Alec wakes to the smell of snickerdoodles, and for a moment, he wonders if he’s still dreaming. Cerulean eyes flutter open, settling on the light peeking in from the kitchen through the gaps in his bedroom door.
Who the hell is baking in their apartment at four in the morning— and didn’t he close his door before he started studying?
Studying— the word hits him like a train and he lifts his head from his textbook at neck-breaking speed.
“Shit,” He breathes, “Shit, shit, shit.”
There’s drool on his hundred dollar textbook right in the stanza he needs for his test- what the hell is he going to do?
He stands, taking a few steps out of his room, all but forgetting his prior thoughts when his eyes meet the kitchen light. Bleary eyes squint up in a last ditch effort to avoid the blinding light, and he yawns, walking towards a head of ink-black hair that could only belong to his best friend.
“Magnus?” The boy in question turns on his heels, spinning on his heels to face Alec with a pair of hot pink oven mitts and a tray of cookies in his hands.
“Hello, darling,” He beams, “I was going to ask if you wanted to make some cookies with me, but as it turned out you were snoring away on your textbook. Writs and Latin clauses in application to the constitution. Every man’s dream.”
“You know I love law, stop making fun of me,” Alec murmurs, bottom lip jutting into a pout as he settles down on the kitchen island, scooping up a lukewarm cookie, “and I don’t snore, by the way. You can’t nor will you ever convince me differently.”
Magnus rolls his eyes, slapping Alec’s hand away from the plate of chocolate chip cookies, who in response glowers at Magnus; lacking any real heat.
“Stop, you’ll eat all of them and you won’t even get any of the snickerdoodles,” Magnus mutters, focused on racking the cookies in his hand, “And then you’ll fall asleep because your warm and full— so help me god, do not fight me on that— and then Jace will eat all of the snickerdoodles and you’ll pout.”
“You don’t know that,” Alec mutters, cheeks flushing crimson before the blush begins to creep down his neck.
“I know you, Alec,” Magnus states it as if it’s something no one could persuade him otherwise of, and it sends a rush of affection through Alec.
“Did something happen?” Alec inquirers softly “You only bake when something’s wrong.”
“Are you complaining?” Magnus retorts, eyes squinting into a glare.
“No, but I know you too. I just wanna make sure you’re alright. Last time you baked you decided that you'd had enough and were gonna break up with Camille,” Alec says.
Magnus is silent for a long moment, and Alec turns when Magnus sets the pan down on the top of the oven, shoulders slouching.
“Magnus—“ Alec starts gingerly, only to be cut off.
“I’m in love with someone who will never love me back. And I don’t know how I’m supposed to be okay with that.”
Alec nods softly, letting out a hum of understanding when he realises Magnus can’t see his motions.
Magnus turns around, and he suddenly looks more depleted than he has since his first Christmas capstone.
“It hurts so bad, how do I make it stop?” He breathes, golden eyes boring into cerulean ones.
They stand in silence for a long moment
“You don’t,” Alec murmurs, and Magnus returns his eyes to his best friend, instead of finding the azure eyes that’s he’s fallen for trained on a chip in the wall from where Jace had thrown a soccer ball.
“I don’t... love him?” Magnus feelers, as his sleep-hazed brain tries to process Alec's words.
“No,” Alec murmurs, shaking his head with furrowed eyebrows, though his eyes are completely devoid of emotion— it’s clear he’s lost in a memory or two, “I know that you are very, very capable of falling in love. I’ve seen it—“
And Magnus wonders distantly why Alec can’t see it now.
“When you love someone,” He begins slowly, voice carefully detached, as he shrugs absentmindedly, “The only way you can let it go is to feel it.”
Magnus watches as Alec takes his bottom lip between his teeth, the bottom of his eyes welling with faint lines of water, though he quickly blinks it away. After a few more minutes, he drops his head, letting out a sigh.
“You, Alec Lightwood, king of detachment, and a firm believer in ‘emotions cloud judgment’, are telling me to feel my feelings away?” He waits for Alec to meet his gaze, but he never does, eyes converged on the hands he’s set in his lap.
Magnus watches as he pinches his skin, giving a shrug that looks like it’s taking far to much effort for what it is, “I guess so. Though, it’s not really working too well for me so far.”
It’s something about the crack in Alec’s voice that makes Magnus pull off his mitts, striding past the oven to stand right in front of his best friend.
“I want it to stop, but I don’t want to tell him.”
Alec nods remorseful before he reaches out pulling Magnus against his chest. He rests his chin on Magnus head, who in return has nuzzled himself into Alec’s chest.
He closes his eyes, runs a hand up and down Magnus’ back in a comforting manner— and despite being the reason for the inner turmoil, he knows just what Magnus needs to feel better.
“I’m sorry, Magnus. They’d be an idiot to not love you back.”
Magnus grimaces, “Yeah. Well, maybe some things are just left better unsaid.”
They stand there for a few long moments, just comforting one another before Magnus pulls away, picking up a snickerdoodle and handing it to Alec before sitting beside him.
Eventually, they move over to the couch, a plate of cookies and two cups of almond milk between them. Ultimately, Alec does indeed tell Magnus he wants to lay down, insisting he’s neither tired nor full.
They lie together, and just as the sun begins to come up over the edge of the horizon, Magnus hears the soft snores that he’s grown to absolutely adore in their three years as roommates.
A snort leaves his lips as he finds a bit of chocolate on the corner of Alec’s mouth, and he shakes his head at his best friend (— love?), prior to settling down against the crook of Alec's neck. In sleep, Alec wraps a strong arm around Magnus, as if making sure he doesn’t fall off of their flannel couch (atrocious, but cheap and comfy).
And as he drifts off, Magnus can’t help but apprehend that he’d rather have Alec as his best friend than not at all.