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carpe noctem.

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There’s the soft sound of feet padding into the hallway, which Magnus quickly identifies as Alec. His eyes flutter open, after having been drifting in and out of a dozing state for over an hour.

“Alec?” Magnus murmurs, voice heavy with slumber, eyebrows furrowing when he sees Alec standing in with his back the couch, just staring at the blank wall, “Are you alright?”

Alec remains silent, and Magnus cocks his head in confusion, trying to glance around his best friend to see whatever has his attention. There’s absolutely nothing.

“Alec? You’re kinda freaking me out,” He breathes, rising to his feet before he begins walking around to catch a glimpse of Alec’s face.

It’s a noise, however, that makes him freeze. Once completely halted, he takes note of the way Alec oscillates on his feet slightly, head lulling slightly forward and for a moment he’s not sure if Alec is about to pass out.

But then, he hears the sound again, and it’s so heart-wrenchingly familiar that Magnus feels his entire body relax. He moves slightly to the side, knocking on Jace’s door.

It’s a matter of seconds before he opens the door, hair a ruffled mess and eyes half open, “Magnus it’s two in the morning what—“

“I think Alec’s asleep,” Magnus blurts, voice reduces to a hasty whisper.

“Uh, yeah,” Jace grumbles, the diction of his words condescending, “it’s two in the fu-“

“No,” Magnus shakes his head, trying to articulate his point, “He’s sleepwalking.”

“Again?” Jace inquires, poking his head past Magnus to get a glimpse of his snuffling brother who still sways back and forth on his bare feet.

“He’s done this before?” Magnus mumbles though he can’t deny the relief that this is not a brand new development.

“When we were kids. Our parents would put too much stress on him. It’s like he was subconsciously trying to escape the problem. He’s fine, you just have to walk him back and sit with him to make sure he won’t move again,” Jace murmurs, stepping out to take one of Alec’s arms, voice dropping to a whisper as he speaks to the taller boy.

Magnus follows him into Alec’s room, narrowly avoiding an eye roll at the immaculately cleaned room with colour-coordinated files on the desk by his lamp.

“Sit, yeah, that’s it’s buddy. Alright, watch your head.”

Magnus watches as Jace slips a hand under Alec’s head, easing him into the pillow where he immediately rolls restlessly to his side, mumbling something incoherent under his breath.

“This is going to be a dick move,” Jace starts, and Magnus feels his hopes for a bit of restful sleep fall through the gutter immediately, “But I have a concepts of real anaylisis final tomorrow and I—“

“I’ll stay with him,” Magnus states, “The Professor sent out a cancellation for the dissections, something went wrong with the shipping.”

“Thank you,” Magnus nods at Jace’s appreciatory tone, “If he tries to move again you just like... don’t let him... but also don’t break him.”

“Thank you, Captain Obvious,” Magnus says dryly, brushing his fingers together in a motion to calm his roaring brain.

“I live to serve,” Jace grunts around a yawn, before saluting and leaving the room.

Magnus lets out a sigh, settling himself down next to Alec’s head, propping his legs up on the bed along the length of Alec’s body.

“You don’t look like you’re going to move anytime soon,” He blurts to himself, taking note of the way Alec’s sleep-heavy limbs weigh themselves into his mattress.

Unable to help himself, he brings a hand up, lacing it through unruly strands of dark hair, grinning despite himself when Alec rolls over, shoving his face against Magnus’ thigh, still in the clutches of repose. Magnus stays like that for ages, telling himself that he’ll go to bed at four, once he’s certain Alec isn’t going to move. Until then, he decides, he’ll thread his fingers between raven curls listen to the gentle snores that fill the space between them.

When Magnus stirs, it’s because there’s a sudden, uncoordinated movement against his chest. He jolts, leaning on his elbows, ready to makes sure Alec doesn’t— oh, you know, accidentally break himself in half with his clumsy-ass, giraffe limbs.

“Magnus,” Alec murmurs hoarsely, still clearly in the precipice of sleep, “Why are you in my bed?”

Not that he doesn’t want Magnus there, Alec’s brain supplies unhelpfully.

“You were sleepwalking last night,” Magnus sighs, nuzzling down into the pillow, before halting when he realises he must have gone horizontal at some point during the night.

“I was what?” Alec mutters, eyes fluttering open and shut, somewhere in the realm of the living and the dozing.

“Sleepwalking. You came into the living room and just faced the wall for ten minutes,” Magnus murmurs, taking note of the pine and vanilla smell that cloaks Alec pillows and duvet.

“Oh,” Alec breathes, voice becoming more distant by the second, “Cool.”

“I thought you were possessed,” Magnus huffs, feigning irritation.

A long minute passes, one that convinces Magnus Alec’s fallen back asleep when he manages to say, in a way that reminds Magnus of a gossamer,  “Sorry. I’ll try not to get possessed.”

“You’re positively endearing when you're half asleep,” Magnus breathes out, cracking his eyes open to look at the law student in front of him. There’s a noncommital him from Alec, and then silence. He watches as his best friend sinks back into the bed, wispy snores slowly turning into a rhythm of deep breaths.

And it’s only once he’s sure Alec’s asleep, that he finds it in himself to tell Alec the things that have been eating him up alive.

I love you,” He susurrates, at a decibel so quiet that he can barely hear it himself. But it’s the way that Alec’s lips quirk up, very briefly, between one snuffled exhale and the next that Magnus will hold onto; that is until he's brave enough to tell Alec when he can truly comprehend the words and the person who says them.