'm fine," he replied seriously, tightening his arms around Magnus's body. "Besides, you don't have to worry about losing me again. There are so many things I haven't told you about, I still have the feeling that I'm forgetting something," said Alec, his blue eyes looking at the warlock with love.

Magnus listened carefully, but for some reason Lightwood's next words merged into one sound. He knew what he heard, but his fearful mind refused to accept it fully because he was afraid it would all be a joke. This is Alexander. His Alexander. He would never do such a thing to him.

"What did you say?" Magnus asked, knowing that he had simply misheard.

"You don't have to worry about losing me again." Alec repeated helpfully, a gentle smile wandering on his lips.

"Not it! Earlier! What did you say earlier! " Magnus abruptly grabbed him by both arms.

"I can't be killed."

"It's impossible," the elder warlock insisted. "There are no people in the world that cannot be killed."

"And yet," Alec shrugged, his arms still in Magnus's iron grip.

"How can you know that? Just because you survived Midas' doesn't mean that you suddenly become indestructible." Alec shuddered at these words. Which Magnus did not notice, continuing. "You shouldn't make fun of it!"

“I’m not making fun of it,” he answered seriously. There was something dark in his voice. Magnus opened his mouth to protest, but Alec interrupted him. “When I discovered it, I also thought it was fate’s sick joke.”

“Why?” Magnus asked, contrary to common sense, which told him that he must dream of it all.

The former Shadowhunter’s voice filled with sorrow, causing Magnus’ heart to squeeze in pain. 

“At first I remembered that I was a Shadowhunter and that I used to kill beings like Megi and Laura. Then I remembered my family and my father’s words... Robert’s words about the downworlders. Spoken with contempt and disgust. When memories of Midas, what he had done to me, began to come back to me, I lost control.”

“You’ve told me about it, before,” Magnus said, not understanding why they were going back to this conversation again.

“Yes, but I didn’t tell you that as soon as I woke up, I tried to kill myself for the first time.”

Magnus released him immediately, taking two steps back, looking as if someone had hit him in the stomach.

"For the first time?" the warlock asked in a weak voice. "It means that…"

"I've tried many times. In many different ways."

"Why are you telling me this?" Magnus asked, his cat eyes staring at Alec as if he were a stranger.

"Because it was memories of you that made me stop trying to kill myself and went begging Megi for help."

Magnus closed his eyes and took a deep breath, trying to calm his raging heart. Memories flashed through his head about his mother who committed suicide by hanging herself in the barn when she understood what her son was. Alexander's words made these memories and their feelings revive.

When the golden-green eyes again looked at the younger man, they were full of tears. Alec gasped, immediately embracing the warlock.

"Forgive me," he whispered, his breath ruffling Magnus's tangled hair. "I wasn't thinking straight back then." Magnus shivered in his arms.

"I'm sorry you had to go through this," Magnus's voice was muffled by Alexander's shirt material.

"You don't have to apologize to me," said the younger man. "It wasn't your fault."

"If I were only more open about my past, you would never go to Camille for information. You would never drink her blood. You would still be a Shadowhunter," Magnus continued, as if he had not heard Alec's soothing words at all.

"Magnus, no," he gasped, wanting to pull the warlock away from him to look into his eyes, but Magnus's arms tightened around him effectively prevented him to do so. "Magnus, please look at me," he begged, brushing strands of hair from Bane's forehead, trying to see at least a scrap of his face.

"You did it all for me, so I wouldn't have to be lonely and I couldn't save you."

Magnus sobbed loudly, which made Alec's heart stop for a split second when he heard the despair behind it. The former Shadowhunter began to gently sway back and forth, trying to calm his boyfriend in this way.

Alec knew that his disappearance had a huge impact on Magnus and promised himself that he would do anything to make the warlock feel confident and secure in their relationship again.

Chapter Text

Alec sat against the headboard, watching over Magnus, who managed to finally fall asleep.

It might seem that the information about Alec being kidnapped by Midas was so far the worst he could pass to Magnus. Therefore, Lightwood had completely not expected the breakdown he had led his boyfriend to by telling him that he was trying to kill himself.

When he thought about that period of time, everything seemed hazy. He had created the Bond with Megi, but not consciously. In the end, her magic was unable to fill the hole in his heart that had formed after losing his love for Magnus and his Parabatai bond. He had no memories that would keep him alive. Only pain and suffering.

“Alexander?”

The younger man looked down at the warlock's sleepy face, cursing himself silently as he saw the dark circles under his eyes.

"Hey," the blue-eyed man whispered as he brushed a strand of hair from his lover's forehead, hugging him tighter.

"Why aren’t you asleep?" Magnus asked hoarsely.

Alec snapped his fingers, summoning a glass full of cool water to his hand.

“Drink this,” he encouraged, helping Magnus sit up. The warlock reached for the glass, draining it with two gulps. "Better?" the younger man asked softly.

Magnus nodded in response. Alec toyed with the hem of the quilt, avoiding the keen eyes of the warlock he sensed on himself.

"Alexander, I..."

"You can't blame yourself," he interrupted, looking up at him. “During this past year I did a lot of stupid and irresponsible things that made me suffer. If you blame yourself for everything bad that happened to me, I…” Alec gripped Magnus's hand tighter, which he kept in his. “I don't want to hide anything from you and I don't want to lie to you. However, I will if it spares you from suffering. Even if it makes you hate me later."

Magnus opened his mouth, but closed it almost immediately. Alec knew perfectly well what was on his mind. The man had to know he was not kidding. After all, he has shown many times that he was able to keep things from Magnus if he could spare him pain.

"I'll try," the warlock said softly, his fingers gripping Alec's hand. "Such an assurance is enough for you?"

"It must be," Alec replied with a sigh as he put his arm around Magnus again.

"Anything else I should know?" The question caused the former Shadowhunter's body to immediately tense. "Alexander?"

"I..." Alec began, but he broke off quickly, not knowing if it was a good idea to talk about it.

"Just tell me," said Magnus. "You can't hide such things from me and then throw them on me like a bomb when I least expect it."

Alec heard the fear in Magnus's voice. He knew his boyfriend wouldn't like what else he had to say. He swallowed hard, gathering the courage to speak. He can feel a pair of cat eyes watching him intently.

"I'm a demon..."

"What nonsense?!" Magnus replied indignantly, straightening up immediately. Alec's arm fell to the pillow Magnus had been leaning against.

"Magnus, just listen to me..."

"Stop it! You are the kindest and most selfless person I have met in my entire life. Demons aren't like that,” Magnus continued arguing, not giving Alec time to protest. "They always think only of their own interests, they don’t care about bloodlines and oaths unless they are part of some deal."

The younger man sighed in resignation, tilting his head back, leaning it against the headboard, while closing his eyes. Magnus's words were drowned out by the magic that kept buzzing under his skin ready for him to use at any moment. 

The spell they cast on Kiara's necklace required a great deal of magic. Alec sensed Magnus's reserves still needed time to replenish. His own were back to normal an hour after the ball was over.

"Alexander?" Blue eyes moved to the warlock's worried face.

“I never leave the hotel during the day. I am not doing this because of Kiara. Didn't you wonder why the windows are always covered when you wake up? "

"Photophobia?" Magnus joked awkwardly, but there was a hint of panic in his voice.

"When I realized the sun was burning me, I first thought it was because of Camille's blood," Alec said, holding up both of his hands to look at them. He would never forget the searing pain as his skin began to sizzle and crack, as if someone had burned him over an open fire. "I've spent so much time in hell... I don't think this theory will turn out to be more than just a false hope." After these words, he lowered his hands, clenching his fingers on his knees until his knuckles turned white.

After that, there was a silence between them, weighing down on Alec like a stone tied around his neck. His lack of confidence only fueled the growing negative thoughts in his head. What if Magnus decides that Alec isn't worth it after all? What if he doesn't want to be with him anymore?

"Alexander," the warlock whispered, caressing his cheeks gently. “You are an amazing man, ready to sacrifice your own happiness for the benefit of others. I have never met another person who would love as much and selflessly as you, my dear." Alec's heart squeezed in his chest at these words. “When you fell in love with me, it didn't bother you that I was half demon. Then why do you think it might bother me?"

"It's not the same," the former Shadowhunter whispered, unable to meet Magnus' eyes.

The warlock cupped Alec's face in both hands, forcing him to look him in the eye.

"You are so strong, Alexander," Magnus whispered, and Alec could feel his breath on his mouth, which he opened to protest, but was interrupted by Magnus' next words. “People change when something bad happens to them. But you, my dear, have remained the same generous, loyal and loving boy I met two years ago." He spoke while kissing his eyes, cheeks, nose, and finally his mouth. “The time you spent in Hell left scars on your soul, but you chose not to let them draw you into the dark. This is what distinguishes us warlocks from demons."

"Warlocks?" Alec asked hopefully.

"Yes, warlocks," Magnus confirmed with confidence in his voice. “You are a warlock, Alexander. One of the best I've met in my long life. You are twenty years old and you have already accomplished more than many before you."

"Twenty-five," Alec corrected him looking away.

"Excuse me?"

Alec sighed and repeated, "I turned twenty-five in September."

"Oh," the blue eyes instantly shifted to Magnus's face. Alec could almost see the gears turning in the warlock's head as he quickly calculated the time from Alec's disappearance to their reunion in Mhapral. The corners of Magnus's mouth slowly dropped as a painful expression crossed his face. "It means that…"

“Magnus, please. It doesn't matter anymore,” Alec tried to contain the inevitable remorse Magnus must have felt.

"Six years," he said weakly, hiding his face in the crook of Alec's neck. Lightwood felt Magnus's hands gripping tightly on the fabric of his shirt, probably trying ineptly to hide how much they were shaking. “If Asmodeus hadn't helped you get out of there, I would never have seen you again. After this year you would be..."

"Magnus," Alec sighed, brushing the strands of hair from the warlock's forehead. "It doesn't matter," he repeated, pushing him away to meet his golden-green eyes. “I am here and I am alive. We're both here. You haven't lost me. Please, let’s not go back to this anymore."

Alec watched with concern as Magnus closed his eyes and sighed several times. When he looked at him again, Alec tried to pour all the love he felt for him into his blue irises. For a split second he saw surprise on Magnus's face, but it quickly turned into tenderness.

Alec had often caught Magnus staring at him, with surprise all over his face as he just realized Alec really loved him.

"I love you so much, Alexander."

Blue eyes burned like a fire made of sea wood.

"I love you, Magnus Bane, and no matter what happens to us in the future, I want you to know that I will always find you and always come back to you. No matter what."

 

***

They spent the next day watching Kiara. She had already grown two centimeters overnight to Alec's satisfaction. At this rate, she would be looking like fourteen in a matter of weeks.

Alec along with Megi, Laura and Magnus split up so that someone could always keep an eye on Kiara while trying to teach her the basics she would need to know. Laura continued vampirology and hunger control classes with her. Alec, gave self-defense lessons and taught her about the shadow world. Megi focused on the basics of the law, and Magnus was helping her, while introducing the other three adults to the details of the Cold Peace .

Laura and Megi were sitting hugging each other on the loveseat. Magnus took the sofa, dragging Alec, who rested his head on his shoulder without protest. Kiara, on the other hand, lay down on the soft, colorful rug, staring at Magnus with curiosity.

Alec tightened his fingers on Magnus', trying to keep his magic in check as the other man talked about how the Clave treated their friend Helen and her brother Mark, just because they were half seelie.

"It's not fair," Kiara said reproachfully, clenching her tiny fingers into fists. “Weren't they also Shadowhunters? Why did this whole Clave ban them?"

A week has passed since Kiara started wearing the enchanted necklace and she could easily pass as a seven-year-old. She absorbed all the knowledge passed on to her as quickly as she grew.

“The Clave feared Helen and Mark would betray them. However, the Consul made her final decision on the matter to protect Helen from retribution from the other Shadowhunters. "

“Why exactly did the council take such drastic measures? I understand that the Seelie Queen betrayed them by conspiring with Jonathan, but her people only obeyed her orders. Why did the Clave punish the entire race for decisions made by their Queen?" Alec asked, trying to understand the situation.

“I don’t know the answer to that question. I keep asking myself that everyday." Alec felt a warm breath against his temple as Magnus sighed in resignation. "Pureblood Seelie can't lie, but we found out during the war that this doesn't apply to half-blood one," he added quietly after a moment.

"How did you discover it?" Laura asked. "I doubt the seelie would willingly share this kind of a secret easily."

Everyone looked at Magnus, waiting for his reply. Alec leaned on his shoulder and immediately felt the warlock's body tense.

“When the Seelie Queen sided with Jonathan, she didn’t participate in the Shadoworld council. Knowing that she wouldn’t be able to hide it from us, she appointed one of her confidants as the seelie’s representative, who turned out to be a half-blood Seelie. The meeting was held in their realm so Meliorn had no problem trapping us,” he finished with a trembling voice.

Alec's hands wrapped around Magnus's waist, pulling them closer together.

"You're safe," Alec whispered straight into the warlock's ear, placing a gentle kiss on his cheek, at which Magnus smiled radiantly, forgetting the unpleasant memories.

Megi's amused voice broke through their bubble of happiness. "You're disgustingly cute."

Alec flushed as he remembered they were still in the living room being watched by their companions. He cleared his throat in embarrassment, straightening himself while still maintaining physical contact with Magnus, whose golden eyes were filled with love and gratitude.

***

The next few days passed with a carefree peace that everyone welcomed with relief. Alec and Magnus decided to use this peace of mind, trying to make the best use of their free time. When they were not teaching Kiara, they devoted themselves to their own lessons. Magnus enjoyed teaching Alec how to use magic. Alexander in thanks, showed Magnus how to activate and charge the barrier.

When they returned to their room after an eventful day, they both fell asleep as soon as their heads touched the pillows.

The next morning, Magnus awoke before Alec for the first time since they met again. The warlock liked to watch worry disappear from his boyfriend’s face while he slept.

Heavy dark curtains prevented the morning sun from penetrating the room, so Magnus lit a few candles on the bedside table with a snap of his fingers, causing the warm reflections to diffuse throughout the room.

The flames made Alec pale skin take on a golden hue. Magnus's hands slowly touched the younger man's bare shoulder, then slid down onto his back and down his spine. His hand followed his lips, kissing his arm, then both scars that were right between Alexander's shoulder blades. Magnus focused on them a moment longer, purring contentedly as he heard the ex-Shadowhunter mumble softly in his sleep, burying his face against the pillow.

The warlock put his lips just below the line of Alec's black hair, placing gentle kisses on his neck. Magnus's hands freely roamed the pale body, slowly caressing every inch of the exposed skin.

Wanting to be as close to his beloved as possible, Magnus threw one leg over the sleeping man's hips. The thin duvet was not able to hide the perfectly round buttocks of his boyfriend. He wanted to slide a hand between these two perfect halves just to feel how hot Alec was inside there. A shiver ran through the warlock's entire body. He tried to calm his rapid breathing as well as his lustful thoughts rushing at dizzying speed.

Magnus noticed that Alec was reluctant to let him take the initiative during sex. When Magnus tried to be on top, Alec quickly switched them so he ended at the bottom instead.

Initially, Magnus thought it was due to his boyfriend's natural shyness, but when the whole thing happened again for the third time, he decided to talk to Alec about it.

Magnus's tanned hand gently stroked the black hair of the sleeping man, while his golden eyes stared at his face with tenderness mixed with worry.

Alec was lying on his stomach with his hands tucked under the pillow, his face turned towards Magnus. The slightly pink thin lids reminded him of flower petals that concealed a pair of incredibly blue eyes that could open at any moment to look at him.

Magnus groaned softly, still unable to believe that this blindingly handsome man was his to love and cherished.

Bane lifted up on his elbow and slipped his hand under the pillow, wanting to interlace his fingers with Alec's, while bending down to kiss his forehead. As he did so, he pressed his torso against Lightwood's back, which made him immediately feel like his previously relaxed body tense under him violently.

“Alec?”

Magnus heard Alec sucked in a breath and tugged at the hands Magnus had unconsciously held with his.

"No," Magnus froze when Alec gasped.

"Alexander?" The warlock propped himself up on his elbows to look at Alec and felt his heart contract painfully at the sight of a frown and downward curved lips on his boyfriend’s face. The former Shadowhunter's eyes were dim, but Magnus saw that their wonderful blue colour had disappeared completely obscured by the blackness.

"Alexander, it's just a dream," Magnus whispered, taking his hands from Alec's wrists so he could cup his face. In the same second, Alec leapt up, nearly hitting Magnus on the nose, with the back of his head. Bane embraced him immediately, but Alec broke free with a scream that chilled Magnus's blood.

“Alec?”

"No!" he shouted, backing away from him. He looked nervously around the room. His body was stretched to the limit, ready to defend itself at any moment should the need arise.

"Alexander, it's just a bad dream," Magnus repeated in a low tone that he hoped would calm the younger man. "You are safe." As he spoke, he held out one hand towards him, but immediately retracted it when one red warning spark fired at him.

Alec was breathing hard. His face turned pale and his body was covered with goosebumps. He clenched one hand on the sheets, he held the other in front of himself in a defensive gesture. More red sparks flickered between his shaking fingers.

"Alexander," Magnus whispered, trying to hide how much his voice was trembling. "Hey, everything’s fine." He spoke softly raising his hands up showing that he wasn’t a threat to him. "You are safe. It's me, Magnus. "

Alec shook his head violently, his eyes wandering wildly across the room, focusing on nothing in particular, but still watching him closely. Magnus winced as he saw how difficult it was for Alec to catch every breath.

“You are safe, my love. You are safe. Let me help you," he repeated, trying to slowly get closer to him, but he quickly gave it up when a short "no"escaped Alec's throat before he jerked backwards almost falling off the bed.

Magnus stared speechless at his boyfriend's terrified face.

“Alexander, please, it's me, Magnus. I want to help you," he tried to convince him, but in vain. Alec didn't recognize him.

Suddenly the door to the room burst open revealing Megara's alarmed face. One look was enough for her to understand what had happened. She lunged towards Alec, hugging him tightly, ignoring the breaking cry of protest that escaped his throat.

"Easy, Claus!" She called out as Alec was still trying to break free from her embrace. “This is not happening! You are safe! These are just memories, bad dreams!"

Magnus stared at the scene with a sense of helplessness and fear as more and more red sparks ran through Alec's body.

“It's just a dream, Claus! You are safe!" Magnus saw Alec jerk once more in her arms before Megi's repeated words broke through his foggy mind. “It's okay, tinee ,” she whispered, still holding him in her embrace even when Alec stopped struggling. 

Magnus froze as he heard a tender word in Hindi that his sister used to call Alec.

The woman was rocking the boy who was trembling in her arms. Slowly she moved one hand over his black hair, gently stroking it.

"Everything will be fine, you're safe," she whispered, gesturing for Magnus to move closer to them.

"Magnus is here, he is very worried about you..."

At these words, Alec tore his head from the women's shoulder, turning his face towards Magnus, who sobbed as he spotted the blue irises.

"Magn ..." Alec stuttered, still gasping for air.

"I'm here," said Magnus in a shaky voice, hugging both of them. "I'm here, Alexander."

They sat there for a long time, trying to calm Alec's pounding heart with tender words.

"Sorry ..." Alec muttered hoarsely, hiding his face on Magnus's shoulder.

“You have to stop apologizing for everything, you didn't do anything wrong,” said Magnus, trying to conceal how badly this situation had affected him.

"Magnus is right," Megi added, standing up. “I don't know why the spell stopped working. There are still a few weeks until its renewal."

"Spell? The one that erases memories? " Magnus asked carefully, as if afraid of an answer. When Megi nodded in confirmation, Magnus froze, clenching his arms tighter around the younger man's huddled body. Could it be… No, it couldn't! But what if… Magnus wanted to bang his head against the wall. “Could anything trigger these memories? For example... something I did?" he asked softly, looking away.

Megi said "It's possible," at the same time Alec replied "no". The former Shadowhunter gave his friend a fierce glare that might even scare her if he didn't look so exhausted.

Magnus realized from the way the expression on their faces changed that he had been excluded from the conversation again. He sighed and hunched slightly, as always when the two of them displayed their Bond before his eyes. He didn't know if he would ever get over it. He couldn't control it yet.

"I touched your back," said Magnus in a subdued voice. "I thought since you don't have those scars anymore... Then maybe..." He paused, waiting for some reaction from them. He only looked up when he heard the soft sound of the door closing. Megi left the room, leaving them alone. Magnus swallowed nervously.

"Hey, look at me," he immediately obeyed when he heard Alec's pleading voice. Blue eyes stared at him intently with a concern he didn't deserve. Magnus opened his mouth to break the silence, but Alec beat him to it. "I love you."

The warlock blinked a few times in surprise, completely not expecting such an answer. He crossed the only boundary they had in their relationship. Why wasn't Alec angry with him? He wanted to ask about it, but the other man's soft lips stopped him. When he pulled away a moment later, all he saw in his blue eyes was love.

"The last time my memory started to come back, I almost turned the river into a lake," Alec said, taking his face in both hands. "Only thanks to you, there was no disaster today."

"I did nothing," Magnus quickly denied.

"Your voice, Magnus," his eyes almost shone in the dim light. "When you started talking to me, I knew it was just a memory because..."

"I was never in there."

Alec nodded, drawing him for another kiss.

“I was confused when I heard your voice and I saw the landscape of the abyss before my eyes.” he admitted frankly, resting his head on the warlock's shoulder.

Magnus looked down, feeling Alec unconsciously running his fingers along the back of his hand. The golden flames licked their hands lazily and pleasant warmth spread over his entire body. Magnus let his blue magic slowly fuse with Alec's which made them both shiver.

Magnus had never felt anything like this. He had cast spells with other warlocks, but he had never felt so close to any of them. Their magic seemed to attract each other. It danced through their veins, penetrating their bodies like the most tender caress.

Alec moaned, drawing the other man's attention. His blue eyes were filled with tears, but a bewildered smile wandered across his lips. 

Magnus understood him perfectly. The feelings that filled him didn’t belong to him, but to Alexander. Was that what his sister had felt all the time? This overwhelming joy, love and…

"What is it?" Alec asked, trembling.

"My magic," Magnus watched his boyfriend warily while goose bumps covered his body.

"Magnus..." Alec gasped as another strong shiver ran through his body. "Wh... what are you doing?"

"Can you feel it?" the warlock whispered, blowing his hot breath on the other men’s neck. He slowly brought their clasped hands to his lips, placing a gentle kiss on the back of Alec's. Each subsequent caress made the golden magic that filled him pulsate faster and harder, like a heart beating with excitement. "Tell me you can feel it too, Alexander."

"I… I can..." he curled up, hiding his flushed face in the crease of Magnus's neck. "Your magic... I can't… It’s too..."

They both screamed as an intense wave of pleasure passed through their bodies almost knocking them out.

The warlock had no idea how he managed not to reach again for the golden magic he could still feel under his skin. He let his power fade away slowly and almost came again when he heard a soft moan of loss escaping Alec's throat.

All he wanted at that moment was to delve into this incredible bliss that they had accidentally discovered when they combined their magic. For this one short moment that seemed like an eternity to them, they were able to sense each other's feelings. To think that it started with a little love, which, fueled by the other’s feelings, quickly escalated into burning lust, leading them to incredible orgasms.

"Wow," Alec blurted out as soon as he got his voice back.

"Wow, indeed," Magnus confirmed, with a snap of his finger, removing embarrassing evidence. "I admit that I did not expect it."

The boy looked up at him curiously. "You've never done this before?"

"Not like that," he replied with a shrug. “Channeling your energy with a warlock requires a lot of trust as it makes you vulnerable making you an easy target to influence. With your energy you give access to your feelings and thoughts, so few would dare to do something like this."

"I don't remember feeling it so intensely when I lent you my power during the battle on Valentine's ship," he remarked, yawning loudly.

Magnus looked at him fondly and beckoned the quilt with his finger, which rose above the bed, slowly covering their bodies.

"Normally, channeling magic is a one-way action," Magnus began, curling his fingers into Alexander's dark hair. "I know I shouldn't have done this without your permission, but when I felt and saw your magic on my skin..." he shivered, remembering the feeling. "My power has reached for yours by itself."

Alec was curled up under the covers, looking like he was in deep thought. The silence wasn’t the awkward one, so Magnus pressed his face against Alec's hair inhaling with pleasure the mixed scent of burned vanilla, sandalwood, sweat and sex; all of this was the essence of their love.

“At first, it reminded me of my Bond with Megi. But I've never felt it that way," Alec announced breaking the silence.

"Hmmm," the warlock muttered slowly, tightening his arms around Alec’s body. "You love her?" Alec froze at the words, so Magnus added reassuringly. "It's not a test, no matter what you answer, I won't be angry."

"She's like an older sister to me," he muttered.

Magnus smiled and said with a sigh, "I never thought I'd say this, but... I'm glad you have a Bond with her." Seeing a flash of pain in Alec’s eyes, he added quickly. “Just think about it. Looking at how quickly an innocent feeling turned into such a powerful lust, it would probably take us several months to compose ourselves enough to even leave the bed."

Alec shivered and laughed out loud, "imagine Jace's face. By the Angel, we would be terrible."

"We would be even worse," Magnus muttered right into his slightly parted lips. "With our combined magic, we would never feel tired or hungry."

“We could literally never leave our bed,” Alec finished in a voice hoarse with excitement. "How would we ever stop?"

Magnus pressed their lips together in a hot kiss. After that they settled, and made themselves comfortable, trying to rest before the challenges of the new day.

Chapter Text

When Alec woke up an hour later, Magnus was still asleep. There was a slight smile on his relaxed face. The former Shadowhunter sighed, reaching out to brush a strand of hair from his forehead. Even though his touch was very gentle, Magnus's breathing suddenly changed. He groaned in his sleep and turned on his back.

"Good morning," said Alec, bending down to place a gentle kiss on the warlock's slightly parted lips. "Did you sleep well?"

Magnus squeezed his eyes tighter and blinked several times before his golden-green eyes focused on the familiar face and pair of blue irises.

"What time is it," he muttered hoarsely, stretching like a cat. Alec stared at his taut stomach muscles, moving like perfect machinery beneath the dark skin. Didn't his boyfriend look like the work of the greatest sculptor? "Alexander?"

Alec shook himself out of his thoughts, focusing on Magnus's again. "Yes? Did you say something?"

"I asked what time it is?" repeated the amused warlock, smiling fondly at him.

"Oh, it's almost noon," Alec replied, kissing him again.

"Mhhh, watch out, or I'll get used to it," Magnus laughed as he tangled his fingers into the other man's black hair as he deepened the kiss.

"What if that was my plan from the very beginning?" Alec teases him, moving his lips to Magnus's neck. "To make you fall in love with me so much that you would not be able to live without me?"

Magnus sucked in a breath and swapped them in one motion, pinning Alec's body against the mattress. "You already did, darling," he whispered straight into his mouth, stealing a short kiss. "I am yours, only yours."

Alec moaned loudly, letting his hands travel down Magnus's back, keeping them on his ass. Then he widened his legs, which brought the warlock's hips against his. They both shivered as they felt how excited they already were.

"Oh, Alexander," Magnus whispered as Alec pulled him closer. Their bodies rubbed against each other, wrenching a soft moan from their throats. “You have no idea what you're doing to me. I want you so much."

For a moment only their rapid breathing was heard as they both let themselves be engulfed in the kiss. Their tongues tangled in a passionate dance while fighting for domination. Magnus sighed against his mouth, moving back slightly to give Alec’s entire body a lustful glance.

Alec stared at him with wide eyes, his blue irises darkening with excitement.

"Please, Magnus..." he moaned, lifting his hips up, mentally cursing the boxers that blocked his access to the warlock's bare skin. "Please touch me," he pleaded and almost screamed as he felt hot lips caress his neck and fingers teasing his nipples.

When Magnus's mouth replaced one of his hands, Alec groaned loudly, arching his back, wanting to feel as much of the other man's body against his skin as physically possible.

Magnus alternately sucked and bit his nipple, moving away after a while to admire the color he managed to get after these caresses.

"You are so beautiful," he said in a hoarse voice as he bent to carry his sweet torture to the other side. Alec sighed and flexed at his touch, letting himself be carried away by the rapture of love.

Magnus saw the younger man trying to reciprocate every caress he received himself, but as Alec put his hands on his shoulders, trying to roll him over to swap their places again, he felt a surge of irritation. He grabbed Alec’s wrists to press them against the pillow above his head a moment later.

"Today you will just lie down and look beautiful while I’ll be savouring you," Magnus declared in a voice that left no place for arguments. "We understand each other?"

The warlock expected a protest, but Alec remained silent. When he looked at him, he noticed that Alec was lying still, almost stiff, staring at the ceiling with wide eyes. Magnus froze, terrified that he had done something wrong again.

"Alexander?" In a second he moved his hands to the boy's face, wanting to make him focus his gaze on himself. "Alec..."

The former Shadowhunter blinked several times, looking as if he was just waking up from a deep sleep. Magnus stroked his pale cheeks, trying to calm his own rapid breathing, his heart pounding in his chest with terror. Magnus sighed in relief only when Alec looked at him with concern when he saw the panic painted on his face.

"Magn..." Alec began, but paused when Bane kissed him abruptly.

“I lost you for a moment,” Magnus explained in a shaky voice as he finally pulled away from him.

"What do you mean?" Alec asked, "I'm fine."

"I don't know... I was careful," he muttered under his breath in frustration. “I was careful not to touch your back. I don't know why it’s happened again..."

"Oh," Alec replied, making him instantly silent. Magnus was staring at his lover's face. "You mean…"

"Alexander, I'm so sorry..."

"I think I know... Why is this happening..."

Alec lowered his arms slowly, rubbing both wrists nervously. Magnus watched him closely, waiting for some explanation.

“It wasn't about my back. Not this time,” the younger man announced avoiding his gaze.

"It wasn’t?" Magnus asked, immediately realizing how silly he sounded. Of course it wasn’t about the back. Magnus hadn’t even touched him there. "It was what I did?"

Alec met his eyes immediately. "You didn't do anything," he assured him. "You couldn't have known since I didn't know myself."

"What's going on then?"

"No, that's stupid," he whispered, covering his face. "I have no idea why my body reacts this way."

"Just tell me," Magnus said, rubbing gently his shoulders.

Alec sighed heavily. "My memories are starting to come back," he announced and immediately continued not giving Magnus time to speak. "Megi's spell weakened after we cast a charm on Kiara's necklace."

“Why didn't you say anything? Megi would renew the spell,” Magnus asked.

"I don't want to," Alec gasped in frustration, but he immediately calmed down when he saw fear in the warlock's eyes. “I couldn't do it before, but I know I can do it now. I am not alone anymore. I know that whatever happens, you will not let this darkness and memories engulf me again."

"Of course I won't!" Magnus assured him. "But you still haven't told me..."

"When Midas kidnapped me..." Alec began in a low voice and stopped, sighing loudly. His hands began to tremble. Magnus knew it was difficult for Alec to say it out loud, so he tried not to interrupt him. “My hands were tied. When…” He swallowed but when he wanted to speak again, only a wheezing came out of his mouth. He felt as if his lungs were flooded with water. He couldn't draw in air.

"Hey, take it easy," he heard the other warlock's disturbed voice that sounded as if Magnus were somewhere far away. Alec felt warm hands cupping his face tenderly. “You're not in Hell anymore. Midas can’t harm you now,” Magnus assured him calmly. "You are safe, Alexander."

Alec sighed and covered Magnus's hands with his own. At that moment, he felt safe and loved. He knew Magnus was there for him and he wouldn't let anything happen to him again. However, this will not always be the case.

***

They spent the whole day with Megi in the apothecary, because they needed a complicated healing potion for a family of werewolves living in a nearby village.

Every day, they received more and more information that Faust and his clan were attacking nearby cities. In one night, they could ravage an entire village, killing most of the inhabitants. Alec knew they would have to strengthen the barrier soon. If Faust was up to something, Mhapral was definitely his target. But now he had to focus on something more important.

He planned a romantic evening. Dinner, candles, music, and of course Magnus. After all this time apart, they deserved a quiet and romantic date.

He bit his lower lip nervously, trying not to show how stressed he was. He was standing with Magnus in the elevator, holding an arm.

"Alexander? Are you okay? You're shaking,” and that would be it for hiding his nervousness from Magnus. "What is going on?"

Alec just nodded, pulling him toward the hall as soon as the elevator opened. On their way to the ballroom, they met various hotel guests who greeted them with a nod or a warm smile.

The ballroom door began to open even before they approached it, and Alec noticed several people throwing amused glances at them.

When they got close enough to see the inside of the room, Magnus paused, dragging Alec with him, who also had to stop.

The younger man smiled and led the speechless Magnus through the door to a small round table set for two over which a dozen candles levitated by magic. The plates of their dinner were covered with a golden glow, keeping the temperature of the dishes, the aromas of which could be felt at the very entrance to the ballroom.

Magnus looked fondly into his partner's blue eyes and only then noticed a black piano standing in the center of the pentagram. He paused again, staring at the instrument that had certainly not been there this morning when they came to recharge the barrier.

"I thought a little performance would make our evening more enjoyable," Alec whispered, embracing Magnus from behind while placing a light kiss against his neck.

The warlock instinctively tilted his head back to give him better access, and moaned softly as he felt Alexander pinch him lightly with his teeth.

"Watch out, in a minute you might end up as someone else's meal," Alec warned with a husky voice as he bit Magnus’ earlobe.

"Will you play for me?" Magnus asked, ignoring him, and shuddered as he felt the other man's hot breath against his neck.

"Where did this idea come from?" Alec asked innocently, nibbling his neck with his teeth again.

"Well, I don't see anybody else here but us."

“Fair enough,” Alec laughed, turning Magnus over in his arms to bring their lips together in a hot kiss. When they broke apart, both of their breathing had sped up and their pants tightened.

"Hungry?" Alec asked, gesturing to the table. Magnus nodded in response, grateful for the distraction, because in a moment they would both end up on the floor with their clothes scattered all over Mhapral.

Magnus smiled flirtatiously as the former Shadowhunter pushed back a chair for him. He leaned towards him, at which Alexander beamed and lowered his head, letting Magnus put a sweet kiss on his cheek.

"Thank you, sweetheart," the warlock whispered, squeezing his hand gently.

Alec took his seat opposite and snapped his fingers, causing the soft sounds of the piano to flood the room. Magnus didn't recognize the melody, but guessed it must have been one of his handsome companion's songs.

Magnus looked around the room again and sighed pleased. This date was everything he had dreamed of since Alec disappeared. A moment of peace both of them needed and deserved.

"Beautiful," he whispered.

"Indeed," Alec replied, catching the other man's eyes. Magnus froze as he realized that Alec's words were about him, not the room decor. He smiled radiantly as he grasped Alec’s hand, pulling it towards him to place a tender kiss on top.

"Thank you," Magnus said softly. "You have no idea how much I needed it."

"We both needed it," Alec admitted. "I asked Megi about a few dishes you might like." He blushed as he waved his hand to redo his spell. "She only said two words."

Magnus's eyes lit up at the familiar dishes his mother used to often serve.

“Nasi Padang,” they said simultaneously, sending each other joyful glances full of love.

"Enjoy your meal," Alec added, lowering his eyes to the table and trying to decide where to start.

There were two bowls of rice, and lots of smaller bowls of different dishes. The fragrances were dominated by chili and curry, but you could also smell cinnamon, star anise and cardamom. When they started eating, they felt so many different flavors that changed every time they reached for a different supplement. Alec liked Ayam Goreng, a lightly breaded, deep-fried chicken with a taste of garlic puree and shallots.

They ate and chatted while drinking red wine. It has been a long time since they could be fully relaxed, aided by the soft sounds of the piano spreading around the room.

"I don't know the song," Magnus finally admitted, wanting Alec to confirm his suspicions. Alec's face flushed instantly, which was enough to Magnus for an answer. "This is one of yours?"

Alec looked embarrassed, but nodded, avoiding the intense gaze of golden-green cat eyes. After a while, however, he stood up and offered Magnus his hand. Alexander sent him a shy smile and helped him stand up, then led him towards the instrument, which suddenly fell silent. Alec sat down in front of the piano, dragging Magnus to sit next to him.

"I..." he began nervously, toying with their clasped fingers. "I wrote the lyrics for this song some time ago..." Magnus kissed his cheek, squeezing his hand reassuringly. "I never thought I'd ever find the courage to show it to anyone, let alone sing it," Alec admitted honestly, his voice trembling.

"You had that courage all this time, you just needed a little encouragement to believe in yourself." Magnus whispered, stroking Alec’s flushed cheek with the back of his free hand.

"Another thing I should thank you for," he laughed as he released his hand to rest his fingers on the ivory keys.

Magnus watched with admiration as Alexander's long fingers skillfully moved over the keys. The delicate melody hit his heart, but when his beloved began to sing in a soft, almost sad voice, a shiver ran through his whole body.

“I don't know how I should say it

In my mind, it's every word

That they don't wanna hear

I don't know how they might take it

Maybe you can take the pressure

And make it disappear

Throw out the inhibition

You make me feel a feeling that I've never felt before

I don't know if they're gonna like it

But that only makes me want it more

Cause I'm nobody's but yours”

Tears welled up in Magnus's eyes as he realized when Alec had written this song. Being gay in a bigoted Shadowhunters society was a hard time in his Alexander's life. Magnus still marveled at how wonderful a man he was, despite all the harm he had suffered from his own people.

‘If it's me

And if it's you

And if our love is wrong

Then I don't ever wanna be right

I don't ever wanna be right

If it's real

And if it's true

And if our love is wrong

Then I don't ever wanna be right

I don't ever wanna be right’

How long did it take for his lover to understand that he shouldn’t be concerned about others' opinions. Especially those who, when dissuading him from a relationship with Magnus, had in mind only how others would view it, not whether Alec was happy with him.

“Oh, yeah, oh, yeah

I just want you to be mine’

"I am yours, my love." Magnus whispered, trying to hold back the tears that threatened to spill from his eyes.

‘Why would I need their permission

Skin and bones, I'm only human

It's in my DNA

Suffocating just to fit in

Why do I care what people say

 Cause I'm nobody's but yours”

Magnus whimpered softly as he saw the golden magic flowing from under Alexander's fingers flickering across the keys, creating small notes hovering above them to dance across the room, teasingly brushing Magnus's cheeks, hair or mouth.

“If it's me

And if it's you

And if our love is wrong

Then I don't ever wanna be right

I don't ever wanna be right

If it's real

And if it's true

And if our love is wrong

Then I don't ever wanna be right

I don't ever wanna be right

 Oh, yeah, oh

I just want you to be mine

 Oh, yeah, oh

I just want you to be mine”

Alec finished smoothly and straightened with a sigh. He started to turn away, but before he could say anything, he felt two impatient hands on his cheeks, drawing him to a kiss full of passion, love and desperation.

"I love you," Magnus gasped, breaking the kiss for a second, then bringing their lips together again. He was hungry for a contact they hadn't had for so long. It was only a year for Magnus, so he had no idea how Alec didn't attack him as soon as he saw him. After six years of separation, he would not pay attention to anything else but only his Alexander.

He could feel the stupid tears trickling down his cheeks, but he didn't have the strength to tear himself away from his boyfriend again just to wipe them away.

"Magnus," Alec whispered.

"Please," Magnus couldn't wait any longer. He wanted Alec. All of him, just like in the song he sang to him. He wanted Alec to belong to him, and he wanted to belong to Alec. "Please, Alexander." He hoped that his lover would understand the need hidden in those words, as he couldn’t gather his thoughts enough to ask for what he wanted with all his heart, soul and body.

Magnus stood up, grabbing Alec's navy blue shirt, pulling him up with him, only to push him against the piano in the next moment. There was a loud thump in the room as Alec's body pressed against the keys. Despite his surprise, Alec snapped shut with his magic the top cover of the instrument before Magnus set him down on it.

"Alexander," Magnus pronounced his name like a prayer to the angels. "Alexander, my love. Please, let me..."

He inhaled sharply, feeling Alec push him gently away. For a split second he felt disappointment, but when he saw the hunger in Alexander's almost navy blue excited eyes, he quickly forgot about those feelings.

"If I could, I would give you the sun and moon with all the stars," Alec announced, and Magnus knew well that he was honest.

"I don't want these things, my love," he replied, wanting to kiss him again, but Alec didn't let him.

"What do you want, then?"

"There is nothing or no one in this world I would want more than you, Alexander." He had never been so sure of anything in his entire life. "Let me prove it."

Alec's cheeks were decorated with a scarlet blush that stood out strongly from his pale skin. He put his hands on Magnus's neck, pulling him closer, and when their foreheads were almost touching, he nodded in agreement.

"Love me," he whispered, rubbing the warlock's cheeks with his thumbs. “Love me like there is no tomorrow. Here and now. I’ll make sure no one interrupts us."

Magnus almost growled as he sunk into Alec's slightly parted mouth. Their clothes disappeared in an embarrassingly fast time. Magnus didn't know which of them had cast the spell this time, and he didn't really care, if as a result he could feel his boyfriend's hot body under his fingers, who was moaning right into his mouth as their bodies rubbed against each other.

Magnus moved his mouth to Alec's neck, sucking the skin where the deflect rune had previously been. It was one of the most sensitive areas on his body.

The fingers of one of Magnus’ hands caressed the tight nipple, while the other caressed Alexander's cheek and then his lips. The former Shadowhunter opened his mouth, letting the warlock slide two fingers into it, moving them in and out in slow motion, pleased when Alec began to lick and suck at them.

Magnus moved lower to Alec's chest, then even lower to poke his tongue into his navel. After a while he slid down along the hairline to his boyfriend's hard dick.

"You are so beautiful," Magnus moaned, swallowing almost all of him in one motion. Alec's short scream drowned out Magnus's fingers that were still in his mouth. The younger man tightened his hands in the warlock’s hair.

Magnus could feel the effort Alec was putting into stopping himself from reaching for more. Magnus got up, abandoning his previous activity, and almost laughed as he heard a disappointed groan that escaped his lover's mouth before he could stop himself.

Magnus pulled his fingers out of Alec's mouth, quickly replacing them with a kiss. When he moved his slicked fingers to touch his entrance, he felt Alexander's entire body stiffen immediately.

"Hey, It's ok. I'll be careful," Magnus assured him, tenderly stroking his cheek while placing gentle kisses all over his face. They had only done this once before, and even though it was a year for him, it was six years for Alec and Magnus knew he had to be very gentle. "Please. Trust me, baby."

Alec squeezed his eyes shut tightly, and the fingers of his hand dug into Magnus's arms with such force that they would surely leave bruises. The warlock stared at the younger man uncertainly, waiting for his reaction.

"I want it," he said finally, swallowing violently. When he opened his eyes, Bane saw only love and certainty in them. "I want it so much."

Magnus sighs with relief, kissing him again, while very slowly slipping one finger into him. Alec was breathing deeply, trying to relax even though his whole body wanted to tense again.

The warlock stroked his face with his free hand, carefully observing him, ready to stop at the slightest hint of pain. He knew Alec had a high pain tolerance, but that didn't mean he wanted to hurt him. Especially after what Midas had done to him.

No. Magnus couldn't think of HIM right now. Now he should focus solely on Alexander, to give him as much pleasure as possible.

He gently moved his finger inside the boy's hot channel. As he felt how tight and wet his boyfriend was, he shivered and his breath stutterd. Feeling Alec's body finally relax, he slid another finger into him. Lightwood hissed in response, tightening his eyelids.

"Sorry," Magnus said apologetically, kissing his shoulder, then his cheek and mouth.

"Please, Magnus," Alec whispered after a while and began to press his hips down against his fingers, trying to make him stick them a little deeper. The warlock knew exactly what Alexander expected from him, so he twisted his hand and reached slightly up, pressing the tips of his fingers against his prostate.

Alec's hips jerked, tears welling up from his eyes, and his mouth was open in a silent scream. His body began to glow surrounded by golden magic. Only the blissful expression on the younger man's face kept Magnus from stopping it. He kissed Alec hard, passionately, suppressing his next moan. Alec's hands, tangled in Magnus's hair, clenched tighter, trying to pull him even closer.

"Please," Alec gasped, opening his eyes, which, driven by strong feelings and magic, began to glow an intense blue. Magnus saw so many emotions in them. Lust, love, fear. They all complemented each other and could not exist separately.

Magnus looked at his lover and slowly slipped a third finger into him, watching the emotions change on his face. Alec froze, his breath caught in his throat for a moment, and his lips twisted in pain. But when Magnus massaged his prostate again, the pain vanished to an expression of overwhelming pleasure.

"Magnus, please," Alec pleaded, not trying to hold back the tears that trickled down his cheeks. The warlock bent down to kiss him, sliding his fingers out of him. Alec groaned into his mouth, his body trembling. "Magnus..."

Magnus grabbed him by the hips, moving him closer to the edge of the piano, not caring about the sounds that echoed through the hall every time they moved, hitting the keys. 

He grabbed Alec's calves, throwing them over his shoulders. He slowly began to enter him, making the younger man whimper, closing eyes. Alexander’s hands tightened on the edge of the piano with such force that his knuckles turned white, and his whole body trembled with the effort.

"Alexander," Magnus whispered, pausing for a moment. He grasped the boy's face in his hands and wiped the tears from his cheeks with his thumbs. "Look at me baby."

"I… I’m fine," Alec replied, stuttering and he opened his eyes. Magnus smiled at him, and he smiled back. "Just give me a moment. Ok?"

"Of course," Bane assured immediately. "Even eternity. We have time, afterall." As he spoke, he beamed a smile, knowing that these were not empty words this time. They really did have time. They were immortal. Both of them. "I love you so much, Alexander."

"Please," Alec moaned again, and Magnus pushed his hips forward experimentally. Not seeing any discomfort on his lover's face, he continued this motion until he was completely inside him. Both of them felt hot and they were breathing hard. Their hearts pounded in their chests with dizzying speed. "Magnus."

The warlock moved his hands to Alec's thighs, stroking them up and down while slipping out of him almost to the very end, only to push into him again a moment later. Alec was so hot and wet inside. His muscles tightened on Magnus's cock every time he managed to hit his prostate.

"You are so wonderful, Alexander," the warlock groaned, moving faster and faster, driven by Alec’s cries and moans. "Just perfect."

Magnus shifted his hands to Alec's hips, changing the long deep thrusts to quick and short ones, thanks to which he kept hitting the spot which made a wave of pleasure flow through the younger man's entire body.

Magnus felt Alexander's magic slowly wrapping around their bodies connected in ecstasy of love. He met the other man's eyes and didn't even have to ask for permission when he noticed a silent plea painted on his face. He allowed his magic to merge with Alec's, and they both screamed as an overwhelming wave of love and lust swept over them. They came almost at the same moment shouting each other's names.

Magnus rested his forehead on his lover's chest, breathing heavily. He felt their combined power singing through his veins. His legs trembled, and he knew that if he didn't break that bond, Alexander's feelings that he was still feeling would heighten his own.

"Magnus," Alec whimpered, wrapping his trembling arms around Magnus’ body. It was an unwise move, because as soon as his hands touched Magnus's back, another wave of blinding pleasure passed through their bodies, making them come again.

Magnus didn't know where he had gathered enough strength to separate his magic from Alec's without losing consciousness. He took a few minutes to calm his breathing. He raised his head, looking at his boyfriend, from under half-closed eyelids.

Alec was still shivering even though he was breathing normally. Lying in Magnus's arms, he unconsciously toyed with the hair on the other man's neck. They both knew they couldn’t stay here long, but neither of them was going to say it aloud, didn’t want to disturb the peace that engulfed them.

The younger man was staring at the paint on the ceiling, and Magnus, watching him, only now noticed that the rings surrounding the pentagram were moving around them. Alec didn’t seem to notice it.

"Did you do something with the barrier?" Magnus asked, his voice tense. Alec blinked a few times and turned his head to the side.

"Oh," was the only response he got from Alec, who slowly sat up, disentangling himself from his embrace. "I didn't do it on purpose." He admitted frankly, summoning their clothes on their body’s with a wave of his hand.

The warlock looked down and gasped in disappointment. Alexander looked at him amused as he reached to adjust the collar of his shirt. The pentagram slowly faded away, the rings began to slow down and return to their previous positions on the floor.

"I'll cut off my hand if there were more than five rings when we came in here," said Magnus, looking from side to side. Alec grimaced as he realized that in fact, there were twice as many circles on the floor. This has never happened before.

Magnus noticed the anxiety on his lover's face and said, wanting to defuse the situation, "I think this is a theory that I will gladly test again." Alec turned to him in surprise, then burst into loud laughter.

"You're impossible."

"I know. That's what you love me for,” said Magnus, drawing him into a kiss.

"I still know so little about my magic," Lightwood sighed, resting his forehead on the other warlock's shoulder.

"You have a lot of time to learn how it works and how to use it," said Magnus, stroking his cheek. "Now enjoy the moment."

"You're right. I love you."

"I love you too," Magnus murmured in response.

Chapter Text

When Alec and Magnus entered the living room the next morning, they immediately met Megara's amused gaze as she sat stretched out comfortably on the couch with her legs in her girlfriend's lap. Laura was reading the book, but when she sensed her companion's movement, she looked up, sending them a reassuring smile.

"Good morning," she said, closing the book. Both men replied the same, taking the loveseat sofa in front of the two women who were staring at them with intense gazes.

Alec sighed in resignation and turned to the both womens. "Just say it," he snapped, sending Megi a look that said, ‘I’m not impressed’.

"How was your date?" Laura asked diplomatically, chuckling as Megi glared at her annoyed.

"Fine?" Magnus replied hesitantly, not knowing what was happening.

"Fine?" Megi repeated after him, her eyes shining. She couldn't hide her amusement.

"Our evening was also quite enjoyable," said the pleased vampire.

"Laura, honey. Could you please stop changing the subject?" Megi asked with a hint of irritation in her voice. The blonde laughed, hiding her face behind the book she still held in her hands.

"What is going on?" Magnus asked, trying to read the answer from their faces.

Alec crossed his arms over his chest and fell back on the couch, pouting. Megi and Laura laughed as Magnus watched his lover with a mixture of surprise and affection. Alec snorted at his gaze and told him, "You won't smile like that when you hear what she has to say."

"Come on," Megi groaned. "You spoil all the fun. You have no idea how long I've been waiting for this day!"

"Seven months, two weeks and three days," Alec grunted. "Wanna have an exact time, as well?"

Megi laughed out loud, leaning her head against the armrest. "You're so cute, tinee ."

"I’m not!" he protested, straightening up immediately. "Besides, you weren't supposed to call me that."

"Oh, our little Claus does not like his nickname?" Megi mocked him further, watching him closely.

"You are worse than Jace," he muttered in response, directing the next words to his boyfriend, ignoring his friend's protests. "I told you that in the beginning, Megi didn't care how her actions influenced me through our Bond." Magnus nodded, still not entirely sure where this conversation was going.

"I never had to worry about blocking our Bond because your boyfriend learned to do it after the first evening," Megi smiled at Magnus.

"I lost control yesterday," Alec said with a shrug. "You're not going to let me forget about this from now, won't you?"

"Don't say you didn't expect this?" Megi snorted, straightening up.

"What are you..." Magnus began, but stopped as he remembered why Alec had learned to block his side of the Bond. He looked wide-eyed at his boyfriend, then at his sister and her girlfriend. Seeing their amused glances, he blushed and covered his face with his hands, emitting a groan of embarrassment.

"Oh, don't worry, little brother," Megi laughed, putting her arm around Laura. "It's not me you should worry about," she remarked, flashing them a mysterious smile, making Alec and Magnus glare at her in horror.

"What do you mean," the younger man asked suspiciously.

"Haven't you noticed how the others are looking at both of you?" Megi asked.

When Alec thought about it, a few of the guests actually watched them amused as they left the ballroom last night.

"Na, Lilith," Alec groaned at the exact same moment as Magnus, making both women laugh out loud.

"I felt your magic right next to the forest," Laura remarked, smiling apologetically at them.

Alexander gasped as he realized that then the whole hotel knew what they were doing yesterday. He wanted the ground to swallow him whole, and when he saw Magnus's expression, he knew his boyfriend thought the same.

"It's not too late to live at the North Pole instead of Alicante," suggested Magnus, hiding his face in the crease of Alec's neck.

"Penguins are cute," added the younger man, putting his arm around Magnus. The warlock gasped and raised his head to look at Alec, making him instantly blush. "You are the most adorable creature in the entire world," Magnus announced, adding as he saw the boy was about to protest. "No matter what you say, Alec my opinion is final."

“A… Alec?”

The four froze as they heard the question asked in a low, breaking voice.

Alexander turned quickly towards his charge, who was staring at him in horror. Her black curls were almost to her waist, her face lengthened, looking more like a young woman than a child. By her height, they could tell she would have looked like this at sixteen. It was roughly the same age as attributed to her by everyone who had recently met her. Soon she won't have to wear the necklace anymore.

"Kiara," he began, standing up and taking a step towards her, but the girl stepped back shaking her head. "Sweetheart?"

"What is this about?" she asked in a trembling voice, looking from one face to the other, looking for an answer. "Why ... Why did you call him that?" she said accusingly at Magnus, who looked confused.

The warlock looked questioningly at his boyfriend, not knowing if he should answer her.

"Kiara," Alec repeated, pain audible in his voice. As the girl glared at him, he sucked in a breath of air and bit his lower lip. His blue eyes looked pleadingly at the other adults who stood staring at them without a word. Finally, one of them broke the silence.

"You know Claus has lost his memory, right?" Megi asked, and when the girl nodded her head in agreement, she continued in the same calm tone. "Before that happened, he was a completely different person."

Kiara shuddered, taking another step back at the same moment Magnus and Laura groaned disapprovingly.

"Wait... That's not what I am..."

"Megi!" Laura hissed at her. "I think it's best for Claus to explain it to her." She grabbed the arm of the protesting woman and pulled her towards the exit.

"Do you want me to stay?" Magnus asked, staring at Alec worriedly.

"Please," he replied softly.

Magnus grabbed his hand, squeezing it lightly in a gesture of support. Alec smiled faintly, swallowed hard, and looked into Kiara's black eyes.

"I never meant to hide it from you," he said softly. "Megi started calling me Claus after she realized that I didn't remember who I am."

The girl was staring at him intensely, wanting to read if he was telling the truth from the expression on his face.

"I only remembered my name after Magnus found me," he added, sending a gentle smile towards the warlock.

"I remember," said Kiara. "He called you Alexander."

"That's right," admitted Magnus.

"So why?" she asked.

"My siblings started calling me Alec when I was still little," his blue eyes looked at her worriedly. “Even my parents only started using this nickname, calling me Alexander, only when I did something they didn't like. Now only Magnus uses my full name."

Kiara sank down onto the couch with a sigh. "Sorry," she squeaked, hiding her face in her hands.

Both men looked at each other in panic when they heard her soft cry. Alec sat down next to her, embracing her tiny body.

"It's okay, honey," he assured her and sighed with relief as the girl turned in his arms to cuddle up to him. “I knew that sooner or later I would have to tell you about it. I'm sorry you found out like that."

"It's not your fault," she murmured, moving away from him to meet his eyes. "You don't have to pretend to be someone else for my own good," tears lit up in the former Shadowhunter's blue eyes. Kiara gave him a faint smile and continued. "I knew it was a coincidence, but my irrational fear kept me from the truth."

Magnus brushed a stray strand of hair from her forehead, smiling at her as soon as she looked at him.

"Don't worry, sweetheart. Neither of us will let anything bad happen to you." Magnus said, wanting to console her, but to his surprise, Kiara's eyes filled with sadness.

"I heard part of your conversation," she admitted. "Do you want to leave Mhapral?"

Alec sighed, kissing her forehead. "Yes. I would like to go back to my home country. To my family."

"Oh," she hunched over. "I thought we were your family."

Alec looked pleadingly at Magnus, who nodded and sat down next to him so that Kiara could look at both of them without having to turn her head like in a tennis match.

"We want to leave in a few weeks and we were wondering if you would like to accompany us."

Her head snapped up, her eyes flashing hopefully as they looked at Magnus. "You want... You want to take me with you?" Magnus nodded in agreement.

"We want more," added Alec, drawing her attention back. "We would be really happy if you would like to come with us to Idris..." he hesitated for a moment, but seeing hope in Kiara's eyes, he smiled shyly and continued, "as our daughter?"

Kiara froze, forgetting about breathing, which she didn’t need to survive, but made her look like a normal teenager. She shook herself out of shock and stared at them in disbelief. Alec felt her hands tremble.

“Kiara?”

The girl blinked and jumped to her feet, throwing herself on their necks.

"YES, YES, YES, YES, YES!" She screamed, hugging them tightly.

Magnus laughed aloud as he returned her hug, while Alec tried to hold back the tears that threatened to spill from his eyes. He couldn't imagine leaving Mhapral without Kiara, but he wanted it to be her conscious decision and he was ready to let her stay if that was what she wanted. He was so happy she agreed, and he no longer had to fear her answer.

"I love you so much," she admitted, tucking her face into Alec's shoulder.

“We love you too, sweetheart. You don't even know how much." Alec said fondly.

***

The hundredth anniversary of the death of Paran, the founder of the hotel, was approaching. Every year that day they organized a festival to commemorate this great warlock.

As before the ball, the hotel became more busy and in general disorder. The guests ran around the corridors showing their friends the new outfits they had chosen for this special evening. Alec and Magnus spent most of their time in the ballroom, trying to strengthen the barrier that surrounded the city.

For security, Megi, with the help of several other sorcerers, erected an additional barrier around the building itself, in case even if by some miracle, the former would be breached.

Alec sat with his eyes closed in the center of the pentagram, around him in golden circles sat several other downworlders, willing to share their energy to power the barrier.

'What do you think about ruby red?' he heard Megi's question in his head and sighed loudly, drawing the amused glances of the pair of werewolves closest to the pentagram. 'Maybe a carmine red after all? Do you think it will be better?'

'Megara, you kidnapped my boyfriend, because you seem to need his professional help so much in choosing colors for the garden decor, and you tire me with it anyway? " he asked irritated. 'If you do not need him, maybe you can send him back to me?' he said more than asked, trying to send as many feelings as possible in his speech. Longing, weariness and loneliness.

'Believe me, it is not pleasant for me to endure the sulking Magnus, but after yesterday I am not going to risk it. If you react this way to your magic each time, you will never be able to work together. I will not let you scare the guests.

Alec turned a scarlet blush. True, their date got a little out of hand. Megi had mocked them all day without letting them forget about it.'

'You seem tired,' she noted worriedly. 'Are you okay?'

Normally, he would have said without thinking that he was fine. But something in Megi's voice made him pause to think.

He straightened up, and with the help of magic quickly found that, apart from the fatigue from charging the barrier for the second day in a row, he sensed nothing disturbing.

'I'm fine,' he replied slowly.

'Where did this uncertainty come from?' Megi was surprised.

'I'm just a little tired,' he said indifferently. ‘We recharged the five circles of the barrier in half an hour yesterday' He sensed a guilt that did not come from him. 'Megi?’

'If you had a Bond with Magnus you would be insurmountable,' he heard after a moment.

'He and I have our own unique bond. I believe nothing happens without a reason. It was supposed to be like that.’

'God’s will?' her sparkling laugh echoed in his head.

'Let's not get God mixed up in this,' said Alec as he looked around the ballroom. He wasn't the only one looking tired. 'Where are you? I think it's time to rest a bit. The twins look as if they are going to fall where they stand.'

'You don't probably look any better,' she noted. ‘We are near the gazebo. Will you join us when you're finished, or will you go to bed to get a nap?'

Alec pondered his options for a moment, finally deciding to rest. Megi promised to pass this information on to Magnus. When he got to the room, he didn't even bother changing, he just collapsed to the bed falling asleep just a few seconds later.

***

He was awakened by the touch of a warm hand on his forehead, gently caressing his skin, brushing back the bangs that fell over his face. As the hand was gone, he groaned loudly and rolled over, wanting to find it again. He did find something warm, but it was not a hand, but something much larger. He heard a muffled chuckle and slowly opened one eye, wanting to see the person laughing at him.

"Are you feeling better, Alexander?" he heard a familiar, tender voice even before he met the face of the person it belonged to.

"Magnus?" he croaked and winced as he felt a stab of pain piercing his temples. "Head," he groaned, pressing his face against his boyfriend's belly. "Hurts."

"Oh my love," the sorcerer whispered, and he touched his fingers to Alec's forehead, slowly releasing a pulsating healing magic. After a few minutes of gentle massaging, he broke the spell and ruffled his beloved's hair. "Still hurts?"

Alec, who was almost asleep again, blinked at the question and slowly moved away from Magnus.

"No, not anymore. Thank you,” he whispered, and put his hand to Magnus's neck, drawing him into a kiss. Alec sighed tearing away from his boyfriend's mouth and rested his head against his chest. "I think we should talk to Megi and Laura about our plans."

Magnus froze, but quickly relaxed, wrapping his arms around him tightly.

"I agree. The sooner they find out, the easier it will be for them to accept it,” Magnus noted, entangling one hand in Alec's hair, who purred as he began rubbing his head with his fingertips.

They agreed, as in many other cases, that they didn't have to talk to girls right now at this point. Therefore, they allowed themselves a few more minutes of rest in their arms. Another hour passed before they finally got out of bed. Half an hour before they took a shower, they got dressed and left the room into the common room where both women were talking in low voices.

"Kiara is already asleep," Laura informed them as soon as she noticed them. Alec gave her a grateful smile.

"There is something we need to talk about," said Alec, stepping closer.

Magnus sat on the couch across from the two women, giving them a comforting smile. Alec took a seat next to him, grabbing his hand.

"We should be worried?" Laura asked teasingly, wanting to defuse the atmosphere, and sighed in resignation when her tactics didn't work.

"What's going on?" Megi asked.

Magnus looked encouragingly at his boyfriend, squeezing his hand tighter.

“We want to leave Mhapral. As soon as the feast is over,” the younger man announced, watching carefully their reaction.

Megi straightened, but when she felt Laura's arm surrounding her she immediately relaxed. "What will happen to Kiara?" she asked, looking at them carefully.

Alec grinned, his eyes sparkling with glee. "We spoke to her this morning and asked if she would like to accompany us."

"From your goofy smile, I guess she agreed," Megi noted that after the morning confrontation, Alec looked more relaxed, as if a huge weight had fallen from his shoulders. She didn't quite understand why he was so afraid of Kiara's reaction. This girl worships him.

“I have started preparations for anchoring the pentagram. That way, it can be activated without my help,” said Alec in a matter-of-fact tone. Megi and Laura looked at each other, then back at him. Alec wondered if he and Magnus would also be able to read each other so well that they wouldn't have to use words to understand each other. “I'm still working on it, but I hope that by the end of the festival I will be able to come up with something. The anchor must be someone or something with enough energy to support the barrier."

"Why don't you connect the pentagram with the Spirit of the Forest?" Laura suggested. "The former Paran barrier was anchored like this."

Megi looked at her girlfriend with concern, which Alec noticed.

"What's the matter, Megi?" he asked, tilting his head as the woman turned to avoid his gaze.

"No one has been able to contact the Forest Spirit since Paran died," she announced quietly. Alec understood the hidden message. She didn't succeed either.

"As I said, we'll be worried about it when the time comes, now let's finish the preparations for the festival." Alec said, clapping his hands together.

***

Alec led Magnus to a terrace that overlooked the garden. After all the madness of getting ready for the fete, he just wanted to cuddle with his boyfriend.

There were several hammocks and deck chairs, but both men looked at the same time at the double terraced swing. They knew immediately that this was where they would spend the rest of the evening.

Magnus sat down first, leaning his back against the wooden support on which the swing hung. Alec sat down between his long-stretched legs resting his back against Magnus’ torso. The warlock's arms immediately wrapped around Alec, who snapped his fingers, causing the bench to swing gently. They both sighed with satisfaction as they finally relaxed and focused on the view that stretched before them.

On the horizon above the forest, they could see a delicate pink glow in a place where the sun was shining an hour ago. The garden looked lovely. Multi colored lanterns hung on the branches in which, with the help of other warlocks, they enchanted small flames. Rows of food stalls stretched out under the trees. The air was filled with the intense smells of cuisine typical to this region.

They heard laughter and conversation, soft music and singing of a dryad who had come especially for this event. She was once a friend of Paran's.

Despite the joyful, almost family atmosphere, one could feel an aura of sadness and regret floating around after the loss of such a wonderful man as Paran was. Some believed his spirit protected the hotel even after his death. Alec doubted it. The building was imbued with the power of many warlocks, including its great founder, and none of the souls wandering in the forest had a signature matching his power.

He was pulled out of his thoughts by Magnus’ soft lips, gently kissing his neck, and shapely fingers that crept under his shirt imperceptibly, caressing his taut nipples.

"Someone might catch us," Alec whispered, tilting his head back to give Magnus better access.

The warlock bit his earlobe lightly and then answered in a low voice, "Since when do you bother with such little things?"

Alec shivered as he felt the other man's warm breath on his neck. “Stop teasing me,” They knew they couldn't do it here, especially after the last time. Somehow their magic penetrated the walls of the ballroom and left little for the imagination of hotel’s guests. Alec didn't want to risk a repeat, especially when he remembered seeing people throwing amused glances as he walked down the hall earlier. "We can’t…"

"Relax, no one will notice this time," muttered the warlock, slowly sliding his hands down his body, reaching for the belt buckle.

"Magnus," Alec groaned, grabbing his wrists.

"Shhh," Bane touched the front of his pants, smiling as he felt Alec was already hard. "Don't you want me to take care of your little problem?"

"You called it differently last time," said the black-haired man. Magnus chuckled, attracting the younger man's attention. Alec's blue eyes stared at him with tenderness, which the warlock immediately took advantage of, slipping one hand under his boxer without even giving him time to react, he began to move it up and down immediately.

Alec hissed, biting his lower lip. Unable to resist, Magnus tangled his free hand into the man's black hair and pulled him into a kiss. Alec immediately parted his lips, joining their tongues in a passionate dance.

Lightwood groaned loudly, hiding his face on his lover's shoulder. He couldn't believe Magnus could bring him to this state in just a few seconds.

The younger man's hips jerked upward as the warlock began rubbing his thumb over his flushed head, adding a little of his magic. "Magn..." Alec gasped. He wanted to warn him, but he came, panting hard, even before he finished saying the warlock's name.

Magnus cleaned him with the flick of his fingers.

"You're going to be the death of me," Alec grumbled. He felt as if all his bones had turned to jelly, and only Magnus's strong arms were holding him in place.

"We have to take advantage of every opportunity, because in a few days, we will have to endure the company of your nosy blonde brother and your lovely, but equally nosy little sister, all on a much smaller size," Magnus noted in a cheerful voice that betrayed Alec his true feelings. His siblings and Magnus became very close after his disappearance. Alec was very happy about it, because the mere thought of the warlock being left alone if something happened to him made him sick.

Alec froze suddenly in Magnus's arms, who looked at him worriedly.

"What’s..."

"Shhh..." he silenced him quickly, sitting immediately.

Magnus was trying to see what worried his boyfriend. He even stopped breathing for a moment, fearing his breath would drown out the impending danger.

Alec didn't really hear anything, but sensed it. His magic was connected with the pentagram, and thus with a barrier that wrapped around the entire area like a huge net. When a threat was approaching them, the barrier sent him a single pulse, pointing to the side from which the threat was coming.

The next impulse was more violent, as if something large had collided with a barrier. Soon after it came another from the opposite side. And another one. Each one stronger. Alec gasped as he scrambled to his feet.

'Megi!' He reached into their Bond, wanting to warn his friends in the garden. 'Barrier...' he managed to say, but stopped when warning vibrations reached him from all sides at once. He felt his head spinning. He staggered and would have fallen, had he not been held by Magnus's strong arms.

"Alexander, what's going on?!" the warlock asked.

Alec looked up at him. Gold-green cat eyes scanned the forest line, looking for danger.

The former Shadowhunter opened his mouth, but only a muffled cry escaped. His magic was torn violently from all sides at once. He fell to his knees, dragging the unexpected warlock with him.

Suddenly the sky was as clear as day. Until now, the barrier that was invisible to anyone glowed gold. Magnus raised his head, unable to take his eyes off this amazing view. It was the first time he had seen something so beautiful. The barrier surrounded the whole area, like a huge golden dome.

Alec groaned in his arms, and at exactly the same time the barrier started to crack, and its shards began to fall down on the guests gathered in the garden like stardust.

For a split second there was an incredible silence, not disturbed even by the sound of the wind. As if someone had pressed the pause button.

Alec gathered his strength and freed himself from Magnus's arms. He got up and walked two steps to the railing, leaned forward and shouted with all his might, "EVERYONE INSIDE!" He looked around frantically, trying to catch Kiara among the crowd fleeing in panic.

"What's happening?!" Magnus asked urgently, grabbing his elbow.

"Faust," Alec replied shortly and jumped over the railing.

"What are you doing?" Magnus's fingers tightened on his arm. Alec turned abruptly and cupped his face in his hands, looking into terrified golden-green cat eyes of the man he loved.

"Go down to the ballroom, help Megi activate the barrier," he said quickly, trying to ignore Magnus' trembling hands that gripped tightly at the sides of his shirt. When the warlock started shaking his head, he kissed him briefly. "You have to do it, I will try to find Kiara at this time."

"Alexander..."

“Please, Magnus, I need to know that although you are safe. Promise me that you will not leave the ballroom under any circumstances,” he demanded.

Magnus's lower lip began to tremble and tears started to flow from his eyes. Alec thought his heart would break at the sight of it.

"Please, Magnus," he repeated, whispering straight into his mouth. When Magnus squeezed his eyes shut, he was sure he would protest again. The warlock however, bent down to kiss him.

"You're going to come back to me," he announced, not leaving any room for arguments.

Alec smiled and gripped the railing again, “I'm immortal, remember? There is no force in this world that can stop me from coming back to you." After these words, he pushed himself off the railing, doing a backflip, and landed gracefully on the lawn two floors below. He looked up one last time, giving the warlock a comforting smile, and ran right into the middle of the crowd.

***

Magnus watched for a moment as his boyfriend ran, efficiently avoiding the jostling downworlders. He forced himself to look away and with a wave of his hand opened the portal, took a step, and a moment later stood in the center of the ballroom.

"Magnus, thank god!" He turned on his heel toward the familiar voice, noticing his sister. “Claus and the rest of the warlocks will try to maintain the outer barrier while we need to repair the pentagram. We will be a relay. Stand with your back to me, ”she instructed, ignoring the increasing number of people gathering around them. “The rest knows what to do, you have to focus on me. Understand?"

"Yes," he replied, his voice seemingly confident, but Megi wasn’t fooled.

"He'll be fine, little brother," she said, taking his hand. "Believe in him."

***

"KIARA!" Alec passed more people that tried to get to the building as quickly as possible. He saw dark figures looming on the edge of the forest, whose hands, glowing in different colors, were stretched upwards. They were the warlocks who lived in the hotel. They tried to maintain a backup barrier, hoping Megi would restart the main one.

Alec couldn’t understand how they had managed to break through the first barrier so quickly. It has never been so strong, and yet Faust broke through it in just a few seconds. His clan has tried many times before, but without luck.

He looked around the crowd one last time. Not seeing Kiara's face, he ran towards the nearest warlock with a sigh. He had to believe the girl was safe within the hotel walls.

"Hemish!" he shouted, drawing the attention of the green-haired warlock. "Gather the rest and run inside," he commanded in Hindi language.

"No! We can't leave you,” he objected immediately, and from his intense green eyes, Alec knew that no matter what he said, the man would not give up.

"Okay, let the rest stay, but you check if everyone is back in the building," Hemish nodded in agreement and was about to leave, but Alec grabbed his hand, forcing him to look at him again. "Find Kiara," he added pleadingly. "Koee phark nahin padata hai ki is jangal se baahar nikalata hai, ham baadha dhaaran karana chaahie!" he exclaimed in the local language, using his magic to send this message to those too far away to hear it.

They were separated from the first barrier by a jungle that stretched fifty kilometers in all directions. The average vampire took several minutes to cover that distance. Ten minutes had passed since the barrier was broken, and they still saw no one. It is not possible that Faust breached the barrier and left. What would be his purpose in this? His thoughts were interrupted by a signal sent by one of the warlocks stationed on the other side of the building. The enemy was approaching from the east. He was about to redirect most of his energy that way when another signal hit him, followed by another.

Alec inhaled sharply. He recognized the pattern and the directions from which more warnings came. They attacked the first barrier in exactly the same order.

Then the next attack should come right before him. He looked deeper into the woods and stiffened as he saw a pair of glowing red snake eyes. Only years of training he owed the fact that he did not even flinch when the demon rushed directly at him with a whine, bouncing off the invisible barrier.

"Taraka demons," he heard the terrified voice of the wizard standing closest to him. "I heard that no one has seen them in over a hundred years."

Alec had never heard of this race of demons, but the fear he sensed from other warlocks across the barrier between them was enough to propel him into action.

'Megi, how long?' He reached out to his friend.

'We are doing our best,' he heard in response. 'What's going on?' she asked, sensing the fear of his companions flowing through him.

'What do you know about Taraka's demons?' He asked hesitantly.

'Where did you... ’

'Naveen claims that they are attacking us. They are small, have sharp, seemingly slimy green scales, look like deer with frog faces with snakey red eyes,' he quickly described a one-meter-long creature that screamed every time it tried to breach the barrier, trying to get to him. Green saliva flowed from its open mouth, hissing against the grass.

'Alec...' he heard her muffled voice in his head. 'These demons attack with hordes of hundreds of individuals. They are like locusts, but unlike them, Taraka's demons eat only meat.'

'So that's how he did it,' Alec realized. 'He raided more villages using these demos...' he broke off as the demons started attacking the barrier again, sending him a series of signals that were again the same as the previous ones. 'Lilith.'

'What?! What's going on ?! 'Megi asked alarmed.

'He wants me,' Alec said flatly. He sensed the question she wanted to ask him and answered before he could hear it in his head. 'The next attacks are a message repeated over and over in letters from the Mors alphabet.'

'A message? What kind of message?’

'I'm coming for you, Claus.'

Chapter Text

More and more demons pressed against the barrier. Though they still hadn't spotted any vampires, Alec was sure Faust and his clan were behind this attack. But he had no idea how they controlled such a large horde of demons. The only answer that comes to his mind was that they had the help of some warlock.

"Alec!" The former Shadowhunter turned at the familiar voice.

"Kiara!" he exclaimed with relief. If he didn't have to hold up the barrier, he would immediately hugged her, but he couldn't afford it right now if they wanted to have any chance of surviving this night. "Are you ok?" He looked at her attentively and smiled when he saw a black puppy in her arms.

"I'm fine. What can I do?" she asked and flinched as another demon crashed into the barrier. "What is this?" The puppy growled, bristling.

"Demon," he replied evasively and added quickly, "Megi and Magnus are trying to regenerate the pentagram, they will need every help."

Kiara looked at him in disbelief. "Can I help with the barrier?"

He nodded back, making her squeal in delight. He understood perfectly well what she felt. He'd never allowed her to take part in loading the barrier before, but now the ballroom was the safest place, and he knew that if he didn't give the girl something to do, she would never agree to leave him.

“Naveen, gather your people and go with Kiara,” he said firmly, ignoring the other warlock's protest, “We don't have time for this! I will be able to hold the barrier for a few minutes alone."

"Alec," Kiara whispered tearfully.

"I'll be fine, sweetheart," he announced, smiling fondly at her. “If necessary, I will teleport inside in a second. Others won't be able to because the barrier around the ballroom won't let them. You have to go to Magnus and Megi. They need your help more than I do."

Some warlocks immediately obeyed him, hearing the whole conversation through the magic that connects them. However, the rest stubbornly tried to pour as much power as possible into the barrier, waiting for the decision of their leader.

“We can't just leave you,” Naveen insisted. "Megi would never forgive us if something happened to you."

"Out of all of us, I have the best chance of survival," Alec noted. “We're wasting time and energy in unnecessary arguments. Take the rest of your people and the girl out of here. In ten minutes, I will deactivate this barrier and portal inside the building, and anyone who does not hide by then, is going to count only on themselves."

The warlock stared at him in the eyes for a while before he nodded his head in agreement. He turned to give some commands to the rest of them while Kiara approached Alec from behind. He could feel her forehead resting on his back, hugging him tightly.

"You have to come back," she whispered, knowing that despite the noise around him, Alec would hear her anyway. "Magnus needs you, Megi needs you..." she sobbed. Lightwood squeezed his eyes shut as he swallowed hard. "I need you too," she added in a hoarse voice.

"Don’t worry, sweetheart. I need you as much as you need me,” he said firmly. “Naveen and the rest are ready. Please Kiara, go with them and don't do anything stupid. As soon as you get inside, go to Magnus. I need to know you're safe."

"Okay, I promise." After these words, she moved away from him and ran towards the hotel entrance, followed by a black puppy.

The rest of the warlocks followed as soon as they sent the last wave of magic to the barrier. Naveen was the last to leave, wanting to make sure everyone got to the building safely.

Not having to worry about the safety of the others, Alec slowly backed up, reducing the barrier's surface area as well as the amount of magic it took to hold it. More and more demons moved towards him. Alec knew he was becoming the closest target they could focus on. They were attracted to the smell of human flesh.

'WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!' he flinched when after a few minutes of silence he heard his friend's loud voice resonating in his head. 'Why did you send everyone inside!'

'Naveen didn't tell you?'

'He did,' she replied coldly. 'Magnus is furious'

'Are you sure it’s about Magnus?' He gasped as more demons lunged at the barrier.

'Laura needed two vampires to help keep him from running out of the building to you. He only calmed down when Kiara stood on his way.'

‘Good girl,' he replied, taking another step back. He was only a few meters from the door. 'How’s pentagram?'

Megi didn't answer him right away, but when she finally spoke, he could catch the fear in her voice. 'I don't know if we can fix it.'

The black-haired man inhaled sharply. 'Why?' Through their bond he sensed her hesitation. 'Megi?’

'When we cast a spell on Kiara's necklace, you drew energy from the abyss, right?' She didn't have to say anything else. Alec cursed loudly. 'We've tried everything. Magnus thinks our connection to Edom is not enough and that only you can activate it, but it takes time and a lot of magic to do so. At this point, we have neither of it.

'I damaged the pentagram, that's why they broke the barrier so quickly.'

′Alec...’

'I put everyone in danger...'

"Enough, tinee ," he felt Megi's warm hand on his shoulder.

"What now?" he asked tiredly.

"We will fight," Laura announced, standing next to her girlfriend while giving him a reassuring smile.

Alec sighed as familiar strong arms wrapped around his waist. He felt tears welling up at the corners of his eyes. He should have checked the barrier after using magic from the abyss. He exposed not only the hotel guests, but also Magnus and Kiara. He didn’t deserve their comfort.

He closed his eyes slowly and leaned against Magnus' body. The warlock immediately directed his magic to replenish his reserve.

"Magnus," he tried to protest, but the warlock interrupted him.

"Take my strength, love. You'll need it if we're going to hold out until morning," Bane muttered, lacing the fingers of their hands together.

The sun was their only hope. They knew it, but it was still many hours before sunrise. They had no chance.

"Believe in us," Megi said. "As we believe in you."

Alec straightened, his fingers gripping Magnus's hands, who sighed as he felt his magic slowly flow through his boyfriend's body.

"Alec?" Everyone looked at the black-haired vampire standing behind them. “Warlocks returned to their previous positions. Some of the guests decided to fight if necessary. The rest will take refuge in the ballroom."

"Thank you, Kiara," he smiled fondly at her and looked at the whining puppy at her feet. "Fenrir," the animal directed its intense black eyes on him. "Protect us," he said in a language that no one but the dog understood.

The puppy's muscles tightened, then began to move. The dog began to change and enlarge before their eyes. His snout lengthened. Choking, sulfur-smelling smoke puffed out of his nostrils. When his transformation was complete, he growled, causing the demons attacking the barrier to run into the forest with a squeal .

“It's time to start the hunt,” Alec muttered in the same language. The beast howled and ran into the forest in pursuit of the running demons.

"Was that a Hellhound?" Magnus asked incredulously. "You let our daughter play with a..."

"I have full control over it," Alec pointed out quickly.

"Daughter?" Megi and Laura asked at the same time, glancing at the girl who looked very pleased with herself.

"Surprise?" Magnus said, putting one arm around Kiara to pull her towards him and Alec, still embraced by him. Kiara laughed as the warlock placed a loud kiss on her temple.

"Do you have any other surprises for us?" Megi asked suspiciously, casting an anxious glance towards the forest from which they could hear demons squeals and howls.

“At least Fenrir is having a good time,” Kiara remarked with a sigh as the smell of the ichor reached them from a distance.

"Do you think he can get Faust?" asked Heimish, who was standing closest to them, listening to their conversation. "He would spare us the trouble."

"I wouldn't count on that," someone announced in a cold voice. "Your little dogie has no chance against us."

At the edge of the forest, leaning against a tree was a vampire with snow-white hair and tar-colored eyes that everyone recognized except Magnus.

Kiara cried in fear, hiding behind Magnus at the same time as Alec stepped away from his embrace. He looked at the vampire's black eyes and moved to stand between him and his family.

"Faust," Laura hissed, showing her fangs. She took a step forward, wanting to lunge at him, but Megi's hand tightened on her wrist stopped her.

"No, Laura," she whispered. "He's trying to provoke us."

Alec scanned the line of the forest. He could easily see the figures lurking behind the trees. The clan finally got to them. The former Shadowhunter felt more confident knowing where their enemy was. Now he could safely plan how to get them out of this shit without much loss.

He looked around carefully, but didn’t see the vampire they feared most. Was he waiting for the right moment?

Faust moved closer to the barrier, moving away from his companions.

'Hold the barrier,' Alec sent a short command to Megi. Without waiting for her answer, he quickly redirected his magic into his hands and lunged forward, at the exact moment when Fenrir ran out of the forest, charging like a bull at the vampire leader, trampling his subordinates along the way.

Faust wanted to run, but he couldn't move because of the spell Alec had cast on him. The dog reached the vampire faster, but before it could clench its enormous jaws, another vampire attacked him.

Fenrir was hit in the side with such force that his body lifted off the ground and flew at the unexpected Alec. Fortunately, Magnus reacted instantly, pulling the younger man with a rope entwined with magic. Alec fell straight into his arms, causing him to lose his balance and fell onto the grass with a loud gasp.

"Are you insane?!" Magnus cried as Alec stood up, dragging him up at the same time, then dusted his pants as if nothing had happened. Fenrir also managed to recover at that time, and in one jump he stood next to Kiara, who immediately hid her face in his thick fur.

Using a barrier as a starting point has brought them many wins in the past. This time, however, their opponents were better prepared.

"Nice try," Faust remarked mockingly, smiling at them superiorly.

Alec gritted his teeth, avoiding the gaze of the other vampire. He didn't have to look at him to know what he looked like. They met in combat more than once. Black hair and hollow eyes that made you mad when you looked at them for too long.

"It's the first time I'm seeing you here," said the boy, smiling at Magnus. "You must be new," he remarked mockingly. "I'm Alec," he announced, smiling triumphantly when Magnus instinctively looked into his eyes.

Alexander turned to the warlock to warn him. He and Megi screamed at the same time, but it was too late.

Magnus gasped loudly as Lightwood grabbed his arm, turning him away from the vampire who was laughing loudly.

"Magnus," he whispered, trying to get his attention. However, in vain. The warlock’s eyes were blank. "Oh no," Alexander groaned in despair, stroking Magnus' pale cheeks. He remembered telling him about the power that this vampire called Alec had a few weeks earlier. Looking into the eyes of his victims, he could make them see their worst nightmares making them incapable to protect themself. After what Magnus had been through recently, he didn't even want to think about the effect it would have on him. "Release him!" He demanded, turning to the amused vampire, trying to focus on his shoulder.

"Where's the fun in that?" he asked with a shrug.

"That's enough, Alec," Faust ordered, giving him a warning glare. "We came here with a peace proposal."

Megi snorted. "What?" She asked, looking at him in disbelief. "When you say 'peace' you mean 'We shall kill you all for the sake of peace?' Cause if you are, then you can go back to your den."

Claus sensed the intense gaze of the black-haired vampire who seemed to be treating Magnus as his prey. The warlock was defenseless at that moment, and if they were going to fight, he would be an easy target, so he had to get him out of here as soon as possible. 

He opened the portal, catching everyone's attention. He took Magnus in his arms and he looked pointedly at Kiara, who immediately came up to him, grabbing his arm. 

He led them through the portal into Magnus’ bedroom. He walked over to the bed, gently placing Magnus on it, who was mumbling words in the native language he had once tried to teach him. His eyes were still blurry. Claus knew from experience that for the next ten or fifteen minutes it would not change. Alec's additional ability lasted about this time. He gained this power after his transformation from a Shadowhunter into a vampire.

"Stay with him," he whispered to Kiara, who lay on the bed next to Magnus, wrapping her arms around him. She looked at him with large black eyes and nodded.

Claus knew that at this point she would rather be as far away from the garden as possible and from the vampire who was the cause of all her suffering. She was only five years old, but she remembered that he had killed her parents and turned her into a vampire, wanting to use her as a weapon.

"Mohon tidak!" Magnus called, shaking his head from left to right. "Jangan sakiti dia!"

"What is he saying?" the girl asked softly, rubbing the warlock's arm, wanting to soothe him. "He sounds like is suffering."

"They're just nightmares," he assured her. “When he wakes up, make sure he stays here. He will be very weak."

As soon as she agreed, he walked through the still-open portal, joining Megi, who stared murderously at both vampires who were watching her with superiority.

“Megara, we can get into some agreement. You can save your brother, girlfriend and the Sanctuary and its guests. Instead, I just want Claus,” said Faust, opening his arms and taking a step forward as if he wanted to embrace her. But he paused when he heard Fenrir's growl and Laura's menacing hiss.

"Don't come near her."

The vampire gave the blonde an amused look. “My proposal is the only salvation for you. You know very well that you have no chance against us."

"Thanks, but no," Megi replied in an icy tone. "I'd rather eat the Swamp Demon's slime."

"Will you sacrifice all these innocent people for one boy?" Rage flashed in his eyes. “So be it, but remember! Every drop of blood shed tonight will fall on your conscience!" Saying this, he reached into the bag he had over his shoulder and pulled out a glass globe filled with gray smoke.

It was the size of a tennis ball. Faust smirked and tossed the object forward. The ball easily crossed the barrier, flying over their heads. It was just an object, and it didn’t want to hurt them. However, when it hit the concrete pavement, shattering into millions of tiny pieces, it ceased to be an innocent object. The entire garden was obscured by a dense fog, and the silence was broken by a long scream, like a mother's desperate cry for her missing child.

There was something about that sound that made Alec fall to his knees. He felt that his whole body refused to obey him, along with his lungs and heart. He fought for every breath while trying to calm his fastly beating heart. He knew he had to get up and run.

The demon summoned by Faust was a creature with which mothers scared their children in this area. He was one of the ruthless hunters. He did not yield until he caught the victim. Few have experienced an encounter with this creature who was feared even among the most powerful warlocks.

"RUN!" he heard Laura scream from a distance. The barrier collapsed as all the warlocks abandoned their positions, trying to escape into the forest. They would rather be killed by vampires than become victims of this demon.

"ALEC RUN!"

Where? For what? What's the point in that? We have no chance anyway.

'ALEC!'

The fog thinned and Alec's saw the worst nightmare of every living creature on this world. Soulslayer.

The demon itself didn't look scary. It was like a petite woman dressed in a gown of dark smoke with a long lace scarf over its head, that looks like it was blown by a night breeze.

As the demon emerged from the mist, Alec saw his silhouette hover in the air and only a needle-thin silver blade was dragged along the ground, leaving a distinct indentation in the ground behind it.

Alec was unable to take his eyes off the creature. It approached him slowly, majestically, as if floating on the clouds. It took its time. After all, no one ever managed to break free from the numbness its singing was causing. When it was only two meters away from him, the scarf slipped off its head. Still paralyzed Alec saw a face with no mouth and nose, with deep holes where eyes were supposed to be.

The demon began to raise the arm in which it held the sword, and then Alec noticed that the silvery blade was not a sword blade, but part of the demon’s body. Extension of the hand. The Soulslayer pulled its arm back, aiming its elongated limb at the center of Alec’s heart.

Alec knew it was over. There is no way he can get out of this alive. His body was almost indestructible, but this demon did not kill its victims. By piercing the body, he devoured the soul that he had imprisoned forever. For centuries, no one managed to release them.

Faust found one of the few ways to defeat Alec, putting himself, the entire clan, and all the surrounding villages at risk.

The demon moved its hand to stab him, but at that moment a rushing pile of black fur bumped into it. Fenrir. He clamped his mouth on the demon's hand, thus preventing the Soulslayer from attacking him.

“Alec!”

The former Shadowhunter blinked when he felt two small hands gripping his shoulders. When he finally broke free from his dullness he noticed Kiara bending over him. Her long black curls were tangled, partially obscuring her face.

"Alec, please get up," she said frantically, trying to get him to his feet. "We have to run!"

He struggled to his feet, almost falling over the poor girl who was bravely holding him around his waist, throwing his arm around her shoulders. Somewhere in his head there was a voice telling him that she shouldn't be here, that she was supposed to do something very important. But at that moment he couldn't remember what it was.

Kiara cast a nervous glance behind her. However, when she noticed that the demon was still busy, she quickly looked at Alec's pale face, who was staring absently at the ground. She pulled him, trying to direct their steps towards the incoming Magnus. The warlock looked pale and had dark circles under his eyes.

Behind her, Kiara heard the sounds of a scuffle, the growling and howl of Fenrir, and the prolonged wailing of the Soulslayer, who was probably trying to free his hand from the iron jaws of the other demon.

"Alexander!" Magnus immediately put his arm around his waist, relieving Kiara.

The girl looked back at the exact moment that the Soulslayer pushed the hellhound away. The huge dog hit the nearest tree whimpering in pain.

"Fenrir!" Kiara cried in despair and ran towards him.

Magnus wanted to call for her, but the words got stuck in his throat as he saw the demon ignore the vampire, chasing them instead. The warlock knew that they wouldn’t be able to escape Soulslayer, so he let go of Alec, who, still unaware of his surroundings, immediately fell to his knees. 

Magnus needed his hands free to use magic. Despite his weakness, he made a few quick movements. Strings made of red magic shot out of his hand and he quickly wrapped them around the demon's body. The Slayer struggled in its bonds, making a series of shrill screams that deafened him for a few seconds.

Magnus began to recite a spell that was supposed to send the demon to Hell when he felt something crash into him with force, knocking all the air out of his lungs. He fell facedown on the grass, pressed down by something heavy. He lifted his head, trying to catch his breath, realizing that during the fall the bonds that held the Soulslayer had faded.

He tried to get up, throw off what was lying on him, but he didn't have enough strength. He jerked twice before being turned sharply on his back by the black-haired vampire who had previously introduced himself as Alec. 

Magnus gasped remembering what his Alexander had told him about him and immediately looked away trying to push the vampire off himself, but the boy grabbed his wrists, pinning them to the ground along his body.

"Stop struggling, warlock, or you'll end up as a snack to our fledglings," he said, grinning widely, displaying his snow-white fangs. 

The vampire held Magnus's arms to the ground with his knees, bringing his free hands to touch his face. 

"It's a pity to waste such a pretty face," he muttered, blowing his breath into Magnus’ face. 

The warlock frowned as he tried to free himself from the vampire iron grip. Magnus froze noticing behind the boy's back, the dark silhouette of the Soulslayer. The demon completely ignored them and flew over the ground towards still kneeling Alec.

"NO!!!" Magnus jerked harder. "Alexander!"

The vampire laughed as the warlock struggled under him, trying to free even one hand. Magnus knew he couldn't get free without his magic. Yet he still struggled. He had to break free... Alexander needed him. He just got him back. For what? To only lose him again? He will never allow it!

For a moment they were obscured by the shadow of the hound leaping over them, which with increased eagerness lunged at the demon, who was once again preparing to attack Lightwood. Magnus tried to take advantage of the confusion caused by Fenrir's appearance to free his hands. He was almost there when at the last moment he felt cold hands on his neck.

"That wasn’t nice, warlock," he shook a finger at him. "Our fun is not over yet."

"On the contrary, it just came to an end," they heard a firm female voice. They barely had time to turn their heads in the direction it came from when a blue rope of magic wrapped around the vampire's body. "Leave my little brother alone," Megi said in a menacing tone, pulling the vampire off Magnus with one jerk.

"Thank you," the warlock gasped in reply.

"It's been a while since we last met," said Megi towards the bound vampire. "I thought you had enough after the last fight with Claus." She snapped her fingers, causing a terrible cry of pain to escape from the vampire's mouth. "I should have done it a long time ago," she was staring down at his bloody face. "You will never use your power to harm the people I love again."

Magnus watched his sister in disbelief. The woman held the vampire's eyes in her hand, which she removed from his sockets with magic. Even though they were children of a Greater Demon, cruelty was not part of their nature, which is why he didn’t expect anything like this from her. On the other hand, when he remembered everything he had seen after looking at those black irises, he was glad he wouldn't have to go through it a second time.

Magnus looked at Alexander, who was still kneeling where he had left him, trembling all over his body. He walked over to him, kneeling beside him and putting his arm around him. The former Shadowhunter still looked stunned. "Everything will be fine, my love. I’ve got you."

„Magn…us…”

"I'm here," the warlock assured, entwining his fingers into the other man's black hair. "Everything will be fine."

"Magnus, get him out of here," Megi said firmly, not taking her eyes off her prisoner, who, despite the pain, was smiling broadly. "What's so funny, vampire?" She asked, irritated.

"Haven't you noticed it yet?" He laughed out loud. “The demon follows the soul that has the strongest aura. No matter where you hide Claus. The Soulslayer will never stop to pursue him."

Megi looked at the struggling demons. Fenrir was pressing the body of the Soulslayer to the ground with his paws. He grabbed the blade with his teeth, but no matter how tightly he gripped it, it wouldn't break.

"We have to seal it, that's the only way we can stop this demon," said Magnus wearily. 

His reserve was running out. Megi didn’t look better. Many warlocks run, drawing the clan away from the Sanctuary. Some died. The fight was still heated, but their people and vampires, fearing the Soulslayer, kept their distance from them.

"Good luck," the vampire sneered. “Faust sacrificed three villages before his warlock had enough strength to seal this demon. It's not a pokemon, you can’t just throw a cage at it.”

"Shut up," Megi growled and sent the vampire to the cell under the hotel, wanting to make sure he wouldn't interfere. "What now?" Megi asked, watching her girlfriend attack with the grace of a panther, a vampire who was trying to lunge at her from behind. "If what that vampire was saying is true, we won't be able to catch Soulslayer.”

"We have to try," said Magnus, struggling to get up. "I'm not gonna let this thing hurt Alexander."

"No," they immediately turned to look at Alec who was trying to get up, propped up by Kiara, who was watching him anxiously.

"Claus," Megi began, but he shook his head, interrupting her.

"You can't take that risk," he muttered as he straightened up. "Not for me. I'm not…"

"Don't you even dare to finish this sentence!" Magnus growled, grabbing him by his shirt, pulling him up to meet his eyes. "I can't lose you again, do you understand?!"

The blue eyes softened as they watched the storm of emotions on Magnus's face.

"I’m sorry," the ex-Shadowhunter whispered, resting his forehead on the warlock's shoulder.

“You guys will talk once we get rid of this demon,” Laura remarked as she approached them. “We've defeated most of the vampires. Faust escaped with the survivors after Megi imprisoned Alec. Sorry,” she added quickly as she saw all of them grimace at that name.

Alec disentangled himself from Magnus's arms and nodded. He turned to the Soulslayer, just as the demon was able to break free from Fenrir's grip. This time the demon didn’t waste any time on a majestic flight towards its victim, but immediately dissolved into a thick fog.

"No," exclaimed Megi, running towards Alec, ready to cover him with her own body if the need arose. The same was done by Laura and Magnus who was closest. Kiara looked from side to side, trying to see any movement in the fog.

Alec heard a whistle and at the last moment looked in the right direction, using magic to push away Magnus who was standing in the way of the demon.

Alec’s legs were still trembling, and he only managed to take two steps back, which in no way prevented him from the blade approaching his chest. He heard the terrified scream of his friends, and suddenly it seemed as if everything had come to a stop as another body appeared between him and the blade.

"No," Alec cried, but it was too late. The demon easily plunged its blade into its victim, stopping in the center of their heart.

Chapter Text

Alec held his breath as Soulslayer tilted its head to the side, as if in surprise, examining its prey. He reached out with his other bony hand to grasp the tiny arm, wanting to free its blade from its victim’s body, but before it could touch it, Alec used his magic to push the demon away with all his strength.

The former Shadowhunter was breathing sharply, wrapping one arm around the limp body before it fell on the ground, stained with blood and demonic ichor. He looked down at the expressionless face and the thin rose-petal lids that concealed dark eyes, usually full of joy and delight, now empty.

He gasped as he saw a small hole in the front of the blue shirt where the demon's blade had pierced the body.

He felt dizzy. Unable to stay on his feet any longer, he fell to his knees, hiding his face in dark curls in which he could still smell the familiar scent.

"Please," he sobbed, stroking his fingers over one pale cheek. "Please, sweetheart. Open your eyes,” he whispered, kissing smooth forehead again and again. "Please."

"Alec..." Megi began cautiously, but when he looked at her she froze. She thought she would see pain and tears in his eyes, but what she saw instead, chilled the blood in her veins.

There was a darkness in her friend's eyes, which she knew he tried to suppress from the day he realized that he had it inside himself. "Alec?"

The former Shadowhunter moved his gaze back to look again at the motionless face and pale cheeks, which he was stroking with one hand.

"Kiara," he said in a shaky voice, his fingers tightening around her limp body. He felt his heart tighten painfully as he realized that the girl would never wake up. She sacrificed herself to protect him. She died because of him.

He felt how despair and guilt consumed him with every passing second. He didn’t even notice that intense red flames shot out from his hands, which spread very quickly over his entire body and the vampire he was holding in his arms.

Megi instinctively took a step back, trying her best to control him through their Bond. But nothing helped. She could feel his power growing with each second, fueled by negative thoughts, guilt and grief. As he completely lost control, she managed to throw a protective shield between Alec and Downworlders standing closest to her, praying silently that it would be enough.

Alec's magic shot out of his body in all directions like a supernova, sparing nothing or anyone in its path. Plants, animals, demons, people.

Despair completely blinded him, disabling reason and his natural desire to protect every living creature. At this point, he was just a father who lost his child.

Only a small part of his mind could sense Megi as she tried to soothe his pain, and a very familiar calm blue magic stubbornly trying to wrap itself around his own bubbling in rage, seeking revenge. 

"Alexander," he thought he heard Magnus' muffled cry through the crackling of the flames that surrounded him.

He opened his eyes, not remembering when he closed them and choked, seeing his magic ravaging nearby trees, devouring bodies of his dead friends and enemies.

The Soulslayer thrashed in the flames, waving his sword in all sides, unable to sense where its target was, blinded by the scarlet magic.

The former Shadowhunter was horrified to realize that the demon was immune even to his darkest magic.

Alec suddenly felt something bump into him with force. Before he could react in any way, he noticed two dark, ringed hands surrounded by blue magic.

Alec would recognize these hands even in complete darkness. He sighed as Magnus embraced him, hiding his face in the crease of his neck.

"Alexander," he heard more clearly now, the warlock's broken voice, full of suffering and concern. "Please come back to me."

Alec felt blue magic penetrate his body, making his own gold instantly respond to the call of the familiar aura. Through the power between them, he could sense the fear and suffering emanating from Magnus. When he thought he was the cause of all of this, he felt sick.

He always thought Magnus would be a great father. But now they won't know about it. Because of his own stupidity, they lost Kiara. He took away Magnus' chance to become a father. He killed their baby.

He sobbed as he looked down at their daughter's motionless body and froze with a loud gasp as he saw that the necklace that had made the girl grow up despite being a vampire was enveloped in a golden glow. The former Shadowhunter was so surprised that he didn't even notice that the flames he had created when he lost control of himself began to slowly fade away, engulfed by the pendant.

Alec stared at the necklace with his mouth slightly open. The wings surrounding the golden heart began to slowly open. At the same time, he noticed that Kiara's body started to fade.

"No," Alec gasped, fighting for another breath. He could feel the tears trickling down his cheeks.

He managed to find a spell thanks to which Kiara could grow up. He was willing to spend the next centuries searching for a way to get her soul back. But he knew that if her body disappeared, he would never succeed. "Please don’t."

He surrounded her with his magic, trying to stop the inevitable. He clenched his hands into fists as the girl's body vanished, at the exact same moment the pendant opened completely.

The necklace hung in the air as if its owner was still wearing it around neck. Inside was a small glass ball surrounded by golden rings. It all looked like a pentagram in the hotel ballroom.

The necklace slowly flew towards the Soulslayer. The demon was approaching Alec, who was kneeling in the scorched grass.

Both warlocks studied the necklace, knowing that if the demon decided to attack them, they wouldn’t be able to escape anyway. However, as the gray figure of the Soulslayer approached the tiny pendant, it started to glow with intense white light.

The demon was immediately locked in a beautiful golden cage, which a moment ago was a small ball inside Kiara's necklace.

Alec looked back as he heard the chorus of shocked voices, and breathed a sigh of relief as he saw Megi and the rest of his friends alive and safe.

Alec heard Magnus suck in a breath and turned to see what had happened. The sphere in which the Soulsayer was trapped began to shrink, and the demon with it began to shriek in horrible ways.

The cage again took the size of a small ball, and the golden wings of the pendant began to close around it again. But what surprised Alec the most was a tiny luminous figure on whose neck a necklace was hung.

"Kiara," the former Shadowhunter whispered, staring wide-eyed at the approaching girl. He was unaware of Magnus' anxious gaze, nor that Megi knelt on the other side of him, stroking his arm. At that moment, he was the only one who could see a smiling face leaning over him and black eyes staring at him sadly.

The girl slowly pulled the necklace over her head and held it out in front of her.

Thank you for giving me the chance to have a normal childhood.

He gasped at the familiar voice that sounded completely different at the same time. As if there was a thick sheet of glass between them.

This necklace had enough power to seal the Soulslayer. She said looking him straight in the eye. The demon devoured so many souls that in the hands of the wrong person, it can serve as an endless source of dark magic. Please, Alec. She reached for his hand, putting a gold necklace in it. Use it to protect, not to hurt.

Alec felt tears streaming down his cheeks. He knew that if he promised her that, he would never see her again. The girl was clearly well aware of his fears, as she added. My soul is bound to this necklace. I will always be part of it.

The man's heart beat faster. He put the pendant to his heart, clenching his fingers on it, absorbing its energy, replenishing his own reserve.

I know you will do the right thing, conqueror . After these words, she bent down and placed a short kiss on his forehead, only to dissolve into thin air.

Alec blinked a few times, trying to understand what had just happened. He could feel a wave of warmth, peace and love emanating all over his body from the pendant he was holding.

"Alexander," he heard Magnus' muffled whisper close to his ear, which instantly snapped him out of the strange trance he was in.

He turned his head to look at the golden-green irises filled with sorrow and grief. He knew that the warlock needed comfort just like he did, but he couldn’t afford it right now.

He had to make sure that he wouldn’t disappoint the trust their daughter had placed in him. So he disentangled himself from his boyfriend's embrace and shook Megi's hand off his shoulder.

He struggled to his feet, clenching his hand around the heart-shaped pendant. He could feel the anxious glances of his friends, Magnus and the people who entrusted him with their safety.

They lost many wonderful companions that night, and all he could do was make sure that this kind of situation never happened again.

"FENRIR!" The people closest to him flinched as he screamed with a voice filled with dark magic that echoed through the trees. The hellhound was beside his master in two strides, awaiting his command. The animal almost vibrated with rage and grief. "I want him alive," Alec growled. Fenrir apparently needed no further explanation as he howled loudly, announcing his hunt, and sped into the forest with an ominous growl.

"Alec?" Megi began, but Alec ignored her.

He turned, passing her, Magnus and Laura without a word. Neither of them even tried to stop him as he walked towards the front door of the hotel, a determined look on his face.

The people standing in his way immediately made a passage for him, fearing the red sparks that shot out from his clenched fists again.

He entered the building. He didn’t have to look back to know that a large part of the crowd had followed him. Only a few remained outside to deal with the bodies of their loved ones who had miraculously survived his earlier outburst.

Alec shook his head, trying to chase away those dark thoughts that only distracted him.

He walked over to the pentagram and looked down at the marble tiles, which cracked to form a perfectly even line that ran right through the center of the circle.

No wonder Megi was unable to fix it. He thought and stood in the center, suppressing the dark magic flowing through his body, not wanting it to somehow affect pentagram’s work. He breathed a few times then turned to the door.

He noticed how Megi visibly relaxed when she saw that the blackness had disappeared from his eyes replaced by the familiar blue color.

Alec held his hand out so that the crowd could see the pendant he was holding. In the center of the heart-shaped pendant was a golden cage surrounded by wings in which the Soulsleyer was imprisoned. He opened his fingers, letting the chain slip from his hand, falling very slowly into a crack in the center of the pentagram. As soon as it was completely out of sight, intense white light shot out of the crack.

The closest ones took a step back, a few even screamed in fear. However, the light didn't hurt them, and when it vanished, they were surprised to see that the ballroom was spinning. There was no sign of a long crack on the floor, only a mass of golden rings around the pentagram. They have never seen so many of them. Alec was in the middle. His lips moved rapidly as he uttered words of a spell they couldn’t hear over the hum of the moving circles. When he finished he opened his eyes and stepped out of the pentagram, the rings were still spinning nonetheless.

Alec walked over to Megi who was watching him closely.

"The souls this demon has devoured are now an infinite source of energy," he said softly with his hand pointing to the pentagram. "Thanks to this, the Sanctuary will always be safe, because the barrier will never fall down again." He announced and then added. „Please, Megi. Don't let this pendant fall into the wrong hands."

Megi nodded, adding aloud, "I promise."

Alec relaxed after that declaration. He sighed loudly and looked around at the audience.

"Where is Magnus?" he asked, not seeing a familiar figure in the crowd of Downwolders.

"He stayed in the garden," Laura replied softly.

Alexander straightened, looking anxiously toward the hotel exit.

He pushed Magnus away, knowing the warlock needed him, now he feared the damage it would do. Especially since he still had no idea what the warlock saw when Alec used his power on him.

"I'll go find him," he said as he headed for the hall.

He paused at the door of the ballroom to take a last look at the pentagram and the luminous figure that smiled at him standing in the center of the circle.

Taking a deep breath, he turned around and walked towards the hotel exit, squeezing through the crowd of Downworlders while trying to ignore the anxious and sympathetic glances thrown at him.

He have to ignore his stupid fears, Magnus were more important now.

He opened the gate and stepped outside, wincing as he was struck by the smell of burned trees and demonic ichor. He didn't have to look long to notice Magnus. He was standing exactly in the same place where a few moments ago they were kneeling embracing the limp body of the girl they both loved as their own daughter.

Alec walked over to him slowly and wrapped his arms around his waist, pulling the man against him so he could look into his tearful eyes. He was staring at the ground.

Alec looked down as well to see the distinct burned circle his magic had left behind after he lost control of his magic. He swallowed, looking around the garden. He could see several familiar faces twisted in grief as they bent over their fallen friend, lover, sibling, parent, child.

He swallowed again and summoned his magic, directing it to the ground at their feet. Magnus looked at him questioningly, but Alec ignored him. His lips formed a thin line as he, with the help of magic, tried to repair the damage he had done.

The burned trees shed their blackened bark, which began to slowly regrow as well as the leaves. He summoned the strong gust of wind and blew away soot that had accumulated on the dead bodies, some plants and the ground.

Alec looked around the garden again, wondering what to do with the remains of the stalls. He couldn't fix them with his magic, but he had to get rid of them somehow. They reminded him that it was his fault that Faust had managed to repeat the attack from 100 years ago.

He waved his hand as he dismantled the stands, stacking the remaining wood in piles. Then he turned away to look at Magnus and froze as he saw the golden-green cat's eyes staring at him anxiously.

The warlock reached for his hand and gasped, looking at Alec with a hurt look as the younger man refused to let him grab his palm, which was still surrounded by golden magic.

"Alexander," he began hesitantly, but fell silent as Alec shook his head, once again directing his magic to the ground beneath their feet.

Suddenly, a green stem emerged from between the grasses, on which small leaves and delicate pink buds began to grow very quickly. The flower slowly unfolded its petals, ranging in color from magenta and orange finally to yellow. The rays of the moon falling on the flowers made their center resemble tiny stars.

"Z... zinnia?" Magnus asked shakily. Alec tucked his cheek against the crease of the warlock's neck, nodding.

"She loved those flowers," Alec's fingers tightened around Magnus's waist, trying to hide how much his hands were shaking. “She once brought me a whole bouquet. She uprooted them from the neighbors' garden together with the roots."

Magnus laughed despite the tears that started to run down his cheeks.

"Alexander..." the warlock whispered, knowing how hard Alec tried to suppress his own emotions. "You know you don't have to do this?" He said more than asked. "You don't have to comfort me or pretend everything is fine."

"Magnus..."

"Listen to me, darling," Magnus demanded, turning in his arms so he could cup his face with his hands. That way he wanted to make sure the younger man didn't look away. "You are suffering. Hiding these feelings will not make the pain go away. Only it will make you suffer even more."

Alec squeezed his eyes shut tightly as he swallowed violently. When he looked at him again, his beautiful blue eyes filled with tears.

"I... I wanted to show her Idris," he whispered, his voice breaking. "Alicante’s glass towers," he gasped, unable to catch his breath. "I wanted her to see where she was from," he continued, not noticing how Magnus's entire body stiffened at that revelation.

Magnus tried to remember if Alec had ever mentioned to him that Kiara was a child of a Shadowhunter. That would explain why Alec and Laura were so attached to her. The angelic part of their blood drew them to each other.

"I wanted to teach her so much," the younger man finally choked, hiding his face in his hands.

Magnus inhaled sharply, hugging his boyfriend's huddled body tighter, while reflecting on the injustice of this world.

How much his boyfriend had yet to lose before the darkness that all warlock feared completely consumed him. Had the universe not made him suffer enough?

"Magnus..." Alec breath hitched. He looked up revealing his eyes red from crying in which Bane saw deep sorrow. "I can't... I can't breathe... Please..."

He groaned loudly, resting his entire weight on Magnus. His legs trembled so much that he could no longer stand upright. He gasped as his knees suddenly gave out, but Magnus didn't let him fall. The warlock's strong arms encircled him tightly, holding him up.

"Shhh, my love," Magnus whispered, slowly kneeling down to relieve his boyfriend’s shaking legs.

Alec sighed gratefully, hiding his face in Magnus’ shirt. His hands tightened on the expensive cloth with such force that his knuckles turned white.

Magnus wrapped his hands over his companion's face. Alec looked up. He was still fighting for every breath, at the same time trying to keep his magic in check. He couldn't lose control again.

The warlock tried to wipe the tears that ran down Alec's cheeks. "I'm here. You don't have to go through this alone," Magnus knew that was all he could do to ease the pain Alec was feeling now. Be here for him, support him.

He swallowed violently, trying to hold back the tears from falling from his eyes. He had to be strong. For Alec.

***

They sat there for a long time, not fully realizing how much time had actually passed. They could have been sitting there for minutes or hours.

Neither Magnus nor Alec cared about the passage of time until the familiar voice of the person behind them burst through their bubble of mutual suffering.

"Sorry to interrupt you," they turned almost at the same time, meeting Laura's black eyes. "The sun will rise soon, and it might be better for you to go inside," she suggested, casting an anxious glance at the glowing sky behind them.

Magnus followed her eyes, wondering for a moment why the vampire was telling them this. Finally, the memory of one of his conversations with Alexander broke through his mind darkened with grief.

“I never leave the hotel during the day. I am not doing this because of Kiara. Didn't you wonder why the windows are always covered when you wake up?"

Magnus froze in panic examining the color of the sky while trying to count how much time they have until sunrise. He felt Alec's hands grip tighter on his shirt. They still had some time to enter the building. Magnus sighed and looked apologetically at the vampire. "Give us a second, okay?"

Laura pursed her lips in a narrow line, looking anxiously at Alec, who was buried in his arms, and nodded, then turned as she walked over to the building.

Magnus noticed that she hadn't come in. She paused just in front of the hotel gate, talking in a low voice with a warlock whose demon mark was intense purple skin and snow-white hair. The woman focused only partially on the man she was talking to, her eyes looking in their direction from time to time. She looked as if she was afraid they wouldn’t be on time.

Alec snuggled into him even tighter, not showing the slightest urge to move. Magnus sighed and brushed his bang away from his forehead, remembering yet another conversation they had just a few days ago.

„[…]as soon as I woke up, I tried to kill myself for the first time.”

Magnus released him immediately, taking two steps back, looking as if someone had hit him in the stomach.

"For the first time?" the warlock asked in a weak voice. "It means that…"

"I've tried many times. In many different ways."

Alec never told him... But seeing Laura's worried look, Magnus began to guess one of the ways his lover was trying to take his own life. His heart squeezed painfully, his throat got dry as he remembered the nightmares he saw when that vampire attacked him.

Alexander standing in full sun on the hotel roof. Staring blankly at him before his body caught on fire.

Magnus shuddered and looked down at his boyfriend, trying to keep this terrible vision away.

"Alexander," he whispered, kissing the top of the man’s head. "We can't stay here, darling." A soft groan of protest answered him. "Alec, please. She wouldn't want it." Alec flinched, but still showed no desire to stand up and go back inside.

The dark blue of the night sky was slowly disappearing, giving way to light blue, which mixed with the golden shade of the sun rising behind them. They still had some time, as they were shielded by the building, but with every passing second, Magnus felt his stomach tighten with anxiety. He looked again at Laura, who was tapping her foot nervously on the ground. However, it was the sight of Megi who had just left the hotel with the panicked look on her face that pushed Magnus into action.

Alec groaned tearfully as Magnus pushed him away, shifting their position.

"Shhh," the warlock whispered, embracing his shoulders with one hand and slipping the other hand under his knees. He easily lifted him off the ground and stood up. Magnus cast the last one glance at Zinnia, before making his way towards the Sanctuary.

Alec hid his face on Magnus's shoulder while wrapping arms around his neck. To the warlock's relief, he didn’t try to break free or protest, thanks to which they quickly reached the women waiting for them.

Magnus breathed a sigh of relief only when they were in the shadow of the building, passing through the door Megi and Laura kept opened for them. The two women followed him to the elevator and then to the communal apartment, where they made their way to their own room without saying a word. Magnus also wanted to take barely conscious Alec to the bedroom, but he stopped when he heard Alec’s loud protest.

"What is it?" Magnus asked with his thumb stroking his arm. Alec shuddered, mumbling something Magnus couldn't hear. "What did you say?"

"Please," Alec groaned, pushing his face back just enough to make his voice clearer. "Can we... only for today..." Magnus knew that whatever the boy wanted to say to him, it wasn't easy for him. It's been a long time since he last heard Alec stuttering.

"What's the matter, honey?"

"Kiara... can we sleep in her room?"

Oh? He should have guessed right away.

"Of course," Magnus replied fondly and walked to the door next to the apothecary.

He opened it with magic and slowly entered the dark room. He summoned a small blue flame and sent it to hang under the ceiling. He looked around the room and froze as he realized he had never been in here before.

The walls, painted in pastel pink, were decorated with stickers depicting ships and little girls dressed in pirate costumes. There was a single bed against the wall in the corner, on which lay a doll also dressed in a pirate costume.

Magnus walked over to the bed and slowly laid Alexander on top of it. The boy turned to the wall, immediately drawing the doll to his face, which must still smell like Kiara. The warlock's breathing quickened and his heart squeezed painfully as he heard a pained sob escape from the younger man's throat.

Not thinking much, Magnus scrambled onto the bed behind Alec, hugging his waist while hiding his face in the crook of his neck.

Alec's breathing was rough and shallow. Magnus wanted to help him somehow, but he didn't know how when he was fighting for every breath as well.

Suddenly, the silence was broken by a loud sob that surprised them both. Magnus immediately bit his lower lip, trying to muffle another noise, while Alec turned in his arms, cupping his face with both hands.

"Magnus," Alec whispered, stroking the warlock's cheeks with his thumbs.

"I’m sorry," said Magnus, placing his hands on Alec's.

"For what?" The younger man asked, looking at him sadly. "You didn't do anything wrong."

Magnus was afraid of the other man's reaction. "I know you loved her. I loved her too,” he said slowly. "But after what Al that vampire showed me..." he shuddered at the mere memory. “Even though it still hurts, and it will never stop. I can't help but think how glad I am that you are safe." He admitted guilt shone through his voice. "I have lost you once... And I know that if it had happened again, I wouldn't have been able to survive without you."

Alec sighed loudly, which made the warlock crouch as he waited for his reply.

"You don't have to apologize," Alec whispered, brushing back the dark hair that fell over Magnus's eyes. "I know we both tend to blame ourselves for all the bad things that happen around us," he leaned in to kiss the warlock’s forehead, who sighed, closing his eyes. “We have to stop this. Here and now,” Alec ordered, smiling sadly. "No more guilt."

"And no more blaming ourselves for things that aren't our fault," Magnus added after a moment, studying him closely.

The former Shadowhunter sober immediately, his eyes darkened with grief. "All these people... Kiara..."

"Oh, Alexander. It wasn't your fault,” he tried to convince him, but Alec shook his head.

"I damaged the pentagram," he explained, staring at Magnus with wide eyes. "They breached the barrier in less than a minute, where they would normally struggle all night, eventually giving up their attack as sunrise approached." The former Shadowhunter nervously bit his lower lip before continuing. “I let them walk right up to the hotel! Faust knew he couldn't get through the second barrier, so he prepared himself. The Soulslayer! He planned everything."

"Even with a working pentagram, he'd find a way to let that demon in somehow," Magnus noted. "He would have used some ignorant Downworlder to carry the cage over the barrier."

Alec watched him anxiously.

"What if he tries again?" he asked, his voice trembling and he sat up abruptly, disentangling himself from Magnus's grip.

„Alec?”

"I have to find him," he muttered as he finally stepped over the warlock and stood on the delicate blue rug.

There was something distant and dark in his eyes. Magnus immediately jumped out of bed after him, grabbing his hand. Alec paused, but continued to fiddle nervously in place.

"Where are you going?" Magnus asked, guessing the answer.

"I need to check the pentagram," Alec replied without even looking at him.

The warlock approached him, wanting to meet his eyes. "You fixed the pentagram. It's daytime, the sun is up. Faust will not attack us today, honey."

Alec sucked in a breath, shifting his gaze to their intertwined fingers, then faced Magnus’ cat eyes again.

"Please, I need to know that everything is okay?"

They both stood looking each other in the eyes for a moment. It was the warlock's voice that broke the silence.

"Okay, we'll go down to the ballroom," he announced and added quickly as Alec immediately started for the door, a look of relief on his face. "But only after we get some sleep."

The former Shadowhunter turned abruptly, opening his mouth to protest, but he closed them at the last moment when he saw the dark circles under Magnus’ eyes.

"We're both tired and we need to rest." The warlock said, clutching Alec's hand, moving his free hand out to stroke his pale cheek. "We have to regenerate, and we can’t if we end up running around the ballroom looking for every tiny crack."

Alec took a step towards Magnus, resting his forehead against his shoulder. He hunched over, looking more like a boy than a warrior trained to kill.

"Will you wake me up if anything happens?" he asked, and Magnus could hear the note of resignation in his voice.

"Of course," he replied, leading the exhausted boy to the bed.

Magnus lay down first, pulling Alec towards his chest. He covered them with the blanket and smiled when Alec didn't resist anymore.

The younger man sighed as he leaned against the warlock's warm body, allowing himself to listen to the slow, steady beat of Magnus’ heart.

Alec knew Magnus was right and that they both needed rest. So he gave in to the soft caress of his boyfriend's fingers on his neck.

In less than a minute, he fell into a restless sleep full of vampires, demons, bloody bodies and uncontrolled magic.