“Alec!” Isabelle growls, face scrunched in spite and arms crossed over her chest.
“Oh, I’m sorry,” Alec mumbles back sarcastically, “Am I blocking the view of your boyfriend? What’s his name? Magnus Bane?”
Isabelle lunges from the couch, only for a hand to come between them, and a wild Jace appears, looking more than annoyed.
“Can you cool it for three seconds about Michael Bublé?” The blonde snarks back, shoving izzy back to sit on the couch and Alec to be shielded behind him, “He’s literally a star, neither of you are going to end up with him.”
“I don’t want to be with him,” Alec blurts, frazzled, at the same time Isabelle yells, rather offendedly, “Yes! I am!”
Alec rolls his eyes, shaking his head.
“Kids! Car! Immediately!” Maryse calls up the stairs, and Alec obliges, slipping his New York mets hoodie over his shirt, Yankee’s ball cap before heading down the stairs.
He loads the luggage, while his youngest brother slurps obnoxiously on a grape popsicle, “Max, dude, stop.”
“What?” Max whines, voice defensive, “It the best kind! Besides, you don’t have to be a dick just because you don’t want mom and Luke to find out you....”
The young boy pauses, glancing over Alec’s outfit before he smirks, taking his popsicle in both hands before muttering, “Swing the other way.”
He moves the popsicle stick across his body and Alec, thinks about knocking it out of his his hands for a brief moment, veins boiling. And then the popsicle drops, and Alec grumbles, “Don’t curse. You’re not old enough.”
“I’m nine,” Max defends.
“I’m seventeen, and how do I say.... I don’t care? Get in your car seat little boy,” Alec sasses, clambering into the back and closing his eyes.
This is genuinely going to be the worst trip he’s ever taken.
Alec wakes to gentle shaking and a whispered, “Hermano.”
He allows his head to lull towards the source of the voice, not quite ready to be woken up, “Mm?”
There’s a gentle laugh besides him, and his eyes flutter open, immediately checking for any signs of being pranked on his body before he meets his baby sister’s chestnut eyes.
“What did you do?” He rasps, realising how uncharacteristic it is for him to fall asleep in the car— or really during the day at all, “You’re laughing, you did something.”
“I’m laughing because I forgot how you talked in your sleep,” She states, only warmth in her eyes and for a brief moment Alec only can think about how odd their dynamics are; one moment they’re at each other throats and the next they’re back to preteen aged Alec and Isabelle.
“Oh,” Alec hums around a yawn. “Okay. Are we at Abuela’s?”
“She’s inside, and she has some new man candy—“ Isabelle starts, only to be cut off by Alec.
“Please never, and I mean ever, talk about our possible future grandfather as man candy,” He grunts out, slipping out of the car. A thought hits him suddenly and he turns to face his sister, “Wait— did you guys just leave me sleeping in a car in the California heat?”
“Relax. We cracked the windows, it’s fine. I mean, you’re alive right? Besides, you probably would’ve woken up if you were really overheated anyways.” She grins, biting back a smile and Alec narrows his eyes.
“I hate you,” Alec grumbles, picking up his backpack and suitcase from the boot of the car.
To which, Isabelle pouts her lips sarcastically, “Oh, big brother, you could never.”
Alec flips her the bird, tugging his bag inside the house with him. He smells his grandmothers cookies and marzipan a moment before he sees her.
“Oh, look at you! Mi tesoro,” She breathes, and Alec drops his bags, hunching down to wrap around his grandmother.
“Baba,” He sussurates, “I missed you.”
She squeezes him tightly, her muscles wavering slightly from the strain but they remain strong and firm.
“Oh, you’re practically a... Oh, what is it? The tall buildings.... rascacielos?”
“A skyscraper?” Alec chuckles, taking in his grandmother.
She nods softly, ”I’m not an idiot, just...”
Alec laughs, joining in as she murmurs, “Bilingual.”
They lapse into silence before she murmurs, “Maryse tells me you’re going to Harvard. Swimming?”
Alec nods, cheeks flushing at the mention of his accomplishments, “Yeah— I’m going for law and English and History.”
“Mi tesoro is going to change the world,” She whispers, pinching his cheek, which only serves to make him more red.
“Can I help you with anything, Baba?” He inquires, picking up his bags heading in the direction of the room he shares with Jace when they stay here.
“No, darling,” She states softly, “I have everything I need. Isabelle told me you had fallen asleep, go get some rest.”
Alec nods, pressing a kiss to his Abuela’s forehead before walking off towards the room.
Taking a deep breath, he clambers onto the bottom bunk of the bed, staring at the mattress above before closing his eyes, and letting out a sigh. As he nods off, his last thought is of how happy he is to be at his second home with the people he loves, no matter how annoying they can be about their favourite celebrities.
“Alec. Wake up. We’re going!” There’s a sudden force— that certainly should not have hurt as badly as it did— from one of the decorative pillows that was sitting on the couch in the corner of guest room.
“Going where?” Alec grumbles back, rolling onto his side to face the wall as his sister’s shadow looms over his peripheral.
She shakes him harshly, and he snaps out, “Off. Now.”
“Well pardon me,” She sasses, “I thought you were having a sleep conversation with me still. Cows? Needing showers? Really, Alec?”
“Shuddup,” He grunts, shoving her hand off of him, before sitting up on his elbows, “What time is it?”
“Eleven. Abuela said I can take the car,” She states as a matter of fact, “I’m going to meet Magnus Bane. Right now..”
Alec halts, eyes narrowing into a glare. “Isabelle, you don’t get your license until June. You’re not driving.”
“And why, dearest brother,” She drawls, “Do you think I’ve woken you, a seventeen year old, with your license.”
“Absolutely not,” Alec hisses, silencing as Jace lets out a groan above them, soon after returning to his prior snores. “There is no way in hell I am taking you to a concert at midnight.”
“If you flash me I swear to the Angel I’ll tell mom we’re here right now,” Alec snarls, “I have never seen boobs and I most certainly do not want to see yours.”
“Then close your eyes, genius,” Isabelle rolls her eyes, shoving herself into her favourite body con dress— one that she would never dare to wear around their grandmother.
There’s a zip, and shuffling before she mumbles something out along the lines of “how do I look.”
“Beautiful. You always do, and you know that. But—“ Alec glances back at her, shaking his head, “Please, for the love of God, don’t die— or worse.”
“Come pick me up in half an hour?” She asks, running gloss over her lips, before meeting his gaze.
“I’m not letting you go in alone,” Alec blurts, affronted, “You annoy the hell out of me, but there’s absolutely no way I’m letting you go into a club in LA by yourself.”
“Big brother to the rescue,” She rolls her eyes in annoyance, “I figured as much. Just don’t get in my way.”
And then she shuffled out of the car, hiking up he’d dress and Alec rolls his eyes following her into the the club.
“Just don’t get in my way,” Alec mumbles to himself, mocking Isabelle’s tone, “I could be sleeping or swimming or literally anything other than this. But no, Isabelle has to meet the Magnus Bane.”
Alec’s immediately blinded by the flashing lights as a reluctantly familiar face makes its way on stage, followed by whom Isabelle fondly refers to as the sidekick, and another unfamiliar face.
“Camille Belcourt proudly invites guest Magnus Bane!” The announcer bellows, beaming at the man before him.
Alec slowly accepts that Magnus is indeed attractive, more so in real life than on film. And if he weren’t so painfully deep in the closet, perhaps Alec might also admit to having a crush on him— that is if he didn’t hate Magnus’ personality with every fibre of his being.
Magnus spontaneously breaks into song, and Alec has to shove down the desire to roll his eyes that courses vehemently through him. Predictably, the song is about being the main focus of the public and how the paparazzi and apparently everyone want to meet him or be him.
He ends the song after what feels like at least fourteen years, and Alec grips his keys, turning on his heels to leave the club when he sees the night is almost over.
It’s as he realises he’s gone out the wrong doors, that he turns to renter the building, only instead, he’s met with a face full of doors and a brief moment of darkness.
“Hey, are you alright?” There’s a voice above him that sounds vaguely familiar, and he wonders distantly when he ended up on the floor, “Can you hear me?”
“Yeah,” Alec manages after a moment, shuffling on the concrete before opening his eyes, “Did I black out?”
“I think so,” the voice murmurs, and Alec’s fairly certain there’s concern in there somewhere, “Are you alright, Darling? Can you look at me?”
After a moment, he musters up both courage and strength— because for all he knows a less Scottish Shrek could be above him— to open his eyes.
“There you are,” The man hums, and it’s only when Alec sees his face he groans. “Yikes, I didn’t think I was a poor sight for sore eyes.”
“Yeah, well you hit my head, not my eyes, Ma—“ Magnus slaps a hand over Alec’s face, pulling away when Alec flinches at the sudden weight.
“You know who I am?” Magnus gasps, and learning from the past moment and a half, Alec nods, glowering eyes trained on the starlet. “Okay, I’ll get you front row passes to my next concert as long as you don’t—“
“I don’t want the tickets,” Alec states as a matter of fact, and he has to bite back a laugh at the offence on Magnus’ features, “And I sure as hell won’t tell anyone I met you.”
“Magnus, dude they— who is that? Who are you?” The sidekick blurts, looking alec up and down, “Why are you on the floor? Here.”
The sidekick, who Alec is becoming increasingly fond of, helps Alec to his feet, brushing off his hoodie. Once separated from stability, Alec sways for a moment, caught by Magnus.
“I think we need to get you to a doctor—“ Simon mutters, “You’re not looking to hot.”
“I have to get Isabelle,” Alec mumbles, pushing down the bile that’s rising at the back of his throat.
“Isabelle?” The sidekick— Louis, asks.
“My baby sister, she came to watch Magnus,” Alec forces out, feeling worse by the second.
“Do you have your keys?” Magnus asks, and when Alec fishes them out of his pocket he hands them to Louis.
“Alright,” Manus breathes, leading Alec to the car, “Louis, darling, make sure Isabelle gets home, I’ll take him to the doctor and meet you at the house party, yeah?”
“Alright, yeah, sound plan. What color is the car.....”
“Alec,” He finishes for Louis, “And it’s... uh, hot pink? Please don’t ask.”
“Absolutely no judgement here,” Louis mutters, holding his hands up, “I’m Simon Lewis by the way, the Louis is a nickname.”
“Oh,” Alec drones drowsily, edges of his vision darkening, “Cool.”
“Alright,” Magnus breaks the two, “Get Isabelle home, and I’ll meet you at the house as soon as I can.”
“You seem fine,” The doctor states softly, nodding at Alec, “I wouldn’t be too worried.”
“So he’s okay?” Magnus blurts, bursting through the curtains.
“Magnus, there are curtains there for a reason,” Doctor Loss says, sending Magnus a glare.
“Yeah, yeah,” He breathes, and Alec rolls his eyes.
“How come I passed out?” Alec murmurs after a long second.
“It was honestly more the fault of whatever’s got those under eye circles so dark if I had to guess, sweetheart,” She says warmly, sending him a motherly smile, “Or because you met this doofus.”
“Hey! I’m right here!” Magnus exclaims, feigning offence.
“You could’ve been outside the curtain, thought, couldn’t you?” She hums, raising a brow.
Alec grins at the remark and Magnus glances over at him one to many times for him to not blush.
“Hey, Cat?” A dark haired nurse murmurs, peeking in the room, “The waiting room is filled with reporters. They saw your brother in law’s car.”
“What do you drive?” Magnus blurts, “Can we please switch cars?”
Catarina nods, “Yeah. We’ll trade back at family dinner next month.”
“Deal,” Magnus blurts, before tugging Alec out of the hospital and into the car, “We have to go, my step father is going to murder me.”
“So Alexander,” Magnus starts, watching the way that Alec glances over at him, confusion displayed clearly in his eyes, before correction, “Alec. What do you do?”
“I just graduated,” he murmurs, glancing down at his phone, “I’m getting ready for college.”
“In LA?” Magnus asks, glancing over to gauge his reaction.
“No, closer to home. I’m going going to Harvard,” He states slowly, “I’m from New York.”
“Oh,” Magnus states, expression curious, “What brings you to Los Angeles?”
Alec shifts against the seat of the Subaru, clearing his throat, “Family. Why are we only talking about me?”
“I just assumed....” Magnus trails off, unsure of how to avoid coming off arrogantly.
“That I knew everything about you?” Alec grumbles, rolling his eyes in disbelief, “I only know about you because my sister is in love with you.”
“...and you?” Magnus blurts, intrigued as to why this boy seems to have absolutely no interest.
“I think you’re fake,” Alec shrugs, but his voice isn’t unkind, only blunt.
“Would you care to expand on that?” Magnus inquires, fingers gripping the steering wheel minutely tighter.
“You’ve grown up in Los Angeles your whole life right? Been singing and dancing since you were a little thing?” He questions, glancing away from the road to look at Magnus, who nods in response to the question, “Exactly, you’ve never had a real high school experience. I’m sure you’ve don’t things that a lot of people haven’t. Travelled, had suitors, all that, but I don’t think you’ve ever genuinely lived. Ergo, you’re fake.”
“How do you know so much about me?” Magnus interrogates, missing Alec’s eye roll, as his voice dips with spite. “I thought you said you don’t like me.”
“I don’t. But once again, just to reiterate: my sister, Isabelle, is infatuated with you. I, on the other hand, couldn’t care less.” He shuffles his colossal frame towards the door and it’s for the first time that Magnus realises how crunched up he is to fit in the tiny car.
“How do you know she’s not in love with me?” Magnus pesters, voice impish as he tries to bring life back into the conversation, however Alec seems to take this negatively.
“Because, she’s never met you, spoke to you, seen the way you carry yourself. She clings to you in an attempt to remain grounded, to preserve something in an every changing world,” Alec susurrates, “This being said, I’m not saying you don’t have your own problems. Everyone does— I’m sure girls creating a perception off of what that hear can’t be easy. I just.... worry about her.”
“You certainly take note of the whole picture, don’t you?” Magnus snarls, though he doesn’t mean for it to come out as aggressively as it does, he just can’t stand the feeling of being an open book.
“Nota Bene,” Alec grunts out, “and in detail. You must to see everything and comprehend to maintain a valid opinion.”
“And your opinion is... valid? When you don’t know me?” Magnus sasses.
“By definition everyone is allowed and opinion. I never said mine was right or wrong, and if it’s at all any consultation, I don’t. I probably never will, we’ll never speak again after tonight. Is that what you wanted to hear?” Alec quips right back, cerulean eyes staring straight into Magnus’ soul.
“You sounds like a lawyer, god—“ Alec shifts uncomfortably, and Magnus’ lips quirk up into a smirk, “Oh, I see. Harvard Law School, huh? What are you going for? Criminal defence?”
Alec rolls his eyes, crossing his arms, “No. I could never support something I don’t believe in. I’ve done it for too long.”
Magnus sees something flickering behind Alec’s eyes, but he’s inclined to ignore it given Alec’s ridged posture. Coincidentally, he’s also running low on time as he pulls into the driveway amongst other cars.
“This is not the address that I told you—“ Alec starts, unfolding in his seat.
“Relax,” Magnus starts, pulling the parking break up, “We have to make a quick stop—“
“At what?” Alec gawks, “Harry Shum Junior’s house?”
Magnus pauses, “You know who Harry Shum Junior is?”
Alec nods, blinking, “Of course, he’s legendary— this is irrelevant. Why are we here?”
“I have to make a quick appearance, you can sit in the car—“ Magnus starts, once again to be cut off by Alec’s voice.
“Absolutely not. I’m not sitting in a car in the middle of fricken’ Freddie Mercury’s home!” He hisses, and Magnus can hear a bit of that iconic New York accent coming out with each word.
“Fine, then you’re hiding in my room, until I tell you to come out,” Alec growls something under his breath as he unclips his seatbelt, soon following Magnus in tow.
And Magnus would bet money on the fact that when Alec was walking behind him he muttered, “Show me the goddamn closet, I’ll make myself right at home.”
Needless to say, his heart for the second time that night, felt heavy for the raven haired boy behind him.
“Alec! Where are you going?” Magnus calls, jogging into the garage— Magnus Bane does not chase after anyone.
“Home?” Alec sasses, turning on his white converse, and when he looks at Magnus, Magnus becomes painfully aware of what Catarina had said about Alec’s under eyes, “Contrary to popular belief I for one do not do well in crowds, and two, it’s almost three in the morning, Magnus. I’m exhausted.”
Magnus mouth feels dry, and he gapes like a fish for a long moment.
“Please,” He grovels, and for a moment Magnus almost wants to cry for how desperate he sounds.
“Yeah, of course. Choose a car,” Magnus breathes, pointing at the lot.
“Can we just take the one Doctor gave us?” He breathes, blinking away the fog as he runs a hand through his hair, “The point is to not be seen, right?”
“Yeah, no that’s a good point. Get in, I’ll be there in a second,” Alec nods, and Magnus watches how he slumps against the seat, leaning his head back and closing his eyes.
He goes into the trunk, getting the pillow and blanket that Catarina gets for the days when she naps in her car between shifts.
“Here,” Magnus murmurs, and it’s clear from the way that Alec jumps at the sound of the door closing that he was already beginning to drift off.
“Are you sure?” Alec asks, glancing warily at the pillow and blanket, to which Magnus nods softly, gesturing it closer for the taking.
Alec slowly takes ahold of the pillow, resting it between his head and the windowsill before curling up and closing his eyes.
Throughout the ride, Magnus spares quick glances at the soon-to-be law student, and he can’t help but think that maybe it’s not really the fault of either of them for the misunderstanding that forms a wall between them.
Alec wakes to a gentle hand on his shoulder, and he lets his eyes flutter open to glance around his surroundings.
“Dios mio,” He blurts, rubbing his eyes, “It wasn’t a dream.”
There’s a snort beside him, and he lets his gaze fall on Magnus, who’s quick to speak first, “Do you feel better?”
“A bit,” He murmurs hoarsely, “Thanks for letting me nap in.... your friends car?”
Magnus lips quirk up at the way Alec’s pitch raises at the end.
“Can... is there anyway I can hide here? Just for the night? There’s paparazzi in the front yard.” He watches Alec’s expression turn to sleepy confusion.
“I’m one of five. My parents are here, and so is my grandmother.... also not to mention your car?” Alec mutters more to himself than Magnus, before his eyes fall on the garage, “Maybe the garage? But you have to be gone by eight, my mother rises with the sun.”
“Deal,” Magnus blurts, “Open the garage and I’ll drive in.”
Alec does as he’s told, shuffling half asleep to the garage, pushing it open and closing it after Magnus has turned off the engine.
“Last thing I swear,” Magnus stammers, watching how Alexander sways drowsily on his feet.
Though, this version of barely awake Alec may be his favourite. Unguarded and endlessly kind.
Alec turns on his feet, yawning and stretching out his arms out in front of him, “Hm?”
“Do you have any clothes I can borrow?” Magnus inquires.
Alec seems to hesitate before nodding, “I think my Abuelo’s... pescando... shit... um...” Alec trails off, blinking owlishly at the wall before making a vague gesture of reeling in a fishing line.
“... fishing?” Magnus asks slowly, and Alec nods affirmatively.
“So, you’re... bilingual?” Magnus questions as Alec pulls down a box marked clothes.
“I was raised in a Spanish household in America. And New York’s like... progressive, but you kinda grow up scared to speak your own language,” Alec yawns, shrugging as if it’s not a big deal.
He tugs put a floral shirt, and stares at it for a long moment before running his fingers over the fabric.
“Alec— is your grandfather still...?” Magnus trails off.
He watches as Alec takes his lip between his teeth, shaking his head faintly, before clearing his throat.
He glances down at his own outfit, before he slips off his hoodie and snap back, handing it to Magnus. He places the clothing back into their box, returning it to its place on the shelf.
“I— these’ll fit you better anyways. I should go get some sleep,” he sends Magnus a crooked smile, before turning on his heels and walking out the door.
“Alexander?” Magnus calls, voice soft.
And unlike before, he isn’t corrected.
“Yeah?” He hums, turning around.
That same crowbar smile returns and something flashes in Alec’s eyes, before he susurrates back, “you too, Magnus.”
before you say anything about nota bene being latin pls be aware that i know that. i am a latin student.
Magnus stays completely still when a figure settles besides him in the sand.
“So, uh, you from ‘round here?” A strong brooklyn accent comes from the person who had sunk down next to Magnus.
He shakes his head, and he can see from his peripheral that the strangers’ head nods before he says, “I see, then what’s a guy like you doin’ wearing a pre-law student’s outfit?”
The voice slowly becomes more familiar, and Magnus turns to look at Alec, who is wearing a dopey smile, “Have you been home at all?”
Magnus shakes his head, turning to look at Alec, who is shirtless and wearing only a pair of swim trunks— and can he just say, holy shit. His hair is mostly wet, and curling at the ends, and he looks significantly less tired than he had the night before.
“There’s about fifty guys with cameras sitting outside my house,” Magnus sighs, slipping hat off of his head and onto Alec’s, “That couch in the corner of your garage was comfy though.”
“Yeah, I’m going to be honest. I vaguely remember talking about fish and something about me being bilingual, but then I woke up to my youngest brother hitting with with a lifejacket about an hour ago,” He chuckles, glancing out at the waves, “Oh, and napping in the car. That was a great nap.”
Magnus snorts, “When you looked at me yesterday you had the worst crease mark from that pillow— it was genuinely incredible.”
Alec rolls his eyes, closing them after to feel the sun, “It’s cold a lot of the time in New York. California is like a breath of fresh air.”
“How much have you seen?” He asks after a long moment of silence has lapsed between them. When Alec blinks in confusion, brows furrowing as he looks at Magnus, it’s clarified, “Of Los Angeles.”
“Oh, not much. We come to this beach every time we see my Abuela. It’s nice,” He hums, dark lashes fluttering over his cheeks once more.
“Maybe I could show you around?” Magnus inquires, and Alec glances over at a group of people, nodding softly.
“I’d like that, let me go tell my Abuela.”
Magnus nods, watching as Alec walks over to the little old lady. He stands besides her, telling her softly enough so that the rest of the group doesn’t hear. She nods excitedly, before turning around to hug Alec, who accepts it warmly. She makes a motion with her finger and he bends down for her to press a kiss to his forehead. On his way back, Alec picks up a shirt and shoes, and starts jogging back.
“I told her we’re going for a run, come on.”
Alec takes off, tearing up the stairs and Magnus can’t help but grin at the colours that Alec is beginning to allow out from the drab exterior.
“So, you and your grandmother are close?” Magnus inquires, and Alec nods, turning his head from where he was previously looking out the window.
“Yeah... she’s uh... she the only person I’ve told something rather important? Well, I told my Abuelo first— and she wanted to know why I seemed to take his passing harder than anyone....” he trails off, eyes focused on a chip in Catarina’s dashboard, “But she wasn’t upset— and she didn’t look at me any differently... I dunno, I just thought she would?”
Magnus nods thoughtfully, but doesn’t push and for that Alec is grateful. They lapse into a comfortable silence, and Alec returns his gaze outside the window.
“So,” Alec murmurs, after a few moments, “Where’s your favourite place in the world?”
Without missing a beat, Magnus replies, “Jakarta, Indonesia.”
Alec turns to look at him. “Is there a particular reason for that?”
“I was raised there,” He forces out one breath, before muttering, “But I bet the tabloids didn’t tell you that.”
The corner of Alec’s lips quirk upwards, eyes amused as he mutters, “Well, I mean, I didn’t read them, so... there’s that.”
Magnus laughs quietly, and nods, adding, “Sorry, I forgot you aren’t infatuated with me.”
“There! Now you’ve got it!” Alec beams, pointing at him and Magnus can tell from every minuscule movement that this is the real, unadulterated Alexander Lightwood.
“What’s yours?” Magnus asks, glancing in Alec’s general direction.
“If you asked me before my senior trip, probably Buenos Aires... now I think it might be Rome,” Alec states, and his voice is a million miles away, “Their pasta is so good. It reminds me of when my abuelo cooked for us when I was younger.”
“Alec?” At the sudden calling of his name, Alec turns blinking owlishly as if he’d been snapped awake from a long sleep, “Tell me about him.”
Alec chuckles fondly, pulling at the hem of his shirt. “It would take me hours. There’s so much... and I don’t want to—“
“Tell me everything, we have all the time in the world,” Magnus murmurs, eyes finding Alec’s when they pull to a stop at the red light.
There’s something in Alec’s eyes that Magnus has never seen before, and he nods slowly, taking his bottom lip between his teeth.
“Yeah, okay,” he breathes, voice becoming wistful with his next words, “He was born in a small town south a Florence, and he met my grandmother while deployed in World War Two.”
And Magnus can’t help but thinking, how much he would love to listen to Alec speak for the rest of his life.
By time they stumble into the pond that Magnus had been travelling towards for an hour, he’s learned that Alec’s grandfather took his grandmothers last name, was a activist during the civil rights movement in the sixties, and became a nurse after being honourably discharged.
Alec on the other hand, has long since stopped speaking, head resting on his palm. He nodded off after they’d lapsed into silence, and Magnus had snorted as he watched Alec almost ram his face into the window as he fell asleep.
“Alec,” Magnus murmurs, shaking his (friend?) accompaniment. “We’re here.”
Alec shuffles, blearily look at Magnus before he shakes his head, pressing his palms to his eyes, “Sorry. I swear I’m not usually like this.”
Magnus shakes his head, “You look like you needed it. Did you know you talk in your sleep?”
Alec cheeks flush crimson, “I’ve been told once or twice. What was it this time?”
Magnus pauses, a grin forming on his lips, “Unintelligible... is it usually decipherable?”
Alec nods, shuffling against his seat to wake himself up more, before murmuring abashedly, “Izzy told him that I was talking about cows needing showers yesterday... I genuinely can’t say I remember a second of it though.”
In the next second, Magnus doubles over laughing.
“Yeah, yeah,” Alec grunts, “Make fun of me for something I can’t control.”
“I’m sorry darling,” Magnus titters, beginning to wheeze between breaths, “I just— oh, darling, you have this stoic exterior and just thinking of you and your cow dilemma.”
Alec rolls his eyes, “Maybe there’s more to me then people think.”
“And that,” Magnus states, voice becoming somber, “Is exactly wherein my problems lie.”
“Tell me about it,” Alec blurts, but he doesn’t shy away, turning in his seat to look at Magnus.
“I was born in a small village outside of Jakarta. My real father was a monk, they killed him after they found out he’d impregnated my mother. This being said, it wasn’t a warm story about forbidden love,” Magnus says softly, picking at his nail polish, “He took advantage of her. My step father wants me to be famous, my mother is mouldable when it comes to him.”
“And you?” Alec asks, eyebrows furrowed as he takes in every word.
Magnus can’t help but admit it’s nice to be listened to and heard.
“I’m Magnus. I was born in December, my favourite colour is... well, actually the cerulean of your eyes, and I love making Indonesian delicacies with my mother,” he breathes.
“She sounds wonderful,” Alec states, and it truly is the most obvious thing in the world.
“She is. I’d love for you to meet her some day.”
Alec smiles at Magnus, nodding, “Maybe I could introduce you to some traditional Spanish cuisine.”
“I’d love that,” Magnus susurrates, made breathless by the true colours that the boy before him exhibits.
They run through questions for several hours, and the stars begin to shine through the smog. It’s then that Magnus makes the inquisition “If you could do anything, what would it be?”
He expects the answer of flying or setting a world record in swimming— for the hundred butterfly, as that’s Alec’s favourite event— but what comes out of Alec’s mouth makes the air freeze.
“I’d be fearless,” He states shrugging, and when Magnus asks why, he replies, “I could finally tell my family that I’m gay—“ and then he stills, eyes widening like a deer in the headlights before he turns to Magnus.
“Well darling, I think that in itself was rather fearless,” Magnus says hoarsely, feeling the second hand panic that radiates from Alec.
“Shit— Magnus, I- holy—“ he’s cut off by Magnus hand and his and a reminder to breathe.
Alec closes his eyes, taking a deep breath before returning his azures to Magnus’ aureus coloured eyes.
“If it helps at all,” Magnus says, voice barely above a whisper, as if anyone could even hear them from where they are in the middle of nowhere, “I am a freewheeling bisexual. Or at least, I hope to be to around someone other than Simon one day.”
Alec’s frame relaxes immensely, slumping back into the seat, “Oh, are you guys like...”
“Oh, no. He’s just the only person who knows. I trust him with my life, no matter how clumsy he may be.”
Alec snorts, and though it’s unattractive, Magnus can’t fight the grin that settles on his lips on the sound.
It’s after a few dozen moment of silence, that Magnus’ voice, sleepy and calm, murmurs into the void, “Thank you. For telling me.”
“I trust you,” Alec mutters hesitantly, “I don’t know why; but I do.”
Magnus squeezes his hand, “That’s all I could ever hope for.”
As they lapse back into silence, Magnus eyes feel heavy and before he slips under, he hears a quiet snuffle, followed by a second just like it.
And it’s in that moment, that Magnus realises, no matter what happens when Alec inevitably goes home, he’ll never forget this night.
When Magnus makes his ascent back into the land of the living, he’s immediately hit by the force of the sun that makes its way into his car. Then, he realises just how painfully uncomfortable he is— briefly in advance to discerning that he is in fact laying in his car.
It then, that he groans, cracking his spine before turning his head to look at the passages seat. Alec is besides him, head on the back of the seat and arms crossed over his chest.
It takes him a moment to realise that the snores he’d heard in brevity before falling asleep are, in fact, coming from his newfound companion.
And by god, it’s adorable.
He yawns, pressing his palms so firmly into his eyes that he sees shapes floating around when he reopens them. There’s a dip in the breaths beside him, before Alec grumbles something about the sun being too enthusiastic.
“Are you awake?” Magnus inquires softly, for fear of stirring him if the young man is only talking in his sleep.
“Unfortunately,” Alec mumbles out, before blinking his eyes open, “I swear to the angel it’s something about this car that makes me fall asleep.”
“Oh sure, blame the Subaru,” Magnus mutters, feigning offence.
“Magnus,” Alec grunts out turning to look at his friend, “This isn’t even your car— Oh, that was sarcastic. I haven’t had enough coffee for you to be sarcastic this early.”
Magnus chuckles, glancing down at the clock as Alec yawns.
“Do you want to watch the sunrise on the beach?” Magnus finds himself muttering, as Alec runs his fingers through his bird’s nest of dark hair, “Or would you rather snore away a little longer?”
“Hey!” Alec gawks, wagging a finger at Magnus, “I will own up to talking in my sleep but I do not snore.”
Magnus rolls his eyes, waving a flippant hand, “So was that a yes on the beach or...?”
“It was a yes, Magnus, it will always be a yes,” Alec states as a matter of fact.
And if Magnus felt his heart melt the night before, than he should’ve been prepared for the monsoon of warmth that crashed over him at the simplicity of Alec’s blunt words.
With that, he heads back to where they had met the day before.
When Magnus and Alec arrive, they walk along the shore, shoes in hand, talking about everything and nothing... and Magnus finally allows himself to make the conclusion, that he is, in truth, falling in love with the person Alec has ended up being.
Alec’s phone rings, to both of their chagrin’s and surprises— it was truly a miracle the phone hadn’t died yet. Alec’s eyes go from shock to immediate panic as he sees the caller ID, picking it up immediately.
“Baba, hey— no, I’m okay. I stayed— I— uh—“ Alec dissolves into rushed Spanish words after that, holding up a finger to Magnus and shooting an apologetic look before jogging of to behind and old telephone booth.
Magnus rolls his eyes, continuing his walk until he’s stopped by a teenage girl, one probably not much younger than he is, thrusting a magazine into his palms.
“Is it true?” She asks, eyes tearful.
Magnus takes the tabloid in his fingers, glancing over the article before flipping through the pages.
There’s a picture of Alec in a white suite, sitting besides a piano with that half smirk on his face. Next to the angel, however, it reads:
Bane’s Spring Fling!
Rising Hollywood starlet Magnus Bane was found cuddled up close and personal with the New York Institute of Math and Science’s valedictorian of 2019!! Alec Lightwood of New York City graduated his senior year with a grade point average of a whopping 4.739 in addition to Latin and Spanish Club President, recipient of the Presidential service award. And captain of the swim team, set to go to the prelims of the olympics in 2020!
When Magnus looks up again, the girl is gone and Alec’s is walking back over with a half-grin on his face as he returns his phone to his pocket.
“I’m sorry about that, Magnus. I forgot to tell my family...” he trails off, the adorable grin fading as quickly as it came and Alec cocks his head to the side in question.
Magnus feels his heart thud painfully in his chest, and he can see the exact moment that Alec realises what’s in his hands. He allows Alec to slip the magazine from his hand, and it’s only when his lips part in shock that he realises that what best for Alec and what’s best for his heart are two completely different things.
“We can’t see each other,” the words are bold and his voice is confident but he knows that Alec can see right though him.
“Magnus....” Alec starts, only to be immediately abridged by Magnus.
“No, we can’t. This isn’t good,” Magnus blurts, unable to meet Alec’s gaze, so he tries to flee.
“It’s not good for the tabloids right? Some nerdy, upper east side kid is too tarnishing. You need to be with people like Camille, right?” Alec asks, and there’s a hostility in his tone that tells Magnus he’s weaselled his way a little to far into Alec’s heart for comfort.
“Alec—“ Magnus breathes, “I didn’t mean...”
“Yeah, well,” Alec mutters, glancing away, running his fingers through his hair, “People never mean to leave you. They just do. I’ll see you on the television Magnus.”
“Alec—“ Magnus starts, trying to reclaim the space between them, both physical and metaphorical.
“No, it’s fine. I should’ve known nothing would happen. I’m a closeted nobody. Go home,” And despite the irritation in Alec’s voice, his bottom lip is quivering and he still won’t meet Magnus’ gaze.
And so he turns, and he doesn’t let himself look back until he’s sitting in his car. He glances up, finding Alec sitting on the precipice of the ocean, where waves meet shore, and the water wraps it’s way around his waist.
He watches Alec pick up a shell, throwing it into the ocean before he shakes his head, wiping his nose and bringing his phone up to his ear.
It’s only when he sees the young girl with raven hair from yesterday sit beside her older brother— who urges him to accept her hug—before he even begins to think about truly leaving.
And it’s the moment when he sees Alec wrap his arms around his sister, eyes scrunching with the onslaught of unwelcome tears that he forces himself to drive back to his home in the Hollywood hill.
It’s in that moment, that he prays to every God he’s never believed in to give him another chance. And to forgive Magnus for everything he’s done.
before you comment “he shOuLdN’T bE dEpReSSeD oVeR MaGnUS!!!” id like to put it out there that he isn’t. and that’s made clear. he’s not doing too hot mentally anyways bc being in the closet sucks, but the fact that the one person he opened up to and showed emotion for openly rejected him is definitely not helping with his feelings about being gay. ok thank you, ted talk over. enjoy the chapter. tweet me about it @flustraaa
“Alec, are we going to talk about it?” Izzy asks softly, leaning against the doorframe as Alec continues fiddling around with the towel he’d dried his hair with.
“There’s nothing to talk about. I let myself get attached and I got hurt,” He mumbles dejectedly, “It’s normal.”
“Not for you, Hermano,” She whispers, taking a seat besides him on the bottom bunk, “You, the golden child? Disappearing for fifteen hours and then calling me with your voice crackling with tears? Letting yourself feel more than stress—“
“I get it, I’m boring. You don’t need to—“ Alec starts, until to be cut off by a stern glare from his sister.
“Alec Lightwood. You are not boring, we all enjoy different things. Yours are school and swimming, Jace likes football and Clary, Max likes grape popsicles and being nosy, and I like dresses that make me feel cute and biology,” She reassures, stilling his hand with her own, “You are entitled to enjoy life.”
Alec nods, listing to the side to rest his head on Isabelle’s shoulder, not saying another word.
“What happened?” She inquires, squeezing his hand, “Please don’t lie.”
“I met Magnus Bane,” Alec gasps, and the words cause an odd burning to form in his stomach; A feeling that resembles anxiety too much for his liking.
“That’s not funny,” Isabelle says, and Alec can tell from her voice that she’s trying to lighten the situation but she’s also a bit hurt.
“I’m so sorry,” Alec immediately apologises, words increasingly hard to grasp as he speaks, and he’s sitting but it feels like he can’t land on his feet.
And whatever frustration was in Isabelle fades, she can feel Alec’s breaths beginning to turn into wheezes and she cradles his face, forcing him to meet her chestnut eyes.
“I know, you would never hurt me on purpose big brother. It’s okay. Count with me,” She nods, eyes never leaving hers.
Distantly, she can’t help but think about how many times they’ve sat in Alec’s room with him like this because it’s hard; it’s impossible for her to watch the strongest, most determined person she know’s break down because for most of his teenage years—the supposedly fun years, he’s been getting two hours of sleep a night to get the scores to be who he’s always wanted.
Once Alec’s breaths have stopped rattling painfully in his chest, he stumbles to his luggage bag, tugging out a magazine flipped open to a page with his senior picture on it.
She reads it, pausing to glance back up at Alec, blurting out, “It’s true?”
“Kind of. I guess. I dunno. We fell asleep in his friend’s Subaru talking last night. He almost gave me a concussion by hitting me in the face with a door at that club, and slept in Abuela’s garage,” Alec forces out, voice cracking, “That’s why Simon drove you home.”
“Is Magnus everything I ever thought?” Isabelle asks softly, timidly.
Alec nods, eyes fixated on a chip in the wall, “And so much more.”
Alec is drifting in and out of listening to their family’s conversation at the dinner table, shuffling his grandfather’s homemade Alfredo around the plate.
“What’s wrong with you?” Max snarks, clearly trying to start something, but when Alec looks up, his tone becomes softer, “You’ve been gone all night and now you don’t even want abuelo’s pasta. That’s your favourite Alec.”
“I dunno,” Alec shrugs, and his voice sounds dead even to him, “Guess I’m just not very hungry. I’ll go upstairs, sorry for ruining dinner.”
He clears his throat, setting his cloth napkin on the table, rising to his feet and pushing in his chair.
“Mijo,” Maryse breathes, and he can hear her shuffle against the table. He knows in that moment she must see the same boy who almost leaped off a building sophomore year, “You didn’t ruin anything.”
He turns, sending her a half smile, “I’m okay, mama. Just tired. Have a nice dinner, I’m just gonna go to bed.”
He hears Luke hiss out a reprimand, and Max’s guilty apology.
And in hindsight, he thinks as he shuffles up the stairs, he probably should’ve realised he was spiralling by how much he’s been sleeping. He sighs, closing his eyes and flopping down on the bottom bunk to stare at the ceiling.
It’s not Magnus’ fault that they met at the wrong time, and it’s not his.
He just wishes he was better at convincing himself that fate doesn’t hate him as much as life does.
He’s awake when he door opens, though his back faces the door and he’s staring at the wall in front of him.
He can hear jace and Izzy exchanging hushed whispers about him, their voices cloaked in worry and he genuinely feels awful for being the source.
“Alec?” Isabelle calls softly, moving to sit on the edge of the bed, “Are you awake?”
“Maybe he really was tired?” Jace sussurstes, sitting near Alec’s chest region, leaning over to see if Alec’s eyes are closed— which they have been essentially since his siblings walked in.
Alec rolls to his back, letting out a fake snore to try and convince them. It’s clear he succeeds when Izzy lets out a soft sigh, pressing her palm to Alec’s forehead, as if somehow a fever would make him feel like this.
“I guess,” Isabelle says gently, and he can hear jades fleeting footsteps. It’s only once his brother has left that Isabelle says, “I know you’re awake. But you don’t have to talk. I just want you to know I love you, and I’m not mad about the Magnus thing. And if you ever want to talk, you know where to find me big brother. No matter what.”
She too rises, and it’s only when she reaches the door frame that Alec opens his eyes, “Izzy?”
She turns, sending him a somber smile, “Alec?”
“I love you too.”
Her smile becomes less forced, and she nods, leaning the room.
They’ve been in New York for five days, and when Alec’s not training for prelims, he’s sleeping or doing summer work to be ready for his classes come next semester.
His family watches him walk like a ghost, even in the presence of Abuela, who Alec normally becomes a ball of energy with.
He doesn’t realise how obvious it’s become until his mother comes into his room an hour before he’s due to leave for practice, fully dressed in her work clothes. She laughs softly at his sleepy expression, lips slipping into a more somber frown when Alec gathers his surroundings and the feeling of sadness returns to his stomach settling like and anvil.
“Hi sweetheart,” She whispers, smoothing a hand over his sleep ruffled hair, “Coach Allen just called, practice is cancelled so he’s sending you to CrossFit with Raj and Jace in an hour.”
“Oh,” Alec mumbles, blinking a few times before slowly pushing himself up and shuffling to his closet to pull out a pair of shorts and an old championship swim shirt, “Thanks.”
But she doesn’t move away from Alec’s, bed and he halts in the middle of changing shirts, glancing back at her, “Is something wrong?”
She rises to her feet, heels clacking against the floor, straightening her pencil skirt while—it seems— she simultaneously dries her palms.
“I was actually wondering the same thing,” She manages out, and it’s the look of unadulterated worry in her eyes that makes Alec pause, and eyebrows raising on it’s own accord and head cocking to the side faintly.
She seems like she’s looking anywhere but her eldest, and Alec is painfully out of his element— he’s never known his mother to be nervous in light of any situation that has presented itself. Except for one other time, but surely—
Maryse beats him to the conclusion, speaking the words I’m a rushed whisper, “Alec I just want to make sure that you’re not in the same place as you were sophomore year.”
“Oh,” Alec blurts, trying to ignore the painful clenching in his chest, before he turns around, eyes falling on the folded up shorts on his dresser, “Uh. I.... No?”
“Mijo, if you are I want to be there for you this time. I don’t want to be ignorant ever again. Not to you, not to my baby boy,” She says, and it’s the current of emotion in his mother’s voice that forces him to turn to look at her.
“You.... if I tell you something you have to promise you’ll still love me,” the words are falling out of his mouth before he can stop them and his mothers face only grows more pale, wariness heavy.
“Alec, honey, you’re scaring me.”
“You have to promise you’ll love me. That you’re not going to hate me.” She nods, waiting for him to continue. So, he squeezes his eyes shut, unwilling to see his mothers reaction to his words before he croaks out, “Soy homosexual.”
He doesn’t open his eyes when he hears gentle steps in the space, or when his mother palms is cradle his face.
“Mi hijo,” She breathes, “Look at me.”
It’s only then that Alec finds it within himself to open his eyes, slowly, petrified by the possible reactions he may face. But the one he’s met by is one of warmth and acceptance only.
“I’m sorry,” She says, running her thumb over his cheeks, pulling him into her embrace and Alec crumbles in that moment, dissolving into a fit of sobs.
Of course she’s sorry for him, sorry for who he could’ve been if he could’ve just—
“I’m sorry you never felt as though you could tell me, my sweet boy.”
Oh. Alec thinks, processing the words before he discerns their true meaning.
And then, whatever self control he has is completely obliterated and his knees buckle beneath him and his mother sinks down with him, cradling the back of his head and fingers running through his hair.
“Lo siento, mama,” He breathes, feeling as though he can’t catch his breath in the tidal wave that runs down his face, “Lo siento, soy—“
She hushes him, letting him cry in the way she hadn’t in the vast majority of his of life. She realises in that moment that she can never let her son feel so alone again.
When he arrives to the gym, no one comments on how shambled he looks, other than Coach De Salles, who pulls him over at the end and tells Alec he did well, put whatever he was troubled on the back burner and let it propel him into his training.
However, all relief fades away when he sees the dozens of reporters on his lawns, cameras flashing and shoving microphones in his face.
He’s set to ignore them, mostly in the house when he hears, a reporter ask, “What was it like with Magnus bane? Did he come out? We want the truth!”
Alec stops, and he feels Jace try to push him foreword but he stops, turning on his heel to look at the reporter. He’s in his mid forties— married, by the glints of his wedding band. And all Alec knows, is that he wants nothing more than to scream at him. But he doesn’t.
“You don’t want the truth,” Alec states slowly, cerulean eyes carrying the heat of hell behind them. “You want a story, and you don’t care who you hurt as long as you make profits. I don’t know Magnus Bane. And even if I did, if I knew a single thing— no, if I had a shred of dignity or a basic sense of morality, there is absolutely no way that I would every tell you anything about who he is. He has his own story to tell about who he is. We all have our own. Please, leave my home.”
He can see the smirk on the mans face begin to sink with guilt and he adverts his eyes, and the chants begin again. But he doesn’t. He just turns on his heels, closing the door behind him.
“Alec, honey—“ Maryse starts, but he’s storming past the kitchen and into the backyard.
When someone sits beside him on the pool deck, where he sways his feet in the water, he doesn’t comment.
“I know you don’t want to hear this— oof,” His grandmother sits besides him, pulling of her own shoes, before dipping her feet in the water, “But you can’t let little lies hurt you.”
“I met him,” Alec blurts, before clarifying, “Magnus. He was a good person.”
She nods thoughtfully, letting out a sigh when Alec plunges into the water, sinking against the ripples before coming back up for air. He sits on Isabelle’s unicorn pool floatie, watching as Baba’s lips quirk into a smile. She glances down for a moment, before looking at him.
“Are you beginning to fall for him?” She inquires softly.
Alec nods, “Until he told me we could never be together.”
“He might’ve been protecting you, mi hijo pequeño,” She hums, standing before walking into the house.
And with that, Alec is alone again.
“Alec,” Isabelle breathes, shaking him rather aggressively— if he does say so himself as or would, if it had served to wake him up in the slightest, “Alexander Gideon, wake up or I swear to god I’ll mix your red and white clothes.”
“Pink can be manly,” He mutters, eliciting a brief pause of Isabelle’s movements, and a snort, before she seems to remember why she’s shaking him.
“I’ll bleach your hair in your sleep.”
Alec shuffles against the sheets, a snuffle slipping from his parted lips, “New year, new me. M’Jack Frost’s puta now.”
“Dios Mio,” She rolls her eyes, slapping her brothers arm, sitting back satisfied as he lets out a yelp and bolts up.
“Dios Mio,” He mutters, rubbing his arm where she’d slapped him, “Allen put cups on me, I’m bruised already, Isabelle.”
“Put on a pair of sweatpants and get your bearded ass downstairs, someone’s here,” She rushes out, before disappearing down the corridor.
“And she didn’t think to get Luke? The cop?” He grumbles to himself, running his fingers over his jaw to find that their is in fact stubble on his face.
“Isabelle, why didn’t you— oh. Oh my God,” Alec’s legs halt when he sees Magnus leaning on his counter with his back to Alec.
At the sound of Alec’s voice, however, he immediately turns around, blinking dazedly at Alec.
“Nice hickeys,” Magnus blurts, before slapping a hand over his mouth, eyes wide.
Alec looks down to see the bruises loitering his arms from cupping his limbs for his meet Wednesday, “It’s— uh, cupping. Not hickeys.”
He crosses his arms over his chest, suddenly aware that he’s half naked in front of the first person he’s ever let himself acknowledge he had feelings for.
“I saw what you said,” Magnus breathes out suddenly, in a rush of words that sounds more nervous than anything.
“What?” Alec finds himself asking, still glancing down at the cuffs of his sweats.
“Your interview? The one where they asked if you knew me?” Magnus states, taking a step forward to close the space only for Alec to take two steps back— quite literally.
“Oh,” he mumbles, looking anywhere but Magnus, “That.”
“Why did you say you didn’t know me?” He inquires, and that question causes Alec’s eyes snap up to meet his. Magnus can’t help but notice the flame that burns behind them, and heaven knows that blue flames are much hotter than red ones.
“I thought that’s what you wanted. It’s for the best after all, right?” All remnants of awkwardness are gone, fire filling the air, stinging Magnus.
“Alec, I didn’t mean—“
“Funny, that’s the same thing you said at the beach,” He hisses, cocking his head to the side menacingly, “Having conversations, telling each other secrets, and letting them die with whatever we had because what....? Because you don’t want to be seen with me? I get it Magnus.”
“Alec I don’t—“ he starts, trying to support himself but he knows he’s dug his whole deep, pushed too many emotions.
But then, he remembers how sleepy Alec gave him his hoodie and told him stories about growing up with his grandparents and Magnus heart yearns for the boy he was beginning to.... god, he really was falling in love with Alec.
He watches the fight drain from Alec, shaking fingers coming up to comb through his hair before he shakes his head, “I think you should go—“
“Alec. I came to New York for you—“
“Anyone can buy plane tickets, especially when you’re a millionaire—“ Magnus finally puts his foot down, truncating Alec’s argument.
“I told my parents I’m bi. And that I want to focus on my studies,” Alec’s lips part, and Magnus continues, “My step father didn’t like that too much, my mom didn’t like that he cared more about the money. They fought. He left.”
Alec doesn’t say anything, and Magnus continues on, “I’ll leave, but I just need you to know that I’m staying in the hotel on 34th. I leave next Tuesday. And if you never want to see me again... I get that. I made a mistake. A big one. But I need you to know I was falling in love with you, and I didn’t realise it until I went to your grandmother’s and her boyfriend told me that you had left for New York already.”
Alec doesn’t turn when Magnus walks away, not even for a moment when Magnus calls, “And thanks for defending me. You gave me the strength I never knew I needed.”
And then, like a sleep deprived hallucination, he’s gone. Unfortunately, the dream turns into a nightmare when Alec returns, intending to speak to his sister and instead finding Simon sucking her face off like a goddamn vampire.
Magnus, after waiting a whole sixteen hours for Alec, quickly decided that idiots, of whom, let their almost-boyfriend’s go can’t be choosers.
He arrives back at Alec’s home at seven in the evening, knocking on the door, only for it to be opened by a kind older lady who has the same raven hair as Alec.
She smiles at him, before saying, “You must be Magnus.”
And unbeknownst as to when, he must’ve began to nod, because the next thing he knows, he’s standing at the doorframe of Alec’s room. His eyes find he walls before they find the figure in the bed, they’re covered in Metallica posters and painted a warm shade of blue.
“Maryse came in to ask if he wanted to go out to dinner after his graduation ceremony, but he’d come right home and fallen asleep. Hasn’t moved since,” Abuela murmurs, fondly glancing over her grandson.
Magnus follows her line of sight, aurous coloured eyes landing on Alec, who’s curled up. His arms crossed over his chest, knees pulled into a feral position, and his face is smooshed in his pillow. He’s lying completely on the blankets, dressed in a suit, with his dress shoes kicked off on the floor, and his tie loosened, but still hanging under his collared shirt.
Magnus takes a few shaky steps, before landing on the bed, sitting down and crossing his legs beneath him to face Alec.
He hears the door close, and when he turns he finds Abuela has left the room, and Magnus is left alone with the slumbering boy.
He sits in silence for a long moment, unsure of what to do, before he speaks, voice barely above a whisper and rasping from crying, “I shouldn’t have done what I did.”
It’s a blunt statement, and Magnus know that the reason it burns so badly is because he knows it’s true, and there’s no way to get around it.
In light of this, he sussurstes onward, “I think that of my eighteen years, the best thing I have ever done is keep talking to a boy I nailed in the face with a door. He hated me at first, and I knew he was the only person I could say with certainty liked me because of who I was. Not because I was Magnus Bane, but because I was Magnus.”
Magnus pauses as Alec nose twitches and a heavy sigh passes from his lips, rolling to his stomach, hand slipping from its precarious position on the edge of the bed to dangling completely off.
In response, he lowers his voice a decibel, “I was finally being seen as something other than what everyone wanted me to be. And besides....”
He glances at his... whatever they may become after this debacle, and has to fight back the urge to twirl strands of raven hair around his fingers.
“The guy I met is intelligent, compassionate, and has the martyr complex the size of Texas; he always does what he knows is right, and it took me a week to realise, that by letting me leave him. No matter how much it hurt him, he would do whatever it takes to make me happy. And that’s a debt I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to repay.”
Magnus takes in a deep breath, forcing himself to utter out the final words that have been running through his head nonstop.
“I really hope when you wake up, you remember this and come back to me, because for the first time in my life, I don’t feel like someone’s fashion accessory. I feel like a person who has their own dreams and follows them.”
Magnus closes his eyes, heaving out a breath, slipping his legs over the bed before a hand grabs his wrist.
He turns his head and azure eyes blink up at him blearily, “I was going to visit you but you didn’t give me a room number, and we never traded numbers, and I didn’t want to bother anyone unnecessarily.”
“See,” Magnus laughs nervously, “Martyr complex.”
“The size of Texas,” Alec yawns, pushing himself up to sit.
Magnus settles back down against Alec’s duvet, “How much of that did you hear?”
“I heard Abuela tell you that I fell asleep after the ceremony, but I didn’t realise I was actually awake until I jammed my fingers into the floor on the side of the bed,” He mumbles, rubbing the tips of his fingers as his lips form a pout.
Magnus thinks it’s adorable.
“I shouldn’t have left you on that beach. It ripped my heart out to do it,” and then hesitantly he admits, “I waited to make sure you got home somehow, and I saw you cry with your sister.”
Alec cheeks flush pink, and he bites his bottom lip, “Not my finest hour. Como se dice.... that shit hurted.”
Magnus barks out a surprised laugh, and Alec grins, crossing his feet at the ankles, and he pulls at the cuff links of his suit.
Alec’s attention returns to Magnus after a moment of hesitation before he murmurs, “Hi, I’m Alec Lightwood.”
He holds out his hand to Magnus, who takes it with a heartwarming grin before murmuring, “Magnus Bane. Nice to meet you.”
And if Magnus makes a new name for himself writing romantic songs.... well then, the press don’t have to know who it’s about, right?
Chapter 10: epilogue
remember to tweet me about the fic @flustraa on Twitter!!
Magnus sings and chats the small venue up, eyes searching the crowd hopefully. It’s his first concert in Harvard, Massachusetts and he’s praying that he’ll see the face he craves most after all this time apart.
And then, a head of raven hair strolls in the back, and though he’s trying to play it down, dressed in a maroon crew neck that reads, Harvard Swimming and Diving. He leans against a wall, closing his eyes and listening to the music.
“So this next song, is a very special one, and I’m hoping the person here tonight who it’s addressed to will understand the significance,” When he glances up from his guitar, cerulean eyes are locked on Magnus’ golden ones, and there’s a playful smile on his pink lips.
He rubs the scruff on his chin, engagement band glinting in the light and he laughs softly, glancing down.
Magnus is barely focusing on anything other than Alec, his exhausted law student, who wears black framed glasses and a simper that could take the world by storm.
They’re in their twenties— barely. Alec’s a sophomore in college and he’s progressing beautifully in an undergrad duel major of English and History.
Isabelle is planning on becoming a doctor, and it would appear that with Simon she’s rather happy. They got engaged a year after Magnus and Alec, and they’re planning on have kids either never or never, so that’s wonderful for them and Magnus and Alec are proud every day.
Magnus is on the second leg of his first world tour, and he doesn’t write about riches anymore. He writes about what makes him happy— who makes him happy.
When possible, he spends a night curled up on Alexander’s too small bed, listening to Alec’s sleep deprived studying or helping him breathe when he can’t seem to catch a breath.
He’s there when Alec falls asleep reading, pulling off his love’s glasses when he starts snoring softly, or before swim meets when Alec beats his chest and arms with so much force he turns red.
And in return, Alec is there for Magnus when he gets sick on tour. He’s there to read his favourite poets to Magnus when he can’t seem to sleep on the tour bus. He’s there when Magnus wakes up at three in the morning with a piano riff bouncing in his head— more often than not, falling asleep listening to his fiancé brainstorm but never complaining about it, after all— the songs are about me babe, gotta make sure you don’t say anything that’ll incriminate me in court.
And it’s these moment they gather, the ones where they cry from laughing so hard stitches in their side.
Or the ones where they have to bury their faces in their palms and count over and over again just to remember how to breathe.
“So, I can see the befuddlement on all of your faces— he taught me that word by the way, he’s an English major— that you’re wondering who I’m singing for. Alexander, love, come here.”
Alec cheeks flush a delicious shade of crimson, and he slowly makes his way through the crowd, pushing himself up onto stage to stand before the crowd. It’s clear he’s just come from practice, legs clad in sweats and hair sopping wet.
His sleeves are pushed up enough to expose the Olympic Rings tattooed on the underside of his forearm.
He hears gasp, and Magnus begins to speak, “This is valedictorian of twenty-nineteen and three time gold medal winner of the twenty-twenty Olympic Games, Alec Lightwood. More importantly however, this is my fiancé, and while we didn’t know each other I can assure you all, we know each other very well now.”
Magnus winks at the crowd and Alec shakes his head, covering his flushing face with his hands, “Dios Mio.”
Magnus only smiles, watching fondly as Alec goes off in a tangent in Spanish to himself.
He takes his hands from his face, looking into his eyes and waiting for the nod before pressing a tender kiss to Alec’s own lips before a kiss to his nose, and a final kiss, standing on his tippy is delivered to Alec’s forehead.
And for the millionth time, he thinks about how lucky he is. To which Alec immediately assures, how lucky they both are.
After the show, they make their way back to Alec’s dorm, laying on Alec’s bed, talking in hushed whispers as his roommate sleeps besides them.
“You came,” Magnus says, finally speaking his mind as Alec on the precipice of sleep, breaths evening out.
“Course babe,” He mumbles back, “Couldn’t miss my rockstar for the world.”
“Couldn’t or wouldn’t?”
“Both,” He hums, shuffling against the bed before wrapping his arms around Magnus just a bit tighter he always does just before he slips off completely.
And it’s only once Alexander has fallen into his (severely screwed over) circadian rhythm, that Magnus smiles, trailing a gentle finger over his lovers lax features mapping them and committing them to memory.
Yeah, Magnus thinks distantly, he’s glad he knocked the valedictorian of New York, who likes cows and poetry more than life itself and has a soft sport for poetry and Magnus light green eyeliner, in the face with a heavy door.
Because if he hadn’t, god knows where he’d be right now.
And so he settles against Alec’s chest, ear over the Olympians beating heart, listening to the quiet breaths above him and with one last grateful smile, he too joins his almost-husband in the land of the slumbering.