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Who Are You?

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Somebody save me
Let your warm hands break right through it
Somebody save me
I don't care how you do it, just stay, stay
C'mon, I've been waiting for you
--Save Me by Remy Zero

 

Sitting in Taki’s chowing down on a cheeseburger with fries, Maia had a feeling she should have been doing something. It felt as though she should have been somewhere. Meeting with someone for something she couldn’t quite remember. She’d already checked her phone’s calendar about three times to make sure she wasn’t missing anything. Checking it again, the date told her the same thing as the other three time: Nothing. She was not scheduled to be anywhere; her night completely free. With a sigh, she put her phone away and continued to munch on her food as she let the conversations of other patrons and her pack flow over her.

~*~

Simon managed to get caught in the evening briefing having arrived to see how Clary and Izzy were after the latest demon attacks. He managed to slip in next to his fiery red headed friend. Looking up, Clary was happy to see that Simon was okay. Lately a slew of Vampires had been murdered in cold blood and she always worried about him. As the pair listened to Lydia go over the night’s briefing, Simon thought how strange it was to see her up there. For whatever reason he felt as if she was too short and blonde to be leading them. Neither had anything personal against her, but although he never spoke of it he had a feeling she didn’t belong up there.

~*~

Over the last year, Izzy had been catching herself doing strange things to the point she was on the verge of talking to someone. She’d found herself stopping before an empty room with her fist raised to knock. Looking over her shoulder during missions to snap at no one for not covering her back. Turning around to laugh with someone that wasn’t there. And her favorite, seeking out the Head of the Institute’s office for advice only to realize Lydia wasn’t the person she was looking for. It’d become so frequent that Izzy was beginning to think she was losing her mind. Who the hell was she looking for? Everyone she cared about were either within the walls of the Institute, living in New York, in LA, or owning a book shop. There was no one to miss.

~*~

A sting every so often would zing through Jace’s side. Sometimes it knocked the breath out of him and other times it throbbed for hours. The first few times it happened he went to seek help. Every time there was nothing to be found and since then he just ignored it. Only once had the feeling brought him to his knees. Since there was nothing to be found, he got shit from Izzy for being brought to his knees because of a cramp. Secretly he wanted to say it felt as though part of his soul was being torn apart, like it was being put through a blender, and then forcefully siphoned away. It had felt as though a piece of himself was being taken from him. Eventually the feeling passed and he went about his business. That feeling never fully went away. Sometimes in the quiet of night when he couldn’t sleep he felt a pull as if someone was calling to his soul. Calling. Yelling. Begging for help.

~*~

Magnus was gracefully moving through his loft gathering ingredients for potions when he paused. Something had moved through his peripheral vision. He should be used to this by now. Off and on through the year he had noticed a blurry faced ghost wandering his apartment. The Warlock could tell it meant him no ill will and it was only present for mere seconds before it was gone. The first time it happened, Magnus nearly dropped his cup of tea when a tall figure shifted on its feet staring out through the balcony doors. When he had called to it, the ghost didn’t respond. Rather it dipped its head and shook it as if disappointed before disappearing. After that the ghost slowly started to visit him in frequency until now Magnus saw it daily. Scary enough, he started dreaming about it. He never clearly saw the person’s face but something about it drew him to it. Every once in a while Magnus would be overcome with longing or sadness as if his heart was reaching out for this depressed being. Most recently he saw it standing on his balcony all alone staring out over the City. Without meaning to the Warlock whispered, “What’s wrong? Who are you?” He suddenly wanted to help it. The person turned a little, its face still obscured before in a blink it was gone leaving Magnus feeling hollow.

~*~


Gasp!
The first breath of New York oxygen was like breathing in cleanest natural air only found in places far away from human civilization. It had been far too long since Alec breathed in anything but sulfuric acidic air that burned and corroded his passage ways every time he inhaled. As he pulled himself out of the tar like sludge pool that erupted when he decided to literally crawl out of hell, all he could think about was the clean air that waited for him. Once free of the pool, he rolled on his back and gulped for air with his eyes closed.

Exhaustion pulled and tried to seduce him into falling asleep where he was, but he knew he wasn’t safe. He may have escaped, but that didn’t mean demons wouldn’t be far behind him. Taking a final breath, he opened tired hazel eyes to squint at the afternoon sky. The world around him was too bright for eyes unused to anything but hazy blue, grey environment. Gathering the last of his strength, he rolled onto his stomach and pushed himself onto his feet. Taking a few seconds to stabilize himself, Alec gripped the sludge covered crude blade harder and propelled himself forward with a single mindedness that blocked everything out except where he needed to be.

Black footsteps followed him as he stumbled his way through alleyways and a familiar dock. Alec could feel himself slipping from consciousness. Something was making his limbs feel heavy and uncoordinated. He hadn’t felt this clumsy since he first started training. If he had enough care or concentration left he would have maybe chuckled at the similarities. However, currently the only thought in his head was to get somewhere safe. Get to someone trusted.

By the time he literally stumbled into Taki’s with the black tar still lazily dripping off him and smearing on the door and wall where his hand tried to find purchase, all the wolves inside were standing ready to fight. Slow blinking eyes scanned the faces for the Alpha he knew could help him. “I need Maia, please.” Alec muttered before falling forward with a splat and passing out.

The wolves all looked at each other. They had never smelled anything as repulsive as the man that had just fallen unconscious in their Den. On the one hand he smelled like a demon and therefore should probably be killed on the spot, however something told them he wasn’t a shifter or faking. Before they had time to decide what to do, Maia walked through the back doors with Bat on her heels. Taking a step back Maia whistled, “What is that?”

“That thing is possibly a man.” Bat replied, pointing at the black naked body lying motionless on the ground.

“Is it alive?” She slowly made her way over, watching in case the body moved.

“He was a minute ago. He stumbled in, asked for you, and proceeded to pass out.”

With a nod, Maia squatted down and took the body in. She’d never seen or scented anything like this before. “We sure he isn’t a wolf?”

“Could be. I mean, he’s naked. Most people don’t do that unless they’re either crazy or have shifted. He also knew you. I’ve never seen him before though. Granted he’s covered in that crap so maybe we do know him.”

Humming, the slightly older wolf leaned forward carefully and put her hand on man’s shoulder before shaking it gently. “Hey. Hey, can you-“

Before Maia could finish the question, Alec jumped up. Involuntary reaction had him swing the knife in his hand at the thing touching him before he landed in a defensive crouch. The wolf had just enough time to pull back although she was still clipped by the tip of the blade. She hissed at the pain, but didn’t automatically react. Her arm shot out however to stop Bat and the other wolves from attacking.

By the time Alec’s brain caught up, he was blinking slowly at the woman before him. “Maia?” Even though he watched his friend’s lips move, he couldn’t understand her. It felt like his brain was smothered in molasses preventing him from registering anything other than he knew the woman in front of him and he was safe. “I ne… I need Ma… Magnus. I need-“ He couldn’t finish his thought. His mouth wouldn’t cooperate and his thoughts were touch and go. Before he knew what happened, he was back on the ground unconscious.

The restaurant was quiet until Bat finally asked, “What the hell is going on?”

“I don’t know.” Maia frowned, wiping her cheek. “But I think we should call Magnus.”

“Not the Shadowhunters?” Bat snorted. Things between the Downworld and Nephilim had become stressed lately. Even Simon's best friend being one of the Angel’s own didn’t mean everything was in perfect harmony. Hell she was still recovering from the Angels taking her memory and re-navigating the Shadow World. The Clave was still trying to pretend they were far superior to the Downworlders and the cusp of war was just over the horizon.

With a sigh, Maia shook his head, “No. He’s probably one of ours anyway. Bat, can you get him a blanket or something while I call Magnus?” With a nod, Bat went to get something while Maia pulled out her phone. “Hey Magnus, it’s Maia… I know, but this might be an emergency. A young man stumbled into the Taki’s covered in something vile and I think he needs your help… We think he’s a wolf, but we aren’t really sure… Well he’s naked for one and he knows who I am… He also asked for you… Can’t tell you much other than he has hazel eyes, he’s tall probably around Luke’s height, and there’s this black sludge shit all over him so I can’t tell you more than that. Also, something’s up with his left eye… Okay, see you soon.” She turned to see Bat walking in with a moth eaten blanket.

“No one wanted to donate to the cause. I don’t blame them, but I did find this.” He handed her the blanket that she wrapped around the unconscious man’s body. When she looked at him for help in moving him Bat raised a brow.

“You really think I’m going to ruin my outfit by moving him? It’s bad enough I’ve had to re-buy my closet four times this year, I’m not losing another outfit.” When Maia merely looked at him, he sighed. “Fine, but he owes me.”

“Noted.” With him taking his arms, and Maia took Alec’s legs, the pair moved the unconscious man out of the way.

They only had to wait a few minutes before Magnus swept in with a scrunched up nose. “Maia, you were right, that is a vile smell. I feel like I’ve smelled it before, but I don’t know where. Now where is this patient of mine?”

“Down back.” Maia replied and showed him where Alec was laying on his back with his face turned away. His chest slowly rose and fell informing the Warlock that the man was in fact alive.

“Strange. Bat dear, please bring me a cloth I don’t believe my magic will work on this.” He knelt down with his hand moving slowly over a malnourished chest. His magic dipped down recognizing the body, but pulled away from the gunk coating the man. “This is strange. My magic wants to heal whatever is wrong with this man, but won’t go near the black sludge. Whatever this man got into was definitely demonic.”

“Here.” Bat appeared with a bucket of water and a towel.

“Thank you dear.” Squeezing the excess water, Magnus went to start wiping the black coating the man’s chest when Alec started to rouse. “Hello.”

Hazel eyes blinked a few times before focusing on the Warlock. “Magnus?” The man slurred, but anyone within hearing could detect the relief and longing in his voice. He tiredly reached out for his husband, but was already starting to slip back into the darkness.

“It’s okay, sleep darling. I’ve got you.” Magnus grasped the out stretched hand before it went limp. Trying not to frown, Magnus’s head filled with questions such as how the man knew him and why did his heart suddenly beat faster the moment the man’s eyes looked at him. “We need to get him to my apartment immediately. He has demon poison in him.” His eyes scanned the man’s body finally stopping on puncture wounds on the neck/shoulder junction. He wiped the sludge away only to pull back in surprise. “Maia.” He muttered with urgency.

“What?” The Alpha asked saddling up next to her friend.

“I’m bringing him to my loft, but you need to call Clarissa.”

“Why?”

“I believe he is a Shadowhunter.” He turned to Alec’s neck and wiped a little more revealing the dark lines of a rune.

“Well, shit. This is going to be a headache.” She rubbed her hands over her face. “I’ll send her to you. Do you need help getting him to your loft?”

“I should be fine. Though he’ll owe me a new outfit.” Maia chuckled as Magnus carefully slid his arms under the tall man and lifted him. To his surprise, although it shouldn’t have, the man was far lighter than he would have pegged him for.

Easily opening a portal to his apartment, Magnus walked through and kept going towards his spare bedroom that now had old jersey sheets on it. Trying his hardest not to jostle the man too much, the Warlock snapped his fingers to bring a pale and wash cloth to him while also dressing Alec in pants that looked more like capris than loungers. Washing the area of what looked to be a bite on the man’s shoulder as best he could, he nearly startled when the passed out man started to thrash. Cloudy hazel eyes opened that caused Magnus’s heart to break at the pure agony and pleading in them. “Magnus, it hurts.”

Taking pity on the dying man, he placed a ringed hand on man’s face. “I know, Darling. Hold on a little longer. Stay with me.”

“Always.” Alec slurred before thrashing again. Working the best he could, Magnus ditched the rag and started pulling the demon venom out of the Shadowhunter’s blood. Alec silently screamed and tried to pull away from the pain. It was looking to be a long day if not night by the way the venom was seeded deeply into the man’s blood and tissues. It took every ounce of concentration to force the venom out. By the time Clary and Jace arrived, Magnus barely could call for them.

Clary entered the room already talking, “Magnus, Maia said you ha- Oh my God. Is he going to be okay?” She rushed to the Warlock’s side with Jace staying by the door looking pale and holding his side.

Gritting out, Magnus replied, “If I have my way about it he will. As much as I don’t like owing others, I might need help. The venom is strong and deeply rooted in this man. How he managed to stumble his way to Taki’s is beyond me.”

Just then Alec locked up and shouted, “MAGNUS!”

“It’s alright, you’re going to be fine.” The Warlock’s voice dropped to a soothing tone which surprised him. He never spoke to Shadowhunters like this even if they were dying from demon venom. “Blondie, I need you to go into my apothecary and find these ingredients.” He waved his hand just enough to produce a piece of paper with seven items on it. “Then start grinding them together in the order on the paper. Wait a minute before adding the next one except for the mermaid tears. Slowly add that last until the mixture turns a coral color.”

“Coral?” Jace asked as he started towards the unknown apothecary.

“I’ll go help him.” Clary reassured before disappearing into the main part of the house. Without replying, Magnus continued trying to heal even though the venom was being particularly stubborn. As he pulled, he wondered what the hell the man before him had gotten himself into. How did a Shadowhunter become covered in this gunk with a high level demon’s venom in him? On top of that, why did he seek help from Maia and himself? He was either extremely cocky or he somehow knew them. He was betting on the former. All Shadowhunters were cocky. Even Biscuit had become cocky, but he could give her leeway he did watch her grow up and everything. She really was the only one he liked. Her best female friend Izzy was okay, he could enjoy her company but she was a Lightwood and he avoided them at all costs. Or at least tried too. Then of course there was Clary’s boyfriend, the blonde one. Magnus more than once had thought up many spells he could have cursed him with, but refrained only because he knew the man thought Clary hung the moon and stars. So he would let him be for now. Plus, he did watch over her for the year she remembered nothing. Magnus had to commemorate Jace for that. Also, recently the boy had started to look lost. It was hard to detect, but his eyes seemed off like he was missing something or lost something important and couldn’t remember where it was. He knew the feeling.

His mind came back to the present when Alec shot forward with his arm reaching while calling out for Jace. It was only for a second before his eyes rolled back and he fell back to the bed. Jace came running into the room while grinding whatever was in the mortar, Clary running to keep up with the rest of the ingredients. When the blonde looked down at the unconscious man, he frowned.

“Jace, do you know him?” Clary asked, adding the next ingredient into the mix.

Staring down at the messy, clumped hair, long limbed man that had most of his features obscured by whatever he swam through, Jace finally shook his head. “I don’t know. He doesn’t look familiar, but I can’t really tell with all that crap on him.” What he didn’t say was that something in his core had responded to the call. The need to be with the man had been so bone deep, Jace had started moving before he knew what he was doing. Not to mention for a few minutes not too long ago, he felt something in him dying as his side burned. He almost fell down the stairs after receiving a text from Clary that she needed him to go to Magnus's with her. What the hell was going on?

Four hours, siphoning some angelic strength, pulling all the venom out, and slathering the paste on the bite wounds later, the three Shadow Worlders collapsed on the ground tired. Alec was quiet and in deep sleep on the sludge covered bed no longer in pain. “Alright, I’m in need of some food and a drink.” Magnus finally panted out.

“I second that.” Jace muttered.

Clary wobbled to her feet, using the end table for help. “I’m going to wash as much of the black stuff off. It can’t be good for him.”

“Probably a good idea. Blondie, call for takeout I’m too tired to zap it here. He may stay until he wakes.”

“We should bring him back to the Institute.” Jace stated even though something in him told him that the man was better off here.

Magnus raised a brow, “I don’t think he’s in the right condition to be moved. You can take him once he’s awake, but unless you want him to possibly die I suggest he stays here.”

“And we don’t want that.” Clary hurried to say as the pair stared at each other. The tension between the two was palpable and felt strange like the pair were each trying to stake claim to the unknown man. “Why don’t we try to figure out who he is once we get back to the Institute?”

“Fine.” Jace gave a sharp nod without breaking eye contact. “Food first though.”

“Good plan. Thank you Magnus for helping.” The young woman smiled.

Magnus finally blinked and looked at his favorite Shadowhunter, “He asked for me which has me quite confused. I’m now curious to who he is and why he knows me.”

“Maybe you helped him previously?”

“I think I would remember a Shadowhunter as tall has him with gorgeous hazel eyes and yet I draw up nothing.” Jace snorted. “Yes?”

“Nothing, I just can’t picture you flirting with a Shadowhunter at all.” Jace shrugged as he waited for someone to pick up at the Chinese restaurant.

“Normally not, but if I was going to know a Nephilim the only reason I can think of is if we had flirted or done more.”

Jace rolled his eyes, “Not because you were called to help heal?”

Waving his hand dismissively, Magnus replied, “Lord no. I only remember your name because of Biscuit here and it was only due to hearing it over and over again.”

“Aw not because of my shining personality? Hi, I’d like to place a delivery.” Jace stepped of the room to order the food. Magnus wasn’t far behind, using just enough magic to clean the water and produce a new wash cloth.

Finding out almost immediately that dried sludge was nearly impossible to wash off gently, Clary started vigorously cleaning the man off as best she could. As she was wiping off his left bicep she stumbled back into the side table causing the pale to fall and slash everywhere. “By the Angel!” She cried out.

“Clary, are you alright?” Jace barged in ready to stab whatever had scared her. “What’s wrong?”

Magnus saddled up right behind Jace wanting to make sure his small fiery friend was alright. To his surprise she looked horrified. “His… His rune. Someone cut off his rune.”

“What?” Jace strode over to look at the place Clary pointed at. Looking down his face morphed into pure surprise and anger. “What the hell is going on?” The precision with which whoever had done it was almost surgical. The being that had carved out the rune had followed the outline perfectly so anyone looking could tell exactly what rune had been taken.

“Was that the only one taken?” Magnus asked. If it was, then hypothetically it could have been a grudge against the man. A lover’s spat gone horribly wrong. However, if more had been cut out they had a Downworlder on their hands that could tip the scales to an all-out war. The Nephilim would never let one of their own be treated that way even if the man had deserved it.

“I don’t know.” Clary replied, eyes not looking away from the missing rune. “That’s the only one I’ve seen so far but as you can tell I haven’t cleaned him off much."

Walking over to take the rag from her clenched hand, Magnus soothingly suggested, “Let me finish. You need to eat.”

“But-“

“Don’t worry. I’ll let you know if there is more. Jace, go get your girlfriend a plate.”

“Magnus.” Jace growled.

“Go get your girlfriend something to eat and warm to drink. She needs you more than the man currently lying unconscious.” He pushed more command into his voice. He needed Clary, who looked to be in slight shock, to be taken care of, but knowing that the man had possibly been tortured caused Magnus’s protective side to surface. He didn’t want to analyze that feeling because there lied something that would freak him out. He shouldn’t have these feelings for a man he didn’t know, especially a man who was a Shadowhunter.
Shooing the two Nephilim out, Magnus sat on the edge of the bed and started scrubbing the black stuff away. His heart dropped the more he cleaned the man off because it was obvious he had been severely tortured. Nasty scars littered his body with multiple runes perfectly carved out of his body like puzzle pieces. A dark, rolling anger simmered inside him forcing his cat eyes to surface even though on the outside he was the picture of calm and controlled. The man needed to wake up and tell them what happened before the Shadow World fell into war.

It was three days later before Alec showed any signs of waking. Letting out a groan, he ran a hand down his face before freezing. Something was wrong. He didn’t recognize at first any scents or the feeling under him. The bed was too soft and the air too clean. Without thinking he shot up and looked around with wild eyes unsure if he was back in a nightmare or had finally made it back to his realm. His memory was currently blank as to how he got to the room. A familiar voice had him turning his head sharply towards the door.

“Relax, everything is fine. You’re safe.” Alec took in the sight of his husband. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. His hair was perfectly styled, clothes impeccable, makeup as fierce as ever, and jewelry adorned his neck, ears, and fingers.

Putting his right hand out to stop the Warlock from progressing, Alec asked, “Magnus?”

“The one and only.” He grinned soothingly.

Looking down at his fingers for a moment, Alec breathed through the panic that rose in him. He still had a layer of black film covering his skin but it was nothing like when he had crawled out of the pool between worlds. “Is… Where am I?”

“My loft.” Magnus grinned as he waved his hands around as if showing off the small room. “My spare bedroom to be more precise.”

“Okay.” He took a calming breath and tried to settle his thoughts. He quietly muttered, “I’m in New York, in Magnus’s loft.” I’m safe. “I’m sorry if I ruined your sheets.” He looked down at the pants he was wearing and added, “And your pants.”

“It’s fine Darling. Although you may owe me a set of clothes from when I brought you here.” The flirting in his voice further settled Alec.

“I can do that. Or should be. It’s good to be home.”

The light feeling that finally settled over Alec gave way to dread when Magnus asked, “So, you’re from New York?”

Hazel eyes widened before hey clouded with pain. “I… Yes.”

“Interesting. Why don’t you clean up? You my use the shower unless you need more sleep.”

“No.” Alec looked down as he twisted his fingers. “I want to get this off me. Thank you.”

“An apology and a thank you in one conversation? Must be my lucky day. Come I’ll show you where the bathroom is.” Without replying that he knew where it was, Alec followed behind the Warlock. “Here you go. There is a towel and some clothes for you. They might be a little short.”

“It’s fine. Thank you.” Alec paused as if he wanted to say something, but thought better of it. Closing the door behind him, he went through the motions like a zombie. By the time he was in the shower he just sat and tried to finally fully accept the fact that maybe the Prince of Hell hadn’t lied to him. That his family and friends really didn’t remember him. The way Magnus looked at him was like when they first met back when Alec had been too unsure of himself. When he had been ready to stay in the dark and marry to restore the family name. He didn’t want to go back to that. Their relationship had been through too much, both joy and heartbreak, to start at the beginning. Perhaps this was the true torture of his kidnapping. Not the blades or daily waterboarding. Not being bound to a table useless. Not the carving into his skin or nearly dying on multiple occasions. It was coming home to everyone he loved looking through him as if he was just another person.

A knock jolted him from his thought, nearly causing him to slip. “Darling, you’ve been in there for a while. Are you alright?”

Letting his heart settle for a second, Alec replied, “Yes. I’ll be out soon.”

“Take your time, just making sure you didn’t drown or something.”

“No, I’m… I’ll be done soon.” Once left alone again Alec finally went through the motions of cleaning the last of the black gunk off his skin. It took far longer than it should have as he nearly had multiple panic attacks at seeing the missing runes and ugly scars that littered his body.

 

While Alec was cleaning up, Izzy, Clary, and Jace barged into the loft without so much as a greeting. “Well, hello to you too.” Magnus continued to lounge in his chair with a martini in hand. “I suppose you are here to see for yourselves that your missing Shadowhunter is alive. He’s currently-“

“No. I mean yes, but I think you need to see this.” Izzy said in a hurry as she fiddled with an IPad. “We finally found him or who we think is him. The description is similar but since his features are mostly hidden by whatever he’s covered in this is the best we could match.” She flipped the IPad over so Magnus could see.

“Well, isn’t he attractive?” Magnus whistled staring at the profile picture.

“Focus, Magnus.” Jace snapped. “Read.”

Magnus noticed how Jace and Izzy both fidgeted. “Alright. Give me this and sit. You’re making me anxious.” His eyes dropped to the screen and read.

“image”
Name: Alexander ‘Alec’ Gideon Lightwood-Bane
DOB: 9/12/1989
Gender: Male
Physical Description: Black hair, Hazel eyes, 6’3”. Deflect rune on left side of neck, Parabatai rune on left side.
Kind: Shadowhunter
Occupation: Head of the New York Institute (formerly)
Residence: New York Institute in Manhattan, NY
Weapon of Choice: Bow and Arrows
Family:
• Robert Lightwood, Father
• Maryse Lightwood (nee: Trueblood), Mother; De-runed
• Jonathan Herondale, Adopted brother
• Isabelle Lightwood, Sister
• Maxwell Lightwood, Brother
Significant Relationships:
• Jonathan Herondale: Parabatai
• Lydia Branwell: Ex-Fiancé
• Magnus Lightwood-Bane: Husband, Co-Representative of the Warlocks for the Downworld Council
• Luke Greymark: Ex-Alpha of New York pack, Reinstated Shadowhunter
• Maia Roberts: Friend, Current Alpha of the New York Pack, Representative for the New York City Werewolf Pack
• Raphael Santiago: Ex-leader of New York Vampire Clan, Ex-Representative of the Vampires for the Downworld Council; Human
• Clary Fairchild: Close friend, In relationship with Jace Herondale
• Simon Lewis: Daylighter, Alec feels responsible for him
• Aline Penhallow: Cousin, Friend
• Catarina Loss: Friend, Warlock
Status: MIA, Presumed dead
Notes: Alec is a loyal and law abiding Shadowhunter. Recently he started the Downworld Council comprised of a representative from the five factions: Shadowhunters, Warlocks, Seelies, Vampires, and Werewolves. The Clave is keeping a close eye on Alec for any signs of deflect. Especially disconcerting is the news of his proposal to the former High Warlock of Brooklyn, Magnus Lightwood-Bane and resulting marriage. Alec was last heard from on an emergency patrol when he went missing. Currently still Missing-In-Action and presumed dead.

Magnus’s eyes shot up to look at the Lightwoods before him and then again at Jace when he read that the man using his shower may be the blonde’s Parabatai. How can you forget something like that? He nearly snorted until his eyes froze on the screen and his heart stopped. He had to read the words a few times before they sunk in. He, Magnus Bane, was apparently married to the mystery man that nearly died on the floor of Taki’s. That had to be a mistake. He was not and has never been engaged let alone married. He would remember that.

“This can’t be right.” He stated. “Whatever you are trying to pull on me is not funny.”

“Do we look like we’re laughing?” Jace scowled.

Magnus narrowed his eyes and growled, “I don’t know what you are playing at, but I’ve never dated a Shadowhunter and would never become married to one.”

“And I’ve never had a Parabatai and yet that file says I do. No one is playing here, at least not us.”

Trying to calm the two down a little, Izzy slipped in, “It says he’s my brother. The only brothers I remember are Jace and Max. How is this possible? How can I not remember an older brother?”

Looking away from Jace, Magnus tilted his head, “I don’t know. A spell or charm is possible but to erase not only your memory but also mine would take immense power. Hell, Maia didn’t even recognize him so if someone did do this we have bigger fish to worry about.”

“Story of our lives.” Izzy sighed. “Should we keep this between us? I mean, if we tell the Clave what will happen to Alec?”

“If that man really is Alec.” Jace muttered receiving a glare from his sister.

“I think we should ask him.” Looking a little sheepish, Magnus admitted, “I never actually asked for his name when he woke up.”

“Well, here’s our chance.” Jace replied as Alec slowly made his way to the living room. The man paused when he noticed more people had arrived. A mixture of emotions ran over his face before it settled on a poor excuse of indifference. “Welcome back to the land of the living.”

For a moment Alec went from startled to a far off gaze before settling back on neutral. “Thanks.” He didn’t know what to say and was pretty sure everyone in the room had no idea who he was.

“Come sit down.” Magnus smiled. “Are you hungry? Thirsty?”

Alec didn’t miss the unhappy look Jace shot at Magnus, but said nothing. Instead he slowly walked over to a chair and nearly collapsed into it. Even though he’d only been awake for about an hour, he was exhausted and felt like he was eighty years old instead of mid-twenties. “I’m a little hungry if you don’t mind and I could use a glass of water.”

With a snap of his fingers a plate of scrambled eggs, a side of toast, and a glass of water appeared on the table before him. “Thank you.”

“So polite.” The Warlock drawled and watched as Alec nibbled on the food. Since it looked like the Shadowhunter had virtually been starved for however long he was taken, Magnus placed a silent bet that he would not finish his meal. Allowing him to get some food into him, Magnus finally leaned forward and asked, “I seemed to have forgotten to ask earlier, but what is your name? I can’t keep calling you Darling now can I?”

The flirting was back which was familiar. Alec’s anxiety could settle for the moment. “Alec.” He didn’t say more knowing what would happen next.

“Short for Alexander?”

Oh the memories this conversation was bringing up. Alec’s stomach clenched and the desire to eat evaporated. Placing his plate back on the table, he replied, “Yes, but no one calls me that.”

Magnus merely hummed as a grin that disguised his concern spread across his lips. “And what is your last name, Alexander?”

The group watched as Alec closed his eyes and took a deep breath. They didn’t remember him. How was he supposed to tell them who he was? Opening his eyes he looked up at his siblings and stated, “Lightwood-Bane. Alec Lightwood-Bane.”

The living room was quiet for a beat before Jace shot up, “What kind of joke are you playing at?” The flinch Alec exhibited was full of pain with a hint of fear. “We only have one brother and you are far too old to be him.”

“Max…” The name caused Jace and Izzy to be the ones to flinch not that Alec saw. His head was in his hands trying not to panic. “Is he okay?”

“How do you know about him?” Izzy glared.

Tired, sad hazel eyes looked up, “He’s my little brother of course I know who he is.”

“Who are you? Who are you really?” Jace snapped.

“Alec Lightwood-Bane. Eldest son of Robert and Maryse Lightwood.” Alec looked up trying desperately to think of information that would prove that even though they didn’t remember him he was who he said he was. “You came to live with us when you were ten. I nearly shot you while I was practicing archery. We… no, mom and dad divorced. We found out after Max’s rune ceremony and told her she could stay with us. We thought her ‘family dinner’ was going to be about her divorce, but it was really to tell us that she was going to be de-runed for her part in the Circle. She owns and runs a bookstore now and last I knew was dating Luke Gal-Greymark. We went along with Izzy’s ploy of being Jewelry makers when she lied to her sort of boyfriend that was mundane and a doctor.” There was still hesitation in his siblings’ eyes so he got to deeper darker secrets. “Aldertree got Izzy addicted to Yin Fen and you now go to Mundane meetings to help stay sober. Clary used the Angel’s wish to bring Jace back after Valentine killed him. Jace… was used by Lilith to try and bring Jonathan back. Magnus gave up his magic to save Jace from The Owl. I don’t know what else to say to get you to believe me. I just…” Alec carded his fingers through his wet hair in frustration and desperation. “Magnus is friends with a Silent Brother. He- never mind. Mom used to sing to us before bed in Italian. While Clary gave herself up and was almost put to death at the Gard, Izzy and I went into Jace’s mind to break him free of Lilith’s influences and he asked us to kill him because he didn’t want his body used as an instrument for evil. We convinced him that we would save him, but Lilith interrupted us and took him before we woke up. Izzy sent Simon in undercover to see what the Clave’s secret project Glorious was about which turned out to be a way to turn Downworlder’s Mundane. They destroyed most of it except a few vials so one could be used to separate Clary from her brother. Magnus went to Edom to close the rift that Jonathan opened over Alicante. A group of us went there to save him and Clary created the Alliance Rune. We destroyed Edom. Clary killed Jonathan and,” He had to pause. He couldn’t talk about his wedding. Not now. Not when Magnus didn’t know who he was. “Soon after lost her memories.”

The desperate look he gave his siblings and the information rendered was quite convincing, but they had been fooled before. “Some of that stuff isn’t well known, but I don’t know…” Izzy trailed off.

“I understand your reluctance,” Alec was back to sitting, too tired emotionally and physically to stand. “Because of Jonathan pretending to be Sebastian, but I don’t know how else to convince you.“

“Maybe we should take a raincheck.” Magnus finally cut in seeing how Alec was ready to pass out. “We can continue this tomorrow.” He needed to process the fact that maybe he was married to this man. It seemed illogical and impossible, but the way his heart felt whole when he was around made him question.

“Magnus-“ Izzy started, but was cut off.

“I will keep an eye on him. Go, I’m sure you’re needed elsewhere.” Standing up as graceful as a panther, he held out his hand. “Time for bed. You look ready to fall asleep mid-sentence.”
Alec looked at the ringed hand in front of him. It broke his heart that one ring was missing. With a nod, he dropped his hand into Magnus’s and allowed himself to be pulled up. Magnus used every ounce of will power not to shiver. Why did holding this man’s hand feel right? Why did every molecule of him feel as though they shifted towards the dark haired man? Why did his magic, almost of its own accord, want to slip out and try to soothe the man’s weary body? He didn’t like it. His magic had never reacted this way before. Not for any of his former lovers and not even for his close friends. Perhaps this man was lying and was bewitching them after all. Maybe he was the reason no one remember him. There was no doubt about it, he was going to keep a close eye on ‘Alec Lightwood-Bane’ for as long as he stayed.

As he lead the shuffling man towards the bedroom, Magnus called over his shoulder, “You can let yourselves out.” Without waiting for a replay, he lead the bone tired Shadowhunter back to the guest room where within seconds Alec collapse face first onto the bed. Being unable to stop himself Magnus chuckled then went to move the sleeping man into a more conformable position. Once Alec was tucked in, Magnus stared down at him. This man was an anomaly. Everything about him didn’t make sense. The feelings he drew from Magnus. The way the Warlock’s magic reacted in recognition had alarms blaring in his head. How the Chaos inside Magnus that always existed, was always present settled the moment they touched or the man looked at him. All of it made him uncomfortable and weary. Add the fact that the two were apparently not only dating but married? Magnus needed to find out what exactly was happening and fast. The man was too dangerous.

Looking down at his left hand, he studied all the rings that adorned it. All the usual rings were there including the silver on with an M inscribed on it. The only finger unadorned was his ring finger. The one he assumed would have some sort of ring if he was truly married. Yet it remained naked like it had for the past few hundred years. Perhaps the Clave heard wrong and the man was married to someone else. He personally couldn’t think of any Shadowhunter names that were remotely similar to Bane, but he also did not associate with Shadowhunters if he could help it. The last time he did was over a hundred years ago. Back when he called London his home and he met the lovely Tessa. Thinking on it, perhaps his soft spot for the tall man was because a part of him reminded him of Will. At least physically. With a sigh, he turned and went about his business letting the injured man sleep.

 

Two days later, Alec was steadily able to stay awake longer. By the time a week went by from when he first clawed his way back to his world, his sleep schedule was beginning to normalize a bit. Magnus was sitting at the table drinking coffee and reading through some text message when a soft shuffling noise met his ears. Looking up he watched as a groggy Alec walked over to the coffee make and expertly started making himself some. The motions were well practiced and done without any thought put into them. The only hiccup came when Alec went to grab a mug and appeared to snap out of his daze. Magnus watched as his face fell and hesitantly grab a cup at random. By the time Alec came to sit at the table there was a few pieces of toast and some eggs on a plate waiting. “Morning.” The Warlock greeted with half lidded eyes. To an outsider he looked lazy and still with a hint of sleep, but inside he was alert and taking everything in.

“Mornin’.” Alec greeted back as he sipped on his coffee. It’d only been a week since he appeared out of nowhere, but he was beginning to look less gaunt and frail. He’d gain some weight since arriving at the loft.

An easy silence settled over them. The only noises that could be heard was Magnus blowing the steam rising from his coffee and the occasional scraping of Alec’s utensils. To Magnus’s surprise Alec was the first to break the silence. “What’s wrong, Magnus?” When the Warlock merely raised an eyebrow, Alec clarified, “I can tell there’s something on your mind.”

Letting out a humming noise, Magnus decided on what to say. “Why haven’t you asked to go back to your Institute? You are a Shadowhunter, you should want to be there to recover instead of here.” Warm brown eyes watched as Alec froze in place then start pushing his eggs around. Although he was steadily gaining weight, the man had a long ways to go before he could eat full meals.

Alec of course was unsure how to reply. Magnus’s loft was his home. It was the place he felt safest especially when he felt vulnerable and weak. With the wards and Magnus near him, he knew he could let go and heal. But how did you tell the man before you that when he couldn’t even remember you? “I just… I know when I return they’ll basically interrogate me. They’ll want to use the Soul Sword and I-“ He cut himself off to shake his head. Memories of his time as a captive flashing through his mind like slide projector. His eyes unfocused on the plate in front of him while he tried to calm himself down. The pain. The taunting. The cruelty. All that happened in Hell was trying to choke him and making it nearly impossible to resurface. He was drowning and didn’t know where up was.

He was only able to resurface when Magnus called, “Alec?”

The concern in the Warlock’s voice caused Alec to look up and break through the mess in his head. “I… I’m not ready to talk about… about what happened. I can’t. Not right now.”

Magnus’s heart broke. He knew he shouldn’t feel that way, but seeing how Alec started spacing out then start to evolve into a panic attack had touch Magnus. He knew that feeling. He had many memories he tried to bury and early on would make him fall into a deep depression. It was like staring into a mirror of his past.

However, he also wasn’t completely convinced what Alec admitted to was everything. There was something else he wasn’t sharing. For the time being he would let it go. He didn’t need Alec spiraling again. “Then you are welcome here.”

A smile that had Magnus blinking graced Alec’s face. It lit up the man’s entire being and gave him a younger appearance. “Thank you. If you need help with anything I can assist you.” And a good assistant he made. It both impressed Magnus and threw up more warnings than before. The man walked the apothecary as if it was second nature and only asked a few times where something was. He even helped translate a few texts and took excellent notes on a few topics for different customers.

The day was interrupted when heavy knocking sounded through the loft. “Come in!” Magnus called sprinkling the last pinch of ingredient into his potion. Alec looked up from the book he was using for research with a frown. “Shouldn’t you know who it is before letting them barge in?”

Waving his hand, he stirred the concoction fifteen times. “My wards would prevent anyone who meant me harm from entering.”

For a moment Alec’s mind went back to when they were dealing with Lilith, but said nothing on that particular topic. “Okay.”

“Come let’s see which customer is here.” He gracefully swept out of the room with Alec not far behind. To Magnus’s relief the stiffness in Alec’s body was almost fully gone and he was walking normally. Which meant Magnus could tell the man was a trained Shadowhunter as he and the profile said he was. “Ah if it isn’t the lovely Isabelle and… Lydia?” he hadn’t been expecting the Head of the Institute to drop by. “Have I done something?”

Lydia, ever stoic Lydia, shook her head while her eyes never left the tall man behind him. “I am here to speak with Alec.”

Magnus didn’t need to look behind him to know the man had shrunk back. “You may use the living room. He’s still recovering so I don’t suggest taking him back to the Institute.”

“He looks fine to me.” She raised an eyebrow.

“Looks can be deceiving.”

“I know.” There was a slight challenge to her voice, but then she went to sit on one of his chairs. “Alec.” She gestured to one of the other ones. Hesitantly, the man walked over and sat down. “Do you know who I am?” Alec nodded while Izzy and Magnus took a seat. “Of course you do. Your file says we were engaged.”

“Yes?” He agreed with some uncertainty as to where the conversation was going.

“And yet I don’t recall ever being engaged.” Alec went to say something, but thought before of it. His teeth clicked with how hard he shut his mouth. With narrowed eyes, Lydia said, “What?”

“It’s just… I don’t-“ Seeing her hard stare, Alec caved and gently replied, “You were engaged to John.” Lydia’s eyes lit up with surprise and hurt. She hadn’t told anyone in New York about her beloved. Seeing that pain, Alec’s voice dropped to a soothing tone. “We talked about him once briefly while on our way to look into a disturbance at the Jade Wolf. You were telling me how you two were planning to become heads of the Lisbon Institute, but he was killed. You gave me advice that in our line of work, the only thing worth falling in love with is the work itself.”

“That does sound like something I would say. How did we end up engaged and then ex-fiance’s? Because also according to your file you were dating and then married Magnus Bane.” Her eyes shifted to Magnus before returning to the man before her.

Before he could reply, Izzy asked, “Alec, are you bi?”

Startled out of his embarrassment, Alec nearly shouted, “No!” Realizing how bad that sounded he ran his fingers through his stupidly long hair. He really needed a haircut. “I mean, I’m gay. It’s… It’s a story.”

“Proceed. I have time and I need to know what is going on.” Lydia sat back ever poised and hard as a rock if she didn’t know you.

“Well,” He winced then took a breath and started. “I found out at the Jade Wolf that my parents were part of The Circle. Which they had kept from me and my siblings.” Lydia’s eyes widened in surprise. “It was actually you who informed me. It was just a comment about having to protect those that once belonged to The Circle and that included mom and dad. As you can imagine I was shocked and angry. Up until that point I was still what is the mundane word? Closeted?” Unintentionally he looked at Magnus who nodded. “Closeted. I was afraid of anyone knowing especially them and felt a great burden from them. Anyway our name was getting tarnished and they were putting more pressure on me to right it. So I took excellent advice and twisted it. I thought the only good way to bring back the Lightwood name was to get married and show everyone the united front of the Lightwoods. Thus I proposed to you with the incentive that we could run the New York Institute together. You agreed and we did work well together.”

“Did we divorce or something?”

“No.” Alec bit his lip. “This is where it gets interesting. No one was really thrilled at us being engaged. Izzy knew I was gay, Jace and Clary didn’t like you because you came into the Institute and tried/ succeeded in taking charge and then put Izzy on trial for helping break out Meliorn,” Both remembered that. Even Magnus remembered Izzy’s trial but there seemed to be a gap in the memory as if he couldn’t remember all of it.

“Why did I defend Izzy?” Magnus wondered out loud. “I like you Darling, but I would never want to get involved in Shadowhunter politics.”

“You were spectacular though.” Izzy smiled, “And I greatly appreciate it.”

“I was, wasn’t I?” Magnus beamed.

“To answer your question, I asked you and…” Alec scratched the back of his ear. His siblings didn’t actually know this part. “You agreed but you had a price.”

“Which was?” Even though he reached for this conversation, nothing came up. It was like there was a fog in his mind. How he hated the feeling.

“First you um, asked for me and when I refused you changed it to my bow and arrows.”

“Wait isn’t that your weapons of choice?” Izzy asked.

“Yes.”

“So you gave up using them?”

Tilting his head at his sister he replied, “I was going to. I would have done almost anything for you. He gave them back to me saying he wasn’t going to use them. So ah, technically the bow isn’t mine anymore.”

“Okay, so everyone was against our marriage.” Lydia stated trying to get them back on track. “Is that why we didn’t get married?” Like everyone else she despised not knowing what was happening.

“No. We actually made it to the day of our wedding and up to the rune ceremony.” Everyone’s eyes widened in surprise. All Alec could think was Wait until you hear what happens next. “I was about to draw the Marriage Rune on your hand when Magnus um, crashed the wedding.”

Lydia and Izzy’s mouths both dropped while Magnus muttered, “No. I really crashed your wedding?”

“Yes. My mom tried to stop you but you said you wouldn’t leave until I told you to.” Magnus really wished he remembered this moment now. It sounded interesting, fabulous, and not like him. “Anyway, I was frozen because I was supposed to be getting married and here you were standing in the middle of the aisle looking gorgeous and I didn’t know what to do.” Alec’s eyes shifted back to Lydia. His voice dropped to a quieter tone. “You actually convinced me it was okay to follow my heart. I can’t repay you enough for giving me the out. I would have been faithful to you, but neither of us would have been particularly happy. We had a short talk and when you told me it was okay, I ah… I walked down the aisle towards Magnus and kissed him right there in front of my family, friends, and important members of the Clave.”

“Oh.” Lydia blinked. “That must have been… um… interesting.”

“Mom was furious, the Clave members weren’t thrilled, you were pretty upset for good reason, and there was a bit of chaos that ensued such as finding out Camille had the Book of the White and Hodge betrayed us.”

“I don’t remember any of this.” She whispered trying hard to remember that day. She could recall Hodge's betrayal, but nothing before that moment.

Alec looked down, “I figured.” It pained him that no one did. He was alone among friends and family. The isolation he felt was slowly consuming him and drawing him back in like the time Iris had put that spell on him. He tried to shake the feeling off, but it was hard. Magnus once told him to go to him if that feeling ever came back, but how did you go to someone seeking comfort when they look through you or worse with suspicion?

While everyone was lost in thought, Magnus watched Alec closely. He was both surprised and unsurprised by the story. Yes, he could admit he never thought he would crash a Shadowhunter’s wedding especially to officially in front of Clave members declare his intentions for one. Yet the draw towards the man was telling. Over the course of the week he’d found himself orbiting around Alec or vice versa whenever they were in the same room. The desire to be near him was always present even if he couldn’t remember anything about him. He really wished he remembered their story. It sounded quite epic if not a little heartbreaking.

“What happened after?” Lydia finally shook the shock from her being and was now curious as to what had happened.

“You stayed for a while. The only reason you ended up leaving was because of the demon that possessed us inside the Institute. You went back to Idris after your arm was broken.”

Lydia rolled her eyes, “Raj. I know it wasn’t him, but it had to be him.”

“We went after people we resented and apparently he didn’t appreciate how you ran things. I’m sure now he would have tried to kill me had that possessing happened today or well before everyone forgot.”

“Why?” The trio asked together.

Making a face, Alec replied, “I’m kind of the reason he ended up at Wrangler Island.”

“What the hell did he do to you that made you banish him there?” Izzy asked. She may have never been a fan of his but she couldn’t’ imagine him doing anything bad enough to have him exiled.

“I didn't banish him. I was helping him build character." Everyone snorted as he continued to explain. "When the Lay Lines had been corrupted, Magnus and I went to use the Angelic core to purify them. He managed to lock me out before we were able to do anything. I had to manually unlock the core which put everyone in a lot of danger. Especially me and Magnus. I was a little pissed.”

“Rightfully so. Fucking Raj.” Izzy whistled. Magnus hadn’t said a word as his head swam with the stories he couldn’t remember. He hated it and yet he liked hearing how he and Alec seemed to work well together .

“Yeah, he wasn’t any of our favorites.” Alec’s eyes clouded for a moment as he remembered all the times Raj had been a thorn in their side. He wasn’t necessarily a bad person, he just did not mesh well with the Lightwoods.

“Thank you for informing me of some of my missing memories.” Lydia nodded before looking a little uncertain. “I should bring you in for questioning,” She watched as Alec tensed and his knuckles when white. “But for now rest.” This time it was her turn to use a soothing voice. “You’re going to need to talk about where you’ve been.”

Breathing through his panic, Alec replied, “I know. I just… I can’t. Not right now.”

“I can buy you a little more time, but I don’t know how much. The Clave will want to know where you’ve been.”

“I know.” His voice was quiet in defeat. “Just, just not today.” By the time Izzy and Lydia left, Alec was heading back to his room to try and sleep.

Chapter Text

Still waiting, hands shaking
Maybe the coast will clear
But these voices, these strange noises
They followed me in here
Panic Room by Au/Ra

~*~

Alec woke a half an hour later panting from a nightmare. He laid in the bed staring at the ceiling repeating to himself that he was safe and in Magnus’s loft. While muttering to himself he rubbed at his ring finger as a physical reminder that he wasn’t back in hell. Once his heart rate returned to normal he debated getting up, but decided against. He was too tired to move. He also hoped he didn’t fall back to sleep only to be greeted by his tormentor.

The next day he was surprised to find that the Loft had quite a few guests. Izzy, Clary, Jace, Simon, and Catarina were in the living room. There seemed to be a bit of ignored tension, but Alec made no comment. As he walked by he greeted, “Hello, Cat.” Without thinking much of it. It hadn’t been the first time Cat had come over before Alec had woken up.

He paused his footsteps when she replied, “Good morning.” For one hopeful moment he thought that she remembered him, but the moment he looked into her eyes he realized she too had no idea who he was. “How are you doing? Magnus told me he has been healing you.”

The concern was not for him personally, but for him generally. She was a healer and he was a patient of sorts. “I’m alright. Most of my bruises and cuts are healed.”

“Do you want me to take a look? I know Magnus’s talents aren’t exactly in the healing arts.”

“That is uncalled for.” Magnus frowned. “I am a wonderful healer. I have to be for how many times the Nephilim call upon me.”

“Sure. You excel at pulling demon venom, but the rest you are alright at I suppose.” Alec could hear the teasing in her voice.

“I resent that.”

She merely hummed before looking back at Alec. “If there’s anything I can do…”

“I’m fine thank you. Reserve your strength, your patients need you more.” She looked mildly surprised, but nodded. He wandered into the kitchen and grab something to drink and food. Once he was situated, the conversation started up again.

“To answer your question, I was here visiting Magnus before work when everyone else showed up.”

“Yes, and why are you four here?” Magnus asked lounging on the couch.

“We are returning a book the Institute borrowed and seeing if you had any leads on the type of demons we are fighting. They’re different than anything we’ve fought thus far.” Izzy replied motioning to the stack of books on the coffee table.

Magnus tapped his stomach as he thought. “I’ve been feeling a different signature lately so perhaps your demons are what I’m sensing. Quite a few have been circling by the loft and briefly triggering my wards. However, they never stay for long and I never get a good look at them. I can’t place them though.”

Jace pulled out his phone and typed on it for a few seconds before passing it to the Warlock. “Maybe you’ve seen it before? It’s like a giant flying fish or something.”

“It reminds me of a Murlock.” Simon tried, but everyone looked at him confused except Clary. “No WOW fans? Okay, never mind.”

“I don’t know what that thing you just said was, but I believe I’ve seen one of those before. I currently can’t place it, but I’ll let you know if I come up with it.” Magnus didn’t realize Alec had leaned over until the man’s plate clattered to the ground. Everyone turned to look at him. To their surprise his face had drained of blood and Simon could hear the rapid uptick of his heart. “Alec?”

Upon seeing one of the creatures that had chased him during his escape, Alec’s mind blanked out. He couldn’t see or hear anything other than the demon. He could hear the flapping of its wings as it chased after him. He could hear the way it gargled and screeched. He could see and hear its teeth as they snapped together ready to attack him. Ready to drag him back to his torturers. Suddenly his world tilted and he needed to get away. The room was too small. He couldn’t breathe. Why couldn’t he breathe? Oh by the Angel, were they drowning him again?

“I… I need.” He shot up and attempted to leave and froze when strong fingers wrapped around his wrist. “Let go.” His demand was nothing but a whisper. Lost to those who did not have altered hearing.

“Alec, you know what that is?” Jace demanded.

“Jace…” Simon trailed off highly attuned to the little movements, hard gasping, and silent whimpers the tall dark haired man was making.

“We need to know what they are. If you know-“

“Jace, let go of me.” This time his demand was loud and gritted. He needed the hand to release him, he could feel himself spiraling. Knew he was soon going to be unsure what was reality and what was memory.

“Alec, we-“

“Let go!” Alec barked, managing to jerk his hand free. He turned and with one hand out defensively, his other was up pointing at his Parabatai in warning. “Just don- Don’t. I need.” Past and present were blurring together. The loft that always felt like home was giving way to a hellish landscape that haunted his dreams. His senses were playing tricks on him. He couldn’t trust himself anymore. He couldn’t be near people unsure if they were truly friend or foe. “I need-“ He stumbled back before turning and bolting from the room. The rest of the party heard the clanging patter of bare feet on wrought iron stairs.

“Don’t.” Cat warned as she threw her arm out to stop Jace from pursuing. “Don’t.”

“But we need-“

“No.” She finally snapped. “You need to leave him alone. I’ve seen this before with veterans and abuse survivors.”

“What’s wrong?” Clary asked, having an inkling of what Cat was going to say.

“I’m not a psychologist, but I do believe Alec is experiencing an episode of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. He might not be able to tell the difference between whatever trauma he is reliving and the here and now.”

“What do we do?” Izzy asked wanting desperately to go after him but not wanting to do further damage.

Cat looked over at Magnus who was now sitting up. “I would say I should go and try to calm him down, but I think it would be best if Magnus does. He needs familiarity. Someone to tether him to the present and since he’s been staying at Magnus’s all week, you are our best chance.”

Although Magnus has lived centuries and seen many disorders, diseases, and tragedies this had always been Catarina’s specialty. He wasn’t quite sure what to do and didn’t want to make what Alec was experiencing worse. “What do I need to do?”

“You need to make sure he knows he is safe and not wherever he thinks he is. You need to remind him he’s at your loft and nothing is going to harm him. Have him start naming things he sees. Keep your breathing calm and deep and have him start matching it. Avoid any sudden movements and whatever you do don’t touch him unless he agrees to it. He needs need to feel like he has control. You need to remain calm no matter what and make sure he doesn’t hurt himself or you. Are you comfortable bring him back?”

“I can try.” Getting up, Magnus started for the stairs that lead to the roof. He gently opened the door and did not find Alec anywhere. His heart gave a leap fearing the worse, but then he caught heavy breathing. Slowly following the sound he found the tall man curled up in a ball beside one of his couches. If the sight wasn’t heartbreaking, the Warlock would have been impressed. For such a tall man, he really could shrink himself quite small. Taking a deep breath to center himself he slowly walked over and squatted. “Alec?” He called gently. His voice had dipped to a soothing tone he had used many times with frightened Downworlders. “Alec? Alexander?” Hazel eyes shot up with fear and clouded with far off memories that didn’t want to quiet. “Alexander, do you know who I am?” When Alec didn’t answer but instead his eyes started to dart around, Magnus slowly lifted his hand to grab his attention. “Hey, hey. Look at me. Alexander, I need you to look at me.”

After almost a minute, Alec’s eyes turned to look at the Warlock who smiled kindly. “Good. Very good. Alexander, do you know who I am?”

With a ragged breath, Alec replied. “Magnus.”

“Very good.”

“Why are you here? You should- You shouldn’t be here.”

When his eyes started to dart around again, Magnus drew him back. “Alexander, look at me. Good. You are not there, you are here. You are at my loft in Brooklyn, New York. You are with me at my loft in Brooklyn. Can you repeat that?”

“No. No we-“

“Alexander, look at me… Good. We aren’t there, we are here at my loft. Can you tell me what you see?”

“I- Magnus… I- There.” Fear, despair, and gut wrenching pain slithered through his words and snaked their way into Magnus soul. The anger that rose up in the Warlock was categorized for later when he could release it. “Magnus, you shouldn’t be here. I never wanted you here.” Tears spilled onto his cheeks as his body shook.

“I’m not there, Darling. I am in New York with you. We are at my loft in Brooklyn.” For what felt like an eternity, Magnus repeated where they were. Eventually the words took hold in Alec’s mind and he started anchoring back to the present.

“I see a… a cement… wall.” Magnus nodded encouragingly. “I see a sun light pattern on it. I see… I see-“

“It’s okay Alexander. You’re here in Brooklyn with me and you are safe. What do you see?”

“I… I see… I see a table. I see dishes. I see…” Alec’s face softened. “I see cats. I see your strays.” One tiny one wandered over, sniffed his pants, and rubbed up against his leg. “I see Chairman Meow.” He uncurled one arm and started stroking the kitten. The purr dissipated more of the memory calming his racing heart and thoughts. “I see plants.” Finally his hazel lifted to look up at his patient companion. “I see you.”

“Hello, Alexander.” The smile was kind and happy.

“Hello Magnus.”

“Would you like some tea?” When Alec nodded, Magnus produced a hot cup of Chamomile and lavender. “The Great Catsby likes you.”

Alec chuckled eyes back down as another kitten rolled on its back and batted his paw at Alec’s hand rubbing his belly. “I’ve met him a time or two.” He sipped the tea focusing on the smell and taste as the last of Hell faded away. “Thank you.”

“For what?” Magnus asked puzzled.

“For getting me out. For being patient. For bringing me back.”

“You are most welcome, but there is no need to thank me. I’m sure anyone would have done it. Do you want to talk about it?”

“No. Please, just no.” He took another sip as a reminder he was back on earth. “Just don’t restrain me, especially my wrists please.”

“Noted. I will inform the others as well so the Blonde doesn’t accidently grab you again.” Magnus prided himself when Alec smirked at the nickname. “Now, let’s go inside and attempt to relax.”

Once Alec managed to unfold himself with a slight groan, the pair walked back into the main part of the loft. Cat was still lounging, while the Shadowhunters stood the moment they returned. Jace stepped forward looking cowed. “Alec? I’m sorry about earlier.”

Amused and actually quite touched, Alec shook his head, “Don’t hurt yourself, that apology looked painful.”

Jace blinked in surprise before letting out a laugh. “Yeah, well wasn’t my idea.”

“Figured.” The tension in the room disappeared and Alec could feel the anxiety in his side settle. Rubbing his stupidly long beard that he really needed to shave he sat down on the arm of the couch. “I know those demons. They’re fast, their venom works quickly through the bloodstream, and have armor plating. Think of them as an amalgamation between an angler fish, a flying fish, and turtle. Their teeth are similar to a shark’s but they’re partially hollow to allow venom flow. Sort of like a snake.”

“You know a lot about them.”

“It’s the demon that bit me.” He didn’t say more not wanting to remember his escape and the mess that had been.

“Nasty creature.” Magnus commented remembering how close Alec had been to dying and the amount of magic it took to pull all the venom from his body. “Do you know what they’re called?”

Shaking his head, Alec replied, “No, their name was never said.”

“Congratulations, you get to name it until someone finds out their real name.”

“Wonderful.” Jace muttered. “Is there anything else we need to know?”

“It might have claws, but I don’t remember.” Alec shrugged. “They’re fast, especially when diving. Similar to a… Hawk?” He cocked his head knowing it didn’t sounds right. “Falcon?”

“Falcon.” Magnus agreed.

Nodding in thanks Alec finished, “They dive like a falcon, but instead of using talons to grasp their pray, they used their teeth.”

“That sounds absolutely terrifying.” Simon commented. “Does that mean they reach upwards of 300 miles per hour or is the speed proportional to the size of that demon? Because let me tell you, having that-“

“Simon, please shut up.” Alec sighed rubbing his forehead. “Unfortunately I can’t tell you more. I never really had the opportunity to fight them.”

“It’s fine.” Izzy smiled. “You gave us more than what we had.”

As the group continued to talk about what to do about the demons, Alec’s eyes fell on Clary. Although she offered input there was something different about her. Green eyes kept shifting over to him with a frown. At first he thought she was worried he’s have another panic attack, but then it happened every few minutes. The average was about every four minutes. Finally he stood up and headed for the kitchen. Catching her eye he nodded his head for her to follow.

With his head in the fridge, she asked, “You wanted something?”

Grabbing the left over chicken and rice pilaf, he stood up and shut the door. “I was wondering if you wanted something.” He replied. While he rationed out his food and put it in the microwave to heat up, he continued, “You kept looking at me. Why?”

He watched as she bit her lip. “Last year I lost all my memories. Memories of my time as a Shadowhunter.”

Alec nodded, “I remember.” How could he forget? It happened on his wedding day. “I was actually surprised to see you with everyone.”

“Yeah, right.” She shook her head. “Of course you knew. What you don’t know is a few months ago my memories started coming back.” A soft smile spread across her lips as her eyes glazed over in memory. “I was at the end of the year art show. A few of my pieces were being viewed and… I saw Jace there. Just leaning on one of the pillars. I was drawn to him. For a moment he looked startled and left so I followed him. It was… it was like seeing through waterglass where my memories were obscured but at just the right angle you could make a few things out. I knew Jace and his name, but the details weren’t there. They’ve slowly been coming back, but it’s a slow process.” Her eyes finally cleared and she looked up. “My experiencing the first time seeing Jace is similar to you.” Alec’s eyes widened. “But is also different. I know, I know you. There’s this feeling and there’s these brief moments of clarity where I can see your face. Most of the time you have this scowl or your brows are drawn, but once or twice there’s a smile.”

Alec let out a watery laugh. “I’m not surprised. We didn’t get a long in the beginning. You came into our lives and turned everything upside down.”

“You lost me once.”

He pointed at her and corrected, “You went against my orders while I was on the phone.”

“With…” She frowned trying to draw the memory to the surface. “With Magnus?”

“Yes.” His mouth dropped at the realization that she really did remember him. Well at least to some degree, but it was better than anyone else. “You do remember.”

She perked up. “A little.” She made a little squeak at suddenly being enveloped by the larger man. As he curled around her she slowly put her hands on his back and patted him. The relief that emanated from him was a little overwhelming.

Clary wasn’t sure how long they stayed in the hug for, but it must have been long enough for everyone to wondering what the two were doing. Before long she turned her head when Magnus asked, “Is everything alright?” She could see the slight panic in his eyes.

“Yeah, ah I have a confession.” There was a pause Alec straightened up and looked mildly embarrassed. “I… sort of remember Alec.”

“What!?” Everyone shouted.

She put her hands up defensively and missed how Alec shifted in cases he needed to protect her for whatever reason. “Yes, but it’s similar to Jace. I was telling Alec, I know I know him but there isn’t much to go on.”

“That’s more than us.” Cat commented. “What is it?”

Clary was looking down unsure how to phrase the next part of the confession. “There’s something else though. It’s strange. With Jace and Izzy and Magnus I can embrace the memories. There are emotions attached. I want to get to know them and remember. The memories come easily… well easier. I know I still have huge gaps, but I can feel them just within reach.” Finally she looked up with big sad eyes. “With Alec it’s different. The memories are there for me to eventually remember, but… but I don’t care. There’s like a fog over my mind. I see him and every so often something pops up, but as soon as it does it fades away. Like dropping a photograph into a lake. It’s clear at first but it slowly starts to sink into the back of my mind and I have no real desire to reach out and grab it. I could if I wanted to, but instead I stare at it and watch it fade away.”

“So you’re saying you can remember him, but are…. Empathetic about it?” Cat asked with furrowed brows and a hand to her lips.

“Yes and it’s only with him.”

“Wonderful.” Alec muttered once again no longer hungry.

“I know this isn’t the news you wanted Alec, but this could help us.” Everyone looked to the healer. “Clary, would it be alright if I take a look inside your mind?”

“I don’t know-“ Jace began, but Clary but him off.

“That’s fine.”

“Excellent. Let’s do it in the living.” Everyone walked and sat down except for Alec, Clary, and Cat. “Okay, Alec I would like you to try and remind Clary of a memory. Preferably a strong one. One that holds a lot of significance to both of you. “

Alec nodded and thought. They hadn’t had many ‘bonding’ moments together. He was eternally grateful to her for saving Jace, Izzy, and Magnus, but what one would trigger anything of great significance? Finally he decided on one. “We had just found out that Jace was possessed by The Owl.” His eyes bore into hers, connecting with her until the world fell away and it was just them and the memory. “You, me, Izzy, Magnus, and probably Simon were in the Op Center trying to figure out what to do next.” The image in her mind was forming, but like most of them Alec had yet to appear in the picture. “I was panicking and desperate to find him before The Clave found out. There was already a kill order on The Owl, I didn’t want another kill order on Jace. We were desperate and you finally broke down. You confessed that you hadn’t been telling the truth the night you killed Valentine. You finally told us what I knew to be true. That Jace had died that night. That Valentine had sacrificed him to summon the Angel. That you had killed Valentine and asked the Angel to bring him back. You apologized for lying, saying that you couldn’t hold it in anymore especially with Jace missing.

“I was furious because I knew you had been lying to me… but more than that I was relieved and thankful. You had brought back my Parabatai and brother. I walked over to you, pulled you into a hug, and said,”

In unison the pair said, “I would have done the same thing.” The pair continued to stare into each other’s eyes stuck in the memory together. They only blinked when Cat made a frustrated sound.

“What’s wrong?” Magnus asked standing from where he lounged on a chair.

Shaking her head, Cat replied, “There’s something strange and powerful messing with her memories. As much as she tries to grasp at it, like she said it starts to fade away. As I tried to reach for it, it was like I was trying to grab water or sand. The memory just slipped through my fingers.”

“May I try?” Magnus asked.

“Be my guest as long as Clary is okay with it.”

Eyes turned to the young woman who nodded with determination. “Excellent. Alexander, if you could talk her through another memory.”

Refocusing on Clary, Alec started talking about a particularly upsetting memory the pair shared. It hurt to bring it up, but he figured maybe if he elicited a strong enough emotion they could break through whatever charm had been put on her. Guilt was strong, but anger? Oh anger could burn down the world.

“We were still on rocky terms. I wasn’t a fan of you. As I said before you had turned everything upside down and had almost everyone at your beck and call. We discovered a demon was possessing people and making them rip hearts out as revenge. We didn’t realize it was one of Valentine’s experiments until it was too late. It was already in the Institute and we decided to split up. You went with Izzy, Lydia paired herself with Raj, and I went to check out the living quarters.” He paused as emotions warred on his face. “You found me dazed on the ground leaning against the wall. I was covered in blood. I didn’t know what happened. I asked what I had done. You went to find out who I had killed. You found your mother on the floor of her room with a hole punched through her chest. After I washed my hands we went straight to the Op Center to watch the video feed. Surveillance captured me fighting with your mom, me pinning her to the wall, and punching my hand through her chest. We froze it on me looking up with possessed eyes.” Tears were running down Clary’s cheeks as she remembered. “I tried to apologize, but you were too angry and hurt. You ended up killing the demon after it possessed Izzy.”

Her voice cracked as she clarified, “Izzy was attacking you. She was trying to kill you when I stabbed her in the shoulder. The demon released her and I stabbed it with my blade.”

They went quiet after that. Like the last memory the Warlock rummaging around in Clary’s head broke the silence. “Cat is right. Your memories… they’ve been tampered with. It’s strong magic. Almost as strong as Asmodeus’s. It’s a different signature though and it’s nothing I’ve ever seen before. The feeling of it…” He shook his head. “I’m sorry.”

“Will you be able to do something about it?” Izzy asked.

“I don’t know. I’m powerful, but this… It’ll take me time. I’ll need to study it more.” He shook head. “But I think that is all for today.

“But!” Clary tried.

“We’ve played inside your head enough for today and sustaining that spell and trying to grasp the elusive memories takes a lot of magic. I don’t know about Cat, but I need something to eat and a few hours before I even think of doing anything.”

“As much as I’d love to stay, I need to get back home.” Cat stood back up from where she had sat to rest.

Alec perked up and asked, “How is Madzie?”

Blinking in surprise, Cat replied, “She’s fine and growing more powerful each day.” A loving smile. “Clearly you know her.”

Alec played with his necklace hidden under his shirt as he smiled to himself. “Yeah, just a bit.” He didn’t see the way Magnus’s eyes followed the movement.

“Seems like you two were close.”

He chuckled, “She saved me once.” And she was flower girl at my wedding.

Cat laughed, “Sounds like her. Well, I should relieve my sitter. Have a good evening.” After Cat left Alec retired to his room. Magnus ordered food while the other Shadowhunters left to prepare for patrol.

As he waited for dinner, Magnus paced his living room floor. He desperately wanted to talk with Alec. There was a need in him to make sure after all that had transpired today that the man was okay. Finally deciding to just go and see if he was awake, there was a knock at his door. Frustrated, he walked over and nearly ripped the door open. “Yes?”

“Delivery for Mr. Bane.” A straight, pearly white young man with large glasses smiled happily.

“Thank you.” Magnus threw the money at the man and shut the door without so much as a glance back. If the man ended up with a $78 tip, well what did Magnus care? After placing the Chinese food on the counter, he walked to Alec’s door and knocked. “Alec? Alexander?” gently pushing it open, he found the room empty. His heartrate picked up. Where had he gone?

Scouring the entire main floor, Magnus finally went up to the rooftop. There he found Alec leaning on the balcony looking out over the city. Panic coursed through the Warlock, but he did his best not to scare the man. “What are you doing up here?”

Looking over his shoulder Alec shrugged. “I needed air and to think.”

Magnus saddled up next to the other man and leaned. “My condolences for having to relive that memory. I know how hard it can be.”

“I know.” Alec replied without thought.

“Apparently.” Magnus hummed. “May I ask you something?” Alec nodded and then turned to give Magnus his full attention. “Your file says… we are married. Is that… Is that correct?”

Pain flicked over Alec’s face as his eyes dropped to fingers. “Yes.”

Magnus could feel his heartbreak at not remembering. A part of him rejected the notion. There was no way he would marry a Shadowhunter. Yet a deeper part of him rejoiced and called out for the man in front of him. He had so many questions. “I don’t remember.” His voice was barely above a whisper.

“I know.”

“I’m sorry.” And he was. Sorry for Alec who had to carry the burden of being in love with someone and being surrounded by those he loved who didn’t remember him. But he was also sorry for himself for not remembering their journey that got them to a point that he wanted to marry someone and someone wanted to marry him in return.

Alec looked up and his hand twitched to reach out and caress Magnus’s cheek. To sooth the frown away. “It’s not your fault.”

“I should remember.”

“You are powerful, but not even you could stop him.”

“Him?” Magnus frowned. Him who?

Alec shook his head, “I… I can’t. Not-“

“Alec, do you know who did this? Who tampered with all of our memories?” When Alec bit his lip and started playing with his necklace, Magnus went to grab both his shoulders but stopped. He didn’t want to cause another panic. “Alec, why didn’t you say anything? You’ve been here over a week and we could have… we could have fixed this.”

Alec shook his head mournfully. “I don’t think you can. You even said it yourself the magic is strong. Almost as strong as Asmodeus’s.”

“But if I know-“

“Leviathan.” Alec exhaled quickly.

Magnus stepped back in horror. “Leviathan? Why would? I don’t understand.”

“I don’t- I-“ It was getting harder to breathe again. The world around him warping as the Prince’s face flashed before his eyes.

“Alec!” Magnus shot forward. “Alexander, it’s okay. I’m sorry. You’re safe. You’re here. Tell me, where are we?”

“I… I don’t…”

“Alexander, may I touch you?” When Alec nodded Magnus placed both hands on the side of the man’s face. “Alec, look at me. Hey, look at me. You’re safe. I’m right here. You’re at my loft in Brooklyn.”

“Magnus.” Alec let out weakly before wrapping his arms around the Warlock’s body and burying his face in the man’s neck.

“It’s okay, Alexander. You’re safe. I’m here. You’re safe.” The pair stayed in the embrace for well over ten minutes before Alec was grounded enough to pull away.

“Sorry.” He muttered, not looking at Magnus.

“Don’t be, Darling. I should be the one apologizing. It was thoughtless of me to push you when you’ve already had a trying day.”

“I should have told you sooner.”

“I know now. Let’s go downstairs and relax for the rest of the night. I can introduce you to the wonderful world of reality TV.”

Magnus grinned when Alec groaned. “Anything but Real Housewives, please. Can we watch that prosthetic makeup sci-fi show that we’ll never tell Simon I know about?”

With a frown, Magnus asked, “Prosthetic makeup scifi show?”

“Yeah. The one where makeup artists turn their models into aliens and demons and use prosthetic to achieve the transformation.”

“Oh! Face Off?”

“Yes, that one.”

“Oh Darling, you are full of surprises.” Magnus didn’t even realize he was still holding Alec’s hand until he went to grab dinner.

 

The next day found Lydia knocking on the door of the loft. She wasn’t particularly thrilled to be there. From what Izzy had told her, Alec had a rough day yesterday. She was about to make today just as bad if not worse. Sometimes she really did not like her job even if she knew some aspects were necessary.

Upon opening the door, Magnus had an inkling as to why the Head of the Institute was at his door. “Hello, Lydia. How may I help you? Need another book from my extensive library?”

“Unfortunately not.” She sighed. “May I come in?” Magnus stepped out the way and let her pass. “Is Alec here?”

“He’s on the balcony.” He watched her shift for a moment. “You’re taking him back to the Institute.”

“Yes.”

“I don’t know if that’s a good idea.”

“The Clave needs to know where he’s been.” She looked defeated. “I’ve delayed this debriefing as long as I could.”

“I’ll go get him.” He left her in his living room and made his way up the stairs to the roof. Alec had taken to sitting outside. Enjoying the sun, air, and space. “Am I disturbing you?” Magnus asked watching as Alec looked up from the book he was reading. Apparently a book that Magnus had been meaning to get to and just hadn’t had the time.

“No. What’s up?” He went to get up and aborted the motion. Although he wanted to go over and properly greet his Warlock, currently Magnus was not his. He needed to remember that.

“Lydia is downstairs.”

Magnus didn’t need to elaborate. She would only be at the loft asking for Alec for one reason. “Okay.” He couldn’t say no. If he wanted to return to being a Shadowhunter, he needed to get this over with. He started for the door only to pause next to Magnus. “Could you… Could you maybe come?”

Without thought, Magnus lifted his hand to caress the other man’s cheek. His heart picked up in tempo when Alec closed his eyes and leaned into the touch. “I can try.” The pair stayed like that for a few seconds more before Alec straightened up and headed downstairs.

Seeing Lydia staring out the window, Alec cleared his throat. “You needed me?”

She nodded. “It’s time, Alec. I’m sorry.”

“If I do this, I want Magnus to come. I’m probably going to need him to anchor me.”

“I can allow him to come, but he might need to stay outside the interview room. You know the procedures.”

He did and he hated them. There was still so much prejudice against Downworlders. Looking over his shoulder, he watched Magnus nod in consent. “Okay. Let me go change.” Turning on his heels, he walked into his room. He leaned against the back of the door and breathed. He could already feel himself start to panic and clutched his chest, pressing the warm metal into his skin. Once his breathing was back in control, he quickly pulled on a pair of (fitted) jeans, a dark violet button up, and a pair of boots. Before leaving, he slipped the necklace off his neck and stared at the silver ring in his hand. Removing the ring from the chain, Alec carefully placed it in his pocket and headed out. He just wanted to get the interview over with.

Upon arriving at the Institute, everyone’s eyes turned to the trio walking through the Op Center. Without thinking, Alec greeted, “Hello, Underhill.” He didn’t see the Head of Security look at him as though he’d never met him before. Alec was too distracted at being back in the place he once called home.

The curly haired man frowned and said, “Hi?” His eyes shifted to Lydia who merely shook her head as she was handed a piece of paper.

“We will be using interview room one. Don’t disturb us unless the world is falling down around us. Understood?”

“Yes, ma’am.” He watched as the two Shadowhunters and Warlock left. He decided he would check up on them in about twenty. After all, Warlocks weren’t supposed to be in the Institute.

Lydia paused outside the room and sighed. “I’m sorry Magnus, you’ll need to stay out here. The Clave wants only me and Alec so there is no outside influences. I want this interview to go as smooth as possible and without the Clave kicking up a fuss.”

“What if I need him?” Alec asked.

“He can watch from the window and if you do need him I’ll pause the interview and allow him in. But for now we need to do as much of this without outside influence.”

“You know I would never. Besides I don’t know anything.” Magnus crossed his arms.

“I’m sorry, I know. But The Law is Hard-“

“But it is the Law. Yeah, I know.” He looked up at the dark haired man. “I’ll be right outside.”

“Thank you.” With only a second of hesitation, Alec pulled Magnus into a quick hug before pulling away and walking into the room.

Once Lydia and Alec were both seated, the female Shadowhunter started recording. “Lydia Branwell, Head of the New York Institute, is here with Alexander Gideon Lightwood.”

“Bane.” Alec corrected. “Lightwood-Bane.”

“My apologies. Lightwood-Bane.” She cleared her throat. “Mr. Lightwood-Bane has been missing since May 10th. On June 14th the following year, Mr. Lightwood-Bane arrived at the Werewolf Den Taki’s and was almost immediately treated by the Warlock, Magnus Bane. He has been recovering from his injuries and demon poisoning since then. Today, June 27th, Mr. Lightwood-Bane has come to tell in detail where he has been and what happened.

“Alec, please take me through step by step what happened the day you disappeared to when he arrived at Taki’s.” Lydia nodded with an encouraging smile.

Taking a breath, Alec begins, “May 10th of last year, Magnus and I managed to both get the day off. With everything that happened because of Jonathan, there was a lot of change happening and recovery. We hadn’t had much time to spend together so we decided to sync up days off and celebrate six months of being married.” He remembered it with crystal clear detail. They woke up and spent the morning in bed. Both phones were on, but with strict instruction NOT to bother them unless Edom had somehow managed to reform and tear a gaping hole is the sky. Everyone promised to not call them. Finally emerging from their bedroom, they went to take a relaxing bath and continue to enjoy each other’s company. Up until dinner, Magnus had summoned food whenever they decided they were hungry. However, Alec was determined to take his husband out for a nice romantic meal. It was nice. It was romantic. They had just finished the main course when both their phones went off. “Izzy. Isabelle Lightwood, my sister, called me, while Catarina Loss called Magnus. There was a portal open allowing demons to flood out into a nearby alley and street. They called in backup because the energy signature was nothing like Cat had seen before and almost as powerful as Edom’s. We left to give aid.

“It was a trap. The creatures and portal a distraction. By the time we realized what was happening, Cat and Magnus were busy closing the portal while three teams of Shadowhunters battled the demons.” He had to pause. The beginning wasn’t hard to talk about. Honestly it was quite pleasant because it had started as a lovely day. The next part however filled Alec with dread and sent his body buzzing with panicked energy. “The portal was a distraction. A far greater threat was watching silently for the opportune moment to strike. He found it when we were distracted and the Warlocks were unable to do anything more than watch for fear of letting the portal open again.

“A tear between our world and another realm of Hell opened. The temperature in the area dropped and a chilling voice called out. It made your blood run cold and almost froze you with fear. I almost didn’t make it in time.”

“What do you mean?” Lydia asked.

“He wanted Magnus. I later learned he wanted him for revenge. He wanted to hurt him. Bring him to his realm and torture him for sending his brother into limbo for all eternity.”

“He, who?”

Lydia’s heart stopped when Alec’s dead eyes looked up at her. “Leviathan. The Greater Demon and Prince of Hell. He attacked Magnus while he was still closing the portal. Luckily Cat was there as he had to defend himself. He split his magic between fending off the Greater Demon and closing the portal. I don’t really know what happened between them because I was trying to make my way to Magnus, but by the time I made it over Cat was finishing the portal and Magnus had created enough of a spell to blast Leviathan through the rift me made.

“Leviathan is not a greater demon for nothing, however. As he flew back, he shot out a black tentacle like arms straight at Magnus. It wrapped around me as I pushed him out of the way and was subsequently dragged into Hell.”

“You sacrificed yourself?”

Momentarily knocked out of his panic, Alec frowned. “Of course. He’s my husband. I went to Edom for him and was ready to stay there with him if we couldn’t figure out how to get him out. Not pushing him out of the way never crossed my mind.”

Lydia shook her head and muttered, “To be loved by a Nephilim.” Straightening up and trying to return to being poised shed said, “You were taken to Leviathan’s realm. What happened after?”

“I don’t know what was happening here, but apparently Leviathan decided I would do. If he couldn’t torture Magnus physically, he could do it emotionally and psychologically. I’m assuming he realized we were married or at the very least I was important to him if I was willing to be taken in his stead…” His emotions started crashing down around him again. His memories of his time with the Greater Demon resurfacing. “Time is different there. It means nothing. Unlike Edom, where Leviathan is from it is cold and the air thick. It’s like being on the verge of drowning, but not quite. Where the sulfuric air of Edom feels like its corroding your skin, there it’s like you are being blasted with sand and salt. Like needles are piercing your skin.

“I don’t know how long I was there as he taunted me and I taunted back. He didn’t appreciate when I reminded him that between my family and I, we had taken out two Greater Demons, the Queen of Edom, and a Prince of Hell. He was next. Apparently he took that seriously because the next time I saw him he merely grinned at me as he… Finally one day he asked me if I knew why no one had come for me. I was scared he was going to say he killed them, but what he told me was far worse. He made them forget. He made an entire city, my home, forget about me. He made the entire Shadow World uncaring at my loss. He reminded me every day that no one was coming. That we had all eternity together because no matter how much it hurt, he wasn’t going to let me die.”

Suddenly he was lost in his memories. Laying on the jagged slab of rock that felt as though it was covered in barnacles and mollusks. Leviathan jeering at him while carving into him. Sometimes just to see Alec’s insides and others to take Angelic trophies to decorate with. When Leviathan was too busy or didn’t feel like getting his hands dirty, his demons took turns tearing into him. Some got overzealous and almost killed him. A few times he prayed he wouldn’t wake up.

Early on before the torture and torment grew too bad, Leviathan looked over Alec’s naked body. The demon’s blade carelessly dragging across ivory skin occasionally creating red lines in its wake. Finally he looked down at Alec left hand and cocked his head. A slow grin spread across his face as delight flickered in hollowed eyes. Alec tried to keep his hand in ball. He knew what Leviathan wanted, but he could only hold out so long when a knife was shoved through his hand. As he cried out, the Demon managed to slip off the ring.
“Aku Cinta Kamu. I love you. How touching.” For a moment the Demon thought about crushing it, but then thought better. Why have a moment of agony, when he could draw out the young man’s emotional pain for eons? The psychological warfare was brought to new heights. The ring that meant everything to Alec dangled on a chain around the monster’s neck in full view every time he visited. It was a perfect punctuation that Alec had been forgotten by the man he loved the most. He had been unintentionally abandoned. The ring was always the first thing Alec saw when he was about to be tortured and the last before he blacked out from the pain.

The screams that echoed through the halls of Leviathan’s palace slowly quieted. They were replaced by Magnus’s deep voice calling to him. By the time Alec was pulled out of his head, he found himself curled in a ball with his left hand to his lips and his right trying to cover his ear. Hazel eyes blinked and focused on Magnus’s face. The other man was close, close enough to be breathing the same air, and his ringed fingers stoking his hair. “Hello, Alexander.”

Alec’s eyes dropped to his left hand before he looked up again. “You’re here.”

“I am. I told you if you needed me, I would come.”

“I can’t breathe.”

“It’s okay. May I have your hand?” Giving over his right hand, Magnus took it and placed it on his chest. As they breathed together, the Warlock watched as Alec slipped a silver ring on his finger and started twisting it. He felt a little slow, but it took him a moment to realize what the ring was. He’d think about that later when he didn’t have a Shadowhunter panicking in his arms.

Sometime later Alec finally broke free from his attack. He whispered a ‘thank you’ and leaned back. “How much did I tell you?” He asked. He wasn’t sure how much he actually spoke and how much he silently relived.

Carefully Lydia replied, “You told us how Leviathan wasn’t… going to let you die and then after that it was bits and pieces. Some things about being tortured, how he taunted you with something but you never said what, and you kept muttering how they had to come.”

Alec hummed in acknowledgement. He remembered how that had become one of many mantras he repeated to himself when he was tortured. How his family had to come. He nodded for Lydia to turn the recorder back on. “I was tortured every ‘day’ I was there until I passed out. I almost died a few times.”

“How did you escape?” Lydia asked. “Did you have help?”

Alec shook his head. “No. I was exhausted. It was a new day of torture. They must have gotten lazy or something, I don’t really know but the bindings on my wrist weren’t as tight as usually. Or maybe I’d lost too much weight and I could easily slip from them. All I know is when the demon that day meant to torture me, it ended up with the demonic knife between its scaly eyes.” It went beyond that though. He cut the demon’s head off in pure rage at seeing his ring hanging around its neck. How dare that monster wear it and try and taint it! Before the demon had a chance to hit the ground, he grabbed it and took is wedding ring back and kissed it as tears slid down his face. “Honestly, I don’t remember much of trying to escape but I know I wandered for a while or what felt like a while. Those flying creatures that have been attacking New York found me at one point and I remember running and trying to keep them at bay. At one point one bit me.” He shook his head remembering that searing pain that went through his body as the venom entered his bloodstream. “I managed to kill one of them and slip away. I ended up in a room. I’m assuming it was analogous to Asmodeus’s throne room. There was a stone cut out for someone to sit on, a table with different torture implements, and a large black sludge pool.” He remembered his Runes hanging on the walls. He remembered throwing up at the sight of them. “I heard noises getting closer. Yelling and screeching. I was trapped and tired. I don’t know what made me do it, but when I found myself near the black pool I looked down. It reminded me of a portal of sorts. I looked down and saw New York. I dove in. It was like swimming through mud. When I thought I couldn’t go on anymore, I broke the surface here. I vaguely knew where I was and made my way to the closes place I knew which happened to be Taki’s. You know the rest.”

The trio were quiet as they took everything in. Lydia broke the silence. “If Leviathan has this… sludge portal why did he tear a hole between realms when he attempted to take Magnus?”

“I don’t know. Maybe trying to drag someone through that strange portal isn’t possible or takes too much effort. He never told me.”

“Where did you surface?”

“Five minutes from Taki’s. It couldn’t have been far or I probably wouldn’t have made it.”

Lydia nodded as she took a few notes. “Thank you Alec, for your cooperation. I think that’s it for now, but if I have any more questions I will inform you.”

“Okay.”

“Interview of Alexander Lightwood-Bane has ended.” Lydia shut the recording device off and stood. “I’m sure you know this but you will not be on active duty for a while.”

“I know. I doubt I could even run half a mile right now. I’m not physically fit currently.”

“The Silent Brothers are also going to have to clear you.” She didn’t need to elaborate. They would have to clear him psychologically before he could return to duty.

“I know.”

Turning to Magnus, Lydia said, “I’m sorry, but now that the interview is over you are going to have to leave.”

“Can’t have a Downworlder in the Institute now can we?” Magnus sighed. Alec let out a defeated snort as he rested his throbbing head in his hands. “What, Darling?”

“It’s just… All the work I did to change the relationship between Downworlders and Shadowhunters went out the window. Is there even a Downworlder Council still?”

Magnus and Lydia frowned, “Downworld Council?” It felt vaguely familiar, but no real memories came up.

“Ah yes, forgotten like me. It was a way to keep open communication between all of us. It had many flaws and didn’t start out smoothly, but it was getting there.”

“Who was part of this Council?” Magnus frowned.

“Originally it was you for the Warlocks, Raphael for the Vampires, Luke for the Werewolves, and Meliorn represented the Seelies when the Queen had more important things to deal with which was most of the time.”

“And you represented the Nephilim?”

Alec nodded. “There were of course some changes after the War with Johnathan. Maia took over for Luke, Lorenzo was the Representative for the Warlocks, and Simon for the Vampires. We were working together to build a stronger alliance. We were about to implement Downworlder deputies to work alongside the Nephilim.” Lydia and Magnus blinked in shack. “Apparently that fell apart.”

“I mean no disrespect, but I find that hard to believe.” Lydia commented. Magnus thought it sounded like a lovely fantasy.

“New York was going to be the trial city since we came up with the idea. We had a lot of eyes on us.” Alec sighed as he stood up. Body creaking and aching from his melt down. “I guess I’m back at square one.”

“What do you mean?”

“If it’s alright with you, I’d like to restart the Council. I may be out of active commission, but I can still work on Downworlder relations even if no one remembers me.”

“You’d do that?” Magnus asked.

“Of course. Hopefully it won’t be as much of a disaster as last time.”

“How was it a disaster?”

Alec looked at Magnus for a moment with a hint of pain and guilt. “That is a story for another time. Right now, I think I need to lie down.”

“Go. I will think on your proposal and let you know.” Lydia nodded and walked them out.

“I have to stay here.” Alec stated even though he didn’t want to. The loft was his home, but to everyone here he belonged in the Institute.

“Yes. Where else would you go?”

“Nowhere. I’ll walk Magnus out. I’ll see you later, Lydia.”

“Have a great day.” Magnus smiled.

“And you Magnus. See you later, Alec.” The Shadowhunter nodded and then turned to go back to her office. She had many things to think about and a report to write.
The walk to the exit was mostly quiet. The pair made it to the bottom of the stairs before Magnus turned. “Alexander, don’t you find it strange that no one remembers this Council? Even if you were a part of it, should we still remember something?”

Alec didn’t reply right away. His frown a sign of deep thought. “I can’t be sure, but if all this is because of Leviathan I’m sure he wants as much chaos as your father. What the Council was building would have stabilized the Shadow World. Even if I was gone, but everyone on the Council and perhaps one of my siblings decided to continue it, none of the hostilities between the species would be happening right now.” Alec paused for a second before asking, “We’re on the brink of fighting again aren’t we?”

“Yes. Every day we are getting closer to the Accords breaking and us fighting the Shadowhunters.”

“Then we have to do something.”

“What if Lydia says no?”

“I don’t know.” Alec replied honestly. “I love being a Shadowhunter. I love my siblings. I am protective of the people inside these walls even if they don’t remember me… but I’ve grown since we originally first met. I’m no longer the closeted, blind soldier I was when Clary first crashed into our lives. I don’t want to go back to that.” Hazel eyes slid to Magnus’s. Open and honest. “I married you inside these walls. We forced the Clave to recognize our union. We enabled Shadowhunters to come out and not be afraid to love the same gender or a different species. I won’t let my society take a step back. I refuse to let it happen. I didn’t survive Leviathan’s torture just to come back to a different form. We changed it once, I will be damned if I don’t do it again.”

“Oh Alexander. You continue surprise me.” Magnus was a mess of emotions. He was heartbroken at not remembering this amazing man and yet filled with aw at having this man still love him to the point of changing laws for him and others like them.

A sad, yet somehow happy smile graced the tall man’s lips. “In good ways, I hope.”

Magnus let out a chuckle, “The best.”

Chapter Text

The first time Ichabark walked through the halls of the Institute there had been some alarm. At least a dozen seraph blades were pulled out, ready to deliver some angelic justice. Lydia quickly put a stop to that and within a week of the dog trailing behind Alec as he went about his business two things happened. First, a vest with Service Grim/Dog patches mysteriously appeared on the hound informing confused Shadowhunters not to touch the dog. Second, she became one of the residence within the walls of the Institute. Not many of the Nephilim actually agreed per say to the Grim wandering the halls behind the Shadowhunter no one remembered, but Lydia made it clear the dog was allowed in and thus no one challenged her presence.

While Alec ran around the Institute making sure everything was set for the first Downworlder Council meeting, Ichabark trotted behind him like a shadow. At least twice a day she alerted to Alec’s anxiety and PTSD leading to the pair on the floor or a couch for up to an hour. It always frustrated the Shadowhunter whenever he had an episode because all he wanted to do was get the meeting started, but it was nearly impossible when he had to pause and wait out his attacks. Finally after hours of gathering notes and speaking with the necessary representatives the meeting was finally happening.

A feeling of deja vu hit Alec as he waited in a button-up and dress pants for the Downworld Representatives to arrive. He had just finished fiddling with his shirt cuff when Maia and Simon walked through the door to the meeting room. “Hey Alec.” Simon grinned. “Really cool idea. Hope this works out because out there? Eesh.”

Alec tried his best to refrain from rolling his eyes. “Hello, Simon. Thanks for coming.” He shook the Vampire’s hand before looking to the Werewolf Representative. “Good evening Maia.”

“Hey. Glad to see you’re doing better and not naked covered in black goo.” She grinned at him amused by his embarrassment.

Clearing his throat he nodded, “Thank you for calling Magnus and not killing me on the spot.”

She merely shrugged, “Might have if I knew you were a Shadowhunter. Thought you were a newly transformed Werewolf that got himself into trouble.”

“Still appreciated. Coffee and refreshments are on table to the left. Before you ask, I made sure there was something you could have.”

Simon lit up. “You’re the best. No one ever remembers about the Vampire.”

“If you’re thinking of hugging me or crying please don’t.”

Simon merely laughed as he saluted the older man and headed over to the table for B neg coffee. He could really go for some while he compared notes with Maia on the newest Kingdom Hearts game. Alec still didn’t see what Izzy saw in the nerd, but he didn’t really have any right to judge. He’d seen Magnus’s collection of vintage comic books and had even read a few. Not that he’d ever let Simon know.

He was brought out of his thoughts as Lorenzo Rey, High Warlock of Brooklyn and on occasion the man Alec wanted to strangle, swept into the room. “Ah, hello Alexander. A pleasure to see you again.”

“Alec, please,” he corrected with a smile that was a mix between strained and greeting. “Nice to see you again. How is being High Warlock?” A little over a year ago this question would have been hostile, but even though Lorenzo didn’t remember Alec did. Their strained relationship had smoothed over. Now, they were friendly and on pretty good terms. Or at least they had been before shit hit the fan and painted the room brown.

“Wonderful. Magnus still gives me trouble from time to time, but what can you do?” He sighed like it was a hardship, but Alec could see right through him. Lorenzo loved his job.
“Oh,” The Warlock looked a little surprised. “Maybe I shouldn’t have said that. With you dating him and all.”

“Married.” Alec corrected. “Technically, but things have been a little complicated.”

“And so I hear.” His eyes swept over the Nephilim. Normally it would have made Alec uncomfortable, but instead of lust or sexual interest coloring the Warlock’s eyes it was more categorizing and analyzing. How much of a threat was he?

Sweeping his hand towards the table with the two other representatives, Alec offered, “There is coffee and refreshments on the table over there. I’m sure you know Simon and Maia.”

“Yes. Quite young to be leading, but I haven’t had much problem with them or their kind. Can’t wait to see where this meeting goes.”

Hopefully better than the first time we all met. Alec smiled. “We should be starting soon. We are only waiting for the Seelie representative and then we can start.” A second after saying that, Meliorn and two of his knights walked in. “Meliorn.” Alec greeted with a nod.

“Eldest Lightwood-Bane.” The Seelie greeted before cocking his head. “Or should I say youngest Lightwood-Bane? Magnus is older than you.”

Alec looked surprised as did the rest of the Downworlders who had turned to see the Seelies enter. Since coming back into this realm Alec had to correct almost everyone regarding his last name. Having Meliorn use it without any prompt threw him for a moment. “Alec works just fine.”

“And where is your other half? I’m surprised he is not here as the Warlock Representative.”

That had been a bit of a sore spot between the two. As much as Alec wanted Magnus there, with Lorenzo as acting High Warlock of Brooklyn it made more sense for him to be at the meeting. Magnus huffed, said it was fine, and went back to brewing several potions at once. Secretly, Alec promised to make it up to him. He had other plans for Magnus.
“Seeing as Lorenzo is High Warlock, it made sense for him to be here.”

Meliorn’s eyes darted over Alec’s face before raising a brow. “Interesting. Shall we start? I’d like to see where this goes.” Allowing the king of the faries to go ahead of him, Alec ushered everyone to a medium sized round table.

For a moment everyone, but Alec’s eyes looked up at the banners that hung from the ceiling. Maia whistled while Meliorn commented, “I’m surprised the Nephilim still have them.”

All eyes turned to the king. Simon was the one to ask, “What do you mean?”

“With how Shadowhunter society has digressed to before Valentine, I’m surprised the Institute didn’t burn them.”

“Wait, what do you mean?” Maia frowned. “You’ve seen them before?”

Even Alec’s eyes widened when the Fey replied, “Of course. I believe they were hanging when Alec first called us together. Granted only two of us are the original members, but they always hung whenever we met.”

“Wait, you remember?” Alec cried causing Ichabark to jerk up in alert.

“I do.”

“Why haven’t you said anything?”

“No one asked.”

Alec glared at the Seelie king with eyes that clearly stated that he was going to murder the king, but what came out was, “How?”

“I was in Farie. If an angel’s destructive power to wipe out every Downworlder on Earth couldn’t touch us, why would a Prince of Hell’s?”

For a moment Alec was to rebuke, but thought better of it. They weren’t really there to talk about what happened to him and how everyone forgot. They could talk about that later. Letting out a breath, Alec gritted out, “We’ll… we’ll talk about that later. For now let’s talk about the council and what we want from it.” For the next three hours the group yelled, argued, compromised, and agreed on the direction the new Downworld Council would be heading. Even though most of the representatives were skeptical about anything getting done, they were willing to at least try to change the relationship between the Downworlders and Shadowhunters. At least in New York. Everyone would be looking to them to see if they were able to rise above the bullshit and racism or crumble under the weight.

After the meeting had ended, Alec stepped up to Meliorn to have a few more parting words with him. “Didn’t you find it strange that I was missing and no one was looking for me?”

“I didn’t know you had.”

“But didn’t you find it odd that suddenly the Council stopped meeting and the relationship between us and the Downworlders went back to how they were before?”

“For a moment.” The Seelie nodded. “Knowing you and everything you went through to bring Magnus back from Edom, I was surprised you hadn’t called a meeting in months. I was however, quite busy with Farie. After the death of our Queen, it was in a bit of chaos.” Alec nodded in understanding. “If you’ll excuse me, I have business to attend to.”

“See you next week. If you need anything, let me know.” The king nodded and departed with no further words. And so the council started meeting weekly. Unbeknownst to Alec, the Clave was watching his moves carefully. They didn’t like what he was doing. He was once again changing the status quo. Shadowhunters were starting to feel comfortable dating someone of the same gender or be in serious relationships with Downworlders. Downworlders were starting to stand up for themselves whenever a Shadowhunter broke the Accords. The Council was gaining steam and slowly forcing the Nephilim to change their old archaic ways. Many higher ups in the Clave started watching the forgotten Shadowhunter ready to take him out of necessary.

It was nearly five months after Alec clawed his way back to the Earthly realm when two Clave envoys arrived at the New York Institute to ‘observe’ a council meeting. They said it was to better understand and hopefully emulate it at another Institute. The local Shadowhunters didn’t believe a word they said. Thus as the Representatives arrived, many gave the uptight looking Nephilim a glare.

“Sorry I’m late, we had a new recruit wolf out. Everything’s fine. He’s a worrier and with midterms coming up, his wolf is at the surface. What are they doing here?” Maia asked as she plopped down in her seat. The rest of the party had arrived and were waiting on her.

“Maia, this is Stephen Larkspear and Natasha Townsend. They are envoys of the Clave and wish to see how we conduct a meeting so more councils can be established around the world.” Although Alec’s tone was 100% professional, his body language was that of a man that believed everything he said was complete and absolute bullshit.

With a grin, the Alpha said, “Fine by me. They’re in for a real treat of diplomacy and professionalism. It’s a pleasure to meet you.” The meeting was anything but professional. There was of course yelling, a lot of bickering, snide comments, and rude remarks. Maia and Lorenzo never got along and Meliorn tended to be the one that added kindling to the flames. Through it all however, the Council always got through their goals and managed to come out satisfied with what they got done. By the end the envoys looked baffled and confused to what they had witnessed. Alec couldn’t help but smirk.

“Thank you for coming.” He smiled. “I hope attending the meeting was educational. We work hard to settling any disputes and address all concerns that come up within the city.”

“It was something.” Stephen muttered as he rubbed his face. “Do you always argue like that?”

“Sometimes.”

“Not very professional from a group of Representatives.” Natasha remarked.

“We are still a work in progress, but we always get what we need to done.” Alec went to say something else when Magnus swept into the room.

“Alexander.” The Warlock grinned. “How was the meeting? Oh,” He blinked finally registering the other Shadowhunters. “My apologies, I didn’t see you there.”

While the two envoys rolled their eyes, Alec leaned forward to kiss his husband. It took while, but they managed to breech the topic of their relationship, go on dates, and were settling into a routine once more. Unsurprisingly, it was helping Alec settle more into life back up top and grounded him to the present. Magnus on the other hand was once again in love with the man and could understand why he had previously asked Alec to marry him.

“The meeting went well. Simon will be taking care of Eliot while Meliorn and Maia will be teaming up to find the source of the fairy fruit being sold in Central Park. Magnus, I’d like you to meet two envoys from the Clave. Natasha Townsend and Stephen Larkspear.”

“Hello.” Magnus greeted with a forced smile. He wasn’t a fan of Clave envoys or really anyone from the Clave outside the Institute.

The two Shadowhunters made some form of noise before Natasha turned to Alec. “We should be going. We want to report to the Consul about your… council meeting.” Her eyes looked Magnus up and down while trying to hide her disgust. “Good evening.” She turned sharply and left without waiting for her partner. Stephen barely gave a wave before departing.

The group didn’t say anything until the pair were out of earshot. Maia broke the silence with, “And they think we aren’t professional. Assholes.”

“I have to agree with Maia on this one.” Lorenzo shook his head at how rude the Nephilim had been.

“Must be the end of days if Lorenzo and Maia are agreeing with each other.” Meliorn commented.

While Maia growled and Lorenzo glared, a blonde man with curly hair entered looking a little frazzled. “Alec?” He greeted.

“Hi Underhill, everything alright?” He’d always liked Underhill and never got used to the man coming to him to thank him for proudly being out and in a stable relationship with not only a man but a Warlock. He kept quiet though, knowing that Underhill and Lorenzo were in the middle of a dance. Neither currently have confirmed or denied going on multiple dates, but Alec wasn’t stupid. Underhill always looked happier after going out on early Wednesday afternoons.

“Ah,” His eyes scanned the others around them. “May I talk to you privately for a moment?”

Nodding, Alec informed everyone that he’d be back in a moment. Somehow over the course of the five months, Lydia had elected him her right hand and unofficial co-Head of the Institute. While it wasn’t official most of the Shadowhunters deflected to him if Lydia was busy or unavailable. At first it was easy for her because he was always around (unless at Magnus’s) since he couldn’t do field work. Gradually as he worked through his trauma, Ichabark helped him with his PTSD and anxiety episodes, and proved he was field ready, she started giving him more work out in the field that revolved around issues with the Downworld. Now he flip-flopped between Downworlder assignments and going on patrol with Jace, Clary, and Izzy (and usually Magnus if he wasn’t busy).

Therefore, when Underhill came to him with news of mundanes being possessed he wasn’t that surprised. Looking over the files, he asked, “Has Lydia seen this?”

“Yes, she’s delegating it to you since she’s working on the increase in demonic activity around the docks.”

“Okay. Send Jace, Izzy, and Clary to scope the area of the last attack. I want them in constant contact. If there is anything strange about the possession I want to know. We don’t need a repeat of Valentine’s experiments. I’ll talk to Magnus about possibly strengthening the wards just in case.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Please do a diagnostic of our system to make sure everything is secure.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Thank you, Underhill. How is security going?”

Underhill shifted on his feet a little unsure how to answer. “Honestly, sir?” Once Alec nodded he slowly replied, “It’s just… With the Downworlders coming and going almost freely it’s been hard to keep this place secure. I know what you are doing is important and I do support it… you’re just making my job harder.”

“I know and I’m sorry. If you’re free tomorrow we can go over your concerns about breeches in protocol if you’d like.”

“That’d be great.” Alec watched as tension in Underhill’s shoulders released if only a little. “My shift starts at 11 tomorrow night.”

“We’ll have a meeting at midnight if that works for you.”

“Yes, sir. Have a great evening.”

“You too and please tell my siblings to be careful.”

“I’ll try.” Underhill grinned before walking off.

Upon returning, the remaining Downworlders turned to him. “What was that about?” Simon asked.

Finding no reason to hide it and also knowing Simon would be texted any minute about the new assignment, Alec replied, “Demon possessions. I’m having Izzy, Jace, and Clary look into it.”

“You’re not going?” Maia asked picking at her nail polish.

“If they need me they’ll let me know.” He left it at that. With the envoys and increase in demonic activities, Lydia had been stressed out. He figured he should stay in and help her where he could. As much as writing reports wasn’t his favorite activity, he knew how much it would help her if she took a stack or two. “Is there anything else you’d like to discuss before we actually conclude this meeting?”

“Yeah, you do realize those Clave envoys are not here to better understand us right?” Maia raised a brow. “What’s really going on?”

Running a hand through his hair, Alec replied, “I can’t say for sure, but I’m pretty sure they’re here for me. I thought I was paranoid at first, but Izzy, Jace, Clary, Underhill, and a few other Shadowhunters have made comments about them watching me.” He blew out a breath. “I’m beginning to think the Clave doesn’t like what we’re doing.”

“Didn’t this happen before though?” Lorenzo asked. “According to you and Meliorn, we’ve met before and had backing.”

Propping his hip against the table, Alec frowned, “We did. The Shadow World was starting to come together. We were almost on equal footing. I don’t know why they’re suddenly resisting.”

“If I may?” Magnus slid in. “To be that person, I don’t think the Clave wants to see Downworlders as equals. We may have the Accords, but when have they ever been fair?”

“How did it even work before? I know we’ve talked about it, but it was always in passing.” Simon played with in phone unconsciously as he waiting for either Clary or Izzy to text him.

“I suppose it was easier right after the war. We had lost many when Jonathan attacked Idris and then wiped out Institutes. The Downworlders and Shadowhunters banded together to stop a great evil. Magnus closed the rift preventing the world from being taken over by demons and Clary killed her brother. It was easier to close the gap.”

“Which you two apparently did by saying screw you to the Clave and forcing them to acknowledge your marriage.” Maia grinned devilishly. “United the Warlocks and Shadowhunters together at least.”

Alec’s eyes glazed over for a second as he remembered their wedding. With his next blink, his eyes were clear once again. “But it wasn’t just us, the Council pushed forward and ah since most of the population of Shadowhunters are on the younger side we were able to make headway. The problem now is the catalyst, the war, has been over for a while and that feeling of unity apparently faded. We’re working with a closed minded minority.”

“So what you’re saying is,” Simon clarified, “We need to rally the majority? But they’re scared?”

“I don’t know if I’d say scared, but most just go with the flow. We’re soldiers. We’re taught to not really question and to follow the Law.”

Lorenzo rolled his eyes. “Ah yes, the Law.”

“We need another catalyst then?” Simon probed more.

“I suppose or try to open communications between the Institutes and local Downworlders. Get the two sides working together peacefully and become one.” Alec replied.

“Why don’t you two get married again?” Meliorn gave his calculated smile. “It worked once. Why not again?”

While Magnus blanched, Alec muttered, “I don’t want to have another wedding.” From the corner of his eyes, Alec watched as Ichabark trotted over to Magnus and nudged his leg. “Besides, that was different. I was…” He sighed at the thought of what he was about to say. “I was a hero then and also apparently a lot of Shadowhunters were in aw at the fact that I was an out and in a steady relationship Institute head. I was in the spot light. Now, I’m not.”

“I find that hard to believe. No one remembers you or at least doesn’t care that you went missing, you show up, are still out and from what I can tell in a committed relationship with your husband that doesn’t remember you, managed to become Lydia’s right hand/ co-head, and re-established the Downworlder Council that has been doing splendidly. The Clave is watching you which means probably almost everyone else is too. You’re back in the limelight, Lightwood-Bane.” Maia crossed her arms with a look that dared Alec to challenge her.

“This is different.” Alec tried weakly. “This time everyone is watching and trying to make sure I fail.”

“Like they didn’t before.”

“Before was different. Last time I miraculously didn’t die when we went after Lilith so even those not happy that I am gay thought highly of me. This time I’m just a man trying to reverse hundreds of years of prejudice.”

“Dude, you clawed your way out of Hell. I pretty sure people are in aw of you.” Simon contributed. “That has to be way more impressive than helping kill Lilith.” He frowned a moment and then asked, “What was your role in taking down Lilith?”

Alec looked off with an expression that clearly stated he was debating telling them. Finally he stated, “After giving you my stele, I held off The Owl for as long as I could until Magnus showed up.”

Simon’s eyes went wide, “Wait, you held off The Owl? How did you manage that?”

Alec shrugged and replied without thinking, “I got my arm broken and nearly died, but I was in it to kill it. I wasn’t going to fail my brother again. He was a demon and I am a Shadowhunter, it’s what I do.”

“You almost died!”

Alec winced at the memory and accidentally letting it slip. “Ah yeah.”

“Good thing Magnus was there.” Maia snorted, but her face dropped when Alec didn’t acknowledge it. “Wait, he did heal you right? That’s messed up. Why not?”

“I couldn’t?” Magnus admitted as he looked at Alec for confirmation.

With a nod, Alec finished, “He’d used all his magic to break the walls in Jace’s mind so he could expel the demon.”

“So Jace saved you?” Simon asked with the next logical leap.

“Silent Brother.” His eyes drifted to Magnus’s. “Brother Zachariah.” Magnus nodded as his hands silently played with Alec’s fingers. “It was a rough night for everyone. Let’s talk about something of more relevance please.”

“Next time we meet we should share our ideas for how to rally the silent majority of your people.” Lorenzo offered. “If we want to actually accomplish anything, we are going to need them.”

While Alec nodded, Maia cocked her head. “It’s going to have to be something crazy.”

“I still suggest a wedding.” Meliorn contributed.

“Or, you know something small that would gain momentum. Like this council.” Simon slipped in. “Something that could take root.”

“Did Alec ever officially announce to the world that he was gay and married to Magnus?” Meliorn asked while picking at his nails.

“Why are you fixated with me coming out or us having another wedding?” Alec asked exasperated.

Merely shrugging, his mouth said, “I like parties.” While something in his smirk said something else.

“Actually,” Lorenzo straightened up. “We could go off Meliorn’s idea.”

Alec complained, “Why?”

“Hush.” Maia scolded. “What do you mean?”

“We could have a Downworlder/Shadowhunter party with the theme of our happy couple.”

“I don’t like where this is going.” Alec groaned, while Magnus muttered, “I never like when Lorenzo has an idea.”

Ignoring the couples muttering, the High Warlock said, “The Institute could host an anniversary party. Your original wedding anniversary is coming up isn’t it?”

Alec blinked as Magnus shifted awkwardly, “Technically yes, but Magnus and for that matter almost everyone else, doesn’t remember it.”

“Have a wedding renewal.”

“We’ve only been dating for two months.” Magnus muttered.

“Weren’t the two of you only dating for two months last time when you decided to get married? Don’t-“

“Stop.” Alec growled.

“From what you’ve told us, you had the ceremony here the first time for just this reason. To give the Clave a huge screw you as Maia put it and allow others like you to date who they want and to bridge the gap. For all your talk Alec, you aren’t holding up to your beliefs.”

The air in the meeting hall grew tense. Maia and Simon froze while Meliorn watched in amusement. Ichabark started growling at Lorenzo as she pawed at the ground unsure who to go to. Finally Alec snapped, “I will not have something this important happen prematurely. If we are uncomfortable having a vow renewal ceremony because our relationship is still relatively new, I will not have you use that against us. This is a decision between Magnus and I and no one else. I’ve been through a rushed political wedding once and I’m not doing it again even if the other person is my husband. So I suggest you drop it, Lorenzo.”

“As you wish, Alec.” The tone in the Warlock’s voice was clearly unhappy but unwilling to push the issue further.

“Thank you all for coming. I will see you next week with ideas on how to spread the concept of unifying the Downworld. Goodnight, everyone.” After the council members said their good-byes and left, Alec let out a breath while pinching the bridge of his nose. “Lorenzo doesn’t know when to shut up.”

Magnus walked over to lean on the table next to him. “He’s right you know. We could have a ceremony and hold it here. It would mean a lot to all those closeted Nephilim to see you not only openly stating that you are in a relationship with a man, but also getting married or well re-married to a Downworlder. It could have the same or possibly more impact than the first time.”

Alec remained silent as his Warlock spoke and only turned once he’d finished. Taking Magnus’s face in his hands, he replied, “I know we’ve been married before, but I’m really the only one that remembers. For all intent and purpose this would be your first time getting married and I will not spoil that for you. I know how important it is. If you aren’t ready, then we’ll wait.”

“We only knew each other-“

“Magnus. The first time we both almost died half a dozen times each and watched the world around us literally crumble. You ended up in Edom twice and had to deal with your father. Our relationship was a rollercoaster that just had us getting married faster than most people would, but this time we’re still figuring each other out. If you aren’t ready to marry me I’m okay with that. Don’t force yourself into something just because everyone else apparently thinks we should renew our vows.”

“Oh Alexander.” He leaned forward to rest his forehead against Alec’s. “You are too good to me.”

“Says the man who, on a daily basis, has to talk me down from a PTSD attack and gave me a service Grim to anchor me in the present. I think it is you who is too good for me.”

“I didn’t realize it was a competition.” The uncertainty from only seconds earlier was replaced by teasing and playfulness.

“With us, most things are.”

Letting out a laugh, Magnus leaned forward and sealed their lips. They’d only been lip locked for a few seconds before they heard, “Gross, get a room.” Both men looked over to see Jace, Izzy, Clary, and Simon walking towards them. With a mischievous grin, Magnus surged forward and tackled Alec onto the table while initiating another make-out session. Alec muttered something that rhymed with ‘bo kit’ before getting lost in his husband’s lips. They only stopped due to laughing when Jace complained with, “Seriously, guys!”

Sitting up and straightening his shirt, Alec asked, “What’s up? Why aren’t you gone?”

“Wanted to make sure you didn’t want to come.” When Alec raised his brow, Jace finished with, “And to make sure you were okay. Those assholes were whispering some unkind things.”

“Their mother needed to wash their mouths out with soap.” Simon contributed receiving a mix looks between confused and amused. “What? Your mother never threatened to wash your mouth out with soap?”

“No?” Jace frowned.

“Shadowhunters. Am I right?” Magnus snorted while Clary chuckled behind her hand.

“What would Maryse do if little Alexander or Isabelle were in trouble?” Magnus asked now curious.

The siblings looked at each other before Izzy replied, “Wash ichor off blades or balance on one leg on the tight rope. You know, character building stuff.”

“As much as talking about punishments is not fun, you three need to get going. Let me know if you need me, but I plan on helping Lydia out.” Alec said.

Magnus turned to look at Alec, “Will you be home tonight?”

“I’m going to try. We’ll see how backed up she is with reports.”

“You can always bring them and I’ll portal them back to her office.” It was a tempting offer.

“Well, you two are sickeningly domestic. I think it’s time for us to go.” Izzy turned on her heels. “See you later, big brother. Magnus!” The pair waved as the quartet left.

With a sigh, Alec admitted, “I should really go see Lydia and get to helping her. I’d like to get home before the sun rises.”

“I’d appreciate that too. It’s always startling to wake up because of your cold toes.”

“Maybe I’ll sleep here tonight then. You know,” He turned and pulled Magnus into him. “So I don’t wake you up.”

“Don’t you dare!” Magnus narrowed his eyes. Alec laughed as he leaned in to kiss him. Reluctantly pulling away after a moment, Magnus said, “You should go so you can get your work done. I would like to spend some time with you before going to bed.”

“Yes, sir.” Pecking Magnus on the lips one more time, he started leading the Warlock out of the Institute. Once seeing him to his portal, Alec turned around and started for Lydia’s office. The rest of the night was spent going through reports and signing off on them. Much to everyone chagrin, the Lightwood/Fairchild team didn’t find the demon. They had traces of it, but at one point the trail went cold and even Simon said he couldn’t smell its foul scent anymore. After searching for another two hours, the group called it a night and returned to either their apartment (Simon) or the Institute. With the okay to write up their report tomorrow, the team went to bed.

After another hour of reading through reports, Lydia finally called it. With the okay to leave, Alec texted Magnus that he was on his way back to the loft. By the time he walked through the door, the apartment was nearly silent with the TV on low and an episode of The Golden Girls playing in the background. Toeing off his shoes the Shadowhunter walked over to the couch to find his husband sound asleep. With a soft smile, he squats down and starts running his fingers through Magnus’s hair. “Magnus. Magnus.” He calls. The Warlock blinks slowly and mumbled a string of consonants. “It’s time for bed.” Slowly Magnus sat up and with heavy eyes, stood and leaned heavily on Alec as the pair made their way to the bedroom. Like many nights before, Alec stripped Magnus down to his underwear, took off all his jewelry, and wiped off his makeup. After tucking him in, he then quickly goes through his nightly routine and passed out the moment his head touched the pillow.

Chapter Text

It was supposed to be an easy mission. A go in, take out two demons spotted in an abandoned part of the city, and be on their merry way. With the Lightwood/Herondale/Fairchild combined skills, the team should have slipped in, taken the demons out, and still had time to finish the rest of their patrol. Of course life never goes the way you want it. Instead it liked to throw you not only curve balls, but curve balls that have a mind of their own, decorated with a variety of sharp objects, and at any moment decide to spontaneously explode shooting out shrapnel before throwing salt and alcohol at you. It was that kind of day.

The team was on a high. Alec watched with not so hidden amusement as Jace and Izzy talked excitedly about finally cornering the demon that was possessing mundanes and how Clary came out of nowhere to send it back to hell. It was awesome. They even managed to save the poor mundane that was possessed. They were feeling amazing as they rode the subway to the part of town that required their assistance. They should have known something was up when they were the ones sent on a simple mission. However, no one thought anything of it. They were given an easy mission. Good. They needed something easy after spending nearly a week trying to catch the possessing demon.

Hopping off the train, they easily jogged to an abandoned building that smelled like rotting corpses and backed up sewer. They all nearly gagged. “Alright everyone,” Alec coughed into his sleeve. “Let’s kill these demons and leave.”

“Yes, please. This place is vile.” Izzy chimed in.

Jace nodded. “Izzy and I will take the lower levels. Clary, go with Alec. He’ll help you with your archery skills.”

“I’m not that bad.” She crossed her arms.

“You nearly shot me in the face with the butt of the arrow.” The blonde grinned teasingly. “And I will standing behind you.”

“Whatever.” She muttered, storming off.

“Stay safe and call if you need us.” Alec shook his head and followed the fiery redhead. They headed straight up and decided to sweep the floors as they headed down. While the pair watched for any movement or anything out of the ordinary, Alec talked Clary through the art of using a bow. Every so often they stop for her to take a shot. By their third floor she only almost shot Alec twice. When they came upon the first demon he stopped her and told her she was up. The panicked look on her face informed him that she was not confident taking the lead. Reassuring her that even if she missed he would be there to back her up and that she still had her seraph blades, he bled into the shadows to cover her.

Taking an arrow to the thigh, the demon roared. Giving up on the bow, Clary whipped out her kindjals and charged at the monster. As she dodged and waited for an opening, Alec kept watch to make sure nothing happened to her. The entire encounter took all of a minute before the red head plunged her blade into the demon’s face. Jogging up next to her, Alec nodded. “Good job, though you could have taken it out in half the time if you used the bow again.”

Although she rolled her eyes, her face was lit up. “The bow just isn’t my thing.”

“That may be, but you need to become proficient in it so you can take out demons from a distance.” They turned and continued walking. “One should always know how to use a ranged and close combat weapons. You want to be well rounded.”

“Jace and Izzy never use ranged weapons.” She pointed out as her eyes scanned the area.

“They usually don’t.” He agreed. “But, they do know how to use them. Jace actually helped me with the bow back when he first arrived at the Institute.”

“Really?”

“Yes. My parents may not have been too thrilled that I chose the bow, but they made sure all of us know how to use one and a variety of other long ranged weaponry.”

“I can see that. I hear Maryse used to favor the broadsword. Is that true?”

Alec’s gazed clouded for a moment as he remembered watching his mom in awe as she expertly wielded a sword almost taller than her. “Yes. She hoped I would take after her, but alas it was never for me.” Then he frowned. “Where did you hear that?”

“Luke.” Clary chuckled. “He was helping me with sword play and got into talking about how he should have Maryse come and teach me since she was an expert. His eyes got all… far away looking. I wanted to gag. It was sweet I guess, but…“ She shook at the memory.

“Yes, I don’t want to think about that.” Alec was glad his mother was happy with Luke, but he didn’t need the details. He opened his mouth to say something, when his arm shot out and stopped Clary from progressing. He put a finger to his lips and started to creep forward. The closer they got, the louder the little skittering noises became. Peaking around a decrepit doorframe, the tall man watched as small nuisance demons chittered around each other at something glowing at the other end of the room. A feeling of dread seeped into Alec’s soul.

“Clary,” He whispered. “Call Izzy or Jace. I have a bad feeling.” While she did as she was told, he crept into the room. The behavior of the small to medium sized demons blared a warning in him. Usually they would mindlessly charge at him. They were, from what he’d gathered, designed solely to create chaos and eat their prey. If they were ignoring him that meant nothing good.

By the time he made it to where they had all gathered his heart sank. A corpse being torn apart by the demons had demon bait in its lap and a clock melded into its skin. Bright yellow numbers counted down. 23 seconds. Turning around, Alec shouted, “Clary run! Tell them to get out!” As Clary startled, Alec started back where she was. The yell however caused the subdued demons to start screeching and attacking him. Taking swipes at them with his seraph blade, he made it down the hall when the bomb went off. He pitched forward and nearly face planted. His only saving grace was years of Shadowhunter training kicking his subconscious into gear and making sure he didn’t fall. It did very little good as the building started to crumble.

Cursing to himself, he pumped his legs faster and shouted for Clary to get to the end of the hall and jump to the next building. Without thinking the request was crazy, she activated one of her Runes and ran as fast as she could before launching herself out of the building. Once she was out of the way, Alec picked Ichabark up and tossed her out the same opening as Clary. The Grim let out a yelp as she soared through the air. Right as Alec was about to push off, the ground beneath him crumbled. Instead of using the surface to push off, his food fell through taking him with it. He let out a cry as he free fell with the rest of the rubble.

When he came to, he was coughing up a lung. This excursion shot lightening through his body. When he regained some ability to breathe without having a cough attack, he noted that his lower half was pinned under rubble, he definitely had a broken rib or 12, possibly a dislocated shoulder, and when he looked up he was happy to report that at any moment a piece of jagged steel was hanging precariously over him. Today might be the day he would experience what it felt like to be guillotined. He was not enthused about that prospect. As he continued to analyze his injuries he realized two very important and detrimental things. First there was no flow. If he didn’t get out soon or calm his breathing (which was nearly impossible with how often he was coughing) he was going to die from oxygen deprivation. Second, he was bleeding out. He wasn’t quite sure where the wound was since his entire body hurt like hell, but he could feel his clothes dampening. Thus unless water was slowly seeping in where he was, he had an open wound somewhere.

Alec only tried to get out once before everything covering him shifted and he felt a snap. Letting out a muffled cry, he gritted his teeth and bawled his fists until blood dripped from his fingers. He wasn’t ready. He wasn’t ready for it to all end like this. He didn’t survive everything… He didn’t suffer through being in the closet, nearly losing everything, almost losing his Parabatai, brother, sister, Clary, and Magnus, he didn’t survive Leviathan, didn’t struggle through flashbacks only to die now. He had too much to still do.

The next thing he became aware of was his name being shouted and a ghostly bark. He blinked his eyes open wondering when he had shut them. Letting out a pathetic excuse of a cough he offhandedly noted the feeling of warm liquid sliding down his lips and chin. Not bothering to really move, he watched hazily as a hole off to the side started opening. The squealing above him ripped through him like a streak knife scraping across a plate. Alec knew what the noise meant. Soon he was about to be cut in half. Honestly, he didn’t care anymore. He was too tired and cold to care. Everything was too loud. He just wanted to sleep.

Before the piece of steel could do any harm, Magnus froze it in the air before launching it off in the distance. “Alexander!” He led the calvary to the buried Shadowhunter that barely looked to be breathing. “Alexander, darling.” The Warlock cried skidding to a stop. Tired, glazed hazel eyes slowly opened to look up at him. “We’re here.” The man didn’t say anything. The only indication he even was aware that anyone was around was when he barely pushed his cheek into Magnus’s hand. “Cat!”

“I’m here. Move.” The nurse scanned whatever was visible and made a frustrated noise. “We need to get him out of here. From my preliminary scan of what is visible. He has seven broken ribs, a dislocated shoulder, broken elbow, broken fingers, a severe concussion…” She shook her head. “Unbury him.” She commanded before softening her voice. “Alec… Alec I need you to listen to me. I’m going to heal you enough to move you and then we are taking you to the Institute. I need you to be strong.” As she healed as much as she could, the rubble around and on him started to clear. The moment he was free and stable enough to move, Magnus picked him up and disappeared through the portal.

As the Warlock took the stairs of the Institute two at a time, he muttered how sorry he was for jostling Alec. The man gave pained whimpers, but nothing more. His eyes weren’t even open. Time blurred after the Shadowhunter was placed on a hospital bed. Too much pain and attempt at healing was happening for anyone to even look at a clock. At one point Magnus had to remove Alec’s necklace and give it to Jace because Ichabark was in too much of a frenzy trying to protect her master. She kept getting in the way and trying to bite anyone that would harm Alec even though it meant healing him. Once Jace wore her ashes she demanded he lay on the ground and proceeded to lay on top of him. It would have been a heartwarming sight if she wasn’t doing it because Jace was feeling Alec slip away.

At some point during the whole ordeal, Maryse was ushered in to donate blood. Even though she was one of the New Yorkers who didn’t remember him, she had slowly grew to adore Alec. Their relationship had been a rough one to try and rekindle. He felt unsure and depressed at knowing his mother didn’t remember him, while Maryse was quite uncomfortable and hesitant to believe that she had another son. A few times a week he would go to her shop if she wasn’t in another part of the world with Luke to sit and chat. Over the course of the months he started opening up to her about their bond. How although he felt like her and Robert’s expectations felt as though they were crushing him, he loved her. He told stories of her singing to him at night when he was scared or couldn’t sleep. Told her how upset she was when he finally revealed to everyone he was gay and that he planned on dating Magnus. How he figured out that Robert had cheated on her and offered her a place at the Institute so she didn’t have to see him again. How he was ready to give up his position for her when he found out she was going to be deruned. She smiled gently as he told her how excited she had been when he finally asked for the family ring to give to Magnus and then proceeded to brilliantly figure-out and fix his mistake when he broke up with his husband to give him his magic and immortality back. They shared many afternoons and dinners together getting to know each other again. She told him tales of all the places she’d visited. He had to stop her a few times before she went into far too much detail that he as a son did not need to know. Nevertheless, even if she didn’t remember him she started seeing him once more as her son. She cared deeply for him and was a mess when Izzy called her about donating blood.

Once the chaos settle with Alec recovering but currently very much alive, Cat said her farewell while Magnus slumped near an exhausted Izzy, Jace, Clary, and Maryse. The five were quiet, unsure what time it was and having no energy to actually care. Lydia was the one to break the silence when she arrived at the sick bay. “You should all go to bed. Your reports can be done tomorrow. Go get some sleep.”

“I’m not leaving.” Magnus warned. When he saw the pained look on the woman’s face, he glared, “He’s my husband, I’m not leaving him.”

“Magnus-“

“I’ll take him with me if I have to leave.”

“Is he stable enough to leave?” His cat eyes flared causing her to shake her head. “I’ll make an exception tonight, but you know my hands are tied.” She felt defeated.

“Do you need anything else?” Izzy asked before Magnus could say anything.

“Is Alec alright? I know he’s resting and should be fine, but really how is he?”

“He’s going to take a few days to fully heal and gain his strength back. He had some damage to his organs, nearly shattered his left pelvis, broke his left femur and right tibia, and was bleeding out from a piece of steel he was impaled on. Nearly lost his spleen. That’s on top of everything else Cat spewed out on initial scan back at the site.” Magnus replied honestly. “Oh and a collapsed lung.”

Lydia nodded trying not to hide how shocked she was and the fear that shot through her. “Thank you. Now go get some sleep.”

“What did the other teams find?” Jace asked while shoving Ichabark off of him. She whined a little before settling on Magnus’s feet.

“Honestly, their last update didn’t give us much. The place is in complete shambles they’re still barely through sifting through it. I’ll let you know if we find anything. Goodnight.” She nodded at the group before walking off to contact the teams again for an update.

Silence fell once more before Magnus ordered, “Don’t.” Maryse startled a little looking at her children. Jace had his lips drawn as if he was biting them. “For now we need to sleep.” He stood up and quietly scooted his chair closer so he could take one of Alec’s hands. Too exhausted to care what anyone else did, he laid his head down and played with Alec’s ring. It had taken months, but now the man was able to wear it proudly without the fear of getting stuck in a nightmare.

Magnus drifted off to a memory of the first time Alec wore his wedding band for an entire day straight. The look of pure joy and happiness had Magnus swooning and vowing to do everything in his power to bring that look back every chance he got. He remembered Alec staring down at his hand for a moment at the end of the day in awe. When he looked up the smile broke out across his face and within a blink he was picking Magnus up and twirled him. A carefree ecstatic laugh escape Alec’s lips. A laugh Magnus had never heard before. Or at least didn’t remember hearing. He also remembered how as he drifted off to sleep that night Alec was staring at their threaded fingers with the warm metal glistening in the moonlight.

The dream shifted to weeks later. Magnus found himself playing with Alec’s ring as they lounged on the couch watching a movie Alec hadn’t seen before. Normally, Magnus was all for movies and educating his boyfriend but today he was distracted. The cool metal that was the only piece of jewelry Alec owned aside from the necklace that carried Ichabark’s ashes, made him wonder where his ring was. Did it disappear when Alec had been forgotten? Did he toss it aside without a care when his memories were erased? What had he done with his?

Alec had noticed of course how Magnus’s mind had drifted. When asked, the Warlock had replied honestly that he was curious as to what happened to his wedding ring. For a few second Alec had been quiet, thinking. Finally when he spoke, he asked, “Did you check your box?”

Baffled for a moment, Magnus scrunched up his face. “My box?”

“Yes. Your memory box.”

Now the older man was startled. “You know about that?”

This time Alec looked down embarrassed. “Yes. It wasn’t my proudest moment and we did fight, but we worked through it.”

“What happened?” He wanted to know. His box had been a secret to most lovers. It was something he didn’t like to share with those he was dating or falling in love with. No one wanted what the box stood for. What it meant. For Alec to know, he wasn’t surprised they had fought.

“Are you sure you want to know?” Magnus nodded with a determined look on his face. Sitting up, Alec replied, “I caught you looking at it, but the moment I walked in you closed it and put it aside. After you left to see a client, curiosity got the better of me and I looked inside. I know, I did say it wasn’t my proudest moment. I did admit to it though. That I looked in it. That’s when you told me the Civil War soldier was someone you had cared for almost a century before. How each trinket in there was from someone you had loved before and out lived. I wanted to talk more about it. I mean I know I am mortal and I have long accepted it, but being faced with it in terms of our relationship? I wanted… needed to acknowledge it. It was a bit of a shock to suddenly realize that maybe one day I would be reduced to an arrowhead or something. It’s how I work through things, but you didn’t. You weren’t ready to think about it yet; my mortality. You asked if we could just stay in the here and now and cherish our time together. I didn’t push, but it was eating me alive.

“We sort of touch on it the next day at breakfast. I was able to express how it made me stop to realize… well my mortality and how I didn’t want to be a burden to you when I was older. You of course said I would never, but you know me…” He sighed. “I always think I’m a burden so I made a comment about how you say that now, but in the future you would probably change your mind… Then it got a little ugly when you suggested my insecurities might have something to do with you being my only relationship.” He felt Magnus groan at his past self. “That pissed me off and I made a snarky comment about maybe I needed to go ‘sow my oats.’ Back and forth we went until I told you I wasn’t a child and you yelled back that I should stop acting like one. I left after that and of course talked to Izzy about what it. Our argument took a little while, but we worked through it. So, yeah I know about your memento box.”

Magnus had been shocked, but wasn’t surprised by how he reacted even if he cringed a little. He knew himself well enough to know he wouldn’t want to think about the mortality/immortality issue. Deflecting and then trying to make it appear like it wasn’t a big deal was how he dealt with tough issues. While Alec was headstrong and took an issue by the throat to confront it even if it meant burning the world down around him, Magnus liked to avoid issues. Or at least avoid them until it was impossible to do so any longer. Apparently their life expectancy difference needed to be addressed and he handled it with less grace than he should have. They both had.

The dream skipped to him pulling out the box. It was a blessing and a curse. An object he despised and yet was one of his dearest possessions. People and places he loved and cherished resided in there… but so did pain and death. He stroked the top before he carefully opened it. His fingers glided over the objects as brief memories came to life before his eyes. And then a void. His fingers stopped over a cool object. Placing the box down, he delicately picked up the silver ring. It was beautiful and simple with words in his mother language. Words he’d said countless times, but always in foreign tongues. No memories sprung forth with this precious piece of metal. A blank. Yet his heart and body reacted as if the world could burn, the box with it and he would do anything to protect this one object.

So it was all true. Not that he really ever doubted it. Well, perhaps in the beginning when Alec was only the naked man covered in vile black goo. Now though? Now it was a fairytale come true. What was he to do now? His mind and soul in conflict. While something in him called out to Alec and demanded he slip the ring onto its rightful place, his mind resisted. This Magnus, the one that had no memory of Alec wasn’t ready to say “Yes” to being married. Alec had only recently officially moved in with him. To bind himself to the man was too scary and permanent for him. He was falling more in love each day with the Shadowhunter, but he was yet to the point where he wanted to declare to the world that he found the one person he wanted to bind himself to until death parted them.

The longer he stared at the ring, the more he thought of Alec. Would it hurt the poor man to admit he wasn’t ready? That he couldn’t wear the ring because it didn’t feel right? He wanted to be everything Alec needed and remembered, but that wasn’t him. Magnus dreamed of the struggle he felt as he stared at the cool piece of metal that meant everything and nothing. It was just a ring… but it was a ring that held too much significance to wear like the dozens of pieces of jewelry he always threw on.

And he remembered. He remembered feeling defeated as the silver bit into his palm and he replaced the box in its spot. He remembered feeling lost as he stood in his study not sure what to do. He remembered Alec wrapping his arms around him and telling him it was okay. He remembered Alec asking if he wanted him to hold on to it for him. Oh how he remembered asking Alec to keep it safe for him because he didn’t feel worthy of it. Oh he remembered cursing Leviathan in every language he knew and vowing to tear the demon apart for what he did to Alec, him, and everyone else.

Then it all faded until he slowly blinked his eyes, clearing away tears he didn’t realize were collecting in his eyes. He struggled to remember what he had been dreaming about but it all fell away the more he woke up. Magnus wished he remembered because it felt important, but alas it was not meant to be.

Before Izzy said anything, Magnus knew roughly what she was going to say. Thus he wasn’t surprised when she nonchalantly demanded they all go to Magnus’s to talk. The way she said it made it appear as if it was just to gossip over a cup of tea or a glass of brandy. Three friends meeting to hang out for a night before they returned to their busy lives. Those involved however knew better. What they would talk about was not going to be light and laugh worthy. It would entail painful truths, conspiracies, and hopefully tactical planning.

Magnus leaned back in his seat still holding Alec’s hand. “You have reports to write.” He commented.

“They’ll get done.” She shrugged. “Let’s go out for breakfast. We deserve it.” She stood up and looked at her brother, best friend, and brother-in-law.

“I’ll stay with Alec. Make sure he doesn’t wake up alone.” Clary chimed in knowing what Izzy was going for. “I’ll start writing up the reports.”

“We’ll bring you something back.” Izzy smiled. “Let’s go boys.” Without looking back she walked off with determination in her step. After slipping out, no one said anything until they were in the safety of Magnus’s loft. With a wave of his hand the Warlock summoned some breakfast and coffee.

After taking a sip, Jace said, “So we all agree what happened was suspicious right? I’m not the only one who thinks it was a trap or a set up.”

“You would be correct, dear brother.” Izzy’s voice was pleasant but her face was pure fury. “The intel we received gave the impression it was an easy mission. Amateurs should have been sent.”

“Why weren’t they? Why a team of four Shadowhunters that have one of the best track records in the Institute?” Magnus questioned.

“That’s just it.” Jace leaned forwards. “We were the only team really available and we figured why not. We were about to go out on patrol anyway so why not take care of an easy in and out mission and then finish the night walking around? It was so easy, we figured it would be a good time to have Clary practice with the bow instead of using her knives. Alec was training her when our simple mission turned into anything but.”

“What did happen?”

“We got to the building and split up. Clary and Alec went up top to work down and Izzy and I started on the main floor and worked up. We found one of the demons, killed it easily, and continued searching. We were almost done the second floor when Clary called us. She sounded unsure and a little afraid. She said they found swarming demons that were acting strange. Alec was going to check it out when all of a sudden we heard him shouting. She yelled for us to get out of the building and the phone clicked off. We managed to get out and then a few floors up there was an explosion. We watched in horror. We weren’t sure if they got out and then the second explosion went off.”

“We searched frantically for them. It felt like hours, but I’m pretty sure it was only a few minutes before Clary and Ichabark found us. She asked if we’d seen Alec. We called you as soon as we could.” Izzy shook her head. “Ichabark was going crazy. She was running around the ruins trying to find Alec.”

“I remember. Her distress and Jace falling to his knees was not what I was expecting when I portalled to you.” Magnus nodded. “So who would set you up?”

Izzy bit her lip before slowly saying, “I don’t think it was us per say.” Dread filled Magnus. “Jace, Clary, and I have been talking… We think it’s about Alec. I mean we’ve never had this happen to us, but it… it kind of reminds me of the sentry that was killed trying to talk to me about Heavenly Fire.”

“But how did they know it would be you who went? I mean, Alec has bowed out many times before to help Lydia or because he was having a bad day.”

“I don’t know. We think there’s someone inside. Maybe someone was waiting for us and when they were given the okay they set it up. I don’t know. Something just feels wrong about the whole thing.”

“If what you’re saying is true, they don’t care about collateral damage. They were willing to take you and Clary out to get rid of Alec. But why him?”

“We’ve all agreed before the Clave is watching him. Even without whatever ideas the Council is trying to come up with to ‘wake up’ the minority, what Alec is doing is causing a stir. We aren’t anywhere near ready to suddenly rebel and demand change to some of Clave law, but there’s whispers. People are talking about what he’s trying to do. They even vaguely remember everything he had done before. What better way to stop progression you don’t want than take out the leader?”

“So you think the Clave is responsible?” Magnus really wasn’t surprised, but it was a big accusation.

“Or a group in the Clave.” Izzy elaborated. “Jia in her own way supports the change. I mean her daughter is engaged to someone who is part Shadowhunter, part Seelie. Helen may have never stepped foot into the Seelie court, but she’s still part Seelie and people discriminate against her for it.”

“Racism.” Magnus shook his head. “What are we going to do about it? I don’t think Alexander will let us wrap him in bubble wrap and stop him from doing his job.” He remembered how antsy the Shadowhunter got as he waited for permission to go out on missions again.

Jace let out a breath, “I don- shit.” He bent forward and grabbed his side. Pulling out his phone he called Clary. “Hey, tell whoever is looking after Alec he needs pain medication… I can assure them he really does needs some… Tell them to stop being dicks and just do it or I’ll have Izzy tell you how much he needs and you’ll give it to him… Finally.” He breathed out in relief. “Next time I’m sicing his Grim on them… I’ll talk to you soon. Bye.” Returning his phone to his packet he crossed his arms.

“They gave him medication five hours ago, why were they resisting?” Izzy asked.

“Something about trying to ween him off.”

Izzy shook her head. “They can do that without him being in excruciating pain.”

“Anyway, we need to think of something. We need to inform the Council what happened.”

“We should talk to Alec first and see what he remembers.” Holding up his hand, Magnus said, “We won’t have the whole story until we find out what he remembers. If we are going to rally the Downworld I want to make sure we aren’t putting them in danger. If, for some small chance, this wasn’t planned and the intel really did happen to be wrong, I don’t want us going in guns blazing and breaking the Accords. For now, we’ll inform them the meeting has been postponed until Alec is feeling better. Okay?”

Both Shadowhunters frowned, but ended up nodding. “Alright.” Jace agreed. “But if this ends up being a set-up, we can’t let whoever did this get away with it.”

“Of course not.” Magnus’s face shifted into something sinister. Green-gold eyes gleaming with a Cheshire grin. “They’ll wish they were never born.”

“Good.” Izzy nodded slightly terrified of the horrors probably going through Magnus’s head. “Let’s get back. I’m sure Clary is hungry and I want to make sure Alec is alright.” It didn’t take long for the group to return to the Institute. Clary nearly pounced on her boyfriend when she saw the bag of food.

While the Shadowhunters went to give a full report and then put it into writing, Magnus sat back down to watch over his boyfriend. As his fingers stroked Alec’s hand he wondered if how he was feeling was similar to the first time Alec almost died. This time he was able to actually help him, but even with magic he nearly lost the man. He was so damaged and lost too much blood. They nearly lost him a few times. The fear of never talking, hugging, cuddling, or enjoying each other’s presence was almost too much. He had prayed to whoever was listening to keep Alec breathing. Just keep his heart beating and breathing while Cat and him healed him. He poured everything he had into saving the man and luckily it paid off. Magnus wasn’t ready to lose Alec.

Three days later Alec groggily woke up. What times was it? He wondered not yet ready to get up for the day. Realizing Magnus wasn’t beside him he started to panic a little that he may have overslept. Then he took in the smell around him and he paused. That was not Magnus’s sandalwood scent. His eyes shot open only for him to groan and curl in on himself. He shouldn’t have done that, the room was too bright.

“Alec!” Jace’s panicked voice called to him. Okay, definitely not Magnus’s room. Where the hell was he then? “Alec, are you okay?”

Blinking his eyes slowly to adjust to the light, he uncurled himself. Oh, he was in the infirmary. Why was he there? With a frown, he looked over at his Parabatai. “Jace?”

“Oh thank the Angel.” A grin broke across the blonde’s face. Leaning down, he pulled Alec into a hug. “Don’t ever do that to us again.”

“Do what? Why am I here? What happened?”

“Oh, yeah. You might not… What’s the last thing you remember?”

Alec cocked his head and thought. “We were on the subway heading on a mission. I’m assuming something went wrong.”

“That would be putting it lightly.” Pulling up a chair, Jace leaned on his elbows as he thought what to say next. “How are you feeling?”

“A little sore and groggy, but not too bad.”

“Good.”

Silence fell over them. Finally rolling his eyes, Alec asked, “What happened?”

Getting up, Jace replied, “I’ll tell you in a minute.” He walked off and a second later returned with a medic. Once going through the motion of have a checkup and make sure Alec was healing correctly with no permanent issues, Izzy, Clary, and Jace all gathered around. Jace finally leaned forward to explain, “We went on the mission. Izzy and I started on the ground level and you and Clary went up top to work down. Izzy and I got a call that something was up and to get out of the building. Next thing we knew a bomb went off and you were missing.”

“We’d just taken care of one of the demons,” Clary began filling in. “When we started hearing this weird… chittering noise. When we went to investigate we found these little demons and you said they were acting weird. You told me to call Jace and Izzy while you went to check out what they were swarming. Whatever you saw scared you because you yelled at me to tell them to get out of the building and we started running. There was an explosion that we managed to survive. You told me to jump out one of the side holes. I managed to jump out and Ichabark came soar after me, but you never made it out. We spend almost an hour searching for you. When we did, you were in rough shape.”

Alec tried to remember and shook his head. “I don’t… I don’t remember any of that. How long have I been out?

“Few days.” Izzy replied. “And don’t worry a little retrograde amnesia isn’t uncommon. I’m actually surprised you remember that day at all. You fell a long ways and lost a lot of blood. Mom and I both had to donate some.”

“I’m sorry.”

“For what? You didn’t purposefully let a bomb go off and then plunge to your death.”

“I guess, but I made you worry.”

“Stop. Of course we worried, but it wasn’t your fault.”

“Okay. Where’s Magnus?”

Jace huffed, while Izzy rolled her eyes, “He was here for as long as he could, but then he had to leave because the Law.”

“He’s my husband.”

“Yeah, we know. We argued that, but Lydia’s hands were tied when Clave envoys showed up and asked why a Warlock was in the Institute. We were all pissed. He was able to stay a little longer when Clary chimed in that he was making sure you were okay, but that only allowed for maybe another hour.”

“Of course.” Alec sighed tiredly. He wanted to ask if they could bullshit something so Magnus could come over. He really wanted to see him especially after finding out he’d been out for days.

Reading him well, Izzy turned to Jace with a mischievous grin. Jace backed away and hid behind Clary. “What? I don’t like that smile. It never means anything good for me.”

“Relax, it’s nothing dangerous. You just need to take one for the team and get poisoned by a demon.”

“What! Why? Why does it have to be me?”

“Because no one would believe I would allow myself to get poisoned. How many times have we had to call a Warlock or Silent Brother because of you?”

Jace frowned, “Still.”

“Come on, Alec wants to see Magnus.”

“Then he can go over to the Loft. I like that plan, that plan doesn’t have me being stabbed by a demon or something.”

“Does your Parabatai really look like he would be able to make it five feet from the bed?” She put one hand on her hip while gesturing to her brother.

“Fine!” Jace threw his arms up. “But you owe me.”

Alec let out a laugh, “You don’t have to do that. I’ll call him and I should be fine by tomorrow.” And If I’m not, I will fake it until I get home. “No need to get hurt.”

“Thank you, Alec. I see who my true friends are.” He glared at his sister.

“Now that it’s settled, can I borrow a phone?” Once Jace handed his over, Alec dialed the number he had memorized years ago. He couldn’t help but smile when Magnus answered.
“Jace? Is everything okay?” The concern in the Warlock’s voice made Alec feel a little guilty even though the incident was not his fault.

“Hey Magnus.” The Shadowhunter’s voice unintentionally softened.

“Alexander? Jace if you’re mess-“

“It’s me. Really me. I woke up a little while ago. I wanted to call and let you know I’m okay. Well, sore but awake.”

“Oh thank Lilith.”

“Let’s not. She’s a bitch.” Alec couldn’t help but smirk upon hearing Magnus laugh. “How are you?”

“Better now that you’re awake. You gave us quite the scare.”

“I know. I’m sorry.”

“It’s not your fault darling. Do… do you remember what happened?”

Alec shook his head. “No. Everything’s a blank. Last thing I remember is being on the train.”

“Don’t worry about it darling. Rest and I’ll see you soon.”

“You better.” Alec yawned. “Or I’m coming over.”

“Alexander, you’re still healing.”

“Don’t care. I’ll talk to you soon.”

“You will. Rest well, Darling.”

They clicked off and Alec handed the phone back to his Parabatai. “What?” He asked feeling a little self-conscious.

“You two are precious.” Izzy grinned. “Now get some rest. We need you. No one is as competent as you with a bow.” Alec hummed before laying back and drifting off into sleep.

The next evening Alec found himself with his eyes closed. He was leaning on the balcony wall enjoying the light breeze while Magnus finished cooking. After almost an hour and a half of arguing with Lydia, the Shadowhunter finally managed to come home. At first she wanted him to wait at least another day, but he refused. Once he was cleared from the hospital wing he was ready to help where he was needed and then go home. Thankfully the moment Magnus knew Alec was getting ready to head back to the loft, a portal appeared right outside the Institute for him. The second he was fully in the loft Magnus pulled him into a hug and held him. They stayed liked that for a few minutes. Alec had no complaints as he breathed in his husband’s scent and relaxed into the embrace.

Alec only opened his eyes when he felt Magnus’s arms wrap around his waist and kiss the back of his neck. With a grin, Alec turned easily and kissed his Warlock. “Hello.”

“Hello.” Magnus smiled softly. “I’ve missed you.”

“And I you.” Once again he closed his eyes and leaned his forehead against Magnus’s.

They were quiet for a few seconds before Magnus whispered, “I’m ready.” Alec opened his eyes in confusion. One of Magnus’s hands went up to brush a few strands of hair out of Alec’s eyes. “Hearing that you were missing and finding you half alive… It terrified me. It also made me realize how foolish I’ve been. Almost since the beginning even though I didn’t mentally remember you, I always knew my heart belonged to you but I was scarred… Watching you barely breathing and almost losing you? It opened my eyes to how much my fear was getting in the way of us.” Cupping Alec’s face he said, “I don’t want to live that way anymore. Alexander Gideon Lightwood- Bane, will you marry me again?”

Alec let out a laugh with was tinged with tears. “Only if you’ll marry me too.”

“Always, my love. Always.” They shared a few kisses before Magnus finally pulled away. “Come, dinner’s ready.”

“What’s for dessert?” The taller man asked as they walked towards the kitchen.

With a sly grin, Magnus replied, “If you play your cards right, me.” He stifled a laugh as Alec tripped over his own feet. “You are too easy.”

“You shouldn’t tease your fiancé husband.”

“And if I do?”

As the pair filled their plates Alec leaned in and whispered in Magnus’s hear, “I’ll wear acid wash jeans to our wedding.”

A look of pure horror spread over the Warlock’s face. “You wouldn’t! I will divorce you if you do!”

Letting out a laugh, the Shadowhunter leaned down and kissed his husband’s cheek, “You’re right I wouldn’t, but I’ll pick out my own wedding attire and you’ll have to wonder what I chose. Will it match your outfit? Our theme? Who knows? Obviously not you.”

“Alexander, you are an awful man.”

“And yet you love me.”

Magnus’s face softened as he replied, “That I do.” The rest of dinner was spent catching up on what Alec had missed with their feet intertwined. It was a relaxed affair that ended with them retiring to the bedroom for dessert and Alec giving Magnus’s his ring back.

Chapter Text

When the Council met next it started with how concerned everyone had been for Alec and making sure he was okay. Once he had mostly convinced them he was fine, he let out a breath knowing what was coming next. “At our last meeting we talked about thinking of ways to unifying the Shadow World.” He sighed again. “It looks like you are getting what you want.” Everyone sat up straight surprised. “However, instead of inviting everyone to a vow renewal ceremony, the Institute will be holding our engagement party.”

Maia frowned, “But you’re already married.”

“I am aware of that, but to Magnus this is all new. We talked and we will have an engagement party then have a private ceremony later. Everyone of import will be invited to the party. All of you, important Clave members, the Inquisitor, Consul, and anyone else you think should be invited. We’ll use it as a political statement so everyone must behave.”

“If we don’t Magnus will destroy us.” Simon snorted.

“Probably. Do we all agree?” The Council nodded. “I have to talk to Lydia, but we figured we’d have it within the month. When we have an actual date I will inform you. Please give us a list of people you think should be invited within the next week. Not just anyone please.”

“I’m going to be that guy, but what about security.” Everyone looked at Simon. “Come on, my best friend is Clary and I’m dating Izzy. It’s no secret that everyone involved hypothesizes that you getting hurt wasn’t an accident.”

“Simon is right.” Meliorn contributed. “The Seelie realm was buzzing with what happened.”

Alec frowned for a moment before turning to the King. “Meliorn, you have… the ears of creatures that none of us have correct?”

“Naturally.”

“Have you heard anything about what happened? Anyone sketchy at the scene? Anything… out of the ordinary?”

“I have not, but I can inquire.”

“Please do. The events of that night are still coming back, but I don’t think I saw anything out of the ordinary excluding the behavior of the demons.”

“I will look into it.”

“Thank you. As for security, I will have Underhill lead it during the party and keep an eye out for anyone that does not appear trust worthy.”

“I can offer some wolves. Double as party guests and extra eyes.” Maia offered. “Make sure everything is kosher.”

Alec nodded while Simon shrugged, “I can ask, but I don’t know if any of the Vampires would. All they hear is party and they could really care about anyone else.”

“Yes, Magnus has complained about them once or twice after one of his parties.”

“I’m sure Magnus will do everything in his power to keep you safe, but I’m sure Catarina and a few other Warlocks wouldn’t mind keeping an eye out for anything suspicious.” Lorenzo added. “If only to spite the Clave.”

Meliorn leaned back and said, “My guards will keep watch. You will be safe, Alec.”

“Thank you.” The Shadowhunter looked at each representative. “It means a great deal. We will change the Shadow World. It unfortunately might take some time, but I will do everything in my power to change it for the better.”

“You are a true wonder. So different than almost any Shadowhunter I have ever met. It’s quite refreshing.” Lorenzo smiled.

Alec wasn’t sure how to respond to that. He knew he was once the type of Shadowhunter that Downworlders hated. It was only because of Magnus he really changed. Clearing his throat he said thank you and moved on. The rest of the meeting flitted between how the Downworld was doing and the engagement party. By the end Alec was ready to crawl into bed and sleep for the next twelve hours. Unfortunately he had more work to do before he could go home.

 

By the time the engagement party arrived, the Institute was buzzing. Underhill was quadruple checking security and kept making sure his Downworlder list was not only correct but also included who would be acting as extra pair of eyes. Alec was almost tempted to call Lorenzo and have him take the man out for a relaxing dinner. The only reason he hadn’t was because they still hadn’t really talked. If all went to a secret plan Izzy and Magnus had thought up, the pair would meet at the party and be dating within the week. Alec really hoped it worked out. Underhill had been a lot happier when he was in a relationship with Lorenzo.

The party was to begin at 6pm sharp. Guests would be allowed into the Institute hall and mingle with each other while the buffet would be open at seven. An open bar was available all night. All the tables were set up and decorations hung. Magnus did a final sweep of the hall before going to find his fiancé husband. He nearly had a heart attack when he stumbled upon Alec looking through a report in Lydia’s office.

“Alexander, please, for the love of all things magical, tell me you are not sitting here an hour before our party reading a report not dressed.” Magnus was ready to kill the man he loved.

Standing up, Alec pulled Magnus to him. “Breathe. I’m about to go upstairs and change. Izzy is there and will make sure I am presentable. I’m already showered, my teeth are brushed, and all I need to do is put my outfit on. Everything is going to be fine.”

“Says the man not ready yet.”

“You look amazing.” Alec started. “You enjoy taking your time to look beautiful. I like to take ten minutes and be out of the door to get things done. Because this is an important party, I will take 20 minutes so Izzy can make sure I’m up to your standards. I will be ready to greet everyone with you.”

“You better or there will be hell to pay.” His cat eyes flashed in warning.

Alec leaned down and whispered, “You do that to scare people. That just turns me on.”

Magnus’s nosed flared, “Do not tempt me.”

“You don’t think we have time?” Nosing along his Warlock’s jaw, Alec was enjoying how much he was riling up his husband.

Alexander.

“Yes?”

“We don’t have time.” Magnus gritted out.

Using his teeth to gently tug on the Warlock’s earlobe, he asked, “You sure?”

“You are going to be the death of me.” The growl was low before basically throwing him on the couch. Straddling him, Magnus started rucking up Alec’s shirt while attaching his lips to the deflect rune.

Gasping, Alec panted, “Magnus, this is… shit… Lydia’s off… office.”

“Should have that of that before.” Waving his hand, Magnus locked the door and continued his minstrastions. Not long later, both exited the office looking a little less put together than when they first entered. “You have less than thirty minutes. If you aren’t by my side by the time the guests arrive you are sleeping on the couch.”

“We can’t have that.” Alec leaned down to kiss Magnus’s cheek. “I’ll be there, please don’t fret. Everything will be fine.”

Magnus sighed, “I’m just worried.”

“I know. I know.” With a final peck to his Warlock’s temple, Alec started for his room. “I will see you soon.” As promised, he strode into the celebration hall with five minutes to spare.

“That outfit may have been a terrible idea.” Magnus commented the moment Alec was by him.

With a frown, the Shadowhunter looked down. He thought he looked pretty good. Nowhere near as stunning as Magnus, be he never thought he would be. “What do you mean? Even Izzy approves of how I look.”

Fixing the tie that really didn’t need to be fixed, Magnus whispered, “You look good enough to eat.”

Gulping, all Alec could utter was, “Oh.”

“If we had enough time another quickie might have been in order.”

Without missing a beat, Alec replied, “We can be fashionably late.”

“You are insatiable. Behave.” Before Alec could reply, the doors opened and people of all species started flooding in. Plastering on a smile, both men started playing nice and greet their guests.

As (political) parties went, overall it was currently a success. People were behaving for the most part and the couple was happy. A few Clave members were still being stuck-up assholes, but many others were making an effort to get to know the representatives of the respective species. Underhill did routine sweeps in the room to make sure everything was alright while Lorenzo and Cat discreetly made sure no one poisoned the food.

It was during one of Underhill’s walks through the hall that Izzy and Clary managed to get Lorenzo positioned just right so they’d bump into each other. The initial few minutes were Underhill apologizing for spilling some of Lorenzo’s drink on his shirt, while the Warlock reassured him everything was fine. The girls nodded to each other as the pair smiled at each another and talked for a couple of minutes. If the Shadowhunter didn’t need to make sure the party was still secured he would have stayed longer, but he sadly excused himself with a parting promise to catch the Warlock afterwards.

Nearing the end of the event, Underhill rushed in while the alarms started blaring throughout the Institute. With everyone on high alert, Alec strode over to where the Heads of Security and Institute were talking. “What’s going on?”

Underhill turned, “A large amount of demonic energy just appeared on the detectors. Less than a block from the Institute. We can’t get a good reading on one of the demons, but at least twenty of the flying fish demons have appeared and are terrorizing the area.”

Alec went rigid as memories flooded his mind. While he was trying to stave off a panic attack, Lydia started barking orders. Within seconds Ichabark was nudging Alec’s legs to sit down so she could calm him. The moment Magnus realized what was happening he was beside Alec. “Alexander.” His hands held his Shadowhunter’s face. “What’s wrong?”

Wide hazel eyes looked at him. “It’s him. I know it’s him.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes.”

“Then we need to warn everyone what they are to expect. We can’t have them unprepared. We can’t have Izzy, Jace, Max, Robert, Clary, or any of our friends go out to fight demons and not know about the Prince.”

“I know.” Alec was trying to calm his breathing. “I know. Can you? I… I need a minute.”

Rubbing his thumb over his love’s check, Magnus nodded. “Okay.” Giving him a kiss, he turned and got everyone’s attention. “Everyone listen up!” When the majority didn’t listen to him, he bark out using his demonic commanding voice. “I said listen!” Finally everything quieted. “As you have probably been briefed the flying monsters are formidable, but if we work together we can send them back to hell. However, the mysterious entity is most likely a Greater Demon.” His eyes slipped to Lydia whose face turned grim. “More specifically the Prince of Hell, Leviathan.”

“Where are you getting this information?” A Clave member asked with a tone that Magnus did not appreciate.

“A reliable source. He’s powerful and cruel. Also, no doubt pissed that his brother is stuck forever in limbo. Lydia, what do we want to do?”

She was quiet a moment before turning to Clary, “Do you think the Alliance Rune will still work?”

The red head cocked her head. “I don’t see why not. It’s already created, but I’m not sure how… happy the angels will be. I only vaguely remember that day.”

“Well, we don’t have time to worry about them. We have more detrimental enemies to worry about.” Raising her voice. “Okay everyone, this is the plan. For those of you who know what I’m talking about, we are going to use the Alliance Rune. Jace will talk you through how to use it.”

Jace stepped forward with a confidence he mostly felt. “Alright everyone listen up. Downworlders pair up with a Shadowhunter. Myself, Simon, Meliorn, and Lorenzo will show those of you who don’t know what it is how to use it. It is a rune that will unite a Downworlder and a Shadowhunter. They’ll share abilities for as long as the rune lasts. It’s a little disorienting at first, but you’ll get the hang of it.” He went to turn before readdressing them. “Those allied to Vampires will develop a… need to drink blood and those runed to a Fair Folk will have to tell the truth. On the other positive side, you’ll have vampire speed and a tie to nature.”

“What about those of us runed to Warlocks?” Underhill asked.

“You’ll get magic, but remember it’s tied to your emotions and I believe you develop their Warlock mark?”

“I’m not binding myself to a Downworlder.” The words were spat out as if merely saying them sullied the person.

"We don't want to pair with you either!" A Downworlder shouted back.

Developing a headache, Jace replied, “Then don’t. Those who do, partner up. Once you’re a pair let Lydia know and she will be assigning everyone to groups and quadrants. We leave in two.” He turned to talked to Magnus. “Is Alec alright?”

“He will be.” The concern in his voice hinted that he wasn’t actually sure of the statement. “Where do you want us?”

“You and Lorenzo are the most powerful, but I’m pretty sure Leviathan will be gunning for you and Alec…”

“Unless Alexander really can’t face him, we will be the ones to kill the bastard.” Molten gold cat eyes flashed just thinking about the demon that had tortured his husband.

Jace nodded. “Just let us know. We’ll assign you to Leviathan detail, but with a tentative spot in another quadrant just in case.”

“Excellent. I will be back.” Turning in his heels to find the missing Shadowhunter. Just outside the room Alec was sitting on the floor with his head between his knees. Ichabark sat patiently at his feet looking as if she didn’t have a care in the world. “Are you alright, Darling?” The Warlock asked running his fingers through lightly gelled hair.

“Getting there. What did I miss?” The man’s voice was slightly muffled, but much stronger than one would assume from a person having a panic attack.

Not stopping his fingers, Magnus replied, “For those willing, the Alliance Rune will be used. Lydia is breaking up everyone into groups. We will be heading out soon.” With only a little hesitation he asked, “Do you want to be in the main group going after Leviathan or a satellite group?”

“Leviathan.” Alec snarled.

“Will you be able to face him?” His voice was soft. “He will taunt us.”

“I need to face him.”

“I understand. Alexander, will you be my partner?”

Finally Alec looked up. “Of course.” He chuckled, “This time around everyone has less to worry about me losing control.”

“What do you mean?” Helping Alec up, he pulled him into a hug before kissing him.

Reluctantly pulling away, he replied, “First time I used the Alliance Rune I nearly caused a cyclone that Lorenzo had to talk me down from. You were somewhere in Edom and we had been separated from everyone else while Izzy was running around. I couldn’t track because Edom was screwing our connection towards demonic and my stele wouldn’t recognize me. I was panicking.”

“You got it under control?”

“Yes and we managed to find you.” Alec smiled. “We also practiced quite a bit.”

“No wonder my magic knows you so intimately.” Magnus purred before straightening up. “Come we have to go fight evil and pay Leviathan back for not only ruining our party but for being a dick.”

“Hold on.” Pulling out his stele, Alec grabbed Magnus’s hand and quickly drew the rune on. Then he offered his hand.

Once the runes were completed and the bond formed Magnus blinked a few times. “Woah.”

Alec chuckled as he plucked the angelic tool from his husband’s hand. “Quite the rush, right? Wait until I activate a rune.” Unable to resist, he leaned forward and kissed his love. “Come on, Jace is probably ready to come find us.” Grabbing Magnus’s hand the pair found their group that unsurprisingly consisted of Jace, Meliorn, Lorenzo, Underhill, Luke, and Maia.

“Glad you could make it.” Jace grinned. “Lydia, Izzy, Clary, Robert, and Jia are heading up the other groups. Maryse and Cat are staying here to give intel since Underhill will be in the field. Cat will join if she is needed to heal. You ready?”

“Yes. Let’s go.” Alec’s face was sheer determination.

“Good.” Jace turned to Lydia and nodded.

“Alright everyone!” Lydia called. “You know your assigned groups and where to be. Let’s go!” Within seconds Downworlders and Shadowhunters alike flooded out of the Institute and headed to their respective spots. It didn’t take long for the battle to start. Alec, Magnus, Underhill, and Lorenzo dropped back to give long range support while Jace, Meliorn, Luke, and Maia dove right in. Combining archery with Magnus’s magic was like second nature. He used the magic to make his multi arrow shots more accurate and powerful. Demons fell around them as they pushed forward to the big bad. With Maryse in their ears telling them where to go, it wasn’t long before Alec’s tormentor appeared within their sight.

Hiding in an alley way, Jace placed a hand on Alec’s forearms. “Are you alright?”

“No.” Alec’s hazel eyes were hard and appeared to be flickering. Jace caught how every few second his Parabatai’s pupils elongated before returning to normal. “But this asshole needs to die like his siblings. He’s just another Greater Demon, right? Between us we’ve gotten rid of two of the three we’ve faced and if Clary was here that’s make all three. He’s just another prick, right?”

“I like your attitude. Whatever he says. Don’t listen.” Alec looked at his Parabatai. Offering his gloved hand, Jace grinned. “Let’s go kick some Prince’s ass.”

“He’s distracted.” Meliorn commented. “Alec and Underhill should attack from above while Jace, Luke, Maia and I get in position to blitz him.”

“That’s not a bad plan. Once he’s focused on us, Magnus and Lorenzo attack him. In the confusion, Alec and Underhill will set up the souped-up Malachi configuration. Once in place, we trap him in it.”

“We have the Malachi configuration?” Alec asked.

With a grin, Jace took off his bag. “I wasn’t carrying this for nothing.”

“Alright, pass it over.” Once on his back, Alec nodded to Underhill and ran off to take higher group.

The plan was a good one, but they were dealing with a Greater Demon who had no time for them. With a blood freezing laugh, Leviathan called out, “Come out little archer boy. I know you’re there. I can feel you. No use hiding. You or your friends.” Gritting his teeth, Alec rounded the corner he was using and pointed his bow at the demon. “Long time no see. I’ve missed you.” He laughed as he easily dodged out of the way. “Really? An arrow?”

“Yes.” Alec replied sharply before it exploded causing the demon to stumble sideways.

“Oh, little archer boy has surprises?” Alec merely hummed before causing the demon to look at him in confusion. Pointing five arrows up, he shot them into the air. “Aren’t you supposed to be the best archer in your generation or someth-“ He stopped when the arrows hit what looked like red glass. The force field started to crumbled. Once it shattered, the needle like shards rained down causing the demon to hiss in pain. “You are a Nephilim, not a Warlock! What is this?”

“Unity.” A calm voice answered from the shadows before several more arrows imbedded themselves into the demons skin and exploded. Hissing, Leviathan turned and started unleashing his watery hellish powers only to have to dodge out of the way as a wolf, Shadowhunter with glowing green eyes, a Seelie, and another Shadowhunter attacked. Although the initial hiccup made for some interesting changes, overall the plan was executed well. The moment Magnus and Lorenzo joined, Alec and Underhill were moving to start placing the runed blades in position.

Catching movement out of the corner of his eyes, Leviathan turned his head. With a snarl, he snapped, “How dare you!” Waving his hand, Underhill was sent flying into a nearby wall. “You dare try to cage me! Me!” Splaying his hands the air grew heavy with sulfuric water that burned their lungs the moment it was breathed in. The Downworlders and Shadowhunters fell to their knees gasping for breath.

Alec’s mind went back, back to when he had been tortured in this very way. Gasping and only having just enough air to not die. The feeling of drowning without actually being submerged in water. “Magnus!” He cried out, reaching for his husband that was across the field from him.

“Ah yes.” The Prince started slowly stalking towards the Warlock. “The whole reason I came to this God forsaken realm.” Magnus tried to back up, but found he could barely move as his oxygen starved body focused on breathing. “You ungrateful child.” Wide cat eyes looked up at the demon. “I’ll never understand why my brother decided to let you live the first time you betrayed him, but no matter that was his business. I can’t however, let him being tossed into oblivion for all eternity go unpunished.” His impeccable shoe rested against his nephew’s throat. “I was originally planning on taking-“ Before he could finish, he felt something hot against his back then he was slamming into a building. Looking up with glowing silver eyes, he found Alec with his hand stretched out with dying scarlet flames flickering from it. Standing up, he snarled, “I should have just killed you when I ha-“ Once again he was knocked to the floor, but this time by a large grim that didn’t require oxygen. She latched onto his neck and started thrashing.

Ichabark had distracted him enough that the spell he cast dropped allowing everyone to take in a big gulp of air. Swaying to their feet everyone got ready for round two. Throwing the last of the blades to Jace, Alec swiped his stele over his Iratze and stamina runes. He watched as Magnus blinked as a surge of energy burst through their connection. The pair’s eyes met and silently came up with a plan. Trotting to the other side, Alec threw a rope of magic at Leviathan at the same time Magnus did. He clenched his teeth as the pissed off demon struggled to free himself against his bindings. Within seconds gold ropes joined the red. Looking to his left, Alec saw Lorenzo next to him. Once Jace gave the okay, the four magic wielders whipped the demon at configuration. The second the Prince was inside, Luke activated the configuration trapping the demon inside.

Leviathan roared at being trapped. “How long do you think you can keep me in here?”

“As long as we need.” Jace glared. “This trap held Lilith, I’m sure it can keep you inside just as well.”

“Lilith was the queen of Edom, the mother of demons and Warlocks, but me? I am a greater demon-“

“Which this was originally designed for.”

“You maggot upon this world. I’m not only a Greater Demon, I am a Prince of Hell. I out rank all other Greater Demons and Edom’s Queen. Was it designed for one such as I?”

“Considering my sister tweaked it, I’m sure it could trap God itself without a problem.”

Letting out a laugh, the demon commented, “If I wasn’t pissed, I think I’d like you. Your confidence even Lucifer would enjoy. Know this little angel boy, I will get out and destroy all of you and this world.”

“I’d like to see you try.”

“Jace.” Alec warned.

“Ah yes, little archer boy. You and your Warlock I will keep. I will drag you both to my realm and make him watch as I carve out every last one of your runes to hang on my wall with your others.” A crude and dangerous smile spread upon his lips as he watched Alec go dangerously pale. “It will be glorious. I will take my time. Perhaps have your internal organs falling out as I take some. Won’t that be fun? It’ll be like old tim-“ Leviathan’s mouth dropped open in shock. He never for a second thought anyone would be able to perform a feat that many had tried and failed at. The area was quiet as everyone except Alec took at what happened. Sticking out of Leviathan’s forehead was an arrow. For only a second nothing happened, then Leviathan let out a screech as he started glow. Within seconds his corporeal form started to glitch and lose stability. With a final yell he burst into black and sludge green smoke disappearing into the nether. A shock like wave shot out causing everyone in the immediate area to stumble a step or two.

For a moment no one moved. They were all trying to digest that Leviathan was gone. Actually gone for the next couple hundred to a thousand years. Scattered into dust until all its particles once again were attracted to each other and it gained form. Magnus only snapped out of it when Ichabark whined while trying to get Alec to sit down. “Alexander!” He turned his attention back to his husband whose eyes were glazed over and looking far off. “Alexander, come back to me. You’re safe. You’re not there, you’re safe.”

The rest of the group converged on the pair while keeping a slight distance so as not to crowd the catatonic man. “What do you need from us?” Jace asked keeping an eye on his friend.

Not looking away from Alec, Magnus replied, “Go see if anyone else needs help. We’ll meet you at the Institute unless you are in dire need of us.”

“Okay. Take care of him.” The blonde turned to the rest of the group, nodded, and everyone ran off to give aid.

“Alexander.” Magnus kept calling wanting desperately to touch the other man, but knowing it could cause his episode to be worse. “Alexander, say something. Anything. You’re safe, darling. You’re safe. Leviathan is gone.” The Warlock wasn’t sure how long he called to his husband, but eventually Alec whispered his name. “I’m here. May I touch you?” With a micro nod of consent, Magnus gather Alec into a hug. “I’m here darling. You’re safe. Leviathan is gone. You killed him.” He kissed Alec’s temple while running his fingers through his hair.

Finally, Alec’s body relaxed and sagged against the Warlock’s. His mind was still confused, but he was aware enough to know that Magnus was with him. “Take me home.” He muttered into the shorter man’s shoulder. He needed somewhere familiar. He needed somewhere safe. He needed to go home.

“Okay, darling.” Sending off a quick text to both Jace and Cat, he quickly summoned a portal and guided Alec through it. The moment they were inside the pair went straight into the bedroom. Magnus spoke soothingly to Alec as he undressed him and tucked him in. With a snap of his fingers, the Warlock had two cups of tea that he gently made Alec drink as they cuddled.

As Alec started to drift off he muttered, “I hate this. I hate being this way.”

“I know, my Darling. Rest, it’ll be better when you wake.”

“Don’t leave.” The request was slurred.

“Never.” As Alec’s breath evened out, he banished the teas and pulled his phone out. He spent the next few hour staying in touch with the Institute about what happened. Everyone, excluding some of the Clave members, were understanding of Alec’s need to get away. Lydia agreed to let them write their report when Alec woke.

The next morning the Shadowhunter shifted to find the spot next to him empty and cooling. Sitting up, he looked around mildly confused as to how he ended up in their loft. Not that he was complaining, but there apparently was a blank in his memory. Another blank. He hated that. With a sigh, he got up and headed towards the kitchen. He closed his eyes upon the scent of coffee and waffles. He was snapped out of his scent heaven when a familiar voice said, “Oh I was about to wake you.”

Opening his eyes, Alec smiled, “Morning.”

“Morning, darling.” Magnus leaned forward and gave him a peck on the lips. “How are you feeling?”

“Okay. Sore, but okay.” He frowned. “I don’t remember coming home.”

The Warlock’s face dropped then softened. “You were a little out of it. We’ll talk about it later. Let’s eat first.” The pair enjoyed the morning together. They found no need to rush through breakfast as they talked about lighter topics and avoided what happened yesterday.

Finally getting up, Magnus was laughing while Alec was trying not to pout. “Oh please, it always surprised me how much innuendos go over your head with siblings such as Izzy and Jace. The first time we talked I made a meat joke and it didn’t register at all.” Magnus turned sharply upon hearing a plate shatter on the ground. “Alexander, what’s wrong?”

“What did you say?”

“What?”

“What do you mean the first time we talked?”

Magnus shook his head. “You said the man was well done and I corrected you by saying something like he was medium rare because I had just roasted him.”

For a few seconds Alec merely stared at his husband with wide eyes and mouth slightly ajar. “You… you remember?”

“Of course.” Magnus frowned. “How could I forget? You were a stuttering, blushing mess.” The longer he stared at Alec, it suddenly clicked. He remembered. He remembered how he met Alec. “By the Angel. I remember.” Putting in plate down on the counter he walked slowly towards Alec. “Alexander, I remember.

“You remember!” Neither were sure who moved first but the next thing either knew they were passionately kissing. Walking Magnus towards the couch, Alec started stripping his husband desperately. “Magnus.” A litany of each other’s names and ‘you/I remember’ filled the loft that only ended when they were too busy trying to catch their breaths.
Kissing the top of Magnus’s head, Alec finally asked, “Why do you think you remember?”

Magnus hummed thinking the question over. “I’m assuming when you killed Leviathan his magic over us broke.” Nuzzling the younger man’s jaw he continued, “I can’t remember everything. My memory feels a little spotty, but I definitively remember you from before. Which is a little weird because it’s like some of my memories have you in it while others you’re still obscured. It’s also not a big AH HA moment. Your returning is more subtle than that.”

“I figured since you didn’t realize before that you remembered our first meeting.”

“Yes.” Looking up with his head resting on the Shadowhunter’s chest, he said, “I’m sorry I forgot you. I can’t imagine how that must have felt.”

Kissing Magnus reassuringly, Alec replied, “Don’t. It sucked beyond words, but it wasn’t your fault. Leviathan took it from you. There was nothing you or anyone could have done."

“I know, but I’m still sorry you had to go through that.” He shook his head. “The memories are clashing. As the ones from before are coming back, I know you. I know you and our journey together. The fun, pain, joy, and intimate moments, but then I also remember you arriving covered in the black sludge and not knowing who you were. I remember that journey of falling in love with you all over again. It’s strange.”

“I would imagine so.” Then a goofy smile appeared on Alec’s lips. “You were right though. We always do end up back to each other. No matter what.”

Leaning up, he whispered right over his love’s lips, “That we do.” Kissing him for what felt like forever, but not enough at the same time, he pulled away. “As much as I’d love to continue this, we do need to check up on the Institute and I need to fill you in on what happened yesterday.”

With a sigh, Alec agreed. “Alright, but we’re picking this up later.”

“Of course.” Snapping his fingers, Magnus cleaned up their breakfast as the pair went to get ready for the day and return to the Institute to give their report.

One Year Later

There was a knock on Alec’s door that caused him to look up from the report he was reading. “Come in.” He called. A smile bloomed on his face when Luke entered. “Hello, Luke.”

“Inquisitor.” Luke grinned. “How are you doing?”

“Fine. And you?”

“Great. Bali was amazing. Although it was a bit humid.”

Alec frowned a little. “My mother despises humidity.”

“That she does.” Luke laughed. “But she loved the beaches. She is a vision to behold on a paddle board.”

“Luke.” The Shadowhunter pinched the bridge of his nose. “Please stop. I don’t need that image.”

“Sorry. Anyway, we managed to make an alliance with the local pack and Vampire clan. We were able to establish some deputies within the pack, clan, and a few local Warlocks.”

“Excellent. The Shadowhunter/Downworlder deputy dynamic is working?”

The older man nodded. “Yes. There was a few missteps in the beginning, but everything is working out now.”

“Great.”

“How’s work going here?”

“Busy, but good.”

“Any new attempts?

“Luckily no. They’re definitely few and far between now with those Clave members sentenced to the City of Bones and having the few deputies walking around.”

“I’m sure with Magnus and Ichabark here they’re thinking twice before trying to hurt you.”

“That too.” Alec chuckled.

“Doing anything special tonight?”

“As far as I know, a nice dinner in. However, this is Magnus so he may have planned something more extravagant.”

“Well, make sure he doesn’t overwork himself and make sure you don’t keep him waiting.” Standing up he shook Alec’s hand. “I’m glad everything worked out.”

“Me too.”

“Bye Alec. Bye Ichabark. Make sure your dad doesn’t work too hard.” With a final grin and wave, Luke headed out leaving the Inquisitor to finish his report.

An hour later, Alec tossed his tablet onto his desk and stretched. He was done. No more report for the rest of the night. He had more important things to do than sit in his office. Shutting everything down, he stood up and grabbed his jacket. “Ichabark, let’s go.” The dog wagged her tail as she followed him out the door and through the building. Within minutes they arrived home. It always amazed him how Magnus had managed to transport their home into Alicante. “Go lay down.” He told his companion as he hung his jacket. Stepping into the loft he watched as his husband moved around while talking on the phone and writing an appointment down in his book.

Once the phone was on the table, Alec smiled, “Busy?” He started fixing some drinks as he listened to Magnus talk.

“Yes! So many wards need to be changing since Downworlders are now allowed in Alicante and Institutes around the world. You’d think I was the only High Warlock available.”

“Well, you are the best. You aren’t the High Warlock of Alicante for nothing.”

“Compliments will get you everywhere, Alexander.” Magnus’s eyes gleamed as he took his martini glass.

“To us.”

“To us.” The pair held eye contact as they took a sip of their drinks. A catchy ringtone started blaring through the apartment that was quickly silenced through a snap of Magnus’s fingers. “Dinner or dessert first?” The Warlock wrapped his arms around his husband’s shoulders.

Alec made a show of thinking while pulling his love closer, “Can we have a taste of dessert now and more after supper?”

“Oh darling, I love the way you think.” Everything was finally on the course it was supposed to be. For once, the pair could sit back, relax, and enjoy being together for the rest of their time together.