“I’ve asked Magnus,” Alec admitted miserably to his sister as he slumped in the chair in front of her desk.
“No!” Izzy exclaimed, giving him a furious stare. “I’ve already told you that if you ask Magnus, you are ruining any chance of Mum and Dad taking you seriously,”
“Well, I’ve already asked him and he was supportive, so you’ll just have to suck it up, I can’t help that no-one finds me attractive,” he frowned staring at his gorgeous sister and wishing he had her confidence.
“Oh Alec,” she said, voice softening at his down-turned mouth, “That’s not true at all, you’re just so rubbish at noticing when someone likes you that you don’t respond. Maybe you should just listen to me and Jace and Clary and Maia and even freaking Magnus when we tell you someone’s flirting!” she exclaimed, fingers clacking over the keys as she finished an email.
“I try, you know I do, I can’t help it if I’m so bad at social cues that I get mixed up,” he said, staring down at his shoes.
“True, but really Alec, attempting to flirt with the one guy in the gay bar who was definitely not gay was pretty impressive! Lucky he was so chill about it and let you down gently,” she smiled, then leant over and tilted her brother’s chin upwards, “Alec, it’s okay to try, and get it wrong, but at least try with the right people,”
“Okay, Izzy, I know, I know! I’m a gay disaster! I don’t dress right, I have the wrong hair style, I smile too much, I don’t smile enough, I don’t know when guys are flirting, I attempt flirting with the straight guys, no wonder no-one comes near… I’m a 24 year old, never-been-kissed, virgin, Izzy and I can’t stand it anymore!”
He grimaced as he finished, baring his teeth, hands worrying at the sleeves of his perfectly pressed shirt.
“Anyway,” he continued, “It doesn’t matter at the moment about all of that, just that Magnus said he would do it and I am going to make sure it goes well. I cannot stand Mum and Dad’s looks of pity if I show up alone, they gave me a hard enough time about coming out, they’d just laugh if I admitted I couldn’t get a date for the most important day in my career so far.”
“I don’t know why you listen so much to what they say, turning up alone would not be career suicide, sure it’s frowned upon, but it’s not the end of the world and it’s not like no-one there knows you Alec, they all know how amazing you are at your job and how highly you regard it and them. Stop beating yourself up,” She said, trying to pass on some of her confidence to her miserable brother.
“It doesn’t matter, Iz, I already asked. Magnus said he’d be my plus one and I’ll be grateful to have him by my side. At least I know him and he knows me, so we can spin a nice story of how we met and why we’ve kept it quiet so long. Magnus was bursting with ideas already when I asked him!”
“Well, yes, he would be,” said Izzy, giving her brother a worried look.
“What does that mean?” he asked, giving her a glare, “I’m just grateful that someone cares about how I feel going stag to this event. At least Magnus was willing to support me, Iz.”
Then he stood up and turned to leave, anger in his hunched shoulders and a pained expression making his handsome face twist in sorrow.
Isabelle jumped up and, as fast as her 4 inch spiked heels would move, gripped her brother’s arm, pulling him round to face her with surprising strength.
“Alec, you know I love you and I support your choices, I’m just scared you’re going to get hurt. Magnus is….well you know all about him, you’re his best friend. I just don’t want you to enjoy pretending with him so much that it starts to feel like it could be real and then you get your heart broken,”
“I know you care Izzy, I know. But he’s not going to break my heart. I know I had a passing crush on him when I first realised I was gay, but that’s only because he was there. I don’t feel that way anymore, Iz,” he said, staring at his sister with a neutral expression as he lied through his teeth.