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meant to be

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Moving in with Magnus was the best decision Alec had ever made--even better than begrudgingly agreeing to take the bus every morning that led him to work and meeting the love of his life.

Once upon a time, just catching a small, polite smile from Magnus was enough to make Alec’s day brighter. Now Alec woke up every morning wrapped in Magnus’s arms, or better yet, with Magnus’s head pillowed against his chest. Alec couldn’t believe his luck.

Isabelle smirked at him across the table as if reading his mind. Okay, he thought. Luck might not be the right word for it. After all, if it hadn’t been for Izzy and Jace’s meddling in his personal life, he probably never would’ve had the guts to speak to Magnus, let alone flirt with him. At least, not gracefully.

Eventually he might’ve gotten the nerve to swap his usual polite smile to Magnus as he stepped onto the bus and took his seat for a “hello.” And maybe he would’ve felt emboldened one morning and moved from his own seat to slide in next to Magnus and strike up a conversation. And maybe Alec wouldn’t have been a “complete gay disaster,” as Izzy liked to refer to him.

He didn’t mind that his siblings had meddled, though. In fact, it was the greatest thing they’d ever done for him.

“Stop thinking about Magnus and tell me the plan already!” Izzy sighed in exasperation, kicking him lightly under the table. They were seated in his favorite cafe, waiting for their lunch order. It was slightly late for the lunch rush, but the cafe was still packed and the soft noise of conversation filled the room with an easy, relaxed air.

Alec raised an eyebrow at his sister. “How do you know I was thinking about Magnus?”

“One,” Izzy said, holding up a finger for dramatic effect, “you’re always thinking about Magnus.” Alec nodded, not even trying to suppress his grin. It was true. Magnus constantly filled his mind, and Alec wouldn’t have it any other way. “And two, you have literal heart eyes right now,” she said, punctuating her words with a sip of her soda.

Alec rolled his eyes. “That’s not a thing, Izzy. Except for cartoons.”

“You must’ve travelled to this universe from a two-dimensional one, then,” Izzy said, sticking her tongue out.

“We both know if anyone’s from another universe in this family, it’s Jace,” Alec snorted.

Izzy reached across the table to swat at his shoulder. “You should be nicer to us,” she complained. “We helped you find the love of your life.” She wiggled her eyebrows at him, and it was Alec’s turn to swat at her arm. “Come on!” Izzy groaned in frustration. “You can’t just tell me you bought a ring and not tell me anything else. It’s cruel and unusual punishment.”

Alec shrugged, but he felt his cheeks reddening at the mention of the ring. The ring that was currently burning a hole in the zip-up pocket of his windbreaker. “There’s nothing to tell yet, Iz,” he said. “I have no idea when I’m gonna ask him, or how I’m going to ask him.”

“However you do it, you know he’s going to think it’s perfect,” Izzy said softly. “If anyone is more disgustingly in love than you are, it’s Magnus.” Alec laughed at the way her nose scrunched up. “Besides,” Izzy continued. “You’d better propose soon. I was promised a wedding to plan.”

“You’re going to propose?

Alec’s eyes widened and he whipped around at the voice. Magnus stood a few paces behind him, his expression very much mirroring Alec’s. “I—” He cut himself off, entirely unsure of what to even say and too shocked to get the words out right even if he had.

He was distantly aware of Izzy scooting her seat back and touching a gentle hand to his shoulder. “I’ll, um. I’ll let you guys talk,” she said quietly, excusing herself. Alec didn’t see where she went, his eyes locked onto his boyfriend.

“Damn you, Lightwood,” Magnus laughed, the sound more like an exhale as he finally moved, sliding into the seat Izzy had just left. Alec watched, mouth still hanging slightly open, as Magnus reached into the pocket of his impeccably tailored suit. Alec’s heart stuttered in his chest as Magnus held up a ring.

It was simple, just a single gold band that was enough to return some of the color to Alec’s cheeks. It was Alec’s turn to laugh, and he wouldn’t have even noticed he was crying if not for the wet sound of it. He reached into the pocket of his windbreaker, pulling out the black velvet box and popping it open so Magnus could see.

The ring he’d picked out was gold as well. The design was a little more intricate, with engravings that swirled around a single diamond, cut into a shape almost like a cat’s eye.

Alec was almost scared to look at Magnus’s reaction as he showed him the ring. He hadn’t set out to buy it, necessarily. He’d known already when he did that he wanted to marry Magnus, wanted forever with him. He’d known it like a fact as deeply ingrained as his own name.

But Alec hadn’t planned to look, per say. He just happened to be walking by a jeweller one afternoon while running errands, and the ring had caught his eyes in the window display. From the second he saw it, he knew. The ring had reminded him of Magnus, of his beautiful intricacies and how he turned everything that was otherwise simple or mundane into a magical new experience. He’d bought it without a second thought or even an ounce of his typical overthinking.

“Alexander,” Magnus breathed, and Alec finally met his eyes. The emotion there knocked the breath out of his lungs. Magnus’s eyes were shining, and the gleam was far prettier than any ring ever could be.

And then, before Alec knew what was happening, Magnus was standing in front of him, hand outstretched. Alec took it, allowing himself to be pulled to his feet and straight into a searing kiss.

It was messier than probably anyone in the cafe wanted to see, and Alec could taste the salt from both of their tears, but it was perfect. It was perfect because it was them, and because they both wanted this, both wanted happily ever after and til death do us part. They pulled away, laughing a little as they both gasped for air.

“I love you,” Alec said, pulling the ring he’d bought from its box and slipping it onto Magnus’s waiting finger.

Magnus marvelled at it for a moment before taking Alec’s offered hand and slipping the ring he’d purchased onto his finger. “I love you, too,” he said. Magnus laughed suddenly, the sound delighted. “Your sister beat us to it again,” he complained with a lighthearted grin.

“Yeah,” Alec smiled back. “Yeah, she did. I think I’ll forgive her, though. This was a pretty good turn of events, I think.”

“I’ll have to agree with you there, darling,” Magnus said, eyes sparkling. “Speaking of events, though, Alexander, what exactly did Isabelle mean when she said she was promised a wedding to plan?”

Alec groaned, dropping his head onto Magnus’s shoulder. “Payment for writing that missed connection post back when I was just hopelessly pining after you. Izzy’s words, not mine,” he said. He raised his head, grinning as he looked at Magnus. “She wasn’t incorrect, though.”

Magnus beamed at him, thumb ghosting over Alec’s fingers and the new ring there. “Not that I doubt your sister’s impeccable taste, but I don’t suppose she’d be willing to make this a collaborative effort? Maybe a timeshare on the wedding planning?”

Alec laughed and leaned forward to kiss his boyf— his fiancé’s —cheek. “I’m sure she’ll be willing to renegotiate the contract to include our input, considering she ruined not just one, but both of our proposals.”

Magnus leaned closer, hovering barely an inch away from Alec. “‘Ruin’ doesn’t seem entirely accurate,” he whispered into the space between their lips before closing the short distance that for a moment felt as wide as vast as the ocean.

No, Alec thought as Magnus kissed him. ‘Ruin’ wasn’t accurate at all.